2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Thunder

Think about it, the Knicks are now 5-3 and this is only the second game where you can realistically say, “Oh, the Knicks SHOULD win this game.” That’s pretty awesome.

Not only that, but due to the chaos involving COVID, the Knicks might be in line to win more than their fair share of games going forward due to other teams having COVID problems, so the Knicks might be in the running to go a nice streak now!

Let’s go, two games over .500 Knicks!

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417 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Thunder”

  1. Merriam-Webster definition of a trap game:
    “To carry a 3-games winning streak into a home game against a young, frisky opponent deemed inferior”.

    I don’t question the authority of such a respectable source but I doubt Thibs will allows them a drop in concentration.

    Let’s go Knicks!

  2. The NBA really needs to lower the salary cap. It’s not fair to other teams that the Knicks were able to afford Austin Rivers when they already have Julius Randle.

  3. Very good Mitching

    I mean the change in the defense is unbelievable. He would have dismembered that guy last year

  4. i cannot believe we had a team of people watching kentucky games and thought knox was going to be the better pro….

  5. So nice to have a rim defender on the floor every minute of a game. Noel doing his thing.

  6. Knicks defense is for real. I don’t remember a single uncontested shot. I’m sure there was one or two, but the Knicks are in your face every second of every play.

  7. djphan:
    i cannot believe we had a team of people watching kentucky games and thought knox was going to be the better pro….

    You forget, it wasn’t his career at Kentucky it was a 3 on 3 scrimmage that convinced us to draft him.

  8. Fugly shooting but great D so far.

    I keep occasionally thinking the Thunder are us because their colors are the most Knick-like on the floor…

  9. I’ve haven’t felt this confident that the Knicks should win a particular game in a long time … so god help us when we lose tonight

  10. djphan: i don’t know how anyone can outtank okc with this lineup that they’re throwin out there….

    Yeah, they do not look hard to beat.

  11. vincoug: You forget, it wasn’t his career at Kentucky it was a 3 on 3 scrimmage that convinced us to draft him.

    Fiz…the gift who keeps on giving!

  12. This run is killing me. You would think Poku is the greatest tank ever drafted but maybe they know something.

    Hamidou Diallo was someone’s favorite here all the way back to high school as I recall. Looks good so far.

  13. I don’t really have any choice but to hold on to my Poku stock because no one is buying it

  14. vincoug:
    I know we like to try and keep the game threads relatively politics free but I have to share this.The soon to be former president’s personal twitter account is permanently suspended.

    And perhaps not coincidentally, a new user on JetNation calling himself “realdonaltrump” appears and starts a thread saying that he’s been banned from twitter, wants to know how the Jets did the last 4 years, and compliments Woody Johnson. Some pretty funny replies follow…

  15. djphan:
    poku needs to calm down on the shooting but the other stuff looks intriguing enough….

    no doubt you can see the measurables and the projectable skills, but talk about humble beginnings

  16. The guy looks like a 7 foot postage stamp. Whatever, he’s a plus 12

    This is some really shitty baskeball. Holy hell

  17. Can’t buy a bucket. Shot selection hasn’t been terrible, either. Even Mitch’s putback attempts have looked out of sync.

  18. Quickly did not look like a PG tonight. He looked like almost nothing … But to be fair they run a different offense with him in game …

  19. Someone will appear to tell me that being a thinnist is bad and they are probably right…

    I hope everyone bet the under

  20. rivers is hot… eventually the shots won’t fall enough times and you’ll realize why not many teams wanted him….

  21. They defend well most of the time but the shooting was terrible.
    Could we play Barrett only in away games?

  22. Just want to point out that as bad as we’re playing, Invisible Sixth Man is working his ass off.

    I’m really curious to see what tweak Thibs tries come the second half. It’s fun to have a coach who we can even ask that question about.

  23. BBBBBBUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLSSSSSSSHHHHHHIIIITTTTT!!!!!!!!

    GTFOH with that foul on Mitch.

    Ok, going to the concessions now

  24. I mean, are we better than a team that has Horford, SGA, Lu Dort and George Hill?

    That team has a billion picks on the way and still has players to trade.

  25. Barrett needs to learn how to draw more fouls. He gets bodied up in a way where most guys get a call …

  26. Maybe I’m getting carried away but Dort is one of the best on-ball defenders I’ve ever seen

  27. The spacing is always trash with Payton and Barrett in,
    nobody’s worried by their shooting prowess…

  28. Come for the name with Dort. Stay for the D. That’s my story.

    Quickley hasn’t known what to do when he has Poku guarding him. You would think that would be a mismatch but not so far. IQ hasn’t looked good.

  29. I agree with Thibs. These refs have been crap. Although I don’t fault them for not bailing IQ out on some of these drives.

    I’d have no problem rooting for this Thunder squad. They seem young and hungry to me.

  30. Quickly refuses all contact inside 20ft. That’s a problem… offense is complete aimless for all besides

  31. Thank god Quickley hit a shot.

    That Maledon shot was also pretty nice

    RJ!

    Poku dagger. God dammit. I feel like an ass. Classic trap

  32. I think Mitch is hurt. He pulled up at some point and I noted it. Played for a bit after but not much after he went out.

    And it would be hard to explain otherwise

  33. I don’t feel like we had a shot here but not having Mitch or at lease Noel in the game is pure ignorance

  34. Owen:
    I think Mitch is hurt. He pulled up at some point and I noted it. Played for a bit after but not much after he went out.

    Clyde did say that Mitch went “out of the game” earlier, but I thought he meant to the bench.

  35. Owen:
    I think Mitch is hurt. He pulled up at some point and I noted it. Played for a bit after but not much after he went out.

    And it would be hard to explain otherwise

    Yeah, I started to fear that, there’s no other explanation…

  36. Well, the Hamidou Diallo game was something.

    Fucking Dort. I would love that guy so much if he was a Knick.

  37. This is a mirror image of the Knicks’ previous wins — the Thunder wouldn’t go away and eventually the Knicks relented.

  38. Dort’s dagger, game over.

    RJ refusing the three and shooting a midrange down by 9 shows his faith in his shot…

  39. Starters were ugly but not all that bad, but the bench was absolute dogshit tonight. Oh well, we probably needed a bit of a reality check. Props to Julius for only having one turnover

  40. Pels-Hornets is tight. Lamelo is looking like a steal.

    How the hell he posts those numbers in Australia and then comes and plays like this I have no idea. About to be the youngest player to ever post a triple double.

    I guess Lavar was on to something

  41. nicos:
    Is it okay to worry about RJ now?

    I’m waiting until Burks and Toppin are back from injury and he’s not playing 40 minutes a night.

  42. I don’t think we are so bad,
    but we could lose against anyone if not 100% focused.
    Defense crumble in the second half.

    Payton 4-16
    Barrett 7-21
    Quickley 1-9

    The steal on Randle in our backcourt was the real end of the game.

    I hope Mitch’s injury is not serious.

  43. Owen: How the hell he posts those numbers in Australia and then comes and plays like this I have no idea. About to be the youngest player to ever post a triple double.

    LaMelo only played like 300 min in Australia. No one really knew anything other than the fact he looked amazing passing the ball.

  44. Had this one on in the background. Don’t really know what happened but this is not good. We need to win these games if we’re going to be winning games.

  45. so we’re ready to bury a guy that’s improved his ft% by 15 % based on his ‘shooting’? where were these criticisms after the indiana and atlanta games or do you guys just come out of the woodwork after these shooting nights?

    seriously these hate rj… love rj after these type of games is tiring… just be patient….

  46. djphan:
    so we’re ready to bury a guy that’s improved his ft% by 15 % based on his ‘shooting’?where were these criticisms after the indiana and atlanta games or do you guys just come out of the woodwork after these shooting nights?

    seriously these hate rj… love rj after these type of games is tiring… just be patient….

    Who’s coming out of the woodwork?

  47. Is LaMelo really all that different from his brother ? Good passer, rebounder and defender, can’t shoot?

  48. No big deal.

    We are young, not a very good team, and we are going to have rough nights on top of it once in awhile. This was one of those nights.

    Our bench was terrible. Quickley? WTF? Can we get a 2nd rounder for him. lol

  49. We knew RJ couldn’t shoot coming out of college. If he’s going to hit it’s going to take time.

  50. If you told me that players were exhausted or that the game was rigged id believe it.
    The D was shit and the Offense was trash.
    These weren’t the same knicks as the ones we saw 1 game before…
    No effort
    No focus
    No fire
    No desire
    Sad

    Like we were too cool to play hard
    Fuk y knicks

  51. djphan:
    so we’re ready to bury a guy that’s improved his ft% by 15 % based on his ‘shooting’?where were these criticisms after the indiana and atlanta games or do you guys just come out of the woodwork after these shooting nights?

    seriously these hate rj… love rj after these type of games is tiring… just be patient….

    He has a jinx on when he plays at MSG, the home/road split are unbelievable.

  52. nicos: getting blocked inside like he’s 6’2?

    only when there’s six other guys in the paint because there’s no spacing tbh

    we’ve seen him muscle through a lot of guys this season at the rim

  53. It seems reasonable to be upset with RJ (or any player) when he plays poorly and happy when he plays well.

  54. Max:
    We’re not the only one experiencing a rude awakening,
    how could the 6-2 Suns lose to the 1-7 Pistons?

    Jerami Grant put up 31 and 10?

  55. Also going to take a victory lap for calling Westbrook being completely done. (I take premature victory laps in case it turns out I’m wrong later and don’t get to gloat.)

    A lot of people were saying he’d bounce back once he got away from Houston. No, he’s just terrible at basketball at this point in his career. His shooting splits are frightening so far, he can’t get to the rim at all and has decided to replace those attempts with midrange jumpers outside of 16ft.

    I feel bad for Beal who’s probably sick of his shit.

  56. ah, here we are:

    Thibodeau said Mitchell Robinson was not in at times because they were trying to go small to “generate some offense.”

    Says Mitch wasn’t feeling great today either

  57. i mean look he played like ass today… the jazz game wasn’t great either… but the numbers in aggregate aren’t terrible…. it looks terrible if all you look at is ts which inherently overweighs 3pt shooting….. and 3pt shooting is both volatile and not exactly all that important for rj this season….. down the line yes he’s going to need to hit them more consistently….

    but what’s more important is his 2pt shooting and ft shooting and the rest of teh game…. and his ws48 has made significant strides despite shooting like dogshit from 3…. that’s more telling and important for his development than a narrow focus on one really irrelevant portion of his game…. like you would think that ben simmons is the worst player in the world if all we care about is him shooting outside shots….

  58. The only excuse i can come up with is that Mike Miller as an Okc assistant coach has a better knowledge of Knicks players even than Thibs has right now and made easily some scouting report magic.

  59. djphan:
    why would you be worried about a .461 ts this early in the season?

    Because his TS% was .479 last year. That is Knox/Frank/Smith Jr. level bad. He certainly has better peripheral skills but those are peripheral- a sub .500 shooter with 20 usage is almost unplayable unless he’s great at something else. RJ has been okay on defense (just okay) and has provided solid rebounding and playmaking for a wing this year. But he’s neither a great rebounder or passer and probably will never be truly great at either. He has to score efficiently to be good and right now he is terrible. So I’m worried.

  60. Don’t worry about RJ. He’s still a kid and we don’t have solid PG play and spacing yet. He’s better than he looks based on his TS% and he’ll get better over time, Either that or I’m wrong and we should start Frank in his place. Frank’s TS% this year is .587 and he’s hitting 55.6% of his 3s. :-)

  61. This team struggles against more athletic teams. So far, we’re been outhustling other teams, but that happened to us tonight.

    But in this weird season… not such a bad loss. It wasn’t as bad as that game when the Bucks got thrashed by the lowly Knicks.

  62. Small sample size circus, there are two Barretts,
    good/great on the road, decent/awful at home.

    Road: 5 games 20,2 points 7,8 reb 3,6 ast 44,6% FG 33,3% 3PFG 79,2% FT

    Home: 4 games 13,7 points 6,5 reb 2,7 ast 30,3% FG/ 5% (1-19!) 3PFG 63,6% FT

  63. I mean Ben Simmons? Ben Simmons could score efficiently from the get go. RJ may never top Ben’s rookie year numbers. I mean seriously, I would have a hard time taking the over on RJ ever clearing 56% for a full NBA season.

