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Friday, November 24, 2017

2017-18 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Hornets

Man, this is a really long homestand. I like homestands, but when they’re this long this early, it just makes you think, “Crap, they’re going to have some crazy stretches later in the year, aren’t they?”

Anyhow, the Knicks host the Charlotte Hornets in a big matchup in terms of figuring out how good this particular Knicks team is, or perhaps, most importantly, just how good is Frank Ntilikina on defense? We know he’s good and even if he does poorly tonight, he’ll likely continue to be good, but if he dominates Kemba Walker tonight? Then holy crap, that would be some amazing news.

The Knicks actually have a better SRS than the Hornets (they’re both negative, but a good win by the Knicks tonight would likely get them into positive SRS territory for the first time in…..well, quite a while), so this should hopefully be a win, but I’m more interested in seeing how Frank handles things tonight. Hopefully he kicks some ass.

Plus, of course, we saw KP get to 40, let’s see him hit 50. ;)

Let’s go, Knicks!

240 comments on “2017-18 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Hornets

  1. Brian Cronin Post author

    4 home games in January. 12 away. That’s when I might take vacation ;)

    Ha! Right? What the hell, schedule?! Is the Garden, like, closed for fumigation in January or something?

  2. geo

    not sure how i feel about shipping Kuz out…

    something about having someone come fresh into the nba on the knicks that makes me root for them a little harder…

    if he can’t get past beasely and mcdermutt then – well, that’s not very good..

    so is ron back tonight?

  3. Zanzibar

    Is there any way KOQ and WHG could play together on the second unit? KOQ’s played PF before in his career. Could it be any worse than Beasley or Lance? Hey if it works, we might be able to carry 4 centers.

    Just looked it up – KOQ and WHG have played a total of 4 minutes together so far.

  4. alsep73

    Zanzibar, without looking at the breakdown of various lineups, it seems like KOQ plays much better as a small ball 5 than a 4. When he’s at power forward seems to be when he tends to get too cute/sloppy with his passing and ball handling, like he thinks he’s Anthony Mason 2.0, or a burlier Giannis.

  5. ptmilo

    tonight when Dwight gets frustrated and cheap shots KP is when beasley can finally explain his roster spot

  6. 2FOR18, understands math

    If shit went down I think O’quinn would be the one to kick ass. Beasley looks too chill/high to get into a brawl.
    Jack and Baker I could see also. Oh, and Lance.

  7. Bruno Almeida

    O’Quinn would be the first one in, I’m sure, followed closely by Ron Baker flailing his arms and looking active but not doing much at all.

    Let’s go Knicks!

  8. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    I would release Beasley long before I would trade Kuz unless I got back something that might have better value.

  9. ClashFan

    @16
    Strato, I agree. I’d really like to see Kuz; he seemed improved in the Euro stuff this summer.

  10. geo

    I would release Beasley long before I would trade Kuz unless I got back something that might have better value.

    that seems pretty obvious and the right answer…i’m not sure though what the knicks will do…

  11. 2FOR18, understands math

    I don’t know. I think KP will have trouble scoring without the gravity melo creates

  12. Bruno Almeida

    Kemba always wrecks us, but every damn scrub is hitting everything now.

    Horrible defense and Timmy is really starting to get on my damn nerves.

    The good thing is that there’s no freaking way Charlotte keeps shooting like this.

  13. BigBlueAL

    Hornets are the 20th ranked offense too so this was easily the worst defensive quarter of the season for the Knicks.

  14. Bruno Almeida

    Love the movement off the ball McDermott always brings, it’s so nice to see a Knicks team that moves the ball and moves players around. We lacked that so much in the late Melo years. O’Quinn has been a huge part of it too.

  15. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    We lacked that so much in the late Melo years.

    His gravity impacted both sides of the court? ;-)

  16. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    If Lance Thomas is not going to shoot open 3s there’s no point.

    edit @44 beat me to it.

  17. Bruno Almeida

    @43

    Hahahah maybe, maybe…

    Courtney Lee, for example, looks like a different player from last year now that he’s getting these opportunities to cut, find nifty passes etc.

