2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Hornets

Well, I guess having optimism about the Knicks was the bad way to handle things. Normally, I’d say, “Charlotte is another team that you’d think that the Knicks could handle,” but how about – Charlotte? No way that the Knicks can beat Charlotte! Charlotte is way out of the Knicks’ league!

So there, let’s see how that goes.

Let’s go, don’t fall under .500 Knicks!

Liked it? Take a second to support Brian Cronin on Patreon!

520 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Hornets”

  1. Reposted due to new thread:

    I’ve been thinking about the injury bug and the comments on it here. My impression of the Knicks medical staff, and this is just an impression, is that players stay out longer than you might expect for a given injury. But this is probably correct medical practice if your priority is the health of the player. I think many teams rush players back and the players suffer long term for it. To give a couple of prominent examples, consider Kawhi on the Spurs being pushed to return by the team or Isiah Thomas on the Celtics.

  2. Knicks are playing like their preseason projection had them playing. They need to WAKE UP!!!

  3. Mike Breen’s reporting that “Thibodeau has said he’s ok with his players taking 3 point shots as long as it’s the right shot” is the “How’s it goink?” of 2021.

  4. We don’t shoot threes because we have the worst three point shooters in the league, not because Thibs is Fred Flintstone

  5. Max:
    Uhm… Let’s go Knicks?

    I expect RJ to have one of his “this isn’t MSG” shooting night…

    Okay I was wrong…

  6. The “we’re actually just the best three point defending team of all time” take is not aging well

  7. As a member of Team Optimist, I’ll take the L on entertaining the thought of this team outperforming expectations this year.

    Really do hope they find a way out of these current doldrums.

  8. I really can’t figure what’s happening to this team.
    They’ve gone from “no surrender” to “down 20 in the first and lifeless” in two games…
    And I’m not talking about missing shots…
    Hard to understand.

  9. This is a disaster. I’m pro-tank and don’t mind losing, because it’ll give us a good pick, but this is not losing… this is way worst. And like this we’re not developing the young players.

  10. Knicks have terrible demeanor. Quickly AND 1 and not a Knick on sight to help him up … little clues …

  11. 10 games into the season and nobody on the coaching staff has informed randle that he sucks at bringing the ball up the court…

  12. Is Randle a point guard? Just askin’

    No, he certainly isn’t. But neither is anyone else on the roster not named Elfrid Payton.

  13. I don’t believe in nonsense box score stats like “points scored”, by my eye test we’re down twenty

  14. its baffling…i thought quickely’s claim to fame was his shooting…yet…they don’t seem to look for him beyond the arc…

  15. Ok so maybe I exaggerated their demise a bit. Happy they’re fighting thru adversity.

    Please dont allow a 10-0 run now. Pls…

  16. Knox might be able to carve out a career if he sticks to being a stretch four, that’s quite a far cry from what we were fed when he was drafted but is better than nothing

  17. Max:
    All Barrett’s misses from three were open shots, it’s really hard to watch.

    yeah…his confidence is in the shitter…

  18. IQ went from passing the three to shooting from another country…

    Airball from three by Barrett, unwatchable…

  19. RJ is really disheartening, he looks in a bad, bad funk…

    Terrible turnover by Randle.

    Hayward is killing us…

  20. So, 10-2 in turnovers, 12-5 on fouls, Hayward with 28 at the half… and we’re down only by 7?

    I’m tempted to say that we’ll win this game :-)

    Non-Knox Knicks are 1-13 from three…

  21. That play by Mitch on the break is what I want to see in the half court- one dribble and attack the basket. Forget threes (for now). He’s too explosive not to see if he can put the ball on the deck just a little.

  22. Max: Non-Knox Knicks are 1-13 from three…

    So right around their career average?

  23. DRed:
    If anyone besides Knox could make a fucking open 3 we’d probably be winning

    Knox is 5-8 and the rest of the team is 1-13 with Barrett having 4 of those misses. Also, Barrett’s 7-8 against Indy and 2-37 against the rest of the league.

    At least we have a normal distribution of minutes this game. 8 players have played 10+ minutes and no one’s on pace for like a 40 minute game.

  24. How did Thibs said it?
    If it’s a good look you have to take it?
    I doubt he’ll be loyal to this principle for long…

  25. We got a lot better when CHA started to miss the 3 pointers, because we’re used to it, that’s how we practice! :P

  26. Barrett needs a greek strong frappe coffee right now and no more 3s for him during January. Only drives.

  27. Interesting piece by Pelton on ESPN+ about this year unpredictability.

    Meanwhile the 7-3 Suns with their full lineup are losing by 26 with the Westbrook-less Wizards… do you think they’re missing all those triple doubles?

  28. I’m generally down on RJ, but this is getting ridiculous with the missed 3s

  29. I was half serious when I said other teams should go all zone against us, but when you have 5 guys in your starting lineup who can’t hit 3’s, why wouldn’t you just pack the paint and let them fire up bricks?

  30. I gotta wonder if a game or 2 off wouldn’t benefit RJ, he’s leading the league in minutes and could probably use a break mentally and physically

  31. Probably a good idea for Barrett to pass up open 3s in this game but not promising as a long-term solution

  32. Also, Thibs is a moron for playing RJ 33 minutes in yesterday’s blowout

  33. of course the missing sucks but rj has done an admirable job keeping the motor running and never outwardly sulking

  34. ***of course the missing sucks but rj has done an admirable job keeping the motor running and never outwardly sulking***

    This is the low bar set by trump supporters, minus the outwardly sulking part.

  35. rj’s been pretty soft the last few games… there’s been some grumblings that rj isn’t athletic but he def hasn’t had much burst than usual… lot of short layups… blocked shots.. stripped balls than usual… and more importantly not getting to the line….

    not sure if he’s tired but he’s def in some sort of funk….

  36. rj’s been pretty soft the last few games… there’s been some grumblings that rj isn’t athletic but he def hasn’t had much burst than usual… lot of short layups… blocked shots.. stripped balls than usual… and more importantly not getting to the line….

    not sure if he’s tired but he’s def in some sort of funk….

    I know there’s a contingent here that is oddly defensive about Tom Thibodeau’s minutes distribution, and to be clear I don’t know nearly enough to confidently infer anything causal, but I am inclined to think there’s a reason other coaches do not do this!

  37. Last year RJ got blocked about 8.3% of the time (60/727), prior to tonight he’s at 9.8% this year.

  38. I think we have an on court leadership problem. When the team isn’t making shots … there is nothing to get them out of a hole

  39. Just managed to tune into the game. Judging by the box score we have a rare hot Knox game but everyone else is mostly trash?

  40. Also Gordon Hayward is a coward that can only play well in small markets. He’s already dropped 30+ on us so not afraid of the ramifications of that statement.

  41. dtrickey:
    Just managed to tune into the game. Judging by the box score we have a rare hot Knox game but everyone else is mostly trash?

    Yep, that’s pretty much it.

  42. Knox finally made an unassisted basket!!!!

    First of the year!!

  43. dtrickey:
    Just managed to tune into the game. Judging by the box score we have a rare hot Knox game but everyone else is mostly trash?

    I mean Mitch & I missed Noel’s minutes, but it looks like it’s his best game since his “ankle injury”

  44. Everything LaMelo does seems effortless and nonchalant…

    The open spacing in the NBA suits him. in the NBL everything below the 3pt line can get packed which meant he fired up way more long range attempts

  45. lamelo’s lack of finishing ability is going to hold him back like his brother…. the shots falling for him elsewhere which is sort of masking that…

  46. dtrickey: The open spacing in the NBA suits him.

    This is absurd, in all 11 games I’ve watched this year only one team has ever had spacing. Extrapolating, only 50% of NBA teams have spacing.

    Also, 50% of teams play a significant amount of zone and 50% of teams are the NY Knicks.

  47. This team has morphed back to a pumpkin in less than a week.
    Bad defense, bad body language, no energy.
    We know from the start it’ll be a bad team, but it’s like a switch went off on the effort level.

  48. They’re dead tired and half the team’s injured because they’re being overworked by a psychopath.

  49. It would be the Knicksiest thing in the world if the season got canceled before we could lose enough games to take our deserved spot in the bottom three of the lottery

  50. We’re 5-1 when we score at least 90 points and 0-5 when we score under 90. I think that means that scoring more points is better than scoring fewer points.

  51. It’s hard to maintain a high effort level when you’re constantly missing shots. It’s deflating for any team when they struggle to score as badly as the Knicks are doing, it wasn’t a coincidence during that spurt in the 1st half when Knox hit a few 3pters the team’s energy and defensive intensity picked up. Similar to the comebacks vs Utah and Atlanta, the team got hot from the field and it raised their intensity especially on defense.

    You can only maintain a high energy for so long until the missed shots just make them say fuck it not worth spending all this energy on defense when we’re not gonna score anyway.

  52. vincoug:
    We’re 5-1 when we score at least 90 points and 0-5 when we score under 90.

    It’s 2021, how’s sad to have nearly half of our games under 90 points?

  53. Maybe we’re due for a lineup shakeup?

    As the original member of the Quickley Stans, I’ll take the L today. To be fair, i think the whole team needs to make some adjustments bc i think the scouting reports has caught up to us.

  54. The Knicks just desperately, desperately, desperately need a point guard who can shoot from the outside and effectively operate and distribute from the pick-and-roll. That has the double benefit of taking the ball out of Randle’s hands as an initiator.

  55. They need Burks back ASAP, missing Bullock doesn’t help either because he is someone you have to at least respect from the 3pt line. Hell as much as I shit on Frank he’s a decent 3pt shooter at least and he’s out as well.

    We expected this team to be the worst 3pt shooting in the NBA and it’s bearing out, it’s made it worse with Burks out.

  56. It’s almost beyond belief that they’re still essentially running Fizdale’s offense. Actually, scratch the “almost.” It is beyond belief.

  57. The 2018-19 tanktastic Knicks had a higher ORat than this year’s team going into tonight and the spread is going to grow after tonight. Last year’s team’s ORat was over 2 points/100 possessions better than this year’s.

  58. They need to stay after games and put 100$ each in the middle. Whoever shoots better out of 100 3s gets the money. I can’t think of a better solution…

  59. Agree on how Burks and Frank absence has affected the rotations (even Toppin and Bullock probably) because we had few shooters to begin with.

    I don’t give a fuck about Barrett’s 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
    These are his last 4 games: 4-14, 7-21, 4-13, 5-18 (combined 1-16 3PFG, 7-15 FT).
    As of now he’s had 3 good games, one C- one and 7 stinkers.

    Like I said it’s 2021, if you’re a wing and couldn’t find a way to score you’re useless.

    And he was the primary defender on Hayward for most of the first half.

  60. In 11 games, RJ has now 7 games with FG% below 40%, and 9 games with 3P% at 20% or worst. I read djphan’s posts very carefully, to get more optimistic about RJ, but i don’t think a star player ever put up such awful numbers.

  61. The only “positive” i can think of is that ALL players suck hard during the last games so there’s a chance that they ALL turn it around when Thibs starts adjusting his rotations/minutes per player.

  62. Knew Your Nicks:
    The only “positive” i can think of is that ALL players suck hard during the last games so there’s a chance that they ALL turn it around when Thibs starts adjusting his rotations/minutes per player.

    Most our players just suck in general. This is just what it looks like when we aren’t shooting 70% from 3.

    We desperately need Burks, not because he’s phenomenal but because he can shoot 3s efficiently and on high volume. It’s a skill the rest of the team appears to completely and utterly lack.

  63. But on the plus side, we are skyrocketing up draft projections! We’re at #10 now, which should be Moses Moody range. I’m sure we’ll keep rising though.

  64. #Most our players just suck in general. This is just what it looks like when we aren’t shooting 70% from 3.#

    The recent games against Ind,Utah,Atl tell a very different story. And our 3s% on these three wasn’t exactly stellar!

  65. If Hayward is what’s needed to win this game, then i feel just fine to have lost it

    perfect perspective…

    by the time i got in the house there were only a few minutes left, don’t feel very compelled to do anything but delete the recording…

    win a few, lose a few – we’re .500…hoping wednesday’s game is competitive – and we win…at my own peril, i anticipate investing myself emotionally in that game…

    don’t do me wrong knicks :)

    on to more interesting stuff, remember when alabama would barely score 20 points and would still dominate everyone…

    wtf has happened in college football – is it the new tackling protocols from the concern for head injuries and catastrophic knee injuries to quarterbacks?

    is more scoring necessarily more entertaining…is scoring going up in hockey, rugby, soccer, cricket…

    sign o’ the times maybe…

    give me more
    give me more
    give me more

  66. @vincoug
    I won’t lie
    I like space rock
    And RJ’s shots are the closest to UFO’s I’ve seen in this league!

  67. Knew Your Nicks: And RJ’s shots are the closest to UFO’s I’ve seen in this league!

    LOL, that’s the truth. It’s crazy how much worse he is shooting the ball this year. It’s not just that he’s at a worse percentage he’s not even close on most of his shots.

  68. looking at the box score now…looks like elf, mitch, nerlens and kevin played okay…

    austin rivers played 38, that’s one way to work on game conditioning i guess…

    no run for iggy or dsj…oh well,,,

    did kevin play mostly at the 4?

    i almost wanna watch the game to see how lamelo played…almost…

  69. I know we’re all supposed to be all gaga over LaMelo, but his moves to the basket are kind of Kevin Knox like. Plus the Ball family fugly jump shot.

    He’s got other things going for him obviously, but I’m not convinced he’s going to be much better than his bro.

  70. #LOL, that’s the truth. It’s crazy how much worse he is shooting the ball this year. It’s not just that he’s at a worse percentage he’s not even close on most of his shots.#

    Every time RJ, Elf and Julius are open for seconds that seem hours on the 3p line and they are “doomed” to shoot their damn 3p I revaluate my relationship with religion.
    I’m thinking of giving one more chance to Orthodox Christianity!

  71. BigBlueAL
    It’s hard to maintain a high effort level when you’re constantly missing shots. It’s deflating for any team when they struggle to score as badly as the Knicks are doing, it wasn’t a coincidence during that spurt in the 1st half when Knox hit a few 3pters the team’s energy and defensive intensity picked up. Similar to the comebacks vs Utah and Atlanta, the team got hot from the field and it raised their intensity especially on defense.

