Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Boston Celtics 118 – New York Knicks 95 – Game Recap

Confession: I stayed up veeery late last night (6:30am, which is 00:30am EST) and while checking on my phone while waiting for the queue to the bathroom to thin itself effing Google sneaked up on me and showed me the final score of the game. I was really bummed at that, and not only because of the loss. I was bummed because it spoiled at least half of the fun I have watching these games: not knowing how they’re gonna develop and having to come up with ideas on the fly to write the recap.

This time, I had to approach the game already knowing how it was gonna end. I thought that would totally suck. Spoiler (is this some sort of an Inception-like spoiler into another spoiler?): it didn’t.

A few years ago I read an article about how watching a movie already knowing its plot can enhance the visual experience. That was kinda true for this game also: knowing that we were gonna lose, and badly at that, completely changed the complexion of the watching experience. Instead of “what’s gonna happen?” I was getting involved into a “whodunit” type of watch.

Please don’t let it be RJ. I hope nobody got injured. What if Bobby Portis and DSJ were the main culprits and they’re gonna go into the dungeon? Let it be Fiz’s fault so that the whole Garden asks for his firing. Oh god it was Mitch, wasn’t it? He and his stupid fouls. Nah, I’m sure it was RJ getting the jitters for his MSG debut and shooting 3-18 while letting his man repeatedly torch him. I hope someone bought a jumbo pack of Kragle and glued the ball to Randle’s handle.

Well, I have to say that pretty much everything went the way I wished it went.

The game started uncharacteristically well for the 19-20 Knicks, who went up by a lot (16-4) in the early first quarter thanks to RJ’s strong play and the Celts’ futility. Player by player the second unit started making his appearance on the court and the lead slowly, surely started melting away. The first quarter ended 24-22 for the Knicks, and if I hadn’t known the final score I would have predicted a close game until the end.

The second quarter was more of the same: a few Knicks playing well, zero point guard play apart from some signs of life from Payton, a number of turnovers but a close lead for the Knicks (51-46). Nothing seemed to work for the second unit, but Barrett, Randle and Morris kept the Knicks comfortably ahead.

The third quarter was a slight diversion from the first half, in that the Celtics started hitting their shots a bit more and the lead exchanged hands while the Knicks couldn’t hit anything from three. The stanza ended 82-76 and I started wondering if Google had been wrong (or if I had one beer too much – which should not be possible, I drink like a Serbian).

In the fourth quarter the game went completely astray and with 5 minutes to go we were down 20. Google wasn’t wrong, and the culprits were (mainly) the bench players and the third occasion in a row of acute turnoverosis (26 for the night against the Celtics’ 13). Not a good game to watch, but a few good things to take away from it.

The adequate:

– Look, I feel like what RJ Barrett (26 pts, 7 rebs, 3 ast, -9 +/-) gave us in this game was a bit of fools’ gold. His total points were buoyed by an unsustainable 4-for-6 night from beyond the arc and he needed anyway 20 shots to get there. If he had missed a couple more of his threes, hitting 33% (a much more reasonable projection about his results from three) we would be looking at a 20 points on 20 shots, 5 turnovers performance. With that out of the way, one can’t just deny the sheer readiness of the kid for the big stage. This was his home court debut and he went at it like it was nothing. His drives were less efficient than what we saw in the last two games, but this was the first time he had to measure up a defender like Marcus Smart. That he came away pretty much unscathed from the battle is already a great success (I guess you remember what Smart’s defense did to KP, huh?). He also didn’t get the benefit of the doubt on a couple calls where I think he was clearly fouled, probably because of the rookie treatment. Anyway, we’re talking about a guy who’s averaging – extremely small sample size – 21/5/2.7 on 57% TS. Even if he can’t keep this up (and he won’t) if he ends up at 16/4/2 on 53% TS that’s very good promise for a rookie. Advanced stats don’t like him, but that’s because of his very high TOs number (4.3 per game) and I’m pretty confident it will come down. Especially after Mike Miller is installed as interim head coach around late December.

– The fact that Mitchell Robinson (17 pts, 6 rebs, 3 blk, -9 +/-) had a night that can be described as “frustrating” and still came away with those numbers speaks volumes about his talent and his ceiling. Since I would give him a C+ for the game, thanks to his usual foul troubles and offensive wanderlust (I mean, he seems to get the ball out of serendipity 70% of the time and played 20 minutes just because he simply can’t hold himself and committed at least two stupid and avoidable fouls), just take a guess at what would constitute an A game for him. Advanced stats means nothing after 37 minutes of play, but B-R signals that he’s again projected to post amazing numbers and I strongly believe it.

The bad:

– Dennis Smith Jr (1 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, -15 +/-) looks primed to take the scepter of “worst Knick of the season” and never relinquish it. If you want to know something about Fizdale’s basketball credo, you have to look no further than the fact that in the first three games DSJ played 26 minutes, shot 1-for-11 from the field and dished just one assist per game (hard to do worse than that, I think we all can convene) and Frank still doesn’t get another look. I know, I know, you make do with what you have, but playing DSJ right now is something that shouldn’t be encouraged at all. You don’t want to play Frank? Ok, play Kadeem.

