Los Angeles Lakers 100 – New York Knicks 92 – Game Recap

Not every 45th game in a 12-32 season is the same. Most of them are useless affairs that deserve to be watched in bits between Jeopardy! reruns and local TV news reportages, win or lose. And then there are the games that bring with them some added gravitas, sometimes because of the opposing team, sometimes because of an opposing player, sometimes both.

Last night game was a clear example of this: the Lakers are to be inherently disliked, and as much as you might acknowledge the self-apparent grandiosity of LeBron it’s hard not to feel contempt for the way he carries himself on the court when he steps onto the MSG hardwood. This time there were also bonus hate points added thanks to that Kuzma punk that made a habit of standing up from the bench in the first quarter to swag-walk along the baseline every time the Lakers looked like they were on the verge of doing something on offense. I, personally, found it very hard not to actively root for the Knicks to win the game, mercs shaming and youth development be damned for once.

In this sense, the game was kinda fun. The Knicks fought quite valiantly, especially in the first half, which ended on a perfect tie at 48 apiece after the teams traded a few blows  (for the Lakers most of the production unsurprisingly came from LeBron and Davis; for the Knicks there was a bit more of a team effort plus the commendable long range efforts of Damyean Dotson and the continuation of the recent hot streak from Taj. The fact that Mook was able to dress for the game bolstered in a good way the rotation). We still got a few minutes of the insane Portis-Randle combo at 4-5, but it looked like we were fine. The Lakers gave the impression to have taken the foot of the pedal a bit after a super pumped up first five minutes, and it was common expectation that once they would have gone for the kill we would have fallen behind by 20 very easily.

The third quarter looked like that at a certain point (it certainly didn’t help that the Knicks were turning the ball like crazy in the period), with the Lakers going to take a double digit lead at 75-65 with 1:09 to play, but the Knicks were able to hang tight and close the quarter with a mini 5-1 run to keep the game at hand. In the fourth, maybe not so coincidentally in simultaneity with Dennis Smith getting back to play after who knows how many games, the Lakers went up by 13 after a mini 6-0 run of their own. From there the Knicks tried to get back into the game but it was too little too late; the last minute was an encore of the recent Fizdalian streak that’s possessing Mike Miller. Let me take you through what happened there: With 1:34 remanining, a Mook three cut the lead to seven at 94-87. James went for the Doncic stepback three from 32 feet, missed badly and Morris got the board. On the other side, with just 59 seconds to play, Dotson got to shoot a semi-contested three that clanked off the rim; the ball was still in our Bockers’ hand because the Lakers couldn’t keep the rebound in play. Alex Caruso foolishly commited a foul before the ball was inbounded, so the Knicks had one shot and the ball. Mook hit the freebie. So far, so good.

Then: the ball got inbounded to the left corner where Julius Randle (rolling eyes emoji galore) proceeded to shot a turnaround three that he had no business making – and true to form he put up an ugly airball. Seriously? Randle shooting a turnaround three on a night when he was struggling badly with his shot (6-16 for the game, 0-4 for three)? Anyway, the ball was still in Knicks’ hand because the Lakers couldn’t cleanly corral the board. The ball got again in Randle’s hands, who went on to turn it over again with his patented “spin into two defenders like an inebriated tango dancer who mistook the queue to go up the Statue of Liberty for an open dancefloor”. The Lakers stormed towards an easy transition basket with 42 seconds to go (not really so easy; Kuzma missed the layup, even though maybe he was fouled, but AD was there for the tip in). The game was over thanks to a double Randle blunder, but at least pride was safe thanks to the all around effort for the night.

A few thoughts:

– We lost by 8. Dennis Smith Jr got back to where he was posting a -9 plus/minus in 4:36. Hmmm. The kid is done in NY. Trade him away for his (and ours) own sake.

– Mitch played pretty well last night (12 boards, 1 block, some spurts of legitimately good defense, not in foul trouble) and still notched just 25 minutes against arguably the second biggest team in the League. I just can’t. Also: last night the “opposing team game planning for Mitch” thing was real on a few possessions, but still – three shots in 25 minutes? Our point guards sucks badly at getting the right players in the right spots.

– About sucking point guards: Frank’s in the middle of a horrible shooting slump (2-for-16 for the last two games, 0-8 this time). He had a very anemic stats line: 2 boards, 1 assist, and nothing else. Still: him and Mitch were the only Knicks with a positive plus/minus. You don’t need to remind me raw, single game plus/minus is a resoundingly bad way to measure a performance, but when it becomes a constant… I don’t know what else to say. Is there some reason why we don’t trot out an Elfrid-Frank-Bullock/Dot-Mook-Mitch lineup out there with RJ out? Apart from Pills’ likely meddling? Frank is posting a +5.1 On/Off rating, third best in the team.

– Dotson looked like he couldn’t miss tonight, but then I took a look at the boxscore and: 17 points on 6-for-14 from the field (but a sound 5-11 from three). Even on hot nights, Dot shoots at best at just a slightly above-average clip. For the season he barely breaks 40% from the field and is at 32.5% from three. He’s a 3-and-D template with no actual evidence of functionality at both, the umpteenth Knicks conundrum.

– Oh and you know our other 3-and-D guy? That BulLOCK guy? He’s shooting 41% from the field and 31% from three. At least we’re consistent.

– I mean, Bobby Portis sucks and all, but he’s the only Knick apart from Morris to shoot at least at league average from three. Talk about roster construction.

– In unrelated news, have you seen that Zion guy? He won’t ever shoot 4-4 from three again, but boy was so Knicksian to draft at 3rd last June.

– In more unrelated news, take a look at this Ringer article about KP. You can feel the writer trying ultra hard to find good things to say about him. Even national media is catching up to what we already knew.

– And now, in incredibly more unrelated news and an unabashed feat of self-promotion, I hereby submit to you the lyric video to one of those three songs I talked about a couple weeks ago. Feel free to skip it entirely, or don’t and tell how cool it is that I’m doing trite 80s-inspired music (but seriously, I’m quite happy about the final result and I’m glad to share it with you).

See you soon!

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Farfa

Just an Italian basketball fan with an insane passion for all things Knicks (and yes, linguine Alfredo is not a real Italian dish).

142 thoughts to “Los Angeles Lakers 100 – New York Knicks 92 – Game Recap”

  1. Great recap, Farfa.

    I hate to steal your thunder but I also thoroughly enjoyed this Ringer semi-hit piece on Porzingis:

    https://www.theringer.com/nba/2020/1/23/21078182/kristaps-porzingis-dallas-mavericks-luka-doncic

    Porzingis, though, makes plays off others. A day will come when Luka receives the James Harden treatment and gets trapped in the half court, forcing someone else to make a play or bring the ball up. Porzingis hasn’t shown he can be that player—he shoots 24.5 percent when he dribbles more than once in a possession, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

    Ha! Yeah, he’s worth a max contract. Right.

