Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Monday, November 18, 2019

New York Knicks 83 – Orlando Magic 95 – Game Recap

“The young hero, albeit wounded and with unsteady hands, was still fighting his war against those long-limbed monsters. Somehow, even if his party had been outsmarted many a few times (and even outmanned when the other young guy with the funny accent simply refused to attack the enemy), there was still a chance to bring down those black clad monstrosities and to climb further up the Mountain of Standings, very far from the dreaded Pit of Tank. 

“Help me! I need magical assistance here!” shouted the valiant son of Rowan, faced by two foes.

Soon at his side came the Mook, a rugged fighter known around the continent for his problems with authority and for that time where he convinced King Pop to send away one of his mercenary in hope of getting the Mook’s service.

“I’m here”, shouted the Mook, throwing daggers that had no business piercing the enemy’s armors while blocking somehow the path for the young hero. 

“But I needed magical assistance!”, said the Chosen One, the boy who should have led Pennstationland peolple out of the Lottery Marsh.

“Well, tough luck, kiddo”, grunted the Mook. 

“May I have at least some clerical aid? My health looks a bit low”, uttered with a slight hint of doubt in his voice the young hero. Maybe his quest was already doomed? 

“At your service, my lord!” said Portio, a warrior who had seen his share of battles, who was apt at punching everyone, friend or foe, and had those strange eyes that a bard’s tale attributed to a failed attempt at a spell by his former mentor, a blond haired middle aged guy, Frederic of Hoiberg.

“Damn, I said a cleric! A cleric! Are you deaf?” shouted the hero, already verging on losing all hope. His party was odd and sometimes his companions didn’t mesh that well together, but usually he had been able to coax something out of those spare parts. A well placed magic missile here, a fireball there, a sneak attack from time to time. 

“Help! I’m cornered! Where’s our rogue?” asked again the hero, seeing the enemy advance without any sort of effort.

“Was it my name you called for?” questioned while stepping into the fray Rando, a powerful if forgetful barbarian from the far West. Certainly very used to deal a lot of damage, he had the tendency to fumble his weapons onto the ground too often for the hero’s liking, but his overall impact to the battle couldn’t be denied. Alas, though, no rogue he was.

“For Clydo’s sake! Is there anybody here who’s not a warrior with the same skillset who could help me fight those monsters before I valorously but uselessly die alone?”

“Hiya! It’s me, Korporal Knox!” yelled running haphazardly into the enemy lines the half-giant, half-kobold long-distance archer. Even he, though, wouldn’t have been able to provide the services the young hero asked for.

The son of Rowan side-eyed everyone and, with his morningstar in the right hand and his shield firmly attached to his left arm, charged ahead, recklessly throwing himself into a very likely death sentence.”

“But grandpa! Why wouldn’t you keep on reading this story? I need to know what happened to the son of Rowan.”

“Not now, little guy. We have a lot of time left to read together what happens next in Dolan’s Razor. I’ll see you tomorrow. And don’t lose faith. A young hero always finds a way to defeat even the most stacked odds.”

Inside the pages, the son of Rowan was simulteaneously dead and not dead.

On the court, on the other hand, folks still told the tale of the time he really played with four power forward all at once.

***

The good:

– Julius Randle (16 pts, 10 rebs, 7 ast, -16 +/-) at last delivered a passable performance – and the fifth straight double double to begin the season. It was hard to find someone who played “good” today. Mitch could have fit the bill if only he would have been on the court for more than 25 minutes. So I’m stuck with Julius and I don’t even find many reasons to praise his game. Yeah, he shot better than 50%. Yeah, he had “only” 3 turnovers. Yeah, he recorded 7 assists. It just sounds so empty. It’s like the ugliness of this game corroded even the good parts. It’s also the fact that the starting unit was the one who had the game slipping away at the beginning of the third and then again at the end. Randle’s a good player but you need to build the right lineup around him. If you keep deploying lineups and plays where he’s supposed to create from the dribble, you’re exposing him to certain failure. His turnovers were of the same variety: dribble dribble dribble spin lose the handle ball caroms on the leg/on someone else. This has to stop.

The bad:

– Wayne Ellington (2 pts, 2 rebs, 12.5% FG, -17 +/-) had probably the most impalpable bad game ever. He stank the joint shooting very poorly and doing nothing else, but at the same time you came away from the game never thinking he had been egregious. And egregious he wasn’t, maybe, only useless in a bad way – or he just played with the wrong lineup, seeing as the other nominal shooting guard for the night, Damyean Dotson, ended with a +10 +/- while posting a very similar line (2, 2, 2, 66% FT). You were bad, Wayne, but you get a pass this time.

Mini fun-sized bits:

– It’s criminal that Mitch saw only 19 minutes of playing time having committed only 1 foul. He has a long way to attain some level of discipline, but without him things look way less crisp. 12 points, 5 boards, 3 blocks for him.

– Bobby Portis with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes of playing time. Numbers aren’t bad, but how dumb must you be to play Portis 10 minutes more than Mitch? I’m running out of words to describe Fiz’s cluelessness.

– Frank Ntilikina had 7, 4 and 4. He also sank his first triple of the season. It was a half court heave than went in perfectly. Every other attempt from the distance clanked on the rim. He’s a living paradox. Still, not such a bad outing from Frank. Let’s hope he grows some confidence.

– RJ Barrett had his first bad game of his official career (9 pts, 2 rebs, 2 ast, 4/11 FG, 1/4 FT), but if this is one of his bag games, I’ll take it. Still not suited at all to be a primary ballhandler.

– Marcus Morris had 4 blocks (?), a career high, but was terrible everywhere. I can’t stand him at all. I hope he gets jettisoned as soon as possible.

– Kevin Knox, on the other hand, is terrible when asked to create something by himself, but looks like the part of a really good shooter. It’s 5 games in, the sample size is super small, but you wouldn’t be able to convince me this one is Kevin Knox Mark II, he’s just so much better (while still not a net positive).

Sorry for the brevity, work is rapidly approaching but I found a way to write a bit. Hope it’s enough!

Post scriptum: I won’t be able to recap friday’s game since I’ll be in Siena for a short holiday with Lady Farfa. See you on Monday with the Kings game recap!

Keep care and be well :)

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152 comments on “New York Knicks 83 – Orlando Magic 95 – Game Recap

  1. glidepath

    Farfa, you’re a rose among thorns. This is way more than enough – this recap had it all! You managed to capture some extraordinarily silly game action, framed it all in the context of our lotto hopes and dreams, incorporated some of yesterday’s top jowlesisms, and had me in stitches at my desk. Bravo, Farfa

  2. E

    It’s criminal that Mitch saw only 19 minutes of playing time having committed only 1 foul.

    Because Fizdale doesn’t believe in him. My guess would be that Fizdale finds him “gimmicky” or “limited” or “one-dimensional.”

    Marcus Morris had 4 blocks (?), a career high, but was terrible everywhere. I can’t stand him at all. I hope he gets jettisoned as soon as possible.

    Seeing him with his arm around Rowan Jr. trying to give him “advice” as they walked back to the bench was howling fantod territory for me. Get him out of here.

  3. djphan

    the randle turnovers are frustrating to watch but it’s necessary…. his assisted 2p fg opportunities have taken a huge nosedive and the results are what you would expect from that… this was a great game from randle as he was actually hunting for good shots for the team and finding them for others… we went through a decade where we had our best players who couldn’t figure this out…. this is what growing pains looks like… be patient… the growth is happening….

    a word of caution on knox… things look nice since the 3s are falling… and yes it is absolutely majestic when it goes in… but his 2p fg% has actually gotten worse on less attempts… that’s been visible but overshadowed by his hot shooting from 3… i know it looks like he’s making some progress but i’m not so convinced and it’s likely a mirage….

