Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, November 16, 2018

New York Knicks 118 – Dallas Mavericks 106 – Game Recap

So, it looks like we just can’t help ourselves beating bad teams, huh? Our Bockers had themselves another great third quarter and pretty much steamrolled the Mavs and seemed to be further alongside the rebuilding path than those Dallas jersey wearing guys. Honestly, when you’re playing young guys as much as we did tonight, you take the win even if it might be bad for the tank. This is what development looks like. Having the game won by (mostly) fresh legs, playing your vets only if/when needed, that’s what we did tonight. And it was fun!

The good:

– I feel personally obliged to start from Mitchell Robinson (13 pts, 10 rebs, 3 ast, +9 +/-). He played 34 minutes and was a monster tonight, wreaking havoc on both sided of the court and moving around with much better sense of position on defense than what we saw in the last games, which weren’t that bad either. When you’re 7’1″ with a 7’4″ wingspan and a vertical of a lot of inches, just being in the right spot will allow you to deter most offensive plays. Tonight, though, he did show us something better: the ability to guard guys on the perimeter. Now, granted, this Mavs team is bad, but the contrast between Mitch’s defensive footwork and quickness and the lumbering movements by Kanter were on full display even tonight. There were a few sequences where Dallas ball-handlers tried to attack Mitch on the perimeter and were pretty much stymied from the get go. He’s still prone to stupidly bite on some easy fakes, but that’s part of the growing process. If they told me after the draft that our second round pick 20 year old center would have posted his first double double just days into November, I would have thought they were speaking about G-League. Add to that paltry loot 3 steals and 1 block, and you have found a real gem. Drafting Mitchell this year has the same feel of when you were 10 and opened an Upper Deck trading cards pack in 1994 and found a special MJ card with the gold signature. Absolute inadulterated joy and marvel at your luck. Don’t look now, but Mitch’s sporting a fat .205 WS/48, 2.7 OBPM, 2.9 DBPM. If he were to maintain these numbers throughout the whole season, he’d be the third rookie in NBA history to do so while playing more than 81 minutes. The other two? David Robinson and Arvydas Sabonis.

– Allonzo Trier (23 pts, 2 rebs, 1 ast, +1 +/-) is playing out of his mind lately. He’s unstoppable going to the rim, and has countless moves to get there. Of course he’s going to be crashing down to earth as soon as coaches start game-scouting for him (a simple double in the last quarter, with 2:25 to go, threw him off his feel and caused him to turn the ball over on a backcourt violation), but how much will he? One on one he’s just great. He ate alive Doncic more than a couple times, and aside from the aforementioned blunder he took solace in having the opportunity to close the game as the primary ball-handler, trying to torch every guy who tried to guard him to no avail. 23 points on 10 shots are amazing efficiency. He’s posting a 64 TS% on seven shots per game. He’s not going to be this elite, but these are promising numbers, as is the fact that Fiz has already a lot of faith in him to be in the final unit.

– Buckle up, guys. Next name is Lance Thomas (10 pts, 2 rebs, 3 ast, +11 +/-), who made the difference in the game-winning third quarter. In that quarter he made a few buckets, was active on defense (two steals for him), made the ball move and even threw a random alley-oop for the highlight of the night. With 5:43 remaining in the third quarter he received a weak screen from Mitch, and found him with an imprecise lob in the area near the rim. The pass was at the same time so inaccurate and effective, if you excuse the antithetical nature of the wordplay, that Mitch could catch him but was forced to do a 180 before dunking the ball. It was positively Javale-esque, but in the good sense of the term. Anyway, Lance was there when we needed him in the third, when foul trouble kept plaguing Vonleh, and I salute his for once valiant effort in helping the Knicks cause.

The bad:

– Noah Vonleh (4 pts, 3 rebs, 50% FG, +4 +/-) was a given in this section for the night. He almost fouled out in 10 minutes, and while he was quite good in that limited time his flailing around on defense and on offense was inexcusable. This team needs him to be more reliable than that, especially if you think that Mitch wasn’t even supposed to play like that this soon. We caught a lucky break tonight in having Lance Thomas and Mario Hezonja contribute some at the four position, but a game like this would have been a major hurdle on most other nights.

– Trey Burke (2 pts, 1 reb, 2 ast, -6 +/-) has me at a loss for words. Not long ago, he looked like our little steady floor general. Now he’s slipped behind Mudiay in the rotation, and for apparent reasons. His presence on the floor halts the offense to a ball-stopping nightmare; I don’t think it’s entirely his fault, but you’re doing something very wrong if the team looks better in Mudiay’s hands. Tonight Trey played just seven minutes and was able to post a -6 plus minus. His advanced stats are looking eerily similar to what he posted in his first four NBA seasons. I guess midnight has finally come, and the coach has turned back into a pumpkin. I’m sad for him, he was fun to root for last season.

Fun-sized bits:

– Damyean Dotson had another strong night on the boards with 8, and even if his shots weren’t falling he found a way to post a game-high +18. What’s a bit worrying (not for him) is that his DRed% almost doubles what Mitch is posting. I really hope that someone’s working with Robinson to teach him to box out.

– Emmanuel Mudiay played 17 productive minutes tonight. Get ready to see him on the floor more and let’s see if he can capitalize on his strengths (passing, being large for his position) while cutting down on his weaknesses (everything else). It was nice to see him scramble around on defense and tally 3 steals.

