New York Knicks 91 – Philadelphia 76ers 117 – Game Recap

While watching this horrible game (and boy was I wrong about my gut feeling that we would win) I noticed one thing: the Wells Fargo sideline banners were displaying ads for Fallout 76.

I don’t know if you’re into videogames or not, so I’ll sum up briefly what the whole fuss is about. The Fallout franchise is set in a post-apocalyptic world, after a nuclear war exploded in October 2077 between USA and China. Until November 13th, 2018, it was a single player RPG experience where the Player Character did a lot of exploring, growing as both a war-mongering solo army and as a character, while traveling barren wastelands trying to salvage the most from half-rotten miscellaneous items and bringing on board from time to time miscast people. In the end, after a long process which started from zero, the Player Character will have finally assembled the scattered puzzle pieces into a coherent ensemble and will be able to defeat his enemies (sometimes even just by smooth talking).

You might be thinking “I got this metaphor! The Player Character is the Knicks, and his quest is similar to our rebuild!”. Well, no. I mean, yes, but only a bit. If we go by the book, we’re still in the phase where we’re trying to understand why our BB-gun doesn’t take down that sturdy radioactive scorpion, and we’re buying from vendors useless overpriced guns to replace our previous useless overpriced gun.

But, again, no.

On November 14th, 2018, Fallout 76 debuted all around the world. It was the first foray from Bethesda (the publisher) in the multiplayer online role playing game genre. Keep in mind, the Fallout franchise has been hugely infuential and widely regarded as one of the best, blending immersive role-playing with dry wit and mature story-telling. It was a gem in the videogame universe, even with a lot of technical bugs infesting the later works (a lot of gamers mocked a bit Bethesda for that, but kept on playing because, well, the games were very good).

Then, Fallout 76 happened. It currently sports a 2.9 user review on Metacritic (for reference, the previous games in the franchise sport, from 1997 to 2015, what follows: 8.8; 9.1; 7.9; 8.3; 6.6). I won’t bore you with details, but in short: it is an unmitigated disaster, quite unprecedented in the videogame industry.

I found it fitting that they were displaying ads for that awful game while another horrendous game was on full display on the court. To honor that coincidence, and because I wouldn’t be able to hand out good grades to anyone tonight (save maybe for Dotson – and Kanter? Who knows), I’ll just match a few user reviews for the game from Metacritic to our utterly failing Knicks players. Keep in mind that these are the most recommended reviews for the game. In both senses, I guess.

– “Bethesda was hijacked by an Early Access developer’s studio, apparently which resulted in Epic Fail that is fallout 76; Please do not purchase under any circumstances. Score: 0” goes to Chuck Hardaway Jr. (5 pts, 1 reb, 3 ast, -16 +/-), who was really an epic fail tonight, jacking up 11 shots and hitting only on one. His last 5 games splits tell the dreaded tale of regression to the mean: 14.8 ppg on 28.9 FG% (for a Ntilikina-esque 43.4 TS%). His BPM for the season dipped into negatives and his WS/48 is hovering around .100. We’re paying this guy 17 millions a year. Fizdale found a way to play him 28 minutes even on a night where we were down by 20 in the early second quarter and the game was always gonna be out of reach. It pretty much sums up Fiz’s management in the last few games.

– “After 20 hours of playing the game i’m requesting a refund as the game is lacking in content and care from the creators. Score: 0” goes to Kevin Knox (9pts, 7 rebs, 1 ast, -17 +/-), whose sheer boxscore line might fool you a little bit, but had another awful game. I commend the fact that Fiz is hell-bent in giving him all the minutes he can muster; I just don’t understand why the same principle isn’t applied to our second year players on a consistent basis. Anyway, back to Kevin: the seven boards are nice (even if they were of the uncontested kind), but if you put a highlight reel of his offensive moves you would get a blooper montage. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a guy throw so many aimless floaters for a living. Ron Baker was the former king of fearful hail mary layups, but Kevin has stolen the crown. How many times can you go to the rim and launch an airball from 8 feet with the deer in the headlight look in your eyes? Knox’s answer is: as many as possible. Had a nice move on Amir Johnson in the fourth, though, where he stopped and spinned for a timid but on the mark baby hook. I won’t mention his defense. It’s better this way.

– “I’m 16 hours in and I don’t understand what this “game” is trying to be. Score: 0″ goes to Frank Ntilikina (0 pts, 2 ast, literally nothing else, -11 +/-), who’s suffering the most from Fizdale’s nonsensical job with rotations. I mean, it’s of course on Frank the fact that he can’t shoot worth a lick, but how will he build confidence if he clearly doesn’t know what his role is? I guess the point guard experiment is over, and that might be ok. But what is he supposed to do on offense? Stand around doing nothing until maybe the ball gets to him and he’s forced to do some sort of gyrating bizarre routine to get a shot off? It’s obvious that it’s eating at his self-confidence, and that’s squarely on the coaching staff. I’m starting to believe those “Knicks have given up on Frank” because of pure logic, but it doesn’t make any sense all the same. He’s a cost controlled asset and nothing good will come from giving up on him now. On the other hand, his rebounding numbers are completely on him. It’s inexcusable that a 6’5″-6’6″ guy can’t find the way to collect a single board in two games. Oh, and he was terrible on defense in the first half against JJ Redick. Awful stretch for Frank.

– “Extremely disappointing “thing”, sorry i cant call it a “game” as it is not even remotely fun, and when you can actually play it you run into countless bugs and issues and crashes and you simply have enough and say ok, time to refund. Score: 0″ goes to Emmanuel Mudiay (3 pts, 1 reb, 1 ast) who went crashing back to earth after looking like he found a new gear during the distant-looking Knicks winning streak. Frank is quite assuredly not a PG, but is Mudiay one? His AST% for the season is 16.7. Frank Ntilikina’s one is 16.2. If Mudiay is not a PG, than what do we play him for? It’s on night like this that you understand that playing Mudiay is pointless. If he plays well, we won’t benefit from it. If he plays badly, like tonight, the tank is on but he still subtracts minutes from Trier and Frank.

– “The combination of motion blur, bokeh, and depth of field all on maximum, results in the inability to see anything at a distance and slightly off from the center of the screen. I mean this as literally as possible: anything in the peripheral of the screen is a huge blur. Score: 0” goes to Enes Kanter (17 pts, 6 rebs, 1 ast, -17 +/-), who’s obviously the Knicks best player but brings absolutely nothing to the team apart from his padded numbers. Maybe he could teach Mitch a bit of his “pretend I’m not here” defense so as to make Robinson a little less prone to fouls under the rim.

– “For the Lord’s sake… They made it for the new generation of kids! Not for the core adults. Bright colors, balloons, party hats, friend play, setting off nuclear bombs, shooting stuff, building stuff, silly microtransactions. IT’S A GAME FOR KIDS! Score: 1” goes to Allonzo Trier (8 pts, 3 rebs, 1 ast, -25 +/-), who tonight just didn’t have it, as higlighted by his game-low plus-minus, even if his game is made for the new generation. He bricked a few Burke-like midrange pull-ups and wasn’t effective attacking the rim. It happens. Let’s hope his imminent first real NBA contract is not a silly microtransaction.

– “I dont know where to begin. Its like game from 2009 .Horrible engine, outdated graphics, clunky animations, no human NPCs, boring, full of bugs. Only good thing is music/sound. Complete garbage! Score: 1”. Wait, this is even better suited to Enes Kanter.

– “Rather uninspiring game play, frequent freezes, lag and now the “DISCONNECTED FROM SERVER” error on clicking PLAY. I am really considering getting a refund on this one. It is a stinker so far. Score: 1″ goes to Mario Hezonja (17 pts, 5 rebs, 1 ast, -7 +/-) who, while being a lot more active tonight, even notching 4 steals, looks really like a guy who’s disconnected from server and whose season is pretty much a stinker so far.

