Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 18, 2019

New York Knicks 109 – Brooklyn Nets 113 – Game Recap

Ah, the typical ebbs and flows of an entertaining horror flick. This one had it all: the despair of being left behind by every sane person, the exhilarating sensation to drive an improbable knife through the heart of your enemy, the stoic acceptance of your demise as said enemy looks to be still alive and coming at you with an unshakable aura of doom.

I, for one, am a fan of horror movies. And I’m a fan of basketball. That must be why I’m strangely at ease with how this game unfolded.

Fizdale made the sensible choice to pick Payton as the starting PG and gave a 85% healthy Mitch the starting nod alongside Morris, Randle and our collective new adult son, RJ. Things didn’t go very well at first (and neither after a while), as our Knicks seem to be plagued by a total inability to hit shots at the beginning of a game while being a bit clueless on defense. Nevertheless, and thanks to a brief offensive spurt by Knox (two trifectas in the span of 50 seconds), we were right there with the Nets with just 1:15 to go in the first. From there the Nets went on a 7-0 run to end the first stanza 32-23 while DSJ was trying to one up Frank’s terrible outing against San Antonio. Every other Knick was very tentative or just plainly ineffective at basketball.

The second quarter, while not an harbinger of success (I mean, we never got closer than down seven), showed us what a focused Allonzo Trier can bring to the team. As the offensive output of the whole team was very questionable, having someone who can be a believable scoring threat in isolation opens the game a bit. Zo may not be your cup of tea (and he surely isn’t mine) but if anything we can’t afford to waste his talents on a shooting, spacing-challenged team like the 19-20 Knicks. Anyway, the first half ended with the Knicks down 13 and the Nets, having dropped another casual 32 on us in the second period, looking fully in control of the game. I also think Knox may have played a few seconds at shooting guard during the period.

The second half opened in a frankly discouraging way. 29 seconds in, Taurean Prince drilled a three and Fizdale promptly called a timeout (spoiler: it wouldn’t be the fastest of the night). After the timeout, all the Knicks were able to do was to try and fail to deploy a simple pick and roll at the top of the key, with Mitch picking up his fourth foul for the night. The Knicks went down by 17 before ending the quarter down 11 on the heels of a kinda good period from Trier and Barrett on the offensive end.

In the fourth quarter, madness ensued. Kevin Knox hit from three 13 seconds in and Kenny Atkinson called for timeout. After a Spencer Dinwiddie bucket, Knox shot a stupid contested three that went in. After that, a Morris pullup three from the top of the key went in too. Down eight, Barrett came back in for Trier and never relinquished the point guard role (with mixed results, but we’ll delve deep into that later). After a couple buckets got traded between the two teams (score: 104-96 for the Nets) Trier got called for his fifth foul and Ellington came back into the game. From there Wayne proceeded to hit three triples in 150 seconds and the Knicks were suddenly up 109-106. Sadly, that’s where the Knicks stopped scoring, and where the absence of a capable floor general made its obvious appearance, like a basketball Michael Myers down the hall. Suddenly, everything didn’t work anymore and the Knicks were left looking at an encouraging 113-109 defeat while the game rolled away like a basketball in Julius Randle’s care.

The good:

– Allonzo Trier (22 pts, 3 rebs, 2 ast, -3 +/-) was a much needed breath of fresh air for a team that was desperately gasping for points. Iso Zo took the opportunity and made the most of it, having some kind of a true shooting wet dream: 22 points on 7 field goals look like what Daryl Morey sees when he’s high and not tweeting controversial statements about Hong Kong*. I will never understand why Trier doesn’t shoot a lot more from three, but I guess coaching has its footprints there too. Still, I liked very much what he brought to the table in this game and wished he was out there in the last two minutes. His defense is very suspect and every time he’s the only ball handler on the floor his sharp offense takes a nosedive (rendering him completely unfit to be an emergency PG), but we’re so devoid of actual talent in the backcourt that Trier has to play, at least until one between DSJ and Frank pulls his head out of his ass – the over/under for that is March 2023. His 4 turnovers were bad, but both teams were as turnover prone as they can be.

