Knicks vs Hawks – Preseason Game 3

This should be a fun one, with Barrett facing his old Duke teammate, Cam Reddish. It’ll be interesting to see Reddish in action.

Dennis Smith Jr. will play tonight, so let’s see if he can make a case for being the team’s starting point guard or Fizdale might just institute a “whoever gets the rebound brings the ball up court” offense.

It’d be nice to see Iggy get a little burn, or else they should send him to the G-League, right? I still love that they had to change the name of the league because it sounded like an insult to be sent to the D-League.

I hope to see Mitch dominate!

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277 thoughts to “Knicks vs Hawks – Preseason Game 3”

  1. LOL. Great start to the thread!

    Interesting that Mitch isn’t starting: DSJr, RJ, Randle, Mook, Portis. Smith runs point for 4 players that weren’t on the team last year.

  2. whatever it’s preseason… but this crappy reasoning of seeing portis with this lineup is so tonedeaf…

    our issue this season will be defense… the issue last game was very clearly defense…. and our best defender sits because….?

  3. I can’t watch the game. From the box score It looks like Smith picked up fouls faster than Mitch does and Frank came in off the bench. Am I right?

  4. Frank has two fouls so he’ll likely be pulled because preseason is very important and how dare he foul out of a meaningless contest

  5. Smith Jr got 2 quick fouls and was replaced by Ntilikina who got 2 quick fouls. Trae Young running all over the place. Looks like this .

  6. some nice moments:

    -nice verticality rim help by randle
    -smooth driving layup by rj
    -normal mitch block but incredible 2nd jump save

  7. Wally just said it and I have to agree, Barrett looks like he belongs. That may change when everyone remembers he is lefthanded but so far so good.

  8. Seriously…RJ is impressing me so far. I’ve seen two plus defensive plays already.

  9. Loving what I’m seeing from RJ despite the poor overall shooting

  10. There were two (really three) questions about RJ Barrett’s game:

    1) Can he defend?
    2) Can he shoot (threes and free throws)?

    I like when RJ Barrett makes plays on the defensive side of the ball. The shooting will come over time but defense is a combination of effort and IQ for a guy with his gifts.

  11. Mitch had slipped his defender and had an open path to the rim but RJ didn’t see it and drove into a doubleteam instead. But then he redeemed himself with that nice steal and assist sequence.

  12. Nice drive and layup from Frenchy, although Trae Young did not offer a lot of resistance there.

    Taj Gibson can set screens!

  13. Yeah, the problem is that shooting was and still is the big question with RJ. The defense so far is definitely a welcome surprise though.

    Currently running our all defense (and Knox) lineup.

  14. Taj Gibson is really a Golden State Warrior in a Knicks’ jersey. I’m glad the Celtics chose Enes Kanter over him.

  15. I really enjoy watching Taj’s game. Just solid all around. He’s looked pretty good shooting threes so far this pre-season (I know this one was really a two, but close enough). If he can keep that up, that adds a lot to our lineups.

  16. I’ve been one of the least negative people on Bobby Portis, but I think I’ve already seen enough to say he’s not a C. His defense inside is too weak. He’s a stretch PF. I’d rather have Taj Gibson at backup C.

  17. Wally comparing Knox to Giannis. Yeah. Right.

    Knox doesn’t look all that different to me, physically. Maybe give him a bump up from painfully skinny to twiggish.

  18. RJ doesn’t look great running the pick and roll so far. He keeps nearly getting trapped. Did manage to draw a foul on that last one though.

  19. I was pretty bullish on Hunter in the draft. I think he might wind up being even better than I thought. Cam Reddish doesn’t look like trash either. This is a very nice young Hawks team. What’s the under/over on them? hmmn

  20. @ strat, re: Cam

    Yeah i was too so I went and looked at his other games. He was 1/7 in each of the last two games. In the first he went 4/7 for 11. So he really hasn’t done that well overall: .388 TS%.

  21. I wish we had a backup C.

    I wonder if Willy or KOQ is available? Lol

  22. @43

    Maybe 2 shots where he looked skilled was too small a sample. :-)

  23. Cam Reddish is fucking trash he shot 39% from 2pt range in college. 39%!!!

    Oh, I know. That’s partly why I was surprised and wanted to see how he played in preseason so far. My initial notion that he’d continue to be terrible and make Knox and Frank look like Lebron has been vindicated to this point.

    @ Strat, lol

  24. Did we end up signing Thabeet to our 20-man roster? I wouldn’t hate him as a backup center. (Mostly because I’m a UCONN fan)

  25. According to Wally, Marcus Morris is Melo and Kevin Knox plays like Giannis.

    Did I miss anything?

  26. No no no, Marcus Morris is a lot like Melo according to Wally.

    Knox took it to the hoop and tried to dunk over someone and Wally said he looked like Giannis. He might have been joking. I hope so.

    Bruno Fernando is my Bam Adebayo candidate, i.e. guy most likely to overperform expectations f you believe Wins Produced.

  27. Torched by Vince. Makes sense.

    Frank is still Frank. Inept off the dribble and capable on defense. I thought that was a clean steal on Young (but i am a Frankophile.)

  28. Not taking Shai Gilgeous Alexander over Knox looks really bad right now. If we had SGA and RJ Barrett I’d be sky high.

    It looks like Knox can shoot, though. That’s cool.

  29. I’d also like to point out that Michael Porter Jr., projected #1 pick before injury, was still on the board when we took Knox. He’s looked good this preseason and arguably still had a better 1st year than Knox despite being injured the whole time.

  30. The Knicks didn’t have an answer for Trae Young but we haven’t seen Elfrid Payton.

  31. I don’t like when Marcus Morris calls his own number but he’s actually playing good basketball.

  32. That was a great steal by Frank. Good steal by Reddish too actually.

    And amazing block from Mitch. He’s back baby!

  33. I like seeing Knox using his extra large feet to draw fouls by getting tripped. Big step forward in his game.

  34. it seems like 90 pct of our offense is looking for the biggest weight mismatch and iso’ing that guy in the post.

  35. I fucking hate them

    It’s just a pre-season thing, right? They aren’t going to play actual games with this bullshit?

  36. Frank would be so useful if the only point guard thing he had to do was guard other point guards.

  37. Chucking up 3’s down by 2 at the end of a game doesn’t seem like a high percentage play.

  38. Wally dropping the knowledge. “Try to foul the guy who isn’t the best free throw shooter.” Man’s a genius.

  39. Just looking at the box score I can see why Fizdale tried Barrett at point guard. Neither Smith nor Ntilikina impressed, and Payton hadn’t even looked as good as Felton did. I mention Felton because he was brought up before as a good como for him. On the other hand, we were competitive with a Hawks team that is projected to win 35 games or so, and that’s not horrible.

  40. Frank is still Frank. He’s an “impact” defender that can guard multiple positions and change a game on that side of the ball, but he’s got to to either score better or make more plays to start UNLESS you play him with Barrett and RJ becomes a more efficient scorer/playmaker. Long term we may be fine, but this is probably going to be another frustrating year at guard. We have to be patient. I still have no faith in Fizdale’s offense. It’s not just the players. The offense is garbage.

  41. well that was better than the last game… good 4th from frank…. solid overall game from randle… that’s hopefully about what we should expect from him….

    rj’s per 36 line after 3 preseason games…

    2p fg% – .428 (something to keep an eye on as its moving south)
    pts – 14.0
    reb 6.7
    ast 3.2
    stl – 0.96
    blk .64
    to – 1.6
    ftr – 29%

    overall it’s solid for a 19yo rookie and i think this is pretty close to what we’ll see in the reg season….

  42. The other thing they have to change is Portis at C. If they are trying to lock down on defense down the stretch, they can’t have Portis at C. Robinson doesn’t have a clue yet, but at least he’ll be a presence in the middle and block shots when someone gets beat on the perimeter. If it’s not him, it has to be Gibson. Portis is not the guy at C defensively

  43. I’ve been very down on Frank, but he may actually be our best pg.

    PG who is bad at offense > PG’s bad at offense and defense.

  44. Maybe Frank should be a 4th quarter specialist. Sit him the first three each game, then he plays the entire 4th. Seems like he plays decently in the 4th, but not so the rest of the game.

    I guess I’m joking, but I’m not sure…

  45. I can see that some people are starting to realize that I may be right about Morris. He does some things well, but he’s a pinhead. That’s why I’ve been kind of negative on him even when he looked good.

    I simply do not like DSJr He’s an amazing athlete. Like all special athletes he’s going to do some amazing things and have some great nights that make your hopes soar, but he’s missing something. Part of it is probably basketball IQ, but deep down I just don’t think he cares enough. I just don’t think he can be counted on to play 36 minutes of “hard” high IQ basketball every night. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think he’s the answer.

  46. he had some nice plays and he always plays trae tough but there’s no reason to believe he is or will be the best pg…. you can’t have a guy who has the impact of a cool breeze on offense….

    and this is where the box score is pretty informative because a nice 5 minutes of ball can make you forget that he was invisible during the other parts of the game and the preseason….

    smith and payton are however salvagable….

  47. PG who is bad at offense > PG’s bad at offense and defense.

    Exactly.

