Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Celtics

Stupid 3:30 games.

Stupid Celtics.

This could mean Fizdale’s job if they get embarrassed at home.

Let’s go, Knicks!

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211 comments on “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Celtics

  1. geo

    kevin starts, too funny…good thing we don’t over analize every single thing about the knicks…

    I like how frank is getting better with his bounce passes…

  2. geo

    just hit the 3:40 mark of the 1st…saw him on the floor with a trainer and sitting real gingerly back in his chair – what the heck is wrong with frank – his back, shoulder?

  3. geo

    thanks, just ending the 1st now…

    ugh, mitch is a frustrating guy at times…silly fouls all day…

    maybe it’s me, but I can’t remember another player mitch’s size getting in such a low defensive stance…he’s got some serious quick twitch going on for sure, but, it looks a little different…

  4. dtrickey

    DSJ having a quietly efficient shooting game. There is a player there somewhere based on the flashes you get every now and again.

  5. dtrickey

    Was there a score review? Not watching the game and can only follow gamecast, but it looks like an extra point was added to the Knicks score after the end of the quarter.

  6. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Frank has been playing hurt the last 3 games. It wasn’t as noticeable last game, but the game before that he was clearly favoring something and looked like he was in pain on back to back 3 point shots that he missed badly. He was also not moving nearly as well on defense in any of the 3 games. He probably needs a week off. Hopefully Payton will be back soon. Then they/he won’t be tempted to keep playing through it and turn this season into a repeat of last year. That would be a debacle given he’s clearly making some small progress as a player. We can’t throw away another season.

  7. thenoblefacehumper

    I can’t totally give up on DSJ until we get another point guard who can do the thing where they dribble into the paint and at least occasionally make something good happen as a result.

    On the rare occasions he’s playing well our offense looks…normal!

  8. d-mar

    Tatum has games like today every now and then, and the announcers will rave about his amazing talent, rising young star, blah blah blah.

    Meanwhile, he’s currently sporting a TS% of .511, which is down from .547 last year and .586 the year before. And it’s not like he’s an amazing rebounder, passer or defender either.

    I think part of it is because he really “looks” like a good player and also because of his playoff performance his rookie season.

    But if I was a Celtics fan I’d be a little worried about this guy. Brown might actually be a better player.

  9. Grocer

    Now they’ve changed it. I’m guessing a Celtics assistant snuck off and dropped a deuce in the Knick’s locker room. Automatic tech, one point awarded. Obscure rule, it’s been on the books since the 60’s. Informally known as the George Rule, named after George “Smelly” Patakis.

  10. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    DSJr has a lot of athletic talent and some good handling skills. Guys like that will have great nights and even great flurries of games, but just when you start getting enthusiastic about them their bad decisions and low basketball IQ will eventually swamp their talent.

    He’s the perfect Mills/Perry/Fizdale player.

    Wow, did you see that shot?

    Wow did you see that pass?

    Wow, did you see that dunk?

    Are we winning a lot of games when he plays? NO

  11. thenoblefacehumper

    Are we winning a lot of games when he plays? NO

    We’re not winning a lot of games when literally anyone plays. What kind of test is that?

  12. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    We’re really gonna play RJ at pg instead of giving Trier minutes. Fiz is just embarrassingly bad

  13. geo

    DSJ was on the bench last game rubbing his left knee…it’s wrapped today, I don’t think he’s 100%…but, it could be his team for a while…

    frank may not be the most durable human out there on the court – hell, he’s been playing professional basketball since he was five…

    mike and clyde keep talking of opportunities… hopefully DSJ can distribute, defend and not turn the ball over…scoring would be a plus…

    seems everyone but trier has gotten a long look so far this season…I wouldn’t be heartbroken to see none of ellington and some of trier…

  14. dtrickey

    This game is too competitive to fire Fiz. Oh well.

    I think this has been the biggest problem. When we have stunk, it’s been bad, but the team has also managed to play pretty competitive ball for stretches (albeit imperfect and without any real tangible results) which makes it hard to pull the trigger on him.

  15. E

    The turnover/lazy D sequence there down the stretch is why you’ll never win with DSJ. Dude just isn’t a winning player. Box score or BPM might not show it, not sure, doesn’t really matter — but it’s plain as day.

  16. KnickfaninNJ

    Barrett decided he had to do it himself and he got to the basket but it was too well defended.

  17. dtrickey

    Likely loss here, but I guess upside is this is two games in a row we have been competitive against contenders in the East. At some point honourable losses aren’t good, but given where we have been the first 20 games you take that. I feel real progress would be putting in performances like this to beat up on other lottery teams.

  18. Grocer

    I am so glad we have challenges now, this is definitely making the game so much more enjoyable to watch.

  19. Early Bird

    The Frankophile’s double standard for DSJr is ridiculous. Yes, DSJr would make fewer mistakes if he handed the ball off to Randle at the top of the key. Let’s ignore the fact that deferring to Randle is one of the dumbest offensive moves a player can make. Although Frank will certainly improve his shooting and ballhandling as he matures, there’s absolutely no way that a 22 year old will mature and hustle back on defense eventually.

    Also, @Strat, for all your complaining about Fiz’s evaluation of DSJr, your beloved Frank still starts over him. We still lose almost every game. What does that say about Frank?

  20. geo

    not a terrible game…mitch is still out on the court…

    yeah it’s weird – the last two games we haven’t really played like a 20 win team, more like a 35 win team…

    we’re about to get smoked the next couple of games, so who knows…

  21. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Basketball is a lot like horse racing.

    In racing, the rider can’t and doesn’t ask a horse to go 100% from start to finish. The idea to do just enough to get in position for a serious stretch run. He’s hoping his horse has enough talent (or feels good enough that day) to be in good position for the stretch run and have something left. Then you do your best down the stretch and see who has the best horse.

    In basketball teams are playing hard, but just like racing, they aren’t going all out until the end.

    Teams are more or less toying with the Knicks. They are playing hard, but giving less than 100%. They are just staying in contention because they know they are much better and can put us away as soon as they step on the gas in the stretch and go 100%. The fact that we are competitive in some of these games is misleading. If we were actually competitive with some of these teams we would win some of these games by accident.

    We are simply horrible.

  22. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    DSJ has played v well tonight. Stop complaining. His D has been fine apart from a couple of lapses. He’s 6’3 with T-Rex arms playing in a switch heavy scheme, he’s gonna get burned every now and then

  23. Grocer

    DSJ torched again by Kemba.

    Give it a fucking rest. He defended that one fine. He defended the Brown layup fine. He got screened on the Brown 3 and there was no help. Drag your dead horse somewhere else.

    What the fuck is Mitch doing?

  24. E

    The Frankophile’s double standard for DSJr is ridiculous.

    All you have to do is watch this game. He’s been horrifically bad down the stretch. Terrible.

