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Sunday, January 19, 2020

New Orleans Pelicans 123 – New York Knicks 111 – Game Recap

This might be remembered as the point where Mike Miller’s shine (?) wore off for good.

You know I loudly advocated for Fizdale to be fired and Miller to be promoted, and of course it was the right move to make. There’s no denying that the team is playing better, that we’ve seen a more coherent and entertaining product on the court, and that Miller is having his share of injury/absence problems (Mook’s neck, Randle dealing with a death in the family, DSJ’s strained oblique – yeah well, the last one not so much of a problem).

That said, we’re 17 games into the Mike Miller experience and there’s a good chance he’ll earn the Mediocre Mike moniker by the end of the season if things keep on going this way.

It looks like the League has taken notice of the not so small but very basic changes Miller implemented in the offense and in the defense and has adjusted accordingly. This is of course ok and to be expected – after all this is the best league in the world – but makes space for a few roster management bad thoughts, mainly:

– Our defense is sucking again (ok we played mostly good teams in the last 4 games; that doesn’t mean though that they can get any shot they want just because they’re better than us). Why don’t we try to play more defense-oriented (and hopefully defense-capable) guys together as soon as it becomes evident that we need a shock? For one, Elfrid Payton has regressed so much in that area that if I was an attacking player and Elf was tasked with guarding me I’d suspect there’s a pyramidal scheme involved in getting to the rim for how easy it would be. We have too many weak links that lead to scrambled rotations that ultimately lead to corner threes or people alone in the paint. Why doesn’t Miller roll out a Frank-Dot/Bullock-RJ-Mook (if healthy)-Mitch lineup more often?

– Speaking of Mitch: while his offensive numbers are steady and very likable (your mileage may vary about his defense, which is really inconsistent), why doesn’t he get more minutes? 17 games in he can’t seem to crack the 30 minutes threshold. It appears Miller doesn’t fully trust him in games. That’s a shame, because this season should be only about player development. Instead we’re rolling Taj Gibson out there for 27 minutes.

– While I don’t think that offensive mistakes should be punished with a short leash, defensive one should do. If you need to install a culture and a mindset, defense should always be the stepping stone (Fizdale said as much. Take that for data!). We’re treated to too many minutes of Kevin Knox just letting his guy blow past him as if defense was as unconcerning to him as world peace is to those fucking guys who don’t realize how fucked we’re sure to be if we don’t turn a lot of things around, starting from war declarations and climate change and going up (down?) from there. I usually don’t want to talk about politics, at least not here, but newsfeeds can’t be ignored forever, can they? It’s bad out there, guys. And getting back to the point, it’s bad that Knox, Payton and Randle (wishing him well on the personal side) don’t get called out for their lackluster effort on the defensive end.

– What’s the matter with Mitch not starting even with Mook and Randle out? I know they don’t play the same position, but what the hell are we trying to do by starting Portis instead of Mitch? And what are we waiting for to call up Wooten as to implant him as Mitch’s backup? If I was Miller, I’d probably roll with this rotation now that the wheels have fallen off in his coaching stint too: Frank-Bullock-RJ-Mook-Mitch with Payton-Trier-Dot-Randle-Wooten and sprinkle some Taj and Knox here and there. As soon as you trade Mook, put Knox on the starting lineup and keep Randle on the bench to feast on opposing backups. But no, let’s play the awful vets more minutes. Damn them all, they’re all Afflalo to me.

As for the game: even as the Knicks and Pels traded blows during the first two quarters (before New Orleans went on to build a lead that would prove to be insurmountable) there was an aura of losing around this game. Between all the threes that were conceded (and subsequently hit) by the Pellies and the general devil-may-care attitude on defense, to me it was pretty evident that the Pelicans would have all the gears needed to destroy us. And this was while Gibson and Mitch ended up the night with a combined 14-for-15 from the field! Sadly, more than a few other Knicks were pretty inefficient (the usual suspects: RJ shot 5/15, Frank 2/7, Dot 3/8, Knox 2/8 – and then there’s the Gehenna of inefficiency, reserved to Trier going 0/2 and Ellington 0/4) and the team as a whole finished with 46% shooting from the field and 18.5% (not a typo: 5 for 27) from three. But don’t let the score fool you, as in “we only needed to hit 33.3% from three to tie the game – 9 for 27 would have sufficed!”; remember the thing about New Orleans having all the gears needed? They would have pulled it off anyway. We plainly sucked. As we’re wont to do these days, er months, errrr years.

A few more thoughts:

– Brandon Ingram looks like the poster child of “wait for young guys to develop”. I totally thought he would have ended up being a bust when all was said and done. Lo and behold, he’s looking like a real star in the making: 25/7/4 on .600 TS% and .141 WS/48. You can kick me in the ass everytime I suggest we throw a second year guy under the bus for a bad game. Apart from Knox. Knox sucks.

– Yeah, let’s talk about Knox. When a second year guy regresses as he’s doing, you’re left feeling pretty hopeless about his future, especially considering that at the start of the season he looked to have turned a corner. His WS/48, BPM and VORP are all better than they were last year, but this is due to three things: he’s got a lower usage, he’s way better at blocking shots (a useless thing for him) and he turns the ball over less because he mostly plays as a spot up guy. Sadly, sucking a bit less won’t cut it, if you start from atrocious levels of basketball ugliness. Also, if anything Mike Miller looks to have exacerbated Knox’s problems. That said, Frank looked to have hit a very rough patch just as Miller took the helm, so maybe we should still wait a bit. Who knows.

– When you think about Pills’ resume, remember we’re paying 8 million dollars to a guy who played until now 312 minutes, shoots .320 from the field and .313 from three and doesn’t do anything else. Wayne Ellington is the new member of the renowned group of people that come to the Knicks to have their careers die in front of our eyes, just like old whales do on the beach.

– What’s with the insane Drummond trade talks? Drummond is good, but plays the same position of our best player. Are these guys really that stupid?

