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Monday, January 21, 2019

New York Knicks 97 – Utah Jazz 129 – Game Recap

Nope. Not going to do a recap this time.

We lost by 32 but honestly the final score doesn’t even begin to tell the story of this game (and of this team). Look, it’s not about individual performances. Every single Knick sucked tonight, someone a little less, someone a little more (looking at you, Frank: -36 +/-, 1/7 from the field, 2 points and 2 boards. Let it be known that this is the night I officially give up on Frank. I’m not saying he should be traded or whatever. Keep on giving him minutes, this is a lost season. But the odds are completely against Frank ending up as an NBA player after his rookie contract. I’m not even sure it’s his fault. If he was a second-round pick probably things would be a little bit better. Dude’s a mess mentally and he’s regressing badly even on defense). Tonight it was about being a team. The Knicks totally failed at being a team.

Losing a game by 32 is bad enough, even in a tanking/rebuilding year. I won’t complain about the loss. I’ll complain about the fact that nobody, once Vonleh picked up two quick fouls, seemed to give a single fuck about being on the floor with other four human beings and trying to compete, if not win altogether. This was not a back-to-back night. Utah is not a deadly offensive machine. Gobert is not Gozer the Gozerian. Thabo Sefolosha shouldn’t be supposed to post a double double, like ever (B-R says he has posted 15 in his whole career. There must be a glitch at that site). Dante Exum shouldn’t dish 12 dimes in the first half just by running elementary pick-and-roll variations.

Most important of all, our guys are supposed to suck but are supposed to care! To care about what? About themselves, at least. Isn’t defense, at some point, a matter of pride? Ok, defense won’t get you a lot of money, but shouldn’t you be personally offended if the other team scores at will on you? I would be. And yet, nobody other than Vonleh seemed to take action. And definitely it wasn’t enough. Let it be known, though, that Vonleh posted a +11 plus/minus in a game we lost by 32 (Burke did, too, but he was playing against random people picked from the stands at that point).

So, well, our guys suck. Big news, huh? We have lost 7 straight and have the second-worst record in the whole league (now this is great news).

You know who I put the blame of this pathetic outing onto?

The coach, that’s who. Nobody with a sane mind should advocate firing a coach in the midst of a tanking season. It just makes no sense. And yet, Fizdale’s credibility as a good coach is already over, if you ask me. I guess you all remember how we were fine with him at the time of his hiring. I was too (Budenholzer would have never come here unless we handed him the GM role too, and he was a terrible GM in Atlanta. Great, great coach, but a terrible GM)! I was enraptured by his manners, the League waxed poetic about him, and he had the support of LeBron and Wade, for what it’s worth. I thought he was a step in the right direction, maybe two.

It was good to see him take the young players to watch playoff games together. This was a man interested in building a team and making it grow organically, it seemed. Yeah, he was saying strange things here and there (“I see Lance Thomas as our own Draymond Green”; seriously? It’s like saying I see Domino’s Pizza in downtown Bologna as my own five stars pizzeria in Positano, where you can eat the best calzone in the world while looking down and watching the soothing movement of the Mediterranean waves in a warm Sunday in June), but he looked like an alright guy. And the charisma! Dude oozes (oozed, I guess) charisma like he rolled three six on his character sheet. And then the first cracks in his armor. Kanter sulking. Burke sulking. Dotson getting DNPs. Hezonja starting for a stretch. Frank regressing (not sure if that’s Fiz’s fault, the kid looks completely lost). Weird rotation shuffles. Kanter sulking again. And so on.

Then, this game came around. Anyone who has ever played basketball, or any team sport, knows what it means when a team gives such a performance. Let me spell it out for you: the coach has lost the team. I don’t know when it happened or why. I don’t even think he lost everyone. I guess Knox, Mudiay, Vonleh and possibly THJ, Dotson and Trier aren’t actually against Fizdale. He just lost the entire team, as in “we don’t know what we’re doing here on the court and we actually couldn’t care less about it”. That’s what happens when you preach but don’t put work in. They say defense is the best offense, and I concur, but it’s not acceptable that 37 games in we still don’t have a glimmer of an offensive system in place. You know why I’m sure this is on the coach? You just have to look at what Trier does. In the last two games, there have been some minutes where there was no ballhog on the court. They were few, but they existed. And people shared the ball – not effectively, of course, but they were playing a team game. Enter Trier: the offense grinds to a halt in terms of moving the ball (brief aside: what happened to Zo? I hope it’s the nagging injury, because we don’t need another guy who goes to the rim just to be swatted multiple times in a row and then decides it’s better to pull up from 18 feet again and again until the rim deflates the ball). Now, if the coach wasn’t ok with that, and specifically gave instruction to move the ball, he’d yank the player very quickly. That’s what happens at every level! But no, Fiz is ok with that, and so we are subjected to the “eat what you kill” offense taken from the darkest days of early aughts.

