2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Rockets

Hopefully Mitch gets a lot of burn tonight!

Make a good impression in front of your new boss, Mitch!

Let’s go? Knicks!

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99 thoughts to “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Rockets”

  1. Yeah there’s no point watching this game.

    well, there it is…actually, there it has been…and, there it will most likely continue to be…

    thank goodness for mitch and, well, thank goodness for mitch…

  2. This lineup with Ntilikina-Barrett-Knox-Portis would have a ’50s era TS%…if not for Mitch

  3. The feeble little Rockets are no match for Mitchell we should honestly lob him the ball on every possession

  4. oh shit…just saw the score…what the hell…go wayne…go play for someone else…you’re fucking up the program…

  5. Huh. Missed tbe beginning of this. I like Miller still calls timeouts when they start to slip, even when they’re up.

  6. Anybody there to start a sell the team chant. I think it would be fitting on Rose’s first day.

  7. Mitch absolutely dominated this game and we’re giving more minutes to taj gibson and julius randle for some reason.

  8. we’ve handled mitch differently than any other rookie we’ve had over the last few years…

    i have no clue how exactly it may be, but, maybe that’s the one thing the team has actually gotten right…

  9. I haven’t quite figured out what I think a good outcome/comp for RJ looks like but it’s good to see him not suck

  10. Does anybody know how to fix an iPhone? Mine is broken, it says the New York Knicks basketball team scored 73 points in a half.

    Does that “soak it in rice” thing work or do I need to go to the Genius Bar?

  11. Red Panda’s a little off tonight. I guess she’s not used to performing when the Knicks have a halftime lead.

  12. I think RJ just thrives when an opposing team can’t just plant two 7 footers in the paint

  13. Westbrook didn’t actually think he was going to score on Frank did he? lmao

  14. That was fun to watch. Was hoping we’d lose a nailbiter but it can’t hurt for the young ones to win a tough fought match.

  15. that rj drive on pj tucker was so emblematic of his pros and cons as a prospect. he had just come off what could charitably be called an airball, but didn’t look either scared or reckless. he didn’t blow by tucker with his first step and the layup he hit was half a fling. but he did this really precocious thing where he took that darting step on the drive and accelerated suddenly at an angle that tucker couldn’t easily corral, and prevent tucker from bodying him into an impossible shot or get a piece of the ball. 99pct of 19 yr olds don’t have that trick and 99pct of those aren’t strong enough to use it against pj tucker. it was a very manu type move — westbrook also does it sometimes. he doesn’t have westbrook’s gifts or manu’s touch and fluidity, but he’s got some things most kids don’t have. i really have no idea what he’ll be.

  16. I missed the end of the game but I’m glad we held on and showed we’re objectively better than the Celtics.

  17. Before the game I said we were going to give up 60 3s and I was wrong, we only gave up 56

    Cancel the DRed for GM campaign! I, for one, welcome our new Leon Rose overlord.

  18. Was at the game. Lot of fun. It’s interesting watching the Rockets do their thing and seeing us fail to exploit it. Although everyone has that problem.

    Great take by RJ. I thought in the moment it was an offensive foul but it was a pretty heady play actually in the situation.

    And as noted, amazing D by Frank there at the end.

    Oh, that Westbrook dunk absolutely electrified the crowd. Amazing reaction.

  19. It’s interesting. RJ has some skill and talent, but he clearly thinks beyond it in the moment. The possibility that he can think he way through his deficiencies to becoming more effective is very tantalizing to me, but I think mostly because I like the idea. I guess LeBron is the guy with all the talent and skill plus the mind. RJ seems like he might have the mind if not the talent and skill. How far can that take him? It’ll be fun to find out.

    Not as fun as Zion or Morant would be still.

  20. It’s been an encouraging stretch for Barrett, at least he’s showing something. If he can shoot at this level consistently there is something to be excited about him, and he’s still young enough that I can understand the inconsistency. He just has to learn to shoot free throws asap and we hope the rest comes together eventually.

