Knicks Morning News (2019.04.28)

  • [NYTimes] Virginia Men’s Basketball Will Not Go to the White House
    (Sunday, April 28, 2019 3:54:35 AM)

    A trip to the White House from a team based in Charlottesville would have been fraught, regardless of the head coach citing scheduling conflicts.

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    Mike Kurylo

    Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

    126 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2019.04.28)”

    1. Good job twisting it around, Jowles, but no. It’s right there.

      Me:

      Kinda surprised by this kind of reaction on a site like this. Durant is superior to Harden right now, playing with one hand tied behind his back. Harden just takes 6 more shots a game and has a USG 11 pts higher. You’re basically making the “pointzzz” argument. What are you going to say next, “if his usage went up his efficiency will go down”?

      You:

      Hubert, I will bet actual money on this. Find an escrow service. This is a silly take.

      It is sheer hubris to believe he will set a career high in PPG next year because of whatever one intuits from his play this year.

      I’m serious in betting against him re: Harden. That is some easy money.

      http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2019-03-23/

      There’s nothing unclear about that. So be prepared to bet on Harden outscoring Durant next season if Durant is on the Knicks.

    2. It’s not the Durant isn’t great, it’s that you are seriously underestimating what Harden is doing.

      Actually, Grocer, I wasn’t at all. I believe it was you and Jowles who were underestimating the physical toll of what Harden is doing and the physical relief of Durant’s scenario.

      Y’all keep saying Durant will be 31 next year. Well Harden will be 30, and his load has been a lot harder than Durant’s. That’s one of the main reasons I had this silly take to begin with.

      So by all means, feel free to contribute to the escrow account. As can anyone else who chimed in then. But since my take is so stupid and I’m taking on all comers, I’m getting odds. Y’all can decide what’s fair, since it’s easy money for you.

    3. And this is why Durant might leave $50mm on the table in GS.

      I’ll bet you next year he has more of the top ten scoring games than Harden (or anyone).

      ^ the OP that started it all. Post #35. No more twisting words.

      http://knickerblogger.net/game-thread-new-york-knicks-vs-denver-nuggets/

      Nothing from me that Durant would be better than 2018-19 Harden, or be as all around great as his 2014 MVP season. It was a straight up bet that if Durant leaves GS to go to the Knicks, he’s doing it so he can put on a scoring show for the ages.

      So go on. Gimme the odds and send in your money.

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

      I think Durant could almost certainly score as many points per 36 as Harden at a similar or maybe even better TS%. It won’t happen though. Durant is not dumb enough to try. He’s going to try to maximize wins. That means he knows the team can sometimes get a better shot for someone else with ball and player movement than he can get for himself being more aggressive trying to fill up the boxscore better for stats nerds like us. He’ll only get hyper aggressive when the matchups and/or flow of the game calls for it. That would happen more often on a team like the Knicks than when he’s playing with guys like Curry and Thompson, but the goal is still going to be ball movement, not proving he can score as much as Harden.

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

      The smartest thing Harden could do in the Warrior series is to stop trying to play like he did in the regular season when he’s often facing a stiff team with a favorable matchup. He should put the ball in CP3’s hands more often and try to keep the attack more balanced. It will be a miracle of miracles if he can be as effective against the Warrior’s defense for a full series as he was in the regular season given his matchup is going to be tougher and they are going to be keying on him with the personnel that have some chance of actually doing it.

    6. I can’t wait to watch the Warriors/Rockets. Going to be a great series and we’ll see if the Warriors still have the heart to win another ring.

      I feel like this is CP3s last chance to win a ring also. So many storylines. This is almost the finals imo.

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

      CP3 is going to have to have a huge series for Houston to have any chance. He was hurt for awhile (as were several other players) and started playing better towards the end of the season, but I think it’s going to take vintage Paul.

    8. Apparently both Klay and Steph have rolled their ankles, and Klay’s is a bit more serious. If he’s hobbled it will hurt GSW’s defense considerably. I just hope Chris Paul stays healthy so we can have a very good series.

    9. I don’t think anyone is getting past the Bucks except Curry and Durant shooting the lights out. Maybe if Kawhi hangs 45 a night on 28 shots. Maybe if Harden shoots .700.

    10. I think the way the Bucks play defense is very well suited to guarding the Warriors, they allow teams to take bad shots all game long while packing the 3 point line and the paint as much as possible. Coincidentally, as Zach Lowe was saying, those are the shots that the Celtics love taking, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens in their series. I think Giannis will wreck their forwards and if one of the role players show up they probably win in 5.

    11. Watching Giannis reminds me of prime Mike Tyson. He’s all power and attack and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    12. so lets say the “logical” scenario plays out:
      -We sign Durant and Kyrie, draft Zion
      -Bos puts the pieces together for davis, giving up Tatum
      -Philly stays intact
      -Nets keep Russell
      -Toronto somehow keeps Leonard
      -Olidepo comes back healthy, and Indy adds a player.

      So, we roll out Kyrie, Smith, Zion, Durant and Mitch, with a bench of Frank, Dotson, Knox, Kornett and maybe a vet signed cheap
      -What seed are we? I think Mil, Phil and Bos are clearly better. Tor with Kawai is too. that puts us battling for 5th with Indy and Brooklyn. If Kawai goes to LA and Olidipo isn’t healthy, maybe the nets lose Russell…..we are still no better than 4th, right? and…..we are out of $$ and out of moves and getting older the next 3 years, with the only upside being hoping Zion’s growth outweighs KD’s aging

    13. @12

      I don’t think Boston is better without Kyrie, and I would take the Kyrie – Durant – Zion core over Philly for sure, Kyrie and KD are simply better superstars at this moment than Embiid, Butler or Simmons. In the first year the Raptors and Bucks would probably still be better if they keep everyone, but as Zion develops and the Knicks build around the core with more offseasons, I think they could definitely be better.