Guys get tired of playing in a system where they never get the ball in their favorite places (unless you’re a chucker, because in that case your favorite place is always your hands) and might receive random DNPs because the coach wants to see if the other guy can chuck a little better. They simply check out and stop paying attention. Which, sadly, is what some of us could be tempted to do.

So, yeah, don’t fire Fiz now. It makes no sense. We’re not playing to win anything, and we don’t have a lot to develop with Mitch sidelined, Trier hitting the rookie wall and the defense wall, Dotson being who he is (by that I mean that I think he’s already reached his ceiling: this version is who he is, and I’m good with that), Frank looking like a bust and Knox looking better just because he got the green light to do whatever he wants in generous minutes –  his double digit scoring streak though stays alive, yay for the Elias Sports Bureau! – but I think we should stop pretending that Fizdale knows what he’s doing with this team. It can’t get more apparent than this.

PS: I loved how Kanter got booed by the crowd. I hope he asks for a buyout tomorrow. 0 points and 4 boards in 18 minutes, and he still thinks he’s a superstar? He got to be the most deluded man on planet Earth.

I won’t see you again until next tuesday, so Happy New Year! And let’s keep on Knicksing, I just can’t help myself.

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58 comments on “New York Knicks 97 – Utah Jazz 129 – Game Recap

  1. ProjectKnicks

    Let it be known that this is the night I officially give up on Frank. I’m not saying he should be traded or whatever. Keep on giving him minutes, this is a lost season. But the odds are completely against Frank ending up as an NBA player after his rookie contract. I’m not even sure it’s his fault. If he was a second-round pick probably things would be a little bit better. Dude’s a mess mentally and he’s regressing badly even on defense).

    Things would be much easier to understand if you accept what you have in front of you as true: he is just a bad player. He is not ‘regressing’, he is not ‘lost'; he is not a ‘mess mentally’. He is just a bad basketball player. There are many of them, he is one of the worst. That’s all.

  2. ProjectKnicks

    Fizdale is a bad coach. The roster is terrible, but there is no direction, plan or purpose. He needs to be fired asap.

  3. wetbandit

    Continuing my thoughts last thread- this team has some awful luck. They’re finally tanking to the bottom, but on the first year when the worst team has a 14% chance at first pick and a 60% chance of dropping out of the top 3.

    And on a year when dropping from 1 to 2 is HUGE. Who’s next after Zion? RJ? Cam? JA? Culver? All of those would go after Luka at three last year’s shallow draft, and wouldn’t go near the top 4 any other year.

    Pair that with Fizdale’s shine showing some rust, Frank playing like garbage, young guys through positive reinforcement learning that playing like Timmy is what gets you minutes in this game- looking at Trier/Knox/Mudiay- and our only beacon of light looking to get a max post injury after only showing glimpses of what he can be… at times… again, pre-injury. And we seem to have had a shot at Durant if we didn’t give guys like Noah, Tim, Baker, and Lance so much money. Sheesh.

    Happy new year y’all.

  4. Bruno Almeida

    I didn’t watch the game so I’m probably not as angry as most of you are, but honestly I’m fine with it all. This is the year to really suck, Porzingis is injured and there are real, great prospects in the draft.

    I obviously hate to see Trier, Ntilikina, Knox playing badly, but the others, Kanter, THJ, Mudiay, Lance, Burke, could all get cut tomorrow for all I care anyway, so them playing terribly and not showing effort is just one step closer to what I think should happen, which is none of them being on the Knicks in the near future.

    There’s zero chance Fizdale will be fired and I don’t think that’s a bad thing, we all, probably including him, knew it was going to be a shit show.

    I get that the realization that the rebuild is not actually in step two or three, but it’s only now getting closer to step one, is annoying and disheartening, but it is what it is. It’s the price we all pay for the last 4 or 5 years of trying aimlessly to build a winning culture with bad veterans and bad draft picks and wasted cap space. At least now we have a chance to luck out on a really damn good prospect, and we know beyond any doubt that the team is a wasteland of talent with a few bright spots here and there.

