NY Post: Derrick Rose-less Knicks ripped by Spurs, fall back to .500

From Marc Berman:

The Knicks were without Derrick Rose — and a pulse.

This pandemic season finally crushed the Knicks on Tuesday, with Rose’s COVID-19-related absence demonstrating how a player can go from invisible to prominent in an eye-blink.

Just a week ago, Frank Ntilikina hadn’t played since late December — felled by a knee sprain, COVID-19 protocols and being yanked from the rotation.

Tuesday in San Antonio, the Frenchman became the Knicks’ starting point guard, and may be for the foreseeable future.

Though Ntilikina held up his end of the bargain with 13 points, 5 of 7 from the field and 3 of 3 from 3-point range, the undermanned Knicks were awful in the second half and their three-game winning streak was snapped in an ugly 119-93 loss at AT&T Center.

“You get what you deserve,’’ Tom Thibodeau said.

The Spurs are a good team and Pop is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history, so this really wasn’t a particularly surprising result, especially once the Knicks were officially out both of their starting point guards.

Still, you hate to see an ass-whupping, no matter what, especially from a team playing without a star player, as well (LaMarcus Aldridge, who is now the lone NBA player left from the draft picks that the Knicks traded for Eddy Curry, as former Knick Joakim Noah is now retired, although the Knicks are still paying Noah through next season) and who played an overtime game just last night.

Z-Man mentioned Chuck Connors, so I thought I’d share a fun story about him that I wrote about years ago.

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212 thoughts to “NY Post: Derrick Rose-less Knicks ripped by Spurs, fall back to .500”

  1. wow, that was a crazy story…pretty cool though that he got to experience the things he did…

    the rifleman used to come on on Saturday or Sunday mornings (can’t remember which)…was a fan of the show…

    I got one of those winchester style rifles, one of these days need to get around to taking it somewhere to shoot it…

    not gonna bother with the post game stuff, that’s pretty funny if thibs said: you get what you deserve…what a dick…pretty funny though…

  2. What a cool story, Brian. Thank you for that, it’s the best way to forget this brutal L.
    About the game, there’s not much to say, it all went bad so on to the next. But i hope Thibs gets humble (even if only a little) with a taste of his own medicine, Pop always coaches as if it’s game 7 of the NBA Finals, and he won easily. Mark the comeback game, Thibs, and show what you got. Frank played well, but for the love of God, don’t play him at PG, if the 3’s keep on falling he has a chance to replace Bullock and become what Z-Man predicted from the start (a 3-and-D off-guard with elite defense, i kind of doubt this elite part a bit, but we’ll see, we have time to check it out).

  3. Z-man:
    I wonder if we’ll play the Spurs better on the second go-around.

    I hope so and they’ll better do, another 26 points rubbing will not be fun :-)

    Usually Thibs and the CS are good to adjust…

  4. cybersoze: Z-Man predicted from the start (a 3-and-D off-guard with elite defense

    That’s his only path, but he still has a long way to go. Doesn’t rebound, score from 2 or get to the line. But if he can keep the 3pt shooting up and get more minutes, he might find a home in a rotation somewhere. Here? I dunno, probably not.

  5. Pop always coaches as if it’s game 7 of the NBA Finals, and he won easily. 

    I disagree with with that take on Pop. Pop definitely plays a short regular rotation, but he’s also the guy who invented schedule losses, games where he would rest his stars to keep them fresh for the playoffs.

  6. Brian Cronin: I disagree with that take on Pop. Pop definitely plays a short regular rotation, but he’s also the guy who invented schedule losses, games where he would rest his stars to keep them fresh for the playoffs.

    Agreed, Brian. Let me correct it: “Pop always coaches as if it’s game 7 of the NBA Finals, if he knows the other coach will approach the game that way, and he won easily”. Maybe something like this.

  7. What fascinates me about Pop is how he seems to be able to look at any given player and, like, instantly know what is the best approach for said player. For instance, he was like, “Tony Parker. You need to play big minutes as a rookie. Jonathon Simmons, development league for you” and he seems to be right every goddamn time! Like this year, Tre Jones looks as though he would be a rotation guy for, like, two thirds of the league and yet Pop either has him in the G-League or sitting on the bench all season long! Any other coach and I’d be thinking, “Huh, are they wasting Tre Jones?” but with Pop, I just assume it is the right call.

  8. That game sucked. Brian’s Chuck Connors story was the opposite of that. And is weirdly the second time I was thinking of Chuck Connors recently. “The Gambler” came on the radio the other day, and it reminded me that Kenny Rogers made five different Gambler TV-movies set in the Wild West, including one that brought back the Rifleman and a whole bunch of other 50s TV Western heroes (Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Cheyenne, etc) for cameos. Connors turns up about the 16-minute mark here, and can still cock and reload that Winchester with one arm.

  9. I liked Trey Lyles yesterday, checked his stats and he can be a good backup PF on the cheap to target in the offseason. He’ll be available for around 6M.

  10. It’s probably not fair to him, but I will always remember Trey Lyles for two things. One, being picked a single pick ahead of Devin Booker in the 2015 NBA Draft and then two, being traded for Donovan Mitchell in the 2017 NBA Draft.

  11. Brian Cronin:
    It’s probably not fair to him, but I will always remember Trey Lyles for two things. One, being picked a single pick ahead of Devin Booker in the 2015 NBA Draft and then two, being traded for Donovan Mitchell in the 2017 NBA Draft.

    Last night, I was trying to remember if he was a lottery pick and whether he played for the Jazz, and convinced myself I was confusing him with Trey Burke. I guess Walt Perrin just has a thing for guys named Trey?

    [Goes to see if any 2021 draft prospects are named Trey…]

  12. Alan: I guess Walt Perrin just has a thing for guys named Trey?
    [Goes to see if any 2021 draft prospects are named Trey…]

    LOL! No need to worry, there’s no Trey in this draft. ;)

  13. It’s probably not fair to him, but I will always remember Trey Lyles for two things. One, being picked a single pick ahead of Devin Booker in the 2015 NBA Draft and then two, being traded for Donovan Mitchell in the 2017 NBA Draft.

    it’s really crazy that denver traded both mitchell and gobert to utah for what amounted to nada

  14. Great story Brian!

    We have been joking about Nerlens all year but last night will provide the footage for his induction to the Bad Hands Hall of Fame.

    Spurs have some useful players at the end of their bench. There is something to be said for that.

  15. Dink: The Knicks choosing today of all days to release a statement thanking Cuomo for opening up NY is very lolknicks. Do they even read the news?

    Well, not to turn the discussion to politics, but yesterday i forgot to answer this, and i can’t contain myself and let it go. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. The BLM press-release was super late (and shitty), the Anoucha Browne affair was a disgrace, not having a single question about employing Dotson and DRose (they were not convicted, i know, but maybe try to go other way), the Oak altercation, JD’s reactions to “sell the team” chants, his own late (and shitty) appology on Weinstein (kind of) with a shitty music of all ways to do it… should i go on? We really have to separate ownership (that dictactes how the personell behave) and club to love the Knicks, Dolan is really a disgrace of an onwer, besides winning a championship i might also cry if i see a good guy buying the Knicks from him.

  16. Owen: We have been joking about Nerlens all year but last night will provide the footage for his induction to the Bad Hands Hall of Fame.

    Man, see what you did? Now i have my notebook filled with coffee! :D

  17. (LaMarcus Aldridge, who is now the lone NBA player left from the draft picks that the Knicks traded for Eddy Curry, as former Knick Joakim Noah is now retired, although the Knicks are still paying Noah through next season)

    Gordon Hayward is still playing so there’s still an NBA player left from the Marbury trade as well!

  18. Gordon Hayward is still playing so there’s still an NBA player left from the Marbury trade as well!

    It’s crazy how much luck other teams had with the Knicks’ lottery picks! Hayward, Jamal Murray, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joakim Noah and kind of sort of Jakob Poeltl (does he count?).

    This is what it means to be a Knick fan, I drew a lot of solace from the Bulls moronically dumping Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas and Demetris Nichols (briefly a Knick!) themselves. Being a Knick fan means trying to make yourself feel better for giving away LaMarcus Aldridge and Joakim Noah for Eddy Curry.

  19. That’s his only path, but he still has a long way to go. Doesn’t rebound, score from 2 or get to the line. But if he can keep the 3pt shooting up and get more minutes, he might find a home in a rotation somewhere. Here? I dunno, probably not.

    On this team definitely. We have no high level post up options from a C to get penetration that way. We need a PG to do that.

    I think the best way to look him now is to start with his lifetime stats. His 3p% is 32.1%, 2p% is 39.7%, and his FT% is 77.8%. He’s probably better than that across the board when healthy due to progress over time and all the injury setbacks.

    If he plays off the ball, he’ll get fewer assists and TOs and probably not get to the FT line as often. We’ll see “how much” better his shooting is over the rest of the year and whether he can get and keep his TS% up to a satisfactory level.

    The rebounding issue never really made much sense to me because he’s long for his height. That should help with one here or there, but I think it’s partly role. He doesn’t even try to hit the boards. It’s not like he’s Doncic or Harden (or even Payton lol) where you want your PG to get the rebound sometimes to start the break immediately instead of waiting for an outlet pass. The Knicks leave that job to the bigs. The only rebounds he tries for and gets are the ones that accidentally bounce his way. I don’t have a problem with that as long as MItch/Noel and Randle are doing the job.

  20. Awesome to see Frank shoot the ball this way. He 100% needs to stay in the rotation so we can gather more info on him ahead of the decision point this offseason. Putting Elf back in the rotation ahead of him would be insane, particularly when we have two other PGs in Rose and IQ. He still has more than his fair share of weaknesses as a player but he’s showing enough strengths as well that a good coach should be able to craft a role for him that works.

