Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Brooklyn Nets 103 – New York Knicks 101 – Game Recap

Hey there, fellow Knicks fans! I guess you want to know why we lost last night against a pretty mediocre Nets team, right? Fear not, I’m your man and up to the task!

Here’s the reasons why:

Dolan. Dolan Dolan Dolan Dolan Dolan: Oh and Dolan. Did you Dolan that Dolan just Dolan? But Dolan Dolan, Dolan! And Dolan. So, Dolan Dolan Dolan. Dolan…

Seriously, when you consider how the loss (the game, actually) came to be, you can’t help but trace everything to the origin of evil that taints this franchise since 1999. The Knicks played pretty much the same game they play 60% of the time: put up a fake fight at the beginning, let the game slip a bit, try to cover the gap somehow, let the game slip another little bit, mount a fake comeback, play stupid ball in the last three minutes, come away with a loss and nothing new learned.

Against Brooklyn, they followed the script to a T. Here’s the score every 6 minutes: 15-16 (six minutes mark), 22-29 (end of first quarter), 33-34 (six minutes mark), 46-52 (end of first half), 63-66 (six minutes mark), 72-82 (end of third quarter), 82-91 (six minutes mark), 101-103 (end of game).

So, you might say, why all the doom and gloom this particular time?

Oh, that’s why: as I had all too easily predicted, the valiant (?) efforts of the night came from veterans who didn’t play team ball at all – not their fault I guess – while the youngsters were total horseshit. I’m actually happy we lost: to win this game would have added insult to injury.

And that’s where we come back to Dolan.

Our youngsters played very bad because they’re not coached. They’re not being trained to improve. No one’s grooming their tendences. No one’s teaching them anything. We could rave all we want about Frank’s improvement (?!?… but yeah, if Frank ends the season at around .050 WS/48 we should be thinking we had witnessed a borderline miracle) but how much is on Collet’s shoulders and how much on Fizdale’s? Do you remember our optimism about Knox and his improved shot selection? Do you remember when we thought Randle was a good signing?

I mean, everything could still happen. But do you see it happening with this coaching staff? RJ Barrett is out and their answer is putting a frigging power forward – who were clearly headed for the dungeon – at the 2 spot? While burying Trier and not starting Dotson and/or Ellington? WTF is wrong with them?

And if anyone thinks Fizdale is the problem, they’re not paying attention. Fizdale has no reason to feel that he has to held himself accountable for mistakes: the roster made no sense from day one, our GM has some strange talent evaluation bias and our POBO is widely thought to be the worst in the business, but has a very firm grip on his chair.

But this all starts from the top. Dolan’s the obvious culprit. I know, I’m preaching to the choir (especially here at KB), but it’s not like I can get semi drunk every night and fill half of the recap with my weak shenanigans, you know? So let’s state the obvious from time to time. It’s boring, but not hurtful. Who know, maybe one day Jimmy D will read this blog and some of our words will ring a bell in his head; you know, like a Christmas Carol thing where Jowles and JK47 take turns to get the right to play the snarky Ghost of Knicksmas Future, Brian plays the comforting and scolding at the same time Ghost fo Knicksmas Past and a beleaguered ptmilo finds unthinkable ways to express disdain at Guitar Jimmy with some careful worded assorted dissings.

Or maybe Dolan reads something and writes a wrathful letter accusing me to be an alcoholic. It would still be a nice result, since it’d be one of the few times he’d say something resembling the truth.

– Let’s talk about Mitch, shall we? It’s hard not to come away from his last few games very, very disappointed. The blocks are still there, but so are the dumb fouls. Also, wasn’t he supposed to shoot goddamn threes if left open? Defenses routinely sag eight feet off of him and he doesn’t even threaten to shoot the ball. He’s still jumping at everything even remotely blockable and leaves a ton of defensive boards on the table. Now, I mean, I still love Mitch with all of my soul, but those things are the ones that have to be coaxed by competent coaching. Fizdale’s approach to Mitch seems to be “let’s play him and just hope he doesn’t foul too much but anyway there’s still Bobby waiting on the wings hurr durr”. I hate it, and that’s reason number one why we need a change ASAP. His technical after his sixth foul also tells me his head really isn’t the right place. We. Can’t. Squander. His. Talents. Do something about it. Yeah, but there’s still Dolan who probably thinks Dwight Howard is still a better player (actually Dwight’s playing fine this year, but come on). If Mitch peters out like a few dozen

– Same goes for pretty much every other young player. You don’t like Knox’s defensive effort? Sure, neither do I. So why reward him with a start after three very inconcludent games? What’s the message? You suck at defending small forwards, so hey, let’s play defense on quicker and smaller two guards! That way, you’re way more prone at failing, and that opens up one of two equally bad scenarios: either you suck and get benched for it – to no fault of your own, though. It would be hard for Knox to defend two guards even if he were fully commited and focused – or you suck and don’t get benched for it, which in turn upsets the guys who might be trying their darnedest to stay on their defensive assignment. A real lose-lose scenario. Moreover, there’s nothing that Knox gives you at the 2 that Dotson can’t give you. Not even rebounding (just 1.6 REB% more for Knox).

– Lost in all of this is the fact that we keep on losing games where we shoot exceptionally well from three (18/35). When you lose these games, it means that a) your shot selection inside of the arc is terrible (true) and b) your opponent is shooting more/better from the line (also true). If it happens once, no problem. If it’s a trend, the only stat that counts here is the fact that you don’t know what is a good shot and what’s not.

– I kinda like Wayne Ellington. No, better. I don’t despise him. Ok? That said: 28 minutes for him and 17 for Portis. DNPs for Trier (again: Knox played 17 minutes as a shooting guard) and Brazdeikis.

– If you look closely, there are blatant contradictions in Fizdale’s general approach to his job. Playing veterans seem to suggest he’s coaching for wins and for his job. Playing Knox at the 2 looks like he’s trying to get fired in between those awkward Bill Pidto’s Subway commercials. Astounding and confounding.

– Marcus Morris is shooting 42% from the field and 51% from three. He’s shooting 36% from two on almost nine attempts per game. That’s simply atrocious. To put that in context, Frank is shooting 42% from two.

I’m sorry guys, no good or bad section, no fun-size. There’s no fun these days and honestly there’s not even good or decent. Let’s move on. let’s wait another year.

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239 comments on “Brooklyn Nets 103 – New York Knicks 101 – Game Recap

  1. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    How long until the “Nets are better without Kyrie” talks starts. lmao

  2. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Kawhi Leonard on perfecting the mid-range:

    “It’s hard to guard guys that shoot twos. It’s playoff basketball. Once you get to the playoff it becomes a half court game.” #ClipperNation 

    The game gets called differently, the pace changes, and the best players are on the court for more minutes in the playoffs. So unless you have Durant, Curry, and Thompson on your team, maybe it gets tougher to win shooting a lot of 3s. It may even be a little tougher to get them to drop when you have a tight butt, need a basket, and you aren’t one of those guys, but his comment is a bit extreme. If the defense is taking away 3s, then you have to shoot more mid range, but I’d still rather have an open 3 in the hands is a good shooter.

  3. Brian Cronin

    It’s just an awful team to watch. I am actively a fan of Marcus Morris, but if he isn’t being shopped on December 15th, then there is no hope for this front office. I mean, there almost certainly is no hope for this front office, but that would at least make it a bit clearer as to how dumb they are.

    Plus, notice how the only free agent they signed who has any sort of actual value was the guy they wouldn’t have been able to get had they signed the guys they originally wanted to sign (as in, had Bullock not failed his physical)? It would be peak Knickieness to luck into a decent trade asset and then not trade him because he’s the only guy they have who can heroball them into almost beating mediocre teams at home.

    This is so depressing. At least they do have RJ and Mitch and they’re bound to add another top five/six guy in the draft. It’s something.

  4. Brian Cronin

    I’ve never been a Knox fan, but I’ve also never been as down on the guy as I am now. He is just a waste out there. Just coach the guy, people! Just coach him! He has some skills! Teach him how to not do stupid shit! He’s still young! Why are you ruining any chance he has of being a sort of kind of useful player? Why do they all suck so much? Freakin’ Flip Saunders’ kid is smarter than these guys and his only skill was being Flip Saunders’ kid (RIP, Flip)!

  5. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    1. I don’t think Robinson has made much progress on either side of the ball in the off season. I like what he does, but you have to do more than block shots, dunk, and foul out after 20 minutes when you have that kind of athletic talent. He’s not learning or expanding his game. That suggests a basketball IQ issue to me.

    2. This won’t be the last bad shooting night or critical open 3 Frank misses, but his future depends on finishing at the rim and making open often shots often enough that defenses can’t cheat off him because he can’t make them often enough. He’s making progress, but this is going to be a multi-year process with him in the same way defense and other areas are a project for Knox. RJ is more we’ll rounded, but he has to get a little better at everything.

    Rebuilding with draft picks is a long, ugly and painful process….even if you mostly pick pretty good players. We don’t even have a clear #1 or 2 option yet (we had one) and that’s the toughest part to get and develop.

    3. If it comes to it, I’m sure Mills/Perry will try to trade some of the excess vets, but what can you get for a “very overpaid” vet even if it’s for just half a season.

    4. If you can’t see that Randle does not fit on offense and is flawed on defense at this point, we can’t have a conversation.

    5. I’d bring up Wooten and Kadeem Allen soon. Wooten is an energizer bunny that will defend and block shots and Allen deserves a shot playing next to Frank to upgrade the playmaking and defense and hope he’s hitting 3s. Then slide RJ to the 3. Let’s just get better at something and play really good defense.

    6. I think we have more talent than our record, but the combination of poor team construction and mediocre coaching is too much to overcome.

  6. KnickfaninNJ

    This is only an eye test observation, but when the team gets close, they seem to shrink from the opportunity and play worse. They are getting better at actually trying to play an offense with some movement and passing in close game situations, but when that comes close to working they clank a free throw or a three pointer. Also, against certain teams, like the Nets, their defense just goes away and they can’t get stops. I don’t know if that is matchups or what. We are going to lose a lot of games, but maybe in the second half of the season we will be a little better.

  7. Hubert

    Man, if I had known RJ was out and Fiz was going with the 4 PF lineup I probably would have given my tickets away. That was abysmal.

    I put us down for 28 wins. Now I wonder how can this team match the 17 wins it got last season.

    Last year we had enough guards like Burke, Mudiay, and Hardaway who could get hot and win you the occasional game. This year we replaced all those guys with power forwards. Power forwards don’t win you a lot of games by getting hot from three (although Bobby Portis did manage to do it once and Morris tried last night).

    If we don’t get 50+ games from Elfriid Payton, we might be as bad as some of those Process Sixers teams.

  8. Farfa Post author

    6. I think we have more talent than our record, but the combination of poor team construction and mediocre coaching is too much to overcome.

    In a vacuum we’re probably good to win 30 games (33-34 with a very good coach). The awful coaching will bring us down to 24-26.

  9. Hubert

    Side note: It’s hard not to like Marcus Morris. I wish we had given him the Randle contract and given Randle nothing.

  10. Hubert

    In a vacuum we’re probably good to win 30 games (33-34 with a very good coach). The awful coaching will bring us down to 24-26.

    That would have to be a vacuum in which you can teleport Randle’s previous offensive output. That can’t be matched with this roster.

    Knowing what Randle is now, I think this team’s baseline is about where 538 had it: 20 wins. The bad coaching might bring it down to 12.

  11. JK47

    It’s The Process, but without the “collect assets” part.

    That’s been the hallmark of Knicks basketball for a good while.

  12. Farfa Post author

    It’s The Process, but without the “collect assets” part.

    It’s like being on a low-calories diet that’s made only of endless cans of Miller Lite.

  13. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    How long until the “Nets are better without Kyrie” talks starts. lmao

    The talks will happen, but they’ll be stupid. Beating a 4-12 team by 2 points doesn’t show anything good except the extra W in the standings.

  14. DRed

    He is just a waste out there. Just coach the guy, people! Just coach him! He has some skills! Teach him how to not do stupid shit! He’s still young!

    I do not think Fizdale is very good at putting his guys in the best position for them to succeed. In fact I think he fucking sucks at it. Perhaps reflecting a broader organizational trend he does not seem to be able to evaluate the players he has and play them in a way that optimizes their skills.

  15. cgreene

    You mean starting Knox at the 2 when we all think he should be playing the 4 because “positionless basketball” isn’t maximizing his skill set? How dare you question our “when everyone goes small we go big” philosophy? It’s been working for us since the Bargs trade!

  16. cgreene

    So I have a 7 year old son who loves basketball and I have trained him into becoming a Knicks fan. I am asking myself should I have a talk with him and tell him he’s better off choosing another team like the Nets? Talk me off this ledge.

  17. Farfa Post author

    I am asking myself should I have a talk with him and tell him he’s better off choosing another team like the Nets? Talk me off this ledge.

    I have no idea why I root for the Knicks, but I think rooting for such a nondescript poser franchise as the Nets is impossible. They have nothing appealing. Even their jerseys are meh. If you want to prep him to root for another team, no shame in that. But the Nets? Argh.

  18. Bo Nateman

    The Nets have a carpetbagger like history. Plus, they traded Dr. J. If I remember correctly, the Nets offered Erving to the Knicks in exchange for waiving the indemnification fee the Nets were required to pay upon entering the NBA. The Knicks declined. Might be the worst decision the Knicks ever made and of course, the Nets sent the Doctor to Philly.

