Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Bucks

Man, it’s so weird how little the regular season seem to mean nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I would kill to be able to actually watch a good Knicks team play during the regular season (2012-13 was a whole lot of fun. Hell, 2010-13 was, in general, a fun era, where the Knicks could actually, you know, beat teams), but it’s weird to see how the East is made up out of teams trying to lose and teams not trying to lose and so the teams trying to win beat the hell out of the teams trying to lose and it really doesn’t mean anything in the long term. Milwaukee got actively worse this offseason and yes, Giannis is having an even better year than his MVP season last year, but in general, does anyone think that they are better poised to win in the postseason this year? Perhaps due to the fact that Kawhi left Toronto, I guess, but beyond that, they’re a worse team and yet we’re going to just watch them beat up the bad teams and have an awesome record and then it won’t mean anything in the playoffs.

Anyhow, the Knicks head into Milwaukee as one of the biggest underdogs that they will be all season. With no Frank tonight, it will be interesting to see if Trier can actually get out of the doghouse.

In more interesting news, there are some rumors out there that suggest that people in the Raptors organization believe that Masai Ujiri might be willing to sign with the Knicks when his contract runs out. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Let’s go! Knicks?

Liked it? Take a second to support Brian Cronin on Patreon!

218 comments on “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Bucks

  1. bobneptune

    Also, the more relevant Melo issue is that if he keeps playing relatively well, it removes one potential Marcus Morris suitor come December 15.

    WS/48 = .055 sort of stretches the notion of playing relatively well :-)

  2. Donnie Walsh

    the East is made up out of teams trying to lose and teams not trying to lose and so the teams trying to win beat the hell out of the teams trying to lose

    Which kind of team is the Knicks?

  3. geo

    The Knicks are trying to try.

    yep, that about sums it all up right there…

    thanks knew your knicks – i needed that laugh…

  4. KnickfaninNJ

    The Bucks look really good and I have no faith in Smith at the helm. I’m expecting a blowout.

  5. ptmilo

    not sure i’ve ever seen a team take a game less seriously from the get. bucks thinks we are the sub. (we are the sub)

  6. dtrickey

    That was simultaneously a good foul and a bad foul by Mitch. That being said, I am not sure Giannis is going to be too concerned about Mitch playing hard down low

  7. KJG

    Pathetic early. A terrible terrible team. Just so terrible. Dennis smith favorite non move is to rush up the court dribble through his legs with such flare … gets just inside the 3 point line and then back tracks and passes to one of our many forwards … a completely fake and utterly useless probe …

  8. KnickfaninNJ

    And with both Dotson and Ellington willing to move without the ball the offense looks a little better.

  9. Nick C.

    Should I be heartened that when Knox went out and Ellington came in that meant RJ and then Dotson were playing the 3, which is where they belong.

  10. The Infamous Cdiggy

    The 90s fan in me is completely fine with that Mitch foul on Giannis. You ain’t finna dunk all over us all night…

  11. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    We could have had Mike Budenholzer but we ended up with David Fizdale.

    Budenholzer might win a championship this season.

  12. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    Buds was right to ask for control, and we were right not to give it to him. He was not a good front office exec.

    Great, great coach though. Oh well.

  13. ess-dog

    I would not have picked the Knicks either.

    Are they actually going to fire Fiz?? It just seems like an insane thing to do with this dumpster fire roster.

  14. DRed

    Might watch a couple more minutes to see if Giannis can throw a few more ridiculous dunks down on us and then I’m probably checking out

  15. Will the Thrill

    Not impressed with Mitch this season at all. He’s just not a smart player in any aspect of the game. Losing hope that he has the ability to get to the level of Gobert/Deandre Jordan/Capela. A new coach may help, though.

  16. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I’m at the stage where I can only watch the Knicks the way I sometimes casually glance at a car accident while driving by. This may be the worst NBA offense I have ever seen. There’s almost no logical or purposeful ball or player movement. On the rare possessions the ball does move (even without some high level purpose), they usually get a decent look, but that’s like finding a unicorn. It’s pathetic. This team should not be this bad on offense with these players.

  17. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Not impressed with Mitch this season at all. He’s just not a smart player in any aspect of the game. Losing hope that he has the ability to get to the level of Gobert/Deandre Jordan/Capela. A new coach may help, though.

    He has no idea what he’s doing on either side, but the talent level is very high. Good teams will take advantage of him, shut him down, or foul him out, but he’s so young and so good at the 2-3 things he can do we should have a LOT of patience.

  18. bobneptune

    Are they actually going to fire Fiz?? It just seems like an insane thing to do with this dumpster fire roster.

    Swap coaches with Boston and let’s see the results moving forward……

  19. KJG

    If I’m RJ Barrett … I’d hope to get traded. Just doesn’t seem likely that this team will be in any good in the next (insert #) years… but also if I’m RJ Barrett I would prefer to not keep heaving up bricks or air balls.

  20. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I know his past, but I really like Dotson’s game and his demeanor.

    +1

    It’s a shame he lost a whole summer of development due to surgery. He may be getting his stroke back now. Hopefully he can pick up where he left off last year and eventually make more progress. He can be a useful long term piece even if it’s off the bench.

  21. KnickfaninNJ

    I dont know that Mitch was so bad this game. He seemed to slow the Bukd down a little bit compared to the starters.

  22. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    One thing I never understood about basketball is the players givin the ft shooter dap or a five, make or miss. I always told myself I wouldn’t dap you up if u missed a free throw. Offer up encouragement? Verbally, yeah. But our palms ain’t meetin if you miss that gimme. LOL. Maybe that’s somethin that Fiz should get the guys to do considering how bad our FT shooting is. I know..it seems kinda asshole-ish, but ya gotta do somethin, right?

  23. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I’ve seen enough. I’m going to watch some reruns of some baking championship show on the Food Network for 3-4 years. smh

  24. dtrickey

    The losses are second nature really for this franchise, but at some point these guys need to get angry about opposition benches basically clowning them from the sidelines. Just beyond a joke to the rest of the league.

  25. Z-man

    I mean, 3 guys have to get hurt and Ellington has to shoot 10 airballs before Trier gets off the bench?

  26. KnickfaninNJ

    This wouldn’t have been a win, but the schedule with it being a back to back with travel in between didn’t help.

  27. d-mar

    One small positive for the Knicks recently is Randle’s play, starting to live up to his contract (and not turning the ball over as much)

  28. Knew Your Nicks

    This is NOT a basketball game.
    It’s an exercise in sports s/m.
    For both knicks players & fans.

  29. Knew Your Nicks

    The Only Positive i see is Knox watching Giannis Dominate and might idolise him and be tempted to try harder to be a more complete player.

