2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Hornets

Everyone is still reeling from Kobe Bryant’s death, but the Knicks have to play another game.

The aggravating thing is that it is another winnable one, so the Knicks could easily be on a winning streak right before the trade deadline.

Don’t give these morons any reason not to trade players!

Let’s go? Knicks!

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192 thoughts to “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Hornets”

  1. Kobe getting drafted by the Hornets and never playing a game for them would have to be the biggest sliding doors moment in their history.

    The Hornets have always been a difficult team for the Knicks to handle (regardless of each teams respective record) for some reason, so I have no doubt this is a very getable L for us.

  2. Can we trade for Willy?

    I haven’t given up on him. I still think he can be an excellent backup.

  3. I liked Willy when he was here. Seeing him leave Mitch wide open for that oop reminded me why I’m cool with the trade to CHA.

  4. Why is Smith in before Ntilikina? Maybe the relatively lead meant Miller thinks it’s a good time to give him a chance?

  5. I liked Willy when he was here. Seeing him leave Mitch wide open for that oop reminded me why I’m cool with the trade to CHA.

    lmao

    I hear you.

    Boston is doing fine with Kanter coming off the bench. If Kanter can learn to be less of a defensive liability, maybe Willy can.

  6. Why is Smith in before Ntilikina?

    Showcasing him for a trade?

    Don’t think they need Frank’s defense against this matchup?

    Miller fell down a flight of stairs last night and landed on his head?

    I hope he plays well and we trade him.

  7. Climbing the Eastern standings! Gotta hit that #9 pick!

    Mills’ chant – “If we draft nine, I’m feeling fine. If in the East, we finish nine, I avoid the firing line.”

  8. I hear ya Strat. If Kanter can be effective then Willy definitely has a shot. Rather be watching him on this Knicks squad over Portis.

  9. even if you are showcasing dsj (or doing him a hometown favor), still should be giving frank some minutes, kinda weird. suddenly i feel like the heart of darkness characters desperately clinging to their provincial routines to avoid facing the horror.

  10. I thought Dallas might make a move for Willy. They desperately needed a big man after Powell went down, especially because KP had just missed 10 games. Willy has been buried on the bench for Charlotte. He can’t be happy and you could get him for next to nothing. Reuniting him with KP might have been a win/win for Dallas in that KP would be happy and it might give Willy the motivation to get back to work. Getting Willie Cauley-Stein was a much better move. I didn’t there think was any chance he was available. But it is interesting that the Warriors gave up on him.

  11. I’m not a Monk fan, but I’d do a Monk for DSJr trade. It makes some sense.

    Monk always wanted to come to NY, DSJr was at least rumored to want a new start because things haven’t gone well in NY, and this is a chance for both teams to take a look.

  12. Showcasing him for a trade?

    I guess it could be. Mike Breen also mentioned that possibility. But it just occurred to me that sometimes players are held out of a game when they are about to be traded to avoid the possibility of an injury wrecking the deal. I hope that’s not the case. But it would be very Knicksy to trade Frank instead is Smith. Not only does Smith seem to fit management’s tastes more, but I think management just can’t bear the thought of some draft actually lasting three years or more with the Knicks.

  13. @15

    There are scenarios where I would find trading Frank tolerable even though I have a man crush on him, but favoring DSJr over him is not one of them. Watching a team of DSjr, Randle, Portis, Knox, Trier…. and some no defense playing scrub they brought in for Frank would give me permanent health problems.

  14. I might throw in a 2nd rounder if we could trade DSjr for Monk.

    I’m in too.

  15. No Frank. Knox with the quick hook, RJ out. Mitch’s body language is the definition of apathy. I think there is a Bob heart Abishola rerun on demand that is worth a look tonight instead of this shit.

  16. Big no to Monk. I like his age…and he’s just had a couple of nice games. But he’s shooting 26% from 3 this year. And his D is bad. We need 3 and D guys, and he’s the opposite. Maybe I’d prefer him to DSJ, but Monk might take minutes from RJ?

    Young prospects are fine but we need to clear out space to accommodate them. Pull the plug on Portis, for starters. If we can’t clear out space I’d rather take bad contracts that we can buy out and picks, since picks don’t need playing time.

  17. I like Monk as a reclamation project. He was an awful lottery pick, but will probably be a good player in a couple of years. He will likely be a good 3pt shooter, his terrible % right now makes it a good time to buy low.

  18. You can always use a guy like Monk as a spark plug scorer off the bench. If he gets hot he can light it up, and if not, take him out. We sort of already have a guy like than in Trier (who I like better), but maybe Trier is also on his way out. He’s another guy that can’t be happy.

  19. I like Monk as a reclamation project.

    I think we have had our fill of reclamation projects in recent years. If you are looking for a project, just get 2nd rounders and get them on Mitch type deals.

  20. What Mike Breen means: Dennis Smith Jr. is getting showcased. He has earned his spot on the bench with a lack of work on his shortcomings.

  21. I immediately thought they held out Frank because he might be in a trade package.
    And he would net more than Smith.

  22. bullock and dotson both have the same thing where they hustle and look like they are playing good defense but aren’t really all that good at defense

  23. randle has hit some tough shots but pj washington has played some of the better one on one defense against him we’ve seen

  24. Bridges is, like, the most mediocre young player I’ve seen in recent years. He’s not bad, he’s not good and I don’t see a path for him to ever be anything other than what he currently is.

  25. Breen’s being dumb here. “Other players have gotten away with more obvious leg kicks.” Yes, but how many of them were on replays like that?

  26. This lineup makes so much more sense on both sides of the ball. No idea why we don’t run it ever

  27. “The Knicks have to be looking for three pointers here” says Breen as Payton drives to the basket, not looking for a three pointer, and gets blocked.

  28. There was no energy in the 2nd half until Frank came into the game. Then it suddenly looked like they were trying to win. By then it was was too late. I’d say the 2019/2020 tank may have officially begun tonight. Trades are coming.

  29. Notwithstanding the playoff blather and the episodic schedule illusions and the coaching changes and the floor general returns, in reality, other teams look at the Knicks as the perfect team to break their eight-game losing streak against. That’s who they are.

