Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 18, 2019

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Magic

The Knicks travel to Orlando to take on a fairly mediocre Magic team that did manage to make the playoffs last season (and who won just one less game against the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs as the Golden State Warriors). In fact, they actually won their division last season, which is kind of hilarious, since that means we actually came vaaaaaguely close to a scenario where a division winner would have missed the playoffs (not really all that likely since teams #9-11 in the Eastern Conference were also in the same division as the Magic). Up until 2015, division winners were guaranteed to make the playoffs, but they dropped that rule then, which is good.

Anyhow, Wayne Ellington moves into the starting lineup, which is good, because he really does help with spacing a lot. While RJ Barrett has quickly become the engine that drives the team, spacing has been a major concern, as well, with the Knicks really relying on Ellington and Kevin Knox a lot to space the floor for their less competent outside shooters.

With Elfrid Payton out for the game, Barrett is the point guard for the Knicks by default, but I imagine we’ll see Frank Ntilikina get some minutes tonight, as well. The Magic, with their defense-minded coach, Steve Clifford (it’s interesting how other teams have coaches who put systems into place – I don’t even like Clifford that much as a coach since he strikes me as a bit stubborn with his views of players, but he obviously knows how to work a system and get more than the sum of his parts with it), was a team that was rumored to have interest in Frank last year before they ended up acquiring Markelle Fultz for a super discounted rate and watching how Fultz plays will be another interesting thing about tonight’s game.

The Knicks could actually start thinking about .500 with a win tonight, so let’s hope that they pull it off.

Let’s go, Knicks!

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251 comments on “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Magic

  1. dtrickey

    Given our penchant for allowing mediocre guards to go off, I am fully anticipating this to be the game Fultz puts it together and goes off. Not sure whether that means thy win, but it doesn’t seem too controversial of a hot take ha ha

  2. Hubert

    There’s a game 7 of the World Series featuring two cy young award winners going head to head and here I am, giddy AF bc Frank might play 30 plus minutes tonight in a game against the magic where we’re 10 point underdogs.

    I’m fine. Everything is fine.

  3. d-mar

    Given our penchant for allowing mediocre guards to go off, I am fully anticipating this to be the game Fultz puts it together and goes off. Not sure whether that means thy win, but it doesn’t seem too controversial of a hot take ha ha

    Nah, I’m betting on DJ Augustin or Michael Carter Williams.

  4. dtrickey

    Nah, I’m betting on DJ Augustin or Michael Carter Williams.

    Good call. DJ certainly has a history against us, but MCW is a smokey for sure.

  5. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Orlando is better than NY and has serious playoff aspirations. They are going to come out ready for a game against the Knicks after a 1-2 start. The Knicks better come out ready.

  6. djphan

    orlando’s not especially big but surprisingly good on defense with vucecic taking center minutes… never paid too much attention to them but i guess not too surprising from a steve clifford team…

    hoping randle breaks out of his funk…

  7. Knew Your Nicks

    Our starters look pretty competitive once more.
    Let’s cross fingers for the 2nd unit to not fuk it up again…

  8. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I refuse to believe that Barrett is 19. He’s too smart, relaxed, and mature to be 19.

  9. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Taj hasn’t looked as good lately as he did earlier in the season. He may have hit the wall. lol

  10. Hubert

    Mike Breen is so confused about that opening basket by Randle.

    Someone remind him the game started with a technical

  11. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    That’s my BOY!!!

    It’s a long from trip from where we are to where we’re going, but baby steps! We have years to get there.

  12. JK47

    The half-court heave was nice, but the little play before where he made a wet-looking jumper off a screen was his best offensive play of the season so far. If he can do basic things like that with some sort of consistency that would be a nice start.

  13. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank 3/4 from the field and 50% from the field? KB will go into meltdown if this continues.

    I bet he’ll end the night 4-11 or something like that

  14. E

    It’s a long from trip from where we are to where we’re going, but baby steps! We have years to get there.

    Well, you know the old saying — a journey of 10,000 miles begins with a one-foot, wrong-foot 35 foot buzzer 3.

  15. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    So on brand! Way to reject the stats.

    My brand is I love stats, but hate “all in one” basketball metrics that some other people use because imo they are all garbage. But really, Barrett is remarkably relaxed and makes very few terrible decisions for someone being given such a huge role after just a handful of games into the season. That’s very unusual for 19. A lot of 19 year olds are in a coma for awhile, let alone one of the more professional players on the court.

  16. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I bet he’ll end the night 4-11 or something like that

    That’s the optimistic take.

    I’ll be happy if after he turns the ball over or misses an easy one he doesn’t look over at the bench like a scared 10 year old. That will be a step in the right direction. This is going to be a long journey. But one I think will be worth the wait.

  17. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Mitch is so goddamn athletic. I know it to be true and then I’m reminded when he does shit like that missed shot that he got hacked on. Goddamn.

  18. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Mark me down as wanting to trade Morris asap. He’s not very good at anything. There’s no point in having him and having to cope with some of the annoying dumb things he does when we have a surplus of 3/4s and 2/3s that could get those minutes without losing anything.

  19. Brian Cronin Post author

    Mitch is being featured more like I hoped he would be

    Yeah, it’s nice to see. It seems like an obvious move, but hey, at least they’re doing it!

  20. Brian Cronin Post author

    Pretty amazing that it took Mitch like 6 months to become a good free throw shooter

    I was just thinking that the other night! Man, I love Mitch so damn much.

  21. Brian Cronin Post author

    Halftime lead is nice to see, even if the game (sans Mitch) has not been a treat for the eyes.

  22. TheClashFan

    Quirky Stat of the Night so far: Frank has more 3 point makes than RJB, Ellington, and Portis combined (they are 0-7; he is 1/3).

    I need to revise my pregame prediction score by 20 points per team…

  23. Ntilakilla

    It’s insane how MitchRob fills up a boxscore without even looking like he’s trying out there.