  30. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Just for the hell of it, I’m looking at the schedule for our next winnable game. Maybe at Portland on the 10th?

    I’m going to peg that game: Portland may be starting to turn around their season, but I think Fizdale doesn’t make it past that one if they drop their 20th L there, especially if Melo goes all 2014-15 on them.
    So there’s my prediction: if the team is 4-20 via a Portland loss where Lillard/McCollum/Melo dance all over us, Fiz is KO’d.

  31. ephus

    If you see a silver lining here (other than a 25% chance of the first overall pick), I do not understand what you are looking at.

  32. Early Bird

    Well Farfa shouldn’t feel bad about not posting a recap. The score tells you everything you need to know. It’s at the point in the season where just posting the names of our starters followed by, “What do ya think happened?” Is enough of a recap.

  33. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    If you see a silver lining here (other than a 25% chance of the first overall pick), I do not understand what you are looking at.

    14% these days.

  34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Imagine being James Wiseman. You’re watching the Dubs and Knicks battle it out for worst record. Here are two opening-day lineups you could be a part of.

    Curry
    Russell (or whatever wing they trade him for)
    Klay
    Draymond
    Wiseman

    or

    Ntilikina
    Barrett
    Knox
    Randle
    Wiseman

  35. The Infamous Cdiggy

    We give up what amounts to a 4-pt play on a goaltended and-1 plus the T for Smith grabbing the net.

    *sigh*

    Why is Giannis still in tho?

  36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Why is Giannis still in tho?

    Why have I only been playing players >400 points lower than me for the last few days on Lichess.org? Sometimes a man just wants to wreck shit.

  37. ephus

    This game reminds me of the time Kobe & the Lakers came into MSG, Kobe put up 61, and it was a real question if the Lakers would double up the Knocks for the whole game.

  38. d-mar

    Raise your hand if you would go back in time and max Kemba and Jimmy Butler right now. ?

    You could have a time machine and cap space and still neither of those guys is signing here.

  39. ephus

    The move last summer was yo carry $25 million in cap space into the season. OKC (Roberson) and Portland (Bazemore) will want to get under the Luxury Tax. OKC has lots of spare first round picks.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m at the stage where you start hoping for a 50-point loss so they clean house, starting with Fizdale and moving up to Mills. This might be rock bottom.

  41. The Infamous Cdiggy

    The only way this game gets worse is if Giannis (or Thanasis?) does to one of our guards what DeAndre Jordan did to Brandon Knight.

  42. Owen

    It is a back to back against one of the best teams in the league. Firing Fiz tonight would net extra points for cruelty

  43. Z-man

    Back on November 11, this exchange took place:

    Z-man: “Fiz is a dead man walking, rightfully so. I’m picking December 7 as the day that will live in infamy. We’ll be 6-17 by then after having gotten routed on our home floor by the Pacers. How’s that for an over/under point?”

    d-mar: “4 more wins by December 7th? Take off your orange and blue colored glasses!”

    sigh…

  44. DRed

    I thought this team would be at least a little better than last years but it’s not looking good so far.

  45. Z-man

    It’s not a good thing when the other team hits 100 before we hit 60, right?

    Depends…are we playing golf?

  46. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Annnnd it’s back to a 40(41)-pt lead.

    This… this is how Warriors opponents felt when Steph n dem were on point.

    Wait… we were one of those opponents. Cue the crying Jordan meme.

  47. The Infamous Cdiggy

    This is the part of being a Knicks fan that Laker fans are too shallow to understand.

    God, I hope my supervisor doesn’t see this final score…

  48. DRed

    Pretty remarkable that Bobby Portis managed to be a +1 in 19 minutes I felt we got outscored every single minute of the game that I watched.

  49. d-mar

    Giannis got a first hand look at the Knicks roster tonight and thought: “that’s a team I want to be part of in 2021”

  50. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    We should probably try Frank, Kadeem, Dotson, Morris, and Taj. Maybe instead of basketball stats we should just use basketball IQ and roll with that.

  51. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    If our owner and management weren’t total idiots we could have Mike Budenholzer making personnel decisions and running our offense and defense. We’d be 3 years further along than we are now.

  52. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    even thanasis hitting shots

    Cleanthony Early still available?

  53. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    We should probably try Frank, Kadeem, Dotson, Morris, and Taj. Maybe instead of basketball stats we should just use basketball IQ and roll with that.

    lmao

  54. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    This will be good for Frank’s +/- amirite?

    They would have only lost by 35 if Frank played because at least one guy would have passed and defended. If he went 2-7 from the field you could give him the game ball compared to these other dregs.

  55. Early Bird

    We’re falling backwards into a 76ers rebuild which is probably the best thing that could happen to us. That’s the silver lining.

  56. Brian Cronin Post author

    If our owner and management weren’t total idiots we could have Mike Budenholzer making personnel decisions and running our offense and defense. We’d be 3 years further along than we are now.

    Budz was a terrible GM and he was especially bad at knowing when to give up on guys (like refusing to trade Millsap or Horford and then watching them both leave without getting anything for them), so it’s not like he would have been some big upgrade over Mills and Perry. He would have been a big upgrade over Fizdale, though.

  57. geo

    life really is better with yoga…a few months in and it’s absolutely amazing how many different positions you can twist your body in to…

    even better than that, although you’re supposed to be clearing your mind and all – totally rocks how much stuff you can get processed in 75 minutes or so…it’s kinda like cocaine, only, instead of just thinking your getting shit figured out by thinking about shit – you actually can get some stuff productively worked out in your head…that and you’re not up for 3 days moving around like sonic…

    so, got the knicks and MNF on the recorder…actually watching the knicks now – getting ready to turn it though…

    I will add this for tonight’s game – wtf happened to eric bledsoe…did someone tell him there was gonna be someone showing up at his door soon with a needle and vial…

  58. DRed

    I guess the only good reason to fire Fizdale now is to have the replacement also suck and have that lead to Mills/Perry getting fired.

  59. Bruno Almeida

    I really would swap rosters with the Kings instantly, but I wouldn’t touch this Bulls roster. I mean, they’re better than us, and I like Wendell Carter Jr. a lot, but they’re capped out with LaVine as their best player. I also don’t really value Lauri Markkanen, aka KP without the defence, or Coby White that highly.

  60. Brian Cronin Post author

    I would think Porter is their top player, no? Although yeah, Carter is probably their actual best player. But yes, I think I’d just as soon keep the Knicks’ cap space and Barrett and Mitch going forward over the Bulls’ guys.

  61. d-mar

    @120 yeah I know, I’m in such a funk I could probably watch the Fort Wayne Mad Ants right now and wish we had their roster.