– I’m sorry that I can’t recap every single game this season. I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t have with the losing record and mind-boggling roster at all. But that’s just a 10% of the reason. The amount of work doubled this year (don’t exactly know why), plus my work with a couple of associations and putting the finishing touches on my music related side project (next week three songs of mine will be at last distributed on Spotify and iTunes) just vacuumed a lot of energies. I hope to be more present from now until April. A few good trades would be a nice jolt for sure!

I’ll try to squeeze a recap Monday before going three days on family related matters in Sardinia. In the meantime, let’s give birth to a few more side-tangents threads in the comment section (and cross our fingers that we don’t really trade for Drummond).

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85 comments on “New Orleans Pelicans 123 – New York Knicks 111 – Game Recap

  1. Ingmarrrr

    next week three songs of mine will be at last distributed on Spotify and iTunes

    Congratulations Farfa! Make sure to give us the links, if the songs are as good as your Knicks aria last year you’re about to become a star.

  2. thenoblefacehumper

    Farfa every recap you’re able to do is a gift. Don’t ever feel obligated to recap the shitty performances of this shitty team if it’s at all a burden. Also keep us posted about the songs :)

    When you think about Pills’ resume, remember we’re paying 8 million dollars to a guy who played until now 312 minutes, shoots .320 from the field and .313 from three and doesn’t do anything else. Wayne Ellington is the new member of the renowned group of people that come to the Knicks to have their careers die in front of our eyes, just like old whales do on the beach.

    This is what gets me. The sheer amount of cap space these guys flushed down the toilet. We are paying over $32 million to Portis, Gibson, and Ellington this season. How do you let that happen? It was totally foreseeable that these guys wouldn’t be assets to us in any fashion because we all foresaw it.

    The Drummond stuff…I don’t even know what to say. Like, what would the point be of even doing “due diligence” here? You can’t dream up a scenario in which it’s a good idea.

  3. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    – What’s with the insane Drummond trade talks? Drummond is good, but plays the same position of our best player. Are these guys really that stupid?

    Probably.

    Sometime I wonder how much of this stuff is just fake news that teams and agents put out there using the Knicks for leverage. Drummond is OK, but he’s not a guy I’d consider building my team around. He’s the kind of guy I’d look to add to a team that already has everything except a decent C.

    For a guy that plays almost exclusively around the rim he’s not that efficient.

    For a guy that rebounds like a demon, his team isn’t especially good on the boards. Feels like role/teammates/stat stuffing.

    For a guy that supposed to be a star, his team isn’t much better when he’s on the court.

    If I was Miami or Boston, I’d probably be interested because he might be the difference between a very good playoff team and a serious contender, but he’s simply not that good.

    That goes double if you already have Robinson on your team (who will ultimately be better) and he’d be ridiculously expensive.

  4. Bo Nateman

    Farfa, ditto on the sentiments in @1 and @2. There are only so many ways one can recount the same sad narrative.
    It does appear that the collective team energy from the new coach bounce has dissipated and the legion of doom mercenaries seem to be waiting on their one-way tickets out before the trade deadline. Last night Perry looked as if he was trying to melt into his seat and disappear. That said, I imagine that Miller does not have unfettered liberty to choose the rotations. It is probably a muddled objective of chasing the 8th seed while showcasing our talent to make a trade to help us obtain the disgruntled superstar who wants out that is informing his rotations.
    I am not unhappy with recent events as I strongly believe that the only chance for the redemption of this team is the wholesale housecleaning of the front office. If it takes a 15 win season to finally get Mills fired, so be it.

  5. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Setting aside Knox’s actual productivity last year (which was horrible on both sides), I think he’s got some talent on offense. What I think he’s struggling with now is transitioning from a kid given the green light to do anything he wanted last year (no matter how dumb) to a kid that’s trying to put together a decent offensive game with better decision making. He just doesn’t understand what he can and cannot do at this stage or what he should and should not do yet. I think at some point a light is going to go off, it will start coming together and he’ll become a more confident and efficient player. Right now he’s dazed, confused, lost, and his confidence is shot.

    Defense is an entirely different issue. I’m not sure he’s ever going to be a good defender, but at least he’s aware of the problem.

    I don’t think work ethic is going to be the problem. He wants to be a much better player and from all accounts works hard.

  6. Frank

    Man – I am so done with (in no particular order)

    -Mills and Perry
    -Mike Miller’s rotations
    -Bobby Portis
    -Elfrid Payton and his totally empty numbers and crappy defense
    -trade rumors for Andre Drummond (what happened to not trading assets for someone we can sign as FA?)

    Things I am not so done with:
    – Frank with a layup and dunk in the same game, 2 alley-oops to Mitch, 3 free throw attempts (all made) in 15 minutes
    – ? whether these Drummond rumors are preface to a 3-team deal where Drummond goes to a team that can’t sign him in FA

  7. KnickfaninNJ

    I have mixed feelings about all the free agent money the Knicks spent on unimpressive players. We have seen how a bunch of basically G league call ups worked out in some of our previous seasons, and these current players are, on average, better than that. We didn’t waive anyone we cared about in order to hire them and, except for Randle, there’s no commitment for next year. Some of them are young enough to still improve. It’s often not fun watching them play, but we didn’t cripple ourselves financially and some of the hires may be keepers.

    Of course, most teams with free agent dollars try to wrap up an impact player for several years. But I’m not sure any worthwhile player of that ilk was available to the Knicks, unless you count Randle (who the Knicks did hire, to mostly positive Knickerblogger reaction). So maybe Pills did the best they could. They didn’t make much progress, but they didn’t take a step back either and they kept the young players they had already drafted.

  8. Brian Cronin

    So maybe Pills did the best they could.

    If this is the best they could do, then they are unforgivably terrible. So that’s a pretty damning indictment of their competence.

    In other words, obviously this is not the best a competent organization could have done, since this was terrible (and plainly foreseeably terrible) right from the word “go.”

