Knicks Morning News (2017.03.21)

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks fall to Clippers; Carmelo Anthony takes time to assess his career in New York
    (Tuesday, March 21, 2017 1:46:44 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony has been doing a lot of thinking about what’s happened and about his future. The Knicks best player appears to believe he’s missing out that he’s not in the playoffs, and sounds like someone who might want a change of scenery.

  • [NYPost] Knicks suffer embarrassing loss in front of all their old coaches
    (Monday, March 20, 2017 9:17:06 PM)

    LOS ANGELES – The Clippers didn’t need Carmelo Anthony on their side to look like Western Conference title contenders for one night. Not against this Knicks ensemble. The Knicks began their four-game western swing in predictably defenseless fashion as Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan blasted them in a 114-105 rout at Staples Center…

  • [NYPost] Is Hornacek’s passing complaint a shot at Knicks’ stars?
    (Monday, March 20, 2017 6:35:01 PM)

    LOS ANGELES — Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek seconded Kristaps Porzingis’ contention the Knicks didn’t play this season as a team, believing the players never made the extra pass. In what could’ve been a dig at the Knicks’ Big 3 of Carmelo Anthony, Porzingis and Derrick Rose, Hornacek feels the team’s downfall partly stemmed from not…

  • [NYPost] Carmelo Anthony sounds ready to move on from the Knicks
    (Monday, March 20, 2017 12:41:10 PM)

    LOS ANGELES — Carmelo Anthony said he’s loved living in Los Angeles across the years and dropped enough hints Monday his time may be done as a Knick. Following the morning shootaround at Staples Center, Anthony was careful to say he hasn’t “thought about’’ a move to the Clippers, but didn’t reject the notion either,…

  • [NYTimes] Carmelo Anthony Praises Los Angeles, Sounding Less Like a Knick for Life
    (Tuesday, March 21, 2017 1:49:01 AM)

    Anthony, who has been linked to the Clippers in trade rumors, said he admired players who stayed with one team, “but a lot of things have to fall into place.”

  • [NYTimes] As Fans Grow Restless, the Best N.B.A. Games of the Week
    (Monday, March 20, 2017 8:15:11 PM)

    The Warriors travel to play the Thunder on Monday night as the problem of teams resting stars in marquee matchups nears a tipping point.

  • [NYTimes] Canvassing Basketball Coaches About Job Moves as Seats Open Up at Colleges
    (Tuesday, March 21, 2017 9:00:22 AM)

    With the coming of Spring, colleges have begun to seek coaches who can lead a basketball team to a championship.

  • [ESPN] Tuesday’s Knicks News: Hornacek critical of his top players
    (Tuesday, March 21, 2017 4:58:38 AM)

    Tuesday’s Knicks News: Hornacek critical of his top players

  • [ESPN] Melo: Motivated by own game, not peers’ feats
    (Monday, March 20, 2017 5:47:04 PM)

    Melo: Motivated by own game, not peers’ feats

  • [SNY Knicks] Porzingis’ double-double not enough as Knicks fall to Clippers
    (Tuesday, March 21, 2017 12:53:09 AM)

    Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Rose each scored 18 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Knicks lost in blowout fashion to the Los Angeles Clippers, 114-105, on Monday night at the Staples Center.

  • [SNY Knicks] Anthony reflects on time in New York as Knicks near playoff elimination
    (Monday, March 20, 2017 5:35:22 PM)

    Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reflected on his time with New York and questioned if the team will be a contender with the franchise.

  • [NYDN] Carmelo wonders if he’ll ever be a title contender with Knicks
    (Monday, March 20, 2017 10:02:59 PM)

    The days of Carmelo Anthony saying “I believe in Phil” are long gone.

  • [NYDN] Knicks start West Coast trip with 114-105 loss to Clippers
    (Monday, March 20, 2017 9:13:51 PM)

    Carmelo Anthony was oh-so-close to being traded to the Clippers last month and guaranteed date in the postseason.

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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).

    117 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2017.03.21)”

    1. So I’m back on the Ntilikina bandwagon after watching DX’s European U18 championships “strengths” video (pro tip – never watch the “weaknesses” video!!), and I can’t imagine Phil is not targeting him.

      Seriously though – 6’5″ with 7′ wingspan, obviously improving shooter, lockdown D. Big guard, not ball-dominant, good shooter, great defender. Sounds like an obvious Triangle PG. I was really impressed by his footwork and release on his J. Seems like a repeatable shot. Lonzo has great small sample college stats but seriously, when was the last time someone had a funky shot like that and actually was good in the NBA? Yes, Kevin Martin, but he was a spot-up shooter for the most part, not a guy with the ball in his hands most of the time. As others have said here, the NBA will eat up dudes that can only shoot going one way. Lots of time for improvement though.

      Beggars can’t be choosers I guess. I’ll take anyone not named Markkanen or Monk that’s currently in the top 8-9 in most mock drafts.

      Miles Bridges is a big athletic dude. Too bad he has oompa loompa arms.

    2. Frank would be a good triangle PG but we’re only gonna be running it for a few more years. Beyond that I think he’s a SG who can operate as a secondary ballhandler(Doncic 2018).

      He’d still be a good pick but I don’t think you draft him to be your future PG.

    3. The Knicks don’t even run the triangle right now. They run a hybrid offense now and Hornacek will likely survive the Jackson era so I don’t see why that would change.

      Draft good players. Frank Ntilikina is a good player. If we stink enough to land Luka Doncic, draft him too because Doncic and Ntilikina are perfect for each other.

    4. I want Doncic so badly but I don’t think we’re “good” enough to get him unless we take back Crawfords contract from the Clippers and play Ron baker 35 minutes a game

      Which is possible but not probable

      I imagine he’ll be the #2/3 pick (not #1 because scouts unfairly prefer US players)

    5. Frank would be good, but I see him more as a 7–8 pick rather than a top 4-6 pick which it looks like we’re currently gunning for.

