Knicks Morning News (2021.10.14)

  • Previewing Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley’s Season – The Knicks Wall
    [theknickswall.com] — Thursday, October 14, 2021 6:58:05 AM

    Previewing Obi Toppin, Immanuel Quickley’s Season  The Knicks Wall

  • NBA Insider Ian Begley on Kyrie Irving’s IG Live, Mitchell Robinson, Knicks’ three-point shooting | SportsNite – Yahoo Sports
    [sports.yahoo.com] — Thursday, October 14, 2021 12:30:00 AM

    NBA Insider Ian Begley on Kyrie Irving’s IG Live, Mitchell Robinson, Knicks’ three-point shooting | SportsNite  Yahoo Sports

  • Knicks vs Pistons: Derrick Rose, Julius Randle love Tom Thibodeau’s preseason intensity | Knicks Post Game – Yahoo Sports
    [sports.yahoo.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 11:30:00 PM

    Knicks vs Pistons: Derrick Rose, Julius Randle love Tom Thibodeau’s preseason intensity | Knicks Post Game  Yahoo Sports

  • N.Y. Knicks 108, Detroit 100 – SF Gate
    [www.sfgate.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 10:10:26 PM

    N.Y. Knicks 108, Detroit 100  SF Gate

  • N.Y. Knicks 108, Detroit 100 – New Haven Register
    [www.nhregister.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 10:09:38 PM

    N.Y. Knicks 108, Detroit 100  New Haven Register

  • Knicks 108, Pistons 100: Scenes from the Julius and Taj show – Posting and Toasting
    [www.postingandtoasting.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 10:09:13 PM

    Knicks 108, Pistons 100: Scenes from the Julius and Taj show  Posting and ToastingPistons vs. Knicks GameThread: Game Time, TV, Odds, and More  Detroit Bad BoysDetroit Pistons fade in second half, fall to New York Knicks, 108-100, in preseason  Yahoo SportsKnicks starters log big minutes in preseason win over Pistons  New York Post Pistons overpowered by Julius Randle, Knicks strong third quarter  MLive.comView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Tom Thibodeau’s Year 2 plan: Take Knicks to even higher level – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 7:47:00 PM

    Tom Thibodeau’s Year 2 plan: Take Knicks to even higher level  New York Post

  • Knicks spoke with free agents at Kevin Knox’s position late this offseason – Yahoo Sports
    [sports.yahoo.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 6:16:48 PM

    Knicks spoke with free agents at Kevin Knox’s position late this offseason  Yahoo Sports

  • NBA Insider on how RJ Barrett’s 3-point shooting will factor into Knicks offense | Ian Begley – Yahoo Sports
    [sports.yahoo.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 4:45:03 PM

    NBA Insider on how RJ Barrett’s 3-point shooting will factor into Knicks offense | Ian Begley  Yahoo Sports

  • New York Knicks: 3 X-factors for the 2021-22 NBA season – Hoops Habit
    [hoopshabit.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 4:26:00 PM

    New York Knicks: 3 X-factors for the 2021-22 NBA season  Hoops Habit

  • NY Knicks: Reacting to a proposed Collin Sexton trade idea – Daily Knicks
    [dailyknicks.com] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 10:00:00 AM

    NY Knicks: Reacting to a proposed Collin Sexton trade idea  Daily Knicks

  • ‘Greatness is a Grind,’ And Other Lessons Learned From NY Knicks’ Jeff Van Gundy – Chief Executive Group
    [chiefexecutive.net] — Wednesday, October 13, 2021 7:59:18 AM

    ‘Greatness is a Grind,’ And Other Lessons Learned From NY Knicks’ Jeff Van Gundy  Chief Executive Group

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    120 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2021.10.14)”

    1. Discussion topics carrying over from the previous thread. Pick up any one you like, or add more:

      * Julius Randle is the player we all wanted Melo to become if he wasn’t too stubborn and myopic about his game
      * IQ can make high-level passes at point guard, but is he actually a good playmaker, and is the rest of his game suffering when he has to run the offense?
      * In a simulated game matching up a team starting five Michael Jordans against five Taj Gibsons, by how much would the all-Taj be favored?

    2. Alan: * In a simulated game matching up a team starting five Michael Jordans against five Taj Gibsons, by how much would the all-Taj be favored?

      Just put all my money on Taj as MVP, you wouldn’t believe the line I got

    3. I know there’s going to be a lot of talk about the game last night, and rightfully so. But I just want to give a shout out to strat for coming up with two brand new monikers in one evening: one to sing the praises of Porzingis, and the other to take a shot at Jowles and Noble’s screen names. That was a great performance.

    4. Also some talk last night about current Knicks who always wanted to play here. Kind of nice.

      Fournier, Kemba, RJ, Taj

      Any more?

    5. Speaking of the Melo/Randle comparison– I still remember that 2012-13 team with the Felton/Chandler high PNR, Melo on the wing. Team would bring help at the nail off the wing shooter, which was usually either Melo or JR. Still remember Melo draining a million 3’s off that action or attacking the frantic close-out.

      Julius did a great job as the primary last year, but having him as a secondary ballhandler (and probably RJ in the corner) makes a ton more sense now that Kemba is around. Kemba/Mitch PNR with Fournier/Julius/RJ will be deadly…

    6. I know one of the reasons Melo kept resisting playing the 4 was that he didn’t like the pounding he would have to take. The game has since evolved so that there are fewer Oakley/Kurt Thomas types playing that position to begin with, but also Randle is physically much stronger than Melo was and can more easily endure a beating. He’s also a much more willing and creative passer. And when he goes all heroball, it’s usually because the offense just has nothing else going at the time, whereas Melo approached the game as if his jab-stepping should always the the primary method of offense, rather than an iso of last resort.