  62. JK47

    If our owner and management weren’t total idiots we could have Mike Budenholzer making personnel decisions and running our offense and defense. We’d be 3 years further along than we are now.

    This is exactly right.

  63. Hubert

    I spent the last 6 hours consuming copious amounts of alcohol, including three hours of straight vodka at Mari Vanna. How did we oose by 44 and I still didn’t win my bet!?

  64. Donnie Walsh

    Raise your hand if you would go back in time and max Kemba and Jimmy Butler right now. ?

    You could have a time machine and cap space and still neither of those guys is signing here.

    The (kind of) amusing irony is that the two times that the Dolan Era front office showed an ounce of patience and long range vision were when 1) they could have had Lowry for a future pick, and 2) when Jimmy Butler put the Knicks on his trade-to list and they declined to make an offer to Minnesota.

    Either of those moves would have produced immensely better results than anything the Knicks have experienced in their place.

  65. Bruno Almeida

    Porter Jr. was pretty bad in the few games he played this season, and he’s injured again. I was a fan when it seemed like he could sustainably shoot 44% from 3 for an entire season on moderate volume, but he’s been injury prone and most of his numbers are down from his best seasons.

    There’s still a few teams out there that I think have situations i wouldn’t want to be in, like the Pistons, Hornets, Cavs and Wizards, but that’s really it… they all have better rosters now but either have bad contracts or projected lesser picks, but yeah, there’s not much solace to be had in that.

  66. Bruno Almeida

    I still wouldn’t take Kemba + Butler though. Kemba has been playing exactly to his career averages, he’s just surrounded by a much better team than he used to have, and Butler has been playing very well but he’s still 30 and not good enough to be the leading star on a contender. It would be a million times more watchable than the dumpster fire we have right now, but I still think that if the 17 win Knicks are giving max contracts to stars, they should be mega superstars and no one else, and those two still aren’t.

  67. Brian Cronin Post author

    Yeah, I have no idea where “Wish they had maxed out Kemba and Butler” is coming from. It doesn’t make any sense. While don’t get me wrong, the team would make more sense from a modern NBA perspective, it would still be a bad team.

    It’s be:

    Kemba
    Butler
    Barrett
    Knox
    Mitch

    With a bench of:

    Smith Jr.
    Trier
    Frank
    Iggy
    Uhmmm
    Uhmmm
    Uhmmm
    Uhmmm

    I imagine they’d sign some other vet minimum guys and one room exception guy, but who? It’d still be a bad team, only now you’re latched on to Butler and Kemba’s decline phases at max salaries.

    No thank you.

    But yes, they’d be better than this year’s Knicks team by far. But that’s not saying much.

  68. Bo Nateman

    An unintended consequence of last night’s debacle is that it could make Mills/Perry reluctant to part with Morris because of the leadership he provides, and the perception that his absence could lead to an even larger spate of lopsided losses.

  69. bobneptune

    Of all the bad basketball we have seen the bast 15 years this was the worst non-competitive game by far.

    The didn’t compete on either end and were essentially suffocated for the first 30 minutes by the Buck D. It’s pretty amazing that the couldn’t get hardly any good shots off and even with the talent level available that’s almost impossible and due to the lack of a coherent offensive scheme.

  70. KnickfaninNJ

    I watched the first half. They actually did get some decent shots off. They just didn’t hit them.

  71. Nick C.

    The no Kemba or Butler argument was that it would make for an 8 seed sub 500 team. Better than this, but just one more step on the mediocrity treadmill. For those who think “that type of team will attract the next star”, it didn’t work for Butler, who left a stacked Sixer team to go to Miami.

  72. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    This is what I want:

    A trade for Lonzo Ball so we can trot out a Ball/Ntilikina backcourt.

  73. Early Bird

    Giannis dunking on Randle is the GIF summary of this season. It also serves as a perfect recap of last night’s game.

    Why do people wish we signed Kemba and Butler? The accidentank is the only way the Knicks eventually make it back to respectability. That, or Luka gets injured every year we own a Mavs pick.

  74. Frank

    Love Budenholzer and would have wanted him to be coach, but I’m pretty anti-coach+GM combination – kinda feel like that never turns out well as the coach and GM/POBO roles are not always pointing the same direction. It was bad for Bud in ATL, bad for SVG in Detroit, bad for Thibs in Minnesota, etc etc. All the best teams have a strong forward-thinking FO making roster decisions and a coach who coaches said roster.

    At this point I don’t think Fiz lasts beyond the west coast road trip, although my guess is that they try to keep him until the schedule lets up a bit (but that doesn’t really happen until mid-end of January!).

    I am just truly worried that Mills and Perry will search for every last win, and that may mean they don’t trade guys that obviously should be traded (specifically Morris, who could actually bring back something really good given the overall parity in the league).

    Do teams ever poach executives mid-season in a career promotion? Like hire someone else’s assistant GM (like Troy Weaver, Mike Zarren, one of the Toronto assistant GM types) to become GM or POBO? Or does that always happen in the offseason?

    I still think the coach this team needs is Jeff Van Gundy. At the very very least he’ll be a Steve Clifford -esque coach – not that imaginative offensively but will have a great defense and strong culture. His work with the USA team has been pretty amazing — he obviously wants to coach again.

  75. Hubert

    Management, according to a source, considered the last 10-game segment an improvement over the first 10 games despite the same 2-8 record. The next step was getting the Knicks to close out games in the fourth quarter.

    From Berman.

    We’ll be 6-24 after 30 games but it seems like this clown will stay if we mix in some close losses.

  76. Frank

    Question is whether “management” is Mills and Perry, or whether that is Dolan. I presume it’s Mills and Perry, and that they’re just moving the goalposts for their own benefit.

    Meanwhile, I’m not totally sure what we expected out of last night. Our two best defenders (at least in the starting lineup) in Frank/Morris were both out. Morris is also the best shooter on the team, and the only one who has any chance defending Giannis. Frank (and RJ to a lesser extent) is the only one in the starting lineup interested in moving the ball and running any sort of offense. btw despite not being an NBA player to some here, he is now up to a net + 9.5 on offense on/off and +12.8 overall. Kinda starting to be hard to ignore considering the team’s overall net rating is -9.6.

    (Meanwhile I would put Mook in bubble wrap until the trade deadline. Dude is shooting 52.4% on 3’s on 5.5 attempts per 36 — I would imagine his value will never be higher)

  77. Frank

    somewhat under the radar story is how much Mitch has regressed on defense this year. His fouling is worse than ever. He was supposed to be a darkhorse DPOY or at least a candidate for an all-defense team, and he is not remotely close to that.

