Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

NY Post: Knicks shockingly aren’t closer to scapegoating David Fizdale

You have to admit that that’s an awesome headline by the New York Post.

Since this is Marc Berman, this is almost assuredly coming directly from Steve Mills as the “unnamed NBA source” in Berman’s latest article about the Knicks’ coaching situation:

If David Fizdale is going to be made the scapegoat by Knicks president Steve Mills for his hodgepodge roster, it’s going to take a little while longer.

According to an NBA source, Monday’s 44-point blowout loss in Milwaukee did not put the Knicks coach in any immediate danger, as bad as the optics were. Fizdale, though, must still show a modicum of progress as the winter deepens.

The Knicks host Denver on Thursday and Indiana on Saturday before a grueling four-game western trip that begins with Carmelo Anthony’s Blazers in Portland.

There could be plenty of embarrassment ahead — as if their worst 21-game start in team history (4-17) isn’t bad enough.

With a seven-game losing streak, Fizdale is far from safe to make it to the All-Star break. But management was encouraged by the Knicks showing progress during that second 10-game stretch during which they recorded a 2-8 mark after also going 2-8 in the first 10.

I love the “We were encouraged by the 2-8 record in the last 10 games following the dismal…2-8 record in the previous 10 games.” Really, this is precisely what we have all been discussing for some time now. Mills and Perry can’t fire Fizdale too soon or else they can no longer use him as a scapegoat.

I like this bit…

The Post has already reported the major deterrent to make a coaching change this early is the alternative is unappetizing. Plus, Fizdale has two years left on his pact.

An interim replacement of either Jud Buechler, Caleb Kanales or Mike Miller, their former G-League head coach, would be hard pressed to make this convoluted roster sparkle. If Fizdale goes, he likely will take his top assistant, Keith Smart, with him.

Wait, you mean they can get rid of Keith Smart just by firing Fizdale?! You have to love how badly you are playing your hand if you think, “Well, if I go, then Keith Smart goes, too,” is a threat.

And the capper…

“Fiz needs a point guard to really be successful — the way he wants to play,’’ one NBA assistant coach said.

I mean, would they look better if Payton was there? Of course, but come on.

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133 comments on “NY Post: Knicks shockingly aren’t closer to scapegoating David Fizdale

  1. Nick C.

    The line “would be hard pressed to make this convoluted roster sparkle ” with reference to any potential replacement caught my eye. Whether the person is bright enough to realize it or not, that is a critique of the person(s) who assembled the roster.

  2. Brian Cronin Post author

    Berman does that a lot. He likes to show that he’s not literally just a Mills mouthpiece. He’ll put the word out there that Mills wants put out there, but he is not just doing Mills hagiography. This isn’t Charley Rosen, ya know?

  3. Early Bird

    My guess is that Fiz will get a few games with Payton back before getting fired.

    That said, there’s strategic merit to firing Fiz before Payton is back to 100%. That way the next coach will look better simply because he gets to work with an actual pg, giving Pills a little more leeway in throwing Fiz under the bus. However, if Payton sucks after Fiz gets fired, the onus comes down on Pills.

    I think the main attraction of Mike Miller as coach is that he’s not Fiz, Mark Jackson, or Keith Smart.

    But Miller has also had success with the G-League team so I don’t want to entirely discount his own merit.

  4. Hubert

    This is what I was saying on Tuesday when I mentioned Pills could get voted off before they play their immunity idol…

    They think they can drag this out, buy them time. But this shit is demoralizing and I wouldn’t be shocked if the players quit. And then it’s going to be hard for Mills and Perry to even play the new coach card, especially if all they have is promoting Mike Miller.

  5. Early Bird

    @ Cronin,

    I don’t follow Berman closely enough. Do you think there’s a chance he’s trying to distance himself from Pills in case Pills gets canned?

  6. E

    “It’s a combination,” one NBA personnel man said. “Fiz looks to be a better assistant coach — not a head coach. He needs to understand how not to be everybody’s friend.”

    Absolutely he’s an assistant and not a head coach. 100%

    The point-guard situation is an issue. The Knicks lack the true floor general needed to perhaps unlock guys such as struggling Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson and even Randle.

    This is absurd, pure clownshoes, given the offensive scheme they’ve run. And Frank is eminently able to “unlock” Knox and Mitch. Blaming Randle’s suckitude on the point guards when he IS the point guard is just delusional.

  7. Z-man

    Miller seems like the kind of coach that we have been drooling for…a non-retread, non-system, non-celebrity, non-ex-player who is best suited to developing and inspiring young players to go after it.

  8. E

    Wow … there really is sentiment on the board that somehow Elfrid Payton coming back will make a material difference because he’s a “real” point guard. Well, you can’t say you weren’t warned when this turns out to be a mirage — as it is going to be.

  9. E

    Anyone who thinks Frank isn’t a good “floor general” is blind. He’s an excellent floor general. He doesn’t turn the ball over, he gets the team organized, he makes the smart pass. The team’s offense flows well when he’s running the point.

    He’s not a chucking point guard, to be sure, but that’s an entirely different concept.

  10. Brian Cronin Post author

    I don’t follow Berman closely enough. Do you think there’s a chance he’s trying to distance himself from Pills in case Pills gets canned?

    Nah, I’m sure he’ll just try to get in good with the next guy if Mills is ever fired. But really, if there ever was someone to get in good with, it would be Mills, since that dude will never get fired.

  11. JK47

    Anyone who thinks Frank isn’t a good “floor general” is blind. He’s an excellent floor general.

    Hoo boy.

    He’s fourth on the team in minutes and he’s “floor generaled” the Knicks to the 30th ranked offensive rating. Yeah he’s killing it out there. Offense is kicking much ass. No need to upgrade the point guard position, we got Frankie Stockton out there.

  12. Brian Cronin Post author

    Miller seems like the kind of coach that we have been drooling for…a non-retread, non-system, non-celebrity, non-ex-player who is best suited to developing and inspiring young players to go after it.

    The entire G-League starting lineup in 2016-17 got picked up by NBA teams. That’s a huge feather in his cap. I agree. I would be thrilled to have him get a shot.

  13. thenoblefacehumper

    All the tantrums in the world ain’t gonna change what everyone else can see: Frank Ntilikina is not a point guard.

