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Kanter unhappy with bench role

Enes Kanter lost his starting spot to Luke Kornet over the last two games. He has not been shy in voicing his displeasure.

  • Kanter: “I don’t understand. This is too early in the season to shut me down. My goal is to go out there and try to be an All-Star this year. That was my goal. But now, look at the situation. You can’t do anything about it. You’ve got to stay positive. Just got to stay positive.” [Ian Begley | ESPN]
  • When pressed about his feelings on the Knicks prioritizing player development, Kanter said, “Ask me after the [Nuggets] game. I’ll have a better answer. … We’ll just talk about it after the game.” [Marc Berman | New York Post]

Should the Knicks be playing Kanter? Using the difference in points scored vs allowed per 100 possessions when Kanter is on the court vs off the court, you can project his impact on team wins. This season, the Knicks have played like a 15-win team with Kanter on the floor, versus a 27-win team when he is off the floor. The team’s net rating is 6.2 points LOWER when he plays versus when he doesn’t. [Cleaning the Glass]

  • If you are reading this blog, you know his limitations on defense; Kanter is also a limited player on offense, as a scorer out of the post or on put-backs. Regardless how you feel about the Knicks prioritizing youth over veteran playing time, it is debatable whether Kanter makes the Knicks better.

Meanwhile, Lance Thomas and Courtney Lee were reportedly told “a while ago that the organization was prioritizing ‘development,'” which I take to mean playing young players over veterans. [Stefan Bondy | New York Daily News]

  • Fizdale said there was a team-wide discussion Monday before its film session where the frustrations of the veterans who have seen their playing time decrease were addressed.” [Chris Iseman | The Record]

Mitchell Robinson back soon

Mitchell Robinson is hoping to return for the Knicks’ January 4th match-up with the Lakers, although it is more likely he won’t return until the final two games of the current west coast trip, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

  • Robinson: “Hopefully the last two games or before I’ll be playing. I would like to play [against the Lakers]. I don’t like sitting down. I just want to play.” [Marc Berman | New York Post]
  • The Knicks are 0-7 since Robinson left the lineup with a sprained left ankle. He recently shed a walking boot that he had been wearing during his recovery process. He injured himself falling awkwardly on December 14 vs Charlotte, the last game the Knicks won.

Knicks blown out in Utah

The Knicks nearly faced their largest halftime deficit in franchise history during their blowout loss to Utah. A Tim Hardaway Jr. three-pointer saved them from that dubious feat. The Knicks found themselves down by 37 points at halftime (their largest halftime deficit ever is 40 points).

  • Fizdale: “[The Jazz] came out with force. We came out dead. We had no legs, no life, no nothing, couldn’t make shots, couldn’t get stops. It was a total avalanche.” [MSG Networks]
  • Knicks assistants Keith Smart and Kaleb Canales gave it to the team at halftime. The Knicks responded with a better second half, but it’s hard to evaluate when the score was so out of hand.

Frank dunks over Gobert

This was literally the only highlight of the game.

Mudiay discusses troubles in Denver

Emmanuel Mudiay was not on speaking terms with the Denver media upon being traded to the Knicks. He tells the New York Daily News that questions about his struggles and benching became repetitive.

  • Mudiay: “I kind of shut down for a little bit. That’s just the honest truth. I was young. I’m still young. But you have to kind of go through certain things.” [Stefan Bondy | New York Daily News]
  • Mudiay admitted he was out of shape when coming to New York last season, finding his solution in giving up fried food. [Stefan Bondy | New York Daily News]

Dotson part of future?

The Knicks have a strong interest in Dotson as a part of their future, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.

  • Dotson has a non-guaranteed amount of $1.6MM that the Knicks have until July 15 to decide on.
  • Since his 2019 salary is only about $800,000 more than a min roster charge, there is not much cap savings in letting him walk. It would seem to make sense to keep a young player with a strong work ethic, rather than looking to replace his production, at such a cheap price, with someone else.

Luke Kornet starts again

Luke Kornet received his second consecutive start in Utah. He connected on four more three-pointers in the Knicks loss, after making seven in his first start.

  • Utah took advantage of the Knicks’ defense by putting Kornet in situations where he was forced to defend 1-on-2 out of drop coverage, as Gobert finishing most plays with dunks. The Knicks guards had trouble keeping the ball-handler in front of them on pick and rolls.
  • The Knicks tried to adjust in the second half. They had Kornet show high on the initial screen to prevent penetration. He would then quickly recover back to his man. This worked in isolated situations, but didn’t in others. The Knicks’ off-ball defenders had trouble bumping or “holding” the roll man to allow Kornet enough time to recover.

