Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Detroit Pistons 115 – New York Knicks 89 – Game (?) Recap

Minutes before this game was on, Al Trautwig was at center court telling the viewers that coach Fizdale told his guys to treat the last seven games of the season as a playoff series, and that since we were 3-3 in the last six the game against Detroit would have counted as a game seven. Now, aside from the total retconning bullshit of that claim (yeah, sure. The last seven. What if we went 5-1 during that stretch? Or 0-6? It’s things like this that trigger my inner con artist alarm, but whatever), I think now we know what would happen if the Washington Generals played by total happenstance a game seven against an NBA team.

This game was utter trash and deserves not even the tiniest smidge of a recap, at that’s not only an indictment of the game itself, but also of my writing ability. There’s a saying in Italian that goes like this: “(He is trying to) extracting blood from turnips”, describing someone who’s trying to turn a bad thing into good results without any chance to reach his goal. Well, I won’t even try. Keep your orange and blue turnips, hoping that in July they’ll have become majestic roses.

So, instead of recapping this game (honestly, there’s nothing to say about the game: Detroit went up by a lot early. Mitch was in foul trouble, and that’s a shame because suddenly people kinda remembered how to pass the ball to him in the air. The 2+ block was interrupted. Jenkins was the only one able to put the ball in the basket apart from Mitch. Hicks played 21 minutes. That’s all), I will be handing out grades for the season, with basic stats (pts/reb/ast; TS%, WS/48) and whatever, for every guy who donned a Knicks jersey this season. Players in alphabetic order (surname):

Kadeem Allen: 18 games, 9.8/2.6/3.8; .582, .105. Kadeem was a very nice surprise for the season, being the beneficiary of the two-way slot left open when Trier signed his first true NBA contract. He’s an old sophomore (26), and he came here with a reputation of defensive-minded short shooting guard. He actually transformed (for a bad team, I know) into a capable point guard, with good instincts and a penchant for not turning the ball over too much while hitting shots. Look at the TS% and WS/48! Small sample size and all, these are the numbers of a very nice second/third string point guard for a playoff team. He won’t be shooting 45.5% from three on a steady diet of shots, but 39% would be more than good, and he has the mechanics to float around there. Grade for the season: B. I want him back.

Ron Baker: 11 games, 1.3/0.6/1.2; .376, .003. One of the good guys, as Clyde would say. I think he’s definitely out of the League. Kadeem is what we thought Ron could have been, but was never able to become. Wish you well, Ron. Grade for the season: D-. His defensive intensity will be missed. Everything else is useless and/or ugly.

Trey Burke: 33 games, 11.8/1.9/2.8; .496, .045. Regression to the mean was the name of the game for Trey, who’s definitely capable of 25/5/5 games as a dynamic backup but more often than not shoots you out of the game while not creating plays (not to self: copy/paste this sentence for Mudiay). I was happy to see him shipped elsewhere mid-season. Grade for the season: D. I had some expectations about him being able to man the point effectively, but should have known better.

Damyean Dotson: 72 games, 10.8/3.6/1.8; .528, .040. The OG Dungeon Boy, was the first beneficiary of some inexplicable strings of DNPs Fiz reserved to a few guys during the season. Dotson regressed a bit from his rookie season in a few areas, namely defense and rebounding, but shot better from three and showed some flashes as a tertiary playmaker. I really, really wish I could overlook his former criminal allegations and root lightheartedly for him. Anyway, grade for the season: C-. A good basketball cog to have around next year if we build a superstar core.

Henry Ellenson: 16 games, 5.6/3.3/0.9; .524, .059. A cool fourth/fifth big, with the requisite shooting for a stretch four, a knack for good ball handling, but too slow and not enough intense to really impact games consistently. I can see in his future a playoff game decided by his sudden unexpected insurgence, only to be forgotten for the next four years. Grade for the season: D+. Wouldn’t mind having around as a homeless man Olynyk, as I already said.

Billy Garrett: 3 games, 6.7/1/2; .437, -0.010. Thank you, next. Grade for the season: INC. (veering on F+).

Tim Hardaway Jr.: 46 games, 19.1/3.5/2.7; .531, .049. He was who we thought he were. Probably a good kid, not really versed in winning basketball. The poster boy for everything that’s wrong in Steve Mills basketball analysis. So glad he’s gone in the KP trade. Grade for the season: D. Hope he never comes back. I don’t harbor any ill will towards him, but I couldn’t simply stand him anymore.

Mario Hezonja: 57 games, 9/4.1/1.5; .500, .005. Apart from the late season insurgence of point Mario, he was very frustrating, especially when Fiz insisted on starting him and keeping Dot or Frank glued to the bench. Aside from Mitch, though, he had the most iconic moments of the season, and that has to mean something. Still waiting for Giannis to punch him in the nuts after the stepover. Hopefully it will be when the Bucks are playing another team and not the Knicks. Grade for the season: F+ (point Mario: C – even last night he had two gorgeous assists for Mitch; maybe I actually wouldn’t mind him here as a combo guard on a vet min).

