Cleveland Cavaliers 83 – New York Knicks 119 (yeah, it’s preseason)

I’ve always had a soft spot for action B-movies. You know the kind, the ones with preposterous plots, bad acting, cliche characters like the vet who’s too old for that kind of shit, or the slimy merc who usually betrays his team, or the brash youngster who’s too hot for his shot; also, people in bad masks and happy endings galore.

Well, I guess you could say that this weird, empty, detached preseason fits the description to a T, don’t you think? Especially the people in bad masks (seriously, NBA, you’ve been amazing at dealing with the pandemic, but your mask fashion sense is just short of Tiger King-terribleness).

Coming to the happy endings (and I promise, this is not a shady tuina massage parlor repeated reference), the only thing that was lacking from the last game was a good Toppin showing and a Ntilikina 360 dunk, or maybe just a Ntilikina appearance. Ntilikina’s sports durability looks like it’s always worse than one can think, pretty much like Abe Simpson’s decency in this all-timer.
We just got everything else that we could have dreamed of: a thorough ass-whipping of the admittedly lowly Cavs, a lot of bright spots in our effort through the first three quarters (the fourth doesn’t count, it was the equivalent of the birthday greetings you see on Facebook walls where it’s totally evident that people are wishing you well just because Zuckerberg reminded them two seconds before you’re a year older: kinda mandatory but utterly pointless), confident youngsters, amazing shooting performances, and a coach who’s not brain-dead!

Before going to assess the individual performances, though, let me advise you on something: don’t put any faith in tonight’s offensive output, the shooting was too hot not to regress to the mean very fast. But you can put all the faith you want in the defensive output, these guys busted their asses off against a few capable NBA rotation guys: the Cavs started the games with Sexton-Garland-Osman-Okoro-McGee, which won’t be their real action starting lineup but it will come pretty close, probably swapping Okoro and McGee with Love and Drummond, which is a clear improvement but not enough to overcome a 72-35 score at the end of the first half (yup! not a typo). Don’t get me wrong: NBA teams will often mop the floor with us, but they won’t do it Hulk-Loki style. If this is kinda our regular season rotation – more on that later – we will fight and we’ll be abused just by the top tier teams. We can agree that we can live with that, can’t we?

The good:

– Of course you have to start with Immanuel Quickley (22 pts, 5 ast, 5 stl, +41 +/-). We overanalyzed the process that brought him here, and rightly so. We discussed for weeks about him, falling just short of digging grainy footages from the dark web of his past performances. And then he came onto stage and, well, rocked our million faces. Seriously: it’s not about the numbers, which yeah, are really good, but can’t be counted on to forecast anything. It’s his demeanor. I. Just. Love. His. Demeanor. He moves and acts like he totally owns the place. And he can – kinda – walk the walk. His shot is good. His dribble is totally fine. His mind is apparently clear. He tries to involve people. He’s communicating through the whole game, even going to scold a bit Randle in the second quarter after a missed cut. Let me be clear: I don’t expect anything great out of him, I’ve probably had enough of inflated expectations, but I’m pleasantly surprised by his showings. He’s probably a legit NBA rotation player; I mean, you clearly see him pick his spots and never lose his cool. He’s already trying to dupe defenders – and referees – into giving him freebies at the line, and with good profit! His attunement to the offensive part looks like it’s light years ahead compared to Frank’s and merely million miles ahead of DSJ’s. Now, if all he has in the paint is a floater he won’t really go very far, but let’s not be too quick to pass judgement, and let’s wait. He’s not even a real PG but I think he’s the most deserving one in our rotation (not the best one, mind you – that’s still Elfrid’s place), and while it speaks more about our roster than about him, it is a welcome development in the early days of this incoming 2020-21 season.

– RJ Barrett (15 pts, 5 rebs, 2 ast, +42 +/-) looks fine. I mean, NBA-like fine. He seems entirely reliable, he’s doing things on defense, he’s not forcing issues on offense. Usually you’d ask more from a 3rd overall pick, but if this is what we get in his second year I don’t think we can complain. Most of all, and yes I know it’s preseason yadda yadda, it’s encouraging to see Thibs not going full Wiggins on him. We all feared that Thibs would enable Barrett’s worst tendencies giving him a boatload of minutes and the green light to shoot everytime from the midrange: while we don’t know what Thibs’ plans are, it’s highly doubtful that were this the case, Barrett would only shoot 10 times in 25 minutes. Also: his free throws! If RJ is hitting them at a 75% pace, we have a pretty cromulent sophomore on our hands. And his body language is just great. Yeah, winning by 40 does things to you, so again, don’t put too much stock into this, but nothing about his past four performances – even the bad start in game 1 – screams “fluke”. Solid player. Let’s celebrate it. It’s 2020, we need to find joy where we can.

– Mitch Robinson (8 pts, 12 rebs, 4 blk, +46 +/-) was terrifying without his Drummond-shaped kryptonite. Numbers won’t tell you much, and at this point I’m not positive he’s not already statistically plateaued, but to hell with that (not that 10/10/2.5 on 70% shooting is anything to scoff at). Zero fouls! In 27 minutes! While swatting, flailing and throwing himself on the floor all over his playing time! Opponents fear him, and ones who don’t learn to do that just by looking like fools as soon as they throw up a shot in his vicinity. He also looks like he bought in to whatever Thibs is preaching, and that’s good. On the other hand, will you please add something to your offensive repertoire, Mitch? I’m fine with you just dunking, but sooner or later you have to add something from 10 feet just in case. Clyde said something about him adding a jump hook, but I’ll believe it when I’ll see it.

– Clyde. CLYDE. I can’t believe how much joy he’s capable of giving just by saying half-digested cliches and reminiscing about his past. At one point when he was thinking, kinda half-minded, about the fact that 41 years have already passed since his jersey has been retired, I could swear a very large fly was trying to enter my right eye. I can’t find any other explanation about the sudden increase in activity of my lacrimal ducts.

The bad:

– Let’s pump the brakes, of course, but ew, Obi (6 pts, 6 rebs, 4 ast, -1 +/-). The point of being an older rookie should be to skip a few of the bumps that come naturally with adjusting to NBA life, but so far not so good. I think things will be better as soon as there will be an offensive system in place, but it’s discouraging to see him float on the perimeter and do pretty much nothing apart from scrapping sometimes and throw down the casual dunk that gets handed to him like leftover meatballs to a homeless dog in the backyard of your fake Italian restaurant. I’m not worried – yet – but honestly let’s hope it’s just the jitters from getting acquainted to the NBA atmosphere and not some larger underlying issues (as in: he’s the out of time tweener with no defense that some feared he would be). More pick and roll for the kid, let’s see what he’s made of!