– Frank Ntilikina had a modest game (7 pts, 7 rebs, 3 stl, +8 +/-), and when his shot doesn’t fall his game looks almost lethargic on offense. Of his 7 assists, at least 4 were of the “didn’t do a damn thing apart from moving the ball” variety. On defense was good, even if he got torched a couple times by Dennis Smith Jr. Not a bad-bad performance, but as of now he’s evidently the weak link on offense. If Mitch knew how to set solid screens he could be better, I guess. Frank’s currently posting the same BPM as Lance. I really hope he learns to impose himself on the game, not the other way around.

– Tim Hardaway Jr (18 pts, 6 rebs, 3 ast, +10 +/-) was a little Chuck Hardaway tonight. A standard game in itself – 18 points on 17 shots, another charge taken – but if this is his floor nowadays, I’ll certainly take it.

– Enes Kanter (13 pts, 5 rebs, 2 ast, + 4+/-) and Mario Hezonja (11 pts, 1 reb, 71% FG) contributed to the win but look like they don’t want to be here, even if Kanter blocked two shots and Mario single-handedly helped to keep the game within reach in the first half in a particularly bad stretch of Knicks offense. Especially Enes, since we know how energic he can be when checked in. Mario wanders around, hits some shots, goes back to the bench, and it’s like you never saw him.

– I came away from the game totally unimpressed by Doncic. He was slow and unattentive on defense and his offensive game didn’t have much substance, apparently. Then I took a look at the box score and saw 18 points, 9 boards, 6 dimes for Luka, and remembered that he’s still a rookie in the best league in the world. It’s just that I have sky high expectations for him from day 1, having watched him play here in Europe, dominating his older peers. The kid is going to be good but needs to cut on the carbs (and the coaching staff needs to hide him on defense, for now).

– Lance Thomas, defensive specialist veteran extraordinaire. In the first moments of the second quarter, with Smith Jr. barreling down the lane and only Thomas between him and the rim, he made good use of his savviness. He stood his ground, briefly looking down at the court, ready to take the charge with pride and gusto. His feet were clearly inside the restricted area. He picked up his fourth foul in 7 minutes of play.

– I’m so happy with the way Fiz is coaching this team in a general sense. Offense has been better, and he sees the trends on the court. The youngsters are playing fine, and he’s giving them a full leash.

– When KP comes back, we’ll have a starting five entirely made by players we drafted (in THJ’s case is a technicality, but it’s true nonetheless). Remember all that talk about Golden State being able to get relevant because they drafted well without having any top-5 pick? Yeah.

Next game is against the stumbling Wizards. I say they’ll have a bounce back against us, but I can’t wait to watch the game. I’m really electrified by this young team, at last we’re doing things right (maybe?)!

112 comments on “New York Knicks 118 – Dallas Mavericks 106 – Game Recap

  1. Farfa Post author

    Iso Zo has a liiiiiiittle bit of James Harden in him when attacking his man from the dribble.

  2. Zanzibar

    Mitch, Ayton, Wendell, Mo and Jaren are all performing well so far but Mitch is the leader in WS/48 and BPM by a wide margin. Given that he didn’t start playing Bball until the age of 15 and the fact the only organized Bball he played before NBA was high school and the fact he took a year off, this start is remarkable and very promising. Interesting to speculate that if we finished a couple of spots higher in draft we would have selected WCJ and then probably would have taken Melton versus Knox and then Mitch. I hope in a few years we are happy about Chicago’s blatant tanking. We just may have drafted this year’s Jokic – or a guy who might be even better than him.

    Here is the LINK to Bref comparison of the top 5 centers in this draft.

  3. Z-man

    @2 interesting comp, i suppose if he starts hitting contested step-back 3’s at a 40% clip, you might have something there. I just love the way he looks to set up the defense with dribble moves and then attacks any gap that develops. It’s so in line with the article that d-mar posted from the times a bit back. The kid has been a gym rat since he was 13, relentlessly working on his moves and shot in preparation for this moment.

    And none of this should be all that surprising. He has a TS% of over .600 in each of his 3 years in college, and wrecked the top-notch Pac-12 conference last year for a .657 TS% on a 22% usage. Clearly he got swallowed up by the long shadow of Ayton and the fairly tame PED accusations. It’s criminal that he didn’t get drafted at all, and statistically speaking, he was unquestionably a first round talent.

    We could wind up saying that the luckiest break for the Knicks in the last 20 years was prohibitive favorite Arizona losing to Buffalo in the NCAA tournament. If they get past that game and march to the final 4 with Trier playing Robin to Ayton’s Batman…

  4. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    We just may have drafted this year’s Jokic – or a guy who might be even better than him.

    I was with you until this.

  5. d-mar

    Durant with 33 points last night on 19 shots (and 13 boards)

    I say pass, let’s wait for the next 7 footer who can shoot like that.

  6. Z-man

    I get the similarity, but in b-r, Lou Williams is listed at 6-1, 175lbs, while Trier is listed at 6-5, 205 lbs (with dunk contest ups.) Williams has filled out over the years, but at age 22, they are not even close physically. A Lou Williams (or Jamal Crawford) that isn’t a terrible defender is a star.

  7. Hubert

    Caught the game this morning on DVR. What’s not to love so far? Feels like the worm has turned. And I’ll still feel that way even if we only win 25 games this year. We’re building something.

  8. Farfa Post author

    I’d stop at “We might have drafted this year’s DeAndre Jordan” and count my blessings, and even that’s a long shot for now, seeing as Mitch is posting a pathetic 11.8 DReb%. But he’s so much further than I expected on the learning curve (even after Summer League) that all bets are off.