    It was just better than Phil. Which isn’t saying much.

  9. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I think the question to ask about our free agents signings is whether they add long term value to the team in terms of helping young players develop, developing into part of the long term plan themselves, or eventually being traded for an asset that does.

    I think you can make a case for a few of them even of they don’t ultimately work out.

    Gibson is almost certainly helping Robinson develop. There’s value in that even if you waste space for a year.

    Morris is probably helping several players, is young enough to be productive for one more contract as long as its at a reasonable price and for a reasonable duration (which seems unlikely). With development and future cap space he could theoretically eventually be a piece on a good Knicks team in year or two and we can till get a pick for him now.

    I didn’t mind the Payton signing. We were still struggling with a long term solution at PG and he had shown enough flashes of developing into a good player that it his age it wasn’t a bad move.

    I like Randle. I just thought he was a terrible fit on the team we were building and unlikely to work out really well unless all the stars lined up.

    Ellington, Portis, and Bullock were questionable either due to price, age, or injury. That’s more or less where we would have been better off taking on a contract for any kind of asset as long as it didn’t compromise space for more than a year. You have to find a desperate team for that, but that’s why patience is required. I’m doubt any of those can bring back an asset. Maybe Bullock because he’s so cheap.

    The one thing we didn’t fully consider is that when you overpay free agents for 1 year contracts, they are still overpaid. That means it’s still harder to move them and get anything back even if they are an expiring contract.

  10. Early Bird

    – Farfa don’t sweat taking the recaps off, this Knicks team isn’t worth it

    – starting to think Mitch just sucks at defense, it doesn’t look easy to fix

    – is Miller’s first wrinkle playing off guys and hoping they just miss jumpers? Sounds like we did it against Lebron and now Ball. Definitely has not worked

    – Knox needs to play the 4 as some posters here have said, repeatedly. May not have helped this game, but it’s so obvious it’d help on both sides

    – Despite efficient Taj game, Taj really needs to go

    – another palatable Frank game

  11. Early Bird

    Its not the best the front office could do if there’s a bunch of g-leaguers kicking our ass. We should have brought those guys in instead

    Isn’t this technically the 2nd time Ellington’s career has come to NY to die? They must be shopping him, why else give him minutes? It’s not helping tho

  12. Brian Cronin

    Its not the best the front office could do if there’s a bunch of g-leaguers kicking our ass. We should have brought those guys in instead

    Imagine bringing in a brand-new group of free agents, seeing them all suck, and then starting over the next year. In what world could that ever be considered a good idea? Taj Gibson is getting paid $10 million to suck and be a veteran role model. Wayne Ellington was cut just last season and he gets $8 million. Just think about how dumb both of those things are. And the one guy with actual trade value they A. only got because one of the guys they rushed to sign failed his physical and B. they reportedly don’t even want to trade, despite him being pretty much the only move that definitely worked out!

    These guys are incompetent.

    Just not as incompetent as Phil.

  13. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    One thing is certain, we need to give Kenny Wooten a fair shot at the the Knicks. He’s an athletic freak that can play the energizer bunny role off the bench with blocks and dunks. He’d basically be a PF version of Robinson. A lot of teams have those energy players that aren’t complete enough to start, but do enough well enough with their energy they can productive in short spurts. He’s also young enough to add more to his game.

  14. KnickfaninNJ

    If this is the best they could do, then they are unforgivably terrible. So that’s a pretty damning indictment of their competence.

    Please suggest a free agent they should have gone after with their free space? Of course, Durant, but that didn’t work out not because they didn’t want him. So who?

  15. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    These guys are incompetent.

    Just not as incompetent as Phil.

    One more than I’m done.

    These guys are blatant idiots at every aspect of managing a basketball team from identifying long term talent, measuring a player’s current productivity, fitting pieces together coherently, understanding the game of basketball at a strategic level, and paying appropriate salaries. There’s not a single thing they’ve done right EXCEPT drafting Mitch. And that only happened because they gambled on a player that everyone else recognized as an obvious talent, but that had a questionable basketball IQ and was a total headcase coming out of high school. We should thank God he hasn’t melted down and we got a steal, but it wasn’t that they knew something everyone else also didn’t know. They rolled the dice on a what appeared to be a nut job and it worked out.

    I’m done defending Phil from the stupidity on this forum. For all his flaws (and he has many, especially GMing with help from Mills and dealing with media and younger players), if you can’t see the difference you know nothing about evaluating players, building teams, fitting pieces together, or much else about basketball and should probably take up a new hobby or actually learn something about this one.

  16. KnickfaninNJ

    The one thing we didn’t fully consider is that when you overpay free agents for 1 year contracts, they are still overpaid. That means it’s still harder to move them and get anything back even if they are an expiring contract.

    I would have thought this true, but it seems like teams are interested in our players anyway (if you judge by rumors). So maybe the short term nature of the contracts compensated for the overpay in the minds of buyers too.

  17. ess-dog

    Well, if we end up getting a 1st and a 2nd for two of our signees (Morris, Portis?), then we’ll have basically done what many posters wanted at the beginning of the year in reverse, that is, take on a bad contract for a 1RP – but without taking on any long-term salary.

    So if that manifests, I would say that is decent GMing. None of the other expiring players matter much.

    Even a possible Drummond trade could be a decent acquisition for the right price. Maybe we get away with Randle/DSJ for Drummond? Then Randle can come off the books and we can move Drummond in a sign and trade for something. If we have to give up a 1RP, then it doesn’t seem worth it, but at least he has legit value. I also like the idea of dealing with FOs that are somehow worse than ours!

    Of course, I’d much rather target good perimeter players, but this team is so bereft of talent that it’s hard to find any workable trade.

  18. Early Bird

    I guarantee the goal of getting Drummond is to pair him with Randle. “We’re making the playoffs baby!!!!” -Mills and Perry, shouting in unison

    We’ll give up picks, dead salary, and maybe Knox/DSJR

  19. ess-dog

    Well, that scenario would be awful.

