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Monday, November 18, 2019

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers

The Knicks host the terrible Cleveland Cavaliers at the Garden as the ‘Bocker actually have the chance to go on a…GASP…winning streak with another win!

The Cavaliers don’t have a terrible record, but their schedule has been pretty light to this point, but they have been aided by Kevin Love being, well, you know, Kevin Love.

Following his excellent game against Dallas on Friday, Frank Ntilikina will have another chance to show his mettle against the speedy Collin Sexton (by the way, Darius Garland has had an awful start to his rookie season).

Mitchell Robinson misses another game, so Taj Gibson gets another start at center.

Dennis Smith Jr. will be out tonight (he’s back with the team, but he must not have done much conditioning while on bereavement leave).

3-7 sounds a lot better than 2-8, so come on, let’s go, Knicks!

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313 comments on “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers

  1. Grocer

    Did not enjoy Wally’s fawning package on Portis. Is he under team orders? What level of Independence do those chuckleheads have?

  2. TheClashFan

    I’ve weathered today’s Darnold lovers and haters today on another board, so I’m ready for more Frank love and hate.

  3. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    I’ll discuss Frank.
    It’s crazy this debate about him. I’ve never seen such a polarizing player. And he’s such a nice kid!
    Anyhow, I want to see a repeat performance. It’s time to come with that on a day-by-day basis.

  4. Grocer

    Can we discuss the harmonica rendition of the anthem? I’m a fan. I want more instrumentalists and less singers.

  5. Brian Cronin Post author

    Did not enjoy Wally’s fawning package on Portis. Is he under team orders? What level of Independence do those chuckleheads have?

    Not much. Look at how Hahn went from being highly critical to fawning as soon as he started to work for MSG.

  6. Brian Cronin Post author

    more important than any of that is getting rj back on track….

    Yeah, I’m not worried about him, per se, but it would be nice to get him back on track.

  7. TheClashFan

    I’m looking forward to seeing Osman. I recall I and a couple of others here were interested in the Knicks trying to get him on the cheap a couple of years ago.

  8. JK47

    Frank sucked on the first defensive possession, got crushed on a screen then was slow recovering

    That’s the kind of stuff that doesn’t show up in the boxscore

  9. KnickfaninNJ

    We missed Clyde for two games. I remember the last game he broadcast he was pretty negative about the Knicks offense (and also very accurate). I didn’t hear why he was out. I’m wondering if it might be related.

  10. TheClashFan

    Well, we’re seeing it all from Frank: missed shot, turnover, slow to respond on a screen (yet recovered and Thompson missed a gimee), rebound, nice pass…

  11. dtrickey

    We missed Clyde for two games. I remember the last game he broadcast he was pretty negative about the Knicks offense (and also very accurate). I didn’t hear why he was out. I’m wondering if it might be related.

    I can only assume they are giving him west-coast road games off. Clyde would just about be untouchable.

  12. TheClashFan

    @27
    I was going to post, “That’s what she said” in response to post 23. Was that what you were thinking?
    :-)

  13. ephus

    Randle has demonstrated that he does not have the handle to be the guy to run the offense through. He will make the occasional great-looking play, but turns over the ball too often.

  14. jazzfunk

    Always a good sign when Larry Nance Jr. drives to the basket like he’s playing on his driveway with his preschool children

  15. Owen

    EPHUS!

    Love it when you appear. Yeah, Randle has been extremely disappointing. Did he always play like this?

  16. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    We’re definitely the worst team in the league with Mitch out.

  17. KnickfaninNJ

    We’re not living up to our defensive ranking, but w0e aore certainly living down to our offensive ranking.

  18. Grocer

    Btw why is Knox listed as Kevin Knox II instead of Kevin Knox Jr.?

    I’d like to know as well. Was he christened as such? Personal choice? Google is not providing enlightenment.

  19. ephus

    There are a lot of Zach Lowe columns describing the frustration of watching Randle each night when he was a Laker. His complaints were (1) inconsistent effort and (2) dribbling into contested mid-range jumpers. He held out hope that Randle would become a rebound-and-lead-fast-break guy.

    I have no complaint with Randle’s effort as a Knick (on offense). He just does not seem to have skills to be an effective point forward.

  20. Owen

    I am loving that Randle is only on a 2 year deal, so far. He feels like he will be permanently frustrating.

    Don’t know where Kevin Porter came from there.

  21. djphan

    randle’s effort is there… he’s at a career low in assisted 2p fg’s…. and his ftr is down and efficiency is down because of it….

    he’ll be fine once we get better pg play…

  22. Grocer

    Fire Smart!

    I was just thinking how nice it would be to have some sort of “Shot Doctor” around to work with these guys.

    Frank makes a layup! Xmas is comin’ early!!

  23. dtrickey

    hoping they run iggy out for some real minutes in the 2nd half

    I am only watching the score tick over on gamecast at work, but I think he is with the Westies, so potentially out of luck there.

  24. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    What’s the over/under for how many more halves of unwatchable Knicks basketball Fizdale will survive? 30.5?

  25. Early Bird

    I am only watching the score tick over on gamecast at work, but I think he is with the Westies, so potentially out of luck there.

    They called him back up before the game. Saw on twitter awhile ago.

  26. Early Bird

    And with those misses the Knicks are now shooting 0.6393 from the FT line. If the season ended right now, we’d hold the 3rd worst team FT% of all-time. Right between the San Francisco Warriors’s 1964-65 and 1963-64 teams.

    FIRE SMART!!!

  27. Early Bird

    I’m starting to think Westchester’s court was ruled unfit for basketball because the Knicks practice there

  28. cgreene

    Feel bad for RJ. Seems like a good kid. About the get caught up in Knicksy nonsense and waste the first 3 years of his career.

    I have never been this close to giving up my fandom. Literally. This is a low point for me.

    I’m 45. I was here for the 90s. This is nuts.

  29. NahNahNahWeAreGoingTheOtherWay

    I said I would stop watching. I lied. I’m watching. I was a big Frank fan when he first joined the team. I liked his effort on D and his past first mentality.

    But Frank sucks. Oh man. The eye test is worse than his stats.

    I really don’t understand how the Frank stans can play the “watch the game” card. I just watched the game. He looks passive and terrible.

  30. Early Bird

    I think the Cavs may actually be using a team-wide hack-a-Shaq strategy, starting with about 5 min left in the 3rd. It’s not, not working.

  31. thenoblefacehumper

    You know, we hear ad nauseam about all the amazing things Frank does that don’t show up in the box score. Call me crazy, but as I watch this game it’s hard not to think about the overall detrimental effect it has on an offense when the nominal point guard cannot do any of the things a point guard is supposed to do.

    (I should add that I believe djphan has made this point in the past).

  32. DRed

    not sure what game you haters are watching but the Kicks have a chance to cut it to 13 on the one on my tv!

  33. TheClashFan

    Well, to his credit, Portis is playing hard out there and is +5 in 21 minutes. But, 2/9, so yeah.

  34. d-mar

    Frank gives the ball up so quickly when he comes across half court. It must be a pleasure to guard him.

  35. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Pretty sure you could’ve put Gary Payton on Sexton and he would’ve scored what he scored tonight. Dude wasn’t missing anything even with a hand in his face. Frank’s been fine but also definitely not a PG lol. Morris, Portis, and RJ have been the donkeys tonight

  36. cgreene

    If Guitar Jimmy went HAM and fired everyone tonight. What executive who is currently available would you want him to hire?

  37. Z-man

    If Guitar Jimmy went HAM and fired everyone tonight. What executive who is currently available would you want him to hire?

    DRed

  38. JK47

    There is some serious emperor’s new clothes shit happening here with this product the Knicks are putting on the court. They whiffed on the big free agents, then Plan B was putting this shooting guard/power forward team on the floor and letting Marcus Morris and Julius Randle try to iso their way to wins. There’s just nothing here. There’s no plan, no future, no nothing. They’re not playing any smarter or grittier or more veteran-y than any other shitty Knick team of recent memory.

    They’re certainly not doing the whole “bring the franchise back to respectability then lure free agents” thing. These 1+1 contracts were a giant fucking waste of time and a bad idea.

  39. JK47

    Frank’s “point guard” play is actually lol-worthy.

    Take the ball across the line, dribble once or twice, panic, throw the ball to somebody else.

    Horrible.

  40. d-mar

    So we had the Portis game against the Bulls and the Frank game against Dallas.

    And we had the eight other “Portis still sucks and Frank still sucks” games.