    His AST% of 20.1 currently ranks 80th among players who have played 100+ minutes. I know you’re not really into the whole “objective facts” thing though, so I’ll also point out that the guy is incapable of dribbling the basketball into the paint and making something good happen.

    I’ve become slightly more optimistic about his prospects of sticking in the NBA this season as a wing of sorts (though we’ll see what happens when his .469 FG% from 16<3 land comes down). But pretending he's a point guard makes about as much sense as pretending Julius Randle is a point guard. He cannot do the things point guards are expected to do and it's highly unlikely he'll learn to do things such as "dribble" at age 21.

  14. ptmilo

    The entire G-League starting lineup in 2016-17 got picked up by NBA teams. That’s a huge feather in his cap.

    i don’t think it’s a big deal. i have no take on miller, but i’m not sure why a lot of people seem specifically excited about him. it’s nothing like, say, nick nurse, who was obviously a really interesting basketball thinker doing all kinds of creative ato stuff, enforcing the 2 for 1, reducing the long 2s in various leagues around the world. i don’t think miller was particularly known for that stuff in college, but i’m not really sure.

  15. E

    He’s a perfectly fine dribbler, which is why he never turns the ball over off the dribble and routinely brings the ball up successfully against pressure.

  16. DRed

    Elfrid Payton would presumably be taking minutes that have been going to Dennis “.425 TS% with the bonus of sucking on defense too” Smith. Smith or Ellington have been the least productive Knicks this season so just some mediocre NBA basketball from Elfrid would make a material difference.

  17. GoNYGoNYGo - Dolan must sell

    There’s a demeanor that lame ducks and walking dead men have. Fizdale has it. He must know that the ax is coming soon.

    Watching the Westchester Knicks on MSG. They suck too.

    Wooten is a beast. He batted an attempted layup about 15 rows back. Iggy seems to have no idea where to be on defense but he hustles. He could use a personal coach every day.

  18. Early Bird

    If you think handing the ball off to Randle 30ft from the basket is a smart pass or floor generalling, I’m really not sure what to tell you. Randle should never touch the ball that far from the basket.

    Also, I don’t think anyone actually sees Payton as a savior, but it may move us out of GSW/ATL territory. As an even lesser claim, he’s the only player currently out who could at least theoretically make a difference.

    For you Frankophiles, Payton can replace DSJr off the bench and we can add value that way without indicting Frank’s ability to play. Pretty sure no one believes DSJr is better than Payton.

  19. thenoblefacehumper

    Y’all ever wonder who the Frank Ntilikinas on other teams are? As in, who are the replacement level scrubs that no other fanbase gives a shit about because they obviously suck, but a segment of that specific team’s fanbase will defend to the death?

  20. Brian Cronin Post author

    i don’t think it’s a big deal. i have no take on miller, but i’m not sure why a lot of people seem specifically excited about him. it’s nothing like, say, nick nurse, who was obviously a really interesting basketball thinker doing all kinds of creative ato stuff, enforcing the 2 for 1, reducing the long 2s in various leagues around the world. i don’t think miller was particularly known for that stuff in college, but i’m not really sure.

    Oh, I totally agree that he doesn’t have the same cachet that Nurse had, but heck, if he did, he probably wouldn’t still be an assistant for David Fizdale, ya know?

  21. JK47

    “Always makes the right pass” is some bullshit, just an empty cliche to make Frank Ntilikina seem like a better player than he actually is.

    Homey might have better than a 20.1 AST% if he “always made the right pass.”

    John Stockton “always made the right pass,” that’s why his AST% was like 50.0 or better most of the time. Frank Ntilikina “makes the right pass” very occasionally.

  22. KnickfaninNJ

    Actually The Knicks did improve in their second ten game stretch. After having an average margin of victory of -10 for their first eleven games, they went on a run of six games where their average margin of victory was +1 and none of the six games was a loss of ten points or more. That is a statistically significant change. They looked better too. Their offense seemed more fluid as I remember.

    After that, they regressed. I don’t know why. Maybe they actually need another press conference. I didn’t like the press conference, but it clearly didn’t hurt the team’s performance. Since they played well for one stretch after the press conference, maybe the outside comments are right, Fiz has to be tougher. But I’m not sure he has it in him.

  23. thenoblefacehumper

    It’s definitely true that Frank Ntilikina’s 495 minutes this season have been less shitty than DSJ’s 250 minutes, but seeing as how DSJ’s career 3,807 minutes have been less shitty than Ntilikina’s career 3,105 minutes it’s not at all clear to me who should be prioritized.

  24. Owen

    I am glad we have gotten back to our wheelhouse, arguing about Frank. That’s the kind of pseudoscientific discussion I can get behind….

  25. Early Bird

    I’m starting to think KBlogger admins run E’s account in order to refocus us on basketball by saying dumb things about Frank.

  26. thenoblefacehumper

    It really does take a special kind of devotion to get absolutely outraged at the suggestion that the worst offense in the NBA might suffer from subpar point guard play.

  27. Early Bird

    I may have hallucinated it, but I’m fairly certain I’ve seen Frank turn the ball over twice attempting to pass to Randle from the wing to the top of the key. I don’t trust him with the ball unless he’s literally handing it to someone else.

    Pretty sure I’ve also seen Frank throw the ball wildly into the stands attempting a kick out pass from the PnR.

    Ball handling is more than avoiding turnovers, especially from the pg position. Ball handling is getting to the place on the floor you need to be. Frank can’t do that. When he tries to do the simplest PG related things he abjectly fails. There’s a reason our offense is to hand the ball to a PF 30 ft from the basket and have our “pg” stand in the corner.

  28. Donnie Walsh

    Miller seems like the kind of coach that we have been drooling for…a non-retread, non-system, non-celebrity, non-ex-player who is best suited to developing and inspiring young players to go after it.

    As somebody who gets all of his knick related news from this site and this site only, up until just now I honestly thought the Mike Miller you guys were angling for was Mike Miller the former player, and I was like, that’s cool, he’d probably make a good coach, after all, Jokic credited him for developing him from a 2nd round afterthought to an NBA superstar. Oh well. Since I don’t watch games, I’m going to go ahead and just imaging young Mike Miller with his long hair and Laettner-style headband standing on the sidelines, holding a clipboard, if this other Mike Miller somehow becomes head coach…

  29. Early Bird

    I get news from elsewhere too, I also spent a very longtime thinking they were the same Mike Miller. There really should be more disclaimers about him in articles.