  25. E

    Give it a fucking rest. He defended that one fine. He defended the Brown layup fine. He got screened on the Brown 3

    I wasn’t talking about the Brown 3; I was talking about the two times Brown got the ball 25-30 feet from the basket and dribbled by/through DSJ for layups. He sucks. He was a disaster on offense down the stretch and he was a double disaster on defense down the stretch.

  26. Z-man

    I have much more faith in players getting better than getting smarter. DSjr is just a very un-smart player.

  27. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    6-11, 17 points, 7 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 blocks. -5 in a 9 point loss

    Maybe try watching the game sometime? Lol

  28. E

    I did. He was terrible. He was ok for a time, then the possessions started to really count and he was brutally bad. It’s typical of a low IQ player on a bad team. No reason to get fooled or to pretend it’s anything other than that.

  29. Bo Nateman

    From the looks on Fizz’s face and his body language, it seems he would be relieved to be fired.

  30. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @79

    Ok, you clearly don’t know how to use your eyes or the box score. It’s fine, it would just help if you stopped posting.

    Also, I love this concept of “possessions really starting to count”. Some possessions are worth more than others? Makes a lot of sense lol

  31. thenoblefacehumper

    Every single time DSJ has played well during his Knicks tenure, it triggers the Frankophiles. It’s not really worth responding to. He’s had like 10+ games that would constitute the best game of Frank’s career so you can see why they view him as threatening.

    My advice to them would be to take a breather, there are plenty of minutes to go around on this terrible team to both likely sub-rotation level players. If your beloved Frank plays well he’ll win out. If he doesn’t, he might not! That’s kind of how the NBA works when you don’t view it through the lens of the idea that Frank can never fail, he can only be failed.

  32. Early Bird

    Hey remember last time we played the Celts when Kemba scored 32 pts on 17 shots against Frank? Or how about when Spencer Dinwiddie scored 30pts on 17 shots against Frank? Collin Sexton scoring 31pts? Devonte Graham with 29?

    But no, no. Frank is an A+ level defender and never gets blown by.

    DSJr. is young and playing the most difficult position in basketball, PG. He will make mistakes as many young players do. Keith Smart completely broke DSJr’s shot over the offseason, but clearly the question is how good is DSJr now? Only for Frank do we ask how good he can become.

  33. Grocer

    I wasn’t talking about the Brown 3; I was talking about the two times Brown got the ball 25-30 feet from the basket and dribbled by/through DSJ for layups. He sucks. He was a disaster on offense down the stretch and he was a double disaster on defense down the stretch.

    Yeah, I totally believe that’s what you were doing, talking about those two times all three times.

  34. E

    Ok, you clearly don’t know how to use your eyes or the box score. It’s fine, it would just help if you stopped posting.

    Oh, OK. You’re right — he was great.

    It doesn’t have anything to do with Frank or anyone else. He sucked down the stretch. On both ends.
    Impossible to argue otherwise.

    Some possessions are worth more than others? Makes a lot of sense lol

    Yeah, you’re right. Fourth quarter possessions in tight games are the same as first quarter possessions. And bad teams play no differently in the fourth quarter possessions than they do in the first quarter possessions.

  35. Hubert

    Every single time DSJ has played well during his Knicks tenure, it triggers the Frankophiles.

    Not all of us. I, for one, would be thrilled if they were both good!

    But yeah, that does happen, and it’s very weird.

  36. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Ok where’s Jowles someone fresh from r/Nba is sying some possessions count more than others

  37. E

    DSJr. is young and playing the most difficult position in basketball, PG. He will make mistakes as many young players do.

    He sucks. Which is why Rick Carlisle didn’t want anything to do with him and got rid of him as quick as humanly possible. (During which, DSJ essentially quit on his team.)

    If people want to pretend otherwise, in order to prove whatever point they want to prove about some other player, it’s up to them. But he sucks. He’s had a terrible season in every dimension and even his “good” games aren’t actually good — as we saw today.

  38. Early Bird

    If only there were enough minutes in an NBA game to play both Frank and Dennis… Or maybe, and hear me out, Frank could play SG and Dennis could play PG… wait for it… together. Some strange lineup where we play DSJr/Frank/RJ/Knox/Mitch and have Trier come off the bench.

    Dear Frankophiles,

    Dennis is not the enemy. Mills, Fiz, Dolan, and the rest of the front office is the enemy. Please keep that in mind.

  39. KnickfaninNJ

    DSJ and Frank have both showed signs of being better this season.

    Strat, I know what you mean about teams pacing themselves, but I don’t think the Celtics pulled away tonight because they suddenly played harder. Maybe they played a little harder, but It was much more that the Knicks played worse. You could see the Knicks stopped trying to run a fast paced offense. Then they did a lot of unsuccessful one on ones. The Celtics are too good defensively for that to work.

  40. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @65

    The difference between Frank and DSJr is fairly obvious.

    DSjr is the way more athletic and talented offensive player, but he’s weaker on defense and has a low basketball IQ.

    Frank has enough athleticism and length to be a great defender. He’s good on that side now, but he doesn’t have the skill set yet to be effective as a scorer or playmaker.

    So, Frank is halfway there and could become an elite defender, but needs time to develop his skill on offense where he is a significant negative. It could easily take several years and may not even happen, but he has the work ethic and basketball IQ to maximize his talent.

    DSJr will get better on both sides too, but low IQ talents like him are less likely to make the best possible use of their talents and learn. They continue being low IQ players throughout their careers and rarely develop into winning players you can count on down the stretch.

    IMO, there’s a greater probability that Frank will develop into a high level defender that’s at least neutral on offense and become an important piece on a winning team than there is that DSJr will improve on both sides and suddenly become smart.

    I could be wrong, but I’d make that bet at even money all day every day.

  41. thenoblefacehumper

    Not much of an exaggeration to say DSJ was the primary reason this game even had a “crunch time.” It’s truly bizarre to see people shitting all over one of our rookie contract guys after an objectively very good game but I suppose if your sole rooting interest is Frank Ntilikina playing 48 minutes per game it makes some sense.

    Like I said, y’all really don’t have much to worry about. Frank has had more opportunities to prove himself here than he would’ve anywhere else and I’m sure that will continue. The only way DSJ will start creeping up on him minutes-wise if Frank sucks, and you guys aren’t worried about that…right?

  42. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @92

    I don’t think it’s an accident the Knicks played differently down the stretch.

  43. Grocer

    What Happened?

    He said nice things about Boston? I think they’re chalking it up to Kemba being a local and catching the plane. Nothing happened during Fiz’s press conference, he just talked about the 4th quarter turnovers and not making FTs.

  44. Grocer

    I don’t think it’s an accident the Knicks played differently down the stretch.

    It was probably the rain in the 4th. The Knicks perform poorly in muddy conditions.

  45. E

    Mills, Fiz, Dolan, and the rest of the front office is the enemy. Please keep that in mind.

    They’re the ones who traded actual assets for him when their trading partner would have given him up for a bag of balls.

