2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ The Team That Missed Out On Both Frank Ntilikina AND Dennis Smith Jr. in the 2017 Draft

The Knicks, now solidly back in the playoff race at 10-27, have cleverly decided to hold tight and not trade any of their players before the deadline. Now, you might be thinking, “Wait, Brian, don’t smart basketball teams often say things like ‘We’re not going to make a move’ in an attempt to increase their leverage so that they could get a better deal when they do make a move?” Yes, that is something that happens with smart basketball teams.

Moving on, the Knicks bring their playoff push to Utah tonight to take on the Jazz, who missed out on both Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr (plus Malik Monk!) before they were forced to pick the remaining dregs of the lottery in Donovan Mitchell. He has worked out okay for the Jazz, but you know they must still have regrets.

The Knicks are riding high with six wins in their last sixteen games, so this is a big game for their brilliantly-constructed squad filled with correctly valued players who they won’t trade but also don’t help them win.

Let’s go! Knicks?

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298 thoughts to “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ The Team That Missed Out On Both Frank Ntilikina AND Dennis Smith Jr. in the 2017 Draft”

  1. since i won’t be at the meetup it’s crucial tnfh receives my three drinks in terrible career advice right now.

    1. to a surprisingly large extent compared
    to other grad programs law school can be gamed if you’re a decent test taker. most students work too hard throughout the semester and then don’t cram enough. (i said this was terrible advice right?) neither group will retain much of anything. don’t resume pad with high effort low reward (to you, obviously) activities like secondary journals and moot court without at least thinking consciously about the trade off. unlike many grad programs, law school can be way way more fun than actually being a lawyer if you play it right, especially the second half of it. or it can suck.

    2. if you went to law school not to be a lawyer but bc it can be a great launching pad for almost anything and also teach you how to think, you have swallowed some bullshit. the main fungible skill most law schools educations do get you that isn’t easily learned is refining ideas to concise, formal writing. admittedly there is a very small amount of ‘how to think’ embedded in that process but let’s not normalize my terrible advice.

    3. but this is an awful excuse to be a lawyer or keep being a lawyer if you don’t like it.

    the current big firm career arc with a long paralegal-like path just to make fake partner is a hard match for most people in my unreliable view. but many get sucked into staying, ostensibly bc of student loans, but really bc they are unable to see their law degree as the sunk cost it is. of course there are lots of ways to be fulfilled as a lawyer both in and especially out of a big firm, but you should always remember that you can click your heels and pretend your jd never happened if you haven’t found one of those ways. a jd may not be a magic ticket but it also shouldn’t be a tether.

    4. after 1L contracts the answer is never ever unjust enrichment

  2. The ultimate knicksy stat: the guy Knox allegedly roasted in that infamous 3-on-3 game may be the only rookie from that class who Knox is better than. Click HERE and look at the two players at the bottom.

  3. It would be kind of funny if Knox really did just crush the guy in 3 on 3, but only because he was the only other lottery guy worse than Knox.

  4. Knox has slow feet and slow reaction time which make him one of the worst defenders in the league. Those are things which are unlikely to improve. He’d be singled out and destroyed in the playoffs like a baby antelope on the serengeti.

    right after milo mentioning that knox looked like some kid who happened to stumble on to the floor to ask for directions – this is now my favorite kevin knox II eveluation…

    oh, life is cruel, and so are we…

  5. Really appreciate it, pt.

    most students work too hard throughout the semester and then don’t cram enough. (i said this was terrible advice right?) neither group will retain much of anything.

    This was my BIGGEST takeaway from my first semester. I worked my ass off to prepare myself for every single class…and then found that didn’t really make me feel much better about the tests, so I worked my ass off to prepare for those too.

    if you went to law school not to be a lawyer but bc it can be a great launching pad for almost anything and also teach you how to think, you have swallowed some bullshit.

    Yep, I want to practice. It blows my mind that people spend the money, time, and effort for any other reason. Whatever other thing it is you want to do, I promise you there’s a better way to do it.

    but this is an awful excuse to be a lawyer or keep being a lawyer if you don’t like it.

    Enjoyed my first semester outside of all of the things I obviously didn’t enjoy about it, but this is really good advice going forward.

    after 1L contracts the answer is never ever unjust enrichment

    Heh, it was kind of implied to us that unconscionability, unjust enrichment, duress etc. were things you have to learn about in law school that you will never, ever use.

  6. I think mitch can shoot and work from the post…I just know he can hit that sky hook…

    forgot gorbert is playing tonight…should be a good night for frank…seems to play well when one of his french team buddies is around…

  7. guess now they’ll have to put in the only guy on the team big enough to have a chance of defending Gobert

  8. Before the season started, I thought the Knicks would win ~25 games. Under Mike Miller, the Knicks are performing like a 25 win team.

    Given the putrid first 22 games, it seems as if they will win around 20-22 games.

    In other words, I’m not surprised they have been out of their depth tonight.

  9. when wally says rj is too good of shooter to be a bad ft shooter what is he talking about?

    Another strong drive by the General

  10. this should be a good game for both frank and dot…the only way to stay with the jazz is good defense at the arc…and physical, got to maul them a bit…

    started noticing it with the suns, was obvious with the clips – teams are starting to run their offenses away from frank, or, at least cause a switch away from him…

  11. the jazz are a good team, playing well right now…

    ellington, knox and portis are going to kill us tonight…

  12. mitch has more in common with tyson than gobert… and he could be better… maybe much better than tyson but probably worse than gobert…

  13. It’s a 15-point deficit, but it could be a 25-point deficit. I think you have to credit Steve Mills for that difference. They should probably extend him.

  14. all these shots right in front of portis with mitch sitting on the bench…. smh…

    and we got bobby out there to hit that one 3… hope that was worth it…

  15. I’m not watching the game, and have no interest in the outcome, but I love Brian Unchained. He’s always been on the high road. Glad to see he’s joined the ranks of the cynical, jaded, and suicidal (misery likes company).

  16. pull all five guys…miller has to start yanking guys for not defending…

    that is a bit unlucky though to miss 3 layups like that…

  17. as the only man left standing i need to tell you they are looking at another portis melo head swipe right now

  18. Going forward Pills have to retool the team around Booby Portis! Such a talented young man with an intriguingly modern game chock full of upside – it’s a no-brainer to take his patented “shoot a bunch, get some boards and crazy eyes” play style over that unproven schmuck Robinson’s empty calorie highlight reel blocks and dunks!!!

    /s

  19. It’s been reported that Dolan’s traveling with the team on this Western road trip. Might he do something impulsive?

    Dolan: We’re getting blown out Mills. What the heck is happening?
    Mills: Randle and Morris are out.
    Dolan: They’re that important?
    Mills: Yes Jim, that’s why I signed them.
    Dolan: Pretty good GMing on your part, huh?
    Mills: Thanks Jim for recognizing.
    Dolan: Remember that contract extension for you we had talked about?…

  20. My wife is from Utah and I can attest that the racial makeup of the dancers is an accurate representation of the whole state.

  21. Frank blew through not just the 50 TS barrier tonight…he also cracked the 45% 2FG% barrier.

  22. we appreciate the real time shooting % updates… glad we can count on you for that…

    do you track anyone else or just frank?

  23. I knew you would appreciate it since you are always harping on the importance of 2FG%.

  24. well i actually appreciate 2p% on volume but i’m sure you know what the nswer to that is…

    or you could update everyone on that too while you’re at it since you’re being so thoughtful….

  25. I’ll take losses where one of Frank, RJ, and Mitchell play well all day long. If they can all play well at the same time, then I’m good with that too.

    Frank Ntilikina played about as well as you could expect him to so the final score doesn’t matter to me.

  26. Frank is still going to have his share of bad shooting nights and temporary comas, but if you still can’t see what he can become in 3-4 years when he reaches his peak, I don’t know what to say.

    He’s getting better at virtually every facet of the game, albeit very slowly. As his confidence grows (something that’s been holding him back), it’s not impossible he takes a bigger jump up than even the optimists expect.

    And not so long ago some people wanted to trade him for a bag of beans rather than pick up a few million of salary.

  27. And not so long ago some people wanted to trade him for a bag of beans rather than pick up a few million of salary.

    because he sucked – historically…

    you’re right though, it had much more to do with his maturity than athletic ability…

    still, absolutely no guarantee that the light was ever going to go on for him…that seems to have happened this summer though…

    to be honest, frank’s development has been the best part of the season so far for me (other than fiz getting gone)…

    i thought it would be RJ and mitch, but, no not really…frank’s been the story so far for me…

  28. Frank is still going to have his share of bad shooting nights and temporary comas, but if you still can’t see what he can become in 3-4 years when he reaches his peak, I don’t know what to say.

    I was told a few hours ago that no one has ever said anything like this

  29. This loss is a good thing. The best thing that can happen to the Knicks is to lose every game by 20 pts. It’s the only way to dump the world’s dumbest front office.

    If you’re not rooting for 30 pt losses, you’re not a TRUE Knicks fan

  30. wait a minute now early bird, so are you stating that hoping for a fiery demise of our front office is a little extreme…

    that all I really should be hoping for is 30 point losses…that in of itself should be sufficient for any sort of fandom service…

    I’ll be honest, I’m really thinking a well placed meteor would speed the whole road to contention process along rather quickly…

  31. Meteors are also an acceptable form of TRUE Knicks fandom, in fact the TRUE TRUE fandom lies only in our savior the meteor. Geo you’ve passed the test and may now ascend into the TRUE TRUE fandom.

  32. Wasn’t someone saying quite snidely the other day something, something about how we should carefully monitor the great gem E. Payton’s +/- vs poor incompetent Frank????

    May the words you choose be soft and sweet because they soon may be the words toy will have to eat…..

  33. Frank’s back story is so crazy I find it impossible not to outwardly root for him.

    https://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/knicks/frank-ntilikina-s-family-ties-run-strong-1.16802314

    Separated single mom escapes genocide and come back to a refugee camp to bring her family to Europe….. works and puts one son through medical school and another becomes an NBA player ….someone I can feel unabashedly good rooting for.

    I realize his first two seasons have been mired in varying degrees of suck, but he is getting better and is still a child. I find it pretty funny his TS% is within .002 of a Max player who we sold “on the cheap” for 2 #1 picks and a ton of cap space and is 3 years younger than said player, but it is unpossible for Frank to become a useful NBA player.

    I for one am very happy for Frank’s real progress this year and wish him the best. He is a completely easy guy to root for if you have realistic expectations.

    It isn’t his fault he was the 8th player taken in the draft.

  34. Separated single mom escapes genocide and come back to a refugee camp to bring her family to Europe….. works and puts one son through medical school and another becomes an NBA player

    Then comes to America for the first time in her life on Christmas to see her son play, only to find that there are dungeons here and Frank has been trapped in one by a heartless ignoramus.

  35. Then comes to America for the first time in her life on Christmas to see her son play, only to find that there are dungeons here and Frank has been trapped in one by a heartless ignoramus.

    Emmanuel Mudiay played 33 minutes and went 5-15 with four turnovers; Trey Burke played 15 minutes and went 1-7.

    Take that for data.

  36. I know where my love for Frank stems from…it comes from the genius nerve nebula storage facility in my brain where both pitcures of young Miles Davis and Frank lay one over another and I can’t tell them apart.When I see Frank I see Miles…They apear and love chimes in. One picture one emotion…love and adoration.
    I suspect that Frank was misplaced there by some mistake or by the shere greatness of Davis’ gravity force.
    Now Frank “only” has to find ways to earn that position in my brain. So far he didn’t pay any rent in the facility.