Fun-sized bit:

– About the Knox renaissance: yeah he’s scored 20 points right after scoring 16 in the last game, but he did so while hitting 10 of his last 11 three point attempts (pretty unsustainable) and last night he did almost nothing else. If he hits his threes at a 38% clip he can be useful, but getting just one board in 24 minutes of this sloppy game is not a good sign. Still not sold on the Revenge of Knox.

– The fact that I have pretty much nothing to say about Randle says it all. Quite a good performance, still with the occasional horrible dribble drive (but 8 assist in 24 minutes thanks to the torrid Knicks shooting!). Following the action B-movie tropes, I hope he’s the old villain that atones his past sins by spontaneously trading himself for a bag of chips and a 2027 second. I’d bite.

– Watching Quickley in action I couldn’t help myself not thinking that he looks like a lab experiment crossbreeding Rajon Rondo and Pablo Prigioni, game-wise. If that’s his ceiling, it’s supa-dupa-good even if we botched the pick.

– On the other hand, you know who’s the last Knicks rookie guard who came in and looked very confident since day one? Iman Shumpert. Let’s not do this again.

– Good stuff from Bullock. At least he grabbed 5 boards and generally played competent defense. I don’t trust the 6/7, 3/4 from three shooting, but I’m ok with him being on the court for 15 minutes a game.

– Justin Harper looks like the kid you let into your game because you only have 8 friends to play with. As in, literally a kid. Loved his effort and his shot but I don’t think he’ll make it in the NBA. Still worth keeping him around to see if there’s something more to him. Also, no way he’s 5’11”. At best he’s 5’9″. Didn’t the NBA stop measuring people in shoes?

– Theo Pinson on the other hand didn’t do that much apart from being active on defense but has an NBA body and could be useful during a season that’s gonna be determined, as Doncic dryly said, by the fact that the team who has less COVID cases will be able to put on the floor it best players night is and night out.

– Iggy. I loved you, but I don’t see how you can’t get cut if you look horrible up by 40 against the Cavs scrubs. You’re slow, you look stoned and most of all you look way dumber that during 2019 preseason. What happened to you?

Aye, it’s good to be back. Hope you’re doing fine during this terrible shitshow of 2020. If anything, I’m working more than before and while my mind is still ok I feel the stress has really impacted my mood from time to time. I needed some basketball in my life. I’m sure you did too.

Until next time!

 

 

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Farfa

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

132 thoughts to “Cleveland Cavaliers 83 – New York Knicks 119 (yeah, it’s preseason)”

  1. Welcome back, Farfa!

    Yeah, once the Knicks’ back of the roster guys played, I guess we got a sense of why Thibs didn’t want to play any of them. Iggy was by far the most disappointing, since his game is absolutely built for 40-point blowouts and he didn’t do anything. It just looked like there was no reason for him even to be there.

  2. I’ve said for many years that preseason is meaningless other than rookies showing that they belong on the court. And both Quickley and Toppin look like they belong on the court, although Toppin sure doesn’t look all that inspiring. He reminds me a bit of some of those old forgettable Knick power forwards of the past, like Clarence Weatherspoon, Othella Harrington or Maurice Taylor.

    How in the world did the Knicks have Weatherspoon and Harrington on the same team?

  3. Yeah, about the only things to find disappointing in last night’s game were that neither Obi nor Iggy showed out in garbage time. Iggy ultimately doesn’t matter much, except as a waste of a relatively high 2nd rounder (that we traded up for), but I’m hoping Kenny Payne has some big man magic to work on Obi soon.

    Though we may definitely have to thank Payne for pushing for the Quickley pickley…

  4. Random thought: our rookies and young players used to look like their best case is 7th or 8th man (Frank), and 12th man (Knox and DSJ). Now they look like their best case is fringe all-stars (RJB and Mitch) and competent starters (Obi, Quickly). Progress!

  5. About our rookies, drafting a bad player at 8th/9th (Frank, Knox… and we’ll see, but maybe Obi) and a good one with a later pick (Mitch, Quickley) is a big part of what we do here.

    Hell, we have such a fixation with the 8th/9th bad picks that we traded our best player for one! :P

  6. What a fun game last night against a team with an actual NBA logo on the jersey lol

    I think the most noticeable thing to me on offense is how purposeful everyone looks – really I can only think of a handful of plays where people didn’t seem to know where they were supposed to go leading to like a stepback Payton 3 (one of those things that should never again be seen in this world).

    Quickley was obviously great.
    Knox was ridiculous again – some of the made 3s were him just sitting in the corner waiting for a pass, but a few of them also came with Steph-like relocation where he gave up the ball then weaved/cut into an open spot to receive the easy pass. And for the 2nd game in a row, he didn’t do anything dumb on offense ie. barreling into the lane into two defenders or chucking up a lame floater while praying for a foul. I am hoping this is the result of Thibs saying “when he takes good shots, he makes them” philosophy.

    Not sure what to make of Toppin. Part of me thinks he is concentrating on sharing the ball – he just passes the ball a lot and makes very quick decisions. The Pinson give and go was fantastic and the driving baseline –> pass to Knox in the corner was really sweet too. Almost feels like he is passing to a fault, but that is a better place to start from than being a ball hog.

    Don’t look now but RJ is shooting 83.3% from the line (13/15). One can only hope that he’s figured something out.

    And Mitch — that dude was awesome.

    Anyway, real games soon – I doubt they will be as fun as this one was.

  7. Great to see the return of Farfa (an action movie title in itself) and tiny steps towards a less-terrible future.

  8. For the final roster, although Iggy didn’t play well, i would still cut Spellman as i think he’s much more a lost case than Iggy. Doing that we’d be shorthanded on the frontcourt, so i think we then should waive Harper (he played well but he’s tiny and will never be an NBA player, he should come to Europe where there’s players of his size and he’ll do well here) and sign Skal Labissiere (he’s a PF/C) to a 2-way contract (can be active in up to 50 of the 72 games).

  9. I think I’d prob waive Spellman – pretty telling that he didn’t get on the court last night at all. He’s ostensibly a backup /stretch 5, but we’ve seen Thibs experiment with both Obi and Randle at the 5 — on top of Mitch/Noel we have at least 3.5 guys that can play the 5 in a pinch. If Mitch/Noel get into foul trouble, there’s no question I’d rather see us run out Obi at the 5 with Knox, one of Burks/Bullock/Frank, RJ, and Quickley. That would be a really fun lineup.

    I for one love Harper – I’d easily just dump Payton and let Quickley/Harper/DSJ/Frank fight over ball handler duties. Could possibly see Payton as a trade candidate if someone’s backup PG gets hurt, although I think he has a no-trade clause?

