Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 18, 2019

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Celtics

Kemba Walker killed the Knicks the last time that they played the Celtics, and David Fizdale effectively benched Frank Ntilikina for the game, despite Ntilikina having success guarding Walker during the FIBA World Cup (where Team USA was basically the current Celtics, and had about as much success in the World Cup as this current Celtics team will have in the NBA Playoffs, only Team USA will be able to retool for the Olympics while the Celtics are stuck with their current team for the foreseaable future).

Fizdale is now starting Frank against the Celtics because of his defense against Walker.

Granted, two other players had to be hurt/away from the team for Frank to get a chance, but Fizdale didn’t start Frank last game, so it just amused me that he wouldn’t play Frank at all in the first Celtics matchup and now he’s specifically starting him for the same reason you would have given for playing Frank the last time.

Winning against the Celtics is always fun, so let’s hope that they can pull it off. I’d like to see RJ Barrett have a nice bounceback game, as well, whether the Knicks win or lose. I want to see what he’s like after having an off game.

Let’s go, Knicks!

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

345 comments on “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Celtics

  1. TheClashFan

    Celtics 110
    Knicks 102

    Frank picks up 2 fouls in the first 5 minutes, then another in the mid 2nd quarter and has to sit, then two more early in the 3rd, then sits till garbage time. He never starts for Fizdale again!
    :-)

  2. Sly Wi-yums

    Mitch has got to shoot that ball at least once. He looks a little bit lost tonight but those fouls were weak calls.

  3. Ntilakilla

    Frank’s lack of speed in the fullcourt is amazing to me. He has such a long gait and is so slow pushing the ball.

  4. Ntilakilla

    @23

    I am glad I am not the only who sees the similarity.

    I also thought Mike Shanahan and GW Bush shared many similarities.

  5. JK47

    It’s like dude, the Bobby Portis game happened already, let’s not try to make it happen again because it ain’t

  6. JK47

    Honestly Frank seems to be playing a decent floor game but then some shit like that happens and you just want to stab yourself in the eyes

  7. d-mar

    It isn’t just the missed layup, when he runs the point he puts zero pressure on the defense. He picks up his dribble and throws the ball laterally to a teammate.

    I mean, I could do that.

  8. KnickfaninNJ

    I hope I’m not jinxing this but it’s Morris, not Portis, who is in front of his old team this time.

  9. DRed

    Smart should have just stepped out of the way and let RJ brick that off the front of the rim-he jumped like 3′ feet further out than he should have.

  10. rama picked up his option

    I only turned it on 5 minutes ago and it’s been pretty enjoyable. A lot of effort on D, some nice dishing around the hoop. I even clapped for Knox, not something I could have foreseen a year ago.

  11. TheClashFan

    What in the world did Trier do to be so deep in the doghouse? I mean, Frank played 19 min. in the first half and Barret 18.

  12. Ntilakilla

    Knox’s game seems to have matured some bit. He’s more in control of his play focusing on the things he does well (spot up 3s, cutting to the basket without the ball, pushing the ball for easy transition buckets) and abandoning some of the other stuff he does terribly (settling for long 2s, 1 on 1 isolation).

  13. Frank

    Pretty interesting game so far.
    My impression is that the Knicks are missing a ton of easy shots — really a lot of wide open 3s.
    Fiz’s obsession with playing big is paying off – they are absolutely cleaning the C’s clocks on the glass. 11-1 offensive rebound advantage.

    And Boston is struggling with the switch everything defense. I’m not sure I liked how the last defensive possession worked out – with Frank on Kemba then switching to somehow end up with Randle on Kemba, but you can’t argue with 49 points given up at the half. And I don’t really feel like the C’s have missed a bunch of shots that they should hit. Pretty much everything has been contested.

  14. Knew Your Nicks

    Frank ain’t a PG.
    Team looks organised tho with him in.
    Let’s call it PointGuardLess Basketball.

  15. Max

    With Portis, Randle and Morris together this team is unwatchable and the spacing awful.

    I hate Morris’ game…

  16. Ntilakilla

    This offense with Frank is so weird. We’re actually relying on our forwards to create the offense from the perimeter.

  17. Ntilakilla

    Portis isn’t worth whatever he brings on offense.

    That defense is bad and he hacks to make up for it.

  18. rama picked up his option

    I’m sorry, but stats really don’t capture Frank’s effect on D. His anticipation is great most of the time, and he ends up with a hand on or near the ball almost every possession.

  19. rama picked up his option

    Mitch block to RJ on the break to Frank on the finish – how do you not like that?

  20. GianaDani

    Should have played & sat Frank simultaneously with Kemba. RJ is fearless. After a poor play he follows up with a silent assassin like focused aggression. Kawhi-esqe like.

  21. Ntilakilla

    I don’t understand why we switch so much off of Kemba. What’s the point of putting Frank out there on him if you’re switching him off?

  22. Max

    Frank defend on Kemba and he hit a hard 3
    Knox let Kemba loose and he missed an easy 3
    We really miss a real PG in close games… and an offensive system maybe?

  23. rama picked up his option

    Ok, now there’s stuff to be unhappy about.

    One positive for Fiz: he could see that the Celtics were taking it at Portia every possession, and he hasn’t been back in the game since.

  24. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Not that Frank was defending on the perimeter as well as usual, but the Celtic strategy of running picks for Kemba and forcing Frank off him on a switch was a pretty good strategy. Kemba had quite a few mismatches and sometimes Frank wound up on a player that was stronger than him.

  25. Max

    I was prepared for this, I’m not even angry, God isn’t a Knick fan, He loves those Fucking Celtics…

  26. Bruno Almeida

    Oh fuck this shit. If we could only make the damn free throws we beat this garbage ass team, I’m so angry.

  27. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Another moral victory against a very good team. As soon as we play a few bad teams we’ll luck into a few wins.

  28. Z-man

    RJ made some really dumb plays down the stretch…we were lucky that his dumb 2 was rebounded for the MMS 3.

  29. rama picked up his option

    I hate the Celts, but otherwise I’m fine with this game. Generally good strategy from Fiz, decent play from Frank, some awesome Mitch moments with no broken finger. Portis shows he can’t play D, didn’t play further. Morris wasn’t totally hateable, and Knox was showing a lot of intelligence in his choices.

    As Strat says, we will win some of these games soon. Boston shoots 27 of 29 from the line, you aren’t gonna win with that.

  30. The Infamous Cdiggy

    At my college, the women’s soccer coach likes to begin the season with a tough non-conference schedule full of previous-year Cali top-10 teams so that when our team enters conference play, they’re battle-tested and ready for teams closer to their talent level. I should note that we were winless by time conference play started, but the team then went 2-2-1 in their next 5 games.

    I feel like this is what the league did with the Knicks. By time we play the non-playoff teams, we’ll be better suited to beat them.

  31. Knew Your Nicks

    You ain’t going nowhere with 66,7% at FTs.
    Having a high FT% don’t make you a good team but having a lousy FT% makes you weak.
    Needs fixing asap.

  32. Grocer

    rama has it right, sloppy as all get out in the first half but we played a generally smart, solid game. Got turnovers under control. Positive step forward.

  33. Max

    Barrett and Randle must work on FTs,
    their style of play is conductive to a lot of freebies, they must take advantage of that.

    Frank did enough on offense to be useful, his D is a plus,
    small progress from Knox, smarter plays than a year ago,
    Mitch is a presence, RJB a rookie with a great future (hit your free throws kid!).
    Randle with 6 TO and a dumb technical, Portis is a matador.
    Celts are too good for a real Morris’ revenge game, but in the fouth he was balling.
    As a team we defended steadily (with Portis being the exception)
    and after a slow start we kept dumb turnovers in check (with Randle being the exception)

    Better rotation from Fiz,
    I think that injuries helped him, but the Portis benching was a good move.

  34. d-mar

    Honestly, 19 year old RJ Barrett shouldn’t be in the game in crunch time. But we don’t really have any other better options.

  35. DRed

    RJ shot 4-13 from inside the arc which is not going to cut it. He must have missed everything he took but a few layups. The rest of his game was good though.

    Randle’s turnovers are killing the offense. Without Payton I’m not sure what we can do to get the defense to react other than throwing it to Randle but we should try something else. More PnR with RJ and a big? Or Frank and RJ? Something.

    Still, a much better game overall than the matchup in the garden last week. We crushed the Celtics on the boards and probably should have won but we missed too many free throws.

  36. Knew Your Nicks

    Yeah.
    Fiz did ok.
    I’m giving him that.
    Let’s see on the next games if he learned fast or did it by chance.
    My eyes are locked on Fiz.

  37. Knew Your Nicks

    Very pleased to see KKnox playing coordinated with fast decisions, confident shooting and body control.

    Looks to me like Frank/RJ/KK/Mitch could be a nice young core if developed smoothly.

  38. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Julius Randle needs to figure out how to not suck.

    And Kevin Knox looks like he’s good at basketball this year. He’s playing smarter, his shooting touch is better, and he looks like a faster player in general. I think he’s a starter next year.

  39. DRed

    Knox needs to figure out how to get to the rim and finish a lot more before he can think about being a good offensive player.

  40. Grocer

    Julius Randle needs to figure out how to not suck.

    He’s been a turnover machine, but the rest of his offensive game isnt horrible. Like folks were saying a few days ago, the problem is we feed him the ball and let him cook. In motion he does much better.

  41. djphan

    randles problems are a manifestation of the overall issues on offense… he leads the team in assists regularly…. he can handle the ball well for his position but hes not lebron…

    same thing with rj… hes a good passer and creator… but not at the load we are asking of them…

    the best offense we get are these curl plays or on rj drives… thats basically it… thats not gonna cut it and the offense has looked terrible as a result…

  42. Z-man

    This LAL-DAL game is very entertaining. It’s the Luca-LBJ show for the most part. KP is soft as charmin.

  43. Owen

    Doris Burke is not my favorite but she’s not wrong about leaving Danny Green wide open in the corner for three. What the hell was going on there.

  44. JK47

    We’re asking the 19 year old kid and the big burly power forward to do all of the dribbling and offense creation. We could really use one of those point guardy guys.

  45. Owen

    Why isn’t Luka a Knick. Or Anthony Davis. Or Masai.

    Goddammit

    Although getting rid of Porzingis and Hardaway works

  46. Z-man

    The best thing that ever happened to Luka is that he gets to play against LeBron several times a year for the next couple of years.

  47. Bruno Almeida

    Man, what a vintage LeBron performance. No matter what you think of the guy, it’s a joy to see him still be able to have games like this.

