Knicks Morning News (2017.03.08)

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ poor season a surprise to Charles Barkley
    (Tuesday, March 07, 2017 9:49:00 PM)

    Charles Barkley long has been a skeptic when it comes to the Knicks, but even the TNT analyst expected good things after team president Phil Jackson’s personnel moves last offseason.

  • [NY Newsday] Chasson Randle comes through in Jeff Hornacek’s merit system
    (Tuesday, March 07, 2017 3:44:13 PM)

    Jeff Hornacek started undrafted rookie Ron Baker in the backcourt and finished Monday’s game against the Magic with undrafted rookie guard Chasson Randle on the floor.

  • [NYDN] There is a glimmer of hope for the Knicks’ future
    (Tuesday, March 07, 2017 8:57:22 AM)

    The broad strokes paint this Knicks season as an unmitigated disaster.

  • [ESPN] Wednesday’s Knicks News: Charles Barkley still backs Phil Jackson
    (Wednesday, March 08, 2017 4:45:21 AM)

    Wednesday’s Knicks News: Charles Barkley still backs Phil Jackson

  • [SNY Knicks] After release of Jennings, Randle is making his presence felt
    (Tuesday, March 07, 2017 11:25:42 AM)

    As fate would have it, some activity at the trade deadline led to Randle being available. His release came as a welcome surprise and New York didn’t pass on him this time.

  • [NYPost] Why Charles Barkley’s not giving up on Phil Jackson
    (Tuesday, March 07, 2017 10:49:46 PM)

    Charles Barkley isn’t ready to give up on Phil Jackson’s ability to be a success as the Knicks team president, saying this season was doomed by injuries to Joakim Noah and a lackluster year by Derrick Rose. “Has he done a good job? No,” Barkley said about Jackson during a press conference in Manhattan on…

  • [NYPost] The brain behind Chasson Randle’s Knicks emergence
    (Tuesday, March 07, 2017 2:35:29 PM)

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Mike Miller, head coach of the Westchester Knicks, always knew point guard Chasson Randle could score. Miller’s “areas of emphasis’’ during Randle’s D-League stint were to help him improve at defending the pick-and-roll and running a team. That mission looked accomplished in Monday night’s win over the Magic. Randle, in his first…

  • [NYPost] Every Knicks win is a vicious flirt with draft lottery disaster
    (Tuesday, March 07, 2017 10:06:46 AM)

    ORLANDO — The New York Lottery Police Department is on red alert. It’s that time of March when the “NYLPD” view Knicks losses as more valuable than wins. With 18 games left to play, including Wednesday’s match in Milwaukee, the number of ping-pong balls come and go with each result. No matter if Kristaps Porzingis…

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    Mike Kurylo

    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).

    105 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.03.08)”

    1. Was off-site yesterday and so missed most of an interesting thread yesterday. Here’s what I would’ve said:

      1) a few years ago we had a thread about how to improve the lottery, and I thought I came up with a proposal that had some merit. Basically you would randomly choose a date, probably something between March 1 and the end of the regular season Draft position would be determined by a system of points, which would be earned in a manner something like this:

      1 point for each loss a team has ON THAT DATE
      1 point for each win a team has AFTER that date.

      The important thing is that the date is randomly selected AFTER the regular season so teams have no idea when they should be winning or losing, so it’s always safer/better to try and win.

      For example:
      The Hinkie 76ers are trying to tank. Randomly selected date ends up being March 1. On that date their record happens to be 10-49 (23 games left in regular season). They end up 13-59, and so they accumulate 49+3 points = 52 points.

      The Accidentank Knicks should be trying to tank but they can’t get their act together. On March 1st their record happens to be 20-39 (23 games left). They go on a 14-9 run to end the regular season, and so they accumulate 39+14 points = 53 points, and so the NYK get a better pick than the 76ers.

      Note that if the randomly selected date is later in the season, then losses are more important than wins — but if it happens to be earlier in the season, then wins are more important than losses. Therefore there is no incentive to blow games at the end of the season, as you might be losing a chance to accumulate points.

      Now I’m sure a better formula for points could probably be created, but that’s the general idea.

      Even better – you could have range of point values (ie. 0.8-1.2 points/win) which is also selected randomly post-regular season.

      Imagine the ratings you’d get for the random selection of dates and point values!?

    2. Edit on the last post – I guess it’d be better to declare a “# games played” as opposed to a specific date, as teams may not have the same # games played on any specified day, which would be unfair.

      Other quick thoughts:

      Kawhi is so interesting – was terrible in terms of scoring efficiency in college with a 2P% of 47.2 and 3P% of 27.5, but was a MONSTER rebounder at 12.8 rebounds/40 at the SF position. He’s been a consistently middling rebounder in the pros and his efficiency is now off the charts. Just strange.

