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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Knicks Morning News (2018.11.15)

  • [NYDN] Knicks lineup changes flop in loss to Thunder
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 7:50:00 PM)

    OKLAHOMA CITY — David Fizdale’s lineup changes didn’t pay off.

    In desperate need of better ball movement, the Knicks head coach slotted point guard Emmanuel Mudiay and small forward Kevin Knox into the starting rotation for Frank Ntilkina and Damyean Dotson.

    But neither move worked as Paul George…

  • [Hoops Rumors] Knicks Notes: Lineup, Hezonja, Porzingis, Lee
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:34:12 PM)

    The Knicks are making a couple changes to their starting lineup, as Marc Berman of The New York Post tweets. Emmanuel Mudiay and Kevin Knox are set to replace Frank Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson in the club’s starting five. According to Berman (via Twitter), head coach David Fizdale referred to Mudiay today as the Knicks’ […]

  • [FOXsports] George scores 35 points, leads Thunder past Knicks 128-103
    (Thursday, November 15, 2018 1:11:53 AM)

    George scored 18 points in the first half and Adams added 15 to help the Thunder take a 65-49 lead.

  • [NYPost] Former teammate makes a joke about Enes Kanter’s defense
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 11:04:40 PM)

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Enes Kanter and his former Thunder teammate Steven Adams were up to their old zany antics Wednesday at Chesapeake Arena. “He always tries to troll me and tells me I suck, but it’s all love in the end,” Kanter said after scoring 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting in the Knicks’…

  • [NYPost] Knicks destroyed by Russell Westbrook-less Thunder
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 5:27:20 PM)

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Knicks already had posted one victory Wednesday with mounting evidence Kevin Durant’s rift in Golden State may be irreparable. Durant, who once fled this town when few here expected it, has momentum to bolt again in July, with the Knicks possibly on his radar. Nevertheless, the Knicks couldn’t summon a second…

  • [NYPost] The big rookie test that awaits Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:14:15 PM)

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Knicks rookie center Mitchell Robinson figures to get a warm welcome Friday, when he returns to his hometown of New Orleans for the first time as an NBA player. In fact, his high school, Chalmette High, will play a matinee game at Smoothie King Arena to honor Robinson’s big moment before the Knicks…

  • [NYPost] Now Mudiay rises as Knicks debuting faster starting lineup
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 8:29:18 AM)

    OKLAHOMA CITY — David Fizdale wants to be fast again. In a move to try to jolt the offense while sacrificing some defense, the Knicks coach announced his second starting-lineup shake-up of the young season, inserting Emmanuel Mudiay as starting point guard and reinserting rookie lottery-pick Kevin Knox at small forward. Out are offensively challenged…

  • [NYTimes] Magic 111, 76ers 106: Jimmy Butler Can’t Prevent Collapse in 76ers Debut
    (Thursday, November 15, 2018 3:20:22 AM)

    Butler scored 14 points for his new team but Philadelphia gave up a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter against Orlando.

  • [NYTimes] Larry Brown’s Senior Year Abroad
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 7:14:02 PM)

    Brown’s renowned wanderlust carried him to 15 coaching jobs in a five-decade career. His latest post is in Italy, and, so far, it hasn’t been easy.

  • [NYTimes] Draymond Green’s Feud With Kevin Durant Casts Shadow Over Warriors
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 6:12:15 PM)

    Green didn’t pass to Durant in the closing seconds of regulation in Monday’s loss. The ensuing argument led to his suspension.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks takeaways from Wednesday’s 128-103 blowout loss to Thunder
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 10:45:45 PM)

    The Knicks tried a new starting five on Wednesday night, but it didn’t work as Paul George led the Thunder to a dominant 128-103 win on their home court.

  • [SNY Knicks] Potential Knicks draft target Zion Williamson continues dominance vs. Eastern Michigan
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 9:29:21 PM)

    It was supposed to be a blowout when the Eastern Michigan Eagles traveled to Cameron Indoor to face the No. 1 Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday night. And it was thanks to the team’s leading scorer in Zion Williamson.

  • [SNY Knicks] Kevin Knox, Emmanuel Mudiay will start Wednesday night as Knicks shake up lineup
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 11:57:33 AM)

    Knicks head coach David Fizdale hinted after Sunday’s loss to the Magic that changes could be coming.

  • [SNY Knicks] Could Kevin Durant’s spat with Draymond Green impact decision to join Knicks?
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:00:34 PM)

    Was Monday night’s Warriors confrontation the last straw in Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Knicks?

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis talks rehab: ‘Now that it’s getting closer, I can taste it’
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 11:15:15 AM)

    There has never been a real timetable on Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis as he recovers from surgery to repair his ACL, but he’s making progress — shooting on court while sprinting off court.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks trying to find right role for Mario Hezonja
    (Wednesday, November 14, 2018 10:51:32 AM)

    Knicks forward Mario Hezonja said Tuesday that he needs to “definitely work more for my teammates.” But the question for David Fizdale remains: Where?

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    128 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2018.11.15)

    1. Max

      In a league that’s hell for the gamblers (in the last two weeks nearly 50% of the betting favorites lost their games) we’re one of the few teams you can bet on reasonably cool.

      Usually it takes me until january to give up and refuse to lose sleep watching the games live, but this year I’m already in with next morning DVR.

      Losses are expected, what puzzles me is that we’re getting worse in energy and effort, this new trend of being out of the game after the first quarter is not fun.

      I’m all in for patience, I believe it’s fool to give up on 19 and 20 years old players (and please NO John Wall thank you) and that this season is all about growing (and growing pains) still I reiterate my questions on Fiz.

      Yes, we’re short on talent, but right now our offense looks like a bunch of headless hens running around the courtyard and our defense could be described as the NY’s version of Marostica’s Living Chess Game (same reactivity less charm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb5rpJ9csUU).
      It’ll be a long winter before reaching Zion (or RJ, or Cam…).

      P.S.
      After a loss in which his team gave up a 21-0 run in the 4th then didn’t score in the last 3 ½ minutes, he went 6-20 (2-16 after starting 4-4) and was shredded by Nicola Vucevic (watch the game if you don’t believe me), NBA Game Time started his recap of ORL-PHI with “… congratulations to Joel Embiid for his first triple double…”.
      Westbrook’s MVP showed that this silliness is more important than winning the fucking games, but this is getting ridicoluos, especially with the new pace of the game.
      And BTW what’s up with Simmons?

