Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Friday, November 22, 2019

NY Daily News: Developing Mitchell Robinson should be the Knicks’ priority, not appeasing Julius Randle

No game today, so I figured we could use a new thread, so let’s check in with Stefan Bondy to see how things are doing in Knick-land:

David Fizdale sent his message loud and clear last game: Julius Randle and his $63 million contract take priority, even at the expense of Mitchell Robinson. It backfired spectacularly.

It’s hard to blame Fizdale for the cascade of losing that has once again besieged the Knicks. Steve Mills and Scott Perry created this roster with more headscratchers than a lice-infested nursery school. But Fizdale cannot fail with developing Robinson, who has taken a backseat to the glut of frontcourt free agency additions.

The 21-year-old, by far the most encouraging prospect during last season’s march to the bottom of the standings, is averaging just 19.2 minutes through six games. It’s a big drop from the 30 minutes he averaged in the final 11 games of last season. There has been little indication of improvement in his game since this campaign started.

What’s fascinating to me is that Bondy ended the article with this take…

To his credit, Robinson was saying all the right things following Sunday’s loss. But the bottom line is that Randle should learn how to play with Robinson, not force him off the court.

“They wanted me to come off the bench. I mean they wanted to see how they would do with (Portis) starting,” Robinson said. “I’m gonna support the decision. I’m still on the team right?”

While Marc Berman, in his article on the topic, included that quote, but also include the follow-up by Robinson, where he states:

“Usually I stay in the dunker’s spot,” said Robinson, an alley-oop machine as a rookie. “I really don’t get into the corner. Bobby gets into the corner. It’s not the natural spot I run to. Me coming off the bench, I guess (Fizdale) sees a lot of spacing there. I can’t tell you that part. You got to ask him.”

That sure paints a much different story than Bondy’s take, right? You never want to get into a position where a player is saying stuff like, “I don’t know. Ask the coach.” As that obviously suggests that the player isn’t on the same page as his coach and moreover, that he’s clearly frustrated enough that he’s willing to say something inflammatory like that out loud. These guys aren’t dummies, they know what “I can’t tell you that part. You got to ask him” sounds like and so Robinson’s willingness to go there is not a good thing.

As Bondy notes, you simply can’t prioritize Randle’s development over Robinson’s. If Randle can’t adapt, then whatever, it’s a sunk cost either way. If Robinson can’t adapt, you’re hurting the very future foundation of this team (along with RJ Barrett). Also, think about the fact that Randle is their highest-paid player and then think about the idea that he still needs to be developed. That’s not a good sign. That was one of the best reasons for not maxing Porzingis, that you don’t want to commit big money to a guy who is still getting there and the thought/hope was that Randle was already there yet, so him not only not being there yet and needing to have the Knicks’ bright young star moved out of the rotation to help the veteran‘s development? That is just cuckoo bananas.

It’s also extremely Knicksy.

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167 comments on “NY Daily News: Developing Mitchell Robinson should be the Knicks’ priority, not appeasing Julius Randle

  1. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    I was away Friday through yesterday and didn’t see any of the recent disasters. I also missed the Jets game. I think that I’m better for that.

    None of us had the Knick approaching a winning record. I, optimistically, thought we would win 1 out of every 3 games. There were some good pieces added. The one slightly longer contract was given to Randle, who, I guess we now know put up good numbers last season because AD drew so much attention. That’s something the GM needed to figure out before the signing.

    It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Fiz can’t figure anything out. I don’t accept this “need time to gel” crap. What makes us different than any other team in that regard? Mitch needs to find a way to stay on the court. I’m tired of watching him shake his head “no” as if to say, “that wasn’t a foul” in response to a stupid foul. The kid just can’t figure that out. But he needs to be on the court until that 6th foul takes him out. And if Randle can’t put it together, don’t bench Mitch, bench Randle! Put in Iggy. Do anything else. Mitch must play.

  2. Bo Nateman

    Perhaps MSG fans should hoist Kenny Atkinson style cue cards for Fizz:
    Mitch must Play and
    Pictures of Portis and Randle( if the recent trend continues) within a red circle with a slash.

  3. ess-dog

    I’m not a Fiz fan, but this can be an overreaction. It was one game and it didn’t work. The bigger concern is Mitch’s overall minutes drop, but it’s still early. Fiz will see the light.

    Mitch needs to start and we need max Mitch. If you want some spacing, have Mitch shoot more! His rim protection isn’t optional though.

  4. Hubert

    Is this even on Fiz? I don’t think Mills and Perry paid Portis $16 million to back up Mitch. Nor does it seem likely they view Mitch as a premier prospect. I think the entire organization has a fucked up valuation system. I wouldn’t be shocked if they give him the Hernangomez treatment and trade him for mouthing off. They’re that dumb.

    I saw a little bit of Phoenix Philadelphia last night. Rubio was the veteran signing who could have actually executed the Knicks plan to be respectable, and (unlike Randle and Morris) he would have been good for the development of the younger kids. He has three guaranteed years but so what, he’s actually good. Good players can be traded.

    I seriously can’t believe Mills and Perry thought 4 Power Forwards was better for this team than a solid veteran PG. That alone could be a fireable offense. But that is definitely not alone.

  5. Hubert

    Here’s a nice primer for those of us who don’t follow the college game and want to know who the next Knick might be:

    https://www.theringer.com/2019/11/5/20948820/college-basketball-nba-draft-primer-anthony-edwards

    Noteworthy excerpt:

    The NBA is overflowing with perimeter standouts, from superstars like Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving, to emerging young talents like Trae Young and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, to bench spark plugs like Seth Curry and Lou Williams. Look around the league, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a team that actually needs guards.

    I am not hard pressed.

    Well, too bad, because this college class is loaded with guards.

    Huzzah!

    The idea of Anthony Edwards (projected here and elsewhere as an Oladipo type) at the 2 with Barrett at the 3 is enticing.

  6. Name is Bron - James Bron

    Mitch should be the priority. First, he’s much younger than Randle. Second, he’s got insane one-of-a-kind athleticism that needs to be tapped. Third, Mitch in the spread PnR is the modern NBA. Fourth, from practice videos so far and guys like Lopez, Gasol, Bamba, Jokic, KAT are able to hit outside shots, I think Mitch rates to as well. And my guess he’d be more effective than all of those guys in driving on closeouts. Fifth, given his soft touch at the rim and that spin move he put on Vucevic, are we sure he couldn’t develop a decent post-up game?

    The nice thing about Randle is that he should be tradable if it doesn’t work out. For example, Randle, Knox, Frank, and Braz might net us Beal this summer if Wiz are open to a trade. It’s clear Fiz is clueless on ways to try to make Randle-Mitch pairing work. Historically, Randle at best has been average at ISO and post-ups and yet that’s how he’s been used here. He’s been good in PNR – why hasn’t Fiz featured Randle/Mitch PnR? All kinds of creative screening should help Randle and RJ. None of that so far. And, in regard to spacing, better to first have Mitch start taking open mid-range shots than go right to Portis and have the defense collapse. It just doesn’t look like this coaching staff knows what they’re doing.

    FO brought in all of these veterans before they knew how effective RJ would be. They probably figured he would struggle as 19yo rookie. One would think his performance to date would take some pressure off Perry and Mills and enable them to focus less on wins. Mills should be able to sell Dolan on Mitch and RJ being a nice future core and the team’s focus should not be going after meaningless wins. If Mills gets the green light from Dolan, he should then call a meeting to convey the priorities. And I think FO has to force a new offensive coach on Fiz much like Rockets forced a defensive coach on D’Antoni.

  7. d-mar

    Eric Gordon is putting up some historically awful numbers in his first 7 games:

    Efg% .356
    3 point % .233
    TS% .378

    Somewhere, Frank Ntilikina is saying “hey, even I’m better than that!”

  8. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Form Berman

    It‘s important to note Porzingis’ decision to request a trade in late January was more because of his distrust of Mills-Perry constructing a winning program than on Fizdale. Fizdale wasn’t overly impressive to Porzingis, who gave pause to the rough handling of fellow European Enes Kanter. But the 7-foot-3 Latvian would still be here if he believed more in management.

    Essentially, Randle has replaced Porzingis as a No. 1 option, but his confidence is at a low ebb. .

    So what is he saying? When Mills overpaid Hardaway/Baker and then Mill/Perry brought in players like Mudiay, Hezonja, Burke, Beasley, Jack. drafted Knox, traded his best friend Willy, and the team totally sucked he decided it was time to get out before he wasted his entire youth on an unintentional tank that might pay off 5-6 years later if we were lucky.