    Harper seems like a Thibs- sort of waterbug PG a la Nate, Aaron Brooks, John Lucas III, etc

  10. Cut Spellman. We wouldn’t be that shorthanded, since Randle and Obi are both arguably more valuable playing center, while Knox is 100% better served playing stretch 4. In the modern NBA, you’re much better off losing up on lottery ticket wings than bigs, especially if the big is very big around the middle. Play Iggy in the G-league, and maybe he comes up if we have a rash of injuries and/or midseason trades.

    And Frank, Spellman was out with a minor injury last night. So don’t read anything into his lack of PT. Though my suspicion is that Elf’s “injury” was more of an excuse for Thibs to start Quickley in a low-pressure situation to see what happened.

  11. Could possibly see Payton as a trade candidate if someone’s backup PG gets hurt, although I think he has a no-trade clause?

    Yeah, but it’s one he’d easily waive, as he obviously has no future here.

  12. Bobby Marks:

    Saturday is the last day to waive (by 5PM ET.) a player on a non-guaranteed contract ($0 salary protection) and not incur a salary cap charge.

    So we will probably see the MKG signing and the corresponding cut today, and possibly other moves. (Like of Rose decides he’s rather have Myles Powell on a two-way than Harper. Though Harper played just fine last night, while Powell got in too late to do anything.)

  13. Agree with you guys, Randle and Obi should be the option for C when we don’t have Mitch or Noel on the floor. I was just thinking that we can have 2 unavailable (1 injured and 1 covid related) and need a 3rd frontcourt player to be active in those games. But in a small ball era, maybe there’s no need for it, so just keep Harper and we’ll see how it goes.

    How come Payton has a no-trade clause?

  14. Any vet who signs a 1-year deal automatically gets a no-trade clause. Though as Brian notes, it can be easily waived if Elf sees the writing on the wall. He’s playing for another contract, and this could very quickly become a bad situation for him to be in.

  15. RJ still isn’t hitting from deep, but if he’s making his free throws now, he’s a much different/better player. And that’s without taking into account the increased court savvy he’s shown in these games. Being able to put him in a starting lineup with Quickley and either Burks or Barrett also takes a lot of the pressure off him to shoot from 3, while opening up the court for him to do the things he’s already good at.

  16. Thanks Alan, didn’t knew about that rule. But hey it is as you and Brian say, of course he’ll waive it to get out of here. LOL

  17. I think there’s the possibility that more than one of Spellman, Iggy and MKG gets cut, in the case of an interesting player being waived from another team today.

  18. I think there’s the possibility that more than one of Spellman, Iggy and MKG gets cut, in the case of an interesting player being waived from another team today.

    I assume the fix is in for MKG. But I definitely wouldn’t be surprised to see both Spellman and Iggy go if a more promising prospect gets cut loose by a team with a more overcrowded roster.

    Dark horse candidate to get cut if things get really crazy: DSJ. I don’t expect it to happen but also wouldn’t be shocked. Quickley’s emergence has changed things significantly for both Smith and Payton in the near term.

  19. Also, this is my favorite Knickerblogger comment in some time, from Jowles in the game thread:

    please delete the previous thread so no one can ever read me condescending re: Quickley

  20. You guys have me excited enough to watch the next game and see what this Quickly kid is all about!

  21. Any vet who signs a 1-year deal automatically gets a no-trade clause. Though as Brian notes, it can be easily waived if Elf sees the writing on the wall. He’s playing for another contract, and this could very quickly become a bad situation for him to be in.

    It’s actually vets who re-sign with their previous team on either a one year deal or a two year deal (with the second year being an option). The issue is that the player in question would be about to gain at least Early Bird rights (and sometimes full Bird rights) if he stayed with his current team and he will lose them if he is traded. Again, though, if they’re about to be traded, it is unlikely that they would be re-signed anyways, so the loss of Early Bird or Bird rights is not a big loss.

  22. FARFA!!!

    Alan: Dark horse candidate to get cut if things get really crazy: DSJ. I don’t expect it to happen but also wouldn’t be shocked. Quickley’s emergence has changed things significantly for both Smith and Payton in the near term.

    If Thibs and the staff are confident Rivers can play the 1, I wouldn’t be shocked if both Elf and DSJ go. If anyone ever had any doubts about the value of floor spacing and the fact that basketball is a team game and the things you can and can’t do on the floor have spillover effects on the games of the other people on the floor with you, all you have to do is watch the first three quarters of Cavs I and then the next five quarters. I get the idea about not rushing IQ and I’m probably there myself, but it’s really, truly time to move on from Elf. Rivers can be the “dependable veteran” and Frank (if he’s ever healthy) can do five minute duty at the 1 if it ever becomes necessary. Frank was fine with floor spacers last year.

    RJ is significantly worse with Elf. Knox is useless with Elf. Randle is preposterous with Elf. Elf can’t shoot to save his life and the floor is always a molten mosh pit when he’s on it. Tough thing to cut a guy because of his impacts on other people, but that’s association life as a 1.

  23. Throw out where he got drafted and throw out the PTSD and shellshock and the “no way this can be true” we all have as Knicks fans; IQ’s ceiling is all-star. Kid’s a natural and has that intangible moxie/confidence/”it” factor. (*) Calipari’s deficiencies as a game coach hid his true talent from the rest of the league and he’s going to be a “Kentucky bounce” guy like Herro and Booker. Knicks finally got lucky. Came out of nowhere, but that’s part of the fun. Still a lot of growing pains on the way, and still a chance Dolan and the FO can fuck it up, but as we sit here now, the Knicks have a future.

    (*) The thing where he’s *already* able to draw fouls with savvy is almost preternatural.

  24. You know what I liked? Up, like, 35. A bad defensive set. Timeout.
    We have a coach who knows defense, has exacting standards and it’s no surprise the Knicks D tends toward suffocating.
    It has been a long time.

    I know everyone wants to be careful about getting too excited, but Quickly feels like the real deal. And Clyde seems to think so…and he knows something about the point.

    Welcome back Farfa. For a man to write in his second language better than most can in their first is sublime. But Shumpert always felt like fools gold. This kid feels different. It has been a long time since the Knicks had a young kid step on the court and it was just obvious he could take it to another level.
    I almost never feel worried when he has the ball. I always feel worried with Frank. And running the point is infinitely easier if the other teams must defend your shot. IQ can shoot, and he can dunk.
    I am not worried about Toppin. Right now, he is just thinking on the court. You can see the wheels spinning. But he is a physical freak and he rarely seems out of control, like Randle, a vet, who almost routinely feels out of control.
    Toppin does remind me of Amare. Once he and IQ get synced, the league will need to be wary of that combo.