  48. Z-man

    KP displayed all of the things that made us sour on him. He tries to do too much and coughs up the ball in crunch time, then jogs up the floor while LeBron cruises….sickening.

  49. Brian Cronin Post author

    The fascinating thing about the Mavs is that KP’s injury really hurt them this offseason, as how could you possibly sign there as a big time player if you have no idea what Porzingis is going to be? Now that he’s healthy, even if he’s not playing great, that should be enough to assuage any similar player next season and if you pair another legit star with Luka? Holy shit, that Mavs team is going to be sick.

    Let’s just hope that they somehow miss out on free agents this year, too, so that their 2021 pick is not too high.

  50. Early Bird

    We desperately need Payton or the old DSJr back. Yes, even the terrible last year one.

    Or just Kadeem Allen. Best guard on the Knicks.

  51. Brian Cronin Post author

    As we have mentioned a few times over the past few months, how in the world does management think it is a better strategy for this team longterm to sign a bunch of mediocre veterans to short term contracts instead of just filling the roster up with fliers? Look at Kadeem Allen. The guy might really be the Knicks’ best point guard other than Payton (and hell, maybe even better than Payton). And that’s just some random ass dude! There are dozens of Kadeem Allen-like players out there. Why isn’t this team trying to find one of them? Why are they paying Wayne Ellington all of this money when they could get a dude for peanuts who might be better than Wayne Ellington as soon as, like, next year? Look at Alonzo Trier – whether you like him or not, the guy has some upside and they got him by being willing to try out an undrafted free agent. This shit isn’t that complicated. If your win curve is based around two young guys like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson developing in the next couple of years (and thank god they finally have two guys that they actually can realistically build around), then why the fuck are they signing short term mediocre veterans? I mean, we know why, because they made a trade that was partially centered on clearing out cap room for this past offseason and when the big time guys all blew them off, they felt that they needed to spend all of the money to avoid losing face. So we know why, but the more important question is why are they so stupid as to think that that makes any kind of sense?

  52. Brian Cronin Post author

    Also, holy shit, why in the fuck are they not just letting RJ Barrett be a 3? The guy would be such a goddamn good three. Why are they forcing him into the backcourt and then loading the frontcourt with power forwards so that Kevin Knox can’t even have a chance to be a small ball 4? Marcus Morris’ best position by far is also a small ball four and they’re not letting him do that, either. It’s like Woody’s “The East is big” nonsense is somehow still company policy. “Everyone else in the league is going small, but somehow we’re going to outsmart them all.” Remember when Isiah tried David Lee at the 3? And the Knicks were going to try to be bigger than other teams? It failed miserably because it is moronic – this team isn’t smarter than the rest of the league and they are not better off playing “big.”

    But I’ll give them these two things – 1. They hit a home run with Mitch and 2. They finally tanked for real last year and that got them the #3 pick, which got them RJ Barrett. The former shows some real drafting skill and the latter shows that even moronic organizations can succeed if they can just get into the top five of the draft. So we at least have a lot of hope for the future. It’s a nice feeling, albeit tinged with “holy shit, these guys are so stupid otherwise.”

  53. Z-man

    Respectfully, I find it hard to nitpick the coaching when our record is precisely what it should be given our opponents and our talent. Other than the Celts home game, we have been pretty competitive.

    Once Randle and Portis were signed, it was pretty obvious that Randle was going to play mostly at the 4 and Portis and Mitch would split minutes at the 5. Given the team we have (which I agree was ineptly assembled) I don’t have a huge problem with the way Fiz has coached thus far. I’d like to see more Trier, but that’s about it.

  54. Brian Cronin Post author

    I haven’t liked most of Fiz’s decisions this year (except for benching Portis tonight), but yes, I agree that my biggest complaints are roster construction ones rather than coaching ones. He’s not making the call on Barrett not being a forward, for sure.

  55. bobneptune

    How much you want to bet Golden State ends up with the #1 pick in the draft?

    Hey…. if GS gets the #1 pick they did it legit just like SA with Duncan when The Admiral went down.

    They HAVE tanked before…..to not ship off the pick that became Harrison Barnes…..

  56. Z-man

    I suspected that there were way more turnovers league-wide due to the focus on traveling and illegal screens. And lo and behold, a quick check of b-r shows that the league average is up to 16.5 from 14.1 the year before. Last year, only one team averaged more than 15.7 turnovers…the Hawks with 17.0. This year so far, 19 teams are averaging at least 16 turnovers and 3 teams are averaging over 20…including the undefeated Sixers! We’re 12th worst at 17.5.

    The two things that are killing us are 2ptFG% and FT%. That’s a really bad combo to be bad at.

  57. Z-man

    Another game like last night and Frank might make his first foray into positive WS48 territory! He should get another great opportunity tomorrow vs. the Kings.

  58. Z-man

    Knox seems to be quieting the haters for now…he hasn’t been great but is no longer in the discussion of “worst player in the NBA.”

  59. mase

    @183

    Isn’t there a minimum salary $ as per CBA a team needs to spend on a roster, having a bunch of young cheap players doesn’t work.

    Also how does it make sense to run a team out there who he’s blown by 40 every game and isn’t competitive?

    My point is that losing badly doesn’t teach A positive experiences to young players. If we are looking for a needle in the haystack young gun, losing terribly isn’t going to uncover that talent, the opposite will happen. At the very least we are competitive in all our games this season and the core is gaining a lot of tread by being in games.

  60. vincoug

    @191

    There is a minimum salary floor but it doesn’t matter, there is no punishment for being below it.

    It makes sense to run out a terrible team because it puts us in a position to pick somebody at the top of the draft. I can’t believe after drafting KP with a top 3 pick a few years ago and now drafting RJ with a top 3 pick that people are still arguing that tanking doesn’t work.

  61. Owen

    Watched some highlights. Feeling a little queasy about RJ after the early euphoria. Still looks like he belongs but the numbers are looking more like what I expected and trending the wrong way. The ft % is crazy.

  62. geo

    just now making it through the game thread…always like to do so, just in case I might’ve missed something good, like this:

    Dwight rockin’ the sea anemone on his head…

    that’s some funny shit right there…

  63. geo

    What in the world did Trier do to be so deep in the doghouse?

    good question…maybe pissing off the vets by not passing more?

  64. danvt

    Good game. I feel like the roster construction was actually decent. We look like we have the makings of being a .500 team. 1-5 could be 3-3 or better with different bounces. We’re also a brand new team who had an exceedingly short pre season.

    I’m not down with the undrafted FA ultra tank. Guys like Morris and Randle have a chance to take a next step and be higher usage team leaders. If it doesn’t work they have short term deals and trade value. Meanwhile, it’s nice for the kids to play in competitive games. AND nice for fans to watch competitive games.

    I think the team should go all out and then make prudent decisions if the results aren’t there.

  65. DRed

    Do people want Trier to play because you think he’ll help the Knicks win games or because you just want to see if he’s improved?

  66. d-mar

    Watched some highlights. Feeling a little queasy about RJ after the early euphoria. Still looks like he belongs but the numbers are looking more like what I expected and trending the wrong way. The ft % is crazy.

    Not really that worried about RJ. He’s trying to do too much in some situations, and he definitely shouldn’t be playing point guard. He still has really good court awareness (that pass to Frank for the fast break layup was a thing of beauty) and his defense is solid. His shooting was bad last night, but he did have 7 rebounds, 5 assists a block and a steal.

    The free throws are a problem though, especially because he does draw a lot of contact on his drives to the basket. Hopefully he’s taking 100 a day in practice.

  67. ess-dog

    @192 KP was a #4 pick, but I agree with you. It’s good to see some improvements from the kids, but we are best off staying a bottom-5 team this year.

    I am also sad about RJ regressing. Hopefully it’s just temporary. I think it might help him to play next to a real pg like Payton once he’s back.

  68. rama picked up his option

    I agree that RJ was forcing it last night. If it were his first game, I’d be worried – but we’ve seen a bunch of games that tell a different story, not just in the results, but in the process (where he was in the flow, wasn’t forcing, etc). I doubt he’ll have nights like this more than once or twice a month. He IS a rookie, after all – it’ll happen again. But even then, as d-mar points out, he does other stuff that has value.

    I doubt his free throw percentage will improve a lot this year, though. That’s probably a focus next summer. But it’s tough to fix that during the course of the season.

  69. DRed

    His shooting was bad last night, but he did have 7 rebounds, 5 assists a block and a steal.

    This is pretty much what I was hoping for from RJ this season. His shooting is what it is-it’s going to take time (if it’s going to get better). Overall his shot selection has been pretty good, his biggest problem has been his awful free throw shooting.

  70. danvt

    The free throws are a problem though

    It’s a little too soon for him to be thrown into the cauldron. Kind of like Knox last year but less bad. Knox was named tank commander and became literally the worst player in the league. So unfair. Imagine the fortitude it takes to get off the deck and keep your confidence after that experience. RJ has more support but it’s a bit soon to expect him to be playing such a key role. Such is life as a Knick.

    That said, the kids do need to play, make mistakes, and not get a quick hook. Case in point, Frank is really improving it seems.

    That said, I’m not sad to see Trier with the DNP. We’ll see what guys have when they get a full audition. The 8 man rotation was refreshing. When Zo plays Wayne will sit and we’ll see who the better piece is.

  71. danvt

    You do?

    Yeah, this isn’t Eddy Curry. We have our picks. We have players on one year deals. Those players have value to other teams. We might be good. If not, we pivot and play for draft position.

  72. Grocer

    how in the world does management think it is a better strategy for this team longterm to sign a bunch of mediocre veterans to short term contracts instead of just filling the roster up with fliers?

    I’ve been assuming it was mostly a function of Dolan demanding more wins and less that they thought it was an optimal strategy.

    @ 188, that’s good to know. Going to take some time to internalize that difference though.

  73. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It’s a little too soon for him to be thrown into the cauldron

    There is nothing unreasonable about demanding that your 6’6″ guard, who was picked #3 in the draft, should shoot better than 15 for 33 from the free throw line. There is nothing cauldrony about this.

    Out of the 51 players who have shot >20 FTA this year, Barrett’s 45.5% is far and away the worst mark, with Giannis’s 59.2% at #2. It’s so bad that it almost appears unsustainable.

    Last year, 133 players shot >150 FTA, and only Hassan Whiteside (44.9%) had a worse FT% than Barrett’s is right now. He would have sat at #2, with the marksmen Steven Adams, WCS, Mason Plumlee, Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons, Ed Davis, JaVale McGee, Dennis Smith, Clint Capela, Rudy Gobert, Montrezl Harrell, Rondae Hollis Jefferson, Alex Len, Russell Westbrook and Jaylen Brown all better shooters than Barrett has been.

