ESPN.com: NBA Horse Challenge: Grading every player in quarterfinals

Hey, it was SOMEthing, at least!

Kevin Pelton did a nice job breaking it all down for ESPN.

I imagine that Chauncey Billups is practicing with his off hand right now, as Mike Conley looks really tough to beat with all of those “off hand” shots he was taking.

Allie Quigley played probably the most old school HORSE game, and that might help her in the semi-finals against Zach Levine, but I imagine that his athleticism will be hard for her to match, just as it was for Paul Pierce.

Anyhow, hey, again, it was something.

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269 thoughts to “ESPN.com: NBA Horse Challenge: Grading every player in quarterfinals”

  1. I mean they ranked Knox in Tier 5 and #23 overall, which was lower than most at the time. I don’t think we’d be nearly as bummed with him if we drafted him after #23. They said his best case was an off-ball versatile floor spacer on O and a “versatile” defender, which is probably a euphemistic way of saying that he won’t be great on either end.

    That last part is kind of my point though. They’re very rarely going to say outright “this player will be bad in the NBA” because 1) that’s too much skin in the game and they need to maintain credibility and 2) they have a natural incentive to make these things seem nuanced. I mean Cole Anthony had a .402 2PT%, what are we even talking about here? He’d be an absolute disaster of a pick. Ntilikina/Knox-level bad.

    I guess out of sheer desperation for sports, I watched the whole HORSE tournament start to finish. There were some entertaining moments here and there, but it was mostly pretty boring and weird. I guess it was fun to see Paul Pierce eat it.

  2. If they are hell bent on finding a scoring PG that dominates the ball, penetrates, and runs the P&R instead of going with multiple playmakers and a lot of ball and player movement (the latter being a superior brand of basketball imo), they better at least find a PG that can actually shoot.

  3. thenoblefacehumper: That last part is kind of my point though. They’re very rarely going to say outright “this player will be bad in the NBA” because 1) that’s too much skin in the game and they need to maintain credibility and 2) they have a natural incentive to make these things seem nuanced.

    I dunno, I think when they rank someone way below where they are likely to be picked it’s pretty much saying that it’s a very risky pick without saying “this guy is a bum and will never make it in the NBA.” The negatives were pretty clearly stated. I think you’re asking too much.

    thenoblefacehumper: I mean Cole Anthony had a .402 2PT%, what are we even talking about here? He’d be an absolute disaster of a pick. Ntilikina/Knox-level bad.

    I disagree with this. He has some very definite positives beyond his size/athleticism profile. It’s a high-risk pick, and I want no part of him, but beyond LaMelo, no one in this draft is guaranteed to be an NBA-level PG.

  4. What I mean is that I’m more interested in the narrative and statistical info from these scouting reports than the actual ranking conclusions. We all tend to make out own judgments about ranking and picking. I just like reading as much as possible and looking at film breakdowns.

  5. CBS is floating the idea that the Knicks will trade up to nab LaMelo. I doubt it but would be very happy if at the right price.

  6. If they are hell bent on finding a scoring PG that dominates the ball, penetrates, and runs the P&R instead of going with multiple playmakers and a lot of ball and player movement (the latter being a superior brand of basketball imo), they better at least find a PG that can actually shoot.

    It would be so Knicksy if they didn’t, though, right?

    I try to go into every new hire with an open mind until they reveal themselves to be blundering idiots. Phil Jackson had about 18-24 months of good will with me. I still have a fairly open mind about Scott Perry, in fact.

    I reacted strongly against Fizdale very quickly. Steve Mills was kicked to the curb before the ink dried on the Hardaway deal. And there will be no need to give Leon Rose any time if Cole Anthony is selected.

  7. The fucking dysfunctional ass Bulls just landed Arturas Karnisovas.

    Sigh.

    The fucking shitty Bulls get Arturas Karnisovas and the Knicks are, like, “Would John Starks want the job?”

  8. Yeah, the Karnisovas news is a little depressing. I just want some sense that anyone in the organization thinks there is any approach other than starf%#@ing that can work.

    I tried watching Horse but coudn’t stomach it and booted up some old USMNT highlights instead.

    This is a great profile of Clint Dempsey if you are into national team stuff…

    https://theathletic.com/1739119/2020/04/13/clint-dempsey-untold-stories-usmnt-fulham-tottenham-sounders-revolution/?source=dailyemail

  9. I just watched Killian Hayes film and came away not impressed. He is slow, has absolutely no left hand and his handle is suspect. It seems that he carries or walks more than is called over there. On the plus side, his funky looking push shot goes in a lot and he seems to have a good IQ and court vision, very good passer. I wouldn’t draft him in the lottery, certainly not in the top 10.

  10. I’m not all that impressed with Halliburton either. I don’t think his lethargic, weak PG game translates to NBA size-speed-athleticism, at least not for years. But that funky shot of his goes in with range! And he, like Hayes, seems to be a high-IQ player.

    I just don’t see any daylight between Hayes, Halliburton and Anthony. In other words, I wouldn’t be thrilled with any of them, so if we draft Anthony, whatever.

  11. It’s interesting that Denver manages to hire good GMs (Ujiri and Karnisovas), but the closest in many tries that the Knicks have come to hiring a good GM is Perry, unfortunately. He’s like the Frank of GM’s. He’s good at one thing, getting value in contracts and trades, but hasn’t shown talent in team building and wasn’t able to retain Porzingis. So it’s all defense and no offense. We don’t get burned but we’re not good.

  12. Instead of getting into a multi-day argument about Cole Anthony specifically, I’ll just say that if we stick with what seems to be our strategy of “thinking we’re smarter than the statistical models” we’ll deserve what we get. Yes, they get it wrong sometimes. No, it’s not a good idea to hoard guys who rate poorly by them. We’re 0/2 on thinking we know more than the numbers (Ntilikina ranked 23rd via Kevin Pelton’s model and Knox was 47th). The sane reaction would be to change our strategy, not triple down on it.

    Just draft guys who are already good at basketball please! Speaking of which…

    I just watched Killian Hayes film and came away not impressed. He is slow, has absolutely no left hand and his handle is suspect. It seems that he carries or walks more than is called over there. On the plus side, his funky looking push shot goes in a lot and he seems to have a good IQ and court vision, very good passer. I wouldn’t draft him in the lottery, certainly not in the top 10.

    Killian Hayes put up 17 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals per 36 minutes with a .500 2PT% and .390 3PT% in a league much tougher than the NCAA.

  13. Seth Partnow was on the Posting and Toasting podcast and it’s a worthwhile listen. He said something that stuck with me–all in one metrics do a pretty decent job of measuring how a player performed within the role he was given, as opposed to measuring the overall quality of the player (to the extent such a thing exists anyway).

    That sounds about right to me–Mitchell Robinson isn’t the 15th best player in the NBA or whatever BPM etc. say he is, but he’s damn good at being a high-efficiency/medium usage player on offense while also serving as a defensive ace.

    Ditto everyone’s reaction to the Karnisovas news. At this point it seems like Dolan has an active aversion to hiring someone actually smart.

  14. thenoblefacehumper:
    Just draft guys who are already good at basketball please! Speaking of which…

    Killian Hayes put up 17 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals per 36 minutes with a .500 2PT% and .390 3PT% in a league much tougher than the NCAA.

    Did you actually go to the stats page before posting this? Hayes played a whopping 268 minutes on the worst team in that second-level European league. He shot 39% on a 41 3PA, the year after shooting .192 on 73 attempts. And you’re suggesting that he’s “good at basketball” based on that? I think he has Frank Ntilikina 2.0 written all over him.

  15. re: Hayes, his stats were also heavily skewed by an outlier game in the last game of the season. He scored 25 points on 9 of 14 shooting, including 5 of 7 from 3. In the other 9 games, he was 11-34 from 3.

    And this is not to defend picking Anthony, I already made it clear that I’m not a fan. It’s only to point out that Hayes is an equally, if not more, risky pick. I wouldn’t touch him with a 10-ft pole in the lottery.

  16. Cole Anthony is trash. Even when I bothered watching highlights he was taking a bunch of midrange step back jumpers after the lane closed down. I don’t think he can beat his guy off the dribble, at all.

    Hayes has bad 3pt shooting numbers, but at least his FT% is high and he can do some other things. Also looks slow to me, but in this draft probably worth the flier. Playing in Eurocup and La Liga is much higher competition than NCAA or NBL. Also, Frank was another level of awful on offense in that league so that comparison really isn’t fair either.

    Have not seen Halliburton play yet or even his highlights, but at least his numbers don’t look worse than Knox.

  17. Also, as a HS senior, Anthony shot .422 on 187 3-pt attempts and 87% on 214 FT attempts in 30 games. Those are pretty big samples and they suggest that his shooting will improve. That wasn’t true for Knox. If you choose to ignore HS stats, that’s your prerogative, but if an analyst (like Pearlman) chooses to include them as a mitigating factor for his lousy college stats, it’s perfectly reasonable.

  18. The Stepien’s scouting reports on a lot of guys are from 2017… am I missing something?

  19. Early Bird: Playing in Eurocup and La Liga is much higher competition than NCAA or NBL. Also, Frank was another level of awful on offense in that league so that comparison really isn’t fair either.

    Again, he hardly played there and one game skewed his stats. Frank played double the minutes on a better team and put up equal or better stats. How did that work out for picking him in the lottery?

  20. Early Bird: The Stepien’s scouting reports on a lot of guys are from 2017… am I missing something?

    Just google stepien cole anthony, or stepien killian hayes, etc. and a link will pop up.

  21. Early Bird: Cole Anthony is trash. Even when I bothered watching highlights he was taking a bunch of midrange step back jumpers after the lane closed down. I don’t think he can beat his guy off the dribble, at all.

    Pearlman thinks that Anthony’s ability to penetrate and finish, and to get assists, may have been hindered by NC’s lack of shooting and packing the lane. I don’t buy it, but he thinks that based on his HS numbers his finishing is not as bad as it looked at NC.

  22. I agree that Hayes looks slow but will probably be way better than Frank on offense. That’s still “decent backup level” in the NBA though.

    Personally, I think you have to take a guy with at least one 99th-percentile skill (like LaMelo with his passing or Okwongu with his energy or Toppin with his efficiency) and hope he can develop his other skills to a high level.

    What do people think of Maxey? He’s ranked highly despite some pretty pedestrian numbers.

  23. Did you actually go to the stats page before posting this? Hayes played a whopping 268 minutes on the worst team in that second-level European league. He shot 39% on a 41 3PA, the year after shooting .192 on 73 attempts. And you’re suggesting that he’s “good at basketball” based on that? I think he has Frank Ntilikina 2.0 written all over him.

    Then let’s go with his entire Euro sample of over 1000 minutes (more than many NCAA prospects have).

    Whaddya know, you still have 14 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals per 36 minutes with a .540 2PT% (211 attempts) and an .840 FT% (75 attempts).

    If you’re seeing Frank Ntilikina here (10 points, 3 assists, 1 steal per-36 with a .468 2PT% and .686 FT% while abroad), you’re trolling full-stop.

  24. >Seth Partnow was on the Posting and Toasting podcast and it’s a worthwhile listen. He said something that stuck with me–all in one metrics do a pretty decent job of measuring how a player performed within the role he was given, as opposed to measuring the overall quality of the player (to the extent such a thing exists anyway).<

    This is a variation on what I've been saying all along, but I always add that these models are not inclusive enough, mishandle certain combinations of skills (like some tend to overrate guys that do most of their scoring off orebs), and can't handle that a player may be in the wrong system, in the wrong role, or playing for a bad coach etc..

    This is 2020.

    We have way more stats available (deflections, drawing offensive fouls, hockey assists, screen assists, boxing out, altered shots, blocks that resulted in the defense getting the ball as opposed to the offense keeping it etc..) There's a long list of things players do that have value that are now available that should be incorporated into any kind of model that insists on looking at counting stats instead of creating an itemized skillset list with a rating on each in some sort of spreadsheet way.

    It would probably be fairly easy for someone to come up with a spacing metric that incorporates 3p%, 3p range, and 3p volume.

    The only tough thing to turn into a number is man/help defense, ability to switch and doing it correctly etc… That will remain a huge hole, but since many of the holes have been plugged it's time to incorporate them so fans that can't scout individual skills and create spreadsheets on every player have something better to work with.

  25. Amazingly, I accidentally included Frank’s stint in the most recent world cup in his international averages. That they still came out looking the way they do is really something special. He was a third-year NBA player!

  26. Frank played double the minutes on a better team and put up equal or better stats.

    Whaaaaaaaaaat?

  27. >Personally, I think you have to take a guy with at least one 99th-percentile skill (like LaMelo with his passing or Okwongu with his energy or Toppin with his efficiency) and hope he can develop his other skills to a high level.<

    Unless you are in a position to draft a star player, I also think you are way better off drafting a player that's probably going to be elite at 1 significant thing (defense, playmaking, 3 pointers etc..) and trying to develop adequacy elsewhere than drafting a player that has a more balanced skillset but is a negative at everything.

    High level role players add a lot of value when they are exceptional at one thing and stay in their lane behind the star scorers/players.

  28. thenoblefacehumper: Then let’s go with his entire Euro sample of over 1000 minutes (more than many NCAA prospects have).

    Whaddya know, you still have 14 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals per 36 minutes with a .540 2PT% (211 attempts) and an .840 FT% (75 attempts).

    If you’re seeing Frank Ntilikina here (10 points, 3 assists, 1 steal per-36 with a .468 2PT% and .686 FT% while abroad), you’re trolling full-stop.

    In his 1,000 minutes combined, Hayes shot .274 from 3 on 117 total attempts. In his biggest sample, he averaged 3.1 assists per game vs. 1.7 TOV per game. (per 36: 5.6 vs. 3.1) He never averaged more than 3 FTA per 36, so his FT% is pretty irrelevant (and FT% happens to be Ntilikina’s best NBA skill, how’s that working out for him?). If that fills you with confidence that he isn’t screaming BUST!!! as a lottery pick, I don’t know what to tell you. He’s the same level player Frank was coming out of Europe, a scrub on a shitty team. If he doesn’t shoot well from 3 in the NBA, he will be out of the league in 3-4 years. Seriously, this feels like deja vu all over again.

    If you want to draw a parallel for Anthony, it’s RJ, not Knox of Ntilikina…a guy that was overhyped based on HS domination and put up very inefficient numbers

  29. thenoblefacehumper: Frank played double the minutes on a better team and put up equal or better stats.

    Whaaaaaaaaaat?

    Look at stats in the year they were draft eligible:

    In 2016-17 with Strasbourg, Frank shot .485, including .431 from 3.
    In 2019-20 with ratiopharm Ulm (???) Hayes shot .455, including .390 from 3.

    Hayes averaged 8.3 assists and 4.4 TOV per 36. That’s better than Frank, but hardly promising. Hayes did shoot the hell out of those 22 FTA doh!

  30. oops, I left something out:

    Z-man: In 2016-17 with Strasbourg, in 587 minutes Frank shot .485, including .431 from 3.
    In 2019-20 with ratiopharm Ulm (???) in 268 minutes Hayes shot .455, including .390 from 3.

