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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017-18 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers

ANOTHER home game? What the heck is up with this ridiculous schedule? I like when the Knicks get to play at home, but this is just ridiculous. They just had a long homestand, had one road game and they’re right back to playing three games in a row at home (this being the middle game).

The Cavaliers are a weird team. The Knicks kicked their ass on the road earlier in the season, so you’d like to think that the Knicks would do well again, and I like their chances pretty well, but who the hell knows with the Cavs? They’re a bizarre team. They also do not have Derrick Rose playing tonight, which is bad for the Knicks, as that guy is flat out terrible now.

Getting to three games over .500 by beating Lebron would be pretty freaking sweet, so let’s hope that that happens!

Let’s go, Knicks!

247 comments on “2017-18 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers

  1. chrisk06811

    does Lebron need to be taking shots at Phil? He already broke our hearts by signing D Rose away from us.

  2. geo

    does Lebron need to be taking shots at Phil? He already broke our hearts by signing D Rose away from us.

    hahahahaha…that was funny…

    despite lebron being an otherworldly athletic individual, i keep thinking that sooner or later all these minutes played season after season must finally catch up with him at some point…

    best case scenario for me – lebum puts in another 40 tonight in a cavs loss and the clock on him ticks a little faster…

  3. Bruno Almeida

    I think LeBron is gonna come like a man possessed today. However, this season it has not been enough (unless he puts up 57 or some crazy stuff like that Wizards game).

    I’m frankly more scared about Korver and Love bombing 3s with no one guarding them.

  4. Knick fan not in NJ at this time

    If the Cavs go small with Love at center, maybe the Knicks could do a zone defense with Kanter in the middle

  5. hornyKnickfan

    I want this game more than any other so far this year. Lebron deserves a beatdown after going after the French Prince. Maybe the new and refreshed Noah will send him a strong message?

  6. Brian Cronin Post author

    Who are the actives? Who’s taking Rose’s minutes?

    Shump’s starting, so I guess Shump and Wade.

  7. hornyKnickfan

    Lebron was interviewed today and just can’t get over his obsession with Phil and with the way that he perceives Melo was treated. Then he throws in that it’s in the past but, for him, it’s still obviously in the present. He goes on to say that Kanter is always chirping as if he’s the only one with the right to an opinion.

  8. geo

    fully expect beasley to be beastly tonight and go off against his arch rival lebron…while muttering the whole time – “there can be only one”…

    looks like it’s time to fully embrace beasely and dougie…later Kuz…

  9. hornyKnickfan

    @14 Baker played for Westchester yesterday (looked pretty good) but he was favoring his shoulder at the end of the game.

  10. geo

    Lebron was interviewed today and just can’t get over his obsession with Phil and with the way that he perceives Melo was treated. Then he throws in that it’s in the past but, for him, it’s still obviously in the present. He goes on to say that Kanter is always chirping as if he’s the only one with the right to an opinion.

    so happy phil is gone – but, love they he got in lebron’s head so much…

  11. geo

    Jimmy Gator: The book says, “We might be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.”

  12. hornyKnickfan

    Jack really commits more than his share of turnovers. It’s a good thing he starts for us but rarely finishes.

  13. hornyKnickfan

    We held our own very well there with KP on the bench. I thought the first foul on him was a bad call btw.

  14. thenoblefacehumper

    19 year old Frank Ntilikina shoving LeBron James is in the pantheon of my favorite moments as a Knicks fan

  15. d-mar

    Frank really needs to be more aggressive on offense. A lot of time when he’s leading the break he pulls it back out instead of going towards the basket and putting pressure on the defense

  16. rama in the JING

    @49 Frank is draped all over Wade, who’s missing fadeaways because he can’t get near the hoop. Just stripped the ball from JR Smith, probably a clear path foul.

  17. hornyKnickfan

    Frank caused an airball from Wade and a bad forced shot from him. He then stole the ball from JR and was fouled dribbling upcourt.

  18. GoNyGoNyGo

    Do you remember when we debated whether playing in the NCAA or playing in Europe prepared a player for the NBA better? If so, Frank standing up to LeBron is an example of what playing against grown men enables a kid that played in Europe to deal with better in the NBA. His ability to play under pressure in NYC with the spotlight on him is what that experience yields.

  19. Brian Cronin Post author

    ah….i’m not home…..what did frank do?

    Lebron tried to punk him by giving him a bit of a shove, he went right back in his face with a harder shove and then Kanter got right in Lebron’s face on the in bounds.

