2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Raptors

The Knicks continue their playoff push tonight by hosting the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors.

Let’s hope that Marcus Morris at least scores a lot of points.

Let’s go? Knicks!

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147 thoughts to “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Raptors”

  1. Rebuilds don’t work in NY because Dolan doesn’t have the patience for them. That’s why we don’t properly do them.

    Let’s convince FVV the Knicks are a good place to land next year! ..I’ll show myself out.

  2. Imagine how big a deal it would have been if we went on a five game losing streak after we blew all of our cap space on Irving, Durant, and Jordan. They were right to sign in Brooklyn; literally nobody cares about them.

  3. Rebuilds don’t work in NY because Dolan doesn’t have the patience for them. That’s why we don’t properly do them.

    That definitely was the case in the past, but I think he’s finally come around on them, he just hires dudes who then promise him too much. For instance, if Mills wasn’t telling him, “We’re getting KD and another max guy!” then I think Dolan would have been fine with this season being a rebuilding year. But they did tell him that, so once you tell him that and you fail miserably at getting two max guys, then you have to pivot in a way that makes you look like less of a failure.

    And that’s really the problem with lots of dysfunctional franchises, where the general managers are more concerned about just avoiding being fired than the actual long term success of the franchise.

  4. I gotta say, the team has been playing better of late. They’re not good yet, but they have been better than bad. I like Dotson and want to see Iggy and Wooten but until we trade everyone away, it’s fun to watch basketball.

  5. the one and done lineup doesn’t give us much to root for

    It really is just Mitch. Luckily, Mitch gives us so much to root for!

    The Knicks might want to still go to him, even if teams have planned for him.

  6. In a way, I’m glad Barrett got hurt. He’s going to be well rested when he returns and that may give the team a boost.

  7. The Knicks always give up leads because they break down and do stupid shit. When teams make runs, they think it’s a good idea to go to Bobby Portis hero-ball.

  8. Mike Miller doesn’t deserve this job. If you want to generate consistent offense, then run the gameplan through Mitch. He will either roll and dunk it, or he’ll get doubled on the roll and you can make the defense play catch up until you burn them.

    Instead, we post up one of our four power forwards.

  9. We need somebody out of Toronto, Boston, Miami, or Denver to come run this team. Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, our 2020 lottery pick, and a ton of cap space is a great place for any executive to start.

  10. Mike Miller doesn’t deserve this job. If you want to generate consistent offense, then run the gameplan through Mitch. He will either roll and dunk it, or he’ll get doubled on the roll and you can make the defense play catch up until you burn them.

    I was just noting the other day that even when Melo was here, they would very often start each play with a Chandler PNR to see if they could get an easy bucket and if not, pass it back out. And that was when the king of black holes, Melo, was here. Why don’t they try that now with Mitch?

  11. It’d be quite embarrassing for Siakam to learn he’s starting in the All Star Game and then lose to the Knicks. Let’s hope it happens!

  12. @23 because these guys are a lot dumber than the Woodson/Grunwald Knicks.

    These guys thought they could rent a playoff team.

  13. Knox and Frank a combined 2 10. Meanwhile Trier, who can you know actually put the ball in the basket, racks up another another DNPCD – Brilliant

  14. Anyone watching the Pelicans game? Zion is so clearly holding back and it still looks so effortless for him, basically getting to the rim at will. 15 points on 7-8 shooting and 5 rebounds. And, unlike literally almost everyone on our team, he doesn’t force anything; all his shots are in rhythm with the game. No hijacking the offense to dribble the ball in the ground, no driving in 4 defenders, just identifies a mismatch and attacks.

  15. Dotson has this odd thing where he’s moved away with the man with the ball on the last two possessions. Not that I actually am rooting for a win, but it is odd, and he is a young piece.

  16. Checking Grizzlies box scores is so depressing. Another solid win for them tonight on the backs of Morant, JJJ, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, and De’Anthony Melton.

    Building this core took them all of two losing seasons.

  17. Top five picks, man. Must be nice. Clarke was a whole other thing, of course, but JJJ and Morant were both top five picks. It still galls me that the Knicks were #9 in a draft with such an amazing top five. Bagley or Ayton might be the worst guys picked in that top five and they’d both be one of the top players on the Knicks!

  18. @38

    Ugh, I know. I check them out every once in a while but it’s so painful. So many of there players are guys this board liked and many we were in a position to draft and didn’t. Even more amazing that they’re doing this without having signed a whole bunch of mediocre at best veterans to “lead” and “teach” their young players.

