2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Pacers

The starting lineup remains the same, and Burks is still out, but the big news is that Immanuel Quickley is back! Oh yeah!

I’ll be fascinated in seeing who the backup point guard will be, Quickley or Rivers. They’ll both play major minutes, but who will be the lead guard?

The Pacers are without TJ Warren, but Sabonis is still out there and we’ll see if Mitch and Noel can handle him any better this time than they did in the first game.

Also, maybe RJ could repeat his first half performance again like he did against the Pacers last time? Perhaps for the full game this time!

Let’s go, Knicks!

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364 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Pacers”

  1. Quick Quick!

    Really hope RJ hits his first couple of shots. It’ll start getting into his head otherwise.

    (This is the arena where he had the best game of his pro career, so one can hope…….)

  2. Interesting that the Pacers have elevated Aaron Holiday to the starting lineup with Warren out, going with a two point guard backcourt. I would have thought they’d just start McDermott, as he is a small forward already.

  3. Response to some stuff from last thread:

    IQ & Rivers will share the ball (most likely). Thibs offense so far seems amenable to having multiple creators. I’d guess the vet Rivers takes the ball up, but they’ll probably take turn with that too

    RJ’s TS% jumps to .500 if he hits 3s at the same rate as last year (32%). If you take his career average (~30%), he’s at .491 TS%. Neither is great, but I’d feel less pessimistic if RJ can get up to .500 TS% this year.

  4. Brian Cronin:
    Interesting that the Pacers have elevated Aaron Holiday to the starting lineup with Warren out, going with a two point guard backcourt. I would have thought they’d just start McDermott, as he is a small forward already.

    So we could expect a lot of pressure on our ball handlers and some physical mismatch in our favor? Interesting. May the threes fall.

  5. Noticed Haliburton hasn’t played today. Did he get knicked up? (Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so…)

  6. Raven:
    Noticed Haliburton hasn’t played today. Did he get knicked up? (Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so…)

    He has a bone bruise in the wrist, out at least a week.

  7. It’s amazing that the Pacers don’t seem to have an answer for Payton’s penetration. It’s weird, since they’re playing Randle and Barrett well, but Payton is their weak spot? Mitch is just Mitch, but Payton’s drives doing so well is unusual (and good).

  8. Brian Cronin:
    It’s amazing that the Pacers don’t seem to have an answer for Payton’s penetration. It’s weird, since they’re playing Randle and Barrett well, but Payton is their weak spot? Mitch is just Mitch, but Payton’s drives doing so well is unusual (and good).

    Now that there’s more than 2 PGs available he knows he needs to actually play well

  9. Thanks, Max.

    Liking this version of Knicks. Elfrid getting to the rim, Mitch cleaning up, RJ hitting the jumper. It’s early, but outside of some questionable Randle fade-aways, we’re looking like a decent professional basketball team.

  10. Sabonis is trying to match Mitch in bad fouls. That’s totally a free throw and possession, right? Why are you even reviewing that? It’s obvious.

  11. Wondering if Mitch is winded or maybe Thibs saw him something stupid and pulled him as a lesson. Definitely weird

  12. rj’s biggest issue is rhythm, which is something that’s a lot easier to control on free throws where you can shut down most of your momentum entirely. he’s gone back to an almost comically overemphasized rhythm dip so far tonight on his 3s. smart.

  13. I was watching some of the Rockets Kings game earlier. The Rockets announcers are SOO bad, really makes you appreciate what we have in Breen and Clyde

  14. What the fuck was that, Barrett? How in the world do you just pass up an attempt to score there?

  15. This is a perfect opportunity to bring in Frank on Brogdan. Oh, that’s right, it’s one of his injury games. I can never keep that schedule right…

  16. End of first, we’re served the Bad Randle today, RJ help us stay afloat.
    I really miss Burks.
    And where did Mitch go? He started so well…

  17. Fkn analytics

    Anyone actually worried about their shooting percentage on a single shot is a fool.