  37. Regardless of whether people have been on Ntilikina Island or Ntilikina-sucks-Island, there just isn’t any doubt that he’s getting a lot better this year. Whether that means he’s “good” is another story, but on a team with a lot of bad point guards, he is probably the best one and deserves to get starter minutes, not 7 minutes in the first half of a game that was a blowout already.

    Highest TS by a country mile (cringe)
    Best AST:TO ratio (2.4:1)
    Best 3P% (cringe)
    Best on/off net rating also by a mile (+6.9)
    Best offensive on/off (+5.2) despite being thought to be an offensive zero
    Obviously the best defender
    Youngest

    FWIW – last 15 games (only ~255 minutes) he is averaging per-36 -> 12.8 points, 5.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds with a TS of 56.3. Playing the B-Ref game, the only players that have hit these per-36 numbers for the entire season are Luka, Ben Simmons, Trae Young, and interestingly enough, DeAnthony Melton, who we all loved coming into the draft (but we took Mitch instead).

    And can we please trade Bobby Portis yesterday? thanks

  38. My wife is from Utah and I can attest that the racial makeup of the dancers is an accurate representation of the whole state.

    It certainly is… as someone who exiled themselves to the University of Utah in the early 70’s (it was 480 miles to the nearest race track Centennial Downs in Denver) Utah is the most under rated spot in this country for beautiful women.

    The Mormons sent huge numbers of missionaries to Scandinavian the late 1800’s and early 20th century. If you look through the Salt Lake phone book you’d think you are looking at the Copenhagen directory.

    God bless those “Granola Girls” from Utah…….

  39. BTW, DeAnthony Melton is a RFA this summer.

    I would offer a decent amount of our useless money with some sort of team option if possible.

  40. Frank’s TS% in January so far is 61.8%. Just sayin……

  41. sorry – that stat above the Trae Young / Luka / Ben Simmons — clearly dudes like Harden and Lebron are blowing past those stats — the search was for players 23 and younger ie. still developing.

  42. I know where my love for Frank stems from

    So do I.

    Other than his poor handle (which makes him ill equipped to be a team’s primary ballhandler), nearly all his issues seem to be mental and stem from anxiety. I’ve never argued that his numbers aren’t bad or that the numbers themselves don’t tell the whole story. He has been shit and I know it.

    But I suspect he currently suffers from incredible anxiety and imposter syndrome, something I know all too well about. When you put someone who thinks too much and isn’t sure of himself in an environment dominated by Alpha males where even the talentless ones have no self doubt at all, those people will struggle in the beginning. They need to be managed by intelligent people who see their talent and help them work through the mental aspect. Frank has been in the total opposite environment, he got beat on every day for not being aggressive, that has only doubled down his anxiety and self doubt.

    As this was the core struggle of my early professional career, it’s pretty easy for me to see when others are suffering from it. Granted, there could be a bias in me that projects it on others. All of us are a little narcissist and tend to see ourselves in people when we’re not really there. But even my ex-girlfriend, a practicing psychiatrist, took one look at the guy giving an interview and with no prior knowledge of him said “he’s having a panic attack right now.”

    Cont’d….

  43. …So yeah. I love the kid because he reminds me of my own professional struggle. And his idiot bosses (Fizdale, Perry, Mills) remind me of the old ones at my first job (they literally used to say “eat what you kill” just like that clown Fizdale). They only know how to manage Alphas and if you’re not an alpha they shit on you and tell you to be an alpha, which you don’t know how to do, so it only furthers your self doubt and of course that impacts your performance.

    If I’m right (rare, I know, but it has been known to happen), Frank’s terrible numbers are slightly less predictive than a normal sample of 4,000+ NBA minutes because they’re impacted by anxiety and that is a wall I know can be broken through.

  44. there just isn’t any doubt that he’s getting a lot better this year

    based on what? what exactly has improved that isn’t explained by him having to get down to a microscopic # of attempts? most of his rosy shooting #s are explained by exactly that… and the fact that other teams decide to just leave him open most of the time….

    a month ago we were talking about career highs in stls and blks…. that has and is rapidly evaporating… we were also talking about mr no doubt knox improving also… that also has rapidly evaporated…. can we even find those guys anymore? where have they gone?

    maybe this is sustainable for the next 5 games… but over the entire season? well maybe that too… but don’t pitch this as some good thing long term… it’s most definitely not that…

    i would enjoy it… if you’re a fan of frank this is about as good as it gets…. but pawn off garbage analysis as some no doubt thing… that’s gonna end up looking quite stupid in not too long a time….

  45. I do want you to know, Hubert, that I respect your struggles. But please, let’s not diagnose people randomly like this, specially a guy who has literally never had reported issues with mental health.

    You might love Ntilikina as much as you want, but you have no idea and you can’t possibly have an idea if he suffers from anxiety or anything like that. You’re projecting what you want to see in him. Mental health is a thing in high level sports, as a lot of athletes struggle with it but can’t really work it out in a “macho” environment where it’s frowned upon, but projecting this type of issue on a player just because it might be a thing is detrimental to the very discussion over mental health, in my opinion. I know you said you’re probably projecting this, but please, let’s not do it.

  46. I am happy to get anyone on the record saying WS48, BPM, etc. are good ways to evaluate Frank Ntilikina.

    Call me a wet blanket, hater, whatever all you want, but last night’s game as actually a very good illustration of why I’m not buying the Ntilikina leap.

    After going 3-3 from the 16<3 range last night, he's now at .523 from there on the season and takes a boatload of his shots (21.5%) from that notoriously inefficient area. Dirk Nowitzki’s career high from that range was .513, and he was only at .500+ 3 times.

    That accounts for the overwhelming majority of the “leap” we’ve seen, because he really hasn’t gotten better in any other areas as djphan alludes to above.

    So yeah, if you think Frank is now better than Dirk Nowitzki at hitting long twos you should feel free to dunk on me and be very excited. You’re putting an incredible amount of faith in a trend that seems flagrantly anomalous to me, but hey, I hope you are in fact correct and we now have Frank Ntiliwitzki.

  47. based on what? what exactly has improved that isn’t explained by him having to get down to a microscopic # of attempts? most of his rosy shooting #s are explained by exactly that… and the fact that other teams decide to just leave him open most of the time….

    Hello King of Ntilikina Sucks Island! So good to hear from you.

    1st – 15 games is not that small a sample. But fine. For the actual entire season his 2p% has increased to 45.6%, which while not great, is, you know, a lot higher than the 37 and 38% he shot his first 2 seasons. In my line of work, we call this “improving”. It places him in the “not great” company of dudes 21 and younger, but currently players such as Jayson Tatum, Kevin Huerter, Josh Okogie, Tyler Herro, Jarrett Culver etc also have 2p% around the same place. (btw Culver is only 6 months younger than Frank).

    2nd – he’s cut his turnovers from 2.8-> 2.2 -> 2 per 36 – and that’s in spite of playing on the ball as a PG way more than previous years (92% of his minutes have been at PG per B-R as opposed to 66-70% the prior 2 years). Turnovers are bad for offense, so fewer turnovers is good for offense, right?

    3rd – his free throw rate is “up” to 17.1%. That obviously still isn’t great, but it’s a lot better than 2 previous years. Other players with similar FTRs that you wouldn’t say “don’t belong in the NBA” are: Miles Bridges, Rui Hachimura, Huerter, Anfernee Simons, Malik Monk (ok maybe Malik doesn’t belong in the NBA).

    4th – the team just plays better with him on the floor. It’s basically incontrovertible at this point. So regardless of whether your gestalt is that he sucks, the team plays better on defense AND offense.

    djphan – i know you are invested in Frank sucking because you’ve come out so adamantly against him and because you’ve spent so much time watching film. But the numbers are right in front of you.

  48. and interestingly enough, DeAnthony Melton, who we all loved coming into the draft (but we took Mitch instead).

    admittedly it’s about forever early to be calling game on this, but i don’t see how anyone can stop me:

    ptmilo
    June 21, 2018 at 9:48 pm
    now I’m rooting for Melton to fall to 36. I have silly drama of him being the new Alvin Robertson.

    http://bkref.com/tiny/9aS8s

    not sure why it autocorrected into drama instead of “dream” like i was gennady golovkin

  49. You might love Ntilikina as much as you want, but you have no idea and you can’t possibly have an idea if he suffers from anxiety or anything like that. You’re projecting what you want to see in him.

    I agree, and I said as much:

    “Granted, there could be a bias in me that projects it on others. All of us are a little narcissist and tend to see ourselves in people when we’re not really there.”

  50. a month ago we were talking about career highs in stls and blks…. that has and is rapidly evaporating…

    for the record he is still averaging career-highs in steals and blocks.
    and career lows in turnovers
    and career highs in offensive rating
    and 2p%
    and 3p%
    and TS
    and FT%
    and FTR
    and AST%
    and OWS
    and DWS
    and WS/48
    and OBPM
    and DBPM
    and BPM
    and VORP
    and PER
    and RPM

    nobleface – i hear what you’re saying, but his TS is also improved related to better higher 3 point rate, slightly higher 3p%, and at least compared to last year, better and more frequent finishing at the rim.

  51. Frank does take a bunch of shots from the mid-range. But, unlike Melo or Nowitzki, who also took a lot of mid range shots, he seems to be wide open when he does it. I think that’s sustainable if the shots aren’t from close to the three point line. Melo and Nowizki were always guarded, so they are not fair comps. If Frank numbers go up and teams start to regard him as an offensive threat, teams might start guarding him closer. Then his mid range shots will go down again, but that’s ok, it make the offense a bit easier for the rest of the team.

  52. To be clear, I merely stated my reason for why I like him so much.

    I’m not saying that I know something y’all are overlooking. Nor am I saying y’all are wrong to think his 4,000 minutes are as predictive as any 4,000 minutes.

    I’m just saying that is why I choose to stubbornly stay in Camp Frank despite a lot of overwhelming evidence.

    His “Please Don’t Trade Me” game (https://deadspin.com/frank-ntilikina-gave-the-knicks-a-please-dont-trade-me-1830988452) is right out of my personal playbook. Made him endearing AF to me.

  53. I have always liked Frank and always been a little more optimistic than the pessimists. But I still don’t see how all this ends with us signing him to a deal that generates major surplus.

    Still, I definitely like watching him play and when he rose up last night and swished that 18 footer it was the most excitement I have felt for a midrange jumpshot in years.

  54. but projecting this type of issue on a player just because it might be a thing is detrimental to the very discussion over mental health, in my opinion

    I’m not sure I understand this but if there’s even a chance I’m overlooking something that is detrimental I will stand down and not raise it again.

  55. everyone goes through anxiety…when it happens on the court.. it’s usually a sign of someone being overmatched..

    can we blame anxiety for darkos failures? what about kwame?

    You get through anxiety by doing stuff… Practicing.. Gaining skills.. knowledge and experience… Over the long run.. you can’t blame performance issues on anxiety alone.. it means you either don’t have the ability or you’re not preparing…

    Out in the real world… You can blame external factors… Bosses or clients giving unrealistic targets is just one example… Out on the court.. unless you’re injured.. if you’ve been given plenty of opportunity.. which Frank has
    gotten (despite some efforts to say he’s been held down when he’s gotten 3600 minutes so far).. and not having injury… Which Frank hasn’t (despite some efforts to make one up for him)… then you need to perform..

    And he hasn’t.. and there aren’t indications that he will get there …

  56. The “4,000 minutes” aren’t indicative or predictive of anything. If Frank was American, he’d have spent those minutes playing college basketball and it’s irrelevant whether he did that or played them in the NBA. Age is far more indicative and predictive.

    He’s better in the NBA at 21 than people like Kemba Walker and Spencer Dinwiddie were.