    2. Z-man

      Before the season there was consensus that we were possibly the worst team in the league. Then I, among others, pointed out that scrubby teams can catch better teams early, sort of like we did the last 3 years. We competed well but still lost, and that takes the starch out of a team. Now better teams like WSH and OKC are no longer vulnerable. I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost like 15 games in a row with lots of blowouts.

    3. Frank

      Shocking — SHOCKING I say that adding a 19 year old rookie and Emmanuel Mudiay to the starting lineup (and taking out the two best perimeter defenders on the team in Frank+Dotson) led to complete and utter defensive breakdowns all over the place.

      Also shocking was the fact that THJ got lit up again by the opponent’s best scorer. If I played daily fantasy leagues I would 100% draft THJ’s counterpart every single day.

      Also shocking was the fact that when you count on Mario Hezonja to play help defense, it is not going to go well.

      But MOST shocking was the idea that a team that had Enes Kanter for years and watched opposing teams exploit him over and over again in PNR coverage knew exactly how to expose him over and over again.

      Meanwhile, Steven Adams is just a beast. What a great player.

    4. Frank

      I would love to think all these lineup changes are a way of stealth-tanking. “we’re trying to find the best combination” could also be “we are making sure we don’t”.

      I mean, didn’t Fizdale say they look at lineup data? What part of a +6.1 net rating and 98th percentile defense in 394 possessions did he not like out of the starting lineup? One bad 5 minute stretch vs Orlando?

      (by the way the Mudiay/THJ/Knox/Vonleh/MRob lineup in very very limited (58) possessions has a net rating of -58.6 and a DRtg of 155 – TAKE THAT FOR DATA)

    5. Bruno Almeida

      Yeah, and Adams really does look like the kind of guy that would say something like that, not out of malice, he’s just goofy and weird. As much as I generally dislike the Thunder I can’t help but enjoy watching him, just so much effort and grind every possession.

      I do think this team will lose the next 8-11 games as they’re all tough games, then December gets a bit better with us playing Charlotte twice, the Cavs, Hawks, Nets and Suns. In the end all there is to be done is steady the course, keep putting confidence in those young players and let them make those rookie mistakes, it’s a part of the process.

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

      Steven Adams just told David Fizdale re: Kanter: “Sub him out. He doesn’t know how to play defense. We’re running pick and roll every time. Sub him out.”

      lmao

      Yeah, but he has good boxscore stats! :-)

    7. Max

      To be clear, I’m not shocked at all, everybody knows we’re going to lose a lot of games,
      only right now we’re losing badly and without the small “sparks” (Trier’s 20-point games, Robinson goin’ straight to the HOF after 10 pro games as someone seems to suggest just days ago, Dotson’s double-double streak, Frank hitting 3 3pt in a game) that made losing easier to digest.

      My DVR’s going to crash before the end of the year :-)

      … And Adams is a very solid and underrated player.

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

      Honestly, I’m beginning to lose a bit of respect for Fizdale.

      IMO, this lineup stuff shouldn’t be that complicated. We have quite a few guys that are one-way players. If you put too many of the same type on the court at the same time you are going to have major issues on the other side of the ball. It compounds! One bad defender is a problem that can be dealt with, 2 bad defenders is more than twice as bad, 3 bad defenders is a catastrophe.

      The thing is, our one-way offensive players are not even good at that. They are really zero-way players on offense and -1 on defense. However, a couple of our defenders are actually pretty good at defense. We should probably be playing defense first lineups the most minutes.

      Robinson, Vonleh, Dotson, Hardaway, and Frank is OK. If they want to take a shot with Knox in place of Vonhleh at times that’s understandable. But you can’t possibly have 3 player combinations of Burke, Hardaway, Knox, Hezonja, Kanter, and Mudiay out there.

      (KP changes things a little because he plays both sides and makes it easier to construct balanced lineups).

      I’m in favor of some experimentation to try to find the best combinations, but some combinations are so obviously going to be terrible I don’t see the point.

      I’d rather see Baker getting minutes than some of the people we are throwing out there now. Baker can’t score at all, but he CAN defend.

      Trier can score, and as far as I can is not a horror show on defense.

    9. Hubert

      Adams and Kanter are allegedly best friends and Adams was probably just trolling his buddy. But everything he said is true.

    10. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I don’t think the Knicks have a single good line up because the one-way players on this team aren’t very good at their one way. Frank is a great on ball defender but doesn’t create turnovers or rebound well. Tim Hardaway Jr is a decent scorer but isn’t the 600 TS% guy that can carry an offense. Vonleh, Trier, and Dotson are good enough on both ends, but the personnel around them requires they be better than they actually are. Knox is trade bait, Mitch struggles to rebound, Mudiay’s contract shouldn’t exist, Hezonja sucks, Kanter can’t play defense when the other team passes the ball, and Fizdale is trying to figure out who can actually play.

      By the trade deadline I’d be surprised if we have more than 12 wins.

    11. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      @11 the Thunder were definitely running the P&R every time down the floor, and Kanter could do nothing to stop it. My rooting interest last night was watching Frank run the offense and screaming “bro do something!” after he got into the teeth of the defense but passed it back out to the perimeter.

      Fizdale needs to lock Ntilikina in a room and make him watch film on Kevin Knox. If Kevin Knox can attack the rim on literally every play he touches the ball (he got an assist by accident last night), Frank Ntilikina can shoot the ball a dozen times a contest. I don’t care if they go in or not, the point guard needs to shoot.

    12. Hubert

      I don’t think the Knicks have a single good line up because the one-way players on this team aren’t very good at their one way.

      I think you’re absolutely right. I don’t think the lineups I’ve been suggesting are going to improve the results. I just think when you’re this shit, why not get blown out while playing optimally and with the players most likely to be part of the future (i.e. not Mudiay, Kanter, Hezonja)?

      Having said that, I also understand the human part of it. Fizdale needs to try in the beginning. Let’s wait and see what he’s doing in February before we make judgments about him.

      If you’re thin slicing, though, the ATO dysfunction is more of a concern than the two-big offense.

