Knicks Morning News (2017.03.05)

  • [NYDN] Knicks can only wish they had problems Warriors do
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 8:57:33 PM)

    The Warriors enter Sunday’s game against the Knicks with a two-game losing streak, something they hadn’t done in 146 games.

  • [NYDN] Knicks coach hits back at Carmelo over his coaching criticism
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 8:57:02 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek directed the criticism towards the players – including Anthony – with a plea to get creative.

  • [NYPost] Knicks coach sees team’s flaws differently than Carmelo does
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 6:11:17 PM)

    Several times throughout the season, Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek stressed he knew what coming to work in New York entailed. He received warnings. Lots of warnings. Guess the warnings were not given without cause. So Hornacek barely broke verbal stride Saturday when asked about a possible snipe by Carmelo Anthony, who after the latest disheartening…

  • [NYPost] Lance Thomas: Face fracture was an indirect ‘blessing’
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 4:45:27 PM)

    Lance Thomas fought plantar fasciitis early in the season then was out for 14 games after suffering a fractured orbital bone. But he is back, and his presence has helped the Knicks’ defense. “Continue to stay vocal, just be aggressive. Do the things that my teammates expect of me. And just do it at a…

  • [NYPost] It took one Wizards game for Brandon Jennings to swipe at Knicks
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 9:01:30 AM)

    In one sentence, Brandon Jennings offered a thinly veiled critique of the Knicks’ triangle and the Knicks themselves. After his Washington debut, in which he played 10 minutes without a point, the new Wizards backup point guard said he was thrilled to be with a cohesive team — unlike the team he left behind after…

  • [NY Newsday] Time for Knicks to run offense through Kristaps Porzingis
    (Sunday, March 05, 2017 2:57:15 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis is trying to find a silver lining in the Knicks’ disappointing season. The team should try to find Porzingis more on offense.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks being hurt by defensive lapses, Hornacek says
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 8:19:55 PM)

    GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Jeff Hornacek says a sometimes predictable offense is not what’s causing the Knicks to lose leads or fail to close out games. It’s their predictable lapses on defense that continue to hurt them.

  • [NY Newsday] New York stars aging out of their prime, and city, at the same time
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 12:02:57 PM)

    Happy 35th birthday, Henrik Lundqvist! But more because of the 35 part than the birthday part.

  • [SNY Knicks] Hernangomez questionable for Sunday
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 1:43:15 PM)

    Willy Hernangomez (ankle) is questionable to play Sunday against the Warriors, according to multiple reports.

  • [SNY Knicks] Jennings happy with move from Knicks to Wizards
    (Saturday, March 04, 2017 11:23:16 AM)

    Former Knicks guard Brandon Jennings, now with the Wizards, told reporters he prefers his new team’s chemistry and system to what he saw with the Knicks.

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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).

    33 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.03.05)”

    1. Its sad to be the guy who starts in Melo all the time but his putting blame on the coaches for his performance last night is pretty fucking lame considering how Hornacek has defended him when the criticisms have rained down from Mount Zen.

    2. I don’t know how much of a veiled shot it was at Hornacek really, considering a lack of in game adjustments could just as well mean that his teammates aren’t adjusting their play style. But it’s plausible that he was taking a shot at Hornacek, in which case I say: great! We need as much chaos and discord on this team as possible to encourage Melo to waive his NTC.

      But yeah, if he is taking a shot at Hornacek that’s lame from a non basketball standpoint

    3. If Melo was taking a shot, it was more likely at Rambis than at Hornacek. Most game adjustements are on defense, and the Knicks more obviously need help on defense than offense. Even Hornacek says the problem is not getting stops, not some offensive issue.

    4. If Melo was taking a shot, it was more likely at Rambis than at Hornacek. Most game adjustements are on defense, and the Knicks more obviously need help on defense than offense. Even Hornacek says the problem is not getting stops, not some offensive issue.

      Sorry, but Carmelo took shots at the lack of offensive adjustments made by Hornacek.

      “We play the same way throughout the course of the game,’’ Anthony said. “When teams make adjustments, we’re still playing the same way as teams make adjustments defensively.’

