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Thursday, June 27, 2019

New York Knicks 108 – Detroit Pistons 115 – Game Recap

Hello losing my old friend, I’ve come to talk about you again.

After the three-win streak that we just endured, finally a consolatory loss, and with a kinda better minute distribution from Fiz. The game was ugly (our Bockers ended up shooting 39.6% from the field, but entering the second half their percentage was under 30, welp) and much less closer than the final scores indicates; there were times tonight when watching those two teams playing that I caught myself wondering if I was witnessing some sort of impromptu post-modern art performance. Guys fouled like crazy (usual and unusual suspects) and in the end Blake Griffin was just too much for any of our defenders. In the closing minutes, out of frustration (and necessity) Fizdale dusted off a previously horrendous Frank to defend on Blake, and while he did a decent job at defending Blake (but kept on sucking extremely hard at the game of basketball) the score was well out of reach, so it didn’t count. Every other guy was bullied and torched by a curly, burly Motown discount version of LeBron James. But a loss is a loss, so rejoice!

The good:

– Allonzo Trier (24 pts, 10 rebs, 7 ast, -6 +/-) makes you wonder why in the hell the Knicks haven’t already cut someone to sign him, and not out of astonishment at Iso Zo’s feats; there is an opportunity cost lurking around the corner, and it says “The later you sign him to a real contract, the more it is gonna you cost”. I mean, our man got close to a triple double and was the driving force behind a very fake and weak comeback in the fourth. It’s pretty clear that Fizdale trusts him to be our closer, especially on nights where THJ doesn’t have it – and that might mean a lot of nights by the end of the season. The last sentence, while serving its duty as our daily reminder that our roster stinks (your closer is an undrafted guy on a two-way contract!), could make Trier think twice before accepting whatever lowball offer the Knicks will throw at him. What could have cost you 2 million a year might now cost 3 or more. Every game where Zo puts up those numbers and does so on 11 shots is gonna raise the price. An undrafted rookie rocking a .612 TS% (third among all rookies) on 20.4 USG% is the stuff of your dreams, even if he’s an older rookie. There have been 8 games this year where a rookie has put a GameScore of 23+: Zo has two of them (the others: Ayton twice, Doncic, Jackson Jr, Young, Carter Jr). It has to be said that while his offense was pretty much pristine, his defense was uncharacteristically lackadaisical. Ok, Ish Smith is a longtime Knicks killer, but he got where he wanted all night and Zo never did anything to stop him. I hope that Zo is not one of those guys that after having made it just gives up on defense.

– Someone has any effing idea why Damyean Dotson (17 pts, 1 reb, 1 stl, +5 +/-) could not find any playing time in the last 4 games and had to be taken off the shelf only because of urgent foul trouble? He’s by far – by far – better that any other 3/4 wing we have. I can’t shake this feeling that Perry is constantly in Fiz’s ear telling him to play his precious Mario. More importantly, Dot doesn’t give up. Like an utmost professional, he stepped into the game and proceeded to score 17 on 8 shots in 23 minutes. He could have been a little better on defense and on the boards, but you can’t have it all. I just hope that Fizdale never buries him again, it’s the only very baffling things he did in the recent winning streak. I don’t know about those trade rumors, too. Do we have to trust our front office with getting a good return from an unheralded second round pick on a uber team friendly contract? I don’t. Let’s hope Dot sticks around.

The bad:

– Frank Ntilikina (0 everything, -5 +/-) played one of the worst transparent games I’ve ever seen. The only thing preventing him from earning a cool 16 trillions was bricking 3 shots, fouling 3 guys and turning the ball over once. I’m a fan of Frank for evidently irrational reasons, but it gets harder and harder each day to think we didn’t make a serious mistake picking him at 8th last year. His game was so ugly that I can’t even remember anything about him on defense, save for the couple possessions when he was assigned to Griffin. Hey, what do you say if we pretend (paraphrasing what someone suggested in one of the last threads) that Dotson was our 2017 first round pick and Frank was our second round pick? Maybe we could shift expectations and apologetic contortions.

– Trey Burke (6 pts, 1 reb, 12.5% FG, -18 +/-) has turned into a pumpkin again. It’s unbelievable how much variance affects his games. Or not! Actually, his success is predicated on being a marksman on the least efficient type of shots in the game: the long two-pointer. If it doesn’t fall, you have a 6’1″ mountain of bricks staring at you, and that shot usually comes and goes. His game-low plus/minus tells the same story. It’s no coincidence that our defacto PG in the last quarter was Trier.

– I guess Mitchell Robinson’s (2 pts, 5 rebs, 1 blk, -13 +/-) scout report is officially out. His second consecutive mention here it’s not exactly his fault, it’s more about experience and tendencies that can and will be corrected. That said, it’s become obvious that he has no way of stopping crafty, huge big men near the rim without fouling them; the same can be said about speedy driving guards who are not afraid of contact. Another night prematurely ended by six quick fouls. It has to be said that giving him the Griffin assignment was like dropping a hurt, bloodied puppy on a sea full of hungry sharks, and Griffin caused the fouling out of Vonleh and Hezonja too. Growing pains, guys!

– Kevin Knox (4 pts, 3 rebs, 14.3& FG, -4 +/-) is, right now, a terrible basketball player. You had to hear the deflated, defeated somber tone used by Mike Breen late in the fourth quarter in referring to Knox: “Knox really looks lost, Clyde”. It was a torrent of sadness, as if a million neurons were facepalming in unison like tiny synchronized swimmers. And Breen has been with this team through a lot of bad times. He was there when the East was big. When Beno passed the ball. When Mardy Collins was playing for us. And I’ve never heard anything so dreary come out of his mouth. But Knox is the perfect recipe for piling losses, so yay! I can be happy again! …or not.

Fun-sized bits:

– Enes with another double double. Guy is a machine. A slow, overpayed, self-inflated one, but a machine nonetheless. I wish we were in the 90s to trade him for a king’s ransom. We’ll end up buying him out instead. But his terrible defense is pivotal to our tank effort, so until March maybe it’s cool (if Mitch really can’t stay on the court).

– Mudiay with a vintage Mudiay performance. Do I have to act surprised?

– Chuck Hardaway’s numbers in his last 4 games (3 W, 1L): 17.3 ppg on 32.3 FG% (47.3 TS%). At least he reduced his usage to just 23%.

– Frank’s TS% is 43.5. His 2017-18 was 43.7. I think we would be excused if we started thinking about him as a non-shooter.

– If Vonleh has foul trouble issues, the whole team suffers. Tonight it was really apparent. His game is pure substance, even when posting mediocre numbers (6 pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, 3 blks). He keeps on shooting the three at a .400+ clip, though.