  31. Not sure where to start.

    In his 1,000 minutes combined, Hayes shot .274 from 3 on 117 total attempts.

    We’ve gone over a million times how FT% is a much better predictor of NBA 3PT% in prospects than actual 3PT%. Ntilikina shot .385 from three abroad, but .686 from the line. Which has turned out to be more predictive?

    In his biggest sample, he averaged 3.1 assists per game vs. 1.7 TOV per game. (per 36: 5.6 vs. 3.1) He never averaged more than 3 FTA per 36, so his FT% is pretty irrelevant (and FT% happens to be Ntilikina’s best NBA skill, how’s that working out for him?).

    As a 17 year old, he put up 13 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals per 36 minutes while shooting .557 on 2PA and .820 from the line (both exponentially more important than 3PT%) during the season you’re citing. Where are you getting the idea that his numbers were anything remotely close to Ntilikina’s? They were never in the same galaxy.

    He’s the same level player Frank was coming out of Europe, a scrub on a shitty team. If he doesn’t shoot well from 3 in the NBA, he will be out of the league in 3-4 years. Seriously, this feels like deja vu all over again.

    Again…this is just nowhere to be seen in the numbers at all. It’s made up.

    If you want to draw a parallel for Anthony, it’s RJ, not Knox of Ntilikina…a guy that was overhyped based on HS domination and put up very inefficient numbers

    We talked a lot about how RJ’s profile wasn’t the best, but comparing it with Anthony’s is hilarious. RJ shot .529 on 14 2PA per 40 minutes, Anthony shot a Reddish-ian .402 on 10 2PA per 40 minutes.

  32. >(and FT% happens to be Ntilikina’s best NBA skill, how’s that working out for him?).<

    Only if you are limited to the boxscore and don't watch him impact games defensively all by himself.

  33. He said something that stuck with me–all in one metrics do a pretty decent job of measuring how a player performed within the role he was given, as opposed to measuring the overall quality of the player (to the extent such a thing exists anyway).

    I think this idea has been kicking around the site since the Chandler days — no one ever argued that Chandler was a more “complete” player than Melo, simply that he was better than his peers at the few, but crucial things he was tasked with. This is what led to the Carmelo-friendly gravity-synergy arguments — that Melo’s role couldn’t be quantified correctly and the all-in-ones failed to account for the hidden improvements he caused in his teammates. It also led to the “a team full of Chandlers would lose to five Melos” arguments. That was a real thing that happened on this site.

  34. In 2016-17 with Strasbourg, Frank shot .485, including .431 from 3.
    In 2019-20 with ratiopharm Ulm (???) Hayes shot .455, including .390 from 3.

    This is absurd cherry picking. Let’s actually compare their numbers across the board:

    Hayes: 17 points, 8 assists, 2 steals per-36, .500 2PT% (8.1 attempts per-36), .909 FT% (20/22)

    Ntilikina: 10 points, 3 assists, 1 steal per-36, .519 2PT% (4.8 attempts per-36, as we’re accustomed to), .621 FT% (18/29)

    Why are you pretending these are anything alike? This is so ridiculous I can’t engage with it any further.

    Fuck it, Cole Anthony was always our destiny anyway. Should do wonders for Mitch’s ORB numbers at least!

  35. The lesson the Knicks should’ve learned from Frank Ntilikina: don’t draft guys with shitty numbers because they have long arms.

    The lesson the Knicks will learn from Frank Ntilikina: can’t trust those frenchmen.

  36. thenoblefacehumper: We’ve gone over a million times how FT% is a much better predictor of NBA 3PT% in prospects than actual 3PT%. Ntilikina shot .385 from three abroad, but .686 from the line. Which has turned out to be more predictive?

    You’re going to bet a lottery pick on a guy improving his .274 from 3 on 117attempts based on shooting .840 on 75 whole FTA????? That’s shocking coming from you, tnfh, who is normally much more thoughtful about stuff like this.

  37. I am certain Cole Anthony will be bad. Killian Hayes is a little bit more of a black box, so at least there is a chance he wouldn’t be bad. Now I have to say, I felt the same way about Dennis Smith Jr and Frank Ntilikina, who both turned out to be bad.

    Haliburton seems to have the highest floor of the three, he can throw the ball into the basket a little bit it seems. We don’t have many dudes who can do that.

  38. thenoblefacehumper: This is absurd cherry picking. Let’s actually compare their numbers across the board:

    Hayes: 17 points, 8 assists, 2 steals per-36, .500 2PT% (8.1 attempts per-36), .909 FT% (20/22)

    Ntilikina: 10 points, 3 assists, 1 steal per-36, .519 2PT% (4.8 attempts per-36, as we’re accustomed to), .621 FT% (18/29)

    Why are you pretending these are anything alike? This is so ridiculous I can’t engage with it any further.

    Fuck it, Cole Anthony was always our destiny anyway. Should do wonders for Mitch’s ORB numbers at least!

    I mean, you are actually making my point. The sample sizes are so small that you could interpret them either positively or negatively. For example, it is utterly stupid to read anything positive into 22 FTA. It is utterly stupid to draw any conclusions by expanding out per 36 numbers over 268 minutes as a scrub on a terrible team in a shitty league. To do so is, by definition, cherry picking. Hayes has shown absolutely nothing in his numbers that is suggestive of future success in the NBA. If anything, his weird shooting mechanics, suspect handle, lack of proficiency with his off-hand, non-explosiveness as an athlete and high turnover rate (not to mention poor 3-pt shooting) all suggest that he will be out of the league in a couple of years. At the very least, he is at least close to as high risk as Frank was and very likely a total waste of a lottery pick.

  39. thenoblefacehumper: We’ve gone over a million times how FT% is a much better predictor of NBA 3PT% in prospects than actual 3PT%.

    So Anthony shot 75% in the NCAA on 128 attempts after shooting 87.4% in his senior year in HS on 214 attempts. So we shouldn’t be worried about his 3-pt shooting in the NBA, right?

  40. I mean, you are actually making my point. The sample sizes are so small that you could interpret them either positively or negatively. For example, it is utterly stupid to read anything positive into 22 FTA. It is utterly stupid to draw any conclusions by expanding out per 36 numbers over 268 minutes as a scrub on a terrible team in a shitty league.

    You were the one who compared Ntilikina and Hayes’ pre-draft seasons. I’m happy to use Hayes’ numbers in his career sample of over 1,000 minutes too, which I’ll post again:

    14 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals per 36 minutes with a .540 2PT% (211 attempts) and an .840 FT% (75 attempts).

    At the very least, he is at least close to as high risk as Frank was and very likely a total waste of a lottery pick.

    Guess I’ll just post Ntilikina’s career international numbers again, artificially inflated by his FIBA stint:

    10 points, 3 assists, 1 steal per-36 with a .468 2PT% and .686 FT%

    Hayes has shown absolutely nothing in his numbers that is suggestive of future success in the NBA.

    Unless you count *checks notes* literally everything but 3PT%, which as been shown time and time again to be near meaningless when it comes to prospect evaluation. Lotta good Frank’s .385 3PT% as a prospect did him!

  41. So Anthony shot 75% in the NCAA on 128 attempts after shooting 87.4% in his senior year in HS on 214 attempts. So we shouldn’t be worried about his 3-pt shooting in the NBA, right?

    Sure, he projects decently as a shooter. Tons of guys do. If that’s all you’re looking for it’s not hard to find. The problem is his meager 2PT% means his drive won’t need to be respected at all, and more broadly, that he likely lacks the kind of athleticism and decision-making to succeed.

  42. If you look at the 1000 minute sample of their entire European careers, Hayes is clearly better than Frank. IDK why you’re only looking at individual seasons. 1000 min is basically what you get from NCAA freshmen, so that’s a reasonable sample for a draft pick.

    In a normal draft Hayes might fall out of the lottery, but this year he’s a lotto pick. And no, I’m not depending on his 3pt shooting as much as his 2pt%, assists, and steals.

  43. >I think this idea has been kicking around the site since the Chandler days Chandler

    However

    (Melo + Chandler) > (Melo + Melo)

    It’s a game where you are trying to maximize the “team” output by cramming as much talent and diversity on the court as possible but while avoiding diminishing returns. These models can’t handle that player X may add more value in one situation and very little in another and vice versa.

    That’s kind of where the idea of lineup data comes in. It’s not always clear how to maximize the team output other than in a general sense (we need more rebounding, we need another playmaker, we don’t have enough spacing etc..). So you look at what’s working and hope that since it makes basketball sense and appears to be working it’s not just random noise.

  44. Early Bird:
    If you look at the 1000 minute sample of their entire European careers, Hayes is clearly better than Frank. IDK why you’re only looking at individual seasons. 1000 min is basically what you get from NCAA freshmen, so that’s a reasonable sample for a draft pick.

    In a normal draft Hayes might fall out of the lottery, but this year he’s a lotto pick. And no, I’m not depending on his 3pt shooting as much as his 2pt%, assists, and steals.

    When the vast majority those earlier seasons are playing a minor role on a terrible team at age 16 and 17, they are pretty meaningless. I mean, do we conflate Cole Anthony’s HS and college numbers? If we do, he looks completely different.

  45. First, there’s “absolutely nothing in his numbers that is suggestive of future success in the NBA.”

    Now, those same exact numbers “are pretty meaningless.”

    If you just take his most recent season, it “is utterly stupid to draw any conclusions by expanding out per 36 numbers over 268 minutes as a scrub on a terrible team in a shitty league.”

    Z-Man, what data set do you think we should look at to evaluate Killian Hayes?

  46. Bernard King just dropped 50 on the Mavs without taking a single 3 and yall are bickering about some scrubby frenchmen smh

  47. Something is wrong.

    My messages keep getting truncated

  48. >I think this idea has been kicking around the site since the Chandler days <

    IMO, It's been kicking around because imo the math gurus haven't been able to adequately solve the usage/efficiency, role, etc.. relationship and understand that you even though efficiency is critical, you need a couple of guys with a diverse set of scoring skills at the TOP of the pyramid (the more efficient the better).

    Once you have the TOP of it filled out, then those lower usage high efficiency scorers become way more valuable than just adding another Melo for example. I;'d rather add Chandler to Melo than have 2 Melos, but I'm not going anywhere with 2 Chandlers.

  49. The list of who karnisovas is looking at for the GM position makes me drool. I would take whoever comes in last in his search over whoever comes in first in ours.

  50. The list of who karnisovas is looking at for the GM position makes me drool. I would take whoever comes in last in his search over whoever comes in first in ours.

    It pissed the shit out of me reading that fucking shit.

  51. Something is wrong.

    My messages keep getting truncated

    Are you using any code? I don’t see anything on this end.

  52. . Only if you are limited to the boxscore and don’t watch him impact games defensively all by himself.

    I’ve been watching Community on Netflix recently and after he chimed in with this I realized Strat is our Pierce Hawthorne.

    (Not an insult, Strat. Pierce is the lovable older fellow in the group with wildly different ideas than everyone else.)

  53. To me. it’s somewhere between difficult and impossible to evaluate Killian Hayes (especially without seeing him play defense). You’d expect some improvement over the course of his career in France as he got older (and he did seem to improve), but his numbers are all over the place year to year and the sample size is too small in any single year to assume any improvement is fact.

    I don’t see where this guy is a high lottery pick or how he’s going to solve our PG issues any time soon.

    Granted,we may not have many options if this is a weak draft, but no way I would be enthusiastic about this pick unless you also told me he’s a Frank level defender. Then I’d say we are getting the defense and a player that will probably develop way faster and be a lot better than Frank on offense.

    I think we need to settle the PG situation once and for all and stop bringing in mediocre players and on sided players. Either get a very good PG or change paths and play a more versatile game with multiple playmakers.

  54. >(Not an insult, Strat. Pierce is the lovable older fellow in the group with wildly different ideas than everyone else.)<

    There are upsides and downsides to be being older.

    The downside is you are older, don't have the same energy, concentration, or memory.

    The upside is that you've seen so many things, so many times, and for so long, you actually learn a few things along the way from all your mistakes.

    Really though, I am contrarian by nature too. It's a byproduct of being a gambler. When you are a gambler your only chance to find an edge is to find things that other people are doing wrong. So I when i read, I may agree with 99% of what's said here but only talk about the 1%.

  55. >Are you using any code? I don’t see anything on this end.<

    I'm not sure what happened. I was using some "greater than" and "less than" signs. When I took them out and used English instead it was OK. Thanks for checking.

  56. tnfh, when I posted what I did about Hayes above about what I saw in his film, you responded with:

    “Just draft guys who are already good at basketball please! Speaking of which…

    Killian Hayes put up 17 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals per 36 minutes with a .500 2PT% and .390 3PT% in a league much tougher than the NCAA.”

    In short, I am saying that 268 minutes worth of stats from some obscure league (Eurocup is the 3rd level of competition in Europe) are virtually meaningless, and especially so when the info from prior years is equally meaningless.In those cases, the only way to evaluate those players is via analyzing game film. I was merely saying that Hayes’ game film tells virtually the same story that Frank’s game film told back in 2017. Here’s what I said:

    “I just watched Killian Hayes film and came away not impressed. He is slow, has absolutely no left hand and his handle is suspect.”

    So it comes down to: do you trust the extremely limited and suspect stat sample from a mostly bench player (3/4 of his 1,000 minutes came from when he averaged less than 20MPG before this year’s 10-game Eurocup gig) in a second or third-rate Euro league over what you can plainly see in game film re; his handle, speed, athleticism, shooting form, etc.? I say absolutely not.

  57. The one correction I should make is that I meant that he has absolutely no off-hand, he’s a lefty.

  58. Eurocup is far from obscure basketball. As an international league that requires qualifying its likely better than most if not all national leagues. Between that and France’s national league, the second best after Spain, Hayes is playing against a significantly higher level of competition than NCAA or LaMelo in the NBL.

  59. JK47,

    I have a guitar question for you.

    Here’s a solo blues clip I found that I enjoyed. What I like about it is that he’s going in and out of chords and licks throughout it seamlessly. What I find (at my limited level) is that when I’m playing with a backing track I can hear the timing of the chord changes and time my licks to get to the right notes at the right time better than when I try to go in and out on my own like in this clip. Without backing, my licks seem to be all over the place in terms of length and not timed right at 4 beats or 8 beats etc… I can’t really hear/feel when the change is coming – maybe partly because I’m concentrating on what to play. Is there something I can do to improve in that way or is it just a timing/feel thing that comes with experience playing?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rgo6DQ8nCg

  60. In the “I thought I had seen it all” department, at a press briefing today to update the country on the Corona virus, our president showed what was basically a campaign video.

  61. Bill Cartwright looks a bit like Bobby Portis-they have the same crazy eyes

    bill cartwright had lethal elbows…when he brought down the ball from a rebound they lined up with most players head…and, he kept his arms wide…i liked him a lot less when he played for the bulls…actually, i didn’t start following the knicks til ’85, i didn’t get to watch him perform well when he played for us…

  62. Early Bird: Eurocup is far from obscure basketball. As an international league that requires qualifying its likely better than most if not all national leagues. Between that and France’s national league, the second best after Spain, Hayes is playing against a significantly higher level of competition than NCAA or LaMelo in the NBL.