  30. geo

    not much to add…just wanted to say how much i appreciated and enjoyed everyone’s input/stories on living in LA and NYC and some other spots the last couple of days…interesting conversations…

    also enjoyed the talk on mental health issues and homelessness…a serious topic, and, one that ain’t going away…

    not always the most comfortable thing for folks to share some personal “not so happy” life moments…basketball is interesting/entertaining and all – but, the real stars here are all of you whom are courageous enough to give a bit of yourselves to this blog…

  31. danvt

    KP and Melo with the combined -27 last night. KP in a blowout win! So at least we don’t have to be tortured by what could have been. Small consolation to be sure.

    Question. Let’s say you (granted absurdly) trade Frank N for Lebron. Change nothing else. Do we make the playoffs? Are we one (very great) player away from contention or is it deeper than that?

  32. geo

    Since I don’t watch games, I’m going to go ahead and just imaging young Mike Miller with his long hair and Laettner-style headband standing on the sidelines, holding a clipboard, if this other Mike Miller somehow becomes head coach…

    I also spent a very longtime thinking they were the same Mike Miller. There really should be more disclaimers about him in articles.

    ha :)

    when i finally saw his pic – i was like, who the hell is this guy…where’s the real mike miller…

  33. danvt

    Yeah I had the same misconception. I’m disappointed. We should get the other Mike Miller not “the other Mike Miller” ;-)

  34. dtrickey

    Question. Let’s say you (granted absurdly) trade Frank N for Lebron. Change nothing else. Do we make the playoffs? Are we one (very great) player away from contention or is it deeper than that?

    See LA Lakers circa 2018/2019 season and I think you will have your answer.

  35. geo

    Question. Let’s say you (granted absurdly) trade Frank N for Lebron. Change nothing else. Do we make the playoffs? Are we one (very great) player away from contention or is it deeper than that?

    good question…i think we would have found ourselves in a very similar situation to the lakers last year – that one dude we’re leaning on better be extremely impactful and durable – otherwise we’re still losing a ton of games…

    maybe a good comparison is how luka is able to drag along the roster dallas has to a really good record so far this year…it definitely helps that they’re a pretty stable organization and they have an excellent coach in place…

    it’s funny dan, as the conversation the last couple of days focused on different nice spots to live in i was thinking about you in your little spot in the world…i’m sure the winters are wicked as heck up there, but, i have to imagine the rest of the year is unbelievably beautiful…

  36. Early Bird

    If we grabbed Lebron, I’d guess we’d make the playoffs in the East. We desperately need offensive playmakers, but really it reflects my views about grabbing the 8th seed in the East more than being better.

  37. danvt

    maybe a good comparison is how luka is able to drag along the roster dallas has to a really good record so far this year…it definitely helps that they’re a pretty stable organization and they have an excellent coach in place…

    I had this thought too. Of course great players act as magnets for more great players. So all we need is that one needle mover and maybe we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  38. Owen

    Why couldn’t Dolan have invested with Madoff….

    I also labored under the Mike Miller misperception. I think one of them needs a middle initial.

    I am in the top 10% of Frank lovers but it’s blatantly obvious to anyone who cares to see that Frank can’t break down an NBA offense. He can throw a decent pass if the opportunity presents itself but if he has to make the opportunity he can’t do it.

  39. danvt

    it’s funny dan, as the conversation the last couple of days focused on different nice spots to live in i was thinking about you in your little spot in the world…i’m sure the winters are wicked as heck up there, but, i have to imagine the rest of the year is unbelievably beautiful…

    I appreciate you Geo. When it snows they cancel work and the mountain is less than ten minutes away. Powder turns galore :-)

  40. Brian Cronin Post author

    Actually The Knicks did improve in their second ten game stretch. After having an average margin of victory of -10 for their first eleven games, they went on a run of six games where their average margin of victory was +1 and none of the six games was a loss of ten points or more. That is a statistically significant change. They looked better too. Their offense seemed more fluid as I remember.

    After that, they regressed

    “They got better but then they were bad again” isn’t really a supporting argument.

  41. Brian Cronin Post author

    Y’all ever wonder who the Frank Ntilikinas on other teams are? As in, who are the replacement level scrubs that no other fanbase gives a shit about because they obviously suck, but a segment of that specific team’s fanbase will defend to the death?

    Check out NBA Twitter now that Cam Reddish finally had a good game.

    “He has an elit toolkit. There is no argument.”

  42. Hubert

    Miller seems like the kind of coach that we have been drooling for…a non-retread, non-system, non-celebrity, non-ex-player who is best suited to developing and inspiring young players to go after it.

    This is complete conjecture. You have literally no idea if that’s what he’s best suited for. You don’t know if he runs a modern offense. You don’t even know if he’ll play the kids. For all you know, he might think “this is my chsnce, gotta play the vets to get wins.”

  43. dtrickey

    Check out NBA Twitter now that Cam Reddish finally had a good game.

    Good lord. I can only imagine the back forth on KB were we arguing the upside of Cam Reddish if the Frank discussion is anything to go by.

  44. Hubert

    The entire G-League starting lineup in 2016-17 got picked up by NBA teams. That’s a huge feather in his cap. I agree. I would be thrilled to have him get a shot.

    That could just as easily be attributed to the players or – gasp! – phil jackson.

    The logic is not sound. I think we’re grasping at straws

  45. Early Bird

    I can’t wait for the inevitable Cam is going to be better than Zion tweets, lol

    Here’s a player A/B comparison:

    Player A: 0 pts 0 asts 0 rebs 0min
    Player B: Whatever crap stats Cam is putting up, likely the answer to future trivia question who has the the lowest fg% while playing over 1,000 NBA min

  46. ess-dog

    Ah the familiar warm embrace of a Frank argument… How it soothes me.

    I recently read a Celtic blog post that was trying to determine what Frank could be “gotten” for. I think they were saying they would go as high as their own 2019 pick and a young player like Edwards. It was, I shit you not, incredibly titillating.

  47. Brian Cronin Post author

    Mike Miller was also named G-League Coach of the Year, like Quin Snyder and Nick Nurse. That alone is reason to think he could be a good coach. Jerry Stackhouse was also named G-League Coach of the Year, but he’s sadly off the market.

