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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Chicago Bulls 116 – New York Knicks 115 (2 OT) – Game Recap

So we weren’t able to play 48 minutes of good basketball… how about 58 minutes of filth?

Look, I’m as big a fan of basketball as anyone, but tonight I was begging for my life that the game would just be over already, whatever the final score. If the game against the Wizards was the worst Knicks game, this one takes the cake as the worst overall game. And it just wouldn’t quit! It was like an all you can eat of slightly spoiled asian fusion food: you love it at first, but after the twentieth or so small plate you begin to feel fairly constipated and in need to leave the joint. That’s exactly how I felt at the end of the first overtime, realizing I had to endure (at least) other five minutes of terrible basketball.

The game was so bad that I felt no emotional attachment to the outcome, so I can’t really hand good and bad labels today. I’ll just keep the sushi metaphor rolling and assign a different dish to every player who got tainted by this foul show. I assume you’re all well versed in the (imitative) Japanese cuisine, but for further context I’ll encourage you to look at this.

– Spicy salmon and avocado temaki: Enes Kanter (23 pts, 24 rebs, 7 ast, +7 +/-) was everything and more tonight, scoring with high-medium efficiency, rebounding everything in sight and bullying pretty much everyone on the floor. Wendell Carter Jr. is no slouch, but had no chance of guarding Enes one on one. When the offense wasn’t working, which means pretty much always, you could give the ball to Enes on the left block and let him cook. He was often badly exposed on defense (what a surprise), but the team needed too much his offense to sit him in spite of his deficiencies on the other side of the floor. He played 42 minutes and didn’t look that spent at the end. Sadly, Enes is a guy who needs playing time to perform at his best, and that hinders the development of a few key pieces, namely the extremely raw Mitchell Robinson. Oh, and here’s your total list of guys with 23-24-7 starting from the bench in NBA history: Enes, and Kanter. He also posted the highest ever Game Score by a reserve. He gets to be the temaki since it’s the biggest, beefiest of the sushi family, giving you everything while you’re eating it (the crispness of seaweed, the amazing texture of salmon, the slick roll of avocado on your palate, the thickness of the rice, and the punch of the spicy sauce) but ultimately you end up thinking that you just ate a lot of rice and your stomach is a quarter full, leaving less room to try more interesting things.

– Surf and turf roll: Mario Hezonja (15 pts, 6 rebs, 2 ast, +2 +/-) has a lot of ingredients in him, but you’re never really sure what you’re getting from a bite. Sometimes it’s tasty, sometimes it’s bland, sometimes you can’t handle the chopsticks well and you bite nothing at all since it just falls helplessly on the floor. His connections with Enes were great, but if he has to finish a contested layup from the dribble he puts up such a weak effort that it’s always gonna get easily swatted away. Anyway, he provided some offense on a team that had none for a large portion of the game, it’s just that he was inefficient and inconsistent at that.

– Philly roll: Emmanuel Mudiay (16 pts, 6 rebs, 2 ast, +11 +/-) is the dish that looks good for everyone that’s not really into sushi, as the cream cheese pretty much drowns every other taste, making the feat of swallowing raw fish more manageable for kids and easily impressionable table companions, especially if confidently dipped in soy sauce. His game tonight was much easier to gobble down that in any other Knicks venture of his, as he was a jolt of energy to the anemic PG spot. He ended up hitting the game tying layup with 2.7 seconds remaining (ah! the soft salmon on the tongue!) and committing a very stupid and evident foul with 0.2 seconds on LaVine, who ultimately made 1 of 2 to seal the game (damn, who put this much cream cheese into this roll? It’s stomach-churning for any real sushi lover!)

– Sake nigiri: Damyean Dotson (18 pts, 5 rebs, 1 ast, -1 +/-) is easily the most dependable Knick nowadays. You know what you get from the get go and he never disappoints you. Also his game is like sake nigiri, in that you remember when you were asking your former partner (or coach) to give it a chance but it was a no go, and understand how lucky you are that your current partner (or coach) knows you were right and trusts it so much.

– Unagi roll: Noah Vonleh (10 pts, 11 rebs, 1 ast, -4 +/-) is too much volatile from one game to another – or even one quarter to another, just like it’s hard to find two pieces of unagi roll that taste the same. Lady Farfa likes to order it everytime we find a restaurant that has it, and there’s no way we’re gonna enjoy every single piece. There’s always at least one that tastes funny (sometimes the whole roll), but when you find the ones that taste good, boy how nice it is! Noah’s game tonight was all over the place, with strong rebounding intersparsed with half-arsed attempts at the rim and apathetic and perfunctory playmaking (4 TOs). At least he didn’t commit a lot of fouls and was able to play 35 minutes, posting another double double in the process.

– Tempura roll: Allonzo Trier (21 pts, 3 rebs, 1 ast, -1 +/-) started timidly and seemed out of place at the beginning. Who would have thought that to disrupt the very basic offensive sets of Fizdale just sending a double would be enough? Trier was completely neutralized in the first half because of that – and the inability of any other Knick to be a bit of a playmaker. He was much more confident in the second half and subsequent overtimes, getting to the line at will and scoring efficiently (21 points on 15 shots) even on a night when his shots weren’t falling that much. Loving this kid sassiness, just like I love the impudent fried shrimp stealing the job of raw fish.

– Tuna sashimi: Frank Ntilikina (0 pts, 1 reb, 2 ast, -17 +/-). A friend of yours keep telling that, hey, he’s been in Tokyo, and there’s nothing like a good katsuo sashimi; you have to try it to really know it. You trust your friend, and order tuna sashimi at every restaurant. Sometimes it’s meh, sometimes it’s just ok, sometimes (like Frank tonight) it’s downright terrible, since tuna is the fish most prone to oxidation among the most prominent ones in sushi kingdom. You’ll keep on trying it, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, even if your trust in that friend is slowly, sadly starting to wane. Maybe a tuna nigiri would be better (read: taking away Frank from the ball)?

– Soy sauce: Mitchell Robinson (0 pts, 3 reb, 2 blks, -9 +/-) was quite useless tonight. His game should make everything more mouthwatering, but when it’s not properly seasoned you should reeeally pick your spots about when to use it. Sorry Mitch, this wasn’t the game for you, even if it’s not entirely your fault. Fiz’s crew has to figure out something more creative on offense to make things click and open some cracks for Mitch to slip in and dunk a few.

– Hosomaki kappa: Trey Burke (8 pts, 2 reb, 3 ast, +7 +/-). You know that dish that, well, maybe you eat because you’re bored while waiting for most tasty stuff, but doesn’t make you feel guilty because in the end it’s just rice and vegetables? Heh. Trey was just mediocre, which tonight was a huge improvement on Ntilikina’s output.

– Pickled ginger: Lance Thomas (2 pts, 1 reb, 50% FG, +1 +/-) is like the thing they give you in most restaurants to eat between different dishes to make you feel better the taste before and after. Lance makes you remember how the guy that played before him was better, and makes you appreciate how the guy that plays after him is better. 5 minutes played in a 58 minutes romp is still a good sign from Fiz.