    He’s not just good on defense. He can change and impact the game on that side without doing much of anything on offense. So you do one of two things.

    1. You wait a few years until he’s 23-24 and hope he slowly develops enough on offense to become a key piece on a very good team. It was well known he was a project on offense coming in.

    2. You try to create lineups where his shortcomings as a scorer are not that impactful at the team level. The problem here is that we don’t have the star scorers yet. But that doesn’t mean you throw away the impact defender prematurely.

    We are years away from being any good. Just keep developing each of these kids that show something very positive on either side, including Frank. It’s the guys that are mediocre on both ends that are a toss.

  48. RJ has some talent. He’s going to suck this year because he absolutely cannot shoot, but you look at his line tonight and if he hits one 3 and one more 2 and it’s not bad at all. If you can rebound well, pass well and generate a high volume of say league averagish efficiency shots you’re going to be a valuable player.

  49. Frank is still Frank. He’s an “impact” defender that can guard multiple positions and change a game on that side of the ball, but he’s got to to either score better or make more plays to start UNLESS you play him with Barrett and RJ becomes a more efficient scorer/playmaker. Long term we may be fine, but this is probably going to be another frustrating year at guard. We have to be patient. I still have no faith in Fizdale’s offense. It’s not just the players. The offense is garbage.

    If you could offer him an extension right now, how much do you think he’d be worth?

  50. I don’t know why Smith and Payton are salvageable and Ntilikina is not. Frank is six months younger than Smith and four years younger by Payton. Just by age, Payton is the least likely to improve

  51. I knew coming in that RJ could score inside, make plays, and rebound well for his position. The questions were his outside shot and defense. I was way more worried about his defense because lots of guys develop their outside shot over time. If you are too slow, have a low defensive IQ, and don’t have the motor and desire to defend it’s kind of hopeless. But so far he looks fine to me defensively for a rookie. If he defends the position well, rebounds, make plays, and scores around the basket, he’s got a chance to be a VERY good two way player in a couple of years if that shot improves over time. I’m happy with him so far even though he’s been inefficient.

  52. If you could offer him an extension right now, how much do you think he’d be worth?

    He’s not worth what we pay him now, but that’s not how it works if you are smart. He’s a raw kid. You should be willing to pay for a range of projections on what you think he will become and the probability of each of those scenarios. We have money to burn with all these 1 year deals for mercenary players. Overpaying Frank for a couple of years is irrelevant given our position and how far away we are from being good. The smart move is to keep Frank around even if we are overpaying just to see another year or two because he can be VERY impactful if he puts it together on offense some more or we create the right lineups.

  53. payton has played at an nba level… smith too if u smidge the ft% and turnovers…

    frank hasnt .. and likely wont… smith and payton have done more …

  54. I would have offered something like a 3 for 14 deal with the 3rd year a team option.

    Watching lakers-gs and Lebron is the fucking terminator. 6/8 for 18 points and 10 assists in 21 minutes. The Warriors are like a 20 win team if Steph gets hurt.

  55. How much would you have paid him if he had to be re-signed this past summer?

    Nothing? He looks marginally better when he needs a big leap. At most the absolute minimum. Paying a guy for 5+ years on the off chance he develops doesn’t seem like a good idea. Pick up his fourth year I guess, it’s not like the Knicks are in a position where it’s a total waste of a roster spot, but if he doesn’t show this year cut him loose. If someone offers you anything of value in trade for him take it.

  56. As good as Frank is on the ball he still commits way too many fouls and, despite his incredible wingspan, is pretty much invisible off of it- not a whole lot in the way of deflections or steals. He’d need to cut down on the fouls and either improve his rebounding or start forcing turnovers to even begin to overcome how bad he is offensively. Right now his ceiling looks like a decent backup and he’s still a pretty long way from that at the moment. I’d pick up his option given his age but he still looks closer to being out of the league than he does to being a good rotation player.

  57. Honestly DSj should be getting Frank’s minutes. The chances that he improves are a lot higher since he has a much shorter distance to travel, even if he needs to improve on both sides of the ball instead of one.

  58. If you could offer him an extension right now, how much do you think he’d be worth?

    I’d go the Scientology route and make him sign a billion year contract, cause it could be that long before he’s ready to play in the NBA.

  59. As good as Frank is on the ball he still commits way too many fouls and, despite his incredible wingspan, is pretty much invisible off of it

    Off the ball Frank’s defense seems a lot like Lance Thomas’s: he looks busy but he’s not really doing much that’s useful. He tries playing help defense but he’s too slow for how much he cheats and his guy gives him the slip pretty often. He has tunnel vision as well, fighting to get back when he slips up and creating more openings for the opposing offense, or fighting over a screen when the switch is there and leaving the roll guy open. He doesn’t really catch shit for it cause everybody can see him working hard, but he’s not working very smart and he’s trying to do it all himself instead of relying on his teammates to do their jobs. Yeah, those guys might be bad defenders but hero ball on defense is still bad basketball.

  60. disclaimer: fickle fan fittin to profess…

    if my choices for a starting point guard are elfrid payton, dennis smith junior or frank – and, the other 4 guys out on the court are rj, morris, randle, and portis:

    100% i would choose frank (granted he could stay healthy)…

    i get you sacrifice a lot offensively, particularly your efficiency cuz you’re playing 4 on 5, but – those other four guys came to new york specifically to get buckets…they ain’t gonna miss frank that much on the offense end…

    two of them though really suck on defense, another may be okay, and, the fourth is a rookie…

    frank made trey give up the ball for most of the 4th…

    not only does he stifle our offense, he slows up the other teams offense on any made baskets…

    i haven’t seen payton play in a while, but, you can’t play dsj against the other starting unit cuz of his defense…I know he hasn’t played for a while, but…

    not sure he’ll accept a role as 2nd or 3rd pg…I wonder if they could trade him…

    randle is already starting to give me flashbacks of kanter…

  61. I was surprised how little Robinson played.

    there was a comment made during the broadcast about how fizdale said mitch and kevin would need to earn their way into the starting unit…

    I took it to mean rotation minutes too…

    maybe it ain’t so bad to take things slowly with mitch…

  62. We haven’t seen Payton play that much and he has been pretty bad when he’s been on the floor but he is the best of the PGs on our roster at this time. He has a fairly long track record of Ray Felton-esque mediocre competence. He’s also not a total zero on defense.

    It’s a very odd collection of talent on this team, there are almost no good well-rounded players on it. And the coach doesn’t seem like the kind of brainiac that’s gonna get the team to overachieve and grind out wins. It’s probably going to be a long, sometimes boring and ultimately pointless season but I do like watching RJ more than I thought I would.

  63. DJPhan,

    That sounds like the normal Knickerblogger logic. “Frank is bad therefore he will always be bad”

  64. i hope I’m not wrong, but I’m going to predict that Frank is the starting PG this season. It feels like Fizdale is trying to get there with this “offense” he’s running, which has a ton of Julius Randle as the primary ballhandler. All these minutes with RJ playing PG also points me toward that.

    I don’t want to be too hard on DSJ since he’s probably a little rusty, but I honestly don’t know what he does better than Frank right now. He’s a significantly worse defender who is smaller and can’t switch. Whatever this weirdo offense is that Fiz is running doesn’t have him going to the basket. He can’t shoot either ( is it possible his hitch is even worse this year after all the summer training insta-videos?). What exactly would be the benefit of starting him — just based on what we’ve seen? Because he can dunk the ball with a runway to the basket? Again – I don’t want to make too much of 20 minutes of his first preseason game, but it was… not promising.

    I honestly would want to see a starting lineup of Frank, RJ, Morris, Randle, and Mitch. That’s probably your best defensive lineup (except maybe trading Taj for Randle but that is giving up too much on offense). That’s a ton of length and has 3 plausible ballhandlers even if none of them is that great at it. It probably doesn’t have enough shooting. But again, I’m not sure what DSJ or Payton do that would make that better.

    Also Trier needs more time. For pete’s sake play RJ 30 min rather than 39 and throw Trier some minutes. IF you’re going to run iso-ball for entire quarters at a time, at least do it with a dude that is a great iso player.

  65. Off the ball Frank’s defense seems a lot like Lance Thomas’s: he looks busy but he’s not really doing much that’s useful. He tries playing help defense but he’s too slow for how much he cheats and his guy gives him the slip pretty often. He has tunnel vision as well, fighting to get back when he slips up and creating more openings for the opposing offense, or fighting over a screen when the switch is there and leaving the roll guy open. He doesn’t really catch shit for it cause everybody can see him working hard, but he’s not working very smart and he’s trying to do it all himself instead of relying on his teammates to do their jobs. Yeah, those guys might be bad defenders but hero ball on defense is still bad basketball.

    I literally don’t know what you’re talking about. Frank is literally the only guy who makes the correct rotations on defense.

  66. btw – while saying I have no idea what we’re trying to accomplish on offense, I though the defense was actually quite good. Atlanta is going to be a good offensive team, and they played their main guys pretty much the same minutes they’ll play in the regular season (Trae 34 minutes, Collins 30 minutes, etc) and we held them to an ORtg of 100.

    Also I thought in the limited minutes RJ was the playing and guarding the 1, he did a decent job on defense trying to guard Trae.

