NY Post: Immanuel Quickley puts on show for Knicks fans in win

From Marc Berman:

The “We Want Quickley’’ chant began late in the first quarter when Sacramento was putting together a rare run.

With 2:44 left in the quarter, Immanuel Quickley was inserted into the game and he didn’t disappoint the second giddy Garden gathering of the season.

In sparking the Knicks with 18 first-half points, Quickley led the offensive explosion in a 140-121 triumph over sagging Sacramento as the popular rookie point guard emerged from his recent slump.

Quickley finished with 25 points, hitting all 12 of his free throws.

Along with Julius Randle, Quickley even heard “M-V-P’’ chants on another joyous evening before 2,000 fans who seemed to be chanting “De-fense” or something else all evening.

The Knicks’ 140 points were a season high and only the second time they have mustered that number in a non-overtime game since 1988. Though it came against the NBA’s worst defensive team, it was a big boon for a club that has been the NBA’s least productive team offensively.

Boy, that was a whole lot of fun!

I loved seeing Frank play good minutes in Payton’s absence.

Burks really had a heck of a game!

Now the Knicks have a chance to beat the Pacers on Saturday and get to .500! They were also 17-17 during the Porzingis All Star season. The weird ass Aaron Afflalo Knicks were also 22-22 after 44 games, so that’s the mark the Knicks need to beat to have their best season since their last actual, you know, good season (the one where they actually won a playoff series!!!).

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245 thoughts to “NY Post: Immanuel Quickley puts on show for Knicks fans in win”

  1. It’s great that we scored 140 points, but It’s not so great that we gave up 121 points. I couldn’t watch the game. Was our defense actually worse without Payton, were we unlucky or what?

  2. It’s great that we scored 140 points, but It’s not so great that we gave up 121 points. I couldn’t watch the game. Was our defense actually worse without Payton, were we unlucky or what?

    It was very poor defense. You can tell by the fact that Thibs, after the game, wasn’t even particularly thrilled about the win as he was really irked at the defense. At the same time, though, I mean, when you’re scoring so easily, it can sometimes be hard to keep up the same defensive intensity as the game gets to be such a back and forth affair when the scoring comes so easily, ya know?

    But yes, the defense was not good. The offense, though, was firing on all cylinders for most of the game, so that was nice to see!

    There’s an alternate timeline, though, where Burks doesn’t get red hot in the fourth and we get a repeat of the Minnesota debacle, and you know Thibs can see that timeline, as well, which is why he was a bit nonplussed about the win.

  3. Sacramento defense is trash, so not a fair barometer of anything. But if Elf misses any additional games, and the offense continues to look better, what will Mr. Thibs do?

  4. On a completely different topic does anyone know anything about Epiphone Casino guitars? There’s a used one for sale here and I’m going to see it on Sunday.

  5. Few thoughts from the game:

    1) Obviously Elf should not play again on this team unless forced to by injury. This has been clear to everyone here. Maybe they can milk this hammie for another 4-5 games and the O continues to look good, at which point it can just be “going with the hot hand”.

    2) Quickley + Frank makes so much more sense than Quickley + Rose. Not super excited re: the principle of Rose going into the starting lineup, but he’s not Payton so that’s something.

    3) Kudos to Frank for making the most of his (possibly very limited) opportunity. great professionalism. And I think I saw an aggressive drive to the hoop and finish, plus a snake off the PNR into a stepback from the FT line — those were nice! by the way for all you haters he is now shooting a cool 1.000 at the rim and from the corner 3, overall 50% from 3 this season. Morey will be calling soon I am sure.

    4) man the Kings defense is really bad. And is it just me or does Fox look a little…. chubby out there? He’s still ridiculously great, but he looked kinda doughy. He might be an interesting under the radar future disgruntled star to think about…

    5) on a night in which Doncic, Giannis, Harden, Embiid, and Beal played, our own Immanuel Quickley led the league in FT made. You love to see it.

    6) Hope Austin Rivers gets a trade out of here. I like him but there’s just no real upside to playing him. Maybe his dad wants him in Philly? He’s probably not even worth any decent 2nd round pick, but one could imagine us taking a little salary on and getting a 2nd in addition. Like we could take Mike Scott and his $5MM and send back Austin and his $3MM – would save them a bunch of luxury tax $, and maybe we get our own 2nd rounder back?

  6. hello strat.
    Sorry but I lost some respect after that last post.

    I’m going to assume you’ve never competed at anything for large sums of money or in front of peers where you are under extreme pressure and your reputation can be destroyed if you fail to perform.

    Morey doesn’t understand my “choking theory” then he’s an idiot. That’s why many great players mock stats guys. You don’t experience many things (like extreme performance pressure) on a spreadsheet.

    were you even a tad less earnest i would commend you for taunting me into whipping it out and proving myself just another pathetic prick with a ruler. but i know this is just a collateral drive-by triggering from the cocksure gallows of hard knocks zealotry. i know you are merely certain. and my respect for you is unchanged.

    i am not a professional athlete and in fact at the pinnacle of my inglorious basketball career i arguably choked away the intramural championship. but i have spent the last 25 years putting the money where the nerdsheet is, and not on the playground behind belmont. you might even say i have competed for large sums of money in front of peers under extreme pressure where your reputation can be destroyed if you fail to perform. and ball don’t lie.

    There is a huge difference between how you can perform in the regular season or “in the playoffs” and how you can perform in the finals against an equal or superior opponent with everything on the line and all eyes watching you. The great ones can do it. That’s part of what makes them great. Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, and PJ Tucker? Way less likely.

    you started out saying the game has not permanently changed. even tho literally every finals teams now shoots more 3s than the warriors did in 14-15. then you pivoted to “teams should not just maximize threes,” a thing that no relevant human contests. now you have switched to the most provincial possible version of the eternal clutch debate…

  7. It’s amazing how different the feeling is when Thibs sprinkles in a little bit of kids and a little less merc. The Warriors game had me rooting for ping pong balls. This result is much more satisfying.

    There’s three steps to take, IMO:

    1) choose between Payton and Rose (he’s obviously going to pick Rose).

    2) limit himself to one of Bullock or Burks.

    3) Swap Gibson’s role with Obi (the least likely of the three)

  8. …that provincial version seems to say: the specific act of shooting a 3 pointer in a pressure situation in the nba finals uniquely predicts untenable inefficiency for non-superstars on these, but not necessarily other shots. whether guys like robert horry are superstars, well, people who have BEEN THERE in the trenches know that a superstar is what a superstar does, right?. i happen to know a few things about this very tiny claim, but i know that there is no possible evidence that would open your mind. i know that if a script pulling all finals 4th quarters of nba finals games with 10 points since 1990 showed that all-nba players shoot 3s at worse spreads to their regular seasons percentages than non all-nba players , you would revise your certainty by exactly 0%. i know that you know what you know because you have learned the hard way and because you laughed when you saw those ltcm nerds slow cook themselves inside their models.

  9. One advantage of starting rose besides him being better on offense than Elf. Because he’s older and his injury history, I feel like Thibs would be more cognizant of not overplaying him. This means more minutes for IQ and Frank (?) off the bench even if IQ is off with his shot. I feel like cause elf is younger and has been pretty durable this season, thibs will lean on him with heavy minutes of IQ is struggling or if elf is having a good game. But even last night though rose looked great he still only played like 28 minutes.

    I’d look to make a deal that sent out Elf and Knox. You might be able to get something for that even if it’s just multiple seconds bc elf can be a solid back up and Knox is a potential project guy a team could have a season to develop. I think you gotta keep one of Rivers or Elf though cause Frank could get hurt or IQ might struggle.

  10. swiftandabundant: I think you gotta keep one of Rivers or Elf though cause Frank could get hurt or IQ might struggle.

    Honestly would much rather lean on Jared Harper than ever play Elf again.

    It’s not that I think Elf is that bad a player. It’s just that he exacerbates the biggest weakness on the team, which is lack of spacing. If he were playing with a bunch of knockdown shooters it’d be a different story. He’s fine on defense. It’s just literally playing 4 on 5 on offense when he’s out there, he doesn’t pass the ball when he drives, and he is a worse lob thrower than me.

  11. The first few games Rose was here, he seemed a good complement to Quickley, allowing them to share ballhandling/playmaking duties to keep defenses off balance. After that, Rose was more clearly the second unit point guard, and it doesn’t feel wholly coincidental that Quickly went into a slump right then. For one game, at least, Frank turned out to be the right alchemical match with IQ, and the type of player Frank has occasionally shown himself to be would make a fine long-term partner for our floater-happy neophyte. But Frank’s rarely been consistent, and there’s also the specter of Thibs just banishing him again whenever Elf is healthy.

    Have Payton and Quickley shared the floor much this season? If so, what have IQ’s numbers looked like in those minutes? Because Elf does not strike me as someone who provides much value in a double-PG lineup.

  12. I always forget about Harper. Wish he would get more PT.

    My guess, though, is that Rose wouldn’t trade both Rivers and Elf cause Thibs would want to keep one of them. But I would be down for a Rivers or Elf plus Knox trade that got us something in return. And my gut tells me for team chemistry sake not trading Elf and letting him sit on the bench might hurt the chemistry/morale of the team since he might sulk after starting the entire season and playing well for the most part. When I say “playing well” I mean that Elf has played about as good as Elf can play as a starter and the team overall has exceeded expectations. So I could see Elf being pissed if he gets demoted to not just a back up role but the third string. I guess he wouldn’t be playing so it may not matter. But he is a vet, yada yada yada. I’d rather send him out and keep Rivers as a break for emergency guard and yes, give Harper some burn if needed.

    IQ/Frank does make sense in a lot of ways. And the defense can be pretty good with those two together. It doesn’t really fix our starting line up spacing issues per say although Rose is a slightly better outside shooter than Elf.

    Probably shouldn’t get too ahead of ourselves since it is The Kings but that was REALLY fun last night to watch and it makes you wonder. The passing/sharing was much better without Elf.

  13. Have Payton and Quickley shared the floor much this season? If so, what have IQ’s numbers looked like in those minutes? Because Elf does not strike me as someone who provides much value in a double-PG lineup.

    Not really, 22 total minutes so it’s not even worth going into the numbers. FWIW I actually think it’s a look we should at least try from time to time if we’re going to be playing Payton at all.

  14. we are currently tied for the 5th seed, 1 1/2 games out of home court. I totally agree with you guys, but the guys we want to shed aren’t going to give us much back and amount to simply giving them away…Payton, Rivers, Knox…..I doubt we are getting a 2nd round pick. Burks might yield one, but he’s been decent. I don’t think the team or the minutes are changing drastically unless we fall apart or there is an injury. I think Tibs is going to fight to win even if it means top 10 and a play in game.

  15. ptmilo:
    hello strat.
    Sorry but I lost some respect after that last post.

    were you even a tad less earnest i would commend you for taunting me into whipping it out and proving myself just another pathetic prick with a ruler.but i know this is just a collateral drive-by triggering from the cocksure gallows of hard knocks zealotry.i know you are merely certain. and my respect for you is unchanged.

    i am not a professional athlete and in fact at the pinnacle of my inglorious basketball career i arguably choked away the intramural championship.but i have spent the last 25 years putting the money where the nerdsheet is, and not on the playground behind belmont.you might even say i have competed for large sums of money in front of peers under extreme pressure where your reputation can be destroyed if you fail to perform.and ball don’t lie.

    There is a huge difference between how you can perform in the regular season or “in the playoffs” and how you can perform in the finals against an equal or superior opponent with everything on the line and all eyes watching you. The great ones can do it. That’s part of what makes them great. Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, and PJ Tucker? Way less likely.

    you started out saying the game has not permanently changed.even tho literally every finals teams now shoots more 3s than the warriors did in 14-15.then you pivoted to “teams should not just maximize threes,” a thing that no relevant human contests. now you have switched to

    This is the blog equivalent of Pippen posterizing Ewing.
    Strat, when you stick your hand in the lions’ cage, you get bit.
    I am putting a pic of this post in my blog dictionary as an example of acerbic wit.
    Reading this site can be mightly humbling.

  16. Have Payton and Quickley shared the floor much this season? If so, what have IQ’s numbers looked like in those minutes? Because Elf does not strike me as someone who provides much value in a double-PG lineup.

    Well, we did have the brilliant Elf/Rose/RJ/Barrett/Taj brickfest closing lineup against the Warriors. That was the first time I thought Thibs might be tanking.

    RJ up to 32.1% from 3 by the way – that’s an improvement from last year (32.0!). FT% trending down a little though…

  17. No, Elf is a bad player. He might have been a passable player in 1986, but in 2021, he’s a bad player. His TS% is .487, he’s a terrible outside shooter (.241 from 3), his assist percentage is lower than Immanuel Quickley’s, and his turnover percentage is higher than Immanuel Quickley’s. His BPM is higher on the Knicks than only Pinson, Harper, and Iggy; his DPBM (his supposed calling card) is higher on the Knicks than only Pinson, Harper, and Iggy. He’s a worse defender than both IQ (pretty clearly) and Frank (by leaps and bounds). His on-off number is minus-6.9 per 100 possessions.

    I really don’t mean to pile on the guy; in terms of subjectivity the contrast to Derrick Rose has actually warmed me slightly to him, but he’s a really poor player with no business starting for an NBA team. I’m not quite exactly sure how this even became a debate beyond the fact that he’s kind of a counterpoise to IQ (rookie) and Frank (well, you know). He is not good. He is bad.

  18. I actually really like the Frank/Quickley/Burks/Toppin/Gibson lineup. Between Quickley and Burks there is some reasonable shot creation, and I wonder whether Frank/Toppin PNR might be a thing eventually. And defensively that grouping has a pretty good chance.

    by the way, not sure exactly the best way to say this, but Toppin hasn’t been quite as bad on defense as I thought he would be? He still doesn’t seem to have a role on offense though, and I am really down on his 3 point shooting. Hopefully Johnny Bryant and Kenny Payne can do something with that.

  19. Thibs called Frank’s defense “fantastic.” Rightly so. Slightly rusty the first couple possessions, then pretty much terrorized the Sacto O. Kyle Guy trying to go baseline on him that time was like Quint versus Jaws.

