Knicks Morning News (2021.12.01)

  • New York Knicks upset with officiating in loss to Brooklyn Nets – ESPN
    [www.espn.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:18:05 AM

    New York Knicks upset with officiating in loss to Brooklyn Nets  ESPN

  • Here’s The Hilarious Video Stephen A. Smith Tweeted After The Knicks Lost To The Nets – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Tuesday, November 30, 2021 11:27:16 PM

    Here’s The Hilarious Video Stephen A. Smith Tweeted After The Knicks Lost To The Nets  Sports IllustratedNew York Knicks upset with officiating in loss to Brooklyn Nets  ESPNNets vs. Knicks score, takeaways: Kevin Durant, James Harden combine for 61; Thibs, Randle call out officials  CBSSports.comNets hold off Knicks in nailbiter rivalry game  New York PostKnicks’ Julius Randle Says He’s Not Getting Calls Because He’s Too Strong  Bleacher ReportView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Mitchell Robinson’s Status For Knicks-Nets Game – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Tuesday, November 30, 2021 5:28:33 PM

    Mitchell Robinson’s Status For Knicks-Nets Game  Sports Illustrated

  • What? Tom Thibodeau Shared Big News About New York Knicks’ Point Guard Kemba Walker – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Tuesday, November 30, 2021 12:01:15 PM

    What? Tom Thibodeau Shared Big News About New York Knicks’ Point Guard Kemba Walker  Sports Illustrated

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    94 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2021.12.01)”

    1. I know we have had too many frustrating losses already to be able to really enjoy moral victories at this stage of the season, but I really didn’t feel terrible after that game. We were beaten almost entirely by two MVP candidates (Harden in first half, Durant in second), our offense looked really good when we weren’t being sloppy (and some of that is on health and/or Noel’s butterfingers), Randle went to the basket a ton and in general looks much more like the guy from last season, and Burks still doesn’t look overmatched in this role. We’ll see how we do against Chicago and some of our other tough upcoming opponents, but there were a lot of promising signs here.

    2. To me this is the most frustrating team to watch in a while, the ups and downs during the same game are amazing.

      A lot to like about this game: Randle’s 6 assists 1st and his many relentless attack to the rim, Mitch’s 1st, IQ Burks and Fournier shooting lights out in the clutch, the Rose-Obi connection, the above average (while not perfect) defensive effort…

      On the other hand: Fournier’s long stretches of laziness, the incredibly bad start of the 3rd quarter (I still don’t get why Thibs put in a cold and unused Grimes), the absurdly dumb blow challenge that cost us a timeout sorely needed at the end, Randle’s dumbest technical ever…

      An emotional rollercoaster that left me drained and ready to punch the refs in the face.

      Re: Mitch’s last foul
      He got a lot of ball for sure, but if he goes straight up instead of drop the arm down the refs had no excuses to whistle and Johnson probably miss the shot.

      I’m very eager to watch how they’ll play against Chicago and still believe sooner or later we’ll be able to play at the top of our potential.

    3. Agree with both these takes, Alan and Max. There’s a clear glimmer of a good team that can run off a great stretch of games. Now they just have to do that.

      One of my biggest frustrations this year has been the unforced errors. Every team turns the ball over, but the Knicks seem to make a few real brain cramp decisions a game that give the other team an extra possession or ten.

      For example, I swear I’ve heard the announcers saying “Four seconds left on the shot clock” more so far this season than in entire previous seasons. It almost always ends up in a last-second heave that’s the equivalent of a turn-over (if they even get it off in time). Yes I’m looking at you, Julius, passing it out with one second left is not very nice to your teammates. This seems relatively easily fixable, but I’ll be interested to see if it gets fixed.

    4. What I like best is we all thought we should have won that game. That feels good against two MVPs (three with Nash). We’ll get there. I think the mental mistakes can be fixed easier than, say, physical limitations.

      — Agree on the “four seconds left on the clock” complaint.
      — I think also, since IQ has become a good facilitator (IMO), that we’re failing to find him in rhythm for his own shot right now. I wish they would look at that. His points are necessary.
      — E4’s struggles on D don’t bother me. I was thrilled he hit that tying shot (after needing to stretch b/c he’d been left on the bench so long!). I think he too could use some more shots in rhythm during the game.
      — I also think Obi-Obi-Obi-Obi. I don’t know what the beef is/was between him and Thibs. Someone flagged it at the end of the game, but I like him out there, even at the 5. If all our centers are gonna be hurt or sick, get Obi out there.

    5. @ShamsCharania
      Sources: Nuggets guard Austin Rivers has entered health and safety protocols and is expected to miss several games, including tonight’s game vs. Orlando. Another loss to the Denver lineup, now without Rivers, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

      Probably eliminates an Austin Rivers Revenge Game on Saturday.