Downloadable content:

– Mitchell Robinson is going through a brutal stretch, where every single scoring big man is abusing of his propensity to get too close to the man 1-on-1 and jump for the block. In 80% of the cases, it’s a foul or a simple give and go for the opponent. It’s nice to see him block again 4 shots and dunk the ball, but his defense is veering a little too much uncomfortably into Whiteside’s territory.

– Hey, guess who scored in double figures again? Yeah, it’s your forgotten friend, Fiz, it’s Dotson! If there’s anything you need to know that someone is well in over his head in thinking about rotation, it’s Dotson’s minutes allocation. We have a Mikal Bridges (more or less) of our own and we refused to play him for no reason whatsoever for 4 games, while giving burn to Hezonja. Perry’s looking like a shady politician about this one.

– I wish I had something to say about Vonleh. Tonight he was bad. It happens.

– Trey Burke on the last 4 games: 8.8 ppg, 18.9 FG% (not a typo), not a single bucket inside of 1o feet. It’s important to sell high on strangely high-performing assets.

Well, guys, that’s all. See you on Saturday and hope for the best… Sometimes hope’s all that’s left.

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Farfa

Just an Italian basketball fan with an insane passion for all things Knicks (and yes, linguine Alfredo is not a real Italian dish).

146 thoughts to “New York Knicks 91 – Philadelphia 76ers 117 – Game Recap”

  1. He’s like the one kid in class who studies but doesn’t have the old test questions.

    ^ that was a great analogy about Frank by wetbandit last night.

    I agree with everything THCJ said about why it’s smart to just play him, but we’re just fucking with him so please send him to the G League before it’s too late.

    And make him fight for rebounds down there bc that shit is inexcusable. He had one literally land on the floor in front of him before Chandler picked it up.

    I’m so upset we didn’t stop the coaching search after the Budenholzer interview and just pay him. I know the roster is shit but I’m seeing no system on defense and playground basketball on offense. Mark Jackson might have been better.

  2. I know the roster is shit but I’m seeing no system on defense and playground basketball on offense.

    I’m really worried about this and minutes distribution. It’s reverting to the old Hornacek days. It’s not good.

  3. That recap was perfect. It sums up all the things wrong with our team at the moment, and you don’t even have to have watched that particular game to know they are true. It makes me want take the tape out of the VCR and jump up and down on it without actually watching the game, and I don’t even have a VCR.

    I’d like to be optimistic and often am, and maybe think as the young players get older they will learn to defend, or get better at shooting, or learn to pass or whatever, but my experience at Knickerblogger is that, unfortunately, the pessimists are usually right.

  4. I will add that I have been won over by the pessimists on Knickerblogger who insist that Ntilikina is not a point guard. Unfortunsly, he is also our best point guard.

  5. I will add that I have been won over by the pessimists on Knickerblogger who insist that Ntilikina is not a point guard. Unfortunsly, he is also our best point guard.

    I don’t know if I agree or not, but tonight it was abundantly clear that neither Mudiay nor Burke will pass the ball if they don’t first get theirs. Burke especially. Frank and Trier are the only ones who try to involve Mitch on offense.
    I pin this down on Fiz too. I’m not upset at him right now, it’s not easy to work with spare pieces and make them fit. But if this will become his standard rotation I will be very upset.

  6. I don’t see how to make all the pieces fit either. Frank is strong at defense, but it’s not as much help as it could be because one guy can’t do it all by himself. So it doesn’t offset his bad offense the way it should. As for the low numbers of assists, I can’t tell if that is our offensive scheme or it is because we don’t have players who can pass.

  7. I think it’s both. It’s also hard to record assists if players don’t move without the ball. How many curls around a screen have you seen this season? I guess they were less than one per game. It’s crazy low.

  8. I’m so upset we didn’t stop the coaching search after the Budenholzer interview and just pay him. I know the roster is shit but I’m seeing no system on defense and playground basketball on offense. Mark Jackson might have been better.

    Budz wasn’t about money. The Knicks paid Derek Fisher $5 million a year before he coached a single game. Budz was about him only being willing to come to a shitty team like the Knicks if he also got a de facto GM gig and that was obviously never going to happen (and since Budz was a terrible GM when he was the GM in Atlanta, I think that that’s a good thing), so if he wasn’t going to get a HC/GM combo gig, he chose to go to the better team in Milwaukee. The thing that confuses me, though, is why Toronto didn’t make more of a play for him. Nurse was a fine pick for them, but Budz would have been even better (and, at the same time, it would have hurt one of their Eastern Conference rivals by keeping him away from them).

  9. I think it’s both. It’s also hard to record assists if players don’t move without the ball. How many curls around a screen have you seen this season? I guess they were less than one per game. It’s crazy low.

    Yeah, that goes to what we were all debating last night, which is what, precisely, are they telling Frank to do each game? Because currently it seems like it is “park outside the three point line for passes that will clearly never come from the black holes that are your teammates.” Even Trier, god bless him, will only look to score for himself.

    Fizdale might have spent more time on the defense than the offense, but you’d like to believe he spent some time on the offense, right? It doesn’t look like it by watching the games.

  10. Great recap again Farfa, as a longtime Fallout fan it hurt double, which is very on par with the abomination that was on court yesterday.

    I remember when the Knicks won the 3rd straight game and people were talking about re-signing Mudiay and getting the 8th seed, I said well, this is still the same team that went 31-10 in the first quarter against Orlando a week ago. Well, that team is back.

    The offense seriously looks like a complete mess. Nobody ever makes a pass, everyone isos or dumps to Kanter on the post and the only real play I can think of is the very stoppable THJ curl off one screen, where he instantly shoots it 99% of the time if there’s even a sliver of space.

    I get that Fiz said that he would focus on defense first. Then why the hell is he starting the 3 literally worst defenders on this damn roster in Mudiay, Hezonja and Kanter? I understood the focus on defense when he started Frank, Dotson and Mitch in those spots, and I understand it sucked ass, but at least there was some coherence.

  11. Remember when he was asked why he went away from that Frank/Dotson/Mitch starting lineup and Fizdale said, “It wasn’t winning games.”

    I surely hope that that wasn’t the real reason, because that’d be dumb AF.

  12. Two things we should remember:

    1) We suck. I think we were all a bit mesmerized by the three wins and the delightful suite of scrappy losing efforts not so long ago. But those are best-case scenarios for our Knickerbockers, and no team plays to that level all the time (see Golden State, Houston). We should expect to get badly spanked by clearly superior teams like Philly. If you’re disappointed by that, get used to it. It’s a long season. And if you’re irritated by the poor play, go back to the start — we suck.

    2) While I wouldn’t jump on Fiz’s corpse yet over the rotations, to me the questions I do harbor about them relate to what I think is a definite criticism — the lack of offensive execution. Either he’s not teaching anything sensible or it’s not sticking (or both). I know the narrative is he’s focused on defensive effort, but even college coaches for one-and-done teams manage to institute offensive schemes that play to whatever strengths their players might have. Most (all) of our players have glaring weaknesses, but nobody seems to get put in positions to succeed at what they can do. The few who do (Kanter, Trier) do it by brute force of nature. That’s not a scheme.

    FYI, it’s hard for me not to think of pretty much the whole team as one-and-done. Not moving on to the next level, just one and done. That part makes me a little sad.

  13. Great recap Farfa, as always. Owen, it’s true re: ball movement, it would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. Then I’m reading reports on Instagram that a scout from Orlando was at the game yesterday, as they’re “interested” in Frank. We’re really goink to re-sign Mudiay and Hezonja, aren’t we?

