Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Indiana Pacers 107 – New York Knicks 101 – Game Recap

Following this team this season is a very peculiar experience. You find yourself thrilled when the team is winning thanks to the young guys, and you find similarly thrilled when you realized that, despite their best effort, you’re gonna bag another loss that brings you closer to a top-5 2019 pick. This game was exactly like that. An intensely fought back and forth that ended up in a couple fortitous offensive possessions by Indiana.

2-6 is what I would have predicted at this point, which is ok. What makes it more than ok is the fact that we’re actually developing our rookie scale contract players, and giving them some burn in the closing minutes of tight games. Nice job by Fiz so far.

To the recap!

The treats:

– Tim Hardaway Jr (37 pts, 1 ast, 1 reb, -14 +/-) is still putting out puzzling all around performances, as this was definitely not a team friendly one, and for the umpteenth time this season he posted the worst plus/minus of the game – actually, it was the third time, but you get my point. That said, 37 points on 19 shots is nothing to scoff at, and we needed every last drop of Timmy’s offensive juice tonight to stay in the game. If not for three turnovers in the last three minutes, THJ would have had a real chance at being the game MVP. He was great at getting to the line, even if some of those attempts from the charity stripe came from away from the ball fouls; you still have to be in the thick of the action, though, to have someone foul you. I wish he would do a better job of moving the ball around, especially after driving to the rack, but I guess it’s time we understand that his drives are awesome in transition and mediocre at best in the half-court offense. At this point of the season he’s 64th in the league in drives per game, and ahead of him there are some luminaries like DeAndre Bembry, Michael Carter Williams, Shelvin Mack. If you’re the clear cut no. 1 option on the perimeter and have a usage of 31% you should do more. Anyway, he gave us almost exactly what we needed to beat a good Indiana team, so this one goes in the good Timmy games list. He also drew another charge and half-busted another lip. He’s out there with his maximum effort. He’s just not that good, but we’ll make do.

– Noah Vonleh (14 pts, 10 rebs, 4 ast, -4 +/-) put up a strong, all-around game. At this point, I’m not sure what happened to him, but this is nothing like the Vonleh we used to (barely) see on the court in the last three seasons. He’s an above average ball-handler for his position, has good court vision, rebounds well and when he goes up to put the ball into the basket he does it with the requisite drive to slam the air out of the ball, if it’s there. Think of him as of our off-brand Draymond Green: his work in bringing up the ball in semi-transition after a gobbled defensive board or a steal is very good, as evidenced by a very nice sequence with 5:27 remaining in the game, where he found THJ in perfect stride for a three from the extended elbow. He makes some dumb decisions now and then, but you live with them as long as he provides for a lot of other good stuff. Tonight he also delivered on the defensive end, where he was the only one who tried to put a stop on the Domantas Sabonis rampage (more on that later) and racked 2 steals and 3 blocks. His 4 turnovers were a bit too much, but it’s a byproduct of being more involved in a sometimes stagnant offense.

– Allonzo Trier (14 pts, 3 rebs. 1 ast, -2 +/-) provides more than a decent scoring punch from the bench. Even as an older rookie, it’s puzzling that no other team snatched him up in the late second round. He’s playing like your prototypical combo guard off the bench, and he’s doing fine. If Noah is our off-brand Draymond, Iso Zo is our Lou Williams-lite. It was refreshing to see him out there in the final minutes with license to operate, even hitting the lay-up that gave a little hope to the Knicks, putting them at 101-103 with 44 seconds to go. I loved the fact that Fiz didn’t opt to put Lance back in his place for defensive purposes after that bucket, even if we allowed an uncontested three to Oladipo on a botched defensive second effort right after that. Allonzo is not a stout defender, but he’s not a sieve either, and his offensive prowess is more than enough to make him a better contributor than Lance for this team. Very efficient night, 6 for 7 from the field, 2 for 2 from three. There are times when he is so good at keeping his body under control at the rim that he doesn’t draw fouls because of that. He’ll learn to.

The tricks:

– Enes Kanter (7 pts, 6 rebs, 2 ast, -4 +/-) played a totally uninspired game and botched a lot of defensive rotations, even by his standards. Domantas Sabonis ate him alive, and foul trouble was much more effective in shutting Arvydas’ son down than whatever pathetic thing Enes was doing tonight. To put things in perspective, Sabonis is the first player ever to score 30 pts in less than 22 minutes and less than 13 shots. And all of that came in the paint, with Enes as his primary defender. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a bad interior defensive performance. When I was playing basketball (before I stopped growing in height at the ripe age of 15, ouch) I was a hard-nosed, no talent, no-nonsense 4-5 whose calling cards were rebounds and interior defense. If a teammate of mine put on display a game like the Enes one tonight, my 15 year old past me would have gnawed at him until he gave a f*ck again. I’m ashamed at Enes. And this guy told ESPN before the game he wants to make the All-Star team? Get a grip, Enes. And learn to defend for once! On a sidenote, he robbed Frank of a clean assist when he missed a super easy bunny in the third. Terrible outing for Enes. I hope he recovers, but he’s spiraling down and I don’t see that happening anytime soon unless he’s inserted back into the starting lineup (which in itself it good enough reason never to put him back there).