    13. thenamestsam

      I don’t particularly care about Fiz’s lineup choices. Our only team-wide goal this year is to lose enough to have a realistic shot at one of the top picks. Everything else important that’s happening on this team is related to the individual progression of the guys who are potential long-term pieces here. I don’t have a problem with putting those guys in a bunch of different combinations as a way to challenge them to stretch different parts of their games. As long as those guys are playing it’s all good. As a side note since I know people will bring up Frank I’ll say that benching a guy for part of one game can be developmentally beneficial if it teaches a lesson; what we can’t have is Fiz deciding that Frank is only going to play 5 minutes a night.

      That’s why I’m much more concerned about the lack of sophistication of the offense. I keep thinking about what the Nets have managed to do completely without draft assets, but with a well-coached, modern system that has (I think) helped them develop a lot of fringey talents into pretty interesting players. I don’t think running such a clunky offense is doing our young guys any favors from a developmental perspective.

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

      I’m not so sure you can run a sophisticated offense when your best pure PG is Burke and quite a few of your players that can defend can’t shoot or score. I think we have to develop the young players that are probably going to be part of the long term, but we should at least put combinations on the court that make some basketball sense. There’s no point to losing by 25 every night trying to run an offense that your players are incapable of executing.

    15. Hubert

      I’m open to giving Fizdale the benefit of the doubt in the sense that these players might look so bad in practice he can’t even try this shit in a game.

      I mean, the “useful vets” on this team are Kanter, Mudiay, Thomas, and Hezonja. It’s got to be hard to mix raw kids with that and put anything good together.

    16. wetbandit

      Can anyone come up with a good lineup? I honestly cannot. And stats don’t help because no 5-man combo played more than 100 minutes yet. Unreal.
      Best I can do is bench Frank to light a fire under his ass, or just send him to W-Knicks, then start Mudiay, Dotson, Hardaway, Vonleh, Robinson, with Trier first off the bench, then Frank, Kanter (significant minutes only to up his trade value), Knox, Hezonja…

    17. d-mar

      I’m still trying to figure out what the Knicks front office saw in Knox that compelled them to draft him at #9 (when I believe a lot of draft boards had him going in the 2nd round) I don’t see freaky athleticism (he actually moves kind of awkwardly) I don’t see lights out shooting and I definitely don’t see a strong defender.

      Was it the Kentucky pedigree? I’m not ready to write him off yet, but I have seen absolutely nothing thus far to suggest Kevin Knox is a legit NBA player.

    18. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I think the best possible lineup (for winning, lol) is:

      1. Mudiay
      2. Hardaway
      3. Dotson
      4. Vonleh
      5. Robinson

      that’s a terrible starting 5.

      @20

      They literally said it was because of a great 3 on 3 workout where he roasted Miles Bridges lol. That’s the brain trust we have steering the ship at the moment.

    19. Hubert

      I’m still trying to figure out what the Knicks front office saw in Knox that compelled them to draft him at #9

      We’re not joking when we talk about the 3-on-3 workout. I mean, we are, but we’re making fun of it because it’s true.

      I believe a lot of draft boards had him going in the 2nd round

      He was definitely a late lottery pick. Just should have been later.

    20. d-mar

      Alternate universe: replace Frank with Donovan Mitchell and Knox with Mikal Bridges

      (Aw fuck, why do I do this to myself?)

    21. DRed

      If you were trying to win you’d probably start with something like Robinson-Dotson/Vonleh-Timmy-Frank-Burke. It’s tough-a lot of our players are extreme one way guys. Our best two way player is probably a low usage center who came to the NBA out of low level Louisiana HS basketball. The guys who can score don’t pass, the guys who can play defense can’t shoot.

    22. DRed

      Shit, Enes fucking Kanter is averaging more assists than 5 of our rotation wing players (Hezonja, Dotson, Thomas, Knox and Trier). Not really sure how you get a motion offense out of that.

    23. jazzfunk

      I still believe that there is a young Bernie Williams timidity issue with Frank. Frank can shoot, drive and defend. His passing remains a deficiency, but the rest of his game is centered around confidence. It took Bernie at least 3 seasons of struggles (and Mel Hall’s departure) to gather steam.

    24. Frank

      I mean if we wanted the best starting lineup why wouldn’t we just play the one that had a very good net rating already (Frank/THJ/Dot/Vonleh/MRob)?

      by the way re: Donovan Mitchell – he’s a great story but he DOES have a 51.4 TS on 28.8 usage, which I would not call a positive contribution. It is not a ridiculous argument to say that Derrick Rose has had a much better year than Mitchell (both have been better than Ntilikina, unfortunately). It’s still early yet, I suppose.

      by the way can we give Knox more than 140 minutes played before we bury him? Maybe wait until at least, like 500 minutes?

    25. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I think Knox needs 2500 minutes this season so he can put up great counting stats. Portland is going to deteriorate soon and when they do, we need to put up a similar offer to the Lakers for Damian Lillard (anything close to what LAL/PHX offers and he’s ours by virtue of being in the opposite conference). I’m not kidding when I call Knox trade bait. He’s both young enough that most teams would want him in any deal and bad enough that we shouldn’t mind losing him. Maybe someday he develops into Danilo Gallinari, but I don’t want to wait 6 years for that potential to come around. If/when we land KD, draft Zion, and give KP a max contract, we can’t afford to waste $25M in salary on TH2 and Knox.

    26. d-mar

      @27 yeah, Frank, I agree about Mitchell, he puts up a ton of shots and at not great efficiency. I think the sports cognoscenti went a little too gaga over him last year (although he did have a pretty strong playoffs)

      But there’s a ton of talent there, if you surround him with a few more scorers and have him take less shots, he could be really good long term.

      (And I’m not burying Knox, just saying I don’t see much to be optimistic about)

    27. Hubert

      Shit, Enes fucking Kanter is averaging more assists than 5 of our rotation wing players (Hezonja, Dotson, Thomas, Knox and Trier). Not really sure how you get a motion offense out of that.

      I agree, but this is as much a product of our offense. How do you expect players to get assists when no one is moving and so much is ISO?

      I would rather force players to move and pass until they get better at it than run an offense that caters to all the aspects of their game that are terrible.

    28. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      I know this is very off topic, but I’d be so upset if Zion Williamson ends up a Cleveland Cavalier.