  18. That is one way to raise your percentages. Lame.

    IQ would drive me crazy if he was on the other team

    It drives me crazy Brogdon is on the other team

  19. The invisible sixth man is doing well against the other Pacers, but Brogdon must have immunity against him. 4-4 Brogdon, 1 for 8 for everyone else.

  20. I’m not sure the MLB owners have learned their lesson about overpaying older players. It could just be they feel broke because of the pandemic related drop in revenues.

  21. “Anyone that obsessed with their shooting percentage on a single shot is a fool”

    And we’re not talking about a 90/50/40 guy…

  22. I’m not sure the MLB owners have learned their lesson about overpaying older players. It could just be they feel broke because of the pandemic related drop in revenues.

    We’re talking about a 5+ year trend

  23. Beautiful floater from IQ

    Beautiful block from Mitch.

    Oof Rivers….

    Good to know that our Free Three defense works as well with 4 players as with 5.

  24. That was a man against boy block of Sabonis by Mitch.

    A kind of disrespectful shot attempt by Sabonis there.

  25. I’m liking this Rivers-IQ backcourt. Having 2 quick, very good ball handlers in at the same time is very rare to see as a Knicks fan.

  26. I just love the combination of runner + ability to draw fouls that IQ has as a foundation of his offensive game.

  27. VIntage Mitch tonight, not sure about that call on Sabonis but man that dude’s footwork is lethal

  28. Here’s the thing about MLB owners “learning” their lesson about big contracts to older players, there is no salary cap in MLB!! Who cares what the players are making, it shouldn’t affect the team’s ability to acquire other players especially when even the cheapest valued MLB franchise is still worth 1 billion dollars.

  29. I am telling you, Quickley should have gone #1

    If only Barrett could play the Pacers every night….

  30. Thibs is so confusing. Why is Quickley out of the game? “Let’s see who has the hot hand and then sit them.”

  31. Payton has some huge holes in his game but he’s still the only guy on the roster who understands it’s good to throw the ball to Mitch so he can dunk it

  32. It’s like I said last night. Randle doesn’t seem to know how to react to double teams at all. It’s like he’s shocked that they’re doubling him.

  33. Watch out, he’s a free agent this summer and we have a lot of money :-)

    “Hmmm…I’m 0-5 and Sabonis has only taken 4 shots. I should shoot a tough fall away, right?”

  34. Brian Cronin:
    Knox had a good defensive play there against Brogdon.

    He still gets beat off of the dribble all the time but now maintains enough contact to challenge the shot- big improvement.

  35. Brian Cronin:
    Thibs is so confusing. Why is Quickley out of the game?

    Good fucking question. It just reminds me why I get so pissed that Thibs didn’t start him.

  36. zion is a beast, sure, but it’s getting to the point where his passing and defense in the nba are worth worrying about, at least relative to mvp type expectations. it’s
    not just that they haven’t been good.

  37. Quickley got two fouls, is coming back from an injury, and is in his second NBA game. Everyone could use a deep breath.

  38. Randle just smoked the best shot blocker in the league

    Right after Payton did the same. Impressive.

  39. Mitch keeping us in the game. Bad Julius trying to play us out of it.

    Yeah, for a 1 point deficit, this really feels like they’re lucky to be this close. Brogdon is 4-4 from three (and all of them were in the first quarter) and the rest of the Pacers are 3 for 17. That’s unlikely to continue. Similarly, we saw Oladipo realize that he should obviously be driving on the Knicks. He did that in the second half of the last game and they started cleaning up. Sabonis is also not being featured for…reasons. On the Knicks side of things, I don’t see the easy adjustment. They’re shooting 51% from the field.

  40. Still in the game despite Bad Randle, monumental Mitch, surprising drives by Payton, decent game for RJ, good Quickley minutes, Rivers is useful.

    Next time Oladipo tries to drive, give him a punch in the face, make him gain his FT.

