271 thoughts to “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Pacers”

  1. I’m guessing at some.point in the third we’ll be down by at least 15…although, the Pacers really look out if it so far…

  2. At least Allen has some semblance of a real jump shot…all our other point guards (use that term loosely) do not…

  3. Pulling Mitch after Sabonis scored two straight buckets on him for Taj is a special kind of horseshit.

    He immediately went down and dunked again of course.

    So stupid.

  4. June 23, 2016 at 8:42 pm
    He’s not the boss his Dad was, but I bet Sabonis has a solid NBA career unlike a bunch of these other guys

    looks like I was a wrong

  5. It’s amazing that Sabonis got 1600 minutes with as bad as he was as a rookie. And then took off his second year.

    Good news on RJ at least.

  6. Dotson has been on an upswing

    He missed the entire summer because of surgery and barely made camp. That’s a major bummer. Summer is when you have the time to work on your game the most. He’s probably just getting back to the point where he left off last year.

  7. I was just looking at Michael Porter’s numbers for Denver. I knew he was playing well from watching parts of some games, but that’s a pretty good year so far for a 1st year player.

  8. As badly as the Pacers played in the 1st half I’d be shocked if they don’t end up winning by 10-15 points against our sorry squad.

  9. Is there a stat for how many times Randle spins into traffic and turns it over…he has to lead the league in that category…

  10. Dotson sucked last year

    No he didn’t.

    The team was better with him on the court and some of our very best lineup combinations included him.

  11. Porter Jr. might have been the top pick in the draft if he was healthy, so it’s no surprise that he’s playing well. He would have been a nice Embiid-like gamble drafted higher…but the injury fears were even more extreme.

  12. Is there a stat for how many times Randle spins into traffic and turns it over…he has to lead the league in that category…

    Yeah. It’s really amazing. Get the ball to him while he is moving around the hoop and he generally gets a great look. Let him initiate from the three point line and it’s often disaster.

    It’s like putting Melo in Carlos Boozer’s body.

  13. Dotson is a nice young two-way bench player.

    The team is playing very hard tonight. Some bonehead plays, but they are mostly moving the rock on O and getting into guys on D.

  14. I missed the first quarter but Smith played some very good defense in the second. It’d be nice to see him make that effort every night. Of course it’d be nicer to trade him for a decent 2nd rounder given that his shot seems completely busted.

  15. Dotson is a nice young two-way bench player.

    +1

    I agree. He’s not really good at anything yet, but he’s fine coming off the bench. I wish he was rebounding better. I used to think that was going to be a strength. Maybe it’s partly role, but still.

  16. Hopefully, Smith’s game will attract some continued interest from the T-Wolves given that’s the rumor to begin with.

  17. Dotson is a nice young two-way bench player.

    He’s basically the same age as Payton and is as bad an off the ball defender as there is on the team. Misses rotations, gets beat back door, etc… all of the time. Given his mediocre shooting he’s about as replaceable as you can get.

  18. The team was better with him on the court and some of our very best lineup combinations included him

    Did you watch the Knicks last year? They were terrible. Maybe Dotson sucked somewhat less than some other Knicks who also sucked, but that doesn’t make him good. You like real plus minus? He was the 79th best shooting guard last year. He sucked.

  19. He’s basically the same age as Payton and is as bad an off the ball defender as there is on the team. Misses rotations, gets beat back door, etc… all of the time. Given his mediocre shooting he’s about as replaceable as you can get.

    I’ve seen some embarrassing plays here or there, but the defense has been better with him on court than off court “all 3 years” of his career and NBA Real Plus Minus has him as a solid plus defender this year.

    Damyean Dotson NY 42 17.5 0.18 1.17 1.35 0.98

    Obviously these are far from perfect measurements, but they sure don’t indicate he’s bad.

  20. Maybe Dotson sucked somewhat less than some other Knicks who also sucked, but that doesn’t make him good.

    It depends on your definition of “good”.

    I said he was fine coming off the bench and wished he didn’t miss the off season because of surgery.

    I do like Real NBA Plus Minus as a check against things I don’t think are valued properly (or at all) in the boxscore, but there are many single season quirky results. I like looking at multiple years.

  21. It kills me when I see that Mitch has 1 FGA and Randle has 13 FGAs.

    Randle takes shots he shouldn’t take and Mitch only shoots lobs and put backs (which vanish on some nights). Plus, IMO they still don’t seem like a very good fit together because they both do their best work at the rim. It’s time for Mitch to break out that jumper he’s working on to see what he can do in game competition. It’s not like we need to win.

  22. I do like Real NBA Plus Minus as a check against things I don’t think are valued properly (or at all) in the boxscore, but there are many single season quirky results. I like looking at multiple years.

    then maybe it would interest you that dotson’s career defensive real plus minus is negative. and so is his career defensive rapm. it’s a lot easier to have a decent but illusory raw defensive plus minus when you are rotating with guys like timmy and trier.

  23. then maybe it would interest you that dotson’s career defensive real plus minus is negative. and so is his career defensive rapm. it’s a lot easier to have a decent but illusory raw defensive plus minus when you are rotating with guys like timmy and trier.

    The first point is a fact I already knew (though the 3 year average is not bad and he’s plus this year) and I certainly understand the last point, but there’s a difference between saying he’s a good player or plus defender and saying he’s fine coming off the bench (my view) or not terrible on defense when someone else claims he is.

    I think you are smart enough to understand and know that all these numbers are bullshit, but in general they can help when you know the flaws and issues with each.

  24. It almost seems like this team’s goal is sustained mediocrity. Randle, Morris, Schroeder & Drummond (if they can pull those guys).
    Then they just add awful (except Mitch) young players to the mix and voila!
    It’s like they think that if they can just notch a 42-42 season, then two huge stars will come.

  25. They may max Morris and claim they finally got a max player.

  26. They seriously might as well just trade Mitch and complete this across-the-board .100 WS48 team they’re going for. Mitch deserves better anyway.

  27. this is who you want to extend?

    These guys probably are going to give him a big 3 or 4 year deal unless someone offers us a lot more than seems likely. I think we should start getting used to that idea.

  28. okay we are one more win away from being in on the derrick rose sweepstakes

    One thing is sure, if we did get Rose he’d play ahead of Frank. Every PG in the league gets that opportunity no matter how old or bad. :-)

  29. it’s odd they don’t put mitch out for late game defensive possessions. I know he’s foul prone but Bobby Portis is Bobby Portis. At least put Taj out there.

  30. I would have wagered a lot against the Knicks when they fell behind. Morris won this game. YMMV as to whether that is a good thing.

  31. Victor Oladipo is off to a terrible start in his comeback.

    2 for 14 tonight

    2 for 8 in the last game

    That’s a big part of why we won.

    He has plenty of time to get his legs, rhythm, and confidence back, but the Pacers aren’t really serious unless he’s 100% at the end of the year.

  32. I think you are smart enough to understand and know that all these numbers are bullshit, but in general they can help when you know the flaws and issues with each

    numbers are neither bullshit nor complete. just like your cone cells. most people who like to give sermons about the limitations of the fruits of data seem to conveniently find themselves with pockets fully of cherries when it comes time to argue about their favorite looking trees.

  33. I’d like to credit our defense, but the Pacers missed a ton of bunnies and wide open shots.

    But winning every once in a while is ok I guess

  34. The real problem with this win is Mills is going to tell Dolan this is why he needs to hold on to Marcus Morris, his ace free agent signing.

  35. numbers are neither bullshit nor complete. just like your cone cells. most people who like to give sermons about the limitations of the fruits of data seem to conveniently find themselves with pockets fully of cherries when it comes time to argue about their favorite looking trees.

    I hear you.

    I’ve been down this path for 40+ years in another sport.

    Basketball stats are a lot like speed figures in horse racing. There are 3-4 well known high quality public speed figure makers in the country. Even though they are all measuring the very same thing (how fast the horse ran given the track conditions), they constantly disagree. Sometimes they disagree by so much you have to wonder what planet the numbers are coming from. How fast the horse ran has complexities, but it’s simpler than basketball.

    If you go to my favorite horse racing forum (where I post almost every day), you’ll see me saying the same things about speed figures I say about basketball models. If they often disagree (and by a lot), someone is obviously wrong.

    The reality is they are all wrong some of the time. They also don’t include loads of things that are significant in evaluating the horse (despite the fact that some people use them without due consideration of these other somewhat subjective factors).

    But if you understand the strengths and weaknesses behind the thinking of each of these very bright individuals, you’ll have some added ability to know who is likely to be right (or at least closer) in certain situations.

    Also, when someone says a horse is great or sucks and you disagree, you can drag out speed figures and say “look, I knows these things are very flawed, but his figures are so fast there’s no way he sucks” and vice versa.

    I’ve been arguing that on racing forums for longer than I’ve been arguing the same things here. And I believe that’s the right way to think about it. I’d rather be approximately right most of the time than precisely wrong more often.

  36. I thought it was a quality win. Not good for the tank, but any time a team goes out and busts its ass on D for 48 minutes, I’ll live with the outcome.

