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Five Questions with Posting and Toasting

Matthew Miranda joins us to help preview Grizzlies-Knicks

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at New York Knicks Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks face off on Friday with two very different ends to the season.

The Grizzlies have clinched a playoff berth Considering the mostly paltry history of the Memphis organization, this should be considered a bigger deal. But recent success and higher expectations heading into the year makes it feel like a bit of a disappointment.

Meanwhile, the Knickerbockers, one of the league’s pristine franchises, will not be making the playoffs this year. Heading into the game, the Knicks have the 6th worst record and 6th best chance at winning the lottery. In this stacked draft class, it would be like winning the actual Powerball, which make Knicks fans giddy at the thought of the future.

To find out how Knicks fans feel about that and more, we bring in Matthew Miranda of Posting and Toasting to preview tonight’s game and give us more insight about the Knicks

The New York Knicks’ season is wrapping up soon and so is Derrick Rose’s contract. Over the summer the Knicks traded Robin Lopez, Jerian Grant, and Jose Calderon for Rose in a low-risk move because it was a contract year. Now that Rose is a free agent, do you want him to return to the Knicks?

I don't. There were stretches where Rose looked a lot closer to his old explosive self, but as evidenced by the torn meniscus which brought his season to a premature end, the injury issues are always seemingly just around the corner with him. The only time "Rose" and "defense" go together is to remark on his lack of it. In multiple games this season, his bizarre clock management and defensive rotations cost the Knicks wins. Rose is a vocal non-fan of the Triangle offense Phil Jackson insists on running.

Most odd is that Rose loves pick-and-rolls and would seem to have an ideal pick-and-pop partner in Kristaps Porzingis, but for much of the season it was like Rose has a clause in his contract that forbids him from passing to KP. If the Knicks were a contender and Rose was comfortable playing a scoring sixth man role for short years, I'd consider it. Otherwise, I'm passing.

Speaking of people you wanting to see return, if you had the choice, who would you rather see as a Knick for the 2017-2018 season: Phil Jackson or Carmelo Anthony?

The pragmatist would trade Carmelo for picks or young players and cap space. I am a romantic, so I'm keeping Melo. Porzingis is still only 21 years old and clearly looks up to Anthony; why race to get rid of someone who still is such an offensive force that he relieves defensive pressure and media pressure from your still-growing-into-his-game young prospect?

Anthony has been a Knick long enough to accrue devotees and haters in droves, but for me, the combination of his scoring skills and growing presence as a social commenter makes him a keeper. If your team is going to lose, at least lose with a guy who is a legendary bucket-maker and also seems to care and bring attention to issues that matter.

NBA: Washington Wizards at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I lost faith in Phil Jackson last summer. He seemed to have building something good till then, having drafted Porzingis and signed solid young players like Lopez to good contracts. Then he pissed it all away to rent Rose for a year and replace Lopez with the older, worse on both ends Joakim Noah. None of the "culture change" he spoke of is evident; outside of Twitter, the fans never hear from Phil. Let him go.

Kristaps Porzingis a.k.a. Porzingod a.k.a. The Zinger a.k.a. Godzingis blew everyone away in his rookie year. He was fun to watch and the fact that the 2015 1st round pick was vindicated has to feel good for the Knicks franchise after the initial booing-him-off-stage reaction. What has changed about his game between this year and last and has he added anything?

Porzingis has shown improvement as a shooter, which is greatly comforting because that was the skill he was most lauded for when he played at Sevilla, yet also the skill that didn't always translate in his rookie season. He became more aggressive shooting threes and more efficient, too, especially on corner threes, where he shot 42% this year after only 29% as a rookie. The assist numbers don't show it, but he's grown as a passer, especially when he's posting up around the elbows. The muscle he added last offseason seemed to keep guys from bumping him off the way they could his rookie year, although he could still use a bit more.

The big takeaway from Porzingis came last month, when Anthony missed some games and KP was the focal point of the offense. He struggled the first few games in that role, but showed improvement after that.

NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Since the Knicks’ season is ending without a playoff berth, they’re most likely looking forward to a better and better draft selection. However, so were the Los Angeles Lakers and the Grizzlies still lost to them this past Sunday. How can the Knicks pull out the win on Friday night?

Rookie guard Ron Baker, who has played better and better as the season winds down, could put up pseudo triple-double numbers, like 12 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds or something. The Knick offense has been more egalitarian with Rose out, so guys are cutting and moving and passing harder/more than we've seen most of the season. I think sometimes this catches teams off-balance; the Knicks have damaged playoff-hopefuls with surprise wins recently, including the Heat, Bulls and Pistons. Even the defense, which will never be "good" with this team, appears more coherent of late. The biggest reason Grizzlies' fans should fear the Knicks is because no one screws things up like the Knicks. So the simple fact that the team is better off losing Friday's game is reason enough to suspect they'll win.

NBA: Washington Wizards at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Concerning that draft pick, what prospect has really caught your eye that you could and would love to see on the Knicks next season?

Because the Knicks will forever be paying off interest on the karmic debt incurred from winning the Patrick Ewing "frozen envelope" lottery in 1985, there's zero chance they jump to the top three and land Markelle Fultz (a Dwyane Wade-type who'd instantly pair well with KP) or Lonzo Ball (whose passing skills and basketball IQ would allow him to seamlessly integrate the Triangle, then slowly destroy the system from the inside, liberating his teammates and millions of fans suffering the sight of Marshall Plumlee working in the pinch post).

Figuring they'll pick somewhere around 6 or 7, I'm hoping they draft Malik Monk. Monk is an NBA-ready scorer and shooter. His range and ability to create his own shoot would make him unique among Knick guards; to be honest, the fact that he's any good would make him unique among Knick guards. Whether they trade Melo or watch him ride off into the sunset a couple years from now, New York needs to add firepower. For most of the James Dolan era (2000-2017), the Knicks have repeated the error of bringing in "stars" who are redundant: they had Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell, then traded Ewing for Glen Rice; they had Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford, so they brought in Steve Francis; they signed Amar'e Stoudemire, who was dominating as a small-ball center, so they signed Melo to take over the offense and signed Tyson Chandler, which ended Stoudemire's ability to do what he'd excelled at. Every Knick fans unspoken fear is that with Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez established as a solid future frontcourt, the team will end up with Lauri Markkanen. We want Monk. Give. Give now.

Thank you to Matthew for joining us! Make sure to check out Posting and Toasting for Knicks coverage and follow them on Twitter @ptknicksblog

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