  30. “The Knicks have to be looking for three pointers here” says Breen as Payton drives to the basket, not looking for a three pointer, and gets blocked.

    big sigh

  31. If DSJr doesn’t play we win this one. Brass must have thought we’d win anyways. Hopefully signifies the beginning of the tank

  32. It is weird about Smith. It was like Miller thought we can win this with Smith or Frank, so he gave Smith a chance. But then then the game progressed and that proved untrue, he wanted to win and put in Frank. It might have worked, but Morris got that weird call on the review.

  33. Randle also looked like he got fouled a lot before the Morris call too. Then suddenly the Knicks got called for everything. It’s cliche to blame the refs, but 27 to 11 FT disparity is noticeable in a close game.

  34. at least we kept pace with the cavs and hawks and warriors in the race to the bottom…t-wolves are trying to enter the fray….

    Will be interesting to see what line Pills fed Miller to tell the press as to why DSJ got some run…and Frank sat..

  35. The Knicks post game just had like a 2 minute breakdown of the only shot Frank took lol this fucking franchise

  36. i watched the nba league pass charlotte feed…holy shit their announcers are bad…not sure who the ex-player “anlayst” was but it was awful..

  37. There’s something to Frank’s plus minus numbers. He doesn’t do it every game, but he has periods like he did this game where he comes in and the team just seems to function better. By the eye test, it seems to me it matters how well the other team is playing defense on him. Toronto, for example really defended aggressively and well and he had a bad game against them. But not all teams can do that.

  38. scratch my head as to why they have not or will not throw the ball into the post to Mitch, i.e., doesn’t one person on the coaching staff work with him to get some kind of post game…our point guards don’t seem to even consider throwing it to him unless its out by the three point line and he looks to get rid of it like its a hot potato or on a pick and roll lob…He can get a jump hook off any time he wants….especially over a stiff like Cody Zeller…it’s mind boggling…

  39. I wonder how much information flow there is from Mills and Perry within the organization. If they get an offer, say, of a late 1st rounder + filler for Morris…does that offer permeate the organization including Dolan? Or can they just say no thanks, with no-one knowing the offer even came in? Just trying to figure out how much it’s just their call, versus how much input they inherently will have because others know of the possibilities? I just hate the thought of them shutting down good deals to desperately save their jobs, and playing coy that the offers were never there.

  40. I’m fine with Mitch not backing dudes down in an effort to get off a jump hook-I don’t think he has the strength or the handle- but he’s almost always athletically superior to the dude guarding him and there have to be more times where he could get the ball and score on something other than an alley oop, and nobody on the team looks to pass to him.

  41. I was at the game tonight. Charlotte did a good job packing the paint to stop Mitch. We need a pg who can shoot in the worst way. Also, DSJ has to be hurt. His explosiveness is just not there. I don’t think I’ve seen him dunk all year.

  42. @77 +1. He’s shooting 72%. 79% in 14 games this month!

    This is probably terrible stats, but even if we replaced 3 average possessions (45%) with Mitch P&Rs, that should amount to 4.3 points for those 3 possessions instead of 2.7. An extra 1.6 points. Even allowing for extra time against better defenders, him shooting a lower percentage as more plays are called for him, etc, it would still have to be a net positive? And it helps his development presumably. And engagement. And I don’t think getting him an additional 3 plays is unreasonable? Mitch’s lack of playing time, and lack of P&R plays for him, have been my biggest headscratchers of this season.

  43. there are plenty of opportunities to get mitch the ball down low…he is freakin 7ft tall…..but it appears that he has been conditioned not to expect it so he doesn’t position himself to receive (other than a lob) and all the other players don’t look to do it…

  44. Mitch is terrible catching the ball in traffic or doing any non-alley pop. I’ve noticed he drops a lot of bounce and chest passes. Maybe he’s not expecting them, but I think he really is that bad at it.

    The solution is to throw the ball up anyway and trust him to go over the other guy to get it or hit our corner threes.

  45. I watched the game but I refuse to dignify it with a recap, this being the minutes allocation for a 13-35 team:

    Mook 35
    Randle 37
    Taj 16
    BulLOCK 28
    Payton 33
    Mitch 26 – 2 shots, 5 blocks, there’s something very wrong
    Dotson 19
    DSJ 15 (WTF you guys)
    Portis 18
    Frank 3 (not a typo)

    The level of face saving trying endeavours of this FO is depressing.

  46. Hey, at least they lost. Think about it – that minutes distribution could have resulted in a win!

  47. That’s so Knicks.

    Fire the incompetent coach -> Hire a mildly competent coach but give him the task to win at all costs even if the season is already lost at 4-18 -> Throw to the media quotes about not wanting to trade Morris -> Lose anyway -> ??? -> 6th pick in 2020 draft.

  48. Fwiw the post game quotes from Miller on DSJ were along the lines of “back to backs” “quick guards” “chance to get him back in there” “he played well”

  49. That’s so Knicks.

    It’s extremely Knicksy.

    But hey, we still have a week until the trade deadline to see if they’re even dumber than we think. Fingers crossed that they’re not!

  50. They could have taken Kanter out of the doghouse and just run back last year’s team plus RJ and they would be better than this.

    Full depression will only set in if the trade deadline makes it clear that Pills are still fully empowered. My hunch is that they aren’t, but we shall see. Recovery only begins after they’re gone and if they’re still here, recovery is impossible. That’s all that matters.

  51. Miller played eleven guys last night, and he usually plays at least ten guys in a game. I like that, but I don’t see it as typical of a win at all cost coach. He also seems to try and get everyone minutes, with Smith and Trier getting a chance to play at certain opportunities. Just look at his comment “chance to get him in there”, if you doubt this. I’m pretty sure his main mission is to try and develop players, not win at all costs. That’s not the same as tank at all costs though.

    He was actually correct, Smith played well, but that’s as a comparison to how Smith played in his last few games. It’s not like he made a positive impact on the game, he just kept it going without disaster. I can see someone thinking “he still has potential” based on last night’s game. But I don’t ever see him being a positive player on defense; he’s just physically too small.

