Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 18, 2019

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Bulls

Somehow, the Knicks haven’t started a season 0-4 since Larry Brown was the coach and they won 23 games on route to watching the Chicago Bulls draft LaMarcus Aldridge with the Knicks’ first round pick (thank goodness the Bulls then moronically traded Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas. It would have been way too hard to watch that Bulls team have both Aldridge and Joakim Noah from Knicks picks paired with Derrick Rose).

I would imagine that they’re going to avoid an 0-4 start this season, as well, as the Knicks host the Bulls tonight and the Bulls are not particularly good, either, so you would typically give the edge to the home team in this situation.

The Knicks’ starting lineup remains the same (thank goodness Fizdale is committed to a consistent and logical starting lineup), but the rotation is off due to Dennis Smith Jr. leaving the team due to the sudden death of his stepmother. Our condolences to the Smith family. Frank Ntilikina will be the back-up point guard tonight, so expect Elfrid Payton to play 47 minutes.

In other sad Knick news, former Knick GM Al Bianchi passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 87. Bianchi helped build the early 1990s Knicks squad, finding diamonds in the rough like John Starks and Anthony Mason and making the excellent Charles Oakley/Bill Cartwright trade (less well known about that trade is that the Knicks and Bulls swapped first round picks in the deal, with the Knicks going from #11 to #19, where the Knicks took Rod Strickland. The Strickland pick technically worked out, as he was a very good NBA player, but they dumped him in his second season due to him complaining about his minutes). RIP, Al!

The Bulls matchup looks like a particularly good one for RJ Barrett, so I expect another strong performance from the rookie. I hope the Knicks play Mitchell Robinson more minutes tonight. Just let him foul out if need be. Let him learn from his actions.

Let’s go, Knicks!

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337 comments on “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Bulls

  1. geo

    i got a color tv, so i can see – the knicks play basketball

    still enjoying the nba league pass free preview until 11/4…

    this should be a competitive and close game…interested to see zach play, heard he was performing well this year…

    i guess with mister DSJ taking care of some family business we’ll have a chance to see our favorite son: frank go at it…

  2. TheClashFan

    LOL at Payton playing 47 minutes! But seriously, not a minute over 45.

    I smell a victory:
    Knicks 112
    Bulls 108

    Let’s see if I need a new nasal decongestant.

  3. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    If I was in Fiz’s shoes, I would start every conversation with Robinson I would say “Mitch, no fouls!”
    He does need the baby jumper and should use the backboard more.

  4. dtrickey

    Is the Bulls defense good or do we just have no idea what we’re doing?

    Probably the latter……

  5. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Where did this Bull’s defense come from?

    I don’t think they can sustain this.

  6. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank is -4 in one minute. Send him to Siberia and put Kadeem Allen in!

  7. TheClashFan

    Knox is terrible. Seriously, though, why no Trier when no one (except Portis) can hit a shot?

  8. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Are there any good mock drafts up yet?

    We might as well start discussing that soon.

  9. Early Bird

    I really don’t think you could play a worse quarter than we just did

    Don’t get your hopes up. It’s a long season. Need to put in Ellington for some shooting.

  10. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Are there any good coaches available out there that might consider NY if this bad play continues and gets out of hand?

  11. d-mar

    So how is one team of mediocre players playing tough hard nosed defense and the other team of mediocre players is not?

    Coaching?

  12. Early Bird

    So how is one team of mediocre players playing tough hard nosed defense and the other team of mediocre players is not?

    One team is mediocre, one employs about 5 players who should not be in the NBA

  13. thenoblefacehumper

    I mean that 8 second force was cool and all but does anyone think this guy can hang on an NBA floor?

  14. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank commits that unforced walking TO way too often. It’s not like he’s even trying to do something special. He sometimes just starts walking before he puts the ball down. He has to eliminate that. It’s just too damn dumb at this point.

  15. JK47

    Frank’s handle looks a bit tighter

    I don’t really see it. He did manage to make that one drive and didn’t turn it over but for the most part he’s doing his Frank thing, not penetrating and passing to whoever is standing out at the three-point line. The Knicks got some turnovers and transition buckets so they’re creeping back in a little bit but their half court offense looked brutal with that lineup they just had out there, that Frank-Ellington-Knox-Gibson-Portis lineup.

  16. JK47

    Nice sequence there from RJB, good hands on the strip and the nice entry pass for what should have been a bunny for Portis

  17. Early Bird

    Portis is shooting well, so Fizz hot handing him.

    Whoever kept saying an RJ-Frank backcourt would be excellent on D, I’m beginning to agree with you.

  18. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    The Knicks defense and general ball movement is simply better when Frank is on the court even though he’s personally struggling shooting and made a couple of boneheaded plays.