    And they have a surplus of picks coming in over the next few years, 7 future 2nd rounders and 1 future 1st.

  19. And they have a surplus of picks coming in over the next few years, 7 future 2nd rounders and 1 future 1st.

    Who needs additional picks when you can have Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington for a season?

  20. Who needs picks when you can have Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington for a season?

    The amount of basketball knowledge our young players are gaining by sitting on the bench and watching a bunch of veterans who won’t be back next season lead us to 25 wins instead of 22 wins cannot be ignored or overstated.

  21. I’m just impressed it isn’t 35 wins. I pick 35 wins every year because it is the most cynical answer and I’m vaguely happy that they’re at least worse than that the last few seasons.

  22. I’m just looking forward to the days of LaMelo Ball throwing lobs to Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett’s 4th quarter masterpieces. This thing can’t suck forever, even if we did light our 2015, 2017, and 2018 lottery picks on fire.

  23. That is a hell of line from Zion.

    John Collins, 19th pick in the draft, went 13-16 tonight.

    Danilo “Better Melo” Gallinari scored 25 points on 10 shots.

    I love how we have all crossed that rubicon where our whole NBA diet has devolved to just constructing alternate timelines where the amazing young stars in the league actually ended up in NY. On this season of “Knickerblogger in the High Castle.”

  24. Cam Reddish is slowly beginning to look like an NBA player. He has gone from horrid, to very bad, to typical rookie bad, to wait a minute, this kid might be good on both sides in a couple of years, in just a few months.

  25. And the most annoying thing is that Memphis is holding the 8th seed currently in the west with two 20 year olds leading the team in minutes with Valanciunas and Crowder are pretty much the only veterans on the rotation, and they’re just residual pieces from trades. They’re doing what this damn franchise wanted to do this year, except their future is incredibly promising at the same time.

    But I guess let’s fucking sign Bobby Portis instead of getting Crowder level players as residual pieces of trades.

  26. It’s a shame Dotson lost an entire summer of development due to surgery.

    I don’t know why he repeatedly gets no respect from our coaching staffs. He’s typically part of some of our best lineups. Despite a couple of boneheaded defensive lapses tonight, he tries on both sides. I don’t think it’s an accident we look better with Dotson than RJ. We have to develop RJ, but I don’t think it should come entirely at the expense of Dotson. They can play together. One can slide over to the SF against some matchups.

  27. Portis made some sense in basketball terms because they desperately needed a big man that could shoots 3s and provide some space given the idiocy of everything else they did. He’s also theoretically young enough to be part of the team long term. He’s simply not very good and we paid a ton of money for his one year of mercenary services. He’s probably not even a better all around player than Vonleh who is buried on the T-Wolves bench for 2m. That one was a clear fail.

  28. I listened to a Dunc’d on podcast where they discussed trade possibilities for the Knicks. They thought Bullock was most likely to be traded by the deadline if anyone was. I was surprised by this, but watching tonight’s game I thought why not. He’d probably have his minutes taken by Dotson. That wouldn’t be so bad.

  29. Why don’t they try that now with Mitch?

    There are a lot of things we’ll be able to do with Mitch when/if he eventually develops his limited skills and knowledge beyond dunking and blocks shots. I don’t mean to be harsh because I love him, but he’s very green and limited.

    He made a mistake sitting out a year. He should have gone to Europe, played in the G league or done something to develop his game and learn how to play if he wasn’t suited for college. I’m not sure if it was a maturity issue, a “flake” issue, bad advice or something else. At least it was to our long term advantage. If he didn’t drop out and then withdraw from the combine for unclear reasons, we wouldn’t have gotten him. Everyone was afraid he was a total flake. It’s just going to take more time with him.

    That’s pretty much our status with several players. Many of our younger players that show promise in at least some way are especially young, green, long term projects.

    https://sports.yahoo.com/projected-first-round-pick-mitchell-robinson-withdraws-nba-combine-203038299.html

    https://clutchpoints.com/mitchell-robinson-drops-agent-after-combine-issue/

  30. I listened to a Dunc’d on podcast where they discussed trade possibilities for the Knicks. They thought Bullock was most likely to be traded by the deadline if anyone was. I was surprised by this, but watching tonight’s game I thought why not. He’d probably have his minutes taken by Dotson. That wouldn’t be so bad.

    I imagine he’s one of the players that other teams would be most interested in acquiring due to his cheap contract. It’s also the reason he’s probably worth holding on to unless someone can make them a really nice offer, since he will be on a nice contract next season, as well, so there’s no rush to trade him.