  41. Randle needs to get going and stop putting up dumb fall away jumpers.

    The 2nd unit should be trying to rain 3s on opposing teams w/ Knox/Rivers/Quickley

    Overall, 12 3PA just doesn’t get it done in the NBA

  42. This team puts on a great effort, i like it. We’re in the game, and this time the other team is playing very well also. That is promising.

  43. Play of the game was Noel’s drive to the hoop that shocked everyone so much that the Pacers didn’t even seem to try to stop him.

  44. I will sum up our team in 3 words: THEY PROCESS INFORMATION

    zman out here running his 1972 xerox parc cheer captain game

  45. ptmilo:
    I will sum up our team in 3 words: THEY PROCESS INFORMATION

    zman out here running his 1972 xerox parc cheer captain game

    spoken like a guy who never witnessed a knicks championship…

  46. pepper:
    somebody tell freaking Randle to give the ball to a guard…

    Yeah, good luck with that. Just get rid of him.

  47. Play of the game was Noel’s drive to the hoop that shocked everyone so much that the Pacers didn’t even seem to try to stop him.

    He did that at least once earlier this season too, I remember being really surprised he could do that

  48. I can’t believe Carter-Williams is a starter for Orlando and Exum for Cleveland, is there a new trend here?
    Is starting known bad shooters the new hot topic in the NBA?
    If so we were the trail blazers (Payton, Mudiay, DSj) and Frank could have a chance…

  49. Randle dominating is the one area where the Knicks could take advantage of things versus the first and that’s just what he’s done. Good for him.

  50. Mitch is playing really well, dominating the airspace.
    I’m surprised the Pacers are involving Sabonis much less than in the first game.

  51. Brian, I was going to write that after your first comment but got distracted. If he can get back to (blue and) orange Julius we have a real chance.

  52. Is it me or are we a muuuuuch better team when Mitch is in the game?

    I am buying high on Randle, BTW.

    He’s playing within himself more often after those stretches where he’s out of control.

  53. Breen suggested that Thibs had gotten a technical as a Knicks assistant coach. He better not have! Can you imagine an assistant costing a team points?

  54. I don’t understand how Turner is playing Payton. He didn’t do anything there except for to push Payton after he took the shot. So weird.

  55. Payton is such an infuriating player. He will do lots of positive things like attack the basket and put good pressure in 1 on 1 defense but then turn around get lazy with his passes or his defense fighting over screens.

  56. It’s amazing that the Pacers are not reacting to Payton’s drives at all.

    It’s the classic, “Well, he did the same move four other times, he wouldn’t possibly do the same move a fifth time, right?” decision-making.

  57. Man, Pacers can’t miss.

    Two close misses by Barrett and Mitch and that idiotic pass by Payton were a cumulative big swing.

    Good RJ is ok with me

  58. man randle’s defense on that last play

    I don’t like it when the Knicks make Thibs so very, very mad.

  59. Brian Cronin:
    It’s amazing that the Pacers are not reacting to Payton’s drives at all.

    It’s the classic, “Well, he did the same move four other times, he wouldn’t possibly do the same move a fifth time, right?” decision-making.

    Aren’t we doing the same with Turner’s 3 pointers?

  60. i think the leaving ppl open at the 3 pt line defense isn’t working anymore….

    Luckily, Randle and Payton made up for it. But…yeah, that doesn’t bode well.

  61. Brian Cronin:
    Quickley is so good at drawing BS fouls.

    He was on Instagram the other day defending Trae Young’s recent antics stating that drawing fouls is a skill everybody doesn’t have

  62. Rivers has been a nice surprise.

    This lineup is a good one for RJ – if only he could get the ball.

  63. so rj is playing 42 minutes i guess…

    What can Thibs do? This is Game 7 of the NBA Finals. All hands on deck.

  64. Best definition of Bullock’s defense by Mike Breen “Brogdon has been outstanding today, defended by Bullock” :D

  65. As long as everyone is healthy Frank and DS Jr should never be on the court again. Maybe Frank for spot minutes here and there,

  66. Rivers has done some good things It’s a little strange he signed for us for so little money.

    Apparently the Jones brothers were the only set of four brothers who all played in the NBA. Never heard of them but one of them was on the Rockets 95 team.