  19. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Randle’s problem is that he’s not coming off the bench or the 3rd option on some other team. He’s the #1 option on a Knicks team without many scoring options. There is also not a lot of space because of the lack of outside shooting.

  20. Early Bird

    Knicks really need to put Ellington with the first unit to give them some outside shooting. Should open things up for Randle a bit too. Bench Morris.

  21. thenoblefacehumper

    What the hell is this team’s approach with Trier? Is everything else just working too wonderfully tonight?

  22. rama picked up his option

    Obviously meant Payton, not Trier on D. But then he strips his man on a play a couple minutes later… So maybe he just doesn’t get the system?

  23. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    You have to appreciate how the Bulls press the ball from the moment the ref hands the ball to the inbound passer, double the ball handler as soon as he crosses the half court line and defend the paint high and low. They really play defense the right way.

  24. rama picked up his option

    Unreal how Mitch got that board. He was completely out of position but is just so quick.

  25. djphan

    randle is at his best when he gets the ball when he’s in motion… mid transition and pick and rolls the pelicans were really good at that with putting him in those positions… he was never an iso player there…

    here he’s getting it in the post… from stand still positions… he sucks from there… or wildly inefficient… that’s not his game…

  26. JK47

    Same play happening a lot, with the Knicks forcing inside shots against 3 defenders. Kick to the perimeter!

  27. Early Bird

    Last few plays the Knicks have been hitting Randle off the roll. Flubbed that second one, Morris on the first after the pass.

  28. BigBlueAL

    Knicks need to go smaller and play RJ at the 3. They need better spacing and ball handling, have 2 guards plus RJ on the floor.

  29. Z-man

    Again I’ll ask. What’s the difference between a “dawg” and an idiot?

    They have no letters in common.

  30. geo

    Are there any good coaches available out there that might consider NY if this bad play continues and gets out of hand?

    yeah, and, there’s a chance he may already be on the bench…we let atkinson get away…let’s not do the same with miller…

  31. JK47

    Knicks need to go smaller and play RJ at the 3. They need better spacing and ball handling, have 2 guards plus RJ on the floor.

    Yeah they don’t really run smallball lineups out there, even when they’re struggling badly to get some shot creation. I’d at least try Payton-Ellington-RJB at the 1-3 for some stretches to see if that works.

  32. Early Bird

    So how many players on the Knicks’s current roster will be playing overseas for their next contract. O/U of everyone not named Mitch or RJ.

  33. Dink

    Can Morris do the unthinkable and break Rasheed Wallace’s technical foul record?

    41 T’s in 2000-2001, nobody (other than Rasheed) has come close before or since. Let’s get it, dawg!

  34. dtrickey

    Need to get on these sloppy starts. Knicks shown they can fight themselves back into a game, but they just make life so hard form themselves with lethargic starts.

  35. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Knicks need to go smaller and play RJ at the 3. They need better spacing and ball handling, have 2 guards plus RJ on the floor.

    I agree.

    I’ve been saying from the start that Morris is not that good on either side and is a bonehead. We don’t need him on the court. I prefer a defense oriented lineup with the better spacing so I’d like to see Dotson out there over Ellington. Dotson he can hit the open 3 also and his defense is good. Slide Barrett to the 3. See how that works.

  36. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    yeah, and, there’s a chance he may already be on the bench…we let atkinson get away…let’s not do the same with miller…

    I like the way you think.

  37. Early Bird

    At some point you have to start thinking about staggering Mitch and Randle too. Need to change something to start getting Randle going.

  38. Early Bird

    I’ll take Ellington over Dotson. Ellington’s ability to shoot after coming off a curl is more important for the Knicks’s inept offense.

  39. djphan

    i’m not sure if it’s a coaching thing… or maybe it is… but everyone’s kind of jogging through the plays…. the first and second options usually get covered and then it leaves someone holding the ball having to create something….

    i do like the rj and randle pnr’s…. altho rj is still a little slow with it… it puts your two best offensive players in their best modes… we need more of that… and rj needs to develop that part of his game anyway….

  40. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    You can’t win in the NBA without three legit 3-pt shooters on the court. The other night, for the first time ever, two teams took 40 of them in the same game (Dallas defeated New Orleans) but you need to take 7-8 of them every quarter to keep pace.

  41. JK47

    Knick point guards: 24 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers

    So that’s not great production

  42. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    this is probably the worst mitch has ever shot in his life

    There’s no space at all. Every time any Knick has the ball in the paint he’s surrounded. There are almost no easy shots inside. All of this was discussed as a risk ad nauseum when we started building this team. But the management was too inept to see that what they were building did not fit together well.