– Allonzo Trier (2 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast, -25 +/-) is as make-or-miss as they come. After posting very solid numbers on Friday, this time he came away empty on the offensive side (0-for-4, all threes) and found a way to register the second-worst plus/minus of the game (the worst is courtesy of Knox, who at least rebounded well). I won’t blame Fiz for playing Zo this much, though. Trier is prone to slumps and he could always be on the verge of breaking through over the course of a game. I will blame Perry though because this roster is incredibly ill-fitted on the defensive side and Zo doesn’t anything there if not exacerbate the problem.

Half-pints (should be illegal):

– Elfrid Payton played 30 minutes and was a cool 0 in plus/minus in a game we lost by 23. You may not like his game (even if he had another 4 steals tonight), but there’s no doubt he should (and hopefully will) be our primary ball handler in close games.

– Julius Randle posted a minimum requirements double double (10 and 10) but turned the ball over another 5 times and is averaging 4 TPG. This has to be resolved as soon as possible and might require a few coaching adjustments. Your mileage may vary on actual hopes of that happening.

– Frank Ntilikina was inserted into the game with 18 seconds to play in the second quarter, I guess for defensive purposes. The thing is, though, that he was tasked with defending Marcus Smart (?) off the ball (???) while keeping Payton on Walker. The ball was never closer to Frank than six feet. The quarter ended and Frank never saw the court again, even while Walker went bananas on us during the third and fourth quarter and DSJ was trying to perform a Marina Abramovic routine. The crowd actually erupted in a few “We want Frank!” chants, but I can’t give them too much credit, it’s the same public that wanted Enes last year.

– Mitch committed “only” 4 fouls tonight. So why play him just 20 minutes (to Portis 27)?

– I guess everyone has already come to the conclusion that this team is coached by someone who probably saw Space Jam once and thought “oh cool, so that’s how you play basketball!”.

– But then again, all these losses are good because if the record is really too bad (like a 3-15 start) the chances of Fiz getting the boot dramatically increase. The sooner, the better.

Have a good day everyone! And see you on Tuesday after the game against the Bulls (I think it will be a win).

 

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109 comments on “Boston Celtics 118 – New York Knicks 95 – Game Recap

  1. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Flop Flop
    Fizz Fizz
    Oh so much grief it is

    Need an alka seltzer plus after that home opener debacle. The starting unit appears to be fine. That bench unit though…OOF. Trier/Knox/Portis is nightmarish on defense. I had hoped Portis could provide spacing for Trier and DSJ but that doesn’t matter when the defense is so porous. Since Taj is able to hit 3’s, he should take a lot of Portis’ minutes if they’re interested in winning. But hey Portis is making 15m so who knows.

    Then there’s DSJ. I don’t think sending him to G League would help. He’s not able to hit wide open shots in shooting practice; until he’s able to do that, he shouldn’t play anywhere. Check out
    THIS VIDEO. His shooting coach is Keith Smart. Changing someone’s fundamental shooting motion is a treacherous endeavor and results may have to get worse before they get better. BUT at present Keith Smart should be quarantined away from RJ and Mitch; he’s potentially way more toxic than a partying Noah. BTW Frank is terrible shooting the right corner 3 and a bit dicey on his left corner 3 but he was hitting his other 3’s at a very high rate. This was a part of longer video (no longer on-line) that was condensed. The host commented that Frank was hitting his 3’s and that’s what the video showed. DSJ was even worse in the uncut video than the condensed one. I watched the entire video.

  2. alsep73

    Especially after Mike Miller is installed as interim head coach around late December.

    Not to pour salt in an open wound, Farfa, but even if Mills and Perry have the wisdom to fire Fizdale before this season is over — and they will do so only to protect themselves from Dolan’s wrath, since finding scapegoats is the one thing Mills is good at — you know that it’ll be Keith Smart who becomes the interim head coach.

  3. Bo Nateman

    Hypothetical Question: How much better would Frank ( 2 seasons), Knox, Trier, Mitch ( 1 season), and DSj ( .4 season) be if the Knicks were coached by Kenny Atkinson ( or a competent coach)? It is hard to find any progress for these players*, though the sample size this season is small.
    If we are trying to be a cool destination by a)having some pieces to build upon with the addition of a superstar and b) inspiring confidence in the construction of a cohesive and coherent system/scheme of play, we seem to be on the way to passing item a and failing b. I think it only fair to give Fizz 15 games to show that he can accomplish b, though I have no confidence that he will
    * It is easy to discern Clyde’s contempt for the lack of hoops fundies on the part of this group. The blame has to be shared by Fizz.