  24. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I haven’t been paying attention to the matchups and defense, but Robinson is either too athletic for Vucevic or Orlando didn’t spend much time making a plan to defend him. It’s not like he scores in a lot of ways. They will probably make an adjustment at halftime. Hopefully he can continue to get the best of it or someone else will have to step up .

  25. JK47

    The Knicks can hang with teams like the Magic who don’t run any kind of coherent offense. They seem to play the same “hey guys go out there and score” kind of offense that we do.

    If you can whip the ball around the perimeter and set a couple of screens you can score on us pretty easily.

  26. Z-man

    Just kidding of course. P&T still has excellent writers and articles but the commentary is only good for occasional comedic value and being quick on the draw with scoops and quotes.

  27. Early Bird

    Orlando was the team Mitch destroyed last year too. You’d think they’d gameplan against him. That’s the game everyone on Orlando refused to enter the paint after two or three blocks and Mitch kept throwing slams down on offense.

  28. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Something has to be going on with Trier right?

    We have a a couple of guys that play his position or that fit his profile of 6th man, but he seems like one of the better options for instant offense on a night you are having trouble shooting. When you need a guy that can go on a streak you put him in. If he’s playing well you roll with him and if he has a rough matchup, is simply having a rough night, or is refusing to play defense etc.. you yank him. It seems like he’s in the doghouse.

  29. Brian Cronin Post author

    Coaches like Clifford really should be forced to have, like, offensive coordinators. They’re great at teaching defense and I personally dig when guys can actually teach their players stuff like Clifford, but then he seems to just shrug his shoulders on offense. It’s mystifying.

  30. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Fiz wastes way too many timeouts when a team goes on a run

  31. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Coaches like Clifford really should be forced to have, like, offensive coordinators. They’re great at teaching defense and I personally dig when guys can actually teach their players stuff like Clifford, but then he seems to just shrug his shoulders on offense. It’s mystifying.

    Better one side than neither side like NY. :-)

  32. bobneptune

    With respect to Christopher Walken….” I gotta fever….. and the only cure….. is more Frank!”

  33. Brian Cronin Post author

    Better one side than neither side like NY. :-)

    Oh, no doubt about it. But the fact that Clifford obviously has some skills makes his inability to teach offense almost more frustrating that Fiz’s just complete lack of a system period.

  34. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    That’s the kind of shot Frank shouldn’t take until 2025 and probably not then unless the 24 second clock is at 1 second . Dumbass shot.

  35. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    When a horse runs a very big taxing race they sometimes come back with a surprisingly dull effort the next time. It’s called a “bounce”. The Knicks appear to be “bouncing” off that big comeback win, though with a day off that’s not a good excuse.

  36. Brian Cronin Post author

    And on cue, Orlando made some substitutions. That lineup was like “Holy shit, none of us know how to score. Send help please!”

  37. Hubert

    Coaches like Clifford really should be forced to have, like, offensive coordinators.

    What should coaches like Fiz be forced to hire?

  38. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I like Dotson, but I don’t like Frank out there alone without Barrett. Frank can’t do enough at PG and it puts too much pressure on other players to create or Randle to make plays .

  39. dtrickey

    This team has a sneaky habit of hanging around in games. Whether they win a lot is debatable, but I guess if they can stay competitive that is a lot more than what we have had recently.

  40. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    damn this game is ugly

    Maybe sporadically there’s been some good defense, but we’ve also had some terrible lineups out there by both teams. At least the Knicks have an excuse. It’s hard to create a good lineup. :-)

  41. Hubert

    Fiz is ridiculous with these big lineups. His commitment to never trying anything small is laughable. Bobby Portis basically playing like a shooting guard so just put one in ffs.

  42. BigBlueAL

    I don’t even blame Randle for a majority of the turnovers cause he’s forced to handle the ball on the perimeter so much because the Knicks have by far the worst group of ball handling guards in the NBA.

  43. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Fiz is ridiculous with these big lineups. His commitment to never trying anything small is laughable. Bobby Portis basically playing like a shooting guard so just put one in ffs.

    I agree. We don’t have a pure PG. Either go small and run or at least have 3 play makers out there. You can’t have all these big guys on the court out their element trying to create for themselves. Randle is good around the basket, but you want him getting some easy shots inside. He’s being put in a terrible position (as are the others).

  44. BigBlueAL

    Mitch for some reason sits forever after playing only 5 mins to start the half, returns for 2 mins then is taken out again.

  45. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Yeah the Knicks looked like ball watchers and couldn’t get anything doing against this good defensive team.

    Marcus Morris is going to get benched for Kevin Knox at some point this season.

  46. Knew Your Nicks

    I thought that we were missing a closer but looks clearly that we’re missing a coach.
    Suicidal ending….

  47. E

    Every offensive set is a guard dribbling over half court and giving the ball to a 4 or 5 30 feet from the basket. WTF?

  48. djphan

    this is the kind of matchup where you need a ballhandler to create separation… just brutal offense in the 4th….

    i know bobby deserved some time cause of last game… but mitch needed 30 tonight….

    i know dotson needed some burn… but this is the kind of game you throw trier in… nobody creating anything and randle desperately needed help….

    speaking of randle.. he was tremendous…. poor in spots but overall this is the kind of game we need from him going forward….

    not a great game from rj but picked his spots…. i’ll take this as a low game for him…

  49. thenoblefacehumper

    It’s hard to look at Mitch’s minute allocation this season and not come to the conclusion that all of our worst fears about signing a bunch of mediocre vets are coming true

  50. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    19 minutes played for Robinson, WTF

    I’m not saying Fizdale was right for taking him out. I’m not even sure what he was thinking, but I was pretty sure Clifford was going to make some adjustments at halftime.

    I saw a few possessions where Vucevic was outside the 3 point line dragging Robinson away from the basket. I’m pretty sure he hit at least one 3 against him. On the flip side, Vucevic stopped paying attention to Robinson once he left basket area and the team started focusing on the paint because we were shooting bricks. Maybe that’s what Fizdale was seeing and he didn’t like it.