    What else is he saying? Being the #1 option on a team without good PG play, proper spacing, and a good #2 option makes it’s very difficult on the #1 option to remain efficient because defenses are game planning against you and often double and triple teaming you.

    It all sounds very familiar. I wonder who’s been saying the for the last 2 years?

  9. alsep73

    I’m just so tired, you guys.

    It’s not that they’re losing. I didn’t expect the team to be very good, and would rather have at least one more high lottery pick (if not two) before we’re ready to get serious here. It’s that the process as predictably dysfunctional as ever. Our coach and/or our front office are now trying to protect their jobs, which means trying to generate wins in the short-term and/or justifying this offseason spending spree that the entire league and all of its fans could tell was stupid at the time they were doing it.

    We know Mills is an idiot. It’s probable that Fizdale is, and the most complimentary thing I can say about Perry right now is that he’s mediocre, which is still a big step up from nearly all of our GMs in this century. And our owner is the biggest problem of all, because he empowers people like Mills. Remember when David Griffin didn’t take the GM job because Dolan wouldn’t let him purge all of the MSG cronies? It’s not even that Griffin is a genius, but what that process says about our possibility for future improvement.

    This should be a time for optimism. RJ is balling out. Knox has improved. We have Mitch, we have all our 1st rd picks plus two from Dallas. Our cap sheet is pretty clean after this season. But all I can think about is how these guys will mess it up. Fizdale rolls his eyes at sports science that every great NBA team lives by, and I fear RJ will get hurt as a result. Mitch is benched to make the Randle and/or Portis signings look better. Knox can’t play his natural position.

    I’m just so, so tired.

  10. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I wouldn’t totally throw in the towel on the Robinson/Randle pairing yet because both are young enough to expand their games and adjust (especially Robinson who developed his FT very quickly). It was just obvious it was going to be an awkward fit from the start, especially without top PG level play and good spacing. I think you have give it some time (at least a season), but ultimately if it’s not working you move Randle to the bench as throw a stretch PF into the starting lineup. That might be embarrassing to Mills/Perry, but so is everything else they’ve done. It might also lead to Randle wanting to be traded. But Robinson is the better long term piece and has to be the priority.

  11. thenamestsam

    For example, Randle, Knox, Frank, and Braz might net us Beal this summer if Wiz are open to a trade.

    0+0+0+0=100????

  12. E

    Seven games in and “sources” within the shitshow are already getting their distancing spin out through Berman ….

  13. thenamestsam

    What else is he saying? Being the #1 option on a team without good PG play, proper spacing, and a good #2 option makes it’s very difficult on the #1 option to remain efficient because defenses are game planning against you and often double and triple teaming you.

    I am legitimately fascinated to know which part of what you quoted you got this from.

  14. Name is Bron - James Bron

    0+0+0+0=100????

    Is Randle a zero or is the fit and our coaching staff a zero? Wiz would have to believe it’s the latter and they’d probably be right.

    Eric Gordon is putting up some historically awful numbers in his first 7 games:

    We might have dodged a bullet. D’Angelo so far in 152 minutes:
    49.8 TS
    .023 WS/48
    -3.2 BPM

    Lousy defenders like Trae and D’Angelo have to be incredible on offense to justify a large contract. And it’s risky to give a guy 26m/yr after one good season. But the risk might be mitigated depending how tradable he is. If both Randle and D’Angelo continue to struggle, would you rather have Russell or Randle to trade? Randle’s contract is less money and more flexible than Russell’s but D’Angelo might be more attractive as a player.

  15. DRed

    It’s not even that Griffin is a genius, but what that process says about our possibility for future improvement.

    It is definitely not an easy process to trust.

  16. JK47

    It’s very early in the season and not everybody is in a groove yet, but Porzingis’ numbers in his new and supposedly improved situation look exactly how they looked on the Knicks. He’s the same mediocre overrated player so far.

  17. swiftandabundant

    I’m telling you all we need to fire Fiz and let Mike Miller take over for the rest of the season. Give him an extended try out. We’ll take some heat for firing another coach so early but there is still plenty of time to salvage the season and Mike has done a good job with our G-League. If things are still bad after the New Year, then you pivot full on towards the tank again and you look to hire an experienced coach next off season. Its bad now but long term we are still in a very good spot.

    And we definitely shouldn’t give up on the Mitch/Randle front court. Its early days. Let Mitch shoot some jumpers and corner 3s. If he misses them, so what? We have good rebounders in Randle, Morris, Barrett. Also maybe Morris needs to hit the bench and Ellington start along with Frank, RJ, Mitch and Randle. Get another shooter out there. Or maybe give Knox a starting nod?

    Its a tough situation for sure because we don’t have a clear top 5 best players. We have 3 subpar PGs and a bunch of power forwards. The team has talent but not a clear top 5, bench unit. There is a case to be made for a lot of players starting. But I don’t see Fiz up to the challenge of putting the right 5 man unit together.

  18. djphan

    we just hit november…. it’s still very early…. to me the only two concerning things is what’s going on with randle… and mitch not playing…

    randle i’ve written enough about… he’s simply being used wrong… the answer isn’t more jumpshots for him but getting him the ball in motion and sprinkling in iso opportunities… it’s the reverse now and it never worked consistently with him before… that’s partly on him and also on fiz…

    mitch is 100% on fiz…. and bondy is right for torching him on this topic… he’s actually playing BETTER than he did last year… and he is playing LESS… that is inexcusable and if it continues he should be fired…

    and they can absolutely work together…. randle’s passing is good enough for it to work… but not if he’s barreling into the paint with his head down on every possession… we’ve seen this before with amare and chandler… and it didn’t work because amare was a black hole…. not because of spacing problems….

    these are your two most talented guys and if you’re not playing your best guy and turning your most talented guy into a sub replacement player… that’s an own goal….

  19. alsep73

    I’m telling you all we need to fire Fiz and let Mike Miller take over for the rest of the season. Give him an extended try out.

    And I’m telling you all that if Fizdale is fired during the season and replaced by an in-house candidate, it’ll be Keith Smart. Bet your mortgage on that. I’d like to be wrong, but every decision Mills and Perry have made together tells me that this is the way they would go if Fiz becomes their scapegoat.

  20. thenamestsam

    Is Randle a zero or is the fit and our coaching staff a zero? Wiz would have to believe it’s the latter and they’d probably be right.

    I mean you’re right that zero is probably unfairly harsh, but he wasn’t exactly a highly coveted free agent, and now on that free agent deal he’s having a disappointing year. Beal is a prime age fringe all-NBA level player that fits on pretty much every team. You’re not getting him for one properly-paid maybe-starter and a pu pu platter of sorta-prospects.

  21. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I am legitimately fascinated to know which part of what you quoted you got this from.

    Everyone is talking about the odd fit between Randle/Mitch (and Morris) and spacing.

    Everyone is talking about Randle’s struggles.

    Everyone is talking about Randle now being the #1 option but running into double and triple teams inside because defenses are focusing on him.

    I’m explaining that predicting these things was not very difficult if you understand the individual player skill sets and team strategies beyond the boxscore. The reason you often don’t see variances like these in statistical studies when players switch teams is NOT because these kinds of things don’t matter. It’s because most managements/coaching staffs are competent enough to trade for and acquire players that fit together and compliment each other.

  22. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    randle i’ve written enough about… he’s simply being used wrong… the answer isn’t more jumpshots for him but getting him the ball in motion and sprinkling in iso opportunities…

    The answer is not more jumpshots because Randle is not as efficient taking jump shots as he is getting inside when he has space to work with one on one. That’s the very reason he’s not a good fit with Robinson on a team with no outside shooters. They both want to do the same thing. Randle (and probably Robinson) would be a great for with Porzingis at PF. Porzingis would be bombing 3s at close to a 40% clip being more efficient out there than he is in mid range anyway and Randle (or even Mitch) could go to work inside with room.

    You start with 2 good players that FIT.

    Then you try to maximize them so each makes the other better.

    You don’t start with players that don’t fit and struggle to at least make it work OK.

    This isn’t fantasy basketball, but that’s exactly how management handled the off season. They picked up some pieces that individually are OK, but they are a mess on the court together and that was easy to know beforehand.

  23. thenamestsam

    Everyone is talking about the odd fit between Randle/Mitch (and Morris) and spacing.

    Everyone is talking about Randle’s struggles.

    Everyone is talking about Randle now being the #1 option but running into double and triple teams inside because defenses are focusing on him.

    I’m explaining that predicting these things was not very difficult if you understand the individual player skill sets and team strategies beyond the boxscore. The reason you often don’t see variances like these in statistical studies when players switch teams is NOT because these kinds of things don’t matter. It’s because most managements/coaching staffs are competent enough to trade for and acquire players that fit together and compliment each other.

