An honest assessment of the second part 2019/20 Knicks season – Or how I learned to stop worrying and ignore the void

Hi fellow Knickerbloggers, it’s your friendly neighborhood Farfa.

You might think I’ve given up entirely on this Knicks season. In fact, I pretty much think the same. The recap exercise has quickly become pointless once we hit the deadline and still play the “wrong” guys. Who cares what happens during the long stints where our lineup doesn’t feature at least three potential future pieces (and no, I’m not counting Randle among them)? Is there a goal in trying to describe the impact of Harkless on our rotation (by the way, it’s pretty close to zero).

I wouldn’t say I’m a great writer, especially in a foreign language. But I also think I’m not that bad. Here’s the thing, though: if you want to write something compelling, the subject has to elicit something in you, whatever that is: amusement, love, passion, disgust, hate, ridiculousness, really whatever. There are thousands of ways to imbue a single fact with all sorts of flavors; you just have to identify the right flavor, and bam! Narrative.

The sad truth, though, is that the 2020 Knicks don’t provide anything. You can be the best at seasoning food, but nobody will eat just the sauce if there’s no meat at all.

So here I am, wondering what to make of the many games I’ve seen in the last two weeks (because, seriously, I’m Pavlov’s dog when it comes to Knicks. As long as there is a Knicks game, you can take it for granted that I’m watching it. Even if it makes me curse at the screen. And yeah, these games don’t even make me curse. The rotations do, but the games leave me just meh). Do I go on another rant about the fact that it makes no sense not to start Mitch? Or to take him off the court as soon as he gets to two fouls because I don’t know, maybe Miller’s mistaking basketball fouls for baseball strikes? Do I go on writing furiously about the latest Randle high handle-caused turnover? Would you like it? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t. Even the truest argument gets thrown out as empty words after you’ve repeated it too much (see: Thunberg, Greta).

I can promise you this: there will be at least another recap from now to the end of the season. But there needs to be something at stake. Take last night’s game, for example: did anyone care about what happened on the court? How can someone care when Wayne Ellington gets thrown into the fray before a kinda hot in the previous two games Allonzo Trier does? Trier is as much a free agent as Wayne is entering the 2020/21 season, but his path in the League should be a little different. He should still be on the rise, or at the very least he plateaus for the next two years. Zo’s not that young, but he’s still hungry and will not demand a huge salary. Plus, I think he’s a RFA. For chrissakes, just play him 20 minutes on a night when Frank and DSJ aren’t available in the second half!

Miller’s first 20 games were kind of encouraging. Now he’s just as perplexing as Fiz was, at least in terms of rotations and playcalling. He’s more solid, but just as perplexing. The team isn’t disjointed, but he looks incapable of understanding which players will help him win games (because I think that’s his only goal right now, lame duck as he is after the Stoute special).  But you know that already.

In short, what I’m saying is that I’m here. I’m following the games. I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to write something that doesn’t look like a chewed out 2019 post (but that doesn’t mean I won’t write something else entirely, maybe detailing a few draft prospects – by the way, read this piece from Tjarks on The Ringer, it’s nothing special but it’s quite good at telling everyone what the Knicks have done wrong in the last three years – without even talking about the Knicks!).

Bless your souls.

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Farfa

Just an Italian basketball fan with an insane passion for all things Knicks (and yes, linguine Alfredo is not a real Italian dish).

131 thoughts to “An honest assessment of the second part 2019/20 Knicks season – Or how I learned to stop worrying and ignore the void”

  1. It’s hard to defend anything about this team, but I’m willing to give Miller a little more of a pass. Like Fizdale, he was given a terribly constructed team, but he then had his best player traded away, was put into lame duck status by the new marketing/brand executive, and doesn’t even seem to have full control over who to play. If I was him, I’d have a tough time showing up for work.

    No matter whether your personal starting point for this rebuild is having the 2nd worst record in the league and drafting Porzingis 4th (as I do) or at some later date, we probably still have the worst young core and team in the NBA (even with a handful of veterans). Granted, we are positioned well in terms of space and having excess picks, but the number of major mistakes that were made over the last 3 years is mind boggling. It set us back years from where we should be.

  2. If I was him, I’d have a tough time showing up for work.

    I totally agree. But this is even more reason for me to fail to understand the rationale behind not giving Mitch all the burn he can get and trying something else with a few guys (Barrett, Trier, Dotson) instead of playing Portis, who’s been surprisingly a bit above mediocre but doesn’t belong here in any capacity, Bullock (who’s a known quantity) and Taj (ditto, also making too much money).

  3. The beat writers have all strongly implied that the lineup decisions are coming from above Miller’s head. Which means that lame duck Scott Perry is trying to either save his job or grease the way for his next job in the belief that his bad free agent signings give the team a better chance to win than the kids do. Considering that most of the kids other than Mitch are playing terribly, and that Mitch is an incredibly limited player on offense, he might not be wrong. But it does seem like our energy level and basketball IQ goes up when Randle’s not on the floor, and sometimes when Payton isn’t, too. And Barrett seems to be getting frozen out by both of those guys. And since RJ is also a decision that Perry made, one would hope he would want to prioritize making that choice look good.

    But Rose takes over next week, and we should get a pretty quick read on Perry’s status, Rose’s organizational philosophy, etc. This is all incredibly stupid and Knicks-y, and could very easily continue to be stupid under the new regime. But it sounds like Miller himself has very little authority over who plays.

  4. But if we’re not bringing Iggy and Lamar Peters up and playing them legit rotation minutes alongside RJ & Mitch, what the bleep are we even doing here this season?

  5. Just throwing this out there. The last 3 games Mitch has played 32, 30 and 26 minutes. He had 2 games before that where he was under 20 but then against The Hawks he played 35 minutes. It seems its all about foul trouble with him.

    Also, last year he averaged 20.6 minutes a game and this year its 22.9 so far. So that’s over 2 minutes more a game than last year.

    RJ is averaging 30.4 minutes a game.

    I think I’m more worried about Knox not getting any minutes. I mean, he’s bad but how is he supposed to get any better if he is behind Randle, Harkless, Morris, etc…in the rotation. I actually think he’s made improvements this year on defense but kid needs shots and minutes. He doesn’t need to be out there 30 a night but we should be giving him a solid 15 to 20 a game. Also, Dotson, Trier and Frank. They all need some minutes and at this point there is no point in not giving them burn consistently. They don’t all need 25 or more a game but at least give them 15 a game consistently and see what happens.

  6. I think I understand their reasoning behind Mitch’s current role, but don’t necessarily agree with his minutes.

    Mitch, Randle, RJ and Payton/Frank all can’t shoot from outside. Having them all on the court at the same time causes spacing problems for all of them. They don’t have much of a choice with Payton/Frank. So something has to give between Randle, RJ and Mitch. Randle is the most experienced, highest usage, highest paid, and best scorer of the 3. So he’s going to start and play a lot of minutes. That leaves Mitch and RJ. Out of the two, they’ve decided to use Mitch as a backup to keep him out of early foul trouble and to use a guy like Portis or Taj because they have a little more depth to their games and ability to space the floor better.