  31. I like Bullock so far. He can play a little and he’s younger than Morris. So he could easily be productive through another contract and then you get the space back. But I don’t see the point. I’d way rather roll with Dotson who is a lot younger and who I think still has some upside to be a better player. If you can get something decent for him, trade him.

    As always, I’m in the minority here.

    I see the upside of adding guys like Morris. If we don’t add some legitimate experienced NBA talent we’ll still be in the lottery 3 years from now chasing free agent dreams that never come to pass (because we suck) and still whining about the progress of the kids we just drafted. But at 30, given how bad and far away from being a real team we are, that’s a tough pill to swallow.

    I’d way rather move all of these guys.

    However, the goal should be to package picks to land a real star or move up in the draft to get a potential real star. We don’t need to draft any probable role players late in the 1st round or in the 2nd round and wait years until they are ready to compete at a serious level. Even at our current level of sucktitude we can get players like that right now in free agency. That’s what Morris and Bullock are. We need stars.

  32. Market seems muted this year. Maybe because all the contenders already went all-in. Maybe they all think they have enough. Maybe they’re bluffing before the deadline. I don’t think we’re getting a haul this year… still would love some 2nd rounders for Portis and Dennis

  33. Like I said earlier. Doncic may be a once in a generation talent who will age like wine, but Zion is going to dominate everything if he stays healthy. He should make the all-star game

    Zion almost single handedly beat a very good Nuggets team in only 21 min of play

    I usually don’t believe single game +/- but clearly Zion’s +16 is attributable to him

  34. Market seems muted this year. Maybe because all the contenders already went all-in. Maybe they all think they have enough. Maybe they’re bluffing before the deadline. I don’t think we’re getting a haul this year… still would love some 2nd rounders for Portis and Dennis

    I think they’re bluffing before the deadline. There are too many realistic contenders for these teams to not make moves. How could Philly possibly defend not making a move, for instance? Or the Clippers?

  35. Effing Cuban…. He gets a key player injured and in 10 minutes finds WCS as a stopgap at a reasonable price…. WCS is going to play much better playing off Luka and brings more defense to the table.

    It must be nice to have some competence in the front office…..

  36. Brian, that was part of their reasoning. They also commented its easier to match salaries for a cheaper contract which makes more deals available.

    I’m not thinking let’s trade this guy or don’t trade this guy, I just want deals where what we get back is useful at getting us better and is a good deal for us.

  37. – We get stars by drafting them or by trading picks for them
    – Most players take 1 year before they start contributing, some contribute immediately. Only Frank takes more than 3 years
    – No team has ever lured a good player because they had an overpaid 32 year old Morris
    – Lots of good players are available at the end of round 1, e.g., Brandon Clarke

  38. So much of the discussion of Mills and Perry has been in terms of them at least not being as bad as Phil, which is true, but Phil was so bad that it says nothing to say that they’re not as bad as Phil. So yeah, “At least they didn’t give them player options” legitimately is a step forward, but it’s a step forward from a position of being soooooo far behind that it is absurd and they are still terrible.

    It’s amazing how many iterations of this we’ve had, too.

    For instance, any PG who doesn’t suck can show up here and be a step forward bc our PG play has been so terrible.

    RJ Barrett hasn’t even been good, but the bar on our lottery picks is so low that just seeming like he belongs is such a huge step up.

    David Fizdale was so bad that even a guy like Miller could come in and raise the bar on day 1.

    And, of course, the next GM isn’t going to have be very good to be a huge step forward, either.

    When we miss, be it on a GM, a coach, a draft pick, we don’t just miss a little. We are great at finding people who are the worst at their jobs by a mile.

  39. The thing with Mitch is that we don’t even know what he can and can’t do. I think a few games in the G-League would be a good idea, let him at least try a couple of things beyond his current game. Let’s see what Hinton can do in a few NBA games,

  40. The thing with Mitch is that we don’t even know what he can and can’t do. I think a few games in the G-League would be a good idea, let him at least try a couple of things beyond his current game.

    I mean, what would be the downside to just letting him try these things in the NBA?

    We don’t need to draft any probable role players late in the 1st round or in the 2nd round and wait years until they are ready to compete at a serious level. Even at our current level of sucktitude we can get players like that right now in free agency. That’s what Morris and Bullock are.

    You accidentally made one of the best arguments against your overall point.

    Smart teams get their role players late in the draft, because they know paying Marcus Morris $18M AAV or whatever is the road to nowhere. You simply cannot sign multiple max players AND market value role players in free agency. The math doesn’t work.