    Here’s a rating system that suggests that Eurocup and Australian NBL are roughly the same, and that both are somewhere between NCAA ACC and NCAA Pac-10. Both are significantly below G-League.

  63. I think they should just take the best prospect if he’s there, which is Okongwu (Haliburton or Toppin after that). Then I’d take Dotson with the Clips pick.

  64. The lesson the Knicks should’ve learned from Frank Ntilikina: don’t draft guys with shitty numbers because they have long arms.

    The lesson the Knicks will learn from Frank Ntilikina: can’t trust those frenchmen.

    frank is okay now, and is only getting better…don’t sell low on frank…have a little faith…beyond the numbers…

    the only way this story ever rights itself – is if our longest tenured player experiences basketball redemption at the same time our organization does…

    if it you don’t believe TNFH, that’s right – you face humper guy – you’ll continue to curse us all for at least another decade or so…just stop it – don’t you see what you’re doing?

    frank is our billy the goat…i’m not sure if that analogy actually works…but, i’m sticking to it, and with frank…

  65. Strat,

    The playing on that clip is very seamless like you said, that is some veteran guitar playing technique right there. There’s a lot going on that makes it seamless— he never breaks his “pocket” when he goes to the fills, he maintains that deep sense of swing coming in and out of the little fills.

    Players who are this good have a vocabulary of licks, you just have certain shapes and phrases that are familiar to your hands and playing them is sheer muscle memory that doesn’t really involve the brain. I think that’s really the key to this kind of playing, having a good bag of tricks to pull from, so you’re not thinking “well, I need to play some locks over an A chord so that means ACDEG for pentatonic” and all of that.

  66. JK47,

    Thanks. I know exactly what you are saying about muscle memory and already having a bag of tricks to draw from.

    I stole a lot of stuff from that clip. I can do the stuff I stole, but not quite at the same speed. That’s OK though. I don’t mind slowing the whole thing down a bit. It’s just really tough for me to get the timing right on my own stuff and I don’t want to just memorize the piece over a long period of time. I want to draw from it and put my own spin on it. I’ll get there someday. :-)

  67. Z-man: Here’s a rating system that suggests that Eurocup and Australian NBL are roughly the same, and that both are somewhere between NCAA ACC and NCAA Pac-10. Both are significantly below G-League.

    To be fair, the methodology for the rating system is highly suspect, but I agree with the general premise that lower-level European leagues and others like the NBL in Australia are nothing all that special in general, certainly no better and probably worse than the G-League in terms of competition. If a player doesn’t post eye-opening stats there, film analysis is all the more critical. In my opinion, LaMelo passes the film study test. Hayes doesn’t.

  68. KnickfaninNJ:
    JK, if I can ask, what do you mean by “never breaks his pocket”

    He’s playing in a very heavy swing feel, and when he switches in between playing the chord stuff and the lead stuff, he maintains that swing, and the tempo of the song stays steady. It all sounds very fluid, like it’s part of one flowing thing.

    A more beginner player might have a problem keeping up that seamless pocket, he might lose that sense of swing coming in and out of the lead licks, or might slightly slow down or speed up during those transitions.

  69. In the last 10 drafts, there have been virtually no players with a similar profile to Hayes that were (or who are on their way to being) successful NBA players. The ones who have made it are either bigs (KP, Jonas V, Giannis, Jokic, Capela, Nurcic, Willy, Zubac) draft and stash fliers, or, well, Luka.

    Of the somewhat comparable players at draft time, not a single wing or PG stands out:
    -Fournier is just okay, not great
    -Shroder had 5 outstanding FIBA World Cup games, small sample but a much higher level of comp than Hayes/Frank, and is still took 5 years to become at most a decent backup.
    -Saric is a skilled 6’10” guy, high-level draft-and-stash, just okay so far
    -Bogdan B draft and stash, just okay
    -Juancho, meh
    -Yabusele, scrub
    -Korkmaz, scrub
    -Bender, bust
    -Papagiannis, bust
    -Frank N, scrub

    Bottom line: don’t waste a lottery pick on an international player unless he is either a big, a physical freak or is doing something really eye-opening. You’re just as likely to hit on one of these guys outside the lottery as inside it.

  70. Z-man:
    In the last 10 drafts, there have been virtually no players with a similar profile to Hayes that were (or who are on their way to being) successful NBA players. The ones who have made it are either bigs (KP, Jonas V, Giannis, Jokic, Capela, Nurcic, Willy, Zubac) draft and stash fliers, or, well, Luka.

    Of the somewhat comparable players at draft time, not a single wing or PG stands out:
    -Fournier is just okay, not great
    -Shroder had 5 outstanding FIBA World Cup games, small sample but a much higher level of comp than Hayes/Frank, and is still took 5 years to become at most a decent backup.
    -Saric is a skilled 6’10” guy, high-level draft-and-stash, just okay so far
    -Bogdan B draft and stash, just okay
    -Juancho, meh
    -Yabusele, scrub
    -Korkmaz, scrub
    -Bender, bust
    -Papagiannis, bust
    -Frank N, scrub

    Bottom line: don’t waste a lottery pick on an international player unless he is either a big, a physical freak or is doing something really eye-opening.

    Literally none of these players are PGs except Schroder and he put up a .080 WS in year 2.

    Schroder played in the German BBL before being drafted: https://www.proballers.com/basketball/player/37985/dennis-schroder

    Hayes played in the BBL this year: https://www.proballers.com/basketball/player/72243/killian-hayes

    Schroder put up 3.2 ast in 25 min
    Hayes put up 5.3 ast in 25 min

    Hayes is a year younger than Schroder

    I’m not saying Hayes is going to be phenomenal or even that he’ll be decent, but he’s definitely not Frank Ntilikina stat-wise. And I don’t understand the, “he had his 1,000 min over 3 years” that means that a portion of his BRef #s are as a 16 year old playing, at worst, college level basketball.

  71. >He’s playing in a very heavy swing feel, and when he switches in between playing the chord stuff and the lead stuff, he maintains that swing, and the tempo of the song stays steady. It all sounds very fluid, like it’s part of one flowing thing.<

    I watched some more of his playing. He's very good,

    I saw one song where he used the thumb over the top technique that Hendrix and John Mayer use very effectively. That's something I'll never be able to do. I don't have the hand size. I actually looked into getting some kind of thumb extender, but I didn't see anything that looked good. :-)

  72. Early Bird: Literally none of these players are PGs except Schroder and he put up a .080 WS in year 2.

    Schroder was touted as an outstanding athlete. Jonathan Tjarks said:
    “An extremely athletic 6’2, 170-pound guard with a 6’7 wingspan, Schroeder has as much physical upside as any point guard in this draft. His combination of size and speed was too much for the American guards in Portland.”

    Alas, Schroder has posted a zero or below BPM every year thus far. In his first 5 years he never posted a TS% of above .533 or a WS48 of above .086, which it took him 7 years to reach. That’s the best case scenario you’re hoping for in a lottery pick? And given that Hayes’ film shows an un-athletic guy with a high handle and no off-hand, and that Hayes shot 27% from 3 thus far in his career, it’s highly doubtful he will ever blossom into an legit NBA rotation player during his rookie contract.

    As I said when Frank was drafted, I’m pretty sure that there will be at least 10 guys drafted after Hayes that will have been better picks in retrospect. You can bookmark this for future reference.

  73. Z-man: Schroder was touted as an outstanding athlete. Jonathan Tjarks said:
    “An extremely athletic 6’2, 170-pound guard with a 6’7 wingspan, Schroeder has as much physical upside as any point guard in this draft. His combination of size and speed was too much for the American guards in Portland.”

    Scouts saw Schroder’s “athleticism”, yet Hayes averaged more steals, rebounds, assists, and had a higher fg% despite being a year younger than when Schroder was in the same league.

    And since you brought up size, Hayes is 2-3″ taller and 20 lbs heavier.

    Alas, Schroder has posted a zero or below BPM every year thus far. In his first 5 years he never posted a TS% of above .533 or a WS48 of above .086, which it took him 7 years to reach. That’s the best case scenario you’re hoping for in a lottery pick? And given that Hayes’ film shows an un-athletic guy with a high handle and no off-hand, and that Hayes shot 27% from 3 thus far in his career, it’s highly doubtful he will ever blossom into an legit NBA rotation player during his rookie contract.

    Schroder has been a decent backup since year two in the league, the cutoff of .086 WS/48 is arbitrary and conveniently excludes his 2nd year in the league at .080. Again, Hayes is younger & playing better than Schroder.

    As I said when Frank was drafted, I’m pretty sure that there will be at least 10 guys drafted after Hayes that will have been better picks in retrospect. You can bookmark this for future reference.

    Who are these 10 people? Unless you can pick them ahead of time that’s not helpful. And I never claimed Hayes would be a star.

    Again comparing him to Frank is silly, Hayes doubled young Frank’s assist numbers and could actually score. There are people on this board who think Frank is a decent PG and Hayes is better at that role than Frank at the same age.

  74. Early Bird: Who are these 10 people? Unless you can pick them ahead of time that’s not helpful. And I never claimed Hayes would be a star.

    I don’t have to name them because it doesn’t really matter. The point is, you don’t want to have that said about whoever you pick in the lottery. I think there will be at least 10 guys who you are unlikely to say that about. LaMelo, Edwards, Wiseman, Toppin, Okoro, Bey, Anthony, Okongwu, Nesmith, Halliburton, Jones are all less likely to have that said about them. That more than covers our potential draft position.

    Early Bird: Again comparing him to Frank is silly, Hayes doubled young Frank’s assist numbers and could actually score. There are people on this board who think Frank is a decent PG and Hayes is better at that role than Frank at the same age.

    People here were hyped on Frank beyond his stats because had one elite characteristic: wingspan. He’s got more defensive potential than Hayes will ever have. All he needs to develop is a consistent 3-pt shot and he’s a reasonably valuable player. But like Hayes, he was overhyped, just for different reasons, and should not have been drafted in the lottery.

    Granted, Hayes is an elite passer and gets lots of steals. But beyond that, he doesn’t dribble at all with his right hand or drive to his right, like ever. He turns the ball over a ton already. There is no way that he can get away with that against bigger, stronger, faster, smarter players. He is simply not athletic enough to stay in front of NBA 1’s and 2’s on D or a good enough ball-handler to get in the paint or a good enough leaper to finish against NBA bigs. And he has no other position to play other than PG.

  75. ***JK, if I can ask, what do you mean by “never breaks his pocket”***

    I’ve been involved in a documentary about the trumpet player Roy Hargrove. We started filming in the year before his untimely death. Very intimate interviews. Everybody wanted to work with Roy, and as a result, he couldn’t keep the same quintet together for long because somebody was being offered better gigs, usually the piano player. He finally settled into a Japanese pianist who was technically compatible to the level Roy was playing, but he’d have to explain to him how he has to “play in the pocket”, which was too abstract to really explain (especially by American jazz musicians). He’d say something about being at a gas station and pumping your own gas to faint background music you can barely hear, and then they’d start playing again. The takeaway (I think) was that it doesn’t matter what the notes are, you don’t have to be technically precise, as long as you’re playing in the flow of it, i.e. “playing in the pocket.”

    I think there is actually a quality to “the pocket” to the NBA. jonabby used to talk here about how basketball was like jazz, with people improvising, but always in the flow of the game. Like a jazz quintet. That’s the pocket. If the play breaks down, the play doesn’t end. Good things still happen. But you gotta play in the pocket — Otherwise, you get called for traveling.

  76. People here were hyped on Frank beyond his stats because had one elite characteristic: wingspan. He’s got more defensive potential than Hayes will ever have. All he needs to develop is a consistent 3-pt shot and he’s a reasonably valuable player. But like Hayes, he was overhyped, just for different reasons, and should not have been drafted in the lottery.

    Yes, if you ignore all the actual stats then Killian Hayes is just like Frank Ntilikina. We just ignore the 1,000 minute sample showing his steals, assists, scoring, and rebounding are better than Frank. Frank and Hayes are basically the same player.

    Let’s ignore the 1000 minute sample of high level ball. Let’s ignore the fact he has better numbers than Schroder despite being a year younger. Even the athleticism based numbers like rebounds and steals favor Killian Hayes over Schroder. But hey, eyetest!!!

    Cole Anthony is a score first PG who can’t score playing against worse competition than Hayes, but you listed Anthony as a better draft pick? There’s going to be 10 players better than Anthony drafted after him, and it will be the next ten players and then the next ten after that too.

    Granted, Hayes is an elite passer and gets lots of steals.

    Yes, those are his stats. People aren’t hyped “beyond his stats” they’re hyped precisely because of those stats. He’s an 18 yo who has shown elite passing skills, he scores efficiently from inside the arc, and he racks up steals.

    For all the praise heaped on LaMelo’s passing wizardry, Killian Hayes picked up more assists in a tougher league.

    Your argument boils down to my eyetest is better than the stats that say he’s a better athlete than all the “athletes” I’m comparing him to.

  77. I’m not ignoring the stat, just saying that they are too noisy to trust.

    -He had hardly any stats from 2017-18 as a 16YO
    -He played 19MPG as a 17YO and averaged 2 rebounds, 3 assts and 2 TOs per game, while shooting .192 from 3 and getting to the line 1.5 times a game while committing 2.4 fouls a game. These were the vast majority of his 1,000 minute.
    -He played 268 minutes in his 18yo season. His shooting numbers would again be mediocre if not for one outlier game. He again turned the ball over at an alarming rate, averaged 2.3 rebounds a game in 26.8 mpg.

    These stats are noisy and inconclusive. So next step: go to the scouting reports breaking down his game and watch film. Here are the thing you learn by doing that:
    -no right hand
    -not a good athlete
    -shot over 50% on long 2’s
    -may have trouble defending
    -no off-the-dribble game
    …and on and on….

    So I use both, as any smart scout or GM would do. If the stats weren’t interesting, I wouldn’t bother and neither would scouts or GMs. You choose to totally ignore one source of information and use loaded language like “ignore” and “eye test” in the case of a small, noisy stat sample from a 16-18yo in a NCAA-level league.

  78. -He played 19MPG as a 17YO and averaged 2 rebounds, 3 assts and 2 TOs per game, while shooting .192 from 3 and getting to the line 1.5 times a game while committing 2.4 fouls a game. These were the vast majority of his 1,000 minute.

    If you’re not dedicated to telling a certain story, you might instead say he averaged 5.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per 36 minutes, while shooting .557 on twos (just gonna keep saying it–has been shown time and time again to be much more important than 3PT% for prospects) and shooting 41/50 from the line. All as a 17 year old, in a league tougher than the NCAA.

    He played 268 minutes in his 18yo season. His shooting numbers would again be mediocre if not for one outlier game. He again turned the ball over at an alarming rate, averaged 2.3 rebounds a game in 26.8 mpg.

    So you think the sample of him playing very well is too small…but also, we should completely arbitrarily make it smaller, and then draw conclusions from the smaller version.

