2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Hawks – 10th Seed, Here We Come!

“Heaven has no brighter star than our next stellar guest, that omnipotent master of the east and former manicurist to Howard Hughes, Carnac the Magnificent…

Welcome once again, O Great Sage… I hold in my hand these envelopes. As a child of four can plainly see, these envelopes have been hermetically sealed. They’ve been kept in a #2 mayonnaise
jar since noon today on Funk and Wagnell’s porch. No one knows the contents of these envelopes, but you, in your divine and mystical way, will ascertain the answers to these questions having never seen them before.”

“I must have absolute silence…

‘Death, taxes and the Knicks going on winning streaks when all the other bad teams stop trying to win.’

‘What are the only things that are certain?'”

Let’s go? Knicks!

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283 thoughts to “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Hawks – 10th Seed, Here We Come!”

  1. I think we can win this one too! Watch out, 8 seed!

    Put this on the last thread:

    So Tankathon has us taking Halliburton at the #6 spot now. He seems like a pretty good fit with RJ, but would that relegate Frank to the bench or maybe even part of the forward rotation? And would that be the final nail for DSJ?
    I also like the idea of grabbing Toppin to put next to Mitch, but we need better playmakers more, I suppose.

  2. I think Posting & Toasting had the best summary of the current win streak in their Detroit game recap:

    “The Knicks have won four in a row. They’re five games out of a playoff spot. It’s OK to feel joy.”

    I mean the reality is we should be hoping for more losses, and some of the wins have come off the back of EP and the Ellington revival, but it damn it if it doesn’t feel nice to win sometimes.

  3. If joy is counterproductive wins during a lost season in which we have our own 1st rounder, then fuck joy.

    Joy is winning a goddamn Conference Semifinal, not beating the East’s worst teams by a single basket or two.

  4. “but it damn it if it doesn’t feel nice to win sometimes.”

    Honestly I thought it felt better when we lost by 20 and the Garden chanted “sell the team”. Those are the moments that give me joy.

    Miller and the vets are good enough to keep us from bottoming out, but not good enough for anything else. Doesn’t feel nice to me at all.

  5. This is like every other Knicks season for the last 20 years. The wins feel worse than the losses.

    There’s another ten years of this coming at least. We’re well set up to keep doing the same shit for a long time.

    I’m sure the CAA dudez will fix all of this! Yeah, that’s the surprise ending we never saw coming, World Wide fucking Wes comes in and saves the day!

  6. The Knicks are actually looking like an organized team a lot of the time, not just a hodgepodge of mercenary talents and seem actually not bad at defense. That’s more something to take pleasure in than a win or two over a weak team.

  7. Hey like I said, the reality is loses > beating up on cellar dwelling teams in the East, so I can’t disagree with any counter arguments.

  8. Ten bucks says Leon Rose believes that team culture is vastly more important than individual ability when it comes to winning.

  9. Ten bucks says Leon Rose believes that team culture is vastly more important than individual ability when it comes to winning.

    Everyone knows championships are won off the back of locker room jocularity…….

  10. Winning cures EVERYTHING. attitudes and relationships improve; work ethic gets better; Kids learn; coaches and management are respected; culture is created; free agents begin seriously considering us.

    Do it with defense and more Mitch please.

  11. You really think he values team culture more than counting stats? I would be surprised and not unhappy if he did.

  12. Yeah, I’ll never feel joy about beating the 19-36 Detroit Pistons having just traded their only actual player, and I’d rather never again get back on discussions like what a true fan should do to cheer for his favorite franchise.

    We’re destined for a bad pick again, but at least I feel a little bit less terrible about it because there’s no Zion level prospect, so yeah.

  13. I’m not watching the game, as usual, but how does RJ continually miss so many shots? Are these outside shots? At the hoop? Wtf is he doing??

  14. We’re playing good basketball.
    I even like DSJ !
    I feel guilty for liking our game but I’m only human !!!

  15. At least if this team actually made the playoffs we’d get to watch just how much Giannis would obliterate us while playing 20 mpg, so that could be a fun experience for 4 games. But they won’t even do that, they’ll chase the 10th seed and wither away at some random point and that’s it.

  16. the things I cannot change

    i’ll try and feel enough joy for you all :)

    I’ve hit a sweet spot of serenity lately with the team…

  17. If this bunch of scrubs made the playoffs it will mean that some of these scrubs CAN PLAY and they have become Assets.
    What’s wrong about that ?
    Winning creates assets besides lowering your draft pick position.

  18. Barrett in > Hawks play even
    Barrett out > Knicks run away
    Knox in > Hawks go on a run

    The vets are playing well of late although it’s hard to tell how much of that is just that the Knicks are playing teams that are more committed to their future. The Knicks’ young talent vs. the Hawks’ young talent wouldn’t even be close… Like let’s do an under 24 lineup:

    Knicks:

    Smith Jr.
    Ntilikina
    Barrett
    Knox
    Robinson

    Hawks:

    Young
    Huerter
    Reddish
    Hunter
    Collins

  19. The sad part is if the Knicks didn’t play any of their lottery picks they would be a much better team.

  20. If the Knicks can use the rest of the season to get Randle back to the level he was the last two seasons, that would be nice. He’s a talented, productive player, he should be playing better than his production this season. He’s carrying the team on his back in this game. Even just to turn him into a potential asset for next season’s deadline.

  21. It is indisputable that winning creates assets. Maybe even more valuable assets than minuscule % better chance to pick higher. For example, if Randle, Elfrid, Bullock lead us to an 8 seed and we exercise the Elfrid, Bullock options those 3 players could absolutely be moved for assets if Leon knows what he’s doing. So it does have material asset creation upside. Doesn’t mean this team will use that properly. Winning, however, is not completely useless.

  22. Winning, however, is not completely useless.

    I have absolutely no doubt that there is some number somewhere that states it is more beneficial for the team to continue losing until we finally draft or sign a few impact players…

    what’s funny though – as knick fans you’d think it would be painfully obvious that there is zero need to hope for losses…they’ll come along fine on their own…

    heck, we maximized losing last season and still lost out on the two best players available…

    we are neither lucky nor good…

  23. Mitch always has that wrap on…looks like some kind of monitoring device

    they highlighted those items on one of the inside the nba segments…

    they’re heating elements I believe…can’t remember the manufacturers name rhough…

  24. I love Mitch is finally getting minutes in the clutch. Huge steal there despite the missed go ahead bucket by Randle.

  25. Rooting for the loss, but Mitch gives me jollies. Just got the best of both worlds. Glad randle was there to do his part

  26. Nice to see our star defender was 2 bodies away from Trae on the last play, but damn, entertaining finish.

    We gotta be able to come up with a better play than Randle isoing with 20 seconds left…

  27. I like this lineup with Bulluck and Ellington on the perimeter, Randal and Mitch down low and Payton organizing. They are all playing 2-way ball right now.

  28. Mitch really can be an allstar. He has elite agility and hands for a big man.

  29. BigBlueAL:
    I’m sorry to say but I’ve been pretty excited by this comeback and defense in OT lol.

    I just love when the Knicks play tough. Hard to not cheer for the young fellas

  30. Game is exciting and the team is playing well, but I guess the most frustrating possible thing is feeling super excited in the emotional side of my brain and then my rational side pistol whipping that emotional side until it’s curled up in the fetal position and finally admitting, “OK, we’re beating one of the worst teams in the NBA by a thin margin! Largely on the backs of players with no future here! You’re right! I’ll stop cheering!”

  31. This game should have been over. They found a way to win but are now searching hard for a way to lose.

  32. I get wanting to waste time but you could also throw the ball to mitch and let him dunk it then set your defense

  33. That was a horrific sequence. Mitch was wide open under the basket. And then they move it back to Randle who gets stuffed.

  34. Randle seems to be getting stuffed every time. He might want to mix it up, or maybe pass. They have a guy who knows how to finish.

  35. Double OT! Ya gotta love it. But this should’ve been iced.
    On the back end of road back-to-backs.
    I don’t care that the Hawks record sucks.
    Fun game.

  36. I mean Randle kind of jogging the ball up.
    The guards out of the play, then no one wanting to make a play

  37. It’s odd. I am in favor of the team being in a better draft position, but stupid basketball annoys me.

  38. d-mar:
    That Ellington play where he beat his man and then threw it out was so freaking dumb

    Agree. HHe should have taken the layup.

  39. Maybe DRed should be the coach too.

    Just throw Mitch the fucking ball!

    Also, Mitch does have great hands as Clyde just mentioned. People were talking about how he doesn’t have great hands but that is bullshit. He catches a lob like few people I have seen.

  40. saw a thing earlier this year that would try to find similar players based on shot locations and I think Randle’s most similar players were guards.

  41. remember when knox had a good start to summer league and someone said they’d never trade him for trae young

  42. Clutch turnover by Randle! I knew we could pull this loss out. It’s actually pretty important to put yourself in position to draft guys like Trae Young, who knew?

  43. Just so dumb.
    They are playing like they’re afraid.
    This handing the ball back and forth 25 feet from the basket is stupid.