      Other teams are aging too as Durant is, key players for all these teams like Lowry, Horford etc are all going to decline too. I think you’re underestimating how good Durant and Irving are.

    14. so lets say the “logical” scenario plays out:

      The issue is that the “logical” scenario in this case would be that Kawhi does leave. That seems almost as likely as Durant signing with the Knicks. And I wouldn’t be so quick to suggest that Indiana will add an impact player when Bogdanovic, Young, Collison and Evans are all free agents this season (plus Matthews, Joseph and O’Quinn). Doesn’t it seem just as likely that they’ll lose key players than add them?

      All that being said, sure, a Durant/Irving led Knicks team is probably not the favorite in the Eastern Conference in Year One. They’d be legit contenders, though.

    15. Durant is way better than you give him credit for and filling holes is way easier than you assume.

      A decent rookie plus what we already have is adequate. Then year 2 we add some vets and a MLE player. You can win a championship with that. It may not be guaranteed, but it never is.

    16. Kind of crazy seeing the Celtics beating up on the Bucks in the third quarter on the road.

    17. The Bucks lost exactly one game by 20 points or more, a 20-point loss to the Magic. They lost by double digits just 5 times all year. The other losses came to the Pacers, Blazers, Thunder and Warriors, all playoff teams. Giannis did not play in the Magic or Thunder losses. They were 63-9 when he played.

    18. He sure didn’t, but Paul Pierce just declared this series over in favor of the Cs, which means the Bucks are going to win in 5.

    19. So by all means, feel free to contribute to the escrow account. As can anyone else who chimed in then. But since my take is so stupid and I’m taking on all comers, I’m getting odds. Y’all can decide what’s fair, since it’s easy money for you.

      I’m down to take your money. Let’s wait until we know where Durant is actually playing next year before we set it up since him being on the Knicks appears to be an integral part of your supposition.

    20. Definitely still calling Bucks in 5. They’re way better than their g1 performance

    21. We should also wait until we find out if Thompson pulls a Zaza on Harden.

      It is definitely weird to see the refs suddenly swallow their whistles on stuff like that out of nowhere. It’s just dangerous to not give the dude a place to land.

    22. The Bucks played absolutely terrible, but man will we hear so much about the genius boy wonder coach of the Celtics nullifying Giannis… I’m already annoyed in expectation.

    23. Chris Paul turned around to watch the Dirk-like fadeaway from Durant, and his hand gestures read, like, “How the fuck am I supposed to defend that?”

    24. I wonder how Paul and D’Antoni feel about those two points they gifted the Dubs about forty minutes ago. They should have a tie ballgame right now.

    25. Really poor decision by D’Antoni to put Nene in the game for rebounding. Was it embarrassing that they blew two offensive rebounds? Of course, but you can’t overreact and sure enough, Nene being on Curry led to the open three.

    26. everyone is shitting on the refs but i feel for them. these guys exploit the landing area rule by faking drift so often it’s damn hard to tell in real time what happened.

    27. make that 3

      Agreed. But, also, it was a foul. That the refs decided that they were going to not call now after calling it all season (as they should, since it is a foul). How in the world is, “Well, they haven’t been calling that tonight” ever a justification for not calling fouls correctly?

    28. Houston got robbed multiple times on that final possession

    29. I sometimes say that sports pundit is the only job where you can be wrong 100% of the time and never have your job at risk. Extend that to NBA ref, too.

    30. Agreed. But, also, it was a foul. That the refs decided that they were going to not call now after calling it all season (as they should, since it is a foul). How in the world is, “Well, they haven’t been calling that tonight” ever a justification for not calling fouls correctly?

      Agreed. The no-call on Green was egregious.

    31. Some of those are tough calls but one was a full on hip check and there was a lot of contact on others.

    32. Also, has Vlad Guerrero Jr. always been Pablo Sandival-level fat? Incredible that that body is that of the #1 overall prospect in the MLB.

    33. There does seem to be a lot of inconsistency in the application of the landing area rule, but I couldn’t help but think Harden wasn’t doing himself any favors with all of the flopping theatrics. I don’t really get angry about that kind of thing (everyone is doing whatever they can to win all the time anyway so if you’re not putting anyone else’s health at risk it’s hard for me to care) but in this case I got the impression it was actively hurting his cause.

      Man, Urshela and LeMahieu both leaving the Yankee game with injuries…I was hoping we had settled on a solid one player per game pace. 16-11 (hopefully 17-11 soon) is nothing short of a miracle.

    34. Intense game. Golden State is so talented but they are also fucking careless with the ball, too many stupid turnovers. Also on two possessions with the lead and the game winding down they got an offensive rebound and instead of running clock they rushed into ill advised shots – not once but Twice – truly idiotic and it almost came back to cost them the game as Houston had time to look for a good shot. Curry’s 3 at the end bailed them out.

      Durant made some incredibly difficult shots at key moments. Yeah I’d take him on the Knicks in a heartbeat ( but I have no idea why he’d want to leave that for NYC).