  2. @2

    And why shouldn’t they be? He’s the prototypical Pills profile: a reclamation project hovering around .000 WS/48 who shoots .252 (not a typo) from three.

  3. Well, he’s vastly improved in propensity and ability to get by his guy on offense, and offensive aggression generally in just like the last month, or so. He’s like a different person in that category. Everyone was complaining that he was too passive and not quick-twitchy enough and, lo and behold out of the blue, that’s not the case anymore. That’s what happens with young players, and we just have to be patient and hope he continues developing. That’s what rebuilding means; that’s what developing young talent means.

    He’s still missing the second part — actually making the shots he can now get off with his new-found aggressiveness. He has good shooting form, so the hope is that eventually he starts making them. To this end, the Knicks should be giving this growing and improving Frank far more reps, in lieu of playing a mediocre and tapped-out mercenary — but if they did that, they wouldn’t be the Knicks.

    In fact, I always thought the whole “he’s not aggressive enough” thing was entirely missing the point. He wasn’t aggressive because he’s a smart player who knows the results of him being aggressive would likely be disastrous. Lo and behold, last night he was aggressive. The results speak for themselves.

    He has not improved in any category whatsoever and my predicted regression is happening even more quickly than I thought. Keep playing him on this god awful team as far as I’m concerned, but make no mistake: we have two remotely intriguing young players–Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett. In other words, we are in no position to be passing up literally any draft pick we can get.

  4. For whatever reason, you’ve made it your cause celebre to be down on the guy, but yeah, he’s improved in a category, a real important one — propensity and ability to get by his guy on offense, and offensive aggression generally. And like I said, he’s got nice shooting form, so there’s room for optimism that he’ll be able to hit more of the shots that are resulting from his aggression.

    In fact, I always thought the whole “he’s not aggressive enough” thing was entirely missing the point. He wasn’t aggressive because he’s a smart player who knows the results of him being aggressive would likely be disastrous.

    No, that was never the case. It’s just another on the long list of things “you were told.”

  5. For whatever reason, you’ve made it your cause celebre to be down on the guy, but yeah, he’s improved in a category, a real important one — propensity and ability to get by his guy on offense, and offensive aggression generally. And like I said, he’s got nice shooting form, so there’s room for optimism that he’ll be able to hit more of the shots that are resulting from his aggression.

    Any evidence whatsoever to support this? I don’t see it anywhere in his numbers, unless this is why you think he’s shooting 46% from 16<3 all of the sudden. I also watch teh gamez, so if this is a pure eye-test thing I’m going to have to disagree. All I see is the same high ass dribble I’ve been seeing since I started watching his Strasbourg tapes.

    The cause celebre thing is quite rich coming from someone who joined the board for the sole purpose of arguing that every metric in the world misunderstands Frank Ntilikina’s latent greatness, so I ain’t gonna respond to it.

    No, that was never the case. It’s just another on the long list of things “you were told.”

    Uh, by who? I just said this has been my opinion for a long time. I’ve always been skeptical of the idea that he merely needed to be more aggressive, and last night should show you why.

  6. For whatever reason, you’ve made it your cause celebre to be down on the guy 

    You’d be better off not engaging him in conversations about Frank unless you are a masochist.

    It’s unquestionably very painful to watch an impact defender like Frank struggle so badly with his shot, but when he was on his good run recently the first thing I said was that there would be more periods where he goes into a coma before he eventually reaches a consistently satisfactory level. That’s the nature of shooting volatility, defensive adjustments, and the progress of a slowly improving player. His mechanics have deteriorated recently.  

    However, IMO, it’s clear that so far this year Frank has improved his handle, ability to drive past players and get to his desired spot on the floor to either shoot or make plays, ability to read and execute the P&R, make FTs, and shoot better in a more general way. He’s also more confident. 

    What’s also clear is that the path from where he is now to being a good enough offensive player to be a starting combo guard is still going to be a long painful trip. 

    But unlike Payton (who is 4 years older), or guys like Mudiay, Burke, and DSjr, Frank is already very strong on one side of the ball and came in expected to be multi year project on offense. That’s different than being older or a negative on both sides. IMO, if you don’t give him more time you are being very foolish. He’s YEARS away from his peak. 

    We have people here talking about rebuilding through the draft like it’s the only way to go when they don’t have the patience to get through ages 19-21 let alone wait until 25-30 when they are peaking.  lmao 

  7. shoot better in a more general way

    Low key, this is one of the funniest things Strat has ever said.

    Frank is shooting better in a metaphysical way, dude. The vibes are more chill.

  8. are we now celebrating a guy who discovered in his third year in the league that he is allowed to shoot the ball? that’s the progress we are celebrating now?

    but yeah, he’s improved in a category, a real important one — propensity and ability to get by his guy on offense, and offensive aggression generally

    However, IMO, it’s clear that so far this year Frank has improved his handle, ability to drive past players and get to his desired spot on the floor to either shoot or make plays, ability to read and execute the P&R, make FTs, and shoot better in a more general way. He’s also more confident.

    maybe some of the other frank supporters should come on and do some more victory laps like they did a couple weeks ago and we can share in more comedy….

    the only ppl making this a big deal are the ppl who continually defend a stupendously bad player…. anyone with two eyes who’s not emotionally invested sees the same thing that any rational person sees… a fringe nba player who probably won’t see another 3000 minutes in the nba….

    inevitably when that happens more excuses will fly and you will blame anyone else for what was obvious from the very beginning…..

  9. Porzingis hasn’t shown he can be that player—he shoots 24.5 percent when he dribbles more than once in a possession, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

    Anyone that’s using this year’s shot data to evaluate KP or a KP/Doncic combination long term either has an agenda, is a moron, but is probably both.

    He’s shooting worse this year in almost every way than he did as a rookie. He obviously struggling very badly off close to a 2 year layoff.

    If you want to argue he’s not durable, that’s been a question since before the ACL injury. I used to raise the issue here and everyone argued I was crazy because some of his injuries were an accident. Phil considered trading him over it and everyone went nuts.

    If you want to argue that after the ACL he’ll never be the same player again, that’s a legit question that hasn’t been answered yet, but could be true. We won’t know until next year.

    However, he was making huge strides before the ACL injury.

    If you want to argue that a very raw, skinny, and weak 7’3″ project player that was shooting 39% from 3, 80% from the FT line, and that was very efficient around the rim on lobs, put backs, and cuts at age 22, and that was also an impact rim protector was not great prospect because he had bad shot selection, got pushed around, and didn’t understand how to handle double teams, it’s YOU that doesn’t understand basketball.