– Trey Burke (6 pts, 2 ast, 40% FG) is becoming more and more hollow as the games go by. It’s astounding what a good rebuilding vision can to do a team. Last year, Burke was one of the few bright spot among a chaotic rotation that saw players go in and out on a moment’s notice and saw too much playing time given to useless or past their prime veterans. This year, he’s the useless veteran. I think Trey’s problems arise particularly from the presence on the team of Trier, who does a lot of what he can do (save for the floor general stuff, but it’s not like Trey’s been that good in directing the team) but is 4 inches taller and much more capable at the rim. I hope we can package him to a team where playmakers are scarce. His bad body language since his benching is rivaled only by Kanter’s, and that’s twice in a row. Sorry Trey, you seem a good guy, but this team has no place for entitled middle of the pack players.

Scary-sized bits:

– Frank Ntilikina (4 pts, 1 reb, 7 ast, -8 +/-) had a mediocre outing. This time the bounces on his shot weren’t lucky, as he put a little too much mustard on a pair of jumpers in the third that deserved a better fate and he didn’t connect on a single three pointer. His defense was good and his two-man game was more that decent. I was expecting him to do more of that gyrating routine he started to show this season when into or near the paint, but his moves were at most basic. His starting PG splits aren’t that good either: in the last three games he’s putting up 12.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.3 APG on 54% TS and a snail-like pace of 98.3. Out of curiosity, though, I ran a few comparisons with some of his fellow 2017 draftees: I’ll let you guess who’s Frank and who are the others.

Player A: -11.6 Net Rating, 18.8 Ast Ratio, 4 REB%, 47.5% EFG%, 6.8 PIE

Player B:  -9.8 Net Rating, 25.9 Ast Ratio, 3.8 REB%, 47.1% EFG%, 5.5 PIE

Player C: -1.7 Net Rating, 13.8 Ast Ratio, 4.1 REB%, 49.4 EFG%, 7.1 PIE

Player D: 1.8 Net Rating, 15.3 Ast Ratio, 3.5 REB%, 51.1 EFG%, 10.0 PIE

One is easy to guess, but the other three aren’t that much different, ain’t them? Too bad defense isn’t measured that much in those statistics.

– Damyean Dotson (13 pts, 3 rebs, 1 ast, -8 +/-) is really solid, even if this time wasn’t that active on the boards. He completes the trifecta of discount NBA Players clones by being our poor man’s Danny Green. He even had a trademark Pablo Prigioni steal under the opposing team’s rim and got an and-one from that! Loving Dotson’s game.

– Mitchell Robinson got the start but against a tough-as-nails Indiana team was able to do very little. We could make a t-shirt for Fizdale that says “I started Mitchell Robinson on Halloween night and all I got was 4 boards and 2 blocks”. The blocks were gorgeous, but his 19 minutes of play were very empty otherwise. Oh well, growing pains.

– I won’t bother describing you Lance Thomas game. Let’s say a ghost with a Knicks jersey would have played pretty much the same game. His fumbling drive in the fourth quarter against Domantas Sabonis was very comical. though. It was of the drunke YMCA 50 year old player variety.

– Is Mario Hezonja still a basketball player? Is he still on the roster? His 7 boards say so, but I’m not sure I’ve really seen him play. Maybe is was an ectoplasmic residue of an NBA player. Mario has been less than disappointing for now. He’s been totally see-through, thin as a perfectly cut slice of Parma ham.

– Man, Domantas Sabonis. 30 pts on 12/12 shooting, 9 boards, 3 assists and 2 blocks in 21 minutes. And he’s not even that good! Enes, dammit.

– I’m not complaining about the loss, but the defensive sequence with Indiana up 103-101 and the Knicks within reach to win the game was baffling. The Pacers ran a simple PnR with Oladipo and Bogdanovic to free Bojan from three. Bojan was incredibly open since Dotson, who was the man tasked with guarding Oladipo, didn’t switch while Trier did. Bogdanovic shot an airball, and both Dotson and Trier left Oladipo, Dot to chase to board and Trier to stay on Bogdanovic. Thad Young got the board and passed the ball to a wide open Oladipo, who calmly sank the three with Frank trying to get to him in time. Young players make mistakes, and this was fully on display here.

That’s all, folks! See you on Friday against Dallas, in a tanktastic square off. Just don’t cry too much watching Luka and thinking what could have been if we really tanked last year.

109 comments on “Indiana Pacers 107 – New York Knicks 101 – Game Recap

  1. alsep73

    Missed the game while trick or treating with my kids. That Sabonis did so much of his damage inside is worrisome, because interior man-to-man defense was the one thing Kanter has generally been non-awful at on that end of things. (It’s guarding the PNR, blocking shots, etc. that he usually looks so embarrassing at.) If he can be eaten up by a non-great player like Sabonis in that fashion is… not great, Bob.