  41. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Frank said in an interview the offensive sequences with him passing to a big right away is what the coach wants. Payton also passed the ball right after crossing half-court. Elfrid’s dime% is off 33% so far. Some of this is on the coach’s offensive scheme.

  42. Grocer

    Possibly, possibly our home court disadvantage is because Fiz is pumping some inspiring music in the home team locker room before games. Nobody has the heart to tell him they all kind of hate Frozen.

  43. Early Bird

    I’ve been critical of Frank, but I take his 6 reb 6 ast 2 blk 2 stl game any day. It’s good to see him fill up the boxscore even if he can’t shoot.

  44. TheClashFan

    @151
    No doubt, but he’s still too passive. At least shoot more. Only two three pointers attempted, and one of those a hoist right at the end of the shot clock. He did have 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks, so some decent secondary numbers, but the dude’s just not a PG. Let’s see what Strato has to say!
    :-)

  45. JK47

    It’s not Frank’s fault that the team has no healthy point guards and that he’s playing out of position, but, uh, he’s playing out of position. He’s playing point guard because he was drafted as a point guard, but he cannot play point guard. He should not play point guard. He’s ridiculously bad at playing point guard, and if they insist on playing him at point guard it’s not going to go well.

    As a situational defense-first wing I’m kinda warming up to him but he absolutely 100% needs to play on the floor with an actual point guard or your offense is going to be all Marcus Morris isos.

  46. Name is Bron - James Bron

    It’s not a deficiency. I merely explained why Frank is passing right after he crosses half-court in response to JK47’s post. Payton did this too. This is what they practice, this is what the coach wants. If you want to ding Frank for other stuff, go right ahead, but this one’s on Fiz. Are you disputing this?

  47. thenamestsam

    Wow for anyone not watching the Mills Perry press conference, you should be. I’ve been totally behind the idea that Fiz is safe, but I don’t remember ever seeing something like this. Fiz on notice.

  48. TheClashFan

    @162
    I’ll chime in. I agree that the Fiz offense definitely has the PG (now Frank) regularly passing ofs so that they can run that silly weave thing that seems to “trigger” the offense almost all the time. But, there are also regular examples of Frank having opportunities later in possessions to be aggressive, but he almost never is.

  49. TheClashFan

    Wow, I’d think the victory over KP would give Fiz a bit of breathing room, but I guess not?

    Details?

  50. djphan

    all of these plays that are being run… does not involve him just passing to someone else at all times…. that might happen sometimes but not all the time… but that’s exactly what he’s doing…

    you’re literally playing 4 on 5 when you’re doing that.. and fiz while he’s not a great coach…. probably does not intend for his pg have low teens usage….

  51. thenoblefacehumper

    On the bright side it’s kind of nice to see that this team crumbles into a pathetic heap without Mitch

  52. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I’ll chime in. I agree that the Fiz offense definitely has the PG (now Frank) regularly passing ofs so that they can run that silly weave thing that seems to “trigger” the offense almost all the time. But, there are also regular examples of Frank having opportunities later in possessions to be aggressive, but he almost never is.

    I agree but I was responding to this comment of JK47:

    Take the ball across the line, dribble once or twice, panic, throw the ball to somebody else. Horrible.

  53. TheClashFan

    Another problem is that it seems that when one of the power forward trio gets the ball in the post, they almost never look to kick out to open shooters. Frank is regularly spotted up out there (as are others), but the ball rarely comes back to him.

    And, if he runs back out on top to get the ball, he’ll get passes back, but then he’s in PPG mode and just defers again rather than attacking like a good PG would do a fair amount of time.

  54. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I think Mitch’s and Payton’s returns will help a lot. But the offensive schemes need to change. Mills should tell Fiz that Miller is the new offensive coordinator and that he should implement his system.

  55. Knew Your Nicks

    Team’s on bipolar mode.
    Against Dallas looked like a playoff team. Tonight looked like a Summer League one.
    Something’s wrotten in the land of Fizmark…

  56. djphan

    fiz absolutely should be on notice…. he doesn’t have a handle on his team… playing portis more minutes than mitch should be exhibit A… saying marcus morris is your ‘leader’ is exhibit b…. also being blown out at home by the kings and cavs is simply not acceptable… we have consistently been coming out of games with poor effort… unimaginative and uninspired play… and he’s playing the wrong guys on top of that….

    we are badly missing our ballhandlers … it’s a huge handicap… but detroit was also missing their two point guards and absolutely obliterated us…. this is beyond missing elf and dsj… we are simply not prepared in any of our games…

    everything is super loose… a lot of lapses occur… and a lot of the same kind of lapses within quick succession…. and not even a peep… his challenges are horrendous…. the offensive sets suck and are repetitive and unimaginitive…

    there’s time to turn it around… but this absolutely looks like a poorly coached team….

  57. Knew Your Nicks

    No need to panic. All we need to do is hire a FT specialist, an intensity specialist, a spin specialist for Julius, a dog trainer , a psychiatrist and a coaching specialist and we’ll be fine.

  58. Grocer

    It’s not like Frank hasn’t spent his whole career getting rid of the ball as so0n as he can after crossing half court. Sure, it’s the set play. One of our “PGs” can’t do anything else but that so it has to be a set play.

  59. Name is Bron - James Bron

    It’s not like Frank hasn’t spent his whole career getting rid of the ball as so0n as he can after crossing half court. Sure, it’s the set play. One of our “PGs” can’t do anything else but that so it has to be a set play.

    C’mon. You know how the Triangle works right? The offense starts when a guard passes to the wing and cuts to the strong-side corner. And Fizdale’s offense starts in a similar fashion whether Frank or Payton is the 1 guard. There’s plenty of stuff to criticize Frank about but when you, djphan, and JK47 keep bringing this up, it’s intellectually dishonest.

  60. Grocer

    There’s plenty of stuff to criticize Frank about but when you, djphan, and JK47 keep bringing this up, it’s intellectually dishonest.

    Get out of here with this shit. Frank has never shown any ability to do anything other than dribble the ball up past half court and pass it off. He’s not even good at that! It’s a deficiency, whether he’s passing into a ‘weave’ set or that college thing where he hands it off along the sideline en route to the corner. He can’t do anything else. You know he can’t do anything else. If there’s any intellectual dishonesty in this argument it’s claiming that Frank gets a pass because his coaches stop asking him to do anything beyond his abilities, i.e., anything other than give the ball to someone else.

  61. dtrickey

    Does Whoopi Goldberg still go to games? Surely if she’s available the team could just pull and Eddie and hire her as a Fiz replacement? It worked alright in the movie.

  62. Name is Bron - James Bron

    @grocer You must be handling too many poisonous mushrooms because it’s affected your reading comprehension. The bringing the ball across the half-court and passing right away was part of the Triangle and it’s part of Fiz’s system no matter who the 1 guard is. That’s just factual. Frank’s aggressiveness and skills after that is a separate discussion.

  63. JK47

    Yeah I’m sure Frank would be busting out some sick ass Iverson crossovers and just breaking ankles left and right if not for The Man holding him down.

    He has the handle of a Yugo that has been in six accidents. There’s some intellectual honesty for you.

  64. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Well a different offensive system might have Frank could go right into a high PnR. Frank and Taj have been pretty good in the PnR and PnP so far.

  65. thenoblefacehumper

    Oh my god I’m actually laughing out loud at the idea of Frank Ntilikina receiving instructions like “Listen, here’s what you gotta do, throw the ball to the closest player to you once you get past half-court. Then remove yourself from the play entirely.”

    Definitely a real thing that is happening!

  66. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Yeah it’s a real thing. Frank said it in an interview when asked. That’s what they do in practice. That’s how Fiz wants the offense initiated. Payton did it too. Add your name to the list of intellectually dishonest people.

  67. djphan

    i think what you’re focusing on is the initial pass… everyone else is focusing on everything else… i mean you can see it in the words you’re quoting for yourself…. just read it again….

  68. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Of course that’s what I’m talking about. It was a reply to JK47’s original comment. But Grocer, JK47, and Noble are now arguing that the initial pass is Frank’s problem and not a function of the offensive system.

    This whole system is hurting Payton as well whose dime% is off 33% from his career average so far. It’s a dumb system no matter who the guard is.

  69. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Whether or not Frank is just doing as Fiz tells him, he clearly lacks the #1 and #2 skills requisite for a lead guard: breaking down the d and being a threat to finish with the ball in his hands. You can’t run an offense unless your PG or point forward can do that. We have neither.