    6. I am going to stan Mitch no matter what. In his defense, the guy he was guarding shoved him from behind as he was trying to make the defensive rotation and he was just a little off balance. I honestly think it affected him.

      Good game. My blood pressure finally has returned to normal. That call on the Randle block of Durant really got me mad. I totally understand where Randle was at emotionally.

    7. Owen:
      The guy he was guarding shoved him from behind as he was trying to make the defensive rotation and he was just a little off balance. I honestly think it affected him.

      That call on the Randle block of Durant really got me mad. I totally understand where Randle was at emotionally.

      I agree with both takes, alas with Harden and KD the Nets will always get the superstars call, it’s frustrating as hell but it’s also undeniable, a strong session of zen is needed before a game against them… and a double session after!

    8. I mentioned it last night that Randle and Thibs making a big deal about the refs should be for the better. Nate Mcmillan complained about Trae not getting calls last year in the playoffs and he started getting more calls. Harden and Nash complained about him getting mauled early on in the season and now is getting calls at his normal career rate.

      Even RJ gets mauled on drives from time to time that would be called if it was a star player

    9. Sure Mitch should have gone straight up but he didn’t. What he did instead was reach for the ball, which can easily lead to a foul, but, in this case, he got all ball and it wasn’t a foul in my humble opinion. The refs decided the game on an iffy call at best.

    10. The good news is that we were competitive with one of the best teams in the NBA. The energy and defense looked more like last year’s team with Burks starting.

      The bad news is that we are running the offense through Randle more and that means we are going to get some bad decision making during the game and especially in the high impact plays down the stretch.

    11. @ShamsCharania
      Sources: Nuggets guard Austin Rivers has entered health and safety protocols and is expected to miss several games, including tonight’s game vs. Orlando. Another loss to the Denver lineup, now without Rivers, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr.

      I’d like to see the list of who was in health and safety protocols last year and who is this year given they are virtually all vaccinated. The Islanders had to cancel games so many guys were out!! I sort of get it with the single guys. They are still going to be out there meeting women. But I suspect these guys are going about life as if everything is back to normal once they are off the court because they are vaccinated.

    12. So the refs are rewarding acting, in other words?

      Sadly, they always have. Harden is the prime example. There’s no way in hell he got hacked more than Julius last night.

    13. Excuse the silly anecdote but I do think it’s telling that leaving Barclays last night, the Knicks fans were the ones who felt emboldened to talk shit. There was definitely a sense among the Nets fans (maybe 25% of the crowd via the ol’ eye test) that they got away with one. Good.

      Other than the RJ situation, last night’s rotation was almost exactly what you want to see going forward. I would prefer Randle being in the ~32 minute range with all the surplus minutes going to Obi, but Randle had it going last night on both ends so I don’t blame Thibs.

      I’d like to see the list of who was in health and safety protocols last year and who is this year given they are virtually all vaccinated.

      The data is pretty clear that being vaccinated six months ago, while still robust against severe disease and hospitalization, is not doing nearly as much as it did initially to prevent infection altogether. If you want those benefits back, you gotta get boosted (which you should do for non-selfish reasons as well).

    14. Missed the game, but generally speaking, between the added weight of the three-pointer (with hot/cold shooting often determining games) and now the randomness of the officiating, pro basketball is starting to feel, well… a bit more like horseshoes: a 50/50 mix of skill and luck.

      Edit: maybe the claw machine is a better analogy?

    15. I really don’t know what everyone’s complaining about.That’s a clear foul and would get called in any game.

      I disagree. Mitch got all ball.

    16. ZERO blocks, assists, steals and rebounds for E4!

      This is looking like a terrible signing. Bullock would’ve been a lot better for less$

    17. Aldridge clearly shoves Mitch. And I do think he got a lot of ball.

      Speaking of the claw machine, I took my kids to their first movie in a movie theater (the absurdly complicated Encanto.) They had an awesome time stuffing their faces with popcorn. On the way out though I let my daughter try the claw machine. There was a Paw Patrol stuffie in there she had her heart set on. Anyway, we couldn’t get it after repeated tries and she left her first trip to the movies sobbing.

      So fuck the claw machine.

    18. This is looking like a terrible signing. Bullock would’ve been a lot better for less$

      Buddy, if you think production to this point in the season is indicative of how a signing will turn out I have some news about one Reginald Bullock…

    19. i could see the push in the back argument. tough to tell how much it mattered. but no fucking way did mitch get all or mostly ball.

    20. ptmilo:
      i could see the push in the back argument.tough to tell how much it mattered.but no fucking way did mitch get all or mostly ball.

      Idk. Maybe it was my chemo drugs kicking in.