– This would have been the perfect game to unleash a sprinkle of Ron Baker; I’m a bit sad that didn’t happen.

– Mario is playing a bit better, but nothing that grants him any of Dotson minutes.

– Stanley Johnson killed our guys tonight with 21 points, and his defense on the perimeter was very good. Is this again my heart saying “Be patient with Frank” in the background?

Another back-to-back for us tomorrow against the 76ers. Don’t know why but I have a feeling that we’re gonna win. Let’s see if I’m wrong (I hope to be)!

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97 comments on “New York Knicks 108 – Detroit Pistons 115 – Game Recap

  1. Farfa Post author

    If the Knicks took Allonzo Trier with the 9th overall pick he’d be getting the PT and publicity necessary to have him firmly in the ROY hunt.

    If the Knicks took Trier 9th there would be people around the web comparing him to media darling Donovan Mitchell. What’s funny is that he’s playing better than Mitchell.

  2. ProjectKnicks

    It’s quite apparent the Knicks are starting from zero with this group, in the sense none of them looks like an eventual starter in a top-24 NBA team.

    That (the utter lack of talent in this roster) is the main argument for playing the best possible lineup with rookies only: we will lose a lot, but will salvage what we can while securing the highest drafting position.

  3. Donnie Walsh

    There are other players who get labeled as “projects” simply because, well, they aren’t good at anything.

    Yes. These are the people that are “great athletes”, but don’t have any great basketball skills… yet.

    (I’d make a list of all these “projects” that never developed said skills, but I’d probably hit the Ted Nelson character limit.)

  4. thenoblefacehumper

    Fantastic cap, but what else is new? Proud to become your first of hopefully many patrons.

    Hey, what do you say if we pretend (paraphrasing what someone suggested in one of the last threads) that Dotson was our 2017 first round pick and Frank was our second round pick? Maybe we could shift expectations and apologetic contortions.

    So basically do what we’ve been doing with MitchRob/Trier and Knox? Sounds good! Maybe in the future we should try to pick good players in the first round, too. But hey what do I know?

  5. Ingmarrrr

    Good recap, thanks.

    Out of the 11 players getting minutes last night only five are signed for next year. THJ was the only starter, Knox, Robinson, Frank, and Dotson. Awful. If they somehow signed Trier and Vonleh for 3 years the outlook would be somewhat brighter, but the goal of this season should be to maximize ping pong balls regardless of the flattened odds. Any other strategy would be extremely silly.

  6. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    1. Trier continues to play very well. He has potentially elite talent creating his own shot. He’s also remaining efficient even though he’s been scouted by now. He’s older than many of the other rookies, but he’s also already GOOD. What a steal. As of now, the new young Knicks are performing in reverse order of where they were selected.

    2. The scouting report is out on Robinson. They just go straight at him and he can’t stay on the court. I’m not worried about it long term. This kind of thing is typical, but it shows you how raw he is on both sides.

    3. Frank is mystery wrapped up in an enigma. He too young and too good on defense to not play, but he’s not a true PG at this stage (and may never be) and he becomes a zero on offense on the wing. Where does he play and with who?

    4. Knox is way too young to know anything, but based on his college stats and what we’ve seen so far, it’s not encouraging. He’s a two-way player. Bad on both sides.

    5. The emergence of Trier is making me wonder a little about Dotson. I like Dotson’s two-way play a LOT and think he’s a good long term piece on a good contract. But he’s really more of a SG than SF. He’s undersized at SF. We have a real glut at SG between Hardaway, Trier, Dotson, and Frank getting minutes there. (not to mention Lee coming back). In an ideal world, Trier would win the starting job and we’d move Hardaway, but Hardaway is improving so that feels less critical. Something is eventually going to have to give.

    6. Hezonja may be hopeless

    7. I still want to keep Burke as a backup PG

    8. I want to keep Vonleh.

    9. Mudiay is improving, but I’m not buying that he’s going to become a solid starting PG on a very good team in the league

    10 Kanter is Kanter. If he’s coming off your bench at a fair price, that’s fine. If he’s your starting C at a big price, you have an issue.

  7. bobneptune

    That is both interesting and scary. I hope that doesn’t happen to Robinson. You’d think a player could learn not to foul. The question is can Robinson do that and still stay effective. Other players have done, but Butler is certainly a counter example.

    As to the Jackie Butler reference, there just isn’t one. While they both foul at the same rate (although MR has less than half the minutes of experience) MR is far more efficient offensively and blocks shots at 3 times the rate per minute. Hence he has insanely more value.

    Butler was rejected academically from entering Mississippi Effen State University! FFS so he really must have been dumber than a fence post and when the geniuses at SA signed him for 3 years and 7 million, (where they financially had an interest in working with even the rawest prospect) POP dumped him after looking at his mush for one whole season. That kind of implies there were more reasons other than on the court ones.

    Robinson has no clue as to fundamentals of defense and it is on Fiz to get a good big man coach to work with him on a day to day basis.

    For example last night Frank ended up switched on Griffin a couple of times on a switch PnR between the FT line and the top of the circle. Griffin tried to Bogart him and back him down but Frank giving up 50 or so pounds just flexed his knees and got lower for more leverage and stoned Griffin and forced him into taking a fall away brick 21 footer.

    Someone needs to teach Robinson the simple stuff most of us were taught in 5th grade gym class.

    Robinson DID make my mouth water with one deft block in the first half where he just went straight up late extending his Pterodactyl like arms and just flicked away the shot reminiscent of Bill Russell in the early 60’s…..

  8. DRed

    Out of the 11 players getting minutes last night only five are signed for next year. THJ was the only starter, Knox, Robinson, Frank, and Dotson. Awful.

    Those are the only 5 available players signed through next year

  9. alsep73

    On Vorkunov’s latest podcast, Dave DuFours suggested that Knox’s ankle is still bothering him, and that he probably won’t be physically right until much later in the season. It would at minimum help explain why his activity level is usually so much lower than it was in summer league. There have been games where his jumper looks wet enough, and he works the boards and runs the floor enough, that you can see a future for him as at least an NBA role player. And then there are lots of other games where he looks exactly like the player we all feared he was on draft night: a guy who’s not particularly good at anything on a basketball court.

    If the ankle’s really an issue, I’m not sure what else we can do right now other than let him play through it. And if it’s fine, then what? Send him to Westchester for a bit so he can again run over lesser competition like he did in summer league? Play him even bigger minutes as both a learning opportunity and for him to be our tank commander?

    On other interesting/disturbing thing, via Moke Hamilton’s guest spot on the Knicks Film School podcast (I’ve been on the road and listening to a lot of podcasts): he said the Knicks FO are treating this entire season as a long audition process for who should be on the roster in the future, and the only players he believes Perry and Mills view as completely untouchable are KP and Knox.

