Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Knicks 78, Thunder 105. Just End The Season.

After another loss, New York is in dire straits. Despite a change in the front office, there seems to be no change for this perennially losing franchise. During games, they are completely outclassed by their opponent. The flaws of their coach have remained the same since game 1, one of which is the inability to see his own flaws. New York plays so badly, it’s hard to see if the coaching staff has not prepared them for the other team or if the players have just tuned their leader out.

But enough about the New York Jets.

The Knicks lost again yesterday, and again in embarrassing fashion. The Thunder, aided by the return of Russell Westbrook, took a 17 point first quarter lead, and expanded it to 26 by halftime. New York might have well been that team in your rec league that everyone beats, because they offered little to no resistance.

The Knicks went into the game as the league’s worst defensive rebounding team. So how did their coach prepare for an above average rebounding team? Well he gave 31 minutes to two 6-10 guys that combined just barely top 10 reb/36. The results?

40.9% to 15.2%

Rebounding — OKC: 40.9% — NYK: 15.2%

Honestly he did give a handful of minutes to Cole, who earned kudos from the Knick announcers when on the floor. (And I could have sworn he had 3 blocks, not 2). But it was less than either Wear or Smith. At this point it’s hard to determine if Fisher sees rebounding as a huge gaping hole on the Knicks defense, or if he just doesn’t have anyone else (other than Cole) that can fix the problem, so he just punts it every game. If the latter, then it’s up to Phil to put someone on the bench that can grab opponent misses.

With the Jets, they’re likely to lose their coach after the season. The same is unlikely with the Knicks. But the Jets have another problem: is their front office GM the solution, or just another problem? Idzik’s drafts haven’t panned out. The Jets’ main problems before Idzik joined, QB and DB, have only gotten worse despite spending high draft picks on them. So far it’s unclear what kind of GM Phil Jackson is, but this team has a cavernous flaw in rebounding. Can he recognize the problem & help the team with a personnel move, or is he oblivious to what the advanced stats have made so obvious?

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18 comments on “Knicks 78, Thunder 105. Just End The Season.

  1. Donnie Walsh

    2 weeks ago the 3-8 Knicks beat up the 2-7 Nuggets…

    …Now the Knicks are 4-13 and the Nuggets are 8-8.

    I guess losing to the Knicks was a real gut-check for Denver.

  2. Donnie Walsh

    Hey, with DeRozan out indefinitely, maybe the Raps could be looking for a stop-gap SG? We got a few for sale, if the price is right! (Or if the price is anything, for that matter)

  3. tastycakes

    Last night was the night where I flipped from “begrudgingly rooting for the Knicks” to “rooting against them, as it’s in their best interest.”

    A high lottery pick is the only good thing likely to come out of this season now! Hope for the worst you guys.

  4. JK47

    A high lottery pick is the only good thing likely to come out of this season now! Hope for the worst you guys.

    My teams are Knicks/Raiders/Mets. I spend most of my life hoping my teams lose so they get better draft picks.

  5. stratomatic

    The downside of rooting to tank the season is that if we are horrible it might be very difficult to get any quality free agents to sign here. Why would Marc Gasol leave a major contender that can offer him more money to come to NY to play with Melo and be very mediocre?

  6. stratomatic

    Mike,

    I think this coach and front office are NOT particularly sensitive to advanced stats or models that tell you who the most productive players are. I think they are more geared towards team building. By that I mean they are trying to put players on the court that fit well together. Both are important, but you can tell by the minutes allocation that Fisher does NOT know who his best players are.

  7. Kahnzy

    This team doesn’t have any “best players.” Some of you guys getting all up in arms over the rotations need to take a good look at this roster. When you have a team comprised of mostly bad and/or one-way players, you’re going to be a bad team with a bad record.

    Cole is nice and all and I’m all aboard the “give him more minutes” train, but he’s not that good; he’s no Brow. Other than that, who isn’t getting enough minutes? As far as most of us are concerned, most everyone else is getting too many minutes. Well, someone’s gotta play and Prigs can’t play 48/night.

    Most of us knew this team was, at best, a fringe playoff team that would get knocked out in the first round, and that was mostly dependent on the lack of decent teams competing for the last few playoff spots. Hell, the bottom of the East is so bad that that’s actually still a possibility. And as much as I prefer to watch my teams win rather than lose, I think we can all agree that missing the playoffs in this scenario would actually be better.

