NY Post: Knicks snap skid in style with 44-point pounding of Pistons

From Greg Joyce:

The Knicks struggled with blowing leads during the three-game losing streak they lugged into Detroit on Saturday night.

This time, however, they were able to quickly build such an insurmountable advantage that coach Tom Thibodeau even let Julius Randle rest for the entire fourth quarter.

Randle had come out on fire and delivered a blistering first quarter to spark the Knicks to a wire-to-wire 125-81 win over the Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.

The 44-point win marked the Knicks’ largest margin of victory since a 46-point win over the Raptors in 1996. The one got the Knicks (25-25) back to .500 and snapped them out of their three-game funk.

I say it so much that it feels like a broken record, but if all you do is beat the bad teams, that’s still very good, as most NBA teams have occasional struggles with bad teams. It’s why the term “trap game” exists in the first place.

So this was a very good win. Now, is it even better to then also beat some good teams? Of course, but you gotta walk before you run and after a dominant performance like this, it is more of a strut than a walk. Very, very nice win.

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72 thoughts to “NY Post: Knicks snap skid in style with 44-point pounding of Pistons”

  1. Milwaukee star guard Jrue Holiday and the Bucks have agreed to a four-year maximum contract extension worth up to $160 million

    That is a LOT of money for Jrue. But also, the Bucks had no choice at this point. They’re all in on him and Giannis.

  2. Alan: That is a LOT of money for Jrue. But also, the Bucks had no choice at this point. They’re all in on him and Giannis.

    After giving up 4 1sts, yeah, it would look really bad if he walked this summer.

    RPM really loved Jrue, but likes him a lot less this year. Of course, he’s also having his best year by BPM & 2nd best by OBPM. But unlikely he’s worth that contract.

    Bucks are playing worse than previous years too. Of course, they should really only care about the playoffs anyways.

  3. It’s good we blew Detroit out, but it’s a legit question how many players on that team deserve to be in the NBA.

  4. Small sample, but Norvel Pelle is putting up historic numbers…PER of 47.1, BPM of 51.3 and WS48 of .490. How soon can we max him?

  5. Z-man:
    Small sample, but Norvel Pelle is putting up historic numbers…PER of 47.1, BPM of 51.3 and WS48 of .490. How soon can we max him?

    lol, but in all seriousness Norvel does seem like an ideal fit for what the Knicks do at C. Pretty clear why management wanted him over other available Cs. Hopefully he can turn into a solid backup C, especially if Nerlens leaves this offseason.

  6. Alan: That is a LOT of money for Jrue. But also, the Bucks had no choice at this point. They’re all in on him and Giannis.

    And Middleton (Signed 5-yr $177.5M contract Thursday, July 11, 2019).
    So their big3 (cof, cof) is Giannis, Jrue and Middleton (110.8M in 21-22, 119.1M in 22-23, 127.3M in 23-24), and then they can only improve around the edges (exceptions and minimum contracts).
    I’m going to make the bold prediction (LOL) that this isn’t going to end well.

  7. cybersoze: And Middleton (Signed 5-yr $177.5M contract Thursday, July 11, 2019).
    So their big3 (cof, cof) is Giannis, Jrue and Middleton (110.8M in 21-22, 119.1M in 22-23, 127.3M in 23-24), and then they can only improve around the edges (exceptions and minimum contracts).
    I’m going to make the bold prediction (LOL) that this isn’t going to end well.

    That’s a lot of coin, there. I wonder who they end up trying to move, first? I’ll guess Middleton.

  8. On Suggs- How much is his 2pt% helped by the Gonzaga system? They just crap easy baskets on cuts and in transition. If his 2pt% was say .530 rather than .588 he’d still be a great prospect but then the lack of three point shooting would loom larger and I doubt anyone would take him at one. I think both Green and Mosley have higher ceilings but lower floors. I think in the right situation Cunningham (Minnesota where he could play the Haliburton role alongside Russell for instance) might be the best next year though I’d still lean towards Suggs. If the Knicks somehow luck into the first pick I’d go Suggs but I won’t be surprised if the other 3 all wind up better pros. Also: Timme has been their best player, no question.

