Knicks Morning News (2017.01.02)

  • [NYTimes] Keeping Score: James Harden Has a Game Worthy of Wilt Chamberlain
    (Monday, January 02, 2017 12:27:09 AM)

    The Houston Rocket star recorded a remarkable triple-double and had a hand in 95 of the Rockets’ 129 points Saturday — a scoring impact second only to Chamberlain.

  • [NYTimes] Sports of The Times: In Navajo Nation, a Basketball Elder Earns Respect
    (Monday, January 02, 2017 1:41:33 AM)

    In a place of poverty, social ills and fractured families, Raul Mendoza, 69, coach of the Chinle, Ariz., Wildcats, is a source of quiet strength for his young players.

  • [ESPN] Monday’s Knicks News: Hornacek seeks better effort from his players
    (Monday, January 02, 2017 5:33:11 AM)

    Monday’s Knicks News: Hornacek seeks better effort from his players

  • [NY Newsday] Jeff Hornacek wants more effort from Knicks in 2017
    (Sunday, January 01, 2017 9:42:24 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek has issued a challenge to his team, and particularly his starters, saying that the type of passion the Knicks showed in their hard-fought 129-122 loss to the Rockets on New Year’s Eve has to be the norm in 2017.

  • [NYPost] NBA scout rips Knicks for ‘draining’ Kristaps Porzingis
    (Sunday, January 01, 2017 7:54:55 PM)

    With Kristaps Porzingis developing Achilles soreness last week, one NBA scout with European connections believes Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek is overextending the 21-year-old Latvian, saying, “It’s worrisome.’’ Unsure how the injury occurred, the 7-foot-3 Porzingis missed his first game of the season Saturday in Houston because of pain in his right Achilles. Porzingis, who started…

  • [NYPost] Hornacek vaguely rips effort as Knicks’ moment of truth is here
    (Sunday, January 01, 2017 10:08:24 AM)

    The Knicks limp into 2017 with a losing record and a four-game losing streak, and they’ll soon be battered by a brutal January schedule stuffed with 17 games, four back-to-back sets and two New Year’s edicts from coach Jeff Hornacek. And Carmelo Anthony, knowing last season’s club started its tailspin in mid-January and never recovered, cranked up the urgency….

  • [NYDN] Jeff Hornacek says he needs to see max effort from his Knicks
    (Sunday, January 01, 2017 7:00:00 AM)

    Entering a month the Knicks have deemed season-defining, Jeff Hornacek indicated there’s a new standard for his veterans.

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    71 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.01.02)”

    1. Such a weird comment by the unnamed European scout:

      “There’s not too many cases when an international player becomes your franchise guy,’’ the scout said. “The best example is Pau Gasol. Dallas is the only one who came closest with Dirk Nowitzki. Marc Gasol is a rare exception but Pau was a complement to Kobe Bryant. International players are more athletically and mentally geared to be more complementary to the American-produced star.

      Oh? Dirk Nowitzki, one of the best players to ever play in the NBA, came close to being a franchise player? Fascinating.

      It’s like, holy shit, dude, you can still make your same freakin’ statement while acknowledging that there are exceptions. Not allowing for exceptions to your point just makes you look like a moron. “Well, Dirk, was kind of a franchise player.” Ugh.

    2. Besides being stupid, it’s also retro and ignores contemporary trends
      Giannis A. is well on his way to being a franchise player and it’s not far fetched that KP will reach that status as well.

    3. Oh yeah, I think the statement is dumb, as well, but that he wouldn’t even allow that there were obvious exceptions to his statement was just especially dumb.

    4. Nowitzki *is* a franchise player, of course. That said, the gist of this anonymous scout’s statement is totally valid: the Knicks are rushing Porzingis’ development, playing him too many minutes and expecting him to be a key factor in their stupidely misguided “win now” journey.