  9. bockadoo

    I’m worried about Burke. Has he fallen out of favor? Is he sulking because Frank is starting? Don’t like the body language. I love Coach Fiz. He plays/starts guys who actually play/try to play defense. Kanter and Burke getting the message. The hiring of Fizdale is even more important to the future of the team than Mitch and Trier and I love both of those guys. Would you trade Mitch for Ayton straight up? At least have to think about that one now. Trier for Trae Young? What an amazing draft, coaching hire and a positive vibe for the future.

  10. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    I say pass, let’s wait for the next 7 footer who can shoot like that.

    No one’s arguing about how good Durant is. He’s very clearly one of the best three players in the league when he gives 100%, and he is a legitimately great and unique defender. The question is whether he’ll be worth the money at 34 if the team has a 35-win core otherwise.

  11. Zanzibar

    We just may have drafted this year’s Jokic – or a guy who might be even better than him.

    I was with you until this.

    I’ve reclaimed the Presidency of Team Optimism! Jokic is a phenomenal talent on the offensive end but a liability on defense; Mitch rates to make a large impact on both offense AND defense. After summer league, I posted that we have the best young core in league other than healthy 76ers. I also posted this:

    KP + Mitch > Jokic + Harris
    KP + Mitch > Giannis + Brogdon

    My only qualms at the time were KP’s health (but his ACL tear was apparently the mildest form) and Mitch’s BB IQ. Mitch looks like a natural out there given his lack of experience. Bottom Line: I continue to stand by my hot summer take.

  12. chrisk06811

    I’m kinda not sure this is in our best interest, but…….
    we are 3-6. 3 of the losses were to top teams (GS, Bos, Mil), one of which was by 2 pts.
    we are playing without our best player and out lottery pick.

    And, we’ve got Washington, Orlando, Chicago and Atlanta coming up. Our next 5 opponents are 15-27, and that includes the 8-1 raptors.

    I think we are about to win 3 of our next 5, putting us 6-8.

  13. Bruno Almeida

    I see the Lou Williams comparison in the sense that it’s a guy who has every move in the book and is not shy at all at going to the rim. The best aspect of Williams’ game is how fearless he is going to the rim and how he keeps attacking, it’s what turns him from a Jamal Crawford “dribble a lot take contested jumpers” to a really valuable player.

    Trier’s size helps him a lot in the defensive side of things, as he should project to be a better defender. I’m just at awe that we might have found not one but two complete steals out of the scrap heap, like we are the Knicks, this isn’t supposed to happen.

  14. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    KP + Mitch > Jokic + Harris
    KP + Mitch > Giannis + Brogdon

    This is an impressive level of delusion.

  15. Hubert

    Yeah, between that player assessment and yesterday’s assertion that the Durant and Kawhi might want to play here together, I respectfully think you’re a good distance further than optimism.

  16. Hubert

    The question is whether he’ll be worth the money at 34 if the team has a 35-win core otherwise.

    I may be splitting hairs but I think this core is better than 35 wins. We were on pace for 35 last year before porzingis got hurt and I think we’re better now.

    If we add no one next year and roll out a core of KP, Mitchell, Frank, Hardaway, Knox, Trier, and another lottery pick, that strikes me as team that should expect to win ~42 games.

    You may be right that even a 42 win team shouldn’t make that move, but I’m just a little more optimistic about the core we are developing

  17. danvt

    What’s a bit worrying (not for him) is that his DRed% almost doubles what Mitch

    You know you’ve made it when you have an advanced stat named after you :-)

    Seriously tho. Nice recap Farfa.

    Worried that at some corporate office high in the Dallas skies, Cuban sits laughing maniacally.

    What can I say? No Beasley. Some contributions from vets but the kids did this. Mitch, Trier….phenomenal. Kudos to coach and GM…If we’re “too good” so be it.

  18. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Kentucky-Duke Tuesday night. Must watch Zion TV

    Make sure you get your vote in early!

  19. alsep73

    Like Farfa, I agree that this is the kind of win you can’t complain about, tank or not. I’d love to get Zion, but if it’s the kids who play us out of a top pick, so be it. And with the flattened odds, this is the year to be less angsty about wins.

  20. Zanzibar

    KP + Mitch > Jokic + Harris
    KP + Mitch > Giannis + Brogdon

    This is an impressive level of delusion.

    I’m pulling a Jowles and bookmarking this. I’ll also add the following:
    KP + Mitch > KAT + Wiggins
    Mitch > Doncic

    Look I enjoy watching Jokic and Doncic way more than Mitch or KP. They are like consummate jazz musicians at the top of their improvisational game. BUT I must not let that color how I judge their ultimate impact on the objective of winning. Offensive prowess should be weighted more than defensive prowess in that regard but most people skew it too far to offense. That’s why players like Garnett and Ben Wallace don’t get their just due. If Jokic were a better defender, the balance might change. If Giannis were a better shooter, the balance might change. But right now, neither Giannis nor Jokic is in LBJ/KD/Curry/Kawhi/AD category.

    Note: I just looked it up, my original post this summer had KP + Mitch > Giannis. I had set the bar at <=24yo. Make it Giannis + DiVincenzo

  21. danvt

    Old school mentality would say no KD we wanna beat KD. I realize it’s not pre 2010 anymore though…

    Here’s a question that inquiring minds wanna know. If the whole Melo Drama had played out exactly the same but with KD instead, where would we be right now?

