Recap: Knicks 102, Hornets 94

Part of me was inclined to begin this recap by discussing the Knicks excellent ball movement this evening (61.1% of their FG were assisted, Melo had 5+ assists for the third time this season, and four others had 3+). Another wanted to point out how efficient the team was, hitting 10 of 20 from deep and 20 of 21 from the line – which would build upon the first point, as their extra passes generated open looks from the perimeter, and caused the Hornets defense to collapse. And I even thought about leading off with Kevin Seraphin putting together another gem off of the bench, as he had 10 points, 5 boards, 4 assists, and 2 blocks in 21 minutes.

All of that would feel a bit silly, though. Why? Because it’s time.

It’s time?

It’s Kristaps time!

Porzingis had the best offensive game of his short career, if not the best all-around game to date. It’s easy to see that by checking the box score, as the luscious Latvian scored 29 points, going 10 of 17 from the floor (2/2 from 3) and hitting all seven of his free throw attempts … but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Porzingis showed flashes of pure dominance on the floor, from the rim to beyond the arc. He bullied Zeller and Jefferson in the post (at one point breaking out a wonderful dream shake) and moved incredibly well without the ball to get open, and his beautiful, high arcing shot finally found its groove. Porzingis also bailed out his teammates a couple of times by corralling errant passes. For at least one night, we saw a glimpse of his offensive potential – and it was glorious.

Defensively, Porzingis held his own against the bullish Jefferson, and the elbow-y duo of Zeller and Hawes (and only fouling twice along the way). He was beat off of the dribble a couple of times by Walker and Lin, but that was an issue with the team as a whole, and Porzingis hustled his backside off to help out on the perimeter.

It was difficult to get a read on this Knicks defense, as the team was quite content to give the Hornets space to shoot anywhere from 15 feet out and beyond. It worked out in the end, as they clunked plenty of open jumpers and seemed more and more hesitant to cut to the basket as the game wore on. That being said, the Hornets are not the poor-shooting club that we’ve grown accustomed to (they’re league-average or better on all jump shots), and we saw them take advantage of the space in the second and third quarters. The Knicks countered a bit by closing out better, but they largely focused on holding onto the ball and creating better shots on offense, thereby mitigating the Hornets chances overall. And turning the ball over only once in the second-half helped, too.

Overall, the takeaways from the game are all but completely positive. Afflalo continues to look more comfortable and played well, Galloway’s still draining 3s, and the team made the most of their takeaways, scoring 12 points on 7 turnovers. I would have liked to see Grant play more minutes, but Calderon made some good passes and drained a couple of 3s, and the offense seems to flow better with him on the floor. Melo was 6 of 18 from the floor, but he shared the ball, bailed out the offense on a couple of possessions, and flew around the floor for loose balls (and at this point everyone has to have noticed how much happier he seems this year). Walker got wherever he wanted, running circles around everyone, but I can’t fault the team for challenging him to shoot – he’s a career 39.5% shooter from the field, and 31.8% from three, after all. The Knicks had some tremendous individual efforts, and (cliche alert) played solid team basketball.

Hell, I even dug the Knicks throwbacks jerseys – and I generally cannot stand third (or fourth or fifth) jerseys. It was just that kind of night.

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246 thoughts to “Recap: Knicks 102, Hornets 94”

  1. Fish’s coaching and Phil’s recruiting may be the 2 things which stand in the way of a budding dynasty. If performances like last night by KP become routine and Galloway leads the league in 3FG%, no reason we shouldn’t end up with 2 of Durant, Whiteside, Conley and net a first-round pick for Lopez. But Phil needs to ditch the laptop and Triangle mumbo jumbo. And Fish’s real utility at this stage is his Durant relationship. Here’s how I envision a Jax/Fish/Durant meeting this summer:

    Phil opens: Hi Kevin I’d like to make a brief opening statement and then turn it over to Derek. Jax never utters a word after that. Instead, he takes out a bag of his chip rings and dumps them on the table. He proceeds to arrange them to spell KP. He then makes a slight rearrangement to spell KD. And one final rearrangement in the shape of the Larry O’Brien trophy. Derek, take it from here.

    Postscript: Derek is a better recruiter than Phil and Phil is a better coach than Derek. Once the ink of KD’s signature is dry on the contract, Phil announces he’s taking over as head coach.

  2. Fish’s coaching and Phil’s recruiting may be the 2 things which stand in the way of a budding dynasty.

    A .500 dynasty? Sure.

    Let’s get real, guys. Porzingis is a huge ray of light at the end of this 20-something-year tunnel of darkness. Galloway is playing beyond his means (see the pun there? lol). And then, there is not much more to go on.

    So, how can we honestly say that Fisher is “preventing” the team from going higher? If anything, I’d say his coaching is delivering a hard-playing team that performs much better than most people anticipated. I may have to update my projected 30 wins to something like 35…lol…

    Once again, I’m not defending Fisher. He may very well turn out to be a terrible coach. But so far, this season, his moves, weird as they may appear, are working.

    Maybe Porzingis and Galloway are the reason we can’t see how flawed the roster truly is or how bad Fisher is as a coach. But it does seem pretty unfair to harshly criticize Fisher at this moment. And does seem a bit premature and silly to talk about a one-prospect dynasty.

    That said, Porzingis has me drinking the superstar koolaid. Even if he ultimately flops (worst case scenario), this is the Linsanity feeling coming back to New York. Let’s enjoy it and hope it lasts for the next 15 years!

  3. First of all – Durant, Whiteside, and Conley are all going to get maxed out, so the idea we could get two of them is fantasy since the starting max will probably be around 25MM for Durant and Conley and 21MM for Whiteside.

    Second – I love the ball movement we’re seeing on offense right now and how hard the team is playing. This is at least in small part due to the players (and personalities) Phil has brought in, as well as the fact that the Triangle makes a true effort to get everyone involved. Whether you’re a Triangle fan or not (I’m on the fence), you could never imagine a player on a Triangle team making this kind of statement:

    Ben McLemore, spoke up. He said he was frustrated with his role, and he didn’t even know what his role was. Teammates responded: “Your role is to make 3-pointers and defend. That’s everyone’s role on this team except DeMarcus and Rajon.”

    So I don’t think I’d be so quick to dismiss Phil Jackson at this point. Honestly he is looking pretty darn smart right now.

    That said – I would not be totally against a Lopez trade to get some backcourt help or a 1st round pick.
    Between Seraphin, Amundson, and KOQ we have serviceable people at the 5, and if Hernangomez is for real, we may have yet another option there next year.

  4. Derrick Fisher is not an all around bad coach. His Xs and Os are good and the team always plays hard. The substitutions, however, make very little sense so far this season. Amundson over O’Quinn and giving Vujacic novelty minutes doesn’t make sense to me, but going away from Lopez early in the last two games did make sense considering his recent play. I also hated taking Porzingis out at the end for Seraphin. I honestly can’t see Fisher’s keeping this up for long, though. If he gets his rotations together, I think he’ll be a good coach.

  5. Speaking of coaches and coaching, the Golden State Warriors situation (with Steve Kerr leading via remote control) offers an interesting topic of conversation: how much is the coach actually influencing the team’s play?

    The way this group performs under Curry’s magic shot, it feels like even Isiah Thomas with Anusha Brown, Stehpon Marbury and The Intern working as assistant coaches, would be good enough for the job.

  6. It is ordained CNB. How do I know? Because Patrick Ewing and Willis Reed were at last night’s game! The torch has been conveyed. And yesterday BobNeptune, historic bellweather of negativism on this site, was posting like a giddy girl at a Beatles’ concert. It’s time for you and Jowles to climb aboard this train or you’ll both be flattened by it like cheap pennies.

  7. So I don’t think I’d be so quick to dismiss Phil Jackson at this point. Honestly he is looking pretty darn smart right now.

    Actually, with the team being practically capped out and Porzingis on board as a purely, totally, completely and unexpectedly good ACCIDENTAL pick, Phil Jackson can’t be given much credit for the little progress we see (we are playing great… .500 ball!).

    He is looking pretty darn lucky right now.

  8. It is ordained CNB. How do I know? Because Patrick Ewing and Willis Reed were at last night’s game! The torch has been conveyed. And yesterday BobNeptune, historic bellweather of negativism on this site, was posting like a giddy girl at a Beatles’ concert. It’s time for you and Jowles to climb aboard this train or you’ll both be flattened by it like cheap pennies.

    I hope you’re right, Master! We need to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. No love on this board for the Fisher-King…yet. I’ll give it till mid-season, and we will be talking about how good he is doing. I, for one, can already see glimpses of a good coach this season. Just look at how hard everyone is playing, and how good the chemistry looks. Time will tell.

  10. Durant, Whiteside, and Conley are all going to get maxed out, so the idea we could get two of them is fantasy since the starting max will probably be around 25MM for Durant and Conley and 21MM for Whiteside.

    Depends on the league cap and the individual maxes. Isn’t Whiteside’s max the same as Monroe, about 16m? Maybe Brian knows the maxes for each player.

    He is looking pretty darn lucky right now.

    Phil’s hiring of Gaines was key and his first choice for coach was Kerr. Not bad. An executive gets credit for the people he hires.

  11. Phil’s hiring of Gaines was key and his first choice for coach was Kerr. Not bad. An executive gets credit for the people he hires.

    Does he get “negative credit” for his second choice for coach? According to you, Fisher is pretty bad.

    Does he get “negative credit” for the Calderon contract, the Melo negotiations, 3-years of rebuilding resulting in a capped-out team playing “out of its mind .500 ball” without a clear path to further improvement?

    Does he get “negative credit” for the Derrick Williams contract?

    We could go on and on…

    In a perfect world, we would look at the whole picture…and it’s not a pretty good one.

    Where do we go from here? (because at some point, we won’t be happy with 30-40 wins, right?)

  12. Actually, with the team being practically capped out and Porzingis on board as a purely, totally, completely and unexpectedly good ACCIDENTAL pick, Phil Jackson can’t be given much credit for the little progress we see (we are playing great… .500 ball!).

    Assuming no trades and that the cap rises as much as predicted, I believe we will have 19-20MM in cap space this summer.

    Porzingis was not an accidental pick. It is entirely possible that if we had picks 2 or 3 that Phil would have taken Porzingis anyway – by all accounts he has a ton of faith in Clarence Gaines, who apparently was saying he would have taken Porzingis #1. And Phil took a big chance on drafting Porzingis — would have been much “safer” to pick WCS, Winslow, or Mudiay. So to say Phil was lucky is, well, just wrong.

    The 3 most important players on the team right now are Melo, Galloway, and Porzingis. Each one was a conscious choice by Phil and his staff. Not luck.

    You can kill him all you want for the Tyson trade, which looks awful-er by the minute. But if you’re going to do that, you should give him credit for good moves as well.

  13. Hassan Whiteside is an interesting case to watch because Miami is believed to be looking to sign Durant this off season. If we act fast enough we could be able to grab up Whiteside (who anchors the NBA’s #1 defense and has the best DRtg in the league) and terrorize teams with Porzingis and Whiteside as our big men in the triangle. Miami is really good, though, so getting Whiteside to leave Dragic, Wade, Winslow, and Bosh would be a tough sell.

    I’d really like to move Calderon and Lopez to Chicago for Derrick Rose this off season if we land one of Whiteside, Horford, and Howard. If Rose sucks, he’s a free agent in 2017 along with Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Steph Curry (who will probably sign the biggest contract in NBA history to stay with Golden State). If he doesn’t suck, you have a starting five of Rose, Galloway, Melo, Porzingis, and Whiteside/Howard/Horford which could possibly win 60+ games.