  67. Owen:
    Rivers has done some good things

    Apparently the Jones brothers were the only set of four brothers who all played in the NBA. Never heard of them but one of them was on the Rockets 95 team.

    Me neither. But brothers champions it’s only the Gasols, or there’s more?

  68. BigBlueAL:
    As long as everyone is healthy Frank and DS Jr should never be on the court again.Maybe Frank for spot minutes here and there,

    If anything this game and the last impresses the idea upon me that Frank should take more of Bullock’s minutes.

  69. Owen: Apparently the Jones brothers were the only set of four brothers who all played in the NBA. Never heard of them but one of them was on the Rockets 95 team.

    It’s hard to keep up with the Joneses

  70. Feels like this will probably be a heartbreaking loss, but the way they’ve played not the worst thing.

  71. Seriously, Mitch would have blocked that Dipo three. :-)

    I love the way the team is playing but some aspects of how Thibs is coaching are pretty strange.

  72. Ntilakilla: If anything this game and the last impresses the idea upon me that Frank should take more of Bullock’s minutes.

    I disagree. Bullock is a much more reliable 3pt shooter and he plays very good defense. On his bad nights he’s better than Frank.

  73. I get the Knicks have allowed some wide open 3pters but shit so many times they do a good job of cutting off the dribble and forcing the Pacers (and Raptors the other night) to just pass it around the perimeter and have someone jack up a 3pter and it goes in.

  74. Being tied midway through the 4th quarter with a Pacers team that is playing well, it’s what i call progress.

  75. This game has been pretty fun — crazy good and bad. Win or lose, I’m hoping the hangover is done with and we’ll get a Farfa recap tomorrow.

  76. If only my wife looked at me the way Elfrid looks at Mitch when he is near the hoop….

    That’s a joke, we are good!

  77. ‘On his bad nights he’s better than Frank.’

    I’m sorry, but Bad Bullock is, well, bullocks.

    He’s screwed up three of four possessions.

  78. our 4 guard rotation should be payton…burks..quickly.
    .rivers..frank in spot duty…deep six dsj and bollocks

  79. Like I mentioned earlier, Knicks will have bad defensive possessions where they allow an open 3pter but they have a ton of great defensive possessions too.

  80. This Rivers has been a much better player than I remember past Rivers being. [insert joke about rivers in Austin]

  81. man turner was wiiiiiide open

    Randle got into Sabonis’ ego there. The Pacers are playing like absolute morons tonight.

  82. Fourth youngest team in the NBA, no bad contracts, you can’t be unhappy with this

  83. How fucking stupid do you have to be to call up a play down six for an Oladipo three pointer?

  84. The Pacers are really just making so many shockingly dumb plays here at the end. Luckily, the Knicks have a coach whose head would explode at these decisions, so they wouldn’t do it to him.

  85. man those three defensive possessions two by randle,
    then the block, recovery and outlet by mitch…wish they were in a packed msg but i’ll take it

  86. I think we can call this one!

    Great defensive effort tonight, yeah, it’s been a lonnnnnnnng time. Props to RJ and Mitch. Excellent game by them.

  87. Pacers have been maybe playing a bit over their heads, but they are a good team and this is a real nice win. Better than the sort of flukey win over the Bucks.

  88. Pacers have been maybe playing a bit over their heads, but they are a good team and this is a real nice win. Better than the sort of flukey win over the Bucks.

    Totally agreed. The Bucks win was a fluke. This was a real cohesive win.

  89. Knicks had the toughest strength of schedule heading into tonight, 3-3 after this opening stretch is really a helluva accomplishment.

  90. I’m buying in on Randle. He’s clearly a leader on this team on both ends of the court.

    Mitchell is a stud. He totally intimidated the shit out the Pacers in the paint and that 3 point block was great.

    Payton played very well again.