    With a team like this, Mitch has time to develop beyond dunking. But if he is a more athletic Tyson Chandler, that would be fine with me. If he can keep his fouls and his decisions under control, he will be a monster.

    Now Knox feels like Shumpert. Him hitting 3s like that was absolutely fool’s gold.
    I think Barrett has the potential to be a solid 2nd or 3rd option. He’s a really smart guy and I have no doubt he will fit in well.

    I think Owen said it, but I feel the same: they may not be a great team this year, but they will be fun to watch. I am willing to really hope for these young guys to succeed.
    And I think Double T knows how to teach, which means their defense will be their defining trait.
    Defense in NY!

  25. Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon:
    Ryan Smith was “really close” to bidding on Timberwolves before his wife put her foot down. “You know we’re Jazz fans, right?” she told him. Now, the lifelong Utah resident if officially the Jazz’s owner. Smith: “We want to win and do good here in Utah.”

    Well, now that our hopes are at the highest, i hope someday something like this happens to the Knicks.

  26. You can also thank COVID for IQ’s fall in the draft because there’s no way he would have if there had been the typical Portsmouth/series of real in-person workouts schedule in the pre-draft. And then he would have lit up summer league and everyone would have been like, “Yeah, of course he can start at the point.”

  27. If Thibs and the staff are confident Rivers can play the 1, I wouldn’t be shocked if both Elf and DSJ go.

    In a trade maybe for Elf, or him getting cut in a month or two if he stirs up trouble over his role versus Quickley’s. But he’s not getting cut today.

  28. Agreed, but there really shouldn’t be any minutes for him. Whatever need the operation has of a “steady, dependable veteran” at the 1 can be filled by Rivers.

    I doubt he has any trade value at all. Maybe a low 2, tops. If he’s ok never playing, I suppose he’s ok keeping around in case everyone gets injured or Covid or something.

  29. I think Covid is going to eventually dictate playing time and/or injuries…payton, dsj, frank…all seem injury prone and Noel looks frail…plus once they start traveling (and assuming they don’t step to the front of the vaccine line)…its bound to happen…but if all are healthy…and Thibs is doing it on merit..elf and dsj would/should be riding pine…and then whining and then sent packing…

  30. I doubt he has any trade value at all. Maybe a low 2, tops. If he’s ok never playing, I suppose he’s ok keeping around in case everyone gets injured or Covid or something.

    Yeah, we’re actually in a decent position with Elf on that deal. He’s cheap enough that he could fetch a second (or rights to someone else’s draft-and-stash player, or raw 15th man, or whatever shiny little thing that Brock Aller wants to collect) if some other team finds itself in dire PG straits in this unusual season. And if there’s no market, he’s also cheap enough (and there are no long-term cap implications) that Rose wouldn’t hesitate to cut him if he’s causing trouble behind the scenes. And Thibs and Rose are so firmly entrenched at the moment that Randle or anyone else who might want to object would likely think better of it.

    And as I said last night, I would absolutely try Rivers as the backup 1 for now, just because he can shoot and score a bit, and we’ve seen what garbage our offense looks like if the other team doesn’t respect our PG’s ability to get points. One of Macri’s podcasts this week also had an interesting quote he says he got from someone who works for the team: “Thibs has no use for a point guard who doesn’t score.” (They cited his reluctance to embrace Rubio, for instance, as an example of it.) It felt like he was holding his nose to start Payton for lack of a better choice. But if Quickley and Rivers can both man the position — especially when RJ looks more ready than last year to help facilitate the offense from the wing — then Thibs no longer has to go against his instincts and start (or even play) Elf.

  31. Begley:

    Something else worth noting on the roster: earlier this week, some Knicks decision makers believed that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist wasn’t a lock to make the 15-man roster, SNY sources say.

    Maybe the nepotism isn’t the dominant force at MSG anymore? Eh, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  32. Farfa back!

    Defending every possession. Playing the kids. Passing(!). I’m dreaming. Let it last, please.

  33. Thibs, rightly so, doesn’t want teams to get away with playing a zone. Payton simply can’t shoot, and RJ, Mitch/Noel and Randle, all of whom are going to start, are not the guys you want shooting 3’s to break up a zone. You would essentially have one perimeter threat (Burks, Rivers or Bullock, take your pick.)

    Unless Obi learns to shoot 3’s and Knox continues to improve beyond shooting (he’s in great shape, give him credit for that!) then Payton is going to not have a consistent path to playing time…unless it’s a steath tank. If teams can play zone against you, you are going to lose, and lose a lot.

  34. So yeah, IQ and Rivers make sense for now. Maybe spot DSjr in if his shot has improved and he continues to wreak havoc on D like he did in the last game…one way to diffuse the zone is to get into transition and DSjr can do that.

  35. RJ just looks so much more comfortable in year 2. I don’t know what his ceiling as a scorer will be, but he plays a winning style on the court. The fact that he can score is even better. That being said I am ok if he never becomes the best player on the team. He will be just fine as the 2nd best if it comes to that. Obviously if he develops that 3 ball, then sky’s the limit with him. But I like what I see out of him right now.

  36. Z-man: Thibs, rightly so, doesn’t want teams to get away with playing a zone.

    Yeah, we’ll look back at the Knicks being down 17 to the Cavs’ C team playing zone against them, the game after the Pistons played zone against them, as rock bottom.

  37. Yeah lost in all the Quickley hysteria is that RJ has had an excellent preseason. He just looks so poised all of the time and if his ft shooting is real he’s well on his way to being a good NBA player.

  38. The defense seems pretty good overall but I’m still wondering if they will adequately defend the 3. For two petty had teams, it felt like (I haven’t looked at the numbers yet) that they were able to generate a pretty good amount of open 3s as the Knicks packed the paint.

  39. What I wanna see- unlikely as it may be- is a 10 man rotation of:
    PG Quickley, Rivers
    SG Burks, Ntilikina
    SF RJ, Knox
    PF Randle(for now), Toppin
    C Mitch, Noel
    And DSJ, Spellman, and Bullock available for garbage time. I wanted to say Iggy instead of Bullock, but I got the feeling Iggy gets moved.

    That being said, I wonder if Payton can waive his no-trade if we find a deal to send him somewhere he can get playing time. Harper and Powell need to battle it out in the G League for the right to be next PG up. Harper most likely wins that battle though. That gives us a mostly inexperienced PG rotation, but what do we have to lose and what do we really need Payton for? I kinda feel like Payton was offered what he was offered just for insurance. I think the plan was initially to add a Westbrook or Conley, but they felt like they needed a vet PG fall back option, so they gave Payton the no-trade. But once Rivers is healthy, there is really no need for Payton. On top of that, he bogs down the offense- let him go. Maybe LeBron or Kawhi wants him.