  48. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    I wonder how many owners would trade us their POBO if we offered the unprotected Dallas pick?

    Kevin Pritchard in Indy, Darryl Morey in Houston, Masai Ujiri in Toronto, Tim Connelly in Denver, Andy Elisburg in Miami (he’s the GM), Lawrence Frank in LA (Clippers), somebody. We just need Perry/Mills/Fizdale out of here and we need a guy who can get full autonomy. If Dolan can’t convince a superstar player to come to town, he should just spend a max contract on his front office. Trade for a guy, and then build the league’s best player development system with your money. And for good karma bring back Jeff Van Gundy.

    Also, Frank Ntilikina is a shooting guard. Let him play defense and shoot wide open threes. Hopefully he rebounds well enough to be as good as Andre Roberson some day.

  49. Z-man

    Anyone who thinks Frank isn’t a good “floor general” is blind. He’s an excellent floor general.

    …as in General Patton or General Montgomery.

  50. ptmilo

    Mike Miller was also named G-League Coach of the Year, like Quin Snyder and Nick Nurse. That alone is reason to think he could be a good coach.

    as long as we’re fantasizing about former g league coaches of the year, i think scott morrison (now a celtics assistant) fits the profile of good coaching prospect. one thing that vaguely worries me about miller is that the westchester knicks were always at the bottom of the g league in 3pa while he was there, and i don’t think eastern illinois was thought of as a particularly smart/modernizing team during his tenure, either (i mean, i really don’t know). players seem to like him.

  51. Brian Cronin Post author

    Agreed there. Honestly, looking at the list of guys who have won G-League Coach of the Year, a lot of them seem really impressive. Dan Craig, for one, who is the guy who fills in when Spoelstra takes time off in Miami.

  52. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Hopefully Mike Miller does actually get the job when Fizdale gets fired. I’ll be his biggest supporter if he forces Perry and Mills to bring back Kornet and then glues their $16M investment in Bobby Portis to the bench forever.

    Really, though, I just want to know what we have in the guy. If he can put together a system, draw up some decent ato plays, and get the young guys to show some improvement he should get the job long term.

  53. Grocer

    I’m less interested in Mike Miller and more interested in whoever was the GM for that team. Maybe he’s a good development coach, or maybe they had a smart selection process.

  54. Brian Cronin Post author

    I love Lebron’s reaction when a fan asked him about it in the second half. “Yeah, that was fucked up.”

  55. TheClashFan

    Still gonna take another 5 years to fully get rid of the Wilpons. In the meantime, what dumb moves will Brody VW make? I guess there is light at the end of the tunnel, though, unlike the Knicks.

  56. JK47

    My real fear is that Brodie trades Jeff McNeil for a relief pitcher. You just know he is itching to do that. McNeil racked up 4.6 WAR for 500K. Brodie is not gonna let that shit stand.

  57. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Anyone who thinks Frank isn’t a good “floor general” is blind. He’s an excellent floor general.

    As soon as I read this, I literally heard JK47 crack his knuckles and loosen up his fingers to type a response (lol).
    My question is that when you say “floor general”, are you talking about someone who can orchestrate the offense, or someone who can facilitate it? Because I believe there’s a difference. To orchestrate, you need to basically be in complete control of running the offense and in sync with when to attack and when to set up your teammates. Frank’s not there yet.

  58. E

    Facilitate. Bring the ball up, organize, make a smart first pass. Lead the break effectively. That’s floor generalship, particularly if you throw in defense. Breaking the defense down or being a consistent first option is something different.

  59. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    one thing that vaguely worries me about miller is that the westchester knicks were always at the bottom of the g league in 3pa while he was there

    I saw something a few years ago about how he was told to implement the triangle in order to get players ready for the big team. I assume it’s a consequence of that. Which is when I first became impressed by him – made the triangle work and won games? Maybe this guy can coach…

  60. Hubert

    What is Mike Miller’s role on this team? Because I’m not looking at this team and going “someone must be doing a great job coaching ____.”

    I don’t mean to be a downer but, far from this guy being a “dream”, all signs point to him being a disaster. There’s nothing here other than the romantic idea of hiring someone whose name is associated with the word development.

    His coach of the year award was for going 32-18 with Trey Burke averaging 26 pts on 20 shots. He also had Luke Kornet (started 35 games), Nigel Hayes (35 games), Isiah Hicks (36 games) and even Damyean Dotson (13 games). That’s a really good team for the G League.

  61. E

    Fizdale was quoted in one of the tabloid stories today using the term “floor general” (*) which means he was the source for the material in the Berman article using the term. It’s a very Fizdaleian piece of nomenclature — a mixture of marginally cool sounding, and bullshit.

    (*) “[Payton] looked good in practice,” coach David Fizdale said. “Obviously it gives us another floor general. He gives us speed, something we really obviously need. He gives us a guy that can make plays for others and get us some easy shots. Defensively, he gives us a guy that can pressure the ball.”

    Yeah, because what’s been missing at the point guard position is “a guy who can pressure the ball.” As if you don’t already have on your roster one of the best point guard ball pressurers in the league. Fizdale’s interactions with reporters are little more than him just slinging another day’s quotient of bullshit. It’s gotten embarrassing.

  62. thenoblefacehumper

    Getting furious at banal coach speak because you read slander of the Golden Boy into it is out of ruru/er territory. Stanning of this magnitude is a force more powerful than anything this board has seen before.

  63. TheClashFan

    Rumors are out there that the Mets are looking to shed salary and offering McNeil, Dom Smith, and JD Davis as sweeteners.

    How hilarious would it be if BVW erases the only really good move he made last year (getting JD Davis), to undo one of his several bad ones (signing Familia and Lowrie)?

    This is the second offseason in a row that he’s dangled McNeil in trade talks to try to get an “elite” closer. If at first you don’t succeed…
    :-)

  64. TheClashFan

    @71
    If I’m the Brewers, I’m definitely dangling Hader to the Mets to try to get a couple young guys back. I’d take one bad contract (Lowrie is only one year, and Familia is a decent bounce back candidate). I’d be targeting JD Davis and Edwin Diaz (another bounce back candidate) if the Mets won’t part with McNeil.

