Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Knicks Morning News (2019.05.05)

  • [YahooSports] Knicks open at 16-1 odds to win 2020 NBA Finals, thanks to Kevin Durant
    (Sunday, May 05, 2019 1:34:04 AM)

    The New York Knicks opened as 16-1 favorites to win the NBA Finals next season — though that’s all dependent on Kevin Durant’s decision this summer. The New York Knicks haven’t made the playoffs since 2013, and are fresh off a 17-win season this year — the worst in the league. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened with the Knicks at 16-1 odds to win the championship in 2020, according to ESPN. Only three teams in the Eastern Conference hold better odds: The Milwaukee Bucks (9-2), Boston Celtics (7-1) and Philadelphia 76ers (10-1).

  • [Hoops Rumors] Atlantic Notes: Smart, McHale, Nets, Knicks
    (Saturday, May 04, 2019 9:54:07 PM)

    Marcus Smart is expected to join his Celtics teammates for practice tomorrow, according to Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. It will be Smart’s first on-court action since suffering an oblique tear last month. Although Smart will be a full participant, the session won’t include contact as coach Brad Stevens plans to give the team […]

  • [SNY Knicks] How Vegas feels about the Knicks’ 2019-20 NBA championship chances
    (Saturday, May 04, 2019 9:01:13 PM)

    Free agency is still two months away, but one Vegas sportsbook already has given the Knicks pretty solid odds at winning the 2019-20 NBA title.

  • [SNY Knicks] Former Knick Enes Kanter played with separated shoulder in Trail Blazers’ Game 3 win
    (Saturday, May 04, 2019 4:57:08 PM)

    The Portland Trail Blazers learned in their four-overtime game Friday night just what former Knicks C Enes Kanter is all about.

  • [NYPost] Enes Kanter’s body barely survived Blazers-Nuggets marathon
    (Saturday, May 04, 2019 9:08:48 AM)

    Four overtimes took a different kind of toll on Enes Kanter. The former Knick played a career-high 56 minutes with a separated left shoulder in his Trail Blazers’ eventual 140-137 triumph over the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of their Western Conference second-round series on Friday night in Portland. Kanter, whose team now leads the…

  • [ESPN] Vegas bullish on Knicks’ summer, ’20 title odds
    (Saturday, May 04, 2019 7:29:25 PM)

    The SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas believes the Knicks are the favorites to land Kevin Durant in free agency this summer and have opened them at 16-1 to win the 2020 NBA championship.

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    119 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2019.05.05)

    1. Ntilakilla

      re: GOT whatever, GRRM has had about twenty years to finish this up, or at least half a dozen since the fifth book, instead we have this. This particular episode was about ten or twenty minutes of moving the plot forward and an hour or so of soap opera.

      I hear you, but let’s even forget the books. The show was never going to match the depth and breadth of Martin’s saga if for no other reason that a television series format has certain limitations inherent to the medium that disallow the same intimacy and scope of storytelling you’ll find in a novelized format. Anyone who expected otherwise wasn’t being fair or realistic. What is especially irksome to me is how the show gets progressively worse in and of itself with each successive episode. If you look and compare this season to season 2, for example, you’ll see how much more stupid the writing, characters, acting, even the battles, have become. It’s baffling to me how a series which used to be famously character-driven is now primarily plot driven to move the story into a particular endpoint. Tyrion – the standard for cleverness, cynicism, and skepticism on show — is a case in point. The character has become foolish, sentimental, and trusting for no discernible reason other than to contribute to Daenerys’ own moral and political downfall. Daeny’s own invasion itself has become so botched that Steve Mills could’ve done a better job planning it. Euron exists as a dues ex machina level problem solver whose god-level naval prowess serves to dispatch threats. Jaime, Tormund, Brienne, the Hound, Arya, etc. are all being jerked around for fanfiction purposes. The show is just so cringe right now.

    2. Nick C.

      Isn’t that sort of the fate of most TV shows and other things, bands for example, and they become victims of their own success and get accused of selling out. I guess I am coming at it from a POV of someone who was gifted the book collection years ago, spend January through September reading them and was PO’d that after five books and thousands of pages Daenerys hadn’t even got across the sea.

    3. Farfa

      I know this is damning with faint praise, but I thought 8×04 was the best episode in seasons 7 and 8.

      There actually was some sort of dread setting in. Lots of stupid things, but they still have some moves. Let’s say this episode felt like the first part of Jason Kidd’s lone Knicks season. No more the player he once was, but the brilliance was on display from time to time. Of course, I fully expect 8×05 and 8×06 being on par with 8×03, which means Jason Kidd’s Knicks playoff run (or better yet, playoff death crawl).

    4. Ntilakilla

      @2

      I just thought that the show wouldn’t have jumped the shark so badly considering the legendary blueprint its show runners had to work off. I mean, I assumed that Benioff and Weiss had some level of writing talent where they could’ve adequately filled in the blanks of the outline George gave them from Winds of Winter alone. But their hack writing becomes more and more apparent the further along the story departs from that last book. I personally think they’ve totally checked out from the entire project and had their minds directed somewhere else for awhile now, putting this whole series on autopilot with a lot of fan service and flashy CGI special effects spectacle, in order to set their sights upon butchering another storied fictional universe with the Star Wars franchise on top of producing that heinous counterfactual historical miniseries about an alternative reality where the Confederacy won the American Civil War.

      As for the books, I really do empathize. Storm of Swords, to me, is the best fantasy fiction book of all time, a crowing achievement of the A Song of Ice and Fire series I don’t think Martin will top no matter what he accomplishes with Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. So I remember being really surprised when A Feast for Crows followed after a long hiatus and did very little to move the narrative forward with so many more POV chapters. It took me some time to come to grips with the fact that George has really tried to reset the entire conflict after SoS to expand his epic beyond the War of Five Kings to a conflict far more ambitious in scope. But he’s really writing himself into a corner now trying to balance and tie together all of the many stories in this expanding world he’s created. And whereas Benioff and Weiss’ answer to that problem as been to brush over the complexities which made the series so great, George’s answer has been to get bogged down in the details of this world to the point that nothing is moving forward.