  4. Name is Bron - James Bron

    PRIORITY SCHEME:
    Tier 1: Mitch, RJ
    Tier 2: Randle
    Tier 3: Knox, Frank, DSJ, Payton
    Tier 4: Trier, Dotson, Morris
    Tier 5: Portis, Taj, Ellington

    Tier 1: Mitch and RJ are fine. Gotta be happy about both of them though much to work on. Not at all confident about our coaching staff et al in this regard. NYK vs Kerry Kittles will be on Judge Judy’s docket and Keith Smart so far is the equivalent of a surgeon amputating the wrong leg.
    Tier 2: Orange & Blue Julius may be an enigma wrapped in a conundrum. He’s kinda like Greg Monroe when we were debating Monroe vs Robin Lopez. I hope he works out because that would be a huge boost to the team’s future. The KP trade is now Randle, DSJ and draft picks. DSJ is dicey and draft picks TBD. If KP thrives, then we need Randle to be good or the misses will be maddening if KP’s added to this list: Kerr, Bud, KD, Kyrie, AD, Zion, SGA, KP.
    Tier 3:
    – Knox may have the worst reaction time in the entire league. Rotation guy, not a starter.
    – Predicting DSJ’s future is like predicting Fiz rotations.
    – Time will tell with Frank if he ever makes it out of the Dungeon. I think almost all of us would like at some stage to watch a Frank/RJ/Morris/Randle/Mitch lineup.
    – Payton’s contract is favorable. We’re likely to spend big in two summers and we’d have early bird rights. Maybe he ends up our reserve 1 on a reasonable contract.
    Tier 4:
    – RJ’s an SG and Trier’s bench guy. How much are we willing to commit of our cap this summer to him when we need starters?
    – Dot’s able to shoot off screens like Ellington. I researched it this summer and Dot shot the same spot-up versus off motion. Hope is we could re-sign him for 2-3m/yr.
    – If no trade, we could keep giving Morris 1 year deals until we find a quality replacement. I’d try to package Morris/Trier/Braz for a 1st round pick. A contender could go over the cap to re-sign RFA Trier this summer.

  5. Bruno Almeida

    The Marina Abramovic routine had me laughing loud here, what a perfect description hahahahaha

    Great recap as usual Farfa!

  6. Farfa Post author

    you know that it’ll be Keith Smart who becomes the interim head coach

    You must be the one who puts the coal under my Christmas tree every year :'(

  7. rama picked up his option

    you know that it’ll be Keith Smart who becomes the interim head coach.

    Since Mike Miller was hired I’ve been making the case that he will be replacing Fiz in February, in preparation for signing AD next year. At the very least I am positive that’s Perry’s plan. Doesn’t mean that AD will definitely leave the Lakers – they need LeBron to both look too old and alienate AD along the way, making the playoffs but losing in the first or second round – but it has to be their thinking. And it has a good chance, I think. Better than 50/50.

  8. Owen

    Drink like a Serbian! I think we have Z-man’s profile halfway written. Nice cap.

    They are close guys…

    ….to being a 20 win team.

    At least there are some things to enjoy this year.

  9. d-mar

    The sad thing is the Celtics actually played pretty badly for most of the game, (except for Kemba), and still blew managed to blow us out.

    I would like to point out that golden boy Jayson Tatum is turning into basically an average or below average NBA player. Who knew that he couldn’t keep shooting 50% from 3 point range?

  10. alsep73

    Every move Mills and Perry have made thus far have me thinking Smart will be the interim coach. He has NBA head coaching experience (even if his record in those stops was bad), he (like Fiz) talks a good game, and he’s the top assistant coach. Promoting him to the top job on an interim basis is the easy conservative move. Promoting the new guy on the staff, who’s never run an NBA team before, not only means Smart probably leaves too (no big loss from my POV, but I don’t think that’s how our FO thinks), and it’s also too far to the risk side of the risk-reward scale for them to try. Mills and Perry love Fizdale, by all accounts. If they’re firing him at mid-season, it’s because the team is such a garbage fire that they need to appease Dolan to keep their own jobs. You don’t follow that by giving Miller the job.

    I would be very pleasantly surprised if they do, but I just can’t see it.

  11. Bruno Almeida

    The Celtics look very mediocre to be honest, they’re gonna win a bunch of games but they don’t look like a team that will make an impact in the playoffs. They miss Horford a lot.

  12. Z-man

    Drink like a Serbian! I think we have Z-man’s profile halfway written.

    I took it easy last night but the play that made me immediately pour a scotch was that Marcus Smart 3. I hate him sooo much.

  13. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @5 co-signed, that’s some good shit right there

    I agree with the priority tiers from post #4, but I think Frank is probably a tier-5 guy. Seeing him play at essentially the same position as Barrett should be all you need to know about his potential. Best case scenario, he’s a catch-and-shoot corner 3 guy. Nothing more. He will never be a dribble penetrator, a rim finisher, a slasher, a curl shooter, a PNR handler, a good screener, or a Jayson Tatum ISO-Kobe bricklayer clone. He’s simply not good and there’s no point in trying to convince myself otherwise.

    Yes, Strat, defense is important, but any defender can be credited with a “defended shot” on the failures of his assigned man. Offense virtually never happens by accident. Frank is a guarantee to put you in a deficit that he needs to defend you out of. Not good.

    It’s interesting to see Barrett have a very good TS% and yet have a horrible WS48, BPM and NetRtg. Then you see his turnovers, rebounding, assist rate (3 assists per 100 possessions!) and worst of all, the free throws. Now we’re still in the small sample matinee, but 6-14 from the stripe is Andre Drummond shit. Dude needs a sports psychiatrist and about 10,000 practice hours at the line.

  14. rama picked up his option

    The fact that after the third game of the season we’re arguing over which assistant coach will replace Fiz couldn’t be more Knicksy.

    I do have some optimism:

    1) Mitch is for real. A solid coaching staff would make unlocking his potential their main mission. He could and should be a top-5 center in the NBA, dominating in 35 mpg.