    29. Bruno Almeida

      Mitchell has regressed a bit so far this season, it seems he’s really struggling shooting. It’s what I talked with my concerns about him, that as an older rookie who was impressive in his first season his ceiling would be somewhat limited, as his stats were impressive for an unheralded rookie but not very good overall. His production so far this season has been a lot like Andrew Wiggins, which is ok for a 2nd year player but not the superstar everyone thought he would develop into after the impressive rookie season. He’s also only one year younger than Wiggins, and there’s obviously still a lot he can develop, but the media and the fans definitely went too far on the hype.

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

      by the way can we give Knox more than 140 minutes played before we bury him? Maybe wait until at least, like 500 minutes?

      Some people want to play him to help the tank. :-)

      He has been dreadful, but it’s way too soon to know anything other than he’s better than Miles Bridges in 3 on 3 basketball. So he should at least have a good career in the BIG3 eventually.

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

      It’s what I talked with my concerns about him, that as an older rookie who was impressive in his first season his ceiling would be somewhat limited

      I agree.

      Mikal Bridges has been pretty solid so far and has worked himself into the starting lineup. But how much better will he get beyond being a solid 3&D player given he’s a few years older than some of the other rookies out there?

      Same with Trier.

    32. wetbandit

      It’s also a function of developing players. It’s not as if Frank or Knox were drafted by San Antonio they’d be the same players they are today, or in two years.
      I think Frank needs some fire and can do some good for himself with time off, shooting drills, and Westchester.

    33. Owen

      I was trashing Knox last night. It was a a little tongue in cheek. You can’t give up on young players, of course. But really, he doesn’t look like a goer. His game consists of a little transition, and some threes. The rest seems to be mostly driving towards the back right pylon and then wildly hoisting it towards the rim. I know “shoot it every time you touch it” is a sound strategy for maximizing NBA revenue, so I applaud him on exploiting that market quirk, but there doesn’t seem to be much else there.

      I hope to be proved wrong.

    34. Zanzibar

      Robinson goin’ straight to the HOF after 10 pro games as someone seems to suggest just days ago

      You rang? I said future star not HOF. Wait another month and then we’ll talk HOF ;) I was wrong about future star – he’s already a star since >=5 BPM is considered a star and guess what his BPM is? Click HERE

      STATE OF THE KNICKS
      Above Average Starters: KP, Mitch
      Average Starter: Timmy
      Solid Bench Players: Dotson, Trier, Frank, Burke, Vonleh
      Busts: Hez, Enes, Mudiay, Baker, Lance, Knox (pending)

      We need 2 starters. Get a wing in draft if top 5 pick and sign Kyrie and we’re there. Or sell highish on Knox and trade him at deadline if something opens up.

    35. thenamestsam

      The Nets have made their offense work over the last few years without anyone who is at all heralded as a lead ball handler. Atkinson’s first year their leading assist guys were Isiah Whitehead and Dinwiddie, and then Levert has grown into more of that role over the last couple years. You can introduce the style even if you don’t have the players to make it hum at the highest levels. It’s not like the current simplistic offense is doing something special (25th overall). So even if we don’t have the guys to make a more modern system work well it couldn’t drop us that far, the basketball would be more entertaining, and pushing guys towards what you want them to become is developmentally beneficial. I’d rather see Frank get reps (and fail) trying to run a good offense then see him get reps (and fail) trying to run a bad offense.

    36. ptmilo

      I mean, it’s permissible to say the kid looks like one of those natgeo videos of a baby giraffe dropping out of the womb into a straight walk and at first you’re like ‘holy shit that’s amazing look at the incipient gangly coordination potential’ but summer league ends and then you’re like ‘oh no don’t go anywhere near those adult animals over there wobbly baby giraffe that’s going to be quite scary for you,’ without really meaning you’ve given up on him forever.

      we can probably agree that not all 19 year old lottery picks look quite this much out of their depth, even very early on. some do and nonetheless develop, many more don’t.

    37. Frank

      I think we might be romanticizing the Nets a bit much here. Atkinson’s first year (2016-17) they were 28th in offense and last year they were 21st in offense. It is true they had a more discernible system but to say those were good outcomes is pretty optimistic.

    38. Hubert

      You can’t give up on young players, of course

      You can’t. But he is the type that you can give up on sooner.

    39. Frank

      I mean, it’s permissible to say the kid looks like one of those natgeo videos of a baby giraffe dropping out of the womb into a straight walk and at first you’re like ‘holy shit that’s amazing look at the incipient gangly coordination potential’ but summer league ends and then you’re like ‘oh no don’t go anywhere near those adult animals over there wobbly baby giraffe that’s going to be quite scary for you,’ without really meaning you’ve given up on him forever.

      we can probably agree that not all 19 year old lottery picks look quite this much out of their depth, even very early on. some do and nonetheless develop, many more don’t.

      lololol that’s exactly what I think when I see Knox play. He looks like a baby deer or giraffe that doesn’t really know how to use its legs yet.

      Actually you know what stands out to me is that it doesn’t look like he has good ankle flexibility or control. I wonder whether that is fixable.

    40. Hubert

      it’s permissible to say the kid looks like one of those natgeo videos of a baby giraffe dropping out of the womb into a straight walk and at first you’re like ‘holy shit that’s amazing look at the incipient gangly coordination potential’ but summer league ends and then you’re like ‘oh no don’t go anywhere near those adult animals over there wobbly baby giraffe that’s going to be quite scary for you,’ without really meaning you’ve given up on him forever.

      Congrats on 2018’s best metaphor.

    41. ProjectKnicks

      There is no ‘best’ lineup with this group, guys. Stop the wishful thinking.

      We have no talent. We are rebuilding from zero. Most of these guys won’t be in the NBA in two years. A couple of them might make it as journeymen subs. Fizdale is a bad coach handed a worse roster – no chance in hell he will achieve anything.

      This is what rock bottom looks like, folks.

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

      I hear Jarret Jack is available to tutor Frank. ;-)

    43. TheOakmanCometh

      This is not rock bottom. Rock bottom is being terrible AND having no one with upside AND not having your draft pick AND being locked into long-term contracts with aging vets. We are terrible and locked into one bad contract with an aging vet (Noah) and one bad contract with a prime-age vet (THJ). But we have our pick, and a few guys with upside, and some cap flexibility.