      Houston got jobbed on 4 or 5 times on obvious fouls while shooting 3’s. They complain on every foul any way, but on those they had a right to be upset.

    35. Man, Urshela and LeMahieu both leaving the Yankee game with injuries…

      X-Rays were negative on Urshela’s wrist! Phew!

    36. it’s a good thing 80pct of mlb has embraced tanking or the yankees losing their entire team to injuries might start to bite

    37. The directing and the score were excellent, but it just didn’t quite land. I really thought the show might be back on track and that we’d see a bloodbath that’d put the Red Wedding to shame, but of fucking course all the main characters of any significance are still alive. I wonder if they thought killing a couple fan favorite minor characters early would be enough to give the episode some gravitas, but you can’t expect the audience to buy into the apocalyptic survival horror vibe if the plot armor on the main cast is so fucking thick an ice dragon and somewhere north of a billion zombies can’t crack it. Also, what a waste of the White Walkers. I enjoyed watching the episode, but I’m kind of pissed that it could have been so much better if they’d had the guts to kill a plausible number of the cast off. Thousands of Dothraki and red shirts dying off-screen doesn’t count.

    38. Music was fantastic. A couple really strong ideas and the rest was so meh I actually felt bad for the production crew. This show panders to its newfound broad audience, and this was the icing on that truth cake. Refusing to hurt that audience’s feelings, week after week.

    39. I actually liked, because in some sense what everyone was expecting was for major players to die, and not doing that was the most unexpected aspect. There’s been a trail of references that give the idea of the night king meeting his end the way he did, which was pretty nice for me overall.

      Of course it had major writing issues as every GoT episode in a long time, but I can say I’m satisfied. The magic mumbo jumbo is dead and let’s move on to the parts that were always more interesting anyway.

    40. I also don’t get why people became so obsessed with the idea that major characters HAD to die, just because the red wedding happened. If it was truly oriented towards fan service, a lot of them would actually die in an unexpected twist and Daenerys would trip off that cliff where she’s watching the battle and die in the first 5 seconds of the episode, because that’s what seemingly everyone wanted to happen.

      How can it be fan service if the fans aren’t happy at all?

    41. It’s not that they HAVE to die, it’s that the show is at its best when it connects consequences to actions/circumstances. Flip the question on its head – why the fuck is Tormund still alive in season 8 if not because fans like him? What logical reason is there for his survival other than “lol he funny”? Why did the show go to the trouble of showing a billion shots of main characters being overwhelmed by hordes of zombies only to be perfectly fine in the next scene? How is Sam alive after spending half the battle lying on top of zombies and crying? There were no logical consequences to any of the main character’s decisions other than the death of nameless red shirts. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that, despite apparently the entire population of the North dying, they’ll somehow be able to field an army next episode because Plot Demands can generate an infinite amount of mooks. Expecting named characters to suffer and die in an apocalyptic battle against Death itself just like everyone else present is hardly the same as rooting for Dany to trip on a rock and die. Actions/circumstances having consequences =/= ‘rocks fall, everyone dies lol aren’t we so grimdark and edgy’.

      There are plenty of happy fans. Go to any social media site that discusses GoT and you’ll see plenty of people who are impressed. Vocal complaints of some unsatisfied fans doesn’t negate the contentment of the rest of them.

      As far as the fantasy mumbo-jumbo, do recall what the first scene of the series was. This was supposed to be the climax of something built up since episode one – winter is coming, and, if we don’t band together, we’ll die. No matter who sits the Iron Throne, winter will come and with come the White Walkers. Then . . . we got this episode. What a great payoff to almost a decade of build up.

      I’m not trying to be hostile or anything, but I feel very strongly that this episode was, like the last four seasons, technically slick and thematically shit.

    42. Would you guys mind doing GOT rewiev with a spoiler disclamer…or with a one day delay.
      Half of the world is in the deep darknes while the show premieres in americas so we get to see it on a monday nights for the first time.

    43. I liked it a lot. But then again, I was a huge fan of the original Star Trek, and you can’t get more hokey than that. I think that some of you set the bar too high.

      I also think that the core conflict has always been between House Lannister and House Stark, and that battle is still to come. It would be hard to imagine that battle without the core characters being alive for it.

    44. @56

      But that’s all true, I just don’t get why you’re expecting consistency and coherence from a magical storyline that has had shit writing for four straight seasons already. We’ve had this sort of crap writing for so long now, and people truly expected the 3rd episode from the last season to somehow be red wedding like?

      You’re expecting logic and coherence from a show that already made clear that they aren’t about that. That’s why my reaction was mostly very positive to the episode, because I expected something a lot worse, and found it to be very enjoyable if you take it for what it is, free of those expectations that the show would magically turn back to its glory days a few years ago. Those are gone.

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

      Not that I saw this coming (given I have a bet on the Bucks to go all the way), but sometimes a player’s weaknesses become more of a factor in the playoffs where the defenses are better and you are more likely to run into a player that’s a tough matchup for you. Giannis needs an outside shot. He may not need one on 8 out of 10 nights, but on the nights he does need one, his team is in trouble if he can’t do his usual Giannis thing.

      I’m not going to say I know how a play should be called. That’s up to the NBA. But call it the same way every game, on every court, against every team, or people are going to assume the worst about the refs and league. The Rockets got robbed.

