Episode 400: Porzingod

Marc and Jay talk about the last 4 games, the rotation, our thoughts on each player so far, 10 minutes with a die hard Knicks fan, and much more
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What does Noah’s second chance look like?

What does Noah’s second chance look like?

Written by Luke Ambrose, follow him on twitter and instagram

At centre, 6’11, from hell’s kitchen, Joakim Noah will return November 14 th against the King and his Cavs. The $17-million a-year man has struggled during his time in New York so far, and with younger, better options ready to play meaningful minutes does Noah get another shot? More importantly what does Noah’s second chance role look like?

Over a year ago Phil Jackson offered Noah a huge 4-year deal which will send around $17- million plus per-year to Noah, paying him until he is 34. At the time, Jackson sold a lot of Knicks fans on Noah’s defence, rebounding and precision passing. Last season the garden only saw brief glimpses of the upside Jackson had praised before Noah returned to street clothes with injuries (sore left hamstring/ankle), then the PED suspension at the end of the season (12 games).

Since Noah has been out, the Knicks have transformed their roster into a young, hungry, and centre heavy team. Porzingis has developed into the superstar many predicted he would become a couple of years from now, currently the NBA’s 3 rd highest scorer (29 ppg). Enes Kanter has been exciting with his polished low post game and relentless rebounding (9.9 rpg), even Willy Hernangomez (2016-17 1 st team all-rookie) has had to sit a lot this season because of Kanter’s fireworks. And I haven’t even mentioned a current crowd favourite at the garden, Kyle O’Quinn, who like Porzingis has taken a big step up this year that many did not expect. So, with Kanter playing 24 minutes, O’Quinn playing 16.4 Minutes, and Willy playing just shy of 10 minutes, where does that leave Noah?

The 10-year veteran who won two national championships with Florida in college, and three years ago was in the conversation for MVP will have to fight for minutes. We have already seen coach Jeff Hornacek rewarding his players in minutes for the effort they are giving in practice, and more specifically their defence. Most noticeably Willy Hernangomez has gone from Marc Gasol look-a- like (according to Carmelo Anthony) to role player, because Hornacek has rewarded newbie Kanter for his defensive efforts. While both Willy and Kanter have been battling for minutes through an increased focus on defence neither are projected to be great rim protectors anytime soon.

ESPN’s Jaylen Rose says there are two kinds of players in the NBA, skill players and will
players. Generic as that statement may seem, it does ring true in the league, and Joakim Noah has made a career out of being one of the best ‘will players’ in the NBA. His gritty play may be more suited to the noughties, or even the 90’s, but that toughness Noah attributes to ‘growing up in New York’ is valuable. Granted it is not like the $17-million dollars of cap space, but never the less, it is valuable.

During Joakim’s media day interview he spoke of redemption, ‘I just want to redeem myself, for myself’ he added that he wanted to ‘make peace’ with the fact he got paid ‘a lot of money to be here’. At the time Noah’s personal interview did not truly register as anything noteworthy, but as we creep closer to his return, it may be a positive sign for the young Knicks.

So what does a redemption season look like for both Joakim and the Knicks? This debate has been ongoing for a while, many still see Noah playing meaningful minutes next to Porzingis. On the other end of the conversation Noah is collecting DNP’s and eventually getting removed from the roster via trade or buyout. The Knicks coaching staff will no doubt throw out some strange line-ups after Noah returns. Hornacek & Co, will be praying for a Joakim that resembles himself three years ago. However, his stats across the board both offensively and defensively have been in quick regression over the past three seasons. Multiply that with a long grocery list of injuries and it becomes very clear that Joakim’s most effective basketball has been left in Chi-Town with no intention on migrating to New York.

If he doesn’t play well enough to secure minutes, which seems inevitable with the log jam of talented centres in NY, what can the Knicks do? Trade him? The percentage of that happening without losing a young asset is low, very low. Maybe they can buy out his enormous $17-Million dollar plus contract? The percentage of that happening is equally depressing for Knick’s fans.

Beneath all of the accolades Noah received while he was with Chicago and the drama he has faced in New York he does still have an important role to play on this young Knicks team. If he is willing to buy in the Knicks could make use of Noah as the veteran that keeps this team honest. With so many young players the Knicks need a veteran that has always emphasized defense, ball movement, and effort during his 10-year NBA career. The young Europeans in Willy Hernangomez and Enes Kanter will need another voice in their ears other than Hornacek throughout the season, and Noah seems like the best candidate.

A leadership role may also benefit fellow Frenchman and newly drafted rookie Frank
Ntilikina. We may have already seen some of Noah’s defensive intensity rub off on the
Knicks point guard of the future, with his relentless ball pressure and razor-sharp instincts for cutting off opponents passing lanes. Frank is currently averaging 1.7 spg whilst playing only 17 minutes a night.