    Obi is worrying. I’ve been beating the drum on more minutes for him pretty hard and I was glad to see Thibs give him a chance to go longer, but he just does not convince out there. He reminds me so much of Knox’s rookie year in the sense that you see some raw tools but he spends so much of the game wandering around looking totally lost, and that his body looks completely unready for this level. Oh and that he’s got that special something where when he misses a jumper half the time he misses by like five feet.

  21. ***It’s probably not fair to him, but I will always remember Trey Lyles for two things. One, being picked a single pick ahead of Devin Booker in the 2015 NBA Draft and then two, being traded for Donovan Mitchell in the 2017 NBA Draft.***

    I’ll always remember him for having a big butt, per Phil Jackson’s eye test.

  22. ***I drew a lot of solace from the Bulls moronically dumping Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas***

    I remember discussing the Eddy Curry trade with Caleb once (many years after the fact), and he explained to me that Thomas was the statistically sound pick at #2 at the time. Is that not true?

  23. Toppin’s jumper is just so strange. The launch angle seems different every time but it usually looks like pop up to shallow centerfield. I mean, it goes in some times, but the misses are not good misses. He had an airball yesterday that looked like a dying quail.

    I did quite enjoy my viewing of Frankie Smokes: Pure Offense.

    And speaking of pure offense, Immanuel Quickley. Currently at 21 in the NBA in scoring per 36. With a reasonable TS% just a little bit below league average.

    It’s honestly kind of unbelievable. He throws up so many bad floaters too. Not like there aren’t obvious edits to his repertoire that can get his numbers up higher. He’s like our own Bradley Beal.

    Defense is an issue but that’s what Frank is for, amirite?

  24. Speaking of Aldridge, I brought this up in an earlier thread, but is Julius Randle a good comp for prime LMA? (The difference being Julius’ 3 point shooting)

  25. I’m sure there are some math equations that can help figure out the best possible arc to put on a shot, but whatever it is, I’m pretty sure Obi and Knox are putting too much arc on their shots at times.

  26. I didn’t get to watch the game last night. Why was Frank not as good as his shooting numbers look?

    I’ll take a guess that he still doesn’t know how to run an offense (0 AST), but is he still the prime initiator even when paired with Quickley or Randle at point-forward?

  27. Rorschach test game for Frank last night. In any event, I am fully in favor of playing him on the wing at the expense of Bullock. Basically just tell him to do what Bullock does and see if he can keep the 3PT% up. If he does, stick with him and try to re-sign him on the cheap. If he doesn’t, switch the rotation back–no harm, no foul.

    Interestingly, I think the people here who really like both Thibs and Frank are going to have to make a choice here as I doubt Thibs is willing to take the chance that Frank can’t keep it up once everyone is healthy.

    Oh and that he’s got that special something where when he misses a jumper half the time he misses by like five feet.

    Maybe this just proves that the eye-test is stupid, but if I just looked at Obi’s numbers and never watched a game I would conclude his rookie season hasn’t been exception but isn’t much of cause for concern.

    It’s watching him that has me downright terrified he’ll be out of the league or a fringe player soon. Nothing seems to come easy to him besides “being tall and thus being able to catch well-thrown lobs.”

  28. Maybe this just proves that the eye-test is stupid, but if I just looked at Obi’s numbers and never watched a game I would conclude his rookie season hasn’t been exception but isn’t much of cause for concern.

    It’s watching him that has me downright terrified he’ll be out of the league or a fringe player soon. Nothing seems to come easy to him besides “being tall and thus being able to catch well-thrown lobs.”

    This gives me some hope that there is some surplus in his trade value if we act quickly. There’s a strong story here to sell: he was a hot prospect, his numbers are solid, but we have an all star playing his position. Just don’t look at any tape!

    And by act quickly, I mean this offseason. Despite my exuberance after back to back wins, the time to make moves is in the offseason, not at the deadline.

    But look, this guy is a rapidly deteriorating asset. We can’t kid ourselves and think he needs more time. He needs to be moved while he’s still got some shine and before he’s at Kevin Knox level.

  29. The Spurs seem too smart to do this but if I could flip him for Devin Vassel and explain it as positional need, I would do backflips.

    Of course, Pop would probably figure out exactly what he needs to turn into an all star.

  30. Speaking of Rorshach tests, Defensive Real Plus Minus really doesn’t like Frank’s defense. They have him rated a negative there at the cusp of the bottom quartile of NBA point guards (60 out if 83) despite his very high STL% (3.5%) and very good DPM (2.3).

    Also, IQ’s DRPM is dropping but it’s still better than Maxley’s, Halliburton’s or LaBall’s.

  31. I remember discussing the Eddy Curry trade with Caleb once (many years after the fact), and he explained to me that Thomas was the statistically sound pick at #2 at the time. Is that not true?

    I don’t remember that. I thought Aldridge was going to be a star and was kind of shocked to see him not going #1 (that was Bargs’ year, right?).

  32. Ntilakilla:
    Speaking of Rorshach tests, Defensive Real Plus Minus really doesn’t like Frank’s defense. They have him rated a negative there at the cusp of the bottom quartile of NBA point guards (60 out if 83) despite his very high STL% (3.5%) and very good DPM (2.3).

    Also, IQ’s DRPM is dropping but it’s still better than Maxley’s, Halliburton’s or LaBall’s.

    Is this for the season? DRPM is useless in the sample size of his minutes this season.

  33. Brian Cronin: I don’t remember that. I thought Aldridge was going to be a star and was kind of shocked to see him not going #1 (that was Bargs’ year, right?).

    Thomas did have much better advanced stats in college. WS/40 was .351 to .278 for Aldridge. Thomas also had higher TS%, eFG%, TRB%, AST%, BLK%, FTr, and played a harder schedule than Aldridge. And all these stats were better than Aldridge’s by a lot; the only one that was that close was TRB% which was 19.7 to 15.5 for Thomas.

  34. “Is this for the season? DRPM is useless in the sample size of his minutes this season.”

    Ah so true. Stupid me. They liked him a lot last season when he was 17th.

  35. I guess I was all eye-test for Aldridge, as I was so scared of the Bulls getting him with the Knicks pick. Aldridge looked so good in college.

  36. Ntilakilla:
    Defensive Real Plus Minus really doesn’t like Frank’s defense. They have him rated a negative there at the cusp of the bottom quartile of NBA point guards (60 out if 83) despite his very high STL% (3.5%) and very good DPM (2.3).

    He was surprisingly poor defensively last night.

  37. Ntilakilla:
    Speaking of Rorshach tests, Defensive Real Plus Minus really doesn’t like Frank’s defense. They have him rated a negative there at the cusp of the bottom quartile of NBA point guards (60 out if 83) despite his very high STL% (3.5%) and very good DPM (2.3).

    he was surprisingly bad on defense last night

  38. d-mar:
    Speaking of Aldridge, I brought this up in an earlier thread, but is Julius Randle a good comp for prime LMA? (The difference being Julius’ 3 point shooting)

    While they are both PFs in theory and have similarities, I think of LMA as more of a traditional 4-5 methodical back-to-basket player with a deadly midrange fadeaway, while Julius is a more dynamic, better ball-handling and more explosive and speedy player than LMA but with less size and length. There’s something about Julius that reminds me of Mase…or a hybrid of Mase and Zach Randolph. Maybe a taller LJ post back injury.

  39. Ntilakilla: Also, IQ’s DRPM is dropping but it’s still better than Maxley’s, Halliburton’s or LaBall’s.

    LaBall is a very cool name, indeed. LOL

  40. interesting… when I switched “poor” to “bad” my comment got out of moderation.

    They both were eventually approved by the site (I didn’t have to do anything), so…I have no idea.

  41. As an aside, between here and RLYW, I basically run two sites where I have no control over the inner workings of the sites (I mean, I have administration powers and can ban people and stuff like that, but if the site goes down, I have no more ability to fix it as any of you). It’s not really a big deal, since both sites run fine, it’s just funny.

  42. Frank played “point guard” but usually didn’t even try to initiate any offense.

    as for statistical measures of his defense, he’s played like 100 minutes this season, they’re probably mostly meaningless. But in general Frank’s defense is hurt by his terrible rebounding and the fact that one of the primary benefits of his ball pressure defense is steals/turnovers credited to other players. (Frank pressures a guard who makes a shitty pass and RJ intercepts the bad pass, RJ gets credit for what was mostly Frank’s defense)

  43. “But in general Frank’s defense is hurt by his terrible rebounding and the fact that one of the primary benefits of his ball pressure defense is steals/turnovers credited to other players.”

    Agree 100%. This is why I believe RDPM is be the perfect metric to measure Frank’s defensive impact. His ranking there this season bares following. I also believe it applies to his rebounding as well since he’s more likely to box his man out than go chasing after the ball on a rebound.

  44. I think Frank’s defense is somewhere between good and very good rather between very good and great.

    But it doesn’t really matter when you consider what a pure offensive weapon he is.

  45. Speaking of Rorshach tests, Defensive Real Plus Minus really doesn’t like Frank’s defense. They have him rated a negative there at the cusp of the bottom quartile of NBA point guards (60 out if 83) despite his very high STL% (3.5%) and very good DPM (2.3).

    I still look at that metric, but I’ve lost some faith in it. First, they changed it in ways that made it less useful for me personally and you also still need large samples. A handful of games isn’t going to cut it .