    Even now, despite the horrible shooting, he’s rebounding way better and is still critical to their rim protection (rebounding was a major criticism before he got stronger and was actually asked to rebound). If his shot just returns to the age 22 level, with the better shot selection Dallas is pushing, his TS% will rise to above average and he’ll be a terrific 2nd option on a contender. There’s no reason he can’t get above that level given he was still improving at only age 22 OTHER THAN INJURY.

    Dallas doesn’t even care about this year…

  10. @16

    You are like a giant anti-knowledge troll. Your very existence sucks basketball knowledge right out of the universe.

  11. We have people here talking about rebuilding through the draft like it’s the only way to go when they don’t have the patience to get through ages 19-21 let alone wait until 25-30 when they are peaking. lmao

    Gotta be patient folks, we might have to wait 8-9 years for Frank to ‘peak’.

    This is what happens when you draft rookies. Strat warned us.

  12. Knicks are interested in Malik Monk ???

    Why not?

    He’s fits their profile.

    He’s athletic, can do highlight dunks, can’t defend, and isn’t very good.

  13. In unrelated news, have you seen that Zion guy? He won’t ever shoot 4-4 from three again, but boy was so Knicksian to draft at 3rd last June.

    Worse, they couldn’t even have the #3 pick the year Doncic went #3. Always a day late, a dollar short.

    Btw, who do we expect to have the better career at this point, Doncic or Zion?

  14. Gotta be patient folks, we might have to wait 8-9 years for Frank to ‘peak’.

    This is what happens when you draft rookies. Strat warned us.

    Seriously, most players are not peaking until their mid 20s and even then not until after they’ve gotten some playoff experience because the pressure and game changes and they need that experience.

    So if you are primarily going to draft kids, the goal would be to hope they start breaking out a little in their early 20s, get some playoff experience, and then by mid 20s they are ready. But that’s a very long process when it’s a series of 19 years olds one year after the other.

    You can accelerate it by adding veterans to a mix of high quality young players with upside, but you need to be good to attract good veterans. We are nowhere near that stage. They are all too young and not good enough.

  15. Frank takes shots at the rim 20% of the time. Up from his career average of 17%. That’s most likely noise.

    Frank is shooting incredibly well from long 2pt range. Also noise.

    Frank is the same player. He’s just lucky this year.

  16. So I guess next year is when we see the “real” Porzingis. I guess it takes more than a half a season for homeboy to shake off the rust. Okay whatevs.

    The KP boosters will always have an excuse because the guy can’t ever really seem to stay healthy, so there will always be an injury from which he is working his way back. This is very ruruland. “In games 17 through 32 of the season, when Melo was healthy, he had a .589 TS% blah blah blah but he’s been struggling ever since he tweaked his ankle blah blah blah.”

    I didn’t think we’d get to live through a second ruruland but the world is a magical place.

  17. Seriously, most players are not peaking until their mid 20s and even then not until after they’ve gotten some playoff experience because the pressure and game changes and they need that experience.

    It takes guards a bit longer to develop, I agree with that, but at some point you have to start getting concerned about a guy who is developing as glacially slowly as Frank. He might be a real late bloomer but he juuuuust might not be very good. This is a very possible potential outcome that you should probably consider.Some of his flaws are rather glaring. If you’re in the league three years and show very little growth, that is not a great indicator of future success. Clock is ticking on Frenchy.

    You. Might. Be. Wrong. Strat. Did it ever occur to you that you might be wrong about something?

  18. I can’t wait to see strat rationalize it when Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson come back from one year layoffs and they don’t suck.

  19. Well they won’t share the court with that Doncic, he’s a negative influence

    (Also I’m not sure Durant won’t see a tangible dropoff in production)

  20. There is an interview up on the various Knicks media outlets with DSJ. Dude is 100% done on this team. Given this what would the ideal package be for him? I am thinking best we can do is 2nd. If we can get something that will likely be in the 31-40 range that is probably as best we can do. That being said, if we can get a packet of chips and a can of Coke we might be doing well all things considered.

  21. I wrote some posts a year or two about Kristaps use on the Knicks and his shot got worse every dribble he took. That doesn’t seem to have changed it Dallas, and it’s why he was so bad when we went Iso-zingis. He should be a play finisher, not a creator.

  22. Can’t imagine we’d get anything other than a shitty pick or a different young bust for Dennis Smith

    Even a shitty second is probably better for the future of the team than DSJ himself.

  23. Indaco-Falling down
    I gave it one spin on my cellphone.
    Catchy melody. Greatly sounding guitar. Vocals slightly higher in the mix for my taste. I’d prefer them more dreamy and Cohenesque but that’s My taste. I hear a clear New Order influence and unfortunately I’m not so crazy about them (despite my fave band of all times is Joy Division).
    Not bad at all! Good stuff!
    Keep on synthpoping in a Knicks world Farfa!

  24. I remember wanting a yoghurt for DSJ some time ago.
    I could trade him even for an egg today.
    If we find a FO to give us Anything for him I’ll consider this season a successful one!

  25. New Order > Joy Division but it’s like trying to decide what kind of cheesecake is best, answer is “all”

  26. Joy Division by a hair. Both are Great (capital G) but I gotta nerf New Order for some of their bad + inexplicable lyrics.

    ‘When I was a very small boy
    Very small boys talked to me’

    Can’t help but giggle at that every time I hear ‘True Faith’.

  27. DSJr is the two minute tank. He plays two minutes, it guarantees a loss

    Last night: 4 min, -9. Knicks lose by 8

    It’s like magic

  28. I was just reading an article that noted that last year’s draft shows the folly of trying to get the best lottery odds. Oh? The Knicks’ highest draft pick in 34 years is now meaningless? People are so dumb with their bullshit narratives. The Knicks missed out on the two absolute studs in the draft, so somehow “only” getting a really good prospect is a result that should be avoided in the future? Ugh. So dumb.

  29. The only New Order i respect and own in cd is their first one which actually sounds like Joy Division.

    Tried to like NO but…too many fillers….sorry

    The power of Joy Division melodies is unearthly.

    And their efficiency (since we’re in a stat site) is Mitchesque. Almost every track they released is a Killer. Very Rare.

  30. Probably shouldn’t have put the Knickerblogger server in Wuhan….

    I am mighty mighty pissed that I turned off the Pellies. Just watched highlights for the third time. Zion was lucky as hell but I don’t care. That was amazing.

    I actually like Luka better long term because I have my doubts about how Zion will age and I think he will have injury issues. I feel the same way about Ja actually. That guy is cruising for a bruising with the way he plays (also is incredibly awesome to watch.) Luka sort of looks and plays like an old man already and I think his shooting will improve as he ages and offset declining athleticism.

    They both should be Knicks.