    He does a bunch of nice things but his scoring efficiency has been garbage and to my eye projects to be garbage for a long time.

    Nic Batum’s return from the crypt is pretty amazing. He looks good. So does Christian Wood.

    And Tyrese has a three, a rebound, 2 assists, and a block in his first three minutes

  64. Boost RJ’s 3pt % to 38 and his TS% is .520. He’s a slasher who struggles finish- forget the threes.

  65. Querly Q-Word, Pen Name of Pen Name Early Bird:
    Also going to take a victory lap for calling Westbrook being completely done. (I take premature victory laps in case it turns out I’m wrong later and don’t get to gloat.)

    A lot of people were saying he’d bounce back once he got away from Houston. No, he’s just terrible at basketball at this point in his career. His shooting splits are frightening so far, he can’t get to the rim at all and has decided to replace those attempts with midrange jumpers outside of 16ft.

    I feel bad for Beal who’s probably sick of his shit.

    I don’t know how anyone could think he was going to bounce back this season. He’s been in obvious decline since winning the MVP.

  66. These kind of stinkers happens in a season,
    we need to out hustle everyone and defend well for the entire game, tonight they did it for two and a half quarters.
    We didn’t protect the rim, but we protected our ping pong balls…

    “I didn’t put Mitch in because I want to find some offense” is a proof of Thibs’s candor,
    but a weird decision nonetheless, when you shoot 35% you need all the blocks, offensive rebounds, alley-ops and tap-ins you could get…
    If Mitch’s sick is a totally different thing.

  67. nicos:
    Boost RJ’s 3pt % to 38 and his TS% is .520. He’s a slasher who struggles finish- forget the threes.

    I mean, saying that if you improved his 3P% to be better than he’s ever shot in his life and his TS% will still be well below average isn’t exactly glowing praise.

  68. As a follow-up to the discussion earlier today, the local media here in Knoxville is reporting that the nutty Trump fanatic who claimed she was from Knoxville is actually from Bowie, Maryland, and her whereabouts are still unknown.

    Oh, and the FBI is looking for her.

  69. Max: “I didn’t put Mitch in because I want to find some offense” is a proof of Thibs’s candor,
    but a weird decision nonetheless, when you shoot 35% you need all the blocks, offensive rebounds, alley-ops and tap-ins you could get…
    If Mitch’s sick is a totally different thing.

    It’s a double edged sword.

    If you are having trouble scoring and think you need more firepower in the lineup in terms of the ability to shoot and create you can go small, but you are obviously giving something up with Mitch out too. I think he was probably desperate to try to get something going and tried playing Randle at the 5. It didn’t work. Not that anyone played well, but the real problem was that the bench sucked.

  70. Sometimes RJ will have a hot night and you’ll think “oh, he’s improving” but he still throws a lot of stinkers out there. Like a disproportionate amount of stinkers. He doesn’t seem to be having fewer stinkers than he did last year, it seems like a pretty similar ratio.

    So I dunno. So far his development seems pretty tepid to me.

  71. RJ is Josh Jackson’s harder working younger brother. They might both turn out to be good- Jackson at least seems like he’ll avoid China now- but it’ll be a struggle.

  72. Nice win for the Dubs. Steph is not washed guys. Can confirm. It only seems that way when he is out there with the starters.

    I don’t have any idea who M Mulder is but they were. Plus 27 with him out on the floor so he is clearly very important. :-)

    Halliburton hit 5 threes on ten shots and 8 assists and one turnover.

    And the Bulls almost beat the Lakers. Lavine went off. I think I have a man crush on Wendell Carter Jr but I suspect that’s because I don’t watch him much on defense

  73. RJ is still 20, right?

    That’s still very young. Jimmy Butler, who is maybe his best-possible long-term ceiling, had a .520 ts in his first year at age 22. Hopefully RJ is on that trajectory.

    I think Elfrid makes it tough for RJ out there…. he needs the ball and better spacing to work. Hopefully that happens when Burks gets back and Quickley finds his footing again.

    This year, he really just needs to get his drive-and-dish and pick-and roll down and make his free throws. Baby steps.

  74. If RJ ends the season hitting 70% of his FTs and increases his playmaking/ballhandling over last season I’ll be encouraged.

    Next up we’ve got the scuffling but talented Nuggies. They’ve been awful on defense so maybe R or IQ can have a bounceback. I’d like Quickley to knock it off with the midrange nonsense. He’s taking more than half his shots between the rim and the 3 point line and there’s no evidence he can make those yet. I mean some occasoinal floaters or whatever aren’t going to kill me, but he should really be taking 3s and layups and that’s it at this point.

  75. Let’s not talk about RJ like he’s shooting 85% from the line. He’s at 71.7%. You have to squint to the point of shutting your eyes completely to see that as a harbinger of decent 3pt% just around the corner, especially considering that his misses are about as ugly as they get.

    It’s silly to compare RJ to Jimmy Butler at this point…he has a long way to go to get to Caron Butler, let alone Jimmy. Projecting him as anything beyond “decent starter” based on what he’s done thus far requires inflating the good and dismissing the bad to an absurd degree.

    Right now we should be in hope and pray mode that he defies the odds and learns how to shoot at least decently, because any reasonably objective look at his stats does not bode well, beyond concluding that he will probably turn out better than Stanley Johnson.

    And I guarantee that if his KB defenders were talking about a player on another team, they’d laugh at anyone who spun his stats the way that they are being spun here.

  76. those quickley midrange shots are all floaters… yes foul line range floaters.. and that’s because he’s not really adept at getting to the basket….

    that’s actually pretty good as it signals some self awareness since he was really terrible getting to the basket in college…. he’s picking his spots trying to get all the way but he’s trying to be like tony parker with the floaters which is a good strategy for him…. the problem is trying to hit them as well as parker did because that’s extremely difficult especially at the distance he’s launching them….. parker was able to get much closer to be really efficient with them and quickley’s going to need to learn that….

    what remains to be seen is if it will be enough to keep him in the nba… his 2p% in a small sample is .357 when it was also way below the mendoza line in college… that’s concerning and he won’t have a future if that keeps up….. there’s still plenty of time but if you’re going gaga over his ts% then you’re looking at it wrong….

  77. I think that Barrett could end up looking a lot like Westbrook if he shrinks and gets faster and meatier soon. But he also could be Durant if he grows a few inches and learns to shoot. Gobert is an outside chance if he invests in Duolingo and starts licking microphones. Really, RJ Barrett is very likely to be something other than RJ Barrett someday. A beautiful butterfly, shooting 71% from the stripe and not embarrassing himself when he drives right. Whether that means he learns to drive right or just quits organized basketball, rendering driving ability moot, I do not know. Only Twitter knows.

  78. And let me be clear…I’m rooting hard for RJ. He’s a great kid with a strong work ethic and a lot of fire and desire on the court. I’m not even down on the Knicks for taking him at #3, since no one really jumped out as a better pick.

    I’m just very disappointed that he isn’t developing as I had hoped, and listening to anyone spin what he has done so far into anything beyond what it is (somewhere between mediocre and putrid) is annoying.

  79. rj increased his ft% by 10%.. that is incredibly rare….. and yes that does signal that an improvement in shooting is probably coming… it might not but with josh jackson or stanley johnson they never had this single year improvement….

    there is also an across the board improvement … his ws48 after his god awful struggles is sitting at .042… which for a 2nd year player who’s not even shooting well is also something josh jackson or stanley johnson didn’t do in their 2nd year…. that’s pretty good and also signals that even shooting just a little better will result in a mini-breakout… this is exactly what happened with brandon ingram and markelle fultz who people were so eager to bury and throw in the garbage after their 2nd years….

    there’s really no defying the odds on this… he’s working on the things he’s struggling with…. he’s adjusting…. and it’s resulting in small improvements….. sooner or later it will probably result in bigger improvements…. you just have to give it more than 9 games before declaring that it’s impossible or that there’s some huge concern…..

  80. umm Stanley Johnson didn’t need to improve his FT%…he averaged 76% during his entire rookie deal. 71% is low for a guard/wing…he still has to improve just to get to average, on a shot with no variance from game to game, shot to shot. It took a 10-pt improvement just to get into the conversation with mediocre 3pt shooting shooting guards/wings. So his shooting prospects went from being utterly hopeless to highly unlikely. But hey, that’s progress!

    And it’s not like he’s dazzling the league with his playmaking. He has a 13% assist%.

    So we have a prospect that can’t shoot, doesn’t pass all that much or that well, and isn’t all that special athletically. But hey, he’s over 70% from the line!

  81. ugh, fugly game last night…competitive but really fugly, like 90’s basketball fugly…

    dort looked like a dang nfl defensive end out there, that guy is huge and moves around so easily, it’s crazy…

  82. i don’t know how you can make the case he hasn’t improved at all…. his ws48 is at .042 which is a massive improvement from last year with his 3pt shooting at a likely depressed 24%…..

    that should tell you that you’re missing something or freaking out about his shooting unnecessarily right? or it doesn’t mean anything?

    like his rebounding improvements… or his assist to turnover ratio…. is his improvement at the line…. that’s what that number is telling is improving and it’s resulting in a not a good player still… but it’s passable for a 20 yr old in his second year so far….

    and the year’s not even over! it’s 9 games! if he’s performing worse or exactly in line with last year i would be right there with you in freaking out…. but he’s improved…. it’s not such a massive leap but if he shoots just a little better on his 3s to last year then yea his ws48 probably sits at .065 … which would be a huge leap….

    so really the doom and gloom is a bit overdone…… there’s zero case to be made that rj hasn’t improved at all.. and there’s zero case that he’s jackson or johnson or something ridiculous….

  83. Gobert is an outside chance if he invests in Duolingo and starts licking microphones.

    When Jowles has jokes, even ones mocking our players, this blog is a better place.

  84. ***we have a prospect that can’t shoot, doesn’t pass all that much or that well, and isn’t all that special athletically. But hey, he’s over 70% from the line!***

    Fred Astaire’s first audition card at RKO read: “Can’t sing. Can’t act. Balding. Can dance a little.” And he became a Hall of Famer, so keep the hope alive…

  85. ***he has a long way to go to get to Caron Butler, let alone Jimmy.***

    How does he compare to Greg Butler so far?

  86. djphan:
    i don’t know how you can make the case he hasn’t improved at all….his ws48 is at .042 which is a massive improvement from last year with his 3pt shooting at a likely depressed 24%…..

    that should tell you that you’re missing something or freaking out about his shooting unnecessarily right?or it doesn’t mean anything?

    like his rebounding improvements… or his assist to turnover ratio…. is his improvement at the line…. that’s what that number is telling is improving and it’s resulting in a not a good player still… but it’s passable for a 20 yr old in his second year so far….

    and the year’s not even over!it’s 9 games!if he’s performing worse or exactly in line with last year i would be right there with you in freaking out…. but he’s improved…. it’s not such a massive leap but if he shoots just a little better on his 3s to last year then yea his ws48 probably sits at .065 … which would be a huge leap….

    so really the doom and gloom is a bit overdone…… there’s zero case to be made that rj hasn’t improved at all.. and there’s zero case that he’s jackson or johnson or something ridiculous….

    He and Jackson are eerily similar. Top of the class recruits who weren’t bad but not nearly as good as expected then still got drafted high. Take a look at the numbers- RJ turn it over less, Jackson’s defensive stats are a little better, other than that almost identical. Both skilled guys who aren’t quite as athletic as they need to be to play the game that best suits them. RJ’s 20 so plenty of time to change that trajectory but your high if you think Josh Jackson is an impossible outcome- show me someone with a more similar profile.