    Barrett has been a breath of fresh air and looks like a real NBA player as a teenager. He also is terrible at the easiest, least-athletic thing to do on a basketball court. It is worrisome.

  74. Bruno Almeida

    The Celtics are a pretty good defensive team, it’s no surprise that Barrett would struggle getting his shots. I agree with DRed, we all knew the shooting would probably be poor right away, and since the better than expected start it’s coming down a bit, but what matters is that he’s taking the right kind of shots and staying aggressive. He hasn’t settled for bad jumpers and has tried to get to the rim a lot and shoot 3s, and that’s what we want to see. I remember him taking one bad midrange jumper only and he was quite open even then.

    He has to clean up the free throws, that’s priority number one. He’ll get to the line a lot with how much he attacks the paint, if he can make those at 70% he’ll be far more efficient at scoring already.

  75. thenoblefacehumper

    Do people want Trier to play because you think he’ll help the Knicks win games or because you just want to see if he’s improved?

    Mostly the latter, though in one of the two games he got extended minutes this season he did score 22 points on 7 FGAs. It’s baffling to me that there’s not a front office mandate to see what we have in him based on his contract situation alone, putting aside the fact that he has some talent.

    I’m not down with the undrafted FA ultra tank. Guys like Morris and Randle have a chance to take a next step and be higher usage team leaders.

    People mostly agreed that Randle was worth the relatively low-risk investment. If the idea is to flip Morris at the deadline, I can live with that too. It’s the Portis/Ellington/Gibson trifecta that really irked me, since we could’ve just grabbed two first rounders via Moe Harkless and Iguodala, waived Iggy, and used the other two spots on UDFA/G-League standout types. Can you honestly say with confidence that the team would be much worse, if at all, if we did that?

  76. Frank

    super entertaining game last night. WE’ve been right in every game (except BOS game 1) until the mid-end of the 4th quarter, which is promising. Unfortunately, what we’re missing is that alpha scorer/facilitator that can create good scoring opportunities for himself or others — which coincidentally is the hardest thing to find in the NBA. I love RJ but I don’t necessarily think he’s that guy. My guess is his absolute ceiling is as a 2nd or 3rd best player on a really good team. He just doesn’t have the pop to really take over in those tight end-of-game situations unless his shooting gets way better and defenses have to guard him tightly way out on the perimeter. But that’s ok — even that is good outcome from a #3 pick.

    I really liked what Frank brought last night, crappy missed layup notwithstanding (in retrospect that could’ve been the turning point of the game — gimme layup turned into and-1 the other way, a 5 point swing in a 2 point game). I thought the switching was a little weird and even though the overall result was ok (DRtg for the game of 107 which is decent), Boston started exploiting that at the end with 12 FTA in the 4th quarter alone. Fiz overall had a good game but it might pay off to switch up looks on defense as the game goes on to keep the opposing offense off-balance.

    Re: Frank – so much of his offensive issue is the lack of a killer mentality. That layup that he doinked? That should’ve been a dunk. By himself under the basket – dunk it!! That transition layup that was goaltended a couple games ago? That should’ve been a dunk. The beautiful layup he hit yesterday off the feed from RJ — that should be a dunk. He’s afraid of getting blocked and so it’s like he gets the yips around the basket and just wants to get rid of it asap. Maybe that will get better as he gets stronger, but a lot of it is just in his head.

  77. thenoblefacehumper

    Knox ain’t gonna keep shooting 46% from 3, but to his credit he’s making the exact kind of changes in his shot distribution he has to make if he wants to have any chance at sticking long-term. If that holds, it’ll be the most tangible good thing Fizdale/the coaching staff have done.

  78. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Really? You think long term his free throws won’t fall? It’s a six game sample…

    I just gave evidence that no one in the league shoots as poorly as he has, even over a sample as small as ~25 FTA.

    If he regresses, it’ll probably be all the way up to 50%.

  79. danvt

    Of all the things to worry about, about RJ, I don’t think it’s his FTs. But you are usually right.

    I think, as a team we can’t survive BOTH poor shooting from the field and poor free throw shooting. It’s amazing that we were so close despite Mitch being the only <50% FG shooter. Maybe it has something to do with improved defense and rebounding…

    I think if we get our shooting percentages up a bit and play with better pace, as in more shots created, we could have more points at the end of the 4th quarter on some occasions.

  80. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Could someone help me find the boxscore matchup data on NBA.com.

    NBA.com literally has to be the worst web site in the history of humanity for navigation.

    I want to take a look at how Kemba did against Frank last night. There was a lot of switching that complicates matters, but I don’t care about perfection. I’m looking for ballpark numbers.

    This was the only thing I could find, but I’m not sure it makes sense to me. It’s looks like he was only guarding him for 4.5 minutes and for partial possessions for 17.7 minutes but he only score 3 points when guarded by him. That seems impossible.

    https://stats.nba.com/game/0021900072/matchups/?OFF_PLAYER_ID=202689&DEF_PLAYER_ID=1628373

  81. swiftandabundant

    Long term I think Barrett will improve bc free throws are the one thing that you can improve with a shit ton of practice. He also has to know that he’s a guy who can get to the line a lot and is leaving so many free points on the board. Unless you’re Shaq and have massive hands you should be able to improve it.

  82. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    One thing’s for sure: no matter how fucked up his shot is, he’ll never try the Barry method because athletes are thralls to their own egos

  83. JK47

    RJ shot 66% on a much bigger sample size at Duke so I’m gonna assume that’s more of his baseline. It’s not too far from there to like 72% or something which is not great but passable. I don’t believe sub-50% is his true level of ability.

  84. KnickfaninNJ

    I always felt that it is the quick twitch guys like Shaq and Wilt who get baskets by being much quicker and more forceful than their opponents who have the hardest time shooting free throws well. Barrett doesn’t seem in that category, and he did shoot better in College, so i think there’s a good chance he will improve.

  85. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    RJ shot 66% on a much bigger sample size at Duke so I’m gonna assume that’s more of his baseline. It’s not too far from there to like 72% or something which is not great but passable. I don’t believe sub-50% is his true level of ability.

    +1

    I think he’ll get into the 70% range fairly easily and over time do better than that.

  86. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Quite a few of our players have a TS% below what I might have expected coming into the season. Part of that is the lack of good PG play getting us easy shots but I think part of it is lineups and team construction. The offense sucks.

  87. Frank

    can’t remember which pod i heard this on, but the host was saying he was at Duke last year and basically was told that Cam Reddish is a lazy head case and that RJ works “15000” times harder than Cam. I am super glad we didn’t make that Atlanta trade because there is a 100% chance Mills/Perry would have gambled on Reddish’s “upside”.

  88. Bruno Almeida

    Just a reminder that Ben Simmons also shot 67% from the line in 300 attempts in college, and now he’s a career 57% as a pro, 44% this season. But well, if RJ develops elsewhere like Simmons too I wouldn’t be mad.

  89. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Knox ain’t gonna keep shooting 46% from 3, but to his credit he’s making the exact kind of changes in his shot distribution he has to make if he wants to have any chance at sticking long-term.

    I feel the same way, but the team still seems to do worse when he’s on the court. It’s not like I’m watching film all night, so my guess would be that his defense is still a train wreck or that he’s doing other little things incorrectly. He’s still very young, but I’m seeing his upside as more of a scorer off the bench than as solid two way starter on a good team.

  90. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @222

    Never forget that Reddish’s peers said he would be the best rookie of the whole class.

    How’s it goink

  91. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The ironic thing about Frank’s game last night that is he went 2-4 from 3, scored 10 points on 9 shots, had 3 steals, and a spectacular chase down block, but I didn’t think he had a very good game.

    I thought he still looked scared shit$less and hesitant a couple of times when he was open and that caused his form to break down and miss. The bunny layup he missed looked like he was trying to get the ball up quickly so he would’t get blocked. He got burned badly multiple times on switches. And even after he hit a few shots and Clyde was screaming for him to start penetrating because his confidence was higher, he was still reluctant.

    The overall result with him on the court was fine, but he’s got to be elite on defense to make his mediocrity on offense worthwhile. Last night he was fine on offense for what we are expecting of him at this stage, but his defense was not elite other than a few “stat” plays. I don’t give a crap about his boxscore. I want see him impact the game on defense. Then I’ll be more than happy to settle for limited scoring. He was not elite on defense last night.

  92. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Clarence Gaines
    @ClarenceGaines2

    Everything with @FrankLikina revolves around his mentality. Greatness exists within his being but he’s still learning to let it flow. Playing with men helped/hurt him. Hurt him in that he became too deferential. He’s getting better at developing a next play mentality – A WIP.

  93. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Can we sign him to a 15-year contract to make sure we don’t miss out on that greatness?

  94. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Other that a brief flurry early in the game last night, I thought Porzingis looked terrible the last two games. He looks mentally disengaged, slower on defense, struggling with his shot, and gassed if he plays too many consecutive minutes. I was expecting it to take him a few months to get his game back after such a long layoff because that’s what happens with almost all these ACL guys. But I thought some of it would be a confidence issue related to injury. He seems fine in that way. It’s more like as soon as Doncic starts taking over he loses interest on offense and can’t move on defense to help like he used to. He should be doing a little better because Doncic is clearly getting him some easy shots he never got in NY and he’s also taking all the pressure off him to be the #1 option getting doubled teamed all the time.

  95. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Can we sign him to a 15-year contract to make sure we don’t miss out on that greatness?

    Supermax?

  96. JK47

    Porzingis is a low-IQ player who isn’t smart enough to optimize his physical advantages. He’s very overrated and I am glad we are not on the hook for a massive contract with him. He’ll look great at times but overall he just doesn’t play a smart game.

  97. Bruno Almeida

    Clarence Gaines sounds like one of those bullshitting business coaches, “greatness exists within you! You just have to believe it (and buy my new book on amazon)”

  98. d-mar

    Porzingis is a low-IQ player who isn’t smart enough to optimize his physical advantages. He’s very overrated and I am glad we are not on the hook for a massive contract with him. He’ll look great at times but overall he just doesn’t play a smart game.

    I watched the 2nd half of the Mavs-Lakers game, and for about 10 minutes I decided to just focus Porzingis.

    On a typical possession he just floats around the perimeter and when he gets the ball he really doesn’t have a post up move except to pound a few dribbles and shoot a turnaround jumper. He’s generally passive, doesn’t go to the glass hard at either end and as JK pointed out, doesn’t make smart decisions.

    And don’t forget, he’s playing with one of the best PG’s in the league, remember when everyone thought he would be throwing down alley oops with regularity?