  9. nicos: If the Knicks somehow luck into the first pick I’d go Suggs but I won’t be surprised if the other 3 all wind up better pros. Also: Timme has been their best player, no question.

    Suggs is awesome but picking him over Evan Mobley and Cade Cunningham would be organizational malpractice. You can’t go “wrong” with any of the three, but give me the 6’7” three level scorer with excellent court vision and the guy who is maybe the best frosh big since Anthony Davis over Suggs.

  10. This made me check the Bulls roster and holy cow they have a front court now. Didn’t realize. Vuc and Theis, with Markkanen and Young and Patrick Williams.

  11. The Bulls have built a reasonably competitive team and their schedule is not terrible. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they moved up the standings into the top 10. Charlotte could start dropping without Hayward. It will be an interesting month!

  12. I like Mobley too but Suggs would be a perfect for New York. I definitely prefer those guys to Cade though.

    Very interested to see how it turns out, even if it’s completely academic.

  13. Z-man:
    The Bulls have built a reasonably competitive team and their schedule is not terrible. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they moved up the standings into the top 10. Charlotte could start dropping without Hayward. It will be an interesting month!

    They were already Top10 before this W. It’s TOR that is 11th. Maybe the Bulls can take over IND for 9th, and maybe (i hope not) the Knicks for 8th.

  14. cybersoze: They were already Top10 before this W. It’s TOR that is 11th. Maybe the Bulls can take over IND for 9th, and maybe (i hope not) the Knicks for 8th.

    Yeah, I originally had top 8 but looked and saw that they were coming off a long losing streak so changed it without checking….

  15. The Bulls are 20-28 in 10th place while the Raptors are 19-30 in 11th place yet anytime they win a game they’re ready to go on a long winning streak because they’re so talented while the 25-25 Knicks anytime they lose a game they’re on the verge of collapsing cause they’re not that good :-)

  16. Browsing the draft and not sure why Miles McBride is ranked so low. Yes, he’s on the small side for a lead guard, but he’s a good penetrator, nice passer, good shooter, and excellent defender. He just seems like a more complete player than Cooper. He seems similar to Davion Mitchell who I also like.

    There are a lot of nice center prospects too, like DayRon Sharpe, Isaiah Jackson, Queta, and Bassey. Sharpe and Queta in particular are pretty interesting because of their passing.

    Jalen Johnson would be a nice pick if he fell to us, which he could. Johnson/Sharpe/McBride would be a nice haul.

  17. The Raptors have a positive point differential and yet are 11 games under .500. That’s very strange. There’s a reason people keep expecting them to improve.

  18. The record, by the way, is held by the 1976-77 Suns. They had a positive point differential, but finished the season 14 games under .500, 34-48.

  19. The Suns then won 49 games the next year, helped greatly by their #5 overall pick, Walter Davis (Hubert’s uncle).

  20. Shohei Ohtani just threw the fastest pitch of the season and hit a ball with the highest exit velocity of the season.

    Ruthian.

  21. He smoked that ball. And has six pitches.

    I don’t know how baseball will mess up having so much incredible young talent in the game but they will find a way.

  22. tonight is good time to remember that however far analytics and player tracking may advance, no one will ever know whether james johnson is good or bad at basketball

  23. Brian Cronin:
    The Raptors have a positive point differential and yet are 11 games under .500. That’s very strange. There’s a reason people keep expecting them to improve.

    Winning a single game by 50 points helps…

  24. I think it is legit to ask whether Siakam’s 2018-19 season was a high water mark for him. He hasn’t been the same player without Kawhi. But other than that, it’s pretty weird that they have sucked so bad.

  25. ptmilo:
    tonight is good time to remember that however far analytics and player tracking may advance, no one will ever know whether james johnson is good or bad at basketball

    Someone has hacked PT. Only way to explain him not talking about Melton’s 15 minute, 14 point, 8 shot offensive explosion.