    Heck they might get two of Davis/Diaz/Smith if they take on a bad Mets contract. Also, BVW has a fondness for trading away top prospects, so there’s that, too.

    As for the Knicks….um…well…

  65. DRed

    Stanning of this magnitude is a force more powerful than anything this board has seen before.

    Pretty sure E is someone this board has seen before

  66. Donnie Walsh

    Dan Craig, for one, who is the guy who fills in when Spoelstra takes time off in Miami.

    Since I get all of my knicks news here and only here, I’m going to assume that Dan Craig is 007, and imagine him standing on the sidelines in a tuxedo with a martini and a clipboard, yelling coy innuendo at the players instead of game strategy.

  67. GianaDani

    In old days, you built a team by getting one “franchise player”. Then you try to get young complimentary pieces that fit till you can trade them for 2nd franchise player. Free agency was always plan B. Players didn’t move around much. After you added the 2nd, you then you add limited type specialty players that complement both and/or either one of two franchise players.

    Pat Riley, Morey, Ainge, Warriors guy, even Ujiri (see Siakam and Lowry extensions)…don’t give a shit about salary cap or luxury tax. They just get the players they want. If the player is a franchise type player, then they’re worth it no matter what you pay for them. (in salary, trade or both)

    You have to go all in a few times to win a poker tournament. These low risk moves trying not to lose will bleed you dry and while poker player gets to sit at the table a while longer, they never have a shot at winning.

    In every team…two players produce 50% of the work every game. Its actually the square root of 5 for those that are familiar with Price’s law. In this league, when you add rebounds, assists, and decision making, – its probably 60% to 65%. Guys like Frank, Morris, Randle, Payton etc…are probably worth between 5 and 15 percent of team production. Back in the day, we called them whole fillers..now they’re called specialist. Either way, its the same shit.

    90%+ of franchise players in NBA moved last summer and during Perry’s tenure. Guess he didn’t trust his job with any of them or they didn’t trust to put their own careers in Perry’s hands.

  68. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I’m enough of a Payton fan to accept moving Frank to the bench if Payton is running the offense better and playing solid defense because I think Frank is more of a secondary playmaker than true PG now. That said, I won’t accept Frank going to the doghouse because Mills/Perry were dumb enough to think DSJr was a major building block based on what he looked like in Dallas and how he has looked so far in NY.

    If it comes to that, they are morons and Frank should just ask for a trade to Dallas, San Antonio, Orlando or somewhere else he might fit.

    I think Dallas has a Golden State 2nd rounder available for a trade. That pick looks a lot better now than it did a few months ago. I wouldn’t mind Justin Jackson either. I was high on him coming out of the draft. It took a few years for him develop even though he came out older. He’s 24 now, but he’s showing signs of turning into a player.

    If it was me, I’d still start Frank, move Payton to backup, and if the team looks better “overall” (not just on offense) with Payton over the next 4-5 game, then it’s back to Payton’s job. Frank can be the backup PG, play some off the ball, play down the stretch when they need defense to close out, and continue his development. But he HAS to get significant enough minutes to develop. No doghouse!!!

  69. BennyS

    Hi, longtime lurker chiming in to ask a stupid/obvious question, but one that hopefully generates discussion: why should we fire Fizdale if we believe the best thing for this team to do right now is tank?

    If we replace him with a better coach that ekes out a few more wins this year, isn’t that worse for our long-term health? If we replace him with an equally bad or worse coach and we continue to suck, we’d be in the same place as if we kept him, except with even more lolknicks.

    I guess you still pull the trigger if you think Fiz is actively hurting the development of our young players, but I’m just not sure that’s the case (not denying it either, just not sure). Obviously a smarter coach would be playing Mitch more minutes, but its not like he’s riding the pine (and playing Mitch more minutes would make us more likely to win games, which again seems less than ideal right now). The only young player who really seems to be suffering purely due to coaching decisions is Trier. That’s a waste, but is it worth firing the guy?

    Related, here’s another stupid question: do we have any data one way or the other on a coach’s impact on player development? I’ve been reading this board long enough to see evidence that coaching overall has little impact on wins and losses, and also that players in general tend to be consistent regardless of the players around them—but I wonder if things look different when you only look at players in their first few years in the league.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post, just some ramblings from a fellow distraught Knicks fans. To all the regulars here, just want to say thanks for making this board a truly special place and a daily source of comfort for strangers like myself.

  70. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Stanning for Frank is a big upgrade in my book over the Melo and PJax stans.

    Well, I’m as close to a Melo hater as there has been and I only come off as a PJackson stan because I’m neutral on him and everyone else here thinks he was Satan. He wasn’t Satan. Mills is Satan. Phil was just some lower level fallen angel. :-)

  71. thenoblefacehumper

    If it comes to that, they are morons and Frank should just ask for a trade to Dallas, San Antonio, Orlando or somewhere else he might fit.

    Have you taken into account the possibility that these teams do not want Frank Ntilikina? Remember when we tried to trade him for literally any second round pick during the draft, and got zero bites?

  72. JK47

    Frank has maybe not made a leap but he’s made, I guess, a jump if you will. I think “secondary playmaker who mainly plays alongside another PG but can play PG in a pinch” is a good role for him, and I can see him succeeding in that role. It’s like the Jason Kidd as a Knick role. He could maybe pull that off. I actually kind of enjoy watching him play.

    The “floor general” stuff is just fanboi nonsense.

  73. E

    “Floor general” is Fizdale’s term, not anyone’s here. It doesn’t mean a thing to me that Frank actually is a good “floor general.” It’s just gallows humor fun to rip on Fizdale for not being able to evaluate guys properly even when the papers give him a lifeline to throw out his own dumbass bullshit terms and take it from there. It really doesn’t get much more pathetic than that.

  74. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Frank Ntilikina would look a lot better if he were handing the ball over to Luka Doncic than Julius Randle. That much is true.

    This Knicks team is hopeless. Maybe Elfrid Payton changes that, but Bobby Portis has made this team unwatchable for me. If Frank, RJ, and Mitch were leading this team in minutes I’d watch every night. But with guys like Marcus Morris, Julius Randle, and Bobby Portis having the green light I just can’t bring myself to watch. How does Bobby Portis shoot 38% from deep and have a sub .500 TS%? That’s depressing.