    Frank showing some penetration tonight too! 2nd unit hanging in there.

  18. Bruno Almeida

    Monk is averaging 8.8 in the season, calm down mates. He’s just insanely hot now and shooting wide open everytime.

    A bit too early to start with the revisionism.

  19. BigBlueAL

    All sarcasm aside, has any rookie drafted after Frank played well so far?? I like Smith Jr but I know he hasn’t played very well so far, at this early point of the season doesn’t seem like there’s any player the Knicks passed on for Frank that is making them regret it.

  20. Bruno Almeida

    If Michael Carter Williams is going to drive past Timmy like that, Hornacek needs to sit his ass down. What happened with “If you won’t play D you won’t play”?

    Dotson could do a better job there.

  21. ClashFan

    Just lay off MCW. He can’t shoot; there’s no excuse for him to drive past THJ.

    Monk may just be hot shooting tonight, but he’s quick and appears to be a nice passer. Like Frank, he’s very young and looks to have lots of upside.

  22. Bruno Almeida

    @67

    Honestly, Kuzma and Bell, but they really shouldn’t be in the conversation as they were never projected to be around the same area of the lottery. It’s not even like Smith is playing bad, he just won’t stop chucking. He’s got 16 and 6 assists against Washington today but on 16 shots. He’s playing like a mini Derrick Rose so far.

  23. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    But it’s definitely not early to start lamenting THJr ridiculous contract.

    Just awful so far. There’s no way of getting out of that one.

    There’s at least some very remote possibility that Noah looks pretty good when he comes back and some contender that’s desperate for a big man because of an injury is willing to take him in a year or two.

  24. Stratomatic says "NY basketball is back"

    The question on Monk was never over whether he’d be a good scorer. It was whether he could run the point or defend SGs. He’s a tweener. Not sure we have an answer to that, but boy will he have some great nights lighting it up off the bench.

  25. er

    he’s quick and appears to be a nice passer. Like Frank, he’s very young and looks to have lots of upside.

    yeah I definitely think he’s the inverse of Frank where his offense is his skill and he will learn to play PG in the NBA. That’s what I liked about him

  26. nicos

    All sarcasm aside, has any rookie drafted after Frank played well so far?? I like Smith Jr but I know he hasn’t played very well so far, at this early point of the season doesn’t seem like there’s any player the Knicks passed on for Frank that is making them regret it.

    I guessing most have shown enough flashes that their fan base is happy. Let’s remember that Frank still has a negative ws/48 so he isn’t exactly tearing it up either. Lots of guys with a lot of potential and Frank has as good (or better) chance of reaching his as anybody.

  27. hornyKnickfan

    Does Timmay read our posts during halftime and come out a different player in the second half?

  28. thenoblefacehumper

    I think Monk will be mostly pretty bad with enough big nights to keep people thinking he’s good. He’s the successor to Jamal Crawford.

  29. KJG

    Need someone to get into Howard’s head … Kanter is being passive right now. Shell of his normal intense self. I think perfect guy for the job is Oquinn…

  30. ClashFan

    Like the Indiana game, the Knicks are at least hanging around despite all the bad D (and it is by all means not all on Kanter).

  31. er

    KP a little lazy right now

    Maybe tired….hes been doing yomans work. This is what we need to watch for….sustainability. Also….Clyde was so right, can someone make him play center please?

  32. Bruno Almeida

    Howard still can be very effective in stretches, but it’s an issue. KP is getting defended very well this time, Charlotte doing a much better job than Indiana did. We need O’Quinn on this game (and Timmy to take his head out of his arse maybe).

  33. Brian Cronin Post author

    Sometimes they go in and he looks good, but it’s just stupid. He’s so fast, just go to the basket, you moron!

  34. Brian Cronin Post author

    Kemba Walker is such a moron. I love when other team’s star players are morons.

  35. geo

    good job lance thomas – fucking aye…legit NBA defense all 4th qtr…

    horny killing it with his rotations right now…

  36. KJG

    The lance switch onto Kemba played perfect. Long and quick enough. Charlotte had no ingenuity there to try something else

  37. Brian Cronin Post author

    The lance switch onto Kemba played perfect. Long and quick enough. Charlotte had no ingenuity there to try something else

    Which is so embarrassing. “Well, I guess I still have to go for it even if it makes no sense.” Fuck you, Kemba, you dummy! What a fourth quarter performance!