  57. Yes, how dare Frank actually make the shots he takes!

    Like I said, I hope he keeps doing it! I don’t care one bit about having been right or wrong about his future prospects–if I’m wrong, and he is in fact now a Nowitzki-level midrange shooter, I will be perfectly comfortable with the process I used to come to my conclusion.

    My point is that if you normalize his 16<3 FG%, everything else starts to look a lot more like the Frank Ntilikina we saw in years 1-2.

    Frank (the poster) is right that he’s taking a higher percentage of his shots from 3, but he’s taking so few shots in general these days that his 3PA/36 is actually down compared to last year. He’s also right that his FTr has seen a bump…but again, we’re dealing with such tiny usage that has amounted to 1.6 FTA/36 compared to 1.4 and 1.2 from his first two seasons. Same story with his TOs–he’s turning it over less because he’s doing few things, but his TOV% is actually up from last year.

    In other words, if you’re buying the leap, you’re buying the He Became Dirk Theory, because everything else is variance with little-to-no statistical relevance.

    Seriously guys, I’d much rather the Knicks have a secret two-way stud on the roster than be right on a message board. I promise you that. I am simply saying why I personally don’t think he’s made a quantum leap ;)

    I’ll actually put some skin in the game and predict (barring injury that ruins the sample size) that his 16<3 FG% comes down, and it brings his TS% to .480 or below on the season. Signing this post with a regular refrain: hope I'm wrong!

  58. The “4,000 minutes” aren’t indicative or predictive of anything. If Frank was American, he’d have spent those minutes playing college basketball and it’s irrelevant whether he did that or played them in the NBA. Age is far more indicative and predictive.

    There’s that, too, which is the non-personal argument I’ve been making for him for quite some time.

  59. I don’t think he’s clinically anxious in any serious sense, but I do think there was a significant adjustment to the American expectations of how a point guard is supposed to play, which had significant mental effects on things like assertiveness and confidence. That adjustment is ongoing.

    And, let’s face reality, he’s had to do all this adjusting for a dreadful coach with a record of borderline prejudice against Europeans, and a dreadful, pitifully incompetent organization.

  60. you can’t blame performance issues on anxiety alone.. it means you either don’t have the ability or you’re not preparing…

    I strongly disagree with the second part. I think you’re overlooking the role that incompetent management can play.

    Let’s put aside the mental health bit as Bruno suggested. It was a personal anectode and not something we should judge him on.

    But the developmental ability of the Knicks’ organization is a real thing, and Frank clearly suffered from being drafted into a structure overseen by Fizdale, Mills, and Perry.

  61. I’m not going to make any predictions because I think his groin is still hurt. (I’ll eat the no skin in the game accusations.) He’s running and moving with his …. glutes … stuck out in a way that he wasn’t before and, while he’s still an excellent defender, he’s not the whirling dervish holy terror he was prior to the Boston home game when he tweaked it.

    Which is why he’s perpetually listed as questionable in the pregames.

    That’s the easy way out, yeah, but that’s my good faith belief. He’s got good shooting form, takes good care of the ball, and is an elite defender. Those are the raw materials that can be built upon. I’ll leave it at that.

  62. My point is that if you normalize his 16<3 FG%, everything else starts to look a lot more like the Frank Ntilikina we saw in years 1-2.

    I like this analysis of Frank’s shooting. The way I’m seeing it is Frank was previously good at nothing on offense. He now has a bit of a bread and butter – he runs a pick and roll and pulls up around the foul line. He has been making that shot very consistently, it’s also been extremely uncontested consistently, in part I think because a lot of NBA defenses now are geared to give up that shot – they want to prevent the PG from driving or pulling up from 3 but will live with that shot – and in part because they probably haven’t been treating Frank as much of a threat.

    I would add to your point about regression to the mean that there’s also the question of how far you can take an offensive game with that as the core strength. That’s exactly why NBA defenses are designed to give up that shot, because even if it’s open, and you hit it at a good rate, there’s still a cap on how efficient you can be doing that. So making that shot has been a good way for Frak to go from truly awful to only kind of awful in efficiency terms, but the next step to true respectability will probably have to look significantly different even if the midrange shooting is real. Still I think seeing him add anything to his offensive game (after two years of largely failing to do so) has to be encouraging.

  63. Have we already discussed that Randle’s absence has been vaguely described as a “family matter?”

    It certainly is… as someone who exiled themselves to the University of Utah in the early 70’s (it was 480 miles to the nearest race track Centennial Downs in Denver) Utah is the most under rated spot in this country for beautiful women.

    I mean hey, when you’re separate by sex in your early teens and all but commanded to be as attractive as possible for the first returned missionary who catches your eye, you’re gonna put some effort into it (hence why my fervently feminist ex-mo U grad is married to a fellow heathen, albeit one of those Northeast Episcopal ultra-liberals)

    Lloyd Pierce has to be on the chopping block, right? The Hawks look simply terrible and their two lottery picks are testing the limits of acceptable NBA play. I’m going to call it now that Reddish does not finish his rookie contract in red and gold. He might be one of those rare hype picks that ends up on a non-guaranteed 1-year deal come his 5th year.

  64. I agree that hitting an open foul line jumper off a pick and roll isn’t going to drive volume shooting or great efficiency, but it makes his pick and rolls better, which is a very good thing. I predict that if he keeps hitting that shot, defenses will start paying attention and he will get fouled more, which will contribute to good efficiency.

  65. the vague explanations for randle’s absence make it sound like a death in the family or something along those lines, but who knows.

  66. @64

    FWIW – last 15 games (only ~255 minutes) he is averaging per-36 -> 12.8 points, 5.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds with a TS of 56.3.

    Encouraging, but such a small sample size. Perhaps just keep him playing 16-18 minutes or so per game and see if he is turning the corner into a consistently decent player, or if he u-turns and goes back down stiff street. I’d love to see his 3p% get up over 35%.

    The FT shooting is very encouraging, if he can just get to the line consistently to take advantage of it.

    I missed the game last night, but how in the world did Payton play 24 minutes or so with 0 assists? Were they running the offense through Portis?

  67. I think part of Frank’s improved play is again due to Miller. It’s just eyetest, but it looks like Miller is able to have Frank start the PnR near the FT line rather than the 3pt line. By putting Frank closer to the basket it allows him to rely on his passing and minimizes the need for his still semi-terrible handles. Moreover I think Frank can use his length to shoot over people the way Mudiay does (Mudiay continues his ridiculous midrange shooting this year). It’s not an optimal 3 or layup play but it does appear to maximize Frank’s skillset.

    FWIW, RAPTOR and RPM both still rate Payton significantly higher than Frank. Both have him better on offense. RAPTOR even prefers Payton’s defense by a lot.

    So if you guys want we can always argue about that now, can’t let the Frank arguments die.

  68. Highest TS by a country mile (cringe)
    Best AST:TO ratio (2.4:1)
    Best 3P% (cringe)
    Best on/off net rating also by a mile (+6.9)
    Best offensive on/off (+5.2) despite being thought to be an offensive zero
    Obviously the best defender
    Youngest

    I don’t know where you got the AST:TO number but I’m fairly certain Payton is significantly better. Not trying to start an argument, just curious if you’re seeing that somewhere esle. Per BKRef:

    Payton Totals: 113 AST, 45 TO
    Frank Totals: 113 AST, 38 TO

    Payton AST:TO = 2.97
    Frank AST:TO = 2.51

    Dotson actually leads the team in AST:TO ratio at over 3, but both total numbers are of course minuscule

    As a side note, Payton is inexplicably having his worst shooting year, worse than even his rookie year (although it could change after a game). Could that be a lingering hamstring issue or something else? Stress from a pregnant spouse?

  69. My point is that if you normalize his 16<3 FG%, everything else starts to look a lot more like the Frank Ntilikina we saw in years 1-2.

    How about normalizing his 3-10 feet and 10-16 feet FG% also because those are both below his 3 year average and in one case so preposterously low it’s hard to imagine he won’t improve on it.

    I’m in the camp that thinks you should look for aberrational results that seem unlikely to be sustained, but I’m not in the camp that thinks you should cherry pick trying to make a case.

    To me, the bigger issue is that his reputation around the league is that he’s a bad shooter. So teams do not concentrate on him defensively. They often leave him open or at least with more space than they would other players. Hence, my repeated opinion that he has to at least get good enough to “make them pay” for that defensive strategy.

    It seems he may be reaching that stage now (hopefully). If so, they are going to start defending him tighter and he’ll regress shooting (or shoot less). The flip side being with less space, he may be able to drive more and that will open up more chances to make plays or draw fouls.

  70. 1st – …For the actual entire season his 2p% has increased to 45.6%, which while not great, is, you know, a lot higher than the 37 and 38% he shot his first 2 seasons…

    why are we looking at this in a vacuum? his attempts in 2p territory have gone down over 25% to do it.. and these are the widest of open opportunities.. he wasn’t even guarded or contested on any of his makes last night.. what skill has he actually gained?

    2nd – he’s cut his turnovers from 2.8-> 2.2 -> 2 per 36 –

    if his attempts are down that means he’s actually handling the ball less.. and hence less turnovers.. as a function of his overall ball handling ability these are fake gains also…. tov% captures this..

    3rd – his free throw rate is “up” to 17.1%.

    again a function of his decreased attempts across the board…

    4th – the team just plays better with him on the floor.

    claimed without evidence…

    djphan – i know you are invested in Frank sucking because you’ve come out so adamantly against him and because you’ve spent so much time watching film. But the numbers are right in front of you.

    the difference between you and me is that i don’t just stop as soon as i find something good to talk about frank…. i’m in the frank sucks camp because he sucks. and for whatever reason there’s a very loud contingent who refuse to accept it.. and for whatever reason whenever he has a strong game we get the same cast of characters popping out of the woodwork to wag their fingers at the rest of the people but for a month we managed to get some silence…. which oh so happened to coincide with frank sucking…

    if you want to shove variance in ppl’s faces and claim victory go ahead.. i imagine you’ll retreat onto your frank island shortly with rest of the cast of characters until theres more variance you can come up for oxygen on..

  71. RAPTOR even prefers Payton’s defense by a lot.

    Return to sender.

    Yeah, it’s weird. But I don’t make the numbers up. I still doubt the efficacy of those numbers, but it’s notable.

    RAPTOR Defense: Frank -0.4; Elf +1.5
    RPM Defense: Frank 0.77; Elf 0.41

    Best guest is that Elf’s rebounding is a significant factor.

  72. By putting Frank closer to the basket it allows him to rely on his passing and minimizes the need for his still semi-terrible handles.

    That’s an interesting observation. I haven’t picked that up but seems plausible.

  73. How about normalizing his 3-10 feet and 10-16 feet FG% also because those are both below his 3 year average and in one case so preposterously low it’s hard to imagine he won’t improve on it.

    Feel free, but it ain’t gonna change much. He takes all of 6% of his shots from 3-10, and you’d be boosting his current .167 FG% to a whopping .225% career figure.

    As for 10-16, again, not really gonna budge anything. Right now he’s at .300, career figure is .348, takes 10% of his shots from there.

    Sorry man, but these aren’t comparable to a .523 rate from the area he takes a plurality of his 2PT attempts.

    You already know what I think is going to happen, do you care to make a prediction about his end-of-season TS%? I know the answer already, just thought I’d ask.

  74. A while ago we discussed at length why RAPTOR is a terrible metric.

    I missed that discussion or don’t recall it unless it was more generally about all-in-one numbers or using +/- data. I’m always skeptical about defensive data. I do think people on this board overrate Frank’s defense a lot. He’s a plus, but he’s not an all-world, game-changing defender outside of a 6 game stretch.

    The number can be wrong or the perception can be wrong, it could be A it could be B.