  70. djphan

    yea… if others are talking about something else… i don’t know why you keep going back to something that is already irrelevant and then blaming others for intellectual dishonesty…

    like we get it… but there’s literally 5 posts emphasizing the other stuff but u don’t want to let it go…. calm down…

  71. Name is Bron - James Bron

    yea… if others are talking about something else… i don’t know why you keep going back to something that is already irrelevant and then blaming others for intellectual dishonesty…

    It’s intellectually dishonest because people like Grocer and Noble fail to acknowledge a simple fact. If they would just say: OK you’re right about the initial pass but…. I would have no problem.

  72. djphan

    the reason you are misunderstanding is that it’s irrelevant …. that’s why no one is acknowledging it… pg’s passing the ball over half court is not fizdale offense kind of thing… EVERY TEAM IN THE NBA DOES THAT…. just watch another game…. the pg doesn’t go into a high pnr every possession…. this is super super obvious stuff….

    what makes frank ‘special’ is that he disappears after that initial pass… literally everyone is saying this and this is what you’re not understanding… how many times is he doing anything on a second touch besides passing to the guy next to him…. most teams are dependent on their best ballhandler to make a play from that point…. but that responsibility now has to go to someone else.. and that someone else is randle or morris …. and guess how that makes the offense look….

    the intial pass is just a signal of him exiting stage left from the offense…. nobody is telling him to disappear…. he’s doing that all on his own….

  73. Name is Bron - James Bron

    the reason you are misunderstanding is that it’s irrelevant …. that’s why no one is acknowledging it…

    They’re not acknowledging it not because it’s irrelevant; they’re not acknowledging it because their egos won’t permit it. And that makes it difficult to have a real conversation about any topic.

    Regarding the high PnR, most other teams execute it with way greater frequency than we have at the start of the offense. The interesting part is the second unit was executing more PnR’s and staggered screens than the starting unit and the offensive flow looked much better. Why Fiz hasn’t incorporated more of that into the starting unit and instead gone to weaves and Randle ISOs is a mystery.

  74. Grocer

    Payton didn’t initiate all sets with a pass, is the thing. I’m sure Frank has been told to do so. That’s not you being right, that’s you refusing to accept that Frank is being told to do so because he can’t do anything else. I get that it is difficult to accept that Fiz might be getting something right, but it’s not like Phil didn’t fire coaches for not being true to the triangle. The initial pass is part of all of Frank initiated plays, but it isn’t part of all Knick initiated plays. How is this complicated? And does it really matter, since Fiz is on his way out anyway and we’ll have yet more evidence with whoever steps into the big boots next.

  75. Grocer

    Why Fiz hasn’t incorporated more of that into the starting unit and instead gone to weaves and Randle ISOs is a mystery.

    It’s not a mystery, it’s really simple. Frank is bad at it, and Payton has been injured. The mystery is why he keeps sticking with Frank as a starter in Payton’s absence.

  76. geo

    well, at least we’re not mediocre anymore…we’re about to be the worst team in the league two years in a row…

  77. djphan

    They’re not acknowledging it not because it’s irrelevant; they’re not acknowledging it because their egos won’t permit it. And that makes it difficult to have a real conversation about any topic.

    dude just stop.. you’re projecting… and it’s pretty transparent…

  78. JK47

    I made a post earlier today that said “Anybody think Frank is gonna keep shooting .400+ from 3PT? Because if he doesn’t, his TS% is back down to around .400 because he can’t convert 2PTers or make free throws.”

    James Bron said that was “intellectually dishonest.” I dunno, that seemed like a pretty fucking cut-and-dried statement right there.

    I guess that’s just his go-to buzzphrase.

  79. DRed

    The mystery is why he keeps sticking with Frank as a starter in Payton’s absence.

    if you want to solve the mystery you might want to look at the knicks roster

  80. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I made a post earlier today that said “Anybody think Frank is gonna keep shooting .400+ from 3PT? Because if he doesn’t, his TS% is back down to around .400 because he can’t convert 2PTers or make free throws.”

    James Bron said that was “intellectually dishonest.” I dunno, that seemed like a pretty fucking cut-and-dried statement right there.

    I guess that’s just his go-to buzzphrase.

    You have me confused with another person. I never said that.

  81. Grocer

    geo, they didn’t really say much in the postgame. Still have faith in the coaching staff, still on board with their plan and their players, acknowledging that it is real fucked up, demanding more consistent performance, more consistent effort. Basically they need to play more like they did against Dallas, shit like tonight is unacceptable. Which, true enough. It was a little strange, it didn’t feel like they were threatening Fiz with the axe that much. Emphasized themselves being a part of the group and being involved. I’m not quite sure what they were doing and I don’t think it was what reporters were expecting them to say. Questions were mostly for clarification and details, they didn’t give any. I can’t imagine Fiz’s job isn’t on the line and we all know Mills has his own luxury bus with big knobbly tires for tossing people under, but it was kind of strange.

  82. Grocer

    if you want to solve the mystery you might want to look at the knicks roster

    I’m no Jessica Fletcher but it seems to me he could run Trier at point or call up Allen if he wanted something more dynamic. They’d still suck, but they’d suck differently.

  83. geo

    @206…that’s interesting grocer…

    I’m not getting my hope up that dolan is gonna let go of the knicks and rangers any time soon, but, who knows…

    can’t imagine mills and perry decided to go talk to the media on their own initiative…

    I mean even as stubborn as jimmy d is, there must be some point when he’s just sick of all the losing…

  84. Grocer

    can’t imagine mills and perry decided to go talk to the media on their own initiative

    That was one of the questions! Mills sputtered about how he talks to him all the time during the game, tried to imply that it was all their choice without actually saying it. It is entirely possible that Dolan told them to do it. But like, is that a Jimmy D thing? Doesn’t really feel like it, you know? It’s also possible that Mills himself is secure in his position but both Fiz and Perry are on the clock.

  85. Farfa

    Sorry guys there’s not gonna be any recap today, too many things to take care of :(

    Well at least they happened right after an unrecappable game

  86. bobneptune

    Yeah I’m sure Frank would be busting out some sick ass Iverson crossovers and just breaking ankles left and right if not for The Man holding him down.

    It’s pretty humorous you think Frank was the crux of the problem with the team yesterday because he went oh for two from three. He did have 6 boards, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.

    Did you watch Randle do his Pat Cummings impersonation last night with his -0.015 ws/48 over 334 minutes? Except he thinks he is Bernard effing King with the ball in his hands.

    Do you get tired of watching an offense whose go to play is the PG flips the ball to a big 25 feet from the basked and they hand the ball off 4 times and wind up with a 6′ 10″ guy with the ball now 29 feet from the basket with 9 seconds left on the clock??????????

    Did a single human cut through the lane without the ball last night????? Nahhhhhhh…. why do something like that????

    Frank had the best +/- of all the starters by a lot last night playing the most minutes….. he wasn’t the problem….. the entire team laid down last night.

    The fish rots from the head……

  87. Nick C.

    The Mills and Perry comments were just a bunch of cowardly blame shifting. They made comments about effort. Not a word was said, nor was a question asked, about roster composition. It’s like they brought home some wilted moldy food and then blamed the cook.

  88. Z-man

    Fiz is a dead man walking, rightfully so. I’m picking December 7 as the day that will live in infamy. We’ll be 6-17 by then after having gotten routed on our home floor by the Pacers. How’s that for an over/under point?

  89. E

    Frank gives the ball up so quickly when he comes across half court.

    Because that’s the offense Fizdale wants to run. Everything runs through that ridiculous Hoosiers power-forward weave. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.

  90. Ingmarrrr

    I take the under. Usually when the front office starts openly talking about the coach it’s over in a matter of days. He needs a win in Chicago, or we’ll start hearing ramblings that he’s “lost the team” and when they get spanked by Dallas on Thursday he’ll be out.

  91. bobneptune

    I’m picking December 7 as the day that will live in infamy.

    I see what you did here! :-) Nice touch on Veteran’s Day.

  92. E

    And, no, there is no serious action or intent to get Frank the ball back in a threatening position after he gives the ball up. Virtually every play, he gives the ball up and then goes and stands in the corner. The offense is not remotely constructed to give him a “second chance.”

  93. Nick C.

    With Frank and the “second chance” it may be a chicken or the egg question. Is the offense not constructed that way, are his teammates ball hogs, or is he just not doing much when he has got it back so they gave up.

