Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 18, 2019

New York Knicks 102 – Detroit Pistons 122 – Game Recap

There are games that have a distinct explanation to them: you watch them, there’s a single narrative and that’s it (say, the Kings game. The entire narrative was “Fiz sucks”). There are, instead, other games you can watch under a million different lights and come away with contradictory feelings about. Last night it was a genuine example of this. Seeing the game, and gradually accepting the warm comfort of a predictable loss, I felt like a few personalities of mine were interacting with themselves. It was like a tennis table game played by at least four different people (all inside of my brain).

Let me explain.

  • Oh god, we lost. Again. By twenty.
  • Yes, but at least we lost to a playoff team (I kinda forgot about the fact that the Pistons snatched a playoff seed in 2019, but whatever).
  • Yes, but those guys were missing Blake Griffin.
  • Ok, but Mitch got concussed. Who knows what would have happened?
  • Yeah, but those guys simply killed us on offense.
  • Ok, but at least this time Fiz wasn’t a complete trainwreck.
  • I might be inclined to think Fiz has to be totally absolved this time, but then again have you seen the offensive sets? They’re always the same stupid “big with the ball 30 feet from the hoop”.
  • Yeah but he played Frank! And honestly this has to be a top-5 Frank game ever.
  • Ok but it came against a team that was without its two point guards.
  • *Looks in the mirror*
  • Hey you. Elfrid might count, DSJ not so much.
  • But we were tied 69-69 in the third!
  • Have you seen RJ shoot?
  • Yes but have you seen him do every other thing?
  • The Morris twins are dirty, annoying thugs.
  • The Morris twins are dirty, annoying thugs.
  • The Morris twins are dirty, annoying thugs.
  • Now that we all agree, what do you say about a cup of coffee?

It’s hard to say it was an entertaining game, but at least it wasn’t a complete doozy, and for a while you would have been excused if you had thought we were fielding an actual basketball team. I don’t know if we can ask more than that at this moment. I’ll take it.

The good:

– A lot of guys were just mediocre last night. Some on the good side of mediocre, some on the bad one. That’s why I think last night MVP for us was – welp – Frank Ntilikina (11 pts, 1 reb, 4 ast, -13 +/-). They say “don’t judge a book by its cover” and I say “don’t judge my French Prince by its numbers”. Although the numbers were quite good by Frank’s standards (5/7 from the field, 1 steal, 3 blocks!), you had to watch him play defense in the first half. It was a masterpiece. I understand that playingi defense on Luke Kennard and Bruce Brown isn’t exactly like shutting down James Harden, but they’re still (bad?) NBA players and Frank simply bottled them up time after time. There was a tangible sense of empowerment emanating from Ntilikina after every successful defensive possession, and it translated to his offense. You might say it was just due time for his shot to fall, and it verily may be; but the fluidity and the confidence were there, and I don’t think this kind of offensive output was just a coincidence (by the way: how low are our expectations that I’m talking about an 11 points game as “this kind of offensive output”? Ouch.). In the first half the defense pretty much collapsed when Frank was subbed out and took life again as soon as he got back into the game. It was a quintessential “Good Frank” game, seasoned with its customary missed layups (no, really. The only two shots Frank missed were layups).

The bad:

– What’s it like to be a one trick pony and forgetting your only trick? Ask Wayne Ellington (2 pts, 2 ast, 20% FG, -8 +/-), who from time to time gets into terrible shooting funks and becomes a useless player. While he’s the only one running to get his shots up on our main roster (Dotson probably being the other one, but we can’t say for sure, maybe being in the dungeon he forgot to do his curls right), as soon as it’s clear that it’s one of those nights the defense gets more comfortable defending him. Our offensive sets don’t help him much, especially when he’s asked to dribble the ball. At the end of the third quarter, whatever set we were running simply broke up and Ellington was forced to fake/dribble his way into a three at the buzzer. If you want to know what happens when Ellington shots a contested three from the dribble, just know that I’ve seen men gobble down burgers with way less appetite than the one used by Wood to entirely swallow the attempted trifecta.

– Hey! Without Bobby Portis (3 pts, 5 rebs, 1 ast, -8 +/-) we would be winless at this point! Yeah, so what? I mean, is a 1-7 record really that different from a 0-8 record? Truth is Bobby is used incorrectly and when there’s no chance to play Mitch (either by choice or – like this time – by injury) his presence on the court is a dire reminder of the fact that Pills were dumb not to think about the fact that this roster desperately needed another rim protector. Portis should be a floor spacer, and yet: six FGA, five were twos and just one was a three – plus a three point make in the second half that didn’t count thanks a comical mistiming (nobody realized the time was expiring, so Randle, while in the paint, happily passed the ball to Portis with 0.5 seconds remaining. The buzzer sounded but Portis went on to shoot like he didn’t hear anything, like a full second after the buzzer, and looked a bit confused about why his shot wasn’t good). Portis doesn’t block shots. Doesn’t dunk. Doesn’t attack the rim on pick and rolls. So what should we be using him for? Yeah, this one’s still on Fiz.

Fun-sized bits:

– You could argue that the game was decided by two episodes: the first one was the concussion suffered by Mitch thanks to a casual Markieff Morris’ elbow to the temple, and the second one was the six-point play (yes you read that right) that happened with 7:50 to play in the third. Knicks were trailing 74-72 just after a Ntilikina three point shot. Markieff Morris (I hate his guts) shot a three that went in and landed on Randle’s feet. The foul was a given (it’s the Zaza rule after all), but ultimately Julius was issued a bonkers flagrant 1. Markieff sank the freebie, and after that Brown scored on a layup. Just like that, a two point lead ballooned into an eight point lead. The Pistons never looked back.

– After getting concussed (and honestly, it was pretty evident. Mitch got the wind knocked out of him and stood prone on the court for around ten seconds, then stood up but looked pretty discombobulated. How in the fucking hell nobody thought to sub him out immediately?) Mitch scored four points and got three boards while still being a general menace. Concussed Mitch >>>>> regular Bobby.

– Randle played a much better game offensively (mainly thanks to his shot falling). 20 points on 15 shots are quite good. He’s still badly misused. Maybe Fiz will correct his just in time to be canned the game right after. That said, Randle’s defense is probably worse than adverstised, and that’s really saying something. I have no doubt that he’s still a nice player, but for now he’s a net negative on the court. Four more turnovers for him.

– I know a drinking game that can be played even by teetotalers: gulp down a shot of whatever everytime Marcus Morris passes the ball after getting it with less than 12 seconds on the clock.

– On, and try this one: a glass of wine everytime a Fizdale ATO results in a Knicks bucket. Excellent to sober yourself up.

– RJ Barrett stuffed the stat sheet with gusto but shot like shit. Still a quite good game (15 pts, 6 rebs, 8 ast, 2 stl) but he missed a lot of layups that looked like he was tired. Load management might really be a thing even for extremely well built rookies. In our daily game of “cherry picking your B-R search”, RJ Barrett is the third youngest player to ever post such a stat line (youngest ever: LeBron, of course. Second youngest: your chucker du jour, Devin Booker). Curiously, only three other Knicks rookie ever posted such a line: Mark Jackson, Allonzo Trier and… Mardy Collins???

– I seriously don’t know why Taj isn’t Mitch’s backup by default. He’s so much better than Portis at defense that whatever it is that he takes off the table (to my eyes, nothing, but I might be a bit biased against Bobby) on offense is worth the price.

– The Knicks are second worst in NBA in PPG, Ortg, eFG while being fourth worst in pace and sixth worst in Drtg. We are already a massive trainwreck, yay!

– Fire Fiz. Even if last night it’s not his fault.

– If Fiz is fired, can everyone out of his staff. Keep only Mike Miller.

– Rebecca Haarlow is wasting her prime years on this shitfest. I suggest a toast to her resilience.