  19. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Here’s my very premature top 6 draft prospects and Knicks-specific prospects for the upcoming draft. We’re gonna be in the #1 or #2 position in the lottery, so it helps to be thinking about who’s available at 1-6 right now.

    1-6 ordering, not team specific:
    1. James Wiseman
    2. Nico Mannion
    3A. Anthony Edwards
    3B. Cole Anthony
    5. RJ Hampton
    6. Jaden McDaniels (assuming his first few terrible games are an aberration)

    Knicks-specific:
    1. Nico Mannion
    2A. Anthony Edwards
    2B. Cole Anthony
    4. James Wiseman (can he play PF? If so, put him at 1A, but I don’t want him siphoning minutes from Mitch really)
    5. RJ Hampton
    6. Tyrese Haliburton

    LaMelo is a trap prospect–just a worse Lonzo in every way. The euros don’t look impressive so far either.

  20. cgreene

    You could say that we are like the Cubs or the pre 2004 Red Sox or something of that ilk. And I admittedly do not know much about the ownership of those franchises minus the Red Sox ownership’s obvious racism through the 70’s and maybe the 80’s. The bottom line though here is that the owner is such a disgraceful human that they aren’t lovable losers.

  21. TheClashFan

    The common denominators are Dolan and Mills. The circle remains unbroken. Is Scott Perry just another yes-man symptom of the problems? It seems more likely as time passes.

    At this point I’m just hoping that (after they fire Fiz), they look to trade two of Mo, Po, and Randle. No, they’re not going to deal Randle, but the other two guys should be easy to move, depending upon what they demand in return. But, can Mills and Perry basically admit that they fumbled the offseason and now try to get picks or young players back?

    Yeah, no. And even if they do, I doubt that will happen until they first fire Fiz and see if the team starting winning more games. The FO clowns still seem to think that they’ve assembled a good roster…

  22. E

    The Nets sold Dr. J to Philly. He wanted a bigger contract — not surprising since the NBA was marketing him like crazy — and the Nets were already cash-strapped with the indemnification fee and all the rest. You alternate history Dr. J staying and the Nets somehow becoming a Garden tenant a la the modern Clippers and the Nets all of a sudden have an entirely different look and vibe.

    But yeah, as it is, yuck. The cutesy Brooklyn branding Pottery Barn thing is even worse than the Jersey Meadowlands thing.

  23. E

    The real common denominator is Mills. The Rangers show that Dolan isn’t inherently unable to run a sports franchise successfully. But Dolan picked Mills, so yeah ultimately it’s on Dolan.

    Everything about the Knicks sucks right now. They don’t know which players to draft, they don’t know which players to sign, they don’t know how to combine players into lineups, they don’t know how to develop players, they don’t know how to pick a coach, yadda yadda yadda. They make stupid, impulsive trades when they do have a young “star.” (*) They’re a million miles away, though that gap would close a bit with a new POBO who actually knew basketball and could build an infrastructure. Until that happens, the whole thing is pretty much pointless.

    (*) No team does what the Knicks did with Porzingis. It just doesn’t happen. It can’t happen if you want to be successful.

  24. thenamestsam

    Was going through the threads from the weekend and almost died at Brian’s decision to end the Fiz death watch in the Spurs game thread followed up by “So this is very much a winnable game at home. Add in Kyrie’s injury and this could theoretically be the Knicks’ first winning streak of the season, if they beat the Spurs and the Nets!” That take aged like if you accidentally leave the milk out on the counter when you leave for a week on vacation during the height of the New York summer!

    Schedule through Christmas:
    @Raptors
    Sixers
    Celtics
    @Bucks
    Nuggets
    Pacers
    @Blazers
    @Warriors
    @Kings
    @Nuggets
    Hawks
    @Heat
    Bucks
    Wizards

    That’s a legitimate gauntlet even for a good team, which – not to break any news here – we are not. Fiz is going to badly need us to steal a couple randomly in there because the next six at least all look like pretty likely losses and then the long west coast road trip is always hard. Better briing back that death watch soon if you don’t want to miss your chance!

  25. E

    The Nets didn’t have LeVert, either. They were missing their three best players and still won. Their organization and coaching and schemes and roster construction are a billion miles ahead of the Knicks.

  26. rama picked up his option

    our POBO is widely thought to be the worst in the business, but has a very firm grip on his chair.

    great line, Farfa!

    Regarding Mitch, this is why I was arguing that him practicing 3s in the off-season was not actually a good thing. Most everyone came at me about it, but my point seems incredibly obvious now: Mitch needs serious coaching on the basics of defense – positioning, leverage, blocking out, opportunity cost (going for blocks and giving up rebounds…or making fouls). If he had spent all summer doing that, he’d be SO much further along. He has all the tools; I even think the bball IQ is there, remembering how much he improved from early last year to the end. But the most important work wasn’t done, and consequently, he looks like the same potentially awesome but currently problematic player he is.

    As I said then, the kid has a good shooting touch and most likely could add the 3 – or at least the 15-footer to keep his man honest. But that should not have been on his list at all! Next year, the year after – but THIS year should have been him learning to become the anchor of a top 10 defense.

    I look at that as 20% on Mitch and 80% on the coaching staff. If they knew what they had, they would have made his developing on D an off-season priority. But they didn’t, and he screwed around with an outside shot, and here we are with a potential all-star playing 20 mpg. Fucking Knicks.

  27. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The more I think about this team, the more it reminds of a “poor man’s” version of Chandler, Amare, and Melo.

    Individually, each of those players brought some good things to the table, but they did not fit together.

    Chandler was very limited on offense (kind of like like Robinson). Amare’s had a mid range game, but he was also at his best finishing inside or rolling to the basket (somewhat similar to Randle). That made him and Chandler an awkward fit. Then you had Melo who was more diverse, but he also did his most efficient work inside playing “bully ball” and drawing fouls. It never worked. It wasn’t until Amare got hurt and we moved Melo to PF did that team start clicking on offense. We also got a weak defensive link off the court that was compounding Melo’s weaknesses on that side.

    Granted, our current front court threesome is not as good as that one, but it would not shock me if we started Robinson, moved Randle to the bench, and moved Morris to PF if we got a solid blip up in our overall output.

  28. Hubert

    James Wiseman (can he play PF? If so, put him at 1A, but I don’t want him siphoning minutes from Mitch really)

    I’ve been thinking about this. Perhaps it’s silly to even ponder the unlikely scenario where we win the lottery. But if we did, and Wiseman is the top prospect, I wouldn’t let Mitch get in the way of selecting him.

  29. Hubert

    Schedule through Christmas:
    @Raptors
    Sixers
    Celtics
    @Bucks
    Nuggets
    Pacers
    @Blazers
    @Warriors
    @Kings
    @Nuggets
    Hawks
    @Heat
    Bucks
    Wizards

    You can expand this to the whole season. It’s hard to find wins.

    Can anyone say with confidence that we’re actually better than last year?

  30. swiftandabundant

    Well that fell apart quickly.

    Its just so hard to be stay on team optimism. But I will try.

    The team is worse than its talent but its a poorly constructed team. One less PF and one more decent PG would have been the way to go.

    But I am please with Frank this season. he’s been the one bright spot even if the offense still isn’t there. Too bad his rookie contract is about to end.

    I think we gotta sell these vets off after December. Run the kids like we did last year. Collect some more picks, bring up Iggy. Tank to another top 3 pick. Pick up a PG. He’s been hurt all year but I’d bring back Peyton just to have another decent PG on the roster. And I think Taj is worth keeping.

    But yeah. Shit is bleak right now. Team looked like it could turn a corner a few games back and then they come home and put up 2 bad L’s like that. Not good. They seem to play better away than at home.

  31. thenamestsam

    I was told that a win vs. PHI would have turned all these Ls into Ws

    Trying to draw trend lines through chunks of a season is almost alwayys a fool’s errand in my opinion. Even over pretty huge samples there’s very little information added – I remember a couple years ago when the Heat had that whacky season where they were 11-30 in the first half and 30-11 in the second half a bunch of people started picking them to win like 50+ games the next year, after all they had clearly “turned the corner” and improved dramatically. Just draw that trend line right through there and follow to the logical conclusion. The Heat of course won 44 games the next year (I think Pelton did some research at the time and found that 2nd half record was generally not a useful predictor but I can’t find it now). And that’s with about as big of a sample as you could have for some kind of in season improvement trend. Thinking the Knicks had turned a corner based on a 3-3 stretch was probably a reach, I think we’re in agreement on that.

  32. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @32

    I’m extremely bullish on Mitch. I think he’s a top 20 player in the NBA already. He’s going to be the best “rim-runner” of all time. His only issue is, simply, that he fouls too much. Will Wiseman be better than Mitch over the course of his career? Possibly, but Mitch is a legit star if he gets his fouls down, even if he never learns to shoot from distance. I think we’re really selling Mitch short here even with our justified frustration with his stupid fouling and the associated lack of positional awareness. I don’t want our draft pick forcing a below value trade (Mitch will never return the value that he deserves to in a trade, because of the “rim-runner” stereotype, and Wiseman will receive not as much due to other teams knowing we’re over a barrel) of a future star player. This is one of the few places where I advocate drafting on fit. We have a star player at center already.

  33. slovene knick

    Clyde was so irritated with Mitch yesterday…disgusted…come on man, are you kidding me:))after his seventh foul…it brought back the memory of Bargniani’s mental blunders. Breen wanted to downplay it a little with calling out the refs. Totally agree with the take that there’s no development of young players with the Knicks. With Knicks the things you got are the things you brought in.

    Like always at least our veterans like Clyde and Breen bring the A game with consistency.

  34. Owen

    Farfa, still grinding. That was an ugly loss. We are connoisseurs of the ugly loss at this point.

    Frank has shown some signs of life, not last night so much, but going back to offseason conversations I don’t really see a way we get to keep him at a price that justifies his continuing risk.

    I did have a moment last night when Ellington and Morris were bombing away when I thought to myself, it’s ok we have some vets on the team. But that faded fast.

    The worse thing about the game was how bad all the youngsters looked. One of Mitch’s most lackluster efforts.

  35. thenamestsam

    Granted, our current front court threesome is not as good as that one, but it would not shock me if we started Robinson, moved Randle to the bench, and moved Morris to PF if we got a solid blip up in our overall output.

    I’ve 100% had the same thought, but the sad thing is we’re not even a fortunate injury away from falling head first into our best lineups because even if some act of god got Randle out of the starting lineup there’s a 100% chance that Fiz would go with a Morris-Portis-Taj starting group that would improve the spacing but also put the whole forum on suicide watch. The roster construction here is severely flawed as you’ve been hammering but the coach also doesn’t have even the faintest idea how to move towards bringing the best out of it.

  36. E

    He’s a terrible coach. I was wavering a bit with the recent kind of ok if you squint hard play, but last night’s Knox at 2 guard vote of confidence absurdity put me over the edge, never to return. He doesn’t have a clue.

  37. KnickfaninNJ

    The Knicks do have too many power forwards, but the roster imbalance has also been aggravated by injuries. First there was Bullock, who, from his stats at least, seems to be a shooting guard that can shoot. Then there was Payton’s hamstring injury, which has lingered a long time. I know they replaced Bullock with Morris, but by the time they knew to do that, free agency had gone long enough that he was probably the best available player left.

  38. ess-dog

    It seems like Wiseman has a 3-pt shot and could work as a pf if we get the top pick. I am very intrigued by Mannion, but c’mon, can you actually imagine this front office picking a guy like him who doesn’t have crazy measurables?? His handle and quick release are so, so nice, though.

  39. Hubert

    I’m extremely bullish on Mitch. I think he’s a top 20 player in the NBA already. He’s going to be the best “rim-runner” of all time. His only issue is, simply, that he fouls too much. Will Wiseman be better than Mitch over the course of his career? Possibly, but Mitch is a legit star if he gets his fouls down, even if he never learns to shoot from distance. I think we’re really selling Mitch short here even with our justified frustration with his stupid fouling and the associated lack of positional awareness. I don’t want our draft pick forcing a below value trade (Mitch will never return the value that he deserves to in a trade, because of the “rim-runner” stereotype, and Wiseman will receive not as much due to other teams knowing we’re over a barrel) of a future star player. This is one of the few places where I advocate drafting on fit. We have a star player at center already.

    I think this is a little overzealous. Mitch still has a lot of work to do and we don’t know if he has it in him. If Wiseman is the clear #1 (and it looks like he will be), I think you have to take him.

    I doubt it will matter. We’ll probably draft 4th anyway.

  40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If Wiseman is the generational talent, you take him and make it work. Or you trade down and pick the guy you want while forcing a team to give you assets. Really not that hard a strategy to argue.

    That reporting that Vlade may have passed on Doncic because he didn’t like his dad’s personality — that’s a fireable offense.

  41. Owen

    The East is big. Sign me up for Wiseman too if he is the real deal. Mannion highlights do remind me that it would be nice to have a good PG for once though.

  42. rama picked up his option

    His only issue is, simply, that he fouls too much.

    Really? That’s the only issue?