  51. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    i know dotson needed some burn… but this is the kind of game you throw trier in… nobody creating anything and randle desperately needed help….

    I said the same thing earlier in the thread.

    I hate to harp on it like I’m some kind of super lineup expert, but some lineups and player decisions are obviously wrong. Fizdale is constantly putting stuff out there that makes no sense at all and then things go exactly as I would have predicted. He’s in a tough spot. We don’t have a well constructed team, but you can’t be maximizing the deficiencies like Fizdale is now. I don’t think he conceptually understands that you have to try to create some balance between all the required skills on both sides of the ball the best you can.

  52. Hubert

    How about one time maybe put Barrett on the floor with a playmaker and a shooter instead of one or the other bc we’re committed to so many bigs?

  53. Early Bird

    Only Trier or Ellington can play each game and they rotate turns, apparently. Thanks coach Fiz for your completely normal, rational rotations.

  54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I think Mitch isn’t playing more minutes because if you foul out, you’re disqualified from the next game

  55. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Wally is 100% right on the post game show.

    The problem tonight was playmaking. You don’t need to have a pure PG to have a good offense, but if you don’t have one you have to have several playmakers and lot of player and ball movement in order to get good shots. We had WAY too many minutes where Randle had to do way too much because there wasn’t enough play making and everyone else was standing around. Then players were forced into creating for themselves late in the clock when they can’t do that.

    Frank is a secondary playmaker. He can make the right pass and an occasional excellent one, but he’s not going to penetrate and cause havoc. On a night with no Payton, you have to adjust the lineups and have Frank/Barrett/Randle with a couple of shooters, go small, throw in Trier or adjust in some other way.

  56. Knew Your Nicks

    Coach upgrade needed.
    Already tired from Fiz’s ‘hail Mary coaching’.
    How about
    Jeff Van Gundy ?
    Or
    Rick Pitino ?
    They’re both free and look for nba jobs.

  57. JK47

    I didn’t get to see the end of this, so I looked at the box score and I was like, fuck, why did Mitch only play 19 minutes? Was he in foul trouble? (checks boxscore) No. Shit, I hope he didn’t get hurt! (checks Knickerblogger) No, Fizdale is just a moron. The minutes went to Bobby Portis.

    So, once again we find ourselves in the situation where we’re better off losing than winning, because if we lose a shitload of games maybe at least the huckster fake ass coach will get fired and we can possibly get somebody in there who knows what the fuck he’s doing.

    #Knicks

  58. DRed

    I just don’t get why Trier is buried.

    Because he sucks? Might have been worth a try tonight because he can create off the dribble.

  59. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    How about one time maybe put Barrett on the floor with a playmaker and a shooter instead of one or the other bc we’re committed to so many bigs?

    The big lineups are a double disaster with no spacing and no pure PG.

    It’s comical. It’s not all on Fizdale. A lot of people said the team wasn’t well constructed before the season started, but he’s maximizing the problems with some of his choices.

  60. Early Bird

    So glad Portis makes $16 mill a year to beat Chicago 3x per year and suck minutes away from Mitch. Good investment.

  61. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    So, once again we find ourselves in the situation where we’re better off losing than winning, because if we lose a shitload of games maybe at least the huckster fake ass coach will get fired and we can possibly get somebody in there who knows what the fuck he’s doing.

    Sorry to disappoint you, but it will be Dolan, Mills and Perry hiring the coach again.

    Mark Jackson anyone?

  62. Hubert

    Only Trier or Ellington can play each game and they rotate turns, apparently. Thanks coach Fiz for your completely normal, rational rotations.

    That actually makes sense to me and is something I will defend Fiz on. You don’t need a 6 guard rotation. Payton and RJ are the starters. Then it should be Trier or Ellington with Smith or Frank.

  63. djphan

    i wouldnt put this all on fiz… this is what orlando does… close game down the stretch and then they put the clamps on and u need guys who make plays…

    this was by far the best defensive team we faced missing our best ballhandlers… and our offense hasnt exactly been humming… so this outcome was totally expected…

    couldve been managed better tho…

  64. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    So glad Portis makes $16 mill a year to beat Chicago 3x per year and suck minutes away from Mitch. Good investment.

    Here’s the problem I was talking about endlessly before the season started.

    Portis is more of a stretch 4 (albeit very overpaid). He fits with Robinson. That combo at least potentially creates space for Robinson inside to get lobs and put backs if Portis is shooting the ball well from outside. The problem is that Randle is the best and highest paid player on the team. So he’s going to be on the court. Unfortunately, Randle/Robinson is not ideal on offense because one does all his work inside the other does his best efficient work inside. That’s not ideal. Plus, even though Morris can hit 3s, he’s also more of a 3/4. We don’t want him creating off the dribble outside. We have obvious spacing problems with these lineups (Barrett and our PGs being weak outside shooters doesn’t help either).

    That probably why Fizdale is using Portis more than he deserves. It may be wrong, but he’s sees the spacing issues every time Randle tries to go inside and runs into a brick wall of 3 defenders and either has to take a really tough shot or turn the ball over.

    We don’t have many good options. It’s like management just looked at players in isolation and took the best one available without ever even considering the skill set or fit.

  65. Hubert

    It’s not all on Fizdale. A lot of people said the team wasn’t well constructed before the season started, but he’s maximizing the problems with some of his choices.

    This isn’t going to win 40 games but I think it’s blindingly obvious that we should try something like this:

    1 Payton or Frank or Smith
    2 Ellington
    3 Barrett
    4 Randle or Morris or Knox
    5 Mitch

    The fact that we’ve seen zero minutes with Barrett at the 3 but we spent the 4th quarter of a close game playing a Barrett Knox backcourt with Morris Randle and Portis is a joke and it’s completely on Fiz.

  66. Knew Your Nicks

    One thing that drives me crazy is the fact that during the last decade we go after rookie or loser coaches.
    Why the fuck hire Hornacek, Fischer, Rambis, Fizdale or even considering Steve Kerr ????
    WHY ?