    (He also said — while admittedly speculating without a source on it — that he thought they’d be open to moving Hardaway, but not for salary relief alone. At least not unless they had strong back channel evidence of a big-time FA coming here in the summer.)

  10. Farfa Post author

    Proud to become your first of hopefully many patrons.

    Thank you so much!

    To be honest, I didn’t start to do this looking for money. I wanted to contribute to this great blog for what I could, seeing as it made my day on many, many occasions.

    That said, one day Mike proposed me to have a Patreon ad at the end of my recaps and I was glad to say yes.

    So yes, I’m not doing it for the money, but any support is surely appreciated :D

  11. Farfa Post author

    Robinson has no clue as to fundamentals of defense and it is on Fiz to get a good big man coach to work with him on a day to day basis.

    Yes, but I have a feeling he’ll be a good learner. He’s already exceeding tthe rookie seasons of perennial starters on contenders Clint Capela and DeAndre Jordan.

  12. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    I’m pretty low on both Mitch and Knox, to be honest. On nights when Mitch is scoring and blocking shots, he isn’t rebounding, and our franchise player is already a below average rebounder. Knox is the only player I have ever seen that ends possessions every time he touches the ball, but he’s young and athletic enough that teams would require him in any trade. Luckily for us, his best case scenario is maybe Tobias Harris, and it’s very rare everything goes right for a prospect. I’m firmly in the “trade both of these guys if KD gets here and we need to get another star” camp.

    I’d be very happy if Tim Hardaway Jr turned into the consolation prize for the teams that miss out on Bradley Beal this winter. They provide you with more or less the same skills and TH2 costs $10M less. He’d fit in really well in Sacramento, New Orleans, or LAL, but I’m not sure I trust the front office to get rid of him in the name of cap space and 2RPs.

    Frank is clearly terrible at basketball right now, but I have faith that if Fizdale simplifies the game for him (only shoot open 3s, only drive if you call for a screen, do your thing defensively), he can be a decent piece to have long term.

  13. DRed

    The Knicks seem to be giving up on Frank after 1.25 years but view one of the worst players in the NBA as completely untouchable because he’s 13 months younger. This current iteration of the FO hasn’t done anything really stupid yet, but they seem to have trouble getting the details right on their own plan. Frank doesn’t make much money and is still way too young to give up on, especially if you’re allegedly building a great player development program.

  14. Hubert

    the only players he believes Perry and Mills view as completely untouchable are KP and Knox.

    [bangs head on desk]

  15. Farfa Post author

    Frank doesn’t make much money and is still way too young to give up on, especially if you’re allegedly building a great player development program.

    Especially at this stage, where his value must be at an all-time low.

  16. DRed

    For the record I’m not particularly confident that Frank will develop into a productive NBA player, but there’s absolutely no point in a team as shitty as the Knicks giving up this soon when his biggest problem is that he’s not shooting 3’s well.

  17. Ingmarrrr

    Those are the only 5 available players signed through next year

    I know, that’s my point. If this is your future, run like hell from any W. It’s not even up for debate.

  18. Will the Thrill

    Looking back to Frank’s rookie year, I think that most of us had more hope for Frank over his first 10 games than Knox. It’s almost impressive how Knox isn’t even showing any signs of being good at anything. Last year, I was able to see above average (and sometimes elite) defense out of Frank and was even excited about his passing ability in the PnR. What do we have with Knox? His ability to run on fast breaks (and finish poorly)? Most of his shot attempts are simply contested jumpers from a standstill that he just shoots at what it seems to be random moments, which makes his total lack of passing even more concerning because he’s not even open in the first place. On defense, he is slow and frequently gets lost or caught behind screens. I have nearly given up hope for Frank and somehow still have more hope for him becoming a productive player than Knox. While this is true, I still believe he should be getting minutes and hope that he somehow proves me wrong.

  19. thenoblefacehumper

    I’m pretty low on both Mitch and Knox, to be honest. On nights when Mitch is scoring and blocking shots, he isn’t rebounding, and our franchise player is already a below average rebounder.

    Mitch is what a worthwhile “project” looks like. He has real, tangible basketball skills but we don’t get to see them all that often because he does a lot of stupid stuff characteristic of young players, his conditioning isn’t great, and he looks like he’d blow away in the wind. He’s absolutely worth investing in because the upside is real. I have no idea if he’ll pan out but the process behind trying to make it work makes sense.

    Knox does not have any skills that help you win NBA games. Maybe that changes in the future but it’s hard to think of a player for whom it did. Obviously now that he’s here we might as well give him every chance to succeed but I’ve honestly never been less optimistic about a Knicks’ first round pick.

    Frank doesn’t make much money and is still way too young to give up on, especially if you’re allegedly building a great player development program.

    Absolutely agree. Give him all the minutes he can handle, coach him up, and see what happens. The only thing we have to lose are games.

    He also said — while admittedly speculating without a source on it — that he thought they’d be open to moving Hardaway, but not for salary relief alone.

    If this is true, and it matches my general impression, THJ will be here for the duration of his contract. After a nice start, it appears he’s exactly who we thought he was. I’d love to be wrong but no one is giving us actual assets for that contract.

    The only kind of trade I can imagine is a salary dump in which the team taking him knows he’s overpaid but they’re contending and already capped out. THJ isn’t a bad player at all. There are teams he could help. But he’s paid like a building block when he’s more of a decorative block…

  20. alsep73

    @21, when his shot is going in, it looks beautiful. (And sounds it, too: there’s a very satisfying sound to the ball hitting the net that I associate with great pure shooters). He’s been wildly inconsistent with it, but that does seem the one part of his game that fills me even slightly with optimism about his future.

  21. Brian Cronin

    That one moment where Knox was just waving his hands on defense was hilarious, at least. So he has that going for him.

  22. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    I’m not even slightly worried about Robinson’s foul trouble yet. It happens with rookies all the time and it especially happens with big men rookies. The fact that he didn’t play college ball made it ridiculously likely something like this was going to happen. Even Frank, who was advanced defensively last year, had some foul trouble issues early last year. At the time I said it was a non event.

    I’m more worried about the offensive side of the ball and rebounding.

    I don’t have a major problem with a big man that can rebound and defend at an elite level and only dunk on offense. Chandler made a good living at that and Capela is more or less in the same category. But ideally, you want a little more than that on offense unless the rebounding and defense is top notch.

  23. Owen

    Knox is so gangly. As a small child pointed out during the telecast last night, giraffe on roller skates is his offensive approach. Maybe he figures it out, who knows….