    How could they possibly think they’re making the playoffs at this point?

  20. ptmilo

    I’m done defending Phil from the stupidity on this forum. For all his flaws (and he has many, especially GMing with help from Mills and dealing with media and younger players), if you can’t see the difference you know nothing about evaluating players, building teams, fitting pieces together, or much else about basketball and should probably take up a new hobby or actually learn something about this one.

    my 3 year old once had a toy megaphone. when we later started letting him facetime with relatives, he assumed all “phones” were megaphones and acted accordingly.

  21. JK47

    if you can’t see the difference you know nothing about evaluating players, building teams, fitting pieces together, or much else about basketball and should probably take up a new hobby.

    Here’s the problem with that, Strat.

    For all of his old man wisdom and 13 ringzzz greatness, Phil made fucking CATASTROPHIC mistakes. He gave out the MMM contract. He gave out the Pinch Post Passer contract. He put together a product that was utter bullshit, a product that had no hope of ever competing considering it annually had like $75M of salary tied up in utter garbage. And then he ran the day to day operations like the smug know-it-all that he is. He got his ass handed to him. His Knick teams sucked.

    I don’t care what he knows about basketball, the pitiful results speak for themselves. All of the knowledge the man had didn’t help him do shit. He was a great coach in his day, maybe the GOAT. None of that helped him as a GM. He failed utterly and miserably despite all of his basketball knowledge.

  22. KnickfaninNJ

    I don’t mind if the Knicks asked about Drummond as long as they don’t make a stupid deal for him. He would be better than Portis and Gibson and his contract only lasts this season and next. But I doubt we have anything to give up that we want to give up and the Pistons would take.

  23. Brian Cronin

    Drummond has a player option for next year. It seems unlikely that he’ll opt in. So if you’re trading for him, he’s almost certainly becoming a free agent at the end of the season (unless he signs an extension, of course). So the only teams that should be looking to trade for him are teams that want him to help them this year or teams that have to give up basically nothing for him.

    Drummond also has an 8% trade kicker, so wow, what a tough situation for the Pistons to be in, trade-wise.

  24. DRed

    I don’t like Miller’s minute allocations, but at least he clearly has Frank and Mitch working on what they’re best at. Mitch is obviously an incredible finisher but he needs work figuring out how to get space for himself rolling to the hoop and his gravity makes it easier for Frank to get into the lane, which is something Frank needs to be working on. At least their is a framework in place for the two of them to improve their games. I’m not sure what RJ is working on, which isn’t great, and Bobby Portis should be mostly on the bench. I agree we need to bring that kid from oregon up to the big team before someone else signs him. Mitch is the only guy on the team who can protect the rim.

  25. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I’m done defending Phil from the stupidity on this forum.

    80-166 record as POBO and handing off a roster/asset collection that’s parlayed into a 56-147 record since

    yup, we’re definitely the stupid ones

  26. Brian Cronin

    I don’t like Miller’s minute allocations, but at least he clearly has Frank and Mitch working on what they’re best at. Mitch is obviously an incredible finisher but he needs work figuring out how to get space for himself rolling to the hoop and his gravity makes it easier for Frank to get into the lane, which is something Frank needs to be working on. At least their is a framework in place for the two of them to improve their games. I’m not sure what RJ is working on, which isn’t great, and Bobby Portis should be mostly on the bench. I agree we need to bring that kid from oregon up to the big team before someone else signs him. Mitch is the only guy on the team who can protect the rim.

    It also speaks to their bizarre strategy that the kid in the G-League makes more sense on the roster than most of the veterans they gave millions to. So they spent more money to fill up the roster with worse, older players who are only signed to one-year deals. They don’t know what they’re doing.

    At least they’re not quite as bad as Phil, but bad is still bad.

  27. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I don’t mind if the Knicks asked about Drummond as long as they don’t make a stupid deal for him. He would be better than Portis and Gibson and his contract only lasts this season and next. But I doubt we have anything to give up that we want to give up and the Pistons would take.

    The Pistons are trading an effective expiring. They either want draft/young assets or long-term, locked-in productive veterans. Since we have none of the latter, which of our young players or draft assets are worth 4 months of adding Andre Drummond to a 10-29 team?

    You ready for Drummond to win a few extra games, bumping us from #3 to #8 in next year’s lottery? Man, I can’t wait!

  28. Early Bird

    Apparently Mitch and Wooten have the same agent, if that matters at all

    IDK if those 2 would play good defense together, but it should be fun (or a fake-biting foul fest).

    For Pills, Drummond is probably worth the 2 Dallas picks, effectively lighting on fire the only remaining benefit from the KP trade.

  29. KnickfaninNJ

    The Pistons are trading an effective expiring. They either want draft/young assets or long-term, locked-in productive veterans. Since we have none of the latter, which of our young players or draft assets are worth 4 months of adding Andre Drummond to a 10-29 team?

    I didn’t know the last year was a player option. I agree with you here. Any of the things we have that the Pistons want shouldn’t be traded for him.

    But I have more faith in our management not to make a stupid deal than many here. I think the Knicks did ask about Drummond, but backed off when they heard what kind of stuff Detroit wanted in return. Then someone on Detroit leaked that the Knicks asked about him in order to boost his trade value.

  30. KnickfaninNJ

    A question for the board. If Detroit offered Drummond for Gibson, Portis and a protected Dallas pick, would you be in favor? Note this works in the trade machine.

  31. JK47

    Yeah but if I’m a free agent I’m thinking “I gotta sign with the Knicks, they’re clearly a team on the rise considering they just missed the playoffs thanks to that Drummond fellow who is no longer on the team.”

  32. Brian Cronin

    Well, if we end up getting a 1st and a 2nd for two of our signees (Morris, Portis?), then we’ll have basically done what many posters wanted at the beginning of the year in reverse, that is, take on a bad contract for a 1RP – but without taking on any long-term salary.