  22. 2FOR18, understands math

    Looks we have a real life meritocracy on our hands with Fitzdale, just like he promised in the preseason when he said all positions are up for grabs.
    Happiest I’ve been as a fan since Linsanity.

  23. Hubert

    But right now, neither Giannis not Jokic is in LBJ/KD/Curry/Kawhi/AD category.

    Giannis is getting there, maybe by the end of this season. Porzingis probably never will.

    Jokic is in the Damian Lillard, James Harden space reserved for transcendent offensive stars. Porzingis unlikely to ever get there, either.

    I’ll give you the Minnesota one, though. Mitchell over Wiggins can carry that one alone.

  24. danvt

    Looks we have a real life meritocracy on our hands with Fitzdale

    Yes. +1

    Early game ball to coach. So freakin refreshing

  25. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    But right now, neither Giannis nor Jokic is in LBJ/KD/Curry/Kawhi/AD category.

    This has nothing to do with whether Porzingis is in the two-way superstar tier. He absolutely is not. We have a lot of circumstantial evidence that he’s an elite defender, but he is a pure chucker right now. There will never again be a top-5 player in the league who shoots .539 TS%. The league is simply too efficient, and we’re talking about the single most important thing to do on a basketball court: scoring lots of points.

    Giannis at .598 TS% (like last year) is absolutely an MVP-caliber player. At .563 it’s a completely different story. And Jokic currently has a 12+ BPM, best in the league. He’s playing 30 MPG for the league’s 3rd-best defense so far, too.

  26. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Mitchell could retire right now and have a better end-of-career VORP than Wiggins. Wiggins is 100% scrub.

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201611130MIN.html

    Games like this will carry him from contract to contract. The thing is, when you have games this efficient, imagine how bad you’d have to be the rest of the time to end up with a .505 TS% at season’s end.

    Wiggins has just begun the first year of his max contract and it’s already the worst contract in the league, hands down.

  27. Zanzibar

    Giannis is getting there, maybe by the end of this season. Porzingis probably never will.

    Jokic is in the Damian Lillard, James Harden space reserved for transcendent offensive stars. Porzingis unlikely to ever get there, either.

    Sure but the comparison is not KP > Jokic or KP > Giannis. It’s KP + Mitch > Jokic + Harris and KP + Mitch > Giannis + DiVincenzo. KP and Mitch both rate to be elite at defense. Mitch will be also be a force on offense and may end up the most dangerous lob-dunk threat in history of NBA. The efficient dunking is only a part of that; it’s the threat which is more important and forces the defense to react in a way which leads to open 3’s. And he’s elite at grabbing offensive rebounds. KP’s offense is a wildcard just like Giannis’ shooting.

  28. alsep73

    If someone offers a 1st rounder and takes Lee for KP do you do it?

    Nah. It’s a huge risk to give him the max with his injury and uneven play. But the upside is too great; I’d rather bet on him realizing at least some of it. There have been several games this year where a healthy KP would have made the difference between a win and a loss.

  29. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Mitch will be also be a force on offense and may end up the most dangerous lob-dunk threat in history of NBA.

    Bro he’s played like 100 minutes in the NBA. He’s only played Boston, Miami, Golden State, Brooklyn, Indiana and Dallas. We may want to hold off calling him a future all-time-great until he plays the other 23 starting centers in the league. Crazy thought, right?

  30. danvt

    @33

    I hear you and really want to see a home grown player blossom but think about having two first rounders and two max slots this summer…

    What would Danny Ainge do?

  31. alsep73

    One of the reasons a max player might come here is to play WITH our young unicorn. I love the guys who played last night, but they’re not luring two max guys this summer.

  32. Ntilakilla

    They have virtually identical bodies too.

    Allonzo is 4 inches taller and thirty pounds heavier than Lou according to their official stats. His physical ceiling might be higher.

  33. bidiong

    I know everyone is excited (rightfully so), but maybe lets get through 30 games before we start with the aggressive postulating.

  34. Zanzibar

    To elaborate, I think KP and Mitch together will be a rare defensive force. Opponents just won’t drive and will end up taking inefficient mid-range shots. Mitch’s lob-dunk threat (and offensive rebounding) together with KP’s outside shooting and expected improvement on offense (degree not known) will be a large positive on offense. Like Hubert would say, you have to take a “holistic” view here on the collective impact on offense and defense. I think Giannis is and will continue to be a better player than either KP or Mitch. I think Jokic will probably be better on offense than either KP or Mitch. BUT again I think Mitch and KP together will have a greater impact on winning. Now if Bucks had drafted Ayton or Jaren Jackson I would say Giannis + Ayton or Jaren > KP + Mitch.

  35. 2FOR18, understands math

    If a team that looks like it will get a top 5 pick next draft offered us their 1 for KP and took back Timmy I would do it.

  36. Zanzibar

    There’s a large group of people here who want to jettison KP/Timmy and they’re all off their rockers. KP is an elite defender and if on offense he even approaches the way he played at beginning of last year he’s a top 5 player in the league. His max starts at 25m/yr I believe which isn’t that much on a 109m cap. And who are we signing if we jettison Timmy? Take a look at the free agents list and tell me. Would you rather have Tobias Harris at 23m/yr? If we need to free up cap space to unload Timmy to sign KD or Kawhi, we could do it this summer.