  94. KnickfaninNJ

    There is a lot of blame to go around. That is, everyone is at fault in the debacle that is the Knicks team so far. The owner, for expecting that money will buy a good team once you’ve struck out on the big name free agents, The management for putting together a flawed roster, the coach, for having such a limited offensive scheme, and maybe the fans, for expecting 28 wins or more out of a team that had to trade away their best player for assets we mostly don’t have yet.

    The comments from the press conference that offered me any hope as a fan were the ones about it’s a new team and things take time to gel. That is true, but having a press conference like this doesn’t help that process. Now everyone is more likely to try and look like they, personally, are putting out maximum effort instead of learning about their team mates and trusting them more and being a better team.

  95. E

    Of course there is offensive construction built around the second chance. If the PG brings the ball up, he’s not in the triple-threat position because he’s already dribbling the ball. So of course there are sets when he passes it to someone and then gets it back, because when he gets it back, he’ll be in a much better position to do something threatening. At that point, there is typically something like a pick and roll with the PG initiating that would technically qualify as a “second chance,” but the Knicks never do anything remotely like that. The Knick point guard gives the ball up and stands in the corner while Marcus Morris and Julius Randle do their bullshit. Occasionally one of them will give the ball up to Rowan who will then do his own brand of iso, and occasionally they’ll kick the ball into Portis or to Portis /Knox at the 3 line. But the offense doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to one that uses the PG to do anything. There is no second chance, other than a purely accidental one. It’s an aesthetic and basketball mess.

  96. Farfa

    Chiming in very quickly: I read about the Pills conference.

    Fiz is a dead walking coach, as it should have been apparent since February 2019. Let’s just hope they’ll institute Miller as interim head coach and not Keith Smart or any other Dizfail crony.

  97. Bo Nateman

    Searching for things to be positive about:
    1. In the unlikely event, Dolan cleans house the new regime wouldn’t have much of an inherited albatross of a roster.*
    2. Our worst in the league performance might have been slightly mitigated by the presence of Mitch and Payton.
    3. We did not sign Terry Rozier.

    * What is really accomplished if Fiz is dumped, but Mills/Perry remain?

  98. Farfa

    What is really accomplished if Fiz is dumped, but Mills/Perry remain?

    Absolutely nothing, there’s just the hope that the hour is the right one for the broken clock.

  99. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I’d be surprised if the solution in the conference room will be to Get Smart. I suspect if Fiz is fired, Smart goes too since he’s Fiz’s primary bench coach and I think he’s the offensive coordinator. We’re ranked 30th in Offensive Rtg. Last season we ranked 30th in ORtg. Also, DSJ was part of the KP trade and Smart spent a lot of time reworking his shot this summer. At the moment, it’s hard to imagine a worse result.

    I doubt Fiz looked at some G League tape this summer and decided he needed Miller on his coaching staff. That had to be from Mills/Perry. My guess is Miller would be named interim coach or someone from the outside would be brought in (Mark Jackson?).

    Dolan, Perry, Mills left the court early so I gotta believe JD told them to do something. The NYK have a series of winnable games on tap before a long brutal stretch. There has to be some urgency to win some games in the next couple of weeks. A message needed to be sent.

  100. Bo Nateman

    A highly relevant question that has been asked before is what would it take to get Mills fired ( or maybe
    moved to head Radio City Music Hall)?

  101. Z-man

    Expecting Dolan to fire Mills is like expecting Republicans in congress to impeach Trump. Ain’t happening.

  102. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    I do appreciate the impromptu postgame presser. At least this regime is willing to communicate with the fans.

    I know the roster construction is…clunky. But Fiz has got to coach better. By now, I’m sure he knows Randle’s and Barrett’s strengths. He just needs to put them to better use.

    Can’t wait to see how they clear the clutter come December 15

  103. Bo Nateman

    I would assume that if another top executive directly reporting to Dolan performed as Mills has, that person would have been gone. I understand the Republicans’ self-serving allegiance to Trump, but not Dolan’s to Mills. Is there any non-relative of an owner, who has lasted through such an awful elongated period of malfeasance?

  104. danvt

    Oof. That was a tough thread to read.

    There’s a lot of ways to play the PG position. All require confidence. Not saying Frank is the solution at PG. NOT AT ALL, but I am concerned that we’re doing damage to all our young players’ development. We’re not THIS bad, yet we’re looking at historic lows. How do you get pounded at home by two non playoff teams, even as a non playoff team? We have veterans who can make shots. Even despite our lack of playmaking at PG, I think we could be more competitive.

    Time for another try at coach/gm. New owner won’t happen. Gonna have to believe it can happen despite him. It’s an established fact that GM’s have argued with Dolan not to make the blunders of the past. So, whoever comes in becomes the artist formerly known as..

    But maybe we get a good young basketball mind to lead us out of the doldrums. They’d be a hero in NYC. Who is it?

  105. djphan

    the attention frank gets is ridiculous…. there are more pressing matters on this team than a guy who’s established a level of play for now three years…. it’d be nice to be able to move on from having to thinslice 0 for 6 games and 4 free throw seasons to find a passable player….

  106. KnickfaninNJ

    here’s a link to possible coaches available a year ago. Many of them have been hired, but three stood out to me as good possibilities for the Knick’s: Stan van Gundy, who was a lousy GM but is a good coach, Becky Hammond, who is apparently very good at Spurs style basketball; and Ettore Messina, ditto. I don’t want Jeff van Gundy because I think he will have the same problems on offense that Fizdale does. What do you think?

  107. danvt

    expanding on that thought, think of the reputations the Knicks have ruined or stained. Larry Brown, Phil Jackson, Mike D’Antoni… These people ride in with stellar careers and are summarily disgraced. Phil’s original sin, the Melo super max, was that just Jim? We know Donnie Walsh, another terrific basketball mind, was against the original Melo Drama. Not that these people didn’t make their own mistakes but still, when it’s a show me now culture, you’re constantly pushed by the wrong rationale.

    Fuk it. Steinbrenner learned…

  108. Name is Bron - James Bron

    With all this Frank stuff I feel like we’re arguing over whose farts smell better.

    I would agree with the Frank haters that he has to be more aggressive on offense. I’ve noticed a few times where he could have used the defender’s momentum against them to drive. He doesn’t have burst so he has to be smart and more opportunistic. Finishing is gonna be major hurdle to clear.

    Box score mavens have been clamoring for improvement there. I hear again and again the refrain same ole Frank or the query How has Frank improved?

    BPM……..Up
    WS/48…..Up
    STL%…….Up
    BLK%…….Up
    3FG%…….Up
    TS%……….Up
    DRB%…….Up
    TOV/36….Improved
    2FG%……No change
    Dimes/36..Worse
    FTr………..Worse

    Frank’s handle has definitely improved.

    Do people think Frank suddenly is a worse passer? Sure some of it is that Frank’s gotta be more aggressive as evidenced by his anemic FTr but some of it has to be the offensive system (minimal PnR for example). Payton’s dime% is below his career average. BTW There’s not much difference between Frank and Payton on BPM and WS/48.

  109. Farfa

    Hah, it would be sweet irony to see Mills and Dolan hire the first female NBA head coach after that sordid Anucha Browne Sanders thing.

    But no, it’s not gonna happen. I hope Mike Miller will get his chance. If he fails, or if they find an agreement, it’s Mark Jackson time guys.

  110. bobneptune

    My guess is Miller would be named interim coach or someone from the outside would be brought in (Mark Jackson?).

    Did the G league team run this bullshit offense last year…. I mean it would make sense to have the minor league team run the same sets and the big club????

  111. Owen

    Just hire Masai. Who cares about Fiz really. There isn’t a coach in history who could have made this a 35 win team.

  112. djphan

    stan van gundy is the type of coach we need… he probably doesn’t want to come here and i doubt he wants to…. but we need a guy who will invoke more discipline… we are super loose with everything we do…. we are horrible at the pnr… and we are horrible defending it…. we constantly lose ppl on defense…. we are constantly careless with the ball on offense….

    i was never his biggest fan but we do need a guy like him or thibodeau that will actually hold ppl accountable on at least one end of the floor…..

  113. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Let’s say we could get a late 1st round pick for Morris and Dotson on Dec 15th. Would the FO even make that trade if they’re desperate for wins and Morris has been one of our better players?

    Randle situation needs to resolve itself. I’m not ready to abandon him yet but he does appear to be a dumb player and even when putting up gaudy stats his last two seasons the Pels and Lakers were only a smidge better when he was on the court. You have to wonder whether trading him for a decent return and then trying to sign UFA Harrell this summer for about the same money might be the best strategy.