    Basically no one has made any significant development. DSJ is worse than last year. Knox is better but not significantly so. Mitch is worse or at least not really better. The only one who has gotten better is Frank, and that may just be a matter of opportunity as opposed to actual skill. Regardless of the FO, lack of development is on the coaching staff. btw what qualifies Keith Smart to be a shooting coach?

  78. KnickfaninNJ

    Actually, I agree with management that the second ten games were better than the first. By the eye test, we had more team play on offense and by stats, we were blown out only three times instead of four. That stat leaves out the Milwaukee game since it’s our twenty-first game. It’s also true that there were some games recently that were very close until the end against good teams.

  79. Owen

    somewhat under the radar story is how much Mitch has regressed on defense this year. His fouling is worse than ever.

    He put something out on Twitter about this. Promised to foul less. I agree, it’s shocking how much he has regressed from last spring.

    I think Pills has to keep Fiz on for a while, if only for its own job security, i.e. you can’t fire them until you fire him.

  80. Ingmarrrr

    Frank probably improved because he had good coaching in the summer with the French national team.

  81. Owen

    I guess I should add the caveat that his numbers look pretty similar outside the extra 2 fouls per 100 possessions and the extra turnover. I think it’s the quality of the fouls that bother me. Is there anyway to see how many moving screens he has been called for? I bet it’s like 12. Thats something you can teach.

    And his fouls have just been super dumb on defense. Maybe I am just hyperconscious of it because its the only reason I watch the games but it’s a lot of “No No No and shit.”

  82. bobneptune

    Frank probably improved because he had good coaching in the summer with the French national team.

    William of Occam lives!!!

  83. Hubert

    I’m not totally sure what we expected out of last night

    We expected them to lose by 44 points. That’s the problem.

  84. Hubert

    I think Pills has to keep Fiz on for a while, if only for its own job security, i.e. you can’t fire them until you fire him.

    That has to be it. He has to be thinking it’s like an immunity idol on survivor. But if he holds on to it too long, he might get fired without ever using it.

  85. ess-dog

    It’s ugly to watch, but the best thing this team can do rn is tank (on purpose or not) for a top-3 pick.

    This FO is not good enough to find Paul Georges late in the draft, and the coaches aren’t good enough to “coach em up.” They need generational talent to change the culture, and odds point to that coming at the top of the draft.

  86. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Our Youth:
    – Mitch has less happening upstairs than a single story house
    – Knox is slower than a snail on a sloth
    – RJ’s shot is crookeder than a dawg’s hind leg
    – Dennis is flakier than a French croissant
    – French Prince is as durable as a chocolate castle

    LaMelo Ball will save us.

    This is what I want: A trade for Lonzo Ball so we can trot out a Ball/Ntilikina backcourt.

    So consensus here is Knicks need to grow a pair?

    OK want some optimism?
    Exhibit 1
    Exhibit 2

    We need to turn Mitch into Tier 1B player.

  87. thenamestsam

    I said early on that I expected Fiz to last the year for exactly that reason – if you’re Perry/Mills and you fire the coach again so soon and the team still sucks (which it will) and then sucks against next year (which…I mean a lot can change, but looks like a safe bet) that’s when people start looking higher up the organizational food chain. Best thing for management is let Fiz eat the blame for this whole year, then next year you play the “new coach is just settling in, this one hardly even counts – oh by the way, did you notice some big names are free agents and we have cap space!” card yet again. That’s your safest bet to buy yourself a couple more years although you probably can’t afford to strike out again in the summer of ’21. He probably can’t skate by too many more like last night without Dolan making the call himself though.

    As for whether there’s signs of an upward trajectory, I’ll just say that we’re back down to 30th in net rating. 24th on defense and a really inexcusable 30th on offense. That’s on Perry/Mills to some extent as the roster is a horrible mismash (pretty funny though that we’ve seen them overvalue offense at every turn and yet the team they built is 30th in O) but when Fiz does get canned that’s the reason he won’t be able to have many complaints. There’s nothing even semi-coherent happening on that side of the ball.

  88. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I think at least some of the lack of progress for Mitch is a function of teams now understanding what he can and cannot do, what he does poorly, and making adjustments to get him in foul trouble, limit him on offense etc.. That’s what basketball is all about. It’s as much a game of matchups and strategies as it is skills. That’s why I keep repeating that Mitch has to expand his game on offense and be taught what he’s doing wrong on defense. Then it will be more difficult for teams to adjust to that new higher level. It’s a never ending process. But one thing is always true, if you do only one thing very well, good teams will limit it or take it away. If you have one bad weakness, teams will try to target and exploit it.

  89. Hubert

    This is what I want: A trade for Lonzo Ball so we can trot out a Ball/Ntilikina backcourt.

    They wouldn’t be able to pass to anyone with both their defenders playing 8 feet off of them.

    Let’s pass on LaMelo Ball, too. It’s too risky to bet on performance in that league.

    He’s been a little up and down, but when he’s been up, Anthony Edwards looks like the player I like the most. I don’t know if he and Barrett could form a backcourt together, though, or if you’d need to play them at the 2 and 3 with a PG.

  90. KnickfaninNJ

    I made the case above that we improved a little, but I had doubts. So I graphed our margin of victory over time. Starting with the Philadelphia game on November 20th, we looked better for six games, but then we were blown out by Toronto. After that came two reasonably close losses followed by last nights debacle. It’s really hard to see any sustained improvement in the graph.

  91. Hubert

    Best thing for management is let Fiz eat the blame for this whole year, then next year you play the “new coach is just settling in, this one hardly even counts – oh by the way, did you notice some big names are free agents and we have cap space!” card yet again. That’s your safest bet to buy yourself a couple more years

    If that’s what they’re thinking, they’re playing a very dangerous game. This is beginning to look like it will be the worst season in team history. The Larry Brown / Isiah team, for instance, won 23 games. That seems like climbing Everest for these guys.

    I don’t actually want them to save their jobs, so I hope they let it slide. But they need to get someone in here to right the ship ASAP or they’re all going down.

    If they’re really doing this on a ten game basis, game 30 is Dec 21. I don’t think there is an official moratorium but nobody gets fired on Christmas. Game 40 is Jan 12. My guess is they want to tread water til then, then bring in a new coach and make some trades to generate enough good will for another season.

    But I think those 20 games might be a lot uglier than they imagine.

  92. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    But one thing is always true, if you do only one thing very well, good teams will limit it or take it away

    Is that why Chandler led the league in TS% between 2010 and 2013? Because good teams took away his two effective shot types (dunks and tip-ins)?

