Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Philadelphia 76ers 101 – New York Knicks 95 – Game Recap

At last, a game where something akin to basketball happened with regard to the Knicks. Apart from the final score (that looks like it was ripped from 2005, in a League that’s been seeing the highest score average since… last year? No but seriously, this season is still seeing teams average 110.3 PPG, and without 2018-19 that would be the highest average since I was a kid, in 84-85), there were a few intense moments here. Most important of all, some of the protagonists were the youngsters, and not just the merc du jour who gets hot but won’t have any impact whatsoever on the outcome down the road in 2022 or so.

If was a game of two halves, with the Knicks gaining a comfortable lead in the first and then surrendering it in the second half (first lead for the Sixers after the 2-0 start: 67-66 on an Embiid free throw with just 1:25 to play in the third), which led to the obvious final result – a loss – because when things get dire it’s everyone for themselves and even when the ball finds a shooter on the corner the Friday Night Knicks legacy intervenes and makes a career .378 three point shooter miss everything by a foot and a half, setting the table for one of the most bonkers sequence of the year; I have to describe it just so you can understand the level of absurdity correlated with Fizdale’s tenure here.

Down 93-99 with 16.9 seconds to play (and after a timeout), the Knicks gave the ball to Randle at the top of the key to let him create something from the dribble*. Randle kinda beat his man, Tobias Harris, and went for the objectively useless layup, which would have put the Knicks down four with 12 seconds to play. Usually, in this type of scenario, shooting a three is the only choice available, since there’s so little time that cutting the lead to four is the epitome of the good job, good effort kid meme. Of course the Knicks chose this after a timeout. Inexplicably, Tobias Harris chose to contest the layup and fouled Randle, who went on to score and therefore gained the opportunity to cut the lead to three, giving the Knicks a puncher’s chance to tie the game if, for example, they’d have tried to go for the steal and the miracle three. I don’t need to tell you that these things happen, you just have to watch a TNT live feed with Kevin Harlan to be reminded of that by his awful color commentator. Well, ok. So here’s Randle at the line. By the way, Harris fouling Randle on that layup elicited in Mike Breen the same kind of astonishment you’d probably feel if someone stuffed your Thanksgiving turkey with lavender scented styrofoam. But anyway, I digress. Here’s Randle at the line. The most sensible choice there would have been to try to score, right? Ha! You’re not that familiar with Fizdale magic, it seems. Going totally against the current and the common sense, Fizdale urged Randle to miss the free throw, hoping for the Knicks to get an offensive board and… what? They would have been still down four!

Let me put my math teacher hat for a moment (I know, not all things are equal and I should probably conduct a deep research on Cleaning the Glass or something like that, and even then I’d come away with very empiric results, but bear with me, alright? It’s a terribly flawed calculation but it serves its purpose): solely based on this season, the chance that Randle intentionally hits a free throw is roughly 63%. Now the score is down three, and the Knicks have to come up with a steal (roughly 6.5%) and then hit a three (conservatively 28% – the Knicks are shooting 37% for the year but it probably would have been a contested, weird looking shot). It all adds up to a probability of 1.15% of tying the game. With Randle missing the free throw, you’re looking at the Knicks needing to secure an offensive board (26%), hitting a three (28%) and then steal the ball (same 6.5%) and make a two (not conservatively 45%) to win the game or hitting two twos to tie the game. You’re left with a 0.2% chance to win the game or a 0.3% chance to tie the game. Essentially, you’re betting on the strategy that gives you a 0.5% chance of a positive outcome instead of the one that gives you a 1.15% to do pretty much the same.

I’d looooove to play poker with Fiz.

Anyway, the Sixers grabbed the board and we lost.

*I’m so tired of writing this sentence.