    2) RJ was not a mistake. I was wrong: trading down would not have been wise – despite Clarke and others being as good as expected, what RJ has is more valuable. To be a decent player as a rookie is VERY rare, and as someone pointed out, you already wonder how you can leave him off the court when the team is clearly worse without him. Amazing. Even if he never reaches the heights of being a franchise player, he’s at the least going to be very good very soon.

    3) We have a plethora of draft picks, though it looks like our own are going to be much more valuable than Dallas’s. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us picking in the top 5 next year.

    4) We have cap flexibility – which is a positive, even if the current boneheads have no idea how to use it. Look at it this way: If Ujiri came in tomorrow, he’d have a pretty good foundation from which to work.

    5) Payton and Randle are quality back-ups on decent salaries. They are not starters on top teams. But they would be rotation players, which is OK.

    We’re very far away from being good, but it could happen quickly if the right people were in charge.

  15. rama picked up his option

    Dude needs a sports psychiatrist and about 10,000 practice hours at the line.

    Or, you know, he’s 19 years old playing in the best professional league in the world and won’t likely be able to put together a complete game for another year or two? I’m pretty sure he put 10,000 practice hours into shooting the three. It looks fluid and confident. No doubt next summer he’ll add something else to his game.

    Which reminds me: I never argued that Mitch shouldn’t take 3s in a game; I argued that spending time working on the 3 when he had so many fundamentals to learn was a terrible way to develop. That looks exactly on point so far this year.

  16. Name is Bron - James Bron

    It’s interesting to see Barrett have a very good TS% and yet have a horrible WS48, BPM and NetRtg. Then you see his turnovers, rebounding, assist rate (3 assists per 100 possessions!) and worst of all, the free throws. Now we’re still in the small sample matinee, but 6-14 from the stripe is Andre Drummond shit. Dude needs a sports psychiatrist and about 10,000 practice hours at the line.

    RJ may be the rare guy whose shooting improves the farther away from the hoop he goes. Remember our old friend Bruce Bowen? Career FT% of 57%; and career 3FG% of 39%. RJ’s looked OK from 3 so far. If his FT% gets to Defcon 1, it may be best to try shooting free throws as jump shots versus set shots.

    I think Frank is probably a tier-5 guy

    Frank’s path is narrower and it’s the rare 3&D 1 guard in the mold of Beverley. Beverley has a career 54 TS% and .179 FTr and all of his stats start at the age of 24. I think Frank could be fine in the PnR with Mitch and Randle. He also needs to be able to hit 3’s (Beverley is career 37.8% from 3). I’m not optimistic about his corner 3’s but I am about his 3 ball from other areas. Frank shouldn’t be parked in the corner if he’s playing the 1. I do worry, however, that some kind of chemical imbalance kicks in during a game because of some strange airballs.

    That would be sufficient production on offense and Frank and Mitch would be the best PnR defensive tandem in the league. Also people forget that Frank played the 1 in high school; he didn’t in that European League. I think Fiz and FO are right to focus on him as a 1 next to playmakers. The lineup of Frank/RJ/Morris/Randle/Mitch will tell us a lot if Fiz ever uses it. Frank/THJ/Dot/Vonleh/Mitch had a plus net rating in 93 minutes against opponent’s starters so there is some reason to be hopeful here.

  17. DRed

    RJ is unlikely to shoot above 50% from 3 all season, but he’s also not likely to shoot 40% from the FT line, so maybe it’ll even out a bit. The glaring problem he’s had so far is playmaking, but hopefully that will change as he gets more used to the NBA. He was a relatively high TO player in college but he made up for it by getting a lot of assists for a non-PG.

    The turnover problem isn’t just RJ-the Knicks have 66 turnovers and 56 assists.

  18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Or, you know, he’s 19 years old playing in the best professional league in the world

    Are the rims higher? The line farther from the basket? I don’t understand what being in the NBA has to do with his inability to make an undefended set shot from 15 feet.

  19. KnickfaninNJ

    The Knicks have so many new players you would actually expect turnovers to be high at the start of the season and then get better as they get used to each other. So the simplest explanation for Barrett’s high turnovers is that he’s not used to his teammates yet.

  20. KnickfaninNJ

    And I agree 100% Mitch should not be focusing on threes yet. Other things are more important. He doesn’t even shoot free throws well yet.

  21. Bruno Almeida

    @19

    Well they also have no discernible offensive scheme and few real ball handlers, so yeah, I wouldn’t worry too much about turnovers. Barrett will end up being a secondary ball handler in an ideal team, but as of now I honestly rather have him with the ball than anyone else in the roster.

  22. Ntilakilla

    Wasn’t there an article some years back on how turnovers for young rookie point guards are basically to be ignored?

  23. Hubert

    I don’t think Fizdale will be fired at all this year, so we might as well get used to his bullshit. What’s his excuse for not having an offensive system now?

  24. Bruno Almeida

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that the turnovers are indeed a big issue, its just that despite his competent shooting, his advanced stats suck, and that’s because of the turnovers mostly it seems. He has been thr best thing about the Knicks so far, and we should definitely be happy about that (and I’m damn glad we tanked and picked in the top 3 because of that).