    I think a 3-5 season look probably gives you a better idea, but even that kind of analysis suffers from not being able to consider lineup issues, it can’t measure the impact injuries had on your performance and it can’t handle improvement and decline perfectly if they are weighing more recent games heavier. There’s no easy answer, but it’s especially difficult on defense. IMO, it’s always going to come down to a skills assessment, role, coaching, watching games, and other subjective analysis to refine whatever stats you are looking at.

    To me he still looks good on defense, but he’s being doing something recently that I just noticed. He’s the target of picks fairly often trying to get him OFF whoever he’s guarding (as opposed to trying to get a switch where’s he the target because he’s a weak defender). When that happens he often gets beat by a step trying to get over the pick. What he does then is allow the guy to beat him but slide down towards the basket to cut off the angle to the basket before the player can finish. It’s looks ugly when he gets beat, but what he is doing has been a fairly effective response at times.

  46. Marc Stein @TheSteinLine:
    U.S. Rising Stars roster as the NBA announced via @nba_topshot:
    LaMelo Ball
    Anthony Edwards
    Tyrese Haliburton
    Tyler Herro
    De’Andre Hunter
    Keldon Johnson
    Ja Morant
    Michael Porter Jr.
    Zion Williamson
    James Wiseman

    How in the world did they left Quickley out?? :O

  47. Don’t they normally try to split it between rookies and sophomores? Sophomores are naturally going to be more developed players.

    But yeah, beyond that, how did Quickley get snubbed so badly?

  48. Yeah, I know eye test can NEVER be trusted but when Frank plays I do tend to hone in on him on the defensive side and I notice that he does things that often create turnovers or steals for other players. He stays in front of his man and his long arms pester the ball handler and he cuts off passing lanes and then that player throws a bad pass (that someone else steals) or someone takes an ugly shot late in the shot clock (which someone else rebounds cause Frank is not near the rim often with this). He also will funnel players towards the sidelines and cause them to step out of bounds (turnover but he doesn’t get a steal credit). Or he’ll cause them to double dribble (turnover) or use a time out (not a turnover but still a good result). All of these are things he won’t get credit for even though he’s the reason they’re happening.

  49. Ian Begley @IanBegley:
    Neither Immanuel Quickley nor Obi Toppin were selected for the U.S. team in the Rising Stars game, per the NBA’s announcement of rosters.

    Begley trying to be funny, i guess. :D

  50. Herro isn’t as good as Quickley. But he has a Finals appearance.

    Also, Quick has only played 19 minutes per game.

    But it is a crime, I agree.

  51. KIA rookie ranking has IQ at #3, as of today.

    “His minutes aren’t killer — 18.9, ranking 17th among rookie regulars — but his production is (23.9 points per 36 minutes, tops among newbies).”

    Weird seeing Zion there. It feels like he’s been in the NBA for something like four years or so.

  52. Are there only 2 rookies on the team? In that case I guess I can understand why they put Anthony Edwards since he’s a big name and the 1st overall pick but it’s a bad basketball decision. I’m more surprised Barrett didn’t make it.

  53. Are there only 2 rookies on the team? In that case I guess I can understand why they put Anthony Edwards since he’s a big name and the 1st overall pick but it’s a bad basketball decision. I’m more surprised Barrett didn’t make it.

    Four. They included the first three picks and then also Hali.

  54. I found this. Makes more sense, but still no Quick. 11 sophs, 8 rooks. Barrett on there.

    U.S. Team:
    LaMelo Ball (Hornets)
    Anthony Edwards (Timberwolves)
    Tyrese Haliburton (Kings)
    Tyler Herro (Heat)
    De’Andre Hunter (Hawks)
    Keldon Johnson (Spurs)
    Ja Morant (Grizzlies)
    Michael Porter Jr. (Nuggets)
    Zion Williamson (Pelicans)
    James Wiseman (Warriors)

    World Team:
    Precious Achiuwa (Heat) ??
    Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Pelicans) ??
    Deni Avdija (Wizards) ??
    RJ Barrett (Knicks) ??
    Facundo Campazzo (Nuggets) ??
    Brandon Clarke (Grizzlies) ??
    Luguentz Dort (Thunder) ??
    Rui Hachimura (Wizards) ??
    Theo Maledon (Thunder) ??
    Mychal Mulder (Warriors) ??

  55. Brian Cronin: Four. They included the first three picks and then also Hali.

    Oh, that makes less sense. I can understand LaBelo, Wiseman, and Haliburton over Quickley but if they’re already on they should’ve put Quickley instead of Edwards. And I keep on forgetting RJ is Canadian.

  56. The Milwaukee Bucks are planning to sign guard Myles Powell of G League Westchester on a two-way contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 3, 2021

    I don’t think this is a huge deal, but again, it is really hard to build a contender and most of the time it requires nailing the little stuff. Letting this happen so we could preserve roster spots for Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson is not wise.

  57. I don’t think this is a huge deal, but again, it is really hard to build a contender and most of the time it requires nailing the little stuff. Letting this happen so we could preserve roster spots for Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson is not wise.

    I’m irked, too. It’s entirely possible that Jared Harper (who we already have on a two-way) is a much better PG prospect than Powell. But, like, just cut Hall of Fame Locker Room Guy Theo Pinson and sign Powell to the other two-way spot, so you get two bites at the apple, and greater odds that one of them turns into a diamond in the rough.

  58. The US team was stacked anyway and they would always prioritize the big names, so IQ was really competing with Johnson and Hunter, maybe Hali only really, and to be fair all 3 guys have been pretty good. He certainly deserved over Edwards but that would never happen, unfortunately.

  59. Okay, the expanded roster makes more sense now, but still, Quickley should be there over Keldon Johnson and that would have evened things up, sophomore vs. rookies instead of 11/9.

  60. I like Powell and it’d be nice if he could have a shot, and the same to try guys on 10 day contracts, but we already know that won’t happen. Oh, and no, Harper is not better than Powell, they’re at the same level, but as Harper is tiny (5’10 !?), i think Powell should’ve been the guy to try to keep.

  61. If I remember correctly Tyrus Thomas shot to fame after destroying JJ Redick in the NCAA tourney upsetting Duke on the way to the Final Four. Thomas blocked him like a half dozen times and a panicked Redick shot Starks level futility, I think 3-18

    I thought that was it for JJ, as it showed what happens against NBA level athleticism. Shows what I know.

  62. i was five foot and ten inches once…time and gravity seem to have gotten the better of me though…

    was funny, this weekend had a cool flashback with the youngest god child, he’s seven now – we were play fighting and i had to ask him to start pulling his punches a bit…i remembered then having the same conversation with his sister 12 or so years ago…man, but did she hit hard…such is my fate to get beat up by kids…

    it’s years and years ago now but, a buddy liked to keep pitbulls (great animals if they know you and their owners are chilled), one time i went with him to go visit a friend of his whom owned the pitbull that had sired one of his pits…

    i’ll always remember the picture of that poor old dog getting ridden by some little kid like he was one of those poor ponies at the fair…

    the look of resignation on that old dog’s face has haunted me for years…

  63. Letting this happen so we could preserve roster spots for Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson is not wise.

    we also have a journeyman tweener guard who now doesn’t even get the break glass call when both of our mediocre vet point guards are out

  64. Sly:
    If I remember correctly Tyrus Thomas shot to fame after destroying JJ Redick in the NCAA tourney upsetting Duke on the way to the Final Four.Thomas blocked him like a half dozen times and a panicked Redick shot Starks level futility, I think 3-18

    I thought that was it for JJ, as it showed what happens against NBA level athleticism.Shows what I know.

    Wow, good memory: https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/boxscores/2006-03-23-duke.html

    Only thing you got wrong was Thomas only had 5 blocks, not 6.

  65. we also have a journeyman tweener guard who now doesn’t even get the break glass call when both of our mediocre vet point guards are out

    I think that they think that those two unguaranteed years are a lot more valuable of an asset than they actually are. “If you trade for him, you can control him for two more years!” “Yeah, but why would we want to?”

  66. Quickley also seems like a guy who’s heavily motivated so the snub might even be a good thing, if it puts another chip in his shoulder and leads him to use it as motivation. The media is still in lolknicks mode and it’s gonna take much more than being. 500 to change that.

  67. Brian Cronin: I think that they think that those two unguaranteed years are a lot more valuable of an asset than they actually are. “If you trade for him, you can control him for two more years!” “Yeah, but why would we want to?”

    I agree, but at the same time it’s somewhat refreshing to see a front office who actively tries to get these favorable deals with players such as Rivers. At this point after bringing Rose in it’s pretty clear it isn’t going to amount to much, but it’s still far better than not getting those options at all, like we used to do.

  68. My guess is we try to trade Rivers by the deadline, and cut him if there aren’t any takers. The contract structure makes that pretty painless.

  69. Alan:
    My guess is we try to trade Rivers by the deadline, and cut him if there aren’t any takers. The contract structure makes that pretty painless.

    Can we cut him? I’m pretty sure that cutting a player with options during the season guarantees those options.

  70. vincoug: Can we cut him?I’m pretty sure that cutting a player with options during the season guarantees those options.

    Yes, we can because the 2nd and 3rd years are non-guaranteed, so it’s like this:
    In the case of any player without a fully guaranteed contract, the non-guaranteed portion of a player’s salary is removed from a club’s cap immediately once the player is waived.“, in HoopsRumors.com

  71. hey….can you guys please give me your advice on league pass? I think i might take the jump. I thought the pricing went down as the season went on, but I’m not seeing it on their site. Thanks!

  72. Thanks, Brian! I’m recording a new one tomorrow where I will be wearing an Immanuel Quickley floater t shirt. Podcasts are not a visual medium, but y’all can imagine it when the Gilmore Girls episode drops in a few weeks.

