Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Golden State Warriors 122 – New York Knicks 95 – Game Recap

“Why do you put lipstick on a pig?” asked James, while going out of the barn to bring some more water to the cows. His hands were dirty and sweaty, but not in a natural way. If was as if he deliberately sprayed sweat and dirt on him, like a make up artist versed in hillbilly flicks, thinking that dirt and sweat were the poster boys of a well done job in a farm in North Carolina.

Michael raised his eyes, while wiping out the sweat from his brow. The heat was starting to become insufferable, but he was used to it, having endured many a summer of hard work. He knew that it didn’t matter how much you worked in the fields, it was always more likely than not that the results wouldn’t be up to the amount of effort put in. A few summers ago he worked like crazy and anyway the harvest was one of the poorest in his more than decennal tenure at Stenton farm.

“Well”, Michael said. His voice was raspy from the bourbon, the only real vice he indulged in. “Have you ever cared for anything in your life, James?”

“Of course”, James answered back.

“Are you really sure?”

James wasn’t that sure. He was at least 20, maybe 25 years younger than Michael. Did he ever care about anything? He grew in a world where pretty much everyone was jaded. The climate change was a sad reality since he was a kid. Things always looked bleak, even for a spoiled child like he was. Growing up, he could never shed that cynical attitude. He just learned to fake something else. He faked the enthusiasm at being great at solving math problems. He faked the love for his first girlfriend. He faked his satisfaction in owning his first car. Actually, when the fact that his life was a big fake started to set in, that was when he took a sabbatical and decided to go work for the Stentons. He thought working close to nature would bring up some spirit in him, maybe a little spark of joy for life. He ended up faking the sweat and the dirt, go figure.

“I… I don’t know, Michael.”

“Well, I did. I mean, I still do. But you have to know that when I was young sports used to be a big deal.”

“Sports? As in, Nascar racing?”

“No, you dumbheaded kiddo. Have you ever heard of the Knicks? The New York basketball team?”

“Yeah. The name rings a bell”

Actually, James was faking even this. He never cared about sports, but whatever. What’s a white lie in the thick of July, if not a fresh breeze on your rugged conscience.

“You know, James, I used to root for them.”

James listened a little more carefully. It was one of the first times Michael actually started to open up with him. Michael wasn’t really secluded, but, well, he didn’t give the impression of a guy who likes to talk a lot about himself.

“Sometimes, in life, destiny chooses you, James. Like a toxic relationship with the crazy redhead you knew in La Jolla when you were 18, even fandom can sometimes be doomed. And destiny, as in “being a Knicks fan”, chose me.”

James was a little set aback by the gravity of those words. Michael never used such a solemn tone, not even the time when they had to tell the Stentons two cows were dead because of a wicked intestinal parasite.

“You know, I got lucky though. Destiny handed me a terrible hand at sports, but gave me company. I wasn’t alone in rooting for them. There were a lot of guys like me”

James kept listening, but couldn’t bring himself to stop looking at the pig with the literal lipstick on it.

“And we had a community. A sports blog. You know what that is, James?”

“Yeah. My dad used to have a music blog. My granddad once talked about something called MySpace. I think I know what it is. But what does that have to do with you smearing red paste on a swine?”

“You see, James”, said Michael (was that his real name? who knew) with his Italian accent that never went away, “I used to write for that blog. In the 2018/2019 season. And many times I felt like trying to squeeze something good from the game was like putting lipstick on a pig. But I cherished that duty. So, when I feel particularly sentimental, I put lipstick on a pig, and daydream of when I was younger and life was beautiful, and my Knicks were being beaten on a regular basis. I put lipstick on a pig because that’s what I got used to do, and I somehow liked doing it.”

————————————————————————————–

A few notes from the game:

– Every single Knick has become (or has stayed) an horror show to watch. I keep some faith in Vonleh, but I feel like he’s slipping a bit. Every other guy is a dagger through the cornea of any knowledgeable fan. I found zero reasons to be even slightly happy during the last 48 minutes of play.

– The game was close until the last moments of the second quarter. Then the Warriors stopped fooling around and we kept on sucking. Numbers alone can’t tell you how much we sucked, and I wish I could embed here a gif of Timmy almost losing the ball by himself near the offensive baseline, just to recover it and then trying to pass it only for the ball to hit the side of the backboard. The kids who competed during a timeout to go the All-Star game to represent the Warriors were, like, 8 years old and showed a lot more comfort in handling the ball.

– Mario with a vengeance! He scored 19 points on 12 shots, grabbed 6 boards, and still I feel like I contributed more to the game by watching it on my sofa.

– Some of your Knicks in January and their PPG/RPG/APG splits (I dare you to say that this isn’t the worst team in the league):

Emmanuel Mudiay: 13.5/3.5/6.5 on 34.4 FG%. third worst in plus/minus for the month. Add 2 turnover per game to the package. Sounds like a guy we should want to extend for at least 8 million dollars per year.

Tim Hardaway Jr: 14/3.3/1 on 40.8 FG% (not a typo. I don’t know how it’s possible that Chuck junior is shooting better than 40%). Second worst in plus/minus for the month. Just what the doctor ordered for 17 million dollars.

Kevin Knox: 13/3.5/0.8 on 35.6 FG%. This guys plays 32 minutes per game and can’t squeeze a single assist per night. Amazing.

Noah Vonleh: 8.3/10.5/2.3 on 34.5 FG%. Worst in plus/minus. Tied for second in assists with Kanter. This is your season MVP. Do what you want with those facts.

Luke Kornet: 9.3/3.8/0.5 on 46.2 FG%. With one block per game he’s by far the team leader in blocks for the month.