    That doesn’t really answer my question.

  24. NahNahNahWeAreGoingTheOtherWay

    “I’m explaining that predicting these things was not very difficult if you understand the individual player skill sets and team strategies beyond the boxscore. The reason you often don’t see variances like these in statistical studies when players switch teams is NOT because these kinds of things don’t matter. It’s because most managements/coaching staffs are competent enough to trade for and acquire players that fit together and compliment each other.”

    Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  25. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    For example, I am sure that Porzingis, Doncic, and Carlisle are still trying to figure out how best to maximize their output just like Fizdale is working with Randle/Mitch to do the same. But Doncic/KP have complimentary skill sets. So it’s working fine now and will only get better. That’s different than starting with a number of pieces that don’t fit together at all and trying to salvage the situation with adjustments.

  26. Dink

    Randle (and probably Robinson) would be a great for with Porzingis at PF. Porzingis would be bombing 3s at close to a 40% clip being more efficient out there than he is in mid range anyway and Randle (or even Mitch) could go to work inside with room.

    Probably overstating how great the fit with KP would be. Who’s covering stretch 4’s in a Randle-KP lineup? KP’s a good defender but he’s pretty bad at closeouts + perimeter D. The Markkanen/Love types would torch that duo.

    So it’s working fine now and will only get better.

    We’ll see. Outside of one extra board per 36, Mr. November is putting up the same stats he was putting up his last season in NY. Guess we have to wait for those Doncic + Carlisle interaction effects to kick in…

  27. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    That doesn’t really answer my question.

    If you’ve been reading all of Berman’s articles, the quotes from scouts and coaches off the records, etc.. it’s very clear what Berman is saying about Randle’s difficulties and it has echoed elsewhere.

  28. JK47

    I kind of agree with Strat here, and I could see this problem coming when I saw the final roster: there aren’t enough guards/wings that can make things happen. There’s Payton and Barrett, and that’s it. The rest of the guards/wings are either incompetent on offense or are spot-up shooter types who can’t create offense. The pieces are ill-fitting.

    I don’t really see a good way to solve the problem because there simply aren’t enough playable guards on the roster.

  29. E

    Julius Randle does need the floor spread but he’s not good enough to make any kind of adjustments for. He’s obviously not an initiator from three feet outside the three-point line and the thought process that apparently got Fizdale to that point is incomprehensible.

    He’s a piece that could be useful in the right situation, but he’s nowhere near good enough to be a #1 guy or an offense driver of any kind.

  30. Brian Cronin Post author

    and they can absolutely work together…. randle’s passing is good enough for it to work… but not if he’s barreling into the paint with his head down on every possession… we’ve seen this before with amare and chandler… and it didn’t work because amare was a black hole…. not because of spacing problems….

    This season really is like the “Knicksy Greatest Hits,” with them getting less than the sum of their parts due to awful roster construction (like trying to play Melo/STAT/Chandler together in the frontcourt) and them playing too big while the rest of the NBA is going small.

    “Doing things the wrong way is a big part of what we do. We’re not going to kick it to the curb.”

  31. E

    Randle’s decent passing comes with the unbearable cost of a bunch of turnovers. He just really isn’t that good. He does some things decently well, but the overall package is fringe starter/cleanup guy/sixth man. His hollow numbers from his contract year — shock — conned the easiest front office marks in the Association.

    At this point, the Rule of Holes should be the main guiding principle. Stop digging. It’s a sunk cost.

  32. djphan

    you don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing the exact players you want in the nba…. you have to work with what’s available.. the clippers had griffin and jordan… griz had gasol and randolph…. davis has been paired with all sorts of bigs… recent history shows that it can work.. you can’t just go out and get a lebron to make any kind of roster construction work…

    you goto fit when you have marginal players of which there are an abundance of…. mitch clearly isn’t marginal and the idea is that randle can be more than marginal…. you have to at least try it for more than 5 games before you give up on it because these guys are immensely talented… the payoff is worth it…

    the payoff for getting kelly olynk or whatever stretch 4 might seem like a great fit on paper isn’t all that great.. you’re just like every other team in the nba….

  33. Hubert

    What else is he saying? Being the #1 option on a team without good PG play, proper spacing, and a good #2 option makes it’s very difficult on the #1 option to remain efficient because defenses are game planning against you and often double and triple teaming you.

    Literally none of that is in the quote you posted.

    EDIT: I see thenamestam beat me to it.

  34. DRed

    Porzingis’ numbers in his new and supposedly improved situation look exactly how they looked on the Knicks

    His shot selection is a bit better, but most of his other improvement is basically normal for a guy getting older-he’s rebounding better and passing a bit more and that’s about it. He has not looked like a guy who is going to earn that contract.

  35. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    First learn something (like anything at all) about basketball and then maybe we can discuss it, but I’ll try to hep you a little. It’s going to be long path though. lmao

    Boxscore advocates always point to the fact that boxscore stats tend to remain fairly consistent year to year even when players switch teams. That use that data in support of using boxscore stats to evaluate players over other methods. Sounds rational.

    I am saying one reason the stats tend to stay consistent for players from team to team is NOT that it doesn’t matter who your teammates are or what system you are playing in. It’s because managements/coaches are pretty good at fitting pieces together. They try to trade for and acquire players will be productive their new system and with the new teammates they have. Hence, you get consistency.

    However, if you are a dummy (like the Knicks) and don’t fit the pieces together properly, some of yout players will produce subpar results relative to their previous boxscore stats. That’s what we are seeing right now in NY short term.

    This is why I advocate going beyond boxscore stats and into individual skills to help value players. Some things are not in the boxscore and some players are better or worse than they look in the boxscore because of what is missing or because they happen to be in an ideal or terrible situation for their skills right now.

    If you looked at Randle’s stats right now you’d think he sucks so far. But he doesn’t suck and is not playing as poorly as his stats. He’s just in a terrible situation that’s not working.

  36. alsep73

    Damit, if only Collins’ suspension had happened after Dec. 15, we could call and unload one of our PFs on them. By the time they’re tradeable, he’ll have served a decent amount of that suspension.

    Though knowing us, we’ll trade them Mitch for a heavily protected pick.

  37. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Literally none of that is in the quote you posted.

    EDIT: I see thenamestam beat me to it.

    Dude, I read every Berman article and just about every other piece written by someone Knicks related. I can’t post every article and every quote, but what I am saying is very clear from the totality of what is being written even if that one quote did not cover it all.

    This is a conversation not worth having.

  38. Hubert

    The answer is not more jumpshots because Randle is not as efficient taking jump shots as he is getting inside when he has space to work with one on one. That’s the very reason he’s not a good fit with Robinson on a team with no outside shooters. They both want to do the same thing. Randle (and probably Robinson) would be a great for with Porzingis at PF. Porzingis would be bombing 3s at close to a 40% clip being more efficient out there than he is in mid range anyway and Randle (or even Mitch) could go to work inside with room.

    You start with 2 good players that FIT.

    Then you try to maximize them so each makes the other better.

    You don’t start with players that don’t fit and struggle to at least make it work OK.

    This isn’t fantasy basketball, but that’s exactly how management handled the off season. They picked up some pieces that individually are OK, but they are a mess on the court together and that was easy to know beforehand.

    I get what you’re saying, but why are you tying this into a larger argument about box scores?

    People who value the box score would admit that if you play 4 power forwards on the floor together with a shooting guard, you would be extremely unlikely to see each player produce at their optimal rate.

  39. Hubert

    It sounds like you’re saying “*I* could see this coming because *I* know there is more to basketball than the box score.” But it’s not like those who value the box score thought this team was a good idea.

    538 had us at 20 wins based on data. What was your prediction?

  40. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    His shot selection is a bit better, but most of his other improvement is basically normal for a guy getting older-he’s rebounding better and passing a bit more and that’s about it. He has not looked like a guy who is going to earn that contract.

    I have no idea how this is gong to end up, however this is ow I see it.

    1. He came in as a “project” and made a good leap from year 1 to year 2.

    2. After year #2 Phil flat out said publicly he was not ready to be a #1 option. (I’m sure that didn’t help their relationship. It was a dumb thing to say publicly).

    3. He was made the #1 option with Hardaway #2 and looked good for awhile, then struggled horribly with double teams, shot selection, passing out of double teams etc.. and it got even worse when Hardaway went down making it clear Phil was right. He sort of looked like Randle does now.

    4. Now he hasn’t played for close to 2 years and is coming back off a serious injury. However, he’s in a much better spot where he’s the #2 option on a team with a great playmaker and a good coach.