    Amen to not maxing him, would have been an albatross contract sooner rather than later.

  99. ptmilo

    I want to take a look at how Kemba did against Frank last night. There was a lot of switching that complicates matters, but I don’t care about perfection. I’m looking for ballpark numbers.

    you’re looking at the right page but unfortunately it’s hard to make any use of small samples, even if you only want ballpark estimates. for example frank was assigned to kemba for many of his made shots, but the knicks were doing this weird thing where they would automatically switch even before the celtics actually set a screen. someone like williams or daniel or hayward would vaguely meander across kemba’s path about 35′ from the hoop 5 seconds into the 24 and for some reason the knicks would take that opportunity to let portis, robinson or knox guard kemba walker. i don’t know whose fault this is between fizdale/frank/switcher. in at least one case it looks obviously like portis’ fault (he literally switched onto kemba for no reason, this is the play right before RJ got the lucky call when Smart blocked his dunk attempt — frank actually made a great play by helping portis after the switch) and on another play frank seemed to run directly into hayward despite hayward looking like he was working in seclusion at a standing desk as opposed to setting an nba screen. on yet another play frank was guarding kemba but wasn’t in position in transition so the matchup went against RJ trying too late to pick him up.

    overall the needless switching was annoying but on the other hand the knicks really did a pretty nice job reswitching and recovering when the play was actually underway. portis didn’t play good defense but randle had one of his better defensive games. he is not a good interior help defender but he does a pretty decent job switching onto quicker guys on the perimeter.

    still, it’s not irrelevant that kemba didn’t do much when frank stuck with him, although the celtics did okay on those possessions overall.

  100. ptmilo

    i agree KP did not play well yesterday on either end. his chemistry with doncic hasn’t been great. it seems clear doncic much prefers throwing lobs to kleber or powell, because KP doesn’t cut hard enough and/or still isn’t strong enough to be a good target. doncic likes to throw leading lobs with pace in congested areas and KP is not your huckleberry for that setup. this basically means a KP/doncic pick is either just a pick and pop or a kind of half assed roll that’s really just a set up to get KP a high post iso. you probably recognize the latter as like 80% of our current offense.

  101. ptmilo

    when is it time to talk about whatever the hell it is that derrick rose is doing? i know it’s only six games but look at those fta 2pa/ 36 and 2p% compared to his mvp years. crazy.

  102. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    My NBA-normie-fan pal texted me when Porzingis started the game 3-4. “You watching this Mavs game?”

    I told him “he’ll probably end at 7-16” and made sure to check in with him just before the game ended.

  103. Bruno Almeida

    We pointed for some time how Porzingis wasn’t really a good screener, and how he did not roll to the basket with intent a lot of times. Kleber and Powell are quite the opposite, so it makes sense they get a lot more looks from Doncic when he has the ball. Doncic is a master at creating space by sealing off the defender he beats off the drible with his back and forcing the roll defender to stay with him, so anyone who cuts fast and hard to the rim is going to be open when he lobs it.

  104. Grocer

    Is it worth remembering that Mitch turned his FT shooting completely around last year? Dunno which coach worked with him on it but they probably ought to have a couple sessions with Barrett.

  105. djphan

    what pt is highlighting is one of the big reasons why perimeter defense is overrated… the pick n roll invalidates good perimeter defense … and defense is much much more than just staying in front of your man…. there are other parts where frank is just not that good at which is why ppl consistently overrate his overall impact….

  106. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @238

    That’s one of a few things that makes me think he’s the second coming of James Harden. His tendencies seem hard-wired. He has decent closing speed when he drives but it’s how he uses space and contact that is mesmerizing. He’s so good at pulling up or using the floater (both decision-making and execution) that defenders seem to be confused about where to be, almost like watching a batter hack at a Greg Maddux 88 MPH fastball because they had no idea what to expect.

    If I had to bet money on a player winning an MVP between 2021-22 and the end of the decade, it’d be him.

  107. Frank

    The switching scheme was an interesting wrinkle — usually switching everything is bad because you end up with a small on a big or a big on a small and mismatches ensue. But against the C’s, they don’t have a center that can really post a smaller player (while Kanter’s out), and Frank is a “big small”. Mitch can guard anyone. Where they messed up is with even autoswitching Randle, who was just cooked by Kemba.

    Frank is good in PNR defense because he’s great at getting around screens, and is long enough to bother shots from behind or side even if he’s on their hip. The auto-switch negates that strength of his (But his other strength is that he can guard pretty much anyone 1-4 except for legit big 4’s).

    meanwhile, djphan is now wears the belt for most virulently anti-Frank poster on the board — took it in a cage match with Z-man. His entire career the team has been better defensively with him on the floor than off. He can be a useful player if plays like he played last night.

    And perimeter defense is absolutely not overrated. Holy shit, point of attack defense and rim protection is where it’s at in this league. I didn’t even know that was a question. Ask teams what it’s like to try and run an offense with Dejounte Murray or Pat Bev hounding the ballhandler. What do you even mean by that?

  108. Frank

    Meanwhile, how ridiculous is it that Vlade took Bagley over Doncic? No one talks about it much because it’s Sacramento, but that really may end up being a Sam Bowie Michael Jordan level screwup.

    (let’s not let PHX off the hook too – for pete’s sake, their coach was the Slovenian national coach!!)

  109. djphan

    perimeter defense is overrated…. this is absolutely quantifiable…. how many drives and contested shots do perimeter guys get as opposed to big men?

    the ratio is weighted heavily towards big men….. and the perimeter defensive plays get divied up by all the guards and sf’s…. rebounding is also a very important part of defense and this is also heavily skewed towards your bigs…. that’s why your center is BY FAR the most important piece and why team’s can be very very good defensively with less than stellar individual perimeter defense…. like golden state and curry…. like the sixers when they had redick… or the blazers with lillard….

    yes perimeter defense can be valuable.. but nobody is gonna iso up kawhi leonard on every play and just let him make an impact freely…. you can’t really do that with bigs because you have to get to the basket at some point and they will be closer and more capable to impact those shots than anyone else….

    and i’m tired of ppl talking in vague terms with frank’s play…. if i’m really unfairly treating frank….
    let’s get specific… let’s quantify it… let’s goto the game film… let’s do a deeper dive if you’re really interested in trying to settle this… or else ppl will just keep talking past each other on this issue…. and you’re just comfortable with holding an opinion that you’re not gonna change….

    i have backed every opinion i have with frank since before he got drafted… and everything i have ever said remains true to this day… i think the pro-frank arguments have been severely weak in comparison.. this is not just an anti-frank stance… i have equally been harsh and probably harsher on knox…. but that’s because they’re both horrendous!

    the point is that this isn’t bias… this is very much about recognizing bad play…. and there has never been a player on any team who has been as bad as frank has been… and NEVER IMPROVED IN 3 YEARS who get this much leeway from so many people….

  110. JK47

    I really believe there’s something about the Knicks’ ancestral past that makes us really, really want to have a good defensive team. And Frank is a pretty nice defender. But he is once again stinking it up on the offensive end to the point where it’s just comical.

    93 minutes, 0 free throw attempts. A career-low 3.1 assists per 36 minutes. A .308 shooting percentage on 2-pointers. A .273 shooting percentage on 3-pointers. eFG% stands at .354, TS% stands at an identical .354%. Turnover percentage at a career high.

    Sure, it’s a very small sample but that is Frank-ier than ever. He has once again been pitiful on offense. I guess we can keep clapping harder and hoping that Tinkerbell comes back to life but it’s not looking real promising.

  111. Frank

    this is absolutely quantifiable…. how many drives and contested shots do perimeter guys get as opposed to big men?

    Do you know (and I mean know, not guess, or assume) that this is true, and that it is a clean stat? Free of interactions and confounders? (of course not, because no one knows).

    I’m not a statistician, but have heard on plenty of podcasts with smart NBA people that no one knows how to quantify defense yet. So for you to say you KNOW that perimeter defenders are less valuable than bigs is just you saying you think you know something, or (more likely) you saying that you feel something strongly. I applaud you for feeling strongly, but you could be wrong, just like you were wrong about Donovan Mitchell’s pro projection.

    Philly’s defense was good in spite of Redick. We’ll see how much better they are this year with Josh Richardson and Thybulle locking down the perimeter. (a lot better)

    GS’s defense was good because every good guard they played against was guarded by Klay Thompson. Not because Curry’s defense didn’t matter (and I would posit that he’s an underrated defender anyway). Funny – this year they still have Draymond Green who is one of the best big defnders in the league, but they are still being cooked on defense.

    Funny, when Isaiah Thomas was playing the Celtics, they had one of the worst defenses in the league when he was on the court. Amazingly, when he was off the court, they had one of the best defenses in the league. How could that be when they had good defensive bigs (Horford etc) on the court?

    My point is not that bigs don’t matter, it’s that no one knows how to quantify D, so when you say Frank is the worst because of x, it’s just your feeling and not a fact.

  112. Frank

    and yes, Frank has been super awful on offense.
    but we are only talking about 93 minutes this year. *fingers crossed*

  113. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    IMO, we can debate film, which model is best, which stats to use, which stats are meaningless, which stats that have value are missing, the value of each stat, etc… endlessly and never get anywhere. The fundamental question is whether the team is better or worse with player X on the court and are there certain lineups, combinations, styles, and matchups that work better than others with that player.

    There’s a lot of randomness using small on/off samples. Even a full season is not enough, let alone specific lineups, but it’s not theoretical. It’s what is actually happening on the court with that player.

    IMO, longer term on/off (multi year) takes a lot of the randomness out. You can use common sense when you are dealing with young/older players, lineups, players that switch teams/systems etc..

    When I was gambling daily, I tracked every injury and paid attention to how each team did with/without each player relative to how much those injuries tended to move the Vegas odds line. I did that for multiple years looking for patterns and lineup issues. Most of the time I was close with Vegas.

    But I was successful for several years that way.

    So I was valuing “some” players better than Vegas gamblers. I don’t have the time and energy for that kind of thing now, but it worked better than all the other models out there that are missing too many things or unable to cope with the complexity of all the interrelationships I was analyzing. And I was using basic arithmetic!!!

    IMO, even long term adjusted plus/minus is flawed in some respects because it’s taking into account who you are on the court with and against and whether they are good or bad, but not whether they are a good fit, what your specific matchup was like, what the system was etc…

    For guys like us, IMO start with long term on and off and then debate details. The public models are still way too flawed.