  75. E

    I think “secondary playmaker who mainly plays alongside another PG but can play PG in a pinch” is a good role for him, and I can see him succeeding in that role. It’s like the Jason Kidd as a Knick role. He could maybe pull that off. I actually kind of enjoy watching him play.

    That’s exactly what he is. He’s the kind of guy you could picture playing great perimeter defense against the 2024 equivalent of Reggie Miller in the fourth quarter of playoff games with the Garden rocking. He’s an eighth-man-ish combo guard who could fill that role on a very good team. Absent too much hard liquor, it’s not possible to envision Elfrid Payton or Dennis Smith, Jr. ever doing anything for a good Knicks team. Which is why the “stans” don’t want the troika of buffoons trading Frank away for a bag of balls because they think they need to develop Elfrid Payton or DSJ, or for fuck’s sakes above, get Emmanuel Mudiay “right.” (TM) The “stanning” for Frank is properly viewed as a massive no-confidence vote in Pillsdale.

  76. Owen

    Welcome Benny!

    I think what evidence there is for the importance of coaching is pretty nebulous. It probably matters somewhat but it’s very difficult to tease out statistically. It’s pretty clear that it’s not a huge impact though. David Berri did do a big analysis of it and he concluded there were not significant impacts outside of a few coaches, like Phil Jackson, and in those cases there seemed to player recruitment effects that made a difference too. Take that for what it is worth, I don’t know, he’s not looked upon too kindly these days but most of the stuff in the book that doesn’t involve his player metric has stood up pretty well.

    The conversation may have moved past that but that’s my sense of the state of things still. Certainly, it’s possible to be a bad coach, lord knows we have seen it over the years. But player quality first and other smaller things like injuries appear to completely overwhelm coaching as explanatory factors.

    I do find it hard to believe that a big sports bettor wouldn’t care about the Bucks adding Mike Budenholzer when making his season win estimates. Would love to know how Haralabob thinks about it for instance. But at any rate, it’s way down the list at best.

    Many think the advantage of firing Fizdale now is that it puts Mills and Perry on the chopping block. Mills in particular has been PNG on this board for a long long time. Getting him out would be a real tangible benefit to a losing season.

  77. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    The notion that you need a traditional PG to have a successful offense is simply wrong.

    You need enough ball movement, player movement, and play making to create better shot opportunities for everyone than going ISO on practically every possession like we do. It doesn’t matter what position or how many players are creating those plays, just that there’s enough (preferably as much as possible).

    Denver runs their offense primarily through Jokic (a C) and Murray (a G) as a secondary playmaker. They even use Plumlee at C off the bench with Monte Morris.

    The league has had point forwards like Bird (played with other play makers like Ainge and DJ) and James (played with Wade and Kyrie).

    One could even argue that guys like Doncic and Simmons are not true PGs.

    There have been teams with no true PG at all like virtually all of Phil Jackson’s championship triangle teams where there were 2-3 play makers on the court and space creating shooters next to Jordan or Kobe at guard.

    The Warriors used a combination of the triangle offense and the Spurs offense to get player and ball movement and used Green, Durant, and Curry as play makers. No one dominated the ball and created all the time.

    So if you are going to argue that Frank isn’t up to the task of being a true Nash, Stockton, CP3 etc.. type PG that’s obviously true.

    It’s saying using Frank as a PG will only work really well if you have other good play makers on the court and have designed an offense that is not totally dependent on one true PG to make it work. I consider multiple playmakers to obviously be the SUPERIOR approach. We just don’t have the players to do it. So we need a better PG right now to run the trash Fizdale has implemented.

    However, the hope is that RJ has enough innate talent to also become a significant play maker in time and we can add others. For now though, I’d take any ball and player movement at all.

  78. bobneptune

    The “stanning” for Frank is properly viewed as a massive no-confidence vote in Pillsdale.

    Silly me for thinking “Stan” was an oblique reference to some isolated Central Asian Republic……..

  79. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Have you taken into account the possibility that these teams do not want Frank Ntilikina? Remember when we tried to trade him for literally any second round pick during the draft, and got zero bites?

    I’m not sure what he was worth after his injury riddled misused debacle last year, but when he was used properly for France the Knicks started fielding calls and I think the league has seen enough this year to know that he’s an NBA player that just needs time and a team with a clue about how to play basketball.

  80. Hubert

    why should we fire Fizdale if we believe the best thing for this team to do right now is tank?

    The best thing we should do right now is develop the kids properly. Tanking will come naturally if we play them and let them learn.

    Our kids don’t look like they’re getting coached well. The stress of having to create individually because they don’t have a system to execute adversely impacts them.

    He needs to go. For the kids.

  81. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    I do find it hard to believe that a big sports bettor wouldn’t care about the Bucks adding Mike Budenholzer when making his season win estimates. Would love to know how Haralabob thinks about it for instance. But at any rate, it’s way down the list at best.

    He doesn’t talk basketball much on Twitter these days because of his employment situation, but I followed him for quite awhile before that and he clearly values coaching fairly highly. I mean, almost anyone could coach the peak Warriors and no one can win with these Knicks, but the coach is worth “X” wins.

  82. Nick C.

    Silly me for thinking “Stan” was an oblique reference to some isolated Central Asian Republic……..

    Until I read this that’s what I thought. Then the lightbulb went off “oh Eminem’s Stan” lol

  83. KnickfaninNJ

    Apparently, “Stan” is now a noun meaning crazy fan that many people use and many of them have never heard of the Eminem song. This is the first I’ve seen it used as a verb.

  84. Donnie Walsh

    Between Mike Miller, Daniel Craig, and now trading Frank Ntilikina to Kyrgyzstan, we are having major communication issues Knickerbloggers!

  85. JK47

    I mean if you get an incredible playmaking wing like LeBron or Giannis then sure, play Frank at PG, call him a PG, and throw yourself a little party. “Yay! I was right! Frank is a point guard!”

    If you’re relying on him to do things we actually expect point guards to do, you gon’ suck. This is becoming almost a semantic debate here.

  86. Early Bird

    Definition Stanning: similar to fighting a land war in Asia.

    As in arguing over Frank is similar to fighting a land war in Asia.