  87. ” there’s zero case to be made that rj hasn’t improved at all.. ”

    Djphan, I do think RJ has improved a bit, but I have to admit that’s partially driven by the thing with feathers. Saying there’s zero case to be made is simply false — your argument is that a bunch of things have improved a bit and the things that are worse (e.g., 3pt%) will get better because 9 games. The contra is that his 3pt% flat-out sucks and his ‘improvements’ will revert back down to the mean over the season. It’s a non-zero possibility. I’m betting no, but you should pull back on the hyperbole.

  88. So we have a prospect that can’t shoot, doesn’t pass all that much or that well, and isn’t all that special athletically. But hey, he’s over 70% from the line!

    Not sure how you’re getting to this from what I’m saying. RJ was fucking awful last year, we should expect him to be bad this season. If he increases his FT shooting that’s good in and of itself, because it’s better to be better at shooting FT, and it’s a sign he can improve his shooting. It’s not what’s going to make him a good player. RJ was taken in the high lottery but he’s is a long term project.

  89. Now that Ariel Pink has been dropped from his record label for simply attending a Trump rally and not in any way participating in physical demonstrations or acts of violence and then had the selflessness to suggest to his friends that they distance themselves from him just to protect themselves I may have to give his music more of a listen when he bounces back. I don’t know a damn thing about his politics and couldn’t care much one way or the other as long as he’s not a violent crackpot, but anyone that’s looking out for his friends before himself is OK in my book.

  90. In seriousness, I think he is improving and will continue to improve. But this is more about RJ vs. his peers. It’s not RJ vs. RJ. If Ja, SGA, Ball, Doncic, Zion, Edwards, Young, and even Haliburton look like legit NBA initiators and also improve their games, where does that leave our guy? And that’s just his peer group. There will continue to be the Murray, Mitchell, Tatum and Jaylen Brown group just ahead of him, and whichever elite talents come in by storm after him. He’s a #3 overall pick and has not yet played like one except in short bursts. The concern is well-founded and it’s going to take more than a nominal lift toward mediocrity in the easiest skill in basketball to make me an optimist on this one.

  91. You have as much chance of liking the music as I do of respecting the man behind it. Just keep the SiriusXM contemporary blues rock station dialed in and enjoy the smooth sounds of Nashville’s finest boutique guitar amps over boilerplate shuffle. I’ll keep his $0.00002-a-play royalties going.

  92. djphan: i don’t know how you can make the case he hasn’t improved at all…. his ws48 is at .042 which is a massive improvement from last year with his 3pt shooting at a likely depressed 24%

    WS is a lousy stat…see: Kevin Knox, who by WS is an equal or better player. Same with BPM and VORP, which also show that we should be gaga over Knox’s improvement. PER is probably a better metric than WS despite what naysayers here believe. But let’s take a closer look at a range of advanced metrics:
    PER: bad, slight improvement
    OBPM: bad, slight improvement
    DBPM: bad, somewhat improved
    VORP: bad, slightly improved
    2pt%: bad, nearly the same
    3pt%: godawful, much worse
    TS%: godawful, slightly lower
    FTr: ok, somewhat lower
    REB%s: ok, slightly higher
    AST%: meh, unchanged
    STL%: meh, slightly lower
    BLK%: low, somewhat lower
    TOV%: good! Significant improvement!

    So his improved WS48 is nearly entirely due to turning the ball over significantly less and rebounding slightly better. His improved (but still mediocre) FT shooting has resulted in an increase of only a tenth of a made free throw per game, probably because it is offset by his decrease in FTr.

    If you want to argue that not turning the ball over is a positive development and offsets his terrible shooting from 2 and 3, fine. But his shooting in particular, and every other element of his game besides turnovers in general, have barely budged.

  93. Deeefense:
    Now that Ariel Pink has been dropped from his record label for simply attending a Trump rally and not in any way participating in physical demonstrations or acts of violence and then had the selflessness to suggest to his friends that they distance themselves from him just to protect themselves I may have to give his musicmore of a listen when he bounces back.I don’t know a damn thing about his politics and couldn’t care much one way or the other as long as he’s not a violent crackpot, but anyone that’s looking out for his friends before himself is OK in my book.

    Stop virtue signalling.

  94. DRed: Not sure how you’re getting to this from what I’m saying.RJ was fucking awful last year, we should expect him to be bad this season.If he increases his FT shooting that’s good in and of itself, because it’s better to be better at shooting FT, and it’s a sign he can improve his shooting.It’s not what’s going to make him a good player.RJ was taken in the high lottery but he’s is a long term project.

    I agree that he’s a long-term project. The question is, how long? He’s getting paid nearly 8 figures AAV and before you know it his rookie scale deal will end. Right now he’s all upside and no production. At some point the FO may need think about capitalizing on his upside in a trade before the rest of the league realizes catches on.

  95. If you completely throw out threes- if RJ took zero- his TS% last year would have been .478 this year it’d be .502. That’s a solid improvement but when you’re starting so low… When he shoots well he looks like a real player unlike say Knox who when he shoots well just looks a shitty player who happened to shoot well so there is that and that’s not nothing. But his shooting numbers are terrible so I worry.

  96. Needless to say this tweet was before yesterday’s awful game. But does any of you guys think that “The Knicks have positioned themselves for a possible blockbuster trade”? Well, i sure don’t.

    Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN:
    Just a poll. The Knicks have positioned themselves for a possible blockbuster trade. Would you exhaust the assets for Bradley Beal?

  97. Rose keeps adding value to the sidelines, and that’s good.

    Mike Vorkunov @MikeVorkunov:
    The Knicks made another hire for their analytics department, adding Nick Restifo to manage coaching analytics, league sources say. Restifo was with Tom Thibodeau in Minnesota as a basketball ops analyst.

  98. cybersoze:
    Needless to say this tweet was before yesterday’s awful game. But does any of you guys think that “The Knicks have positioned themselves for a possible blockbuster trade”? Well, i sure don’t.

    Yeah, I don’t know what they’re talking about we’re still incredibly asset poor. RJ, Mitch, and Obi all have varying amounts of trade value but none of our other rookie-contract players do and we only have 2 extra 1RP. I think most other teams could pretty easily outbid us in a trade.

  99. Deeefense: Now that Ariel Pink…

    So, when you knew a fellow KBer was part of the band, you didn’t have any interest, but now that the guy went to a “Trump rally” (whaaat? stop embarassing yourself!) you’re suddenly super interested in his music.

  100. Big debut by Sharife Cooper today. He was a top-20 recruit who was ineligible for the first 12 games. He’s a pure point guard and looked every bit the part. Would be nice to deepen this draft a bit.

  101. Sigh. No one’s saying RJ is Jimmy Butler. Just that he’s the archetype that a 6’6” G/F playmaker should look to emulate.

    But yeah, RJ’s first contract will be over by the time he’s the age that Butler just started to get good. It’s a problem.

    Not every 19 year old entering the league is LeBron James. They might take time to become productive, or they may never be productive at all.

    I was squarely in the “no RJ” camp during that draft, but now we have him, so I’m rooting for him. He’s 9 games into his 2nd season (both of which have been completely abnormal, mind you). All I’m saying is: cut him some slack.

  102. About yesterday’s game, well we all know it was a bad game, and that happens to all teams. What i think went unnoticed was that OKC might have been the first team to game plan for the Knicks. They clearly invited us to launch threes, and clogged the paint. What it’s even sadder is that we know so well we’re bad at 3P shooting and so we kept on trying to get to the rim. On one of the blocks on RJ, he was fighting 3 defenders and never thought about kicking it out.

  103. Oh, This is interesting. During the not-coup the other day the soon-to-be-former president considered calling in the National Guard to protect his supporters:

    Mr. Trump had told advisers in the days before the march that he wanted to join his supporters in going to the Capitol, but White House officials said no, according to people briefed on the discussions. The president had also expressed interest beforehand in calling in the National Guard to hold off anti-Trump counterprotesters who might show up, the people said

  104. cybersoze: So, when you knew a fellow KBer was part of the band, you didn’t have any interest, but now that the guy went to a “Trump rally” (whaaat? stop embarassing yourself!) you’re suddenly super interested in his music.

    I’ll be 62 in a few weeks. I pretty much haven’t gotten into any new music since Grunge. I listened to a couple of his songs and thought the musicianship (including our local KBer) was especially good but the songs didn’t grab me. For future reference that’s what happen as you age. lol

    I thought I was very clear, I was impressed that instead of hoping his friends in the industry and band would rally in support of him and his character, he told them to distance themselves so they wouldn’t be harmed by the cancel culture (which I deplore) that was causing him trouble. So yes, now I’m interested to hear what else he has to say. He appears to be a very unique character. Maybe I should have given his music more of a chance.

  105. It’s been 8 or 9 games, we can’t really know what RJ has or hasn’t improved. I’m just saying if you’re drafting a kid who can’t shoot you can’t just give up on him when 65 games later he’s not a good shooter, and all his shooting is probably not going to improve at the same time at the same rate. If all he improves this year is FT shooting and ball handling that’s not the end of the world.

  106. The panic over RJ is reaching ridiculous proportions. He’s 20 years old, we’ve played 9 games, we still don’t have a good PG or spacing, he’s playing huge minutes, and he’s been especially bad in one of the most volatile areas of the game (3 point shooting). I’d rather he was lighting it up also, but he clearly has some good skills. As long as he makes some progress we are fine. Not every player is going to become a superstar. If he can become a good 2nd option on a playoff team by the time he’s 24 we should be happy. He doesn’t have to be that in game 9 at age 20.

  107. RJ has been terrible so far. If you’re not worried, you should be. The illustrious Andrew Wiggins had better rookie and sophomore years than RJ is currently having.

    RJ Barrett may be fine longterm, but he doesn’t look like it so far and so I’ll say again you should worry. Even driving the ball he’s kinda sucked and he’s supposed to be good at that.

  108. DRed:
    It’s been 8 or 9 games, we can’t really know what RJ has or hasn’t improved.I’m just saying if you’re drafting a kid who can’t shoot you can’t just give up on him when 65 games later he’s not a good shooter, and all his shooting is probably not going to improve at the same time at the same rate.If all he improves this year is FT shooting and ball handling that’s not the end of the world.

    I don’t think many people here are saying to give up on him though I would. I’d be calling around and seeing what teams would give up for him and Obi because I don’t have faith in either of them.

  109. No one is selling low on RJ here. He has sucked but everyone agrees he is likely to improve.

    I think the urge I feel to deflate the hype around him is simply based on the fear of us giving him a Max contract when the time comes.

    I don’t want Rose out there selling us RJ as Jimmy Butler 2.0 in a year when he is Andrew Wiggins at best.

  110. WS is a lousy stat…see: Kevin Knox, who by WS is an equal or better player.

    i never said to take ws48 at face value… but it’s a signal that you’re missing out on improvement when everyone is just focusing on just 3p%….. all those improvements that are being handwaved to just variance or being really small.. they add up! i went into this whole spiel on knox’s ‘improvement’ and his improvement is entirely driven by the fact that he’s limited himself to a catch and shoot guy… with zero improvement anywhere else.. that’s really bad for his future!

    rj is obviously not in that category…. so i have no idea why knox is being invoked….

    He and Jackson are eerily similar.

    and yes if rj starts playing worse he could be like josh jackson….. but you could say the same about brandon ingram or markelle fultz or jaylen brown or jason richardson or kelly oubre or demar derozan or rudy gay or just about everyone else who struggled in their first couple of years in the league… struggling this early is not that uncommon…. and rj is both younger and has shown more than a lot of these players did at the same age so it’s not like he’s destined for just average mediocrity… the upside is still very much there….

    the time to be concerned is when he’s below the mendoza line in his 2pt fg% like with knox and frank… he is obviously not in that ballpark of bad so we’re past the point of outright bust territory….. or if he hasn’t shown measurable improvement… which we’ve demonstrated that he has…. or that he is at substandard contributions for his position… which you could really only say that about his shooting….

    it’s ok to be pessimistic but the concerns about the 3p shooting is misplaced…. and it’s not really the thing that is holding him back….

  111. ess-dog: I was squarely in the “no RJ” camp during that draft, but now we have him, so I’m rooting for him. He’s 9 games into his 2nd season (both of which have been completely abnormal, mind you). All I’m saying is: cut him some slack.