  67. Owen

    Sounds like another perfectly coached game

    The way Fizdale runs this team is insane. He doesn’t have great options but he knows how to make the least out of them.

  68. Knew Your Nicks

    A few days ago j was joking by saying that Fiz should start 5PFs and tonight…Bam !!!!
    Almost 5 PFs are closing a tough one on the road !!!!
    WTF man ????
    Are you reading KB Fiz ?
    Shall i start using sarcasm emojis ?
    …..damn …..

  69. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    @168

    I’m a fan of trying Barrett at the 3 to get a shooter at the 2. I had Dotson in mind over Ellington, but I could easily be wrong and I understand what you are getting at.

    I’d be happy with Payton, Ellington/Dotson, Barrett, Randle, and Robinson. Then we have to try to figure out how to make Randle/Robinson work better.

    I want Frank in the 2nd unit over DSjr, but only with Randle and Barrett if he’s going to play some backup PG. I simply do not like guys I consider low basketball IQ players. I’m not a fan of Morris or DSJr.

  70. djphan

    what they should really try… is morris at the 4… that worked really well in boston and we haven’t visited that yet but we probably will at some point… i mean if fiz realizes that’s even an option…

    there’s some flexibility with the guys we have position wise and rj at the 3 is a nice idea too… it seems like he’s extending preseason to take a look at everyone and then he’ll cut the rotation sometime… at least hopefully… a 12 man rotation is bananas…

  71. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I like the idea of Morris at the 4 better also, but I like him with Robinson. Unfortunately that leaves you in the same position as playing Portis at the 4 with Robinson. Where does that leave Randle? He has to play. I don’t really like Portis/Randle or Randle/Morris at the 5/4 because there’s no rim protection but I guess I could live with either for a few minutes off the bench. Still, I like Portis more than Morris. Morris makes me crazy.

  72. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    What are the odds that they blow the whole thing up by trading Klay, Curry, Russell and Draymond for, like, 12 future firsts?

  73. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I wonder if the Warriors are even going to be able to trade DLO. To me he’s very overrated. I was a fan during the draft. He has some skills, but he doesn’t defend at he’s not good enough on the other side to really like him at a big price. When Klay comes back they can still make another run next year if he’s 100%. I like WCS at C. But they have some issues.

  74. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I wonder if the Warriors are even going to be able to trade DLO.

    He’s, like, 23 and making a mini-max. His contract is not immovable, not even close.

  75. djphan

    morris at the 4 probably is probably a 5-7 mminute thing… and yea mitch at the 5 is nice with that…

    the bench played nice today but overall it’s a weak unit so you need some way to stagger starters…

  76. geo

    One thing that drives me crazy is the fact that during the last decade we go after rookie or loser coaches.
    Why the fuck hire Hornacek, Fischer, Rambis, Fizdale or even considering Steve Kerr ????

    ugh, brutal truth…

    well, how did our man frank do?

    league pass preview ended, so, didn’t see the game…

    I don’t know, it ain’t a funds thing – i just can’t ever remember really wanting to watch one of my favorite teams lose a bunch of games…there just seems like so many better entertainment options – hell, doing chores around the house seems more pleasant…

    never thought I’d be rooting for the nats, but the heck with the ‘stros…

    hope both strasburg and cole shave their beards and come to new york this offseason…

  77. geo

    totally unrelated, sort of related:

    so strat – how long you gonna make us read the word: satan every single day…

    I don’t know, maybe strat – king of horses…prince of saratoga…something cool like that maybe…

  78. Bruno Almeida

    I wouldn’t sleep on the Suns, they look much, much improved with Rubio, Baynes and Saric on the lineup, they beat the Kings and the Clippers and lost by 1 point to both the Jazz and Nuggets. The Warriors have also looked like hot garbage and 3/4 of their team belongs in the G league, but still, the Suns look like a pretty interesting team.

  79. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I am so glad that those asshats in the C-suite in Houston don’t get to celebrate tonight. Fuck those clowns.

  80. Grocer

    I think Mitch isn’t playing more minutes because if you foul out, you’re disqualified from the next game

    Is that a thing now or were you being facetious?

    We have a serious spacing problem. But losing to the Magic by a couple pts under the spread isn’t an indication that Fiz is horrible, they’re just a much better team than us. I’m much more concerned that our guys aren’t committing to screens. Not running our own plays with conviction is a much bigger indictment of Fiz.

  81. Hubert

    Rubio would have been a nice veteran signing but then we’d only have been able to afford three power forwards.

  82. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    He’s, like, 23 and making a mini-max. His contract is not immovable, not even close.

    Perhaps you and the league have a higher opinion of him than I do. I feel sorry for whoever trades for him. He plays no defense and is not that good on offense. There’s a reason Curry, Green, and Thompson were one of the best teams in the NBA when Durant was out but Curry, Green, and DLO are looking so bad so far….and it’s not all that they are missing Iggy even though that is a factor. The gap between Thompson and DLO is light years.

  83. JK47

    D-Lo on a minimax makes $27.2M, and the contract runs from his age 23-26 seasons.

    We’re paying Marcus Morris and Bobby Portis $30M.

    I think I’d take D-Lo and a $2M player over those two scrubs.

  84. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Morris and Portis won’t be losing games for us at those prices after this year. DLO will be losing games for someone for years at his price.

  85. Early Bird

    It won’t happen, but:

    Start:
    Payton
    Ellington (later Bullock)
    RJ
    Randle
    Mitch

    Backup:
    Frank
    Trier (later Ellington)
    Knox
    Morris
    Gibson

    ???
    Dotson
    Iggy
    Smith

    DNP – ever, for any reason (unless against CHI)
    Portis

  86. bobneptune

    What are the odds that they blow the whole thing up by trading Klay, Curry, Russell and Draymond for, like, 12 future firsts?

    It should be like 100%. I was looking at the trade machine if we had anything sans RJ/Mitch that might interest GS for DAR.

    How many picks/swaps would the Bucks give for Curry to make Giannis happy? Or Philly?