  73. As we have seen, 2-way guys are crazy fungible and best not to get too attached to them. If Powell was worth keeping we could have easily cut Harper or Pinson and signed him. There are Powell-level guys all over the G-League, so I don’t understand why anyone would care whether our non-2-way roster has any relevance whatsoever to whether a guy like Powell signs a 2-way elsewhere.

  74. can you guys please give me your advice on league pass?

    thanks for reminding me chris k, i need to check to see exactly what i’m being charged this season…i thought the full season price had gone down on Fios to around $179…half season on Fios is $99…

    i prefer getting it through cable as opposed to streaming it…i ran in to a bunch of buffering issues years ago when i tried streaming it, might have just been me though, i may not have had the playstation hooked up by lan cable at the time…

    is it worth $99 to watch knick games (and other not nationally televised b-ball games) – eh, i don’t know about that…

    if you have the time though, it is a nice diversion on most nights…heck, watching games this year is a WHOLE lot more fun that it has been for years…

  75. I have international league pass for years and I can’t really complain, the quality is not great but the service works well enough on my phone and pc too. But I have heard the US service is worse in general with the blackout rules, so it probably depends also where in the US you live.

    I think their price is proportional to how much of the season is left when you sign up, but it’s been a while since I checked it.

  76. I’m anticipating that the 4500 fans at Toyota Center tonight will sound like 45000 when Harden is introduced

  77. I checked the Spurs SB blog Pounding the Rock for their take on the Knicks. Some intelligent commentary there and they had some nice praise for Thibs’ coaching and our defense. Someone said that Knicks fans “should be very proud of this new version of the Knicks” and another responded as followsl:

    In fact they are not…
    I have just checked their discussion boards and they are discussing :1) Frank Nkitilina is or not a PG? 2) Trade Obi Toppin, he is a bust (!!!!) and 3) Pros and cons of dismantling everything and go after Bradley Beal and/or Lonzo Ball (?)

    Posted by Vader69 on Mar 3, 2021 | 10:41 AM

  78. now that league pass is all HD …i like it a lot more in terms of cost…in prior years only one game was HD and the rest were old skool…that was lame…i think I paid 160 or so on xfinity…

  79. very cool al, i see you’re getting ready to do some Dexter – oh yeah…

    what an up and down series that was…season one, two, four and some of six very very good… season three, five and some of six – not so great…

    not so coincidently – jeff lindsay’s books were also a little up and down at times…the Dexter books were all around 300 pages or so – about 100 of them were about food and the weather, still very enjoyable…what was crazy though – lindsay would pile all the plot and build up in to the first 290 pages, and then many times all too conveniently wrap everything up quickly in about 10 pages, or less…it was so weird…still really enjoyable though…

    the first episode – is great and i would think would hook most folks sympathetic to that type of material – i mean, who doesn’t love “justice” via vivisection…

  80. oh shit, guess my memory isn’t so great – i only thought their were 6 seasons of Dexter, turns out there were 8…

  81. No steals so far in the second half, TJ still one steal short of a points/assists/steals triple double

  82. I’m loving that the Pistons not only played tonight, but they’re winning big over the Raptors, which not only means that the Pistons will be tired and happy tomorrow, but that the Raptors will be below the Knicks in the standings!

  83. Donnie Walsh:
    Zion isn’t a “rising star”. He has risen.

    I’m so glad he seems to have ignored all the people saying he should shoot more 3s or get a midrange game etc etc, this game he’s just going at Chicago defenders and they just can’t stop him without fouling. They’re 20 down at the half because oh boy they can’t play defense, but it’s entertaining to watch.

    Also is Nic Claxton the missing piece the Nets needed at big man? He looks much better than DeAndre already in limited minutes.

  84. and mason plumlee and dsj pull off what lebron and wade never could — the rare tandem triple double

  85. The Pistons destruct the Raps. Wayne Ellington can’t be stopped, you can only hope to contain him…

  86. Z-man:
    I read the rozy Zion posts and expected the Pels to be up by 20…oof!

    Zion had 14 of the Pelicans first 16 points, it was a pretty nice sequence, but then he started getting frozen as usual and nobody was doing anything. I really thought SVG would be a better coach than what he’s showing so far, they simply can’t defend anyone.

  87. Also I changed to Jazz and Sixers for the OT and Mitchell has 33 points in 34 shots and Embiid is still the MVP frontrunner.

  88. What a night for McConnell, in addition to a steals-heavy triple-double, he shot 8 for 8. In the game we beat them he played 46 minutes. Thibs would love to have him in the fold, he probably drives his teammates nuts in practice.

  89. Z-man:
    I checked the Spurs SB blog Pounding the Rock for their take on the Knicks. Some intelligent commentary there and they had some nice praise for Thibs’ coaching and our defense. Someone said that Knicks fans “should be very proud of this new version of the Knicks” and another responded as followsl:

    Spurs have an intriguing team, but not sure what the long-term plan is there when they’re led by mercs like DeRozan and Gay

  90. I’m sold on Lonzo. Trade the conditional 1st/non-lotto pick for him. He will shine in the Garden playing with Julius, RJ, Mitch and IQ.

    DO IT!

  91. Brian Cronin:
    I’m loving that the Pistons not only played tonight, but they’re winning big over the Raptors, which not only means that the Pistons will be tired and happy tomorrow, but that the Raptors will be below the Knicks in the standings!

    SUCK IT UJIRI!

  92. What a night for McConnell, in addition to a steals-heavy triple-double, he shot 8 for 8. In the game we beat them he played 46 minutes. Thibs would love to have him in the fold, he probably drives his teammates nuts in practice.

    What’s fascinating is that the record for most steals in a game is 11 and he didn’t make it there despite having nine in the first half!

    And yes, steals were not recorded until 1973-74, so I’m sure 11 is not the “real” record, but still.

  93. Annoyingly, the Pistons/Raptors game was the only one tonight that had a good result for the Knicks. The Eastern Conference is insanely bunched together right now!

    1 Philadelphia 76ers 24-12
    2 Brooklyn Nets 24-13
    3 Milwaukee Bucks 21-14
    4 Boston Celtics 18-17
    5 New York Knicks 18-18
    6 Charlotte Hornets 17-18
    7 Miami Heat 17-18
    8 Toronto Raptors 17-18
    9 Indiana Pacers 16-18
    10 Chicago Bulls 16-18
    11 Atlanta Hawks 16-20
    12 Washington Wizards 13-20
    13 Cleveland Cavaliers 14-22
    14 Orlando Magic 13-23
    15 Detroit Pistons 10-25

  94. man, remember that year when we only won 17 games…i think that was like the second year i did league pass…watching knick basketball was not such a wonderful experience…lance thomas – ron baker – isaiah hicks – michael beasley…all of em, ballin’ out…

    18 wins with 35 games to go – hello sunshine…

  95. Barring moves and major injuries, I’m predicting 15-21 for the second half. 33-39 for the 9th seed. A lot depends on the last 8 games and whether teams have something to play for or rest guys for the playoffs.

  96. I think 15 wins is optimistic but like you said that last 8 games or so…who knows how motivated certain teams will be…I think 10 to 12 is likely

  97. We have the 8th hardest remaining schedule, so I agree 15 wins seems a bit optimistic. I think if we have no big injuries it’s doable, but the east is looking like a bloodbath of mediocre teams desperate to make it. We’re definitely better than Detroit, Orlando, Cleveland and probably Washington, Atlanta has an easy schedule and Chicago has a pretty hard remaining.

    I think around 13 wins is pretty realistic

  98. 36, but who’s counting? ;-)

    about five minutes and one second after i wrote that i started thinking to myself: hmmm, we have one more game before the break, and, didn’t we miss a game due to covid (which i forgot we just made up against the spurs, i think)…

    it’s funny, as i age i’m worrying less about losing my faculties as i am about just dropping shit like crazy…i swear – five years ago, i never fumbled with near so much random shit, it’s like gravity just keeps ripping stuff from my hands…i don’t know what’s happening with my grip, but it ain’t what it once was…

    my balance isn’t quite always so perfect either…actually fell on my ass coming down the stairs the other day, it was early, i was a little tired, missed that last step and bam, on my ass…

    yeah, the cycle of life up close and personal…

  99. yeah pepper and Bruno, you’re probably right. I gave them a 2-3 game Thibs boost, but now that there’s plenty of scouting film, I can see things coming down to our roster, which is bad. 15 is more like a best-case scenario.

    Or is it? We’ve done pretty well without Mitch, maybe we continue to gel. I mean, who thought we’d be 18-18 at the halfway point without anything at all from Obi?

  100. geo: about five minutes and one second after i wrote that i started thinking to myself: hmmm, we have one more game before the break, and, didn’t we miss a game due to covid (which i forgot we just made up against the spurs, i think)…

    it’s funny, as i age i’m worrying less about losing my faculties as i am about just dropping shit like crazy…i swear – five years ago, i never fumbled with near so much random shit, it’s like gravity just keeps ripping stuff from my hands…i don’t know what’s happening with my grip, but it ain’t what it once was…

    my balance isn’t quite always so perfect either…actually fell on my ass coming down the stairs the other day, it was early, i was a little tired, missed that last step and bam, on my ass…

    yeah, the cycle of life up close and personal…

    I wish I could tell you it gets better in your 60s!

  101. yeah pepper and Bruno, you’re probably right. I gave them a 2-3 game Thibs boost, but now that there’s plenty of scouting film, I can see things coming down to our roster, which is bad. 15 is more like a best-case scenario.