    46. I think that some of you set the bar too high.

      This is exactly what I said to my wife after we had expressed some less articulate version of what Mike Honcho said. But also, I don’t think it’s unfair to expect that, in the middle of an epic castle siege, the show won’t pivot to a set piece where Arya has to evade zombies in a perfectly quiet library while, allegedly, hundreds of the garrison are still fighting off a truly absurd (ly overwhelming) number of undead. And let’s not even talk about the wasted plot device of the crypt, with the absurdity that all of those main characters were able to hide while more redcoats got their faces chewed off. Just absurd.

      There was a moment last night, around the time that the Night King re-raises the dead, that I thought it was going to be a main-character bloodbath. And for that moment, my heartrate got way up there. But then there was Arya ex machina and we were back to fan service.

    47. You’re expecting logic and coherence from a show that already made clear that they aren’t about that. That’s why my reaction was mostly very positive to the episode, because I expected something a lot worse, and found it to be very enjoyable if you take it for what it is, free of those expectations that the show would magically turn back to its glory days a few years ago. Those are gone.

      I do understand the tyranny of unusually high expectations, but I still can’t suspend disbelief long enough to force down what they’re feeding me. And a show having fantasy elements doesn’t mean that anything can be made plausible. I can accept overpowered dragons breathing fire, but I can’t accept a handful of main characters being forced onto snatch-a-zombie island where they’re promptly saved by said dragon (when that dragon could have been sent on that mission in the first place, for one).

      But expectations aren’t the whole story. I recently watched Baby Driver, which I thought was tripe, but I also think I would have panned it even if I hadn’t been such a big fan of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead.

    48. The main problem with GoT (8×03 episode included) is that the writing took a very bad turn. It’s like they actually expect that, as viewing numbers increased, the average IQ and empathy declined sharply and nobody would complain about illogical decisions, incoherent behaviour and terribly written characters.

      The only death that really mattered to me in this episode was SPOILER ALERT
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      the Lyanna Mormont’s one, and that’s because they stumbled into a lovably capable young actress. Her character wasn’t well written, they just lucked into the poster child of smug, teenage stoicism. When she died at the literal hand of that giant, I felt bad as I hadn’t since Olenna’s death; and Olenna was a marvelously written character (thanks to Martin’s work).

      They just don’t care anymore about depth and groundbreaking narrative. They’re force-feeding us another stereotypical story that won’t displease the most delicate out there.

      The Night King’s arc has to be one of the most dumbfounding in television history; it has the same lack of coherence that plagued season 6 of Lost.

    49. (By the way, after having become a fire sale on basketball takes, The Ringer has become a fire sale on Game of Thrones takes. Even the great netw3rk is wearing the mantle of a coke-fueled mindless fan for them)

    50. @63

      I can’t either, I was laughing out loud when the show kept showing Brienne, Jaime and Tormund getting overpowered by a billion walkers in the same spots without anything happening, or Theon suddenly becoming a masterful archer who probably killed more walkers than the damn dragons with a single bow. I’ve just given up expecting the level of intricacy the show had once, and I’m taking it at face value as mindless entertainment. Arya is badass, her progression was cool to watch and I’m happy she got to be the one who played the huge part because she’s a character I really care about. For me that’s enough. There’s 3 more episodes where a lot of stuff can still happen, but I know I’m just enjoying it for what it is

    51. I’ve missed out on “Game Of Thrones” entirely, I haven’t watched even one episode so I know nothing about it whatsoever. Which is fine, people seem to like it.

      The hilarious thing about it to me, though, is seeing all the normies on my Facebook feed talking about white witches and the House of Gold Dragons and the mystical land of Wiffenpoof and all of that. I was a nerd in high school, I was into D&D and guitar shred music and baseball stats and computer games and was in marching band and did all sorts of nerd shit, so you’d think GoT would be right up my alley but for some reason I never got into it. But it’s hilarious watching everybody else nerd out. I want to just give everybody a big swirlie.

      I’ve also never seen any of those Marvel superhero movies. The one superhero movie of the last 20 years that I did see was the one Batman movie with Heath Ledger. That was pretty good. It hasn’t really been intentional, but I’ve sort of completely divorced myself from popular culture. There was some big deal Marvel movie that just came out, and I don’t even know what it is, I guess the Avengers are in it? I don’t know what the Avengers are, but I do know that everybody seems to be really into that shit.

    52. I’m still waiting for them to introduce medieval antibiotics to retcon Arya getting stabbed in the stomach, falling into sewage, and then being well enough to fight a trained killing machine in complete darkness. Otherwise Arya is nothing more than a zombie who hasn’t realized she’s been dead for like three seasons now.

    53. I want to just give everybody a big swirlie.

      I’m glad I’ve got my own office at this job, this cracked me up. I feel you on the detachment from popular culture, but much stranger than lots of folks being into something you have no clue about is the opposite. From the first time it happened when I heard Nirvana on the radio in a friend’s car, it has never stopped being incredibly strange when something I like crosses over into the ‘mainstream’.

    54. It really is weird being one of the few 30-somethings in the front of the crowd for a Death Grips show, but I have to allow myself certain Hello, Fellow Kids pleasures or I’ll spend all of my time researching washer-dryer units and preparing the weekend’s pizza dough. There’s a lot of good stuff coming out out there. I just tend to be more judicious about engaging with it now that I’m older.

      I recently got a ride from a Lyft driver who was playing 90s West Coast hip-hop. He started talking about how there was no good stuff coming out anymore because of the popularity of trap. I agreed with him on trap (I do not understand that shit at all, not even the “good” ones like Future or Travis Scott) but asked if he had listened to Kendrick, the heir to the West Coast throne and an actual rap genius. “Nah, haven’t really listened.” Well then.