    I would argue for more minutes for Mitch, but the lineups do get tricky because the team is constructed so poorly.

    That kind of why I’ve been lobbying for more of Dotson with Frank/Mitch and have been puzzled by Trier in the dog house instead of using him as a bench scorer on occasion. Dotson and Trier can shoot and score, fit well, and are young enough to consider keeping around long term.

  7. I was going to say the same thing about Mitch and his minutes. He did play 30 minutes last night. It’s the way he gets frozen out of the offense that bothers me.

    He isn’t going to be a high usage guy but there are ways to feature him more in the offense. That’s what we should be exploring the rest of the way.

  8. What ever happened to Mitch trying to shoot 3’s this season? Like what harm would it really do to let him shoot 1 3 a game from wherever his best spot is just to see if he can hit them in a game situation?

  9. The Knicks are 28th in eFG% and 28th in FT/FGA. Add that up and they’re 30th in TS%. Kind of hard to win games when you have the worst TS% in the league.

    Good times.

  10. >It’s the way he gets frozen out of the offense that bothers me.<

    This is kind of the debate I'be been initiating.

    It's hard to tell how much is that is the fault of the PGs not getting him the ball, how much is him not putting himself in the right position, how much is the lack of spacing, and how much is that teams know what a threat he is on the lob and non threat his is from outside, they are game planning to take away the lob.

    It's probably a little of everything depending on the match up that night.

  11. I agree Miller’s rotations are driven by other than his idea of the best shot of winning. There was one game where this was painfully obvious. It was close to the trade deadline but before and DSJ started at point guard. The game was close in the fourth quarter and Miller played Frank for all of crunch time. My inference was Miller was showcasing Smith, but thought Ntilikina actually gave him the best chance to win. He probably would have preferred to play Frank more but had been instructed not to.

  12. No matter whether your personal starting point for this rebuild is having the 2nd worst record in the league and drafting Porzingis 4th (as I do) or at some later date,

    That sort of matters a lot, though, since they didn’t really start rebuilding until last season and then they decided to ignore that this year. And they’re still going to end up with RJ Barrett and an additional lottery pick out of it. This is the point where the young core has to be built, because of the terrible job that Phil and then Pills did in not rebuilding when they should have been.

    In other words, “Our young core isn’t good!” isn’t saying much, when these morons only started last year and they tried to fuck that up, too, with their mind-boggingly dumb “Sign a bunch of mediocre veterans” plan.

    Now, the new guy might screw thing up, as well (heck, he probably will), but now is when the young core should logically be built up.

  13. In an alternate universe, with a little luck and smarter drafting, we would have a roster that includes:

    Zion WIlliamson
    Shae-Gilgeous Alexander
    Donavan Mitchell
    Mitchell Robinson

    Now that would be fun to watch!

  14. Miller’s best player comes off the bench and they don’t make much of an effort to involve him in the offense, despite him being the only player on the roster who has elite skill.

  15. 1. Jayson Tatum is here
    When was the last time this happened — a player in the middle of the season making The Leap, everyone digesting the revelation together and knowing it is real and lasting? Perhaps Kawhi Leonard toward the start of 2016-17?

  16. Kawhi Leonard was (by far) the best player on a team that won 67 games in 2015-2016 and was at worst the 4th best player in the NBA. This is what annoys me about the Tatum hype-it’s not that he’s not good, it’s that the praise for him is so over the top.

  17. Yeah, things are getting a bit out of hand with Tatum, I think it was Zach Lowe that i saw saying Tatum’s potential was “so scary” he didn’t feel comfortable naming his comps because they felt so outlandish. So what are the comparisons, is it Leonard? LeBron? Bird? He’s having a career year but he’s still very far from the level of guys like this, hell, he’s far from the level Luka Doncic is right now. Let’s pump the brakes a little bit. The kid is playing amazing basketball and progressing really well, but it seems very excessive.

  18. Kawhi Leonard was (by far) the best player on a team that won 67 games in 2015-2016 and was at worst the 4th best player in the NBA.

    pointzzzzzzz

  19. Z-man we’re arguing different things. If you told me Tatum was the 4th best player in the NBA 2 years from now I wouldn’t be shocked. I’m just saying people are looking at his February run as a leap to a higher level of sustainable performance and I do not think the numbers support that. He’s making contested and off the dribble 3s at a rate that is much higher than anything he’s done in his career without improving at anything else.

  20. Since its kind of slow here today, I thought I would throw some gas on the flames and give a Team Optimist take on us possibly hiring Thibs.

    Before I go, just realize, he is not the guy I would choose to hire.

    But here we go.

    Thibs is a successful coach. He has the most games under his belt and best winning percentage of any coach we have had going back to Woodson. He made the playoffs with Chicago every season, was part of a very successful Boston team and even got Minny into the playoffs. People criticize him for the way things ended in chicago and minny, but how have those teams fared since he left?

    The argument that he is an out-dated coach who’s style/system doesn’t work in the modern NBA is overblown. He had the best defense in the NBA with Chicago and not a great offense but in Minny he actually had a really good offense (and not so great defense).

    Our best young player is a good defensive player (Mitch) but still lacks fundamentals and focus. Imagine if Thibs could unlock that potential on the defensive side where Mitch isn’t getting into foul trouble and is able to play 30 minutes a game every night. RJ Barrett has shown to be a very competitive (and smart) player who could be a good defensive player. And we have Frank, whose best qualities are on defense. Plus you got Dotson who is a good defensive player. There are some young pieces that could be the foundation of a good defensive team.

    Load Management wasn’t a term when he coached The Bulls or even a few years ago. If Thibs has learned his lesson at all, that alleviates a lot of the concerns with him.

    In conclusion, Thibs wouldn’t be the worst hire ever. He’s better than Horns, Fisher, Fiz and probably better than Miller if we’re being honest. DRose was a top prospect but did anyone really think Noah was going to be a DPOY level player coming out of college? Thibs also was also the coach when Butler made the leap to superstar.

    Just something to think about.

  21. I was there in person last night, with my son, who goes to Temple. After Mo’s 5th 3 in the 3rd, I shouted loudly “you are at the Moe Harkless game”. That was it. drove 3 hours each way for that.

  22. ZMan that is an interesting list. The only issue with the “best sine” lists with young ages is that it’s really only in the last 20 years that we have have guys coming into the league as teens and in their early 20s. It doesn’t detract from the elite company on the list, but sometimes they come off as of all time.

  23. Niick C that’s not really true…the list is sorted by 22 and under. So yes, there are fewer players with 2 years of NBA experience at that age, but quite a few 22yo rookies in the olden days.

    Any way you look at it, his play for the season (and as pt pointed out, including his unsustainable cold start and recent hot streak kinda cancel each other out) he’s somewhere between Blake/Carmelo and McGrady/Durant. That’s superstar territory in that age group no matter how you slice it, especially given the pressure of playing a 1A role in Boston in front of a rabid fan base for a top-4 team with a better-than-slim chance of getting to the NBA finals. He’s not doing this on the Suns or Kings.