  67. Bradley Beal extended in Washington for 2 years, $72mm. So for 2021-23, the Wizards are going to be paying their backcourt north of $80mm a year.

    Let’s make some trades with that team, please.

    (Side note: a taller Beal has always struck me as a reasonable projection for Barrett.)

  68. I think we know where Draymond Green would fall in the Frank argument:

    “Yeah, I don’t think there was ever a doubt that he was a legitimate NBA player… I think he’s been in some pretty tough situations. No one ever blames the situation, though. It’s always the kid. No one ever blames these shitty franchises.”

    “[People] always want to blame the kid,” Green continued. “It’s not always the kid’s fault. He’s getting older now, so he’s not a kid anymore. But he came into this league as a kid, but it’s never the organization’s fault. It’s always that guy. So I’m happy he’s gotten the opportunity show what he can really do because it’s a prime example. But no one will still blame any organizations. It’ll always be the kid’s fault, and it will be the next kid that comes in’s fault and the next kid after that. So I’m happy he’s gotten this opportunity.”

    https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/27863544/draymond-green-says-teams-deserve-more-blame-top-picks-pan-out

  69. not sure if that contract makes Beal easier or harder to trade for them… probably easier?
    Interesting that Beal did that. I wonder whether this China fallout may be responsible and he’s worried the max next year or the year after may be less than his max extension now?

  70. The extension apparently means Beal can’t be traded this season, though. Which is fascinating, since he seemed the obvious candidate for the Lakers, Clippers, or Mystery Contender X to trade for in an attempt to put them over the top. So who’s now the biggest name/talent likely to be available at mid-season?

  71. They’re kind of playing 90’s ball isn’t it? Dribble two thirds of the court, pass to someone in the post, watch him do his iso and hope something good comes out of it.

  72. Frank looks a bit faster to me, and he’s certainly more assertive on his drives. Still not good on offense but honestly who is on this team. If the choice is between Frank and DSJ, who can go into the urban dictionary as the definition of erratic, I’d rather have Frank.

  73. Taking a player like Portis, who is bad in exactly the ways that make dumb teams think he’s good, and elevating him above Mitch is so perfectly Knicksy that I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming. We were all such fools to think the organization saw the potential in Mitch.

    Between that and the fact that even with a much more “real” NBA team this year we’re still evincing absolutely no coherent plan whatsoever on offense I’m basically done with Fiz at this point. What are this guy’s strengths as a coach supposed to be again?

  74. Not exercising Frank’s option to preserve cap room to roll this year’s free agent dreck into next year’s free agent dreck would be head-explodingly stupid. This organization is soul-sappingly incompetent and no longer even in an interesting way, but just a pathetic way.

    There’s at least a 50-50 chance that in three years, RJ Barrett will want out like Porzingis did.

  75. Morris surprised me a little bit. He plays more like a small forward than I realized.

    Frank played great defense. He’s got such a narrow skill set but it’s one i absolutely love.

    Portis is going to drive me crazy all season.

    The only reason to have Mitch on the bench is to cap his value before we sign him to a long term extension. It’s insane that anyone thinks we have anyone more deserving of minutes than him. Impeach Fizdale just for that.

    I’d be pretty happy if I were a Hawks fan. They aren’t great but they have Vince Carter and they have a very realistic trajectory to relevance. If i were a big name free agent I would definitely give them a listen with the pieces they have accumulated.

  76. Being confused that Portis started or Payton didn’t play…guys, it’s the preseason! That’s what this is for! DSJ didn’t play the first two games but Payton did so this game Payton sat. Mitch started so now coz wanted to try Portis. It’s not a big deal yet. You’re supposed to do this in the preseason especially when you have 9 new players and a bunch of youngsters.

  77. I’ve read some research that suggests that guys who are defended by Frank turn the ball over at a much higher rate than normal, which would be one way Frank has a defense impact that’s not necessarily apparent in the box score.

  78. Mitch played sloppy basketball in the first two games (especially in the second wiz game). I don’t mind cutting his minutes if it’s in an effort to get him to get him to clean things up. If they actually don’t play Mitch a lot during the regular season than everyone should be fired.

  79. As the main piece of the KP trade, I have to think it’s DSJ’s job to lose, even though I don’t think he’s good. Trier would probably be the best backcourt match for RJ, but that clearly isn’t happening for some reason. And I still don’t think Fiz knows what the hell to do with Frank.

    Such a mess. I just hope he settles on starters soon and doesn’t fiddle with the lineup all year again – that just hurts everyone. I’m guessing he’ll land on DSJ/RJ/Morris/Randle/Mitch but who knows…

  80. Responding to Jowles question from yesterday I’d definitely pick up Frank’s option for next year, and if I could I’d sign him for 3 x 4, with the third year a team option.

  81. So who’s now the biggest name/talent likely to be available at mid-season?

    CP3 is the biggest name, he’s clearly as available as can be, and when healthy he’s still really good, but his salary number is just so freaking big it’s really hard to even find legal trades with him even ignoring that even for teams in win now mode that contract is terrifying. At some point I had the thought that it would be really cool to see him back on the Clips as they chase a title, and CP3 for Lou Williams and Harkless seems like kind of a workable framework until you realize the Clips still would need to send out like 15M more in salary to make the numbers add up. So he may be stuck in OKC.

    That leaves Love as maybe the biggest name? I think he’s probably a little underrated at this point. With all of the title favorites this year looking more likely to be a normal year level of really good (as opposed to all-time best team level like the Warriors were the last few years) his defensive weaknesses seem a lot more manageable to me, and his shooting+passing from the 4 spot still can be super valuable on offense. I presume he’s very available.

    The Toronto guys (Lowry, Gasol, Ibaka) can probably all be had for the right price and all could be important starters for the right title contender. I also really like our old friend Gallo as a potentially interesting fit on a lot of teams.

  82. its not just that frank is bad… hes bad in a way that usually means he will always be bad…

    You are the first person who has written this. Most complain that Frank can’t shoot, and shooting is the one thing that some players do improve on, even though many don’t. Of course there are other things that people cite in his game, but when saying he shouldn’t be played it’s the shooting that comes up.

  83. Taking a player like Portis, who is bad in exactly the ways that make dumb teams think he’s good, and elevating him above Mitch is so perfectly Knicksy that I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming. We were all such fools to think the organization saw the potential in Mitch.

    I think – well, hope – it’s just Fiz sending Mitch a message that him being a starter and his minutes are not a given. I applaud Fiz’s action if that’s his intent. I have the sense that Mitch has started to lose focus (much like Shump after his rookie outing) in terms of all his extracurricular activity.

    Between that and the fact that even with a much more “real” NBA team this year we’re still evincing absolutely no coherent plan whatsoever on offense

    Surprised they’re not executing more PnR. Randle is able to play either role and we know about Mitch. An interesting question is whether a lineup of Frank/RJ/Morris/Randle/Mitch could generate enough offense using heavy PnR. Last year our best lineup was Frank/THJ/Dot/Vonleh/Mitch in 93 minutes with a plus net rating against opponents’ starters. The concern however was that it wasn’t sustainable because of lack of offensive punch. Maybe Randle would help in shot creation but the offense would have much worse 3 ball shooting (Vonleh was on fire from 3 at that time). I’m kinda optimistic about RJ’s ability to hit spot up 3’s at a high enough % (though prob not this year) and bewildered about Frank who I’ve read hits his 3’s in practice.

    Fiz did say he wants his 1 guard to be a threat, to be able to put pressure on the opponents, so I doubt he will give that lineup much burn.

  84. i’ve highlighted it many times … ever since he was drafted and before he was drafted…. he’s got issues not just in shooting but creating and making easy opportunities… and that’s measured through 2p fg%.. and 2p fg% of .400 or less in your first year is usually a death knell and then for a second consecutive year would be the nail in the coffin….

    and nothing in the preseason has really changed on that front…

    he’s a little like the pg version of tony snell… someone who looks like he should be better than he is… and he’ll show some flashes and you continue to believe for awhile.. but then sooner or later you realize he was a mistake…

  85. That leaves Love as maybe the biggest name? I think he’s probably a little underrated at this point.

    He’s 31 and makes about $30M a year until he’s 35. Hard pass.

  86. It still sounds like because he’s really bad on offense therefore he will never improve. Time will tell

  87. As good as Frank is on the ball he still commits way too many fouls

    Patrick Beverley has averaged a career 4 fouls/36; Frank is at 3.9/36. When you’re guarding the opposing 1’s and navigating picks, you’re gonna foul at a higher rate than SGs/SFs/PFs.

    He’d need to cut down on the fouls and either improve his rebounding or start forcing turnovers to even begin to overcome how bad he is offensively.

    His rebounding improved in the FIBA tournament and through the first preseason games. He averaged 2.6 rebounds in 19 MPG in the recent FIBA. In the first 3 NBA preseason games: 3 in 21 minutes, 3 in 19 minutes, and 3 in 19 minutes. It’s important that he rebound and then push in transition since Mitch is not a great outlet passer. Let’s hope his better rebounding is not just noise. BTW RJ should be great at that a la Kidd.

  88. You are the first person who has written this.

    He is definitely not the first person!