Isaiah Hicks: 3 games, 4/2.3/0.6; .510, .012. A total waste of a two-way contract. Slow, unathletic, unplayable and unplayed. Grade for the season: INC. (veering on F-)

John Jenkins: 21 games, 4.7/1.6/0.9; .492, .002. The numbers aren’t there, but you can squint and see a James Jones-like path for John Jenkins. He badly needs someone who makes defenses collapse and then kick the ball out for open threes to thrive a bit. I liked his contribution (as much as you can like such a shallow on). Grade for the season: C—. Wouldn’t mind having him back if the right guys come on board.

DeAndre Jordan: 19 games, 10.9/11.4/3; .681, .185. Who would have guessed than DeAndre has such passing acumen in him? While he apparently lost a step and a half on defense, his play wasn’t half bad and there’s a real chance he helped Mitch grow into the vocal presence he is now on the court. It’s astounding to see that he’s played less games than Jenkins and only three more than Ellenson, but such is the tanking way. Grade for the season: C+. I don’t see the reason for wanting him back (considering he’ll command a lot more than the vet min), but I see the abstract reasoning in wanting DeAndre on your team.

Enes Kanter: 44 games, 14/10.5/1.9; .585, .144. Sooo glad he got bought out. I’m eager to see him getting his ass kicked by Steven Adams in the series against OKC. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish anything bad on Enes, but his shtick grew incredibly stale and annoying (and his defense-averse ways were even more annoying). Props for standing up against Erdogan, but it’s not politics, it’s basketball we’re talking about. The poster boy of why WS/48 doesn’t describe everything right. Grade for the season: D-. I can’t wait to see him come back to the Garden and get posterized by Mitch over and over again.

Kevin Knox: 74 games, 12.9/4.4/1.1; .477, -0.026. The rookie played the most games and minutes for the 2018-19 Knicks while being terrible in every aspect of the game save for shooting threes. I don’t have a lot of faith in him becoming a good NBA player, but as a 9-10th man off the bench to shoot threes and be quite tall he could carve his spot for a decade, I guess. Not what you’d go for in the lottery, but if you swing for the fences that’s what you have to know you could get. I love the idea that as soon as Zion Williamson will post his first 30 point game next year the media will run the list of teenagers scoring 30+ in a game in the NBA and Kevin’s name will be there, a perfect trolling figure amidst all-time great. Grade for the season: D+ (if he wasn’t a rookie he’d get an F).

Luke Kornet: 45 games, 7/3/1.2;.537, .090. Luke ended the season on a tear, but he just gave us confirmation of what we already suspected: he can be an NBA player. He has to play in a system that limits in a hard way his shot creation but gives him the green light to bomb away. He’s like a very limited Brook Lopez, and we saw this year what difference can make a player like him if surrounded by good to great players. He’s a good fit for Mitch, and even for that reason alone he needs to be back. Grade for the season: C+.

Courtney Lee: 12 games, 4.7/2.3/1.3; .527, .087. Courtney is the clear cut example that advanced stats don’t have to be terrible even if you can’t be a good basketball player anymore. You simply have to understand what you can and can’t do anymore. Hated his contract, never hated the guy. Wish him well. Grade for the season: D+. Prime candidate for a buyout in 2020 in Dallas.

Wesley Matthews: 2 games, 7/1.5/2.5; .330, -0.114. Somehow, this washed up guy is a starter in the Eastern playoffs. I thank him for his huge contract that was perfect to match salaries in the KP trade. Grade for the season: LOL.

Emmanuel Mudiay: 59 games, 14.8/3.3/3.9; .531, .024. Improved by leaps and bounds, still has no idea whatsoever on how to run a basketball team. I commend him for the good job he did on becoming a better player, but honestly it’s not enough, not by a long mile. I would sleep much more comfortably if I didn’t know about Fizdale’s love for him. You can’t be an average playmaker in this league with 24 AST% and 14 TOV% if you can’t defend, can’t hit consistently your threes and the team stops dead in its tracks as soon as you pump the air out of the ball just because you breathe inside an NBA arena. Mudiay’s future is the third most anxiety-inducing subplot of the offseason (free agency and lottery night being the other two). Grade for the season: F+.

Frank Ntilikina: 43 games, 5.7/2/2.8 .417, -0.044. Well take a look at me now/cause I’ll still be standing here/and you coming back to [the] Knicks/it’s against all odds/it’s the chance I got to take. It’s so hard to stay on team Frank, I don’t know how I manage to do it and still pretend I can write on the smartest blog I know. This season was terrible for Frank fans. He regressed everywhere, and also failed to stay on the court because he got hurt. I wouldn’t bet a dime on Frank being in the NBA after 2021. It’s a shame, I like his (presumed) style of play, super team-oriented and defense-oriented, but at some point you gotta hand some results, and he seems unable to do that. He reminds me of those people who have a nice sound to their talking voice, and friends of them ask me to teach them to sing. Apart from the fact that I’m not a singing teacher and I couldn’t even if would, I’ve seen too many of them not being able to really sing because they don’t feel anything when they do, even when they can “sing” in the right key. Frank looks the same to me in basketball terms. Grade for the season: F-.