    7. I’m an Obi doubter and would be thrilled to be wrong, but man, his inability to finish around the rim is really concerning.

      I’ve said it a few times, I can’t figure out what he’s really good at except flashy dunks in transition.

    8. As awesome as Randle was last night I felt the most impressive part of last night’s victory was our team’s defense in the last 3-4 minutes of the game. Detroit was not getting one clean look during that stretch against the lineup of Taj, Randle, RJ, Burks, and Rose. Everyone handled their assignments, worked in concert, and went after the ball.

    9. d-mar:
      I’m an Obi doubter and would be thrilled to be wrong, but man, his inability to finish around the rim is really concerning.

      I’ve said it a few times, I can’t figure out what he’s really good at except flashy dunks in transition.

      IMO — I love Obi, but, yeah, he should be watching highlights of James Worthy on repeat, especially his low post game.

    10. “As many mentioned, Thibs went nuts on him for some mistake last night. I didn’t see exactly why.”

      I think it was because IQ didn’t hear the timeout Thibs was trying to call.

    11. As awesome as Randle was last night I felt the most impressive part of last night’s victory was our team’s defense in the last 3-4 minutes of the game. Detroit was not getting one clean look during that stretch against the lineup of Taj, Randle, RJ, Burks, and Rose. Everyone handled their assignments, worked in concert, and went after the ball.

    12. “You think it’s bad to be a misogynistic, racist, homophobe who shares nude photos of people without their consent, yet your username on a Knicks blog is ‘thenoblefacehumper,’ interesting!” is such a hilarious attempted hypocrisy gotcha I was positive it was a joke when I first read it

    13. Come to think of it, it might make more sense that W is E, what with the single letter moniker and the echo of his gruden take.

      But the brand new poster whose first post is about Porzingis about to break out… Lol that one was like putting on glasses and mustache and calling it a disguise.

    14. Forthwith, a tribunal should be immediately convened to review all KB user names for political correctness.

    15. Hubert: that one was like putting on glasses and mustache and calling it a disguise

      Hubert, your private detective! Call now (646) 757-8686 LOLOL

    16. @FredKatz
      The Knicks, according to @FiveThirtyEight
      ’s projections:

      • 43 wins
      • No. 8 seed
      • 63% chance at playoffs
      • 2% chance at making the Finals

    17. I don’t want to continue the Gruden discussion but it brought up another issue for me. I would love to participate in the Knicks discussion here but the reason I have not joined before is the ick factor from the user names that reference genitalia (THCJ) and sexual acts (TNFH). I really don’t want to have a conversation about those with people either at work or at home who might see me engaging with the site. So if you can see why Gruden’s remarks make him unqualified for a management position in the USA, I hope you can also see why people would be very turned off by any screenshot of the comments from this site. Hopefully these two users will voluntarily change their display names to something less offensive but if not maybe a policy change would help.

      A cock is a rooster, roosters have jowls, and you can go fuck yourself.

    18. From Jared Dubin’s write-up at 538 of the RAPTOR projections for this season (which have us finishing 8th in the Eastern Conference, but basically indistinguishable from the Heat and Pacers):

      Lastly (and most importantly for long-suffering people like me), for the first time in the history of FiveThirtyEight’s predictions, the New York Knickerbockers (!) have title odds that are not pegged at “less than 0.1 percent.” Julius Randle and company are one of the league’s deepest teams with nine positively rated players6 and are accordingly given a 0.6 percent chance of hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy. There is a 1 in 166 or so chance that I will see you all at the parade.

      (The 6 is pointing to a footnote saying that the 9 are every potential rotation player save for Obi, Taj, and Knox. And clearly, RAPTOR has not been watching All-NBA First Team Center Taj this preseason.)

    19. Statistical projections probably have a healthy dose of regression from Randle built in, Kemba continuing to decline, and Rose declining. All reasonable, but there are also reasonable arguments against those things occurring.

      It’s not crazy to believe Randle has legitimately gotten a lot better, Kemba’s last season was an anomaly not the beginning of the end, and Rose’s late-career reinvention has some staying power. These are the kinds of things that are hard for models to capture.

      There’s also obviously a spectrum here. Some of these things could happen but not others, they could all happen but not all that prominently, they could all happen but get outweighed by other things, etc. Where you come out on those factors probably determines a lot about your win prediction. I’m still more or less comfortable with 47.

    20. I probably say the same thing every year but it does seem we legitimately are underrated by most outlets in regards to wins this season. They mention our depth as a positive so maybe they are assuming big regressions from Julius and Kemba as our top guys.

      I’ll go with 48 wins for now

    21. I am not going to explicitly say that guy was Strat. I am going to say the writing style seemed oddly familiar.

    22. Brian I am sure will put up a wins thread at some point but still six days till opening night.

      Preseason is stupid. At halftime I was feeling really down on the Knicks, which I know is dumb. I felt better at the end obviously. We just need Randle to ball. I think I have a reasonable amount of trust in everyone else and in our depth.

    23. kevin5318: They mention our depth as a positive so maybe they are assuming big regressions from Julius and Kemba as our top guys

      https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2022-nba-predictions/knicks/

      I think that the problem for us KBers is that we do see a significant improvement in offensive output (Kemba, Fournier, Quickley/Barrett’s progression over Payton et al.) but we fail to see the dramatic shift in the league over the past few years.