  114. Farfa

    we do need a guy like him or thibodeau

    I don’t want Mitch’s career to end at 28 because of selfcombustion for playing 48 minutes in the second game of a back to back

  115. rama picked up his option

    You are correct, that was rama. Apologies.

    And that was me referring to the wrong post. I meant 172, not 72. The issue I was trying to point out is moving the goalposts in an argument – that is intellectually dishonest (a phrase I somewhat regret introducing at this point…). This is one of the best blogs on bball on the web, and I actually expect better than the typical indiscriminate swipes you see elsewhere. I was mocked for saying that the numbers do not support the idea that Frank is incapable of improvement with a response including his career VORP etc. Rebutting someone’s argument that actually he does seem to have improved to the point he’s at least replacement level by saying his career numbers are terrible is bullshit.

    It isn’t an argument about whether replacement level is good; it isn’t about what we should be paying him in two years. (Two years! Will the Knicks even still be an NBA franchise at the rate they’re going??) It is simply that arguments that he is so bad he is irredeemable are not supported by the numbers this year – which, to qualify, are indeed a very small sample.

    It isn’t worth our time to relitigate Frank over and over, but it is worth it to insist that people support their arguments with data and respond specifically to the point and not “Frank sucks y’all, har har.”

  116. djphan

    lol… well maybe not literally them… but somebody that brings structure and accountability.. instead of lip service….

  117. E

    Randle is the poster child for a guy who can put up hollow counting stats for crappy teams but can’t really contribute too much to a winning team, certainly not in any sort of front-line way. Maybe in a clean-up, sixth man-ish way. Maybe. The maybe really isn’t worth speculating or taking a flyer on, and actually making a conscious basketball decision to construct and build your offense around his bullshit is LOLKnicks at its very finest.

  118. rama picked up his option

    I don’t want Mitch’s career to end at 28 because of selfcombustion for playing 48 minutes in the second game of a back to back

    Don’t worry, Mitch will foul out before he gets to 30 minutes.

  119. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Our offense sucks.

    A good offensive system has multiple playmakers, a lot of ball and player movement, and plenty of space. You can get penetration out of one or more of the players or a dominant post player that draws double teams, but you need to be running something logical given the players you have on the team.

    We have bad lineups and don’t seen to be running anything that makes sense.

    As soon as the ball leaves Frank’s hands in the half court, someone start dribbling trying to create their own shot instead of the team running a series of picks, cuts, and moving the ball. We usually wind up with some low efficiency self created option because there is no ball/player movement.

    We can give Payton another chance when he’s healthy so we get more penetration from the PG position, but I don’t think that’s going to solve the problem because I don’t think Frank is the major problem with the offense.

    We should probably play smaller by moving Barrett to SF and Randle to the bench. Morris at PF is a better fit with Robinson because he can shoot. Then you could try variations of Payton/Frank with Dotson at the PG/SG positions. That team would play some defense and have better spacing.

    The problem is that it’s probably politically impossible to put Randle on the bench. So we are stuck with 2-3 players in the front court that don’t fit together and a backcourt that can’t shoot.

    This may be the most poorly constructed team I have ever seen (and the Knicks have had some bad ones). This is on management as much as it is on Fizdale.

  120. thenamestsam

    To talk about someone other than Frank (not sure if it’s allowed by current Knickerblogger bylaws???), I’ve been wondering for a while who was going to be brave enough to kick off the RJ backlash and I see that JK47 finally went for it a little in the comments last night. The RJ narrative got really locked into “Wow he looks great! What a pleasant surprise! He’s going to be a stud!” after about 3 games and there hasn’t been much reevaluation of that but…yeah. Among guys playing rotation minutes he’s now bottom 20ish in the league in BPM, TS%, WS/48, etc.

    Circumstance is definitely not on his side; he’s being frequently asked to be the primary creator on a team with absolutely garbage spacing and a completely nonsensical offensive system. He’s showing plenty of encouraging signs to go with the negatives – the defense and 3-ball have both been undeniably better than anyone expected. But I do think it’s worth pointing out at this point that the prevailing narrative that he’s off to a great start and has looked fantastic isn’t really keeping up with real-time developments.

  121. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I think we should stop blaming individual players.

    We have a few veterans that could play a significant role on a good team and we have some good young pieces that need 3-4 more years to develop.

    The latter is the one thing that drives me nuts. People are always clamoring for tanking and rebuilding. I keep explaining that tanking will work, but it’s a 6-8 year process because of the age of the players coming out of college, the randomness of the lottery, and being lucky in getting the right players.

    Then I have to read endless posts about how one of our teenagers or recently turn 20 years olds still sucks because he can’t do x, y or z. Yeah, well guess what, most kids can’t do a lot of things well because they are kids. They add a little to their game each year and then by the time they are 24-25 they are more well rounded players that still need playoff experience to develop further.

    This is not a very good team, but it’s playing THIS poorly because our management and coaching staff doesn’t understand how to value players, fit them together, or use coherent strategies on either side of the ball.

    With good management and coaching, we could overcome the mistakes of the last 2-3 years and quickly improve because other than losing KP, nothing has set us back significantly. We are treading water wasting time instead of getting better. But if we start adding value oriented pieces that fit together and start using them properly, that can change quickly. We need smart basketball people running things. These guys are clueless and playing fantasy basketball.

  122. Farfa

    But I do think it’s worth pointing out at this point that the prevailing narrative that he’s off to a great start and has looked fantastic isn’t really keeping up with real-time developments.

    To be fair, RJ’s problems pretty much all stem from his inability to shoot free throws and from the fact that, to compound the issue, refs don’t call at least a shooting foul on him per night.

  123. Owen

    I have been hedging my bets on RJ for a week now. I kind of think he is what most of the skeptics thought he was when we drafted him.

    And the free throws are killers. Not in terms of how we should project him but just in how I feel about him right now.

  124. Ntilakilla

    The irony of the Frank discourse on this site is that he’s getting hammered at a time when he’s bringing his WS/48, VORP and BPM up from his young career averages. I don’t get it, but as it was said here before, people have stuck to their narratives on him in what is supposedly an advanced stats based site. Goes to show that a lot of empiricism masquerades as subjective bias.

  125. djphan

    aside from his ft shooting rj’s mostly been fine in totality…. the last few games his 2p shooting has taken a nosedive also which is very concerning but there’s a lot of reason to believe that it will recover.. these are part of growing pains….

    and the reason why i’m not super concerned yet is that everything else is looking good to great… his 2p shooting is still north of 40%… he’s contributing on the boards (5.9 reb per 36) … creating shots for others (3.7 assists) and doing so efficiently (1.3 assist/to ratio)…. and one of the most important things is that he’s getting to the line (ftr 42%)… that is a fairly stable and quickly stabilizing metric and that’s a rate that points to stardom especially at this young of an age….

    everything else is workable…. and while his finishes at the rim looks really bad now (53%)… there’s plenty of evidence that it will recover…. and he’s also suffering from lack of ball handling around him as he’s at a 37% assisted 2p fg rate…. by comparison lebron (47%) and melo (53%) had much better help in that regard at the same age….

    so nothing to get worried about too much…. at least yet.. rj still looks very good… if the next 10 games continues to look like the next 3 then i would probably start panicing…

  126. djphan

    ntilikalla… frank’s ws48 improvement is mostly a mirage…. it’s a similar thing with knox….

    his 2p fg% is still south of 38%… and will be the third straight year it’s been that bad…. and he’s shooting less to boot…. that signals that he can’t find efficient opportunities for himself…. dinwiddie had a similar problem coming up but he was able to hide it by limiting himself… and he converted those limited opportunities… that frank still can’t do that by limiting himself even further should be pretty alarming….

    his ftr is also in a third straight year in decline….. prior to this game he had the same ft attempts as dsj and he hasn’t played in two weeks….

    steals and blocks are all very very good… and points to the impact he’s had in these last few games defensively….. but we’ve seen this before….. and 3.5 combined stls and blocks is not really sustainable for him…. if it is.. we would probably see some stark improvement elsewhere and it’s not showing up….

    so he’s likely to regress…. and it’s a similar thing with knox… as soon as the 3s stop falling they will be basically the same player they were…. altho with knox it’s nice that he’s getting to the line more… we can’t say the same for frank….

  127. thenamestsam

    The irony of the Frank discourse on this site is that he’s getting hammered at a time when he’s bringing his WS/48, VORP and BPM up from his young career averages. I don’t get it, but as it was said here before, people have stuck to their narratives on him in what is supposedly an advanced stats based site. Goes to show that a lot of empiricism masquerades as subjective bias.