  114. djphan

    Do you know (and I mean know, not guess, or assume) that this is true, and that it is a clean stat? Free of interactions and confounders? (of course not, because no one knows).

    yes this is fact… it’s also very intuitive and very very easy to demonstrate… but if you want recent proof you can look at 538’s defensive model:
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-better-way-to-evaluate-nba-defense/

    if you doubt that… all you have to do is watch any nba game and really watch it closely… pay attention to defense…. and keep track of contested shots and who has the most… and when you do this you have to weigh the shots closer to the basket more heavily…. then you count who has the most rebounds….

    then if you want you can count dribble drives… but when you do this you’ll have to pay close attention… it’s usually not guards that are stopping drives… especially on picks… it’s usually big men too!

    most parts of defense is pretty hard to quantify but positional value of defense is absolutely not one of them… this has been settled for quite some time…. you can have a very good defense with not so great defensive guards…. it’s very very difficult if your front court is weak defensively…..

  115. JK47

    It’s a pretty simple calculation for me.

    Frank is so bad on offense that there is no amount of defense that could possibly make up for it. I don’t think there’s any way to hide him, there’s no way to optimize him, there’s no way to get around the fact that it’s 4-0n-5 when he’s out there. I don’t care what kind of on/off stats you throw at me, those are more noise than signal.

    If he can improve his numbers a bunch, then fine. If he can figure out how to get to Patrick Beverley levels of production, then sure, he could be valuable. But you just can’t be completely incompetent at 50% of the game and expect to make it. Give him some more burn and see if he figures some stuff out, I’m fine with that. But running him out there right now is coming with an opportunity cost. We’re asking the 19-year old rookie to carry an immense burden, and we’re asking the big ol’ power forward who turns it over all the time to do the rest of the shot creation. It’s not really ideal.

    This team should have brought in an additional vet point guard instead of one of the power forwards, and should have converted Frank to a two-guard. He is never, ever, ever in a billion years going to be an NBA point guard, and we’re wasting time learning something that is obvious.

  116. djphan

    and ok… let’s bring in how wrong i was about one prospect out of the 100s of draft prospects i’ve evaluated in the last 5 years…..

    it’s not just about being right or wrong…. i’ve shown my methodology… i’ve shown my work…. and if you’ve ever paid attention to anything i’ve ever written about the draft… it’s not about they will definitely fail or definitely be good… it’s all about the risk profile… mitchell bucked a trend… that will happen..

    no one is a fortune teller…. because someone got one prospect right that one time doesn’t mean they know anything either… consistency is what matters…. i have put in a lot of work and analysis into the draft and i am very very comfortable putting up my results against anyone else…. especially those who get paid for this kind of stuff….

    if you wanna go there then i suggest you go a little deeper on my draft calls….

  117. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I make my own simple rating now (very rough). On my scale, an average player is rated 200. I have Frank rated as a 170 right now. That’s more or less a bench role player. Obviously, most of the value is on the defensive side (129 of it). 41 on the offensive side.

    I simply think he is so young, has a high IQ high, good work ethic etc… and fits the style I like. IMO it’s likely he improves enough to become a net plus player over time and a good piece on a winning team.

    So while everyone here is going crazy, my only real argument is that we be patient.

  118. JK47

    So while everyone here is going crazy, my only real argument is that we be patient.

    Ok, that’s fine but really if you have to wait four or five or six years or whatever for a guy to develop what’s the point? He’s just not a very special prospect if that’s the case.

    You can just go out and get the actual Patrick Beverley on a reasonably priced contract instead of investing six years developing the guy with the Patrick Beverley ceiling.

  119. Bruno Almeida

    There was and there still is no possible reason for passing on Doncic, it was simply a mistake for every team involved, including the Hawks who ended up getting out of it with another very good player. It’s not that the guys picked are terrible busts, Ayton has a chance to be very good and Bagley has shown flashes, but if Cleveland drafted Wade 1st and Detroit picked Melo 2nd in 2003 it would have still been a big mistake no matter how happy both teams ended up being with the results.

    The lesson as always is to pick the damn guy who showed superstar production first, then you start looking at everything else available.

  120. KnickfaninNJ

    Through trial and error, we found that DRAYMOND performs best[3] if you assume that shooting percentages on open shots are about 8 percentage points higher than against average defense.

    The above us quoted directly from the link DJPhan posted. If you read the footnote [3] you find that there is no data based reason for the 8% number, they just picked it so their new stat gave as similar results to RAPM as possible. And if think about it at all, you realize it’s ridiculous to use one number for the effect of defense on a shot’s make probability no matter where the shot is on the court. The difference good defense makes should be different close to the basket than far from it. Even though the authors of the stat actually have data that could test this assumption, they made no effort to do so. They just wanted their new stat to match some other existing stat they liked. So not surprisingly, their new stat seems to show a lot of positional bias in evaluating defense. That is, centers overall are rated much better defenders than guards.

  121. JK47

    I think fivethirtyeight’s sports stats stuff is kind of garbage. It’s not rigorous and is kind of click-baity. Their baseball stuff I find useless.

  122. rama picked up his option

    Yeah, this isn’t Eddy Curry. We have our picks. We have players on one year deals. Those players have value to other teams.

    Doing better than the absolute worst-in-the-league performance we’ve endured for decades does not mean actually doing well. Yes, keeping our picks is better than selling them – for Eddy Curry or almost anyone. Yes, one year deals are better than 4-year albatrosses like Noah. But those players have NOT had value to other teams in years past, and are unlikely to this year. The real question is, do you actually believe it was good front office work to sign so many forwards and a wing who’s 28 and a step above a replacement player and who’s in the way of other, cheap players we need to develop and/or make decisions on? Do you believe it was wise to sign Morris instead of make a trade for another pick? Do you think adding Portis was smart when you also added Randle and already had Mitch? Nothing crippling, but every decent move (Randle) was negated by a headscratching blunder (Portis).

    Again, better than Old Moustache Guy, but that isn’t exactly an endorsement.

    on another play frank seemed to run directly into hayward despite hayward looking like he was working in seclusion at a standing desk

    Still chuckling about this one…

  123. rama picked up his option

    As for Frank, around the time I made my comment that you’d have to be crazy to think he doesn’t have an impact on defense would be good game film to watch. From memory, it was late in the second quarter, and with little impact on counting stats, he deflected a ball, cut off a passing lane, contested a shot that was then too difficult to make, anticipated a drive and was there before the Celtic could get to his spot, and finally, picked off one pass. It was two minutes of very good team defense that showed in the score but not the stats (much).

    He also got burned on a closeout later in the game and made other mistakes. But his court awareness on D is the opposite of his O. He generally is in the right place doing the right thing, which makes it harder for the opposition to get in their sets and do their thing. It is obvious on the tape.

    Which isn’t to get into whether he’ll ever be a net-positive player, whether his O has any hope, etc. It is simply a response to the idea that he doesn’t provide huge value on defense.

  124. Knew Your Nicks

    What i ve seen and appreciate from Frankie in D so far is a guy who’s most times in the right place with his body in a position ready to follow the attacking player or switch or direct him to the tall guy behind him.
    Looks like he has studied his opponents since his positioning has the right angle to take away the preferred strong side of the opponent’s drive.
    He has definitely made mistakes during his D but most of the times he’s ready and looks like an unsung defensive anchor to me making the whole team performing/spaced better defensively while also looking more alert judging by their body language.

  125. Knew Your Nicks

    Is it SO obvious to anyone that Frank plays strong D ?
    Nope. Needs trained eyes and deep understanding of the game.
    Unfortunately for him there are no ‘tools’ (yet) to measure opponent’s discomfort.
    But when there’s people questioning Klay’s strength on D what are we talking about ?

  126. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I make my own simple rating now (very rough). On my scale, an average player is rated 200. I have Frank rated as a 170 right now.

    What

  127. danvt

    Do you think adding Portis was smart when you also added Randle and already had Mitch?

    I like Bobby. He had a hell of a game against the Bulls. I agree he’s been inconsistent. The whole team has. I think there’s reason to believe they’re going to get better. Could the off-season have been a greater success? No, absolutely not ;-)

  128. geo

    i have put in a lot of work and analysis into the draft and i am very very comfortable putting up my results against anyone else…. 

    I for one make sure to read what you have to say concerning different players in the draft, particularly lottery guys…

    I always wondered why though, why put that much effort in evaluating draft choices to that level of detail…

    just wondering what got you into that stuff…

  129. Owen

    Frank is good at defense. There are five reasons I turn on Knicks game and one of them is to watch him D up. It’s been evident since he arrived. I don’t know how big his impact is but it’s fun for me to watch him play on that half of the court. The other half is of course pretty painful given my Frankophilia.

    I can’t really disagree with anything JK47 and others say but I still want Frank to make it. Best evidence yet I am not a replicant.

  130. djphan

    538s models aren’t flawless…. i’m not a huge fan either.. but it’s something… we have a perspective… and it’s some sort of evidence… and a flat 8% contest value no matter where on the court actually penalizes big men…. gobert at the rim forces opponents to 37.7 % for example… an open layup conversion is way way way higher than that…. a contest on a 3 pt attempt from a guard is not gonna get anywhere close to that….

    i mean that has to be pretty obvious right? i mean most dpoy are big men also so this is not some crazy theory… this is accepted fact and it goes way further than what nerd drew up in the last year… this has been recognized widely since the dawn of basketball….

  131. djphan

    hey geo… i have been a draft geek as long as i have been a sports fan…. football and basketball… baseball is a lot harder… usually i follow the college game inversely to how well the giants/knicks have been doing for the sake of my sanity…. suffice to say since the dawn of the 21st century i have watched a lot of college basketball….

    then you had the analytics movement and i’ve always been partial to numbers… i was a semi-pro poker player for awhile and part of my day job is analyzing risk…. i’ve been building and tearing down models for awhile related to the draft…. nothing serious but it was pretty deep for awhile there but i came out of those exercises with a new perspective on basketball and why players succeed and fail…

  132. ptmilo

    the box score for warriors hornets is like if a summer league team played whoever happened to be running at la fitness that day

  133. ess-dog

    Sometimes, I’m forced to remember that we could have a Shai/D. Mitchell backcourt right now to work alongside RJ and M-Rob [deep sigh].

  134. geo

    who’s out the door first – morris or portis…I like taj out on the court…he at least seems to wanna play defense and rebound…

  135. KnickfaninNJ

    I’m not sure the flat 8% will punish big men in the 538 metric. It might mean the metric says big men are great because they reduce the chance to hit a shot by more than 8%. I don’t understand the metric well enough to know if it does.