  4. Farfa Post author

    drop the fake vacation with the japanese robot you named lady farfa or resign in shame

    ptmilo, you should be nominated for the Nobel, you made me laugh twice during a bad day :D

    Thanks everyone!

  5. Farfa Post author

    i know it looks like he’s making some progress but i’m not so convinced and it’s likely a mirage…

    W/R/T Knox, I think it’s mostly a factor of understanding the basic principle of shooting when open/semi-open and in rhythm. He still makes the boneheaded play here and there (and usually misses/loses the ball) but I see a smarter player out there.

  6. Owen

    Dammit, Nick C got there first. That Kobold reference made me do a spittake. Great stuff.

    I think that we have all collectively reached the consensus that all we have right now as Knicks fans, other than Mitch and RJ, is a burgeoning appreciation for the way. a la Abramovic, Fizdale’s phenomenally shitty coaching is actually like performance art of the highest order. His choices are so senseless, so crude, so dumb, that you have to conclude that he has some other secret agenda, perhaps artistic, other than winning games. Or he is incredibly dumb.

  7. djphan

    yea ive noticed it too for as much shit i give him… you always like to see that… but refinement is not what he needed… he needed more monumental changes… and without that it will undermine whatever other progress he makes…

  8. d-mar

    I know we suck and all, but who’s the Knick hater in the NBA scheduling department that decided our first 6 games should be against playoff teams?

  9. Farfa Post author

    and without that it will undermine whatever other progress he makes…

    Definitely agree. That’s why I think he’s still not a net positive.

  10. E

    The first step for Fizdale to prove anything is to immediately bail on the putative starting lineup of Payton/RJ/Morris/Randle/Mitch. There’s no floor spacing, bad outside shooting, it’s a mismatched mess that can’t possibly succeed.

  11. ess-dog

    Yes, it is early, but Randle is already tied for the league lead in turnovers with Harden with 23 (although he’s currently 4th in total rebounds).

    Meanwhile, Mitch is tied for 7th in blocks despite only averaging 18.5 minutes per game.

  12. Hubert

    The first step for Fizdale to prove anything is to immediately bail on the putative starting lineup of Payton/RJ/Morris/Randle/Mitch. There’s no floor spacing, bad outside shooting, it’s a mismatched mess that can’t possibly succeed.

    You’re going to wish you hadn’t said this when he benches Mitch for Portis.

  13. Owen

    I mean seriously. Why is Mitchell Robinson not playing 30 minutes per game or fouling out?

    It’s just really frustrating.

  14. TheClashFan

    Another great recap!

    Totally agree RE Mitch. One issue here is that the Knicks do not have a legit backup C. As pretty much everyone except the Knicks FO knows, there are too many power forward types here, and due to the $ of the contracts, there’s probably pressure on Fiz to give them all court time. And really, Knox needs to become a four eventually, too.

    I’m not sure when the earliest the Knicks can trade Morris is (in December for newly signed FA?), but if they can’t get a 1st for him (and they probably can’t), then how about trying to deal him for a legit backup C? When Mitch is on the bench, there’s no rim protection.

    Of course, trade Portis, too, if possible.

  15. wetbandit

    I know we suck and all, but who’s the Knick hater in the NBA scheduling department that decided our first 6 games should be against playoff teams?

    Or the Knicks fan who wanted to expose Fiz’s inadequacies and prevent the pseudo-hot start our shitty players usually have before we rue every win.

    What’s the consensus on a good starting five? Payton, Ellington, RJ, Randle, Mitch? Is the spacing even that much better? I just have players I hate to watch: Morris takes the cake, and Smith is a close second. I love watching Frank for the mini-soap opera I watch in his brain, complete with a cliffhanger on whether he will die before the next episode, and I don’t care much for Portis, Gibson, Bullock, or even Randle and Payton. They’re all Afflalo to me.

  16. Farfa Post author

    They’re all Afflalo to me.

    I seriously hope this becomes part of KB vernacular, just like Fizdale magic or That’s factorial.

    They’re all Afflalo is just wordplay gold.

  17. The Infamous Cdiggy

    “They’re all Afflalo to me” – yeah that can grow on me.
    Bravo Farfa on that recap! Having played some RPGs over the years, that was very enjoyable and funny.

  18. swiftandabundant

    We need a coach.

    Think about this. Our last 3 coaches have been very young or or rookie coaches. Fisher, Horns and now Fizdale. I like the idea of Mike Miller getting promoted because he’s had success in the G-League and maybe we should let Fiz go and give him a try out for the rest of the year.

    But if he doesn’t work out, I think we need to get someone who is actually an experienced coach. I mean Woodson or Dantoni would be making much more sound choices with the rotations and would have an actual system in place.

    I don’t want to panic cause it can take time. The STAT/FELTON team struggled for about 11 games before they found their groove. But his rotations and lack of an offense are both troubling signs.

  19. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I have no idea what Fizdale is going to do, but even reporters and various scouts speaking off the record are saying that Robinson, Randle, and Morris won’t work. So a change is coming soon. Unfortunately, there are no “ideal” changes available given the players management put together.

    You need Randle on the court, but he is not an ideal fit with Robinson on offense. If you go with Portis at C, you have greater space, greater versatility on offense, fewer TOs and more efficiency from Randle, but you don’t have the rim protection from Robinson on defense and you are losing the occasional auto dunks from him when teams can’t or aren’t trying to taking that away from him.

    The most obvious move is taking Morris off the court for someone that can actually space the floor.

    You can move Barrett to SF and use Dotson/Ellington at SG or you could give Knox another chance at SF to see if he’s actually made progress and can knock down 3s consistently without making too many boneheaded plays or playing horrible defense. My preference is Dotson because he plays both sides, but there’s no telling where he is in his conditioning and sharpness given he missed the entire summer. That’s not going to solve the Robinson/Randle situation, but it will alleviate some of the spacing problems and speed us up a little by getting a big off the court.

    Then we have to get back to the PG/play making situation. lol

  20. geo

    well, it would seem someone performs pretty well under some pressure…that recap was pure bliss…my soul thanks you farfa…

  21. Farfa Post author

    Payton
    Dotson
    Barrett
    Randle
    Mitch

    Frank/DSJ/G-League stud
    Ellington
    Morris
    Knox
    Gibson

    That would be my preferred rotation.

  22. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I mean Woodson or Dantoni would be making much more sound choices with the rotations and would have an actual system in place.

    D’Antoni would take one look at the shooting on this team and either demand some trades or quit again. :-)

  23. geo

    I know we suck and all, but who’s the Knick hater in the NBA scheduling department that decided our first 6 games should be against playoff teams?

    just for once in the last several years it would be nice to start with zero hope/expectations and build up as the year progresses…i think we have a chance for that this year…seems every year we just deteriorate farther as the season goes on…

  24. cgreene

    Agree:
    PG Du Jour
    Dot/Ellington
    Barrett
    Randle
    Mitch

    Of course Fiz is such a nincompoop that he goes the other way and plays BIG BALL w RJ at the 1.

  25. cgreene

    And IF you are going to play RJ at the 1 then he should be playing from the post. There’s not a 1 in this league that can guard him in there. At the beginning of the game last night he had DJ Augustine on him for the 1st Q and they did not get it to him inside once bc they didn’t recognize it (Fiz) and could not make the pass when they did.

  26. JK47

    I think you kind of have to roll with Randle/Mitch in the frontcourt even if it’s not ideal. The other frontcourt combinations are even more ill-fitting.