*Hey Daryl, for what is worth you have my effing axe on that matter.

– RJ Barrett (16 pts, 3 rebs, 3 ast, 0 +/-) followed his strong debut with a good and poised, if a bit efficiency-deficient encore. There’s no doubt the kid can play, and he definitely belongs. I guess you all remember our last two lottery picks, and both of them had the classic “deer in the headlight” look around them now and then (yeah ok, Frank still has it). Mitch is a golden god, but you still come away with the impression that he’s not really grasping what he’s doing half the time. Trier was a nice surprise last year, but was a 23 year old rookie and honestly didn’t look the part of a future cornerstone for a team. Even KP looked very acerbic during his hype-train led rookie season. Well, RJ’s demeanor makes for a sharp contrast with that. He already looks like he’s been playing in the league for the last 10 years. He can’t shoot for his life (don’t get fooled by his 2 for 4 line from three – the proof in the proverbial pudding lies in his 0-for-3 from the charity stripe) and won’t ever run faster than the 99% of NBA players, but he’s a tremendously practical player, he can finish around the rim and, most importantly, holds his own on the defensive end. He defended multiple possessions against Kyrie, and while Irving hit the game winner right in his grill, RJ didn’t really make his life easy. Oh, and he also ended up with six steals, the first Knicks rookie since Mark Jackson on December, 15th 1987**. Not bad.
I’m not a big fan of RJ’s play at point guard, but I don’t think it’s his fault. He’s not a pristine ball handler and while he can pass he needs fully formed plays to run to be effective. He’ll never be an improvisational, feel-for-the-game playmaker. But, again, he’s 19. He’s a good prospect. There’s nothing we can complain about here.

**Hah, so you forgot about our last two lottery picks! The last Knick rookie to collect six steals wasn’t really Mark Jackson, but your own forsaken Frank Ntilikina, who did it on November, 13th 2017, almost thirty years after the current terrible color guy for ESPN. Frank’s still the second youngest player ever to do so (19 years and 108 days), and Barrett just became the third youngest (19 years and 133 days). We’re talking “in the whole league history”, guys. Wanna know who’s the youngest? LeBron, at 18 years and 358 days.

The bad:

– Dennis Smith Jr (1 pt, 1 ast, 1 blk, -8 +/-) is right now a horribly wretched open mic attempt at a Markelle Fultz impression. He has no feel for the game, he has no shot (whoever worked with him in the summer to “fix” his shot should be fired immediately) and he has no business being on the floor. I would send him to the G-League ASAP, because while I don’t think that playing there would be beneficial for Frank’s “skill set” I also believe DSJ’s future can be salvaged making him drop 25 and 8 per night on vastly inferior talent. For now, he’s a sorry excuse for a backup PG. I’m willing to bet 500$ that Kadeem Allen would be a better option at this point.

– Marcus Morris (11 pts, 2 ast, 1 blk, -1 +/-) is the typical wing that’s detrimental to the team as soon as he’s not having an efficient offensive game. He’s not a bad player, we all know that, but on a team like this his ball-stopping aptitude, coupled with the fact that he almost never passes the ball, will spell doom most nights. He should be here for veteran leadership, but doesn’t seem to mesh with the other players. After just two games you get the feeling that his ways irk a few of his teammates. I’m hereby predicting a Trier vs. Portis vs. Morris fight before Christmas.

Fun-sized bits:

– I was thrilled when I saw that Mitch would be playing, and starting the game at that. But then I’m a bit dumbfounded seeing as he’s made little to no progress from last year. It was widely believed he would have plateau’d a bit, but this is essentially the same old Mitch, grown wiser not a single day. That said, I still can’t get enough of him. in just under 17 minutes, 6 points, 7 boards, a dime, 4 (!) steals, a block and 75% FG. And yes, five fouls and three turnovers. Still good for a .163 WS/48 game. When he’s out of the game, the whole team has no business protecting the rim.