  37. I doubt that Mills/Perry are seriously considering committing to Morris on a long-term deal. I just don’t think they want to give him away for nothing or take back any long-term salary. Any team trading for him has to give back salary. Contenders are mostly capped out and/or have no desirable draft picks. Non-contenders probably aren’t all that interested in a rental. It’s possible that the FO is suggesting that they aren’t sure about waiving him after the deadline so that contending teams get more anxious.

  38. The real problem with this win is Mills is going to tell Dolan this is why he needs to hold on to Marcus Morris, his ace free agent signing.

    My gut feeling based on what I’ve been reading is that they are asking for a decent 1st rounder and an expiring contract and are being offered a late first rounder and a multi-year contract. It’s possible signing him back is just some “fake news” trying to make the Knicks look less desperate to move him for something. Who knows?

    Edit: I see Z-Man basically beat me to the punch on that.

  39. Four months is a long time for.a professional basketball player to be away from his family. Apparently.

    Strat that is an interesting post which does shed some further light on your thinking,

    But this is my favorite post from you ever…

    They may max Morris and claim they finally got a max player

  40. @88

    Thanks Owen.

    I know I’m not the forum favorite here. The same is true on the horse racing forum, but I get a little more respect there because some big names in the sport agree with me there a lot of the time and I have my own database that I can use to make my points better. I know a lot more about horses than basketball players. lol My goal is not to annoy people, disagree with everyone all the time etc.. It’s just to express views that I think will be helpful that maybe aren’t getting enough consideration. Unfortunately, it often turns into a much more combative situation than I intended because so many people disagree with me. lol

  41. I mean we’re dealing with the braintrust that gave Ron Baker a player option

    We should bring Ron Baker back and play him at PG ahead of Frank.

  42. most people who like to give sermons about the limitations of the fruits of data seem to conveniently find themselves with pockets fully of cherries when it comes time to argue about their favorite looking trees.

    Nicely done.

    I watched some of the game, and much of the time they seemed like a professional basketball team, which I confess to having enjoyed. But knowing how counter productive it all is, I still had to turn it off before the end.

  43. To be fair, Perry seems decent on the open trade market. Is there a trade we’ve “lost” since he’s been on board? You can’t say that about any other administration, for sure. I’ll give him a chance here.

    9th best player in the draft? Depends on actual “best” versus who will be there. Toppin might still be there at 9. Deni Avdija and Killian Hayes would be interesting high upside risks at 9.

  44. It is a shame that Portland can’t ever seem to figure out how to really build around him, because Lillard is indeed playing like a mega superstar.

    They should have cut ties with McCollum a long time ago, to try to add talent before Lillard’s monstrous extension kicks in, but at this point I think it’s a lost cause. If they traded him now for expirings they would have one season to find someone, but unfortunately they also can’t really attract free agents.

  45. I mean are there GMs that get ripped off a lot? I feel like most bad trades are just teams acquiring assets that the team isn’t in a position to cash in on — usually bad teams trading to add cap room or non superstar veterans.

    Yes, there are sometimes just awful trades that even the pundits can’t figure out such as the Bargnani trade, but they are rare and frequently have alternate explanations… Like, was the Bargnani trade a basketball trade? I thought it was Carmelo / CAA making the Knicks bring in a power forward whom they repped so Melo could go back to playing small forward and then Masai cashing in on the Knicks’ status as a vassal state of CAA.

    And yes, there are trades that people on this board largely agree are bad because we tend to be more analytics oriented, but production =/= trade value. If KP was playing right now as well as he was before getting injured in NY, Dallas could likely flip him for a package close to the one they gave the Knicks even though most people here consider even pre-injury KP far from a max player.

  46. nice game…no doubt at this point in time I’d rather have morris on the team than randall…

    DSJ looked okay out there…totally different level of engagement…

    we are on course for yet another weird off-season…

  47. Lillard is playing great on offense this year.

    Portland was pretty close to contention last year, but when Nurkic went down that really blew up their season. It’s also hurting this year. They also lost Harkless and Aminu, who I think were the exact kind of role players they needed to defend and do other things behind Lillard. I think what they need is a 3rd star caliber player that can defend because their #1 and #2 are both very good, but not quite as good as the very best teams and suspect on defense.

  48. I thought it was Carmelo / CAA making the Knicks bring in a power forward whom they repped so Melo could go back to playing small forward and then Masai cashing in on the Knicks’ status as a vassal state of CAA.

    Interesting take.

    It’s likely they were thinking of Bargs as some kind of Amare insurance policy because he was always injured. I remember reading that in one of the major NY tabloids. What a horrid deal that was. Masai should have paid a 1st rounder to move Bargs instead of all we gave up to get him. And this is coming from someone that thinks Bargs wasn’t quite as bad as his reputation very early in his career.

    I’m not privy to how it all works with agents, but I’m sure some deals are done to please agents that represent other players the team already has or is interested in. That’s why they sometimes don’t make sense to us.

  49. Please god…. trade Morris this week.

    Philly might be a little more motivated after getting spanked by Boston last night……

  50. It was funny reading this thread this morning.
    Chose to watch and not post last night.
    I frankly see little chance of upside tanking. These guys can’t pick for their lives.
    So seeing young players hustle and play hard and make plays was actually fun.
    The Pacers missed some shots, but you’re doing something on defense to hold a team that averages 110 under 90. It’s just unfair to say it was all bad shooting.
    So, the Knicks actually play defense, contest shots and crash the boards.
    Yes, the Knicks miss shots, but they are the best OReb team in the NBA and I’m going to have some lemonade from those lemons.
    Randle was a beast at times and Morris’ shot was sweet late. Those threes down the stretch were beautiful. His average from the 3 is no anomaly at this point

    So with no confidence this team can execute a tank and good pick, I’m going to enjoy what there is to enjoy. In the end it’s just laundry…

  51. If you look at the overall stats for game they are remarkably similar for the two teams. The Pacers were a little better at three point shooting than the Knicks, but the Knicks out rebounded them 57 to 34, with a big edge in offensive boards and thus took more shots than the Pacers did. So I would say our rebounding won the game for us.

  52. Who would be shocked if we win 4 of our next 5? Of course that would probably mean we stood pat at the trade deadline…

  53. If we keep Morris, we must be planning on making an Anthony Davis play this offseason. But that’s nonsense. There’s no way we don’t end up with DeRozan on a max.

  54. I haven’t look at the breakdown, but it seems like the defense is clearly getting a lot better under Miller. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I could see us winning 3 or 4 of our next 5 games if they come with the same energy. It’s the fit of our players on offense and our lack of a true starting PG that’s kind of holding back the offense. Some of that is youth, but young players can expand their games over time. The bigger issue is that even some of the vets don’t fit right.

  55. It’s all in the salary we end up paying. Morris on an inexpensive deal is fine. Morris on a long high priced deal is awful. DeRozan renewed at an expensive price. But the one remaining year of his salary would probably be ok for the Knicks. He’d be by far the best guard on the team. True, they would spend $27M, but they get that as cap space in the summer of 2021, when it could actually be useful.

    I actually have faith the Knicks could sign Morris to a reasonable deal because his Spurs deal was two years, 20 million and I don’t think the market for him will be stronger this summer than last summer. That would be a reasonable deal for us if we got it. On the other hand, I don’t think the Knicks could resist re-signing DeRozan for a lot of money if he had any reasonable sort of season form. So I don’t want them to have that temptation.

  56. Strat, if you look at the Basketball reference team rankings our defense is currently 23rd, about the same as it was under Fizdale. Our offense is 28th, which is slightly better than under Fizdale.

  57. Strat, if you look at the Basketball reference team rankings our defense is currently 23rd, about the same as it was under Fizdale. Our offense is 28th, which is slightly better than under Fizdale.

    All of a sudden I feel less fuzzy. :-)

    Maybe it’s more the last “X” games than the whole sample?

  58. Morris at $10 mill per for 2-3 years would be a very nice piece for us, but that’s not happening. My guess is that someone offers him 2 years @ $15-20 per. The 3-pt shooting might be inflated a tad but it looks pretty much like 40% kind of stroke (considering he shot 42% from 3 in the playoffs on 103 career attempts.)

  59. In the end it’s just laundry…

    not quite sure what that means, but it sounds about right…

    finally took some time to watch joker…wow, what a performance by phoenix…loved the gritty and dirty 70’s vibe…hard to watch the movie and not think of rupert pupkin and travis bickle…

    for those folks on the outside looking in, easy to sympathize a bit with those characters..

    was sooooo happy the film wasn’t just one long “typical” comic book action and explosion fest…

    again, really loved the physicality phoenix brought to the character…dude looked like bale in the machinist…

    was watching the movie with a buddy who asked what makes the joker so tough, since he has no powers…tried to explain that the joker is the craziest individual with the least regard for human life in either the DC or marvel universe…

    I remember being incredibly impressed watching heath ledger play the character…won’t soon forget what joaquin phoenix did with the role…can’t wait to see what happens in joker 2…hopefully they jump forward a couple of decades and we get a new batman…affleck as dear old bruce wayne just isn’t working for me…

  60. No data to back this up…but it seems like after one embarrassing performance (like thur night) especially with the sell the team chant (which also has to somewhat shame the players as well) they come out with effort in the next game or two and then it wanes and they fall back to going through the motion on defense again, turning it over, chucking up bad shots….Miller appears to harp on that in all the quotes in the paper, about “consistency, effort, blah, blah, blah…” but if they could bring it on a nightly basis, and with the o rebounding offsetting the horrendous shooting…they should be able to compete against most of the league..