By no means is a bench heavy leadership role the best way to spend $17-Million in today’s NBA. However, with a new front office looking to make the Knicks interesting again, Noah’s large contract may act as a safety net during the next 2 years’ of free agency. It will prevent the tandem of Scott Perry and Steve Mills from over paying mid-level players (like Tim Hardaway Jr.). Then once Noah’s contract comes off the books, the Knicks will have a much better young core, and may only be a few pieces away from being interesting.

The NBA is a fast-paced league but for the Knicks at least it seems the best way to become truly relevant again is to take it slow, real slow.

2017/18 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 3

I got busy at work so this is coming out 2 days late, which means I have to include the Houston game instead of it being a 3-0 week. A 3-1 week is still way more fun than last weeks 0-3 week. Maybe I won’t have a meltdown halfway through the rankings this time.
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Porzingis, Kristaps Porzingis averaged 33 and 9 in the three wins and 19 and 5 in the loss. Porzingis has now scored over 30 in 5 of 7 games this season. Would like to see him average more than 1 assist a game, but everything else about his game looks pretty great right now. 1
2 Kanter, Enes Really hoping Kanter can improve on defense. He’s so efficient on offense every night. If he plays over 24 minutes you can pretty much lock in a double double. 2
3 Lee, Courtney Speaking of consistency, Lee doesn’t light up the box score but he knows his roll. He defends, shoots a good % and does what he’s supposed to do. One of the best signings the Knicks have made in the last 10 years. Of course that’s not saying much. 5
4 O’Quinn, Kyle O’Quinn has been so good Knicks fans aren’t even grumbling that much about not seeing fan favorite Hernangomez on the floor. One of the best deals in the NBA. 3
5 Ntilikina, Frank Frank finally got healthy enough to play and the team ripped off 3 wins in a row. His defense is already way above average and he’s had some really nice passes. Not much of a scoring threat but I’d rather defense and passing. We tried a scoring PG with Rose and it didn’t work. 10
6 Jack, Jarrett Jack gets a huge bump for bringing league average talent to the PG position. It doesn’t sound like a complement but the Knicks haven’t had that in years and the difference was immediately noticable. 12
7 McDermott, Doug McDermott has been better than advertised so far. His defense isn’t great but hasn’t been the train wreck we were expecting. 7
8 Hardaway Jr., Tim Two good games this week. And those games were really good. Still going to have to do that more than once or twice a week to be worth that contract. I feel like the inconsistency is going to be absolutely maddening. 15
9 Dotson, Damyean Seeing minutes for Dotson way earlier than I thought we would. He’s looked pretty decent so far in limited playing time. 9
10 Hernangomez, Willy Willy looks like he hasn’t improved at all on defense which is probably why he can’t get minutes over O’Quinn. 6
11 Beasley, Michael I’m beginning to see why so many teams passed on Beasley. 11
12 Baker, Ron Baker really got injured at the wrong time. I wonder if there will be any minutes left for him when he comes back. 8
13 Thomas, Lance I almost forgot Lance was on the team. He has two more years after this one on his contract because Knicks. 13
14 Sessions, Ramon The team looked so much better when Sessions got benched. Not a good sign for Ramon. 4
15 Kuzminskas, Mindaugas Pretty sure Kuz will be wearing a suit for 4 more games and then will get cut. 14
16 Noah, Joakim 4 more games and then Noah will take minutes from a more deserving player. 16

 

 

The New York Knicks Show – Episode 399: A Win Streak

Marc and Jay talk about the last three Knicks games, two of which were wins, lineups, the defense of Frank, Timmy catches fire, and much more

Download Episode 399

2017/18 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 2

I thought it would take a little longer to get this down on the Knicks, but they are already one of only 3 teams in the NBA without a win after two 20 point blowouts and one blown 20 point lead.
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Porzingis, Kristaps Porzingis was terrible against the Celtics but he gets a pass for looking pretty incredible in games 1 and 2. 1
2 Kanter, Enes If you blinked during the first quarter of game 3 you would have missed 8 rebounds by Kanter. He finished with 19. If he could develop even leauge average defense the Knicks could really have something here. 3
3 O’Quinn, Kyle O’Quinn looked like a solid backup in games 1 and 2, but was only given 6 minutes in game 3. I get Hernangomez needs minutes but I figured that would wait until KOQ hit a slump. 6
4 Sessions, Ramon Sessions hasn’t looked very good, but he’s ranked this high because I’m taking into account he’s a backup being thrust into a starting role. Considering that he’s been OK. 12
5 Lee, Courtney Lee’s best days are clearly behind him, but he’s not terrible, which is more than I can say for almost everyone ranked below him. 4 Continue reading

Episode 398: First Week

Marc and Jay talk about the first week of the season, the Thunder and Pistons game, Hernangomez, what is and isn’t working, around the NBA, 10 minutes with a die hard Knicks fan, and more

Pistons 111, Knicks 107 – Where do the Knicks go from here?