  52. There’s really only two things left of any importance:

    1. What Mills and Perry do at the deadline.

    2. Whether or not Dolan fires them after the season.

    I think it’s reasonable to expect to be disappointed on both counts. Assuming we are, we know exactly what to expect between now and the end of next season:

    – a Marcus Morris extension, likely at a cost that handicaps the team for 3+ years
    – another disappointing lottery pick
    – the next batch of Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington, and Elfriid Payton, all of whom inexplicably play more than the kids, none of whom develop.
    – maybe another season of mike miller, maybe some other bum that they select to generate false excitement.
    – another bottom 5 season

    It’s going to be increasingly difficult to feign interest. It’s like we’re watching one Steven Seagal movie on TNT, and the only other thing we can watch is another Steven Seagal movie on TBS.

  53. To be fair, giving 15 minutes to DSJ is not a crime in itself. It doesn’t make sense when you give him burn and bury Frank instead of some vet.

  54. Hubert, I think the kids will actually get better. I’m not a believer they need thirty minutes a game to do so and they do seem to be improving. I also doubt that Morris will sign an outrageous long term contract, just because I have some faith in Perry. I agree with the rest of what you wrote.

  55. I want to…I want to watch Memphis-NYK tonight….but I’m not gonna. Too much pain. Memphis got Ja and Jaren in draft. Knicks had two top 5 picks and got KP and RJ. And a #3-5 pick this summer given quality of draft probably wouldn’t make much of a difference.

    If I were GM, I’d try the following:

    Trade Deadline
    (1) Trade Morris
    (2) Trade Bullock if it somehow could net us a young player like Zhaire or Shamet
    (3) Trade Portis to Vlade for anything, convince him that Bobby spaces the floor for the speedy Fox
    Note: How Knicksy that Bulls dumped stretch 5 Portis and is starting stretch 5 Kornet @2.5m/yr?

    This Summer
    (1) Offer RJ and our 2020 pick for Beal the day the season ends
    (2) Throw money at VanVleet
    (3) Sign Bertans
    (4) Turn Mitch into a star and start right away by having him take corner 3’s. If opposing center needs to defend him, provides spacing for Randle and Beal. And he’s got skills to put ball on floor and finish. Plus a guard could set off ball screen on opposing 5 on baseline and Mitch could cut to rim for oop or other. Offer Mitch a 10m/yr extension this summer after signing FVV and Bertans.
    (5) Package Knox, DSJ, and combination of 2 Mavs pick/Morris pick to try to net a quality 3/4 type
    (6) Extend Frank at 6m/yr after signing FVV and Bertans
    (7) Re-sign RFA Dot after signing FVV and Bertans

    Our 10-Man Roster:
    1: FVV, Frank
    2: Beal, Dotson
    3: Bertans, Bullock
    4: Randle, whatever we get in aforementioned trade
    5: Mitch, room exception

  56. 1: FVV, Frank
    2: Beal, Dotson
    3: Bertans, Bullock
    4: Randle, whatever we get in aforementioned trade
    5: Mitch, room exception

    I really don’t dig this roster, 45 wins at best.

  57. Hubert, I think the kids will actually get better.

    They can all get a lot better and still never be good.

    I honestly don’t know how much lower my interest can get in this team. If Mills doesn’t get canned, it’s going to be very difficult to care even a little bit about the 2020-21 season. How many times can someone watch the same bad movie all the way to the credits?

  58. I really don’t dig this roster, 45 wins at best.

    Frank and Dotson in 257 minutes together this season have net rating of PLUS 6.2 (and that’s with a lot of Portis and Knox). Frank and Dot in 477 minutes together last season had net rating of PLUS 1.4. We should be able to put out a 2nd unit which would outscore the opponents since Bullock >>> Knox and Knox/DSJ/pick(s) trade should net us a decent player.

    The starting unit would depend on how Mitch progresses and how Randle plays with much improved spacing. The team already plays much better without bricker Barrett. FVV, Beal, Bertans are all excellent from 3 and Mitch hitting corner 3’s should enable Randle to maximize his potential. More important, Mitch in spread PnR (FVV or Beal as ball handler) could be very effective with much better spacing. Felton, Shump, JR, Melo, Tyson was a top 5 offense.

    But the real issue is there isn’t a lot of great alternatives here. The vision of Cole and RJ at the 1 and 2 is vomit-inducing. I’d rather field a young very competitive team and then hope to trade for a unhappy tier 1 star. In the meantime, team needs to invest in Mitch making significant jump and put players around him that facilitate that.

  59. The vision of Cole and RJ at the 1 and 2 is vomit-inducing.

    This is so true I should begin preparing for it now.

  60. Full depression will only set in if the trade deadline makes it clear that Pills are still fully empowered.

    But what actions would support that? The team can do one of three things at the deadline:

    1)Trade for picks and cheap young assets
    2)Trade for more established players
    3)Do nothing at all

    2 clearly means they still have the power to do whatever they want, and they are still doing short-term bullshit to cover their own asses (and/or because they don’t know how to build a team). 3 could also mean that they’re still in control and have bought into their own nonsense, or it could mean that Dolan basically won’t approve anything they do and is just running out the clock until he fires them.

    1 is the ideal circumstance, but it also means we’re asking these two clowns to do a solid for their eventual replacement. In which case Dolan should have already fired both of them and empowered some interim guy with a Do No Long-Term Harm directive. But that implies that Dolan’s judgment is in any way trustworthy.

    TL;DR: Why are we all doing this to ourselves?

  61. I am genuinely approaching a level apathy from which there is little return. Essentially this board plus the potential for a turnaround has kept me in the game. This board is still great. But there was something so emphatic about the way we struck out in free agency and lost out on Zion to a carpetbagger of a franchise. And there’s something so hopeless about looking at the players we drafted in the lottery and the ones available at the top of this draft.

    We need a regime change.

  62. Hubert, stay with us. Anyone who can so accurately compare this team/season to the hell of unavoidable Steven Seagal movies is a treasure. (I spit my coffee on that one.)

  63. I vote we change KBlogger tagline to “Abandon hope all ye who enter here”

    This trade deadline can’t get here fast enough

  64. Also, Hubert, every now and then you might run into Under Siege (the 54-win Knicks season of Segal movies)!

  65. I am genuinely approaching a level apathy from which there is little return. Essentially this board plus the potential for a turnaround has kept me in the game.

    Yeah we get these posts like clockwork every year around here, generally around now and when the Knicks do something dumb near the end of the season. Hell, I’ve made like four or five of these posts myself.