      Baker is fun because he really is a pretty much the opposite of every other Knick PG – low usage but does the other little things well, like rebounding (for a guard), assisting, steals, and overall just playing defense. He comes with the rep as a shooter, so I assume that at the very least his 3 point shooting and FT shooting will improve. Hard to know, still a very small sample.

    3. Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: Phil Jackson undervalued his assets and hurt their market value when he was done with them. As team pres, he has no business ripping his players, it hurts his bargaining power. He needs to shut up and not comment on his players publicly, period.

      We should have gotten more for Tyson, JR and Shump. Phil trying to do addition by subtraction has caused him to miss out on actual addition of assets (I.e. First rounders)

      That being said, Phil has had two competing tasks: (1) win with Carmelo, (2) build a culture and personnel that will make us competitive in the future. For those who believe he shouldn’t have signed Melo, remember that we had traded all of our draft picks, so tanking would’ve been useless. We would be the Nets, watching Boston select Fultz first overall. He had to at least make a good faith attempt at being competitive, which I think he’s done. It just hasn’t worked out. Rose has sucked and Noah’s been hurt (and sucked). To his credit, he realized this and tried to move on from task 1 altogether. I think we all agree that’s the best course of action at this point, we have our picks and it’s time to move on.

      Which brings us to task #2. Watching the Orlando game, I couldn’t help but be encouraged in that fourth quarter when I saw the ball flying around the court, hitting the open man. 7 players finished with 10+ points, and defensive intensity was there.

      We have Willy and KP and we have players who are playing team ball: that can be the foundation on which we build a system.

      We have a chance at an actual rebuild with Phil, since (1) obviously he doesn’t care what people say about him, and (2) Dolan is giving him the latitude to put out a shitty product without firing him. Everyone else (except Isaiah) will be a puppet. And while I’d give my left trial to have Masai Ujiri run this team, I still believe Phil has us moving in a better direction and is better than the likely…

    4. Phil should use Dolan’s money to buy an early second rounder this draft.

      Nigel Williams-Goss can flat out play.

      22 points on 11 shots, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals and 1 block.

      Top 10 in WS/48 and BPM this season.

      Ethan Happ and Sindarius Thornwell would be my 2nd and 3rd choices.

    5. Edit @3
      Testical** I’d give my left testical to have Masai Ujiri run the team.

      Also, just to be clear I want us to lose every game for the remainder of the season, but seeing the Knicks win without Melo and with Rose on the bench, playing team ball, that was worth the win.

    6. We have a chance at an actual rebuild with Phil, since (1) obviously he doesn’t care what people say about him, and (2) Dolan is giving him the latitude to put out a shitty product without firing him. Everyone else (except Isaiah) will be a puppet. And while I’d give my left trial to have Masai Ujiri run this team, I still believe Phil has us moving in a better direction and is better than the likely…

      Pretty much my take on the whole Phil situation. He’s trying to move the team in the right general direction. But the time is coming for him to make better on that promise by trading Melo and drafting more talent.

    7. Wow…last night vs. PHX, Ian Mahinmi 15 pts, +38 in just under 26 mins. Highest “+” number I have seen in a while. So the Wiz scored 53 points while he was on the floor! Wish we could do that while Melo is on the floor lol

    8. For those who believe he shouldn’t have signed Melo, remember that we had traded all of our draft picks, so tanking would’ve been useless.

      A. Sign and trade would have gotten them picks, especially the extremely available two Chicago late lottery picks

      B. He gave out that contract and they still tanked, so talk about useless.

      That all said, I’m all for letting Phil fix his mistakes due to the fact that he has that freedom that you mention (and, of course, the fact that he isn’t going anywhere anyways, so we might as well hope for the best). But come on, MMM was a mistake the moment it was signed.

    9. Also, I have a point re Ron Baker that people who downplay his importance miss. The key to running Tex Winter’s triangle concepts is proper, fundamentally sound basketball execution. The 1990s Bulls, 2000s Lakers, and current Warriors teams spend entire practices were known for opening practices with an intense session of basic passing drills and footwork. Those teams always had bench guys like Steve Kerr, John Paxson, Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw, Sasha Vujecic, who understood these fundamentals and executed them in practice. I would love to have a guy on this team who knows how to execute basic plays in our practices moving forward as we build from the ground up.

    10. Steve Kerr, John Paxson, Derek Fisher, Brian Shaw and young Sasha were good bench players because they were, you know, good bench players. If Baker was as good as those guys, then he would be a lot better than he is right now. Of course, with so much empty roster space, he should be given all the opportunity in the world to improve and make a place for himself, but so far, he is in a whole other (much shittier) world than any of those guys when they were Baker’s age.

    11. I have a new theory about why Jennings was waived. People here have asked why didn’t NY trade him before the deadline and get something for him if they didn’t want him. It’s a good question. I now think they did want him, but, when Randle became available, they decided to waive Jennings so they could hire Randle. Since Randle was waived by the Sixers on the last day of the trade deadline, there was no longer any time to trade Jennings. This means that the statement that Jennings wanted an opportunity to play for a better team was made to save face for Jennings. It explains something I thought was strange: why did Jennings rip the Knicks after he got to Washington. If the release was at his request, I would have expected he would say something nice about the Knicks. And remember, he really wanted to play for NY which makes it more likely he would not ask to be waived.