  26. ess-dog: There are a lot of nice center prospects too, like DayRon Sharpe, Isaiah Jackson, Queta, and Bassey. Sharpe and Queta in particular are pretty interesting because of their passing.

    Now we’re talking. If the Knicks select Queta i’ll be ecstatic, but for his career maybe it’d be better if he goes to a team with more available playing time at center.

  27. Brian Cronin: The record, by the way, is held by the 1976-77 Suns. They had a positive point differential, but finished the season 14 games under .500, 34-48.

    This record is insane :O

  28. Julius Randle and Reggie Bullock’s response when asked about potentially facing Brooklyn’s Big 3 on Monday:

    “We got a Big 15.”

    From Its a Hard Knicks Life on Twitter.

    Lets Goooooooo!

  29. robert williams doesn’t seem like he’s having a lot of statfade as his minutes go up. last 10 games per 36 while playing 25mpg:

    16.2 pts 13.1 reb, 5.1 ast, 1.5 stl, 3.5 blk, TS 75.3%

  30. Julius Randle and Reggie Bullock’s response when asked about potentially facing Brooklyn’s Big 3 on Monday:

    “We got a Big 15.”

    I didn’t understand this.

    No amount of confidence or bravado would make me think the Knicks are anywhere near as good at the Nets. So the last thing I’d want to do is make it more personal by expressing confidence or bravado and getting them pumped up for the game and competition. I’d probably be saying things like, “They have a great team, but we’ll play hard and try to compete”. They maybe there’s a very small chance they’ll come in a little flat or overconfident and if we have a great game we can steal one.

  31. It’s called BDE, strat. Like having wide-set hips and a dump-truck ass, it wins basketball games on its own.

    I cackled at the James Johnson bit.

  32. Yeah, Williams was their answer all along. And Tacko/Kornet/Wagner can fight over backup minutes. The Fournier trade was probably a good one overall, but the Celtics still look worse than last year, even with a late rise. It will be interesting to see how Ainge & Co. react.

  33. I came across this little video on Julius Randle…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHGp74KTziY

    It’s from the Ringer so it’s more entertaining than groundbreaking, but it is worth opening and at least scrolling forward to the 3:12 mark bc there is a little mash up song about our lack of assists that is highly catchy and enjoyable. I will probably be singing it for the rest of my life or until we get a PG.

  34. Adrian Wojnarowski
    @wojespn
    Oklahoma City is waiving forward Justin Jackson, sources tell ESPN.

    I think we should take a look at Justin Jackson. He’s not totally hopeless.

  35. Z-man: Winning a single game by 50 points helps…

    A little bit. Before that monster game Toronto’s MOV was -0.5 on the year.

  36. Side note: I like to place bets not necessarily because they’re likely to be right but because the odds seem so wrong. A couple years back this really worked out for me when I took the Kawhi Raptors at +1200. And right now I am taking a nice look at Phoenix at + 3500. That just seems very stupid for a team with the 2nd best SRS in the NBA.

    If the Suns win the title this year, drinks are on me.

  37. That sounds interesting Hubert. Might do it too.

    I have never understand why Time Lord doesn’t get all the minutes his nickname deserves (and his play.)

  38. Deeefense: I didn’t understand this.

    No amount of confidence or bravado would make me think the Knicks are anywhere near as good at the Nets.So the last thing I’d want to do is make it more personal by expressing confidence or bravado and getting them pumped up for the game and competition.I’d probably be saying things like, “They have a great team, but we’ll play hard and try to compete”.They maybe there’s a very small chance they’ll come in a little flat or overconfident and if we have a great game we can steal one.

    The worse thing that happens is we lose 1 game to the Nets that we have a 99% chance of losing already.

    On the other hand, maybe the Knicks rally around the statement and steal a win. It’s more important for the Knicks to come fired up because they lose unless there’s 48 min of lockedin play from every player who steps foot on the floor.

