Tag: Dallas Mavericks

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks

Shaun Livingston hit Dirk Nowitzki right in the… place guys don’t like to be hit (VIDEO)



Golden State’s Shaun Livingston was caught in a mismatch trying to guard Dirk Nowitzki in the post, but that is not a cool way to play post defense. At all. Livingston got a flagrant foul for that and could see a fine from the league. Mark Cuban was none too thrilled this happened to his star.

Only Nowitzki gets to decide how bad it really was — and he didn’t look happy. That said, Livingston isn’t a dirty player and this was just a one-off. We hope.

Golden State went on to a comfortable win, their 13th in a row, and with that locked up home court throughout the playoffs (including the Finals).

Phil Jackson says Knicks will be thinking defense first in draft, free agency

Phil Jackson

Whatever system the Knicks are running next season, what they need more than anything else is better talent on the roster.

However, in selecting that talent look for the Knicks to think defense first. That’s what team president Phil Jackson told season ticket holders at an event Thursday, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

“Gotta have a defender,” Jackson said. “… That’s a good starting point — a guy like Tyson Chandler (whom the Knicks traded over the summer) is the defensive backup that we have to have. In this day and age in our game, there are so many screen and rolls, so many 3-point shooters, so many things that a player of size has to (do). Not only cover the paint and protect the basket but he has to be able to step out defensively and play a guard. And do some defensive work on the extreme part of the floor so it’s very important that that player have defensive capabilities.”

That answer came in relation to a question about the draft. It suggests that should the Knicks land the top pick; they are among the growing number of teams leaning toward Kentucky’s Karl Towns over Duke’s Jahlil Okafor. Towns is the better defender (and the better free throw shooter).

Of course, Jackson was peddling hope for the future to these season ticket holders — yes this season sucked but with the worst record they are guaranteed a top four pick. But he and Knicks GM Steve Mills also talked free agency plans, at least in broad strokes.

“It’s a different approach than in the past — we won’t go after the biggest name out there, we’ll go after players who fit in system and style,” Mills said. “It may in fact be a big-name player but it’s going to be who fits system-wise.”


That system may be a little less triangle, but there needs to be a system.

The Knicks are expected to have $25 million or more to spend, and if they could land Marc Gasol with that they would. But he’s not leaving Memphis for NYC. What Mills is suggesting is the right course of action — New York doesn’t need a home run this summer, it needs some solid singles and maybe a double or two. Get quality players in, build a foundation that can win some with Carmelo Anthony, one that shows hope for the future.

That’s how you draw a big name free agent to come in 2016 (or 2017) — you can’t just sell the brand and the city, you have to have some substance on the court.

Report: Knicks to target younger free agents this summer

Greg Monroe, Bojan Bogdanovic, Mason Plumlee

The Knicks will finally be able to hit the reset button this summer. With a likely top-three draft pick and a ton of cap space, they’ll not only have a premier young talent coming in to join a (theoretically) healthy Carmelo Anthony next season, but also plenty of space to add more pieces.

It’s highly unlikely that Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, the two biggest stars on the market, leave their current, favorable situations to join the Knicks, but there are plenty of other options that might actually make more sense, in addition to being more realistic.

From The Sporting News‘ Sean Deveney:

The Knicks will make their pass at Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge, and likely at Rajon Rondo and/or Goran Dragic, too, but expect them to be aggressive in pursuing as many young free agents as possible. Jackson does not want to build a team around players in their early 30s. That means Reggie Jackson, Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight will factor prominently on the Knicks’ radar as the team looks to avoid its long-standing habit of indulging in short-term fixes that set the franchise back in the long term.

Some of these players will be easier to pry away from their current teams than the likes of Gasol and Aldridge — especially Monroe, who’s unrestricted and went through an ugly, highly publicized negotiation with the Pistons last summer. Going after a player like Monroe or Knight, coming off their rookie contract, will also provide a middle ground in the age of the team’s core between the 19-year-old they’re going to draft and the 30-year-old Anthony.

It’s going to take time for the Knicks to rebuild properly, and who knows whether they’ll actually get there. But going after younger, middle-tier stars and holding onto their draft picks is going to be a better strategy going forward than the “clear out cap space and hope we can lure LeBron James or Kevin Durant with New York’s appeal as a media market” roster-construction method that’s been in place for a while.