    This is a pretty shallow reading in my opinion. Frank’s #s have improved this year undeniably. Offensively that’s mainly on the basis of his shooting ticking up both from 3 and on long 2s. That seems to me like it’s mostly sustainable as his shot has never looked broken enough to justify his poor #s. However, the efficiency is still poor overall and the rest of his offensive profile is still awful and actually regressing in some ways – his usage is down: 12% is incredibly low even for a “stand in the corner” wing, let alone a PG, his Ast% is down, his TOV% is up, and he’s somehow getting to the line even less. You can say that he’s improving in the sense of better learning to play only in his very small niche and that’s helping the bottom line #s, but it’s not some big step forward in my eyes.

    The other big move in his #s is that his steals and blocks are way up and that’s really helping the box score evaluations of his defense (was actually negative both priors years in DBPM and now significantly positive). That’s a really nice move in the right direction for him and subjectively I do think he has been better on D this year for whatever that’s worth.

    Overall, the “narrative” was that he sucked based on his atrocious advanced stats. Yes, they’ve improved this year…but they still undeniably suck. So if that’s how you evaluate Frank then sticking to the narrative he sucks isn’t biased. Personally I think there’s some encouraging signs that he’s making steps towards being an effective role player…but not at PG.

  128. d-mar

    Fiz is a dead man walking, rightfully so. I’m picking December 7 as the day that will live in infamy. We’ll be 6-17 by then after having gotten routed on our home floor by the Pacers. How’s that for an over/under point?

    4 more wins by December 7th? Take off your orange and blue colored glasses! (-:

    Also, who do we root for tonight, Dallas or Boston? Can both teams lose?

  129. JK47

    Frank has been better in some of the games this year, to the point where he should be a rotation player on this bad team. He needs to play shooting guard though. We’re running “zero point guard” lineups out there for the entire game.

    It’s not his fault he’s being asked to do something he can’t do. They should focus on what he CAN do. Right now he looks like a decent 3-and-D wing. Let him do that.

  130. Bruno Almeida

    @255

    Yeah, and like we have always said, stats matter in a context and over sample sizes. For example, Devin Booker has insane stats right now, he’s posting his best ws48 and BPM stats ever by far… but he’s also shooting a .673 ts% that includes hitting 53% on 3s on 5 attempts per game. Is that an indication that he’s an improved player compared to the last few seasons, or is it just a probably unsustainable period that will most likely regress to the mean?

    The answer is that we don’t truly know, but the fact that his FTA, assists, rebounds and everything else are right around his career average or lower probably means it’s just a rosy period where he’s shooting like a god for his standards.

    So let’s talk about advanced stats when we have a big enough sample size to be more confident they’re telling a more complete story. I’ve been encouraged by Frank’s play in the Dallas game and he should continue to get minutes, but that’s pretty much what we have to go on.

  131. Frank O.

    Clearly Mitch is causing spacing problems for Randle and the Knicks are better with him coming off the bench…

    lol
    This team is so so bad and the franchise is so so bad.
    It is rotten from the top down.
    Tanking and getting an early pick isn’t even a viable strategy. Look at the first rounders…good lord.
    I’m almost with the Knicks where i am with the Jets. Unwatchable, unfollowable. Just Un…

  132. thenoblefacehumper

    Last night Silky mentioned something I’ve been hammering for a while: whether or not Frank Ntilikina should play this year (and next) is the least interesting question you can ask. The team sucks ass and especially so at the guard positions, so give Frank all the minutes he can handle (though there have been times when it has felt necessary to yank him for mercy’s sake). I’ve never seen anyone arguing against that, and even his biggest skeptics were all good with picking up his option.

    The relevant questions rise when his contract is up. It looks like we’re in for another season of a TS% in the low 40s, and no real improvement in the playmaking or rebounding departments. The defensive numbers have improved and that’s a legitimate point in his favor if it sticks, but I share djphan’s skepticism about that and even if it does, there’s still no arguing he’s a net positive NBA player (even if he is on this team due to its incoherence, which isn’t clear but is possible).

    So for the Frankophiles: will we see anything resembling a productive NBA player while he’s on his rookie contract? If not, what contract should we offer him in restricted free agency? If the opportunity to acquire a good player who plays whatever Frank’s position is supposed to be comes up, should we not do it because we have Frank?

    It’s very easy to argue in Frank Ntilikina’s favor if you assume this team will suck forever, because, well, nothing really matters if you plan to suck forever. I want to know what Frank’s role is supposed to be if we ever want to stop sucking, though.

  133. zulu1991

    I am not a fan of Fiz, but the objectives for the team are laid down from the top. This off-season, FO decided to go into “win more games now” mode. I think it is important to separate the disappointment we feel with Fiz for not playing the young core from his ability to get the best results from this group. We all feel that Fiz should have been playing the young guys (Mitch, Knox, RJ, Frank, DSJ, Dotson) over the marginal vets (except Taj). But let us not forget, that is not what Mills and Perry want him to do. They want him to maximize win %. Thus, FO should feel some responsibility for their actions. No coach in the NBA would have squeezed more than ~1 extra win from this group this season. We cannot be intellectually dishonest about it.

  134. Name is Bron - James Bron

    So let’s talk about advanced stats when we have a big enough sample size to be more confident they’re telling a more complete story.

    I don’t disagree but it’s been JK47, Noble, and djphan who’ve been harping on his box score metrics this season. JK47 said he’s played 10% of the season and implied the sample size was large enough. So it’s disingenuous of you to say we’re being unreasonable when we then cite the statistics.

    His FTr is troublesome but to give you an idea of the volatility, it’s .120 instead of .080 if that foul (and it was a foul) would have been called on KP. djphan’s narrative that it’s in a 3 year decline is just absurd and shows either his bias or lack of analytical chops.

  135. djphan

    are we really arguing over one debatable foul call? its not like that hand stopped him in mid air and kp had a full hand on the ball…

    and even if u give him that.. he still hasnt improved… why are you picking at something so inconsequential?

  136. DRed

    So for the Frankophiles: will we see anything resembling a productive NBA player while he’s on his rookie contract?

    Probably not, but I’m not sure why Knicks fans have such little patience. We don’t have a better option right now and after every game it’s like “MY GOD FRANK HAS PLAYED 200 MINUTES THIS SEASON AND HE’S NOT ANY GOOD”-what do you people expect?

    We probably shouldn’t resign Frank, but we have almost 2 seasons to figure that out

  137. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I’ve never seen anyone arguing against that, and even his biggest skeptics were all good with picking up his option.

    Yet another example of intellectual dishonesty. You wanted to trade Frank at the end of last season. And this summer you said you were on the fence about picking up his option.

    It’s very easy to argue in Frank Ntilikina’s favor if you assume this team will suck forever, because, well, nothing really matters if you plan to suck forever. I want to know what Frank’s role is supposed to be if we ever want to stop sucking, though.

    It’s not that complicated. It’s Beverley type with better court vision and passing ability. Frank would be one of several play makers on the team. Mitch and Frank would form a fearsome defensive combo at the 2 most important defensive positions. The parts are damn good but the sum of the parts is even greater.

  138. Farfa

    So for the Frankophiles: will we see anything resembling a productive NBA player while he’s on his rookie contract? If not, what contract should we offer him in restricted free agency? If the opportunity to acquire a good player who plays whatever Frank’s position is supposed to be comes up, should we not do it because we have Frank?

    It’s very easy to argue in Frank Ntilikina’s favor if you assume this team will suck forever, because, well, nothing really matters if you plan to suck forever. I want to know what Frank’s role is supposed to be if we ever want to stop sucking, though.

    To answer your questions: who knows, no more than 16/4 (with team option at year 4, if doable), of course we should take the good player.

    That said, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Frank plays best when we don’t suck. It’s like as he feeds from the competitiveness of winnable games (sometimes). That’s pure eye test, mind you. But I’m not worried at all about Frank in a winning team as a situational player.

  139. E

    If people don’t see Frank as a winning player after the Dallas road win, further discussion on the matter is essentially pointless. There’s never going to be any kind of a meeting of the minds.

  140. djphan

    you can have patience for guys who are worth playing… someone like rj and randle are prime examples…

    we dont have better options now.. and no one is saying not to play him when hes literally the last man standing… literally no ine is aaying that…

    but what happens when you do have options? payton and dsj are about to come back… is frank getting 30mpg? 20? 10?

    how you judge the first 200 minutes and the first 2 years of his career matters for crucial decisions going fwd… because the clock is ticking for everyone…

  141. JK47

    JK47 said he’s played 10% of the season and implied the sample size was large enough.

