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Friday, May 25, 2018

2017-18 Game Thread: Knicks @ Celtics

The Knicks head to Boston to take on the Eastern Conference-leading (by a slim one-game margin over the Toronto Raptors, so the Celtics are not only 1 spot away from being the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference, they’re one spot away from being the #2 team in their own division) Boston Celtics.

This would normally be an automatic loss, but the Celtics are playing without their All-Star point guard, Kyrie Irving, tonight. They will also play without Marcus Smart and back-up point guard, Shane Larkin. They will be starting Terry Rozier in his first career NBA start.

It would be nice to see Knick All-Star Kristaps Porzingis do better against the Celtics than he has recently. They’ve been really busting him up when they play, but his nemesis Marcus Smart is out tonight, which is good for KP.

The Knicks beat the Celtics the last time that these two teams met, so this game is very much a winnable game for the Knicks. It would be their biggest road win in some time (and literally the first time all year that they would have back-to-back road victories). It would also give the Knicks three wins in a row to give them momentum at just the right time to convince them to trade their first round pick for Jabari Parker.

Let’s go? Knicks?

81 comments on “2017-18 Game Thread: Knicks @ Celtics

  1. geo

    Let’s go? Knicks?

    win or lose – aren’t we all really winners for being sophisticated and tasteful enough to be new york knickerbocker fans…

    hahahahahahahaha – yeah, that was funny – hit me with the doom and gloom baby – let me bath in it…

    let me quench my thirst for dysfunction and mediocrity through my fandom…

  2. DRed

    In the first Celtics game this year Kristaps had absolutely no idea how to score on Horford-he was 0-11 in the second game, but he missed some good shots. He was just helpless in the first matchup, so it’s good to see he’s figured a couple things out.

  3. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    Anyone notice that KP has a tendency to come out hot and then fade a little?

    I haven’t seen stats on it, but I pay close attention to his efficiency and it seems that he fades after a hot start more often than he comes out way off and then picks it up.

  4. ClashFan

    Kanter turned the ball over once, but by my count got the Knicks 5 second chances with his efforts.

    Nice start by Frank.

  5. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    Dotson sighting.

    I hate to say it, but the Baker injury will at least allow us to see whether Dotson is ready to be a rotation player in the NBA. He was OK in G league, but didn’t stand out.

  6. Max

    Sorry for Baker but I’m happy to see D-Dot, he has potential…
    … and Frank’ll good, very good…

  7. Hubert

    This wojbomb is disconcerting. We shouldn’t be wasting our time on joakim noah right now. Every option is bad.

    We should be focused on getting picks and young players for the players teams actually want.

  8. ptmilo

    doesn’t Noah know that if he leaves on good terms he’s eligible to be physically dragged out of the arena by msg security in 2038?

  9. Max

    Who cares about Noah?
    Pay him to stay home, don’t bother us with this crap…

    KP’s bombing away, sooner or later they’ll start falling in…

  10. BigBlueAL

    I was hoping with Baker out we would see the Frank-Burke backcourt more often, instead tonight we get 0 minutes for Burke in the 1st half.

  11. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    Can’t believe Noah isn’t interested in giving back guaranteed money.

    IMO, it would have been to the Knicks advantage to keep him because there would always be a very small chance (however small) they could trade him later on in the contract. They could have given him junk minutes and a few minutes against certain matchups. That’s unrealistic now. Now that the relationship has been so badly poisoned it may be impossible to bring him back and if you tell him to just stay home the union will start trouble.

    A buyout is likely.

    The only way I could imagine them trading him would be to bring back an equally bad contract. For example, if you brought back Deng from LA would it really matter much to either team? If you threw on a little more money to save LA a few bucks you could probably do it, but it would be pointless.

  12. Roshi

    Feels like Hornacek’s rotations are drastically different every game. Players need consistency to build momentum, especially the young guys

  13. Max

    @31 It seems reasonable, if we’re the buyers we do the same (I hope)

    Still in the game despite Timmy being off target and Jack rolling the red carpet for Rozier in the first five min.

    Burke’ll win this for us.

  14. GoNyGoNyGo

    Woj said something that triggered a thought. He said that Luol Deng’s contract is as “untradable as Noah’s”. Hmmm. Almost the exact same contract 3 years. a bit over 17M each. It does one thing for us, it adds a wing off the bench for depth. The Lakers have a glut at that SF position with Brandon Ingram, Corey Brewer, Luol Deng and Nigel Hayes there.

  15. thenoblefacehumper

    So any team in the East that wants someone who can eat Al Horford alive should inquire about Kanter, no?

  16. BigBlueAL

    For a team that continues to talk about making the playoffs this is a pretty bad performance so far vs a Celtics team missing Irving and Smart.

  17. BigBlueAL

    Someone needs to tell KP unless he’s traded he won’t be getting any playoff experience for a long time.