– A random dish you can’t see well from the other side of the room but you think you might like: Kevin Knox (2 pts, 1 stl, 50% FG). Is he good? We hope so. What is he? Who knows? Anyway it’s good to know he’s on the menu.

Desserts and beverages not included:

– Fiz’s ATOs must be the worst in the entire league. I can’t remember a single ATO where we ended up scoring the ball in 11 games. I’m seriously baffled at how we’re offensively challenged when we can’t get in transition.

– Frank is 0 for 13 from three since his last make. He’s reverting to a lot of bad habits. I hope the coaching staff can do something for him, we can’t afford him to be a useless (or detrimental) cog on offense.

– So, is this life without THJ? I might have been too harsh with him. In two games played without full strenght Timmy, our offense has looked between grisly and hideous. I don’t think THJ’r return will make things that much more palatable, but we need all the help we can get. Especially me if I’m to go through a full season of recaps.

– Tonight’s starting lineup was the youngest ever for the Knicks franchise. I suspect we won’t be seeing the same starting five next game, even if THJ is sidelined. I expect Mudiay to start at PG.

Ok, at least we bagged another loss as we climb our way to the summit of mount Tank. See you on Wedsnesday for the Hawks game, where I think we’ll win comfortably.

131 comments on “Chicago Bulls 116 – New York Knicks 115 (2 OT) – Game Recap

  1. alsep73

    A really bad game for Frank, but I think we need to keep rolling him out there. There are going to be ups and downs, sometimes extreme ones like last night. But he’s also a baby by NBA standards, this is a tank season anyway, and Mudiay and Burke aren’t part of our long-term future. This is what development looks like. It can be painful to sit through, and it may not work, but you don’t know unless you try.

    Good piece in The Athletic by Vorkunov about all the things the coaching staff is doing to encourage Frank to be more aggressive:

    “Sometimes,” he said. “It’s good because right now it’s becoming more natural and I’m on the same page with the team. And I’m also on the same page with myself and my abilities. I know I can make plays. I know I can do the right thing at the right moment and take the right decision. So it’s either going to be attacking or making the right play for my teammates but I think it’s going to come even more with working on my abilities and being more comfortable on the court. It’s a process. It takes time because I’m only 20 years old but I think I’m on the right path.”

  2. Zanzibar

    Harden-Capela PnR is a big part of the Houston offense. Felton-Chandler PnR was a big part of our offense when we posted the #3 offense in the league. And Felton-Amare PnR. Even Woodson could figure that out. This team should be practicing and executing waaay more Frank-Mitch spread PnRs. That’s about the only thing which might get Frank going and be building to the future. That should be the staple play for our team given this roster. It may take some time to get the positioning and timing right but I’d rather endure that process than watch Frank cross half-court and dump it off to Vonleh or Mitch and then go stand in the corner.

  3. Hubert

    A really bad game for Frank, but I think we need to keep rolling him out there. There are going to be ups and downs, sometimes extreme ones like last night. But he’s also a baby by NBA standards

    Yup. His brain is inhibiting him. There’s no reason we can’t tolerate nights like this while he develops a better feel for the game. He was always going to take 3-4 years to develop, if he ever does.

  4. 2FOR18, understands math

    Enes Kanter (23 pts, 24 rebs, 7 ast, +7 +/-) was everything and more tonight, scoring with high-medium efficiency, rebounding everything in sight and bullying pretty much everyone on the floor. Wendell Carter Jr. is no slouch, but had no chance of guarding Enes one on one. When the offense wasn’t working, which means pretty much always, you could give the ball to Enes on the left block and let him cook.

    Which is why Fiz not going to Enes in the OTs was either master tankery or malpractice. I hope he was asked about the “play calling” in the press conference.

  5. chrisk06811

    Thoughts:
    -Splitting my game ball between Kanter and Farfa
    -We lost because of the rebounding of sideshow bob
    -I never get (and it’s not just the knicks) why coaches play exhausted players in double OT and don’t sub. I know Frank sucked, but no way Mudiay should be in for D for that last shot. You have one of the best defenders in the NBA on your bench, not tired. why is he not in the game?
    -Trier stepped up late, but was chucking at times. I guess that’s OK, since somebody has to shoot, but OMG

  6. ClashFan

    Keep starting Frank and Mitch. Let them take their lumps. It’s okay to bench them late if they are having a bad night (which will happen a lot) and the game is close. I totally agree with post #3.

    Many of us here have been saying for a long time that Kanter would be a very good scoring big off the bench, and he certainly showed that last night. I wonder what value that has around the league, though?
    Can he be moved for something of value?

  7. Farfa Post author

    I never get (and it’s not just the knicks) why coaches play exhausted players in double OT and don’t sub. I know Frank sucked, but no way Mudiay should be in for D for that last shot. You have one of the best defenders in the NBA on your bench, not tired. why is he not in the game?

    Totally agree. In Europe it’s way less common; also, there’s one coach in the NBA that doesn’t do that. His name is Gregg Popovich.

  8. Farfa Post author

    Many of us here have been saying for a long time that Kanter would be a very good scoring big off the bench, and he certainly showed that last night. I wonder what value that has around the league, though?
    Can he be moved for something of value?

    In the current market, no. Sadly, Golden State dominance and a relative dearth of GMs on the hot seat make the event of any hail-mary trade very unlikely. If you removed Golden State from the equation it would be still hard to move him, since he’s playing a version of the game that doesn’t exist anymore, but there’s a chance that a fringe contender could try to snatch him.

  9. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    I think we have to stick with Frank Brickitina as the starter. It’s not like we have some stud waiting patiently on the bench. When we need offense and shot creation (like when Hardaway is out) using Burke a little more makes some sense. We should attempt to put out balanced lineups. With Robinson, Vonleh, Dotson, Trier and Frank there wasn’t enough offense out there. I was hoping Trier would be a little more assertive, but when they started throwing double teams at him (which they could do because we didn’t have much offense out there) it had an impact.

    This team is going to be much different once KP is in the lineup and knocks the rust off . He plays both sides. With most of our other players it gets tricky to put together a good lineup because you have to sacrifice one side or the other.

  10. djphan

    there’s a minimum level of productivity that players need to attain in order to have a chance at being something meaningful in this league….

    frank simply cannot play at this level for 3-4 years…. and while you can tolerate the occasional stinkers like last night… if it ain’t occasional there’s something wrong….

    young players are allowed to be bad… but if you can’t get to the hoop or convert layups when called upon that’s a minimum level of skill any nba guard down to the 12th man has… he was like this in france.. and it’s no surprise it’s still a huge problem now…

    it looks like he has improved somewhat…. but sometimes he just stops short or settles for that midrange shot when he doesn’t need to… his ftr rate.. reb.. 2p fg% all scream that he is a very very soft player…. and when you’re supposed to be a tall pg… how is it that stephen curry has twice the rebound rate as you?

    he doesn’t actually have that much time… if his 2 fpg% keeps sitting in this range by the end of the year then you can stick a fork in him…. but he also needs some progress in the other areas or else.. what the fuck was he working on in the offseason?