***

The good:

– Marcus Morris (20 pts, 7 rebs, 1 blk, +8 +/-) is giving the Knicks almost everything they thought they would be getting when they signed him. I say almost because you’re insane if you think he’ll sustain this level of marksmanship for the season from three, but you’re not so insane if you think that his 2P% isn’t necessarily due to rise up a lot. What I’m saying, basically, is that his currently commendable .578 TS% is unrealistically buoyed by his unprecedented three point shooting prowess in the last few games (19/27), while his ugly two point shooting is very probably caused by the amount of hero ball Fizdale’s lack of offensive sets and imagination inflicts on him – not that Mook looks like he’s not liking the chance to play like that. If you ask me, I think his percentages by the end of the season will be something like 42/37/84, which aren’t bad but not the kind of numbers that spell out high efficiency (unless you’re James Harden and shoot like that on a monster volume of three pointers and free throws). I would have loved to see Marcus plugged into a coherent system as a Knick. I’m having trouble liking him because of his general demeanor, but a guy who defends in a capable manner and takes and sometimes hits the right shots will always have a place in my heart. Sadly he’s being used like he’s being subjected to the “Gonna fix you, Mudiay” treatment. Anyway, he played a nice game and he’s succeeding at looking dependable even in this mess. If these guys don’t trade him asap, they’re complete buffoons.

– RJ Barrett (18 pts, 3 rebs, 2 ast, +9 +/-) was good Rowan Jr last night apart form the foul trouble. He scored efficiently, he sort of worked as a primary option down the stretch and even fooled Embiid on a couple drives. I’m fairly convinced that if we had three or four sets where we run him through screens to secure a mismatch on the perimeter, or make him backdoor cut, or post him up against smaller and weaker defenders he’d already be a handful. Right now he’s a sinusoid of good and bad offense without so much of a middle ground. It has to be expected from a rookie, but looking at him and Mitch you’re left wondering if we’re already wasting time. A lot of time. You know what I’m talking about.

The bad:

– Dennis Smith Jr. (3 pts, 3 rebs, 2 ast, -12 +/-) is being misused and used too much at the same time. While I like the idea of playing him and Frank in the same lineup, playing him and Barrett is surefire recipe for failure, and since Barrett is very clearly the superior player, that means you have to alternate the two, which usually results in him being left on the court with Portis and Ellington (or Dotson) so that the defense turn into a crumbling dam – and exposes Mitch to even more foul trouble. In short: I hope Elfrid Payton comes back really soon. It’s not time to cut bait on DSJ, but this year he’s been simply abysmal. If this is who he is, try Kadeem Allen.

Fun-sized bits:

– Let’s talk a bit about Mitch. This was probably the most futile he’s been on offense since his NBA debut (1/5 from the field, 0/4 from the floor) and of course he fouled out, but even then he refuses to be a net negative. Yeah, he blocked two shots, but there were times in the first half when his presence on the court really made a difference on defense even without numbers popping up in the box score. If only we could figure out a way to have him on the court at least 24 minutes every game… But then again you remember the FO probably views him as the fourth best in-house prospect and your soul starts playing My heart will go on on a panflute made by tears and regrets.

– On the other hand, Frank had a pretty encouraging (if again slightly inefficient) performance. 13 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal but two crucial plays down the stretch that he probably wouldn’t have the confidence to make last year. Not a point guard? Ok. Probably. The same Frank? Nah, definitely.

– We started the game well. You what was happening in the first quarter? We gave the ball to Randle down low. That’s not a certain recipe for success, but it’s waaaay better that whatever else we try to do with him. Give him the ball down low, let him be double if it happens, and watch some nugget of beautiful ball movement. Or give him the ball more than 16 feet from the cup and let him improvise, put that thing in the microwave for 90 seconds, stir it and enjoy a flurry of turnovers and clogged offensive sets.

– Oh yes! Julius scored 22 points, grabbed 10 boards and dished 4 assist (while turning the ball over 4 times). Randle’s counting stats have on me the same effect of R-rated material after your 15th birthday: you know it’s not the real thing, so you stop considering it rad and just get over with it.

– No Knox today. The Dungeon is real (and for once very earned, not that probably anyone ever coached him on the right way to defend). Daily reminder that in order to avoid the dreaded tank we ended up drafting at the ninth spot in a draft where there were at least three amazing future players and a current superstar. Nice one.

Another loss, and the clock probably ticks faster for Fizdale. Well, the sooner the better.

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83 comments on “Philadelphia 76ers 101 – New York Knicks 95 – Game Recap

  1. KnickfaninNJ

    Logically you’d think that if we can play good teams close, we could be good against lousy teams, but these are the Knicks. So I just watch individual players and wait for the inevitable loss.