Mitchell Robinson: 65 games, 7.3/6.5/0.6; .690, .218. I can quite recite by heart every single Mitch stat. I’m pretty sure his B-R page got more hits from me than PornHub ever did. A few numbers to digest at the end of this season: Knicks rookie records for most blocked shots in a season, most games in a row with at least 1 block, most games in a row with at least 2 blocks (2nd ever in NBA history for a rookie), highest WS/48 (6th best in NBA history for rookies, just ahead of MJ), highest BPM (6th best in NBA history for a rookie), highest BLK% (second highest in NBA history for rookies, 4th highest ever), highest TS% (highest ever for a rookie, minimum 1000 minutes played). He’s second in VORP amongst rookies this year despite having played a lot less minutes than the others. The guy is simply unbelievable. His production waned a bit in the last week, but you can see that teams really game plan for him. It’s hard to block many shots if the other team is scared to shoot around you. A foundational piece if there ever was one in the last 35 years of Knicks history. Grade for the season: A+. (Might I remind you he’s a second round pick and he’s under contract for 4 years for peanuts? He might be hands down the best contract in the whole NBA right now, at least of non-max ones).

Dennis Smith Jr.: 21 games, 14.7/2.8/5.4; .473, -0.013. Not a great player, and the numbers are there to tell you exactly this, but you can see a functional point guard in him. Problem is, he’s frail and his shot is broken. The good thing is that we have him under contract for two more years, so there’s no rush to make decisions about him (unless a certain flat-earther comes along). I’d like to see what he’s capable of when not hurt. He seems to have a good nose for steals. Grade for the season: C—

Lance Thomas: 46 games, 4.5/2.5/0.6; .482, .004. A great locker room guy, an endless abyss of suckitude on the court. I can see him sticking around in the future for MSG, but I think we saw the last of him on a Knicks jersey. I can’t say I’m unhappy of that. Out of 492 to ever don the blue and orange, Lance is 60th ever for games played. This sums up perfectly the Phil tenure and subsequent years. Grade for the season: D–

Allonzo Trier: 64 games, 10.9/3.1/1.9; .564, .031. Lost behind Mitch’s stupendous rookie season there has been another strong rookie season here. A lot of ups and downs, mainly thanks to injuries and the non-existent offensive sets, but in the end a fairly good debut for Iso Zo. I don’t know if he’s the guy I’d keep around if superstars were to come here (maybe a more “never off his script” guy like Dotson would be better?), but I was extremely pleased by his attitude and skill level compared to the League at large. Grade for the season: B.

Noah Vonleh: 68 games, 8.4/7.8/1.9; .561, .091. It seems like Vonleh hasn’t played in two years, when he only missed 14 games. He went a bit AWOL even before, because after the All-Star break his play totally cratered (pairing him with DeAndre wasn’t that smart), but in the end it was a solid season from him, but still forgettable enough that we should be able to sign him at the minimum again. Grade for the season: B-. Definitely like to have him as a third/fourth big.

David Fizdale: he’s great at one thing: selling you what he says. That was a major skill to have during such a bad season. Everything else was mediocre at best, and I wouldn’t mind if they canned him today (they won’t, and they’re right. For now). Grade for the season: D-.

Guys, it’s finally over. I’d like to thank you all for bearing with me throughout this dismal season, for having kind words for my writings, for making me feel your support. If I did put a smile on your face here and there, well, I want you to know that those are the riches I’m striving for in this life. A smile because you made someone laugh; a tear because you moved something inside someone’s soul; a fist pump because your name is Mitch and you just swatted a Celtic attempt at the rim.

I’d like to thank Mike and Brian for the opportunity.

I’d also like to present to Brian my condolences for his mother. I cheated a bit and read the comments in last night’s thread. I don’t know personally any of you, but as it happens with most online communities you end up knowing people with matching hobbies or tastes better than you do on your day-to-day real-life interactions. On that basis, I think I can say for sure that Mama Kathleen Cronin had to be an amazing woman, since she raised such a great guy.

Be nice to each other, guys. We only get a splinter of time on this Earth, caring for other people is the best we can do. (If you have a few spare minutes, though, feel definitely free to argue about whether Barrett or DeAndre Hunter is the right choice at #3.)

 

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78 comments on “Detroit Pistons 115 – New York Knicks 89 – Game (?) Recap

  1. DS

    Just a friendly reminder that we’ll be sending the #31 overall pick to Brooklyn so that we could sign Travis Wear in 2014.