  38. GoNyGoNyGo

    I’ve been quiet but this was one hell of a game! This could be a playoff team. It really could be.

  39. hornyKnickfan

    You have to give Horny credit.
    He moved KP to the five and played LT McGreatness and Frank down the stretch.

  40. Brian Cronin Post author

    I’ve been quiet but this was one hell of a game! This could be a playoff team. It really could be.

    If their competition is teams like the Hornets, they definitely can be a playoff team.

  41. Bruno Almeida

    4th quarter kings! Clutch Kings!

    Is this really the Knicks were watching? That was a gritty damn win!

  42. er

    Charlotte went ice cold from 3 in the second half of the 4th……what’s that called regression to the mean h……hahahaha nice

  43. Brian Cronin Post author

    Yikes, Brian vs. Kemba!

    It just kills me when guys with such tremendous talent don’t play with intelligence. They were ice cold from three, so what did they do? Just kept jacking up threes like dummies.

  44. alsep73

    This team, you guys. This team.

    I still don’t know how KP got that layup off in time. Being the approximate length of the distance from the earth to the sun probably helped.

  45. er

    I still don’t know how KP got that layup off in time Being the approximate length of the distance from the earth to the sun probably helped.

    That defense by Monk was cringeworthy….Along with his 5 or so missed threes in the quarter :)

  46. Brian Cronin Post author

    Yeah, holy shit, McBuckets has been amazing so far. Possibly their third best player this season.

  47. Bruno Almeida

    I’m still so damn happy to see Dwight lose, I can’t even hate on Kemba.

    I’ve been high on McDermott for a while but he really did play superbly, and who the hell is this Lance Thomas??? He’s been deserving of his contract and more in those defensive sequences.

  48. BigBlueAL

    After this game and all the energy used might be tough in Orlando tomorrow night but it’s alright if they lose after these back to back exhilarating wins.

  49. Brian Cronin Post author

    That defense by Monk was cringeworthy….Along with his 5 or so missed threes in the quarter :)

    That’s at least his game. It’s dumb, as well, but it’s his game. Kemba should have been going to the basket every possession, but he kept settling for dumb outside shots.

  50. er

    It just kills me when guys with such tremendous talent don’t play with intelligence. They were ice cold from three, so what did they do? Just kept jacking up threes like dummies.

    I think that goes back to Kanter, he was a turnstile on D. KP and o Quinn weren’t letting them get easy penetration. Kanter cannot play big mins, he needs to be a 15-20 min microwave guy

  51. ess-dog

    These guys are really ruining their draft potential! But it’s fun to watch. That crunch time lineup is so tough on D, gotta love it.

  52. Brian Cronin Post author

    I think that goes back to Kanter, he was a turnstile on D. KP and o Quinn weren’t letting them get easy penetration. Kanter cannot play big mins, he needs to be a 15-20 min microwave guy

    Oh, I agree that the Knicks weren’t making it easy, but then they should have kept going at them and not settling for what the Knicks were giving them.

  53. er

    I wanna see the shooting splits for charlotte in the 4th. I feel like after 6 mins they didn’t make a shot outside of the paint

  54. nicos

    Coming into tonight Kemba had a .601 TS, a decent 30.6 assist % against 10.8 tov% and a .219 ws/48. I’d take that kind of stupid all day long.

  55. Brian Cronin Post author

    The Hornets missed their last nine outside shots and made their only shot at the basket. Just madness.

  56. Brian Cronin Post author

    Coming into tonight Kemba had a .601 TS, a decent 30.6 assist % against 10.8 tov% and a .219 ws/48. I’d take that kind of stupid all day long.

    That’s what makes it more maddening. He obviously can produce.

  57. geo

    horny with the 9 man rotation on the 10th game of the season…

    kp played 29 minutes – that’s good coaching…

  58. Bruno Almeida

    Charlotte kept going for that high screen to take Frank out of Kemba, but the Knicks did a pretty good job of closing driving lanes to force Kemba to pass, and they went ice cold when I mattered.