    These stats are noisy and inconclusive. So next step: go to the scouting reports breaking down his game and watch film. Here are the thing you learn by doing that:

    I’m not sure what scouting reports you’re looking at. Spencer Pearlman, who you seem to trust when it comes to Cole Anthony, seems pretty high on him. Mike Schmitz says “Hayes’ positional size, passing creativity and off-the-dribble shooting potential really stood out to scouts.” I could go on, but you get the point.

    Seems like you watched some film you didn’t like and now you’re trying to bend the rest of reality to fit your conclusion. Just be honest about that please!

  79. BTW, I already said I don’t like Anthony as a lottery pick, but he at least physically belongs on an NBA court. Scouting reports based on statistical analysis and game-film breakdown (e.g. Stepien) tell a much more promising story about him. But those guys are morons I guess.

  80. Owen:
    You guys are not Killian him softly….

    oof

    re: scouting reports, I look for certain buzz phrases. For Hayes, The Stepien said things like this:
    -Left hand dominant
    -Not a great athlete
    -Lack of lateral quickness
    -Isn’t a great catch and shoot shooter
    -settling for jumpers due to lack of athletism
    -Currently shooting 56.3% (9-16) on shots from 17’ feet to the 3 point line, essentially meaning long twos (*huge red flag, not sustainable in the NBA, and the other comments question whether he’ll be able to drive and finish)
    -good handle, not great…used more for perimeter actions and setting up outside shots than it is used for attacking the paint
    -can get burned giving up an uncontested (or lightly contested) 3 due to his limited athleticism
    -Not the quickest athlete, so his perimeter defense is somewhat limited
    -does not do a good job navigating through / around screens
    -doesn’t have the quickest feet so he shouldn’t be asked to defend the elite, explosive guards

    These things were obvious from watching his game film, even before reading the scouting report. They all point to his game not translating.

  81. As to Schmitz, I like and respect his work, but not enough to pay for it on ESPN+. He absolutely LOVES LaMelo Ball. And he did this film breakdown with Hayes.. I watched the first 10 minutes, and I saw a slow-footed guy who was getting stripped and who picked up the ball nearly every time he went right and never passed with his right hand.

  82. I watched the first 10 minutes

    Folks, this is all you need to know about this debate.

  83. It’s really interesting reading this debate about Hayes. I don’t know if he’s good or not, but I think comparing his stats to Ntilikina’s is unfair. Ntilikina is a defense first and offense maybe later guy and Hayes seems to be the opposite. If you use mostly offense related stats then of course Hayes looks better. But people like defense too. Ntilikina’s defense did translate to the NBA, which was not a given. If Hayes’ offense translates to the NBA, which is what we are debating, then he could be better than Frank; but if it doesn’t, then he’s likely to be much worse.

  84. The pocket is sort of like musical spatial awareness. The band Vulfpeck is the definition of “pocket.” Aside from the bassist, no one’s really a virtuoso musician (all incredible talents, but in ways different than technical wunderkinds like Joey Alexander or Jacob Collier) but their parts sit together perfectly.

    It’s one of those “when you know, you know” things. Trying to inject “feel” into someone else’s hands is impossible. I imagine it’s like Chris Paul or Ginobili or Jokic trying to explain passing lanes to a layman.

  85. Once you have the TOP of it filled out, then those lower usage high efficiency scorers become way more valuable than just adding another Melo for example. I;’d rather add Chandler to Melo than have 2 Melos, but I’m not going anywhere with 2 Chandlers.

    So basically, you’d rather have 5 Melos than 5 Chandlers, yeah? Which team would win?

  86. thenoblefacehumper: If Hayes’ offense translates to the NBA, which is what we are debating, then he could be better than Frank; but if it doesn’t, then he’s likely to be much worse.

    Hence the conclusion that you need to be extremely wary about picking him.

  87. thenoblefacehumper: I watched the first 10 minutes

    Folks, this is all you need to know about this debate.

    What an asshole thing to say. Why would you imply that all of my posts, which touch on just about everything from stats to video to expert scouting reports, boil down to watching 10 minutes of video analysis? Very dickish on your part.

  88. If Hayes’ offense translates to the NBA, which is what we are debating, then he could be better than Frank; but if it doesn’t, then he’s likely to be much worse.

    The draft is a crapshoot with an enormous range of outcomes for every single prospect. No one should ever predict anything too confidently.

    Having said that, feel free to bookmark, screenshot, etc. this: Killian Hayes will not be “much worse” than Frank Ntilikina. I don’t even know what such a player would look like. Chris Smith?

  89. -The Greek souvlaki eye test-
    I watched 2min45sec of highlights from Killian Hayes.
    He looks like a better looking and with smaller butt Andre Miller to me.

  90. Ringer:

    How the Knicks Fucked Up

    If you think we’re piling on with this category, you just aren’t familiar with Knicks draft history. The 2002 draft was yet another stroke of genius. In a draft-day trade, the Knicks sent the no. 7 pick (Nene), prime Marcus Camby, and over-the-hill Mark Jackson to the Nuggets for damaged Antonio McDyess, Frank Williams, and a 2003 second-round pick (which became Maciej Lampe).

    McDyess suffered a patellar tendon rupture early in the 2000-01 slate, and returned for just 10 games in 2001-02, averaging 11.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 23.6 injury-cautioned minutes. That would have scared most teams off—but not the Knicks, who were banking on the 28-year-old bouncing back to the 20-10 form he displayed early in his career. But like so many Knicks moves that maybe looked good on paper, this one fell apart. McDyess reinjured his knee in a meaningless exhibition game before he could make his official Knicks debut and was forced to sit out the entire 2002-03 season. Eighteen disappointing games into the following season, New York traded him to the Suns. While he would play seven more seasons in the league, including many productive campaigns as a role player with the Pistons, he was long gone from New York by then.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of the trade, Camby gave the Nuggets six prolific seasons, leading the league in blocks three times and winning Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. He averaged 10.1 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks during his time in Denver. Nene, whom the Knicks also traded away for McDyess, gave the Nuggets 10 seasons in which he mostly served as a starter, averaging a rock-solid 11.3 points and 6.0 rebounds along the way.

    So, in essence, the Knicks gave away 16 productive seasons of frontcourt play in exchange for 18 injury-riddled games. Told you we weren’t piling on.

  91. Folks, this is all you need to know about this debate.

    Don’t be so dismissive of his extensive buzz phrase search.

  92. thenoblefacehumper: The draft is a crapshoot with an enormous range of outcomes for every single prospect. No one should ever predict anything too confidently.

    Of course it is to an extent, and of course you shouldn’t. On the other hand, basketball players are not dice with fixed probabilities. Some players have more serious red flags than others. A point guard that is unathletic, and can’t go right , and can’t get into the paint or draw fouls, and can’t defend his position all that well, has too many things that, imho, are unlikely to get fixed in the NBA any time soon, if ever. I don’t recall a single PG who got significantly more athletic, or significantly improved his off-hand ball handling, or got significantly better at drawing fouls, or got significantly better at on-ball defense, just by being smart or working hard. Ball-handling in particular almost always is what it is, as is fast-twitch athleticism. Could it happen? Sure. But it is a very unlikely outcome. And if it doesn’t happen, who are the PGs in the NBA with that profile?

    thenoblefacehumper: Having said that, feel free to bookmark, screenshot, etc. this: Killian Hayes will not be “much worse” than Frank Ntilikina. I don’t even know what such a player would look like. Chris Smith?

    True, it’s hard to be much worse than Frank has been. On the other hand, there’s hope that Frank can become a 3 and D combo guard off the bench. That possibility doesn’t exist for Hayes, he’s just not the defensive prospect that Frank was.

  93. Don’t be so dismissive of his extensive buzz phrase search.

    I shamelessly discounted all of the copying and pasting from the “negatives” sections of generic scouting reports he did!

  94. thenoblefacehumper: I shamelessly discounted all of the copying and pasting from the “negatives” sections of generic scouting reports he did!

    Did I do that in a vacuum? Did I not point out misgivings with the stats as well? Which one of the “buzz phrases” do you disagree with as not being backed up by film analysis? Are scouting reports prepared by Pearlman and video analyses prepared by Schmitz “generic?” Are you disputing what is in the film? Can you find ample examples of Hayes finishing with his right hand? Passing with his right hand? Splitting defenses to attack the paint? Does film analysis have any value? Have you done any?

  95. I’ll be the first to admit that the personal JK47 eye test should carry very little weight but Cole Anthony’s game looks like absolute butt to me. I watch him play and I’m like “yup, this is why this dude has like a 450 eFG%.”

    He had two glaring, massive flaws at UNC: no ability to finish around the basket, and pedestrian floor vision/passing ability. He’s not a pass-first or even pass-second PG, he is a PG who is looking to score and who sucks at it.

    Emmanuel Mudiay is the comp that comes to mind for me, maybe Mudiay with a little bit better perimeter shot.

  96. It always amazes me how durable high school/AAU evaluations are.

    It’s so clear that some players just aren’t as advertised and they still go in the lottery.

  97. no ability to finish around the basket, and pedestrian floor vision/passing ability.

    Sounds like a NYK point guard to me!

  98. I think many scouts assume that things like “bad shot selection” and “low basketball IQ” are easy fixes compared to “unathletic” or “bad measurables,” but I think the issues can be equally damning.

    Look at Zach LaVine. Athletically, he should be a star by now, but he just hasn’t tightened up his game yet. Will he ever? He has improved his shot selection “a bit,” but he’s still too inefficient to be valuable. I can see people saying the same thing about LaMelo or Anthony at age 24: Will they ever turn the corner?

    Ultimately, is it better to take a risk on a guy like LaVine with a higher pick than a guy like DeAnthony Melton with a second-rounder who had advanced stats that were just as good or better? Idk the answer, but even LaVine had better shooting stats at UCLA than LaMelo or Anthony at the same age. At least for LaMelo, you can argue that the sample size isn’t big enough (and it’s against grown men, etc.) but these guys come with risks, no doubt.

  99. So what are we going to call tanking for Emoni Bates? Was just named high school player of the year. First time for a sophomore.

    I watched some clips. Was sort of hilarious. Running around with a bunch of pudgy 8th graders.

  100. Yeah, “self hates for Bates” was first thing that popped into head. Which is terrible.

    Twitter will do much better

  101. I think many scouts assume that things like “bad shot selection” and “low basketball IQ” are easy fixes compared to “unathletic” or “bad measurables,” but I think the issues can be equally damning.

    I agree that athleticism and measurables are not easily fixed. I, for one, am slightly taller than Nate Robinson and slightly lighter, and I have a similarly-large lower body from weight training. I simply cannot turn the muscle mass into athletic power the way he could. I could have trained 40 hours a week on my vertical during my athletic prime and I would never have come close to his leaping ability because of my central nervous system’s relative limitations; my brain will not fire those muscles the way I wish they could. Likewise, you can’t turn Andre Miller into Derrick Rose. Training will only go so far.

    What they’re wrong about, IMO, is how much the innate power-based athleticism matters if you lack spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination and on-court memory. Same goes for measurables. It’s easy to forget that Noah Vonleh (#9 overall, 2014) and Jah Okafor (#3, 2015) have some of the biggest hands ever measured in the NBA.

  102. So what are we going to call tanking for Emoni Bates? Was just named high school player of the year. First time for a sophomore.

    Wow, he looks a lot like Durant. That jumper.

  103. ess-dog: I think many scouts assume that things like “bad shot selection” and “low basketball IQ” are easy fixes compared to “unathletic” or “bad measurables,” but I think the issues can be equally damning.

    I agree with this in principle, but with caveats. Low IQ is a pretty damning assessment, as is low motor. You brought up Zach Lavine. He was drafted #13 in a terrible draft, despite his incredible athleticism, so lots of teams passed on him based on concerns about things other than athleticism and measurables. An example of a guy with questionable athleticism and measurables that was picked ahead of him is Nik Stauskas. Another is Doug McDermott. Because of his athleticism, Lavine became the centerpiece of a trade for Jimmy Butler and put up league average advanced stats across the board this year, including a VORP of 2.4. He’s overpaid but not obscenely so. On the other hand, high IQ/work ethic but unathletic Stauskas is out of the league and the high IQ/work ethic but unathletic McDermott is just coming around at age 28. Wiggins and Gordon are better examples of overrated high-athleticism/low IQ players, but even they had trade value way above their actual value on the court.

    Even DSjr had trade value to a dumb GM based solely on his athleticism. Do you think the Knicks make that trade for Frank if he had put up the same numbers with Dallas as he put up here?

    All in all, it’s a better miss in the lottery. Look for high IQ/High motor/High athleticism guys in the lottery as long as they have at least one skill that will likely translate. Take the high IQ/skilled but unathletic guys later on in the draft.

  104. The Honorable Cock Jowles: What they’re wrong about, IMO, is how much the innate power-based athleticism matters if you lack spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination and on-court memory. Same goes for measurables. It’s easy to forget that Noah Vonleh (#9 overall, 2014) and Jah Okafor (#3, 2015) have some of the biggest hands ever measured in the NBA.

    That’s why Brandon Clarke was such a great call by you and others, Jowles. That’s what you go for over a Cole Anthony or a Killian Hayes every time.

    That said, if Hayes and Anthony both suck, Anthony will be more likely to still have trade value during his rookie contract because some moronic GM will think “hey, this guy is just a bit of good coaching away from being a superstar! He’s still so young! He plays hard sometimes on D! He makes the spectacular play! What an athlete!”

  105. foregetting the young ‘uns for a minute – any college juniors or seniors whom stand out as ready to play in the nba?

  106. Lot of smoke today about Thibs being the guy. I mean, I assumed as much the other day, but it’s still interesting (not quite “new post” interesting, though, as it is all still very much chatter).

  107. Owen:
    Yeah, “self hates for Bates” was first thing that popped into head. Which is terrible.

    Twitter will do much better

    Master Bates? (sorry that was terrible)

  108. Owen:
    So what are we going to call tanking for Emoni Bates? Was just named high school player of the year. First time for a sophomore.

    Lose Faster for the Basketball Master, Bates!

  109. I mean… there were definitely questions about Doncic’s athleticism (meaning run/jump measurables and not quick-twitch motor skills), but it’s clear he overcomes that in a variety of ways.

    Re: Stauskas, it should’ve been obvious that he only had one NBA-level skill, albeit a desirable one. And of course, it was the Kings who drafted him, so put an asterisk there. But, yes, you have to weigh the advantages of every type of player.

    Considering the cost that comes along with a lottery pick, you could argue that it’s never a good idea to take a role player there. The problem is, teams are far too reluctant to cut their losses on a high pick, so they end up resigning guys like Wiggins to terrible contracts.

  110. geo:
    foregetting the young ‘uns for a minute – any college juniors or seniors whom stand out as ready to play in the nba?

    Payton Pritchard and Markus Howard

  111. ess-dog: I mean… there were definitely questions about Doncic’s athleticism (meaning run/jump measurables and not quick-twitch motor skills), but it’s clear he overcomes that in a variety of ways.

    Yeah, the dude was MVP in Europe’s best league at age 18. And very tall for a PG if you want to call him that, although he kind of transcends position..

