Knicks Morning News (2017.03.02)

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis shines in return as Knicks thump Magic
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 4:45:48 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — This is the land of fantasy and unicorns, so why not? March is here, the Knicks are playing defense, trying to make the month meaningful. Like it or not, tank police. Kristaps Porzingis, the 7-foot-3 Latvian unicorn, made a triumphant, stirring return after missing the previous two games with an ankle sprain….

  • [NYPost] How Phil Jackson meddled his way to triangle triumph
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:54:38 AM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Jeff Hornacek acknowledged Knicks president Phil Jackson has influenced him into using more triangle offense — especially to enhance the team’s defense. And Jackson has a supporter in Kristaps Porzingis, who thinks the club should’ve used the triangle a lot more at the beginning of the season instead of Hornacek’s combo attack….

  • [NYPost] Derrick Rose’s free-agency plan after awkward Knicks tenure
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:14:44 AM)

    ORLANDO – Wednesday is the deadline for Derrick Rose to take the Brandon Jennings path. The Knicks would need to be waived Rose on March 1 for him to be eligible for a playoff roster with another club. Instead he will face Orlando on Wednesday night as the starting point guard and won’t be asking for a…

  • [NYDN] Knicks point guard Derrick Rose isn’t going anywhere (yet)
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:30:51 PM)

    Derrick Rose, who was actively shopped prior to the trade deadline, apparently survived another one on Wednesday.

  • [NYDN] Knicks, refusing to tank, beat Magic with Porzingis back
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:30:35 PM)

    The Knicks still believe they can make something of their season.

  • [NYDN] John Amaechi rips Amar’e Stoudemire for homophobic shower joke
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:59:09 AM)

    Ex-NBA player John Amaechi wants Amar’e Stoudemire to shut his mouth.

  • [ESPN] Thursday’s Knicks News: Porzingis endorses the triangle offense
    (Thursday, March 02, 2017 4:42:46 AM)

    Thursday’s Knicks News: Porzingis endorses the triangle offense

  • [ESPN] Stoudemire says he’d avoid a gay teammate
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 7:53:13 AM)

    Stoudemire says he’d avoid a gay teammate

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks roll past Magic to get back in win column
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 10:01:33 PM)

    The Knicks beat the Magic, 101-90, on Wednesday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Brandon Jennings clears waivers
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 5:18:44 PM)

    Point guard Brandon Jennings has cleared waivers and is now free to sign with any team, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s Game: Knicks at Magic
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 5:06:22 PM)

    The Knicks head to Orlando for a matchup with the Magic at 7 p.m.

  • [SNY Knicks] Rose has sights set on free agency, winning
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 2:15:00 PM)

    Knicks G Derrick Rose remains steadfast in his desire to receive a max contract this summer once he hits free agency, but he’s still focused on getting the Knicks into the playoffs first.

  • [SNY Knicks] Hornacek not at fault for Knicks’ struggles
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 11:30:15 AM)

    While New York has struggled mightily this season, Jeff Hornacek is not to blame for the team’s inability to win.

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis to return Wednesday night, Hernangomez, Ndour out
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 12:40:00 PM)

    Knicks F Kristaps Porzingis will return on Wednesday night against the Magic, head coach Jeff Hornacek said.

  • [SNY Knicks] Brown: If Jackson wants the triangle, he should coach Knicks himself
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 9:35:51 AM)

    Former Knicks coach Larry Brown thinks Phil Jackson should coach the Knicks himself if he insists on the team using the triangle offense.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis, Derrick Rose lead Knicks past Magic
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 10:49:00 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — The Knicks are not playing like a team that wants a better draft pick and Jeff Hornacek isn’t coaching them that way.

  • [NY Newsday] Kristaps Porzingis a fan of the Knicks’ triangle offense
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 8:36:34 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Phil Jackson isn’t the only person who likes that the Knicks are playing more triangle. Kristaps Porzingis is a fan of the often-criticized offense and believes the Knicks should have been emphasizing it from the start of the season.

  • [NYTimes] Knicks 101, Magic 90: Kristaps Porzingis Scores 20 in His Return, Leading Knicks Past Magic
    (Thursday, March 02, 2017 3:25:37 AM)

    Porzingis, who missed two games with an ankle injury, created matchup problems for Orlando in the Knicks’ win.

  • [NYTimes] Warriors’ Kevin Durant Out at Least Four Weeks
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 11:39:45 PM)

    Golden State hopes that its major free-agent acquisition can return from a knee injury before the end of the regular season.

  • [NYTimes] Keeping Score: Anything Else, LeBron? Cavaliers Give James the Depth He Coveted
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 3:36:14 PM)

    James complained about the roster in January, but recent acquisitions have turned the Cavaliers into one of the most complete teams he has had to work with.

  • [NYTimes] A Page From the Warriors’ Playbook? Why Stop With Just One?
    (Thursday, March 02, 2017 10:00:42 AM)

    This Texas college coach hasn’t seen Golden State in person. But he knows good basketball when he sees it, and he views the Warriors as a template for his team.

  • [NYTimes] Isaiah Thomas Puts Up 31 Points as Celtics Hold Off Cavaliers
    (Thursday, March 02, 2017 4:30:19 AM)

    Boston overcame a triple-double by LeBron James to win the battle of Eastern Conference leaders.

  • [NYTimes] Amar’e Stoudemire Says He Would Steer Clear of Gay Teammate
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 4:36:51 PM)

    A response to a hypothetical question in Israel causes a stir.

  • [NYTimes] Styles Q. and A.: Filmmaker Bart Freundlich on Shooting Hoops at 47
    (Wednesday, March 01, 2017 11:00:01 AM)

    “I get to turn my mind off,” the director of “Wolves” says.

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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).