  20. GoNyGoNyGo

    TH Jr is the only Knick who can drive and get into the paint which is a problem.

    Give props to the Cav’s interior defense. They are playing playoff-tough defense tonight…but so are the Knicks!

  21. hornyKnickfan

    We’ll always have this 2nd quarter to remember no matter what else happens this year. Just love how intense and competitive we are.

  22. rama in the JING

    Ok, Timmy, you just earned yourself two more 4-15 shooting nights with that steal of James and jam.

  23. Jack Bauer

    “Cleveland is frustrated” – Knicks are frustrating them!
    Pour It On

    Who is wearing Hardaway’s uni tonight? He’s really good

  24. kevin5318

    @PeterVecsey1
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    Like Kanter is gonna 2B intimidated by LeBron, guy who stood up 2 Tayyip Erdogan. Imagine him being scared of a n*****who breathes the same air as him

  25. Frank O.

    Second time frank didn’t stay with Lebron. Can’t just leave him alone.
    Don’t want Lebron getting comfortable

  26. thenoblefacehumper

    Sadly it appears as if LeBron has discovered that if he drives he’ll probably score 80% of the time

  27. Bruno Almeida

    LeBron woke up, but our defense slept really hard. Two pick and roll plays where one guy thought the switch was happening, and the other didn’t do it.

    Let’s keep it up.

  28. GoNyGoNyGo

    That was one hell of a half. Nice handling by Frank of the question about the altercation with LeBron. “Together”.

  29. d-mar

    LONG way to go, we need to come out strong to start the 3rd. If we let them get close, LeBron may decide to go for 50 since the rest of his team sucks.

  30. Mike Honcho

    Best thing is Porzingis hasn’t carried us today . . . This lead is mostly due to the role players stepping up.

  31. ClashFan

    What scares me is the Cavs 2-17 from three. They’re due to get hot. But maybe the Knicks will, too, as they are 4-16.

  32. hornyKnickfan

    Yeah that LeBron pick and roll for a layup was fugly and happened twice but should be correctable at halftime.

  33. Nick C.

    Great half!!! I wish MSG would let us see it instead of the stupid split screen with dudes talking Draft Kings.

  34. thenoblefacehumper

    Good thing we traded Melo for Kanter, Melo would’ve jumped in on LeBron’s side and started hazing Frankie even more

  35. BigBlueAL

    Knicks better start defending the 3pt line better, Cavs getting way too many open looks from out there.

  36. Nick C.

    @126. Thanks, I DVR so for whatever reason the TV chose that. I switched. Much brtter. So is the run the Knicks went on .

  37. GoNyGoNyGo

    If you saw the pre-game you heard the LeBron also disrespect Kanter big time. Kanter has his own bone to pick with James.

  38. Will the Thrill

    So is Hardaway’s contract just as bad as Noah’s still? He’s had rough shooting nights but has elevated seemingly every other part of his game.

  39. Brian Cronin Post author

    Cavs probably wish they still had Kyrie right about now.

    They didn’t ever NOT want him. He asked to be traded.

  40. hornyKnickfan

    KP has to give up the ball when they’re playing him that tight. Too much standing and watching on offense and overplaying on defense leaving the corner three wide open. We need Frank.

  41. hornyKnickfan

    Frank is going to be a terrific rebounder. He’ll have plenty of triple doubles in his career.

  42. thenoblefacehumper

    That fucking Korver roll ripped my heart out, but ballsy performance at the line for Frankie. Play some god damn defense and get the god damn win.

  43. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    I really don’t think the Knicks choked this game. I think the Cavs defense really locked down (for the first time this season) and the Knicks ran out of steam on the defensive end.

  44. BigBlueAL

    This was an embarrassing end to what started off as a feel good night. Next time maybe don’t celebrate early when LeBron is on the other team.

  45. ClashFan

    In addition to a PG, the Knicks need a big three who can defend. Lee is just undersized out there, and Timmy is no better. McD and LT were not the answer tonight.

  46. Dough Chew [IT'S A NEW DAY YES IT IS]

    Seems to me the Knicks got too confident. Didn’t step on the throat when they had the chance.

  47. bidiong

    Learning game for the youngins. Fuck Lebron. He can side step down the court all he wants but they aren’t beating any West coast powerhouse.

  48. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    We needed Kanter in this game at the end. We got hurt on the boards and lost our heart out there.

    Kanter was a difference maker at times but I think they simply ran out of steam.