    Look, I love Skynet, and even in his current form he should be playing every single game until he fouls out. But like ptmilo, I’m thinking we are overrating him just a bit – not his potential, which is top 20 player (I’m more optimistic than milo on that), but where he currently is. At the moment he’s more like Whiteside than Chandler: lots of positive stats, not as much congruent positive impact on the floor.

  43. Owen

    The lack of progress from Mitch this year is discouraging.

    I think RJ is probably the guy we have to pump the brakes the most on though.

  44. GianaDani

    OT: Have to respect Pink Panther’s after pulling of this morning’s heist in Dresden. Dolan should hire someone from that organization to negotiate for the Knicks.

  45. Frank O.

    KP’s recent run of games. I think we’d all be over the moon if he were doing this for the Knicks…

    Min FG% FT% 3PTM PTS Reb Ast
    Nov 24 34 .529 .750 2 23 13 3
    Nov 22 28 .500 – 3 17 7 0
    Nov 20 24 .429 – 2 14 10 2
    Nov 18 32 .429 .500 4 18 10 1
    Nov 16 36 .350 .833 1 20 15 2

  46. thenoblefacehumper

    I have no faith in anyone employed by the Knicks, but I have to think Mitch will want to work on the fouls for purely self-interested reasons. His agent has to be telling him it could literally be worth millions of dollars. It’s a flaw of commission, unlike the flaws of Knox and Ntilikina which largely amount to “learn how to play basketball well.” That’s not to say he’ll definitely clean it up, but I would pump the brakes on pumping the brakes.

    Speaking of Ntilikina, he’s definitely improved for which he deserves a lot of credit. Having said that, he’s improved all the way to “borderline NBA player” territory so it still looks like we’re going to have to make a tough decision on him.

    Knox is just god damn awful to watch most of the time. His chances of sticking seem pretty low and they ain’t improving if he has a coach that thinks he can literally ever play the 2.

    It’s a dark time. The most exciting thing we have going for us is the Marcus Morris trade sweepstakes, which we fell ass backwards into. We could be losing just as much but with Trier/Iggy/other UDFAs/salary dumps but nooooooooo.

  47. thenamestsam

    According to Cleaning the Glass the Knicks have been 2.7 points worse per 100 posessions on D when Mitch is on the court vs. off (was 2.7 points better last year). The big difference from a four factors perspective is that while they’re much better on eFG% against (he’s roughly 90th percentile in that and was last year as well) they’re getting absolutely slaughtered on the boards when he plays – opponent OREB% goes up 8.5% which is basically the worst in the league (1st percentile).

    Now that’s a small sample obviously, and that they were better last year with him on the court helps, although of course Kanter was the other main minute getter at C which is going to help those numbers a lot. The team was slightly worse in OREB% allowed when he played last year but not anything like the dramatic level we’re seeing this year. I’m not saying that Mitch is a terrible defender or anything like that, but a mediocre defensive team being worse when he plays is a huge hole in the argument that he’s already all-star level in my opinion. The D talent is undeniable but whether that’s translating to helping the team at this point is questionable and the progress this year really hasn’t been encouraging.

  48. E

    The lineup data with Mitch on the floor this year is horrific. There’s a lot to work with there, but the Knicks aren’t using him properly or developing him properly. He plays exactly the way you’d expect a young big raw talented guy would play when he’s being deployed and developed by a shitty organization.

  49. ess-dog

    I was hoping Mike Miller getting called up would’ve improved player development, but maybe we were giving him too much credit?

  50. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    For the last time: Raw lineup data means nothing. Stop using it as evidence of anything. Mitch was 5th in the league in DPIPM last year. Lead the league in DBPM last year and leads the league by a country mile this year. His DRPM was mediocre last year but still among the top 60. His DPIPM this year is not good but that stat is noisy at this point in the season. There is no hard evidence beyond last year’s DRPM that implies he is anything other than one of the very best defenders in the league despite his fouling and positioning issues.

    He is the third best player in the league by WS/48 this year, and the 6th best player in the league by BPM. What evidence does anyone have other than the eye test that points to him being anything other than elite? Or, even more weakly, defensively elite? I’m not saying the advanced stats are the end of the story, but the burden of proof is manifestly on those who disagree to explain how the eye test and the advanced stats could diverge so sharply. Give me numbers, or give me a deep, non-schematic, non question-begging explanation of why the numbers aren’t representative.

  51. alsep73

    I was hoping Mike Miller getting called up would’ve improved player development, but maybe we were giving him too much credit?

    The thing is, who are the huge player development stories out of Westchester during Miller’s tenure there?

  52. Bruno Almeida

    Maybe there’s just not much “player” to improve, you know.

    I don’t think Fizdale is a good coach, and I don’t think he has a good coaching staff. But players are also responsible at least partly for their own development, and maybe that’s also lacking. People tend to assume that just because you can see some nice things on young players, or just because they’re young, there’s always potential to improve, and that’s simply not true sometimes, and it definitely isn’t linear and predictable.

    There’s a chance these guys just aren’t good, aren’t able to learn / adapt what they learn to the game every day. With Mitch I’m still confident because the only thing he really has to learn to be a productive player is how to stop fouling, that’s the one thing he has to work on to be a playable NBA starter. Everyone else, and that includes Barrett, has a lot more to work on. If we treat every improvement from a young player in a particular sphere of the game as a possibility, some guys, like Frank, Knox and DSJ, simply have to make an improbable number of “hits” in those possibilities that overall it’s unlikely to happen. Barrett is closer to a point where I’m optimistic he’ll make it, and he’s the youngest.

    Like I said many times, keep playing those guys and giving them all the possible chances, there isn’t anything better we should be doing with those minutes and those roster slots anyway at the current point in the season, but I’ll be very glad if out of DSJ, Frank and Knox we end up with one relevant player.

  53. E

    He as the third best player in the league by WS/48 this year, and the 6th best player in the league by BPM. What evidence does anyone have other than the eye test that points to him being anything other than elite?

    Saying he’s “elite” is just crazy talk. It’s based on the same efficiency stuff that made everyone vastly overrate people like Cole Aldrich and Willy Hernangomez. He’s promising and good, with flaws. He’s nothing close to elite. The fact that he only shoots close to the basket makes him look efficient and that in turn causes advanced stats to overrate him. He would never have these kind of efficiency numbers if his usage was at the levels of actually elite players.

    Go up the SI top 100 in the NBA rankings. Throw out contracts. Throw out the geezers. Where does the place start where the teams stop giving up the guy straight up for Mitchell Robinson? Andrew Wiggins is number 100. Would the Timberwolves give him up for Mitch if contracts weren’t a factor? No, they wouldn’t. Dejounte Murray is number 94. Would the Spurs give him up straight for Mitch? No, they wouldn’t. (And I’d take it in a heartbeat if they made the offer.) Bam Adebayo is 93 …. And we should dispense with the pretending that the other front offices can’t read advanced stats. Advanced stats aren’t really telling anyone any material thing “extra.”

  54. thenamestsam

    Raw +/- numbers are noisy but saying they don’t count as evidence, particularly when they match up strongly with an eye test prior is just silly. There are obvious things you can see on the court why Mitch’s block numbers in particular might not actually be representative of his quality as a defensive player (too much fouling, risk of offensive rebounds). Those things play out clearly in the on/off numbers. I guess it’s not evidence because it doesn’t have an acronym?

  55. TheClashFan

    @58
    I totally agree. I will say this, though: starting Knox at the two was setting him up for failure. The guy simply cannot guard wings, no matter how hard he tries or wants to succeed. And it is abundantly clear that he lacks BBIQ to probably defend anywhere well.

    While he’s at it, Fiz should move Frank to the five. He’d try hard but get overwhelmed.

    At least try to develop what each guy might do well one day off the bench: Knox = stretch four. Frank = three and D wing (though his continued poor shooting seems to have no end). DSJ = combo scoring guard. Right now, only DSJ is being handled properly. Maybe if Payton ever gets back on the court, they’ll move Frank to the two.

  56. E

    He’s an excellent shot blocker but his actual block numbers are inflated because he gets himself out of position going for them, in the way that a gambling PG can have inflated steal numbers. He gets the credit for the extra blocks but the cost of that isn’t reflected in his numbers; it’s the basketball equivalent of an economic externality. Gambling like that is akin to a factory polluting a river.

  57. Dink

    Would the Timberwolves give him up for Mitch if contracts weren’t a factor? No, they wouldn’t.

    Considering the T-Wolves were the team who maxed Wiggins in the 1st place I’m not sure I’d place any value whatsoever on what they might and might not do.

    A competent FO makes that swap every time tho.

  58. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @60

    So the conjoining two notoriously unreliable methods of ascertaining player quality magically makes the resulting methodological Frankenstein reliable? Color me skeptical.

    Here’s a question: why assign a high prior to your eye test? Give me one positive reason. And why should you take the +/- data as confirming the eye test when a more reliable method disagrees with both your prior and the evidence on which you update that leads to increased confidence in your prior?

  59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The fact that he only shoots close to the basket makes him look efficient and that in turn causes advanced stats to overrate him.

    Hey look, it’s the Tyson Chandler argument again.

  60. bobneptune

    Knox has a serious problem that cannot be fixed as it relates to defense. He has very slow reflex time. Watch him play D one on one and his man will initiate a move in either direction and he doesn’t move or even twitch til the guy is moving a step and a half. Seriously the guy is glued to the floor. I don’t see how that is ever fixable.

    He has only one translatable skill…. he can shoot from distance and virtually nothing else. I believe he is a lost cause. If you suck that badly at defense you better shoot like Steve Kerr or Steve Novak to become a marginal rotation player.

    I hate Dizfail but I 100% agree with his handling of Trier. If he can’t give 100% effort on D and compete then he doesn’t get off the bench. If he can’t play within the structure of the offense…. he can’t play.

    They aught to compile a 48 minute defensive reel of Frank playing and make Trier sit and watch it on a loop like he is in a concentration camp in North Korea being brainwashed like the Manchurian Candidate. His mind needs to be purged of his Seattle Jamal Crawford/Nate Robinson mindset and replaced with a Frank like motor.

  61. KnickfaninNJ

    TNFH, I see Frank probably improving some more as the season goes on. He’s getting regular playing time now and slowly trying new things in his game. He might be more than a borderline NBA player by the time we need to make a decision on him at the end of the year.

  62. E

    Here’s a question: why assign a high prior to your eye test? Give me one positive reason. And why should you take the +/- data as confirming the eye test when a more reliable method disagrees with both your prior and the evidence on which you update that leads to increased confidence in your prior?

    When we get to this point, the argument really is barely even about basketball anymore, but instead about stuff like the relative value of science and data with a little sprinkle of generational conflict and the meaning and value of progress thrown in.

    He has a bunch of flaws in his game that aren’t reflected in the data. His usage is really low. The team is worse with him on the floor. He has no outside shot of any kind. He’s a mediocre passer. His BBall IQ, at least in current deployment, is low. The other front offices don’t value him in the way that his advanced statistics “suggest.” National writers, even those plenty conversant in advanced statistics and data don’t value him in this way, either. It’s a bit unclear what else is necessary here.

    He’s a good building block. He has a lot of potential. I’ve never really understand why it couldn’t just be left at that and why there was this insistence that he was “elite,” or even “clearly the best player on the team.” He isn’t. If he was those things, the Pelicans would have jumped all over acquiring him for AD instead of people like Ball and Ingram.

  63. thenamestsam

    @64 All I’m saying is that it’s evidence. Something doesn’t have to be foolproof to be evidence, that’s not how that works. How reliable something is determines how much weight you should give it when looking at all the evidence and making a final decision, but all the evidence counts for something. It’s not just my eye test either, it’s many other people who post here. Oh, and also clearly the evaluation of the Knicks internally for whatever that’s worth. And also the evaluation of the NBA at large which doesn’t consider him an elite player. None of that is perfect either of course (appeal to authority etc.) but it’s all evidence also.

    On the other side of the coin we have a bunch of box score models, which you’re treating as seperate pieces of evidence but are all basically saying the same thing – his block and steal rates are insane, those are 2 of basically the only 3 important things we can measure defensively (and his rebounding is fine), therefore he’s excellent defensively. You may find that to be extremely compelling. I, and a lot of other people, don’t think the box score defensive metrics are all that good.

  64. Brian Cronin

    The thing is, who are the huge player development stories out of Westchester during Miller’s tenure there?

    The entire 2017-18 starting lineup made the NBA, right? That’s practically unheard of in the G-League.

  65. E

    … Actually, I do understand why it can’t be left at that, at least a big part of it — the nature of the internet and the ready availability of data drive people to the extremes in either direction.

  66. thenamestsam

    Hey look, it’s the Tyson Chandler argument again.

    I mean, not to reopen old wounds, but when everyone realized that your beloved WP/48 was hot, steaming garbage and moved on to box score plus-minus metrics as the best available “advanced” measure, didn’t the Tyson Chandler naysayers basically win the argument? Tyson was 4th on the 2012-13 Knicks in OBPM, behind JR, Novak, and, of course, Melo who led the team by an absolute mile. If the argument was settled, it wasn’t in your favor.

  67. E

    On the other side of the coin we have a bunch of box score models, which you’re treating as seperate pieces of evidence but are all basically saying the same thing – his block and steal rates are insane,

    And the only reason people default so quickly to those measurables is because then we can go back decades and do comparisons of players and those are fun and we can keep our dedication to and insistence on science and data and still keep the fun. But the reality is that blocks and steals are as fundamentally “noisy” as things like on-off data. (They’re not quite as bad as assists which have a direct human evaluative component.) You can have a lot of steals or blocks and still be a negative or even shitty defender. You can not have a lot of either and still be an elite defender.