  5. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    You wanted to build via draft, well here it is. It’s at least a 5-6 year process assuming things go well.

    I still have no major problem with Frank not scoring much. This is what you sign up for when you draft 18-19 year old kids. You get 4-6 year projects.

    Frank always looks great shooting in warmups, has very good form, and is fine from the FT line. Ultimately, I still think he has the work ethic and form to be a good spot up shooter. He may never get past that, but I still think it will happen. It’s just going to take time.

    The REAL PROBLEM is that his defense has slipped. He gets beat off the dribble all the time this year. Every player gets beat from time to time, but it’s happening a lot this year. Also, last year when he did get beat he at least recovered enough to give the player a bad angle to the basket. Now they just go right by.

    It’s possible that extra inch and bulk came with a tradeoff. He may be slower.

  6. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I get that the realization that the rebuild is not actually in step two or three, but it’s only now getting closer to step one, is annoying and disheartening, but it is what it is.

    We are in a “double dip” rebuild. I keep using that term because it’s accurate.

    We already blew up the team and tanked after a disappointing start to the season in order to get Porzingis. We were in a position to get the #1 seed (Towns) but screwed up the tank in the last few games. (At least we didn’t get Okafor).

    Then we didn’t have a 1st round pick. That cost us a year in the rebuild.

    We have since gotten Frank and Knox.

    I say “double dip” because once you tank, you are supposed to slowly get better as the picks develop and you accumulate other reasonably talented young players in free agency or via trade.

    We’ve been heading in the opposite direction. We’ve been trading and letting decent young players walk (Willy, O’Quinn, McBuckets, Holiday), substituting very young players that stink on both sides of the ball, and adding bad free agents. So now we have fewer assets, a worse team, and a longer path.

    THE MANAGEMENT SUCKS

    We may get Zion out of this (OR NOT), but any idiot can keep getting rid of decent players and adding even worse ones to get worse. That’s not the idea. The idea is to keep adding players that are better than the ones you already have. They are not doing that.

  7. Farfa Post author

    The idea is to keep adding players that are better than the ones you already have. They are not doing that.

    And we’re inching every day a little bit closer to Mudiay’s extension!

  8. Farfa Post author

    Things would be much easier to understand if you accept what you have in front of you as true: he is just a bad player. He is not ‘regressing’, he is not ‘lost'; he is not a ‘mess mentally’. He is just a bad basketball player. There are many of them, he is one of the worst. That’s all.

    ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all

  9. bobneptune

    It’s possible that extra inch and bulk came with a tradeoff. He may be slower.

    I honestly don’t think that has anything to do with the decline of his defense. Early in the season he was the same Frank on D but after getting crushed on screens because the big on the PnR never shows sufficiently to slow the opposing PG down about 10 games into the season Frank show up with both shoulders taped suffering from Toney Douglass hammered shoulders disease.

    I am just so tired with Kanter and the other prima donnas in the league. Last night was the absolute worst effort ever by a defensive player I have ever seen and quite frankly it looked like a complete defensive lay down on his part.

    I really feel bad about his political problem with his home country but he is awful at basketball and is in for a rude awakening this spring. I have never seen a worse defensive player. And I watched Billy “the hill” McGill play for the Knicks :-)

    If he’s going to whine and not give effort, send him home and don’t release him til after the deadline or unless he gives money back. He’s actually great for the tank but he threw shade on poor Kornet last night after the game and that was uncalled for.

    If Fiz is an actual coach he should have walked out on the court and grabbed Trier by the ear lobe and escorted him off the court the way he was navigating screens last night aka Gil Hodges and Cleon Jones…..

  10. Grocer

    Man, Frank was horrible. That dunk was fun tho, and he should have had 4pts on 8 shots, that charge call was bullshit. On defense he looks like he’s trying to guard two or three guys at the same time, this heroball shit is the fucking pits. ‘Eat what you kill’. What’s the odds the team goes full Donner Party on the way to Denver?

  11. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    And we’re inching every day a little bit closer to Mudiay’s extension!

    Exactly.

    I defend Mudiay and Burke a little because I think it’s possible for young players to get better. Either would probably be OK as a backup on a cheap contract. The problem is that management thinks they are good players because they can score. The reality is they are bad. Neither scores efficiently enough to be a positive on offense on a “good” team and both are bad on defense. Hezonja is even worse. I’d rather have Baker over all 3 of those guys. Baker is not a good all around basketball player, but at least he defends well. If he’s at the end of your bench at the minimum he’s an asset.