      Its funny, really, how little this team can even agree on simple things like why they dislike the Triangle. A few days ago Rose called it “random basketball” and now Melo is dogging it for being too deliberate (“we’re still playing the same way as teams make adjustments defensively”).

    5. I think Melo was trying to shoot down the triangle more than Hornacek. He was accurate, but Coach was more accurate. The players have to have the IQ and natural spontaneity to adjust on the court when the opposition adjusts. The coach calls the sets, the players execute- but they also have the room to improvise when necessary. The sets are just guidelines. Jordan, Kobe, and Shaq didn’t score all the time out of rigid triangle plays. The fact that they made plays without them being called is part of what makes them so great. I’m beginning to wonder, are the players just afraid of Phil? Or could they be staging a coup by saying, “we are doing exactly what you want and it’s not working”? Is Hornacek coaching like he’s afraid to upset Phil? This is all getting too crazy

    6. I’m beginning to wonder, are the players just afraid of Phil? Or could they be staging a coup by saying, “we are doing exactly what you want and it’s not working”?

      A coup of only two players in Rose and Melo. Come next offseason the former is going to be a FA while the latter will be trade bait. The key is that Kris is supporting the system. The rest is tangential.

    7. Is anyone really surprised at the resistance against the Triangle from the usual suspects? One doesn’t like it because its “too random” aka meaning that he has to actually change up his role on offense beyond one-dimensionally driving to the basket depending upon what the defense allows. The other doesn’t like it because it plays “the same way” aka meaning that its easier for teams to take the ball away from his hands late in games. Both guys have been holding this team back from rebuilding around a more unselfish mode of basketball that such a more spontaneous/read and react system of basketball would bring before there was this recommitting to it. Let them whine, it only shows them in a negative light.

    8. Yeah, Rose’s opinion is irrelevant at this point and Melo’s is only relevant insofar as it motivates him to waive his NTC.

    9. Melo is beginning to sound sad. The team sucks because he refuses to be a team player. The team has always played better when he had spurts of actually being team oriented.

    10. Charlotte and Milwaukee helping the Knicks.

      The Miami-Cavs game was…interesting.
      :-)

    11. We have an important game for our tank tonight. The Pelicans are playing the Lakers, which means the former are almost a shoe-in to win and tie our win total. We could very well be tied for 6th worse record by the end of the night.

    12. Per Ian Begley:

      The Knicks have said that they’re evaluating players, in part, on how they fit in the triangle. They should also look for strong defenders going forward. That’s been the bigger issue for this club all season.

      This puts guys like Jrue Holliday high on our FA list while making Rose’s departure almost an inevitability. It also signals that we’re looking hard at high upside defenders like Isaac, Ntilikina, Fox, and maybe even Bridges really hard come draft day. It also signals that ‘meh’ defenders like Monk, Smith, Tatum are off our list.

    13. @Philmelo
      You’re right..it is only Rose and Melo, though it feels like more to me because at one point Jennings and Lee harped on it as well. But Jennings is out and Lee has learned it and is now playing much better. I really don’t know what to make of it. Phil and Melo seem to be dragging each other, and the franchise- down even further. I’m worried that no one will want Melo come offseason- which isn’t the worst thing, but it doesn’t help either. I love Hornacek trotting KP out as the 5 and trying to get him more touches. If that works for the rest of the season, maybe good players will want to be a Knick. But as long as Phil and Melo (to a lesser extent) hold all the power, the Knicks are stuck spinning wheels in the mud. The bigger problem with Melo isn’t the NTC, it’s actually the trade kicker. I can see the team needing to package KOQ with Melo to move him in the offseason, and that’s not a good thing unless we get a great haul in return. Even if the team includes KOQ in any Melo trade, it is gonna be VERY hard to get dollar for dollar value. Yikes!

    14. Here’s how to fix the Knicks (outside of actually rebuilding):

      1) Draft BPA
      2) Make sure Phil and Mills lose Derrick Rose’s number.
      3) If Rubio trade isn’t available, offer Jeff Teague a max contract.
      4) Then do what you must to land PJ Tucker or Joe Ingles.
      5) If BPA isn’t a point guard, let Chasson Randle learn the position.