    Stats tell you what happened, but they don’t explain the lineups and roles that lead to them.

    We don’t have adequate spacing and we have practically no real defense other than Mitch, Frank, and Dotson (1 isn’t playing, 1 is is in a coma and not playing much, and the other doesn’t know how to play basketball). We are lucky Barrett has been better on D than expected or it would be even uglier.

  43. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    I don’t know how many times I’ve yelled “TAKE THE SHOT ALREADY” at my TV

  44. rama picked up his option

    In the win prediction thread I was really struggling to stick to what my head told me: 24 wins. But the East has some weak teams! But we’ve got much better players than last year! But Miller will take over from Fiz and we’ll run off a quick 5 wins after the break!

    Nah, 24 may have been optimistic.

  45. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    mitch is so weird. he literally does not know how to take a charge?

    Mitch does not know how to do anything related to basketball other than jump and dunk, but he’s so good at those 2 things he has an impact at times.

  46. JK47

    Our guards suck, and as a result the bigs have to try to do the things the guards are supposed to do. We have Julius Randle and Bobby Portis and Marcus Morris doing all the shot creation. The results are not real surprising.

  47. djphan

    when you look at the passing.. the picks and the way the other team move off screens… it’s like night and day… there is zero commitment behind anyone doing anything else unless they are driving to the basket…

  48. geo

    The entire front office may be cleaned out by the All-star break, if not by Christmas.

    how sad that perry may be one of the better gm’s we’ve had in a while…i don’t think mills will ever be gone…dolan values loyalty way above competence…

    fiz, i’d expect to see him til at least jan 2021…

    i can only imagine how happy some of the liberty employees were to get out from under dolan…

  49. DRed

    See that’s a steal by Knox that should be at least partially credited to Frank. His pressure on the ballhandler is what allowed Knox an easy swipe.

  50. TheClashFan

    Probably the reason why the fans love Frank is the guy’s D. If only he could score just a bit…

  51. TheOakmanCometh

    I know Dunn missed the layup, but how does Know allow a PG to drive directly into him for a shot at the rim? No resistance whatsoever.

  52. Early Bird

    Is Dotson even on the active roster for the game? Probably with Smith out, but generally I think he’s not on the active roster.

  53. JK47

    They’re not doing any favors asking Frank to play PG. He should be playing SG in smallball lineups. They have to hide his ineptness with the ball.

    That’s his chance at sticking. He can’t play PG and it’s not reasonable to ask him to do so.

  54. BigBlueAL

    In a 5 year stretch from 2000-2004 the Knicks shot 78% from the FT or higher and were Top 5 in the NBA in all 5 years. I just thought that was a fun fact considering how awful this team is at FT’s.

  55. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    See that’s a steal by Knox that should be at least partially credited to Frank. His pressure on the ballhandler is what allowed Knox an easy swipe.

    Frank sucked ass on a few plays tonight, but I agree. He does a lot of little things like that that cause positive outcomes that get credited elsewhere. It doesn’t make up for his ineptitude shooting and his emotional super beta personality, but that’s why the team sometimes looks better on both sides with him on the court without anything accumulating to him. It a little defensive move, cutting off a passing lane, making an extra pass etc…

  56. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    IMO, it’s not Randle’s fault.

    IMO, he’s being asked to do more than his skillset will allow in lineups that do not maximize what he can do.

  57. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Damn Frank! Just relax and knock one down for Christ’s sake. This kid is like a super elite beta personality. A 3rd year pro and he’s scared shit.

  58. Grocer

    The advantage Frank brings on offense is that NBA teams aren’t used to playing 5 on 4 and it occasionally discombobulates them.

  59. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Kevin Knox looks like he might actually be a good player by next season. This is huge.

  60. rama picked up his option

    That’s all true about Frank, but anyone who doesn’t see his impact on D is blind.

  61. rama picked up his option

    I don’t think Frank’s best path is 3 and D. But Knox’s definitely a stretch 4 if things work out for him.

  62. Early Bird

    Yeah, I liked what Frank did out there tonight. His offfense is still crap, but so are our other point guard options.

  63. TheClashFan

    @195
    We all see that, but he’s 0-6 (though one was a full court heave). He’s got to hit some shots.

  64. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank’s not scared he’s just bad

    You are partially wrong.

    After every TO or miss, he looks to the bench like a 10 year old kid looking at a father that balls him out for making mistakes. The thing is, Fiz is giving him rope tonight and he’s still tight.

  65. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Zach LaVine is one of those guys who will be in the league for years because he looks really good when he moves in traffic. He will also be on losing teams for years because of how he finishes in traffic.