  20. Why do people still argue with Strat about basketball? When his mind is made up there’s no counterevidence that will compel him to even ammend his hot take positions in good faith.

  21. While strat’s arguments are bizarre, there is a lot of room to criticize Morey and D’Antoni and it’s silly to blame all of their lack of finals appearances to bad luck. If someone wants to say that they ran into the Dubs buzzsaw, whatever. In 2017-18 they had 65-wins and finished 7 games ahead of GSW. In the conference finals D’Antoni went to basically a 6-man rotation and played Paul over 40 minutes in games 4 and 5, it’s not surprising he broke down given his history. LeBron’s Cavs team was hardly an all-time great team and they figured out a way to beat the GSW the year they had the best record of all time.

    And re: the “historically bad shooting stretch” I agree with strat that when you build your offense completely around is a shot that misses more than it goes in, you are asking for trouble. The Rockets had a 50.2% 3PTr that year and shot 36.2% on the season. The Warriors had a 3PTr of 33.9% and actually had better 3PT shooters (39.1%)!

    D’Antoni is a great innovator but he is also a one-trick pony zealot who takes his methods to extremes and tunes out anyone who disagrees with his approach. Morey never should have hired him. He should have brought on a coach who could adapt to personnel and built a less gimmicky team. If he had played his cards better, the Rockets might still be relevant now that the Dubs are disbanded and the Lakers are vulnerable. Instead, he went all in on an outside straight and lost. Maybe he won’t make the same mistakes in PHI, although I can already feel the KB rush to blame his failures on the Nets forming an all-time great Big 3, Embiid tweaking his knee, yadayada.

  22. You know it’s bad when even ptmilo is vaguely reminding strat that he’s definitely in risk mitigation or some kind of other actuarial wizard, not the drunk old alligator napping against a pillow of his loser tickets at an OTB in Newark.

    Knicksfan, Casinos are solid guitars for hobbyists if the price is right. There’s a brand called Vintage (a brilliant decision by the marketing wizards) that makes a 335-style guitar that I would suggest instead. VSM500 or something like that.

    Epiphone and Gibson aren’t what they used to be — that Casino isn’t close to what it was when it was Lennon’s signature piece. The stock Casino pickups aren’t great, and replacing electronics on semi-hollows is not fun at all. But if you’re just a dude looking to play “Smoke on the Water,” it’s probably just fine.

  23. LeBron’s Cavs team was hardly an all-time great team and they figured out a way to beat the GSW the year they had the best record of all time.

    Sure they did. They had a secret weapon called “the greatest player ever” and he played like it.

  24. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Sure they did. They had a secret weapon called “the greatest player ever” and he played like it.

    The Rockets had a guy you have referred to as the Greatest Offensive Player Ever and another guy you referred to as The Greatest Point Guard Ever. They were hardly undermanned. And if they were, whose fault was it?

  25. D’Antoni is a great innovator but he is also a one-trick pony zealot who takes his methods to extremes and tunes out anyone who disagrees with his approach. Morey never should have hired him. He should have brought on a coach who could adapt to personnel and built a less gimmicky team.

    This criticism boils down to the idea that Morey and MDA should’ve been able to withstand the loss of their 1A in Chris Paul and still beat a team with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. In what other context would you say it’s a failure for a team to not be able to pull that off? What personnel and/or coaching decisions could’ve changed the outcome? It feels like you’re reaching because you have a bone to pick. In reality they just made themselves easy targets by being the only team to come as close as they did to beating that version of Golden State.

  26. A Friday morning Grook for Strat:

    In view of your manner
    of spending your days
    I hope you may learn,
    before ending them,
    that the effort you spend
    on defending your ways
    could be better spent on
    amending them.

  27. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Epiphone and Gibson aren’t what they used to be — that Casino isn’t close to what it was when it was Lennon’s signature piece. The stock Casino pickups aren’t great, and replacing electronics on semi-hollows is not fun at all. But if you’re just a dude looking to play “Smoke on the Water,” it’s probably just fine.

    More generally, buying a guitar is less about brand and more about build quality, feel, sound and action. The best thing I ever did for my playing was buy a Martin D35. You don’t have to go that crazy, there are plenty of $500 guitars that feel and sound great and will last a long time. But don’t buy something cheap and used just because of its name. Go to a reputable guitar shop that has lots of inventory, monkey around, and see what sound and feel you like, then shop outwards from there. Invest a little extra money, you will never regret it. At the very least, it will make you better at shopping for used guitars.

  28. Rose got off to a hot start last night, but man, I find it painful watching him run the offense. Last year, when we ran the offense through Randle I also cringed because he was a turnover machine and couldn’t make a 3 to save his life. But this year, i would WAY prefer to run the offense through Randle than watch Derrick Rose do his thousand dribble, force his way to the hoop and throw a crazy pass while in mid air thing.

    Start the offensive sets with Randle, force other teams to double him and good things happen.

  29. I have to say it’s a really good feeling to play against a really bad team and feel like we’re clearly in a separate category from them. The Knicks didn’t play particularly well last night but it sure felt the whole way like they were clearly a cut above and would eventually pull away from what is a really dreadful Kings team that didn’t look particularly bothered about the result of the game one way or the other. One guy who really stands out for them, and not in a good way, is Bagley. It’s pretty unusual to watch a guy score 16 efficient points in a half and feel like he’s really hurting his team but man does he suck on defense. Imagine being a fan of the team that picked him directly ahead of the Luka, Jaren Jackson, Trae Young trifecta. Oops!

    Happy to see Frank play well and that Thibs gave him the chance instead of just going back to the Austin Rivers well. This is a real opportunity for Frank because clearly Elf hasn’t done much to earn that spot this season; it’s the supporting role on a halfway decent team playing off the ball that the Frankophiles always said would be perfect for him. If he’s going to make it in the league the time is now. Last night was a good start, but he’s going to be on a short leash, and now is really not the time for one of his niggling little injuries. Crossing my fingers on this one.

  30. Alan: Have Payton and Quickley shared the floor much this season?

    I seriously hate the idea of pairing them. I rather have the ball in IQ’s hands and Payton can’t really play off the ball. Thing is this. We have 3 point guards: Elf, Rose, and IQ. One needs to sit. I think it’s Payton,

  31. thenoblefacehumper: This criticism boils down to the idea that Morey and MDA should’ve been able to withstand the loss of their 1A in Chris Paul and still beat a team with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. In what other context would you say it’s a failure for a team to not be able to pull that off? What personnel and/or coaching decisions could’ve changed the outcome? It feels like you’re reaching because you have a bone to pick. In reality they just made themselves easy targets by being the only team to come as close as they did to beating that version of Golden State.

    Whatever, the long records of both D’Antoni and Morey speaks for themselves. Morey had 13 years to build a finals team and failed. D’Antoni had lengthy runs with teams with multiple MVP candidates and failed. Sore losers blame their failures on bad luck. You seem so rigid in your thinking that you can’t see past Paul’s hammy, or Harden’s and Gordon’s bricking, or the fact that this wasn’t just a 1-year failure. Morey demolished the team on his way out by ditching Capela, trading Paul and a zillion picks for Westbrook, etc. He and D’Antoni (who is pretty much done as an NBA coach) are world-class agenda-driven assholes. They have no one to blame but themselves for their failures.

  32. I find it painful watching him run the offense

    There were obviously more important process related reasons I opposed the trade, but what made me truly hate it despite the low stakes was that it meant I would have to watch Derrick Rose play basketball a lot. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not even entertained when the shots are going in. I find his game ugly and antiquated.

  33. Z-man: It feels like you’re reaching because you have a bone to pick.

    Are you referring to your own commentary on Ntilikina last night?

  34. you started out saying the game has not permanently changed. even tho literally every finals teams now shoots more 3s than the warriors did in 14-15. then you pivoted to “teams should not just maximize threes,” a thing that no relevant human contests. now you have switched to the most provincial possible version of the eternal clutch debate…

    When I said the game has not permanently changed, I thought I was clear, but I apparently I wasn’t. I was talking about the best way to win a championship. I wasn’t talking about what teams are doing now.

    Teams initially thought excessive use of 3s would not work as well at the championship level. The Warriors were the team that changed the thinking on that and accelerated the move towards a lot more 3s.

    1. IMO, substituting 3s for longs 2s is always a good idea. So yes, that should increase the volume of 3s teams take overall & even in the finals (I said that).

    But IMO you can go too far.

    2. IMO, making 3s a more primary and dominant weapon in your game plan is not as good an idea. Even if the math says it’s better, under extreme pressure the math changes for many players due to that pressure.

    I think teams should take a step back and use a variation of the old Hakeem model. You avoid the long 2s and shoot more 3s (better math). That also creates space inside for a dominant C and/or players that can get to the rim consistently. If they double you inside you kick it out. But you shoot fewer 3s as a primary option unless you have a Lillard, Curry, Durant etc.. The primary goal should still be to get closer to the basket like in the old days.

    The 76ers have the closest thing to it right now with Embiid and Simmons plus shooters. I think it’s idiotic for Embiid to be shooting 3s. Dump it into the post and he’ll kill them inside, get fouled, or get doubled and then he can kick it out to a 3 point shooter.

  35. Rose is generally not easy on the eyes, but he played very well in the first quarter by any objective standard and that version of Rose is more fun for me to watch than Payton at his best. I’m suspecting that Thibs will overuse him to the point where he breaks down anyway, which might free up more time for your favorite Frenchman on the team.

  36. I know it was against the defensively challenged Kings, but Randle did some really beautiful point forward things last night that led to some hockey assist 3’s. He still makes some dumb reads and turnovers, but if he keeps improving on that, he’s going to continue his climb into the upper echelon of players, i.e. a guy that makes other players better.

  37. Hali’s court vision on both ends is crazy elite. He plays the passing lanes like Larry Bird, always seems to be a step ahead. It really sucks that we passed on him.

  38. Z-man: More generally, buying a guitar is less about brand and more about build quality, feel, sound and action. The best thing I ever did for my playing was buy a Martin D35. You don’t have to go that crazy, there are plenty of $500 guitars that feel and sound great and will last a long time. But don’t buy something cheap and used just because of its name. Go to a reputable guitar shop that has lots of inventory, monkey around, and see what sound and feel you like, then shop outwards from there. Invest a little extra money, you will never regret it. At the very least, it will make you better at shopping for used guitars.

    Jowles and Z-man, thanks very much for the advice. It’s very helpful. I do own one guitar, and I bought it kind of the way Z-man described. I went to a local single owner store and played around until I found one that felt good to me. It’s not a big name, but I’m happy with it. But it’s in NJ, and I’m in China. I’m a complete duffer but it relaxes me to play occasionally. I don’t need something expensive, just something solid and with a feel I like. I’d be happy to check out the vintage brand, but that’s difficult here for me and I don’t know any guitar shops to go to here. The epiphone guy is asking about half the price a new epiphone casino would cost on Taobao, a popular web shopping site here. That doesn’t seem outrageous. I do need to try it, which I hope I will do Sunday. Who knows how I’ll like it.

  39. Can’t believe the Nuggets lost to the Wizards. Watch this final possession. It’s very solid evidence that sometimes NBA teams shoot too many threes.

    https://twitter.com/fastbreakbreak/status/1365155215528312833

    Hubert – I don’t think I am ever going to be a De’Aaron Fox guy. Super quick. Can get to the hoop. But plays no defense at all and doesn’t seem like a guy I would love watching at the price tag he likely will command. Had a couple brutal turnovers. I expected more.

    I hope I set expectations correctly for Palm Springs. You enjoy it?

  40. Are you referring to your own commentary on Ntilikina last night?

    I said he was having trouble navigating screens and that Haliburton beat him a couple of times, based on what I was watching. That’s kinda what you’re supposed to do on game threads. I’ve also said a million times I have no problem whatsoever with him playing and will root for him if/when he does. I don’t think last night really gave us much to work with in either direction in terms of evaluating him, so I’m happy to keep playing him until that changes.

    I swear, I will be be very happy if it turns out the Knicks have the RFA rights of a good player! I’ve had no problem admitting that *knocks on wood* I thus far appear to have been wrong about Quickley. I simply don’t believe Frank has much of a future in the NBA. Hope I’m wrong!

    Whatever, the long records of both D’Antoni and Morey speaks for themselves.

    I agree with this but not in the way you meant it. You regularly talk about how you’d happily settle for annual relevance and then turn around and say a 13 year record of regular season success (longer than the 90s Knicks) apparently is a failure. It makes no sense and, again, just shows you have a bone to pick.

  41. The reason D’Antoni repeatedly failed with the Suns and then failed with Morey was because they were trying to take the 3 point math to greater extremes, but they didn’t have a team of superstar 3 point shooters that could do it successfully. Those players are rare. So maybe they were trying to build the wrong thing? Get it yet?

    The 3 shot shot has a huge role. Teams knew that going all the way back to Hakeem, then peak Howard etc… But you can go too far with the wrong players.

  42. I think teams should take a step back and use a variation of the old Hakeem model. You avoid the long 2s and shoot more 3s (better math). That also creates space inside for a dominant C and/or players that can get to the rim consistently. If they double you inside you kick it out. But you shoot fewer 3s as a primary option unless you have a Lillard, Curry, Durant etc.. The primary goal should still be to get closer to the basket like in the old days.

    The 76ers have the closest thing to it right now with Embiid and Simmons plus shooters. I think it’s idiotic for Embiid to be shooting 3s. Dump it into the post and he’ll kill them inside, get fouled, or get doubled and then he can kick it out to a 3 point shooter.

    Thank you for establishing that if you find yourself with Hakeem Olajuwon or Joel Embiid on your roster, you should let them operate in the post from time to time. This is a novel idea no one has ever thought of before. It’s not like Daryl Morey himself is the GM of a team that Joel Embiid is putting up an MVP season for or anything like that, so you’re truly onto something.