  14. Porzingis was not an accidental pick.

    Porzingis is purely accidental.

    Phil Jackson had his sights set on the playoffs, but we ended up having a record bad enough for a 4th draft pick (and even that was jeopardized by some last-minute ill-advised wins).

    Can you imagine what the situation would be if Phil had “succeded”? 40 wins last season (with a healthy Melo) and no Porzingis. Pretty, ain’t it?

  15. 3-years of rebuilding resulting in a capped-out team playing “out of its mind .500 ball” without a clear path to further improvement?

    OK – he’s been GM since the all-star break of 13-14. Even with Common Core math that comes out to about 1.5 seasons.

    The team is not capped out. We had 26MM of cap space this past offseason and we have $19MM coming this summer.

    No one is saying the team is playing out of its mind, but yes — everyone is and should be surprised at how well the team is playing. We had a 17 win team last year, and even the most optimistic prognostications predicted maybe mid 30s wins this year. As of now we are .500 playing with essentially a brand new roster that presumably will only get better as they play more together, playing a schedule that has been top 10 in difficulty.

    The clear path to improvement is: Melo “regresses” back to his career numbers, which are much better than his current numbers. Porzingis continues to develop, even beyond the very good player he is already at age 20. Galloway continues to play solidly. Grant improves enough to become a league average starting PG. We sign some more backcourt help this offseason. Hernangomez is decent enough that we might be able to trade some of the front court depth for picks or to fill other areas of need. And we have all our 1st round picks after this draft.

  16. I’d really like to move Calderon and Lopez to Chicago for Derrick Rose this off season if we land one of Whiteside, Horford, and Howard. If Rose sucks, he’s a free agent in 2017 along with Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Steph Curry (who will probably sign the biggest contract in NBA history to stay with Golden State). If he doesn’t suck, you have a starting five of Rose, Galloway, Melo, Porzingis, and Whiteside/Howard/Horford which could possibly win 60+ games.

    How would we go about getting Rose and Whiteside for Calderon and Lopez? That might be a biiiiiiiiiiiiiit hard to accomplish….lol

  17. I thought it was pretty well known that Chicago and Rose were breaking up. Rose wants money, Chicago wants consistency and Rose has been famously struggling. If Noah walks and we make the playoffs, I could see Chicago taking two starters off a playoff team for the expiring Rose contract and headache.

    And FA is how you land a center.

  18. The clear path to improvement is: Melo “regresses” back to his career numbers, which are much better than his current numbers. Porzingis continues to develop, even beyond the very good player he is already at age 20. Galloway continues to play solidly. Grant improves enough to become a league average starting PG. We sign some more backcourt help this offseason. Hernangomez is decent enough that we might be able to trade some of the front court depth for picks or to fill other areas of need. And we have all our 1st round picks after this draft.

    You know what? I’m a rated chess master (for real!) of the garden variety. Pretty strong, but not world-class by any means. I have a very simple and clear path for defeating Magnus Carlsen, the current World Champion (but it would work equally well against any other top player of the past or present):

    1. Play a solid opening and pay great attention to piece development and time.
    2. Take advantage of every little mistake he makes, specially tactical one. I can’t afford any wasted opportunities.
    3. Neutralize all his threats and try to simplify the game into a favorable position where my solid play will result in a lot of pressure for him
    4. Push my passed pawns, supported by my rooks. When he starts defending on the queenside (because i’m threatening to promote my pawns, I will switch my attack to his debilitaded king side).
    5. Once I obtain a material advantage, just regroup, simplify further and win a routine ending.

    It can be done.

    Yeah….

  19. As of now we are .500 playing with essentially a brand new roster that presumably will only get better as they play more together, playing a schedule that has been top 10 in difficulty.

    This is some brilliant homerism. Why won’t the other teams get better, too? Why is it that the Knicks get all the improvement?

  20. I thought it was pretty well known that Chicago and Rose were breaking up. Rose wants money, Chicago wants consistency and Rose has been famously struggling. If Noah walks and we make the playoffs, I could see Chicago taking two starters off a playoff team for the expiring Rose contract and headache.

    And FA is how you land a center.

    And how do Rose and Whiteside actually land on Phil’s lap? Cousins is fighting with Karl – do we get him, too? How?

  21. This is some brilliant homerism. Why won’t the other teams get better, too? Why is it that the Knicks get all the improvement?

    Troll. Troll. Troll. You’re a troll. I hate you!

  22. By the end of the Melo/Stat era this team flat out sucked and had a future as dismal as any NBA team. That Melo/Stat Knicks had a tiny window of opportunity and didn’t do a hell of a lot in that window. There was going to be no way to do a quick rebuild of that team, no way to seamlessly transform the Stat-Bargs-Felton-JR-Shump-Mike Woodson dumpster fire into a winner.

    I would have been in favor of trying to sign-and-trade Melo or even letting him walk, but I have to say this team is looking like it is headed in the right direction for once. They’re doing a rebuild– it may not be a complete tear down, but is rebuild-y enough for me. You can look at this team a couple of years from now and actually have hope that it’s a contender. There are good young players in place and no terrible contracts on the books other than the obviously questionable one, which may even end up working out.

    The attempt to change the culture of the team definitely worked. The Knicks had a plethora of low-IQ, one-way players under the previous regime. Not so anymore. It’s a little early to say this team has turned the corner, but the 2015-2016 Knicks are exceeding my expectations and giving me a reason to watch.

  23. I consider myself a sober person when it comes to the Knicks. On average, you’ll see more negative than positive from me. Even I am on ultra troll alert after reading this thread.

    The Knicks could hardly be better positioned than they are now. There’s still a long path between 35-40 wins (+/- a few) and being a contender, but the team has several young players with upside, another young talent with upside stashed overseas, no terrible unmovable contracts given the new salary structure, and enough of an upside to sell the story to a high quality free agent next year.

    Not every move a team makes is going to be perfect because this is partly a game of probabilities, but generally this a very likeable well positioned young team on the upswing. It’s what we have all been waiting for. We literally may be 1 all star caliber guard and a year of development for the young players away from becoming a serious team.

  24. Last comment on this topic before I move on.

    1) Afflalo and Williams opt out of their contracts giving the Knicks max cap room.
    2) Phil Jackson targets one of Horford, Howard, and Whiteside. He lands one of them.
    3) Chicago trades a struggling Derrick Rose to the Knicks for a deal based around Jose Calderon and Robin Lopez after Gasol and Noah walk in free agency.

    That’s the whole thought process. Calderon and Lopez play their value up on an overachieving Knicks team and Phil flips them for an expiring deal and a chance at a productive Derrick Rose. It has nothing to do with what moves we make in free agency.

  25. You know what? I’m a rated chess ….(wall of gibberish)

    Heh, a transparent attempt to ingratiate yourself with noted chess aficionado Kurylo so he won’t ban you again. Zugzwang!

  26. Derrick Rose to NY would be foolish. To begin with, he looks like he may be “done” as a top player even if he doesn’t get injured again. He was all athlete and he’s not the same. Plus, he needs the ball in his hands. The chances Phil makes that move are .00001%. If we are going to move any players, we can make a move other than Rose and get something back we know will have value.

  27. Heh, a transparent attempt to ingratiate yourself with noted chess aficionado Kurylo so he won’t ban you again. Zugzwang!

    But i’m a real master…lol…instant ingratiation…[I am an idiot who needs attention. No one loves me, because I’m a shitty human being.]

  28. It’s been a very long time since Derrick Rose was any good. He got hurt halfway through his age 23 season and has never been any good since. In the 3+ seasons since the injury he has played 71 games, and has had a .478 TS% and a .022 WS48. I don’t think I’d even want him around as an expiring contract.

  29. Ya’ll need to start thinking like Riley circa 2010 in terms of our cap. Melo/Zinger/Grant/KOQ + Galloway’s cap hold + empty roster spots cap holds = 40m. The league cap is projected to be minimum of 80m. That leaves a minimum of 40m plus the room exception. That may be enough to sign 2 marquee free agents and that should be Phil’s plan. There is a huge drop-off in talent after KD, Whiteside, and Conley.

    EC versus Western Conference has gotta be appealing to KD. Chicago, Miami, and Atlanta are aging teams. And is KD sure Westbrook and Ibaka will re-sign in 2017? And who wants to live in OKC? OK maybe it’s better than Salt Lake City, but nah. The table is set – think big Phil!

  30. 1) Afflalo and Williams opt out of their contracts giving the Knicks max cap room.
    2) Phil Jackson targets one of Horford, Howard, and Whiteside. He lands one of them.
    3) Chicago trades a struggling Derrick Rose to the Knicks for a deal based around Jose Calderon and Robin Lopez after Gasol and Noah walk in free agency.

    4. Taliban Leader gets Presidential Candidate nomination from the Republican Party.

    No chance in hell for numbers 1 through 4, with #4 having a higher probability of entering our fractured reality.

  31. The whole point of getting Derrick Rose is primarily for his expiring deal, honestly. I’d like to have as much cap space as possible heading into the 2017 off season where all three of Steph Curry, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook are free agents, but I can see why people would not want Derrick Rose even as an expiring deal. A pouting superstar can be toxic in a locker room.

  32. And yesterday BobNeptune, historic bellweather of negativism on this site, was posting like a giddy girl at a Beatles’ concert.

    Bobneptune is objective as a person and that includes analysis of hoops for my favorite team. My “negativism” started when I was one of the few that screamed Tony Douglas wasn’t the answer.

    I am hater of Cole Aldrich as a basketball player because he sucks as now his 5th organization has seen he sucks and has him glued to the bench. He has played a total of 14 minutes on a team with ONE center on the roster.

    I am giddy because with all the gnashing of teeth that Jackson isn’t a “stat geek” I was fairly certain that after being wet nursed by Red Holtzman (a great scout as well as coach) and luckboxing into a bushel or rings, he might know a little something about basketball.

    He had the foresight to pick Zinger that wasn’t an easy pick even at 4. He traded for and picked Grant, who is certainly outperforming R’A Russell and Mudiay and at the very least is a value at the slot he was chosen. He discovered Galloway off the scrap heap. He grabbed Willy HG for a song.

    Of course I’m giddy Zinger has a HOF skillset and more importantly the drive to get there. He has the want to thing down pat.

    The most amazing thing with zinger is the transformation and improvement in the 4 months since the summer league….

  33. I just hope today isn’t Peakzingis…..

    I haven’t felt this good about being a Knicks fan since 10 seconds before Charles Smith…

  34. a few have said it already…

    i dont care who’s a free agent AFTER this season… lets just enjoy a team that can win some games at a ‘regular’ clip… GOD FORBID, but any one of these free agents could have ‘career enders’, or ‘severe limiters’… same can be said for our guys…

    looking forward to Friday… if our bigs step up and play some great help D when westbrook gets in the paint, other guys close out with their own bit of feline quickness… and maybe we get a W

  35. I didn’t see the game but just checked the box score and saw that Derrick Williams was -15 in 6 minutes. Is that a random coincidence? Did Charlotte just happen to get hot from 3 while he was in there?

  36. Phil Jackson had his sights set on the playoffs, but we ended up having a record bad enough for a 4th draft pick (and even that was jeopardized by some last-minute ill-advised wins).