  24. Another Thibs thought.

    People think its a “win now, big name” hire but if you think about it, he was the guy who was there when Chicago drafted Rose, Noah and Butler. Its not like he inherited that team. He coached them up to the players they became. And in Minny he was coaching a similar young team (with admittedly less success) with KAT and Wiggins.

    As a head coach, he has been part of developing teams. So I don’t know if he would pull a play the vets over the kids type move.

  25. No matter whether your personal starting point for this rebuild is having the 2nd worst record in the league and drafting Porzingis 4th (as I do) or at some later date,

    In fact, the reason our core is so meager is precisely because this isn’t when we decided to rebuild. Hell, it wasn’t even Phil’s intention to tank that individual season! He was talking playoffs before it, signed the largest contract in the NBA at the time with a full no trade clause before it, and traded the eventual 31st and 39th overall picks to save a couple million and retain Travis Wear before it. Rebuild!

    After that season went to hell, he promptly signed Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, and other junky veterans while actual rebuilding teams like the Sixers were getting a treasure chest of assets from the Kings for taking on a few expiring contracts. So Phil can complain all he wants about not having his own pick during this season, but he willingly passed up a bunch of other picks because Williams and Afflalo were just too damn essential. Rebuild!

    After that season went to hell, he signed Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, traded his first-round pick from the prior draft for Derrick Rose. Rebuild!

    So during this “rebuild,” we traded more picks than we brought in and signed some of the most onerous contracts in the NBA. Rebuild!

    This is why we have Frank and Knox instead of Fox and WCJ. Rebuild!

  26. This may sound over-simplified, but bear with me.
    The Knicks as a team shoot 69% from the stripe.
    There is a fair case to be made that if they simply shot 79% from the stripe, they’d probably be a substantially better basketball team.
    Clyde made note of the fact that the Knicks are losing a lot of games for lack of competent FT shooting in the 4th period.

    And let’s face it, FT shooting is all about practice and muscle memory. It’s a training and coaching issue.

    A bad team can be a middling team if it does the easy stuff well.
    There is nothing quite so easy as an open shot at a set place on the court.

    Out of 42 losses, the Knicks lost 22 of them by less than 10 points. (Oe average the Knicks have lost by 13.6 a game). In 10 games the Knicks lost by 5 or less. (There were some games they lost by 10 and missed more free throws than that.)

    If the Knicks would shoot 79% or better, which would put them in the top eight in the NBA, rather than dead last, that alone likely would lead to about 10 more wins, or a respectable 27-32.

    In at least a few games I checked, the Knicks missed as many foul shots as they lost by points.

    I’m not being super precised here because of time, but it appears just FT shooting alone would substantially improve the record.

  27. Frank, I don’t think your math is right. we shoot 23 free throws a game, so 10% better would be 2.3 pts / game. we’ve only lost 4 games by 2 pts or less. so if we were to go from dead last to top 8 in free throw %; we’d win another game or two.

    This math makes more sense. Moe missed 2 in a row in the 2nd half last night, giving the 12,000 fans in attendance a free frosty.

  28. Bo – Please issue a trigger warning with that kind of content.

    We had the same discussion of Tatum when he shot 50% from three the first two months of his rookie year.

    To me he feels like a Paul Pierce or Terry Cummings level player. Maybe a bit above given defense. But it would be like the Celtics to fall into a superstar.

  29. >>In other words, “Our young core isn’t good!” isn’t saying much, when these morons only started last year and they tried to fuck that up, too, with their mind-boggingly dumb “Sign a bunch of mediocre veterans” plan.<<

    I hope we don't need to debate "intent" vs. "what happened" again, but this is the way see it.

    In 2014/2015 we cleaned house, had the 2nd worst record in the NBA, tanked hard, and drafted Porzingis.

    We didn't have a pick the following year, made a bunch of mistakes, but there's no need to rehash all that. We agree on that.

    KP getting hurt gave us the opportunity to draft better for two straight years.

    Even without having a pick the year after KP, right now we are supposed to have KP, Mitch, Barrett, Frank, Trier, Dotson, and Mikal Bridges. With no other brilliant moves we'd be sitting in a pretty good spot in this rebuild.

    Of course we'd be a hell of a lot better this year and wouldn't be getting as good a pick this year.

    The major point is we were the 2nd worst team in the NBA in 2014/2015, had the advantage of KP getting hurt, and it is now 2019/2020 and we are still the worst team in the NBA, but without KP.

  30. Jayson Tatum is a good player who is overhyped because he plays for a cornerstone franchise in the league. We hate it because we hate the Celtics, but I’m certain other smart people saw Porzingis was overhyped but getting the New York media to put a spotlight on him.

    I’m also in favor of Thibs because he’s not a bad coach and he plays his best players a ton of minutes. It depends on who is adding the talent and if it’s actual talent and not just “we’re gonna add tough guys like Rondo and Lance Stephenson” kinda guys. I’m not hopeful about this stuff unless Leon Rose convinces OKC to give us Sam Presti or something.

  31. >In fact, the reason our core is so meager is precisely because this isn’t when we decided to rebuild. <

    There's no reason to debate this. We know what happened with 100% certainty.

    We started the 2014/2015 season hoping to be a playoff team, but by mid season Phil realized we sucked and all he had was a bunch of gun toting lunatics, party goers, idiots and broken down players. So he cleaned house TO TANK by trading bad contracts like Felton and JR Smith, using Shumpert to move JR, releasing Amare, and Melo getting surgery. It was successful enough to get us the 2nd worst record in the NBA and KP.

    We had no pick the following year after KP.

    Everyone knows both Phil and Pills made a lot of mistakes, but 2014/15 that was the beginning of the rebuild.

    You may not approve of any rebuild that doesn't match the 76ers, but that's a different debate. We agree on the bad moves, but disagree on how to rebuild. I think you should use all means, but you need competent people doing it. We didn't and still don't have competent people.

  32. Owen: We had the same discussion of Tatum when he shot 50% from three the first two months of his rookie year.

    To me he feels like a Paul Pierce or Terry Cummings level player. Maybe a bit above given defense. But it would be like the Celtics to fall into a superstar.

    The Glass Half Rebuilt: Jayson Tatum is a good player who is overhyped because he plays for a cornerstone franchise in the league. We hate it because we hate the Celtics, but I’m certain other smart people saw Porzingis was overhyped but getting the New York media to put a spotlight on him.

    See, I think people are underrating Tatum here specifically because we hate the Celtics and Ainge and are pissed whenever they get good things. As the stats I posted show, it is incredibly rare (and limited to mostly future superstars) for a player that young to perform that well in an outsized role on a top team in the league. He’s a bonafide “5-tool player” in baseball verbiage. Paul Pierce is a pretty good mid-line projection for him, and that’s a 10-time all-star and sure-fire HOFer with an ability to be the best player on a championship team with the right pieces around him. But to dismiss what he’s doing because he had a 10-game hot streak from 3 is really distorting his overall value as a multidimensional 2-way player.