    12. 1. Jennings was going to be a unrestricted free agent
      2. Jennings wasn’t going to be re-signed

      Therefore, if those two statements were correct and you then add:

      3. No one would trade anything for Jennings

      then the standard scenario when assuming #1 and 2 is to waive the guy after the deadline. That’s standard operating procedure in the NBA. You try to trade a guy and if you can’t get a deal done, you waive him. Nothing was surprising about what happened with Jennings.

    13. @10

      I am not talking about actual production. I am talking about what a player does in practice. The fundamentals of those Tex Winter-inspired teams that Phil and Kerr run are ingrained by the most rudimentary practices where basic passing and shooting drills are rehearsed. A guy like Ron has special value in that domain.

      BTW, did anyone know Chasson Randle had a .197 WS/48 in eight games with Philly this season? Why did they drop him? So stupid.

    14. BTW, did anyone know Chasson Randle had a .197 WS/48 in eight games with Philly this season? Why did they drop him? So stupid.

      I didn’t get it, either. They didn’t even need the roster spot. Obviously they wanted big men due to all of their big men injuries, hence signing Shawn Long and Justin Harper, but still odd.

    15. I guess what I am saying is that I don’t want stupid players on this team anymore. I want smart basketball players. I don’t care if they’re not the most physically gifted specimens. I want people who understand how to participate as parts of a collective and systemic whole. For example Randle is a smart guy, Rose is a dumb guy who thinks the system we run is “random.” When we draft, I don’t want us drafting based on measurables alone. We need to abandon guys like Jackson, Smith, Monk, etc. I will take the subtle game of a Ntilikina over those guys.

    16. The Sixers prove that losers will lose. Even when they perpetually tank.

    17. The NBA emphasis upon physical measurables is why guys like Willy, Draymond, Thomas, Jokic slip to the second round.

    18. We need to abandon guys like Jackson, Smith, Monk, etc. I will take the subtle game of a Ntilikina over those guys.

      I think you should leave Josh Jackson out of that group. He’s a multitalented forward that does tons of things well. Great passer, great defender. If his shot were just a little better, he’d be a strong candidate for the #1 pick.

    19. @15 all accounts say Jackson is very intelligent, understand strategy and plays pick up CHESS games. Not that playing chess de facto makes you smart, but it does mean you understand strategy and sacrifice for the greater good.

      I think Jackson could be great in our system BUT the caveat to that is he would have to develop a reliable jumper and get better with freethrows. Not impossible but not guaranteed either.

    20. The mistake the 76ers made was getting rid of Hinkie. There was nothing wrong with the “process” other than the sheer length of time it was going to take to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish. He would have gotten there. But now, they are being idiots. Noel was probably the best big man prospect they had on the team given the injury issues with Embiid but they got very little back for him. I can’t stand Cuban, but that was one of the greatest heists I can think of.

    21. Ntilikina or Isaac, please and thank you. I’ve realized that the only way we’re likely to get a shot at Ball is if we lose every game from here on. I like Jackson, Tatum, and even Bridges..but not nearly as much as I like Ntilikina and Isaac for this team. Now..if Melo is moved before the draft, that widens my gaze a bit as I will be thinking in terms of just adding good young talent at any position as opposed to specific prospects.

    22. The NBA emphasis upon physical measurables is why guys like Willy, Draymond, Thomas, Jokic slip to the second round.

      I love Jokic, but there are some issues on defense.

    23. I love Jokic, but there are some issues on defense.

      Same as with Karl Anthony Towns, BTW. But there still aren’t two big men I’d rather have over either one of them.

    24. I’ve realized that the only way we’re likely to get a shot at Ball is if we lose every game from here on.

      Ball is the elite guy in this draft but even he’s beginning to frighten me because of his father’s oversized ego. Lavar Ball is the type of sports parent the NBA hasn’t seen yet. He’s openly brash, egotistical, and makes his son’s success about his greatness as a basketball coach. I have the feeling he would be a nightmare for this team in the NYC media and would demand to be involved in making organizational decisions. I also believe his influence would sway his son to up and move from any team that isn’t the Lakers when FA comes around.

    25. I’m going to drop a bomb here.

      The Knicks have three problem players. Two of them are obvious.

      1. Rose – He’ll be gone at the end of the year. I’m sick that we didn’t land Rubio, but if we can get a productive PG at a “reasonable” price in the off season, that will add 5 or more wins next year. Rose was better than I expected, but on a net basis we were probably actually better off with Calderon despite Rose being much more skilled.

      2. Melo – We may have to suffer through another year of him, but hopefully he’ll realize his timetable and the Knicks timetable does not match and he’ll be willing to wave the NTC in the off season. All we need back is one reasonably productive young player and that will move us forward. Move than that would be a gift.