    Of course Mitch is only a 19 MPG player here anyway, so who am I kidding.

  27. ess-dog

    They’re all Afflalo to me

    I laughed out loud at this. You should look into a trademark.

    I think Elfrid has to start, sadly. Randle is sort of miscast as a pf, but he’s kind of stuck there, which is why I think Fiz is experimenting with putting him with Portis instead. Maybe Elfrid, Ellington, RJ, Knox, Mitch is a slight upgrade, although they really want to start Randle… If Knox continues to shoot well, though, he should get to crack the starting lineup.

  28. djphan

    morris will look better than he has…. he’s a legitimately solid player who always had questionable shot selection but has it go in enough times… it’s not as of yet but we’re still only 5 games in… and it looks like there’s definitely some variance causing that…

    the starting 5 with payton is good… they’re all nba players which we haven’t had in a really long time… some people might not like the ‘spacing’ but you can succeed in the nba with less than ideal outside shooting…. you don’t need to run 5 out to have a good offense in this league… the spurs do it every year and they’re starting 3 guys who don’t shoot them at all…

    and the spacing problems are more about lack of ball movement and creating separation…. and it’s a problem because of the ball handling … coaching… and players who don’t run through screens.. set good screens… or players who call their own number too early…

    we’re next to last in assist/to ratio…. that is the main problem… and that’s because we’ve gotten next to zero from our primary ballhandlers…. and putting rj in that spot and having payton and dsj go down have been contributing factors… but once folks start returning we can judge the offense and the starting lineup better…

  29. Knew Your Nicks

    “The Gasol curse”
    I’d love to see Fiz going to Europe and trying to win a title with a Czechoslovakian team.

  30. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I think you kind of have to roll with Randle/Mitch in the frontcourt even if it’s not ideal. The other frontcourt combinations are even more ill-fitting.

    I agree.

    IMO, some of the other combinations are not so much “ill-fitting” as they contain inferior players. We want Randle/Mitch because they are clearly the two best players.

    That’s the tricky part.

    .90 + .90 = 1.85 (inferior players but good fit)

    or

    1 + 1 = 1.85 (superior players but bad fit)

    I have no idea what the exact numbers above should be. I’m just illustrating the dilemma using numbers. But I agree that you have to roll with Mitch and Randle and figure out how to make it fit as best as possible. Just don’t have Morris in there complicating matters more when imo he’s not a good enough player to absolutely need him on the court. Use him as a backup 3/4.

  31. Nick C.

    Now I have “They’re all Afflalo to me” in my head to the tune of She’s Always a Woman to Me.

  32. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    That is a great tagline.

    I stole it from a stock analyst that used to make regular appearances on CNBC years ago. He would make his forecasts with extreme confidence and certainty as if there was no doubt he was right. Then when he was eventually proven wrong he’d do the same thing the next time and use that tagline. It always cracked me up.

  33. TheOakmanCometh

    Now I have “They’re all Afflalo to me” in my head to the tune of She’s Always a Woman to Me.

    He’s a prized free agent, but he’s just a guy
    He ruins your faith with his average stat lines
    Whether Portis or Bullock, or Gibson or Payton
    They’ve got different names but they’re all just Afflalo to me

  34. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Of course Mitch is only a 19 MPG player here anyway, so who am I kidding.

    I made a post on the Nuggets subreddit the other day, asking why their coach pulled Jokic for so long after he picked up 3 fouls early in the first. I think he ended up playing 24 minutes and only picking up one more foul along the way.

    I was downvoted into oblivion with explanations like “they’d just run at him every possession until he fouls out” (to which I said, well why didn’t they do that when he came back in the 3rd quarter?) and “because you have to let him collect himself and gather his confidence” (the very best coaching platitudes spewed as common-sense fact) and “it’s more important to have him ready down the stretch, when the possessions matter more” (to which I asked if FGs in the first quarter count less toward the final score as those in the 4th, and maybe the 4th quarter would be all but decided if Jokic had been allowed to play every available minute — crickets). In true Reddit form, several posters asked if I had ever actually watched a game of basketball.

    I wonder what combination of this bullshit is the justification for Fizdale making his hands-down best player ride the pine as if it’s some kind of formative lesson.

  35. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @39

    You can easily argue that Fizdale made the wrong decision, but I think I understand his thinking. I said something about it in the game thread BEFORE they started the 2nd half.

    Orlando was allowing Robinson to do the only thing he can do on offense – catch lobs and put back offensive rebounds. He was 4 for 4 in the first half.

    They were also allowing him to do the only thing he does well on defense (block shots).

    So I predicted they’d have to make an adjustment or he was going to kill them all night.

    They did.

    They put Vucevic out beyond the 3 point line more often. Vucevic can hit 3s if left alone (he was 2-4 last night). That means Robinson has to go out on the perimeter and away from the paint where his ability to block and alter shots has it’s greatest value.

    They also packed the paint more and dared our outside shooters to stop throwing up bricks. When they pack the paint, Mitch becomes less effective at what he does on offense also because the lob won’t be there and it’s harder put back OREBs assuming you even get one.

    Fizdale probably saw that and decided to make a change (possibly overreacting)

    This is why players try to develop a variety of skills on both sides. When you can do a lot of things well, your opponent’s adjustments become less valuable because you can beat them another way.

    Again, maybe Mitch’s value is so large that even if you reduce it with some adjustments he should still be out there anyway, but smart teams will try to take away or at least reduce his value. That’s why he should try to expand his understanding and skillset and make them pay for those adjustments.

  36. wetbandit

    He can kill with a smile, but he frequently lies
    He can ruin your faith with his casual lies
    And he only reveals what he wants you to see
    He shrugs like a child, cuz Fiz is a Fisher to me

    Mitch can dunk up above, he can foul you or block you
    Barrett can show you a move, but he’ll never outpace you
    Mook will shoot when you let him, his scowl comes free
    Yeah, Frank defends like a thief, but he steals like a woman to me

    Oh, Frank takes care of himself. He can shoot if he wants-
    He passes at the 3 point line
    Oh, and he never posts out, and he never drives in
    He just can’t make his mind

    And Fiz’ll promise you more than the garden of Eden
    Then he’ll carelessly cut you and put you in the dungeon
    And he brings out the worst of the worst you can be
    He’ll blame it all on Beno, and then Hammon’s our woman to me

    Oh, Zo takes care of himself, he can shoot all he wants
    If he gets any time
    Oh, and Dennis never passes out, his 3 never goes in
    Can pass to Knox – changed his mind

    Knox can shoot so kind, but his face be so cruel
    Randle does as he pleases, he’s nobody’s fool
    And he can’t be benched out, he’s earned his salary
    The most Iggy will do is throw shadows at you
    Cause he can’t get on the court, he’ll go G

    Oh, and Bobby won’t give it out, and it never goes in
    All these dudes got a like mind
    Oh, they won’t give it out, and it never goes in
    They never heard of a dime

  37. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    We don’t want Mitch shooting many mid range shots (especially contested) but if he’s good enough at it that leaving him absolutely wide open is EV+ for us, they will cover him. That opens something up for someone else. If he can hit wide open 3s at a good enough rate, it really opens things up. He doesn’t have to become James Harden shooting off the dribble, step backs, side steps etc… Just be able to hit a WIDE OPEN shot and then at least they have to defend you. He hits wide open FTs at a good clip now, just keep adding.

  38. JK47

    Morris is kind of useless to us, because like his doppelganger Carmelo Anthony he’d be better at smallball PF. But we have like 50 power forwards on this team, so he’ll play SF.