    Also, it’s very weird to make yet another “late picks have no value” post on a game thread for a game in which we got torched by Pascal Siakam.

  41. It’s beyond incompetent that the young guys aren’t playing very much and the mercenaries are. Nick Nurse in the Daily News today stated the obvious which is that the young guys have to play a lot to develop.

    And the lineup data is blatantly obvious — the Knicks function best with Frank and floor spacers (and Mitch, I think). I’m not going to bother laying it all out; it’s right there for everyone on NBA.com to see. Look at the 3 and 4 man lineups; it couldn’t be more obvious.

    I absolutely fucking detest the mercenaries and their stupidity and their paint-clogging and their stupid chucking and flat-ass shitty jump shot form. I’m sure if it was a better team and we had one or two of them, I could warm to them, but as a group in this context, I despise them. I don’t want to watch them play, even if they are marginally better than the young guys, which I really don’t believe anyway. “This is a playoff team” — lol you gotta be fucking kidding me.

  42. I think the market is in a weird situation because the conferences seem kinda open still.

    The Bucks are the top team in the east clearly, but both Philly and Boston already made tons of moves in the offseason and could realistically challenge the Bucks in the playoffs, and the rest of the east is wide open. The LA teams look like the teams to beat in the west, but Denver and Utah are not too far behind. I think teams were more desperate when the Warriors was so clearly ahead of everyone, that they felt they needed to keep adding to the team to have a fighting chance.

  43. 76ers need shooting. This works in the trade machine.
    NYK…..Zhaire Smith
    76ers….Bullock, Kadeem
    Then Trade Morris to Clips for 1st round pick and Harkless. Ian reported teams are interested in Morris but the FO is not taking calls.

    BTW Zhaire shooting 36% from 3 in G League on 3.9 attempts per game.

  44. What if 76ers want Reggie AND Dot for Zhaire? Tough decision but I make trade.

    The Knicksy part of all of this is FO bumbled into Reggie (cheap contract after injury) and Morris (rebuffed Spurs) and will fail to reap any benefit.

  45. Losing Powell was a big blow for Dallas. He’s exactly what they need. He’s a high efficiency lower usage role player that does a few things well.

    They are better with KP at C, but it’s not ideal to have him battling the much stronger Cs every night.

    Picking up Willie Cauley-Stein so cheaply was a good move, but he’s a bit of an enigma. Not being successful in Sacramento is no big surprise. They’ve been rebuilding via draft since I had a full head of hair and a flat stomach.

    But when the Warriors throw the towel in on you, that suggests something is amiss.

    He came in with the reputation for being a lockdown defender that could switch multiple positions, but the word is he’s very lazy at times and doesn’t bring enough to the table on offense to be worth the trouble.

  46. @63

    I have severe doubts about Ntilikina and Knox ever being more than marginal NBA players and of the ceilings of all our young players except Mitch but it’s insane they’re not all getting a bare minimum of 20 min/game every game. And if they’re not going to get the minutes they need in the NBA then we should send them to the GLeague but we don’t do that either. We’re literally one of the worst, dumbest franchises in sports.

  47. The Knicks new marketing push is among the most hysterical things I’ve read in quite awhile. Sure, great players are suddenly going to want to come to NY now because we are doing a better job of marketing our crappy team or arena. rotflmao

    MSG has basically turned into a place where incompetent buffoons and lousy players come to take a lot more of Dolan’s money than they are worth. It’s so bad, I almost have sympathy for the guy. I’m starting to think he has a developmental disorder and all these years I’ve been frustrated and angry with his incompetence I should have been angry with all the scumbags that are taking advantage of a man that was born with emotional and mental health issues.

  48. I wonder if Dallas is going to be able to do anything with Courtney’s Lee’s expiring contract?

    It might have some value as part of deal that secures them another player that upgrades their team. They also have a Warrior 2nd round pick that suddenly has a lot more value that expected. They may have another move up their sleeves before the trade deadline.

    Look at us. We opened up some immediate cap space as part of the KP deal to sign a few mercenaries and still have Noah on the books for 2 more years after this. uggh

    But look on the bright side, we moved Timmy. Oh wait, they fixed his leg, use him better, and even though he’s still overpaid, he’s proven to be a useful part of a pretty good young team in a more appropriate role.

  49. And the lineup data is blatantly obvious — the Knicks function best with Frank and floor spacers (and Mitch, I think). I’m not going to bother laying it all out; it’s right there for everyone on NBA.com to see. Look at the 3 and 4 man lineups; it couldn’t be more obvious.