  66. thenoblefacehumper

    I don’t want to be a wet blanket but Mitchell Robinson losing out on crunch time development because Bobby Portis has the hot hand was the kind of thing a lot of us were worried about after this offseason

  67. Ntilakilla

    The thing about Knox is that its clear his path is as a stretch 4. He just hasn’t yet developed to where we can play him there on defense.

  68. Z-man

    Frank is not an NBA player right now. Let’s keep in mind this is one of the worst teams in the league we’re playing.

  69. TheClashFan

    I’d close with Mitch, Portis, RJB, Frank, and Ellington.

    Sorry, but Randle and Morris watch.

  70. Dink

    Have the Knicks run a Portis-Mitch frontcourt yet? Should’ve tried it tonight with Randle being one of the worst guys on the court.

  71. DRed

    Frank is not an NBA player right now. Let’s keep in mind this is one of the worst teams in the league we’re playing.

    the thing is Dennis Smith is pretty much just as bad.

  72. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    The thing is, Fiz is giving him rope tonight and he’s still tight.

    Frank so obviously has a huge impact on defense that all he needs to do is relax and he’ll be worth being patient with, but whatever it is that makes one man an arrogant and fearless alpha even when he stinks, Frank has the opposite mentality complicating the fact that he’s actually not good on offense to begin with.

  73. Grocer

    Random scrubs having career games at MSG is pretty normal, it’s just so rare that scrub is a Knick.

  74. E

    Frank shut down LaVine the last two possessions. Fizdale finally plays him on defense down the stretch … and it works!!

  75. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Anybody notice that Marcus Morris doesn’t play like Melo, but more like Melo’s biggest fan?

  76. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    I am just glad the guy having a career night in the Garden is a Knick for once…

    rotflmao

    We suck and winning a game against the Bulls is this much fun. Imagine if we were good and beating the Bucks in the conference finals.

  77. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    Yeah. Great game for Portis. But RJ Barrett ran point when he was on the floor. Ntilikina is playing the 2, and it’s a good combo.

  78. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Frank shut down LaVine the last two possessions. Fizdale finally plays him on defense down the stretch … and it works!!

    If it takes 3 more years for him to finally hit a 3 we need to wait because some day he’s going to win some very important games with defense. he just has to be in the right lineups and we have to be VERY patient.

  79. TheClashFan

    RJB kept the game close for an amazing run to win it. We’ll never see this Portis ever again…

  80. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    I don’t understand how a superstar talent can watch the Garden crowd lionize Bobby Portis and go sign with the Nets.

    If I’m not going to win a championship, at least let me do it for the team that will make me a legend.

  81. thenoblefacehumper

    That was fun enough that I’m not gonna bitch too much, so I’ll just say that I hope to see Mitch down the stretch of close games in the future.

    Happy birthday DRed! It’ll all be better when you’re GM.

  82. Ntilakilla

    It took Payton getting a hamstring pull and someone dying in DSJ’s family for Frank to play.

  83. rama picked up his option

    I don’t understand how a superstar talent can watch the Garden crowd lionize Bobby Portis and go sign with the Nets.

    Exactly. People going nuts for a comeback against the Bulls in the first game of the season.

  84. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    That was fun enough that I’m not gonna bitch too much, so I’ll just say that I hope to see Mitch down the stretch of close games in the future.

    Mitchell Robinson was a -24 and Bobby Portis was a +31. That’s how crazy tonight was, but in all honesty Mitch should have been out there for Julius Randle.

  85. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Yeah. Great game for Portis. But RJ Barrett ran point when he was on the floor. Ntilikina is playing the 2, and it’s a good combo.

    Yes. That’s the combo I have been asking for.

    Frank’s not a pure PG, but if you have 2-3 playmakers on the court you will get enough ball handling and playmaking to have a very effective offense and get Frank’s impact defense as part of the package.

    He just can’t be a total zero on offense like he was tonight. He has to get into Payton’s range (who is not exactly a plus scorer either) as a scorer and we can worry about the long term 2-3 years from now when he’s 24. If he still can’t score in 3 years you say good-bye, but the defense is way too good to say good bye now. He’s IMPACTFUL on that side

  86. djphan

    and seriously why are ppl even talking about frank with this win? why do we have to squint so hard to find excuses for him every single time…

  87. Grocer

    Happy birthday DRed!

    The Eyes have it.

    “and the Eyes always will?” Hoping for some Fugazi prophecy.

    Ntilikina is playing the 2, and it’s a good combo.

    The Bulls literally stopped having someone guard him. Frank us a good defender, for sure, but the difference between mediocre defense and excellent defense doesn’t cover that failure. It just doesn’t generate enough of a point differential. Offense matters a lot more in the NBA.