  43. I mean if you really define “success” for a coach or GM as exclusively meaning “winning an NBA title” then it’s true Morey/D’Antoni failed. But that is just a brutal standard in a hyper-competitive league where so much of who wins and loses is determined by the talents of 2-3 players (not coaches or GMs) per generation.

    I mean do we think that Thibs stint in Chicago was a “failure”? He also had an MVP and the best team in the league and never made the finals.

  44. Rose is irrelevant.

    They want to keep improving the team to build a winning culture and the make the team more attractive to free agents, develop the kids further by making the playoffs etc… They needed another true PG and scorer. Rose is both. He’s here for now. He’s helping the team. He’ll probably be gone by the time it all matters.

  45. Thank you for establishing that if you find yourself with Hakeem Olajuwon or Joel Embiid on your roster, you should let them operate in the post from time to time. This is a novel idea no one has ever thought of before. It’s not like Daryl Morey himself is the GM of a team that Joel Embiid is putting up an MVP season for or anything like that, so you’re truly onto something.

    It’s almost always going to take either 2 great players or a great player and couple of all stars to win a championship.

    The point was not that you need a great C in the post to win a championship. The points were that you want to get to close to the basket and that how to win championships hasn’t changed all that much with the occasional exception. You can do that without a great offensive C. The Bulls did it 6 times.

  46. The reason D’Antoni repeatedly failed with the Suns and then failed with Morey was because they were trying to take the 3 point math to greater extremes, but they didn’t have a team of superstar 3 point shooters that could do it successfully.

    2007 Suns were first in 3P and 3P% but okay. Their top 3 3PA shooters shot just under 1300 attempts combined and averaged .413, .434 and .455 but okay. They shot 41.6% against the Spurs (despite Barbosa shooting 2-17 over the course of the series) when the Spurs bounced them in the Semis but okay.

  47. The Honorable Cock Jowles: 2007 Suns were first in 3P and 3P% but okay. Their top 3 3PA shooters shot just under 1300 attempts combined and averaged .413, .434 and .455 but okay. They shot 41.6% against the Spurs (despite Barbosa shooting 2-17 over the course of the series) when the Spurs bounced them in the Semis but okay.

    Nah Jowles, you don’t get it, they couldn’t take it to the hoop cause they didn’t have a great offensive center. *scoots Amar’e under table*

  48. The point was not that you need a great C in the post to win a championship. The points were that you want to get to close to the basket and that how to win championships hasn’t changed all that much with the occasional exception. You can do that without a great offensive C. The Bulls did it 6 times.

    I think you’ve lost the plot a bit, because this was initially about the alleged failure of the 2017-2018 Rockets. That team got points at the basket at an extremely frequent and efficient rate. They also took a lot of threes, which came at the expense of midrange twos. So…what’s your point?

  49. thenoblefacehumper: I agree with this but not in the way you meant it. You regularly talk about how you’d happily settle for annual relevance and then turn around and say a 13 year record of regular season success (longer than the 90s Knicks) apparently is a failure. It makes no sense and, again, just shows you have a bone to pick.

    Please refer me to where I talk about how I’d happily settle for annual relevance. If anything, I said I’d happily move from the utter dogshit we have been for the last 20 years to annual relevance. If you are going to dispute what I’m saying, there’s no need to make shit up. I want a championship team as much as anyone here, and if I have disagreements with folks it’s about how to get there. But yeah, I’d have rather have been the Celtics or the Rockets than us, but would rather have been 15-20 other franchises than us. You know well enough that we agree on critical stuff far more than we disagree. It’s just that our disagreements get edgy.

    As to having a bone to pick, sure, I was skeptical about D’Antoni from day one of his Knicks tenure and learned to despise his self-righteous, narrow-minded ways. I was always skeptical about the way that Morey went about team-building, and never bought in to his cold-blooded chemistry-agnostic approach to team-building. But that’s besides the point. The argument is about Ainge and Stevens vs. Morey and D’Antoni. I’d go with the former every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  50. Owen: Can’t believe the Nuggets lost to the Wizards. Watch this final possession. It’s very solid evidence that sometimes NBA teams shoot too many threes.

    Owen, the write-up of that game points out that sequence was mainly a complete brainfart by multiple players:

    “I just should have shot it,” Murray said. “It’s a 4-on-1. We’ve got to score.”

    He was thrown off when Porter headed not to the basket but to the corner.

    “Come on, guys. Lock in! We’re playing basketball. We’re 4-on-1, somebody should go to the rim,” Murray fumed. “I thought Michael was going to the rim. … He might have thought I was shooting it and I should have shot it. I gave (Campazzo) a really bad pass. And I didn’t run the clock, either.”

  51. thenoblefacehumper: I said he was having trouble navigating screens and that Haliburton beat him a couple of times, based on what I was watching. That’s kinda what you’re supposed to do on game threads.

    You commented only on the bad and not at all on the good. That’s the very definition of agenda-driven posting. Sort of like saying that you don’t care how Rose plays, you don’t like watching him.

    Which is fine, I’m not criticizing you for that. I just think that you’re quick to criticize others for this when it is just as true about yourself. Take Frank, for example. Was anyone harder on him (and his stans) than me for his first 2 years? Yet I’ve consistently complimented him when he plays well, and complimented even the likes of Phil and Dolan when they made good decisions in a sea of bad ones. With Morey and D’Antoni, I agree that they are great innovators and have had great successes and give them all the credit for what they have accomplished. I just don’t buy the narrative that fate alone is responsible for neither of them getting a championship, or even to the finals. There’s no agenda there.

  52. For us to win by twenty and for Thibs to say that he wasn’t happy with our defense is exactly what makes him a great coach.

  53. 2007 Suns were first in 3P and 3P% but okay. Their top 3 3PA shooters shot just under 1300 attempts combined and averaged .413, .434 and .455 but okay. They shot 41.6% against the Spurs (despite Barbosa shooting 2-17 over the course of the series) when the Spurs bounced them in the Semis but okay.

    MDA was great at getting good looks for players and maximizing their 3p% and TS%. A lot of guys got paid big money because of him. He even got Landry Fields enough wide open looks to average .393 as a rookie. lol I was always a big fan. They didn’t win it all even though they often looked as good or better than the other contenders based on the regular season.

    I didn’t even know that Barboza stat. It’s too long ago for my memory at this age.

    You probably think it was random math that a role player like Barbosa went 2-17. Do you think maybe they would have won if he didn’t turn into a pumpkin (I mean an Ariza)? Do you maybe there’s a problem with a strategy that allows that to happen too often?

  54. thenamestsam:
    I mean if you really define “success” for a coach or GM as exclusively meaning “winning an NBA title” then it’s true Morey/D’Antoni failed. But that is just a brutal standard in a hyper-competitive league where so much of who wins and loses is determined by the talents of 2-3 players (not coaches or GMs) per generation.

    I mean do we think that Thibs stint in Chicago was a “failure”? He also had an MVP and the best team in the league and never made the finals.

    The bottom line is that I think Morey and D’Antoni themselves think of their stints as failures in that regard. But that is not what is being argued here. It’s how they have done relative to others. Did Ujiri “luck” into a championship? Did Riley and Spoelstra “luck” their way into a finals appearance?

    I’m merely saying that Ainge and Stevens did at least as well as Morey and D’Antoni in the short term, and way better in the long term, without the cold-blooded stats/system over chemistry/long-view approach. It’s a fair debate, certainly not a hill to die on. But getting to the finals as a measuring stick of long-term team-building success is hardly as unfair as you are making it out to be. Morey and D’Antoni would have had a great window for success these past 2 years if they didn’t do the Westbrook and Capela moves, and I’m not buying that these moves were the owner’s fault. If you don’t agree with utterly absurd moves like those, just resign…if you don’t, you own them.

  55. NetsTown:
    For us to win by twenty and for Thibs to say that he wasn’t happy with our defense is exactly what makes him a great coach.

    The anti Thibs sentiment on this forum comes from the preference to tank for an endless number of years in search of the golden ping pong ball and the belief Atkinson would have been a better tank commander for the next 5-6 years. If it was an objective analysis of his coaching, use and development of players, and getting them to play hard every night they’d see he’s a COTY candidate so far. I like Atkinson, but he was tossed out of Brooklyn by their superstars for a rookie coach and no one hired Atkinson to be a head coach. That says something.

  56. Deeefense: The anti Thibs sentiment on this forum comes from the preference to tank for an endless number of years in search of the golden ping pong ball and the belief Atkinson would have been a better tank commander for the next 5-6 years.If it was an objective analysis of his coaching, use and development of players, and getting them to play hard every night they’d see he’s a COTY candidate.

    At what point does “an objective analysis” just mean one that agrees with your premise? You continue to beat the tanking strawman senseless, when literally no one here wants to tank for infinity. It’s an argument you attack because it’s stupid and easy to beat up, and it bears little relation to what people actually want, which is to maximize asset accumulation, which is something not that far off from what you espouse.

  57. Our previous managements were hopelessly incompetent, and under those managements the only real hope was that we would luck into talent via the draft because they were completely incapable of acquiring it through free agency or trades. The current management is competent enough that tanking is no longer the only reasonable outcome for bettering the team, though I’ll admit I did want us to tank this specific year so we’d have a chance at two lottery picks. That said, I’m happy enough with where we’re at. It’s light years away from the nadirs of recent years.

  58. Raven: Owen, the write-up of that game points out that sequence was mainly a complete brainfart by multiple players:

    “I just should have shot it,” Murray said. “It’s a 4-on-1. We’ve got to score.”

    He was thrown off when Porter headed not to the basket but to the corner.

    “Come on, guys. Lock in! We’re playing basketball. We’re 4-on-1, somebody should go to the rim,” Murray fumed. “I thought Michael was going to the rim. … He might have thought I was shooting it and I should have shot it. I gave (Campazzo) a really bad pass. And I didn’t run the clock, either.”

    I kind of thought Murray was the one who screwed it up first: 3 on 1 fastbreak I was always taught throw the ball to the guy in the middle because that way the defender can’t take away everything. Instead of throwing the ball to Campazzo in the middle, Murray dribbled it up the wing and made it easy for the defender to take away the angles. I guess if MPJ runs to the rim he can still throw it over the defender’s head but he’s going to have to lob it over the defender’s head, and with the clock running down it’s not a simple pass at all.

  59. Deeefense: The anti Thibs sentiment on this forum comes from the preference to tank for an endless number of years in search of the golden ping pong ball and the belief Atkinson would have been a better tank commander for the next 5-6 years.If it was an objective analysis of his coaching, use and development of players, and getting them to play hard every night they’d see he’s a COTY candidate so far.I like Atkinson, but he was tossed out of Brooklyn by their superstars for arookie coach and no one hired Atkinson to be a head coach. That says something.

    Isn’t the G league for playing the kids? I like that minutes must be earned in the big leagues.

  60. I think getting Porter the ball as he goes the rim should be pretty elementary stuff for an NBA guard in that position. But maybe there was more going on in the moment. That stuff happens. Still, a loss the Wizards has to be hard to swallow, especially when there are some playoff seeding implications on the line.

  61. thenoblefacehumper: I think you’ve lost the plot a bit, because this was initially about the alleged failure of the 2017-2018 Rockets.

    Yeah, in 2017-18 Houston was 11th in the league in shots at the rim. They took more shots at the rim than Miami, Philly, GSW, and SAS. Even last year, when they didn’t play with a center for almost the entire season, they were still 11th in the league in shots at the rim ahead of Milwaukee, Denver, Boston, LAC, Miami, and SAS.

  62. You commented only on the bad and not at all on the good.

    This is so ridiculous! I only post so much on game threads because I like to focus on watching the damn game. Am I supposed to register a take on every single one of Frank’s plays? I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about Frank playing well in the past. Parsing through quick observations for an agenda is annoying and below you.

    I’m merely saying that Ainge and Stevens did at least as well as Morey and D’Antoni in the short term, and way better in the long term, without the cold-blooded stats/system over chemistry/long-view approach.

    Are we talking about the Danny Ainge who allowed Isaiah Thomas to play through a bad hip injury in the playoffs after the tragic death of his sister, quite possibly permanently damaging his career prospects, only to turn around and trade him for Kyrie Irving?

    The anti Thibs sentiment on this forum comes from the preference to tank for an endless number of years in search of the golden ping pong ball and the belief Atkinson would have been a better tank commander for the next 5-6 years. If it was an objective analysis of his coaching, use and development of players, and getting them to play hard every night they’d see he’s a COTY candidate so far. I like Atkinson, but he was tossed out of Brooklyn by their superstars for a rookie coach and no one hired Atkinson to be a head coach. That says something.

    Since this sentiment is so widespread, I’m sure you can find a single post of someone advocating for tanking for 5-6 years. I mean everyone but you holds this view, right? Should be very easy to find an example of someone espousing it.

  63. Deeefense: MDA was great at getting good looks for players and maximizing their 3p% and TS%.A lot of guys got paid big money because of him. He even got Landry Fields enough wide open looks to average .393 as a rookie. lolI was always a big fan.They didn’t win it all even though they often looked as good or better than the other contenders based on the regular season.

    I didn’t even know that Barboza stat. It’s too long ago for my memory at this age.

    You probably think it was random math that a role player like Barbosa went 2-17.Do you think maybe they would have won if he didn’t turn into a pumpkin (I mean an Ariza)? Do you maybe there’s a problem with a strategy that allows that to happen too often?

    Or you know, it’s random small sample size noise. In the 2007-08 WCF the Spurs lost to the Lakers with Duncan shooting an abysmal 42% from the field and he shot only 45% for the entire playoffs that year. Did Duncan choke, did Poppovich have him shoot too many 3s, or is this 5 game sample not representative of Duncan’s actual abilities?

  64. At what point does “an objective analysis” just mean one that agrees with your premise?

    The team is playing hard every night, the defense has taken a huge step forward, several players have improved, Randle went from “we have to get rid of this clown” to all-star, the team is far outperforming predictions, but some people are still whining about Thibs. What in God’s name does it take for people to think a coach is doing a great job.

    Admittedly, the Atkinson part is my speculation, But before we hired Thibs the consensus preferred Atkinson as a development coach for a team still in the lottery and Thibs was criticized for his job in Minny. I think that’s clouding people judgement about how great Thibs has been “so far” and because they want to get a better lottery pick.