  136. KnickfaninNJ

    The defense by position is so different. If you defend at the rim and reduce shot probability of success to 37% you are doing great but allowing that percentage on threes is horrible. It’s hard to imagine a one size fits all defensive metric for the different positions. Since the 538 guys didn’t seem to think about this it’s hard to imagine they got it right. That said, I do agree teams need defense down low

  137. Brian Cronin Post author

    who’s out the door first – morris or portis…I like taj out on the court…he at least seems to wanna play defense and rebound…

    Morris has trade value, so I would certainly hope it’s him. As soon as they possibly can trade him. I am actually a Morris fan, but he makes no sense here.

  138. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    Brian, that is a serious catch 22 because you want a guy like Mook on your team- chucking aside. But he’s the only signee that has trade value.

    I’d like to take this time and walk back my frustration with Fiz’ handling of Randle. After some reflection, I see exactly what he wants- what the team needs- Randle to grow to. It’s just frustrating as fawk to watch it in it’s infancy. I would like less initiation from the perimeter from him. Every now and again when a big that can’t move well enough to cover him out there is fine, but I’d much rather see him develop and master his role from the elbow before he dives all the way in. Randle’s got the right mentality and work ethic to become really good in his role, but with Barrett out there, the elbow is more than enough for Randle initiating offense

  139. Hubert

    I had the Knicks postgame on in the background Friday night and my girlfriend, who is a psychiatrist and doesn’t know anything about Frank to have a bias, so him giving a postgame interview and said, categorically, “that guy is having a panic attack while he’s talking.”

  140. KnickfaninNJ

    I believe it. He looks scared half the time on the court. But when he is not thinking and just reacting he makes good half court heaves and hits the rim from almost full court.

  141. geo

    @277…that’s funny, I mean not for frank, but, that it’s that obvious…

    no doubt it’s part of his appeal…it’s interesting to understand why certain people make us feel the way they do – frank’s got his own special mojo going on…

    after the 49’r and cardinals game on thursday they interviewed jimmy garoppollo – good looking guy, fairly well spoken, but yeah, that dude was just not feeling having the mic in his face…and, it was really obvious – he was way more comfortable out there in the huddle with the game on the line than having erin andrews standing in front of him with a mic in her hand…

    the big thing you hear a bunch from mma fighters these days is their use of sports psychiatry…

    no doubt if ever there was an athlete that could use a little time on the couch – mister frank would be that person…

    not always easy to stay out of your own head and focus simply on performing…

  142. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I feel sorry for Randle. He’s used to coming off the bench or being the 2nd/3rd scoring option on the court. With the Knicks he’s being asked to be the #1 option, bring up the ball at times,. and make plays on a poorly constructed team that lacks space to begin with and where he draws double and triple teams inside because we have no outside shooters. He’s probably peaking as a basketball player and it looks like he’s having a terrible season in the boxscore. I guess the millions make it worth it, but it’s
    got to suck for him basketball wise. Maybe things will loosen up a bit if he can hit some 3s, but we all knew that last year’s breakout might not be sustainable.

  143. geo

    I feel sorry for Randle.

    do you really feel sorry for mister: i ain’t never gotta work another day in my life for getting a chance to ball out at msg for 15, 20 million a year (whatever the number is)…

    but, your point is well taken…I was a big fan of julius when he played for the lakers…he can handle the ball, and find the open man really well for a guy his size…but, yeah – I’m pretty sure he hasn’t experienced this kind of usage level since high school…

  144. Z-man

    nah man, but i did dust off the old kicks and played a couple hours of hoops…moved pretty good for 61!

  145. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    “that guy is having a panic attack while he’s talking.”

    I’ve been saying things along those lines all along. He may be very mature in some ways, but in some ways he’s incredibly immature, insecure, nervous, etc… He’s a boy on the court.

    If we make a comparison leaving skills and talent out of the equation, a guy like Doncic is a super duper basketball alpha. That man has absolutely no fear of failure. He’s the guy that walks into a room and thinks every woman there wants him. If he gets rejected he thinks there’s something wrong with her. That’s a small part of what makes him successful and will eventually make him a superstar. His confidence is off the charts and that allows him to maximize his talents.

    Now go to the other end of the bell curve. That where Frank resides as a basketball player. He’s the ultimate basketball beta.

    He’s terrified to make a mistake on the court. He’s deathly afraid to embarrass himself by doing something stupid. He’s scared to death to take a shot. He has zero confidence. He’s the guy that walks into a room of women and stands in the corner too afraid to talk to any of them even though a few are checking him out.

    Benching or putting a player in the doghouse may work wonders for a confident player that’s having a rough game or not playing hard enough, but that’s the last thing in the world you want to do to Frank. An even worse thing to do would be to bring in bad PGs like Mudiay to take his minutes.

    He needs time to mature, grow in confidence, develop his game etc..

    He’s going to mature and grow in confidence in time and that will release better basketball while his skills are also increasing. He may even hit on two women and arrange a basketball threesome. :-)

  146. Z-man

    Some of the shit I say about Frank is trolling the pie-in-the-sky crowd out there (Strat leading the way after wrenching the standard out of Ntilikilla’s hand) but I really hope he proves me wrong and becomes a plus player at some point. As I said, this is a perfect opportunity for him and he needs to make the most of it.

  147. Early Bird

    do you really feel sorry for mister: i ain’t never gotta work another day in my life for getting a chance to ball out at msg for 15, 20 million a year (whatever the number is)…

    Randle doesn’t have to work another day in his life, but he’s out there every game working his ass off for the Knicks. The results haven’t been good, but it’s definitely not for lack of effort. If you put every player in the NBA in a gym, Randle and RJ would be two of the guys staying four hours later than anyone else.

  148. Early Bird

    If we make a comparison leaving skills and talent out of the equation, a guy like Doncic is a super duper basketball alpha. That man has absolutely no fear of failure. He’s the guy that walks into a room and thinks every woman there wants him. If he gets rejected he thinks there’s something wrong with her. That’s a small part of what makes him successful and will eventually make him a superstar. His confidence is off the charts and that allows him to maximize his talents.

    Now go to the other end of the bell curve. That where Frank resides as a basketball player. He’s the ultimate basketball beta.

    This is a chicken and the egg situation. Doncic can be “alpha” because he can go out there and actually do anything he wants on the court. Frank is “beta” because he legitimately can’t do shit on the court with the ball in his hands.

  149. Z-man

    Randle is a square peg in a round hole. He’s a #3 being forced to be a #1. I’m fine with it given the team we have, and the effort is there. But man, his game is really hard on the eyes. He is one herky-jerky mf.

  150. thenoblefacehumper

    Since even Frank’s most ardent supporters seem to concede we aren’t getting jackshit out of him on his rookie deal, when can we expect to see the latent greatness manifest? His 5th season? 6th? How much should we pay for that? How many minutes are we required to play him while he’s still terrible in order to bring out the hidden power?

    Right now none of this really matters because we’re terrible, so sure, go ahead and play Frank all you want. He sucks and will lose us games, but that’s fine. I have a slight preference for seeing what, say, Trier/DSJ/Allen can do, but none of this is likely to matter much when it comes to our future. Everyone is bad.

    The thing is though, if one day we want to be a good basketball team these questions do start to matter. At that point, you really can’t give Frank Ntilikina even 10 minutes a game. There’s no precedent for a legitimately good team giving someone as bad as him offensively any role at all (though there’s admittedly not much precedent for a player being as bad as Frank on offense in general so maybe it’s not a fair question). I mean the Thunder struggled to keep Andre Roberson on the floor during their most recent playoff runs, and he’s Kyrie freakin’ Irving offensively compared to Frank.

  151. geo

    we suck, we’ve sucked for a very long time – we’re at least a couple of years from being a .500 team…that sucks in of itself…

    I think owen put it really well a day or so ago – having Frank out on the court keeps me engaged and rooting for this team…

    I like watching him play – I can feel his intensity on D, and his anxiety on O…kid’s an open book when it comes to his emotions…

    probably would be a super shitty poker player, but, definitely someone whom folks (like myself) can empathize with and project our own hopes and fears in to…

    which is kind of a big part of entertainment…

  152. KnickfaninNJ

    TNFH,

    I have consistently said that we should give Frank at least three years before giving up on him. This is the start of his third year and I think he’s better than before, but still not good. My impression of the last two years was that he shot badly because he shot badly, but this year I have more of the sense that his shot is intrinsically better and could be ok if he starts to trust it. So I’m still in the give him time camp.

    As for giving him playing time, Last year everyone got playing time because they were there. This year I don’t see that happening. When Frank gets playing time it’s because Fiz thinks he’s the best available option. I expect that to continue. I’m hoping that getting playing time because he earned it will give Frank more confidence, but that is probably just wishful thinking on my part.

  153. E

    The team is better with Frank on the floor than with him not on the floor. The off-on numbers and a properly-calibrated eye test confirm this. When this changes, the question can be addressed.

  154. DRed

    We’re already complaining about Frank’s playing time and his shooting numbers. He’s played 93 minutes in 4 games. All our other guards are hurt or also suck or both. He’s taken 11 3s. Frank is probably going to suck but yall need to be realistic about what you’re complaining about.

  155. thenoblefacehumper

    The team is better with Frank on the floor than with him not on the floor. The off-on numbers and a properly-calibrated eye test confirm this. When this changes, the question can be addressed.

    People keep saying this and I still don’t know what exactly is being referenced. Is it just some kind of subjective thing? Last year the Knicks were -0.9 points per 100 possessions worse with him on the floor. This is despite the fact that they were a 17 win team.

    I don’t think these kinds of stats are all that useful, but if you’re going to rest your argument on them they should at least be true.

  156. thenoblefacehumper

    I guess for the sake of fairness I should add that the team was +1.3 points per 100 possessions better with Frank on floor in 2017-2018? This is all so arbitrary though–they were +5 points/100 better with Jarrett Jack on the floor, and +3.2 points/100 with THJ on the floor. This did not lead to those guys developing an army of people willing to tell everyone who doubted them that they just don’t understand basketball well enough.

    Does this whole “the team is better with him on the floor” thing really stem from the fact that he appears to have been a slightly better option than the 2017-2018, .428 TS%/23.7 USG% version of Emmanuel Mudiay?

  157. JK47

    Raw plus minus numbers are full of noise. Come on with this shit now.

    This is all so arbitrary though–they were +5 points/100 better with Jarrett Jack on the floor

    QED

  158. KnickfaninNJ

    I’m not complaining about Frank’s playing time. Of course one can quibble about the details of when he played, but overall he’s getting playing time and it’s enough for him to learn from and for the coach to get an idea how he is doing.