  2. Hubert

    Got 9-1 odds on the Knicks firing Fizdale after the Celtics game and before the bucks game. At first I was only offered 5-1 but managed to talk it up by giving myself such a narrow and specific window. There’s always a chance the Knicks actually win the game, you know?

    That berman article said they measure things in ten game increments. The mills presser was after ten games. This Sunday is game #20. I’m pretty confident that a nice noncompetitive loss to an organized Celtics team should do the trick.

  3. Hubert

    With Randle missing the free throw, you’re looking at the Knicks needing to secure an offensive board (26%), hitting a three (28%) and then steal the ball (same 6.5%) and make a two (not conservatively 45%) to win the game or hitting two twos to tie the game.

    I’m not defending the decision, but it’s not this bad.

    The call was basically this:

    If you hit the free throw, you foul, and the sixers have to miss two free throws.

    If you rebound and get a quick two, they only have to miss one. Or if you hit a three you guarantee yourself a chance to tie. I don’t know what the exact odds of an offensive rebound were, but it seems like getting one is more likely than a steal or the other team missing two free throws, so it may not have been incredibly stupid.

    Which is pretty much the Knicks these days: sometimes they may not be incredibly stupid.

  4. Owen

    “Brother, I’m about to put sage in the room” – David Fizdale on whether or not the Knicks can do anything differently in practice to improve free throw shooting

    At least he is a good quote

    Nice stuff Farfa!

  5. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Still don’t get why Trier is in the dungeon.

    He’s a good scorer but bad basketball player?

    Ironically, when he got some garbage time minutes the other night and went off for 10 quick points, that may have been exactly what Fizdale was NOT looking for.

    IMO he’s got good long term 6th man potential, but even Lou Williams passes and tries to play defense. All Trier thinks about is dribbling and creating his own shot. that’s exactly what this team does not need now. Every player on the team dribbles too much and tries to create 1 on 1 all the time except Frank/Mitch and that’s party because they can’t and are smart enough to know it. We need guys setting “good” picks, moving, passing etc.. and we’ll get more efficiency out of these players. They aren’t as bad talent wise as their record. The offense sucks. Almost all these guys would have higher TS% on a good team with a good offense.

  6. KnickfaninNJ

    I think defense is probably keeping Trier in the dungeon. Dotson is better at defense. Say what you will about Fizdale, he seems to be putting defense first in his playing time decisions. The team is much better at defense than offense, so it seems to be working too. Even DSJ is showing signs of good defense. He was horrible on offense last night, but he had sequences in defense where I actually thought he was doing well.

  7. Ingmarrrr

    Before the season started I speculated that 5:15 may put an end to the Fizdale era. Seems like at best it would be 4:16.

  8. Ingmarrrr

    What can we get for Morris? It’d have to be a 15 million contract and an asset, right? Is there a contender to do such a trade with?

  9. ptmilo

    You’re left with a 0.2% chance to win the game or a 0.3% chance to tie the game. Essentially, you’re betting on the strategy that gives you a 0.5% chance of a positive outcome

    i’m not gonna well actually your scenario weighting bc you admitted they were terrible, but this is a no no. the probability of hitting (1) 2 twos to tie or a (2) a three and a two to win given the ORB and subsequent steal are not additive as above. to make them additive you need to also include the probability of attempting a 2 vs a 3 on the last (or first) shot, since you can’t attempt both simultaneously. so the aggregate win or tie probability has to fall between .2 and .3 given your assumptions. that is, you are really saying above that you have a .3pct chance of tying (but no chance of winning) if you try to tie and a .2pct chance of winning (but no chance of tying) if you try to win.

  10. d-mar

    Noted sharpshooter James Ennis XVIII scored 20 points on 5 shots last night.

    We really should start a Knicks opponent Hall of Fame, which would include mediocre players who have career nights against us. The ones I can think of off hand for this season are Ennis, Coby White and Devonte Graham.

    Oh, and KP still sucks.

  11. DRed

    James Ennis has had some other nice games in his career, but last night was his career high in free throw attempts which makes some sense because we’re the most foul happy team in the NBA.