  49. Bruno Almeida

    It’s fine, growing pains.

    The Cavs scored 43 and hit everything in the 4th, sometimes the other team gets lucky.

    The Knicks do need to defend the 3 much better and Porzingis was disappointing and well guarded the whole game, but well, it happens.

  50. DRed

    The Cavs have Lebron and a lot of good shooters-sometimes they’re going to roast you. But all those offensive rebounds were the Knicks fault

  51. hornyKnickfan

    Again at the end Lebron misses both free throws and we didn’t get the rebound to even give us a chance to tie it.

  52. d-mar

    Law of averages, Cavs missed all their 3’s for 3 quarters and made most of them in the 4th.

    And at some point Frank is going to have start taking 3’s when the defense gives them to him, they were playing off of him all night.

  53. bidiong

    Really can’t get pissed with any one decision tonight. The Knicks shit the bed. That’s all that happened.

  54. Jack Bauer

    Brutal. You gotta love how James misses both free throws at the end to give the Knicks a chance, but he’ll be remembered as the hero any way. That sucked, but we have hope.

  55. Bruno Almeida

    Korver was for sure the hero, if he didn’t get mega hot this would be a Knicks win 100%.

    It happens, no team scores 43 in a quarter without many lucky breaks.

    The missed free throws came back to haunt us so hard.

  56. Hubert

    These guys are young and that could explain it but boy were KP & Frank timid in the 4Q. I would have liked to have seen more fight. They were literally throwing KP to the ground and he kinda shriveled. When LeBron was guarding KP, LeBron looked like the giant. And when KP missed those two FTs you knew he was psyched out. Frank, on the other hand, is just terrified to drive and that’s not good.

    But they’re young AF and this is how you grow. It was tough to watch them shrivel mentally though.

  57. Hubert

    This reminded me of Amare’s first game vs the Celtics where the old guys schooled us and Pierce did a lap.

  58. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    The Knicks got caught in difficult spot.

    The Cavs went small and were killing them with 3s. So they sort of had to get Kanter out of there and get some better perimeter defense in there with Thomas and Frankie. But then they started getting killed on the boards because they don’t have a good rebounder other than Kanter. That’s the one issue with KP out there as the only big. He’s got to be out there, but he has to be out there with a really good rebounder because he’s not a very good rebounder himself. We don’t have the kind of player that makes a good companions for KP when he’s the main big man.

    The Cavs also did a great job on Porzingis defensively. They were very physical. They forced him him to take a lot of really bad shots. He’s got to learn that when he’s getting defended well and/or help comes, he’s got to make a pass and not force up a bad one. He forced up some really bad and unnecessary shots.

    They’ll learn from this.

  59. Scorpio Dragon

    This was what most would call a teachable moment. You can’t get lax or timid against a good team. Hopefully they’ll learn this lesson well. Because they had the Cavs and let them off the hook in the 4th by allowing them to dictate everything.

  60. KJG

    It all turned with O’Quinn tonight. End of third was bad for entire team though. I’m not mad at the guy. But to start the fourth, unless I was mistaken (don’t feel like checking box), he committed 3 fouls in about 60 seconds. That stench just lingered as far as I’m concerned. Even after he came right out of the game.

    Close 2nd place was KP forcing against Lebron. Pass the ball, guy. He’s infinitely stronger, bodying the hell outta you and your J is crap tonight.

  61. Bruno Almeida

    @205

    Yeah, they’re just not ready yet for this sort of intensity, it’s way too early. This season is about these moments and learning with the mistakes anyway.

    A lot of encouraging things happened for the Knicks which should not be ignored because of the unlucky collapse.

  62. Scorpio Dragon

    Also, Porzingis has to learn how to deal with physical players better. Those post fades when Lebron was guarding him were hard to look at sometimes. Maybe add a little bit of Kevin McHale post footwork and moves into his game. I know Olajuwon is the modern torchbearer for this, but Kristaps doesn’t strike me as agile enough for Dream’s moves to be super effective. Much like Dwight Howard wasn’t.

  63. hornyKnickfan

    Is there really such a thing as a law of averages anyway?
    If you flip a coin and it comes up heads 10 times in a row it doesn’t change the odds on the 11th flip. Does it?

  64. Scorpio Dragon

    @213, it’s more of a “the probability will balance out” thing than a “law” thing.

    The 11th flip internally is still 50/50. It’s just that over time one would expect the numbers to balance out.

  65. Bruno Almeida

    @213

    It really doesn’t.