      All things considered, better than where most Knick teams have been since 2002.

    44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Rock bottom was 2014-15, full stop.

      1) 29th in ORtg.
      2) 28th in DRtg.

      Edit: 30th in SRS. Pythag dead on at 17 wins. Awful.

      3) Amar’e still on the books and waived at the deadline.
      4) Carmelo in year one of the NTC horror show, promptly injured.
      5) Bargnani is under contract, only for a huge cost and salary.
      6) No Knick starts more than 42 games in the entire season.
      7) Knicks win two meaningless games in the final week to drop to #2 in the draft.
      8) Knicks drop 2 slots in the lottery.
      9) Traded Chandler for the rotting corpses of Calderon and Dalembert.

      There may never be a worse season than 2014-15, and for the Knicks, that’s really saying something. The only thing that could have been worse is if it were 2016 and they had no 1st rounder because, haha, surprise! Bargnani trade.

    45. JK47

      In summer league, against crud opposition, Knox actually looked pretty decent at times. But I dunno, in the NBA he looks a lot like the most negative parts of his scouting report: doesn’t do much outside of score inefficiently, game consists heavily of low-percentage soft floaters and awkward layup attempts, has zero court vision, forces bad shots.

      He’s young but I didn’t like him coming out of the draft and I’m not too high on him after watching him play. I’m trying to envision the path where he becomes a plus player but, ehh, I dunno.

    46. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      We are in what is commonly referred to in economics as a double dip recession. That is, you hit rock bottom washing out the excesses and mistakes of the previous cycle (14/15), then you slowly start to recover and think you are the way back up, but a combination of bad policy moves and things out of your control (KP) sends you spiraling back down again.

    47. wetbandit

      This is exactly where we want to be, no? Bad, with very young talent that may or may not work out, with our draft picks.

    48. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I am optimistic only because they have all their draft picks and seem committed to a tank. If they pass on Zion — if he is on the board, and they pick anyone else — I will turn my back on this team forever.

      Rock-bottom could be 2014-15 or it could be passing up on Zion for R.J. Barrett scoring the same number of points on 30% more shot attempts. We will see.

    49. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Right now it looks like passing on Mount Zion would be a poor decision, but let’s get through a season of college basketball before we declare Zion the obviously superior prospect over RJ (and Cam Reddish, who looks like the best shooter, the best defender, and the tallest of the three).

    50. abk

      What are the differences between 3-on-3 and 5-on-5? I’d say:

      – more spacing
      – less help defense
      – less rim protection

      It’s a good thing if Knox can school Miles Bridges 1-on-1 in space. I think the issue is Knox doesn’t look like he’s able to score on rim protectors and double teams. He’s got to figure out how to get fouled more and not force his shot (e.g. pass to an open shooter), plus how to be a great shooter from distance.

    51. JK47

      Zion is going to be the #1 pick. I’ll be very, very surprised if anybody else is drafted ahead of him.

    52. abk

      Right now it looks like passing on Mount Zion would be a poor decision, but let’s get through a season of college basketball before we declare Zion the obviously superior prospect over RJ (and Cam Reddish, who looks like the best shooter, the best defender, and the tallest of the three)

      This!! The entire sports worlds collective inability to have patience before hyping players/teams is so insane.

    53. thenamestsam

      I think we might be romanticizing the Nets a bit much here. Atkinson’s first year (2016-17) they were 28th in offense and last year they were 21st in offense. It is true they had a more discernible system but to say those were good outcomes is pretty optimistic.

      That’s a fair rejoinder although I’m trying not to romanticize. I don’t think putting in some modern offense is going to make us way better. As I said, it may be true that it actually makes us worse in the short run, although how much worse we can be than the current offense is an open question. I do think it would undeniably make us more watchable.

      I think the most important question is what it does developmentally. My belief is that asking guys to try (and often fail) to do the things you ideally want them to be able to do is valuable, and that’s the case I would make for the Nets. 28th two years ago, 21st last year, 10th this year in offense , and that’s with no really significant talent additions. They’ve had some pretty nice internal development from some guys without high pick pedigrees. Obviously it’s impossible to say how those guys would have developed in a different system but I do think there’s something to be said for having a system. Right now it feels like Fiz is basically saying we don’t have the talent to have any system on offense and that seems like a bad idea from a developmental perspective to me.

    54. Donnie Walsh

      by the way can we give Knox more than 140 minutes played before we bury him?

      He was buried on draft day. Then resurrected after 128 summer league minutes. So really we’re just hitting the reset button, no?

    55. Grocer

      I don’t care about the lineup changes. Maybe he finds some two man combos that work well together, because we’ve got fuck all at the moment. They actually start to run a lot of things that look PNR-esque but fail miserably, as if neither person knows how to work with the other in an actual game situation. I don’t know if that’s because they aren’t practicing it but I kinda think that’s not the issue cause they are trying to run those plays. Kanter is our best screener and he’s not all that good at it. Our ball handlers are either too focused on getting to the hoop or too focused on passing to leverage the play. Nobody is consistently good at executing any part of a PNR, and we almost never have secondary options other than a full reset. It’s not clear if that’s on Fizdale or on inexperience/inability.

      I’m not sure how much of all this is on Fizdale. The defense works pretty damn well in general, considering how many bad defenders we’re putting on the court. The offense is constantly breaking down in the half court and devolving into guys freelancing on their own.

    56. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      When the world realizes that Zion Williamson is a shooting guard is when he’ll pass RJ Barrett, but we haven’t really seen Duke tested. Coach Cal’s teams are a joke when they don’t have the best players, and then they played Army and Eastern Michigan. There will be moments this season when Cam Reddish scores 35 points, and moments where RJ Barrett gets a triple double. Let’s just watch the 3DF play and we’ll see how things work out. What happens when Zion can’t just get to the basket at will and has to beat his man with a dribble move? Of course we could be looking at the most dominant basketball player since prime Shaq, but how likely is it that Zion plays an entire season shooting better than 80% from the field?

      I just hope the Knicks end up with Zion no matter where we pick. Nothing would make me happier than watching Zion Williamson in a Knicks uniform posterize Joel Embiid on national television.