  68. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @69

    That’s a reasonable response. It depends on your tolerance for unreliability, I think. And that’s partially a fact about one’s subjective metric of risk-tolerance, I guess. My take is just that, whatever the flaws of the box score and adjusted/regularized +/- models, they’re simply more reliable–i.e. captures more elements of good defense–than the eye test or +/-, so we should defer to the models, knowing full well that they capture some but not all of defensive contribution. That’s not a ban on using the eye test, but I think eye test data should be *heavily* discounted when it contradicts highly imperfect defensive all-in-one metrics. That’s how low I am on the eye test. I think there’s room for reasonable disagreement here, but none of the arguments against eye test pessimism sway me. Agree to disagree I guess.

  69. thenamestsam

    @74 I’m not a particular believer in the eye test, but to me this is a case of “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. In my opinion, the claim that Mitchell Robinson, a 2nd round pick in his 2nd year (made 2nd team all rookie), currently coming off the bench and averaging less than 20 minutes a game, is one of the best players in the league is an extraordinary claim. If he is, it means that nearly everybody who works professionally in the game in any capacity is badly missing something extremely important. That’s not impossible of course, but it is extraordinary. The other possibility is that there’s something the box score models are missing. That’s…a much more ordinary claim, since those models, while much better anything else publically available, are far from perfect.

    So even though the on-off numbers and the eye test are not as good of evidence in a vacuum as the models, the fact that they point towards a much more ordinary claim gives them more weight in this instance in my mind.

  70. DRed

    If he is, it means that nearly everybody who works professionally in the game in any capacity is badly missing something extremely important

    It means the Knicks braintrust is bad, that’s pretty much it.

  71. DRed

    His usage is really low. The team is worse with him on the floor. He has no outside shot of any kind.

    He’s second on the team in scoring per 36 despite being low usage and not being able to shoot from outside and not being a focal point of the offense. Idk, just spitballing here, maybe we should be running more sets designed to get him shots instead of Randle/Portis post isos.

  72. E

    Why does it only mean the Knicks’ braintrust is bad? He doesn’t have anything close to that value on the open market, either. If the Knicks are undervaluing him, why aren’t the other competent front offices swooping in to get an elite player at a massive discount? Particularly one with such a team-friendly contract. Given the contract and his age, if he was actually elite on the court, he’d be among the most prized assets in the Association. The other teams aren’t valuing him in anything like those terms, though. (We don’t need this as proof, but if they were, the Knicks would likely have AD right now. But in reality, they didn’t come close.)

  73. E

    Idk, just spitballing here, maybe we should be running more sets designed to get him shots instead of Randle/Portis post isos.

    Oh, no question. He’s both underutilized and not elite.

  74. thenamestsam

    It means the Knicks braintrust is bad, that’s pretty much it.

    Well any team in the NBA could get one of the best players in the entire league on a rookie deal for whatever they could convince that Knicks brain trust to trade Mitch Robinson for and yet they haven’t done it. That’s at least a reasonable suggestion that the brain trust of the other teams at least broadly agree with the Knicks assesment. And then there’s the media, where everyone also seems to be of the opinion that he’s a very talented prospect who is very raw rather than one of the best guys in the league.

  75. ptmilo

    starting with an all-in-one as a prior is reasonable. but in a case like this where we have a player whose BPM rating is heavily reliant on outlier defensive stats, it should be an extremely weak prior. remember:

    1. the all-in-ones are much better at evaluating offense than defense. even raptor’s defensive r squared out of sample is only .6 — and that’s by far the best among them, and there are very good reasons to worry about overfitting and how reliable and out-of-sample the control case really was.

    2. the all-in-ones don’t agree. bpm/ws love him. raptor think mitch overall was a meh +0.2 last year; in order the list goes: pat connaughton, dewayne dedmon, mitch, kyle anderson, seth curry, and only +.9 on defense. espn’s rpm has him similarly ranked, as the 149th best player in the league at 0.08, and it goes: meyers leonard, ryan acridiacono, mitch, john collins, alex caruso. the prior gets a lot more confusing when the default metrics diverge substantially. pipm is in between, at 1.75 for his ~1600 minute career.

    3. the all in ones are inherently less reliable for extreme players. westbrook broke bpm in part because these models are inherently (somewhat) overfit to a limited sample, and even then the method of sussing out signals from the data are fairly limited. in fact the westbrook issue is such a big deal that you’ll soon seen a bpm 2.0 come out that changes everyone’s #s, some signficantly. mitch isn’t westbrook, but he’s pretty extreme.

  76. KnickfaninNJ

    He’s second on the team in scoring per 36 despite being low usage and not being able to shoot from outside and not being a focal point of the offense.

    But part of this is because our offense is so abysmal. If we had better scorers around him he could still score as much, but be second on the team in scoring per 36.

    Idk, just spitballing here, maybe we should be running more sets designed to get him shots instead of Randle/Portis post isos.

    I’d like to see that too, but maybe he doesn’t run those sets very well when they try them in practice. For example, if you run a pick and roll with him, for example, it would help if he sets good picks; but I don’t see him doing that a lot.

  77. Kevin Udwary

    Hey look, it’s the Tyson Chandler argument again.

    I did this exercise back in the day when Chandler had similar ridiculous TS%, to see what he would have to do to have an elite TS% at a high usage, so here it is again for Mitch:

    If Mitch jacked up an additional 4 3pts a game he would reach a USG% of just over 25%
    If he made 1 of those he would have a TS% at exactly 60%

    A 60% TS with 25% USG is only being done by 10 guys this season, so I’d call that elite. The question is, why the hell would you want Mitch taking 3’s when he is only shooting them at 25%? Would that really make him a more impressive player, because he now has high efficiency at high usage?

  78. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @85

    I’d like to see someone try to make a counter-argument to this post with something other than, “He makes his teammates take all the hard shots by only taking ‘easy’ ones.”

  79. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    @81

    Another good response. Forgot about RAPTOR, and how outlier box score stats will skew especially BPM (you rightly mention that RWB broke BPM, hilariously posting the best BPM ever in his MVP year.) And good to hear that BPM 2.0 is coming soon. Thanks for supplying some additional numbers for me to mull over. In light of both tsam and Milo’s responses, let me temper my claim. We at least have better evidence to suppose that Mitch is a plus defender than we do that he is a detriment to his team as the lineup data suggest. I happen to think he’s closer to elite than not (especially given his offensive eff), but strictly regarding defense it’s unclear if he’s a mild positive or one of the best in the league, bc his numbers range all over the map. Again, I hedge toward the latter, but the argument for the former shouldn’t be based on the eye test or lineup data, probably. It should be based on RAPTOR and RPM.

    In any case, I really hope James Wiseman can play PF (and what’s this about his 3pt shot? He’s currently avging like .6 3s per 40. Did he shoot the 3 in HS?)

  80. thenamestsam

    Is there any evidence that we have tried to trade Mitch or are you all just making shit up

    His name was bandied around in the Davis rumors, but more generally if there’s huge discrepancies in valuation, you’d expect a trade to happen regardless of whether the Knicks are “trying” to make it happen. If some other team in the league thought Mitch was, say, a top-10 player (as BPM says he is) while the Knicks, by all indications, think of him as a talented but flawed bench C in need of serious seasoning, that leaves a huge gap through which to succesfully drive a trade. I mean trades are hard and there’s a lot of inertia in these things – it’s not like every player in the league ends up on whatever team values them most highly relative to their contract (which would be sort of the Econ 101 model of the NBA). But you’re talking about an absolutely massive opportunity created by the difference between this guy’s “true ” value and how his current team sees him.

    I mean if I was running another team and I thought Mitch was a top-10 guy in the league you better believe that I would be calling Mills twice a night and three times on the nights Mitch plays less than 20 minutes (which are frequent). I mean I’d be (secretly, of course) absolutely thrilled to give up only two first rounders for him right? And the Knicks would be absolutely thrilled to accept that right? So it kind of feels like we could find a workable deal.

  81. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I mean, not to reopen old wounds, but when everyone realized that your beloved WP/48 was hot, steaming garbage and moved on to box score plus-minus metrics as the best available “advanced” measure, didn’t the Tyson Chandler naysayers basically win the argument? Tyson was 4th on the 2012-13 Knicks in OBPM, behind JR, Novak, and, of course, Melo who led the team by an absolute mile. If the argument was settled, it wasn’t in your favor.

    Melo had a very good year that year. He had a sky-high usage and his TS% was between the #6 Mavs and #7 Suns number. It always seemed that Chandler got dinged for the low usage and relatively high turnover rate (considering how little he was expected to do with the ball). I’m not interested in re-litigating it, but it’s no surprise to me that the Knicks went from a good to great offense during the Chandler (and prime Melo) years to the league’s 29th-ranked offense in 2014-15, when Alexey Shved led the team in OBPM in limited minutes.

    the claim that Mitchell Robinson, a 2nd round pick in his 2nd year (made 2nd team all rookie), currently coming off the bench and averaging less than 20 minutes a game, is one of the best players in the league is an extraordinary claim. If he is, it means that nearly everybody who works professionally in the game in any capacity is badly missing something extremely important. That’s not impossible of course, but it is extraordinary.

    It’s only extraordinary if you believe that NBA front offices and scouting teams have a good track record of identifying talent. I remind you that Luka Doncic, the youngest Euroleague MVP ever, was passed over by three high lottery teams (any of which could have turned their team into a 10-year playoff contender) and is currently the league’s best offensive player at age 20. And that’s not even among the top 10 egregious player evaluation offenses of the decade.

  82. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    That Fizdale hasn’t been able to fix Mitch…
    That Fizdale hasn’t been able to fix Knox…
    That Fizdale can’t seem to get this team develop chemistry…

    Are all excuses. Fizdale has failed and is the wrong coach for this team.

  83. E

    It’s only extraordinary if you believe that NBA front offices and scouting teams have a good track record of identifying talent. I remind you that Luka Doncic, the youngest Euroleague MVP ever, was passed over by three high lottery teams (any of which could have turned their team into a 10-year playoff contender) and is currently the league’s best offensive player at age 20. And that’s not even among the top 10 egregious player evaluation offenses of the decade.

    Right, but at draft time we had zero NBA games and now we have a season-plus of NBA games. The slight misvaluation of Luca is now clear and all the front offices have properly adapted. Why wouldn’t they have done the same with Mitch?

  84. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The slight misvaluation of Luca is now clear and all the front offices have properly adapted.

    The same team that traded Doncic away used the asset obtained to draft Cam Reddish.

  85. Kevin Udwary

    The slight misvaluation of Luca is now clear and all the front offices have properly adapted. Why wouldn’t they have done the same with Mitch?

    Who says they haven’t? Because a Mitch for AD trade didn’t happen, it means everyone thinks Mitch is trash? I don’t understand.

  86. rama picked up his option

    so it still looks like we’re going to have to make a tough decision on him.

    Wait, I thought we picked up Frank’s option. Is that only for this year? Either way, I would imagine that even the pessimists here have seen enough improvement to agree that picking up his option for next year (if indeed that’s the situation) would be a good idea.

    A 60% TS with 25% USG is only being done by 10 guys this season, so I’d call that elite.

    I agree. But the argument is about his defensive value. All those blocks and steals may not indicate the elite defensive player people are claiming. I think that’s true; he’s out of position so much, it leads to his fouls, and it gives the other team more offensive rebounds, which is bad. Those two factors alone (his foul rate and the other team’s offensive rebound percentage when he’s on the floor) are enough to indicate he may not be elite, but pair it with the dreaded eye test, where you can see him constantly out of position, and at the very least it isn’t credible that he’s a top defender. And if you want to argue that his elite offense makes him an elite player overall, I’d argue that his usage is nowhere near it needs to be for that to be true.

    Again, Whiteside looked pretty amazing by his stats…but that wasn’t the whole story.

  87. E

    The same team that traded Doncic away used the asset obtained to draft Cam Reddish.

    What does that have to do with their current opinion on whether Luca is better than Young?

    Who says they haven’t? Because a Mitch for AD trade didn’t happen, it means everyone thinks Mitch is trash? I don’t understand.

    There’s no buzz whatever about teams wanting to get their hands on Mitch, there’s no buzz among the smart national writers about Mitch being materially undervalued, or even being in the NBA’s top 100 players. No one outside of a local Knicks cult following talks or thinks about Mitch in these terms. It would be great if Mitch outshone the consensus, but there’s really no serious debate about what that consensus is.

    And, again, why is the contra position framed as everyone thinks Mitch is trash?. No one actually ever framed it in anything like those terms. There’s a lot of space between elite and trash.

  88. TheClashFan

    Yeah, they picked up Frank and DSJ’s options for NEXT year. However, by the end of this season, they might need to do a sort of “final” evaluation of each and then either continue fishing or cut bait (try to trade for 2nd round pick?) in the offseason.

  89. alsep73

    @NY_KnicksPR

    For clarification purposes, it is not true that the New York Knicks offered Richard Jefferson a contract in either the summer of 2018 or 2019.

    What a goddamn embarrassment this team is, on every possible level. They just extended the life cycle of Jefferson’s joke exponentially.