  87. Brian Cronin Post author

    Yeah, I really don’t get why the Knicks are going big when everyone else in the league is going small. Barrett would be an excellent point forward.

  88. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Rubio would have been a nice veteran signing but then we’d only have been able to afford three power forwards.

    The story is they never liked him because he can’t shoot and would hurt spacing. ? So they have Frank, Payton, and DSJr playing PG instead. ?

    We might be an 8th seed with Rubio and some decent coaching. We’d get high level defense, good playmaking, he would get out and run, and we’d get generally high IQ playing. I’d like to see Robinson and Rubio work together a little.

  89. Early Bird

    What would people think the market for Green, Steph, DLo, etc??

    I don’t think I’d give up 2 1sts for Green at this point or Klay coming off an injury (I could see Philly trying to grab him though).

    Steph, easily 2+ picks

    DLo… maybe a first, but his numbers would have to pick up a lot before the trade deadline

    I’m not convinced any of the above will be worth their contracts moving forward.
    Steph $40 mil/yr + 15% trade kicker = ~$50 mil/yr
    Klay $38 mil/yr
    Green $23 mil/yr, but quickly declining imho

    Some competitive team will take them, but woof on the tail end of those. Also, how does a competitive team fit any of these guys in salary-wise?

  90. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I have to admit I am enjoying how mediocre the Nets are so far with the addition of Kyrie but Boston is doing just fine with Kemba replacing him despite the loss of Horford.

    Maybe Kyrie is very good, but not quite as good as people think like I said?

    Maybe Kemba is better than people think like I said?

    Maybe some of those role players the Nets gave up were better than people thought like I suggested?

    Way too early, but I haven’t seen anything to change my mind.

  91. Early Bird

    GS just opened a new stadium. I don’t think they’ll trade away the old guard yet. DLo, much more likely but I think they’d look for a win now return.

  92. Grocer

    We might be an 8th seed with Rubio and some decent coaching.

    Rubio is a fairly large long term contract for the end of his career. How much more would you have to pay to get him on a developing team? That shit is way off our win curve even if he’d agree which is unlikely. The Knicks are trying to get to sub-mediocre this year. Rubio would have been an asinine move.

  93. Bruno Almeida

    @200

    The problem with your narrative is that Irving has been absolutely phenomenal so far, he has a damn .386 ws/48 in this first 4 games lol. But the Nets built a 2 man team where Kyrie is supposed to be the 2nd guy, and the 1st guy is out for the year. I don’t know what people expected really.

  94. geo

    I love you strat :)

    yeah, you ain’t getting that kind of deep and sensitive emotional male bonding over there at posting and toasting…fuck em…

    I don’t wanna be joyful all the time…

  95. DRed

    steph broke his left hand. Probably not that bad of an injury big picture but you can put a fork in the Warriors this season.

  96. rama picked up his option

    The Knicks are trying to get to sub-mediocre this year. Rubio would have been an asinine move.

    I love Rubio and always hoped he’d be a Knick, but I agree.

  97. Early Bird

    Honestly, this game comes down to us not hitting threes. 7-31 is terrible, but within a reasonable variance. If we hit 4 more 3’s (35%) we end up with a tie score. Our 3pt shooting has been on fire up to this point (I know it seems crazy, problem is we haven’t taken many), so this was going to happen at some point.

    Other Notes:
    (1) I’m comfortable with Frank’s line of 3-8 for 7 pts, 4 rebs, 4 asts
    (2) Randle finally put together a strong game, didn’t watch but box makes it seem like he’s decided to stop forcing everything. Happy with his line
    (3) RJ with a bad game. He’s a rookie it’ll happen. I think being labeled the point guard makes him struggle, maybe overthinking.

  98. KnickfaninNJ

    It’s close to three in the morning in NJ, but I am just returned from China, very jet lagged and so wide awake and thinking weird thoughts about Fizdale. I am posting them now while they are fresh and wanting to get out of my head. So I apologize, but I may have to repost this tomorrow when the recap is up.

    I’m actually coming to his defense. I think he may actually be coaching defense first and getting good defense out of the team, and I think his lineup choices therefore are more reasonable than many assume. First the numbers. In basketball-reference, the Knicks are 24th in offense and 20th in defense per unadjusted numbers. So the Knicks are actually better on defense than offense so far this season. But wait, maybe the numbers need adjustment for the quality of the Knicks schedule. I assume this is what BR’s adjusted ratings do. So what are the Knicks’ adjusted rankings? Amazingly, they are 30th in offense and 11th in defense! So maybe the Knocks are actually good at defense and Fizdale wasn’t kidding when he said he would focus on defense.

    This make his lineups last night more understandable. The bad offense is probably more due to our guards than to our front court. So when he puts Ellington on the first unit it’s probably because he wants at least some outside shooting from his guards. On the second unit he has Knox and Portis to shoot from outside, so he can better put Frank in the lineup. When Knox, Ellington and Portis have bad nights at the same time, then we score only 83 points for the night and can’t make the other team pay for focusing on our front court defensively. When one of them gets hot, then we beat Chicago.

    What are your all thoughts on this?

  99. Early Bird

    So what are the Knicks’ adjusted rankings? Amazingly, they are 30th in offense and 11th in defense! So maybe the Knocks are actually good at defense and Fizdale wasn’t kidding when he said he would focus on defense.

    My initial thought is that the season has been too short for the adjusted numbers to mean more than the unadjusted numbers. Right now the BRef numbers for our SOS (which I assume is based on actual season results) is informed by 3 games, or 33% of why the offenses we’ve played are ranked so highly is that we were 1 of only 3 teams to play them. I’m not sure when enough teams have played each other for the adjusted numbers to carry weight, but eyeballing it the natural variance and the weight of circularity is problematic right now.

    My second thought is that teams need to play both offense and defense, so what’s the point of only teaching one?