  2. Ntilakilla

    Battled hard on switches vs Indy front-court last night, which isn't easy. Plays bigger than his size on defense — and not only b/c of his giant wingspan. https://t.co/mSY74XFNFe— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 1, 2018

    At one point in the initial version, I compared him to a bigger/more physical, less talented passing version of young Rubio. Editor responds: He's only an inch taller and 4 pounds heavier. Then I realized: He plays like he's 6-9 and has the wingspan of guard-version of Godzilla— Chris Herring (@Herring_NBA) November 1, 2018

  3. Hubert

    It’s not as bad because Willy had more value given his contract. We were unlikely to get anything for Enes Kanter this year. Trying to pump and dump him for some 2nds would have been nice, but no harm no foul.

    I’m not saying it’s worth having him on the books for three extra seasons, but I am glad Joakim Noah isn’t around, too. It’s bad enough having one disgruntled center.

  4. 2FOR18, understands math

    I don’t understand how Frank/Chuck can combine for 2 rebounds in 70 minutes of court time. If I laid on the court and took a nap for 35 minutes, 2 rebounds would land on me.

  5. 2FOR18, understands math

    This is the second time you sent me to the dictionary. I can’t believe English is your second language.

  6. Bruno Almeida

    @7

    It was, it’s one of my favorite underrated NBA quotes. I checked here and he had a 9 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists in 26 minutes while playing for the Kings against the Jazz.

    Honestly, after last night, Kanter should be apologizing instead of complaining. He made every possible defensive mistake on the book, not boxing out, allowing deep position for the bigs, misplaying the pick and roll in like 4 different ways, fouling stupidly, it goes on and on. People wanted accountability right?

  7. 2FOR18, understands math

    Frank O.
    December 1, 2017 at 8:58 am
    Just to continue the Kanter string…
    One thing that is so striking is how seemingly effortlessly he amasses numbers.
    I mean the other night He just suddenly had like 18 points and 12 rebounds or something like that at the half.
    With ridiculous efficiency.

    I don’t understand the kvetching about his salary already. I understand he would be expensive to retain, but when you have an elite level player (so far), one we have been seeking for a long time, and then he emerges, of course you have to pay to retain that talent.
    Otherwise, you’re never going to hold an elite player.

    Still a lot of moons before this season concludes, but 21 games in, his play makes him a top 10 player.

    ———————

    chrisk06811
    December 1, 2017 at 11:03 am
    I don’t think a 25 year old who is playing as well as kanter is going to opt in. He needs more years to protect himself. I think very least, we are looking at 3 years starting at $22M.

  8. Bruno Almeida

    Man, at least we aren’t paying 18 million to Wes Matthews. What the hell was he thinking with that foul.

  9. 2FOR18, understands math

    Ha. well at least I didn’t say 20 mil:

    2FOR18, understands math
    December 1, 2017 at 11:22 am
    I guess I’m way off here re: Kanter’s value. I love him, but I would offer him a contract similar to Timmy’s, and if he can beat that, then oh well. I just don’t see the market for a player with his skill set in today’s NBA as being in the 20+ million range.

  10. Farfa Post author

    @8

    Out of curiosity: which word did the trick? :D

    @12

    Yeah, exactly. What’s strange is that in preseason and the first two games his lateral movement looked much sharper than before… and then went back to his routine of not giving a damn.

  11. 2FOR18, understands math

    And of course!:

    Z-man
    December 1, 2017 at 4:33 pm
    You guys are kidding, right? You really don’t think that Kanter is not going to get paid?

    I’d set the over/under on his average annual salary in his next contract at $25 million.

  12. 2FOR18, understands math

    @16 = ectoplasmic
    The other one was ethereal, which I probably used to know a few thousand Jamesons ago.

  13. Hubert

    Those posts may look bad now but in fairness to them, Kanter was playing extremely well at the time.

    Speaking of Reub, btw, whatever happened to “Giana”?

  14. Z-man

    My comment was in response to folks suggesting that Kanter might take a huge discount to re-sign with us.

  15. swiftandabundant

    People say Kanter won’t take a paycut or a demotion to the bench to stay with the Knicks next year but is he going to have a choice?

    He got lucky with his last contract. It was right when the cap spiked immensely. Most of the league still hadn’t adapted to Warrior ball and he was on a team that had just lost KD to the Warriors. Plus he was 4 years younger.

    It ain’t going to work like that this time around. I can’t see him making more than 10 million a year and that is being generous.

  16. Jack Bauer

    @20 “btw whatever happened to Giana”

    I think she got Jowlesd one time too many.

    I too am getting scared that this team will win too many games to truly tank and get a top 3 pick. My hope rests in their terrible defense, if that continues the tank is still possible.

  17. DRed

    We’ve lost some close games-we probably should be 3-5. Teams like the Cavs and the Hawks are going to be extremely hard for us to out tank. I think Phoenix and Chicago are also worse than the Knicks right now (and it’s worse if Lee starts playing and is the roughly average-ish player he has been), so if Porzingis comes back at all this season, even for like 20 games I think we have almost no shot at finishing with one of the 3 worst records as things currently stand.

    However, we could start playing Mudiay and Knox, which would likely make us significantly worse.

  18. Dough Chew [dolan pls]

    Super-entertaining read, Farfa. Great combination of humor, analysis, and attention to detail.

  19. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Speaking of Reub, btw, whatever happened to “Giana”?