    55. Well, I watched with my wife last night. She filled me in on what had been happening in the past 3 year or so. I was surprised to see that so many characters were still around. So, just who died in the last 3 years? A couple of major villains whose names I can’t recall, I guess.

      At any rate, yeah, I thought that, after setting up the zombies as such an irresistible force, for so many main characters to survive while nearly everyone else goes down seems kinda silly. I also felt a strong Tolkien Helms Deep/Minas Tirith thing going on. Remember Eowyn vs. the Witch King? I guess that’s inevitable since Tolkien pretty much created this genre.

      The sort of underwhelming resolution of the White Walkers or whatever they are called also reminded me of the 4th season of Babylon Five, where two main plot lines had to be rather hastily resolved b/c the show was not going to get a 5th and final season (it later did, but they didn’t know that during the making of the 4th). The Shadows were set up for three seasons as some unstoppable force but were fairly quickly done away in the first 1/3 of the season with so that the Earth Alliance in-fighting could then be resolved. Sounds familiar.

    56. There’s a lot of good stuff coming out out there. I just tend to be more judicious about engaging with it now that I’m older.

      For sure, the current state of music (and everything else really) is really good. One of the great things about the internet is the enhancement of accessibility to stuff you’d otherwise miss. Used to be you’d either need to be super plugged in or know people who were. Now you can just hit up a couple of sites occasionally and see what’s going on.

    57. SPOILERS

      Yeah, my take is that if the WW/Night King spent eight seasons of buildup to be dispatched in one episode, then they weren’t the main threat and shouldn’t have been in the series to begin with. They were ultimately a distraction, and I noticed that the show (and books) took a nosedive in quality when focus began to increase on the white walkers around season 5 (and the last two books, which were awful).

      And the victory came at nigh-zero cost! It’s just sad to see how poorly written the show is now, and how compromised, given that seasons 3 and 4 were really so good (and often succeeded in spite of RR Martin’s poorly written though still compelling source material–I’m thinking of the Orson monologue that Tyrion gives in s4e8, which is probably the best written stuff of the entire series and came entirely from Benioff & Weiss.)

    58. (By the way, after having become a fire sale on basketball takes, The Ringer has become a fire sale on Game of Thrones takes. Even the great netw3rk is wearing the mantle of a coke-fueled mindless fan for them)

      Not for nothing, but netw3rk was all in on Game of Thrones from the get go. Even before the site as a whole became all about GoT, he was big on the show. So it wasn’t like he was being forced into it. I think he even drove some of the content that direction, ya know?

    59. I’ve just given up expecting the level of intricacy the show had once, and I’m taking it at face value as mindless entertainment.

      Honestly, the most dissapointing thing last night to me is that I thought the battle stuff was really poorly done. I had very little expectation that the show would nail the big picture stuff because it’s a really hard story to wrap up and because the show has never seemed particularly comfortable with the fantasy elements which was so central to this portion. So I had lowered expectations in that respect.

      But the battle itself was a huge letdown to me. Poorly lit, frequently incoherent, and really, really, really poorly plotted. They did like 75 minutes of non-stop fighting and came out with maybe 3 memorable moments – the Dothraki with their swords on fire, Arya in the library, and Lyanna and the giant. In spite of the fact that people like Jamie and Brienne clearly killed like literally hundreds of zombies each they didn’t get even a single moment to shine. I think a big part of the problem was that our heroes plan was so underdeveloped (“Bran you stand over here and when the Night King comes to get you, we will…try not to let that happen. Everyone else stand wherever you want and try not to die. Okay, break.”) that it was basically never clear what anyone in the fight was trying to accomplish. Couple that with the fact that every single enemy is identical (I have no idea why nobody got to fight any of the white walker lieutenants) and the whole thing was incredibly lacking in narrative direction and structure. Just really poorly done. I can’t imagine ever wanting to sit through that 75 minutes again, which if you’re going for mindless entertainment doesn’t really say much for its quality. The music was good though.

    60. well, i liked it…i liked it a lot…

      big battles that take place in the written world displayed on screen with moving picture and all, is pretty freaking awesome…i remember how disappointed i was, during that the first big battle with tyrion, that it was cut so short…tyrion did some crazy stuff in that fight in the books…the show did make up for it in the battle of blackwater bay…

      sure a lot of what was happening (how the heck did jon snow get back in to winterfell???) on screen was pretty silly at times – but, for the most part it all looked delicious…i can focus my thoughts on that which i truly enjoyed, and, not get too bugged about some of the sillier shit – i actually laughed a bit when jon saw samwell lying in all those bodies and kept on going…

      i don’t know, not only do a like to read, but, i’m also a big comic book fan (or, at least was at one time) – so, i’m pretty comfortable filling in the blanks, looking past certain silly plot stuff…

      plus, it seems the show does better lately with less dialogue…

    61. Not for nothing, but netw3rk was all in on Game of Thrones from the get go. Even before the site as a whole became all about GoT, he was big on the show. So it wasn’t like he was being forced into it. I think he even drove some of the content that direction, ya know?

      I see I expressed myself badly.

      He certainly has ever been a staunch first-hour fan, but right now it looks like he’s unable to ponder the silliness of some plot areas and he’s just going along for the ride making oooohs and aaaaahs like a three year old kid at a carnival.