    Putting words in my mouth there, pally. I’d like to see the post where I “imply” that a 10 game sample size is definitive. Because that sure doesn’t sound like me.

    No other fanbase in the NBA would be having this dumb argument about Frank Ntilikina. We’re so thirsty for somebody that can play defense that we’re doing lots of squinting and wishcasting on this kid, who is young but who is also obviously very inept on the offensive end. So yeah sure, Frank has Patrick Beverley ceiling several years from now. Whoo hoo. Who gives a shit. That’s his 100 percentile outcome, if you guys want to get excited about that, have at it.

    I have no dog in this hunt, I hope the dude turns out to be a useful player and my fee-fees aren’t going to be hurt if he does. Some of y’all are way too emotionally invested in this kid’s success. So far he looks like a regular old draft bust and you may need to come to terms with the fact that he might not make it.

  142. JK47

    If people don’t see Frank as a winning player after the Dallas road win, further discussion on the matter is essentially pointless. There’s never going to be any kind of a meeting of the minds.

    That was one fucking game!

    Did you watch the Chicago game and say to yourself “That Bobby Portis, that guy’s a winner?”

  143. E

    but what happens when you do have options? payton and dsj are about to come back…

    And neither one of them is as good as Frank. Which is why when they played against the Celtics and Frank didn’t at the Garden, the Knicks got destroyed and when they didn’t play and Frank did against the Celtics in Boston, the Knicks got the opposite of destroyed.

  144. Ntilakilla

    Overall, the “narrative” was that he sucked based on his atrocious advanced stats. Yes, they’ve improved this year…but they still undeniably suck. So if that’s how you evaluate Frank then sticking to the narrative he sucks isn’t biased. Personally I think there’s some encouraging signs that he’s making steps towards being an effective role player.

    So you essentially agree he’s improved so far this season. Okay.

    I don’t disagree but it’s been JK47, Noble, and djphan who’ve been harping on his box score metrics this season. JK47 said he’s played 10% of the season and implied the sample size was large enough. So it’s disingenuous of you to say we’re being unreasonable when we then cite the statistics.

    This is exactly the point here. It seems there is a double-standard of logic here. On the one hand, stats are invoked when posters comment on how he’s been the same level player this season than the past two. On the other, when you point to quantifiable improvements in the advanced metrics the same critics bring up the small sample size critique. So which is it? If his production is being obscured by a small sample size then perhaps we should remain silent on the issue until more data comes along. Because what I see here is a lot of subjective hot takes on his game being rationalized with whatever data confirms a particular selection bias.

  145. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    I want to repeat what I said in the 5th post of this thread about Frank:

    “I want to see a repeat performance. It’s time to come with that on a day-by-day basis.”

    He brings it, at times. Where was that yesterday.
    Also, is there a Saturday night problem? Are the boys getting wasted? Yesterday it looked like the entire team had a hang-over.

  146. DRed

    frank is currently 8th on the team in ws/48 and 4th on the team in BPM. Sure, that’s probably based on unsustainably good shooting but who cares. We don’t really have better option to play 20ish minutes a night even with a fully healthy team. There’s one good player on the Knicks. If you think we should be playing RJ you should also think we should be playing Frank. They’re both young and bad. If you’re trying to win games we should be playing Payton heavy minutes and idk Ellington or maybe Dotson instead of RJ, but why would you really want to prioritize winning games with this team?

  147. E

    Did you watch the Chicago game and say to yourself “That Bobby Portis, that guy’s a winner?”

    No, I watched the Chicago game and said to myself (and the board) that Frank completely owned the perimeter on the defensive end and should be playing way more(*) And after the Chicago game, when Fizdale finally had no choice but to give Frank minutes, Frank owned the perimeter on the defensive end even more.

    (*) And, implicitly, that if DSJ or Payton had played instead, Chicago would have been far more functional on the perimeter and generally.

  148. E

    Gotta love the box score reductionism. The box score says Frank sucks, then Frank sucks. The box score says Frank does not suck, it’s “unsustainable,” and Frank still sucks.

  149. Ntilakilla

    @275

    I don’t see what’s so unsustainably good about a 38% three point shooting percentage from a player who only shoots open three pointers. I, mean, I assume you’re talking about the 3s because the rest of his averages aren’t good.

    This is exactly what I am talking about when I state that hot takes are being buttressed by a lot selection bias cherrypicking.

  150. swiftandabundant

    Gotta say, this one hurt A LOT. I thought MAYBE we had turned a corner in the Dallas game. That was almost a career saving game for Fiz/Perry/Maybe Mills and Frank showed up and we beat the evil Unisnake. But then to come out flat like this AT HOME against a very bad team. No bueno at all. To me that is on coaching more than anything.

    I don’t know. I want to give Fiz time and ultimately long term it is good for us to tank one more year, but there can still be development during tanking and there can still be a team system on offense put into place.

    I just hope the FO is smart enough to deal one of Morris, Portis, Ellington in December or at the dead line for some 2nd round/late first round picks. We need as many as possible of those as possible in the next two drafts and find a freaking point guard all ready.

    I would keep Taj, Peyton, Randle obviously cause we have to. I guess I try to trade Portis first although Morris probably has the higher value.

    I am encouraged by our youth core, though. I think RJ, Mitch, Knox, maybe Frank can be pieces on a future good team. RJ and Mitch starters for sure. Knox maybe the 6th man and Frank the bench defensive specialist. I think we do have the beginnings of a base to grow with but obviously need at least one more foundational piece through the draft and then hope the core can gel and improve enough that in a few years you got free space for a legit superstar to pair with the young core.

  151. swiftandabundant

    But part of that young core gelling and improving for me is having a coach that can help them do that and I’m just not convinced Fiz is the guy to do it.

    I feel like they will stick with him this whole season, though. And I’m not sure I would do that if I was them.

  152. E

    He brings it, at times. Where was that yesterday.

    His defense was still very good and he managed somehow, someway, to get 6 assists even though Fizdale has him go to the corner and stand on every set possession.

    He’s not good enough to carry this crap-ass team to a bunch of wins and no one ever said that he was. (No PG is, especially if their role on offense is to occasionally initiate in transition and all the other times go stand in the corner. ) If he’s the lead PG, you build around his many skills that he possesses outside the direct box score offensive ones and you get the offense from somewhere else. Competent organizations and coaches understand this, shitty ones do not. But the manic depressiveness around the guy is ridiculous. On a shitty team with awful intangibles, a guy whose skills are on defense and more subtle on offense is going to look shitty himself from time to time. He’s not a team carrier.

  153. JK47

    Gotta love the box score reductionism. The box score says Frank sucks, then Frank sucks. The box score says Frank does not suck, it’s “unsustainable,” and Frank still sucks.

    Sorry, but this is a load of fucking bullshit. A complete oversimplification of what people are saying.

    It’s the exact opposite of what you’re saying. It’s “heads I win, tails you lose” with the Frank stans and we’ve seen this repeatedly with the more obnoxious of you. Frank is great, and if you can’t see it you’re just an idiot, and if you have criticism of him you’re intellectually dishonest, and if he’s bad it’s not his fault, and on and on.

  154. alsep73

    Woj says Mills is already trying to get Fiz fired to protect himself:

    Mills is selling owner James Dolan on a roster constructed to be highly competitive in the Eastern Conference, leaving Fizdale vulnerable to an ouster only weeks into the second season of a four-year contract that league sources say is worth $22 million.

    Days before exiled star Kristaps Porzingis returns to Madison Square Garden with the Dallas Mavericks, Mills delivered the first public salvo on shaping an organizational narrative that the Knicks struggles aren’t born of an overmatched roster, but the lack of a “consistent level of effort and execution.”

    Rival coaches and executives see a mismatched Knicks roster slow of foot, without legitimate NBA guard play but Mills is selling Dolan on a poorly coached team that is underachieving at 2-8 to start the season, league sources said. Around Madison Square Garden and the league, the timing and tone of the news conference was met with considerable surprise and dismay — and considered completely undermining of Fizdale.

    “Everyone is moving to their positions now,” a league source close to management and the coaching staff told ESPN. “This is how they’ll make (Fizdale) the fall guy.”

    Once a story like this comes out, your coach is already on borrowed time. Question becomes whether Dolan will also blame Perry and his buddy Mills for this mess. And that line about the team being built to be “highly competitive” in the East? High freaking comedy. Wow.