  65. haliburton looked really good out there last night, trying to think of who he reminds me of – a young (uninjured) shaun livingston maybe?

    he is so light though, physically he looked like a high schooler out there…what a feel for the game though, and shows the same confidence as our own mister quik…

  66. the rose thing right now is tough for me, couldn’t even watch the pre-game because a good portion of it was all about him…

    I don’t know, he’s saying the right stuff, but, something about him just comes across as very disingenuous…

    seems like the only thing he really cares about is just being out on the court and playing…all his “team talk” just sounds really hollow…

  67. thenoblefacehumper: This is so ridiculous! I only post so much on game threads because I like to focus on watching the damn game. Am I supposed to register a take on every single one of Frank’s plays? I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about Frank playing well in the past. Parsing through quick observations for an agenda is annoying and below you.

    Funny how those few posts weren’t “Hey, nice D there!” or “nice shot!” Must have been a total coincidence. How silly of me!

    thenoblefacehumper: Are we talking about the Danny Ainge who allowed Isaiah Thomas to play through a bad hip injury in the playoffs after the tragic death of his sister, quite possibly permanently damaging his career prospects, only to turn around and trade him for Kyrie Irving?

    How predictable that you would bring this up. There’s really no comparison between this and what Morey has done and you know it. If anyone was to blame for that, it was Thomas himself. He could have pulled a Jeremy Lin and refused to play because it would jeopardize his ability to sign a big contract. He chose to play through it. Once he got hurt, the trade was as much of a no-brainer as any trade in NBA history. That said, if your point is that it didn’t work out as Ainge had hoped, I 100% agree, and I’d also agree that Ainge should have seen at least some of the Kyrie stuff coming.

    But it’s also fair to point out that if Hayward didn’t go down in the freaky way that he did, the Celts would have a finals trip under their belt by now. With a healthy Hayward, that was a very formidable team and one that might have had better chemistry with Kyrie. Irving became a whipping boy for C’s fans despite having a very solid statistical season…he essentially got run out of town by fans.

    Whatever, fuck Danny Ainge and fuck Daryl Morey. I hate both of those smug pricks.

  68. Deeefense: The team is playing hard every night, the defense has taken a huge step forward, several players have improved, Randle went from “we have to get rid of this clown”to all-star, the team is far outperforming predictions,but some people are stillwhining about Thibs.What in God’s name does it take for people to think a coach is doing a great job.

    Admittedly, the Atkinson part is my speculation, But before we hired Thibs the consensus preferred Atkinson as a development coach for a team still in the lottery and Thibs was criticized for his job in Minny.I think that’s clouding people judgement about how great Thibs has been “so far” and because they want to get a better lottery pick.

    I agree that the team is playing well, what I’m trying to express is that you seem to be conflating not everyone being satisfied with Thibs and the strawman tanking argument of wanting to tank for a decade. We all knew Thibs was going to squeeze every win he could out of the group, so it’s hardly surprising that we are winning more than last year. It is possible to be dissatisfied with Thibs and also not advocate for tanking endlessly. No one is doing the latter, and it’s also silly to pretend there aren’t any valid reasons to dislike Thibs. For example, do you really think we trade for Rose if Thibs isn’t here?

  69. Or you know, it’s random small sample size noise. In the 2007-08 WCF the Spurs lost to the Lakers with Duncan shooting an abysmal 42% from the field and he shot only 45% for the entire playoffs that year. Did Duncan choke, did Poppovich have him shoot too many 3s, or is this 5 game sample not representative of Duncan’s actual abilities?

    I’m not going to take a question about Duncan choking seriously, but I will when it comes to role players that are being asked to be great under extreme pressure but have a look on their face that resembles Frank in his rookie year. :-)

    I think the idea that choking isn’t an issue at the pro level is so beyond naive it’s idiotic. I don’t care how impressive the prose is in criticizing it or how smart the coach and GM are intellectually that don’t believe it. I’m just going to laugh.

    I’ve seen world champion caliber players in other sports go into a coma under extreme pressure and have had many conversations with them on the subject. Not everyone is the same. Some handle it better than others. But you don’t want to put yourself in a position where there’s a greater probability of getting tight and choking if you can possibly avoid it. It should at least be part of the strategic thinking.

  70. Ainge won a title, Morey hasn’t. And after he won a title and that crew had their run, he masterfully pivoted and fleeced Brooklyn for a boat load of picks that allowed him to rebuild in like 1 season. In the last 13 seasons he’s been to what, 6 ECF, 2 Finals and won a chip? That’s better than what Morey has done for sure. And as fun as it is to watch the Celtics implode this year, its not like he has to blow it up. Get a new coach, retool around his 2 best players and they’re right back in the thick of it. They also could easily rip off 8 or 9 wins in a row and be back up at the top of the east or sneak into the playoffs and still make the ECF with a little luck.

    Morey got Harden, which was great and they had a lot of good teams bc of that. But he came up short and never got to the Finals and now that team is going to have to go through a real rebuild for a few seasons at least before they’re good again.

  71. There were obviously more important process related reasons I opposed the trade, but what made me truly hate it despite the low stakes was that it meant I would have to watch Derrick Rose play basketball a lot. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not even entertained when the shots are going in. I find his game ugly and antiquated.

    I agree so much. I’m shocked at how much less I enjoy the Knicks when he’s playing. I swear it has nothing to do with his character or the fact that we gave up a pick for him. It’s just an instinctive, natural reaction. When he is in there, I feel hopeless and I want more ping pong balls. When he’s out and IQ is without him, I’m back to rooting for wins like a knicks fan again.

    I feel similarly with Payton, but it’s not nearly as visceral.

  72. Mike Honcho: We all knew Thibs was going to squeeze every win he could out of the group, so it’s hardly surprising that we are winning more than last year.

    Nearly every coach tries to squeeze as many wins as he can out of a given group. The question is, how many wins is that? Do you think many coaches would have this group at 16-17 at this point?

  73. It is possible to be dissatisfied with Thibs and also not advocate for a tanking endlessly.

    After I listed all the ways in which we are better this year and why he should probably be in the COTY conversation so far, it’s really tough for me to come up with a rational reason for not liking the job he’s doing other than some people prefer giving the young players preference no matter how bad they are and losing for a higher pick. In other words tanking another season.

    It’s not just Thibs. It’s the management that wants to win, change the culture, attract better free agents and trade opportunities, and develop via the playoffs too. So if you hate the strategy, I disagree but get it. If you don’t like Thibs as a coach, I don’t get it. IMO he’s obviously doing a great job.

    Time for me to check out. I’m past my basketball debate limit.

  74. Z-man: Nearly every coach tries to squeeze as many wins as he can out of a given group. The question is, how many wins is that? Do you think many coaches would have this group at 16-17 at this point?

    We were 17-27 with Miller, and Miller was working with worse versions of Randle and Barrett and played Knox, who was actively a net negative. Thibs is clearly better than Miller, but much of our success is due to Randle’s improvements and not playing crap players, and Randle’s improvement doesn’t seem to have all that much to do with Thibs. I’m happy to consider evidence to the contrary, though.

    I don’t think Thibs is bad, to be clear. He’s done as good a job as we could expect of him. I still kind of wish we had gone in another direction, but he clearly has gotten the players to buy in and play hard. I think he deserves credit for that and much of our defensive improvement.

  75. Deeefense: After I listed all the ways in which we are better this year and why he should probably be in the COTY conversation so far, it’s really tough for me to come up with a rational reason for not liking the job he’s doing other than some people prefer giving the young players preference no matter how bad they are and losing for a higher pick.In other words tanking another season.

    It’s not just Thibs. It’s the management that wants to win, change the culture, attract better free agents and trade opportunities, and develop via the playoffs too.So if you hate the strategy, I disagree but get it.If you don’t like Thibs as a coach, I don’t get it. IMO he’s obviously doing a great job.

    Time for me to check out.I’m past my basketball debate limit.

    Aight dude. I never even straight up disagreed with you, just pointed out that you have a tendency to myopically dismiss other people’s analysis or thoughts as subjective whining while exalting your own as objective wisdom straight from the horse’s mouth. You do you, dawg.

  76. And look, I know the anti-Frank arguments are strong, but please god just give me 20 minutes a night of Quickley and Frank together. This is exactly the role that Frankophiles have been dying to see him in. And it he can help IQ a lot by taking mitigating his defensive duties.

  77. Hubert:
    And look, I know the anti-Frank arguments are strong, but please god just give me 20 minutes a night of Quickley and Frank together. This is exactly the role that Frankophiles have been dying to see him in. And it he can help IQ a lot by taking mitigating his defensive duties.

    I’m down for that. It sure beats the Austin Rivers show.

  78. I think teams should take a step back and use a variation of the old Hakeem model. You avoid the long 2s and shoot more 3s (better math). That also creates space inside for a dominant C and/or players that can get to the rim consistently. If they double you inside you kick it out. But you shoot fewer 3s as a primary option unless you have a Lillard, Curry, Durant etc.. The primary goal should still be to get closer to the basket like in the old days.

    What I think you’re ignoring is that teams have also figured out that the best way to get closer to the basket is to remove the big lumbering dude who clogs the lane and keeps the oppenent’s best rim protector at the rim.

    See, not only are 3PA up so much now than in the past, but so are 2PA’s close to the rim*. So the thing you want is being accomplished by the thing you think is bad.

    * I have looked at no historical data. this is pure eye test. I trust this blog will slap me in the face and correct me if I’m wrong.

  79. Frank played well enough last year to earn playing time. I wrote him off because I didn’t think he’d get another chance. Thibs has no idea what he’s done to this board by playing Frank 23 min in a random game.

    We’ve slipped back into the time loop.

  80. Hubert: What I think you’re ignoring is that teams have also figured out that the best way to get closer to the basket is to remove the big lumbering dude who clogs the lane and keeps the oppenent’s best rim protector at the rim.

    See, not only are 3PA up so much now than in the past, but so are 2PA’s close to the rim*. So the thing you want is being accomplished by the thing you think is bad.

    * I have looked at no historical data. this is pure eye test. I trust this blog will slap me in the face and correct me if I’m wrong.

    Well, it makes an amount of sense, no? Post-ups and midrange shots are on the decline, so those shots have to logically be going somewhere.

  81. Mike Honcho: Well, it makes an amount of sense, no? Post-ups and midrange shots are on the decline, so those shots have to logically be going somewhere.

    I’m pretty sure 2PA’s at the rim are up almost as significantly as 3PA’s since 2015.

    I was going to look it up, but i’m not that motivated. I do know (from experience!) that if I throw out a baseless claim, someone here will fact check it and tell me if I’m wrong :)

  82. Deeefense: I’m not going to take a question about Duncan choking seriously, but I will when it comes to role players that are being asked to be great under extreme pressure but have a look on their face that resembles Frank in his rookie year. :-)

    I think the idea that choking isn’t an issue at the pro level is so beyond naive it’s idiotic. I don’t care how impressive the prose is in criticizing it or how smart the coach and GM are intellectually that don’t believe it.I’m just going to laugh.

    I’ve seen world champion caliber players in other sports go into a coma under extreme pressure and have had many conversations with them on the subject. Not everyone is the same. Some handle it better than others. But you don’t want to put yourself in a position where there’s a greater probability of getting tight and choking if you can possibly avoid it.It should at least be part of the strategic thinking.

    So player X missing 2s in the playoffs is not choking but player Y missing 3s is choking. It’s almost as if you define choking not on what the players are doing but on if they’re play Phil Jackson-approved basketball.

    Z-man: Nearly every coach tries to squeeze as many wins as he can out of a given group. The question is, how many wins is that? Do you think many coaches would have this group at 16-17 at this point?

    I made the point in the offseason that Fizdale was brutally bad as a coach and once we replaced him with Mike Miller we were normal bad, going 17-27. Right now, we’re a few wins better than we were last year under Miller.

  83. vincoug: I made the point in the offseason that Fizdale was brutally bad as a coach and once we replaced him with Mike Miller we were normal bad, going 17-27. Right now, we’re a few wins better than we were last year under Miller.

    I liked Miller and would have been fine with keeping him. He deserves another shot somewhere. But Thibs deserves tons of credit for the record they have right now. I sincerely doubt that most other coaches have us in the mix with Miami, Toronto, Indiana and Boston right now.

  84. The closest thing to a consensus that I see on this board re: the team’s best path forward at this point is

    Play the kids as much as possible and let the chips fall where they may.

    Should that result in more wins, fine. More ping pong balls? That’s cool, too. And if the kids turn out to suck and the team wind up being blown out every night? That’s also valuable info. Good to know where ya stand; who’s worth moving forward with and who is not.

    The main criticism of Thibs that I see expressed here is his over-reliance on players like Elf, Rose, Taj et al to eke out as many wins as possible. One can see this reflected in the post game commentary. When the Knicks win on account of, say, a rare good game from Elfrid Payton playing 30 minutes, people here be like “What was the point of that?” But whenever the team wins because RJ, IQ, or Mitch went off, the majority of people here are genuinely exultant. Nobody is worrying about ping pong balls then.

    Not giving a fuck about how many wins this team ultimately winds up with or maximizing playoff seeding is not “rooting for an endless tank.” It’s recognizing a greater long term good than treating every contest of the 2020-21 regular season as Game 7 of the NBA Finals. When Thibs short sighted win-now approach results in reduced minutes for the kids, people are going to grouse even if the end result is a win. And, no, I don’t wanna hear the usual meritocratic BS about how the kids need to “earn it.” I mean, WTF did Elf do to “earn” all of the minutes he’s been giving over Frank, who’d likely still be glued to the bench had injuries not forced Thibs’ hand? The concern when Thibs was hired was that he was the wrong coach for a a team at this point in its development – a concern which has largely been borne out by how this season has played out.