      But then again, stupid fans probably love it and would love it even more if we could trade him in two years for a hobbled, maxed-out, 33-year old Chris Paul. Yesterday’s posts (re Cousins) were *that* stupid – I particularly enjoyed the ones where Melo, Cousins and Lace Thomas compete with Irving, Love and LeBron!!!!!!!

    5. I dont think KP is playing too many minutes. I see his development curve as similar to Durant’s (not saying that he’ll be even 80% of Durant over the course of his career)–Durant took year 1 and 2 playing heavy minutes on a bad team and wasn’t particularly amazing until year 3 when his body and his game finally acclimated to the NBA. He was playing 40 minutes per game in his first two seasons (and he was prone to foot issues!)

      KP is young, his body will probably be fine. But I wouldnt protest if he went down from 35 MPG to 30 MPG.

    6. oh well, the typical stupid overarching statement “euros are soft!!” with the typical logical flaws…

      let’s make another statement and see how it sticks:

      “There’s not too many cases when a Duke player becomes your franchise guy,’’ the scout said. “The best example is Kyrie Irving. Detroit is the only one who came closest with Grant Hill. Luol Deng is a rare exception but Kyrie was a complement to LeBron James. Duke players are more athletically and mentally geared to be more complementary to the Other-Colleges-produced star.”

      or

      “There’s not too many cases when a North Carolina player becomes your franchise guy,’’ the scout said. “The best example is Billy Cunningham. The Lakers are the only one who came closest with James Worthy. Michael Jordan is a rare exception but Cunningham was a complement to Wilt Chamberlain. North Carolina players are more athletically and mentally geared to be more complementary to the Other-Colleges-produced star.

    7. No lie, I was considering making the same exact point and those were even going to be my two example schools!

    8. hahahaha Brian, great (and long suffering for the Knicks) minds do think alike, it seems!

      it can be done to pretty much every other college in the nation, I think… Kansas (had Wilt and Pierce only), Louisville is even worse (only Wes Unseld pretty much).

      UCLA is the only one I remembered that has a ridiculous track record, with Westbrook / Kareem / Bill Walton / Jamaal Wilkes / Gail Goodrich and Reggie Miller

    9. Millsap on the trading block.

      I know it’s impossible, both because of contract lengths and NTC, but a swap of Melo for Millsap would upgrade our team dramatically. Millsap to me is still one of the most underrated players in the NBA, and would upgrade our offense and most importantly our defense.

      But alas, ain’t never gonna happen.

    10. Georgetown has produced some fine NBA talent: Ewing. Mourning. Iverson and Mutoumbo all high impact players.

    11. I’m not sure the Hawks will be able to trade Millsap. They would want something significant in return, and they will only get that from teams that think they could resign Millsap after this season. Since Millsap will want a lot of money despite being 31 already, I’m not sure many teams would do that and trade something substantial for him.

      That said, He’d be a good fit in Toronto and they might be willing to do a one year rental if it wasn’t too expensive

    12. Millsap would be a GREAT fit for the Celtics, and they definitely do have the assets.

      they might not see him as a player that puts them over the line, though.

    13. I actually do agree that Hornacek is relying on overplaying KP. The kid is just not used to playing this many minutes at this pace. What bothers me is the wastefulness of it all. Was it really Phil’s plan for the Knicks to be this reliant upon playing last year’s draft pick with all of the money he’s spent on FA talent? Its a fucking disgrace that Melo, Rose, Lee and Noah are this reliant on a 2nd year player for them to be a .500 caliber starting lineup.

    14. Steps to making the Knicks great again:

      1. No Knicksy/Masey moves.

      2. Improve the defense. No reason Rose/Lee/Melo/KP/Noah aren’t at least average defensively. It’s not offense thats pur problem. Its letting any guard do whatever they want to us.

      2a. Less offensive rebounds, more effort and accountability on D.

      2b. Fire Rambis, hire anyone respectable.

