I’ve started building my new Lego 1989 Batmobile. It’s made by 3306 pieces total, and I’m probably at 1700 after 6.5 hours of work. Honestly, it’s a total blast. The finished product will be so frigging huge. I couldn’t be more happy; I’m actually a grown kid, you give me food and/or games as gits and I’m the happiest person in the world.
Anyway, near the end of this day-conusming, brick-connecting romp, it dawned on us that at least two hours before we had made a mistake, putting a 4×4 plate just a bit right than where it should have been.
At that point, we had to make a choice. We could wash our hands and try to go on around that mistake (it would actually have been possible short term wise, none of the subsequent thirty so so operations – six construction manual pages – required that particular area again) or we could try and understand where we went wrong, disassemble the minimum amount of pieces required, fix the mistake, rebuild everything we disassembled and then go on to keep assembling the bat-themed behemoth.
We chose option number two. From where we are, we’re not sure it will be worth it in terms of effort spent in fixing the damn thing, but at the very least we’re positive we will be able to build the whole vehicle without any consequence.
The Knicks, winning behind the contributions of Marcus Morris and Julius Randle, are choosing option number one.
It’s possible than we won’t ever need to go around that particular area again, just as it is possible that Randle will become a foundational piece for the Knicks while Mook’s veteran leadership will rub on Knox and Barrett; it’s much more likely, though, that this type of wins will end up being more damaging than reinvigorating.
Randle and Morris, combined: 55 points, 16 boards, 4 assists, 22/42 from the field, 6/13 from three, 5/5 from the line, +42 plus/minus, 69 minutes played.
RJ, Frank, Knox, Dotson, Mitch combined: 24 points, 25 boards, 6 assists, 9/27 from the field, 2/7 from three, 4/7 from the line, +8 plus/minus, 105 minutes played (I won’t torture you with what happens as soon as you remove Mitch from here).
Now, ok, this is pretty much an indictment of how much our young guys suck, but what should it matter that we’re winning games only because Randle and Morris can ball a bit? What’s our long time gain? Are we gunning for the 12th seed in the East and the #8/9 pick again, that yielded such good results for us in 2017 and 2018?
I can’t blame Mike Miller either. He’s a rookie interim head coach, and if he wants to prove he can stick around he has to try to win every possible game unless told otherwise, and you know as well as do I that Pills are simply starved for wins, so… it’s only fair that Miller’s leveraging what he has to gain the advantage over the foe du jour. If it means running Randle and Morris out there for 70-ish minutes per night, he should go for it. I hate it, but it’s definitely not his fault.
On the other hand, I’m not sold about his developmental coach resume. 10 games are nothing, especially in the middle of the season, but if anything every young player not named Mitch is regressing under Miller. It might be just the regular ebb and flow ways of rookie-scale contract players, but I just have the feeling they suck. Long-term wise, though, you should still give your coach a full vote of confidence to play them as much as you can. There’s literally nothing to lose apart from a few games (which would count as a win for the tank) and a chance for Miller to be a future NBA coach somewhere else, but let’s be real: how high are them anyway? Dude’s 55, and while a coaching lifer he’s never been a relevant figure. The chances of him ever becoming a real NBA coach outside of NY are slimmer than his hair on the central part of his dome. So, no blame on Miller, but Pills are screwing the team again just because they’re (understandably, but still not making sense strategically for the team) hanging on for dear life.
David Fizdale’s record: 4-18.
Mike Miller’s record: 4-6.
Sometimes I really wish Pills would read this board.
That said, I highly doubt Mike Miller is good enough to coach this sorry excuse of a roster to .400 ball for the season (and I don’t hope he is, as that would be inherently bad for lottery purposes). This game would have been a Knicks defeat 99 times out of 100. We shot 40.2% from the field, 31.0% from three and were still the best shooting team on the floor by a long mile. The Nets scored a NBA-record worst (since 1979-80) 8 two-pointers on 28 attempts for a Barrett-like 28.6% 2FG. That’s a really unprecedented level of futility. On the other hand, it’s not like the Nets’ defense was especially good, and we didn’t even reach 100 points. Let’s evaluate Miller in another 10 games.
It has to be said, though, that Mitch’s impact on defense was tremendous last night. His numbers won’t blow you away (a minimum-wage double double and 2 blocks) but he disrupted at least ten more possessions. In a game that ended on such a low scoring note, that’s really something. It was also good to see RJ’s being engaged on the defensive end. Also, Mitch definitely outplayed Jarrett Allen (who didn’t score a single field goal) and DeAndre Jordan.
Prepare for the ultimate Frank crusade: Kadeem Allen is coming. I kinda wish he’d usurp Frank’s place in the rotation as to try and light the ultimate fire under his ass. Frank’s playing like shit under Miller. And it’s not like Miller’s coaching him with the intent of benching him as soon as it’s possible. 1/5 from the floor, 1 ast, 1 steal in 14 minutes are just terrible numbers. Elfrid Payton (a solid 13, 7 and 4 for a game-high +25 +/-) looks like Rod Strickland next to Frank.
I think it’s time to bench RJ for a while. He’s still “contributing” somehow but honestly he needs to be playing better to earn even 20 minutes per game. Letting him play like this it just putting him at risk of indulging to his worst tendencies. His drives lack everything as of late: burst, overall speed, jumping ability, focus. His ORtg is 92. 92! For comparison’s sake, Lance Thomas has a 101 ORtg for his career. Jared Jeffries sports a 100 one. You have to go to Mardy Collins to plunge at a low enough career ORtg (88) as to not make RJ blush. Add to that the fact that his usage is 23%, and you have a very bad recipe here on your hands.
In the end, anyway, if you have to win games here and there winning against Brooklyn is always good. Let’s see if we can avenge last Monday’s monstrosity in the Wiz-Knicks rematch. See you!