    Mike outed her as a man and “she” was never seen again. Let us hope it stays that way.

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

    Kanter is an “energy” player. He’s productive on the boards because he works harder than most other players.

    Right now he is checked out mentally. Right or wrong, he feels the starting job should be his because even if Robinson is more naturally talented and the future of the team, he’s ridiculously raw. You aren’t going to play your best basketball if you are an energy player and feel unappreciated and slighted by your employer. Hell, I can’t even do my own job when I feel like that and all I have to do is “think”. I don’t have run around like a lunatic and bang with giants.

    He’ll either snap out of it fairly quickly and pick up where he left off or the frustration will grow and he’ll want out.

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

    One thing arguing in favor of the team continuing to be very bad is that Hardaway is playing the best ball of his career so far (despite the mental lapses). There’s clearly no guarantee he’s going to sustain this level of scoring at this level of efficiency. If he declines, we don’t have many two way weapons. We can put scorers out there, but at a serious cost to defense. I love Frank, Dotson, Robinson and Vonleh, but you are asking a LOT from Hardaway with that lineup. I’m sort of amazed how well he’s doing.

  22. Henry George

    @30

    I’m not surprised. Hardaway played about as well last season when he wasn’t injured or rusty. And he is one of those guys that needs a larger volume to play at his best.

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

    One thing I find interesting about Robinson is that he’s not doing such a great job on the defensive boards even though he’s tall, long, and very athletic. He seems to be running into some of the same problems as KP. Sometimes he gets pushed out of position because he’s not strong enough to hold his ground or go up and bang and at other times when he gets his hands on the ball they knock it away from him. Part it may also be that like KP he goes for the block so often he’s not in position to rebound right after that. Where he’s been better is on the offensive boards, most likely because he’s near the basket on offense a lot more often than KP. I sort of see this as encouraging in a way. Given they are both having the same issues for similar reasons, it gives me a little more faith that if both get stronger they will improve on the boards if that’s the role we need from one or the other.

  24. Bruno Almeida

    @28

    Oh so that happened… disappointed but not surprised I guess. Which is kinda my reaction seeing Derrick Rose posts everywhere I look today.

  25. wetbandit

    Small sample size alert:

    Am I the only one obsessed with Trier??? He’s got enough for both the stat-heads and eye-ballers to love. This is a 45% 3-point shooter (college? 37.8%), with a 4.7 rebound/36, 2.1 assists/36, 89.5% from the line and .593 TS. This is all completely in line with his college stats.

    He gets to the rim, shoots well, passes ok for a 2, and can dunk the damn ball. And he appears to defend decently.

    Frank/Trier/Hardaway/Vonleh/Mitch is what I want to see. Dotson’s better defensively (to my eye), but Trier can be so good. When KP comes in for Vonleh, that’s a great lineup. If you have a second unit of Burke, Dotson, Knox, Vonleh, Kanter, that’s pretty good for a second unit too.

    Still good for less than 25 wins, but hey,that’s a good thing for development and Zion.

  26. wetbandit

    Exciting young players to watch for: Frank, Robinson, KP, Dotson, Trier, Vonleh (that’s a lot!)
    Semi-exciting young players to watch for: Knox, Burke
    Unexciting not-so-young players to watch for: Baker, Hardaway (but when he’s in a passing mood he elevates to meh)
    Get off my team: Kanter, Lee, Lance, Hezonja, Mudiay

  27. JK47

    I think MitchRob’s defensive rebounding problems are mostly because he’s flailing around a lot on defense. He can go up and get rebounds in traffic when he’s in good position, but he’s still figuring out his footwork. He wasn’t super effective yesterday but it was a good learning experience for him having him go up against some solid bigs.

  28. wetbandit

    I’m not surprised. Hardaway played about as well last season when he wasn’t injured or rusty. And he is one of those guys that needs a larger volume to play at his best.

    Disagree that anyone needs a higher volume to play better

  29. Owen

    It kind of amazes me how little Hardaway does out there other than score. That rebound rate is microscopic. Kind of reminds me of an Allan Houston or Jamal Crawford. Can’t argue with the shooting and scoring though. I don’t think he will continue quite at this rate either but Hardaway has already been way way better than I expected, this year and in his career overall. His defense is nonexistent and he still isn’t a guy I would ever want on the team but he really deserves some props for what he has done in his career. I thought he would be out of the league by now.

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

    Has anyone been playing close attention to Trier’s defense?

    I haven’t been paying close enough attention to him on that side of the ball to notice.

  31. JK47

    Vonleh has really played out of his mind, he is obliterating his career numbers across the board. Everything he’s doing seems pretty sustainable to me— he’s getting easy buckets, ripping down rebounds, passing the ball well, blocking shots. It’s not like he’s on some crazy long range jump shot streak or something.

    I liked him a lot coming out of the draft, and it seems like it’s very possible that Fiz has resurrected this kid’s career.

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

    @35

    I pretty much have the same list, but I want to keep Baker around. I know he’s close to a zero on offense, but it seems like he impacts the game sometimes when he’s out there being a menace. I wouldn’t want him playing a lot of minutes, but he may be the kind of guy you keep around when the team energy is low and you need a spark to turn it around. We typically think of players that excel on offense doing that, but maybe every once in awhile when the team is dull and losing to some scrubs we can throw Baker out there to shake things up with his defense and diving for the ball etc..