  46. Early Bird

    If only Frank could have played down the stretch… His 7 minutes leading to 3pts on 3 shots and 2 turnovers were BIG in helping us keep this game close.

  47. E

    IMO, there’s a greater probability that Frank will develop into a high level defender that’s at least neutral on offense and become an important piece on a winning team than there is that DSJr will improve on both sides and suddenly become smart.

    DSJ has regressed badly since his rookie year.

  48. Early Bird

    Yes, the trade was KP, THJr, Trey Burke, and Courtney Lee for Dennis straight up. We received no other assets in the trade. We clearly made that trade only to receive DSJr.

    Also worth pointing out that Dennis thoroughly outplayed Frank that year, but whatever. There can be ONLY Frank.

  49. dtrickey

    If only there were enough minutes in an NBA game to play both Frank and Dennis… Or maybe, and hear me out, Frank could play SG and Dennis could play PG… wait for it… together. Some strange lineup where we play DSJr/Frank/RJ/Knox/Mitch and have Trier come off the bench.

    BURN THE WITCH!!!!

  50. E

    Also worth pointing out that Dennis thoroughly outplayed Frank that year, but whatever.

    Which is why he quit on his team the very next year and why they were willing to give him up for a bag of balls, only to find no takers.

    Until Pills came along, anyway.

  51. KnickfaninNJ

    The Knicks play in Milwaukee tomorrow. That’s a two and a half hour flight and they are probably leaving tonight. The game ended around six, I don’t see them being at the airport before 7:30 and not getting to Milwaukee until 10:30 or 11:00. They are probably hurrying out of there and can’t give an interview.

  52. thenoblefacehumper

    DSJ has regressed badly since his rookie year.

    You’re thinking of the wrong Knicks point guard (or “point guard”). From year 1 to 2 DSJ improved almost literally across the board. His year 3 has been all of 224 minutes. So you, being someone who loves Frank Ntilikina and thus understands basketball on a much higher level, know that’s an absurd sample size to use to draw any conclusion whatsoever.

  53. ess-dog

    God, this team Badly needs a trade. Is There anyone out there on the block that we can buy low on? There are just too many players and no one getting separation from the pack. I don’t even care who they trade at this point… they just need to thin the herd.

    Also, Fiz probably has to go because these guys barely run coherent sets. These are things most players can easily adopt if the coach tells them to do it.

  54. thenoblefacehumper

    It can’t be healthy to have this level of devotion to Frank Ntilikina. At least peg your mental state to a player a little more reliable. Become a single-issue Matisse Thybulle stan or something.

    I’m sorry your guy got injured (again) early in the game and his replacement had a better game than Frank has ever had, but there’s nothing anyone on this board can do about it!

  55. Early Bird

    Which is why he quit on his team the very next year and why they were willing to give him up for a bag of balls, only to find no takers.

    Dennis outplays Frank -> Dennis isn’t worth a bucket of balls.
    How good is Frank? I wouldn’t trade him for a 1st round pick.

  56. Hubert

    From year 1 to 2 DSJ improved almost literally across the board. His year 3 has been all of 224 minutes.

    It’s almost like he was improving until he came here.

    Maybe the NBA is hard and young players benefit from structure and coaching. Maybe we’re such a pathetic shitshow that our young players could put up better stats if they were working in a system instead of just playing glorified pick up ball against the most complex defenses in the world.

    I don’t know. Just spitballing here.

  57. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @95

    Like I said earlier , low IQ offensive talents will have great games and even great flurries of games, but when you look at the overall record, they don’t help you win much long term. Personally, I think he played well tonight. It just didn’t change my view on him. I’m expecting triple doubles etc.. from him, but not much contribution to winning.

    As someone else said, there was a reason Dallas put him on the block. Carlisle and Cuban gave him a couple of years and gave up. They didn’t even want him as Doncic’s backup. They tried to cash in while he still had some value and found no takers. The Knicks are attracted to athletic players than can score and create. It’s working great for them isn’t it.

  58. Early Bird

    I just don’t get why Frank deserves the deference when Dennis doesn’t. To paraphrase Strat:

    Frank’s the perfect KBlogger player.

    Wow, did you see that defense?

    Wow did you see that non-boxscore thing?

    Wow, did you see that absurd, theoretical improvement that would still leave him below average on offense?

    Are we winning a lot of games when he plays? NO

  59. geo

    Hey remember last time we played the Celts when Kemba scored 32 pts on 17 shots against Frank? Or how about when Spencer Dinwiddie scored 30pts on 17 shots against Frank? Collin Sexton scoring 31pts? Devonte Graham with 29?

    frank ain’t no marcus smart, but, that’s not how our defense works…we switch all the time and play zone a lot…

  60. E

    He did play well … until crunch time, when he played terribly. He had a terrible turnover when he threw the ball to the Knicks’ bench, then bad body language/pouted his way to a terrible defensive play on Kemba’s 3, and the rest of crunch time was essentially the same. It’s like he had a bit of adversity when the other team turned it up a bit and then mentally collapsed. That’s what bad players do.

    Anyone who’s watched even a few games of the NBA understands that good teams very often toy with bad teams and then turn it on down the stretch. Which is exactly what happened today. (And then the bad teams go on and on about how “competitive” they were when they really … weren’t.)

  61. E

    Technically, Cuban and Carlisle gave him a season and about 30-odd games before pulling the plug. DSJ bailed on the Mavs roughly January 10.

  62. KnickfaninNJ

    Smith scored enough to make up for the trade off in defense by having him instead of Frank. He fell apart at the end. Start thinks that is because Boston upped their game, but I think Smith doesn’t know what to do against a good defense like that. He’s not good enough to score despite the good defense of Boston and it showed. I hope it’s a learning experience for him.

  63. Ntilakilla

    Enes Kanter says he and Knicks owner James Dolan text each other now and are buddies. Says not to blame the Knicks' problems on Dolan.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) December 1, 2019

  64. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @109

    There is nothing unhealthy about wanting to win basketball games someday. We have 3-4 players that might help us do that some day by contributing on a important level (Mitch, RJ, Frank). We also have a couple of players that could be significant role players off the bench. I would hate to go in the wrong direction again. And since Frank’s potential value is least appreciated, he’s the most vulnerable to another Knicks blunder. That’s why I focus on him. RJ and Mitch aren’t going anywhere. Knicks management and many fans are not too easily impressed by the wrong things. That’s why 3-4 years into a rebuild we are still getting worse, players want out, and we are the laughing stock of the league.

    I assure you, the Knicks are going to get several calls on Frank at the deadline (none on DSJr). I dread the idea of selling low on Frank at this stage because DSJr had a few good games.

  65. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @118

    I think it’s BOTH.

    I think Boston stepped on the gas a little and almost all young players make more mistakes under pressure down the stretch of a close game. I think lower IQ players fall apart worse. That’s one reason why DSJr was on the block in Dallas. It’s a recurring pattern related to his basketball IQ and other intangibles of his personality. You can visually see him fall apart and go into a coma even during what was otherwise a good game for him.