    You can only maintain a high energy for so long until the missed shots just make them say fuck it not worth spending all this energy on defense when we’re not gonna score anyway.

    that’s definitely how they’ve looked at times…

    the bad news is it’s going to get harder and harder to get to the rim…the “good” news is we’ll probably get a lot of wide open shots from 15′ or more away from the basket…

  72. Maybe wait before we lump Frank in with the shooters- he shot .321 last year and he’s taken all of 9 so far this year. It really does suck that he’s got the perfect opportunity right now- especially if there is real progress from 3- and he’s hurt. Once Burks is back it’s going to be really tough for him to get any burn at the two. Here’s what I’m looking for for the rest of the season:

    1. Can RJ turn it around and at least get to a .500 TS. That wouldn’t have made me happy a month ago but whatever. Don’t care about the threes but really need to see him shoot .600 at the rim. Really I just want to find any spot on the floor where he’s at least average.

    2. Knox to finish 40%+ from three on good volume. It’d be nice if he could add something else, an uptick in boards or assists, something. But a 40% decent volume shooter is always going to be useful and being useful would be a giant victory for him.

    3. As long as Quickley ends the season looking like he belongs in the league I’m fine.

    4. Mitch to just keep doing what he’s doing- he’s a monster on defense. I’d really love to see him put the ball on the floor from 12-15 where he’ll be at the rim in one dribble. He’s so quick he’s going to either score or get fouled a lot. Of course he’ll probably turn it over a lot too but I’ll take a few turnovers to raise his usage. And if he CAN do that, even without a jumper he becomes a real piece to build around. He’s their best piece no to be sure but if he can get his usage to 18-20 without sacrificing too much in way of TS then he’s a two guy on a good team with potential for more.

    5. Randle can either stay at this level (doubtful) or play much worse (maybe). My worry is that he tails off to better than last year but still not very good and we resign him anyway thinking he might get back to where is now. And where is now almost certainly gets his option picked up ( though please not extended no matter what) or gets traded for value.

  73. well when we lose… what cheers me up is the draft.. here’s my board with conf games underway:

    1. Cade Cunningham – Suggs probably deserves to be #1 at this point with how he’s played but cade is performing well too.. in the open floor you see a lot of what people are excited about… the burst… the creativity.. the ability to finish in traffic… in the halfcourt it’s not that but he’s either completing iso’ing or playing in the post which in the pro’s he’s going to have a more functional offense to play in… some concern but not enough yet.. shooting is better than advertised tho…

    2. Jalen Suggs – he’s absolutely obliterating the comp and with conf schedules he’s just going to continue… he might be #1 by the end but the ft shooting is what is holding him back for now… 67% is ok but to justify picking a pg over cade they have to be pretty perfect… suggs is prob there but the shooting is a blemish that keeps him behind on my board for now…

    3. Evan Mobley – mobley is every bit as good as the other two…. a little less assertiveness… he had a game where he attempted 0 shots recently…. but that aside.. he’s got basically the whole package… he’s skinny but not soft…. he reminds me of garnett in a way but probably more on the bosh side.. probably in between… that’s really good..

    4/5 – Jalen Green/ Jonathan Kuminga – and we’re back to the era of dissecting grainy zupreder footage in empty gyms only these guys are playing stateside.. they will remain mysteries because there’s just not much to evaluate against the comp they are facing.. they do look good tho and they will be playing in the gleague bubble in orlando soon… this top 5 looks pretty locked in as i don’t think anything in the bubble will sway teams to move either down or someone else up.. this is as good a top 5 we’ve had in ages…

  74. 6. James Bouknight – some folks are starting to notice how good this guy is and i’m pretty sure he will be consensus lotto by season’s end… absolutely electric scorer with the ability to adjust quickly to oncoming defenders which helps him finish in a variety of ways…. great athleticism if in a slight build… reminds me a bit of beal… the shot isn’t as dangerous but it can absolutely develop into that…

    7. Jalen Johnson – he’s hurt but will be back soon.. shooting will remain a huge question mark but there’s enough here to see a good to great player…

    8. Keon Johnson – the swiss army knife of the draft and is part of the contingent with johnson and barnes of ‘if this guy could shoot watch out’…. basically gives you what iguodala does… the shot seems redeemable but the athleticism.. the defense… the playmaking … it’s here and he should have a long career because of it…

    9. Moses Moody – this guy doesn’t have a problem shooting… he does have other issues namely athleticism and dribble drive but i could see a bit of klay thompson with him…. he’s better than he was in college at least and he’s not just a 3pt specialist either… haven’t seen a pure sg in the draft in awhile and he’s one of the better ones we’ve had recently.. yes better than booker..

    10. Josh Christopher – has really come on strong and he should probably end up in the late lotto…. christopher is less reliant on his jumper… has a much better dribble drive game but essentially similar to moody.. and the numbers bear that out… he’s got some craftiness and awareness to him that he’s a bit like the last ASU guard to make it big .. james harden… def not in his class but there’s potential for a big time scorer..

    this draft is pretty deep also but the real prize though is getting into the top 5… pref top 3.. the talent here is franchise altering… and we don’t have to tank but i would absolutely not feel bad about losses this year…

  75. Thanks for the ranking Djphan!

    After Frank, Knox, Barrett and Toppin I want our next pick to do just one thing: shoot well.
    No projections, no tools, no physical speciman, no coachability, no defensive attitude.

    Shoot. The. Damn. Ball. Well.

    That’s all I ask for our next lottery pick.

    Is Moses Moody the best shooter in the draft?
    (with our luck we’re going to draft between 7th and 9th, so he could be in the conversation)

  76. No one expected us to be good this season, but 3 straight blowout losses? Something is amiss. It can’t be injury because Ntilikina, Burks, and Toppin(to some degree) aren’t THAT good. We do need Burks back badly though. I didn’t get a chance to watch the game..I was beat so I crashed super early. I am anxious to see what adjustments Thibs makes, however.

  77. That would probably be my exact 1-10 at the moment too djphan, even if the order might be slightly different. Some other names to keep your eye on:

    -Jaden Springer: this dude takes it strong to the rim and finishes more often than not. The sample size on his jump shot is too small to say much right now, and the sample size in general is small because Tennessee is doing weird things with his minutes, but the early returns are pretty good. His assist numbers aren’t great for a point guard, but I’ve seen him make some pretty advanced reads so I think that might have something to do with Tennessee’s system. I also think he profiles just fine even if you assume he’s more of a combo type.

    Terrence Shannon Jr.: has the size and strength to be a 4 in certain lineups (I really like his screening) but is a good enough ball handler and shooter for his full-time position to be on the wing. His jump shot is a bit weird looking but very hard to argue with the results (over 80% from the free throw line on tons of attempts through his two seasons and shooting 11/28 from 3 this year). Combine that with his strong dribble drive game and I bet he plays himself into the lottery.

    -Scottie Barnes: a frustrating prospect in that there’s almost nothing to say other than “why can’t you just learn to shoot the god damn basketball?” Everything else is there. It would be hard for me to argue with anyone who says this archetype is a non-stater for us right now.

  78. Didn’t realize Nickeil Alexander-Walker is cousins with SGA! :O
    I was at BBR torturing myself again with the “what if” we had opted for Clarke+NAW instead of RJ and noticed it. Just sharing in case any of you was still unaware of it.

  79. Hey guys, as a distraction from both this ugly losing streak and [gestures at the world at large], allow me to plug my stupid new podcast, which launched today: Too Long; Didn’t Watch, where in each episode, a celebrity guest and I pick a show they’ve never seen before, and we watch the very first episode and the very last, and they have to figure out what the hell happened in between. Today we have both Alison Brie watching Game of Thrones and Jon Hamm watching Gossip Girl. If you’re interested, it’s on all major podcast platforms.

  80. I only saw parts of the game, but it looked like Charlotte was playing excellent defense at times, I saw quite a few possessions where the Knicks moved the ball great, but Charlotte kept closing out and taking away any good shot. The Knicks couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean, but I think some credit goes to Charlotte.

    I’m looking forward to having a healthy team for a few games. It’s hard to win with a bad team, but it’s close to impossible when some of you best shooters/players are out.

  81. Alan that’s a great premise for a podcast and I’m excited to give it a listen, thanks for the heads up and congratulations on the launch!

  82. Alan:
    Hey guys, as a distraction from both this ugly losing streak and [gestures at the world at large], allow me to plug my stupid new podcast, which launched today: Too Long; Didn’t Watch, where in each episode, a celebrity guest and I pick a show they’ve never seen before, and we watch the very first episode and the very last, and they have to figure out what the hell happened in between. Today we have both Alison Brie watching Game of Thrones and Jon Hamm watching Gossip Girl. If you’re interested, it’s on all major podcast platforms.

    The first and last episodes of GoT? That must be super funny… i have to watch it! ;)

  83. It’s hard to maintain a high effort level when you’re constantly missing shots.

    I think it’s hard to maintain a consistently high effort level for an entire game PERIOD. Other than in the playoffs, most teams kind of rate themselves. Their intensity level rises and falls depending on the game situation. It rises to it’s highest level in the 4th quarter assuming the game is still close. The Knicks are trying to win games by being in better shape and outworking teams on both sides of the ball to make up for the talent differential. That was working a bit, but between being short handed and some of the minutes distributions due to those injuries, I think they are getting gassed at the exact same time as other teams are working themselves into better shape.

  84. So we’ve apparently reached the point in the season where a journeyman deus ex machina is going to come in and save the day and whose absence explains much of the bad.

    The role of Elfrid Payton, floor general, appears have passed this year to Alec Burks.

  85. Is Moses Moody the best shooter in the draft?

    yes.. i mean he’s known for his shooting but it’s more catch and shoot variety instead of the steph curry shoot anywhere anytime variety… but it’s a great looking shot with a quick and high release…

    Terrence Shannon Jr.: has the size and strength to be a 4 in certain lineups (I really like his screening) but is a good enough ball handler and shooter for his full-time position to be on the wing

    i had almost forgot about him.. he had a slow start and i lost track of him thanks for reminding me…. these texas tech g/f have almost had carbon copy freshman year’s and at least with culver and shannon had standout sophmore years… albeit in different ways … just found that pattern interesting.. shannon should solidly be in the first round…

    and the whole first round just has a lot of great guys… jared butler… david johnson… greg brown… we’ll def have an opportunity at two really good players….

  86. Deeefense: The Knicks are trying to win games by being in better shape and outworking teams on both sides of the ball to make up for the talent differential. That was working a bit,

    That never works in the NBA or really any other major professional sport in North America, other than in the very shortest of terms. With the injuries and the obvious heavy legs, Thibodeau has pretty much already run the Knicks into the ground. He’s somehow, someway managed to take all the stuff people said about Noah/Rose/Deng and gotten worse.

  87. Knicks net rating is down to -5.5, 27th in the league. They’re right back down with the dregs of the association — Sacto, Timberwolves ex-KAT, Pistons. ORat is 29th, over 3 per 100 worse than last year; 1.2/100 worse than the Hezonja/Kanter/Mudiay/rookie Knox year.

  88. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    So we’ve apparently reached the point in the season where a journeyman deus ex machina is going to come in and save the day and whose absence explains much of the bad.

    The role of Elfrid Payton, floor general, appears have passed this year to Alec Burks.

    Thibodeau has pretty much already run the Knicks into the ground. He’s somehow, someway managed to take all the stuff people said about Noah/Rose/Deng and gotten worse.

    It’s not just Burks. It’s that Burks, Toppin, Frank, Noel, Quickley, Rivers, and Bullock have all missed games (some of them quite a few). Guys like Burks and Bullock were brought here specifically because no one on the team can shoot. So not only are we missing our shooters, the team is kind of gassed from playing shorthanded.

    It’s not like we are suddenly going to be good because some mediocre players will be back, but in aggregate they will add fresh legs off the bench, help a little with shooting, and reduce the minutes of the starters a bit which will freshen them up. The Knick were on a back to back, short handed the previous night, short headed last night, and on the road. It’s no surprise they got blown out.

    IF we get healthy I think the minutes will settle down and we’ll play to out potential. That may not be so great anyway, but it will be better than what all the injuries are causing.

  89. Reggie Bullock has a true shooting percentage of .477 and his TS last year was .502. He is not a shooter. At this point, he probably isn’t even an NBA player and the Knicks shouldn’t waste another second on him.

    Bobby Portis, OTOH, has a .634 TS% for one of the best teams in basketball. He IS an NBA player. He should have been first on the merc run-it-back list. (And this isn’t just Monday Morning QBing; I said it at the beginning of the season.)

  90. Overall we’re now down to 27th in Net Rating after last night (25th in SRS with the hard schedule), 29th in offense and 12th in defense, Pythagorean record of 4-7. As much as its tempting to build some narrative out of the hot start and now the losing streak, on aggregate this team is just about where we expected, with Thibs and some flukily poor opponent 3 point shooting having us punching a bit above our heads on defense. The crazily high variance that has characterized the whole league this season means the record is a bit better than we might have picked but 27th overall (ahead of Detroit, Sac and Minny) feels just about right.

    As for last night’s game I’ve been as down on Randle as anyone in terms of his overall value but last night was a good example of how badly this specific team needs him to do his point forward schtick. When he doesn’t have it going there’s just no organizing principle for this offense. Charlotte was impressive on D (as they have been overall this year) but there’s just nobody here who can make any plays at all, and in the brief moments where they do create some openings there’s nobody who can hit a shot either. In the first half Knox being red hot (and I’m feeling good about staying relatively bullish on him the last couple years) kept us afloat but outside of that brief spurt this was as ugly a game as you’ll ever see from an NBA offense.

  91. When he doesn’t have it going there’s just no organizing principle for this offense.

    Primarily because they’re being coached by a Neanderthal. We may as well face facts on that front.

  92. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Reggie Bullock has a true shooting percentage of .477 and his TS last year was .502.He is not a shooter.At this point, he probably isn’t even an NBA player and the Knicks shouldn’t waste another second on him.

    Bobby Portis, OTOH, has a .634 TS% for one of the best teams in basketball.He IS an NBA player.He should have been first on the merc run-it-back list.(And this isn’t just Monday Morning QBing; I said it at the beginning of the season.)