  40. This game required a Farfa ‘cap and as usual he delivered.

    It’ll be fascinating to see if Thibs has the stones to award the starting job to Quickley. There’s no doubt he won the competition to the extent there was one, but he wouldn’t even commit to making him a rotation player after the game so I wouldn’t get our hopes up.

    Mitch on the other hand hopefully ended any doubt as to who should start at center. I like Noel but last night demonstrated Mitch’s upside–all the necessary caveats about it being the Cavs etc. but those dudes were downright terrified to go to the rim. Mitch should start on opening night and every other night for the foreseeable future.

    Don’t want to count our chickens before they hatch, but it looks like in Barrett we got one of those young players who actually, you know, improves. Who was the last young player to make a genuine leap as a Knick? David Lee?

  41. I could see Thibs starting elf for a few games just out of veteran respect but also he’s on a one year cheap deal and thibs is gonna so what he thinks can win him the most games. But I guess you could make a case for having Quickley off the bench for 5 games or so just to make sure. I feel like Quickley is gonna push the issue pretty…Quickley though

  42. DSJ to the G-league makes the most sense. He needs to dominate opponents and get his confidence back. It seems to have worked for Josh Jackson, and he was a higher pick than DSJ. Idk why it has to be such a big deal. Isn’t it worse to be with the team and constantly get ripped by Berman and fans?

  43. The Knicks should try to help facilitate a Harden trade. It’s sounding more and more like he’s firm about wanting out and the team is willing to talk to a number of teams. Naturally they want to maximize the value, but he has to be happy with the deal otherwise the new team will be inheriting Houston’s mess. Supposedly Miami is in the conversation now, but I have tough time thinking Harden will get along with Butler if Westbrook couldn’t deal with him. Butler is going to want practice to run late to work harder and Harden will show up late and want to leave early to hit the clubs in Miami.

  44. The thing about Mitch is that last night proved little about his ability to stay on the court. Drummond abused him a few times when they were matched up. Drummond didn’t play last night.

  45. wow i guess no one overreacted to the preseason games…

    the only thing that mattered is that rj looked good shooting the ball… maybe not from 3.. but everywhere else and especially at the line (87%!)…. i don’t think i saw him miss a midranger either… there’s some progress on passing the ball on his drives too but we’ll have to see how he does under more duress in the regular season to see if that and his 2p shooting are for real… it does look like he has worked on all the things he needed to work on…. just like the season before…. he’s probably in for some real progress this year it’s just a matter of how much….

    everything else you can try to be optimistic on but it’s preseason and it’s an even weirder preseason than what we’re used to…. and we played the worst team in the league playing the bottom of their roster… not exactly representative stuff… so knox and quickley did do ok under those circumstances but so did dsj and randle and basically 90% of the team… there’s not really much special going on here….

  46. Barrett learning to shoot FTs is a game changer

    It’s very exciting. Canning open 3s would be nice, too, but his ability to get to the basket is such a big part of his game.

  47. Rivers can probably handle the backup PG job. When he played behind CP3 there was a period when CP3 was hurt and he was handed the keys. The team did not totally collapse. I think he can probably handle backing up Payton or Quickley, but imo we should definitely keep Payton over DSJr if one or the other is going to be traded. Payton does a lot of things well other than shoot 3s and he’s more consistent and mentally stable.

  48. No one is trading for either Elf or DSJ right now. Elf might have a market later if a team’s backups get hurt. DSJ only has a market if he plays much better. And if he plays much better, the Knicks would probably want to keep him.

  49. Jalen Suggs on TV for the first time in a while.

    everything else you can try to be optimistic on but it’s preseason and it’s an even weirder preseason than what we’re used to…. and we played the worst team in the league playing the bottom of their roster… not exactly representative stuff… so knox and quickley did do ok under those circumstances but so did dsj and randle and basically 90% of the team… there’s not really much special going on here….

    This is why I’m not going to go insane when Quickley isn’t the starter on opening night. It’s perfectly sensible to ask for more than two good games against the third-stringers on maybe the worst team in the NBA. He’s got time.

  50. Our centers are very strong in blocks, PFs and… changing agents!

    Knicks School Alerts @KnicksAlerts:
    Nerlens Noel has terminated his relationship with Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, per @AlexKennedyNBA
    He is currently looking for new representation

  51. Just to remind everyone Knox shot over 50% from 3 last year for the first 5 games of the regular season before slowly going into a coma. So while it’s encouraging that he’s been shooting well and looks a bit stronger again this year, the confidence level can’t be too high yet. Baby steps. If he adds something every year maybe he’ll be OK.

  52. Alan:
    No one is trading for either Elf or DSJ right now. Elf might have a market later if a team’s backups get hurt. DSJ only has a market if he plays much better. And if he plays much better, the Knicks would probably want to keep him.

    I think there are teams that would be happy having Payton as their backup PG (I’d be fine with it in NY), but as far as DSJr goes, if he looks good you are supposed to use that as an opportunity to trade him.

  53. Gonzaga is gonna win every game this season. They’re so much better than every other team and it’s not even close. And much of it is because of Suggs amazing play thus far. This is a three player draft for sure

  54. Don’t get to watch NCAA here in Europe. Mobley is a C or a PF? Can he play with Mitch? Either way, our primary targets are Suggs and Cade, right?

  55. I would probably start Elfrid. The last thing you want is to have Quickley pick up 2 fouls in the first minute against better comp and kill his momentum. If he keeps playing well there’s plenty of time to start him. You can pull EP after 5 minutes, especially if IND goes zone and we have no answer. I’d go with EP, Burks, Mitch, RJ and Randle. Barring foul trouble, IQ would be my first sub in.

  56. Randle’s improved decision-making has gone under the radar. He’s a beast on the boards and in transition and has been much better about passing out of double teams and not dribbling too much (better, not perfect). If he and RJ can just do enough to punish the zone, Payton can hold his own. Thibs is probably thinking this, hopefully he uses it as motivation.

  57. Quickley hasn’t exactly shown a lot of playmaking, in the two games he played PG Randle was our leading assist guy.

  58. Z-man:
    I would probably start Elfrid. The last thing you want is to have Quickley pick up 2 fouls in the first minute against better comp and kill his momentum. If he keeps playing well there’s plenty of time to start him. You can pull EP after 5 minutes, especially if IND goes zone and we have no answer. I’d go with EP, Burks, Mitch, RJ and Randle. Barring foul trouble, IQ would be my first sub in.

