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".
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Ladies and Gentlemen: The Gloritorium

Phil Jackson: "“It isn't ideal,” Jackson said, referring to the alternating monthly visits with Buss. “It was not something I would necessarily bargain to do, to live away from the companion I've had for 15 years. But she said, ‘We’ll be fine.’ And there is something about being fruitful, purposeful in life.”" - Harvey Araton, NYTimes - 02/03/15


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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Ruminations on Picking #4

At the end of the season, the Knicks suddenly started playing as if a playoff position was at stake.  Critics of those pointless wins were admonished by saying, "the players get paid to play hard" and "oh, the players are playing for their careers" as if these last few games were going to alter career trajectories.

I criticized the winning then and I reiterate the stupidity of it now. There is a time and place for everything. Pyrrhic victories cost us a greater chance at finishing higher and it's a damned shame.

There are no basketball Gods who smiled down on us and said, "Good on you, you played hard and you deserve a better pick." No, instead the Math and statistical probability Gods said, "Don't you assholes understand arithmetic?" Is it any wonder the retired NBA players go broke in less than a decade?

The Statistical Probability Gods gave us pick #4. Let's examine the probabilities and options for the Knicks.

First and foremost we'll still need a center.  The Knicks could swap picks with someone further back in the lottery and reach for Cauley-Stein or Kaminsky.  That's probably there for them but I doubt they do that.

If the pundits are right, the Knicks will draft Emmanuel Mudiay and they'll keep him.  At 6'5", he's got the kind of size that Phil Jackson likes and the kid is still growing - how much more he grows becomes an interesting speculation.  He could improbably become the Lebron James of this draft class and under Phil's tutelage, a Michael Jordan archetype player.

Maybe there are Basketball Gods after all.

Assuming Mudiay is the pick - dominoes fall.  Gallo moves over to the two guard creating the most unique Knicks backcourt since Frazier and Munroe. Gallo is a lock down guard who can shoot - the Knicks defense is that much better and the back court is a force.

Hardaway becomes VERY expendable. Calderon as well. Signing Shved is less imperative but still a very nice option is Hardaway and/or Calderon can be moved. Corey Joseph, Reggie Jackson and the rest are no longer primary targets.

So what do we do about a center? Trading for a second, first-round pick is one possibility.  More likely, the Knicks make a Hail Mary pass at Marc Gasol.  Simultaneously, I think they make a strong move for DeAndre Jordan, a pragmatic and effective druther.  And the Knicks will no longer be competing with LA for their talents.

Greg Monroe is publicly rumored as another target, one that I'm less enthusiastic about. Holdovers Jason Smith and Cole Aldrich are as good as many of the lesser FA options. Robin Lopez may be the Dark Horse candidate.

That leaves room for another FA signing. Aldrich? Butler? Danny Green? DeMarre Carroll? Lots of interesting possibilities.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Will the Knicks Acquire Another 2015 Draft Pick?

It seems that this may be a distinct possibility.  Until we know the draft order, its a recursive argument about which player will get chosen at the top of the draft.

Instead let's consider the possibility that the Knicks can move Calderon or Hardaway for another pick.  There's been some chatter that OKC could fiscally benefit from trading their pick.  Dallas too may be looking to retool a bit after the disastrous Rondo trade.  The Knicks might have an opportunity to grab a second first round pick if any of that is true.

I mention it only because, after watching the combine, both Justin Anderson and Terry Rozier look to be sleepers in that teens range of picks.

Rozier has a Dwayne Wade swagger to his game that's intriguing.  Anderson, a high basketball IQ, potential 3&D complement to Melo

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Knicks 2015 Free Agent Primer

Let's take a look at free agents who might be interested in playing for the Knicks and who the Knicks might consider good fits.  We'll assume that Melo is the only sure starter and we'll only qualify candidates by a front-court or back-court draft pick.

PG candidates - Of the big four (Dragic, Knight, Rondo, and Jackson), Rondo may be the one who bolts his current team.  That could happen because of Rondo's personality.  If he does, there is the rumor that he will team with Melo.  But there's a very real problem with that - Rondo will want big bucks for the downside of his career.  Willing as Rondo may be to come, it's unlikely that Phil Jackson rolls that way, it would make no long-term sense to do so.

And neither Knight nor RJackson represent a franchise changing talent - desirable, sure - max money, no -  *unless* the Knicks just can't attract anyone else.

Two more likely candidates emerge - Lin and Beverly, both of whom can likely be signed at a cap friendly price and both of whom actually represent value to the team. Gallo, Shved, and either FA would be great talent and depth.

SG candidates - Here's not only where the Knicks have real need but real Free Agent opportunity. Of a crowded field, Gerald Green, Afflalo, Lou Williams, KT McDaniels, Gerald Henderson, and Gary Neal all might be priced right and fill an important role. John Jenkins being a dark horse candidate here as well.  A very  interesting mix.

Here is where draft candidates get interesting as well. We'll talk about that in a later post.

SF candidates - Draymond Green would be a marvelous coup but the odds are long Middleton, Carroll, and Barnes are next best candidates.  At the right price Derrick Williams or Dunleavy may be worth considering.