  66. Important loss for the tank, Charlotte’s point differential is as bad as ours.

    we still have a week until the trade deadline to see if they’re even dumber than we think. Fingers crossed that they’re not!

    Haven’t there been multiple reports that Dolan is back on charge? Everything that happens or fails to happen before the deadline is on Dolan. We’re keeping Morris because Dolan wants to, because he’s too impatient to do an actual rebuild.

    Seriously, we have no idea what this season could have looked like cause Dolan started mouthing off the the press about playoffs after another short term tank team was built. Perry could have been intending to flip vets at the deadline, nobody knows, can’t do that shit now. Dolan is the tapeworm sucking the life out of this blocked colon of a team. He’s been there for years, he’s fucking huge.

    No class either. He tried to send a huge flower arrangement to the Kobe fam the morning after the crash. No arrangements had been made, nobody knew what the fam’s wishes were, Dolan won’t take the hint. He got referred to LA shops who presumably refused the order, not wanting the reputation hit.

  67. to lazy to google the name…but the first Segal where he comes back from the coma and takes out the Chicago mafia…with Kelly Lebrock as wife and William Forsythe as the deranged mobster was pretty good (on the Segal scale)…

  68. I don’t think Dolan’s being an unreasonable owner this season. Almost any owner would have been ok with firing the coach after the way the team was playing. And not hiring a name coach was ok too. Now that Perry and Mills are on the hot seat he has to insist on trade approvals because he doesn’t want Pills to make bad long term decisions just to save their jobs.

  69. There’s something to Frank’s plus minus numbers. He doesn’t do it every game, but he has periods like he did this game where he comes in and the team just seems to function better. By the eye test, it seems to me it matters how well the other team is playing defense on him. Toronto, for example really defended aggressively and well and he had a bad game against them. But not all teams can do that.

    Matchups and defensive strategies can be a big part of a player’s results on some nights. Frank is very limited. On most nights teams don’t pay much attention to him. If he plays solid defense, gets a few assists and rebounds, a steal and block, and doesn’t embarrass himself shooting, that’s a pretty good game. But if you put a good defender on him or the defense is focusing some attention on him, he’s not going to do a damn thing. He doesn’t have the skill set. That was one reason after his little hot streak I said don’t be surprised if he goes into a coma again.

    But the same is true of guys like Robinson, Randle, etc… to a lesser degree.

    That’s what makes all these guys role players. Role players can have very impactful games with the right matchup, on a team where they don’t draw much attention from the defense, etc… but they have so many holes in their games they can easily be stopped by a tough matchup, great defense, or a change in defensive strategy. Or, they can be targeted by the offense if they have weaknesses on defense.

    The real stars are the guys that can do almost everything well. They can shoot 3s if you give them too much space, blow past defenders and finish at the rim if you get up on them, draw fouls, shoot off the dribble, pull up mid range, post up smaller defenders, pass out of double teams, play physical and they are ALSO versatile defenders. All you can do with guys like that is try to limit the damage or pray they have a bad night. We need a couple of players with broad skills like that.

  70. I now know that my Frankophilia was really me desperately clinging to hope. And ever since TNFH and “NahNah” made me admit to myself how pointless that was, I’ve been sinking hard and fast.

  71. Yeah we get these posts like clockwork every year around here, generally around now and when the Knicks do something dumb near the end of the season.

    But what always keeps us here? The sliver of hope that we win the lottery… The remote chance that [insert pending free agent] will leap at our cap space…that honeymoon phase of a new coach/GM during which we’re not sure he sucks so we wait to find out…

    We have none of that! Not only is there no Zion or Ja in this draft, but our selection process tells us that even if there was we’d be more likely to take his awkward teammate. What great possibility am I holding out for? That maybe we get the top pick and use it on the poor man’s Oladipo so we can have FOUR straight lottery picks that can’t shoot and will take 3-4 years just to reach a floor that could be their ceiling?

    Dare I say it, if Mills doesn’t go, the next 18 months will be the darkest period of basketball since Isiah.

    The only thing I have to root for is an injury to Luka Doncic that would mean two top 5 pics in 2021. That’s dark, man. The best thing that can happen to us if for a basketball treasure to get hurt.

  72. Dare I say it, if Mills doesn’t go, this will be the darkest period of basketball since Isiah.

    I don’t know if it’s the case (the Noah 72/4 in hindsight was probably the darkest) but yeah, this iteration is vacuuming out all the fun in basketball. I long for the Troy Williams – Lou Amundson days.

  73. the Noah 72/4 in hindsight was probably the darkest

    That was one of the dumbest things we did, but that period was still fairly hopeful. Kristaps Porzingis was 20 years old and coming off a strong rookie season. And we just drafted this “point guard” from France who could have been anything.

  74. This is the worst point yet, punctuated by a pure merc ball loss to a dreadful team and whatever political machinations that went into out of nowhere giving DSJ Frank’s well-earned spot in the rotation. When you take into account the now-clear reality that there truly is no messiah coming to the rescue, it’s never been this low.

  75. The only good thing about this season is the Knicks don’t have KP’s albatross max on the books. That’s really it.

    It’s depressing.

  76. I will be very mad if Morris isn’t traded. The others I could care less about honestly. I don’t mind if we bring back Taj, Peyton and Bullock next season.

    I would also do a DSJ for Monk trade. Neither are good but maybe a change in scenery would be good for Monk. Might as well kick the tires cause DSJ is a lost cause.

    But I don’t think this is the darkest period in the last 20 years. I mean we have no long term albatross contracts holding us back and we do have Mitch and RJ plus 6 first round picks over the next few years and at least 2 of those are likely to be lotto picks. It doesn’t look or feel like progress and Mills and Perry need to go, but a decent GM and coach could build a respectable team in the next 4 years with that.

    And that should be the goal. Respectability and long term, sustained success. Not win now, championship or bust. Get us to the level of say, The Pacers, and I think we would all be happy with that. If we got to that place, the ability to land a superstar in free agency would be easier for us since its still NYC and The Garden. But we gotta lay down the foundation.

  77. we do have Mitch and RJ plus 6 first round picks

    I reeeeally don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but:

    Mitch: still under 25MPG for no apparent reason. Space cadet all you want, but this is a complete headscratcher.
    RJ: you know I have a lot of hope for him, but he’s having a bad rookie season. Not bad as Knox or Frank, but bad.