  66. E

    And since Frank’s potential value is least appreciated, he’s the most vulnerable to another Knicks blunder. … I assure you, the Knicks are going to get several calls on Frank at the deadline (none on DSJr). I dread the idea of selling low on Frank at this stage because DSJr had a few good games.

    Exactly. This is the dumbest front office in sports, so naturally fans like us should worry when fool’s gold starts to kind of sunburst at the bottom of the riverbed. They already added Julius Randle to their knapsack this summer, enough’s enough.

  67. thenoblefacehumper

    I mean if you’re worried about the Knicks selling low on Frank Ntilikina upon overwhelming demand for him at the deadline I can pretty much promise you you’ve got nothing to worry about

  68. Ntilakilla

    I don’t get the hate on Frank. Advanced metrics have him as one of the better players on this team. When you point it out his detractors claim its noise, but they’re the first ones to point to the advanced metrics when it supports their case.

    Also, instead of starting a lineup where RJ, Frank and DSJ could start together with Morris injured, Fiz decides to give Knox – one of our worst defenders – burn. It’s so wacky.

  69. Knew Your Nicks

    Wouldn’t mind DSJ having tonight’s game every night and bench him during crunch time.

  70. JK47

    The pigeonholing of DSJ as a “low IQ” player is a convenient way to slag him even when he has good games. DSJ is “low IQ” thus he can never improve or be a productive player while the Golden Boy who plays the most non-aggressive brand of basketball possible is “high IQ” and has some vast reservoir of untapped potential.

    Whatever. DSJ had a nice game and he obviously has some talent so I hope to see more of this kind of play.

  71. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @113

    Frank is NOT a Knickerblogger player. We all see why we should be excited about Mitch’s potential. Frank stinks on those models. Frank’s value is in talents and stats that are underrated or ignored in public models. So while the consensus here has been very negative, I’ve been stressing things that are undercounted like man defense, switching, defections, passing lanes, unselfish ball movement, basketball IQ, work ethic, on/off and lineup data, and saying a simple thing. He’s better than the models we use here show and we should give it more time.

  72. Early Bird

    The love of Frank started way before his play this season. And I think most people on the board acknowledge that he’s improved. The criticism isn’t leveled at Frank.

    The Knicks have two players drafted in the same year. Before this year they had roughly equal value. One player has his odds of becoming good listed 2:1 and everyone is biting. The other player has his odds sitting at 30:1 and no one bites.

    It’s fine if you think Frank is better than DSJr and you think he’s likely to have a better outcome. My issue is with how divergent these two outcomes are treated. There’s not enough difference between Frank and DSJr to weigh their future so differently.

  73. Knew Your Nicks

    Frank’s unselfishness, constant effort, facial expression and body language convince me that he has more future than DSJ in NBA but that don’t mean that DSJ can’t make it in the league too with a few ‘game & character adjustments’.

  74. thenoblefacehumper

    He’s better than the models we use here show and we should give it more time.

    While there’s some dispute as to just how true the first part of this is, literally nobody is saying we should, like, waive Frank before the end of his contract.

    My take on both him and DSJ is pretty much the same because, as Early Bird points out, they’ve demonstrated similar value since being drafted: collect as much data on both as possible before we have to make a contract decision. Play them both as much as possible. We ain’t doing anything better.

  75. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @126

    DSjr makes a LOT of ridiculously dumb plays. It’s a simple fact. He’s not the first and he won’t be the last. The last time I fell in love with a player like him was Anthony Randolph. Where’s he now? That was the first and last time I convinced myself that talent would overcome basketball IQ and he’d become a top payer. I’m sure I’ll be wrong about one of these proclamations soon and it may even be on Smith, but I wouldn’t want to bet on it.

  76. E

    The team would have been far better off with Frank in down the stretch than DSJ. Both the offense and the defense were discombobulated messes down the stretch.

    DSJ is more athletic than talented. His shooting form is dreadful and he can’t play a lick of perimeter defense. Those are two very important components of basketball.

    While the athleticism tantalizes a bit, I see very little there. I really hope I’m wrong, but very likely I’m not.

  77. Ntilakilla

    Forget about future. Frank is playing better right now than most of our players according to the advanced metrics. He’s playing better than DSJ, who has been terrible according to the advanced metrics, despite being way younger. I mean, for as much crap as Frank gets here look at DSJ’s WS/48 the past two seasons. Its bad.

  78. JK47

    Frank is playing a bit different (and better) this year. He’s getting lots of steals and not turning the ball over as much, and he’s shooting 2-pointers a bit better. His usage is quite a bit lower. Most of his other numbers look pretty much the same.

    It’s not a giant leap, but it’s not nothing.

  79. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @128

    We simply have a disagreement on the future, which IMO is a BIG part of player valuation despite the risk of being wrong. Clearly, I think Frank is way more likely to become high level defender that’s at least neutral on offense (or better) than DSJr is to reach the same overall level for all the reasons I’ve been highlighting. I’m not calling for DSJr to be traded. I’m worried that our management doesn’t see the potential in Frank and will trade or put him in the doghouse because DSJr scores. If anything, I’m whining hoping to find sympathetic ears, but I’d probably be better off on Twitter where the FRanks fans gather. Lol I’m tired of being in this Knicks death spiral dealing with incompetents.

  80. E

    DSJ’s story/arc is actually very similar to Courtney Alexander, a low BBall IQ lottery pick Cuban and Donnie Nelson bailed on midway through his rookie year (2001). The Wizards picked him up in the Juwan Howard trade (*); I lived in DC at the time and he kind of lit it up for the Wiz in the second half of his rookie year, way better than DSJ has played for the Knicks, and so I and some Wiz fans kind of thought maybe the Wiz got themselves a steal from an impulsive trade but … no.

    (*) The parallel even works here; although the Knicks hadn’t yet paid KP, both the Wiz and the Knicks were ridding themselves of a big contract and that was the primary motivation of the trade. Both were conned by the main return asset’s “talent” and still young lottery pick status. That’s what bad organizations routinely do.

  81. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Dallas beat LA in LA. They are starting to look real and figure to get better.

  82. Early Bird

    As a reminder, Frank Ntilikina is our starting pg. Where is the evidence that the team values DSJr more?

  83. thenoblefacehumper

    As a reminder, Frank Ntilikina is our starting pg. Where is the evidence that the team values DSJr more?

    There is none. They’re worried that if DSJ plays well and Frank Ntilikina plays badly, that valuation could change. They don’t think that would be a valid basis for the team changing its valuation of those two players.

  84. E

    Where is the evidence that the team values DSJr more?

    The year-plus where Frank sat behind Emmanuel Mudiay, Elfrid Payton, and Dennis Smith, Jr. The first game of this year when Frank got yanked after like four possessions. The fact that DSJ was acquired in the disastrous Porzningis trade and an ultra-political front office yearns for the trade not to look so terrible. Etc, etc.