    The East is big, man.

  39. JK47

    Mitch is 9 for 11 from the free throw line this season. When he came back last year after missing some games in December and January, he shot 71% the remainder of the season. So he seems to have the free throw thing figured out.

    I’d give him the green light to shoot wide open 15 footers. I bet he’d start making some if he’s encouraged to take that shot.

  40. bobneptune

    Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The actual quote is “Not always right…. but never in doubt!” My wife says that about me a lot……

  41. bobneptune

    Ira Winderman: Cam Reddish will start at point guard for the Hawks tonight in place of sidelined Trae Young. – via Twitter IraHeatBeat

    Should be fun times for Hotlanta tonight……

  42. DRed

    Atlanta just rolling into the season with no backup PG at all is better or worse than our strategy of having terrible backup PGs?

  43. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    @40

    I love the internet! Here’s every possession from Vucevic re: Mitch last night.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6EVolOmw5M

    1) Mitch with a half-hearted defense of a PNR turned post move — he stays in front but barely challenges it. Vucevic misses what should have been a pretty easy basket.

    2) Mitch sags and gets roasted on a slow, set-shot 3.

    3) Really nice ISO move by Vucevic in the post. Turnaround LH hook.

    4) PNR action with Augustine from the wing. RJ is hilariously late, takes the longest possible way around the pick and ends up behind the play, leaving Mitch to choose between DJ or Vuc. He hesitates, tries to recover on Vucevic but he’s too late. Wraps him up for 2 shots.

    5) Mitch falls and the Knicks are playing 3-on-5. Morris manages to foul him to get him to the line.

    6) Vuc catches it on the elbow and Augustine clears out. Randle drops to swipe and catches his arm.

    (a few possessions later)

    7) Mitch drops toward the restricted area when it looks like Ntilikina is about to get burned by Isaac. Isaac passes it back to Vucevic, who misses an uncontested three.

    8) For some reason, Mitch is watching the play from the top of the key. Fournier misses a jumper and Vucevic taps it out while Randle is defending. Morris deflects the pass.

    (2nd half)

    9) Vuc is out near the 3PT line and feeds it to Isaac. Mitch recovers from Fournier’s action and contests a baseline jumper but Isaac gets the lucky bounce. *MITCH IS IN THE PAINT, NOT WITH VUC*

    10) Vuc attempts a layup over Barrett IN THE PAINT, but Mitch recovers and contests.

    11) Vuc with another spin post move over Mitch.

    12) Mitch is again caught napping with Vuc camping behind the line.

    13) PNR action from the wing, Vucevic finishes at the rim upon receipt of the pass. No Mitch.

    14) Vucevic with a dribble at the elbow and passes out to a waiting teammate, who uses Vuc’s screen.

    15) Another PNR from the wing. Hook shot. No Mitch.

    16) High screen…

  44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    16) High screen with a dive to a Vuc 10-foot jumper. No Mitch.

    17) Portis gets bullied in the post, dumps it out for a teammate’s 3. No Mitch.

    18) Vuc bullies Morris in the post and gets an offensive foul.

    19) Pick and pop for a missed 15-foot jumper.

    20) PNR, making RJ run in a circle around him. Grabs Vuc for the foul.

    21) Mitch is back in! Is on Fournier on the perimeter. Goes up for a big shot block attempt on Fournier and Vuc is at the rim to clean it up.

    22) Mitch is not in the game but Vucevic again makes a move in the low post.

    Sorry Strat, but I just don’t see Vucevic camping behind the line on these 2nd-half possessions. He does roast Mitch a few times (including once earlier in the game) when Mitch is being lazy and playing what looks like zone defense, but there’s really no evidence here that he’s deliberately camping behind the line to draw Mitch away from the paint except on those 3PA where Mitch starts to drift toward the rim instead of being up on one of the better-shooting big men in the league.

    So what I’m saying is that I don’t see evidence of an “adjustment.” I see a guy who thrives on post moves and PNR dive/pop action with the occasional nifty pass. It is to Vuc’s credit that he can stand behind the three-point line and be ready to shoot it over a lazy/late or short defender.

  45. Z-man

    So tell me, would anyone take CP3 off of OKC’s hands if they threw in a decent 1st? Can Paul be healthy and good enough to be a salary placeholder until we fill in the roster around him while making the young players around him better? (This assumes that we send some veterans back to OKC)

    I just wonder what it would mean in terms of player development ot have maybe the highest b-ball iq player in the league running the point. Would it help Mitch? Knox? RJ?

  46. JK47

    Paul has 2/85 left on the contract but can still play. He’s probably not worth that insane contract anymore but he’s not completely finished either. I dunno, you’re taking yourself out of the free agent conversation for two more years with that doozy. I’d stay away. I don’t think the player development angle of it is worth the opportunity cost of keeping that much cap tied up for two more seasons after this one.

  47. geo

    how sad…cp3 on the verge of collecting social security would still be the best point guard we’ve had since almost forever…and, probably the best on court leader – since, almost forever…

  48. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @52

    Sorry Strat, but I just don’t see Vucevic camping behind the line on these 2nd-half possessions. He does roast Mitch a few times (including once earlier in the game) when Mitch is being lazy and playing what looks like zone defense, but there’s really no evidence here that he’s deliberately camping behind the line to draw Mitch away from the paint except on those 3PA where Mitch starts to drift toward the rim instead of being up on one of the better-shooting big men in the league.

    Vuc is a pretty good player. He does a lot of things well. He’ll take what you give him on each possession.

    There is no rational reason for Fiz’s actions other than he thought it was in his best interests to make a change.

    You are saying he’s crazy for not playing Mitch.

    I am saying right or wrong he was responding to what he was seeing on the court that was different in the 2nd half compared to the first half or he would have stuck with Mitch.

    All it takes is one play and “we are going to have to defend that and now they are taking away the inside so let me make a change”.

    Coaches make substitutions as soon as they see the other coach make a change or substitution. They don’t always wait around for series of plays that costs them 10 points.

  49. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    A year ago we were going crazy over having to deal with players like Lee and Noah for another year and now we are discussing CP3 for 2 years all for some future pick that that will land us a role player that will will be peaking in 2027?

    I’m all for trying to get better with a mix of youth/veterans and accumulating picks, but imo picks are way overvalued and CP3’s timeline doesn’t come even close to ours.

    That’s a hard pass for me.

  50. dtrickey

    FWIW (and apologies if it has been raised earlier), but there were some nice PnR sequences with Randle and Mitch yesterday. I think if they are going to coexist in the same front court they need to go to the well on a few possessions. Randle seems like a decent enough passer for it to work and it plays well enough into Mitch’s current scoring arsenal.

  51. swiftandabundant

    Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment…what, exactly is our “timeline” again? Cause now that we got RJ and know he could be a superstar, it seems our timeline would be to build a legit long term contender by the time RJ is entering his second contract, which is 3 seasons after this one. So 2022, 2023, 2024. That’s several seasons away from now. We got all our picks plus the extra Dallas picks. Getting another good one from OKC plus getting one of the greatest PGs ever to organize the offense for a few seasons and yeah RJ and maybe a PG we draft next year some tricks? Good be good. Maybe he takes on the old man kids contract role after this one is up. Yeah we got Mitch and his awesome contract that we’d like to build around but RJ is the real focal point now. Taking our time and picking up extra picks so we are loaded with good cheap role players in 3 to 4 years when we have cap to go after dudes then could be super smart and long term of us.

  52. Z-man

    Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense, but damn, wouldn’t it be great to see even a year of HOF PG play in the orange and blue? Our guards suck, all of them. It just gets sickening after a while.