  11. Hubert

    I never get (and it’s not just the knicks) why coaches play exhausted players in double OT and don’t sub.

    Right? I would expect a fresh Trey Burke to be able to come in and run circles around tired legs.

  12. Hubert

    Those plays out of timeouts really made me wonder if Fizdale is a bad offensive coach. I know he said he’s focusing on defense first, but the offense is pretty much all ISO and the guy we passed on in doing great things in Milwaukee. I’m not expecting Fiz to do the things Bud is doing without Giannis, but it looks really incompetent. We got better looks when we didn’t call time out.

  13. Farfa Post author

    Well, we’re third-worst in percentage of assisted field goals. Part of it has to fall on the shoulders of the personnel, but it can’t be only that.

  14. GoNyGoNyGo

    The Knicks are now tied for the 5th worst record in the NBA with Chicago. That was an important loss last night. With that factoid out of the way, “Let’s go Cavs, Wizards, Suns and Mavs!”

  15. Bruno Almeida

    Well, the Fizdale Grizzlies weren’t exactly a beautiful offensive team to watch, and so far there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on for the Knicks offense too. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because well, the talent level is really low. He might be a bad offensive coach but there’s no way we can tell when the offense is being run by Ntilikina and Mudiay with an undrafted rookie being the only option for shot creation.

  16. Hubert

    frank simply cannot play at this level for 3-4 years

    No but I think 1-2 years of this crap followed by improvement in year 3 and arrival in year 4 (his age 22 season) is acceptable given how bad we are now. And it was also the most likely scenario when we drafted such a raw international player. The inclination is to judge him based on where he was drafted. Well, he was drafted way too high. Players this raw should be taken much later. But that’s a sunk cost.

  17. d-mar

    A few notes from around the league:

    – Good to see the old Derrick Rose back, 21 points on 20 shots
    – The Raps are kicking ass without Kawhi. Last night Ibaka was 8-8, his TS now stands at a ridiculous .637
    – Jamal Murray – holy crap, and thank you for doing it to Boston!

  18. Farfa Post author

    @18

    I think there’s also some kind of frustration stemming from the fact that he’s such a good defender that not being able to play him a lot of minutes thanks to his futility on offense is a waste of (defensive) talent.

  19. Hubert

    I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt because well, the talent level is really low.

    Me, too. I just think if he was likely to be good at it, we’d at least see some creativity out of time outs. Instead it’s just total confusion that ends up in a clear out.

  20. ProjectKnicks

    In all honesty, Ntilikina has not showed anything that could be considered ‘special’. He is a poor player without a specific skillset: definitely not a PG and definitely not a SG. He is like a less athletic Shumpert at this point, down to the hyped defensive ‘talent’.

    I have zero hope he will ever become a good player.

  21. 2FOR18, understands math

    You need competent PG play to accurately judge the other players and the coaching – similar to needing competent QB play in football. There may be outliers, like the year Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Suggs and company terrorized the league, but it’s true for the most part.

  22. Farfa Post author

    On ATOs that’s not true. Just watch the one where Mudiay tries to inbound the ball to Kanter and the Bulls steal it effortlessly.

  23. Bruno Almeida

    With Ntilikina we’re starting to get into seriously disappointing territory. I’ve said it last season, his first year he gets all the benefit of the doubt, and for a good young player you like to start seeing signs of real development in his second year, which are not happening. Of course development is not linear and different guys have different career paths, but it’s disheartening to see him missing or passing up open shots. There’s still hope and the defense is really there, but throughout this year he really needs to start showing some improvement or I really think his ceiling will be Tony Allen.

  24. Farfa Post author

    I don’t understand why he never cuts to the basket, for once. He genuinely seems afraid of getting into the paint.

  25. swiftandabundant

    I’ve watched the NBA for over 30 years. Players don’t just stop improving after their second year in the league. If they want to get better, they will continue to get better every season until they’re 26 or 27, then they have their peak years, then they decline starting in their early 30s.

    Again, second game of a back to back with no Hardaway. Frank had some really great games recently as the starting PG, now he’s had a few stinkers. People really need to relax about this.

    Repeat after me. Frank will be fine. Frank will be fine.

  26. JK47

    Here’s my scouting report on Frank Ntilikina:

    STRENGTHS
    Defending and disrupting the pick and roll

    WEAKNESSES
    Every other phase of basketball

    Guys, he stinks. You can keep squinting your eyes at him and trying to see a basketball player, but he is woefully lacking in skill. Phil Jackson sucks the big one.

  27. DRed

    It’s frustrating because Frank actually looked better to start the season. He wasn’t exactly good, but if he had an open shot he’d look to take it-he looks completely unwilling to shoot again now. He absolutely has to take open 3’s if they’re available to him.

  28. Farfa Post author

    I admit that having more faith in an undrafted rookie and a guy selected in the second round last year than in Frank is both a correct assessment and an indictment of the young French. I’m one of the biggest fans of his, and I’m losing hope again.

  29. kevin5318

    I refuse to believe that Frank is as bad a perimeter shooter as Allen or Roberson. That shooting form is too good to continue being as bad as he is.

    As a playmaker he’s also far more talented then those guys ever were so if he could an upgraded version of Allen/Roberson then that’s still a pretty good pick.

  30. Bruno Almeida

    @31

    I do agree with that, but he needs to start showing the “upgraded” part more often. It’s rough because he’s a guard on a terrible team, and as much as other players suffer from having a bad Point Guard, the guards also suffer from having bad teammates who can’t move without the ball, set screens, create space and driving lanes or finish plays. If his shooting is more like it was in the first games and now like it has been now, it’s fine, there’s some improvement to be happy about, but every time it seems he’s figuring out something, there comes 2 or 3 terrible games where it seems like back to square one.

    I do think he still should play 30+ minutes a game in general because we have to start seeing what he has to give on a regular basis to make decisions later.

  31. kevin5318

    I’m definitely dissapointed with Frank after he showed some signs when he first got the starting job.

    Dumping it off to Kanter, Vonleh or Dotson when you cross the halfcourt line is not how you run an offense. Also his rebounding numbers are down from last year.

  32. Donnie Walsh

    Players don’t just stop improving after their second year in the league.

    What if they never really started improving in the first place?

  33. GoNyGoNyGo

    The fact that Frank is inconsistent and only shows flashes of being an NBA player is fine by me at this time. I think, when all is said and done, he’ll be good – not great, but good. But I am not sure.

    That is why, when we look at the FA market, getting a top PG is my top priority.

  34. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    I think there’s also some kind of frustration stemming from the fact that he’s such a good defender that not being able to play him a lot of minutes thanks to his futility on offense is a waste of (defensive) talent.