    There’s no way to tell yet after a handful of games whether he’s the same player after the injury or has lost a step in quickness/athleticism, how long it will take to for him to get sharp again off the long layoff, and whether he will actually continue to develop like he did year #1 or year #2.

    What I think I know is that before the injury he WAS better than his boxscore metrics because of his impact on D and ability to provide good spacing and scoring versatility, that he was in a terrible situation in year 3 that did not allow us to see if he had made more progress, and now he’s back.

    We’ll see if he gets better or not.

  41. E

    The situation bears a lot of resemblance to when the Pistons signed J-Smoove in the offseason and then realized he’d have to play with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond and everyone kind of said there’s no way that was going to work and it didn’t.

    Of course, the Pistons had been for many years before a very competent organization and so any comparison with the Knicks falls apart there ….

  42. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @39 @40

    Let’s close this conversation by saying I agree with what you both just said, but think the complexities of the game sometimes get underrated and can cause some people to misvalue players because of too much focus on single number metrics.

    It’s time for me to check out for today.

    There’s plenty of time for the team to be bad and for us to discuss why. :-)

  43. Dink

    2. Phil flat out said publicly that he was not ready to be a #1 option. I’m sure that didn’t help their relationship. It was dumb thing to say publicly.

    Phil was absolutely correct. When you have Mega Max Melo and Derrick Rose, KP is a #3 option at best. The man knows #1 options when he sees them.

  44. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    It’s because most managements/coaching staffs are competent enough to trade for and acquire players that fit together and compliment each other

    This is so absurd, I can’t do this today

    “I have always been incredibly careful about what I put in my body, but I took a supplement, which, unbeknownst to me, had been contaminated with an illegal component

    Either you’re doing an IV or a nasal spray, John Collins. You didn’t get this shit off the racks at GNC.

  45. KnickfaninNJ

    From RealGM:

    The job of David Fizdale as head coach of the New York Knicks is not currently in danger, sources tell Marc Berman of the New York Post.

    The Knicks have started the season 1-6 and there was a faint “Fire Fizdale” chant at Madison Square Garden during Sunday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings.

    When there are stories like this it’s often the case that the coach’s job actually is in danger.

  46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    When there are stories like this it’s often the case that the coach’s job actually is in danger.

    I wonder if he’ll now get fired via tweet, as is the fashion

  47. rama picked up his option

    I agree with Strat that you can’t possibly judge KP by what he’s done so far this year. No player coming off that injury has performed well his first six months back on the floor. We can mock the max deal next season if he hasn’t improved, but it’s WAY early to call.

  48. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    I don’t like agreeing with Strat

    However, if you are a dummy (like the Knicks) and don’t fit the pieces together properly, some of yout players will produce subpar results relative to their previous boxscore stats. That’s what we are seeing right now in NY short term.

    But I need to.

    Who thought that signing 4 PFs was smart? Who didn’t want a legit backup center? Or a legit point guard? And what good is having 15 average players on a team? We don’t even have enough shooters to get us back into a game!

    A well constructed team has 6-7 terrific players, is well balance, put together with an eye to matching styles. This team was put together using none of that.

    I had a checklist of things I was looking for going into this season. I list them below with a rating from 0-10 about how well that seems to have been met:
    1) RJ to be worth the #3 pick (9/10)
    2) Knox to improve his shot and learn to play some defense (5/10)
    3) Mitch to average playing 25+ minutes (1/10)
    4) Frank to score sometimes and not turn the ball over (3/10)
    5) Find one free agent that’s worth resigning (0/10)
    6) Find one legit starting point guard (0/10)
    7) Flip signed FA for picks. (incomplete)

    RJ is a stud that needs to work on his FT shooting. Knox is hitting jumpers and playing occasional defense. Mitch can’t stop fouling. Frank still can’t score and still passes to the other team but there’s slight improvement. I wouldn’t resign a single FA that we signed for this year for next season. Don’t anyone tell me that we have any legit PGs.

    So far not too good.

  49. rama picked up his option

    That said, I am having no real second thoughts about whether we should have traded an immature, physically fragile, alleged rapist who clearly wanted out.

  50. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats

    While I totally agree with Mitchrob’s development being more important than Randle’s, I don’t have a problem with Randle being “developed”. This is the 1st time in his pro career that he’s been a #1. So there are things that need to be developed. I just have a problem with how he’s being developed. I think Fiz is trying to expand his game way too much too quickly. He needs to let him master initiating from more favorable spots 1st before he asks Randle to be Lamar Odom or some shit. Get him the ball in his sweet spots an let him learn how to make his teammates better from there. And frickin start Mitch so that Randle can learn how to play with a mega important piece of the future of this team.

    I’m beginning to wonder what kinda deal Fiz has with the FO, because there are some *understatement* wild things goin on with his coaching strategy that are going unchecked given the young talent on the roster and the rebuilding status.

  51. thenamestsam

    I mean if someone has reason to ask the question “Hey are you thinking about firing that guy?”, that’s never going to be a positive indicator about that person’s job security. But I also don’t think you can read much of anything beyond that into it, because what else is management going to say. I mean, “his job isn’t in danger” is something you might say if his job was in danger, but it’s definitely what you would say if it wasn’t.

    I continue to believe that Fiz is probably pretty safe. He’s totally management’s guy, last year was a total throwaway, they pretty heavily managed expectations this offseason (despite the East playoffs being wide open, you didn’t hear that word get thrown around much at all) and we’re 7 games into this season. They obviously expected to be much better and it certainly has potential to turn into an embarassing situation for management (I mean we recognize that it already is, but the genpop narrative has a long lag), but I don’t think we’re close to them thinking about pulling that trigger yet.

    If Perry and Mills are thinking strategically they realize that unless they can pull a rabbit out of their hat this team is going to be bad until 21-22 at the soonest (they can reboot a lot this offseason but the FA class is very weak and they’re going to be forced to look for 1 year deals only without even partial guarantees). Fire the coach now and you’re going to be talking about firing the next guy before we even get there. That’s the kind of situation where people start asking questions about management. So let Fiz flap in the breeze until the end of the year, next year give the new guy a free first year like Fiz got, and then hopefully the team is good the following year. That would be my gameplan.

  52. Dink

    That’s the kind of situation where people start asking questions about management.

    I understand your reasoning for keeping Fiz, but I don’t think the general perception of the front office really matters at this point. Anybody around the NBA for any amount of time in the past 20 years already knows the Knicks are a clownshoes operation. That will not change as long as Dolan and Mills are here. Keeping Fiz another season doesn’t change that either.

    If the Knicks manage to score a primo FA in the next two years it will have very little to do with the perceived competency of Knicks management. It’ll be dumb luck or other reasons.

  53. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    I agree with Strat that you can’t possibly judge KP by what he’s done so far this year. No player coming off that injury has performed well his first six months back on the floor. We can mock the max deal next season if he hasn’t improved, but it’s WAY early to call.

    His career average and current TS% are off by four thousandths of a point. It is identical to his last “full” season mark in 2017-18.

    When Porzingis fails, Strat will say that he has been failed. This is the pattern.

    I’d also like to see Strat’s post history and future posts on KP. I imagine it’ll be something like this:

    before now: “Porzingis isn’t a finished product, plays on a bad team, has no bearing on that team being bad — wait until next year”

    now: “Porzingis is too rusty to evaluate, wait for him and Doncic (an overrated player, stats are fake) to gel, wait until next year”

    near-future: “Porzingis lost too much valuable development time to evaluate, wait until he’s at the end of his prime — he’s tall and doesn’t rely on explosive, fast-twitch movements, so he’ll age like fine wine. Also, give him a big extension”

    end of his career: “Porzingis had everything to be a top-20 player, but for reasons A, B and C, none of which are related to his own agency as a player, he topped out as a 7’3″ Carmelo”

  54. djphan

    i think we all know that judging kp right now 5 games into the season is a foolish endeavor…. check how he looks in february….

  55. Ben R

    The shocking thing about Fizdale right now is that the right choice is so clear. Our most important players are our young players on rookie contracts and they also happen to be our best chance to win. Mitch and RJ have by every metric been the best players for the Knicks so far, Knox has been the best shooter and Frank is the only PG. So right there our coach has a free pass to play the young players, which is what every fan in NY wants, and still put the best team out there.

    Our rotation right now is easy:

    Frank — Trier – (now) Payton — Frank (once Payton is back)
    Barrett — Trier
    Knox —- Ellington
    Morris — Randle
    Mitch —- Randle

    Once Payton is back, move him to PG and let Frank back him up or maybe start Frank. Let Dotson fight for minutes with Ellington and hope that Randle puts it together so he can take Morris’s spot in the starting lineup eventually. Play Gibson when Mitch has foul trouble.

