Quick Recap: Knicks vs. Nets

There’s no question the Nets smelled blood tonight with the Knicks coming off a tough back-to-back with the Celtics and a turtlenecked professor Melo on the sidelines. From the beginning the game felt like one of those affairs that would be won or lost in the waning moments of the 4th quarter. The Knicks legs looked lifeless at times, which certainly hurt Porzingis on the offensive end. His jumper was short all night. The real effect was on defense, though, as the fellas from Manhattan found enough hot hands to go blow for blow with the Nets. Derrick Williams had a sensational night off the bench and gave the Nets fits around the basket. It was the other end of the floor that did the Knicks in, as the sluggish defensive efforts resulted in a whopping 52.3% shooting from the field and a stellar 9-17 from behind the arc. Only one Net who played more than 10 minutes shot under 50% from the field. That Net….Andrea Bargnani. So….I guess there’s that Knicks fans.

While I’m sure the Knickerbocker faithful will be upset about this loss, I don’t have particularly strong feelings. The Nets needed to do something to stem the tide of negativity surrounding the franchise in turmoil. There’s no better tonic than to put it to the sexy team from across town, particularly with so many of their fans invading the Brooklyn arena. Games like this have value, although you’d like to persevere and win them. When the star is out, the rest of the guys have to step up. We saw mixed results on that front tonight as Calderon played with some fire, poor defense aside. The aforementioned D-Will continued to show the power of hard work and determination. Afflalo seemed to pound the rock into the ground in the post, gyrating, humping, and thrusting like a fish in heat. The final numbers on his game are a bit deceptive as he wasn’t much of a factor throughout. His late threes were nice to see, but they felt like those old A-Rod solo homers when the Yankees are down six runs in the ninth inning. It’s not a secret that the Knicks will need to improve the quality of the guard play before they’re a serious NBA power, but the heart was there whatever the results.

Since I started you off with some Gang Starr in the game thread, I’ll finish you with a little tip of the cap to the Nets for their gutsy effort.

In the arena… or rather coliseum
There’s people gatherin by multitudes to see one
perpretrator fall to the dust after the other
Quickly disposed of at the hand of a known brother (ed: that would be Brook)
Born wit the art in his heart that is Spartacus
And one-to-one combat Jack (but not Jarrett), just a thought of this
match-up, makes GangStarr wanna snatch up
one or two phrases from the new book with new pages
of rhymes that are built like a chariot
Dope vocals carry it, to the battle set
If a beat was a princess, I would marry it
But now I must bow to the crowd as I stand proud
Victorius, glorious, understand now
cause battles and wars and much fights I have been through
One MC got beheaded (unfortunately it was the Knicks), and you can too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo_VJzZ5bhY

On to the next one Knickerbuddies. See you in a few days.

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32 thoughts to “Quick Recap: Knicks vs. Nets”

  1. 3rd quarter ends in LA with Miami outscoring Cole Aldrich 17-13. Was it always this dusty in my apartment?

  2. More than anything else, this Knicks team needs perimeter defense. We have stout interior defense but without somebody in there that can stay in front of his man, we’re going to give up offensive rebound opportunities. Offensive rebounds and Shane Larkin killed us tonight. Those things should never happen.

    I’m thinking we should hold steady and sell out for Chris Paul in 2017 (I think Westbrook goes where KD goes that year). The Clippers will be pretenders in the West forever. If we sign Batum, I don’t know how CP3 says no to a Batum/Melo/Porzingis/Lopez front line. It’s like a much smarter Clippers team.

  3. If the Knicks signed a FA(Batum) to a salary starting at $19m how much would you want the knicks to try to keep D.Will? Yes, he has to continue to play like he has been. Would you stretch Calderon to give him $10m and try to get AA to resign for a 120% increase? Another option would be to trade O’Quinn for peanuts and try to being Willy H over for a rookie min. So what would you want the knicks to do? Waive goodbye?