      Boom. Teague(Rubio)/Lee/Melo/KP/Hernangomez as a starting 5 with the rookie/Randle/Tucker(Ingles)/Thomas/O’Quinn/Noah off the bench. That’s as strong an 11 man team as you could hope for barring a Melo trade.

    15. The bigger problem with Melo isn’t the NTC, it’s actually the trade kicker. I can see the team needing to package KOQ with Melo to move him in the offseason, and that’s not a good thing unless we get a great haul in return. Even if the team includes KOQ in any Melo trade, it is gonna be VERY hard to get dollar for dollar value. Yikes!

      Phil should just eat LAC’s shitty salaries and trade Melo plus Lee for some of their garbage players and two future first rounders (2021 and 2023). Its a deal that makes a ton of sense for the Clippers since they are going to want to replace Reddick in their offense at a cheaper price than he’ll fetch in free agency.

    16. If Melo and Rose are criticizing the triangle, it will be one of the only things I agree with them about basketball-wise. Even if they don’t like it for the wrong reasons, the triangle is not working and will not work for this team. It is clear we should be doing something else, but Phil is too stubborn to realize.

      I hope we just hold onto our cap space next year and draft a PG to let him improve because signing any of the point guards available will result in massive overpays and they aren’t good enough to push us even close to the top tier teams.

    17. I am more than okay with Rubio at 14 mil, but not okay at all with Holiday or Teague, for example at a max or near max.

    18. It is clear we should be doing something else, but Phil is too stubborn to realize.

      Its only clear we should be doing something else because we have two players who refuse to run it fully. Of course, Phil has no one to blame but himself for this as he signed both guys but its not like the concepts of the system itself are antiquated. Golden State has been running a hybrid version of it since Kerr came to the Bay Area in 2014.

      I hope we just hold onto our cap space next year and draft a PG to let him improve because signing any of the point guards available will result in massive overpays and they aren’t good enough to push us even close to the top tier teams.

      This. Besides, hiring the latest FA point guard is putting a horse before the actual cart which is so Knicksian in mentality. How about we see how this team looks with Melo and Rose before we start adding new veterans pieces.

    19. The triangle is not the issue (at least, not yet) until Rose and Melo are gone. Then, maybe we can see Hornacek run his hybrid version of it. But, he needs a full team engaged in it to properly evaluate. This team has shown flashed of a good offense at times. But then, the ball stops and gets predictable with 2 guys…

      Right now, the PLAYERS are the problem, and yes, this is Phil’s fault. The Rose trade was just mind boggling b/c he is not a fit for the “triangle” or the improved “culture” that Phil talked about. What a waste of a year this will have been unless the Knicks do get to draft one of the top players in the lottery.

    20. I really do think Lonzo Ball or Frank Ntilikina would be the perfect point guards to draft under this hybrid Triangle system. Both dudes are tall, athletic point guards who are unselfish, can spot up shoot the ball, and play defense. Obviously, there are differences. But their strengths would more naturally fit into this style than poor jump shooting guard like De’Aaron Fox or ball dominant PnR guards like Smith.

    21. Ntilikina seems like the right pick.
      But we should add Rubio and Tucker also. If not Rubio, then Teodosic.

    22. Has anyone here mentioned Nikola Jovanovic, who is now at Westchester?

      At least most Euros can play the triangle, unlike streetball playing Americans.

    23. Melo $24.5M
      Rose $21.3M
      Noah $17.0M

      I don’t care what system you’re playing, if that is how you’re spending $62M of salary cap money, you are FUCKED. Melo is a league-average volume scorer who can’t or at least doesn’t play defense, Rose is a backup quality player making superstar money and Noah can’t stay on the floor and isn’t even very effective when he does manage to get in the games.

      Next year, the Knicks are already starting off in the hole because of this:
      Melo $26.2M
      Noah $17.7M

      If Phil had his way he’d probably add Jrue Holiday into the mix at like $25M. Jrue Holiday of the .078 WS48. Holiday has a .078 WS48 this year, which is the same as his career mark of .078 over 15,000+ minutes. He’s a decent, average-ish point guard. He’s the Courtney Lee of point guards. That’s not good enough. That team is already fuckin’ doomed. Melo/Noah/Holiday will not give you surplus value on their market rate contracts, so you’ll need your other cheaper players to be absolute studs if you want to sniff 50 wins.