    21. By letter of the law, sure it was a foul on Mitch. How often players of James Johnson’s caliber get that call on the last possession of the game is a very different question.

      More importantly, that call was pretty low on my list of grievances about the officiating last night. Randle was truly being mauled on drives and contrasting those no-calls with Harden’s whistle was truly something to behold.

    22. Frustrating loss but encouraging level of play overall.

      Love that Fournier hit that shot and also almost hit the half court shot at the end. That is one of the reasons we got him and he hit that shot with complete ease.

      Side note. I have not watched the Nets this year yet. LOVED that they switched back to the old colors and NJ style uniforms and court. I absolutely hated the “we’re so hip and tough cause we’re in Brooklyn now” black colors. The uniforms were whatever but the court looked so ugly with that color scheme.

    23. thenoblefacehumper: Buddy, if you think production to this point in the season is indicative of how a signing will turn out I have some news about one Reginald Bullock…

      Yea but you could make the same argument for bullock to this point about how the signing will turn out. Too early to tell ok? My point is is that I don’t see an upgrade yet

    24. Sure looks to me like Mitch hacked his wrist, pretty blatantly.

      Hopefully Mitch can learn to stop doing that. Just raise your hands and move with your feet.

    25. I’m old enough to remember those long ago days of October, 2021.

      It was a time of great promise; the dawning of a new era across the NBA landscape in which blatant foul hunting would no longer be tolerated. With league officials having been directed to make this a point of emphasis, those early season games were a pleasure to watch. Free-flowing, uninterrupted action – it was almost like a different game then the stop ‘n’ start foulapalooza we’d all become accustomed to seeing. Early reports were that some of the league’s most notorious foul master baiters (*cough* Harden *cough* Trae) were unhappy with the decline in their FTAs. It was glorious.

      Aaaaaah, yes… the good old days. Losing a squeaker to the Nets was bad enough but seeing many of the “fouls” on Harden and Durant that enabled it made the evening doubly depressing. Definitely a feeling of same as it ever was. Yeah, we probably won’t ever again see much in the way of players blatantly swinging their arms into defenders to create fouls, so that’s something… I guess. But some of the ticky-tack whistles we heard last night had definitely been absent from the early going this season when refs were erring on the side of “let ’em play.” That was a lot more fun.

      Watching the game last night was bad enough but being on the other side of it had to have been more frustrating by orders of magnitude. I can see why Julius wound up feeling so aggrieved. If he had gotten a similar whistle as The Beard and KD, he could have easily taken 30 free throws last night.

    26. No one responded to my comment in the game thread, just want to ask – am I totally off base regarding the easy lobs to our bigs at the rim? Didn’t we have way more of those last year? I feel like the opportunities are there but we aren’t taking them. Is it personnel? Those are potentially pretty easy buckets.

    27. Speaking of the claw machine, I took my kids to their first movie in a movie theater (the absurdly complicated Encanto.) They had an awesome time stuffing their faces with popcorn. On the way out though I let my daughter try the claw machine. There was a Paw Patrol stuffie in there she had her heart set on. Anyway, we couldn’t get it after repeated tries and she left her first trip to the movies sobbing.

      So fuck the claw machine.

      stupid cheating claw machine…there with ya owen, i love taking the kids to the movies…movie time has come and gone with the oldest (she’ll be 20 soon)…heck forget movies, barely see her at all anymore…didn’t realize i would miss having her around so much…the irony being that i preached independence so much to her while she was growing up…i miss her…spent a little time together the other day, man, she’s just about my height now…so crazy how time moves along…

      recently took the boys (10 and 8) to see ghostbusters: afterlife…it kind of sucked…had to bet one of the kids $10 just to see if he could stay awake, the other one was buried under his blanket about 20 minutes in to the movie…

      hmmm, didn’t seem to be any issues with staying awake when we watched venom II…during: jungle cruise, space jam and shang-chi, one or both knocked out during the movie…i’ve always loved going to saturday or sunday morning movie matinees my whole life…

      was searching online for some kids’ stuff yesterday (looking for non-toy toys for mom’s neighbors’ young ‘uns, got to find something somewhat educational/creative, which really equals non-toy toy to me)…anyways, there’s some reasonable priced kids’ claw machines that you can pick up, that way she can learn to dominant the dreaded cheating claw machine at the theater…

    28. rohank: am I totally off base regarding the easy lobs to our bigs at the rim?

      No, you’re right. I think 2 things contribute to Mitch almost never get lobs during a game now, the other teams are ready for that and try to negate it, and he’s much slower than in previous seasons. Noel is harder to get a lob because of his hands, it must be a perfect pass for him to not botch it. Otoh, Obi has been getting a lot of lobs, and some in the fast break, which turns it even more amazing.