    100 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.03.02)”

    1. We are the most un fan friendly team…. I’ve suggested before that the personnel decisions should be left to a bunch of stat driven fanatics not some rich executives/former coach.

      Dolan if you’re listening, let’s us take over!

    2. I’m already watching Miles Bridges and Ivan Rabb highlights.

      FWIW Draftexpress / Vertical posted their update on Miles Bridges yesterday (it’s short) and were impressed with his progress…

      For the TL;DR crowd, basically they said his defense has been excellent and quite versatile (i.e. able to guard the perimeter with his quickness and also being strong enough to guard dudes in the post), and that he’s showing more offensive versatility too, shooting 41% from 3 all while not settling for jumpers as much.

      Not encouraged by their continued take on Malik Monk. Feels very small- JR Smith-ish to me I guess.

      OG Anunoby anyone?

    3. OG Anunoby anyone?

      If they could get a second first (they won’t), then I’d love to see them draft Anunoby.

    4. Interesting evolution in KP’s tone with the press — for all of last year and much of this year, he very much deferred to the other vets on the team. But recently he’s really been more outspoken. This sentence speaks volumes (when talking about the Triangle, which he apparently likes):

      It can only work if everybody believes in it and everybody executes it the right way.

      That’s as much an indictment of his teammates as you’ll probably ever see him do — I assume this is pointed at Rose and Melo.

      On Michael Kay’s show yesterday, JVG said that the difference between players now and 15 years ago is that at the American sub-pro levels of sport (high school/AAU/college I assume) all the teams are PNR now, whereas they were more system basketball before, which is why none of the players want to play Triangle. I assume this is why Phil is pretty consciously euro-fying the team.

    5. Well after all the hero ball and chaos at MSG I imagine a system with rigid rules focused on motion and unselfish play is refreshing to him. Interesting nonetheless.

      Again, I think Bridges is going to be good–you could do worse at 11 or 12, and I wouldn’t be too broken up getting him, but of course the focus should be on getting De’Aaron, Issac, or Ntilikina.

    6. Screw Rabb, Bridges, and Anunoby…with our luck we’ll be trading up to draft Grayson Allen LOL.

      I’m torn..last night’s game felt good, but I know in my heart it was wrong. This is tortuous! I’m still crossink (too much?) my fingers for one of Ball, Isaac, or Ntilikina

    7. If we don’t leave draft night with, at the very least, Fox or Ntilikina, Phil should be fired before training camp.

    8. Something has been bothering me all year.

      If KP and Willy Hernangomez are the future of the team and KP is the starting C of the future, where does that leave Willy Hernangomez?

      I realize they are capable of playing together, but it does seem there is an upside to KP being the C once he’s strong enough to handle that position every night. Wally Szczerbiak was all over that last night based on the better spacing. IMO, WH is probably eventually going to be too good to come off the bench. He’s not a PF. So where does that leave him other than an eventual trade unless we continue using KP at PF and deal with the downsides of his defense against quicker PFs and don’t gain the advantage of his ability to spread the floor as a stretch 5.

    9. RE: KP and Willybilly –

      I think we can prob think of it like the Warriors’ death lineup. They’ll be matchups in which we want KP and Willy together, and perhaps they’ll be closing lineups with just KP out there. Plus KP can’t play all the time. The Warriors have Zaza + Javale out there for a total of about 28 min/game, which seems like a pretty reasonable place for Willy to be. KP probably can’t handle a huge minutes load at center and ultimately should prob play no more than 30-32 min/game ideally. For comparison, Draymond currently plays about 33 min/game and plays about 20% of those minutes at center, so roughly 7 minutes/game at the 5 and 26 min/game at the 4.

      That’s plenty of floor time for Willy.

      Joakim Noah though?
      What a catastrophic contract that is. I see stretch-waive in his future.

    10. Yeah, even if they don’t play together a ton, there are still plenty of minutes to be had for both.

    11. On Michael Kay’s show yesterday, JVG said that the difference between players now and 15 years ago is that at the American sub-pro levels of sport (high school/AAU/college I assume) all the teams are PNR now, whereas they were more system basketball before, which is why none of the players want to play Triangle. I assume this is why Phil is pretty consciously euro-fying the team.

      In Phil’s mind — Next year the Knicks will be a contender in the East, and KP and Willy will be on the cover of SI. The article will be about “importing basketball fundamentals back from Europe.” PJ will repeat JVG’s comment above. Only question is: which PG will join the party?

      I hope Phil is right. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear also that KP reaches out on his own this summer to some top centers for counsel, friendly workouts (Kareem? Gasol? Dirk?)

    12. AAU has definitely ruined the game of basketball. Just look at LaMelo Ball and his attitude and the shots he takes in game.

      Re KP and Willy:

      It’s as simple as building a team like the 09 and 2010 Lakers where Pau was the primary back up center. You want to collect as many good players as possible. Willy is a good player. KP is a good player. Rubio is also a good player and needs to be on the roster by July. Frank Ntilikina? A good player and can play both the 1 and 2. Just get good players and worry about what to do with them later.

    13. Saw parts of the game last night, and what struck me is that we are not a worse team than the Magic, so didn’t expect a win.

      Are there any signs Phil is even trying to tank? By not giving up anyone at the deadline (this may be Phil’s biggest mistake ever), we still have some decent/average players that wont allow us to tank. He may be aiming for the playoffs! Lee, KP, Willy, oquinn, melo isn’t even that bad. We’re counting on Rose, badMelo, and rookies to tank and I don’t see it bringing us lower than 7th pick.

    14. It’s hard to name Phil’s biggest mistake with so many of them still unfolding

    15. We won again last night so everyone’s unhappy. I understand perfectly.

    16. Listen guys, we’re going to get a nice player in this draft even if we keep winning so don’t fret. Maybe 2. We’re on our way to greatness. Stay positive.