    That’s it exactly.

    When you have a significant “plus” defender, you don’t need for him to be any more than average on the other side of the ball to feel really good about him in the starting lineup. All he really needs to do is be consistent from 3 and make some plays here or there and he’ll have a role in the lineup. But at this stage he’s still not there.

    I’m not down on him because I was expecting a lot of ups and downs in the process (especially from 3 points). I even predicted his 3p% was going to drop as soon as defenses started pressuring him a little more. But it is frustrating to watch the lack of aggression. I think the Washington game screwed him up a little. Early in the game they were hounding him hard, exposed the weaknesses in his handle, and kind of put him back into his shell.

  35. JK47

    I don’t even see very many “flashes” in Frank. On the offensive end, the guy just doesn’t fucking compete. I don’t want to go all ruff rydah up in here but you have to have some dog in you to compete at this level. He just looks intimidated and scared.

    He’s gonna be a bust.

  36. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    @37

    I don’t want to go all ruff rydah up in here but you have to have some dog in you to compete at this level. He just looks intimidated and scared.

    I said it last week. He needs a testosterone shot or something.

  37. Jack Bauer

    Frank should be shooting 300 Three Pointers a day so someday he can be that guy that stands on the perimeter to open things up. That appears to be his most likely path to success. So far he doesn’t look aggressive enough to play point guard. It’s like the paint area is radioactive to him.

  38. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Watching Frank get the ball for a half-court set and just stand there waiting for someone to break toward him, not dribbling — it reminded me of how I played point guard on Sunday over-30s ball at the local community center. That is not an NBA point guard. Not close, not anywhere near it. I don’t think Frank would even operate effectively in the NCAA.

    The crazy thing is that the Knicks look absolutely horrendous, but they’re not even close to the worst SRS in the league. The Cavs have an unconscionable -12.71 and the Hawks are politely requesting for the Cavs to hold their beer — a -14.78 SRS despite pulling out 3 wins, two over also-dreadful teams. The Mavs and Suns are dreck.

    Going to be a tough road to a top-3 pick.

  39. 2FOR18, understands math

    Frank needs somebody to get in his damn face Don Corleone / “Be a Man!” style. Maybe a month in Vegas hanging out with Jordan and Oak would wake him up.

  40. d-mar

    I referee all levels of basketball, and sometimes in AAU games during a blowout, the coach will put some kid in off the end of the bench who never gets minutes. And the kid will have that scared look on his face and give up the ball like it’s a hot potato.

    That’s what Frank looks like to me.

  41. wetbandit

    The kid is 20 years old. He is still the 17th youngest player in the NBA.
    He is about two years younger than Donovan Mitchell, almost three years younger than Jokic and Porzingis, three years younger than Kuzma, 2.5 years younger than D’Lo (who went from bust to rotation-level), and AT THIS MOMENT he is the same age Mike Conley (who I always compare to Frank) was when he debuted to a TS .500 and .038 WS year.
    He is (a) a point guard sophomore, so he needs time, (b) really young, so he needs time, (c) raw, so he needs time, yet (a) is a big net positive defensively already, so he deserves time, (b) HAS shown progress this year, so he deserves time, and (c) seems to want to play smart, so he deserves more time.
    I agree; he isn’t aggressive or confident enough, he needs more minutes, maybe in the G-League, but he isn’t a bust. At least, not yet.

    Many of you are acting like insolent Knicks fans, as usual, despite the commonly-held belief here that we are “different from the OTHER Knicks fans”

  42. Hubert

    If you’re this disappointed in Frank I think you had unreasonable expectations. I’d give him at til the end of his third year. If he was scared or lacking testosterone, he wouldn’t play defense like a fearless animal. The offensive side of the game is too fast for his brain right now. He needs reps. 30 minutes a game at PG this year. He’s the most inexperienced basketball player in the entire league. We plucked him out of a league that was, what, a Division III level league? This is like planting a seed and being mad that it doesn’t look like a tree after one season.

  43. Max

    Great work Farfa!
    Great prose for a very undeserving game.
    Yes, the talent is what it is and I like his fire and PT distribution, but I need something “Xs and Os” from Fiz to show me that he’s something more that a rah-rah “any given sunday” coach.

    I’m missing THJ and that’s not a good sign…

  44. thenoblefacehumper

    It’s not that Frank is struggling that has people worried.

    It’s that he’s struggling while also not making it remotely clear what he’ll look like as a player if he ever isn’t struggling.

    I said it before the draft–what is this guy supposed to be good at? We all know defense (conveniently in an era where perimeter defense might matter less than ever), but literally what else? I’ve seen no evidence of his allegedly plus court vision (it doesn’t require much vision to dump the ball off to the closest player after crossing half court), and his shots miss badly. I forget who mentioned this earlier but you would hope that one of the advantages of having a 6’5″+ point guard would be some extra rebounds here and there. Nope! Instead he rebounds like Isaiah Thomas.

    It all comes down to having the least amount of offensive aggression I’ve ever seen in an NBA player combined with having no clear plus offensive talents to compensate.

  45. Dough Chew [dolan pls]

    Farfa, I’ve been commenting here for about ten years and this is one of the best recaps I’ve ever read.

  46. swiftandabundant

    There’s also literally no reason to panic or write Frank off right now. This is a development year for the entire team. He’s still on a rookie contract for 2 more years after this one.

    And the good news is that if Frank does improve, he’s still probably not going to be some big time scorer in a few years when his contract extension is due. So there is a very good chance we can resign him for his second contract on a good value contract since scorers tend to get overpaid. So if Frank can keep progressing we could have a nice value contract for him on his second contract unlike other lottery picks who get overpaid bc they score and have highlight reels.

  47. ProjectKnicks

    I agree; he isn’t aggressive or confident enough, he needs more minutes, maybe in the G-League, but he isn’t a bust. At least, not yet.

    I have seen enough bad play from Ntilikina to confidently conclude he is bust. Don’t need 3 or 4 years to see what I have in front of me.

  48. 2FOR18, understands math

    Yeah, the lack of aggression on offense can possibly be attributed to the game being too fast for him, but adding in the lack of rebounding for a guy his size and length makes him seem incredibly too passive.
    Wasn’t Frank a pro for 3 or 4 years, “playing with grown ass men”, with this being his second NBA season? How is he any less experienced than a guy like Trae Young, who plays like a fearless SOB.

    That said, Frank should be playing 30 mins a night.

  49. djphan

    frank does actually have good vision… his instincts are good on the playmaking front and his a/to reflects that… that’s really his one other good trait…

    that’s why he needs to stay at pg.. and you have to hope he figures out his shooting…. give him every opportunity this year to do that….

    if he doesn’t… then he’s not really gonna work out at sg anyway and he’ll probably be a journeyman or go back to france until he does….

  50. Farfa Post author

    @47

    I present to you my humble thanks, especially considering that I’m not worthy of such praise when Cavan, Dubin and Silverman used to write here not so long ago :)

    I’m glad you liked it!