  75. None of the all-in-one metrics particularly like Frank’s defense this year. The rebounding is a factor, but it’s also just that we’re a really bad defensive team that hasn’t been significantly better when he plays (cleaning the glass says 1.1 points better when he’s on the court), which was also true last year. Whenever we all reach a consensus on his offense (haha) then we can actually move onto the difficult question, which is how good is this guy actually on defense.

  76. My point, Hubert, was more that when we start speculating about people suffering from anxiety issues, when there’s no real indication (specially coming from the guy himself), we trivialize the subject. Anxiety is a very real thing that in my opinion needs to be treated carefully, with proper help and through proper channels. Once we start speculating about people who might seem uncomfortable to us as spectators with no real information, I think it’s a dangerous path to take and its disrespectful to a person who well, we pretty much don’t know anything about except his back story and what the media tells us.

    I know you said you were just projecting and I acknowledged that, I just think nowadays people tend to diagnose others too quickly through unreliable information and that makes it seem like mental health issues are something trivial we can ascertain through uninformed perceptions.

  77. You already know what I think is going to happen, do you care to make a prediction about his end-of-season TS%? I know the answer already, just thought I’d ask.

    He’s ahead of where I was hoping for this year in virtually every way except from the 3 point line. I was hoping for more like 34%-35% since I saw him as a 3&D player & secondary play maker that should’t be doing much else. So to me, the 3P% was a key going into the year. 3p% is one of the more volatile stats. We’ll see.

    I’m not JUST looking at raw percentages and stats. I’m looking at what’s happening on the court and WHY. His ultimate TS% will depend on how he’s defended, how aggressive he is despite that, & other random and not so random things.

    What I see now is a guy whose handle is clearly better than it was, FT% is clearly better than it was, left hand passing is clearly better than it was, overall confidence level seems to be rising, shooting seems to be improving, and that now has a handful of moves to the basket that he didn’t have before.

    That should translate into better scoring efficiency to go along with his plus defense. So far it is. I think’s he’s getting very close to being a overall neutral player.

    It’s supported by the fact that the team is better with him on the court for the 3rd straight year and especially in lineups with Mitch and Dotson (who incidentally both try to play defense also).

    The thing is, he’s doing so many things just a little better, I’m starting to adjust my long term thinking. I think he could eventually become a plus offensive player and have an impact on that side on some nights too. That may be several years out, but unlike the “let’s draft our way out of this mess”, I have a lot of patience with young players as long as they are smart, seem to be working hard, and are getting better.

  78. Whenever we all reach a consensus on his offense (haha) then we can actually move onto the difficult question, which is how good is this guy actually on defense.

    IMO, he’s not elite, but the evidence clearly indicates he’s a plus defender. To which I’ll add, he’s also 21. It’s not like defense doesn’t get better also as you learn and develop physically.

  79. I don’t think there’s any way to argue that Frank is not improving on offense. He most definitively is shooting better. He’s played almost as many minutes this year so far as he did all of last injury-tainted season, and his TS% has steadily climbed as he’s gotten more playing time.

    He still has a long way to go before he’s a true rotation-level NBA guard on a good team. But I don’t see anything quirky about the improvement in his shooting. My guess is that he will finish the year with a TS% somewhere in the low .500s. His 2pt shooting will get worse, his 3pt shooting will get better, he’ll improve his FTr and continue hitting FTs at a high %, whatever.

    More troubling for me is his lack of improvement in rebounding, and his low assist% on low usage. He’s still got to put a lot more meat on those 21 yo bones. But many of the arguments against him in the past have been about how little impact even improving his 3pt% substantially would have on his .420-ish TS% i.e. how dramatically far away from a .500+ TS% he was. Now that he’s there, it rings kind of hollow to nitpick how he got there. He’s shooting better, period.

  80. the difference between you and me is that i don’t just stop as soon as i find something good to talk about frank…. i’m in the frank sucks camp because he sucks.

    you must have been a master debater in high school. you’re right because you’re right. got it. sorry for even disputing that.

    if his attempts are down that means he’s actually handling the ball less.. and hence less turnovers.. as a function of his overall ball handling ability these are fake gains also…. tov% captures this..

    TOV% is the thing that is fool-able. Remember when Melo had the lowest TOV% in the world because he just took more shots? Shooting the ball a lot and increasing the denominator does not mean you turned the ball over less, it means you shot more shots. And the purpose of offense is not to make your own shot totals go up, it is increase the team’s overall efficiency. Frank is shooting better this year himself. The team shoots better with him on the floor (eFG 50.5 vs 48.4). The team turns the ball over less with him on the floor (TOV% 13.9 vs. TOV% 15.3). The team’s ORtg is better with him on floor. Caveats to on/off stats, sure, but unless you have evidence of the contrary, the team plays better with him on the floor.

    why are we looking at this in a vacuum? his attempts in 2p territory have gone down over 25% to do it.. and these are the widest of open opportunities.. he wasn’t even guarded or contested on any of his makes last night.. what skill has he actually gained?

    this is an interesting point. lemme process: I thought we were trying to generate open shots, but you are asking him to take more guarded and contested shots as evidence that he’s a better offensive player, and the fact that he’s not taking more guarded and contested shots is therefore evidence he hasn’t improved on offense. got it.

    btw he is not handling the ball less – see tracking data.

  81. @112

    Thanks for the balance Z-Man. It’s appreciated. I get tired of arguing.

    I’m not sure how much improvement we are going to see in his rebounding unless he actually tries harder. The other night a ball came off the board and he got the rebound by outworking another Knick. That literally was the first I can recall him actually trying for a rebound that was kind of 50-50 with another Knick. I was laughing and yelled at the TV, “Stat stuffer!” He stands around and doesn’t try most of the time unless it’s clearly coming towards him. It’s an area where he should be doing better because he’s long and a bit stronger now than he was. At least 1-2 extra boards per 36??? I really think it’s partially effort and not a mental focus for him yet because he’s so overwhelmed with other things he has to improve first.

  82. More troubling for me is his lack of improvement in rebounding, and his low assist% on low usage.

    i think maybe you’re confusing ast% with assist ratio — ast% is the % of teammates’ field goals he assists on, and should not be affected by his usage.

    Assist “ratio” = the percentage of a player’s possessions that ends in an assist. Assist Ratio = (Assists x 100) divided by [(FGA + (FTA x 0.44) + Assists + Turnovers]

    Frank’s assist% is pretty much in line with other PGs who are not the primary initiators on their team – ie. George Hill, Brogdon when he was in MIL, and is actually better than guys like Beverley, Avery Bradley, etc.

    His assist ratio on the other hand is where you’d expect it to be — #13 in the league, in line with the other pass first guards.

  83. @frank, the more passes you make, the more chances at an assist you have. A player with a higher usage probably also has more touches that end in passes per possession than a player with a lower usage just cuz that lower usage player probably has far fewer opportunities to make a pass since his team will likely keep him away from the primary action on offense.

  84. A certain 221 cm. tornado of controversy recently received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his now balky right knee. That sounds … not good.

  85. you must have been a master debater in high school. you’re right because you’re right. got it.

    wait are you arguing that frank is not only improving… but that he’s good? i’m right because he unequivocally sucks.. not because i am inherently so… do you want to make the argument that he’s good?

    Caveats to on/off stats, sure, but unless you have evidence of the contrary, the team plays better with him on the floor.

    so you’re gonna totally throw out all the caveats with on/off data .. midseason on/off data at that… and then say the team unequivocally plays better with him on the floor? because of frank? randle/mitch pairings were significantly underwater to start the season also.. and everyone on this board off a sample a few hundred minutes declared that it was unworkable.. where is it at now?

    TOV% is the thing that is fool-able.

    no it’s not… it tells you more about how a player is doing.. if you’re shooting more.. unless they’re all catch and shoot opps… then you’re gonna turn the ball over more… especially when you’re driving towards the basket… that frank’s to’s per 36 are down is a function of him shooting significantly less… else it would probably be right where it was last year… we’re talking almost a rounding error here so this is not some significant improvement either….

    I thought we were trying to generate open shots,

    it’s the fact that if he did take more he’d be right where he was… same thing happened with knox a month ago… ppl were drumming up excitement for him… but as soon as his hot shooting from 3 evaporated so did any talk that knox was better…

    same thing will happen with frank…

  86. I was just thinking last night – what do you pair with the Knicks playing the second game of a back to back at 4200 feet without two of our main dawgs? For that matter, what do you pair with a matchup against the second worst team at home or against the Bucks (ouzo? for Giannis)? What are my day drinking options for those Sunday 12 pm games or for Friday night Knicks? How do I adjust the pairing after suddenly realizing that Clyde is in St. Croix?

    This is 500 posts easy….

  87. A certain 221 cm. tornado of controversy recently received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his now balky right knee. That sounds … not good.

    Doesn’t matter. Dallas can flip him for 4 firsts. He’s a top 10 asset, don’t forget it.

  88. For that matter, what do you pair with a matchup against the second worst team at home or against the Bucks (ouzo? for Giannis)?

    This is a question some of us intend to answer on Tuesday. I’ll let you know.

  89. Also, I hate the name of AST% because it’s one of the more confusing monikers on BKRef. They should really make it more explicit what it’s tied to, I think I’ve seen TmAST% in some other places.

  90. I don’t know why i get sucked into these Frank battles with djphan.

    Look – I’m not saying Frank is “good” like how James Harden is “good”. I’m saying he is improving and maybe is no longer “bad” or “sucks”. You’ve basically said that he is unsalvageable, and I’m saying that almost every stat for the guy has improved this year. We don’t have more sample size because, well, there’s only 30 something games to look at. But – from the sample we have — His steals per 100 poss have improved. His blocks per 100 poss have improved. His TOs per 100 poss have improved. his FT makes per 100 poss are marginally better. His 3 point percentage is marginally better. His 2P% is definitely better, but I would definitely concede that the midrange shooting is likely to regress. And box score stats are known to be bad at evaluating the best part of his game, which is his defense. In the current state of things he looks pretty solidly like a rotation player in this league. And that doesn’t suck.

    Your point is that he’s going to suck forever based on the fact that he sucked when he was 19 years old and when he was 20 years old playing on and off for a horrible coach while dealing with groin injury for much of the season. We’re just going to have agree to disagree.

  91. Also, I think it is a no-brainer that a guy who is improving, is 21, and seems to be trending up, should play more than a guy who has 5 seasons of track record and who has not improved basically at all. I like Payton just fine but he’s a backup PG. We non-djphan people don’t really know completely who Frank is yet.

  92. i’d just like to add that i too am all frank and kp’d out for the moment…all the outpouring of frank love is getting a little creepy…desperate times though, so it’s understood…

    i second the notion to switch the subject to booze or movies…still need to rent and watch joker and once upon a time in hollywood soon…

    speaking of “once upon a time” movies…

    watching once upon a time in the west right now…just watching bits and pieces of it at a time to pass a little bit of time during the days…

    i remember the first time i really took notice of henry fonda, it was in mister roberts where he played his usual: intelligent, good hearted and elegant type character…most other movies i watched with him in it were similar in his character portrayals…

    than i saw my name is nobody where he played this “good” hearted gunslinger that had a touch of wickedness to him, and i was very intrigued by his character…haven’t seen the movie in decades, but, it was one of my favorites growing up…

    and then came his character: frank – pure evil, and, lord did he play that character to perfection…those eyes of his were amazing…blew away all preconceptions i had for the kind of actor henry fonda was…he was better than just good, he was great…

    of course the cinematography and music composition for the film is exquisite – but, i got that harmonica sound that plays whenever charles bronson’s around stuck in my head now…

    just a little taste – if you dare

  93. wait are you arguing that frank is not only improving… but that he’s good? i’m right because he unequivocally sucks.. not because i am inherently so… do you want to make the argument that he’s good?