      Fox, Ntilikina/Isaac. That’s my draft order probably.

    6. Frank would be a terrific pick for us and, yes, I’ve seen the strengths (and the weakness) video as well.

    7. Doncic is my dream pick for the future, the kid has future star written all over him.

      Im still on the Isaac or Ntilikina camp, specially since Fox might have played himself into the top 5… while Ntilikina’s numbers do not show this yet, I do think he’ll be fine eventually as a primary ball handler, most scouts seem to be thoroughly impressed with his decision-making and ability to pass out of the pick and roll, which is a good sign.

    8. Echoing what most posters have said, I too think Fox, Isaac, or Ntilikina will make next season worth looking forward to. If it’s Malik Monk, however, it’s over.

    9. Josh Jackson may be better than all of the above. It’s possible that if Ball and Fultz are already gone and the next teams desire a guard they might grab Fox and/or Smith instead of Jackson and he drops to us.

    10. I feel like perhaps this discussion has been had, but let’s say we somehow jump into the top 3. Would anyone trade the top 1 or 2 pick for both of Sac’s picks? Let’s say they are #6 and #9. Could theoretically get two of Ntilikina, Fox, or Isaac instead of one of Fultz/Ball/Josh Jackson.

      Imagine our backcourt D with Ntilikina and Fox hounding ball handlers.

    11. It’s a good question Frank, but I think Sacramento would only do it for a top-2 pick as opposed to top-3. I’d gladly trade the 3rd pick for their two picks since after Fultz and Ball you could make an argument for a lot of guys as the third best prospect anyway, but it’d be very difficult for me to trade one of those two (especially Ball).

    12. There is also a resonable chance if we end up with a top 3 pick that the Lakers will be bumped out of the top 3 which would give PHI 2x top 10 picks as well. I’d trade the 1,2, or 3 pick for 2x top 10 picks. If it was the 1 or 2 pick maybe I’d want back a second rounder as well. I’d take 2 of Frank, Fox, Isaac over Ball, Fultz or Jackson all day long.

    13. If it’s anyone other than Lonzo getting picked at our position, then yes trade down and draft Frank + Fox or Frank + Isaac if Fox is taken.

      Ball is so good though that I’m not sure you trade down. That’s a hard decision to make.

      Drafting any combo of those three would instantly make our defense way better which is cool

    14. Phil is probably retooling versus rebuilding; he doesn’t want to leave Knicks after 5 losing seasons. I hope Phil would accept a Melo deal like Crawford for Melo/2021 pick OR Rivers/Crawford/Johnson/2021 pick/2023 pick for Melo/Lee/KOQ but those don’t help in the next 2 years so Phil won’t do it. Reports after all were that Phil wanted Redick and Rivers for Melo, two players that Phil believed could help us before he leaves. I don’t think he’s trading Lee or KOQ unless it’s for a player who could be productive right away. So how happy would you be if this were the roster?

      1: Teague or Hill/Randle/Nikki Tina
      2: Lee/Nikki Tina
      3: Melo/Lance
      4,5: KP, Hernangomez, KOQ, Noah

    15. I would trade Melo for Rivers, Crawford, the 2021 pick (at most top3 or 5 protected), and and a 2022 swap. I’d make that trade in a heartbeat.

    16. If we get a shot at Ball we should take him. That guy is exactly what this franchise needs, his loudmouth father be damned.

    17. fultz is really good… and pretty much a wade clone… he’s head and shoulders above the rest of the draft… ball is good but his lack of scoring is a concern which i think makes him pretty similar to the rest of the top 7..

      it’s a little dangerous thou if you’re only getting a 7 and a 10 for example in this draft… because after jonathan isaac it takes a huge nosedive unless you want to take a chance on someone like josh hart or og anunoby in the lotto…. if it becomes a fox and isaac then it becomes a huge heist…

    18. Ball isn’t some run of the mill scorer. He is a figure who makes a team better with his presence there because of his efficient production combined with a relatively low usage rate. He’s the type of ballhandlers who easily changes the tempo of an offense at will depending on the situation either pushing the ball super fast or slowing it down and allowing an offense to run its set. You can count the number of NBA players with that type of basketball IQ with one hand.

    19. I think Ball is more like Rubio than Kidd(which is still good)Not sold on his step back jumper which superior atheletes are gonna eat up on the next level.

      I think Isaac+ one of the guard prospects is a good enough haul for him.

    20. Yeah, if the Knicks are able to move up to 2 or 3 and have a chance to draft Ball, they have to take him.

    21. Kidd was more like Rubio than Ball. The former’s jumper was whack as fuck for much of his playing career.

    22. that’s the thing… having .700 2p fg% is ridiculously good… but it’s also propped up by a lot of transition buckets… which means he doesn’t actually get in the paint through drives that much…

      which is fine… jason kidd was much the same way… and a decent comparable… but this draft has a lot of good players like that… and so i don’t think ball is head and shoulders above someone like josh jackson or even guys like fox or smith… it really all depends on what you prefer…

    23. @21 I meant more in terms of production on the court since those are the two he’s compared with the most.

    24. which is fine… jason kidd was much the same way… and a decent comparable… but this draft has a lot of good players like that… and so i don’t think ball is head and shoulders above someone like josh jackson or even guys like fox or smith… it really all depends on what you prefer…

      I would take a Jason Kidd with a better stand up jump shot over whatever ceiling Josh Jackson, Fox or Smith project to become. In fact, the Nets were smart enough to follow that plan when they shipped Marbury over to Phoenix and built a two time championship contender with a mediocre supporting cast of Kenyon Martin, Kerry Kittles, Shawn Jefferson, and I forgot who else.