      3. Porzingis – This is the bomb. I see all the same flashes of brilliance everyone else sees. It’s hard to not get excited when he impacts a game at both ends of the floor. But quite frankly, he’s not that good yet. He’s a below average rebounder for his position. He’s a below average playmaker for his position. His scoring efficiency is only around average. He commits a lot of foolish fouls. He’s too slow to defend some PFs and too weak to defend some Cs. When you look at all the pluses and minuses, he’s a net negative player right now. Now granted, he could easily explode next year both in his own development and by being put with teammates that will get him the ball more often and in better spots. That’s what we have to hope for. But this year was a bit of a disappointment to me. IMO, he went backwards in almost as many ways as he went forward. I think that’s one of the biggest reasons this year went so badly. I was counting on KP’s development to add 5 or more wins but he didn’t develop much at all. His possible development was the only reason I did not make a HUGE bet on the under for the Knicks like I was talking about before the season.

    26. His dad might be the mouthpiece this fan base desperately needs!

      Actually, we don’t. The last thing the Knicks need is someone whose dad is going to publicly call out our coach and players when shit goes wrong. I am sure Lavar saying that his son’s teammates suck isn’t going to endear Lonzo with the rest of the team.

    27. Not a good night for the tank tonight…

      TONIGHT ON TANKATHON!

      Bulls vs Magic!
      Raptors vs Pelicans!
      Kings vs Spurs!
      Nets vs Hawks!
      Clippers vs T-Wolves!
      and
      Knicks vs Bucks!

      If we win, we’re way behind.

    28. Like his dad won’t be eaten alive by the media and fan base for make crazy comments.

    29. He’s too slow to defend some PFs and too weak to defend some Cs.

      I have to stop you there concerning the defense of Porzingis. The numbers/math say that he is capable defender, especially for his age Porzingis ranks 12th out of a total 93 power forwards in defensive real plus-minus at just 21 years old despite his apparent strength and conditioning issues.

      http://www.espn.com/nba/statistics/rpm/_/sort/DRPM/position/6

      That ranking is pure math and not contaminated by arbitrary opinion or an outlook clouded with subjectivity.

      Also Porzingis ranks 5th in the entire nba at any position in rim protection defensive field goal percentage (dfg %).

      http://stats.nba.com/players/defensive-impact/#!?CF=DEF_RIM_FGA*GE*5&Season=2016-17&SeasonType=Regular%20Season&sort=DEF_RIM_FG_PCT&dir=-1

      Additionally, KP actually has a lower DFG% on ALL shots, as that 44% is at the rim. He’s actually at around 43% overall, which means his outside the paint DFG% is even better. He was also #1 in the league at challenging shots. So he most certainly has the potential to be a top 5 defender at his position in this overall facet as he matures.

    30. For those who believe he shouldn’t have signed Melo, remember that we had traded all of our draft picks, so tanking would’ve been useless.

      Signing Melo was useless

    31. Like his dad won’t be eaten alive by the media and fan base for make crazy comments.

      Which I am sure will make Lonzo happy about playing in NYC.

    32. @32

      You’re right from a fan perspective, but from an ownership perspective you’re wrong. The building has been sold out even when we were sucking it up off of tickets sold to people who wanted to see Melo. I know Knicks fans show up, but Melo is a draw (a draw I hope is dealt to the highest bidder).

    33. @31

      I’m not a big fan of any of the plus/minus stats because I don’t believe they control for everything that goes into the rating. The fact that there’s volatility year to year for players is telling you something. But let’s say I accept the premise that on a “net basis” he holds his own as a defender at PF (which could easily be correct). That’s not what I was complaining about. I was complaining about specific match ups against quick PFs. If you watch all the games closely, he gets burned a lot against players like that. If he gives certain players space, they shoot 3s. If he stay’s on them, they drive past. Teams are purposely putting guys like that on the court against him if they have one because he doesn’t have the skill set to take advantage of his height inside against them on the other end and he can’t guard them defensively. It’s hard for me to get too enthusiastic about a guy like that as a plus defender.

      I agree that’s he’s a very good rim defender, but I think he had a bigger impact last year. He certainly had more blocks per 36. The drop off could easily be part of the same problem. The smaller players some teams are trying to match up up against him are dragging him away from the rim. He has got to be able to punish that strategy. Long term, he’s probably a C anyway. So strength is an issue in multiple ways. But he’ll have to become much more aggressive on the boards too.

    34. That being said, Phil has had two competing tasks: (1) win with Carmelo, (2) build a culture and personnel that will make us competitive in the future. For those who believe he shouldn’t have signed Melo, remember that we had traded all of our draft picks, so tanking would’ve been useless. We would be the Nets, watching Boston select Fultz first overall. He had to at least make a good faith attempt at being competitive, which I think he’s done. It just hasn’t worked out. Rose has sucked and Noah’s been hurt (and sucked). To his credit, he realized this and tried to move on from task 1 altogether. I think we all agree that’s the best course of action at this point, we have our picks and it’s time to move on.