  88. rama picked up his option

    I wonder if Frank was only out there at the end because of Payton’s hammy? I sure hope Fiz understood how hard he made it on the Bulls guards.

  89. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Barrett was also able to knock the turnovers down to 2 in 40 minutes of play. It’s also crazy that RJ Barrett is logging 40 minutes in a game because he absolutely needs to be playing if we’re going to have a chance.

  90. d-mar

    Kind of reminded me of a Knicks-Celtics game I went to 2 years ago at MSG where Michael Beasley totally went off and we won the game.

  91. TheConfuser

    Portis made some random fantasy player’s night. What a stat sheet. Nice to see the Garden jumping off.

  92. DRed

    Mitch wasn’t out there when Bob Portis went berzerk.

    Also it wasn’t his finest game.

    RJ shot like shit from the FT line, missed both his 3s, and still scored 19 on his 15 FGAs. Which is not exactly good, but when you add in 15 rebounds and 5 assists that’s a real nice game.

  93. thenoblefacehumper

    Frank Ntilikina is everyone who has ever been the worst player on a pick up court, and for that I respect him.

    But yeah, his defense is good and fun and all, but he’s the worst offensive player in the NBA and hasn’t added a thing to his game since he entered the league. At this rate his option for next year is looking like a mini-albatross.

  94. Z-man

    Two things bode especially well for RJ
    -he’s built to last
    -he has an exceptionally high b-ball IQ

    He hasn’t been properly scouted and game-planned for yet, so my guess is that he will have some struggles ahead and will have to adjust and expand his game. But the intelligence he is showing out there…his nose for the ball, his sense of space and angles…you just can’t teach that stuff.

  95. djphan

    this was a well earned win… we killed it on the glass again and did much better defensively in the paint…

    top of the key pnr with rj and randle … it doesn’t look pretty but it puts both players in much better positions to do something… get rj towards the rim or making decisions…. randle on the move and finding open ppl first before driving…. hopefully fiz goes more to that in the future … it looked good if not slow…

    bobby obviously was huge.. he’s very capable of nights like this and also nights where he’s no where but this was a much needed win…. he absolutely should not be starting over mitch or randle but obviously someone is gonna be making that noise…

    hopefully elf’s injury isn’t serious… because playing frank major minutes is gonna be a disaster….

  96. Early Bird

    Absolutely did not think we’d win and almost turned the game off and walked away. What a game by Portis!!!! Glad to finally have a win in the books.

    Also want to mention that Randle made some good decisions down the stretch. Got the ball in the middle of the floor and found the open shooter instead of forcing a drive to the rim. Terrible game from him overall, but I’m looking for anything right now.

    Kadeem Allen getting the call up for the next one? I’m also wondering if the rotation will feature more Portis-Randle lineups moving forward. Might as well since Mitch is only getting 18 min a game anyway.

  97. Hubert

    Was there tonight. God it’s crazy how insane the crowds get for this terrible basketball team. One day I’ll tell my kids I was at the Bobby Portis game. They’ll probably say “who?” but whatever.

    Also I just love watching Frank play defense. I know he’s still a terrible basketball player but I still love him. Dude looked Derek Harper on D. That 8 second violation he got… I know it was negated by the 6 times he traveled… but i loved it.

  98. d-mar

    From Tommy Beer:

    Another monster all-around effort from RJ Barrett in the victory over Chicago: 19 points, 15 rebounds 5 assists Per @bball_ref, The only other teenager in NBA history with at least a 19/15/5 in a single game is … LeBron James

  99. Z-man

    But yeah, his defense is good and fun and all, but he’s the worst offensive player in the NBA and hasn’t added a thing to his game since he entered the league. At this rate his option for next year is looking like a mini-albatross.

    I have been pretty consistent in saying that he is best suited for a 3-and-D role. He can certainly shoot 3’s better than he has shown thus far. Fiz should tell him to stay the hell out of the way on O and just work on spotting up and letting it fly when you’re open. He should just stop dribbling the ball, period. Nothing good happens when he does.

    If he does that, there’s a road to being a legit NBA rotation player. Playing him at PG is a dead end. As I said earlier, this is the freaking Bulls, who may have a bottom 3 guard rotation, if not the worst in the league.

  100. Early Bird

    Frank with 3 to’s but at least one seemed to go right through Gibson’s hands. I’d also say Frank did a better job running the offense and making plays than Payton. Given, a lot of those plays ended with a wide open Frank 3 that he missed, but staying positive…

  101. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    One interesting point to note, on the Kornet vs Portis payback match-up, Portis won hands down.

  102. Owen

    Happy birthday DRed! I wish I could share a meme of Bugeye Bobby giving you a night you will never forget.