  12. Z-man

    As bad as Trier is on D, he’s by far the best offensive player of all the young guys. Putting him in with Frank, Mitch, RJ and a couple of bigs for 5-10 mpg and letting him score or get to the line is not going to hurt the team. Knox is just as bad of a defender and Fiz didn’t pull him until his offense tanked. I really think Trier went off on Fiz in practice (he’s very thin-skinned) and Fiz is trying to “teach him a lesson” the way that D’Antoni benched Nate for like 10 games for shooting at the wrong basket while time was expiring. I hate that doghouse shit, especially when coming from holier-than-thou coaches. It’s not like the vets aren’t doing stupid shit out there every game.

  13. Bruno Almeida

    The weird thing about Trier not seeing the court is that as bad as he can be on defense and his ISO tendencies, he can’t really be worse than DSJ, who really is about as bad as it can possibly get.

    All I hope for this season is to see Morris traded asap and that’s it, let’s go get a high lottery pick and see what happens with the young guys.

  14. Z-man

    Trier has lots of flaws but on this team he should be getting 10mpg. There aren’t 10 guys less flawed than him.

  15. Hubert

    I get the argument that trier doesn’t play bc he’s bad. But then I look at who does play and I see z-man’s point.

  16. Z-man

    That’s why it would be so refreshing to have a coach/gm/pobo team that has no hidden agenda or allegiance to players that were drafted or signed. This team is so bad that the scrubs should be rotating until someone earns consistent minutes. That goes for Knox, Trier, Ellington, Portis, and Smith Jr.

    Mitch or Gibson off the bench doesn’t matter to me, both have earned rotation minutes. And RJ and Frank deserve consistent rotation minutes based on their play. Obviously Payton would be in the rotation if his new hamstring wasn’t on backorder from the stem cell lab. And Morris and Randle would play for any coach. But the rest is just so nonsensical.

  17. Bruno Almeida

    In the end it doesnt matter too much, as Trier is not a guy we are confident is a good player or a good talent for the future. But it is one more small thing that makes little sense in a large pool of nonsensical decisions.

    I wouldn’t be too mad at Trier not playing if the team had a clear direction or the decisions made by Fizdale made sense in a general way, but as usual this team is stuck between a half-assed rebuild strategy with some young players and trying to compete with some veterans and none of the options are promising.

  18. Hubert

    I truly can’t imagine something more pandering and pathetic than the Nets wearing “Bed-Stuy” jerseys yesterday. This is the “cool” team in NY?

  19. ptmilo

    I truly can’t imagine something more pandering and pathetic than the Nets wearing “Bed-Stuy” jerseys yesterday. This is the “cool” team in NY?

    agree that was lame. but winning one playoff series in 20 years is still more pathetic.

  20. TheClashFan

    @3

    That berman article said they measure things in ten game increments. The mills presser was after ten games. This Sunday is game #20. I’m pretty confident that a nice noncompetitive loss to an organized Celtics team should do the trick.

    That’s interesting! I figured they’d want to fire Fiz just as the current tough schedule run is over to maximize the chance of the new HC getting a win. So, maybe they decide to fire Fiz after a loss to Boston but wait to actually do it until after the Bucks game?

    That way, new HC gets 3 days until a home game vs. Denver?

  21. Brian Cronin

    But really, this is why their offseason was so, so dumb. Sign a bunch of mediocre guys and then never play a few of the young players on the team who need to be developed if this team will have any chance of being good in a couple of years. For instance, Frank has been playing a lot better and he would have been in the dungeon, as well, had it not been for injuries to every other point guard on the roster (and then a leave of absence for Smith Jr. due to family tragedy). It’s like the Morris signing. The one guy who they can actually trade and they got him by accident (Bullock’s injury). Similarly, Frank has improved once he was given consistent playing time and that only happened by sheer happenstance!

    This team is so incredibly stupid.

  22. TheClashFan

    @27
    Totally agree. The only somewhat positive is that so many deals were 1+1 with team options. But then again, doing that might encourage selfish play, so…

    Now, they can at least cut their losses by trying to make smart trades starting on Dec. 15. Try to get something for Morris, Portis, and Ellington. But, will they even try?