    The hallmark of excellence in the executive suite is being flexible in your thinking. Jackson’s first move was to get Chandler out who had laid down here before. He knew that’s what he wanted to do. Change the culture. He thought a team with Melo, JR, Shump, Calderon, etc would work. Once Calderon and Melo went down, he pivoted, rather trying to quick fix it trading more picks for vets and broke it down securing a high draft pick.

    The rest is history.

  37. I think CNB has improved a lot as a poster and I don’t think it’s fair to call him a troll. Sure, he’s less sanguine about the Knicks prospects than some of us here, and I find him a tinge uncharitable, but he himself posted at the beginning of this thread about how happy he was that the Knicks are playing .500 ball. That’s something we can all get behind, however much we disagree on the past or future or personnel.

    We shouldn’t trade for D-Rose even with the 2017 cap relief (doesn’t calderons contract expire the same year?) The 2016 FA class is definitely no world beater past KD Conley Horford and Whiteside (and to a lesser extent Batum), but there’s a few underrated, under the radar players like Tyler Hansbrough and Kent Bazemore who we can snatch on the cheap. It’s worth keeping cap flexibility and if we really need that cap we can stretch Calderon if his contract doesn’t expire–along with Looez being a relatively moveable asset, our cap situation looks fairly rosy (hahaha)

  38. The Knicks could hardly be better positioned than they are now.

    Let’s not get carried away. For one thing, we’re about to forfeit a draft pick that will either be in the lottery or very close to it. And I don’t think we have our second round pick for the rest of eternity.

    What we do have, for the first time in a long time, is simply a glimmer of hope combined with the confidence that our management isn’t likely to extinguish that hope by doing something profoundly stupid. That’s reason enough to celebrate.

    For me, I’d rather not channel Pat Riley circa 2010 and try to team up Zinger and Melo with the best free agents on the market. I just don’t see those two forming the cornerstone of a contender in the next 2-3 years. By the time Zinger matures, I don’t expect Melo to be Melo. And even peak Melo might not be the ideal complement for Zinger.

    Depending on how things play out this summer, I think the smarter move is to trade Melo for draft picks and younger players that fit into a longer time horizon. I don’t think Boston wants Carmelo Anthony, but I’d love to use him to acquire the pieces necessary to pry Brooklyn’s draft pick from them in a 3 way trade. Get a second young stud in here to pair with Zinger, and start building long term. That’s what I’d like to see.

  39. If Fish is hell-bent on discrete 1st and 2nd units, he needs to go back to a second unit of Grant/Galloway/KOQ/DWill/ and revolving door of Seraphin/Lance. The Grant/KOQ PnR was working well and set up open 3s for DWill. Fish needs to stop being jealous of KOQ’s beard and put him back in there.

  40. Trade talk! Trade talk! How about we just enjoy the fact that for one of the few times in the last decade or so, in some cases perhaps people’s entire time as fans, this team something to feel optimistic about. Porzingis has a real unique skillset, moves down low, three ball, passable mid range jump shot and the ability to pluck rebounds over the heads of other players like a teenager playing ball with his kid brother. Enjoy.
    Rose to me is Steve Francis 2.0.

  41. We wouldn’t have Godzingis if we had kept Chandler. So I agree, getting rid of him was pretty key. But mostly, I think what I sense is a lack of Jim Dolan in the gears….

    I would vote we save all internecine squabbles for when the Knicks are back under 500%.

  42. The second unit should absolutely be Grant/Galloway/Williams/Seraphin(or Thomas)/O’Quinn. Giving Amundson minutes over O’Quinn just pisses off Marvin Williams.

  43. Everyone keeps talking like the knicks are capped out with the cap increase and extension clause judiciously used on calderon well have enough for two mega Max’s plus current roster. I’m a believer in fishers KD mind magic and given he’s injured again, I expect okay to let him go and build Around the second best pg in the nba

  44. I didn’t see the game but just checked the box score and saw that Derrick Williams was -15 in 6 minutes. Is that a random coincidence? Did Charlotte just happen to get hot from 3 while he was in there?

    Sadly, its not. The Knicks are worse defensively and offensively when he’s on the floor according to his season on/off numbers. Overall, the team is -8.3 points per 100 possessions when Williams is on the court as opposed to when he’s on the bench.

  45. 2016 Free Agency seems pretty good, I would think. Whiteside, KD, D12, Horford, Conley, Batum, and DeRozan will probably all hit the market this summer. Not a bad crop of top talent

  46. @CNN Clarence Gaines told Phil kristaps was to be selected 1st overall, NM 4th. He was their guy all along. Other teams dreamed on his shot and length but Gaines was overseas watching him, the knicks better on his motor, his heart and his quiet confidence. So Phil gets full marks for kp, who was a very unpopular pick draft night, if he was worried about appeasing the fans wed have Mudiay’s the turnover machine right now

  47. To all fisher haters, his first time with a rostet with more than one legit nba player here and the offense and defense have improved dramatically. He’s still working out rotations, but this team will have our best record since the 54 win season. Give the man his due they’re in every game and winning their share while developing youth and chemistry

  48. McHale just got the axe. I’m not sure it’s his fault that James Harden spent the offseason partying, but they needed to try to change something in Houston.

  49. Nice recap, Dominic.

    I was at the Garden last night. One thing that may not have come across on TV was how much the Hornets started to tilt their defense to Porzingis in the fourth quarter. All of a sudden, Carmelo Anthony was getting true one-on-one coverage. If that continues, Carmelo’s numbers will improve (see THCJ, I gave an actual evidence-based reason to expect Carmelo to play better in the future beyond the fact that he will be further away from his surgery) :)

    At the start of the season, I predicted that the Knicks would win 38 games and get the 8th spot. I also thought that they could make it to New Year’s Day at .500. I see no reason to adjust those predictions in either direction.

    January, February and March are going to be a tough schedule. I expect that the Knicks will enter April at around 32 wins. But their final stretch will be filled with winnable games. The final six are Brooklyn (home), Indiana (home), Charlotte (home), at Philadelphia, Toronto (home) and at Indiana. There are no back to backs. I expect that the two games against Indiana will decide the last playoff spot.

    The 2015-16 Knicks – a team I can give a damn about (h/t to whoever coined this last month).

  50. Oh and if any other team had the knicks off season espn would be blowing them for judicious use of the cap, value contacts (oaq and dwill and rolo) and stealing the best player in the draft at 4

  51. @ephus, great point, if k pops draws doubles and melo gets one on one coverage all of a sudden the knicks win 40 as is

  52. The schedule for the rest of the month is not exactly littered with easy wins (@OKC, @HOU, @MIA, @ORL, MIA, HOU), so maybe y’all should wait until December to plan out our offseason? This board will be in hysterical freak out mode if we lose our next two games

  53. Rookie Alert

    Man, Jalil Okafor has to be the most overrated rookie on the floor right now. I was surprised to see that the 76ers team defense (-17.2 points surrendered per 100 possessions) and team offense (+8.5 points scored per 100 possessions) is superior without him. Sixers are giving up 113.2 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor and 96.4 points per 100 possessions when he’s off the court.

    And what’s worse is that his negative influence on both ends of the court are supported by his crappy peripheral numbers across the board. Sixers have a worse defensive and offensive rebounding percentage, steal percentage, block shot percentage, FG percentage, turnover percentage, and assist percentage when he’s on the floor. There’s actually not one thing that they do better when he’s playing. Not one.

  54. I’m sorry but if you woke up today and you aren’t optimistic about The Knicks then you aren’t really a fan of The Knicks.

    We have a potential franchise changing player on our team who is 20 years old. 7’3″, can shoot, run, athletic, good at defense, can rebound and is smart. And he’s all ours. We have a perennial all star to pair with him who is still in his prime. We have young players with Grant, Galloway, Quinn, Williams, Early who all have room to grow and improve. We have Zinger’s teammate coming over next season. And all of our contracts are traceable. And we have the cap rising next summer. Even without adding players we have much room to improve as a team. Phil will have flexibility to make trades this off season and possibly sign another good FA to add to this core. If you can’t see that then you are either willfully obtuse or you are not a Knicks fan. Its time to accept the reality. Phil has changed the franchise and we are moving in the right direction. I know many fans haven’t gotten comfortable with being negative and have grown to maybe even relish in the dark cloud that has hung over this franchise. But those days are over. Its time to be hopeful fans again. Its time to get on the bandwagon.

  55. I’d still take Towns first. But KP is looking pretty good.

    I agree. Towns has been spectacular. This might end up being what Oden-Durant was supposed to be.

  56. Depending on how things play out this summer, I think the smarter move is to trade Melo for draft picks and younger players that fit into a longer time horizon. I don’t think Boston wants Carmelo Anthony, but I’d love to use him to acquire the pieces necessary to pry Brooklyn’s draft pick from them in a 3 way trade. Get a second young stud in here to pair with Zinger, and start building long term. That’s what I’d like to see.

    Yeah, I’m down with that. The best thing about the Knicks now is not them necessarily winning games (although obviously wins are a lot of fun) but watching Zinger, Grant and Galloway develop. And they’re just on different career paths than Melo. If you swapped Melo for someone good the same age as those guys, you could be building a future dynasty.

  57. At the start of the season, I predicted that the Knicks would win 38 games and get the 8th spot. I also thought that they could make it to New Year’s Day at .500. I see no reason to adjust those predictions in either direction.

    But 38 wins doesn’t look like it will get the 8th spot right now, so if you’re not moving off of the 38 wins part, shouldn’t you move off of the 8th seed part?

  58. After last night, by the way, the Knicks are back down to 16th in the NBA in strength of schedule. Charlotte and Detroit are tied for third, Washington is eighth and Indiana is #1. In other words, the East is surprisingly tough this year so far.

  59. @swiftandabundant

    Perfectly put. Totally agree. Guillermo Hernangómez could mitigate our loss of a first round draft choice in the next draft if he continues to develop.

  60. I’m sorry but if you woke up today and you aren’t optimistic about The Knicks then you aren’t really a fan of The Knicks.

    I think everyone is optimistic. Not only does Zinger seem like the real deal, but like Owen pointed out, the scent of Dolan seems absent. This is the brightest our outlook has been in the 21st century.

    I would caution against imagining all the free agent scenarios, though, and pairing Porzingis in your mind with Melo and a free agent or two. The truth is there is no max free agent other than LeBron who you could add to this core and expect to win a title withing the next two years, so let’s not get carried away.

    I love Zinger, I’m just not sold on Zinger, Melo, and a few other pieces being a championship core and I really don’t like all the talk of trying to build a contender overnight. I’d rather try to surround Zinger with players that fit his long time horizon than try to work around the tight, overlapping horizon of him and Melo.

    If I’m going to imagine a wild scenario, it’s not going to be teaming up Zinger, Durant, and Melo (seriously, that sounds awesome but does anyone think that team would play enough defense to win a title?), it’s going to be buying low on D’Angelo Russell and maybe getting him and Randle in a Melo deal from a stupid Lakers team. That’s kind of where I think our mindset should be.

  61. And sorry but I don’t want to trade Melo. He wants to be here and always have been. He suffered through 2 really bad seasons and didn’t once ask out. And personally I think he’s a pretty good basketball player. People here focus so much on the value of a contract and advanced stats that they lose focus on other elements of a player. Melo is a veteran. He can be a mentor for Zinger. Imagine if Melo can teach Zinger all of his offensive moves. Imagine Zinger having those moves, that footwork, etc. Even as Melo declines he can be a valuable player on this team. Can we just drop the hate on this guy? He is not some selfish loser who chucks the ball. He’s a fucking awesome basketball player and he wants to play for The Knicks. Him and Zinger can make a formidable one two punch the next few years.