  112. Here’s Hayes’s highlights from this year, he definitely beats guys off the dribble and is able to finish, even with his right hand:

    Hayes Ulm Highlights

    When the scouts or eyetest say “unathletic” but the numbers correlated with athleticism, like steals and rebounds, are good, I prefer the numbers. Scouts are also biased in evaluating Euro’s as unathletic. Lack of athleticism was one of the knocks on Doncic, how did that turn out?

    Steph Curry was another guy scouts did not like for “athletic reasons.” Turns out he’s pretty athletic in the ways that matter.

    Danilo Gallinari another Euro whose athleticism was questioned and he made his NBA career on slashing and attacking the basket.

    Scouts are not as good at predicting athleticism as they think.

  113. “So basically, you’d rather have 5 Melos than 5 Chandlers, yeah? Which team would win?”

    I think 5 Melos would beat 5 Chandlers because of ball handling, passing, versatility of scoring etc.., but ideally I want a Chandler on the court.

    The idea is to maximize team output by putting as much skill on the court as possible, but you also need to cover all the requirements of successful team basketball (defense, rebounding, ball handing, passing/playmaking, diverse scoring, rim protection, spacing etc…). If you have too much of one thing you can get diminishing returns and if you have too little of something it can all fall apart even if all the pieces are good individually .

  114. I don’t think any competent scouts are looking at athleticism and saying “That guy rates very high on athletic ability so let’s draft him”.

    It’s never black and white like that.

    What they are doing is looking at skills, stats, work ethic, basketball IQ, athleticism etc.. and weighing them all to come up with overall assessment of where the player is now, what his potential is, and the range of what he might be 3-5 years from now.

    It’s possible that some scouts or teams may consistently underrate or overrate one factor (like athleticism), but certainly athleticism is one of the things that should be considered.

    It’s also possible to overrate current statistics and underrate the potential that comes from superior athleticism.

  115. “I agree that athleticism and measurables are not easily fixed. I, for one, am slightly taller than Nate Robinson and slightly lighter, and I have a similarly-large lower body from weight training. I simply cannot turn the muscle mass into athletic power the way he could. I could have trained 40 hours a week on my vertical during my athletic prime and I would never have come close to his leaping ability because of my central nervous system’s relative limitations; my brain will not fire those muscles the way I wish they could. Likewise, you can’t turn Andre Miller into Derrick Rose. Training will only go so far.”

    Your understanding of hoops metrics is substantial…. your understanding of human physiology and generation of explosive force ….. ummmm….. not so much.

    It has virtually nothing to do with neural connections with your brain/muscle (unless you suffer from some bizarre neuro-muscular disease) and everything to do with your ratio of Type I / Type IIa and Type IIb muscle fibers. The greater the proportion of anaerobic Type IIb fibers the higher your potential for explosion (translatable to sprinting and leaping with proper training).

    This is why most of the great distance runners in the world trace their background to within a few hundred km of the Rift Valley (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia) and the greatest sprinters/explosive athletes trace their heritage to geographically isolated coastal regions of sub Saharan West Africa.

    (Accurately) blame mom and pop for you lack of extreme hops…..

  116. Brandon Clarke was an obvious pick because he was ultra productive as a college player, and the things he was good at seemed rather obviously transferable to the pros.

    Cole Anthony was not productive at all, he pretty much stunk out the joint for most of the season and with a poor ability to finish and lackluster court vision it’s hard to see how he’s going to transition successfully to the NBA.

    He’s a prep player hype job. He did indeed look like a top prospect as a prep player but I’m wary of guys who were blue chippers in high school but then played poorly as college freshmen.

  117. I think 5 Melos would beat 5 Chandlers because of ball handling, passing, versatility of scoring etc.., but ideally I want a Chandler on the court.

    The thought experiment was dumb the first time, which was my point. We’re not relitigating it.

    everything to do with your ratio of Type I / Type IIa and Type IIb muscle fibers

    And the recruitment of those muscle fibers to produce work? Where does that come from?

    and the things he was good at seemed rather obviously transferable to the pros.

    One of the most annoying things about the Clarke pick was that he was considered a “tweener” by the pundits — he had a decidedly big-man game, but in the body (a true 6’8″) of a PF or large SF. Not only has the height minimum of the center position been thoroughly debunked by the Warriors’ Death lineup, but the Rockets tested it even further this year with some real success. And then Clarke decided to turn into a lights-out 3PT shooter on top of that. So yeah, he’s now clearly a stretch 4 who can set high screens (with some contact aversion) like Draymond could. He and Morant are going to light it up before long.

  118. Begley saying very likely Thibs is the hire. Which I mean ok.
    Gonna try to turn RJ into a Jimmy Butler type player – ok that’s better
    Gonna focus on D, and guys like KanterRandle gonna get fked – great
    Gonna overplay guys- Franks groin gonna turn to applesauce. G I hope Rose as a players advocate would go against this, and I presume he would)

    I think defense and “culture” (which only means effort to me- which is a function of talent anyways) would improve… but how modern is his offense?

    How was the offense with the Wolves?

    I’m feeling this could be good because even if he is antiquated at least he’s competent. But overall I wouldn’t like this because today, offense is just so much more important.

  119. Early Bird: Here’s Hayes’s highlights from this year, he definitely beats guys off the dribble and is able to finish, even with his right hand

    He made 2 layups with his right hand, one was a scoop out of a dribble and the other came off of his wrist. But ok, if that’s enough to convince you that he has a right hand, good for you. Funny that every scouting report brings that up. Even his wikipedia his wikipedia page says, “Hayes is left-handed and rarely handles the ball with his right hand, which sometimes limits him.”

    Early Bird: When the scouts or eyetest say “unathletic” but the numbers correlated with athleticism, like steals and rebounds, are good, I prefer the numbers.

    We’ve already gone over the issues with his numbers ad nauseum, whatever.

    Early Bird: Steph Curry was another guy scouts did not like for “athletic reasons.” Turns out he’s pretty athletic in the ways that matter.

    Steph was a 40+% 3-pt shooter in over 1,000 college attempts. Hayes was a 27% 3-pt shooter in less than 120 attempts. Curry had an advanced handle with either hand. Hayes does not. Curry was exceptionally quick. Hayes is not.

    Early Bird: Danilo Gallinari another Euro whose athleticism was questioned and he made his NBA career on slashing and attacking the basket.

    Gallinari is a 6’10” stretch forward who had the requisite skillset and athleticism for his position. The biggest questions for him were rebounding, defense and durability. All continue to be issues for him. And for every Gallinari, there are multiple Jan Vesely’s and Andrea…

  120. Z-man: Curry was exceptionally quick. Hayes is not.

    Here’s the direct quotes from DraftExpress:

    Athletically, he has decent quickness, but isn’t a very explosive player, and isn’t the kind of guy that is going to blow you away with his first step

    he’s essentially a 6-foot shooting guard, while he isn’t a great athlete to make up for that

    His first step isn?t anything special, as he doesn’t have outstanding quickness or overall athleticism

    He’s not the quickest guy in the world, nor is he overly explosive finishing at the rim, or an amazing ball-handler

    That’s some serious 20/20 hindsight. I can do the same thing with Gallinari where the scouts constantly question his athleticism or you could bother actually looking it up before posting

  121. Who cares about athleticism anyway? Either you have athleticism whatever that is, and it converts into great statistical results.. or you have athleticism and it doesn’t… either way , you should just go by the results. It’s like wingspan.

    Let’s not talk about athleticism no more k.. and wingspan … and “tools” I guess

  122. I saw someone (I think it was Kevin Pelton) compare Clarke to Mitchell Robinson during the season and they’re completely different players. Guys who should know better think Clarke is a guy who just dunks the ball.

  123. When it comes to evaluating draft prospects I’ll take the “unathletic” guy with good stats than the guy with great athleticism who’s stats suck but he’s such a great athlete that apparently the goal is that eventually he’ll learn and improve or whatever.

  124. It’s so hard to judge if athleticism will make a difference. Mudiay and Smith are athletic and it makes no difference. Mitch is athletic and he turns it into something good.

  125. We’ll see in 2-3 years who was right. I look forward to it, as I did when people defended the Frank pick until it was impossible to do so. Hopefully we’ll be picking in the top-3 and it will be moot from a Knicks fan perspective.

  126. So what are we going to call tanking for Emoni Bates?

    we will have a bone-e for emoni…

    thank you very much…i’ll be here all week…

    please, please, stop throwing money up on stage…wait, you’re trying to injure me with your loose change…stop…

  127. yeah, not looking forward to listening/watching thibs scream all game…no thanks…i don’t know though – if he can get us to 38 wins or so next year, maybe it’ll be worth it…hopefully clyde and mike can drown out his yelling…

    i don’t think he’s the right guy for a young roster…although we do seem to mostly wanna play vets all the time…

    i mean, i don’t see us going from 20 something to 40 something wins unless something miraculous happens with our roster in between now and next season…

  128. I really disliked the way Thibs ran his teams into the ground but he might actually make Mitchtilikina something people fear to face on offense.

    It’s going to be terrible if they pick him but it’s going to be terrible if they don’t too.

  129. It’s going to be terrible if they pick him but it’s going to be terrible if they don’t too.

    Yeah, not a fan of Thibs but it’s not as if they’re going to make a better choice.

  130. Also interested in what Thibs might make of Frank and Mitch, but the rest will be terrible. Maybe RJ and Knox will learn to play D so the next coach can do something

  131. You guys who don’t want Thibs are seriously underestimating how good a coach he was in Chicago. First 2 seasons they won 62 then in the lockout shortened season 50 games with a pretty young roster. His next 3 seasons with a no longer healthy Rose they still made the playoffs every season and won a couple of series.

    He’s gotten a bad rap for his stint in Minnesota but after winning only 31 games his first season they won 47 to make the playoffs for the first and only time since 2004 and they would’ve won more if Butler didn’t get hurt right after the All-Star game. He got fired the next season but they were 19-21 so not exactly playing horrible.

    I’d be thrilled to have an actual good NBA coach in Thibs, he’d be by far the best coach the Knicks have had since D’Antoni.

  132. with that maniac walking the sidelines…i will not have much incentive (of what little I already have) to watch….can’t we get some young up and coming guy…that will bring some excitement?

  133. You guys who don’t want Thibs are seriously underestimating how good a coach he was in Chicago.

    Those teams were loaded.

    I think he did a very good job I’m just concerned about his ability to find his second act now that the league has phased out what he originally excelled with.

  134. Thibs is a good regular season coach. That is in part because he treats every game like Game 7 of the finals. So he’ll win games at the expense of p layer health and sanity.

    For all of us complaining about Mitch’s minutes, we’re about to get a lot more than we asked for. We’ll see how bouncy he is in Year 4 of averaging 39 mpg.

  135. Thibs is a good regular season coach. That is in part because he treats every game like Game 7 of the finals. So he’ll win games at the expense of player health and sanity.

    This is a thing. Also, genuine question, does Thibs have a record of playing the younger guys? Cause he really seems like a “sign older vets and try to win now” kind of coach like the Knicks have been trying to do for a couple forevers. The lockdown has messed up with my sense of time, maybe it’s been longer. Hiring him means another ‘reset’ which isn’t really a reset just another stab at the same shit.

  136. Thibs won a playoff series where Nate Robinson was his 2nd leading scorer. Enough said.

    Plus he was on the Knicks coaching staff the last time they made the NBA Finals, we could use all the good karma we can get.

  137. Bleacher Report has an article that predicts the nine biggest steals of 2020 free agency. I don’t agree with all it’s picks, but it is notable that Alonzo Trier is one of them.

  138. I should like Thibs. He came the closest to the Iverson/Sixers model of surrounding a talented scorer with a bunch of junkyard dogs. Noah, Boozer, Gibson, Deng, and Kurt Thomas has a whiff of Ewing, Oakley and Mason too. Korver was at least a nod to spacing

    I liked those teams. I really liked Noah on them. But Thibs absolutely had his accelerator pressed on the floor for four years. I don’t think that plays in the NBA these days quite so well on the recruitment front.

    So yeah, the only really big issue is that it’s a win-now kind of move for a team that is clearly going nowhere for a few years. I agree Thibs might also showcase Mitch to such an extent we can’t keep him or he won’t want to stay.

  139. What the Knicks organization did to Trier is a crime. He brought energy and scoring to a lifeless, trainwreck of a team last season and then was rewarded with no playing time. So he’s not a lockdown defender or ball distributor. Finishing a lay-up and possessing confidence in the offensive zone are valuable assets. Regular playing time may have allowed Trier to begin thinking about his entire game. With no such opportunity there was no growth. Total waste of an athlete. Allonzo will have a Jamal Crawford type career and probably get a ring as a 6th or 7th man.

  140. The 2017-2018 Minnesota Timberwolves ranked dead last in the league in 3PA. Yes, their offense was still good, but that’s what happens when you have Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler in their primes. He is very obviously not a fan of doing what you need to do to win these days.

    Out of the top 15 players in minutes played that season, 3 of them were Timberwolves (Wiggins, KAT, and friend of the blog Taj Gibson). Jimmy Butler was well on his way before he got hurt–he lead the team in MPG.

    I know we can talk ourselves into anything here, but the facts are simply staring us in the face. Would be a bad, Knicksy, star-fucking hire. Meanwhile Atkinson is just sitting right there…

  141. What the Knicks organization did to Trier is a crime. He brought energy and scoring to a lifeless, trainwreck of a team last season and then was rewarded with no playing time. So he’s not a lockdown defender or ball distributor. Finishing a lay-up and possessing confidence in the offensive zone are valuable assets. Regular playing time may have allowed Trier to begin thinking about his entire game. With no such opportunity there was no growth. Total waste of an athlete. Allonzo will have a Jamal Crawford type career and probably get a ring as a 6th or 7th man.

    I don’t know that I’d go as far as the last line, but I completely agree with the idea that he got a raw deal. There’s simply nothing you can say about him that isn’t equally, or more, true of players who got plenty of minutes.

    Tunnel vision? Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, and Marcus Morris were some of our primary rotation players. Spare me.

    Defensive concerns? I mean do I need to say anything?

    Just don’t think he’s productive enough? Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox say hello.

    Whatever you can say about Trier, it’s beyond dispute that he has some NBA level skills and important ones at that. That’s far from a given when randomly picking a player from this roster. There’s no good explanation for what happened to him, and it wouldn’t have happened in a semi-competent organization.

  142. I guess Trier should have played more than Dennis Smith, but I can also understand why coaches wouldn’t want to play a guard who doesn’t pass and plays no defense. I think his high efficiency this year was somewhat fluky, but given the Knicks offensive shortcomings they should have given him more minutes to see. But I can’t get too upset about it either, because Trier is not good.

  143. Maybe Trier could have gotten more minutes, but I don’t think it was a crime. The Knicks did actually prioritize defense a lot of the time and ended up 22nd in the league on defense. Given their personnel, that can’t have been an accident. If you want defense it makes sense not to play him much. And even though Trier didn’t get much playing time, he was on the roster so he undoubtedly got minutes in practice to show what he could do and to learn from playing. It’s also possible that he didn’t play the way the coaches were telling him. That would limit minutes for almost any player in the league. I think he’s going to be cheap as a free agent, but not necessarily a steal.