  25. bobneptune

    On the brighter side it is good to see Sam Darnold off suicide watch and Daniel Jones with a big bounce back.

  26. Early Bird

    RJ won’t have good advanced stats this year. That’s okay, few rookies do. You expect to see turnovers from rookies, and adjusting to running an NBA offense is THE hardest thing for a rookie to do.

    RJ has played well so far despite being thrown into a pg role while not being a pg.

    Also, the knicks have a number of good rebounders I’m less worried about that number than I otherwise would be. Our starting lineup features 5 guys who grab boards.

  27. Ntilakilla

    @24

    Yes, I totally agree. I just wanted to know if there was data on this because I remember a really interesting article on the subject coming up on this blog some time ago.

  28. Early Bird

    I’ve never seen a player look as broken as Smith. I feel bad for him. Even with his shot mangled by Smart, you’d think he could still attack the basket the same way. It’s not like he was a fantastic shooter before.

    I’m also surprised by Randle. I expected some adjustments coming to the Knicks, but he is waaaaay underperforming his numbers from the last couple of years. He should turn it around and be a nice scoring option.

  29. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The turnovers, low assist rate, and poor rebounding all contribute to Barrett’s underwhelming advanced stats — they are not huge red flags at this sample size, and his ability to get to the rim and finish is much more important at this point. If he stays at .570 TS% for the year and/or gets his FT% up above 70, we have a lot to look forward to. Our last two lottery picks have been among the worst scorers in the league, so it’s good to see a guy who actually looks like he belongs out there.

    It would take likely-unprecedented regression for Randle to go from a .600 TS% shooter to where he’s at now, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it.

  30. Bruno Almeida

    What is disheartening too is realizing Barrett has shown that he belongs in the league more in 3 games than Ntilikina and Knox have for entire years…

  31. djphan

    the advanced stats at 3 games is gonna be irrelevant…. the turnovers are irrelevant and so is the shooting …. the things that stabilize quickly are ftr… 2p shooting… not sure if we’re there yet in terms of samples but if you include preseason rj’s been fine in both categories….

    and i imagine with as many minutes as rj’s gonna play he’ll hit a rough patch also… so be prepared for that…. what he’s shown thus far is good tho and there’s not many reasons to be unhappy unless you have an axe to grind or being nitpicky… lebron had a ws48 of .078 as a 19yo rookie … rj will probably be somewhere south of that so with that perspective there’s gonna be plenty of things to nitpick and bitch about because he’s not gonna be perfect this year….

  32. bobneptune

    The good news…. we seem to have 2 excellent long term pieces in place who are 19 and 21.

    The bad news….. everything else

    Why was Kemba Kryptonite glued to the bench when kemba went off last night???????????

  33. Ntilakilla

    The question I want to know is how much of the rotation is Fizdale and how much of it is Pills?

  34. Early Bird

    The only things I’m worried about with RJ are (1) lack of year-over-year improvement (aka not an issue right now) and (2) his adjustment once the NBA takes his left hand away. He looked decent, but not amazing going right last night.

  35. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    If the Knicks get blown out at home by the Bulls Monday night all hell is going to break loose.

    I want to witness the reaction of fans and media to the realization that these guys took a team with all its picks, 20 million of cap space, Kristaps Porzingis, a few other young pieces, and 3 years later turned it into Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Wayne Ellington, Reggie Bullock, Dennis Smith Jr, no Porzingis, 3 more years of paying Noah, and a potentially worse team than they were handed.

    It’s one of those situations that are so ridiculous you almost have to laugh at yourself.

    I’m not even all that negative on the very long term future. I like Barrett and Robinson. I think Dotson is close to becoming a solid two way rotation player if allowed to develop. I still think Frank can become an elite role player with the right team. Trier and Knox have some potential as very good scorers off the bench. Randle is a pretty good 3rd option. There’s still plenty to like. But gee wiz we should be at the stage where we are breaking out as a solid playoff team with a good mix of young talent and veterans if anyone in this organization was even mildly competent over the last 3 years.

  36. Early Bird

    I do think Randle will be good once he figures out how to fit into the offense. I like his passing game. Despite the turnovers, he’s done a good job hitting Mitch and RJ on a few cuts to the basket.

    Randle should be more willing to reset the offense if he doesn’t have an immediate scoring advantage in the post. He seems to be struggling with that decision more than anything. The rest of the offense sucking will only compound the problem, causing Randle to force the iso more often. Again, I blame Fizdale.

    Give it till December and I think some of the pieces will start falling into place. RJ, Mitch, and Randle form a strong core.

    Knox and Trier can be some instant offense from the bench. I think Ellington should be put in the starting lineup for Morris. Morris and Taj should play the 4/5 together off the bench. Portis should be glued to the bench.

  37. JK47

    I want to witness the reaction of fans and media to the realization that these guys took a team with all its picks

    Whoop de doo

    20 million of cap space,

    Gee a whole whopping 2o million, you can get Bobby Portis and a ham sandwich for that

    Kristaps Porzingis

    Mr. November himself

    a few other young pieces

    None of them with any ability to play basketball

    Gee whiz, Phil Jackson was RIGHT ON THE VERGE of putting together some great shit here. You could almost just TASTE the Phil Jackson-created greatness that was just about to coalesce into a mighty triangular NBA-wrecking Voltron. We paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

  38. JK47

    Just imagine how bad Phil Jackson would have fucked this shit up if he finished out the rest of his contract. He probably would have traded the Mitchell Robinson pick to create space to sign Travis Wear’s twin.