  23. Bruno Almeida

    @28

    But our coach also seems to think selfish basketball is the way to go, seeing as he doesn’t seem too worried about the terrible isos and the lack of passing sometimes from the offense, and that “giving the ball to Morris or Randle in isolation on the perimeter” seems to actually be a part of his playbook.

  24. d-mar

    I was cleaning up my phone this morning and came upon this old headline from the NY Post:

    “Bobby Portis eyes Sixth Man of the Year as Knicks’ bench leader”

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  25. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    Trier should be getting more time, because he’s younger than Wayne Ellington and at least could possibly improve. He’s not even that selfish of a player (he’s got a 17 AST% and a 22 USG%, which is fine for a score-first guard)–you should generally shoot when you’re avging 60+ TS%. He does turn the ball over too much, and doesn’t play very good defense, but he’s a guard, so it hurts less than Knox’s horrible defense. He should play in three ball-handler sets (E.g. Frank/DSJ at the 1, Zo at the 2, Barrett at the 3) so that he can cut and play more in motion to cut down on his turnovers. Just no excuse not to play him really.

  26. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Trier has lots of flaws but on this team he should be getting 10mpg. There aren’t 10 guys less flawed than him.

    Again, I think it’s about “how” he plays and not “how well” he plays. I think there’s some kind of “play the right way or you are going to sit” lesson in this from Fiz, but I could be projecting my own thinking onto Fiz.

    To me, Trier has potential to be a long term “keeper” as a bench scorer. But when I watch him play he makes me want to vomit because he so focused on dribbling and creating for himself.

    You can win extra games in this league with mediocre talent if you play consistent defense, encourage ball/player movement, get good coaching, and play unselfishly. We are the opposite of that.

  27. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    @31

    If you are an aggressive player that keeps the ball a lot and has the handle/shot to create for yourself (which Trier does), you will score more and get more assists, but the extra aggressiveness comes with a cost. You get more TOs and some of the bad shots you take are replacing some of the better ones the TEAM can create with more ball/player movement.

    He has to find the sweet spot where if he’s open shoot. If it’s very late in the clock create and shoot. Otherwise, move the ball. All that fancy stuff is the last option.

    If he did that, he’d score a little less, get a few less assists, his own efficiency would improve, TOs would go down, and his teammates would be more involved and the team would be better.

  28. JK47

    Allonzo Trier should be getting Wayne Ellington’s minutes because Wayne Ellington is journeyman dreck who doesn’t bring any special “play the right way” sauce or any of that crap. Plan “fake contend and fool some free agents” isn’t panning out, it’s time to go with Plan “let’s park Wayne Ellington in his familiar spot on the bench.”

  29. Stratomatic: Frequently wrong, but never in doubt

    Allonzo Trier should be getting Wayne Ellington’s minutes because Wayne Ellington is journeyman dreck who doesn’t bring any special “play the right way” sauce or any of that crap.

    Ellington moves well without the ball and shoots when he’s open. He’s not very good, but he doesn’t play foolishly like Trier and he at least tries on defense.

    So it depends on what you think will work better improving Trier.

    If you want to give minutes to the younger player that has some chance of sticking and are willing to simply hope he figures it out some day, play Trier.

    If you think punishing selfish one-way play will change his attitude fairly quickly, let him earn the minutes in practice.

    I like the Knox benching also, but it’s a year too late and for different reasons. He’s terrible on both sides. And with him, I don’t think it’s an attitude problem. He’s trying to play the right way. He just has to get a lot better.

  30. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

    You shouldn’t bench young players for “attitude problems” when they’re playing well. Let them play and learn, this isn’t hard. We don’t even know that Trier does have an attitude problem, you’re just reading that into his play because he shoots a lot and isn’t a good defender and doesn’t have a 47 TS%.

    Benching your young players is terrible strategy. Negative reinforcement doesn’t really work, it tanks their trade value, and it deprives them of minutes that presumably help them develop, and you get marginal wins from the Wayne Ellington’s of the world that hurt your draft position. There are zero good arguments against playing the youth.