    57. geo

      I know this is very off topic, but I’d be so upset if Zion Williamson ends up a Cleveland Cavalier.

      you very well just may have spoke this in to soon to be objective reality…

    58. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      (and Cam Reddish, who looks like the best shooter, the best defender, and the tallest of the three).

      Noah Vonleh is 6’10”. Bargnani is 7’0″. Hezonja is 6’8″. Mudiay is 6’5″. Andrew Wiggins is 6’8″. Anthony Bennett is 6’9″.

    59. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      oach Cal’s teams are a joke when they don’t have the best players

      And when it rains, it’s also wet outside.

      but how likely is it that Zion plays an entire season shooting better than 80% from the field?

      I’d bet real money that he ends the season over 70%. His shot selection is incredible, and much of his output is self-created. He is a dominant athlete with A+ basketball instincts.

      It’s like if you took Bo Jackson and put Mike Trout’s eyes on him. So, basically, it’s like having Mike Trout. But my point stands.

    60. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      This!! The entire sports worlds collective inability to have patience before hyping players/teams is so insane.

      How long have you been a regular here? Have you ever heard me this excited and confident about an NCAA prospect? This is an abnormal situation, not people hyping Wiggins as the next LeBron.

      And Steve Kerr:

      “I thought LeBron, I thought that was a one-shot deal, but apparently the next guy’s coming,” Kerr continued. “And before I get fined, I’m going to change the subject.”

    61. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      Man I really don’t want to sound like I’m against Zion Williamson, but the NBA Draft is really my favorite part of the sport. Before anything else, I think Zion Williamson is a 6’6″ 280 pound version of Russell Westbrook. I think if he were drafted to the Knicks he’d turn the franchise around overnight and would be a billionaire by age 30. I also know that Kentucky, Army, and Eastern Michigan are not good basketball teams. Zion Williamson is a hyper aggressive athlete who has yet to run into a defender with the type of lateral agility necessary to stop him from getting to his spots. Zion hasn’t shown he has a counter move in his arsenal as yet, and he’s going to need one since he’s a perimeter player. A lot of his excellent shot selection is because he’s been so fast nobody can stay in front of him or keep him from him spots.

      Again, we could be looking at the most dominant athlete of the generation here. LeBron is a similar freight train, but LeBron can’t handle it like Zion, nor does he have Zion’s ability to hop step a defender on a dime. I spent this entire post trying to convince myself that Zion shouldn’t already be crowned the #1 overall pick, but man. He can handle it, he’s a bully on the boards, and he has Derrick Rose’s speed and agility. Please let this guy be a Knick.

    62. Owen

      Zion is special because he is awesome statistically and because he is also the most visually exciting athlete to hit college basketball since….. I don’t know.

      Shaq was like this. I can remember him breaking rims and just being such an outsized behemoth you had to watch every time you could. There have been fewer of those guys than you would think though, although part of that is that so many guys went straight to the pros. Blake Griffin was a little bit like that in his second year. Allan Iverson was also appointment viewing in his own way at Georgetown. But Zion is way way out there on the hype curve and deservedly so.

    63. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      The first real real litmus test for Zion and Co. will be against #4 UVA in January. I’ll be very interested in seeing how Zion handles UVA’s excellent defense.

      On the other hand, Zion is going to murder Luke Maye in the UNC games, which makes me sad.

    64. Donnie Walsh

      At his 3-3 workout last summer, Knox must have looked to the Knicks the way Zion Williamson looked to Jowles in the Kentucky game.

    65. DRed

      My only concerns so far with Zion are his freakish size. 6’7″ 285 is NFL big. That’s a blocking TE or a rush LB. I don’t buy that he’d be the second heaviest player in the NBA right now, but he’s only 18 years old. How big is he going to get? Can you play 70+ games if you’re 6’7″ 305?

    66. thenoblefacehumper

      I can’t get too up in arms about what arrangement the deckchairs on the Titanic are in to begin the game. Just get the guys we should be looking to develop minutes any way you can.

      I think Zion will be a truly historic prospect. Once every 5-7 drafts kind of guy. Get in the damn bottom 3.

    67. Donnie Walsh

      Shaq was like this. I can remember him breaking rims and just being such an outsized behemoth you had to watch every time you could. There have been fewer of those guys than you would think though, although part of that is that so many guys went straight to the pros. Blake Griffin was a little bit like that in his second year. Allan Iverson was also appointment viewing in his own way at Georgetown.

      How did Shaq and Mahmoud Abdul Rauf, one of the greatest inside players and one of the great shooters ever to play in the NBA, team up to come in 3rd in the SEC? (Oh, right, Robert Horry’s a “winner”, I forgot).

    68. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      We all know what’s going to happen. The Knicks are going to have a bottom 3 spot all but clinched. Then Hardaway is going to go on the greatest tear of his life and win 4 games in a row all by himself. He’ll celebrate each victory like it was the greatest thing since the show Deadwood.

    69. Bruno Almeida

      Well, I do think Zion will struggle sometimes, he’ll face better competition and it will expose some weaknesses he has on his game because, damn, he’s 18. Even Lebron at age 18 was very far from the greatness we saw developing later, he had no 3 point shot and struggled shooting from anywhere that wasn’t a dunk, but the whole package was there. I don’t know if Zion will figure things out as Lebron did, if he has the same insane work ethic and intelligence for the game or if his body will hold up, and my guess is he doesn’t at the same level because nobody is Lebron, but I don’t want to be the one to pass on him and find out later.

    70. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I would love to have a dime for every time Jowles has said he will turn his back on this team if they do this. I’d have at least a dollar.

      Me too. This is a bright line though.

    71. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      You know what I miss? NY bagels. The bagels out here are shit. Like truly terrible. I’ve started buying frozen bagels from Trader Joe’s because all of the “boiled bagel” places are basically shit round bread with a stupid hole for no reason whatsoever. Every weekend I make breakfast sandwiches — ghee-fried bacon with fried egg and cream cheese on a toasted pretzel bagel — and I know if I just had one of those shiny, beautiful works of art, my life would be that much better. I don’t know what it is about Portland that makes good bagels — crisp shiny outside, fluffy airy gorgeous fluff inside — all but impossible. Also pizza. There’s a place here in SE Portland that has incredible New Haven-style apizza, which I fell in love with when I lived around the corner from Modern Apizza, and I think they might actually do it better than the Yale places do it. But back to bagels: every time I visit my sister in Queens I get like three toasted bagels and just eat them concurrently. I almost have to plan the day around my carb coma, but it’s worth it.