  44. Run a what?

    The mini-Rockets are in a close game in the last 5 minutes against the Jazz on NBA network. Do we play Houston again this year? I want to see Mitch play these midgets

  45. See, this is nice, a very entertaining game that ends in a loss against a direct competitor. Let’s do that more often please.

  46. oy vey…one positive was Mitch’s play in crunch time…the local announcers were drooling over him…on the other hand they were incredulous on how dumb payton and randle were down the stretch…

  47. Mitch & Frank were good.
    Miller finished it strong on the 4th but lost it on the OT.
    You shouldn’t lose a game with a +8 advantage in OT…
    I liked his fluidity on the rotations tho

  48. remember when knox had a good start to summer league and someone said they’d never trade him for trae young

    I think even Frank would acknowledge that he gets a bit carried away with being “Team Optimist” sometimes.

  49. I think even Frank would acknowledge that he gets a bit carried away with being “Team Optimist” sometimes.

    you have a good memory; i was trying to avoid a call out bc it was more meant to be a haha knicks again post

  50. Oh yeah, I gotcha, I just wanted to note that it wasn’t some, you know, reub type. :) It was just Frank getting a bit carried away.

  51. wild utah win at the buzzer

    If they had someone taller than 6’6″ they would have probably blocked the shot.

  52. Also, Mitch does have great hands as Clyde just mentioned. People were talking about how he doesn’t have great hands but that is bullshit. He catches a lob like few people I have seen.

    Mitch does have great hands on lobs, offensive rebounds, and generally everything above the rim. My critique is more nuanced, he struggles with a lot of dump off passes, bounce passes, and anything below the rim in traffic. I kind of think he doesn’t expect the ball, as if he just looks for ORebs anytime the play isn’t specifically being run for him.

    Great on lobs, bad at shovel passes.

    Did not catch the game, glad to see Frank & Mitch got some decent minute totals. I’ve come around on Frank (as a serviceable player) just in time for him to not play anymore. Starting lineup really should be Elf & Frank in the backcourt.

  53. As the Knicks were making their 4th quarter comeback I started thinking about Linsanity. No matter what, I enjoy winning games more than losing, even when considering the long term context. A few moments in overtime killed the Knicks, Bullock not knowing the shot clock was winding down and passing back to the top resulting in 24 turnover, Randle’s insanely loose behind the back dribble in in the paint resulting in predictable turnover. With due respect to Randle, he was trying to make something happen in the absence of any help.

    Trae is a tremendous talent, but if I were his teammate, I’d be pretty pissed about him chucking 30 footers early in the clock with nobody near the rim for a rebound.

  54. That was a heck of a shot from Bogdanovic.

    I am glad that Frank and Mitch played well. Our prince had a nice line.

  55. I hope we do better with our cap space than Ellington, Portis, Moris and Gibson at their respective salaries next year. Morris worked out well, but it was mostly luck that he fell into our hands and then was one of the few players on the team to play better than expectations and could be moved.

    We need to add an all star caliber player. Then with some improvement from young players and draft additions, maybe we can make some noise trying to get into the playoffs next year and still have a LOT of upside.

  56. I had a funny philosophical/sociological thought this weekend in regards to tanking and how it relates to our current state of American society and culture.

    It used to be that being middle class/working class was considered an honorable thing. You worked hard, were able to slowly save and get ahead and create a better life for your children. There were still the wealthy and the elites but they weren’t SO far ahead of everyone else.

    Now we have the one percent. The billionaires. They own everything in our country. Then you have the shrinking middle class and the poor. Even the upper middle class is just one big financial crisis away from being middle class or even poor. And what’s the point of being middle class anymore. Wages are stagnant. College and health care costs are out of control. Its hard to save and even harder to imagine a better life for your children.

    Then we have tanking. What’s the point in being a 35 or 40 win team. What’s the point in being the 8th or 7th seed if you’re just going to get crushed. BEing a mediocre team that wins some and loses some…no one wants to be that. Its the dreaded no man’s land in the NBA. You can’t get ahead but you can’t get the lottery ticket either.

    Its just a thought I had. I’m not saying its a real comparison but its worth considering. Its used to be OK to be a fan of an average or slightly good team. Now fans complain about it. I wonder if what we’re really complaining about. is our own inability to get ahead because the system is rigged towards the one percent.

  57. With due respect to Randle, he was trying to make something happen in the absence of any help.

    He missed a bunch of obvious opportunities to pass to the super athletic 7′ guy with an unobstructed path to the rim because he was too busy trying to play heroball

  58. Then we have tanking. What’s the point in being a 35 or 40 win team. What’s the point in being the 8th or 7th seed if you’re just going to get crushed. BEing a mediocre team that wins some and loses some…no one wants to be that. Its the dreaded no man’s land in the NBA. You can’t get ahead but you can’t get the lottery ticket either.

    Your analogy misses the key distinction that it’s much (much) worse to be destitute in America than middle-class, no matter what the right-wing media tells its readers. Americans are most likely to stay in the same wealth quintile as their parents, or move up or down one quintile. It is virtually impossible to go from the bottom quintile to the top in one generation, and vice versa.

    An NBA team is much more likely to be transformed by a short period of extreme losing than being, say, the Pacers, who seem constitutionally unable to win 50 games in a season.

  59. The existential crisis of the middle class. It’s a good analogy.

    For instance, the NBA’s oligarchal family, the Los Angeles Lakers, are like that 1 percenter that knows he’s worked harder and smarter than everyone else to attain his position. Yes, that family had talent long ago, but the buffoonish people in charge today are just riding out the advantages their grandfathers gave them.

    Meanwhile, poor teams like Sacto just want a little taste of luxury every once in a while – a playoff berth, an all-star, something! They keep working their way up until the inevitable disaster strikes and turns them into a bottom-dweller once again. Drafting Bagley is like a middle-class worker who gets cancer and then has to deal with the inevitable medical bills that wipe out his savings and force him into the streets (I know, a bit harsh of an analogy for passing on Doncic).

    But at least when you’re at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. When you’re in the middle, you stress about how to move up but also how not to move down. It’s exhausting. It’s not sexy. It’s average.

  60. You ever sit and think that Mills’ master plan to be a fringe playoff contender long enough to keep his job for another year might have worked if he hadn’t also hired a completely incompetent coach? We would have been like 2 games out at the deadline and probably tried to add another vet

  61. Sure, but the middle class is shrinking because of stagnant wages. More and more people are slipping from the middle class and becoming poor.

    I just thought it was an interesting analogy, if not perfect. I would love for us to be as good as The Pacers year in and year out.

    I think my larger point is that teams like The Pacers are dismissed by fans as being stuck in no man’s land but if you’re a pacers fan and go to a game or turn them on TV, you are likely to see them win games and sometimes win games against really good teams. You have some hope things might get better even if they usually just stay the same. And then you have stints where you get to the ECF or even the Finals. All in all, not a bad team to be a fan of. And it used to be like that in this country if you were middle class. You struggled but you could work hard, save money, buy a home, send your kid to college and they might have a better life than you. Now you’re just holding on for dear life hoping you can offer your kids something close to what you currently have, not necessarily something better.

    And as far as the poor. We have legalized gambling, the lottery, etc…things that are dangled in front of the poor as “hope” that they might make it big one day. Because working multiple jobs at minimum wage and saving is a losing proposition for them since it could all be wiped out at a moment’s notice and even if they work 2 or 3 low paying jobs, it ain’t enough. Kind of like how you can draft that top pick and he gets hurt or doesn’t pan out, so you’re stuck in the lottery year after year.

  62. I think Sacramento drafting Bagley over Luka is more like if a middle class worker won the lottery and then chose to spend all his winnings on more lottery tickets.

  63. Has Kornet ever gotten in a fight in practice though?

    I think the NBA is a much more level playing field than life in America. There is nothing preventing any team other than the Knicks from having an extended run of success.

    Also, Korkmaz had a heck of a game last night. Where did that come from? Don’t what that’s worth in scrabble but 31 points on 17 shots was pretty helpful for the Sixers last night.

    He’s no Kevin Knox of course….

  64. If your parents get into the middle class you are one lucky break or one generation of good education, hard work, and good fortune from being VERY comfortable.

    My grandparents were very poor uneductaed immigrants from Italy in the early 1900s. All their children made it to middle class (though my father and mother just barely). Virtually all my 1st cousins are doing better then their parents. Now the next generation is more of a mixed bag with some doing spectacularly well and others hanging around in that middle class range or struggling a little. Part of the reason it’s hard to get out of that middel class range is that it often takes special talents and education to do so and not everyone is born with the gifts to get it done even if their parents have the means to help them get a head start.

    I think basketball is simiilar.

    One big break can get you out of poverty to the big time (I had an uncle like that), but successes like that are few and far between. Most of the successes result from a series of intelligent steps from the bottom to the top over a long time.

  65. Fortunes change because of luck. Drafting Michael Jordan 3rd or going to college with the GI Bill after World War 2 is success following luck. You can try to grind out success with hard work and taking advantage of observable inefficiencies, but without luck your ceiling is probably the Indiana Pacers.

  66. Also, Allonzo Trier is a buyout candidate. I agree that grizzled 24 year old with his decrepit 58.7 ts% should chase that ring while he has some spring in his legs.

    I don’t even like Trier that much but the Knicks handling of him this season is perplexing.