    Bullock has been inconsistent from 3 the last 2 years (which is what we need for better spacing). I’ve questioned whether he’s the same player as before the injury. I don’t know, but when he’s right he shoots the 3 well.

    I had no problem with Portis last year other than the salary. I actually thought he was good fit as a stretch forward that could play some C. It’s not so much that I think he’s good, but he’s definitely OK off the bench at the right price. Toppin is supposed to be filling that stretch PF role off the bench, but it’s way too soon to know what to think of him. He’s hasn’t played.

  93. At this point, I’d probably back up the truck to get Bradley Beal. Not a perfect solution, but the Knicks simply have to do something to get some kind of traction and some kind of momentum. They’re going nowhere. Certainly RJ and Toppin would both be available as part of the package; they aren’t even close to untouchable. No one is, in my book.

  94. Too much panic here today.

    We’ll be fine once everyone gets healthy. We won’t be good, but it won’t be as ugly as the last 2 nights and we’ll slowly improve the young players.

    When Frank comes back though, all bets are off. When he starts locking down the opposition’s best guard and blasting 3s at 40% it’s party time. ;-)

  95. E, two-way G-Leaguer: Primarily because they’re being coached by a Neanderthal.We may as well face facts on that front.

    I’m not fan of Thibs and was one of the people against the hire but I think to be fair you have to acknowledge all the mitigating factors here. The level of offensive talent is dismal even when everyone’s healthy, they’re currently missing some of the guys who are supposed to supply the shooting element, there’s nothing resembling a conventional lead guard, short training camp, lot of young players. Thibs’ teams have for the most part played to their talent level on offense (which is no great endorsement but obviously you don’t hire him for offense) and this team is doing that as well. Trying to make this a story that’s primarily about the coach just seems like axe grinding to me.

  96. Max:
    Thanks for the ranking Djphan!

    After Frank, Knox, Barrett and Toppin I want our next pick to do just one thing: shoot well.
    No projections, no tools, no physical speciman, no coachability, no defensive attitude.

    Shoot. The. Damn. Ball. Well.

    That’s all I ask for our next lottery pick.

    Is Moses Moody the best shooter in the draft?
    (with our luck we’re going to draft between 7th and 9th, so he could be in the conversation)

    I just want a high floor prospect which is one of the reasons I wanted to draft Haliburton this year.

    Deeefense:
    I only saw parts of the game, but it looked like Charlotte was playing excellent defense at times, I saw quite a few possessions where the Knicks moved the ball great, but Charlotte kept closing out and taking away any good shot.The Knicks couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean, but I think some credit goes to Charlotte.

    I’m looking forward to having a healthy team for a few games. It’s hard to win with a bad team, but it’s close to impossible when some of you best shooters/players are out.

    I wouldn’t call Charlotte’s defense last night great. They did the same thing the last few teams have done and played a basic zone that we can’t break because we can’t shoot.

  97. Deeefense:
    You know who this team could use right now?Alonzo Trier.#nevermind

    How about Hali??? Observing, the lack of an effective point guard and its negative impact on the team makes the failure to draft him pretty egregious.

  98. I think the only fair grievance with Thibs right now is the minutes allocation, but it’s very fair. It boggles my mind that there were people denying this was a problem despite heaps of evidence from his Chicago and Minnesota days. There is simply no reason whatsoever to be playing Barrett and Randle this much. Even if you don’t think they’re accumulating fatigue, it’s just more potential time they could be getting injured.

    Being dead last in 3PA is definitely a bad look but I can’t honestly say who should be shooting them more other than Quickley, and that seems to be a Quickley thing not a coaching thing. The guys who can shoot seem to do so pretty freely. This is the price you pay for trotting out a starting lineup in which 80% of players can’t shoot. Hopefully the number trends upwards with Burks’ return.

    I just want a high floor prospect which is one of the reasons I wanted to draft Haliburton this year.

    Moody is extremely tempting to me anywhere from 3 on. Not only is he probably the best shooter in the draft, but he’s a legitimate 3-level scorer generally. He’s a creative finisher, if not the most explosive one in the world.

    You know who this team could use right now? Alonzo Trier. #nevermind

    Correct.

  99. Meanwhile Kyrie Irving is attending large, mask free, indoor parties as he remains indefinitely out for the Nets due to “personal reasons.”

    The Nets may well wind up winning a championship or two or three, but it’s a little hard to imagine that a Knicks partnership with this dude would’ve ended well.

  100. Being dead last in 3PA is definitely a bad look but I can’t honestly say who should be shooting them more other than Quickley, and that seems to be a Quickley thing not a coaching thing. The guys who can shoot seem to do so pretty freely. This is the price you pay for trotting out a starting lineup in which 80% of players can’t shoot. Hopefully the number trends upwards with Burks’ return.

    This is where I’m at. I’m not a fan of what they’re doing stylistically (29th in pace also grates) but it’s hard for me to argue that it’s primarily on Thibs as opposed to primarily a personnel limitation. And there has rarely been a season that has been less conducive to a coach shaping his team into what he wants it to be. I’d love to see what Kenny Attkinson would be doing with this team but I can’t be too hard on Thibs.

    The minutes thing though is undeniably insane. There’s a lot of season left (we hope); Thibs having the starters in the game coming out of a timeout down 20 points with 2 minutes left on the second night of a back to back was one of the more ridiculous coaching choices I can remember (and we’ve had some doozys here the last 20 years). With Randle at least he’s undeniably providing something to the team that they can’t get anywhere else and it’s hard to argue that it isn’t working so far at least given how productive he has been. RJ isn’t even playing well and Thibs is riding him into the ground.

  101. Bobby Portis is shooting well above his career averages from basically everywhere, he’s having a hot streak for a much better team. The Knicks wouldn’t be particularly better or worse if we brought him back. We need to get some bodies back and give the offense a bit more time to see what sort of bad team we’re going to be. I still think there’s a decent change we do better than projected, but at the same time this team still has a glaring lack of high end talent. We have one good player. There’s not a guard or a wing on this team I’d be comfortable betting on to make 50%+ of their 2 point shots

  102. Bo Nateman: Observing, the lack of an effective point guard and its negative impact on the team makes the failure to draft him pretty egregious.

    He has 9 turnovers in 257 minutes so far. I am fucking livid.

  103. the one thing that we should be doing more of is running low pnr with rj/mitch on the right side so rj is starting downhill to his left and spacing the 3 hard, even if two of our fauxspacers are randle and payton, but especially if payton is sitting. we had a few stints in the preseason where this was a staple and have all but stopped calling it despite the fact that rj has shown himself to be a terrible off ball option at the moment. this is good for rj, good for mitch and at least neutral for the team, probably better than that. mitch is averaging less than 2 rolls-receipts per game at 1.4X ppp. before you drop your nba truth bomb that teams are collapsing on mitch go sit on the wrong side of the equilibrium saying shit you think is obvious but is wrong to someone else, like maybe an nfl assistant coach party in 2005. if we are going to play rj 400 minutes a game we may as well play to his strengths a little.

  104. Yeah, I basically open the box score every morning after a Kings game, scroll down a little bit, and the pull out my cilice and put it on for the rest of the day.

    I can’t kill them for not taking him but I absolutely will for the rest of his career.

    And yeah, Mitch should be getting force fed. I don’t understand it. I never have.

  105. DRed: There’s not a guard or a wing on this team I’d be comfortable betting on to make 50%+ of their 2 point shots

    I’d actively bet against it in sums that are not small. Payton probably has the best shot and that’s all you need to know.

  106. the one thing that we should be doing more of is running low pnr with rj/mitch on the right side so rj is starting downhill to his left and spacing the 3 hard, even if two of our fauxspacers are randle and payton, but especially if payton is sitting. we had a few stints in the preseason where this was a staple and have all but stopped calling it despite the fact that rj has shown himself to be a terrible off ball option at the moment. this is good for rj, good for mitch and at least neutral for the team, probably better than that. mitch is averaging less than 2 rolls-receipts per game at 1.4X ppp. before you drop your nba truth bomb that teams are collapsing on mitch go sit on the wrong side of the equilibrium saying shit you think is obvious but is wrong to someone else, like maybe an nfl assistant coach party in 2005. if we are going to play rj 400 minutes a game we may as well play to his strengths a little.

    This (I think). Yes Thibs is playing is starters crazy minutes long after games are decided. I’m trying to cut him some slack because everyone else is out, but it’s not a good look. But I do feel the offense is so intensely stagnant because coaching. Sure we can’t shoot and the zone is killing us. But our “solution” is to pass back and forth repeatedly up at the logo and then drive into traffic as the shot clock winds down. THAT’S playing to the other team’s strength. Some creative play calling is needed, and I’m a bit surprised with all the talent on the bench right now (staff-wise, not players!) people aren’t coming up with a few alternative options.

  107. Bo Nateman: How about Hali??? Observing, the lack of an effective point guard and its negative impact on the team makes the failure to draft him pretty egregious.

    Don’t get me wrong, Haliburton looks awesome so far, but it’s worth saying that there were questions in the draft about whether he’s really a PG and he’s not really playing as a pure lead guard so far. Of his 258 minutes so far he has shared 124 with Fox and 144 with Cory Joseph. He’s playing with another PG a huge portion of the time (sometimes with two other PGs). I think we missed a really good player, but I’m not sure he’d exactly solve our problem of needing someone to take the reins of the offense (he would help solve our problem of just needing more good players however).

  108. I think Thibs is doing a great job. The only thing that I worry about is if the huge minutes results in injuries. Clearly, some players are capable, which elevates their value. The best ability is AVAILability, right? But big minutes also builds endurance.

    Bullock and Burks, two of our best 3pt threats, were out yesterday and Quickley has gone cold from 3. Without effective, across-the-board outside shooting, this club will struggle offensively.

    Kyrie is excruciatingly toxic. Nuf said about him.

  109. thenoblefacehumper:
    Meanwhile Kyrie Irving is attending large, mask free, indoor parties as he remains indefinitely out for the Nets due to “personal reasons.”

    The Nets may well wind up winning a championship or two or three, but it’s a little hard to imagine that a Knicks partnership with this dude would’ve ended well.

    Man, I am so glad we didn’t sign him. At the time I just didn’t want to root for a flat-earther but WTF is this?

  110. If Bullock can’t shoot it anymore, then this will be a long season. That said, 3p% fluctuates wildly and he might still bounce back.

  111. Bo Nateman: How about Hali??? Observing, the lack of an effective point guard and its negative impact on the team makes the failure to draft him pretty egregious.

    I was a Hali man. What can I tell you? Let’s pray Toppin is better than he looked in pre season.

  112. Its just crazy how quickly this team fell into disarray. I mean, these last 3 games have been UGLY. Its like the entire team can’t shoot a lick right now.

    I do think shooting can be mental and also that poor shooting can add up. So if you aren’t a good shooting team to begin with and then your bad shooters and slumping, it can effect your good shooters too. Guys like Bullock, Quickley and Rivers who are all various levels of decent 3 point shooters are probably being keyed in on more as Payton and RJ clank away. I mean, RJ is not a good shooter but what he’s going through right now is bad even for him.

    But I think its just hopefully the ups and downs of a not great team. We’ll probably come out in the next game or two and look amazing and win a few and everyone will think we’re great again.

    We need Burks and Toppin back badly. Burks especially.

    Man, I would have loved Hali. I wanted his shooting and even if he’s not a great penetrating traditional PG, his shooting, passing and overall bball IQ would have been nice for us. You can’t go wrong with that even if there are players available with higher upside potential.

  113. I just listened to the GOT episode. It was very entertaining to relive the finale through the eyes of someone new to the series, especially someone as entertaining and personable as Allison, though I still think it’ll be a while yet before I can stand to watch the show again myself.

  114. @Alan:
    Just listened to the GoT episode, and it was really funny. Alison’s predictions were amazing! :D
    I like the concept, but my 5 cents are that watching the first and last of a season would be better than a whole series (8 seasons is a lot to guess after just one episode). But maybe you would be in trouble with the writers if all your guests started to guess the final episode of the season having watched only the first one, so better keep it as you have it! ;)

    Oh, one more thing, it’s a shame you only came up with this idea with 11 games on the season, or else maybe i would have give it a long thought if it would be more peaceful for my Knicks fandom to apply it to the Knicks, watching the first and last games of the season and then trying to tell you guys what happened in between ( although that’s quite easy… more Knicks drama! :P )

  115. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I think I would quit following the Knicks if I had to rely on Kyrie for my winning

    I know you hated Dotson, and rightly so. The guy was probably a rapist creep based on what we know about that college incident. But Kyrie is a special kind of unbearable, isn’t he? Its the kind of person who flouts any rules because he’s coasted by his entire life never having to play by them. He and James Harden would make quite a tandem on a team together. KD deserves both of them.

  116. Kyrie is a loon and a weirdo but doesn’t seem to be a bad person. His peers seem to like him. KD left one of the best teams in the history of the NBA to play with him.

    When I think of “special kind of unbearable” my mind immediately goes to, you know, trying to kill elected officials and/or overthrow the government of the United States.

    A friend knew him at Duke and says he was a super nice guy.

  117. Owen:
    Kyrie is a loon and a weirdo but doesn’t seem to be a bad person.His peers seem to like him. KD left one of the best teams in the history of the NBA to play with him.

    When I think of “special kind of unbearable” my mind immediately goes to, you know, trying to kill elected officials and/or overthrow the government of the United States.

    A friend knew him at Duke and says he was a super nice guy.

    Yeah, I was never a fan of the guy but I find myself in the weirdest of positions having to sometimes kinda defend him because of this constant exaggeration. NBA fans like to praise psychos like Jordan and Kobe, won’t bat an eye when actual scum like Malik Beasley scores 20 points for their teams but Kyrie Irving being stupid is where they draw the line.

    I don’t want to root for him, I think what he’s done with the private partying now is mind-blowingly stupid and he should be called out for it, and also for the crazy flat earth business which is unacceptable, but that’s pretty much just what he is, a dumb kid who is crazily talented and has been able to enjoy the benefits of this. I just think the backlash he receives is very often disproportional.