  33. So I’m watching “Twenties,” a new show debuting next week on BET, and one of the characters is a basketball player looking to cross over into entertainment, LeBron-style. The actor seemed naggingly familiar, but I couldn’t quite place him. So while writing my review today, I got a list of all the performers on the show… and it was Iman Shumpert.

    I feel I have forever lost the right to type “Shump Shump.”

  34. Strat ain’t even trying to refute TNFH’s points. Just hitting us with the same ol’ cut + paste from his PJax folder.

  35. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt:
    >In fact, the reason our core is so meager is precisely because this isn’t when we decided to rebuild. <

    There’s no reason to debate this.We know what happened with 100% certainty.

    We started the 2014/2015 season hoping to be a playoff team, but by mid season Phil realized we sucked and all he had was a bunch of gun toting lunatics, party goers, idiots and broken down players. So he cleaned house TO TANK by trading bad contracts like Felton and JR Smith,using Shumpert to move JR, releasing Amare, and Melo getting surgery.It was successful enough to get us the 2nd worst record in the NBA and KP.

    We had no pick the following year after KP.

    Everyone knows both Phil and Pills made a lot of mistakes, but 2014/15 that was the beginning of the rebuild.

    You may not approve of any rebuild that doesn’t match the 76ers, but that’s a different debate.We agree on the bad moves, but disagree on how to rebuild.I think you should use all means, but you need competent people doing it.We didn’t and still don’t have competent people.

    Strat seems to do this strange thing where he conflates personal belief with objective, certain fact.

    Contrast with TNFH below:

    After that season went to hell, he promptly signed Robin Lopez, Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, and other junky veterans while actual rebuilding teams like the Sixers were getting a treasure chest of assets from the Kings for taking on a few expiring contracts.

    After that season went to hell, he signed Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, traded his first-round pick from the prior draft for Derrick Rose. Rebuild!

    So during this “rebuild,” we traded more picks than we brought in and signed some of the most onerous contracts in the NBA. Rebuild!

  36. Notice the difference? One of these arguments consists of assumptions, and one lists the actual transactions that happened.

    The transaction-based (fact-based) argument paints a picture very much in contrast with “2014/15 was the beginning of the rebuild” since Phil didn’t, yknow, do any actual rebuilding. The Felton / JR trades, which seem to be the crux of your argument, were arguably more about cap space than anything else. Considering how he spent the remainder of his tenure, this seems like a much more reasonable interpretation than yours

  37. >Strat seems to do this strange thing where he conflates personal belief with objective, certain fact.<

    I'm trying my damn hardest not to discuss Phil's moves again because I agree with what Phil was trying to do in a philosophical sense without agreeing with his actual moves (then or now).

    Beyond that, Is it so hard to understand that I don't like the 76ers style rebuild. I prefer what Riley has been doing in Miami better and similar multi faceted team building.

    At the same time I am saying with all these lottery picks we've had and even with the benefit of KP being hurt giving us better positioning in the lottery than we would have had, we still suck ass like in 2014/2015 and we don't even have KP to show for it.

    I guess that's too complicated when you'd rather continue arguing about Phil instead of admitting that trying to rebuild through the draft is no easy task.

  38. I think part of the reason it’s possible for different people to see different things in Phil’s tenure is because he really was a little all over the map. The key insight is that Phil really thought the triangle was magic when he took over; he seriously thought he could take over a very bad team and they would compete right away without him really needing to make significant win-now moves other than put in the triangle (and besides the team was only one year removed from being pretty good). Once it became obvious that the triangle was less magic and more magic beans he really started flailing and it’s pretty clear to me that past a certain point trying to read a coherent “plan” in his moves is looking for something that just isn’t there.

  39. Once we whiffed on KD and Irving and the other top free agents, the obvious play was to use that cap space to acquire some 1RPs. Those deals were out there. We could have been looking at the current young guys plus our own draft picks plus like 5 surplus 1RPs, plus cap space in the near future.

    That would be what a real rebuilding team would do. Instead we did the moronic thing and wasted all the cap space. Now, we’re getting some of it back but you can bet that we will waste it again. Because Knicks.

    I swear I’m gonna be on here when I’m 90 years old begging for the Knicks to finally do a proper rebuild, and James Dolan’s grandkid is instead going to be hiring GMs who get his band the opening slot for Billie Eilish’s Vegas residency.

  40. Once again, my dear strat, you’ve managed to respond to a straw man. No one is here to re-litigate Phil (it’s pretty clear that he sucked) or Philly, for that matter.

    I was challenging the very notion that you have some kind of special insight into what Phil was thinking or trying to do. All that can be done from your shoes is to discuss the things that actually happened.

    What’s doubly irritating here is that any kind of analysis of the things that actually happened indicates the opposite of your assertions.

    It’s not unlike your distrust of the stats. You start by treating your gut as “fact” and try to pick apart objective reality (transaction record and/or stats) from there in an effort to reconcile with your gut. It’s ass-backwards. Your gut is not a priori

  41. I’m not trying to be a jerk here – you seem very earnest and I genuinely enjoy your posts. It’s just that the availability heuristic is starting to take over discourse and we’d be a lot better off recognizing it when it’s happening

  42. Z-Man

    I LOT of people here thought the Celtics were going to suck this year (I don’t recall your view).

    I repeatedly made the point that losing Kyrie and gaining Kemba was going to be no big deal and that their young core was being very underrated (specifically Tatum, Brown and Walker).

    You want to know why almost everyone was wrong and I was right?

    It’s because they are forming their opinions primarily by looking at broken stats models and I’m looking at the players’ skills, fit, details of what’s going on with their team, and other things that are impacting their stats.

    It’s clear Tatum is an excellent player on both sides of the ball.

    The only debate is whether he’s excellent or an emerging superstar.

  43. >>?I was challenging the very notion that you have some kind of special insight into what Phil was thinking or trying to do. All that can be done from your shoes is to discuss the things that actually happened.<<

    I have better use of my time than to search for the articles and live interviews in 2014/2015, but Phil was on record at the time as saying he had to blow it up and start over. There was even an interview with Bill Bradley at the time who said he spoke to Phil and Phil told him he had to reset and rebuild.

    Phil was crazy enough at the time to suggest he deserved some kind of manager of the year award for cleaning house so successfully. lmao

    After that, there's no debate the rebuild execution was bad.

  44. I think part of the reason it’s possible for different people to see different things in Phil’s tenure is because he really was a little all over the map. The key insight is that Phil really thought the triangle was magic when he took over; he seriously thought he could take over a very bad team and they would compete right away without him really needing to make significant win-now moves other than put in the triangle (and besides the team was only one year removed from being pretty good). Once it became obvious that the triangle was less magic and more magic beans he really started flailing and it’s pretty clear to me that past a certain point trying to read a coherent “plan” in his moves is looking for something that just isn’t there.