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

      If you have only six episodes to wrap up a lot of character arcs and fight two major wars,I don’t think you can do that much character development. Mostly I’m just enjoying the episodes now and wanting to find out what happens to everyone. I agree that Tyrion has turned into a much less interesting character, but otherwise, people are still being themselves, which is good. And for those of you who love the books, I just don’t see it. I tried reading the books and watching the series at the beginning, but decided the series was better. The books are just too long winded. And I don’t put the show’s recent failings as the fault of the show runners. I suspect that GRRM ran out of inspiration a while ago.

    6. Ntilakilla

      If you have only six episodes to wrap up a lot of character arcs and fight two major wars,I don’t think you can do that much character development.

      You see, this would be a defensible position if the show didn’t chose to waste its time with incredibly dumb, pointless scenes like having Tyrion appeal to Cersei’s humanitarian nature in front of King’s Landing like a fool or have Bronn (a side character who is completely irrelevant to the final story) appear out of nowhere to negotiate possession of Highgarden in what was one of many redundant drinking scenes.

      I agree that Tyrion has turned into a much less interesting character, but otherwise

      The problem with Tyrion isn’t that he’s less interesting, it’s that he isn’t even Tyrion anymore. He’s become the most useless, inept, and moronic character on the show – which is saying a lot. Even Missandei, a glorified translator and girlfriend to Greyworm, figured out that Cersei wasn’t going to give up her throne because Tyrion pleaded with her.

      but otherwise, people are still being themselves, which is good.

      Tell that to Jon’s direwolf, who he just left like a complete stranger, without barely a goodbye. He’s another character who is being jerked around in order to bring about the inevitable conflict that will arise between him and Daeny.

      The books are just too long winded.

      Yes, well, novels do tend to have lots of words in them.

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

      Yes, well, novels do tend to have lots of words in them

      That’s insulting and unnecessary. If you can’t believe someone who likes to read didn’t like books as much as the show that is your lack of imagination and close mindedness.

      As for Tyrion, all the things you mention are the sort of things I was referring to when I said he isn’t the character he used to be.

    8. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      I thought this episode was the best of s8. There were plenty of time compression problems–the amount of plot movement that happens in this one episode alone really merits 2-3 episodes worth. But the show got back to its strengths, that is, politicking and intrigue. Most of these characters are essentially rats on a sinking ship, and alliances are fracturing as the heat turns up. There were lots of mediocre or unrealistic scenes in this episode, but because the series is not as good as it used to be and there’s (self imposed) pressure on the show runners to finish in six episodes, I tolerate. This episode moved the pieces in the way they needed to be moved. Bronn actually had the best lines in the episode, and I’m glad the show took the time to nearly wrap that storyline up.

      Tyrion is not just cynical and skeptical–hes also a fundamentally good person, and was attempting to avoid a massacre. It seems entirely within character for him to attempt to appeal to Cersei’s love for her children in order to avoid conflict. I think Tyrion is less interesting not because his character is inconsistent but because there’s just not enough time to do what Tyrion does best, namely, talk and plan.

      Also the show, at its best, was better than the books. RR Martin is, line for line, a bad writer. Though the first three books were good in spite of that. The last two books, however, are just as bad as this seasons 7 and 8 of thrones, for different reasons.

    9. Early Bird

      If you have only six episodes to wrap up a lot of character arcs and fight two major wars,I don’t think you can do that much character development.

      Who do you think chose to do 6 episodes? They could have done 8 or 10. They probably could stretch it out another season if they wanted.

    10. Ntilakilla

      If you can’t believe someone who likes to read didn’t like books as much as the show that is your lack of imagination and close mindedness.

      Um, books with pictures don’t count.

    11. Farfa

      Who do you think chose to do 6 episodes? They could have done 8 or 10. They probably could stretch it out another season if they wanted.

      The six episodes thing is pretty weird, since they spent one and a half basically doing nothing and then sent away the whole “Winter is coming” that was the backbone of a lot of subplots.

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

      Ntilikilla, I read all your words and there are no pictures (which is probably a good thing), so that makes me both s masochist and a reader.

      I don’t know why you are attacking the person instead of arguing the opinion, but I suggest you stop

    13. wetbandit

      If I had to choose between a full GOT series finish, or the full ASOIAF book series finish, I choose the book every single fking day of the week. I am now only watching the show because I have a dread that the books will never be done, or they’ll be done in an inferior way after the ending is ‘ruined’ by the show.

      To say the books are ‘character driven’ is like saying Curry is a ‘good shooter,’ the Knicks suffered from ‘bad management,’ and the Spurs had ‘good ball movement.’ The characters literally drive the story to the point where their internal monologues that continue through the books (that cannot be replicated on TV, hence the inferiority), with their deepest thoughts, dramas, hangups, and failures, drive the decisions to action and ultimately the plot. If the show has become action/plot driven, that’s 90% of the beauty of the story. No one read the books for the fantastical stories about the Others, the dragons, or witchcraft; no one was reading for the battles or murders (the amount of prose dedicated to these was tiny compared to the amount dedicated to the inner machinations of the characters). I read about Eddard and Robb for their dedication to justice that directly led to their downfall, Daenerys for her inner struggle to balance cruelty and compassion, Jon for his desire to be a hero despite his birth, Arya for her struggle to survive, Tyrion and his need to rise past his father’s disappointment …

      I don’t think people that love the show or the books are looking for the same stuff in storytelling.

    14. wetbandit

      Also the show, at its best, was better than the books. RR Martin is, line for line, a bad writer. Though the first three books were good in spite of that. The last two books, however, are just as bad as this seasons 7 and 8 of thrones, for different reasons.