  144. but he might actually make Mitchtilikina something people fear to face on offense.

    Yeah, this would definitely be something to tune in for. Also I imagine there is a psychological impact of turning someone into a defensive destroyer. It might actually give Frank confidence on offense.

    Thibs wouldn’t be my choice because I’m afraid his stint in Minnesota is more predictive of his future than his success in Chicago. But there’s a couple of key things to keep in mind:

    1. His two main players in Minnesota were suboptimal, to say the least. It’s important to note he does have success connecting with young players: Rose, Butler, Noah come to mind.

    2. He’s so much better than what we’ve had here. In the last 25 years we’ve had two guys as good as him: JVG and Mike D’Antoni.

    I like Mike Miller and all. I think he’s the best coach we’ve had in here since Woodson and would retain him as an assistant. But Thibs is miles ahead of Mike Miller. Thibs is more ahead of Miller than Miller was ahead of Fizdale, and we all saw what a difference that made.

    So yeah, maybe not my first choice, but probably not a bad choice.

  145. The defense may have been better without Trier, but under Fizdale we had the worst ORtg in the league, 2 pts under the next worst team. In that situation there’s no reason to keep Trier out who demonstrated as a rookie his ability to score reasonably efficiently with an above average USG%. And it’s not as if Fizdale was prioritizing development.

    That’s inexcusable.

  146. At some future point a smart team will give Mike Miller a shot at HC and he’ll do fine. I would have liked to see what Miller could do with a full offseason and training camp.

  147. BigBlueAL: Thibs won a playoff series where Nate Robinson was his 2nd leading scorer. Enough said.

    You’re making some great points, BBA. Maybe let’s not reject good in the pursuit of perfect. We’re far more likely to end up with Mark Jackson if we don’t get Thibs than end up with what we really want.

    EDIT: forgot about Atkinson until I just read TNFH’s post.

    When it comes to Atkinson v Thibs the biggest knock on Atkinson is the uncertainty over how much of his value was attributable to an organizational structure that won’t exist here. So it’s that vs Thibs’ mania.

  148. I agree. I like Miller, but I can’t argue we won’t have a competent coach with Thibs. And as I’ve said before, I’m looking for competence, not spectacular performance. Competence is an amazing result by Knicks’ standards.

  149. The defense may have been better without Trier, but under Fizdale we had the worst ORtg in the league, 2 pts under the next worst team. In that situation there’s no reason to keep Trier out who demonstrated as a rookie his ability to score reasonably efficiently with an above average USG%. And it’s not as if Fizdale was prioritizing development.

    It’s true our offense was horrible and much worse than our offense. It’s one reason I conclude the Knicks were putting defense first in many situations. I don’t agree that putting defense first is inexcusable. In fact, emphasizing defense to Trier and making him play it to get minutes might have been the best thing for his development.

  150. Defense first, baby. That’s why you gotta give Kevin Knox 1,000+ minutes.

    Trier isn’t good, and we only play good players, like Frank Ntilikina.

    Yeah, sorry, there’s just no coherent explanation for this.

    Also, it’s true that, as a rookie, Trier wasn’t good in a vacuum. He also:
    1) Shot 39% on 132 3PA
    2) Got to the free throw line, where he shot 80%, 5.5 times per 36 minutes
    3) Had a slightly above league average TS% on high usage
    4) Undoubtedly suffered from the way all-in-one metrics dock SGs for mostly having a narrowly defined role: score

    I don’t know what to tell anybody who thinks there was nothing to work with here. Folks win the gold medal in mental gymnastics to pretend Frank Ntilikina is an NBA player. Is it really that much more outlandish to think a guy who has actually shown NBA level skills can be one too?

  151. I cannot explain all the minutes Knox got. I agree with you there

    it’s not fair to compare Franks minutes to Trier’s since they play different positions. Frank had to beat out DSJ and Kadeem to be backup point guard. Trier had to beat out Bullock, Ellington and Dotson to backup Barrett at shooting guard.

    No ones arguing Trier has NBA level skills on offense. I agree with you there. We’re just debating why he didn’t get minutes.

  152. Trier can score, but he doesn’t pass and he turns it over a lot. I don’t know if it’s “fair” that all in one metrics aren’t kind to Trier because he doesn’t do anything but score, but he doesn’t do anything but score. He’s like a small Randle, and Randle at least is a good rebounder. It’s not Trier’s fault the roster was put together by incompetents, but how many high usage no pass guys can you play at the same time? After the trade deadline I definitely think he should have been given more minutes-there was no point in playing Ellington or Bullock, but Trier also isn’t good enough that it really matters.

  153. KnickfaninNJ: I don’t agree that putting defense first is inexcusable. In fact, emphasizing defense to Trier and making him play it to get minutes might have been the best thing for his development.

    There’s a limit to how much you can sacrifice on offense to bolster your defense. The Knicks were so abjectly horrible on offense that refusing to play Trier is inexcusable. Again, 2pts worse on offense than the 2nd worst team is abysmal.

  154. I’m OK with Trier. I think his selfish attitude and defense are negatives, but I can see his attitude changing as he matures. I think he’s worth keeping around for awhile as a potential 6th man scorer off the bench. I just don’t see him ever developing into a player that can start on a good team because of his defense. IMO, If you want to be a really good team, you need to start two way players. You can get away with one elite defender that’s not a total washout on offense or on elite scorer that’s bad on defense, but more than that and I think the problem compounds itself. -1 + -1 = -3

  155. I get the flaws in Thibs and understand why some may not consider him the best hire. But again he is BY FAR the most accomplished coaching candidate that has been rumored to coach the Knicks since D’Antoni. People say he’d be a bad hire because he is a win now coach and the Knicks have a young team well shit both teams Thibs has taken to the playoffs the best players on those rosters were mostly young, inexperienced players at that time.

    Kenny Atkinson is the hot name right now and I’d be thrilled with him too but I’m just saying hiring Thibs would be one of the better moves the Knicks have made in years. Just think of the alternate and hiring Mark Jackson lol.

  156. We tried Phil Jackson and his outdated style of play and that didn’t goink so great so color me unexcited for Thibs.

    As much as I’d like to see a really tough defensive Knicks team I think I’d rather see a modern team that employs current strategies and practices.

    Whatever, at least it’ll be a different flavor of suck.

  157. Knox and Ntilikina are younger and longer-term investments. Trier is a RFA after this year. Since he can’t be traded, it kinda makes sense to suppress his value in case you want to match whatever he is offered. Or you might just not care, as he’s old and you can just keep Bullock for the same or less money.

  158. Whatever, at least it’ll be a different flavor of suck.

    ouch…it’s true, the truth does hurt…

  159. JK47:
    We tried Phil Jackson and his outdated style of play and that didn’t goink so great so color me unexcited for Thibs.

    As much as I’d like to see a really tough defensive Knicks team I think I’d rather see a modern team that employs current strategies and practices.

    Whatever, at least it’ll be a different flavor of suck.

    I don’t think there any reason to think Thibs is dedicated to winning with a specific way, though. That’s a special kind of arrogance that only Phil possesses.

    Thibs and Mike D’Antoni are very similar. They were both very innovative on one side of the ball, but neither seems married to winning with what worked for them in 2008. MDA’s Houston teams only resemble his Phoenix teams in that they’re effective and cutting edge. I might trust Thibs to come up with a style of defense that works today that’s different than the one he perfected in Boston and Chicago.

  160. Hubert: MDA’s Houston teams only resemble his Phoenix teams in that they’re effective and cutting edge.

    But he went even more extreme with his 7SOL offense-first philosophy. They’re jacking up 50+ 3’s a game now.

  161. Vague Knicks knews: Begley says he doesn’t think Rose is going to be shopping Frank the way Mills was, though he also doesn’t think Frank would be kept out of a potential package for a “star.”

  162. D’Antoni insisted on running SSOL with Toney Douglas. He’s not real adaptable in my opinion.

  163. @SBondyNYDN – 11/24/2019
    Kenny Atkinson is a big fan of Frank Ntilikina: “He’s always given the Nets trouble. He just has his pressure defense. He’s changed games, he’s won games against us almost single-handedly. I know he’s on our scouting report. We understand the defensive presence he represents.”

    @FrankLikina – today
    We are all in this together. From New York to Paris, it’s a global challenge and it will take a global effort.
    The earth is talking to us and we must keep our ears and hearts open.
    #worldstrong Orange heartBlue heart

    i think we are long overdue in renaming this site: KnickerFranker…

    you hear that – keep your ears and hearts open data guys…the earth is trying to talk to you…

  164. was watching PTI the other day and noticed tony kornheiser had one of my favorite all time yankee photos hanging on the wall behind him…

    finally getting to the closet with all my old music, baseball cards and comics…one of the first things i pulled out of the closet was an old, yellow copy of that photo…think i have most of the cards from either the ’77 or ’78 team…

    going through that stuff will be a nice trip down memory lane…

  165. I would much rather get Atkinson than tired, re-tread Thibs…the one thing I liked about the Nets the last few years (and maybe the players like Dinwiddie/Russel had as much to do with it) is that they always had the capability to come back late in games and pull them out and I think they played well on the road…although they blew a lot of games late as well…

  166. Here’s a thought: if we get the #3 pick and Edwards/LaMelo are both off the board, do we take Wiseman? Trade the pick? Can Wiseman play with Mitch?

  167. Trading down in this draft is a bad idea I think, because everyone outside of the top 7 just kind of suck…

    I’d rather have Hali or Hayes or Okongwu and pick any of them at #3 over Wiseman.

  168. If we trade our pick we’re going to move up for LaMelo. Our pick + LAC’s pick for GS’s #1. The Warriors definitely do not need another PG and probably not another SG in Edwards.

    I prefer Halliburton especially in a draft that’s pretty terrible. Okongwu is also a weird fit next to Mitch, but maybe, he or Mitch would need to learn how to shoot. Hayes is still a bit of a mystery, but has a decent track record in Europe and a mystery is better than the other options.

    I wouldn’t be against trading down. Often the top of the draft will suck, which is how people usually grade the whole draft, and the bottom will be decent or have a few hidden gems. More bites at the apple could pay off.

  169. alsep73:
    Vague Knicks knews: Begley says he doesn’t think Rose is going to be shopping Frank the way Mills was, though he also doesn’t think Frank would be kept out of a potential package for a “star.”

    haha! thanks, al. I’m sure teams are lining up for that deal.

  170. I really like Kenny Atkinson.

    I don’t really like him for the Knicks, though (presuming we continue to have a dysfunctional organization). He would probably pull a Budenholzer and say I’m only doing this if I don’t have to listen to you idiots tell me what to do. If he didn’t, he’d probably be miserable.

  171. >>>@SBondyNYDN – 11/24/2019
    Kenny Atkinson is a big fan of Frank Ntilikina: “He’s always given the Nets trouble. He just has his pressure defense. He’s changed games, he’s won games against us almost single-handedly. I know he’s on our scouting report. We understand the defensive presence he represents.”<<<<

    I'm fine with Thibs, but maybe it's time to go "all in" on Atkinson. :-)

    At least now we know he has a clue about Frank's value.

  172. Personally, I don’t think style of play has much to do with it the success of various teams beyond some very basic things like having high quality 2-way players, going to their strengths, and fitting them together well. The rest of it is just wannabes trying to copy whatever has been winning lately.

    Where teams get into trouble is if they pick a style of play and don’t have the players that fit that style on the team.

    I’d be fine playing inside/out with Kareem, Shaq, Hakeem or another C that can draw doubles in the post and kick it out to 3 point shooters.

    I’d be fine playing 4 out and letting a dominant ball handler run amok inside.

    I’d be fine with a dominant PG running P&Rs all day

    I’d be fine with no true PG but 3 solid playmakers at various positions and a lot of ball and player movement (actually my preference).

    Just give me the right players and a coach/management that’s building a team that fits together.

  173. >At least now we know he has a clue about Frank’s value.

    lmao<<

    My hands are simply too small for that thumb over the top guitar technique, but I'm pretty sure Frank can do it and it's not in the stat sheet. :-)

  174. ess-dog:
    Here’s a thought: if we get the #3 pick and Edwards/LaMelo are both off the board, do we take Wiseman? Trade the pick? Can Wiseman play with Mitch?

    Yes. Wiseman is going to be valuable for several years, and is potentially a superstar. Dude was on his way to totally dominating in college before he dropped out. He’s not without risk, but at worst, build up his value and trade him for assets.

  175. So far, I’ve listened to three draft previews. Of the three, only Wiseman sounded sure to be a useful player. Of course his outcome could range from Kyle O’Quinn to Joel Embiid, but still someone useful, even if not at the Knick’s biggest need. The second was Anthony Edwards. To me, a good outcome sounded like someone like Dion Waiters, which of course didn’t thrill me. The third guy was Isaac Okoro. He didn’t sound great, and his potential outcomes had a wide range. They talked about him as potentially going in the top half of the lottery but I don’t remember anyone here mentioning him. Can anyone comment on him?

  176. Okoro is an interesting prospect. Strong and fast as hell, super aggressive defender, but a surprisingly lousy rebounder. Can slash and finish well with both hands. Can’t shoot 3’s and lousy at FTs. Seems like he has a pretty high floor, something like a very solid bench player. He’s very young and physically developed and definitely has lots of ways to score. He gets to the line and defends multiple positions. If you’re drafting him in the top-7 or 8, it’s definitely an upside pick. Below that, he’s a very reasonable choice. If he ever does develop a shot, could be a formidable small-ball 4.

  177. Thanks Z-man. That mostly matches what I heard except that even though he’s muscular and good at defense he’s not much bigger than a two guard.

  178. I honestly can’t understand why some folks are so down on Wiseman. Is it the off-the-court stuff?

    In 3 college games, his per-40 averages were 34.2 points, 18.2 rebounds, 5.2 blocks, 1.7 TOs, 2.9 PFs. He shot 80% from 2 (20-25) and 70% from the line (19-27). In the game against the one very good team Memphis played (Oregon) he played 22 minutes and had 14 points (5-7 from 2, 6 FTA) and 12 rebounds. I know it’s a tiny sample size, but those are on the way to being Zion Williamson numbers. He has a couple of nice jumpers and has solid form from the FT line. His floor is decent NBA big, his ceiling is superstar. In this draft, why would anyone take anyone but Edwards and Ball over him?

  179. I’ve liked what I’ve read on Okoro’s defense, but I’m hesitant to draft a wing who can’t shoot.

  180. KnickfaninNJ:
    Thanks Z-man. That mostly matches what I heard except that even though he’s muscular and good at defense he’s not much bigger than a two guard.

    Yeah, but we’ve seen that height is not as important as other stuff. Zion, PJ Tucker, Draymond, even Brandon Clarke to a lesser extent…all play bigger than their height. He needs to work on his game for sure, but he’s big enough.