  61. at some point, hoping someone puts together something similiar for the lex luthor: man of steel limited (5 comics in total) series…

    very real and not so superpowers driven story…and, it puts their motivations and actions in a much more believable reference…

    the joker story and also reading lex luthor: man of steel, makes these crazy arch villians start to seem a lot more plausible…

    it’s nice (like in Logan) where they make these great characters (with so much drawn art and written story about them) so real and approachable…

  62. Maybe it’s more the last “X” games than the whole sample?

    I think so. For some reason our defensive ranking took a dip after Miller took over but has now recovered, so the recent games probably are better.

  63. @117

    agree on the joker and phoenix’s performance…also on the need to move on from affleck…i liked bale in the role of all the various iterations (keaton, kilmer, clooney et al)

  64. Strat, if you look at the Basketball reference team rankings our defense is currently 23rd, about the same as it was under Fizdale. Our offense is 28th, which is slightly better than under Fizdale.

    Taking the ranking is problematic. We were so bad on offense for awhile we could improve our ORTG by 2 pts and still be last. Rankings also fail to separate Fiz’s numbers from Miller’s, so the ranking is lower.

    Our ORTG is up 4 pts under Miller; DRTG 2 pts better. So approximately 6 pts better under Miller. That’s a gigantic difference.

    Under Fiz
    ORTG: 30th – 103.1
    DRTG: 26th – 114.1

    Miller:
    ORTG: 24th – 107.1
    DRTG: 19th – 112.2

    You can make an argument for SOS and Elf coming back, but otherwise we’re definitely better.

    Numbers from https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/NYK/2020/gamelog-advanced/

    Rankings from: https://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2020_ratings.html

  65. @Early Bird… Let’s look at young player minutes per game (counting DNPs) by coach:

    Fizdale -> Miller

    Barrett: 30.5 mins -> 20.8 mins
    Knox: 19.3 mins -> 17.5 mins
    Ntilikina: 23.6 mins -> 14.4 mins
    Smith Jr.: 12.1 mins -> 4.6 mins
    Robinson: 17.2 mins -> 23.9 mins

    So you take probably 4 guys who RN aren’t playing NBA level basketball and cut their minutes down by a total of ~27 MPG and replace all those minutes with players like Robinson, Payton, Bullock, Allen and Dotson (who is 25… not young), and of course your team is going to perform at a dramatically different level.

    In terms of relative impact, this is the only story IMO. This is 80% of the difference between Fizdale and Miller. I would attribute most of the other 20% to the fact that they Knicks stopped trying to make Randle a point forward once they got back Payton, which caused his production to skyrocket.

    The team looks way better as a result, but I don’t give Miller much credit for this. It’s almost all about a shift away from player development and toward veteran players.

  66. talk about a team lucking in to some players: get a starting QB for like a 5th round pick, then draft an incredible force on the defensive side all in a few years…equally important – picking up lynch and shanahan was just a really smart move…

    moving down to san jose, well done indeed…lived off of montague expressway years ago, pretty crowded place now – but, the weather stays around 80 and beautiful year round…

  67. Berman NY Post

    One of Perry’s chief axioms is a lottery pick can’t be judged fully until he’s done with his four-year contract.

    Hence, Knicks administration feels there’s plenty left to the journey of Kevin Knox (2018 lottery pick), Frank Ntilikina (2017 lottery pick) and Dennis Smith Jr. (a 2017 lottery pick obtained in the Kristaps Porzingis trade one year ago).

    Perry’s actions at Thursday’s trade deadline will speak loudest. The Knicks have gauged interest in those youngsters, but sources indicated strong enough offers are not out there to give up on them.

    “They may be stuck,” one league personnel man said.

  68. I’m just pointing out that the numbers are different and the league rankings is a poor metric. Strat gets enough crap here, no need to argue with him when he’s right. My goal was not to make a specific attribution, shifting minutes from DSJr and whatever smorgasbord of crap PGs to Elfrid and Frank likely had a huge impact on the offense.

    Still I think that’s a fairly weak argument. Putting together the correct rotation is one of the most important things a coach does. Fizdale looked like he was trying to win games, not develop players. With the exception of Payton, Fizdale had access to all those guys and refused to use them. So Fiz ran a rotation with 4 non-NBA level players and he doesn’t get blame for that?

    Just playing Mitch 7 mpg more is a strong argument in favor of Miller. He’s our best young player, why sit him of all those guys? Seems to indicate Fiz thought he was running out the best lineup or just sucks at player evaluation.

    Finally, you’ll probably get some push back on Frank’s contribution. Frankophiles will say the difference between Frank and Elf is minimal. But a stronger argument is that Frank was playing at a much higher level under Fizdale. For a stretch, Frank was playing dominant defense. All of that happened under Fiz, before Frank aggravated his groin injury.

  69. @123 Fizdale was probably pilloried more as a coach than he deserved, but there are clearly some things Miller is doing better than Fiz for which he deserves credit. Examples:

    -defense: first option is to stay with your man (on-ball defender preferably goes over screens, screener’s man hedges and only switches if on-ball defender gets held up) rather than automatically switching everything. It seems like we are giving up far fewer wide-open 3’s due to blown switches and going under screens.

    -offense: PG initiates offense, more high PnR, less pure iso

    general: keeping his mouth shut and staying in the background. Fizdale’s schtick really grated on me. Miller is boring but mildly upbeat.

    Some folks here complain that he doesn’t play the young players enough, but I have no problem with that. It’s Miller’s first NBA coaching job and he is predictably coaching to win as many games as possible until the FO forces his hand. That means playing the best players more, regardless of age. Personally, I like for young players to be held accountable, so long as they keep getting second chances. I have no problem with Knox and RJ playing less when they play poorly. I have no problem with Mitch not starting and being benched with 2 fouls. I think that giving young players too many unearned minutes is counterproductive. And for the millionth time, I think each of the young guys would benefit from short stints in the G-League where they can be told to work on something specific against lesser competition.

    At 10-18, Miller has coached to a 29-win pace. That’s pretty much on the high side of expectations (Vegas had us at 26.5). The FO could probably find someone better, but he’s fine for now.

  70. The lineup switches have probably helped, but I don’t consider it simply a young player vs veteran thing and that may not account for all of it.

    Robinson was upped and Dotson was upped. Robinson is very young and even though Dotson is 25, he’s a 3rd year guy like Frank.

    I would have made the argument for using various combinations of Robinson and Dotson (with Frank) last year because some of those combination were very effective, but on a small number of minutes. It could be noise, but they feel logical also.

    I think he’s allocating minutes on merit better but they are probably coming in better prepared, with the occasional bad lapse. I also think Z-Man is correct about less switching. Switching is better in theory than practice unless you have players than are built for it and can do it effectively. When they can, that’s why I tend to add value to them.

  71. The Pelicans are a lot of fun to watch right now. If they were healthy all season they’d be in the playoff mix.

  72. @127 – You’re right with all your statements. I just think that in addition to playing the vets to get wins, the Knicks need to play them to get value for them before the trade deadline. Let’s see what happens after. Tic-toc … 4 days to D-day.

  73. @121 – Great metrics. That’s how basketball teams get better. By shaving off a couple of points allowed and tacking on a couple more points, you see improvement. For whatever reasons, the team is playing marginally better. Do that in 3 or 4 spurts and now you’ve got something.

  74. I’m also not sure there’s any difference between playing a kid 20 minutes a night and playing 15 minutes a night. The only one whose minutes I really care about is Mitch, because he’s the only young player who is any good right now, so if he’s not playing and we’re trying to win it’s an indication the coach or FO doesn’t know what they’re doing.

  75. I also think that a guy in his NBA coaching debut making peanuts deserves more latitude than a “name” coach like Fiz (not that his prior experience was all that great) making $5+ million per. It’s possible that Miller improves as a coach as he gains NBA experience.

  76. I really don’t get the obsession with Mitch’s minutes. He plays plenty given his foul woes, offensive limitations, propensity to be out of position, the nature of the league, and our host of PFs who can play the 5 in a small lineup. It may not be how you would do it, but it doesn’t make Miller a bad coach.

  77. Latke, thanks for the data. I believe the offensive improvement; it matches what I recall and what I see on the court. I think the defensive improvement under Miller is helped by the last few weeks under Fizdale when he seemed to have lost the team there were a bunch of blowouts and the team’s defensive rating dived.

  78. I hope they bring RJ off the bench when he comes back tbh. He doesn’t need so many minutes, and he’s a terrible fit with Elfrid.

    Not that they’re a standout backcourt or anything, but Dotson is a much better fit with Payton. Man, it would be nice to have at least one net-positive guard on this team.

    I think they’re going to surprise everyone and trade Frank over DSJ. It just seems like Knick destiny.