      Remember how obscenely good the 2016-19 Warriors were at offense? Well, they topped out at a 115.9 ORtg (in part because Steph Curry almost never had to play a 4th quarter, but nevermind that right now) over that period.

      Last season, SEVEN different teams broke the record (2019-20 Mavs, 116.7) for ORtg, with the Nets absolutely smashing it with a 118.3 mark — and they weren’t even at full strength for much of the season.

      2020-21 holds 9 of the top 15 team ORtg performances in league history. So yes, we are improved. But are we as improved as the rest of the league has improved? We haven’t yet hit the ceiling on the three-point revolution, and as you can see, there’s a flattening out at the top.

    24. At halftime I was feeling really down on the Knicks, which I know is dumb.

      We looked like shit, but worth keeping in mind we won’t be good if Kemba, Noel, and Mitch play zero games for us.

    25. I’d probably bet on something like 45-47, but a lot of those will be Thibs wins, there will be no load management of any kind of Kemba and Rose and come playoff time, assuming the Knicks get in, key pieces will be broken down or overworked and they’ll disappoint again.

      Obviously, if the breakdown or overwork comes in the season, the 45-47 goes down. I can’t have any real trust in Kemba and Rose being properly load managed and they absolutely need to be.

    26. I take every new poster at face value. Mike K’s house is not going to repaint itself.

      It was super odd though. The fact it was dropped into a game thread I think made me think it was possibly sincere. A reg would know to do it in the morning.

    27. I don’t know what you guys are talking about now, but if I was going to take a shot at that basketball know-nothing Jowles I would do it to his face like I always have in the past.

      I’m too busy for this nonsense today, but quickly…..

      I think this Knicks team may not even be as good as last year’s team. I’d bet the under but Thib’s is such a maniac about winning regular season games it seems very risky.

      Dallas is close to contention if KP stays healthy. Doncic played very intelligently last night (which is a rarity for him despite being great at almost everything else). So even though he had a rough night shooting they played great as a team. They were moving the ball really well and even defending. It was beautiful to watch. Even my man Frank put on a show in 7 minutes.

      I’ll be back after we lose to Boston opening night.

    28. The occasional foray into the issues of the day is probably truly ginning up some sideliners, but it’s never really made a lot of sense to me, other than as an exercise in narcissism that someone would come on and say, “You know, if everyone changed their names and the things they say about the issues I’ve the day, I’d be a more likely customer.” Do they go to like the Amsterdam red light district and then fire off a bunch of emails to the proprietors saying, “You know, if you changed from having pole dancers to instead being an all-you-can-drink mimosa leisurely brunch place, I’d be much more likely to want to be a customer”?????

    29. It was really odd. Anyway, on to the issues of the day.

      If 41.5 is the line, I don’t know, I think I could be tempted for the first time in recorded history to take the over. I’d like everyone to be healthy going in but I can’t definitely see the Knicks winning 42 games. Not 48, but somewhere 42-45 seems rightish at the moment.

      I don’t know, seems low. Strat has the under, we got that.

    30. It could be the under. This could go south. They have two brittle, aging PGs, one with a clearly arthritic knee. Derrick Rose can’t play starters’ minutes, that was made abundantly crystal clear in the Hawks series. And, as Hollinger has written, ISM was a statistical reality. Usually, there’s a boomerang reversion to the norm in sports amongst teams with massive one-year improvements.

      43 is definitely the right line.

    31. E, all merc’d out: having pole dancers to instead being an all-you-can-drink mimosa leisurely brunch place

      Por que no los dos? Can I even criticize Jon Gruden when I find an all-you-can-drink mimosa leisurely brunch pole dancing club to be a highly appealing idea? Lady Jowles, I know you’re lurking: get googling and I’ll book the plane tickets.

    32. We all know Strat aka Deeefense aka whatever that other blues musician’s name he was using as a screen name has no history of sock puppet posting

    33. In a notebook column that also deals with the backup PG situation, Obi expanding his game (albeit not so much last night), and Knox’s future with the team, Fred Katz digs into that whole “do preseason stats realistically predict anything?” question, since the Knicks have a 15.5 net rating through three games, albeit against teams that weren’t good last year and may not be good this year:

      Going back to 2005, when NBA.com started tracking preseason net ratings, 17 teams have outscored opponents by at least 15.5 points per 100 during the preseason, and 16 of those finished above .500. There are questions heading into this season about if the Knicks’ .569 winning percentage in 2020-21 is sustainable. Well, 15 of the 17 exhibition destroyers ended up playing at a .569 pace or better. Ten won at least one playoff series. The record-setting 2021 Pelicans were the only member of the group to miss the postseason.

      So, does this mean the Knicks are unquestionably good? Of course not. Preseason numbers lie like chain emails from your uncle, and New York’s greatest advantage right now is that it wants to win. But this team will tell you the reason it climbed to an unexpected No. 4 seed last season is because of that hard-fought mentality, the same one that has Randle unknowingly flying out of bounds for basketballs.

    34. Who is new strat?

      many people missed this gem bc it was the last post of the thread before the game thread, so let’s bring it back.