  67. Kornet with 25 points on 14 shots last night. What was his salary again?

    Bet you didn’t watch the game though. Although the box score says 25 points, his shots actually generated 8 points and made his teammates take 25 “moderately difficult” shots (proprietary criteria, 115 on a scale of 140). Also he gave up 40 layups.

  68. There must be some back story with Trier that we’re not hearing. I don’t know what it is but can speculate that maybe he just doesn’t do the things the coach asks him to. They seem to prefer Kadeem Allen. Allen is on a two way contract. If they want to give more time to Kadeem, they have to make space. Buying out Trier would do that. It could also be they are just doing Trier a solid by buying him out, since they don’t have plans to use him.

  69. Bobby Portis over Luke Kornet was always an unforgivable offense to me, especially when you didn’t even have to choose between the two. Just by looking at how Scott Perry handled the trade deadline (you know, with a modicum of competence), I am so glad Steve Mills is gone.

    Also, early returns show being lucky is a huge part of the NBA lottery these days. The bottom five teams last year were New York, Cleveland, Phoenix, Chicago, and I think Atlanta. Only New York and Cleveland picked in the top 5 at 3 and 5 respectively, and the other teams with top five picks were all 30+ win ball clubs in New Orleans, Memphis, and Los Angeles. The Grizzlies, everybody’s favorite young team these days, should actually have Coby White or Jarrett Culver instead of Ja Morant. We can’t count on the Knicks to be as lucky as Memphis was, as they had picks that fell where elite prospects were available, but the flattened lottery odds really take away from the damage of being incompetently ran. Memphis was willing to attach their lottery pick that turned into Jaren Jackson Jr just to move on from Chandler Parsons if my memory serves me correctly. Then when they should have drafted Rui Hachimura, they moved up in the draft in order to select Ja Morant.

    Personally, I love RJ Barrett’s longterm outlook and I think Mitchell Robinson is much better than every big man selected in the 2018 lottery including JJJr (that guy is averaging 4.8 rebounds a game and nobody seems to think that’s a problem when he wasn’t a good rebounder in college either). We’re picking 3 times in the top 40 this year, and that may be the case next year. I think we’re due for some good luck, and that’s simply because the front office is giving itself more chances to pick up cost-effective talent. If they recognize Julius Randle is not a winning player and punt on him, we might have a chance to be good and young as soon as next season.

  70. Allonzo Trier is probably struggling to be responsible off court or he just gets killed in practice daily by RJ Barrett. That kid is a bona fide bucket and at the least should be playing over Wayne Ellington, who tries his best nightly to prove he’s the 3rd Splash Brother.

  71. The middle class comparison has one big issue, that the NBA is a game with a clear end goal: winning the championship.

    Life doesn’t have a clear objective, for some it might be happiness, in whichever form they wish, for some it’s to create a legacy, or build a family, or to make a change in the world. There’s plenty of objectives possible and they all can mostly be achieved while not being a billionaire, while of course being a billionaire helps you a lot with achieving pretty much anything.

    I’ve made the conscious choice of earning less money to follow my objectives in life, and I’m pretty happy about being a 35 win team and as long as I can achieve the happiness I’m looking for, I’ll have “won my ring”. But in the NBA, you’re either a billionaire or making moves to become one, or you’ll never achieve your objectives, unless your objective is morally defined by some abstract idea, like “playing basketball the right way” or something like that.

  72. Whatever happened with Trier this year is a significant organizational failure. Everything about his rookie year screamed “useful player starter kit,” something that simply cannot be said about 90%+ of this roster.

    Whether it was perceived laziness on defense, off-court issues, ball-hogging concerns (that I maintain are simply not borne out by the numbers compared to other off-ball guards), or whatever else these are things that competent organizations successfully address.

    It’d be one thing if he was competing for minutes with, say, Dillion Brooks and De’Anthony Melton. He’s competing for minutes with Damyean Dotson (ass) and Wayne Ellington (old, and ass). It seems too late for this situation to get fixed, so I’m glad this team felt that exactly two intriguing young players was enough and thus hemorrhaged a potential third for no reason.

  73. I actually don’t think the dream of a good middle class existence is dead in this country. I think its still graspable for a lot of people but I think because of hte one percent, billionaires, and our politics/media/culture…the narrative is that its dead and a lot of people are super pessimistic about it. I tend to agree with you Strat, that there is still a possibility for smart work and intelligent decision making over time can lead to an improved life for you and your children. But the margin of error is smaller and its basically non existent for poor people in this country to raise themselves up by their bootstraps.

  74. I think Sacramento drafting Bagley over Luka is more like if a middle class worker won the lottery and then chose to spend all his winnings on more lottery tickets.

    I don’t know if I’d ever recover if the Knicks did this. Seriously, I have no idea how Kings fans hang in there knowing they were one very obvious draft pick away from turning it all around. They got their wildly lucky break and spent it on a guy who might not even be good, passing on a guy with NBA Mount Rushmore potential.

  75. Bruno, I would say that puts you in the 45 to 50 win team category. You’re making the playoffs and winning a series every couple of seasons. That’s all we can ask for in life!

  76. “So Tankathon has us taking Halliburton at the #6 spot now.”

    Is there still time to hire Dick Cheney as GM?

  77. We’re picking 3 times in the top 40 this year

    This is legitimately exciting (as of now we’d have picks 6, 25, and 34–the Willy trade was good and I was wrong), but I can’t shake the feeling they’ll use all 3 to trade up for NUMBER ONE OVERALL RECRUIT Cole Anthony.

    There’s a serious haul to be had if the picks are made wisely, even with this draft being so bad. I do not trust whoever the hell our decision-makers are these days to secure it.

  78. nice pivot and ramble on class structure swift…

    pretty big variance on income level between lower and upper middle class – the different life experiences of those two sub-categories are probably even much harder to define or standardize…it wouldn’t hurt my feelings though to see the knicks claw back in to the lower middle class – i’m going to make the wild assertion that’s it’s easier to climb to the top when you are already at least a few rungs from the bottom…

    for this analogy i would describe us as the actual dirt beneath the ladder at this point…

    what’s scary is even the teams that do have an impact player or two – can still suck right along with the other dregs of the league…

    right now we have a roster made up of good back up players – i’m not sure whom if anyone would be a starter on a 50 win type team…

    our only hope to compete right now until we acquire more talent is solid coaching…

    a couple of people yesterday made the excellent point that winning a bit could possibly create as much assets as tanking…

    not that it really matters, cuz the very last thing our organization is about to do at this moment is tank…hopefully we can make randall, elf, or bullock seem a little more valuable than what they may actually be…

  79. I have a question for those of you up on the draft. When people say this is a lousy draft do they mean there are no obvious immediate impact players out there, or do they mean the bottom players available in the bottom half of the first round are more like typical players in the second round of most years, or do they mean something else? Just because the first few picks aren’t compelling doesn’t mean there’s no depth later, but I gave no idea if that is really the case.

  80. Wonderful game last night. Lost to a lottery nemesis and Mitch played great. All I really care about at this point.

  81. Maybe swift, yeah, some years that’s been true, some others it hasn’t.

    I’m mostly talking about this because I think I the NBA should be thought about in a different way. I’m a person that is, quite frankly, the least result oriented person you’ll ever meet, I’m a firm believer that money, material possessions, efficiency and success are all relative and happiness in life can be achieved in a million different ways. However, when talking about basketball, I immediately gravitate towards analysis of production, efficiency and logical ideas, because that’s how I philosophically see it: logical, hard statistical analysis has a place in aspects of existence that are driven by the idea of achieving a singular goal.

    It’s how I think about economics, for example: a formula might teach you exactly how to solve a specific problem, and thus it is perfectly reasonable to use it; however, when thinking about an entire country’s macroeconomics, you have to take a lot more into consideration and because of that, the formulas get less and less effective.

    The NBA is a simple economics problem with a clear goal, winning more basketball games than everyone else, and the best way to do it is by having a team thats better than everyone else. Now, how to build that team in context is a much more diverse discussion, but it doesnt change the fact that 30 teams are following the same objective.