    Really don’t think it matters much either way, but Randle & Bullock seem like team leaders and it’s good to see them stick up for the whole roster.

  39. @briancmahoney
    Nets listing Durant as out for tonight against the Knicks but Harden is not on the injury report.

    They’ve been doing just fine with Harden and no Durant, so this game is still a steep uphill climb for us.

  40. They’ve been doing just fine with Harden and no Durant, so this game is still a steep uphill climb for us.

    Honestly, if I had to pick one or the other for tonight’s game, I’d rather Durant be in and Harden not than the opposite for the Knicks. Harden has been playing unreal.

  41. Just noting after reading the Ringer’s latest NBA rankings, even though it’s just a snapshot, seeing the Knicks ranged 10th overall — above the Clips and Lakers — and not in the high 20s as per usual is a real moment of cognitive dissonance.

  42. I wonder if Frank gets extra burn tonight against Kyrie/Harden? RJ and Bullock have been great on D, but idk if the other guys are going to cut it. Plus, you really can’t leave Joe Harris alone AT ALL. And now there’s Aldridge/Blake to contend with down low (not to mention Claxton is a live body).

    We are going to have to hand down man down like a MFer all night.

  43. Henson is a decent signing. Shout out to the time before NBA GMs realized there are way more competent big dudes than roster spots for them and he got 4/$40M.

  44. all your big belong to us

    you are wonderfully weird mister milo, hopefully you are out there using your powers for good…

  45. Z-man: Winning a single game by 50 points helps…

    Some people adjust SRS for big wins and losses by capping them because after the game gets out of hand the winning team plays with less urgency. benches get emptied etc..

    The factors I think are more critical are injuries and rest days.

    Over the course of the season each team is going to have a different amount and different quality of injuries, different schedules, That will impact their SRS.

    When I was calculating my own ratings, I would make injury adjustments for each team every night. So if for example LA was missing James and Davis, those bad performances would be adjusted by my best estimate for how much that was hurting the team (generally I’d look at the spread change and my own data). I also made adjustments for home/away with some teams having larger home/away adjustments than others and some having played more games home/away at various stages of the season.

    I think I had WAY more accurate ratings than standard SRS at the time. but it was a LOT of work and I don’t think it added a lot gambling wise. The success I had for a few years had more to do with certain angles and players I didn’t think were incorporated correctly into the lines. But eventually most of that went away as more and better stats became available online and gamblers just got way better. I felt like I no longer had any edge, So I stopped other than occasional season under/over and playoff series bet. I didn’t make a single under/over bet this year.

  46. before the season began, i never believed we’d be a .500 this year…this winning as much as losing stuff is a whole lot better than what we’ve endured the last however many years it’s been…

    having to moderate my expectations though…our roster isn’t that terrible, but – we have a big hole at starting point guard, we’re missing a starting center, and the guy who’s carrying us is just figuring how to actually “carry” a team…game after game after game, all while averaging almost five minutes more per game than he ever has before…

    curious to see if the zags can finish things out tonight…

  47. ptmilo:
    robert williams doesn’t seem like he’s having a lot of statfade as his minutes go up.last 10 games per 36 while playing 25mpg:

    16.2 pts 13.1 reb, 5.1 ast, 1.5 stl, 3.5 blk, TS 75.3%

    Time Lord is really good, nice passing skills, decent shooting range, good blocker and rebounder,
    he’s the reason they gave up Theis basically for nothing (nobody want Tristan Thompson).

  48. Marc Stein: Also out on the second night of a back-to-back: Blake Griffin (knee injury management).

  49. ess-dog: I wonder if Frank gets extra burn tonight against Kyrie/Harden?

    Just gotta add, still miffed Frank got no time in the 4th against Minnesota when Edwards went off for 14 and won the game for them.

  50. DudesTown: Frank might be in pieces after guarding Edwards

    Absolutely possible. But if you have a lance (which is otherwise a fairly useless thing) and you don’t take it out during the jousting tournament, what’s the point of having it?