  155. djphan

    never before on any team has a player so bad has had so many ppl constantly making excuses for them….

    this is an embarrassment on the fanbase…

  156. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m really settling in here so I can enjoy, for the next decade, the allegations that our 20-win team has actually above-average “impact” players with terrible box score metrics. I don’t know how I got here, but it’s medium-energy stoicism right now — I really couldn’t care less what the Frank stans claim is happening with the noise and the samples and the 170/200 impact metrics. Team Optimist still going to have to watch their definitely-a-legit-NBA-player-if-you-just-watch-the-games champion carry this team to the lottery for the foreseeable future, so, uh, have fun with that. How about Team Who Gives a Floundering Fuck.

  157. Owen

    I think the Russian hackers that got us the last time just sent us a message. Please destroy yourselves but not by arguing about Frank Ntilikina because that’s just bad for the Fancy Bear brand.

  158. Jack Bauer

    Fizdale about to become the fall guy 10 games into the season with that roster?
    Not defending his coaching, I think he’s been terrible most of the time, but that seems kind of cold. Mills is such an incompetent self serving asshole.

    On to the next underwhelming coach…..and the hits just keep on coming

  159. TheClashFan

    @286

    never before on any team has a player so bad has had so many ppl constantly making excuses for them….

    this is an embarrassment on the fanbase…

    Really, the guys you disagree with on this one little blog taint the oh-so-enlightened Knicks fan base?

    Frankly (ha ha) I think both the Frank Optimists and Frank Pessimists, or however you want to characterize yourselves, are out to lunch. Really, it’s just one player on a bad basketball team. What a hill to die on!

    Want to really get upset? Dolan and Mills. Dolan and Mills, the common denominators with all the years of suck. Yesterday’s press conference is a much more significant development to get annoyed with. The beat goes on. Frank N is just a minor symptom of it all.

  160. bobneptune

    never before on any team has a player so bad has had so many ppl constantly making excuses for them….

    Snark and dick swinging are always in vogue here but for all out stat guys here…. who is the biggest problem here in the starting line-up: Frank, Randle or Barrett?????

    But feel free to whack away at the pinata…..

  161. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Steve Mills is Cersei Lannister. I’m convinced.

    Frank Isola is reporting that it would take a Phil Jackson deal to land Ujiri, and that Adam Silver is “forever frustrated with the trainwreck in his backyard that is the New York Knicks.”

    I don’t care if Masai Ujiri wants $150M and minority ownership, you pay that man. He is the best in the league at his job and wouldn’t have to convince another sucker to take his bad contracts before he builds a contender.

  162. Donnie Walsh

    If people don’t see Frank as a winning player after the Dallas road win, further discussion on the matter is essentially pointless. There’s never going to be any kind of a meeting of the minds.

    Does the term “Jimmer Award” mean nothing to you?

  163. Jack Bauer

    @296 and it’s Dolan’s money so why would anyone give a shit anyway ?
    Make it $200 Million to Ujiri and end the misery already

  164. Early Bird

    The Frank argument is like the myth of Sisypheus, except instead of rolling a boulder we’re only rolling a pebble up a hill. There’s still a boulder. We’ve just decided to focus on this one really tiny pebble. We put the same effort and struggle into the pebble, but don’t have anymore success.

    Also, we’re rolling the pebble downhill. I mean how can a franchise struggle this much when over half the teams make the playoffs?

  165. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    I have to say, when Mills spoke yesterday, my skin crawled. I blame everyone including my wife, who couldn’t name a Knick, for the disaster this team is. But if one person has been here through thin and thinner, it’s Mills, who had done jack-diddly-squat to make this team better. NONE of his moves has worked out. How he found Mitch is beyond me. This is a team that was so poorly constructed that it’s obvious to the most oblivious Knick fan.

  166. Owen

    I don’t care if Masai Ujiri wants $150M and minority ownership, you pay that man. He is the best in the league at his job and wouldn’t have to convince another sucker to take his bad contracts before he builds a contender.

    Yessir. I bet MSG stock would go up at least that much the day it was announced.

  167. thenamestsam

    Always good when the Knicks get back to basics by being not just bad, but also messy. Since KP left we’ve been a little light on palace intrigue stories. As Alsep said, Fiz is officially on borrowed time now. It’s not like this team is about to stop being bad: they may do enough to save his job for a time, but with a team this bad eventually a string of embarassing losses is a given and clearly management isn’t going to the mat for Fiz at that point.

    The interesting question is how safe Mills and Perry are feeling. Telling Dolan “hey this team should be highly competitive, it’s just the coach that sucks” definitely has a whiff of desperation. I mean it’s never a good sign if you start lying to your boss, and if/when they fire Fiz and the team is still bad that can cause some awkward questions. They already had to adjust Dolan’s expectations down dramatically once from “Hey we’re getting Durant and Kyrie and we’re going to compete for the title next year!” to “We’re going to be way better than last year while maintaing flexibility and developing our kids, hopefully fight for a playoff spot, improve our perception around the league and then sign the big FAs! Still everything is very cool and good!”. Having to go from the latter to “Actually we think this our year with the ping-pong balls!” within like 3 months is not a talk I would want to have with my boss.

  168. TheClashFan

    @296
    Nah, that’s giving Mills too much credit.

    He’s much more like the unnamed Manager of the Central Station in Conrad’s novel Heart of Darnkness. He’s running (badly) the entire ivory trade operation in Africa, with no discernible talents other than his ability to “stay healthy.” He just somehow outlasts everyone through petty scheming.

    That’s Mills.

  169. alsep73

    After last night’s fiasco, I resolved to stay away from the site for a few days, figuring the discussion would just devolve into the usual pro/anti-Frank arguments, which it appears that it has. Then the Woj-Bomb got dropped, and all I wanted to do was wallow in our collective masochism with the rest of you… only for the site to crash. It feels like a sign telling me to walk away from this team… yet I’m too goddamn stupid to do it.

    Maybe if Mannix is right about Mark Jackson being the leading candidate to succeed Fiz, that’ll give me the courage to pull the ripcord. But I doubt it (about my courage, not about Jackson).

  170. Donnie Walsh

    I don’t care if Masai Ujiri wants $150M and minority ownership, you pay that man. He is the best in the league at his job and wouldn’t have to convince another sucker to take his bad contracts before he builds a contender.

    I went to the Lakers, Raptors game last night. Toronto was such a fun team to watch. Lowry didn’t play. It was Van Fleet, Siakam, Boucher, Anunoby, and Norm Powell leading the way and they played great D, had ball movement, and made no stupid mistakes. They didn’t even shoot very well, and still beat the best record in the league, on the road, 3000 miles from home.

    Even if Frank Ntilikina turns out to not suck in the long run, he’ll probably never be the player that Fred Van Fleet is, which is funny because the letters Ntilikina have been typed into the internet 1,000,000 more times than the letters VanFleet over the past two years.

  171. E

    Steve Mills is Cersei Lannister. I’m convinced.

    Nah, Dolan’s the King. Mills is Littlefinger. But the idea works perfectly. The Knicks operate like a decaying medieval aristocracy, with its ring-kissing and manipulative courtiers, competing against a bunch of meritocracies. Meritocracies are going to win that one a million times out of a million.

    In purely basketball terms, it’s virtually clear now that Dolan is convinced that the way to win in the NBA is to draw in free agent stars, which is why all the Giannis/Masai rumors are out today. He’s not necessarily even wrong about that, but there’s no way he ever had or will fully buy into a rebuild. The biggest fear we should all have now is a Mills panic trade for a “star.”

    It was always going to come to this, wasn’t it?

  172. KnickfaninNJ

    I was definitely in the Fire Fiz camp a few days ago, but then the Dallas game happened and I thought maybe they need some time to gel. They are all so new to each other. I don’t understand why they were so bad yesterday though. I didn’t expect them to be great, but all of them regressed and team play regressed too. Now I think we might as well give Fiz a few more weeks at least and see if they can get it together. They don’t have to win everything. They just have to look like a coherent team for a few games.

  173. Donnie Walsh

    Make Steve Mills team president of The Rockettes and end this nightmare.

    I’m not sure that somebody responsible for covering up sexual harassment at MSG should be put in charge of an all-female dance troop. Better to sink the knicks.

  174. TheClashFan

    @307

    The biggest fear we should all have now is a Mills panic trade for a “star.”

    He probably thinks he signed three stars in the offseason: Morris, Randle, and Portis!

    I wish I was joking.

  175. Nick C.

    He probably thinks he signed three stars in the offseason: Morris, Randle, and Portis!

    I wish I was joking.

    And doesn’t realize they all played the same position.

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