  79. Solid line for Zion and a +3 in a loss. Exciting that they are extending his minutes.

    I am really interested to see how he does on defense. He was a dominant defender in college but it looks like that might be one aspect of the transition to the NBA which might take a little time.

  80. Just wanted you to know that I actually watched the game but I don’t feel guilty about skipping another recap and just getting mildly drunk in Paris instead

  81. I think the defensive improvement under Miller is helped by the last few weeks under Fizdale when he seemed to have lost the team there were a bunch of blowouts and the team’s defensive rating dived.

    That’s interesting. The final two Fiz games, blowout 40pt losses to DEN & MIL, sent our DRTG from 112.4 to 114.1. Our ORTG dropped 1.3 pts as well.

    Still not sure it’s fair to exclude those games, it’s still Fiz who lost the team. If we did we should exclude a few of Miller’s blowout losses too.

  82. Regarding Robinson’s minutes, his MPG only went up 2.9 under Miller. His minutes per game including DNPs is what changed by that wider 6.7 minute margin. I wanted to illustrate that extremely unproductive players are playing less while productive players are playing more and that this is the main reason why the Knicks have won more games. And it’s not like Fizdale had a choice. Bullock and Payton were hurt most of his time as coach. Robinson missed a few games as well.

    Meanwhile, Miller benefits dramatically from the RJ injury as he was likely the only young guy for whom the FO mandated big minutes.

    And as far as the argument about only 27 MPG of changes… It means a lot when the players you’re substituting out are D-League caliber.

  83. The current buzz is that Mills was at the Garden tonight and he left looking unhappy. Could be good news!

  84. I had forgotten Mitch missed some time.

    And I am generally skeptical of claims that a coach makes a huge difference. But Miller is fine. He’s on pace to hit my expectation of win total.

    We just don’t have the personnel to be better. I’d like to see a few changes, but I’m not sure any coach would implement them. More Mitch, less RJ.

    I do attribute a large part of the offensive improvement to Elf’s return. Not even an Elf v. Frank claim, it’s an Elf over DSJR, Trier, and RJ argument.

  85. If Mills is gone, do people feel about Perry flying solo?

    Dumping Mills is unequivocally good, but Perry doesn’t have a great track record either. He’s weirdly obsessed with vets.

  86. @146 – There are several paths to championships. They all involve obtaining at least 2 stars. A star is defined as an all-star. We have none. There are 24 of them. The Bucks, Raptors, Lakers, Rockets, Heat and Pacers all have 2, I don’t care whether we draft 2 great players or sign them. Without starting with a legit superstar, you’re toast. If showing that this team is not totally bereft of talent will help draw superstars to the Knicks, I am unopposed to giving the vets more minutes.

  87. Best halftime show since Janet showed us her nipple.

    I’m not a huge fan of Prince overall, but I enjoyed his halftime show more than any other I’ve seen. Purple Rain ran in the actual rain put it over the top for me.

    I’m going to have to call him the most underrated big name rock guitarist ever. His live lead on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” always makes me shake my head and as say “wow”. It was terrific musically/technically and in showmanship. That guy was walking “cool”.

  88. @147

    I agree 1000%

    You need at #1 and #2 option and it doesn’t matter how you get them. However, we have neither and the free agency and trade paths evaporate if you are seen as being in tank mode. So you can tank, but then you are committed to the risks and time involved with the ping pong balls, who is actually available in the draft, and waiting for those young men to develop and get the playoff experience to compete at the very highest level. If you are lucky enough to get a once in a generational talent, it can be accelerated, but there aren’t many of those.

  89. Knicks rumored to be pursuing Schroder. Finally, a shoot-first point guard with low efficiency who doesn’t make teammates better! Prosperity, here we come!

  90. I don’t know if the Knicks don’t already have two potential star talents on the roster as much as the Knicks don’t know what they’re doing. Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett are the future of this team, but the Knicks took on reclamation projects in Payton and Randle and those guys don’t fit with the former pair. Adding Marcus Morris to the equation also gave you a guy that is too big to be a fit, and then the coach is in over his head and can’t put together line ups worth watching. We’ve also completely given up on Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, and Dennis Smith Jr despite the fact that we are a terrible team that is playing for nothing.

    The Knicks should trade Le’Veon Randle and let Elfrid Payton, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson walk. If you simply added FVV to this same group, you could start VanVleet, Bullock, Barrett, Morris, and Robinson. Suddenly there’s room for everyone on the floor, everybody can play defense, and you can see what you have in your franchise cornerstones while also giving Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox opportunities to take over for Bullock and Morris. Maybe you drafted Cole Anthony and brought him off the bench to eventually take over for VanVleet. Maybe you like what Brazdeikis is doing in Westchester and you give him an opportunity to be a solid bench piece.

    The problem is there is no plan. These guys threw shit at a wall and are mad that their Picasso needs to be scrubbed off with bleach. Barrett, Robinson, Morris, and Bullock make a ton of sense together. Payton and Randle should be gone as there isn’t a real way to build cohesive basketball teams with them as starters. Bobby Portis is an overpaid 9th man. Coaching sucks and so does management.

    I hate it here.

  91. There does seem to be a plan, but no one here likes it. It is to accumulate players who can score in the NBA without much regard for defense and no regard for fit with the rest of the team. Let the coach fix any problems this creates. Mitch is the lone exception to the plan.

  92. @152

    I don’t disagree with what you saying, but what you are describing is the “long term tanking” plan. That’s where you slowly try to develop your draft picks, keep adding more, and hope 2-3 of them eventually become good enough stars to make you a contender. You can also hope that at some point in the future, when it becomes more apparent there’s a lot of young talent on the team, free agency and trades for stars start opening up. That works. It just takes a very long time to keep selecting draft picks (even if a couple are in the top 5) and both strike gold and develop them into stars.

    That’s why many teams opt to use a combination of trades, picks, trading picks, renting space, veterans, and free agency to try to accelerate it. That requires competent management to recognize good values, give out contracts that are good value, and put together a competitive enough team that fits together well to open the bigger doors.

    We are in some kind of in between place, doing nothing competently.

  93. Since it’s Miserable Monday, and misery loves company, this from the Ringer.

    Since drafting DeMarcus Cousins in 2010, the Kings’ first-round picks (or the first-round players they acquired in a trade on draft night) have been, in order: Jimmer Fredette, Thomas Robinson, Ben McLemore, Nik Stauskas, Willie Cauley-Stein, Georgios Papagiannis, Skal Labissière, De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, and Bagley. That’s an almost unfathomable amount of wasted opportunity; nearly every one was picked in the lottery, but only three players remain.

    The rest of the article is similarly bleak.

  94. From the latest Lowe column:

    Sources say the Knicks seem hell-bent on keeping Marcus Morris Sr. — someone the Clippers coveted in free agency.

    The stupidity will never end.

  95. Our plan is clearly to keep signing vets to 1+1s into eternity or until we land our stars. We just hope our young guys stick with us and blossom when we land those stars.

    Here’s the potential 2020 UFAs:

    FVV, Gallinari, AD, Drummond, Hayward, DeRozan, Otto Porter, Harrell, Millsap, Dragic, Ibaka, Favors, Boogie, etc.

    Who do we sign to make the 8th seed?

    Assuming Morris returns, we have somewhere between 23-33 mill to spend. Also depending on draft slot, there may be a few mill more.

  96. I’m really hoping that Pills is playing 3D chess and pretending they want to keep Morris to get teams to up their bids.

    But I’m not optimistic.

  97. Our plan is clearly to keep signing vets to 1+1s into eternity or until we land our stars. We just hope our young guys stick with us and blossom when we land those stars.

    Right.

    And that’s why we keep having debates.

    The 1 + 1s they sign aren’t high enough quality players to really move the chain, but they add some wins that prevent us from getting some small upside advantage in the lottery for drafting purposes.

    That’s the incompetence.

    They need to stop adding bad veterans on expensive contracts, bad reclamation projects, and other such nonsense and either use the cap space effectively by adding undervalued players that are good and can stick long term or rent the cap space for picks and tank until we finally add and develop some good draft picks very long term by finding good values. But all roads have to lead to getting those 2-3 stars.

    They aren’t executing any plan well.

  98. I’m really hoping that Pills is playing 3D chess and pretending they want to keep Morris to get teams to up their bids.

    More likely, they aren’t actually empowered to make any trades.

  99. Re: needing star players, this year’s Raptors might just buck that trend. They have so many good players (their draft team is outrageously good), but not really any stars unless you feel like Siakam is already a top-10 player (he should get there). Boston doesn’t really have any legit stars either.

    Of course, we’re all expecting the Lakers/Clippers to dominate those teams in the finals, but who knows?

    I think the Knicks plan is to try and get average to above-average vets at every position and put a young draftee behind each one. That way, Dolan gets to shoot for his playoff ticket money, and the FO can groom the kids slowly behind the vets (and get at least 4 years to save their jobs).

    So the ideal for them is a lineup that’s like Drummond/Randle (the good version)/Morris/Beal/Vanvleet with a backup team that’s something like Mitch/Knox/RJ/Frank/DSJ, more or less. Then you coach up the kids and hope they have the moxie to beat out the vets who are playing for their next paychecks.