Enes Kanter: 15.8/14.3/2.3 on 54.3 FG%. I was happy for us at the thought of Enes getting bought out or plain waived. Now I’m happy for him. Best in the team at pretty much everything, plus/minus included.

Mario Hezonja: 14.3/5/0.7 on 57.7 FG%. Things are so bad that now I’m actually rooting for him when he’s on the court out of self-pity. I want to feel bad. I want to feel sick. Second in plus/minus.

– I don’t know how it’s possible, but we play worse without THJ. THJ sucks. What does that say about the other guys?

– Damyean Dotson is shooting 26.1% from the field in January. What happened to him? Long live Fiz, the great player developer.

– Allonzo Trier is borderline unplayable. Get him some rest and try to get his head straight. I can’t shake the feeling that Trier relaxed with his contract signed. I know we’re marred by injuries but you can find a lot of combo guards in the G-League for 10-day contracts. It’s time.

I don’t know what to say about this game other than this few things. There was nothing to salvage here apart from the usual empty-calorie rebounding tally by Kanter and a few useless Mario dunks. The Warriors are good, but we’re really, really bad.

God, let’s really hope we don’t end up with Cam Reddish as the result of this season.

 

 

 

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133 comments on “Golden State Warriors 122 – New York Knicks 95 – Game Recap

  1. Brian Cronin

    A fun thing for me is that I get to preview these things before they’re finished. Good stuff, Farfa!

    I was curious, so I went on Twitter and searched Mudiay and I still found shit like this from an otherwise fine Knick blog, “Is…Is Mudiay actually good?”

    Geez louise, people, once you have stuck your minds on something, you can’t let go. Just like “Fizdale is a genius player developer” is now out there in the ether and nothing can change anyone’s mind about it.

  2. Brian Cronin

    Oh, Dolan, some day you’ll get a clue and your streak of never having a clue will dramatically snap.

    “You have responsibility to the fans,” Dolan said. “Fans pay for tickets and they deserve (the) best game you can give them. That’s probably No. 1. But when you go in and tell a team, even if you’re just telling the coach, to lose the game, you’re dispiriting your team. That hurts more than getting a better draft pick helps. It’s hard to reignite the spirit of the team.”

  3. Farfa Post author

    A fun thing for me is that I get to preview these things before they’re finished. Good stuff, Farfa!

    I guess everyone is entitled to some guilty pleasures :D

    “You have responsibility to the fans,” Dolan said. “Fans pay for tickets and they deserve (the) best game you can give them. That’s probably No. 1. But when you go in and tell a team, even if you’re just telling the coach, to lose the game, you’re dispiriting your team. That hurts more than getting a better draft pick helps. It’s hard to reignite the spirit of the team.”

    At least the League will never fine us…

  4. Brian Cronin

    But at least the Knicks haven’t been dispirited while sucking for most of the last 20 years. That’s the important thing. You can’t get over something awful like the team being dispirited! Losing most of the time for 20 years is not great, but it sure beats being dispirited.

  5. ProjectKnicks

    This is Phil Jackson’s legacy.

    The man was much, much worse than Isiah Thomas, incredible as that may be. It will take at least 5 more years (if everything goes right) to become a 50-win team, not necessarily a contender. Just a good, competitive, entertaining team.

    Right now, we are talent-less. Nobody, absolutely nobody on the roster is a good player, including Porziagni.

  6. Nick C.

    Oh, Dolan, someday you’ll get a clue and your streak of never having a clue will dramatically snap.

    “You have responsibility to the fans,” Dolan said. “Fans pay for tickets and they deserve (the) best game you can give them. That’s probably No. 1. But when you go in and tell a team, even if you’re just telling the coach, to lose the game, you’re dispiriting your team. That hurts more than getting a better draft pick helps. It’s hard to reignite the spirit of the team.”

    That was the same line of whine I heard from some the year the Yankees traded Andrew Miller and Chapman (and others?) midsummer on the local talk radio. I think the Yankees turned out OK.

  7. Farfa Post author

    This is Phil Jackson’s legacy.

    THJ is the straw that stirs the cocktail, though. His bad contract is what keeps us from being a credible threat in free agency while also being terrible for the young kids development.

    That said, Mudiay is entrenched as our starting PG, so it’s likely we don’t have anything to develop.

  8. Brian Cronin

    That said, Mudiay is entrenched as our starting PG, so it’s likely we don’t have anything to develop.

    But Mudiay’s been fixed by Fizdale’s magic, hasn’t he?

  9. thenoblefacehumper

    The current state of affairs is very much a group effort.

    Phil Jackson signed whoever showed up to his house in Montana and told him how smart he was to whatever contract they wanted. He also sat on his ass and didn’t collect a single asset while the team burned. Arron Afflalo post ups > first round picks all day.

    Steve Mills knew he only had 2-3 weeks to fuck up as much as possible, and boy, he was was he efficient or what? His true fuck up percentage (TFU%) has Tyson Chandler jealous.

    As a result we are a god awful team without much in the way of young talent OR financial flexibility. This is going to be a looooooooooong rebuild.

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

    Tanking is hell. . .

  11. Z-man

    @6 We could easily have another competitive 50-win team…just package all of our draft picks and young players to bring in over-the-hill max players like the previous regimes did.

  12. Brian Cronin

    @6 We could easily have another competitive 50-win team…just package all of our draft picks and young players to bring in over-the-hill max players like the previous regimes did.

    That’s why Phil was so epically bad. He went all in on veteran players and couldn’t even get them to mediocrity. How dumb do you have to be to sign a couple of guys to long term contracts and trade for another big money player and somehow not even improve the team? He made shortsighted win now moves for a team that clearly wasn’t going to even win now!

  13. Owen

    No one was worse than Isaiah.