  85. Knew Your Nicks

    I like Knox s potential.
    I don’t like his recent facial expression.
    Looks unhappy and Not Fully Into the game…
    Needs better development handling imo

  86. E

    Dallas beat LA in LA. They are starting to look real and figure to get better.

    Barring a shredded ACL for Luca or another for KP, the Dallas picks are going to be low first round. The Knicks got taken to the cleaners in that whole episode … which is why they’re going to bend over backwards to show that DSJ is actually a valuable piece. Wish he was. He’s not.

  87. DRed

    Mark Cuban and Carlisle traded for Porzingis and gave him a huge extension. Those guys would never screw up. That’s why they’ve been consistently winning playoff series.

  88. Early Bird

    As if Frank’s passiveness isn’t a between the ears problem, or Frank’s inability to shoot despite airballing wide open shots with perfect form.

    Dennis makes mistakes. That’s what young players do.

    Before the Knicks visibly broke Dennis’s shot he looked as if he was improving. At a whopping 240 days older than Frank, I can see why we’ve given up on him.

  89. E

    Mark Cuban and Carlisle traded for Porzingis and gave him a huge extension. Those guys would never screw up. That’s why they’ve been consistently winning playoff series.

    Like the Mavericks aren’t a million billion miles better than the Knicks despite winning five fewer games 1.25 seasons ago.

  90. Ntilakilla

    Dennis makes mistakes. That’s what young players do.

    He’s a 22 year old player with a -0.013 WS/48, -0.6 VORP in 1,343 career minutes played. If you’re going to say he makes mistakes then you have to acknowledge that he’s not the only young PG on this team whose made mistakes on that level. And this season he’s arguably gotten worse.

  91. Early Bird

    The first game of this year when Frank got yanked after like four possessions.

    Yes, why would the coach pull Frank after turning the ball over twice, committing a foul, and missing a shot all in under 3 minutes? Clearly a Frank-spiracy.

    The year-plus where Frank sat behind Emmanuel Mudiay, Elfrid Payton, and Dennis Smith, Jr.

    Payton has played a grand total of 4 games and Frank was injured for half of last year, coinciding with the half a year DSJr was on our team. Had nothing to so with his godawful offense and injury.

  92. E

    Yes, why would the coach pull Frank after turning the ball over twice, committing a foul, and missing a shot all in under 3 minutes? Clearly a Frank-spiracy.

    Because he’s an idiot who works for idiots who don’t really want to play him, i.e., exactly what we’re all worried about?

  93. Early Bird

    He’s a 22 year old player with a -0.013 WS/48, -0.6 VORP in 1,343 career minutes played. If you’re going to say he makes mistakes then you have to acknowledge that he’s not the only young PG on this team whose made mistakes on that level. And this season he’s arguably gotten worse.

    Are you even trying anymore? Frank has a career -0.020 ws/48, -1.6 Vorp, and is a whopping 240 days older than Frank. That’s exactly my point.

  94. Early Bird

    Because he’s an idiot who works for idiots who don’t really want to play him, i.e., exactly what we’re all worried about?

    Yes it takes a genius to play the 10th dimensional chess level game to leave the guy who commits 2 bad turnovers in 3 minutes in the game. But we should pull DSJr after 2 TOs in 38 min. No double standard here.

  95. DRed

    The Mavs have gone 9 years without winning a playoff series. They’re not a particularly well run franchise. Granted that puts them way up on the Knicks but that’s not a very high bar.

  96. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m about 250 pages into Tara Westover’s memoir Educated and when I hear about her father waxing about the dastardly, wicked lies of book learning, all I can think about is Stratomatic and his opinions about basketball.

  97. Ntilakilla

    Are you even trying anymore? Frank has a career -0.020 ws/48, -1.6 Vorp, and is a whopping 240 days older than Frank. That’s exactly my point.

    But one is trending up, the other is trending down.

  98. d-mar

    @154 one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, it could be a great movie someday if they don’t “Hollywood “ it up.

  99. E

    I’m about 250 pages into Tara Westover’s memoir Educated and when I hear about her father waxing about the dastardly, wicked lies of book learning, all I can think about is Stratomatic and his opinions about basketball.

    Right, because at the end of the day you aren’t really arguing about basketball but about something else. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be so concerned with form and evaluative mechanics and templates. Basketball is just the vehicle.

  100. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I started it a couple days ago. It’s a page-turner. I sometimes get a little bogged down by the sheer frequency of big metaphor and allegorical language, but the story is exceptional and she is very good as a stylist. There is no “lull” in the narrative. Stranger than fiction, that’s for sure.

  101. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Right, because at the end of the day you aren’t really arguing about basketball but about something else.

    This board is about epistemology, heuristics and ontology. Like, the dumbest possible discussions of each.

  102. Early Bird

    But one is trending up, the other is trending down.

    Then why quote his career numbers that are indistinguishable from Franks? And the bias didn’t start this year either, there’s generally been the sentiment that Frank can’t fail since he’s got here. I’m not saying that you have to love Dennis, but at least acknowledge that if Frank is young and can improve then Dennis can as well.

    Also, lol because Frank was the one trending down last year but that did nothing to discourage the Frankophiles.

  103. Z-man

    I’m not high on either guy but I’m way more optimistic about Frank than DSjr.Dennis reminds me of Ben McLemore, a guy with enormous physical talent who doesn’t know how to refine that talent into a consistent, polished NBA product. I’d love to be wrong about him, but I just don’t see anything that gives me hope that he can play smart basketball, and that’s the kiss of death for a point guard.

  104. Ntilakilla

    Then why quote his career numbers that are indistinguishable from Franks?

    Because I don’t deny Frank’s NBA career has been crap until his modest improvements this season. I am saying that if you believe this, you should also believe it about DSJ – a player who continues to play terribly and has regressed. What would make you or anyone here think he’s going to improve after just one good game? I haven’t seen it this season.

  105. E

    This board is about epistemology, heuristics and ontology. Like, the dumbest possible discussions of each.

    I know — that’s what I meant. When I leave the day job, though, I prefer basketball to those things. And there are better vehicles than basketball to make points about those things. I’m not exactly certain when and why (more why than when, the when is more clear) people started using sports to make those points, but it’s certainly an interesting thing to contemplate.

    In the actual world of basketball, Frank Ntilikina, a player with skills projectible to winning and winning organizations albeit as something like an 8th man combo guard, is far more likely to contribute to a future Knick contender than Dennis Smith, Jr., a player essentially entirely lacking in any such skills. This true observation isn’t really subject to the laws or mechanics of Cartesian proof, anymore than appreciating films like (to randomly throw out a couple) Kaili Blues or Burning is, and there’s no reason to adopt any pretension that it is. I watch Burning and say, “Wow, what a great movie, I want to see it again soon,” I watch the final 15-odd possessions of today’s Knick game and I saw pretty much the opposite about Dennis Smith, Jr. It’s not exactly the same exercise, but it isn’t really all that different either.