      3. Sign either a good two way PG this offseason, or Rose at a discount to allow signing a third good guard.

      (4. Play Kuz, Willy, Baker, and Oq more than Vuj, Lance)

    15. Doubt there is much demand for a player like Millsap, who would not move the needle much anywhere he goes – the combination of age, production and contract does not yield real value. At a vet minimum, great contract. At 20M per year, a terrible one. Real value to a team like the Knicks would be around 8M per year for 3 years, but that’s not gonna happen, of course.

    16. Is it just me or do they keep needing KP on the floor for his defense more than his offense? That sounds great for KP, but why?? Lance was solid defensively last year, Noah’s always been above to way above average on d, you got guys like Lee and Rose who are not terrible (maybe just below average for Rose, not terrible), young guys like KP, Holiday, Baker, NDour, and at times even Kuz and Billy are above average, and Melo has never been this bad on D. What gives??!! Dont say its just Melo because there’s more going on.

    17. Steps to making the Knicks great again:

      Same as

      “Steps to making Donald Trump black again:”

    18. @15

      it makes sense for a playoff team with a gap in the PF position… he’s got only one year left in his contract, so if it doesn’t work out you just let him go right after.

      of course that will mean his trade value won’t be high and the offers will probably not entice the Hawks that much, but if he wants to leave the Hawks would have no leverage and will trade him for whatever.

    19. 2. Improve the defense. No reason Rose/Lee/Melo/KP/Noah aren’t at least average defensively.

      Melo and Rose are terrible defenders at this point. That’s a reason. Lee isn’t anything special either.

    20. it makes sense for a playoff team with a gap in the PF position… he’s got only one year left in his contract, so if it doesn’t work out you just let him go right after.

      of course that will mean his trade value won’t be high and the offers will probably not entice the Hawks that much, but if he wants to leave the Hawks would have no leverage and will trade him for whatever.

      Can’t think of a team willing to pay $20M plus assets for Millsap on a one -year rental, but then again, the Knicks paid Rose 21M, so anything is possible…lol

    21. The Celtics could give the Hawks Amir Johnson (12 million expiring) plus Tyler Zeller (8 million 2-year contract) plus one of the Nets picks (2018 let’s say) or their own pick and the salaries would easily match… and the paying Millsap 20 million doesn’t matter because this money is already being spent with someone else.

      The Thunder could give them Enes Kanter and either Domantas Sabonis or Cameron Payne + a pick, that would match too… Chicago could package Rondo’s contract (unprotected for next year so essentially a 13 million expiring), Mirotic and a pick.

      that might sway the Hawks once they realize Millsap is leaving anyway in the summer and they have no better offers.

    22. Millsap is a WAY better value than Rose at 20MM. Yes, he’s getting a little up in years, but he’s as consistent a 2-way player as there is in the NBA, career TS% .560, 9.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 1.2 blocks per 36.

      I think he would significantly improve any team he goes to.

    23. Millsap is overpaid but as a one year rental to a contender you could do worse. It would give Toronto a puncher’s chance against Cleveland. He will be *very* overpaid on his next contract, though.

      Melo and Rose are absolutely atrocious defensively and none of our 2nd unit is particularly good on defense with the exception of Holiday OQ, Ndour and Baker (the latter two ride the bench.) Lance has always been a subpar defender despite his ability to defend multiple positions. He’s just a high effort guy so he looks like he’s doing more than he actually is. Our defense is horrific because we have only 3 plus defenders on the team in KP, Noah, and OQ. And since they all play the same positions, there’s a logjam. When you have only 5 players who play break-even or better defense and 2 of them come off the bench, and the rest of your players aren’t just bad on defense but absolutely atrocious, there’s no way you’re getting above #25 in defensive productivity.

      Rose should not be resigned for anything above the room exception. He’s not good at basketball. The Knicks aren’t good at basketball. We should burn it down, before it’s too late and we do this whole free agent overpay while forgoing easily achievable cost-controlled assets again in 5 years.

    24. Lance Thomas for me is the perfect example of why everyone who says “defense is all about effort and intensity” is wrong.