    25. I meant more in terms of production on the court since those are the two he’s compared with the most.

      I don’t see it. Rubio’s largest problem stems from the fact that he’s never been a good jump shooter, not even as a stand up shooter. Ball, for whatever problems you may have with his jumper, is a terrific stand up shooter. You could run screens for him and get him open.

    26. I get the comparison between Kidd and Ball, but Kidd was a freaking amazing defender his entire career — I don’t necessarily get the sense that Ball is anywhere near that.

      (Kidd averaged 6.3 rebounds, 9 assists, and 3.76 steals/36 in his 2 year college career – absolutely bonkers).

    27. Robert Williams considering going back to College for another year. I really don’t see why he’d do it considering next year’s draft is loaded with big men prospects. Might as well get your money right now.

    28. I get the comparison between Kidd and Ball, but Kidd was a freaking amazing defender his entire career — I don’t necessarily get the sense that Ball is anywhere near that.

      That’s a fair point. Lonzo Ball seems competent, but not a great Jason Kidd level defender. He’s still a better shooter.

    29. Fultz upside to me Is like Dame on offense and John wall on defense.

      And I’d still take lonzo over him

    30. Pretty ballsy to think that Ball will be Kidd with a jumpshot already… but I do think that he is the best player in this draft and am not really worried about his shooting form. His form reminds me of Courtney Lee’s in the sense that he starts from the other side of his body. The only difference with Lee is he eventually brings the ball back to the front of his face while Lonzo just shoots earlier. He actually has a very quick release and I think that will be a huge factor in him getting shots off. His BBIQ is off the charts and I think that alone will have such a positive impact on any team he goes to that he is worth drafting even with questions about his shot.

    31. Kidd might be the best defensive PG in NBA history, so not being a Jason Kidd caliber defender is not a knock. Ball’s defensive box score stats are pretty good-they’re better than Fox’s, for example.

    32. @24 I would take a Jason Kidd with a better stand up jump shot

      Me too! Is Kidd on the big board? Grab him!!!

    33. Yeah I’m pretty sure it’s Kidd or our very own Clyde Frazier who’s the best defensive PG in NBA history.

      Lonzo can be quite a good defender with his physical tools–he’s very good on the boards and gets his hands in the passing lanes. He’s not the greatest athlete so he might have trouble with quicker PGs like Wall etc. but that’s a problem almost every player in the league has against Wall etc. Fox is a better defender I think, despite the DBPM numbers being in Ball’s favor (his better box score stats cause his DBPM to be a little inflated vis a vis Fox’s.) And Fox is fast enough to defend literally every PG in the NBA, though there should be mild concerns about his skinny frame–which is also a mild concern about Lonzo.

      A PG as offensively developed as Lonzo who is also an average to plus defender is pretty much as good as it gets. I think all the shooting form worries are overblown, too. Compared to Fultz’s total apathy on defense (admittedly due to his very high usage on a bad Washington team), I’ll take the more complete two-way player with the .675 TS% and the best passing I’ve ever seen.

    34. The one nice thing about Phil’s triangle fetishism is that if we luck into a top 2 pick he’s almost definitely gonna choose Ball if he’s available because he’s essentially the perfect triangle guard with his shooting and passing especially in a modified triangle with more pick and roll sets.

      I also imagine that Phil would choose Frank over Monk for those reasons.

    35. fultz is really good… and pretty much a wade clone… he’s head and shoulders above the rest of the draft…

      howdy djphan – any idea what exactly might be ailing young mister fultz’s knee?

    36. When I think about college athletes who were appointment viewing in my youth, Jason Kidd jumps to mind almost immediately, along with Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk and Michael Vick. His freshman year, he was simply insane, dominating everybody in sight, culminating with a great win over Duke in the tourney. He made Lamond Murray look like the next James Worthy.

      Getting compared to Kidd is very high praise. I was actually surprised looking at Kidd’s page how mediocre his career numbers were by WS/48. He’s one guy who I would say was a ton better than his stats show.

    37. Is Porzingis an ideal triangle player? Genuinely asking here. It’s very hard for me to evaluate because of his unicorn-ness.

      On the plus side, he’s at his most effective when he catches the ball either moving towards the rim in a position to score or spotting up for jumpers, both of which happen quite frequently with all the off ball movement in the triangle. On the minus side, he never looks comfortable catching it in the pinch post.

      What do you guys think?

    38. Philmelo
      March 21, 2017 at 2:29 am
      Logan had an Outlaw Josey Wales feel to it. Also, the obvious symbolism of a bunch Mexican refugee children migrating north against the wishes of a villain named Donald is too good.

      hey ras :-)…you continue to surprise and impress me with your absolutely awesome geekiness…

      hi brian…had a chance to read kristy’s review of logan on cbr…was just wondering if you enjoyed this wolverine (literally anything would have been better than “origins” – man, that movie made me mad, mostly cause of the deadpool stuff, thankfully they’ve redeemed themselves), and, if you had ever had a chance to read any of the marvel storylines: “the end”?

      wow, can it really be true – may melo actually be ready to start packing his bags…if it does happen – it’ll be very interesting to see what we get (good and bad) in return…

      trying to learn how to read stats a little better…not sure i exactly understand what the assist % means:

      melo – usage %: 29.1…assist %: 14.5
      rose – usage %: 25.7…assist %: 21.8
      kp – usage %: 24.2…assist %: 7.2

      is rose’s assist % really that bad? or, is it just that the combination of the three of them together that hurts the team so much…

    39. @36

      one issue with Win Shares is that it overvalues volume scoring (to a much lesser extent than PER) and conversely punishes comparatively inefficient, mediocre scoring too severely. It also uses team defense as a proxy for individual defense, so he was probably hurt by that. His BPM numbers are much more accurate (even those might be underrating him a bit, given his defensive prowess.)