    Unless they changed the definition of “sucks” since I went to school this can’t be a serious assertion.

    The only model that says he sucks is PER and that model sucks. lol

    On all the other models, it’s a debate about how “below average” he is depending on how BAD you think those models are at measuring his individual contribution to the defense.

    Some models use a team level adjustment as part of the individual defensive calculation (which in NY’s case sucks). He’s clearly better than average within the team. Only a crazy person would argue otherwise.

    He’s also doing things like getting deflections, causing issues with passing lanes due to his length, switching more effectively than average, playing above average man defense against most matchups, and sometimes helping delay the possession until late in the clock with pressure on the ball handler.

    All the evidence suggests he’s a plus defender whose ratings are to some degree getting dragged by team level adjustments and/or incomplete models.

    So subjectively tweak whatever those models say or look at adjusted plus/minus, on/off, and lineup based data to try to understand his value in a way that doesn’t suffer from as big a deficiency of measuring players that are more defense oriented (or very poor on that end).

    I say he’s a small net negative player.

    That’s doesn’t mean I’m exactly right, but no way he “sucks”.

  94. Imagine if I would have told you before the season that on 1/8/20 that Frank Ntilikina would be shooting better from the field, three point land, and the free throw line than RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox and Dennis Smith Jr. That's where we are.— John Schmeelk (@Schmeelk) January 9, 2020

  95. @128

    Once Upon a Time in the West is arguably the greatest Western ever made. Ennio Moricone should’ve won an Oscar for his theme music. Word was that Leone played his compositions during the filming the movie because he wanted the actors to synchronize their scenes with the music. I still get chills listening To The Man With the Harmonica. It’s basically Death’s rattle.

  96. I would love to get a running list of Opponent-Drink Pairings from KBlogger

    This is a worthy endeavor.

    I would pair Friday’s matchup vs New Orleans with a wine made from sour grapes.

  97. I would pair Friday’s matchup vs New Orleans with a wine made from sour grapes.

    Wouldn’t sour grapes be the logical choice for any Knicks game?

  98. For the drinks that go with different teams maybe it should be something that goes with their city, like beer for Milwaukee, boilermakers for Chicago, and mint juleps for the Pacers, assuming the name Pacers refers to horses.

  99. For the drinks that go with different teams maybe it should be something that goes with their city, like beer for Milwaukee, boilermakers for Chicago, and mint juleps for the Pacers, assuming the name Pacers refers to horses.

    Naming a city’s most famous drink isn’t that creative, though. There needs to be something Knicks-related to it. (Sour grapes for New Orleans was a Zion reference, for example).

    Boston may be known for Sam Adams, but the Celtics get me riled up in a way that is better represented by Four Loko.

    And the Indiana Pacers (named after the pace car at the Indy 500) were so detestable in the 90s, they should be paired with bathtub gin.

  100. watching once upon a time in the west right now…just watching bits and pieces of it at a time to pass a little bit of time during the days…

    I’ve been doing the same. I was sick earlier in the week and found it incredibly frustrating because I could tell how good the movie was but couldn’t entirely focus on it.

    I would watch a Sergio Leone movie filming nothing but a person’s face for 3 hours, with music of course provided by Ennio Morricone. Then again I watch the Knicks every other night, so it’s a low bar.

  101. In the current state of things he looks pretty solidly like a rotation player in this league. And that doesn’t suck.

    in what rotation now? i find this is highly interesting…. please list….

  102. @131
    Once Upon a Time in the West is my all-time favorite western. Way back in the 80’s I had a chance to see it at an indoor theater in all its glory.

  103. He’s also doing things like getting deflections, causing issues with passing lanes due to his length, switching more effectively than average, playing above average man defense against most matchups, and sometimes helping delay the possession until late in the clock with pressure on the ball handler.

    All the evidence suggests he’s a plus defender whose ratings are to some degree getting dragged by team level adjustments and/or incomplete models.

    what evidence? please list…

  104. I did see Mudiay throw a ball into the stands yesterday while getting guarded by Frank. There is some of that.

    I don’t know, I can believe Frank will be rosterable but I can’t believe he will ever be worth 4 and 48 when the time comes for his second contract.

    As for the drinks, we probably need a sommelier or a bartender who really likes the Knicks to help.

    I do think a little ouzo over ice would work for Giannis and the Bucks. That’s how the Greeks drink it, although it works better when it’s hot out. The taste is surprisingly sweet in your mouth, kind of like when you are getting beaten by 20 by the Bucks but it’s ok because he is going to be a Knick in two years.

  105. Over the holidays my younger brother forced me to watch his favorite western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

    Definitely another great Western, but the difference in visualization and images seems decades behind Once Upon a Time in the West despite being released only 6 years apart.

    John Ford’s directing is solid and he made the choice to film in black and white which doesn’t help much with seeming more out of date, however, the choice does do some great things for the movie in the climactic, titular scene. The film is more about the underlying question it asks, than stunning visuals or music.

    John Wayne and Lee Marvin do a good job. Jimmy Stewart plays his usual character. IMO, there’s a few scenes where people overact.

    For me I still definitely prefer anything Sergio Leone, only seen the Dollars trilogy and haven’t finished Once Upon…, but For a Few Dollars More should get more respect. I haven’t seen either in awhile, so my opinion may change, but I prefer Few More to Good, Bad, Ugly. We’ll see if I change my mind after Once Upon…

  106. I’m notsure why you suggest four years and $48M for Frank. If you look at this chart, you can see that point guard salaries are all over the map, but point guards who aren’t starters typically get less than $10M a year. A good comparison might be Elfrid Payton, who was signed to a two year $16M contract. Franks is not as good overall as Payton this season, but I can imagine him getting better and being close to him at the end of the season. I don’t see why the Knicks would or should spend more than that $8M a year on Frank’s next contract. If they give a longer contract, they probably could sign him for less per year.

  107. In the current state of things he looks pretty solidly like a rotation player in this league. And that doesn’t suck.

    Uh what? Are you talking about, like, now?

  108. KnicksFan – What’s the best case scenario for his second contract? We going to sign him for 4 years at 5 million per and then have him breakout?

  109. Frank at 6-8 mill for 4 years. He’ll be a RFA, so we’ll overpay to match someone else’s dumb offer. I’m okay going over that number a little.

    Depends a lot on how this season and next season finishes off. I’d project his TS% to fall back to around .480 by end of the season and hopefully hit .500 next season.

    I think the real limit for Frank is that he still needs to pick his spots very carefully. Elfrid runs the offense every time down the floor. When Elfrid gives the ball up, it will often end up back in his hands. For better or worse, Elf is a centerpiece of our offense. However, Elf’s role is a net positive because it stops Randle from trying to run the offense more.

    Frank’s involvement in the offense is sporadic. The Knicks run more off ball stuff and give other people the play-making responsibilities more often, that’s why he accounts for so few of the team’s assists while on the floor (partly why I think RJ should play alongside Frank more often). For Frank to be a legit PG, even as a backup, he needs to be capable of initiating the offense every time down the floor and not immediately handing it to Randle or whomever.

  110. Frank definitely sucks right now by almost every measure of NBA suckitude.

    -He has no trade value at all
    -He is grossly overpaid for his production
    -He is unlikely to improve to the point of being worth his contract for the duration of team control
    -He is unlikely to be worth matching as a RFA
    -He is unlikely to be worth extending

    Any evaluation that says that he doesn’t suck is based on rosy predictions about his development. But if he topped off at this level, he’d AT BEST be a minimum-salaried end-of-bench guy for the rest of his career. Which means that there is nearly always someone available at a minimum salary or on a 2-way contract that can duplicate his current production (WS48 below .050, BPM below -2.0, VORP at 0.0) And that means that he currently sucks. He doesn’t suck as badly as he did the last 2 years (i.e. worst in NBA bad) and has definitely improved to “rotation player on a bad team” level, so there’s that.

  111. Owen, I have no idea what Frank’s best case is. I was just responding to what you wrote which was “ I can’t believe he will ever be worth 4 and 48 when the time comes for his second contract.”. I don’t know where you got those figures, but that seems to me to be more than backup point guard money. So I checked and it is more than backup point guard money.

    I think there’s a good possibility he’s as good as an average backup point guard in a year or two when it comes time to decide on a new contract. Then it would be good to sign him to backup guard money. If he doesn’t improve, we have a reasonable contract. If he does improve we have a good deal. What I don’t advocate is paying him for a level of performance he hasn’t demonstrated yet.

  112. Z-man those statements can’t all be true. If there is no trade value at all why would anyone make him a large offer when he’s a restricted free agent? On the other hand, if someone makes a big offer, then he’s clearly worth something. Note that I am talking open market value. That may not be the same as what you consider his actual
    Value.

  113. juicy stuff…okay then here’s my list:
    1). the outlaw josey wales
    2). the wild bunch
    3). unforgiven
    4). the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford
    5). dances with wolves
    honorable mentions:
    6). once upon a time in the west
    7). the good, the bad, and the ugly
    8). el dorado
    9). butch cassidy and the sundance kid
    10). true grit

    although it wasn’t a movie – lonesome dove was pretty darn good too…

    i think one of the things which attracts me about a lot of westerns is not only the wide open spaces being filmed, but, the generally slow pace of the films themselves…

  114. If Frank continues to play at this level for the rest of the season (something I have my doubts about, but whatever) he could easily produce enough to be worth 6 million dollars if he improves a bit next season. i don’t know what it is about frank that makes both his haters and the francophiles so prone to overly dramatic estimations of his value but you don’t have to be particularly effective to be worth 6 million bucks.

  115. @149 the point is that his Bird rights are virtually worthless right now, which is why he has no trade value. Even if he improves to the point where he “doesn’t suck” (i.e. is not a “replacement-level” player like he is right now) then it is likely that only a team that overvalues him and is willing to overpay for him will make him an offer. Otherwise, why tie up cap space (even for a couple of days) on an offer that is likely to be matched?

    My general sense (and I haven’t really thought it through so may be wrong) is that RFAs that get offer sheets are almost always overpaid, whether they are matched or not. Tim Hardaway Jr. is a perfect example. If we made a “market-value” offer for him, say $10 million AAV for 3 years, Atlanta probably matches. If he was worth more, they would have made a better offer to try to preempt an offer sheet from someone else, or eaten the slight overpay in the hopes that he improved further.

  116. the big question on frank though is what his next contract (which didn’t even seem like much of a possibility six months ago) will look like…

    9 million a year maybe…

  117. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is by a country mile my favorite western. The satirical backdrop of the American Civil War in the lawless western theater is so far ahead of its time. The continual switching of who had the upper hand, the tenuous alliances between the 3 main characters, the comedic moments, the closing of the circle at the end (but not quite)….and the music….my son and I quote lines from it all the time in situational conversation.

  118. see in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend. those with loaded guns and those who dig.

  119. delon wright got 3 yrs 29 million… there is no chance that frank is sniffing that money…

    emmanuel mudiay only got 1yr 1.5m contract… burke got 2m non-guaranteed… that’s basically where frank’s gonna be more or less… there could be someone that gets crazy and offers him 5m but i mean if lance thomas can get that kind of money then all bets are off…

  120. Ouzo tips:

    -Ouzo needs water. Till it becomes milky coloured. Less water makes it more heavy and more water makes it lighter in taste/alcohol.

    -Icecubes may cause headache and hangover. Better use cold water instead of icecubes.

    -Ouzo demands “mezethes” (appetizers) salty/spicy/fried/grilled stuff varying from meat to fish to anything that comes to mind and you feel appropriate to eat while drinking it.

    -Modern/Alternate and very tasty way of drinking it is with lemon or orange juice instead of water.

  121. Once upon a time in the West is my fave Western too.
    Its drone atmosphere created by Sergio’s timing alongside Ennio’s film score is captivating and the cowboy raincoats/costumes are so iconic, makin this movie a true western psychedelic experience.