    25. How about “defense is MOSTLY about effort and intensity”? Watch Melo and Rose defend and you’ll see. Physical skill helps, but only if the desire is there.

      I’m hoping that H’s new comments are him putting the vets (wink Melo wink Rose) on notice about playing time vs. defensive effort. Part of this is on H, too. Recently Kuz and Willy had some games with very little playing time. They need at least 10 minutes per game, and hopefully more.

      KP’s minutes should be pared to about 30-32 or so.

    26. I would say effort and intensity play a part, but Melo and Rose have never been plus defenders in their entire careers…

      effort is not enough to make a bad defensive player become a good one. It makes good defenders great ones, and it makes bad defenders passable sometimes.

    27. Look at the 2010-2011 Bulls team that won 62 games and was incredible defensively. They had 38 year old Kurt Thomas getting 23 minutes a game, Korver getting 20, and of course our own Derrick Rose getting 37. And they were one of the best defensive teams of the last decade. Of course, they had Noah in his prime as well.

      So was it Thibodeau (who has a terrible defensive team right now in Minnesota) or was it effort? I would venture to say if we had hired Thibs we’d be in the same place today defensively, so it really does come down to the latter. And Melo’s defense is just atrocious.

    28. they also had Luol Deng, Noah, Taj Gibson, Ronnie Brewer, Keith Bogans and Omer Asik, all plus defenders…. and Kurt Thomas has always been a solid defender.

      it really wasn’t just effort.

      I’m not saying that effort doesn’t matter, of course it does, but you have to have players who know how to defend, who are well prepared with scouting reports, defensive schemes, orientation from the coaches on when to switch, when to stay, etc… AND effort and intensity, communication, trust in your teammate’s capabilities…

    29. It’s not effort. The 2010-2011 Bulls were a perfect combination of a brilliant defensive system and a surfeit of players very good on the defensive end.

      10/15 of their players had positive DBPMs on the season and members of the team who were very good to great defensively include:

      Joakim Noah (All NBA defender)
      Kurt Thomas (great on defense until the day he retired)
      Ronnie Brewer (great wing defender)
      Omer Asik (top tier rim protector back in the day)
      Taj Gibson (solid defender especially in the post)
      Deng (solid wing defender)
      and Carlos Boozer had one of his better years defensively and wasn’t a sieve.

      They had far, far, far better defensive personnel than we have in the last 15 years. It was a collection of defensive all-stars that made that Bulls team what it was.

    30. That Bulls team was also a really good defensive rebounding team, so they got some defensive value even from a guy like Carlos Boozer, who wasn’t a great overall defender.

    31. The T-Wolves have Thibs and their defense is even worse than ours. Did he lose the ability to get effort out of players, or is it impossible to create a good defense if you don’t have players that are good at playing defense?

    32. Kurt Thomas (great on defense until the day he retired)

      I think that kind of proves my point about effort. Thomas was a smart player, but the only way you become a plus defender when you’re approaching age 40 is effort. You can’t teach or coach that.

    33. I’ve been watching the Jazz and the Timberwolves quite a lot lately, after Knicks games end (in frustration and endless suffering), and well, since the only way to determine things like effort is the eye test, I really can’t say I see much of a difference between effort levels in both teams.

      Wiggins for example is super active, moves all the time, checks his defender, he just doesn’t understand how to do all that in a proper way.

      meanwhile, the Jazz are the best defense in the league mostly because Gobert is an absolute superstar defender in the paint.

    34. @33 I disagree, d-mar.

      for a guy like Thomas at his 38 years, he knows he’s never gonna be faster or have the stamina to keep up with younger stronger players, so his best asset is positioning and understanding of the game… he also had a lot of experience to be able to communicate properly and understand what the opponent was going to do.

      of course he tried really hard, he kept in shape, he didn’t take plays off and all of that, but I really disagree that trying hard was what let him be a strong useful player at age 38.

    35. I think that kind of proves my point about effort. Thomas was a smart player, but the only way you become a plus defender when you’re approaching age 40 is effort. You can’t teach or coach that.