    Randle’s turnovers and Mitch’s +/- definitely stick out….

  103. Z-man

    I don’t get how someone can go 0-6, have 0 fta, 2 rebs, 2 assists and 3 turnovers and anyone can say anything positive about his offensive game. He didn’t run an offense, his ineptitude was overcome by other guys making plays. He continues to be a bottom-5 offensive player in the league by any measure. No amount of D makes up for that, especially without any rebounding.

  104. cgreene

    Think something clicked at the end for Randle playing pnr w RJ and having shooters in the corners. That’s a tough play to defend. Teams will lay off RJ to stop Randle from getting to the middle of the court like that and try and force RJ to shoot from distance. He’s smart though and can drive and collapse the D too. Man RJ plays smart ball.

  105. Ntilakilla

    RJ’s BB IQ was evident at the end of the game when he fouled Levine driving to the basket on transition knowing we had one foul left. A lot of rookies don’t have that proactive understanding of situational basketball in crunch time.

  106. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Remember 6 months ago when everybody thought RJ Barrett was a low-IQ chucker? Good times.

    Knox is starting to show signs that he can play ball, too. His handle is tighter and he’s the team’s best shooter already. I know it was fun to roll him last year but keep in mind he just turned 20 in August. He definitely played better defense tonight than what he played in prior games where teams were giving him the Kanter treatment. If Knox get shoot threes, get fouled, and convert at the rim while not getting killed on defense that’s a win. We’ll worry about the rebounds later.

  107. Bruno Almeida

    The path I saw for this team winning games this season before it started was on the glass, as we should have plus rebounders at every position, and today that came out huge. This team can definitely dominate the boards against weaker teams and if they just shoot ok they can win those games.

    It will be the Bobby Portis game but again another impressive showing by RJ.

  108. wetbandit

    The path forward for Frank was always a Popovich-style offense with ball movement. He really can’t do iso, and when that’s all you’re playing, you can break a player exactly like Frank. While I do think he’s already broken, I hope he gets traded, because I think he has a role somewhere.

  109. Grocer

    Remember 6 months ago when everybody thought RJ Barrett was a low-IQ chucker? Good times.

    I thought that, I was wrong. RJ has been very impressive.

    The path forward for Frank was always a Popovich-style offense with ball movement.

    I used to see Frank set offball screens, but he also used to run a half-assed PnR. He’s worse than he used to be. He stands at the elbow and waits. That’s not what Pop runs, not seeing how Pop’s offense has a role for that.

  110. geo

    wow, 310 and counting…nice…

    starting the second half – I gotta say – god damn ya’ll some critical motherfuckers…

    it’s a basketball game, enjoy it…

    and, i’m high…

    julius is not this bad…definitely needs to be a third option…man, he is just tryin way to hard on offense and staring into space on defense…

    marcus morris senior (is his brother junior or something?) is an nba bench player…I’m not exactly sold on his leadership qualities either…

  111. geo

    we have some useful pieces, just not a starting five…

    glad I was wrong about mitch coming off the bench…he’s a joy to watch…I’m not sure where his limits might be…when I first saw him I thought deandre jordan or capella maybe…he can be better than that…

  112. djphan

    knox is still glacially slow as hes aleays been.. or whatever the opposite of quick is.. i dont think hell be more than a 3p specialist type because of that but its good for our team as currently constructed that hes got a 3p shot….

  113. geo

    let the joy flow through you, it may not happen all that often this season…

    savior it, as though it may be your last breath for the next five minutes…or, at least another week or so…

  114. swiftandabundant

    Jowles, it’s OK cause all I can think is snagging RJ has really made all my “you shouldn’t tank” arguments seem foolish. I mean maybe we should go one more year on this and get another top 3 pick cause RJ, Mitch and a good, top prospect PG with Knox off the bench could be fire in a few seasons.

  115. swiftandabundant

    And this sounds so sports cliche I’m almost afraid to say it especially 4 games into his rookie year when we’re 1-3 but RJ just seems to be a “winning” player. He plays smart, wise beyond his years and also unselfish. Get that FT rate up and improve the shooting and he’s gonna be a superstar. I also think he might earn the favorable whistle from the refs that it seems the Knicks never get bc he plays the right way.

  116. Brian Cronin Post author

    Missed the game, but just watched the replay and that was a whole lot of fun. What a great win.

    Jowles, it’s OK cause all I can think is snagging RJ has really made all my “you shouldn’t tank” arguments seem foolish. I mean maybe we should go one more year on this and get another top 3 pick cause RJ, Mitch and a good, top prospect PG with Knox off the bench could be fire in a few seasons.