    Why should we cut him any more slack than we cut anyone else? What’s so special about him? I thought that here at KB we tell it like it is, not how we want it to be.

    I’m a Knicks fan first and foremost. I hope RJ flips the switch tomorrow and becomes a top-5 player in the NBA and 20 years from now his jersey is hanging in the rafters at MSG. I will continue to root hard for him, and for whoever puts on the orange and blue. But so far he’s been very underwhelming.

  112. No one is selling low on RJ here. He has sucked but everyone agrees he is likely to improve.

    you could just scroll up and find at least a few people who are very dubious of that fact or else why are we even talking about stanley johnson or josh jackson…..

    or that the whole board was ready to trade brandon clarke for rj…..

  113. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    You have as much chance of liking the music as I do of respecting the man behind it. Just keep the SiriusXM contemporary blues rock station dialed in and enjoy the smooth sounds of Nashville’s finest boutique guitar amps over boilerplate shuffle.

    My record collection starts with a broad range of classical, picks up with the beginnings of acoustic blues, early jazz and ragtime, is loaded with Django, Grapelli and Hot Club, is loaded with early electric blues, sprinkled with bluegrass, explodes with all kinds of rock and more modern blues, and ends with grunge and “some” metal. After that they started losing me. I listened to the shredders and wish I could do that on guitar, but I’d only do it once to demonstrate I could and never do it again so I’d never have to hear it again. My musical interests are pretty broad. You never know what I’ll like, but you could easily be right. There are things that don’t do it for me,

  114. djphan: i never said to take ws48 at face value… but it’s a signal that you’re missing out on improvement when everyone is just focusing on just 3p%….. all those improvements that are being handwaved to just variance or being really small.. they add up!

    The improvement in ws/48 seems largely due to DWS, which is itself noisy and likely driven by teammates or the team’s luck in opponent 3pt shooting as he’s not considered a good defender.

  115. Can we argue about Frank instead of RJ?

    We can argue about RJ when he’s Frank’s age if he’s still throwing up bricks.

    I’d rather argue about Obi. He’s practically a vet on this team.

  116. As somebody who has been Ariel’s friend and colleague for 20 years, I can tell you he’s a loyal friend and and much less kooky and crazy than he seems. I can also tell you that in all the time I spent with him, which is a LOT of time, he has rarely expressed interest in politics, and only understands politics and government in a superficial way. He gets information from fringy sources and is prone to conspiracy theory type thinking. I consider myself pretty well informed, and I always found political discussions with him to be frustrating.

    He’s a contrarian by nature, he’s interested in things that society has discarded and I think that comes through in his music. His embrace of Trump likely comes from a place of “well, everybody else says this sucks so I’m going to find value in it.” His public comments about his support of Trump are cringe-worthy, they reveal a person who is going out on a limb to defend something he really doesn’t understand very well. He’s an intelligent guy and he’s well read in some areas, but his comments about Trump just make him sound dumb.

    For instance: he has tweeted that he believes the voter fraud conspiracy because Trump was so far ahead in swing states, then all these mail-in votes were counted and Biden surged ahead and boy that sure seems fishy. That’s something only stone cold idiots believe. There is not an intelligent person I know who believes this. He does seem to actually believe it, it seems like it’s not a put-on.

    I don’t blame Mexican Summer for dropping him and I don’t blame “cancel culture.” Most of Ariel’s fans are thoughtful people who can see through Trump’s lies, and who realize the damage those lies have caused. They’re not going to stay fans. They have a right to express that they don’t support him anymore. And Mexican Summer has a right to protect its brand.

    It’s an unfortunate situation but he’s no martyr.

  117. I hate to keep saying this, but PER, BPM, WS, are all hogwash. Even long term on/off, RPM, ARPM etc… have problems. There’s no magic formula.

    IMO, you are better off looking at RJ’s detailed shooting and other stats including what’s not in the boxscore, watching him play, looking at his teammates, his role on the team, whether his teammates and the system he’s in are helping or hindering his specific skills etc… You’ll end up with a very subjective appraisal that could easily be off, but at least it won’t be from some broken model.

    To me, RJ looks better in almost every facet of the game other than he has totally sucked from 3.

    If you want to be bearish you can argue that he was bad at the college level 3 so last year may have been an upside aberration instead of this year being a downside aberration. But I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he’s going to improve to 32% or better before this season is over. Add in some other improvements from the FT line and hopefully better overall play and spacing and he’ll end up having an OK year. He’ll still have a lot further to go to be efficient enough to be good 2nd option, but a better PG and shooters will help too. It’s WAY too early to worry.

  118. I’ll say one other thing about this.

    He’s not getting “canceled” because he merely showed up “at a Trump rally.” This was not just a Trump rally. He showed up, and voiced support for, a rally that was at its core attempting to overturn the results of a free and fair election. That rally was a LITERAL assault on democracy itself. There’s no fucking election fraud for fuck’s sake. It’s a toxic lie that is being told to us by fascist pigs. It can’t be condemned in strong enough words.

    There are only two kinds of people who support the “election fraud” myth:
    1. Idiots
    2. People who know it’s bullshit, but perpetuate the lie anyway

    It’s not cool to be either thing.

  119. djphan: and yes if rj starts playing worse he could be like josh jackson

    How is he better than Josh Jackson now? He turns the ball over less and gets to the line more but has actually shot a little worse and isn’t as good defensively. He might be a little better and given his work ethic you’d think he’ll have a better outcome but he’s far closer to Jackson than he is to Jaylen Brown or DeRozen in their early years. Acting like RJ is is in a different class than Jackson is just wrong.

  120. The improvement in ws/48 seems largely due to DWS, which is itself noisy and likely driven by teammates or the team’s luck in opponent 3pt shooting as he’s not considered a good defender.

    in what you quoted… i said to not take it at face value…. it’s really only one metric… and it has its limitations.. of which it’s not really worth delving into since so many understand it…

    but it’s not the same thing as useless…. we have lot of other metrics too and they all point to slight improvement….. how is that possible when rj is doing worse in the most important metric of all … 3p shooting!

    yet we have so many who are just saying that it’s the same old rj…

    based on what?

  121. JK47:
    I’ll say one other thing about this.

    He’s not getting “canceled” because he merely showed up “at a Trump rally.” This was not just a Trump rally. He showed up, and voiced support for, a rally that was at its core attempting to overturn the results of a free and fair election. That rally was a LITERAL assault on democracy itself.

    I don’t have a clue as to what an Ariel Pink is. But IMO a lot of the criticism he’s receiving is overblown. He attended a rally, which originally functioned as a protest for many of the people who attended. If he didn’t storm the Capitol Building then what is the real issue? That his politics are uninformed and dumb? Welcome to America. I think people have to step back and gain a perspective here. He wouldn’t be the first American musician to support an illegal and unjust political initiative for the wrong reasons. Anyone remember the furor in the lead up to the Iraq War? Hundreds of thousands died in that war that so many artists, actors, musicians, journalists, and talk show hosts supported. Have these people been canceled? Nope. I sometimes think Trump has irreversibly broken the left-hemisphere of your average milquetoast liberal’s mind.

  122. JK47: I don’t blame Mexican Summer for dropping him and I don’t blame “cancel culture.” Most of Ariel’s fans are thoughtful people who can see through Trump’s lies, and who realize the damage those lies have caused. They’re not going to stay fans. They have a right to express that they don’t support him anymore. And Mexican Summer has a right to protect its brand.

    I understand people have a right to hate Trump, not stay fans of Ariel’s if he’s a fan of Trump’s, and Mexican Summer has a right to protect it’s brand. I’m OK with all that as part of a free market.

    But there was a time when friends, fans, and people in general set politics aside or were more forgiving of ignorance and mistakes unless they were extreme.

    For example, I’ve repeatedly expressed the view that a lot of the NBA’s most “woke” members were hypocritical for not supporting Morey’s tweet on Hong Kong and in some cases actually attacking him as ignorant all while lining their pockets with Chinese Communist money. That’s a government that is engaged in reeducation camps (actually concentration camps) ethnic purges, religious persecution, borderline slave labor, attacks on freedom, threats against other countries, and more. Hell, the NBA is almost like Ford, IBM, and others looking the other while doing business with the Nazis.

    Does that hypocritical behavior annoy me? Yes.

    Am I boycotting the NBA or certain players and teams? No.

    These guys are basketball players, coaches, commentators etc.. that may not even fully understand what’s going on China. All they know is Morey took money out of their pockets.

    Sometimes you have cut people some slack before you destroy their careers just because they are ignorant or made a mistake. That’s what’s wrong with this environment. Otherwise, I guess I should boycott the NBA.

  123. The whole rally was called the “Stop The Steal” rally. It was a rally in support of anti-Democratic, fascist, authoritarian bullshit.

    “I was just at the Klan rally, I didn’t burn a cross” is not really a great defense for going to the Klan rally and saying what a great time you had.

  124. Ariel Pink is not low-IQ trailor trash. He should know better. I commend JK for not excusing his choice. I also would have no problem with JK if he continues to be in his band…so long as holding the same political pov as the frontman isn’t a prerequisite.

    Trump worship has become a habit for folks now. Old habits don’t go away, unless they are replaced by new habits. Unless someone comes along that fill whatever void is left by Trump and trumpism, this isn’t over by a long shot.

    Healing should start with extremely harsh sentences for some of the rioters. the FBI should wait until after January 20 to arrest them, so that Trump can’t pardon them.

  125. But there was time when friends, fans, and people in general set politics aside or were more forgiving of ignorance and mistakes unless they were extreme.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYzsukyYgC4

    One must realize, when mounting any response to the quoted post, that this is a gentleman who described it as a soon-to-be “footnote” and that the media, those damned lying bastards, hyped up the size and threat of the mob. Of course, none of that is at all accurate.

    I can put politics aside when it’s a matter of “should we tax sugary drinks” or “does rent control harm housing markets more than it protects those it benefits.” The above link? That’s not a “let’s just go out for a beer and talk it through,” strat. If you cannot understand this, you should stop posting your opinions because literally no one here is ever going to agree with you. Because it’s insane. It’s “are you fucking blind or dumb or both” shit.

    Strat, you are showing your whole ass, yet again.

  126. I hate to keep saying this

    No, you don’t. It’s easier for you to casually and meritlessly shit on RAPM than it is for you to admit you don’t know jack shit about statistics.

  127. The whole rally was called the “Stop The Steal” rally. It was a rally in support of anti-Democratic, fascist, authoritarian bullshit.

    These were a bunch of ignorant dolts that believed very biased media companies, very biased social media tech companies, and cheating with mail in ballots and voting machines impacted the election enough to change the election result. They honestly believed it was stolen (you know kind of like Russia stole the last election). They thought they were there to prevent an injustice. Like I said, they are ignorant dolts. The real failing was not protecting the capital properly. They allowed some people to basically walk right through the police lines. That was insanity. This should have ended with a few thousand people venting their mistaken frustration for a couple of hours and going home to drink moonshine.

  128. it’s interesting the same surge of technology which has allowed individual lethality capability to escalate to such scary heights – also seems to be making wide scale radicalization such a real thing…

    i’ve heard and read a few times some talking heads mention – this ain’t over, it’s only beginning…

  129. These were a bunch of ignorant dolts that believed very biased media companies, very biased social media tech companies, and cheating with mail in ballots and voting machines impacted the election enough to change the election result.

    FUCK THIS.

    You know who these people believe? DONALD FUCKING TRUMP. Stop blaming “biased media companies,” try blaming Donald Trump, Ted fucking Cruz, Josh fucking Hawley and every leader and elected officials who spouts this shit.

    Try some intellectual honesty just one fucking time.

  130. RE Ariel Pink and conspiracy theories about Trump’s lead…

    I really don’t get people not understanding how someone “leading” in a state can lose it after all the votes are counted. I mean, most people watch plenty of sporting events and should have seen many comebacks. Most MLB games are not over until 9 innings…neither team wins until the trailing team has batted 9 times. Pro football and basketball last 4 quarters. There have been all kinds of late game comebacks. We don’t arbitrarily stop games when the team in the lead demands it (not that that has ever happened a la Trump).