Will Mitch be ready for the highly anticipated match against Dallas? Let’s hope so, I want to see him posterize KP quite a few times.

See ya on Saturday after the Mavs game!

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150 comments on “New York Knicks 102 – Detroit Pistons 122 – Game Recap

  1. Bo Nateman

    Great lede Farfa.
    Sad that so early in the season, we are left to foraging through the ashes of a dumpster fire for some salvage.
    I can’t even contemplate Mitch being out for a while due to concussion protocol.
    Hello Ivan Raab.

  2. KnickfaninNJ

    I concede the point, we need a back up center who protects the rim. Of course, not all opponents have some one like Drummond down low, but still.

    On another point, the trivia question from the Sacramento game taught me something. I know that Knox, Ntilikina and Barrett started young, but I didn’t realize they are three of the only four teenagers who have played for the Knicks. The other was Trevor Ariza, who took a long time to develop. This bit of information drove home to me how young they are. It makes me want to be more patient with them.

  3. Farfa Post author

    It makes me want to be more patient with them.

    If anything, Knox’s partial development (which starts by thinking that sometimes less is more) should give us a little spark of faith.

  4. Nick C.

    I’m continually amazed at your ability to provide so much entertainment from so much meh. This game was: “Frank was on it the first half”, Mitch got elbowed, A 6 point play wtf? and a whole bunch of same story different day and you created a few minutes of reading magic.

  5. Farfa Post author

    I’m continually amazed at your ability to provide so much entertainment from so much meh

    First of all, thanks. I’m amazed at myself for being able to write about the Knicks without drinking a few beers before.

    Second of all, I guess it comes from the need to effectively teaching youngsters: if you weave something resembling a story and sprinkle it with some (not always on point but whatever) humor, they’re much more likely to absorb your teachings. I stopped teaching in 2009, but it’s always been my true calling.

  6. alsep73

    Man, the Dallas game is going to be a total narrative garbage fire, isn’t it? Whether KP plays well or not.

    (Would be hilarious if it wound up being the Tim Hardaway Jr. Revenge Game.)

  7. ess-dog

    It’s amazing that we signed so many bigs but still don’t have a backup center. I think only Sacto remains as an equally bad front office/coach combo, at I right?

  8. cgreene

    I have been here a long time. This is the earliest I’ve found myself saying that I don’t really care to watch the games. Especially now that Mitch is out for a while. Will look at box scores to check on RJ and watch highlights. But I cannot stomach the losing and the narratives that come with.

    The roster is so poorly constructed I do feel badly actually for Fiz. Even though I agree he’s not a good coach. The thing that hammered it home was watching Ellington chuck up contested 3’s coming around screens or off the dribble. Yeah he’s a good 3 pt shooter by % but I bet if one were to look at the ast rate of his 3’s it would be pretty high.

    The whole is less than the sum of the parts. #Knicksy

  9. Grocer

    Would be hilarious if it wound up being the Tim Hardaway Jr. Revenge Game.

    I duuno, maybe he’ll throw the game as a thank you gift. He’s getting paid just as much, and he’s playing a lot less minutes. So the trade really made him more productive! Kinda!

  10. Owen

    Great stuff Farfa.

    Brandon Clarke was 7-7 from the field and 4-4 from the line and was a +30 in 22 minutes. Now up to .192 WS/48 for the year.

  11. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    You know who would’ve been better and cheaper to sign than all of our free agent signings last year? Kyle O’Quinn, who’s putting up yet another vintage KOQ season for the 76ers on the vet min. Why did we ever let that guy go?

  12. E

    Can’t see how it’s possible that running this prehistoric offense is good for player development. They probably wouldn’t even be 1-7 with a modern offense, but if they were, it would be a far more palatable 1-7. But this shit just screams incompetence — from the FO and the coach.

  13. Nick C.

    On Ellington, there was one set where he was standing alone behind the arc while the ball was on the other side. Morris, I think, decided not to chance the cross court pass and swung it. The other guys kept their blinders on. This is a strange team.

  14. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    Way’ment! Hear me out!

    Fire Fiz and try to get Kidd! He fits with the dysfunction!

    Ok ok..it was a joke, but it makes sense lol.
    I dunno..I’m all for stability..but Fiz is coaching like he’s overwhelmed. The roster is poorly constructed, guys are injured, and your top option is a guy who’s never had that role. It’s alot. But that’s when the great coaches- you know- coach.

    But it’s not just on him. I think the FO has backed the team into a corner that they can’t trade themselves out of. Fiz has yet to put the signees in the best positions to succeed, and come December 15, we are gonna need to trade guys that we can’t trade because of their performance so far. Perry is gonna have to trade Randle to get some sorta value back- and that’s a very bad look. But lookin at the team, I’d actually prefer moving Randle for another center and a wing that can shoot while keeping Mook as the starting PF. I’d look to peddle Payton and Ellington to Miami for Dragic. If we can move Randle and get a center, I’d even be amenable to keeping Portis as the backup PF. I’d much rather develop Knox as a PF though. I don’t think he’s ever gonna be good enough at perimeter defense to be a full time SF. But the kid’s what- 6’9″ probably 6″10″ now and 220? It’s not a stretch to get him to 230ish and build his strength so he can handle PF minutes.

    Something’s gotta give. If Fiz is gonna suck major, why doesn’t he play the youngins? I wouldn’t be so frustrated if these current trends have continued into February, but the team has at least moved on from the vet signings (maybe except Taj) and called up Rabb, Wooton, and Hinton and played the youngins already on the roster. Shot..we might even win more consistently on the energy and athleticism of that alone!

  15. Name is Bron - James Bron

    WCS last season: 56 TS, .146, WS/48, 2.0 BPM
    WCS this season: 61 TS, .172 WS/48, 1.5 BPM

    GSW signed him for 2m/yr – the 2nd year a player option 2m. Instead of Portis, maybe NYK should have offered him 6m with the 2nd year a team option?

    FVV will be UFA this summer. Very meh WS/48 and BPM but very healthy RPM last 2 years and very nice raw +/- (both on court and on-off) all 3 years. Is this a Brogdon-like situation where maybe we should offer 20m/yr?

  16. Grocer

    Yeah he’s a good 3 pt shooter by % but I bet if one were to look at the ast rate of his 3’s it would be pretty high. The whole is less than the sum of the parts.

    You’d be right! 87.5% assisted for his career. This year is in line with that so far, at 90% assisted. We’re well into small sample size theater here though, the only thing that sticks out is way less corner threes. Makes sense with the failing motion-y offense Fiz is trying and the absence of a PG to drive and kick.

  17. DRed

    It would be great if Knox could keep this up all season-he’d still be a mediocre player, but he’s only 20.

  18. JK47

    The sum of the parts is not great, and the whole is even less than that. Just about all of these players might be useful in the right situation, but in this situation they’re all practically useless.

    We’re 28th in offense, 24th in defense, 30th in SRS. If the idea was to get these vets to try to put a somewhat competitive team on the floor, that idea is not really working out. For the ten billionth fucking time, just go with the youth movement and stick with that, don’t burn roster spots and minutes on Marcus Morris and Bobby Portis and Wayne Ellington and then win 20 games anyway.

    Whatever. Tank on, my Knicks. Tank on.

  19. rama picked up his option

    I don’t put this one on Fiz; it seemed like he learned from the last game and went back to the approach with the Celtics, and it worked well for a while. And again, when he saw how Portis was just giving up points, he went to Taj (who seems perfectly serviceable, albeit more expensive that KOQ or Vonleh). If we hadn’t lost Mitch, we might have seen continued competitiveness for the whole game, but we did, and there was that 6-point play, and that was it.

    I think there are glimmers of light in the gloom.