      I actually object to the notion that Noah has sucked (wrt) the vaunted Robin Lopez who Noah was essentially swapped for. Noah, while a walking BC/BS policy has been better than the 14m per year Lopez by a good bit wrt ws/48 and VORP. He is second on the Knicks in Drting and VORP to KOQ. His FT shooting is ugly but he does some things exceptionally well boards and passing and does many things that contribute to winning. He isn’ the reason nor “swapping” him for Lopez that is the problem.

      The problem is obvious that Rose and Me-lo are antithetical to winning basketball at their current diminished skill levels.

    35. I’m not a big fan of any of the plus/minus stats because I don’t believe they control for everything that goes into the rating.

      What don’t they control for?

      I was complaining about specific match ups against quick PFs. If you watch all the games closely, he gets burned a lot against players like that. If he gives certain players space, they shoot 3s.

      This is a fair point, but its tangential to me because of the net plus KP offers in defense. He’s probably developing into more of a center so the issue will be resolved that way.

    36. I think KP being white, skinny, lanky, and tall subjects us to underestimating his defense. I wonder if he looked like Ibaka we’d be talking about his future DPOY potential.

    37. I agree that’s he’s a very good rim defender, but I think he had a bigger impact last year. He certainly had more blocks per 36.

      Interestingly, KP was a worse rim protector last year in terms of defensive field goal percentage around the rim. He was 17th among eligible players, with even Robin ranking in front of him. He’s 5th now.

      So he may have less blocks for a number of reasons, including the fact that less players are going to as openly challenge him at the rim, but he’s improved his overall defense there.

    38. I think KP being white, skinny, lanky, and tall subjects us to underestimating his defense. I wonder if he looked like Ibaka we’d be talking about his future DPOY potential.

      I definitely think there’s a good deal of that involved in appraisals of his talent, which I why I don’t give much a feather or a fig for the “eye test” many like to use. Go and look at KAT’s defensive metrics and see he’s ranked as the third worst defensive center in the league ahead of only Boris Diaw and Jahlil Okafor. No one says shit.

      I’ve heard a ton of complaints about Willy’s defense. He’s 35th out of 69 centers, putting him in the middle as a rook. The only guys I can find higher than him on that list who are younger are Embiid (10th), Nurkic (12th) and then Turner (14th).

    39. @37 Thanks for the link. This is why I don’t understand guys on here wanting to trade him for a mid or late pick. He’s good and he wants to play in New York.

      The same goes for Justin Holiday, who I hope stays with us (and maybe brings his brother who appears to be breaking out). To me the most important factor in looking at all of these stats for purposes of player acquisition and evaluation is finding guys who have suddenly turned upward while their overall numbers mask it. This might be the case with Jrue.

    40. He’s also sitting further from the rim (on both ends) than he was last year.

      I actually liked Derek Fisher’s strategy of having our guards crowd their man to dare them into the paint where RoLo/KP would contest their shots in the paint than what Hornacek has done having KP out there in no man’s land.

    41. Tankathon has us taking Miles Bridges over Fox. Is Bridges a possibility?

      I was just watching video of him and was impressed because I saw him hug his coach and at one point he jumped right out of the video shot.

    42. Brian, it could be that NY tried to get something for Jennings and failed, but I’m not sure I believe that. I, and a lot of other posters thought he had some value to a contender looking for a backup point guard, and that we could have gotten some second round pick for him. But either way, the Knicks preferred Randle to him. For me that’s nice to see, since it’s the opposite of win now.

    43. We thought he had some value, but apparently he didn’t. Or else the Knicks would have traded him. But yes, it was nice to see them cut him and pick up Randle.

    44. Defensively, our is that we have a combination of the worst wing defense at the #3 position in the league with a very porous overall perimeter defense from our starting backcourt. In terms of defensive plus/minus Kuz, Lance, and Smello respectively rank 63th, 71th, and 76th in the league out of 80 NBA small forwards. That is so catastrophically bad I am beginning to think that we should do everything in our power to draft Jonathan Isaac at all costs or trade up to get an Anunoby later in the first.

    45. Completely off topic, but you know how ROY G BIV is a mnemonic device to remember the colors of the rainbow? Why did anyone think it was ever important to remember the colors of the rainbow?

    46. That is so catastrophically bad I am beginning to think that we should do everything in our power to draft Jonathan Isaac at all costs

      I’d love Isaac, but other than tanking more, what could they do to get Isaac? He’s gotta be going top five, right?

    47. Completely off topic, but you know how ROY G BIV is a mnemonic device to remember the colors of the rainbow? Why did anyone think it was ever important to remember the colors of the rainbow?

      cause physics is really important?

    48. Completely off topic, but you know how ROY G BIV is a mnemonic device to remember the colors of the rainbow? Why did anyone think it was ever important to remember the colors of the rainbow?