  122. salty/spicy/fried/grilled stuff varying from meat to fish

    i’m thinking of getting that statement tattooed on my body inside a big heart…

  123. If you get Frank for a couple of million a year, which I hope is a possibility, that is a bargain. Jordan Clarkson makes 12.5m and is not a great point guard. He does shoot better but he also six years older.

  124. Frank started the season as a bum who should go back to Bordeaux and work at the grapevine fields and now we quarrel on how many millions he deserves as an rfa.
    That’s probably progress.

  125. The words you say
    Never seem to live up to the ones inside your head
    The lives we make
    Never seem to ever get us anywhere but dead
    The day I tried to live
    I wallowed in the blood and mud with all the other pigs

    i’ve noticed the longer i stay at work…the music i enjoy seems to become increasingly more morose…it’s good to reach out and try to live though…i wish i could be there for the get together on the 14th…

    i first ran in to ouzo over in germany at about the same time i discovered gyros (maybe greatest food ever – i just love watching it go around and around on the spit with all those juices/grease oozing out)…i actually thought ouzo had opium or something in it…i was young and had no idea…

    i do remember the first time i went out to eat (some horrible cracker like pizza stuff – young new york geo: this shit ain’t real pizza) and ordered a few beers in germany, seemingly no big thing at the moment, but, holy shit was that beer strong over there…i stumbled home that evening…

    took me a while longer to discover there was such a thing as a double bock beer – pretty much a beer milkshake, without the milk…my waistline went on a downward spiral for a while after that…

    at this point i’m pretty much tied to tequila and vodka…although, i don’t think i’ve kept a bottle of alcohol in the house for years…beer and wine kind of guy normally…

    #notsosophisticatedgeo

  126. At age 27 you pay for Wright’s current production, at 22 you pay for Frank’s future production and future bird rights.

    Wright is 27 and at a point where he won’t improve. Frank can still make jumps in production. If you’re not banking on Frank getting significantly better, why sign him? The NBA places a premium on unrealized potential, even if it’s a mirage. So if we keep him we have to pay something and hope the 2nd half of his contract generates surplus value.

    I don’t want Frank at 3-4yrs for $10M, but I could definitely see at least one team buying the hype and going for it. I don’t think it would be horrible as he would finally hit his prime toward the end of that contract and you could re-evaluate and re-sign him for an appropriate contract.

    Here’s where I also remind people that large PGs have a tendency to bloom late. So we might not see peak point-Frank until 26 like Billups. It’s a pain because you’re basically on contract 3 by then and that’s a huge opportunity cost and payday. On the other hand, do you trust the Knicks to do anything better with the $$ and roster slot? I thought not.

  127. I had some interesting as a in whiskys over new years. Mikaki, and a Tawanese one I forget the name of. The latter was really interesting, almost a Pennsylvania bourbon thing going on, though no corn so probably from the barrel. The Mikaki was sort of scotchish, aged in a Japanese cedar barrel.

    That sort of taste is always interesting, though I’m happier with a nice Death in the Afternoon these days.

  128. If we re serious about landing Giannis we must become ouzo & gyros specialists.
    Jimmy should start syrtaki lessons with Stevie and Scotty.

  129. The Good…is also a great western. Once Upon edges it out just a bit for me for various reasons, inc. the uber powerful reveal right before the final gunfight. Oh, and I think there might be a fairly attractive actress in that film, also.

    Swarthy gunfighter: “Looks like we’re shy one horse.”
    Harmonica shakes his head slightly. “You brought two too many.”
    Gunfire erupts.

  130. Oh, and I think there might be a fairly attractive actress in that film, also.

    claudia cardinale…right after barbara eden, maybe my second crush as a kid…

  131. Speaking of Gallo, when I was in Italy I drank a variety of fine Grappa drams pretty much every day…love that stuff!

  132. Ahh, westerns…I’m old enough to remember looking forward to weekly episodes of The Guns of Will Sonnett

  133. Wild Bunch, good bad ugly and even Kevin’s wolves breakdance are all 5/5stars films for me.
    Once upon a time in the west tho is my fave among those Top westerns.

    Close to 5stars but not exactly id put Clint’s Unforgiven, Peckinpah’s Pat Garret &Billy the kid, Red Sun, For a few dollars more and even Tarantino’s two recent ones.

  134. Lady Jowles and I just died laughing from 176. Also she outed herself as a lurker, mostly just to get aroused by seeing me in my most pugilistic state. Hey, Lady Jowles!

  135. The Wild Bunch is my favorite Western. I saw it in 70mm at the Castro Theater in SF back in the 90’s and it was one of my favorite cinema experiences ever.

  136. I’ve learned the hard way that stats should only matter, if the game is within ~12 points from Burke during tankathon…

    All stats that happen during “extensive garbage time” should be deleted or used for entertainment purposes only. When other team is up 30, it’s common sense for Frank’s offensive efficiency to increase.

  137. I watched Unforgiven again recently. I’d kind of forgotten how good it is.

    Yeah, geo, I recall seeing Claudia Cardinale in Once Upon… back in my early to mid teen years. I was, uh, very impressed.

  138. see, i knew there was a reason a liked jk so much…

    don’t think I ever saw it on movie screen though…I like to turn the sound up towards the end…

    them kids playing with the scorpion and red ants is such a great opening…

    as we gather by the river

  139. for years I thought she was sophia loren…I didn’t really know who sophia loren was though, just that she was beautiful and from europe…

    I think that was the first film I noticed jason robards in…

    oh yeah, howdy missus jowles…I hope all is well in the world for you…spoil the heck out of one another…you each deserve it…

  140. Love Westerns and love reading the discussion here but there’s a bizarre lack of Magnificent Seven.

    Obviously we all want Frank to succeed just like we want all of our players to succeed but even with the improvement he still sucks. It’s similar to Mudiay’s improvement from last year, he’s just gone from being one of the worst players in the league to being merely terrible. Also, just like Mudiay last year, a lot of his improvement seems to be unsustainably high shooting on mid-range 2s.

  141. cp3 nutmegging that big kid on houston then intentionally fouling a rocket so they could take him out of the game because it was over is so tremendously disrespectful. What a legend.

  142. dang z-man but you old…are you over there sweating dust :)

    When you grew up in a blue collar household in the 60’s you saw lots of westerns, both movies and TV series. As a kid, dad ruled our b&w console tv with an iron fist and preferred prime time shows like Death Valley Days, Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and The Big Valley.

    When the Knicks or Mets were on, I often had settle for Marv painting a picture on the radio or try to watch on a beat up old portable tv with the back hanging off and tin foil on the bent rabbit-ears. Every now and then either me or my brother would have to hit the side of the box to straighten out the picture. But hey, at least they were good!

  143. I’m going to add McCabe and Mrs. Miller as another great Western, definitely in my top 5. It’s up there with Unforgiven and No Country For Old Men as a the best of the anti-Western genre.

  144. well done, forgot to add it…yep no country for old men most definitely qualifies as a western, and, is no doubt a great film, loved woody harrelson’s performance…tommy lee jones does one of the best movie narrations of all time…

  145. Speaking of Logan, Shane is excellent too.

    It’s one of my dad’s fave movies and made a huge impact on me when I was a kid.

  146. The Sons of Katie Elder was a big hit in the ’60s…like most John Wayne westerns, didn’t hold up over time, but I remember loving it back then as a kid…kinda like the Elvis movies…Viva Las Vegas was huge but no one watches it anymore!

  147. The Westerns genre is regarded as the red-headed stepchild in the movie industry. Nonetheless I’ve always been very attracted to them even to this day. Daniel Boone starring Fess Parker was my favorite TV show as a kid. I wore a coonskin cap about the house. My parents once told me to choose a restaurant for my birthday and I selected one where the booths were stagecoaches. In my top 5 favorite western movies would be a couple which are a bit different from the average western and maybe not quite so well-known: Hombre starring Paul Newman and The Fastest Gun Alive starring Glen Ford. Great stories and tension with minimal gun play but very much westerns.

  148. ouzo and everything else with an anise flavor is disgusting

    DRed for GM

  149. I didn’t think I liked westerns, since most of the ones I enjoyed are not straight westerns – anti-Westerns like Unforgiven, buddy films like Magnificent 7. Now maybe I think I just don’t care for John Ford – a friend swore how The Searchers is The Best Western, and it leaves me cold.

  150. So Macri says Knicks are entertaining offers for everyone except Mitch and RJ? He’s got some sources (maybe Clarence Gaines?). So if this is true, that’s maaaybe a positive…Richardson/Zhaire/Shamet….BUT scary prospects as well like Reddish and a certain guy on the TWolves.

  151. Does Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid qualify as a western? If yes, that goes to the top-10 on my list.

    I don’t think No Country for Old Men qualifies because it’s too modern. If the majority of transportation isn’t horseback, it’s out.

  152. Does Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid qualify as a western?

    I believe it’s the original Anti-Western. They were the first western heroes who ran instead of fighting, and one of the only Westerns to elevate the smart partner over the strong one.

    I’m surprised there is so much love for Dances with Wolves. Then again, I only saw it as a 12 year old. Might be worth rewatching.

    I’m happy to see Ntillakilla (who I assume is young, but I may be wrong) is such an avid western fan. I’ve always feared that genre will fade away as we become more culturally distant from frontier history. I don’t find a lot of Milennials with an affinity for (or even an awareness of) spaghetti westerns.

    Did anyone see Godless? It was a series on Netflix a while back. I remember thinking it was rather sluggish and could have been so much better, yet I was also pleased that there was some fresh content added to the genre. Jeff Daniels was excellent in it.

  153. Scotch: Give me that peat + smoke. Talisker, Laphroaig, Ardbeg are usually in the rotation. Lagavulin 16 when I’m feeling fancier. If you don’t mind blended Compass Box makes Peat Monster, which is really good.

    Westerns: Surprised no one mentioned Deadwood. Some of the best written dialogue in any tv/film. Brutal and beautiful. The movie from last year could’ve been better though. McShane is an all-timer.

  154. Surprised no one mentioned Deadwood

    We’ve spent weeks discussing Deadwood here. It’s presumed that everyone here either loved it or thinks Porzingis is a top 15 player in the NBA.

  155. Early January doldrums.
    Knickerblogger navel gazing over Frank.
    My thought: Any player on a terrible team that struggles to show discernible improvement and faces legit arguments against gaining minutes on this 10 win team, doesn’t warrant much discussion at all.

  156. ouzo and everything else with an anise flavor is disgusting

    That was what I thought. Then I got a Greek mother-in-law. It’s really good over ice on a hot day. Completely changes the flavor. And as Knew Your Nicks said you have to drink it while eating.

    215 – +1

  157. Scotch: Give me that peat + smoke. Talisker, Laphroaig, Ardbeg are usually in the rotation. Lagavulin 16 when I’m feeling fancier.

    I don’t know if y’all know this but Laphroaig is pretty much the Frank of the Scotch community. It is extremely polarizing and if there is Scotchblogger.net somewhere the mere mention of Laphroaig would start a 500 post debate at any moment that would rival any of our Frankie Smokes arguments.

    (I lack the charm to diss Laphroaig lovers as gracefully as DRed can put down Ouza drinkers, so I’ll try to politely state that I think anyone who likes Laphroaig is on the Frankophile side of the argument, i.e. you love it in spite of overwhelming evidence that it’s terrible.)

  158. I didn’t think I liked westerns, since most of the ones I enjoyed are not straight westerns – anti-Westerns like Unforgiven, buddy films like Magnificent 7. Now maybe I think I just don’t care for John Ford – a friend swore how The Searchers is The Best Western, and it leaves me cold.