    Good to see Barretta have a good shooting night.

  91. good win… this was basically the toronto game except thibs played payton more who’s going to make it a point to get into the paint instead of hunting for 3s….. it was also nice to hit them….

    randle came up big defensively… some nice stops late and good to see that he’s taking some pride on that end…. but man.. sabonis missed turner who was alone in the paint for what seemed like an eternity…

    good bounceback game from rj.. not much else to say… variance is a bitch…. the free throws continue to look real… i’m not sure if rj’s going to hold up playing 38+mpg… he short armed a shot and a pass late…

    again mitch being impactful…. if he’s not in fall trouble he def needs the randle/rj treatment playing him as many minutes he can give.. he has fresh legs sitting this whole time! play him!

  92. Thibs can bleeping coach, guys. Wow. This is not a good team, the roster is very much the Isle of Misfit Toys, but Thibs has them defending their asses off, has dragged the offense out of the stone age (and it would look better if we had more shooters on the roster), is playing a sensible rotation, getting the most out of lots of guys, etc.

    I can’t remember what it felt like to have a Knicks coach in whom I felt this level of confidence. Woodson was clearly a journeyman coaching out of his mind for a season (and even then, he didn’t seem to understand why the team was good), Pringles was smart but also self-destructively rigid about his system, and the Van Gundy era feels like 10 lifetimes ago. The less said about everyone else this century, the better.

  93. Yeah, this was a nice, nice win, very fun game to watch. Having Quickley and Rivers coming off the bench gave the team a whole new dynamic, we actually have some competent guards to rotate for the first time in a long while. If the Knicks can win solid games even when Randle doesn’t score much, this season will probably be a lot more fun than what I expected at the start.

  94. Bucks was fluky, but we did blow them out. So I count that as a legit win.

  95. Great team win, in a tense game versus a good team.
    It’s been years since The Knicks played a defense so spirited down the stretch.
    Great game by Mitch, checking Sabonis and been active on offense
    (another ten games like this one and I’m ready for the extension Cyber ;-) )
    very good one from Barrett, playing in the flow and rarely forcing,
    hitting FT to ice the game,
    Payton attacked the rim, Rivers was fearless, Randle got rid of his evil twin and played like a leader,
    Quickley showed that is real…
    What a tasty win…
    This team is well coached, the work by the staff is evident and the progress is steady.

  96. BigBlueAL: Knicks had the toughest strength of schedule heading into tonight, 3-3 after this opening stretch is really a helluva accomplishment.

    Not to get ahead of ourselves, but the Knicks have beaten the Bucks and Pacers, two really good teams.

  97. Austin Rivers was huge after starting a little sloppy.

    This is a very watchable/likeable team.

    It’s been awhile.

  98. Don’t forget that bullshit jump ball at the end where the refs didn’t see IQ call time out.

    They then immediately blew the whistle on Sabonis’ “backcourt violation” as a makeup call.

  99. These guys played well, and we’re missing Burks. It really seems that we have a balanced team this year.

  100. When Burks comes back with Rivers and IQ healthy now might be time to start Burks and severely limit Bullock’s minutes to just spot 10th man rotation minutes.

  101. Ntilakilla:
    Don’t forget that bullshit jump ball at the end where the refs didn’t see IQ call time out.

    They then immediately blew the whistle on Sabonis’ “backcourt violation” as a makeup call.

    Really bad calls, not a good game for the refs.

  102. Don’t forget that bullshit jump ball at the end where the refs didn’t see IQ call time out.

    They then immediately blew the whistle on Sabonis’ “backcourt violation” as a makeup call.

    You know you have some shitty ref-ing when you see a lot of makeup calls and there was a lot of makeup calls tonight.

  103. Well I gotta say, Thibs has this team playing some nice defense, and he has some guys who are not known to be great defenders playing very good defense.

    You don’t think of Randle and Barrett as defensive stoppers, but they played very well on D in this game.