  14. Great recap Farfa, as always. Owen, it’s true re: ball movement, it would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. Then I’m reading reports on Instagram that a scout from Orlando was at the game yesterday, as they’re “interested” in Frank. We’re really goink to re-sign Mudiay and Hezonja, aren’t we?

    No, as that is the even more ridiculous thing. They’re going to trade Frank to dedicate more playing time for Mudiay, they’re going to keep Mudiay and Hezonja on the roster all season and play them a lot and then they’re going to renounce Mudiay, Hezonja and Burke to give a max contract to Kemba Walker.

  15. Most (all) of our players have glaring weaknesses, but nobody seems to get put in positions to succeed at what they can do. The few who do (Kanter, Trier) do it by brute force of nature. That’s not a scheme.

    What’s weird is that a few guys have a few things they’re good at. Robinson, for all his flailing on defense, is good in the pick and roll. Ditto for Kanter (even if it’s a very different kind of finishing moves). Dotson is goodish at catch-and-shoot. Vonleh is a good passer out of the short roll and Kanter out of the low-post for the cutting man. No one’s cutting backdoor. Frank’s the only one who can make cross-court passes. And so on.

    We’re kinda good when we can go in transition, which happens only against teams who are bad at rebounding and generally at offense. But that’s not on coaching. Anything else, well, I might have been wrong about Fizdale’s brightness.

  16. Great recap again Farfa, as a longtime Fallout fan it hurt double, which is very on par with the abomination that was on court yesterday.

    I feel you man. I was mildly enraged at seeing the changes made for Fallout 3, as Fallout 2 is in my top 3 for CRPG (Planescape: Torment is my favorite one. You can say I learned half of my english playing it). They were a bit redeemed by Fallout: New Vegas (where Avellone’s pen was evident). Fallout 4 was a bit meh. I didn’t buy Fallout 76 because MMORPGs irk me – and I don’t have enough time to play them. Even I, though, didn’t expect it to be such a mess.

    Nowadays I’m satiating my videogame hunger playing the remastered version of BioShock. It’s incredible to look back and think that such a game was made 11 years ago.

  17. Budz wasn’t about money. The Knicks paid Derek Fisher $5 million a year before he coached a single game. Budz was about him only being willing to come to a shitty team like the Knicks if he also got a de facto GM gig and that was obviously never going to happen (and since Budz was a terrible GM when he was the GM in Atlanta, I think that that’s a good thing), so if he wasn’t going to get a HC/GM combo gig, he chose to go to the better team in Milwaukee. The thing that confuses me, though, is why Toronto didn’t make more of a play for him. Nurse was a fine pick for them, but Budz would have been even better (and, at the same time, it would have hurt one of their Eastern Conference rivals by keeping him away from them).

    The last time you said this I did a half-assed google search and couldn’t find anything to support the idea that he wanted final say (or any say) on roster moves. I don’t doubt you, but what makes you say this with such certainty? It’s not like he got it in Milwaukee.

    My impression was that Budz had too much of his own mind for Perry & Mills, whereas Fizdale is a yes man who will do whatever they want.

  18. We all know that we want Zion, but even in the best case scenario we only have a 14% chance of landing him. So who do we like among players ranked 2-30? Nassir Little, Bol Bol, and Kevin Porter Jr all stand out to me so far with Barrett and Reddish looking pretty underwhelming. I haven’t had the chance to watch a ton of college ball outside of Duke (and Miami, of course) though.

  19. And thanks to all of you who’s reading the recaps! Writing them makes my day, I’m happy to know you like ’em :)

  20. I can imagine other teams are interested in Frank. He can defend and he’s still very young, and lots of players, especially ones from Europe have improved their three point percentages with experience in the NBA. I want to give him at least another year, but I am not sure that will happen.

  21. I get that the ball movement is not happening right now, but 0-5 on mostly wide open shots and 0 rebounds on 14 minutes doesn’t have anything to do with offensive execution.

    Ntilikina usage was 14.6% and his career average is 16%.

    I hope he improves, and we have a lot of time for this, but right now, he doesn’t have a clue what to do on a basketball court besides one-on-one defense.

  22. If I was another team I’d absolutely be inquiring about Frank. He’s a perfectly good gamble for a second round pick, maybe two. Making sure we crush a player’s value before we unceremoniously ship them out is a big part of what we do here.

  23. My impression was that Budz had too much of his own mind for Perry & Mills, whereas Fizdale is a yes man who will do whatever they want.

    Starting to feel this way. If that’s what it is, it’ll hurt a lot.

  24. The last time you said this I did a half-assed google search and couldn’t find anything to support the idea that he wanted final say (or any say) on roster moves. I don’t doubt you, but what makes you say this with such certainty? It’s not like he got it in Milwaukee.

    My impression was that Budz had too much of his own mind for Perry & Mills, whereas Fizdale is a yes man who will do whatever they want.

    He didn’t get it in Milwaukee, true, but that’s because no team was willing to offer it to him after his dreadful stint in Atlanta as GM, so if no one was offering it, then you go to the best team of the possible options.

    And I think “too much of his own mind” is accurate, but that goes along with the general “he wanted a say on the roster” aspect of it, ya know?

  25. My concern is this; with Mitch fouling everyone in sight, and Kanter averaging 35 mins over the last 4 games….don’t we have to keep Kornet on the roster? If Enes gets hurt, we are looking at Vonleh taking those 35 at C. So, I’m worried Baker goes when we sign Trier? I don’t see us cutting Mario

  26. And I think “too much of his own mind” is accurate, but that goes along with the general “he wanted a say on the roster” aspect of it, ya know?

    I meant it more like Budz wouldn’t waste time playing Hezonja just to make his bosses look good.

    With Fizdale, I think the fact that Phil Jackson drafted Frank Ntilikina and Scott Perry signed Emmanuel Mudiay is a factor. With Budz, it wouldn’t be.

    But yeah, I think what we’re saying is overlapping. Budz wouldn’t want Mills/Perry guys (i.e. one way scorers), so ultimately they’d clash. But that’s precisely why I’m lamenting not signing him. I want a coach telling his GM that we need guys with two-way ability and complementary skills. That you can’t just keep throwing me one-way ISO scorers and expect me to build a cohesive team. Someone who won’t bury the only guy who passes and plays defense because he was drafted by the previous administration.

  27. Budz wouldn’t want Mills/Perry guys (i.e. one way scorers), so ultimately they’d clash. But that’s precisely why I’m lamenting not signing him. I want a coach telling his GM that we need guys with two-way ability and complementary skills. That you can’t just keep throwing me one-way ISO scorers and expect me to build a cohesive team. Someone who won’t bury the only guy who passes and plays defense because he was drafted by the previous administration.

    But I think that’s more a case of “I wish we had a better front office,” which I agree with, but if Budz was here, he wouldn’t have the freedom to do what he wanted. Remember when Isiah hired Brown, who wanted nothing to do with Isiah’s roster or plans? Budz would be a lot better than that, because he’s not as much of a stubborn asshole as Brown, but it would be a similarly bad situation.

    It sucks when the best solution would be “hire a different front office and keep Budz,” but we know that wouldn’t happen.

    But sure, I certainly wish Budz was the coach over Fizdale. I don’t even dislike Fizdale, but Budz is an elite NBA head coach and Fizdale is not.

  28. @19

    So much this. Fallout 2 was really a landmark in my life in regards to gaming and I’m still salty about how they conducted the entire process. I ended up enjoying a lot Fallout 3 when I gave it a chance mostly because the peripherals are so good, the soundtrack, the lore, the ambience etc. but Fallout 4 is an abomination.