    In theory, it might make sense but in practice, it’s impossible, particularly if you make bad draft selections like Sacto does instead of good ones like Toronto.

  100. The Knicks are reported to be interested in DiAngelo Russell and the Warriors want significant draft compensation in return. I’d happily trade one of the Dallas picks for him, but I don’t know if that would get it done. We do have matching salaries to give up;for example, Peyton and Portis for Russell works in the trade machine.

    Note added: you guys beat me to it in posting about this rumor. I’d much rather give up Peyton than Frank, but I’m sure our management doesn’t feel that way.

  101. I was reminded of something that had escaped my memory yesterday:

    During the 2017-18 season, Courtney Lee (in the second year of his 4 year contract) was playing very well, well enough to be moved for an expiring contract to a contender that needed help.

    IIRC, the Mills and Perry wouldn’t accept getting out of his deal as enough reward so they held on to him bc no team was willing to give up a 1st.

    With the benefit of hindsight and the current stupidity of the Marcus Morris situation, I think it’s pretty clear that front office behavior at the trade deadline is governed by a value system that prioritizes those late season meaningless wins more than assets that have long term benefit.

    Simply put, if you gave these guys the following choice:

    A. You end the season with 25 wins and two future picks.
    B. You end the season with 30 wins and no future picks

    They would choose B because the 5 extra wins (which is window dressing to anyone with a brain) has more value to them. They think those wins matter.

    I don’t know why I’m saying this as if I discovered anything new. This has been going on forever and we’ve talked about it ad infinitum. But I think even in the past we were able to say things like “maybe no one wants Courtney Lee” and reasonably doubt the hypothesis. With this Marcus Morris situation, it’s now beyond doubt.

  102. Holy $@#^ if we trade actual assets for D’Angelo Russell (who is fine) when we could’ve just signed him in the offseason for nothing but cap space — that might make me literally stop following the team until there is at least a different front office.

    Meanwhile, Ntilikina would be perfect on the Warriors. Of course.

    My brain hurts at the incompetence of this front office. One can only hope that Minnesota outbids us.

  103. I’d happily trade one of the Dallas picks for him

    this is also called lighting one of the Dallas picks on fire for him.
    We could’ve just signed Russell in the offseason instead of Portis and Payton and Ellington and whoever.

  104. one of the arguments we had in the offseason was about the prospect of committing a bunch of $$ to a randle and russell core. there were reasonable arguments in favor of this idea, although i hated them. but the prospect of now paying max for russell while also giving up “significant draft compensation” is just fucking perfect.

  105. Also just caught up on the Miller v Fizdale convo above. Only in Knicksland can you have three iterations of the following conversation going on:

    ” ____ is doing a much better job than [insert previous benchmark which is easy to clear because it is at a level below what anyone should reasonably expect].”

    Thanks, Phil Jackson, David Fizdale, and Frank Ntilikina for setting the GM, coach, and PG standards so low that we can improve on all three of you and still be so far away from adequate.

  106. The fact that GSW is now engaging with our front office proves that one of the smartest front offices (GSW) knows who the sucker is at the table. And Mills/Perry don’t know who the sucker is at the table (it’s THEM). Just like Masai and Dolan in the Bargnani and Melo trades.

    Honestly at this point I would sign up for Russell + Dotson + RJ + Randle + Mitch. That’d be fun. It wouldn’t be good, but it’d be fun at least.

  107. Knicks rumored to be pursuing Schroder. Finally, a shoot-first point guard with low efficiency who doesn’t make teammates better! Prosperity, here we come!

    Thank you for a good chuckle this morning!

  108. Would Russell have signed a max offer sheet here? I think he actually liked the idea of going to the Warriors.

  109. I’m not totally against the Schroder trade idea. He’s still young (26), and is playing really well this year in OKC, averaging 22/4.5/4.8 shooting 38.8 from 3 and 57.7 TS (way better than his career averages, so buyer beware of course). But his salary is reasonable (15.5M) and only extends through next season after which we would have bird rights and possibly some excess value as a cap hold if we are diving into FA again. And would you guess he’s literally the #1 PG in ESPN’s RPM (#7 player overall), and #11 player overall in RAPM? I’m not sure what the deal would be, but I’d be willing to take a shot on that. Certainly a better chance that he turns into/continues being a good player than Knox.

  110. Would Russell have signed a max offer sheet here? I think he actually liked the idea of going to the Warriors.

    at least today Twitter is saying that Russell would’ve liked to stay in NY.

  111. Firs time poster, long time lurker, used to love Silverman’s recaps with the grades(2010ish) but big fan of Farfa’s recaps as well. This site made me fall in love with stats and have made most other comment sections unreadable. Happy to be apart of this community and hoping against hope they dont do anything stupid this week.

    Adrian Wojnarowski
    ?
    @wojespn
    Sources: Knicks have remained enthusiastic about idea of signing Marcus Morris to a new deal this summer, but as trade offers become richer in assets this week, they’ll stay open to idea of moving him. Many contenders have interest in him.

    Do the right thing Pills! Best offer available

  112. Finally some sanity from Woj:

    Sources: Knicks have remained enthusiastic about idea of signing Marcus Morris to a new deal this summer, but as trade offers become richer in assets this week, they’ll stay open to idea of moving him. Many contenders have interest in him.

  113. This past offseason we had a very reasonable debate about the merits of maxing Russell. There were good arguments on both sides, so much so that I don’t even remember where I wound up (I think I was against it, but also wouldn’t have been mad if we did it).

    The Russell advocates said players with his skillset are difficult to acquire for money alone and he would give us something resembling a young core while maintaining some flexibility and surplus draft picks. The anti-Russell crowd said he’s not good enough relative to our place on the win curve to justify the damage to our flexibility, and any drop off in his play could lead to him being unmovable. I’m still not sure who was right, but since he clearly has trade value I probably now lean towards the irrelevant opinion that it would’ve been a good idea.

    The Knicks, of course, now want to strike a very Knicksy compromise in which they take on all of the negative aspects of a Russell max (damage to flexibility relative to win curve) while surrendering a lot of the benefits (surplus draft picks).

    Love it!

  114. If we can come out of this trade deadline with a 1st round pick for Morris, Schroder, and not having traded any 1st rounders (or Mitch/RJ), I think I’d be happy with that.

    But please no, let’s not trade actual assets for an overpaid D’Angelo Russell.

  115. at least today Twitter is saying that Russell would’ve liked to stay in NY.

    He definitely didn’t want to leave the Nets.

  116. What are you guys talking about when you say Russell was a free agent who could have been signed? He was part of a sign and trade for Durant.

  117. I’d rather have Schroeder than Russell. Russell was brutal in the playoffs last year, which has really soured me on him. He’s also a minus defensively.

  118. What are you guys talking about when you say Russell was a free agent who could have been signed? He was part of a sign and trade for Durant.

    The only reason he was a sign-and-trade was so GS could get something for Durant. Russell had to agree to that. He could just as well have gotten a max offer elsewhere and said no to the sign and trade (which netted the Nets some sort of draft compensation). If Russell had signed elsewhere then Durant would’ve just signed as a FA (as opposed to being part of a double S&T).

  119. Welcome aboard BAM!

    It’s a mortal lock the Knicks are going to do something really dumb in the next week. I can feel it in my bones.

  120. I was one of the people who wanted to sign Russell to the minimax, not because I love him as a player but because I figured he’d have trade value on that contract. And here we are, turns out he does have trade value. Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington and Taj Gibson not so much.

    This stuff really isn’t that hard to figure out.

  121. Yeah, if Russell wanted to go elsewhere, Brooklyn couldn’t stop him, since they couldn’t match his offer sheet while signing Durant and Irving.

    That he agreed to that, though, sure suggests one of two things.

    1. He preferred going to Golden State than the Knicks or
    2. The Knicks preferred Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington to Russell.

    It’s not that I wouldn’t put #2 past the Knicks, but I think it’s more likely #1.

  122. Knowing this front office they probably think trading for Russell will somehow get them KAT, either in free agency in 4? years or that he will demand a trade to play with his friend.

  123. It’s a mortal lock the Knicks are going to do something really dumb in thee next week. I can feel it in my bones.

    It’ll be doubly bad because it will also mean this putrid front office is entirely empowered. My gut kind of tells me otherwise, but that could just be because the alternative is too hard to face.

  124. And yeah, the scariest part about all these trade rumors is that it sounds like Mills is either A. still in charge and is not getting fired or, perhaps even more stupidly, B. going to get fired but still has freedom to do what he wants this trade deadline.

  125. You guys are changing my mind about giving up a pick for Russell. But trading Payton and Portis would be the equivalent of using cap space to sign him, since they were signed with cap space in the first place and we get that cap space back if we choose not to re-sign them this summer. I don’t think it’s a great deal, but it is exchanging two players who are clearly role players for one better player, which is the sort of deal the Knicks ought to be doing.

  126. Every report says the Warriors are only trading Russell for draft assets. The question of whether or not we should trade expirings alone for him is purely academic and we shouldn’t waste any time on it.