  51. Interesting bit on the Knicks Film school podcast this morning about Jalen Brunson, who is currently averaging a cool 18/5/5 per 36 on 54/40/81 splits and a TS of 64 (not too small a sample of 1100 minutes so far this year). djphan will like that he currently has a squeaky clean 2P% of 61.4.

    Anyway, the bit was that he has an odd contract – basically he is in his 3rd season now but his 4th season is non guaranteed, not a team option. If it was a team option, DAL could decline the option (a la Jokic) and he’d be a RFA this summer. But because it’s a non guarantee, they’d have to waive him in order to avoid the guarantee (and so they’d have no rights to him at all). So of course they will guarantee that 4th year, but that means at the end of it he has 4 years of service and is an UFA despite him just coming off his rookie contract. Basically, Dallas has no chance at matching rights for his services. They’ll have Bird rights but cannot restrict him from leaving.

    Long story made short, he might be an interesting piece to trade for on the cheap, since other teams might think that he’s going to sign with Uncle Leon no matter what (and so teams wouldn’t trade for him between now and UFA), and Dallas might not want to lose him for nothing.

  52. If Thibs wants to win tonight he better give Frankie 19-20minutes.
    No more or less.

  53. It feels like it’s been a few months

    I think I had WAY more accurate ratings than standard SRS at the time

    but strat has indeed returned to comedy

  54. I think Frank is a fine defender, but I don’t think he matches well against Edwards. Edwards was just barreling over guys and brute strength isn’t one of Frank’s main strengths (pun unintended).

  55. Raven: Absolutely possible. But if you have a lance (which is otherwise a fairly useless thing) and you don’t take it out during the jousting tournament, what’s the point of having it?

    Lance Thomas notwithstanding, of course.

  56. By the playoffs, we might be able to field a unit consisting of Mitch, Noel, Henson, Pelle and Randle.

    NY is big, man!

  57. And for God’s sake put a body on Jeff Green tonight.
    Can’t stand losing by Olynyks, Pattersons and Greens…

  58. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    It feels like it’s been a few months

    but strat has indeed returned to comedy

    Think whatever nonsense you wish, but this is the truth.

    I was using the exact same model that is used to calculate SRS for Basketball Reference as the base for my model. I had conversations with a person at Basketball Reference and he explained it and provided some help at the start. I think he even gave me a sample spreadsheet to start. I ran that model every day on my own to make sure it matched exactly what Basketball reference was publishing. It always did.

    Then I had a separate spreadsheet where I added in my adjustments to the scores to reflect injuries, home/away for each team, and some extreme scheduling issues. I ran that daily. That produced a different set of SRS numbers that more accurately reflected things not included in Basketball Reference SRS.

    The Home/Away adjustments were provided by someone associated with Wins Produced at the time. I think it was Arturo.

    The injury values were based on on/off data I tracked when players were out injured and bookie odds lines changes for injuries I was tracking on my own.

    There is NO QUESTION AT ALL that what I had was superior to what is published now. Of course, there may be other private people (including bookies) that had way better models, but what I had was without doubt better than just SRS.

    I was using that model as a core for line making along with other insights from gambling research I was doing on my own to bet basketball from 2011-2012 through 2015-2016. I was already tapering off the last couple of years. I netted profits in every year. By 2015-2016 I was convinced if I had any edge left it wasn’t worth the trouble. So I stopped and put that extra energy into horse racing (which I have been playing for decades) and built the horse racing database I use now.

  59. I bet similarly to Hubert and take positions where the odds just seem way off. Lead to me getting a good chunk of change out of my preseason MVPs bets on Jokic (+2300 – the theory was that he would at least not miss any games with covid since he had it already and played fine afterward, and that he would not start the season off as slowly as normally since the shorter offseason would prevent him from loading up on a ton of Serbian home cooking, holding this one all the way) and Embiid (+4000 – obviously there was injury risk there (I got out of my position at +400), but the odds of most candidates were way too low since Luka and Giannis were the betting favorites, which they definitely should have been imo).

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