    But with the opportunity cost of the wasted roster spots that could have been used on guys with a theoretical future with this team. De’Anthony Melton and two second round picks were the reward for just taking a year of Josh Jackson, but wasn’t available to the Knicks because their roster was full with one-year “wonders.”

  33. Brian Cronin

    A question for the board. If Detroit offered Drummond for Gibson, Portis and a protected Dallas pick, would you be in favor? Note this works in the trade machine.

    I don’t think you should be giving up any first rounders period for a soon-to-be veteran free agent. If it was just Portis/Gibson….hmmmm…even there, it seems kind of pointless, honestly.

  34. Early Bird

    The underlying question will always be “why the hell are we doing this?”

    Only makes an iota of sense if we extend Drummond with an under the table understanding of the deal before the trade. Why does Andre want to tether himself to the mecca of bad basketball management? IDK, maybe he loves Morris? The 3D chess is coming together!!

  35. thenoblefacehumper

    Hilarious thing about the Phil Jackson era is we all knew it was god awful at the time of his merciful shitcanning, and yet somehow it looks even worse in hindsight.

    Let’s go down the list of moves that were to some extent unresolved at the time of his firing:

    -Drafting Porzingis: First of all he drafted Porzingis exactly where a robot picking from ESPN’s big board would’ve drafted him, and only because his preferred player, Jahlil Okafor, was off the board. Anyway Porzingis is mired in his 4th consecutive season of mediocre productivity and injury proneness. Also it turns out he’s an asshole. There were clearly better players available, so this is at best a replacement level move.

    -Drafting Jerian Grant: out of the league

    -Drafting Hernangomez: can’t get off the bench (this is one that used to look like a silver lining)

    -Drafting Ntilikina: no matter what you think, we can all agree this was a god awful use of a pick in the top half of the lottery

    -Drafting Dotson: hasn’t amounted to shit

    -Signing Melo: mediocre NBA player by year 2 of his 5 year mega max, sub-rotation level by year 3

    -Signing Noah: out of the league before the end of his contract

    -Signing Lee: cooked by year 3 of his 4 year deal

    Dude was at the helm for 3 years and does not have a single unambiguously good move to his name. That’s…difficult to do!

    At least he had a great vision though. You can just envision how beautiful the 2016-2017 version of a Derrick Rose-Courtney Lee-Carmelo Anthony-Kristaps Porzingis-Joakim Noah lineup should’ve been if our poor genius hadn’t been stabbed in the back by that wily Steve Mills!

  36. Brian Cronin

    Only makes an iota of sense if we extend Drummond with an under the table understanding of the deal before the trade. Why does Andre want to tether himself to the mecca of bad basketball management? IDK, maybe he loves Morris? The 3D chess is coming together!!

    They might be able to give him an outright extension if they trade for him. I dunno what the rules are precisely with extensions. I probably still wouldn’t want to lock Drummond down, since he plays the same position as Mitch, but trading for Drummond and extending him would at least make some theoretical sense in a vacuum (unlike signing Bobby Portis). Drummond is a good player.

  37. thenoblefacehumper

    A question for the board. If Detroit offered Drummond for Gibson, Portis and a protected Dallas pick, would you be in favor? Note this works in the trade machine.

    No. Ask yourself a simple question: what would be the point of this move? If you can’t come up with a clear answer, that should tell you something.

    Edit: Early Bird was the early bird

  38. ptmilo

    A question for the board. If Detroit offered Drummond for Gibson, Portis and a protected Dallas pick, would you be in favor? Note this works in the trade machine.

    Why not just light the pick on fire and replace it on the mantle with a picture of Drummond leading us to win number 25 with Mitch waving from the bench in the background?

  39. JK47

    Burning what turned out to be the #31 overall pick in a draft so you can make sure signing the Wear Bear doesn’t cost James Dolan a few bucks was peak Phil.

  40. ptmilo

    They might be able to give him an outright extension if they trade for him. I dunno what the rules are precisely with extensions. I probably still wouldn’t want to lock Drummond down, since he plays the same position as Mitch, but trading for Drummond and extending him would at least make some theoretical sense in a vacuum (unlike signing Bobby Portis). Drummond is a good player.

    Drummond is good but you’d have to max extend him. I think this would be an unforced error and he’s not good enough for $34m a year. He’s just not good enough of a defender for the kind of player he is. Overpaying him would only make sense for good team with a desperate need for an interior presence who can use his rights to go over the cap. I guess you could argue for the Hawks, but I don’t even think it works for them.

  41. geo

    andre drummond????

    what is it – 1995…

    hell no, and mitch needs to learn to shoot 3’s…i have no idea how in the heck rudy gorbert is as good as he is on offense without being able to shoot…the guy is just a freak…

    sadly, at the moment I’d have to concur with a previous comment: mitch kind of does suck at team defense…he’s just still having a hard time figuring out where he should be (within arm’s reach of the rim at all times)…

    still no excuse for having him on the bench…you got timeouts, use them to teach mitch…

    without randall and morris out there, elf and reggie are really struggling…

    on a positive note:

  42. Early Bird

    Oh I just mean we only do the trade (I mean definitely don’t) if Drummond agrees to the extension beforehand. It may just be a technicality, but pretty sure you can’t enact the extension beforehand. But I guess DET could extend him and then trade.

    I really don’t know the extension rules, I wouldn’t think many restrictions apply.

    Still a head scratcher w/ Mitch on the team.

    He’s a better fit w/ Randle since both can pass, but not sure it’s a good fit. Plus there has to be a diminishing return with rebounding, a thing we’re already good at.

  43. thenoblefacehumper

    Well, if we end up getting a 1st and a 2nd for two of our signees (Morris, Portis?), then we’ll have basically done what many posters wanted at the beginning of the year in reverse, that is, take on a bad contract for a 1RP – but without taking on any long-term salary.