  12. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them!

    I honestly don’t think that has anything to do with the decline of his defense. Early in the season he was the same Frank on D but after getting crushed on screens because the big on the PnR never shows sufficiently to slow the opposing PG down about 10 games into the season Frank show up with both shoulders taped suffering from Toney Douglass hammered shoulders disease.

    I hadn’t even considered that. I hope you are right.

    I agree 100% on Kanter. I keep wanting to like Kanter, but the overall package is a huge negative. At least that nightmare will over be after this year.

    Kanter’s expiring contract might have some value, but I don’t think it has any value to NY. If we were willing to take on a contract for 2-3 years, we might be able to get back a decent young productive player or pick as part of it. But as long as we are entertaining the Durant fantasies, we can’t take anything on. We will probably wind up with nothing for him.

  13. bidiong

    The only way anybody can think anyone on our team is good is if you only watch our team in a vacuum. I’m guessing that’s what our front office does. It’s what the average Knick fan does for sure. You can go on any social media site and the fans are drooling over Mudiay.

  14. chrisconley

    -36 in 16 minutes! How is that even possible? And the saddest thing is that it wasn’t surprising after watching him. I’ve been a huge Frank optimist but to quote the great Vino Mamba (or whatever he’s calling himself these days), “Ship his ass out!”

  15. wetbandit

    I’m not worried about frank on defense. It’s his offense that makes him unplayable. He has the defense in his box, but he just needs to learn how to drive, shoot (with confidence? His shot looks so good!), or pass exceptionally. He doesn’t do the other stuff like rebound or move off the ball. He seems to try to set up an offense but does nothing to break down a defense.

    He’s a bust as of now, but there’s a tiny voice telling me that if he went to the Spurs seven years ago, we’d love him now.
    .

  16. thenoblefacehumper

    This season sucks, but there’s not much of a sensible alternative path. Of course I’d like to see Hezonja/Kanter/Mudiay replaced with G League standouts etc. but it’s a relatively small quibble.

    If Phil Jackson wasn’t a moron we could be putting the finishing touches on a rebuild right now. It came down to the summer of 2014–we could’ve had a totally clean cap sheet and surplus picks (we were missing our 2016 first rounder, but we could’ve gotten 2 firsts from the Bulls for Melo and taken on bad contracts for a treasure chest of assets).

    Instead Phil Jackson made Carmelo Anthony the highest paid player in the NBA, gave him a full no trade clause, felt compelled to surround him with other veteran mediocrities like Afflalo/Williams/Noah/Lee, and barely gained a single future asset throughout his entire tenure.

    With merely average luck in the world where we sign-and-trade Melo to the Bulls our team could be something like Fox/KP/WCJ/Gary Harris with all the cap space in the world.

    Once Phil Jackson Mega Maxed Melo, we were pretty much doomed to do nothing (not win many games. not add any future assets) for the next few seasons. I’m just glad we’re finally starting a rebuild and hope we don’t do something insanely stupid to ruin it.

  17. thenoblefacehumper

    We’ve been heading in the opposite direction. We’ve been trading and letting decent young players walk (Willy, O’Quinn, McBuckets, Holiday), substituting very young players that stink on both sides of the ball, and adding bad free agents. So now we have fewer assets, a worse team, and a longer path.

    The Willy trade was moronic and will look even more moronic when Kanter is waived, no argument there.

    The others though…KOQ walked on us after we matched Indy’s offer (don’t blame him), the mistake was actually not trading him for a future teenager. It’s also hard to care much about this one when we now have Vonleh. Hopefully management learns from the actual mistake they made with KOQ and trades him if they’re not confident they can re-sign him.

    I am very happy we did not sign Doug McDermott to a 3/$21M deal and I cannot believe I just saw a real human being say we should have done that.

    I do not give a shit about what happened to 29 year old Justin Holiday and his .057 WS48.

    I will ask for the one millionth time, what does the Stratomatic-led Knicks team look like? Which players are signed to what contracts?

  18. ptmilo

    I don’t think Frank’s defense has actually changed much. I think he’s a very good but not great defender whose one major weakness is important: he has a very high center of gravity which leaves him susceptible to getting blown by even by relatively shitty guards like Neto and Stauskas without a pick in sight. This weakness is just more glaring when the defenders around him suck. With a decent defense and scheme, shift-impaired defenders like Frank can make up for it somewhat by suffocating smaller guards with their length and having attentive help. Having Trier, the only guard in league history to cherrypick on defense, stealthily crouched at the foul line hoping for a half court chase down block doesn’t count.