    6 first round picks: these fools selected Knox and Frank with the 9th and 8th pick, respectively. They don’t know what they’re doing.

    So yeah, not happy about the future unless Pills are gone.

  78. Hell, I’ve made like four or five of these posts myself.

    I prefer the occasional ultimatum into the air, i.e. if the Knicks do this or that I am done. It has worked every time so far.

    Things are pretty dire. I do think they have been worse. I also think that the mood would take a sharp turn for the better if we hired a real executive so that we could talk about rebuilding. Which is something we have a lot of experience fantasizing about actually doing. Like a lot.

  79. Yes, it definitely all comes down to Mills and Perry getting fired and who replaces them. And to a lesser degree, sticking with Miller or getting another development oriented coach and sticking with that person for awhile. The last coach to last more than 2 seasons was Woodson and he didn’t last 3 full seasons.

    I’m just saying, as far as a potential path forward to respectability, I think our situation on paper could be a good one in the hands of the right person.

  80. If I’m trying to squint at RJ and see positives, I can see the following things:

    1. His 3PT shooting has been merely bad and not completely atrocious. He doesn’t need to add 100 points to his 3PT% to be viable.

    2. His FT% was on the upswing, some of which was maybe regression to the mean. But it doesn’t seem out of the question that he could get that FT% to a reasonable number.

    3. He plays pretty decent defense and is legit better than advertised on that end.

    So that’s kind of the eye-squinty optimistic look at RJ. I want to like the kid and I’m rooting for him but man does he have a lot to work on.

  81. The long-term position isn’t terrible which is what distinguishes these fools from Phil, but at the same time we pretty much know for a fact they’ll fuck up anything we have going for us if they’re the ones making the decisions.

    It’s a pretty weird place to be. Most teams with dumbass front offices have poor long-term outlooks, and most teams with decent long-term outlooks have more faith in their front offices.

    These guys are a unique brand of bad, largely due to the fact that they stumbled into a great trade courtesy of Phil Jackson making Kristaps Porzingis hate the Knicks, happened to see something in Mitchell Robinson, and seem to recognize that they’re too stupid to make any changes to out long-term position that don’t end in disaster.

  82. I think my biggest problem is that even tanking, which seems to be the consensus approach here, hasn’t worked because the FO lacks the ability to correctly assess talent.

    You know, I like Randle and Morris. They are nice second and third options, and could be 1 and 2 with a very good point guard.
    But we have no reason to be confident that if we tank again the FO will make good picks or trade down for a major pick.
    I mean, this team has several 1st round picks in recent years and they have not done anything.
    It is deflating.
    And last night, even as valiant as they were fighting at the end, you just knew there would be stupid mistakes that allowed a bad team to finish ahead.

    BTW. I think it was Dell Curry last night on the Charlotte broadcast. They made the Morris reversal seem like a dramatically obvious leg kick, which I saw as a highly debatable call. He leg moved but very little and I could see it just being an action on landing. Bad call because it kind of determined the game.
    But stupid drives and turnovers down the stretch and an inexplicable in ability to get into their offense over the first seven minutes of the 4th. Just terrible, terrible spacing, terrible play calling. terrible.

  83. And ever since TNFH and “NahNah” made me admit to myself how pointless that was, I’ve been sinking hard and fast.

    You three are all gonna owe me $100 in 2023.

  84. But yeah, unless Mills is fired,I don’t know how much attention I’ll be paying to this team in the near future.

  85. I’m a little bit ahead of most of you on the apathy curve. I didn’t watch the game again last night, and I can’t even remember now the least one I did watch…maybe 3 weeks ago?

    I probably will tonight, though. I want to see Memphis.

  86. They made the Morris reversal seem like a dramatically obvious leg kick, which I saw as a highly debatable call. He leg moved but very little and I could see it just being an action on landing. Bad call because it kind of determined the game.

    While I agree that that one was very, very minor, Morris really does do that kick the legs move constantly to try to draw bullshit fouls and he gets a bunch of them. So it makes it hard for me to complain too much about that one going against him when I do think he’s pretty consistently running that scam sucessfully (and I have no doubt that he intended to kick his legs out there, he just didn’t get much foward whip that time lol).

    As long as we’re talking bad announcing takes, Wally was ranting on the MSG postgame about how it’s completely impossible for a jump shooter to try to draw a foul and simultaneously make the shot. Has he tuned into a game in the last three years? Every good shooter has added that to their arsenal since the refs started cracking down on defenders allowing a landing space post-Kawhi injury.

  87. I can get excited about the high comedy of when the Knicks choose not to trade Morris and then he chooses to sign somewhere else. That should be a fun day.

  88. Re RJ, I think there are five common development arcs (in the tradition of “there are two kinds of people…”):

    1. Rookies who are fairly good their first year (likely eventually transcendent players, see Ja, Zion).
    2. Rookies who suck their first year, but start to figure things out by year two (Trae is an interesting example of someone who did that halfway through what otherwise would have been an abysmal if periodically exciting rookie year).
    3. Rookies who suck their first year, slowly improve, and make a jump later (often due to a change in team/system, e.g., Oladipo, Ingram).
    4. Rookies who suck their first year, slowly or periodically improve year to year, plateau at some point, and eventually have a long bench or spot starter career.
    5. Rookies who suck their first year, never figure out what they’re doing wrong or can’t figure out how to correct it all, and drop out of the league.

    I’ll note that all but the first, extremely rare, arc have “suck their first year.” My point being that RJ is right on track compared to the vast majority of NBA players, and really deserves a long leash. It’s interesting to wonder if he’ll follow arc 2 or 3 (I suppose 4 is also in play, but hope not), but not that valuable to discuss that he sucks this year. Of course he does. I don’t think anyone put him in 1.

    A lot of us seem to be moving almost game-to-game between 4 and 5 on Frank (with a few desperate hold-outs on 3), and most seem to be content with option 5 for our littlest point guard.

    And I think this is the most dismal stretch I can remember. The darkest (with a tip of the hat to Noah and Rose) was when they first collected this island of misfit toys over the off-season and we saw the season unfold before us in our heads.