  82. A lot of draft people compare this to the 2013 draft which was loaded with lottery busts but also a DPOY and the current best basketball player alive

  83. driven by the idea of achieving a singular goal.

    championship or bust is a pretty hard line to draw though…that’s and there’s like a galaxy between us and a championship…

    i remember how happy i was when phil came in and cleaned house on player personalities and backgrounds…it was nice just to have more team oriented, decent citizen type folks on our roster…

    that was a big win for me as a fan…didn’t help win games much, but, much easier to root and watch games knowing that our roster wasn’t full of dipshits (sadly though, phil did in fact let a few of those in too)…

    this year bringing in actual nba level talent (although a bunch of backups maybe – still legit nba’rs), getting rid of fiz – big win for me (terrible coach and communicator)…getting rid of mills – ha, who are we kidding – he didn’t go very far, and who knows what we are truly bring in to the front office…

    still, little successes on hopefully building a path towards sustained success…

    but, the notion of our team winning a championship, hell even making it to the conference finals – that thought is so far away that it doesn’t really seem much worth mentioning…

    oh god, now that i’ve let that cat out of the bag – i’ll never challenge dred for gm…

    still though, it’s nice to see little bits of improvement…

    gotta aim low for this team, they’re all riding shetlands…

  84. DRed, terrifying comparison. Here’s 2013, 1-34 (where our third pick is currently listed):

    Anthony Bennett
    Victor Oladipo*
    Otto Porter
    Cody Zeller
    Alex Len
    Nerlens Noel
    Ben McLemore
    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
    Trey Burke
    CJ McCollum
    Michael Carter-Williams~
    Steven Adams
    Kelly Olynyk
    Shabazz Muhammad
    Giannis Antetokounmpo*
    Lucas Nogueira
    Dennis Schröder
    Shane Larkin
    Sergey Karasev
    Tony Snell
    Gorgui Dieng
    Mason Plumlee
    Solomon Hill
    Tim Hardaway Jr.
    Reggie Bullock
    André Roberson
    Rudy Gobert*
    Livio Jean-Charles#
    Archie Goodwin
    Nemanja Nedovi?
    Allen Crabbe
    Álex Abrines
    Carrick Felix
    Isaiah Canaan

  85. KnickfaninNJ:
    I have a question for those of you up on the draft. When people say this is a lousy draft do they mean there are no obvious immediate impact players out there, or do they mean the bottom players available in the bottom half of the first round are more like typical players in the second round of most years, or do they mean something else?Just because the first few picks aren’t compelling doesn’t mean there’s no depth later, but I gave no idea if that is really the case.

    I’m of the belief that there is talent in every draft and it is up to the talent evaluators to grab the right guys. The worst lottery of last decade was probably 2013, and that draft produced a 2x league MVP and another 2x DPOY in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert at picks 15 and 27. 2016 was considered a weak draft and the top three picks all look like 10 year starters of different magnitudes. 2020 definitely looks like a weak draft class, but there’s talent to be had for sure. Obi Toppin is one of my favorite players and I think he would fit seamlessly between Mitch and RJ without compromising size. All of LaMelo Ball (can’t shoot), Cole Anthony (can’t finish at the rim), and Anthony Edwards (can’t dribble) are different degrees of high risk prospects, but you have guys like Aaron Nesmith and Cassius Stanley who should both be available on draft night.

    When people speak about draft strength, they’re normally talking about the top prospects. There is always talent in the middle of the draft, and it’s normally the same amount of talent year over year. Guys like Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert, Mitchell Robinson, Brandon Clarke, Pascal Siakim, Montrezl Harrell, Jalen Brunson, Khris Middleton, and Dejuonte Murray are available every year.

  86. It’s going to take RJ Barrett 3 years to become an average player, I fear.

    DSJ is never going to be average.

    Mitch is looking better every day.

    Frank is a difference maker with his defense. He should have been on Trey the whole game.

    The rest of the team is playing very hard. I think Mr. Miller deserves some credit here.

    7 #1 picks in the next 4 years sounds like music to my ears.

    Please, no more Knox’s. Lol.

  87. I have a question for those of you up on the draft. When people say this is a lousy draft do they mean there are no obvious immediate impact players out there, or do they mean the bottom players available in the bottom half of the first round are more like typical players in the second round of most years, or do they mean something else? Just because the first few picks aren’t compelling doesn’t mean there’s no depth later, but I gave no idea if that is really the case.

    When people knock drafts, it’s always about the top talent. As others have noted, teams often find talent anywhere, but what teams typically love about the draft is that it allows you to simply add a superstar without any real risk. Like the Grizzlies being at #2. They knew they were pretty much getting an automatic stud when they drafted Morant. This draft doesn’t have a Zion or a Morant or a Anthony Davis or a Doncic or even a Trae Young, really.

    So there’s less value in having a top pick. However, since there’s typically always some talent mixed in there that is less obvious, the more picks you get, the better you are able to grab one of those diamonds in the rough. Imagine if the Jazz didn’t have their 2013 first round pick, ya know? Imagine if the Jazz had said, “Eh, it’s a late first. Let’s just trade it.” Heck, the Nuggets actually drafted Donovan Mitchell in 2017 and they traded him to the Jazz on draft night for Trey Lyles! There’s a lot of self-owning out there in the draft.

  88. here’s an interesting snippet from an article detailing a lawsuit against ujiri from the NBS finals when he pushed his way on to the court at the end of the game:

    Strickland, along with his wife, Kelly, who is named as a co-plaintiff in the suit, allege that Strickland, as a result of the incident, “suffered injury to his body, health, strength, activity and person, all of which have caused and continue to cause Plaintiff great mental, emotional, psychological, physical, and nervous pain and suffering.” It goes on to state Strickland has “suffered great anxiety, embarrassment, anger, loss of enjoyment of life, injury to reputation and severe emotional and physical distress in an amount to be determined at trial.”

    The suit claims the sum total of these issues have caused Strickland permanent disability. The suit asks for the couple to be rewarded: general damages exceeding the minimum amount of $75,000, as well as, among other things: punitive damages, payment of all medical and incidental expenses, to date and in the future; all proven loss of earnings; and all legal costs of filing the suit. The couple has asked for a jury trial.

    what made the article interesting was the song that started playing in my head while reading it: yep, living in the good ‘ol US of A

    yeah man, somebody give me a cheeseburger…

  89. That reminds me of the guy who sued Taylor Swift because she reported him to his bosses after he grabbed her ass at a meet and greet and they fired him.

  90. KnickfaninNJ: I have a question for those of you up on the draft. When people say this is a lousy draft do they mean there are no obvious immediate impact players out there, or do they mean the bottom players available in the bottom half of the first round are more like typical players in the second round of most years, or do they mean something else? Just because the first few picks aren’t compelling doesn’t mean there’s no depth later, but I gave no idea if that is really the case.

    Draft projections are often terrible, I suspect there will be value later on.

  91. It’s always easier to find value in the draft after the draft is over and you get to see the players play for a year or two in the pros. lol

    If you are drafting some 18-19 year old kid over a 21 or 22 year old, you also have to wait 4-5 years to see who actually turns out better.

    I give close to zero value to any team that drafted one of the consensus 2-3 players in their slot range. If a team trades up to get a specific guy, trades down for an asset and someone they want, or selects someone way out of the box and he turns out to be a huge bargain or star, then they are showing me something that “could but not necessarily” just more than just random small sample noise.

    But when people start saying we could have had player X or Y and he was drafted 6-7 slots lower (blah blah blah), that just means that hundreds of experts that have spent hundreds of hours looking at player stats, long term data, watching film, doing interviews, doing athletic tests etc… got it wrong and if you got it right you were probably just lucky.

    I’m willing to say the Knicks reached a little for Knox. He was lower on most mock drafts, some by a few slots. So the fact that they reached and seem to be wrong could be a legitimate knock. No matter what RJ turns out to be, they took the consensus guy.

  92. If it’s one of those drafts where you need to rely on your talent evaluators to find the diamond in the rough we might as well brace ourselves to strike out.

  93. hundreds of experts that have spent hundreds of hours looking at player stats, long term data, watching film, doing interviews, doing athletic tests etc… got it wrong and if you got it right you were probably just lucky.

    Honest question: Have you read Moneyball?

  94. If it’s one of those drafts where you need to rely on your talent evaluators to find the diamond in the rough we might as well brace ourselves to strike out.

    Could very well be true. Or Rose could A. be well connected to the top prospects (presumably agents are scouting these guys, too, to see who’s worth signing) and B. could be willing to hire some smart scouts.

    Rose is a true mystery. I can’t say that he won’t be good at his job because we don’t really know anything about him besides him being a really good agent.

  95. So if this was 2013, and we had the same picks we have now, we’d have ended up with Nerlens, THJ, and Isiah Canaan. Kinda crummy.

  96. take a look at the first and second round picks for this franchise for the last 30 or 40 or 50 years, and with the exception of Ewing….it is not a pretty picture….shouldn’t the law of averages suggest that at some point in like a half a century, we luck into another superstar?

    When I was a wee lad…and we had just moved to Phoenix from NY…around 1974…at the Suns games back then…you could walk down into the tunnels by the locker room…no security…just roam free…I took my game program down there and got Eugene Short and Jesse Dark’s autographs…I was pumped… those were the new top draft picks…how depressing…sidenote…my dad got into a fight in the stands that game and I don’t think he ever went to another game in Phoenix again..even when the Knicks came to town…

  97. Looking into the late 1st rnd, the Clippers pick could be real nice with what’s available. I might be biased, but I would love to take a look at Josh Green from Arizona if the Clipers pick falls in the 20-25 range. I think he will likely end up falling in a range that would be too much of a reach with our first pick and potentially may be gone by the time the Clippers pick comes up. Has great athletic ability and projects to be an impact wing defender. Shooting efficiency is a bit of a weakness, so not sure we need another poor efficiency wing, but there is some nice upside for a mid-late 1st round pick.

  98. On the lighter side…. Michael Jordan ain’t got nothing on Cosmo Cougar the BYU mascot:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B8WzwRGhami/

    Did not see the game last night. Is there a good reason Frank was nailed to the bench in the second OT when Tre was lighting it up for 48 and according to the box score Frank had played reasonably well?