    I agree Fiz hasn’t looked too impressive, but it seems hard to be so sure about him yet. Terrible teams with a bunch of young and/or dumb players are inevitably shit shows. Often you will see the Knicks try to run a relatively simple NBA play but a Knox or a Mudiay will treat their off ball screen assignment like it’s more of an honorary thing and when the play falls apart someone like Timmy just says fuck it and chucks. I’m not saying I haven’t seen worrisome signs on offense, but the combination of terrible and unpolished offensive players can be impossible to overcome. In the last two years under Bud the Hawks were 27th and 26th in offense, bottom 3 in TOVs and at times looked like a Dennis Schroder private workout.

    And honestly I thought all the stuff about our great effort on defense early in the year was mostly bullshit. We’re a terrible defensive team and that was always the way it was going to be. And we were inevitably going to have repulsive halves like last night plus occasional sulking episodes. I didn’t credit Fiz for the faux energetic start and I don’t blame him much now. I can’t tell whether he’s a disaster on offense but I think you can stick a lot of coaches in front of this group and watch their mojo shrivel.

  19. d-mar

    Not sure I understand all the love the Nets get on this site. Yes, they have a few nice pieces, the coach has them playing hard every night, and they’ve started to recover from the Boston trade debacle, but really, where are they? They’re 17-21, currently 9th place in the East, and they’ll probably draft in the 10-15 range.

    I’m not saying current management has made any major missteps, but aren’t they in that middle of the pack hell where you win 35-40 games every year, maybe make the playoffs, get knocked out in the 1st round and never hit the potential draft jackpot? I guess their hope is that they can attract a major free agent, but if that doesn’t happen, aren’t the Nets are just another version of the Hornets, Pistons or Heat?

  20. ptmilo

    because starting points matter. Marks joined a 20 win team with no legit assets and no draft picks. probably the worst inherited situation in league history. it’s not that the nets are good, it’s that they are in a much better overall situation relative to current managemt’s starting point than should be expected. the teams you mention all were in much better shape in 2016 but now find themselves about equal to the Nets yet with far worse cap situations. people don’t seem to get how bad a situation it is to take over a team with no talent and none of your 1sts for the next three full years. all they had was 2017 Celtic pick number 27. in fact in 2016 SVG actually has a dude named Spencer Dinwiddie on the team who would probably be the pistons’ best guard right now.

  21. d-mar

    @20 oh yeah, all credit to Marks for what he’s done, and he’s way smarter than any GMs we’ve had in the last 20 years.

    My point was that getting from here to contender is going to be very difficult, because right now they’re a mediocre team in the middle of the pack of the Eastern Conference and I’m not sure what their end game is except to make a huge free agent acquisition which won’t be easy.

  22. DRed

    The stretch from like 4 minutes to go in the first quarter until the last few minutes of the second quarter is maybe the worst stretch of basketball I’ve ever seen the Knicks play. They scored 10 points and gave up 30

  23. The Infamous Cdiggy

    I won’t say the team got the absolute best value from the Willy trade, but it’s far from moronic.

    Last night was the first time this season I was pissed at the team’s performance. Farfa nailed it – no team cohesiveness, no defensive pressure whatsoever. Exum got wherever he wanted on the floor, and Mudiay did absolutely nothing to stop him. Offensive execution was an abject failure, and I saw guys revert to trying the same moves, just trying to get theirs instead of trying to play some semblance of team ball (esp Mudiay and Trier). That shit is unacceptable, and I hope Fizdale knows that. Lose, but lose as a team and try.

    I know we’re a society that’s moving away from reading people the riot act. But this team deserves one for that performance last night.

  24. ptmilo

    @21 I agree, they are still far from the promise land and hardy a slam dunk to get there. if anything the harder part starts now.

    @22 remember that afternoon game against a genuinely terrible Celtics team in Woodson’s last year when Melo took it personally that they were single teaming him with Brandon Bass and made the rims pay for it? I think they started that game down like 38-12 or something. Actually if they were healthy I think Thjr and Courtney would have both played in that game.

  25. Donnie Walsh

    Frank show up with both shoulders taped suffering from Toney Douglass hammered shoulders disease… I hadn’t even considered that. I hope you are right.

    So we’re down to hoping that Frank’s ceiling is a broken shouldered Toney Douglas?