  37. d-mar

    Just finished watching the game on DVR and focused a lot on Mitch (since I knew the outcome already) You know the old cliche “he does things that don’t show up in the box score?” That’s Mitch Rob, you watch him on defense and he’s everywhere – closing on shooters, protecting the paint, knocking away entry passes, busting the pick and roll.

    I still can’t believe there were 35 players drafted ahead of this guy.

  38. DRed

    I don’t know if you can pencil Mitchell in for an all-NBA slot just yet, but he’s clearly going to be a productive player this year. The size and athleticism are for real and he clearly can translate them into offensive rebounding and dunking

  39. Ntilakilla

    I am still waiting for KP to take less mid-range/long two pointers and using a more efficient shot selection. But I agree with Zanzibar that the potential pairing of him and MitchRob is a very complimentary one on both ends of the court. We always speculated that KP would need a Tyson Chandler type to pair along with him. We may have found that guy.

  40. Jack Bauer

    This team.
    Trier is legit and Mitch Rob is living up to our wildest expectations. Agree, this the most exciting Knick team to root for in years no matter how many games they win. The coaching staff is doing an excellent job with rotations and motivating defense and playing hard.

    Good call on the Knicks lucky break in Arizona losing to Buffalo in the tournament last spring. Had they gone on a deep run Trier would have likely been a 1st round pick.

    The only downer I feel is Zion slipping away…I can hear it now:

    With the ninth pick in the 2019 NBA draft the New York Knicks select….

  41. d-mar

    I guess when KP comes back the issue will be playing him and Mitch Rob together if the other team goes small.

    But that’s an issue I can live with.

  42. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Yeah, looks like Trier is a lot taller. I guess he just looks shorter because he has such a forward lean when he drives.

  43. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    The best part is that if Embiid is going to be a goofy heel, he needs to again put the pedal to the floor in the 2nd half. I don’t expect him to score less than 50 this game, if only because he’ll use it as fuel to goad, taunt or pester his future opponents. And I love it.

  44. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    Jokic is a phenomenal talent on the offensive end but a liability on defense; Mitch rates to make a large impact on both offense AND defense.

    The first statement accurate. The 2nd we can only hope is true. At the very least Mitch should be efficient dunking on low usage.

  45. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    There’s a large group of people here who want to jettison KP/Timmy and they’re all off their rockers.

    1/2 off their rockers. :-)

  46. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

    And with the flattened odds, this is the year to be less angsty about wins.

    That’s what I’m telling myself.

    I’m with Zanzibar on Team Optimism. Mitch and KP – with Frank on the lead guard – feels like a top 3 defense in a couple years, without giving up much on O. Their games really are complementary.

  47. bockadoo

    Embiid 32 points on 9 shots??? It’s like vegetables growing right out of the ground. How can this happen?

  48. rama, king of superfluous poppycock

    The size and athleticism are for real and he clearly can translate them into offensive rebounding and dunking

    It’s more than that. He deflected 3 pick and rolls by deflecting the entry pass. Being able to stop the pnr is crucial in today’s game.

  49. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    Embiid is far and away the best true C in the league, but the 76ers are not constructed very well. They need shooters.

  50. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    Embiid is far and away the best true C in the league, but the 76ers are not constructed very well. They need shooters.

    They have one, but he’s inexplicably coming off the bench this year. Fultz should get a lot of burn but not at the expense of a high playoff seed. I would not want to face MIL, TOR or BOS in the first round this year.

  51. Ntilakilla

    I’m with Zanzibar on Team Optimism. Mitch and KP – with Frank on the lead guard – feels like a top 3 defense in a couple years, without giving up much on O.

    This is a perfect time to remind everyone that Porzingis and Frank Ntilikina allowed just 95.9 points per 100 possessions in 366 minutes with on the floor together last year. Compare it to 107.9 points per 100 possessions in 2,527 minutes with one of the two on the floor, and 113.8 points per 100 possessions in 1,072 minutes with neither on the floor. Throw MitchRob into that equation and we might not have to be an elite offensive unit to compete in the East.

  52. Ntilakilla

    Embiid is far and away the best true C in the league

    I like Jokic better. His post game is legit good in an old school sort of way.

  53. Bruno Almeida

    Embiid has been having a MVP type start of the season, and averaging only 2.3 turnovers per game, which was the biggest knock to his game.

    28.6 and 11.9 plus 3.8 assists with his usual ts% and defense is insanity.

  54. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    Embiid > Jokic because Ebbiid is a plus defender. The gap on the other side is huge.

  55. Ntilakilla

    Jokic is not that bad a defender. He was 16th out of 56 centers in real defensive plus minus last season. His overall real-plus minus put him 5th overall in the entire league, Embiid was 11th.

  56. Grocer

    We’ve played a mixed schedule so far and we’re 3-6. That extrapolates out to 27 wins on the season. The kids are exciting and fun but we’re real bad, just maybe not quite as bad as I previously thought. It’s just a shame that other teams are even worse. I was disappointed in Dallas last night, I wanted a tougher game out of them. Not so much for us to lose, as for the Mavs to not nail themselves to the bottom of the standings. Hopefully we can help the Wizards figure their shit out tomorrow.

    Is Capital City Go-Go is a good name for a basketball team? I wanna say yes but I’m hesitating.

  57. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    I mean I also remember when people said James Harden was barely a net positive because of his defense sooooo

  58. JK47

    The Nuggs are one of the best defensive teams in the league so far this year, so it’s really not like Jokic’s defense is killing them. One of the main reasons they’re a top 5 defense, Four Factors-wise, is that they’re a very good defensive rebounding team. Guess who’s their best defensive rebounder.