      Anyway, the Knicks are fucking terrible and that’s okay.

    72. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

      @77

      I don’t know a thing about making pizza and bagels, but I once saw that issue discussed and some expert insisted that the local water was a factor in the quality of the dough. I’m not sure if was how hard the water is or what the PH is or whatever, but the water was key.

    73. wetbandit

      They don’t boil the bagels outside of New York, so it ends up just bread.
      Few places in LA have great bagels, and it’s not because they’re shipping the water from NY (myth)

    74. swiftandabundant

      There is a pizza place here in LA called Tomato Pie Pizza Joint. It is the only place I have found out here that has crust like the crust in NYC. Chewy but not too soft and easy to fold. The owner is originally from NYC and he said he put in a special filtration system to match the water like in NYC. The water thing is a real deal.

    75. alsep73

      Okay, this is slightly alarming in an “The East is big, man” kind of way:

      @StevePopper
      Fizdale with a little bit of a “Take that for data” moment at practice today. Pointed out that the lineup with Ntilikina and Dotson was 3rd in net rating among lineups he countered with his own stat: “We weren’t winning, so it’s not like it was winning games for us.”

    76. Jron Abney

      @81 Town Pizza in Highland Park is my choice for anything in LA that approximates pizza. Beats Tomato Pie by a city mile.

    77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Pointed out that the lineup with Ntilikina and Dotson was 3rd in net rating among lineups he countered with his own stat: “We weren’t winning, so it’s not like it was winning games for us.”

      “A full house ain’t a straight flush, so I folded.”

    78. alsep73

      A somewhat reassuring defense of the Fizdale quote:

      @JCMacriNBA

      People are already getting on Fiz for this quote.

      My 2 cents: he ain’t dumb. His rep around the NBA for years has been a guy who knew numbers intimately. He didn’t change overnight.

      His “winning” line is BS, IMO, but it sells a lot easier than “I’m tinkering, leave me alone.”

    79. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      The line up wasn’t good enough to win despite it being one of the best so far. Fizdale can change it as he pleases as far as I’m concerned.

    80. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I don’t know the writer, but “knew numbers intimately” could be any number of things. Does that mean he knew PPG and FG%? I’m not saying this quote is actually worrying me, but “he knows numbers” doesn’t really mean anything on its own.

    81. Mike Honcho

      There’s absolutely nothing stopping him from just going back to that lineup after a month or two of tinkering. This is hardly a big deal.

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

      When you lose as badly as we did in Orlando, most coaches will make changes. Fizdale obviously likes to experiment and try new arrangements too. It is probably true we would have lost by less if he hadn’t started Knox and Mudiay, I think he was more interested in finding out what those two can do than in anything else. That was the right priority for this year’s Knicks.

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

      Besides finding out what Mudiay and Knox can do, Mudiay and Knox probably benefit from finding out what they can’t do. Sometimes you can tell someone over and over they have to learn something, for example that certain shots won’t work against actual NBA defenses, but they don’t learn it until they experience it themselves. It’s frustrating to watch as a fan, but it increases the chances Mudiay and Knox will work on improving the right parts of their games.

    84. The Infamous Cdiggy

      @81, 83 and 84 – I’m Googling these places as we type.

      To somewhat parallel THCJ’s bagel-fest upon visiting home: I flew back to NYC for a quick wknd in early October to be the extra surprise for my mom’s 70th bday and surprise party. Stopped at a spot on Fordham Road and inhaled a buffalo chicken slice. Tried to eat a pepperoni slice too but I was too stuffed.

      My lady, an LA girl through and through (and the reason I’m now in LA), keeps insisting that the pizza here isn’t “that bad”. I tell her that she’s a homer: I remind her that when we were in NYC (well, White Plains) for Christmas ’16, we had brick oven pizza at a restaurant and even she had to admit it was truly delicious.

    85. swiftandabundant

      I think the big difference in pizza between LA and NYC is that in LA you can eat good pizza but you have to go to the right spots or a sit down place that does “fancy” pizza. The average and shitty cheap spots are truly awful. In NYC there are average spots everywhere that are pretty good. Hell, I used to live off the dollar slice joints and they were pretty good.

      But I like the food scene here overall better than NYC.

    86. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      The thing I hate most about Portland pizza is the price. I lived around the corner from a place that had 16″ “specialty” pies for $28-32. That’s absurd when your pizza isn’t even good.

    87. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      I’m not saying this quote is actually worrying me, but “he knows numbers” doesn’t really mean anything on its own.

      It means he’s the guy from Sesame Street who’s intimate with the number 8.

    88. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      By the way, Mozza in LA was really, really good pizza. I haven’t been in a couple of years, but I live in NYC and made a point of going back. And not just because I sat across from John C. Reilly at lunch.

      This morning I had an everything bagel toasted with butter from Ess-A-Bagel. Good enough for you, Jowles?

    89. BigBlueAL

      During one of the Duke broadcasts they mentioned that the Duke trainers have changed Zion’s workout habits a bit and his weight is down to the 270’s.

    90. Jron Abney

      Mozza is expensive and celebrity cheffy but decent at best for Neapolitan. It couldn’t sniff Motorino’s jock. The tacos are great in LA. Better than anywhere in the world. Eat them. If you want good pizza fly to New York or pretend the best they have going is good enough.

    91. Owen

      I love this thread.

      I have always liked a New York Bagel, the Ess a Bagel on First was a spot I liked especially. But the bagels at Black Seed on 11th and First rocked my world harder than a Zion dunk. Their sesame bagel is out of this world and if you are downtown I highly highly recommend checking it out. I lived near there and have often gotten bagels right out of the oven and they are literally the most delicious bread stuffs I have ever had in my life.

      Important note, they are actually Montreal bagels, not a New York bagel. Different animal. The place has basically ruined my opinion of the NY bagel but it is what it is.

      Also, they don’t keep that well. They are not a great eat the next day bagel. They probably wouldnt travel well. But other than that, tremendous.

    92. Jron Abney

      Black Seed is a legit banger. Perhaps the best bagel in New York. If you’re ever in Boston head to Exodus Bagels in Jamaica Plain and get the Everywhere Bagel with horseradish cream cheese. Revelatory.