    1) As DRed and others have said, Knox seems to have figured out that less is more, and if he stays at this level all year, that would be HUGE progress. He could indeed become a good stretch 4. His D is not egregious, his shooting is very good, and he can rebound when he focuses on it. I could honestly imagine him a net positive player if the improvement is not small sample size wishcasting.

    2) I was all in on Clarke and trading down, but RJ has been a very happy surprise. His numbers aren’t likely to be as good as Clarke’s, but then, he’s playing all the minutes on a team with no PG. His upside seems much higher; his physical and mental (and seemingly emotional) maturity makes me think he could be a #1 player on a good team within two years. Really impressive.

    3) Skynet will reboot soon, and I bet Fiz will start playing him all the minutes he can. Win-win: if he doesn’t, they’ll lose more games and he’ll be fired; if he does, Mitch will develop faster and people will understand they need to build around him and RJ.

    4) Frank is not a lost cause. No point in belaboring it, as everyone has their turf staked out, but this is a valuable player. Actually, same for Randle. Each has a viable skill set, and a good coach could work to enhance them while covering for their deficiencies. We can survive Randle’s contract and Frank’s option just fine.

  20. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    It makes me want to be more patient with them.

    That’s the thing driving my typical daily rants.

    IMO, we have 2 young players that have shown enough on both sides of the ball (Mitch and Barrett) to at least hope they can become part of a Knicks big 3 eventually. But I am talking about a 3-5 year process. For now, all I am looking for is forward movement in some of their skills.

    IMO, we have 3 young players that have shown enough on 1 side to eventually become solid role players.

    Trier looks like he could become a very good 6th man.

    Knox looks like another good scorer off the bench or stretch 4.

    Frank looks like a defensive stopper that can start or come off the bench depending on the rest of the team and their skills.

    In all 3 cases, they appear to do at least one thing very well, but are so weak in other areas you are hoping the rest of their game develops enough over the next 3-5 years so they can secure roles on a very good team. You want them to be elite on one side and passable (or better) on the other. Frank will never be a star on offense and Trier/Knox will never be elite defenders but all 3 can get better at what they aren’t good at now.

    In all 5 cases, we are talking 3-5 years, not 3-5 months. This is how tanking and rebuilding works. It’s a 5-6 year process for these young players to develop into what they will eventually become.

    Plus, I have not given up hope on Dotson actually becoming a solid two way player even though he’s a bit older. He has a more balanced set of skills than the others now, but probably not high level potential on either side.

  21. ess-dog

    I was going to post that about Brandon Clarke, but it almost feels mean. Ja also looks terrific while RJ is now sporting a stout .000 WS/48. I know he’s better than that, but this team is reaching a new level of futility. It’s ugly.

  22. rama picked up his option

    I mean, the list of negatives is loooong. There is plenty of gloom – we’re 1-7, and half the time have looked somehow even worse than that. The Portis and Ellington signings remain obvious mistakes – never mind the moves we didn’t make. Fiz looks overmatched. I always thought I was a dawg person, but Morris is making me think of trying cats. But those positives make me feel that there is some hope.

  23. Farfa Post author

    @19

    I quote everything you say; as usual, I just feel a bit uneasy watching some of our players perform on the court. Last year Enes and Timmy (and to a minor extent, Mario and Trey) were the ones I found really difficult to bear with, this year I have Bobby Portis and Marcus Morris on the list. If we suck playing literally everyone else, it’s still a drag but I don’t feel any life force sucked out of me. I just wish we didn’t have them on our roster (Portis because meh, Morris because I can’t stand his demeanor).

  24. Early Bird

    There’s been something uniquely awful and ugly about the Knicks offense this year. Not much movement, not much driving. Even though Morris has been relatively effective, I already never want to see another Morris iso.

  25. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The real problem is that these last 2-3 years have demonstrated conclusively that our current management/coach do not value players correctly and do not understand how to fit pieces together properly. That more than anything else is going to hurt the rebuild. They have already set us back years.

  26. thenamestsam

    Perhaps it’s just my generally negative disposition but there’s something about watching a 20-point Knicks loss to a mediocre opponent missing their best player (and I’ve seen a few!) made so much worse by Wally gushing about how fantastic every single one of our players is. Please never leave us Clyde.

    There really is nothing more transcendently Knicks-y than sacrificing long-term value to try to make your team just mediocre enough in the short run to con some unnamed future FA into signing here, and falling so pathetically short of even that exceedingly modest goal that you end up as the worst team in the league. I mean this is a true masterpiece of failure.

  27. Early Bird

    The problem with a 3-5 year horizon for Frank and Trier is that neither player is obliged to stay on the team that long. I think we could retain Frank, if he keeps up this year’s play he may be worth it.

    Trier and Dotson I have less confidence in. Trier has an unbelievable skillset, but someone will want to pay him if he shows signs of improvement. Dotson seems below average at most basketball things. I think his D is overrated and he didn’t shoot well enough to justify use on that end.

  28. E

    There really is nothing more transcendently Knicks-y than sacrificing long-term value to try to make your team just mediocre enough in the short run to con some unnamed future FA into signing here, and falling so pathetically short of even that exceedingly modest goal that you end up as the worst team in the league.

    I don’t even give them the benefit of the doubt that that was in fact the goal. I think they signed all these guys as a political, job-saving gesture after promising Dolan they were going to sign Durant and others. That was its sole purpose.

    The only possible caveat to that conclusion is that a thin case could be made to sign Randle for legit reasons. But even that’s blown up in their faces as he’s nothing like advertised. They can survive his contract but he’s just brutal — not worth lifting a finger for to “accommodate.” Literally nothing they do from a team-building or in-game tactics perspective should be done with him in mind. If you can find him a role, great, if not, he’s a sunk cost anyway.

  29. rama picked up his option

    They have already set us back years.

    Not really. “Setting us back” would be more like signing Noah to a four-year deal for $72 million. Or signing Melo to a megamax.

  30. Early Bird

    Also, excellent recap Farfa!! No idea how I got so engaged to a recap for a game I couldn’t find less captivating. I kept trying to pay attention last night, but without Mitch… not worth it.

  31. JK47

    This is how tanking and rebuilding works. It’s a 5-6 year process for these young players to develop into what they will eventually become.

    It wouldn’t take as long if they would just fully commit to it. Instead it’s all of these half-measures, chasing marginal wins with various Portises and Ellingtons, which comes with an opportunity cost. They could have used that space to take on bad contracts and acquire picks, and then maybe the rebuild doesn’t take so long. Then when a superstar becomes available in a trade, voila! You have surplus picks and young players to offer.

    This team just never does the rebuild the right way. It’s all half measures, all the time.

  32. DRed

    When Brandon Clarke was 19 he was a freshman playing good but unspectacular basketball for San Jose State. I probably would have picked Clarke over RJ in the draft because he was much more of a sure thing, but what we’ve seen so far from RJ is encouraging. RJ couldn’t shoot in college-it would be folly to expect him to shoot well his first season in the NBA. But he’s showing the rest of his skills have translated to the NBA. That’s good. His shot selection is good-he’s only taking 10 percent of his FGA between 10′ and the 3 point line. He’s an ineficient scorer because he’s shooting very poorly from 3-10′ and from the FT line, not because he’s chucking up stupid shots. It’s not certain he’ll ever learn to shoot, but if he does the odds are he will be a very valuable player.

  33. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    Another thing about Fiz. I’m beginning to think he was hired to be a closer in FA talks given his rep and relationship with the stars of the league. That speaks volumes. Apparently the franchise has yet to learn that getting a superstar player is not the cure all. They make coaches look better than they are. Obviously. But..what’s the use of havin a KD, Giannis, Lebron, Harden, AD, or Kawhi if you can’t coach them effectively? I mean..how far are you really gonna go? Roster management is key, but do you really expect to say to your great player “just go out there and do your thing”?