  29. The day-to-day volatility of this site is bringing me down. We. Are. Going. To. Be. Very. Bad. This. Year. I thought everybody understood that, but it seems like after every loss posters are looking to heap all the blame on somebody. Fizdale has been a good coach so far, and watching his teams compete have been a breath of fresh air. We had a rough game, but that’s what happens when a high lottery team plays a team with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, JJ Redick, and Jimmy Butler. I’d like to see more passing and more minutes for Frank, but I’m also content to rack up the losses and worry about the offense when we get players whose offense isn’t offensive.

  30. @34

    I think the vast majority would be content if we played horribly but were devoting a lot of minutes on consistent basis to our first- and second-year players. What’s bugging a lot of us is the fact that Kanter keeps on playing 30+ minutes per game, Mudiay is eating minutes at PG and Hezonja is playing 20mpg. If we went 15-67 playing 30mpg Frank-Trier-Dotson-Knox-Robinson (and Timmy), plus 24mpg to Vonleh, 16mpg to Kanter, and 10 a piece for Mudiay and Burke I don’t think anyone would complain much.

  31. We. Are. Going. To. Be. Very. Bad. This. Year. I thought everybody understood that, but it seems like after every loss posters are looking to heap all the blame on somebody.

    Losses are fine. I want more losses! But I want losses where I get to see what we have in the players who are under contract (or at least have small cap holds) for another season.

    Last night Kanter, Mudiay, and Hezonja combined for 73 minutes. In Kanter’s case I understand we lack warm bodies, but Mudiay and Hezonja’s minutes came at the direct expense of players we should give a shit about (Frank/Trier/Dotson/Burke sort of).

    There just doesn’t seem to be any kind of development plan in place for the guys we actually should be looking to develop.

  32. I guess I’m just starting to realize where this front office is likely taking us unless we get bailed out by Durant, Kyrie, or Zion.

  33. I understand he isn’t working the the 1927 or 1998 Yankees, but can someone tell me a single thing about Fizdale that they like? Well…. he speaks the “language” of young NBA players and he sucked up to LeBron and D Wade in Miami. So he’s a bullshit artist who is a sort of Elmer Gantry of the NBA.

    There isn’t anything resembling and offense and a competent coach can teach one to elementary school kids….. hoops isn’t rocket science. With all these dribble handoffs they do 25 feet from the basket laterally where every defender overplays the shit out of it, do they run a single backdoor cut? Nahhh.

    They just should have found a teacher for a coach like Blatt if they were going to go young and give him 6M a year for 2 years contract which would have gotten him back into the NBA with the understanding when Noah’s and Lee’s and THJr’s contract expired at the end of next year, that’s when they would look to make a splash into the FA market (armed with high lotto picks this year and next year with a healthy KP) and they probably would be in the market for a hipster, cool player’s coach at that time .

    They just continue to do half assed and stupid things for ever.

  34. @19

    Planescape is a top 3 all time game of mine despite the clunky combat system.

    Fallout 1 is preferred–I really hate 3, and NV is alright. But I generally hate Bethesda games because they’re not finished on release and their systems are fairly shallow compared to the PC RPGs that I’m used to (though I love Morrowind.)

  35. I hope he improves, and we have a lot of time for this, but right now, he doesn’t have a clue what to do on a basketball court besides one-on-one defense.

    There is a lot of “noise” with rookies, especially teenagers, as they adjust to the league. There have been a lot of guys that really struggle their first year. The important year is the second year, and they absoluty must show improvement after their first 100 games or so are under their belt or the outlook is grim.

    The list of players that have a negative WS/48 in their second season (ie, no improvement or regression) is a list of failures in the league: Diante Garrett, Mario Hezonja, Donald Hodge, Tony Wroten, George McCloud, Sergio Rodriguez, Michael Olowokandi, John Duren, DeSagana Diop, Rodney White, Carl Nicks, Tyler Ullis, and Trenton Hassell. That’s the entire list, and the few that managed to extend their careers past their rookie contract all did it not with the team that drafted them but with other teams (many, many other teams in fact).

    In order to get names of players in the list that actually stuck in the league with the same teams that drafted them you need to open it up to a pretty forgiving .020 or so. Then you see names like Camby and Jarred Jeffries and others that were able to stick because of their defense.

    So, I guess that’s the goal for this year for Frank: WS/48 of .020 to not write him off as an NBA player altogether. I mean, if Jarred Jeffries can do it, that’s a pretty low offensive bar.

    (WS/48 isn’t my favorite stat, but I think it does a pretty good job of pointing out the players that are improving and regressing.)

  36. They just continue to do half assed and stupid things for ever.

    It’s been this way ever since Dolan took over. They never put their whole ass into anything.

  37. Fizdale might have spent more time on the defense than the offense

    I get that Fiz said that he would focus on defense first.

    And what has all this focus on defense yielded? All I see is a basic “park the bus” strategy: slow down the pace and put two bigs in the middle.

  38. It’s been this way ever since Dolan took over. They never put their whole ass into anything.

    We need to teach them the Hokey-Pokey!

  39. Bum Phillips once made one of the all time coaching quotes talking about Bear Bryant when he said, “Bryant can take his’n and beat your’n, and then he can turn around and take your’n and beat his’n. ”

    I don’t get the impression Fizdale can do anything close to that.

  40. I still can’t believe Deviu Harris is in the NBA. Or that he played 15 minutes last night against the Rockets and posted a +28 scoring 20 points on 8 shots. If there is a stranger line this season I want to see it.

  41. So Frank is bricking everything on offense-but he took good shots in the limited playing time he had. Is the answer to play him more? To put him in the G-league? (is there more practice time in the G-league?) Play him less in the NBA?

    As for the game writ large, we played 11 guys more than 10 minutes and all of them sucked except Dotson and maybe Mitch, who had foul trouble again (but against Embiid it’s more understandable). Dotson played 23 minutes. It’s mostly just shuffling deck chairs. If Frank played 5 more minutes and Mudiay 5 fewer minutes would you folks really have been happier? We still would have gotten waxed and the team would have looked awful.

  42. If they trade Frank this year (and I think they will), I’m reducing my expectations for this front office to zero.

  43. I’m a Frank Ntilikina skeptic but of course it’s ridiculous to pull the plug on him and trade him right now. There are some things he can already do on a basketball court that are useful, and he’s very young, so he should be getting a lot more burn in the hopes he figures things out.

  44. @46

    He had a stretch in which he hit like 4 3s in a row, one from Curry (or should we start saying Doncic) range, it was unbelievable. The Rockets were kinda trying still and they just gave up after this, understandably.

  45. Such a simple solution…send Frank to the G-League for 3-4 games. Even I know he’s a better 3-pt shooter than he’s been showing. He needs to get a bit of confidence back. Tell him to shoot 10 a game down there, and when he starts hitting 3-4 of them, bring him back.

  46. So who do we like among players ranked 2-30? Nassir Little, Bol Bol, and Kevin Porter Jr all stand out to me so far with Barrett and Reddish looking pretty underwhelming. I haven’t had the chance to watch a ton of college ball outside of Duke (and Miami, of course) though.

    Bol Bol has been better than expected, and I would think he’s moving up draft boards. I’m very curious to see how he does once Oregon moves into conference play.

  47. As I said, if Frank can’t shoot 37+% from 3, he’s not an NBA rotation player. Period. I think he eventually will get there. The question is when.

    He would have been a perfect 2nd round draft ‘n stash euro, or sit the bench player on a capped-out good team who can afford to wait on it’s 13th guy. Ironically, we actually can afford to wait on him, but that win-now Jones is a bitch.