    29. rohank:
      No one responded to my comment in the game thread, just want to ask – am I totally off base regarding the easy lobs to our bigs at the rim? Didn’t we have way more of those last year? I feel like the opportunities are there but we aren’t taking them. Is it personnel? Those are potentially pretty easy buckets.

      Sorry Rohank,
      as far as I recall we started the year using it (Kemba or Fournier or RJ to Mitch) then
      I remember Giannis breaking a couple of them in the first game with Milwaukee and after that they became more scarce.
      OTOH we still use them with Obi, so maybe it’s scheme or personnel, I’ll try to look at it more closely in the next games…

      P.S. I think Cyber is right about Mitch and Noel.

    30. mase:
      ZERO blocks, assists, steals and rebounds for E4!

      This is looking like a terrible signing. Bullock would’ve been a lot better for less$

      If you’re going to use the one-game sample size to make a decision about this, let’s look at Bullock’s last game (Monday): 22 minutes, 0-3, 0-1 FT, 2 reb, 0 assts, 0 stls, 0 blks, 1 turnover, zero points.

      Basically the exact same amount of time on the court, similar stats outside of Fournier scoring 13 more points than Bullock. Or an infinite amount more, if you like to play with zeros.

    31. rohank:
      No one responded to my comment in the game thread, just want to ask – am I totally off base regarding the easy lobs to our bigs at the rim? Didn’t we have way more of those last year? I feel like the opportunities are there but we aren’t taking them. Is it personnel? Those are potentially pretty easy buckets.

      Yeah, Mitch doesn’t quite look right and I think that’s a big reason why. I’m looking up the numbers and so far this year we have 25 alleyoop dunks/layups through 21 games. Last year we had 93 in 71 games. So, 1.19/game this season vs 1.3/game last season.

    32. The NBA keeps behaving like a clown.
      The penalties against Miami and Chicago for the Lonzo Ball trade are a farce.
      According to Mike Vorkunov the first 2nd round pick the Bulls can lose is in 2026, the Heat in 2028.
      If confirmed this is beyond ridiculous…

    33. I’m not as sold as I used to be on the Nets being Finals favorites after watching last night.

      Their supporting cast is truly meh (and I know Harris is out) and how long is LMA gonna be able to keep giving them productive minutes? Harden and KD are 2 of the greatest offensive players in NBA history, but with Harden it all depends on what the refs are gonna give him and if he’s making his 3’s (which he hasn’t mostly this year)

      Now of course if Kyrie comes back it’s a different story, but I think the Bucks or Heat could take them out come playoff time.

    34. Let’s face it, our Deeefense sucks!: I would trade Randle for a box of Crispy Cream. smh

      Were this universe governed by an Ironic God, said trade would deliver Randle to the Mavs so that we all may inevitably bear witness to an onslaught of “Hail, Julius!” posts from Strat accompanied by an equal number of “Whatthefuckweretheythinking???” diatribes from the same author, directed at the Knicks front office.

    35. About the question of the other day, which player we would trade RJ straight up, i have an idea. Sacramento is having a very bad season, they’re 11th in the west at 8-14, and are already 3 games behind the 10th!? Would they want to trade Fox for RJ straight up?
      They have Hali and Davion, and they’re playing Hield (6’4) at SF, which is far from ideal. With RJ they can have a rotation of Hali + Hield (back at SG) + RJ, with Davion off the bench. And RJ is 21, giving them more time to build a team, although Fox is only 23 himself.
      Problem: Fox is no longer on his rookie contract and makes 28M.
      Solution: RJ + Knox + Kemba* to Sac, Fox to the Knicks seems to work (after Dec 15, i mean).
      * – If they don’t want Kemba, we can re-route him to a 3rd team, but we need it to be a team with a trade exception or cap space (i don’t know if there’s teams that can absorb 8.7M that way).
      Thibs would love the new Rose, and Rose is probably the best mentor Fox can have.

    36. For the Fox + Evian + Burks + Julius + Mitch starting. With Rose + Quick + Grimes + Obi + Noel as the backups.

    37. cybersoze:
      About the question of the other day, which player we would trade RJ straight up, i have an idea. Sacramento is having a very bad season, they’re 11th in the west at 8-14, and are already 3 games behind the 10th!? Would they want to trade Fox for RJ straight up?
      They have Hali and Davion, and they’re playing Hield (6’4) at SF, which is far from ideal. With RJ they can have a rotation of Hali + Hield (back at SG) + RJ, with Davion off the bench. And RJ is 21, giving them more time to build a team, although Fox is only 23 himself.
      Problem: Fox is no longer on his rookie contract and makes 28M.
      Solution: RJ + Knox + Kemba* to Sac, Fox to the Knicks seems to work (after Dec 15, i mean).
      * – If they don’t want Kemba, we can re-route him to a 3rd team, but we need it to be a team with a trade exception or cap space (i don’t know if there’s teams that can absorb 8.7M that way).
      Thibs would love the new Rose, and Rose is probably the best mentor Fox can have.