  53. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I think Fizdale just throws shit at the wall because he has no idea what he’s doing

  54. Z-man

    And to be fair, it’s had to judge a coach when there isn’t a guard on the roster who isn’t either a journeyman, rookie or scrub.

  55. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Instead of trading for a guy like Chris Paul, the Knicks should just develop an NCAA point guard that played well in college and projected well into the pros. Guys like Fred VanVleet, Seth Curry, Derrick White, TJ McConnell, Patrick Beverley, Bryn Forbes, Kendrick Nunn, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Landry Shamet are littered across the league and we’re stuck trying to make Dennis Smith Jr and Frank Ntilikina work because of ideas like youth and perceived upside.

    I don’t know why we weren’t in on Brooklyn’s own Shamorie Ponds but we sign some random power forward to a two way contract (especially when we already have 29 power forwards on the roster). Kadeem Allen should be given every opportunity to play once he’s healthy, and we should be using our two way contracts to find the next Fred VanVleet. I’d be very happy to pay VanVleet this summer but it would be better if we just found a dude. These guys exist but we’re too busy trying to turn 30 year old Marcus Morris into 27 year old Carmelo Anthony. It really sucks to see Brooklyn pull Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and Joe Harris out of scorched earth while we argue about Frank Ntilikina. That’s why we can’t attract nice things; because giving Wayne Ellington an overpriced contract is more important than finding players who can one day be better than Wayne Ellington.

    I’m upset.

  56. ess-dog

    Yeah this Nunn kid is like three or four fire emoji right now which is extra amazing because he’s already 24-years-old and should probably be using a walker or at least wearing a MedicAlert bracelet to be safe because that’s wicked old.

  57. djphan

    if rj is a multiple allstar type…. then we should be ready to compete for as high as a 4 seed in two years…. year 3 is generally when these type of guys entrench themselves… mitch should have his contract by then (we have a decision to make this offseason on that too btw)… and randle will be on his team option…

    that sync’s up pretty nicely with our cap situation and we will have enough ammo to attract a top tier free agent…. and the bounty of draft picks start coming in…. lot of unknowns but we are setup very well after this year provided rj is for real…

  58. geo

    hours later wetbandit, and @41 still makes me smile…

    what’s funny is i was listening to vienna the other night and wondering how that would fit as a knick tune…

  59. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I think Fizdale just throws shit at the wall because he has no idea what he’s doing

    We finally agree. :-)

    I know from my own experience when you are learning new things you can get to a stage where you have no real ability to weigh factors correctly. When that happens, there can be an underlying logic to your your thinking, but you will come to some very bad conclusions.

    When I first started playing horses 45 years ago, I would look at how fast they were running in their races and stick with the fastest horses. One day I saw a race where it was obvious the pace was very fast, all the front runners tired badly, and a horse came from behind to win. I learned something new. I wanted to apply that new knowledge. When I saw another race where I thought the pace would be fast, I played a come from behind horse. The fact that the horse I played was so damn slow even the fast pace wasn’t going to help him win didn’t quite sink in yet. lol Both how fast the horses are and the pace setup matter, but I hadn’t learned to weigh them properly yet.

    As you keep incorporating new things, there’s a kind of adjustment period where you have to figure out how it all fits together and weigh it properly.

    That’s what it looks like Fizdale is doing. I think he’s making some highly suspect moves because he has a lot of knowledge, but he hasn’t put it all together yet as a coach.

  60. Dink

    mitch should have his contract by then (we have a decision to make this offseason on that too btw)

    Does Mitch have an option this offseason? Thought he had a straight 3 year contract.

  61. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    It really sucks to see Brooklyn pull Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and Joe Harris out of scorched earth while we argue about Frank Ntilikina.

    Personally, I think identifying a player with more talent and skills than is appreciated is only half the battle. The other half is developing him and using him properly.

    Frank is a high level defender that has a chance to become a game changer on that end.

    Frank is not a pure PG and is a bigger liability on offense than he is a positive on defense.

    Pretty much everyone knows that.

    However, I strongly suspect that if he was drafted by the Spurs or Raptors we would’t be arguing about him right now. He’d be further along in his development on offense and they would be using his talents properly. So we’d all be happy with his progress, role on the team, and spot on the roster instead of arguing his value on defense vs. his cost on offense, what position he should play, should we just throw in the towel and get a 2nd rounder for him etc…

    We have no record or history of developing players of any type.

  62. djphan

    he doesn’t technically but it effectively kind of is… bondy details it here

    we can extend him starting this summer (july 2020) to something like a 4 yr 50mm deal…

    what kind of complicates things is if mitch doesn’t want to sign it… if that’s the case.. we could just decline the team option on the 4th year and let him hit restricted free agency… if we pick up the option he goes unrestricted…. we probably don’t want that…

    so this summer acts as a sort of team option…. and this thing gets resolved one way or the other…. the team is pretty much in the driver’s seat unless he hits rfa and someone throws a ton of money at him next offseason….

  63. dtrickey

    Jahlil Okafor sucked for years and look at him now.

    What is staggering is he has pulled it together in New Orleans of all places. Early days but it looks like things are clicking for Brandon Ingram too. Might end up being tough to pry Zion away from the Pellies if they keep this up.

  64. dtrickey

    I think our next PG needs to come from the draft. If our predictions go as hypothesised, we should be picking somewhere mid to late lottery. If we were in that area I would take a look at either LaMelo Ball or RJ Hampton. Circus aside with a Ball in NY, the kid looks to have the tools to be a very solid floor general. Shooting is a concern, but pair him with RJ and Mitch and that is a nice core. RJ Hampton has looked good playing professionally as well. Arguably a more versatile scorer than Ball, but I think either would be a good get mid to late lottery.

  65. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    Come December, would anyone here be opposed to offering up Payton and Ellington for Dragic? And do we think Miami would take that deal? I would love to see something like that. Hell, they can even have Kadeem Allen since they only have one real PG on the roster..

  66. Owen

    Who is Frank Jackson again? Another great night for the other Frank. The cupboard is not bare in NOLA. Looks like Ingram is making the leap and they have useful guys up and down the roster.

  67. Bo Nateman

    Including Zion, Pellies have 5 Dookies, none of them seem to be playing like sh*t this year.

    Contrary to the Knicks, Pellies have guard heavy roster.

  68. Z-man

    However, I strongly suspect that if he was drafted by the Spurs or Raptors we would’t be arguing about him right now. He’d be further along in his development on offense and they would be using his talents properly. So we’d all be happy with his progress, role on the team, and spot on the roster instead of arguing his value on defense vs. his cost on offense, what position he should play, should we just throw in the towel and get a 2nd rounder for him etc…

    This is BS. The Spurs probably never would have drafted Frank, certainly not where we drafted him. The would have seen what was painfully evident to anyone with a pair of eyes…he had absolutely no offensive PG skills.

  69. JK47

    Frank cannot fail. Frank can only be failed. It’s not his fault he’s bad. Other teams would have made him not bad.

  70. Owen

    Both things can be true. It’s why we keep arguing about Frank so much I guess.

    Fizdale is definitely not helping Frank reach his full potential. But Frank’s upside scenario at this point does seem to be a role player off the bench, a guy who is useful for about 15 minutes of a game.

    There are plenty of guys who figure it out in their third or fourth year. Brandon Ingram appears to be one of those guys. He’s been stellar so far. But he was at least a middling below average player for a few years.

    It’s just so hard to see how Frank makes the leap.