– It’s fucking criminal that nobody’s able to run a damn pick and roll with Mitch (and to a lesser extent with Randle). RJ tried it once and, surprise!, Mitch slammed down the ball with no effort required. *insert here mandatory retort against Fizdale’s lack of firing*

– Kevin Knox looking more and more like a giraffing (yeah, Merriam-Webster, that’s a new word for you) Steve Novak. The kid is shooting 87.5% from three, and while it obviously won’t last his stroke is pure. It’s a terrible idea playing him at the 3, since his defense is not on par, but he showed at least a bit of effort there.

– On one hand, it’s good to see that Bobby Portis played only 10 minutes. On the other, nice job Perry.

– Who could have ever predicted that we would have needed more rim protectors? Bring the Wooten kid up as soon as possible, like, I don’t know, yesterday.

– I’m very disappointed in Randle’s handle (get your game up, Clyde. I’m coming for you). It’s like Fiz told him “don’t worry, you can do as you please with the ball” and he jumped at the chance without figuring out how to do that. Dude, you’re not LeBron. Or Lamar Odom. Or Blake Griffin. Stick to your guns and dribble the ball only in the open court. 14 and 11 for him, but his shot is not falling and he’s turning the ball over waaaay too much. He already cost us one game, plus a couple ones in the preseason (they don’t count, but a trend is a trend).

– Taj and Wayne are who we thought they were. That’s a nice thing, mind you. Headstrong vets who play 10-15 mpg and don’t complain. I just don’t understand Fiz’s fascination about Ellington dribbling the ball here and there.

– I don’t know how to feel about Payton’s performance. He wasn’t exactly bad, but he was, like, Shane Larkin good? Not what you’d like to see from your starting point guard night in and night out.

– When I look at Kenny Atkinson I think he’s a distant relative of Cumberbatch-edition Sherlock’s Moriarty. I always expect him to burst into a cackling “miss me?”.

– We lost two entertaining games and that gives us a glimmer of hope. Don’t get too excited though, as both were outliers. In the first we scored like gangbusters in transition (not gonna happen very often with our defense). In the second we shot 17-for-25 from three.

And that’s it. The Nets won the battle, but they’re definitely not cooler than us. I see them going to the playoffs, losing in the first round, and then watch Kyrie ask for a trade in the midst of his second season. Enjoy your 2020s, Brooklyn.

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53 comments on “New York Knicks 109 – Brooklyn Nets 113 – Game Recap

  1. Bo Nateman

    absence of a capable floor general made its obvious appearance, like a basketball Michael Myers down the hall

    Farfa: You are already in mid-season form. If Randle’s handle was as proficient as your writing chops, we’d be in much better shape.
    You deserve a Pulitzer for dystopian hoops recaps.

  2. E

    The thing where Frank has been written off because of two shit possessions in the first game is beyond preposterous. Incompetence at its most sublime.(*) Critics can certainly hit Frank fans with the “Frank can’t fail, he can only be failed” thing, and that’s fair … but Frank has been failed.

    Frank and RJ could be among the best, if not the best, defensive backcourts in the NBA. I’m starting there and building out. Frank obviously should have been on Kyrie down the stretch. But the Knicks have a coach who pays only lip service to defense, somehow not even able to make the connection between the defense being bad when guys who are bad defenders are in the game.

    The usual great recap by Farfa, but to nitpick, Payton indeed wasn’t exactly bad. He was terrible.

    (*) Frank’s getting mentally placed into the wrong bucket because DSJ sucks so bad. They’re being thought of in the same template for no real reason.

  3. jazzfunk

    One of the byproducts of this short pre-season is the total lack of help defense awareness for the Knicks. One Nets player after another glided to the basket. The Knick players are still learning how to play with their teammates. Farfa is 100% correct regarding Mitch’s progress. There is a more complete player that has yet to be unlocked. Mitch was definitely not recovered from his sprain last night. A healthy Mitch paired with RJ’s aggressive drives to the basket will be satisfying.