      This year’s Knick team was built around three contracts that were huge, glaring mistakes. We don’t know what next year’s team will look like yet, but there’s a pretty good chance Phil is going to double down and make another enormous free agent contract mistake. A big honking contract to Jrue Holiday would be a massive fuckup.

      In other words, welcome home, Jrue.

    24. Don’t look now, but Jeff Teague is posting a .201 WP48 and a .145 WS/48. You add Jeff Teague to this same Knicks roster and you have a team that’s above .500 and likely wins 45 games. That’s not fun at all, but when you add a PJ Tucker (career WP48 of .193) and/or Joe Ingles (career WP48 of .135), you’re looking at a 50 win product. If KP improves to, you know, productive instead of promising and Willy Hernangomez takes another step forward? That’s a stew.

      The only reason I’m suggesting giving Teague whatever it takes is because he’s a better value at that salary than Holiday or Rose, and they’ll all command similar money. The max is obviously too much, though. The Rubio trade is the best option considering his age, the length of the deal, and his productivity on both ends of the court, but if we can’t get him I’m big on Teague. Rubio/Teague and Tucker/Ingles is the way to go.

    25. WP/48 doesn’t mean anything and we should stop using it.

      That being said Jeff Teague and Joe ingles are both pretty good.

      Ingles might be a steal/undervalued and we should look at signing him. And he plays defense!

    26. You add Jeff Teague to this same Knicks roster and you have a team that’s above .500 and likely wins 45 games.

      Jeff Teague is no doubt a far better player than Derrick Rose. But the Knicks are what, like a 33-win team right now? Is Teague worth roughly 12 wins over Derrick Rose by himself? I don’t know about that. That’s a lot of wins.

      I’d say Teague adds more like 6-7 wins over Rose. That’s still a lot! That gets you back to 39-win purgatory. Maybe you bring in a productive rookie who nets you a few more wins and Porzingis has a better season, and that gets you to the mid-40’s. Meanwhile Melo doesn’t decline much and Noah manages to contribute.

      That’s a lot of things that need to go right to get you to 45+ wins.

    27. So much of what happens this offseason depends on Melo being traded and what comes back for him.

      If the Knicks end up dealing him to the LAC and take back Rivers, then he might become the “hold the fort” PG while maybe Fox or Frank N develop and hopefully quickly send Rivers to the bench as a 3rd guard. To me, that might be better long term than outright signing Holiday. Teague is a good player, but I just hope that Phil doesn’t max out anyone this offseason.

      In the unlikely event that Melo goes for Love, then what is Love flipped for? I guess the playoffs will provide some clarity on where Melo might go this offseason. Maybe a 3 way with Minny and LAC with Rubio to Knicks, Rivers to Minny, and Melo to LA with other parts to fill it out?

    28. Yeah, I don’t think Teague on his own makes us a 45 win team. This is also close to a career year from him so we shouldn’t necessarily expect him to continue to play like this. It’s hard for me to get on board with any plan other than taking on bad contracts for assets, the opportunities just aren’t there.

    29. Jeff Teague very likely would raise the scoring efficiency of the Knicks just by being better than Rose, but the increase in assists likely means more open looks and easy picking for KP, Lee, Melo, and Billy. Teague is on pace to be worth about 10 wins while Rose won’t be worth 2 wins in his 2,000+ minutes when it’s all said and done. If Teague is worth 8-10 more wins than Rose and then he presumably makes KP, Melo, Lee, and Willy worth a win more a piece, you get closer to that 45 win territory with your front court of the next 10 years in place. I’d take that all day.

    30. You’re putting the cart before the horse. We shouldn’t add one red cent in free agency to this team if Melo stays. Not one. Nor should we add one red cent until we’ve looked at this team without Melo/Rose.

    31. If Teague is worth 8-10 more wins than Rose and then he presumably makes KP, Melo, Lee, and Willy worth a win more a piece, you get closer to that 45 win territory with your front court of the next 10 years in place.

      You’re ascribing 14 wins to Jeff Teague.

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