      My guess is sac would want one of obi or Mitch or both included.

    38. swiftandabundant: I have irrational love for RJ but I would really consider that trade and it seems like a realistic one too.

      Yeah, me too. But i also love Fox. I wanted him in the 2017 draft, and before like the last 2 weeks leading to the draft it seemed possible, but then he climbed some spots and by the draft day i already knew he wouldn’t be available to us.

    39. mase: My guess is sac would want one of obi or Mitch or both included.

      “Well, then have a happy time in lottery hell, guys. Bye, bye” :D

      Edit: By the way Mitch is looking lately, i might also do it. He might get pricey in the summer, and clearly doesn’t justify the money. At least for now.

    40. cybersoze: “Well, then have a happy time in lottery hell, guys. Bye, bye” :D

      Edit: By the way Mitch is looking lately, i might also do it. He might get pricey in the summer, and clearly doesn’t justify the money. At least for now.

      Emotionally it would be too tough to lose both … I’d prrfer a Randle / Mitch for Fox

    41. The thing about that Mitch play to end the game, though, is he’s got to know the correct move is to put his hands straight up, not swipe forward at the ball. I think the refs got it right, even with the push in the back. If Mitch’s hands are straight up, Johnson runs into a wall and maybe the push gets called (like it did when they fucked us over against Philly last year). It was bad defense by Mitch. When they’re both healthy (Noel was hurt last night), Nerlens should be the closing center. He’s much smarter.

    42. Fox is super athletic but he absolutely cannot fucking shoot and he’s owed 130 million over the next 4 seasons.

    43. When they’re both healthy (Noel was hurt last night), Nerlens should be the closing center. He’s much smarter.

      I think Noel is probably the better defender but he is not exactly a foul averse player and he loves going for steals (he’s better at it than Mitch, so maybe he strips the ball there). Noel didn’t look right last night though, I have no problem with Thibs having Mitch in at that point. He just made a bad play.

    44. Didn’t we have way more of those last year? I feel like the opportunities are there but we aren’t taking them. Is it personnel? Those are potentially pretty easy buckets.

      yes we’ve talked about this recently. if you use synergy half courts lobs, which is characterized slightly differently than the nba.com feed, overall lob attempts are only down slightly per possession. but this is bc lob attempts per poss are way up to obi and down almost 70pct to mitch (and down only modestly to nerlens), who has suddenly become a pj tuckeresque usage player. it’s hard to say how the blame should be apportioned between the passers, mitch and perhaps thibs, but it is clear to me that mitch and his pretty severe decline in explosiveness is an important part of the story. randle is also a below average interior passer relative to his touch time and we almost never run him on the short roll that collins and capela run so effectively.

      fox for rj is hard to imagine but it’s not 100% batshit crazy. the kings are in even more turmoil than usual and i don’t think they/monte has any sort of post coach firing grace period. fox has really struggled this year and it’s not solely a bad shooting thing. he’s been a better player than rj by a good margin career to date but he’s also locked in at an expensive second contract. when he was a rookie i thought he was going to be a better defender than he’s been so far. i don’t think sacramento would do it, especially bc if they traded fox i think they would want something that can hit the win column harder right now.

    45. fyi remember that mitch is going to have very low trade value right now bc he is a true expiring contract with no rfa rights. not saying it’s as low as as expiring vet with no realistic extension option, but it’s still gonna be pretty damn low.

    46. Right now if you were to extend Mitch, what would people do that for?

      Even though he’s been kind of a disappointment this season, I still think it might be in our best interest to extend him now if the price is right.

    47. Mitch hasn’t gotten many lobs this year, but last night Randle and Rose fed him inside a couple of time and Mitch was able to finish. Mitch has gotten better at finishing non-lobs, which hopefully offsets the lack of lobs. Thibs doesn’t seem to like PnR lobs much as is.

      I also wonder if the bevy of perimeter scorers who deserve shots helps cause the miniscule USG% from Noel & Mitch.

    48. I always assumed Fournier would look better as a secondary scorer rather than a primary, but that’s definitely not been the case.

      I’m not sure if E4 is lazy or just slow. He looks methodical (in a bad way) and plodding on his drives. I have no idea how he used to drive the ball, but his assist numbers & FT rate have plummeted this year.

    49. thenoblefacehumper: The data is pretty clear that being vaccinated six months ago, while still robust against severe disease and hospitalization, is not doing nearly as much as it did initially to prevent infection altogether. If you want those benefits back, you gotta get boosted (which you should do for non-selfish reasons as well).