    I wish I knew as much about anything as BC does about how to max out the functionality of this website. Posting pictures? Strikethroughs? You sir are a genius.

  14. ProjectKnicks

    That’s why Phil was so epically bad. He went all in on veteran players and couldn’t even get them to mediocrity.

    Now it has become evident why he was never given the GM position by the Lakers, in spite of all the titles, his reputation and the simple fact he was fucking the owner’s daughter. If you can’t get the job with those things going for you, something must be terribly wrong.

  15. thenoblefacehumper

    That’s why Phil was so epically bad. He went all in on veteran players and couldn’t even get them to mediocrity. How dumb do you have to be to sign a couple of guys to long term contracts and trade for another big money player and somehow not even improve the team? He made shortsighted win now moves for a team that clearly wasn’t going to even win now!

    The most amazing thing about the Phil Jackson experience is had we achieved his stated goal of being .500, we’d be in an even worse position than we are now!

    His one saving grace is he was so woefully inept that he couldn’t do the incredibly damaging, and relatively easy, thing he wanted to do. There’s a parallel to be made here…

  16. Hubert

    THJ is the straw that stirs the cocktail, though. His bad contract is what keeps us from being a credible threat in free agency while also being terrible for the young kids development.

    I love pulling apart a Knicks catastrophe and figuring out what did the most damage. Ultimately I think Phil gets the edge. The 3rd and 4th years he gave to Noah, Lee, and Thomas are worse than the Hardaway deal. That’s $39 million in guaranteed money this year to players who are already washed up and they have another year on their deals! How could we not have at least limited that damage to three years?? And he gave away 2nd round picks like they were candy. So Phil was the hurricane that destroyed our house, and the Hardaway deal is the fire that started in the aftermath that burned down the rubble.

    But still… I have hope. If there’s one thing I will always have confidence in, it’s that you can find a bigger fool. We have to keep probing and probing for someone dumber and more desperate than us.

  17. Hubert

    But Mudiay’s been fixed by Fizdale’s magic, hasn’t he?

    Fizdale Magic is going to be my new catchphrase for every time someone does something bad but is so oblivious and overconfident at the same time that he doesn’t know it. Like the other day I was cooking for my girlfriend in her apartment before she got home. I saw some cool looking spice on her counter and decided to open it and season the meat with it. Turns out the spice was some really hard-to-get thing that she had acquired from overseas via an importer to give to a client. And there I was, proudly serving her a sumptuous piece of meat with a shit-eating grin on my face expecting her to be really happy. That’s Fizdale magic, baby.

  18. JK47

    But Phil has forgotten more about basketball than we will ever know.

    Some of the things he forgot:
    -Don’t give away a second round pick just to save James Dolan a few bucks
    -Don’t build your franchise around the hope that the triangle offense will make Carmelo Anthony into a superstar
    -Don’t give out $80M contracts to old decrepit players because you need passing out of the pinch post
    -Don’t give a four year contract to Lance Thomas

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

    I can’t believe I am doing this, but I’m going to defend Mudiay. It’s not that he is great, he isn’t. But he has improved almost every year he has been in the league, and he is 22 years old. That’s the age of a college senior. If we had drafted him in the second round after four years of college and he had this season so far, no one would be complaining. Of course there are lots of things he needs to improve, but he is likely to continue to improve for several years. From a statistical point of view, since point guards typically shoot worse than other positions, his 53% isn’t bad and by VORP he’s better than more than half of NBA players, which honestly I find hard to believe, but also isn’t bad.

  20. Frank

    His true fuck up percentage (TFU%) has Tyson Chandler jealous.

    lololol

    Mills’s ratio of terrible deals handed out to total days as GM+POBO may be unprecedented.

    The only reason that Phil might have been better than Isiah is that Isiah would’ve traded 1st round picks in order to bring in, I don’t know, Al Jefferson or something.

  21. Nick C.

    If we drafted Mudiay in the second round and he played like this we wouldn’t be looking at him as the 35 minutes a night PG of now and the future either

  22. Farfa Post author

    Fizdale Magic is going to be my new catchphrase for every time someone does something bad but is so oblivious and overconfident at the same time that he doesn’t know it. Like the other day I was cooking for my girlfriend in her apartment before she got home. I saw some cool looking spice on her counter and decided to open it and season the meat with it. Turns out the spice was some really hard-to-get thing that she had acquired from overseas via an importer to give to a client. And there I was, proudly serving her a sumptuous piece of meat with a shit-eating grin on my face expecting her to be really happy. That’s Fizdale magic, baby.

    I feel this is going to be a future staple of this blog.

  23. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    If we had drafted him in the second round after four years of college and he had this season so far, no one would be complaining.

    But the Knicks didn’t. He’s in a contract year and has already played 5,623 minutes of horrendous NBA ball, with occasionally-good games that reset the “bust” timer. Recency and selection bias is real strong on the Mudiay case.

    I wonder what’s the surer bet: Mudiay’s TS% gently wafting down to its career average, or people continuing to defend his “upside” even after he gets there.

  24. ptmilo

    high level wednesday knickerblogger between the recap and #13. looks like kanter to the kings rumors are floating.

    from a statistical point of view, since point guards typically shoot worse than other positions, his 53% isn’t bad and by VORP he’s better than more than half of NBA players, which honestly I find hard to believe, but also isn’t bad.

    doesn’t make sense to look at VORP versus the “average player” including everyone because the average is filled with players who play no minutes and thus can’t accumulate VORP. there are about 270 or 300 rotation players in the NBA. the average BPM of those rotation players is just slightly above 0.0 and mudiay is at -1.6. that leaves him way, way below average.

