The Glory-torium is now open in the basement of this blog, check your cynicism at the door. Knock three times and give the doorman the secret words, "In Phil We Trust".

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Gloritorium

Phil Jackson: "We'd like Melo to 'have success somewhere'" - 05/13/15


Monday, October 16, 2017

Crystal Ball 2017-2018 Prediction

I'm going to guess 42 wins - I'm chronically and stupidly optimistic every year.  Why stop now?

By February, my guess is that the roster changes significantly  Too many redundant, look-alike players today.  That will change.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Trade Deadline Approaches

I've been advocating a trade for Ricky Rubio for a few months now.  Initially I thought it might go along the lines of Jennings and Lee for Rubio and change.  Today its sounding more and more like it will be Rose and change for Rubio and change.

However that shakes out its a good deal for both teams.  Rubio should thrive in NY - its where he wanted to be before getting drafted and IMO it removes any and all requirements to draft a PG - not that there's anything wrong with that.  It just gives the Knicks a better BPA option.

Another longshot possibility is that Melo is being dealt to the Clips in a three-way deal involving Boston.  Chris Paul is all but resigned to stay with the Clips and Griffin may be over-the-top expensive to keep and attempt to resign.  So some Boston kids and a pick or two come the Knicks way, Melo to LA, and Griffin to the Celts.  Could happen.

I'm also convinced Courtney Lee will be gone to a contender.  Plenty of suitors and he should realize a handsome return. CLE, Washington, Toronto, and Portland (for other reasons) are likely suitors.

One of our crowded center candidates will also be dealt depending on who gets packaged in any of the aforementioned deals.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Knicks Trade speculation - Winter 2017

It's been a while since last posting and last speculating.  This year's team is a major disappointment and I'm writing this as the team has just lost to an awful but young Lakers team.  This lost just the latest in a series of embarrassing losses that preceded it.

I remain a fan of Phil Jackson and the coaching staff. And I have some respect for Carmelo Anthony as a player and teammate. As I write this here's plenty of trade talk involving Carmelo Anthony and it is nothing the reader has not heard before ad nausea.

So let's start with that - what looks to be a gunfighter's standoff - Carmelo Anthony with a No Trade Clause and Jackson with an obligation to explore all possibilities for improving a team mired losing and disarray.

Given that Anthony has a limited window of teams that he'd be willing to move to, Jackson's ability to move him is highly constrained.  As I write this Cleveland, the Clippers, and Boston are most talked about. IMO, only the Clippers might be trade partners in a Melo transaction.  Let me mention two dark horse candidate team in Washington who are within striking distance of being a legitimate playoff threat.

Any Clippers deal will require an additional team or two to make it work.  For grins let's suggest something along the lines of:

NY gets Reggie Jackson and Jon Leuer, the Clips get Anthony and N'Dour, and Detroit gets Crawford and Rivers.  Detroit saves money, Clips upgrade, NY gets an expensive PG who struggled in Detroit.

Another might be using Portland as a third party.
NY gets Rivers, Turner and Counaughton, Anthony and N'Dour to the Clips, Crawford and Jennings to Portland.

You can see how hard this stuff is to put together.  Chances are Melo stays a Knick in limbo.

Ricky Rubio is another PG being mentioned in trade talks.  If I'm the front-office (and I'm not Phil, Gaines, or the rest) Rubio would be a priority candidate to trade for. Rose (he has a history with Thibodeau) or CLee and Jennings work for Rubio and change.

Derrick Williams another former Knick who always hustled looks to be available.  You have to take a flyer on him.

Are Rose and/or Noah moveable?  Not easily.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Let the Trade Speculation Begin

With a little more than a quarter of the season over and the Dec.15 trade threshold in the rear-view mirror let's take a look at where the Knicks are and where they're going.

So far, all my "happy ending" narratives for this year have been running true. Porzingas has turned out to be a better player than many of us hoped he'd be this year.  And injuries have been scarce across the team roster.  And the depth of the roster looks to ensure that an injury or two will not be crippling.

Phil's roster moves have proven to be prescient.

For the Knicks to be hugging the .500 mark is a very good sign. By the three-quarter mark of the season I expect the team to continue to mature, avoid the few silly losses they've endured recently, and to have an above .500 record at that time.

That brings us to the issue of what the Knicks may be looking forward to. Jackson and Fisher are not tipping their hand and there is speculation that the Knicks are looking to complement their front-court. But before we get to that, let's recalibrate where the Knicks are and to to answer this we have to say that their record was where everyone had hoped they'd be all things being rosy.