      Agreed in terms of his writing. But in terms of character portrayal and development, he’s second to a very select few (Tolstoy comes to mind), and that elite talent is what made many thousands of pages, despite a lot focused on stupidity like the way the food sizzled or the siguls of different houses, become this huge.

    15. Ntilakilla

      Tyrion is not just cynical and skeptical–hes also a fundamentally good person, and was attempting to avoid a massacre. It seems entirely within character for him to attempt to appeal to Cersei’s love for her children in order to avoid conflict.

      In season 7 Tyrion takes Cersei up on her promise to send troops up north to fight the dead at Winterfell on the basis that she is committed to protecting the realm for her unborn baby. So what does Cersei do? She lies to Tyrion and leaves him, Jaime, as well as the entire North to fend off a coming Zombie Apocalypse themselves knowing that it will kill thousands of her own subjects and jeopardize her own child’s life.

      You really think this is the action of someone who is going to be swayed by an appeal to avoid a massacre on the basis of some sense of maternal sympathy for all of the victims an invasion would bring? Tyrion already knows Cersei is a monarch willing to sacrifice Westeros to a coming horde of undead just to gain an advantage in keeping the throne. So how would him pleading to her humanitarian nature be consistent with his character unless his character is that of a complete and utter moron?

      I suppose this would make sense if what we knew about the character was based upon the last two seasons, but unfortunately for Benioff and Weiss, a smarter version of the character existed in the seasons previous to that.

      I think Tyrion is less interesting not because his character is inconsistent but because there’s just not enough time to do what Tyrion does best, namely, talk and plan.

      He had the same time to talk and plan when he defended King’s Landing from Stannis’ invasion at Blackwater Bay. But back then his character was based off the writings of a smart writer, not two hacks.

    16. Ntilakilla

      Ntilikilla, I read all your words and there are no pictures (which is probably a good thing)

      Yeah, but it wasn’t long-winded. I insulted you in brief so you wouldn’t lose attention.

    17. Hubert

      I know this is damning with faint praise, but I thought 8×04 was the best episode in seasons 7 and 8.

      I agree. Watching Dany slowly unravel as she loses everything little by little has been the only honest piece of storytelling in the last few years.

    18. Ntilakilla

      If I had to choose between a full GOT series finish, or the full ASOIAF book series finish, I choose the book every single fking day of the week. I am now only watching the show because I have a dread that the books will never be done, or they’ll be done in an inferior way after the ending is ‘ruined’ by the show.

      To say the books are ‘character driven’ is like saying Curry is a ‘good shooter,’ the Knicks suffered from ‘bad management,’ and the Spurs had ‘good ball movement.’ The characters literally drive the story to the point where their internal monologues that continue through the books (that cannot be replicated on TV, hence the inferiority), with their deepest thoughts, dramas, hangups, and failures, drive the decisions to action and ultimately the plot. If the show has become action/plot driven, that’s 90% of the beauty of the story. No one read the books for the fantastical stories about the Others, the dragons, or witchcraft; no one was reading for the battles or murders (the amount of prose dedicated to these was tiny compared to the amount dedicated to the inner machinations of the characters). I read about Eddard and Robb for their dedication to justice that directly led to their downfall, Daenerys for her inner struggle to balance cruelty and compassion, Jon for his desire to be a hero despite his birth, Arya for her struggle to survive, Tyrion and his need to rise past his father’s disappointment …

      I don’t think people that love the show or the books are looking for the same stuff in storytelling.

      Amen.

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

      I defended you against banning, and now you are making me rethink that

    20. GoNYGoNYGo Going for the tank

      I love GOT and am enjoying the ending. After last week’s heart-stopping war epic, yesterday’s relatively mild episode was a gift. I’m not going to dissect it frame-by-frame, I’ll just enjoy the end of the ride.

      But I came here for hoops.

      We’re ending up with the 5th pick. Who’s that going to be? Maybe we’re lucky and it’s the 4th pick. Who’ll that be?

    21. Ntilakilla

      Agreed in terms of his writing. But in terms of character portrayal and development, he’s second to a very select few (Tolstoy comes to mind), and that elite talent is what made many thousands of pages, despite a lot focused on stupidity like the way the food sizzled or the siguls of different houses, become this huge.

      Yeah, George’s writing has a certain sloppiness to it won’t win him any comparisons to F. Scott Fitzgerald for the elegance of its prose, but it does have a crude way of building another world from the ground up. I really do believe that this style was what allowed two very mediocre writers in Benioff and Weiss the ability to successfully translate these characters to television.

    22. Ntilakilla

      I defended you against banning, and now you are making me rethink that

      Let his be a lesson. Any man who rethinks their principles for personal reasons should rethink what those principles are.

    23. ClashFan

      I’m trying real hard to stay with GoT this season for the sake of my wife. But the sudden, inexplicable killing of one of the dragons (another “out of nowhere” plot development) had me near walking away, again. I mean, flying up in the sky they could not see those ships closing to catapult range? And, then what, two or three direct hits in a row against a moving target in the air? Uh, okay. And how about any kind of explanation for how Arya suddenly appeared from nowhere to kill the Witch King, er the Snow Queen, er…?

      I guess I’ll make it through 2 more episodes, but none of this has made me regret abandoning the show back when Jon Snow was killed. Who am I supposed to be rooting for? Everyone is either jaded beyond belief, nearly completely self-absorbed, or some of both.

      About Tyrion, maybe he’s just become so war-weary that he’s lost his edge? I can’t really comment on his character development since I missed a few seasons. I guess I’m rooting for him.

    24. ClashFan

      Er, actually it was a ballista that was used, not a catapult. My bad. Same complaint, though.

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

      The last thing I read was an annual report from one the companies I’m interested in. Not much character development or plot, but pretty good balance sheet.