  33. alsep73

    Revisiting the Durant hypotheticals and making them even more pie-in-the-sky: everyone here is in agreement that they don’t want to sign Kemba at the max. BUT… what if Perry is somehow able (and willing) to trade Hardaway and Lee for salary relief, and we wind up with two max slots instead of one? How would you feel about Kemba as Durant’s sidekick? (Or Kawhi’s, just for the hell of it?)

  34. Brian Cronin

    As an aside about Durant, just want to take another look at Zach Lowe’s bit about why he thinks Durant will sign with the Knicks that keeps getting referenced:

    I don’t think Durant or the people closest to him know what he’s going to do. The Warriors don’t. They will pitch him on his comfort in the Bay Area; business connections there; and their sparking new arena — the one for which Durant broke ceremonial ground.

    I spent last season’s Finals talking to everyone I could about Durant, trying to figure him out. The sense I got from the Warriors was that they found Durant unknowable — and were afraid even much of last season he would leave. Surviving Houston in the conference finals cleared the atmosphere. On the flight home after Game 7, Durant plopped into the seat next to Bob Myers, Golden State’s general manager, and declared, “I have never felt more a part of the team,” Myers told me.

    A two-year stint in Golden State would have seemed short given the melodrama surrounding Durant’s exit from Oklahoma City. Three approaches LeBron-in-Miami territory. Win another ring, and Durant might feel he has accomplished what he set out to do. He’s 30, at the height of his powers, free to choose his destination.

    He’s not going back to Oklahoma City. I’d be dumbfounded if he joined LeBron. He must know the Warriors will always be Curry’s team. The social media slights will never stop as long as Durant is there. People who know Durant say part of him must crave the challenge of being the undisputed alpha dog and lead ball handler — of putting up a 32-10-8 stat line. Some of those same people wonder if he is a little scared of that challenge.

    A normal human would feel both of those things. But whoever revives the Knicks will become legend. They have a young co-star in Kristaps Porzingis who could take on more of the scoring burden as Durant ages.

    Durant doesn’t have to do this now. He can sign another one-year deal, chase a ring in the Chase Center, and hit free agency again. On the flip side, if he moves to a downtrodden franchise, he might have to ink a longer-term deal as a display of commitment to other stars who might join. Is he OK with that?

    It’s a fine piece, but I just saw some mention about how Lowe was suggesting Durant to the Knicks based on actual sources, while that really isn’t the case. He’s just doing the same basic speculation as the rest of us. It might be correct speculation, but it’s just speculation.

  35. chrisk06811

    I heard a criticism of Timmy on the fan before that I think is dead on…..he’s a valuable scorer getting his points in the flow, but at crunch time, as a go to guy, h forces and is just not good enough. Makes me wonder, at the end of the year, with KP back, Lee playing (maybe) and Knox a half year in, he might be a good complimentary offensive player.

  36. nicos

    If Hardaway still has a .580 TS% on 30+ usage at the trade deadline then the Knicks should expect a genuine asset in return because he’d be earning his salary in spite of his crappy defense and rebounding. He’s on pace for about a 3.0 vorp which would have had him tied for 25th last year and his salary ranks at 63rd highest this season. Of course, if he’s still putting those numbers the Knicks aren’t going to trade him. And of course, given his track record it’s highly unlikely that he sustains those numbers. Still, I think he’s probably a slightly improved version of the guy we saw on the Hawks- an overpay but not an egregiously crippling one. I’d move him for a second rounder and an expiring but I wouldn’t be the one throwing in a sweetener.

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

    I heard a criticism of Timmy on the fan before that I think is dead on…..he’s a valuable scorer getting his points in the flow, but at crunch time, as a go to guy, he forces and is just not good enough.

    This is a problem with the whole team.

    At times he makes huge shots and has great overall games, but when it’s “win time”, he tends to revert back to his bad decision making. He’s not ready to lead a team yet. No one on the team is ready yet.

    Some people have a greater innate ability to handle pressure, but everyone handles it better with experience. We’ll have to experience the pressure of meaningful games down the stretch of the regular season to improve and get tougher mentally. Then we’ll have to experience the even greater intensity of playoff pressure and learn from that. It’s a process. You have to play meaningful games to handle it. A young team like the Bucks may be ready to break out partly because of what they’ve been through the last couple of years. We have a long way to go unless we add experienced high level players.

  38. ClashFan

    So, who are the guys that are not paying attention during team huddles during time outs? I read that Fiz made a reference to that last night.

    I hadn’t really noticed any of that, and LP games quickly jump to the repetitive and obnoxious cycle of commercials.

  39. Z-man

    I think that TH2 has to be cut a bit of slack. He’s not a #1 option by trade, and isn’t really getting paid like one, but on this team, it’s clearly a role he has embraced with the coach’s blessing. Since his contract will be all but impossible to efficiently move, it makes sense to think of him as a developmental player, only he is trying to develop as a go-to guy rather than a complementary scorer.