  90. Brian Cronin

    I dunno, it was definitely not being reported as him making a joke, so I could see why they felt it worth saying, “That didn’t happen.”

  91. alsep73

    Stefan Bondy had already debunked it last night. Twitter right now is blowing up with everyone making fun of the Knicks for this. Even Jonathan Macri from Knicks Film School, who is about the most Pollyanna Knicks true believer that there is, is rolling his eyes at them. Jared Dubin summed it up nicely, I thought:

    There has seriously never been a more perfect encapsulation of that organization than the fact that they feel the need to issue a tweet clarifying that they didn’t offer Richard Jefferson a contract because they didn’t like that he was making fun of them.

  92. DRed

    My point is that absent any information about which teams (if any) were trying to trade for Mitch and what they were offering, saying that “Mitch can’t be as valuable as X says he is because nobody has traded for him” is not a particularly strong argument.

  93. ess-dog

    I’m surprised there’s not more hand-wringing about RJ here, he of the TS% lower than perennial punching bag Frank’s.

    The free throw shooting is insanely bad, and the assists aren’t translating as much as we’d hoped. His defense looks surprisingly stalwart, but, man… we have to hope he starts gaining some traction soon.

  94. thenamestsam

    My point is that absent any information about which teams (if any) were trying to trade for Mitch and what they were offering, saying that “Mitch can’t be as valuable as X says he is because nobody has traded for him” is not a particularly strong argument.

    I’m honestly not sure I understand. Is your argument that it’s possible that all the smart teams are constantly calling the Knicks and begging them to take their pick of practically any of their assets and the Knicks aren’t trading him because they secretly also know how good Mitch is (and play him 19 minutes a night off the bench because…reasons)? Or is your argument that the other smart teams know Mitch is amazing but don’t try to trade for him because…reasons?

  95. Dink

    didn’t the Tyson Chandler naysayers basically win the argument?

    yes. without a doubt, yes.

    Didn’t the Knicks win 20 games fewer the season after trading Chandler?

    He played pretty well that 1st season in Dallas. Put up stats that were way better than any Knick from that year. (which makes sense, since he was the Knicks best player during his time here)

  96. thenamestsam

    yes. without a doubt, yes.

    It’s always been amazing to me that THCJ spent like 10 years calling anyone who didn’t acknowledge the obvious brilliance of WP/48 an idiot, then the model was completely, 100% discredited (performs worse than PPG in out of sample testing!) and he just moved onto the next model without even a hint of a mea culpa. He’s not interested in re-litigating it!

  97. DRed

    Or is your argument that the other smart teams know Mitch is amazing but don’t try to trade for him because…reasons?

    How do you know which teams have or have not tried to trade for Mitch?

  98. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    What does that have to do with their current opinion on whether Luca is better than Young?

    Because their “adjustment” w/r/t Luka’s value vis a vis Young’s is akin to a person hopping from behind the wheel of a Dodge Caravan to a Tesla Model S and saying, “Aha! This is a faster car indeed!” It’s so obvious that the average mouthbreather on r/atlantahawks can’t even make last year’s oft-repeated counterargument with a straight face.

    My criticism of Tsam’s appeal to authority still stands, as it was not limited to pre-draft evaluations alone — NBA teams are not only wrong about draftees a vast majority of the time, but they are also deer in the headlights on NBA player evaluation unless it’s a high-volume scorer. This is why Dion Waiters has an eight-figure deal. It’s why Blake Griffin got $173M to do his best Carmelo impression. It’s why James Harden got offloaded over a contract delta of $4.5M so the Thunder could save some luxury tax money.

    Now, I’m not a person who believes that Mitch is a top 20 NBA player. Not with the fouls, not with the low usage, and certainly not on account of his block rate alone. But it would not be the first time that a viable NBA starter was stuck on the bench due to managerial incompetence, and other teams found little interest in him until the media narrative turned sharply to his favor, often on account of some notable short-term play.

    The claim that NBA teams correctly identify NBA talent seems absurd to me.

    Also, you remind a lot of Ted Nelson. Is that you, Ted?

  99. DRed

    I remember a season in which the Knicks won 54 games and people thought Tyson Chandler and Jason Kidd were very important parts of that team and then Kidd retired and Tyson broke his arm and the Knicks won 17 fewer games and proved all those nerds conclusively wrong.

  100. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    and he just moved onto the next model without even a hint of a mea culpa. He’s not interested in re-litigating it!

    define: heuristic

    You should go to the Amazon review pages for Bill James’s Win Shares and leave a nasty critique about what a moron Bill James was for inventing such a fallacious stat like Win Shares, especially compared to fWAR and wRC+ and the like.

  101. thenamestsam

    How do you know which teams have or have not tried to trade for Mitch?

    Feel like I covered this, but if they’re trying and failing to trade for him then that means they’re (broadly speaking) valuing him less than the Knicks value him. If they’re valuing him like anything close to the top-10 player they should (because they’re smart) that means the Knicks also value him like that. I don’t see much evidence of that.

    If they’re not trying to trade for a top-10 player sitting on the bench that’s not very smart!

  102. thenamestsam

    You should go to the Amazon review pages for Bill James’s Win Shares and leave a nasty critique about what a moron Bill James was for inventing such a fallacious stat like Win Shares, especially compared to fWAR and wRC+ and the like.

    Don’t move the goalposts. Worse. Than. PPG.

    If it turned out that batting average was actually the best way to measure offense in baseball (which it won’t because unlike Berri the baseball guys actually know what they’re doing math wise, something that was pointed out to you by many “idiots” over the years), yeah, I would expect some SABR guys to eat a little crow.

  103. Hubert

    I’m surprised there’s not more hand-wringing about RJ here, he of the TS% lower than perennial punching bag Frank’s.

    The free throw shooting is insanely bad, and the assists aren’t translating as much as we’d hoped. His defense looks surprisingly stalwart, but, man… we have to hope he starts gaining some traction soon.

    I said the same thing about Frank when he was 19: just focus on what these kids *can* do. It takes a while for the rest to develop. Especially when they’re spending their embryonic phase in a shit show.

    Just pray things change around here sooner rather than later.

  104. DRed

    It’s possible the Knicks value Mitch less than the smart teams and still don’t want to trade him because they think he has a lot of potential and gets paid no money. If you don’t think Mitch is the best player on this Knicks team I really don’t know what to tell you.

  105. DRed

    I said before the season I expected RJ to play like a better rebounding Caris Levert and he more or less has except he’s unexpectedly lost the ability to be even a mediocre ft shooter. Broadly I’m not too worried yet. The shit FT shooting is troubling, and he needs to figure out what to do in floater range, but he’s 19 and he couldn’t really shoot in college so I wasn’t expecting him to play well this season.

  106. thenamestsam

    It’s possible the Knicks value Mitch less than the smart teams and still don’t want to trade him because they think he has a lot of potential and gets paid no money.

    I mean In an Econ 101 sense if another team thinks he’s a 10 and the Knicks think he’s a 9 they should be able to work out a trade at a price somewhere between 9 and 10. Of course if this is the real world so if you’re saying that maybe the smart teams don’t have stuff the Knicks want, I mean it’s possible, but as I started out by saying there’s an absolute chasm between how the Knicks appear to value him and top-10 player levels. If the other team thinks he’s a 10 and the Knicks think he’s a 4 I don’t think any friction argument really could hold.

    If you don’t think Mitch is the best player on this Knicks team I really don’t know what to tell you.

    And out come the straw men! Must be time to stop arguing about basketball and go home.

  107. Dink

    I mean it’s possible, but as I started out by saying there’s an absolute chasm between how the Knicks appear to value him

    Appear‘ is doing a lot of heavy lifting here. We really don’t know how much the Knicks value Mitch. Are his lack of starts/minutes coming from Fiz or the FO? We do not know at this.

    It’s possible the Knicks rate Mitch highly and wouldn’t part with him for anything less than a lottery pick. It’s also possible for other teams to rate him as high or higher and not attempt to trade for him. FOMO dude. Very few teams with likely lotto picks will trade them for a player like Mitch, even if he’s really good, if it means missing a chance at the next Zion or AD or whoever.

  108. DRed

    If you agree Mitch is the best player on the Knicks it’s obvious the smart teams would recognize the Knicks aren’t correctly valuing him and put together a trade package for Mitch

  109. Hubert

    I don’t want to appear to be anti Mitch… he’s our best prospect and I’m thrilled to have him… but i think it’s fair to say we might be the group most likely to have the wrong valuation of him. I mean, today he’s been called a top 20 player in the NBA, and I previously read him being compared to wilt chaimberlain.

    I don’t know that the entire NBA is wrong to not value his offensive skill set as much as we do.

  110. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Watching Trae Young airball shit on a 4-12 team is real weird. Aside from the Collins fuck-up and Reddish bust, does anyone know what their deal is?

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t know that the entire NBA is wrong to not value his offensive skill set as much as we do.

    We have no idea whether anyone’s made an offer on him or what those offers would be. Also, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to not want to trade for a guy who can’t keep himself out of foul trouble. I mean, it’s one of the most intuitive and self-correcting elements of the sport — if you make an assload of stupid fouls, you will have to ride the pine whether you’re LeBron or Andrew Wiggins — and he can’t figure it out.

  112. KnickfaninNJ

    The discussion above makes it sound like the Knicks must not value Mitch a lot because he’s not the starting center and doesn’t play that many minutes. That doesn’t have to be true at all.

  113. Hubert

    We have no idea whether anyone’s made an offer on him or what those offers would be. Also, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to not want to trade for a guy who can’t keep himself out of foul trouble. I mean, it’s one of the most intuitive and self-correcting elements of the sport — if you make an assload of stupid fouls, you will have to ride the pine whether you’re LeBron or Andrew Wiggins — and he can’t figure it out.

    I didn’t mean in the context of this conversation. I think it’s odd to presume that we would trade him if we got a good offer, ergo I don’t think the fact that he hasn’t been traded means anything.

    I just mean generally we might be more in love with him than the rest of the NBA bc his hyper efficient style appeals to our particular sensibilities.

  114. thenamestsam

    The discussion above makes it sound like the Knicks must not value Mitch a lot because he’s not the starting center and doesn’t play that many minutes. That doesn’t have to be true at all.

    The question is whether they value him a lot relative to him being one of the ten best players in the league, which people are arguing he is. If you believe he’s one of the ten best guys in the league and the Knicks play him 19 minutes a game off the bench when it’s not because they’re intentionally trying to lose, then yes, it does mean they don’t value him properly.

  115. Owen

    And that’s not even among the top 10 egregious player evaluation offenses of the decade.

    Passing on Doncic is definitely looking like one of the worst mistakes made in the last 10 years. There may be a worse mistake but i doubt it. Luka looks like a cross between Steve Nash and Lebron on offense (and Steve Nash on defense.)

    Mitch is extremely cheap and cost controlled for a few more years and also sort of amazing. That’s the most difficult kind of guy to trade. Especially if you are a super bad team with no reasonable reason to trade future production for current production. There aren’t many trades that would make sense.

    I don’t think we know much about what the rest of the NBA thinks about Mitch. We don’t even really know what we think here as recent discussion has shown. I think Mitch could end up a 15-30 guy but he certainly is not there yet. He needs to stop doing dumb shit and start thinking about that next contract a little bit. It would help his game. I respect his fire out there though.

  116. swiftandabundant

    Yeah I don’t really see why not starting Mitch in his second season (over a season vet like Taj no less) means they don’t “value” him. Mitch did start and was fouling out. He fouls out a lot. He’s actually had some better games this season once we moved him to the bench.

    He is still super raw and super young. Does starting him against a higher level of competition where he fouls out sooner really mean you value him more?

  117. Owen

    Mitchell Robinson for Jarrett Allen, who says no?

    That’s a tough one. He is having a monster game. I’d certainly take Allen right now.

  118. Knew Your Nicks

    Which stat is the most trusted one ?
    The one that shows who’s the best and helps his team to win most ?

  119. DRed

    The question is whether they value him a lot relative to him being one of the ten best players in the league, which people are arguing he i

    There are zero (0) people here arguing that Mitch is a top 10 player. Silky kicked this off by noting Mitch rates as an elite player in a bunch of metrics and asked what evidence was there that those metrics were badly off:

    He is the third best player in the league by WS/48 this year, and the 6th best player in the league by BPM. What evidence does anyone have other than the eye test that points to him being anything other than elite? Or, even more weakly, defensively elite? I’m not saying the advanced stats are the end of the story, but the burden of proof is manifestly on those who disagree to explain how the eye test and the advanced stats could diverge so sharply. Give me numbers, or give me a deep, non-schematic, non question-begging explanation of why the numbers aren’t representative.

  120. Bruno Almeida

    I don’t know why some people keep acting like trade value is somehow indicative of talent and production.

    There’s literal decades of evidence that show that front offices are, first, not necessarily good at their jobs, and second, that players build reputations that might be or might not be connected to their actual production, and are also subject to delays in perception that affect the way the player is seen. Guys get traded all the time for packages that are a lot more related to the reputation they have accrued around the league much more than their actual production.