    I think for whatever reason some people resent him for forcing a trade here and blowing up the STAT lead team. But STAT would have broken down and then where would we have been. Wilson Chandler and Gallo are just so so players. Fields was a flash in the pan. No one else from that team has done jack shit since they left the knicks. Give up the ghost. Melo didn’t ruin that team. If anything he saved us and gave us a 54 win season without any help from our other superstar at the time. I loved STAT when he came here but Melo was and is a much better player. Melo deserves to be here.

  62. The Porzingis performance was really exciting and big time, and I’m so on the KPZ Express Hype Train, but to me, the story of the game was Melo’s team play. He was finding teammates all night long, creating for others not just out of the post but off the dribble, which I consider one of his biggest flaws.

    Being the negative Nancy that I am, I can’t help but point out that even with excellent execution and great shooting from distance and the line, the Knicks still nearly lost at home to a mediocre team that only shot 25% from three despite a lot of those shots being open.

    Nevertheless, the Knicks offense is fun to watch, and whether or not they stay in the playoff race, they are still the most fun team to watch since I can remember… Maybe since Camby left? The 12/13 team was fun too, but its offense was a lot more predictable.

  63. Once Calderon and Melo went down, he pivoted, rather trying to quick fix it trading more picks for vets and broke it down securing a high draft pick.

    The rest is history.

    The rest seems like re-written history.

    Once Melo and Calderon went down, he had no choice but to lose and lose and lose, but even then the team squeezed a few ill-advised wins at the end.

    The pick was not by choice, the rebuild was not by choice. The goal was the playoffs. The goal was a healthy Melo and a still sucky Calderon taking us to 40 wins, the playoffs and no Porzingis. That was a bad plan.

    The goal was the current team without Porzingis – think about that.

    Does a man get credit for trying to start a business selling ties in the Amazon jungle but predictably fails and finds a winning lotto ticket on his way back home?

  64. This is some brilliant homerism. Why won’t the other teams get better, too? Why is it that the Knicks get all the improvement?

    Because the other teams didn’t replace their entire roster in one offseason and have to teach a new offense to essentially the whole team.

  65. @swiftandabundant, yeah some people ask for Melo to be traded based on his style of play, and yeah, there’s probably resentment towards him for getting D’Antoni fired. I know I felt resentment back then. But there’s a simple rationale for trading Melo — he would have to be one of the most durable SFs of all time (2nd perhaps only to Pierce) to still be a highly productive player when Porzingis enters his prime. Why risk ruining Porzingis’s early prime when the odds of Melo being anything more than acceptable at his salary come 17/18 and 18/19 are virtually nil? The risk/reward of keeping Melo is tilted dramatically in favor of the risk side of the scale.

  66. Does a man get credit for trying to start a business selling ties in the Amazon jungle but predictably fails and finds a winning lotto ticket on his way back home?

    Isiah, Billy Hunter, and other such GMs would have mortgaged everything they owned and borrowed money from loan sharks to try and double down on their business of selling ties in the Amazon. A smart person looked up and said “Hey, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea” and turned around and went home.

  67. Is there evidence that teams with a lot of roster turnover improve as the season goes on? I wouldn’t be surprised if there were, but it would be interesting to see if it actually existed and how significant it was. I imagine it’s not easy to do-you’d think teams with stable rosters would win more because teams that already have good players are less likely to see significant turnover.

  68. Galloway and Porzingis are this team’s core if/when we become a powerhouse IMO. Grant and O’Quinn are keepers, and if Seraphin can keep playing like Boris Diaw then he’s a keeper, too. Add in Melo and you get a fringe playoff team. To me, the Knicks are two great guys away from a championship. If you can add a Hassan Whiteside level talent, you could be really close to a title if Porzingis is the guy we saw last night over an 82 game season.

    I think Whiteside, last night’s Porzingis, Melo and this season’s Galloway could win a championship in Fisher’s triangle offense.

  69. For those of you who like stats, the Knicks have allocated 46% of their minutes to guys who were here last year, which is tied with Sacto for the lowest amount in the NBA this season.

  70. Isiah, Billy Hunter, and other such GMs would have mortgaged everything they owned and borrowed money from loan sharks to try and double down on their business of selling ties in the Amazon. A smart person looked up and said “Hey, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea” and turned around and went home.

    Isiah, Hunter et al would be much worse than him. True. Still no credit for being ‘less bad’ than the absolute worst.

  71. And sorry but I don’t want to trade Melo. He wants to be here and always have been. He suffered through 2 really bad seasons and didn’t once ask out. And personally I think he’s a pretty good basketball player. People here focus so much on the value of a contract and advanced stats that they lose focus on other elements of a player. Melo is a veteran. He can be a mentor for Zinger. Imagine if Melo can teach Zinger all of his offensive moves. Imagine Zinger having those moves, that footwork, etc. Even as Melo declines he can be a valuable player on this team. Can we just drop the hate on this guy?

    It’s very possible most people don’t actually “hate” Melo (I know I don’t). They just think the team can benefit from getting rid of him.

    “Hate” can be a silly, childish word in a debate context.

  72. McHale being fired worries me about the games with Houston. Teams tend to suddenly put in more effort when they get a new coach, so we might not get the typical Houston of the last few weeks. On the other hand, it could be that the chemistry in the Houston locker room is gone since last year. I’m not a big fan of Josh Smith, but he got along with Howard, played his role well and played defense. Now they have Lawson in the locker room instead of him, and he’s a player his previous team really didn’t want. Maybe there is something about him that isn’t helping team chemistry.

  73. @Frank & @CNB – we don’t really have a point of comparison for past Knick teams since they were always stuck under numerous albatross contracts, so there was no cap money to look forward to. The choice back then was between becoming a hopelessly bad team for several years and making a desperation trade. I think Jackson deserves a modicum of credit though for not trading those expirings in summer 13/14, when there was the opportunity to fantasize about 14/15 being a good year.

    It’s not really a high bar that he exceeded, and even after the team proved dangerously bereft of talent last year, he still made the JR/Shumpert trade, which was a short term minded trade in that the only reward was cap space (and Lance Thomas!!). He still signed Afflalo and Derrick Williams to contracts that have zero potential to help the Knicks long term. He still gave Galloway only one full year because he wanted to save the $500k or whatever of cap space he would have had to sacrifice to get Galloway to accept more years.

    My biggest criticism of Jackson is that he seems more focused on proving the efficacy of the triangle than on winning a title. That’s the only rationale for making cap space, which virtually never gets you value contract players, his priority in lieu of high quality young players. And it looks like he’s on a path to show that his bunch of Triangle-compatible role players can win more games than they should. But he veered off the “bring in championship level talent” course a while ago and hasn’t made any moves since that show a willingness to back the truck up and take that longer road — the only one that could lead to greatness.

  74. Is there evidence that teams with a lot of roster turnover improve as the season goes on? I wouldn’t be surprised if there were, but it would be interesting to see if it actually existed and how significant it was. I imagine it’s not easy to do-you’d think teams with stable rosters would win more because teams that already have good players are less likely to see significant turnover.

    I remember reading an article that analyzed playoff team rosters. Playoff teams that had experience together tended to do better. Unfortunately, I can’t fine the reference.

  75. McHale being fired worries me about the games with Houston. Teams tend to suddenly put in more effort when they get a new coach, so we might not get the typical Houston of the last few weeks. On the other hand, it could be that the chemistry in the Houston locker room is gone since last year. I’m not a big fan of Josh Smith, but he got along with Howard, played his role well and played defense. Now they have Lawson in the locker room instead of him, and he’s a player his previous team really didn’t want. Maybe there is something about him that isn’t helping team chemistry.

    Isn’t it amazing to see Harden just, like, take the offseason off? Who does that?

  76. I remember reading an article that analyzed playoff team rosters. Playoff teams that had experience together tended to do better. Unfortunately, I can’t fine the reference.

    Another way to look at that, though, is that teams that are good tend to be good.

  77. Isn’t it amazing to see Harden just, like, take the offseason off? Who does that?

    You would expect at a certain point that athletes would learn to run the other way when a Kardashian approaches, but so far, no.

  78. You would expect at a certain point that athletes would learn to run the other way when a Kardashian approaches, but so far, no.

    Right? I mean, whatever, if he wants to throw his career away, go right ahead, man, but geez Louise, it is also kind of depressing to watch.

  79. My biggest criticism of Jackson is that he seems more focused on proving the efficacy of the triangle than on winning a title. That’s the only rationale for making cap space, which virtually never gets you value contract players, his priority in lieu of high quality young players. And it looks like he’s on a path to show that his bunch of Triangle-compatible role players can win more games than they should. But he veered off the “bring in championship level talent” course a while ago and hasn’t made any moves since that show a willingness to back the truck up and take that longer road — the only one that could lead to greatness.

    I’m not overly critical of Jackson. We don’t even know how or why he is making some of those decisions. His reign is not over, apparently. I just think we all should make an effort to keep the perspective because there’s no point in re-writing history.

    The man has made a whole lot of mistakes (as you point out) but all that will not matter an iota if he somehow transforms the Knicks into a contender during his watch. His turn is not over yet and that’s all we can objectively say at this point.

  80. Isn’t it amazing to see Harden just, like, take the offseason off? Who does that?

    Yes, for someone who was so good it is amazing. Maybe he had something going on his personal life that distracted him or required a lot of attention.

  81. My biggest criticism of Jackson is that he seems more focused on proving the efficacy of the triangle than on winning a title.

    They aren’t running straight Triangle out there. Seriously watch what they run when Grant is on the floor. That is not the Triangle. They run it if they can’t get a good early look in the halfcourt and they are missing a lot of wide open shots it’s producing. Also this offense did form the backbone for 11 championship teams in 13 years so it probably has some value besides Jackson’s ego getting stroked.

    This is some brilliant homerism. Why won’t the other teams get better, too? Why is it that the Knicks get all the improvement?

    We’re talking about the Knicks on this Knicks fan blog. Hope that’s okay with you.

    @68

    I agree. Unless Melo wants out or we are struggling like crazy I don’t see the value in trading him right now. He’s not a spring chicken but he’s also not some washed up has been and he’s playing the best all around ball of his career. His defensive metrics are actually pretty solid and his opponent FG% against is -12.7% overall and -9.8% from 3 compared to the average per NBA.com. I’m pretty content with where we are right now. There’s value in just holding the course through this season and maybe making some moves on the margins of the roster. We can revisit the Melo question in the summer anyways.

  82. But 38 wins doesn’t look like it will get the 8th spot right now, so if you’re not moving off of the 38 wins part, shouldn’t you move off of the 8th seed part?

    I do not believe that Indiana will be better than a 36 – 40 win team at the end of the season. I think the Knicks and the Pacers will be fighting for the last playoff spot, just like in 87-88. I also think that, just like in 87-88, the Knicks have an easy schedule to finish the season while the Pacers will have a lot of tough games. The Pacers may start April with 35 wins and go 2-5 down the stretch (at Philadelphia, at Knicks, Cleveland (home), at Toronto, Brooklyn (home), Knicks (home) and at Milwaukee). The have two back-to-backs during that stretch and three-games-in-four-nights to end the season.