  100. KnickfaninNJ

    I agree that the offense defense numbers are suspect because of the small number of games. But they are the best numbers we have. And when I think about the roster, I don’t think it looks like an offensive powerhouse at all. So I am still understanding Fizdale’s choices more and am more sympathetic to them than I was.

  101. Early Bird

    I agree that the offense defense numbers are suspect because of the small number of games. But they are the best numbers we have. And when I think about the roster, I don’t think it looks like an offensive powerhouse at all. So I am still understanding Fizdale’s choices more and am more sympathetic to them than I was.

    That’s fair. It’s a nice find and encouraging sign. I was overly negative in the last post.

    NBA.com which has updated rating stats up already has the Knicks up to 17th best defense (no adjusted stats available) after the Orlando game, so that’s encouraging. It’s also encouraging because of how often we’ve turned the ball over. I think that number will drop regardless of Fizz’s focus as players get used to each other, but more importantly it should make our defense even better with fewer fast breaks.

  102. bobneptune

    Morris and Portis won’t be losing games for us at those prices after this year. DLO will be losing games for someone for years at his price.

    The Morris signing just amplifies what’s wrong with the Knicks FO. Morris was completely redundant here. They would have been much better of facilitating the Bertans deal w/ SA who wanted to clear space for Morris or dropping a pick into that wasted $$$$ slot.

    They couldn’t use a floor spacer and stone sharpshooter like Bertans a career 41% 3 ball shooter…..

  103. Brian Cronin Post author

    They couldn’t facilitate a Bertans deal, because they used up all of their cap space on Day 1. They only were able to sign Morris because Bullock showed up hurt.

    But yes, in general, their roster management and cap space usage is terrible. Luckily, they still drafted Mitch and were smart enough to FINALLY tank correctly and were rewarded with Barrett. Having guys like Mitch and Barrett paper over a whole lot of incompetence.

  104. Farfa

    Guys, I’m very sorry but I had a little problem at work, so it’s very likely I can’t write the recap. Sorry :(

  105. Frank

    sorry guys i totally messed Knox up with my post about how he had improved his shot selection. I only watched a little of the game, but so. many. contested. off-the-dribble. midrangers.

  106. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    The sky isn’t falling, but I’m very concerned about Fiz and his roster decisions. It’s only year 2 of a rebuild with a new coach and a staff with more of a lean toward development, but his rotations are starting to make me feel like he has a poor feel for the in game flow. Last year was full of head scratchers, but I was willing to give him the benefit of doubt- especially considering the roster. But last night- and I get the injuries- we couldn’t buy a bucket, but Fiz kept Trier nailed to the bench! What in the entire fuck? Ellington was off, the rest of the team wasn’t hitting the side of the barn for the most part, and you keep your one guard who can put pressure on the defense on the bench? To further compound that, you give Knox and Dot burn at the 2? Knox has a hard time guarding SF’s! What in the hell makes you feel like he should be at the 2?

    Sorry Fiz. We couldn’t hit a shot, but last night was squarely on YOU. I do like the idea of starting Barrett and Ellington with the injuries at PG though. I think that can work in a pinch. But last night’s rotation was inexcusable.

  107. alsep73

    Guys, I’m very sorry but I had a little problem at work, so it’s very likely I can’t write the recap. Sorry :(

    Farfa, your real life should always take precedence over this accursed team we all stupidly follow. I look forward to the recap of the next game, but don’t sweat this one.

  108. KnickfaninNJ

    Farfa, I 100% agree with Alsup. Take of your work stuff and we will hear from you whenever. We can wait.

  109. Hubert

    The Knicks are trying to get to sub-mediocre this year. Rubio would have been an asinine move.

    Um, no they’re not. They are absolutely trying to copy the Brooklyn plan and be decent.

    The problem is they’re trying to do it with a coach who gets the least out of players instead of the most. And they signed the wrong vets.

    Rubio would have been a really nice signing. Him and Barrett in the backcourt with Randle and Mitch up front plus a shooter in between would be respectable.

  110. alsep73

    Rubio would definitely be doing more for us than Frank, Payton, or this currently (and maybe permanently) broken version of DSJ have been or are likely to. But he’s making $17 million a year for 3 years on a playoff team that could go on a run this year if everything breaks exactly right. The loser’s tax we would have had to pay to sign him takes that salary up over $20 million, and/or adds another year. Rubio would have made sense a few years ago when we could theoretically could have traded Rose for him. With where we are in the rebuild and the kind of contract we’d have needed to give him, I don’t think he makes sense now.

  111. thenoblefacehumper

    1. Rubio got three guaranteed years, which was a big no-no for our front office this offseason. You can think whatever you want about that strategy (my thoughts on our offseason in general have been made clear), but that likely precluded any possibility of a deal.

    2. This Trier thing makes no sense whatsoever. Ellington had nothing last night and our guards all suck. I don’t need a refresher on the holes in his game, but he can do some things and there’s an urgency to determining what exactly we have in him. The presence of mediocre vets combined with Fizdale being on the hot seat is leading to some dumbass decisions.

  112. bobneptune

    They couldn’t facilitate a Bertans deal, because they used up all of their cap space on Day 1. They only were able to sign Morris because Bullock showed up hurt.

    They could have made all sorts of moves if they hadn’t signed 3 other PF/c after Randle. They only needed one of Portis/Gibson/Morris and if they thought they needed an extra big body they could have signed Vonleh/WCS for < 2.5M. Everybody on the planet knows Knox is only a 4 except them…..

    They could have kept 20M in dry powder that way…..

  113. Hubert

    Rubio is getting $17mm a year for his age 29, 30, 31 seasons. That’s perfectly fair and doesn’t preclude you from trading him. I don’t see how we would have had to pay a “shitty team premium.” He signed with a team that was right with us in tank wars.

  114. Hubert

    I like Rubio. I’m not saying it’s a terrible mistake we didn’t sign him. But…

    A) let’s not pretend Mills and Perry signed all these vets to tank. They were trying to do what Phx is doing.

    B) compare and contrast the two approaches. The Suns were terrible. They signed a good PG and traded for a forward who can shoot. Now they look good. The Knicks signed a bad PG and 4 forwards who can’t shoot. We still suck.