  118. The guy was probably a rapist creep based on what we know about that college incident. But Kyrie is a special kind of unbearable, isn’t he? Its the kind of person who flouts any rules because he’s coasted by his entire life never having to play by them.

    Yes, and I didn’t feel like getting into a moral-framework argument today. But yes, there are tiers of “unlikable.” Kyrie’s is of the god-complex sort. He’s been a celebrity since he was a freshman in high school and became a multi-millionaire at 19. He’s the sort of guy who proclaimed at age 9 that he would be in the NBA, and it happened. I’ve probably said it before here, but there’s a lot of personal-growth value in being told “no.” Kyrie dominated high school basketball, was the top recruit to the best modern basketball NCAA program, played a dominant elimination game in which he was the only thing keeping Arizona from winning by 30, went #1 overall, immediately played like an all-star, became one at age 20, won a chip on a legendary Game 7 shot before he could legally rent a car, and will have earned about $225M in playing contracts around age 30 while making about $11M a year as the second-highest selling shoe salesman in the world’s best basketball league.

    Do you think anyone’s ever been real with him since he hit puberty? You think he’s ever been in the position where someone told him his ideas were laughable, and his use of the English language sounds like the most inane, medical-grade-cannabis-poisoned word salad this side of Dutchess County Community College’s Philosophy 101 cohort? I shudder to think what I would be if my life played out like a douchebag teenager’s wish-fulfillment fantasy screenplay.

    He’s not a rapist or a domestic abuser or a streetfighting douchebag. But he’s still his own brand of imminently unlikable.

  119. Mike Honcho: I still think it’ll be a while yet before I can stand to watch the show again myself.

    Have you watched Lindsay Ellis’s takedown of it? She’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but she is a talented video essayist and really sends it on her GOT analysis. Consider it a small investment (70m) that will help you never waste 60 hours on GOT again.

    She put into words what I was feeling, but couldn’t articulate: that the final season (or two) of GOT is so horrendous that it corrupts everything that comes before it. And I agree wholeheartedly on that. There is no point in sitting through Ned, Blackwater, Red Wedding, Oberin/Mountain, the siege of the Wall, Hold the Door, or any of the other incredible moments if what it leads to is this heaping pile of dogshit at the end. It’s a betrayal of the audience unlike anything I’ve seen, and the saddest part is that it didn’t have to be that way. GRRM could have sat his ass in a chair and written a book. He could have hired co-writers to help him advance his ideas. HBO could have hired new showrunners when it became clear that D&D were no longer invested in producing it. The actors and other key production staff could have said, “Excuse me, what the fuck?” when they received the scripts.

    To use a sports metaphor, I know some Atlanta Falcons fans who said that they would rather have missed the playoffs altogether than to lose the way they did in the Super Bowl. That’s how I feel about GOT.

  120. Another thing about Kyrie is that if he felt like he needed a break he’s just about due for another random injury that keeps him out for month. Probably would have been worth waiting to avoid the possibility of losing some paychecks.

  121. Unbearable (and uneducated) is probably the best way to describe Kyrie. I can’t stand him but it’s not in the same way I can’t stand people who commit heinous acts against other people.

    Bruno Almeida: BA fans like to praise psychos like Jordan and Kobe, won’t bat an eye when actual scum like Malik Beasley scores 20 points for their teams

    I’m out of the loop on Beasley, what did he do? The only thing I see on wikipedia is that he cheated on his wife and has charges for possessing marijuana and stolen property. Cheating is shitty and the stolen property sucks but I wouldn’t consider either of them major issues.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Have you watched Lindsay Ellis’s takedown of it? She’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but she is a talented video essayist and really sends it on her GOT analysis. Consider it a small investment (70m) that will help you never waste 60 hours on GOT again.

    Love Lindsay Ellis’ work and her takedown of GOT was great even for someone like me who had given up on the show prior to the last season. Her book was a bit of a letdown though.

  122. He’s not a rapist or a domestic abuser or a streetfighting douchebag. But he’s still his own brand of imminently unlikable.

    Nah, he’s unlikable right now.

  123. My analysis of Kyrie is simpler.

    He’s an extremely talented ball stopper whose contribution to winning is overrated and in no way worth all the drama and injuries that come with him. Thank God he’s the Net’s problem and not ours.

    Kemba is not nearly as talented and unfortunately having chronic injuries of his own, but I think Boston is better off with him on their team. I said it then and I still think it despite the injuries. If they can make a trade for an upgrade or a healthier player they should do it, but Kemba is a good player.

  124. Have you watched Lindsay Ellis’s takedown of it?

    ha, that’s some funny shit…

    i wouldn’t step in to a room with lindsay and her funions and beer without complete mopp 4 gear, but, oh that is one funny, cynical lady…

  125. I checked out of GOT once the dragons were unleashed, because given their nuclear-bomb-equivalent offensive power, it didn’t make a single iota of sense that they wouldn’t have been unleashed way earlier. And the idea that weapons of that potency were put in the dungeon because of some sort of quasi-moral failing became preposterous in retrospect.

  126. vincoug: who had given up on the show prior to the last season

    It started going downhill in Season 5 but there were still excellent moments. When they sent by land a tiny delegation of uber-important people to sneak into a zombie horde to kidnap one as proof, instead of sending a redshirt on a fucking dragon (see: E’s dragon-ex-machina problem), I was like, “Okay, this is over.” I still had to see it through, and I wasn’t wrong.

  127. The Honorable Cock Jowles: It started going downhill in Season 5 but there were still excellent moments. When they sent by land a tiny delegation of uber-important people to sneak into a zombie horde to kidnap one as proof, instead of sending a redshirt on a fucking dragon (see: E’s dragon-ex-machina problem), I was like, “Okay, this is over.” I still had to see it through, and I wasn’t wrong.

    I forget what triggered me to give it up but based on everything I’ve ever heard about that last season I don’t regret it at all.

  128. GOT was such a shitshow in it’s later seasons. It was unforgivable having two of the most intelligent characters on the show (Varys and Tyrion) make extremely stupid choices in order to advance the plot. Zombie kidnapping scheme…. come on man!

  129. Owen:
    Kyrie is a loon and a weirdo but doesn’t seem to be a bad person.His peers seem to like him. KD left one of the best teams in the history of the NBA to play with him.

    I think your framing here partly underlines a problem with the way NBA superstar players are making professional decisions right now, mixing business with pleasure to compete at the highest athletic level with their best friends. I’ve had plenty of friends I could never work with in a professional environment because I knew what made them such a great people to hang around with is exactly the thing which would make them so frustrating to collaborate with under intense scrutiny and pressure. It’s the same reason why I stopped lending friends money, the dynamic of your relationship changes when the stakes get serious and people have to be held accountable.

  130. @Jowles I haven’t watched the Lindsay Ellis video but from your summation that pretty much amounts to my feelings on it. I tried watching the show again when the pandemic started, telling myself I’d just watch the first four seasons that were actually good, and I got like ten minutes into the first episode before just noping out. The last few seasons were just so egregiously bad and lazy that I can’t even bother to suspend my disbelief for the first episode of the show. It really is staggering for a show to reach the heights GOT did and then just completely crap the bed the last few seasons.

    And yeah the stupidity of the show’s plots and characters in later years is just grating. You can’t really make a show about a country consuming itself in pointless political machinations while rapidly approaching an existential abyss when the existential abyss gets dealt with in like one and a half episodes by random Ninja Ex Machina and all of the major players are complete idiots.

  131. I forget what triggered me to give it up

    after having read each book twice, listened to audio books, twice, and – watched every episode from season 1 thru season 5 – at least twice…

    yeah, wasn’t much chance of me not watching the final couple of seasons…

    lord knows i can barely recall the whole plot anymore – but, if and when winds of winter is available i’ll be one of the first to order a copy…

  132. Mike Honcho: And yeah the stupidity of the show’s plots and characters in later years is just grating. You can’t really make a show about a country consuming itself in pointless political machinations while rapidly approaching an existential abyss when the existential abyss gets dealt with in like one and a half episodes by random Ninja Ex Machina and all of the major players are complete idiots.

    I like the alternative endings written by YouTubers.

  133. Kyrie and Kemba (on the court) are pretty similar. Very good offensive guards who are not quite elite. Kemba seems easier to get along with, Kyrie is a bit better of a player (maybe because he’s bigger), but has availability issues. They peak out at like the 6th or 7th best PG in the league. Definitely good guys to have on your team. I can see what Boston tried to do, giving up a bit in talent to get more reliability, but it seems to have not worked out for them so far.

  134. Wasn’t Lindsay Ellis the one who rightly noted that the shift in the later GOT seasons from character driven to plot driven writing was what ruined the show? Because I think she’s the one who put that shift in real perspective for me as an explanation for why and how the show declined so badly around the 5th season or so. In the beginning GOT was driven by internal and external conflicts between the different protagonists in the story, nothing moved in a straight line because the narrative was like a wheel of different Houses struggling to get in over the other. By the final seasons everything had to be resolved quickly and characters began to make uncharacteristic decisions so the writers could move the plot to a preordained ending.

  135. GoT went straight off the rails when they got ahead of the books, it just took people a while to realize it because they still had cool action sequences.

  136. DRed:
    GoT went straight off the rails when they got ahead of the books, it just took people a while to realize it because they still had cool action sequences.

    Season 5 was pretty terrible but Hardhome was one of the better episodes of the show overall, and it’s purely due to the people responsible for handling the action.

  137. Thanks for the kind words on the podcast, guys. I recorded the Hamm one waaaaay back on March 10, in person, on a trip to LA when the plan was for me to travel back and forth to record all of these. The quarantine started four days later, and we wound up having to do most of them (including the Brie one) virtually. Glad they’re starting to see the light of day.

  138. If anyone is bored and looking for something that scratches a similar itch to GOT without taking itself so seriously, The Last Kingdom is a pretty solid Dark Ages show. It’s not prestige television by any means but the cast is solid and seems to enjoy themselves, and the show has solid action as well wiith plenty of battles. It’s pretty good as far as popcorn TV goes.

    (Also, marvel at the fact that the actress that plays Alfred the Great’s wife was, like, 24 when the show started.)

  139. geo: after having read each book twice, listened to audio books, twice, and – watched every episode from season 1 thru season 5 – at least twice…

    yeah, wasn’t much chance of me not watching the final couple of seasons…

    lord knows i can barely recall the whole plot anymore – but, if and when winds of winter is available i’ll be one of the first to order a copy…

    I have to take a wait and see approach on Winds of Winter. The last two books, Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons were total slogs. I do think Winds of Winter can be better than the previous two since I think their biggest issues was GRRM getting to obsesses with the timeline but only had an idea on what to do with some of the characters. I think that problem has passed and we can get back to the story again with the next one.

  140. Dred, curious about your putting Kyrie and Kemba at 6th and 7th. I despise Kyrie and would never want him on a team I’m rooting for, but I do think he’s an otherworldly talent. Unless you are counting his being an ass and possibly a team wrecker in the analysis, I’m curious who else you put over him besides Luca and maybe Dame (and Steph if he’s really all the way back).

  141. Mike Honcho: Season 5 was pretty terrible but Hardhome was one of the better episodes of the show overall, and it’s purely due to the people responsible for handling the action.

    Other part of the problem was how the show scaled back and rewrote aspects of the novels like Hardhomme to fit a lesser narrative. In the books that outpost was supposed to have already been abandoned and lighted up like a Christmas ham by the events of The War of Five Kings. I guess Benioff and Weiss didn’t want to get into all of that backstory but the problem is that its all part of the multilayered narrative Martin was building in the series connected to the Faceless Men and their role in affecting catastrophes like The Doom of Valyria. When you eliminate stuff like that from the story, you end up with a discombobulated narrative that can’t connect the different parts of their universe together. By the final season the Faceless Men weren’t even a factor outside of Arya despite their huge buildup throughout the seasons.

  142. Ntilakilla: Other part of the problem was how the show scaled back and rewrote aspects of the novels like Hardhomme to fit a lesser narrative. In the books that outpost was supposed to have already been abandoned and lighted up like a Christmas ham by the events of The War of Five Kings. I guess Benioff and Weiss didn’t want to get into all of that backstory but the problem is that its all part of the multilayered narrative Martin was building in the series connected to the Faceless Men and their role in affecting catastrophes like The Doom of Valyria. When you eliminate stuff like that from the story, you end up with a discombobulated narrative that can’t connect the different parts of their universe together. By the final season the Faceless Men weren’t even a factor outside of Arya despite their huge buildup throughout the seasons.

    I don’t really disagree with you here, I’m just saying Hardhome is an eminently enjoyable episode and is one of the best-executed action set pieces of the show. It stands out among the other nonsense in season 5, like the Sand Snakes.

  143. Mike Honcho: I don’t really disagree with you here, I’m just saying Hardhome is an eminently enjoyable episode and is one of the best-executed action set pieces of the show. It stands out among the other nonsense in season 5, like the Sand Snakes.

    Yeah, Hardhomme was a fun episode. They did the best zombie action sequence I’ve ever seen since Kingdom. That episode alone salvaged the later half of season 5, IMO. I just wonder what was lost in the process of refitting aspects of the original lore by the time it came to wrap the show up. If you diminish players like The Sphinx, The Faceless Men, Quaithe, The Deep Ones, etc. from the storyline then the payoff won’t match the epic storyline Martin has taken so long to build up.

  144. I was playing around on ESPN trade machine, and came up with DSJ & Bullock for JJ Redick. I mean..neither Bullock or DSJ will be on the team next season and Redick’s likely gonna retire anyway, so what’s wrong with taking a flyer on a proven shooter with that deal. Redick’s not shooting it particularly well this season, but I trust him to bounce back more than I trust Bullock to bounce back. What do ya’ll think?

  145. I kinda knew GoT was going to end badly when it became obvious that they were going to focus the ending almost entirely on the two characters played by the by far worst actors of an otherwise truly stellar cast, Dany and Jon Snow. I think a lot has been said about how the narrative was dogshit and it truly was about as bad as one could possibly choose to end such a good story, but what annoyed me the most was having to endure the best actors getting constantly phased out of screen time to give space for the emotionless whining of those two. I could handle Lena Headey or Nikolaj Coster Waldau trying to navigate their way through bad writing, but not the total package of shit they delivered towards the end with Harrington and Clarke.