    I think he thought that he had inherited a decent team (they almost made the playoffs) and that the triangle was magic and would make them a playoff team and then he would get free agents to sign here. He explicitly said that his plan coming into the 2014-15 season was to get them to the playoffs to recruit free agents to come here. And then they had the worst season in franchise history. In other words, Phil was just bad at this stuff.

  45. There was even an interview with Bill Bradley at the time who said he spoke to Phil and Phil told him he had to reset and rebuild.

    I can’t believe I’m gonna go here, but what exactly did Phil do to reset and rebuild? What moves did Phil Jackson make that were of a rebuilding nature after his initial Knicks team went tits-up?

    He did move Tim Hardaway for Jerian Grant, that’s something! It didn’t work out, but hey he tried. Other than that, which moves were part of Phil Jackson’s “rebuild” exactly? Because I’m looking at what he did after that 17-win season, and what I’m seeing is that he signed 27-year old Brook Lopez, and the dynamic player option duo of Arron Afflalo and Derrick Williams. And in addition to that he gave 2,000 minutes to a 34-year old Jose Calderon and an additional 900 minutes to 31-year old Sasha Vujacic.

    Am I missing something here? This was his “rebuild.”

  46. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt: It’s because they are forming their opinions primarily by looking at broken stats models

    I think the statistical models actually support the argument that Tatum is better than many here are giving him credit for being, which I hoped that my searches would make clear.

    As to predictions, I thought they’d be a top-4 playoff team. Stevens is an amazing coach, when he has coachable players (i.e. not Kyrie). My problem with the Celts is that like many well-coached overachieving teams, they don’t really have another level to go to in the playoffs. Sure, someone like Marcus Smart might shoot out of his mind like Terry Rozier did when they went to the conference finals, but more likely they will hit a wall and lose to the Bucks or maybe the Raptors or Sixers (or even the Heat? that would be f**king SWEET!) But they are definitely legit.

    I also think that they might have missed the prime window for cashing in on their overstock of draft assets. For example, why not overpay right now for Capela? If Kemba starts breaking down and they max Tatum, that’s a lot of cap space tied up in three players, even if Hayward moves on (and even he’s playing well enough now to command good money when his deal expires.) So I don’t know if a Tatum, Brown, and Kemba core gets you there without a huge lucky break, as it doesn’t look as if they have trade assets outside of Tatum and Brown that have much value.

  47. This is what’s so frustrating. If you start with the position of “I’m right because I know things” and work backwards from there, it’s impossible to have any kind of discussion. If you look at the actual, factual recorded historical record, you can see that aside from one year of cleaning house (for salary purposes only, not picks or any actual “rebuild” assets), none of the transactions are remotely consistent with those of a rebuild.

    Words have meaning. The word “rebuild” does not belong in any discussion about Phil unless that conversation is “things Phil didn’t do”

    There’s no point in exchanging words if we can’t do so with a baseline mutual understanding of what they mean

  48. I can;t find the Bill Bradley interview, or the best Phil Jackson interviews, but this was the thinking at the time.

    Newsday 1/1/2015

    Phil Jackson knew he was going to have to tear down the Knicks and build them back up, but he didn’t think the process would start before the midpoint of his first full season as team president.

    Jackson signed Carmelo Anthony to a five-year, $124-million deal last summer, after all. He wouldn’t have done that if he were in full rebuild mode. But the Knicks have won only one game since Nov. 22, forcing Jackson to rethink and adjust his plan.

    He traded J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert last Monday for a second-round pick and two trade exceptions and waived Samuel Dalembert. Jackson promised more changes, saying “no one should be surprised” by what the Knicks do by the Feb. 19 trade deadline.

  49. Right after clearing out the roster NY Times and winning on;y 17 games

    Q. You came to the Knicks a little over a year ago. Knowing what you know now, would you have still taken the job?

    JACKSON Without a doubt. I knew it was going to be a challenge. We just didn’t have any room to work last year. We knew that we were going to have to make big changes with the limitations that we had, being in a locked-in situation as far as the salary cap goes. That’s why when I said recently that I didn’t know why I wasn’t given some votes for executive of the year, I wasn’t kidding. I was really serious. We had a yeoman’s job of having to get rid of a lot of fat on our roster to get to where we are.

  50. >>Words have meaning. The word “rebuild” does not belong in any discussion about Phil unless that conversation is “things Phil didn’t do”<<<

    A rebuild means you clear out your roster, get a good draft pick, and then start fresh.

    That could mean rebuilding almost entirely via draft or it could mean any combination of draft picks, free agent signings, and trades. The only real requirement for a rebuild is clearing out what you have and starting over.

  51. I also think that they might have missed the prime window for cashing in on their overstock of draft assets. For example, why not overpay right now for Capela? If Kemba starts breaking down and they max Tatum, that’s a lot of cap space tied up in three players, even if Hayward moves on (and even he’s playing well enough now to command good money when his deal expires.) So I don’t know if a Tatum, Brown, and Kemba core gets you there without a huge lucky break, as it doesn’t look as if they have trade assets outside of Tatum and Brown that have much value.

    Yeah, that’s precisely my take. Tatum and Kemba are good, but they’re not so good that they don’t need help to be a true contender and since they’re going to have to lock everyone up (if Hayward leaves, they literally can’t replace him, so they might just have to re-up him), there’s not a ton of room for growth, so they’re “stuck” at a level I’d be thrilled to see for the Knicks, but disappointing for all the assets they had earlier.

  52. THAT was the fucking rebuild? Dumping JR Smith and Iman Shumpert for nothing, and waiving Sam Dalembert? That’s some genius executive shit there. And he talked about how hard it was and how he should be praised for it, so I guess you got me there.

  53. A rebuild means you clear out your roster, get a good draft pick, and then start fresh.

    His first move was to lock in Melo for a mega-max. Come on.

  54. Great, another thread devolves into a strat fest where he copies and pastes the same 3 arguments over and over and people keep entertaining him on it. I never thought the level of discussion here would fall so low, but I guess nothing is sacred is really true.

    At least it makes it easier for me to not care enough and to do my part in not engaging the same bullshit that’s been in every thread for the past what, year now already? At least its fitting that the state of the board matches the state of our beloved godforsaken franchise.

  55. The only real requirement for a rebuild is clearing out what you have and starting over.

    You have this pathological need to say “we’ve been doing a rebuild since the 17-win season” but that is such utter bullshit. You’re using the loosest sense of the word “rebuild” possible.

    Wavy Gravy went from his “rebuild” that consisted of dumping JR and Shump for nothing, and immediately made a bunch of win-now moves that involved giving lots of playing time to the most mediocre of veterans.

    Rebuild, my ass. This is a really weird construct you insist on defending.

  56. >If you start with the position of “I’m right because I know things” and work backwards from there, it’s impossible to have any kind of discussion.<

    Here's the problem.