  24. alsep73

    DuFour on Twitter, re the ankle:

    I have been following these injuries for a few years now. My eye test says it’s a real problem, especially when it comes to shooting.

    I always think guys come back too fast.

  25. Hubert

    The Knicks seem to be giving up on Frank after 1.25 years

    I think they gave up on him after 0.65 years when they traded for Mudiay.

    He’s intelligent, unselfish, he passes, and he plays defense. Not our type.

  26. DRed

    Mitch is a productive NBA player by just about any stat you can find. To me that’s not a project. I’m not saying that he doesn’t have room for improvement, but he’s already a good NBA player.

  27. Bruno Almeida

    What’s the point in even giving up on Frank, Knox or anyone on a rookie contract for that matter? Because we need the extra 5 million or the roster spot to do exactly what, pick up other bad players who are slightly older as reclamation projects?

    This reports are so stupid. What did they think, that this team would compete for a playoff spot with Kanter being the best player on a team by a wide margin?

    I’m starting to get a real bad feeling that they’re not gonna be patient at all and will make panic moves, maybe even before the season is over. Things have been way too quiet for a Knicks front office.

  28. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    Frank’s too young and too good on defense to give up on. Also, IMO he’s clearly better on offense this year than last year. I think the lower 3p% this year is just noise based on last year and France. He’s better on other areas.

    The problem is that the gap between being “satisfactory” on offense (so you can take advantage of his defense) is still VERY large and he doesn’t have a real position.

    I hate to say it, but the dude is a triangle guard. In that system multiple players handle the ball and make plays. The idea is that ball movement, motion, cutting, a player in the post etc… create the shots and penetration instead of a ball dominant PG creating all the action. Then you have a bailout guy or two to create their own show when necessary.

    I’ll say one thing. If Frank doesn’t develop on offense and Knox turns out to be what some of us feared coming in, we are a long way away given we didn’t have one 1st rounder under Phil and then potentially whiffed twice in the lottery. I think we need to show a little something to attract top tier free agents. But either way we DO have some good young pieces. This is a rebuild!!!! It takes YEARS unless you add FAs!

  29. Hubert

    I’m starting to get a real bad feeling that they’re not gonna be patient at all and will make panic moves, maybe even before the season is over. Things have been way too quiet for a Knicks front office.

    I’m going to see if I can predict our next reclamation project using what I think might be the Mills/Perry scouting method.

    First, I looked at the 2016 NBA lottery.

    Second, I eliminated all players with a positive VORP and/or BPM.

    Third, I made sure no one’s TS% was much greater than ~50%.

    Next I searched for any indication that the player might be good on defense and eliminated him if there was any potential.

    Finally, I googled their name with “3-on-3″, just in case.

    There’s one clear candidate, and I think I know what we’ll do to acquire him. We’re going to trade Frank and a 2nd round pick to Phoenix for Dragan Bender.

  30. Z-man

    I will say it for the billionth time: Frank needs to be benched and/or sent down to the G-League until he improves. Same with Knox. They both have zero confidence right now, and any confidence they had in the past was not grounded in anything sustainable. Does anyone really think that they are going to improve by being thrown into games where they know that they are woefully overmatched almost every time they’re on the floor? Can’t you see it in their body language?

    If guys that are several years older (TH2 and Burke, for example) can improve and become more confident by honing their skills in a pressure-free environment, why shouldn’t 19 and 20 year olds be exempt from that step, especially when they are getting worse instead of better?

    The same might apply to Mitch, although he is putting up positive stats and we are actually a bit thin at C for now so I can see keeping him around for a time.

  31. Bruno Almeida

    @34

    God the Dragan Bender project might be closer than we thought.. I can already see people talking themselves into it, he looks kinda like KP! He has good form on his shot! He’s so young!

    The Nets got picks at least for getting Russell, Okafor and those reclamation projects. We’ve given up one trading for Mudiay and got the rest as free agents.

  32. Hubert

    I can already see people talking themselves into it, he looks kinda like KP! He has good form on his shot! He’s so young!

    He was the #4 pick in the draft!

  33. Hubert

    I will say it for the billionth time: Frank needs to be benched and/or sent down to the G-League until he improves.

    We allegedly have a developmental guru in Fizdale so I’d just as soon let our best tank driver stay and play.

    But yeah, you’re right about the confidence and the body language. Frank needs the G-League a lot more than he needs to be getting 15 minutes a night off the bench up here.

  34. Farfa Post author

    There’s one clear candidate, and I think I know what we’ll do to acquire him. We’re going to trade Frank and a 2nd round pick to Phoenix for Dragan Bender

    I will haunt you if you spoke this into reality. If it was Mudiay for Bender, though, it’d be okay in a certain meh way (but no second rounders).

  35. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank and Knox should each play 2,000 minutes this year in Manhattan, not Westchester. There is literally no downside to playing rookies. You develop them and/or inflate their trade value while losing dozens of games. It makes no sense to play them against inferior talent only to bring them back up to the bigs and have them re-learn team strategy. No sense at all, unless you believe that they’re suffering psychological harm by playing against grown men. If you believe that, you should also believe that they’re weak-willed enough to never truly compete in the NBA. I don’t see Trier lacking the confidence to drive to the basket. This isn’t David Carr being sacked a ridiculous 76 times as a rookie, 49 times in his third season, or 68 times in his 4th. It’s basketball. Guys aren’t carrying the mental scars of physical violence. It’s basketball.

    To my mind, it’s highly unlikely that Frank will ever play passable offense and Knox will be worthy of the 12th seat on the bench. It doesn’t matter at all. The Knicks are better off losing games this year (and almost certainly next year, too). Play the kids. If they suck, let them play enough to boost PPG and flip them for whatever draft picks are offered by the league’s reclamation-project franchises. If they improve, keep them. It’s not complicated, unless you peddle those armchair-psychologist/sports-talk-radio-pundit positive claims about mental toughness and being shellshocked.

  36. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    I will say it for the billionth time: Frank needs to be benched and/or sent down to the G-League until he improves. Same with Knox.

    You can bench them, but that’s going to slow down their development. They have to play to develop.

    Burke is different. He played a LOT of minutes for several teams over a few years and was given a chance to develop. He was failing. He was close to being out of the league. He had no choice but to go to the G league and reestablish that he was an NBA player or he was at risk of being out of the league.

    Robinson is a second rounder with no college experience. If you sent him down for awhile (not saying we should), no one would blink.

    I suspect that demoting either Frank or Knox would do more to hurt their confidence now (at least in the short term) than help even though I agree that playing 35 minutes might help. It would also make Perry and Mills look bad. Whether you think it should or not, those guys are not going to readily admit any potential mistakes. Why do you think Mudiay and Hezonja are getting such long leashes? It’s politics not basketball.