  89. rj’s year hasn’t been great but this is what happens with 19 year olds… the difference between him and frank/knox is his ability to get to the basket and get to the line… and as long as his 2p% remains north of 40% he still has very good comps in his projections….

    his lack of production is being weighed down by a bad ft%… if nothing else changes and he gets to 65% on the year at the line the year starts looking just like a typical rookie year… and he’s already on his way to that result given his %s with the change in shooting motion….

    he still needs to make buckets efficiently and his upside will depend on that… he’s also essentially stopped getting assists under miller which is also concerning…. but while he’s been bad… he’s still at a level of bad where he can recover pretty easily from….

  90. and rj’s problem at a micro level is really all about recognizing help defenses or figuring out what to do when he only has a half step on an opponent…. he’s been forcing a small but consistent percentage of drives in the face of the other two and that’s been impacting his ability to finish efficiently…. against bad interior defenses he has been torching them consistently….

    just before he got hurt he integrated a little stepback midrange jumper to his game…. so the positive is that he recognizes that driving in certain situations is not going to end well… that’s good…. what’s not good is that he’s resorting to an inefficient shot instead of hunting for a better one… that’s not so good…

    but it’s not unfixable…. it’s really an experience thing… lanes close a lot faster in the nba…. a half step on a defender means much different things now than he ever experienced…. that will come and how he adjusts will determine how good he will be….

    what you can’t fix is someone unable to create anything for themselves or for others…. rj doens’t have that problem… some of the other young guys on our roster do…. and that’s what separates rj from them….

  91. With hindsight obviously signing Noah for any length of time for any amount of money was really stupid, at the time it wasn’t insane to give him a 1+1. He’d been a very good player when he was last healthy. So at least we seem to have figured out contract length. Now we just need to get contract value and player evaluation sorted and we’re good to go

  92. RJ takes nearly 40% of his shots from 0-3 ft. That’s a fantastic rate, higher than anyone not named Mitch or Taj. He’s only shooting 54% from there, (barely) better than DSJr and Frank. That’s concerning. Hopefully playing on a team not built for stone age basketball, that’ll improve.

  93. As long as we’re talking bad announcing takes, Wally was ranting on the MSG postgame about how it’s completely impossible for a jump shooter to try to draw a foul and simultaneously make the shot. Has he tuned into a game in the last three years?

    Yeah, that was the announcing equivalent of Steve Mills incompetence. He sounded like an abject fool. And then he went on an on about it, badly violating the rule of holes.

  94. People want to ascribe auteur visions to GMing philosophies, but a lot of it is just pure luck. The Pelicans won 33 games last year. The Grizzlies won 33 games last year. The Knicks won 17 games last year. Guess who got Zion and Ja, and guess who got RJ.

    The Knicks need to have a draft where they have like the fifth pick and a D-Wade falls to them. That kind of thing is little more than pure happenstance.

    As to the dark ages, even in the Shandon Anderson/Howard Eisley/Clarence Weatherspoon year, there was still the reasonable expectation that McDyess — a really good player who would easily be the best player on this year’s Knick roster — would come back healthy the next year. And they did still have Spree, Houston, and Thomas in their very early 30s and did win 37 games. That was a far better situation than this.

  95. Yeah, that was the announcing equivalent of Steve Mills incompetence. He sounded like an abject fool. And then he went on an on about it, badly violating the rule of holes.

    At least I wasn’t the only one to find that rant beyond odd. Didn’t Reggie Miller make that a thing years ago?

  96. And they did still have Spree, Houston, and Thomas in their very early 30s and did win 37 games. That was a far better situation than this.

    That season was like year 1 or 2 of Allan Houston’s 6-year, $100 million contract extension. It was a worse situation than this one by default. As bad it is now at least the Knicks don’t have the worst contract in the league on the books for a bunch of seasons.

  97. Grizzlies made a move for Clarke, trading the 23rd pick Darius Bazley (?) and a 2024 second rounder.

    Jah was dumb luck, Clarke was smart GMing.

  98. Yeah, but Houston performed to the level of the contract in 2003. It was only later, when his knees gave out, that it became an albatross.

    Having a bad contract on the books doesn’t necessarily make a situation bad and conversely, having no bad contracts doesn’t make a situation good. If last summer proved anything, it was that cap space can’t always be spent effectively.

  99. in the gaming world we have this thing called “burn out”…you get hooked on some game, play it 24/7, then after a number of weeks/months/years the little glitches/bugs/game imbalances that you were once able to overlook (they’re all “intended features”) become increasingly more annoying = RAGE…

    when that happens, most of the regular gaming folks know/understand it’s time to take a break…go play another game, enjoy a different hobby, or – god forbid – go outside (yuch)…

    just kidding, i actually love the outdoors, i just don’t make much time in my schedule for it…

    seriously though – if this shit is adversely affecting your overall peace of mind/well-being…leave it alone for awhile…no doubt we’ll still all be here and the club itself will still be a macabre mess when you return…

  100. Yeah, but Houston performed to the level of the contract in 2003. It was only later, when his knees gave out, that it became an albatross.

    Huh? Allan Houston was given the largest contract in league history at the time. He never performed to the level of that contract at any point in his career. It would’ve been terrible even if Houston remained healthy. Dude was a good 3pt and FT shooter. Didn’t really do much else. And the Knicks gave him a (6 year!) max at age 30.

    And McDyess was washed long before he got to NY. He had at least two serious knee injuries before the trade. There was no reasonable expectation for him to ‘return to form’. And they gave up Camby and Nene for him.

    It was an even bleaker time.

  101. The Knicks need to have a draft where they have like the fifth pick and a D-Wade falls to them. That kind of thing is little more than pure happenstance.

    We had that draft and we selected Kevin Knox instead of SGA. It’s not all luck.

  102. Can you imagine how much better this team would look with SGA and RJ in the backcourt throwing lobs to Mitch instead of Kevin Knox and his -0.8WS coming off the bench for 19 minutes?

  103. We had that draft and we selected Kevin Knox instead of SGA. It’s not all luck.

    SGA’s a nice player, but he’s not Dwayne Wade. Neither is Donovan Mitchell.

  104. I can get excited about the high comedy of when the Knicks choose not to trade Morris and then he chooses to sign somewhere else. That should be a fun day.