  21. I bet the emergence of RJ Barrett makes Julius Randle a more useful player down the stretch. I promise you all, RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson will lead this into the promised land.

  22. Frank and his simple genius on defensive philosophy:

    “Ntilikina said he knew Westbrook would get the ball.

    “[The prior play,] Russ caught the ball and attacked the basket for a layup,’’ Ntilikina said. “My thought was to make him change direction and didn’t want him make an easy layup. It was a good shot for him, but he missed it.’’

    Her’s a pro tip for the Knick defenders…. try taking away your opponent’s “go to” move and make them beat you with their 2nd or 3rd best offering.

    I’f Westbrook beats you with a jumper over 7 feet of contested length…. so be it. Jesus do not let him drive on you or get to the FT line with a stupid foul.

    I did not see the game but it looks like Frank must have played well vs the most dangerous back court in the league….. good to see him get big minutes in a win.

  23. Random RJ stat that I think is promising –

    Of all perimeter-playing teenagers in the B-R database with a usage over 20, RJ has the 6th highest free throw rate. There are mostly really promising names on it, although notably #1 on that list is Andrew Wiggins at 0.41. But the other guys? In order: Wiggins, Luka, Kobe, Marbury, Melo, then RJ, followed by Durant, Lebron, Devin Booker, Ricky Davis, and Cliff Robinson.

    Granted this is a pretty selected list, since not that many rookies in NBA history are teenagers and even fewer rookies are allowed to have a usage >20, but promising nonetheless.

    Interesting quote from Miller (via Vorkunov) — “I think a lot of it with RJ is he’s healthy again”.

    He played great to start the season and possibly just hit the rookie wall from Fiz just burning him out. Then in January he played pretty well but then he sprained his ankle 1/16. Then he was really bad (11/36 from the field, 1/8 from 3) in the 4 games after coming back from the ankle. Was fine in the Rising stars game but then got basically a full week off. Since then (6 games) he’s been pretty good – eFG 52.8, TS 52.5, averaging 20.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists per 36, 33.3% from 3. His FT shooting has been bad (44%!) during this stretch, but he’s really been pretty good.

    Re: last night’s game – I get the idea that the win hurts our own tank and also makes the Clippers pick probably worse, but it’s hard to get upset about a game in which RJ is the leading scorer, hits the clutch bucket at the end of the game, Frank gets serious burn and gets the key defensive stop (Actually got 2 stops since that “foul” on Westbrook was a totally clean strip on the previous possession – bad job by Miller not challenging that), and Mitch beasts the Rockets’ small-ball lineup and shows he can stay on the floor even when teams go super-small.

  24. I agree with the consensus on RJ. He’s more physically developed than most 19 year olds and has some moves around the basket you wouldn’t expect at this stage. He’s also not afraid. Hopefully he’ll come back a better shooter next year.

    IMO, our biggest problem is still spacing. It seems like whenever Randle or RJ drive the ball inside there’s a swarm of defenders waiting. Mitch can overcome it better because he’s playing far above the rim, but we clearly need some of our young players to break out and start shooting well from 3.

    I still love Frank, especially after that last play. He’s clearly improving, but he’s been monumentally disappointing to me from 3. I thought is was close to a certainty he’d start inching forward as a shooter from 3, but it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe they are defending him little more now, but I’m not seeing much progress anyway.

  25. Frank,

    I agree on that RJ injury point you are making. Some of the ups and downs we see in a season are just random noise, but sometimes players are playing through injuries or are just a little rusty for a couple of games after an injury and it impacts their results. For many guys it probably all nets out, but it’s worth noting when a guy is clearly struggling with an issue.

    Doncic has been struggling the last 4 games. Maybe it’s just noise. Maybe he’s wearing down a little like last year and has to get in better shape. Maybe he’s better with KP on the floor providing space. But he’s also playing with a sore thumb. So maybe it’s that simple.