  48. The day-to-day volatility of this site is bringing me down. We. Are. Going. To. Be. Very. Bad. This. Year. I thought everybody understood that, but it seems like after every loss posters are looking to heap all the blame on somebody.

    I’m not mad that we’re bad. I’m mad that we’re bad without playing our young players, without building a foundational system, and that it looks like we’re about to pull a Willy Hernangomez on a 20 year old prospect who is under contract for 2.75 more years.

  49. If Frank played 5 more minutes and Mudiay 5 fewer minutes would you folks really have been happier?

    I don’t mind the minutes or the rotations so much but I am getting pissed at the lack of ball movement, off-ball movement, off-ball screens, cuts, ect. These kids are real bad and I don’t expect much of anything but sweet baby poseiden, taking turns playing iso-ball is getting on my damn nerves.

  50. I do mind the minutes because they’re not consistent and, when they are, they go to the wrong people. I don’t care about results. I care about consistency and a coherent game plan. We don’t have anything like that right now.

  51. Yeah, like let’s say that Hezonja had a monster break-out season and became a guy that you would give the max to and the Knicks re-sign him next season for a max contract. That would still be a bad process move, since signing him this season didn’t give them any extra ability to max him out next season and him being good would just serve to hurt their draft position this year if he turned out to be good. The process is more important than the result and the Knicks’ process has been poor for some time now.

  52. Such a simple solution…send Frank to the G-League for 3-4 games

    I’d say 3-4 months. You’re right about him not being good right now. I just never thought you’d have a longer leash than Mills/Perry/Fizdale.

    Every bad performance seems like it pushes him closer out the door. And I think he knows they don’t like him. It’s just snowballing. They’re never going to give this kid 30 minutes a game and let him figure it out.

    So please stash him in Westchester for a long time until he has some confidence. Bring him back after the trade deadline when hopefully Hezonja and Mudiay have been dumped.

    (Christ how fucked up is it that our front office is more likely to hold onto the impending free agents and trade the kid on the four year rookie deal???)

  53. These kids are real bad and I don’t expect much of anything but sweet baby poseiden, taking turns playing iso-ball is getting on my damn nerves.

    I agree somewhat, but who is supposed to be making the passes? We have a roster of guys who don’t pass.

  54. Right now Bol Bol looks like a better prospect than RJ Barrett, who appears to be the 2019 draft’s answer to Andrew Wiggins.

  55. Zion and Barrett being both teammates and contenders for #1 overall sure is reminiscent of Embiid and Wiggins

  56. If he keeps playing like he’s done over his first 7 games I wouldn’t draft RJ Barrett in the first round, much less in the lottery.

  57. If he keeps playing like he’s done over his first 7 games I wouldn’t draft RJ Barrett in the first round, much less in the lottery.

    Sounds like a Knick to me.

  58. I will say that the front office hasn’t made Fizdale’s job any easier. Hezonja should be Gary Clark, Mudiay should be Theo Pinson. Still, there’s no excuse for prioritizing Mudiay over Frank.

  59. If he keeps playing like he’s done over his first 7 games I wouldn’t draft RJ Barrett in the first round, much less in the lottery.

    Amen.

  60. Yeah, watching Barrett there’s this sinking feeling that he might just be Wiggins 2.0. He really looks like he barely cares, and Wiggins has taught us that it doesn’t matter if you’re the most athletically gifted player in the world if you don’t use those abilities and if you don’t have the motor. It’s possible that it’s just him being uninterested in those early games but it does seem like the kid who was more talented and more athletic than anyone for his entire life and could always get by with not much effort. Some of those guys change, some unfortunately never do.

  61. There’s a misconception that I want Frank to fail just to prove that I was right about him on draft night. Nothing could be further from the truth, and anyone who has ever believed that that can go F him/herself. I’ve just been so confident in my assessment from day 1 (based on many hours of draft-time analysis) that he would never, ever be a competent NBA PG that it pissed off some posters who saw things in him that didn’t exist.

    And now here we are…he has become exactly what any serious analysis of his offensive film from Strasbourg would suggest as the most likely outcome: a potential 3-and-D off-the-ball guard/wing whose value was nearly completely dependent on the development of a reliable 3-pt shot. Even on D, he has several below-average physical tools (speed, strength, explosiveness) that mitigate his advantages in length/footwork/defensive awareness. There haven’t been many guards who can stay on the floor as 1-way defensive players, and are even fewer now that the game has evolved. And the fact that he doesn’t rebound is very alarming.

    If I really squint, I could imagine Michael, or Kobe, or DWade being a star in the league in today’s game based on defense alone, even if they had Frank’s offensive skillset. And Frank will never, ever, ever be as good of a defender as any of those 3 were in their primes.

    JK47 said that his floor is “total bust” and ceiling is “role player.” I totally agree with that. So the strategy at this time should be: how can we turn him into a decent role player?

    First, correctly define his position (i.e. end the PG experiment, for crying out loud!)
    Second, do what is necessary to hone his skills for that position
    -have him shoot 1,000 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers every day
    -build him up physically
    -teach him how to rebound
    -play him 30+mpg somewhere (I say back-and-forth from NBA to G-League)

  62. BPM leaders since 2010-11

    Zion Williamson 22.45
    Gary Clark 15.53
    Swindarius Thornwell 16.17
    Denzel Valentine 16.54
    Towns 17.30
    Embiid 14.94
    Oladipo 16.97
    Anthony Davis 18.67
    Draymond Green 13.64

    Ain’t much in the way of scientific proof, but this is what I see

    The #1 pick and best player in next year’s draft
    Rookie with 335 minutes
    Player who had a solid rookie year, albeit too old to be really excited about
    Big improvement in year 2, injured this year
    All-NBA x1
    All-NBA, All-Defensive
    All-NBA, All-Defensive, STL champ
    All-NBA, All-Defensive x3, BLK champ x3
    All-NBA x 2, All-Defensive x4, DPOY x1, NBA Champ x3, STL champ

    The draft is a crapshoot, but I’d be down to draft the highest BPM player on the board and roll the dice that way.

  63. There’s a misconception that I want Frank to fail just to prove that I was right about him on draft night. Nothing could be further from the truth, and anyone who has ever believed that that can go F him/herself.

    I don’t believe that you want him to fail, FWIW, but I also think you are overly bearish on his development, even though I also think he has been a complete bust so far.

    But also chill, my dude. Live like geo would.

  64. Re: Barrett vs. Zion, I just see Barrett as a guy who could end up being a Wiggins, Barnes or DeRozan. I see Zion having some adjustments to make in the NBA, especially against elite length every night of the week, but the athleticism, nose for the rim, touch around the basket, defensive instincts and high effort make him all but a lock for #1 IMO.

    He needs to work on passing out of the post and his 3PT shot, but the former doesn’t seem necessary given his outsized value on his team and the latter will come with time and reps. Zion with a 38% 3PT shot will be unguardable. You could put him out in the perimeter against 2s and 3s and dare them to stop his unbelievable downhill speed and LeBron-like instincts near the rim. He’s such an exciting player to enter the most entertaining sports league in the world. I am so excited to get to watch him play for 10+ years.

  65. Black mark on Canada if Barrett joins Bennett and Wiggins on the all overrated list….

    Re Zion, he knows how to play basketball.

  66. There’s a misconception that I want Frank to fail just to prove that I was right about him on draft night. Nothing could be further from the truth, and anyone who has ever believed that that can go F him/herself. I’ve just been so confident in my assessment from day 1 (based on many hours of draft-time analysis) that he would never, ever be a competent NBA PG that it pissed off some posters who saw things in him that didn’t exist.