    This is not at all clear… nor is any conclusion from unadjusted, small sample lineup data

    the Daily News today stated the obvious which is that the young guys have to play a lot to develop.

    There’s actually no evidence that playing more leads to better results for young players. To me that’s always been a weird assumption and people rarely question it. Playing more could just as easily lead to reinforcing bad habits instead of providing the opportunity to learn good ones.

  50. There’s actually no evidence that playing more leads to better results for young players. To me that’s always been a weird assumption and people rarely question it. Playing more could just as easily lead to reinforcing bad habits instead of providing the opportunity to learn good ones.

    I agree. It’s my personal experience playing sports. There are many things I need to work on in practice to get better that don’t get better just by playing. Playing does show you what things you need to work on, but you don’t need a ton of minutes to learn this.

  51. It stuck me today that maybe the reason Mills still has a job (beyond being a gormless sychophant) if that he’s slept at the corporate aspects of the job…including making money for the company. Which makes his persistent existence more comprehensible.

  52. the thing with the knicks and young players is their decisions don’t make any sense from the outside. They play RJ a ton when there are vets (and other youngish players) who play his position who are better, but don’t play Mitch, who is the best player on the team. They don’t play Knox because he’s not very good and there are better vets. Are we trying to win? If we are, why are we playing RJ and not giving Mitch more minutes?

  53. Ha, I was just gonna say, Frank has played a ton, so has DSJ, and Knox is getting up there.

    Doncic was at least above average from game one, but so are many middle-round guys like PJ Washington.

    We should honestly just get what we can for those three who aren’t even close to outplaying lifetime scrubs. We should’ve traded Frank when he was shooting well but idk if we should even bother with DSJ until he can do anything competently.

    But we can’t do that now because we still have an incompetent FO running things that’s invested in these horrible players.

    Btw I’m not even a Frank hater – I like his D and team-first play, but he will never be worth the contract he’s getting as long as Thybulle-type seniors are available lower in the draft.

  54. I mean, what would be the downside to just letting him try these things in the NBA?

    It’s not so much about downside, it’s about a conflict of interest. Coach Miller is a 55yo rookie coach with a team full of vets and a FO who is clinging to its job. He’s going to coach to win and everyone is going to be on a somewhat short leach. That’s why he running out a vet starting lineup and why Knox and Frank are getting playing time somewhat commensurate with their play. The only downside is that it’s easier to work on fundamentals in the G-League where the stakes are lower. There is less likelihood that you will be demoralized when you commit lots of travels, get stripped, or have your shit thrown away than in front of 20,000 fans paying hundreds of dollars plus a huge TV audience and NY media circus. Honestly, I think that nearly all the players under age 23 would benefit from larger roles against lesser competition. This includes Frank, Knox, RJ and Mitch (and of course Iggy and Hinton). Even if it’s just for a week or two here and there, it would be beneficial.

  55. All this talk of Hardaway and Bullock on this thread made me think back to the 2013 draft, when they were selected 1 pick apart, and all the stat guys wanted Bullock and cried when the Knicks went with Hardaway. Turns out, they’ve been pretty similar in the NBA, both in productivity and in general impact to the league. (Always fun to read old draft threads:)

    http://kbdev.knickerblogger.net/thn-mock-draft-with-the-24th-pick-the-new-york-knickerbockers-select/

  56. There is no doubt whatsoever that Mitch is the best Knicks player with regard to win probability added. Zero.

    Probably not the best one-on-one player but last I checked that was not a thing in the NBA

  57. all the stat guys wanted Bullock and cried when the Knicks went with Hardaway.

    I wanted the Knicks to draft James Ennis

  58. Jesus Rodriguez
    @JSports_ent
    These next stretch of games will dictate exactly how aggressive things get. Keep in mind though I’m told regardless of what they say Mills and Perry Do Not have final say with trades during this deadline.

  59. Mitch has far and away the most potential on the team.

    IMO, he would generate the most value of any Knick if he was on a team where he was the clear 3rd or 4th option and only required to defend the paint, get rebounds, and score efficiently on low usage when he had a good matchup or wasn’t the focus of the defense. At this stage, he’s a minor role player with huge upside potential on both sides.

    However, IMO the best player on the team right now is Morris.

    The problem is that our “best player” is a versatile 3rd option player, having a career year, and is 30 years old. So what good is that unless we were at the stage where a playoff run was possible and we could accelerate the development of the kids by getting that playoff experience earlier?

    I was wrong about him. I fully expected him to get frustrated and melt down as the losses piled up because of behavior I’ve seen from him in the past. When the season started it looked like I was going to be right, but he’s a better player, more mature, and a way better team leader than I thought.