    Used in Sentence: Why are we stanning over Frank? Everybody knows not to stan, only slightly less well known is never go against a Sicilian when death is on th he line!!

    Yeah I’ve definitely heard Stan transform into a verb over the last few years on hip hop twitter/YouTube.

    I would also be more than fine with a tuxedo-wearing, martini-sipping Daniel Craig on the sideline. I’d prefer Connery though. We couldn’t be worse.

  87. Hubert

    Silly me for thinking “Stan” was an oblique reference to some isolated Central Asian Republic……..

    Ntilikinastan does have a nice ring to it.

  88. Bruno Almeida

    @96

    Yeah, this is kind of a meaningless discussion as people are discussing two different things. Yes Mario Chalmers was the nominal starting PG in a championship team, as were guys like BJ Armstrong before him, but they were never the main ball handlers and creators of a team and would fail miserably if they tried to do that. If Frank has any success as a “PG” it will be in this type of scenario.

  89. KnickfaninNJ

    I don’t understand “nominal” starting point guard. The people you referred to were actual starting point guards and useful parts of their teams. What is “nominal” about that?

  90. Owen

    Because they weren’t the dominant ball handlers on the team, like Stockton or Magic. Effectively placeholders. PGs mostly by dint of being smallest men on the floor rather than because of skillset.

  91. Hubert

    The problem is we don’t have a flashy name for PG’s who aren’t primary ballhandlers. We have cool names for other roles (like “stretch 5” and “3 and D wing”) but no one has ever come up with a name for the role that people like Danny Ainge, BJ Armstrong, Ron Harper, Derek Fisher, Mario Chalmers, Patrick Beverley play.

    I tried calling him a “PG who is not the primary ballhandler” but that didn’t catch on. Can’t figure out why (sarcasm). But that’s what he is. Maybe “nominal PG” should be the term.

    He’s not a traditional PG. He’s not a 3&D wing. He’s one of those nominal PG’s that needs to play next to a dominant playmaker from another position.

    On the Nuggets, for instance, with Jokic and Murray, Frank could be a “nominal PG”.

  92. JK47

    You have Frank Ntilikina on your team. Do you need another dude to do most of the playmaking? Yes? Well, then he’s really only sort of a point guard.

    Again, this is a semantic debate here. Right now we have Frank Ntilikina and nobody else who is a passable playmaker. How’s the offense goink?

  93. KnickfaninNJ

    ESPN needed a picture of a puzzled coach for their current article on how coaches are still figuring out the new challenge rule and do dar don’t like it much. They pickeda photo of Doc Rivers. Fizdale would have been more appropriate.

  94. TheClashFan

    You are all wrong. All of you. Frank is neither a “point guard” nor a “three and D wing.”

    He’s a “defensive-minded point forward.” The Knicks have been starting five forwards — three power forwards and two point forwards!

    But yeah, just semantics, labels.
    :-)

  95. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    The problem is we don’t have a flashy name for PG’s who aren’t primary ballhandlers.

    DAHG (Dribble Across Halfcourt Guard)
    BUTR (Bring Up The Rock)
    or JBUTR (Just Brings Up The Rock)
    or just DPG (Defensive Point Guard)

    But I kind of like calling them DAHGs. “Patrick Beverly is one hell of a DAHG, dog!”

  96. DRed

    Call him what you want Frank’s been the best (or least unproductive) guard on the team this season which is at least a bit promising

  97. rama got no use for your spurv plinth

    All you need is a point forward, a 3-and-D wing, a couple stretch bigs, and a DAHG.

  98. ptmilo

    obviously we can’t pretend to slow cook ourselves in another game thread until we get to the bottom of this. we seem to agree that we need something that says “point guard in name, something else in game.” we also agree that “nominal point guard” is completely unworkable due to union issues. perhaps “feed guard” would work, as in “lead guard, but actually he just feeds the first open guy across half court,” but that doesn’t really feel fair to ray felton’s knick legacy. there is some merit to “joint guard,” implying the point at which 1 and 2 guards meet. this passes the set theory test, as there are other immediately known candidates for this category, such as kris dunn, george hill, avery bradley and dante exum… even our old friend langston galloway (and 3 point killer this year) but maybe this is too overdetermined and doesn’t really capture the unique essence of frank.

    so let me suggest frank ntilikina, queen’s guard. i know that sounds like it risks a lot of extemporaneous horse nostalgia from strat and bobneptune, but i’m talking about the giant hat wearing british infantry who guard buckingham palace and what not. i mean, isn’t their whole thing supposed to be that they ferociously defend the royal residence but otherwise must stand absolutely, sometimes comically, still? if that doesn’t sound like a certain someone i don’t know what does. and also i was born in queens.

  99. Z-man

    The term “point” implies lead playmaker, whether a guard or forward. Calling guys like Chalmers and Ron Harper point guards is a distortion of the concept. They are better referred to as combo guards. Some combo guards lean more toward the playmaking end of the spectrum, some more towards the scoring end, but they mostly all have at least rudimentary playmaking ability. The PG spot can be filled by a nominal player for salary cap purposes (or out of desperation due to injury) if there are several superstars or at least one transcendent player on the team. I put them in the category of “shitty” point guards.

    Then there’s the scoring point guards who are the ball-dominant guys on their teams (Good: Iverson, Isaiah Thomas, Westbrook; Bad: Jimmer) and the pass-first playmaking PGs with limited scoring skills (Good: Rondo, Rubio, Prigioni; Bad: MCW .)

    Frank is really none of these. He’s no more of a point guard than Randle. If he’s any of them, he’s in the “shitty” category.

  100. thenoblefacehumper

    i mean, isn’t their whole thing supposed to be that they ferociously defend the royal residence but otherwise must stand absolutely, sometimes comically, still? if that doesn’t sound like a certain someone i don’t know what does

    Shut it down

  101. KnickfaninNJ

    I don’t like the term “nominal”. It seems insulting to me. There is no historical reason why a teams scoring is necessarily driven by a point guard, so maybe the modern style uses a “scoring” point guard, and the non-scoring point guards are the other point guards.