    1. It’s very stupid to sign mediocre veterans hoping you can flip them for picks instead of just taking on salary and guaranteeing yourself the picks

    2. I do not think we are getting jackshit for Bobby Portis

    3. We could’ve been using all these roster spots to try to find the next FVV, Dinwiddie, Joe Harris Whiteside, etc. but instead we get to watch Wayne Ellington haplessly flail around

    4. We passed up a lot more than a single, theoretical first-round pick for Morris when we opted for this “strategy” instead of taking on every dump we could. There was the Harkless first, the Iguodala first, the Melton and two seconds deal (another guy we were all right about compared to NBA decision makers), the Lakers salary dump (Wagner, who looks like a real player, and a 2nd), and the Spurs salary dump (Bertans might fetch a first at the deadline). I’m only counting things that happened after we were spurned by Kyrie + KD.

  44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    But I have more faith in our management not to make a stupid deal than many here.

    emphasis on “faith”

    I’ve long thought that Drummond was a bright spot on a terribly-managed team yet here I am vehemently against any realistic trade for him. Why we’re arguing for acquiring a zero-range center when we have one who’s 5 years younger and locked up for two more bargain years is beyond me. It is the only position on the roster that is not deeply disconcerting, Mitch’s several flaws and all.

    Any assets doled out should be for a quality PG. And really, they should be looking to draft PGs, not sign them.

    Drummond would be a sure signal that they are trying to keep their jobs. And that, my friends, is why this is the worst franchise in sports for twenty years running.

  45. geo

    oh yeah, one real positive in regards to mister drummond – thank god he started waxing…man, that rug on his back was crazy thick…

  46. DRed

    I mean just sign him to a stupid FA deal if you’re fucking dumb enough to want him on this knicks team you morons

  47. Ben R

    I think we all need to stop with the revisionist history around trading for picks. I am all for taking salary for picks and we probably could have gotten maybe one of the trades that happened but the teams that made those trades wanted them too so why would we have automatically gotten all those trades. On top of all that I wouldn’t be surprised if we were lower on the list of teams to trade with because any trade with us is going to be scrutinized way more so an easy salary dump with Memphis or the Clippers is potentially less of a headache than the same trade with us.

    With that said I would love us to try and make those types of trades but pretending that they were all available for us is fiction. This is in no way a defense of our off-season or an argument against taking salaries for picks but lets all just cool the hand-wringing over “missed” opportunities.

    Now we need to cut Ellington (he’s not netting us anything) and sign Wooten. Trade Portis to Portland for Bazemore and a 2nd. Trade Morris to LAC for a 1st, Harkless and hopefully Shamet. Trade DSJ to Minnesota for anything. On top of that can we please see at least a little minutes for Frank next to Payton. With the way Frank has played over the last 10+ games, I’d love to see him getting a bit more burn to see if it’s an actual improvement.

  48. Brian Cronin

    With that said I would love us to try and make those types of trades but pretending that they were all available for us is fiction. This is in no way a defense of our off-season or an argument against taking salaries for picks but lets all just cool the hand-wringing over “missed” opportunities.

    They were actively not looking for those trades. They admit it. So obviously it was a missed opportunity, and it shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s probably their biggest failing this offseason. The teams that were looking for salary dumps got them. Perhaps the exact deals wouldn’t have happened, but again, teams were looking to dump players, certain teams were willing to take them and those teams got the dumped players. The Knicks didn’t want dumped players, they wanted to use their cap space for veterans to try to win now so that Pills wouldn’t look so bad for whiffing on Durant and Kyrie. It’s what we were saying before any of the deals were actually made. It’s not revisionist history at all.

  49. Ben R

    I agree there were opportunities out there and there is a good chance we could have maybe gotten one of them and we should have tried but people talk about the trades like they were all available to us.

  50. ess-dog

    1. I can’t say I think the vet leadership of Ellington/Gibson is worth anything at all, 2. yes they should be giving shots to undrafted guys, and 3. I was all for getting picks/young players in return for salary dumps at the beginning of the season. I just think if those 6 waste-of-time signings lead to 2-3 draft picks, that’s a good thing (even if it was by accident).

    I can’t see how Drummond would benefit this team unless he’s quickly flipped for something else. I don’t even think he’s as good as advertised. That said, I hope we can get the bidding going for DSJ since his potential to be a good player is nil. I’ll be ecstatic if some team falls in love with his athleticism.

    We really could leave this deadline with three more decent picks, a new decent young player, AND get to see a more interesting starting lineup going forward, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

  51. thenoblefacehumper

    Everyone knew the Blazers needed to dump Harkless to complete the Whiteside/Butler trade for, like, a week and no one was stepping up. They very clearly dumped him to the first team that said they’d take him on.

    I continue to think that we could’ve gotten Iguodala by promising to waive him (if that’s what he wanted). I think that goodwill with their Finals MVP would’ve meant more to GSW than spiting us for unsuccessful tampering.

    The Lakers dump was like the Harkless one in that everyone knew they had to do it and no one was taking it on until the Wizards did.

    The others, who knows, but like BC said you’re definitely not going to get them if you’re not looking. It’s easy to forget that there were only so many options–most teams didn’t have cap space.

  52. Brian Cronin

    I agree there were opportunities out there and there is a good chance we could have maybe gotten one of them and we should have tried but people talk about the trades like they were all available to us.

    They were almost all certainly available, but yes, they likely (not even definitely, but very likely) couldn’t have done them all. But is that really much of a concern? “They should have done this. They didn’t do any of it, but they probably couldn’t have done all of it had they tried it…which they didn’t” seems like a difference without a distinction.

  53. Ben R

    Let me be clear I am not defending Pills or our offseason. They are terrible and our plan was stupid. The hand-wringing over trades that were never explicitly available to us is just difficult to take sometimes. I do agree that taking on salary is what we should have done as soon as Durant and Irving passed on coming here. With that said I liked the Randle signing (even though the jury is still out on if it was good), I liked the Payton signing okay, I like Bullock at his current salary, and I think Morris is a good signing if we actually flip him for assets. But I only like Gibson at half his salary, and Portis and Ellington were truly bad moves.