  31. The power of Joy Division melodies is unearthly.

    The bass lines in Disorder are some of my favourite in music. So simple, yet so effective.

  32. Age of Consent might be the best bass riff in rock music, don’t @ me

    I’d take Doncic because his game is going to age like wine (after the explodive energy fades as it will in Zion’s mid twenties) but Zion is a wrecking crew and will ruin careers on both ends of the floor. Threes aside, the blocked shot recovery and alley oop layup are exactly why I pronounced him the #1 overall pick and future All-NBAer after just those first exhibition games last year (I’m such an agnostic on NBA talent translation that it felt weird to have such a strong impulse over that short a time).

    He has preternatural spatial awareness with the agility and competitive desire to match. The look on his face after they lost was priceless — that man is not used to losing and probably doesn’t want to get used to it.

  33. Love will tear us apart was on my wedding playlist… I also love people with epilepsy

  34. I do think Doncic will age more gracefully than Zion. But I also think Zion may be so dominant over the next 5-7 years it may not matter. Luka, the once in a generation talent, is about to be out shined by Zion who will set absurd records for the combination of efficiency on absurd usage. It’s the knee and weight issues I’m worried about.

    Even after Zion’s prime, his strength and touch around the basket should keep him an efficient scorer.

  35. He’s going to make the league look silly. The tall guys are too slow and the short guys are too light. He’s a bull in the china shop and that shop is the best professional basketball league in the world.

  36. Remember myself 30 yrs ago to listen to ‘Love will tear us apart’ on the radio and being hooked instantly.
    I wanted more like it from this newly discovered from me band and grabbed their last album ‘Closer’ on vinyl.
    I was shocked!
    And disappointed…
    Didn’t expect this dark, cold and pessimistic onslaught!

    As time went by and started to relisten and focused on Closer i had slowly become A FAN and had to get and listen to everything this short lived band had released.

    After having listened to hundreds of artists in numerous music genres and despite not being a die hard post punk/darkwave fan i still consider them as my fave artists ever.

    Every time i listen to their songs I’m having pretty serious chills all over me and that’s my friends the undoubted sign of immortal art.

  37. I don’t like Monk at all, but if the deal is Monk for DSJr that actually makes some sense for NY. The only reason DSJr gets any minutes is that he was the centerpiece of the Porzingis trade. Otherwise, he’d be buried on the bench. He’s been horrid.

    Both Monk and DSJr are similar in that they are athletic players that are bad on both sides of the ball, but at least with Monk we’d be getting a relatively young player that originally wanted to be in NY and that doesn’t have chronic injury issues. There would also be no political pressure to play him since he wasn’t part of the KP deal. He’d have to earn any minutes.

    I actually like that deal.

  38. Melo has way more left in the tank than everyone thought. He just doesn’t have enough left to get inside, finish, and draw fouls like when he was young. That’s what he needs to do to be really effective.

    He also doesn’t help the Blazers much.

    It was the loss of Aminu, Harkless and Nurkic that caused the drop off. Aminu and Harkless were very undervalued. I’m not sure what Ariza has left and Nurkic will be back. Maybe that will help, but I suspect Nurkic won’t be 100% until next year.

    They are in that awkward spot where it’s going to be hard to rebuild unless Nurkic is 100% again eventually and they can add one more star two way player next year.

  39. The guys on TNT comparing Doncic to Larry Bird is monumentally disrespectful to Bird (at least at this stage). Bird was a great 3 point shooter in an era before they fully comprehended the value of the extra spacing and higher efficiency of 3s. So they shot way fewer of them. He also played in the era where defenses were allowed to decapitate a guy if he came into the paint one time too many.

    Doncic would not be able to waltz into the paint with all that space on practically every possession back in those days (or Bird would now too] and Doncic is a below average 3 point shooter.

    That doesn’t even take defense into account. Bird was a plus defender. He just doesn’t have that reputation because guys like Jordan and Pippen were all time great defenders. Doncic is negative defender.

    Doncic is one of the best offense players in the league, but he’s playing in the perfect era on the best possible team, with the best possible system for maximizing his skill set. Of course, a good management team builds a team properly around their best player, but PLEASE stop the Bird comparisons for a few more years until he adds to his skills, learns to play defense, and actually leads a team to a championship under pressure. Not every very good white basketball player is the all time great Larry Bird.

  40. It were mid to late 80’s when my older sister brought home a TDK 45 audio cassete with Joy divison on side A and B…Unknown plesures and closer on one tape. At twelwe years old I loved it and was afraid of it at the same time. New dawn fades sounds like depressed Black Sabbath.
    Twenty years later my firstborn at three years old urged me again and again to play that “wierd” musik of mine(Closer album)in the car.
    Of course now at 13 he listens to that contemporary pop mainstreem masterpieces and that high qualitiy music and lyrics. Teenagers know their shit:))

  41. The guys on TNT comparing Doncic to Larry Bird is monumentally disrespectful to Bird (at least at this stage).

    Um….. NO!!! Sometimes when you are stuck in a hole it is best to stop digging……This 20 year old season of Luka’s is sublime and without comparison in NBA history. I’ll even one -up you and compare Luka’s 20 year old season to not only Bird (his first NBA season was at 23) but I’ll raise you a GOAT Aka Michael Jordan (at 21):

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=0&player_id1_hint=Luka+Don%C4%8Di%C4%87&player_id1_select=Luka+Don%C4%8Di%C4%87&player_id1=doncilu01&y1=2020&player_id2_hint=Larry+Bird&player_id2_select=Larry+Bird&y2=1980&player_id2=birdla01&idx=players&player_id3_hint=Michael+Jordan&player_id3_select=Michael+Jordan&y3=1985&player_id3=jordami01&idx=players

    Cliff’s notes… Luka outscores Jordan, out rebounds Bird per 36, virtually doubles both in assists and does all of this at Higher volume than MJ and with greater efficiency (TS% and eFG%) than both of them. You kinda make Bird and MJ look bad comparing them to Luka :-)

    And if you choose prime Bird and MJ it still looks good for Luka. Choosing Bird and MJ MVP seasons of 86 and 92 when they were in their prime at 29 and 28 respectively it still looks good for Luka:

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pcm_finder.fcgi?request=1&sum=0&player_id1_hint=Larry+Bird&player_id1_select=Larry+Bird&player_id1=birdla01&y1=1986&player_id2_hint=Luka+Don%C4%8Di%C4%87&player_id2_select=Luka+Don%C4%8Di%C4%87&y2=2020&player_id2=doncilu01&idx=players&player_id3_hint=Michael+Jordan&player_id3_select=Michael+Jordan&y3=1992&player_id3=jordami01&idx=players

    And just to put a nice bow on everything…. let’s compare Luka’s 20 yr old season to LeBron’s 20 year old season: https://www

  42. @62

    And the guy is doing it while playing 10 minutes less per game than Bird or Jordan. Hell, the dude has a 12 BPM, TWELVE, that would be by far Bird’s career high and is on par with MJ’s best season and it’s the 8th best mark ever. Even if you truly believe numbers are fake, to keep trying to deny that a 20 year old doing this is literally legendary is honestly just bad faith. The next youngest guy on the all time BPM list is LeBron’s age 24 season.