    26. Jack Bauer

      In unrelated news Kawhi Leonard is playing as well as anyone in the NBA playoffs right now. He had a monster game yesterday and carried Toronto to a big road win. 39 points on 20 shots, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists. I could have done without the 7 turnovers but you can’t have everything. Oh yeah and he plays really good defense. I’d take him on my team any day. Too bad he isn’t in the mix of the potential free agents to sign with the Knicks. Of course it’s probably all a fantasy anyway and none of the big names are actually going to sign in NY so go ahead and add his name to the hopeful wish list.

    27. rama got that Fizdale Magic

      Ras, I’ve defended you in the past – yeah, a throwoff comment about the greatness of Bernie Sanders isn’t on topic, but that (witness the last few threads) isn’t a deal breaker – but ad hominem attacks deserve the banhammer. Cut that shit out.

    28. rama got that Fizdale Magic

      @29

      Presumably he’s just been waiting to go to the Clips the last few years. Sounds fine to me – another conference, taking up a max slot KD will then no longer have available. Win-win.

    29. Hubert

      Let his be a lesson. Any man who rethinks their principles for personal reasons should rethink what those principles are.

      FYI, when you’re older, you’re going to realize how smart you never were.

    30. Hubert

      At least the disappointing end to GoT has been offset by the best 2nd round of NBA playoffs in recent memory.

      We got lucky with the seeding out west, it gave us two competitive series instead of what could have been if Hou and GS we’re separated.

      I think we’ll end up with four series tied 2-2 heading into game 5, with almost every having at least a slim chance of winning it all. After the quasi-coronation ceremonies of the last 4 years, this has been a pleasure.

    31. swiftandabundant

      I think Arya probably took on the face of a white walker to sneak up on the Night King but they didn’t show it because they’re saving that trick for later, possibly when/if she kills Cersei.

    32. geo

      reading carefully today, i had to make a key decision last night – catch the episode or, get an extra hour of sleep…you know you’re getting old when the choice is sleep over just about any other activity…

      i’m pretty amazed at the huge jump the nuggets made from last season…that first series with the spurs really helped get them ready for this battle with portland…like everyone else, rooting for the bucks and rockets today…

    33. geo

      oh yeah, talk about inconsistent tv series – i can understand the drop off in writing quality on GoT…

      one of my favorite all time series: Dexter, had probably the most inconsistent writing i’ve ever seen on any show over a period of 5 or so seasons (talk about a terrible series ending)…the highs (john lithgow) and lows (travis marshall) were incredible…

      it’s funny cuz the books were kind of all over the place too…besides for the fact that lindsay would spend 90% of the book describing the weather and food of miami, and, then wrap the whole story up in like 10 or fewer pages…

    34. d-mar

      @29 Dude, this is a Game of Thrones blog. If you want to talk NBA, I suggest you go elsewhere.

    35. ess-dog

      Lol, GoTerblogger is spicy today!

      Is it just me, or has Jonny Snow been hitting the carbs? He looks kinda fleshy.

      So what, 8 days until the lottery draw? Tick tock, it’s almost Reddish o’clock…

    36. Jack Bauer

      @37 Got it -I’m Out
      I remember fondly a time in the not too distant past when I’d come here to read interesting Knick related basketball commentary.

      @31 – great point. yes I also think Leonard will end up with the Clippers which would put them at a disadvantage to signing Durant, good for the Knicks. Never underestimate the Logo, the Clippers will be different and a lot better next year. I hope they crush the Lakers, you know the team that Monty Williams turned down to coach the Phoenix Suns instead, LOL. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    37. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      @37 Got it -I’m Out
      I remember fondly a time in the not too distant past when I’d come here to read interesting Knick related basketball commentary.

      Stop whining. It’s the offseason, the Lottery isn’t until May 14, and the show is over in 2 weeks. A more useful action would be banning a certain insufferable poster who deliberately riles up this board on a daily basis.

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

      FYI, when you’re older, you’re going to realize how smart you never were.

      When I used to debate things with my father (rip) when I was young, his favorite line to me was “I’ve already forgotten more than you know”.

      Now that I’m 60, I know how true that was. I have experienced so much more in life, I am now aware of and consider things I didn’t when I was young. When you are young you are more idealistic (probably a good thing) and naive (not so good). So even though I may have been a tad sharper mentally when I was young, the current version of me is massively wiser. If I should live to 80 I’ll be wiser still.

    39. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Dexter, had probably the most inconsistent writing i’ve ever seen on any show over a period of 5 or so seasons

      The Office (US) — from “The Dundies” and “Casino Night” to “Prince Family Paper” and “Mafia” in just a few seasons

    40. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      his favorite line to me was “I’ve already forgotten more than you know”.

      haha you’re paying it forward with your sons on Knickerblogger

    41. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I think Arya probably took on the face of a white walker to sneak up on the Night King but they didn’t show it because they’re saving that trick for later, possibly when/if she kills Cersei.

      this would be a worse plot twist than when Melo put on the skin mask of a supermax player and goaded the Knicks into trading 4 players and 4 draft picks for him so he could get to NY six months early

    42. Bruno Almeida

      I used to have long, very heated debates with an uncle of mine who used to argue about literally everything. There was nothing he didn’t know about or didn’t want to give his opinion on, so I kinda admired his knowledge of the world growing up.

      Then I grew older and I realized he was actually very stupid and continues to be one of the stupidest people I’ve ever met in my life to this day. He simply knew how to sound knowledgeable while spouting complete nonsense with a straight face.

    43. swiftandabundant

      Why would that be a plot twist? She has had that ability for several seasons now. To me it makes perfect sense that she would be the one to kill Cersei since she had her father killed (and let her sister get raped by her son, etc). And if she’s going to do it, the only way she can get past her guards would be to take on the face of someone else.

      I have a lot of problems with the show right now but to me this would be a very logical conclusion to her character’s journey.

    44. MKinLA

      @24: Not just the three direct hits on the airborne dragon, but from ships (which are, themselves, in constant motion).