    17. The Sixers are not the model to follow. They are doomed to perpetual tanking. And losing. Phil knows how to win. Believe.

    18. The 8-11 picks are all tied right now but it sure feels like we’re the only team in that pack still dumb enough to be winning games. A deadline fire sale really was imperative but Phil just had to spend all day on a trade that didn’t happen.

    19. Phil will continue to phail. This is one of the great certainties in life. It’s almost sort of comforting. Like, in the same way I know that pluots will come back into season this summer, I know Phil Jackson will sign a bunch of free agents that nobody wants and assemble a completely pointless 33-win team next year.

    20. You’re right that we don’t control it, but it matters and quite a bit. Ending up one spot lower in the draft is how you get Gallinari instead of Love, Jordan Hill instead of Curry, and KP instead of KAT.

      It’s also how you get Michael Jordan instead of Sam Bowie and KP over Okafor. You play to win the game. If I may quote the great Herm Edwards.

      Can you guess which one of these posts has more upvotes?

    21. It’s striking how much this team succeeds or fails based on Zinger’s play. When he was killing it at the beginning of the season, the Knicks were a playoff team. When he faded, we plummeted. By comparison, Melo bounces between good games and bad with seemingly little effect on the team.

      BasketballReference assigns a Game Score to every player for every game. When Porzingis has a Game Score above 12.8, the Knicks are 14-9. When he’s below that number, the Knicks are 7-20. When he doesn’t play, we’re 3-7.

    22. By comparison, when Melo has a GameScore above that same (admittedly arbitrary) 12.8 number, we are 14-19. When he’s below that number, we are 11-17. There’s almost no difference in our record when he plays well or plays poorly.

    23. When Rose has a GameScore above 12.8, we’re 9-13. When he’s below that, we’re 14-16. So the team actually does slightly better when Rose is worse. We’re only 2-7 when he doesn’t play at all, though.

      Anyway, my point is just that, of the 3 guys who most impact the team, Porzingis’s performance is most closely associated with wins and losses. When he’s good, we’re good.

    24. @ 25 – this statement is absurd.

      The first year Phil was here he had minimal money to spend on free agents. I think his “big” aquisition was Jason Smith for the mid level for one year.

      The second year Phil had cap space he brought in Lopez, Affalo and Derrick Williams. Lopez was the only one he brought in for more than a year. I might be misremembering but I seem to remember most people somewhat optimistic about Affalo, hoping he’d be a decent guy to keep around going forward. Most people were less excited about Derrick Williams but once we played the games people kind of liked him and were mad Phil only gave him one year. Assembling a team that was barely a playoff team or that missed the playoffs DID NOT MATTER bc we had no draft pick.

      This off season he traded Lopez, Calderon and Grant for Rose, Holiday and a second round pick. People were upset about losing Lopez and Grant but most people could not have cared about losing Calderon either way. He signed Noah (big mistake) and Lee (a good player worth his money). And Jennings, another one year rental at a reasonable price.

      From what I can tell the only FA Phil has signed that is a disaster is Noah. Overpaid and he might end up being a STAT like albatross, although the jury is still out on that. Maybe the knee surgery and time off rejuvenates him (its not out of the realm of possibility). Lopez was a below market rate signing for a decent starting center. Lee was a market rate signing (some would argue a value signing but no one would say an overpay). Jennings, Affalo, Jason Williams and Derrick Williams were all one year rentals.

      So you state that Phil will beyond a doubt overpay for bad free agents when his record actually shows he’s really only made one BAD free agent signing. He’s made 2 decent ones (Lee and Lopez) and a bunch of one year rental/flyers.

      Hate Phil for logical reasons. Not made up ones.

    25. @33 would you really be surprised if we gave Jeff Teague 4 yrs and $90 million?

    26. @33 The Jason Smith year was also the year the Knicks traded Tyson Chandler for a package of players that included a 2nd round pick instead of Jae Crowder. And Phil could have turned that 2nd round pick into Nikola Jokic, but he went with Cleanthony Early instead. That was a huge mistake. If you don’t want the sure thing because you think you can do better? Do better.

      The problem with Phil Jackson is that he has not shown an ability to build a good team in the 3 1/2 seasons he’s been here. He’s added a total of 3 players who have proven themselves worthy of being built around and they all play the same position. This roster is 100% Phil Jackson. That means that in 3 1/2 years, PJ put together a team that is 80% useless for the future. He was also supposed to change the culture in MSG but instead he’s made us as big a joke as we’ve been since the Isiah Thomas era.

      Phil is getting at least one more off season than he deserves, and he has a chance to truly set us up for a decade. He can land a future stud in the draft and flip Melo for youth the same night. Instead he’s setting his team up to win as many pointless games as they can these next 6 weeks to ruin our draft position and likely still carrying out his anti-Melo campaign that will just make Melo want to stay for spite.

      Phil sucks.

    27. And Courtney Lee has been useful in the first year of a deal where he turned 31 and we have him for 3 more years beyond this one. How long do you think it is before Courtney Lee is simply bad at basketball?

    28. Joakim Noah though?
      What a catastrophic contract that is. I see stretch-waive in his future.

      It’s a clear negative, but not 100% hopeless.

      I thought he started playing fairly well once he started getting into game shape. The problem is that he can’t STAY healthy. If he wound up being a very solid backup for the next 3 years (albeit overpaid), it would go from disaster to just a bad signing. The thing is, if he can’t even be a reliable backup and we have to spend money on someone else, it becomes more of a problem. For example, I really like KOQ. However, if Noah was healthy and I could count on him to be the backup I could see trading KOQ for a solid player at another position (or asset) and keeping Plumlee as the 3rd string. But if Noah is useless 50% or more of the time, then I think we sort of need KOQ. At that point the 18m is a bit of a disaster.