    Yeah the John Ford movies seem really dated. The Searchers and Man Who Shot Liberty Valance I mentioned above are considered among the best. But for my money Sergio Leone, any Sergio Leone, blows it out of the water.

    Also shout out to Akira Kurosawa for basically directing A Fistful of Dollars which is literally just Yojimbo if you CGI’d guns over the samurai swords.

  159. High Noon‘s a pretty good flick. Stagecoach is too. The one, well, one of the problems with Stagecoach is it features John Wayne, one of the shittiest actors to have ever besmirched the silver screen. Just absolutely horrible, and completely convinced he was god’s gift.

  160. Daniel Boone starring Fess Parker was my favorite TV show as a kid. I wore a coonskin cap about the house. My parents once told me to choose a restaurant for my birthday and I selected one where the booths were stagecoaches. 

    that’s funny…I can’t remember when I started really liking westerns, I think it may have been later in my teens though…

  161. Also shout out to Akira Kurosawa for basically directing A Fistful of Dollars which is literally just Yojimbo if you CGI’d guns over the samurai swords.

    Samurai films is an area where I woefully underschooled. Where would you recommend a newbie begin?

  162. No Country is a neo-noir Western IMO

    curious as to what you thought of the assasination of jesse james by the coward robert ford jowles…

    it received a lot of mixed reviews when it came out…definitely not everyone’s cup of tea…even for a western it’s pretty slow paced…

    a lot of excellent performances…sam rockwell though was just magnificent in it…

  163. @222

    You can’t really go wrong with Kurosawa in my opinion, but I really recommend Throne of Blood, Rashomon and specially Ran, which is not really a samurai focused movie but it might be one of the most beautiful movies ever.

  164. almost finished now re-watching once upon a time in the west – a comment someone made above really sticks out to me now: it is hard to take your eyes off the screen during the entire film…I don’t think I ever really appreciated that fact before…the whole time leone is able to keep your eyes (and ears) riveted to the movie…

    the other thing that stuck out to me – holy cow can the sun can do a bunch of damage to your skin…not that there’s anything wrong with the rough and weathered look, but, maybe being pale and pasty ain’t such a bad thing…

  165. There’s another fantastic samurai movie, but modern, from Yojiro Takita, its called when the last sword is drawn. Takita directed Departures, which won the oscar for best foreign movie and its probably my favorite movie of all time.

  166. I lack the charm to diss Laphroaig lovers as gracefully as DRed can put down Ouza drinkers, so I’ll try to politely state that I think anyone who likes Laphroaig is on the Frankophile side of the argument, i.e. you love it in spite of overwhelming evidence that it’s terrible.)

    Lol, I’d probably agree. It tastes like iodine mixed with liquid smoke. Feels like you’re drinking some old-timey snake oil elixir. And I love it.

  167. You can’t really go wrong with Kurosawa in my opinion, but I really recommend Throne of Blood, Rashomon and specially Ran, which is not really a samurai focused movie but it might be one of the most beautiful movies ever.

    Thank you for sorting out my weekend.

  168. You can’t really go wrong with Kurosawa in my opinion, but I really recommend Throne of Blood, Rashomon and specially Ran, which is not really a samurai focused movie but it might be one of the most beautiful movies ever.

    I know literally zero samurai films outside of Akira Kurosawa, but he makes so many good ones I’m not sure you need any others. I’d argue Rashomon, Throne of Blood, and Ran are a little slower and more politics heavy and thought provoking. All excellent films, but Yojimbo and Seven Samurai are more focused on the samurai themselves and move a bit quicker.

  169. @229

    Yeah, I agree with you, it’s just the type of movie I’m more interested in. Yojimbo, Seven Samurais and After the Rain are also great, great movies.

  170. @230,

    In all fairness I last saw many of Kurosawa’s movies when I was a teenager so the quicker pace and more light-hearted stories appealed to me more. Also, even if you haven’t seen Yojimbo or Seven Samurai you’ve probably seen them. Just based on the name you can figure out which western movie Seven Samurai became. Both have been remade a number of times, something less true of your 3 Kurosawa films (except the one based on a Shakespeare play, but his version is iconic). Even the Mandalorian basically had a Seven Samurai episode.

  171. Macri is the guy who is running Knicks Film School now.
    Seems he is trending up – started off as one of the Knicks Wall guys, then KFS (and unclear why the original guy Jeffrey Bellone seems to be on the outs of KFS), now is writing for SI also and getting media credentials for games. Hard to know if he has real sources but he might. He does seem tight with Clarence Gaines who is actually still listed as part of the Knicks front office interestingly enough.

    I wish we had a little more info on Marcus Morris’s injury — this is the 2nd time he’s missed time with a neck issue. With our luck the FO will finally decide to trade him, get a great deal, and then he’ll fail the physical.

  172. Assassination of Jesse James was one of the best movies I’ve seen in my adult life. Just a fascinating portrait of self-delusion and celebrity obsession. And I don’t really care much for the older Westerns, hence my uncharacteristic lack of opinions in this thread. Unforgiven is brilliant but the older ones leave me unmoved. They come through as “slow,” which is remarkable since many of my favorite movies of this century are quiet, snail’s-pace films like Malick’s The Tree of Life, the Dardennes’ The Son and Haneke’s The White Ribbon and Cache. But then again I think The Wolf of Wall Street might be the best movie of our recently departed decade and it is basically a speedball in movie form.

  173. I had a feeling that someone with the patience for chess and crosswords could soldier through 160 minutes of “a day in the life” kind of movie to appreciate some of the finer details…

    I think one component of a good western is the use of the landscape/environment as an additional character…

    my two favorite scenes are when robert and charlie do their stage show at the end, and, earlier in the film when jesse and ed go for a “ride”…

  174. I think one component of a good western is the use of the landscape/environment as an additional character

    Well-said and so true Geo. Same is true for film noir.

  175. I’m happy to see Ntillakilla (who I assume is young, but I may be wrong) is such an avid western fan. I’ve always feared that genre will fade away as we become more culturally distant from frontier history. I don’t find a lot of Milennials with an affinity for (or even an awareness of) spaghetti westerns.

    My father is a great fan of the genre. Showed me the final showdown between Harmonica and Frank when I was a kid. Henry Fonda’s grinning visage as who know who is hanging from a tree in the desert haunted me ever since.

    I don’t think No Country for Old Men qualifies because it’s too modern. If the majority of transportation isn’t horseback, it’s out.

    Now we’re getting into great movie classification debate territory, like whether or not Die Hard or Lethal Weapon qualify as “Christmas Movies” (which, IMO, they certainly do). In my opinion, the Western is not defined by a set period beyond the creation of a Western Frontier, and as a borderland between civilization and wilderness the Frontier is something which has been with us since the era of Manifest Destiny. I feel the one writer who really gets this is Cormac McCarthy. You see it in all of his works from Blood Meridian to No Country For Old Men to even The Road.

    This decade, we’ve seen some very good contemporary Westerns written by Taylor Sheridan in the form of Sicario, Hell or High Water, and Wind River.

  176. And yeah, it’s pretty weird that a guy with the patience for 3+ hour chess matches (imagine spending a half hour or more calculating one move) and who has stared at the last stubborn quadrant of a Saturday xword for an hour can’t seem to be drawn in by a moving picture held in such high esteem. You know what? Give me one Western to watch and I’ll do it just for you, geo.

  177. Star Wars is really a Western, too, and The Searchers was an obvious influence. The familial destruction scenes are all but identical.

  178. I love Zatoichi. Set in the Late Edo period in Japan, where the gangsters rule each town.Every thing the Kung Fu television series should have been.

  179. @236

    I loved The White Ribbon. If Haneke’s your flavor, I recommend Bela Tar. Go watch the Turin Horse. It doesn’t get any meandering or repetitive than this. It makes White Ribbon seem like Goodfellas.

  180. I love Zatoichi. Set in the Late Edo period in Japan, where the gangsters rule each town.Every thing the Kung Fu television series should have been.

    If you want to watch an anti-Samurai film which was very ahead of its time watch a 1962 film titled Seppuku set during the early Edo.

  181. This board is weird

    I bet r/nyknicks’ favorite films are Boondock Saints and Scarface, also apologists for Godfather Part 3

  182. My wife and I both had The Lives of Others as our favorite movie on our first date. Too many great movies out there though to pick one.

  183. Really wish Kubrick had tried making a western. A Barry Lyndon-style journey of a guy making his way thru the west before, during, and after the Civil War. I’ve literally dreamed about this fake movie a number of times.

  184. How about an Mideastern soap opera. Resurrection Erdugrul, poor band of turkic shepherd’s caught between the Christians and Mongols. 1320. Horses, bows and arrows and sword fighting.

  185. Give me one Western to watch and I’ll do it just for you, geo.

    i was going to suggest to you the assassination of jesse james, but, you’ve already been there and done that…

    my fave is josey wales, but, it’s not very subtle and it’s a little preachy…

    maybe ed harris and viggo mortensen in appaloosa (a neat buddy flick), or, perhaps the proposition with guy pearce which you may find a little more interesting…

  186. My wife and I both had The Lives of Others as our favorite movie on our first date. Too many great movies out there though to pick one.

    I have The Lives of Others as #2 in my best foreign films of the 2000s, surpassed only by The Secret In Their Eyes. That’s such a great movie and what a brilliant stroke of luck to take a date on for the first time. You both must have been so uplifted having seen it. It’s so beautiful and faithful in humanity’s innate decency even in the face of an alienated and inauthentic existence. I am always in a better mood after watching it. The ending is so brilliantly understated.

    eally wish Kubrick had tried making a western. A Barry Lyndon-style journey of a guy making his way thru the west before, during, and after the Civil War.

    Brilliant idea. Would’ve been amazing to see how he’d have handled the genre. Word was that he was planning to make a movie about Napoleon Bonaparte when he died.

  187. perhaps the proposition with guy pearce which you may find a little more interesting…

    Glad someone mentioned this one. Some here wouldn’t qualify it as Western because it technically takes place in the Australian Outback but that’s incidental in my opinion. The film could’ve easily been set in New Mexico Territory during the 187os and not missed a beat.

  188. Celtics fans seem to be giving up on Hayward en masse which is pretty funny to watch

    Interesting that they’re making Hayward their scapegoat when golden boy Jayson Tatum puts up back to back stinkers and is still rocking a pretty awful .526 TS%. (Hayward .597)

  189. I’m getting very antsy about this draft. Edwards looks like the only potential superstar, so I’d be very open to trading the pick once we don’t get #1.

    I’m dead set against Ball and Anthony, and Wiseman won’t work with Mitch. Then you’re pretty much choosing between older guys with legit stats (Toppin, Bey) or raw youngsters with “potential” (Okoro, McDaniels).

    Unless we get Edwards or trade the pick for a current starter, I’d be happy to trade down for a guy like Toppin, who would be a great fit next to Mitch. It’s worth noting (and ironic) that 2 french point guards could also be potential picks for us, but if they’re good, maybe we should take one?

  190. We were on our first date and favorite movies came up and TLOO was our mutual choice. Which is surprising because it was relatively obscure despite having won the Oscar. I saw it at a film festival at a midnight showing, my fourth movie of the day, and was completely blown away. Still remember the feeling walking out of the theater.

    Will check out The Secret in their Eyes.

  191. Any love for the El Mariachi trilogy? I ran into the first one almost by accident and really thought that was about as good as it gets on a low budget.

    Edit: looked it up. That’s a lot of “over the top” for a little over seven thousand dollars

  192. @259

    Your relationship was fated for great things having begun while sharing such a wonderful piece of art together. It’s the type of movie you can go talk about for hours over coffee. The Secret in Their Eyes is another one you should watch with your wife. It’s another great date movie men and women will equally enjoy. But please don’t make the mistake of seeing the shitty 2015 American remake with Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman. The original is about as perfect a movie as I’ve ever seen but the remake comes across like a 1980s romantic thriller.