      The data is still worsening quickly for both transmission and now serious illness without a booster. That’s why I’m avoiding a party with friends this Friday. Most likely the same will be true of the booster too eventually. In Israel they are saying the data so far suggests the quality of the antibodies is a bit higher. So they are speculating the benefit may not decline as quickly. They don’t know yet, but they’ll be the first to know and won’t spin the results.

      I have good reason for being 50-50 on the booster (like a very significant side effect from the first shots that I’d rather not get into because it’s too long a story). If I’m going to require a variant specific booster later, it makes sense for me to wait for more information. This isn’t popping candy. I can assure you, I am way less of a risk to be around than anyone that’s vaccinated and going about life as if things were back to normal. I know people that were boosted that have already come up positive while I’m hunkered down talking about basketball and betting on horses via computer all day.

    50. Several things are probably going on with Mitch.

      1. Like other ex Knicks players we know, he’s been injured so often it has hindered his development. He’s still very green.

      2. He’s constantly playing hurt this year. It’s almost like he and Nerlens are taking turns playing hurt when they both really need a couple of weeks off.

      3. I think the extra weight has probably hurt his ability to jump and move a little, but it’s hard to isolate that from the constant injuries. The extra strength is probably helping, but I don’t really see it.

    51. interesting, Alan, they also mention that Aldridge should have been called for three seconds prior to the mitch foul.

    52. Hubert: interesting, Alan, they also mention that Aldridge should have been called for three seconds prior to the mitch foul.

      Didn’t noticed it during the game, but it was a huge miss. He entered the restricted area at 7.5s and never got out of it (the foul was at 2.2s).

    53. interesting process so far from the yanks this off-season…the hicks and stanton contracts really hurt…

      i think i saw we may be looking at bringing didi back…there’s a number of teams who have performed consistently well over the years with sub 100 million dollar payrolls, hard to complain about ownership with one of the top payrolls in the league for just about ever now…

      would have been nice to have scherzer for a few years…40 plus million a year for a baseball player – wow…

      oh yeah, how is rob manfred in charge of – anything???

    54. OT

      Anyone paying attention to the world chess championships?

      The long string of draws in championship games is getting a little boring. Maybe they should just shake hands and go straight to rapid.

    55. Let’s face it, our Deeefense sucks!: The long string of draws in championship games is getting a little boring. Maybe they should just shake hands and go straight to rapid.

      Chess960 (aka Fischer Variant) can solve this problem, but like the Elam Ending and the 7-inning baseball game, it will never happen because tradition. And I say this as a person who has played 7,000 traditional chess games in the last 3 years.

    56. Brian Cronin: I love how the universe is conspiring to get John Wall on to the Knicks.

      What do you mean, Brian? You think he and the Rockets will reach a buyout agreement, is that it?

    57. Besides “May the earth open and swallow them both,” does anyone have a rooting interest in the Philly-Celts game? They’re both 11-10, tied with the Knicks…

    58. probably won’t start actively rooting against other teams, standings wise, until around march or so…

      that’s a tough one though, i guess the rule is – i hope anyone but the celts win…although, it ain’t like they’re the ones who’ve been holding us back all these years from a ticket tape down broadway…

    59. That was a blatant foul on Mitch. If the refs missed it, the Nets would have had a legit gripe. But the 5-6 seconds in the lane for LMA is a crazy miss. It gives the offense a tremendous advantage by tying up a defender in the paint. It may have affected Mitch (Scal on The Starting Lineup was explaining that this morning and he thought it was a terrible missed call that advantaged the Nets.)

      I know people love them some Mitch here, but he’s still one of the very worst starting centers in the NBA. I pity the foolish team that pays him more than the max we can offer, and I hope we don’t offer him even that. You can easily find something pretty close to Mitch at a below what Nerlens is making and can find much better than Mitch for a bit of a premium. He makes dumb plays every game, and that’s with him mostly standing around setting screens, giving simple handoffs up top, and converting a few point blank shots a game. He never makes a complex pass or a simple 1-dribble move. He rarely gets blamed for anything on offense because his usage is so low that when he makes one basket on one attempt, while the guys around him struggle, it’s always the other guy’s fault. It truly sucks having a starter that never, ever goes off like a Myles Turner or a Jarrett Allen.

      Mitch would be a nice backup on the right deal, but as starting 5’s go he’s a liability on most nights. That’s not worth $13 mill AAV.

    60. I also wonder if the new fouling rules might make low post play a thing again. If yes, that’s another box unchecked by Mitch on a long-term deal. And all of this is assuming he stays healthy, good luck with that.