      GoT became a cultural mainstay thanks to its intricacy, its sultriness and its ruthlessness, not thanks to dragons (duh), badly executed battle plans or evil supernatural warlords that make Snoke look like Heath Ledger’s Joker in terms of character layers.

    62. GoT became a cultural mainstay thanks to its intricacy, its sultriness and its ruthlessness, not thanks to dragons (duh), badly executed battle plans or evil supernatural warlords that make Snoke look like Heath Ledger’s Joker in terms of character layers.

      ugh, now talk about disappointment – that last star wars movie was painful…

      almost finished making my way through the clone wars (just finished season 5)…i don’t think i’ve ever held a larger grudge against an individual actor than i have hayden christensen…the transformation to vader always seemed way to quick and contrived in revenge of the sith…

      the clone wars (which in case you’ve never watched them are on par with rogue one in terms of “grimness”) does a masterful job of illustrating anakin’s transformation and the whole change of his (and the public’s) perspective of the jedi and their role from “peace” keepers to military commanders…

      still waiting for that ahsoka movie :)

    63. I promised myself I would ignore all the stupidity I expected while watching the episode. That helped me enjoy last night. It was a wildly entertaining 82 minutes of television, even while inexplicable things were happening.

      Today, though, it was impossible to ignore how dumb the characters were and how bad the strategy was, both of which clearly fall on the showrunners.

      I’m not a military expert, but that’s not how you use a cavalry when you’re defending a castle. And Bran, how about warging into something more useful than a flock of little birds, eh?

      I actually would have enjoyed watching Arya fight her way to the Night King while Theon bought her time. But they wanted surprise (the most overrated aspect of story telling) so they literally dropped her from thin air instead.

      Oh well. It was fun, though, I have to give it that. It just left a bad taste.

    64. The hilarious thing about it to me, though, is seeing all the normies on my Facebook feed talking about white witches and the House of Gold Dragons and the mystical land of Wiffenpoof and all of that. I was a nerd in high school, I was into D&D and guitar shred music and baseball stats and computer games and was in marching band and did all sorts of nerd shit, so you’d think GoT would be right up my alley but for some reason I never got into it. But it’s hilarious watching everybody else nerd out. I want to just give everybody a big swirlie.

      I had a similar thought last night! I was a Tolkien nerd and greek mythology addict. Not the coolest kid to talk to at parties.

      Now that’s the normal shit?

    65. One of the great things about the internet is the enhancement of accessibility to stuff you’d otherwise miss. Used to be you’d either need to be super plugged in or know people who were. Now you can just hit up a couple of sites occasionally and see what’s going on.

      My parents were into soft rock and motown, so I never had access to “cool shit” growing up. We got high speed internet around the turn of the century l and I downloaded a trove of indie/emo stuff (Death Cab, Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate, Superchunk, American Football) from some guy hosting files from a T1 connection that opened me up to the world of “underground” music. (Pretty funny to think of a band like Death Cab as an “underground” band, but I guess Death Cab is to indie music as Game of Thrones is to fantasy — you can be basic as fuck and still stan out over it.)

      The Bandcamp and Soundcloud generation really don’t know how good they have it re: music distribution.

    66. My parents were into soft rock and motown, so I never had access to “cool shit” growing up.

      WUT?!?!?!

      you’re folks were waaaaaay cool if they were turning you on to jackson browne, smokey robinson, cat stevens (i know he’s a little weird now), marvin gaye, van morrison, diana ross, stevie wonder, 3 dog night…et cetera, et cetera…seems to me like your folks did a great job exposing you to very cool shit…

      long live am radio :)

    67. >implying Motown isn’t “cool shit”
      >yeah ofc it means “trendy shit” here, but I wanted to register my outrage

    68. I love Motown. I listen to early 60s Billboard top hits compilations all the time. But post-punk is pretty good too, and I didn’t know who Joy Division was until I was able to drive.

      I’m saying that my parents weren’t really “active” listeners. They put on some oldies radio stations and exposed me to 60s Stevie Wonder, but I didn’t listen to Songs in the Key of Life (for one) until much, much later. Listened to a lot of Beach Boys surf-era songs growing up and hadn’t heard of Pet Sounds until I was 18. Then it took another few years before I found out what a genius album Today! was.

      If I played Smiley Smile for my mom, she’d ask if I were doing drugs.

      Etc., etc., etc….

    69. I had a similar thought last night! I was a Tolkien nerd and greek mythology addict. Not the coolest kid to talk to at parties.

      Now that’s the normal shit?

      Yeah, that’s very weird. But then you attend a Mensa gathering and see there are way stranger layers of geekdom :)

      (Not that all Mensan people are weird; the vast majority of them isn’t)

    70. Oh and in totally unrelated news but very Knicksy fashion, I didn’t collect any hardware in the singing contest final I attended last weekend. I guess winning isn’t suited at all for Knicks fans!

    71. The Bandcamp and Soundcloud generation really don’t know how good they have it re: music distribution.

      Oh yeah. If it wasn’t on the radio it might as well have not existed. I was lucky enough to have a group of friends around who were into a lot of ‘underground’ stuff, but there were still tons of artists I didn’t hear until much later in life.

      And Motown is great but it certainly wasn’t “cool” when I was growing up. If I can get away with a shameless plug, a friend of mine put together a soul band a couple years ago. Their latest came out a few months ago and kind of backed into being a hit with the Northern Soul crew in England. Ernest Ernie & the Sincerities, check it out.