  59. danvt

    defense isn’t important?

    OK back on the KP train If he’s cant miss as a defender he’s worth the risk. Also, we actually have some coaching now. I forgot what that was like. He really played like and was poorly influenced by Carmelo. (The gift that keeps giving…) I think Fiz will get the most out of him.

  60. Donnie Walsh

    Whenever a new star emerges, critics always say they’re a bad defender. It’s low hanging fruit because defense is hard to quantify. Ultimately, I think it’s because fans fear change. They are used to Jordan/Kobe/LeBron and so when a guy like Curry has the best offensive season ever people say “but he’s bad at defense”, even though he played more minutes than anybody on the top ranked defense in the league while also leading the league in steals. Now it’s Jokic’s turn because he, too, isn’t the prototypical nba superstar.

  61. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Jokic is a plus defender even though he’s a poor rim protector because he’s a hellacious rebounder despite being totally unable to jump.

    You could make an argument that his defensive production is empty calories when it comes to playoff ball where rim protection reigns supreme, but his regular season defense is clearly better than his rep would indicate.

  62. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    I want to repeat that Jokic has 6,451 NBA minutes to Robinson’s 119. There is absolutely no way you can make an argument that Robinson has the better outlook right now. Jokic is a pure genius on offense and apparently isn’t damning the Nuggets to even a mediocre defense.

    Porzingis is coming off a serious knee injury and Robinson is as green as it gets. Comparing them to Jokic/Murry or Giannis/anyone is total silliness.

    And Giannis’s inability to shoot from distance has not made him a bad offensive player. Would he be the greatest player in history if he could hit 3PT shots at 40%? Probably. Does he have some sort of low ceiling because he can’t shoot? Fuck and no.

    Giannis is still only 23 years old.

    I will not entertain this nonsense.

  63. Ntilakilla

    @69

    This is true, but with that said – I was amazed at how poor of a defender Doncic was last night. I dunno what his defensive future will be in a league where athletic wings grow on trees, but he’s not getting smaller so I don’t see him guarding guards.

    Though his shooting is insanely good. Euros aren’t supposed to come out of Europe and be this good shooting the ball at the NBA level their first season. Even great shooting ones like Dirk, Peja, Calderon, etc. struggle to adapt to the different basketball and 3 point range.

  64. thenoblefacehumper

    Notice how when we win primarily using guys who could have a future with us, no one gets mad about it! Amazing how that works.

  65. Brian Cronin

    Notice how when we win primarily using guys who could have a future with us, no one gets mad about it! Amazing how that works.

    Yep, as a board we have always been supportive of true rebuilds.

    Just go back to check out the threads from early in the 2010-11 season. This current optimism is great, but it was great back then, too. So pleased to see them finally doing the right thing.

  66. Stratomatic "Is Dotson our best two-way player with Porzingis out?"

    I understand why people lump rebounding into defense, but when I think about defense I am primarily thinking about locking down the guy you are guarding, helping teammates, protecting the rim, getting steals without taking undo risks and things like that. On some level, rebounding is a role assigned to a couple of players. Everyone has to defend.

    Also, I think a team can get away with 1 bad defender on the court if there are a couple of plus defenders on the court with him to help. But typically, if there are 2 bad defenders things really start breaking down. So saying “so and so” is not hurting the defense that much is really a complement to his teammates and not a way of saying “he’s not so bad”. There are certain lineups that will not work defensively with that same player. The Knicks were fine with Melo as long as Chandler and Kidd were on the court, but with Amare all hell broke loose.

  67. kevin5318

    Isn’t Doncic like 6’8 in shoes? They should put him at PF some if they haven’t done so already.

  68. alsep73

    Speaking of Chandler, Phoenix is buying him out. That contract never made any sense for them. Where do you think he ends up? Lakers?

  69. Hubert

    Will repeat something I said over the summer:

    Timmy deserves a little more credit than he gets here. He’s not that bad. He is a mediocre, sometimes above average, volume scorer. Sure we all want players who do what he does more efficiently. But on a team with guys like Mitchell who only shoot the best shots and Frank who isn’t aggressive, it’s good to have a guy like him. It’s the same role Donovan Mitchell fills for Utah, only they have much better players around him.

    We’re not dumping Timmy just to get rid of his contract. The logic you all wanted applied to Noah should apply to him: don’t dump him unless you have a guarantee from someone elite who wants to be here.

  70. Farfa Post author

    If he’s ok with the minimum (as he should), I think Golden State is the frontrunner. But any contender should be trying to snatch him up to have a solid if uninspiring Tyson for 10 mpg.

  71. Farfa Post author

    @78

    I don’t know. He’ll never live up to his contract, but he’s not dramatically overpaid. If the right occasion comes, I’ll be eager to trade him away.

  72. Hubert

    Now it’s Jokic’s turn because he, too, isn’t the prototypical nba superstar.

    It’s not people fearing change, it’s people watching the games. He really is very bad at the most important defensive position. They’ve been doing smart things with him this year, though, having him be very aggressive on traps, and it’s working very well so far. It doesn’t look sustainable. It looks like something ripe for exploitation once teams are used to it. But it’s working now.

  73. Hubert

    Farfa, I’d like to trade him, too, but not for the sake of it. And not in the middle of this season. If we strike out on the major free agents I’d want him here next year on that one year deal with a player option.

    I want to trade him to get better guys, like Durant and Walker. Not because he’s a terrible player.