  18. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    Woj is saying no team wants to give up a first for role players like KOQ, Lee.

    The market is what the market is. If teams are valuing 1st round picks very highly right now, a smart GM might be tempted to trade picks for relatively young players. Would it shock you if Pat Riley included his 2020 pick in a trade to roll up to an all star caliber player and get better?

    If we can’t get fair to good value for KOQ and Lee now, imo we should keep them and see what we can do later.

  19. ClashFan

    I guess the intention is to give Frank big 1st half minutes and Burke big 2nd half minutes tonight. But a better plan is to sit Jack…

  20. latke

    @stratomatic

    who’s to say the market won’t value 1st rounders even more later on? O’Quinn is expiring so there is no later for him, and given his age Lee could easily be a pumpkin next season. Now, instead of $18m stuck on dead contracts, we have $30m. There are teams for which taht risk is acceptable given the reward this season. The Knicks definitely aren’t one of them.

    Not all trades are about the mathematical value of a player. Your air conditioner is probably a lot more valuable in Florida than in Greenland. The Knicks are in Greenland and veterans are the air conditioner… We don’t get anything from the short term value of vets so even if we’re “ripped off” in trading them, those trades are still better for us.

    Also, what is “fair”? Fair is what the market will give.

  21. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    O’Quinn is gone. There is no later.

    I would re-sign O’Quinn before I’d give him away for almost nothing. As long as the deal is fair we can trade him later if we want.

    He’s an excellent backup, plays well with KP, is physical, and he’s only 27. The only reason we should be considering moving him is Willy’s development. We’ve been lucky (or unlucky depending on your perspective) in that we’ve had almost no injuries at C. If one of these guys goes down for a few weeks, Willy will get a lot of time. Hornacek has to make an effort to play Willy whenever he can or we can consider trying to move Kanter because he makes too much.

  22. DRed

    O’Quinn is going to be a free agent. We can just resign him if we want. There’s no reason at all to keep him this year.

  23. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    Also, what is “fair”? Fair is what the market will give.

    I’m not knowledgeable enough to value picks relative to players well, but the market is fickle. You have to try to zig when everyone else is zagging. The way I see, there’s very little chance we are going to get someone as good as O’Quinn out of the 2nd round. A lot of 2nd rounders don’t even make the NBA.

    I think Lee was once in a trade that included 3 or 4 2nd rounders.

    Maybe we can get multiple 2nd rounders and a player that isn’t total trash.

  24. ClashFan

    Play the kids now. Game’s over.

    Lots of guys have been garbage tonight. Really, only Kanter has shined.

  25. latke

    @stratomatic

    Do you think the same way about all free agents? Like, why don’t we just spend as much cap moeny as we can every year and then trade all the players we sign for draft picks? It doesn’t work that way. Free agents suck. They have negative trade value most of the time. O’Quinn is only relevant because he’s underpaid and thus easy to trade for without giving up key pieces. Sometimes you get lucky and guys improve as was the case with Kyle. the bigger factor though with both O’Quinn and Lee is that they were signed before the cap boom.

  26. latke

    @stratomatic

    I don’t think there’s any zigging or zagging. In the NBA, all teams want to be good ASAP. This makes it a simple marketplace — you can trade immediate talent for future talent and win in the long run. That’s the dominant factor in like 95% of all NBA trades. One team has sighed and accepted that it can’t be good in the short term and so is trading for better long term value so that one day it might have enough overall value on its roster to be a top team. The other is on the fringe of being a top team and wants vets to try to get over the top.

    It’s really not complicated. There’s no voodoo. The factors that cause teams to fuck the process up are mostly unrelated to basketball. Stupid owners. Management under duress, looking for good optics so they don’t lose their job. Poor/cheap ownership needing to get headlines so more fans come. These (in addition to simple bad luck) are the factors that cause teams to fail.

  27. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    @59

    I think virtually every single decision should be value oriented. There are picks, trades, free agents, undrafted players, foreign talent, G league etc… You should scan the basketball universe and find the best deal(s) available. If you do that well, over time you will accumulate a lot of fairly priced and undervalued assets. Then you should start trying to roll them up into better players and fill needs. Guys like Ainge, Morey, Riley, and Buford do it right. They don’t box themselves into a specific strategy for improving because the value opportunities change location. They do value oriented deals of different types, make a lot of good ones, and limit the bad ones (though they all blow some).

  28. ess-dog

    Dotson seems to have worked on his handle some… why can’t Frank attack the rim? Getting sick of his dump outs in the lane.

  29. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    Thank God Phil has left the Knicks in good shape….

    Thank God we have people in NY that have the stomach to sit through a 6-8 year rebuild process tanking and drafting 19 year olds without getting frustrated with the losing long before we are anywhere close.

    KP is still 3-4 years away.
    Frank is 4-5 years away.

    Those were the only 1st round picks we had in the last 4 years. This year we’ll add another.