    Frank is bad, there is no doubt. He’s also in a terrible situation poorly suited for his development, there is no doubt.

    Being inherently bad and being forced to play the wrong way in your embryonic stage will both produce similar statistics. I don’t think it’s possible to know which factor to attribute it to with certainty. But if you bet on the numbers being right about the player, you’ll probably be correct more often than not.

  89. I think – well, hope – it’s just Fiz sending Mitch a message that him being a starter and his minutes are not a given. I applaud Fiz’s action if that’s his intent. I have the sense that Mitch has started to lose focus (much like Shump after his rookie outing) in terms of all his extracurricular activity.

    That’s a good thought but it’s just so easy for me to see Fiz being seduced by Portis. He’s a “scorer” and god knows Fiz likes his scorers. If Fiz was trying to send a message about focus I would’ve expected the starter in his place to be the grizzled vet in Taj. And the fact that only 10 guys played last night makes me think we’re no longer in random preseason tinker mode and are now drilling down towards what the actual rotation/lineups are going to be. At this point my money is on Portis being the starting C to open the season.

  90. He’s 31 and makes about $30M a year until he’s 35. Hard pass.

    They’re not handing out the trophy at the end of the year to the team with the cleanest cap sheet for 2024.

  91. I think we only have one more preseason game, maybe two, am I right? If so, it is time to start cutting down rotations and getting closer to what you’ll do in the season.

    I haven’t been able to watch all preseason, but I agree about Portis from what I did see. He wasn’t good. On the other hand, Mitch didn’t do as much as I would have hoped either.

  92. They’re not handing out the trophy at the end of the year to the team with the cleanest cap sheet for 2024.

    If the LA teams don’t look like locks for the WCF, I can see teams being willing to eat his contract for short term.

    Portland has the expirings to make a move, and if they want to just admit they’ll never make a defensive stop in the playoffs, he could help them.

    I think he’d be great in Utah but it’s hard to find matching salaries there.

  93. Let’s go full iso ball, run trier at point and fill out a team of complementary players. That seems like more thought to an offensive plan than fiz has showed.

    Trier, frank, rj, Mitch and Morris.

  94. That’s a good thought but it’s just so easy for me to see Fiz being seduced by Portis. He’s a “scorer” and god knows Fiz likes his scorers. If Fiz was trying to send a message about focus I would’ve expected the starter in his place to be the grizzled vet in Taj.

    This is what scared me so much. I think Fiz is still the same useless coach of last year (I mean, it’s preseason, but couldn’t you draw a fucking play in the last two minutes instead of letting people hoist threes like they didn’t care?) with the same annoying warts.

  95. Well, they’ve played pretty decent defense in 2 out of the 3 preseason games, so I guess you have to give Fiz a little credit for that.

    But I agree about his offense. And it seems like since forever that the Knicks have actually run a play at the end of a game. (Except for the carefully thought out “give Melo the ball and clear out” play which always ended well)

  96. New improved Frank is shooting .111 from 3PT and a sizzling .286 from the floor. He’s gotten to the line 3 times in 63 minutes.

  97. Mitch goes into the Willy Hernangomez wing of the “advanced” statistics overrated hall of fame, whereby a good TS% on low usage is then projected out to a per 36 minute basis and then everyone loses their faculties and proceeds to make the player out to be far more than he really is. Mitch is better than Willy, but he’s vastly overrated around here and his crap preseason is no real surprise.

    Fiz is a mediocre coach at absolute best, and likely terrible. Amazing (and tres Knicksy) that Mike Budenholzer was begging to walk through broken glass for the job and they went with Fiz instead.

    This team is still at virtual Ground Zero, with an eternity to go before they’re a contender for anything, and we haven’t even gotten to the part of the season where the dreck veterans start bitching about minutes and the general losing culture.

  98. Let’s see, what might be the difference between Mitch and Willy Hernangomez? What ever could that be? What makes them not similar as players?

    Three guesses.

  99. Mitch is definitely *not* overrated. The problem is that his toolkit is very specific so you have to tailor a few things around him (PnRs mostly) to make him truly shine, and Fiz is a very, very bad offensive coach and a pretty blah defensive one. Also, he doesn’t seem to be that able to speak to young people and makes some puzzling rotation choices.

    I’m not saying his head is in the right place right now (it doesn’t look like it) but Mitch truly is a treasure trove of raw talent, and unless he’s gone totally crazy thanks to… huh… a million dollar?… there’s no way you don’t consider him at worst our third best player.

  100. Comparing Mitch and Wily as hypebeasts is just ridiculous. Mitch is a generational shotblocker and has all the tools you could ever want to become a DPOY candidate. And then has all of Wily’s offensive potential on top.

    I think Mitch is in for a very lean year. People were looking to feed him the ball last year. I don’t think that is going to happen much with the personnel we have. The best way to get the ball from some of these guys would be a chisel.

    But I think he still is the best prospect we have had since Ewing.

  101. Knick’s management has the strategy of creating competition for playing time to bring out the best in players. So far no one has seemed to be playing at their best.

  102. I’m already in Ranger mode for my winter’s entertainment.

    Besides the money they spent on Randle who is a still quite young better than average NBA player, the remaining 60 M they spent is just an effort to get from 17 wins to 28. Morris is a nice player but he has no future here @30 and doesn’t move the needle. Portis/Gibson/Ellington/Patyon/ Bullock will help them win an extra game a month or something like that.

    That 60M would have been better spent facilitating trades. I don’t believe they actually thought they were in the running for Durant and Kyrie late in the playoffs and could have facilitate trades by acquiring draft assets.

    They just should have played Knox/Frank/Dotson/Iggy/DSJr/Trier/Wooten/Hinton along side Mitch /Randle and Barrett and saw what happened…. They’d lose > 60 games probably…. but would you rather see Portis/Morris /Gibson/Payton play and lose 53???

    Not me…..

  103. I mean, if I told you on 2018 draft night that Mitch’s second year in the League would have been just like Gobert’s second season, wouldn’t you have jumped for joy? I think those numbers are Mitch’s most likely scenario: 8.5 ppg, 9.5rpg, 2.3bpg in 26mpg.

    If that proves true, you’re very far from the WHG comparison.

  104. We’re starting to see some of the brickheadedness of the “bring in glue guy vets” strategy. Let the kids play, let them develop. Bring in a vet or two at key positions if you really want to work the whole “mentor” angle.

    Instead we have heroball Marcus Morris and the infinitely crummy Bobby Portis out there eating into the kids’ playing time.

    This is probably going to be (another) annoying season.

  105. look, i agree the mitch/whg comparison is silly, but i think mitch’s performance in summer league and the preseason does merit a mild amount of panic. the mitch gobert comparisons aren’t really ideal bc gobert got much smarter very quickly. very early returns on 2019 mitch looks no more refined than the worst of 2018 mitch. he is playing defense like an eight foot cornerback, he whiffs on basically every pick (not talking about the slip screens) he’s supposed to set, and he is still making his worst risk reward decisions when it comes to leaving his feet.

    mitch can still be damn good even if he doesn’t get any smarter, especially if he is used intelligently by a coach and pg who don’t waste his rim running. but if he doesn’t make a big jump from the dumbest player on the court at all times it would definitely limit my delusions of elite grandeur for him. it’s only a few games but i’m slightly worried.

  106. I’m already in Ranger mode for my winter’s entertainment.

    It’s a shame I broke up with hockey. They seem to have successfully retooled and got the lottery luck that evaded us.

  107. Just so it’s clear, I know it’s the internet and all, but there was no WHG “comparison.” It was noted pretty explicitly that Mitch is better than Willy, which he is. That said, Mitch’s value around here is overstated because of the double leap from good TS%/low usage/low minutes to numbers/36 minutes to “wow, look at his numbers per 36 minutes.” People did the same thing with Willy. Didn’t work then, likely doesn’t work now.

    When a guy plays low minutes on a crap team, the other teams don’t really give a crap about what he does against them — this goes for offense, too — and so the guy gets to do a bunch of stuff that he wouldn’t be able to do if the other team actually cared about negating those things. Nobody on the other teams gave a crap about ensuring that Mitchell Robinson didn’t do good things against them, because it didn’t matter to anything.

  108. That said, Mitch’s value around here is overstated because of the double leap from good TS%/low usage/low minutes to numbers/36 minutes to “wow, look at his numbers per 36 minutes.”

    This is still wrong.

    The people who are pro-Mitch here correctly see that he’d be a Gobert/Tyson Chandler/Clint Capela type player with just a little bit more polish. Those are winning players. I mean I suppose it’s possible that this coaching staff is so fucking inept that they can’t build on Mitch’s rather obvious skill set and that he spends his whole career running around like a maniac trying to block every shot and never learns the nuances of defense. That is certainly not out of the question considering how bad this coaching staff appears to be.

    But with a normal development curve, Mitch projects as Gobert/Chandler/Capela. Maybe not EXACTLY, to the pedants out there, but in overall effect. Low-usage but ultra-high efficiency offensive player, effective roll man, good rebounder, shot blocker, defensive anchor.