    Jesus, the Knicks gave $48 fucking million to Portis, Morris, Gibson, and Payton to make a playoff push! How much better off would they have been signing Rubio for $17mm and renting the other $31mm or just not using it?

  115. Owen

    Box scores are crazy. Eric Paschall, who I actually loved at Villanova, was a +19 in an 11 point loss for the dubs. He plays for the dubs. Aron Baynes, who appears to be the best offseason signing made by any team, went for 24/13/7.

    Joel and KAT have some major beef that I don’t understand.

    Kevin Love had 20 boards

    Giannis clearly over the hill

    Malcolm Brogdon same player as he was in Milwaukee in Indiana but better

  116. Brian Cronin Post author

    A) let’s not pretend Mills and Perry signed all these vets to tank. They were trying to do what Phx is doing.

    B) compare and contrast the two approaches. The Suns were terrible. They signed a good PG and traded for a forward who can shoot. Now they look good. The Knicks signed a bad PG and 4 forwards who can’t shoot. We still suck.

    Jesus, the Knicks gave $48 fucking million to Portis, Morris, Gibson, and Payton to make a playoff push! How much better off would they have been signing Rubio for $17mm and renting the other $31mm or just not using it?

    I think it’s clear that they felt as though they “had” to spend all the money on players after making clearing out so much cap space a big feature of the KP trade (and having Dolan talk about how many free agents they were going to get).

    They’re not the smartest people.

  117. DRed

    They couldn’t facilitate a Bertans deal, because they used up all of their cap space on Day 1

    We keep doing this! Rushing to sign bad/mediocre players is a big part of what we do

  118. E

    I think it’s clear that they felt as though they “had” to spend all the money on players after making clearing out so much cap space a big feature of the KP trade (and having Dolan talk about how many free agents they were going to get).

    They never should have even made the trade unless they had a bond word from Durant’s agent that he was signing here. The very fact that they had a backup “plan” for the money negates the premise of the trade.

    It makes it very hard to rebuild when you hit on the 4 pick, albeit with imperfections, and you wind up trading him for essentially nothing. Barring injury, the non-protected first is going to be at best late-lottery and the 2023 one will probably be in the high teens or twenties. And DSJ sucks. It’s a pupu platter return. You can’t trade a 22 year old playing up to 4 pick quality for a pupu platter.

    They should have just waited KP out. He’s worth more now than when they traded him. If he gets a max offer sheet, hold your nose, match it, thank the cosmos for your savings, and deal with it.

  119. bidiong

    Off topic, but how much of a douche is Cole wearing a Boras cap after the World Series. Way to slap your fan base in the face on your way out the door.

  120. Hubert

    @229 & @230 yeah, and I’m just saying that this strategy, which is dumb, could have actually worked, but they were dumb in their execution, too!

    Didn’t Rubio sign on Day 1? I have to feel like the shitty team tax was baked into that contract. He signed with the Suns.

    If we had signed Rubio, Ellington, and Randle we would have the potential to be decent this year and still had around $30mm++ left over to do whatever we wanted.

  121. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If he gets a max offer sheet, hold your nose, match it, thank the cosmos for your savings, and deal with it.

    Deal with it, like every other overrated player the Knicks have thrown max money at over the last 20 years. Great strategy.

  122. thenamestsam

    Biggest thing I don’t understand from Fiz is why Portis/Mitch is a pure jobshare at C. Portis’ stretchiness is a nice fit with Mitch and I don’t see Portis’ D as any more of a liability at the 4 than the 5. I agree with Strat that Mitch/Randle is an awkward combo (despite a couple nice early connections last night) and it’s depressing Mitch’s minutes, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. Not giving Mitch sufficient reps is just not an acceptable outcome, his development is one of the 2 or 3 highest priority non-negotiable goals for this Knicks season. 19 minutes in a game where he wasn’t in foul trouble and was really productive when he’s out there is just coaching malpratice.

    Trier being benched in a game where we desperately needed someone to grab the reins on offense and just make a damn shot was also a head scratcher but other people have harped on it so I”ll let it go. Orlando is a tough defensive team and that was an ugly game, as surely many of them will be this year.

  123. ptmilo

    Farfa, your real life should always take precedence over this accursed team we all stupidly follow. I look forward to the recap of the next game, but don’t sweat this one.

    quit your fake job tiktoking rock opera arias and get us 2000 words on frank’s heave or resign in shame

  124. ptmilo

    Malcolm Brogdon same player as he was in Milwaukee in Indiana but better

    it’s only a few games but his extreme point guardiness has been kind of a surprise. i mean, the guy is 11.7 / 36 assists on 1.8 turnovers. obviously this won’t keep up, but Bogues is the only player to ever average even 10 assists / 36 and less than 2.3 turnovers in a season.

  125. Owen

    Off topic, but how much of a douche is Cole wearing a Boras cap after the World Series. Way to slap your fan base in the face on your way out the door.

    Apparently he was ripshit that they didn’t put him in the game after having him warm up. Which, considering he is the best pitcher in baseball and was ready to go, seems fair.

  126. Brian Cronin Post author

    Off topic, but how much of a douche is Cole wearing a Boras cap after the World Series. Way to slap your fan base in the face on your way out the door.

    That was one of the most out of nowhere douchey things I’ve seen from an athlete. Typically, douchey athletes sort of set up their douchiness. This was just out of nowhere.

  127. ptmilo

    btw, simmons should absolutely get suspended for putting KAT in a rear naked choke when he was flat on his stomach. your peacemaking duties officially end when your opponent is kissing hardwood.

  128. ess-dog

    So Fiz is definitively bad at coaching. Now comes the part where we wait out his final death knell while his body twitches on the gallows.

    Mills is clearly terrible, but I want to give Perry a little more time, mostly because he took Mitch and believed in RJ. This year’s signings were unremarkable, but they don’t mean much in the long run, especially if he flips someone of even one draft pick. Hey, it’s Dolan’s money, so he has my blessing to just flush it down the toilet if he wants to.