  51. swiftandabundant

    @ 49 – Chauncey Billups smiles.

    There is very real evidence that taller PG’s take longer to develop.

    I mean, seriously…the Golden State and Dallas games were barely a week ago and now everyone is acting like he sucks when he just recently had two very nice outings in a row.

    So lets see…two good games followed by two bad ones. Sounds like a young NBA player developing to me.

  52. 2FOR18, understands math

    To be clear, I’m not in the crowd giving up on Frank. I’m just calling it as it is currently.

  53. ProjectKnicks

    @53 – Ntilikina ain’t no Chauncey Billups, trust me.
    And, no, I’m not basing my opinion on 2 games. I have seen plenty of bad stuff from ‘The Bust’.

  54. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    Frank is kind of like a shy young guy that’s having trouble getting dates.

    Does he lack confidence because women are not responding positively to his attempts or are they not responding positively to him because he’s awkward and they sense he lacks confidence?

    It’s usually a little of both.

    Frank is not getting good results on offense partly because he needs to develop his “game” and partly because he lacks confidence in his decision making and shot. His lack of success feeds his lack of confidence, which feeds his lack of success.

    He can work on his game all he wants and that will help, but he needs to “become a man” or “get a testosterone shot”. He has to go out there, play a little recklessly, take his lumps with TOs and missed shots, and finally get over the hump on his passiveness.

    He’s afraid he’s going to miss or turn the ball over.

    Screw that!

    Ask the girl out!

    If she says no find another one you like and ask her out.

    If she says no too find another one you like and keep going.

    He has to learn that the world is not going to end if he has a terrible game shooting or turns the ball over a lot trying to succeed. He’s got to keep attacking, learning, and moving forward aggressively until he gets where he wants to be.

  55. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    To be clear, I’m not in the crowd giving up on Frank. I’m just calling it as it is currently.

    I still think he’s going to be VERY good, but it’s going to be a long frustrating trip.

  56. kevin5318

    While the smaller point guards were for the most part effective immediately — Brevin Knight’s best season was his rookie year at age 22, while Damon Stoudamire’s came in year three at age 24 — the larger guards generally took longer to develop. Rod Strickland peaked at age 29, Gary Payton peaked at age 30, and Cassell did not reach his peak until age 34.

    http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19525455/kevin-pelton-weekly-mailbag-including-point-guard-career-arcs

  57. nicos

    Great recap Farfa! Yeah, Frank is nothing like Chauncey Billups- Billups came into the league as a scoring point (though an inefficient one) who learned how to be a better playmaker as he progressed. He was always a medium usage guy who got to the line a ton. Right now Frank has no scoring ability what-so-ever: he can’t shoot (even if he improves his accuracy his release is so slow that he’s going to have to speed it up considerably if anyone actually starts guarding him on the perimeter) nor can he reliably penetrate and finish at the rim. I’d say best case is he develops into an Andre Miller type guy who uses his size/strength to back guys down and score/make plays in the paint- his one skill is that he does throw nice interior passes so that Andre Miller type of game might work for him. That said, that kind of slow motion offense really doesn’t work anymore so offensively he looks like a back-up at best. Still, he’s 20- I’d roll him out there for 25-30 minutes a night and hope a light switches on.

  58. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m not giving up on Frank. I just think he’s a putrid ball handler. Apparently his shot sucks too, but I think it’s easier to improve a jump shot than it is to learn offensive instincts on the level of the world’s best basketball league.

  59. chrisk06811

    here’s the prob I have on Frank. I know it’s not the same people, but lots on here blast Timmy for not being so great at D (except taking charges). We all seem to agree Frank is very strong on D. They kinda contradict each other.

    So how much does Frank have to improve on O to be a solid NBA player? And how much will he organically improve, or will his deficiencies be hidden, when he’s playing with decent players?

  60. Donnie Walsh

    Chauncey Billups smiles.

    There is very real evidence that taller PG’s take longer to develop.

    Is there really? Cause the names that have been brought up are Mike Conley and Chauncey Billups, neither of whom are taller PGs. Add to that list some other famously late blooming PGs like Kyle Lowry (6’0”), Steve Nash (6’3”), Gary Payton (6’3”), and Stephon Marbury (6’2”) and it’s hard to see where all the slow to develop tall PGs are?

  61. Farfa Post author

    I’m not giving up on him either. I’m definitely starting to give up on the idea he might ever become a point guard. His floor is defensive specialist off the bench, which is still something you can parlay into 8-10 years in the league at 15mpg. At 8th in the lottery you hope for more, sure. But you’re also prepared for less.

  62. Owen

    I am just glad that Frankie’s handle is the biggest thing we have to worry about right now…. ;-)

  63. geo

    the return of the honorable…what does it all mean???

    farfa – man, you are killing it…much thanks for taking the time to put these recaps together – much greater entertainment value than the games themselves :)

  64. Donnie Walsh

    the larger guards generally took longer to develop. Rod Strickland peaked at age 29, Gary Payton peaked at age 30, and Cassell did not reach his peak until age 34.

    I don’t get it. Average height for a PG in the NBA is 6’3”. Strickland was 6’2”, Payton and Cassell were both league average height.

    I just can’t see how evoking those three names illustrates any kind of useful causation between height and development. They certainly have no relevance to projecting Frank’s development.

  65. thenoblefacehumper

    Not giving up on him, and still think he should be given every chance in the world to succeed until we have someone similarly young and clearly better (i.e. not Trey Burke or Emmanuel Mudiay). I like everything I’ve heard from the guy and genuinely believe he works hard.

    I would not, however, let his presence get in the way of acquiring another point guard (either via the draft or trade/free agency if it made sense with regards to our win curve).

  66. ptmilo

    More confidence and ferocity would probably be mildly productive for Frank in the right doses, but are mostly misidentified as the key to his flaws and development. Frank doesn’t go downhill or go hard to the hoop not bc he is scared but because he viscerally and accurately senses that he lacks the combination of fast twitch explosion, strength or bulk, body control and shiftiness required to penetrate and finish in the nba. if you injected him with starks’ brain you wouldn’t see the dunk reprisal, you’d see Michael Carter Williams part 2 or John Wall getting 10 steals in a half.

    Frank has point guard vision but his body is slower than his brain. He’s not like a young QB who has all the tools and just lacks confidence, he’s like an old QB who no longer has the zip and delivery and has to figure out how to adjust to the new normal except he’s only 20. Even on defense Frank’s length and awareness are great tools, but he has physical disadvantages to overcome. They just matter less there.

    I think there’s pretty good chance he turns his strange mix of skills and holes into a good nba player, if not a conventional pg, but more
    figuring out how to succeed amid his limitations (and by getting a little bigger/stronger as he ages) not by growing a pair…but maybe not. Either way I think we should be playing him over guys who aren’t 20 years old with an unusual mix of skills and holes.