    This is what I’m thinking. Start EP, if Indy goes zone you pull him immediately for IQ. Wouldn’t be surprised if IQ gets the nod either.

    We were able to beat the zone with only 2 good shooters on the floor, you can probably run Payton out there with the 2nd string if Knox or Ntilikina can hit their shots. If not you’re looking at Rivers, maybe DSJr.

    Frank has been a wing everytime Thibs has played him. He needs to beat Bullock or Knox to see the floor. I doubt we see him at PG this year unless a lot of things go haywire.

  59. Playing TOP D gives you a chance against ANY Team.
    Having a competent PG and efficient shooters make you the favourite to win.

  60. Hollis-Jefferson just waived by the T-Wolves. If we’re gonna pick any defense-first wing to guarantee a contract to, it should be RHJ rather than MKG.

  61. Don’t get to watch NCAA here in Europe. Mobley is a C or a PF? Can he play with Mitch? Either way, our primary targets are Suggs and Cade, right?

    he could probably play wherever you want him to play…. these guys are so good it’s not a question of if they fit with mitch or whoever… those guys are going to need to fit with them…. that’s if we have the privilege to pick them…

  62. https://youtu.be/kYiT7n97C3E?t=110

    I wonder what Thibodeau thought of this. Like, did Knox assume that he’d have help underneath? And even then, doesn’t help defense give up a wide open corner three, or the corner man passing it around the horn to the open man on the rotation? What a dreadful play.

    Imagine being Osman and scoring 19 points on 8 shot attempts and your team still loses by 36.

    Mobley looks like a future superstar. You pick BPA next season, no doubt. If that’s Mobley, you take him. That man is not going to “clog” the paint.

  63. Alan:
    Courtney Lee waived! If we pick him up, we can trade him for a 1st whenever we want!!!!

    He complements 3rd highest paid player and biggest butt, Joakim Noah, very well.

  64. Alan: In every sense of the word.

    Let me put it this way, there’s one sense of the word in which he’s not beating Omari Spellman.

  65. drew hanlen was on with begley… and he basically confirms how keith smart and company tweaked rj’s shot last year…. so glad he was able to spend all offseason with him to unprogram that…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KmNqPCE5yo

    really good interview also… i think we can expect big things from rj this year…

  66. If you admit you were wrong now there’s still room on the Quickley bandwagon,

    oh woah… we’re doing victory laps already?

  67. Last night was so fun. What we saw was the skeleton of a team that fans could definitely get behind with lots of unselfish offense passing the ball and tons of defensive intensity. People have already made the comparison and I want to reiterate that it feels like that 2010 D’Antoni coached team which was a borderline .500 squad before the Melo trade blew it all up. I can get behind watching a team like this grow together.

    PS – No one is talking about the lowkey 5 steals Quickley had in three quarters of play. He was everywhere on the floor in defense and offense.

  68. RJ making his free throws paves the way for him to be at least a Demar Derozan kind of player. He can get to the stripe already, so if he can keep it up with the free throws that’ll really do wonders for his efficiency. If he adds a reliable three ball to that he’s a very good player.

  69. Re: Obi Toppin

    I still like Toppin but I don’t think he’s coming into the league nearly as polished as people initially thought. He can still be a good player and he has the work ethic to do it, but a good Toppin will end up looking a lot different than we initially thought. He needs to make a lot of adjustments to his game to play in the NBA. Obivously, it’s still early and I may need to revise this statement in the near future, but that’s my impression from the preseason.

    Ntilakilla: PS – No one is talking about the lowkey 5 steals Quickley had in three quarters of play. He was everywhere on the floor in defense and offense.

    I haven’t gone back and looked but I think it came against Matt Mooney. My impression after 2 games is that Matt Mooney is not an NBA guard and probably not a G-League guard. Pretty sure that’s the guy DSJr also had 3-4 steals against and at least 1 blocked shot, so I’m not counting on that being a thing.

  70. I haven’t gone back and looked but I think it came against Matt Mooney.

    I don’t quite remember who it was against either but the impression I had was that he was all over the passing lanes on defense and pick pocketed a few guys when they made bad passes or mishandled the ball.

  71. Jimi was singing If 6 was 9.
    I hope we’ve done singing ‘if 25 was 33’ after that game and realize that sometimes general perception is just another POV.
    And as i often say to a good buddy of mine ‘if you wanna learn about the good stuff in the music genre you like check out the few connoisseurs not the average ratings’

  72. djphan:
    drew hanlen was on with begley… and he basically confirms how keith smart and company tweaked rj’s shot last year…. so glad he was able to spend all offseason with him to unprogram that…

    Yeah, he threw Smart under the bus in a very roundabout way. Jesus, Fizdale was such a freaking waste.

  73. Let me put it this way, there’s one sense of the word in which he’s not beating Omari Spellman.

    Ha! And I can only imagine the giddy look on Phil’s face when he got a look at Spellman…

  74. I really don’t think you can waive Payton after one game/five quarters against scrubs for Quickley- and yes, defensively Garland is a scrub, among the worst defensive guards in the league. I have no problem starting Quickley given that we’re not likely to win a lot anyway but he could still easily flame out. Payton is the best playmaker on the roster so I think you have to keep him. Even if you’re tanking you need some semblance of point guard play to properly assess your other guys. If every team starts to go zone and Payton continues to brick every single three he takes then yeah, move or waive him but he’s played 6 seasons at below average starter/good backup level which unfortunately makes him irreplaceable on this team until Quickley proves he can really start.

    And Austin Rivers is barely a combo guard let alone a point. His career assist % is a lofty 14. Frank make more sense as a backup point and he’s 4th now on the depth chart at point.

  75. Come to think of it, IND may be vulnerable to a zone as well….Brogdan is decent but not dead-eye, Oladipo is erratic and TJ shot well but on lower volume. I guess Turner can step out…they don’t really have a knockdown shooter in their starting lineup.

  76. Ntilakilla: I don’t quite remember who it was against either but the impression I had was that he was all over the passing lanes ondefense and pick pocketed a few guys when they made bad passes or mishandled the ball.

    You’re probably right, I have a terrible memory of these things. I don’t want to diminish what Quick did, but Cleveland just seems uniquely susceptible to allowing PGs to rack up steals.

    Ntilakilla: Yeah, he threw Smart under the bus in a very roundabout way. Jesus, Fizdale was such a freaking waste.

    This confirms my theory that Smart was in fact the worst thing that happened to the Knicks last year and explains why no one could shoot at the beginning of the year. We may set the record for worst 3p% this year, but for the first month or so last year I was worried we’d set the record for worst ft%.