  30. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    You know who has been posting some really informative articles on the Knicks? Marc Berman

    https://nypost.com/2018/01/31/why-kyrie-irving-could-top-knicks-long-term-wish-list/

    In this article he says that Hornacek is starting to see Ntilikina as a combo guard and not a true point guard. I think the concerns about Frank are a bit overblown but I also think his best position is as a starting two guard with a guard like Trae Young, Jalen Brunson, or Jevon Carter next to him. Most of these new age point guards don’t give you much defensively so Frank covers that deficiency and then he should be able enough passing and rebounding to be a plus at that position. Point guard is a scoring/initiating position in today’s game, and I’m not sure that’s Frank’s demeanor. Let Frank focus on what he does best and allow him to develop over the years.

  31. latke

    @stratomatic

    I think Riley is a charlatan who was rescued by a few key moments of immense luck that had huge positive consequences. The Spurs are also kinda pointless to talk about since they haven’t been in a situation like the one the Knicks are in in like 4 or 5 millennia.

    But the other guys all follow the formula I laid out exactly. Morey and Ainge’s teams when they are bad are overflowing with young players. Vets with any trade value are moved quickly when their teams were rebuilding. The only exception was Rondo who had a major injury just as the Celtics began to rebuild and so it made sense for Ainge to try to rehabilitate his trade value not just because it was low but because he was gonna be hurt and so wouldn’t affect the playing time of the young players or add wins, hurting the Celtics’ draft pick.

    The Knicks’s approach to “rebuilding” has been the polar opposite of those two teams.

    If Ainge ran the Knicks, he would never have done that Jared Jeffries/T-Mac trade. He would never have signed Stoudemire. If he took over in 2012, he would have blown the team up immediately. Ainge doesn’t sit on his laurels when his team is older and not very good.

    And if anything, Morey is even more aggressive about building with young players and developing them and then flipping them for even more young players. Morey basically did the One Red Paperclip thing to acquire Harden, starting with Rafer Alston playing the role of a paperclip.

  32. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    Frank looks like the perfect triangle guard now, but we won’t know what he can become for another 4-5 years.

  33. djphan

    frank is a pg…. literally the only thing he does well on offense is pass….. the worst thing he does is shoot…

    it would be some sort of sick joke to all of a sudden move him to a position we currently already have 5 players for….

    if hornacek or whoever decides to make that move full time… they should be fired on the spot…. there is no good argument for playing frank at the 2 now….

  34. Z-man

    Frank looks like the perfect triangle guard now, but we won’t know what he can become for another 4-5 years.

    Well, some of us won’t…

  35. d-mar

    We’ve gotta stop with the “Frank can’t shoot” thing. Yes, if he continues to shoot like he has in the massive sample size of 1000 minutes, he’ll be out of the NBA in a couple of years (unless he’s the next Marcus Smart)

    His form is fine, the shots will start falling.

  36. Cock Jowles, Living through the Melo Era All Over Again

    I was casually watching one bad team beat up on another bad team on ESPN and saw the Butler injury live. Strongly recommend not seeking the video.

  37. Brian Cronin Post author

    Thank God we have people in NY that have the stomach to sit through a 6-8 year rebuild process tanking and drafting 19 year olds without getting frustrated with the losing long before we are anywhere close.

    KP is still 3-4 years away.
    Frank is 4-5 years away.

    Those were the only 1st round picks we had in the last 4 years. This year we’ll add another.

    What’s so particularly off about this is that the worst part of the last four years was that Phil was so impatient. He didn’t have the patience for a true rebuild and the team suffered for it.

  38. Bruno Almeida

    This 6-8 year rebuild thing is bullshit, I’m sorry. Philly had about the worst possible luck with injuries to Embiid, Simmons and Fultz missing years, whiffed on a top 3 pick (and potentially another one with Fultz), has Colangelo doing Colangelo things for the last year and they are still in a better spot than us now and much better for the future in the middle of year 5. Now they basically have at least a 5 year window to build properly around Simmons and Embiid with a lot of assets and flexibility moving forward.

    Proper rebuilds work. The Knicks have never done one. What’s actually stupid is putting yourself into a position where “just one all star” solves your roster when theres 12 guys who fit the bill and pretty much all of them are untouchable or are either more expensive than the Knicks have assets to get or are unwilling to come to New York with our current situation.

    Tear this thing down, we’ve handled 20 years of bullshit, what’s 5 years more?

  39. Stratomatic says "I don't care what we do at the deadline, as long as we win the deal"

    What’s so particularly off about this is that the worst part of the last four years was that Phil was so impatient. He didn’t have the patience for a true rebuild and the team suffered for it.

    Ignore the fact that he was missing 2 first round picks, had a lot of damaged goods he had to incentivize people to take (like Felton and JR Smith), no free agents of any value wanted to play in NY because we sucked, and the return on Melo would have included Boozer and a rabid press, and what you say makes perfect sense.

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