    The sheer ignorance, lack of logic, and in some cases paranoia of it all is staggering. And I know it all too well b/c I have a brother who believes that the US Postal Service rigged the election.

  131. JK47:
    The whole rally was called the “Stop The Steal” rally. It was a rally in support of anti-Democratic, fascist, authoritarian bullshit.

    “I was just at the Klan rally, I didn’t burn a cross” is not really a great defense for going to the Klan rally and saying what a great time you had.

    This is a bad analogy. The rally wasn’t explicitly “anti-democratic” (a weird descriptor since our presidential elections aren’t democratic anyway) . In fact, their aims were to restore the integrity of an election they believe was stolen. That they believed in a discredited conspiracy theory with little grounding in reality is true. But then, by this logic, so did every Russiagate nutter who believed the 2016 election was illegitimate because of Putin’s meddling until Mueller’s Report discredited most of their conspiracy claims.

    The KKK, on the other hand, is unambiguously a racist, white supremacist terrorist organization which routinely engages in violence to promote the separation of races and the establishment of a WASP ethnostate since Reconstruction. There’s no comparison. The fact that this comparison is being made is just more proof that Trump has distorted all political perspective in this country.

  132. Ntilakilla is a Bernie Bro who is obsessed with RussiaGate being “fake” because it disrupts his narrative that Bernie Sanders woulda totes won the 2016 election. He doesn’t want to hear anything that discredits Trump’s glorious win over the hated Hillary because he has the maturity of a 12-year old and he’s a poster boy for the Horseshoe Theory who probably subscribes to Chapo Trap House.

    Sorry Bernie lost again, fam! Man, he did even worse this time! Better get back to the drawing board there, comrade.

  133. The Honorable Cock Jowles: No, you don’t. It’s easier for you to casually and meritlessly shit on RAPM than it is for you to admit you don’t know jack shit about statistics.

    lol

    IMO various on/off and RAPM stats seem to do the best job, but they are so noisy, by the time you have enough of a sample, the player’s form may have improved or deteriorated significantly from year to year, may have been impacted by a specific system, series of injuries, lineup combinations for awhile etc.. It simply can’t handle all that. So you are right back to making subjective judgements about critical factors.

    I gambled serious money on basketball at one time, As part of that I looked at all these stats models, read all the critiques from other model creators, stats opponents, players, coaches, etc.. and slowly saw patterns of failure in each model. I don’t have the stats knowledge to create a very sophisticated model like these, but I can see the failures of those that exist. I tested them with paper bets. That’s why I rejected them all. I know I can do better subjectively. I tested that with real money.

    The problem is you want to believe the game is simple enough to reduce to a single number.

    Unfortunately it’s just not. It’s very complex and grey and the single number stats miss the mark fairly often and sometimes badly.

  134. I gambled serious money on basketball at one time, As part of that I looked at all these stats models, read all the critiques from other model creators, stats opponents, players, coaches, etc.. and slowly saw patterns of failure in each model. I don’t have the stats knowledge to create a very sophisticated model like these, but I can see the failures of those that exist. I tested them with paper bets. That’s why I rejected them all. I know I can do better subjectively. I tested that with real money.

    Yet for some reason you’re not an NBA GM, despite having foolproof evidence of what players are and aren’t good.

    You missed your calling in life, dude

  135. JK47: FUCK THIS.
    You know who these people believe? DONALD FUCKING TRUMP. Stop blaming “biased media companies,” try blaming Donald Trump, Ted fucking Cruz, Josh fucking Hawley and every leader and elected officials who spouts this shit.
    Try some intellectual honesty just one fucking time.

    I know they believe Trump. That’s a big part of it.

    But they are correct that the media and tech companies have a huge impact on what is in the news, how it is spun, etc..

    They also know much of establishment media has been trying to bring him down from day one with spin and some lies. That’s why they don’t trust the establishment media to tell them the truth like when I was a kid and Walter Cronkite was giving us the news. There is almost no unspun media anymore. There are two sets of facts, two world views, and they are both bullshit. That’s why we have this great divide, Both sides think they are the ones getting the truth and they are both wrong. That creates quite a predicament and problem for the country,

    There are idiots on the right that believe Trump, but there are idiots on the other side too.

  136. So, when you knew a fellow KBer was part of the band, you didn’t have any interest, but now that the guy went to a “Trump rally” (whaaat? stop embarassing yourself!) you’re suddenly super interested in his music.

    hmmmm, so you noticed that…funny thing is – almost all of us notice this kind of stuff…

    gotta be careful what you write – people are actually reading it…

  137. Both sides think they are the ones getting the truth and they are both wrong.

    “Only I am smart”

    -Strat

  138. “Only I am smart”
    -Strat

    Or, hyper-narcissistic personality disorder.

    Where else have we been seeing this…

  139. JK47: Yet for some reason you’re not an NBA GM, despite having foolproof evidence of what players are and aren’t good.

    You missed your calling in life, dude

    I think most NBA teams have staffs, scouts, coaches, film crews and stats teams that as a group are way better than I am at covering the entire league and certainly WAY better than BPM, WS, PER, and RAPM. Successful gambling only requires a handful of profitable insights (namely player X is being way overvalued or undervalued by the line, coach so and so will make this adjustment, this team is a terrible matchup). I didn’t have to value every player and every team perfectly.

    I didn’t make enough money to make all the work I was doing worthwhile. That’s why I stopped. A profit loss statement in a spreadsheet wasn’t going convince anyone enough to get me hired by the NBA. lol

  140. Deeefense: These were a bunch of ignorant dolts that believed very biased media companies, very biased social media tech companies, and cheating with mail in ballots and voting machines impacted the election enough to change the election result. They honestly believed it was stolen (you know kind of like Russia stole the last election).They thought they were there to prevent an injustice. Like I said, they are ignorant dolts. The real failing was not protecting the capital properly. They allowed some people to basically walk right through the police lines. That was insanity. This should have ended with a few thousand people venting their mistaken frustration for a couple of hours and going home to drink moonshine.

    I like how it’s “the media” spreading these lies and not actual elected officials like Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and the sitting fucking president. Also, conveniently ignoring the pipe bombs that were found at the RNC and DNC.

  141. JK47: “Only I am smart”

    -Strat

      

    No. I think it’s common knowledge to many on both sides that the media is full of sh$t. The problem is figuring out what the truth is or finding good sources. I’m just as lost as everyone else most of the time, but at least I know they are mostly full of crap.

  142. Also, conveniently ignoring the pipe bombs that were found at the RNC and DNC.

    oh man, just re-played the video in my head of that one police guy screaming his head off while he was getting crushed up against a door…

  143. Deeefense: No.I think it’s common knowledge both sides of the media are full of sh$t. The problem is figuring out what the truth is.I’m just as lost as everyone else most of the time, but at least I know they are full of crap.

    And yet you immediately assume we all get our news from the biased media and are incapable of discerning what is or isn’t embellished. No, only Strat alone can see the spin and see past it.

    We are all unthinking automatons regurgitating MSNBC and CNN.

  144. He doesn’t want to hear anything that discredits Trump’s glorious win over the hated Hillary because he has the maturity of a 12-year old and he’s a poster boy for the Horseshoe Theory who probably subscribes to Chapo Trap House.

    Wow. An ad hominem on top of a red herring. I must have really triggered you here with a simple analogy about two discredited conspiracy theories.

    The idea you think I think Trump’s win was “glorious” is funny. Almost as funny as you being offended for me pointing out a man you called a friend for decades (your words) isn’t a KKKer because he attended a rally protesting voter fraud. Jesus, Trump really has melted the milquetoast liberal mind.

  145. I’m sorry I reopened the politics and genera stats debates again. It’s waste of my time and everyone else’s time. Go back to arguing about RJ. I’ll leave.

  146. Querly Q-Word, Pen Name of Pen Name Early Bird: And yet you immediately assume we all get our news from the biased media and are incapable of discerning what is or isn’t embellished. No, only Strat alone can see the spin and see past it.

    We are all unthinking automatons regurgitating MSNBC and CNN.

    No, I assume there are people on both sides of the spectrum that are getting their news from very biased sources and that’s why we have this great divide and why people like Trump has dolts that follow him and there are people on the left equally lost.

  147. Seriously. Good night and IMO don’t worry about RJ…at least yet, :-) I’m sorry this conversation took place.

  148. Re: Ariel Pink. There are so many asshole artists whose work I love I can’t cancel them unless they’re off the rails (Never a big Michael Jackson fan but Off the Wall is a really good record that is now unlistenable for me) or it’s baked into the music (misogyny in a some rap for instance). Ariel Pink’s music hardly seems like a soundtrack for Trumpism. I actually haven’t listened to that much (Pom Pom plus random tracks here and there) and always kind of lumped them in with Of Montreal and the like which I find neither hooky enough to satisfy as pop and the experimentation not interesting enough to excite me on that end. I love it when a great bridge comes out of nowhere or chores takes a turn you never expected but the totality eludes me. Is there another of his records that could dispel that notion for me?

  149. Almost as funny as you being offended for me pointing out a man you called a friend for decades (your words) isn’t a KKKer because he attended a rally protesting voter fraud.

    He is still my friend, and he’s not a KKKer (in fact he’s Jewish), and it’s unfortunate that this is now the thing that he’ll be known for. He’s too good of a person to have his life and his life’s work defined by his support of Donald Trump.

    That said, he brought it on himself, and blaming “cancel culture”‘ for his problems is weak.

  150. I only wish we canceled everyone who supported the Iraq War, an actual calamity which really decimated a country, like Ariel Pink for attending a rally. But that would mean canceling our new President. Whoops!

  151. geo: oh man, just re-played the video in my head of that one police guy screaming his head off while he was getting crushed up against a door…

    I can’t believe any reasonable person hasn’t stopped being a Trump supporter, if not sooner at least with wednesday’s events.

  152. ***You know who these people believe? DONALD FUCKING TRUMP. Stop blaming “biased media companies,” try blaming Donald Trump, Ted fucking Cruz, Josh fucking Hawley and every leader and elected officials who spouts this shit. Try some intellectual honesty just one fucking time.***

    I’d never heard of Ariel Pink before JK and others started discussing him here. I hate that he’s a trump supporter, because trump stands for so much that is terrible. But I’d rather listen to Ariel Pink at this point and still give him all chance than read one more intolerably asinine post from Strat/Dee/Lockjr. He’s become a troll with nothing to offer this site. Sad.

  153. djphan: in what you quoted… i said to not take it at face value…. it’s really only one metric… and it has its limitations.. of which it’s not really worth delving into since so many understand it…

    but it’s not the same thing as useless…. we have lot of other metrics too and they all point to slight improvement….. how is that possible when rj is doing worse in the most important metric of all … 3p shooting!

    yet we have so many who are just saying that it’s the same old rj…

    based on what?

    If you cite a statistic to show improvement, then it’s helpful to understand the metric. ws/48 is comprised of OWS and DWS. DWS is widely viewed as noisy and unreliable, just like most defensive metrics. If we remove DWS, then his overall improvement is marginal. This explains why we see a seemingly large improvement in ws/48 that’s absent in other metrics.

    So yes, RJ is shooting terribly and otherwise playing marginally better. But it’s not enough to say there’s actual improvement except perhaps for TOs.

    RJ is also a bad enough shooter that you have to wonder if last year was actually an over performance. Maybe he’s not actually a 32% 3pt shooter but rather a 30% shooter or a 27% shooter.

    RJ is at a level where a minor improvement isn’t enough. Maybe he explodes over the rest of this year or next year and it becomes a moot point, but so far it doesn’t look like it. Ingram made a giant leap in production in year 2 and made another one last year. That’s what you want to see.

  154. I only wish we canceled everyone who supported the Iraq War, an actual calamity which really decimated a country, like Ariel Pink for attending a rally. But that would mean canceling our new President. Whoops!

    “Cancel culture” is just another word for “free speech” and “free markets.”