  2. vincoug

    Thanks for all the recaps during this miserable season farfa! They were one of the top 5 best things about this year’s Knicks team. Speaking of this year’s team. Four years ago, we set a Knicks record for worst season in franchise history at 17-65. Last night, we tied that record. So we’ve all witnessed the two worst seasons in Knicks history and two of the 50 worst seasons in NBA history.

    #blessed

  3. bidiong

    Thanks for all the recaps during this miserable season farfa! They were one of the top 5 best things about this year’s Knicks team. Speaking of this year’s team. Four years ago, we set a Knicks record for worst season in franchise history at 17-65. Last night, we tied that record. So we’ve all witnessed the two worst seasons in Knicks history and two of the 50 worst seasons in NBA history.

    #blessed

    +1 for Farfa
    #blessed Hahaha

  4. DRed

    I think we’re mostly overrating Trier. He’s a fine FA rookie, but he doesn’t play any defense and he is a total black hole. He seems like a good 3 point shooter but he mostly takes 2’s and he turns the ball over way too often for a guy who doesn’t know you can pass. I suppose you could say in a better system he could be a poor man’s Klay Thompson, but I’m not sure how valuable of a player that is. Definitely worth keeping around, because you never know, but he sucked this year.

  5. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    Farfa, thanks for the laughs and the insight. Definitely helped make the season bearable. FYI, I share your fear about Mudiay. Probably a bigger fear than the draft pick falling, since I’ve already resigned myself to watching our 14% chance get us nothing.

    I like the LOL grade for Wes. We should try to grade the players only with popular internet acronyms.

    Mudiay: SMDH
    Mitch: OMG
    Trier: FTW
    Ron: TNTL
    Frank: WYWH

  6. Ingmarrrr

    Thank you Farfa. Many years ago I covered the Bulls vs. the Suns finals for an Israeli daily and when it was done I had several colleagues congratulate me for a great job. But all I did was turn gold into words, while you turned garbage into gold. Great job. Grade for the season: A++.

  7. Brian Cronin

    Awesome stuff, Farfa. You’ve helped the blog immensely this year. Your reward is that you get to write recaps of an actual good Knicks team next year!

    And thanks for the very sweet gesture at the end, as well. She was, indeed, a Hall of Fame mother. I even have the crystal award as proof. ;)

  8. Hubert

    think we’re mostly overrating Trier. He’s a fine FA rookie, but he doesn’t play any defense and he is a total black hole. He seems like a good 3 point shooter but he mostly takes 2’s and he turns the ball over way too often for a guy who doesn’t know you can pass. I suppose you could say in a better system he could be a poor man’s Klay Thompson, but I’m not sure how valuable of a player that is. Definitely worth keeping around, because you never know, but he sucked this year.

    99% agree.

    The 1% is I disagree with is I’m not sure he’s definitely worth keeping around. If we bring in Durant and Kyrie and that $3.5mm is the difference between him or someone who is good right now, I’d send him packing without a second thought.

    Generally speaking, I’ve been surprised how much everyone likes him. He’s great for an undrafted rookie, but that doesn’t mean he’s good.

  9. thenoblefacehumper

    My condolences, BC. You’re one of the most wholesome people I’ve ever interacted with, so it’s safe to say your mother was an equally fantastic person.

    Farfa I truly have no idea how you did it. I mean, some of the games this season got dark. I can only hope you’re still servicing us if/when the team gets good again!

  10. Owen

    You can sort of see Trier as a guy who comes in when Durant and Kyrie (getting ahead of myself) are off the floor to provide offense. I mean, I hate that kind of player but Jamal Crawford has been around for a long time for a reason.

    Now that FA is upon us, feeling some very complicated emotions about the potential arrival of two such fragile superstars. I don’t mind some drama but I feel like it’s going to be way way over the top if that duo comes to town.

  11. thenoblefacehumper

    He’s not close to a Mitch-level diamond in the rough, but Trier’s path to becoming a useful player seems pretty clear to me. 39% 3PT shooters who can attack a close out don’t exactly grow on trees.

    I was screaming all season about how badly he needs to increase his 3PA and that remains the case. He picked them up a bit in the second half/after he came back from his initial injury but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be shooting at least 5 per game. That adjustment alone could get him in the 58-59% TS range, at which point he’d be pretty useful as a bench scorer. Think Jamal Crawford, if the reality of Jamal Crawford was more aligned with idea of him.

    His all encompassing box score numbers will likely never be particularly flattering because he’s so one dimensional (I think SGs in general get dinged a bit too much since most of them could put up a few more assists + rebounds here and there if given the chance), and he’s the kind of player you need to be very careful about overpaying. Still, if we are able to sign some max guys I’d be excited to have him back at his current $3.5M figure.

  12. thenoblefacehumper

    Welp, I guess Vlade was freaking out about the vibe surrounding his team being somewhat positive.