    He can then do what Toney Douglas do and play in Turkey I guess.

  26. JK47

    Continuing my thoughts last thread- this team has some awful luck. They’re finally tanking to the bottom, but on the first year when the worst team has a 14% chance at first pick and a 60% chance of dropping out of the top 3.

    It’s not awful luck. It’s Dolan’s Razor.

    Dolan’s Razor: The most irritating possible outcome will be the actual outcome

  27. nicos

    A few things- First, Luke Kornet is not a center. He’s (hopefully) Steve Novak with better passing and a few weakside blocks. His defense last night was as bad as Kanter’s though Mudiay getting beat off the dribble repeatedly in the first half didn’t help. Maybe another year in the weight room will allow him to play some five but right now he offers absolutely no resistance in the post- Jokic is going to destroy him.

    Second, over the last 10 games Knox is playing 38 minutes a night- that’s way too much time for an underdeveloped 19 year old. You’re just accelerating the inevitable crash into the rookie wall. He’s bad enough as it is though I do think he’ll wind up a decent (and possibly better) starter. Give him 25-30 minutes a night to save his legs a bit and let Dotson soak up the extra minutes.

    Third, both Trier and Timmy are less than 100%- sit them until they’re healthy. Play Lee and hope he plays well enough that someone might take him with a minimal sweetener (like a single second rounder).

    Fourth, I just don’t know what to do with Frank. He’s been absolutely brutal since that run of three decent shooting games. He seems completely lost- I think a change of scenery might be the best thing for him but the Knicks can’t afford to just throw him away. I’m sure with Burke hitting some shots last night it’ll be back to the bench for him so his trade value probably couldn’t be lower. Really all you can do is keep rolling him out there at least 15 minutes a night and hope he turns it around.

    Finally, when Mitch come back just bench Kanter. Hold onto him until the trade deadline just in case another team has injury issues and gets desperate but waive him as soon as the deadline is past.

  28. TheOakmanCometh

    I’m not ready to give up on Fiz yet. This team has so little talent and the pieces don’t fit together. Yeah, they look listless at times, but that’s what happens during a tanking season. We wanted it and we have to live with the ugliness while it’s happening.

    Let’s judge Fiz when we have a real team. This is not a real team.

  29. DRed

    The team looked so lost schematically last night. Especially the guys off the bench looked like they were just playing pickup ball

  30. BigBlueAL

    Early during this season people here were complaining like crazy cause the Knicks were winning too many games and looking like a pretty decent team. Now that they are losing like crazy, which is what we all wanted before the season, people want to fire Fiz cause this team looks awful. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU TANK AND ROOT FOR THE WORST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE!!!!! The majority of the games are going to be depressing to watch especially games on the road vs non-Suns West teams.

    You wanna know why people say you can’t tank and rebuild in NY?? Stuff being said on this site the past couple of weeks is a perfect example.

  31. The Infamous Cdiggy

    #30 You’re right. To be fair, it’s not the loss or the fact they got blown out – not for me. Fiz even said postgame that the team came out dead, and that happens with teams. The Jazz were a playoff team last year and are legit despite their record. I just felt that there needed to be better effort to try to execute on both ends. Especially defensively, where I actually questioned if they gave a professional effort during the 1st half. Perhaps that gets chalked up to being the worst team in the league. I just felt they could’ve tried harder last night.

  32. BigBlueAL

    I get that and trust me it’s tough going thru a season like this which is why in the beginning of the season I was rooting for them to win those games and was enjoying watching them. But I understand 1000% the best thing is for them to lose so now that they are losing I’m not gonna be pissed about it.

    The thing is you can’t have it both ways. People want them to lose but look pretty good doing so and not embarrass themselves. That doesn’t work because when you play decent like they were earlier in the season you will wind up winning games like they were doing which then people will complain about cause they are messing up the tank.

  33. Knick fan not in NJ who thinks our rookies will lead us to a lousy lottery pick in 2019

    I think it’s not just the losing that’s getting to fans, it’s that most of our young guys don’t seem to be very good. We want to get a good draft pick, but we want hope for the current players too.

  34. ClashFan

    I agree. This is tanking. The thing to do is what most of did on the game thread last night. Laugh about it.

    Sure, there are reasons to be concerned about Fiz, Mills, and co. And very legit worries that they will commit serious years and $$ to Mudiay to pair with THJ. Sure, Frank continues to suck, but the whole team really does. I though Trier was totally brutal last night, esp. on D. I worry that the league has totally figured his act out.