    That’s what I was saying the other day that as good as Barrett has been and as good as Mitch is, if you surround those guys with a really young team, they’re still going to lose a lot of games to start and then you can add a third top piece to the group and then voila. You have your core and can build from there. Getting top five picks is such a game-changer. The Knicks have had five top five picks in the last 30 years and those top five picks were Barrett, Porzingis and LaMarcus Aldridge. It’s like a whole other level when you’re picking in the top five.

  117. Hubert

    Through 4 games, Wayne Ellington is looking like my favorite of the non-Randle veteran signings. He knows what to do on the court to make the game easier for a kid like Barrett, and that’s what you want from one of these vets. Having him out there instead of Iso Zo is a big benefit to the kids who matter. And maybe Zo will learn a thing or two by watching him.

  118. alsep73

    alsep73 is totally on board with the Bobby Portis signing now. alsep73 doesn’t care that Bobby Portis is still wildly overpaid, inconsistent, and talks about himself in the third person. alsep73 is just happy we got a win.

  119. Frank

    Through 4 games, Wayne Ellington is looking like my favorite of the non-Randle veteran signings. He knows what to do on the court to make the game easier for a kid like Barrett, and that’s what you want from one of these vets.

    He’s like a poor man’s JJ Redick. All that off-ball movement drives defenses crazy. Not as good a shooter and doesn’t playmake at all, but he’s way less target-able on defense than JJ. Ellington needs to play 20 min/game I think…

  120. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I know people are high on Ellington but he and Dotson are identical twins in their stats.
    CLICK HERE
    Dotson’s able to shoot off motion; he shot the same % from 3 (36%) whether spot-up or off motion.

    I’d be fine suppressing Dot’s minutes and then re-signing him to a bit above the min as an RFA. But one has to consider maintaining flexibility at the deadline. Most we’d get for Morris by himself (who’s expiring) is a late 2nd round pick. Meh. Packaging Morris and Ellington would be problematic in matching salaries versus Dotson/Morris/Braz to try for a late 1st pick.

  121. Hubert

    I know people are high on Ellington but he and Dotson are identical twins in their stats.

    That was pretty eye opening.

    Most we’d get for Morris by himself (who’s expiring) is a late 2nd round pick.

    Little too early to write off his trade value. A guy who San Antonio was willing to give a big contract to is probably still worth something. I don’t think a late 1st from a contender is out of the question.

    Ellington looks like he should net something decent on his own. I think our resident GM Dred found the perfect partner in Philadelphia, too. Ellington for our 2nd round pick back, please.

  122. Hubert

    If you look around the league, it projects to be a seller’s market. There aren’t going to be many teams punting on this season, and the ones that are don’t have a lot of veteran pieces they want to move (other than the ones that cost too much, like Kevin Love). Marcus Morris and Wayne Ellington are probably going to be two of the best chips out there.

    Minnesota seems like a decent landing spot for Morris.

  123. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Little too early to write off his trade value. A guy who San Antonio was willing to give a big contract to is probably still worth something. I don’t think a late 1st from a contender is out of the question.

    If Morris had a team option or non-guaranteed 2nd year I would agree. No team’s gonna give away a 1st for a guy who’s gonna walk to the team which offers him the most money this summer. Spurs wanted him on a 3-year deal not a 1 year deal.

  124. Frank

    If Morris had a team option or non-guaranteed 2nd year I would agree. No team’s gonna give away a 1st for a guy who’s gonna walk to the team which offers him the most money this summer. Spurs wanted him on a 3-year deal not a 1 year deal.

    Possible it would be a salary dump in conjunction – ie. we take a guy who is overpaid and whose contract doesn’t expire until summer 2021 + a 1st round pick as sweetener, send back Morris.

    Meanwhile – it’s been mentioned by others but Randle as primary ballhandler iso guy is not working. Watching his turnovers last night – a bunch of travels, ball stolen by doubles, etc. Instead, Fiz got him on the roll and let him playmake from deep in the paint when the defense collapsed on him. That’s the way to use Randle – nice adjustment by Fiz. Let him work another year on iso moves etc before bringing it out in live action — that part of his game is not fully baked yet.

  125. djphan

    we had every opportunity to trade deandre last year.. i dont think its a given anyone moves… i think this team will probably remain largely intact…

  126. Hubert

    Possible it would be a salary dump in conjunction – ie. we take a guy who is overpaid and whose contract doesn’t expire until summer 2021 + a 1st round pick as sweetener, send back Morris.

    I was thinking Morris to Minnesota for that Dieng contract (matching salary, one more year) and their first round pick. But it probably costs them a 1st just to dump that contract, so is that like giving Morris away for free? I don’t know.