    You’re allowed to say whatever you want, have any opinion you want. Then OTHER PEOPLE are also allowed to have any opinion THEY want. Some, or many, of those people might say “hey, fuck you, I’m not listening to your music or coming to your shows anymore.” There is nothing broken with this, nothing wrong with it. If you own a business and one of your assets is generating negative publicity, it might be in your best interests to sever your ties with that person. I really don’t know why this is something we should lament.

    Dude can still make records, he can still tweet, he can still go to other Trump rallies and talk about how fun they are, and nobody is going to stop him. He’s just not entitled to have everybody still like him.

  155. Deeefense: No, I assume there are people on both sides of the spectrum that are getting their news from very biased sources and that’s why we have this great divide and why people like Trump has dolts that follow him and there are people on the left equally lost.

    Well I feel much better about being a dolt if people on the other side are also dolts. Really shows me how wrong I was when I said you assume we’re all dolts if you think that there are also other dolts!

  156. Deeefense: These were a bunch of ignorant dolts that believed very biased media companies, very biased social media tech companies, and cheating with mail in ballots and voting machines impacted the election enough to change the election result. They honestly believed it was stolen (you know kind of like Russia stole the last election). They thought they were there to prevent an injustice. Like I said, they are ignorant dolts.

    This interview with two Capitol police officers indicates that’s not the case.

    While some of the images from that day appeared to show officers standing by to let the mob into the Capitol building, the veteran officer said that they had fought them off for two hours before the attackers eventually gained access. The officer said that many of the widely spread images of smiling marauders, wandering the halls dressed in absurd costumes, had the effect of downplaying how well prepared some of the rioters were to overtake the building, and even to capture and kill Congress members.

    “That was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us,” said the officer, who has been with the department for more than a decade. “They had radios, we found them, they had two-way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray. They had flash bangs … They were prepared. They strategically put two IEDs, pipe bombs in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military,” the veteran said, referring to two suspected pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee.

  157. between injuries and covid this has been a rough nba month. both thomas Bryant and bogdan had shitty looking falls today.

    lamelo is playing really well.

  158. There are some more Ariel Pink comments that have been unearthed from the past few months, in which he denies climate change, says that the COVID vaccine does not cure the disease, and that January 20 will be “day of the guillotine” and that Democrats rigged the election through Dominion software.

    So, uh, maybe I do need to re-evaluate this friendship. I mean I wouldn’t be friends with fucking Ted Nugent.

  159. This should have ended with a few thousand people venting their mistaken frustration for a couple of hours and going home to drink moonshine.

    Seeing as how these poor, mislead souls came equipped with IEDs and murdered a police officer because the President of the United States couldn’t stop telling them the election was stolen by Hugo Chavez and Dominion, I’m not sure this was ever going to end well.

  160. thenoblefacehumper: Seeing as how these poor, mislead souls came equipped with IEDs and murdered a police officer because the President of the United States couldn’t stop telling them the election was stolen by Hugo Chavez and Dominion, I’m not sure this was ever going to end well.

    +1000

  161. JK47, I wanted to say something here, but I’m stuck on “I’m sorry for your loss.”

    But also, I think you’re brave to be so honest and share your thoughts on this difficult situation. I not only appreciate it, but it’s been educational as it’s forced me to work though my own position if I were to be in your shoes. Thanks for that. And good luck with it all.

  162. That Sixers game was a mockery of a sham. Hopefully the ease of that win will make the Nuggets soft and ripe for the picking tomorrow.

  163. If you cite a statistic to show improvement, then it’s helpful to understand the metric.

    why? i already do understand the metric and so does everyone… it’s the same with bpm… it’s the same with vorp…. it’s the same with per… they’re all showing the same thing… these aren’t quantum leaps in improvement but nobody is claiming that he is leaps and bounds better… what i’m saying is that he’s improved even though his 3p shooting is ‘worse’…. if his shooting comes around to just what he did last year then it will be significant….. and if he improves it at all then you’re looking at a major leap….

    you can slice it many ways.. they’re all saying the same thing… ws48 is just one of them …

    So yes, RJ is shooting terribly and otherwise playing marginally better. But it’s not enough to say there’s actual improvement except perhaps for TOs.

    but this is what i’m saying that ppl aren’t getting…. it’s not just turnovers… it’s free throws… it’s rebounding…. and he’s essentially playing about what he has last year everywhere else…. altogether that adds up to slight improvement since everything else is relatively similar….

    going from 61% to 71% in free throws is not minor… going from 5.9 reb per 36 to 6.7 is also not minor… that’s fairly large and the only reason it isn’t readily apparent is because of the shooting…

    RJ is at a level where a minor improvement isn’t enough.

    enough for what? if you think he was going to turn into doncic that was never going to happen and you’re going to be disappointed…. if you thought that he was going to be an above average player who could possibly make a few all star teams then minor improvement is more than fine….. at this age and in his 2nd year being a bad but improving player is fine as long as you improve.. there’s no benchmark that you need to be productive at age 20…

  164. Leon loved Lamelo.

    Thar was about as bad a basketball take as I have had.

    Kid was one assist last night short of posting two triple doubles in his first ten games.

    Also, what Raven said.

  165. djphan: enough for what? if you think he was going to turn into doncic that was never going to happen and you’re going to be disappointed…. if you thought that he was going to be an above average player who could possibly make a few all star teams then minor improvement is more than fine….. at this age and in his 2nd year being a bad but improving player is fine as long as you improve.. there’s no benchmark that you need to be productive at age 20…

    When your starting line is godawful, then you do need to make big jumps. Again, compare him to Ingram who needed two gargantuan leaps to make it to an all-star level. Compare him to Wiggins who started out much better and only got a little better. Minor improvements are fairly meaningless.

    djphan: going from 61% to 71% in free throws is not minor… going from 5.9 reb per 36 to 6.7 is also not minor… that’s fairly large and the only reason it isn’t readily apparent is because of the shooting…

    It’s a question of variance. Players don’t put up the same numbers month-to-month or year-to-year. A string of bad games could easily put him back to where he was, just like a string of good games could make him look much better. The further he is from last year’s numbers the less likely the change is due to variance.

    djphan: why? i already do understand the metric and so does everyone…

    Yeah but like 90% of the change is due to his DWS or DBPM. So it’s fair to question if it’s really any improvement to him.

    The 3p% could go up, but if the other numbers go down slightly then he’s the same player.

  166. pepper:
    Popovich needs a haircut unless he is ultimately going for the pony tail…

    Just as long as he doesn’t go full Keith Morris…

  167. Since covid pandemic started a few famous greek artists started declaring publicly their disbelief and their denial on the existence of the virus.
    A few Others who are also deep in religion were saying that they don’t fear the virus cause their faith in God will save them from all viruses.
    Canceling their art for going dumbmode i don’t think is fair but taking their social/political takes seriously in the future don’t seem as a smart idea.

    Our sense of fairness is an indication of our having a conscience aka healthy mental state.

  168. When your starting line is godawful, then you do need to make big jumps. Again, compare him to Ingram who needed two gargantuan leaps to make it to an all-star level.

    ok let’s look at brandon ingram….

    ingram ws48/bpm/vorp

    age 19 –.007 / -4.4 / -1.4
    age 20 – .068 / -1.2 / 0.4
    age 21 – .055 / -2.0 / 0.0
    age 22 – .115 / 2.1 / 2.2

    rj
    age 19 – -.015 / -4.3 / -1.0
    age 20 – .042 / -2.9 / -0.1

    does that not look like a similar leap in performance as ingram made in year 2? and that’s if you freeze rj’s worse shooting.. is it not?

    Again, compare him to Ingram who needed two gargantuan leaps to make it to an all-star level.

    yes the second one didn’t come until last year… age 22… rj is 20 now and in the middle of what is probably a year of small but noticeable improvement…. same as ingram…

    that does not mean rj is destined to be the next ingram… it does mean that ppl need to chill out….

  169. You keep bringing up Ingram, who is about as much of outlier as you could possibly find. Ingram was one of the skinniest players ever to put on an NBA uniform when he was drafted and it took 3 years for him to fill out physically. RJ came in about as physically mature as any 19yo, so there’s pretty much nowhere to go there. Their bodies and games are very different, there’s really no comparison between the two. But you keep right on believing!

  170. I don’t know much about Ariel Pink but one tiny defense of one of his statements: the COVID vaccine isn’t a cure. The vaccine reduces symptoms, but there aren’t studies to show whether they will affect transmission yet. That probably – given the other statements he apparently made – was not the point he was making, but in any case…

    Basketball related question that I figured someone has already thought of, or can point me to a study. My intuition is that as three-point shooting attempts increase, the higher variance associated with three-point shooting contributes to higher variance in predicting wins and losses for NBA teams. Which may have the effect of increasing parity slightly, at least in won lost record across the league.

    Now I could be (and probably am) wrong, as I have no data. Does anyone know if this has been considered?

  171. You keep bringing up Ingram,

    no i didn’t….

    When your starting line is godawful, then you do need to make big jumps. Again, compare him to Ingram who needed two gargantuan leaps to make it to an all-star level.

  172. I agree people should chill out about RJ. He’s young and the Ingram example indicates not everyone who will be good is good right away. But I don’t trust small changes in the all in one seats either. So it’s impossible to tell if he’s getting better by just looking at his statistics

  173. @z-man,

    I brought up Ingram, Djphan was responding directly to what I posted.

  174. It’s still a small sample size of RJ’s season but I think it’s pretty reasonable to be skeptical about him. That .410 eFG% is, uh, really something.

  175. djphan: does that not look like a similar leap in performance as ingram made in year 2? and that’s if you freeze rj’s worse shooting.. is it not?

    So there’s 2 problems. First, RJ’s 2nd year numbers are not as good as Ingram’s 2nd year numbers.

    The second reason goes back to what I was saying about how defensive numbers are calculated for all-in-one stats. If the team does well, then all the players tend to benefit from the defensive improvement. Even a terrible defender’s DBPM/DWS will look good because he’s getting credit for the overall defense. The next step of these defensive numbers is to assign defensive credit to the various players. I’m not terribly familiar with this step, but people are mostly skeptical about the merit in distributing defensive value according to it.

    Because team defense factors heavily into individual DBPM/DWS there’s several ways to explain RJ’s defensive improvement, most of them have nothing to do with RJ:
    (1) Mitchell Robinson is an extraordinary defender
    (2) Opponents have been on an unsustainable cold streak from 3 that will revert to the norm
    (3) Thibs is an alchemist that has discovered the secret for eternal life and turning lead into gold

    I haven’t watched RJ’s defense too closely and I couldn’t tell if he’s a good defender even if I did. So I’ll go off the reports I hear, and most of them call RJ a below average defender.

    So even the numbers that you’ve posted are to some extent misleading. If instead we focus on the more reliable OBPM/OWS then there’s a pronounced difference between RJ’s numbers and Ingram’s numbers (I’ll use OBPM because it’s a rate state and not cumulative):

    RJ OBPM

    YR1 -2.9
    YR2 -2.4

    Diff 0.5

    Ingram OBPM

    YR1 -3.0
    YR2 -0.9

    Diff 2.1

  176. Ingram’s leap was far bigger. VORP is a counting stat so given that that RJ is -.1 now he’ll be much worse than that at the end of the year so he’d look more like .3 while Ingram was 1.8. And Ingram’s opbm went from -3 to -.09 while RJ is -2.9 to -2.5. Big difference. I don’t think RJ is going shoot this bad all year- I’m mildly encouraged that he’s raised his FG% from 0-3 to .590 (still not great) despite going up against a lot of size so far so I think his numbers there might get better but even if shooting improves he’s got a ways to go to match Ingram’s leap. I’ll stop posting about RJ for awhile- it really is too early to say much about this season at all but it’s an Internet forum- if your prize young guy is struggling (and he IS struggling) people are going to post about it. edit: Q beat me to it!