  146. I distinctly remember one scene between Dany and Sansa in Winterfell towards the end where the entire dialogue is setup so one keeps one upping the other in snarky comments, and it was truly one of the worst things I’ve ever watched. There’s no substance or form to the dialogue, it’s just stupid setup for one liners and memeable moments and a complete failure. Tyrion specially suffered massively by this switch in dialogue, and went from a highlight to unwatchable very fast.

  147. Bruno Almeida:
    I kinda knew GoT was going to end badly when it became obvious that they were going to focus the ending almost entirely on the two characters played by the by far worst actors of an otherwise truly stellar cast, Dany and Jon Snow. I think a lot has been said about how the narrative was dogshit and it truly was about as bad as one could possibly choose to end such a good story, but what annoyed me the most was having to endure the best actors getting constantly phased out of screen time to give space for the emotionless whining of those two. I could handle Lena Headey or Nikolaj Coster Waldau trying to navigate their way through bad writing, but not the total package of shit they delivered towards the end with Harrington and Clarke.

    Bran was the worst for me. Every post-Hodor second spent with him was brutal. Yes, tough character to play but he was terrible.

  148. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats:
    I was playing around on ESPN trade machine, and came up with DSJ & Bullock for JJ Redick. I mean..neither Bullock or DSJ will be on the team next season and Redick’s likely gonna retire anyway,so what’s wrong with taking a flyer on a proven shooter with that deal. Redick’s not shooting it particularly well this season, but I trust him to bounce back more than I trust Bullock to bounce back. What do ya’ll think?

    Sure, I would do that but why would NOP?

  149. I have to take a wait and see approach on Winds of Winter. The last two books, Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons were total slogs. I do think Winds of Winter can be better than the previous two since I think their biggest issues was GRRM getting to obsesses with the timeline but only had an idea on what to do with some of the characters. I think that problem has passed and we can get back to the story again with the next one.

    i can definitely get that…i remember my first time going through those books my expectations were most definitely not met…particularly with a feast for crows – that was just a left turn out of nowhere for the series, especially with such a kick ass book as a storm of swords preceding it…

    what boggles my mind more than anything – when it comes to winds of winter – he already had 10 or so chapters written that hadn’t been including in any of the first five books…he had like 700 to 800 pages to write to finish the book…

    sure seems the same apathy that overcame the GOT showrunners/producers infected grrm also…

    however – these two “preview” chapters alone have me eagerly awaiting jumping back in to that fantasy world:

    Theon

    Aeron I

    i know the forsaken it’s some pretty gruesome shit (great title though), but – valyrian armor runes rippling through the air gave me some serious wood when i was reading it…

    yeah, euron greyjoy is yet another grievance i have against the GOT series…

  150. yeah, euron greyjoy is yet another grievance i have against the GOT series…

    Turned the most terrifying guy in the books into dimestore Jack Sparrow. Unpardonable.

  151. vincoug: Sure, I would do that but why would NOP?

    Not really sure lol. Maybe a coach like SVG would bank on Bullock’s 3 &D fit on his roster..mostly the defense part

  152. Turned the most terrifying guy in the books into dimestore Jack Sparrow. Unpardonable.

    Pacey from Dawson’s Creek as a pirate!

  153. dimestore Jack Sparrow

    damn, that is exactly how the show portrayed him – so sad…in the books euron is a legit scary dude…can’t wait to find out what is hidden underneath the patch he wears…

    did you get a chance to read the world of ice and fire?

    interesting that euron seems to have spent some time poking around there in valyria…seems there are some pretty interesting creatures which inhabit that area…i had to look up and see what the heck a chimera even was :)

    still waiting for ice spiders and firewyrms (more hardhome fun facts) to finally make it on to some pages in more detail…

    i think a lot of the beauty of grrm’s writing was in the details, definitely a little tedious at times when it came to banners and insignias and some house histories – vital though for a more fuller immersive experience…

  154. i know, i need to get a life :)
    Back to Westeros
    NOVEMBER 8, 2020 AT 9:18 AM
    Sometimes I do get the feeling that most of you reading my posts here care more about what is happening in Westeros than what is happening in the United States.

    So let me assure you that, when not sweating out election returns or brooding over other real world problems, I have continued to work on THE WINDS OF WINTER.

    No, sorry, still not done, but I do inch closer. It is a big big book. I try not to dwell on that too much. I write a chapter at a time, a page at a time, a sentence at a time, a word at a time. It is the only way. And sometimes I rewrite.

    Of late I have been spending a lot of time with the Lannisters. Cersei and Tyrion in particular. I’ve also paid a visit to Dorne, and dropped in to Oldtown a time or three. In addition to turning out new chapters, I’ve been revising some old ones (some very old)… including, yes, some stuff I read at cons ages ago, or even posted online as samples. I tweak stuff constantly, and sometimes go beyond tweaking, moving things around, combining chapters, breaking chapters in two, reordering stuff.

    None of this is even remotely new. It is how the first five books were written.

    I was really on a roll back in June and July. Progress has continued since then, but more slowly… I suffered a gut punch in early August that really had me down for a time, and another, for different reasons, in early September. But I slogged on, and of late I am picking up steam again.

    On other fronts… well, aside from Covd-19 slowing everything down, we are making great progress on the HBO prequel HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. Ryan and Miguel are in London, casting has begun, it is all looking very exciting.

  155. @Alan,

    Really enjoy the show, both Alison Brie (I was a huge community fan) & Jon Hamm just seem like a delight to talk to.

    Ended up listening to the Jon Hamm interview also even though I’ve seen less Gossip Girl than Hamm did going in. It’s just kind of a fun premise to hear them reason out what happened during 100 episodes they didn’t watch.

  156. Harden seems to be packing on weight in season which is something I haven’t seen since the Michael Sweetney era

  157. The Heat had 8 players available vs Philly and their starting lineup was Robinson, Herro, Achiuwa, Olynyk and some guy named Gabe Vincent. And they lost by 3 in OT.

    Miami is starting to remind me of the Spurs – next man up, plug in and play, keep competing. A lot of that has to with Spoelstra, still somehow an underrated coach.

  158. Kyrie for Harden- at what point does his vacation annoy Durant enough to say make it happen?

    Why would Houston want Kyrie?

  159. nicos:
    Kyrie for Harden- at what point does his vacation annoy Durant enough to say make it happen?

    But doesn’t Kyrie basically have negative trade value now? I think bad teams would take a chance on him and give up something of value but not his worth in a vacuum but I can’t believe Houston would trade Harden for him especially since Houston is kind of dealing with the same thing with Harden.

  160. Miami is starting to remind me of the Spurs – next man up, plug in and play, keep competing. A lot of that has to with Spoelstra, still somehow an underrated coach.

    In before more copypasta:

    tHeY pLaY tHe gAmE tHe RiGhT wAy

  161. After Houston’s 117-100 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, star James Harden said the Rockets “just aren’t good enough.”

    “I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can. I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed,” Harden said.

    Dude is trying to crater his trade value and I am here for it. Knox, Frank, DSJ, a 2026 2nd rounder — who says no?

  162. heavencent35:
    According to a sixers blog, they will take randle for Simmons but they don’t think Knicks will do it.
    I’ll do it if I’m the Knicks

    So instead of having almost no scoring we would have less than no scoring and Randle on Philly would have to somehow score around Embiid. I wouldn’t do it for the Knicks and I don’t see why Philly would do it either

  163. DRed:
    Harden seems to be packing on weight in season which is something I haven’t seen since the Michael Sweetney era

    Maybe he’s not getting enough pole dancing done.

  164. Knick fan not in NJ: So instead of having almost no scoring we would have less than no scoring and Randle on Philly would have to somehow score around Embiid. I wouldn’t do it for the Knicks and I don’t see why Philly would do it either

    Contrary to what Knick’s management believes, you can give players contracts for multiple years. Philly has demonstrated this behavior at least once, having signed Ben Simmons for 4 years past the end of the current season. I’m unsure what kind of sorcery went into this “multi-year” deal, but I suspect it would benefit the Knicks to have Ben Simmons for the length of that contract.

  165. Q, yes of course, and Ben Simmons is a worthwhile player. If you are saying let’s really tank for a year and have no offense at all for a while, it’s a strategy. But it’s still going to be hard to replace Randle’s scoring

  166. Are those pictures of James Harden photoshopped? OK, let’s say they were just “unflattering”. What’s with that press conference? I don’t think Harden is getting traded anywhere. Any GM that trades for him needs to be fired immediately. Team him up with Kyrie. Question: Who is the biggest cancer? Kyrie or Harden? And no, “biggest” does mean “fattest” in this context. I know the answer to that. It’s obvious.

  167. So instead of having almost no scoring we would have less than no scoring and Randle on Philly would have to somehow score around Embiid. I wouldn’t do it for the Knicks and I don’t see why Philly would do it either

    …seriously? Of course Philly wouldn’t do it, but that’s because it’d be one of the most lopsided trades in recent history. Forget 2020-2021, we’d have Simmons under contract for his age 25-28 seasons.

  168. I guess I’m just not as big a fan of Simmons as most people are. But I’m not totally alone. Per the above, the trade was proposed by Philadelphia fans, so maybe some of them don’t like Simmons so much either.

  169. I doubt it’s anything more than an internet rumor, but if you’re offered Ben Simmons for Julius Randle, you obviously do it and it takes you a tenth of a second to say yes. If you’ve somehow managed to convince yourself the matter is worthy of serious debate, you’ve badly lost sight of the plotline.

  170. Ben Simmons is 24 and was all-NBA last year. He’s not a perfect player and the fit with Embiid is a legitimate problem but if they trade him it’s going to be for someone in the James Harden tier, not a guy whose trade value was non-existent ten games ago.

  171. the irving stuff is a bit of a pattern but the last time he sort of ‘quit’ on the team was when he was with the cavs and supposedly it was cause he was in a failed paul george deal…. this latest spat could probably be because he was injected in a potential harden deal…

  172. Question

    Why do so many of the talking heads wanna see Harden become a Knick? I know Harden is a great player..but I’ll pass if it costs us any of RJ, Mitch, or Quickley. I would say Obi as well but we would have to give them something. I would much rather for that something to be Randle and the Dallas pick along with anyone else on the roster besides the 3 I listed. Obviously if Randle is a part of the deal then I wouldn’t give them Obi as well.

    Harden is damn near impossible to trade for this season. His recent play and behavior is hurting his trade value, but his salary and accolades are so far up there that you HAVE to give alot of value to get him. If I’m Philly I don’t wanna give up Simmons + picks and salary filler for a 31 year old Harden whose trade value has fallen. I feel like you can only trade him for another disgruntled star at this point. I do not envy the situation the Rockets find themselves in. It’s so difficult because everyone knows how great a player Harden is when is in shape and locked in. I just don’t trust him to flip the switch once he is moved.

    At this point, I certainly wouldn’t limit the trade partners to contenders. Minnesota can give them a solid deal, as could OKC. I think Cleveland could as well..

  173. Dude is trying to crater his trade value and I am here for it. Knox, Frank, DSJ, a 2026 2nd rounder — who says no?

    You want to trade budding superstar and best friend to Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox?? I’ve heard some crazy stuff in my day, but this takes the cake!

  174. James Harden is one of the top five players in the NBA. We haven’t really had anyone that fits that description since, I don’t know, Clyde Frazier?

    He is not coming to the Knicks

  175. Iseman:

    Knicks say that Obi Toppin is probable for tonight vs. the Nets and Taj Gibson is available.

    We could use some good news offensively. Would be nice to see Obi not only back, but playing like the guy from the first preseason game…

  176. I mean if Randle (and not much else) for Simmons is actually on the table, we should definitely go for it. But even though Simmons is way better than Elf, you have a similar fit problem with RJ. That would potentially be pretty fixable though by moving RJ in a separate deal. I think RJ, despite his shooting struggles, would be a tradeable asset.

    As far as Harden, I do not want him anywhere near this team. I’ve always hated his game but he’s gone full on selfish/dick mode right now and there is no way he’d be happy here on our team because we aren’t near a place where we can actually compete for a title, even with him. He’s also over the age of 30. He isn’t a guy who solely relies on athleticism but with the weight and such, he could be close to decline soon.

    Honestly, we should just stay pat right now unless something like a Simmons deal is for real (which it isn’t). Its been a rough 3 game stretch and maybe we are crashing back down to earth and are now in for another long season slog. But big picture, I think our franchise is moving in the right direction for once and we just need to be patient. Its hard because as fans we’ve suffered for so long it feels like we’ve been rebuilding forever. But Rose and Thibs just started and they need some time to build this thing. Development doesn’t happen in 10 games. Its easy for a good coaching staff to get a talented guy like Randle who is at his peak age to cut back on some mistakes and get the most out of him. Developing the younger players like RJ, Mitch, Toppin, Quickley, Knox…takes longer.

    I think RJ’s shooting woes along with the losing have really dampened the mood but if you look at Mitch starting and playing full starter’s minutes without foul trouble, Knox finally playing decent in a limited bench role, etc. I think the early results are promising that they can develop young players if given time.

    But man it would be sweet to get a W tonight. Morale wise I think it would do wonders for…

  177. And Berman is already speculating (though not in a way that sounds like he’s heard something) that Obi may just be an In Case of Emergency player tonight, given all his time off.

  178. I think it’s probably overly hopeful to think Obi contributes to winning basketball games at this point but he at least gives us another guy to watch whose performance feels meaningful for the future of the franchise. I hope he can also ease Randle’s minutes burden a bit although I would not be surprised if Randle’s minutes stay the same and we see him more at C with Mitch/Noel losing some time.

  179. The funny thing about Toppin is that all the indications were that he was going top five, so I never even really considered whether I wanted him on the Knicks. What would I have thought had he been a real option? Huh. I dunno. I don’t think I would have been particularly enthused. It’s way too early to bury the guy, but doesn’t it seem particularly Knicksy to draft a 34-year-old rookie so that his floor will at least be high and then have his floor not be that high?

  180. Re: Harden it’s worth saying that it’s pretty incredible that he’s visibly overweight and half-assing it and posting 25/10/5 per 36 on 61.3 TS% and 29% USG. He is a tremendously talented basketball player.