  85. Hubert: I’m pretty sure 2PA’s at the rim are up almost as significantly as 3PA’s since 2015.

    I was going to look it up, but i’m not that motivated. I do know (from experience!) that if I throw out a baseless claim, someone here will fact check it and tell me if I’m wrong :)

    You would be correct. So far this season, team’s are taking 42.6% of all 2FG at the rim. In 2015, that number was 39.9% and 20 years ago in 2001 that number was 32.8%. If people want to see the numbers for themselves, I can spreadsheet I’m using and upload it to google and share it. The raw numbers are all taken from basketball-reference.

  86. Count de Pennies:
    The closest thing to a consensus that I see on this board re: the team’s best path forward at this point is

    Play the kids as much as possible and let the chips fall where they may.

    Should that result in more wins, fine. More ping pong balls? That’s cool, too. And if the kids turn out to suck and the team wind up being blown out every night? That’s also valuable info. Good to know where ya stand; who’s worth moving forward with and who is not.

    The main criticism of Thibs that I see expressed here is his over-reliance on players like Elf, Rose, Taj et al to eke out as many wins as possible. One can see this reflected in the post game commentary. When the Knicks win on account of, say, a rare good game from Elfrid Payton playing 30minutes, people here be like “What was the point of that?” But whenever the team wins because RJ, IQ, or Mitch went off, the majority of people here are genuinely exultant.Nobody is worrying about ping pong balls then.

    Not giving a fuck about how many wins this team ultimately winds up with or maximizing playoff seeding is not “rooting for an endless tank.” It’s recognizing a greater long term good than treating every contest of the 2020-21 regular season as Game 7 of the NBA Finals. When Thibs short sighted win-now approach results in reduced minutes for the kids, people are going to grouse even if the end result is a win. And, no, I don’t wanna hear the usual meritocratic BS about how the kids need to “earn it.” I mean, WTF did Elf do to “earn” all of the minutes he’s been giving over Frank, who’d likely still be glued to the bench had injuries not forced Thibs’ hand? The concern when Thibs was hired was that he was the wrong coach for a a team at this point in its development – a concern which has largely been borne out by how this season has played out.

    amen

  87. Z-man: I liked Miller and would have been fine with keeping him. He deserves another shot somewhere. But Thibs deserves tons of credit for the record they have right now. I sincerely doubt that most other coaches have us in the mix with Miami, Toronto, Indiana and Boston right now.

    That sounds more impressive than it is considering all those teams are under .500 except for Indy.

  88. hey jowles, hope all is well for you and the missus…

    Down the court you can hear Thibs scream, “You’re a disgrace,”
    As he slams the ball in the rookie’s face
    And now he stands outside
    And all the veterans start to gossip and drool

    He cries, “Oh Quick, you must be mad,
    What happened to the playing time you used to have?”
    Against the whiteboard he leans and starts his ado,
    And his tears fall and burn the Garden blue

    are you doing music stuff again?

    if so, i want in :)

  89. Count de Pennies: Play the kids as much as possible and let the chips fall where they may.

    I think this is an oversimplification. The consensus is more about “developing” the kids than “play the kids as much as possible”. There is legitimate disagreement as to whether playing the kids more or less is better for their development. I am in the camp that believes that kids should have to at least somewhat “earn” playing time, either in practice, or in the G-League, or in the minutes that you do get. I didn’t get a whole lot of enjoyment out of watching Frank and Knox and RJ butcher their way through thousands of rookie minutes. OTOH, even though I’d like to see IQ, Obi, and even Frank and Knox play more, I’m perfectly fine with the minutes allotment to the young players so far this year, and I think we are actually seeing better versions of those players than if they weren’t held accountable.

    So I, for one, am not part of that consensus the way it was phrased.

  90. I’m pretty sure I don’t like Thibs (visceral reaction) and agree the ‘play the vets’ and even worse, ‘play my favorite vets’ thing is intensely annoying and counter-productive in the long run. But damn it, (discounting yesterday) he somehow has a group of players, none of whom were known as defensive stoppers (well not counting Mitch and Noel) playing pretty spectacular defense. I don’t know how he did that with almost no preseason or practices.

    I love defense (making me the most annoying pick-up player in any gym I might find myself in). Watching the Knicks play it this well has been my favorite part of this season.

    Although the up-and-down of Quicksanity has been fun, too…

  91. Btw, the second closest thing to a consensus on this board is that our contempt for a player taking minutes away from a kid doubles if he played on the 2012 Bulls.

  92. vincoug: That sounds more impressive than it is considering all those teams are under .500 except for Indy.

    Right, but we could easily be down with ORL or WAS or CLE with someone else at the helm. Is that even debatable? Vegas had us at 22.5 wins. And “all those other teams” have both arguably excellent coaches and more talent than we do.

  93. The thing I don’t like about the whole winning on the backs of vets vs. kids thing is that it kind of ignores the actual game being played and just looks at box stats for who “contributed to the win.”

    If you look at minutes played and see that RJ, Mitch, IQ, etc…only played a few minutes, then it’s a valid criticism. But there are going to be games where our younger players may not put up numbers in a win where the vets do put up numbers but they were still playing in the game, possibly contributing in other ways and if they had a rough night, maybe learning some things that will eventually make them better at basketball.

    Like if RJ has a rough night guarding/being guarded by Jimmy Butler but still plays 25 to 30 minutes in the game and we end up winning it because Elf and Rose go off…maybe it was that one pass to an open Rose that lead to a bucket that helped us win or he did a good job defensively on Butler even though Butler shut him down on offense. Or he grabbed some boards and realizes “oh against Butler I might have trouble scoring but I can contribute to a win against Miami because I have the ability to exploit an advantage with rebounding.” Or whatever. Its not ALWAYS about the stats with young players. And when you’re a young NBA player, winning, you know, feels kind of good and maybe motivates you to get back at it a little more the next day (these are people, after all). Like if I start a job and every day I just eat shit day after day and get paid pennies, eventually I’m gonna not give a crap and not work hard. But even if I’m lowest on the totem pole and not being paid well, if I’m contributing to the success of the company and being recognized for it, I’ll work harder and learn more.

  94. You probably think it was random math that a role player like Barbosa went 2-17. Do you think maybe they would have won if he didn’t turn into a pumpkin (I mean an Ariza)? Do you maybe there’s a problem with a strategy that allows that to happen too often?

    You probably think it was random math that a role player like Klay Thompson shot 28% on 43 3PA against the Pels in 2018. Or role player Kevin Durant shooting 25% on 40 attempts against the Spurs.

    You probably think that 43 and 40 are bigger samples than 17, but that’s questionable. Highly questionable. Do we really know that? Or is there something deeper, something hidden, that only you can illuminate for us? Sort of like when you saw the riot at the Capitol and told me that it was no big deal, just a handful of angry people doing a naughty little thing.

    Only you, Strat, could take a 17 shot sample and try to extract a “choker” narrative out of it. Your intelligence is through the fucking roof.

  95. Count de Pennies: It’s recognizing a greater long term good than treating every contest of the 2020-21 regular season as Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

    Do you think Thibs would have played Frank Ntilikina for the majority of the 4th quarter last night if this were game 7 of the NBA finals?

    Count de Pennies: When Thibs short sighted win-now approach results in reduced minutes for the kids, people are going to grouse even if the end result is a win. And, no, I don’t wanna hear the usual meritocratic BS about how the kids need to “earn it.” I mean, WTF did Elf do to “earn” all of the minutes he’s been giving over Frank, who’d likely still be glued to the bench had injuries not forced Thibs’ hand?

    And how would Frank have played if he knew that he’d play over the guys in front of him no matter how poorly he played or whether the team won or lost? Is that philosophy magically developing players on teams like CLE, or SAC, or MIN, or DET? And what about our guys that actually ARE getting significant minutes, like Mitch, RJ, and IQ? What about Obi? Would he be seeing the floor at all if this were game 7 of the finals?

    Sorry, Count, it comes across to me as whining and is actually not supported by the facts about how the young players are coming along. That you “don’t want to hear about it” just comes across to me as sounding narrow-minded.

  96. Z-man: Right, but we could easily be down with ORL or WAS or CLE with someone else at the helm. Is that even debatable? Vegas had us at 22.5 wins. And “all those other teams” have both arguably excellent coaches and more talent than we do.

    Sure, all I’m saying is that we’re not all that much improved from last year under Mike Miller. Those other teams do have more talent than we do but again, they’re severely underperforming compare to last season.

    Also, I hate when people using Vegas O/U as predictions. Those are betting lines meant to get an equal number of bets on either side, they’re not predictions.

  97. There’s a useful NBA player inside Frank, no question about it.

    Let me add another bravo to CdP. Elfrid Payton didn’t “earn” jack shit. And the next time Immanuel Quickley is deemed around here to have played “terrible” because he went 1-5 in 8 minutes, it should be remembered that the next 15 minutes after that 8 could be, and has been, the 15 minutes like he played against Sacto last night. (Unless you somehow think he’s moody or hormonal or something and once his day starts moody or hormonal, his biorhythms or some such automatically keep it that way.)

  98. Is that philosophy magically developing players on teams like CLE, or SAC, or MIN, or DET?

    Those teams have godawful players.

  99. Here’s a legit complaint we can aim at Thibs, noted by many already on the board. Went back and looked at the last seven games. Knicks have a record of 5-2, which is pretty damn good.

    But we’ve been outscored on average 28-24 in the third quarters of those games. Some by embarrassing amounts (32-24 yesterday, 30-14 against Orlando). I seem to remember it was worse than the numbers show for many of these games as the second unit would often come in and ‘rescue’ things before it really got bad.

    No idea what needs to be done, but something should be done. Recommendations welcome…

  100. Obi Toppin’s gonna be in the dunk contest. Having an in-person All-Star weekend of any kind is a terrible idea, but I’m at least happy the kid will get a chance to show off.

  101. No matter who our coach was, there was going to be things to complain about. People who think that Atkinson was some kind of developmental guru are deluding themselves if they think that our young players would be further along than they are right now. And the team surely would be losing more.

  102. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Those teams have godawful players.

    Do I really need to search the archives for your assessment of our player personnel going into this season? What are the odds that I would find something along the lines of “godawful” in your posts from December?

  103. vincoug: Sure, all I’m saying is that we’re not all that much improved from last year under Mike Miller.Those other teams do have more talent than we do but again, they’re severely underperforming compare to last season.

    Also, I hate when people using Vegas O/U as predictions.Those are betting lines meant to get an equal number of bets on either side, they’re not predictions.

    By SRS & Net Rtg we’re actually much better than last year entirely thanks to our defense. Even compared to Miller’s tenure.

    To put in wins and losses, we need to lose 10 straight games to be worse than Miller’s record (70 straight to match FizzledOut’s win%)

    I still hold reservations about whether our 3pt defense holds up (the sample needs to be enormous) but so far we’re definitely better.

    Thibs does some things I hate, and we all hate, but there’s only a handful of good coaches in the league who demonstrably make a difference and he sure as heck seems like one.

    There are no coaches who we will 100% love, so I’m willing to live with Thibs flaws because he’s the rare coach who makes a difference. These coaches rarely hit the market because they usually win.

    When we do swing around to going all-in, then he’s one of the guys you want locked in a contract as coach. Thibs honestly may be worth losing ping-pong balls for. (Or maybe Noel is just a lot better than Taj)

  104. vincoug: Also, I hate when people using Vegas O/U as predictions. Those are betting lines meant to get an equal number of bets on either side, they’re not predictions.

    The mainstream opinion of virtually all “experts” was that the Knicks would be a bottom-five team. It is rare that Vegas and those folks are out of alignment. This team was supposed to suck and there was no reason other than the “Thibs effect” to believe otherwise. You can use whatever measuring stick you want, but Vegas is widely accepted as a proxy for general expectations and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  105. I think all the “look at the wins Thibs is a genius” people need to pump the brakes a little. We are still under .500 despite being super lucky in the injury/Covid front. Many of the teams we are ahead of have faced much more adversity than we have. Other than Robinson our starting lineup has been remarkably healthy.

    I think Thibs has done some nice things defensively and I’ll give him a lot of credit there but our offense over large stretches has been a mess and not really any better than it was under Miller despite Randle playing out of his mind, Barrett’s improvement, and Quickley’s emergence.

    The trade for Rose and Gibson’s steadily increasing minutes is what gives many of us heartburn. While we are still winning it is an ominous sign. Last night was better but I want to see a 5-10 game stretch where our bench and our youth get extended runs before I’ll start getting hopeful.

    One very easy thing Thibs could do, if he could take off his rose colored glasses for former Bulls players is use Toppin in the role offensively that he is using Gibson. Gibson is constantly involved in the offense setting screens, running pick and roll, getting the ball around the free throw line while Toppin’ role is to get the fuck out of the way and run to the corner. Maybe if they switched offensive roles Toppin would actually get some real opportunities to contribute offensively.

  106. Also, if you hate how Thibs uses youngins, I think it’s also fair to acknowledge and give credit to Thibs because RJ, Randle, and Mitch are really improved this year, IQ has been excellent, and even Obi has been a reasonably proficient scorer for a rookie who never has plays run for him. Hell even Knox looked nearly viable.

    We previously held semi-conspiracies that Thibs declared players injured whenever he wanted to bench them, maybe we’ve finally got around to benching Elf.

  107. A lot of Randle’s improvements seem independent of Thibs, though. What exactly did Thibs do to make Randle a 41% three point shooter?

  108. Early Bird: Thibs does some things I hate, and we all hate, but there’s only a handful of good coaches in the league who demonstrably make a difference and he sure as heck seems like one.

    There are no coaches who we will 100% love, so I’m willing to live with Thibs flaws because he’s the rare coach who makes a difference. These coaches rarely hit the market because they usually win.

    Even if this is a bit generous, it’s largely a fair take. He’s got plenty of flaws, but I’d way rather have him than, say, D’Antoni or Rivers or Atkinson or, god forbid, Mark Jackson.

  109. I’m not burning keyboard calories on this debate. I’m going to let the season ride.

  110. Mike Honcho:
    A lot of Randle’s improvements seem independent of Thibs, though. What exactly did Thibs do to make Randle a 41% three point shooter?