    40. Me too! Is Kidd on the big board? Grab him!!!

      Better. He’s taller now with a 3 point shot and is named Ball.

      BTW,

      J-A-S-O-N (5) K-I-D-D (4)
      L-O-N-Z-O (5) B-A-L-L (4)

      Coincidence? I think not.

    41. Would Phil take Frank over Fox? That is the scenario with a high chance of Phil being faced with. I believe he would take Frank.

    42. hey ras :-)…you continue to surprise and impress me with your absolutely awesome geekiness…

      Sank u berry much.

    43. Is Porzingis an ideal triangle player? Genuinely asking here. It’s very hard for me to evaluate because of his unicorn-ness.

      I don’t think many offenses were designed to feature a 7’3″ 21 yr old that shoots 38% from 3…..Fuck if someone can’t figure out how to use him properly. Where is Don Nelson when you need him…..

    44. Getting compared to Kidd is very high praise. I was actually surprised looking at Kidd’s page how mediocre his career numbers were by WS/48. He’s one guy who I would say was a ton better than his stats show.

      @36 Owen

      As you know, the results of these models are dependent on the weights assigned to each of the stats. It’s not until you reach the extreme of any stat that you start seeing what a model might tend to overweight or underweight. Kidd was unique in that he was a great playmaker, great rebounder for the PG position, and great defender, but a below average scorer when you consider his efficiency/usage combined. Wins Shares must be underrating something there relative to scoring – which I think it tends to rate highly.

      He looks way better on Boxscore Plus Minus and he looks like an all time great on Wins Produced.

      http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/players/60-jason-kidd

    45. I watched KP last night and he took more shots closer in and actually set a bone crunching pick on Crawford where Crawford had to grab on to KP’s jersey to keep from falling down (I kid you not ). He generally looked more comfortable in his own skin and this bodes well for our future. Baker and Randall had good moments in the game as well as did Willy.

      Josh Jackson on our team added to a Jrue/Hill/Rubio or even Teodosic and minus our tank commanders would be a pretty good young team to watch next year.

    46. KP looks uncomfortable in the pinch post because he doesn’t have the experience shooting with his back to the basket in games. I also feel as if KP’s shot suffers that close to the basket because he shoots without much of an arc ala Dirk.

    47. My worry with Ball is that you don’t see a lot of guys with average athleticism (or a big size advantage at their position) turn out to be superstars. Curry maybe, but he’s got great footwork and a lightening quick release both of which count as athletic to me. Ball will have a size advantage but not a huge one- and he’s pretty thin at the moment so I don’t see him overpowering guys right away. That said, he’s more athletic than Bird or Jokic and seems similarly high IQ so I think he’s going to be great. I still think Fultz is the safer pick- he’s really the prototypical point for the modern NBA offense. He’s equally good as a creator and a scorer. He’s great in transition, in pnrs, can hit the open three, and (unlike Ball right now) can pull up or get into the lane off of the dribble. I’ll happily take either though!

    48. Question: Would you trade KP for a top two pick? I’m guessing nobody is trading KP for Josh Jackson but I’d think you’d have to trade him for either Ball or Fultz, no? Would the Knicks be better off going forward with say, Ball and Isaac or KP and Frank/Fox?

    49. Sasha got into the game at the end and his knowledge of where and how to move without the ball is always refreshing to see. The LA crowd loved it when he made a three ball. And he plays hard defense (even if he doesn’t have the skills). He does still provide a benefit to the team at the end of our bench.

    50. @50 No I wouldn’t. I expect KP, who has already improved this year, to have a breakout season next year. He can be very, very special.

    51. KP looks uncomfortable in the pinch post because he doesn’t have the experience shooting with his back to the basket in games. I also feel as if KP’s shot suffers that close to the basket because he shoots without much of an arc ala Dirk.

      I had mixed but mostly positive feelings about his game last night.

      In the 1st quarter he had 5 rebounds, but it was the way he was rebounding that I liked. He seemed to be trying to get rebounds instead of just taking what fell into his lap. He was anticipating where the ball was going and then was actually jumping to get it even if he was in the area by himself. I was expecting a big night on the boards, but then he went back into passive mode until the 4th quarter (which I missed). At least I saw some signs he has some instincts.

      His shot selection is still pretty bad at times. He forces some shots, rushes some, takes some when he’s not really set. I don’t think he intellectually or instinctively knows a good shot from a bad one yet. He just shoots on automatic pilot. I’m not too worried about that long term. That’s common for younger players.

      He DEFINITELY needs to do more scoring around the basket. He had one beautiful bucket on an alley-oop. He should have 2-3 of those every game given his size, length, and athleticism. We need a PG that will help get those easier baskets for him and up his TS%.

      He clearly needs to get stronger so he can maintain position inside and finish if he has a mismatch.

      He has to do less fading away to avoid contact and try to get to the FT line more.

    52. KP looked really good in the 4th quarter (playing with the rookies mostly). He took and made higher percentage shots. Also, the announcers mentioned either during or after the game that KP has started to attend the practice sessions that are only required for the team’s rookies and I love that he’s showing leadership and doing that. He knows where his future is for sure.

    53. Lonzo Ball has terrific athleticism for a guard his size. He glides to the basket, but doesn’t explode.

    54. Couple thoughts:

      1) Lonzo’s not an athletic freak in the mold of say, John Wall or young Wade, but he definitely has superior athleticism. I’d compare his movement to a lanky, skinny James Harden. He just glides around the court. Movement is completely effortless for him and he has good bounce. I’m not worried about his athleticism at all.

      2) KP did look good last night playing the triangle with the bench guys. If I’m Phil/Hornacek, I’m playing that Baker/Randle/Holiday/Lance/KP/Willy/Plumlee squad as much as possible just to see what we have there.