  4. Ingmarrrr

    Thanks, Farfa.

    I’m not a big fan of RJ’s play at point guard

    Yeah, let him master the wing positions, and give Frank his 15 minutes of being a defensive backup PG. Just a little bit of structure, pleeeeeeezzzzzeee.

  5. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    Just a side note. Big Thief played on CBS This Morning: Saturday. I stumbled on them playing, not ever having heard them before, not knowing who it was playing and I couldn’t change channel. I pressed “info” and remembered the name from the threads.
    They gained new fan. I have no idea what they were playing.

  6. ptmilo

    friendly reminder that mo harkless 1. is better than bobby portis. 2. makes less than bobby portis. 3. is also expiring. 4. came with a 2023 miami first round pick.

  7. alsep73

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander off to a scorching hot start to the season, averaging:

    27.0 points on 50% shooting,
    4.5 rebounds
    2.5 assists
    2.5 made treys
    1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks
    just 1.5 turnovers

    While we’re wallowing.

  8. mase

    Surely great recap.

    Wouldn’t it be nice have a HC who realizes 7 mins left and kyrie has 5 fouls; we should be attacking him !
    Or perhaps duwn by two time running out to sub trier back in?

    Or perhaps Mitch could be useful in the closing minute to foul kyrie at the very least, hey frank would have been an option on kyrie? Idk

    Anyway last nite felt like a heavyweight bout. On to the Celtics, look for career nights from Kenna, Tatum etc.

    The fiz has to be better.

  9. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    The level of incompetence in this organization from top to bottom is mind numbing.

    They are throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping something sticks. But what’s worse is that they are destroying the development of some of our young players and causing others to want out. We should be so much further along. It’s saddening and maddening.

    I don’t blame the players. They are going to win some games on talent and heart alone if they can sustain playing this hard, but Fizdale is terrible, the front office is incompetent, and the owner is too stubborn and dumb to know or fix it.

  10. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I don’t know anything about the watchmen series but I want to believe that the song Forgotten Eyes mentioned here is Portis’ favorite. Not just because of the song name but the band/artist name is so relevant since the guy is somehow making 16m/yr. Note: I also would like to think Blink (also mentioned here) is a favorite of his. BTW I have no idea if Blink is an artist or song title. I’m still rockin’ Ray Conniff. And did someone have to mention Frank Ocean? Now, instead of Frankie Smokes, I think Frank Ocean and my cherished Frenchman not being able to throw the ball into the ocean.

  11. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    friendly reminder that mo harkless 1. is better than bobby portis. 2. makes less than bobby portis. 3. is also expiring. 4. came with a 2023 miami first round pick.

    Yeah but we had to stretch Noah and trade away our best player for a low basketball IQ PG with a bad back that we are presently destroying further mentally to make room for Portis and substitute Ellington for Lee!

  12. DRed

    Frank and RJ could be among the best, if not the best, defensive backcourts in the NBA

    lol

    Maybe we’ll give Frank 10 minutes tonight. He did well hounding Kemba in the world cup.

    There is probably a mediocre team somewhere in this mismatched roster but it would take a better coach than Fiz to figure it out. Anyone have an idea what our offense and defensive schemes are?

  13. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander off to a scorching hot start to the season

    The other day someone wrote how Chicago’s drafting (Markannen, Carter, White) has been much better than ours. I responded that I’d rather have young core of Mitch/RJ/Randle than Chicago’s core and we should be happy with our drafting if Mitch and RJ end up all-star or better. That said, I’d be not happy but darn near ecstatic if we had young core of SGA/RJ/Mitch/Randle and 70m of cap space. I don’t spend much time thinking about Donovan Mitchell as the guy who got away since Frank/DSJ/Monk were the candidates then. But SGA…

  14. Farfa Post author

    First of all, thanks everyone! It’s my pleasure to write these recaps.

