Marc and Jay talk about the summer league games, who we were impressed by, some lineup questions, we love Evan Fournier
New York Knicks at Orlando Magic
March 1st 2017
Knicks 101, Magic 90
The Orlando Magic are a bigger mess than the New York Knicks, if that’s possible.
The Knicks began a stretch of road games in Orlando on Wednesday to take in the Magic, and what a thrilling game it was. If you couldn’t pick up the sarcasm, the Knicks won a snoozer in the amusement park capital of the world and defeated the Magic, 101-90. Kristaps Porzingis returned from a two game absence to lead the Knickerbockers in scoring with 20 points and 9 rebounds. KP pulled down 9 rebounds, knocked down 2 three pointers, and showed little rust in his return to action. Carmelo Anthony had another off game, scoring 17 points on 4-16 shooting.
Derrick Rose finished with 19 points. Evan Fournier led the Magic with 22 points.
If you watched this entire game, you deserve some kind of recognition. This was just a bad game that included two bad teams with nothing to really play for. If you think that the Knicks have anything to play for, you’re just wrong. The Knicks began the game shooting well from the perimeter, with Melo, KP, and the rest of the Knick shooters starting out hot. The shooting allowed the Knicks to get a nice double digit lead to get some space in-between them and the Magic. As we’ve seen all year, the Knicks love to let their leads go once they get them, and that was the case tonight as well.
The difference tonight was that New York was playing Orlando, who are in full blown tank mode for this season, so the Knicks were able to hang on and pull away for the victory.
There’s really not much to say about this one, other than the fact that the Knicks won. Nobody played all that well, and nobody really stunk up the joint either. This was just one team who was clearly better beating another team who was clearly worse. The fact that the Magic can’t even compete with the Knicks shows just how badly it has gotten in Orlando. That city is where basketball goes to die.
Also, Marshall Plumlee scored, and that’s just fun for the entire family.
The Knicks road trip takes them to Philadelphia for another date with the 76ers, Friday night at 7 pm. The Joel Embiid-less Sixers are another squad currently attending tankapolooza, so we should be in for more bad basketball on Friday. Can you feel the excitement. 25-36.
Written by Kevin Meng
Yesterday was part 1 of the free agent targets. And now here are the free agents that the Knicks should target in 2016. In order of importance.
#1) Hassan Whiteside
Projected average salary: 22 million per
Hassan Whiteside is the on the cusp of becoming the first player in league history to multiply his salary by 20 from one season to the next. Count Blockula went from being an obscure NBA misfit playing out contracts in Lebanon to a bonafide NBA star. He averaged 14 points, 12 boards, and nearly 4 blocks per game, all in under 30 minutes of playing time per contest. His rim protection is really what makes him so valuable, though. Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan will have nightmares of him for years to come. Had he not gone down, I’d have expect both of them to turn into raging alcoholics suffering from PTSD.
He gets lost on defense at times, lacks focus every now and then, and is still developing his offensive game, but scoring comes easy when you’re in the top .01% of humans in history in terms of size. Hassan get ball. Hassan dunk. His contract will be for less than the max for Batum or Conley, and the thought of KP AND Whiteside patrolling the paint together in their primes is so exciting that right-wing political groups would consider it scandalous, and it still isn’t legal in Mississippi. Despite our deficiencies at guard(which could be rectified through trades, especially if RoLo becomes redundant), this guy is priority #1. He isn’t so much a 2-t free agent as he is just a foundational franchise piece. He does happen to fit the age bracket we need.
#2) Kent Bazemore
Projected average salary: 15 million per
Bazemore isn’t going to blow anyone away or leave anyone’s jaw hanging low for too long, but what he will do is give the Knicks a reliable 12ish points every night, and, more importantly, the consistent three point shooting and stingy perimeter defense that this team so sorely lacked. He was only 36% from 3 this season overall (still solid), but he was a killer from the corners (a shot he will get plenty of), and he even shot well around the rim (60% from 0-3 feet). He was a net positive in every defensive metric this season for ATL, including being a +3.8 in defensive winshares, and at 6-5 he is lanky enough to guard multiple positions.
With Melo, KP, and hopefully an improved Grant at point guard, the Knicks won’t need someone to create offense, they’ll need someone to hit 3’s, get to the rim off of fakes, and play defense. He has improved every year, and at 26, he might still have a little more room to grow. He definitely isn’t the second most talented player on this list, but he is priority number 2 because of A) how he fits and B) how realistic of a target he is. The average NBA starter is going to get 15 per in this inflated market, so expect the bidding on him to start in that range. Giving him 15/16 per season would eat up only about half of our space, and leave us plenty flexible for 17’. Imagine KB at the 2 instead of he who shall not be named (that’s Sasha Vujacic, by the way).
#3) Evan Fournier Continue reading
Written by Nicholas McGowan
The Knicks headed into last night’s game against the Jazz with a 2-7 record, came out of the game with a 2-8 record. While it looked as though we would have chance to win the game with Melo’s tying bank in three 3 with 3 seconds left, it was just not to be as Trey Burke sealed the deal for the Jazz on a 19 foot baseline jumper over J.R. Smith. Now of course this record is not what we as fans envisioned but there is nothing we can do about it. We started off with a blowout loss to Chicago yet were somehow able to bounce back and beat the Cavs in LeBron’s homecoming. After that, after our hopes for the season skyrocketed, some of us had this feeling that maybe this season might turn out better than we thought, that maybe we will finish with a somewhat high seed in the eastern conference. At least that’s what I though, yet I was dead wrong as the Knicks went 1-6 over our next 7 games dashing all hopes. The playoffs look ever bleaker due to the fact that we suffered back to losses to Hawks, and also had losses to Pistons, Nets, and Magic. (All of those teams besides the Pistons could be competing for a playoff spot.)
Now the triangle so far has looked as expected, there are times when the Knicks have faded back into isolation basketball yet there are times when the triangle allows for open uncontested jumpers and layups. One problem that has still plagued the Knicks is the lack of the ability to make smart basketball decisions. Such as J.R. Smith and that final shot he took against the Magic, or the fact that with 4 minutes left in the third quarter J.R. had to take a seat on the bench because he had 4 fouls last night. On a night where Amar’e is out, and where Shumpert gets injured 58 seconds into the game, J.R. has to realize that he becomes the second scoring option; he cannot be taking bad fouls. The amount of 24 second shot clock violations also appear to be very high, I do not have an exact stat but its bad when the game is on the line and you appear to commit a 24 second violation. Now we were saved by replay, but the Knicks have to understand the situation better.