In his first start: Kornet became the first seven-footer to connect on 7 three-pointers in a Knicks uniform, according to Basketball-Reference. He also joined a small list of seven-footers across the entire NBA to connect on 7 threes. The others are Channing Frye, Brook Lopez, Lauri Markkanen and Dirk Nowitzki. [Kevin Pelton | ESPN]

  • What starting means: Hopefully it means that Fizdale is starting to figure out that as much as Kanter racks up points and rebounds from post-ups and put-backs, he adds very little value as a pick-and-roll player in the offense, and becomes a net negative due to his defense. Kornet helps the Knicks stretch the floor up to the 5 position, providing a major threat to pop out of pick-and-rolls, and he is also a stable defender near the rim.

David Fizdale likes what Kornet can do for the Knicks’ defense.

  • Fizdale once said Kornet “couldn’t jump over an envelope” in complimenting his ability to protect the rim despite his lack of athleticism. Kornet responded, “I was actually thinking about how many envelopes I could jump and then putting them in his office.” [Marc Berman | New York Post]
  • How was Kornet’s defense vs Milwaukee? Milwaukee is the best team in the NBA scoring near the rim. In Kornet’s first start, the Knicks held them to 61.1% near the rim (which would rank 22nd). Part of this is a result of Vonleh’s defense on Giannis, and Kornet was beat convincingly by Brook Lopez on a few possessions, but overall, he helped the Knicks stay even on defense against a tough match-up.

Knicks Briefing

What’s going on, Knicks fans!

The Knicks have a few days off to recover from an ugly loss to Philadelphia.

They play next on Saturday vs the Bucks.

Let’s catch up on the latest news.


Orlando interested in Ntilikina?

The Magic have shown interest in the 20-year-old, according to a league source, with a scout in Philadelphia last night watching him.

“He’s intriguing,” a different scout said.

[via Mike Vorkunov]

  • What this means: Hopefully, it means other teams see the same potential in Frank that many Knicks fans see. Could Orlando be simply checking in on someone they consider a low-end prospect? Perhaps. But I suspect other teams would be “intrigued,” as the one scout put it to Vork, by a 20-year old guard who can defend all spaces on the floor.
  • Read more about what this story means and provide your own comment.


Fizdale started connecting early with Knicks players

Vonleh said after he signed with the Knicks, he started participating in pickup games they were holding at Hunter College and Columbia University.

The feedback he received was important.

“[Fizdale] would tell me after those pickup sessions, ‘I like what you’re doing out there, keep going, keep being yourself,'” Vonleh said […]

“The player development stuff, everybody talks about the gym work, we’re all stealing from each other,” Fizdale said. “All the coaches get together in the summer. We work together, we exchange ideas. We’re all developing the same skill sets. It’s how do you get through to that kid to get him back to where he believes in himself and try to get him a game that can be reliable on the NBA court. That’s really what I’ve tried to do with these guys.”

[via Chris Iseman]

  • What this means: At this site, perhaps more than any, we focus on the technical aspects of the game, the Xs and Os. But you can’t overlook how much confidence and camaraderie impact player performance. Fizdale has done a wonderful job connecting with this young group in short time.

Dotson stays ready

In 23 minutes, Dotson pumped in 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from the 3-point line in the Knicks’ 115-108 loss to the Pistons. It was the lone bright spot to a messy shooting night in Motor City as Dotson kept the Knicks within single digits within the final minutes.

“You’re always right there even if you haven’t played a game or two,’’ Fizdale said. “He stepped up big time. That’s what you call a pro. Keeping yourself ready and not let yourself get down and when your number is called, you go and produce. Dot’s a big-time pro. He’s a guy I really trust in.”

[via Marc Berman]

  • What this means: As Fizdale continues to experiment with lineup combinations, it would be easy for players to be frustrated when they don’t find minutes during a given stretch. It is refreshing to see a young player, like Dotson, continue to put in the work, even when he doesn’t play, so he can have a performance like he did last night, playing for the first time in five games.

Fizdale done tinkering with rotation?

David Fizdale appeared on The Michael Kay Show to discuss the state of the Knicks. He sounded more confident about what he has in his group in terms of deciding rotation minutes and roles going forward. It doesn’t mean things won’t continue to be fluid, but the group is so young, he explained that the constant lineup changes were a result of him trying to learn what the players can do, like an extended training camp.