  159. DRed

    Frank’s got a higher 3 point percentage than Steph Curry. I think we all would have signed up for that preseason

  160. JK47

    properly-calibrated eye test

    Don’t believe the statistics, go with the gut of some random yahoo on the internet

  161. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I’ve gone over this before. It’s tiresome.
    Here is the link to the on-off data: CLICK HERE
    Now scroll to the on-off column (it’s in green):
    2017-18 PLUS 1.9
    2018-19 PLUS 1.4
    2019-20 PLUS 1.4

    But…but…Jarret Jack? Look at Jack’s on-off for other years. On-off is unreliable for a single year – that is indisputable. With Frank we have 2 years of data and that’s his entire universe, a very important fact. The odds of it being noise drops after a 2nd plus year. And he’s a plus so far this year replacing Payton. All of this doesn’t mean Frank’s been a good player; it does mean that Frank’s not as bad as the hyperbolic whiny crew here would have you believe: he’s the worst player in the NBA. And you absolutely have to apply the eye test where defense is concerned along with on-off data over a long enough period. Of course, if you want to rely on WP Jowles, go right ahead. How’d that work out for you – guys like Calderon are Tier 1 stars?

    Speaking of people throwing out stuff, here Noble checks in yet again with the JK47/Jowles canard we have to wait 6 years on Frank to know. No we don’t. We have him under contract for 2 more years. We’ll definitely know a lot about his shooting by then which is paramount. We’re gonna end up spending most of our cap in two summers so we’ll be able to go over the cap to sign Frank if he’s performing at a high enough level.

    I’m not high on DSJ. I think he’s got the IQ of a coconut and he takes entire quarters off. Never liked his shooting which needs to be there unless you want another Payton. But I’m not here every day bashing the guy. I think he, like Frank, should get consistent minutes and I’ve always said that.

  162. Owen

    TNFH – I agree. It’s such a narrow road to getting Frank on a good value deal. First, he has to improve almost exponentially. Then, no one notices this fact. Then we get to re-sign him to a, i don’t know, four year 20 million deal. And then he fully blossoms. It’s basically an impossibility.

    I can entertain some possibilities about his future but there is absolutely no way in hell Frank will ever be good enough to provide surplus on a standard second contract.

    There is a reason we have been making the joke about the Spurs or talking about Patrick Beverly. The only way it works out for him is if he ends up somewhere on a small contract with a small role and small expectations and can go from there. Beverly played two seasons in college and three in Europe before catching on. That is the route that I can picture for Frank. Two years playing for Limoges where he finally finds himself as a player on offense and then a return to the NBA on a flyer deal that he surprisingly makes good on.

  163. Name is Bron - James Bron

    At the moment a center is more important to the defense than an elite 1 guard. But you have to anticipate trends in evaluating young players. I suspect athletic centers who are able to shoot 3’s a la Jaren Jackson are gonna be the future. These guys are now practicing their 3 ball early on. KAT’s father had the foresight to force his son to work on his long ball at an early age. More recently, Bamba is shooting 3’s. You know this is gonna be the trend when Lopez and Gasol adjusted their games to shoot more 3’s. Jokic, Vucevic and KAT are especially valuable since they have 3 ball range and are able to post-up. Players like Noel are on their way out.

    Perimeter defense should rise in importance when the opposing 5 is no longer situated near the basket. So the value of strong perimeter defenders like Frank and RJ should rise. However, in a max spaced floor, the value of guys with burst will rise as well and that’s neither Frank nor RJ. Those teams have to rely on PnRs/Pops or screening in general but now it will be with any 2 players. And switchable defenders should also therefore be more important and Frank and RJ are both that.

    Frank has two major hurdles on offense to clear:
    1) He’s gotta shoot 3’s at a high enough clip. Roberson’s an example of the problems when an excellent defensive perimeter player is no threat at all from the arc.
    2) He’s gotta be a threat to drive and finish in the PnR. He’s been OK in the PnR and PnPop. For some reason the offense this season doesn’t use them enough. But defenses know he always passes when he drives. So they wait on those pocket passes (all of his passes).

    I think the best Frank comp for the future is Beverley. He’s got a career FTr in the Frank/Lonzo zip code. Excellent on-ball defender who has shot 37% from 3. He’s been a plus by on-off stats every season but 1.

  164. E

    It’s 2019 and this is unacceptable

    It’s not really “unacceptable,” but that aside it’s misleading to leave out the “on-off numbers” part of the post being quoted.

    The pro-Frank eye test case is that he does a bunch of stuff that isn’t reflected in the box score — great defense, ball movement, organizing the offense — and the on-off numbers confirm that. The Knicks have consistently been a better team with him on the floor than off the floor. They clearly are this year, too.

  165. bobneptune

    Jesus watching this Jet/Miami game is like sticking a hot poker in my eye. Clearly the worst football game I’ve seen since the 1983 Giants/Cardinals Monday night tie debacle…..

    Curiously it is like watching a slow motion train wreck. The last minute of the first half was priceless……

  166. Early Bird

    You need at least two full seasons worth of data before plus-minus numbers really mean anything. Frank has played about 1.5 seasons if you count by games, less if you count by minutes. But on-off isn’t even saying that, instead it says that Frank was marginally better than the other Knicks that replaced him when he sat on the bench. If you recall, the Knicks were the worst team in the league last year and not much better the year before. So Frank is marginally better than players who arguably don’t belong in the NBA, that’s your argument?

    Your argument is that Frank is marginally better than a 34-year-old Jarrett Jack, NBA laughing stock Emmanuel Mudiay, and non-pg rookie pg RJ Barrett. Wow, we should max Frank.

  167. geo

    @304…well, that was a somewhat sobering post…I had a pretty good buzz going before that…

    yeah, the truth is not always sunshine and puppy dogs…

    when we have a roster that can get within 5 games of the 8th seed in february – then I’ll worry about throwing a guy out there who’s lost on O, but – who fires up the crowd and maybe, just maybe inspires guys like morris, portis, trier, smith to at least try to move their feet a little on D…

  168. geo

    I suspect athletic centers who are able to shoot 3’s a la Jaren Jackson are gonna be the future.

    gorbert, cappela, plumee, embiid, adams, turner…

    they just can’t camp in the post anymore, as long as they can set screens effectively…

  169. Grocer

    Categorizing Frank handing the ball off at every possible opportunity as ‘ball movement’ is fucking amazing. Frank doesn’t contribute to ball movement in any practical sense. Frank doesn’t even organize the offense in any useful sense either, as the only play he can run is ‘hand the ball off above the line and everybody runs a lazy motion set.’ I can see why, in the context of our shitty offense, that might look like good organizing to someone. But it isn’t actually effective. Frank has no ability to read a defense and adjust accordingly. He has no ability to freelance, and hasn’t developed chemistry with anyone such that he can adjust and run sets on the fly. You can see him failing to do this all the time.
    It’s real common for Frank to get setup by a big for a pnr and then use that space to back out and look at what’s going on. Frank calls the play that Fiz yells at him while he’s on his way down the floor, and then runs that by the numbers. He can’t manage anything else. That’s a properly calibrated eye test. That it happens to comport with available stats reinforces it.

  170. thenoblefacehumper

    I’m pretty tired of talking about raw +/- data because it’s so meaningless with these kinds of samples. I guess 82games and BRef aren’t using the exact same data, so we may never know if the 2017-2018 Knicks were slightly better or slightly worse with Frank Ntilikina on the floor. This is apparently crucial information, because reasons.

    It never occurred to me to cite Allonzo Trier’s +2.4 number from last year as a reason he should play more, but I guess this is a thing now, so yeah, play Trier based on his raw +/-!

  171. JK47

    If you want to find the kind of player that Frank Ntilikina is supposed to be, just draft great defensive college players in the second round every year, eventually you’ll hit on one who can defend and hit some threes in the NBA. Frank’s skill set is not scarce. If you look hard enough you can prolly find somebody who plays 90% of Frank’s defense and doesn’t play offense like JK47 on a day when he’s being extra cautious about jamming a finger.

    You can find role players if that’s what you’re really hankering for, and that is all Frank will ever be: a role player. His 95 percentile outcome is role player.

    If he sticks with NYK as that role player, great! More power to him. But you’re deluding yourself if you think he’s a rare or special talent. He’s a low-ceiling specialist who may not even be able to stick in that role.

  172. djphan

    It’s not really “unacceptable,”

    i mean we just demonstrated how your eye test is pretty faulty… especially when you ignore all of frank’s defensive mistakes in the 4th quarter of the bulls game…. i imagine that’s pretty consistent when you watch him….

    it’s 2019 and we’re still talking to joe morgan….

  173. Early Bird

    Clearly the Knicks organization is faking Payton’s injury and Smith general suck-itude just to fuck with Knickerblogger more on the value of Frank. I really can’t imagine that many scenarios where the value of Frank would have to be re-litigated to such an absurd extent yet again.

  174. KnickfaninNJ

    I’m really not sure what the anti Frank contingent here is arguing for. Are they saying he doesn’t deserve to play at all despite being the only healthy point guard on the roster? Are they saying don’t play him because if he has a little success the Knicks will inevitably overpay him? There doesn’t seem to be a strong case for either of those positions.

  175. Owen

    I do think it’s hilarious we are talking about how Frank needs a therapist as we collectively tap out our 10,000 post on his future in the NBA.

  176. Early Bird

    I’m really not sure what the anti Frank contingent here is arguing for. Are they saying he doesn’t deserve to play at all despite being the only healthy point guard on the roster? Are they saying don’t play him because if he has a little success the Knicks will inevitably overpay him? There doesn’t seem to be a strong case for either of those positions.

    You’re conflating multiple positions. There’s one argument that (1) Frank sucks now; there’s another argument (2) that Frank will always suck; and a third argument (3) is what should we do with Frank now, that’s your argument. Some of these arguments do have crossover, but generally the third argument is the weakest position one must take in order to be on the Frank-side of things. For the argument your invoking Frank just needs to exist as a pg on the roster. I think few people here would argue for benching him now, even if he sucks there’s no other option (I’ll leave aside any argument for or against his value to a tank).

    The problem is that not everyone views Frank as only a play in case of emergency player. You’re confusing the “what should we do with Frank now” question with the “is Frank, objectively speaking, a good player” question. Most of us are talking description and not prescription. Frank descriptively sucks; Frank prescriptively is our only option, so sure why not.

    The final question, “will Frank ever be good,” is an intermediate position. You can admit Frank sucks now, but hold out hope he’ll improve. Some people reject this position, holding his defense is worth more than his atrocious offense. However, others will restrict their belief in Frank to a slightly more plausible claim that Frank needs to shoot the ball at least slightly below average instead of all-time worst. This argument hinges on people’s belief in an average offensive future-Frank outcome occuring.