  127. i highly doubt dlo comes to the knicks… minny is hotter on the dlo trail and they could very very easily outbid us for him…

    this is probably another example of another rumormonger using the knicks to grab attention…. it’s a cottage industry at this stage…

  128. Minny seems to have been hot on Russell for sometime, they traded away Teague, they likely see appeasing KAT as a must, our leaked interest is probably just driving up the price.

    What djphan said

  129. Re Russell; Just like the Knicks to go for the flashy overrated scorer that plays no defense

  130. ?Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, M.A.
    ?
    @ScoopB
    With the NBA trade deadline coming up on Thursday, I have heard chatter surrounding the New York Knicks & Oklahoma City Thunder who have discussed a deal around Dennis Schroeder. IF the deal were to happen Kevin Knox could be involved in that deal.

    No idea if scoop is legit, but he’s at least verified

  131. I think it’s likely that we’ve talked to GS about trading for Russell and that the talks are being leaked by GS to put pressure on the T-Wolves.

  132. It is to accumulate players who can score in the NBA without much regard for defense and no regard for fit with the rest of the team.

    We have the 28th ranked offense and are decimal points away from being dead last. Our guys can’t score in the NBA for shit.

  133. Does James Harden play defense?
    Does Kyrie Irving play defense?
    Does Kemba Walker play defense?
    Does Damian Lillard play defense?
    Does Trae Young play defense?
    Does Devin Booker play defense?
    Does Nikola Jokic play defense?

    Russell may not be my cup of tea, but if he can play offense anywhere close to as well as any of these guys, I can live without the defense on the remaining 3 years on his mid-max deal. Not sure I’d give up assets for him (not counting Frank, who is a liability, not an asset at this point and at his current salary commitment)

  134. Re: needing star players, this year’s Raptors might just buck that trend. They have so many good players (their draft team is outrageously good), but not really any stars unless you feel like Siakam is already a top-10 player (he should get there). Boston doesn’t really have any legit stars either.

    “star player” depends on your definition, who is doing the valuing, and if they are right.

    Siakim is clearly a star in my book. Lowery is close and they have so much depth and so many solid “defenders” they can be very competitive. I don’t think they are good enough to win it all or really a very serious contender. If you shut down Siakim in the playoffs (which teams will try to do without KL there this year), they will have problems.

    Boston also has a few players I think are better than given credit for here. I even predicted they were going to be a lot better than people here thought.

  135. It’s fascinating seeing the various wheels in motion. The Rockets are trying to get two firsts for Capela so that they can acquire Covington, who the Wolves are making available so that they can get two firsts to trade for Russell.

  136. the problem with combining KAT and D’Lo is that you’ve paired a nice offensive player and an offensive juggernaut, but you’ve also paired two guys who are not just pretty bad, but very, very bad, at stopping the other dudes from scoring. as a reminder, RAPM is an attempt to estimate how a guy is affecting team performance by regularizing plus/minus and adjusting for teammate and opponent quality. it is very noisy in the short term like one season but gets more interesting over time. it is the thing everyone tests their metrics against to see how well they do out of sample.

    D’Lo has played around 8000 minutes in the five years he has been in the league. Of guys with at least 5K minutes in that period, he isn’t the worst. He is 215/228. Here are the guys below him.

    228 Isaiah Thomas
    227 Jamal Crawford
    226 Lou Williams
    225 Rose
    224 Lavine
    223 Booker
    222 Forbes
    221 Clarkson
    220 Wilson Chandler
    219 Beal
    218 JR Smith
    217 Mudiay
    216 Belinelli

    Of the C and F/Cs, Towns is 44/51. Here are the guys below:
    51. Monroe
    50. Zach Randolph
    49. Kanter
    48. Randle
    47. Valanciunas
    46. Tolliver
    45. Markkanen

  137. @200

    Virtually all those guys are better or way better than Russell on offense, some are better overall better players in other ways, and in Trae’s case, he’s clearly going to have get better on defense or the Hawks are going to have to try to hide him. But at least he’s a future killer on offense and playmaking.

  138. I mean, Russell, Schroeder… this is the type of guard that’s available at the trade deadline: flawed. I know we desperately need a competent point guard, but this seems like a bad path. Schroeder would at least come cheaper, although he’s basically a journeyman like the rest of our starters. Might as well have kept Mudiay.

  139. the problem with combining KAT and D’Lo is that you’ve paired a nice offensive player and an offensive juggernaut, but you’ve also paired two guys who are not just pretty bad, but very, very bad, at stopping the other dudes from scoring.

    Thank you.

    They’ll listen to you. :-)

  140. minny is hotter on the dlo trail and they could very very easily outbid us for him…

    I don’t know about that. We have expiring contracts and more draft capital than they do. Plus a GM whose job could be saved if he gives up three first round picks for Russell and he plays well down the stretch of a 58 loss season.

  141. Russell would probably make the Knicks better because as people are pointing out, he’s pretty good on offense and most of the Knicks are awful. Russell can shoot, our guards cannot. But he’s bad enough on defense to eat up most of his value on offense and he makes a lot of money, so he doesn’t really help long term. He’d be an overpay for small improvements on an awful team.

  142. also since i ran it here are the top 20 overall (min 5K minutes last 5 years including this year — 228 total players — cumulative DRAPM):

    1. Gobert
    2. Embiid
    3. Covington
    4. Butler
    5. Nurkic
    6. Amir Johnson
    7. Baynes
    8. Millsap
    9. Draymond
    10. Winslow

  143. If I understand Dolan’s razor correctly, it means that the worst possible outcome is most likely.

    Per DR, then, here’s what we can expect the rest of the way:

    We give Golden State swap rights on our 2020 pick, one of our two unprotected 2021 draft picks, and a protected 2023 draft pick for Russell.

    Russell plays well and the Knicks go 16-16 down the stretch.

    Mills, Perry, and Miller get 4 years extensions because the team improved in the second half.

    Who would confidently bet against that scenario?

  144. There’s no way Russell’s enough of a difference maker to turn a .300-ish team into a .500 team. Even Dolan’s Razor is not that strong.

  145. If I understand Dolan’s razor correctly, it means that the worst possible outcome is most likely.

    It’s “the most irritating outcome is the most likely.” Often it overlaps with cynicism or pessimism, because, haha, Knicks.

  146. Siakim is clearly a star in my book.

    How can Siakim be a star in the same book that thinks late first round picks have no value?

  147. How many firsts does it take to dump Russel in 2 years towards LeBron’s signing? er., Durant’s. Wait, is it Giannis? Or Luca? How many years until we can dump everyone and make a roster spot for Luca? Would him and Giannis fit well together? I’m already excited.

  148. D’Lo was one of the best pnr point guards in the league last year. He would be a great match with Mitch. It would have been much smarter to have signed him last off-season, but I would still give up the Dallas picks plus salary to get him now.

  149. There’s no way Russell’s enough of a difference maker to turn a .300-ish team into a .500 team. Even Dolan’s Razor is not that strong.

    It’s not just Russell. We could reasonably expect a team of Russell-Bullock-Morris-Randle-Robinson, coached by Mike Miller, to have enough decent runs over 30 games to play .500 basketball.

  150. If GS wants to dump Russell they should be giving us assets to take his shitty contract, not the other way around

  151. Clearly the Russell contract is not an albatross. Personally I don’t want him on the team if it costs draft capital, which it will, because Russell has value.

    The time to acquire him was last offseason, when all he would have cost was the cap space we used to sign complete dreck. Then if we had a GM with a brain in his fucking head, WE would be the ones shopping Russell, and we’d get something in return because he has value.

    Instead we invested in things that have zero value, but we do have our cherished Bobby Portis/Wayne Ellington/Taj Gibson memories. I have the Portis/Ellington/Gibson commemorative plate collection up on my mantle right next to my Arron Afflalo/Derrick Williams commemorative coins.

  152. There’s no way Russell’s enough of a difference maker to turn a .300-ish team into a .500 team. Even Dolan’s Razor is not that strong.

    The more I think about it… a backcourt of:

    PG: Russell, Payton
    SG: Bullock, Barrett

    is so far ahead of the hodge podge we had at the beginning of the season that I do think a Russell trade and a Morris extension would accomplish the front office’s goal of becoming a team that’s good enough to fall just short of the 8th seed in 2021.

    A backcourt of those four combined with Morris, Randle, Robinson, and another batch of overpriced vets in the frontcourt is probably a 38-40 win team. Which, you know, is exactly what all the free agents will be looking to join in 2021, right?

    So yeah, I expect us to give up prime assets for Russell and hold on to Morris, and I expect the team will play well enough in the second half with the vets to save Mills & Perry’s jobs.

  153. There is no way Russell has negative value right now. We would have to give up some draft capital, but we still have a lottery pick and our biggest hole would be filled. We would still have one more high lottery pick, assuming we don’t give that up. That’s at least a watchable team for a change.

  154. I liked DLo going into the draft, obviously took him awhile to get there. But he’s a good, not great guard who may give more back on D than his offense is worth. That’s fine if you get him for a discount, but getting him on a max contract is not a good idea. He’s not the worst gamble to improve, but I don’t see him ever being worth that contract.