    29. I watch a lot of PAC 12 basketball and trust me when I say Ivan Raab is not as good as advertised. That would be a disastrously bad pick. But it could happen because Knicks

    30. @ 37 – how much easier do you think Phil’s job would have been if he had those first round picks the 2 out of 3 years he’s been here?

      Or another question – do you think Phil makes all the moves he’s made if he had a draft pick those 2 years? That’s two first round picks that would still be on rookie scale contracts. Or to put it another way, including KP and Zinger you’d have 4 players to potentially be building around for the future instead of 2. Does he make all of these moves with those picks?

      This is why I’m ambivalent about firing him. I think Phil should finish out the 5 years. Because the next 2 years he will have draft picks to work with. Its taken him 3 seasons to get us back to a place where we have picks every year going forward. That seems like just basica GM competence but for us its a huge improvement over the philosophy of the past.

    31. Instead he’s setting his team up to win as many pointless games as they can these next 6 weeks to ruin our draft position and likely still carrying out his anti-Melo campaign that will just make Melo want to stay for spite.

      Except you don’t know what he is doing. You’re saying for sure that he’s messed up this draft all ready when it hasn’t even happened yet! Um, we could make the playoffs and still get a lottery pick. All it takes is a little creative thinking. Use the second rounders and our pick to trade up. Attach our first round pick with Oquinn and trade up. Make a big Melo deal on draft night to snag another pick. You have no idea what he is going to do with the future but you act like every win from now till the end of the season Phil Jackson is the one lacing up and making sure we win. Just let the season play out and see what happens.

    32. The first year Phil was here he had minimal money to spend on free agents. I think his “big” aquisition was Jason Smith for the mid level for one year.

      Which was remarkably dumb. Jason Smith had always been bad, was bad with us, and has continued to be bad.

      The second year Phil had cap space he brought in Lopez, Affalo and Derrick Williams. Lopez was the only one he brought in for more than a year. I might be misremembering but I seem to remember most people somewhat optimistic about Affalo, hoping he’d be a decent guy to keep around going forward. Most people were less excited about Derrick Williams but once we played the games people kind of liked him and were mad Phil only gave him one year. Assembling a team that was barely a playoff team or that missed the playoffs DID NOT MATTER bc we had no draft pick.

      You’re misremembering. The Afflalo and Williams contracts did absolutely nothing for us and people knew it the second they were signed. This was the same offseason in which Philly used the same amount of cap space to get Stauskas, two pick swaps, and an unprotected 2019 first from the Kings.

      This off season he traded Lopez, Calderon and Grant for Rose, Holiday and a second round pick. People were upset about losing Lopez and Grant but most people could not have cared about losing Calderon either way. He signed Noah (big mistake) and Lee (a good player worth his money). And Jennings, another one year rental at a reasonable price.

      Grant is now sitting on a 55% TS and .093 WS48. He’d be the best point guard on our roster and is signed for two more years after this one for nothing. Lopez easily could’ve fetched an actual asset, not a negative one like Derrick Rose, and…

    33. I don’t know how much the Jokic praise is about our passing on him. I think there’s a general push to acknowledge his greatness.

      Separate from that, there’s the acknowledgement that he was available to us at the time, though it seems more like a lament than a rebuke.

    34. Why do some of you guys talk about Jokic like we screwed up by not taking him?

      It’s more about how many people on this board are totally inept at evaluating basketball production. There are people on this board who think that Porzingis is better, right now, than Jokic, because of some nebulous stat about rim protection, ignoring all other metrics that say Jokic is, at this moment, a top-10 player in the league. Porzingis is, at best, the 3rd-best big on his own team, which is a lottery team for the foreseeable future.

      It’s not about retroactively making draft decisions — I don’t think anyone thought Jokic would be this good this fast. It’s about not ignoring production when it’s slapping you in the face with triple-doubles from the center position.

      The Warriors, Celtics and Spurs (teams that are good at evaluating talent) each passed on Jokic as well. The question isn’t whether they should want to go back to draft night and correct their mistake. It’s about whether their good young players are more valuable, all else equal, than this age-22 blossoming superstar. (A: No.) When the same optimistic posters are the ones defending Porzingis (as they did last year during ROY voting and this year upon KP’s stagnant development), it shows that there really hasn’t been any progress in those posters’ ability to spot talent despite years of being proven wrong.

    35. @ 43 – you say Jason Smith was dumb but what was Phil gonna spend the minimal cap space on? You act like a mini mid level player is supposed to be great.

      Here is my issue with a lot of the thinking on this site. You guys bring up picking Jokic in the second round over Early or bring up this one FA that this one team signed for minimal money that ends up being a steal and then say “WHY DIDN’T PHIL DO THAT?”

      But the odds are almost any second round pick will not be good. Its overwhelmingly the case and guess what Phil actually nailed a second round pick with Willie H. Absolutely crushed it. If you get one good player out of every 4 second round picks that’s pretty good. The same with vet minimum or mini mid level FA signings. You usually know what you are getting, a flawed player. Every once in awhile you get a player who takes a huge jump or the new environment and role shakes something out of him and he ends up being a steal. But this stuff is rare and I believe somewhat random. We’ve had our share of dudes in the past who over performed. But you focus on all the fails.

      For all of our supposed ineptitude, there are teams in the league worse than us. We aren’t even that bad, just kind of shitty average. I guess its bc we’ve been so shitty/average for so long people are just super pissed about it. But I think you all need to take breath. Things are not so bad.

      KP and Willie H – future front court solidified.
      Draft picks every year going forward, multiple second rounders coming our way in the coming years.
      Melo can opt out next year if he wants
      Lee and KQ – tradeable assets.
      20 million plus in cap space this year to fuck around with.