    To be fair, he’s been everything we could have reasonably expected given his historical performance. Without him, it is likely that all the close losses we had thus far this year would have been blowouts. And re: the tank, he’s been just food enough to not needlessly win games for us.

    And given that he is still somewhat young and in a new role, it’s not outlandish to hope that he can keep improving. Not that it’s likely, but he does have the tools to get better in areas other than scoring.

  40. Z-man

    Also, one area of defense that doesn’t show up in the box score is “charges drawn.” TH2 is excelling in that area and deserves some credit for it.

  41. JK47

    It sure seems to me like Hardaway is hitting lots of tough shots right now. Low-quality shots, shots where he drains the jumper despite the hand in his face. It’s not really his fault– there are not a lot of easy shots in this offense that are created by quality playmaking.

    He seems due to come crashing to Earth.

  42. Z-man

    I should also mention that TH2 has been a better offensive player (statistically speaking) than Oladipo so far this year. In nearly identical minutes and mpg, and in the same role, Timmy has a higher TS%, WS48, ORTG and OBPM. Oladipo got the better of him in crunch time last night, but it’s the kind of game that can be learned from.

    Here’s a comparison.

  43. Hubert

    Since his contract will be all but impossible to efficiently move

    You might be able to move him this summer. At that point, you’re looking at a one year, $20mm (with trade kicker) deal with a player option for year two. That’s too much but it’s not egregious. I can see a team that needs scoring punch but has a difficult time attracting free agents thinking he’s worth overpaying in AAV for 1-2 years. Someone like Orlando, for instance.

  44. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    TH2 is excelling in that area and deserves some credit for it.

    Worth more than a steal. Is this information actually available anywhere?

    Also, pretty amazing that he’s committed zero fouls aside from one offensive foul in 267 MP.

  45. Z-man

    I think it’s far more likely that we keep him, but who knows? But if he can fill the role he’s filling right now for the rest of his deal, it’s not such a terrible thing to keep him around. He’s been reasonably productive and has a great attitude. He’s not getting in anyone’s way. He may actually be helping Frank by taking scoring (and some passing) pressure off of him.

  46. Z-man

    Worth more than a steal. Is this information actually available anywhere?

    Here’s something that says he has 4 thus far, which is tied for 3rd in the league…

    Checking around on this “hustle stats” page, it’s pretty clear how good Draymond is on the defensive end.

  47. Ingmarrrr

    The Knicks are not trading THJ, certainly not when he’s scoring so many points and can be used for marketing. Look at their twitter page and how many likes he’s getting. He’s their star.

  48. Hubert

    This is kind of the best role for him. Someone here recently dubbed him a usage soaker. He’s perfect for a team that doesn’t really have enough guys who you really want to take shots, i.e. a bad team.

  49. Z-man

    Jowles, he’s committed 23 defensive fouls thus far, I think you were looking at that “types of fouls” stat, maybe it doesn’t include the type he’s committing?

  50. Z-man

    In fact, all of the B-R play-by-play foul data for this year looks weird, I mean Timmy has drawn lots of shooting fouls this year and it says 0, so who knows whats up.

  51. thenamestsam

    It’s a fine piece, but I just saw some mention about how Lowe was suggesting Durant to the Knicks based on actual sources, while that really isn’t the case. He’s just doing the same basic speculation as the rest of us. It might be correct speculation, but it’s just speculation.

    There was an interesting discussion about similar issues on a recent Bill Simmons podcast (I know; I’d already listened to all the other stuff) with Windhorst. They were talking about how they both “knew” well before the finals last year that Lebron was leaving for the Lakers. And they talked about why they mostly couched that talk as speculation at the time (basically it seems like the risk of acting certain are higher than the rewards) even though they were very confident. Windhorst basically said that he said he was less certain than he was because the risk of being wrong wasn’t worth the return of being right.

    It may be the case that they’re claiming now with the benefit of hindsight to have been more certain than they actually were at the time but I do think there’s something to the idea that when you’re very plugged into the league, you hear a lot of stuff in a way that isn’t exactly report-able even in a “Sources say” kind of way, but does still have real informational value. It does seem like a lot of people in and around the league are talking about the Durant-Knicks connection in a way that resembles the way people were with Lebron-LA last year. That doesn’t mean he’s definitely coming or anything, but I do think the speculation of league insiders is often based on something.

  52. Brian Cronin

    Well, Lebron bought a house in Los Angeles, ya know? That sure seemed like he was making a pretty definitive statement ahead of time, which is when all the Lakers talk really started.

    But yes, I certainly will allow that there is a good chance that guys like Simmons, Windhorst and Lowe know more than they are allowed to officially say.

  53. alsep73

    Simmons is also being utterly dismissive of Durant to the Knicks. Which could be him being plugged in or him being contemptuous of New York/Dolan.

  54. Donnie Walsh

    Hardaway right now is a lot like Jordan Clarkson had been on the Lakers, not only statistically, but in the sense of both being given a lot of rein as offensive placeholders until the real players arrive further down the re-build.

  55. thenamestsam

    Simmons is also being utterly dismissive of Durant to the Knicks. Which could be him being plugged in or him being contemptuous of New York/Dolan.