Pistons 111, Knicks 107 – Where do the Knicks go from here?

Written by Declan Ryan

The odds on a top draft pick going to New York at the end of the season just increased after what can only be described as a ‘routine’ loss for the Knicks Saturday night.

Leading by as many as 21 points in the first half, the visiting Pistons were sluggish and
noticeably off their game after coming off a loss to the Wizards the night before. However, a 13-point half time lead quickly became 1 point following a characteristic Knicks collapse in the 3rd quarter, and it wasn’t long before Detroit had the lead in the 4th quarter.

$71m man Tim Hardaway Jr. had a night to forget in front of the Knicks faithful, as he only hit 1 of his first 12 attempts from the field, including 0 of 6 from 3pt range. Blame can fairly be placed on his shoulders, as KP’s 33 points (including 23 in the first half) should’ve been more than enough to see the Knicks to their first win of the season, providing his teammates could produce even a semblance of scoring and defense.

For the team’s second scoring option, Hardaway’s night would’ve looked even worse if it wasn’t for the impressive performances from both Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn, who combined for 32 points and 17 rebounds in around 24 minutes on the floor each. I would argue that apart from Kanter and KOQ, none of the Knicks supporting players had games to remember.

Courtney Lee had a dismal 4 points 2 rebounds and 1 assist in 28 minutes of action, and
whilst Ramon Sessions had a passable Continue reading

2017/18 Knicks Roster Power Rankings – Week 1

The first player rankings for the season. There are a lot of new faces. Again. Let’s see if we can sort this out.
Rank Player Comments Last weeks Rank
1 Porzingis, Kristaps The best player on the team by a mile. I’m not worried about his talent level, but health is definitely a concern.
2 Hardaway Jr., Tim A guy the Knicks fanbase practically chased out with pitchforks is one of the best players on the team 2 short seasons later. Will he be grossly overpaid or just slightly overpaid?
3 Kanter, Enes This list is already difficult to put together. Could #3 on this list really be someone who is an absolute liability on defense? At least he has elite level offense. The Knicks will definitely be looking to outscore teams this season.
4 Lee, Courtney One of the few guys who can play defense on this team. Which means he’ll probably be traded by all star break.
5 Hernangomez, Willy Hoping (B)Willing can make a mini-leap this season. The better he is the less we have to watch Noah drag his corpse up and down the court. Continue reading

Episode 397: Fantasy Draft

Marc and Jay talk all things Knicks as well as around the NBA while Jay tries to simultaneously draft his fantasy team

2017-18 Predictions

In Episode 395 we made some predictions. I’m posting them here so you can laugh at us later.

Jay’s Picks

Eastern Conference
1. Boston Celtics
2. Cleveland Cavs
3. Washington Wizards
4. Milwaukee Bucks
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Miami Heat
7. Charlotte Hornets
8. Philadelphia 76ers
9. New York Knicks
10. Detroit Pistons
11. Orlando Magic
12. Indiana Pacers
13. Brooklyn Nets
14. Atlanta Hawks
15. Chicago Bulls

 Western Conference
1. Golden State Warriors
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Houston Rockets
4. San Antonio Spurs
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
6. Denver Nuggets
7. Los Angeles Clippers
8. Utah Jazz
9. Memphis Grizzlies
10. Portland Trailblazers
11. Sacramento Kings
12. Phoenix Suns
13. Dallas Mavericks
14. New Orleans Pelicans
15. Los Angeles Lakers

Marc’s Picks

Eastern Conference
1. Boston Celtics
2. Cleveland Cavs
3. Toronto Raptors
4. Washington Wizards
5. Milwaukee Bucks
6. Miami Heat
7. Philadelphia 76ers
8. Charlotte Hornets
9. Detroit Pistons
10. New York Knicks
11. Indiana Pacers
12. Chicago Bulls
13. Orlando Magic
14. Atlanta Hawks
15. Brooklyn Nets

Western Conference

1. Golden State Warriors
2. San Antonio Spurs
3. Houston Rockets
4. Oklahoma City Thunder
5. Los Angeles Clippers
6. Portland Trailblazers
7. Denver Nuggets
8. Minnesota Timberwolves
9. Utah Jazz
10. Memphis Grizzlies
11. Sacramento Kings
12. New Orleans Pelicans
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Los Angeles Lakers
15. Dallas Mavericks