      A new poster showed up with the name “You Can’t Handle the Truth”, and this was his first entry:

      You Can’t Handle The Truth
      October 13, 2021 at 7:14 pm
      The way Porzingis looks tonight Jason Kidd is the early favorite for coach of the year. He’s playing excellent center on both sides of the court. He looks fresher, thicker, stronger, and happier. The Knicks would be contenders with this version of Porzingis at Center.

      And then there was the long time lurker who started off his KB career by calling out Jowles and TNFH. That guy might have been E, but probably was also Strat.

    35. Last night was a regular season game that shouldn’t have been. The game should have never been close. But..I am super happy to see that the guys- even the ones you don’t expect it from- are able to figure it out defensively and lock in. I can imagine Thibs really loves this team. It’s like the perfect group for him to lead. Definitely proud of that. We should have a good season. I felt like I had split personalities watchin the game lol. One minute I was livid about how out of sorts the team looked on both ends, then proud of the resolve the next minute. I still don’t like how Thibs had to get these guys to grind it out against Jerami Grant and the HaHa’s- where he was by far and away the best player available for Detroit. Nothing in the NBA is a given, but we should have been able to figure them out with no Cade or Killian. Maybe we took them too lightly, who knows.

    36. @StevePopper
      Knicks announce Myles Powell waived. They retain his rights – this is the expected move to Westchester Knicks.

      Bookkeeping, basically. Powell goes to our G-League team and gets an extra 50 grand from the Exhibit 10 contract he signed to be on the big club for a couple of days.

    37. Yeah, there are reasons for optimism. It’s hard to say that for me. But I am just going to lean into this feeling.

      I enjoyed Hollingers column on the Grizzlies.

      https://theathletic.com/2883497/2021/10/14/hollingers-2021-22-memphis-grizzlies-preview-lineup-roster-prediction-which-players-are-keepers/

      Burning question: Which players are the keepers?
      As noted above, the next phase for the Grizzlies is to make some hard decisions about what the peak version of this team should look like. Morant won’t be going anywhere, but after him, their depth forces them into some hard decisions. It’s a good problem, the kind you’re hoping to have in a rebuild, but it’s there nonetheless.

      The first one on the list is Jackson. Whether it happens now or next summer, they likely need to cough up a big-money, multi-year deal or face losing him in restricted free agency. He’s a major talent but hasn’t quite emerged as a star on Morant’s level and has battled multiple injuries, so it’s not like it’s a no-brainer to hand him the bag. And he’s not the only tough call.

      You can see some of those hard choices in the moves Memphis already made: The Grizzlies punted on re-signing Valan?i?nas in the summer of 2022 and moved on from Allen while he was still on his rookie deal. Reports had them canvassing the league for the trade value of several other players, which makes sense: Trade value could be a critical difference when choosing among multiple similar players.

      Meanwhile, one particular weakness still vexes them, one that played out in the Utah series: They have a lot of good guards but nobody in the 6-7 to 6-9 range with perimeter skill except Anderson. To go beyond treading water with the current group, they’ll need to address that.

      The Grizzlies only have one player making more than $12.2 million this season, and that’s Adams. But look at the calendar: Jackson, Anderson and Jones will be free agents in 2022; Brooks, Adams and Morant in 2023; and Bane, Melton and…

    38. I’m leaning toward the over. I think the Vegas line line reflects an emotional belief on the part of bettors that the Knicks are intrinsically not good and therefore last season was a fluke. The line expects us to be substantially worse than last year in winning percentage. You can argue we really didn’t get better (as Strat just stated). But even so, just as good as last year is still better than the actual line. Injuries are a risk, and if bad they could derail us, but realistically more than one guy has to miss a lot of time for that to happen.

    39. Hubert: many people missed this gem bc it was the last post of the thread before the game thread, so let’s bring it back.

      A new poster showed up with the name “You Can’t Handle the Truth”, and this was his first entry:

      And then there was the long time lurker who started off his KB career by calling out Jowles and TNFH. That guy might have been E, but probably was also Strat.

      It read “entitled, self-centered, the world revolves around my whims millennial” from head to toe, so it most definitely wasn’t me. I mean, I guess thinking it through I could write something in that character, but I didn’t. If it was strat — and I don’t think it was — I’ll simply channel the admiration Solozzo showed when he learned that a million dollars was strictly finance for Don Corleone. Tu salut!

    40. kevin5318: 2% chance at making the Finals

      2% to get to see the 3rd Finals of my lifetime? I’ll take it! :)
      I’m leaning towards 45 wins… well, i was, now with MVP Taj i’m weighing if we’ll get to 60! :D

    41. Was unable to watch the game last night so I’ll refrain from offering any editorial commentary on the minutes distribution. Although I did see in the box score that Rose was asked to play 31 minutes in Kemba’s absence, I was relieved that it at least was not the nineteen he played against Washington. By now, every Knick fan is well aware of the inherent dangers associated with that number so I’d think the team’s head coach should also know better than to play with fire.

      Knew Your Nicks: If you like compilations and heavy psych

      KYN, are you familiar with a compilation entitled Pop Festival ’73? It’s a collection of Greek bands from that time period. I was lucky enough to find a copy at a thrift store many years back and it’s a killer comp. Definitely worth checking out if you haven’t heard it already. Here’s a link showing the band names and the song titles (mostly in the Greek alphabet)

      https://www.discogs.com/master/640176-Various-Pop-Festival-73

    42. Thinking a bit about the current Philly mess together with the recent posts on Melo/Randle and am starting to change my mind on The Process. I have been in the “it really worked” camp, blaming the poor outcomes completely on stupid post-Process decisions.