    He could fucking sit down on the court on defense and leave his team playing 4v5 every possession and it would still amount to positive production.

  43. New Order is my favorite band of all time and “Age of Consent” is maybe my favorite song by them. But Joy Division is objectively better. I love being a New Order fan cause it’s a 2 for 1 deal.

    Also if you never saw it, check out the movie “24 Hour Party People” which is about Factory records and the whole Manchester post punk scene.

    Missing out on Zion and Doncic and Ja hurts but that is definitely no reason to not get a top draft pick or trade bets for more picks. RJ is going to be a solid pro player at the very least. His only real weakness is shooting and I believe he has the drive and work ethic to get better in that category. I love that we drafted him even if we missed out on two guys who might be better.

  44. Steph Curry said yesterday he was hoping that the Knicks would draft him back in 2009.

    A Hall of Fame player said they actually wanted to play for this team 11 years ago. So at least we have that going for us.

  45. You have to take Luka over Zion 100%. Think of it this way: Zion could have an amazing career, a hall of fame career, and do that without ever posting a season as good as the one Luka is having right now at age 20. Even for a prospect as amazing as Zion the odds of ever getting to be one of the ten best guys in the league are still longer than you think – he’s going to be an all-star in no time if he stays healthy, but it’s still a good jump up from there to what Luka is doing this year (i.e. top-5 MVP kind of season), and a jump many guys will never make. Zion has as good a shot as anybody but the fact that Luka has already established that as a baseline at age 20 is bananas.

  46. Yeah, I agree, I would take Luka right now simply because the production is already there, he’s proven already that he’s a top 10 player in the league and that his play leads to wins. I have zero doubts that if Zion stays relatively healthy he’ll be an all-NBA level player, but I would take the one guy who’s already all-NBA right now. I also think a championship team in today’s NBA can’t operate without an elite level ball handler, a superstar who can initiate and finish the offense by himself at a high efficiency, and that gives an edge to Doncic too.

  47. The guys on TNT comparing Doncic to Larry Bird is monumentally disrespectful to Bird (at least at this stage).

    Someday, and I don’t know when that will be, but someday an nba commentator will compare Larry Bird to a black player and the world will come off its axis.

  48. I tell you, Mark Jackson talking about how fat Zion is during his first minutes on court in the NBA was what was super disrespectful. I have spent a lot of time wanting to break my television because of Mark Jackson but that might have been the closest I have come to smashing it.

  49. Kyrie had another fine 20 poitnz on 17 FG attempts with 4 dishes and 4 to’s in a crisp -26 p/m effort……

  50. I mean we already knew these guys were doofus idiots but if they thought the Bobby Portis 1+1 All-Stars were a playoff team they’re even more daft than I thought.

    All of us yahoos on this blog looked at this team and collectively guessed “23 wins.” And were pretty much right on the money.

  51. Apparently the FO really wanted this Knicks team to make the playoffs

    If that’s true that’s good news: it’s assured they’ll be given the boot. There were no injuries, no bouts of bad luck, nothing. Even Miller is 8-15, barely over .333; even Dolan should be able to get the memo.

  52. Members of the front office addressed the players in the meeting and conveyed two distinct messages, according to SNY sources familiar with the discussions:

    1. They said, in no uncertain terms, that they believed that the Knicks were a playoff team and anything less than that was a disappointment.

    2. Players who were entering free agency in the summer of 2020 were told that they would be judged much more heavily on the team’s win-loss record than their individual play.

    fucking clowns

  53. 2. Players who were entering free agency in the summer of 2020 were told that they would be judged much more heavily on the team’s win-loss record than their individual play.

    This is just so much that I just

    LOL

    WTF

    Paging mental health

  54. the Knicks currently have two (2) players shooting above league average from beyond the arc (Bobby Portis and Mooch). How’s the playoff team goink?

  55. Just business as usual, there’s no way this was said seriously. It’s just Mills doing what he does best, deflecting blame. It’s impossible that he looks at this roster and sees a 40 wins team, it’s just him doing his shit again and blaming the team being terrible on the players.

  56. Before this offseason I said that if Perry doesn’t use the cap space to acquire draft picks/assets, he’s a goddamn idiot and should be fired. Well, here we are. His plan this offseason was a giant steaming turd. And yes of course Steve Mills should be put on a rocket and the rocket should be fired into the sun.

    Let’s not let these gormless chucklefucks have another offseason. I don’t need to see the Mark Jackson-coached Drummond/Randle Knicks clown their way to another 22 wins. Let’s try something different kthanxbai

  57. Looks like Brodie is about to acquire Starling Marte for players who are younger and better than Starling Marte

    Put Brodie on the rocket with Mills please

  58. I haven’t watched the last several games and feel more down on the team than ever. If the FO suddenly gets fired or they dump vets and go with kids, maybe I’ll start watching again.

    Joy Division and New Order were both staples in the myriad of parties I went to back in my college years in the 80’s. I like both bands, but do prefer Joy Division b/c of the intensity of Ian Curtis. His vocals and lyrics are just astounding, and I like the rawer songs over the amazing craft of New Order. I put Curtis on the level of Joe Strummer, my all time favorite singer/lyricist.

  59. Don’t worry folks, Dolan’s hired a new brand agency to make the Knicks cool again

    “I have known Steve (Stoute) for many years,” Mills said, “and I am thrilled to have his knowledge and expertise as we continue to grow the Knicks franchise in new and innovative ways. I look forward to working closer with both him and his team.”

  60. 2. Players who were entering free agency in the summer of 2020 were told that they would be judged much more heavily on the team’s win-loss record than their individual play.

    This is just hot air on the part of management. There’s no way players are going to pay attention to that, and, even if they did, the statement above assumes all they care about is resigning with the Knicks, not what any other team thinks about them.

  61. I don’t think this is from Mills because it makes him look completely inept.

    Definitely read to me like the sourcing was mostly from Fiz or his camp. The framing of the article was definitely “here’s why it wasn’t entirely Fiz’s fault”.

    I haven’t watched the last several games and feel more down on the team than ever. If the FO suddenly gets fired or they dump vets and go with kids, maybe I’ll start watching again.