  26. Frank, the announcers thought Franks strip was clean and the foul could have been challenged. But then the Knicks had the ball after the Rockets free throws and used their last time out to move the ball up court. The announcers commented the Knicks would have had no timeouts to call if they had lost the challenge. So even if the challenge was winnable, it might have been the right decision not to use it, because a timeout was clearly needed and they shouldn’t risk the timeout by using a challenge.

  27. RJ is still very much a mixed bag. He has some real skills, but unless he can learn to shoot it’s not going to work. All he should do this offseason is shoot free throws.

  28. @knickfaninnj – good call on the timeout thing – didn’t think of that

    re: RJ’s free throws – I’m no shot doctor but if you look at him set up for free throws, the ball is way down in his palm — perhaps should be off his palm and on his fingertips more to get more feel — but what do I know.

  29. RJ Barrett needs to work on the shooting, but he is without a doubt being let down by the infrastructure of the team on that one. Zion Williamson can’t shoot either but he takes so few 3 pointers and doesn’t have to worry about getting frozen out of the offense by Julius Randle or having to play catch and shoot. Giannis couldn’t shoot but they put shooters around him and let him develop at his own pace. Ben Simmons still can’t shoot but the 76ers put him in position to use his strengths.

    When you have a guy who offers you an athletic premium at his position (RJ Barrett at 19 years old is already strong enough to muscle passed PJ Tucker), you let him build off of that. RJ Barrett’s offense should be all transition baskets and muscle cuts to the basket with sprinklings of isolations and catch and shoot opportunities. His game should be built off of Mitchell Robinson’s P&R opportunities, but that guy doesn’t start and has been lower on the offensive food chain than Bobby Portis. Maybe all of this is happening because Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton are fraudulently productive players in that you can’t play winning basketball with them, or maybe Mike Miller is just an idiot. Maybe it’s both, but in any situation the Knicks are failing our two best players and we need to move forward with those two guys in mind.

    I saw a trade that suggested the Knicks move Julius Randle to Charlotte for Batum and Devonte Graham. While I don’t think Charlotte would give us Graham, getting rid of Julius Randle for literally anything would please me so long as it opened up touches in the offense for Barrett and Robinson. We need to put shooters at the 1, 2/3, and 4 next season and then you’ll see more of the player that’s been hiding behind Julius Randle’s ball handling.

  30. One thing I found interesting about last nights game were the comments that Perry and Rose know each along with the shots of them watching the game and looking like they were getting along with each other. It may not be a done deal that Perry is gone.

  31. RJ had a good game against an unconventional team. No need to go blaming people for his poor performance. Sure he doesn’t get many looks, but he’s been genuinely terrible most the season. It’s not some Randle conspiracy.

  32. Holy @%^@ Dolan is really going to take the shine off last night’s game and Leon Rose’s debut with this Spike Lee garbage. You must be kidding me.

  33. Wow, this is gonna get ugly between Spike and Dolan.

    Spike Lee: “I’m being harassed by James Dolan. I don’t know why.” Spike Lee says he’s used same entrance for 28 years. No one told him it changed. Dolan yesterday: “Now you know.” Says Knicks statement of events yesterday was “Garden spin.” He’s incensed right now on First Take.

    Spike Lee, on First Take, says he was told when he entered it’s the wrong entrance. Lee says he’s used same entrance for 28 years. MSG ppl told him to go downstairs and use different entrance. Lee didn’t want to. Says he said “Arrest me like Charles Oakley” when it got heated.

  34. Early Bird:
    RJ had a good game against an unconventional team. No need to go blaming people for his poor performance. Sure he doesn’t get many looks, but he’s been genuinely terrible most the season.It’s not some Randle conspiracy.