    I think an optimistic take is to say Thibs helped Randle… somehow. Construe however you’d like that the offense gives him more open shots and better opportunities or the dribble handoffs work really well. We can always invent a theory, so I won’t bother putting a specific one forward.

    A more mild position is that we don’t know how much is Thibs and how much is Randle. I certainly give Randle a super majority of credit (or, again, firing Keith Smart), but we can’t definitively say Thibs doesn’t play some role in the improvement. This position is open to the possibility that Thibs manages to actually hurt Randle too. But, I want to at least suggest that Thibs may have a positive influence we’re underselling.

    Regardless of his effect on development, overall I feel more confident saying Thibs is worth hanging onto despite his flaws.

    I’d rather have tanked this year, grabbed Cade, and signed Thibs next year, but Thibs was available when he was available.

  111. Vorkunov in the Athletic: “Derrick Rose called head coach Tom Thibodeau a ‘martinet’ today. Had to look that up in my Walt Clyde Frasier pocket dictionary. It is very appropriate.”

    So Derrick Rose knows the meaning of martinet but doesn’t know the meaning of consent?

  112. nicos:
    Vorkunov in the Athletic: “Derrick Rose called head coach Tom Thibodeau a ‘martinet’ today. Had to look that up in my Walt Clyde Frasier pocket dictionary. It is very appropriate.”

    So Derrick Rose knows the meaning of martinet but doesn’t know the meaning of consent?

    He probably asked Clyde what a good word to describe Thibs was.

  113. There are certain things that Thibs preaches and is known for, and that his former players and associates (other than KAT) give him enormous credit for. Jimmy Butler is the best example of the kind of player that matches well with Thibs…an unselfish grinder who plays harder than everyone else, is in top physical condition, is mentally tough, works tirelessly on his craft, and studies and prepares for every opponent. Randle has been a perfect ball of clay for Thibs to mold.

    Without being overly specific, I don’t think Randle is doing anything he didn’t do in previous years. He’s just doing good things more consistently and confidently, and doing dumb and inefficient stuff less. He’s clearly comfortable being the heart and soul of this team. He’s probably just as intense in practice as he is in games. He never had that opportunity before coming here, i.e. under a solid veteran NBA coach in a stable situation. He went from turmoil in LA to turmoil in NO to a tumultuous first year in NY.

    On day 1, Thibs coronated him the leader of this team and has effusively praised his work ethic and talent, while specifying areas for growth. He told him that to be a better player he needs to do do more of this and less of that, and to not only better himself but make his teammates better. Where Randle gets all the credit is making himself physically and mentally ready for that alpha dog role. There’s a ton of synergy there, you have to be blind not to see it.

    It’s harder to do that without a track record, street cred, and buy-in from ownership. Thibs clearly has total carte blanche over players and could sit anyone who doesn’t fit his mold. He’s probably smart not to overdo it by burying Obi, but if Randle started whining (or anyone else) they would get nowhere with management. That’s big.

  114. Back to Sopranos-land, now that I’ve finished the series I’ve got to say the community in-jokes are goddamn hilarious. Just look at the subreddit – any time someone asks a question 95% of the replies are just vaguely relevant quotes. Completely unhelpful and gut-bustingly funny, at least to my Millenial brand of humor.

    I also found this really amusing, thought some of your guys might enjoy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCDv1pHWPe0

  115. Oh man, we’re burning through The Sopranos. Gonna be so sad when we’re done, which will probably be next week. We just started to final season.

    When Tony asks Christopher why he’s late and Christopher casually responds with “The Highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive” I just about lost my shit.

    Also, his reasoning for why Dinosaurs couldn’t have been around when people were “The Bible describes The Garden of Eden as a paradise and if dinosaurs had been there, they would have torn it up.”

    Also, I got a little choked up seeing Hal Holbrook and Gandolfini share some scenes in the hospital. So freaking good.

    Thibs has a good track record. Its weird that we want large sample sizes for players in order to prove to us their good but a coach can have a good sample size and its dismissed as coaching doesn’t matter. Also, Jowles, you thought our roster was garbage before this season started. Now they’re decent bc of the roster and not because of Thibs? Come on dude! Thibs is a good coach and coaching DOES matter. Hey, maybe if your roster is complete garbage you still won’t be good and any team with peak Lebron is going to be good no matter who is the coach. But for teams in between that, coaching does matter. There’s definitely a point or ceiling that a good coach alone cannot coach a team beyond but they do make a difference.

  116. Yeah it’s amazing how the show is both ridiculously funny and bitingly cynical yet still so moving at times. The end of Members Only, when (fake) Tony goes to pick up the phone, stops himself and then just sits on the bed looking out at the beacon really got to me.

  117. “Other than KAT” reads almost identical to “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

  118. It’s a very soft theory of Thibs making Randle better, and by soft theory I mean one that lacks causation and is entirely correlation-based, but Randle has been in the league for years and has never been close to as good as he’s been under Thibs.

    And before people object to correlations, RAPM & other similar metrics are also correlational theories. So it’s not as though we never accept these theories. Like those theories, the sample needs to be much larger than it is here.

    And some people will point to how Randle worked his butt off in the offseason and that he’s a 3pt cold streak away from being back to baseline. But we rarely accept “best shape of his life” arguments. Even when the training actually shows up physically, like skinny Melo, skinny Jokic, fat Doncic (if we want to go the other way), etc., we dismiss that line of reasoning. I’m also always ready to acknowledge random variance.

    This theory is extremely preliminary, everyone is and rightfully should be skeptical, but I want to throw it out there.

    I’ll readily acknowledge the many flaws and alternative explanations that exist. But to whatever extent coaches affect performance, I think we’re shortchanging Thibs if we dismiss the possibility out of hand.

    If someone wants to put the effort into looking at other Thibs teams, that’s potentially very damning evidence.

  119. Without being overly specific, I don’t think Randle is doing anything he didn’t do in previous years. He’s just doing good things more consistently and confidently, and doing dumb and inefficient stuff less.

    Up until this season Randle was a .295 3-point shooter.

    This year he’s shooting .416 on pretty high volume.

    That’s a pretty significant thing he can do this year that he was not able to do before. He has added the most important weapon in the modern game to his arsenal.

  120. geo:
    haliburton looked really good out there last night, trying to think of who he reminds me of – a young (uninjured) shaun livingston maybe?

    he is so light though, physically he looked like a high schooler out there…what a feel for the game though, and shows the same confidence as our own mister quik…

    And yet, our management thought that Obi was better. I don’t know how they could have come to that conclusion.

  121. Hot off the press from 4 hours ago.

    The Ringer is buying in on IQ starting, like many of us lobbied for awhile ago.

    But Thibodeau’s reluctance makes less sense once you consider how Quickley fits with the other key players in New York. The Knicks go from a net rating of plus-4.5 in 548 minutes with him this season to minus-1.6 in 1,036 minutes without him. There’s still a lot of room for them to improve because Thibs has relied so much on a starting lineup that hasn’t worked. The Knicks’ normal starters (Payton, Barrett, Reggie Bullock, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson) are the most heavily played lineup in the league (391 minutes) despite having a net rating of just plus-0.9. Replace Payton with Quickley and that number skyrockets to plus-26 in 24 minutes.

  122. Z-man: Do you think Thibs would have played Frank Ntilikina for the majority of the 4th quarter last night if this were game 7 of the NBA finals?

    And how would Frank have played if he knew that he’d play over the guys in front of him no matter how poorly he played or whether the team won or lost? Is that philosophy magically developing players on teams like CLE, or SAC, or MIN, or DET? And what about our guys that actually ARE getting significant minutes, like Mitch, RJ, and IQ? What about Obi? Would he be seeing the floor at all if this were game 7 of the finals?

    Sorry, Count, it comes across to me as whining and is actually not supported by the facts about how the young players are coming along. That you “don’t want to hear about it” just comes across to me as sounding narrow-minded.

    Does anyone believe that Knox and Frank benefitted from all of the unearned minutes that they received under past regimes?

    Would Obi be a better player if he were allowed to embarrass himself for 30 minutes a game instead of 10?

  123. Ben R:
    I think all the “look at the wins Thibs is a genius” people need to pump the brakes a little. We are still under .500 despite being super lucky in the injury/Covid front. Many of the teams we are ahead of have faced much more adversity than we have. Other than Robinson our starting lineup has been remarkably healthy.

    I think Thibs has done some nice things defensively and I’ll give him a lot of credit there but our offense over large stretches has been a mess and not really any better than it was under Miller despite Randle playing out of his mind, Barrett’s improvement, and Quickley’s emergence.

    The trade for Rose and Gibson’s steadily increasing minutes is what gives many of us heartburn. While we are still winning it is an ominous sign. Last night was better but I want to see a 5-10 game stretch where our bench and our youth get extended runs before I’ll start getting hopeful.

    One very easy thing Thibs could do, if he could take off his rose colored glasses for former Bulls players is use Toppin in the role offensively that he is using Gibson. Gibson is constantly involved in the offense setting screens, running pick and roll, getting the ball around the free throw line while Toppin’ role is to get the fuck out of the way and run to the corner. Maybe if they switched offensive roles Toppin would actually get some real opportunities to contribute offensively.

    Rose replaced Rivers.
    Taj replaced an injured Mitch.
    I see nothing wrong with these moves.

  124. Mike Honcho:
    A lot of Randle’s improvements seem independent of Thibs, though. What exactly did Thibs do to make Randle a 41% three point shooter?

    He stressed taking good shots, for one thing.

  125. Neophyte question: The consensus is that the best way to develop
    young players is to play them significant minutes every game and let them work through their mistakes. I’m curious about how we arrived at that.

    Is there a study or studies out there on that subject, or on the converse that indicates that “earning playing time” and short leashes in-game have no effect ?

  126. I am really curious. When I read posts like this:

    Deeefense:
    Rose is irrelevant.

    They want to keep improving the team to build a winning culture and the make the team more attractive to free agents, develop the kids further by making the playoffs etc… They needed another true PG and scorer.Rose is both.He’s here for now.He’s helping the team. He’ll probably be gone by the time it all matters.

    I have to ask, who? Really, who do you think you can get and at what cost?

    Rose is not elite. He doesn’t think that he’s elite. Nobody does. Who are you going to add? What’s on the shelf in the point guard supermarket?

  127. Frank played well enough last year to earn playing time. I wrote him off because I didn’t think he’d get another chance. Thibs has no idea what he’s done to this board by playing Frank 23 min in a random game.

    We’ve slipped back into the time loop.

    It’s homage to Groundhog Day

  128. JK47: Up until this season Randle was a .295 3-point shooter.

    This year he’s shooting .416 on pretty high volume.

    That’s a pretty significant thing he can do this year that he was not able to do before. He has added the most important weapon in the modern game to his arsenal.

    Derrick Rose is shooting 36.4% this on 3pt shots this year, 43.8% for the Knicks (7 for 16). His next 2 misses takes him down to 38% for the Knicks.

    41.7 is his FG% for the Knicks this season. Overall 42.5%.

    Yes, he’s shot lights out for the Knicks,

  129. Doug Chu:
    Neophyte question: The consensus is that the best way to develop
    young players is to play them significant minutes every game and let them work through their mistakes. I’m curious about how we arrived at that.

    Is there a study or studies out there on that subject, or on the converse that indicates that “earning playing time” and short leashes in-game have no effect ?

    That’s a fair question. I know that an 18 year old kid drafted into baseball is going to spend 2-3 years traveling on buses from places like Scranton, Rochester, Syracuse, Toledo and Columbus. How many rookies are starting this year? 3 or 4? And to top it off, this year there was barely any camp or preseason and these kids didn’t get to play in March madness either.

  130. *** The consensus is that the best way to develop
    young players is to play them significant minutes every game and let them work through their mistakes. I’m curious about how we arrived at that. Is there a study or studies out there on that subject, or on the converse that indicates that “earning playing time” and short leashes in-game have no effect ?***

    The modern fan has an obsession with instant gratification thanks to a handful of 20 year olds being handed the keys to their respective franchises and running amok. It must have been pretty tempting for Van Gundy to build off of Gentry’s 36% usage for Zion in the bubble in an attempt to Doncicize him. But Van Gundy has a team full of young players to integrate together, and he obviously scaled back Zion’s role to start the season. Over the past month he has slowly taken his foot off the break and applied it to the Zion accelerator. People here propose that Van Grundy should be fired for his misuse of the roster there, presumably for the “consensus” opinion you reference. But the soft gloves there seem to be working — “Zion fully realized” is probably worth the wait — and no one will remember Van Gundy’s poor use of the roster once the Cracken has been released.

    It’s hard to tell what goes on off the court with these guys. We can complain that Thibs is doing it wrong, but it’s hard to tell whether Quickley is succeeding because of, or in spite of, Thibs and the coaching staff.

  131. What’s interesting to me about the sopranos watching it for the first time now is seeing all these things that prestige television shows that came on after the sopranos copped from it.

    Also the fact that it constantly surprises yet the surprise don’t feel forced like oh we’re going to surprise you to keep watching. A lot of shows do that cliffhanger ending thing to keep you watching but it feels forced. The surprises on this show are always genuinely surprising yet make total sense for the characters and story when you think about it.

  132. Hi, first time that i say something in the
    blog, ive been reading the post for some time
    now and i love the knowledge that a lot of you have and the love and passion for the New York Knicks, i would like your opinion in something that ive been thinking, Would you prefer horford or otis toppin coming from the bench?

  133. And yet, our management thought that Obi was better. I don’t know how they could have come to that conclusion.

    honestly netstown – when i was looking at him last night, the thought that kept coming up was: man, that dude looks frail…

    definitely doesn’t play like that, but he’s listed as 6’5″, 185 lbs, but looks more around a buck fifty…

    i guess though, coming out of college kevin durant and steph curry didn’t look all that sturdy either…

  134. Doug, neophyte answer (since I’m no expert on this topic) — I can only imagine that it depends on so many things. How good is the player (how many egregious errors will he make, how embarrassing are they, are they so bad they significantly increase the odds of losing the game for the team); how mentally strong is the player (will being yanked motivate him, send him into a funk, or make him frightened to try; on the flip side is he strong enough to play through errors without wilting); what’s the relationship with the coach (does he fear and respect him, is it more of a father-son relationship, etc.); and what’s the player’s actual motivation (he wants to get better; he wants to help the team win; he wants to make more money).