    Maybe Fiz can be a great coach, but he hasn’t shown it yet. He inherited a playoff team in Memphis and then lost it the next season. This hurts me because I have high hopes for Fiz. The way he’s coaching and jerking developmental minutes around is leaving me little hope for him leading the Knicks out of the doldrums

  34. djphan

    rj’s shot has been flat at the line.. and really any non 3pt jump shot… it was especially visible last night as he’s hitting every part of the rim on everything…

    not sure what’s causing that.. maybe he is tired… but i don’t think it’s a long term concern… but a flat shot will be very inconsistent… i don’t think it’s a big deal at least yet since it doesn’t look broken and it’s pretty clear that he works hard on his game….

    as for brandon clarke… i wasn’t high on him given the age risk…but it’s nice to see that he’s doing well…. but there’s no way you should have picked clarke over rj at the time of the draft and there’s no way you would be trading rj for clarke even knowing what we know now…. that’s especially true when we already have mitch who is a much better big for what clarke will ever be capable of doing…. all that being said.. clarke is gonna be in for some hard regression in his shooting #s so i wouldn’t call him a great pick as of yet….

  35. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    It always take 5-6 years to rebuild via tan/draft IF YOU ARE LUCKY. In the first year you are typically drafting a 19 year old. That means you are 5-6 years away from his peak. Each subsequent year you are drafting another 19 year old. So when the first one is peaking, the later ones are still too raw to be part of a serious team. The only way to shorten it is to sign some veteran free agents and/or trade picks mid course. But as we’ve repeatedly learned going all the way back to Walsh, you need a good team to attract and sign the highest quality free agents. And you better know what you doing if you are giving up picks for players. I am in favor of trading picks at times because imo they are overvalued now given the age of the players coming out of school. I just don’t trust out management to be competent at it.

  36. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I still think there is nothing wrong with Randle. He’s still the player he was.

    He’s an efficient scorer around the rim when he can operate with space and he can rebound and make some plays, but he’s not a high level scorer because there are too many things as a scorer he can’t do well. He’s also a negative defender. That makes him a good role player on a team right now where he just happens to be a terrible fit with our C.

  37. Owen

    With Skynet, if you enter the concussion protocol does that mean you had a concussion for sure? Or just that you are being monitored for symptoms?

    Knox is playing well and that really shocks me. Maybe I was wrong about him.

    Barrett can get to the rack. That’s the most surprising thing about him for me and why I am more optimistic than I was during the draft. He’s been impressive in a lot of ways but would it kill the Knicks to draft a lottery pick who come out of the gate fast in terms of actual production?

    WCS is another guy who you can almost guarantee will be better than all our FAs. I have always liked him and am really surprised he was both available and available at that price.

    I also have spent a lot of time on this board being one of the resident Eeyores. The Knicks have found so many ways to be terrible over the years. There have definitely been worse moments. We actually have some potentially decent young players! But somehow the opening of this season still feels like one of the hardest kicks to the nuts fans have gotten.

  38. ess-dog

    So here are our 2019 free agent signings:

    Randle – decent scorer around the rim that can’t defend the rim or help defend, pf/c tweener, a less-than-ideal fit with the surprisingly excellent rookie center, overpaid for 2+ years.

    Portis – a terrible defender in all ways, playing out of position at center, has a propensity for 0ne-on-one ball, decent 3-point shooter and rebounder, grossly overpaid for a bench big.

    Ellington – was cut by his last team but still got big money, decent shooter when open but doesn’t do much else, overpaid.

    Morris – an average shooter and defender but a pf/sf tweener, also has a propensity for ball stoppage, overpaid but only for one year.

    Payton – apparently crucial to this team already because of his good passing, has been injured, bad shooter and average-at-best defender, decent contract.

    Gibson – a decent defending backup big with few offensive skills who we overpaid, but “veteran presence”!

    Bullock – ?

    Did I miss anything?

  39. NahNahNahWeAreGoingTheOtherWay

    I consider myself a lover of basketball, the NBA, the Knicks, and Knickerblogger, but I have already given up on this season or watching any of the games. I mean, what’s the point? This team has been horrible in every predictable way and these veterans are all boring. Why can’t we just do a full rebuild?

    Knickblogger: Come for the Knicks, stay for the lulz

  40. iserp

    WCS last season: 56 TS, .146, WS/48, 2.0 BPM
    WCS this season: 61 TS, .172 WS/48, 1.5 BPM

    GSW signed him for 2m/yr – the 2nd year a player option 2m. Instead of Portis, maybe NYK should have offered him 6m with the 2nd year a team option?

    FVV will be UFA this summer. Very meh WS/48 and BPM but very healthy RPM last 2 years and very nice raw +/- (both on court and on-off) all 3 years. Is this a Brogdon-like situation where maybe we should offer 20m/yr?

    WCS turned down a 2 year/9 million (guaranteed) offer from the Hornets to play with GSW. He would not have left that money in the table to play for us. I guess he pictured himself as the starting center of a playoff team, and that would boost his value for next year. Not looking great right now but they have time to salvage the season, so the risk may still pay off.

  41. DRed

    We overpaid for guys to take short term contracts. That’s totally fine, it’s Jimmy Dolan’s money and it makes sense for the Knicks to not commit to average at best players for longer than 2 years. We just overpaid too many vets-and arguably the wrong ones, although that doesn’t really matter as much.

  42. JK47

    It always take 5-6 years to rebuild via tan/draft IF YOU ARE LUCKY. In the first year you are typically drafting a 19 year old.

    But this misses my whole point: you shouldn’t be drafting just one player per year. You should be stockpiling picks so you get more darts to throw at the board. We’re doing the half-assed non-rebuild rebuild instead. Sure, it takes forever if you don’t stockpile assets. That’s why you try to make deals with teams that are ahead of you on the win curve and rent your cap space to them.

    This isn’t even something that we should be debating, this is just basic common sense.

  43. d-mar

    The Knicks off season was like one of those silent auction fundraisers where you buy a bunch of tickets and then throw them into buckets to try and win things like gift baskets or fancy dinners.

    And you don’t want to have any leftover tickets (cap space) so you end up bidding for stuff you don’t really want or need, like gardening supplies or fancy bath soaps (i.e. Ellington and Portis)

  44. iserp

    From a veteran you would like:

    – No complaining
    – Pass the ball (according to your coach’s system)
    – Be in the right position in defense (according to your coach’s system)

    They don’t have to be great defenders, shooters or passers. It’s OK to be torched on defense, to miss shots and to make TOs, as long as the team can look functional so the young guys can grow within the coach’s system.

    However, our veterans take out our youngsters from the lineup (possibly by complaining), don’t pass the ball for their life, and are nowhere to be found on defense. This is also on Fiz. I can get behind Payton, Randle and Gibson; but Ellington, Morris, Portis and Bullock would better be in street clothes during the games.

  45. iserp

    Even if you think right now that the Suns record is not sustainable, signing Rubio (the “worst move of the summer”) is looking good. Just by the virtue of not complaining, passing the ball and being in the right spot on defense, their team looks functional.

  46. ess-dog

    The thing is, vets on short contracts are always going to try and “get theirs” on the court so they can sign the biggest contract possible once they go back on the market (points always lead to bigger contracts, e.g. Timothy Hardaway Junior.) Look at the hissy fit Kanter threw when he was no longer allowed to rack up meaningless counting stats.

    Does that hurt the development of the young guys or is it balanced out by their “veteran leadership”? Durr I don’t know! Imposserbull to calculate!

  47. TheClashFan

    I’ve long argued here with others for the Knicks to embrace the tank. Thing is, this year’s unintentional tank may be just about as good as the real thing as long as the short timer vets are traded as soon after December 15 as possible. Mo and Po for sure.