    Even a simple example, like, comparing Devin Booker to Zach LaVine last season. They were virtually identical players, 23-24 year old shooting guards who can score in bunches at a somewhat efficient rate, who are not good defenders and don’t show much impact everywhere else on the court. Yet Booker is commonly seen as the more valuable of the two, ESPN ranked LaVine 55th in their top 100 and Booker 30th, ahead of guys like Lowry, DeRozan, Draymond, Horford, Oladipo, Middleton and CP3. There’s no real reason why Booker should be seen as so much more valuable than LaVine, other than Booker’s perceived as being more of a star than LaVine for whatever reason.

    So who gives a damn if Mitch is seen as a valuable trade piece around the league, or by the media? Damn, we got more in the trade for Carmelo Anthony in 2017, when he was completely washed, than we did for Chandler in 2014, when he was one year removed from being an all-star, DPOY and All NBA defense 1st team.

  121. TheClashFan

    Mitchell Robinson for Jarrett Allen, who says no?

    I like Allen a lot, but I’m keeping Mitch. I like the upside, and the Knicks are awful, so we all should just be patient with him. And RJB.

  122. Bruno Almeida

    @139

    On zero turnovers, while playing elite defense… just absolutely dominant. This Harden / Giannis / LeBron (now Doncic too?) era of unbelievable box score lines is truly something magical.

  123. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Passing on Doncic is definitely looking like one of the worst mistakes made in the last 10 years. There may be a worse mistake but i doubt it. Luka looks like a cross between Steve Nash and Lebron on offense (and Steve Nash on defense.)

    I think in hindsight, it’s going to be a Bowie/Jordan-level fuckup. But at the time, maybe you can convince yourself that he’s not the guy. Dumb to my mind (and one could check the archives for the receipts on that) but I can understand it to a certain extent.

    It’s the guys who have long tenures of wretched shittiness who are rewarded for their play — giving Wiggins a max deal, for instance, or whatever they gave Dion Waiters that pays for his voluminous edible stash. Or trading future stars like Harden even though he was already really good.

    So okay, maybe it’s not top 5 to my mind, but top 10. I can say with confidence that it’ll only look worse as the years go by. I found the draft thread from 2018 and I said that the Hawks were gonna be real upset when Doncic is shortlisted for the MVP in 2024. It’s 2019 and I’m already eating my words.

  124. Ntilakilla

    Funny thing is that according to the stats Mitchell has actually improved from last season. His WS/48 is now a crazy .275 and BPM is 7.9. Are we being a little too hard on him?

  125. GianaDani

    Is there anyone else with advanced stats similar to Mitch that does not start and only plays 18 or 19 min a game?

    Coaching someone for a few months and not knowing how good they are AND ignoring the data & analytics is actually much much worse than not recognizing that Luka’s talent is transformational on draft night.

    Just saying…

  126. Bruno Almeida

    The Doncic thing is just going to continue to blow up simply because of how fast he is this insanely good. 14 teams had a chance to take Giannis or Kawhi, but they really were big gambles at the time, 4 teams missed out on Curry (leaving OKC out because Harden was a great pick nonetheless) but it took 4 or 5 years for it to really look bad. But people will always remember the Jordan draft because he was amazing from year one, and Doncic is going to be similar if he keeps this level of performance, which seems pretty likely right now. He was never a gamble pick.

  127. Ingmarrrr

    I created a proposal in the Knicks DAO to hire a big men coach to get Mitch to commit less fouls. If anyone wants to vote it’s here.

    I also created a one pager for a GM DAO (fans managing, or advising their teams in a decentralized group) with a goal of taking the technology a step further and making a real game out of it. I’m sending it around to a few people, and of course proposing the Knicks as a test case for the concept. If anyone wants to take a look it’s here, and I opened it for comments. 

  128. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I’ve been working my way through first few episodes of the Hollinger & Duncan podcast and in every one so far Hollinger pounds the Knick organization. He pulls no punches. Most of his criticism has been directed at Mills and Perry. If Dolan decides to clean house this summer (fires Mills and Perry) and Ujiri is not an option, Hollinger might not be a bad choice as GM. He’d probably take the job if the money were sufficient. Someone needs to be in Dolan’s ear to identify candidates because JD has no clue in this regard. He hired McKinsey a few years ago for the wrong project; they’d probably be fine identifying the best potential GMs.

    BTW on the Hollinger ESPN stats site, Franks ranks 10th in Dime Ratio out of 68 1 guards and 21st in TO.

  129. Owen

    I love Mitch. I think he is the most exciting talent to come into the organization since Ewing. I absolutely believe he has the talent to be one of the top 30 players in the league and a linchpin of a contender.

    None of us Mitchers are backing off the potential greatness we see in him. He could turn out to be just the Camby off the 2020s and that would still be an amazing result. He could be Camby with great hands and a jumper. He could fill out and round himself into being a conventional big man on offense who can take contact on the defensive end. The sky is the limit, he has a lot of unrealized potential.

    I think the thing that gives me pause at the moment is just concerns about makeup. Watching Mitch out on the court, he doesn’t seem to have improved at all from last year. Still tons and tons of excruciatingly dumb fouls. Still over committing to blocks on defense. Still setting pretty weak screens. On defense more generally I don’t see him anticipating or quarterbacking much. He’s able to rack up steals just on raw talent but I don’t see him thinking the game through out there. It’s all reactive. I haven’t seen an upward trajectory,

    I think looking a few years out the question is, will he clean that stuff up? Will he make the proper adjustments? Will he keep his head in the right place and continue to improve and round out his game. These kinds of growing pains are of course totally normal. But he is on a crap team with a crap coach in a crap organization which hates good point guards. Mitch is going to have to figure things out himself, which is pretty scary. It doesn’t feel like a sure thing that he doesn’t end up as another Jevale Mcgee.

    We will see, it will be a good sweat I think…

  130. DRed

    . Watching Mitch out on the court, he doesn’t seem to have improved at all from last year. Still tons and tons of excruciatingly dumb fouls. Still over committing to blocks on defense. Still setting pretty weak screens. On defense more generally I don’t see him anticipating or quarterbacking much. He’s able to rack up steals just on raw talent but I don’t see him thinking the game through out there. It’s all reactive. I haven’t seen an upward trajectory,

    Obviously some of this is on Mitch himself. But when Mitch is chasing blocks it’s usually because someone else has fucked up. Should Mitch probably stop trying to block 3s? Yes. Are the Knicks one of the worst teams in the NBA at preventing 3 point attempts? Also yes. This is what drives me nuts about the Knicks-you can think back to some of The Process teams in Philly or the Nets when they really sucked-they still were trying to install a good system. They got bad results for the most part because they had bad players, and in the NBA talent is a trump card, but they had an ecosystem in place where they could evaluate players. What would Mitch play like if you swapped him and Robert Williams?

  131. Owen

    What would Mitch play like if you swapped him and Robert Williams?

    Who knows. Williams seems like a headcase. But I take your point. The chances that this is the best environment to realize Mitch’s potential seems vanishingly small.

    Who the hell knows. Did Pascal Siakam need to spend a year next to Kawhi to see how to be a great wing player? Or was he already there.

    I am not sure if there is any rhythm or reason to it all or if we just write the narrative after.

    Either way, I hope this works out for us.

  132. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I was first on the Mitch bandwagon but I gave 3 qualifiers at the time: (1) FT% (2) health (thin legs, pressure on ankles) and (3)BB IQ.

    (1) FT% appears OK at the moment though need greater sample

    (2) Did people notice Mitch limping in that Spurs game? He does appear to be moving slower in general. If he’s injured, they should sit him right away. This is gross negligence by Mills/Perry/Fiz trying to keep their jobs.

    (3) Too early to tell about his BB IQ. Didn’t play college ball and who trusts our coaching staff?
    – Regarding fouls, just let him foul out. If that doesn’t cure it, nothing will.
    – Regarding defensive positioning, it would have been much better if NYK had signed Chandler to a 1-year deal with the agreement they would cut him just before the waiver deadline. His purpose would have been to mentor Mitch. Mitch on the bench could have watched how Tyson plays and Tyson could have given Mitch immediate in-game feedback. And BTW Chandler’s got a 1.2 bpm so far this season. Taj has been a PF most of his career.

    Mitch not playing to expectations this season may not be the worst thing in the world. We should offer him 10m/yr extension this summer which he’d probably take. Mitch is a generational athlete in terms of speed and jumping. But the key is it doesn’t stop there. He dribbles better than most centers. He’s got a soft touch at the rim and has shown the ability to finish in ways other than dunking. He was hitting left corner 3’s at a high rate in the video I watched. Shooting -> dribbling -> speed -> finishing opens up all kinds of potential on offense beyond what the Goberts and Williams offer. Someone like RJ will hit his potential regardless of the organization but players like Mitch and Frank require a quality organization. If KD and Kyrie were here, Mitch would have limited role. They’re not so we should be aggressive in expanding his game on offense.

  133. Owen

    What would Mitch play like if you swapped him and Robert Williams?

    Who knows. Williams seems like a headcase. But I take your point. The chances that this is the best environment to realize his potential seems vanishingly small.

    Who the hell knows. Did Pascal Siakam need to spend a year next to Kawhi to see how to be a great wing player? Or was he already there?

    I am not sure if there is any rhythm or reason to player development or if we just write the narrative after.

    Either way, I hope this works out for us.

  134. thenamestsam

    To be clear since I think maybe I came across as anti-Mitch yesterday, that’s not it at all. I 100% agree with Owen saying that he has the potential to be one of the 30 best players in the league. I might even go a little higher than that. I think the disagreement is less about his potential than about how comfortable I am labeling him as one of the best players in the league currently. He’s the best Knick definitely (I’d seriously be interested in knowing who people think has been the 2nd best Knick so far this year – BPM says Taj is the only other guy in positive territory, I would’ve guessed Morris, I think some people will probably argue Frank or maybe RJ?; my point is we’re not talking a murderer’s row here), but for me to consider him one of the best players in the league he needs to (a) prove that he can be on the court for a sufficient sample. That encompasses dealing with the foul issue, staying healthy, and fairly or unfairly, earning the trust of his coaches. It’s harder just from a purely physical perspective to take what you’re doing in 19 minutes and play just as well in 35 minutes.

    Then if/when he deals with (a) and starts playing more we will, in my estimation, have a much clearer idea of how good he is defensively. I know some people will toss out the +/- numbers regardless, but elite defensive big man have such outsized impacts that if Robinson is what his box score defensive stats argue he is and he starts getting 35 minutes a night the Knicks overall defense should start to show real progress (b). Do those two things and I don’t think anyone will quibble with calling him elite.

  135. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    I think Elfrid is the second best player on the team. Or Taj. Morris in fourth. Those are the only players who’d get time on a playoff team though–everyone else is abjectly horrible.

    Edit: Checked the 2019-2020 PIPM spreadsheet and FRANK is our best player at +.23 lol (for reference Giannis is leading the league at +8.75 and Reddish is literally the worst player in the league at -4.44), followed by Mitch who is also positive. Everyone else is like 100-200 spots down.

  136. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    1. I think the trade market for Frank is going to pretty hot in December. He’s clearly made some improvements and has been an impact player for both in NY as a starter and for France. His confidence is also beginning to grow. Smart teams looking for young impact (possible elite) defenders that can handle and be unselfish ball movers and secondary playmakers are going to give him a couple of years to improve his shooting. The question is are we stupid enough to give up on him and take some no defense athlete that creates his own shot and fills the boxscore better but is a net negative going nowhere.

    2. I literally have no idea what overpaid veterans on 1 year contracts can bring to us. On the one hand, a few will have some basketball value to good teams. On the other hand, they are still overpaid for over a half year.

  137. ptmilo

    What would Mitch play like if you swapped him and Robert Williams?

    dred has finally joined the wonderboyettes. we’ve been waiting for you my friend. please stop by great clips and ask for the eagle scout with dimple cream before your first meeting. they’ll know what you mean.

  138. thenamestsam

    I literally have no idea what overpaid veterans on 1 year contracts can bring to us. On the one hand, a few will have some basketball value to good teams. On the other hand, they are still overpaid for over a half year.

    I think a big question will be what kind of salary we are willing to take back in return. If we’re determined to maintain a lot of flexibility to get back into free agency this summer, i.e. only taking back expirings or similiar partial guarantee/team option type structure that’s going to really limit our options of where to send various guys. If we’re prepared to take on bad money for next year as part of the deals that will open up some more options, but potentially undermine the plan to look up-and-coming-ish next year for the summer of ’21 FA class.

    I tend to agree with Silky that at the moment there aren’t exactly a lot of guys who contenders are going to be salivating over here so if we’re not willing to take back some bad money in return I think it’s going to be very hard to get much, if any value, back in trades.

  139. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The problem with saying that Mitch is one of the best players in the league is that it assumes against a very good team that has scouted his weaknesses on both sides of the ball and that has the players and coaches to take advantage of them, he’ll be able to stay on the court without fouling out, not make the fundamental defensive mistakes he makes now other than blocking shots, and get the easy dunks and put backs that are basically his entire offense right now in the same volume.

    All of that is not true.

    The difference between a guy like Mitch and an actual top player is that on the nights when they have a tough personal matchup or are facing double teams and strategies to neutralize their strengths, they can do so MANY things well, they adjust right back and beat you anyway.

    Right now Mitch is a guy that plays off other players.

    If he develops enough of a handle to drive to the basket on his own, some reliable post moves that draw double teams, a mid range shot that’s good enough the defender scan’t sag off and help (against a guy like Randle for example) etc… then he’ll have the skills to be a force on offense every night. Then it’s just a matter of time that he cleans up the defense.