    But on the sidelines, there’s too much idiocy to even get fully into. But first and foremost, how do you not force-feed a guy like Mitch for 30-plus minutes a game and play inside out? Two-man game/pick and roll them until they literally start throwing furniture at you? And then find your shooters?

    I think Fiz is gone 20 games into the season. I know, “roster construction,” etc etc, but this guy is clearly out of his depth and isn’t helping the young players at all.

  129. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    That was one of the most out of nowhere douchey things I’ve seen from an athlete. Typically, douchey athletes sort of set up their douchiness. This was just out of nowhere.

    I don’t get it, really. Is this the way Boras informs the other franchises know that Cole has no loyalty to the Astros even if they make a big offer? Couldn’t he do that via phone call? Or maybe this was more an authentic “fuck you” that is now in the public sphere so its churlish earnestness can’t be questioned?

  130. alsep73

    I don’t see how we would have had to pay a “shitty team premium.” He signed with a team that was right with us in tank wars.

    Sorry, I had a brain fart earlier and thought he had signed with the Jazz, forgetting he had previously played in Utah. So, yes, that contract would have been roughly what we could have gotten him for. But the third year — and, really, the guaranteed second — would have precluded us from signing him because Perry and Mills want to keep rolling over the cap space until some sucker superstar takes it. Good luck, fellas.

  131. bobneptune

    Not giving Mitch sufficient reps is just not an acceptable outcome, his development is one of the 2 or 3 highest priority non-negotiable goals for this Knicks season. 19 minutes in a game where he wasn’t in foul trouble and was really productive when he’s out there is just coaching malpratice.

    It is beyond understanding why mitch played 19 minutes last night.

    The rotations are pretty simple…. Mitch/Randle and RJ get 32 minutes per night because they are your best core players. Everything else works around that. Randle has played about 35% of his career minutes as a small ball 5. RJ swings between 2-3. Knox and Portis swing off the bench between 3/4 and 4/5.

    So now you need to find 24 minutes from the 2 and 48 minutes from a point. Basketball really isn’t hard…..

  132. JK47

    Well, we’re clearly seeing the opportunity cost of the ill-conceived 1+1 strategy. We’re getting very little out of the mediocre vets, they’re eating into the playing time of the young guys (well, Mitch anyway) and we’re still terrible. We could have and should have done other, more creative things with the cap space but I guess you gotta jump on the Taj Gibson and Wayne Ellington opportunities when they arise.

    This is a 20-something win team and you could have accomplished that and picked up some draft picks in the process by being smart and stashing a couple of bad contracts, like all the sane people here wanted to do. Instead we did this.

    This FO doesn’t make the big catastrophic blunder like Old Mustache Guy, but they bleed you to death with endless minor mistakes. Either way the result is kind of the same. Hopeless mediocrity with no end in sight.

  133. Hubert

    But the third year — and, really, the guaranteed second — would have precluded us from signing him because Perry and Mills want to keep rolling over the cap space until some sucker superstar takes it. Good luck, fellas.

    I know you’re just presenting Mills/Perry’s thoughts, not advocating them yourself. But guaranteeing a 3rd year for Rubio wouldn’t have even hurt. Even with his $17mm we’d have ~$40mm in salary committed to that season.

  134. Hubert

    Today is the day it fully sunk in that this team is:

    5 shooting guards, 5 power forwards, and 1 center; and that the task of making that work falls on the worst PG troika I’ve ever seen and a coach who is a nincompoop.

  135. alsep73

    Hopeless mediocrity with no end in sight.

    I wouldn’t go quite that far, if only because RJ looks great, and Fiz is giving him all the minutes he can handle. Plus, if we remain this lousy, we will hopefully (give or take the new flattened odds) get another high pick — preferably a point guard who combines most of the individual things our three-headed monster can do (passing, defense, penetrating) while also maybe knowing how to shoot? An RJ/Mitch/stud young guard core is good enough that the mediocrity of the front office won’t hamstring us too much.

  136. ess-dog

    because Perry and Mills want to keep rolling over the cap space until some sucker superstar takes it. Good luck, fellas.

    This is exactly why they do everything they do while putting the cart before the horse (in essence, signing the Mo Williamses of the world before Lebron has signed on). It’s a strategy that keeps them from maximizing other opportunities.

    But they could still get lucky by having RJ become very good while still finishing in the bottom-4. We could end up with 3-5 great young players and lots of cap space in 2021 despite not giving the team significant chances to get better right now.

  137. Knew Your Nicks

    Sign me on the tanking squad….till Fiz is Out.
    Getting Lucky wins by unorthodox gambling basketball by a not yet, if ever proven coach won’t help us build a TEAM.
    I give Fiz that he makes them play hard for 48m especially on D.
    But he’s incapable of finding the right schemes to maximize team’s potential and get the W.
    Also he seems ‘dangerous’ for the development of the youngsters. Strange DNPs, strange minutes distribution, strange rotations….
    His rotation heroics would have been acceptable if they had been done by a Proven Experienced coach. But when you’re unable to play ‘silent night holy night’ don’t try to impess me by playing Paganini.

    Maybe Fiz is the perfect coach for a tanking team. But he doesn’t look like a legit coach to me.

  138. rama picked up his option

    Hopeless mediocrity with no end in sight.

    I’m with Al on this. RJ showing that he’s potentially a very good player is a big deal for us. We have two years where our three best players will not be making much money, and during that time we’ll have a good amount of cap flexibility and some pretty high draft picks. There is also the outside chance we get value from another of our young players — Knox as a stretch 4 who can rebound and not be terrible on D, for instance, would provide surplus value.

    Given the moves we’ve made, we’ll probably blow it – not as badly as OMG (Old Moustache Guy), but in some miss-the-point meh kind of way. Still, if someone like Masai came in tomorrow and brought a good coach with him (or elevated Miller), I think we’d all feel pretty positive about where we’re at.

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