  181. Z-man: I honestly can’t understand why some folks are so down on Wiseman. Is it the off-the-court stuff?

    I probably would draft him when it came down to it. But here’s my concerns:

    (1) I see Mitch as our future
    (2) Sample size is negligible
    (3) Refusal to return after suspension is a head scratcher
    (4) Teams don’t let talented PGs go, so draft a PG

  182. The preview I heard of Wiseman was good enough that I wouldn’t not take him because of Mitch. He could easily be the best player available and then we should definitely take him. I’m not down on him at all. I haven’t read much about the other players in the draft except here, so I’m waiting to learn more about them. I have read a little about Ball and he also seemed like he will be a legit NBA player.

  183. I’d like to know more about Wiseman before taking him. Lots of vague assertions about makeup and effort out there. No question though he jumped off the screen in the NCAA’s. I also love a guy who gives the NCAA the finger, which I believe he sort of did.

    I don’t know how he fits with Mitch. Probably shouldn’t matter. They seem quite similar though.

    One thing I find hilarious is that in his last game he got two quick fouls and then sat for 15 minutes. He ended the game with 3 fouls and Memphis lost by 8.

  184. Early Bird: I probably would draft him when it came down to it. But here’s my concerns:

    (1) I see Mitch as our future(2) Sample size is negligible(3) Refusal to return after suspension is a head scratcher(4) Teams don’t let talented PGs go, so draft a PG

    1) Always draft the best player available unless it’s truly not clear. If Wiseman is better than Mitch, trade Mitch for a PG. If the other way around, trade Wiseman.
    2) Legit concern. Nothing in the sample looks flukey, though. He didn’t get hot from 3 or something. If there is one gripe, it’s that he didn’t go against a top college big. But I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t have continued to put up very impressive numbers, even if not 34-18-5 per 40. What do you think?
    3) That’s essentially the same reason that Mitch wasn’t drafted in the top-10. Maybe Wiseman falls to us for the same reason, and if he does, we should grab him.
    4) We’re all Jonesing for a PG. Other than LaMelo (and he’s no sure thing), every PG in this draft has a very low floor. No PG other than LaMelo is close to the prospect that Wiseman is.

  185. After Thibs got fired in Chicago, he took a year off to learn from coaches around the league. He sat in On practices with Kerr, Pop, and others. I thought, wow, this guy is a real student of the game. He wants to pick up the best tips from the best people. He wants to get better.

    Then he went to Minnesota and did the same damn thing, running his players into the ground. That really turned me off him. Now I don’t think he’ll ever change. And I don’t want to see RJ retired at 31 because Thibs ground his body into a fine powder.

  186. It’s a hard position to fill, but lots of talented PGs have moved. Paul, Westbrook, Brogdan, Irving, Lowry, Dragic, Kemba, Lowry, Rubio, etc. There are some very good PGs who were picked later in the draft…Dinwiddie, Van Vliet, Graham, etc.

    If the right guy isn’t there when we draft, we shouldn’t force it.

  187. I would also take Wiseman. Maybe Mitch has the potential to play pf? That would really be something. Would be nice to dump Portis and hopefully Randle too.

  188. Then he went to Minnesota and did the same damn thing, running his players into the ground. That really turned me off him

    Yeah, I feel the same way. We could definitely do worse, but Thibs is not a good coach.

  189. If Thibs were actually to run RJ Barrett into the ground at 31, I don’t know, that would mean RJ turned out to be good enough to run into the ground. Ronnie Brewer never got run into the ground.

    I’d take Thibs over Mark Jackson though and he remains the knicksiest outcome.

  190. Honestly, this draft looks more and more like last years, with 2 guys at the top of the hype heap, a 3rd guy a step down, and then a bunch of huge question marks. The big difference is that the 2 at the top are so much more unknown and unproven than last year’s and both have legit character red flags. I honestly think that Wiseman and LaMelo have similarly high ceilings, but are less likely to approach those ceilings and have much lower floors than Zion and Ja. I think Edwards is a better prospect than RJ, and maybe the safest pick of the 3, but he’s not a sure thing either. Then the safest pick is probably Toppin, but he’s such a boring pick with not much upside beyond a Julius Randle level player. Everyone else is the lottery discussion is a throw a dart at the dartboard kind of risk.

  191. Wiggins led the league in minutes under Thibs and he sucked. Destroying RJ’s body won’t make RJ a good player.

    We already had the carcasses of Rose and Noah. We don’t need more Thibs murder victims on our hands. Gimme Atkinson or Miller. Or, y’know, a top assistant coach who isn’t a BIG NAME. It’s actually possible to hire those guys too.

  192. ess-dog:
    I would also take Wiseman. Maybe Mitch has the potential to play pf? That would really be something. Would be nice to dump Portis and hopefully Randle too.

    Interesting. I think of Wiseman as more suited to the PF role because he’s more versatile on O, but scouting reports suggest that he won’t be as good as Mitch (or even good, period) at switching on to stretch 4’s or smaller guys on the perimeter, so Mitch would be the better choice for PF on D. My sense is that if we drafted Wiseman, we’d play them 10-12 mpg together and 18-20 minutes separately, depending on lineups, foul trouble and who’s playing better. But it would be a good problem to have!

    Sadly, it’s probably a moot discussion, We probably are drafting 7 or 8 (Dolan’s razor). Even if we move up we are unlikely to be drafting at 1 or 2 and the odds are probably less than 50% that he’s available at 3 or 4. GS needs a big who can play right away and would likely take Wiseman at 1, 2,or 3. Cleveland too, although they might prefer Edwards. Minny has Towns, so they probably pass on Wiseman in the top 2. Atlanta could use a big and don’t need LaMelo. Who knows what DET, CHI, CHA or WAS will do if they move up, they need everything.

  193. I still think Okongwu has the most upside in this draft, maybe Wiseman, and that a lot of the prep star guards are trap players. I’d rather go Okongwu at 6 and pick a safe pg like Dotson or Tre Jones at 27. If we have to take a perimeter player early, I’d roll the dice on Hayes.

  194. That’s a nice piece on Killian. Most fascinating thing in there? The #1 pick is going to earn $12mm AAV on his rookie deal.

    So, yeah. This is definitely the year we “win” the lottery.

  195. Man, it will be so weird if they finish out the season in Vegas with no fans. What would those telecasts look like? Will players have the same kind of motivation? How will they protect all the NBA workers? Cameramen, locker room attendants, security?

    Re: the draft it certainly feels like the Knicks will try to trade up for LaMelo using their extra first. I don’t see him really pairing well with RJ, but maybe they will trade RJ? RJ to the Pels for 2 firsts?

    Then you have something like LaMelo/Frank/Vassell/Randle/Mitch for next year with 3 picks in the 2021 draft.

  196. For the record, that’s not what I’d do… I just think the Knicks will go after LaMelo and he will be a bad fit with RJ.

  197. To be fair, if RJ can’t learn how to put the ball in the hole, no one will be a good fit with him.

    Our last three lottery picks have shot, in their respective rookie years:

    .437
    .475
    .479

    For reference, the worst shooting year in the modern era was 1998-99 (a memorable season!) in which the league averaged .511 TS%. The post-Jordan Bulls put up a team average of .470 TS%, a league worst. So maybe if we send our youth back to 1999, we too could have a 13-37 team that gets outscored by nearly 11 points per game.

    To quote Charli XCX, “I just wanna go back, to nineteen ninety ninety nine…”

  198. Gone is a good track. There is no question that quarantine has led to an anomalous, near exponential. rise in the number of videos by English pop queens on my computer.

  199. I would be delighted with Okongwu, but I would also be delighted if the Knicks decided to rent their cap space for assets, hire a GM/coach from a smart organization, etc. It’s not happening. They’re going to be drafting for needm and what’s more they’ll likely be targeting a “name.” These are things I’ve resigned myself to, which is sad because they both scream “Cole Anthony.”

    Here’s KOC’s longer piece about Hayes. Pretty convincing if you ask me. I guess not every single scout is in lockstep agreement that he’s a Ntilikinian scrub! Some highlights:

    Over the last three years playing overseas, he drew one foul for every three shot attempts, a high rate for a player of his age. And he hit 86 percent of his near-300 free throw attempts, an important number given free throw percentage is historically the most reliable predictor of shooting ability in the NBA (he shot only 29 percent from 3 last season).

    Maybe Hayes projects as something closer to D’Angelo Russell, who just signed a max contract last summer. They both have fluid scoring styles with a knack for playmaking. The differentiator is that Russell has a severe allergy to defense, whereas Hayes plays hard on both ends. Hayes keeps his head on a swivel when he’s off the ball and frequently disrupts passing lanes.

    One prospect, though, checks more boxes than all of the others. Who can shoot? Who can generate space off the dribble? Who has a feel for the game? Who makes his teammates better? Who can defend? Who conjures memories of All-Stars? It’s the best prospect in the 2020 NBA draft: Killian Hayes.

    The piece has a lot of good gif highlights too and is well-worth reading. I thiiiiiink when I eventually make my board, Hayes will be #1.

  200. There was one scout that was pushing Ja Morant really hard publicly last year long before he started moving up the draft board and more people got a chance to see him in the NCAA tournament. I’d like to see what that guy thinks. I’m pretty sure he was early to come up with a few top prospects the previous year too. I just can’t
    remember his name.

  201. I really like the more well-rounded games of Hayes and Haliburton. I bet they both surprise and end up some of the best players from the draft. This is really more of a referendum on the rest of the prospects at the top of the draft.

    I’m skeptical of both LaMelo and Edwards. Both have serious problems. I’d begrudgingly take them for the upside.

    Not sure what to make of Wiseman’s 3 game stint, only 22 min of which came against a competitive team. UIC & SCST are both crappy teams in crappy divisions that Memphis blew out. He still probably ends up pretty high on my board. Mystery is better than a sure negative.

    Okongwu and Okoro are interesting for their defensive versatility. But my impression is that neither will add much offense. I’d take Okongwu because he had better steal and block numbers. Okoro’s poor steal numbers are a bit of a red flag for me.

    Saddiq Bey may also sneak up the rankings for me, even though his upside seems limited. It would be nice to have a reason to shoot more threes since Ellington and Bul-LOCK failed us pretty horribly.

    I need to look into Obi Toppin more. I’m skeptical that his shooting is real, which would really hurt his value. If his shooting is real, then we should consider him wherever we draft.

    Anyway, that’s my 2 cents that will likely change in a week when I go back through and look again or when I randomly fall in and out of love with LaMelo & Wiseman’s highlight reels.

  202. LaMelo reminds me a little bit of Markelle Fultz in that his excellent handle allows him to get anywhere on the floor. Fultz is maybe more athletic and LaMelo is a more creative passer but they seem vaguely similar to me.

    Markelle Fultz without the busted jumper is a pretty good player, and that’s the kind of player I think LaMelo might be if he can get his shot together.

  203. Re: the draft it certainly feels like the Knicks will try to trade up for LaMelo using their extra first. I don’t see him really pairing well with RJ, but maybe they will trade RJ? RJ to the Pels for 2 firsts?

    I would much rather have Hayes and the 26th pick than LaMelo.

    I also think it’s pretty optimistic to think RJ could yield two firsts. Putting aside the potential weakness of this draft, RJ’s trade value right now should be one non lottery first round pick.

  204. tnfh, the report also said this:

    Hayes doesn’t have the tightest handle yet like a Harden or a Ginobili, and he’s left-hand dominant, often to a fault. He rarely uses his right hand to score around the rim, which makes some layups more difficult than they should be. And some passes aren’t currently possible if he’s not able to drive with his right hand and then comfortably pass across his body to the left.

    Skills are improvable with time and work, but they aren’t there yet for Hayes.

    thenoblefacehumper: Over the last three years playing overseas, he drew one foul for every three shot attempts, a high rate for a player of his age.

    I calculated a FTr of .229 for his stats on Cholet ad radiopharm Ulm combied. That’s a high rate?

    D’Angelo Russell shot 41% on 231 3-pt attempts. His FTr was .302.

    O’Connor noted in his “minuses”:

    -Left-hand dominant: He might as well tie his right hand behind his back considering how little he uses it—there are some passes he can’t make since he relies on his left hand so much.

    -Lacks an advanced handle.

    So, sure, let’s pick an unathletic PG who has no left hand even as a dribbler or passer, who lacks an advanced handle, who shot 27% on 3’s (and would have shot 33% in 10 games last year if it weren’t for one outlier 5 for 7 outing). All because he shoots FTs well and shows flashes of Ginobili and Harden and Russell (who btw had better and more reliable pre-draft numbers than Hayes yet is on his 4th team and has a career WS48 of .044 with a high of .097 and a career BPM of 0.4 with a high of 3.4 and a career TS% of .526 with a high of .556) Yeah, that will go well for us!

  205. I don’t know much about most of the prospects, but I will say that Hayes doesn’t look at all like Frank in the gifs in that article. And he may have only one hand for some things, but people said the same thing about Jeremy Lin and he did alright in the NBA despite that.

  206. On the other hand I have to say that my impression of the Ringers’ GM type skills is horrible. I mean “oooh he looks like he’s doing a Harden move” is a fan reaction, not a scouting thought. Half the young players in the world are probably trying Harden moves. It doesn’t mean they all should be compared to him.

  207. ***Man, it will be so weird if they finish out the season in Vegas with no fans.***

    The mayor of Los Angeles suggested yesterday that there may be no large gatherings in LA until 2021. Hard to imagine how the league handles that, if some states are restriction free and others aren’t. Do the Lakers and Clippers move to Vegas for the year? To Tijuana? Will there be marauding teams that play only away games?

  208. KnickfaninNJ: I don’t know much about most of the prospects, but I will say that Hayes doesn’t look at all like Frank in the gifs in that article. And he may have only one hand for some things, but people said the same thing about Jeremy Lin and he did alright in the NBA despite that.

    I agree, we should try to find the next Jeremy Lin. Just not with the #8 or higher pick in the draft. Find him late in the first or in the second round or as an undrafted FA, the way that Toronto found Van Vliet or Philly found Shamet or Dallas found Brunson.

  209. I calculated a FTr of .229 for his stats on Cholet ad radiopharm Ulm combied. That’s a high rate?

    D’Angelo Russell shot 41% on 231 3-pt attempts. His FTr was .302.

    I’m pretty sure KOC was talking about young players abroad specifically. I think the European leagues have different rules for distributing free throws that render FTr a useless statistic.

    So, sure, let’s pick an unathletic PG who has no left hand even as a dribbler or passer, who lacks an advanced handle, who shot 27% on 3’s (and would have shot 33% in 10 games last year if it weren’t for one outlier 5 for 7 outing). All because he shoots FTs well and shows flashes of Ginobili and Harden and Russell (who btw had better and more reliable pre-draft numbers than Hayes yet is on his 4th team and has a career WS48 of .044 with a high of .097 and a career BPM of 0.4 with a high of 3.4 and a career TS% of .526 with a high of .556)

    If you want to draft a prospect with literally zero flaws, please invent a time machine and convince David Stern to rig the 2003 lottery in our favor.

    This is a weak draft in which we’ll likely be picking in the 6-10 range. We could do a lot worse than a guy who has put up these numbers in a tougher league than the NCAA.