      In general, I have found this season’s strategy / tactics / combat scenes asinine. Forgive me if these complaints were aired last night, but:

      1. How could Daeny / Tyrion separate their forces, again, and send half by sea, again, after the last disastrous encounter with Euron?
      2. Why did Euron’s fleet stop with wrecking a few of Daeny’s ships with the balistae? Why not sink all of them?
      3. What stopped Euron’s fleet from landing soldiers and killing the surviving good guys (Grey Worm, Tyrion, etc.) on the beach?

      And, finally…

      4. Given Cersese’s demonstrated ruthlessness, why didn’t she use the balistae and archers on the walls in the final scene to kill Daeny and all of her advisors?

      They have plenty of money for writers. Why not hire at least one who knows something about medieval / very early modern war?

    45. swiftandabundant

      I did enjoy the Jamie Lannister/Brien plot line from last night and I think its heading to where she ends up killing him in a battle. I’m ok with that as an end to that story line. Everything else is kind of dumb at this point.

    46. Hubert

      I thought Arya was a lock to kill Cersei, but after they gave her the night king’s scalp I can’t see it. It would be the Arya show at that point.

      Jamie is the character who has earned the right to kill her thru story telling. But benioff and weiss have revealed themselves to be the kind of hacks that would allow a character who hasn’t earned the right to make the killing blow simply for the sake of surprise. They admitted as much when they said that they didn’t have Jon kill the night’s king bc “that’s what everyone expected.”

      That’s what annoys me so much about these guys. Surprise for the sake of surprise is not good story telling. People expected Jon to kill the NK bc that’s the only person they wrote capable of it. But they decided to drop Arya out of the sky instead, so they’ll probably have Tyrion or Bronn or even grey worm be the one who kills cersei, bc “that’s what no one expects.”

      The beauty of GRRM was that he surprised you while earning it. Robb and Oberyn, for instance, were stunning surprises. But they were wholly earned and we should have expected it. That’s good story telling.

      Picking a character out of a hat to do something that they shouldn’t be able to do just to pull a surpise is some lame writing. Like when the lawn mower guy who had 30 seconds of screen time turned out to be the great villain of true detective.

    47. swiftandabundant

      Hubert, I agree completely. Surprises in shows should be earned. It should be a surprise that shocks you when it happens but then you look back and it makes perfect sense.

      And surprises should be for mid season or end of season episodes. IMO, when the show is ending, it shouldn’t be about surprises anymore but about checking off the unanswered questions/boxes and tying up the lose ends. This doesn’t mean a show can’t have a surprise or cliff hanger to end the series but IMO the best show endings are the ones that wrap everything up nicely.

      Examples for me would be the end of Breaking Bad and Mad Men. I thought those shows ended perfectly.

    48. Bruno Almeida

      Picking a character out of a hat to do something that they shouldn’t be able to do just to pull a surpise is some lame writing. Like when the lawn mower guy who had 30 seconds of screen time turned out to be the great villain of true detective.

      Holy hell, I had managed to erase that from my memory, that one hurt so much. What a waste of a very interesting show.

      I think we’ll get a random surprise just for the sake of it, like we got in this episode with the dragon dying out of nowhere, and it’s going to be very annoying. I’m fine with Arya killing the Night King because there was some sense to it, she’s clearly capable (one of the only ones if not the only one) and has a character arc that led us to expect her doing great things. But I do fear they’ll botch Cersei’s end really hard.

    49. Hubert

      Sometimes the thing that everyone is expecting is the best story to tell. They didn’t have Han Solo kill Darth Vader bc everyone was expecting Luke to do it, you know?

      I wanted to see Jon face the NK. I get that Arya kind of earned it, but it was like reading ten chapters of the Iliad and then not getting an Achilles v Hector fight.

    50. geo

      Like when the lawn mower guy who had 30 seconds of screen time turned out to be the great villain of true detective.

      Holy hell, I had managed to erase that from my memory, that one hurt so much. What a waste of a very interesting show.

      + 1,000…that was some phenomenal acting going on in that first season of true detective…i had to go back and re-watch the lower mower guy scene just to see if i had missed anything…no, i didn’t…just some “cheap” storytelling…

      even after everything that had happened (including helping to bring down a whole plane), i still wanted walter to live and just go to jail…

    51. Owen

      Well, now there have been two dragons killed by missile in the history of Westeros. Pretty stupid. Like unbelievably dumb.

      I have the same dread for the end of GOT as I do the lottery. Not sure which ends up worse…

    52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      I’m going to ask that the leaked plot details not be discussed here. I’m sure that request will be as well-received as those asking to turn back to basketball for a bit.

      Why not hire at least one who knows something about writing plotlines that aren’t full of holes, absent of the world-building that made seasons 1-4 so good, and devoid of dramatic tension?

      FTFY

    53. JK47

      Sometimes the thing that everyone is expecting is the best story to tell. They didn’t have Han Solo kill Darth Vader bc everyone was expecting Luke to do it, you know?

      Usually this is correct. I hate the lazy thing where the lame deus ex machina allows the writers to escape whatever hole they have backed themselves into. That said…

      ***SPOILER ALERT RELATED TO THE WIRE WHICH HAS BEEN OFF THE AIR FOR ELEVEN YEARS BUT WHATEVER DON’T WANT TO BUM ANYBODY OUT***

      The way Omar met his demise in season 5 of The Wire was one of the better examples of this kind of unexpected plot twist making sense. The conflict between Omar and Marlo (and Snoop and Chris) is building and building, and Omar’s legend is just growing. He seems mythical, unkillable, larger than life.
      Then out of nowhere Omar gets killed by Kennard. Omar doesn’t even register Kennard as a threat because Kennard is like 11 years old.

      At first most people think “NO YOU CAN’T KILL OMAR LIKE THAT.” You want to see the showdown. But then you start thinking about it, and you realize that Kennard’s generation is even worse, even more heartless, even more violent than the generations that came before. Kennard is a little kid out on the street, and he’s committing murders just for the fame of it all.