I really liked this answer Fizdale gave about the process of building up a basketball team compared to other industries:

The difference with [basketball] than in most industries [is] people get to watch it while we experiment, and have to suffer, or go up and down through all of that… I was joking with one of my acting buddies the other day, ‘man, you get to do 100 takes and then come out with a great movie … but they didn’t see all of your screw-ups’ … basketball players are going through the ‘takes’ right in front of you.

Jimmy Butler never interested in Knicks?

With the Knicks set to face-off against Butler and the 76ers on Wednesday, local reporters are revisiting Butler’s supposed interest in New York.

Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia inquirer tells us Butler was never interested in joining the Knicks.

Why this matters: While Jimmy Butler seems happy in Philadelphia, and it seems increasingly unlikely he would leave a contending team in the East to join a lottery team next summer, the NBA is a crazy world where crazy things happen, so until he has signed his new contract with Philadelphia, the speculation will continue.



Check out the new KP sneakers dropping December 1


1969: “What a game! What a game!” shouts TV voice Bob Wolff.  The Knicks score six points in the final 16 seconds to defeat Cincinnati, 106-105, and run winning streak to a then-NBA record 18 straight games (the streak will end the next night with a loss to Detroit at MSG). The game against the Bob Cousy-coached Royals is played at the old Cleveland Arena.

1992: Knicks break an 11-game regular season losing streak against Chicago with a rousing 112-75 victory over the Bulls at Madison Square Garden. Patrick Ewing scores 26 points and grabs 15 rebounds.

2010: Amar’e Stoudemire begins his franchise record streak of nine consecutive games with at least 30-points, scoring 37 points and recording 15 rebounds and seven assists over career high 54 minutes in 125-116 double-overtime win at Detroit.



Is this the real Emmanuel Mudiay?

Michigan unite!

How Fizdale is rebuilding confidence in the Knicks

That does it for today!

Knicks Briefing: November 27

Good morning!

The Knicks play the first of a back-to-back tonight against Detroit. After the game, they fly to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Wednesday.

Let’s catch up on the latest news.

News Clippings

Teams are inquiring about Dotson

According to a source, the Knicks have been approached by a couple of teams about Dotson’s availability because of his precarious contract status.

Knicks general manager Scott Perry did not draft Dotson. Though president Steve Mills was GM for the 2017 draft, the Dotson pick at No. 44 was spearheaded by former president Phil Jackson and his top adviser, Clarence Gaines, according to sources.

[via Marc Berman]

  • What this means: Nothing. There is no indication that the Knicks are looking to trade Dotson, or that the second round standout is looking to be moved. I don’t doubt the report. I’m sure there are teams calling to check on Dotson, especially with Courtney Lee set to return and Fizdale’s rotation minutes as in flux as a Manhattan street corner. GMs and Agents are probably just checking in on the situation.
  • Read more from Jeffrey Bellone and Jonathan Macri

Fizdale wants Trier to rebound more

I’ve been beating him over the head about rebounding,” Fizdale said. “I just pause the film every time he’s flat footed when the ball’s in the air. Like how is it you can chase down a guy on the break and block it at the top of the square but you’re flat-footed on rebounds? He’s taken it to heart. The kid really wants to do well for the team so I’m really happy with how he did last game.”

[via Mike Vorkunov]

  • What this means: Fizdale has emphasized the importance of having his wings rebound the basketball so they can push it down the floor. That said, it’s important for a guard like Trier to learn how to rebound, and especially, since he is often mixed in multi-guard lineups that might require him to box out a wing.
  • As Vorkunov notes, Trier ranks in the 30th percentile for rebounding from his position, something that could be improved.

Trey Burke thinking playoffs

Obviously everyone‘s counting us out,” Burke told The Post late Sunday at FedEx Forum. “Look on paper, people don’t think we can do it. I think we believe we have a chance — and it’s early for me to say this — but I believe we have a chance to get in the playoffs this year. That should be our goal. I think that is our goal. It starts now.”

[via Marc Berman]

  • What this means: Players are competitive. No matter how much the fans want to talk about tanking or think realistically about the team’s chances, the players are always competing to win.



Meet Allonzo Trier in SoHo this Thursday!

Stance Hoops is hosting “an uncommon kin conversation with Allonzo Trier” on Thursday, November 29 at 7:30 PM. The event will be held at 510 Broadway in SoHo.

Kevin Knox is giving back to his high school


1999: Allan Houston & Latrell Sprewell score 30 points each to beat Orlando 99-96



Should the Knicks explore a trade for Fultz?

Allonzo Trier the greatest undrafted rookie ever?

Fizdale has Knick players believing

That does it for today!