  102. Z-man

    “so let me suggest frank ntilikina, queen’s guard. i know that sounds like it risks a lot of extemporaneous horse nostalgia from strat and bobneptune, but i’m talking about the giant hat wearing british infantry who guard buckingham palace and what not. i mean, isn’t their whole thing supposed to be that they ferociously defend the royal residence but otherwise must stand absolutely, sometimes comically, still? if that doesn’t sound like a certain someone i don’t know what does. and also i was born in queens.”

    can u define a guard for every borough? like kemba is a bronx guard cuz…

  103. Z-man

    I don’t like the term “nominal”. It seems insulting to me.

    hence the word shitty as there is no controversy as to whether or not it is insulting.

    (im writing in all lowercase so that i can fool people into thinking im smart like pt not dum like zman)

  104. geo

    Anyway, sorry for the long post, just some ramblings from a fellow distraught Knicks fans. To all the regulars here, just want to say thanks for making this board a truly special place and a daily source of comfort for strangers like myself.

    welcome aboard benny :)

    you brought up a couple of interesting points: at this point, heck maybe even before the first game – our focus should have been tanking…just like last year…

    fiz may be just the man for that job…

    i’m sure there probably is a statistical formula for figuring out the effectiveness of a coach’s (and his staff) ability to develop players…year to year statistical progression, not sure though what stats are most key to illustrate that development…

    haven’t heard anything at all so far this season about craig robinson and our player development program though this year…

    oh yeah, if you have any weird life stuff to share – i’d be interesting in reading…lord knows in another month or two – we won’t be talking too much about actual knick basketball…

    hmmmm, for some reason we have a one out of four chance to win tonight…they’re giving denver only 9 and a half over us…that can mean only one thing:

    frank is gonna be back :)

  105. thenoblefacehumper

    I don’t like the term “nominal”. It seems insulting to me. There is no historical reason why a teams scoring is necessarily driven by a point guard, so maybe the modern style uses a “scoring” point guard, and the non-scoring point guards are the other point guards.

    You’re right that Frank is awful at scoring, but what the residents of Frankistan gloss over is he’s also not good at playmaking. No one is saying a point guard needs to carry a disproportionate scoring load. Some do (Steph Curry), some don’t (Rajon Rondo). Both archetypes can be successful, obviously depending a lot on the team around them.

    If you’re a non-scoring, non-playmaking point guard…well, “nominal” starts to make sense. What point guard-y things does the guy allegedly do? You can put “PG” next to his name all you want, but the other players on the court are going to have to do a lot of the things a point guard is usually expected to do. This can be totally fine if you have Giannis, LeBron, etc. But I mean, so can a lot of other deficiencies if you have those guys.

    So sure, if we get super lucky one day there may come a time that we can put “PG” next to Frank’s name in a lineup card and have a successful team. I don’t see how that remote possibility justifies the idea that we’re set at “point guard,” though. We were in desperate need of a guy who can make plays for himself and others before we drafted Frank, and we’re in desperate need of a guy who can make plays for himself and others now.

  106. geo

    reference frank taking the ball from out of bounds and dumping it as soon as he gets over half court – just from watching the games – it definitely looks like he’s been holding on to it longer once he passes half court the last handful of games or so before he was injured…

    I’ve seen him more than once now dribble along the baseline…he’s actually taken it to the hole a few times (he may have even made a layup or two along the way)…

  107. JK47

    You’re right that Frank is awful at scoring, but what the residents of Frankistan gloss over is he’s also not good at playmaking.

    Hey but he makes the right pass doe

  108. thenoblefacehumper

    My biggest problem with the Frank discourse is so much of it only makes sense if you assume this team will be shitty forever. That’s probably a good assumption, but personally I enjoy pretending it’s not.

    Yes, he’s fun to watch go at it on defense. Yes, there’s a decent argument he deserves significant minutes on this team on the merits alone. Yes, regardless of the merits we should be playing him because he’s young and we suck and we need to collect as much data as possible.

    But I have yet to see a decent argument that a guy who can’t shoot, score in other ways, rack up assists, or rebound has a place on a team that plans on passing, say, the vaunted 37 win mark. This is why the idea that the Raptors/Mavs/Celtics etc. are just chomping at the bit to trade for him is laughable.

    I’m aware I’m going to get told that flaws now don’t have to be flaws forever, which is fair, but I guess I’m leaning on the eye-test a bit in saying I just don’t see the most fatal flaws in his game (e.g. not really being able to dribble) being cleared up. We’ve been through the math if he improves his 3PT%, for example–he’s still not a winning player.

  109. dtrickey

    Looks like Mook, Payton and Frank are all cleared to play. Can’t envision Payton getting much burn, so we may still not get an answer as to how better/worse the offence looks with him.

  110. Early Bird

    Can someone put together a highlight reel of Frank getting the ball over halfcourt? We can use it for his all-star campaign.

  111. Early Bird

    I could see Dennis getting the lion share of minutes. No reason to push Payton or Frank back early. “Available ” sounds pretty wishy-washy

  112. d-mar

    Can someone put together a highlight reel of Frank getting the ball over halfcourt? We can use it for his all-star campaign.

    He’s also pretty good at handing the ball to Randle.

  113. Donnie Walsh

    Frankinstan would look just fine playing “point guard” with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Coach Miller on the floor with him. He’d make a big play in a finals game and people might say he’s the lynchpin that made the dynasty great. It doesn’t change who Frank is relative to any normal nba team.

    For the other 29 teams he’d still play Disappoint Guard.

  114. Donnie Walsh

    He’s also pretty good at handing the ball to Randle.

    Bob Dylan summed up Frank, Julius, and the state of the Knicks offense as well as anyone: “the dump don’t work cause Randle’s got no handle.”

  115. DRed

    Assists per 36:

    DSJ-5.9
    Payton-5.3
    Frank-4.8

    Elfrid has barely played this year, but he’s averaged 8 assists per 36 over his career, so I’m interested to see him get some real minutes and see if our system is suppressing PG assist chances. Dennis is around 6 for his career so it might just be all our guards suck at playmaking

  116. Z-man

    “Hey but he makes the right pass doe”

    But he also makes the left pass…that makes him a point guard, right?

  117. Z-man

    Why should I be excited about new mets owner when the first move is to let Wheeler walk even though there’s no salary cap?

  118. Brian Cronin Post author

    The new guy doesn’t take over for five years. They have plenty of time to fuck more stuff up. “Let’s both not trade him and also not try to resign him.” Also known as Budz’ strategy as the Hawks PoBO.

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