    I understand that your world functions inductively and inductively alone, but c’mon. Mitch’s best weapon is dunks and he’s increased the frequency of those attempts by about 20% year over year. His shooting percentage at the rim is virtually identical. Almost all of his stats are within spitting distance of last year’s.

    We can all be disappointed by his backsliding on fouls, which do not merely hurt the team with foul trouble but take its best player off the floor by the end of the first half. But these “principles” of basketball have no firm grounding in reality. They just sound reasonable, just as “bunting keeps defenses honest” and “rushing on first downs wins football games” used to sound reasonable.

  93. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I made the case above that we improved a little, but I had doubts. So I graphed our margin of victory over time. Starting with the Philadelphia game on November 20th, we looked better for six games, but then we were blown out by Toronto. After that came two reasonably close losses followed by last nights debacle. It’s really hard to see any sustained improvement in the graph.

    Why did you start with the PHI game?

  94. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    That’s on Perry/Mills to some extent as the roster is a horrible mismash (pretty funny though that we’ve seen them overvalue offense at every turn and yet the team they built is 30th in O)

    That is ironic!

    I think that’s partly because on offense they overvalue “shot creation” over ball and player movement. They also don’t put enough weight on basketball IQ. A team of low IQ talent doesn’t work so well.

    We always debate Frank and whether he should be more aggressive or not, but on some level Frank’s low level of aggression is appropriate for his skill set. He KNOWS he’s not a good shooter. So some shots that might be automatic for a good player, are more marginal for him at this stage. His choice to pass open shots at times probably leads to a higher PPP for the team than if he shot. So he is being smart. I’m not saying he doesn’t NEED to improve his shot. He’s a brick thrower now and has to get a lot better to be more effective. I’m just saying he’s often being smart when he passes up a shot.

    On the flip side, some guys will get overly aggressive when they shouldn’t, make some extra shots, get a few extra assists, but with it comes extra TOs and not necessarily a more efficient shot for the team than had they simply moved the ball like Frank does.

    The player has to know his own skills and make more correct marginal decisions.

    We don’t want high usage from inefficient players. We want them to stop trying to create and take shots that are lowering their efficiency and increasing their TOs. We want them to stick with what they can be successful at and move the ball if they don’t have it. Purposeful ball and player movement leads to easier shots.

  95. thenamestsam

    If that’s what they’re thinking, they’re playing a very dangerous game. This is beginning to look like it will be the worst season in team history. The Larry Brown / Isiah team, for instance, won 23 games. That seems like climbing Everest for these guys.

    I don’t actually want them to save their jobs, so I hope they let it slide. But they need to get someone in here to right the ship ASAP or they’re all going down.

    Oh I agree that it’s a bit risky, but I guess it depends I guess on how much you think a midseason hire is going to be capable of righting this ship. Like if they could switch coaches right now and the new coach could get us to play .500ish the rest of the way that would for sure be better for Pills. But if you bring in a new coach and results stay the same or very close to it…that’s the worst case scenario for them. So I’d argue it’s a calculated risk.

    As an aside I think the “worst team in franchise history” possibility is interesting. I’m definitely still taking the over on 17 personally (I’d still bet on us getting to like 21 or 22 wins in the end) but I can’t say I’d feel that great about it. Pretty sad considering this was supposed to be the “return to respectability” year. We play the Bucks 3x a year which means we’ve got five more opportunities to make Giannis think “that’s a ship headed the right direction that I’d like to hop on board”. I kind of doubt that’s what he was thinking last night.

  96. KnickfaninNJ

    Why did you start with the PHI game

    That’s where we started a run of six games where they all had a margin of victory better than the average margin of victory for the first eleven games. If this were a statistical control chart, that would fit one of the standard rules for noticing that something had changed. It’s not that I felt there was anything special about that point in time, it’s just where the good run of six games began.

  97. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    Here’s a comforting note.
    The Knicks just finished playing the “easy” part of the schedule.
    Worst all-time is conceivable.
    The way that this team is was constructed is best described as “unwatchable”.
    Knox and Mitch need to be sent to the D-league for re-education. Knox has to learn how to play defense. Mitch needs to learn how to stay on the court. He had 3 fouls in 5 minutes in the 1st quarter yesterday.

  98. d-mar

    Our young players suck, our old players suck, our coach sucks, our front office sucks and our owner sucks.

    Other than that, our future looks pretty bright!

  99. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Is that why Chandler led the league in TS% between 2010 and 2013? Because good teams took away his two effective shot types (dunks and tip-ins)?

    I know you love Chandler, as do I, but IMO you overrate his overall value given his limitations on offense. He was the kind of guy that could be very effective with the right PG and matchup (most nights), but he was a 3rd/4th option that could be limited on offense against some teams. It’s not just about long TS%. It’s also about consistent usage/efficiency and not being stopped on some nights because of your limitations. That’s the difference between a #1, #2, #3 and #4 option.

    The other difference is that Chandler was not just a great defender. He was great enough to quarterback the entire defense from inside the paint. The gap between Chandler and Mitch on defense is a million miles. There’s more to it than steals and blocked shots on the stat sheet.

    Chandler was a centerpiece caliber player on a championship team, but mostly because of his defense and not his ability to dunk efficiently on nights when he had the best of the matchup.

  100. Hubert

    Oh I agree that it’s a bit risky, but I guess it depends I guess on how much you think a midseason hire is going to be capable of righting this ship.

    To be clear, I’m saying the risk is Mills/Perry assuming they can make it to midseason. The next 20 games are going to be like the first 20 games. There is nothing good happening here. Only getting blown out twice in ten games instead of four times is not improvement.

    The young kids look like they hate playing basketball. There’s nothing else to measure. Get Fizdale the fuck out of here.

  101. DRed

    On the subject of player improvement, I think Dotson is better than last year also.

    He hasn’t played enough to be confident in the outcomes but he’s not any better than last year

  102. thenamestsam

    To be clear, I’m saying the risk is them assuming they can make it to midseason.

    Sorry, by “midseason” I really just meant “in season”. So let’s say they fire Fiz today and hire a new coach. What’s a reasonable expectation for what a good coach might get out of this roster? 35 wins seems like it would be pretty darn impressive. A 35 win pace the rest of the way would see the Knicks finish at 30-52. So even in a close to best case scenario for a new guy this team would still be looking awfully bad at the end of the year and Pills would have to pretty much fully own that. Whereas they can hope Fiz can steer things ever so slightly in the right direction, get us to 20 or 21 and then fall on the sword at the end of the year or at least close enough to the end that you’re just running out the clock with some placeholder.

    And just to be clear I’m not saying I wouldn’t get rid of Fiz. He’s not a good coach at all and I’ll be happy to see him go. I’m just talking about why I don’t think Pills will pull the trigger now.