But let's be honest here.  The Knicks as a team and as a roster are much better than anyone expected. No one has been a disappointment and pleasant surprises abound. But most encouragingly, Anthony has found his complement in Porzingas and Afflalo - he is no longer the Lone Ranger on the court and they are fully complemented by the rest of the roster.

If you are Phil Jackson or Derek Fisher you can take a deep breath and say things are looking good and the Knicks will likely secure a playoff spot. At the beginning of the season, making the playoffs was a highly contentious speculation, for Jackson it had to be a private make or break expectation.

As he looks to the horizon of the playoffs, it is hard to imagine that he's satisfied with just making the playoffs.  After all, he still has an implicit gentleman's obligation to Anthony to put together a championship team. So the question becomes, will Jackson attempt to shock the world by bulking up this year's model into something of a greater than a one-and-done playoff team?

IMO, expect something just that unexpected.

Months ago, I suggested that Calderon could or would be moved for either Brandon Jennings or Rajon Rondo.  These days the MSM speculation is honing in on Jennings who is expendable in Detroit. However, Sacramento's Catch-22 situation of be damned if you are mediocre and smart if you tank, the tanking will likely kick in soon.  But Rondo is a different post.

Another intriguing possibility is Kevin Martin. JJ Redick another should the Clippers implode before the trading deadline as they have the potential to do.

Calderon has been a pleasant surprise in the early going and providing a yeoman's effort in this early season going.  But because of his age, the likelihood of Calderon improving his play or even being as productive is questionable. moving him to the bench is certainly possible but the bench is expected to bring energy to the floor not just provide placeholder coverage.

Back to a Brandon Jennings trade. many pundits see the possibility as a high-risk, high-reward transaction. So let's examine the high-risk. Coming off an Achilles injury, its possible Jennings either functions as a deep bench substitute or simply wears a suit all season.  This would be little different than Calderon sustaining a long-term injury.  This likely wouldn't threaten making the playoffs but it could weaken the team.

For this reason I think any risky trade scenario involves dual transactions. Due to the maturity of Thomas, Cleanthony Early is very expendable through no fault of his own.  Should Jackson make a high risk trade at the high end of the roster I'd expect a smaller bet be placed at the low end to mitigate any risk taken at the high end.

IMO, moving Early somewhere where he might get some minutes is certainly possible. And Phil does well by his players in terms of putting them in a position to succeed elsewhere.

There's a handful of potential Early trades that could return either a splinter-gathering PG or combo guard who could reinforce the Knicks bench. Elijah Millsap, Jonathan Simmons, Russ Smith, Ian Clark, and Joe Harris all have a profile fitting the bill.

To more wildly speculate, I would not discount the possibility that Houston will have to re-examine their situation and attempt to rebuild on the fly. A Cleanthony Early for Jason Terry deal is not out of the question. terry would be a game-changer acquisition with eyes on a playoff run.

I'm expecting the unexpected.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Close game in Toronto or so it would seem

Carmelo Anthony is an enigma.  He plays well for the first three quarters and then loses his mind.

In the fourth quarter of the Tonto win the Knicks had a comfortable lead until Anthony decided it was about him.  Bad shots, bad judgment... scary player.

IMO, Fisher should just yank him the minute he takes a bad shot.  He's going to cost us a game or two unless he sticks to the system.

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Phil should consider cashing in his chips on Seraphin for a draft pick next year and sign N'Dour. Seraphin is playing his way out of town.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Does Carmelo Anthony Belong in the Second Unit?

The latest loss to Milwaukee yet again exposes what has become a toxic pattern with the Knicks for years.  That is that Melo is not a franchise player and never will be. The Milwaukee game was close in the fourth quarter until Melo entered the game and proceeded to eliminate any semblance of team cohesion.

The MSG talking point is that Melo still hasn't recovered his leg strength.  But honestly, his leg strength has nothing to do with bad judgment, lack of basketball IQ, and a failure to ratchet up his game as Phil had hoped.

It's time that maybe Melo might be most useful as a sixth man (JR replacement) off the bench with the hope he can score some points quickly and with the pattern of yanking him with a lead.

Calderon remains the other elephant in the Garden. He's worked his way back to being player #15 behind the available roster spot.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Roster position #15 and the Future of Jose Calderon

Recent reports indicate that the Knicks second unit featuring Grant and Galloway are trouncing the starting unit.  Furthermore, Derek Fisher has expressed a desire to sign a quick Point or Combo Guard to complement the roster.

With Derrick Williams displaying outstanding skills and Cleanthony Early also looking ready to contribute, we may see some early trade activity.

Carlos Boozer is available.  That fact puts the retention of Thomas and Seraphin who is struggling in doubt.