  37. Hubert

    Frank and Knox should each play 2,000 minutes this year in Manhattan, not Westchester. There is literally no downside to playing rookies. You develop them and/or inflate their trade value while losing dozens of games.

    This is true.

    But seeing Fiz bench Frank after 5 minutes against Orlando and then demoting him to 15 minutes off the bench has changed my mind. I think he needs a stint in the G-League to be built up. It’s obvious that Mudiay is Fizdale’s favored son and I don’t think Frank is going to get what he needs here at this time.

  38. DRed

    I don’t know if there are good answers to how many minutes we should play someone like Frank. To me, his single biggest problem right now is that when he attempts 3 point shots they are unlikely to go through the basket. If Frank was hitting around 35% he’d still be bad on offense, but he wouldn’t be a trianwreck. Almost all the 3 point shot he attempts come when he’s open. Is going to the G league likely to make him better at shooting open 3 point shots? (This isn’t a rhetorical question-I genuinely don’t know) What about playing him 5 minutes more a night? 10 minutes?

  39. Donnie Walsh

    The Bright Side ofthe Sun is a blog that has written a lot about Dragan Bender… they’ve focused on his age… they’ve focused on his learning a new culture… they’ve focused on his improved free throw shooting as a sign of hope…

    …all the way up to the day Phoenix declined his option.

  40. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    People have been screaming for years that we have to rebuild through the draft, be patient, etc… Now we are playing 3 rookies, a very young 2nd year player we knew was a project on offense coming in, another 2nd year player (Dotson), and some young reclamation projects (all while our best young player is out) and people aren’t happy.

    This is what a rebuild is like when you are drafting mostly 18-19 year old players.

    They typically suck and are 6-7 years away from their peak (not 20 games). Not only that, you are going to whiff sometimes in the lottery (or in our case not even have a pick). It’s not for the feint of heart or people over a certain age (check you local actuarial table for life expectancy).

    We HAVE some GOOD pieces.

    There is nothing wrong with a young core of Robinson, KP, and Trier given what we’ve already seen.

    It’s way too early to throw up the white flag on Frank and Knox.

    We seem to have a made a nice pickup with Vonleh and should keep him unless we can’t because we are adding an elite free agent. Even then, we should try to figure out a way to keep him (as long as he keeps playing this way).

    Hardaway is improving.

    Dotson is a keeper or good trade asset.

    I didn’t agree with every personnel decision or draft pick, but generally we are doing the right things. We should keep doing what we are doing, keep developing and evaluating players, and allow the chips to fall where they may in terms of where we draft and who we can sign in free agency.

  41. Brian Cronin

    The Nets got picks at least for getting Russell, Okafor and those reclamation projects. 

    Okafor, yes, but for Russell, they both took Mozgov’s contract but also traded the Lakers a first rounder that became Kuzma.

  42. Brian Cronin

    Low key shitty move by Phil was not getting a team option on Lance Thomas’ 2015-16 deal. Who the fuck was offering Thomas a better deal than that?

  43. Donnie Walsh

    Bender, btw, is a brilliantly Knicksy target, but because his option was declined, he’s more of a Mario Hezonja type reclamation project than a Mudiay (who wasn’t a free agent because Denver had exercised his 4th year option). So no picks required! (But a lot of wasted time).

  44. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    Trey Burke never played to a negative WS48 or single digit PER.

    Trey Burke was 21 and playing crap defense and bad offense when he came into the league. You can’t tell how far apart Frank and Burke were on defense as rookies (and still are) using boxscore models.

    None of us knows where Frank will end up, but his defense is so good his offense does not have to be that good to make him a good player. Like I said before, I think his 3p% this year is noise. He was better last year AND in France. It’s more like’y THIS year is the aberration. It’s not that many shots. His 2p% is improved and he’s shooting fine from the FT line over 2 years. He sucks on offense, but he’s improving. He less sucky now. :-)

  45. Hubert

    Low key shitty move by Phil was not getting a team option on Lance Thomas’ 2015-16 deal. Who the fuck was offering Thomas a better deal than that?

    Next year is unguaranteed so it’s almost the same as a team option.

    I actually thought that was a low key smart move that I wish he had used with Noah and Lee, too, since no one was offering them a better deal, either.

  46. Z-man

    Trey Burke was 21 and playing crap defense and bad offense when he came into the league. You can’t tell how far apart Frank and Burke were on defense as rookies (and still are) using boxscore models.

    Sure you cant.

    Trey Burke was playing in the Big 10 when he was 20.

    You mean, something like the G-League? You mean, had he come up earlier it might not have been good for his development? Or are you saying that Frank is at least as bad as Trey was then so chances are that in 6 years he’ll be a minimum salary guy on a lottery team?

  47. Bruno Almeida

    @50

    Oh yeah, somehow I forgot they gave the pick and not received it.

    Anyway, I just don’t see why the Knicks should continue to give minutes to these guys. You could send them to the G-League if you wanted wins now and wanted to play better players, but there’s no incentive in doing that.

    But well, if Fizdale is going to keep playing Mudiay and Hezonja instead of Ntilikina and Knox, then you might as well send them to the G-League to get consistent minutes. I think it’s stupid that they’re playing so little because of two reclamation projects that won’t be on the Knicks next year. I’m just feeling that the good vibes we got since the beginning of the year will turn sour pretty fast.

  48. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    I actually thought that was a low key smart move that I wish he had used with Noah and Lee, too, since no one was offering them a better deal, either.

    Not defending the deal because we all know it sucked and said it at the time, but there were reports Noah was offered more money (perhaps for only 3 years?) by Washington and Lee only came to NY kicking and screaming after Noah went after him. He also had other offers.

    Darren Wolfson
    ?Verified account
    @DWolfsonKSTP
    Free agency buzz, which comes fast: can add the Wizards to the list of teams with interest in Noah. He’ll have a few suitors. #twolves
    10:46 AM – 22 Jun 2016

  49. Z-man

    @41 what about baseball? If you’re a non-contending team (which is most of the league) what’s the downside of sending a 20 yo who can’t hit a 98mph fastball down to the minors? Don’t you hope that they will have success vs. 92MPH fastballs, then work his way up incrementally? Or would it be good for his development to bat .150 for a couple of years in the majors?

  50. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Low key shitty move by Phil was not getting a team option on Lance Thomas’ 2015-16 deal. Who the fuck was offering Thomas a better deal than that?