    If we lost games but Mitch, RJ, Frank, and Knox all got 30 minutes no one would be angry but getting blown out while also benching your best young player is a recipe for fan unrest and the unemployment line.

  56. KnickfaninNJ

    It could be a positive sign that five games into the season he’s as good as before. He is coming off a serious injury. On the other hand, he did anything but rush back from the injury because no one wanted to play him for the last month of a losing season (and rightly so). So he got that month and three months of summer more time to recover than he would have needed at the minimum.

  57. Bruno Almeida

    Well, the problem with Porzingis has always been that people did not wait until February to evaluate him, thus they got into their heads that he was a superstar after a month or so of unsustainable good play and ignored his drop offs.

  58. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    Fuck KP. He’s not a Knick. Let’s move on from that POS.

    @54

    All hail Strat, the only person on this board who criticized the Knicks’ offaeason

    Huh? Who DIDN’T criticize the Knicks offseason? Jeeze. Any positives you’ve read were wishful thinking, making the best out of a bad situation, and things like that. With the exception that we lucked into RJ, the offseason sucked. We missed on Zion, Durant and all other big FAs. How could anyone in their right mind say it was a good off-season?

    @5 – Thanks Hubert for that link about college players. The draft is what I’m looking forward to.

  59. Ben R

    I liked KP a lot and I still think he could be very good but I liked the trade and I am happy with the picks we got and with not having to pay him. I don’t think it is productive to worry about him at this point. The trade was either good or bad when it happend. Judging it after the fact is unhelpful.

    I personally hope he is great and Doncic and him form a powerful duo that does very well (except in the two seasons we own their picks in those seasons they can feel free to be terrible).

    But overall let’s wait a couple months to really look at it. Checking box scores every couple days and gloating or wringing hands is stupid.

  60. Hubert

    It’s because most managements/coaching staffs are competent enough to trade for and acquire players that fit together and compliment each other

    It seems wrong to pick on the spelling error and imagine that strat thinks everything would be ok if only Julius Randle told Mitchell Robinson how great his hair looks.

  61. djphan

    out of the mainstream draft coverage i like jeremy woo the best… he’s generally had a good handle on the prospects..

    https://www.si.com/nba/2019/10/30/nba-mock-draft-anthony-edwards-lamelo-ball

    i do think just glancing at eybl ball stats that this draft is probably not that great… but college tends to crystalize alot of speculation…. on my watch list are jaden mcdaniels (washington)… killian hayes (france)… nico mannion (arizona)… and of course wiseman and edwards….

    but if you’re taking the long view… the 2021 draft is looking to be really superb… at least at the top… cade cunningham.. evan mobley… jalen green… each of those guys probably would go #1 in this upcoming draft…. so we should hope that something good happens with the dallas picks…

  62. thenamestsam

    I understand your reasoning for keeping Fiz, but I don’t think the general perception of the front office really matters at this point. Anybody around the NBA for any amount of time in the past 20 years already knows the Knicks are a clownshoes operation. That will not change as long as Dolan and Mills are here. Keeping Fiz another season doesn’t change that either.

    If the Knicks manage to score a primo FA in the next two years it will have very little to do with the perceived competency of Knicks management. It’ll be dumb luck or other reasons.

    To be clear I’m not saying I would keep him, I’m saying I think Perry and Mills will stick with him. And I don’t think general perception of Perry/Mills is as bad as you’re implying. For sure the overall perception is the Knicks are morons, but I don’t see current management being in the line of fire at the moment in terms of press/general league narrative. Even on this board while people are generally very down on them, you don’t see many explicit calls for firing those guys because that just isn’t where the narrative is at currently. All eyes are on Fiz at the moment.

    If they fire Fiz tomorrow and the team still sucks for the next two years they’d be looking at firing their 3rd coach in ~4 years at the end of next season. Very few management teams are able to survive that kind of upheaval at the coaching level. If you keep hiring failures that starts to reflect on you. Mills would probably find a way through the fire, but Perry would definitely be at risk at that point I think.

  63. Brian Cronin Post author

    Huh? Who DIDN’T criticize the Knicks offseason? Jeeze.

    That was his point. It was sarcasm.

  64. thenoblefacehumper

    Huh? Who DIDN’T criticize the Knicks offseason? Jeeze. Any positives you’ve read were wishful thinking, making the best out of a bad situation, and things like that. With the exception that we lucked into RJ, the offseason sucked. We missed on Zion, Durant and all other big FAs. How could anyone in their right mind say it was a good off-season?

    Sarcasm and the internet: not even once

  65. Hubert

    I don’t like Fiz at all, but I don’t think Mills and Perry deserve the right to fire him. This was their plan. They are the ones who prioritized Julius Randle and Bobby Portis over Mitchell Robinson. They could have gone out and gotten a PG who would make his life easier. Instead they chose to bring in players who play his position and don’t complement his skills.

    Fiz is terrible, but either they all go or they all stay. Mills and Perry shouldn’t get a scapegoat.

  66. Owen

    You know, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been so optimistic about the Knicks acquiring Randle, Morris, Portis, Gibson, Ellington and Bullock. It just seemed like such a good idea at the time.

  67. Dink

    @65 You’re right. I think my problem was ascribing my own personal feelings on Dolan/Mills to the general NBA public. Like I have trouble imagining someone NOT thinking Dolan/Mills are the worst owner/president combo in pro sports even though I know many of these people exist, or just not obsess over it like me.

    But man, do I really hate those two. They’re one and the same to me. Mills is Dolan’s familiar. Like Bob and The Arm from Twin Peaks.

  68. JK47

    I’m just SO GLAD the Knicks didn’t rent out cap space to take on bad contracts and get draft picks, they’re just SO SMART for not doing that and it’s working out JUST FUCKING GREAT

  69. alsep73

    Zach Collins out four months. Which means we might actually be able to offload one of our losers to them after December 15.

  70. JK47

    Zach Collins out four months. Which means we might actually be able to offload one of our losers to them after December 15.

    And win 20 games instead of 22? Pfsssh.

  71. ess-dog

    Yeah, I was looking at Portland as a trade partner. Maybe we could do Bazemore and a sweetener for Portis, Morris, or even Randle if that goes south.

  72. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    I know we have to take back in salary what we give, but all I want are draft picks in trades. I really would like another 1st. The next draft looks deep.

  73. rama picked up his option

    I’d rather take a big back if they have one, preferably a center….

    We’re so obviously thin at the position. Can’t rely on a second round pick for more than backup minutes.

  74. Dink

    G League starts up in 3 days. Let’s hope for some scrap heap miracles (and trades so young guys can play more)

  75. TheOakmanCometh

    The funny thing is, none of their current personnel problems are surprises. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of basketball could have predicted that:

    –Randle and Mitch would have spacing issues
    –Portis can’t play interior defense so he can’t be a starting C
    –You need 4 shooters on the floor to succeed in the NBA, and we have 4 shooters on the whole team.
    –All our best offensive players are iso guys (with the hopeful exception of RJ).
    –Having 6 PFs will force everyone to play out of position

  76. KnickfaninNJ

    Thanks Owen. I’ve always liked Araton’s stuff and I wasn’t disappointed here. He is very accurate in what he says.

  77. dtrickey

    I think Mitch and Randle can work. Admittedly their strengths don’t really play to each other, but they have shown they can run some nice PnR action. I just think Fiz needs to stick with it consistently for a few games. Admittedly we are 7 games in, so there are going to be lineup and rotation changes, but he has to afford some of these lineups some time to develop some chemistry. No actually PG doesn’t help either.

  78. Bruno Almeida

    @81

    I think in their preseason predictions the Knicks had 1% chance of making the playoffs, so it’s not a huge difference.

  79. Early Bird

    I doubt anyone saw Randle struggling this much. Use whatever reasoning you’d like: lack of spacing, he’s not a number 1 option, not catching the ball in motion, no point guards, etc. No one can honestly say they saw Randle’s TS% drop .150 pts in comparison to his last two years.

    To be fair to both the front office and Fiz, in addition to Randle’s ineptitude the Knicks have had to deal with DSJr’s shot/confidence falling apart and Payton’s injury. Most teams will struggle when their first two point guard options are missing games. Remember the Toney Douglas Knicks and point Melo? D’Antoni couldn’t figure out how to run a decent modern offense without a pg, let’s cut Fiz a little slack here. Maybe with decent roster construction, other teams won’t struggle as much as the Knicks, but they will struggle.