  103. DRed

    The interesting thing about the endless Chandler discussion is the very next season after we were good with the contributions of a bunch of 3rd and 4th and 5th options that couldn’t play against good teams and in the playoffs those guys left/were hurt and the Knicks were much, much worse and people like Strat looked at that and decided it was evidence that they were right that those players weren’t valuable. We went from having the 3rd best offense in the league to the 20th best offense despite returning our 3 leading shot takers/creators.

  104. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @166

    I disagree with the entire premise of what you are saying.

    I said Chandler’s overall value was huge and the fact that he could be highly efficient on limited usage was a major plus (same with Mitch). It’s exactly what you would want from a guy that can’t do anything other than dunk. That’s different than thinking that because he had a league leading TS% he was a key to the offense. He was an extremely effective role player on offense that would have been better if he could have added other skills. His value on defense when healthy was HUGE.

    When Kidd was here, he was adding extremely high IQ ball movement, solid defense, and good spacing while his 3 was still dropping.

    That was peak Melo (who despite almost universal disdain for a variety of reasons) was playing excellent basketball at that time.

    Even JR Smith probably had a peak year.

    That was a pretty good and fairly well constructed team even if it didn’t have a good enough #1 and #2 option to contend seriously.

    All of that has nothing to do with whether Mitch would be better off eventually becoming Chandler or peak Patrick Ewing. I’ll take peak Ewing even with a lower TS%. He had way more skills and was much tougher to slow down on any given night.

  105. Name is Bron - James Bron

    An unintended consequence of last night’s debacle is that it could make Mills/Perry reluctant to part with Morris because of the leadership he provides, and the perception that his absence could lead to an even larger spate of lopsided losses.

    Fear is not just that FO might not try to trade Mook…they might offer him 3-year/60m this summer.

    Meanwhile, Memphis is shopping Igoudala. If they get a 1st round pick, that means they will have netted 2 firsts from taking his contract. Knicks should have offered to waive Igoudala right after a trade this summer. That would have been ideal for him…although…maybe he wouldn’t have wanted to have his history show he was a Knick even for 5 seconds. Then there was the Harkless trade. Knicks should have offered a Charlotte pick and would have gotten that 1st round pick. We’d have 4 additional 1st round picks. We still would have had 40m to spend on Randle, Mook, Payton. Then we could have tried to trade Mook/Trier/Dot for yet another 1st. FIVE additional 1st round picks!

  106. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I know you love Chandler, as do I, but IMO you overrate his overall value given his limitations on offense. He was the kind of guy that could be very effective with the right PG and matchup (most nights), but he was a 3rd/4th option that could be limited on offense against some teams. It’s not just about long TS%. It’s also about consistent usage/efficiency and not being stopped on some nights because of your limitations. That’s the difference between a #1, #2, #3 and #4 option.

    I don’t care about limiting options, or trying to figure out whether he was a 3th option or just a Rodman/Wallace-level dud, here. I’m not even talking about how valuable or not valuable a .700 TS% on 15 USG% is. I’m talking about how he had basically two ways of scoring, which, even at his low usage, should have been neutralized by “adjustments” and “gameplanning.” But they weren’t, as is evident by his consistent scoring on those two major shot attempts. If you can’t take them away from a guy as “unskilled” as Chandler, what’s the point of your argument?

    The other difference is that Chandler was not just a great defender. He was great enough to quarterback the entire defense from inside the paint. The gap between Chandler and Mitch on defense is a million miles. There’s more to it than steals and blocked shots on the stat sheet.

    Yeah, Chandler was a better defender than Mitch is. Not as athletic (amazingly, since he was a great athlete) and not as highlight-reel-worthy, but he’s a better defender. Ok?

    Chandler was a centerpiece caliber player on a championship team, but mostly because of his defense and not his ability to dunk efficiently on nights when he had the best of the matchup.

    Chandler would have been valuable without the all-time great efficiency, but again, that’s not my point here. It’s that he was unable to be neutralized over a large sample.

  107. Hubert

    If I set the over/under for the ten game stretch that started last night at 1.5, would anyone take the over?

    @ MIL
    DEN
    IND
    @ POR
    @ GS
    @ SAC
    @ DEN
    ATL
    @ MIA
    MIL

    5-25 would put us on pace for 13 wins. The roster isn’t *that* bad.

  108. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    GSW, SAC and ATL are winnable. The rest are easy Ls. I would be shocked if any of those teams drop one to this squad. It will take a monster game by Barrett, Randle, Morris or Robinson to topple any of the other teams.

    GSW is so bereft of talent that it might be the trainwreck of the year. If the Warriors manage to win by any significant margin, it could be the final straw. Let us pray.

  109. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    I’ll take it, Hubert. I can see two wins in that stretch. I mean, I’d want a good return…but I think there’s a 50% chance we win two.

    This FO is not good enough to find Paul Georges late in the draft, and the coaches aren’t good enough to “coach em up.”

    The first part is wrong, since one thing we have done is get value late in the draft (or after the draft, as with Trier). But the second part is pretty obvious. Mitch should have been a focus…but he’s no better. DSjr’s shot was a focus…and it’s worse. Knox was looking better for a while, not just because of better shooting but because of the shots he was taking. And lately…not so much. Frank’s improvement almost certainly has to be tied to a summer with the French national team.

    All to say, we really have no hope with the current staff. Fiz is theoretically a star-whisperer, but we came away with no stars. Perry has avoided crippling mistakes, but missed huge opportunities and kept on signing players to prove to Dolan that we were ready to win…not understanding that those players would not bring wins. Our shooting coach is presiding over the worst free throw shooting in the league, and perhaps league history. And Mills…not enough words left in this post.

    WTF more does Dolan need to see to completely clean house?

  110. Donnie Walsh

    Frank probably improved because he had good coaching in the summer with the French national team.

    He improved because he couldn’t get any worse. (It’s Newton’s unwritten law of motion)

  111. KnickfaninNJ

    The fact that an opponent game plans for Robinson or Chandler to take away the few types of shots they do well doesn’t mean they won’t get any such shots. Defenses sometimes break down and other s**t happens that creates unplanned openings. It just means there will be fewer such openings once opponents plan for Robinson and Chandler. This results in a low usage for them, which is what we observe in the statistics.

  112. E

    Forget the record; Fizdale is a clear and present danger to the development of the Knicks’ young players and therefore needs to go immediately. They’re not being developed technically and they’re being exposed to extremely poor offensive and defensive tactics and therefore not developing the skills they need to succeed in modern tactics. Everything they’re being exposed to about how to succeed in the NBA and what successful players/teams/organizations do is wrong. The entire enterprise is an abject disaster.