      It’s a bleak end to an epic storyline. But it makes perfect sense.

    54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Kennard is a little kid out on the street, and he’s committing murders just for the fame of it all.

      I don’t even know if Kennard does it for fame alone. The implication is that it’s an act of opportunism, which somehow makes it even worse to my mind. Someone put a bounty on Omar’s head, and an 11-year-old took advantage of it. And that’s terrifying.

      It’s one of the better main-character deaths on that show, and The Wire is just full of ’em. Still the GOAT.

    55. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      No, no… apparently some plot details leaked today and I don’t want to know any of it, much like Jack Bauer.

    56. ptmilo

      spoiler alert

      .

      .

      .

      .

      joffrey is not dead. he never drank the poisoned wine bc he had been covertly attempting to forestall his burgeoning alcoholism at a westeros AA chapter. when he discovered the threat, he chose to fake his own death to provide angsty material for his touring band “north of the wall” while continuing his evil and and petulant ways amid less hullabaloo.

      so it was his idea to lure fierce but emotional arya marbury into a maniacal cult, destroy her soul, and secretly replace her with the faceless man, lord mills. after consulting with his psychic advisor, isiah littlefinger, joffrey hatches a fiendish plan use bran walsh, who his family had previously rendered incapacitated,
      to lure phil the legendary night king out of hiding. when the night king arrives but is not able to communicate even a single understandable sentence to living ears, lord mills was forced to dispatch with him (in disguise). of course, this did not prevent the allies from seeing their prized mythical beast be sent over the wall and vanquished, only to return as a white walker on the side of the enemy. still, the people were hopeful.

      but the allies made the idiotic mistake of believing the great kingslayer jamie durant would actually join their pathetic ranks, and designed their entire battle plan around this fantasy. although the kingslayer was ephemerally earnest in his redemption, a chance meeting with the great bron convinced him to quit the slaying game altogether and run off to write children’s psalms with ronbaker tarly.

      this left the allies with only a single mitch dragon commanded by the increasingly less confident danaerys fizdale and a ragtag group of unsullied at king’s landing. their only hope was if tyrion silver could rig a dna test to convince the people that the unborn zion lannister was actually the child of jon snow and the rightful heir to the iron throne.

    57. geo

      @60…trying to type, but, laughing like crazy…how in heck are you even able to think up some stuff like that…doesn’t matter i guess…i’m just glad you can :)

    58. Ntilakilla

      At first most people think “NO YOU CAN’T KILL OMAR LIKE THAT.” You want to see the showdown. But then you start thinking about it, and you realize that Kennard’s generation is even worse, even more heartless, even more violent than the generations that came before. Kennard is a little kid out on the street, and he’s committing murders just for the fame of it all.

      Yes, plus there is a poetic aspect to Omar being killed by the most ruthless corner boy who idealized him. Omar was a character who survived the game according to his rep, it proceeded him to the point that drug dealers would herald his arrival with “Omar’s coming!” The fact that Kennard shoots Omar cold-blooded to make a name for himself is that same reputation working against him.

    59. Ntilakilla

      I thought Arya was a lock to kill Cersei, but after they gave her the night king’s scalp I can’t see it. It would be the Arya show at that point.

      People are really sure that she’s being sent to kill Cersei, but I wouldn’t be surprised it she’s going to King’s Landing to off Daeny.

    60. Ntilakilla

      Douche

      It was in bad form. But he wanted a rise. I gave it to him.

      FYI, when you’re older, you’re going to realize how smart you never were.

      How old are you guys? Is it all Gen Xers and Boomers here?

    61. geo

      i see the bucks and celts are in a close one at the half…about 30 more minutes at work, and, then looking forward to catching the end of that game…

      yeah, hoping for (3) 7 game series in the semi’s – boston could get themselves eliminated yesterday though…

      How old are you guys?

      it ain’t the years, it’s the miles räz :)

    62. Ntilakilla

      I wonder if Giannis will ever be called for traveling with the giant steps he takes. He really reminds me of a Shaq for this era. For Shaq it was his ability to basically draw his shoulder in and ram the defender down in the post with impunity even thought it was an offensive foul. For Giannis it’s that insane gait and how it is borderline traveling, add a Eurostep to it, and forget it.

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

      Definitely false

    64. geo

      sure, it would be better to have my own team in the playoffs, pretty sweet though to listen to those celts fans be miserable…

      shit, spoke too soon…

    65. Ntilakilla

      False.

      It get that it was a snarky response. But when you tell me a man who is writing a fantasy novel whose sole purpose is to develop an entire fictional universe with its own religions, economics, politics, history, races, mythologies, geographies, etc. is being “too long-winded” you’re looking for a rise. You might as well tell me that Tolkien was too long-winded in the Lord of the Rings or Joyce was being too long-winded in Ulysses. That’s the whole point of the book.

    66. Ntilakilla

      I really wonder how MitchRob would fair defending Giannis. I am sure he’d be in all sorts of foul trouble, but I think he’d fair well some times because he has the freakish combination athleticism and length necessary to guard the guy.

    67. The Glass Half Rebuilt

      My only regret with the Buck’s destruction of Boston? Kyrie Irving is going to get all the blame while Wonder Boy Stevens and Black Mamba Tatum will be let off the hook. And don’t get me started on Jaylen Brown.

    68. DRed

      Brad Stevens should have coached his guys into shooting more shots into the basket in my opinion. I’m no genius though.

    69. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      It’s real weird that Brook Lopez is prepped to earn a ring as a starter in 2019

    70. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Headline:

      Did Brad Stevens Make the Necessary Adjustments in Game 4?

    71. DRed

      Boston actually did some things well on defense-they are bothering the lesser Bucks-but Giannis is murdering just murdering them and the unexpected appearance of George Hill is enough to make these games in Boston comfortable wins.