  48. Bruno Almeida

    The issue is more, how much value will any of those vets even have, and are they willing to look for the deals to trade them? Like, Morris definitely will have value, but all the other guys are players contenders would like to have, but want to get them at the buyout market instead of burning assets to get them. No one is giving up real assets to trade for Portis or Ellington if they’re playing like garbage. I hope I’m wrong, and there’s probably deals to be found for 2nd rounders and such at least.

  49. Hubert

    If Bobby Portis didn’t get $16mm from the Knicks, what was his next best offer going to be? I doubt he’s going to get something as high as the biannual exception next year.

    I’d like to flip him to Minnesota for Dieng’s contract (presuming the Knicks realize Anthony Davis isn’t walking through that door) and a pick, but Minnesota has Vonleh giving them just as much as Portis on the minimum, so it’s doubtful they want to touch him.

    Maybe Randle for Dieng and two 1st’s (1 for Randle, 1 for the shit contract)?

  50. Brian Cronin

    It’s funny, Hubert, I was actually just thinking about whether Minnesota could possibly use Randle. I tend to think no, as they’re going small just like the rest of the NBA, right? With Covington their power forward.

  51. Brian Cronin

    At least this shitty start likely does put the end to the “Anthony Davis in 2020!” pipe dream, so no one has to get their hopes dashed later on. That’s something!

  52. Brian Cronin

    I am sure that they will eventually end the season as one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference (and thereby, the league overall), but would there be a more obvious Dolan’s Razor example than the Charlotte Hornets somehow being good enough for their second round pick to be not that valuable?

  53. GianaDani

    guys…really really hope I’m wrong here like I was dead wrong about Burke tearing up the league last year… :( – but Perry is not the type to make a swift quick decision and flip his trophy signing to Minnesota for picks and Deng. Historically, he’s proven top be consistent as he basically did the same he did at Sacramento in free agency by overpaying veteran scrubs. Asking him to be like Morey with Melo now and cut his losses, admit he’s wrong and move on, is just not fair to Perry. He’s just not built like that.

  54. rama picked up his option

    but Minnesota has Vonleh giving them just as much as Portis on the minimum

    aforementioned lulz

  55. rama picked up his option

    At least this shitty start likely does put the end to the “Anthony Davis in 2020!” pipe dream, so no one has to get their hopes dashed later on.

    I will not give up the dream!

    Joking aside, my reasoning has always been that 1) LeBron will start to decline or get injured again, 2) LeBron will alienate AD, as he has most of his teammates, and 3) the few good players we have would seem a decent young core to grow with. Jury’s out on 1 and 2; too soon to know. But while 3 ain’t looking hot now, once Miller takes over for Fiz we could be in a different place.

    EDIT: Also, AD said he wanted to play here last year, when we were also terrible and didn’t have RJ.

  56. Frank O.

    First

    Farfa, I am reading your recaps in some cases in lieu of the games. I learn something, I’m amused and I don’t feel like I’ve lost a part of my life doing stupid things.

    Also, I’m with Owen on this one: I feel like there are some good young players that we have much to hope for, but with Fiz’s choices, the play of some of these other pieces and the fact they just suck so bad really feels exactly like a kick in the nuts.

    So I read Farfa and don’t watch so much.

    When I watched Portis in DC, he was simply a role player on the perimeter who from time to time had an impact. He’s too soft to play center.
    Morris is a very low IQ player.
    And if Fiz ever again chooses Randle over our young man in the middle because of spacing issues, I’m going to scream. Mitch has so much more upside and is so much more efficient, you run that man until he falls over or fouls out…then you can worry about how to get Randle more shots.

  57. Owen

    Or, the Lakers win a title and AD says, “Mission accomplished! Time leave this fire ravaged hellhole of a city and go play for Jimmy D”

    I also think it’s quite funny to think of Farfa as methadone. Just a little hit of something to take the edge off….

  58. rama picked up his option

    Or, the Lakers win a title and AD says, “Mission accomplished! Time leave this fire ravaged hellhole of a city and go play for Jimmy D”

    The kick in the nuts is coming from inside the house

  59. Brian Cronin

    I will not give up the dream!

    Are you at least willing to downgrade it to less than a 50/50 chance of occurring? ;)

  60. Hubert

    At least this shitty start likely does put the end to the “Anthony Davis in 2020!” pipe dream, so no one has to get their hopes dashed later on. That’s something!

    This is huge for me. I was prepared to spend the whole year thinking we were going to sign Davis and trade for Giannis. Now I can come back down to earth.

  61. Hubert

    We’re going to need to get through this god awful season, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel:

    – We should end up with another Barrett-level prospect to go with Mitch and Rowan.

    – We should end up with picks from selling off spare parts

    – We could be bad enough for Dolan to give up his loyalty to this regime and back up the truck for Ujiri. (Having said that, I can imagine a scenario where talks between Masai and MSG break down over disagreements about Steve Mills’ role in the organization.)

  62. rama picked up his option

    Are you at least willing to downgrade it to less than a 50/50 chance of occurring? ;)

    I never thought it was more than 60% or so. And there’s a lot of season to play out, so I’m not changing my tune until we see what the NBA looks like in April…

    But never did I imagine we would have any path to Giannis, including a trade! That’s just crazy talk.

  63. Brian Cronin

    – We could be bad enough for Dolan to give up his loyalty to this regime and back up the truck for Ujiri. (Having said that, I can imagine a scenario where talks between Masai and MSG break down over disagreements about Steve Mills’ role in the organization.)

    Oh man, can you even imagine? “You’re great and all, Masai, but you have a thing or two to learn from Steve Mills!”

  64. Early Bird

    Fun stat of the day:

    The Knicks currently have more players (7) with negative ws/48 than players (6) with a positive ws/48 (RJ is currently at 0).

  65. djphan

    that is pretty good stuff strat… 538 made the comparison to melo before the draft and it seems to be on target…

    the difference though is that rj… if he keeps up this pace with much better ft shooting… should outpace him… he’s less dynamic scoring-wise but brings more playmaking ability and more efficient shot distribution….

    the implications of that are huge…. it’s the difference between a carmelo type of career where he will be an overrated star…. or paul pierce… an underrated but actual star… the latter of which is a player who still needs significant help but can be a passable #1 or very good #2 piece…

  66. alsep73

    News from the media availability today:

    1)DSJ is flying to Dallas today to rejoin the team. Unclear if he’ll play tomorrow; they’re going to assess his conditioning first, since he’s been away for a bit mourning his stepmom.

    2)With Mitch out with a concussion, Fiz says he might slide Randle to center rather than just starting Portis. Since Portis offers no rim protection, might as well do that and get Knox into the starting lineup for some better spacing.

  67. Early Bird

    @69,
    It’ll be interesting to see if DSJR is back to at least his former mediocre self.

    I like sliding Randle up to C. It makes waaaaay more sense. I’d rather Morris at the 4 than 3 generally.

  68. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Knox should start at power forward until he stops shooting so well. He provides real floor spacing, can attack a closeout, and does not need plays drawn up for him in order to be effective. The big question with him is the defense, but I’d very quickly start Knox at the four and bench Julius when Mitch can play again. Ntilikina and Knox fit well off the ball between a Barrett and Robinson two man game, and that’s the way this team needs to look at the roster. It shouldn’t be about making Julius Randle a star player, it should be about putting your young players in the best position possible to win games. If Julius Randle can’t hold his own weight on defense, then he can’t lead your franchise anywhere.

  69. Z-man

    Two things are for certain:

    1) Randle is going to start every game this year.
    2) Most people here want Mitch to start.

    So that makes starting Knox at the 4 a non-starter (pardon the pun) unless you have Mitch come off the bench. And no one here seems to want that.