  71. Hubert

    I stole it from a stock analyst that used to make regular appearances on CNBC years ago. He would make his forecasts with extreme confidence and certainty as if there was no doubt he was right. Then when he was eventually proven wrong he’d do the same thing the next time and use that tagline. It always cracked me up.

    That is pretty much the m.o. for every “expert” you see on the media. They’re there for their confidence, not their accuracy. At least your guy admitted it.

  72. Hubert

    I wonder what combination of this bullshit is the justification for Fizdale making his hands-down best player ride the pine as if it’s some kind of formative lesson.

    When asked why his only PG wasn’t going to start against Orlando, Fizdale said he didn’t want Frank to get into foul trouble early bc he was the only PG and thus needed to be available for the end of the game. So I think it’s safe to say Fizdale would agree with Nuggets reddit.

  73. E

    “I’m not going to start any point guard because I don’t want my only point guard to get in foul trouble” is some high-caliber snake oil.

  74. JK47

    Ingram is shooting .500 from 3PT. Somehow I think a regression to the mean is coming.

    His other offensive numbers look kinda similar to regular old Brandon Ingram. He is getting more rebounds and blocks, so that something. He’s a weird player, there have been times in the past where it seemed like he was figuring it out followed by another hard regression.

  75. KnickfaninNJ

    I doubt Fizdale wants to say that our offense is the worst in the league even when he picks offense over defense in his starting line ups , but he’s got to say something. So I don’t hold this bit of snake oil against him.

  76. JK47

    Give him some credit for not saying “I didn’t start Frank because he’s pretty bad at basketball.”

  77. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    This is BS. The Spurs probably never would have drafted Frank, certainly not where we drafted him. The would have seen what was painfully evident to anyone with a pair of eyes…he had absolutely no offensive PG skills.

    To begin with, the Spurs tend to win games with ball and player movement and multiple playmakers like the Warriors recently have and the Bulls and Lakers did under Phil. The idea being to NOT not have an offense totally reliant a pure PG.

    Whether they would have drafted him as high as we did or not is totally irrelevant.

    Had they picked him up in the G league they would have done a skill assessment, realized his extreme potential on defense, and realized that on offense he was more of a George Hill, Danny Green, or Patrick Beverley type player that could be used a secondary playmaker, lock down defender, and fit onto a team that uses ball and player movement to get create good shots for whoever is open. That’s how he’s used in France where they have brains.

    The focus would have been on developing his skills on defense, developing a few spots and plays on the court where he could be effective, and put him in the correct lineups and turn him into a low usage +defensive role player.

    They would not have wasted 2 1/2 years trying to turn him into a pure PG or a guy that should be aggressive and create and score off the dribble. The Knicks are fvcking idiots for putting him on the court and asking him to do that.

    He was drafted to be part of high IQ ball movement team. Had Phil stayed he probably would have signed George Hill to mentor and play along with him instead of Hardaway and Baker. That was the target.

    No matter what, the potential is still there for him to be a net positive defensive role player on a very good team with primary scorers, but not for a dumb team with people that don’t understand basketball and team construction.

  78. thenamestsam

    Speaking of Frank’s development, does anyone think has he made any strides at all since we drafted him? Seems to me he’s exactly the same player he was when we picked him – he still looks just as scared offensively, the shot still looks pretty good but doesn’t go in that much, he still flashes some other skills but doesn’t apply them consistently, the handle is still terrible. That lack of development is one of the reasons I’m mnost down on him; there may be a valuable role player lurking in there somewhere but he clearly has to get better to actualize it and so far he has not shown much progress. Still young of course, but there should be progress, particularly because there’s so much low-hanging fruit for him.

    I have no idea how you allocate the blame for that between him and the coaching staff, but I do think the lack of progress is pretty notable.

  79. Z-man

    “Had they picked him up in the G league they would have done a skill assessment, realized his extreme potential on defense, and realized that on offense he was more of a George Hill, Danny Green, or Patrick Beverley type player that could be used a secondary playmaker, lock down defender, and fit onto a team that uses ball and player movement to get create good shots for whoever is open. That’s how he’s used in France where they have brains.”

    Here is wherein the BS lies. Frank is nowhere near the offensive player that either George Hill, Danny Green, or Patrick Beverley are, never was and never will be. The Spurs would have realized that at draft time, and at any point thereafter. They would have passed on him and never looked back because they were too busy finding the next Forbes or Murray, you know, guys who brought at least something to the table beyond freaky-long arms. If somehow they wound up with him in a trade or picked him up as a training camp invitee, he’d either be in the G-league or cut. And that’s at a minimum salary, let along $6 Million per year (hah!)

    I loved me some Ron Baker but it didn’t take very long for me to stop defending his play. And Ron Baker is Steph Curry compared to Frank. Do you really think that “smart” organizations aren’t smart enough to see that?

  80. Z-man

    Speaking of Frank’s development, does anyone think has he made any strides at all since we drafted him?

    Sure, he’s gone from horrific to potentially 15th man bench defensive specialist on a bad team.

  81. alsep73

    Frank is starting tonight in place of Ellington, because Fizdale wants him guarding Kemba.

    Whatever will we talk about after this game? I can’t imagine.

  82. d-mar

    Frank is starting tonight in place of Ellington, because Fizdale wants him guarding Kemba.

    Whatever will we talk about after this game? I can’t imagine.

    How Frank had his breakout game as a Knick, putting up 25/10/10 and how Strat broke the internet by posting 99 consecutive times within 2 minutes of the game ending?

  83. E

    Kemba is arguably the most effective PnR ball handler in the Association so far this year (1.25 ppp on a bunch of possessions), so yeah, it would seem to make sense to get the best PnR defender in the Association on him.

  84. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    “I’m not going to start any point guard because I don’t want my only point guard to get in foul trouble” is some high-caliber snake oil.

    Fizdale is not a great coach, but he’s not an actual idiot.

    He knows Frank is not a pure PG, but he also knows he, Mills, and Perry want to run a offense with an aggressive scoring pure PG (hence terrible players like Burke, Mudiay, DSJr are brought in and have priority). They also know fans love Frank because of his defense and unselfish play. They are probably dying to trade him and realize he has value on the right team (Mills realizes it). It’s just not the team they want to build. So they are in a bad spot. They have a player they don’t want whose value they can’t maximize and fan base that would hate them if they gave him away. So you say nice things, make excuses, and see what happens. He does nor fit here in NY. His fits in Toronto, San Antonio, maybe the new Orlando, or somewhere else where the priority is defense, development, and higher IQ basketball.

  85. ess-dog

    I also cannot deal with the Frank “what ifs” anymore. Give him scant backup minutes until he doesn’t suck shit on offense and trade him for the appropriate return at the end of the year (unless he somehow becomes at least average before then). The End.

  86. thenoblefacehumper

    He does nor fit here in NY. His fits in Toronto, San Antonio, maybe the new Orlando, or somewhere else where the priority is defense, development, and higher IQ basketball.

    What did all those teams do when their future stud was available for a single second round pick?

  87. ess-dog

    Oh, Jesus. I obviously want to beat the Celts, but I don’t think I can deal with a heightened “Frank Controversy” if he actually plays well and we win. This team is so goddamn frustrating…

  88. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @97

    All due respect to your many talents, but you are clueless on this subject.

    Frank is only 21 now and came into the league younger than most of the other rookies that year. All the players I mentioned came into the league OLDER than Frank is NOW and got better years later. They are the profile you aspire to develop him into over time so when he’s 24-25 he’s an impact defender that can lock down key players, score 10-12 reasonably efficient points, and throw in 4-5 assists and rebounds per 36 . You do it because the defensive talent, work ethic, and unselfish attitude is already there and that’s a HUGE part of the game.