  83. Well, the Pacers are 6-5 with the toughest schedule in the NBA so far, right?

    But fair enough, there definitely does seem to be a ton of parity in the East on the bottom of the standings, so maybe they’ll all beat each other up so much than no one will get to .500.

  84. I have faith in Phil Jackson to make personnel decisions. I do not always understand Phil’s ways, but that is what faith is – a belief notwithstanding a lack of evidence. Others can criticize me for being a blind-Phil-fanboy. I guess I am guilty of that.

    BTW, how is that decision not to sign Cole Aldrich to a multi-year contract working out? Not to extend Shumpert?

  85. BTW, how is that decision not to sign Cole Aldrich to a multi-year contract working out?

    We threw away that money on Kyle O’Quinn and he can’t even get on the floor lol. #PhirePhil

  86. Unless you get a godfather offer (young player multi 1st rounders, or legit all nba first team player) trading melo makes no sense. He has a ntc, and is owed 23 against the cap, he is playing his best all around ball of his career and is in his prime. Wait till him and kp have one month worth of chemistry, gonna be some highlight p n rs . And with kp drawing increased attention from defenses and Galloway banging 60 percent of his treys, melos efficiency is going to increase as the season goes on

  87. If we make the playoffs this season, or come close, that draft pick we gifted to Toronto will probably be in the 11-20 range. So while it definitely does suck big time not to have a pick in 2016, it does look like it will not be a high lottery pick, which would make it a little easier to swallow (plus Herman Gomez Willy Wonka, or whatever his name is)

    Also, Isola was at his douchey best on NBA radio this morning, astutely pointing out to a caller that if we improve by 20 wins this season, that still only gets us to 37, which is what we won 2 years ago. Yes, Frank, very similar situation today to 2 years ago in terms of personnel, management, etc. I would agree we’re just spinning our wheels here.

  88. If Phil took a job with say, the celtics, and landed them fucking kp at FOUR, signed dwill ,aaa, rolo, and oaq on the cheap, plus developed galloway, he’d be in the executive of the year conversation. It’s anti ny bias, don’t buy into it. P jack put his Cajon es on the table taking porzingis over “safer” prospects like mudiaay,wcs, and winslow. And as usual the zenith master was right. The knicks have a TEAM for the first time since pre melo. They are playing team ball. Melos non scoring stats have been improved across the board, thry have a 20 year old offspring of a pterodactyl and a unicorn, 2 exciting young guards and some bargain bench productivity, oh and he just got here. Wait for the 2016 off season when we get either kd,whiteside (cap wise we could swing 2 of these three,films gers crossed) or conley (i.m.h.of he’d fill the biggest need for us) you’ll be loving Phil Than

  89. The knicks are only a sliver away from being in the top 12 teams in the league, raise your hand if you thought that pre season

  90. The only Rose trade I would do is a 3-way trade facilitating Rose to another team and getting Lopez and Calderon off if possible. One with Phx maybe

    NY- Noah, Phx player on a short deal, and some picks

    Chi – Bledsoe, Lopez, and Calderon

    Phx – Rose, and cap fillers

  91. Wait why does Phoenix do that deal? They get the biggest injury risk, lose the best player currently and give away picks?

  92. My biggest criticism of Jackson is that he seems more focused on proving the efficacy of the triangle than on winning a title. That’s the only rationale for making cap space, which virtually never gets you value contract players, his priority in lieu of high quality young players. And it looks like he’s on a path to show that his bunch of Triangle-compatible role players can win more games than they should. But he veered off the “bring in championship level talent” course a while ago and hasn’t made any moves since that show a willingness to back the truck up and take that longer road — the only one that could lead to greatness.

    Maybe I’m giving him too much benefit of the doubt, but I think he viewed the road as even longer than you think it is. I think he wanted to get more expensive players in here not to prove the efficacy of the triangle, but just to begin washing away the stink that this franchise has been under. He didn’t want to go all young, because if we continued to stink with young players the screams for Fisher’s job and the doubts about his plan would grow so loud he might not be able execute the long term strategy you want. He’s got to show enough short term improvement to enable the long term plan to work, especially in this stupid market when rational fans are in the vast minority. And frankly I think he’s done a good job in both areas. We’ve got short term improvement through the veterans and we’ve got some nice young pieces.

    It’s not like he’s avoided championship-level talent. Championsip-level talent wants nothing to do with us, so he’s working on playoff-level talent.

  93. I would still trade Melo in a heartbeat but his ability to be very productive without hitting shots has been nearly the best thing about this season so far. Nearly.

  94. I would still trade Melo in a heartbeat but his ability to be very productive without hitting shots has been nearly the best thing about this season so far. Nearly.

    He’s played great. Any desire to deal Melo has nothing to do with how well he’s playing right now, as he’s been great.

  95. [Porzingis] a 20 year old offspring of a pterodactyl and a unicorn,

    You win the interwebz, my friend. The unicorn is a great nickname for him because that is precisely what he is.

  96. Yeah, BC, it’s ironic given the digital ink spilled over the years on his non-scoring numbers. If Melo plays like this, you will never hear me complain about it. Trust me, it won’t be just his life and style tips for the sophisticated urbanite I will be enjoying.

    Btw, if you guys were dying to know what Nacho Figueras thinks about confidence, here ya go, the man was ripped straight from the cover of a bodice ripper….

    http://www.thisismelo.com/feature/nacho-figueras-chats-polo-and-the-importance-of-confidence/

  97. Any desire to deal Melo has nothing to do with how well he’s playing right now, as he’s been great.

    Precisely. It’s unfortunate Porzingis’ maturity is unlikely to overlap with Melo’s prime. But that’s probably the case. And we don’t have the means to surround the two of them with enough quality pieces to win a title in the next 2 years, so…

  98. I’ve been reading these posts and shaking my head in dismay.

    1) Now’s not the time to trade anyone or think about trades. Now is the time to let this team continue to gel and get better as a unit.
    2) Give Jackson credit for putting this team together. Give him credit for sticking with Fisher and helping him grow as a coach. Give him credit for doing what he thinks is right and not what the media thinks is right.
    3) As happy as I am about KP and the other players that are doing well, I still see us as a fringe playoff team. But that’s OK. We’re not winning the NBA championship this year or next.
    Let’s all just chill out, push back into our cozy recliners and enjoy the ride. We have a future.

  99. The Knicks are not getting Durant. Why would Whiteside or Conley leave better teams and more money to come to NY? These rumors need to stop, it just breeds false hope and expectations.

  100. Man, Jalil Okafor has to be the most overrated rookie on the floor right now. I was surprised to see that the 76ers team defense (-17.2 points surrendered per 100 possessions) and team offense (+8.5 points scored per 100 possessions) is superior without him. Sixers are giving up 113.2 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor and 96.4 points per 100 possessions when he’s off the court.

    According to WP48, he’s been the least productive player in the league. Part of that is from his defense, I’m sure, but the only thing he’s better than league average at is fouls. Fouls!

  101. Speaking of Melo: Isn’t it about time Fisher went to the media and complain about the lack of calls Melo is getting? It seemed bad in the past seeing his head band knicked half way off or off completely but it seems even worse now.

  102. @jackbauer, umm kd or conley or anyone would come to ny to play beside a 7 3 sweet shooting, rebounding unicorn that will ensures single coverage for them to rain points on their opponents. Especially with kids leg looking gimpy, you font think he’d rather play next to kp than Ibaka, to prolong his career?

  103. @bobneptune, thank you sir, from what I understand you’re a poster of high regard, so I take that as a huge compliment

  104. A 13 and 10 pf with kps upside is a helluva lot more valuable than Okafor low efficiency 20 and 7 with no ft ability

  105. @Hubert You might be right that that’s his thinking but if it is, I disagree with it. The Knicks make money hand over fist regardless of how bad they are. Yeah, the media whines, and fans are impatient, but that’s just noise.

    As far as washing the stink off goes, I think you create a positive culture by building something sustainable, which you can only accomplish when you’re starting point is the 13/14 Knicks by setting the table with quality young players. I’m not arguing that the Knicks should be doing what the 6ers are doing. THey don’t have to because Melo is valuable enough to put the Knicks well ahead of where the 6ers are. Trading Melo would allow the Knicks to become the 13/14 Celtics, minus the huge surplus of picks but plus the big man named Kristaps. They would become a team of promising young players learning to put the pieces together, and I would anticipate that by 15/16, they’d be a playoff contender just as Boston was last year.

    Another comment on culture — the idea of culture is that there’s a sort of collective consciousness underlying any group. There’s a shared morality and willingness to sacrifice… or a lack of it. There’s a shared worldview and vision. Vision to me is the biggest key because that’s the thing that the people in the culture either invest in or ignore. If they feel like they are a part of that vision, they will join in and invest in it. If they feel like pawns, liek they are being manipulated, then they won’t. If Jackson’s view is, “You guys need to have babysitters here to teach you how to play right,” I don’t see the roster investing in that. A more tempting vision is, “this roster we have now is our future. You guys are the future and will play out your careers together, accomplishing great things.” That’s a vision that isn’t convoluted by manipulation.

  106. @massive, Okafor is a 45% 20 ppg 7 reb 50% ft center. Nothing wrong with that, but volume scorer centers aren’t nearly as valuable as a 7 3 monster who d is advanced with as much if not significantly more offensive upside

  107. Isn’t it amazing to see Harden just, like, take the offseason off? Who does that?

    Yes, for someone who was so good it is amazing. Maybe he had something going on his personal life that distracted him or required a lot of attention.

    During the Lamar Odom “saga” it came out that Khloe Kardashian temporarily left her boyfriend James Harden to be by Lamar’s bedside.

  108. As for Phil, shouldn’t he get credit for kicking JR, Shump and Dalembert to the curb, not to mention Tyson once Tyson announced he was not crazy about waiting out a rebuild.

  109. Jahlil Okafor will show all of you. You’ll all see.

    Don’t worry, Zinger has tons of upside because he’s only 20 (which is absolutely true, that IS why he has tons of upside). Okafor, though, doesn’t have upside because he’s 19.

  110. I feel for Okafor. He’s playing on a really lousy team and is probably being asked to do too much and may be developing bad habits in the process. If there was another good scorer in Philly’s starting line up, he might get less attention and have better efficiency stats. In addition, many no. 2 picks develop into solid NBA players without being superstars, and there is nothing wrong with that. He has the misfortune to be compared to other picks in what looks like a stellar draft class.

  111. During the Lamar Odom “saga” it came out that Khloe Kardashian temporarily left her boyfriend James Harden to be by Lamar’s bedside.

    I honestly had no idea Harden was involved with a Kardashian. Maybe we need an advanced stat for celebrity distractions so that I would have been more aware of that.

  112. Listen, I have a strong and abiding dislike of the Kardashian family. I do not think, however, that Khloe Kardashian deserves shade for deciding to assist in the convalescence of her estranged husband. Even if she had decided she did not want to be married to him any more, and even though Lamar Odom’s bad decisions put him into his current state, there but for the grace of God go I. It seems generous of spirit of her to spend her time trying to help him in his current wretched condition, particularly given news reports that he cannot remember any of his family members or hers.

  113. Yeah, the media whines, and fans are impatient, but that’s just noise.

    Unfortunately it’s not just noise to Dolan, though, and Phil’s job does involve appeasing him to some degree. Again, maybe I’m giving him too much benefit of the doubt, but I think some of the moves you attribute to him wanting to prove the efficacy of the triangle could also be attributed to him trying keep the idiot owner off his back long enough to let a long term plan work.