      But Embiid and Simmons have one thing in common–they are underachievers versus their potential, probably numbers 1 and 2 among the elite in the league. One has always been out of shape and the other never expanded his game. It could be a coincidence or perhaps a consequence of being drafted on a team that is not trying to improve short-term. Unless you have the drive of Randle to want to improve, why bother…just trust the Process.

    43. BernieEarnie: But Embiid and Simmons have one thing in common–they are underachievers versus their potential, probably numbers 1 and 2 among the elite in the league.

      Embiid is a top-5 player and finished 2nd in MVP voting last year, my man. If not for Rudy Gobert and Giannis, he’d likely have a DPOY under his belt to go with his three All-NBA and All-Defensive selections. His playoff numbers looked nearly identical to his regular season numbers.

      Ben Simmons went 4-14 from the line in a critical game five and then refused a wide-open dunk in a tight game 7.

      They are not the same.

    44. It could be a coincidence or perhaps a consequence of being drafted on a team that is not trying to improve short-term. Unless you have the drive of Randle to want to improve, why bother…just trust the Process.

      This is interesting. Randle went to a bad Lakers team, but he overlapped with Kobe for two years — one when he was rehabbing his injury but around the facility all the time, and one where they were playing together. I have many issues with Kobe otherwise, but he was by all accounts one of the most intense competitors the NBA has ever seen, even in those final seasons when both Kobe and the team were shells of their former selves. Being around that kind of personality can crush some young players (see Kwame Brown vs. Michael Jordan), but it can also inspire others to emulate the work ethic (and hopefully only the work ethic). Whereas Embiid and Simmons were young players on teams where anyone who wanted to win as badly as Kobe did tended to be shipped out of town quickly.

    45. Owen:
      It was really odd. Anyway, on to the issues of the day.

      If 41.5 is the line, I don’t know, I think I could be tempted for the first time in recorded history to take the over. I’d like everyone to be healthy going in but I can’t definitely see the Knicks winning 42 games. Not 48, but somewhere 42-45 seems rightish at the moment.

      I don’t know, seems low. Strat has the under, we got that.

      It sure seems like there’s enough depth to safely predict 42-45, but Kemba’s and Rose’s knees are a bit of an X factor.

    46. Simmons gets such a bad rap for that single play. It’s funny how it has become emblematic of so much. I just spent five minutes with this baseline angle Zapruder style trying to exonerate Simmons and I think I detect a little bobble at the 22 mark as he tries to gather the ball after getting stripped. It’s a strange one.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EHA4UhYuQY

    47. I think it’s super fun to have sock puppet posters. This way we have the challenge to guess who they are. We should do this more often. :)

    48. I think the only solid argument for Knicks pessimism this season (Vegas, Strat, and 538) is that we optimists have discounted the improvement of the East too much in our assessment of the Knicks prospects. Even the worst teams this year project to be better than their prior iterations, and we likely have *some* regression coming from the ISM even if Randle, Kemba, Rose, and Mitch/Noel don’t regress. But even with some ISM regression, our offense looks *so* much more potent that I think the increased shot quality is going to outweigh any ISM regression worries. Moreover, I’m not a huge believer in the Heat or Celtics, and I think there’s probably a non-neglible benefit to wins from our continuity and Thibs Magic (playing every game like it’s game 7). We have a lot of injury downside but ultimately I think the positive signals outweigh the negative ones, enough for me to peg this team at 50 wins. It feels good to be an optimist for once!

    49. To add a little bit to what I just said: When I look at the Eastern Conference standings, I only see 4 teams that are clearly better than us: BK, Philly (though without Simmons who knows), Milwaukee, and Atlanta. If you’re low on the Celtics and Heat like I am, then it looks like the EC ramifies into 4 tiers:

      Tier 1: BK, Milwaukee, Philly
      Tier 2: Atlanta (a really fun team to project), NYK
      Tier 3: Chicago (another fun team to prognosticate), Miami (borderline tier 2 for me), Boston, Indiana, Charlotte
      Tier 4: Everyone else

      In a competitive EC, we still look, by my eye, good enough for a 5 seed, though it’s pretty volatile. I think there’s going to be a big clump of mid-40 to low 50 wins teams from seeds 4-8. But the Knicks look good enough to be near the top of the clump, rather than scrapping in the play-in. Or so it seems to me.

    50. It’s pretty simple, the Knicks need to get enough improvement on offense (namely offensive eFG%) to offset defensive regression to the mean due to the Invisible Sixth Man. And we’ll need the old man point guard tandem to hold up pretty well. It’d be nice to have a cromulent veteran third string PG or a stretch 5 on the roster, and maybe those are upgrades that could be done during the season.

      I’m not generally a member of Team Optimist, but you can clearly see how Walker and Fournier make us a much better and more versatile offensive team. I’m seeing some good ball movement, team play, and unselfishness here so it wouldn’t shock me if this offense turns out to be better than average. We could, for once, actually be above average on both sides of the ball.

    51. Simmons gets such a bad rap for that single play. It’s funny how it has become emblematic of so much.

      Well, your second sentence kind of sums it up. I guess I could focus on his 7-7 performance in Game 1, but I really want my max PG taking more shots than Matisse Thybulle in a Game 7. (And I really want that other max player, Tobias Harris, shooting better than 33% from the field.)

    52. We will win 50 Games. We might be dead tired and broken come playoff time, but we will win 50 games.

    53. I’m usually on the cautious side regarding the Knicks
      and “Don’t bet on my favorite teams” is one of my cardinal working rules
      but I’m going to take the over when we do our annual poll.