  80. rama picked up his option

    The reason I don’t want to cut Fizdale any slack is because literally THE GAME BEFORE THIS ONE he ran out a team that more or less made sense, that without any magic Bobby Portis-from-3 games was highly competitive with a good team. It’s no different from the beginning of last year, when he had a good defensive lineup that was a competitive team, and he decided it didn’t work because it wasn’t winning. The right question is never “are we winning?” it’s “are we playing well?” Because over a season there’s going to be plenty of noise, plenty of last second wins in tight games, plenty of off-games from a particularly important player. Even all-team epic teams lose.

    So we played pretty well, showed some cohesion, and…we insert Portis because of “spacing.” In concept it makes sense; in practice it’s extremely dim.

    The real right answer is to play Randle off the bench and start Mitch, Morris, and RJ. But they committed too much to do that, so we get Portis at center, which EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THIS BOARD said would be a bad idea. Portis starting, Mitch playing fewer than 20 mpg…nah, no slack be cut heah.

  81. swiftandabundant

    @ 88 – RAMA, I agree. They played well on the road against a good Boston team. Boston is much better than Sacramento and beat us pretty bad at home a week earlier. So to go there and play them close all game was a good sign. Fiz switching the line up the next game reeks of coach cliche speak like “there are no moral victories.”

    Teams need to gel and so do starting line ups and bench units. If you keep changing everything even after a good competitive loss, you are screwing up that gel time. Like you said, the important thing is playing the right way, not winning. Play the right way and compete every night and the wins will come evnetually.

  82. DRed

    Randle or Portis will get destroyed by Andre Drummond so hopefully we’ll give Mitch some time tomorrow. (and hopefully Mitch doesn’t get into foul trouble too soon)

  83. Early Bird

    I’m not arguing that we absolve Fizdale, he’s made plenty of terrible decisions. I am saying that he and the front office probably aren’t as bad as they appear. They may still be mediocre for an NBA front office, which is still bad but acceptably bad.

    In 100 minutes of floor time together, Mitch and Randle have a +10 net TO’s/100 possessions. It’s the highest Randle holds with any 2-man combination. It does make sense to play the two separately. I would not have inserted Portis into the starting lineup, but it’s not a preposterous call since Portis was the key factor in our lone win. Whatever.

    Personally, I originally thought the most sensical starting lineup was going to be Payton/Ellington/Bullock/Randle/Mitch (obviously before Bullock got injured). It’s a decent balance between outside shooting and inside play, defense and offense. However, Bullock’s injury threw that plan out the door. RJ’s quick acclimatization to the NBA threw another wrench in the works since it takes Ellington out of the lineup. Although RJ’s clearly more important, he’s another player who can’t shoot. In other words, we quickly went from two outside shooters (plus Randle had a decent shot last year), to zero shooters.

  84. Early Bird

    Randle or Portis will get destroyed by Andre Drummond so hopefully we’ll give Mitch some time tomorrow. (and hopefully Mitch doesn’t get into foul trouble too soon)

    I do think someone announced that Mitch would start against Drummond.

  85. djphan

    starting lineups don’t really matter all that much… what matters is who you’re giving the most minutes to….

    i’m sure there’s an exploitive way to jigger your lineup with the right personnel against certain teams/lineups but whatever gains you net from something like that you lose by putting an inferior player on the court…

    against orlando fiz pretty much fell into that trap… he benched mitch in favor of portis because he got scared of vucevic planted at the 3pt line…. nice you just played yourself… you could’ve put randle on him instead!

    i’m more than willing to cut fiz slack in other areas…. but not playing mitch more than 20 mpg is completely and utterly inexcusable…. that is a fireable offense alone but hopefully he wises up…

  86. Name is Bron - James Bron

    The most worrisome part of all of this is not just Fiz but maybe the FO. Mills said he wanted a coach who would communicate with the FO and listen more to them. So did Fiz tell them he was thinking of changing the starting lineup after perhaps the best team effort against Boston to date and they then agreed? If so, you would have hoped Mills/Perry instead might have said:
    – Maybe give this rotation a few more games before making yet another change
    – Maybe keep rotation and try more Randle/Mitch PnRs to help Randle
    – Maybe it’s not such a good idea to play Portis against Fox, perhaps the speediest guard in NBA
    – Maybe start Mitch and stagger subs so Randle and Portis are together when Fox is out
    – Maybe stagger subs so Randle plays some minutes at center when Fox is out and he’s accompanied by shooters like Knox/Dot/Wayne/Trier

  87. Bruno Almeida

    Yeah, I don’t really care if Mitch starts or who he plays with, as long as he plays his 30 minutes or plays until he fouls out.

    I was worried that once the team started losing Fizdale would attempt to prioritize the veterans right away, and yes, it’s very soon to declare that this is officially happening, but it is a bad sign. We have a guy who on his only real head coaching job alienated his star center so badly he got fired, and now our promising Center is out there saying to the media that they should ask Fizdale what is happening and not him.

  88. geo

    fiz and the millsperry d’oh boys can’t be deaf though…

    I understand you can’t run or coach a team based on your fan’s feedback or media coverage, but – shit…you’d think they’d pick up a clue somehow, somewhere…

  89. Z-man

    I really don’t get the hand-wringing over Fiz’s lineup decisions at this stage. Clearly he is in win-now mode and player development is secondary to winning. This was a given coming in to the season. We can quibble, but if he thinks starting Portis (or whoever) gives the team a better chance to win on a given night, who cares? We can quibble about the merits, but expecting him to prioritize developing Mitch over winning is silly. Not to say that they’re mutually exclusive, only that Fiz deserves the leeway to figure it out at this early stage.

  90. KnickfaninNJ

    if he thinks starting Portis (or whoever) gives the team a better chance to win on a given night, who cares?

    Since Portis doesn’t give a better chance of winning and also since the move was almost certain to disorient a team that had just played a good game, it suggests how bad Fizdale is as a coach. Of course we care that the team has a lousy coach.

  91. Hubert

    We can quibble, but if he thinks starting Portis (or whoever) gives the team a better chance to win on a given night, who cares?

    I care very much if our coach thinks benching our best player for Bobby Portis gives the team a better chance to win.

  92. JK47

    Fizdale seems to be not very good at any component of coaching.

    He’s not a good X’s and O’s coach. He’s not good at allocating minutes or recognizing who his best players are. He doesn’t seem to be good at player development. He’s not a player’s coach who builds a winning culture through his leadership.

    I just find him pretty unimpressive overall. It’s hard to find an attribute about him that I like.

  93. Bruno Almeida

    That’s exactly what I think, I really can say I wouldn’t be mad if he was benching Mitch for a player who can actually help the team win basketball games. Bobby Portis is not that player, he’s not even better than Mitch at this stage in their careers. That is the issue.

    I’m fine with Ntilikina or Dotson seeing less minutes because he wants Ellington to play, because Ellington is a real capable shooter (even though he has been shooting like garbage so far), but if he thinks Portis gives the team a better chance of winning than Robinson does, well, he’s just wrong.

  94. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    @98 – I spent the weekend in Portsmouth Virginia to celebrate my wife’s oldest friend’s 60th. While down there I made a point of visiting Richmond. As I walked around the capital building which once was the seat of the Confederate government, I was convinced that my visit would make all the difference in the election and I take all the credit . Interesting fact is that the Virginia Legislature is the last state needed to finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment until some loophole is found.

  95. d-mar

    I think one of the biggest reasons Fizdale was hired was because he was seen as a “player’s coach” who would help recruit top free agents.

    And since that didn’t work out, we’re now stuck with an average coach at best.

  96. Early Bird

    Cough *wife* cough

    Irrefutable proof that he’s charismatic and undeniably capable of fleecing management into making them think he’s a good coach. Compared to marrying her, it’s child play for Fiz to pull one over on Knicks management.

  97. bobneptune

    If anyone has some photoshop skillz and could photoshop DizFail’s head on to Robert Preston’s body in “The Music Man” we would have some comic gold!

    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fimages-na.ssl-images-amazon.com%2Fimages%2FI%2F51PJ59H3KML._SY445_.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.co.uk%2FMusic-Man-VHS-Robert-Preston%2Fdp%2FB00004CJLK&docid=rke2791g5gQizM&tbnid=0nlmQj5axiJNQM%3A&vet=12ahUKEwjZyPS8o9XlAhVKj1kKHT6IBpU4yAEQMyhTMFN6BAgBEGM..i&w=261&h=445&itg=1&bih=608&biw=1370&q=robert%20preston%20and%20shirley%20jones%20in%20the%20music%20man&ved=2ahUKEwjZyPS8o9XlAhVKj1kKHT6IBpU4yAEQMyhTMFN6BAgBEGM&iact=mrc&uact=8

  98. Knew Your Nicks

    Even a dead man could sense after Boston and Sacramento games that giving 30minutes minimum to RJ and Mitch makes this season’s team better and should be the base.
    Its not about development.
    Its just the best way to give this team a better chance to win.