    If Tim Duncan or dirk or joe dumars had been busts we’d say it was because they had no balls. This stuff can be really ad hoc.

  67. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Carmelo Watch! He’s played like ass garbage so far, but a few things I noticed about his stats:

    .583 FG% from 10-16′ (career .404)
    .500 3P% from the corner (career .351)
    .500 FG% from 3-10 (career .338)

    Maybe playing with two of the best offensive guards in the league will help keep these numbers relatively high, but if there’s any regression whatsoever, he goes from bad to unplayable. He currently has 5 assists and 4 steals in 274 minutes played, with a near-low in FTr at .200 (.2 FT for every FGA).

  68. ProjectKnicks

    I don’t get it. Average height for a PG in the NBA is 6’3”. Strickland was 6’2”, Payton and Cassell were both league average height.

    There is nothing to ‘get’. It’s pure bullshit – the type of ‘stat’ that lives for the purpose of fitting a theory. Magic Johnson was supposed to peak at 78.

  69. kevin5318

    Taller PG’s usually have shakier handles at first since their dribble is higher than the shorter PG’s. Frank is a bit of an extreme at 6’7 but you can see why it would be a longer adjustment period for him compared to a guy like DSjr.

  70. kevin5318

    I wonder when ProjectKnicks is gonna go on one of his racist tirades like his ancestors Theo and Captain B.

  71. JK47

    If you want to hang your hat on “good shooting form,” maybe that is a way Frank could make it in the NBA. But playing him at PG is a waste of time. It’s like playing Prince Fielder at shortstop and hoping he improves his range. It’s just kind of not going to be happening.

    As Jowles noted upthread, he probably wouldn’t play PG for most good NCAA teams.

  72. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

    I’m worried about Frank, but this is the perfect season to keep running him out there to see what we have. There is literally nothing to lose, as losses are wins, and a LOT to gain. I’m not even sure a season is enough, but it’s realistically all he has (plus training camp next year, maybe, if we haven’t signed someone else).

    He has to learn that the world is not going to end if he has a terrible game shooting or turns the ball over a lot trying to succeed. He’s got to keep attacking, learning, and moving forward aggressively until he gets where he wants to be.

    This. It’s also exactly what I noticed and appreciated about Trier’s game last night – it had to be hugely frustrating, but he kept attacking, and at the end of the game his line looks pretty nice. He looked overmatched; he couldn’t do anything; he persevered; it worked out OK. Frank needs to adopt the same mindset, because it’s the only hope he acquires the confidence to compete.

  73. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    @68

    I understand what you are saying and agree to an extent. That’s why I said he also has to improve his “game” (which includes his ability to explode, his strength etc..) But you can look at him and see fear in his eyes and body language at times. He has that look that prime Mike Tyson opponents used to get when Tyson started walking back and forth and scowling before the bell for round 1 went off. They were so afraid, they had no chance of executing to whatever their best level was. Frank is better than he thinks he is, but he’s afraid to make mistakes and it’s impacting him negatively.

    Trier has the complete opposite mindset. He’s probably not as good as he thinks he is, but he wants the damn and is not afraid to miss. That’s helps him execute.

  74. Donnie Walsh

    Average height for a PG back then was between 6’1? (1993) and 6’2? (1988).

    Fine, but how does that a) prove that tall point guards take longer to develop; and b) have any bearing on whether Frank Ntilikina develops into a playable, let alone top-tier point guard in the 2020s NBA?

    More relevant than his height is his age. He is younger than all those “late bloomers”, but he is also starting from way further back. Billups, Payton, Strickland, Conley, Lowry, Cassell… none of those guys established themselves as the worst offensive player in the league as their baseline. In fact, Strickland was good from his rookie year on, so I don’t even know why Lowe put him on that list at all, and Lowry, who was as young as Frank when he started and was considered a late bloomer was way better.

    As for Payton, maybe, there’s an amazing case scenario where Frank develops like him. The defense is obviously forefront with both of them. But Payton was a very unique player, one that the league doesn’t see often. During the 11 years he was in Seattle he only missed 5 games. That is insane. If you want to put an over/under on Frank having Payton’s career, I’ll take the under (way under).

  75. swiftandabundant

    I wasn’t comparing Frank to Billups as players. Just using an example of a great player who developed into a great player in his mid 20s, not early 20s. He’s not the only one.

  76. Z-man

    What’s with all the anti-Frank stuff! He’s not a PG and all that, but he can be a reasonably good player if he hits the 3 with regularity. If he doesn’t fix that, then yeah, it’s a problem.

    As I’ve been saying from day 1, trying to convert him into a PG is dumb and should be abandoned like yesterday. If you want to do it for tanking purposes, then fine, whatever, but the expectations need to be realistic.

    Can anyone seriously say that Frank looked more like a PG than Mudiay looked last night? Could there possibly be a lower bar than that? He just doesn’t have it. It’s not about age or reps.

  77. 2FOR18, understands math

    If anyone remembers Bryan Stith from the 90s Nugs…..I can see Frank turning into something like that. A long, average offensive, tough defensive guard who could shoot a little.

  78. Farfa Post author

    @81

    Bryant Stith was literally the first Upper Deck card I got from my first pack. #feels

  79. kevin5318

    I don’t think him being the PG is as important as him being the primary ball handler. Thats why Luka would’ve been perfect for him as it would’ve kept him at PG defensively while being more of a secondary ball handler where he can thrive.

    Of course primary playmaking wings are hard to come by but we have a chance to draft them with the Duke Trio and Romeo Langford in the top 5.

  80. Z-man

    And I agree, Frank wouldn’t have played PG in the NCAA. Or in any other league for more than a cup of coffee, which he has already had in the NBA and failed miserably. Any coach that continues to run him out there at PG will eventually be fired, including Fiz.

    Put him off the ball, let him spot up and slash opportunistically and groom him as a 3-and-D wing. If he starts scoring with some pizzazz, then slowly give him the ball more. Stop babying and spoiling him by giving him what he doesn’t deserve just because he was drafted so high. Bench him until he merits playing time again. Send him to the G-League. Whatever, just don’t keep running him out there in the same role when he stinks up the court night after night.

  81. Bruno Almeida

    I think somewhere between Stith and Nate McMillan is a good place to put Frank. McMillan was obviously a much better passer when he played full-time PG, before Gary Payton arrived.

    I still don’t think Frank should be taken completely off the ball because Fizdale seems to understand this year is about development, and a part of that is seeing what players can give you when you put them on the floor. If he decided to bench Burke and put Frank as the PG he must have seen something in practices or anything that led him to believe it was a good choice, and we have seen he’s not shy about changing things around if they don’t fit.

  82. ClashFan

    @87
    Defense is probably what Fiz saw. With the exception of THJ, Fiz went to his best defensive starting unit. I hope he stays with them.

    I’m a frustrated with Frank, too, but not at all surprised that he has struggled, esp. with Timmy out for basically two games. THJ, for all his warts, does take a lot of pressure off him to put up points. Frank’s been ice cold from three; let’s see how he deals with that.