Jackson and Fisher and Melo are serious about winning NOW. Keep in mind Seraphin was signed at the recommendation of team players - he's not a Jackson decision to begin with. Lance Thomas is there as a comfort zone, locker-room presence for Fisher.  Both look to be expendable for the right talent.

It will come to no surprise to this writer if Jose Calderon were packaged with either or both players for a proven back-up quality PG, a future second-rounder, and/or a deep bench player who improves the team speed.

If Calderon is retained in the early going I will further wildly speculate that a mid-Dec trade of Calderon and Thomas for Rajon Rondo++ will be consumed.  There are already reports out of Sacramento that Rondo and Karl are having differences.  Rondo's last chance stop in the NBA may be with his friend Carmelo Anthony as a back-up to Jerian Grant.

A more immediate fix could involve trading Calderon for Brandon Jennings who could become player 15 while he recovers.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Pre-Pre-2015-16 Season Analysis

After months of media and fan-fueled hysteria, Phil Jackson not only acquired a second first-round draft pick but managed to take a risk on Kristaps Porzingis.  Porzingis is proving to rescue the Knicks from the blunder of winning a few end-of-season games that cost them prime lottery position. Jerian Grant the other first rounder also looks like a great investment and the by-product of the trade that brought Grant to the Knicks was the trading of Tim Hardaway.

Hardaway's lack of defense and chucking mentality will not be missed.

Nor did the Knicks resign Shane Larkin whose rookie guard play and diminutive size also cost the Knicks many games. Larkin cannot be solely blamed.  He was thrust into a starting role he was ill-equipped to handle due to Calderon's injury.

Had Jackson signed no one the jettisoning of Hardaway and Larkin would add 10 wins to the Knicks total of last year - say, 27 wins - nothing to write home about but a significant difference.

However, not only did Jackson strike it rich in the draft but he also made some modest, smart free agent signings in Robin Lopez, Kevin Seraphin, Arron Aflallo, Sasha Vujacic, and Derrick Williams. Kyle O'Quinn was acquired from Orlando.

Returning veterans are Calderon, Thomas, Early, Amundson, Melo, and Galloway.

By the end of preseason play Williams, O'Quinn, Early, Porzingis, and Grant all played surprising better than expected. Galloway is playing excellent ball.

Porzingis, Lopez, and Aflallo were all dinged up a bit during the pre-season. Calderon looks healthy and ready to contribute.

The preseason play was mixed bag with the team needing time to gel but at least this year the talent and chemistry is there.

Taking the free agents into account I'm going to predict a window of ten to fifteen addition wins over the 27 the team would win just by losing two lackluster players. So 37-42 wins assuming nothing catastrophic occurs health-wise to key players.

The Knicks may be a player away from a playoff seed but that player may be negotiated in January or February.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

New York Trade Exceptions - 2015

After the lottery proceedings the other day, Steve Mills mentioned making use of the existing Trade Exceptions the Knicks have been stock-piling.  The pundits, haters, and psycho-babble that followed in the wake of the draft results drowned out Mills' assertion.

It's an important one.  Here's why - lots of teams are strapped for cash going into July's salary negotiations. Many of them have players they'd love to jettison without assuming responsibility for additional salary obligations. For the Knicks who have cap space and an appetite to acquire more picks, here's an opportunity to both improve the roster depth AND add a pick who could work his way onto the roster or become a Westchester prospect.

Let's examine a few potential Trade exception trades.

The Travis Outlaw exception remains a dormant asset from Jackson's initial trading flurry.  It's a small one but might work in two plausible scenarios;

The TO exception for Atlanta's sg John Jenkins and pick # 50 OR for Orlando's sf Mo Harkless and pick #51.

A second small exception is the Pablo Prigioni exception.  The PP exception could plausibly be applied to the acquisition of Phoenix's Reggie Bullock and pick #44.

Two larger exceptions can be reasonably exercised as well though they impact the Knicks cap space a bit more.

The Iman Shumpert exception  could be offered to OKC for Jeremy Lamb and #14.

Finally, the JR Smith trade exception which is much larger could be offered to Minnesota for Chase Budinger and  picks #31 and #36.

ALL of the acquired players are risky acquisitions, some more than others.  Yet no evaluation of the effectiveness of Phil Jackson trades will be complete until these are factored in.

Given the fiscal state of many teams, the Knicks have great opportunity to call their own plays.

Necessities

Ye Newe Glory-torium

Here, dear readers, is the final resting place of all weary Knicks fans. Yes, here is where one comes when the Triangle refuses to have three sides, when biting one's lip from losing to win later is one loss too far,or when said fan simply hits 'rock' bottom. In short, "the ship be" eternally "sinking" here. Welcome aboard, rearrange the deck chairs as you please.