  4. The Warriors are so weird. Their only two losses with Curry this year have been to the Bucks and the Nuggets. That doesn’t make any sense.

    EDITED TO ADD: Ah, I didn’t know it was sans Green. That makes a ton more sense now.

  5. Regarding Batum, he will make roughly $25 million next season. He will make that money. Multiple teams will be offering him that much money, including his own team, who can offer him a fifth year and higher raises, so something like $40 million more than what any other team can offer him. So he is not leaving unless a team maxes him out, which means $25 million next year. This isn’t to say that Batum won’t be signed by the Knicks. I am fine with people coming up with scenarios and hopes that involve the Knicks signing Batum. I agree he would be an excellent fit. But any scenario you come up with where Batum comes to the Knicks, it has to involve him making $25 million next year.

  6. In what parallel universe does a statistically oriented group recommend maxing a player whose efficiency peaked in 2009-10 and hasn’t come close to that again in 6 seasons, who plays to a ws/48 over 16,000 minutes of .120 and a playoff ws/48 of .043 over 34 games?

    Is that a good allocation of resources?

  7. Batum is more like a WP guy than WS.

    He is a career .193 WP and is having one of his best seasons at .227

  8. In what parallel universe does a statistically oriented group recommend maxing a player whose efficiency peaked in 2009-10 and hasn’t come close to that again in 6 seasons, who plays to a ws/48 over 16,000 minutes of .120 and a playoff ws/48 of .043 over 34 games?

    Hmm. How about this. This season Batum is averaging about 16/6.5/5.5 per 36. Total # of wings in the last 20 years to put those numbers up in a season = 3

    Lebron
    Peak Grant Hill
    Batum

    If you do it by possession, add his TS of 55+, and include all positions, there are only 9 players on that list, 1 of whom is Batum, and 7 of the other 8 will be in the hall of fame:

    Batum
    Lebron
    Grant Hill
    Kevin Garnett
    Paul Pierce
    Blake Griffin
    Scottie Pippen
    Russell Westbrook
    Steve Francis

    Is he a “max player” in the Lebron/Durant sense? No, but he’s undeniably a really really good player, who will really help any team he’s on, happens to play a position of need for us, and who will undeniably get $$$$$ this offseason. We have the luxury of already having a max-ish player in Melo and one that will be a ridiculously underpaid star in KP.

    Meanwhile, regarding last night’s stinker– 2nd leg of a back to back, 4th game in 6 nights, no Melo. Understandable. For Pete’s sake GS lost to Denver last night because Draymond was out. Happens. Would’ve been nice to get the W.

    Lance was hot garbage last night. Wow was he terrible. He was only credited with 1 TO but it sure seemed he had about 4. And KP looked like he had no legs at all. Every 3 he put up was short, and he didn’t seem quite so bouncy on the defensive end either.

  9. My biggest concern with Batum are TOs. He commits quite a lot. In everything else, he seems a fine and versatile player; young and has not had sever injuries in his career. He is not the best player out there, but he would be a fine way to allocate the money.

    Other FA targets seem unlikely (Durant), not a very good fit (Gasol) or risky (Eric Gordon).

  10. I’ve been saying 1) go get Batum, and 2) you’ll 100% have to max him.

    The statistical argument and the qualitative assessment match up. Frank makes part of the statistical argument above (18) and it also makes sense in terms of team needs and the current premium on players who can defend multiple positions and shoot the three. It’s a shame you’ll have to overpay him, but the economics of the league say that’s the deal.

    I wouldn’t be upset if the Knicks decided that he’s too rich for their blood. That’s a big contract for a guy who will never be All-NBA, but…he’d be perfect on this team. An international guy, shoots the 3, assists at a wonderful rate from a swing position, plays both SG and SF, long defensively, etc….

    Plus, he’ll punch you in the balls if you piss him off.

  11. one silver lining is that it possibly lowers the Celt’s pick…

    I had this wonderful thought last night: I hope Porzingis’ success changes the narrative about european players and with the #3 pick the Celtics take the next Andrea Bargnani. That would be swell.