    This season? I think anything is up for grabs. So yeah, I don’t think 15 wins is all that unrealistic. Mitch will be back soon, so the defense will improve and the offense has improved a little bit, so that combo might be good. Or, of course, they might sputter or perhaps Randle gets hurt. It’s really up in the air.

  102. Or we trade for LaVine, to replace Payton as the starting PG, and go for the winning record! :P

  103. cybersoze:
    Or we trade for LaVine, to replace Payton as the starting PG, and go for the winning record! :P

    Having watched both Frank and Burks attempt to play point guard in recent games, even when sharing the floor with Randle, I don’t think I want to mess around anymore with the idea of a non-PG pretending to be a PG. However abundant the faults of both Payton and Rose are, they can at least kind of sort of run an offense.

  104. You know, it’s funny, Billy Donovan was obviously a highly respected coach in college. Then he comes to OKC at probably the worst time for a guy like him, who had more of a reputation as a development guy more than anything, and he’s there for the final year of KD and Westbrook (where they choke against the 73-win Warriors). He then loses KD and still wins 47 games the year after KD leaves (for nothing in return). He makes the playoffs all five seasons he is coaching in OKC, including upping his win total in each of the next two seasons and then losing both Paul George and Russell Westbrook (but gaining CP3) but still making the playoffs. OKC doesn’t plan on trying for the playoffs this year, so he and the team decide to part ways, he goes to a shitty Chicago team and now they’re way overachieving (in very similar ways to the Knicks). I guess I’m just way underestimating Billy Donovan. I wasn’t impressed that first season in OKC and I thought he didn’t make sense for that KD/Westbrook team, but holy shit, his track record since has been outstanding!

  105. Alan: Having watched both Frank and Burks attempt to play point guard in recent games, even when sharing the floor with Randle, I don’t think I want to mess around anymore with the idea of a non-PG pretending to be a PG. However abundant the faults of both Payton and Rose are, they can at least kind of sort of run an offense.

    I was joking, Alan. Our best path is to do nothing and wait for the offseason.

  106. On Bleacher Report “Buying or Selling Latest NBA Trade Rumors”, the verdict for the rumor “the Knicks as a preferred superstar destination” got “SELL”. I guess Leon can move better, like ninja, if people still think we’re the old lolknicks, so i view this as a good thing.

  107. Here’s a wild dream/theory just because of the connections and possible perfect storm of events.

    this

    Hear me out.

    First let me say..I know how unlikely this trade is. And 2nd..I’m adding 2 1sts to this and wouldn’t be adverse to the Dallas pick being one of them. So my hope/theory is Devin Booker wants to play in NY and Phoenix realizes 2 things:
    1. Playing out west with CP3 on his last legs isn’t a recipe for success in that conference.
    2. Booker and Ayton aren’t either.

    Also, this move would give them young pieces and enough time to develop and wait out LeBron’s retirement, Kawhi/Steph/Dame’s aging while keeping Phoenix competitive enough to make the playoffs with the tandem of CP3 and Ayton with young pieces all around.

    Wild- I know. But this is the only trade for a big time player I’d be willing to try.

  108. I’ve been incorporating a lot of balance stuff into my work outs recently. Like if I’m doing shoulder lifts with some free weights I’ll do some on one leg and then the other, same with bicep curls, etc. it’s an easy way to add balance and coordination into your exercise and I think that can help with that stuff. We think of strength and cardio and flexibility but balance and coordination are also things you can work on with exercises.

  109. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats: So my hope/theory is Devin Booker wants to play in NY (…) Wild- I know. But this is the only trade for a big time player I’d be willing to try.

    They have him locked up until 2024, and the superstars you mentioned will fade before that, with maybe the exception of Kawhi, but he’s kind of injury prone, so maybe even him.
    If i had to guess which superstar can ask out of the blue a trade to the Knicks, i’d bet on KAT. MIN is a bad team and doesn’t seem to have a (good) plan. And because of this “Karl-Anthony Towns, [Leon] Rose’s biggest client before he jumped on the Knicks’ job”.

  110. I’ve been incorporating a lot of balance stuff into my work outs recently. Like if I’m doing shoulder lifts with some free weights I’ll do some on one leg and then the other, same with bicep curls, etc. it’s an easy way to add balance and coordination into your exercise and I think that can help with that stuff. We think of strength and cardio and flexibility but balance and coordination are also things you can work on with exercises.

    I have strong opinions on this post

  111. Man, I’m rarely on Team Optimist here but I think people predicting a 10-26 or 13-23 finish just bc the schedule is hard is a little nuts. I think it’s likely we continue to hover near to slightly below the .500 mark.

  112. Interestingly, I think the people here who really like both Thibs and Frank are going to have to make a choice here as I doubt Thibs is willing to take the chance that Frank can’t keep it up once everyone is healthy.

    IMO there’s little chance Frank is suddenly a 40% 3 point shooter.

    I trust Thib’s judgement on whether Bullock or Frank is better and whether it’s by enough to matter based on practice as well as games.

    Frank came in ridiculously green.

    What I don’t trust is that we are going to give him the time to develop fully. I think many players improve well into their 20s depending on how hard they work. Sometimes what they lose in athleticism late in their 20s they more than make up for with knowledge and experience under pressure all the way to 30.

    A couple of teams gave up on Randle. We were about to become the 3rd but look what hard work and determination yielded for him at 26.

    Its tricky to know who is going to get a lot better over time and who won’t, but I think things like work ethic, desire to learn and get better, basketball IQ etc…matter. Frank has always seemed like a player with limitations but a real passion to get better and play the right way. I think a long switchable defender that can shoot 3s and make some plays is a nice piece to have on a team. I’m not convinced we’ve seen anywhere near the best of Frank yet at 22, but it wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong.

  113. I was joking, Alan.

    Things have been so dark for so long here, Cyber, that I must apologize for taking every ridiculous Knicks trade proposal completely seriously.

  114. The schedule isn’t that hard. I don’t know how you look at it and see 10-26 or even 13-23 unless you’re expecting Julius Randle to quit and David Fizdale to come back.

    This seems to me like a perfectly non-optimistic outcome of the season (broken down into ten game stretches):

    DET – W
    @MIL – L
    @OKC – W
    @BKN – L
    @PHI – L
    ORL – W
    PHI – W
    WAS – L
    WAS – W
    @MIL – L

    23-23

    MIA – W
    @MIN – W
    DAL – L
    @DET – W
    @BKN – L
    @ BOS – L
    MEM – W
    TOR – W
    LAL – L
    @NO – L

    28-28

    @DAL – L
    NO – W
    CHA – W
    ATL – W
    TOR – W
    PHX – L
    CHI – W
    @HOU – W
    @MEM – L
    @DEN – L

    34-32

    @PHX – L
    @LA – L
    @LA – L
    SAS – L
    CHA – W
    BOS – W

    36-36

    Good or bad luck could swing it 2 games in any direction, but I think .500 is this team’s baseline.

  115. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats:
    Here’s a wild dream/theory just because of the connections and possible perfect storm of events.

    this

    Hear me out.

    First let me say..I know how unlikely this trade is. And 2nd..I’m adding 2 1sts to this and wouldn’t be adverse to the Dallas pick being one of them. So my hope/theory is Devin Booker wants to play in NY and Phoenix realizes 2 things:
    1. Playing out west with CP3 on his last legs isn’t a recipe for success in that conference.
    2. Booker and Ayton aren’t either.

    Also, this move would give them young pieces and enough time to develop and wait out LeBron’s retirement, Kawhi/Steph/Dame’s aging while keeping Phoenix competitive enough to make the playoffs with the tandem of CP3 and Ayton with young pieces all around.

    Wild- I know. But this is the only trade for a big time player I’d be willing to try.

    Is this a joke? Phoenix has the 2nd best record in the league and are 3rd in SRS. They’re going to blow up their team for a random assortment of shitty players and two 1st round picks? I don’t even particularly like Devin Booker but he’s their leading scorer and is only 24 years old.

  116. I was thinking the same thing the other day, Brian. Donovan didn’t come out of the gate strong, but has clearly shown he’s quality since then.

  117. Hubert: Good or bad luck could swing it 2 games in any direction

    The swing is larger than 2 games, my dude.

    Wild- I know. But this is the only trade for a big time player I’d be willing to try.

    This is one of the craziest things I’ve read on this board and it will never, ever, ever happen. I would wager my house on this one.

  118. The swing is larger than 2 games, my dude.

    2 games in either direction is a 4 game swing out of 36 games, i.e. I left open the possibility that more than 10% of the expected outcomes could flip based on hot 3 point shooting or a lucky covid protocol break. That seems fair to me.

    But let’s say you double it to 20% and all the luck is bad… you’re still clearing these 10-26 & 13-23 predictions. Unless Julius Randle breaks a leg, it’s not happening. This team doesn’t suck.

  119. Hubert, I looked at the schedule earlier and came up with a much more pessimistic expectation, but I think yours isn’t entirely far-fetched. I do think that four-game winning streak in the third patch of games could easily go south pretty badly, though. But we could get lucky…

    Jowles, I’d be curious to hear your ‘strong opinions.’ I’ve been struggling with a back that won’t let me play with free weights — it was no problem back in the gym days when I could slam the fancy machines into a vanity body, but nowadays even dumbbell curls leave me crippled for a day afterward. Problem is I have no space for machines or fancy equipment. So I run 5 miles regularly and watch my upper body dwindle…

  120. The opponents strength of the schedule for the Knicks is like the 2nd toughest schedule remaining in the NBA but I also read that their travel and amount of games played in the remaining days is one of the easiest schedules. So the toughness of the opponents might get balanced out by the convenience of the scheduling, I believe also the Knicks have the 2nd fewest remaining sets of back-to-back games.

