Jay is off somewhere battling CPA demons so friend of the show Dustin joins Marc for a fun conversation about the almighty Hezonja, the sad, sad Lebron, the draft, free agency and everything else Knicks we could think of.
In Episode 447 we proposed 29 trade scenarios involving the Knicks, one for each team in the NBA. Not all of them were great, but Marc and Jay each proposed three scenarios that we agreed were pretty interesting and would work for both teams. In no particular order here are the 4 proposals:
#1 – The Knicks received Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier for Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr.
The Celtics do this if they get paranoid about Haywards health and Roziers regression and want to clear up a lot of cap space, the Knicks do this if they think Hayward bounces back next season and think Rozier might look better in a new situation.
#2 – The Knicks receive Klay Thompson for Tim Hardaway Jr., Frank Ntilikina, and Mitchell Robinson
The trade machine says the Knicks only get 1 game better, but if I were a betting man I’d guess the Knicks would be way better after this trade. Of course the only way the Warriors do this is if Klay says he’s definitely leaving and wants to be in NY.
#3 – Knicks get Ben Simmons and T.J. McConnell for Kristaps Porzingis and Emmanuel Mudiay
Too many ball handlers on the 76ers right now with Butler and Embiid, and Simmons seems like the odd man out. He can be the man in NY and Philly can have a front court of Porzingis and Embiid for a decade.
#4 – Knicks get Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay for Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee
The Spurs do this because they are in win now mode and this makes them better. The Knicks do this to clear up a bunch of cap space over the next two years.
Mets started their season off 11-1 before becoming a goddamn laughing stock. The Jets had a huge opening night before crashing back to earth. I hope the Knicks didn’t peak tonight (peaking in preseason would be especially cruel).
It’s nice that the Knicks could actually win in OT which has not exactly been their specialty in recent memory and it was especially fun to see them do it with the 3rd string guys. Who knows how much the Wizards cared about winning but whatever, this was a fun way to kick things off. Here are my observations: Continue reading
Knicks Look to Close Out NBA Season on High Note
With only a few remaining games in what has been a disappointing season for the New York Knicks, there are still reasons to get interested in the final stretch. As the Knicks will go into most of their final games as underdogs, the NBA basketball lines for the Knicks remaining games promise some big payoffs for anyone looking to make money off of a Knicks upset.
Here are some of the key matchups to look at:
April 9th & 11th – home and home series against the Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs will be looking to use these games as a springboard into the playoffs. Currently sitting in third place in the East and five games into a win streak, the Cavs would do themselves well by getting two big wins against an inferior team right before heading into the postseason. With as close as their division is (Indiana is right on their heels and Milwaukee isn’t too far behind either) the Cavs may even need these games to lock up third place, which will be crucial down the stretch. Look for a confident Cavaliers team to show up to this back to back series. It will be doubtful that the Knicks could pull wins off in either of these games, but if Cleveland takes things for granted in an effort to rest up before the playoffs, or if they choose to give their bench some more playing time before things get serious, the Knicks have a shot at a couple of wins here. As proof it’s not impossible, the Knicks did win the first meeting of the season, taking a 114-95 victory back on October 9th.
March 28th vs the 76’ers
Philadelphia has already locked up a spot in the east, but they are right in the middle of a bunch of teams who could move up or down the standings depending on how the rest of the season plays out. The Knicks have yet to win against the 76’ers this year, most recently dropping a 118-110 contest at home back on March 15th. Since Philly will be trying to string together some wins going into the playoffs to both give themselves momentum and gain ground in the standings, look for them not to take this contest lightly. This game is the least likely to end in an upset, so if you are looking to make money off the Knicks, this is not the most likely game to do it.
April 7th vs the Bucks
During a miserable 1-17 stretch that lasted all the way through February and halfway into March, the Knicks faced the Bucks three times and dropped all of those contests (92-90, 103-89 and 120-112). Fast forward to now, and well…nothing has changed much. The Bucks have still not clinched a spot in the East, but still have a good chance at making the playoffs along with the Miami Heat, with whom they are tied in wins with 39. Depending on what happens between now and then, these are games that the Knicks could possibly steal if Milwaukee takes things for granted. All three times they matched up this year the Knicks were in the middle of playing their worst basketball and come April 7th they might feel they have something to prove. You never know this time of year.
March Madness Draft Preview
As the NCAA tournament approaches many top NBA prospects will be in action providing NBA fans a good look. This is a good opportunity for fans whose teams are in tank mode to see potential prospects in action.
I recently got Twitter for the first time and one thing I have noticed is the apparent desperation among Knicks fans to reach the top of the lottery. Fortunately that may not be necessary to get a franchise cornerstone in this draft.