    I’m not saying Julius Randle, Mike Miller, and the Knicks are the reason RJ Barrett’s numbers are so bad this year. RJ Barrett has had a bad season because he has a lot to work on. What I am saying is that Julius Randle, Mike Miller, and the Knicks have done nothing to help his development. Shooting was clearly a weakness of his coming out and what did we do? We signed Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton, so now all three of them need to shoot more than they should be. RJ Barrett has always been on the ball, even at Duke when he was teamed up with Zion Williamson. So what do we do? We sign Elfrid Payton, who needs the ball, tell Julius Randle he’s the initiator on offense, so now he needs the ball more than ever, and try to get RJ touches here and there.

    RJ Barrett would likely have been bad his first year no matter where he was drafted. He’s still been trending upwards if you believe the up and down nature of his season has to do with injury, and that’s a credit to him and his own preparation. I just hope this summer we prioritize shooting players to put around RJ and Mitch, because I think RJ Barrett can be a 6’7” Donovan Mitchell and Mitch can be our Gobert.

  35. DRed
    March 2, 2020 at 6:51 pm
    We’re going to give up like 60 3s tonight. Hoping RJ can play well-annecdotally he does well against teams without decent shotblocking

    DRed for coach

  36. Of course Dolan and MSG are operating at peak toxicity. Why can’t Adam Silver step in again?

  37. Spike, continuing to come in hot!

    “Am I going to die before another championship?,” Lee said. “Is my son, who is 24, going to die before another championship?”

  38. Struggling to come up with anything dumber than feuding with your most high-profile celebrity fan at exactly the moment you’re trying to turn around the perception that your organization is a clown-show. I mean I guess they could fire Clyde, or possibly send an assassin after Ewing, but outside of that…

  39. Macri on Twitter suggested Spike is trying to get banned because the outcry might finally push Dolan to sell the team. If that’s his actual plan, I don’t think he’s considered just how incredibly stubborn and petty our least favorite owner is.

  40. Spike said he’s done with the Knicks for the rest of the season.

    But he’ll be back next year. Steve Stoute should quit tomorrow.

  41. The Glass Half Rebuilt: We signed Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton, so now all three of them need to shoot more than they should be.

    I do get what you’re saying, but we also signed Wayne Ellington who underperformed until recently. Bullock who got injured. Randle hit 34% of his 3s last year. Elfrid is a career 30% 3pt shooter, not great but much better than the 21% he’s hitting this year.

    I blame Keith Smart for wrecking everyone’s shooting form.

    What was Mike Miller going to do? Hand the ball to RJ on every possession? We tried him at PG early in the season, he got outplayed by Frank

  42. Early Bird: What was Mike Miller going to do? It seems likely his hands are tied by management.

    So a few things:

    1) I don’t really blame Mike Miller for anything when it comes to RJ Barrett because he has to play to the strengths of his roster. I do blame him for when RJ gets frozen out by Payton, Julius, and Portis though. That kind of stuff can’t happen on his watch because it’s inefficient basketball, and the head coach is responsible for the efficiency of a basketball team.

    2) Julius Randle shot 34%, yes, but that number was never anything to hold onto when you look at totals. He hit 67 total threes last year in 73 games, so he averaged <1 make a game last season. He wasn’t going to come in and average 2 3PM a game on 36% shooting from deep. Eflrid Payton hit 33 3PM in 42 games last year. These were not guys we could sign and rely on to shoot at a higher volume.

    3) Definitely screw Keith Smart. He broke everybody’s jumper.

    4) And yup. Management ultimately screwed the Knicks. Steve Mills was an idiot and I’m glad he’s gone.

  43. I didn’t fully realize Dolan himself confronted Spike before the game about this utterly petty nothingburger. Dolan. Himself. About the entrance and elevator his best fan used to get into the game.

    Something is just badly wrong with that guy. He’s off.

  44. Actually after thinking about this for a minute, my feeling is that Spike is seriously overestimating his cachet with Knicks fans. He’s not Oakley, who shed blood/sweat/tears for this franchise. Having a lot of trouble feeling any sympathy for a guy who loses his mind over being forced to use the regular VIP entrance. if I were Dolan and MSG I wouldn’t apologize either.