    A lot of people seem to want a single number that represents how good a player is.

    I keep saying those kinds of models are flawed and can't handle a lot of significant things.

    I'm more than willing to tell you beforehand what I think of a player, why, what factors I am considering, what I am looking at in the statistical record etc.. and then own up to whether I am right or wrong after the fact.

    What I can't give you is a "number".

    I can only give you my overall analysis of a lot of things that leads to my conclusion.

    Some of it is based on stats, some of it is what I see on the court, some of it insights gained from watching decades of basketball and other sports, some of it even what other players say etc.. If people don't want to accept my conclusion that's fine. But there is no number. All there is my predictions (or bets) and whether I was right or wrong.

  57. Speaking of melo:

    “Incoming Knicks president Leon Rose is expected to be interested in bringing Carmelo Anthony back to the Knicks next season, according to multiple NBA executives.”

    Mitch with a jab step 16 footer would be impossible to guard

  58. >You have this pathological need to say “we’ve been doing a rebuild since the 17-win season” but that is such utter bullshit. You’re using the loosest sense of the word “rebuild” possible.<

    And you have this delusional idea that unless you rebuild like the 76ers its not really a rebuild.

    There are a variety of ways to rebuild. The one thing they have in common is cleaning house and starting over.

  59. Whoa there Bruno… Kahneman has forgotten more about heuristic fallacies than you will ever know…

    I think this one is my fault tbh. I was trying to put this to bed by approaching it from a new angle, but I just fed the fire

  60. >His first move was to lock in Melo for a mega-max. Come on.<

    Did you even read what he said?

    He said exactly what I said he said.

    He said the original plan was to try to compete and slowly get rid of all the fat on the roster over time because of the lack of flexibility, but once the season failed he changed plans and started getting rid of everyone and tanking the season quickly (other than Melo). That's when he traded JR, Shump, released Dalembert, Amare and Prigs etc… It was a tank to get a higher pick.

    He was never going to rebuild 76er style. Especially because he didn't have a pick the year after KP and he already signed Melo.

  61. Have a good night guys.

    I’m sure the feeling mutual, but I can only handle so much of talking basketball here. It’s not at all productive for me and I’ll leave it that.

  62. I’m sure the feeling mutual, but I can only handle so much of talking basketball here. It’s not at all productive for me and I’ll leave it that.

    As Clyde might say, the tone here can be phelgmatic and dogmatic.

  63. So I was thinking…
    We have a few talented players, but who actually raises the level of play around him? Maybe Mitch? And even that might be a stretch..but if he isn’t that guy, he’s the closest by a mile- at least until RJ matures into that role

  64. Is there any way to give feedback to the Knicks that I will stop watching if they bring back Melo?

    I can’t be the only one that feels that way. I mean the fans chant for Frank, and he is like the anti- Melo.

  65. Z-Man I know the thread has gone elsewhere, but I am on board with your general take on Tatum. I can’t have been the only person who looked at the second list, saw Ray Williams name and sighed at what could have been with him and Michael Ray and the excitement the 79-80 season brought

  66. Is there any way to give feedback to the Knicks that I will stop watching if they bring back Melo?

    not quite sure why, but, this season seems to be hitting me worst than most have in the past…

    I really thought we might have hit bottom there just before we fired fiz…

    I’m not so sure now…

  67. I think missing out on Ja and Zion and RJ being so ahh, meh, is pretty dispiriting. Combined with this being a crappy draft.

    The Leon Rose/Carmelo rumor is highly upsetting. It would probably be the moment to start divorce proceedings,

    Just the fact that rumor got out there seems inept on Rose’s part. I mean, it’s insane! You literally couldn’t concoct a dumber idea than having a washed up Melo come back to NYC to take all of RJ’s shots. It’s so stupid I am almost forced to believe it, although I don’t really believe it tbh.

    Zion is 5-5 so far tonight. How does his defense rate? Any numbers out there on that?

  68. Last I checked, Zion was 8-13 with 2 FTs and 1 rebound and 3 turnovers in 21 minutes against maybe the worst team in the league.

  69. Hawks sitting pretty against Brooklyn right now, so that’s a nice shaudenfraude / tank twofer at least

  70. Nick C.: I can’t have been the only person who looked at the second list, saw Ray Williams name and sighed at what could have been with him and Michael Ray and the excitement the 79-80 season brought

    I was distracted by college years, etc. during that time and didn’t get to see many of those games, but what I saw from Sugar and Ray-Ray were two extremely talented but low-IQ/high-turnover players. I looked at the ’80-’81 team page and realize that I totally missed out on a great season…the Campy Russell era! A 50-win team coached by Red Holtzman. Imagine if KB was around then…

  71. Zion’s defense seems pretty bad at the moment, but he’s a kid joining a team mid-season and I think he’s a bit fat. His size is going to be a problem, but if he gets some experience and into better shape I would imagine it’ll be fine considering what wrecking ball he’s going to be on offense. The only thing I’m disappointed in with his game considering the situation is that he’s been a really shitty defensive rebounder, like Bargnani bad.

  72. Musings on the Hawks:
    1) John Collins is a monster on O and the glass, sort of Amar’e-ish (their per36 numbers are very similar over their first 3 seasons and there are some parallels between Nash and Trae)
    2) Cam Reddish will be better than some here think

  73. Zion will never be as good as this guy. He doesn’t have the ambidexterity, ball-handling skill, defensive awareness, court vision, or shooting mechanics to ever close the gap. He’ll probably be a HOFer and maybe a 1-time MVP at some point (doubtful but possible) but I just don’t see hime as a #1 guy on a championship-contending team.

  74. Why’ is Derrick Rose still on the Pistons?

    The Pistons are cleaning house for a rebuild. Rose has been healthy and playing very well over the last 2 years. He’s probably a better basketball player now in some ways than he was at his peak. He’s just doesn’t have the same athleticism that carried him prior to all the injuries. Unless he just wants to play in Detroit for some reason, they should definitely buy him out and let him get a serious playoff run as a backup on a contender.

  75. Cam Reddish is making the scouts and other players look smarter and smarter about his potential with each passing week. He has a chance to become a very good two way switchable player over time.

    I love that young Hawks team. I thought they might break out this year, but injuries and other issues set them back a bit.

    One big hole is Trae’s defense, but if he can just become a mild negative instead of a disaster on defense over time, he’s going to great. On offense he’s years ahead of what I expected.

  76. I think the Rockets are going to be very successful against a lot of teams playing small ball, but I hate Harden’s game and think they will eventually run into a matchup out west (probably LA or LAC) that will expose them. Still, part of me is hoping I’m wrong because I’d love to see a Giannis vs. Harden finals given all the trash talk going on between those two these days.

  77. Zion is a beast, but he has a long way to go in some areas of his game.

    I like that they kept Holiday and added Favors and Reddick. If Zion didn’t get hurt, they clearly would be a playoff team right now (still might be). Even though they are nowhere near being a serious contender, getting that young core of Zion, Ball, and Ingram playoff experience would do a lot to help accelerate the development of those young players. I’d way rather have that than trading the older guys away and being bad for an extra couple of years for a better pick. I’d love to see those kids in the playoffs now.