  54. thenoblefacehumper

    Sorry to circle back but I’m continually fascinated with how Strat seems to think the Phil Jackson front office was set up.

    He seems to very genuinely believe Phil was paid $12M AAV to say things like “we should get players who are good at offense and defense” (this is the “vision”) and it was Mills’ job to identify those players, and then sign them to contracts/draft them/trade for them.

    Putting aside for a second that we know for a fact this is nonsense (story of Noah appealing to Phil by showing up in Montana, notorious leaker Phil Jackson never saying this, etc.), it’s so god damn funny I almost hope it was in fact the case.

  55. ptmilo

    by the way the knicks cannot trade for drummond and then extend him (and detroit cannot extend and then trade). you need six months between the trade and the (full 5 year) extension. you could do the 3 year extend and trade but this year and next year would both count, so you’d only be adding 1 year to his deal at 105pct (not 120pct), which he wouldn’t do.

  56. Frank

    The Wooten thing is interesting. I wonder if a player would rather have a 10 day or a two-way. Presumably a 2-way because at least then you’re pretty much guaranteed better $ for the rest of the year?

    Question is- if some team comes to offer Wooten a 10-day, do the Knicks then dump Rabb (who seemingly sucks) and give Wooten the 2-way, or do they actually waive someone on the big club? And who would be the waived player? Ellington, who seems totally superfluous now that Bullock is back?

  57. Early Bird

    by the way the knicks cannot trade for drummond and then extend him (and detroit cannot extend and then trade). you need six months between the trade and the (full 5 year) extension. you could do the 3 year extend and trade but this year and next year would both count, so you’d only be adding 1 year to his deal at 105pct (not 120pct), which he wouldn’t do.

    Thanks ptmilo, I’ve never known what the rules are because it’s so rarely an issue. I guess this is why.

    So yeah, no reason except a desperation playoff push and his bird rights I guess? But even his Bird Rights wouldn’t really help at all.

    Dump Rabb before Ellington. We have a billion PFs and Wooten is one more. There’s always the off chance Ellington catches fire before the deadline and we can squeeze something out of his still ambulatory corpse

  58. geo

    i see the heat are in town sunday afternoon…that’s gonna be tough…

    interesting to see if miller tries something new…

    no teams seem to be kicking off trading season…when does it normally happen, end of january?

  59. JK47

    “Get me a guy who is good on offense and defense”

    “Okay how about Joakim Noah”

    “Yeah he’s great, you should see that guy pass outta the pinch post”

    “How about if we offer him 4/72”

    “Sorry I don’t know what numbers mean, I’m just the basketball guy”

    “That will take up most of our money though, are you okay with that?”

    “Triangle”

  60. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    With that said I would love us to try and make those types of trades but pretending that they were all available for us is fiction. This is in no way a defense of our off-season or an argument against taking salaries for picks but lets all just cool the hand-wringing over “missed” opportunities.

    You’re right that it’s the end result of a lot of hypothesizing, but the Knicks haven’t done it at all.

    https://basketball.realgm.com/nba/teams/New-York-Knicks/20/Transaction-History

    Acquired picks

    2019-20: none
    2018-19: 2021 DAL 1st, 2023 conditional DAL 1st
    2017-18: 2020 CHA 2nd, 2021 CHA 2nd, 2018 CHI 2nd
    2016-17: 2017 CHI 2nd
    2015-16: none

    In 2014-15, the Knicks gave up 2020 2nd and 2021 2nds for Willy Hernangomez, 2019 2nd for Arnett Moultrie and a TPE.

    2014-15: 2017 HOU 2nd, 2019 HOU 2nd, 2019 CLE 2nd

    For all of the useless players on expiring contracts, the Knicks got almost nothing out of it. The 1sts in the Porzingis haul were the prize for shipping out an injured player that for whatever reason had a lot of trade value despite limited production and fragile health.

    I don’t think it’s wise to dwell on imagined trade scenarios, but I have to believe that the Knicks could have gotten more draft assets out of their many expirings over the years. And they certainly could have started signing vets to 1-year flip deals to hoard bloated contracts and the accompanying draft picks.

    I just want to see a little bit of intelligence out of this front office. The Porzingis trade is the only thing that reads as “smart,” and that only happened because Porzingis openly tried to force his way out. Had he stayed the course, I think we’d be looking at four more years of Porzingis shooting bricks at $31M AAV.

  61. Ben R

    THCJ – I agree completely that we could have done a lot more and the fact that we have collected nearly zero future 1sts over the last 10 years of being terrible is inexcusable. We absolutely should have spent the last five years doing nothing but collecting as many future picks as possible and we haven’t which is why Phil is thankfully gone and hopefully Pills will be gone next. I am just getting tired of us talking about things like the Harkless trade as if it was 100% ours and we turned it down.

    It’s more a call to intellectual honesty than anything else. Our offseason was terrible regardless of whether any of those trades were available to us because it closed off future choices, put veterans in front of young players that need playing time, and won us games on the backs of players that are not part of our future.

    I still think Morris was a good signing because he has real value in a trade and Bullock was a good signing for the price. The jury is still out on Randle.

  62. Brian Cronin

    The Blazers had him out there for a week with no takers. He was there for the taking and the Knicks said no, salary dumps are for losers and signed Bobby Portis instead.

    There is nothing intellectually dishonest about it.

  63. Frank

    Bullock was a good signing especially at the contract he ultimately signed. Probably ok at the original contract # too, but that’s not quite as clear.

    Morris was a good signing but it should be noted he was not part of the original plan – that fell into their laps after they had already spent most of their $, and was only possible because Bullock had a medical issue.

    Randle was fine and I was happy with it, but it definitely may not work out as planned unless his 3 point shooting over the last few weeks is real — otherwise he just congests the middle of the floor where Mitch is clearly more efficient.