    61. ***Dearron Fox is Elfrid Payton 2.0.***

      Because he plays for the Kings, I’d never actually witnessed the human being that is De’Aaron Fox. But I watched most of the Lakers-Kings triple overtime game last weekend, and Fox wasn’t at all the player I was expecting. He controlled the game, and shot very confidently, hitting a few of the crucial shots down the stretch(es). Maybe it was an outlier. I know Elf scored 30 in a game once. And RJ has had his moments. But most of the “RJ is good” chatter that I’ve read here over the years I haven’t equated with my personal eye test, the way I did with Fox last weekend.

    62. There’s a large sample size of DeAaron Fox not being able to shoot the 3, and that’s just a massive liability for a PG in the modern game. I wouldn’t want a point guard who can’t shoot logging 2000+ minutes for my team. Ten years ago maybe but this ain’t ten years ago.

    63. Z-Man it’s beginning to look like your preseason assessment of Mitch is fair. I thought it was egregious not to have offered him an extension, but it wasn’t. It’s early, though, and I’m sure if Mitch returns to form & breaks through his current ceiling, you’ll be as happy as anyone.

    64. Hubert:
      Z-Man it’s beginning to look like your preseason assessment of Mitch is fair. I thought it was egregious not to have offered him an extension, but it wasn’t. It’s early, though, and I’m sure if Mitch returns to form & breaks through his current ceiling, you’ll be as happy as anyone.

      Absolutely. I think can stipulate that all of the KB diehards would rather be horribly wrong about any negative position we took on a Knicks player/draft pick than be right. I would have liked nothing more for Frank’s jersey to be on its way to the MSG rafters.

      And I was super high on Mitch at draft time, and credited Mills and Perry for finding him. It seemed at the time to almost make up for Knox being such a predictably miserable stiff.

      But I was wrong. Mitch is in year 4 now and the bloom is off the rose. He has not gotten better at anything except fouling a bit less (at the cost of his lofty BLK%) and using his strength to hold his position against bully 5’s, and he’s regressed significantly in other areas. He has the second-lowest USG% in the league (next to Noel, geez) and one of the lowest AST%, and while he’s a formidable offensive rebounder, he’s just so-so on the defensive boards. While hs goofiness makes him lovable, his b-ball IQ is below avg (the tweeting after last night was pretty indicative of that.)

      And rarely a game goes by when he isn’t grimacing in pain or limping around.

      So yeah, if he turns it around, I’d be as happy as anyone for sure. Juat not holding my breath, and dead set against a long-term deal if it doesn’t happen. In other words, I applaud the FO’s wait-and-see approach.

    65. Mitch is our starting center so getting him where we did in the draft was a home run. He’s comparable to Noel who was drafted much much higher. Even so, I agree he shouldn’t get a great salary. In the NBA you pay much more for scoring than defense. I don’t think there’s going to be a run on mostly defensive injury prone centers next summer. It especially hasn’t helped his case for a good salary that he hasn’t gotten very much better in four years.

    66. I don’t think there’s going to be a run on mostly defensive injury prone centers next summer.

      that’s a nice way of putting it…

      also, there’s obi, jericho, maybe even luka with westchester, looking to get minutes out on the court…

      noel and taj mostly work as centers in today’s nba, maybe obi can play a little more with julius and have julius cover bigger centers…jericho has crazy athleticism and it seems like he has a high motor too – love his expression(s): none :)

      seems like speed is better than size these days…centers are like running backs, you need them, but nobody wants to pay them…analytical casualties of modern sports…

      speaking of which, gettleman needs to go before he signs barkley to some 10 year contract for a billion dollars…

    67. Mitch and Noel’s usage is so low because of our team or system. Nerlens was shooting twice as often as he does now 2 years ago on OKC (and that wasn’t even his career high). Mitch and Nerlens don’t shoot because nobody ever passes them the basketball. I’m sure some of that is because neither one of them can shoot, but they’ve both shot more than this very recently, and Mitch is shooting 80 fucking percent from the field. RJ is in the bottom 15 in the NBA in efficiency and he shoots more than anyone on the team save Randle, who is in the bottom 50.

    68. ***There’s a large sample size of DeAaron Fox not being able to shoot the 3, and that’s just a massive liability for a PG in the modern game. I wouldn’t want a point guard who can’t shoot logging 2000+ minutes for my team. Ten years ago maybe but this ain’t ten years ago.***

      I get it, but at the same time, I watch a guy like DeJounte Murray, who has the same career 3pt% (and a considerably worse career TS%) than Fox, and can’t help but believe that he is a valuable player in this league. He’s basically Westbrook NOT on steroids, which comes with lower usage and fewer turnovers while doing everything else at close to par. Spurs are bad, so maybe that proves your point, but surround Murray with good shooters and I feel he can be the PG of a contending team, not a liability on it.

      That said, Fox doesn’t do the things Murray does out there, and probably isn’t the defender Murray is either. So I’m not arguing that Fox is the guy you should want in NY. But if the question is Fox or Barrett, the ONE game I’ve seen Fox play he looked better than ANY of the games I’ve seen Barrett play.