  113. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    We need to lose to GS so that we have the worse record. Amazing what a single loss will do when both team have only 4 wins. Let’s face it, this team is only going to get worse once we clean house.

  114. d-mar

    Dennis Smith Jr. sucks ass, but we didn’t draft him. Really, the Porzingis deal was about clearing 2 max spots (which of course worked out wonderfully)

    The pick that still pisses me off to no end is Kevin Knox. We talk a lot about passing on Gilgeous-Alexander, but here’s a list of some other players taken after Knox that I would gladly welcome to our roster:

    Mikal Bridges (no great shakes, but he actually plays defense)
    Miles Bridges (never loved the guy in college, but he’s still better than Knox)
    Landry Shamet
    Devonte Graham
    Kevin Huerter

    The list goes on, but Knox will probably end up being a completely wasted lottery pick.

  115. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’ll be honest — I never learned the difference between Miles and Mykal Bridges. I can’t remember which one plays for Charlotte and which one plays for the other team. Which one is the older one? Which one is actually decent? I don’t care. They’re irrelevant.

    It just means there will be fewer such openings once opponents plan for Robinson and Chandler. This results in a low usage for them, which is what we observe in the statistics.

    induction is not persuasive here

  116. swiftandabundant

    I think what is nerve wracking right now is that if Dolan pulls the plug on Perry/Mills/Fizdale, there is still a really good chance we can build a winner in the next 2 to 3 seasons but it will require hiring the right people and I just don’t have faith. As horrible as this season is, the off season spending spree hasn’t really set us back at all because the contracts are all short term contracts. There is a clear path to being a good team in front of us but does Dolan have the balls to take it?

    1. Fire Fizdale. Promote Mike Miller to head coach for the rest of the season. Let him know he can still be an assistant next year even if he doesn’t get the head coaching job. Let him play the kids.

    2. Trade the vets that you can trade for future assetts (Morris being the obvious one). I’d keep Taj for veteran leadership. Payton too so we have an actual PG on the roster (but jesus when is he ever coming back?) Guess you gotta keep Randle for now. I’d cut Portis.

    3. Play the kids. RJ, Mitch, Frank, Knox, Trier. Bring up whoever from the G-League that shows promise. Tank for that top 3 pick.

    4. Hire a new coach and a new GM (MASAI PLEASE).

    5. DRAFT in the top 3 and pick the best PG prospect.

    6. Let Randle’s contract play out and maybe he’s tradeable next year. Maybe with Payton and another PG and a new coach he can play better next year.

    We are not in bad shape long term (I have to keep repeating this to myself). But Mills/Perry/Fizdale all have the ability to royally screw that up between now and the end of the season and that is what scares me.

  117. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    5. DRAFT in the top 3 and pick the best PG prospect.

    There are very few situations in which a top-3 pick should be spent on positional need rather than BPA, especially in the era of positionless basketball. Maybe if you’re the Mavs and you jump up to the top-3, you don’t pick a ball-handling guard like Cole Anthony or Anthony Edwards since every time they touch the ball, they’re taking opportunities for Luka to cook up some tasty kranjska klobasa and force-feed it to his defenders. But a bottom-3 team picking in the top 3 should pick BPA.

  118. Knew Your Nicks

    Clyde said it clearly yesterday during the last part of garbage time while analyzing our situation:
    “Coaching is everything”

  119. Knew Your Nicks

    Fiz has completely lost the team.
    (If he ever had control of it).

    He’s clearly hurting the psyche of the team and the psyche of the youngsters.

    If i were the owner or the POBO I’d have replaced him 10 games ago.

  120. Knew Your Nicks

    Mitch asking from Giannis to give him his shoes was the best positive thing out of yesterday’s game that i saw (!!!)
    Shows humility, respect for greatness and idolization of the Right idol.

  121. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    I just don’t have faith.

    You know things have really got bad when you lose swiftandabundant…..

  122. TheClashFan

    It would be hilarious if they released Portis. Of course, that won’t happen b/c they signed him to a $15m or so deal. We all were shocked by that when it was announced, such a gross overpay, but the longer the season goes on the more stupefying it becomes.

  123. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Mitch asking from Giannis to give him his shoes was the best positive thing out of yesterday’s game that i saw (!!!)
    Shows humility, respect for greatness and idolization of the Right idol.

    Fuck that noise. I want Mitch to steal those sneakers, tie them together and throw them over a fucking power line.

  124. swiftandabundant

    Yeah the last week broke me.

    Again, I’m cautiously optimistic about our long term outlook IF we make the right moves going forward. But we need a real coach who can develop young players. I mean when we keep NOT developing young players year after year, it has to be a structural/organizational thing. It can’t all be just that we draft the wrong players.

  125. Knew Your Nicks

    @192
    Throwing away some future thousand dollars ain’t exactly smart !!!
    Mitch ain’t rich yet !
    Granny may asked him to do it for future economic insurance !

  126. Knew Your Nicks

    I bet my souvlaki that our shitty team would have performed MUCH better with an actual coach.

  127. E

    Yeah, I’m not going to make any judgments on any of the young guys, even DSJ, until they’re coached properly and given a proper offensive and defensive scheme in which to grow and develop.

    Kevin Knox had a nice 2018 summer league and was EC rookie of the month in December 2018 and just look at him now. Utterly depressing.

  128. Knew Your Nicks

    Knicks right now look in ‘stand by’ mode till Fiz’s gone.

    I agree that analyzing their recent stats is not exactly revealing of their development status.

  129. Brian Cronin Post author

    Again, I’m cautiously optimistic about our long term outlook IF we make the right moves going forward

    But how can you be optimistic that that will happen with Mills obviously not going anywhere?

  130. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    It’s possible that this is really the best thing that could happen – I mean, we all knew this team sucked, but Mills and Perry pitched a load of bull at Guitar Jimmy and now it’s clear it is what it is. The record is so bad – and going to get worse – that I can’t imagine Mills is going to escape this time. They can throw Fiz under the bus, but wtf are you supposed to do with 15 power forwards and no PGs??? (And I say that as someone who loves Frank and thinks Payton can be a decent backup. Wait, now I’m worried they’ll use Payton’s absence as an excuse…)

    Anyway, swift, don’t lose heart yet! There’s still a chance this all works out.

  131. swiftandabundant

    There’s the rub. But I think this could be Mills’ last hurray because unlike times before, there has now been press rumblings about Mills getting fired, which has never happened before.

  132. d-mar

    It’s mind boggling how fucking stupid Dolan is.

    I posed this question many threads ago: what would James Dolan be doing today if he wasn’t a Dolan?