    55. Lonzo Ball has terrific athleticism for a guard his size. He glides to the basket, but doesn’t explode.

      That’s what they said about D’Angelo Russell too. I think Ball’s going to be great but the lack of an explosive first step is a little worrisome (and by a little worrisome I mean he might be the second pick in the draft rather than the first). I just think Fultz has an equally high ceiling (he may not be quite the passer that Ball is but he’s pretty close while being a more versatile scorer),a higher floor and no crazy father. Push comes to shove I think Ball has the better career but there’s a reason Fultz is pretty much the default #1.

    56. Josh Jackson looks so much better to me than do Isaac, Tatum or Bridges. Am I the only one here who likes him?

    57. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/derek-fisher-admits-matt-barnes-fight-hurt-standing-knicks-article-1.3004698

      “I think he really did intend for me how to learn to do some things on my own. And after talking a little bit, I wasn’t completely averse to running the triangle. But I thought there were some things that based on the way the game is played now compared to when we played and were running it and being successful and winning championships – not only because of Phil’s brilliance but Kobe and Shaq and Pau Gasol and a lot of great players. I thought there were some things we could do to take advantage of not just our personnel but the way teams defend in the NBA and etc, that I wanted to do differently. And at times we were okay and saw eye-to-eye and sometimes we didn’t.”

      “Looking back on it, it was probably more alignment (that got me fired), just not being able to find a more effective and efficient way to communicate with Phil. And whatever part of it I wasn’t doing it well enough or good enough for him to feel like the lines of communication were open or at least coming back to him. And also not having full alignment in philosophy and trying to figure out the best out of the players we had at the time.”

      The Knicks have a way of making you miss dudes you didn’t even think much of, because shit just always gets progressively worse. Like, I kind of wish Derek Fisher was still our coach now, and he’s probably a mediocre-to-bad coach!

    58. That’s what they said about D’Angelo Russell too

      Its also what they said about Jason Kidd too.

    59. I was watching the MSG feed and at one point they showed Fisher broadcasting on TNT. He had the same deer in the headlights look about him that I so fondly remember from his coaching days.

    60. still think Fultz is the safer pick

      Totally disagree. I like Fultz as a prospect, but if you’re taking him over Ball you’re putting a lot of stock in the idea that his teammates depressed his numbers. Ball has historically great college statistics. Fultz’ statistical profile is definitely good, but doesn’t really jump off the page.

      Basically if you take Fultz number one overall, you’re banking on him doing things he hasn’t done yet. With Ball, you’re just hoping he continues to do what he has done.

    61. Well I, for one, do not miss Fisher coaching this team.

      ditto…call me crazy though – but, of all our recent coaches (like 11 in the last 16 years) i really liked mike woodson the most…he definitely had the best – “what the fuck is going on out there” look of any of our other coaches…

    62. Lonzo is a weird player-he basically never takes two point jump shots and he doesn’t draw fouls. He’s sort of like a late model Rondo who can really shoot. I wouldn’t be as confident taking him #1 as I would have been taking Towns, but I’d feel pretty good about it.

    63. Lonzo Ball is a most modern point guard we’ve seen in the post-Golden State Splash Bros. era. His game is ahead of the curve. He either shoots lethally efficient three point percentages or drives it to the basket. He rebounds well, giving him the ball in his hands to push the ball up the court in transition ASAP. He manages to do this with relatively low usage rates, allowing him to be surrounded by a shit ton of “scorers” who will all get their touches.

      I don’t see how a funky jumper should scare any team from drafting him. There are plenty of opportunities to get him open looks. And his game begs for his team to run a motion style offense with all types of players cutting to and from the basket for him to find scoring opportunities. He’s our guy if we can get him, his loudmouth old man be damned.

    64. Basically the difference between Ball and Fultz is TS%. Ball was a slightly better rebounder, Fultz had a higher assist % and lower turnover rate (though most of the difference there is explained by usage). Both shot about the same from 3 point range, both were sub 70% free throw shooters. Fultz got to the line a lot more. Ball isn’t going to shoot 70% from 2 point range if he can’t get to the basket in the half court- not even close. Fultz already has a developed in-between game- Ball hasn’t showed that at all. You’re putting faith in Ball being able to reproduce his shot chart in the pros- can he be Harden/Curry without a great first step and quick release? Both of those guys got to the line a lot more in college than Ball.

    65. Fisher was not a very good coach, but he’s no different than anyone else when it comes to getting fired. When people get divorced, break up, get fired, etc… they usually start out angry and look to blame others, but eventually they try to resolve it internally and figure out what went wrong. It sounds like he’s in the latter stage now where he’s trying to learn something from it instead of being bitter about it. That’s a pretty quick turnaround. D’Antoni still seems somewhat bitter about how he left NY.

    66. Ball isn’t going to shoot 70% from 2 point range if he can’t get to the basket in the half court- not even close

      But that’s how he shoots 70% from 2 point range. He only takes 2 point shots at the rim.

    67. Well then his usage is going to be around 15% which is fine if you’re on a team surrounded by efficient shooters (and his passing should certainly maximize his teammates TS which is why I still think he’s going to be really good regardless) but if he’s on the Knicks that just means more shots for inefficient players. If Fultz had hit just 75% of his free throws his TS% would have been .580 on 30+ usage despite every team completely loading up on him. But he didn’t so I don’t really have a problem picking Ball over him- I just think Fultz has a higher floor.

    68. Basically the difference between Ball and Fultz is TS%. Ball was a slightly better rebounder, Fultz had a higher assist % and lower turnover rate (though most of the difference there is explained by usage). Both shot about the same from 3 point range, both were sub 70% free throw shooters. Fultz got to the line a lot more.

      Actually, there’s a bit more to it than you’re brushing over. Ball is not only a better three point shooter, he is a far more frequent one, taking twice as many as Fultz. Ball is a far more efficient passer, judging by the similar assist percentages but way lower usage rates. Ball has a higher OBPM, DBPM, and BPM. He’s ahead in in WS/48 and even comparable in terms of PER despite scoring (and shooting) far less.