      Knowledge of the color spectrum has applications in science.

      I’d love Isaac, but other than tanking more, what could they do to get Isaac? He’s gotta be going top five, right?

      Lose every game from here on out by tanking so bad its obscene. Either that or settle for someone the scouts say is a competent defender at the 3 in Bridges.

    49. Lose every game from here on out by tanking so bad its obscene. Either that or settle for someone the scouts say is a competent defender at the 3 in Bridges.

      So you’d take Bridges over, say, Frank? If the Knicks were picking, say, #8?

    50. I think we desperately need a defender at the point of attack. We haven’t had a reasonable defender at the starting PG position since…. Charlie Ward? Chris Childs? Our defense is broken the second Rose dies on a screen or lets dudes just go right past him. And what’s worse is that everyone knows that Rose sucks on defense, so everyone is already semi-helping, leaving shooters everywhere.

      Melo is a defensive black hole but at the very least, you can hide Melo on the less threatening wing player and play Lance or even Courtney Lee on the more dangerous one. But it’s hard to hide a bad PG defender in this league.

    51. I think every mock has Isaac at 6, so the possibility is there considering that there’s a big drop off between the 5 and 6 position wrt team quality

      Also I don’t want to get into the stats stuff because I’m not home but RAPM is pretty good–RPM is based on RAPM with black box some adjustments but I imagine it isn’t too far off from RAPM in terms of quality. I think BPM is the only public box score stat within smelling distance of RAPM.

      And defensive tracking stats are only mildly useful because there’s a ton of noise. They’re not great proxies for defense, but they’re not nothing, I guess.

    52. So let’s just say the Knicks are picking #8 and Fox, Frank and Bridges are on the board. Who do you take?

    53. So you’d take Bridges over, say, Frank? If the Knicks were picking, say, #8?

      No, because after thinking about it some more we need defensive improvement at the point guard position every bit as much as we do at small forward/wing while needing more offensive improvement in the former category as well. But the problem is that Ntilikina’s so raw. I doubt he’ll come in and be an immediate patch up, though I wonder how he could be much defensively worse than Jennings or Rose were. I can see why Phil feels the need to use cap space to improve the team. There are so many holes. I just hope he doesn’t do it by overpaying for dudes like Jrue Holliday when he should be looking at competent bargain players like Langston Galloway.

    54. I think we are locked into the top 9 at this point. Portland has a very easy schedule coming up and Char has enough games on us where I’m not worried about them dropping below us. Dallas has been pretty good lately as well.

    55. I think Bridges has a fine chance to be a solid rotation player. We’re just too far off, and this year was too dreadful, to settle for that.

      I wouldn’t pay too much attention to mocks right now outside the top-3, which is pretty established. The tournament will change a lot, and I’m worried that will negatively impact our chances of landing Fox.

    56. And defensive tracking stats are only mildly useful because there’s a ton of noise. They’re not great proxies for defense, but they’re not nothing, I guess.

      I am not going to argue the value of certain metrics over others because my knowledge of their specific pros and cons is admittedly limited but the defensive plus/minus numbers make a lot of sense in explaining why this team defensively regressed. According to them we went from a team that had some middling defensive production at the wing (Galloway, Sasha and Melo wasn’t so horrible) and point (Grant, Calderon) to an absolute defensive disaster at both positions this season.

    57. So let’s just say the Knicks are picking #8 and Fox, Frank and Bridges are on the board. Who do you take?

      Jesus, that’s a great question. Its so good I don’t want to be held accountable for my answer as fixed in stone. But I would still go with Frank. He makes too much sense in our current offensive system as a very good shooter at his age with experience playing in European motion offenses who also provides a major defensive upside we desperately need at either guard position.

    58. The other obvious place to upgrade on defense is at point guard. Last year, for all of our bitching and whining about our guards, Calderon and Grant were ranked 25th and 40th out of 69 NBA point guards in terms of defensive plus/minus. This year, Brandon Jennings and Derrick Rose (who was 65th out of 69 point guards last year) are respectively ranked 79th and 82nd out of 90 NBA point guards in that category. Its like a sieve.

      Didn’t we used to argue about how rose and Jennings couldn’t possibly be worse than Calderon? Lol.

    59. Didn’t we used to argue about how rose and Jennings couldn’t possibly be worse than Calderon? Lol.

      I wasn’t here for those discussions but I wouldn’t be surprised if the people who made that argument were part of the crowd who believed we’d be a plus .500 team this season.

    60. Out of the 16 current playoff teams, guess which team is 15th in Defensive Rating, only ahead of the Nuggets?

      Your Cleveland Cavaliers.

    61. Most people thought the defense would be average-above average at the time. They were mostly on point with the offense though.

    62. The Calderon/Rose argument was mostly driven by me, I think. Jose has been pretty bad (unsurprisingly) in limited minutes this year. My point was that Jose last season was likely to be better than what Rose would bring to the table this season, and I think I’ve been largely vindicated.