    If my comment about you having a longer leash than our FO prompted this, I think you misunderstood me. I know you don’t want him to fail. I genuinely think Frank would be in better hands with you in charge of him than Fizdale, Mills, and Perry bc for all the things you’ve said, I know you’d never advocate something as foolish as dumping him for ten cents in the middle of his rookie contract.

    Frank unfortunately seems caught in the middle of a petty executive feud between Mills and Gaines.

  67. I agree somewhat, but who is supposed to be making the passes? We have a roster of guys who don’t pass.

    Mudiay used to pass. Trier passes some. The thing that’s getting me down is that all of our passes are coming off of guys creating in isolation, there’s not much teamwork on offense outside of transition and the occasional Rob Lob.

    (I misspelled ‘Poseidon’ above, so if a freak wave downs Red Hook or something today it’s my fault.)

  68. Wiggins was just a perfect example of how stubborn NBA executives get once they’ve made up their mind about a player. Wiggins was extremely hyped coming out of high school, so even though he was mediocre as fuck in college, NBA execs couldn’t look past the high school hype. They had already latched on to the idea that he was a stud.

  69. The draft is a crapshoot, but I’d be down to draft the highest BPM player on the board and roll the dice that way.

    The draft is definitely a crapshoot in many ways, but it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine when people act like it’s all one big mystery because, as you point out, there are pretty significant trends you can see if you bother to look for them.

    Like, it was pretty popular here to say things like “I can’t believe you guys aren’t even giving Knox a chance.” Well, I have no fuckin’ choice but to give him a chance now, and it’s not like my pessimism about the pick is going to have any effect on how it turns out anyway. I hope he’s the outlier to the trend of people having numbers like him in college proceeding to fail in the NBA, but that doesn’t make it wrong to be upset that we picked a guy with those numbers.

  70. Random observationst:

    Frank did a terrific job of imitating the Invisible Man last night. He got at least a couple of open looks that I can remember and missed them both. He absolutely needs to make open shots when he gets them. Also he didn’t stand out on defense, at least not last night, kind of meh on that side of the ball too. If things stay the same over the next year and a half I can see him returning to Europe to play.

    Agree with the Hero Ball description of the offense. Hardaway , Trier, Burke, Knox, and Kanter are looking to put it up as soon as they touch it almost every time. At some point isn’t this on Fizdale? When they talk at halftime shouldn’t he encourage/threaten them to move the ball? There seems to be no offensive plan or philosophy in place, it looks horrible for long stretches.

    The stats indicate THJR is playing better this year, but man I would hate to play with that guy. He takes so many ill advised shots, and he takes so many shots period. He doesn’t add value anywhere else. Let’s face it, if he’s your #1 option (or even #2) you are going to lose a lot of games. Not a fan.

    I had no idea Devin Harris was still in the league either, thanks for pointing that out yesterday. You learn something new every day.

    Yeah, that Doncic guy looks pretty good. Not tanking for a chance at him last year and ending up with Knox is not looking real smart right now.

  71. Hubert, no, it wasn’t about you or anything posted recently. In the past, some posters have actually said that to me, and it’s just stupid given that I am first and foremost a diehard Knicks fan, which is why I waste so much time arguing with you fine people.

    Jowles, it’s all good, thanks as always for your heartfelt concern. Seriously, how is is overly bearish to say that I think he has a reasonable chance to become a decent-to-very good role player, and that his value will nearly totally depend on his ability to hit 3’s at a reasonable rate? (I believe I used Trevor Ariza as a model for his absolute ceiling, different type of game but similar upside)?

    I have consistently been extremely bearish on his prospects as a PG, I’ll give you that. But beyond that, not so much.

  72. @79

    Which is kinda weird with his .580 ts%… I guess the high turnover to assist rate is bringing it down a lot? I would guess a guy averaging 19-6-4 and 1 steal with pretty efficient shooting would be higher in those advanced stats. It’s still insane numbers for a rookie tho.

  73. And thanks to all of you who’s reading the recaps!

    yes, yes, yes – finally an analogy i can really understand: videogames!!!

    can we get some drug and porn analogies next please…

    it makes me smile to see all the gaming enthusiasts kicking in on this thread :)

    i generally spend about 15 to 20 hours a week gaming (mostly elder scrolls online – eso, and now red dead redemption 2, a little bit of fortnite – but, that’s mostly my god son’s game though)…

    i played a bunch of the fallout stuff, and, i was interested in fallout 76’s pvp (player versus player) gameplay – but, the reviews are just to poor to invest the time in to it…

    eso itself has become somewhat of a buggy mess – but, i’ve already put 3 and a half years into my characters, so, not ready to cut the cord on that game anytime soon…

    gaming is like a part time job, where i don’t get paid…i wonder every so often what life might be like if i used that time more wisely – sort of like not reading and posting so much on a basketball forum :)

    speaking of which – back to basketball:

    reference frank and kevin – i think we need to ride their party train out to the end of their contracts…honestly, i think it’s super hard to evaluate talent while in a knick uniform simply because our organization is so not good…

    it sucks that we may have crapped out on 2 top 10 picks, but, given the ineffective nature of our team – we may not really know for sure for another couple of years…

  74. Yeah, I realized where I was at as a gamer when I chose mounting storage hooks in my garage over building settlements in Fallout 4.

  75. Yeah, I realized where I was at as a gamer when I chose mounting storage hooks in my garage over building settlements in Fallout 4.

    hahahahahahahaha…for me it usually comes done to the choice of making food or getting some sleep and gaming…gaming normally wins…

  76. If you’re wondering what Fizdale is thinking about the minutes allocations, it’s clear that-
    1- He is valuing offense over defense when deciding who starts/plays (see: Kanter/THJr getting the most minutes, and Trier/Hezonja/Burke/Mudiay playing over Frank/Dotson/Baker)
    2- He has no offensive scheme to speak of (see: after TO plays, lack of any PNR, screens, cuts…)
    3- His defense will look shitty no matter how much he coaches if he plays shitty defensive players all the time.
    4- The team will look like shit for a long time as long as all this is true, and I can’t even tell if he had better players any of this would significantly change.

    If you’re wondering what Scott/Perry are thinking with roster/draft decisions-
    1- They value offense above all- see: Knox (only reason to draft the kid is pointz), Hardaway, Trier, Hezonja… what do you see? (outlier: Mitch Rob, an objectively good 2nd round pick)
    2- Perry is either stubbornly sticking to his Magic personnel choices, or he is saving face by not letting players he picked become busts.
    3- They are not very smart, or don’t care much about, the technicalities of the game, cap, and roster building. They may think that they are building a culture, or giving a season-long tryout, to many players, but their underlying biases show (see: Noah’s dumb waiving, Hardaway/Baker contracts, lack of long-term cheap deals given to borderline NBA players- our whole roster)

  77. To me the biggest problem the last two games was Vonleh getting in early foul trouble. He’s the only big who sets good screens and the only big who shows and recovers on screens- Mitch just switches and Kanter just stays in the paint. He’s the mvp of this crappy season which isn’t saying much but it’s something.

    On Frank- he started the first 14 games of the season (and even had a couple where he played okay) so I don’t think Fiz/the front office has some sort of vendetta against him for being Phil’s pick. He’s just very, very bad at basketball. He’s still averaging more mpg than Mudiay for the season though that seems to be changing. The fact is the guy’s ceiling looks to be role player, if that. While yeah, the Knicks have nothing to lose by rolling him out there for 30 minutes a night, he’s been bad enough that I understand limiting his role. The guy we should be complaining about not getting minutes is Dotson.

  78. The stats Gaines was tweeting last night were remarkable. In the first half, the Knicks averaged 1.38 touches once the ball crossed halfcourt and on 8/24 (33%) possessions, there were no passes by the primary ball handler.