  109. I think Mitch is in for a very lean year. People were looking to feed him the ball last year. I don’t think that is going to happen much with the personnel we have. The best way to get the ball from some of these guys would be a chisel.

    lol good line

    The only thing left to root for is for Dallas to suck and that might be difficult……

    I love luka and I think KP will be good in Dallas, but they have a very high bar to get over to get into the playoffs in the western conference. Right now they slot as a borderline playoff team at best in the conference – right now I feel like the locks for the playoffs are: Lakers, Clips, Rockets, Jazz, Nuggets, Spurs. Then you have the Warriors, who I assume will make it just because Curry and Draymond are so good. Blazers I guess. Then I think the Pelicans are better than Dallas. Sacramento may sneak in there as well. I think it’s entirely possible Dallas is in the lottery the next 2+ years.

    Re: Frank – I’m a believer. Give me Frank, RJ, Morris, Randle, and Mitch to start the season and I’ll be happy.

    Meanwhile – I…kinda thought Knox looked kinda good?

  110. Nobody on the other teams gave a crap about ensuring that Mitchell Robinson didn’t do good things against them, because it didn’t matter to anything.

    This is a scorching hot take. You think the dude played his 1,360 minutes primarily against players mailing it in, most of whom are fighting for their next contracts in a league rapidly moving toward the NFL/MLB strategy of “pay the superstars, fuck the rest of ’em?” And that doesn’t even take into account personal pride, which we can safely assume is a thing among most athletes who make it to the highest levels of their sport. (Consider what a scandal it is to watch Nick Kyrgios have a tantrum and purposely throw a game.)

    Your assumption of homogeneity is wild armchair psychology.

  111. I think it’s good to remember that this team is primarily made up of rentals and most of these vets, even Randle, are stopgaps… And that’s a good thing!

    Yes, it’s a bummer that the only 2 long-term pieces we have in place are Mitch and (probably) RJ, but I don’t think it’s bad that DSJ, Knox, Frank and the other kids will get limited minutes because, let’s be honest, they aren’t good and won’t become good. They were bad picks.

    Ideally, they can move a combo of vets and/or bad kids for a disgruntled star (or at least a good, youngish role player/starter). I think that’s the only real point of these contracts tbh.

    But yeah, if Fiz/Perry don’t see the value of Mitch (which I think they do) then they have bigger problems…

  112. Ideally, they can move a combo of vets and/or bad kids for a disgruntled star (or at least a good, youngish role player/starter). I think that’s the only real point of these contracts tbh.

    How on earth is this going to happen???

  113. This is a scorching hot take. You think the dude played his 1,360 minutes primarily against players mailing it in, most of whom are fighting for their next contracts in a league rapidly moving toward the NFL/MLB strategy of “pay the superstars, fuck the rest of ’em?”

    Doesn’t something have to be a “take” to be a “hot take”?

    I think he played his 1,360 minutes for an awful team that other teams could toy with and still beat, that never thought for a single solitiary second about game planning or strategizing to help ensure that Mitchell Robinson’s strengths didn’t contribute to them losing a game to the Knicks. Players by the dozens have put up hollow or potentially hollow numbers because of this phenomenon in the 20+ years I’ve been an avid NBA fan. That isn’t a “take” because there’s no serious sense in which it requires re-litigation.

  114. Meanwhile, they absolutely HAVE to trade Morris when the trade restriction goes away. He clearly doesn’t fit in their window, and is duplicative of what Knox (theoretically) and Randle bring. Let him do his dawg thing and rub off on the guys, then send him away to the Blazers for Bazemore and 2020 1st rounder. Portland has visions of the WCFs again, and currently have exactly zero players that have any chance of guarding any of the big power wings they’ll have to face (Lebron, Kawhi, etc).

    This’ll be one of the things that will tell us whether Perry really knows what is going on or not. So far I’m cautiously optimistic but there definitely have been some missteps.

  115. Players by the dozens have put up hollow or potentially hollow numbers because of this phenomenon in the 20+ years I’ve been an avid NBA fan. That isn’t a “take” because there’s no serious sense in which it requires re-litigation.

    Funny because even amongst these players by the dozen, exactly zero players put up the kinds of #s Mitch did in terms of impact on the defensive end (by DBPM), blocks, and offensive efficiency. You would think that in the 20+ years you’ve been an NBA fan, some undeserving schmo should have been able to do it. But you’d be wrong if you thought that.

    My sense is that before you propose something as incontrovertible that you actually look and see whether what you’re saying is true in fact or only true in your mind?

  116. Morris will take the decision out of Perry’s hands, because there’s no way he’s sticking through an entire season of this garbage. If he’s not traded at the deadline, he’ll be bought out.

  117. Doesn’t something have to be a “take” to be a “hot take”?

    If you’re saying that you were stating fact rather than lobbing conjecture — well, that’s another hot take.

    And yes, I am also lobbing conjecture (i.e. that players play hard for ego’s sake), but plausibility matters here.

    Edit: Frank beat me to it

  118. Funny because even amongst these players by the dozen, exactly zero players put up the kinds of #s Mitch did in terms of impact on the defensive end (by DBPM), blocks, and offensive efficiency.

    The advent of advanced statistics now means that a bunch of people put up hollow or potentially hollow advanced statistics as well as hollow or potentially hollow counting statistics. If Mitch is at the high end of the hollow brigade, so be it — someone has to be.

    His offensive efficiency is essentially meaningless. He plays low minutes and has low usage. It’s not even projectible to starter’s minutes on a good team, much less projectible to higher usage. He’s good at finishing the few opportunities he has to finish in the few minutes he plays. Nothing more. Hopefully, he’ll project out. There’s ample reason to be suspicious as to whether he will.

    He’s a terrific shot blocker. That’s something to build from. He finishes on the p-n-r well, which is also something to build on, but is also something teams might be able to partially or significantly negate if they ever care to bother. Last year they didn’t, this year they probably won’t either. This team is brutally terrible. Until teams actually care enough to care, the jury is very much still out.

    My sense is that before you propose something as incontrovertible that you actually look and see whether what you’re saying is true in fact or only true in your mind?

    Read what I wrote over the summer about Mitch, and you’ll see that his crap preseason really isn’t that much of a shock.

  119. Here’s the list of players in NBA history to have shot better from the field than Mitch in a season they played at least 1000 minutes:
    Wilt Chamberlain
    DeAndre Jordan

    That’s it. He also was the best shot blocker in the league. Nobody in NBA history has put up hollow numbers like that.

  120. And yes, I am also lobbing conjecture (i.e. that players play hard for ego’s sake),

    Players do play hard for ego’s sake, but their ego isn’t engaged as much when they play dreg teams like the Knicks and more broadly, that doesn’t have much to do with any of the things I’m talking about.

  121. Does anyone have any evidence that the average NBA team is making significant structural changes to their offensive or defensive systems to contain individual players during the regular season? When a team plays 3 games in a week, how much time are they spending:

    (1) reviewing game tape
    (2) developing strategies
    (3) communicating those strategies to players
    (4) practicing those unique strategies between playing, say, the Grizzlies on Monday and the Magic on Wednesday

    Not a rhetorical question. I’m genuinely asking how efficacious it would be to have players “thinking” on the court, rather than responding and adapting on the fly.

    I know that these things happen, but the idea that the average player is being game-planned for in December seems a little much. More likely to me is that the average team has schemes to contain types of players for regular-season games.

    There are plenty of videos of teams using particular schemes against guys like Curry, or figuring out ways to stymie, say, his high-screen action with Draymond from a few seasons back, but mostly I have to believe that they are taught intuitive gameplans that can be carried from Curry to Lillard to John Wall.

    Playoffs? Completely different story.

  122. Meanwhile – I…kinda thought Knox looked kinda good?

    I can’t be trusted on the subject but I didn’t feel like I noticed much of a difference. Seems like the same guy to me.

    I’d love to know how Mitch felt about acquiring Randle, Portis, and Gibson.

    I also am pretty worried about Mitch but I can tell you with perfect certainty that if anything bad happens with his career I am going to blame Mills and Perry and Dolan for it.

  123. Here’s the list of players in NBA history to have shot better from the field than Mitch in a season they played at least 1000 minutes:
    Wilt Chamberlain
    DeAndre Jordan

    So 2018-19 Mitchell Robinson “shot better from the field” than, say, 1988-89 Michael Jordan? I get the basis for the claim, but reasonable minds might differ on that one.

  124. So 2018-19 Mitchell Robinson “shot better from the field” than, say, 1988-89 Michael Jordan? I get the basis for the claim, but reasonable minds might differ on that one.

    He literally did. But no one’s going to argue that they’d rather have 2018-19 Mitch for a single season instead of ’89 MJ, for oh-so-many reasons.

  125. Yes, he literally did. Over-literalness at some point becomes reductionism, and we’ve probably reached that point with the current #23. Hopefully not, but that’s why they play the games.

    How does the fact that Mitch had a higher TS% than 89 MJ even impact any decision tree inflection point? Where is it supposed to take us analytically or in terms of evaluation? If the answer is “nowhere,” as I suspect it is, then that’s pretty much the definition of an empty piece of data.

  126. I literally don’t know what you’re talking about. Frank is literally the only guy who makes the correct rotations on defense.