    I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg, I can’t imagine there’s a rote answer for it. For Kevin and Frank, playing tons of minutes early clearly didn’t do much for them. But one was a frightened deer and the other a giraffe on ice skates. I wouldn’t say they’re outliers, but they’re of a certain type (i.e., bad, if in different ways). I just can’t believe they couldn’t have been developed better (if only because their actual development was so microscopic) with different time management and more focused support.

    With luck someone will have discussed their dissertation on the subject while I was typing this and I’ll be proven wrong before I even hit ‘post.’

  135. I won’t lie. Watching “Cryogenically Frozen Revived Frank” playing D as the Human Pressing Machine made my day yesterday!
    It would be very interesting to see Thibs’ rotations after this game. Especially with all players being healthy.
    Im starting to smell crow gyros….

  136. howdy rocky balboa – welcome :)

    my understanding is horford is playing better with the thunder than he did with the sixers, but – he’s still making another 25 million each of the next 2 seasons…

    i hope we don’t spend anything over 20 million for a player before we find our starting point guard (although more and more i’m thinking quik may be that player)…

  137. Would you prefer horford or otis toppin coming from the bench?

    Al Horford is 45 years old (according to my eyetest) and Obi Toppin is only 28 (according to draft analysts). So of the two, I’ll take Tyrese Haliburton.

  138. E, all merc’d out:
    “Other than KAT” reads almost identical to “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

    I think that’s more true for Thibs being tarnished by a loser like KAT. Tell me, whose record is better without the other?

  139. Saying that the team now is almost like when Miller was coaching is it supposed to be an inside joke?

    Why then everyone in here predicted that the team will win somewhere in the low20s?

  140. Why then everyone in here predicted that the team will win somewhere in the low20s?

    there was a bunch of folks here who predicted wins in the 30’s…i went with 27, but, thought a range of 27 to 33 was possible…

    our roster has improved a lot over the last two years (yes, we were at a pretty low point there for a while talent wise – what’s up lance thomas)…

  141. Geo i predicted 36W based entirely on Thibs but as I’ve said again if i had to bet real and much money I’d go between 5w higher and 5w lower from the Vegas odds.
    Let’s cut the Amnesia Overdose and Remember Well what a shitshow of a team we used to witness before Thibs arrival.

  142. Knew Your Nicks:
    Saying that the team now is almost like when Miller was coaching is it supposed to be an inside joke?

    Why then everyone in here predicted that the team will win somewhere in the low20s?

    The median win projection was 25 wins, so half of Knickerblogger predicted more than wins in the low 20’s. The average win prediction was about 26 wins.

  143. Knew Your Nicks:
    Saying that the team now is almost like when Miller was coaching is it supposed to be an inside joke?

    Why then everyone in here predicted that the team will win somewhere in the low20s?

    JK47 said it somewhere but if I knew Randle was going to sink 41% on a shit ton of threes I would have gone higher.

    He’s made a massive jump there. He seems to be hitting a ton of really hard midrange jumpers too, like those baseline fadeaways.

    Sometimes players breakout. I have a hard time believing this is really real but I am enjoying it.

    Quickley has been a lot better than expected too. That’s basically the story.

    Don’t mind being wrong…

  144. So having a well coached team don’t matter on individual playing while having a breakout season upgrades your coach’s luck and fame?

  145. My truth serum
    The same exact roster under Atkinson I’d had predicted 28W max
    Under a typical clown nba coach 25W MAX
    And I’m a die hard optimist fan

  146. Tatum threw a beautiful no look pass.

    Pritchard and Time Lord have looked great. It’s amazing Williams is in such a minimal role. He seems pretty good to me. A lot like Mitch.

    KYK- the Knicks defense has been stellar, no doubt about it. A lot of that is still based on opponents missing open shots. I wonder if we play like a top ten defense the rest of the way.

  147. KYK- the Knicks defense has been stellar, no doubt about it. A lot of that is still based on opponents missing open shots. I wonder if we play like a top ten defense the rest of the way.

    And now we have Frank. Lol.

  148. #KYK- the Knicks defense has been stellar, no doubt about it. A lot of that is still based on opponents missing open shots. I wonder if we play like a top ten defense the rest of the way.#

    Beggars can’t be choosers.
    Defense is all we have. If we don’t play like a top ten defense the rest of the way then we’re destined for the lottery.
    And i know one guy in crucial position that won’t let that happen.
    If you watch carefully you’ll see many open shots by design. Especially on the players with low fg%.
    Bball God helps those who help themselves.

  149. The reason why i was saying it its because, can you imagine us ( knicks fans) having somebody that can do something as a PF after randle rest and also a player that could play center, you guys talk about a point guard, but Otis topin is not as advertised and maybe in my dreams i would love to see somebody that produce in the PF position after randle rest, is cedrik ceballos a free agent?

  150. watching jazz v heat…the jazz local telecast…the announcers call clarkson… the “flamethrower “…cool nickname

  151. Neophyte question: The consensus is that the best way to develop
    young players is to play them significant minutes every game and let them work through their mistakes. I’m curious about how we arrived at that.

    Is there a study or studies out there on that subject, or on the converse that indicates that “earning playing time” and short leashes in-game have no effect ?

    there aren’t any studies that i know of… but i think that’s because we have so few examples of it of top prospects basically sitting on the bench for a year or longer like some qbs do in the nfl…

    there’s jermaine o’neal .. darko milicic… and then i’m kind of struggling to find other highly drafted players basically redshirting for a year…

    once you get past the lotto players sit for all sorts of reasons… something like how malachi flynn or kira lewis is doing since they are in a positional logjam and just waiting for it to clear after the season… or they were just super raw and just need to prove themselves in practice or the gleague… like with pokusevski or vanvleet respectively…

    my opinion is that this notion that players need to play is a little backwards… it’s not really because it’s best to learn or attain skill …. players can improve as the season progresses but that generally isn’t all too common…. they improve for the most part in offseasons… but players do need to play because that’s the only way to prove their worth…. there just isn’t that much talent in the league where you can afford to have your first rd pick collect dust on the bench in favor of some random gleague dude…. because that random gleague dude is probably not going to be in the league in a year or two whereas your first rd pick should be able to show you something in the 3-4 years you have control…

  152. following up on the Thinking, Fast and Slow conversation the other day – are those principles on decision making processes just relevant to front office “choices” or also for evaluating an athlete’s potential performance?

  153. Al Horford isn’t a bad player this year, but I’m not sure he plays after Mitch returns. I’m definitely not playing Horford at PF, he’s too old and I wouldn’t trust him as a perimeter defender. Also, Horford at PF did not work out for Philly.

    Obi has his flaws, but he’s fine for a few minutes a night to spell Randle. I’m mostly concerned about Obi’s rebounding, but he’s not terrible for a rookie in other respects. If anything, Obi should get more playing time.

  154. geo:
    following up on the Thinking, Fast and Slow conversation the other day – are those principles on decision making processes just relevant to front office “choices” or also for evaluating an athlete’s potential performance?

    I’d say the article was mostly geared towards player choices and evaluating athlete performance. It’s a godsend to the nerds in the offices that the book became popular.

    More generally, I do think the book has become popular in many business circles to improve decision making.

  155. Al Horford isn’t a bad player this year, but I’m not sure he plays after Mitch returns. I’m definitely not playing Horford at PF, he’s too old and I wouldn’t trust him as a perimeter defender. Also, Horford at PF did not work out for Philly.

    They could do Randle/Horford/Mitch like Lee/Randolph/Curry!

  156. Why then everyone in here predicted that the team will win somewhere in the low20s?

    were we that low? I predicted we’d be the 10th seed and I still stand by that.

    btw people giving thibs credit for randle’s improvement are high AF. Thibs has organized the defense and he deserves credit for that. But Randle is the biggest reason we’re outperforming expectations, not Thibs. Quickley is probably ahead of Thibs, too.

  157. Hubert, I’m with you there. The only argument that would make sense for the Thibs-Randle connection is that Thibs choosing to play Randle at point forward has somehow unlocked magic. (Although one could also argue the reason he did that was he looked at the dross he had at the point, so it was desperation, not genius.) But the alternative hypothesis is that Julius would be just as good with a decent point guard who could get him the ball in positions to succeed. Any improvement by Julius on defense I’m willing to give to Thibs, but I don’t see the O connection.

  158. #btw people giving thibs credit for randle’s improvement are high AF#

    One month ago when our record wasn’t close to 50% i had said that Julius with the same stats would look as a much better player on a winning team.

    Also when your office is organised and clean you usually work easier and better.

  159. d-mar:
    Tatum is starting to remind me of late career Melo

    Tatum is playing NBA basketball with chronic COVID. His symptoms sound specifically like a virus induced myocarditis. It is amazing that he is doing this well considering his health status.

  160. I know we’re debating here but it also doesn’t have to be one or the other. Both things can be true.

    Randle put in the work this summer to get better but he’s also now playing for a better coach and more organized, less of a clown show front office. Add those up and you have an all star playing on a 500 team.

    I think it’s also fair to say that Randle’s offensive improvement might be mostly his own doing but thibs can take a lot of the credit for the improved defense.

  161. As much as I enjoy the wins, I can’t help but feel that the Randle improvement is bittersweet.

    It’s taking us out of the high lottery (a really good one this year) and there’s no way Randle will still be worth the money in 3-4 years when the young core is hopefully really ready to bust out.

    This team needs to add a guy like Kuminga or Suggs on a rookie contract. It’s definitely not close to competing, even if a Beal trade magically goes down.

    The obvious decision would be trade Randle and max his value before the deadline, but it’s not going to happen with Thibs here. I have come around to thinking that this year’s wins will hurt the team long term, I guess.

  162. Hubert: btw people giving thibs credit for randle’s improvement are high AF.

    I guess Randle is high AF because he himself gives thibs credit for his improvement

  163. Ess-dog,

    I get that but I also hate thinking that way. Anytime a team improves from bad to decent they hurt their draft pick status. But teams rarely go from bad to good. They usually go from bad to average to good and then hopefully to great.

    Randle is 26. He can easily still be at this peak at age 29 when RJ, Mitch and IQ and our picks this year and experienced and ready to really compete. This is nowhere near RJ’s ceiling. Or mitch’s or IQ’s.

    It’s also just not true that you have to pick high in the draft to get a great player or even a superstar. I list them all the time but there are lots of great players picked 15 or later. We also have no idea where the Dallas pick will end up. And with two picks, maybe we package them to move up.

    To me it’s kind of a loser’s mentality. If we were 8 or 9 games worse and didn’t have as many young players the. I’d totally agree with you. But between our picks and ability to sign free agents over the next few seasons and the improvement from RJ, Mitch and IQ (and OBI possibly too), there is so much room for improvement ahead for this team.

  164. swiftandabundant: To me it’s kind of a loser’s mentality. If we were 8 or 9 games worse and didn’t have as many young players the. I’d totally agree with you. But between our picks and ability to sign free agents over the next few seasons and the improvement from RJ, Mitch and IQ (and OBI possibly too), there is so much room for improvement ahead for this team.

    Both POVs are valid, it’s just that once Thibs was hired, the path ess-dog would prefer was no longer a possibility. The current path certainly may set back the team in some ways. You have to hope that they continue to (i.e. learn to) draft well and make smart deals.

  165. Call me whatever name you want to but Nikola Jokic is a free agent in two summers. The shine is starting to wear off of Michael Porter Jr and Jamal Murray, and they don’t really project to have any meaningful cap space going forward (summer 2022 they have to pay Michael Porter Jr). Don’t be surprised if having Julius Randle and Tom Thibodeau is a reason Jokic starts to look at New York.

  166. As to Randle, he seems to have greatly improved his ability to anticipate and read double-teams. He is also more aware of how to correctly punish teams for not double-teaming. The great players a) can score from all 3 levels (check!) and b) can’t be guarded one-on-one because they have several high-efficiency go-to moves…from the left, from the right, from straight away…and against all kinds of defenders (check!) It isn’t always pretty, but he can get to that little fadeaway jumper at the very least and with a guy like Mitch on the offensive boards that’s a great PPP look. And when he sees the double coming, he’s kicking out for either good looks directly, or hockey assist looks. There were two beautiful sequences against Sacto where he backed down a defender and as soon as the double came he kicked out to the 3pt line and the receiver swung the ball to an open 3pt shooter. Simple stuff that starts with Randle demanding a double-team. It’s a triangle-ey principle but just as effective in the modern game as a PnR, in fact, the PnR can be used to generate the mismatch-double team scenario early in the clock.

    In other words, the offense is not as primitive as some might think, it makes a lot of sense to run it through Julius the way he’s playing. It also makes him an extremely valuable player, certainly one who can be part of a Big 3.

  167. Z-man: I guess Randle is high AF because he himself gives thibs credit for his improvement

    Ah, yes. Ye olde “he hold me accountable” platitude. Definitive proof that Tom Thibodeau is the reason Julius Randle shoots 40% on 3’s now. I yield.

  168. Last year: Julius sucks. We must unload his contract at all costs.

    Then Thibs arrives.

    This year: Julius is a fantastic player and Thibs deserves no credit.

  169. NetsTown:
    Last year: Julius sucks. We must unload his contract at all costs.

    Then Thibs arrives.

    This year: Julius is a fantastic player and Thibs deserves no credit.

    It’s the typical “I have absolutely no evidence but I can read people’s minds and therefore it must be true” argument from Hubert. Save your breath though, we could win 5 straight NBA titles under Thibs and Hubert would find ways to credit everyone but him and the other folks he currently bashes.

  170. Hubert: Ah, yes. Ye olde “he hold me accountable” platitude. Definitive proof that Tom Thibodeau is the reason Julius Randle shoots 40% on 3’s now. I yield.