    For the Knicks, that would actually be a good outcome. More likely we sign him for 4 years at $20 mil per.

  105. Could the Knicks let the deadline pass and then to keep our favorite dawg happy do some sort of buyout deal where Morris becomes a free agent so he has his choice of playoff teams? I feel like that would be the edge of Dolan’s razor. Not even sure it’s possible but that’s where my mind is at.

  106. just looked at our schedule, we got a nice little stretch of 10 games with a bunch of opportunities for success…looks like we’re one good 6 or 7 game winning streak away from being right back in to the dog race for 8th…

    man, is rebecca good at her job (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wftcqbnxFC0)…i like miller…i like him a lot more than fiz, horny, rambis or fischer…not sure though how much of an endorsement that really is though…

    so yeah, sounds like we were saving frank for ja…that should be an interesting matchup…

  107. The Dunc’d on guys did there annual mock trade deadline, they had us trading marcus morris for avery bradley, cousins and kuzma plus bullock for quin cook.

    It was basically marcus morris for kuzma, with the idea we could trade bradley for something else too if need be. The other point was that kuzma would have a small cap hold in 2021 which allows us some flexibility to sign guys and keep him.

    the other offer was sterling brown, dragan bender, dj wilson and the pacers first round pick from the bucks….

  108. The worst Morris outcome isn’t “Don’t trade him and then fail to resign him”, nor is it “Don’t trade him and then oddly buy him out to let him pick his own team” (which is totally legal but would be really rare for a player with obvious value). The worst outcome is pretty clearly “Don’t trade him and then do resign him”. His next contract is pretty likely to be bad value in a vaccum (30+ swingman coming off career shooting year), and is certain to be a bad fit for a team that has no immediate hopes of competing. Multiply that by Dolan’s razor and there’s a certainty that we’re going to be sitting here two years from now talking about how we can dump the last 18 months left of his dead money.

  109. ”And McDyess was washed long before he got to NY. He had at least two serious knee injuries before the trade. There was no reasonable expectation for him to ‘return to form’. And they gave up Camby and Nene for him.

    It was an even bleaker time”

    Not true. As bleak as that was, no one could have felt that the sucking could last for 20 years. Now we know it can

  110. @108 Hard to Kill is the movie you’re referencing. However, his best HAS to be Glimmer Man.

  111. And McDyess was washed long before he got to NY. He had at least two serious knee injuries before the trade. There was no reasonable expectation for him to ‘return to form’. And they gave up Camby and Nene for him.

    I agree. I remember that trade as being made to bring a “star” to New York just to help sell tickets. There wasn’t an expectation he would perform at a star level. We gave up real assets for basically nothing. I hated the trade then and still do. It’s one reason I think Donnie Walsh was not one of our better GMs.

  112. Wasn’t McDyess from Layden? Naturally he then went to Detroit and SA and was a solid rotational big man.

  113. The worst Morris outcome isn’t “Don’t trade him and then fail to resign him”, nor is it “Don’t trade him and then oddly buy him out to let him pick his own team” (which is totally legal but would be really rare for a player with obvious value). The worst outcome is pretty clearly “Don’t trade him and then do resign him”.

    Yes, but the knicksiest outcome is Mills/Perry pass on getting a first round pick for him because they believe the smoke he is blowing up their ass about wanting to be here.

    The guy reneged on a team he signed with. There’s no reason to hold on to this guy based on what he’s saying in February. He’s going to go to the highest bidder and it’s crim…. don’t want to get stuck in moderation…. it’s negligent to not trade him.

  114. Not true. As bleak as that was, no one could have felt that the sucking could last for 20 years. Now we know it can

    You get it, Fetch.

    I’m not saying this is the shittiest moment we’ve ever had.

    I’m saying that, if Mills doesn’t get fired, this will be the moment where we are the furthest away from hope.

    Using that criteria, I think darkest moment of the last 20 years was when Isiah got the mid-season extension because the Knicks were fake contending for a playoff spot.

    The day we signed Noah sucked, but we were all pretty stoked about Porzingis back then. The McDyess trade was dumb, but we all thought we’d be fine once we fire this Layden guy.

    If Mills is back, we don’t have much to look forward to until the summer of 2021. That’s a long time without hope.

  115. Not sure if anyone has seen KAT’s first interview since the Kings loss, but he does not look like a happy many in Minnesota. Surely we need to kick the tyres on him? Given the draft dosen’t look stellar this year, I wouldn’t be opposed to offering up this years 1st. Not sure what else would get it done. Maybe something centred around Randle and DSJ and some filler?

  116. Yes, but the knicksiest outcome is Mills/Perry pass on getting a first round pick for him because they believe the smoke he is blowing up their ass about wanting to be here.

    The guy reneged on a team he signed with. There’s no reason to hold on to this guy based on what he’s saying in February. He’s going to go to the highest bidder and it’s crim…. don’t want to get stuck in moderation…. it’s negligent to not trade him.

    Oh I agree 100% he’s going to the highest bidder. I think I’ve made the point before that his career earnings are actually pretty low (by professional athlete standards of course), only $29M coming into this year and he’s at the age where one injury or bad year and he could be out of the league way quicker than you think. He’s definitely going to be in one last payday mode.

    So no disagreements with anything…except that I think the Knicks are pretty likely to be the high bidder. They’re in the process of talking themselves into not trading him and once they make that short-sighted decision, the logical next step is to pay what it takes to keep him. There aren’t a lot of contenders with cap space this summer and the Knicks are the only team Knicksy enough to want him on a rebuilding squad. If his market is the midlevel exception for 3 or 4 years the Knicks will happily beat it and tell themselves they got a great deal.

  117. I’m saying that, if Mills doesn’t get fired, this will be the moment where we are the furthest away from hope.

    Exactly — and what’s really finally extinguished hope is all the big name free agents last summer not really even giving an iota of thought to joining the Knicks. All that work, all the talk, the KP trade to free up the cap room — and they weren’t even close. Now all that’s left is the long slog, and they don’t have a management team in place that is remotely up to the task.

  118. Not sure if anyone has seen KAT’s first interview since the Kings loss, but he does not look like a happy many in Minnesota. Surely we need to kick the tyres on him? Given the draft dosen’t look stellar this year, I wouldn’t be opposed to offering up this years 1st. Not sure what else would get it done. Maybe something centred around Randle and DSJ and some filler?