  177. thenoblefacehumper

    I’m really not sure what the anti Frank contingent here is arguing for. Are they saying he doesn’t deserve to play at all despite being the only healthy point guard on the roster? Are they saying don’t play him because if he has a little success the Knicks will inevitably overpay him? There doesn’t seem to be a strong case for either of those positions.

    I’ll make my position simple: I don’t particularly care how much or how little Frank plays this year because him playing or not playing isn’t inhibiting or showcasing anyone all that intriguing. I have a slight preference for prioritizing DSJ and Trier over him minutes wise, just like I’m sure a lot of people had a slight preference about the arrangement of the deck chairs on the Titanic. We should not allow the presence of Frank Ntilikina to dictate any future roster decisions, whether it’s in free agency, the draft, the UDFA process, etc.

    If you think there’s a chance Frank Ntilikina becomes super awesome in the future, I imagine you disagree with that last part. So I guess that’s what we’re arguing about. It’s admittedly unclear to me, though.

  178. ptmilo

    I do think it’s hilarious we are talking about how Frank needs a therapist as we collectively tap out our 10,000 post on his future in the NBA.

    unless this is identity and we are all frankburners talking ourselves up and down like some landmark forum bathroom mirror.

    plus 1 or 2 per 100 in 2700 unadjusted minutes on a bad team (higher collinearity and variance on average) doesn’t die at the hand of the p hacking police bc it’s already doa-insignificant even at p = .45 internet blog threshold. frank’s career luck adjusted (for opponent’s open 3pt pct and ft pct) regularized rapm is literally 0.0 (tho positive on defensive and negative on offense, in line with the eye test and every other test).

    adjusted or unadjusted, the plus minus signal is just silent at this point no matter how much you want it to confirm your priors. here’s just a fraction of a list of players on shitty teams whose first 2000-3000 minutes in the league were at least plus one per 100 unadjusted in just the last 5-10 years alone. it’s a long list that’s a sampling of a much longer list bc the variance is something to see.

    tarik black
    robert sacre
    tj mcconnell
    ben mclemore
    mcw
    ryan kelly
    austin rivers
    jared sullinger
    phil pressey
    chris johnson
    gerald henderson
    shelvin mack
    cj watson’s

    or as zfrankman and stratofrank would say, get a new slant but maybe you have a point there

  179. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The pro-Frank eye test case is that he does a bunch of stuff that isn’t reflected in the box score — great defense, ball movement, organizing the offense — and the on-off numbers confirm that. The Knicks have consistently been a better team with him on the floor than off the floor. They clearly are this year, too.

    Without looking at the “fake stats,” I want you to tell me every player who has been subbed in for Frank (their play constitutes the “off” data), what percentage of available minutes each one played, their on/off metrics, and the total number of possessions they played, collectively.

  180. Name is Bron - James Bron

    and we can include dennis smith as better than frank by plus minus last year also…

    Sure but let’s present all of the data.
    DSJ 20yo season……………MINUS 9.4 in 2049 minutes
    DSJ 21yo season ……………MINUS 1.8 in 908 minutes
    DSJ 21yo season……………PLUS 2.0 in 600 minutes
    DSJ 22yo season……………MINUS 45.9 in 23 minutes

    Of course, you and others will no doubt argue that DSJ wasn’t playing his natural role with Doncic. But I could argue that Frank was being ping-ponged as a 1,2,3. And that Frank is almost 1 year younger than Smith. I’ve stated that I think Frank’s got a better chance of being a useful role player on a good team than Knox or DSJ and I’ve given the reasons. The difference is that I’m not as dug in on my position as others. I’ll root for the success of all of these guys.

    It never occurred to me to cite Allonzo Trier’s +2.4 number from last year as a reason he should play more, but I guess this is a thing now, so yeah, play Trier based on his raw +/-!

    I wrote a single year of raw +/- data is meaningless. If he puts up another plus season on high enough minutes played, then that’s a factor in evaluating the degree to which his lousy defense impacts his overall productivity.

  181. thenoblefacehumper

    Trier’s 1459 minute sample is meaningless, but Frank’s 2610 minute sample that we’re not even totally sure says what you’re saying it does tells us all we need to know.

    Sounds like a good-faith argument about a very reliable statistic.

  182. Name is Bron - James Bron

    plus 1 or 2 per 100 in 2700 unadjusted minutes on a bad team

    The fact that it’s spread over 2 and now 3 seasons is meaningful versus a single season or just glomming the stats together. He’s been on 3 different teams and has had different teammates. Again the argument is not that this means he’s a good player; it’s that he’s not as bad as people are portraying largely because of his defense.

  183. thenoblefacehumper

    haha portis for mitch it’s all happening

    Christ. Anyone still want to defend the “house the market on the guys no one else wanted that badly” strategy?

  184. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Strat has Frank as a 170, but I think he’s more a 172.7

    Then again, I gave My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy a 6.8 and no one seems to agree

  185. Knew Your Nicks

    I almost feel ashamed for preferring to watch the games instead of reading the analytics afterwards !

  186. Name is Bron - James Bron

    tarik black
    robert sacre
    tj mcconnell
    ben mclemore
    mcw
    ryan kelly
    austin rivers
    jared sullinger
    phil pressey
    chris johnson
    gerald henderson
    shelvin mack
    cj watson’s

    I don’t have time to look through all of the names but none of the 6 or so I looked at have anything to do with what I’ve said. The first 2 years is the universe for Frank’s +/- data. The 93 minutes so far this season is in line with that data. For example, in his first 4 years, TJ had one plus season and then 3 minus seasons and he was 23yo in his 1st season. How is that relevant?

  187. Farfa

    Christ. Anyone still want to defend the “house the market on the guys no one else wanted that badly” strategy?

    This was by far the thing I feared most about this season. This choice alone should be all the evidence a sane person needs to fire Fiz now.

  188. ptmilo

    How is that relevant?

    seasonal consistency is not statistically relevant and contains only two data points with differing quantities. if you measure plus minus stdev by minute or even by game of the entire sample of players on that list frank is actually higher than average.

  189. Name is Bron - James Bron

    i mean we just demonstrated how your eye test is pretty faulty… especially when you ignore all of frank’s defensive mistakes in the 4th quarter of the bulls game…. i imagine that’s pretty consistent when you watch him….

    We’re able to judge Frank’s on-ball defense and how he navigates the PnR. Judging team defense is very dicey. SVG said at an analytics conference that stats and eye test do a terrible job at evaluating team defense. He stressed that you have to know where a player is supposed to be in order to evaluate their performance. So if someone doesn’t switch when the defensive system calls for him to switch, the other player then might have to closeout late and the stats and eye test ding him. Then there are subtle aspects like the ones Rama noted. And even if you were able to quantify all of this, you’d have to have some standard against which to judge. If Frank gets beat twice in the PnR against a certain player out of 10 times, is that good or bad? What’s the average against that particular player?

  190. E

    haha portis for mitch it’s all happening

    The lineup data with Mitch is godawful this year, although no reasonable person would say it’s Mitch’s “fault.” Not sure what to do in that situation; it’s not as though they can just snap their fingers and say bye-bye to Julius Randle and Marcus Morris and RJ Barrett. You could space the floor and play a lot more pick and roll, with a lineup like Frank/RJ/Knox/Randle/Mitch, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. I’d much prefer that lineup to this mismatched clodfest, but I doubt Fizdale thinks he could get away with it even if he wanted to. (You could flip-flop Knox and Ellington and achieve pretty much the same thing. The offense should have Mitch diving to the rim and kickout guys standing at the 3 line.)

  191. Owen

    I don’t think anyone has ever argued Portis was a good idea other than maybe in the fourth quarter of the Bulls game.

    I don’t care who starts as long as Mitch plays until he fouls out

  192. Name is Bron - James Bron

    seasonal consistency is not statistically relevant and contains only two data points with differing quantities

    I have a hard time believing this. It would seem to me that a guy playing on two different teams (1000 minutes each) is more relevant than a guy who plays 2000 minutes for the same team. For example, DSJ as the primary ball handler vs DSJ playing with Doncic is relevant. In the case of evaluating defense, 3 seasons on 3 different teams (composition of team not the team name) should logically be more revealing than 1 season with equivalent total minutes but with one group of teammates.

  193. E

    Without looking at the “fake stats,” I want you to tell me every player who has been subbed in for Frank (their play constitutes the “off” data), what percentage of available minutes each one played, their on/off metrics, and the total number of possessions they played, collectively.

    You don’t me or anyone else to tell you that stuff; it’s all easy to find. So is lineup data.

    But it is kind of funny to see on-off data described as “fake stats” by a cohort that insists on the inviolability of individual box score data.

  194. JK47

    The fact that it’s spread over 2 and now 3 seasons

    Got that guys? Three seasons. Six games is now a season.

  195. Grocer

    it is kind of funny to see on-off data described as “fake stats” by a cohort that insists on the inviolability of individual box score data.

    Thank you for explaining that you’re missing the point by a country mile.

  196. Grocer

    If Mitch is only going to get 19 minutes a game I have no problem with those minutes coming off the bench. We’ve got dumb spacing issues with him Randle and Morris and since Fiz is currently incapable of solving that then by all means, solve it by changing the lineup. It’s not like we can afford to not start Randle at this point.

    Now if you were going to give Mitch the pt he deserves..

  197. JK47

    This conversation about raw on/off numbers and Frank Ntilikina is below the intelligence level of this blog. I get it that the stans really, really want him to be good, but alas he ain’t.

  198. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Fiz is no doubt looking at the fact that the team is minus 24.4 with Mitch. And to be sure, if you’re gonna execute an ISO heavy offense, a stretch 5 would benefit Randle. This is the problem with a guy who’s coaching for his job. It would be much better if Fiz first worked on offensive sets which tried to make Randle/Mitch combo work. Does anybody feel confident he’s done that? Miami: give ball to LBJ and Wade, put Bosh at the arc, and get out of their way. NYK: give ball to Randle or Morris, put Portis at the arc, and get out of their way. Sheesh.

  199. djphan

    lineup data isn’t fake…. it’s the conclusions you draw from it that is….. and the limitations from it have been accepted for quite some time now… which is why you have all these attempts to adjust plus minus….

    if you’re gonna take one data point in plus minus…. you have to accept all the numbers also…. and all the other numbers are actually more informative… way less noisy… and have sufficient samples to make the right conclusions…

    and the conclusion is that frank have been a really bad player and unlikely to be come better than that… i imagine this is gonna end in tears for a lot of ppl but it’s the truth….

Leave a Reply