3 min read

Wednesday Bolts – 1.27.16

Wednesday Bolts – 1.27.16

Scott Cacciola of the NY Times on Donovan: “By all appearances, Donovan has emphasized


communication — a constant exchange of ideas with his players. It was a point he made to them by expressing a desire to sit down with each of them during his first few days on the job. He asked questions. He solicited their opinions. Novak recalled that he made the round trip to Oklahoma City from his home near Milwaukee in one day — on a commercial airline, with layovers in Minneapolis. If those initial meetings were minor inconveniences for some — “I’m still upset at him,” Novak said, deadpan — they also carried a lot of weight.”

Anthony Slater: “The more pressing focus, beyond getting the win, is how OKC achieved it. On Tuesday night, against a below .500 Knicks team playing without Carmelo Anthony, it needed a fortunate bounce at the end of regulation and 74 combined from its stars to escape New York with a 1-1 split with the Knicks and 12-34 Nets. The reason why? Inconsistent defense and a struggling bench, as it has often been. Defense remains the more pressing issue. After giving up 116 to one of the league’s worst offenses on Sunday, OKC gave up 91 in the first three quarters to a Knicks team that hadn’t broke 90 in either of its prior two games.”

ESPN.com story on last night.

Ian Begley of ESPN.com on Durant to NY: “If Afflalo ($8,000,000) and Williams ($4,598,000) pick up their 2016-17 player options, the Knicks’ committed money for next season increases to $70.1 million for eight players (plus four cap holds). That would leave the Knicks with $18.9 million in cap space and no shot to make Durant or the other free agents mentioned above a maximum contract offer. If Afflalo and/or Williams decline their options and enter free agency, the Knicks will likely have to spend even more to retain either player, further reducing their cap space for 2016. So the team will probably have to perform some financial gymnastics — or make some hard decisions — to be in position to sign a max player like Durant.”

Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News: “The crowd saluted the rookie’s latest highlight in the first quarter with an echoing, “Ooooh,” an appropriate reaction considering he dunked over two Thunder players on a putback jam. The Latvian also blocked drive attempts from Westbrook in the fourth quarter and overtime. But it was an otherwise pedestrian performance from Porzingis, or the “unicorn,” as Durant affectionately described him a day earlier because of his unique blend of size and skill.”

Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com: “Listen, it’s going to take a lot for the Knicks to lure Durant. He already plays alongside a superstar in Westbrook, who at the moment is better than both Anthony and Porzingis, and who once again Tuesday flirted with a triple-double, amassing 30 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds while throwing down his own arena-shaking dunks. Sure, Durant loves playing in the Garden and in New York, but so does every other NBA star who became a free agent and ultimately passed on becoming a Knick.”

Dan Devine of BDL: “Durant’s praise of Porzingis’ game predictably reignited long-lingering speculation about whether the Knicks — now two games under .500, surprisingly fighting for a playoff berth and seemingly, with Porzingis in tow, now in much better position to pitch themselves to prospective free agents as a team on the rise — might have a shot at signing Durant when he hits unrestricted free agency this summer. (Which, by the way, has been a much smaller deal, headline-creation-wise, than most of us expected coming into this season.) Durant, for his part, said Monday that while he likes New York and has enjoyed playing at the Garden in the past, his impending free agency decision will be less about market size and bright lights than “about the game and being a basketball player first.”