    69. RIP Jerry Krause, AKA The Guy Who Made Phil Jackson Seem A Lot Smarter Than He Actually Is

    70. Can anybody think of another elite prospect PG like Fultz who played on such a dreadfully awful D1 NCAA team? I’m trying to think of one but I’m drawing a blank. They were 2-16 in the PAC-12. I mean, they were really, really bad.

    71. Monk may turn out better than half of the guys we’re drooling over.

    72. but if he’s on the Knicks that just means more shots for inefficient players.

      Then the point is to get more efficient scorers. You don’t pass on a player in a draft because your team sucks. That makes zero sense.

    73. I like Ball over Fultz because his defense is better, he doesn’t need the ball and he makes his teammates better. Frank possesses at least 2 of these qualities as well.

    74. Actually, there’s a bit more to it than you’re brushing over. Ball is not only a better three point shooter, he is a far more frequent one, taking twice as many as Fultz. Ball is a far more efficient passer, judging by the similar assist percentages but way lower usage rates. Ball has a higher OBPM, DBPM, and BPM. He’s ahead in in WS/48 and even comparable in terms of PER despite scoring (and shooting) far less.

      Flip their teammates and what do think those numbers would be? Fultz put up similar assist numbers on a team with far, far less talent- the guy is a legit playmaker not just a chucker. As I said, the only pros that put up a shot chart like Ball are Harden and Curry and both of those guys got to the line a ton in college. You think he can reproduce that in the pros and I’m not so sure.

    75. Flip their teammates and what do think those numbers would be?

      Practically the same.

      Fultz put up similar assist numbers on a team with far, far less talent- the guy is a legit playmaker not just a chucker.

      Do you think Fultz could have produced an insane 31.4% assist percentage with a mere 18% usage rate? Think about this for a minute. That’s a usage rate lower than Willy’s (19%) on our team with a Steph Curry (32.25) level assist percentage. You’re really underselling what Lonzo’s doing for UCLA.

      As I said, the only pros that put up a shot chart like Ball are Harden and Curry and both of those guys got to the line a ton in college.

      Lonzo is an outlier. A way larger percentage of his FGA per game comes from shooting the 3 ball.

    76. I really like Fultz as a prospect and I do believe his cruddy teammates forced his usage to be a lot higher, hurt his efficiency and depressed his assist numbers. But if I had the #1 pick, I’d take Ball and not think twice about it, based on sheer productivity. The gulf in productivity between the two of them is just too large.

    77. Do you think Fultz could have produced an insane 31.4% assist percentage with a mere 18% usage rate? Think about this for a minute. That’s a usage rate lower than Willy’s (19%) on our team with a Steph Curry (32.25) level assist percentage. You’re really underselling what Lonzo’s doing for UCLA.

      You’re going to have to explain how low usage depresses your assist rate. I get that Fultz’s turnover rate is artificially low because he shoots so much but how does that impact his assist rate? Ball’s usage was 18 and his assist rate was 32- plug that into Basketball reference season finder and you get literally hundreds of results ranging from great to completely crappy- low usage/high assist rate isn’t unusual at all. High usage/high assist rate is very unusual- Plug in Fultz’s 31 usage and 35 assist rate you get 20 results (I made 50 games played the minimum)- mostly LBJ , Wade, and Westbrook. If Fultz boosts his TS% by just hitting his free throws at 75% (that’d boost it .580) you’d be looking at an absolute superstar – 31 usage, 35 assist rate, and .580 TS% you’re looking at LBJ 4 times, and couple of Harden, and one of Wade- that’s it.

    78. Here’s the list of guys who put up a season like Fultz’s at the pro level (I used 50 games played, Ts% .55, Assist % 35, Usage 31): http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=single&type=totals&per_minute_base=36&per_poss_base=100&season_start=1&season_end=-1&lg_id=NBA&age_min=0&age_max=99&is_playoffs=N&height_min=0&height_max=99&birth_country_is=Y&as_comp=gt&pos_is_g=Y&pos_is_gf=Y&pos_is_f=Y&pos_is_fg=Y&pos_is_fc=Y&pos_is_c=Y&pos_is_cf=Y&force%3Apos_is=1&c1stat=ts_pct&c1comp=gt&c1val=55&c2stat=g&c2comp=gt&c2val=50&c3stat=ast_pct&c3comp=gt&c3val=35&c4stat=usg_pct&c4comp=gt&c4val=31&c6mult=1.0&order_by=ws
      That’s a pretty good list. Of course Ball’s season is just as much of an outlier- if you’re looking for guys with a >.65 TS and an assist rate over 30 you’re looking at one year of Curry, two of Stockton, and one of Nash. Take your pick- for now I’m done with the comparisons. If Ball has a great game against Fox I’m all in on him, if he struggles again then I’m putting my money on Fultz.

    79. Fultz v. Ball is a truly difficult debate, but I think Fultz is good enough that I would pick him over Ball for the Knicks. Lavar Ball is out here blaming his one of his son’s high school coach for a playoff loss. That is the exact type of person we don’t want around this organization. He’s Miko Grimes 2.0.

    80. I do think Ball’s game is better than Fultz’s, though. Nobody was even thinking about UCLA in the pre season and then Lonzo Ball turned them into a powerhouse. That kind of transformative influence is rare and invaluable. I just worry that if he isn’t the guy he’s hyped up to be that his father will be a locker room cancer. Our organization isn’t built for that.

      Could you imagine if Lonzo’s dad got close to Dolan? Lavar Ball would be our GM.