  25. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Fizdale Magic is going to be my new catchphrase for every time someone does something bad but is so oblivious and overconfident at the same time that he doesn’t know it. Like the other day I was cooking for my girlfriend in her apartment before she got home. I saw some cool looking spice on her counter and decided to open it and season the meat with it. Turns out the spice was some really hard-to-get thing that she had acquired from overseas via an importer to give to a client. And there I was, proudly serving her a sumptuous piece of meat with a shit-eating grin on my face expecting her to be really happy. That’s Fizdale magic, baby.

    oof

  26. Farfa Post author

    his 53% isn’t bad and by VORP he’s better than more than half of NBA players, which honestly I find hard to believe, but also isn’t bad.

    Sorry if I come across as snarky, but since every roster has more or less 15 players being better than more than half of NBA players ideally qualifies you as a 7th/8th man for an 8th seed. I mean, I wish Mudiay was that (especially because he would be on Charlotte’s roster), but even that would be very faint praise.

  27. thenoblefacehumper

    I can’t believe I am doing this, but I’m going to defend Mudiay. It’s not that he is great, he isn’t. But he has improved almost every year he has been in the league, and he is 22 years old. That’s the age of a college senior. If we had drafted him in the second round after four years of college and he had this season so far, no one would be complaining.

    I’ve seen this exact argument before and I have no idea why people think it’s any good.

    First of all, “he wouldn’t be bad by the standards of rookie point guards” is damning with faint praise. They mostly suck, and even if Mudiay was a rookie he wouldn’t be an exception.

    Second of all and more importantly, had we drafted him in the second round last year we’d have 3.5 more seasons of him on the roster at, like, 1% of the cap before we had to make any kind of decision about him. So yeah, no one would be complaining because the whole situation would be inconsequential.

    Instead, we have him on an expiring deal with every indication that the front office views him as some kind of key cog going forward.

  28. thenoblefacehumper

    If the Knicks and Kings make a trade with one another, who sends the unprotected first round picks to whom?

  29. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Also, we often talk about “adjustments” when talking about young players.

    Knox, e.g., is 6’9″, muscular and looks pretty damn fit to me. He
    probably has a lot of work to do on strength and conditioning, but it’s not like he’s got a child’s body and needs to grow into it. You’d expect his big improvements to come from NBA-level coaching and learning on the job.

    Time and experience are obviously factors in improving, so Mudiay’s 5600 minutes with only a sharp improvement in December 2018 means he categorically cannot be compared to a 22-year-old rookie. He’s played against every team in the league multiple times. He should have improved. And this year, maybe he has — but he still sucks.

  30. ClashFan

    I’d hope that there’s no point to trading Kanter for Zach Randolph and another stiff unless you are getting something like a 2nd rounder back. Otherwise, what’s the point? Just release him.

  31. Donnie Walsh

    The only reason that Phil might have been better than Isiah is that Isiah would’ve traded 1st round picks in order to bring in, I don’t know, Al Jefferson or something.

    Isiah was worse because of the draft pick trades and absurd co tracts. BUT, Phil had the advantage of operating under a CBA that was much more owner friendly with shorter maximum contracts. And even still he still managed to offer the absolute worst contract that the law of the time would allow. So his TFU% needs to be put into that historical perspective.

  32. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    If the Kings want Kanter for Zach Randolph (who hasn’t played a game this season) we should be trying to get a 2RP out of that deal. Of course I wouldn’t mind just getting rid of the Kanter headache, but you wanna see your front office extract value from a guy instead of giving him away for free.

  33. Bruno Almeida

    Mudiay’s ts% in these 4 games in January is .402, which is below the Ntilikina line of “this guy has a case for being the worst shooter in the league”.

    Who cares if he would be viewed differently if he was a 2nd round pick or a rookie this year, he’s just a terrible basketball player and him coming back to earth was obviously predictable, as a lot of people have been saying on this board when he was hot. Those stupid midrange shots and awkward spinning layups would eventually stop falling and if they don’t fall, he’s not worthy of a roster spot in any decent team.

  34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Mudiay is one of those rare players who manages to exhibit Restless Leg Syndrome only while awake and in mid-air

  35. ClashFan

    @38
    So ironic for Dolan to talk about the spirit of the team when he’s the main culprit. We can grip about Isiah, Phil, Mills all day long (and they deserve the criticism), but they’re just symptoms of the real disease. It’s Dolan Cancer, and he’s not going away.

  36. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Also, I’ve brought this up before, and I’m glad he is “only” concussed, but I would definitely be all-in on a Noel multiyear deal if he hits the market as tepidly as he did last year. The guy would be great next to Porzingis, Vonleh or Zion. He can play PF with ease, so Robinson would be an option as well.

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

    1. Mills is an incompetent idiot at basketball.

    2. Perry may not be an idiot, but I have yet to see him doing anything good.

    3. Fizdale is a snake oil salesman.

    4. The critics were right. NY fans do not have the stomach or patience for a rebuild, especially when teams are drafting raw 19 years that are 6 years away from their peak.

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

    Mudiay is one of those rare players who manages to exhibit Restless Leg Syndrome only while awake and in mid-air

    lmao

  39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    4. The critics were right. NY fans do not have the stomach or patience for a rebuild, especially when teams are drafting raw 19 years that are 6 years away from their peak.

    Might be true elsewhere, but I think this board is all-in on playing guys on rookie contracts, but not committing any large sum of money to them until they prove definitively that they are worth more than a vet’s minimum. The patience, at least to this board’s braintrust, is in waiting until there are players worth keeping.

  40. Bruno Almeida

    @48

    Precisely. Not every 19 year old raw rookie is equal. Some show promise, some improve over time, some never improve and look like they’re not worth it.

  41. rama, mayor of Realitytown

    If the Knicks and Kings make a trade with one another, who sends the unprotected first round picks to whom?