  99. “We’re picking 3 times in the top 40 this year
    This is legitimately exciting (as of now we’d have picks 6, 25, and 34”

    Though having draft picks is excellent, draft picks alone isn’t quite enough to do it for me. The last time the Knicks selected 3 times in the first round was 2005. In the 14 years that have followed that draft the team has an average record of 31-51 with only 6 total playoff wins.

  100. Did not see the game last night. Is there a good reason Frank was nailed to the bench in the second OT when Tre was lighting it up for 48 and according to the box score Frank had played reasonably well?

    The only thing I can think of is the offence was working well (up to a certain point) with Elf, Ellington/Bullock in the back court. It makes sense to me you would probably have your best perimeter defender on the other teams best scorer in the clutch, but I am not an NBA coach so what do I know?

  101. The last time the Knicks selected 3 times in the first round was 2005.

    That haul wasn’t too bad. Frye, Lee and Robinson (traded from Phoenix). Wish we had have stuck with Frye for longer and in hindsight, we could have given the STAT money (or less) to Lee for probably a marginally better result. Robinson probably had the least upside and ended up being a 3-time dunk contest winner so that’s at least something to hang our hat on ha ha

  102. “That haul wasn’t too bad. Frye, Lee and Robinson”

    The thing about Isiah was that he actually DID value draft picks when it came to team building, and when he had picks he used them well. We all know he was foolish not to protect the Curry picks, and the 2010 throw-in for the 2004 Marburg trade was really really dumb. But unlike recent regimes, Isiah did use Dolan’s blank checks to keep the draft cabinets stocked. And he was always able to find value outside the lottery. (And then promptly cash that value in for overpriced vets:)

  103. Jeez the Wolves somewhat look like a contender now… at least on offense.

    It’s crazy how bad our team looks compared to basically every team. Is there a team with less actual talent right now than the Knicks?? Not counting on how RJ might get better and stuff like that.

    The hill to contention looks frighteningly long and steep.

  104. What kills me is that I loved DLo because of his sweet shot in college and efficient shooting has been one of his worst traits! Although, .558 TS% this season isn’t half bad.

  105. We should look at any of VCJr, Tyler Bey, Jah’mius Ramsey, and Tre Jones with the Clips pick. One of them should be there at 25 and they all stand a good chance of being rotation guys.

    As long as we get one of Okongwu, Edwards, Hayes, Wiseman, or Halliburton with our lotto pick I’ll be happy. They all rate pretty well and we’ll be in a position to get one of Okongwu (my #1) Halli or Hayes if we stand pat at the 6 spot.

  106. i wonder how much christian wood will get this summer. he’s good.

    Another guy we’ve stumped for in the past for them to give a flier to. He’s also a good example for anyone who appeals to authority with NBA teams, as a couple of otherwise good teams couldn’t find him any minutes.

  107. The Bucks won another game without Giannis, and I guess at this point we gotta call Middleton a superstar right? He’s been really great this season, if his massive improvement shooting sustains in the playoffs I can’t see anyone beating the Bucks in 7. I didn’t think he was going to be worth the contract they’ve given him, but so far he’s been worth it definitely.

  108. I thought they needed to keep him because they are a win-now team. I also think they should have kept Brogdon. When you have a great team, just go all in.

  109. So… with all the media reports about possible future coaches, how do people feel about JVG?

    I want no part of Thibs – he seems to have worn out his welcome everywhere he’s coached.
    Mark Jackson sucks, definitely want no part of him.

    JVG though? I’m not super up and what happened in Houston, but it bears mentioning that he was fired after a 52-30 season and a 7th game loss to Utah in the first round. Can you imagine the Knicks firing a coach after a 50 win season? Maybe it’s nostalgia from my formative years watching those JVG Knicks teams in the late 90s, but I would be so excited for his return.

    Yes it’s true the league is different now — but the Rockets finished no worse than 6th in defense in any of his 4 seasons, and while the offense wasn’t great, it bears mentioning that McGrady and Yao were injured so much those years, and lack of PG talent had him playing Rafer Alston a million minutes/game.

    And in case we don’t think JVG can still coach now, here’s an article about a JVG-coached squad led by the immortal OAKAAK players Travis Wear, Travis Trice, and John Jenkins stomped Team USA 2x in the same day : https://clutchpoints.com/team-usa-rumors-senior-team-actually-lost-twice-to-jeff-van-gundy-coached-squad/

    Bringing back JVG, and even having Mike Miller be on his staff, would be a huge win IMHO.

  110. I’d just keep Miller. He’s perfectly fine, and that’s all I really need from a coach.

    The major issue with him is his insistence on playing vets over kids but I think it’s 100% clear there is a mandate from ownership to win games now and avoid “sell the team” scenes.

  111. I’d rather have a coach whose best days are ahead of him. But I just don’t see the Knicks, even though they have new people in charge, ever being ahead of the curve on a hiring. So JVG is more of a “at least it’s not Mark Jackson” choice i guess.

  112. So…with the expectation that Rose won’t keep Miller,
    and the question of who the next coach will be- I ask exactly what is the difference between coaching a rebuilding team vs coaching a veteran team?

    Nothing. You coach both squads just as hard. Obviously the decision to play vets over the kids plays a part, but you still coach just as hard whether you’re playing the kids or the vets, right? I’m only bringing this up because there are a lot of people who think a coach like JVG wouldn’t fare well in a rebuild. If we have a chance to rehire him, you go get him. That’s where your rebuild starts- with a guy who can coach the culture up. With the young potential building blocks we have, plus a guy like Randle- this is very important. I would argue just as important as who we select in this year’s draft.

  113. It starting to sound like Embiid is unhappy in Philly and Jimmy Butler has a good idea for where he should go next.

    Personally, I think a healthy in shape Embiid could be the kind of dominant post player that would swing the NBA back towards placing some value on that kind of play and having a big man that can defend HIM. But he’s in a bad spot. He does not fit with Simmons ideally (and vice versa of course) and adding Horford did not help with the spacing that both those players need to maximize their impact.

  114. “Pacers are 1-5 since Oladipo came back.”

    He’s been horrible, but he’s coming off a long layoff. Every player coming off a serious injury will tell you that it takes awhile before you are mentally confident that your body is 100% and you won’t get re-injured. Also, playing in practice does not get you as physically fit and sharp as real game action. I once saw data that said it takes about 20 games for a healthy player that’s been doing some work in the off season to get to 100%. So if you are out for a year (or possibly even more) and can’t do much of anything, it’s going to take longer. I suspect he’ll start playing better before the playoff run and they’ll be a tougher out.

  115. “What kills me is that I loved DLo because of his sweet shot in college and efficient shooting has been one of his worst traits! Although, .558 TS% this season isn’t half bad.”

    I liked DLo coming out of college also, but that was because I never saw him play defense. I still haven’t. lol

    Seriously, I think he was my preferred pick for NY that year just based on stats, but I was mistaken.

  116. I’d rather have a coach whose best days are ahead of him. But I just don’t see the Knicks, even though they have new people in charge, ever being ahead of the curve on a hiring. So JVG is more of a “at least it’s not Mark Jackson” choice i guess.

    You know of course that JVG is a whole 3 years older than Mike Miller.

    I’d honestly be fine with Mike Miller going forward, but you get the sense that’s not happening, at least as head coach.

    If there’s anything we know about JVG is that he is smart. The overall strategy for a team (ie. how the team is constructed, in general what kind of game they’re going to play) comes mostly from the FO. But tactically speaking, which is where most coaches are going to be difference makers — JVG has already shown he can match up with the best. And coaching a USA select team with a bunch of G-leaguers to beat Team USA (not to mention qualify the US for all the international tournaments) shows he can make a group greater than the sum of its parts.

  117. I like Miller so far, but if they are determined to bring in a bigger name, I think I’d prefer JVG over Thibs. Thibs has a reputation for playing players too many minutes and breaking some of them down. I’m not sure about all that, but I remember Haralabos Voulgaris saying that on twitter a few years back and he said there was plenty of data on minutes and injuries when I questioned it.

  118. I spent part of yesterday wondering what Golden State could get if they packaged Andrew Wiggins, their pick in this year’s draft, and Minnesota’s pick in 2021. If the Sixers hold and Embiid auction this summer, he could be a Warrior.

  119. Looking at some of the options with our later picks, Devon Dotson seems like he has some potential as a combo guard type. Probably won’t ever be a primary playmaker, but he can hold his own as a point guard in spurts, takes defense seriously, has a nice 2PT% on a boatload of attempts, and his FT% bodes well for developing as a shooter.

    Also does anyone happen to know if he’s related to Damyean? It’s oddly difficult to find out.

  120. I just looked at the 76ers cap situation. Yike!!!! They are going to be good because they have some star and very good players, but personally, I would trade one of either Embiid or Simmons for a floor spacer type player and assets and see if there was any way I could trade Horford or Tobias Harris (which seems unlikely. I don’t like that team at all. I knew when the season started that losing Reddick and Butler was going to hurt and Horford was a bad fit, but until now I didn’t look at how badly screwed they are long term, #ProcessTerminated.

  121. Did not see the game last night. Is there a good reason Frank was nailed to the bench in the second OT when Tre was lighting it up for 48 and according to the box score Frank had played reasonably well?