  89. Hubert

    I doubt Fizdale wants to say that our offense is the worst in the league even when he picks offense over defense in his starting line ups , but he’s got to say something. So I don’t hold this bit of snake oil against him.

    He played Frank 30 mins, including most of the 2nd half. Really seems like he meant what he said.

  90. KnickfaninNJ

    Lots of players look better on better teams. Randle might be an example of the corollary; he worse on a worse team. But I’m not convinced Ntilikina is one of them. I think he still just needs time to get better.

  91. thenamestsam

    To me “Mills and Perry can’t trade Frank b/c the fans would rebel!” really doesn’t seem like quite enough to square the circle between “smart teams would all love to have Frank”, “the Knicks don’t value or want Frank” and “Frank has not been traded from the Knicks to a smart team”.

  92. Owen

    I mean, it’s fan fiction but is it total fantasy?

    The Knicks haven’t developed a young player in years. DLee was what he was almost immediately. I can’t remember the last guy we drafted and whose production ramped up over a few years. The Spurs have a whole stable of that kind of story.

    Does anyone think Patty Mills becomes an NBA player if we draft him? Look what he was like in Portland and then what SA got out of him in his age 25 season, after two seasons of bringing him along slowly.

    And you could absolutely hide Frank a lot more in an actual NBA motion offense with a semblance of ball movement. That’s not crazy.

    Frank just turned 21. He is almost exactly three years younger than the aforementioned Kendrick Nunn. He could go back to France for two years, come back, and still not be that old.

    I agree with the Frank skeptics but to say he’ll never be good requires a faith in the developmental abilities of the Knicks that I haven’t seen anyone express on this site, ever.

    I mean I have a hard time thinking of that many guys that improved after they came here, of any variety.

  93. KnickfaninNJ

    Hubert, that could be or it could be that Frank actually sank some shots and earned more minutes because of it, while starting Ellington didn’t seem to do much. It’s hard to tell.

  94. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    From a gambling perspective (I’m betting on the game. I’ll be betting Breeder’s Cup races all weekend), I would not count on Frank having much luck with Kemba tonight. Kemba is among the best offensive guards in the NBA. After a very slow start, he’s been playing great basketball. After Frank shut him down in FIBA, it was national news. I’d expect Kemba to come out with flames coming out of his nose to make a statement. So if you hate Frank and are hoping he has rough time of it against Kemba so you can gloat, tonight is probably your big chance. If by some miracle Frank holds him below his average and efficiency while he’s on him and you still can’t see his value, a brain MRI is in order.

  95. JK47

    If Frank can’t stop Kemba Walker from having a huge game what exactly is the point of the fucking guy? I thought he was an elite James Harden-wrecking defender, what’s with the excuses?

    “He can neutralize the opponent’s best ballhandler as long as that player is not mad.”

    This is just getting weird now.

  96. thenamestsam

    So if Frank does poorly against Kemba tonight it’s because *five different excuses* and thus doesn’t mean that much (despite consistently shutting down guys like Kemba being his only supposed purpose on a basketball floor) but if he does even just okay (i.e. holds Kemba to even a marginally below average night) it will be a definitive statement about his worth and anyone who doesn’t get it is a moron. Do I have that right?

  97. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I just saw a funny line describing Fizdale’s preference for offense over defense.

    Fizdale is kind of like D’Antoni, except that he’s bad as an offensive coach too.

  98. Owen

    Frank and RJ speak French together out on the court? Knicks pursuing every edge.

    Strat – I gotta agree, the heads I win, tails you lose stuff is a little baffling.

    I am excited to watch the matchup tonight….

  99. ptmilo

    Does anyone think Patty Mills becomes an NBA player if we draft him? Look what he was like in Portland and then what SA got out of him in his age 25 season, after two seasons of bringing him along slowly.

    maybe, i dunno. i do think players mostly become themselves. the spurs took their defense-first hard working tweener guard (cory joseph) and turned him into an outcome that kinda rhymes with our defense-first hard working tweener guard (langston galloway). kyle anderson, another weird, skinny, defense-oriented tweener G/F looks exactly the same so far with memphis as he did under pop.

    one thing is sure. we know what a defensive-terror, octopus-armed, but-is-he-a-pg-and-can-he-shoot guy looks like when the answer is going to be yes, no matter the coach. it ain’t frank or cory or langston or kyle. it’s dejounte murray. do i believe frank could be our own dejounte murray if only? i mean, no; pop would have a better chance turning hezonja into tracy mcgrady. i think he could probably be a somewhat better frank, but i don’t know if it would matter.

  100. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    B- for Phil? Strat, I really wish you were my professor in grad school when I found myself in over my head with a Major Authors: John Milton seminar. I worked far too hard for my disappointing B.

  101. alsep73

    Speaking of both non-Frank content, and the idea of young players improving: Vorkunov spoke to Knox about the changes he’s made to his game this year, and also provides some of his own analysis (while frequently acknowledging the small sample size of it all). A couple of excerpts, but the whole thing is worth reading for the breakdown in where Knox is and isn’t effective on the court:

    Those struggles became clearer for him this offseason, when he studied film of his first year with the Knicks. His self-assessment was merciless.

    “It was tough to watch,” he told The Athletic. “Because a lot of times there was people open that I could have hit. I could’ve got better shots, did different moves, stuff like that. It was tough to watch.”

    Last season, 14 percent of Knox’s shots were long 2s, according to Cleaning The Glass — putting him in the top fifth of those at his position — and he hit just 29 percent of them. His accuracy has risen just slightly so far this season but he has nearly halved his attempts, as of Wednesday afternoon.

    Those shots have been replaced by more 3s. Knox is taking four fewer shots per game this season but less than one fewer 3. He looks smoother with his form.

    He has become a perimeter threat off the bench for the Knicks, coming in to provide floor spacing and shooting for a team that can occasionally get too close-knit from the elbow down. He’s come off pindowns and created for himself on the pick-and-roll. He seizes the space afforded to him and fires away.

  102. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Kendrick Nunn was a first round talent two years ago but went undrafted because he plead guilty to a battery charge (i.e. he beats women–more than one to my knowledge). He’s a piece of shit until proven otherwise and I wish no one picked him up

  103. Owen

    I have always been in the “players are what they are” camp. I don’t intend to leave for Frank. I just think there has to be some kind of position that is reasonable that falls short of, “this guy can never make it in the NBA.” Other organizations do sometimes develop players. Hasn’t happened in my adult life for the Knicks, which is incredible, but I think Frank seems like the kind of guy who could make it under better circumstances.

  104. the don nelson era

    It was over a decade ago now, but David Lee improved his jump shot, free throws, and floor vision as a member of the Knicks. Wilson Chandler developed a three point shot under D’Antoni. And then more recently there’s

  105. KnickfaninNJ

    We played Boston last week and scored a total of 95 points. Walker went off for 32 points on seventeen shots. Frank played less than a minute. Boston scored 118. If Frank replaces Payton’s 30 minutes or so, it will be interesting to see how the final result compares. I don’t think there will be some anger factor on Walker’s part, but he may do different things faced with a different defense.

  106. Owen

    Tommy Beer talking about the similarities between Frank and Marcus Smart on twitter….

    DLee certainly rounded out his game but I think he really peaked in his sophomore year as a garbage man extraordinaire. And regardless, if he is the best example, that really says something about how poorly we have drafted and developed talent.

  107. thenoblefacehumper

    I like Tommy Beer but he’s making a ridiculous argument. It boils down to “they’re both bad at shooting,” while ignoring that Smart is good at a lot of other things while Ntilikina isn’t.