  106. Ntilakilla

    @154 one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, it could be a great movie someday if they don’t “Hollywood “ it up.

    Which reminds me, I saw the Irishman last night. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in watching a well made film by a master film-maker.

  107. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    If Fiz could get these guys to play defense for 48 minutes, we’d be a pretty decent team. Is it the guys are running out of gas?

    I appreciated seeing Knox start for Mook, but I think Fiz should have slid Barrett to the 3 and started Trier or Dot. I just don’t get why Trier is suddenly persona non grata. If you’re that worried about his defense, then at least get Iggy some burn. Both are pretty bad at defense, but Knox still started! At least Trier or Iggy will get you buckets when the offense stalls.

    I’m super worried about Ntilikina too. He wasn’t blowing anyone away, but he was coming into his own.

  108. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Is it so hard to just say that someone had a good game when they had a good game? Not everything has to be a referendum on who should be the starting PG. If I had my druthers, both DSJ and Frank would start (repeat after me: Frank is not a point guard). I (and some others) just want credit where credit is due. Smith had a good game. He has potential. Just say it–it’s not going to hurt you or Frank!

  109. Grocer

    They are probably hurrying out of there and can’t give an interview.

    Yeah, I just got excited that maybe something was happening with the FO if they weren’t making the players available.

  110. Hubert

    Barring a shredded ACL for Luca or another for KP, the Dallas picks are going to be low first round.

    KP could miss all 82 games next year and that still wouldn’t be a lottery pick.

  111. Hubert

    Barring a shredded ACL for Luca or another for KP, the Dallas picks are going to be low first round.

    KP could miss all 82 games next year and that still wouldn’t be a lottery pick

  112. JK47

    DSJ is like a toolsy centerfielder who strikes out a lot and whose skills need lots of development and refinement but who has the physical attributes to succeed if he ever puts it together.

    Frank is like a slick shortstop who definitely has the glove to stick in the major leagues but who doesn’t project to be more than a banjo hitter, and possibly not a good enough banjo hitter at that.

    Those toolsy centerfield types usually bust, and the slick shortstops who can’t hit usually don’t stick as starters. Neither of those guys are great prospects.

  113. ess-dog

    Neither player will be worth their respective contracts (like KP) so if you can get an overpay for one of them (would have to be Frank who is playing better right now) then you should pull the trigger once Payton comes back.

    Idk what a realistic overpay for Frank looks like… maybe a 15 through 20 pick or a younger player you like at a lower salary plus a 2nd? Or maybe it’s an expanded trade that includes Morris, idk.

  114. djphan

    wow a decent dsj game and the same grp of posters digging deep into their bag of insults…

    if u wanna know the difference between the frank zealots and the realists… this thread is it..

  115. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Dennis Smith Jr should be our starting point guard and Frank should play the two. They are, in-theory, complementary players. Dennis Smith Jr does all the high usage point guard stuff while Frank Ntilikina takes the toughest match up on defense while doing enough to promote good offense and hit open shots every now and again.

    The problem with this team is that we gave Julius Randle the money we should have offered Malcolm Brogdon, and that Bobby Portis is still a Knick. Frank Ntilikina is closer to being an NBA level contributor than Dennis Smith because he’s already got one end of the floor figured out. We need to see way more from Dennis Smith Jr, and tonight was a good step forward on that front.

    The two players don’t have to be arch KB rivals. They are only competing for the same job because they’re the only two relevant players who don’t fit the category of “front court player” or “RJ Barrett.”

  116. Donnie Walsh

    DSJ is like a toolsy centerfielder who strikes out a lot and whose skills need lots of development and refinement but who has the physical attributes to succeed if he ever puts it together.

    Frank is like a slick shortstop who definitely has the glove to stick in the major leagues but who doesn’t project to be more than a banjo hitter, and possibly not a good enough banjo hitter at that.

    Those toolsy centerfield types usually bust, and the slick shortstops who can’t hit usually don’t stick as starters. Neither of those guys are great prospects.

    Nice analogy.

    So Dennis Smith jr is the Brian McRae of basketball.

    And Frank is, I don’t know, the basketball equivalent of Mariner’s short stop Armando Criscione?

  117. Ingmarrrr

    4th quarter possessions equal last two minutes possessions from a stats point of view. There may be other points of view.

    For example game theory. I did a cursory search and came out empty but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing there. Certainly there are different strategic concerns and lineup optimization. Basketball is not rocket science or advanced medicine but it’s also not a blind atomic units game.

  118. bobneptune

    Frank is like a slick shortstop who definitely has the glove to stick in the major leagues but who doesn’t project to be more than a banjo hitter, and possibly not a good enough banjo hitter at that.

    The comp you are looking for is Mark Berlanger who had a 17 year career with the great Oriole teams of the late 60’s and early 70’s. He hit below .200 5 times and hit a TOTAL of 20 HR’s in 17 years.

    But his glove was integral to many, many great teams……

  119. Z-man

    Mark Belanger is a great comp…a good player in the ’60’s and ’70’s, but would be far less useful in today’s HR-centric game. Same with Bud Harrelson.

    We lost to the Celtics mainly because they had a bunch guys on the floor who could be counted on to hit wide-open 3’s in crunch time, while we had none. Frank’s D will never be enough to make up for that in today’s game.

  120. Hubert

    Rolled over my Fizdale bet. Tonight should be the night we get our doors blown open and I don’t see the point of keeping him around.

  121. bobneptune

    Mark Belanger is a great comp…a good player in the ’60’s and ’70’s, but would be far less useful in today’s HR-centric game. Same with Bud Harrelson.

    Less useful and not useful are two entirely different things. You can win a lot of games with pitching and defense. Defense wins in all sports.

    The Warriors had probably the finest offense during their run, but the wouldn’t have made it out of the first round of the playoffs with last year’s Knick defense.

    Frank is approaching Ray Felton levels of offensive efficiency at 21 playing in an offense where his job is to walk it up to half court and and pitch it to Randle to “create” 28 feet from the basket. One day he is going to have a coach that runs an actual NBA offense and he may prosper….. especially at the 2.

  122. bobneptune

    Rolled over my Fizdale bet. Tonight should be the night we get our doors blown open and I don’t see the point of keeping him around.

    They are not firing him til the schedule gets a little easier……

  123. Frank O.

    THCJ

    This board is about epistemology, heuristics and ontology. Like, the dumbest possible discussions of each.

    Maybe the shade comment of the decade. I tip my hat.

  124. Frank O.

    I think it is almost impossible to evaluate upside talent with a franchise so lost as the Knicks.
    I believe young players are ruined at MSG.
    It’s frustrating, but young players with talent and bad habits come to MSG and their talent is eroded and the bad habits accentuated.