    Not looking at the numbers I would say Frank struggled a lot more this game, but he ended up with a cool 8 assists too. McBuckets, Lance and O’Quinn all were so huge.

  59. DRed

    On a neutral court the Hornets probably beat the Knicks more often than not, but if we’re going to be a decent team we should be better than teams like the Hornets at home, so that was a nice win.

  60. hornyKnickfan

    Look at it this way. If we don’t make the lottery this year we’ve already added some high draft choices. Kanter, McDermott, Beasley and later maybe even Trey Burke. Thats four for one.

  61. alsep73

    kp played 29 minutes – that’s good coaching…

    That’s also KP getting two fouls before the first quarter was over. And he still looked tired at times in the second half from the load he’s been carrying.

  62. geo

    gotta give him credit – dougie wasn’t standing still very much out there tonight, stayed on the move and played solid d…so long Kuz…

  63. Brian Cronin Post author

    Yeah, Doug had himself a hell of a game. If he keeps it up, dude is going to get paid.

  64. er

    The Hornets missed their last nine outside shots and made their only shot at the basket. Just madness.

    Guess I was right :)

  65. BigBlueAL

    Read a report today saying Knicks trying to trade Kuz to free up the roster spot for Noah when he returns.

  66. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Fantastic game–this stretch of play has me giddy. KP is absurd.

    Frank was +11 on the night and he doesn’t even score. That’s so impressive. Also very impressed with Lance–he looks fresher than he did last year, maybe because he’s gotten over his lingering ankle issues?

    Hornacek seems to have figured a few things out!

  67. alsep73

    Yeah, Doug had himself a hell of a game. If he keeps it up, dude is going to get paid.

    I agreed with the decision at the time to not pick up his option for next year (or whatever the contractual term is in his situation), but yeah, we may be in for another Lance Thomas situation. But at least Lance has played for the last two games like the guy we gave that contract to. :)

  68. Brian Cronin Post author

    Yeah, it was the right call at the time, so I can’t begrudge them if it doesn’t work out.

  69. KJG

    Lance is such a Vet and one that always plays hard. What’s not to love. And McDermott although young plays pretty dam heady as well. And harder and tougher than I think he gets credit for. KP shot well but otherwise I’d say he had an off night. Weird to say going 10-15 but he was lethargic out there. Glad he came alive last 3 minutes

  70. Bruno Almeida

    McDermott’s movement off the ball and his shooting will carve him a long career in the NBA. Reminding of guys like Mike Dunleavy and even Korver, with the obvious differences in shooting efficiency and athleticism.

  71. d-mar

    Horny pushing all the right buttons these days.

    I know O’Quinn is our most tradeable asset, but damn I don’t want to see him go!

  72. nicos

    Look, I’d trade Lance for a second rounder in a heartbeat (even a phantom one) so they wouldn’t have to pay him for the next two seasons but when he’s healthy he’s a perfectly fine backup. Thomas>>>Beasley.

    Also- McBuckets is a really nice offensive player but he’s either going to have to improve his man defense or at least contribute a little on the boards or else he’s a career backup.

  73. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Fuck it, I’m off the trading KOQ train. You only trade him for a first, and you resign the guy if at all possible. He’s likely gonna be the same player at 30 that he is as 27–his game is predicated on almost nil athleticism. He’s been our co-MVP along with KP.

    Trade Kuz for a late second and figure out what to do w Kanter/Willy.

  74. alsep73

    Lance is healthy again, and he’s also playing a lot of minutes with Frank, which has done wonders to restore the defensive luster he had a couple of seasons ago, before the injuries and before he had Rose and Brandon Jennings at the point of attack.

  75. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    3rd best team in the East, bitches! And that’s without a point guard that can consistently get a lay up!

    If Lance plays above his contract they better trade his ass for an expiring contract and a 2nd round pick.

  76. Early Bird

    I’m okay with THJr. sucking right now, but when KP cools off he better step up and earn his damn contract.

  77. Early Bird

    First time we’ve been out rebounded in awhile, but we still managed to win is a good sign. Even if it took LT and McBuckets not missing any shots.