    Whoever gets him is getting a good player and real pro.

  60. if those fools don’t have final say than who does…Jimmy D? That’s comforting…maybe they are going to run all decisions by Adam Silver for concurring review (another McKinsey recommendation)…

    btw…I could certainly see an 0 and 6 stretch leading up to the deadline if things fall just right….the crappy teams we play are road games…not counting the Nets who will likely beat us by 20 at home…maybe that could be the lynchpin to being “agressive” at the deadline…

  61. the thing with the knicks and young players is their decisions don’t make any sense from the outside. They play RJ a ton when there are vets (and other youngish players) who play his position who are better, but don’t play Mitch, who is the best player on the team. They don’t play Knox because he’s not very good and there are better vets. Are we trying to win? If we are, why are we playing RJ and not giving Mitch more minutes?

    IMO, this their short term priority list

    1. They are ALL trying to save their jobs
    2. They are trying to decide if they want to keep any of the mercenaries beyond the next 2 weeks
    3. They are trying to develop the young players
    4. They are trying to put lineups on the court that actually make basketball sense given the skill sets of the players involved (no easy talk with this team)
    5. In some cases, politics are involved

  62. NBA real Plus Minus

    43. Mitchell Robinson NY 42 22.7 -0.01 -0.59 -0.60 0.03

    If Mitch is easily our best player, why is he a negative player ranked as the 43rd best center in the league on NBA Real Plus Minus?

    I hate all these “one number” models and imo this one is flawed also, but it’s at least attempting to get at more than just the boxscore and quantify actual “overall” impact on the court and not just a handful of things in the boxscore.

    Personally, I don’t think Mitch is a negative player. IMO, he’s too elite at 2-3 things to have negative value, but he is also wildly limited and green in some ways.

  63. I think some posters use the word “best” as in “best player” when they mean most valuable. The two aren’t the same thing. Morris may not be as valuable as Mitch because of age and salary, but he’s a better player at the moment.

  64. That was a pretty funny draft thread to go back and look at in 2013. Strat, we are still waiting on your EV+ metric. ;-) Some good takes in there and some not so strong. Z-man had a good night. Jon Abbey too. That guy was a force.

    Mitchell Robinson is the best player on this team by any definition unless Marcus Morris is permanently a 45% three point shooter. Which he isn’t. No question Mitch is a hedgehog rather than a fox out there but he is in some very rare air with his numbers. He’s just not like the other guys.

    Watching the Knicks butcher his development is upsetting but whatever, nothing new.

  65. If Mitch is easily our best player, why is he a negative player ranked as the 43rd best center in the league on NBA Real Plus Minus?

    we can’t answer that because we don’t know how real plus minus is calculated. Last year Enes Kanter was the 53rd best center in the NBA, this year he’s the sixth.

  66. Mitch has been extremely disappointing this season. If a lot of the sheen hasn’t worn off yet, I don’t know what to tell you. He looks lost out there on defense and is no longer blocking 4 shots/36.

    As the only true C on the team, you would hope his on-off wouldn’t be so underwhelming. The dude who replaces him when he sits is the semi-embalmed, mummified, and still somehow ambulatory Taj Gibson. Mitch should be making a bigger impact.

    I fully believe mgmt may be royally messing up with him, but you would expect him to still be more impactful.

  67. Also I’m really starting to believe Dolan orchestrated the merc plan after KD and Kyrie spurned the NYKs for Brooklyn. Can’t let those Nets make fools of us!!!! – Dolan before signing Portis to $15 mill contract

  68. Last rant:

    I think Zion makes Ingram useless for the NOP. Ingram has thrived against immobile PFs. But with Zion back teams will start lining up SFs against Ingram and letting Zion try to shoot over PFs.

    No idea how Ingram has done defensively at the 4, but he may become available after signing a likely max deal with NOP

  69. all the stat guys wanted Bullock and cried when the Knicks went with Hardaway./blockquote>

    That was before he changed the pronunciation of his name.

  70. I have no idea if that J Sports guy has any sources or not. Sometimes he seems like a “throw shit at the wall and see what sticks” type.

    I do, however, fully believe that Mills/Perry are looking at their 12-34 team that hasn’t dealt with any particular bad luck and saying “Hmm, not enough info here. Need to see how our next five games go.”

    That sounds just dumb enough to be true.

  71. I think Zion makes Ingram useless for the NOP. Ingram has thrived against immobile PFs. But with Zion back teams will start lining up SFs against Ingram and letting Zion try to shoot over PFs.