    Sometimes! Not always. I’ll try and keep a log next game, depending on where I see it ect, of his off ball lapses. He’s a great on ball defender, no question! But it’s not exactly novel to be questioning if the totality of his defense isn’t that amazing. It looks like maybe he’s improving his rebounding which would be great.

  127. Herring on team Frank.

    He was brilliant at the end of the game. He came in at 4:18, then did the following:

    1. Got an offensive rebound and assist to a Portis dunk.
    2. Made Young give up the ball, ATL TO.
    3. Made Young give up the ball, then got an offensive foul from Carter, ATL TO.
    4. Stopped Young from penetrating, Young found Collins for an open made 3.
    5. Blocked Young, NY ball.
    6. Made Young give up the ball, Reddish contested missed J.
    7. Shot a bad step back 3 with 14 on the clock, up by 1. Totally stupid, but shows much needed confidence.
    8. Young found Carter for an open made 3. Not Frank’s fault.
    9. Made Young give up the ball, ATL missed shot.
    10. Made Young give up the ball. On the same possession, Frank stole the inbounds pass.
    11. On the game’s last possession got to an OFF rebound, couldn’t hold on to the ball and created a 50/50 chance for NY to get it (ended up ATL ball).

    That’s wow level production. To have such a sequence and than have guys here talk about how bad he is — and I don’t care about the context at this particular moment in time — is ridiculous.

  128. What’s so especially stupid about this is that Mitch played starter’s minutes the last month of last season and, shock of all shock, his numbers translated very well, like most players do. E, it’s like you’re trying to say the emperor has no clothes when he’s rocking a really sweet outfit. Your “not a take but obviously is a take” just seems like contrarian bullshit.

  129. E with a perfect troll post @ 161, well done sir or madam!

    *Hot take about Mitch that misrepresents why people are excited about him and compares him to the worst (second worst?) defensive center the Knicks have had in recent memory.

    *Wild misrepresentation of the negotiations between Budz and the FO.

    *’Subtle’ invocation of 9/11 to get people riled up even more.

    You can tell it was good because so many otherwise resistant folks bit on it so hard.

  130. New improved Frank is shooting .111 from 3PT and a sizzling .286 from the floor. He’s gotten to the line 3 times in 63 minutes.

    I don’t think folks are fooling themselves as to what frank offers on the offensive end – but, based on who the other four guys out on the court are, frank fits in the starting unit…

  131. Hey E – here you go:
    simple B-R season finder. I even lowered the thresholds significantly for these to make it easier for other players playing in tanking seasons to match Mitch.

    MPG >20 (NOT low minutes)
    Block% >8 (Mitch was 10%)
    TS > 65 (Mitch was 69.2)
    I left usage open so even the lowest usage loser in the world could do this

    So since 1946 – here are all the players that have done this: http://bkref.com/tiny/jZ4Ez

    (I’ll save you the time – it’s only Mitch).

    So in the archetype of rim-running low usage high efficiency guy on offense and rim-protector on defense, no one has ever done what Mitch did numbers-wise. I don’t know why you’re fighting this so hard.

  132. We don’t have enough nice things to be shitting on Mitch.

    I agree with that, so I will stop. While I am writing what I believe, the despondency of the organization’s status on the eve of the upcoming season is probably what’s making me write it, rather than just think it. And I want to be completely wrong. Carry on.

  133. not to keep piling on, but even if you lower the threshold for total minutes played in a season to 100 (ie. barely 1 minute played per game), Mitch is STILL the only player to ever hit those marks — marks that are way less than what he actually accomplished.

  134. mitch is not being overrated…. i think if you think the upside is bill russell or shaq then i think that’s overrated yea but i think most ppl believe he can be somewhere between chandler.. gobert.. deandre jordon…

    that’s a very very valuable guy…. and yea all the beyond the box score stuff is very valuable especially within the context of defense…. but that’s where every young player struggles… you simply do not see the volume of pick and roll and the level of ball handlers anywhere else in the world… the rotations and the way you need to react quickly is a very hard thing to grasp….

    the move that trae put on mitch for that nifty layup… that’s an nba caliber move… and while mitch isn’t gonna block that shot all the time or even frequently… the more he sees it the more he can eventually get to a place where trae gets scared even attempting it…. gobert even with years of experience was kind of shocked at how quick zion got up…

    that’s where mitch struggles with but nobody really gets it at this age… you just need time and hope it come.s.. that’s the difference between someone like ed davis.. who’s very good but not necessarily a defensive anchor and… deandre jordan… who started horrendous on defense but eventually became pretty good altho not like gobert…

  135. I don’t think folks are fooling themselves as to what frank offers on the offensive end – but, based on who the other four guys out on the court are, frank fits in the starting unit…

    Yeah, Frank has no business starting on a good team. But on our weird half-rebuilding one without a single well-rounded player (Mitch included), he might be our best option to start alongside Barrett. Even though neither shoots well (and Frank still shoots awfully), their offensive games otherwise complement each other very nicely, and their length means that Frank can switch onto whichever guard or wing is giving the team the most difficulty, while RJ has turned out to be a non-matador on that end thus far. I’m frustrated his shot still isn’t falling, but the ball continues to move much better when Frank is on the court than with the other two point guards, and that defense is special, particularly in lineups where he and Mitch play together.

    As for Mitch, the question remains whether he can learn fundamentals well enough to achieve the amazing potential his athleticism gives him. I don’t know if either he or this coaching staff is up to that task. If his instincts never improve, he’s still a very useful player. He’s just not the godlike figure we want him to become.

  136. 1. Got an offensive rebound and assist to a Portis dunk.
    2. Made Young give up the ball, ATL TO.
    3. Made Young give up the ball, then got an offensive foul from Carter, ATL TO.
    4. Stopped Young from penetrating, Young found Collins for an open made 3.
    5. Blocked Young, NY ball.
    6. Made Young give up the ball, Reddish contested missed J.
    7. Shot a bad step back 3 with 14 on the clock, up by 1. Totally stupid, but shows much needed confidence.
    8. Young found Carter for an open made 3. Not Frank’s fault.
    9. Made Young give up the ball, ATL missed shot.
    10. Made Young give up the ball. On the same possession, Frank stole the inbounds pass.
    11. On the game’s last possession got to an OFF rebound, couldn’t hold on to the ball and created a 50/50 chance for NY to get it (ended up ATL ball).

    ^ on the one hand, there NO WAY that guy can’t play in this league.

    On the other hand, there is NO WAY this guy can play in this league:

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/n/ntilila01.html

    Guy is a fucking conundrum of the highest magnitude.

  137. @197

    Everyone that has been watching basketball for decades and truly understands what it takes to win at the highest levels understands the kind of impact a player like Frank can have on winning with the right mix of players if he just develops modestly on offense. That’s why they keep calling for patience. If you can’t see it, you simply don’t understand the game beyond boxscore stats. He’s way more valuable than what the boxscore suggests. No one knows if he’ll get where we hope on offense. But there’s very little downside to waiting when he’s very young, our team is bad, the team is years away from being good, and it’s full of 1 year mercenary role players that will provide plentiful space.

  138. Per 36 numbers:

    Mitch as a 20-year-old rookie: 12.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.3 blocks, 1.4 steals, .9 turnovers, 5.7 fouls, shooting 69% on just under eight shots a game.

    Nerlens Noel as a 20-year-old rookie: 11.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 2.1 steals, 2.3 turnovers, 3.2 fouls, shooting 46% on just over 10 shots a game.

    That people lose their damn minds around here over “probably better than Nerlens Noel” says it all about how bad the Knicks have been and how long they’ve been that way.

    Mike

  139. i mean noel is not a bad player and those numbers clearly show that he’s better than noel at the same age… and without the injury history…

  140. Robinson is a different case than Frank.

    He has enormous athletic talent and scores well on boxsore models, but he’s extremely limited offensively right now and has no idea what he’s doing on either side of the ball. He’s utterly clueless. He’s nowhere near as good as what the models are saying. He’s not a starting C on a good team. He’d get eaten alive against top teams and top players. The thing is, there’s so much untapped potential there on both sides of the ball, you have to feel great about what he can bring to the table eventually if he develops and more importantly learns how to play on either side, let alone both.

  141. That people lose their damn minds around here over “probably better than Nerlens Noel” says it all about how bad the Knicks have been and how long they’ve been that way.

    Not sure I get your point. Mitch’s numbers are obviously way way way better than Noel, who’s not a terrible player.

    What is your point again?

  142. David Fizdale said Frank Ntilikina will likely be held out Friday and Elfird Payton and Dennis Smith Jr. will likely get the minutes at PG vs. NOP. The rationale is to see all 3 PGs equally during preseason. Allonzo Trier will play with the second unit Friday, Fizdale says.

    I suspect anyone who places a bet on DSJ as our starting PG would do well for themselves.

  143. Mitch as a 20-year-old rookie: 12.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.3 blocks, 1.4 steals, .9 turnovers, 5.7 fouls, shooting 69% on just under eight shots a game.

    Nerlens Noel as a 20-year-old rookie: 11.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 2.1 steals, 2.3 turnovers, 3.2 fouls, shooting 46% on just over 10 shots a game.

    This is what we call a “self-own.”