  12. That was a pretty bad night to be a Knicks fan. But we move on.

    Why can’t we go with Grant and Galloway to close out games instead of Calderon? He’s mostly playing off the ball in 4th quarters now anyway.

    I can’t keep watching opposing guards get into the paint late in close games like no one is guarding them.

  13. I should point out it was an even worse night for the Giants, who I think are in the middle of a 2001-2010 NY Knicks stretch that hasn’t come close to its nadir because they had Eli & Coughlin to prop up Isiah Reese. Shit’s about to get ugly over there.

    Seriously, what are the odds that firing the smartest, best, most successful football person in your organization and keeping everyone else will look smart in two years? Is it as high as 1%?

    But I digress.

  14. preface: I completely expect him to take charlotte’s inevitable 5 year max. but if he don’t…

    That’s a big contract for a guy who will never be All-NBA, but…he’d be perfect on this team.

    I understand it NYK chooses not to. Some guys are good/great and can perform at higher levels in systems tailored to them (andre Drummond this yr vs last yr, Dwight in his various scenarios, Dray Green in GS, Demar with Lowry and stretch forwards, Kyrie when he plays as a 2 with another de-facto pg, Danny Green on the Spurs, Melo in the Triangle, Elfrid playing with space instead of next to Oladipo, Reggie Jackson with shooters and a roll man, Tyson in a 4 out PnR Dive system, etc etc etc)

    This would absolutely be the ideal combination of system (triangle) and usage (2nd/3rd option) for Batum, and I have 0 doubt that he’d have the best seasons of his career here given his age, the system, and context. So if you’re going to overpay a non SUPERMAX (bron, KD, etc etc) guy — which reasonable people could say you shouldn’t, but reasonable people can say you should — makes sense to do it on a guy who will be optimized here + fits a need.

  15. Great post in #18, Frank. Batum is having a great season, and would be unbelievable value in NY, especially given the other names that will be getting max deals (but, c’mon, Steve Francis ain’t going to the Hall??)

  16. All told, Melo + KP + Batum earning $54mm in an $89mm cap (which is expected to rise to $108mm the following year) is really fair. That’s 60% of your salary cap on your three best players in year 1, 50% in year 2. That’s San Antonio-esque cap positioning.

    With Lopez, Hernangomez, Calderon, Grant, Galloway, and Lance Thomas’ cap hold, that’s a total of $80mm on 9 players, leaving us $9mm and the room exception to use to add another piece or two.

    With the cap increase in year 2 combined with Calderon coming off the books, we could be looking at another $20-25 million in cap space the summer of 2017.

    So it’s not like maxing Batum would limit our flexibility. If he is the perfect fit, we should get him.

  17. I’m tentatively on the “max Batum” wagon assuming there’s no buy low value plays this offseason, which here almost certainly will not be. I like Bazemore too though

  18. With Lopez, Hernangomez, Calderon, Grant, Galloway, and Lance Thomas’ cap hold, that’s a total of $80mm on 9 players, leaving us $9mm and the room exception to use to add another piece or two.

    You need another $1 million for cap holds for minimum players, so it’s more like $8 million. Plus, and here’s the interesting question, can you use the room exception in a year you exceed the cap to re-sign a guy to an Early Bird Rights contract? I really don’t know.

    EDITED TO ADD: Okay, I’ve confirmed that yes, you can use the cap hold to get to the cap, then use the room exception and then exceed the cap to re-sign the guy whose cap hold you just used. I believe Thomas’ cap hold is higher, though, then you’re figuring, which could be an issue. I believe it is 150% of his current salary, which is $1.6 million. So it’d be something like a $2.4 million cap hold.

    With the cap increase in year 2 combined with Calderon coming off the books, we could be looking at another $20-25 million in cap space the summer of 2017.

    However, you might have an additional $10 million in salary committed to Galloway and Thomas.

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