  39. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Why was Kemba Kryptonite glued to the bench when kemba went off last night???????????

    1. Fizdale may feel obligated to play DSJr because he was one of the centerpieces of the Porzingis trade that has already been a debacle for management. They didn’t land a star and stretched Noah all for a bunch of mediocre mercenaries.

    2. Fizdale wants to build a high octane offense centered around an elite penetrating PG and players that can create for themselves instead of a team built around defense, ball and player movement, passing, and unselfish play.

    Frank does not fit Fizdale’s vision. He doesn’t know what to do with him or how to use him and would probably prefer he be traded. My guess is that Perry feels the same way. Mills (and maybe fan popularity) are the only things keeping Frank in NY right now. He does not fit their dumb ass vision.

    Frank fits as a defensive stopper and playmaker within Phil’s vision, Pop’s vision, Kerr’s vision, Riley’s vision, Masai’s vision, etc… You know, people that actually win championships by focusing on defense, team play, and finding ways to develop and maximize their potentially valuable role players.

  40. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    @JK47

    Just admit these guys are fvcking idiots that know nothing about basketball and move forward. It will make the current pain a lot easier. No reason to relive some of Phil’s mistakes and double up the pain. At least Phil understood basketball while he and Mills were screwing up contracts.

  41. Bruno Almeida

    Oh my fucking god we’re back with the Phil Jackson garbage, come on. The season has actually started, we don’t have to find stupid old shit to rehash for the millionth time.

  42. Early Bird

    Regardless of your feelings on Phil Jackson, I think we can all agree that current management sucks.

    I was not a huge proponent of Luke Kornet, but here I am missing Luke Kornet. If he were 3 inches shorter and played PF we might have kept him.

  43. JK47

    Actually, I take that back, he wouldn’t have acquired the Mitchell Robinson pick in the first place, he would have just tripled down on making 33-year old Carmelo Anthony a franchise cornerstone by teaching him triangulization. Then he would have spent the $20M on a center who could pass out of the pinch post because the first one didn’t pan out

  44. JK47

    Just admit these guys are fvcking idiots that know nothing about basketball and move forward. It will make the current pain a lot easier.

    I do admit this, and I say it all the time.

    You seem to think they inherited some great situation, which is absolute nonsense. It’s like you’re doing NLP or something, you think if you keep insinuating that Phil did a good job, it will seep into people’s subconscious.

    He didn’t do a good job.

  45. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Phil inherited a terrible team with bad Felton & JR Smith contracts, Chandler wanting out etc.. and no 1st round picks in 2 of his first 3 years to rebuild at the TOP of the lottery. He handed over a team with all its picks, 20 million of cap space, and Porzingis (Frank, Dotson, Willy, Kornet etc…) He also handed over a terrible Noah contract that should be gone after this year.

    With all the mistakes he and Mills made, he handed over a team in a way better position than when he got it and we have gone nowhere since (and possibly have gotten worse) because these guys are horrible.

    Forget Phil.

    Phil made some bad mistakes. These are guys are idiots that at making terrible mistakes and don’t understand basketball either.

  46. JK47

    The current management is not great, but after this season we could easily have RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, $50M in cap space, all our own picks plus two future 1RPs from Dallas. Plus a couple of other shitty prospects like Ntilikina and Knox and that Iggy dude but whatever to all of those cats.

    That seems better than the situation Phil left behind. Number of cap-killing albatross contracts on the books: zero.

  47. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    Dude, it’s 3 YEARS later. We would be massively further along if these guy weren’t total idiots and were actually signing, developing, and selecting players coherently.

    Say whatever you want about KP’s injury risk (which is real), losing him was a mega debacle of the first magnitude. Two way players like him are building blocks that are close to impossible to get and we got crap for him because he lost faith in Mills, Perry, and Fizdale for good reason and they were idiotic enough to think stars would sign with a 17 win team.

  48. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    The Warriors look dreadful so far even though the 2 major pieces they are missing from last year are Thompson and Iggy. They still played great last year without Durant when they had Klay and Iggy.

    I think losing 2 elite defenders, one of which is an time great shooter that can’t be left alone for a second is hurting them on both sides a lot even though the “stats models” say both (especially Klay) are overrated.

  49. djphan

    i for one dont miss kp one bit… and actually prefer having randle instead and by the end of the season i think thats gonna be rather apparent…

  50. thenoblefacehumper

    The Strat/Phil Jackson thing is pathological. I’m not sure there’s a cure for it. He gave him a grade of B- about a week before he was fired, and the only move Phil made after he said that was drafting Frank “I am simply not an NBA player” Ntilikina with the eighth overall pick. So if he revised the grade it was to increase it to an A+.

    I mean just look at some of this shit:

    Phil inherited a terrible team with bad Felton & JR Smith contracts, Chandler wanting out etc.. and no 1st round picks in 2 of his first 3 years to rebuild at the TOP of the lottery. He handed over a team with all its picks, 20 million of cap space, and Porzingis (Frank, Dotson, Willy, Kornet etc…) He also handed over a terrible Noah contract that should be gone after this year.