    Yeah, you sure showed us, Mike, Mitch only had almost two more rebounds, twice as many blocks, fewer than half as many turnovers and only a scant 23% higher shooting percentage than Nerlens Noel.

    I’m gonna do a side-by-side comparison showing how Mike Trout is “maybe” better than Randal Grichuk.

  144. I suspect anyone who places a bet on DSJ as our starting PG would do well for themselves.

    I know management wants to justify they got an actual player for KP but Jesus did he look awful last night.; I mean so awful watching the game I said to myself, “Now what exactly does this guy do well???”

    I understand he’s coming off an injury, but they practiced for two weeks and he supposedly was actually doing work during the off season so missing a week shouldn’t have hurt him THAT much.

    His inability to stay anywhere near Tre last night was stunning.

  145. We don’t have enough nice things to be shitting on Mitch.

    patience ain’t exactly a fan’s strong suit…

    the fo/coaching staff seem to be purposefully taking it slow with mitch…hopefully that approach works out well for us in the long run…

    knox looked a lot better last night than last year…

  146. Fantastic finish from Trae Young against Mitchell Robinson: pic.twitter.com/YEiDgqWCI9— Jeff Siegel (@jgsiegel) October 17, 2019

    I have no idea if this tweet is going to embed but what I’m trying to link is a tweet with the play djphan referenced. Mitch switches onto Trae, stops him from attempting a 3, gets beat, and then recovers enough to force trae into taking a fairly difficult layup. Trae makes the shot, but how many centers in the NBA can get force a very shifty point guard off the 3 point line and contest their shot at the rim?

  147. there were also some rumors floating around of the pistons being interested in frank and that there was a piston scout at msg yday and fiz saying that frank would get ‘significant’ minutes….

    so there might be some movement there….

    right now i think the starting lineup will be:

    pg – payton
    sg – rj
    sf – morris
    pf – randle
    c – gibson

    it should be:

    pg – smith
    sg – rj
    sf – morris
    pf – randle
    c – mitch

    but i think it’s not really gonna matter too much…. if frank and knox and portis see significant time then we probably won’t crack 30 wins… but if they don’t… we should get a decent chance at 35 or so…

  148. Kevin Knox still playing like Kevin Knox. Very underwhelmed by his supposed improvement over last year. He has perfected the out of control head down drive to the basket praying for a foul while throwing up a wild shot that has zero chance of going in the basket.

    Isn’t Fizdale responsible for doing some coaching to improve the play of these young guys? So far no results that would indicate this is actually happening.

    This team will have the worst point guard rotation in the league again this year.

  149. Everyone that has been watching basketball for decades and truly understands what it takes to win at the highest levels understands

    No true Scotsman indeed

  150. I think it’s fair to say about Mitch that what’s potentially special about him is his defense, which is notoriously hard to evaluate. If he never “gets it” on defense, then the offense is only medium intriguing – low usage, high efficiency rim runners with bad defense ain’t nothing, but guys like that are basically bench Cs and a lot of them are available at low cost – Noel, Javale, Khem Birch. Yes, you can argue that’s his baseline; he put up impressive efficiency stats for that kind of player even last year as a rookie, but low minutes, low usage, I don’t think his offense is different enough from those guys to carry him. On the other end of the spectrum, if he’s a DPOY level C then the same baseline offensive profile makes him Rudy Gobert, aka an all-NBA level C.

    So that leaves you with the defense. I think it’s pretty undeniable that Mitch’s defensive upside is special. The block % alone will tell you that, as will any number of highlight plays. He does things few guys can do. I also think it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t have a great idea what he’s doing a lot of the time. The models that use box score priors tend to think he’s already a great defender, some other systems don’t; scouting consensus seems much more towards the latter. There’s also the small problem that being a great per minute defender isn’t as meaningful if you can’t stop fouling.

    So I think reasonable evaluations of him stem from already a stud who just needs to play more to a pretty intriguing prospect who still needs to turn his defensive potential to production. I lean more towards the latter camp but defense is really tricky.

  151. Can we all agree that however this short-term dumpster fire plays out, at least we don’t have Andrew Wiggins at $30M a year until 2023? I still can’t believe they offered him that money. He might be a vet’s min in 2023-24!

  152. I don’t have a problem with making the bear case on Mitch. There is no way to look at his numbers from last year and realistically expect them to improve. They were that good. And his defense is a bit, uh, ragged at times, no question about it.

    Still, if your floor is a non-crazy JaVale Mcgee or Nerlens Noel, that’s really not the worst thing in the world. People always act as if efficient pogo sticks are a dime a dozen but it’s not actually as easy to find effective rebounders/defenders who can score at a 60% ts% as people seem to think.

    Speaking of which, what is the story with Khem Birch. His numbers look pretty solid. What’s the catch?

  153. Owen and Namestam have more eloquently argued the case for pumping the brakes on Mitch hype than I’ve been able to. He’s still our most promising prospect, but he’s not Chandler or Gobert yet.

  154. Further evidence of us living in the shittiest timeline (as if we needed more) — I idiotically read Pitchfork’s top 200 albums list for the past decade.

    Some sins i’m seeing off the top:

    No Ariel Pink — and these guys were all over Before Today’s nuts.
    Cardi B’s album is higher than The Suburbs
    Frank Ocean Blonde is #1?? Nostalgia Ultra wasn’t even listed and is imo his seminal work….

    At least for THCJ Weyes Blood is up there…

  155. This pains me to say because I love Trier, but I think Fiz should run with this until we are able to make some trades:
    Starters: MitchRob, Randle, Mook, Ntilikina, DSJ
    Bench Mob: Portis, Taj, Knox, Ellington, RJ

    I also think a Ntilikina-Trier pairing works well because Trier will play defense, break down defenses, and shoot well- but there’s no way Ntilikina starts over DSJ at the point. With my proposed 2nd unit, I think RJ has plenty of room to operate and even explore and grow his game.

    Fiz needs to pick something and run with it, and I think my proposed starting 5 is a nice tone setter before letting the young guns run you off the court without sacrificing alot of defense off the bench. If Trier is willing to run off screens more and catch and shoot, then he would work with RJ in a backcourt tandem off the bench. But developing RJ is even more important to me than I thought it would be after seeing his takeover gene. I’m impressed by all the ways RJ effects the game even when his shot isn’t falling

  156. Hey E – here you go:
    simple B-R season finder. I even lowered the thresholds significantly for these to make it easier for other players playing in tanking seasons to match Mitch.

    MPG >20 (NOT low minutes)
    Block% >8 (Mitch was 10%)
    TS > 65 (Mitch was 69.2)
    I left usage open so even the lowest usage loser in the world could do this

    So since 1946 – here are all the players that have done this: http://bkref.com/tiny/jZ4Ez

    (I’ll save you the time – it’s only Mitch).

    So in the archetype of rim-running low usage high efficiency guy on offense and rim-protector on defense, no one has ever done what Mitch did numbers-wise. I don’t know why you’re fighting this so hard.

    If you drop the TS to > 60 you only gain the two year (25 yo and 26 yo) good version of Whiteside with the Heat, 30 yo Chris “Birdman” Anderson, and 35 yo Alonzo Mourning from Miami’s first championship run when he was backing up Shaq.

  157. Can we all agree that however this short-term dumpster fire plays out, at least we don’t have Andrew Wiggins at $30M a year until 2023? I still can’t believe they offered him that money. He might be a vet’s min in 2023-24!

    Granted the contract was very bad when he signed it, but your 21 year-old former #1 overall pick getting significantly worse in his age-22 season and then getting significantly worse again in his age-23 season for no discernible reason whatsoever is pretty unexpected.

  158. Quick Yankees note:

    Still no Stanton. Wish we were carrying Trauchman.

    A more sensible lineup, though:

    1 DJ
    2 Judge
    3 Hicks
    4 Gleyber
    5 EE
    6 Gardner
    7 Sanchez
    8 Gio
    9 Didi

    I’m just not an EE guy. He looks like an overmatched 36 year old out there. I’d rather bet on Gary breaking out or put Voit in at DH.

    Again, please make this post age terribly.

  159. Let’s cut the shit on Mitch.
    The kid was still playing in the Summer League. He’s still developing his skills. Patience & Faith are required.

    Knox looks better. More ‘in control’.Lets see how much improved he’ll be this season.

    Frank looks energised, decisive and aggressive. I Want His Best Version Here.

    RJ is Legit.

    Portis looks … VERY expensive.

  160. Zion out for the preseason finale with knee soreness.

    I’d be pretty pissed if I paid primo $$ for tickets

  161. One week ago i was thinking of posting something like “what are the odds of Frank starting on season opener’ semi-sarcastically but after 3 preseason games Frankie looks to me like the best of our pgs.
    Elfrid looks drugged, DSJ looks ‘too cool to play D’ but Frank looks poised and ready to bleed for the job.
    Let’s wait and see…

  162. Further evidence of us living in the shittiest timeline (as if we needed more) — I idiotically read Pitchfork’s top 200 albums list for the past decade.

    You can’t really take Pitchfork seriously as an arbiter of what music is good and what isn’t. There’s a whole hierarchy of who gets good reviews and when, and the “best new music” thing is entirely tied to whatever they feel like is the hot thing culturally at the moment and which publicist has the most clout.