    No idea how Ingram has done defensively at the 4, but he may become available after signing a likely max deal with NOP

    I think you’ve got too much weight on traditional positions, here. I know Ingram has “played the 4” more than usual but a lot of his value has come from tripling his 3PA% and establishing a career high in conversion rate. I don’t see how that’s going to be an issue against 3s any more than it is against 4s, especially since Zion is an exceptional passer for a human cannonball and will draw as many double teams as Giannis does.

    If it were simply throwing a no-offense guy like Noel in the mix, I’d probably agree more. But Zion is going to create mismatches as much as a freak like Ingram does. If gravity is a real thing, the wings will have to help and that will mean ball movement and open 3s.

  72. the thing with the knicks and young players is their decisions don’t make any sense from the outside. They play RJ a ton when there are vets (and other youngish players) who play his position who are better, but don’t play Mitch, who is the best player on the team. They don’t play Knox because he’s not very good and there are better vets. Are we trying to win? If we are, why are we playing RJ and not giving Mitch more minutes?

    I think the issue is that the Knicks just don’t know who is good at basketball and who isn’t. They never have as an organization under Dolan.

  73. I’m not sure that’s the main issue. I think Knick’s management historically and now has just assumed it’s the coaches job to make everyone mesh and create a coherent team; for example make Amare and Carmelo fit together somehow. So they put together rosters with NBA capabilities and don’t see how the mix of players handicaps the coach. When things don’t go well, change the coach. In this case they compounded the error by creating extra pressure to win right away and perhaps spooking the players.

  74. I’m not sure that’s the main issue.

    When you’re paying Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington $25 million, it’s the main issue. When you draft Kevin Knox instead of SGA, it’s the main issue.

  75. Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington are useful role players. Maybe they are overpaid, but the big issue is that the team as constructed doesn’t have enough shooters or quality guard play. If the management really felt this team could be a playoff team, then they were sticking their heads in the sand about how imbalanced the the teams roster is.

  76. How in the fuck does Robinson Cano have what amounts to a 4/80 contract still remaining?

    If I ever see Brodie Van Wagenen in person I’m walking right up to him and punching him in the dick

  77. I think you’ve got too much weight on traditional positions, here. I know Ingram has “played the 4” more than usual but a lot of his value has come from tripling his 3PA% and establishing a career high in conversion rate.

    Its complete speculation on my part, but I’ll stand by the prediction

  78. Monster game from Rudy Gobert against Dallas. I wonder if the NBA media have figured out he’s the best player on the Jazz yet

  79. KP a +7. Take that critics.

    It’s amazing how little people talk about his defense. Which might be 95% of his value, such as it is.

  80. It’s sad that Luka and Delon Wright are stealing all of Porzingis’ rebounds, another conspiracy to make him look worse. Jokes aside, man, does Gobert look dominant lately, what a fantastic player. Bogdanovic was such a terrific signing that this Jazz team is dangerous even as Conley seems to have fallen off a cliff.

  81. “Monster game from Rudy Gobert against Dallas. I wonder if the NBA media have figured out he’s the best player on the Jazz yet.”

    Yeah, but he’s only slightly better than Mitchell Robinson…

  82. Some rare good news: the Hornets have slid recently so their second rounder is falling to around where we thought/hoped it would. It would be 35th if the season ended today.

    This draft is so brutal it’s almost more fun looking at guys in that range than guys at the top. Some semi-intriguing possibilities: Daniel Oturu, Cassius Stanley, Trevelin Queen, Ashton Hagans.

  83. Yep. Instead of Zion or Doncic, we will get LaMelo.

    Stanley seems pretty great. Not sure why he’s projected so low.

  84. If the FO can move Portis for a pick, someone we can waive or buyout- who says no to an Ellington for KOQ/Scott swap? I think that would help MitchRob and Knox immensely to fight for time at the C & PF spot with Taj, KOQ, and Scott. Knox more than MitchRob because Mitch doesn’t really hafta fight for a spot. But Knox could use some toughening up. KOQ would give us the shot blocking that Portis and Taj lacks and still have some of the range that Portis offers.

  85. We’re going to be complaining in 3 years that we drafted some athletic bust in the top 3 instead of taking tyrese haliburton

  86. An Anthony Edwards-RJ Barrett wing combination would be nice but it would also be a disappointing return for back-to-back top 3 picks. That’s a pair of guys you’d be happy with in the late lottery. Of course, when we were in the late lottery, we got two guys you’d have been happy selecting in the 2nd round.