  13. Jack Bauer

    Brian
    My condolences on losing your Mom. My mother passed away on New Years Eve so I can appreciate what you’re gong through. The grief comes in waves at unexpected times.

    Thanks for all you do for us on this blog. It’s a pretty unique community on this blog.

  14. DRed

    I’ve never been impressed by Joerger as a coach. On the other hand, I also think Vlad is a flat out bad GM so I wouldn’t trust him to hire an actual good coach either.

  15. Brian Cronin

    I like Joerger. I think he’ll have success in his next stop. That said, whether he was right or not, Joerger clearly clashed with management constantly, so it can’t be too much of a surprise that they’d move on from him. He’ll be fine. He’ll get another gig soon enough (the thing hurting him is are there even that many open coaching gigs this offseason? This seems like shockingly slim pickings this season. Usually there are a lot more gigs available. Or maybe last year was crazier than normal).

  16. Brian Cronin

    Fascinating comment I saw on Twitter last night noting that due to the vagaries of seeding, the Western Conference Finals will have to have one of these four teams in it – Denver, Portland, San Antonio and Oklahoma City. That’s pretty crazy. Huge for Denver to get Houston out of their bracket. So now the latest Houston and Golden State will face each other is the second round.

  17. Oaktrees

    Brian, I don’t post often, but read daily. I’m sorry for your loss. This coming May it’ll be two years since I lost my mother. Grief is bear, stay strong…much love.

  18. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    Any thought that Mitch will get some Rookie of the Year love is easily dispelled by this kind of thing, from NBA.com:

    “For a second-round pick, he might end up being a steal for New York.”

    Ya think?

    Literally a dozen people on this blog know more about basketball than people being paid by the NBA to write about basketball. They quote his per-game stats and conclude he’s not bad for a second-round pick. Or, you know, he’s MUCH BETTER THAN THE OTHER BIGS IN YOUR TOP 10 BUT YOU CAN’T SEE IT BECAUSE HE WAS PICKED IN THE SECOND ROUND. What’s the name for that – selection bias? Amazing.

    I mean, I’d take Luka and even Young over him in a heartbeat. But other than that, I don’t know of anyone better in that draft.

  19. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    Actually, JJJ. I expect him to be pretty awesome, too. It was a really strong draft overall – it’s just that Mitch is going to be dominant, and very few people really understand that because he’s a second-round pick.

  20. Max

    My condolences Brian, stay strong, our dearest ones are always with us, smiling in our hearts.

    Thanks Farfa for your wonderful job recapping this nightmare of a season, without you I won’t even know the scores from the last 12 games…

    I’m happy to be proved wrong about my conspiracy theory on the Lakers, very happy that they are (at least for now) a dumpster fire and elated at Gallo’s season.

    Now straight to the lottery please…

  21. Hubert

    Now that FA is upon us, feeling some very complicated emotions about the potential arrival of two such fragile superstars. I don’t mind some drama but I feel like it’s going to be way way over the top if that duo comes to town.

    I feel you. I’d be a lot happier if we win the lottery and Durant decides he doesn’t want to share the spotlight with a rookie.

    But I won’t be that upset if our superstar duo is less than perfect. If Kawhi and Kyrie both leave, a Durant/Kyrie Knicks team might be the second best team in the east and could beat the Bucks with the right support.

  22. Max

    Mitch’s great and a surefire All-Rookie team but ROY in the year of Luka&Young?
    I think that in a re-draft he’ll easily go top five.
    Don’t worry, he’ll be an All-Star and DPOY soon… :-)

  23. DS

    @27 – Mitch has been getting some broader recognition lately, but I don’t think he’s “surefire” First Team All-Rookie. Ayton, Bagley, JJJ could easily received more votes.

  24. Max

    @28

    It was a great draft, you’re right, the fifth spot is closer then I said.

    I’ll go Luka, Young, JJJ, Bagley and Mitch.

  25. Hubert

    Just a friendly reminder that we’ll be sending the #31 overall pick to Brooklyn so that we could sign Travis Wear in 2014.

    I know there will be good players in the second round and I know that trade was inexcusable. But I take a little solace in the fact that this draft is considered to be pretty shitty on the back end. Hell, it’s not even that great in the lottery.

  26. d-mar

    33 days until lottery night. I think this site might spontaneously combust when the lottery thread hits 500 posts.

  27. GHenman

    My sincere condolences Brian. Thanks to all of Knickerblogger for making even the worst seasons entertaining. Special thanks to Farfa for adding some great content. See on 5/14!.

  28. Bruno Almeida

    It’s crazy how it all worked out in the end for Denver, all because the Kings lost a huge lead to the Blazers C team. It was the most exciting outcome to be frank, I think people are overrating Nurkic a lot by saying the Blazers will lose against the Thunder, specially since OKC has been stumbling hard in this final stretch, and Rockets vs Warriors in the 2nd round will be a killer series, specially since the Rockets play well against the Jazz and should win comfortably. A fully healthy Rockets team can take the Warriors all the way in a 7 game series.