    Payton/Portis were terrible the minute they signed them. Ellington is fine since we definitely need shooting, but clearly he is overpaid. It was not a very good offseason.

  64. ptmilo

    I still think Morris was a good signing because he has real value in a trade and Bullock was a good signing for the price. The jury is still out on Randle.

    if i see someone selling 8 yuan for a dollar and snap up those renminbi, you might fairly say i made a good trade even if i had no immediate plans to travel to beijing. unless. unless it turns out i would, in fact, refuse to convert my 8 yuan to any other currency, even if the most convenient amazon prime honda fit mobile currency exchange service showed up in my driveway just as i had been put on the permanent no-fly list. then it’s not just my second decision that was shitty, but also my first.

  65. geo

    you know you’re too high when – you don’t even attempt to understand some shit milo wrote, cuz, it could most likely lead to an inexplicably long moment of sheer stupor…

  66. ptmilo

    geo sit your ass down and let’s get into it like phil and jo at the ranch. the mundell flemming trilemma proved decades ago that it is impossible for any nba franchise operating under a salary cap to profitably sign mercenaries for their fungible value if that franchise’s unique incompetence prevented them from freely trading said mercenary at a later date. this was actually the original triangle offense.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_trinity

  67. Owen

    there was an aura of losing around this game

    Great cap Farfa. That was my feeling watching the game. It was much closer than it felt until it wasn’t. Ingram was hitting everything and had 9 assists too (but 5 turnovers.) Interesting player. I think his ceiling probably isn’t that high and I am not sure about his defense but his ballhandling and shooting last night were excellent.

    I am all for intellectual honesty but it’s a fact that we have basically never traded an impending free agent for a pick. It’s totally fair to say that we may not have been able to convert Harkless into a first or whatever but it’s not fair to say that this is something a competent front office set on rebuilding could fail to do across five years.

    It’s ABC stuff, basic arbitrage.

  68. d-mar

    Pills sits down to do a team evaluation:

    “Ok, what position are we pretty much set at for the next 3 to 4 years”

    “Uh, probably center”

    “What’s our greatest need?”

    “Uh, definitely point guard”

    “Ok, get me Ed Stefanski on the phone, STAT, we need to go after that Andre Drummond dude!”

  69. Knew Your Nicks

    The only imaginery possibility i can see Drummond getting here is if our geniouses decided to build a team with ‘old’ nba ‘$tars’ to attract The Freak from Souvlakistan to sign here.

    In order to do that of course they’d have to blow up the future of this tortured team.

  70. TheClashFan

    If Pills are even slightly serious about wanting to trade for Drummond, they should be fired immediately. Mills should already have been fired, but take Perry with him, too.

    I don’t say yes or no to any potential Drummond trade that might actually happen. Rather, I say HELL NO!

  71. E

    According to Pistons beat writer, Pistons initiated discussions, asked for Frank and Randle in exchange. Hell no, obviously.

  72. Knew Your Nicks

    “Inside Steve’s Brain”
    -Drummond, DeRozan and one more player from D for my 3D plan! How about sticking to DSJ ?

  73. ephus

    Given Mitchell Robinson’s reputation coming into the draft as lacking discipline, I have been amazed at the incredible discipline he has demonstrated. He clearly was instructed that his offense should consist of setting screens, rim running, offensive rebounding and NOTHING ELSE. That is precisely what he has done. No post-ups. No midrange. Virtually no dribbling. No 3s.

    It is time for the Knicks to find out what else Mitchell Robinson can do on offense.

  74. geo

    I got it mister jowles:

    geronimo: an american legend

    excellent story and acting…no real good or bad guys per se…wes studi is excellent, and jason patric is as cool as can be…

    interesting historical portrayal…

  75. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I will seek it out. Thanks, old man.

    Given Mitchell Robinson’s reputation coming into the draft as lacking discipline, I have been amazed at the incredible discipline he has demonstrated. He clearly was instructed that his offense should consist of setting screens, rim running, offensive rebounding and NOTHING ELSE. That is precisely what he has done. No post-ups. No midrange. Virtually no dribbling. No 3s.

    To the shock of a few regulars, I am a big believer in synergy when we’re talking about finding rim runners who self-limit like this. I don’t think we’ve seen anything close to his ceiling, and he won’t even have to change his game much — he just needs a better dribble penetrator to share the floor with.

    As much as I would have wept had we traded anything of value for Chris Paul’s onerous contract, I would kill to see Mitch play 30 MPG next to a guy who can routinely find far less skilled players with their hands a foot above the rim.

  76. KnickfaninNJ

    I just listened to a podcast by Hollinger and Duncan on trade possibilities. It was interesting but depressing. The three things I drew from it were that there aren’t many likely trades league wide, there aren’t any bad long term contracts out there this year that teams might give draft picks to get rid of and this year’s draft class is considered really bad. All those things don’t help the Knicks. In Knick’s specific possibilities, They mentioned Smith and Morris as trade possibilities. They didn’t come up with any good ideas for Morris, but came up with some teams that might want Smith.

  77. Early Bird

    I don’t think we’ve seen anything close to his ceiling, and he won’t even have to change his game much — he just needs a better dribble penetrator to share the floor with.

    I’m one of the bigger Elf supporters on this board, which isn’t saying much, but I do think he’s a more than capable passer. The problem is that a lineup that has 3 sub-.300 three pt shooters with Mitch and Morris doesn’t allow you to punish a collapsing defense. I’d like to see Bullock, Morris, Dotson (who’s our 3rd best shooter, Portis??) surround Elf and Mitch just to see if it opens things up. Just run non-stop PnR and Elf may be serviceable throwing lobs.

    Even Morris is suboptimal for a PnR offense in some ways because I don’t trust him to make the extra pass when needed.

  78. KnickfaninNJ

    Morris, Portis and Bullock are our three best three point shooters with Allen and Trier following. The team three point average is actually 0.343, 23rd in the league, and better than I would have thought.

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