    At the same time it’s better for the future of the team.

    Imo you start Mitch and RJ, give them 30+min each game and fuck spacing, fuck portis, fuck randle and fuck justifying summer’s crappy moves by fucking this team’s balance.

  99. Z-man

    I agree that he should start Mitch because it gives the team a better chance of winning. I don’t agree that he should start Mitch solely because he should prioritize developing Mitch over playing vets.

  100. Hubert

    I think the deeper question is does the Knicks’ organization even realize what they have in Mitchell Robinson?

    It’s not like Fiz played some backup C on a minimum contract. Management paid Portis $16mm to play Mitch’s position.

  101. Early Bird

    Tonight’s projected rotation:
    Starters
    Mitch
    RJ
    Garbage
    Garbage
    Garbage

    Bench
    Garbage
    Garbage
    Garbage
    Garbage
    .
    .
    .
    Brazdeikis

  102. Early Bird

    Sorry, forgot Portis. He’s a flaming pile of garbage mixed with an oil spill in a nature preserve with lots of endangered animals.

  103. Hubert

    I think the deeper question is does the Knicks’ organization even realize what they have in Mitchell Robinson?

    It’s not like Fiz played some backup C on a minimum contract. Management paid Portis $16mm to play Mitch’s position.

  104. KnickfaninNJ

    Management just hates playing defense first and offense second. And they feel this way even though the team is better defensively than on offense.

  105. Name is Bron - James Bron

    I think the deeper question is does the Knicks’ organization even realize what they have in Mitchell Robinson?…It’s not like Fiz played some backup C on a minimum contract. Management paid Portis $16mm to play Mitch’s position.

    Yes but it’s probably more like they feel getting a return on the 36m they’ve invested in Randle and Portis trumps Mitch. Given his history, I sort of get that Fiz would be enamored of Portis; he, after all, did take the major step of turning Gasol into a stretch 5. The difference here is that Marc is waaay better than Bobby on defense and is a much better passer. Plus you get elite vertical spacing with Mitch which coupled with his rim protection and switchability on defense has to be worth more than whatever Portis brings. As I wrote, I’m more worried about the FO’s position on this matter than Fiz’s. Fiz could be fired or be given a set of priorities – Mills, however, will be as difficult to be rid of as a bedbug infestation.

  106. Early Bird

    Not for nothing, but Mitch has sprained his ankle several times. At least in theory the minutes could be due to that. I don’t think that’s the case, otherwise they would announce it, but it may actually help until his ankle gets a little more stable.

  107. Z-man

    Sorry, forgot Portis. He’s a flaming pile of garbage mixed with an oil spill in a nature preserve with lots of endangered animals.

    without whom we’d be 0-7, so chalk one up for the snail darter…

  108. bobneptune

    Just a thought on Mitch learning to avoid foul trouble….. since they aren’t making the playoffs and wins aren’t paramount, why not just tell Mitch he is playing 8 minutes each quarter for 32 minutes a game (a reasonable load over 82 games).

    But also tell him he isn’t getting taken out of he gets two stupid fouls in the first 90 seconds. If he fouls out in the middle of the second quarter he gets to watch the rest of the game with his ass stuck on the bench with his brothers needing him on the floor.

    At some point he might learn not to try to make every spectacular play that comes along and use his head a little……

  109. Early Bird

    without whom we’d be 0-7, so chalk one up for the snail darter…

    Except the dam eventually got built many millions of taxpayer dollars later and after several other legal rebukes, eventually killing the snail darter downstream of the dam. Of course it turns out not to have mattered anyway, since the same species of snail darter was found elsewhere anyways. I’m not really sure how this metaphor holds up other than the building of that dam and the Knicks are both complete clusterfucks.

  110. KnickfaninNJ

    Portis is fine as a backup center, even if expensive for that role. The problem is that Fiz thinks players create offense instead of teams creating offense.

  111. Hubert

    https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/knicks/ny-kristaps-porzingis-dallas-mavericks-trade-salary-cap-20191106-56jxdrysbbaibgo77qejblrqsu-story.html

    ^ speaking of flaming garbage.

    Bondy’s premise is “KP accepted a supermax from Dallas even though they weren’t on his original list of teams he wanted to be traded to, ergo that is definitive proof that Mills and Perry could have changed his mind and made him want to stay in NY.” And then he cites Cuban hiring one of KP’s cronies as an example of what Dallas was willing to do for KP.

  112. Dink

    Lol, poor Janis. Guess the nightlife in Riga is better than Dallas.

    Or KP wised up and hired a real management team.

  113. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    @124 –

    Portis is fine as a backup center, even if expensive for that role.

    No he’s not. He’s a PF. The backup center MUST be a rim defender. Portis isn’t a defender at all. He needs to be a post-up player. He barely is. He needs to run pick-and-rolls. He can’t.

    @120 –

    Why not just tell Mitch he is playing 8 minutes each quarter for 32 minutes a game (a reasonable load over 82 games). But also tell him he isn’t getting taken out of he gets two stupid fouls in the first 90 seconds. If he fouls out in the middle of the second quarter he gets to watch the rest of the game with his ass stuck on the bench with his brothers needing him on the floor.

    Preach brother!

  114. JK47

    Portis is tall and can shoot threes okay, and he has the other benefit of being a good rebounder. But he’s a lousy defender, doesn’t protect the rim at all and doesn’t get easy buckets because he doesn’t dunk and has no inside game. It’s trendy to have tall guys who can shoot, and I get the value of that kind of player, but Portis is just not a good overall basketball player. He’s the kind of guy who you bring off the bench to exploit certain matchups, not a guy you pay $16M and play 25-30 minutes per game.

  115. Hubert

    I recall when we signed all these guys for way too much money I presumed Mills and Perry would have explained to them that the premium for accepting that the kids take priority. Doesn’t seem like that happened at all. Instead the premium inflated these guys egos and likely made them think they deserve more time than the rookies.

  116. d-mar

    Goddamn it, why didn’t we select Shae Gilgeous-Alexander instead of Kevin freaking Knox???

    Ok, end of rant.

  117. DRed

    Our strategy seemed to be to not pay anyone more than 2 years, and Brogdon was going to get 4.

    Portis needs to shoot more 3s, especially if he’s out there with randle. He’s taking 4 3s and 10 2s per 36. It’s not like he’s drawing fouls when he’s shooting from inside the arc. He’s not a terrible player, but he’s not optimizing his skills either, and why not just play Morris or Knox at 4 if you want some stretch.

  118. DRed

    Charlotte has a couple half decent pros but basically they’ve gotten lucky. Indy is the only decent team they’ve beaten and they’ve gotten completely waxed in their losses.

  119. KnickfaninNJ

    Personally, I would prefer a rim protector and a true center as a backup to Robinson. So I see your point. But I’m willing to accept a less than perfect fit from a backup, as long as he does something well. Portis, of course, often looks like he does nothing well, but so do many players on the team. I ascribe some of that to the overall crappiness of the offensive system and think Portis could still be useful on a better run team.

  120. Early Bird

    Last game Portis went 1-6 overall and missed his only shot from 3. Portis is in there to space the floor, why did he only take one 3? He’s currently taking 30% of his shots from 3. That number needs to be closer to 50%.

  121. djphan

    portis can be a good player… but as dred astutely pointed out he’s shooting too many 2s… he’s not good enough for a big man there… and it’s all the running one handers and midrange shots that’s tanking his efficiency… and if he’s not gonna draw fouls down low then he needs to shoot 3s…

    that makes his upside something like kelly olynyk.. who’s a fine if limited player… that makes portis a quintessential stretch 4… only he’s playing center…

    a more optimal rotation would probably have portis come in for randle exclusively and have him share the court with mitch… only we’ve tried that for exactly 1 minute….

    the frontcourt minutes distribution isn’t doing us any favors….

  122. GianaDani

    Perry stretched Noah. Hired Fizdale. Traded KP for 50 cents on the dollar. Bought a stack of used lottery tickets thinking he got a great deal and it’s still possible to hit the jackpot. Proved he can’t recruit to save his sole. Overpaid for scrubs. Most of all, we all know that there is no such thing as a great chief who is afraid to take chances. Scared money, don’t make no money. Perry is a Frank. Beta males are scared & avoid making risky decisions, – til they absolutely have to.