    The east is a lot more boring in the first round, but the second round should be extremely exciting too. Bucks facing the Celtics on their first major challenge and the Raptors and Sixers throwing everything at each other should be both amazing series.

  29. geo

    please tell me we have Farfa’s bird rights.

    hahahahaha…that was funny…

    Out for summer
    Out till fall
    We might not come back at all

  30. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    My condolences on losing your Mom Brian.

  31. Hubert

    Actually, JJJ.

    It’s a shame we didn’t get tanking religion one year sooner. Mitch and JJJ would have been an epic pairing.

  32. Bruno Almeida

    First team will most likely be Young, Doncic, Ayton, Bagley and Sexton or JJJ, then Mitch, SGA and whoever of Knox, Shamet, Mikal Bridges, Rodions Kurucs or Kevin Huerter they decide to put up. There’s a zero chance Mitch gets the cut for first team before Ayton, or even Bagley for that matter, not enough counting stats.

  33. DS

    Brian – condolences, man. You’re a pillar of this community and I’m sorry for your loss.

  34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    2017-18, All-Rookie vs. Rookie PPG top-10 >700 MP

    8 of 10 (Collins, #11 and Ball, #12, dat high-lotto pick in LA narrative)

    2016-17

    9 of 10 (Jaylen Brown, #15 dat PlAyOfFs ExPeRiEnCe)

    2015-16

    8 of 10 (Winslow, #14, WCS #11)

    2014-15

    8 of 10 (Parker did not make it, low minutes, Nurkic #13, Smart #12)

    Let’s not spend too much time trying to figure out who’s going to make it, everyone.

  35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    So we know that 1 or 2 slots will be held open for narrative guys (or maybe I should say that a few players will be left off because of team narrative). Going back to 2013-14, I have absolutely no clue how Steven Adams made the 2nd team. He scored in double digits just three times, and scored zero or one point in 16 of his 81 games. 0-2 points threshold expands that to a ridiculous 36 of his 81 games. I have no idea what the narrative was. Looks like he played a lot of playoff minutes and played very well on a Conference Finals team, but I’m not sure when the votes are cast.

    In descending PPG order:

    Doncic
    Young
    Sexton
    Ayton
    Bagley
    Jackson
    Knox
    SGA
    Carter
    Huerter
    Brunson
    Shamet
    Kurucs
    Bridges

    If I had to guess, I’d say that Sexton will make the 2nd Team based on his high MP total. Knox could be left off due to his reputation as an otherwise-useless usage soaker on the league’s worst team.

    Doncic, Young, Ayton, Bagley, Jackson would be my guess for the 1st team. Then Sexton, SGA, Bridges, Knox and Robinson on the 2nd. I think Carter will fail to get the nod because he only played half the season.

  36. DRed

    Mitch is pretty clearly more productive than any rookie save Luka. If you chose to ignore the month where Trae forgot how to shoot you could maybe make an argument for putting Trae over Mitch because he plays a more valuable position and played a lot more minutes. After that, though, Mitch is so much better than any of the other big men that it’s embarrassing that he has no chance of making the rookie first team or finishing top 3 in the ROY voting

  37. vincoug

    The east is a lot more boring in the first round, but the second round should be extremely exciting too. Bucks facing the Celtics on their first major challenge and the Raptors and Sixers throwing everything at each other should be both amazing series.

    I’m not sure that Boston will definitely beat Indy in the 1st round. And Orlando has been red-hot since the new year, they could give Toronto a scare. But yeah, the West’s 1st round is way better.

    RE: Mitch Robinson and the All-Rookie team. Obviously, he’s fucking awesome but he did only play 20 MPG in 66 games. Most of that’s Fizdale’s fault but it should count against him during EOY awards.

  38. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I suspect Mikal Bridges is more highly regarded among players than in the media. He was voted among the best defenders in the league by his peers recently and also got a “hustle” award by fans in Phoenix. I’m not sure if something like that makes it’s way into the perception of the voters, but it could.

  39. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    If you chose to ignore the month where Trae forgot how to shoot you could maybe make an argument for putting Trae over Mitch because he plays a more valuable position and played a lot more minutes.

    I do make that argument – not based on minutes, which are due to injuries and Fiz’s myopia, but on the higher value of what Trae brings. I know I’m opening myself up to criticism here, but I do think that shot creation is a meaningful thing. People vastly underrate players like Mitch or the T-1000, but that doesn’t mean that Capela is more valuable than Harden, for instance, or Mitch than Trae. Being able to create your own shot and then make said shot at high efficiency really is more valuable than being able to score at high efficiency WITHOUT being able to create your own shot. That’s why KP was always so tantalizing – no, he didn’t create high efficiency shots, but you could see that he COULD, in the right system, with the right coaching. It may never happen, but the best version of KP is a really valuable player. Of course, conversely we had to hear how much more valuable Melo was than Chandler, which was BS, and which has soured everyone on the “shot creation” argument. But the critics of Chandler weren’t completely smoking crack.