    This is always the craziest thing to me about Knicks management’s constant desire to avoid all-out rebuilding by peddling these veteran-laden “playoff contenders”. They don’t think the fans will stay with a rebuilding team but what they serve up instead is 20 times worse. I certainly can’t rule out that the average Knicks fan wants something completely different than I do, but speaking just for myself there’s absolutely nothing more depressing than watching them intro the Knicks starting lineup as Taj-Randle-Morris-Bullock-Payton. I would 1000% rather watch an absolutely incompetent group of kids than whatever the hell that is supposed to be. I’m far from a Frankophile but even him going in is enough to perk me up these days. Play the damn kids!

  62. I really want this stupid narrative that the fans can’t handle a rebuild in New York to just end. They’re still around after 20 years of abject incompetence. It’s the most stupid common place narrative about any NBA franchise.

  63. I really want this stupid narrative that the fans can’t handle a rebuild in New York to just end. They’re still around after 20 years of abject incompetence. It’s the most stupid common place narrative about any NBA franchise.

    +1

  64. i bought NBA league pass with the little tiny glimmer of hope that some form of decent hoops would come from this hodgepodge of crap…but the hope has long ago dissipated and I am worn down…the Rangers and Panarin provide some salve on the wound and Cole being in the Yankee rotation also provided a nice distraction but if I have to look at Pills’ faces next year along with a portion of this current squad and some other nameless/faceless dudes grabbing Dolan’s money…might have to jump on the Pelican’s bandwagon…zion is going to dominate…

    ps….so glad we didn’t sign Irving…what a schmuck…i bet not one of his teammates actually likes him or wants to play with him…

  65. From Yahoo. At least it’s out there.

    Worst Executive of the Year: Steve Mills, New York Knicks
    Mills’ NBA calendar year began by losing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency to the crosstown Brooklyn Nets, issuing a statement to their “disappointed” fans, and then amending that statement to include the young Knicks in their plans to win a title “through both the draft and targeted free agency.”

    He then targeted four free-agent power forwards and a point guard who would take minutes from the point guard they drafted with a top-10 pick and the point guard they acquired by trading the most promising Knicks player in decades. To bring this full circle, Mills dealt Kristaps Porzingis last January to create the cap space he used to sign Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Marcus Morris.

    Of that group, only Morris has met his value, and rather than turn that good fortune into an asset for the future before he can potentially walk in free agency, Mills is reportedly considering keeping the 30-year-old who will be well past his prime by the time the Knicks get good. If they ever do. Outside of Mitchell Robinson and whatever lottery picks they will get under Mills’ watch as a result of their ineptitude, a cornerstone franchise in the NBA’s biggest media market does not have a single asset of much value.

    Oh, and let us not forget Mills made David Fizdale his scapegoat in December by firing the coach he hired 19 months earlier. The hot seat in New York is a trash fire.

  66. i mean the fans could handle a rebuild but not when you’re picking bad players…. if you think tanking and continually hitting the lottery for a decade is what fans want… then look no further than the doldrums of the magic… kings… the old clippers…. the wolves…

    going with a youth movement doesn’t work unless those young guys are good… and that’s the problem… we missed on two crucial lotto picks… this team is probably the youngest team we’ve had since…. well ever… and the fans and this board isn’t exactly exhibiting any patience when the only true veteran on this team is morris…

    the problem is that we have bad players… and it doesn’t matter if we’re continually tanking if we’re picking bad players with those lotto picks…. even getting lucky with a #1 pick doesn’t mean much if you’re surrounding them with bad players (e.g., the current twolves, anthony davis pelicans)….

    so whether you tank or sign vets or do a mix of both like what we’re doing doesn’t mean all that much unless you’re identifying and developing true talent… that’s been the consistent failure… and in isolation signing morris or taj gibson isn’t impacting anything long term…. it’s the young guys that suck and not playing your best young player that’s the problem…

  67. But we have absolutely nothing to do with what the Knicks care about in terms of fans. According to the ESPN numbers I saw the Knicks are 11th in attendance with this garbage team, and have 95% of the seats filled every night even while there’s nothing to watch on the team, 18th in the league, with the MSG ticket prices. That’s the same level as last season when the team ranked fully.

    If we’re unhappy or not, it matters little for Dolan as the overall value of the team is sky high and the seats are filled. MSG will always be full simply by the nature of New York as a city. I’m pretty sure the arena would be even more filled if we had at least one really exciting rookie for once.

  68. Wait, what the FO had a meeting with the players and said they expected playoff??? When was this and where was this article.

    That would be as myopic as trading Brandon Nimmo and another player for Sterling Marte which is what I dread and am too scared to check.

  69. I’m sick of having this argument. The “rebuild” doesn’t work here because it’s always done in a half assed fucking way. If you’re gonna rebuild, go all-in, use everything you have to acquire picks and young players who still have upside. Time and time and time and time and time again this team fails to do that. This roster is a testament to half-assed rebuilding. The starting lineup is made up 100% of mediocre veterans who are irrelevant to the team’s future.

    Maybe do like the smart people say, and use your cap space to park bad contracts and acquire picks. There were opportunities to do that just this offseason. We probably could have acquired two 1RPs for the salary that we are instead wasted on Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington and Taj Gibson. Then we could have used the roster spaces on reclamation projects.

    This is not really that fucking hard when you get right down to it. This team is just in love with the Afflalos and Gibsons and Ellingtons and Portises and Hardaways and always always always half-asses the rebuild because they think the mediocre vets are going to make the team more professional or some bullshit.

    This is the shittiest sad sack team in the league and it’s not gonna change anytime real soon. So back to the Joy Division discussion I guess.

  70. @94 that’s an impressive resume, and that doesn’t even include past foibles like Brown-Sanders and the Timmy signing.

    I’m definitely not tuning in again if they keep this group of vet mercs intact — it’s awful tv.

    Although, idk how you let Mills/Perry do ANYTHING ever again at this point, they are such a disaster. What they

    should’ve

    done this past offseason seemed obvious, but they flubbed that, and now they’re going to flub the trade deadline.

    Hmm, what should they do? Answer: TRADE EVERY VET POSSIBLE FOR DRAFT COLLATERAL. Take whatever you can get. Then, play the kids as much as humanly possible. Put DSJ at pg, Frank as sg, RJ at sf, Knox at pf, Mitch at c. 30-plus minutes a night. See what these punks are made of.

    Then at the end of the year, kiss the shitty vets goodbye and cash in on the draft picks you got for Randle, Morris, Payton, and whoever and make picks based on what you’ve seen from the kids getting playing time. It’s really not that hard!

  71. @96 that is true, but even Dolan must know that he’s leaving major money on the table by not making the playoffs year after year, which is why he wants the quick fix that comes with a Kevin Durant type.

    Now he’s working on the team’s “image” because he clearly has no idea on how to make the product better. Maybe we will at least get cooler unis at least?