      Can’t “effort” be replaced by more explanatory qualities like “knows how to move in space”, “makes good rotations”, “block the basketball/protect the rim”, etc.? I’m not saying “effort” isn’t a thing, but I doubt that “effort” (an especially subjective term) correlates super highly with defensive productivity–and I think all the alternate terms I listed are more explanatory, verifiable, etc.

      A lack of “effort”, however, may correlate quite well with defensive ineptitude.

    36. I’m not saying that all bad defenders don’t give enough effort. Amare is a perfect example, I think he tried really hard on defense, but he was an incredibly dumb defender who had no concept of when to help, how to rotate, etc.

      I do believe, however, that Melo being a bad defender is mostly about effort, lazy closeouts on 3 point shooters is one of his worst sins.

    37. Steps to making the Knicks great again:

      1. No Knicksy/Masey moves.

      2. Improve the defense. No reason Rose/Lee/Melo/KP/Noah aren’t at least average defensively. It’s not offense thats pur problem. Its letting any guard do whatever they want to us.

      2a. Less offensive rebounds, more effort and accountability on D.

      2b. Fire Rambis, hire anyone respectable.

      3. Sign either a good two way PG this offseason, or Rose at a discount to allow signing a third good guard.

      (4. Play Kuz, Willy, Baker, and Oq more than Vuj, Lance)

      The notion of improving the defense is a good one. However it is rather inconsistent with playing KUZ at all! He is the worst defender on the bloody team and that is saying something.

      The National TV game last week where the instant KUZ stepped on the court the opposition went straight at him no matter who he was guarding was embarrassing. Something like 6 of 7 FG’s against him and only once did he defend adequately and his check just made a difficult shot.

      If he wants to get quality minutes he has to be much better defensively.

    38. Can’t “effort” be replaced by more explanatory qualities like “knows how to move in space”, “makes good rotations”, “block the basketball/protect the rim”, etc.? I’m not saying “effort” isn’t a thing, but I doubt that “effort” (an especially subjective term) correlates super highly with defensive productivity–and I think all the alternate terms I listed are more explanatory, verifiable, etc.

      A lack of “effort”, however, may correlate quite well with defensive ineptitude.

      Wow, you sound just like me in 2011 trying to explain how Faried’s rebounding probably had as much to do with elite spatial awareness and positioning as athleticism and “hustle.” But some things never change.

    39. Wow, you sound just like me in 2011 trying to explain how Faried’s rebounding probably had as much to do with elite spatial awareness and positioning as athleticism and “hustle.” But some things never change.

      Nahhhh…. Faried probably just watched Red on Roundball tapes from the 1970’s and learned proper fundamentals which are so sorely lacking in today’s game :-)

    40. in other news, I would still be very happy if the Knicks somehow got Faried.

      once the CBA changes the max salaries his contract will be cheap and he’s still rebounding really well besides getting limited playing time, because Mike Malone feels an absolute need to play the amazing Jusuf Nurkic for half the game.

    41. Rose and Lee were supposed to be a defensive upgrade over Calderon and Afflalo. I’m not really seeing it. If those guys are a defensive upgrade it’s an extremely marginal upgrade. I do think the Knicks’ strategy of crashing the offensive boards hurts the defense. It’s a robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul scenario– you get some extra possessions on offense, but it kills your transition defense. It seems like a very regular occurrence to see the opposition snag a rebound, push the ball, set a quick screen and get the ball into the paint before the Knick defense can set. When slow-footed guys like Melo and Lee are on the floor at the wing spots the problem is even more obvious.

      The overall defensive numbers of the Knicks are so completely unhealthy that it’s hard to see how this team becomes even competent without a personnel overhaul. 26th in TOV%. 27th in DRB%. 26th in FT/FGA. They don’t take the ball from you, they give up lots of second chance opportunities and they foul a lot. It’s not like there are good defenders lurking on the bench who just need more minutes.