    Besides what stricken said, I think Frank had recently played a bunch of minutes in the game and the coach may have just decided it was time for him to rest.

  122. You know how internal medicine doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory’s for foot pain but a podiatrist will prescribe orthotics for foot pain? Elton Brand was a forward and now he had prescribed more big men for what ails Philadelphia. It’s not working as well as he wanted it to.

  123. “I just looked at the 76ers cap situation. Yike!!!! ”

    They went from an abundance of riches to all-in on Tobias Harris and Al Horford. And they have no more future firsts from Hinkie to bail them out of this mess. Serves them right for canning the guy who set them up so well.

  124. I think every smart team in the league will be hoping the Sixers self-destruct, and I hope we pursue Simmons when that happens.

    It still feels absurd to me that people look at a 23 year old who’s an elite, 5 position defender, who is a great passer and scorer inside, and all they can see is “a guy who kills spacing”. It really sounds crazy.

    If I was a Sixers fan I would still be so pissed at the league for forcing Hinkie out.

  125. KnickfaninNJ: Besides what stricken said, I think Frank had recently played a bunch of minutes in the game and the coach may have just decided it was time for him to rest.
    Sorry, not “stricken”. It should say “dtrickey”

  126. I really hope the Knicks turn it around because if these proposed baseball changes happen the NBA will probably be the only league I still follow.

  127. “It still feels absurd to me that people look at a 23 year old who’s an elite, 5 position defender, who is a great passer and scorer inside, and all they can see is “a guy who kills spacing”. It really sounds crazy.”

    Personally. I wouldn’t phrase it like that. I would say he’s a potentially “GREAT” player whose lack of an outside shot limits his ability to maximize what he already does amazingly well on offense (get to the basket, finish, and make plays) and that a very good defensive team could limit what he does do well when we get to the serious games in the playoffs. His ability on defense speaks for itself.

    Ideally, you hope he improves his shot over time, but if he’s a centerpiece player now you want to surround him with players that shoot 3s well to make it easier for him to get to the rim the way Dallas does for Doncic. That makes running mates like Embiid and Horford less than ideal and also forces Embiid out on the perimeter at times shooting 3s, which to me is not ideal for him either.

    You can be a close to great player with a ton of skills on both sides and still not be in an ideal lineup.

    I’d take Simmons in a heartbeat. he’s amazing.

  128. “Strat, have you read Moneyball?”

    I don’t own it and haven’t read it start to finish, but I’ve read parts of it.

    After going through my Wins Produced, Stumbling on Wins phase. I felt like I was better off looking at data, watching games, reading and listening to the thoughts of people that seemed to be doing good work in both areas, and trying to understand it all and fit together myself rather than getting totally bogged down in just numbers or the thoughts in any one book. Basketball is complex.

  129. You should read it. Appealing to the collective wisdom of professional scouts is a bad look.

  130. Hinkie was forced out because he was taking tanking to an almost absurd extreme, was treating players like line items on a spreadsheet instead of human beings with families and children, pissing off agents, and other managements didn’t like him or want the game to move in that direction. It was an unsustainable model that benefited in part from injuries to top draft picks that allowed him to stay at the top of the draft even longer and that the league felt was poisoning the intent of the lottery.

  131. Hinkie seems like an absolute dipshit when he speaks and I suspect the “failure” of the process has more to do with that than the actual basketball results. His plan worked.

  132. Hinkie actually had great relationships with players by all accounts. I’ve debunked the whole “injury luck” theory a million times but as usual some folks just do not allow for evidence that contradicts their ideas. That the league changed the lottery rules in response to him shows how ahead of the game he was.

    Colangelo came in and fucked things up so fast it was almost impressive.

  133. I want a defensive-minded coach.
    I think NY is best defined by defense. The great NY teams have all been among the best defensive teams in their day.
    I also think a gritty, tough defensive team with some offensive weapons is more indicative of the city as a whole.
    FWIW
    I have enjoyed Miller’s team so far in that despite the Knicks lapses, generally their defense has been stout.
    And with a player like Mitch, you can build a team’s character around him.
    JVG would fit that mold to a T, if we head in the direction of a new coach.

  134. How big of an NBA sliding doors moment was it when Mike Budenholzer was eager to join the Knicks but we were unwilling to trust his basketball sense over Steve Mills’?

  135. My annoyance with the way Simmons is treated is that it’s not his fault his stupid GM thought Tobias Harris was a priority, and it’s not his fault Horford fell off a cliff. Were in a NBA right now were plenty of Centers can shoot 3s, you can definitely build something around him that allows him to go to work, but because he’s perceived as a guard, he gets incessantly hammered, called a “coward” and worst stuff because he can’t shoot. When you have a talent with his potential, you build the team around him, not the other way around.

    Obviously you hope he’ll develop like Giannis and becomes a much more well rounded threat on offense, but there’s absolutely no way he’s not a positive player in terms of overall production on the court with everything he does. I would keep him over Embiid for sure, but there’s also no reason to even have to make this choice if you’re the Sixers, the only reason is because they fucked up in the first place.

  136. Pretty much most of the moves the Sixers have made post-Hinkie haven’t worked well and the team is still good which should tell you something about the Hinkie era.

  137. Hinkie definitely knew value. I remember he traded the rookie of the year and all the analysts were appalled. But after a year or two it was clear he’d made a good deal for Philadelphia.

  138. Ugh – just watched the First Take clip with Steve Stoute about how he plans to help turn the Knicks around. Sounds like the old plan rebranded as the new plan = try to sign marquee free agents.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtHSdrZKCq8

    What is wrong with these people? It’s not the image itself that’s the problem, it’s the underlying structure that results in the image.

    Just once can someone say:
    1) we are the New York Knicks – one of the iconic franchises in the NBA
    2) we play in NYC, the greatest city in America
    3) we are going to have the best of the best, and invest in all the support staff necessary to make sure the team is what the city deserves – this includes:
    – the best performance staff money can buy
    – the best medical staff money can buy
    – the best facilities money can buy
    – the best scouting staff money can buy
    – the most advanced analytics team money can buy to try and find any advantage we can
    – the best cap people money can buy so we can leverage every last detail of the CBA for the benefit of our franchise
    – the most forward thinking coaching staff money can buy

    Once you have all that, THEN the results will come, THEN free agents will say that NYC is where they want to be again.

    The way he was talking, it sounded like he thinks a new coat of paint will get the job done. SMH.

  139. I was just messing around on the internet to look at some “could have beens”. The Sixers, after they fired Hinkie, had the 24th and 26th picks in the draft where Siakim went 27th. Who knows if Hinkie’s eye for talent was that good, but it’s tantalizing to imagine.

    If they had just taken the BPA available with the picks Hinkie acquired instead of letting Colangelo steer the ship into the docks , they could easily have a lineup of Simmons, Embiid, Siakim, Tatum, Covington, Saric, Mikal Bridges. plus the 14th pick in last year’s draft.

    And all they had to endure was three terrible seasons that were marginally worse than most Knicks seasons of the last 20 years.

  140. Ugh, now Haliburton is out for the rest of the season with a broken wrist. A “weak” draft gets even riskier.

  141. Frank, I think you can pretty easily reverse engineer Dolan’s thought process:

    The Nets beat him to Durant and Kyrie.

    He looked at them and asked “what are they doing better than us?”

    Somehow he overlooked their basketball infrastructure and concluded that it must have been their branding, so he hired the guy who “crafted their narrative.” As if the Nets didn’t win the Durant/Iriving sweepstakes by finally forsaking that bullshit and making smart basketball decisions.

    It’s fucking bleak, man.

    These guys are probably going to deliver us some fake franchise players on max contracts (the next Melo and Amar’e) and pretend they turned the Knicks into a destination, and Dolan is gonna lap it up and sign them all to extensions.

  142. > I’ve debunked the whole “injury luck” theory a million times but as usual some folks just do not allow for evidence that contradicts their ideas. <

    You debunked nothing.

    The reason the Spurs got Duncan was because Robinson was injured (the original injury benefit) .

    If KP wasn't injured and played for us during the full 17-18 and 18-19 seasons we would have drafted worse both years. His injury was a blessing in part because it allowed us to remain lower in the standings than the intrinsic value of the team we had once he was drafted, playing, and developing.

    The reason the 76ers got a series of very high picks is because a series of players they drafted near the top were injured and whatever contribution and development they would have made to inch the team forward was absent. Embiid didn't play for 2 years!!! Simmons didn't play for 1. That allowed them to stay near the very top of the lottery for a more extended period of time. Also contributing was the fact that they drafted rather poorly.

    It's possible to draft and stay at the top of the lottery and pick up a couple of superstars (like OKC did). It's also possible you are going to date a few super models this year, but pointing to individual "one off" successes does the normal curve of getting better as you draft star players.

    Hell, Zion getting hurt may cost the Pelicans a playoff spot and development time, but they'll wind up with a better pick.

    If Morant got hurt, the Memphis would being drafting a lot higher.