    72. Ntilakilla

      @74

      That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It allows for their problems to go uncorrected. If it takes another season for people in Celtic Land to realize Tatum and Brown weren’t as good as once thought that’s less competition for us in the East. I hope they don’t get Anthony Davis.

    73. Bruno Almeida

      @76

      While even being a pretty good contributor.

      Giannis just took over again, the bench did a great job giving the Bucks the lead in the 3rd, but then he came out and simply closed the Celtics out.

      The Celtics take so many garbage shots, it’s gotta be at the very least partly Stevens’ fault. He can’t possibly look at the way Tatum is playing, then look at the Bucks and think yes, keep doing that young fella. Irving will get the brunt of the blame, but their terrible bench today was what lost them the game.

    74. yellowboy90

      What will the bucks be with Brogdon back? The Bledsoe, Hill, Brogdon, Middleton, and Giannis will be scary

    75. DRed

      I read the first 3-4 expanse books but then I lost interest. I’ve heard good things about the show though, so I may start watching. Have they finished the book series yet?

    76. Ntilakilla

      @83

      Not even close. Someone did the math and it seems that George will be finished with the latest book around 2022. I know…I know…

    77. abk

      Is there a way to go short on the Knicks winning a title? 16-1 odds??? I’m an optimist but holy ****!

    78. Ntilakilla

      @86

      I feel better when the bookies have increased our odds. They do their homework on this kind of shit.

    79. Hubert

      The way Omar met his demise in season 5 of The Wire was one of the better examples of this kind of unexpected plot twist making sense. The conflict between Omar and Marlo (and Snoop and Chris) is building and building, and Omar’s legend is just growing. He seems mythical, unkillable, larger than life.
      Then out of nowhere Omar gets killed by Kennard. Omar doesn’t even register Kennard as a threat because Kennard is like 11 years old.

      At first most people think “NO YOU CAN’T KILL OMAR LIKE THAT.” You want to see the showdown. But then you start thinking about it, and you realize that Kennard’s generation is even worse, even more heartless, even more violent than the generations that came before. Kennard is a little kid out on the street, and he’s committing murders just for the fame of it all.

      It’s a bleak end to an epic storyline. But it makes perfect sense.

      Man, I love that you brought this up. I think the kennard story was more earned than Arya ex machina, though. There was also something poetic about him getting taken out like that and getting his tag switched in the morgue.

    80. Anthony Bonner

      Long time reader, first time poster as they might say …

      @83, I haven’t read the Expanse books yet but am a big fan of the show. Eight books are out now, the latest just having been released, and the ninth book will be the last in the series. If you plan to watch the show, give it at least the first 4 episodes if you have a ‘quick hook’. There are a number of plot lines that come together in a sensible way by episode 9.

      The events of the first book take place in season 1 and the first 6 episodes of season 2, the second book takes place in the remainder of season 2 and the first 6 episodes of season 3, and book 3 is in the remainder of season 3.

      I love the show just because it tickles the wanna-be physics geek in me. There are no magic warp / FTL drives, no shields, phasers etc. The very first episode shows a dramatic flip-and-burn maneuver to change directions to respond to a distress call, with people strapping themselves in – no people walking and whistling on the bridge at high speeds like in TNG. It’s the details that matter – ships are built like skyscrapers with engines at the bottom, so people walk perpendicular to the direction of thrust, not parallel like almost every other sci-fi show. Gravity’s effects are seen in every episode, and you even get little nuggets showing dramatic examples of the coriolis effect and conservation of momentum. It’s a universe that feels real, well except for the obvious exceptions you probably already read about.

    81. Bruno Almeida

      Well, the thing is that we really, really cared about Omar. It was not only a surprising way to die, but it was a death that, even though it was expected, came to a character that was almost universally loved and was amazingly well put together by the show creators. We don’t care about the Night King because well, they are releasing spin offs of the series and wanted to keep his back story in their pockets to get more viewers to the upcoming shows.

      The way Omar’s death was handled is still one of my favorite moments from the Wire, because it does so many things at once: it reinforces the idea that the cycle of violence is never ending and is, in fact, spiraling down towards a more aggressive era with Kennard and the youngsters; it opens up the “Omar” spot to conclude Michael’s story arc; it kickstarts Bunk’s next step in his crusade against the bs in the PD; and finally it also shows us that an old rule established early on in the series (a man’s gotta have a code) is not the way the streets work anymore.

      That’s how you see fantastic writing showing up during a story, when the story doesn’t have to show you every single implication of an event, but you get it anyway because of how well put together the entire body of work is. I would argue the red wedding was a similarly powerful scene, as it put the Boltons in play, ended the Stark rebellion, fortified Joffrey’s position towards his impeding doom and moved so many other pieces in the story. This type of writing has died in the show, and it’s not coming back.

    82. Grocer

      How does Green not get a tech for that push in the back?

      I read the first, 6 I think, books of The Expanse. The first cycle was really well done. It was still good after that, in bursts, but not nearly as compelling. I kinda lost the series with other stuff going on (I don’t have cable so it’s kind of a pain to watch) but parts of it were great, parts less good. I thought the casting was stellar given the budget constraints.

    83. Ntilakilla

      I gotta check this Expanse series out. Anyone read the Dune books? I kind of want to, but feel as if the David Lynch movie ruined it for me.

    84. Grocer

      Anyone read the Dune books? I kind of want to, but feel as if the David Lynch movie ruined it for me.

      It is about climate change so you know. Go for it, I guess. Maybe read Dahlgren first, it might teach you to not be so randomly dickish.

    85. abk

      I feel better when the bookies have increased our odds. They do their homework on this kind of shit.

      Not exactly. They want to make risk-free money on bets. With something like the line for a game, that means even money on both sides so they can take money on the vig.

      But with open-ended championship betting I don’t think there is any counterbalance is there (no way to bet the other side)? That means they don’t need to set the odds so close to what the true probabilities are, hoping to get poor souls who are hyped by a potential Durant/Kyrie combo to bet.