    Both – pick swap is the only answer when you just got to find a way to get rid of a first round pick.

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

    @48

    Everyone here is all in on the tank (a little too much for my taste), but imo many here give up on our rookies and other young players WAY too soon or are as volatile as the last month’s stats. It’s too soon to start talking about them as if they are busts, need to be moved, or shouldn’t be given another contract years before they are even sniffing their ultimate peak.

    A few months back I threw out the idea that this team was 5-6 years away from being really good unless a high level free agent came to town (and any FA like that would be crazy to come here) . That wasn’t hyperbole. It takes many years for 19-20 year old kids to reach their peak, a couple may disappoint, and as the early ones start to come around the newer ones are still years away. So you still aren’t that good.

    I hate the Hardaway deal. I want nothing to do with Mudiay, Hezonja, and Burke other than on cheap backup contracts. It’s time to send Kanter packing because we don’t need an “expensive” pain the ass backup. But most of these guys will be gone (including vets like Thomas and Lee) before we are even any good if we stay on this draft path. So most of it is kind of irrelevant UNLESS they continue doing dumb things.

    Our core of KP, Knox, Frank, Robinson, Trier, Dotson, Vonleh, and Kornet is very young. They are mostly bench and role players, but we’ll add someone this year and see where they go. A couple could break out. It’s going to take time. This is the path we have chosen.

  43. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Knicks fans everywhere just want Zion Williamson and are all in on the tank.

    I’m really interested in the Kings/Knicks trade talks. The Kings are a franchise desperate to get into the playoffs, so maybe we’d be able to move Kanter and Lee together for Zach Randolph and a 2RP. I’d be trying to attach anything I could to those talks if I were Scott Perry, and the thing is Scott Perry’s last job was in Sacramento, so he should be familiar with their thinking.

    Sacto needs to build a playoff team sooner than later or the “you should have taken Doncic” talks will eventually get that front office fired. Those guys should be ripe for a mild bruising. Any and all trade talks should include Courtney Lee’s contract.

  44. Owen

    Mudiay is one of those rare players who manages to exhibit Restless Leg Syndrome only while awake and in mid-air

    I have said this a few times but you said it perfectly.

    Re Zion, can’t talk about him enough. He’s the best player I have seen since AD and before that can’t think of the next guy. He had four turnovers last night but two were because his teammates slipped. Also had a ridiculous block that they called a goaltend on. Appointment viewing.

    It’s a little scary how much money Zion to the Knicks would put in Dolan’s pocket.

  45. ess-dog

    I would like to say that, in general, if you’re going to make a trade, do it with the Kings. Always do deals with worse management than your own (which is, to be fair, hard for a team like the Knicks to do).

  46. swiftandabundant

    It makes sense for us because Kanter doesn’t want to ride the bench on a losing team in a contract year, so getting rid of him gets rid of a potential locker room cancer in a year where you’re focus is on the younger players. ZBO is old and is fine to ride the bench but could either play the mentor role OR just be cut.

    For Kanter, he will still come off the bench but he’ll get significant minutes in the second half of this season and maybe even some playoff time. And for Sacramento, Kanter is an upgrade over ZBO at this point in ZBo’s career. Kanter gives them a big who can score and grab boards off the bench. A

    A straight swap would be fine although we should get something out of it cause in the short term it does make us worse. A second round pick or maybe one of their other young players like Frank Mason.

    Even a straight swap would be a good move but if we can get any sort of assett at all attached to it, it would be a good win for us.

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

    Ron Baker played 45 minutes for WAS, scored 0 points, for an ORtg of 20.

    Yeah, but he had a few Kobe assists on his misses. :-)

  48. Brian Cronin

    It makes sense for us because Kanter doesn’t want to ride the bench on a losing team in a contract year, so getting rid of him gets rid of a potential locker room cancer in a year where you’re focus is on the younger players. ZBO is old and is fine to ride the bench but could either play the mentor role OR just be cut.

    But they could just cut Kanter.

  49. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    If the Kings want Kanter they either take Courtney Lee back, or we cut him and they risk losing him to OKC or another more attractive market. There’s no purpose in saving $8M in cap space in season. If they don’t want Kanter that bad, cool, but it serves us no purpose to just swap expiring deals.

  50. swiftandabundant

    They could just cut Kanter but maybe an asset is being attached to it. ZBo makes 11 million and Kanter 18. Sacremento can just absorb the rest of Kanter’s contract but they could also attach another expiring to make the money match. Maybe one of those is one of their younger guys like Mason and we can give him a look the rest of the year or we get a second round pick out of it. Its maybe better for Kanter image in a contract year wise to get traded to a potential playoff team than get cut and picked up after he’s cut?

    Maybe its Kanter and Lee for a bunch of expiring contracts?

    Who knows! Lets let it play out!

  51. Brian Cronin

    Sure, if it is more than just trading expirings, then it is a different story. But that’s why I said it didn’t make sense to just swap expirings with Sacramento.

  52. Brian Cronin

    He does seem like a good kid, but they’re all so young that I don’t trust any of it. Okafor seemed like the second coming back in 2015 and he turned out to be a douche. Russell also got high marks at the time for his maturity and his time in the NBA has been marked by his immaturity.

  53. geo

    Sacto needs to build a playoff team sooner than later or the “you should have taken Doncic” talks will eventually get that front office fired.

    vlade seems bulletproof there in sacramento…

    A straight swap would be fine although we should get something out of it cause in the short term it does make us worse. A second round pick or maybe one of their other young players like Frank Mason.

    eye test versus stats: whenever i watch the kings play, mason seems like he’s running the point well…turns out he’s just as bad a shooter (https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/masonfr01.html) as mud, frank, timmy, kevin…hmmmmm, he might fit in well on the knicks…

    yeah, let’s just take a second round pick if we can…

    mudiay with a serious case of the “jimmy legs”…

    really well done today farfa :)

  54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Russell also got high marks at the time for his maturity and his time in the NBA has been marked by his immaturity.