  193. They come through as “slow,” which is remarkable since many of my favorite movies of this century are quiet

    Reminds me of Three Days of the Condor, which I loved as a kid and loved again when it was playing somewhere ten years ago. So much silence in that film! It really evoked the loneliness and isolation of the Dunaway and Redford characters. Seeing it a second time, I was wondering, when was the last time an American film just let the characters be for a few minutes?

  194. The Lives of Others is one of my favorites, too, and I’m actually virtually positive I was at the bookstore they go to at the end about 18 months after the Wall fell. It was really the only bookstore of any note on the Unter Den Linden, the main boulevard of the former East Germany — a circumstance that has naturally changed dramatically in the 28 years since.

  195. Surprised no one mentioned Butch Cassidy, which is the most fun a good Western can be, and also Unforgiven (drama>fun), A Fistful of Dollars (drama and fun), The Good The Bad And The Ugly (my favorite all time western), and True Grit (type of movie you can see ten times, either the 1968 version with the awesome John Wayne being John Wayne, or the new one with Jeff fucking Bridges)

    “This board is weird

    I bet r/nyknicks’ favorite films are Boondock Saints and Scarface, also apologists for Godfather Part 3”

    Jowles, Boondock Saints, Scarface, AND Godfather III are some of my favorite movies for my “I know it’s popular but that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome” list. Another two are Forrest Gump, Dark Knight, and Blade Runner 2049

  196. Seeing it a second time, I was wondering, when was the last time an American film just let the characters be for a few minutes?

    I recommend a 2013 movie called Blue Ruin. I am a very big fan of the director’s work.

  197. The lives of others has one of the best last lines of any movie I’ve seen.

    Exactly. I mean its so perfectly poignant I chuckled. It’s like when MJ or Lebron puts a little extra flourish on a breakaway dunk.

  198. Blade Runner 2049

    That film is a consensus top science fiction films of the decade. I have it only behind Snowpiecer and Arrival.

  199. My top This Is America movie of the decade and probably before would be Spring Breakers.

    I didn’t like GFIII but did like the Immobiliare/Vatican plotline, and the ending is pretty good. Scarface is awesome in a marginally camp/ironic sort of way.

  200. Ahh, westerns…I’m old enough to remember looking forward to weekly episodes of The Guns of Will Sonnett

    Z-Man

    Holy Crap!

    When I was young, I used to watch that show with my father (who has since passed). It was one of those shows that created a better relationship between us. We loved it together.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rerun on TV.

    When I bring it up among my friends (similar age) not a single one of them has ever heard of it.

    I’m so happy I’m not the last living human being that loved that show.

    Frank says he’s going to be fastest improving PG in the NBA “No brag, just fact”. :-)

  201. If you want to watch an anti-Samurai film which was very ahead of its time watch a 1962 film titled Seppuku set during the early Edo.

    Seconded. Originally released in the US as Harikiri. I got to see a print at the Eastman House once. Tremendous film, really beautiful. B&W cinemascope, but I’m pretty sure it was shot on technicolor B&W so it’s really more black and silver. Won the ’63 Jury Award at Cannes.

    There’s one fight set on a windy, grassy hillside that’s one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen.

  202. I just realized that in the Utah game, Frank led the team in scoring and Portis led the team in rebounds and assists. That boggles my mind.

  203. If were talking science-fiction from the last decade, I’d make an argument for some genre straddling borderline scifi movies from the last decade.

    Melancholia is my favorite movie from the last decade. I don’t consider it SciFi at all, but I’ve talked to some people and read some reviews that thought it was. The movie is really about the two main characters dealing with depression. I love Lars von Trier’s visual style in it. There happens to be a meteor hurtling towards Earth as a background piece that’s pretty irrelevant for the focus of the movie, it could have been anything. To whatever extent that’s scifi I have it above any others.

    Mad Max: Fury Road has elements of Sci Fi in it too and also fits in the category of popular movies that I hold in high regard. Also crosses over a bit into our western discussion and I think based its sweeping visuals of the landscape on western flicks. As someone up-thread mentions how westerns use the environment as a character itself, definitely done in this film.

    Finally, Spiderman Into the Spiderverse. Obviously a comic book movie but incorporates heavy use of scifi elements. The animation is revelatory.

    Also Snowpiercer and 2049 were definitely excellent. Cannot believe I still haven’t seen Arrival.

  204. Boondock Saints was cool. I mean it’s not “cinema” but it was a fun 90 minutes or so.

    I can’t comment on Scarface or Godfather (any) because I truly never had any desire to watch them and haven’t.

  205. Fun Western: Silverado (Brian Dennehy at his peak, Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover and Kevin Costner and a spunky Linda Hunt) – crackles in every way possible.

    Other favorites:
    3:10 to Yuma
    Pale Rider (the showdown scene with the trenchcoated killers is great Eastwood)
    The Stalking Moon (Gregory Peck) – hasn’t aged well, but was a family favorite
    Red River – imagine 48 Hours as a 1940’s western without Eddie Murphy

  206. I’m missing the game because my lovely missus wanted to go to the Opera for her birthday. We’re seeing La Traviata at the Met, first (and probably last?!) opera for me. Watch Frank go for a 50pt triple-double…

  207. There’s one fight set on a windy, grassy hillside that’s one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever seen.

    Kobayashi is worth the look alone for his remarkable visuals. I didn’t even find Kwaiden to be scary horror movie at all but loved the way he shot each story there. Can’t recommend him enough.

  208. Kurosawa is easily on my Top 7 directors of all time next to:
    Fellini
    Kubrick
    Bergman
    Bunuel
    Coppola
    Hitchcock
    Ran and Red Beard are my faves from him.

  209. Funny! Did you also watch Branded with dad?

    Not that I can recall. I was born in 1959. Most likely I did because he was huge western fan and that’s what we mostly watched together when I was a boy. It was either westerns or Eastside Kids/Bowery Boys stuff. I love those shows and movies too. I practically cry when I watch “Angels with Dirty Faces”. It’s partly because I love the movie so much, but also because the memories are so strong I can almost touch them.

  210. When it comes to music i’m open as Harden’s Defense.
    I bought a few operas in cds/lps and gave em a fair shot without prejudice, fear or complex.
    Well …
    Not exactly my cup of tea…
    Too much blah blah and not exactly entertaining.
    I’d say that the genre hasn’t aged well and sounds/seems pretty kitschy to me despite its international appreciation as the pinnacle of music art.
    Most interesting ones i found Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s Turandot.

    Good Luck Z-man

  211. Spring Breakers

    Harmony elevated trash to a high art form in that film. God, Franco was so skeevy in that role.

    Scarface is awesome in a marginally camp/ironic sort of way.

    I like Scarface and think it gets a bad rep because of its excesses when the film’s excessiveness is the entire point DePalma is trying to make about the hollowness of the American Dream. The problem was that too many wannabe gangsters from the barrio and hood did not see Tony Montana as a tragic figure but as a anti-hero to emulate so all of that ended up getting lost among its many fans. Though, in my opinion, Carlito’s Way is the superior collaboration between De Palma and Pacino.

    Fun Western: Silverado (Brian Dennehy at his peak, Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover and Kevin Costner and a spunky Linda Hunt) – crackles in every way possible.

    I was going to include it on my personal faves list for Westerns. That film is an outlier of sorts for the time. It was an unapologetically fun Western with a terrific ensemble the kind you saw in the 1950s before the genre got very grim and gritty made in the 1980s when audiences wanted to have a good time again.

    3:10 to Yuma

    Another personal fave that ranks as one of the best post-Unforgiven Westerns.

    Ran and Red Beard are my faves from him.

    Agree about Ran. I think its among his most underrated because I also have it as my #2 behind Ikiru – a movie which EVERYONE should at least see once.

  212. ‘Dead man’ is a Western winner!

    the memories are so strong I can almost touch them.

    what a beautiful way to relay that feeling…

    my lovely missus wanted to go to the Opera for her birthday

    we have an opera house down in anahiem…on my list of stuff i’d like to do…my aunt suggested to forgo the full opera experience and just go to check out a performance of “arias”…

    my first experience with opera was listening to a performance at a small amphitheater location inside a quiet neighborhood…they host musical events at the location throughout the summer…i’ve gone a bunch of times before…

    when the singer started really letting her voice out (i had no idea what someone sounded like live singing opera – i was blown away by the sheer force of their voice) a dog a few blocks away started barking and howling…that had never occurred before…it was kind of surreal at the moment…

  213. Kobayashi is worth the look alone for his remarkable visuals. I didn’t even find Kwaiden to be scary horror movie at all but loved the way he shot each story there. Can’t recommend him enough.

    Kwaiden is gorgeous. It’s the best use of an obvious set outside of the Magnificent Ambersons and the boat scene in The Birds. I prefer Seppeku though, it has an almost Resnais feel to the movement and space.

    Ikiru is probably the best film ever made.

  214. We’re seeing La Traviata at the Met, first (and probably last?!) opera for me.

    Give it a chance. The Met’s amazing, but the best opera experiences for my money is in small spaces. Going to see Blood Moon in a couple of weeks. It’s a new piece, a conversation between a man and the ghost of his dead aunt, who he abandoned to die 40 years before. I’m extremely excited. Probably tells you something about me..

  215. Resnais
    ‘Last Year at Marienbad’ is a cinematic experience.
    Extremely artsy but totally mesmerising.

  216. I saw “Last Year..” at film forum last, year? His blocking and camera work were astounding. Soundtrack was baller too. Telling so many possible stories at the same time, Resnais is one of the greats.

  217. Resnais is one of the truly greats. Hiroshima Mon Amour is beautiful. For a more approachable and recent one in his catalog, check out Wild Grass.

    French New Wave contains by far my favorite directors and movies. Truffaut (Jules & Jim), Godard (Breathless), Varda (Cleo from 5 to 7), Rohmer (Claire’s Knee, but all of the “Moral Tales” are great) and Melville (Army of Shadows), Malle (Elevator to the Gallows) are all in the pantheon.

  218. Glad that i found other Resnais enthusiasts !
    I thought that i was the only cuckoo out there blown out by Marienbad!

    French New Wave is definitely great and deserves deep searching.

  219. I’m missing the game because my lovely missus wanted to go to the Opera for her birthday. We’re seeing La Traviata at the Met, first (and probably last?!) opera for me. Watch Frank go for a 50pt triple-double…

    My mom was a Julliard trained opera singer so I know most of them fairly well. Cliffs notes:

    The best aria in the opera is early in the first act there a brindisi extolling the joys of drinking. There is a terrific baritone aria between father and son in the middle of the opera.

    Rest assured that in most Italian operas…. the hot chick always dies of tuberculosis in the end :-)

    While Turandot is wonderful it cannot match La Boheme three consecutive kick ass arias between Rodolfo and Mimi in act one , nor the sheer comedy of of Musetta cock teasing the bejesus out of poor Marcello in Quando me’n Vo:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b7VY52C82k

    Puccini was a fucking genius……

  220. I prefer Seppeku though, it has an almost Resnais feel to the movement and space.

    You have a great eye. Seppuku is a story which sneaks up on you that way. That final battle in the palace courtyard was as genius for it didn’t show as for it did show.

    Ikiru is probably the best film ever made.

    I have it up there. But even more importantly, I do think Ikiru the most important movie anyone can see.

  221. Kobayashi’s Harakiri is on my 5stars list too (despite not remembering shit from it! Seen it 7yrs ago)
    (Only 4% of the movies I’ve seen enter this list so far)
    Haven’t seen Ikiru yet tho…

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