  177. Just to clarify Ingram’s vorp went from -.4 to 1.4 (so plus 1.8) and RJ’s has gone from -1 to -.1 but if you adjust for games played it’s the improvement shrinks down to around .3 (too lazy to do the math). So if RJ’s numbers stay where they are he’d be nowhere close to Ingram’s improvement.

  178. so here’s the problem i have with what you’re doing… if you’re saying that all these one number metrics are noisy… why are you then slicing these metrics up even more using even noisier offensive #s that are based on volatile shooting? what’s the problem with dbpm that we’re totally handwaving it away and only looking at obpm?

    i realize none of this stuff is perfect and they all have limitations….but you don’t think it’s more misleading that instead of showing a slight gain using an aggregate of one number metrics that you’re now only using one-side to show a slight regression instead of an improvement?

    like rebounding is not that volatile… certainly less so than 3pt shooting… same with assists and turnovers… and certainly free throw shooting….

    so what you’re essentially saying… and this is basically what everyone else is saying… is that if you’re just taking any of those one-sided metrics is that in this one narrow aspect… rj is worse…. which yes i would agree with you… the evidence is clear…. but what about everything else? all those other things tell us LESS than what’s going on with shooting? maybe with ws48… but with bpm/vorp? per?

    and that’s what i take issue with…. you’re saying with something that’s the most volatile thing we have in the nba… and that’s more reflective of rj’s true skill level but EVERYTHING else is MORE noisy than that?

    maybe his improvement in rebounding or free throw shooting or assist/to is not real… but it’s certainly more real than whatever % he’s shooting at the moment…. that is undeniable….

  179. RJ isn’t a bad all-around player and that’s something, but if he’s cast as a guy who needs to take 12 shots per game because of roster construction and draft narrative, well, he’s either miscast or a bad player.

    I fully believe it’s the former (since he’s a net positive in every other facet of basketball) but that doesn’t mean we’re not right worrying about him.

  180. I get the impression people are talking past each other here. I think in order to evaluate this season so far (which, it’s worth pointing out, might be a silly exercise entirely) from RJ you need to compare it to what you’re hoping he eventually becomes.

    I don’t see him as a guy who can ever be the most high usage player on a contending team. I view the best version of him as a jack of all trades type. I’ve made the Iguodala comparison before and people tend not to like it because their games are so stylistically different, but I’m sticking to it because I think Iguodala’s peak production (18-5-5, ~104 TS+, good wing defense) represents an optimistic but reasonable peak projection for RJ.

    Through that lens, I don’t have much of a problem with djphan saying he’s made worthwhile improvements. With the major caveat that this is rather rudimentary, if you just gave him his 3PT% from last year his TS% would be .493 and I think a lot of people would feel differently. It’s true his FT% might come down, but by the same token his 3PT% could go up. This of course brings me back to my earlier point that we should all probably just revisit this in at least 10 games or so.

    If, on the other hand, you’re holding out hope for RJ to be “the guy” on a contender, I think it’s fair to say this year is disappointing and a major data point against that ever happening. There’s just too much work to do on his jump shot and he has to work too hard to get his points.

  181. the reason i think the iggy comparison sucks is bc it either badly underrates iggy’s defense or projects a totally unrealistic range for rj’s defense. iggy was fucking killer wing defender with drew brees type pattern recognition plus all the prereq physical traits from day 1 and rj is a fully so-so high effort low impact guy. being iggy with okay defense is like being michael vick with okay foot speed.

  182. It’s tough to compare RJ to Ingram who plays with much more length or iguodala who was more of a freak athlete early on.

    I think the hard thing with RJ, like a lot of high school stars, is can he adapt to not being “the guy”? It already seems like people are writing him off as never being a primary ball mover, and with good reason.

    The biggest worry – to me – is not the shooting; it’s that he doesn’t seem to have even close to elite decision-making skills right now. This is something all of us recognized about him right away (remember that last-possession play against Gonzaga when he drove right into 3 guys and missed a wild shot and Duke lost?)

    But if he becomes a secondary guy, what does that make him? Maybe late-career DeRozan ( hopefully with a better 3-ball) is the goal? Maybe a shorter Kyle Anderson?

    Obviously he’s far from any of those comps right now, but he’s still 20, and it’s been 9 games. By the end of this year, I think we’ll have a better idea of where he fits in this league.

    Could we have done better in that draft? Definitely. The 2 guys taken right after him, Garland and Hunter, already look much improved in their 2nd years.

    But, hey, we probably blew the 2020 draft as well, if that makes you feel any better. We just have to roll with these guys for now – until they get better or a Kevin Garnett-type trade presents itself (then I’d gladly ship Obi and RJ out).

  183. RJ is not the uber-athlete that Iggy was, but he’s a solid defender for a young guy and will get better there. His strength and footwork are assets…he’s pretty switchable.

    If there’s a valid comparison there, it’s in projected role…basically a #4-5 guy on a contending team. That’s probably RJ’s upside unless his shooting improves dramatically. Which is fine if he gets there, but still disappointing in that we picked 3rd in a two-player draft and better players will have been picked below him.

    Thing is, RJ thinks he a #1-2 option. He doesn’t get why he was left off of the all-rookie team when any objective self-reflection would explain his omission. It’s fine that he’s confident and all, but dude, get real…you sucked last year.

    In 6 of 9 games this year, he’s had the same or fewer point than shots. It’s not just that his shooting is consistently mediocre…in more games than not, it’s downright abysmal. Here are 5 of his 9 games:
    2-15
    4-15
    4-19
    4-14
    7-21
    Then there was a 7-17, which you can live with but still not good. There’s a difference between being “off” and “can’t hit water when falling out of a rowboat.”

    And yet Thibs keeps rolling him out there for 43 minutes. I guess he likes what he sees beyond the shooting and hopes that he will work through it. It’s worth noting that that approach didn’t work for Wiggins, who Thibs felt was deserving of a max contract. But hey, we’re a long way away from that so hopefully things change as we go through the year.

  184. Sure, Killian Hayes is a better draft prospect than LaMelo Ball. Sure. Remember those conversations?

    I had them ranked 1 and 2 respectively but this is an extremely dull victory lap. Hayes played 148 minutes and got injured. Pipe down.

  185. thenoblefacehumper: I had them ranked 1 and 2 respectively but this is an extremely dull victory lap. Hayes played 148 minutes and got injured. Pipe down.

    Sorry bud, you were asking for it then and now you got it. Deal with it.

  186. Shams:

    Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber is entering isolation and will miss 10-to-14 days due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols,

  187. We had this discussion re Iggy and RJ before. It’s as bad as the Obi and Amare comp. Iggy had the electric athleticism of an All Pro punt returner. RJ is more like a tight end begging the coach to let him line up at WR.

    I still think RJ ends up solidly above average because he has a diverse set of skills and excellent makeup but he has been such a horrific shooter I can’t see him ever being good at it It’s not impossible, just very unlikely.

    We have a couple of years to see if he fixes his shot but if he doesn’t I hope the endowment effect doesn’t kick in.

    As for Lamelo, it’s a big L I am taking on him. For a point guard to perform like this out of the gate is kind of crazy.

  188. Maybe a shorter Kyle Anderson?

    Kyle Anderson is an anomaly in his game speed. Barrett is fast and athletic but can’t get the ball in the hole.

    There are a lot of players like Barrett and very, very few like Anderson. Barrett will always “get his shot off” which might lead to a 25 PPG season in which he shoots .520 TS%. Anderson plays within himself because he’d be embarrassed off the floor if he tried to take that many attempts a night. His career high in single-game points was 20 coming into this season. Barrett obliterated that in his rookie year. Just two completely different bodies and games. Couldn’t be more different in attack.

  189. ess-dog: But if he becomes a secondary guy, what does that make him? Maybe late-career DeRozan ( hopefully with a better 3-ball) is the goal? Maybe a shorter Kyle Anderson?

    Maybe a better-rebounding Jerry Stackhouse?

  190. vincoug: Maybe a better-rebounding Jerry Stackhouse?

    I think putting his upside in a class with the Stackhouses, Caron Butlers and Jamal Mashburns of the world is probably accurate. Fringy all-star types based more on hype than performance. Very good all-purpose wings, but far from #1 or 2 options on a legit contender…

  191. Hugo Busto:
    when do we expect Obi back? and how many minutes will he carve out

    I think he’s supposed to be back pretty soon. I would hope that he can take all or most of Knox’s minutes and another few minutes from Randle.

  192. the idea that i’m pushing back on is that because rj is a bad shooter now he will always be a bad shooter and thus will be a bad player…. it’s just way too premature to be saying that at this point … especially when the same camp is pointing to this small sample of shooting but at the same time handwaving all the other stuff because ‘it’s noisy’…. that is just incredibly backwards since all the other stuff is way more reliable at this stage in the game….

    that’s just being overly pessimistic….

  193. if barrett can get to stack/mash/butler…I would sign up for that…that…seems to be an accurate ceiling…i think even those guys had better basketball athleticism than rj…

  194. Stack and Mash were overhyped, less so for Butler. That’s the worry with RJ…will the performance and the salary ever match the hype? I think he winds up getting overpaid by someone, and that’s a concern if it’s us. That said, I think “ceiling” is too strong considering he’s only 20. His current trajectory is to fall short of that level, but just improving his shooting alone would make him a much better prospect to reach, and possibly surpass them.

    He’s going to get every opportunity to break through…Thibs either loves him or feels pressure to play him…probably the former, but who knows? But the 4-16 shooting nights have to stop…that’s way too big of a deficit for the other parts of his game to dig him out from under.

  195. djphan:
    the idea that i’m pushing back on is that because rj is a bad shooter now he will always be a bad shooter and thus will be a bad player…. it’s just way too premature to be saying that at this point … especially when the same camp is pointing to this small sample of shootingbut at the same time handwaving all the other stuff because ‘it’s noisy’….that is just incredibly backwards since all the other stuff is way more reliable at this stage in the game….

    that’s just being overly pessimistic….

    I don’t think anyone here is saying that RJ can’t or won’t improve, even me and I’m probably the most pessimistic poster here. The question is how much improvement is realistic? You’ve talked about his improved FT shooting, and it has improved by a fairly significant amount, but even with that improvement he still isn’t a good FT shooter. He’s not even an average FT shooter at 71.7% vs 76.5%. So he has to make another significant leap just to be a good FT shooter. Meanwhile, he’s also still below average at best at shooting from every location on the floor and I think it’s pretty obvious, Steve Nash being his godfather not withstanding, that he’s not going to be the kind of passer/playmaker that’s good enough to make up for a lack of shooting.

  196. I don’t think anyone here is saying that RJ can’t or won’t improve, even me

    that’s not what i’m saying….

    the idea that i’m pushing back on is that because rj is a bad shooter now he will always be a bad shooter and thus will be a bad player….

    that is what i’m saying… that is different than what you’re implying…. he is still capable of being a good shooter….

  197. djphan: that’s not what i’m saying….

    that is what i’m saying…

    Right, but what I’m asking is what’s a realistic improvement for RJ look like?

  198. Another rosy projection for RJ is our very own Anthony Mason. Clearly their bodies are different but both have a short-arm-y shot-put-y shooting form, and are very physically strong, good rebounding left hand dominant, non-vertical athletes with ball-handling and facilitating skills. Can RJ become that level of defender? I think so if he keeps hitting the weights…but there is so much less emphasis on post play that it probably isn’t as much of an advantage as it used to be.

  199. Fun if slightly tedious discussion of RJ today, partly because who knows. With the extreme caveat that I am not in any possible way a shot doctor, I’ll add to the fun tedium by saying that RJ’s shot doesn’t seem ‘broken’ in a Fultzian manner. But it does seem like he’s doing various things wrong, especially on his 3’s — they just look a bit fugly in terms of position and motion, not sure exactly why but I rarely think, “Oh that should go in.”

    But he’s a good and smooth athlete otherwise. So there’s every possibility, if he hooks up with some shot doctors who are actually good, and puts in the work, he could significantly improve. It’ll take time, of course. I imagine he’ll put the work in from what I hear about him, so it’s getting the shot right. I think it absolutely can happen, but who knows if it will.