    As for the offensive schemes, there is something happening when Ellington is on the floor (simple curls, running around screens). I’m not sure I’ve seen anything else. Nobody cuts without the ball, nobody tries even a drive and kick here and there if not in transition.

    Defensively the cup is even emptier. Sometimes they switch sometimes they don’t, sometimes they force a guy on the left sometimes on the right, at times they double at times they lose both men. Totally random.

  15. djphan

    we got very lucky even making it a close game… i hope fiz realizes that and doesnt overreact and do something crazy like start trier again…

    mitch did mitch things… glad hes back cause we are so much better with him out there…

  16. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Frank and RJ could be among the best, if not the best, defensive backcourts in the NBA

    Too soon…but not too soon to pronounce Frank and Mitch as best PnR defensive tandem (Gobert is not able to switch onto guards like Dame).

  17. Hubert

    I love how one year after making “fixing Mudiay” his mission, Fizdale is intent on destroying three young PGs.

  18. Hubert

    The thing where Frank has been written off because of two shit possessions in the first game is beyond preposterous.

    Yup.

  19. JK47

    I kinda thought the whole point of bringing in the veterans was some sort of “play the game the right way” exercise and we’d see competent help defense and proper defensive rotations and off-ball movement and something resembling decent fundamentals. Guess not.

    If they’re gonna just play pickup AAU ball they could have done that with a bunch of kids.

  20. Hubert

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander off to a scorching hot start to the season, averaging:

    Some were recently lamenting never getting over Ja. I’m totally fine with Barrett. Not having SGA as his backcourt partner is what I’ll never get over.

  21. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    The thing where Frank has been written off because of two shit possessions in the first game is beyond preposterous.

    Preposterous is way too kind.

    It’s an indication of brain damage, especially given that his confidence is fragile.

  22. KnickfaninNJ

    Farfa, I agree 100% about Ellington being the only one doing curls and other moving without the ball stuff. But I’m not sure sbout the defensive switches being random. Someone posted a link to an article saying that we have a hybrid defense. The article described how if an opponent runs a pick and the two Knicks involved are both bigs or both smalls then they are supposed to switch. But if a big and a small are involved they are not supposed to switch and the big needs to hang back to protect against a drive while the small tries to go over the screen. I’m not sure if this is actually how it is happening, but it could explain your observation about the defense.

  23. Hubert

    Every time Ellington hits a 3 someone in our front office should text the sixers.

    Would be nice to get one of our 2nd round picks back. Hell I’d give them Trier if we could get both of ‘em.

  24. Stratomatic: Sometimes referred to as Satan

    My preference would be on identifying the players that can play good defense and trying to build a lineup around that. It’s not that easy because of management’s preference for one dimensional scorers, but I’d probably run with Frank, RJ, Dotson (assuming he’s ready), Randle, and Robinson. Our guards/wings would all be able to defend and switch just about anything among themselves and Robinson could clean up the mistakes in the paint.

    That lineup would have a tough time scoring and be weak from outside , but there are 3 playmakers on the court to go along with some inside scoring. So with good ball and player movement we’d get some decent shots. It would a tradeoff in favor of defense over offense.

    If the offense is simply too terrible and we aren’t getting enough playmaking, you could move Payton in for Frank after 20-25 games or so and then team Frank with Trier off the bench. Trier/Knox are the offense off the bench (preferable not together for too many minutes).

    Against really big teams, you could substitute Morris for Dotson if either Dotson/RJ couldn’t handle the opposing SF. I’d also use Taj over Portis, Taj seems to have enough left in the tank to give us good defensive minutes off the bench.

    Obviously, you can shoot a lot of holes in this because we don’t have a very good team and we have have pieces that don’t fit together well, but I think a defense first lineup with a emphasis on ball movement and playmaking would win more games the chaotic mess we have now.