    Well, KP does need to be better in this sort of situation, but let’s get some perspective too… He’s 22, playing against a top 5 player all time who’s motivated as all hell to stop you with his team struggling. It’s not like it was an easy task for KP.

  66. Hubert

    That’s the one issue with KP out there as the only big. He’s got to be out there, but he has to be out there with a really good rebounder because he’s not a very good rebounder himself. We don’t have the kind of player that makes a good companions for KP when he’s the main big man.

    You’re right… but he’s 7 fucking 3. His soft rebounding is inexcusable. We *have to* be able to play him at the 5 and not get killed on the boards.

  67. Brian Cronin Post author

    If you flip a coin and it comes up heads 10 times in a row it doesn’t change the odds on the 11th flip. Does it?

    It does, in the sense that you’re not measuring the 11th coin flip, but rather the 11th out of 11 coin flips. So yes, coin flip #11 is a 50/50 chance, but the odds of a coin landing on the same side for 11 tosses in a row is still applicable.

  68. wetbandit

    Umm I don’t know wtf you guys are talking about. Three things shot the Knicks in the ass from behind tonight, and none of them include kp drawing one of the best players of all time to defend him. Hornacek played bad defensive players when up by 20, and refused to switch when the tide continued to turn. Two, the three pointers by Korver were solely responsible for the turn, and we sucked ass at defending the three at all times. Three, LeBron wished it so and needed a win. Also, don’t forget we were playing Frank, a rookie in his first few games, in crunch time.

    For a crunch time five with an average age of 23 (I did not check this), not bad. The Knicks were legit hanging with the Cavs, a few games removed from the finals.

  69. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    You’re right… but he’s 7 fucking 3. His soft rebounding is inexcusable. We *have to* be able to play him at the 5 and not get killed on the boards.

    I’ve been bringing up his rebounding since his rookie year. As he gets stronger he’ll probably come up with an extra rebound here or there. But most of it is just positioning. He doesn’t react quickly and instinctively as soon as the shot goes up. He just stands wherever he already is and if the ball comes near him he gets it. If it doesn’t someone else gets it (sometimes the other team). Kanter is always trying to get into position for the rebound. Some of it is probably instinct, but some of it is knowledge. Maybe Kanter can help him.

  70. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    If you flip a coin and it comes up heads 10 times in a row it doesn’t change the odds on the 11th flip. Does it?

    Each flip is an independent event. The 11th flip is 50-50 no matter what happened before it. Thinking the odds change is called the “gambler’s fallacy”.

  71. Bruno Almeida

    @218

    I actually agree. It was the type of game young teams with not much talent have, they’re bound to have collapses or nights where the other team just go nuts. Still, if before the season someone told me the Knicks would be 1-1 with the Cavs in November while losing a 20+ point lead in the loss, I would call it insanity.

  72. Hubert

    @218 yeah but I’m just disappointed in the way. I wouldn’t have minded if LeBron beat KP, but it bothered me that he made KP shrink. I wouldn’t have minded if Frank missed big shots, but it bothered me that Frank was afraid to shoot.

    Their age is definitely a legit excuse. I’m not despondent about it. But I was disappointed. I wanted to see them compete a little harder in a game of this intensity. The intensity in the 4Q seemed *way* beyond anything they’re comfortable with

  73. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    LeBron is a nice guy. This cornball mean man act he has going on is gonna get him smoked when he plays the Warriors. We’re a fringe playoff team. LeBron is trying to win a championship. If he feels good about tonight’s win he’s a clown.

  74. BigBlueAL

    It’s gotten to the point with Jack that I’d rather have Baker out there, might as well go with the 2 kids at PG since at least they both provide defense.

  75. BigBlueAL

    @223 This team is not going to lose enough to get a Top 5 pick so I’d rather win games especially when you’re up 23 at home. Knicks are 6-3 at home and they had 20+ point leads in 2 of those losses.

  76. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    Hornacek played bad defensive players when up by 20, and refused to switch when the tide continued to turn.

    I covered this.

    He waited too long to go to Lance and Frank, but it had clear downsides when he finally made the move. Without Kanter we started getting killed on the boards. If Kanter is out we need a guy like Shawn Marion to team with KP the way the old Suns used to team Amare with him to make sure they could still rebound (and Amare was a better rebounder than KP is so far) .

  77. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    But I’d still rather the 8th pick than 12th.