  140. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The problem with saying that Mitch is one of the best players in the league is that it assumes against a very good team that has scouted his weaknesses on both sides of the ball and that has the players and coaches to take advantage of them, he’ll be able to stay on the court without fouling out, not make the fundamental defensive mistakes he makes now other than blocking shots, and get the easy dunks and put backs that are basically his entire offense right now in the same volume.

    All of that is not true.

    The strawman is real. You have no idea how much scouting is done on Mitch. You create a set of narrow goalposts (“the players and coaches to take advantage of [his weaknesses]”) to define whether a player’s stats are legitimate or merely 1st-quarter garbage time without an iota of actual evidence.

    It’s true that the fouls are a major issue (simply due to playing time), and that there are other defensive issues that arise from his hyper-aggressive ball strategy. But it seems that we have some loose definitions about what “best” means. Does it mean a guy who creates a better chance of winning a game by minimizing very-bad things like field goals missed, even if he’s not taking more than 9 shots in any given game? Or does it mean a guy who is anecdotally offensively skilled in a diverse way, which, apparently, is a requirement to be a winning basketball player?

    There are so many players in the league who have way more offensive moves than Mitch, yet there’s no way we would call someone like Wiggins a better player than him. The criterion of “adaptable skillset” is pretty silly to me, especially when dudes like Giannis exist.

  141. Ingmarrrr

    They need to hire an assistant specifically to coach Mitch, and in addition make sure his head is in the right place. The team is very rich, no reason to just leave it as is and hope for the best.

  142. TheClashFan

    I don’t know if Mitch is the 20th or 30th, or whatever best player in the league. However, he’s clearly talented as hell and putting up good numbers while he’s in there. So, try to emphasize his (and RJB, and even Frank, DSJ, and Knox) development.

    I think I’d like to see Payton (should he EVER get healthy), Frank, RJB, Taj, and Mitch all in together. That lineup would probably struggle badly to score, but might be very solid defensively and allow Mitch to not feel like he has to run all over the place trying to cover for the lousy D of others.

    And, yeah, he does need to stop getting hurt.

  143. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Also, yeah, it’s not really all that useful to talk about how good Mitch is compared to the rest of the league. He’s clearly the best (most productive) player on the Knicks when he plays, and probably overall. He should play as much as possible whether he’s top-20 or top-200.

  144. E

    But it seems that we have some loose definitions about what “best” means. Does it mean a guy who creates a better chance of winning a game by minimizing very-bad things like field goals missed, even if he’s not taking more than 9 shots in any given game? Or does it mean a guy who is anecdotally offensively skilled in a diverse way, which, apparently, is a requirement to be a winning basketball player?

    A field goal missed isn’t in any true sense a “very bad thing.” The defending league champion missed roughly 53% of its field goal attempts last year, which means that missing a bunch of shots is no detriment to, and is entirely consistent with, being a championship-caliber team. Moreover, not missing shots isn’t in any sense a valuable skill, since a 5 foot ten year old could go onto an NBA court and never miss a shot. A missed field goal in the NBA can lead to an offensive rebound and easy putback — a very positive result — and at least in some instances, and this is the case with Mitch, can cause the defense to respect the possibility you’ll shoot, which would improve the likelihood of your teammates making more shots. When the ball hits your hands with three seconds on the shot clock, a created miss is much preferable to a shot clock violation non-miss. Etc.

    Basketball is in every sense a team game and one of subtle differences, not the kind of bludgeoning differences that show up on box scores.

    As to the other thing, being diversely offensively skilled isn’t necessary to being a winning player, but it is necessary to being an elite player. No one as one-dimensional as Mitch can rightly be called elite.

  145. E

    There are so many players in the league who have way more offensive moves than Mitch, yet there’s no way we would call someone like Wiggins a better player than him.

    Who’s the “we” here? Empirically, it’s not true that a big number of knowledgeable basketball people wouldn’t say Wiggins is better than Mitch. SI ranked even the crap version of Wiggins higher than Mitch before the season, and now Wiggins is significantly better than crap Wiggins.

  146. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    A field goal missed isn’t in any true sense a “very bad thing.” The defending league champion missed roughly 53% of its field goal attempts last year, which means that missing a bunch of shots is no detriment to, and is entirely consistent with, being a championship-caliber team.

    Ted Nelson, as I live and breathe.

    The difference between the league’s best (Warriors) and league’s worst (Knicks), just in terms of how often a shot goes into the hoop, is about 1 missed shot every 16 attempts, and you’re over here telling me that a missed shot is no detriment to a championship team?

    Your approach to this is 100% wrong, and you are clearly smart enough to figure out why.

    Who’s the “we” here? Empirically, it’s not true that a big number of knowledgeable basketball people wouldn’t say Wiggins is better than Mitch. SI ranked even the crap version of Wiggins higher than Mitch before the season, and now Wiggins is significantly better than crap Wiggins.

    We is the Knickerblogger intelligentsia, not the people who created the he’s-all-upside media narrative that helped, to some extent, usher in the era of Max Contract Andrew Wiggins.

  147. Dink

    The defending league champion missed roughly 53% of its field goal attempts last year, which means that missing a bunch of shots is no detriment to, and is entirely consistent with, being a championship-caliber team.

    This is some really dumb shit. Good troll tho, if that’s what you were going for.

  148. DRed

    The Knicks are one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA so what would help is if the guy scoring 73% of the time should start taking some mid range jump shots and stop doing easy shit like jumping over the tallest, most athletic people in the world and simply dunking the ball.

  149. KnickfaninNJ

    He’d have to hit jump shots at better than the percentage hit by the average Knick two point shooter for that to be a benefit. I am sure Robinson can’t do that.

  150. E

    Since they won the championship, no, it didn’t really hurt them. Missing a shot really isn’t, as the claim held, a very bad thing. It’s just a thing. It’s not as bad as a bunch of even worse things. Really good teams do it all the time. The game’s all-time best players did it all the time. An offense that never did it would be the worst offense in NBA history. A missed shot is really nothing more than the unavoidable cost of making shots. It’s not a very bad event in and of itself.

  151. thenamestsam

    The Raptors lost games last year but still won the championship. Therefore losing games isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a thing. Really good teams lose games all the time. The games best players lost games all the time. Really losing games is nothing more than the unavoidable cost of winning games. It’s not a very bad event in and of itself.

  152. Early Bird

    Wow, I leave for a bit and…

    Mitchell Robinson is putting up an absurd TS%. Yes he only has a 16% USG, which is also remarkable. It’s remarkable that a team full of NBA players are so incompetent at throwing lobs that Mitch can’t get more than a handful of dunks each game. Even Trier could figure it out and he NEVER passes. It’s almost like Frank Ntilikina can’t play point guard and David Fizdale has no idea what he’s doing. I saw yesterday the synergy breakdown of Randle’s stats this year versus last year. Randle is incredible scoring off cuts. Guess what Fiz doesn’t have him doing? Making cuts.

    Put Mitch on a team that’s not a worse disaster than Ja Rule’s Fyre Festival fiasco and Mitch gets an extra 3 dunks a game, then we can go back to arguing about Frank.

  153. E

    It seems pedantic because it’s said on the internet, but it really isn’t. The only reason I focused on that one in particular is because it’s the underlying premise of the model we’ve been discussing — the one that IMO overrates guys who don’t miss a lot of shots because they don’t take a lot of shots. It’s the same discussion that’s been ongoing for years. It’s really not *that* big a deal to miss a shot and therefore I’m going to take that realization and tend to not give wild credence to models that overpenalize guys for missing shots (or, the flip side, doesn’t penalize them for not being able to create shots.) That’s how it fits the discussion.

    Sometimes points can be demonstrated by taking things to logical absurdities and if doing that sounds trollish on the internet — it probably does — it’s a remnant of my pre-internet life that the net and net communicating hasn’t fully eradicated. We agree more than we disagree, even on Mitch. I just don’t to get too, too carried away because he’s not yet where the models (apparently) show him to be. You guys have him (apparently) somewhere in the top 20-30; I’m somewhere between ESPN’s 98 and SI’s outside the top 100. He’s there with age sorta-peers like Allen, Winslow, and Adebayo. He’s got a shit ton of potential and is being deployed and developed poorly. Pretty much everyone here agrees on that.

  154. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    ok

    except that Robinson scores the 2nd-most points per possession on the Knicks

    but ok, sure thing

  155. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Frank Ntilikina recorded 14 assists with no turnovers over the last two games. He ranks seventh in the NBA with a 3.35 assist/turnover ratio (minimum 25 mpg).

    I know we’d rather Frank attack the paint a little more and get deeper into it to create more high quality opportunities for himself and others but the flip side to greater aggression is more TOs and not necessarily always a higher quality shot than the TEAM would get by simply moving the ball and allowing the assists to be distributed among more players.

    Frank needs to find the balance towards more aggression.

    At the other extreme, Dallas would probably be better off if Doncic was a little LESS aggressive, scored fewer points, and got slightly fewer assists, but reduced his TOs by simply moving the ball. The key being knowing when to attack and when to just move the ball.

  156. Dink

    It’s really not *that* big a deal to miss a shot and therefore I’m going to take that realization and tend to not give wild credence to models that overpenalize guys for missing shots

    There are roughly 3 outcomes for an offensive possession: made shot, missed shot, turnover. If your point is ‘missed shots aren’t as bad as turnovers’ then fine, hard to argue with that. But missed shots are most definitely a big deal in a game with a limited amount of possessions.

    Look at last years teams sorted by eFG%. Then look at the final standings.

    *SPOILER*

    The shitty teams missed more shots than the good teams.

  157. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The strawman is real. You have no idea how much scouting is done on Mitch.

    I’m sure most teams know his limited strengths and make some adjustments, but I assure you, no one is staying up all night game planning and sweating bullets because they are up against Mitch yet.

    But it seems that we have some loose definitions about what “best” means.

    You want guys that can do as many things as possible as efficiently as possible and you don’t want guys doing things they are bad at, but if a player can get a skill to a level where he must be guarded even when it’s not his specialty, that opens things up for other players AND sometimes himself.

    We don’t want Mitch taking a lot of mid range shots, especially when defended. But if they keep leaving him wide open from 10 feet and stay in the paint, that makes it tougher on other players (like Randall). If he makes them pay for strategy often enough, they will stop leaving him open.

    So sure, maybe Mitch’s TS% will take a very small dip because he takes a couple of wide open 10 footers here or there and that’s not as efficient as dunking, but Randall is now getting 1 on 1 coverage instead of getting double teamed and throwing the ball away. If Mitch can also handle, when they come up on him at 10 feet, maybe he can start driving from there and dunking.

    The game is more complex than you want to believe.

    The criterion of “adaptable skillset” is pretty silly to me, especially when dudes like Giannis exist.

    There are reasons Giannis spends so much time working on his 3 pointer.

    1. In the playoffs last year they packed the paint on him and it slowed him down from his usual extreme greatness to just great. lol

    2. If they start covering him out there, it’s going to make driving and finishing WAY easier for him and create more space for others to do the same.

  158. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Nah, Dallas is #1 in the league in offensive efficiency for a reason. And out of 197 players who have played >300 MP so far, Doncic still ranks 38th, which is a great place to be for a guy who is told to play magician for a team that has a max player currently shooting a team-worst .517 TS% and is physically incapable of passing the ball to anyone for any reason.

    Dallas couldn’t really be better off than they are now, except if Porzingis finally, after all this time, learned how to turn that beautiful-looking jumper into a functional one.

    Seriously, there’s nothing to criticize about Doncic’s offensive play. He’s already brushing up against the limits of human talent at this game.

    The game is more complex than you want to believe.

    If the game were as complex as, say, football, you’d see much more variance year to year in individual players. I.e. it doesn’t matter, by and large, who is throwing lobs to Mitch, so long as someone is throwing them.

    The game is simpler, and more intuitive, than you’d like to believe.

  159. TheClashFan

    @183
    I’m not sure trying to made a point defending Frank N’s lack of aggressiveness as a playmaker should be paired with a criticism of Luka Doncic in the same post. Let’s see…

  160. thenoblefacehumper

    I can’t believe what I’m reading. I mean maybe try “missing shots isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of the world” instead. Good case to be made for that. However, “missing shots isn’t that bad in a basketball game” is just, like, one of the most empirically false things ever uttered on this board.

  161. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    There are reasons Giannis spends so much time working on his 3 pointer.

    1. In the playoffs last year they packed the paint on him and it slowed him down from his usual extreme greatness to just great. lol

    2. If they start covering him out there, it’s going to make driving and finishing WAY easier for him and create more space for others to do the same.

    Just to add a little to that, he doesn’t have to become a 40+% 3 point shooter for it to make sense for him to start taking them. Some of the value he will add by being a threat from out there will accrue to other players getting easier shots because there’s more space in the paint.

    The hard part is not understanding conceptually “why” he should try to add that skill.

    The hard part is choosing the right possessions to take the shot so that even if his own TS% drops a little, the TEAM is getting better overall results from the extra space and he is getting easier drives on other possessions.

  162. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @183
    I’m not sure trying to made a point defending Frank N’s lack of aggressiveness as a playmaker should be paired with a criticism of Luka Doncic in the same post. Let’s see…

    I hear you clearly, but they ARE at opposite ends of the aggression spectrum and the point I was making is that there are tradeoffs to aggression that also have to be balanced.