  31. geo

    I see my folks, they’re getting old
    And I watch their bodies change
    I know they see the same in me
    And it makes us both feel strange
    No matter how you tell yourself
    It’s what we all go through
    Those eyes are pretty hard to take
    When they’re staring’ back at you

    just made it back home, erased the raptors game pretty quickly, but, getting ready to watch the 76’s game…the thread read like, for the most part, that was a pretty enjoyable game…

    we’ve gone over a bunch of different stuff outside of basketball since i’ve joined…probably the thing that’s stuck with me the most is some of the stuff that folks shared about their mom’s…it’s made me really appreciate my situation and the time i still have with my mom…it’s easy sometimes to take what’s good for granted…

    i never really gave getting old much thought til i hit about 50…started becoming more aware of the changes in my body taking place and figured it would be in my best interest to get a little smarter about the whole process…i don’t have a large social circle, so, the only people i’ve watched get old up close have been my folks…dad was a great lesson in what not to do (don’t die alone in pain and bed-ridden), ma’s been a good lesson in how to age well…

    it’s a little odd at times observing my mom getting old…she’s always been so rock steady and a sheer force of nature in terms of her intelligence and personality…i’ll never forget visiting mom one time at work and watching her pass through the halls, and, observing how folks just all moved to the side to allow this little 5’2″ latina tornado to pass on by…i can see her hands shake now, each step more measured, i can see her getting more lost in her thoughts, losing focus easier, becoming more unsure…

    heck, she can still cook one hell of a holiday meal though…

    well, gametime…and yeah – no more turkey sandwiches for at least the next month or two :)

  32. thenoblefacehumper

    Yeah, the “should we play Trier” debate begins and ends with the alternatives. There’s zero justification for playing Wayne Ellington over him if you give one fuck about the future of this team.

    No one needs a crash course on the guy’s flaws, but being a 59% shooter from 0-3 and a 39% shooter from 3PT distance is more a promising starter kit than 90% of our other players. If you can’t play him and work on his bad habits at the same time, I mean, you’re just conceding you’re a bad coach. Doing just that is literally a huge part of your job description.

    Just parking him on the bench until we either trade him for very little or let him walk to a team willing to work with him a bit seems like the worst of all worlds. I can’t imagine being 4-15 and thinking you have better things to do than try to develop one of the few interesting players on the team.

  33. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The incredible part about this trainwreck of a season is that the Warriors proved that you can achieve this level of success with guys on minimum salaries and cheap rookie contracts.

    In descending MP order, contract length including this year:

    Robinson $1.8M, expiring
    Paschall, $1.3 AAV over three, allegedly guaranteed
    Poole, $2.5 AAV over four with two team options, plus a QO in the 5th year (dude is shooting 28% from the field in 210 attempts!)
    Burks, $2.3M, expiring
    Bowman, $79k (that’s k for thousand)
    Cauley-Stein, $2.2M, expiring
    Spellman, $4.2M AAV over four, two team options and a QO
    Chriss, $1.6M, expiring

    I wish I could explain in a positive light what the Knicks are doing to achieve the same level of suck.

  34. geo

    still in the 3rd quarter – mitch looks a lot better out there this game, much more composed…

    hopefully by the all-star break or so he’ll stop leaving his feet and remember his rotations…

    it would be nice to see the knicks run a few offensive plays for him at the post…

    maybe it’s a bit irrational to think – but, i think he’s gonna get a lot better…love that he seems perpetually irritated out on the court – perfect attitude for the shot blocking machine he is…

    clyde totally nailed it as usual: frank can’t hit two shots in a row

    I’m still telling myself he’s a rookie, yep, the last two years never happened for frank…as a rookie, he definitely shows promise…still waiting to see a dunk…

    and yeah, things really do go to shit sometimes when the kid steps off the court…

    enjoying RJ’s all around game…good to see morris and randall working better together…

    tied game now with a minute or so to go in the 3rd…should probably be smart and change the channel now…

  35. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    Maybe Mike Miller gets promoted to head coach. That’s really our only hope at this point. If the Knicks want any sort of future they need put him in the lead seat, waive Bobby Portis, and trade Marcus Morris for some sort of draft pick/young asset.

    I really hoped Julius Randle would improve on his season from last year, but all I have to hang my hat on are Frank, Mitch, and RJ Barrett. I guess if we hit (semi-hit on Frank) on a draft pick a year, we might have a team by the time Karl Anthony Towns is a free agent.