    If trade goes through, I’d like to see us go all in on 7SOL:

    DLo
    Bullock
    Dotson
    Morris
    Randle

    Sure our bench will hit two 3’s the rest of the way, but whatever…

  155. I like Russell and was hoping they would pursue him at free agency last summer, but that was the time to do it, not now. But then again, it’s a Knicks specialty to pay assets for players they could have had for free in different situations, so yeah, there’s that. I wouldn’t be against throwing a Dallas pick plus a second rounder plus something, but yeah, I have no idea if there’s a trade that doesnt leave us empty after it.

  156. Nearly all the guys on PT’s list are older, if not much older than Russell. Only Booker, Lavine and Mudiay are close. Knowing that players younger than 23 usually are terrible on either O or D, or don’t get to the 5,000 minutes threshold before age 23, I’m less put off by his D than I might be on a superficial scan of your list.

    Russell’s D this year has been worse, but he’s also playing on a much worse team. But he continues to perform very well on O, and at a high usage with decent rebound, assist-to-turnover and steals numbers. You would be betting on continued improvement…he’s clearly not worth his salary at his current level of play…and with 3 years at ages 24-26 left, it’s not a terrible bet. Just not worth multiple assets.

  157. Who do the Clippers send us in a potential Marcus Morris deal? They have no 1RPs to trade until 2028 so you’d have to figure it would be a package built around Shamet, Zubac or both.

  158. Clippers held onto their own 2020 pick i believe. The rumors have been their offer is Harkless and their pick. I guess were holding out for them to throw in Shamet or Robinson

  159. DLo has also been playing more minutes at SG this year, so that may make his D look worse. But he was already terrible, so I’m not sure I’d want to take that risk

  160. We could do a three way trade in which whatever draft capital we get for Morris is sent to Golden State in exchange for Russell. Then these guys could re-sign Morris this summer.

    It’s not my preferred route but it cuts the middle between what we ought to do and whatever stupid shit they’re trying to do.

  161. I just really hope that all of these Knicks interested in Drummond/Bamba rumors arent because were going to ship out Mitch for a DLO type guard.

  162. the idea behind minny easily outbidding us is including covington… who can help a GS team who probably won’t tank as long as steph is wearing their uniform and a potentially high lotto pick this year… and possibly even another one down the line….

    the knicks are probably not going to offer any of their picks… but they will probably offer the dallas picks which are not as highly valued…. if they offer their own picks… a dlo trade starts looking very very bad….

    so yes covington + this year’s top 10ish first rounder is a lot better than what we will be offering…

  163. If we’re going to do the unthinkable and trade Mitch, we should be looking at getting into the Clint Capela market. We’re all hoping Mitch can become Capela but the actual Capela is available and he’s on a team-friendly contract.

  164. If i am setting the line on a Russell and Towns team I think I see, I don’t know, 37 wins?

    Is that me being my pessimistic self? Towns is great on one end of the court. Russell seems pretty meh. I’d take Schroder and the 12 million dollars I think.

    Why can’t we just fire Mills and move on with our lives….

  165. Please don’t trade Mitch, hes on the most team-friendly contract out there, trade for someone who can get the ball to Mitch more often.

  166. In the Simmons early 2018 asset value list we were debating a couple weeks ago (around whether the Knicks got market value for KP), he had three guys in a group at that 15-17 level that were he had classed as “kinda sorta but not really entirely franchise players.” They were KP, Booker, and KAT. Has KAT really worked his way out of that group? Not really seeing it.

  167. How does D-Lo work with RJ though? Ideally, the both need the ball in their hands to have value. I know RJ currently sucks, but they haven’t even used him correctly yet, and this would only be worse for his progress.

  168. Russell can at least shoot, that’s better than any other PG RJ has played with on the knicks. He would also be a good P&R partner for Mitch. Im okay with the trade if its Portis/Frank/Trier(or some other salary filler) plus maybe 1 of the Dallas picks.

    Or use the first we could potentially get for Morris in there.

  169. I think you’re severely underrating Towns. Yes he can’t be bothered to play defense at all, but he’s a strong rebounder and a sublime scorer. The Wolves are just a god awful team. Their top 5 guys in minutes this year are Wiggins, rookie Jarett Culver who has been awful, Jeff Teague, Josh Okogie and Robert Covington, who has quickly become the most overrated player in the NBA in these trade talks.

    If you put Towns in a better team, he would be a fantastic 1B option next to another star. Obviously he’s not the defender Anthony Davis is, but he’s a better scorer and he’s younger.

  170. @237
    Yeah, I was wondering if GS would take a Frank + Portis + 1 unprotected first rounder.

    They might also wait until the summer; they don’t necessarily need to deal now unless they get knocked out with an offer. You know, by a FO in danger of getting fired desperately trying to deal for a “star” to save their jobs….
    :-)

  171. Towns had Butler next to him and the Wolves weren’t that great and Butler wanted no part of Towns’s act long term. If not a red flag, at least a pink one.

  172. We’re not actually going to trade for D’Angelo Russell, but the only smart way to do that would be to flip Mook Morris and add the 1RP to the deal instead of using any of the Dallas assets. Trading anything else of actual value would be typically stupid.

    So what’s the most irritating trade we can expect? One of the Dallas picks for Dillon Brooks?

  173. Bamba is from NY and the front office seems to like this whole blood in the ground mantra.

    Side note;
    I did a focus group for the Knicks new marketing team recently and they basically just pushed that idea. The prevailing themes were NY STRONG, Blood in the Ground, NY Grit. My suggestions of focusing on analytics and simply putting a better product on the floor were completely ignored.

  174. Yeah, Towns is putting up some amazing numbers this year. I’d like to have him but not for Mitch and all our picks for the next couple of years.

  175. Side note;
    I did a focus group for the Knicks new marketing team recently and they basically just pushed that idea. The prevailing themes were NY STRONG, Blood in the Ground, NY Grit. My suggestions of focusing on analytics and simply putting a better product on the floor were completely ignored.

    hahahahahahahahahaha…too funny…

  176. @245
    I felt like THCJ in any number of reddit/Knicks threads hes be kicked out of, “how can you say youre a fan when you have so much vitriol for the team?”

  177. I did a focus group for the Knicks new marketing team recently and they basically just pushed that idea. The prevailing themes were NY STRONG, Blood in the Ground, NY Grit.

    oh my god this is amazing. dolan is like an ai that can beat breakout but if you move the paddle up 1cm it disorients into incoherence. when the other local monopoly he inherited had a cable line go down, did he huddle with don draper on how to convince people to associate their broken isp with gangs of new york or did he keep sending out trucks until he fixed the fucking cable line.

  178. life these days seem to be so much about distraction…seems content has become king in our world (until we run out of food, water and shelter)…to those ends – going through the lonesome dove series once again (on commanche moon now – i love when mcmurtry does the injun/native american if you please first person dialogue)…so i got those images and words rolling through my mind…

    but, as any good movie is want to do – also been thinking a bunch on the joker movie…watched through it again – one of my favorite parts of some movies and tv shows is the sets/environments used…we’re such visual creatures – a well done set significantly enhances the immersion in to any story…the joker‘s sets really were beautifully done…

    it’s funny, growing up i always had the thought in the back of my mind that how in the hell was the joker still alive…no superpowers like the flash, aquaman, wonder woman or darkseid…no huge financial resources like batman or lex luthor…all the joker has is his insanity and the ability to take a serious ass-whooping, which pretty much always happens in any story he’s involved with…i mean – why the hell didn’t batman ever just shoot him in the head or blow him up and be done with it already…

    finally decided if anything – the joker’s true superpower must just be: luck…kind of similar to domino from the marvelverse (very cool to see miss zazie in both universes)…he is simply the luckiest character ever…

    trying to remember a joker themed story i’ve read in the past- only thing i could come up with was: the killing joke…i have a copy…it’s been a while but may need to re-read it soon…

    probably the “scariest” joker portrayel i can remember comes from JSA: Liberty Files

  179. Side note;
    I did a focus group for the Knicks new marketing team recently and they basically just pushed that idea. The prevailing themes were NY STRONG, Blood in the Ground, NY Grit. My suggestions of focusing on analytics and simply putting a better product on the floor were completely ignored.

    That’s amazing.

  180. you could probably have… oh … a few decades worth of 1st rd picks that a team… let’s take a random example… like the knicks… and not get a player like KAT…

    he’s not perfect.. but don’t let perfect get in the way of good….

  181. and just because no one else is even remotely thinking about this shit but me (story of my life :) – if you ever read a comic book story in your life – i’d point you in this direction: Kingdom Come (an Elseworlds story)…

    it seems we all grow old, even superman…

  182. Shams latest Morris take from his piece that went up this afternoon:

    Two scoring and shooting forwards — New York’s Marcus Morris and Washington’s Davis Bertans — would cost a lottery-level first-round draft pick and are unlikely to move, according to rival teams. Both the Knicks and Wizards have strong interest in retaining Morris and Bertans, respectively, in July free agency, sources said.