    Those Felton/JR contracts weren’t all that onerous and Phil dumping them almost certainly cost us real assets, not the Arron Afflalos and Derrick Williamses he spent the money on. I don’t even remember Chandler wanting out, but who cares? It was a good time to trade him and rebuild anyway, except that’s not what Phil did at all–he traded him for key cogs on a 17 win team he thought was going to triangulate into the playoffs. He loves this “all its picks” thing, which I guess just refers to first rounders because Phil traded the 31st overall pick for Travis Wear (essentially). $20 million in cap space is jackshit in the modern NBA, the first question anyone would have after seeing that is “what the hell happened to the other $80M” to which the answer it is “lol Courtney Lee/Joakim Noah/Carmelo Anthony.” All the guys in the parentheses are scrubs.

  51. thenoblefacehumper

    Say whatever you want about KP’s injury risk (which is real), losing him was a mega debacle of the first magnitude. Two way players like him are building blocks that are close to impossible to get and we got crap for him because he lost faith in Mills, Perry, and Fizdale for good reason and they were idiotic enough to think stars would sign with a 17 win team.

    If your criteria for front office evaluation is “did they keep Mr. November happy?” there is no one who failed more spectacularly at that than the Zen Master himself! It was so bad that Ian Begley said on Lowe’s podcast that the relationship with the current guys wasn’t even that bad, it was just impossible to overcome the hatred Porzingis had for The Genius Who Has Forgotten More About Basketball Than Any Of Us Will Ever Know.

  52. Hubert

    I think Mills and Perry are mediocre, not terrible. They’ve had some wins. Fizdale was their biggest mistake. He makes everything look terrible. If we Budz here, some of these guys might actually look useful.

  53. Hubert

    losing him was a mega debacle of the first magnitude.

    You’re literally the only knicks fan I know who is upset about losing Porzingis. It’s not a major debacle.

  54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I think losing 2 elite defenders, one of which is an time great shooter that can’t be left alone for a second is hurting them on both sides a lot even though the “stats models” say both (especially Klay) are overrated.

    I know you don’t believe in the box score, but you should look at this one.

    https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401160678

    If you knew that Eric Paschall, Ky Bowman and Damion Lee were NBA players before today, I’d be fucking shocked. If you knew, without following Dubs news, that Glenn Robinson and Marquese Chriss were starters for the five-time-defending WC champions, I’d also be fucking shocked.

    Is Klay good? Yes. Overrated? Yes. If you replace a good, but overrated player with the actual dregs of the league, what do you get?

  55. bobneptune

    If you knew that Eric Paschall, ……

    I laughed to myself when I looked at the box score. I knew things were tough in GS but who knew they would be playing a 17th century mathematician!!!

  56. bobneptune

    You’re literally the only knicks fan I know who is upset about losing Porzingis. It’s not a major debacle.

    I’m not happy they lost KP but they really didn’t have much of a choice. I wouldn’t mind if they ran the triangle offense….. any bleepin offense would due….. just any offense! Hell…. I’d be happy if they ran my 60’s high school shuffle offense for God’s sake!

  57. Name is Bron - James Bron

    One nice thing about our key pieces – RJ, Mitch, Randle – is that they’re all players you don’t feel bad rooting for in contrast to that prima donna Porzingis.

  58. Z-man

    Geez, strat, you’ve beaten that dead horse into a freakin’ puree. Phil was an absolute train wreck. The current guys are mediocre at best. Case closed. Give it a rest already.

  59. thenoblefacehumper

    Porzingis is a confirmed whiny asshole, alleged rapist, and now out-earns Karl-Anthony Towns despite having exactly zero unambiguously healthy and productive seasons under his belt.

    That’s a contract loser teams sign. It’s such a disaster waiting to happen it’s shocking the Knicks didn’t sign it. Sure, he could get a lot better and make it a fine deal. I still wouldn’t care! It would’ve been an awful move for us to sign it and a lot of us said that before we knew any of this was a possibility.

    Fuck that dude. I’m glad he’s gone.

  60. Knew Your Nicks

    Porzingis is a special player. Unfortunately for us he’s not stupid and passive to lose his best years tanking till Forever.
    Am i devastated for leaving us ?
    No.
    Since he wanted out i respect his will.
    Would i like to have him on the team instead of DSJ?
    :-))))))))))

    Klay is a BEAST.
    Overrated by who ?

  61. DRed

    I’m not exactly broken up about the Kristaps trade, but that’s mostly because I didn’t have any faith in the Knicks developing/using him properly, and also his seeming inability to stay healthy. He’s a very talented player and it sucks we couldn’t make it work with him.

  62. Z-man

    I’m not glad he’s gone. It was a shame that he was traded when he was, and he’s probably going to have a great career. It just seemed that he really didn’t want to be here and management wasn’t ready to rollthe dice on his signing an extension.

    To lose him without landing a superstar in FA hurts. If he becomes an MVP candidate, it will hurt for a long time.

  63. d-mar

    Porzingis has 16 points and 6 rebounds with 8 minutes left in the second quarter against Portland.