      If you really take a deep breathe and relax, I think you all might realize that the only really bad thing holding us back long term as of right now is the Noah contract. Phil didn’t make a dumb win now trade at the deadline. He just brought back Randle and let Jennings walk. Things are not so bad.

    36. you say Jason Smith was dumb but what was Phil gonna spend the minimal cap space on? You act like a mini mid level player is supposed to be great.

      It’s not about finding a “great” player. Phil was trying to win games and thought Jason Smith was conducive to doing so. That’s a huge indictment on his talent evaluation abilities.

      Here is my issue with a lot of the thinking on this site. You guys bring up picking Jokic in the second round over Early or bring up this one FA that this one team signed for minimal money that ends up being a steal and then say “WHY DIDN’T PHIL DO THAT?”

      I haven’t seen a single person criticize Phil for not taking Jokic. That wouldn’t be fair for many reasons obviously. It sucks that we took Early but shit happens. The real issue is passing up on Crowder, who was an obvious steal in the second round when he was drafted.

      For all of our supposed ineptitude, there are teams in the league worse than us. We aren’t even that bad, just kind of shitty average. I guess its bc we’ve been so shitty/average for so long people are just super pissed about it. But I think you all need to take breath. Things are not so bad.

      This is exactly what the problem is. There was way less complaining in 2014-2015 when we actually were one of the worst teams. Right now we’re in purgatory with way more money committed to old players going forward than a team as bad as us should have.

    37. The deadline wasn’t a catastrophe, but it does hint at more of the same dumbfounding (non-)process. He was trying to attach Jennings to O’Quinn. Whatever the hell it was that happened exactly with the Rose/Rubio situation. Hanging on to Lee.

      We should be hoarding ping pong balls the rest of the way. Most of the other teams at the bottom got worse in the short term for future assets. What are we doing?

    38. Anyway, if we want to actually be smart this offseason we should be dealing with New Orleans. They’ll be absolutely desperate to make the playoffs next year, but will have little-to-no cap flexibility without some help. With just Holiday’s cap hold alone they’re already over the cap. They’ll be trying to unload Asik and/or Solomon Hill and will have to attach major sweeteners to do so. We should be all in on that.

      Of course, it’s not like we will. Every offseason I hope this will be when the Knicks start doing smart things. I really just set myself up for disappointment every time. We’ll max out Jeff Teague and win 39 games.

    39. Swiftandabundant, I’m one of the more optimistic posters here, but I can’t agree Phil did ok last off-season. He did well the season he signed Lopez. But this last off season He made a decision to try and win now instead of sticking with youth. It didn’t work. If we were going to suffer through this sort of season, I’d rather do it with Lopez and Grant, rather than Rose and Noah. But sometimes, not doing much in the off season is the hardest thing to do, even when it’s the right thing to do.

    40. Phil doesn’t do “creative.” He spends whatever cap money he has to fill short-term holes. As noted above, he used the 2015 cap space to sign Afflalo and Williams. That got us exactly nothing. Hinkie used the same cap space to extract a bunch of assets from the Kings. Phil is not creative or savvy enough to pull off moves like that. Which is why I firmly believe he will use the 2017 cap space to fill whatever holes he perceives the 2017-2018 team has, with no thought whatsoever to how that will impact the 2018-2019 team. And since nobody good really wants to come here, he will simply use that cap space to sign the Afflalos and Noahs and D-Wills of tomorrow. The guys nobody else really wants.

      He has the foresight of a fucking gnat.

    41. 1. Drafting is like the one think Phil hasn’t been terrible at. He’s been pretty good.

      2. Signing free agents, I agree, not good but not terrible- Noah is the worst, Melo is pretty bad just for the NTC (if he gets traded for a good haul, I’ll change my mind), I can’t harp on fringe signings like Early and Amundson because the same fliers on Lance and Galloway did great. Ndour, Kuz, Jennings, and even Lee were good.

      3. It’s trades that he sucks at. I hope the upcoming trades of Lee and O’Quinn, maybe Melo, give us good things.

      My issue is that we didn’t give up our current value players because with them, we ain’t gonna get a top pick. Why is this the worst part of Phil’s tenure? We could have drafted sopmeone like Ball, which would have impacted us for years to come, in a way that signing Noah to a bad contract never will. Drafts are the single most important part of GMing these days (and not fucking up everything else, see: Noel trade)

    42. One cause for optimism, our negative assets are so untouchable they really can’t be attached in trades to our positive ones. Like, nobody is taking Noah and Phil probably doesn’t evaluate Lance as a negative so he shouldn’t allow his inclusion to diminish the return. Who knows though.

    43. Jeff Teague is a great player to have on your roster, but if it’s a max that gets him signed Phil Jackson will not do it. His reasoning for trading for Derrick Rose was he did not want to offer Mike Conley a max deal.

    44. There are people on this board who think that Porzingis is better, right now, than Jokic, because of some nebulous stat about rim protection, ignoring all other metrics that say Jokic is, at this moment, a top-10 player in the league.

      Are there people on this board that think that? I sort of remember every single person agreeing that Jokic is awesome and better than Porzingis right now. But Jowles will Jowles.

      Re: Phil – as always, his problem is his overweening arrogance, his overall personality, and his inability to negotiate his way out of a restroom. In a vacuum, without regard for $, any/all of his FA moves have been defensible. Unfortunately, he does not operate in a vacuum without regard for $. But like others have said above, he shows zero imagination, zero ability to use the CBA to the team’s advantage, zero ability to negotiate anything. He’s so arrogant that he can’t see past his own history. I’m not even a good card player and I’d love to play against him in a heads-up poker game.