    54. @FredKatz
      Mitchell Robinson (foot) scrimmaged today, Tom Thibodeau says. If he feels well tomorrow, “we’ll give it a shot,” Thibodeau says. Knicks play the Wizards tomorrow night. “He’s making really good progress, so we’re very pleased with that,” Thibodeau adds.

    55. It’s weird to me that a guy as physically strong as RJ, and who is both relatively skilled and intensely dedicated to his craft, is still so poor at finishing around the rim. Is it simply that he lacks great athleticism? Then again, Obi’s much more athletic and he missed some bunnies last night, too, so… dunno?

    56. Good news on Mitch, it’s due.

      Meanwhile not a great showing for Rokas in Euroleague, 10 min, 2 points (1-3), 2 fouls and literally nothing else.
      He’ll play again tomorrow.

    57. Alan,

      I think RJ’s issue with finishing is due to 1. his total lack of pop around the rim and 2. lack of shiftiness/craft. He can’t really jump off one foot and has a pretty long load up, and because he doesn’t have a lot of shiftiness to his game, he’s often stuck bulldozing in using his strength. But while he is strong enough to do that, once he’s there he can’t get up high enough to finish over contact, so he often ends up getting blocked or just throwing it up there and praying. I don’t know how to fix 1., but 2. seems somewhat more changeable. for him. His rim finishing is worrisome, and is the main reason why I think his ceiling right now is “solid NBA starter” rather than “low-end all-star”.

    58. I think RJ’s issue with finishing is due to 1. his total lack of pop around the rim and 2. lack of shiftiness/craft.

      His rim finishing is worrisome, and is the main reason why I think his ceiling right now is “solid NBA starter” rather than “low-end all-star”.

      I’m with you Silky,
      he (and Obi) needs to work on “reason #2”, his shots at the rim are frequently too strong or without the proper “angle” (maybe he can phone Tim Duncan and Tony Parker for some hints).
      And it’s really the next step for him to become a regular 20 PPG scorer and borderline All-Star.

    59. @ShamsCharania
      Zion Williamson (foot) will be re-evaluated in two weeks and there’s no return timetable for now, Pelicans’ David Griffin says.

    60. I actually didn’t know that RJ was poor finishing at the rim. I’ve seen him make some incredibly challenging finishes, and I always feel confident when he takes it to the rim. Eye test let me down again.

      (maybe he takes it to the rim too often, and attempts finishes he shouldn’t?)

    61. @_Andrew_Lopez
      David Griffin says Zion Williamson said surgeons reviewed scans and he is cleared for the next step.

      “No fixed timeline”for return to game action. Next scans will be 2-2.5 weeks.

      Zion will not be on the floor for the first week of games.

      So this is not going well.

    62. Protect the player at all costs —from agents, hanger ons, team paid medical staffs, the league. What a tragedy if Zion becomes Bo Jackson redux.

    63. Captain Kirk finally made it into outer space yesterday. Is this worth discussing?

    64. Total eye test warning.

      As mentioned above, I think RJ’s lack of athleticism (hops) hurts him — he’s strong enough to bulldoze, but real length can stymie him, and it almost seems like defenders know to use their bodies to push him away from his preferred angle to the basket (while earlier he was surprising people by crashing inside).

      Obi’s got a different problem, which is that unlike RJ he shies from contact AND doesn’t go as aggressively all the way into the rim as he should. There was a play yesterday where he laid it up instead of smashing it down, and luckily he got goal tended, but it could have easily been a block. If he’s within 8 ft of the basket he needs to ‘Mitch it’ or get fouled trying. I think he’ll get there, but maybe not this year.

    65. Alan, it is funny.

      One of the things I hadn’t realized until lately was how little I understood about NBA athleticism. I think watching Mitch operate was really what made me realize my own ignorance. All the ways he can elevate. The speed he gets off the floor. The apparent absence of much need to gather his body. His second jump. His ability to control his body in the air. I mostly have felt that you can’t change athleticism very much and that it generally comes out in wash (stats), but he is such a marvel you have to take notice.

      I can’t wax on RJ in the same way but he just seems to be missing a tick athletically. I’d say off the top of my head that while he has very good topline speed on the break he often looks a little leaden in shorter bursts. He’s a good jumper but not a great jumper. As powerful as his body is and as effectively as he uses it to create space for himself, I don’t often feel like he is powerful in the air going through people. I almost feeling like lighter guys can get up and over people better.

      DJPhan would give the description in fluent ScoutSpeak, or has, but there is something missing there.

      I still think he’ll be a good player and everything about his makeup and attitude is fantastic. But I haven’t ever felt like he possessed that truly special, ALL NBA kind of athleticism, even if he absolutely looks the part.

    66. I’m really hoping that Grimes flames out or gets traded because whenever I hear something like “Grimes is regressing,” I assume it’s a plausible statement about the musician.

      I love Zion but there’s no reason for him to be overweight. He can hire the best private chefs in the country.

    67. Owen and Raven, good eye test takes on RJ. We know he worked so hard on his three point shot between rookie and sophomore season, and I believe he said he wanted to focus on his shooting off the dribble this past offseason. So I don’t know how much time he’s spent focusing on his game at the rim, and also how much he can overcome the athletic limitations.