  25. Farfa Post author

    @24

    Yeah, that would make sense; problem is you see different actions on the same players/sets. Try to keep track of what Mitch does far from the ball next game: it’s kind of a “throw a d20 to perform a save against poison” thing.

  26. Hubert

    Afterward, Irving spoke about the difference in the rivalry with the Knicks since the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

    “That was more a subway rivalry back when they played in New Jersey,” Irving said. “Now that they’re in Brooklyn, it’s like a battle for who runs New York City.”

    So much stupidity to unpack in that one.

    “Just having everything thrown in the Knicks’ face like, ‘Kyrie is on our team — ha-ha-ha,'” Nets center Jarrett Allen said after the game.

    Good luck with that.

    It’s a shame our coach is so dumb. If he’d just realized “maybe I should have a PG in the game for the final minutes” we probably would have won.

    Alas.

  27. danvt

    I have a bad taste in my mouth because watching losses just plain sucks. But these games have been close and entertaining. The guys are responding competitively and not giving up.

    RJ looks like a complete player. He needs more confidence and a better outside shot. Once those things are there he’ll take over games like these last two.

    The much maligned Knox looks Reggie Miller- esque from 3.

    We’re one excellent player away from being a competitive team. Obviously PG is what we lack. We’re gonna have a high pick and cap space. This year looks like a development year with some good pieces going forward.

  28. Bruno Almeida

    Well, we lost rather close games against better teams on the road, with a team that’s completely new and has obvious flaws. It’s not something to be too sad about, even though the way the losses happened is frustrating. Barrett looked good, Knox has looked good, the other guards have not and Mitch did Mitch things, so I can’t be too unhappy. It will be a year full of close losses I expect.

  29. ess-dog

    Randle looks like a problem for us, not exactly a Kanter problem, but close.

    He can’t really play against small ball lineups because he gets stripped, and he can’t play center because he offers no rim protection. He’s also a bad help defender.

    I’d much rather have Morris/Knox split time at pf.

    Would like to see some extended RJ/Frank backcourt run, if only for curiosity’s sake. As bad as Fiz has been, he really does need to keep tinkering for another few weeks.

  30. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Trade all the veterans for picks at the deadline, show me a future star in RJB, and full steam ahead for another top-5 pick. Tank on!

  31. Bruno Almeida

    In a way, not having much success would probably lead the management to be more likely to pursue trades for all the veterans, but on the other hand, not having success would make those veterans not very attractive for trade partners.

    The ideal situation would be that guys like Morris, Ellington and Portis play well and get good counting stats, but the young players remain the main focus of the team. Then if we win or lose it doesn’t matter that much. Focus on getting Barrett all the development he needs and all the time possible to figure things out, then use the season to see who, if anyone, from Payton, Smith and Frank deserves to stay.

  32. Ben R

    Down the stretch, up three points we should have had Frank in for Morris, Robinson in for Randle, and Trier in for Ellington. That improves our defense and gives us a release valve offensive option in Trier. Then park Knox and Frank at either corner, trier also at the three and run an RJ/Mitch pnr and then if that doesn’t work give it to Trier with 10-12 seconds on the shot clock and let him create. It’s not a great offense but it’s certainly better than what we had and it makes our defense so much better.

  33. swiftandabundant

    I really don’t understand not playing Frank. I’m not saying he’s good, but he is good at one really important thing, defense. And DSJ is not healthy. In my opinion, while Trier was great last night, a little less Trier and no DSJ (who is hurt) and sprinkle in some Frank and maybe we win. Same against SA. Plus, while Frank continued to kind of suck on offense in the preseason, he looked good on defense and him and RJ were a good back court pairing. It shouldn’t be hard to find him 15 to 20 minutes a night on this team cause he can play multiple positions.

  34. TheClashFan

    @32

    Trade all the veterans for picks at the deadline, show me a future star in RJB, and full steam ahead for another top-5 pick. Tank on!

    Totally agree.

    Great recap, Farfa, as always!

