|Another 3-1 week with the only loss coming in a game that Porzingis (get well VERY soon) missed. The Knicks also came back from double digits to win in back to back games for the first time in franchise history, which is a lot more fun than the fake comebacks we saw in previous years.|
|Rank||Player||Comments||Last weeks Rank|
|1||Porzingis, Kristaps||Against the Pacers Porzingis had 40 points on 24 shot attempts with 8 rebounds and 6 blocks. A stat line Melo wouldn’t have even in the wettest of dreams.||1|
|2||Kanter, Enes||Kanter looks like he’s improving on defense. He’s got a long way to go but he looks like he’s putting in effort and getting some stops. Very good news for the Knicks.||2|
|3||Hardaway Jr., Tim||With Porzingis out Timmy stepped up with a nice 26 and 11 game. He’s been very inconsistent with his shot but at least he’s contributing in other ways. He’s more than doubling his average in assists, rebounds, and steals than he did his first time with the Knicks.||8|
|4||Ntilikina, Frank||Over the last 3 games Frank is averaging 8 assists per game while playing some of the best defense on the team. He’s only 19. Be excited.||5|
|5||O’Quinn, Kyle||I think it’s fair to say KOQ has one of the best contracts in the league.||4|
|6||McDermott, Doug||McDermott felt like a throw in with the Melo trade, but he’s now a key part of the Knicks bench.||7|
|7||Lee, Courtney||Lee hasn’t been bad this week, but a number of his teammates have played better.||3|
|8||Thomas, Lance||Lance had a +/- of +58 in over the last 4 games. Impressive but not quite ready for a Lance apology episode yet.||13|
|9||Jack, Jarrett||Just goes to show how this team is playing right now. Jack had a decent week and is still ranked 9th.||6|
|10||Dotson, Damyean||I think we’ll see more Dotson when coach realizes that the Beasley experiment isn’t working.||9|
|11||Beasley, Michael||With Porzingis out it was time for Beasley to step up and show what he’s got. Except that didn’t happen.||11|
|12||Baker, Ron||I was pretty high on Baker a few weeks ago and now I can’t see where he gets minutes.||12|
|13||Hernangomez, Willy||In the limited time we’ve seen Willy it looks like he does the same things as O’Quinn only worse.||10|
|14||Sessions, Ramon||At this point Ramon’s official position is injury insurance.||14|
|15||Kuzminskas, Mindaugas||The Knicks are looking to trade Kuz. Probably should have started that process a few games ago. Everyone knows he’s getting waived by the end of the weekend to make room for Noah.||15|
|16||Noah, Joakim||I mentioned above KOQ might have the best contract in the league. If you don’t count Chandler Parsons the Knicks might have the best and the worst contract on their roster.||16|
What does Noah’s second chance look like?
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.
|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|
|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|
Pistons 111, Knicks 107 – Where do the Knicks go from here?
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
|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|