    But keep playing Frank, Trier, Knox, Robinson (when he comes back), etc. See what happens. If they all continue suck, so be it. In fact, play all those guys together as much as possible.

    This should be a lose and evaluate year.

  35. BigBlueAL

    @33 The only young guy who doesn’t seem to be very good is Frank and that was pretty apparent after watching him last season. The 3 rookies have shown promise. Trier and Robinson were pretty big factors in the Knicks looking decent earlier this season and injuries to both of them have derailed the enthusiasm on them a bit. Remember Trier was out with a groin injury which are very tricky and he just returned so him looking awful last night to me is not that worrisome. Knox didn’t contribute at all during the beginning of the season but lately he has at least shown some decent flashes and has most of us somewhat optimistic about his future. Vonleh continues to look pretty good. Dotson has had his ups and downs but he too got injured which has slowed him down. Luke has all of a sudden shown some promise and maybe can become someone you keep around as a 3rd Center.

    It’s not all gloom and doom, this is what rebuilding and tanking looks like. The real criticism and skepticism for the future can properly be talked about after the draft and moves made in the summer but until then I’m not going to get all hysterical because the team looks like utter crap during the rest of this season.

  36. The Infamous Cdiggy

    @32-34 I feel yall. It’s still a long season, and the young Ks got a lot of professional learning to do.
    I’d really like to see Trier go to the Kyrie Irving School of Handle and Layups over the summer, and then learn how to pass off a bit on his drives to the rim. I see a couple of teams (Phoenix, Chicago) are trying to copy the James Harden blueprint (turning a ball-dominant 2 into a playmaking 1-2) – I may be crazy but I think Trier may have it in him if taught properly.

  37. mase

    It’s not so much getting blown out by Utah which we all knew would happen and will happen again against Denver.It’s being a shitty perennially shitty team. But now we have cap space and a lottery pick to fuck up!

    I say punt on 2019 summer and rebuild toward 2021 when Timmy comes off the books. Completely clean sheet (to fuck up).
    Unless you can miraculously convince kp how good the food and weather is in New Orleans!

  38. The Infamous Cdiggy

    @37: if it isn’t Durant, Irving or Leonard, then yeah they should punt on Summer 2019 and focus on internal development, as boring as that may be to some. Personally, I feel we have 3 youngins in Trier, Knox and MRob who can make great strides over the summer. Frank? Hmmm, let’s see where he is at the end of this season first.

    OT: a week ago today I successfully proposed to my gf, the reason I’m out here living the LA life now. We’ve been saying since the early months of our dating that we knew we each were “the one” for each other, that we were gonna put a ring on it. Last week, I did!

  39. Owen

    It is easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than to please everyone at Knickerblogger.

    Congrats Cdiggy!!!!

  40. mase

    Nice job cdiggy!!

    What’s the reality
    Of any of those fa’s signing with a lottery team, slim to non is my guess.

    Irving already said he was staying in Boston I thought?

    Kwahi in his prime wants to be in a winning team. Same with KD to a lesser extent but none fir a rebuild .

  41. Farfa Post author

    OT: a week ago today I successfully proposed to my gf, the reason I’m out here living the LA life now. We’ve been saying since the early months of our dating that we knew we each were “the one” for each other, that we were gonna put a ring on it. Last week, I did!

    Congrats! I did the same 40 days ago and I still can’t believe she said yes <3

  42. Farfa Post author

    And anyway I’m not complaining about this season. I’m complaining about the lack of trying. Sure, lose all the games by 40 points, but give your all.

  43. thenoblefacehumper

    I don’t think it’s fair to criticize Fizdale much. This is the least talented roster in the NBA, full stop.

    Having said that, I think some of the frustration stems from the fact that it does seem possible to produce tanktastic yet watchable basketball. The Nets were woeful for a while, but under Atkinson if I recall correctly their shot charts always somewhat resembled the Rockets’. The idea was there would be a coherent set of ideas in place for when they got some damn players, and their offenses’ three year trend is 28th, 21st, and now 12th.

    It’s tough to say how much this stuff matters. At the end of the day we’ll be lucky if any of these guys are on the next good Knicks team. So yeah, it would be nice to see something that isn’t a Chuck/Trier/Mudiay/Knox ISO but I’m not going to get on Fizdale too much. Yet.

  44. Donnie Walsh

    The ideal short-term tank is to have a solid group of young players and a star that is injured for the entire season.