    Hey, I’m no fan of Fiz, but let’s give him a few games to “tinker” with his rotations before totally roasting him. His hot hand lineup did make a huge comeback, mostly due to outrageous shooting that likely won’t happen again this season, but I admit I’d have liked to see Frank inserted in the last few minutes just to see if he could stop, or at least slow down, KI. We all knew that he was going to heroball it late.

    Yeah, DSJ should probably go to G League and just shoot shoot shoot. He looks pretty awful out there on both ends of the court, and playing just a few minutes each game can’t be helping his confidence.

  35. TheClashFan

    @38

    Down the stretch, up three points we should have had Frank in for Morris, Robinson in for Randle, and Trier in for Ellington. That improves our defense and gives us a release valve offensive option in Trier. Then park Knox and Frank at either corner, trier also at the three and run an RJ/Mitch pnr and then if that doesn’t work give it to Trier with 10-12 seconds on the shot clock and let him create. It’s not a great offense but it’s certainly better than what we had and it makes our defense so much better.

    Your ideas show tactical thinking, but I don’t think Fiz the Salesman is capable of such thinking, sadly.

  36. GianaDani

    Major reason we’re going to lose this season is because our players are not talented enough to overcome piss poor coaching.

  37. Early Bird

    Funny, but illustrative early season stats:

    Frank OBPM -36.1 DBPM 13.5 WS/48 = -1 (I did not forget a decimal point)

    Mitch DBPM 15.2 TOV% 42.9 PF/36 = 10.6

    Smith TS% .179 USG% 24.2

    Morris AST% 2

  38. JK47

    I’m not exactly the world’s biggest believer in Frank Ntilikina but he probably should be playing some minutes considering the alternative is the poor man’s Markelle Fultz. Throw Frank out there for 15-20 minutes, let him blow up a few pick and rolls and try some lulz-worthy layups. It’ll be entertaining at least.

  39. bidiong

    Fizdale definitely is in his last season in NY. I don’t see how he isn’t fired after this season. Mills is going to need a scapegoat.

  40. Sly Wi-yums

    The best game of basketball I ever played was an intramural game after my office Christmas party. I had 8 shots of wild turkey, and then left to play some ball. I played the best defense of my life, I neutralized the other guy, but I could not catch the ball to save my life. Randle’s handle last night reminded me of that feeling, just couldn’t hold on to the ball. Lets hope to see less dribble from Randle tonight.

    That was a long time ago, I’d probably have some surly advice to share with my younger self…

    The evidence that Fiz is not the best coach has been observed, but it is a small sample size (assuming planned tank last year). Last night there was some semblence of a rotation with the bench getting the 8 minutes across the quarters. Frank is unplayable right now as scared as he is.

    Super hopeful for a good outcome tonight.

  41. Owen

    Great cap!

    Fiz stinks. Worst constructed, worst coached team.

    I was disappointed in Randle. Beyond careless. Trying to be something you are not is the least attractive quality in a baller.

    Classic Mitch line. 4 steals and 5 fouls on 16 minutes.

    There is some talent here. And when he is not at the free throw line I really like Barrett. But we are in for our standard shittastic season.

  42. Early Bird

    Same starters tonight.

    It’s a promising start toward some consistency. Let’s see how the rotation ends up. Definitely have my eyes on who plays the closing minutes.

    Based on the Fizz method of hot hand Frank should get some burn over Smith this time. Or perhaps we’ll see more point Trier/RJ.

  43. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Remember this from Fiz?

    No. This is a development year. That’s part of Timmy’s development. He’s got to take that challenge. I can’t hide him. He’s got to dig in and get that stop. He didn’t get it (Friday) night but he knows I believe he can. We’re going to keep working at it. It was just a personnel breakdown.

    Against Nets in the 2nd game of last season. Nets win 109-107. Eerie similarity? I don’t get why Frank and Mitch weren’t subbed in to defend that play. RJ did play Kyrie well but …

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