    81. You’re going to have to explain how low usage depresses your assist rate.

      Because 1.) usage percentage is an estimate of percentage of a team’s offensive plays used by a player while he is on the floor and 2.) assist percentage is an estimate of teammate field goals assisted by a given player. So, the more a player uses of a team’s offensive plays the more opportunity he’s going to assist a teammate in scoring the ball while, conversely, the less he uses a team’s offensive plays the less chance he has of assisting the ball.

      So the fact that Ball is responsible for almost third of his team’s entire assists (31.4 ast%) despite being only used in a little less than twenty percent of his team’s plays (18.0 usg%) means that he needs to touch the ball a little less than 1 out of 5 times to generate almost 1 out 3 of his team’s assists. That is is insanely efficient ball handling. Now, compare this to Fultz – a player who needs to handle the ball almost 1 out of every 3 plays (31.4 usg%) to generate a little more than 1 out of 3 of his teammates’ assists (35.5 ast%) – and you can see how the latter is a far more mediocre playmaker than the former.

    82. Now mind you, there is a tradeoff. Lonzo Ball may have an assist rate of 31.4 % at only a 18.0 % usage rate but his turnover rate is also higher than Fultz’s very meager 13.4% despite the fact that Fultz uses up team plays at a waaaay higher rate. So Lonzo turns the ball over at a higher rate than Fultz a game despite touching it less. But again, that’s also mitigated by the fact that Ball has a sparkling 7.6/2.4 ratio to 5.7/3.2 ast/to ratio – which means that his slightly higher turnover rate is a product of the many chances he takes to create far more many assists for his teammates than Fultz does.

    83. Josh Jackson looks like a legit talent, all though the Knicks desperately need a point guard. I repeat, the Knicks desperately need a point guard (that Rose for Rubio trade would have been really good) . Not feeling the love for Isaac, he seems way too skinny with no offensive game to speak of. He appears to be too risky to pick that early based on his college game. I’m sure someone here will keep this quote and post it in my face when he is making his 3rd all star game 6 years from now. Who knows, if they keep tanking, Ball or Fultz may be within reach.

    84. @91 Assuming that Ball and Fultz are taken, would you then take Jackson ahead of the other PGs?

    85. Because 1.) usage percentage is an estimate of percentage of a team’s offensive plays used by a player while he is on the floor and 2.) assist percentage is an estimate of teammate field goals assisted by a given player. So, the more a player uses of a team’s offensive plays the more opportunity he’s going to assist a teammate in scoring the ball while, conversely, the less he uses a team’s offensive plays the less chance he has of assisting the ball.

      So the fact that Ball is responsible for almost third of his team’s entire assists (31.4 ast%) despite being only used in a little less than twenty percent of his team’s plays (18.0 usg%) means that he needs to touch the ball a little less than 1 out of 5 times to generate almost 1 out 3 of his team’s assists. That is is insanely efficient ball handling. Now, compare this to Fultz – a player who needs to handle the ball almost 1 out of every 3 plays (31.4 usg%) to generate a little more than 1 out of 3 of his teammates’ assists (35.5 ast%) – and you can see how the latter is a far more mediocre playmaker than the former.

      I’m still not getting you. Usage is shots/free throws + turnovers, yes? Ball shoots or turns it over on only 18% of UCLA’s plays- the rest of time he’s passing so more opportunities for assists than Fultz who’s shooting/turning it over far more often- 31%- yet still generating comparable assists on a much worse team. Ball averaged more assists per game but played on team that played a much fast pace- UCLA had almost 500 more FGA than Washington- that’s why Ball averaged more assists despite a lower assist rate than Fultz. Go look on basketball reference- low usage/high assist rate seasons like Ball’s aren’t unusual at all. High usage/high assist rate seasons like Fultz’s are really uncommon- like LBJ, Westbrook, Harden uncommon. Both guys put up seasons that if they translate to the pros would put them in very elite company. I’m picking the guy who doesn’t have the weird jumper and crazy dad.

    86. Ball’s usage was 18 and his assist rate was 32- plug that into Basketball reference season finder and you get literally hundreds of results ranging from great to completely crappy- low usage/high assist rate isn’t unusual at all.

      You’re doing this wrong. You can’t compare Ball’s college season to NBA seasons for obvious reasons, including the fact that they don’t translate evenly. But I took the liberty of amending your criteria by punching up the same metrics you used for Fultz in terms of minutes, TS%, AST% and USG%.

      There has never been a basketball player who has matched this criteria in an NBA season.

      Here’s the list of guys who put up a season like Fultz’s at the pro level (I used 50 games played, Ts% .55, Assist % 35, Usage 31):

      I did the same thing for Ball using the same criteria and found there’s never been a college player since 2009 who has matched Ball’s efficiency in terms of TS%, AST% and USG% with at least 1200 minutes played like him. Punch up the numbers I’ve listed at the bottom right hand corner to see.

    87. Ball averaged more assists per game but played on team that played a much fast pace- UCLA had almost 500 more FGA than Washington.

      This is confusing cause with effect. Its just as arguable that the reason UCLA played at a faster pace was because of Ball’s ability to generate a very high assist rate in a low among of possessions by always looking to push the ball in transition and the half court.

      Go look on basketball reference- low usage/high assist rate seasons like Ball’s aren’t unusual at all.

      Not among players with 1200 or more minutes like Ball has. Very few have done it since 2009. In fact, as I’ve shown in my previous point, he’s the only one to do it with his insanely high TS%. Even if you take away his freakishly high TS% you only have 4 who’ve done it since 2009.

    88. There is no correlation between pace and ast%.

      Ast% is a “per possession” stat that is used to take out the pace of the equation.

      The fact that Fultz has such a high ast% and usg% only show how dominant he is. Almost 2/3 of his team’s possessions are either him shooting the ball or assisting a teammate.

      With that being said, I would choose Ball over him because I like pass first guards more. But if we luck into a top-2 pick anyone of them will be great.