    The question to me is whether Jackson thought that he was signing players to fair or below-market deals, or whether he thought he was Jedi Mind Tricking players into improving/maintaining performance by overpaying them. Noah was once a good player, so did he think that he’d get that player back if Jackson showed how much he valued Noah via an 8-figure deal? Did he think Courtney Lee would finally turn the corner at age 31 in the first year of an inexplicably-long deal? Did he think that Lance Thomas was going to assume a role of great responsibility if he got paid double what he was worth? Did he think that Derrick Williams was going to have a breakout season in 2015-16? And did he think that he would have any leverage when giving Williams the player option?

    I can ask the same of Mills, whose player option for Ron Baker was totally inexplicable, to say nothing of the dollar value of the contract. But Jackson seemed to like to give more to players he liked, and given his reputation as a person who thinks he’s a 12D chessmaster, I’d guess that he thought players would play harder or better if they were making more than their past play warranted. And that is one of the worst things you can say about a GM in this league.

  51. Donnie Walsh

    There are a lot of explanations for bad contracts. The best is still Brian Cardinal:

    “Memphis owner Michael Heisley, frustrated by general manager Jerry West’s lack of activity, walked into West’s office one day and asked why he hadn’t signed anyone yet. So an exasperated West picked up his phone, called Cardinal’s agent and offered the mid-level on the spot. Then he turned to Heisley and said “There, you happy now?’”

  52. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @41 what about baseball? If you’re a non-contending team (which is most of the league) what’s the downside of sending a 20 yo who can’t hit a 98mph fastball down to the minors? Don’t you hope that they will have success vs. 92MPH fastballs, then work his way up incrementally? Or would it be good for his development to bat .150 for a couple of years in the majors?

    Basketball and baseball are far too different for a useful comparison. Baseball is a mental and strategic game with a high degree of specialized skill, especially in the areas of batting and pitching. Basketball is largely reactive and athletic — there’s very little time to think. There’s a reason that baseball and golf have had myriad cases of the yips, whereas Fultz’s saga (if the yips and not a shoulder injury caused by a motorcycle/bmx crash) is the first I can remember, outside of the occasional big man who can’t figure out how to shoot free throws with any consistency.

    There aren’t many players in the NBA who “figured it out” after the age of 25, and especially players who were totally awful before that time. You just don’t have those Jose Bautistas or Jamie Moyers in the NBA, except for the occasional Euroleague player who comes over late (and who’s going to sit here and argue that a 21-year-old Manu or Sabonis couldn’t have been great if they started younger?). We on this board dwell on the Chauncey Billups (first >0 BPM at 25) and Steve Nash (@26) type players when we talk about development, but it’s mostly because they’re such unique cases to go from bust-ish to MVP candidates so late.

  53. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    I’d guess that he thought players would play harder or better if they were making more than their past play warranted. And that is one of the worst things you can say about a GM in this league.

    The chances of this being correct are about 0%.

    He was looking to rebuild the team with a combination of young players via draft and free agents “even though and partially because” he was missing a couple of 1st rounders.

    He said that multiple times.

    In free agency he was looking for two-way players that fit his system that would be willing to sign in NY. What he found was that even though he was “Phil Jackson”, no one that was very good wanted to play for him and James Dolan because the Knicks sucked. So he went out into the market and gave out some short term deals to mediocre players that would play for him and overpaid a bit relative to the market at the time to encourage others to come.

    I’m sure he thought Noah was going to be productive for 2-3 years and then play off the bench and I’m sure he knew exactly what he was getting with Lee. He was wrong on Noah. The rest were filler.

  54. Farfa Post author

    I’m just feeling that the good vibes we got since the beginning of the year will turn sour pretty fast.

    Isn’t this what we say every year since 2013-14 (with the exception of the accidentanktastic 2014/15)?

    Knickerblogger: where hope is like the sun, continuously reborn and cyclically condemned to die.

  55. nicos

    I think his 3p% this year is noise. He was better last year AND in France. It’s more like’y THIS year is the aberration.

    He’s taken more than 3 times as many 3’s in the NBA than he did in his euro career. He’s taken almost exclusively open or wide open threes here and has hit just over 30% of them. He hasn’t hit a single three with tight/very tight coverage. If he was hitting 31.8% of his threes like he did last year he might not be the worst offensive guard in the league by rpm but he’d still be bottom 10. I still think he should get 20+ minutes a night or go to the g-league and play 36 minutes- he’s less likely to improve if his minutes are as inconsistent as they’ve been the few games.

    As for Knox: I think the G-league would probably do him some good. He needs all the reps he can get to work on his handle and to try to figure out simple defensive rotations. His confidence given his body language can’t get any worse.

  56. DRed

    You mean, something like the G-League? You mean, had he come up earlier it might not have been good for his development? Or are you saying that Frank is at least as bad as Trey was then so chances are that in 6 years he’ll be a minimum salary guy on a lottery team?

    No.

  57. Hubert

    I wouldn’t bother sending Knox to the G League.

    I only recommend it for Frank because I think it’s clear Mills, Perry, and Fizdale are all out on him and I think he’d be better off with Mike Miller building him up than watching Fizdale drool over Mudiay all the time.

    Btw I don’t buy this Fizdale Magic stuff one bit. Mudiay and Vonleh are 22 and 23, respectively. These are ages where NBA players tend to improve. Both are in contract years, too. I attribute any improvement in their games 100% to a combination of age and incentive.

  58. Z-man

    @61 I think this was more true when 19 year olds were the exception to the rule and there was no true developmental league to speak of. In 2006, only 2 “1 and done” players were drafted, and only 4 were below age 20 at draft time (all of them have had career WS48’s below .100) Many of the younger players were Euros of the “draft and stash” variety.

  59. Brian Cronin

    Next year is unguaranteed so it’s almost the same as a team option

    No, that was the 2016-17 contract. I’m talking about the one year deal he got in 2015-16.

  60. geo

    Knickerblogger: where hope is like the sun, continuously reborn and cyclically condemned to die.

    sounds like a fun place to be…sign me up…

  61. geo

    People have been screaming for years that we have to rebuild through the draft, be patient, etc… Now we are playing 3 rookies, a very young 2nd year player we knew was a project on offense coming in, another 2nd year player (Dotson), and some young reclamation projects (all while our best young player is out) and people aren’t happy.

    sometimes it just feels good, not to feel good…

  62. DRed

    He’s taken almost exclusively open or wide open threes here and has hit just over 30% of them. He hasn’t hit a single three with tight/very tight coverage.

    That’s good shot selection. Jayson Tatum, to pick a young player who is a good 3 point shooter, has taken 3 tight/very tight 3’s this season. Donovan Mitchell, a high volume/not awesome shot selection guy, has attempted 16 covered 3s. There aren’t very many guys in the league who should be attempting defended 3 pointers.

  63. nicos

    watching Fizdale drool over Mudiay all the time.