  104. Yeah, Rivers did some things I feel like I haven’t seen a Knicks guard do in a while

    I mean, it’s hyperbole but it’s not

  105. I’m so full of adrenaline I can’t go to sleep and it’s 3:40 AM here.
    Maybe I’ll sip a tad of single malt…

  106. If you can make Payton, Randle and Rivers to play likeable bball it means you are a good coach.

  107. It is nice to have a coaching advantage against a lot of teams. I even like what the Pacers coach has been doing with the team, but at the end of the game, Thibs was making the right calls and the Pacers coach was clearly not.

  108. The Knicks still need a long-term answer at point guard but When Payton is committed to going downhill he’s at least acceptable. Kobe assists are a poor substitute for actual assists but getting the ball on the rim and hoping it drops or is tipped in beats a Payton jumper any day.

    Quickley gives off real Lou Williams vibes- hitting threes, drawing fouls all over the place, and a good enough floater to make up for not being able to get to the rim. I’m not convinced he’s a real point guard yet but I’m not convinced he isn’t either. Still, looks like he could be a player.

  109. Of course this win is also related to the fact Oladipo (and the Pacers coaches) still seems to consider himself a superstar against all current evidence, but it was really solid in a lot of aspects. I dare say with Fizdale this was a certain loss.

    It’s hard to imagine this effort being sustainable throughout an entire season, but the trajectory has definitely been positive, it’s a fun team to watch with decent rotations, playing good defense and having tools to compete with more talented teams. We can’t ask for much more at this point.

  110. It’s a crazy season,
    we won at Indiana, OKC at the 4-1 Orlando and Cleveland at Atlanta.
    Yesterday Detroi beat Boston (!!!) and Atlanta the Nets (with Irving and Durant), the Suns are 5-1…
    Home court advantage is non existent and with few exceptions it looks like anything can happen on every single game.
    Right now we’re definitively in the “anything can happen”, did anyone predict a 3-3 record with our schedule?

  111. I’m still marveling at how much Randle stepped up in the second half. That was really the difference. The Knicks played well in the first half and the Pacers (outside of Brogdon) didn’t and yet the Pacers still led, but Randle stepped up to take the Knicks to the next level and Oladipo did whatever the opposite of “stepping up” in the second half for the Pacers.

  112. Brian Cronin:
    I’m still marveling at how much Randle stepped up in the second half. That was really the difference. The Knicks played well in the first half and the Pacers (outside of Brogdon) didn’t and yet the Pacers still led, but Randle stepped up to take the Knicks to the next level and Oladipo did whatever the opposite of “stepping up” in the second half for the Pacers.

    Randle did play as a leader in the second half and so did Rivers,
    also Brogdon started 6-6 on 3PT and went 1-4 down the stretch, reverse to the mean works two ways :-)

  113. I’m actually surprised teams are double teaming Randle as aggressively as they are. Do you really need to send a second guy at him when he’s 15 feet from the basket? No one ever seemed to think getting the ball out of Randle’s hands was all that important before.

  114. If IQ isn’t a PG and is only a guy who shoots 3s, draws fouls and brings the ball up the court, well that’s okay-we could use a guy like that too.

  115. I’m actually surprised teams are double teaming Randle as aggressively as they are. Do you really need to send a second guy at him when he’s 15 feet from the basket? No one ever seemed to think getting the ball out of Randle’s hands was all that important before.

    The Pacers likely saw how much success the Raptors had with doubling him. I still think it’s probably the right call, as he seems so ill at ease with it. But yeah, it should probably closer to the basket.

  116. If IQ isn’t a PG and is only a guy who shoots 3s, draws fouls and brings the ball up the court, well that’s okay-we could use a guy like that too.

    It’s funny how useful just competent guard play is. DSJ and Frank to IQ and Rivers is like a whole new world.

  117. DSJ and Frank to IQ and Rivers is like a whole new world.

    Give a starving man a few crumbs, and he’ll think it’s a gourmet meal.