    Mitch is already supremely valuable. Given his contract, he’s probably more valuable than Trae, even with Trae on a rookie deal. And Mitch isn’t likely to command the money that Trae will on his next deal – so maybe he’s ultimately still better value than Trae. But would I take (late-season) Trae over (mid-season) Mitch? Yeah, I think so.

  40. dtrickey

    Thanks for the write ups Farfa. It has been the bright spot in an otherwise bleak season. Great having the regular reviews back.

    Also, I say this every year, but thank you BC and the rest of the KB community. There aren’t too many Knicks fans over this side of the world (and I am loathe to think of all the bandwagon supporters that will jump on if we sign KD and Kyrie after what we have put up with the last 20 years!), so it’s great to have this community to turn to.

    On to the lottery!!!

  41. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    That’s why KP was always so tantalizing – no, he didn’t create high efficiency shots, but you could see that he COULD, in the right system, with the right coaching. It may never happen, but the best version of KP is a really valuable player. Of course, conversely we had to hear how much more valuable Melo was than Chandler, which was BS, and which has soured everyone on the “shot creation” argument. But the critics of Chandler weren’t completely smoking crack.

    I agree with this 100%.

    IMO, the problem with Melo was that it was difficult to change his game and turn him into a higher efficiency high usage scorer. When he was younger, he was effective inside and drew plenty of fouls, but he wasn’t a super elite athlete like Wade, James, or Kobe. So even though those other guys also struggled from 3, they were better scorers in other ways. On top of that, Melo never accepted coaching that could have improved his shot selection enough to at least move the needle forward.

    That said, imo you aren’t going to win an NBA title without some guys that can create for themselves. You can be competitive and win a lot of games in the regular season with great coaching, by sharing the ball, and by running like crazy, but playoff basketball is a little different. The players tend to be better defenders, defenses can get more physical, the game slows down sometimes, and teams try to lock down for the entire game every game instead of selectively. It’s tougher to score in the playoffs without actual great offensive players than can create too.

  42. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    I wonder what Melo thinks, watching the celebrations of Wade and Nowitzki as they ascend into glory while he dallies in limbo…

  43. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I wonder what Melo thinks, watching the celebrations of Wade and Nowitzki as they ascend into glory while he dallies in limbo…

    So much of what went wrong in his career was his own fault, but I sort of feel bad for him.

    He was a very good player. He just wasn’t at that elite level that deserves the kind of send off that Dirk and Wade are getting. The problem is that even now I don’t think he knows that.

  44. dtrickey

    He was a very good player. He just wasn’t at that elite level that deserves the kind of send off that Dirk and Wade are getting. The problem is that even now I don’t think he knows that.

    Dirk and Wade also won championships in their primes for their respective franchises. I know looking at Championships alone is not the be all and end all determining success, but I think that is a factor when looking at Melo . Dirk was also an MVP.

    Even if Melo still hadn’t have won a title, but had achieved even just slightly more than a 2nd round exit and a scoring title as a Knick, he would be maybe getting a jersey in the rafters. Unfortunately FIBA achievements don’t warrant a ticker tape parade ha ha

  45. BigBlueAL

    Just read about your loss Brian, hope you’re hanging in there. I lost my dad a couple of years ago so I know it’s tough. Now that this Knicks season is mercifully over we can start foreel talking about the off-season especially once the lottery takes place. NBA playoffs should be interesting to watch and a nice distraction from the annoying Yankees season right now lol.

  46. BigBlueAL

    Also how about the rumors that Ewing will be the Knicks representative at the draft lottery!? Pretty cool if true.

  47. Owen

    Man, this is the season for franchises to make Knicks fan feel like they are not alone in having execrable management/ownership. #grizzlies

  48. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    Also how about the rumors that Ewing will be the Knicks representative at the draft lottery!? Pretty cool if true.

    Don’t get my hopes up! Because what a story that would make…

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

    Brian, again my condolences. Losing a mom is very hard.

  50. Grocer

    Thanks Farfa! Excellent season, you made a big difference. Hope you’re back next season.

    Brian, my condolences. You’re a man of integrity, and I’m sure your mother had something to do with that. My thoughts are with you.

  51. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I wonder what Melo thinks, watching the celebrations of Wade and Nowitzki as they ascend into glory while he dallies in limbo…

    “If only the Knicks had drafted some good players after I was traded there… if only they found some PG to come in and help me during my prime… if only I had a competent big man during that 2012-13 run and not some low-usage, paint-clogging scrub…”

  52. DRed

    If Melo hadn’t been too worried about getting his money and had wound up on Miami with Wade and Lebron I wonder how that would have worked out. I (obviously) think Melo was pretty overrated in his prime, but so was Chris Bosh.