    Towns is freaking awesome and he definitely looks like he could be next up on the young, disenchanted star who’s suddenly available. If the Knicks want to do a Strat and short-circuit the rebuild by turning a bunch of assets into a young star I do think he’s the guy they shoud be wooing behind the scenes. It’s going to be expensive though; I don’t think you’re even in the ballpark with that offer. They’d point to the Davis trade – Davis is better, but KAT has more team control and is younger. Something like Randle+RJ+this year’s 1st+2 other firsts maybe?

  119. The McDyess trade was dumb, but we all thought we’d be fine once we fire this Layden guy.

    Hell this might have been one of the brighter moments of the last 20 years. Remember when we used to think “only this one bad GM is standing in our way.” Glory days!

  120. I agree that the Knicks are likely to want to re-sign Morris, but why would they offer him more than he’s making now per year and a long term contract too? He’s good, but the market for big men is not wonderful. I would expect something like three years, $30 million.

  121. I’ve said this before but I would be ok if we traded Morris for a 1st, then brought him back for something like 2 years, $38mm (overpay in AAV but short on years), then traded Randle for picks, and started next season with Morris at the 4 and Robinson at the 5.

    Then when Morris is good again next year, I’d just trade him to another contender for another 1st round pick.

  122. Hell this might have been one of the brighter moments of the last 20 years. Remember when we used to think “only this one bad GM is standing in our way.” Glory days!

    I was going make a joke about how we are full circle with a roster of PFs since back then it was Clarence Weatherspoon, Othella Harrington and Kurt Thomas. Then I recalled we did that with Isaiah too with Tractor Traylor, Maurice Taylor and others. It must be a thing.

  123. I would expect something like three years, $30 million.

    This wouldn’t get them in the door. I guarantee you this wouldn’t be enough, it’s not even worth talking about. He turned down 3/$41M from the Clippers this past offseason and then had a career year.

    I bet the bidding starts at 3/$45M, but regardless we should want no part of it. It’s a bad idea to sign 31 year old, non-elite free agents after posting a win total in the 20s. It’s an even worse idea when the 31 year old, non-elite free agent you’re trying to sign was the MPG leader on that ~25 win team. I mean, what exactly are we so desperate to keep together? This team sucks!

  124. I mean, what exactly are we so desperate to keep together? This team sucks!

    Continuity, man. Continuity.

  125. I’m not sure I want him at all, but I surely don’t want him for more than the Clippers price. It’s a different market this summer than last summer. I don’t know if similar offers will be available. Time will tell.

  126. This blows up the “you can just sign veterans to be your role players instead of finding them in the draft” argument. Marcus Morris is a role player and he’s gonna be expensive AF.

  127. @154 Totally agree. As stupid as it would be to not trade Morris by next Thursday just to see him sign with another team in FA it would be astronomically stupider to not trade Morris and then hand him a new multiyear contract this summer.

    @158 Are you thinking of the McGrady trade?

  128. I remember watching Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry playing next to each other in December of 2007 and feeling the bleakness had set in. We’d given up so much to pay those two fools soooo much of our cap and for so long into the future. The only glimmer of hope that kept me even marginally invested was circling July 1st, 2010 on the calendar and praying for LeBron.

    Then came the decision, followed by the deflating Carmelo trade. Bleak.

    Then came the Lin debacle, cementing the disinterest the franchise has in its fans. Bleak.

    Then came the Mega Max Melo facepalm, effectively killing the Phil Jackson era before it even began. Bleak.

    Then came today, when I looked in the newspaper and saw that Dolan still hasn’t sold the Knicks. Bleak.

    (And, yes, 2013 was the Under Siege of Knicks seasons, except without Erika Eleniak jumping naked out of a cake.)

  129. I don’t think you’re even in the ballpark with that offer. They’d point to the Davis trade – Davis is better, but KAT has more team control and is younger. Something like Randle+RJ+this year’s 1st+2 other firsts maybe?

    Oh yeah no doubt the wolves price will be high. Like I said Randle would likely need to be a feature, but now that you raise possibly RJ being thrown in, I think it defeats the purpose of trading for him if you aren’t pairing him with at least RJ and Mitch.

  130. The worst Morris outcome isn’t “Don’t trade him and then fail to resign him”, nor is it “Don’t trade him and then oddly buy him out to let him pick his own team” (which is totally legal but would be really rare for a player with obvious value). The worst outcome is pretty clearly “Don’t trade him and then do resign him”.

    No the worst is don’t trade him and then sign Marcus and Markieff in some kind of package deal at a total of 30m/yr AAV. A starting lineup of Payton, RJ, Mook, Kieff, Randle

    KAT has more team control and is younger. Something like Randle+RJ+this year’s 1st+2 other firsts maybe?

    This is one of the many reasons to try to get something for Morris.
    Randle + RJ + pick (from Morris trade) + 2 Mavs picks + 2 Charlotte picks + DSJ + Knox
    Be nice if we could keep our first but Minnesota would want it. Add our first this summer and that package should be more than sufficient.
    Could KAT and Mitch co-exist like KAT and WCS in college? KAT, Mitch, FVV, Frank, Reggie, Dot plus 30m of free cap plus all of our picks would be kinda nice. Pick up a free agent or two in 2021 and be able to go over cap to re-sign RFA Mitch, RFA Frank and would have some bird rights to Reggie enabling us to go over cap to re-sign him.

  131. i would give up whatever the hell we have to give up for KAT if that is even remotely possible…at least we would have a legit superstar on the team…some respectability…if RJ has to go..so be it…

  132. A trade for KAT will take giving up every worthy asset we have +Clyde&Breen +Rebecca +Garden of Dreams foundation +Billy Joel +Celebrity Row +++++

  133. Just heard on the broadcast:

    Dennis Smith Jr has been up and down all season for the Knicks

    Has he? Has he really? Is that an accurate description of his season this year?

  134. Rebecca has leveled up. She is quite solid now. First year was a little rough but I wish that any of our young players have the same trajectory she has had. But she has to say that stuff. Part of the job.

    I am hoping Brian comes up with something supremely acid to commemorate Ja and Brandon and JJJ’s trip to the Garden….

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