    69. In today’s league, if you can’t shoot the three, you’d better be a lockdown defender. I’d take Thybulle on my team as much as I’d take an elite scorer.

    70. But if the question is Fox or Barrett, the ONE game I’ve seen Fox play he looked better than ANY of the games I’ve seen Barrett play.

      i’m hooked on a feeling…i’m high on believing…

    71. RJ is 21 and cheap, Fox is 24 and really expensive. Hoping RJ develops doesn’t cost you much, hoping Fox develops is crippling if he doesn’t. Fox isn’t a bum, he’s had some decent seasons for a young PG but his contract is brutal for a guy who still can’t shoot and isn’t Ben Simmons.

    72. Z-man: I know people love them some Mitch here, but he’s still one of the very worst starting centers in the NBA

      I think this is harsh, he’s probably an average starting center, just like Noel. And as we already have Noel on a long term deal, it’s probably for the best to not spend too much money on traditional Cs. I was one of Mitch’s biggest fans, but not anymore, i agree with you that he didn’t improve a single thing since his rookie days (except fouling out, but man if he didn’t clear that, he’d be out of the league). It’s going to be an interesting situation to monitor.

    73. DRed: RJ is 21 and cheap, Fox is 24 and really expensive.Hoping RJ develops doesn’t cost you much, hoping Fox develops is crippling if he doesn’t.Fox isn’t a bum, he’s had some decent seasons for a young PG but his contract is brutal for a guy who still can’t shoot and isn’t Ben Simmons.

      I agree with your analysis, but let me explain my pov. I think RJ is getting near those guys that don’t develop what is needed to be paid, but is most likely being paid (max, or near max) anyway. So in Fox you already have the problem (paying him), but it’ll end sooner putting him more in line with Julius timeline. I also think Fox style of play is much more flashy than RJ’s and specially on MSG it’ll be in the news quite often. That can make him a very good trade chip and then we’ll trade him for the next disgruntled superstar. On top of this, and yeah i agree with you that a PG without a 3P is a liability, i think with Burks and Fournier on the wings that won’t be a problem. I even think he fits much better than RJ on this team, because as i said before, RJ plays a game very similar to Julius and we’ll need to choose one or the other at some point. So maybe the sooner, the better.

    74. DRed: Mitch and Noel’s usage is so low because of our team or system.

      System is definitely a factor, but not enough to account for the statistical deficiencies in his game, and certainly doesn’t account for his inability to stay healthy. And even one chooses to bail Mitch out with an inflated system argument, the question remains as to whether you pay your extreme low usage starting C a significant part of the salary cap when you know that Thibs and his system is going nowhere.

      I think there’s at least 30 pure C’s league-wide that make us a significantly better team if they were swapped for Mitch (I saw 4 of them on the floor last night in the PHI-BOS game.) Now most of them make more money than Mitch right now and many are making more than he will after his next contract. But if the Mitch we see out there today is our starting C in Thibs’ system going forward, that’s not a plus…on most nights it will be a minus.

    75. I’m still as big a Mitch fan as anyone not named Owen. But his impact on the defensive end this year has been very disappointing. I want to give him a break because he’s coming back from injury, but then I feel like I’m using the Porzingis defense.

      There are definitely reasons to be optimistic he will return to form, but I’ve become wary of offering him an extension at the Robert Williams level.

    76. I must say I am a little concerned about RJ and that he’s just a guy.
      He’s a good defender but not an impact defender, at least not in any way that can be quantified (ie. he doesn’t get deflections, doesn’t get steals, doesn’t get blocks). He doesn’t appear to be a game changing team defender either.

      On offense, he does lots of things ok but nothing great.

      I certainly wouldn’t give up on him given his work ethic and makeup, but definitely worrisome. He’s young and he definitely shows flashes, but consistency is a huge part of being great. And honestly, he’s more consistently not good than good.

      Honestly, in a closing lineup of Quickley + Rose + Randle + center du jour, would you rather have Burks or RJ in there? I would say Burks 7 days a week. And Burks is a journeyman swingman getting paid basically the MLE, and it’s RJ’s 3rd season already.

      (To be fair, I was very doom and gloom about Obi in Feb/Mar last year, and man, has he gotten better this year. The offense of course, but even defensively, there have been very very few times this year I have watched him and thought he was overmatched or completely out of position)

    77. by the way – speaking of Obi

      We are in small sample size world of course, but Obi + Randle without Kemba (ie. the ability to switch most things on defense presumably) –> in 63 possessions, those lineups have a net +30.2 rating. Given how great Obi has been, how injured and generally ineffective our centers have been — we really need to see more of these lineups.

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