  53. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, Melo probably still thinks he was the biggest star to be honest, and that he’s not getting the same love because he never won a title and “had” to leave Denver. If he went to that Heat team he would probably have two titles just like Bosh does, but there’s no way he would accept to be the 3rd guy on a team the same way Bosh did. If we learned anything from his OKC year, is that he was not willing to adjust whatsoever and that he simply wouldn’t be happy with any situation where he wasn’t the star,

  54. Brian Cronin

    Bosh was overrated, but he was a decent defender and could play center. I don’t think Melo would have had that aspect of his game, so I don’t know that Miami would have had as much success with Melo over Bosh.

  55. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, I still think they win the titles simply because I think LeBron would have found a way, but a lot more drama would have happened for sure.

  56. geo

    execrable management/ownership.

    nice, I had to look that one up…even knowing what it means now, and having heard the pronunciation, I’m still pretty sure I could never work that one in to a conversation…

  57. bidiong

    I’d like to add my condolences Brian. A wise friend of mine once told me: The greatest woman you will ever know is your mother. I cherish mine. She’s a great woman and I’m sure your mother was as phenomenal to you as mine is to me.

  58. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    It’s Melo’s own fault, of course, but I wonder what he’s thinking. I mean, these great send-offs for a few of his peers (in his eyes), and he can’t even stick on a minimum deal…what a fall from grace. I can’t imagine he saw that coming.

    Of course, 200 million dollars really softens the blow.

  59. Bruno Almeida

    @67

    I just don’t think he cares too much, unless he has developed a sense of legacy or anything like that lately out of nowhere.

    Everything he’s done in his entire career has been chasing the biggest payday, and he got that three times in his career, even if it meant coming to a Knicks team that was good, but not the best possible choice for him to win a title.

    The guy never made his decisions based on winning or being celebrated, he asked out of Denver where he was incredibly beloved and gutted the team he was coming to just to get every last possible penny, then signed a mega max with a dying team when it was absolutely clear to everyone except Phil Jackson that the Knicks were not contending anytime soon.

    For all we know, he’s very respected amongst his fellow players and will end up in the hall of fame eventually, but not a lot of guys are wired like Nowitzki for example. Even Wade, who people are praising so much now, left Miami when it became clear they would start rebuilding, then only came back to Miami it became very clear he was done.

  60. Hubert

    Also how about the rumors that Ewing will be the Knicks representative at the draft lottery!? Pretty cool if true.

    Seems like a set up for Patrick guaranteeing we’ll win the lottery before we watch the Bulls win Zion.

  61. Bruno Almeida

    The one that hurts the most is Dallas, no question. Then probably Chicago, the Lakers obviously, but their chances are so low, and the Cavs would be extremely annoying too.

  62. Grocer

    I’d be annoyed if the Suns got it but not mad. I guess I wouldn’t mind too much if the Grizz or the Wiz landed him, but everybody else would suck donkey balls. How freaking good would Atlanta grow up to be if they snagged him? Insufferable. Clearly the Knicks are the only proper choice.

  63. ClashFan

    Sorry, I’m late with these, but just wanted to say…

    Brian, condolences for the loss of your mother.

    Farfa, thanks for all the great recaps this year.

    Please, ping pong balls, go our way. We’re due. Really.

  64. d-mar

    I’ll settle for top 2. I think both Zion and Ja are gonna be major stars, would be thrilled with either one.

  65. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Even Wade, who people are praising so much now, left Miami when it became clear they would start rebuilding, then only came back to Miami it became very clear he was done.

    I thought Wade left Miami b/c of not seeing eye to eye with Riley over a new contract in 2016.

  66. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, Wade would have been fine with dying on the vine in Miami if they had paid him enough. Wade is a strange one period, though, as he won a title when he was so young that he had a lot less to prove than anyone else. So he was cool with being a member of the Heat for life.

  67. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @75

    Before I click that link — I remember Chicago offering him something like $40M over two years or something crazy like that. I might be confusing that contract with Parker’s, but whatever they were offering, it was too much to turn down. Sort of a Tony Parker/Spurs situation.

    After– nah, that was the Heat offer. $47M from the Bulls! He produced 3.5 WAR in that season. 3.4 Win Shares. Hilarious.

    From that article, it seems like he was asking for back pay for taking the championship discounts. It was a break-even between Illinois’s high taxes and the cost of relocation (you know these guys are spending at least a half mil a year on housing, etc.) and he chose to spite Riley for not rewarding him for earlier concessions, plain and simple.

  68. The Infamous Cdiggy

    @77 in other articles I’ve read about that, that’s exactly what Wade was looking for, to “get taken care of”. Probably not too dissimilar from when Derek Jeter was looking for his last contract and the Yankees knew his best years were behind him. Difference being that Jeter couldn’t find on the open market what Wade essentially found with Chicago.

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