    True. I’ll say that he was 100% dismissive of Durant to Golden State a couple of years ago so maybe he just doesn’t have connections to Durant? Which seems weird given that they’ve done a bunch of pods together. I dunno, it makes my head hurt to try to read the tea leaves with so little info. At this point it somehow wouldn’t shock me if he came here, nor would it shock me if the Knicks didn’t even get a meeting.

  56. Farfa Post author

    I wouldn’t give much thought to the Durant to NY speculations at least until we move Lee.

  57. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Re: Lee’s neck injury.

    Has this franchise EVER inflated a guy’s trade value by pumping his minutes before it’s too late? It seems the only way to break ties with a guy is to bench him and then cut him or trade him with sweeteners.

    Seriously, can you remember a single guy who was sold high?

  58. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Jowles, he’s committed 23 defensive fouls thus far, I think you were looking at that “types of fouls” stat, maybe it doesn’t include the type he’s committing?

    BBRef just hasn’t updated their numbers yet, I guess. It seemed too good to be true.

  59. Bruno Almeida

    @70

    I mean, have we won a trade in the last 20 years? It’s a similar question in that sense.

  60. Farfa Post author

    I count the Melo for Enes, McDermott and (the pick that became) Mitch Robinson as a slight win.

  61. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Durant nearly chose Boston. Bill Simmons isn’t the most objective source on the Durant front.

  62. djphan

    we’re gonna be really bad this year…. even if durant comes… we’re gonna be less bad but it’s questionable to say we’re definitely a playoff team….

    we’d be interesting but that’s really about it…. so i wouldn’t get my hopes up either way…. the best thing to hope for is to land the #1 pick…. that will have more impact than a durant deal… .

  63. Donnie Walsh

    Has this franchise EVER inflated a guy’s trade value by pumping his minutes before it’s too late?

    It’s funny, cause the Knicks have actually been good at pumping up value: Lin, Copeland, Shawne Williams, Fields, etc… those guys all went off and got paid to play worse for somebody else. The Knicks just never get any return value because #lolknicks #dolansrazor.

  64. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Chris Copeland got paid $7.7M between the ages of 28 and 31 to play 2,111 minutes of NBA basketball. Four years of being pampered. I really hope that man parked his ~$3.5M take-home in a safe account and is living the good life on the interest. There have been luckier players, but he could very well have just stayed in those AAA leagues and made a fraction of that coin.

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

    I’ve been surprised by Kanter’s play this year. I expected him to better this year than last because he is really motivated, it’s a contract year and he was the right age to improve. But he actually seems to be worse. I read somewhere that he lost weight and got quicker over the off season (does anyone else remember this?). It looks to me like he doesn’t finish as well at the basket as he did. He gets the shot off but often has to rebound and reshoot before the ball goes in. He also doesn’t seem to win rebound battles quite as often as last year. Maybe since he lost weight he’s not out muscling people quite as cleanly as he did last season?

  66. swiftandabundant

    Still can’t believe Woodson wouldn’t play Copeland in the playoffs against The Pacers when we beat them twice at the end of the regular season with Copeland playing the 5.

  67. DRed

    Timmy with a 58% TS is a pretty decent player-maybe even worth his salary, depending on how bad his defense actually is. And it’s good he’s shooting a lot, because that’s all he’s really good at this season.

  68. Z-man

    Steve Novak is another guy who stepped in it via the Knicks. Made 8 figures after he left and was a perma-DNPCD for the rest of his career.

  69. Bruno Almeida

    Damn I forgot Shawne Williams even existed! Extra E! Apparently he’s still playing, in the Wolves G-League team.

    Yeah, the Knicks have made some players get good deals, but it’s crazy how not a single one of them offered any return.

    I do count Melo for Kanter and McDermott a trade “win”, and in a way he was sold high because well, a team should have to pay to trade him away, but we traded him at the absolute lowest possible value he had, so it doesn’t really fit the criteria jowles was looking for.

    Funny tidbit: I searched best knicks trades on google, and the first result is an espn link from 2011, inspired by the Melo trade, that ranked the top 10 trade wins by the Knicks. The latest trade was the one to acquire Sprewell, in 1999. The top 3 happened in 71 (Pearl), 68 (DeBusschere) and 65 (Barnett). Then there’s Oakley, Sprewell, LJ, Bernard, McAdoo, Willie Naulls and Camby.
    That kinda tells the whole story right there.

  70. geo

    trading away jr smith and shumpert was a pretty good one…thankfully saved us from ever having to pay either of those two the money they’re currently making…

    hard to imagine too many teams wanting to take on jr and his salary for the next 2 years (he’s out of the cav’s rotation and hoping to get traded)…

  71. d-mar

    Seriously, can you remember a single guy who was sold high?

    If you’re asking about Danny Ainge, it’s a really long list, with Isaiah Thomas at the top.

  72. geo

    hard to feel bad for anyone whom has made made 70 million over 4 years for playing basketball…

    bet old enes is wondering now if he should have opted out this year…fiz is showing his true market value…each month he stays on the bench his future value will continue to decrease…

    i was one of those crazy folks whom thought he might get at least his current salary on the open market…nope, enes is looking at maybe 12 million a year now…still pretty crazy good money for playing basketball…

    https://www.spotrac.com/nba/contracts/center/

    he’ll look good in a hornets or magic jersey next year :)

  73. Z-man

    Luckily for the Cavs, JR’s salary for 2019-20 is only guaranteed for $3.87 million. That makes him movable to a team that needs some offense, or perhaps a veteran presence in the locker room.