  72. well the issue is that morris… ellington and gibson’s… wouldn’t have alloted to much…. we’re talking what 2 future firsts max? and that’s if we landed all the dumped contract deals….

    it doesn’t matter what this team does as far as attendance goes and yes i more than anyone on here can attest to the value of accumulating a lot of picks…. but what i’m saying is that a rebuild does you no good if you’re picking bad players…. that one flaw invalidates whatever strategy you go with…

    we managed to assemble some pretty decent young players in the 00s with gallo… chandler… lee.. and nate… even with all that good fortune it got wasted because we turned them into melo and we did that because we had a meddling owner who couldn’t tell how good melo really was…. and that we probably would’ve been better off signing him in the offseason…

    you don’t need to tank…. and signing vets isn’t as bad as it once was…. the pelicans give a multiyear deal to jj redick… is that really that bad? the pels were in the same spot on the win curve…. what about the 4 yr deal given to rubio? that was universally criticized on this board…. and ppl were swooning at the suns roster…

    the reason those things work out is because they got a half decent young core of players…. and i’m saying that none of these criticisms would matter if knox or frank worked out…. losing a few more games probably would’ve helped but it does no good if you’re picking markannen or josh jackson also…

    you have to get good talent…. it doesn’t matter how you do it…. but you have to make the most of your opportunities first and foremost… that’s our failure… getting extra picks doesn’t do you any good if you’re picking guys like jerian grant with them…

  73. well the issue is that morris… ellington and gibson’s… wouldn’t have alloted to much…. we’re talking what 2 future firsts max?

    Yes, two future firsts. You know what we got instead? Stugots.

    Two first round picks versus my cherished Marcus Morris memories, yeah that’s not a tough call.

  74. Wait, what the FO had a meeting with the players and said they expected playoff??? When was this and where was this article.

    It was an ian begley article on sny

  75. but the same opportunities were given to basicaly every other losing team…. getting a late first rd pick for a portion of your cap space does not make or break anything…. it might be a symptom of bad decision making but are we criticizing what the pels or suns did for also forgoing those opportunities? no we’re not talking about that because they got young talent on the roster… that should tell you that these minor deals… are just that… minor….

    the hawks got a ton of draft picks and turned them into jack shit…. what does it matter when you have all the picks in the world when you passed up a generational talent and picked two obvious land mines with your other two lotto picks… those things set you back a lot more than any late first rd pick nets you…. and yes getting the #1 pick is super awesome….

    the point being is that we all basically agree… this regime sucks… but it’s not because they’re not getting first rd picks…. they actually managed to get that by trading kp which we all agree was a great move…. their problem was in actually selecting the players….

  76. You have cap space. You can either:

    1. Waste it by spending it on garbage
    2. Use it to acquire assets

    I don’t see why this is an argument even worth having.

    You can then even take the roster spots that are being eaten up by the pointless veterans and give them to reclamation projects, like other teams have done with Dinwiddie/Oubre type players. Maybe one or two of those pans out! There is no way for Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson to “pan out.” They’re a waste of time.

    Opportunity cost is real. We pursue strategies that have a 0% chance of working instead of strategies that have a greater than 0% chance of working then we have to hear “welp I guess rebuilding doesn’t work.” Multiply this times every decision this team makes, over decades of time span, and well… ladies and gentlemen, your New York Knicks!

  77. and that we probably would’ve been better off signing him in the offseason…

    That’s why I’ll never root for Melo to succeed in any way, shape or form. He could simply have signed in the off-season without the Knicks gutting their roster. But he wanted that extra money, and screwed over the team he wanted to sign with to get it. Eff him forever.

    Beyond that, djphan, we get it: you hate Frank. You hate Frank as much as some here love him. But given that most teams screw up the draft every year, I don’t really think that’s the whole problem. It really is a system-wide failure: poor draft picks, failure to acquire more draft picks, failure to sign the right free agents, failure simply in signing so many free agents, failure in not recognizing the good players, etc etc.

    It isn’t just the draft picks.

  78. Even if the team fulfilled management’s ridiculous playoff mandate, where would that leave us? Say we were where the Nets are now, in 8th place. Uhh, hooray? 37 wins and a first round embarrassment at the hands of the Bucks.

    That was the ceiling of this team. Then Pills would probably bring back all the vets because “you can’t break up a playoff team.” No way to get better, no growth, no plan. Just, “derp, 8th seed, derp.”

  79. The only saving grace is that when this team tries to win 37 games they even fuck that up and win 22 games, so that still gets you a pretty decent amount of lottery balls.

    The other saving grace is that the new lottery rules favor moron teams like us who can’t even tank right. Those extra few Marcus Morris wins don’t matter as much with the flattened odds.

  80. Even if the team fulfilled management’s ridiculous playoff mandate, where would that leave us? Say we were where the Nets are now, in 8th place. Uhh, hooray? 37 wins and a first round embarrassment at the hands of the Bucks.

    Obviously if we had won 37 games Anthony Davis would leave the Lakers and Giannis would have forced a trade here.

    Duh.

    (Sadly, that probably was their plan.)

  81. but we have been getting picks… we got picks for kp… we got picks for wily…. yes we could’ve gotten more picks but our failures are not specifically because we relinquished opportunities to net more…. that’s a very minor thing and not many front offices go all-in like that…. what we got is what most franchises would term a rebuild…. and just because you have one player over the age of 25 that’s getting major minutes doesn’t change that…. this is the youngest team we’ve ever had…

    what matters is that yes they are all playing bad…. but that’s my point…. the failure of this regime is not picking good players…. and if they were on the hot seat with this group of guys trying to win they would most definitely been gone if randle and morris were hezonja.. beasley and trey burke again…

    if they trade morris for 2 late firsts are they keeping their jobs? do you want them to keep their jobs? is that the difference between good and bad gm’ing?

    if the answer is no…. as it should be… then it doesn’t matter…

  82. I think it totally still is their plan… that’s why they fired Fizdale and that’s why they’re pressuring now. They know the 8th seed in the east will have a losing record and we’re “just” 6 games out of it, so they can sell Dolan that they finally are a playoff team and the only way from here is up.

    On the discussion, I’m not criticizing Rubio to Phoenix or Redick to the Pelicans because they’re teams full of young players, they almost don’t have enough minutes for all of them already. The Pelicans have Zion, Ingram and Ball, who are all talented and the last two are progressing well with minutes, plus Hayes, Hart and Alexander-Walker who are all young, their “young core” is absolutely miles ahead of ours. The same can be said for Phoenix with Booker, Ayton, Bridges and Johnson, which is a better core than the guys we currently have.