  121. but nowadays even dumbbell curls leave me crippled for a day afterward

    Drop the weight/reps/sets. Regularly training “to failure” is for young men and steroid users. I have sensitive hamstrings — I get delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) very easily for some reason — and even though I can do, say, 12 reps (with sets) of a given weight, I get extremely sore if I go past 5 or 6.

    If you’re getting injured while doing functional training, your intensity or frequency is too great. You don’t need to feel burn to stimulate muscle growth, bone density increase, or CNS development.

    You also don’t want to “undertrain,” but if you’re sore past the point of discomfort on recovery day 3, you’re going too hard.

    I advocate for push-ups and pull-ups for home upper body workouts. Get some push-up bars and vary the angle and grip width. Go slow and deep. For pull-ups, get some resistance bands and use them to assist you while you build your strength to do full bodyweight.

  122. Jowles, what are your opinions? I want to hear them. I base my workouts off of what I’ve learned on Daily Burn.

    I DO NOT go hard at all. I do about 30 to 45 minutes a day mixing light weights, balancing, yoga and cardio. When I do balancing stuff I do not do heavy weights at all. 15 pounds at the most and a lot of times I’m rocking 10 pounders when I’m doing balancing.

    For me its more about doing it every day. I go 6 days a week for half an hour or so. Its victory for me to be consistent like that.

  123. Yoga is more than enough for developing balance. Doing light dumbbell stuff on one foot sounds like it’s designed to make you feel burn in your leg so you feel like you’re doing something. When you’re training arms, just train arms. And per previous post, you can work your shoulders and chest far better by doing deep push-ups with your legs elevated.

  124. Deeefense: Dennis Smith Jr had a triple double last night in a Piston win.

    BigBlueAL: DS Jr TS% as a Piston is 47%.

    Sorry if i don’t buy on a reborn DSJ, but i think the FTr shows the opponent defenders are not buying also. It’s an astounding .089 !?

    But we’ll have a chance to check it with an eye-test tonight. ;)

  125. I think the case for 13-23 or something like that has to rest on major regression in the defense rather than scheduling effects. Partnow wrote in his piece on defensive shot quality this week (read the whole thing if you have the Althetic):

    The kind of regression which hit the Nuggets last year is lurking for New York. Not only are opponents shooting under expectations from 3 by the largest amount in the league, but the size of the discrepancy (almost 3.7 points of 3FG%) is nearly three times as large as that of the next-highest team (OKC at 1.7 points of 3FG%).

    This isn’t to say New York is somehow doomed, and that they are going to give up 42 percent from deep for the rest of the season. Rather, they are likely to give up 36-37 percent over the rest of the season. Back of the envelope, this would be the equivalent of taking their defense from third in the league to right around league average. Which, for where the Knicks have been in the past, would be quite the improvement. But though their defense has been third-best in the league, it’s hard to argue that a team sitting 28th in defensive shot quality is the third-best defense in the league.

    I don’t think we need to rehash this argument again as everyone has pretty much said their piece, but if the team’s defense really does come back to average and the offense stays the same this would be about a -3 to -4 net rating team before even discussing the schedule and the second half could get pretty ugly. If the defense stays around where we are now we will be fine regardless of the more difficult schedule.

  126. Yes, as we noted weeks ago on this site, the Knicks were, at one point, giving up the most 3PA per possession in the league while defending them essentially a standard deviation better than the league’s best Opp3P% teams over the last few years. Now they’re at #4 in 3PA/poss. while continuing to lead the league in Opp3P%. They’ve regressed back toward normal league-leader averages, but the trend continues toward the median. Every point of 3P% at that attempt rate slashes the Knicks’ win odds. Going 14-22 (or worse) is not out of the realm of possibility.

  127. The very real philosophical question raised by the cheap and easy availability and dissemination of granular data is this: Does this level of modern knowingness take a lot of the fun out of being a sports fan and a fan of a team? Pre cheap and easy computing power, we’d just be reveling in the Knicks’ success, but now we know it’s really hanging on a thread of almost pure luck. I’m not convinced that’s an improved state of affairs. One principle we can certainly bring to bear is that it isn’t always the case that knowingness is better than the alternative; we wouldn’t want full transparency on, e.g., when we’re going to die.

    Interesting question, IMO.

  128. I do those things too.

    Yeah I don’t always do the balance thing. Just sometimes. But it does help engage the core while you do those lifts too. I don’t know…for me a lot of it is about just not doing the same shit over and over again. So any variation of a traditional exercise I can find I like bc it keeps it interesting and also works the muscles in different ways.

  129. BigBlueAL:
    DS Jr TS% as a Piston is 47%.

    I wish him the best because I think he’s a good kid, but I’m glad we moved on from him.

  130. The very real philosophical question raised by the cheap and easy availability and dissemination of granular data is this: Does this level of modern knowingness take a lot of the fun out of being a sports fan and a fan of a team?

    It’s more that I’ve realized that I’m applying the same aggressively capitalistic attitude toward the Knicks as Charles Koch does toward oil sands crude refining in Minnesota. The front office game is pretty gross in its seeking of undervalued labor, and frankly, that’s how you win championships these days. Steph Curry made $10M during his first MVP season and the GSW owners probably made hundreds of millions that year.

  131. hopefully I can start going back to yoga in a few months, for some reason i just can’t get in to doing yoga by myself at the house, I need a “destination”/event location to go to for keeping myself engaged…

    most of my excersise lately is simply biking and walking…when I walk I carry a racquetball to squeeze and bounce along the way, that helps a little with my grip…

    I do a little bit of pushups with the boys, but, I wish I could get myself to be more consistent with those efforts…

    when it comes to aging, use it or lose it is definitely a thing…

  132. swiftandabundant: Yeah I don’t always do the balance thing. Just sometimes. But it does help engage the core while you do those lifts too. I don’t know…for me a lot of it is about just not doing the same shit over and over again. So any variation of a traditional exercise I can find I like bc it keeps it interesting and also works the muscles in different ways.

    Hey, if it works for you, it’s good. The best exercise is one you actually like doing. Here’s a normal hourlong deadlift session for me, which never feels boring somehow:

    150 x 5
    200 x 3
    250 x 3
    300 x 2
    330 x 5
    260 x 3
    390 x 2
    270 x 8
    270 x 8
    270 x 8

    I find that it’s hard to get bored when you have challenging goals and keep the intensity high enough that you can’t fuck around. But getting me to lift 5 lbs. dumbbells over my head on and off for a half hour? That sounds like hell on earth. I’d rather take a nap.

  133. Going 14-22 (or worse) is not out of the realm of possibility.

    It’s certainly not.

    But the talk in this thread has been that 15-21 is optimistic, 13-23 is probable, and 10-26 is more likely than maintaining our record. We’re not that bad. David Fizdale is not walking through that door.

  134. Hubert: It’s certainly not. But the talk in this thread has been that 15-21 isoptimistic, 13-23 is probable, and 10-26 is a reasonable expectation. We’re not that bad.

    we shall see…

  135. The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s more that I’ve realized that I’m applying the same aggressively capitalistic attitude toward the Knicks as Charles Koch does toward oil sands crude refining in Minnesota. The front office game is pretty gross in its seeking of undervalued labor, and frankly, that’s how you win championships these days. Steph Curry made $10M during his first MVP season and the GSW owners probably made hundreds of millions that year.

    Yeah, this kind of kills me. We’re at a point where the only way to win in a sport is to exploit labor, and we actually root for it.

    The european soccer model remains the best for me. I know the rebuttal is “but the same 4 teams win all the time.” So what? Root for one of them.

  136. I don’t trust any of the 3p% data fully.

    A few years back I read an interview with Mark Cuban where he said Dallas had data on every shooter in the league from every spot on the floor refined down to a few square foot area and type of shot. Part of their defensive strategy was to force players to the spots the data suggested were their weakest.

    When people discuss 3p% and open 3p% they are mostly looking at more general data. It does not include very specific data for defending an individual player and forcing left/right/off the dribble etc… from more exact locations on the court. None of that means the Knicks haven’t been a bit lucky, but when you have a crazy man as the coach and players are saying they’ve never seen such a detailed coach, I’m going to guess it hasn’t all been luck.

    This kind if thing is often a problem for me in my personal gambling pursuits. The more broad the data the larger the samples, but sometimes there are subgroups within a large group that are very different from the overall averages. The more you refine, the more you learn, but the more you leave yourself open to error because of the reduced sample sizes as you refine your searches.

  137. E, all merc’d out: he very real philosophical question raised by the cheap and easy availability and dissemination of granular data is this: Does this level of modern knowingness take a lot of the fun out of being a sports fan and a fan of a team?

    E, it’s a good question. I think it’s diminished the fun of being a fan for those old enough to have known pre-computer data fandom. Being able to root for Buddy Harrelson or Mark Belanger was just a completely different world. I hardly pay attention to baseball anymore, primarily for that reason (go, mets…).

    I guess the flip side of the question is whether the callow yutes of today feel totally comfortable and happy as fans in a data-driven sports world. Tricky question to answer, as of course they don’t have pre-computer fandom with which to compare. If there are any 25-or-younger Knickerbloggers, curious to hear your views…

  138. I’ve been doing yoga more since quarantine and man, my balance is shit. I think it might be my flat feet, since my ankles start to burn and then my posture breaks down.

    I started doing gymnastics ring movements when my gym closed and was surprised by how much I liked them. When you do a dip with rings, the whole movement path is unstable so you have to pay more attention to your whole body. Turns out I like that state of high alert. My gym has reopened but I still do my PPL rings workouts, just with dumbbell accessory lifts and a compound lift leg day added in. Eventually I’d like to integrate barbells back into my push and pull days but keep rings as the main movement.