  78. Watching Doncic play basketball can be very frustrating. He’s extremely skilled and high IQ in some ways. He can amaze, but he does not understand that less can be more. He’s still trying to do too much and it leads to unnecessary TOs and bad shots from 3. He could be way more productive at his current skill level if he just tweaked his aggressiveness and stat stuffing a bit. With all those offensive weapons, there’s no reason for it.

  79. Dolan not inviting Marv Albert to the 50th CHP anniversary shows that JD still cannot let go of certain grudges and this certainly does not help Knicks’ Karma nor the perception of the team around the league. Marv was so much a part of the pre-Dolan successful Knicks. It appears if one is not a sycophant there is no place at MSG ( cf. Mills and Oak) and this element certainly contributes to the ineptitude that characterizes managing in the Dolan era. If Rose is yet another sycophant, then the LOLKnicks will endure. I irrationally hold out hope that Rose is slick enough to mollify Dolan with superficial moves while bringing in people who can actually and finally move this franchise forward.

  80. Yes! Marv was as important to me during that era as anyone wearing a uniform or on the bench. It’s a disgrace to not have him there, no matter what happened.

  81. Leon Rose deserves a fair shot before being judged. He has an excellent rep with both players and owners and always represented himself and his clients well. Th have landed the clients he did speaks to his negotiating power. And he’s not the smug, pretentious, manipulative prick that Jax was going back to his coaching days with the Bulls. I’m going to ignore the Melo stuff (if he wants to bring him back on a vet’s min deal for a farewell tour, whatever.) Let’s judge him by his moves in June/July.

  82. Z-man:
    Leon Rose deserves a fair shot before being judged. He has an excellent rep with both players and owners and always represented himself and his clients well. To have landed the clients he did speaks to his negotiating power. And he’s not the smug, pretentious, manipulative prick that Jax was going back to his coaching days with the Bulls.I’m going to ignore the Melo stuff (if he wants to bring him back on a vet’s min deal for a farewell tour, whatever.) Let’s judge him by his moves in June/July.

  83. That’s fine to say, but the Knicks under Dolan have always acted like the most important thing is to have a star to help sell tickets. You could even attribute trading Porzingis to make space for Durant as driven by that urge. This just sounds like more of the same. Like Bidiong, I am starting to expect disaster. I am hoping not, but I can see us doing something like trading picks for Blake Griffin. After all, he can jump over cars, and what more do you want?

  84. So what would it take to sign Christian Wood? He’s exactly the type of player we should be targeting with our cap space.

    Last night vs. Suns – 19 points on 12 shots, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block. Currently sporting a TS% of .654.

    I’d be thrilled if we could get him on a reasonable deal

  85. The crazy thing is that a good player at MSG will become a star because of all the press he will get. So they don’t have to import stars, they could develop them, but they import them anyway.

  86. We all have some level of chronic PTSD here but at least Rose isn’t a proven management failure like Isiah was or a known narcissistic head case burnout like PJax or an incompetent sychophant like Mills. He deserves a bit of a wait and see approach. And I don’t really care that much who coaches the team until we have a playoff-level team.

  87. >>> To have landed the clients he did speaks to his negotiating power<<<

    It doesn't really, though. It speaks to his ability as a salesman. And that's what's so frightening about his hire.

    Did Dolan simply buy what Leon Rose was selling because he's as impressionable as a 20 year old Carmelo Anthony?

    And did Dolan hire him because he thinks salesmanship is the key to rebuilding?

    If either or both are the the case, it speaks to an unsound philosophy, and sure, give him time, but it's reasonable to throw in the towel fairly early.

  88. Anyone but a moron knows that salesmanship is an essential ingredient for success in pretty much every aspect in life, from parenting to teaching to being POBO of a sports franchise. Salesmanship is critical in winning trades and negotiating contracts, no matter what side you are on. Mills’ most glaring flaw is that he constantly negotiated against himself, he was a terrible salesman that the Leon Roses of the world played as a sucker over and over again.

  89. No doubt everyone needs to sell themselves and their vision. I just think salesmanship:

    a) comprises an excessive amount of Leon Rose’s ability, and

    b) ranks pretty low on the qualities a POBO is going to need to rebuild the Knicks (while Dolan probably thinks it’s the #1 thing missing).

  90. So what would it take to sign Christian Wood? He’s exactly the type of player we should be targeting with our cap space.

    Last night vs. Suns – 19 points on 12 shots, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block. Currently sporting a TS% of .654.

    I’d be thrilled if we could get him on a reasonable deal

    I’ve been trying to start this conversation for a while, but honestly do you think Leon Rose knows who Christian Wood is?

    Anyway I’d go as high as 4/$60M and could be talked into going higher. Players like him very rarely hit the UFA market, he only is because of a bunch of weird circumstances. He’d have to fall off a lot from his production this year to not be worth that, and with him being so young it’s hard to imagine it ever becoming an albatross.

  91. >>>while Dolan probably thinks it’s the #1 thing missing<<<

    To elaborate… I worry that Dolan forever believes the reason he didn't get LeBron and Wade is because Donnie Walsh showed up to the pitch in a wheel chair, and he's going to spend the rest of his days trying to find people slick enough to win that prior battle. So now the organization ranks salesmanship disproportionately high on the list of necessary qualities for a new hire, which will lead to us constantly ending up with clowns in every position.

    Part of the reason Fizdale was such a terrible hire, for instance, was because we valued his ability to recruit free agents more than his ability to coach. It seems likely we did that again with the Rose hire.

  92. Leon Rose is one of the most respected and successful agents in league history. It takes a lot more than salesmanship do to that, It takes extensive understanding of salary cap, contracts, and talent evaluation. For example, he was apparently instrumental in building the Big-3 scenario in Miami, which involved players taking less than max deals to make it happen.

    I agree that there should be serious concerns. My biggest concern is that he will opt for win-now over long-term success and will look to do what the Nets and Lakers did instead of what the Raptors and Bucks did. Like everyone here, I would have much preferred that Dolan was patient and brought Masai on board, even at the cost of a #1 or more. But given that there is no evidence yet that Rose is going to fuck up (and I think he really wants to be successful, way more than Phil did) I’m willing to take a wait-and-see approach for the time being.

  93. Hubert:
    >>>while Dolan probably thinks it’s the #1 thing missing<<<

    To elaborate…I worry that Dolan forever believes the reason he didn’t get LeBron and Wade is because Donnie Walsh showed up to the pitch in a wheel chair, and he’s going to spend the rest of his days trying to find people slick enough to win that prior battle.So now the organization ranks salesmanship disproportionately high on the list of necessary qualities for a new hire, which will lead to us constantly ending up with clowns in every position.

    Part of the reason Fizdale was such a terrible hire, for instance, was because we valued his ability to recruit free agents more than his ability to coach.It seems likely we did that again with the Rose hire.