      Not that I really blame him that much — he’s 71 years old – and a hard 71 given all the drugs and everything he has done. Even the best 71 year olds are pretty set in their ways, and that’s without what I think is the mild dementia that Phil has. (apology to any 71+ year olds here!)

      He’d be much better as a consultant with no real power, which honestly sounds like what he wanted to do before Dolan rolled up in a Brinks truck.

      He needs to go.

    45. The problem is Dolan will never hire some smart, “no-name” guy like Sean Marks from outside the organization. He either goes for the “savior” like Isiah and Phil or gives the job to some sycophant he knows well like Mills. The few times he’s deviated from that blueprint were either imposed on him (Walsh) or canned for, presumably, disagreeing with him (Grunwald).

    46. Jowles may be referencing me- I never said Jokic wasn’t better than KP, I just went on a rant about our stats and how they don’t value defense enough, and overvalue great offensive guys like Jokic

    47. I think the Nuggets will be an object of fascination for any Knick fan as long as Melo is here because they have won more games since the trade then we have and seem to have a brighter future, Mudiay pick notwithstanding. Checking their box scores now and again is a good way to keep the wound open.

    48. Weird positive things about Phil: he believes in picks, he believes in stashing youth, Euros, and undervalued fringe players, and he believes in not maxing players other than Melo.

    49. The problem is Dolan will never hire some smart, “no-name” guy like Sean Marks from outside the organization. He either goes for the “savior” like Isiah and Phil or gives the job to some sycophant he knows well like Mills. The few times he’s deviated from that blueprint were either imposed on him (Walsh) or canned for, presumably, disagreeing with him (Grunwald).

      What’s so frustrating about this is that in his interview with Michael Kay, Dolan said “I went out and got the best guy for the job I could,” so he’s apparently willing to hand the reigns over to “the best guy.” Except Phil isn’t the best guy. In fact, he’d never even done the job before.

      Now that’s a bit of revisionist history because I thought Phil would do a good job, BUT why didn’t he just go and hand that contract to the RC Bufords, Masaii Ujiris and Danny Ainges of the league until someone bit on it.

    50. Because Dolan doesn’t know how stupid Dolan is. He can accept that Phil Jackson knows more than him because people have been talking about Phil for 25 years. I bet Dolan can’t even pronounce “Masai Ujiri.” The second Melo got traded for a return that Berman and the P&T commenters deemed insufficient, Masai’s seat would be heating up.

      If you’re in the job for more than money (and the best will already earn millions in their careers wherever they go), who needs the bullshit?

    51. 1) I’m still not crying over Jerian Grant but if he actually develops into a good basketball player then I’ll have all the faith in the world this draft for Phil to not screw things up.

      2) For all the promise the Nuggets have had since they traded Melo to us, they’ve done jack shit. I wager that doesn’t change too much going forward, even if Jokic/Juancho >> KP/Willy. Good for the Nuggets, though, because I definitely like Murray, Hernangomez, and Jokic.

      3) We need to fire Phil and hire Mike Zarren from the Celtics. It won’t happen, but don’t be surprised when Mike Zarren takes over Orlando and they go onto become a powerhouse next decade.

    52. @ 50 – I’m not saying Phil did well this off season. Lee was the only signing I really liked. I also kinda of liked Jennings as a one year try out. Noah was bad. Rose trade was bad. I wanted them to work but they didn’t although with Rose we did end up with Holiday (whom I love) and a second round pick, which is always a nice perk. We gave up Grant (whatever) and Calderon (YES!) but got back Rose (but he expires). Honestly, I think that deal is a wash all things considered.

      I’m just refuting the idea that Phil is gonna overpay for Jeff Teague this off season with a super max contract bc he has only overpaid for one free agent and that was Noah. And while that was a huge mistake, you have to at least acknowledge that his one overpay was for a guy he envisioned to be the anchor of our defense and a good rebounder. He didn’t overpay for some flashy point padding player. He overpaid for a former DPOY and dude who when healthy does all the little things that help a team win.

      So to review – Lee – decent signing. Lopez – great signing. Noah – horrible signing. Jennings, Affalo, and Williams – eh signings that had no long term negative affects on the team. This history does not show me someone who just throws max money at the best player available no matter what. I would bet good money that if a really good PG is not available and wants to sign here this off season then Phil will not overpay for a starting PG just to try and marginally improve the team.

      He shot for the moon this year with Noah and Rose and it blew up in his face. I can’t really hate on him for trying to put a competitive team together in his 3rd year. I just don’t think he’s fucked us over royally for the future and am trying to combat the constant barrage of negativity on this board. Let the season play out and see what we do on draft night and in the off season. Things can turn around quickly and for all the mistakes I can see a path forward to relevancy relatively soon if we play it…

    53. I wanted them to work but they didn’t although with Rose we did end up with Holiday (whom I love) and a second round pick, which is always a nice perk. We gave up Grant (whatever) and Calderon (YES!) but got back Rose (but he expires). Honestly, I think that deal is a wash all things considered.

      Holiday is about to be an unrestricted free agent. We have his EB rights so we can pay him 105% of the average salary (probably a little over $6m), but does that sound like a good idea?

      No amount of dismissive comments about Grant will take away from the fact that he has a 55% TS, a .093 WS48, and is signed for two more seasons for peanuts. He’d be the best point guard on our roster right now and he seems to be improving.

      Calderon was expiring anyway. We freed up the space to sign Joakim Noah. Awesome.

      The second round pick we got is solidly in the buyable range. A pick will probably be sold before we make ours.

      Fucking terrible trade that absolutely damaged our future prospects while doing absolutely nothing for us. Pretty good microcosm of Phil’s whole tenure honestly.