    Tom Thibodeau and Kenny Payne don’t deserve credit for coaching those horrible spin moves out of Randle’s game, the assist jump in Randle’s numbers, or the fact that Julius Randle’s defense is good enough for him to be the leading minute logger on the league’s 3rd best defense? Julius Randle had a summer like Jimmy Butler’s 2014 summer it seems, but Tom Thibodeau took last year’s 23rd ranked defense and made it the 3rd ranked defense. If that’s not a huge reason why we could be above .500 at the all star break, then I guess I don’t understand basketball.

  171. PS we’ve already established that Julius worked his ass off in the offseason. He certainly did everything he could to put himself in a position where a coach like Thibs could make him the centerpiece of the offense. As I pointed out before, the only thing that is significantly different between this Randle and the Randle from 2018-19 is his passing. Despite the improvement in his 3pt%, his TS% is actually down from the two years before he got here. It’s his passing and his defense that are significantly better…his AST% and DBPM are both at career highs. You’d have to be high AF to not give Thibs credit for the way that Randle’s offensive and defensive reads and reactions have improved, which is why he’s an all-star, not the gaudy 3pt%.

  172. Thibs doesn’t play the game

    Does a recipe work because of the ingredients or because of the way they were prepared?

  173. It’s also just not true that you have to pick high in the draft to get a great player or even a superstar. I list them all the time but there are lots of great players picked 15 or later.

    This is a non-sequitur. We’ve been over this a number of times. Yes, it’s theoretically possible to land elite talent outside the top half of the lottery. It’s also extremely rare, and by definition requires some of the dumbest luck imaginable (i.e. a lot of other teams badly whiffing). Bringing up the possibility is pretty similar to arguing that we’re in fine shape because Kawhi Leonard might sign with us. Like, sure, the possibility exists, but you can’t blame people for wanting to chart a more certain path.

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t value picks up and down the board highly. I’m the guy crying over the second rounder we gave up for Derrick Rose. Draft picks are one of the best opportunities to stuff production under the salary cap, and if it were up to me we’d be hoarding them OKC style. I’m very glad Scott Perry didn’t take the advice of some posters here and not trade Marcus Morris last year. I vastly prefer Immanuel Quickley on a rookie scale deal than a few extra Marcus Morris memories.

    As far as landing the truly elite, annual 5+ BPM types you need to contend though, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you’re hoping to land them where we’ll be picking.

  174. You’d have to be high AF to not give Thibs credit for the way that Randle’s offensive and defensive reads and reactions have improved, which is why he’s an all-star, not the gaudy 3pt%.

    How do we think Thibs improved Randle’s reaction times in a single offseason? Hypnosis? Electrical brain stimulation? Playing a ton of Fortnite duos?

    I’m willing to give Thibs credit for guys playing improved D and maybe forcing better practice habits, but I do not think he’s a wizard who can somehow get our players’ brains performing better. That’s hokum.

  175. Here’s a good article from Givony about some G-League standouts, including Louis King of the Westies.

    One drawback to what I guess we can call the “Thibs approach” (a heavy focus on wins this season, basically) is that I’m pretty confident we won’t be giving King, or anyone else discussed in the article, a shot. Roster spots for Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose shouldn’t be getting in the way of us potentially adding to our young talent pool, even if the chances are doing so are remote.

  176. Here’s a quote from Randle:

    “We don’t have to second-guess where we’re going to be on the floor. We have great spacing and if the defense is collapsing, I can depend on whoever it is to cut or to be in the right [place] and just make the easy play. We’re all just trying to make the easy play, the right play, and play for each other unselfishly.”

    If you don’t give the coach credit for spacing and simplifying reads, then I’m not sure who you give credit to. The connection between these 2 things and an uptick in assists seems pretty obvious.

    Dink: How do we think Thibs improved Randle’s reaction times in a single offseason? Hypnosis? Electrical brain stimulation? Playing a ton of Fortnite duos?

    This is an extremely uncharitable reading of that comment. He doesn’t say reaction time or speed, he simply says reaction. He pretty clearly means Randle is taking the right actions, not that his brain is firing quicker.

    Of course, he can also react quicker without a change in neurons. Watching Randle this year compared to last year, he appears to give a shit on defense. That’s definitely something you give the coach some credit for, especially Thibs.

  177. Dink: How do we think Thibs improved Randle’s reaction times in a single offseason?

    You misinterpreted me. I said reactions, not reaction times. Meaning, here’s what the opposing offense is doing, should I switch, hedge or stay home? How far should I cheat in? Should I front my guy, play behind him, or something in between? If I get beat, where’s my help so I know who to pick up?

    Frankly, I’m surprised that I had to explain that.

    (Just saw that Early Bird had my back, thanks!)

  178. My two cents is we’re never going to know the precise amount of attribution to give a coach when a player improves and it’s thus a boring, dry topic. Let’s talk about Franz Wagner instead.

  179. thenoblefacehumper:
    My two cents is we’re never going to know the precise amount of attribution to give a coach when a player improves and it’s thus a boring, dry topic. Let’s talk about Franz Wagner instead.

    To each his own. I couldn’t give two shits about Franz Wagner at this point in time. I’m fascinated with what the reasons are for the individual and team outcomes for the current Knicks and the implications are for the future. Good news: KB can handle more than one discussion at a time!

  180. You’re right. Thibs doesn’t play the game. He just coaches the team, runs the practices, sets the rotations, runs the game film sessions and decides what the offensive and defensive schemes are. Oh and makes in game and half time adjustments and calls plays out of time outs. But other than that, sure, thibs does nothing. I mean why even have coaches? Their all pros anyways. Just plug in the players based on their stats and make sure they shoot lots of 3s and they’re bound to win games, right? Unless, of course, it’s pop or Atkinson. They’re the only coaches in the history of the NBA who’ve ever made a difference.

  181. Dink: I’m willing to give Thibs credit for guys playing improved D

    This is too generous. Maybe find 2 or 20 mitigating factors.

  182. thenoblefacehumper: Let’s talk about Franz Wagner instead.

    So what about Franz Wagner? Is he a good prospect? Will he be available when we pick (i’m predicting the 2 picks will be in the 12 to 18 range)?

  183. Does a recipe work because of the ingredients or because of the way they were prepared?

    inspiring thought…i’m gonna be making some chicken noodle soup and also beef stew today :)

    one of my favorite things about cooking (other than eating of course) is that mix of science and art together…

    mmmmm, cookies…

    also need to fry up some more chicken cutlets and put together some marinara gravy…

  184. My son just randomly asked me about the Kermit Washington incident. I started telling him about how he kinda got blackballed and misunderstood, and how he was actually a great guy, based on my recollection of a puff piece done a while back. Then I googled him on wikipedia and learned that he wasn’t such a great guy and is currently serving time in federal prison for money laundering. It appears that my more rosy recollection of him was based a PR campaign that tried to paint him in a more positive victimized light. It’s a really interesting story with so many twists over the years. So weird. I remember both him and Rudy T as players, it was such a huge crossroads for both of them, and for the NBA.

  185. If you don’t give the coach credit for spacing and simplifying reads, then I’m not sure who you give credit to. The connection between these 2 things and an uptick in assists seems pretty obvious.

    I absolutely do give Thibs credit for letting Randle play point forward. But ultimately, Randle reads the floor, makes the passes and takes the shots. There is no coach in the world that can teach a player to shoot threes effectively in-game over one short offseason.

    Why is RJ’s 3PT shooting virtually the same (+0.001) year over year, when Randle’s has gone through the roof? Does Thibs’ magical shouting power work on some players, but not others?

    If I had to guess, it’s that Randle has had his role changed — thank you, Thibs, honestly! — and knows that the next 120-ish games are the difference between a 4-year, $80M contract and a 5-year, $160M contract. Is it any wonder that a guy in that position might work on the single most important individual skill all offseason?

  186. Z-man:
    My son just randomly asked me about the Kermit Washington incident. I started telling him about how he kinda got blackballed and misunderstood, and how he was actually a great guy, based on my recollection of a puff piece done a while back. Then I googled him on wikipedia and learned that he wasn’t such a great guy and is currently serving time in federal prison for money laundering. It appears that my more rosy recollection of him was based a PR campaign that tried to paint him in a more positive victimized light. It’s a really interesting story with so many twists over the years. So weird. I remember both him and Rudy T as players, it was such a huge crossroads for both of them, and for the NBA.

    There’s a John Feinstein about that incident called “The Punch”. It’s like the bball equivalent about that book all about Louie Louie. The lasting effects of any given moment.,,

  187. Randle’s career numbers show that he started shooting 3s in LA at low volume and also low efficiency.
    In NOP he was allowed to shoot 3s 5times more than in LA at a very decent 3p% (34,4)
    In his first NYK season he attempted more 3s than ever without the same success tho (27,7%).
    In his second NYK season so far he shoots 3s at 41,6% while being very efficient especially during the last month.

    Conclusion: He learned how to shoot 3s in New Orleans. Forgot about them in New York but thanks to his hard work in the summer he had a great 3p stretch in February.

  188. Knicks stuff I’ve learned so far from Kb!
    Opp Low 3p% is luck
    Randle’s 3p% is hard work
    IQ is the unwanted pregnancy draft pick
    Thibs is a sadist reunioneer and
    Frank is back from the Deep Freeze as…Frankenstein

  189. #KYN you are right. Randle’s three point shooting could be luck.#

    2 months ago whenever Randle (and Payton) shot a 3 i was holding my breath (and my balls)!
    1 month ago i started to be surprised by Randle’s efficient streak(as everyone i suppose)

    Call it hard work seems to me pretty hollywoodesque…

  190. A combination of mechanics, hard work, team’s spacing, confidence and luck seems to me more accurate.

  191. Gee, maybe RJ’s 3 point shooting is basically the same because he’s only a 20 year old second year player who has lots of things he needed to work on besides 3 pointers this off season and Randle is a 26 year old vet who’s polished most of his game at this point and he could really hone in on practicing 3’s this summer?

    Dang jowles. You’re smart but sometimes man…

  192. Knew Your Nicks: Conclusion: He learned how to shoot 3s in New Orleans. Keith Smart happened in New York but thanks to his hard work in the summer he had a great 3p stretch in February.

    Fixed that (but yes, it’s likely variance)

  193. If you’re a knicks fan and not Excited about tonight’s game I’m telling you boy…you do something wrooong!

  194. Fetch: Raptors, Heat, and Celtics all off tonight? A win tonight puts us tied for 4th place. Crazy times….

    That’d be amazing. But Sabonis usually torches us, it won’t be easy.

  195. The Honorable Cock Jowles: But ultimately, Randle reads the floor, makes the passes and takes the shots. There is no coach in the world that can teach a player to shoot threes effectively in-game over one short offseason.

    Yeah of course, but Thibs controls where players stand, when they move, and who is standing or moving. If you know exactly where everyone is & you don’t have to spend an extra second or 2 looking for the player, then you can make the pass as soon as you face the double. Going back to Thinking, Fast and Slow, you want Randle’s reads to be automatic, system 1 reads & not slower system 2 reads.

    Thibs could also design plays so Randle knows who is standing where on each play. You probably see you assist #s go up a bit if you know you passed to Burks in the corner versus being unsure if you just passed to Burks or Elfrid ” bricklayer guild president” Payton.

    That’s how I read Randle’s quote anyway. Thibs (or another coach) installed a system that complements Randle’s point-forward abilities better than last year’s system.

  196. In other “once a knick always a knick/pandemic/greek/stupidity” related news
    Mario Hezonja was signed by Panathinaikos BC and 1000 fans of the team waited to welcome him at the airport chanting “OE Supermario!”

  197. Someday Jowles and Lady Jowles may have kid or two, and, should that happen, I will be very curious to see how his perspective on these things changes.

  198. cybersoze: That’d be amazing. But Sabonis usually torches us, it won’t be easy.

    Yes, but luckily the Pacers are to Rj Barrett what Earth’s yellow sun is to Superman.

  199. Fetch:
    Raptors, Heat, and Celtics all off tonight?A win tonight puts us tied for 4th place. Crazy times….

    Whomever wins is in 4th, whomever loses is in 10th. No big deal.

  200. What’s the opposite of the endowment effect…you know, when Knicks fans assume that every decision made by management and coach must be bad because Knicks?

  201. Early Bird: Yes, but luckily the Pacers are to Rj Barrett what Earth’s yellow sun is to Superman.

    You’re right, i forgot about that. He’s 100% on 3Ps against Indy, i guess.

  202. About my dream that the Knicks select my fellow countryman Neemias Queta, John Hollinger wrote an article on The Athletic about “My undervalued NBA draft prospects”, and had this to say about Queta:

    Queta’s counting stats don’t blow you away because the Aggies play relatively slowly and he only plays 28 minutes a game. But per 100 possessions he’s averaging 29.0 points, 18.8 boards, 5.6 assists and 6.0 blocks. The eye test shows an improved player who has developed an array of moves on the low block.

    Those last two numbers are especially noteworthy. Queta is the only major college player in the last decade to average at least 2.5 assists and 2.5 blocks per game. Yes, this is a random combination of two stats, but in his case, it underscores a larger truth: You don’t see shot-blocking fives who can distribute like this. Queta has become a legitimately good passer, to the point that opponents are rewriting the previous strategy of always double-teaming him on the block.

    Pretty cool, right? :)

  203. cybersoze: About my dream that the Knicks select my fellow countryman Neemias Queta

    If he’s there for our 2nd RP, i should add. Because it’d be dumb to select a C with one of our 1st RPs.

  204. I wouldn’t mind the guy from Gonzaga, Corey Kispert, with one of our 1RPs. That guy seems like he’s going to be able to shoot in the NBA. If you want to go with a high-floor guy with one pick and a high ceiling guy with the other pick, he would not be a bad bet.

  205. JK47:
    I wouldn’t mind the guy from Gonzaga, Corey Kispert, with one of our 1RPs. That guy seems like he’s going to be able to shoot in the NBA. If you want to go with a high-floor guy with one pick and a high ceiling guy with the other pick, he would not be a bad bet.

    Yeah, seems like a good prospect. Maybe Jaden Springer with the other pick, for the high-ceiling.

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