    While I do think Fiz likes Mudiay (and as I’ve said in the past that may be as much for confirming his rep as a development guy as anything) he’s still only playing 23 minutes a night as a starter. And last night Fiz had Trier playing the point in the 4th rather than putting Mudiay back in so I think his chain is on the short side. What is clear is Fiz just doesn’t think Frank’s a point guard which is probably true. 36 minutes a night at the point in the g-league might make sense if you want to make absolutely sure he has no immediate future at the point.

  64. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    I don’t understand the Mudiay/Fizdale/Perry love affair at all.

    Even if I totally eliminate his past record and make the leap that he’s finally in good shape, a better finisher at the basket, and has an improving outside shot (all of which are conceivable at his age), he still doesn’t look like a very good PG to me. He’s not a top play maker. Almost every night when I scan the assist column he doesn’t do much to help the team efficiency in that regard. We still have Hardaway, Trier, and Burke creating for themselves and Kanter in the post doing his thing. Maybe he’s getting better on defense (I don’t know), but he’s not a plus there either. To me, he’s developing into a decent backup. We already have one of those. If for whatever reason they like Mudiay as the backup better than Burke (maybe because he taller and longer), that’s fine. If he wins that job then trade Burke. But we still have a problem at starting PG.

  65. Brian Cronin

    Ah.

    Yeah, if he had faith in Thomas at his lowest point of marketability, why did he not get a team option on the second year? Or a non guaranteed second year (same difference).

  66. nicos

    That’s good shot selection. Jayson Tatum, to pick a young player who is a good 3 point shooter, has taken 3 tight/very tight 3’s this season. Donovan Mitchell, a high volume/not awesome shot selection guy, has attempted 16 covered 3s. There aren’t very many guys in the league who should be attempting defended 3 pointers.

    Sure, I was just trying to counter the idea that Frank is actually a good three point shooter whose poor numbers this year are just noise. He’s shooting exclusively open and wide open threes and still bricking them. Lots of young guys have poor shooting numbers because of poor selection- Frank isn’t one of them. His shot selection is fine he’s just a terrible shooter.

  67. Hubert

    Yeah, if he had faith in Thomas at his lowest point of marketability, why did he not get a team option on the second year? Or a non guaranteed second year (same difference).

    I hate to trot out a tired joke, Brian, but that really is a big part of what we do here. If we believed in Noah Vonleh, for instance, why didn’t we give him a team option or a two year deal. I’d have been OK using the biannual on him to give us some possibility of retaining upside.

    Like we said the other day, Trey Burke is the only one we’ve gotten right.

  68. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @61 I think this was more true when 19 year olds were the exception to the rule and there was no true developmental league to speak of. In 2006, only 2 “1 and done” players were drafted, and only 4 were below age 20 at draft time (all of them have had career WS48’s below .100) Many of the younger players were Euros of the “draft and stash” variety.

    Maybe that’s true, and I’m not arguing that there’s no strategic development in basketball. There’s a reason that these guys get better until their mid-to-late 20s, and it’s not because they’re growing taller or getting faster. Savviness and adjusting to the pace of the game is very important. It’s why fouls and turnovers usually peak in the first couple years and then mellow out, and I don’t attribute that to the “rookie whistle” or whatever — I think it’s because players stop getting duped by adjusted players.

  69. Jack Bauer

    @41 It’s hard to argue with your post Jowles, I agree 100%. It’s a win win. Frank, Knox, and Mitch need to play, a lot. The Knicks need to see what they have and losing games this year is actually winning. Fizdale better be good at development because it’s pretty obvious all 3 of these guys need a lot of help to become productive NBA players.

    They should sign Trier to a real contract before they have to give him Ron Baker money or more.

    I’ll be interested to see how the Jimmy Butler pairing is working in Philly tonight. If we can keep from getting blown out that will be a good result.

  70. Hubert

    The Hezonja signing on Day 1 of free agency really hurt, too. Not only is he shit, but that was yet another deal gave us zero upside and it took away our ability to get multi-year deals on Vonleh and Trier without wasting the biannual.

  71. Brian Cronin

     If we believed in Noah Vonleh, for instance, why didn’t we give him a team option or a two year deal.

    I’ll give them a pass on Vonleh, just like I gave them a pass on not getting a third year on the Langston Galloway deal. In both instances, I don’t think the player would have taken the deal. The knicks got Vonleh on a non-Bird Rights minimum deal. He would have eventually gotten that from some team. They didn’t have a lot of leverage.

    The Hezonja signing on Day 1 of free agency really hurt, too. Not only is he shit, but that was yet another deal gave us zero upside and it took away our ability to get multi-year deals on Vonleh and Trier without wasting the biannual.

    Yeah, that’s fair.

  72. Henry George

    Next time I’ll skip the recap (which resembles crying over spilled milk, unspilled milk, and everything in between) and head over the the non-sycophantic posts. SMH.

    At least the coach and players are committed to self improvement.

  73. ptmilo

    Is this new, Trier’s claim in this article that other teams were going to draft him in the second round if he was on board but instead he “chose” to go undrafted to the Knicks, presumably by threatening to pull a KJ McDaniels if drafted? If it’s true, that might increase the chances he pushes for just a one-year deal and becomes and RFA at year-end over taking the bi-annual exception.

    https://www.slamonline.com/nba/rise-trier/

  74. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    Sure, I was just trying to counter the idea that Frank is actually a good three point shooter whose poor numbers this year are just noise. He’s shooting exclusively open and wide open threes and still bricking them. Lots of young guys have poor shooting numbers because of poor selection- Frank isn’t one of them. His shot selection is fine he’s just a terrible shooter.

    I’m not going to argue he’s a good 3 point shooter because he’s not.

    France 32 for 88 – 36.3% (regular season and playoffs)
    Last year 50 for 157 – 31.8%
    This year so far 18 for 68 – 26.5%

    Which one of those number is likely to be noisy?

    I’d have to guess this year.

    The FIBA 3 point line is a little shorter. So if we discount that percentage a bit it fits with the largest sample from the NBA last year.

    I also think it’s a good sign that he’s improving his FTs. He was a little over 61% in Europe in regular season and playoffs and he’s 76.2% as an NBA pro.

    His offense is just starting from a very low level.

  75. Hubert

    Next time I’ll skip the recap (which resembles crying over spilled milk, unspilled milk, and everything in between) and head over the the non-sycophantic posts. SMH.

    Not getting your money’s worth?