  70. JK47

    Starters
    PG Dennis Smith Jr
    SG Frank Ntilikina
    SF RJ Barrett
    PF Kevin Knox
    C Mitchell Robinson

    HOOK IT INTO MY VEINS

  71. ess-dog

    The free throw thing really is killing RJ’s productivity. He should switch to granny style ASAP!

  72. Early Bird

    The Knicks have Randle for 1-2 more years, and he put up good numbers in his last two stops. They should keep trying to make Randle and Mitch work together for a bit longer. It’s not as if those two playing together will make us miss the playoffs, no reason not to do it. At the very least, let Payton and Bullock come back first. Playing guards who can produce offense should make the Mitch/Randle pairing look better. If those two can co-exist, you have a solid foundation with Mitch/RJ/Randle.

    Knox and Frank can still get plenty of burn off the bench.

  73. dtrickey

    I don’t hate the idea of Knox coming in at the 4 in lieu of Mitch. His rise from truly terrible to merely meh has been quite stunning.

    I think with the way the roster is constructed Fiz just has to keep throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks, but with a healthy Mitch it at least looks like he is settling on a starting 5 (sans Payton or DSJ) which is promising. Honestly I don’t think we can underrate Payton’s impact. Despite not winning games, everything looked a hell of a lot better when he was running he show. If we can get at least some moderate production out of either Payton or DSJ, I think we see a whole lot less of a big initiating the offence 30 feet from the bucket.

  74. thenamestsam

    I’ve been saying for a while that Randle should probably come off the bench. Payton, RJ, Morris, Knox, Mitch (or other minor variations) actually looks like a modern NBA team. Every posession starts with one of the guards running a high PnR with Mitch while the other 3 guys space it out; standard stuff for many other teams, especially those who have devestating rim runners but not something we do much of. Make Randle/Portis the backup big combo and you keep the same dynamic playing primarily 4 out.

    The team is definitely short on competent guard play (let alone good guard play) to actually be succesful like that but it would be watchable, it would prioritize Mitch and RJ’s development (letting them play in space; working on their PnR chemistry) and it’s at least a vision for what a good version of the team could look like: upgrade the guard play, get someone better than Morris. What we’re doing now just sucks. It’s ugly, it’s not effective, it doesn’t prioritize development and it doesn’t express any vision for the future. In conclusion, fire Fiz!

  75. Early Bird

    I’d rather take Morris out of the lineup and put in an actual wing. It could be Knox, but I’d rather slide RJ to the 3 and put Ellington (if he shoots better), Bullock, or someone similar in.

  76. Dink

    If Randle can’t adapt to playing with Mitch then Randle has to become the 6th man. Dude’s not good enough to accommodate by benching one of the team’s best players.

  77. DRed

    Every posession starts with one of the guards running a high PnR with Mitch while the other 3 guys space it out

    We run PnR very infrequently so far this season-we’re 22nd in frequency of plays finished by the PnR ball handler and 28th in plays finished by the PnR roll man. Both Mitch and Randle are good finishers so I’m guessing this is a problem resulting from our ball handlers or coaching or both.

  78. KnickfaninNJ

    This game reinforced my impression that Knick games would be more fun to watch if we played defense first. We still will lose a lot but they will be closer for longer.

  79. dtrickey

    Poor Defence aside, I think there is no way Tony Snell has another game where he goes 6 from freakin 6 from 3 and the Pistons shoot 50% from distance. Sometimes a team gets hot and there is not much you can do about it. That being said, a lot of the Knicks problems are self-inflicted, so certainly not deflecting away from that ha ha

  80. Farfa Post author

    I also think it’s quite funny to think of Farfa as methadone. Just a little hit of something to take the edge off….

    I think I’ll put this in my resume

  81. jazzfunk

    The effort required to frame this train wreck as the scaffolding for a future winning team is slightly less enjoyable than carbon monoxide poisoning.

  82. bobneptune

    I’m glad we’re not paying Kristaps Porzingis $158M

    I hope they defend him with Barrett tomorrow since KP plays like a 2/3 on offense anyway……

  83. Grocer

    The effort required to frame this train wreck as the scaffolding for a future winning team is slightly less enjoyable than carbon monoxide poisoning.

    I really enjoyed this sentence, nicely turned out.

  84. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The Celtics offense is so much better this year. The ball and player movement is way better without Kyrie. Everyone is moving, making passes, and making plays. They are all getting better looks. I’m not surprised by that, but I really thought they’d miss Horford. If they pick up a good defensive C, they are right in the mix. Hayward is finally back to 100%. It took a full season.

  85. geo

    phenomenal movie – but yeah – i love that song…touches on a really really serious, and for a lot of folks very sensitive, subject…
    That game of life is hard to play
    I’m gonna lose it anyway

    there it is…

    lord help me, but i’m grim individual at times…

    @86…that was a sweet tune – give us some more of that :)

  86. Ntilakilla

    Madison Square Garden Co. announced a plan to separate its entertainment and sports sides has been unanimously approved by its board. The entertainment co. wouldn't own any of the sports spin-off, as previously planned. The sports co. would include Knicks & Rangers, but not MSG.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) November 7, 2019

  87. geo

    holy shit – it might actually happen…free at last, free at last…

    go guitar jimmy – you build your music entertainment empire…forget them worthless sports franchises…

    they’re just not worth the headache…

    sell jimmy, sell…

  88. Ingmarrrr

    Following up on a post from a few months ago regarding a Sports Dao, I created a DAO (distributed autonomous organization) for Knicks fans. The idea is to test our collective knowledge about the team and see if we can come up with good suggestions on how to run it.

    Several people here were interested, so I decided to go ahead and play. The DAO is here and I already created a first proposal — to fire Fizdale of course. It would be really interesting to see if the blog votes for it, and it’s testable because in 2-3-4 months we’d know whether it’s a good or bad decision.

    The technology is still at its geeky stage, and unless you’re already familiar with blockchain, Ethereum, and MetaMask it would take a bit of time to figure it out. I can help, and if there’s enough interest I assume the tech company would have some interest in funding people’s accounts with a bit of money to cover gas fees.

    Anyone interested? If you are let me know here, or write to me at knicksfansdao@gmail.com.

  89. Ingmarrrr

    That’s hilarious, I haven’t even noticed it :)

    It’s great you’re interested, maybe try with MetaMask? It’s the most common wallet. It’s the one I’m using.

  90. Ingmarrrr

    If you’re able to login send me your address (NOT the private key..) and I’ll give you reputation, which is voting power.

  91. d-mar

    I was thinking about that Pistons debacle the other night. Two pretty evenly matched teams (the line was only Detroit -3) and we end up getting our doors blown off in the 4th quarter.

    Detroit ran constant pick and rolls, and ended up with countless dunks and layups by Drummond, or a lot of wide open 3’s. Our offense consisted mostly of Randle or Morris going one on one and putting up difficult, contested shots or RJ getting to the basket and drawing fouls.

    So is that coaching? You can’t blame it on personnel, because in that Pistons game they were running out a G League team (other than Drummond)

    Not sure if Fiz knows how to coach offense or defense, but otherwise, he’s doing a great job.

  92. JK47

    The Celtics offense is so much better this year. The ball and player movement is way better without Kyrie. Everyone is moving, making passes, and making plays. They are all getting better looks. I’m not surprised by that, but I really thought they’d miss Horford. If they pick up a good defensive C, they are right in the mix. Hayward is finally back to 100%. It took a full season.

    Meh. The Celtics are 15th in the league in offensive rating and 22nd in the league in offensive eFG% despite a complete outlier performance from Hayward so far, who is sporting an unsustainable .624 eFG%, way above his .504 career average. Last year they were the #10 offense. Hayward’s not playing at 100%, he’s playing at 200% and that is not going to last.

    They’ve also played a creampuff schedule so far, they’re 25th in the NBA in strength of schedule.

  93. cgreene

    Surprised there is not more comment about the Berman article about the KP debacle. KP and his bro are real douches.