  36. geo

    I wonder how DSJ will react to sitting on the bench when payton gets back …maybe he’ll get ellington’s minutes for a while…

    got to imagine bullock we’ll get 20 or so a night when he returns, he was gonna be the starting 3 at some point in the past…

    development wise, easy to see trier ahead of ellington, DSJ, and maybe dot too…just tell him he can only shoot once a quarter…

  37. Donnie Walsh

    We really should start a Knicks opponent Hall of Fame, which would include mediocre players who have career nights against us. The ones I can think of off hand for this season are Ennis, Coby White and Devonte Graham.

    Previous recipients of the Jimmer Award (for career highs against the Knicks):

    Jarrett Jack 33pts
    Mike Taylor 35pts
    Andrea Bargnani 41pts
    Luke Harangody 17pts
    Tyler Hansbrough 30pts
    Devin Ebanks 15pts
    Jared Dudley 36pts
    Alan Anderson 35pts
    Evan Turner 34pts
    Mike Scott 30pts
    DeMarre Carroll 24pts
    Jimmer Fredette 24pts

    (And then there’s a separate category called the Chris Childs Award, for people that got big contracts/stuck in the league just for having big games against the Knicks.)

  38. Z-man

    I’ve been as hard on Frank as anyone and I think he’s playing just fine for a 21 yo rookie 2nd round pick right now….which is what he should have been.

  39. Z-man

    Well, as principal I outbid a parent at my school’s auction to nab a porzingis jersey for my son. Not only was it tacky, it was a bad investment…

  40. Owen

    That’s quite a line from Harden. Made Trae’s look lilliputian.

    I am super excited for us to max Harden in 2023.

  41. Bruno Almeida

    The only jersey I ever bought was a white Knicks one that I bought in January 2011, when I went to New York… of Danilo Gallinari.

    I mean, I’m still proud of the choice, but it wasn’t the best timing.

  42. Bruno Almeida

    Klay Thompson scored 62 faster, in 29 minutes, but he took 33 shots and 11 free throws. Harden had 24 and 23 FTA. The amount of shots is probably a record low, unless Wilt did it somehow.

  43. Z-man

    The games where Wilt played less than 40 minutes are few and far between…he never averaged less than 42.3 mpg and in 1045 career games averaged 45.8 mpg. Of all of Wilt’s records, his mpg is probably the most impressive, especially considering the scheduling, pace of play, equipment, and his responsibilities. Not to mention his off-the-court proclivities.

  44. Bruno Almeida

    I meant in the amount of shots as a joke, because he was so crazy bad at free throws that he could never have done it.

  45. Hubert

    I’ve been as hard on Frank as anyone and I think he’s playing just fine for a 21 yo rookie 2nd round pick right now….which is what he should have been.

    I was thinking about this the other day when everyone was taking a dump on Knox.

    Should we blame the player bc management overvalued him?

    Both Frank and Knox should have been 2nd round picks. If we had drafted them where they ought to have been drafted, we’d all be quite pleased with them.
    To me, it’s a baby/bath water kind of thing. I’m happy to judge these guys on their merits instead of holding all the failings of our organization against them.

  46. geo

    what were the common draft predictions for both frank and knox – were they ranked as lottery picks, or were we the only organizations crazy enough to see them as not only first round picks, but, lottery picks…

    pretty sure they were both ranked as lottery picks by a few different projections…

    how many other lottery picks from those two drafts now look like second round picks…heck, we have one of them on our roster now…

    I’m not sure what we’ve done worse the last few years, drafted poorly or made bad free agent choices…

    bad teams usually have bad front offices who regularly make bad decisions…

    the 2019-2020 season seems to be moving along right on schedule…

  47. Early Bird

    FWIW, BRef allows you to sort each draft by ws/48. Frank ranks 50th among 55 picks who have played actual minutes. Knox ranks 50th, also out of 55. (You can also sort by VORP and BPM but I happened to sort by this first).

    Notably, Josh Jackson was a #4 pick with a lower ws/48 than Frank. DSJr is just ahead of Frank AND #11 Malik Monk wasn’t too far ahead either. No other lotto picks appear that low. But in an unpredictable year many of the top picks grade out in the middle of the pack.

    Knox on the other hand is the worst lottery pick from his year by a wide margin with only Colin Sexton approaching his ineptitude.