  139. Jowles, you have any thoughts on Becoming a Supple Leopard? Is that something people like? A friend insisted I buy a copy and it just arrived yesterday.

  140. I have thoughts on Lady Jowles becoming a supple cougar someday, but no, not aware of that one.

    When you do a dip with rings, the whole movement path is unstable so you have to pay more attention to your whole body. Turns out I like that state of high alert.

    This is the key to enjoying workouts for me. If it’s easy, it’s boring. If I have to focus, it’s hard to get bored. And IMO dip rings are waaaaaaaaaay better for your body than barbells. A couple years ago I bought a cambered neutral grip barbell for bench so I can get the deep stretch at the bottom, which is better for joint health and muscle growth (not as great for triceps due to the lower overall load you can do with this kind of bar, but who cares). But dips accomplish the same thing, except your weight-bearing body parts (the hands/wrists) are in a fixed position, which is better than them moving through space a la bench press. I prefer dip bars to rings as I like the stability, but gymnasts are probably the most powerful athletes on earth (along with olympic lifters, who are basically barbell gymnasts) and whatever they do for strength is worth noting.

    The guys who walk around with T. Rex arms are those who do extremely limited ROM powerlifting bench press, which is godawful for joint health. They typically have a ROM of like 6″ from unrack to the hole, which means they can press a shitton of weight but can’t do it very far.

  141. Raven: I guess the flip side of the question is whether the callow yutes of today feel totally comfortable and happy as fans in a data-driven sports world. Tricky question to answer, as of course they don’t have pre-computer fandom with which to compare. If there are any 25-or-younger Knickerbloggers, curious to hear your views…

    It’s helpful to have data to support the Knicks sucking instead of every year starting with high expectations and having them dashed. Or one can just go over to r/nyknicks to see what gleeful ignorance looks like.

  142. Friendly Fires – Paris (Aeroplane Remix)

    oh hell yes doug chu, that’s really nice…seriously though – how can you not feel good having that on in the background, pretty impossible…

    i see it’s now called: deep house???

    as i was digging around yesterday for some more current stuff came across this one: Storm Queen – Look Right Through (MK Remix), i absolutely love that freakin’ panther costume – gotta have it :)

  143. The question is really, though, what the internet-age data is bringing to the party and whether the degree to which it saps fun outpaces the degree to which it informs.

    The Knicks were 21-45 last year — was the question of whether or not they sucked really ever in doubt?

    Knowing that the Knicks’ success this year is mostly because the other teams are shooting a flukishly low 3% is actually kind of a buzzkill and it’s a buzzkill that only the internet era — cheap and available data, cheap and easy means of mass dissemination of said data — can bring. Unless you’re a gambler or a GM, I’m not sure why you’d want to know that. I mean, yeah, I read the data and digest the data and even occasionally interpret it myself, but it’s still an open question.

    What the internet analytics era reduces to “luck” can be easily reimagined as “fun” or “the reason why they play the games instead of just playing dueling spreadsheets.” I’m still not sure where I come out on it.

  144. Hubert: the only way to win in a sport is to exploit labor, and we actually root for it

    I’d hardly call ‘exploit labor’ to guys making millions a year.

  145. The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s helpful to have data to support the Knicks sucking instead of every year starting with high expectations and having them dashed. Or one can just go over to r/nyknicks to see what gleeful ignorance looks like.

    Yes, basketball seems in a very good place right now (with this site as an example). Baseball doesn’t feel the same, which could just be that it was more deeply steeped in a strictly traditionalist culture. Much of which has proven to be wrong. So the ‘new’ baseball almost feels like a completely different game, while in basketball the game hasn’t changed hugely (outside of ramifications from the 3-pt-shot), there’s just better analysis and understanding of subtleties and from that more complicated strategies.

    And thanks for the exercise suggestions, Jowles.

  146. geo: i absolutely love that freakin’ panther costume – gotta have it :)

    It’s awesome. A pirate panther. ;)

  147. Actually “exploit labor” is the perfect term for it. Billy Beane is celebrated for it, but all he really did was misappropriate for himself and his employer the surplus value his players produced. Even worse, he did it entirely intentionally, as his very conscious purpose. He literally said, “This player will produce as a $2 million player will produce, but because of market perception defects, I will be able to get him for $600,000.” It’s not as though he said to the player, “Hey, I’ll give you $2 million.”

    I was getting more at the fan experience though.

  148. Deeefense:
    I don’t trust any of the 3p% data fully.

    A few years back I read an interview with Mark Cuban where he said Dallas had data on every shooter in the league from every spot on the floor refined down to a few square foot area and type of shot.Part of their defensive strategy was to force players to the spots the data suggested were their weakest.

    When people discuss 3p% and open 3p% they are mostly looking at more general data. It does not include very specific data for defending an individual player and forcing left/right/off the dribble etc… frommore exact locations on the court.None of that means the Knicks haven’t been a bit lucky, but when you have a crazy man as the coach and players are saying they’ve never seen such a detailed coach, I’m going to guess it hasn’t all been luck.

    This kind if thing is often a problem for me in my personal gambling pursuits. The more broad the data the larger the samples, but sometimes there are subgroups within a large group that are very different from the overall averages.The more you refine, the more you learn, but the more you leave yourself open to error because of the reduced sample sizes as you refine your searches.

    It’s always possible that Thibs has figured something out that others haven’t figured out, perhaps we’re forcing people out of the corners more or Thibs gets players to force shooters off their spots and other coaches don’t. It certainly would be a coincidence that Defensive Guru coach comes and we just happen to catapult to best defense in the league by pure luck rather than skill.

    I overstated the implication of ptmilo’s finding the other day, partly because people were pretty confused. ptmilo’s finding does dismiss one theory that’s proven popular, that the Knicks force shots from bad shooters. There’s always alternative explanations.

  149. It’s awesome. A pirate panther. ;)

    right, a decade or so late, but i’m feeling that…

    been thinking a bunch lately that i’d like to try to see the world a little better from the kids’ perspective…a lot of my tastes come from the 70’s/80’s/90’s – i wanna better understand what’s happening now, try to immerse myself more in the kids’ “world”…like what the hell is going on with Among Us???

    time keeps moving on, don’t want to get too stuck in the past…

  150. Here’s an article on predicting NBA defensive 3pt% that includes the following model:

    Predicted 3PT% = (3PA*Opp. 3PT% 6000*Expected 3PT%)/(3PA 6000) 0.26*(Opp. 2PT% – LgAvg)

    Based on the model the Knicks have been extremely lucky, but may still have a good 3pt defense:


    Lg. Avg.: 36.8%
    Predicted: 35.8%
    Actual: 32.9%
    Diff: -2.9%

    That would give us the T-8th best 3pt defense (to 3 decimal places) this season.

    The Diff is a rough calculation of luck. Here I used LgAvg 3pt% instead of 3pt% of Knicks opponents because it’s easier to find.

    Also, the Diff is greater than any seen in the Fansided sample from 2005-2017. This is partly because their listings used whole seasons, but compared to early seasons in that sample Knicks opponents have already taken a similar number of 3s.

    So we should still see some regression, but based on this model it may not be to league average.

  151. Alan:
    Rocking the Goat of Float t-shirt today. I got it for free — clothes and mugs are about the top extent of my “influencer” swag — but think it looks pretty good: https://spacely-threads.creator-spring.com/

    Great t-shirt! With the way IQ has been shooting his floaters lately, the GOAT designation is starting to feel a bit ironic.
    As for E’s question: I bridge both eras and there is something to recommend both. There is something to be said for having irrational hope. OTOH, I have learned so much about the game from this site that it has enhanced my enjoyment of it. As the debates about the second-half projections reveal, there is still enough room to disagree about the data so as to maintain some form of subjective optimism.

  152. And 2 or 3 games later…

    Frank Ntilikina (right quadriceps contusion) is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game against the Pistons.

  153. That would give us the T-8th best 3pt defense (to 3 decimal places) this season.

    You’re not wrong, but the error we make (myself included) is using raw rankings in the first place, as a heuristic. The Knicks currently have an advantage of 0.014 over #2 PHX, but that same gap is the difference between #8 LAL and #18 ORL, or #15 POR and #26 WAS. Ultimately, rankings don’t matter. The actual points given up or denied do.

    cybersoze: I’d hardly call ‘exploit labor’ to guys making millions a year.

    That’s exactly what it is, in a clinical sense. The players earn less for themselves than they do for ownership. And to win, you need guys who outperform their contracts. You essentially have to hope that R.J Barrett produces like a $50M player when he’s only making $10M.

  154. like what the hell is going on with Among Us???

    I’ve been playing this a lot with my fiancée and her friends. Great game, you’re assigned a role at the beginning, crew member or impostor. Crew members have to complete little tasks on a spaceship while the impostor goes around sabotaging and killing people. At the end of the round everyone votes on who they think the impostor is and the person with the most votes gets booted off the ship. If the impostor isn’t voted off, the game continues.

    Being a good impostor is all about bullshitting everyone else into thinking you’re actually doing tasks. Something I have a bunch of experience with IRL : )

  155. cybersoze:
    And 2 or 3 games later…

    So… Payton, Rose, & Frank are all questionable?

    Do we finally see some Rivers or point-Burks? Or does Thibs force one of the other guys to play anyways?

  156. “Frank Ntilikina (right quadriceps contusion) is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game against the Pistons.”

    He was showcased. Whoever saw him saw enough to make their determination.

  157. “Being a good impostor is all about bullshitting everyone else into thinking you’re doing tasks.”

    Who invented this game? Steve Mills?