      Farfa, those judges are philistines, you were robbed!

    72. asked if he had listened to Kendrick, the heir to the West Coast throne and an actual rap genius. “Nah, haven’t really listened.” Well then.

      That’s crazy to me. I’d argue hip hop is in one of the best places it’s ever been in. Streaming allows more niche artists and rappers to avoid catering to the radio and still reach a wide audience. No way To Pimp A Butterfly gets made 10 years ago.

    73. I actually would have enjoyed watching Arya fight her way to the Night King while Theon bought her time.

      They squeezed about 5 episodes of potential great drama into 80 minutes, with this storyline being one of them. Bran’s story could be fascinating but its going completely wasted. The dead king — we know absolutely nothing about. Sam, or Tyrion, could have a whole series just for them and here they’ve become nothing at all. The brave Sansa, who endured horrors, is now a frightened shell. What a waste.

      All that said, I still watched the whole episode and enjoyed it, albeit in a shallow way, while Zizek vs Peterson continued to wait :)

    74. Seems like people here have similar taste in music: TPAB (best rap album, ever, period), Death Cab, and you guys introduced me to Ariel Pink who is great. Wanted to thank JK and CJ for that. And to beg you guys to keep it comin’. A few recommended artists/songs/sounds-like would make this forum even better

    75. I think GRRM is going to come out with an epic last book (or two) that will fill in a lot of those holes, and in usual GRRM capital E Epic fashion.

    76. I want to be clear that I was keen to listen to Death Cab when I was a hormonal teenager

      https://porchesmusic.bandcamp.com/track/myystic

      https://porchesmusic.bandcamp.com/track/daddies

      https://porchesmusic.bandcamp.com/track/franklin-the-flirt

      This is a guy from my old local music scene who has recently leaned in on vaporwave/normcore fashion, but somewhere between his early indie guitar rock and the ironic hair bleach and earrings was a great songwriter. I think he’s on Domino now or something.

    77. One record I’ve gotten into recently is the first Kevin Ayers solo record “Joy Of A Toy.” He was a founding member of the Soft Machine and there are some cameos from those guys on this album. Classic British psychedelia, kind of if Syd Barrett has gotten his shit together and got really into Nick Drake instead of flaming out on acid. There are other good Kevin Ayers records but this one is my jam.

      https://youtu.be/VjhOK1uR4nc

    78. Speaking of vaporwave, Dan Lopatin is one of my heroes, he’s the genius behind Oneohtrix Point Never. To me he’s the heir to Eno and Aphex Twin. We shared a car ride with him once on a festival gig and I just nerded out and picked his brain the entire time.

      His records are all interesting but “Replica” is my favorite. It’s mostly made from samples of 80’s tv commercials but the samples are used in a really eerie way. Great record.

    79. I was listening to Ford & Lopatin – Channel Pressure on the way to work this morning, he’s amazingly talented.

    80. R Plus Seven is one of those albums that challenged me past my discomfort until I realized what an incredible world he created. So in that sense, Eno and AT are great comparisons.

      Any album that creates a sense of space like that… yes.

    81. Replica is my favorite OPN record as well. I’ve seen him multiple times live, he’s really terrific. His soundtrack for Good Time (great movie btw–Robert Pattinson can act!) is one of my favorite in recent memory.

    82. I rewatched HP & the Goblet of Fire fairly recently and didn’t realize that Pattinson played Handsome, Competent Tall Guy who Dies, and was really confused by his talent thrown into relief by whatever the teenagers of the main cast were trying to pass as legitimate acting. Dude is good at saying words on camera, for sure.

      Also he played guitar for the samples on Death Grips’s “Birds,” one of the weirdest songs in existence.

    83. just discovered mad season was actually layne staley, also, i’ve been getting in to a lot of steve miller recently :)

      space cowboy is just such a great tune…

      similar to technology – new music seems to be passing me by…the more that time gets behind me and less of it there is in front of me, the more i seem to enjoy the comfort of familiar things…

      oh yeah, curse you all for sticking that kit harrington and emilia clarke are terrible actors stuff in my head…last night while watching GOT i kept losing my immersion grip and telling ma that jon, daenerys and bran were all terrible actors…

      trying to spend more time with mom lately…some of the words here from a few weeks ago have stayed with me for a bit…i’m very fortunate that she’s only about a half hour or so away…although she’s very independent and probably lives a lot more vibrant and lively life than myself…best not to take certain things for granted…

    84. I’m fine with Kit Harrington, but man, he and Clarke have NO chemistry whatsoever…

    85. As a kid, I did not like Motown or oldies music. Many summers in the late 80’s/early 90’s, Dad would take us on road trips down South (VA, SC) and once we were out of 98.7Kiss/WBLS range, he’d pop in one of his many Motown tapes, and that was that until we got to our destination. It sucked, lol.
      Now as an adult, I can appreciate Motown – not quite as much as Heavy D, Public Enemy or Ice Cube – but I get it more nowadays.

    86. TPAB (best rap album, ever, period)

      That’s a great album but the GOAT rap album to me will always be “Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)”

      Favorite Wu solo album: Ghostface Killah “Fishscale”

    87. I see I expressed myself badly.

      He certainly has ever been a staunch first-hour fan, but right now it looks like he’s unable to ponder the silliness of some plot areas and he’s just going along for the ride making oooohs and aaaaahs like a three year old kid at a carnival.