    I also hope no one thought Jackson would come in and turn the team around in his first year when he had almost nothing to work with. Yes, the contract he gave Melo wasn’t good but I’m more interested in what he does this off-season when he actually has multiple decisions to make and options to play with. The same with Fish; his rotations have been confusing, but like I said earlier it’s not like he’s got a bunch of studs he’s keeping glued to the bench. With the exception of Melo and Cole, our front-court is among the worst in the league and it’s about to get even worse with the return of Bargs. Our back-court isn’t much better. Shump is regressing to the mean (probably the biggest disappointment), TH2 probably can’t even spell the word defense, and JR thinks “triangle” means try shooting shots at weird off-balance angles. Prigs and Calderon are nice, but old and slow.

  8. BigBlueAL

    I give Fisher a pass for this season, hopefully he learns from his mistakes and next season with better players he is better prepared to coach them. He seems like a smart, thoughtful guy so you just hope he uses everything at his disposal to help make coaching decisions.

  9. SJK

    My teams are Knicks/Raiders/Mets. I spend most of my life hoping my teams lose so they get better draft picks.

    @JK47 Wow I thought I was the only Knicks, Raiders fan. Solidarity. In Khalil Mack we trust my friend.

  10. Donnie Walsh

    Maybe I missed it, but has anybody here talked about this documentary MSG is airing on Tuesday inside Carmelo’s free agency tour this summer. It seems to be as all-access as imaginable, with Melo wavering for 13 days between the Bulls $74 mil offer and the Knicks mega-max.

    “It comes down to winning to me, and that’s what they’re about. That’s what I like,” he says of the Bulls after their pitch meeting to him.

    But his manager hammers into him the benefit of staying: “You also got factor money — even though it ain’t about money — you want to win and got to understand what New York is trying to do and he gets that. He gets Phil Jackson being a winner. They don’t do a sign and trade with Chicago — that’s $74 million as opposed close to $129 million. That’s a no-brainer.’’

    (Since I don’t get MSG, I hope somebody here posts a full review (with transcript!) of this movie :)

  11. hoolahoop

    I was more excited for this season to start than most in recent memory, expecting the knicks to come out and play harder defense than their opponents every night, combined with a sophisticated, high-IQ, cohesive offense, under the umbrella of PJ’s zen wisdom of winning culture.

    When does PJ’s 12.5/year magic start happening?

  12. Kahnzy

    I was more excited for this season to start than most in recent memory, expecting the knicks to come out and play harder defense than their opponents every night, combined with a sophisticated, high-IQ, cohesive offense, under the umbrella of PJ’s zen wisdom of winning culture.

    When does PJ’s 12.5/year magic start happening?

    If you were expecting all of that to happen with this roster in just a few months…well, I don’t know what to tell you other than you were setting yourself up for disappointment from the get-go with such unreasonable expectations. Phil Jackson is a proven “take a contending team over the top” guy, and I don’t know what team you were watching last season, but we certainly weren’t a contending team.

    He’s got 5 years (because I doubt he’s re-upping when his contract expires given his age) to basically build this team from the ground up. Maybe give him more than a few months in which he’s really not had much to work with given the decisions of his predecessors. His only major moves so far have been to resign Melo (which that one I’ll concede wasn’t a great basketball move, a good business move because Melo puts butts in seats and gets his team national airtime, but a bad basketball move) and to trade Chandler for Calderon. As much as I miss Chandler, he was leaving after this season when his contract expired, so at least we got something for him before we lost him for nothing this offseason.

    Also, who cares what he’s getting paid? It’s Dolan’s money and doesn’t have anything to do with our cap. Dolan could pay him 50 mil a year if he wanted to and I still wouldn’t understand why anyone would care about it.

  13. stratomatic

    Kahnzy,

    OK. I’ll concede the Knicks don’t have have any “best” players. Let’s call them the “least bad” players. Fisher does not recognize the “least bad” players on the team. Does that make you feel better? Seriously, you are correct that it wouldn’t make much difference, but it’s not a good sign when you are giving Jason Smith and Travis Weer any minutes let alone playing them more than Cole Aldrich.

  14. massive

    Just cross your fingers and hope we land Jahlil Okafor in the draft, people. That’s all it’s worth this season; the #1 pick in the draft.

  15. swiftandabundant

    @ 16

    Have you considered the possibility that certain players are playing more minute bc Jackson wants them featured in the hopes of trading them this season? Certainly with Amare and JR (and to a lesser degree Dalembert and Smith and Bargnani if he ever comes back) I could see this as a real possibility.

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