  108. Owen

    I think the fairer point would be that Smart isn’t worth his contract. But anyway, I have said my peace. It’s a super bad hill to die on I know.

  109. wetbandit

    Here’s a sobering thought: many, many players have some sort of a jump in their 2nd-4th years in the NBA, I’m pretty sure every team has a few. I can’t think of ONE in the past 20 years. Is there any other team where that’s true? (sample alert- we usually trade our youth before year 4, but whatever, same difference)

  110. Early Bird

    I disagree with just about 100% of anything Tommy Beer has ever claimed. Dude makes leaps in logic that make Kyrie Irving look like a genius.

  111. wetbandit

    I would love to average out the difference in rookies from year 1 to year 3 in true shooting and ws/48 per team, and see how far off the grid we end up.

  112. JK47

    There’s a new coach, new GM and new players just about every other year here, so, uh, maybe that has something to do with it.

    Stability is not a big part of what we do around here. We’re gonna kick stability to the curb.

  113. TheClashFan

    Mets rolling the dice with Carlos Beltran as manager. Another “out of the box” very good or very bad hire, like BVW as GM last year. And bench coach Terry Collins? Uh huh.

    Very sad to see the latest tragedy for Reggie Bull0ck.

  114. wetbandit

    Yeah, but consistently turning over bad development staff is the same thing as keeping the same bad development staff. Or worse. Definitely worse.

  115. E

    The acquisition of Emmanuel Mudiay midway through Frank’s rookie year was fucking ridiculous. David Fizdale picking Mudiay out by name at his introductory press conference as the guy he was going to “get right” was, if anything, even more ridiculous.

    This is Mickey Mouse organization stuff.

  116. Owen

    People seem to like Beltran. And by people I mean analytics people I follow on twitter. He certainly played smart. Will be interesting to see how it works out.

    I was going to make the same point about FO continuity but I have been enough of a windbag. But you are right, the only constant amidst endless churn is Dolan.

  117. E

    Frank was a plus on-off guy as a rookie (1.9/100 possessions), Emmanuel Mudiay was an atrocious on-off of minus -11.2 per 100 possessions, perfectly confirming the eye test and what we all saw. Frank as a rookie was the best pick and roll defender in the entire league, giving up a mere .65 points/possession.

    Yet, it was Emmanuel Mudiay that Fizdale (likely channeling the FO, at least Perry) was going to “get right.”

    Pathetic.

  118. JK47

    I loved Beltran as a player, he’s one of my all-time favorite Mets. He was a sublime player. I’m not sure how much sense he makes as a manager.

    The Mets are so ineptly run that the half-wit owners of the team make on-field decisions, so it probably doesn’t matter. They will probably find a way to squander the rather large amount of cost-controlled talent they have on that roster.

  119. alsep73

    Beltran worked in Yankee front office the last two years and did roving instruction and such. Players who worked with him raved about the experience. Does that mean he’ll be a good manager? No. But as we’ve seen with guys like Boone, an MLB manager’s strategical skills matter much less these days than their interpersonal skills. Analytically-inclined reporters also suggest that Beltran is One Of Us.

    For the sake of my Mets fans friends, I hope this works out.

  120. Ntilakilla

    So the Mets hire someone with no managerial experience or background. Even Boone was a guy who comes from a manager family, as his dad was a respected MLB coach dating back the 1990s. But what especially alarms me is the choice to make Terry Collins the new bench coach. Screams of a front office ploy by the Wilpons to sneak the little codger back into the clubhouse. Not thrilled with this information at all.

  121. Donnie Walsh

    I think Fizdale just throws shit at the wall because he has no idea what he’s doing

    And because he has no idea what a wall is.

  122. JK47

    Should have hired Chaim Bloom.

    The Beltran/Collins decisions don’t matter all that much. Brodie the Toady is a Wilpon yes-man and that’s the real problem.

  123. DRed

    I didn’t think of Boone as a future manager as a player, I thought he was an idiot as a broadcaster, he seemed in over his head his first season and I thought he did a really nice job this past year. So what I’m saying is who knows with Beltran. Unless the Mets get some better players it’s not going to matter much either way.

  124. DRed

    Mitchell Robinson went from a 22 PER last season to a 35 PER this year and his BPM has almost doubled.

  125. JK47

    The Mets actually have Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Amed Rosario, and Brandon Nimmo making peanuts, and those guys should be five of the eight position players. Nimmo had a down year but he’s a talented player and a good bet to bounce back. They also have Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Marcus Stroman in the rotation, and they should really re-sign Zack Wheeler if they’re going to continue pretending to be a major market team. That’s a nasty rotation.

    The catcher Wilson Ramos sucks despite his superficially good hitting stats, third base is still kind of an issue, and they need a centerfielder. They have a bunch of 2020 money tied up in old/injured/shitty players like Yoenis Cespedes, Jed Lowrie, and Robinson Cano. Those guys should be reserves honestly. Start whichever of Cano and/or Lowrie is healthy, use McNeil to play 2B or 3B instead of one of those old fogeys.

    A reasonably competent GM could easily put a contender together with this core group of talent. Really all you need is some bullpen depth and a competent CF. Unfortunately we have Brodie running the show.

  126. Knew Your Nicks

    Unfortunately for my “Fiz Out” dream our November schedule ain’t too hard and Fiz may last a couple of months on the bench by saying: We had good looks…blah blah blah blah shit. ..

  127. GianaDani

    Mitchell Robinson went from a 22 PER last season to a 35 PER this year and his BPM has almost doubled.

    Amazing! – But its hard to get consistent minutes with those mediocre numbers when paying for a data driven geek sporting 2 inch glasses. Have a feeling Fiz will pull out the pocket protector and leather elbows for tonight’s post game to remind us of his genius.

  128. KnickfaninNJ

    Honestly, I’m not in the get rid of Fizdale right away camp. Of course we complain about him here, but we complain about the decisions of every Knicks’ coach. I don’t think Woodson got many kind words here, but in retrospect he wasn’t so bad. I’m still trying to figure out if it is Fizdale’s fault the offense is bad or it’s mostly the players he has. After all, we complain about the team makeup here too. The team makeup is a Perry’s responsibility, not Fizdale’s. For example, we mostly think Ntilikina is not good at all at the moment and just argue if he will ever get to be decent. But if he is the team’s best point guard, that is certainly a handicap for Fizdale. Even if he’s not the best point guard on the team, the other ones aren’t good either and are still a handicap.

    The team has lots of new faces and that usually sets a team back the first month or so while they get used to each other and the coach gets used to them. So I want to wait and see if the team gets better or not and how individual players do before I rush to judgement on Fizdale.

  129. the don nelson era

    fwiw I’m seeing Beltran wanted Terry as his bench coach when he interviewed with the Yankees.

    Though I am afraid Beltran will mimic Terry’s bullpen usage, at least it’s not purely a Wilpons’ mole situation.

  130. Donnie Walsh

    Of course we complain about him here, but we complain about the decisions of every Knicks’ coach. I don’t think Woodson got many kind words here, but in retrospect he wasn’t so bad.

    I haven’t had a nice thing to say about a knicks coach since Jeff Van Gundy humped Alonzo Mourning’s leg during a fist fight.

  131. KnickfaninNJ

    Picking the best recent Knicks coach is kind of like deciding who should play point guard on the current team — you just have to decide who is least bad for the team rather than which one is actually good.

  132. Knew Your Nicks

    The truth is that great coaches are very rare nowadays but Fiz looks like a ‘dangerous’ one to me.

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