    54. It’s not like the Knicks were the only team to give up on Grant. Since trading for him, the Bulls have:

      – signed Rondo
      – traded for MCW
      – traded for Cam Payne

      Obviously they don’t think he’s anywhere capable of running the team now or in the future. Not that they’re the best judge of PG talent, but still, it’s worth noting.

      It’s possible that Grant would be the best PG on our roster. That’s not saying much. The relevant question is, can he be a rotation player on a decent team going forward?

    55. Obviously they don’t think he’s anywhere capable of running the team now or in the future. Not that they’re the best judge of PG talent, but still, it’s worth noting.

      They signed MCW, which indicates that they have no idea what they’re doing.

    56. I don’t know if he can be a rotation player going forward, but actually finding out for $1.6m a year would’ve been preferable to trading for Derrick Rose.

    57. Bottom line is it sucks to be in a position where you have to root for a young guy to fail in order to justify management having traded him for a past-his-prime-has-been with a $20M contract.

    58. great thread today…actual basketball discussions…

      i swear – some of you write really convincingly well…for a second there – i was actually thinking for a moment that phil wasn’t really fucking up that bad; and, then i remembered our record from the last three years – yeah, not so good…

      maybe it’s one of those things like the stock market – past performance may not always be indicative of future returns…

      most salient point:

      DRed
      March 2, 2017 at 1:39 pm
      All I know is the Knicks would be in better shape if I were the GM

      now that i do believe…

    59. Bottom line is it sucks to be in a position where you have to root for a young guy to fail in order to justify management having traded him for a past-his-prime-has-been with a $20M contract.

      Frank, thoughts?

      And yes, I wish that at the end of every season, the posters with the worst preseason predictions would have to write an apology letter for poisoning our brains with their senseless optimism. Oh, the screed that ruruland would pen!

    60. Decent discussion thread today.

      I think the polarising views presented today depict perfectly the purgatory this franchise is in. Bad enough to justify a total tear down and tank, but not bad enough to say there aren’t valid points to suggest there isn’t some cause for optimism going forward.

      Manged to watch last nights game (or at least most of it before I fell asleep on the couch), and I really liked the Rose, Lee, Melo, Lance, KP starting 5. Probably too little too late this season, but Lance is really having a positive impact on defence lately (obviously not good for the tank). If we weren’t in purgatory, I would be content with a guy like Lance on the team putting up that kind of stat line consistently. Coaches seem to love his effort and he seems like a solid locker room guy. Basically has all the traits Knicks fans are looking for (i.e. blue collar work horse type). Whether that justifies the deal he got, I am not sure but I like the dude.

    61. @74 I like the Lee-Lance-Melo-KP starting 4, but Rose has to go. The problem is the best/most sensible long-term way to replace him would be to get a good PG in the draft, so we’d better keep losing. But I will say that it’s a small silver-lining if we at least come out of this year realizing that we need to go with Melo-KP at the 4-5. It of course says a lot about this team that everything has to go to complete shit for us to start using our best line-up combination.

    62. We need to temper discussion of last night’s game. Orlando was AWFUL. Bad news is, the Knicks get to play them again and Philly a couple of times. Those might all be wins…

      Get rid of Rose and Melo and the rest of the roster is easy to root for, but still talent starved. But, not bottom 5 talent, unfortunately for the tank.

      My hope now is that Fox or Ntilinika (spelling?) falls to wherever the Knicks end up picking…

    63. @74 I like the Lee-Lance-Melo-KP starting 4, but Rose has to go. The problem is the best/most sensible long-term way to replace him would be to get a good PG in the draft, so we’d better keep losing. But I will say that it’s a small silver-lining if we at least come out of this year realizing that we need to go with Melo-KP at the 4-5. It of course says a lot about this team that everything has to go to complete shit for us to start using our best line-up combination.

      Oh yeah for sure Rose needs to be out and replaced with a better distributor. That’s just what was on the floor at the time.

      Get rid of Rose and Melo and the rest of the roster is easy to root for, but still talent starved. But, not bottom 5 talent, unfortunately for the tank.

      As much as we need to move on from Melo, I would be more than happy to have him on the team if he were happy to step into a Paul Pierce type role in Washington. Obviously not economical on his contract though and also slightly delusional.

    64. I don’t think Melo as a player or personality is a problem for the team. The problem is that the front office somehow thought it could build a winner around him right now. Moving on from Melo is more important in a symbolic sense, as it would mean committing to rebuild. But if we execute a rebuild around KP with Melo still on the team, that’s actually fine by me.

    65. Hornacek is apparently asking Rose to be less predictable and shoot more 3’s. If that doesn’t demonstrate that Horny is down for the tank, then I don’t know what else will.

    66. Why do I have the sinking feeling that having a healthy Lance Thomas is actually going to hurt the tank? Last year the team fell apart when he got injured and this year their defense has certainly looked better the last few games now that he’s healthy. He’s not a lockdown defender by any means but he’s competent switching out 1-4 which giving how often the Knicks give up and switch on screens makes a difference. Hopefully his plantar fasciitis will flare back up soon.
      Also saw an interview today with D Rose where he claimed he’d start shooting more threes in the playoffs- can’t wait!!

    67. The fascinating thing about Thomas is that he helps the team just by A. allowing Melo to play the 4 and B. just not being goddawful at his position. That is such a strange compliment to make, but having a guy that you can plug into the lineup and not worry about the other team automatically going at him every possession on offense (Kuz) or automatically playing off him on offense (Noah) is useful for a team like this. Basically, he’s one less thing to worry about when you’re out there, and that’s helpful.

    68. Ntilikina is projected to go 10 or 11 fwiw. I don’t think we can sink much lower than that. But how Knicksy would it be to do so?

    69. I think the only thing hurting the tank is our schedule. Even when we were leading by 10 I thought to myself that any decent team would’ve been able to come back and beat us. The 5 games we have left against Orlando, BKN 2x and Philly 2x are crucial. 2 losses out of 5 would be sufficient for the tank.