    This can work, BUT it relies on Porzingis getting healthy for next season and improving a lot. This is, obviously, not a forgone conclusion (like the ‘97 Spurs). Instead of wishing for hard fought losses led by Knox, Frank, and Trier, wish for KP to be a star. That’s the most important thing to this rebuild.

    (And I get rooting for losses this year, but why on earth is anybody actually spending time watching this? Just let it bleed and tune back in come June).

  45. mase

    We re watching cuz every now and then they do something amazing. Sometimes it’s a quarter but it’s like a moth to a flame

  46. wetbandit

    The issue with Fizdale is a combination of the shot chart, isolation heavy players getting all the minutes, lack of shots generated off plays, inability to call plays after time outs, and defensive apathy (or the understanding by players that defense doesn’t get you minutes with this guy, either way..)

    These issues are related, but not totally absolved by, lack of talent.

  47. bobneptune

    Look…. anyone with half a brain knows they are out gunned and are going to lose a lot, but there was zero excuse for last night’s total lack of effort or accountability from the coaching staff to the players. If you suck at the very least you have to play hard on the defensive end.

    In the first half Trier, Mudiay Dotson and Kanter made some of the most egregious lack of effort plays one could ever see and that should not be acceptable. THAT was the problem with last night’s game. Losing is wonderful, but young players losing badly without effort is unacceptable. They are allowed to suck…. but they are not allowed not to give effort on the defensive end. That’s where the culture must change.

    And by the way as raw as M Rob is… they are 0-9 without him…….. defense (even spastic, flailing yet effort filled defense ) is important.

  48. TheOakmanCometh

    It must be mentally grinding to play for a team that gets outclassed every night. Every bad team is going to have a bunch of stinkers. It’s impossible to play hard and lose every game by 1.

    We need to accept a bunch of ugly games, poor efforts, and disorganized play. We have a bad team. We’re losing like we should be.

  49. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Thank you, all!
    Congrats to you too, Farfa. Although I almost misread you as saying you got engaged 40 years ago today. I was about to say “damn how old are you?” lol.

  50. Z-man

    Congrats Cdiggy and Farfa! I got engaged and married to my then rabid Knicks fan wife during the 92-93-94 seasons, we’re still going strong but she couldn’t give a hoot about the blue and orange any more. Obviously much smarter than me!

  51. bobneptune

    It’s impossible to play hard and lose every game by 1.

    No its is not impossible to play hard every night. You have 15 guys on the roster…. if you are going to have a dungeon, put the guys who aren’t trying on defense in it rather than use it for Jedi mind tricks. It certainly isn’t impossible not to be down by 40 with a second left in THE FIRST HALF!

  52. Donnie Walsh

    Back when the Knicks were good (yes, I’m that old), and I tried to watch all their games, I always knew to skip the game in Utah. It never went well. Something about traveling all the way there and playing in front of a bunch of white people with their shirts buttoned all the way up was too much for our city slickers to overcome. It was always like they were trying to get the game over with as quickly as possible. One time, back in ‘95 I guess, I happened to be driving through Salt Lake and the Knicks were in town so I went against my better judgement and stayed the night. Went to the Delta Center for the game. I think the Knicks were 15 down by the first time out. Never closed the gap. One of the dullest live games I’ve been to. It made all the white people in the stands happy though, and I imagined them all going home after the game and having an orgy with their farm animals in celebration. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t. Who knows. But I left town at dawn the next morning, and I’m pretty sure the Knicks didn’t even wait around that long. That’s gotta be the greatest home court advantage in the league.

    (Edited to add: I forgot that I was in Utah again a few years ago. It was totally different feeling. Everybody I met there was Jamaican. It was actually a lot of fun. And there was ethnic food on every block. So, I don’t know what the Knicks problem would have been yesterday. I guess they do just suck).

  53. bobneptune

    It made all the white people in the stands happy though, and I imagined them all going home after the game and having an orgy with their farm animals in celebration.

    Wow….. just wow! Is being a “white people” akin to AIDS or something something? Do the “multi ethnic” fans that attend games sat MSG go home and have sex with farm animals after one of the few Knick wins?

    A little introspection might be in order here….

  54. Jack Bauer

    Congrats to Farfa and Cdiggy, that is a special moment for each of you. Enjoy.

    @56 – white people = not fun, after game have orgies with their farm animals, bad
    Jamaican people= fun, good

    I wonder what would happen if you reversed that and posted it?

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