    I understand what you are saying. So would I. But statistically there’s not much difference in the expectations between those 2 picks. When we eventually have a serious team, we are not going to go from where we are now straight to a top playoff team with so many in experienced kids. It will be a process where they get some experience in the playoffs, then try to go further the next year, and then finally break through. So in some ways, getting that experience for KP, Frank, Dotson etc.. this year could shorten the process.

  78. Ntilakilla

    Tough loss. No doubt about it. Lot’s to learn from in this game. But are people really talking about tanking after this loss?

  79. Bruno Almeida

    Honestly, this team might still lose a lot of games due to youth and lack of talent in certain spots, but the type of attitude they’re showing will simply prevent tanking from the start. Even Kanter irrationally going for LeBron after the game with his comments, it’s a far cry from the lethargic Knicks teams of the last couple of years, and even those didn’t really tank.

  80. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    Tough loss. No doubt about it. Lot’s to learn from in this game. But are people really talking about tanking after this loss?

    Did they ever stop? :-)

    We clearly need another legitimate star player, but if we show that we are a legitimate up and coming team on the edge of the playoffs, star players will want to come here to play with KP and Frank. The bigger problem is making space and/or coming up with the assets to get them here. If we had those two damn 1st round picks in recent years we’d be more like the T-Wolves and Bucks right now instead of being a 2 years behind them. But we are where we are. KP and Frank are a good start and we have 1 or 2 other players that could blossom (Free Willy).

  81. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    Honestly, this team might still lose a lot of games due to youth and lack of talent in certain spots, but the type of attitude they’re showing will simply prevent tanking from the start.

    +1 100%. I’m a little worried that when they hit the road and play some of the really tough teams the losses are going to start piling up, but this team is way easier to root for than anything we’ve had since before the Melo trade. They are giving 100%. They just don’t have enough talent and experience yet.

  82. NYFaithful33

    Timmy needs to change up his approach offensively. It seems he can get to the hoop and finish whenever he wants, that should be the majority of his shots, then he can take the three when it’s open.

    I really wanted this win after LeBron was being a tool the whole game and the whole time leading up to it. He keeps trying to make this about Phil Jackson but truth is he’s being a douche and it’s not bothering Phil in the least.

  83. Totes McGoats Makes 18mil For 14ppg

    I was actually encouraged by the way the team played against a clearly superior team, even though we lost the game. Looked alot like all the team needs to pearn is how to close teams out. TH2 may be getting into a groove. In games like that, we need more physical players up front. I love how Kanter and KOQ are playing, but maybe Willy should replace Beasley in the rotation so we can have that extra physicality. McBuckets is more than capable of putting up points.

    Still..this young team has the heart, skill, and work ethic that I have personally missed since the JVG years. Gonna be a fun ride

  84. Ntilakilla

    It was tough how we folded, but there were definite learning moments for the team to take away from this loss. Its performances like these which build up and reveal character.

  85. Brian Cronin Post author

    Enes Kanter is an interesting characters, isn’t he? That dude will fire back at anyone. Just this year, he’s gone right at two of the best players of this generation in Durant and Lebron.

  86. bidiong

    I’ll take a guy like Kanter on my team. Glad we have him. Somebody needs to stand up for our little guys.

  87. bidiong

    LeBron better get hyped up on a more regular basis other than facing the Knicks if Cleveland is going to go anywhere.

  88. Ntilakilla

    Enes Kanter is an interesting characters, isn’t he? That dude will fire back at anyone. Just this year, he’s gone right at two of the best players of this generation in Durant and Lebron.

    Enes Kanter will fire back at the brutal right-wing dictator of his own nation, facing exile and persecution in the process. Lebron should stick to picking fights with rookies instead.

  89. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    This team could be really good if TH2 showed up every night.

    Some day when I have a lot of free time I’m going to calculate each players nightly standard deviation. The good Hardaway shows a lot of potential. He just needs to improve his shot selection a little. He’s a little too quick to fire tough 3s. He’s not good enough at them to warrant that level of aggressiveness. The problem is that it seems like he’s all over the map from game to game. He reminds me a lot of Jamal Crawford. He can be explosive on some nights, but much of the rest of the time he’s below average, So the net looks fine, but I’d rather have a more consistent performer.

  90. wetbandit

    Re: yesterday’s comments I made yesterday about hoping for an 7-8th pick rather than >12th pick, I found these old commentaries on relative value of each pick (here and here), and admittedly these studies were faulty, I mean who cares about per-game stats, but can’t find any holes in my position that any higher draft position is just much better. Look at any year.

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