    What, because he secretly recorded a teammate discussing his private indiscretions, violating CA’s two-party consent laws, and posted it to the internet for no reason other than to embarrass his teammate? Stop being so dramatic, Brian.

  55. geo

    Back up the truck:
    http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=y7h7p78q

    hmmmm, yeah, let’s give yogi a try…

    just to prove we’re not all hard hearted to mud:

    Ian Begley
    ESPN Staff Writer
    David Fizdale said in training camp that he was impressed by Emmanuel Mudiay’s ability to protect the ball. That’s showed itself on this road trip. Mudiay has 33 assists and just five turnovers in the last five games, the second-best assist-to-turnover rate in the league in that span.

  56. Hubert

    If we had drafted him in the second round after four years of college and he had this season so far, no one would be complaining.

    You’re not wrong:

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=0&player_id1_hint=Allonzo+Trier&player_id1_select=Allonzo+Trier&player_id1=trieral01&y1=2019&player_id2_hint=emmanuel+Mudiay&player_id2_select=Emmanuel+Mudiay&y2=2019&player_id2=mudiaem01&idx=players

    But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t suck.

    And I think we’re collectively taking steps off the Trier train. I don’t even know if picking up that year 2 option is a given. Might be wise to decline and negotiate a Robinsonesque 4 year deal and around $1.5mm per year with some nonguaranteed money.

  57. Brian Cronin

    Look at that fucking Begley quote! Why is the media so intent on trying to pretend that Mudiay is any good?

  58. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, unless they really don’t need the cap space, I’d totally turn down the second year on Trier and take my chances with restricted free agency.

  59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Trier is playing differently and a lot worse than he was before he signed that contract.

    Contract Month Phenomenon

    This franchise is so ripe for neologisms… and that’s factorial.

  60. nicos

    Mudiay’s played like an okay (but not great) backup this year. That in itself is kind of miraculous given that he was among the very worst players in the NBA for three years running. That said, turning total crap into something borderline useful doesn’t really move the needle in terms of wins. If Fiz had gotten the same level of improvement from Hardaway or Kanter that would have translated into wins or better yet turned them into valuable trade assets. Fiz turning Mudiay into a 8-10th guy on an NBA team is great for Mudiay who was probably heading back to China but does very little for the future of the Knicks.

  61. Jack Bauer

    After reading today’s blog I just want to say that am dispirited.

    I’m not sure I can agree that Phil Jackson was “much, much worse than Isiah”, that is a seriously inept and damaging barrier to approach much less exceed. Just listening to Isiah on NBA TV made me want to projectile vomit at the television. I’m not over it, he seems like such an ass.

  62. geo

    neologisms

    never do i don’t you – but, for just a second there i was just a tad bit skeptical that was actually a word :)

    reminds me of growing up out on long island as a kid back in the 70’s and reading through joe weider’s muscle builder…

    joe (a pioneer in sports fitness) had all these different workout principles he coined phrases for: forced reps, muscle confusion, super speed, staggered sets, ad infinitum…he would put his name in front of it all…

    what was really funny though – if and when you didn’t do any of that shit – joe called it joe weider’s instinctive training principle…basically do you own thing, at your own pace…

    seems our front office folks are normally big “instinctual” types…

  63. ClashFan

    FWIW, I read that the Kings consider Shumpert to be some sort of veteran glue guy/mentor. Thus swapping him out for Lee may be a deal breaker, given they’d have to pay Lee next year.

  64. geo

    rookie minutes played so far this year:
    deandre – 1312 @ 31.2 (no wonder he normally looks like he’s pacing himself)
    luka – 1243 @ 31.9
    collin – 1219 @ 29.7
    trae – 1177 @ 29.4
    mikal – 1103 @ 26.3
    SGA – 1102 @ 26.3
    jaren – 1024 @25.6
    wendell – 1006 @ 25.2
    kevin – 905 @ 26.6
    miles – 724 @ 19.3

    that was good – i’m feeling a lot less concerned with running kevin out there so much…

  65. Brian Cronin

    I still want Trier back, but I think there’s less of a chance of a team blowing them away with an RFA offer at this point.

  66. Hubert

    I think a smaller version of Bob’s wet dream is actually feasible:

    http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=y77msu6t

    I did this without looking at Sacto’s stats. Shumpert is actually not bad this year, so they’d probably never do this.

    But Randolph and Kostos for Kanter and Lee also works, and neither of those guys play for Sacto. That might work. Is Sacto really going to balk because they’re hoarding cap space for this summer? No one ever signs there.

  67. geo

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neologism

    Definition of neologism
    1 : a new word, usage, or expression
    technological neologisms
    2 psychology : a new word that is coined especially by a person affected with schizophrenia and is meaningless except to the coiner, and is typically a combination of two existing words or a shortening or distortion of an existing word

    whatcha trying to say jowles…me, myself, and i – are gonna need to give that some more thought…

  68. kevin5318

    I think Trier is still reeling from the hamstring injury. He’s been garbage ever since then.

  69. Hubert

    Trier is the second coming of Jamal Crawford

    I feel like we’ve so many comings of Jamal Crawford.

  70. Hubert

    My god… Sacramento has $26 million in expiring contracts (not counting Shumpert; Clashfan is right, he’s too good for them to dump), and they have nearly $12 million in cap space, and here’s the most incredible thing: they are scheduled to be ~$45 million under the floor next year! They need to burn money!!! So Hardaway or Lee isn’t as stupid for them as it would seem. Plus Scott Perry worked there, too, which is no small thing when it comes to making a deal.