    63. I wasn’t here for those discussions but I wouldn’t be surprised if the people who made that argument were part of the crowd who believed we’d be a plus .500 team this season.

      Admittedly it may have had more to do with Galloway playing the pg on defense. Bring back Langston! (Sorry DRed, you were right).

    64. The more I think, I think the right choice would be to take Ntilikina, even though I really like Fox and would be equally happy with either.

      I would go with Ntilikina specially because I think he will fit better with the timeline KP and Willy are on, and if the team gives him space to develop he’ll eventually be useful, even if he doesn’t become a star PG (his shot seems good enough to make him a good combo guard off the bench if that happens). Fox, while more “proven” in college, will have a really hard time if his defense does not translate to the pro level and he continues to be a poor shooter.

    65. Fox, while more “proven” in college, will have a really hard time if his defense does not translate to the pro level and he continues to be a poor shooter.

      This is what scares me the most about Fox. His poor shooting makes him a liability in our offensive system the way Rose’s does.

    66. Bridges can definitely score, defend and rebound. So why would we want him?

    67. Bridges is a real player. Fox and Frank might not be. I’ll trust Phil’s great talent skills on this one.

    68. Reub we haven’t drafted Miles Bridges yet you don’t have to do this stupid thing

    69. quickly, let’s all start making jokes about drafting Markkanen so reub has to reset.

    70. This is rather disconcerting.

      The Post reported Hornacek wanted to keep him [Randle], but team brass was set on defensive forward Maurice Ndour, with Jackson’s top adviser Clarence Gaines leading the push.

      Gaines wanted Ndour over Randle on this team? Makes me wonder about him choosing our guard talent in this draft.

    71. Pretty cool that KP gave a shout out to Dirk for breaking the NBA 30,000 point mark.

      Congratulations @swish41!! Thank you for making a path for all european players coming after you. What an achievment! #30k— Kristaps Porzingis (@kporzee) March 8, 2017

    72. @75 I’m just saying that Bridges looks pretty good. That’s all.

    73. I’m not a big fan of any of the plus/minus stats because I don’t believe they control for everything that goes into the rating.

      What don’t they control for?

      You can almost never control adequately for who is on the court with and against you. I know much smarter people than me try to and will swear by their results, but there’s too much volatility in the result from year to year. That tells me they aren’t controlling well enough. I’m not a big “eye test” guy, but when it comes to defense I think it helps because all the stats are a little flawed.

    74. The Calderon/Rose argument was mostly driven by me, I think. Jose has been pretty bad (unsurprisingly) in limited minutes this year. My point was that Jose last season was likely to be better than what Rose would bring to the table this season, and I think I’ve been largely vindicated.

      That’s exactly how I felt about it. In Jose’s defense, he hasn’t had a chance to play much this year. If he was getting regular minutes he might be doing a little better.

    75. tbh the Knicks badly need a wing defender too, so choosing Ndour over Randle wasn’t an obviously bad decision. We should try to play him some down the stretch because why not?

    76. You can almost never control adequately for who is on the court with and against you.

      That means almost nothing in the course of a season’s worth of games. What eventually is exposed is whether or not you improve your team’s performance when you leave or play.

    77. This is rather disconcerting.

      The Post reported Hornacek wanted to keep him [Randle], but team brass was set on defensive forward Maurice Ndour, with Jackson’s top adviser Clarence Gaines leading the push.

      Gaines wanted Ndour over Randle on this team? Makes me wonder about him choosing our guard talent in this draft.

      Why does anyone doubt Gaines’ opinion on N’dour vs. Randle? 100 nba minutes? 600 CBA minutes says it isn’t even close and not the way you think.

      Talk about the nattering Naboobs of negativism…..

    78. @87

      Thank you William Saffire, but considering that Randle has a .17o WS/48 so far this season I will say that he’s ahead in the competition.

    79. Ndour made plenty of sense at the time. The issue wasn’t Ndour over Randle, really, it was Sasha being a lock for a roster spot for no reason. Not even necessarily for Randle, just for somebody with more upside than Sasha. Just make the guy a coach or something if you want him around for leadership or whatever.

    80. Brian, I think that Sasha fit in if we would have become the contender that Phil had hoped for. Presently he is better suited to being a coach.

    81. Having Bridge’s strong body, great motor and all around skills wouldn’t be the end of the world, folks. He might be more of a sure thing than either Fox or Frank.

      Does anyone know how his perimeter defense is?

    82. Why does Reub have a hard-on for Miles Bridges now?

      Because duh, Miles Bridges is not very good. Of course reub loves him.

    83. stratomatic,

      Not to pick nits, but I think KPs rebound totals and scoring issues are off this year because of injuries he’s playing through. When he is healthy, he can be one of the best, if not the best player on the floor in many games.
      He is a rare talent who can change the complexion of games on both sides of the ball. Remarkable.
      But he is 21, his body is still filling out, and he’s had a bad Achilles. Kids play unevenly.
      And he simply has ridiculous physical talents. He won the skills competition, at 7’3! Not necessarily a measure for overall play, but remarkable.