  114. Twelve rookies have played 15 MPG so far this season. In terms of WS48 they rank like this:

    1. Willie Cauley-Stein .149
    2. Karl-Anthony Towns .148
    3. Kristaps Porzingis .126
    4. Myles Turner .116
    5. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson .069
    6. Justise Winslow .066
    7. Jerian Grant .064
    8. Larry Nance Jr .057
    9. Stanley Johnson .025
    10. D’Angelo Russell .011
    11. Jahlil Okafor .008
    12. Emmanuel Mudiay -.108

    In WP48 they rank like this:
    1. Rondae-Hollis Jefferson .262
    2. Willie Cauley-Stein .227
    3. Karl-Anthony Towns .114
    4. Kristaps Porzingis .104
    5. Justise Winslow .078
    6. Larry Nance Jr .072
    7. Jerian Grant .065
    8. D’Angelo Russell .065
    9. Myles Turner .001
    10. Stanley Johnson -.021
    11. Jahlil Okafor -.153
    12. Emmanual Mudiay -.158

  115. Okafor is not a center; he’s a power forward, but that’s not the point. I just want everyone to look at Galloway’s stats from last season and look at his stats from this season. Life as a basketball player is a lot easier when you’re not the only viable threat to do anything worth talking about. I think Porzingis is a better basketball player than Okafor but Okafor absolutely will be a top 20 player in this league. A rookie has no business having a 28.7% USG on any NBA team, so you’ll have to forgive his poor stats.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccI5ryCyAj4

    Watch him play and tell me you wouldn’t want a 19 year old like this on your team. He’s not Porzingis or Towns but dammit I’d be very happy if he were on our roster.

  116. I don’t know or care about Khloe and Lamar and James Harden but I do know for sure that Kim Kardashian is the Yoko Ono of hip-hop.

  117. I thought Okafor could be a better version of young Eddy Curry-instead he’s playing like a shittier version of Eddy Curry, which is not good at all. But it’s early days still.

  118. I think Porzingis is a better basketball player than Okafor but Okafor absolutely will be a top 20 player in this league.

    Ehhh, I don’t know about that. Okafor could very easily end up being a one-way player in the NBA. He’s a very skilled low-post scorer and there are not very many of those around, but I don’t see a well-rounded game when I watch Okafor. He’s not a good defensive rebounder, does not move well laterally and is not an outstanding athlete, so I’m skeptical about his ceiling being that of a true franchise player. There are a lot of good big men around in the game right now and Okafor is looking like the fourth best in his own draft class at the moment, so saying he’s a surefire top 20 player is a bit of a stretch.

  119. My guess is that Okafor ends up being like Al Jefferson: a strong low post player who contributes at one end of the floor. Of course, he is only 19 so he could end up being quite different. For example, he could be a Zach Randolph who never goes through a “bad guy” phase. He could also eat himself out of the league like Sweetney and Eddy Curry.

  120. At least Okafor is putting up numbers on a bad team. D’Angelo Russell looks terrible and is performing terribly. Congratulations on “winning” the second pick, smug-ass Laker fans.

  121. Is there anyone with Philly actually trying to develop the kid? I don’t follow them at all but from a distance it seems like they don’t. At least with Michael Carter Williams it seemed like he was just given free reign, because you know “tanking.”

  122. I think Okafor will be fine – but the one thing that surprised me about him was how short he looks. Is he even 6’9″? He’s got amazing footwork etc etc but that only gets you so far when everyone defending you is taller/longer than you.

    Re: the B-R comparison above — Dirk Nowitzki shot 20.6% from 3 for a whole season?!?

  123. Hypothetical: The Kings decide they don’t want to build around Boogie Cousins anymore. They call up Phil and offer Boogie and a 2nd rounder for Zingis, Calderon, and a 2018 first round pick (Top 3 protected).

    Do you take it?

  124. Hypothetical: The Kings decide they don’t want to build around Boogie Cousins anymore. They call up Phil and offer Boogie and a 2nd rounder for Zingis, Calderon, and a 2018 first round pick (Top 3 protected).

    Do you take it?

    You hang up the phone as you start laughing.

  125. Hypothetical: The Kings decide they don’t want to build around Boogie Cousins anymore. They call up Phil and offer Boogie and a 2nd rounder for Zingis, Calderon, and a 2018 first round pick (Top 3 protected).

    Do you take it?

    Can we ban him for suggesting this?

  126. Holy shit what fucking Knicks fan trades Porzingis right now? I really don’t give a shit who is even on the table for him I just laugh my ass off and hang up the phone. Fuck trading Porzingis and fuck making trades in general with this team right now for no reason at all.

  127. The Knicks make money hand over fist regardless of how bad they are. Yeah, the media whines, and fans are impatient, but that’s just noise.

    NY fans impatient?

    We are still around, in spite of 20 years of mismanagement. If anything, NY fans (including me) are stupid patsies, ready to believe the next big dream that MSG sells.

  128. I know people are going nuts for Zing right now, but there’s a good chance he’ll never be as good as Boogie is right now. I wouldn’t make the deal, but I wouldn’t hang up either.

    You think Sacramento fans would take that offer in a heartbeat? I don’t think so.

  129. (For the record, when I suggested trading Melo I meant this offseason, and I only meant it as an alternative to the idea of going all in with free agents again. I think we’re better off trying to build around Zinger for the next 8-10 years than we are sacrificing anything to try to win with Zinger & Melo in the next 2-3 years. That is all.)

  130. @Brian Cronin Okafor has less upside than zinger because he can’t hit free throws, doesn’t have a high motor, is an average rebounder and doesn’t play d. Not because of his age. Besides even before kp played again it was fairly consensus that he had highest upside in draft. Are you actually disputing that zingers ceiling is much higher than okafors

  131. I don’t think Cronin is disputing that Porzingis has the “higher ceiling” (however subjective and nebulous that phrase is) just that the criticisms of Okafor that prognosticate him to be the bust of the draft or what have you are like for any other rookie–but especially young rookies–premature.

    That being said I’m gonna give my ESPN hot take and assert that OKAFOR IS DONE RUSSELL IS DONE IT’S SIMPLY DISGUSTING.

  132. @134 — according to draftexpress, Okafor is 6’10-3/4″. However, he didn’t go to the combine, so who knows if that is accurate. I agree with you. He looks much shorter than that. I also remember that the day after the draft, someone asked Phil Jackson why he thought the Lakers didn’t take Okafor and he said, “I don’t know. Maybe they measured him.”

  133. I always thought Okafor would be a rich man’s Al Jefferson with even more horrid defense

    That’s sort of what Eddy Curry was before he stopped trying. Leading the NBA in TS% when you’re 20 is nothing to sneeze at.

  134. Okafor probably won’t be a bust (of the truly awful Bargnani/Thabeet/Olawakandi variety) because his post game gives him at least one surefire NBA skill. At worst he should be able to push around backup centers on the low block. But he could well max out as a 16 mpg bench scorer if he doesn’t improve other aspects of his game.

  135. . He looks much shorter than that. I also remember that the day after the draft, someone asked Phil Jackson why he thought the Lakers didn’t take Okafor and he said, “I don’t know. Maybe they measured him.”

    PJax doesn’t measure big men vertically

  136. I’m worried that Fish might be slightly deranged or suffer from ADHD. A few games ago, this sequence took place: Grant turned the ball over and Fish immediately substituted Calderon. Right after entering the game, Jose made a turnover and Fish pulled him immediately. The camera covered the very awkward return of Calderon to the bench. WTF? And I get benching KOQ and Early for doggin’ it or whatever to send a message but don’t you think this has gone on long enough? Surely he must have set a record for greatest # of unique lineups in a 10 game stretch. This lineup du jour, any fish you wish approach is starting to look very bizarre.

    CAVEAT: But hey, if he delivers Durant next summer, I don’t care if he’s Bellevue, strait-jacket looney.

  137. I don’t care if Sacramento fans wouldn’t trade Boogie for that offer. I don’t want to trade Porzingis for Boogie after 12 games. Seems absolutely ludicrous to me to even entertain that notion at any point in this season or like ever.

  138. @alecto, I’m not saying he’s a bust merely that of the two, kp and jah, I think kp is a more valuable player for any team. I feel like big men who an volume score with mediocre rebounding and poor ft shooting aren’t that hard yo come gy. Is there a precedent I’m unaware of for awful free throw shooters to get to respectability? I’m no pro, but to me, jams only plus skill is scoring the ball, and he’s not terribly efficient at it either.

    More concerning for me, was the way he three his Philly jersey down on the table at that interview and his complete lack of interest in playing d

  139. If the knicks trade zinger for anything at all, I’m done and declaring fan free agency. I’m not saying certain dream packages may not be worth it, but what kp represents is just as important as his limitless ceiling and impressive present

  140. @152.

    I understand what you’re saying about what he represents. That definitely has value. Still, a rational GM would have to deal him for Curry, LeBron, Davis, etc. I know this is an unpopular opinion right now, and I hope we have Zing for a long time, but no one is untradeable. Remember that Landry Fields was once considered untouchable too.

    Anyway, my original point was not to suggest trading Zinger. I’m more curious about how people evaluate Boogie, who has to be considered partly available.

  141. I’m more curious about how people evaluate Boogie, who has to be considered partly available.

    It depends on how much one values missed jump shots and turnovers.

  142. Hypothetical: The Kings decide they don’t want to build around Boogie Cousins anymore. They call up Phil and offer Boogie and a 2nd rounder for Zingis, Calderon, and a 2018 first round pick (Top 3 protected).

    Do you take it?

    Here is why I laugh at that offer. Cousins is locked up for three years at roughly $15 million/year. After that he is an unrestricted free agent. Because he will have between 7-9 experience, his max salary will be 30% of the salary cap.

    Porzingis is in the first year of his rookie contract at $ 4 million/year. The Knicks will have options to extend him in year three ($4.5 million) and year four ($5.6 million). For year 5, the Knicks can make him a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer of $7.5 million. They also could make a 5 year max offer that would tie him up for the first nine seasons of his career. I would rather have Porzingis for the next four years at $18 million (total) than Cousins for the next three years at $45 million (total). When you throw in the Knicks control of Porzingis’ out years, it is not even close.

  143. @153 –

    Remember that Landry Fields was once considered untouchable too.

    Nope. Fields was never untouchable.

    And comparing Fields to Porzingis is like comparing Rory Sparrow to Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
    Let’s be real here. All this trade talk is loser talk. There are a handful of players that are franchise players. Many here will swear up and down that Melo isn’t a franchise player (at any price).

    When you get your hands on one of them, tie them up for two decades and then hope to be able to build around them. I’m not even saying that KP is one, but neither was Stephen Curry 3 years ago. Let’s see how he develops and then restart this inane discussion again when we really know what we have here.

    In the mean time, let’s enjoy watching him.

  144. Now that the cat is out of the bag — or rather the lion is out of the bag — Knicks coach Derek Fisher will face scrutiny on the minutes he’s allotting to 7-foot-3 rookie Kristaps Porzingis

    Oh, and I want to punch Marc Berman in the face right now. Where is he?
    That’s a quote from
    his IDIOTIC/DESTRUCTIVE article in today’s NY Post

    Porzingis should NOT play more than 30 minutes per game this year. Fisher should ignore idiot fans who behave like heroin addicts going through withdrawals. This is a year for him to learn, get stronger, fine-tune his skills, learn plays and develop new moves. It’s not a year in which the Knicks suddenly become title contenders.