    Could be a smokescreen and of course things can change but it sure seems like all the most connected people think he’s not moving. I guess we’re really doing this. I bet we give him 3 years, $50M this offseason. You really can’t say enough about the Knicks ability to screw up even the really, really easy stuff.

  183. Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, M.A.
    @ScoopB
    ·
    12m
    New York Knicks have an offer for D’Angelo Russell. That deal would include Bobby Portis, Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina, Allonzo Trier and a 2nd round pick.

    Warriors aren’t interested, I’m told. GSW want Mitchell Robinson & Knicks unprotected 1st rounder added to offer. (1/2)

    Hard Pass!

  184. @252, Why would a lottery level team have any interest in Morris? Hopefully this is a leak from the Knicks trying to drive up the price from a low level pick to a low level pick plus a young asset. Expecting them to be playing 3d chess when they only know tic tac toe though

  185. How can Siakim be a star in the same book that thinks late first round picks have no value?

    1. IMO, Siakim is a star and he’s on the all star team.

    2. I never said 1st round picks have no value. I said late 1st round picks are unlikely to yield the type of stars we need. So we should trade them to move up in the draft to get a player that is way more likely to become one or as part of a deal to acquire one instead of most likely winding up with some kind of rotation player that is easier to come by and the more likely outcome.

    3. A very competent management team (or a very lucky GM) will very occasionally find a real star outside the lottery, but this management team is less likely to do so. Finding one is like you and I agreeing about something in basketball. It happens once in awhile, but it’s not very likely. :-)

  186. @252, Why would a lottery level team have any interest in Morris?

    The only reason is because that teams employ Steve Mills

  187. Well, if that’s a real offer, at least they made a sensible first offer, and also Golden State obviously has no reason to accept that. For me, its unrealistic to expect a player better than Russell to be the result of the 2 Dallas picks, so I wouldn’t be opposed to sending out this package, Portis / Frank / Knox / Trier plus those 2 picks for Russell. I wouldn’t touch our own unprotected pick, and no Mitch please. Adding Russell to this team makes it so were still getting a high pick anyway in the draft and he’s been showing some improvement every year he’s been in the league. But yeah, the Warriors are probably just using the Knicks as leverage to gut the Wolves in a trade.

    I still can’t see any reason to ask for too much for Morris, but I guess it’s fine IF it’s just a play to get better offers from desperate teams. As long as he is traded in the end I’ll be happy.

  188. @252, Why would a lottery level team have any interest in Morris? Hopefully this is a leak from the Knicks trying to drive up the price from a low level pick to a low level pick plus a young asset. Expecting them to be playing 3d chess when they only know tic tac toe though

    I do think the right way to read it is not that they want specifically a 2020 lottery pick and more like them saying that a low 2020 1st isn’t enough (the only contender with a 2020 lottery pick I think is the Celtics who have the Grizz pick – not currently in the lottery I guess but may get back there). The two most obvious Morris trades are to the Clips for Harkless+their 2020 first, and to the Bucks for filler salary and the Indiana first they have so maybe they’re just pushing back against those deals and trying to get more? I do think there’s a difference between the stance “he’s available but you need to do better” and “he’s not really available but we’re not hanging up just in case you want to wow us”. Morris negotiations should obviously be in pot A but it sure sounds like they’re in pot B.

  189. Well, I think the same deal, without Frank, so Portis/Knox is what we are reportedly offering OKC for Schroeder

  190. and Robert Covington, who has quickly become the most overrated player in the NBA in these trade talks.

    Yeah I thought I was going crazy when I saw the asking price is two firsts for covington.

  191. @253

    That sounds like something a smart team would want from the Knicks.

    1. Frank becomes the valuable switchable wing defensive role player next to star players he’s destined to become that can knock down wide open 3s at above 35% (I think I read he’s 37% this year when wide open – which is 6 feet).

    2. Trier becomes the very efficient bench scorer and 6th man type.

    3. You work on Knox, give him time, and develop him.

    4. You don’t have to overpay DLO and he probably doesn’t fit anyway.

    You ask for more, they kick it up a little, you do the deal and rob NY.

    That’s a pass from me.

  192. At least one more team is known after the Orlando Magic “inquired” with the Knicks about Smith Jr., according to a Sunday afternoon report by Marc Berman of the New York Post.-SNY Article

    I wonder if we asked for Bamba when they inquired about DSJ

  193. “For me, its unrealistic to expect a player better than Russell to be the result of the 2 Dallas picks, so I wouldn’t be opposed to sending out this package, Portis / Frank / Knox / Trier plus those 2 picks for Russell.”

    I would be opposed, it’s just too much to give up for a currently overpaid minimax player. But I probably think more of Knox’s potential than most here.

  194. I think Bamba has a very good chance of being really good and a reasonable chance of being a superstar if he develops. He’s the longest player in the league, is smart, agile and can shoot a bit.

  195. Per Berman “If Morris is not traded, there will be pressure to sign him to a long-term deal. According to sources, there’s been some internal talks about gauging Randle’s trade value – since his removal from the cap would open more room for Morris.

    The Post reported exclusively on Jan. 13 they were leaning against trading Morris unless they obtained an All-Star caliber player in return because of their desire to re-sign him. The source said a late first-round pick would not be enough.

    ESPN reported Monday there’s mutual interest in a long-term deal but confirmed the Knicks are still open to dealing him if the asset package is high enough.”

    At least they realize the Randle/Morris Duo is Clumsy, would prefer they trade them both for assets if possible.

  196. Since I don’t assign any value to either Knox or Frank, I would gladly part with them for Russell. I think Russell is currently overpaid, but he’s got the profile of a guy we should be interested in having: he’s just turning 24, under contract for 3 more years, has been durable after losing some time in his 3rd year and has improved his game consistently, to the point where he’s a pretty good volume scorer and a decent enough ball handler and creator. The biggest issue with his offensive game, his low free throw rate, is also up this season, which is helping his efficiency overall even while taking a large volume of shots.

    I can understand not wanting to give up too much for him, and I would be happy if the Knicks simply decide it’s too much and give up on him. But if the plan is not to wait for draft picks to pan out, then what else is available? What other players that are much better than him will be available for a similar package?

    If the Knicks had shown their interested in working a full rebuild, tanking, gathering assets etc, I wouldn’t even be considering this. But that’s not the strategy the FO wants to follow, as it seems.

  197. Interesting thread by Jeremy Cohen (who does the KFS pod with Macri):
    https://twitter.com/TheCohencidence/status/1224405849554194438?s=20

    Basically this sums it up:

    And maybe last point(?), asset(s) Knicks could receive from the Wolves are a couple of 2nds as a thank you for greasing the wheels. So combining the deals could mean:

    Knicks: Crabbe, two 2nds (via MIN)

    Wolves: DLo, maybe a 2nd (via GSW)

    Warriors: RoCo, Portis, a 1st (via MIN)

    That’s sort of an interesting possibility. Could possibly see DSJ going to Minny in that deal also.

  198. If you make choices based on most likely outcome or average case outcome, you end up with a 40-45 win team. You have to get lucky to be more than that. The part you get to control is how many chances to get lucky you give yourself… how many high volatility assets you get.

    The value of a player isn’t really his production. It’s how much you under or overpay him. Team building is a game of fitting as much production under the cap as you can. That means all that matters is the chances the player becomes worth more than max. A #25 pick… there is at least some chance of that even if the average case outcome is like a 9th man. You could trade that pick for like a decent 5th man in Russell, but Russell is less likely to be more than just that 5th man and also hurts your draft pick, diminishing its chances of becoming a max player.

    The math changes once you have a couple superstars and so have locked in an enormous amount of talent at a discount. Playing the long game, your superstars become closer and closer to their decline stage. You have to pursue present talent at nearly any cost, even if you end up overpaying.

  199. If you make choices based on most likely outcome or average case outcome, you end up with a 40-45 win team. You have to get lucky to be more than that. The part you get to control is how many chances to get lucky you give yourself… how many high volatility assets you get.

    The value of a player isn’t really his production. It’s how much you under or overpay him.

    I agree that the more lottery tickets (draft picks) you have the better chance you give yourself of striking gold, but there’s still a mathematical expectation to compare.

    Let’s say we get the #8 pick, but we absolutely love a player a few slots higher. I’d be comfortable giving up Dallas’s picks to get that player we love.

    Even better is an unhappy all-star that wants out. Then he’s already proven. Yes, 2 extra lottery tickets would help you, but they are still not great lottery tickets.

    On the 2nd point, that’s also true. But you could have 15 underpaid role payers and not be seriously good because none of them are all star caliber players and only 5 can play at a time. You need those 2-3 legitimate all star caliber players.

    Russell is a pretty good offensive player, but he’s not so good you can overlook his clear defensive deficiencies. Overall, IMO he’s not a max player and IMO not even really an all star caliber player.

  200. The Knicks do seem to be negotiating about trades, but their asking prices seem more than the market wants to pay and their offers aren’t blowing anyone away. I’d like to see a deal that improves the team, but I’m not holding my breath. I did hear on a podcast that very few teams are going to have cap space this summer, so the market for run of the mill free agents could be weak. I hope that’s the case. The Knicks will have flexibility, so maybe they can get some good deals then if they don’t do anything now.

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