PF  candidates - Knicks need a rock-solid backup here.  Jason Smith may be enough. Hard to imagine Millsap wanting to play second fiddle. Amir Johnson would be a coup.  Hansbrough a reasonable bench pick-up.

Center candidates - DeAndre Jordan is not out of the question should Phil draft for a guard.  Monrow is rumored, Brandon Wright an inexpensive choice.  Robin Lopez and Kanter longshots.

We're Back!

Yes, thankfully we lost the last game. One of the more interesting observations that Clyde made during the broadcast was that this season showed just how patient Knicks fans have been with the rebuild from Ground up.

He mentioned the high attendance, courtesy of not booing or disparaging the team, and the audience appreciation for how hard the team, though losing, played.  This is empirical evidence that, contrary to popular opinion, the Knicks can attempt rebuilding when few other options exist.

I also love the degree of losses.  Future Knicks teams needing a rebuild can now not feel like outliers.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Yet Another Moronic Victory

These players could not be more malicious to Knicks fans if they could be. Anyone who has suffered as a Knicks fan over the past 15 years and this clustermuck of a season would find nothing positive in these pyrrhic victories.

Should we fall short in the lottery, may our pick displace one of the morons who sees some kind of macho joy in any of this.

Trade them all, resign not a one.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Jaw Dropping Stupidity - Knicks Beat Orlando

To hell with Defense.  The shortage of basketball intelligence displayed tonight is inexplicable.  To endure this kind of season and to have it washed away in the last three games is F'n lunacy.

Jackson can't trade Hardaway soon enough.

Actually, I take that back.  Keep Hardaway. Assign him to the D league for as long as he can possibly be kept there.

Predicting 2015 - 2016

Recent comments by Derek Fisher have been met with a tsunami of derision by pundits, critics and Knick-haters.  Derek merely stated that the Knicks were not interested in simply winning thirty odd games and they were aiming higher and that if the stars aligned 63 wins would not be impossible.

Why would he say something like that?  If you believe the critics, Phil Jackson has done little right and the team has won but 16 games - "you are what your record says you are". And to hear it told it's nothing but a team of D-Leaguers.

The trouble with that analysis is that the NBA won-lost framework forces teams to "tank" in order to get a better chance at a draft pick.  This isn't news yet it never seems to be factored into discussions that presume "you are what your record says you are".  It seems to me that Fisher has factored that in. The Knicks who were in a total rebuild anyway chose to pursue a better draft pick and are doing it with as much grace and transparency as possible. If that reality distortion was not in play the Knicks are more likely a 40 win team in a fresh start season if nothing changed on the current roster.

The delta between a forty win team and a sixty-ish win team is still large but a few significant signings and a top draft pick could move the win total significantly.

Fisher may be an optimist but he's not delusional.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ruminations Close to the End of the Season

Just a few games left that we should not even think about winning unless Minny wins another before us.

I thought beating Philly was a silly waste of a win.  I would have much preferred this team to have saved it for a team contending for a playoff spot. Oh, well.

Of the away games I watched, Chicago and Nets announcers showed the Knicks respect and discussed this season's strategy with intelligence.  And I'm no Chicago fan.  Just saying that for all of the negative noise being generated, a number of pros get it.

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Until we know what our draft position is and who looks good in workouts, picking a favorite draft choice is like picking a favorite color.  That said, I think the Knicks will go for a big one way or another.  If they get shut out at the three or four on Towns or Okafor, I would expect them to draft for someone else who can deliver Kaminsky or Cauley Stein plus a premium - either a first-rounder in next year's draft or a rotation worthy player.

And I wouldn't rule out a weird pick swap at the top four spots between Philly should they drop to four and NY at a higher spot. Philly has A LOT of bodies that can't all possibly co-exist.  If the Knicks get their man via Philly along with a second player who they like, its a no-brainer.

It could get very interesting, very quickly.

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If the Knicks do go big, the next shoe to drop is what to do about Bargnani.  All of the discussion thus far has centered on Bargnani's recent showing within the Triangle - some call it a good fit. The other side of the coin is his history of disinterest in the game, conditioning, and of course, his appetite to get paid for lackadaisical play.

My suspicion is that the Knicks will keep any offer to a fixed low number.  If Bargnani gets a better offer (and I suspect he will), he's gone.

And, IMO, that is a good thing.  A young center will need to have a teaching, calming presence backing him up and some beefy bangers to keep the kid from getting hammered in the paint. I expect Aldrich, Thomas, and Amundson to stick  with a new face or two joining that group to back the pick and Melo.  Can't help but believe Smith and Acy will get flipped in summer trades.

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I also fully expect that whoever is picked will be joined by a college teammate who falls through the draft or who is acquired on draft night.  Creating a comfort zone for the new guy will be important.

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Shved and Galloway have made a compelling case for securing the PG position.

Expect the two spot to be the position free agency will need to address. Afflalo?

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As for the doom and gloom predictions for next year - rumors of the Knicks demise are greatly exaggerated.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Knicks Lose to Grizz

Yes they do.

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.