    What evidence do you have about what Dolan was thinking in hiring Rose? And who cares whether he thought (as anyone with a brain would) that in hindsight, his chances of landing Lebron would have been enhanced by having a better negotiator in the room? And why shouldn’t we believe that Dolan (as well as everyone else on the planet) knows in hindsight that LeBron wasn’t coming here even if Jesus Christ himself were in the room begging him to play for the Knicks?

    Also, Fizdale was not a bad hire, he just didn’t work out. In fact, you yourself said you were fine with the hire at the time, if I recall correctly.

  94. Randle is signed for one more season and has been really bad so I don’t care about messing with his place on the roster

  95. We all have some level of chronic PTSD here but at least Rose isn’t a proven management failure like Isiah was or a known narcissistic head case burnout like PJax or an incompetent sychophant like Mills. He deserves a bit of a wait and see approach. And I don’t really care that much who coaches the team until we have a playoff-level team.

    Like I said when they hired Rose, I’m all in on giving him a chance. He was very good at his old job. Maybe he’ll be good at this one, too. His hiring was clearly handled terribly, but Rose himself might actually work out.

  96. >>>Also, Fizdale was not a bad hire, he just didn’t work out. In fact, you yourself said you were fine with the hire at the time, if I recall correctly.<<<

    I don't know, man. I think the jury is back on Fizdale and the verdict is in. He was a bad hire. It seems like he was hired for the wrong reasons (his relationships, i.e. the same reason we're hiring Rose). Whatever I thought at the time isn't really pertinent to how bad a coach he is.

    I'd just really like to see this organization value "history of competence performing the job we're hiring someone to do" more than "his ability to attract a free agent." I want it one way. But it's the other way.

  97. >>>Leon Rose is one of the most respected and successful agents in league history. <<<

    True that. It's not making me feeling anything about his prospects of being a good POBO, though. I don't see as many transferable skills as you do.

    But like Brian, I'm all in on giving him a chance. I'm just going to be out really fast if he botches the coach and GM hires.

  98. I agree that in retrospect Fizdale lived down to the lowest expectations, but hindsight is 20-20. He tried his best to get KP to warm up to him, and ultimately failed. He tried to establish a positive culture, and failed at that too. Yet at the time, he seemed like a perfectly reasonable hire to most KB posters, including you. And I don’t think there was a particularly “good” hire available that we passed over, especially given the unenviable situation he inherited.

    Seriously, if you look at all of the bottom-dwellers in the NBA right now, who cares who is coaching them?

  99. For me, it all comes down to the players on the roster and their contracts. I think what matters is the draft, current player contract negotiations and trade and free agency decisions. Coaching is largely inconsequential, especially with bad teams. (See: D’Antoni, Mike). So unless something really telling happens, I’ll wait until July to judge.

  100. I hope that Rose does a good job. Might that help wash the awful Mets Brodie Van Wagenen taste out of my mouth? Probably not.

    And hey, BVW just came off a mediocre offseason. That’s way better than his first terrible offseason. Still, the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Robinson Cano) and Future (Jarred Kelenic) will continue to haunt Mets fans.

    Bringing back Melo is a bit of an ominous move if he’s brought back on anything other than a one year vet minimum deal. Oh, and plays very limited minutes off the bench.

  101. And I don’t think there was a particularly “good” hire available that we passed over, especially given the unenviable situation he inherited.

    In retrospect, knowing how bad of a job he did as GM in Atlanta, would it still have been better to just hire Budz and given him say on personnel like he wanted? Or would he have just been another D’Antoni (as in, good enough to get the Knicks to 27 wins last year instead of 17).

  102. Yeah, I’m in the boat that Fizdale was while forgettable also irrelevant to the Knicks’ issues. The team sucked early in the season because the schedule was rough and Payton and Bullock missed nearly all the games. Their minutes went to the four worst players on the team — Barrett, Smith Jr, Knox and Ntilikina. Meanwhile, Barrett missed a bunch of games under Miller, which allowed him to add even more vet minutes to the rotation. It’s a lot easier to run real schemes when you’re playing experienced and at least somewhat effective players.

  103. Bringing back Melo is just a rumor and obviously Rose is smart enough to fully consider the optics. If he’s the Vince Carter to the Hawks, whatever.

  104. I want a GM/POBO who is going to find good value from hidden gem players, who is going to draft wisely on criteria other than pointzz, make shrewd incremental moves and not base everything around flashy signings of second-tier, non-max worthy faux “stars.”

    If Leon Rose is that guy I will be shocked.

  105. I will be shocked if he is that guy too. I have more faith in Perry than Rose being able to get value and find bargains.

  106. I want a GM/POBO who is going to find good value from hidden gem players, who is going to draft wisely on criteria other than pointzz, make shrewd incremental moves and not base everything around flashy signings of second-tier, non-max worthy faux “stars.”

    If Leon Rose is that guy I will be shocked.

    I think that that is fair, but I think that there is a good case to be made that Rose won’t be the guy actually doing that type of thing. He just needs to hire a good GM to do that and then he can be the overarching guy. When we see who Rose hires as GM, that will say a lot about him, much more than who he hires to coach the team. If it’s Allan Houston, well…that’s probably not a good sign.

    I’ve liked a lot of the guys he has shown interest in so far, though…except for Houston.

  107. The Allan Houston thing is particularly scary in tandem with the Thibodeau rumors. Thibs is after player personnel control. Allan Houston fits the mold of subordinate GM to a coach who is the defacto GM.

  108. Sign of Apocalypse:

    “https://sports.yahoo.com/report-knicks-interested-in-reuniting-with-carmelo-anthony-next-season-145000908.html”

    Just when you think it can’t get any worse. Wasn’t once enough??

  109. Ooph. Although, you know who this reminds me of? Van Gundy and Camby. Like, twelve guys had to be injured before JVG would give him any burn.

  110. It seemed a kind of a typical contradictory coach speak to me. He said Mitch is playing really well right now and they had internal discussions about starting him, but still he only started one third quarter and then said he’s currently effective in his role coming off the bench. I think Miller, like many coaches, may want more sustained performances before promoting Mitch to starter.

  111. I don’t really have a problem with Mitchell Robinson’s minutes these days, but I do think that starting Bobby Portis over Mitchell Robinson is dumb as ever. For some reason I’m hopeful as it pertains to Leon Rose; he understands why top free agents choose their destinations because he’s heard directly from them. Agents know their clients want stable organizations that can offer them the ability to earn wealth off the court and win championships on the court. His job as POBO should be:

    1) Build a stable organization with great infrastructural hires (basically get the right coach and GM in here and in Westchester).
    2) When it comes time to meet with free agents, deliver the big score.

    Essentially, you need to draft and develop Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter before you land Alex Rodriguez. You need to hire Spo and draft D Wade. Draft Steph, Klay, and Draymond and hire Steve Kerr. I hope Leon Rose gets that and can convince Dolan of that.

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