    For me the greatest weakness of this team is consistency and resiliency. I have watched them go out and beat up on good teams, only to suffer a punch in the mouth in the third period and then immediately lose all the traits that got them ahead.
    When they are good, the ball moves and players move without the ball.
    But once the other team adjusts, the ball goes to certain players and dies.
    Morris and Randle don’t trust. They are rentals determined to get their own under the guise of ‘wanting to win.’ There isn’t a single player on this team that can take over a game consistently and carry a team.
    A team that must be a sum of all parts can’t afford to reject playing team ball.

  125. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @181

    My point wasn’t that there are no differences in strategy at various points of the game. Obviously as time runs out the team further behind should be taking more early 3s, because variance favors the underdog and because as time approaches zero the underdog has an incentive to maximize the number of possible possessions. (See inter Alia Milo’s linked Optimal Stopping paper).

    What I was arguing was that the notion of any possession “mattering” more than any other is fundamentally confused. Every possession has the same range of outcomes: a basket, a turnover, or a missed shot. Missing a 3 at the beginning of the game is just as harmful as missing a buzzer beating 3. They’re both worth 3 points. We just focus on the last few possessions of a game because of heuristics like recency bias and it encourages massive conceptual and data-gathering mistakes that the analytics is there to correct.

  126. Hubert

    They are not firing him til the schedule gets a little easier……

    Is there any stretch of the schedule that actually seems easy for this team?

    Iif they wait til the schedule gets less rocky, we’re likely going to suffer a humiliating stretch of basketball, beginning tonight. Is Steve Mills really going to endure the heat for an extended period just so his next coach can have a few easy wins under his belt? That sort of professional altruism doesn’t seem like his calling card.

    I should have considered the quick turn around between games before betting yesterday. You don’t fire a guy on the way to the plane. But after tonight they have just two games (at home) in 8 days. That’s the kind of run of practice time you want to give a new coach. We just need the Bucks to blow us out from the opening tip.

  127. E

    Nah, we focus on the last few possessions of NBA games because they’re higher leverage (*) and because bad teams and bad players tend to perform worse than their baseline in them and good teams tend to perform better than their baseline in them when they play bad teams. I’m up to like 30 years now of watching bad teams get toyed with for 42-odd minutes then left in the dust down the stretch, while all the while their fans insist that the game was actually competitive when it really wasn’t.

    It has nothing to do with “recency bias” or “heuristics.” The Knicks actually probably had a better chance to win at tipoff than they did at 95-95 since by the time it was 95-95 their chance to win in a blowout was gone.

    (*) Statistically, the closer a deficit is to the end of the game, the harder it is to overcome.

  128. Owen

    Nah, we focus on the last few possessions of NBA games because they’re higher leverage (*) and because bad teams and bad players tend to perform worse than their baseline in them and good teams tend to perform better than their baseline in them when they play bad teams.

    Would love to see the numbers on this….

  129. danvt

    4-16. Wow just wow. I’ve never seen a worse NBA team. Literally never. Can’t beat non playoff teams at home. Arguing about DSJ vs Frank? How about one of them make a play in crunch time.

    BTW, yes I’m stupid, but there’s obviously crunch time. Athletes do feel pressure and need to perform. They also do wear down and deeper, better rested teams with more fit players rise in those situations.

    I still hope we have a couple of people that can be on our next playoff team. Other than that it’s time to fold and make plans for next year. Mills / Perry / Fizdale should not be in charge of that.

    Looking at the HOU/ ATL result and the LAC/ WAS result one can only conclude that we have one or more of those coming.

  130. Donnie Walsh

    Mark Belanger is a great comp…a good player in the ’60’s and ’70’s, but would be far less useful in today’s HR-centric game. Same with Bud Harrelson.

    When you have Scottie Pippen at 3rd base, and Tim Duncan in right field, you can get away with playing Frank Ntilikina at short stop.

    Unfortunately, the Knicks are playing their Belanger alongside the likes of Rob Deer, Leon Durham, and Willie Mays Hayes.

    (Dennis Smith jr, by JK47’s analogy, is Willie Mays Hayes, btw)

  131. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It has nothing to do with “recency bias” or “heuristics.” The Knicks actually probably had a better chance to win at tipoff than they did at 95-95 since by the time it was 95-95 their chance to win in a blowout was gone.

    No, that’s not how it works.

  132. Hubert

    When you have Scottie Pippen at 3rd base, and Tim Duncan in right field, you can get away with playing Frank Ntilikina at short stop.

    That’s always been the case for Frank, though. He seems like he could develop into a player that can provide value without taking shots. Back when we had dreams of acquiring max players, that seemed relevant.

    In a vacuum, Dennis Smith and Frank Ntilikina are just two bad prospects. But if we had Kawhi and PG and were desperate for impact players on low salaries, you’d rather have Frank than Smith.

  133. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Mark Cuban and Carlisle traded for Porzingis and gave him a huge extension. Those guys would never screw up. That’s why they’ve been consistently winning playoff series.

    They also recently hired Haralabos Voulgaris to help them evaluate players and improve their productivity. He was a huge Porzingis fan prior to the ACL injury.

    If I was Dallas I would be comfortable with that deal right now.

    The major legitimate complaints about Prozingis were:

    1. injury risk
    2. lack of strength impacting his rebounding, defense, and finishing ability
    3. weak rebounding
    4. terrible shot selection hurting his efficiency

    Right now, he’s stronger, rebounding much better, finishing better at the rim, his shot distribution is massively better (taking way fewer mid range 2s, taking more 3s, taking fewer shots against double teams or as late clock bailouts because he doesn’t get double teamed & is the 2nd option), and he doesn’t seem have lost much if anything in terms of blocking/altering shots.

    There is only one thing preventing him playing high level ball right now.

    Despite the vastly superior shot distribution/selection, he’s shooting worse from everywhere on the court except at the rim (probably because he’s stronger). He’s even terrible from the FT line. It’s certainly possible that after 2/12 years of improved shooting given his expanding role he’s suddenly a terrible shooter. But more likely is that after an almost 2 year layoff his shot is not as sharp now as was when he left off and in a few months his efficiency will start rising in relationship to the much higher quality shots (let alone if he resumes an upward glide path in the years after that).

    If there’s anything to complain about, he’s spending so much time on the perimeter shooting 3s (by design), it’s giving him fewer opportunities at the basket to take advantage of his improved strength and playing with a good PG. I’d be comfortable with…

  134. thenoblefacehumper

    It has nothing to do with “recency bias” or “heuristics.” The Knicks actually probably had a better chance to win at tipoff than they did at 95-95 since by the time it was 95-95 their chance to win in a blowout was gone.

    This is loony

  135. Ingmarrrr

    What I was arguing was that the notion of any possession “mattering” more than any other is fundamentally confused. Every possession has the same range of outcomes: a basket, a turnover, or a missed shot.

    Two things come to mind. First, the range of outcomes is actually not the same if you look at a bit of a larger context. Missing a shot at 10:23 in the 1st quarter leaves you with a lot of time to fix the problem. Miss the same shot at 0:24 in the 4th and you have very little time, if any, to fix it.