  74. swiftandabundant

    Would love to see what JR’s “veteran presence” would look like.

    “So when you’re fucked up at the club the night before a playoff game, make sure no one takes a picture of it and posts it on Instagram. And when you sign a new, fat contract, be sure to spend a fifth of it right away on a tricked out Humvee.”

  75. geo

    thanks z-man…ugh, i need to do a better job of reading that spotrac stuff…
    dead cap = $3,870,000

    yeah, you know you’re getting old when jr’s “presence” in the locker room might be considered an asset…

  76. geo

    oh yeah, almost forgot to mention it – was watching the clips and dallas last night and saw deandre jordan “drain” some free throws…all net…

    that shit was startling…he’s hitting 82% for the year…i don’t ever remember someone having that kind of transformation before…something about him offsetting his feet at the line…it looked really smooth…

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

    It’s funny, cause the Knicks have actually been good at pumping up value: Lin, Copeland, Shawne Williams, Fields, etc… those guys all went off and got paid to play worse for somebody else. The Knicks just never get any return value because #lolknicks #dolansrazor.

    We should clarify.

    D’Antoni was very good at inflating the value of players by putting them in positions where they would have mismatches on the offensive end and take advantage of transition baskets, space, more efficient 3 pointers, P&R basketball etc.. He was way ahead of the learning curve and pumped up the boxscore stats at the expense of some defense that people paid less attention to because there are fewer clear individual stats on defense.

    Unfortunately we ran him out of town (or should I say Melo ran him out of town). At least it looks like we have a good coach now.

  78. bobneptune

    we’re gonna be really bad this year…. even if durant comes… we’re gonna be less bad but it’s questionable to say we’re definitely a playoff team….

    really? A truly great player like Durant coupled with a returning KP and a certain top 5 pick with this improving group of young players doesn’t make the playoffs in the EAST?

  79. Donnie Walsh

    I think the Knicks “won” the David Lee trade in that they got back a good package of talent for a guy that had no future with the Knicks… but, in true Knicks fashion, Randolph didn’t mature, Azubuike never recovered from his knee injury, and Turiaf, though as lovable as a freshly bathed puppy dog, got shipped out after playing 1000+ minutes of solid basketball.

    (Of course, one has to ask why David Lee had no future with the Knicks, and wonder how it would have all turned out if they’d simply signed him and not Amar’e that Summer…)

  80. bobneptune

    http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=ya4mzaut

    Who sez no?

    Clear 2 max slots for next year, insure maximum tankability and open another 35 mpg for Dotson, Trier et al.

    Cut JR and JSmith and have a roster spot for Trier. leaves 40M on the books for next year after paying off JR’s 4M buyout and lances 2M.

    KP 7.5M
    2 MAX SLOTS
    2019 hi lotto pick ? 6M ?
    Frank 4.8M
    Knox 4.4M
    Dotson 1.6M
    M Rob 1.6M
    Trier ?1.6M?
    Noah 6.3M dead money
    Lance 2M dead money
    JR 4M dead money

  81. dtrickey

    Yeah, the Knicks have made some players get good deals, but it’s crazy how not a single one of them offered any return.

    On that same note we had Knicks alum Jeremy Tyler playing in the Australian league last season. Absolutely bombed. Couldn’t stay on the court because of foul trouble and was quite clearly a bit of a head case.

    Tavis Trice though had two nice seasons over hear that he parlayed into a couple of NBA camp invites.

  82. Brian Cronin

    Who sez no?

    Cavs. What is the benefit for them? Otherwise, that’s a really creative trade.

  83. Bo Nateman

    Ditto on Dr. Richard Barnett, one very cool dude.

    Also- Cazzie Russell for Jerry Lucas ( the memory man) ranks high as he helped secure our 2nd chip in ’73. Lucas shooting from the top of the key before the advent of 3 point line was a precursor for today’s stretch 4’s and 5’s.

  84. bobneptune

    Cavs. What is the benefit for them? Otherwise, that’s a really creative trade.

    They owe JR 14.7 this year and 4 M buyout next year for 18.7M. Lee is owed 25M this season and next. Cleveland is over the cap this season and has an incredible 124M on the books next season already so they cannot get any FA help next season.

    So the question becomes is Lee worth (assuming he doesn’t have AIDS of the neck) 7.3 M as a player for 2 seasons (which I certainly think he is since some guys here thing we should be able to get some low second rounder with him being owed 25M).

    For a team with no options Lee for a net 7.3M for 2 years total, lancing the JR abscess and getting solid veteran mentoring for Sexton, Hood, Osman and Deckker might be interesting to them. If we had Lee on the books for 3.65M a year for the next 2 seasons everyone would be universally happy here.

  85. bobneptune

    Wouldn’t it be easier just to stretch-waive Lee?

    I think it would cost you a couple of million more next year.

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