    And that’s not even getting into the conversation that both Rubio and Redick are considerably better than all the dudes Mills and Perry signed. You chase Rubio and Redick when you already have a core worth developing, which the Knicks don’t have.

  83. It’s not just picks. You can do other things with roster spots. You can be creative. You can try to find players on rookie deals who maybe have not panned out but who have upside potential. I mentioned Dinwiddie and Oubre as two players who fit this bill for other teams. It’s hard to find guys like that when you’re giving all the minutes and resources to Wayne Ellington and Taj Gibson.

    The priorities are all wrong when you’re investing in the Ellingtons and Gibsons and Morrises, you’re emphasizing “win now” over “rebuild.” Even when they hit on one of those guys, like they did with Morris, they’re too invested in “win now” to make the obvious move and flip that currently useful player for a piece that might be valuable in the future.

    Again, it’s not just “picks” that’s the problem, it’s the failure to truly commit to a rebuild and not half-ass it.

  84. There was a fascinating stat about how the Knicks are second in the league in terms of percentage of minutes given to players 22 or younger, but they also by far had the largest percentage of 22 of younger players. In other words, despite having the most 22 or younger players on their roster, they still choose to mostly play older players.

    It’s really stupid.

  85. When they acquired all the 1+1 guys, nobody here could really figure out what the actual strategy was supposed to be. Was it “the kids will have to win the jobs from the veterans” or was it “the veterans will provide leadership” or was it “the 1+1 guys will build up value then we can flip them” or was it “maybe the team will contend” or WHAT EXACTLY WAS THE POINT OF ALL THAT SHIT.

    When it’s not clear what the plan is to people like us who follow this stupid team religiously, it’s probably not very much of a plan.

  86. If you are a connoisseur of stupidity being a Knocks fan is a dream come true.

    Meanwhile, an 18 year old striker named Erling Halamd just scored his fifth Bundesliga goal on his sixth shot. He has appeared twice off the bench so far and has yet to rack up 90 minutes in Germany. Check out his Augsburg and Koln highlights. He is basically the Norwegian Zion Williamson if you need a comp.

    He went to Dortmund from Salzburg because they have an amazing reputation for playing and developing young players. Another thing the Knicks don’t do well.

    Dortmund almost went bankrupt in 2005 and decided to try something different in the realm of player acquisition and trading. The Knicks should do so as well.

  87. Btw in response to an earlier discussion:

    Joy Division – your twenties
    New Order – your thirties
    Forced Harry Potter audiobooks – your forties

  88. The Clippers thing is just hilarious. “Why the fuck does the reigning NBA Finals MVP get to have the same special treatment that helped his team win an NBA title last year? This is so unfair!”

  89. One of those losses, though, was to the Hawks and Kawhi took the game off for load management, so that likely led to more complaints from his myopic teammates.

  90. Sadly wasn’t the take on the 1+1s along the lines of “well at least they didn’t give them the player option “

  91. So much of the discussion of Mills and Perry has been in terms of them at least not being as bad as Phil, which is true, but Phil was so bad that it says nothing to say that they’re not as bad as Phil. So yeah, “At least they didn’t give them player options” legitimately is a step forward, but it’s a step forward from a position of being soooooo far behind that it is absurd and they are still terrible.

  92. I just read the oddest article about the All-Star Game. It was about how Giannis, Kemba and Embiid were locks, so everyone was just on edge to see who got the last backcourt spot and the last frontcourt spot. It ended up being Trae and Siakam. However, the article then noted that Siakam finished ahead of Embiid. So….huh?

  93. Dolan is obsessed with making the playoffs (*) . Mills told him this roster was good enough to make the playoffs and I believe he’s so clueless that he actually believes that. So there’s no doubt this story — a Fizdale hit piece, really — is accurate on that point. This also explains the clownshoes postgame press conference.

    Other than hiring Blatt, Pills still haven’t been allowed to do anything since Fiz was fired and I’m going to stay optimistic and believe they aren’t going to be through the trade deadline. That will mean Morris won’t be traded, but I’ll obviously take that if it means the end is nigh for Pills. I believe that’s a likely, though far from certain scenario.

    (*) I base this on an MSG interview he did with Isiah near Isiah’s end where he breathlessly and kind of out of nowhere turned to Isiah and announced, “We *have to* make the playoffs.” I didn’t then, and never have gotten any indication that Dolan even cares if making the playoffs results in a first round annihilation — as it surely would have the year of the interview. (They didn’t make them, of course.) Not sure whether it’s the revenue from the at least two home games, whether he just generally has a weird idea that a “successful” season is making the playoffs while an “unsuccessful” one isn’t — but there’s no doubt the dude was then and still is obsessed by it.

  94. Yeah this is the phil playbook with shorter stupid contracts.

    Which is why I at least sort of get the argument that Mills is worse because he was here for Isiah and Phil’s stupidity, so he saw how much those two dudes failed and yet he’s still basically following Phil’s moronic playbook…just slightly less moronically.

  95. If we make the playoffs as an 8th seed and Giannis get injured we may beat them.
    Then Giannis will sign with us during the summer just like Durant did with GSW.
    If you can’t beat them…Join them!
    That’s a fantastic plan actually!

  96. Phil got a 45 on his test.
    Pills got a 60.
    Pills did a little better.
    They both failed.
    I just want to see us get a D from the FO.

  97. If we don’t trade Morris but Mills gets canned, that’s still a win overall. He is a constant in the travesty that has been the NYK over the last 20 years (one season excepted).

  98. If we don’t trade Morris but Mills gets canned, that’s still a win overall. He is a constant in the travesty that has been the NYK over the last 20 years (one season excepted).

    Since 2001, the Knicks have had precisely three winning seasons. 42-40 in 2010-11, 36-30 in 2011-12 and 54-38 in 2012-13.

    I shit you not, Steve Mills was literally gone for four seasons. 2009-10 through 2012-13. So he was literally gone for all of their winning seasons in the past 20 seasons.

    And he sold out a good friend of his to try to defend the Knicks against her sexual harassment claim.

    And yet Dolan won’t just fire this asshole.

  99. League Pass is doing a free preview promotion through the 26th if you find yourself wanting to watch better basketball tonight

  100. @133….exactly…i was watching the original Total Recall this past weekend…and at the end when all the inhabitants are being suffocated by the bad guys and Ahnold has to battle through to get his hand on the console to melt the core down and enable the planet to get fresh air….that is what knicks fans are like now…slowly suffocating under the hand of the evil Pills…just need Jimmy to put his hand on the button and expel the gassy bad air and let the sun shine in and disinfect the garden…

  101. Very nice Powell insurance there. It’s hilarious that KP really doesn’t want to play center.

  102. The Warriors just flipped WCS for a 2020 2nd. He was on a 1+1.

    Definitely not something the Knicks could do.

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