  74. Grocer

    If we strike out on the major free agents I’d want him here next year on that one year deal with a player option.

    Eh, he doesn’t help development that much and he hurts draft positioning. It is correct he’s mediocre and I wouldn’t pay to dump him but if somebody offered a decent deal of an expiring, maybe plus a young guy who hasn’t clicked yet, I’d take it. I don’t see an upside to keeping him around if we’re not pushing during his contract. I definitely don’t want him to stick around and get an 80/4 contract after this one expires because he’s endeared himself to the fan base.

    But his contract isn’t really movable.

  75. Brian Cronin

    Speaking of Chandler, Phoenix is buying him out. That contract never made any sense for them. Where do you think he ends up? Lakers?

    Definitely the Lakers. I think he even announced it. I’m not a huge fan of buying a decent player out this early in the season. It’s like this big ol’ gift to the Lakers for no reason.

  76. Brian Cronin

    Playing “What If…?” theater, what happens if Chandler accepted the Golden State offer? They probably don’t get Barnes, right?

    Does Curry/Klay/Iggy (they probably still get Iggy)/Draymond/Chandler still win a title? Actually, probably, yeah.

  77. Cock Jowles, #1 Purveyor of Wanton Chuckery

    It wouldn’t make sense for GSW. They’re playing Jones and Looney as much as possible before Cousins comes back in March or April. At that point, they have three guys who can’t really see the floor together. There was a possession last night where Jones and Looney were playing together and one of them got a wide-open look at a 3 from typical Dubs ball movement and had to dribble out of it because it clearly wasn’t going to happen.

    Chandler would be a great get for them, but I don’t see them using another roster slot on a rim protector, even if he were interested. Lakers makes way more sense. He can easily play 15 MPG and get lobs from Ball, Rondo and LeCoast all day long.

  78. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Eh, he doesn’t help development that much and he hurts draft positioning.

    For now, I’d have to disagree with this part. Timmy had a substandard shooting night and the Knicks won handily bc primarily because of the youngsters. His best shooting game – 37 pts on 19 shots – was an L to the Pacers. He adds to the “competitive losses” we’ve had, and that’s fine with me.

    I know many of us just don’t have a good taste in our mouths when it comes to Tim Jr. And with fair reason – we’re tired of overpaid players. But it’ll be interesting if Fiz can really develop him into a true leader and (somewhat) 2-way star.

  79. chrisk06811

    I want to repeat that Jokic has 6,451 NBA minutes to Robinson’s 119.

    Doesn’t that just mean that Mitch is fresher?

  80. Bruno Almeida

    I’ve watched a bit of the Suns because of Ayton and Chandler looks DONE, like Joakim Noah levels of done.

    Maybe he could help the Lakers by just being a big dude who knows how to play, but as much as I love him he looks like he should be retired.

  81. bobneptune

    I want to trade him to get better guys, like Durant and Walker. Not because he’s a terrible player.

    The problem is if he was a truly terrible player you’d have to attach a substantial asset to move him. I want to move him now to open up more minutes for Trier, Dotson and Knox as well as Frank who may have to play THJr’s position.

    On his best day he isn’t “C” level value at 18M per (more like C- to D+), is horrid on defense and is a high volume/moderate (at best) efficiency chucker. Period.

    When we get a sniff that a top like player wants to come here, we will be held up to move him. He just isn’t the player that should be eating up 18M per year on a developmental team.

  82. Donnie Walsh

    Remember when Paul George was traded and people were like “that’s a terrible package for Indiana!”

    Well, somebody in Indiana knew what they were doing.

  83. Donnie Walsh

    If a team that looks like it will get a top 5 pick next draft offered us their 1 for KP and took back Timmy I would do it.

    It’s impossible to know where picks are going to land, especially with the new odds, BUT… if later tonight Phoenix offered their unprotected 2019 pick and Ryan Anderson for Porzingis and Hardaway should Perry say yes?

  84. english_knick

    I’m all in on this team winning games if it’s behind the young guys who have a long term future on this team. On that note I’d probably be in favour of even fewer minutes for Kanter and probably fewer shots for THJ, but right now it’s hard to quibble.

    One thing on the lottery though. Everyone saying the flatter odds means winning a few more games matters less but I’m not so sure. The flatter odds favour the mid-lottery teams. With more ping pong balls for them, and four lotto slots instead of three, the odds are now much higher that multiple mid-lotto teams jump up. In that scenario, you either want to be one of those mid lotto teams or the very worst because if you’re the very worst it limits how far you can fall. Worst team can’t go past 5th whereas the third team, for example, has the same chance at winning the lotto as the top team but can fall as low as 7th.

    Since the Knocks are guaranteed by Dolans razor and the Faustian pact that got us Ewing to move down, we really want to start as high as possible…

  85. Grocer

    if later tonight Phoenix offered their unprotected 2019 pick and Ryan Anderson for Porzingis and Hardaway should Perry say yes?

    It’s a probably a bad move, mostly since the randomness of the lottery and the draft but… I’d be very tempted to agree. In a month or two, if the draft is looking a little deeper than it is now I’d probably be a solid yes. It’d push our timeline back a couple years which would be advantageous given the way the league looks. It help is tank this season and two early picks would be sweet. I think we could probably get another pick out of them tho, if they were into it.

  86. Z-man

    Geez, these hypothetical trades have zero chance of happening, so why even bother discussing them?

    The Knicks are not trading KP.
    The Knicks are not trading Timmy.