  94. mase

    who guards Kp tonite?
    Mitch needs to be near the basket so I’m going with Knox. And starting trier at the two with frank, Rj.
    That’s a quick lineup. We need to outpace Dallas and contain luka. It’s all in you frank.

  95. JK47

    And after then-coach Jeff Hornacek told him during a practice to show more toughness on defense, Porzingis blurted back, “F–k you.’’ Hornacek was shocked.

    Real team player there.

    I’m gonna say something in defense of Phil Jackson: he was right to look to trade Porzingis after getting an up-close look at him for a couple of seasons. Phil got a lot of shit wrong but he could see the writing on the wall with KP.

    He’ll probably go off tonight because we suck and can’t stop anybody from scoring but he’s playing like a bum in Dallas so far.

  96. Farfa Post author

    He’ll probably go off tonight because we suck and can’t stop anybody from scoring but he’s playing like a bum in Dallas so far.

    But 19 PPG! 8RPG! 2BPG! We were wrong to trade him! LOLKnicks!

    Yeah, he’s same old KP. Probably best suited as a third violin, getting along with Luka but shooting .516 TS%. If anything, Fiz should send Taj 30 minutes after him and call it a day.

  97. Grocer

    I’m interested, but I feel trolled: it asks me to log in with a Portis account

    I think Fortmatic is Strat’s personal defense orientated login.

    How much of this login info is exposed to users? Y’all are fine but sometimes I have to work with Celtics fans.

  98. Ingmarrrr

    How much of this login info is exposed to users? Y’all are fine but sometimes I have to work with Celtics fans.

    Grocer, the only thing you expose is an Ethereum address, which is something like 0x873… and a bunch of other numbers. I identify myself as Ingmarrr from Knickerblogger.

  99. Grocer

    Thanks Ingmarrrrrr, one more question (for now): is there any significant difference between the various login options for those of us who would need to sign up fresh?

  100. Early Bird

    Mitch needs to be near the basket

    Mitch is out to monitor his concussion. Last I saw we’re starting Randle/Morris/Knox/RJ/Frank. I think the constant switching will make the initial defender irrelevant.

    Just stick Frank on Doncic and the rest don’t really matter. I would not be against putting Taj on KP for a majority of minutes.

  101. TheClashFan

    The problem with putting Frank on Doncic is the Knicks employing the “switch on everything” defense. So, easy to just screen him away.

    I’d like to see Frank some on Iso-Zingis, but probably Portis will get the call from Fiz.

  102. Early Bird

    The problem with putting Frank on Doncic is the Knicks employing the “switch on everything” defense. So, easy to just screen him away.

    Yeah, I think they need to make exceptions for players like Luka unless Frank really can’t get through. Switch whatever, except Luka and Frank. No one else can play defense so I don’t care about the other switches much.

  103. Ingmarrrr

    @108 I’m using MataMask and it looks like Portis also works. I haven’t tried the other two.

    Once you create your account you can either get some ethereum, ask for reputation and start creating proposals or votes (for example on my Fire Fizdale proposal) or you can email me (knicksfansdao@gmail.com) your Ethereum address and I’ll do it for you. It probably sounds like an intimidating process but Farfa and I did it pretty quickly.

  104. Grocer

    Been thinking about it, and I don’t see a good rational for firing Fiz at this point. Here is a non-comprehensive list of reasons why:

    1: He is not good at his job, but it doesn’t actually matter if we win games this season and would be best if we did not.

    2: I’m not seeing any particular upside to Keith Smart stepping into the role, and if Mike Miller is there to develop our fine young gents then he can do that just fine without worrying about keeping the vets satisfied as well.

    3: We’ve got a combination of sub-par roster construction compounded by our starting PG being injured, our shitty backup PG somehow being even worse than he was last year (and grieving for fam), and our backup backup PG not having any actual PG skills or abilities. Which means that firing Fiz right now feels like a panic move, which only undermines the FO. You could feel, as I do, that Mills needed to be fired a couple decades ago before he Peter Principled his way into his current sycophantic orgy of salad tossing. You could also feel, as I do, that Perry is the poster child for NBA front office mediocrity. It doesn’t necessarily follow that them undermining themselves is a good way to go. Just because we desperately need a new FO does not mean that we should be encouraging good coaches to want to come here only if they also assume GM duties, as Budz reportedly insisted on. Down that path lies madness. MADNESS!!

    It is possible that I’ve overthought number three.

  105. Grocer

    It probably sounds like an intimidating process but Farfa and I did it pretty quickly.

    My middle name is M1A2 Abrams, I’m not scared of the process.

  106. rama picked up his option

    My middle name is M1A2 Abrams

    Somehow that doesn’t sound quite as cool as “My middle name is Danger.”

  107. MBunge

    “Yeah, he’s same old KP.”

    Perspective is a weird mistress. It’s “same old KP” for a guy who has averaged 17, 7, and 2 blocks a game. Yet a guy who has averaged 7,6, and 2.4 blocks a game while being asked to do far less and still struggling to get on the floor is heralded as the the second coming of Willis Reed.

    Mike

  108. Early Bird

    Perspective is a weird mistress. It’s “same old KP” for a guy who has averaged 17, 7, and 2 blocks a game. Yet a guy who has averaged 7,6, and 2.4 blocks a game while being asked to do far less and still struggling to get on the floor is heralded as the the second coming of Willis Reed.

    This is incredibly dumb and there’s no way you don’t know that by now.

  109. Dink

    According to the Berman article, one of the big reasons KP soured on the Knicks was how they treated Carmelo. Do people really think he was mistreated by the Knicks?

    Gave him a megamax, an extremely rare NTC, let him do whatever he wanted on the court, etc. Traded him to a perennial playoff team. All things considered, he was probably treated *too* nicely.

    Dude was an overpaid, overrated chucker w/ lazy defense. Feels like KP is blaming the Knicks for Melo being washed.

  110. Dink

    Mike Bunge out here demolishing strawmen with his counting stats cudgel. When will these eggheads learn?

    Dink

  111. cgreene

    If we let Knox guard Zinger (I call him that bc he doesn’t like it) in the post tonight I will lose it. Dude was successfully guarded by the likes of Marcus Smart in the post 2 years ago because he’s so weak. So let’s find the only person on the planet over 6’7″ who is actually weaker than Zinger and have him guard him and watch Zinger go off for 30 in the paint.

    #Knicksy

  112. TheClashFan

    @117

    Turns out main battle tank names are not designed to instill fear in the enemy.

    Except for the Germans? Lots of guys in WWII were legitimately afraid of all the Tigers and Panthers they were facing.

    The USAF has Eagles and Raptors and such. The Army? The Abrams…

  113. TheClashFan

    If indeed KP was mad at the Knicks for how Melo was treated, shouldn’t he be mad at the entire NBA right now? The whole league is (rightfully) shunning him.

  114. Grocer

    I thought about Leopard but it seemed too obscure. Should have gone with Sherman. A tiger might eat you but he burned a bunch of Georgia! Much scarier. I suppose I could have gone with Indianapolis, but it gives me a sinking feeling.

  115. mase

    125

    Yes I don’t buy that melo argument for a second.

    He just had a change of heart about being the face of a rebuild. It’s not a good look for an overrated young player with limited ability and health concerns.

  116. thenamestsam

    I do think the Knicks transitioned from Melo being the franchise cornerstone to being basically persona non grata really fast. Many of us around these parts had been over Melo for a long time at that point so I think it wasn’t necessarily perceived that way here. However, if you were the kind of person that was thrilled when Melo re-signed and saw him as an all-star and centerpiece of the team even in 16-17 then it was really a whipsaw at the end.