    86. Grocer

      Everytime someone taunts Durant with “New York Knicks” someone loses a metrocard.

    87. Early Bird

      @ABK,

      Add up all the probabilities, to see if they equal 1. If they do, make the same bet on every other team.

    88. Brian Cronin

      There’s no one who can guard Durant. It’s amazing. How do you not just give him the ball every possession?

    89. Brian Cronin

      I get the logic (trying to kill the clock), but boy, Harden just eating the clock up down to the last second and then shooting an awful shot seems like a bad idea.

    90. Ntilakilla

      It is about climate change so you know. Go for it, I guess.

      Thanks.

      Maybe read Dahlgren first, it might teach you to not be so randomly dickish.

      Rude.

    91. Brian Cronin

      Wow, TWO good looks for the Warriors there to tie! How in the fuck was Durant so wide open?!

      And yeah, shut up, fans, about the Knicks stuff!

    92. Ntilakilla

      Two missed open threes from the two best shooters on the Warriors. Story of the game.

    93. Brian Cronin

      What do you think Rivers and Tucker are arguing about? Who left Durant open, perhaps?

    94. Grocer

      Hell of a game. Best conference semis ever? I almost want to see Boston win another!

    95. Bruno Almeida

      @106

      Come on, the Celtics getting crushed plus every other series is 2-2 and seem open? It can’t get better than this!

    96. d-mar

      So assuming the Celtics lose to the Bucks, what do they have going forward?

      – The man who fell to earth Jayson Tatum
      – Overrated Jaylen Brown
      – Probably no Kyrie Irving
      – Maxed out Gordon Hayward
      – Draft picks but no high lottery picks

      I’m sure their goal is to go after AD, but what do they offer? If they give up Tatum and a few picks and Kyrie leaves, they’ve basically re-created the Pelicans.

      Amazing how things have gone south for this franchise in one season. And I fucking love it.

    97. yellowboy90

      Expanse is a very good show and was surprised how well it was made considering it was on the Syfy. It was amazing that the fans brought it back from cancellation and hope it does well on Amazon.

      I do like the books more and need to read the last book that came out.

    98. MBunge

      It’s hilarious to see folks at this site throwing shade at Tatum and Brown, considering how many have gone from penciling Frank in as a contending-quality NBA starter to doing the same with Mitch. But what else can you do, I guess, if you still want to hold on to the KD-and-Kyrie-to-NY dream.

      But the Celtics have become a great lesson in the importance of pushing all your chips in when the time comes. This should have been a title-or-bust season but Ainge was too focused on his dreams of Kyrie and AD while Stevens was too wrapped up with his binkie, Hayward.

      Mike

    99. Bruno Almeida

      @113

      Nobody is saying they’re useless or guaranteeing they’ll never improve, people are just reacting to the perception in the media and fans that they are stars in the making. Brown has regressed from last season and has shown pretty much no improvement in 3 years, and Tatum has also regressed from his obviously unsustainable rookie numbers. If you think 2nd or 3rd year players regressing is no cause to be concerned for a team that might be about to lose their best player and be left with only them plus 33 year old Horford and the artist formerly known as Gordon Hayward…

      If I’m the Pelicans I’m watching Tatum’s shot selection and overall production, and I’m calling everyone else in the league about AD. Or I’m asking for at the very least both Brown and Tatum + multiple first round picks, which is meaningless for the Celtics as they would build the Pelicans east with zero cap space.

    100. geo

      Anyone read the Dune books? I kind of want to, but feel as if the David Lynch movie ruined it for me.

      yeah, that movie was not good…

      it’s been since forever, but, I remember the first 2 or 3 books were pretty good, after that it was pretty bad…

      seemed kind of youth oriented…

      sci-fi wise I’d recommend clarke’s rama series, or, asimov’s foundation series over it…

      hmmmmmm, thinking about it – single story, I’d go with heinlein’s “the moon is a harsh mistress” and “starship trooper” as my favorite sci-fi stories…

      they both have strong political themes…gotta earn the title of citizen…

    101. Z-man

      One of my diehard Celtic fan (and Knicks dismisser) friends believes that Kyrie is the root of all evil and hopes we take the albatross off of their hands. FWIW, I agree with him. Kyrie has a lot of Melo in him.

    102. Brian Cronin

      One of my diehard Celtic fan (and Knicks dismisser) friends believes that Kyrie is the root of all evil and hopes we take the albatross off of their hands. FWIW, I agree with him. Kyrie has a lot of Melo in him.

      I think Kyrie will piss the shit out of us a lot next season, but at the same time, I think KD is coming here specifically so that he could be paired with another star, so if Kyrie is the “tax,” as it were, for getting KD, then I’m all for paying that tax. Durant is just amazing. He’d instantaneously become the best player to ever wear the Knick uniform. He’s unreal.

      Also, you’d like to believe that after seeing life before and after playing with a super-duperstar, that Kyrie would be more willing to defer to KD and thus if he is having one of his poor shooting nights, he would stop hoisting them up there and let KD shoot more.

      Not to mention, of course, that Irving as the second best player on your team is a lot more impressive, ya know? I’d prefer Kyrie to any of the other non-Kawhi guys, as the options are relatively slim once you get past Kyrie and Kemba (I love Jimmy Butler, but come on, you can’t be adding two guys in their 30s unless they’re both super-duperstars).

    103. thenoblefacehumper

      It’s hilarious to see folks at this site throwing shade at Tatum and Brown, considering how many have gone from penciling Frank in as a contending-quality NBA starter

      When you consider how many people here have penciled in Frank as a contending-quality NBA starter, the answer you arrive at is one.

    104. Hubert

      Guys we are one week away from the lottery.

      Question: how many posters here actually live in NYC? I had spoken to Brian about hosting a community meetup / lottery viewing. Last time we had one of those (that I recall) was around 6 years ago and it was rather enjoyable.

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