    I just want his shooting to improve. Anything else will be just gravy as I think his future is as a 2/3. If the Knicks can get a good young PG, they absolutely should.

  83. Zanzibar

    We had the the #3 offense when FELTON was the starting 1. Look at comparison:

    Mitch = Chandler
    KP = Melo
    Timmy = JR
    Dotson = Shumpert
    Frank = Felton

    Is our personnel worse or different than that 2013 team? Looks like a match to me on offense and rates to be much better on defense. Spread PnR is the offense we should be executing, the same one that the #3 offense Knick team played. Start Frank/Timmy/Dotson/Knox/Mitch

    There’s plenty of blame to be placed on Frank but crossing the half-court and dumping the ball off to Vonleh or Mitch is not one of them. That’s on the coach. They go over this in practice. That’s how Fiz wants to initiate the offense. That type of offense only makes sense if the big’s able to hit shots so his defender has to follow him and leave the paint. Mitch and Vonleh don’t fit that profile. Offense then predictably degenerates into ISOs.

    Before I give up on Frank, I want to watch him in that spread PnR offense. Frank hit shots out of PnR at Strasbourg. If by the end of the season it’s not working, then it’s time to move him to SG/SF and look for a 1 in free agency.

  84. 2FOR18, understands math

    Will there be a Duke game thread?
    Probably a greater than 50% chance that our next pick will be Dukie.

  85. 2FOR18, understands math

    “Mitch = Chandler”

    I stopped right there. No need to read further if that has anything to do with the point you’re making.

  86. 2FOR18, understands math

    “Mitch = Chandler”

    I stopped right there. No need to read further if that has anything to do with the point you’re making.

    “Frank = Felton”

    Ok I read further. Then face palmed my way into a coma.

    “Is our personnel worse or different than that 2013 team? Looks like a match to me on offense and rates to be much better on defense”

    Holy fuck. Come on man.

  87. geo

    Apparently the Lakers just signed Tyson Chandler. So hey, things could always be worse.

    javale mcgee is playing really good basketball…really good…

    chandler though should be an improvement over zubac…

  88. Grocer

    the good news is that if Frank does improve, he’s still probably not going to be some big time scorer in a few years when his contract extension is due.

    Yes! I am super down for Frank turning a corner ‘late’ so we can extend him for super cheap.

    But yeah, it’s kinda funny how he had a couple of nice games and showed a little more than he did last year, then had a couple of shitty games therefore he’s obviously made no advances and never will. Keep giving him time at the point! He needs more confidence and aggressiveness with the ball even if he’s not a PG and that’s an okay way to get it. Currently everyone who should be getting minutes is, unless you think Baker is missing out. We do want to lose games this year anyway. And pull him if he’s sucking it up like last night, that’s fine too. Bench him enough to make him want to earn PT. It’s not like the kid has no fire at all, he’s got giant brass ones on the other side of the court.

  89. Grocer

    Keep giving him time at the point!

    To add to this, the Knicks are fucking abysmal at sharing the ball. Mudiay passes, Frank passes, and some times Burke. The rest are running iso all the time. If we don’t give Frank the ball to bring up the court he’ll probably never see it.

  90. Zanzibar

    “Mitch = Chandler”I stopped right there. No need to read further if that has anything to do with the point you’re making.

    Mitch will be better than Chandler in spread PnR. Did you not notice the play where Frank threw a very low pass to Mitch on PnR which Mitch caught and then dunked? Tyson could never make that play. Did you not notice the play where Mitch was stopped but stretched his arm out and made a scoop hoop? Tyson could never make that play. Did you not notice the play where Mitch reversed in the air, caught the ball and then dunked? That’s the type of play found not in real games but slam dunk contests because of its difficulty.

    Go look at Felton’s advanced stats that year we were the #3 offense and tell me that Frank couldn’t duplicate those. And tell us that Shump > Dot, Melo > KP, JR > Timmy.

  91. Zanzibar

    Here are the key Felton advanced stats the year we had the #3 offense:
    TS…………. 50
    FTr……….. .145
    Dime%….. 27%
    TO%…….. 14.2
    WS/48…. .097
    BPM…….. .3 (OBPM of 1.1)

    Hard to believe Frank couldn’t match offensive stats and then be waaay better on defense. Again the key here is if Mitch is our center we should be playing a spread PnR offense.

  92. Jack Bauer

    Whether he plays the point or not, I agree that they should keep running Frank out there, it’s a win win. Either he gets better with more experience and/or he helps the Zion tank train. As stated above it’s not like they have Steve Nash to roll out there instead. It’s a real pu pu platter of choices for Fizdale at the 1 so he might as well stick with Frank.

    I repeat – Frank should be shooting 300 threes a day in practice so that he can be useful as a 3 and D guy some day.

    Duke vs. Kentucky tonight should be a fun watch. Looking forward to seeing the Knicks number 1 pick somewhere on the floor tonight.

  93. abk

    @56

    +1, well said

    On another note, the UNC game just started and Nassir Little isn’t starting for us (I’m a UNC alum and fan). Not too surprising, we are stacked on the wing this year with Maye, Kenny Williams, and Johnson. One to watch is Coby White. The Stephen has him as a one-and-done lotto pick at combo guard. He’s starting for us at point, 6-5 and lightning quick with a nice handle and can shoot pretty well. He did just put up one of the ugliest airballs I’ve ever seen though. :)

    Little just hit his first college shot. A pullup jumper from the baseline.

  94. nicos

    As a playmaker 2013 Felton>Frank. Much better ball-handler/penetrator and a better overall passer. Also, J.Kidd starting 76 games helped a little with the ball movement. And while Melo pounded the ball with the best of them, he did put up a 14.8 assist rate- more than double what KP put up last year. Plus Melo’s .560 TS% would be a career high for KP so offensively 2013 Melo>KP. And Mitch is going to need a year or two of strength and conditioning to get to where Chandler was then- I think he has more potential than Chandler- a little more athletic (but Chandler was no slouch) and better touch but he’s certainly not there yet.

  95. Zanzibar

    Here are the key Felton advanced stats the year we had the #3 offense:
    TS…………. 50
    FTr……….. .145
    Dime%….. 27%
    TO%…….. 14.2
    WS/48…. .097
    BPM…….. .3 (OBPM of 1.1)

    Hard to believe Frank couldn’t match offensive stats and then be waaay better on defense. Again the key here is if Mitch is our center we should be playing a spread PnR offense.

    Correction, Felton had .087 WS/48 not .o97. He had a 7.5% DRB%. He was 28yo during that season.