    Impressive, and it’s not even November yet.

  64. Knew Your Nicks

    Cassandra ?
    As for the 2 draft picks we got from Dallas i must say that while watching the 2018 draft and heard that Dallas got Doncic i yelled to myself…. “FUuuuuuuCk” …… “We re screwed”…….
    Dallas with a couple of smart moves and some luck & health is going up and probably contending.

  65. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If they had traded KP halfway through his sophomore year, everyone would have a right to be fucking pissed. On the cusp of a $156M contract after 18 months off? Different story, as has been argued ad nauseam.

    How many of us would buy a 2018 pre-owned Ferrari without checking under the hood?

    Or perhaps more precisely, would you buy a pre-owned Ferrari that hadn’t run in 18 months, had had a major engine issue, could only hit its target acceleration 2 out of every 5 times you floored it, and whose owner would make you sign the paperwork before turning the engine?

  66. Owen

    Nets-Grizzlies on. Why talk Jax when we have more recent beefs to litigate?

    Clarke currently a -14 in a 1 point game.

  67. Knew Your Nicks

    Losing Primadona-KP and getting A healthyJudas-KD and The Fugitive-KI would have been great.
    But losing KP for a broken DSJ shot is a shame….
    God is not a Knicks fan.

  68. Owen

    Ja is some hot shit, holy cow…

    Took off from about the three point line on a wild layup attempt that went in….

    He’s so slight

  69. Bruno Almeida

    I wish Phil had succeeded in trading Porzingis for fucking Lonzo Ball, because then at least we wouldn’t have to read infinite pages of strat revisionism about how it was actually Mills and Perry who drove him out of town (and we would probably not have drafted Ntilikina also, which would be another welcome loss of a stale subject).

    Like, I know we’re going to get box score updates every single game Porzingis plays, either good or bad, but that’s at least a topic of conversation that is slightly interesting and not some delusional rambling.

  70. Owen

    And then Morant cuts through the Nets defense like it’s nothing . Hell of a take right part Dinwiddie and then an arcing layup over Allen. I would have been happy drafting him.

    edit ( and then blocks Irving on the game winning attempt(

  71. Owen

    i tried hard to love Barrett. I did. But I am officially not over losing Ja (or Zion.)

    Easily the most exciting 6 minutes of basketball I have watched in a while.

  72. Knew Your Nicks

    There are many “broken” Ferraris (seriously injured/injury prones) in the league:
    Kawhi
    Steph
    KD
    JoJo
    PGeorge
    AD
    Klay
    ….
    I’d prefer having instead of a damaged bike without its front wheel…

  73. GianaDani

    Folks: Phil was a terrible egotistical maniac. These three brainless & spineless fake ass geeks are terrible too. Arguing and debating who is worse is moronic.

  74. DRed

    Wonder what happened to Collins there? It’s always bad when a guy goes off after a play that doesn’t look bad.

    super mario!

  75. thenoblefacehumper

    Phil Jackson was one of the worst executives in the sport, and there was probably a good argument for him being the worst. It was impossible for us to contend on his watch. His moves literally precluded it.

    These guys aren’t that. They’re mediocre. Their moves don’t move the needle towards contention nearly as strongly as the legitimately sharp front offices’, but they don’t do much to preclude it either. They give us a chance to get lucky. We can and should ask for a lot more than that with all of the resources available to the Knicks (and to anyone in today’s NBA, really), but equating them with Phil is nonsense. I mean they know how the damn salary cap works, and they seem to understand the human aging process too.

  76. Early Bird

    Dennis Smith not with the team tomorrow due to death in the family. I hate myself for being this cynical, but I can’t help but think they’re giving him an excuse to sit out a few games.

    Either way, best to him and his family.

  77. DRed

    I switched over to Miami/Minn in time to watch Andrew Wiggins just destroy the Heat. He scored 11 unanswered

  78. JK47

    I mean, if you want to argue that the current guys are shitty GMs, knock yourself out. I’m not gonna defend those dudes because they seem kind of mediocre. You really gotta have Bobby Portis and Duke Ellington that bad, you can’t just eat a bad contract or two to pick up a first rounder? I’m not gonna say that isn’t some dumb shit.

    But don’t act like they were handed the keys to greatness on a silver platter, don’t act like they were handed some sort of healthy, desirable roster situation. They were handed a giant pile of horseshit.

  79. Brian Cronin

    The Blazers have a bunch of scrubs getting playing time

    It’s crazy how there has never been more NBA-ready talent out there, and yet due to the vagaries of the salary cap, so many otherwise good teams are content to just play scrubs because all of the cap space is dedicated to the star players.

  80. DRed

    The Blazers were playing Skal Labassiere and Mario Hezonja down the stretch. Dallas kind of blew that one.

  81. Bruno Almeida

    Rodney Hood winning the tip against Porzingis who’s like 8 inches taller was kinda satisfying, I’m not gonna lie.

  82. DRed

    Bazemore (I think) did a really nice job of boxing Doncic out on the tip. Doncic also got roasted by Dame on a crucial possession late, but I guess there aren’t too many forwards who can stop Lillard one on one.

  83. Brian Cronin

    I’m so pumped that the Knicks’ owning the Hornets’ second round pick looks like it will pay off in a big way!

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