    84. I saw Bridges hug his coach and jump clear out of the video frame. That’s talent in my eyes.

      But I’ll move on and defer to Phil.

    85. Not to pick nits, but I think KPs rebound totals and scoring issues are off this year because of injuries he’s playing through

      I think the biggest factor in his struggles aren’t physical, its having to play as a third option in a stalled offensive system where he’s being forced to create his own shot. KP isn’t an American trained basketball player. He learned to play professional ball in the Spanish pro-league where ball movement was critical to facilitating offensive production. For several months he’s been playing in an offense where its every man for himself.

      It was clear our guards stopped passing around the ball.

    86. Defensive rebounding is a noisy stat. There are many examples of players with high defensive rebounding numbers actually having a negative impact on team rebounding and players with low defensive rebounding numbers having a positive impact. Robin Lopez for example has a huge positive impact on his team’s rebounding numbers despite having extremely low defensive rebounding numbers himself. So take any per minute defensive rebounding numbers with a grain of salt. There are some players that “steal” rebounds from teammates and have inflated numbers and others that defer and have depressed numbers.

      KP I believe is fine. Our team is a better defensive rebounding team with him on the court than off. We get 71.3% of defensive rebounds when he’s on the court and 70.2% when he’s off.

      The problem we have with our defensive rebounding is due to our perimeter defense. Consistently our perimeter defense breaks down and causes chaos inside as multiple players have to switch, rotate or help. This puts our defensive players out of position and unable to locate their man and put a body on them. This chaos creates opportunities for the other team to get offensive rebounds. Fix our perimeter defense and all our rebounding woes get solved.

    87. (1) win with Carmelo, (2) build a culture and personnel

      If there was a flow chart for deciding how good a GM/president is, the very first question would read, “Has he committed to a direction for the team?” and if the answer was, “no,” there’d be arrow right down to “he’s a bad GM/president”.

      NBA teams are gifted free assets every season — ~$100m in cap room + two picks. If your solution leaves the team in the same bad position it was in the previous year every year, that’s not flexibility. It’s waste.

      And it’s not a good faith effort either. You don’t go from “37 win team full of old players with draft pick debt” to 50+ wins in three year window without trading more picks, and even then, the only way the “good faith effort” could have paid off is if PJ traded that #4 pick for a legit superstar, and even then, the team wouldn’t be a title contender.

      It’s just not a good faith effort if it has no chance of working out.

    88. @87

      Thank you William Saffire, but considering that Randle has a .17o WS/48 so far this season I will say that he’s ahead in the competition.

      Ummmm…. something, something LOL sample size?

      Chasson Randle in 101 NBA minutes = .170 WS/48

      Chasson Randle in 608 CBA minutes = .064 ws/48

      N’dour in 321 CBA minutes = .125 WS/48

      Which do you think is more indicative of future performance? 101 NBA garbage time minutes or 608 CBA minutes?

      FFS Thanasis had a .291 ws/48 in the NBA over 6 minutes!!!!

      Not that Gaines can’t be wrong, but he seems to be fairly sharp on these sort of issues.And by the way, I will certainly hope Randle is the real deal, but to intimate prioritizing N’dour over Randle was a crime against humanity is just silly or some sort of worry about competence.

    89. Ndour hasn’t shown much this year except bad hands, but yeah, I’d like to see him get some court time as the Knicks play out the string.

    90. ESPN’s scouting report on Bridges:

      March 6th update: “Bridges continues to impress scouts with his combination of athleticism, scoring ability and floor vision. He’s shooting an impressive 41 percent on jumpers (both from 3 and from 2, according to Hoop-Math). He also has proven to be a terrific rebounder and a solid shot-blocker.
      His team should make the tournament, but a loss to Maryland on Saturday didn’t help the cause. Some scouts feel he’s a better long-term prospect than Tatum. It will be interesting to see those two go at it in workouts.
      Feb. 1 update: Bridges played the best game of his career last Tuesday, scoring 33 points and hitting five 3s against Purdue. He’s big, athletic and a skilled playmaker who is shooting an impressive 41 percent from deep.
      The turnovers are coming down, and his confidence is contagious. He’s another prospect who would likely be a top-five pick in most drafts.”

      I’ll try to highlight someone else in the coming days.

    91. Reub, is that a reliable source? I read somewhere that Miles Bridges hugged his coach and I don’t see that information anywhere in the report.

    92. Haha! It may not be, don. I saw the hug with my own two eyes so it is definitely factual and should obviously have been included in the scouting report.

    93. @95 Frank O,

      I can’t disagree with anything you are saying. My point is that the results as they have been so far are not very impressive. We are all buying into potential and excuses for this year, but I’d like to see it.

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