  77. nicos: Payton is the best playmaker on the roster so I think you have to keep him.

    Not many PGs can be good playmakers against a zone unless he himself can shoot or he’s on the floor with shooters. Since RJ, Randle and Mitch are guaranteed starters, he really hurts your team at the beginning of games.

    I think you have to start him for now and then see how it goes. If Randle and RJ are hot, you can get away with it. But even a dummy like me knows that Elf and those 3 are sitting ducks for a zone.

    But maybe Thibs throws Quickley out there to see what he can do. One thing’s for sure…the kid can stroke it from 3. If he can defend the position against starters he’s got to be out there.

  78. Z-man:
    Come to think of it, IND may be vulnerable to a zone as well….Brogdan is decent but not dead-eye, Oladipo is erratic and TJ shot well but on lower volume. I guess Turner can step out…they don’t really have a knockdown shooter in their starting lineup.

    I’m not saying it won’t work, but I think you’re underestimating just how truly terrible we are at shooting 3s when we run Payton/RJ/Randle/Mitch. That’s 4 non-shooters, so TJ Warren & Turner make the Pacers already better than us.

  79. Querly Q-Word, Pen Name of Pen Name Early Bird: I’m not saying it won’t work, but I think you’re underestimating just how truly terrible we are at shooting 3s when we run Payton/RJ/Randle/Mitch. That’s 4 non-shooters, so TJ Warren & Turner make the Pacers already better than us.

    Oh, agreed! But as NBA teams go they are not a great 3pt shooting starting group. I’m just wondering if Thibs will try a zone against them in spurts…

  80. We’ve seen Quickley thrive in games that don’t count against maybe the worst defensive backcourt in the NBA and their scrub backups, so while that is legitimately more exciting than I’m making it sound, it’s way too early to cut Payton before we’ve seen how Quickley plays in a real NBA game against guys who play defense.

  81. Payton is the best “non shooting PG” on the team.
    He is the most experienced too.
    We need to start the best PG tho.
    The one who can dribble securely, control the pace, make the other 4 around him better and shoot without causing heart problems to coaching staff and fans.

  82. We’ve seen Quickley thrive in games that don’t count against maybe the worst defensive backcourt in the NBA and their scrub backups, so while that is legitimately more exciting than I’m making it sound, it’s way too early to cut Payton before we’ve seen how Quickley plays in a real NBA game against guys who play defense.

    IMO, the telling thing is that Quickley excelled against better competition on the same team that Payton and DSJ were failing against. You have to look at the independent variable that separated the last 5 quarters of dominance against the Cavaliers vs. the 3 previous to those where we were getting washed by an even worse lineup of theirs. As far as I can see the major difference was PG play, which felt like night and day insofar as our offensive cohesiveness was concerned. Quickley didn’t even need to have a good shooting night the first game around and the difference in terms of team play was clear.

  83. Please, no zone defense against IND. If we do that, Nate McMillan will put on the floor Aaron Holiday (39.4%), Justin Holiday (40.5%), TJ Warren (40.3%), Doug McDermott (43.5%), and we’ll look like fools exactly like we did when Fiz tried it last year.

  84. You gotta understand, DJ, as one of the founding and most loyal members of team optimist, I’ve been waiting for a moment like this for a LONG time. My early support of Quickley might even be enough for jowles to finally stop holding my justification of the Bargnani trade over my head whenever I make a hot take.

  85. We definitely look like the shit of the nba right now rosterwise but the pacers don’t look like the dream team also.
    With Thibs-D in Full Force i think we can start nicely this season.

  86. That 0-1000 third quarter from Payton against Cleveland was absolutely brutal but his career 3pt% is 28.9% so really bad but not unplayably so- at least on this team- given his okay defense and very good playmaking. He did shoot 20% last year which might be unplayable so his leash is short but Quickley hasn’t faced even below average NBA defense yet.

  87. Extraterrestrials fans of Gambling, Nba and Westerns have invaded the planet.
    They give us 2 options to save Earth.
    Russian Roulette with 2 bullets in a six shooter
    Or
    One made 3pointshot out of three by Elf.

    Joe Biden to aliens:
    -Gimme the f#n pistol!

  88. Knew Your Nicks:
    Extraterrestrials fans of Gambling, Nba and Westerns have invaded the planet.
    They give us 2 options to save Earth.
    Russian Roulette with 2 bullets in a six shooter
    Or
    One made 3pointshot out of three by Elf.

    Joe Biden to aliens:
    -Gimme the f#n pistol!

    LOL! That’s funny! :)
    What’s even more depressing is that he probably would have still chose the pistol, even with 4 bullets! :P

  89. #LOL! That’s funny! :)
    What’s even more depressing is that he probably would have still chose the pistol, even with 4 bullets! :P#

    LOL!
    Even Elf would have chosen the 4bullets pistol instead of the ball!

  90. Right now we have three good/interesting prospects, all of whom have some potential as two-way players: Mitch, RJ, and Quickley. We also have Obi, who is probably going to be an offense-only kind of prospect but maybe the kind of guy you can hide on a team that has a bunch of effective defenders surrounding him. Then we have a tier of guys who are bust/reclamation player prospects: Knox, Ntilikina, DSJ.

    That’s a reasonably decent starting core of young guys. The team is not going to be good, but it will be watchable. JUST KEEP DOING THIS. Next year we have two more 1RPs, maybe we can acquire some more. Stick with this shit, and you’ll have something nice in a few years.

  91. A lot of the bad first CLE game falls on EP, but not all of it. Other players need to make their shots, Bullock shot 1/6 in the first CLE game on some pretty good looks. He managed to hit 3/4 in the second. Maybe there’s something else going on, but there’s a lot of random chance in 3p%.

    The Knicks need to break up their non-shooters, but if you surround EP with enough shooters he should be fine. Bench EP and give him Bullock and 1 other shooter and we should have 2 viable PGs.

    I’d guess, but don’t know, that EP is better than Quickley at running the PnR. The problem is that you can’t run the PnR against a zone defense.

    Even if you keep EP in the starting lineup, you expect RJ, Randle, Payton, & Bullock to shoot better than 3/25. As bad as those guys are at shooting, they’re not that bad.

    I think people here are overreacting a bit to some very unsustainable 3pt shooting. EP’s squad won’t always shoot 12% from 3 and IQ’s squad won’t always shoot over 60%.

  92. Psychology matters
    Just think of the psychology of a returning for 1 year under reduced salary veteran pg that seems like an old dog who’s not really interested in new tricks on a rebuilding team full of youngsters and otoh the psychology of a Rookie who wants to be famous, rich and fulfil his dreams via the game that as it seems loves the right way.