    Just earlier today I said:

    But still… I have hope. If there’s one thing I will always have confidence in, it’s that you can find a bigger fool. We have to keep probing and probing for someone dumber and more desperate than us.

    And now this. Today is actually one of the most spiriting days I’ve had in some time.

  71. geo

    I take my Onanistic pleasures seriously….

    you all got me busy today – hmmmm, never knew there was a more sophisticated way of saying: mental masturbation…very good mister bob…i’ve always wondered if you were related to the small little town down along by the jersey coast…

  72. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    If taking Lee/Hardaway Jr into your cap space means you have a better shot at reaching the playoffs for the first time in over a decade, then I think you do it if you’re Sacramento. If it also means that it doesn’t do anything major to your salary cap space (because you have it in spades and nobody wants to sign with you), then it becomes a no brainer. Lee and Kanter for Randolph, McLemore, and Koufos works fine.

  73. ephus

    My hopes for the Knicks for the remainder of the season, in order of preference:
    1. Dump THJ and/or Courtney Lee without taking back 2019-20 salary, so as to open up a full Max salary slot for a 10+ veteran ($38.2 million).
    2. Meaningful development from Knox.
    3. Get KP back on the court for at least 10 games, during which time he shows that he still has skills, even if rusty.
    4. Meaningful development from Mitch.
    5. Lose enough games to have a 14% shot at the #1 pick.
    6. Meaningful development from Ntilikina.
    7. Develop defensive cohesion.
    8. Develop offensive flow.
    9. Keep games close enough to be interesting, even if that means winning a few games.

    As far as I’m concerned, nothing else matters.

  74. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    I think a 3 team trade between New York, Sacramento, and Charlotte where Kanter and Batum go to Sacramento (they get a great bench center plus an actual starting small forward for their playoff push), Lee goes to Charlotte (he’s $13M cheaper and expires a year earlier), and everything else expiring goes to the Knicks. The trade machine isn’t working for me, but that trade would have me very excited. Of course I’d rather get rid of Tim Hardaway Jr, but we can’t win em all.

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

    I’m starting to hunk of Mudiay as the sausage. They say if you actually see sausage being made you never want to eat it. All of you have seen what went into making Mudiay so you don’t want him even though his actual stats are fine for freshly acquired 22 year old.

  76. d-mar

    Did you guys see that crazy stat where Klay scored 43 points and only dribbled the ball 4 times?

    I think Mudiay is highly capable of that feat, except in reverse – dribbling 43 times and scoring 4 points.

  77. ptmilo

    isn’t vlade good friends with a certain retired tweener forward who decided to live out his golden years as henchman to a brutish autocrat? if you’re kanter this smells like a damn trap

  78. Brian Cronin

    After suggesting a Shump/Randolph for Lee/Kanter deal, Bill Simmons then added, “Then, they can flip Hardaway (which shouldn’t be impossible) and they’d have tons of cap space for summer 2019. I still like the Hardaway/Frank N for DSJ/Matthews’s expiring idea. Dallas has no 1st so them bottoming out doesn’t make sense.”

    How can he be this out of touch? It seems almost impossible.

  79. Hubert

    isn’t vlade good friends with a certain retired tweener forward who decided to live out his golden years as henchman to a brutish autocrat? if you’re kanter this smells like a damn trap

    If aiding the assassination of Enes Kanter is what it takes to unload Tim Hardaway’s contract, I’m sorry Enes, but it has to be done.

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

    Trier is the second coming of Jamal Crawford

    Maybe the 3rd coming if you throw Hardaway Jr in the mix.

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

    Did you guys see that crazy stat where Klay scored 43 points and only dribbled the ball 4 times?

    I think Mudiay is highly capable of that feat, except in reverse – dribbling 43 times and scoring 4 points.

    lmao

  82. geo

    If aiding the assassination of Enes Kanter is what it takes to unload Tim Hardaway’s contract, I’m sorry Enes, but it has to be done.

    that’s the definition of fandom right there…sorry enes – it’s either you or rotten timmy contract :)

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

    If aiding the assassination of Enes Kanter is what it takes to unload Tim Hardaway’s contract, I’m sorry Enes, but it has to be done.

    lol This is a little harsh, but we’d have to at least consider it before coming to our senses. :-)

  84. Donnie Walsh

    isn’t vlade good friends with a certain retired tweener forward who decided to live out his golden years as henchman to a brutish autocrat? if you’re kanter this smells like a damn trap

    Maybe Vlade has been radicalized since becoming GM, but back when the ESPN doc about he and Drazen Petrovich’s fallingout was made, Vlade was the least politically interested person ever. He didn’t even seem to know that there was political tension between the Serbs and the Croats back when Yugoslavia balkanized.

    (Then again, now that I think about it, maybe he is being used by Erdogan! Yikes!)

  85. rama got that Fizdale Magic

    I think Mudiay is highly capable of that feat, except in reverse – dribbling 43 times and scoring 4 points.

    Genuine guffaw

  86. Brian Cronin

    I can’t wait to see how they mess up a trade with the Kings.

    I’m bizarrely optimistic, because the Kings have no one they can really dump on the Knicks, ya know? And since the Knicks couldn’t possibly accept just a one-for-one expirings deal, there has to be at least a second-rounder coming back, right? Right? Please say “right.”

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

    I’ve been pretty harsh towards Kanter at times, but Randolph is basically retired. We should get some kind of decent asset back in that swap. I’d take either a couple of 2nd round picks or moving a bad contract as part of the deal. My strong preference would be moving Hardaway because it’s the worst contract. If we are desperate we could always attach a pick to Lee and also move him later if Durant wanted to come. Otherwise he could stay for another year and be an expiring next year.