    It’s not what you want.

  87. On a team that went 25-57, a 21yo Rudy Gobert played in 47 games, didn’t start a single one, and averaged 9.6 mpg (total: 434 minutes). He had lots of the same flaws that Mitch did, and was an especially poor FT shooter. However, he was an excellent defensive rebounder and got to the line at an enormous rate. He fouled too much, but it was a very small sample size.

    Then after one offseason, he maintained his dominant rebounding and block numbers with only a slight decline in his FTr, shot better %s across the board, and cut his foul rate to 2.9 per 36 compared to 5.2 per 36. Mitch has stayed the same at rebounding, gotten worse at shot-blocking and has barely cut his foul rate.

    This suggests to me that Rudy 1) had a much stronger physical base and better balance than Mitch at a similar age, and 2) had the smarts to refine his game on the defensive end, especially at trading blocks for d-rebs. Mitch is getting manhandled in the paint and still commits dumb fouls all over the place. Rudy should be his role model, but not sure if Mitch’s b-ball IQ will allow for him to become a better defensive rebounder at the expense of shot-blocking. He really needs to hit the weight room very hard during the offseason.

  88. Gobert is an interesting comparison to Mitch. He had several years as a professional in the French league when drafted, which probably gave him more defensive smarts than Mitch was able to get before being drafted.

  89. not sure pumping iron is going to change Robinson’s game……he needs half way decent coaching and to exhibit that he can put himself in the right places on both ends…I think he can do it…he’s still raw and just learning the nba game….if he can get to Gobert level on defense and expand his game on the offense (which is seems like he is working on it)…he will be even more fun to watch…..

    is there another team in the NBA that has their point guard dribble up and right after they pass half court..hand the ball to the worst ball handling player on the team to start their offense? What is the point of this?

    I also noticed that Randall often snubs (when they call for the ball) whatever guard is in the game and takes the ball up court himself….seems like he thinks he is a good ball handler in spite of his zillion turnovers…shouldn’t somebody whisper in his ear that he should give the ball up?

  90. We’re going to be complaining in 3 years that we drafted some athletic bust in the top 3 instead of taking tyrese haliburton

    Yeah, this is where I am.

    I get that his upside is somewhat limited by the jump shot and low 2PT volume concerns a la Lonzo Ball. Guess what–I’m still pretty god damn certain the guy is going to be a productive NBA player. I mean take Ball himself, as of right now he could never improve and would still be better than all 3 of our most recent lottery picks (and definitely won’t finish his career as worse than 2 of them in any scenario).

    I just want some guys that can play, man.

  91. Also, as if on queue, the current mock on Tankathon has us taking Cole Anthony at #4 and the Wolves taking Haliburton at #5 :(

  92. is there another team in the NBA that has their point guard dribble up and right after they pass half court..hand the ball to the worst ball handling player on the team to start their offense? What is the point of this?

    Frank can’t hand the ball to himself

  93. I am not particularly certain Haliburton is going to be a good pro I’m just sick of us drafting guys who can’t shoot and then having no one on the team who can fucking shoot

  94. at least Frank (it seems) has a sense of what should happen or where the best option is (most of the time)..he just can’t execute it well…Randall has no handle and his bball IQ is low (on any scale) and that is being generous…he just is good at making dumb plays..and after everyone appears to think it is an isolated incident…and repeats it over and over…

  95. @116 because Philly needs shooting and Ellington still has a rep. That trade will not hurt Philly in any way.

  96. I just want a competent point guard, which this team hasn’t had since late stage Jason Kidd.

    Luka or that Morant dude would have been nice )-:

  97. I always liked Tommy Beer…

    Tommy Beer
    @TommyBeer

    LeBron James could miss every single one of his next 3,019 FG attempts (yes, go 0-for-3,019 and then retire)… and he would still have a higher career FG% than Kobe Bryant.

  98. At this time, I’d be happy with Edwards, Wiseman, LaMelo or Hayes. Maybe Haliberton’s ugly shot will grow on me. I don’t like Cole, RJ (one is enough) or pretty much anyone else.

  99. is there another team in the NBA that has their point guard dribble up and right after they pass half court..hand the ball to the worst ball handling player on the team to start their offense? What is the point of this?

    Not even trying to be trollsy: this is Frank Ntilikina being well aware of his limitations. It’s very bad, but him trying to create in the half-court might be worse.

  100. My daughter texted me asking “did Kobie die?” I responded, “no, one of his records died, killed by LeBron.” She said “no, actually though…check the news”

    So fucking weird, and so sad.

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