  45. I’m so glad Spike is making a mess out of this, it seems like a whole lot of nothing but him being vocal against Dolan specifically can’t be bad.

    Jordan Bell had one nice rookie season on limited minutes, but no one could predict he would drop off so much, and he seems to have off court issues too. Clarke is already a much more productive player on more minutes.

  46. Actually after thinking about this for a minute, my feeling is that Spike is seriously overestimating his cachet with Knicks fans. He’s not Oakley, who shed blood/sweat/tears for this franchise. Having a lot of trouble feeling any sympathy for a guy who loses his mind over being forced to use the regular VIP entrance. if I were Dolan and MSG I wouldn’t apologize either.

    C’mon man. There’s a reason no other team in the NBA has ever had issues with, uh, who uses what entrance. I can’t say I know enough about the specifics here to say much more than that, but this shit just doesn’t happen to normal teams with normal owners.

    I mean at a bare minimum, no other team would issue a fucking press release on the matter.

  47. Seriously, does Dolan write these press releases? They sound petty and unprofessional.

    The WORST organization. Leon Rose will leave before the season ends.

    Watch Spike, the most diehard Knicks fan, start attending Nets games. He’s spent more time at MSG than anyone on the team or in the front office.

  48. Actually after thinking about this for a minute, my feeling is that Spike is seriously overestimating his cachet with Knicks fans.

    He is, and he’s probably overblowing the whole thing — but it’s still really weird that Dolan himself would get involved.

  49. Man, I wish I could come up with insults like “Arrest me like Charles Oakley” in the heat of an argument.

    If that were me, I’d come up with it a day later, like Costanza and the jerk store, and then walk back up to the employee entrance the next game to recreate the scene.

  50. thenoblefacehumper:
    https://twitter.com/NY_KnicksPR/status/1234898716076789761/photo/1

    Welp. We will never, ever have nice things.

    To be fair, look at the picture of that entrance in the tweet. It says “Entrance for employees, media and patrons with disabilities only”. Given the amount of money Spike is paying, and the quality of basketball entertainment he is getting in return, it could be argued there’s a disability that qualifies him to use that entrance regardless.

    Upon further reflection, all paying Knicks fans should have access to that entrance :/

  51. I’m the last person to ever defend Dolan, but what was he supposed to do today?
    He literally went to meet with Spike yesterday, had some sort of conversation that ended with a handshake. Media was going nuts over the Spike “controversy” so they put out a completely innocuous PR statement saying it was all worked out.

    Spike then goes on First Take and makes a fool out of himself and picking a fight with Dolan, probably thinking he can get some PR bump out of it.

    What would be the right reaction from Dolan? Maybe today’s release was a little petty, but the whole thing is petty. Losing your mind over being asked to go through the VIP entrance? You’ve got to be kidding me. 99% of reasonable Knick fans would side with the Knicks on this except for the fact that Dolan’s name is on one side.

  52. What if I told you the Knicks PR account is actually a Jim Dolan burner account?

  53. What would be the right reaction from Dolan?

    Options that would have been infinitely better than that statement:

    1)Ignore Spike
    2)Put out a statement saying something like, “We’re sorry that Spike is still upset. We thought the matter had been resolved amicably last night. Clearly, we can all do better at communicating with one another. We’ll strive to improve at that in the future.”
    3)Ignore Spike

    Like some other absurdly rich people I could name, Dolan is congenitally incapable of apologizing or admitting he was wrong about anything, and it makes him and his organization look like a clown show. Constantly.

  54. It was absurd of Dolan to even get himself involved in the first place. If there was some kind of changed entrance policy, the account manager and security could have communicated it and handled it.

  55. I’m not understanding why if he has been using the entrance for all these years it suddenly became an issue?

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