    It’s definitely hard to figure out what the trade market for him looks like right now. I understand why he’s doing his semi-protest just showing up routine because it’s the only leverage he has to get out of there, but it’s a little hard to see how any team can feel great about trading their best pieces for him right now. Any trade for him is inherently short-term in nature; his next contract is likely to be a negative overall, you’re really getting him with the idea that he puts you over the top either this year or next year. Only he’s 31 and having inarguably his worst season in close to a decade. You’re really betting a lot on the idea that he’s going to immediately get back into shape and start playing like an MVP candidate as soon as he gets out of Houston.

  181. Brian Cronin: but doesn’t it seem particularly Knicksy to draft a 34-year-old rookie so that his floor will at least be high and then have his floor not be that high?

    It’s especially Knicksy since Randle and Mitch were already on the roster, and the only positions they are capable of playing are PF and C, respectively. (Randle as point forward is awesome, but he’s still playing the 4 on defense.) Payton was the only viable PG on the roster, a pathetic fact, and they passed on a pure point guard who’s basically shot as well as Mitch has across his first 250 MP at age 20. If you had the chance to trade Toppin for Haliburton straight up, right this moment, you’d do it without hesitation. And that makes the draft selection a big fuckin’ bust already. He might turn out to be a good player, but it’s not looking good right now.

  182. Berman’s tweet noted Taj Gibson’s availability as a factor in Toppin maybe not getting in tonight. If Obi Toppin is behind Taj Gibson in the Knicks rotation, I’m done. That will be the final straw and I’m all merc’d out. Will free up some time, but hockey season is starting tonight.

  183. It is WAY too premature to call Toppin a bust simply bc he’s gotten injured. I would also have preferred Haliburton bc of our lack of PG, but we also don’t really know what the long term plan is with Randle.

    I mean, seriously. He’s played like 5 minutes before he got hurt and people are saying “knicksy bust.” For a site that constantly harps on sample size, people sure LOVE to make declarative statements if they’re negative and not positive.

  184. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Berman’s tweet noted Taj Gibson’s availability as a factor in Toppin maybe not getting in tonight.If Obi Toppin is behind Taj Gibson in the Knicks rotation, I’m done.That will be the final straw and I’m all merc’d out.Will free up some time, but hockey season is starting tonight.

    Lets go Rangers!

  185. It is WAY too premature to call Toppin a bust simply bc he’s gotten injured. I would also have preferred Haliburton bc of our lack of PG, but we also don’t really know what the long term plan is with Randle.

    If you draft a young rookie, you’re fine with him being a project. For young rookies, I totally write off their first season (except if it is good, in which case, WOW!). If you draft an old rookie and he also looks like a project? That’s a huge red flag.

  186. Prigs is probably the last Knick PG who could shoot and pass. It it weren’t for the fact that he was a 35-year-old rookie, he’d still be a Knick, I bet.

  187. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Berman’s tweet noted Taj Gibson’s availability as a factor in Toppin maybe not getting in tonight.If Obi Toppin is behind Taj Gibson in the Knicks rotation, I’m done.That will be the final straw and I’m all merc’d out.Will free up some time, but hockey season is starting tonight.

    They are short handed. Taj is healthy and available. Obi is coming back from an injury. Giving him an extra couple of days to practice and get in better shape won’t hurt anything but could prevent an injury. As soon as Obi is ready, he’ll be the backup PF unless he’s playing horribly.

  188. Brian Cronin: If you draft a young rookie, you’re fine with him being a project. For young rookies, I totally write off their first season (except if it is good, in which case, WOW!). If you draft an old rookie and he also looks like a project? That’s a huge red flag.

    +1

    Some older rookies look good in their first year and then when the league figures them out, they make less progress in their game than younger players, and their luck runs out from 3, you find out why they were drafted older and later to begin with. I have someone specific in mind, but it’s way too early to know which way it’s going to go.

  189. Owen:
    When was the last time we had a guard who could shoot, pass, and play good defense.
    Walt Frazier

    He could probably still give us 3-4 quality minutes a night that would be better than we are getting now. :-)

  190. Brian Cronin: If you draft a young rookie, you’re fine with him being a project. For young rookies, I totally write off their first season (except if it is good, in which case, WOW!). If you draft an old rookie and he also looks like a project? That’s a huge red flag.

    I mean I hated the pick for his age and other reasons but I still don’t think it’s really fair to him to assume an immediate settling in process. Kid was playing at Dayton last year, took 9 months off from playing competitive basketball and now is in the NBA with no summer league, no offseason to work with the coaches or get in the strength and conditioning program or on the nutrition program, and like a one week training camp. Expecting any rookie, no matter their age, to contribute in those circumstances is really tough (which is why it’s even more impressive for guys like Haliburton who are contributing). Given his age if he’s not finding his footing by the end of the year I’ll be pretty worried, but we got to give him more than a couple preseason games and 20 real NBA minutes.

  191. The issues with Obi are the red flags I raised.

    He was scoring a lot of his efficient points in college by leaking out early in transition and by being stronger and more athletic than kids several years younger than him. That was not going to translate well to the pros. They’ll take a lot of that stuff away. So one of the keys was whether or not he could stretch his game out to the NBA 3 point line to be the space provider we need and find other ways to be efficient. It’s WAY too early to know, but first impressions were not favorable. There’s a long way to go.

    (And none of this mentions him potentially being a liability on defense)

  192. Owen:
    When was the last time we had a guard who could shoot, pass, and play good defense.

    Walt Frazier

    Michael Ray Richardson was quite the player and could do it all.

  193. Deeefense: The issues with Obi are the red flags I raised.

    He was scoring a lot of his efficient points in college by leaking out early in transition and by being stronger and more athletic than kids several years younger than him. That was not going to translate well to the pros.

    Yeah I agree on this. If I had known it at the time I’d probably passed on him at 25, let alone 8. Haliburton or Vassell was the move and we blew it. It’s not the 25 min of NBA play that worries me, it’s everything that came before it.

    If I had to guess, Obi will need to be an elite 3pt shooter just to be passable as an NBA player given his poor defense.

  194. So, Simmons on offense isn’t as good as a lot of people think, but he’s supposedly an elite defender. That puts Simmons ahead of Randle for me.

    If Randle can keep up his current level of play, then there’s a bigger question of whether this deal is fair. But for now Randle has played on this level for 11 games and shot better than expected from 10ft and out (including 3pt). I don’t expect that to continue forever.

    Also, Randle on Philly means you run the offense through Embiid. Randle won’t put up the same number of assists he’s currently putting up. If I’m Philly I’d rather have a purer shooter at the 4.

  195. Brian Cronin:
    Oh, sure, it’s not definitive at all. But it’s clearly at least a red flag.

    It’s like a tiny red handkerchief at this point. It’s totally reasonable to be worried about Toppin for all the warts he had in the draft (which I 100% agree with) but whatever your prior was it shouldn’t have shifted by more than a tiny fraction based on the minimal and low quality sample of what we’ve seen from him so far.

  196. In some ways, the season begins for real tonight. We’ve seen the ceiling and the floor for this team. The league has film and has adjusted. Obi is back.

    I’m expecting something like 20-41 from here on out. That would result in a 25-47 record which I think is a good guess on a final outcome. Clearly the league around us has improved in general, and even the declining teams like OKC and HOU are still more than good enough to beat us. We are likely a bottom-3 team, with WAS and maybe DET.

  197. I’m not as down on Obi as others here, but Hali was the better choice by a mile and we all knew it at the time.

  198. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Any team that trades for him without immediate contention designs is in for a very bad time.

    Oh absolutely! But Houston has to recoup some of what they lost building around Harden and MDA. That’s why I said the only logical trades I see for Harden would be any involving another disgruntled star. And I have no idea who that disgruntled star is. Sure, Harden is a great fit in Philly alongside Embiid, but do you really wanna trade Simmons, filler, and picks for Harden right now? Or if you’re Brooklyn, do you really wanna gut the team and go star heavy while counting on Kyrie and Harden to fall in line so you can win? I do not trust Kyrie and Harden on the same team. Sorry. Now if you find a 3rd team to shuttle Kyrie to, then that’s a great move. This is just a bad situation all the way around for Houston unless they say screw what Harden wants. But then the other team has to worry about Harden becoming a pain in the ass for them. Sheesh. I’ll damn near happily take the Phil Phiasco over what’s happening in Houston right now lol

  199. Simmons is not a shooter, but he is a solid offensive player. He has never shot below league-average over the course of a season, and while his FT% will likely never improve from the 60% morass, he is exceptional at getting to the rim and to his spots in the paint. This is not a Rondo situation, where he puts you in a hole with his shooting attempts. If Simmons harms you, it’s in the Melo/Chandler argument way, where his limitations force teammates into tougher shots. And of course, I don’t buy that much, especially since he does create space with his dribble penetration.

    He also has the 14th-most triple-doubles in league history at age 24, trailing Westbrook, James, Harden, Jokic and Rondo in the active leaderboards. He has never finished worse than 6th in APG, and finished #3 in total assists as a rookie. He has finished top-20 in VORP over his three full seasons, and it’s remarkable that he’s only been in the league for three years — it feels much longer than that, because he has been so consistently good and has played like a 30-year-old since day 1.

    He would be an exceptional person to build around. He can guard five positions and is simply a phenom in transition, perhaps the fastest player coast to coast in the league. As the Sixers found, he needs shooters around him. If I’m Morey, I stand pat. Curry and Maxey can take a lot of that scoring pressure off him. The Knicks have no shooting whatsoever, so he makes very little sense on the roster as-is. But since he has four more seasons on top of this one, he’s worth the “gamble” if the Sixers put him up for something as silly as a Randle 2nd rounder package.

  200. Harden is a great player, but I don’t want much to do with him. I don’t like his style of play. I don’t like him. And last night when he came out for warmups he looked so overweight I would have guessed he was pregnant with a full gown Luca Doncic :-)

  201. I’d be all in on a Simmons for Randle package. Would they take Payton too? Shit..can you imagine having Mitch/Obi/RJ/Quickley/Simmons? That 5 would be a straight terror looking to run after stops. Still no real shooting, but I’ll take it

  202. I would trade Randle for Simmons without hesitation and worry about any spacing issues (that we already have with Randle now anyway) later. The question is what else would it cost us.

  203. Just throw Simmons/Bullock/Noel/Mitch out there together. First team to score wins.

  204. Pretty much a waste of time talking about a Randle for Simmons trade. It was brought up by some Sixer blogger, Morey would never, ever do such a deal. If he’s really looking to move SImmons, he can do way better than Julius Randle.

  205. Of course we’d all do Randle for Simmons. But, in the unlikely event that Philly were interested in pursuing that (why in the world would they?), what else would the Knicks have to give?

    They want to win NOW, so 1st round picks might not interest them. Other than Mitch, the Knicks have a bunch of projects, garbage and JAGS.

  206. Brian Cronin:
    I literally cannot thing of a single Knicks trade offer that would make sense for Ben Simmons.

    I totally agree. They’d have to get a 3rd team involved that has something else that Philly wants in addition to Randle, and that team would want young players/draft picks back that the Knicks can offer.

  207. i just want to log my support for james harden and his battle of the bulge…i was able to hold the line fairly well for months, as seems to normally happen this time of year though – the line has been broken and the waistband stretched…

    curse you delicious and evil christmas fudge…

  208. Brian Cronin: I literally cannot thing of a single Knicks trade offer that would make sense for Ben Simmons.

    Maxey
    Curry
    Harris
    Point Randle
    Embiid

    Actually not a terrible team! I mean, Simmons is way better than Randle, but I could see it working!

  209. They could almost certainly get James Harden today if they were willing to trade Ben Simmons. There’s just no Knick equivalent package in immediate value that gets close to James Harden.

  210. Re: LaMelo, let me be the first one here to coronate him as a sure-fire superstar and HOFer. He’s not Lonzo. His stats right now are rookie LeBron-like, in fact better than rookie LeBron, and not far off from Doncic. I don’t get how anyone doesn’t see, either by the eye test or by the stats, that he just has it.

    Now, maybe he tops out as a Carmelo Anthony-level “faux” superstar, in that he doesn’t have the leadership ability to be the “brain” of a championship-level team. But his size, court vision, skill level, and poise are way above any level of doubt about his future.

    I look forward to folks going on record here in opposition to this viewpoint so that we can bookmark this thread.

  211. there is no universe that the sixers trade simmons for a worse AND older player…

    one interesting destination for randle would be utah… they should be in the market for another shot creator and it would come at a position of need for them… i would probably take a couple of firsts from them… maybe even just 1 given the depth of this year’s draft….

  212. I have already taken the L on Lamelo. I think his shooting seems suspect enough that he may not hit superstar level but what he has done so far is pretty remarkable. As you said I think, he makes it look easy, almost nonchalant. Putting up triple doubles in your first ten games is something pretty extraordinary.

    Harden for Simmons makes as much sense as a trade can make from a present value vs future value perspective. Harden is better now and a better fit with Embiid but Simmons is the better long term asset. But all the headaches Harden brings, I don’t know how to handicap it. I imagine Morey knows quite well though.

  213. Re: LaMelo, let me be the first one here to coronate him as a sure-fire superstar and HOFer.

    lamelo 2p fg% by distance

    0-3 – .524
    3-10 – .267
    10-16 – .667

    he’s good.. but he struggles in the same way his brother does.. namely getting to the hoop and finishing… except he’s starting out hot from the perimeter.. that’s probably not going to continue ..

    pretty sure haliburton is going to overtake him in roy honors…

  214. What about Charlotte as a destination for Randle? Signing Hayward was a push your chips in type move and Rande would make them a lot better, probably guarantee them a playoff spot. Randle for Washington and a 1st. Keeps our Kentucky contingent the same size and Washington is a better shooter and defender.

  215. The Rockets are pursuing a trade package from the 76ers that would be headlined by Ben Simmons and Tyrese Maxey, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 13, 2021

    Man, Morey took over a team a lot of people thought was in shambles in a few months is going to turn it into the favorite in the East.