      GoT became a cultural mainstay thanks to its intricacy, its sultriness and its ruthlessness, not thanks to dragons (duh), badly executed battle plans or evil supernatural warlords that make Snoke look like Heath Ledger’s Joker in terms of character layers.

      Aha, I get what you’re saying now!

    88. I might put GKMC over TPAB but it’s a tough call and I’m glad I don’t actually have to choose

      I am afraid that he’s now in the Magna Carta Holy Grail/Stillmatic part of his career though…

    89. For me it’s TPAB, although it’s a very difficult decision, simply because it feels like an album where Kendrick truly felt free to explore his entire range as an artist. I also love GKMC and DAMN, but TPAB really feels like a masterpiece type of work. It’s so good that even I, a person who’s not much into rap at all, can’t stop listening to it for years.

    90. I grew up listening to oldies and 90’s R&B on the radio. My first favorite groups were the Beach Boys and Boyz II Men.

      My current favorite artist is Julien Baker – sad and melancholy singer-songwriter tunes on solo electric guitar.

      I was introduced to hip-hop as a kid through Puff Daddy’s radio hits. In middle school, my older sister came home from boarding school and downloaded a bunch of Outkast tracks onto my Napster account. In college I discovered Nas and Wu-Tang and ATCQ, and then started seeking out music by producer – J Dilla, Kanye, Pete Rock, and DJ Premier were favorites.

      These days, like Jowles, I love Kendrick and a lot of trap and mumble rap goes right over my head. I prefer a downtempo, contemplative feel to my rap rather than intense or aggressive.

    91. I think TPAB is Kendrick’s magnum opus (so far, I hope!) but it’s such an emotionally intense listening experience that I listen to GKMC more often. “u” is the most accurate depiction of having anxiety and depression I’ve ever heard.

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

      About the only insight I have into music now that I didn’t have when I was young is that I no longer think technical proficiency is as important as I used to. For me now, it’s way more about note selection and feel. When I was younger I’d be impressed by shredding, tapping, and playing at warp speed. Now when I wan to listen to blues, I rarely listen Joe Bonamassa even though he’s technically an incredible guitarist. I’d rather listen to BB King or someone else playing slower, sweeter, and with more feel. I always loved David Gilmour on guitar, but now I worship his note selection and feel. I love Keb Mo. He rarely does anything really tough, but so much of what he does is just perfect.

    93. If you are into GKMC and TPAB, Black Thought (of The Roots) put out two very good EP’S (Streams of Thought Vol 1 & 2) in the last 12 months. Probably not as sonically complex as Kendrick, but very sincere Hip-Hop lyrically.

    94. I think it’s kind of pissy. I think the better argument is just the general “Call the fouls the way you call them all year long and we won’t have a problem.” Changing the way you call the game in the playoffs is in-sane. A foul in Game 32 should be a foul in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

    95. I think it’s kind of pissy. I think the better argument is just the general “Call the fouls the way you call them all year long and we won’t have a problem.”

      I agree, and an even BETTER argument than that is “Landing zone fouls exist because encroaching on a player’s landing zone is an injury hazard, just look at the injury that ended Kawhi Leonard’s career with the Spurs.” It’s the landing zone fouls that were really at issue in game 1, and it is in fact bullshit that those fouls weren’t called.

      This move makes them look like they’re relying on the refs to win games, which they kiiiiiinda are.

    96. Black Thought (of The Roots) put out two very good EP’S (Streams of Thought Vol 1 & 2) in the last 12 months. Probably not as sonically complex as Kendrick, but very sincere Hip-Hop lyrically.

      I co-sign Streams of Thought. I’d add in Drogas Wave by Lupe Fiasco which who is one of the best rappers, although inconsistent. Second, Royce Da 59 made a great concept album, The Book of Ryan, about his life and becoming a father.

    97. i think the type of audit the rockets did is good for the league…. officiating needs to get better…. i think it actually has gotten better since the 90s…

      i think they’re right that veteran refs tend to be the worst… and also right that a 4th official might be necessary now….

      i do think it was a bit of a pissy move but i think we all know how it feels to get jobbed by officials in big games…. altho maybe it’s been so long most of us have forgotten…. the league has notoriously been very slow on this front and it’s about time they get a kick in the ass to make changes to improve the game….

    98. Its dumbfounding that OKC couldn’t exploit Kanter’s defense. I put the blame on Westbrook and makes me think that much less of him as a player. Jokic is eating him alive. Denver might sweep Portland if they don’t bench him.

    99. I agree, and an even BETTER argument than that is “Landing zone fouls exist because encroaching on a player’s landing zone is an injury hazard, just look at the injury that ended Kawhi Leonard’s career with the Spurs.” It’s the landing zone fouls that were really at issue in game 1, and it is in fact bullshit that those fouls weren’t called.

      Yeah, but that’s precisely the foul that they call consistently in the regular season that they then abruptly decided not to call in the Semi-Finals when, surprise surprise, there’s a player on one of the teams who frequently takes the kind of shot where those types of fouls are routinely called. It’s suuuuuper sketchy. It’s even sketchier as a whole, I think, than the infamous Kings/Lakers game, as that game had terrible end of the game officiating (much worse than this and yes, that was clearly the sketchiest end of game officiating I’ve ever seen). This was just all game and on one specific type of play.

    100. I agree that consistency is important, however, Harden kicks his legs out really damn far on a lot of those shots. A lot shouldn’t be fouls.

    101. This Nuggets Blazers series will be the underrated very fun series of this round. Jokic is playing at a crazy level right now.

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