  78. alsep73

    I’m okay with THJr. sucking right now, but when KP cools off he better step up and earn his damn contract.

    Yeah, Hardaway — and maybe, depending on the matchup, Kanter — seems like the only guy on the roster built to carry the load if KP is out or just having an off night. But that first requires Tim to start shooting more consistently.

  79. Early Bird

    One last note, it seems to me that KP finally just realized how much taller he is than everyone else. He can just go out there and shoot over people as if he wasn’t guarded. He used to use his athleticism/quickness and try to beat them to a spot. Now he just stands up, gets a bit of separation and shoots.

  80. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    THJr wasn’t too bad tonight. He posted a TS% of .542 and had 5 rebounds. Personally I felt KP’s defense in space left much to be desired and made it more obvious that he needs to play center and we need to trade our centers for defensive minded combo forwards with plus rebounding.

  81. NYFaithful33

    THJr’s shooting numbers were actually surprisingly better than I thought they would be. 19 points on 6-14 shooting, 3-7 from 3. Terrible night for him from the ft line, but seeing him get 8 attempts was a good sign.

    He definitely looked worse than his numbers this game.

    Also, I too am off the trade KOQ trade, he is a glue guy who contributes both on and off the court. Just watching him lead the salute after games shows how important he is to this team.

  82. nicos

    Perhaps the best you can say about Hardaway’s start is that some of his struggles really do seem mental- he’s clearly pressing. Once he relaxes (if he relaxes) he should start shooting better.

  83. Bruno Almeida

    Probably the same way the Thunder staff is letting Melo shoot 3/15 and George 4/14 against the Kings!

    I’m joking, of course. Rubio was also like 4/18 when I last saw, that was insanely bad by Utah.

  84. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    TH2 is coming around. He posted a .542 TS% in today’s game. I’m hoping this trends up and he can basketball IQ his way to a .600 TS% because it’s clear he can put the ball in the basket from anywhere. It’s just his decision making that needs to improve.

  85. Bruno Almeida

    The Thunder ended up losing… can I say they’re struggling now without being called a moron?

  86. Ntilakilla

    Frank should really be starting if Jack cannot hit his shots because there is nothing the latter can do that former isn’t already providing us on top of being a better defender.

  87. er

    Yes Bruno good boy. Come get your cookie and pat on the head.

    U cant go a day without posting about Melo and I think it’s funny. The knicks are showing signs but we know what’s on the front of your mind. Lol.

  88. Bruno Almeida

    @232

    Thanks, I love cookies and also being right.

    Keep being aggressive and childish, it suits you better than trying to argue about basketball. I didn’t even mention you.

  89. Ntilakilla

    The funny thing is that you occasionally see Ntilikina get to the basket when he tries, but he is reluctant. He really does play a very discriminating point guard for a rookie. If he was a Monk, DSJ, Mitchell, etc. he would just keep attempting hit or miss. I think Lee said that Frank told him he’s afraid to make a mistake out there. It shows.

  90. Ntilakilla

    Knicks have won back-to-back games when down by double digits entering 4th Q for first time in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55), per Elias— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) November 8, 2017

  91. Jack Bauer

    KP just Blowing Up! Lance and McBuckets coming up really big tonight too. This team, looking better and better. Hornacek getting the right combinations on the court at the right time. Kemba and Dwight play like such morons for long stretches. MJ just must sit there and wonder wtf?

    Don’t look now Knicks have a better record than OKC. I know it’s early, but just sayin

  92. Ntilakilla

    Jack, I am glad you mentioned MJ. There is always a special satisfaction I get from knowing we beat his team while he watches. He may be the greatest player who ever laced on a pair of basketball shoes, but seriously, fuck that guy.

    Sincerely,

    A 1990s Knicks fan.

  93. thenoblefacehumper

    Yes Bruno good boy. Come get your cookie and pat on the head.

    U cant go a day without posting about Melo and I think it’s funny. The knicks are showing signs but we know what’s on the front of your mind. Lol.

    Do you seriously take mild critiques of Carmelo Anthony this personally? That is so genuinely bizarre.

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