    We can tank one or two more years and should, if we had a solid coach that both RJ and Mitch believe in without losing them but we cant do it with the fake Fizzy types. That’s on Perry. He can still fix it, fire Fiz and replace him with a competent coach, One who’s is real and not someone who is more focused on the media attention his trip to Latvia gets than actual deep character substance conversations and achieving its primary objective.

    Perry needs to grow a pair ASAP, admit he made a mistake with Fiz publicly while privately apologizing to JR and Mitch.

  123. KnickfaninNJ

    Portis not taking threes is the sort of thing I was referring to when I wrote that he wasn’t being used properly.

  124. swiftandabundant

    I’m stepping away from the ledge.

    All of our vets except Randle are 1 + 1. Whoever works, we can keep. Whoever doesn’t, we can trade or not resign and open up back space for different free agents next season. Tinker and repeat until you find the right pieces.

    RJ is a rookie and all ready our franchise player. Maybe he’s the franchise player who eventually lures an even better player to team up with him. But he’s definitely a foundational piece and a good one.

    Mitch is also a foundational piece though maybe not an “all star” type player. But he can absolutely be that Tyson Chandler (hopefully even a bit better) type anchor on an elite defensive team with efficient offense.

    Randle has all of this season and the beginning of next season to “gel” with our long term pieces RJ and Mitch. The hot takes are flaming but these are all young players who are playing together for the first time.

    Knox is MUCH improved. I think its fair to think he has the potential to be a 6th man type player on a good team. And he’s also STILL YOUNG.

    The Knicks have 6 first round picks over the next 4 seasons and you gotta bet at least one of them will be a high lottery pick. The next draft class is a good one and a good one for PGs.

    Frank, DSJ, Dotson, Iggy…the other young pieces…could all not work out and we are still in a good spot long term.

    There is a world that exists 2 to 3 seasons from now where the Knicks have a great young core and the stars of the next generation of the NBA….Fox, Giannis, etc…are wanting to pair up with a core of RJ, Mitch, another high draft pick, Knox, etc. Randle is a good enough player that he could either be a part of that OR could be a big trade piece in a superstar trade.

    So give Fiz some more time. The next stretch of games is easier than this first stretch. There is still time to salvage things. The 2010-2011 Knicks w/ Amare and Felton was 3-8 at one point before they won the next 11 out of 12 games.

  125. djphan

    and also while going through lineup data…. out of the four 2-man pairs that have a positive net rating that’s played over 70 minutes… payton is in 3 of them….

    we’re sorely lacking his presence and while things look bad i’m pretty sure things look a lot better once he returns….

  126. wetbandit

    Perry stretched Noah. Hired Fizdale. Traded KP for 50 cents on the dollar. Bought a stack of used lottery tickets thinking he got a great deal and it’s still possible to hit the jackpot. Proved he can’t recruit to save his sole. Overpaid for scrubs. Most of all, we all know that there is no such thing as a great chief who is afraid to take chances. Scared money, don’t make no money. Perry is a Frank. Beta males are scared & avoid making risky decisions, – til they absolutely have to.

    lol it’s like hearing a voiceover by some ironic Dr. House, or an idiotic version of Apollo Creed

  127. Hubert

    A screed on manhood by reub posing as a woman. Priceless.

    Scared money, don’t make no money

    Risk-free rate is 1.8%, so you’re not even right about that.

  128. Owen

    So I guess Cole Anthony is not the #1 prospect. Apparently, it’s James Wiseman from Memphis. He is a 7’1 center who is raw but with outstanding athleticism. He’d fill a huge gap in our roster.

  129. Hubert

    The Pelicans fell apart without Payton last year, too. I wonder if there’s ever been a more mediocre indispensable player.

  130. thenamestsam

    The Pelicans fell apart without Payton last year, too. I wonder if there’s ever been a more mediocre indispensable player.

    Something the Dunc’d On podcast guys really harped on this summer that I found quite perceptive was the inflation in even the backup PG market. With standard NBA offense becoming so pick and roll based it’s really hard to do much on offense if you can’t put at least one competent lead ball handler on the floor at all times, and consequently most teams are really prioritizing even second and third tier guys who can play that role just so they make sure they’re never barren at that spot.

    The Knicks, of course, are not one of those teams, and thus we find ourselves desperately short on guys who can even just run an NBA caliber pick and roll. In the land of the blind I guess Elfrid Payton is king.

  131. d-mar

    Anyone heard of Emoni Bates? Cover story in the recent SI, he’s supposed to be the next big thing. He’s 15 years old and if you watch this video, you could see him playing in the NBA…now.

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

    We need to be in the 2022 draft lottery when this kid comes out of high school (assuming the rules have changed)

  132. djphan

    he’s promising but prospects his age have been hyped before … especially since the lebron era… and a lot of things can happen to teenagers…. it’s not really anything to monitor for another year or two..

    the thing to keep an eye on is the 2021 draft… and we have dallas’ pick also… and that one has a few very hyped and probably actually good prospects to monitor…

  133. KnickfaninNJ

    This is apparently the Warriors current starting line up:

    The Warriors, who at 2-5 are off to their worst start since the 2011-12 season, will continue to start Ky Bowman, Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall, Willie Cauley-Stein and Glenn Robinson III, as they have since Saturday.

    I predict they will ein as many games as we do.

  134. rama picked up his option

    Didn’t Brogdan have the kind of injury that made people skittish about maxing him? That’s my memory of the conversation on the board….

  135. ptmilo

    brogdan is definitely an injury risk but honestly if i knew he’d play this well i’d have said fuck it

  136. Grocer

    I for one am glad that someone is finally talking about the deplorable state of Fizdale’s footwear.

  137. geo

    have you ever had a song which you’ve liked for a long time and sang along with, but – didn’t really know all the words…

    mom’s the queen of singing along in the car and hitting every 20th word or so – mumbles and hums the heck out of the rest of it…

    really liking that lana del rey cover of doin time…love the pace and rhythm…

    wasn’t really sure of all the words though, so, been going through the lyrics today…it’s funny how such a “simple” piece of work can be written so beautifully…

    it gets harder :)

  138. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    This is the type of draft class where you want 3 first round picks even if they’re middle-of-the-pack. There’s a lot of NBA talent there. We have a 1st and Charlotte’s 2nd.

  139. Knew Your Nicks

    @157
    I don’t really pay much attention to the lyrics.
    Mainly interested in melodies, rhythms, arrangements, production, musicianship.

  140. dtrickey

    really liking that lana del rey cover of doin time…love the pace and rhythm…

    FWIW her NFR album from this year is pretty good stuff. I say that as someone who has never really liked her stuff and refused to play it in the car out of fear of falling asleep behind the wheel.

  141. thenoblefacehumper

    It hasn’t gotten much attention yet, but it appears we paid Taj Gibson $10M to…be a coach or something?

  142. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The Pelicans fell apart without Payton last year, too. I wonder if there’s ever been a more mediocre indispensable player.

    Maybe my view is correct?

    I’ve been saying that injuries have impacted his stats over the last couple of years and possibly hidden his development. For stretches when he’s been healthy, he looked pretty darn good to me.

    I’m unsure about his defense (I simply don’t know). I also don’t know how great a fit he is on our team because we need shooting, but he might be a legit starting caliber PG if he could stay on the court at 100% and shoot a little.

  143. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    How many people would trade Portis for Vonleh straight up?

    How many people would prefer Vonleh to Portis at their respective salaries?

    I feel like they are way closer than the salaries for sure.

  144. geo

    cool dtrickey, yeah i checked out some of her other stuff…it was cool…it’s just so rare when a cover stands up to or surpasses the original…

    cris cornell’s: nothing compares to you as a prime example…3rd time on that song was definitely the charm…

    I don’t really pay much attention to the lyrics.
    Mainly interested in melodies, rhythms, arrangements, production, musicianship.

    i love floyd’s absence of words (although us and them have been stuck upstairs playing for a while) – but, a lot of time some of the verses just keep rolling though my mind…

    it gets harder…what a cool way to say shit’s about to get poppin…

  145. Dink

    How many people would trade Portis for Vonleh straight up?

    How many people would prefer Vonleh to Portis at their respective salaries?

    Give me Vonleh. Not that he’s good, but he fits better as the backup C on this Knicks team. He’s a better defender than Portis at least.

  146. Knew Your Nicks

    @164
    I may not pay much attention to the lyrics but some of them “obbey” me to do it too, such as Floyd’s Time which always hits me deep in the heart.

  147. JK47

    I liked some of the stuff from “Ultraviolence,” the record LDR did with Dan Auerbach. She’s doing a shtick but it’s not a bad shtick. I flipped through the new one a little bit and it didn’t really hold my attention.

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