    For KP, being within the org I’m sure his perspective was more akin to that (and we know players in general rated Melo very high and I’m sure KP looked up to him to some extent) and I can see how it felt like an incredibly rapid evolution from “the future of the Knicks is Melo and KP!” to “we’re dumping Melo for whatever we can get”. Is that “disrespectful” to Melo? It’s probably not the word I would choose but I can see how that might impact how you see the organization and your place in it if you’re KP.

  117. Ingmarrrr

    I think maybe there was some passive aggressive crap directed at Melo. Jackson gave him the MMM and pretty quickly started criticizing him and exploring ways to trade him. I’m sure all of us would take this amount of abuse for $100+ million but for KP the money is probably a given.

  118. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    It was reported at the time that Melo and Porzingis were pretty tight and that Porzingis was not happy with the way Phil was treating Melo in the press and then how the team traded him later. There was even some speculation that Porzingis’s growing poor behavior (missing the exit interview) was coming via influence from Melo.

    I’m not privy to Knicks politics, especially the dysfunction at MSG, but at I think at a certain point it became obvious Melo wanted Phil out so the team would drop the triangle and because Phil was criticizing his game in the press. There was even an incident where Porzingis was quoted as saying (paraphrase here) “The triangle would work fine if everyone was on board”. Melo supposedly had a cow and balled Porzingis out after that comment.

    Porzingis starting out as a relatively good kid happy to be here, but IMO slowly became a prima donna under the influence of Melo and all the hype in NY about him being a superstar.

    Melo taught him to how to take off balance contested 2s against a double team and how to play power politics in the NBA. That was his parting gift to NY. He screwed us again.

  119. Farfa Post author

    Perspective is a weird mistress. It’s “same old KP” for a guy who has averaged 17, 7, and 2 blocks a game. Yet a guy who has averaged 7,6, and 2.4 blocks a game while being asked to do far less and still struggling to get on the floor is heralded as the the second coming of Willis Reed.

    Raw numbers don’t tell the whole story, you know. I know that KP’s dream scenario is way more tantalizing than Mitch’s actual ceiling, but productivity is a far more reliable mistress than every other one. Mitch had a historical rookie season in terms of WS/48 and BPM, while KP’s output stagnated at “slightly better than average NBA big” since his second year in the League. KP at Portis money would be fine, KP at max money is not ideal GMing – and his diva attitude has to be taken into consideration.

  120. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Melo had a couple of very good years for the Knicks. He was still playing pretty good basketball until got hurt. He eventually got shut down, had surgery, and the team cleaned house. When he came back, he did not have the same lift around the basket or speed on the court he had pre surgery.

    The public criticisms started because he was more or less refusing to play the way Phil/Hornacek wanted (same as he did with D’Antoni) and because his game was declining. (“can’t change his spots”)

    Every coach (or in Phil’s case ex-coach) that has ever dealt with Melo has seen his innate talent and thought they could make him a better basketball player by improving his shot selection and making him into a more team oriented player willing to put out some energy on the defensive end every night instead of when he was in the mood. All of them failed.

    I’m not sure if that’s a comment on the ego of great coaches or Melo’s low basketball IQ.

  121. mase

    Accurate take there strat.

    So Kp followed in Melos footsteps and showed lack of character by asking out. Kinda seems like what you’re saying. (Melo seemed like a low character guy, in other words not coach able)

    In any event, we eventually cut ties with Phil and Kp was “on board “ with the tank for his lost injured season. And then he wasn’t.

  122. bobneptune

    I hope they go uber small and put Frank on Luka and 6’7″ Barrett on KB and get up under his grill like Marcus Smart. Let Randle/Morris guard whatever other big is in the game. Make KP guard someone quick on the perimeter.

    Frank
    Trier
    Dotson
    Barrett
    Randle/Morris

  123. Hubert

    who guards Kp tonite?

    Based on everything I remember seeing here (like all the time he got bossed by Marcus Smart), if we put Marcus Morris on him he’ll be forced to settle for contested mid range jumpers. Hell I think Frank Ntilikina could handle him, too.

    But Fiz is our coach, so we’ll probably let him feast on Knox and Randle.

  124. Grocer

    who guards Kp tonite?

    Bondy has an intv up with Morris where Morris says the job is his with the exact plan Hubert describes. Morris also says they aren’t worried about KP, that Doncic is the real concern.

  125. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    In any event, we eventually cut ties with Phil and Kp was “on board “ with the tank for his lost injured season. And then he wasn’t.

    Right.

    That’s what I’ve been saying all along. Phil was part of souring the relationship initially (and from reports today it sounds like he wasn’t nearly as high on him as we all thought because he was thinking of trading him TWICE). But it was a fresh start after Phil left.

    Something (or things) happened after Phil left that finally ended it. To me, the main thing was the team Mills/Perry put together. The team sucked and was tanking. If being terrible and not having faith in the organization is a reasonable explanation for a star not wanting to come here in free agency, why isn’t a reasonable explanation for why guys like KP and Davis want out? He didn’t want to waste his youth in NY on top of everything else that went wrong. He did not have faith in Mills/Perry.

  126. Grocer

    (“can’t change his spots”)

    I am choosing to believe that this is a reference to Leopard tanks and that Strat is secretly joining Team Lose All The Games.

    ANYWAY.

    Tonight’s starting lineup will probably be the very predictable Frank, RJ, MMSr (which reads like a disease), Randle, Portis. The other option is Randle at center and Knox or Ellington in for Portis but I think we all know how likely that is.

  127. djphan

    with the way we’ve been guarding the pnr i’m pretty sure kp could have a big night…. hopefully taj sees more time since he’s the only guy who seems to know what to do….

  128. DRed

    kristaps and his bro may be terrible people but they were also 100% correct about the Knicks ownership/FO situation and were smart to try to get out.

  129. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    KP on Frank???

    “Frank is a winner , great mentality , hard worker , unselfish and always try to make the right play for the team on offense , I don’t need to talk about his defense because he is a monster and knows how to play the game the right way to win”

    He also said Frank was his favorite player to play with on the team.

    He’d be a perfect fit on Dallas. They have their #1 and #2 scorer, space, Doncic is also their PG/playmaker. A defensive stopper, ball mover, and secondary playmaker is exactly what they need.

    Do they have any more mediocre picks or PFs that they could trade to us? lol

  130. thenoblefacehumper

    Do they have any more mediocre picks or PFs that they could trade to us? lol

    We ain’t getting no picks for Frank Ntilikina

  131. thenoblefacehumper

    If you can read that article and still be upset we don’t have the Porzingis family, that’s downright impressive. I am so, so happy that guy is gone and with the way he’s playing right now two first round picks alone looks like a heist. It’s pretty Knicksy that one of the few shrewd moves we’ve made over the past however many years was basically forced on us by Janis Porzingis, but I’ll take it I guess.

  132. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    “Yeah, he’s same old KP.”

    Perspective is a weird mistress. It’s “same old KP” for a guy who has averaged 17, 7, and 2 blocks a game. Yet a guy who has averaged 7,6, and 2.4 blocks a game while being asked to do far less and still struggling to get on the floor is heralded as the the second coming of Willis Reed.

    Mike

    Let’s say that I have $1,000 to split between you and Dink to play poker on my behalf. I do not have a penny more than that, and not a penny less. I have to use every dollar on poker that night.

    I give you $800 and I give Dink $200. You bring $900 to me at the end of the night and Dink brings me $300.

    Who played better?

  133. thenoblefacehumper

    To recap: the Knicks were in such a bad spot after Phil Jackson made Carmelo Anthony the highest paid player in the NBA with a full no trade clause that Phil felt compelled to take potshots at him through the media. This pissed off Kristaps Porzingis, who Phil drafted 4th overall and who was already acting like a huge asshole around the team. To make matters worse, the team was struggling at the time due to the underperformance of Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, and Courtney Lee.

    #ForgottenMoreThanAnyOfUsWillEverKnow

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