    I don’t think this is us overreacting. This is alarming stuff. When Mike D’Antoni took over in 2008, we handed him Chris Duhon and Al Harrington and we could at least see the bones of his offense. You don’t need great players to put a system in place.

  79. Yeah, I realized where I was at as a gamer when I chose mounting storage hooks in my garage over building settlements in Fallout 4.

    I used to be a heavy gamer, like waiting for holidays in my late twenties to play 60 hours a week Mass Effect 3. Life happens, though, so nowadays I spend maybe 5 hours a week playing at something.

    Being a freelance, though, I have an Xbox One in my studio for good measure :)

  80. “The guy we should be complaining about not getting minutes is Dotson.”
    +1, he’s looked good on both sides of the ball for stretches. Certainly as good or better than most Knicks being rolled out there. He needs more burn for sure.

    Agree on Vonleh, I hope they keep him. Would like to see him playing next to KP, seems like that would work well.

    Mitch is a walking foul out right now.

    Anyone still think Durant is interested in joining this shit show with or without KP?

  81. @86

    This is some crazy stuff. I would bet many of the passes made were actually to THJ who instantly shot it or Kanter who also most of the times goes for a shot.

    You’d think that with a young team people would at least move without the ball, but it really seems it’s just the combination of Fizdale telling them to do it and the personnel not helping either. KP returning would probably change those numbers a bit as guards will get more assists by simply dumping the ball to him, but he’s not a passer at all too…

  82. On Barrett- I think the fact that Zion has clearly been the better player from the opening tip of game one has gotten in his head and he’s overcompensating. He’s trying to do too much and failing miserably. Every fan is on the edge of their seats every time Zion touches the ball- you can feel the crowd’s energy even on TV- that’s got to be tough for a guy who came in as the presumptive #1. I think was a better prospect than Wiggins coming in and if he gets his head right he’ll be a deserving 2-4 pick.

  83. Anyone still think Durant is interested in joining this shit show with or without KP?

    Yeah, actually. And even though he plays for the warriors he’s really a selfish ISO scorer who doesn’t pass much unless he has to. Maybe we *are* laying a foundation after all.

  84. nowadays I spend maybe 5 hours a week playing at something.

    howdy farfa…red dead redemption 2 is a pretty awesome game…slow paced, and, slightly clunky controls – but, the eye candy is spectacular, and, the storytelling is amazing…

    it’s been a while since i din’t simply rush through a game’s dialogue…

    i don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect game – but, rdr2 is probably one of the better releases to come out in a long while…

  85. Yeah, actually. And even though he plays for the warriors he’s really a selfish ISO scorer who doesn’t pass much unless he has to. Maybe we *are* laying a foundation after all.

    Come on, the guy’s had an assist rate above 20 for 7 years running- that’s outstanding for a 3/4 especially one playing with ball-dominant points like Westbrook and Curry.

  86. There’s literally nothing to criticize about Durant’s game. His mind? Sure. But not his game. He’s possibly a top-5 all-around player of the modern era. Elite scorer, tremendous defender, fills the stat sheet otherwise.

    Plus, how the hell do you expect one of the best scorers in league history to pass first? What’s he gonna do, get assists by passing it to Westbrook for a contested 35-footer? Roberson? Remember how that worked out in game 7 2016 WCF?

  87. @93

    God of War (the new one) is a pretty terrific game–really visually stunning. I prefer it to RDR2 so far.

    Best games I’ve played in the past few years are probably Divinity 2, The Last of Us, Bloodborne, What Remains of Edith Finch, and Breath of the Wild.

    The Knicks look like shit and don’t seem to have a clue about proper prioritizing of their assets.

  88. Ok, so that must mean that at least by now the front office plan is to eventually re-sign Mudiay? Because why the hell would he be a priority if he’s not coming back next season, right?

    If this is true then well, all the faith I had in this front office is kinda gone. Our absolute best case scenario for a lineup next year would be something like Mudiay, THJ, Durant, Porzingis and Robinson, with Knox, Trier, whoever they pick in this draft, Dotson and presumably Vonleh and Burke off the bench, and that’s assuming Durant is even interested in the first place which honestly is a stretch.

    If we get Zion I’m a lot happier, for obvious reasons, but this seems like a very bizarre plan.

  89. Silky, not sure if you’ve played The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+, but it’s one of the best games I’ve ever played. Not a narrative experience at all, though. It’s a roguelike and has similar gameplay to Link to the Past, but with modern features and extreme replayability due to item pickups and interaction effects. Similar in difficulty to the Dark Souls franchise. When you start playing, you will die — a lot.

  90. @98

    I’ve 100%ed both the original Binding of Isaac and Afterbirth + after a couple of hundred hours. I can’t wait til the final update comes with Antibirth integration so I can grind all that too. Terrific games, really love them, and all other roguelikes (Dead Cells is a really good recent one, as is Slay The Spire.)

  91. @96 …silky, the gaming connoisseur – very nice :)

    i’m reading up on edith finch, and, that zelda game now…

  92. Another PC gamer here. I played Fallout 1 and 2 back in the day (and just a few years ago replayed some modded versions). New Vegas was okay, but I’ve not played 4 (my two sons advised me not to). I’m playing Bard’s Tale 4 these days. It was a bit of a disaster when first released a couple of months back, but they’ve patched it up well and it is rather fun now.

    From what I’ve read, Fallout 76 sounds like the perfect storm of Hubris and Incompetence. Kind of like Mr. President.

    By the way, you know what is kind of depressing about this site? Reading all the reasonable takes about what the Knicks should be doing, but knowing that there’s no-way-in-hell that the FO is going do do any of that…

  93. @98 and @99…

    oh man, so not only am i continuously outclassed when it comes to basketball knowledge – turns out: i’m only mediocre in my gaming knowledge too…

    this site is so humbling at times ;)

  94. I’ve 100%ed both the original Binding of Isaac and Afterbirth + after a couple of hundred hours. I can’t wait til the final update comes with Antibirth integration so I can grind all that too. Terrific games, really love them, and all other roguelikes (Dead Cells is a really good recent one, as is Slay The Spire.)

    I rarely complete a game beyond a playthrough, especially as an adult. Bioshock? Once, and I loved it. Dark Souls 3? Once, and then I quit. Even Dead Cells — once I completed the hour-long playthrough, I had no desire to just do the power creep thing like I was playing World of Warcraft (aka crack cocaine for low-functioning adult gamers).

    TBOI:A+? 100% completion, including Keeper, Lost, Ultra Hard and Speed!. Never again. Never.

  95. @99

    I have spent so much time on Slay the Spire recently, it perfectly combines my early age obsession with magic the gathering in an affordable and fresh way. It’s been, together with RDR2 and the Castlevania Symphony of the Night port to ps4 my favorite things at this moment.

  96. It’s refreshing to know that smart people in their thirties still play games. The gamer stigma has really been lifted.

  97. sigh…Mille Bornes, anyone?

    oh my goodness, that’s like the most awesome game in the world – i totally love mille bornes…

    no, not really, i had to look it up…geez z-man – how are old you?

  98. The gamer stigma has really been lifted.

    Nope. You stat-nerds are taking geekdom to a whole new level today :)

  99. Ok, so that must mean that at least by now the front office plan is to eventually re-sign Mudiay? Because why the hell would he be a priority if he’s not coming back next season, right?

    You may be reading too much into this. Can’t the FO be down on both Mudiay and Ntilikina? Why does not playing one mean they are planning to keep the other for the long run? (Since they have both demonstrated themselves to be historically bad, it would be good management to have other long-term plans at the guard position altogether, no?)