    You’re not going to see them go out on a limb and make some unknown artist’s album “best new music.” It’s all very political. You have to wait your turn, and then when your turn is over, it’s over.

  163. “Knox looks better. More ‘in control’.”

    My DVR must have mis-recorded Knox’s possessions I guess.

  164. I can’t with that Pitchfork list. I like Frank Ocean for his voice, but when I hear him sing such eternal lyrics as “We’d drive to Syd’s / had the X6 back then, back then,” I understand that he’s singing to a group of Tumblr/SoundCloud-raised Gen Zers that I might not totally relate to. Putting any Drake album over GK, MC is simply ridiculous. Death Grips below Rae Sremmurd, Future, Chance the Rapper and Cardi B? Fucking Lorde? That bloated Lana del Rey album from last month? C’mon.

  165. @240
    Watch again Knox’s 2018-19 deathride drives (with a puke bucket available) and you ll be fully convinced on the use of “better” and “more ‘in control’ “.Trust me !

  166. Best things in life and in music are not always widely known and appreciated.
    They revealed themselves in time only to true connoisseurs who crave for the truth.
    Music Charts are not the bible. They are mainly commercial tools but also fun and a nice reference for newbies to start their music trip.

  167. There’s definitely a recency and popularity bias in the pitchfork rankings. Deathgrips is too underground/alternative to do well in this kind of list.

    People love Frank Ocean. I never listened to him much, but a lot of people list him as their favorite artist.

    I don’t appreciate popular music much, several of my favorite albums didn’t make the list which does not surprise me at all.

  168. Frank looks poised and ready to bleed for the job.

    i don’t know if there’s a stat for it – but, there it is…

  169. gonna lay off the yankees game for a while and get some work done (and, lower my stress level)…nice to see though that greinke’s got some control issues early…

  170. The D’angelo and Solange records were amazing, though. Worthy of top-10 slots for sure.

  171. How does anyone watch the NFL? It’s like, okay, you got a transcendent talent? 50/50 shot that someone blows his knee up before midseason.

  172. almost embarrassed to say – not sure I can name a single “album” (what are they even called nowadays?) recording since 2010…man I’m old…

    got tix the other day though to see jerry cantrell at the pico union project (this small community church in downtown la) in december…

    I can’t remember the last time I was this excited to see a show…I’ve heard some good church choirs sing before, but yeah, give me gone and 31/32 in the house of god…

  173. After checking the pitchfork list i must confess that i didn’t find many stuff that interest me…
    Bowie’s Blackstar and Aphex Twin’s Syro are on my wishlist but other than these two i found only a few ones intriguing me to check em out..

  174. Wiggins voiced his displeasure with not being in the top 100 players today. He backed it up with a smooth running 4-18 shooting night with 2 rebounds and one assist. What a player and what a contract.

  175. After checking the pitchfork list i must confess that i didn’t find many stuff that interest me…
    Bowie’s Blackstar and Aphex Twin’s Syro are on my wishlist but other than these two i found only a few ones intriguing me to check em out..

    I love Syro, that album is a really impressive achievement. It takes an incredible amount of labor to make a record like that. It doesn’t SOUND labored at all, it’s super fun and bouncy and whimsical, but most of the songs are these through-composed pieces that constantly shift, rarely repeat and have tons of detail. Just making a few bars of that music must take days, everything is automated and dialed in with anal retentive precision.

    I also loved “Tomorrow’s Harvest” by Boards of Canada. They’re one of my favorite artists ever and that’s my favorite record of theirs, it’s the Boards of Canada record I always wanted them to make. Same kind of amazing attention to detail but in a different way, every single sound is so lovingly curated. Those guys are fucking geniuses.

  176. Boards of Canada are on my check list.
    Check out Lifeforms by Future Sound of London
    &
    In Sides by Orbital
    If you like trippy & smart electronic music.

  177. Re: electronic stuff– Lady Jowles and I are still listening to Against All Logic, 2012-2017. The vocal samples on that record are chopped and placed to perfection.

  178. Porzingis looks a LOT closer to being mentally ready to compete at a high level that I would have guessed. It usually takes these ACL guys half a season or more to get comfortable. He’s taking contact at both ends without fear and playing very well. The added strength is clearly helping. As soon as he and Doncic figure out how to work together that’s going to one hell of a fun team to watch in coming years.

  179. Pitchfork generally irk me (given every article and review now is basically about how Lil Peep or Xanax or whoever the fuck is on Sound Cloud are geniuses and why Weezer suck), so I take their top 200 with a grain of salt. Lots of albums in that top 50 that are the usual Pitchfork over-hyped stuff, but some good titles mixed in there nevertheless. My gripes are that AM (Arctic Monkeys), High Violet (The National), Let England Shake (PJ Harvey), Celebration Rock (Japandroids) and Currents (Tame Impala) were way too low for my liking. Lost In The Dream by The War on Drugs is probably one of the better albums of the decade, so probably should be higher IMO.

  180. Let’s wait and see…

    Ugh… I know you mean this phrase sincerely and in context to the knicks, but, man, every time I read it it’s in the voice of The Orange One, and it reminds me of how fucked up everything is, even outside of the Garden.

  181. I can see Steph number one, but I’m not sure about Harden at two. Not that he won’t score, but he will be sharing the ball with Westbrook and probably have less impressive stats than last year. As a dark horse I’d consider Bradley Beal. He’s very good and the Wizards will be relying on him heavily.

  182. Oh man, here we go again with the next big 3 rumors…

    Apparently KAT, Booker and Russell all want to get on the same team and are all nyc fans.

  183. Apparently KAT, Booker and Russell all want to get on the same team and are all nyc fans.

    As much of a mess as we are, hard pass on that.

  184. Porzingis looks a LOT closer to being mentally ready to compete at a high level that I would have guessed. It usually takes these ACL guys half a season or more to get comfortable.

    Strat… you are neglecting the notion he is 20 months post surgery. He was probably medically cleared to play last march but they chose not to play him for various reasons. He has been able to practice full out for 6 months so I’m not surprised he looks excellent today.

    And a 22 year old guy who is a professional athlete who has 20 months to get swole certainly should be able to do that if he applies himself just a little bit.

    I am quite sure he will play well the for 40 games or so…. if he plays well in games 41-82 it will be a big upset, yet not impossible.

    And anyway…. it would have been insane to call his bluff about the contract. He wanted out and he got out and as Vinnie says in Casino:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk-a1RAX2mU

  185. Begley suggests that some players on the team are already unhappy with the rotations and their place in it. Trier seems the most obvious suspect at the moment, but I imagine we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this as the season comes along, either from the kids who’ve been elbowed out by mediocre vets or all the guys who’ll be free agents again this summer and can’t get any playing time.

    Fun! Like everything else about being a Knicks fan!

  186. KP will look sharp in limited minutes, but I bet he won’t have his game lungs for a few months. I’m guessing they’ll want to limit his minutes anyway, but he won’t be in “game shape” even though he’s bulked up a bit.

    I’m still pretty torn as to who would look/work better next to Mitch: KP or Randle. The urge to see KP next to Mitch is strong, but logic says their defense is duplicative. Randle’s passing and better post play is nice, but KP is definitely the better 3 pt shooter, and may, in fact, be an elite one. Considering our guard shooting is pretty terrible, KP still would’ve been a nice fit, but c’est la vie…

  187. It’s been pretty surprising to me that Fiz has kept the rotations so tight in the preseason so far, really only playing 10 guys in each game for the most part. With how flat the talent distribution is on this team I thought we might see more guys than that in the rotation to start the regular season, let alone the preseason. If that pattern continues it’s going to be really, really interesting to see who’s playing once the games start counting because those grumblings are only going to get louder.

  188. The Bullock injury helps spare some rotation logjam/grumbling for now. But Trier and Dotson are likely to be unhappy. Ditto whichever of the three point guards is left on the outside looking in. But yes, this is going to get worse before it gets better, when hopefully several of these guys are either traded or (more likely) bought out at midseason so the kids can all play again.

  189. IF you will be picking first in NBA fantasy draft, who would you pick?
    My top choices are STEPH, HARDEN, OR GIANNIS.

    I don’t want AD and KAT.

    Thoughts?

    Depends. Is it a league that counts the percentage as well as the number of 3s? If so, yeah I’d lean Steph. If not, then you have to pick Giannis. Giannis gives you everything except 3 related stats. Harden’s going to have something affected due to Westbrook’s presence.

    Truth is with fantasy, you have to know which category you want to punt and which ones you want to go all in with.

    If 3s is the category you want to focus on, go Curry, If 3s is the one you’re willing to punt, then Giannis.

  190. I guess I should note, the strategy I mentioned is more for H2H leagues [I’ve played more H2H than Roto]. Roto leagues will favor Steph as you can, in general, shore up rebounding easier than 3PT shooting later in the draft.

  191. This sucks. Woj:

    A severe injury has been ruled out for Zion Williamson’s right knee, but he is expected to miss period of weeks to start regular season, league sources tell ESPN. Pels are clearly treating injury with an abundance of caution but there’s no shortage of confidence on full recovery.

  192. That does suck. Man, that kid needs to stay as lean as possible. Would hate for him to get a career-ending knee injury.

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