    68. Shams:

      Sources: The Charlotte Hornets have signed LiAngelo Ball to a non-guaranteed contract and Ball will play for the team’s G League Greensboro Swarm. Ball was slated to enter the G League Draft but signing allows Charlotte to acquire his rights.

    69. @FredKatz
      The Knicks are waiving Dwayne Bacon, league sources tell @TheAthletic
      . Bacon was on a non-guaranteed contract. Knicks still have 14 guaranteed guys on the roster, one below the max.

    70. Brian I am sure will put up a wins thread at some point but still six days till opening night.

      Yeah, too early for wins predictions thread.

    71. @FredKatz
      The Knicks are waiving Dwayne Bacon, league sources tell @TheAthletic
      . Bacon was on a non-guaranteed contract. Knicks still have 14 guaranteed guys on the roster, one below the max.

      So, Wayne Selden or an open roster spot?
      Is there some recent waiver that looks palatable?

    72. My guess is open roster spot? We have Sims on a two-way and will probably put Simms on a two-way as well. So we don’t need a 15th guy unless someone good turns up later.

    73. Talking about open roster spots, I missed some threads and just discovered that Vildoza recently had foot surgery.
      The injury happened in the Summer League and aggravated in the Olympics, why waiting so much?

    74. #KYN, are you familiar with a compilation entitled Pop Festival ’73? #

      Not only familiar but also a prowd owner of a Rare as Hell cd copy!
      Great and incredibly rare item!

      A pretty affordable one on the same vibe is the compilation:
      “Anadromi sti dekaetia tou 70”
      Highly Recommended!

    75. @IanBegley
      Knicks say they’ve signed Brandon Goodwin and waived Dwayne Bacon.

      UPDATE:

      @FredKatz
      Brandon Goodwin’s contract with the Knicks is an exhibit 10, source says. Means the Westchester Knicks will have his G League rights if/when they waive him. Goodwin has previously played with the Nuggets and Hawks.

      Ah, so they’re doing the thing they did last year: putting lots of guys on the main roster for five seconds so they can give them an extra 50 grand in salary and keep their G-League rights.

    76. All good things in life must come full circle, or something like that, so this might be a good time to note that Brandon Goodwin is the same dude who said the vax gave him blood clots that ended his last season.

    77. I’ve learned in my years here studying statistical anal that correlation does not always equal causation.

      Except in the case of some scrub having his basketball career ruined by a flu shot. Then it always correlates, causes, combusts, conjugates, and anything else E can come up with to ruin a thread.

    78. (btw, less than an hour ago I was listening to NBA radio and they played the Goodwin sound bite of him explaining how the Hawks cut him because of the vaccine, and Eddie Johnson was ripping into him saying he did more damage to his career blaming the Hawks than the blood clots did. He said no team would hire him now. Which I didn’t think much of an hour ago, but now I’m thinking a lot about it because of the always looming spectre of #lolknicks.)

    79. DudeInKnicksTown: Captain Kirk finally made it into outer space yesterday. Is this worth discussing?

      Of course not, have you seen the shape of the rocket? That’s too offensive, and we gotta respect W/K! LOL

    80. Guys, please, there’s nothing political about Goodwin. His agent is the same of Kevin, and this is probably just Leon giving a hand to some guy. He’ll go to Westchester and try to recover his stock to land somewhere in the NBA. Simple as that.

    81. Brian Cronin: Yeah, too early for wins predictions thread.

      Yeah, we need to know more about Taj’s MVP potential to predict the season’s win total more accurately.

    82. Owen: DJPhan would give the description in fluent ScoutSpeak, or has, but there is something missing there.

      We don’t have news from DJPhan for quite a while, i hope all is well with him. He had a kid recently, if i’m not mistaken, so being a dad might be consuming all his time and he doesn’t have time for us. Which is totally fine! :)
      Hey Geo, maybe it’s time to make a round trying to get news from posters that got silent lately. I’ll always start with Farfa and Bruno, how are you guys? All well? But there’s many more, you do what you do to keep the family tight, uncle Geo! ;)

    83. Small sample size but the supposed severe drop off from Bullock to Fournier on defense seems way overplayed.

    84. It is possible to ignore the dropped glove every once in a while.

      I will trust our defense twenty games in. It’s been good but the comp has been trash.

    85. howdy soze, you’re just the best :)

      i have a feeling you have a lot of fun being a dad and husband…are you fortunate enough to still have your folks with you? are you someone’s brother?

      family and community are important – maybe even more so for folks whom may not necessarily smoothly fit in to social roles so easily…

      i’m guessing a lot of folks that may not normally engage in our off-season chit chat will jump back in once the season starts next week…

      unlike yourself and i, probably most posters simply use the site as a way to connect with the knicks and their on-court play…

    86. i like it when new folks like W/K chime in with some “interesting” take on how they view our site…i mean, little chance of anyone new really stating some in-depth analysis regarding on-court play that one of us hasn’t already mentioned…

      we have lots of folks whom can provide good statistical analysis…

      so, it’s interesting when someone states something about usernames and their reluctance to engage because of some potential negative ramifications from their employer or friends/social environment…

      hopefully it wasn’t some old poster trying to “hide” behind a new moniker just to take a shot at jowles or noble…generally that’s just not something that will be received very well here…

      speaking of which, i initially thought the honorable cock jowles had something to do with a cock ring or something, i did spend some time googling it trying to figure it out…i mean i’m old, what the fuck do i know…very cool to hear it’s referenced to a rooster body part (and maybe referencing a position in the alpha role), wouldn’t have guessed that one…

      i just like the way it sounds – the honorable cock jowles…

      the noble face humper is simply exquisite in its nature, it’s some neat irony wrapped together in words…it does seem to be taking forever for TNFH to put on some more years, but, very cool story for them to share one day with others…

    87. 538’s projection assumes Randle & Rose will both regress in a major way. On the other hand it thinks Kemba will bounce back (I assume the model doesn’t know about his knees). Mitch performedpoorly according to the metrics, presumably because his block numbers fell despite him being a better defender. The model is just a summation of individual player contributions, so you can look on the individual player pages to see how much the projection fell from last year’s result.