  76. Brian Cronin

    Is this new, Trier’s claim in this article that other teams were going to draft him in the second round if he was on board but instead he “chose” to go undrafted to the Knicks, presumably by threatening to pull a KJ McDaniels if drafted? If it’s true, that might increase the chances he pushes for just a one-year deal and becomes and RFA at year-end over taking the bi-annual exception.

    https://www.slamonline.com/nba/rise-trier/

    Yeah, that’s new. Fascinating. Yeah, I think he might push for a one year deal, as well.

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @41 It’s hard to argue with your post Jowles, I agree 100%. It’s a win win.

    Ultimately, if you play the hell out of them this year and they get shellshocked by having their lunches eaten by guys like Tatum, Rozier, Siakum, Leonard, Porter, and whoever the Nets have on the court these days, they don’t belong in the NBA.

    If they suck, the Knicks win in the short term. If they develop, the Knicks win in the long term. If they inflate their perceived value higher than actual value, resulting in an advantageous trade, the Knicks win. If they prove themselves to be busts and the Knicks use that information to let them go before their first extension, the Knicks win.

    I do agree that the worst thing that can happen is having Knox ride the pine. He should be leading the tank on the NBA roster or playing big minutes in Westchester. Nothing between the two is useful.

  78. Farfa Post author

    I’m sorry that my recaps sometimes sound bleak. I try to be as steady as I can be, but I’d feel dishonest dissecting the game as if present choices wouldn’t influence the future of the franchise.

    I’m used (by mindset and by work habits) to assess things with at least a three-year span in my mind. I don’t care if the Knicks win tonight or not – I actually do and I hope they lose for their own good – I just care about what can be done to grant us a better future.

    Sadly, none of that stems from playing anybody not named Frank, Damyean, Kevin, Mitchell and Allonzo, and to a lesser extent Tim, even if/when they suck.

    There’s also a little chance that some of the other guys might see their trade value pumped up, but the truth is that we don’t have a single tradeable asset that carries some appeal in today’s NBA, where PGs like Burke and Mudiay are a dozen a dime, Lee’s contract is cumbersome, and Enes is just made for a different timeline.

  79. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    Here’s the problem with second guessing “some” of their moves. You can’t evaluate a past decision based on the results. You have to evaluate it based on what was known and doable at the time.

    When they came into the year they probably had no idea which if any of the reclamation projects was going to work out. They were buying a few cheap scratch off tickets hoping one of them gave them a payout.

    Once you know which player(s) gave you that payoff, it’s a lot easier to say “we should have locked him up” and not signed that other guy.

    Perry already knew Hezonja’s game and work ethic. He wanted that scratch off, but to get it cost him more. So far it looks like a loser, but it didn’t have to work out that way. The kid was legitimately playing better last year, especially in the 2nd half of the year. It was conceivable to think he could have a break out year on offense. He just didn’t.

    Vonleh seemed like a good fit because we needed a PF that could rebound and defend, but he was no guarantee to seemingly break out and start hitting 3s and scoring more efficiently. He just did.

    The key is doing the right things from here.

  80. thenoblefacehumper

    Next time I’ll skip the recap (which resembles crying over spilled milk, unspilled milk, and everything in between) and head over the the non-sycophantic posts. SMH.

    At least the coach and players are committed to self improvement

    It’s one thing to never contribute a damn thing to this board, which is true of you, but it’s another to attack one of its best contributors because he offends your fanboy sensibilities.

    If you want to wax poetic about how great and smart the Knicks are, there is no shortage of blogs for you. This isn’t, and never will be, one of them.

  81. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    I do agree that the worst thing that can happen is having Knox ride the pine. He should be leading the tank on the NBA roster or playing big minutes in Westchester. Nothing between the two is useful.

    Except in the real world where there are player egos, agents, careers, and other factors involved.

    There was supposedly a recent podcast (not sure from who but I’ll look for it), where there was analysis from someone explaining why some of the moves teams make that don’t make sense are driven by agent and player relationships. If I can find it I’ll post it.

    The players are giving Fizdale a HUGE leash right now while he’s experimenting with different lineups and totally benching productive players (other than Kanter). But if Knox truly sucks for another 10-20 games into the season and he’s playing over Vonleh and Dotson who are playing well and trying to enhance their careers and marketability, there will be trouble in Fizdale’s paradise. Merit and careers come into it.

  82. nicos

    My guess is Trier takes two years at the bi-annual- he’s making next to nothing this year so even a pro-rated contract for this season is going to be a huge raise. But the Knicks should do that pronto- sorry Luke/Ron- because a few more games like last night and Trier might be right in thinking there will be real money waiting for him next season.

  83. Hubert

    The players are giving Fizdale a HUGE leash right now while he’s experimenting with different lineups and totally benching productive players (other than Kanter). But if Knox truly sucks for another 10-20 games into the season and he’s playing over Vonleh and Dotson who are playing well and trying to enhance their careers and marketability, there will be trouble in Fizdale’s paradise. Merit and careers come into it.

    And that’s why these one year deals like Hezonja suck even taking into account everything you said in @89. All these guys do is detract. All for what? The possibility that they’ll re-sign for a discount because they’re grateful? Instead we got guys with futures here glued to the bench because we have to think about Hezonja and his agent. That’s a terrible move based on process and results.

  84. ptmilo

    @92 hope so. If he just converts to a one-year min deal, we won’t even have early bird rights on him this summer so any offer sheet or deal we make with him would have to fit into the cap or the room exception.

  85. Stratomatic "In economic terms, the Knicks are in a double dip recession"

    @93

    I have to be honest with you. I don’t understand all the ins and outs of the cap rules. I don’t consider that my job. I have better things to put my energy into. I also don’t know what the thinking was/is on some of these deals and how they expect to follow through.

    What I think I understand is that if Durant, Irving, or Leonard is available and wants to come, you better have the cap space. You can’t give a shit about players like Hezonja, Vonleh, Burke, and Mudiay if you really think you are in play for a star. Then if there’s someone among the scratch offs you want to keep badly, you try to make another move to make room.

    If none of those elite players wants to come, then from among your scratch offs, if there are any you really want to keep, you get that done. Otherwise you collect a few more scratch offs and short term fillers.

  86. Brian Cronin

    This isn’t, and never will be, one of them.

    Hey, I’m still holding out hope that Dolan someday sells! :) Then maybe they will hire people that we will agree with, moves-wise.

  87. ClashFan

    Totally agree RE Knox, Mitch, and Frank. The dudes need to play as much as possible. If Fiz really wants to give Hezonja and Mudiay, etc. lots of burn (maybe in the faint hope that they can each be flipped for a second rounder), then do what Z says, let Frank and Knox go to Westchester and get time.

    Frank needs to shoot and shoot and shoot in real games. If the guy can just become a decent three point shooter, he’s a valuable player. I didn’t want the Knicks to take Knox, but they did. So, play the kid.

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