    But honestly I’m afraid of these guys even talking to Minnesota, lest Andrew Wiggins’ name comes up.

  127. Frank

    obviously a tiny sample size but Knox has been quite good on offense this year:

    per 36 -> 19.6p, 6.3r, 1.6a
    usage down to 18.4 from 22
    taking 48.5% of his shots from 3
    FTR up to 36.5 from 24.7
    TS of 65.3

    2p% still sucks (41%) but even that is an uptick from last year (38.7%).

    He just seems a lot more decisive this year and has improved his shot selection a ton – yesterday he didn’t take a single bad shot. He missed a couple layups which is a consistent problem, but at least they’re layups and not floaters from 8 feet away. Not sure if there are drills to improve touch around the basket, but those layups he missed were strong drives that just rimmed out a bit. You can see the glimmers of something pretty good there.

  128. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Possible it would be a salary dump in conjunction – ie. we take a guy who is overpaid and whose contract doesn’t expire until summer 2021 + a 1st round pick as sweetener, send back Morris.

    Yes I proposed a possible trade at deadline where we take Dieng for a year. I don’t think the front office thinks this way. If they think AD is an option, Morris on the team would be more attractive to him than Dieng. Of course, perhaps the Minnesota pick could be part of a trade this summer. Other than TWolves I couldn’t find a team where we could carry a bad contract for a year. But I looked at about 6 teams so maybe there’s another one out there or a surprise playoff contender pops up.

  129. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Meanwhile – it’s been mentioned by others but Randle as primary ballhandler iso guy is not working. Watching his turnovers last night – a bunch of travels, ball stolen by doubles, etc. Instead, Fiz got him on the roll and let him playmake from deep in the paint when the defense collapsed on him. That’s the way to use Randle – nice adjustment by Fiz. Let him work another year on iso moves etc before bringing it out in live action — that part of his game is not fully baked yet.

    Yeah Randle’s been a 50th percentile ISO guy and 80th percentile in PnR. It’s not rocket science to figure out PnR along with catching and driving off motion maximizes his effectiveness. The nice thing is that such an offense rates to maximize RJ’s effectiveness as well. Not to mention both are willing passers. Randle and RJ – they get a step and it’s game over. And also be nice to watch a combo PnR motion offense.

    Mitch being able to hit wide open shots would help RJ and Randle a lot in this regard. Mitch hitting that 7ft shot last night without hesitation is encouraging. In the previous game he was wide open at the foul line and didn’t even think about shooting. Fiz appears to have given him the green light but it’s Mitch who’s Frank-like in his timidity. We need Frank to hit open 3’s and Mitch to shoot wide open 10-13 footers.

  130. djphan

    yea the problem with randle is hes trying to take that step to be the main guy… and he thinks that means isoing up… and its kind of like having amare out there only randle isnt as athletic as amare….

    but he passes way better! his game has always been about transition and getting buckets when his defender is slightly out of position… pelicans did a good job with getting him in space while hes moving which means his defender has to change directions to stop a big guy like randle… whether off picks or cuts… our ball movement has generally sucked…

    hes an ok iso guy but thats not the part that makes him good…. theres some hope that he has ability to create off the dribble as hes shown flashes but right now its not looking good…. he will get better tho… and i think involving him with rj more is the solution for now…

  131. Hubert

    Seems like Farfa might be struggling with how to write up a win since he’s had so few to cover :)

  132. wetbandit

    I used to see Frank set offball screens, but he also used to run a half-assed PnR. He’s worse than he used to be. He stands at the elbow and waits. That’s not what Pop runs, not seeing how Pop’s offense has a role for that.

    Could it be true that Frank hasn’t made a shot yet? (in 25 min total play)

    I see Frank set offball screens all the time, actually. When I saw him with France, he was actually playing well within a system, when, you know, PLAYS were being run and he knew what to do. He doesn’t know what to do outside of running a play, and it seems he does try, but he has always played with ridiculous ball hogs or players/coaches not trying to run a play. I’m not saying he was destined to be Steph Curry if not for Fiz, but he might have been something better. Speaking from experience, it’s easy to break the spirit of a teenager.

  133. Early Bird

    Seems like Farfa might be struggling with how to write up a win since he’s had so few to cover :)

    The game was a complete rollercoaster, no idea how to begin to describe it so I can’t blame Farfa. I’d probably be okay if he just wrote ‘BOBBY PORTIS’ and then 40 lines of exclamation marks.

    In general this team has been a rollercoaster each game with huge point swings. It’s oddly thrilling and soul crushing all at once. Hopefully last night was a turning point as Randle realized he didn’t need to force it and Fiz looked to run plays with Randle getting the ball while already in motion.

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