    Remember all the trolling about how the Sixers’ tank didn’t work and the players don’t fit and yadda yadda yadda? Turns out drafting guys like Embiid and Simmons opens up a world of opportunities even if those specific players aren’t the ones that bring you to the dance!

  216. that 27% isn’t uncommon in that area.. .especially for young players…. the standout is actually in the 16 to 3p range… and yes that’s only 6 shots but lamelo doesn’t take too many 2pt’ers in general… if he shoots 26% instead of 66% that drops his 2p fg% to .414 which will look eerily similar to his brother…

    it does look like he is just a hair better overall than lonzo tho…. and there was a study done that younger brothers tend to be the better pro’s than their older counterparts … so he should be better… but i don’t think we can say he’s due for superstardom just yet until we know where his shooting ends up.. and it’s probably not going to end up in great territory….

  217. The Rockets owner/culture must be really toxic if Morey is willing to bring Harden in again.

    I mean, even with Harden being fat he’s still way better than Simmons and fits way better, but if Harden was really as toxic as some think I doubt Morey would even be willing to entertain the trade.

  218. LaMelo is shooting 46% from 2 as a 19 yo rookie. He is taking 78% of his shots from either the rim or 3pt range. He is averaging 17.6 points, 10 rebs, 8.5 assists, 2.3 steals and only 2.3 turnovers per 36. He’s ahead, if not WAAAAY ahead of Lonzo in every category. Look at FT% for example…LaMelo at 72% (similar to pre-NBA) while Lonzo isn’t even at 50% for his 3+-year career yet.

    They are only peripherally similar. LaMelo is a future superstar, case closed.

  219. yea it does seem like the kyrie drama is because he’s heavily involved in these harden rumors….

    if the sixers are offering simmons there’s just no way you can refuse that if you’re the rockets…

  220. LaMelo has a HUUUUGE advantage over Haliburton for ROY, deservedly or not. He’s a hype machine with an aura about him. It’s not a level playing field. If it was, there might be an argument.

    That said, barring injury, I think LaMelo will get better and Hali will come back to the pack a bit. But yeah, if the playing field was level, it’s a legit conversation.

  221. LaMelo is shooting 46% from 2

    and i told you it was artifically inflated… he’s good… just not as good as the numbers suggest he is yet…. we’ll see where it settles…

    same thing with wiseman… the numbers settled and he’s sort of less than AD and embiid right?

  222. if the sixers are offering simmons there’s just no way you can refuse that if you’re the rockets…

    Right? Once Simmons is on the table, it’s basically game over. He can’t even hold the Rockets hostage since he’s signed long term.

  223. LaMelo’s shot looks absolutely hideous but it’s going in at a very respectable rate and every other part of his game looks as advertised or better – in particular he looks like one of these guys who was an abysmal defender at lower levels for reasons that are going to boil down to “didn’t give a shit” and seems to have immediately rectified that in the NBA (coincidentally Ben Simmons is actually the first guy who comes to mind with this profile). No idea how you go about scouting which guys will figure that part of it out and how quickly but that’s the biggest unexpected positive for him so far. I liked him a lot as a prospect but I expected him to be awful this year and while I do expect his shooting to fall off in the near-term his all-around game is already making him a solid contributor.

  224. You’re assuming the sixers will do better with Harden than with Simmons.

    I mean, that’s a fair assumption but also Harden could come to Philly, stay fat and they go out early in the playoffs again and next season Harden is wanting to get traded again but no one will take him and now Embiid is complaining bc his prime is being wasted and next thing you know the 76ers are blowing it all up again to rebuild.

  225. You’re assuming the sixers will do better with Harden than with Simmons.

    Um… yes.

    Simmons’ defensive highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgKx2PBmgSY

    And still, an engaged, motivated Harden is still among the best scorers in NBA history. Durant and Harden would make them the league’s best offense immediately. Like, day 1.

  226. So much of rookie eval still depends on 3pt shooting that it makes it tough. LaMelo and Hali seem to do enough other stuff that they’ll probably be fine.

    The worry with LaMelo is if his shooting drops off a cliff, do you trust him to improve? Lots of players don’t improve even with a strong work ethic, and LaMelo doesn’t exactly scream work ethic.

    Also I’d question his defense. Haven’t seen it but that was a big knock against him in Aus. Granted he may have been killing himself on offense.

  227. also fyi…. harden isn’t fat…. or at least i don’t think he’s packed on a ton of weight… he wears these padded undergarments for his legs and torso… lebron has worn a similar thing… if you watch videos of him in the preseason he is pretty ripped and skinny…

  228. He does look soft to me, but it’s also clear that he’s mailing it in right now. His shots per 100 are down from 28 to 22 this year. FTA from 14.9 to 9.8. Lowest USG% since 2013-14. He strikes me as the kind of person who’s not going to give his all in the middle of a trade demand. Going to a contender will change that right quick.

  229. Jowles, that doesn’t mean the sixers will get further in the playoffs though. Harden could put up 40 points a game and they still lose.

    You should know this by now but the playoffs are a different beast and regular season stats/performance don’t mean shit if you lose in the second round. Philly wants to be a contender and Harden would ON PAPER make them one. But what’s on paper and what happens when they face Miami or Boston or The Bucks in a 7 game series are two different things. And if they trade for Harden and still don’t take that next step (even if they win more in the regular season) are they gonna be happy with that outcome? Considering Harden wants to go all the way too, if they flame out early, will he want to stick around again?

    All I’m saying is there is no guarantee that the 76ers will do better IN THE PLAYOFFS with Harden than they did with Simmons and Embiid. After all, as so many defenders of the process LOVE to point out they were a Kawhi buzzer beater away from the finals in 2019.

  230. DRed:
    If Lamelo finishes the year shooting 28% from 3 is he still definitely a future superstar?

    Yes. As many here noted during the Killian Hayes debate, good FT% in pre-NBA and early NBA play is positively correlated with 3pt shooting later on. LaMelo is not going to shoot 28% from 3, and even if he does, he’s so brilliant in other areas, he will still achieve stardom. It’s only a question of level…

  231. Oh wow, so Houston is holding Harden out until a trade is done. Seems like he’s certainly coming to the Atlantic Division. I guess I’m hoping it’s the Sixers?

  232. Trading Kyrie for Harden makes sense. HOU would have a shorter-term smaller contract and the Nets would have a better player to pursue a title run with. But you would think they could get more for Harden.

  233. UM OKAY THEN

    Wonder what they’re giving up, aside from every draft pick that’s eligible to trade.

  234. Caris LeVert
    Dante Exum
    Rodions Kurucs
    4 1st-round picks
    4 pick swaps

    That’s a lot of picks, of course, but it’s really not that impressive otherwise.

  235. Taking a break from the impeachment voting to raise an eyebrow at the Nets trading for James Harden. The Nets now lead the league in divas.

  236. marechal:
    In all seriousness, though, is this the best big-3 of the century?

    100% yes.

    Irving
    Harden
    Harris
    Durant
    Jordan

    scores 140 a night if they want to

  237. wow that is nuts.
    Honestly – given how it has been going down in HOU, that’s an ok deal for Houston.
    They get salary relief, Levert is fine, and those later Nets picks are going to be pretty tasty.

    BKN has to be the least likable team in the league now. Kyrie is an AWOL problem child, Harden is just a total asshole, and KD is just weird.

    Well at least we might win tonight.

  238. In all seriousness, though, is this the best big-3 of the century?

    Easily. Kyrie Irving is the worst of the three players and he’s really, really good.

    That’s just based on talent, though. Who knows how their egos will manage things.

  239. Oladipo for Levert is that kind of trade that everyone will make a big deal about but it’s just kind of meh all around.

  240. And now Oladipo to Houston for a package centered around LeVert. Crazy!

    Fascinating. Just one for one?

  241. The Nets offense could be off the charts ridiculous assuming Kyrie comes back to work at some point; imagine if Dinwiddie hadn’t gotten hurt. There’s definitely some disaster downside given the “only one ball” situation and Kyrie+Harden diva/meltdown potential but they’ve got to be the favorites now I think? They’re absolutely loaded on talent. A side note but the Nets will be pretty depleted for tonight’s game.

  242. marechal:
    3 1RPs plus 4 swaps plus Allen and Levert is a LOT.

    Levert ain’t that good. I like Allen but he’s not moving the needle like Harden is. They’re going to need to find a solid defensive big off the scrap heap ASAP — DeAndre can’t play the minutes they need out of him — but we’re talking about three of the best ten scorers in the league on the same offense. The biggest problem is who gets to take the shots, but 20 FGA per player per night is not unreasonable. They are going to SCORE the ball. Fuck, that team is going to be good.

  243. Honestly, I kinda seeing this Nets thing going down in flames. Literally the only one on the entire team that plays defense is Bruce Brown. Kyrie/Harden/Harris/KD is pretty ridiculous though

  244. The #1 thing is that they all have to stay reasonably sane. The #2 thing is that they all have to stay reasonably healthy. The #3 thing is that they have to build a bench. Truly fascinating.

  245. Honestly, I kinda seeing this Nets thing going down in flames.

    I don’t. They have a lot of the top-15 players in the sport.

  246. Shams Charania
    @ShamsCharania
    ·
    12m
    The Nets are trading for All-NBA star James Harden and sending four first-round picks and four draft swaps to the Rockets, sources tell
    @TheAthleticNBA

    @Stadium
    . Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen are being moved — could be another team or two involved.

    Houston throwing in a year of Nutrisystems as well.

  247. The Nets offense could be off the charts ridiculous assuming Kyrie comes back to work at some point; imagine if Dinwiddie hadn’t gotten hurt. There’s definitely some disaster downside given the “only one ball” situation and Kyrie+Harden diva/meltdown potential but they’ve got to be the favorites now I think? They’re absolutely loaded on talent. A side note but the Nets will be pretty depleted for tonight’s game.

    Kyrie sitting now doesn’t even really change the game, as Harden/Durant should be enough to win most games.

  248. The Honorable Cock Jowles: 100% yes.

    Irving
    Harden
    Harris
    Durant
    Jordan

    scores 140 a night if they want to

    I forgot that they had kept Harris. He works really well off the big 3 there.

    Noel would actually be a good get by them, but the Nets have nothing useful to offer at this point.

  249. When you have Kyrie, Harden and Durant you are gong to be very good, but to me there’s a lot of overlap in what they do well. I think this is going to be a case of the whole being less than the sum of the parts even if the whole is still a very large number.

  250. holy $%$%@ the 1st rounders and the swaps are all unprotected. Unreal.
    That is a good job by Houston all things considered.

  251. In strong disagreement with those who say this is the best big 3.

    If you add up each individual’s offensive ability, then yes. But these guys have to play together, and this has law of diminishing returns written all over it. Plus they have to defend.

    I would take LeBron-Wade-Bosh over these guys all day. I’d take Pierce-Garnett-Allen, too, bc those guys fit together like gloves.

  252. Z-man:
    The #1 thing is that they all have to stay reasonably sane. The #2 thing is that they all have to stay reasonably healthy. The #3 thing is that they have to build a bench. Truly fascinating.

    Their bench is still kind of fine I think? It’s a 4 for 1 deal but Kurucs wasn’t playing at all. They need to find a backup big probably to replace Allen but that’s an easy spot to get competence at least (Taj would’ve been a nice fit actually if they’d acted a week ago) and in the playoffs I expect them to go smaller a lot with Jeff Green at C. Assuming they start Kyrie, Harden, Harris, KD and Deandre their bench right now is TLC, Jeff Green, Bruce Brown and Shamet with a generic C to be named later. That’s not too bad – no scoring punch but they don’t really need it.

  253. kinda feel like the Nets didn’t really need to do this. They already have a ton of scoring and high efficiency creation and needed more dudes that do all the little stuff – should’ve traded for PJ Brown and Robert Covington.

  254. It’s worth keeping in mind that Houston traded a lot of their own picks (in the form of the picks themselves or swaps) for Westbrook so this doesn’t get them to as much of a surplus as it seems. They also have no incentive to bottom out because the picks they do have aren’t theirs, hence the Oladipo trade.

    To me the only confusing part of this trade is the Pacers only being able to land a second and Caris LeVert for Oladipo. I know he’s expiring and hasn’t looked the same since his injury, but I’m not even convinced LeVert himself is an asset. Feels like they could’ve gotten more from Boston.

  255. Couldn’t Reggie Perry basically be their backup center? He was co-SEC player of the year last year and I was told that that is a very important award.

  256. How do you guard an Irving/Harden-DJ pick and roll with Harden/Irving, Durant and Harris at the 3-pt line?

  257. Wow.
    Color me shocked af!
    They did it. Mortgaged the future and gave up key rotational pieces for Harden. Not gonna like..I wanna see Nash and MDA run an offense centered around KD, Harden, and Kyrie.

    Ho
    Lee
    SHIT!

    Harden and KD together now is something I’ve always wanted to see. They better hope that Kyrie doesn’t screw this up, and they better win now.

    On the flipside, I wonder what it’s gonna look like when Kyrie and Harden fight for touches. Who’s hands do you put the ball in?

    Wow.

    Shit just got real

  258. kinda feel like the Nets didn’t really need to do this. They already have a ton of scoring and high efficiency creation and needed more dudes that do all the little stuff – should’ve traded for PJ Brown and Robert Covington.

    The way I look at it, it’s a lot easier to find guys who can replicate what the Browns and Covingtons of the world do on the buyout market, with late picks/UDFAs, etc. A player like James Harden is the most difficult kind of player to get in the whole damn sport. They’re now protected to a much greater degree against injury and underperformance from their role players.

  259. thenoblefacehumper: To me the only confusing part of this trade is the Pacers only being able to land a second and Caris LeVert for Oladipo. I know he’s expiring and hasn’t looked the same since his injury, but I’m not even convinced LeVert himself is an asset. Feels like they could’ve gotten more from Boston.

    LeVert seems to have some real believers in the league and I agree with you, I don’t really get it. I feel like the day is coming eventually that people notice the ball doesn’t usually go in when he shoots it.

  260. Deeefense: When you have Kyrie, Harden and Durant you are gong to be very good, but to me there’s a lot of overlap in what they do well.

    You’re right in the sense that they’re all astonishingly good ISO scorers. But that’s also a virtue. This is not a Klay Thompson situation, where he’s really only good on offense when he has passers who can find him off of penetration, curls and other screen action. They’re all potent shot creators and shot makers. You can’t leave them alone.