    42. Faried would at least help with defensive rebounding but he’s been in the league a long time now and has not shown a lot of improvement as an overall defender. He struggles badly against stretch four types and still hasn’t really figured out how to defend the pick and roll.

    43. I agree JK47, but I really like players who have at least one elite skill in their game… I think that these players are necessary unless you have a transcendent star like LeBron who can make up for his teammates shortcomings in most areas.

      Faried is still an elite rebounder, and good teams without a transcendent star can succeed if they manage to put players like Faried in the position to do what he does best, while having other players who can help in other areas.

      The Celtics right now are a big example of this in my opinion… Thomas is an elite scorer who gets inside the paint at will and scores efficiently, but he’s a bad defender and just an ok 3 point shooter; in comes Bradley, an elite defender and rebounder for his position who also happens to be a pretty good 3 point shooter… Crowder provides excellent shooting in limited opportunities and is a good defender on the wing, which helps Amir Johnson and Al Horford, both not really elite rim protectors in their jobs… while I think Horford has been a disappointment so far in the sense that he’s not rebounding well and has been an average shooter, the team is still playing well because they have players who aren’t really superstars but have specific elite skill sets that mesh really well together.

    44. @38 I remember that game where the hated Celtics went at Kuz. I thought that he should have tried fronting his man after the third or fourth attempt to overpower him down low.

    45. I’m not advocating for Faried mostly due to his contract (it’s good value but I wouldn’t give up assets for it), but those were the arguments against him when he entered the league: “He’s just a grit/scrap/hustle guy; all you have to do is get your superior-athlete players to try harder than he does and play to his inherent height disadvantage and you can neutralize him.” Six seasons and four appearances on the ORB% top-10 leaderboards later…

    46. we do not need another frontcourt player… i really like our mix of guys save for noah… but kp, koq and wily are going to be pretty solid for the foreseeable future….

      we are honestly not that far away from being a 50 win team….. we just need to find a pg, get melo’s assist rate back to last year and get someone else besides rambis for our defense…

    47. The aforementioned quote from that scout article is dumb as hell but I think the general message is on point. Over exerting Porzingis is a shitty side effect of being in faux win now mode. Apparently he hasn’t even gotten an MRI which is unfathomably dumb no matter how you look at it.

    48. I mean, the only thing that keeps this team far away from being a fifty win team is like, the winning games part.

      this team is on pace for just ten wins less with really good injury luck.

    49. You can’t really escape the Four Factors. This is the #16 offense and #24 defense. You would need real improvement on both sides of the ball to get this to a 50-win team. Right now, based on W/L record, this team is a 40-win team. Based on Pythag, it’s a 32 -win team.

      Where are the improvements supposed to come from, Four Factors-wise? The defense is putrid in three of the Four Factors. The offense is bad in two out of four. The underlying fundamental numbers of this team are just not good. And, as Bruno points out, the Knicks have had good injury luck so far.

    50. the worst part of all is that we are locked into this situation for the next 3-4 years with melo and noah… perenial playoff cusp for the next few years is not going to cut it.

      personally i’d rather be a 32 win team with young prospects developing a homegrown core around Kp…we are not in that boat.

    51. The only positive you can point to is that the Knicks have only played 17 games vs the East. Most of the teams the Knicks are fighting for a playoff spot in the East have already played 22-24 games vs the East. The Knicks are only 8-9 vs the East but they’re 0-5 vs the Top 3 teams (Cle, Tor, Bos) so if you’re an optimist you can say the schedule is in their favor in that regard and since they have been taking care of the weaker teams (especially at home) the Knicks as long as they stay relatively healthy should still be able to make the playoffs and win around 43 games or so.

      Granted that’s not something to be excited about and I understand that but I don’t think this team is going to collapse like last year’s team did and win 32 games.