  87. bobneptune

    The Knicks are not trading Timmy.

    If they think he is a fundamental piece on a good team they are doing acid…..

  88. Brian Cronin

    If they think he is a fundamental piece on a good team they are doing acid…..

    I agree with that, but I think they like him well enough that the fact that his contract is practically untradeable at the moment makes it so that Z-Man is almost surely correct.

  89. Z-man

    I do think that both Mills (more so) and Perry (less so) believe that Timmy will be reasonably valuable for the life of his contract and that his contract itself would be difficult to move while getting better or even equal value back. I also think that Fiz and those two agree that Timmy is a sort of buffer for the young team…he takes scoring pressure off of the younger guys. They are probably going to wait until KP gets back to see whether he develops into a legit front-line guy. Now past that, I could see them moving him in a package for a better player or an irresistible package, but not as a pure salary dump.

  90. Bruno Almeida

    I think Hardaway isn’t going anywhere, and Mills and Perry do think he’s a good player who is a part of our future.

    I don’t think they’re right, but there has been zero indications at all that they might be looking to trade him or pump up his trade value or anything like this. From what we’ve seen, Perry doesn’t believe in internationally making the team worse to gather assets, so a simple trade for assets and tanking is really not realistic to expect.

    My guess is that they’re gonna keep the team as it is with Trier being signed and someone gone, probably Kornet or Kanter if he asks for a trade, and then they’ll wait until free agency to see if there’s a chance to pursue more than one star. Then I believe they will be looking to move Hardaway or Lee.

  91. bobneptune

    He has virtually no chance of his contract being fair value over the life of his contract. he is close to an average NBA player and gets paid double that.

    I don’t want anything back…. I’d be happy with A.Rivers and J Smith expiring.

    If in his absence they can’t score enough and lose more…. wonderful.

  92. Bruno Almeida

    I mean, I would trade Hardaway for a bag of basketballs on an expiring contract. I think he has reached his ceiling as a player and a team like the Knicks has no business ever paying 18 million a year to a Jamal Crawford clone with a slightly better ts%. But it’s still incredibly unlikely that the front office is considering trading him. For me he would be traded asap, start Trier in his place and see what happens.

  93. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    The Knicks would only trade Tim Hardaway Jr as a part of a deal that would bring back a big name. Other than that, he’s ours.

  94. bobneptune

    The Knicks would only trade Tim Hardaway Jr as a part of a deal that would bring back a big name. Other than that, he’s ours.

    Who on earth is giving a “big name” for THJr? Dump him on Minnesota after they move Butler for whatever for Taj Gibson’s expiring…..

  95. Frank

    I’m sorry – why are we trading Porzingis again?

    Re: trading Timmy – I don’t see that happening either. he is front and center in the “new culture”, was Steve Mills’s big splash move. I guess it’s possible they are showcasing him for a trade, but I doubt it.

    he’s miscast as a #1 option, but he could be a useful piece on a really good team as a 2nd/3rd option on starting/closing lineups attacking defenses that are on the move (in response to a real #1 option) or as a #1 option on a bench unit. He’s probably $4MM/year overpaid which is not the end of the world.

    (what they should probably give up on, though, is casting him as a defensive stopper. for pete’s sake, put Frank on the best offensive player in crunch time).

  96. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Your’re missing the point, @108. The point isn’t that anybody would trade for him, it’s that Steve Mills isn’t going to trade his only big signing in a salary dump. Trading TH2 to clear cap space isn’t what the front office wants to do, but if by some chance a star player on a big contract becomes available? Then we’d have to move TH2 (who is an expiring contract in 2020 when he opts out for more money) because that would be a clear win for the front office. I’m not saying anybody wants him as much as I’m saying he would be a necessary casualty to trade for a guy like John Wall (“star” player on a contract through 2022) or CJ McCollum..

  97. bobneptune

    Your’re missing the point, @108. The point isn’t that anybody would trade for him, it’s that Steve Mills isn’t going to trade his only big signing in a salary dump. Trading TH2 to clear cap space isn’t what the front office wants to do, but if by some chance a star player on a big contract becomes available? Then we’d have to move TH2 (who is an expiring contract in 2020 when he opts out for more money) because that would be a clear win for the front office. I’m not saying anybody wants him as much as I’m saying he would be a necessary casualty to trade for a guy like John Wall (“star” player on a contract through 2022) or CJ McCollum..

    If Mills doesn’t realize he made a hugely mistake paying a no defense moderate efficiency chucker way over market and doesn’t jump at the chance to rectify it if given the chance, then he is even worse than thought. Great executives make few mistakes… and when they realize the did, the rectify them .

    Haven’t we seen what happens when you have overpaid overrated players clogging your roster…. you make stupid moves because you have “no other way to get better”.

    We now have a core of young players on cheap (relatively) contracts. Clear out the grossly overpaid players like THJr to a desperate team for nothing…. sent their front office some hookers too if that helps.

    I mean FFS Trier and Dotson can do everything better than THJr for 1/12th the price

    LOL at the thought of paying John Wall 170M for the next 4 years plus a 15% trade kicker!

    Also about him certainly opting out…. Enes Kanter sez hai!

  98. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    You’re literally creating your own argument to fight it, but okay. I definitely think John Wall is worth the contract, I think Steve Mills is the best executive ever, and Tim Hardaway Jr shouldn’t be traded for an expiring contracts. And for good measure, I also pissed in your Cheerios this morning

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