    We were upset about getting two 2nd rounders for Willy. Kanter should be bring back at least as much considering as part of this we will probably be taking back close to as much dead money in the form of Randolph and some other expiring contract. If they do this just to save money, big whoops.

  88. geo

    brian, you are absolutely right man…there is no doubt we’ll trade away kanter, lee, and timmy and get some great prospects back – maybe even a first round pick or two…kp will come back with about 10 to 15 games left in the season and look even better than he did pre-injury…we’ll end the year with the number one pick in the draft (get your zion jersey ready)…and, sign both kd and kyrie this off-season…

    okay, i’m gonna put the cap back on the glue-stick now…

  89. ptmilo

    I think Mudiay is highly capable of that feat, except in reverse – dribbling 43 times and scoring 4 points.

    this is the kind of well, actually that only the worst nba nerd would love but that would in fact be an above average points per dribble for a pg

  90. TheOakmanCometh

    I feel like we have so many comings of Jamal Crawford.

    Yeah, it feels like Jamal Crawford has been coming all over this franchise for 15 years.

  91. thenoblefacehumper

    I’m starting to hunk of Mudiay as the sausage. They say if you actually see sausage being made you never want to eat it. All of you have seen what went into making Mudiay so you don’t want him even though his actual stats are fine for freshly acquired 22 year old.

    What difference does when the New York Knicks acquired him make? He’s a 4th year player with a -1.6, which constitutes a career high. He’s bad even if you arbitrarily decide this season is the only one that should count.

    I will ask again, what business does a 10-31 team have spending any money on a 3rd string point guard? We don’t have the first two strings.

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

    There are those of you who basically think that players never improve. You are what your stats say you were in the past. If you were awful then, you are awful now and will always be awful. I disagree, but am not going to argue the point. Mudiay is an okay back up point guard at this point. The Knicks need both a starting point guard and a backup, so why throw him away? Those of you who say he will inevitably be overpaid may be right, but I am not going to assume it. The Knicks can sign him at any salary they can agree on this summer, so I am not going to assume it’s a horrible deal until I see it.

  93. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    [opens Bargnani threads looking for “bad players can git gud” arguments, overwhelmed by choices, dabs uncontrollably]

  94. Bruno Almeida

    It’s not that players never improve, it’s that people expect, just because a player has a Knicks uniform on that he will magically improve, and a lot of times it doesn’t.

    The data is the most important because it’s the factual thing we can analyze, the potential improvement is pure speculation. There’s no shame in speculating or believing the speculation, but others would rather look at a very solid body of work and make assumptions based on that instead.

  95. Z-man

    The problem for Mudiay is that he’s not excellent at anything and he’s really bad at several things that are vital to good 2-way PG play. He doesn’t give you anything you couldn’t replace by scouring thr waiver wire or G-League for. At the minimum salary, sure, but even his QO is likely to be a Baker-level overpay.

  96. Grocer

    He doesn’t give you anything you couldn’t replace by scouring thr waiver wire or G-League for

    I want to agree with this but I think it’s more myopia. Who specifically? Cause I don’t think it’s actually true. Knickerblogger assumes these low level NBA players grow on trees, the same way we assume there’s always an advantagues trade out there and I don’t think that’s the case.

  97. bidiong

    I know I think that the front office judges players based in a vacuum that they’re good even though we’ve won 10 games.

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

    If you want someone off the waiver wire you get Alexey Shved or Ron Baker. I agree with Grocer, backup point guards don’t grow on trees.

  99. TheOakmanCometh

    It’s true, backup PGs don’t grow on trees. Unfortunately Mudiay isn’t good enough to be a backup PG. Just like Burke wasn’t a backup PG despite a hot streak last year.

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

    Current NBA backup point guards:
    Jeremy Lin, Shabazz Napier, Terry Rozier, Tony Parker, Ryan Arcidiacono, Matthew Delladova, Jalen Brunson, Monte Morris, Ish Smith, Quinn Cook, Austin Rivers, Cory Joseph, Patrick Beverley, Rajan Rondo, Shelvin Mack, Tyler Johnson, Derrick Rose, George Hill, Tim Frazier, Trey Burke, Dennis Schroder, Jerian Grant, Markelle Fultz, Elie Okobo, Seth Curry, Derrick White, Frank Mason, Fred Van Vleet, Dante Exum, Tomas Satoransky

    Names are per Rotoworld depth charts except that I didn’t count Simmons or D’angelo Russell as point guards since I think Russell and Dinwiddie both start and Simmons is on the floor with another point guard nominally.

    There are some nice names on that list, but there are also a number of players who are probably worse than Mudiay at the moment. With his current stats, I think he fits fine in the list.

  101. Brian Cronin

    “Emmanuel Mudiay – He probably wouldn’t be the worst backup point guard in the NBA.”

    That’s quite a sales pitch for signing the guy long term. Especially when the Knicks, you know, don’t have a starting point guard.

    As Z-Man notes, if it is for the vet minimum, sure, it’s worth a flier, but if you’re giving out any notable cap space to re-sign a mediocre at best (and heading the wrong direction – note that his TS% is now down to 52.5%. He’s within shouting distance of his TS% last year in Denver, which was 50.8%) back-up point guard when you don’t even have a starting point guard, then you’re not particularly good at the whole “team-building” aspect of GMing.

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

    I am all for getting a better point guard. I even think that with a different team around him Ntilikina is a better point guard than Mudiay. But it is not as easy as some suggest to get a better point guard. The Knicks have tried and failed to do so, despite drafting one, trading for Mudiay and hiring Burke. I’m not in favor giving up on someone who I think is improving until we succeed in getting a better alternative.

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