  96. Zanzibar

    @102 You’re comparing guys in their prime to the current much younger Knicks. If KP’s not able to put up a 56 TS in a couple of years, then we’re in trouble and nothing matters. 56 isn’t that high and that was more or less peak Melo. I think KP will be more reliable from 3 over the years than Melo to offset any disadvantage in passing. I don’t think Felton has better court vision than Frank. I think Frank will be a better finisher at rim. Felton has better handle and a small edge in penetration; Frank has slower first step but is pretty fast after that. I don’t think it will matter all that much because he’ll be using picks most of time. Felton was a very poor shooter off motion; Frank TBD. Frank has post-up potential. I also think Frank will be a better shooter from 3. Kidd is a wildcard but we have the cap to add a quality player to team.

    The 2013 team shot unusually well from 3 that year. Some of it was they were getting wide open 3’s out of spread PnR but some of it just noise. People are inferring that I think they will be the #3 offense. That’s not at all what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that we should be implementing a spread PnR offense if Mitch is our center (surrounded by shooters like KP, Dot, Trier, even Timmy) regardless of who our 1 guard is and the offense should work fine. It makes sense to give Frank a shot in that type of offense before abandoning him because of the significant gain on the defensive end. The defense of our starting 5 w/Frank and KP should be significantly better than the unit in 2013.

  97. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    Frank was indeed lousy in this game, but many of your are overreacting. He made some good passes in the first half to players near the basket and also to some players open for three pointers and those players completely failed to convert the pass into anything useful. I don’t understand why he’s shooting so badly on three pointers recently, but all of the shots he took were good shots where he had reasonable space and time to take the shot. He did look like he was he had a hard time adjusting as point guard to the new lineup, which was a lineup definitely short on scoring. I was disappointed in his performance, but I don’t think it means he’s going to be a total washout as a point guard. As I have said before, I don’t expect him to be good as a point guard until next year at the earliest, because it takes a long time for point guards to develop, and he is still very young.

  98. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    All I see is four guys blowing hard about unpaid athletes. When does the game start?

  99. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Keep an eye on Barrett’s dribble. Quick bounces, but seems pretty high. I wonder how he’ll do against elite defenders.

  100. abk

    @Jowles

    Heh, most of the guys playing have probably gotten paid. You seen the Adidas trials?

    I still like Barrett more than Zion.

  101. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Two UNC alums on KB now! I didn’t get to watch the game. How did Nas look? Has a good enough stat line from the look of it.

    Duke looks scary good.

  102. abk

    @115

    Eh, he was okay. Was very passive on offense. I don’t expect him to be a huge scorer given the three senior playmaking wings (counting Luke), but I think he’ll do more. The offense in general was very sloppy though, and I don’t think he played a ton of minutes (still don’t see the minutes distribution on ESPN). His three point form is nice though and he has a great body plus is very active on defense (unlike *cough* Zion *cough*).

    Duke’s definitely going to be legit this year with three of the four best recruits in the country, it’s unprecedented (though they really don’t have a lot else). They won’t shoot 55% from three though, and Kentucky won’t shoot 10%. If both teams were at 35% this would be a closer game.

  103. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    cuz Zion is 6’6″

    I rate him a 7/10 in size

    (did you just see that midair steal/block? what the FUCK)

  104. abk

    Zion is just killing PJ Washington inside. They should have tried Travis on him. Washington is way too small for Zion, and Bolden wasn’t doing anything.

  105. abk

    @118

    Zion is a 7/10 in size because he’s 6’6″ and has short arms (+4 inches over height; NBA average is +5). For comparison, Ntilikina is the same height and plays point guard, but his arms are three inches longer. Zion is jacked, but that’s not the only component to size. In a league with guys like Giannis, Durant, and Simmons, there’s no way Zion is a 10/10 or something. These guys are going to tower over him.

    One thing is for sure, the ACC is stacked this year. FSU just smoked Florida and they might be the 6th-7th best team in the league.

  106. Bruno Almeida

    Well, I guess we can still hope to get the 3rd overall pick and hope like the Suns and Hawks draft ahead of us and somehow pass on Zion…

  107. abk

    We’ll see. He clearly had an awesome game today.

    I don’t disagree he’s a supreme talent, but I don’t quite get the love for him here compared to the other top guys. He doesn’t have elite size unless you only look at muscles, and the other components (height, wingspan) are more important for basketball. That’s just objective analysis.

    He is super explosive, especially for being so heavy, but I see quite a bit to question too. 6’6″ interior players leave very little room for error. He’s still not going to play against highly developed big bodies in college for the most part, the kind that could stop him at the rim. He’s an NBA four right? He doesn’t space the floor. But is he bullying guys like Lebron, Giannis, Julius Randle, John Collins? And if/when he gets by them, is he scoring on Steven Adams or KP at the rim? I don’t think high school dunk highlights answer that question. He also doesn’t project as a plus defender.

    I may be way off, and will gladly admit it when he blows up in the NBA and the other guys disappoint. I just don’t see him as a head and shoulders #1 prospect. For now I’ll keep my projection that I would take Barrett and Little over him, but it’ll be interesting to see the season play out. Let’s give it 20-25 games though; I don’t like this claiming Mitch-Rob is a future star after 10 games or Frank is a bust stuff. Especially given the early season is filled with creampuffs, who are an especially bad fit for stopping a beast like Zion.

  108. abk

    @123

    Let’s just finish in the top 4-5. Lottery odds are pretty flat until that point, and we have a great shot at an elite player.

  109. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    I don’t watch college basketball, so I can’t make a judgement myself; But for those of you who do, what makes Zion a better prospect than Kenneth Faried was?

  110. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Kenneth Faried was a great athlete, and Zion Williamson is one of the greatest athletes to ever play the game. Faried is a better rebounder than Zion, but his entire game has been either clean up duty or catch and finish. Zion Williamson is a 285 pound Russell Westbrook.

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    He doesn’t have elite size unless you only look at muscles, and the other components (height, wingspan) are more important for basketball. That’s just objective analysis.

    Other guys from the last few years’ drafts with elite size: Jeff Withey, Colton Iverson, Ryan Kelly, Norvell Pelle, Grant Jerrett, Erik Murphy, Jackie Carmichael, Trevor Mbakwe, Kenny Kadje, CJ Leslie, James Southerland, Noah Vonleh, Jordan Bachynski, LaQuinton Ross, Robert Upshaw, Rakeem Christmas, Brandon Ashley, Christian Wood, Chris McCullough, Zhou Qi, Chieck Diallo, Marcus Lee, Diamond Stone, Stephen Zimmerman, Keith Benson, Derrick Williams.

    Lots of world-beaters in there. Turns out that NBA basketball demands that you combine size, athleticism and mental gifts to be an elite player. Someone ought to go back and tell Charles Barkley that he was too small to play power forward.

    Zion is a future All-NBA player. He is going to wreck people on the downhill just like Heat-era LeBron did, and just like Ben Simmons is doing right now. His height and arm length don’t mean a damn thing when he can get up in the air like that. Will his game age like wine? Probably not. But he’s 18 and already looks like the most dominant player in the NCAA.

  112. abk

    He’s a lot more explosive than Faried, and also a lot more skilled with the basketball in his hands.

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