    If Zinger is this good now, and we handle him right, he has a chance to be something very special. Let’s not ruin a potential 20-year career for instant gratification.

  145. Porzingis is to this point, outperforming the oft compared to dirk now its kind for a rookie season. Hear that sas?

  146. You do not trade the best thing that has happened to your franchise in thirty years. Kristaps Porzingis (and Langston Galloway) is the best shot we have at winning a championship, so he can’t go anywhere. I think he’ll be the best player from this draft and has the personality and intelligence to truly turn this franchise around. I don’t want Cousins on this roster, especially not for Porzingis, and I think Cousins is amazing at basketball.

  147. @theoakmancometh

    Firs unrelated side comment, up until staps Oakley was my favorite knick that I’ve seen play.

    I think boogie is probably the 3rd best center in the nba behind Marc gasol and whiteside. That being said kp is cheaper,younger has infinitely more upside and has a more well rounded game,admittedly potentially. I would honestly need boogie,3 unprotected first rounders and maclemore just to not hang up the phone immediately, THAT the only level of offer I could forgive the knicks for entertaining on kp

  148. @massive

    Well said. Kp is setting records for youngest this and that seemingly every night, you’d have to be in possession of an extra chromosome to trade him now.

  149. People who continue to excuse Okafor’s play this season by referencing how bad the 76ers are miss the point that his team actually plays above average defense and above average offense with a positive overall team differential per 100 possessions when he’s not on the floor. In other words, according to the advanced metrics, the Sixers are actually better for not playing their top 3 draft pick.

    Though no one can predict with certainty what the future will bring that’s a problem for the Sixers as of now. His presence should be improving their chances of winning not improving their chances of losing.

  150. I think he’ll be the best player from this draft and has the personality and intelligence to truly turn this franchise around.

    I love Kristaps, but Towns is really awesome, too. I think the objective NBA observer ranks KAT slightly higher. But at least I’m not as furious at Derrick Fisher as I was when he went on that two game winning streak. We got lucky.

    I really thought the Sixers would take KP, and I think if LA hadn’t fallen in love with Russell, they probably would have if Okafor was gone.

  151. What the fuck is this bullshit Cousins trade scenario? Kings aren’t trading him. He actually went to bat for Karl after Divacs asked the team if they wanted to fire him. He’s not going anywhere. And even if he was available it would be a cold day in Hell before Phil Jackson trades the most promising Knicks rookie since Patrick Ewing to Sacramento for a notorious malcontent. SMH. Stupidity like this is why Knicks fans can never have anything nice.

  152. Maybe Hinkie knew Okafor was going to be horrible all along and drafted him to secure their long-term tanking viability

    Or at least that’s what Sixers fans should tell themselves if Okafor busts.

  153. Can we please just let this current team play for awhile and see what we’ve got? Certainly forget about dealing KP, Galloway, or Grant. BUILD around them.

    If we’re going to kick around fantasy trade scenarios, let’s try ones where we fleece some team with Calderon for a 1st round pick or some such thing.
    :-)

  154. @155

    Ephus, I agree with that analysis. (P.S. Thanks for giving actual analysis rather than some people’s, “Yo that scenario is stupid, you’re stupid, and Kristaps is guaranteed to be a 15-time All-Star!”) The money is the biggest reason why I wouldn’t do it. The others are Boogie’s poor fit with Melo and his attitude problems that may or may not ever get better.

    That said, Boogie is an incredibly talented guy, and reasonable people can argue that it is better to have a 25-year old All-Star than a rookie, any rookie. The only reason I threw Zing into the trade is that, if the Knicks called about Boogie, the Kings wouldn’t consider anyone else.

    I sure hope Zing becomes a better player than Boogie. I’m rooting like hell for him. But the truth is, none of us know. Good GMs rate player value with a cool head rather than assume all of their guys are going to be the next Wilt.

  155. Towns, WCS, and Myles Turner would’ve been my top 3. Pleased to see they’re doing well.

    But happier to have the Zinger.

    And though I never root for someone to fail (which is what made last year so excruciating), I’m satisfied that Okafor has all the issues we thought we had – and Russell, too. Both could end up as good players, but right now, it doesn’t look encouraging.

    As for why PJax would bring on some experienced, high character vets like Afflalo and RoLo, Philly is exhibit 1. Who’s going to sign there, no matter what cap space they have? Seriously. Impressive that WCS is doing so well despite being on such a dysfunctional team.

  156. Oakman, I will concede that it is not an outlandish proposition talent-wise on paper, but Cousins is what he is at this point: a low-post player with questionable attitude, coachability, b-ball IQ, shot selection, and adaptability to today’s NBA. He’s a bonafide all-star on his way to a fringe HOF career. We have one of those already, why would we want another one?

    Even the salary implications aside, fixing the C position is not where this team needs to focus its energy right now. Barring injury (and Boogie can get injured too) Porzingis is going to be at least an all-star and possibly a HOF-level player, unless everyone in every capacity in the NBA is wrong right now. Why would you trade that just to get at best a marginally better player, while ignoring your greatest need…a talented 2-way guard? Galloway and Grant have nice futures in the league, but it is doubtful that they will ever be talked about the same way Porzingis is right now.

    If you’re talking about trading Porzingis for Westbrook, Durant (don’t laugh, he’s seeming to be injury prone and has probably lost value) or Harden, I could at least see the logic (but still wouldn’t consider doing it!) Short of that, he ain’t going anywhere, so why bother talking about it?

  157. PS by fringe HOFer, I mean a compiler rather than a transcendent player. Melo thus far fits that category.

  158. It’s fascinating to me that the best 2 guard in the NBA is under 25, playing for a surprisingly frisky team in the media capital of the Western world, and the lamestream media doesn’t even know he exists.

  159. Melo is getting into the hall of fame the first year he’s eligible. There’s nothing fringe about it.

    He’s gonna be eligible approximately the same time that Lebron, Wade, Bosh, Paul, Parker, Howard and others.

    He will probably became HOF because pointzzz, but it may take a while for him

  160. Melo is getting into the hall of fame the first year he’s eligible. There’s nothing fringe about it.

    But he’s like a Dominique Wilkins. 8 straight all-star games, but only 56 playoff games in his whole career (1000+ games). Carmelo’s at 842 games and 66 playoff games, so considering that he’s only had the best-of-7 first round, they’re comparable. (LeBron has played in 922 regular season games, but 178 (!) playoff games. Pretty incredible.)

  161. It’s fascinating to me that the best 2 guard in the NBA is under 25, playing for a surprisingly frisky team in the media capital of the Western world, and the lamestream media doesn’t even know he exists.

    http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/conferences/atlantic-10/leaders/off-rtg-player-career.html

    St. Joe’s is a big deal for tri-state NCAA ball, but it ain’t Duke, UNC, Michigan State or Kentucky. Or, y’know, Syracuse.

    I’m just glad we have a chance to see him in a Knicks uniform for the MLE someday. Fly under that radar, son.

  162. Nah, Melo’s gonna waltz into the hall. He led his college team to a title as a freshman, was the final four MOP, he’ll probably wind up an all star 10+ times, he was a scoring champ, 6 times on an all-NBA team, and maybe Porzingis will get him a ring

  163. Saw this stat on Posting and Toasting — Knicks are one of 7 teams in the league that are in the top half in the league in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

  164. Like I’ve said so many times:

    1) Magic Johnson or John Stockton
    3) Chris Paul

    And then everyone else. It’s really pretty easy.

  165. So McHale lost his job just in time for the Knicks visit to Houston this Saturday. They play again a week from Sunday. The Rockets have been playing like crap and are 4-7. It could be a break for the Knicks. Morey pressed the panic button, but can interim-HC Bickerstaff turn the rockets around?

  166. Sorry about my last post. I got carried away. The thought of trading an asset like KP now just bothered me something serious.

  167. @181. When does Steph Curry get to join that discussion? He obviously hasn’t been at this level as long, but it’s hard to imagine wanting anyone but Magic over this peak version of Curry to play point guard for my ideal team.

  168. So McHale lost his job just in time for the Knicks visit to Houston this Saturday. They play again a week from Sunday. The Rockets have been playing like crap and are 4-7. It could be a break for the Knicks. Morey pressed the panic button, but can interim-HC Bickerstaff turn the rockets around?

    Players tend to play harder for their new coach to try to pin the woes on the old coach and not them, but at the same time, A. Bickerstaff is awful and B. they’ve still played pretty darn poorly, so I think McHale’s absence won’t be a big factor either way. The better thing is getting them while they’re struggling period. Like how they got the Wizards early. This is the time to play them, ya know? So I think they will have a very good chance against them.

  169. @181. When does Steph Curry get to join that discussion? He obviously hasn’t been at this level as long, but it’s hard to imagine wanting anyone but Magic over this peak version of Curry to play point guard for my ideal team.

    If Curry plays the way he’s been playing, his team will win 70+ games and, additionally, he’ll have arguably the greatest season of the modern era by any player at any position. No one is even close to him right now. I don’t think he’s going to keep shooting 69 TS% though. He’ll end up with another MVP award, though. He’s going to have to get injured to lose it at this point.

    Career? He’s had one MVP-candidate year and Chris Paul has had ten.

    http://www.boxscoregeeks.com/players/211-chris-paul

    Chris Paul has multiple season — five! — of having more steals than turnovers.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/leaders/stl_pct_active.html

    Look at the gap between him and Rondo. The guy is a turnover-causing, turnover-preventing machine. And he shoots. And assists. And rebounds.

  170. I feel obligated to point out that Chris Paul is a loser

    Yup, Derek Fisher – 5 NBA championships, Paul – 0 NBA Finals appearances

    Ergo, Fisher is better than Paul

  171. I feel obligated to point out that Chris Paul is a loser

    Yup, Derek Fisher – 5 NBA championships, Paul – 0 NBA Finals appearances

    Ergo, Fisher is better than Paul

    Pwned.

  172. “Compiler” was admittedly a poor choice of words, as was “fringe.” Maybe a better way to put it is that neither Melo nor Boogie will ever be the best player on a championship-caliber team over a period of years. You don’t need to win a championship to qualify for my standard…Ewing and Barkley are good examples, or Bernard King in his prime. Melo?

    I don’t Boogie will ever have that quality, and I think there is a good chance that Porzingis will. Just my opinion.

  173. Melo nor Boogie will ever be the best player on a championship-caliber team over a period of years

    This is not the criteria. The basketball hall of fame is more of a hall of very good. It also encompasses college and Olympic play. Melo is an easy hall of famer.

    I don’t Boogie will ever have that quality, and I think there is a good chance that Porzingis will. Just my opinion.

    Why?

    Boogie is severely underrated on this blog. The guy is a nut job for sure but hes 25 and has added a competent three point stroke (45% so far this year). Hes averaging 31.6 and 12.6 per 36 with .197 win share. Lets not get carried away with Porzingis. Hes good, but we have no evidence he will be as good as Boogie. Porzingis also entered the league in a far greater position.

  174. Chris Paul’s fatal flaw is his size, which makes it difficult for him to matchup against other elite PGs in the playoffs, particularly on defense. He’s a great player, but if you can’t consistently dominate your peers (or at least matchup against them 1-on-1), I don’t think you’re an all-time great.

    Basically, Chris Paul is a short loser.

  175. @186 – I hope you are right about that but I can’t see how Bickerstaff can get James Harden to stop dating Khloe Kardashian or get Dwight Howard and Pat Beverly to play defense again.