  143. >Hinkie seems like an absolute dipshit when he speaks and I suspect the “failure” of the process has more to do with that than the actual basketball results. His plan worked.<

    I don't think anyone doubted whether what he was doing could or would work. They doubted how long it would take relative to clearing out old veterans and trying to get assets, tanking a year, and then rebuilding using all options available. They also wondered whether it was a sustainable and repeatable rebuilding model given injuries that helped and relationships with human beings. He's out of the league. So the answer to the latter question is no. They all hated him.

  144. The reason the 76ers got a series of very high picks is because a series of players they drafted near the top were injured and whatever contribution and development they would have made to inch the team forward was absent. Embiid didn’t play for 2 years!!! Simmons didn’t play for 1. That allowed them to stay near the very top of the lottery for a more extended period of time. Also contributing was the fact that they drafted rather poorly.

    *sigh*

    Long story short, during Embiid’s first season (which he missed) his injury allowed them to draft…Jahlil Okafor. During his second season (which he also missed), they were seven games worse than the next worst team. There is no way in hell a heavily load-managed, rookie Embiid makes up all of that (he only played 31 games in his actual rookie season).

    Then they drafted Simmons. Simmons of course was injured for the entirety of his first season too, giving the Sixers the great fortune of being put in position to draft a guy now starting for the Orlando Magic.

    The fruit of all this injury “luck” was Jahlil Okafor and Markelle Fultz.

    But hey, you’ve got your narrative and we all know it ain’t going anywhere in the face of directly contrary evidence, so the joke is on me for taking the time to type this out.

  145. >I guess all we needed was for Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina to get hurt.<

    lmao

    Their stories are not over yet, but they are just as much evidence for how hard it is to come up with the right player in the draft as are all of Hinkie's failures at the very top of the draft. It's not easy.

    Trying to get as many lottery tickets as possible to improve your chances of getting a star or two is perfectly logical. For example, I was fine with trading Morris for an extra pick because he's 30 and is having a peak season that may not even be sustainable. I'd way rather have a good look at Harkless who is younger, expiring, and the pick than Morris

    However, choosing to be relentlessly bad as if the only way to ever get a star player is via draft is a different story. Some day it will work, but many of those that try will wind up in lottery hell for a decade. That's what I don't want to happen, but we've been getting worse since the #4 selection of KP.

    My view on this is more balanced.

    There are times when the team is old and you clearly don't have the talent or flexibility to take the next step. That's when you should clean house, accumulate assets, take your shot in the lottery, and rebuild. But from there, imo you should use every means possible to start moving forward. You should use picks, trades, and free agency. I always say this, but imo it's as much about the execution of the plan as it is about the path you take. We need competent execution.

  146. Strat the problem is in saying “we should make good trades and signings whenever possible” you’re arguing against no one. I represent the mindset you claim to be arguing against, and I have no problem with that assertion.

    I do have a problem with repeating this ad nauseam as a counter to the simple idea that we shouldn’t chase marginal wins.

    If we make trades and signings that are actually good, the wins added, whenever they may come, will not be marginal. They’ll be coming from players that are a part of our future or can be assets in some other way. If that isn’t true, then you have the very definition of marginal wins and the trades and signings that brought the players in were stupid. This really isn’t hard.

    After literal years, you’ve been unable to point to a single prospective transaction we should make that would fit the former criteria. Lo and behold, there just aren’t very many transactions that do fit the criteria when you’re in the Knicks position on the win curve.

    If I recall correctly you weren’t even one of the people suggesting we should max out DAR, which was at least arguably one example of these rare transactions.

    So it just rings hollow. Yeah, we should make good moves. Thanks for the novel insight.

  147. >>Long story short, during Embiid’s first season (which he missed) his injury allowed them to draft…Jahlil Okafor. During his second season (which he also missed), they were seven games worse than the next worst team. There is no way in hell a heavily load-managed, rookie Embiid makes up all of that (he only played 31 games in his actual rookie season).<<

    You have to assume a healthy Embiid from the start, Otherwise, they are STILL getting the injury benefit of his absence in the subsequent drafts. A load managed 31 games means they actually benefited from his injury that year too. That's 3 years of draft benefit.

    IMO, Embiid is the best true C in the league when healthy. A fully healthy Embiid from the start was worth a LOT of wins even early in his career. Second, since they knew he was going to be out, they were looking to dump other productive players for more assets to delay and draft high again instead of adding. Had they drafted Embiid and he was immediately having an impact, they would NOT have wound up with Simmons.

    Of course you could also argue that since Embiid is so fragile, it was all a failure because even with all those picks Embiid can't stay healthy long enough to get them over the top and too many of the rest of the picks sucked.

  148. How big of an NBA sliding doors moment was it when Mike Budenholzer was eager to join the Knicks but we were unwilling to trust his basketball sense over Steve Mills’?

    Not that big, given that Buds wouldn’t do it without being GM, and his record as GM was…well, let’s just say he’s no DRed.

    trade Korver for Mike Dunleavy and Mo Williams
    let Horford go (when still really good) and sign Dwight Howard
    sign Jose Calderon (after the Knicks! when he was clearly done!)
    sign Ilyasova (which made some sense to me, but didn’t work out)

    I didn’t want him as GM. I would have loved him as coach – but that wasn’t on the table. Now, is it possible he would have taken the job if Mills weren’t there? Sure. who knows? He might have compromised after losing the shot at the Knicks – so it might not have been about Mills, just about being PBO and accepting it wasn’t going to happen.

  149. “If we make trades and signings that are actually good, the wins added, whenever they may come, will not be marginal. They’ll be coming from players that are a part of our future or can be assets in some other way.”

    Our differences here are marginal, but significant.

    I don’t think every player has to be on the exact same timetable. In fact, I think that can turn out to be a short term negative to development if they are all too inexperienced to get a playoff run ASAP or a long term negative as they all get older together.

    If we find a player that’s 28 and we sign him through 32, I have no problem with that as long as the contract is attractive and he’s the best player available to us at that time. If we trade him later because we find a deal we like better I’m fine with that. If we keep him until he’s 32 and then he leaves, we get the cap space asset back and I’m fine with that,

    I know exactly where we are now. Even though a championship is probably more than 4 years away and that player won’t be part it, he could be part of another deal that brings in a star, part of attracting a free agent that is willing to come because we are good enough to attract someone, stay productive longer than expected etc..

    IMO, you have to try to get better and worry less about draft position.

    I’m sure we agree that many of our signings were mediocre or bad, but part of that is because we are so bad no one good wants to come. That’s why we settle for these older mediocre players or overpay others.

  150. If we find a player that’s 28 and we sign him through 32, I have no problem with that as long as the contract is attractive and he’s the best player available to us at that time. If we trade him later because we find a deal we like better I’m fine with that.

    Again, what you keep running into is the question “where are all these productive 28 year olds signing reasonable, tradable contracts?” If you can name them, I’m happy to tell you what I think about signing them. Until then it’s just pablum.

    If we keep him until he’s 32 and then he leaves, we get the cap space asset back and I’m fine with that,

    We could also just not sign him in the first place, avoid the marginal wins he racks up, and use the cap space to take on real assets instead.

    If you sign someone for four years, don’t contend during that time, and are unable to trade them, that’s a massive failure of asset optimization.

  151. “Toronto Raptors, they brought in Drake, right? They brought in Drake to bring that thing,” Steve Stoute told @FirstTake. “The New York Knicks brought in me.”

    I’m just… I’m just so tired, you guys. And Leon Rose hasn’t even officially taken the job yet.

    I recognize that Stoute is the marketing guy, so all he can talk about is marketing. But by letting this clown speak publicly before Rose, the team is essentially letting him set the agenda for the new regime, and everything he said on First Take sounds like the usual pathetic star-fucking approach we’ve been trying and failing to execute for over a decade. That someone whose expertise is marketing would not understand how badly he comes off in this interview suggests to me that, like everyone else associated with the Dolan Knicks, he doesn’t get it, and that Rose (whose hiring Stoute reportedly played a huge role in) also values the same bullshit. And if Rose doesn’t, why the hell is he allowing Stoute to talk right now while Rose himself is not allowed to? Why is he letting Stoute come right out and say that the team will have a new coach next year?

    I’m just… very very close to giving up on the new regime before it technically even exists.

  152. “where are all these productive 28 year olds signing reasonable, tradable contracts?”

    What, if anything, should we offer Mo Harkless next year?

  153. I’m just… very very close to giving up on the new regime before it technically even exists.

    I’m on the edge of my seat, ready to bolt…but still just poised….

  154. I hear ya, Al.

    Winning builds brands. Winning brings Drake. All these comments make it seem like the Knicks think it’s the other way around.

    And that’s a pretty terrible thing for Stoute to say while Miller is doing a good job.

    If you missed this Bloomberg article a few weeks ago, it’s a dandy:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-23/knicks-will-get-makeover-from-firm-that-helped-make-the-nets-hip

    The lowlight:

    >>The sports idiom is that winning cures all ills. Stoute said that isn’t true, and that there’s a better formula.

    “Winning cures a lot of problems. Great marketing and exciting entertainment cure all problems,” he said. “The brand has to be strong regardless of the final score. When people are hopeful that things are going to be better, and it brings excitement, all of a sudden that becomes the brand.” <<

  155. “Winning cures a lot of problems. Great marketing and exciting entertainment cure all problems,” he said. “The brand has to be strong regardless of the final score. When people are hopeful that things are going to be better, and it brings excitement, all of a sudden that becomes the brand.”