    I’m not too horrified by his general lack of improvement, as until now we had what appears to be no development system in place whatsoever. So he gets a soft pass from me until next year.

    He needs to do the equivalent of what Randle did this past summer (if you read the NYPost piece of a few days ago) but make it all about his shooting.

  200. Right, but what I’m asking is what’s a realistic improvement for RJ look like?

    i mean there’s examples all around….there’s the forego 3s completely but be marginally better everywhere else like derozan… there’s improving shooting just a little bit and you get into gay/jrich/ tier of sf’s….. or maybe someone who i randomly thought about recently … derek anderson… if you count guards the universe is a little bigger… these aren’t stylistic comps… i’m talking more level of play with visual similarities…

    then if you get into the tier where he can improve his shooting significantly then you open up a lot of his upside…. there’s medium efficiency in vince carter and then there’s more efficiency if you get into paul pierce territory….

    most people might scoff at that…. but i mean this guy is 20 years old and 9 games into his second season…. the range of outcomes is still very wide because he has established a wide and varied skillset at a young age…. people have been overly optimistic about knox’s upside based purely on his age but we’ve gone totally the other way on this with rj who’s shown way way more….

    shooting is important and the most important skill…. but there are just countless examples of this improving everywhere around the nba at multiple positions…. and that usually follows an improvement with free throw shooting which is why i’ve been highlighting that a lot…. if he’s going to improve his shooting you’re likely to see it there first… and that’s what we’re observing which is why this impatience around his shooting is a bit ridiculous….

  201. I was in the dumps yesterday – just wasn’t a great week and I realized I’ve been pretty angry. I’m a bit better today: me, the wife and her bestie are going to the beach to grill – therapeutic for me and them. Had to catch up with all the comments

    As soon as Dee/Strat made his comments about Ariel Pink I KNEW JK47 was about to ether him. He and others made the points I would’ve, so I’ll just add this:
    Strat, please stop with the “both sides” rhetoric. It’s bs. And it’s BS because this has clearly gone way beyond politics. It’s clearly about things that have a clear right/wrong moral factor to it. You can be a Repub and support civil rights and BLM. But if you’re a Repub *and* you support Trump, it’s not about politics – period.

    I’d like to think we can return to a time where debating politics is just that, but we’ve come to a serious point of reckoning in this country and I’m not sure how we’ll come out on the other side of it. Racism runs deep, and JK said it best: too many know the reality of the damage of racism but cling to lies that they think absolve them of being recognized as a racist/bigot.

    On RJ: I’m glad yall discussed comparing hin to Brandon Ingram, because of the Laker games I watched when he was on the team, I saw the groundwork of a great midrange game (he can hit them even contested – I just thought it wouldn’t mesh well with LeBron). I’ll hang my hat on an Ingram comp w/RJ.

  202. djphan: i mean there’s examples all around….there’s the forego 3s completely but be marginally better everywhere else like derozan… there’s improving shooting just a little bit and you get into gay/jrich/ tier of sf’s….. or maybe someone who i randomly thought about recently … derek anderson…if you count guards the universe is a little bigger… these aren’t stylistic comps… i’m talking more level of play with visual similarities…

    then if you get into the tier where he can improve his shooting significantly then you open up a lot of his upside….there’s medium efficiency in vince carter and then there’s more efficiency if you get into paul pierce territory….

    most people might scoff at that…. but i mean this guy is 20 years old and 9 games into his second season…. the range of outcomes is still very wide because he has established a wide and varied skillset at a young age….people have been overly optimistic about knox’s upside based purely on his age but we’ve gone totally the other way on this with rj who’s shown way way more….

    shooting is important and the most important skill…. but there are just countless examples of this improving everywhere around the nba at multiple positions…. and that usually follows an improvement with free throw shooting which is why i’ve been highlighting that a lot…. if he’s going to improve his shooting you’re likely to see it there first… and that’s what we’re observing which is why this impatience around his shooting is a bit ridiculous….

    But with your examples we come back to the fact that RJ is only has OK athleticism for an NBA player. Most of the players you listed are way better athletes than RJ.

  203. But with your examples we come back to the fact that RJ is only has OK athleticism for an NBA player. Most of the players you listed are way better athletes than RJ.

    i’m not sure why athleticism matters or why you think rj is so deficient…. rj is probably a fair bit better than everyone i’ve mentioned in the open floor other than vince carter… is that not true?

    what measure of athleticism are you counting?

  204. RJ is not a real complicated guy to evaluate. He has a pretty nice all-around game, he just struggles to score. He has not been great at the rim, doesn’t shoot well from midrange and has been a disaster from 3PT.

    If he irons that out, which he might, he’s a very good NBA starter. If he doesn’t, he’s somewhere in Andrew Wiggins territory. He’ll end up somewhere in between those two outcomes, depending on how well he figures out scoring. The rest of his game is not really worrisome.

    There’s not really a whole lot else to talk about.

  205. if there is not much else to discuss…..that means we have to go back to debating frank…

    is he still on the roster…ou est monsieur ntkilina?

  206. Z-man:
    Another rosy projection for RJ is our very own Anthony Mason. Clearly their bodies are different but both have a short-arm-y shot-put-y shooting form, and are very physically strong, good rebounding left hand dominant, non-vertical athletes with ball-handling and facilitating skills. Can RJ become that level of defender? I think so if he keeps hitting the weights…but there is so much less emphasis on post play that it probably isn’t as much of an advantage as it used to be.

    C’mon Z-Man. Mason had better lateral movement at 250 than RJ does at 215. He’s not a bad defender but he’s not a particularly good one. He’s smart and works hard so I can see him being a plus defender eventually but nowhere near Iggy (or Mason).

  207. djphan: i’m not sure why athleticism matters or why you think rj is so deficient….

    Athleticism matters because being able to move faster and jump higher is an advantage in basketball. RJ isn’t deficient, he just isn’t great. He’s average to above average for an NBA player.

    djphan: rj is probably a fair bit better than everyone i’ve mentioned in the open floor other than vince carter… is that not true?

    You already mentioned VC but Jason Richardson and Demar Derozan were also much better athletes than RJ is and it’s been a long time but I remember Derek Anderson being a good athlete but I might be wrong about that. And a lot of guys look good in the open court but most basketball is played in the halfcourt.

    djphan: what measure of athleticism are you counting?

    Everything. He’s got good not great straight line speed and jumping ability but below average at best lateral speed and agility.

    EDIT: I should mention he is very strong, especially for his age.

  208. i’m not sure what kind of athlete you think derozan is but rj had more dunks last year in his rookie year than derozan has had in his career….

    he doesn’t have great lateral quickness but that perception is hindered by the fact that he doesn’t have a great handle…. this whole thing that rj is all left is partially right… and the reason that perception is there is because rj doesn’t have a crossover at all…. he drives left and he just stays there….

    rj isn’t a generational athlete but he’s good… certainly above average which is basically all you need…. he’ll be fine in that regard….

  209. nicos: C’mon Z-Man. Mason had better lateral movement at 250 than RJ does at 215. He’s not a bad defender but he’s not a particularly good one. He’s smart and works hard so I can see him being a plus defender eventually but nowhere near Iggy (or Mason).

    Well Mase was essentially a 25 year old rookie…he had 120 total NBA minutes before that. I could see RJ getting up to 230-240 lbs…he’s got a pretty big frame and is already jacked in a lean way. The kid is strong as an ox, I’ll give him that….he doesn’t get pushed around. I’m not sure about the lateral movement thing, he moves pretty well and has great footwork.

    There’s a reason Thibs is playing him big minutes, and his D is probably a big part of it. I don’t get why people are calling him an average to below average defender…he looks pretty damn good out there to me.

    Anyway, I was more thinking about his funky lefty shooting form, which very much reminds me of Mase. It’s not a form built for high-volume-high-efficiency scoring. Mase was generally a low-usage guy…never averaged above 10FGA per 36…and kept his efficiency high by being selective. RJ doesn’t seem to be amenable to that yet, nor should he if Thibs is okay with him clanging away.

  210. Here’s RJ’s problem athletically: His first step is okay and combined with his strength and body control can get him into the lane. BUT, he doesn’t have that accelerating second step so he rarely beats the rotation to the rim. And since he also doesn’t elevate well in traffic he’s struggled to finish. He’s a slasher and that’s an athlete’s game. So-so athlete = poor slasher.

  211. djphan:

    rj isn’t a generational athlete but he’s good… certainly above average which is basically all you need…. he’ll be fine in that regard….

    Because of his strength, I think it’s just a matter of time before his rim attacks bear more fruit. He’s already shown some craftiness around the basket.

  212. From Mike Vorkunov:

    “ Frank Ntilikina will remain out for at least another week, Tom Thibodeau says, before being evaluated again. The Knicks guard hasn’t played since Dec. 29 because of a knee injury.

    Thibs: “He is making good progress. You just want to make sure he’s completely healthy.”

  213. Z-man: There’s a reason Thibs is playing him big minutes, and his D is probably a big part of it. I don’t get why people are calling him an average to below average defender…he looks pretty damn good out there to me.

    If Thibs loved his D Bullock wouldn’t be the guy taking the tougher assignment every game. Diallo went around Barrett like he was standing still multiple times as did Norman Powell against Toronto. He’s smart, works hard and rarely blows assignments- Like I said I can see him being a positive on that end but I highly doubt it’s something he’s ever going to be able to hang his hat on.

  214. From Shams Charania:

    The Boston Celtics-Miami Heat game tonight has been postponed, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. A Heat player has returned an inconclusive test, and team does not have required eight players to proceed with game tonight due to contact tracing.

  215. From Mike Vorkunov 2:

    Knicks rookie Obi Toppin remains out, though Tom Thibodeau says he’s making “steady progress but still not cleared for contact.” Toppin played in the season opener Dec. 23, re-aggravated a calf injury, and hasn’t played since.

  216. From Woj:

    ESPN Sources: While the Celtics-Heat game has been postponed tonight, the NBA has no plans to pause the season despite thinning rosters because of COVID-19 protocols in several places.

  217. djphan:
    i’m not sure what kind of athlete you think derozan is but rj had more dunks last year in his rookie year than derozan has had in his career….

    he doesn’t have great lateral quickness but that perception is hindered by the fact that he doesn’t have a great handle…. this whole thing that rj is all left is partially right… and the reason that perception is there is because rj doesn’t have a crossover at all….he drives left and he just stays there….

    rj isn’t a generational athlete but he’s good… certainly above average which is basically all you need…. he’ll be fine in that regard….

    Are we talking about the same Derozan?

  218. djphan: rj isn’t a generational athlete but he’s good… certainly above average which is basically all you need…. he’ll be fine in that regard….

    No, he’s not above average for guys dependent on getting to the rim for their offense. Guys who succeed at his game look like Jaylen Brown and Oladipo and he’s a solid tier below that.

  219. djphan:
    i’m not sure what kind of athlete you think derozan is but rj had more dunks last year in his rookie year than derozan has had in his career….

    Vincoug beat me to it but DeRozan as a rookie- dunk % .107, ftr .379. RJ (I’ll use his best #s) Dunk % .06, ftr .349. He also finished better inside. DeRozan’s dunk rate drops pretty quickly (and his TS- .554 as a rookie- drops too until his free throw rate sky-rockets 5 years in.) but he came in as a better athlete than RJ.

  220. Are we talking about the same Derozan?

    oh you’re right…. i don’t know what i was looking at…

    but in any case… it’s not like derozan is just far and away a better athlete than rj…. the dunk % is .060 which is inline with where taytum… brown…. and derozan were in their first 4 years… this is just what they are…

    and it’s really tough to talk about athleticism and say what about it that actually matters? is it a vertical? is it quickness? all that manifests itself in oncourt production…. doncic isn’t athletic.. neither is curry or harden or chris paul… or paul george… even kawhi leonard isn’t blessed with a ridiculous vertical….

    there’s very few that make it just because of their athleticism… they make it because of their skills…. sometimes that’s augmented by their athleticism….

    in any case rj’s athleticism is not holding him back…. that’s really near the bottom of things of why he’s not looking great right now…..

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