      Since we cut Jennings, Melo has had to play 40 mins and 38 mins respectively. I don’t think he’ll be able to keep it up with those 33 year old legs.

    70. I think the polarising views presented today depict perfectly the purgatory this franchise is in. Bad enough to justify a total tear down and tank, but not bad enough to say there aren’t valid points to suggest there isn’t some cause for optimism going forward.

      The only causes for optimism are the development of Hernangomez and Porzingis, especially if the Knicks can find a decent PG during the offseason, and that the Knicks have all their picks moving forward.

      This is very different than the post-Eddy-Curry years, where there was a shitty, capped out team on the floor and a 0% chance of improving through the draft. So yeah, low expectations are great, as we saw during the POTUS speech the other night: just suck so hard that even a “normal” course of behavior looks good.

    71. This is very different than the post-Eddy-Curry years, where there was a shitty, capped out team on the floor and a 0% chance of improving through the draft. So yeah, low expectations are great, as we saw during the POTUS speech the other night: just suck so hard that even a “normal” course of behavior looks good.

      Oh yeah, I wrote a post once in those early post-Curry years about how not only were they terrible, but they had no real hope in the future, so it was super-depressing. This team might actually have a future! Which is better than having no hope!

    72. I just thought about something…

      Regardless of how much better the offense looks with Rose getting in the paint at will, I really really hope the team doesn’t even consider re-signing him. And I hope Rose really isn’t foolish enough to believe that he deserves anywhere near max dollars. For one, he doesn’t play defense save for a few minutes in the 2nd half of games. Also, his stats this season are exactly what they have been post-injury. Bad shots, less passing, but more penetration. Jowles has been spot on. I’ve always thought he was overrated, but he’s been awful since his injury. Maybe awful is too strong a word, but considering where he was at his height- his current level of play is awful. Ray Felton did what he’s doing with better defense and passing. If Chris Duhon scored better, he would have been Rose with better defense and passing. Chris Childs was much better as a Knick. I would be for bringing Rose back at say..2/24m with a Player Option in the 2nd year- but that would be as high as I would go.

    73. What are peoples thoughts on Terrence Jones? I feel like he should be a good player but hes never really gotten minutes + injuries. Is he a locker room cancer or something? I’m surprised it wasn’t bigger news that he got waived and free agent

      edit- isn’t it possible hes now the best big on the Bucks?

    74. You’d give him that much? I honestly wouldn’t re-sign him at any price. Whatever tiny positive value he may bring as a player isn’t worth the other headaches.

      The Grizzlies should offer him 1 year/$8m. They have no backup PG and Conley is always hurt. Most likely Rose will suck again, but it’s a small risk.

    75. And as a bonus, whatever games Derrick plays for that Memphis team would be likely to stay in the record books

    76. Saw a weird stat from Herring on twitter-after beating the Warriors the Bulls have now won 18 in a row at home on national TV.

    77. Saw a weird stat from Herring on twitter-after beating the Warriors the Bulls have now won 18 in a row at home on national TV.

      Weird one for me was the stat they showed after Curry passed Kobe on the all time 3pt made list and Joe Johnson and Chauncey Billups were still ahead of them. Wouldn’t have picked either of them to be ahead of Kobe.

    78. Denver Nurkic just seemed like a poor roster fit with Jokic. For young players, I think roster construction can play a role with some of these guys (obviously, once you’re, like, 24/25, you’re out of excuses). Like, say, if Wiggins had been on the Cavs with Lebron, I think he would be a better player today than he is now, since he wouldn’t have been just thrown out there and told, “Okay, you’re the offense. Go.” It’s why so many teams were willing to deal for Okafor, as they thought he would be interesting to watch on a team with perimeter players where you couldn’t just double him with impunity.

      Plus, really young players are weird period. It’s hard to tell if a player at 21/22 is just bad or if he isn’t developed yet. Like we’ve obviously discussed ad nauseum with regards to Porzingis.

    79. The good thing about winning is like you’re doing it right, remember when we are all disappointed when we didn’t tank right last season? It gives us pozringis instead of Okafor.
      Just the sad thing here is making the playoffs could be good for me I’m ok with the 8th seed or the lowest possible seed. The team is just confusing as when I cheer for wins for the playoffs push they lose while when I wanted them to lose for lottery they win. Sad life.

    80. Passing Minnesota in wins that year got them Porzingis instead of Towns, who is a better player than Porzingis (and younger, to boot). So there was no upside to those extra wins.

    81. Also can we atleast prioritize gettting a solid pg that will be here for a decade. Checking out history it’s fascinating that maybe Charlie ward or Chris child is our best pg in a long while. Maybe mark Jackson then Walt. Ev rynteam has a solid pg I wonder why we always don’t have one. Thouh to be honest my fav pg the Knicks in a while is starbury. He seems to be the perfect star pg he was just mishandled and his salary is too big.

    82. Maybe we willl get towns if we pick number one but I remember Phil is high on Okafor as he is perfect for the triangle. If we pick 2 or 3 it’s Okafor. During that time when Russel was picked 2 everyone is hoping we can land Okafor (even me)

    83. No one was picking Okafor over Towns, but yes, Okafor and Russell would almost certainly have been chosen over Porzingis had the Knicks picked #2 or #3 (I know Clarence Gaines would have argued vehemently for Porzingis, so it’s possible that Porzingis would have been taken over them, but I highly doubt it). But in either event, it’s never a good idea to be in a spot where you have less draft options if you can help it, and not picking first was definitely a bad thing that draft, since Towns looks like the best player in the draft going away (and looked like that at the time, as well, although Porzingis’ theoretical upside was probably the highest out of anyone in the draft, even Towns).

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