    Of course this guy has to believe this, and maybe even say it, to justify his own job. But the Knicks’ willingness to let him spout off in public suggests that they believe it, too.

  156. If we find a player that’s 28 and we sign him through 32, I have no problem with that as long as the contract is attractive and he’s the best player available to us at that time.

    I mean sure, it’d be great to get surplus value from a free agent that you sign from his age 29-32 years, but there’s a very good reason why that rarely happens: that is when most players start their decline phase. You’re paying for his production from his peak years, but you’re getting his production from his post-peak years.

    Most players who are free agents at that age have played a lot of minutes and have established a value, so it’s hard to find them on bargain deals. So at best you’re usually getting market value, and more often than not you’re not even getting that because of the player’s inevitable decline.

    This is like team building 101, it’s honestly weird to even have to discuss this. If you have a huge hole on your roster, and you’re pretty close to the top of your win curve, sure, go ahead and sign a guy who can plug that hole and help you make a run if you have the cap space. But for a team at the bottom of the win curve it’s just not worth it. The asset is likely to decline and become an albatross before he can help you.

  157. Have to give it to Scott Perry. He outlasted Steve Mills. Not an easy feat. Got me thinking, why? Was he against the KP trade? Fiz signing? Randle signing? – It had to be at least one of three to survive and convince Dolan that he’s smarter than Steve Mills…my two cents. Why is he still employed, anyway?

  158. I think I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that article about Stout. I’m already planning the 2024 rebuild under new management.

  159. Decline phase is an overused term. Yes, player peak at 28 but its not like they turn into pumpkins at age 30. They might not be on the upswing but they aren’t falling off a cliff at 30 unless they’ve had serious mileage on them at that point. Role players, guys who got into the league later or who didn’t play big minutes when they are younger or who haven’t had significant injuries in their career can all play at close to their peak level at 30 to 32 years old.

  160. FWIW Harkless is only 26, even though it seems like he’s been around forever.
    Would be happy to sign him to 3 years $24MM

    Re: Stoute – that was really really bad. Funny thing is I think he knew it with the heavy sweating that was going on during that. Feels like he thought it would be all fun and games up there and was not prepared at all for what they were going to ask him. Which is not good.

  161. A stupid but serious question: What do you think needs to happen for Dolan to consider selling the team? Cratering attendance/merch sales? 5 straight years of being a bottom 3 team? Constant ‘sell the team’ chants? Silver stepping in?

    Am I dumb for thinking that a disastrous Rose/Stoute administration can get him to sell?

    The team has me so f’d up I’m rooting for this to become the biggest shitshow in NYK history on the off-chance that Dolan finally leaves. It sucks man.

  162. Decline phase is an overused term. Yes, player peak at 28 but its not like they turn into pumpkins at age 30. They might not be on the upswing but they aren’t falling off a cliff at 30 unless they’ve had serious mileage on them at that point. Role players, guys who got into the league later or who didn’t play big minutes when they are younger or who haven’t had significant injuries in their career can all play at close to their peak level at 30 to 32 years old.

    Okay but the idea is to get SURPLUS VALUE. If you’re a bad team, signing a veteran to a “market value” contract looks a lot like Marcus Morris. It’s kinda pointless. Marcus Morris is kind of the poster child of the “don’t sign thirty year olds to market value contracts if you’re a bad team” concept. It’s cool that he was flipped for an asset! That was nice. But I’m glad we didn’t extend him, because that would have been dumb. He’s heading into his decline phase soon.

    If you sign Marcus Morris to that 3/60 contract or whatever and in that second season he’s putting up like an .080 WS48 because he’s in his decline phase, well now you’re upside down on the contract even though he hasn’t fallen of a cliff or whatever.

  163. JK47

    First, a good contract by definition assumes a 28 year old has shown his best, probably has a few peak years left, may decline a little, but may stay productive longer and/or be used as part of deal later. If you don’t have that combination you are allowed to say “no”. The major point was not the exact age. It’s that not everyone has to be on the exact same championship timetable for a deal to be attractive.

    It’s not those marginal players on good contracts that get teams over the top. It’s the combination of young players, veterans, picks, cap space, management, coaching etc… that attract star free agents or that can be used to trade for them if they are willing to come and resign.

    We keep striking out going all the way back to Walsh and James because we are always too bad to get “the star” even when have space (and that should have been obvious this past summer)

    There’s a reason teams like the Spurs, Heat, Rockets, and others are always trying to get better using all avenues possible without an all out multi year tank. It’s because it takes forever to do it almost exclusively via draft. But again, it’s the execution. They execute much better than we have (even though a few of those teams have clearly made some whopper mistakes in recent years).

    Unless we can execute well, we are going fail doing it their way or doing via draft, but I’d still rather move on from the tanking phase. We’ve been doing that since we fell to 4th and got KP.

  164. Re: Stoute – that was really really bad. Funny thing is I think he knew it with the heavy sweating that was going on during that. Feels like he thought it would be all fun and games up there and was not prepared at all for what they were going to ask him. Which is not good.

    He basically fired the coach with nearly 30 games to go in the season! When he doesn’t even have the authority to do that! Guess how much fun every Miller media availability is going to be over the next few weeks? Especially with Rose unavailable to talk, Perry in hiding, etc.

  165. Unless we can execute well, we are going fail doing it their way or doing via draft, but I’d still rather move on from the tanking phase. We’ve been doing that since we fell to 4th and got KP.

    Sucking is different than tanking.

    We have sucked since then, that is correct. We have NOT tanked. We have tried to earn stupid marginal wins by bringing in veteran players. In fact, we have done exactly what you are advocating since Phil Jackson took over. We have tried to rebuild with a mix of young players and role players on market value contracts, there have been a whole slew of them. It hasn’t goinked well.

    Sure, a team with better execution could have done a better job by picking better players. But you know what’s an even BETTER idea? Going into asset collection mode, which this team never does, collecting a bunch of nice assets, THEN filling in the holes with role players. If you do it the other way around it doesn’t really work great because you never collect the assets you need. You use those resources to bring in Taj Gibsons and Arron Afflalos and Tim Hardaways and Bobby Portises and Derrick Williamses instead.

  166. With a new PBO coming in Miller has to understand he’s not getting a new contract, but you think a marketing maven would have a better sense of what not to say in public

  167. This steve stoute shit is not good

    Of course this guy has to believe this, and maybe even say it, to justify his own job. But the Knicks’ willingness to let him spout off in public suggests that they believe it, too.

    so much for mike miller getting a chance to coach the team next year…

    THIS…THIS – is why you don’t hire chucklefucks from outside the industry (that industry being professional basketball) to come in to “lead” the organization…

    although, if he had just stayed quiet we may not have found out so soon what a complete idiot this dude is…great, life long knicks fan who has a chris smith jersey in his closet…

    jimmy D must be the worse at all time in judging character and competence amongst those whom he hires…how the fuck is MSG even still standing…

    maybe he simply measures success in having hot water (with good pressure) in the home team’s locker room…

  168. With a new PBO coming in Miller has to understand he’s not getting a new contract, but you think a marketing maven would have a better sense of what not to say in public

    Exactly. Miller’s a lame duck, but now he’s publicly a lame duck, which makes life unnecessarily difficult for him and everyone else on the team over the next few months.

  169. i know right…way to be “grateful” for someone to come in and bring a little stability to what’s happening out on the court…yeah, let’s make sure we fuck over that guy right away…

  170. I’ve been saying for years that this team is motivated by marketing first, second and third. The only difference is that now it’s out in the open. Maybe if Miller gets his own PR and 2M followers on Instagram he can convince Stout that he IS a new coach and deserves to replace that gray, unassuming Miller from the g-league.

  171. flashback trivia. who had this to say about unwanted coming out parties?

    In New York City, if you want to choose ‘What can I do to cause controversy every day?’ it’s No. 1, run a cable company; No. 2, own a sports franchise; No. 3, tangle with the mayor…And in the middle of all this, the biggest battle is with his dad. It’s a defining moment for Jim. He isn’t in the shadow anymore. This is his coming-out party, although I don’t think he wants this party.

  172. Maybe if Miller gets his own PR and 2M followers on Instagram he can convince Stout that he IS a new coach and deserves to replace that gray, unassuming Miller from the g-league.

    :)

    seriously, how else can the situation be handled from afar but with humor…god what train wreck dolan is…

  173. I can’t bring myself to watch that interview…will just aggravate me….

    when the mills news came out…i texted my uncle..i was so happy…but in about 10 seconds he texted me back with …”yeah…but Dolan’s still there”…and I ignored it and went on being happy…should’ve known better….

    now…since it looks like its more of the same…I guess we are back to relying on pure luck to offset incompetence…that has not worked well this century….

    Anybody like that kid Nwora from Louisville…I saw some mock draft that had us using the Charlotte pick on him…I have liked what i saw in the few games I watched him play…

  174. Stoute’s just a clown. Heck, he may very well be good at what he does, but the next POBO is the real concern. Whoever it is (cough Rose cough) needs to do more than just try to lure big names. Therein lies madness.

    Rebuild already!

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