    There is simply no way to game plan for them. You need three elite one-on-one defenders or they are going to pick you apart. If Steve Nash can’t figure out a way to systematically exploit mismatches, he should give his MVP awards back.

    Sharing the ball equitably is going to be tough on some egos some nights, but also, this is the regular season we’re talking about. I don’t think James Harden is going to have an issue standing around while Kyrie and Durant play the two-man game on the other side of the floor.

  261. LeVert is a pretty decent player. He’s probably better than Oladipo and he’s signed for 2 more years at a decent price (he’s overpaid but not egregiously). And it’s not like star FAs are going to Indiana.

  262. Those 2025-27 picks/swaps are kind of scary. But maybe the Nets are betting on a dystopian future by that point.

  263. If Steve Nash can’t figure out a way to systematically exploit mismatches, he should give his MVP awards back.

    He’s going to get a nice single origin coffee and ask the Pringles man what to do

  264. Frank:
    kinda feel like the Nets didn’t really need to do this. They already have a ton of scoring and high efficiency creation and needed more dudes that do all the little stuff – should’ve traded for PJ Brown and Robert Covington.

    When you’re talking about a guy who can score 35 a night on >.600 TS% shooting, where’s the downside?

    You don’t need nitty-gritty players when you’ve got a 25-point lead after three quarters. They are going to blow bad defensive teams out of the fucking water. Will be interesting to see what they do against the league’s best defenses, though.

  265. btw, good job showing the world you can be the man, Kevin Durant.

    “Sure, you’ve won two NBA Finals MVPs, but now prove that you can be the man!”

    That’s quite the take.

  266. You’re right in the sense that they’re all astonishingly good ISO scorers. But that’s also a virtue.

    This not a debate I’m going to take a strong stand on other than to say each of them isn’t going to get as many points and assists as they are used to. It will be on the 3 of them to figure out a way to be a lot more more efficient than 2 of them could be teamed up with some great 3 point shooters and 3&D players taking open shots playing off them.

  267. The Nets will play no defense but cruise during the regular season. I wouldn’t be surprised if- like the 73 win GS team- they don’t respond well if they face real adversity. “If” is the key word there. And I think Harden and Kyrie are probably the two of the most likely guys to break Covid protocol and infect the whole team.

  268. Harden did a good job devaluing himself by playing half assed basketball. And in the end, he got what he wanted

    Still can’t believe Houston couldn’t have gotten a star back for him though.

  269. Wow, the House got to double digit GOP yes votes…that seems huuuge.

    i like how steny (is that really a name?) closed out the arguments…some of the stuff being said – just wasn’t able to listen to for fear of steam burning my ears as it left me body…what a huge difference between new york and florida members…

    so happy these votes are getting recorded…2022 and beyond…i love that they put up metal detectors at the doors – ha, perfect statement…hopefully a new and fun fine system within the capitol goes in to affect…

  270. This thread has been a good opportunity to remember that PJ Brown was a guy who existed but I assume we’re all talking about PJ Tucker right?

  271. I guess the Nets could still keep Dinwiddie next year and going forward, which gives them good depth and protection for nights when Irving attends the community board meetings in Fort Greene.

  272. Yes, but the real important question is can the Knicks beat Kevin Durant and 4 random dudes tonight?

  273. The other thing worth noting is that the Nets will start having a lot more fans and viewers regardless of how they actually perform.

  274. What’s amazing about the trade is that the Nets tonight don’t even look that shorthanded.

    Allen, Prince and LeVert are gone from the nine players who played last night, but only Allen started (Jordan didn’t play). Jordan will play tonight, I imagine, so the starters remain the same and you just lose LeVert and Prince for a night.

    Unless KD is sitting the game out, of course, in which case, here comes .500, Knicks!

  275. As fans of the team that could have had KD & Co it’s painful to watch Harden joining them but let’s wait and see what will happen…

    Healthy Nets are No Match for any team.

    Lakers, Clippers, Sixers, Bucks and Celts should start voodoo magic asap

  276. DRed:
    I don’t think KD plays back to backs

    He said last night he was playing. I think you’re not allowed to just rest national TV games. Isn’t that a change they made this year?

  277. They are going to put on a show. This really and truly sucks. Hard to see anyone beating them in a 7 game series sans major injuries. I didn’t like them on principal before and had to work at it a bit to care much.
    My dislike is quite clear and strong now.

    Fuck the Nets!

  278. Brian Cronin: “Sure, you’ve won two NBA Finals MVPs, but now prove that you can be the man!”

    That’s quite the take.

    that’s quite a disingenuous restating of my position.

    durant’s finals mvp award never silenced the critics before, and he allegedly was motivated to leave golden state to be the man on his own team.

  279. Despite not being as in awe as others, I still can’t see how this team loses to anyone other than the Lakers. Maybe a feisty, well organized Celtics team could pull an upset.

    Man, I’d really hate to be Giannis right now, all in on Jrue Holliday and Khris Middleton going to war against these three.

  280. Wow, wild day in the NBA. On paper, Brooklyn should be the favorites now but I wonder about how Kyrie handles this. He’s already a knucklehead that’s currently AWOL so he could go clubbing on his sister’s birthday and he forced his way out of Cleveland because he hated being 2nd option to Lebron; how’s he going to handle being 3rd option now to Durant and Harden?

    I also disagree with this being the best big 3 of the century. I’d take Shaq-Kobe-whoever and Curry-Durant-Draymond as better big 3 than the Nets have.

  281. Hard to see anyone beating them in a 7 game series sans major injuries. I didn’t like them on principal before and had to work at it a bit to care much.

    The Lakers are really, really good.

  282. The only way for the Nets to make themselves less appealing to root for now is if they sign Jake Angeli to play SF.

  283. That is a hell of a trade and a hell of a lot of picks. I mean, it’s not exactly like the trade for KG, Pierce and Terry, but real similar vibe.

    By virtue of the Nets basically having no players we should be in with a chance tonight right?

  284. Z:
    The only way for the Nets to make themselves less appealing to root for now is if they sign Jake Angeli to play SF.

    They could fire Steve Nash and hire Bill Laimbeer as HC. And hire Bryan “Find a New Slant” Colangelo as GM.

  285. “Hard to see anyone beating them in a 7 game series sans major injuries.”

    The Nets, with KD playing eight games and Kyrie seven, were 6-6 and in 7th place in the East before this trade. They’ve now lost their 3rd and 5th leading scorers and, I kid you not, their two best bigs.

    Yeah, the Nets might now have arguably the most talented trio of players in league history but they’ve inarguably got the most emotionally dysfunctional trio of superstars in league history.

    Mike

  286. vincoug: I also disagree with this being the best big 3 of the century. I’d take Shaq-Kobe-whoever and Curry-Durant-Draymond as better big 3 than the Nets have.

    Curry-Durant-Green is my answer. Curry and Durant were clearly 2 of the 3 best guys in the league. In a league where top, top end talent matters so much that’s a big edge over this Nets group unless Durant can fully reestablish himself at that level and Harden can be fully himself again. Green was legit all-NBA for a couple years there before his shot abandoned him and I like his skill fit as a third guy more than Kyrie.

  287. The best from this Trade for the Knicks is that the other contenders would most possibly need to upgrade their roster to have a chance against the Nets so having good mercs till the trade deadline could be very beneficial.

  288. That is some lineup in Brooklyn. I cannot root harder against a team. And just to be forthcoming, when they were in the ABA, I rooted for Rick Barry and Dr. J. on that team and attended a number of games at the Colosseum.

    My attitude to the Nets is approaching the same level of venomous hatred as my attitude to the Red Sox. That says a lot.

  289. MBunge: Yeah, the Nets might now have arguably the most talented trio of players in league history but they’ve inarguably got the most emotionally dysfunctional trio of superstars in league history.

    Exactly. Their injuries might come from a locker room incident.

  290. Bryan “Find a New Slant” Colangelo

    it’s a normal collar

    Their injuries might come from a locker room incident.

    Kyrie and Durant are two of the most passive-aggressive dudes out. This isn’t Jimmy Butler, Kevin Garnett and DeMarcus Cousins having locker-room beef.

    If shit goes sideways, Kyrie will take a leave of absence, Harden will go incommunicado at the strip club, and Durant will tear his achilles just to escape again.

  291. You guys have it all wrong.

    The greatest threesome ever was Frazier, Monroe and Reed and it’s not even close! :-)

  292. Z-man: Wow, the House got to double digit GOP yes votes…that seems huuuge.

    10 is despicably measly. I hope it haunts them and tears their festering carcass of a party to shreds. People were killed. Kidnappings were planned and frothing paramilitary whack jobs brought law enforcement-style double-cuff zip ties with them into the breached capitol building while white supremacists erected a gallows to evoke the Turner Diaries outside. The President’s attempt to overturn the vote through this violence and terrorizing of congress was purposefully fomented through a ceaseless barrage of ridiculous public lies. Still not enough for 197 GOP reps to vote to impeach? Really? Makes me want to fucking vomit.

    I hope future generations find all this as hard to fathom as we do trying to imagine the days when people made a family pic nic of watching a lynching or a bayonet charge.

  293. Looking on Twitter for reactions made me think – remember when Bill Simmons would be someone that people would listen to about big deals like this (whether they should or not is a fine question)? Why has he totally forfeited that landscape? It’s bizarre. Who chooses to become irrelevant?

  294. Nets have become the most hateable squad in recent NBA history since the early 2010s Heat superteam.

    Though I must say its rather saddening that Brooklyn currently has three basketball players who are far better than anyone that’s played in a Knicks uniform since Pat Ewing’s prime.

    Boy, its hard to be a Knicks fan.

  295. I wonder about how Kyrie handles this. how’s he going to handle being 3rd option now to Durant and Harden?

    I know he’s clearly the 3rd best player of the three, but I’m pretty sure he’s the alpha dog of the team. He’s gonna have the ball in his hands the most.

    It must be bc Alan brought up Jon Hamm, but Kyrie’s whole “leave in the middle of the season to fuck around” is giving me some major Don Draper vibes.

  296. ***Still not enough for 197 GOP reps to vote to impeach? Really? Makes me want to fucking vomit.***

    The House is an irredeemable collection of partisans and will be for as long as state legislatures draw congressional district lines. Let’s see how the un-gerrymandered Senate votes on it.

  297. Brian Cronin:
    Looking on Twitter for reactions made me think – remember when Bill Simmons would be someone that people would listen to about big deals like this (whether they should or not is a fine question)? Why has he totally forfeited that landscape? It’s bizarre. Who chooses to become irrelevant?

    I mean, Spotify did just give him $200 million for his website.

    I know rich people still tweet and all, but it seems like he’s moved on.

  298. I think the Nets now have 3 roster slots they can fill with veterans looking for a ring.

    Anyone decent out there? The Knicks were actually sort of considering 68-year-old Tyson Chandler, so I wonder if anyone good is still left on the market.

  299. I am ignorant on the subject, but my uninformed view is that Kyrie is suffering from some sort of mental health issue. Maybe he’s a manic depressive? His behavior is way different that Harden’s. Harden wanted out and decided to behave unprofessionally in order to force a trade. Kyrie chose to go to NJ, by all accounts is happy with the decision, and if he was having a serious family issue we’d probably know the details by now. This seems more like a mental health issue or maybe even a substance abuse problem that is just not public yet.

  300. Brian Cronin: Anyone decent out there? The Knicks were actually sort of considering 68-year-old Tyson Chandler, so I wonder if anyone good is still left on the market.

    I looked at a list a week or so ago and saw a few names I thought might still be able to help a team, but I can’t even remember the names. So they couldn’t have been that good. lol Chandler seems like it might be a decent idea.

  301. If you’ve listened to Bill Simmons’ broadcasts lately you’ll see that the reason he isn’t engaging in the talk about these supertrades is because he’s been on a rant lately about how all of these superteamups are bad for NBA competition and parity…yadda…yadda…yadda…

    The hypocrite didn’t have a problem when Boston brought over Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to become an Eastern Conference powerhouse in the late 2000s or even when Kyrie forced his way out of Cleveland to the Celtics. But now that its working against his precious team in their own Atlantic Division the little crybaby has to sulk about it.

  302. Unreason: 10 is despicably measly. I hope it haunts them and tears their festering carcass of a party to shreds. People were killed.

    It speaks volumes in a positive way. 10 Republicans voted for it. There have been statements made that indicate that many were afraid for their safety if they voted for impeachment.

    I watched the proceedings and listened to the arguments. Yeah, there were your reprehensible alt-right loonies, but there were dozens that sent messages that they are willing to work with Democrats, did not excuse the actions and took the “there’s no time and the Democrats are rushing this through” escape route. as in this statement from Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05).

    This, to me, is a positive turn. 7 more days. Now back to hoops.

  303. Hubert: I wonder about how Kyrie handles this. how’s he going to handle being 3rd option now to Durant and Harden?
    I know he’s clearly the 3rd best player of the three, but I’m pretty sure he’s the alpha dog of the team. He’s gonna have the ball in his hands the most.

    I have a feeling Durant’s going to raise his passive-aggressiveness to such an extent that he’s going to redefine what it means to be an alpha.

  304. Great pick up by Cleveland. Allen’s a beast.

    I don’t get the Pacers, though. It seemed like Oladipo was playing ok again. I do kinda like Levert, but it seems like IND is selling real low. Guess they figured Vic was leaving after this year anyway.

  305. Brian Cronin: Anyone decent out there? The Knicks were actually sort of considering 68-year-old Tyson Chandler, so I wonder if anyone good is still left on the market.

    We just released Omari Spellman so I guess him. Jeremy Lin is on GSW’s GLeague team, I don’t really know how that works. And Trier is still available.

  306. The House also knew the result before the vote happened. If you’re a Republican and don’t want to risk your seat the next election you can vote against impeachment and know full well that it doesn’t make a practical difference.

    The fact that 10 Republicans voted for impeachment despite not needing to do so is pretty significant (zero did last time and Dems have majority control regardless). I believe 4 other Republicans didn’t vote. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s at least noteworthy they didn’t support Trump in the vote.

Leave a Reply