    52. look… i’ve been steadfast the whole time that this was a 37-40 win team… and we’re playing a lot like that now… and we’re probably not going to be a 50 win team this season… but next season?

      kp .160
      koq .150
      melo .120
      lee .100
      pg X .110
      wily .120
      noah .100
      LT/Kuz .065
      backup pg X .070

      this is sort of a crude back of the napkin way of doing projections but if you make reasonable minutes projections then that’s a 48 win team…

    53. kp making a leap…. koq getting more minutes… and a much better pg….

      like i said originally… this season it’s not happening… but next year… it’s very possible…. but we need a better pg first and foremost or else it’s going to be more of the same….

    54. ‘kp making a leap’ over the 59th st bridge cuz melo wont play defense?
      why would KOQ get more minutes than he is currently getting. is hornacek tanking?
      guard play has been a problem for as long as i can remember. i dont see the situation improving anytime soon.

    55. Those are perfectly reasonable projections, but it’s also very possible that Melo falls off a cliff, Lee can’t hit .100, and we don’t sign an above average PG. The problem with involving aging players in a long term plan is they can crap out on you at any time. That’s why even if we make uncharacteristically smart moves this offseason we still might not be good.

    56. the good thing is that the Magic are terrible and the optimists are coming back in full force after Melo hits a game winning shot today.

    57. Heh, funny thing is the optimists go ghost a lot more than the pessimists. Wonder what er and swiftandabundant are up to these days.

    58. the good thing is that the Magic are terrible and the optimists are coming back in full force after Melo hits a game winning shot today.

      I’d be happy if Melo hit 50% of his shots, only seems to happen once in the proverbial blue moon.

    59. Fournier is probably not playing too, which should make this an easy one even if KP does not play.

    60. ‘kp making a leap’ over the 59th st bridge cuz melo wont play defense?

      this was a good one

    61. Tough stretch for the Knicks since Christmas. Really should have beaten at least NO and better execution could have jagged a win against the Hawks. Not even going to mention the Houston game. It was like that scene in Pleasantville where Toby Macguire tries out for the high school team and everyone is hitting every shot they throw at the bucket.

      Upside is that Noah looks to be playing better. Glad Coach called the team out for their effort though. If he is serious about it though he won’t be afraid to bench starters to make a point.

      Having some key guys back should help, but who the hell knows.

    62. things can fall apart but there’s a lot of good reasons to remain optimistic…. losing games this year is probably actually better for us… as long as we keep kp healthy and we pass on derrick rose then we should be pretty decent next year…

    63. with that I wholeheartedly agree.

      let’s get reubs favorite Ntilikina on the team

    64. things can fall apart but there’s a lot of good reasons to remain optimistic…. losing games this year is probably actually better for us… as long as we keep kp healthy and we pass on derrick rose then we should be pretty decent next year…

      The best thing that can happen to the Knicks is a total inadvertent tank, followed by a Carmelo NTC waiver, a consequent loss of “confidence” in the Knicks’ winning hopes by one Derrick Rose, who chooses to sign somewhere else, followed by Noah asking to be traded to a contender for any combination of picks and rookie-contract, followed by a “surprising” .500 season having lost 3 of their 4 “stars” the year before, followed by a couple max player signings that actually deserve it (unlikely but “best thing”).

    65. sometimes I dream that Ainge uses Bostons history to convince Melo to waive his NTC and trades us the brooklyn pick plus Avery Bradley for him, making us better and a rival worse at the same time.

      waking up is not fun

    66. As long as the Knicks hold onto all their first picks, that gives me at least some hope. Even if they sign Rose to something like a four-year extension I won’t worry about it too much, because that locks in several years of stealth tanking. The Knicks probably won’t suck enough to get a true impact player in this year’s draft, but if they keep this core together for a few more years they should stink for a good while. It won’t be as good as selling off the veterans for good cheap assets but it’s something.

      Stealth tank, contract extension for Porzingis, Phil Jackson contract runs its course, surprisingly competent GM hired to replace him and build around Porzingis, Willy and whoever the Knicks draft in 2017. That’s my best case scenario.

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