  163. thenamestsam

    Hoping some intrepid Knickerblogger will make a bot that posts “Actually missing shots isn’t bad, even good teams do it” every time someone complains about the Knicks abysmal shooting in a gamethread.

  164. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Oh yeah: Luka Doncic is 20 years old.

    There is nothing to be balanced about Doncic on offense. The only thing he should do is figure out how to stay in front of his man without committing fouls. He just needs to be a warm body on defense.

  165. E

    The Knicks don’t suck because they miss shots; they suck because they miss too many shots in exchange for a not big enough payoff in made shots.

  166. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Nah, Dallas is #1 in the league in offensive efficiency for a reason. And out of 197 players who have played >300 MP so far, Doncic still ranks 38th, which is a great place to be for a guy who is told to play magician for a team that has a max player currently shooting a team-worst .517 TS% and is physically incapable of passing the ball to anyone for any reason.

    They have a great offense because Doncic is one of the most all round skilled offensive players in the game, they have tremendous spacing with both KP and Doncic such a huge threat from beyond the 3 point line, they have a few solid high efficiency role players that can take advantage of the spacing and passing of Doncic, they run a LOT, and they have a great coach.

    However, imo they would be even better Doncic toned it down a little, moved the ball more, and reduced his terrible TOs and occasional laughable shot selection. He will learn that in time.

    And yes, if KP does get his stroke going, they will become even better, especially if they also learn to play defense.

    KP is rarely getting double teamed anymore like he was in his final year with the Knicks. He’s taking way fewer dumb shots because he’s now the 2nd option and isn’t forced to create something as often. He’s also getting occasional gift shots via Doncic that he rarely got in NY.

    Overall, they need to get him some more shots at the basket (0-3 feet), but once they work that out, KP need only get his shot and FT% back to where it was for his efficiency to rise nicely. He’s simply shooting higher quality shots at a worse rate than the tougher shots he used to take. I predicted that could happen off such a long layoff and serious injury. It sometimes takes a full year to recover, just ask Boston.

  167. Farfa Post author

    It’s amazing that this thread resurrected singlehandedly the Tyson Chandler debate and the Kobe assist conundrum.

  168. DRed

    I really want to see if Luka can keep this up. His shot selection is pretty outstanding, but he’s also finishing like Lebron at the rim (without Lebron’s ability to dunk the ball) and making more than half his shots from 3-10 feet out. I’d bet on those numbers coming down a bit, but I wouldn’t feel great about making that bet.

  169. Dink

    Overall, they need to get him some more shots at the basket (0-3 feet), but once they work that out

    That’s been the story for his career and why I thought his upside was limited. His insane height only seems to help in the blocked shots department. What’s the point of having a fragile 7’3″ guy if he isn’t using his physical tools to rebound or score efficiently around the hoop?

    I know you’ve already talked at length about how he’s currently too weak to bang inside, but I’m not sure that’s true. There are plenty of beanpoles in the league who rebound and score around the hoop at much better rates than KP. It just isn’t in his game.

  170. Hubert

    I’m actually following you, E.

    It sounds like he’s making the Kobe assist argument, but he isn’t. He’s just being oddly zen. I think he might have borrowed some of geo’s good stuff.

    For instance, you could not have a Mitchell Robinson posting elite numbers if you didn’t have the floor spaced. In order to space the floor, you need to shoot from behind the line. It is impossible not to miss if you shoot consistently from behind the line. Ergo, don’t sweat missing 55% of your three pointers, it’s not a big deal bc taking hard to make shots is important.

    The thing is, though, E, no one actually is taking the other position of your argument. Everyone here knows that shooting 45% from 3 is good and would not be mad about not being perfect. This is why everyone is responding to you incredulously. Why would you even think you have to tell us that?

  171. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Right, it’s supposing a hypothetical basketball game in which someone, like that wacky girls’ league coach, makes his players take nothing but shots at the rim, and in doing so, all but negates the value of what would otherwise be an efficient attempt. Try to imagine five guys standing in the restricted zone and their five offensive counterparts jostling for position therein. And then try to imagine 200 scoring attempts of that nature in an NBA game. Now come back to reality.

    Didn’t we used to hear that the midrange was a necessary, unavoidable component of an efficient, well-balanced basketball game? And then James Harden showed what a load of malarkey that was.

    And how do we explain those games where Drummond shoots, like, 12 for 13? Just take away the interior shots, right? Easy!

    In the NBA, the value of a missed shot — for psychological purposes — will never be worth as much as a made one.

  172. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Last post, then I’m calling a night to have some bourbon and relax.

    IMO, Lebron James could easily have averaged 35 points and 12 assists per 36 when he was at his peak. The reason he did not was because he understood that if he simply moved the ball it would sometimes create a better shot for the team than he could create for himself or his teammates by forcing the action very aggressively. Plus, he would also reduce TOs. The trick is knowing when to get aggressive.

    That’s something that Westbrook and Harden with all their triple doubles (and no rings) have still not learned. It’s also probably part of why Durant wanted out of OKC and CP3/Harden had issues.

    Doncic has that kind of talent.

    He should watch Lebron, be satisfied with 25 points, 8 assists and 2.4 TOs per 36 instead of more 40 point nights with highlight shots and passes and 4.8 TOs per 36. Then he’ll win a ring eventually (maybe several). That’s something Harden and Westbrook will never do playing the way they play.

  173. d-mar

    Fascinating matchup tonight between the Clips and the Mavs. I’ll be interested to see who the Clips put on Doncic- PG 13, Kawhi, Beverly?

    If he puts up one of his monster games against any of those guys, he truly is the 2nd coming.

  174. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    And how do we explain those games where Drummond shoots, like, 12 for 13? Just take away the interior shots, right? Easy!

    A big part of the game on any given night is the matchups, defensive strategies, and randomness.

    Drummond is a beast and very difficult to stop inside. But you aren’t winning a championship if Drummond is the best offensive player on your team and he will be more effective and more consistent if you surround him with outside shooters.

  175. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Harden was a Chris Paul hamstring and Game 6 Klay away from a solid shot at a ring

    Possibly, but that’s mostly because Chris Paul knows how to play basketball and there were a few great defenders on that team (he was not one of them even though he’s probably not as bad as his rep). lol

    James Harden has some incredible offensive skills and knows how to maximize those skills within the current rules to add to his own personal stats. He does not play smart basketball in a more general team way and imo will not win a title playing the way he does now without a great deal of luck.

    Great defenses in the playoffs will slow him down and lower his efficiency when it counts like they always have and he won’t change the way he plays to offset it even when he has a lot of talent around him.

  176. geo

    FRESH THREAD PLEASE…

    i’m not sure i wish to have my pristine thoughts tainted by any dissociated ramblings being made above…

    okay, so if the nba gets their wish: teams 7 thru 10 from each conference playing to determine the 7th and 8th seeds for each – that means:
    a). sign of the beast, that’s the percentage of teams in the league that’ll be “in it” at the end…two-thirds…just stop
    b). there’s a good chance 27 wins puts you in the playoffs – just the incentive our front office needs to hire more vet power forwards

    this is totally gonna happen – it makes way too much cents for it not to…

    i’m guessing nyet on the proposal for re-shuffling teams from the two conferences – which would have actually been interesting, except for the first round – or two…

    okay – so shortening the season – 82 to 78 games is weak sauce…there’s about 22 weeks or so in a season – just cut 20 games from the schedule…no more load management…games gain importance…do your mid-year tourney (no sure what the purpose of the tourney is supposed to be?) and playoffs at the end…

  177. thenamestsam

    I think Harden’s peak exactly coinciding with arguably the greatest team ever assembled playing in his conference has something to do with him not having won a title. Taking that Warriors to a game 7 and coming within a total coin flip of beating them is every bit as impressive as the vast majority of championships on most players’ resumes.

  178. E

    The discussion really isn’t missed shot versus made shot, but more missed shot versus untaken shot. Untaken shots are bad, too — even though they aren’t missed. There’s a lot of wiggle room around the proper definition of “untaken,” but at that point at least we’d be talking about the right word/concept.

  179. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Chris Paul has the 9th highest steal rate in league history, just behind noted bad defender Tony Allen

  180. Hubert

    Taking that Warriors to a game 7 and coming within a total coin flip of beating them is every bit as impressive as the vast majority of championships on most players’ resumes.

    The think everyone leaves out of this story where poor Harden had bad luck is that the rockets got extremely lucky before that when Andre Iguadola got hurt. The Warriors beat them by 41 in Houston to take a 2-1 lead, he goes down, they’re stuck playing Jordan Bell and Nick Young, and now the Rockets win two straight one possession games.

    If everyone is healthy in that series, it’s probably 4-1 Warriors.

  181. swiftandabundant

    I’m not convinced that Rockets team would have beaten The Cavs. Cavs were outmatched against The Warriors but against The Rockets I think the match ups would have made that series more evenly matched.

  182. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m not convinced that Rockets team would have beaten The Cavs. Cavs were outmatched against The Warriors but against The Rockets I think the match ups would have made that series more evenly matched.

    This isn’t much in the way of evidence, but they also beat the Cavs twice in the regular season, in November and Febuary. LeBron played 40 minutes in the first game, but that was before all of those trades that got them to the Finals lineup. They got spanked by 32 points in the second game, also before the big trades I believe. Love was not active.

    Regular season shit doesn’t mean much, of course, but it’s not like the Cavs were a particularly good team. They got taken to 7 games by both Indiana and Boston, only sweeping the Raptors because DeRozan had his anxiety shit and allegedly wasn’t sleeping more than a few hours a night, IIRC.

    The Cavs were a 50-win team with a 0.59 SRS. The Rockets would have fucked them up bad, IMO.

  183. Early Bird

    Doncic overagressive -> #1 NBA offense
    Frank too passive -> #30 NBA offense

    Yes, I see where you’re going with this…

    Thank god our point guard manages to dribble the ball over the half court line and manages to hand it to someone. Why would we want a guy like Doncic who attacks the basket???

  184. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Oh, and they were 16-10 after the ASB, after the trades. Exactly a 50-32 team, just like before the trades.

  185. Knew Your Nicks

    I’ve asked 2 times but got no answer.
    ???
    Is there any trusted or accurate stat that shows clearly which player is the best for winning basketball ?

    One stat that shows Kawhi & Westbrook difference ?

  186. KnickfaninNJ

    No there isn’t. Of course, some people believe there is one, but they don’t agree on what it is.

  187. geo

    very interesting clips and mavs game tonight…

    we need some help from some other teams in hanging l’s on the mavs…

    I never would have guessed they/doncic would have progressed towards playing winning basketball so quickly…those picks are looking worse all the time…

  188. geo

    yes, it’s called the robert horry being in the right place at the right time stat stat…

    winningest basketball player from the last 5 plus decades…

    michael, magic, kareem, duncan, lebron – can’t touch big shot bob…

    #factsallday

  189. Knew Your Nicks

    Despite not following the euroleage basketball i knew from all of my friends who watched it regularly that Doncic was Unique.
    The moment i heard about the trade in draft night i knew we were fucked hard…
    Still remember the feeling of WTF are the Hawks doing ??!?!!

  190. Knew Your Nicks

    @222
    Im talking about the difference between “stat fillers for their ego” like Westbrook or Boogie and “team carriers to Win” like Kawhi and Steph.

    I ain’t talking about poodle-role players.
    I talk about BIG DOGS
    Woof Woof !

  191. DRed

    Knox is apparently doubtful for tomorrow and Frank and RJ are questionable. We could see some interesting lineups with only one guy who can handle the ball.

  192. thenoblefacehumper

    If you can watch Porzingis tonight and think “man, I really wish we gave this guy 5/$158M,” god bless your soul.

  193. Grocer

    We is the Knickerblogger intelligentsia

    Not sure we’ve ever had a thread the contents of which owned THCJ so thoroughly. And to think people call you a pessimist.

  194. d-mar

    There was a play where Porzingis ran along the baseline when a shot went up, and Jermychal Green hip checked him onto his ass out of bounds under the basket

    Mr Softee

  195. DRed

    Lou Williams isn’t close to as good as Ginobli, and Iguodala had a long stretch as a better sixth man than Lou has ever been. Lou is probably the greatest archetypal ‘6th man’ though. He’s a good player and a terrific scorer.

  196. d-mar

    Oops, yeah forgot about Manu. But I think it’s close between Iguodala and Lou, Iggy is a better defender but Lou Is way better offensively

  197. DRed

    Disappointing no show from the Mavs tonight-that was a pretty boring game.

    Manu played so much it’s hard to think of him as a sixth man.

  198. Z-man

    I would put guys like Havlicek, McHale, Ricky Pierce, and maybe Michael Cooper in my most respected 6th man conversation…

  199. Hubert

    Porzingis is such a fugazi and looks even more obvious when he’s on the floor with other max players. How do you even look at Paul George and him and think, yeah, these are two similar players. The man was worth what Julius Randle got.

    That said, I am begrudgingly impressed with his rebounding improvement. Another 10 last night. Someone recently said he actually hasn’t improved over his rookie year but that’s false. He’s averaging 1.8 more DReb per 36 than his career high, and his current DReb% of 24.1 is well above his previous career mark of 20.7.

    Maybe this is in line with his usual strong November numbers and isn’t really a long term improvement. We’ll see.

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