  93. Not ready to put Quickley in hall of fame, but it was fun watching last night’s preseason game. I’d like to believe he is a better option than anyone else on the roster, but part of me hedges he may be the next Landry Fields. Without proclaiming IQ the stud find of the draft, I hope he might be that.

    Haven’t enjoyed a game that much in years. Hope there is more to come.

    Bring on the Pacers!

  94. Have you ever been to a job feeling not wanted anymore? That shit affects you.
    Elf and Randle have that negative aura that brings team’s energy to the ground.
    Seems like I’m talking mambo jumbo nonsense but i guess if you pay close attention to body language and follow the Knicks for a long time you can tell good from bad energy easily.

  95. MO, the telling thing is that Quickley excelled against better competition on the same team that Payton and DSJ were failing against. You have to look at the independent variable that separated the last 5 quarters of dominance against the Cavaliers vs. the 3 previous to those where we were getting washed by an even worse lineup of theirs. As far as I can see the major difference was PG play, which felt like night and day insofar as our offensive cohesiveness was concerned. Quickley didn’t even need to have a good shooting night the first game around and the difference in terms of team play was clear.

    You are forgetting that Drummond played major minutes and was effective for Cleveland in the first game and didn’t play in the second game.

  96. Knew Your Nicks:
    Psychology matters
    Just think of the psychology of a returning for 1 year under reduced salary veteran pg that seems like an old dog who’s not really interested in new tricks on a rebuildingteam full of youngsters and otoh the psychology of a Rookie who wants to be famous, rich and fulfil his dreams via the game that as it seems loves the right way.

    There could be something else going on. DSJr’s performance last year shows psychology can have an effect. But the zone defense and 4 players who are coin flips to top a .300 3p% in any given years seems a more reasonable place to start for the time being.

    Also, Randle has been busting his butt on the break and has put a lot of effort into racking up assists. He still kinda sucks and forces the issue too much, but I’d hardly say he has bad body language.

  97. pepper:
    coke Anthony looking good… just toasted ball one on one

    It was a small sample size in Australia, but by all reports LaMelo is an atrocious defender.

  98. Despite the 3p shooting being 20something% the team won easily against Pistons but didn’t seem very fluid on offense.
    It’s not about efficiency.
    It’s about fast reactions and movement without the ball.

    Same w Randle. When he’s acting fast especially without dribbling the team is a TEAM.
    He buys into the system and follows.
    But when he starts hogging….you can easily see the black clouds gathering and the Bad Aura spreading….

  99. Thibs saying that Team needs a star implying that his 20pts/10rebs/3ass PF paid 20MperYear is Nowhere near that can also affect a psychology (i would like to believe possitively) and make Julius more of a team part than an unsung heroballer.

  100. Knew Your Nicks:
    Despite the 3p shooting being 20something% the team won easily against Pistons but didn’t seem very fluid on offense.
    It’s not about efficiency.
    It’s about fast reactions and movement without the ball.

    Same w Randle. When he’s acting fast especially without dribbling the team is a TEAM.
    He buys into the system and follows.
    But when he starts hogging….you can easily see the black clouds gathering and the Bad Aura spreading….

    I’m not going to push this point too much. But a 9 month layoff, probably the longest any of them have taken off from organized basketball ever, might also make a team look like they’re not fluid on offense

  101. #I’m not going to push this point too much. But a 9 month layoff, probably the longest any of them have taken off from organized basketball ever, might also make a team look like they’re not fluid on offense#

    Definitely.
    But Randle is not a stranger to us.
    We all know that he’s the type of player who’s gonna dribble too much and hog the ball (without even having the special offensive talent to do it) instead of sharing and caring.

  102. I think we all have (at least) once played streetball with a guy who’s fuckking the team/rhythm by overdribbling-ballhogging.
    (If you haven’t maybe You’re the One!)

    It’s not fun/Brings down the energy

  103. Shams says we’re waiving MKG. A pleasant surprise. Not that Spellman is any great shakes, but as others have said, we already know what MKG is and what he isn’t. And in Pinson, we already have a glue guy who can’t shoot under contract. Better to take a chance that Spellman or Iggy could be more than they’ve shown thus far.

  104. If Randle played the way he played in preseason and actually hit his threes he might be worth 20m. He hustled on defense and moved the ball on offense. He’s gonna make some cringe-worthy plays on both ends but if he’s sharing the ball and genuinely trying on defense he’ll be light years better than he was last year. And I think his surly demeanor is mostly for the press- I’ve seen multiple postgame interviews where he’s laughing with teammates until the question gets asked and then he just goes completely stone faced.

  105. When the fans, the press and your team all pray for you to be traded for months, being uptempo and happy is definitely good for you (especially when you also get 20M) but let’s be honest.
    Everyone wants to be accepted, loved, praised and be successful at work.

  106. #I’ve been very pleased with Randle’s play.#

    Me too (comparing him to 2019-20)
    Would you extend him?

  107. There’s a real place for a bigman who can pass in halfcourt sets in Thib’s triangle offense.

    Randle should fit well in that capacity if he wants to be that guy.

    Noah did. KAT did not.

  108. #if he wants to be that guy#

    I keep this.
    And always have in the back of my mind that DrJulius’s MrRandle lurks to fuk things up at any possible moment.

  109. i never got what all the excitement was… he’s a talented passer but so is his brother… they’re literally mirror images of each other… and while it looks like lonzo is figuring out his outside shot… he’s still a low usage scorer and he had to rework his shot.. and there’s still no guarantee that he makes it….

    lamelo is going to have similar problems… he’s got all that other stuff goin for him except for that but that one thing has held back greater prospects also…

  110. Farfa, Great write-up. Welcome back!

    The wife and I were busy last night so I had to watch the game on DVR. I did sneak a half-time score peak and thought it was some sort of type-o. Much to my delight, it wasn’t. I am cautiously optimistic about IQ. I am slightly concerned about Obi-1. The team works under Quickly’s direction. He makes everyone better like a good point guard should. He has weaknesses that he can work on, but he also has elite capabilities. A guard that can run a team and can shoot? Sign me up!

    Obi looked tentative. We don’t need a polite power forward. We need a dawg. Hopefully the coaching staff slaps that out of him fast.

    It’s looking like it’s Iggy and Spellman that make the team. Yay for Iggy! I want someone better than Spellman for the last spot. Frank Kaminsky was cut today by the Kings. He’s a good third string center and he can hit a jumper.

    If Quickly is what he looked like, RJ hits his foul shots, Knox continues to hit shots, Obi comes as advertised and Mitch stays out of foul trouble, we have a legit and CHEAP starting lineup. The dream is that these five develop fast.

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