    I think the consensus was gym teacher

  133. Brian Cronin Post author

    “I don’t get it, Steve! People all freaked out over how terrible things were under you and Phil and I got rid of Phil and they’re still mad! What more can I possibly do?”

    “Nothing, chief. You’ve made all the moves that you possibly could!”

  134. ess-dog

    Begley has a source saying Fiz is likely gone soon. They probably will fire him, but then the FO will have maybe another month or so to show this was all Fiz’s fault via an interim coach, and if they fail, I think they’ll follow Fiz out the door.

  135. geo

    I’ll be honest — I never learned the difference between Miles and Mykal Bridges. I can’t remember which one plays for Charlotte and which one plays for the other team. Which one is the older one? Which one is actually decent? I don’t care. They’re irrelevant.

    too funny…you are not alone senor jowles…

  136. E

    And there are no real rumblings that Pills are going to be allowed to pick a new permanent coach — another great sign. IIRC, not a single outside name has even been speculated upon as a new coach.

    Dolan is in fact really, really, really fucking stupid but as the Rangers show, he’s not *inherently* inconsistent with a well-run, successful sports organization. If he gets Ujiri and Ujiri is permitted to clean out Mills and his hacks, the Knicks may finally have their president-for-life-who-Dolan-actually-respects-and-will-leave-alone analogue to Sather and Davidson. Two “ifs” there to be sure, but it’s not inconceivable. It’s the scenario we all should be rooting for.

  137. thenamestsam

    I posed this question many threads ago: what would James Dolan be doing today if he wasn’t a Dolan?

    I think the consensus was gym teacher

    I think it’s important to recognize that Dolan is in large part who he is because he was born on third base and has never had to work for anything or even bother to rub two braincells together at any moment in his life. His repeated and acute failures have been consistently rewarded until he amassed more money, prestige and power than any of us will ever even vaguely approach – that’s just how the system is set up. Under that learning environment why would he ever figure out how to succeed?

    If Dolan wasn’t a Dolan I think there’s every chance he’d be a perfectly normal, maybe even accomplished guy. I don’t know too much about Charles Dolan but he obviously was a pretty succesful entrepreneur at least. There’s a reason JD’s exact archetype is so common among the sons of the overly wealthy. It’s not a coincidence – the money actively shapes them to be dumb, lazy and arrogant.

  138. Hubert

    So let’s say they fire Fiz today and hire a new coach. What’s a reasonable expectation for what a good coach might get out of this roster? 35 wins seems like it would be pretty darn impressive.

    With extremely comparable roster quality, Mike D’antoni won 62 games in his first two seasons while instilling direction and identity. Our young players got to learn a system and had a structure to develop within. And, lo and behold, suddenly we were a destination for Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler.

    I think a good coach could do a lot. Fizdale is doing damage.

  139. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    WHY ALL IS NOT LOST:

    Isn’t the ability to draw fouls a pretty good indicator of future offensive success? That’s one reason I am not concerned about RJ. Another is that, at least to the eye test, he seems an adequate defender, not the sieve he was supposed to be. Finally, he has a good motor, an assertion supported by his secondary stats. He’s going to be a solid starter at worst, and a star at best. Just so long as Keith Smart doesn’t get his hands on him….

    No one here doubts whether Mitch has the POTENTIAL to be great, right? Forget the argument about whether he’s great now – bigger question is whether the potential is there. It is.

    With real coaching, then, we’d all agree we have two prospective good starters?

    The other thing we can all agree on is the cap is in good shape. The offseason deals were generally asinine but not crippling. So, that’s another positive.

    And very likely (odds are different, so not definite) we will have a good draft pick this year. That’s another good thing!

    Just sayin – all is not lost. If Dolan finally cleaned house and a Ujiri or someone 75% as good as him came through the door, this franchise would be sitting pretty in a couple years.

  140. thenamestsam

    With extremely comparable roster quality, Mike D’antoni won 62 games in his first two seasons while instilling direction and identity. Our young players got to learn a system and had a structure to develop within. And, lo and behold, suddenly we were a destination for Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler.

    I think a good coach could do a lot. Fizdale is doing damage.

    It still seems like we’re talking past each other. You’re talking about what’s best for the franchise (where we’re in total agreement) and I’m talking about what I think Mills/Perry will do assuming their primary interest is in preserving their jobs/making sure they don’t get blamed.

    I don’t have much faith that Dolan is looking closely at player development and system/structure when evaluating whether his GM/POBO is doing a good job. I think he knows that he was told this team was going to be some degree of competitive, he knows that they suck and the two most important questions are A. how far short of expectations we are, and B.who gets blamed for that. So in my model of the world Perry/Mills should only risk taking a larger share of the blame if they think there will be significantly less blame to go around, which I’m doubtful of.

    If they think they can get make a succesful hire midseason who will make real developmental strides and start putting in place a real system and that the progress made on those fronts will change Dolan’s evaluation of the situation then that changes the calculation. Further if they care about doing a good job (and not just avoiding getting canned) that also changes the calculation. Probably both are true to at least some small extent but as a simple model of what’s likely to happen (not what should happen) I’ll stick with my prediction that Fiz lasts longer than most seem to expect.

  141. Hubert

    I was just seizing on that quote to stress how much damage I think Fiz is doing. There’s been a lot of “well what can he really do” ideas going around (here and in the media) and the reality is he could do a lot if he wasn’t a fraud.

    If they think they can get make a succesful hire midseason who will make real developmental strides and start putting in place a real system

    They’re incapable of doing this. That’s probably why they haven’t made a move. They can promote Smart or Miller, but those guys probably suck, too. They can hire Mark Jackson. He’s available and he would buy them time. Maybe they’re smart enough not to do that. I don’t know.

  142. geo

    this franchise would be sitting pretty in a couple years

    forever it seems we’re at least a couple of years away from being a couple of years away…

    ugh, when it comes to caring about this team – nobody’s fault but mine

  143. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    geo, the difference is we don’t have the corpses of Noah and Lee clogging up the cap (with the overpaid Timmy as well). That’s meaningful. And I don’t hold the trade for cap space against Perry, considering there was a lot of talk about Kyrie and KD teaming up (which happened) in NYC (which also happened).

    Mike Miller ran a very successful program in the G league. I don’t know a ton about him, but based on that – even more meaningful given how bad the organization is otherwise – I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when it comes to establishing a system.

  144. geo

    well heck than rama…sign me up for at least another week of knickerbocker flagellation…

    when the time finally comes to answer for my life – i’ll argue time spent as a knick fan should count against any imposed time in purgatory i might receive for my numerous transgressions…

Leave a Reply