    Your use of stats is just incredibly arbitrary. You say the sample size from this past season is too small, but then remove an “outlier” from it, making it even smaller but somehow more representative? You’re dismissive of FT%, as if it hasn’t been shown time and time again to be the best predictor of NBA 3PT%. You cite Russell’s career numbers as a cautionary tale, as if he hasn’t taken an enormous leap in the last two seasons (that career high BPM figure would be an amazing outcome with this pick).

    By the way, your guy LaMelo shot 25% from 3 and 72% from the line. I’m excited to see you reconcile this with Hayes’ 29% and 84% respectively being disqualifying.

  210. Donnie Walsh:
    ***Man, it will be so weird if they finish out the season in Vegas with no fans.***

    The mayor of Los Angeles suggested yesterday that there may be no large gatherings in LA until 2021. Hard to imagine how the league handles that, if some states are restriction free and others aren’t. Do the Lakers and Clippers move to Vegas for the year? To Tijuana? Will there be marauding teams that play only away games?

    I know this sounds insane, but the NBA finishing the season in China would actually make some sense. If you’re, like, soulless and shit and just want to make the most money.

  211. That Jaylen Green news is interesting. College ball as we’ve known it could become obsolete.

  212. It seems that college itself will change radically.
    As for the resumption of sports, it seems drastically premature to ponder the resumption of pro sports in the U.S. given the lack of substantial knowledge about the endurance of immunity and the nature of reinfection.

  213. thenoblefacehumper: This is a weak draft in which we’ll likely be picking in the 6-10 range. We could do a lot worse than a guy who has put up these numbers in a tougher league than the NCAA.

    It’s not a tougher league, at least according to the analysis I posted previously. It’s somewhere between the ACC and the Pac-12, if I recall correctly. And again, the numbers from last year are both sparse and concerning. For example, after posting either 2 or 3 steals in his first 5 games, Hayes had 3 steals in his next 5 games combined. In 5 of the games he had 1 or 0 rebounds. In 4 of the games he had 5 or 6 turnovers. His team went 1-9 and his best game (25 pts, 9-14 shooting, 5-7 from 3) was against a 2-8 team in the last game of the season. The game before that against one of the best team in that divisions he played 16 minutes and had 3 points on 1-5 shooting, zero rebounds, zero steals and 4 fouls. Other than his 5-7 game against an equally terrible team, he never made more than 2 3’s despite playing between 22 and 32 minutes in all but 1 game.

    If he put up those numbers in the ACC last year, would we be even thinking about drafting him? Especially with the negatives in his scouting report (even KOC’s)?

  214. If he put up those numbers in the ACC last year, would we be even thinking about drafting him? Especially with the negatives in his scouting report (even KOC’s)?

    If he put up 17/8/2 per-36 with a .500 2PT% and .390 3PT% in the ACC, yeah, I think we, and many other teams, would be thinking about drafting him, and probably #1 overall.

  215. If we are fairly convinced there are no all star caliber players in our draft range, it might make sense to package some picks to move up (if we see someone we do like) or use multiple picks to land a relatively young all star caliber player that isn’t happy where he is now. We already have some solid “role player” caliber young talent on the team. What we need is all-star caliber players that play both sides of the ball to replace KP and add to it. Maybe Barrett will become that type of player with a year under his belt, a new coach, and a better constructed team, but that’s not certain. We should not be settling for best available PG or other players that will be “pretty good” just because they are better than the options we have now. We need all stars. We just don’t want to give up picks for guys that are close to their downside. He’s got to be mid 20s. With all the pick ammunition we have, if we come out of this with a handful more good role players, we are wasting time treading water.

  216. z-man,

    I’m not going to re-litigate Killian Hayes with you right now. If you don’t think he’ll be good, that’s fine. But your use of stats is incredibly disingenuous. For instance:

    3/4 of his 1,000 minutes came from when he averaged less than 20MPG before this year’s 10-game Eurocup gig

    Hayes averaged 19.8mpg that season.

    – Is there a meaningful difference between 20 MPG and 19.8 MPG?
    – Is there any evidence that 20 MPG is a meaningful cutoff even if he were significantly under it?
    – Is there any evidence that minutes spread over multiple seasons are less meaningful than minutes within a single season?

    To wit, any year-to-year difference favors Hayes’s numbers as a high school age player going against above NCAA-level competition.

    If you want to seriously discuss Killian Hayes, then make a good faith effort to evaluate him and don’t simply dismiss the evidence in his favor.

  217. I’m not going to re-litigate Killian Hayes with you right now. If you don’t think he’ll be good, that’s fine. But your use of stats is incredibly disingenuous. For instance:

    You mean “if you take out all the good games, his numbers are bad” isn’t convincing?

  218. I’m inclined to think we should trade down no matter where we land. All of the top guys in this draft have huge question marks. Anyone can watch highlights and start falling in love with LaMelo or Hayes or whoever, but the fact is they all have major bust potential. Let other teams get fixated on one guy after watching their tape. We should flip our pick for multiple bites at the apple.

    For example, if Phoenix wanted Hayes and offered the #10 pick and a top-4 protected pick in 2021 for our #6 pick, we should take it.

  219. I don’t think 19.8 minutes or 20 minutes matters at all, but what does matter is if he was starting or coming off the bench (I am not familiar with him). If he was coming off the bench, that tells you something about how he was valued on his own team. It also probably means he was playing against the opposing 2nd team a lot of the time when accumulating his stats at that time.

  220. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt: I don’t think 19.8 minutes or 20 minutes matters at all, but what does matter is if he was starting or coming off the bench (I am not familiar with him). If he was coming off the bench, that tells you something about how he was valued on his own team. It also probably means he was playing against the opposing 2nd team a lot of the time when accumulating his stats at that time.

    Precisely my point, Strat. He was a scrub on a terrible team. And he shot less than 20% from 3 that year (Oops, I meant 19.2%, wouldn’t want to be disingenuous!). Then last year he was a starter on by far the worst team in a top-100 NCAA-level league and had one outlier good shooting game out of 10 against the second worst team in that 24-team Eurocup in the last game of the season to pad his per-36 stats. And the scouting report cited by his fans says that he might as well tie his right hand behind his back considering how little he uses it, just what you’re looking for in a PG that you’re picking #1. Right.

  221. I guess the next counter-argument is that Hayes can beat you with one hand tied behind his back!

  222. Then last year he was a starter on by far the worst team in a top-100 NCAA-level league

    This is what I’m talking about, where are you getting top-100 NCAA-level league? The Pac-10 is the only league rated higher by your chart and they’re effectively the same, not even counting the 2 expansion teams that make them the Pac-12.

    So according to that, Hayes’s 8 assists per 36 should translate better than LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton, and probably every other PG in the draft that I don’t want to look up. But let’s only count that against Hayes.

  223. To me, college hoops stats are much more difficult to evaluate than pro hoops stats because level of competition varies so much from team to team and it’s hard to pin down. Even watching the games is more difficult because a mediocre player can look great against only marginally weaker competition. For example, a guy like Iggy looks like a star in the G league and that’s a better league than college ball.

    I don’t have a solution to that, but generally I’d like to see how a player looks against the best available competition. Perhaps teams put too much weight on the NCAA tournament because of the very small sample size, but that’s where Ja Morant proved conclusively that his stats against weaker competition were legitimate. He looked awesome against the best competition so you could put that risk aside. Lots of players that look good against weak competition will not make the same leap.

    This is really tough year to draft. The sample sizes are small AND there were no tournaments.

    A lot of mistakes are going to be made. I guess that argues for a shotgun approach and a lot of picks, but we do need stars!

  224. Not only is Z-Man being intentionally obtuse in his use of stats as they relate to Hayes, but there is quite literally nothing he has said about Hayes from a statistical perspective that doesn’t apply at least as much to LaMelo Ball, whose team went 5-23 in a worse league, and who shot worse from both 3PT land and the free throw line.

    He watched his 10 minutes of film, came to a conclusion, and has been constructing hilariously weak arguments around that conclusion ever since. I don’t think it’s worth engaging with much further.

  225. The study I posted was from 4 years ago. It ranks the NBA at 3.26, D-League at 1.21, Pac-10 at 0.96, ACC at 0.76, SEC at 0.68, and Big 10 at 0.48.

    French LNB Pro A is at 0.69. That’s somewhere towards the bottom end of those 4 conferences. My guess is that the differences between Big 10 and Pac-10 was not that huge from 2002-2011. Case in point: When the Pac-10 expanded to the Pac-12 (2012-2015) it dropped to 0.54. Do you really think the level of play in that conference changed all that much relative to other conferences because they added a couple of teams?

    I threw out that there are about 100 teams in that upper-tier-conference range. Might it be 60? Sure. Whatever. The point is, we’re not talking about a league full of Dukes and Kentuckys with every team having 3-4 likely NBA prospects in their starting 5 every year. The relative strength of conferences is variable. So anything in the .50-.100 range is essentially reasonably good D- basketball. Would you stipulate to that? If yes, why is it such a big deal that at age 17, Hayes played reserve minutes and shot 43% from the field and 19.2% from 3. He averaged 7.2 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.7 turnovers and 2.4 fouls. You can project that out to 36 or 40 minutes, but the shooting percentages, the high foul rate, the high turnover numbers all add up to a pretty mediocre D1 player.

    Eurocup was 0.92. It’s probably something like the top 25 teams in the NCAA, and radiopharm Ulm was the worst of the lot at 1-9. Hayes played better in more minutes, but how real was it? He played 268 minutes. Take out the stats against the equally bad Maccabi Rishon LeZion (draft analysis of NCAA prospects looks at how players played against top teams, so this is not cherry-picking). and you have 200 minutes where he shot 41%, shot 47% from 2 and 33% from 3. His performances vs. the better teams were mostly unimpressive.

  226. thenoblefacehumper:
    Not only is Z-Man being intentionally obtuse in his use of stats as they relate to Hayes, but there is quite literally nothing he has said about Hayes from a statistical perspective that doesn’t apply at least as much to LaMelo Ball, whose team went 5-23 in a worse league, and who shot worse from both 3PT land and the free throw line.

    He watched his 10 minutes of film, came to a conclusion, and has been constructing hilariously weak arguments around that conclusion ever since. I don’t think it’s worth engaging with much further.

    dose 268 minites are da bomb doh he deeangelo russul james hardun manu yo

  227. dose 268 minites are da bomb doh he deeangelo russul james hardun manu yo

    In 1002 minutes, he outshot your guy from 3, and trounced him from the line (the much, much more important figure).

    I know, those minutes don’t count, because if you subtract all the free throws he made, he shot 0%! Very concerning.

  228. >This seems like good news and not just for Gilead shareholders….<

    I read that it's going to be very expensive (assuming it works and has limited side effects). Time for the Fed to get the printing presses cranked again.

  229. thenoblefacehumper: and trounced him from the line (the much, much more important figure).

    This is a dumb statement. I read the studies. It is only true that good FT shooting is suggestive of some improvement. Unless you want to tell me that all great FT shooters in college become great 3-pt shooters no matter what they shot in college.

    But even if he does shoot well from 3, he’s got big problems beyond that. No off hand whatsoever and a suspect handle. Does good FT shooting overcome that too?

  230. I’m not happy to report that I’ve had a very mild dry cough the last few days.

    I have no fever or other symptoms. It’s really more of a feeling that I have to cough than actually coughing a lot if you understand what I mean. The actual coughs are limited to just a few a day. The thing that scares me is that I have a friend in NJ that’s positive and he told me that exactly what he’s been experiencing, except he had a fever too.

    At first I was thinking I may have been using so much Lysol, hand washing, hand cream etc.. that breathing all that garbage in was irritating my throat and lungs a little. That may still be the case, but I’ve cut down on that usage and things really didn’t get any better today. It comes and goes during the day too, which is kind of weird. Not a single cough at night when I’m sleeping,

    Anyway, I’m hoping I’m OK given that I’m 61. At least I’m a healthy 61.

  231. I try to stay away from predicting the better prospects and go with mock drafts and statistical profiles ESPECIALLY when dealing with prospects who didn’t play in college like LaMelo and Hayes. But for the life of me I don’t understand Z-Man’s obsession with LaMelo when his shooting stats are some of the worst I’ve ever seen from a top prospect who played on the worst team in the freaking Australian League. He’s the exact type of prospect who is usually a bust in the NBA, people ignore the God awful shooting and just focus on the eye test because he makes some nice passes and looks athletic on the court.

    Now I’m not saying Hayes is much better, he doesn’t look like a great prospect himself. But to criticize Hayes for his shooting when your favorite prospect is LaMelo makes no sense at all to me. I’ve seen some writers think LaMelo is the best prospect in this draft and I’ve also seen the same for Hayes. All that means is this draft is God awful lol.

  232. It’s amazing how different people’s picks are in this draft. So far I’m not thrilled with anyone. Wiseman is the only one I feel is clearly an NBA level player, but he’s a center. Everyone else has a lot of risk. If we get him, great, we’re probably set at center, but then we have a lot of other holes.

  233. It’s not an obsession. I just think he’s the best PG in this piss-poor draft. He does point guard things like dribbling, passing and shooting with both hands. He averaged nearly a triple-double and got to the line and shot FTs reasonably well. He’s longer, taller and more athletic-looking to me…I’d want more data on that, but it seems pretty evident. He’s got a shot-selection problem for sure, but that is a matter of doing less, not more.

    I can’t think of a single PG who literally couldn’t pass or dribble, much less shoot, with his off hand that became anything more than a journeyman bench player in the NBA. LaMelo is by far the lesser of the two evils in the top of the lottery.

  234. It ranks the NBA at 3.26, D-League at 1.21, Pac-10 at 0.96, ACC at 0.76, SEC at 0.68, and Big 10 at 0.48.

    French LNB Pro A is at 0.69. That’s somewhere towards the bottom end of those 4 conferences.

    It’s literally in the middle of those 4 conferences… one of which doesn’t exist anymore. So of the currently existing NCAA conferences, it’s only behind the ACC

  235. People are so married to the eye test that not only are white prospects only compared to other white players, but left handed prospects are only compared to other lefties. It’s so weird.

  236. Any reason nobody is arguing about Haliburton? Is it the name? Or just the funky shot? He was .419 from three on 5.5 per game. And since most everyone likes FTs, he was .822 from the line. He is built like a twig, but of all the problems that might get fixed over time, filling out is probably the easiest.

  237. Brian Dennehy.

    A good character actor. When I go to the pool down here in Boca I’m generally the youngest at 68 and I always feel like in in a scene from one of his movies Cocoon.

    He was also terrific in Gorky Park.

  238. “I’m not happy to report that I’ve had a very mild dry cough the last few days.

    I have no fever or other symptoms. It’s really more of a feeling that I have to cough than actually coughing a lot if you understand what I mean. The actual coughs are limited to just a few a day. The thing that scares me is that I have a friend in NJ that’s positive and he told me that exactly what he’s been experiencing, except he had a fever too.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-04-16/gilead-gains-as-stat-cites-early-covid-19-comments-in-chicago

  239. Bob did you see the part where China tried to slow down Gilead’s research by claiming they couldn’t find anyone in their country that has the virus bc they had down such a flawless job of containment? That got a good chuckle.

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