    93. Bo Nateman

      Went to Kenny and Zukes in Portland 5 years ago when it first opened. They tried to replicate NYC bagels and old school appetizing, but it was off the mark.

    94. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Yup, K & Z is overrated and overpriced. There’s also a place that’s purported to be a Jewish-style deli (Spielman Bagels) that is terrible and staffed by fashion-punk LA hipster college kids who just blankly stare at you when you throw them generous tips. (Sometimes I hate my fellow millennials as much as I hate boomers.) I’m also allergic to waiting in line for overpriced food. You can get me to wait an hour for Pok Pok or Toro Bravo, but I’ll be damned if I’m waiting that long for someone to poach a couple eggs over crusty toast and arugula.

      Blue Star Donuts has the best donut I’ve ever had. If you come to Portland and wait in line for a stale brioche with breakfast cereal sprinkled over the top, please, go home.

    95. The Infamous Cdiggy

      I must live on the wrong side of town here in LA.

      Maybe one of these days I can convince the lady to go to one of those spots yall mentioned.
      Much appreciated. Oh, and keep fighting the good food-quality fight up there in Portland, THCJ.

    96. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

      I haven’t eaten at Motorino’s, but I could tell you about the pizza on almost every block of Manhattan – which, by the way, has dropped precipitously in terms of quality, like, really really far in the last ten years – and I could talk about the great pizza in a variety of other hot spots around the boroughs. Saying that Mozza is decent at best is just a silly hipster pose. The four-cheese pie with truffle oil was transcendent, enough so that I came back the next day (first time I had it) to order it again.

      Yeah, generally when I’m not at work lunches I go with Mexican food in LA (which I almost never have in NYC), but a friend wanted to go, and I was glad we did, because it’s the best pizza I’ve had outside of NYC and Italy.

      Thanks for the tip on Black Seed. But please stop posting links to pornographic images of doughnuts. That’s just wrong.

    97. Brian Cronin

      OT: Incidentally – I had no clue Mell Hall was such a horrible person

      He’s one of those rare dudes who seems like a jerk as a player and in real life was actually much worse.

    98. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Montreal bagels are incredible, even for a new York partisan like myself.

      Hole donuts in Asheville, NC has far and away the best donuts I’ve ever had.

      Favorite pizza places in NY are probably Patsy’s, Ruibrosa, Di Fara (despite how touristy it is to go to now), and Umberto’s of New Hyde Park. Frank Pepe’s white clam pizza might be my favorite pizza ever though.

    99. Farfa

      The thing I hate most about Portland pizza is the price. I lived around the corner from a place that had 16? “specialty” pies for $28-32. That’s absurd when your pizza isn’t even good.

      I’d like to chime in but I feel like I would rant for 10,000 words about how in Italy you can get the most amazing pizza for 7 dollars, and that’s not fair. I’ll just say that NYC pizza is the only one that tastes quite like the real thing.

      Truth be told, making regular-good pizza doesn’t require a special kind of water, or flour, or tomato. It just takes the will to learn how to do it, and that’s not much.

      Making astoundingly-good pizza, on the other hand, is all about the ingredients, so much that even here in Italy is hard to find (like, 1 in 100 restaurants hard) really great pizza outside of Campania – the area around Naples.

    100. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      My brother-in-law is an engineer who decided to learn pizza-making ten years ago. Buys pizza flour in 50 lbs. bags, built his own outdoor wood-fired oven, lives about half an hour from us and we eat there every Sunday. I complain only about access to good commercial pizza. Otherwise, spoiled as fuck.

    101. Brian Cronin

      Oh, he’s totally washed, but even washed-up players can typically still fill a nominal role on decent teams. Like Sam Cassell on the Celtics 10 years ago.

    102. Brian Cronin

      Speaking of those Celtics, can you name the six Celtics who started a game for Boston in the NBA Finals that year? I’ll spot you Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins (it’s not Sam Cassell, by the way, I was just checking to see if Cassell got into any Finals games that year and I was surprised to see that one of those five guys missed a start in that Finals).

    103. Jron Abney

      For the record, a New York pie and a Neapolitan pizza are not even similar animals. They’re barely recognizable as cousins if you consider bread structure and technique in fabrication.

      The Neapolitan pizza is ephemeral. The bread structure reaches its peak in an incredibly short window at astonishing speed. Cooking at anywhere from 750 up to 900 degrees the ovens that produce these pizzas are marvelous at producing very high temperature dry conditions that create leopard skin charred blisters while producing a delicate just cooked moist dough that is destroyed by merely pinching lightly. It’s more grilled than baked as in the New York pie.

      These pizzas can be transcendent with the simplest ingredients. It’s why tomato purée from San Marzano, fior di latte, and basil can produce perfect resonance. The bread is the star and should not be lost in trying too hard. Naples, New York, San Francisco, Austin, and New Haven all have traditions of pizzaiolo who can pump these suckers out. There’s a pizzaiolo out in Milwaukee who is astonishingly talented. A good pizzaiolo is the most essential ingredient in a Neapolitan pizza because the ovens are fickle and require constant work to maintain temperature, placement and movement of pies, choices of perfect toppings, sourcing, choices of fuel (wood – oak), the weather, the batch of dough…

      There’s a pizza shop in Bologna called Due Torri under the two towers that makes the finest New York style pepperoni slice in the world. They cook the bread the way it is baked all over NY. There are a few places like this around the world but very very few.

      The bread in a New York slice is less difficult to perfect, it is closer to baking pies. It needs structure to carry a much heavier load. Following a good recipe will get you to the finish line. The place to get this Pizza is NY. I am often torn between two places in the village.

      Latent yeast and water ph is not a myth.

    104. Jron Abney

      Ps. Truffle oil is how you get a hipster to pony up and Instagram some inferior shit. It’s basic in the way that a hipster might use that word?…

      Mozza is decent. Great selection of wine tho.

    105. Owen

      Jron- I am sensing you have some insight into the pizza game. What are the two Village spots you are torn between?

    106. Farfa

      Man, Due Torri is my place of choice when I’m slightly wasted after a night of partying in downtown Bologna.

    107. glidepath

      You’ve been calling people basic, and yet one of your top 2 places is Joe’s. I guess NYU freshmen must really know their stuff

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