    So at the beginning of the game you’re free to explore what works and what doesn’t in this particular game. Maybe you run a couple of plays to see if the defense adjusts, and you can live with a couple of misses (of course you don’t want to) if they teach you something. The end game situation is when you condense your searches towards an optimal stopping and now you want to look at just two candidates, or maybe even take the first one available.

    Thinking out loud here. This is actually an interesting conversation. I’m not finding the Alia Milo paper, could you link to it? I remember it was only for members of some group, or is there a free pdf?

  136. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @198

    He’s still a pretty poor rebounder for a PF/C (he’s #51 overall in TRB% out of all F’ and C’s). Most of his poor shooting appears to be variance in 3pt%, some of which might be rust, some of which is just variance. He really doesn’t have all that good of an excuse though, given that he has the best offensive player in the league passing him the ball several times a game. Even if his 3pt% starts approaching 38, 39%, he’s still not all that exciting a player–certainly not worth max money given his stat profile and injury history. He’s looking more and more like a Ryan Anderson who can block. And since we love the eye-test here, he’s Charmin soft and plays a style of basketball that will get abused in the playoffs.

  137. E

    Nah, it isn’t loony in the least. The Knicks won 17 games last year. They won a grand total of two games in regulation by fewer than five points. They won another two in overtime, which I guess sort of count if you want to be conservative. They won five games by double digits and another three by seven or more. Bad teams tend to win far more when everything randomly clicks for them, or everything reverse random non-clicks for the other team, or a combination thereof. The Knicks had more of a chance to run into a hungover team or a team that didn’t have it yesterday, or one of their random hot days, than they were to win once the other team was tied at 95 and could sniff the finish line.

    The Knicks were “competitive” yesterday in much the same way that a mouse is competitive with the cat that’s cornered it while the cat is still in “Imma fuck with you for a bit here” stage.

  138. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @200

    sorry, inter alia is a term of art (means basically “among other things”). Autocorrect capitalized Alia for some reason. Here’s the optimal stopping paper:

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2363709

    I still chalk all of your considerations up to differences in strategy, not differences in the character of what counts as an “important” vs “unimportant” possession (there is no such difference). No possession is “worth” more than any other possession in terms of the possible range of outcomes. Possessions might subjectively “matter” more (the last possession in a tie game will often determine the winner, which we all care about, of course) but the last possession is no more important, from a statistical point of view, than the first possession of a game. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strategize differently–quite the opposite. But different possessions requiring different strategies does not entail that there is reason to weigh some possessions differently than other possessions in terms of their possible range of outcomes. We wouldn’t be able to trust per-possession stats at all if it were the case that possessions did not have the same range of possible outcomes–because then some ought to weighed more or less than others.

  139. E

    The Knicks didn’t get full market value for KP, or really anything close. They didn’t shop him correctly and acted stupidly and politically and impulsively in a way that really none of the front offices in the sport act. All the rest is noise.

  140. Nick C.

    I think we are talking at each other rather than to each other. What is trying to be referenced is something akin to WPA in baseball. That is what the likelihood of winning is after a certain outcome. A HR to lead off a game will have a different “rating” than a HR to lead off the bottom of the ninth if a tie game.

  141. thenamestsam

    Surprised to see we have so many Knickerbloggeristas with room in their heart for only one deeply flawed PG prospect. I do sympathize with the concern that Frank might find himself somewhat arbitrarily banished to the dungeon when Payton returns (if he returns? Seriously what’s the deal with this? Has there been a recent update that I missed?). I mean it’s not particularly hard to figure out a way to get all 3 of those guys time since Frank can play perfectly adequately with either of the other two, but counting on Fiz getting even a little creative may be a losing battle.

    On the other hand, it could easily be the case that concerns about dungeons and Fiz’s lack of creativity won’t be around for long. And furthermore you would really hope that they’ll be moving quickly after 12/15 to start dumping some of these vets and clear up the rotation a bit. For those two reasons I don’t think we need to view it as an either/or situation quite yet.

  142. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    It would be pretty ironic if Portland signing Melo eliminates our best trading partner for Morris.

    As for KP, I think him shooting 38% for 3 has more value than, say, THjr, because he has to be guarded by a big, opening up offensive reminding opportunities and/or the lane for easier drives. The Mavs have said as much, and I think you have to look at KP, whose usage is high, having more than a negligible impact on their all-time great offense.

  143. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The Knicks didn’t get full market value for KP, or really anything close. They didn’t shop him correctly and acted stupidly and politically and impulsively in a way that really none of the front offices in the sport act. All the rest is noise.

    They traded a very-tall, very-injured player with a career negative OBPM about to demand a $156M max contract who said publicly that he would not work for them anymore. I really don’t know how you can make this claim, even if what they got back for him was pretty ho-hum.

  144. swiftandabundant

    2 first round picks and another recent top 10 pick for a guy who is maybe a max player out for an entire year with an ACL injury seems like a decent return. Throw in getting rid of Hardaway and Lee on top of it and I think we did ok in the KP trade. Of course, would be nice if Doncic got hurt next year. Not like bad enough to hurt his career just bad enough to tank their next season.

    But we shouldn’t pass judgement on KP until next season. Everyone knows it takes a long time to get shake off the rust. Dude missed an entire season. He’s been ok all things considered.

  145. swiftandabundant

    It seems the question isn’t whether the possession is worth “more” (its not). But whether a team (or player) is good or not good because they can execute in one situation but not the other.

    The Knicks have been close in a lot of these games but they suck so they tighten up at the end and lose. If they were good, that wouldn’t happen as often. Good teams don’t stress out at the end because they know they can execute. The “blow out” comment is valid because right now the Knicks can only win if they are up by a decent amount as the game winds down. If not, they can’t execute.

    So the possession isn’t worth more except that it is. Its all in your mind, ya dig?

  146. thenoblefacehumper

    2 first round picks and another recent top 10 pick for a guy who is maybe a max player out for an entire year with an ACL injury seems like a decent return. Throw in getting rid of Hardaway and Lee on top of it and I think we did ok in the KP trade.

    Yeah, are we absolutely positive the Mavs could recoup two firsts for Porzingis at the moment? I think tons of teams would look at his $30M+ AAV/.506 TS% combo and be hesitant. If you’re counting on Kristaps Porzingis to improve as the season goes on, I have some news for you about literally every NBA season he’s ever played.

    Still not upset about that trade. Of course in hindsight it would’ve been nice to extract more future value in exchange for not dumping the salaries. We also have no idea if that was available, and the front office can be forgiven for thinking a healthy KD + Kyrie was worth hedging a bit. If that was their worst mistake I’d be singing their praises.

    Even with the approach they took, they could’ve easily recouped future value by taking on salary dumps. They didn’t, and that was very stupid, but it’s a separate issue–the trade opened that possibility and I pointed it out at the time.

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