  176. No Kevin Durant on this Thunder team and they look really suckish. Outside of Westbrook and Durant this is a 24 win team.

  177. Chris Paul’s fatal flaw is his size, which makes it difficult for him to matchup against other elite PGs in the playoffs, particularly on defense. He’s a great player, but if you can’t consistently dominate your peers (or at least matchup against them 1-on-1), I don’t think you’re an all-time great.

    Basically, Chris Paul is a short loser.

    a n e c d o t a l

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/paulch01.html#playoffs_advanced::none

    Dude’s got a career .200 WS48 in the playoffs.

    wat??

  178. @186 – I hope you are right about that but I can’t see how Bickerstaff can get James Harden to stop dating Khloe Kardashian or get Dwight Howard and Pat Beverly to play defense again.

    He can’t. Definitely not. The only thing that can happen is that the players try to cover their ass by playing better, so they can say, “See? it was McHale’s fault! Not us!” When you fire the coach and still suck, then it is on the players, and players hate taking responsibility for their team’s poor play, so that’s the only thing I would worry about the Rockets. But in general, I think it is still better for the Knicks to get them now than later in the season.

  179. Kardashian’s locking up early votes for defensive player of the year. Of course, its a bit a legacy pick given the history of shutting down productive Nba players.

  180. what a fucking play by Karl Towns. Block to save the game

    does anyone think that the Cavs regret trading Wiggins for Love?

  181. Kardashian’s locking up early votes for defensive player of the year. Of course, its a bit a legacy pick given the history of shutting down productive Nba players.

    Makes me glad PorzinGod is white. They will leave him alone.

  182. @205 – He’s really great. It’s close. And for now, at least, Westbrook is outperforming Durant every night. Of course, Durant is out. Sadly, latest reports are that he’s on track to play the Knicks on Friday. So that’s not good news.

    Westrbrooks line tonight: 43 PTS, 9 REB, 8 AST

  183. I think the Rockets announcers have trumped the Celtics and Bulls for most annoying

    Oh man, they are terrible.

  184. Like I’ve said so many times:

    1) Magic Johnson or John Stockton
    3) Chris Paul

    And then everyone else. It’s really pretty easy.

    THCJ – for my money, unless you disqualify Isiah Thomas for his post-player career, he has to be part of that conversation. Ten great seasons. Two good seasons. Last season was not good.

  185. Brian Windhorst just went nuts on ESPN Radio about Porzingis’ future. “So, I hear ‘this kid’s going to be the next Dirk Nowitzki’ and I think ‘Oh, I’ve heard this fifteen times.’ We have it. This is what everyone’s been waiting for. The Knicks have him. I’m always concerned about a 7’3” guy with injuries, with the feet. That’s where we are at. But this guy has the entire package. He can move. He can shoot. He has the confidence. I mean, even though he is slight of build but he puts his nose right in there and goes and gets it. And he has a 29&10, 29&11 game the other day as a 19-year-old in the NBA. I am a very measured person. I’m never gonna get out in front of it. This kid is the REAL DEAL [pounding desk]. This is absolutely the reason Knicks fans should be thinking about everything coming up. I have not been excited about a European player coming up in any time that I have been covering the NBA, which is 14 years now. This is the most remarkable NBA-ready project, and he is 19 years old. The excitement is 100% justified.

    So, we have that going for us.

    I am going to break out my mantra from 2012-13: This IS a good time to be a Knicks fan. Let’s enjoy the ride.

  186. Like I’ve said so many times:

    1) Magic Johnson or John Stockton
    3) Chris Paul

    And then everyone else. It’s really pretty easy.

    THCJ – for my money, unless you disqualify Isiah Thomas for his post-player career, he has to be part of that conversation. Ten great seasons. Two good seasons. Last season was not good.

    I don’t think you can exclude the Big O from that conversation, either. Different era, but I’d still take him over CP3. And JKidd isn’t too far behind CP3. I would rank Paul higher, but in a series against a big, quality PG like Magic, I might prefer prime Kidd, who’d better be able to defend him.

  187. Oscar Robertson was – for me – a ball dominant 2 more than he was a true point guard. He is, however, one of the 15 greatest players in NBA history. If you count him as a PG, he is better than everyone except Magic.

  188. And, none of these guys are my favorite PG of all time.

    WALT “CLYDE” FRAZIER. I would not trade what he did for the Knicks from 1969 – 1974 for any career from any other PG. It is not rational. It is true.

  189. I am going to break out my mantra from 2012-13: This IS a good time to be a Knicks fan. Let’s enjoy the ride.

    Little early for that. Seems unlikely PJax will trade the Zinger, but let’s see what happens this next off-season. No dumb trades, one smart FA signing (Conley), and Hernangomez comes over and shows he’s real, and then I’ll be more optimistic. Right now, I like the “this is a team I can give a damn about” mantra. Because, with all the positive attitudes and hard workers and young players with upside, AND Melo’s good team play, I do care about them and don’t feel a fool for doing so.

    But I need to see another solid off-season from Phil, without interference from Dolan, before I can buy in completely.

  190. In a 7 year prime, Clyde was 1st team all NBA defense 7 times, 1st team all NBA 6 times and 2nd team once. He won two rings, had maybe the best championship clinching game ever, was the best player on the smartest team ever, and was the coolest guy in the league. He belongs in any best PG ever conversation. It’s really pretty easy…

  191. I don’t think you can exclude the Big O from that conversation, either. Different era, but I’d still take him over CP3. And JKidd isn’t too far behind CP3. I would rank Paul higher, but in a series against a big, quality PG like Magic, I might prefer prime Kidd, who’d better be able to defend him.

    Kidd didn’t shoot well enough to enter in this conversation.

    And I love me some Isiah, but I don’t think he did, either. I agree with THCJ’s original assessment. Would probably have Isiah right behind those three.

    Disclaimer: I’m only excluding Oscar because I don’t have informed opinions on players who played in an era I never saw.

  192. With the huge disclaimer that I’m too young to have seen Isiah play, his stats just don’t live up to his reputation at all. I know it was a different era and different skills were valued, but what am I missing?

  193. You used to be able to beat the shit out opposing point guards, and that obviously hurt their shooting numbers. In fact, maybe I’m being hard on Isiah when comparing him to Paul, as they were around the same size and Paul benefits so much from being in this environment vs Isiah’s.

    But yeah, Isiah’s numbers don’t look as impressive as you would expect.

  194. Isiah Thomas was the ultimate team-creator as a PG. Although he had the offensive skills to be a shoot-first PG, he rarely took on that role (but see his mano-a-mano with Bernard King in the 1984 playoffs). He was also a GREAT defensive PG (not quite at the level of peak Clyde, but much better than Stockton or Magic). Without Isiah putting the team first, Detroit would not have been able to meld the talents of Vinny Johnson, Joe Dumars, Marc Aguirre, James Edwards and Bill Lambeer – who all needed the ball. The only guy that he could not bring into the fold was Adrian Dantley, who got shipped out for Aguirre because was so disruptive.

    Now, I am going to rinse my fingers in lye because they feel so dirty typing positive things about Isiah.

  195. I dunno, Zeke was a legit all-star caliber player for maybe 4 years. He was fun to watch, and he was the face of a very unique team, and as ephus says he was a terrific passer, but he just wasn’t that good when you step back and look at his career as a whole. I don’t think he should be in the hall, because his peak was so short and not really that high, but in his prime he was a very good player. Magic/Stockton/CP3/Big O level? Nah, not even close, and that’s giving Zeke extra points for defense and intangibles.

  196. Take that back Ephus. Don’t mention Isiah and Clyde in the same paragraph. ;-)

    I actually have real doubts about how good Isiah actually was. I think his reputation is just completely out of whack with his actual performance. Certainly, the numbers are nothing to write home about – he basically had only one really good year, (83-84) He was good but not an all timer by any measure. I know stats aren’t everything and there is a communal narrative I am completely ignoring but all the elements are there: college star, celebrity scorer, underrated teammates.

    And my strong recollection from my childhood definitely is of a tiny little man getting credit for work done by a cutthroat coterie of brutal defensive thugs. That opinion was only reinforced during the Ewing/Oakley/Mason years.

    I felt this way before he arrived at MSG. Nothing he has said in court or in the media since has changed my mind.

  197. I loved those Detroit teams, though. I don’t know why. Maybe it was just because I hated the Celtics so much and we weren’t good enough to do anything about it ourselves (until that glorious game 5 in 1990, of course). I loved watching them beat the crap out of Larry Bird.

  198. I’d rank Isiah somewhere close to Gary Payton– not quite on the short list of the truly greatest point guards to ever play, but not all that far behind. Payton was probably a slightly better player than Isiah because I believe Payton was the better defender.

  199. Payton was, in my memory, a WAY better defender….

    He was a way better defender in my memory too, but I didn’t really become an NBA fanatic until Isiah’s career was just about over, so my recollection of his overall game is a little bit fuzzy.

  200. My memory of Payton was that I would watch the game just to watch his defense. I watched him in college for the same reason although OSU wasn’t on much. He was that dynamic. Obviously he played with Kemp back in the glory days so he wasn’t the only reason to tune in but I can distinctly remember loving the Glove just on one end of the court.

    With Isiah, my memory basically was of that entire Pistons team just pounding the crap out of their opponent and wondering what the refs were on the court for.

  201. That’s a good question and a tough one to answer. I actually wouldn’t know where to start. Probably with Payton, Frazier, and I think Sydney Moncrief won two DPOY awards. People will probably say Bruce Bowen, although he was also a forward. Somebody will probably say Kobe too because they always do.

  202. Alvin Robertson won a couple of DPOY awards as well, and had some crazy # of steals to set a single season record.

  203. My memory of Payton was that I would watch the game just to watch his defense. I watched him in college for the same reason although OSU wasn’t on much. He was that dynamic. Obviously he played with Kemp back in the glory days so he wasn’t the only reason to tune in but I can distinctly remember loving the Glove just on one end of the court.

    One fun thing I remember is that the Knicks had a few big wins against those Sonics because they were able to have Anthony Mason bring the ball up and neutralize Payton’s ability to smother point guards. I distinctly recall a game against the Sonics in Seattle on Super Bowl Sunday where we did this (I think it was ’93) and it was the first time most Knicks fans learned that Anthony Mason could handle the ball like a 1.

  204. That’s a great memory Hubert. I have just a vague recollection of it but that definitely sounds like Mase. Probably my favorite Knick that I saw play.

  205. I’m actually kind of shocked at how different Isiah’s numbers are vs what I expected them to be based on my memory of him. I don’t disagree with anything you said, Ephus, but when I look at this:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/t/thomais01.html

    I can’t help but think I brought a lot of personal bias into my assessment of him.

    I dunno – those numbers tell me he was almost as good as Stephon Marbury.

  206. Dick Barnett was actually a better defender than Clyde when Clyde first arrived on the Knicks.
    Eventually the pupil exceeded the teacher.

  207. People forget Isaiah Thomas single hardest deadly destroyed Michael Jordan in back to back playoff series. Shitty exec (decent drafter) hof point guard

  208. Isaiah stats suffered slightly cause of dumars, but watch him against the Bulls in the late 80s, he was the best player on the floor

  209. Clyde you could argue was ahead of his time, if he played in the era of advanced stats he’d be considered the best pg in the game. His defense exceeded his very good offense, rare bird I today’s nba

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