  100. @34, it’s a good question why are we down after this game, when we knew the Knicks would be bad this season. I think it’s because of a perceived lack of effort and almost no positive signs from anyone on the team in the game. No 0ne was down like this after we lost to Detroit. I think we got used to watching basketball where we seemed to be competing hard and someone on the team had a game that promised better stuff in the future.

  101. There is no reason to be unhappy about the Knicks if the following happens:

    (1) They play players on rookie contracts as much as possible, with the goal of developing them, win or lose. The earlier in the rookie contract, the better.
    (2) They play veterans for the sole purpose of inflating their trade value, and unload them to the highest bidder, no matter what that price is.
    (3) They avoid signing or trading for more veterans until the front office has identified a handful of rookie-contract players that they deem worthy of extending.
    (4) They do not overpay for extensions of those draftees, nor do they extend them to large deals without evidence that they will outperform their contract (i.e. not offering Porzingis a supermax until he fixes his shooting issues, rebounds, proves that his knee will not be a lingering issue through a five-year deal).
    (5) They acquire low-risk contracts (2nd round picks, UDFA, etc.) for the purpose of finding more surplus value out of their roster.
    (6) They draft Zion Williamson if he’s on the board when they pick.

    Anything else is grounds for being pissed off, IMO.

  102. So far, every time Fizdale has gone to a new starting lineup it has started off looking good and then faded, and after five games or so has been changed. I’m not sure why this is. Some of it may be the league learning about our new players. Robinson looked great until the league figured out how to get him in quick foul trouble. So Fizdale had to move him from the starting lineup. But I don’t know what the rest of the cause is. I suspect the current starting lineup will get a chance to show the Philly game was a third game in four nights against a good team sort of fluke. But if they flop again, changes are likely.

  103. I just spent 4 days with my wife and 20 something kids over Thanksgiving, and we had some epic Mille Bornes battles.

    I know it’s just a card game with no graphics or first person shooters, but it’s a really fun game with a surprising amount of strategy.

    Don’t knock it if you haven’t played it!

  104. if I had that many kids I wouldn’t count them either. as you can see by the dad joke I bridge generations. I’ve played mille bornes but also won dozens (hundreds?) of fortnite battle royales. still didn’t understand half the shit in this thread.

  105. “oh my goodness, that’s like the most awesome game in the world – i totally love mille bornes…

    no, not really, i had to look it up…geez z-man – how are old you?”

    I’ll tell you how old I am. The first Knicks game I attended was at the brand new MSG. Back then, they used to play doubleheaders, and the first game featured the Sixers. I remember how excited I was sitting up in the blue seats and anticipating seeing Wilt Chamberlain play, only to discover that there was no player wearing his familiar #13 on the court. Strangely, some unknown big guy on Phila wearing #16 was dominating the game on both ends. As it turned out, Wilt’s jersey had been lost and he had to wear #16 for the game…and because there was no public address during the matinee game, I didn’t confirm that it was Wilt until afterwards!

  106. Too bad the Knicks front office wasn’t dealt the puncture proof card to get them over all the speed bumps of their rebuild.

  107. I’ll tell you how old I am. The first Knicks game I attended was at the brand new MSG. Back then, they used to play doubleheaders, and the first game featured the Sixers. I remember how excited I was sitting up in the blue seats and anticipating seeing Wilt Chamberlain play, only to discover that there was no player wearing his familiar #13 on the court. Strangely, some unknown big guy on Phila wearing #16 was dominating the game on both ends. As it turned out, Wilt’s jersey had been lost and he had to wear #16 for the game…and because there was no public address during the matinee game, I didn’t confirm that it was Wilt until afterwards!

    that’s a very cool story, freaking wilt chamberlain (hide the women!!!) :)

    i’ll tell ya, now that i’m on the other side of 50 and speeding along towards 60 – my appreciation for age and the passage of time has grown quite a bit…

    maybe not enough to take care of myself as well as i should, but, life certainly is a very precious thing…

  108. but also won dozens (hundreds?) of fortnite battle royales.

    pic or didn’t happen :)

    man, i can’t tell ya how many times i’ve placed second…i’m pretty good at staying out of site til the end (usually while doing the “outlive” challenges), but, sadly only very average at eliminating other players…

  109. On the topic of Frank, I have read some reports (rumours really), that the Magic may have some interest in Frank. Looking at their pick situation, they have their firsts and 2 seconds in 2019. On current standings that first is 9 and the two seconds are in the top 40. Looking at picks alone, I don’t think Frank’s current value warrants a lottery pick, but if two top 40 selections were on the table, is that worth a look? Due diligence would dictate you of course ask for the 1st of course. They are also unlikely to let go any of their intriguing young players either, so any deal would likely be picks orientated I feel, so a future 1st and the 2 2nd rounders feels okay.

  110. If the Knicks dump Frank, they’re not getting a 1st plus 2 2nds for him

    Probably not. His value is probably at it’s worst at the moment. . I think you are probably realistically looking at a similar deal to the Hernangomez/Mudiay trade.

  111. That’s why it’s so pointless to trade him now, it’s like trading a future lottery ticket for another one with different numbers on it. At least we know the one we have is at least a good defender, so he has one skill and is bad everywhere else. If you look at the 2016 draft for example at least half of the 2nd rounders aren’t even in the league already or are stashed euros who are never coming over.

  112. Kawhi is such a good approximation of what Jordan would have looked like in a modern offense. The Raptors are scary good. Not sure they’d be up 10 with Curry on the floor for 30 minutes, but still.

  113. “They didn’t foul! They didn’t foul! And he hit a three in their FACE!”

    The GSW play-by-play guy is going nuts right now. Hope you guys are watching this game.

  114. I thought he’d go for a long two. That’s a 40% chance to win, even if they know it’s coming.

  115. Man you really think Toronto has a chance (they look like by far the best team in the East) and then you remember GSW will have all of Steph, Draymond, and Cousins back by the time they play each other in the Finals.

  116. Well, I missed a real game. Wow.

    A little Montrezl isn’t bad though. No one in the NBA is more of a 90’s Knick. Love that guy.

    Bagley looks pretty good too. Fox. SGA.

    Who would have figured the Clips and Kong’s would have been this watchable?

  117. That Raptor Warrior game was riveting for the 4th quarter and OT.

    Kawhi and soon to be Knick Durant are both pretty good at basketball. The 3 KD hit from the corner with time running out was insane. I had to rewind and watch that one a few times.

  118. If you aren’t playing procedurally generated ascii roguelikes you’re just a casual gamer

    If y’all start talking about Angband variants I’m gonna question my sanity.

    And everybody knows the only real game is Dwarf Fortress.

  119. When we tried to trade for Payton last year, the magic asked for Frank. When we said no,they agreed to trade him for a single high second rounder instead. Sure they were probably trying one on a bit ok asking for Frank but this suggests they wouldn’t see Frank as worth a first and two seconds

    I can see absolutely no reasonable argument for trading Frank now. We’re going to get offers that assume he’s a borderline bust with reclamation potential. The reclamation potential he has, however low, is worth more to us than those offers.

    I’m with those expressing real disappointment and concern over the last few threads. I desperately want to like Fiz and be on team optimist. I don’t care that we’re bad and lose games – that’s a good thing at this point in the cycle. But playing guys with no future big minutes whil dog-housing Frank and Dot is so frustrating, and the basic lack of a modern offensive system is really worrying. We’ve had a couple of games this year where the young guys have played Big Crunch time minutes and the games have been close. Those are exactly what high points this year should look like. This same guys getting garbage time minutes after kanter and Hezonja have been blown out in the meaningful ones sucks.

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