      If you believe in Randle & Rose, then the Knicks will outperform the model.

    88. geo: howdy soze, you’re just the best :)
      i have a feeling you have a lot of fun being a dad and husband…are you fortunate enough to still have your folks with you? are you someone’s brother?
      family and community are important – maybe even more so for folks whom may not necessarily smoothly fit in to social roles so easily…
      i’m guessing a lot of folks that may not normally engage in our off-season chit chat will jump back in once the season starts next week…
      unlike yourself and i, probably most posters simply use the site as a way to connect with the knicks and their on-court play…

      Yeah, you’re right, once the season begins people will start to comeback. And if they don’t, at least they’ll do it at the end of the season when we reach the Finals! #ibelieveinthe2percentchances
      I have my folks, yeah, and i feel very fortunate for having them. When my granddad died, and as he was very important to me, my way of coping was to accept that people die and so i since then stated that if every member of my family lived until 75, like my granddad, i’d be a happy man. Well, my folks just reached 80, so i’m more than happy with the bonus rounds. :)
      I have 3 fantastic sisters, and we’re very close to one another. Even more when there’s some problem, be it health, social, or whatever, we’re like italians in that family is first, second, third, and so on. :D

    89. Early Bird: If you believe in Randle & Rose, then the Knicks will outperform the model.

      I believe in Julius! How much will we outperform the model? :)

    90. I think the question thatbVegas is evaluating better than I am is likely, how many games do the Knicks win if Krmba and Rose combine for less than 1500 minutes.

      Losing both of them, which probably is not that unlikely, might cause a lot of problems.

    91. the noble face humper is simply exquisite in its nature, it’s some neat irony wrapped together in words…it does seem to be taking forever for TNFH to put on some more years, but, very cool story for them to share one day with others…

      If it makes you feel better, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking pictures of the pages of assigned readings and printing them out in the library so I don’t have to carry textbooks to and from campus. This is on account of back pain.

      At least to me, it sure feels like the years won’t stop piling up.

    92. cybersoze: Of course not, have you seen the shape of the rocket? That’s too offensive, and we gotta respect W/K! LOL

      That’s pretty funny!

    93. I hear ptmilo is deadlifting 500 these days. If that nerd can pull the weight off the floor, you surely can, old man. And yes, I’m talking to you, thenoblefacefucker.

    94. Bidiong is clearly the best name because it came from a random name generator in a video game 20+ years ago.

    95. I hear ptmilo is deadlifting 500 these days. If that nerd can pull the weight off the floor, you surely can, old man. And yes, I’m talking to you, thenoblefacefucker.

      Weirdly enough, my low-rep deadlift is ~275. Nothing special, but as everyone here who has met me in person can attest, pretty solid for my size.

      There’s just something about the very specific act of carrying a textbook in a backpack that absolutely wrecks me.

    96. Tnfh you’re probably having the weight of the backpack on your lower back. Shrug it up to your shoulders and tighten the straps. It will do wonders for you. Learned that from wearing SCBAs as a firefighter.

    97. thenoblefacehumper: Weirdly enough, my low-rep deadlift is ~275. Nothing special, but as everyone here who has met me in person can attest, pretty solid for my size.

      There’s just something about the very specific act of carrying a textbook in a backpack that absolutely wrecks me.

      275 is a solid deadlift, certainly strong enough to carry a backpack with a few books in it. I’m thinking you might have the yips. I’ll put you in touch with an old friend from Philly who’s going through the same thing.

    98. The Lakers lost to the Kings again to go 0-6 for the preseason despite their big three averaging thirty minutes each of playing time. Of course they are still picked by pundits to be a championship contender and have one of the top over unders for wins in the league. I just don’t see them being that good.

    99. Knick fan not in NJ:
      The Lakers lost to the Kings again to go 0-6 for the preseason despite their big three averaging thirty minutes each of playing time. Of course they are still picked by pundits to be a championship contender and have one of the top over unders for wins in the league.I just don’t see them being that good.

      I’d bet the under, but if they bench Westbrook they might be really good

    100. Good point. From reading a blog it seems like their un drafted rookie is actually pretty good.

    101. Losing Kemba for a significant amount of games does seem likely but I don’t think losing Rose is as likely.

      Rose had one catastrophic knee injury in 2012 that kept him out of the game for over a year. Then he tore his meniscus on the other knee twice in 2013 and 2015 (probably from overcompensating from the other knee).

      So he had a 3 year stretch where he had these problems but at this point that was over 5 years ago. Of course, its always going to be a potential problem but he has completely transformed his game to not be the high flying player he was during his MVP heyday. I wouldn’t say he is injury prone at this point.

      Kemba is the bigger worry because his knee issues are much more recent.

      Honestly, as much as I want to see McBride get some burn and IQ/Burks can also man the point in a pinch, snagging one more veteran PG for insurance would probably be wise. Jeff Teague anyone?

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