This was one of the best drafts at the top in recent memory, and the ascension of Oklahoma’s Trae Young just makes it better. Collin Sexton has been compared to last years fifth overall pick De’Aaron Fox. In this years draft many mock drafts have Sexton falling out of the top ten.
It also helps that the Knicks major deficiencies, defense, three point shooting, and the small forward position all can be addressed around the ninth pick. The back end of the top ten seems to be the optimal spot for a team seeking a three and D wing.
This season has been a career year for Villanova Junior Mikal Bridges. Up to this year he had been a defensive stud for the one seed Wildcats. Now he has been an offensive weapon as well. He averaged 18 points a game for a very good team, and is a good three point shooter. He has spent the most time in college of the top prospects which could help ease the transition to the NBA. His scoring ability, and three point shot are nice, but his ability to defend multiple positions, and shut down an opponents best player is his biggest draw.
Kevin Knox Continue reading
Heat, Mavs, Improvement?
The Knicks moved to 19-21 this season after an encouraging win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Prior to the Dallas game, the Knicks threw away what would’ve been a great confidence boosting win in Miami, who’s victory was largely predicated on their willingness to shoot threes, and the Knicks’ reluctance to do the same.
The 107-103 loss in overtime to the Heat was a reminder for Knicks fans that despite a
promising start to the season, there is room for improvement on multiple fronts for the
team going forward. Much has been made over the improved defense and effort that passes the eye test when watching the team, but statistically, the game-plans have to
improve if the Knicks want to reach even the 8th seed in the playoff race this year.
Miami attempted 42 threes on Friday, but the Knicks only managed 13 attempts – this
disparity further highlighted by the fact that the Knicks didn’t make a single 3 pointer until the 3rd quarter. Of course, attempting a low number of threes would be excusable if the team was having an off night – there’s no use chucking threes just for the sake of it. However, the Knicks hit 5 threes on Friday, shooting a good 38.5% as opposed to the Heat who shot 28.5% (12/42).
We all know that the Knicks have struggled mightily in defending the 3 point line this
season, in fact, it’s probably the most frustrating part of watching the team so far. Given that for the most part the effort on defense has been great, the Knicks’ players are doing themselves a disservice by giving them up.
A more detailed study of the Heat game, undertaken by reddit user /u/zounderk1te (1) , shows that the team suffers from multiple individual errors when on defense; this is compounded by the fact that the team has to constantly help on defense to contain opposition players who are allowed to drive to the rim far too easily.
Despite KP’s recent ‘tired’ comments, there is a real case for him moving to the 5 once he can hang physically with NBA big men down low. KP frequently doesn’t contest 3 pointers when guarding stretch 4’s, and there’s no doubt he’s best defensively as a rim protector, closer to the basket.
Anyone who has watched the Knicks this year will tell you that the team appears to flat out refuse to box out sometimes, instead ball watching and allowing easy offensive rebounds as well as long rebounds which lead to easy threes for the other team. Truthfully, it’s hard to say whether this is solely a coaching issue, or because of the inexperience of the team’s young players, but regardless it’s killing the Knicks especially down the stretch in close games.
|Rank||Player||Comments||Last weeks Rank|
|1||Porzingis, Kristaps||Please don’t be injured, please don’t be injured, please don’t be injured, please don’t be injured.||3|
|2||Kanter, Enes||The fact that Kanter is a double-double machine and McDermott is a solid bench player while Melo is averaging career lows in just about every category makes me feel so much better about this trade than I did a few months ago.||2|
|3||Lee, Courtney||Lee has had some monster games lately. Definitely picking up scoring void Hardaway left when he went down.||1|
|4||McDermott, Doug||McDermott was a big reason that all of the starters had a negative +/- while all the bench players had a positive +/- against the Hawks.||7|
|5||Beasley, Michael||If Beasley keeps playing like this it’s definitely going to effect the odds on Knicks making the playoffs.||5|
|6||Ntilikina, Frank||Up and down season, which is normal for a 19 year old PG. This week was a very up week.||11|
|7||Jack, Jarrett||Jack had a similar week to last week. He’s only moving down because so many Knicks had an even better week.||4|
|8||Thomas, Lance||Thomas has moved into the starting lineup and hasn’t looked too bad. No apology coming.||8|
|9||O’Quinn, Kyle||O’Quinn hasn’t been getting many minutes lately but he’s definitely been making the most of them.||9|
|10||Hardaway Jr., Tim||The Knicks have been winning, but they are going to need Timmy to get healthy soon. A ton of away games in January and against much better competition.||6|