    89. Picking Fultz over Ball bring the “volume shooter” problem also.

      If Fultz become a .30 usg% low-med efficiency in the NBA, he almost certainly will be paid max money in the future while Ball can be more attainable if he become “average” or something like that.

    90. There is no correlation between pace and ast%.

      How else do you explain Ball’s freakishly high ast% combined with his unusually low usg%? He’s pushing that ball forward.

      If Fultz become a .30 usg% low-med efficiency in the NBA, he almost certainly will be paid max money in the future while Ball can be more attainable if he become “average” or something like that.

      Lonzo Ball’s father – who might even become his agent – will push for his son to be a max player.

    91. There will probably come a point where Lonzo tells his loving dad to STFU if he continues to embarrass him. I hope that Lavar causes enough ruckus so that Lonzo falls to the Knicks (but I doubt it) and then Lonzo sets him straight immediately afterwards.

    92. There is no correlation between pace and ast%.

      Exactly, per 100 UCLA possessions Ball generated 31 assists, per 100 Washington possessions Fultz generated 35. If Ball generated all those assists while playing off of the ball that would be one thing but he was the primary ball-handler/playmaker for the team so I’m not sure why his low usage matters so much- though I totally get the fear that Fultz could turn out to be a ball pounder like Marbury where he’s either going to shoot it or hold onto the ball long enough that the guy he passes to will have to shoot it.

    93. @90 Owen, that article is utterly fascinating. My god, do I want a PB&J right now.

      Russell Westbrook likes his with buttered bread. He is a cultured man. I was introduced to buttered PB&J by a friend who grew up in Chile. He explained to me that in Chile, all bread is automatically buttered, so those were the PB&J’s he grew up on. Adding salted butter adds the perfect amount of saltiness to bring out all the other flavors. It’s wonderful. A game-changer.

    94. AST%
      Assist Percentage (available since the 1964-65 season in the NBA); the formula is 100 * AST / (((MP / (Tm MP / 5)) * Tm FG) – FG). Assist percentage is an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals a player assisted while he was on the floor.

      If you look at per 100 possession stats Ball generates almost 3 more assists than Fultz. Considering Fultz turns the ball over more frequently it seems pretty clear that Lonzo is a better distributor.

    95. Salted buttered PB&J is intriguing.

      Oh, and the Pelicans won. 41 and 17 by Boogie. Mavs gonna lose though.

    96. Can anybody think of another elite prospect PG like Fultz who played on such a dreadfully awful D1 NCAA team? I’m trying to think of one but I’m drawing a blank. They were 2-16 in the PAC-12. I mean, they were really, really bad.

      Steph’s Davidson teams were not that good. Neither was Simmons’ LSU team.

    97. AST%
      Assist Percentage (available since the 1964-65 season in the NBA); the formula is 100 * AST / (((MP / (Tm MP / 5)) * Tm FG) – FG). Assist percentage is an estimate of the percentage of teammate field goals a player assisted while he was on the floor.

      If you look at per 100 possession stats Ball generates almost 3 more assists than Fultz. Considering Fultz turns the ball over more frequently it seems pretty clear that Lonzo is a better distributor.

      Ah, I forgot that it subtracts out your own field goal attempts. But basically, Ball averages more assists per 100 possessions despite having a lower assist % because Fultz takes a lot more shots himself, no?

    98. I like salt and salt most foods pretty liberally. However, not on PB&J. If the jelly is good, nothing more is needed!

    99. Adam Silver has informed the league’s owners that they must take more personal responsibility for the resting of their team’s players or face penalties. This seems like a prudent and overdue response to the wanton resting of star players to the detriment of the fans.

    100. If you look at per 100 possession stats Ball generates almost 3 more assists than Fultz. Considering Fultz turns the ball over more frequently it seems pretty clear that Lonzo is a better distributor.

      I don’t think anyone is really disagreeing with that.

      The discussion was more about the correlation of low usage, pace and ast% that Philmelo was making to claim that Ball is a better distributor than Fultz that IMO doesn’t make any sense.

    101. Wow, this Lavar Ball guy really is completely insufferable. He’s already a national joke.

    102. as i’ve stated before… ball’s insanely high ts% is because of transition buckets… ucla’s pace is also a factor… ball is good… but jahlil okafor also shot incredibly high percentages… he did it differently but you almost want a prospect to be within a normal range to mimic what his shot distribution would look like in the pros….

      that’s why volume matters for a prospect and it’s enough to say that ball will probably struggle to score in the pros… he probably will be a decent spot up guy but if he has trouble driving into the paint against nba pg’s then all of a sudden the rest of his numbers suffer and he’s just kind of an ok player….

    103. There was a grilled PB&J food truck here in Portland that kicked some major ass. Obviously there was a lot of butter, and also corn flake crusted fried chicken and bacon.

    104. It’s fun to speculate on Fultz vs Ball, but I think we all know that on lottery night we’ll have the 7th worst record and pick 7th. By the time we select on draft night, Ball and Fultz will be wearing their Celtics and Lakers hats and sitting comfortably with their families.

      Because, Knicks.

    105. By the time we select on draft night, Ball and Fultz will be wearing their Celtics and Lakers hats and sitting comfortably with their families.

      This may be true, but on the other hand nobody will ever be able to take that February 25 win against the 76ers away from us. That’s ours to hold onto for the rest of our lives.

    106. I love that the Pelicans are winning these meaningless games. Love it. I love when other franchises are as dumb as the Knicks normally are. Same with Charlotte. What in the fucking world is that team thinking? “Hey, let’s go all out to get 10th place! There’s a medal for getting 10th place, right?”

      It really seems like the only way the Knicks can fuck this situation up is by winning some games that they have no business winning, which doesn’t seem to be an issue, since they are terrible. They’re so bad overall that they make Ron Baker look kind of good in comparison.

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