  158. The Honorable Cock Jowles: You’re not wrong, but the error we make (myself included) is using raw rankings in the first place, as a heuristic. The Knicks currently have an advantage of 0.014 over #2 PHX, but that same gap is the difference between #8 LAL and #18 ORL, or #15 POR and #26 WAS. Ultimately, rankings don’t matter. The actual points given up or denied do.

    I did give the actual percentage, ranking just helps give a rough idea to people. But it’s a good point.

    It comes out to ~3.2pts/game or ~116 total points.

    Based on ESPN’s point differential, we should have -3.0 pts per game, 11th best point differential in the East, if we take our predicted 3pt%.

    Of course exactly half the season has already happened, so we could average the projections to get a -1.5 point differential by seasons end. We come in 10th just ahead of the Heat’s current number. Rankings do matter for point differential since they roughly correlate to W/L record. Of course, pt diff numbers won’t remain static either. For instance, the Heat probably improve as the season goes on. Some other teams will likely fade.

    Numbers will change slightly if slightly for average Opp 3pt%. You’d expect it to be slightly lower since the Knicks are above league average and don’t play their own offense.

    Also, we could probably adjust for luck on opponent 2p% and make a number of other adjustments to further refine it. That’s too much work for me, I’ll stick with plugging numbers into pre-existing formula.

  159. How do you guys like my new profile pic? It says “cybersoze” on the jersey, but i don’t know if people can read it (as the image is so small).

  160. Would be happy for Frank to stay with us and be a contributor. He’s a home grown and we wont get good value if we trade him. Just let him stay. He seems to be a nice guy and can compete.

  161. E, doesn’t bother me a bit. Sports is all about flukish. Your team hits 6 threes in a row in the third quarter in a close game and goes on to cruise to a rout. Some little guy gets 9 steals in a half. It’s part of the fun. We’re better able to identify flukes, but we don’t yet understand much about them, or how long they’ll go on — or even if, perhaps, they’re not flukes but something we just don’t yet have a measure for.

    Where it might hurt the fun is it greatly diminishes the likelihood of the ‘cinderella’ team winning it all narrative. Analytics lets the competition figure out solutions to fluky stretches much more quickly. I think that’s a shame, as ‘fluke’ seasons are one of the most enjoyable things in the world.

    Sure, the Knicks are probably flukish with their 3-pt defense. But who knows, maybe our luck will hold a while longer and it won’t entirely regress before the season ends. Or maybe something else is going on. I think that’s fun — let’s see what happens.

    Although with the quality of some of the teams coming up, I’d be surprised if we don’t have an unpleasant course correction…

  162. Bo said it more efficiently and eloquently. The curse of starting a post and then getting called into a meeting…

  163. The greatest trick CyberSoze ever pulled was convincing the world his Knicks jersey ever existed.

  164. Being a good impostor is all about bullshitting everyone else into thinking you’re actually doing tasks. Something I have a bunch of experience with IRL : )

    that had me rolling, I’m there with you dink :)

  165. You essentially have to hope that R.J Barrett produces like a $50M player when he’s only making $10M.

    And I personally find it much more fun to just pay a guy $50mm and laugh at all the people complaining about payroll. That’s why I miss the Yankees. Sigh.

  166. Friendly Fires – Paris (Aeroplane Remix)

    Wow, that is a deep cut man. That song came out almost ten years ago. Had it on my wedding playlist. Great track which is such a clever twist on the original.

    In a similar vein, this is one of my favorite remixes from back then. Four Tet remixing a random Born Ruffians song. So good. The original track sounds like a bar song.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkzZmJoz47s

    I miss electronic music. I listened to so much of it for about ten years although I don’t think I got far enough past the dilettante stage to ever tell the difference between electro, house, techno, ambient, trance and all the rest.

    This track used to kill me. So much amazing music back then and I am sure even more now, but life moves on.

    Apparat+Ellen Allan – Turbo Dreams
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WsTJ3n5t0g

  167. You essentially have to hope that R.J Barrett produces like a $50M player when he’s only making $10M.

    That’s a function of the salary cap.

  168. I overstated the implication of ptmilo’s finding the other day, partly because people were pretty confused. ptmilo’s finding does dismiss one theory that’s proven popular, that the Knicks force shots from bad shooters. There’s always alternative explanations.

    I missed that one. Some of these threads get so long I miss some good things.

    I think more than anything I’m claiming ignorance on this and saying it “may not” be “all” luck. I have a general distrust in some kinds of data unless you really dig into the details…and then I start distrusting the smaller sample sizes. Both have bitten me in the ass over the years.

    I’m 62. I’ve been gambling since I’m 5. I just know from experience it gets tricky when you look at broad data and even trickier if you try to get more specific. The best value oriented answers are usually in those smaller groups if you are smart enough to identify something before the sample size gets larger and everyone sees it. You are just going to make some speculative mistakes.

  169. “Frank Ntilikina (right quadriceps contusion) is listed as questionable for Thursday’s game against the Pistons.”

    He was showcased. Whoever saw him saw enough to make their determination.

    Say it ain’t so.

  170. Early Bird: It comes out to ~3.2pts/game or ~116 total points.

    Based on ESPN’s point differential, we should have -3.0 pts per game, 11th best point differential in the East, if we take our predicted 3pt%.

    You also probably need to adjust for (1) missed 3s that result in offensive rebounds & scores; and (2) fastbreaks that benefit Knicks on missed 3s.

    Just given the Knicks sluggish pace & relative value of off rebs, the Knicks would probably do better after these adjustments.

  171. If there are any 25-or-younger Knickerbloggers, curious to hear your views…

    I’m newly 26 but will still answer. It’s definitely a good question and I have a lot of thoughts on the matter.

    First of all, I think posting here, reading The Athletic and other publications with smart authors, etc. gives you a warped idea of the data-orientation of the average fan. To be sure, all fans hear about analytics more than the fans of yesteryear, but in my anecdotal experience most still don’t particularly care to go beyond the surface level (which I’m not begrudging them for, it’s just an observation).

    That leads me to my first observation about the way analytics have altered my sports fandom: I find they’ve almost completely broken my ability to talk about sports with non-data oriented fans. The information asymmetry is just too much to overcome unless I want to feign ignorance about a wide variety of topics. I find myself doing this often in these situations, because who the hell wants to be lectured about what true shooting percentage is at a bar or whatever?

    As for my watching experience, perhaps something is lost when you know too much to be able to talk yourself into wildly implausible scenarios involving your favorite team. I can take one look at the Knicks’ basketball reference page and know for a fact they’re not making a deep playoff run this year. At the same time, I do enjoy thinking through the more weedsy aspects of team building and asset management, which are things I wouldn’t really be able to think through without the glut of information available.

    I definitely share the concern about how analytics have interacted with labor issues. I find myself talking about the need to “stuff as much value under the cap as possible,” which is a concept that would disgust me in any other context. There’s no great way to resolve this tension other than advocating for abolishing any and all salary restraints in…

  172. cybersoze: million

    Sorry, bad day, late for the discussion…

    While not been the scandal that NCAA is, pro sport is still labor exploitment.
    LeBron on an open market without salary cap would get much more than his actual contract.

    Players are the game, every other thing is structures and ways to make money on the back of other people’s talent…
    Or maybe you’d rather watch a Cuban vs. Dolan one on one playoff series?
    If owners played to decide championships Charlotte it would be around his tenth consecutive title…

  173. If there are any 25-or-younger Knickerbloggers, curious to hear your views…

    I’m 27, but I started following the Knicks as a teenager in 2010-2011 (STAT’s first year, if I remember correctly) and started lurking here around the same time. I do find that I’m way more pessimistic about my teams (the Knicks and the Vikings, solid choices by me as a teenager) than other sports fans I know in person, who as a rule tend towards being uncritical homers. I don’t think I’m an expert by any stretch, but I have gleaned enough from here and other data-driven sites that I often find myself mentally poking holes in the usual arguments or claims of the other sports fans I know, so I don’t find those conversations particularly rewarding.

    If anything, I think being more data aware has pushed me towards lowering my expectations. I’d love to have either of my teams win a championship, but I also accept that that’s a pretty unlikely outcome and I’m content when they’re competitive. The 2012-2013 season was probably the highwater mark for my sports fandom (with the 2010-2011 season a close second), and while that’s kind of pathetic abstractly I’d also be pretty happy if our current Knickerbockers made it to those modest heights.

  174. “Jerami Grant (left quadriceps contusion) won’t play on Thursday against the Knicks.”

  175. I’ve come to chasten myself in front of the hive for being oh so very, very wrong about this:

    LaMelo averaging an efficient 21-6-7 in 35 minutes per game since taking over the starter job…

    And in closely related (sic) news, a warning for those wanting Lonzo as a point guard solution:

    “…the arrival of Point Zion has pushed him back into his proper off-ball role, and he’s thriving, averaging just under 17-5-6 while shooting 46 percent from 3-point range on eight attempts a night.”

    Of course if Randle stays, and stays in his current point forward role, maybe it is a perfect fit…

  176. TNFH, you are such a gifted writer. I mean that very earnestly. I couldn’t agree more with your points above.

    First, “almost completely broken my ability to talk about sports with non-data oriented fans.”

    Second, “something is lost when … I can take one look at the Knicks’ basketball reference page and know for a fact they’re not making a deep playoff run this year.”

    These two points have left me feeling very isolated in my fandom. It’s probably why I keep coming back to this website.

  177. “Jerami Grant (left quadriceps contusion) won’t play on Thursday against the Knicks.”

    Wow, what a freakin’ break! If they don’t get to the All-Star break with a winning record now, it would be a huge shock.

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