  118. I do hope someone is in Mitch’s ear pointing out how staying on the floor>>>chasing blocks. Having 48 minutes of rim protection has probably made as much of a difference as anything schematic Thibs has done.

  119. I think most teams won’t respect Barrett, Payton, Quickley etc until they do it consistently, so they’ll keep doubling Randle to force him into making dumb mistakes, which to be fair sounds like a good strategy until Randle can prove he’s capable of dealing with it. Tonight he was well under control in the second half and it didn’t work, plus we had good contributions elsewhere, but teams should keep trying at least for now.

  120. We are playing the game as well as we can given the limited talent level of the players.

    We are getting absolutely great coaching.

    You don’t need a true “PG” if you are playing offense PROPERLY. As long as the players and ball are moving with some purpose and we are getting some penetration the team will get good shots. The shots and assists will fall where they may on any given night. Who cares who gets them as long as we are getting good shots and have players that can make them.

    Defenses are making it tougher on Randle, but he continues to make plays. That’s all you can ask. He’s not even a legit #1 or #2 scorer and he’s getting double teamed. smh I feel sorry for the poor guy. We need enough weapons to make them pay for that strategy to give the poor guy a break.

    It was nice to see Mitch have good game against a good big team. I’ll have to watch the replay again, but maybe all the double teams on Randle helped free up Mitch to do his thing with more frequency. That’s exactly what we need.

    I didn’t read the thread, but I presume some of the RJ panic has subsided a little. rotflmao

    Quickley looked fine. I didn’t see much difference or rust.

    I can’t wait to see Quickley, RJ, and Frank on the court at the same time.

    I hope Thibs gives us a chance to see enough of that young lineup so we can figure what they can eventually do together moving the ball, making plays, and playing D. Rivers is fine all around as a vet coming off the bench for a good team, but I’d WAY rather see Frank’s defense with some combination of Quickley’s or Burke’s offense and RJ, but we need either RJ or Frank to make 3s at a decent clip to keep those 2 together.

  121. I like the big minutes for the starters and short bench. In recent years it’s been endless auditions. I think Elf has benefited from it and has gotten into a nice rhythm. Happy to have been wrong about him as he’s been excellent. Really excited about IQ and it’s good to see them not just throw him into the fire the way they did with RJ / Knox / Frank in recent years. Yes, Knick fans player development is a thing. Mitch realizing his potential. Julius a beast. I’m really fucking happy right now.

  122. Once we get Burks back I would really love us to cut back our starters’ minutes. There isn’t a huge drop off from Mitch/Randle/Barrett/ Bullock/Payton to Noel/Knox/ Burks/Rivers/Quickley so I would love to see our bench get 18-20 minutes a game as a unit (plus some extra minutes for Burks) that way we can keep all our players fresh. It’s one thing if you are riding Butler, Deng, and Noah to try and win but there is no reason to ride Barrett and Randle.

    I would also love to see if Frank, when and if he can get healthy, could win Bullock’s minutes. If Frank’s 3-point shooting is real he would be a better starter than Bullock. He is a good step better of a defender and it’s not like Bullock is really lighting it up these days anyway. Frank guarding the other team’s best player would do a lot for our defense as long as he can keep hitting 3s.

    Once everyone is healthy where does Toppin fit? He shouldn’t take Mitch or Noel’s minutes, if Knox moves to SF then does Rivers lose his spot in the rotation? Does Knox?

  123. I posted before I saw danvt’s post. Do you like the 38 minutes for Barrett and Randle? It seems like too much for me. I would love to see Payton, Barrett, Randle, and Mitch all get more like 30 minutes with Burks also getting 30 minutes off the bench that way no one gets run down. I like the set rotation but I don’t see the need for anyone getting heavy minutes. It’s a long weird season.

  124. Ben, I do worry about injuries but it’s interesting to see the correlation between minutes and playing good basketball. Coach is letting them play through mistakes. RJ in particular has benefited from not going into the dog house after a bad game or two. Yes there’s some risk but there’s an upside in conditioning, timing and confidence

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