|11||Baker, Ron||Baker came back and has looked like a 4M a year player. Take that however you want.||13|
|12||Dotson, Damyean||Looks like Baker took Dotsons minutes. Not sure how I feel about that. I don’t think I feel great about it.||10|
|13||Hernangomez, Willy||Willy better figure out defense and fast or he’s going to be out of the NBA in a year or two.||12|
|14||Sessions, Ramon||Since Jack is the Knicks veteran PG presense what value does Sessions bring?||14|
|15||Noah, Joakim||Parsons is averaging over 12 PPG this month, making Noah the official worst contract in the NBA.||15|
|Four games since the last rankings. 2 and 2 which is pretty amazing considering Porzingis and Hardaway each missed three games.|
|Rank||Player||Comments||Last weeks Rank|
|1||Lee, Courtney||Someone needed to step up when Porzingis and Hardaway were out and it looks like Lee was more than happy to take on that roll. Great week for Lee.||3|
|2||Kanter, Enes||Three double-doubles this week for Kanter. It’s so nice having someone down low who is able to grab seemingly every rebound.||6|
|3||Porzingis, Kristaps||Beasley did better than expected when starting in place of Porzingis, but I think we can all say thank god Porzingis is back.||2|
|4||Jack, Jarrett||Jack has definitely been this seasons most pleasant surprise. I guarantee that in the beginning of the season there weren’t too many NBA betting sites that had Jack averaging over 6 assists per game.||4|
|5||Beasley, Michael||Beasley backed up his words with a surprisingly good week. Color me impressed.||8|
|6||Hardaway Jr., Tim||Of course as soon as Hardaway starts looking great he gets injured. Knicks really need his scoring. They averaged just under 99 points a game in the three games THJ missed this week.||1|
|7||McDermott, Doug||McDermott hit 14 shots this week and only 3 of them were threes. Weird.||7|
|8||Thomas, Lance||The bench has been very mediocre lately. Not terrible, but no one has stood out either. Lance leads the ‘meh mob’.||10|
|9||O’Quinn, Kyle||KOQ did almost nothing on the court this week but I still love his energy.||5|
|10||Dotson, Damyean||Dotson got to start a couple games this week and even grabbed 7 boards on Monday. Progress.||11|
|11||Ntilikina, Frank||Frank had me really excited a few weeks ago. Lately….not so much.||9|
|12||Hernangomez, Willy||Willy played one game this week where he didn’t look like trash, tying his season long record.||14|
|13||Baker, Ron||Baker is back. Hooray?||13|
|14||Sessions, Ramon||We had a Ramon sighting this week. Rad.||15|
|15||Noah, Joakim||To everyone who got mad at me for criticizing the Noah contract: apology line starts on the left.||12|
(Note, we apologize to Declan for getting this very well written recap up late. We would also post a recap of last night’s loss to the Pacers but that would be NSFW)
Knicks lose at home to Magic, 105-100
With Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis out through injury, the Knicks (11-11)
fell to the visiting Orlando Magic (10-14) 105-100 in what was an uninspiring 48
minutes of NBA basketball.
Sunday’s loss sees the Knicks having won only 1 of their last 5 games, the only win
in that stretch coming against the Whiteside-less Heat on Wednesday. The absence
of both THJ and KP made a seemingly perfect opportunity for Frank Ntilikina to be
green-lit for sizeable minutes, yet as the game progressed it became obvious that
Jeff Hornacek had other ideas.
Immediately shifting the blame to the foul disparity in his post-game interview,
Hornacek failed to justify why at 8.55 in the 4 th he decided to bench Ntilikina for
Ramon Sessions’ first and only minutes of the game – not bringing the French rookie
back onto the court until the game was almost over with 25 seconds left to play.
Sessions immediately missed a wide open 3 pointer and had a -5 in his 4 minutes of
action. This substitution left the Knicks with a lineup of Sessions, Baker, Lee,
Beasley and KOQ playing important clutch minutes, where Ntilikina could have
instead been gaining invaluable experience in a game where despite foul trouble
early, he was being productive offensively.
Notwithstanding the 4 th however, the Knicks will rue their ineptitude in the 1 st where
they were down by as many as 17 points. Jarrett Jack and Enes Kanter were most
noticeable with their self-destruct style of defense allowing the Magic to enter the
paint like a hot knife through butter. On the surface Kanter’s 18 points and 16
rebounds seem more than serviceable for the Knicks most talented starter on
Sunday, but he allowed the Magic’s Nikola Vucevic to have 34 points and 12
rebounds, offering a stark reminder of perhaps why Kanter won’t be the long-term
answer at the 5 position for the Knicks – Vucevic had his number all game.
Unfortunately for rookie Damyean Dotson his first career start was met with great
effort but poor execution as he ended the afternoon with 2 points on 1-3 shooting, 1
rebound, 0 assists and with the worst +/- of any Knicks player with a -16 for the
game. Michael Beasley had a nice 21 points but made numerous poor decisions
especially in the 4 th that ultimately cost the Knicks, going 1-3 with a foul and a
turnover in the final 5 minutes.