    In other words, from those 2 drafts we’ve managed to land 3 players who have been outperformed by almost everyone–even the 2nd round picks. Those were terrible picks by their career numbers (admittedly both are improved this year).

    Mitch of course is #1 in his class. Dotson ranks #38. Trier would rank #32 if drafted.

  48. Early Bird

    Playing around a bit more. Through the play finder you can look at individual seasons for draft picks from a given year.

    Sorting by WS/48 and arbitrarily choosing a 100 minute minimum, Knox played terrible last year but is 17th/34 players this year.

    Frank is 21st/31 this year, but improbably ahead of Fox (pick #5), Markkanen (#7), Ball (#2), Monk (#11), and DSJr. (#9).

    So our players are still pretty meh, but at least the 2017 draft was all over the place with picks anyway.

    NB: Small sample size warning for this year.

  49. Early Bird

    Randle has been playing better recently. Arbitrarily splitting the season in half, Randle put up an atrocious .493TS% and 20% TOV rate in the first 10 games. Since (last 9 games) he’s put up a more respectable .539 TS% and a 13.7% TOV rate with a slightly higher usage. The numbers still aren’t great, but I do believe some adjustments are needed when changing teams, so we may expect more of this mediocre Randle moving forward and not the abjectly terrible, does he belong in this league Randle we’ve come to expect.

    Full disclosure the samples are small enough to be meaningless, but I didn’t try and find any sort of favorable break. However, the entire TS% difference could potentially be explained by his improved 3p% over the more recent games, a notoriously noisy stat.

    If I really wanted to cherry pick, the last 6 games he’s put up a .589 TS% on 26% USG. Of course removing that 6th game drops it back down to a .542 TS% over the last 5.

  50. Early Bird

    Did not watch the game, but from the two highlights I saw of people taking the ball to the basket, both times Embiid appeared to stick to Mitch the entire play and made no effort to help against the drive. Based on that admittedly small sample, it seemed like the sixers were daring the Knicks wings to beat their man one on one in order to prevent the Mitch lob.

  51. Owen

    Good posts Early Bird.

    The inherent randomness of the draft is still somehow underrated. Still almost a complete crapshoot. And the Knocks manage to find a way to F it up anyway.

  52. Z-man

    I don’t agree that the draft is almost a complete crapshoot; more accurately, it’s rarely if ever a sure thing. There is a ton of information and analysis about each player and a savvy GM is more than capable of getting the odds to work out in his favor. There is definitely uncertainty, especially with younger picks, because it’s hard to predict whether a particular player will develop or not. But not as much as your statement suggests.

  53. KnickfaninNJ

    Our drafting hasn’t been horrible. If you draft eight or ninth, the median expectation is probably a rotation player or a starter who is a role player rather than a star. Frank is on his way to being that. He’s already a starter and he has above median VORP this season if I recall correctly. DSJ may never get there but he wasn’t our pick, and anyway he’s still young enough to improve considerably. Porzingis was one of the best players in his draft and is a max salarid player now, which is a good outcome for number four. Barrett is not good yet, but he’s already our starting two guard, also a reasonable outcome for where he was picked. Knox may never make it, but Dotson and Robinson are both better than one would expect from where they were picked. We are getting what we should from the draft, but many fans expect better than that.

  54. The Glass Half Rebuilt

    The drafting isn’t the problem. History says we should have taken OG Anunoby and Shai Gilgeous Alexander at the 8 and 9 spots, but nobody gets everything right. The problem is giving Bobby Portis $16M instead of using that space to add draft assets. Frank Ntilikina is an NBA player. If Knox can really shoot and learns how to do stuff like rebound and draw fouls, he’s an NBA rotation player. Mitch is an NBA starter once he gets the fouling in order. Barrett can play and Brazdeikis isn’t a bad prospect either.

    We need to leverage our cap space to get more picks. You cannot build a team one player a year.

  55. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    The drafting isn’t the problem.

    We need to leverage our cap space to get more picks.

    This is a false dilemma. The Knicks consistently pick guys with shitty college stats hoping they’ll outperform their histories. They are not the only team to do this, but they are a team that does this.

    They also waste cap space on useless players in the hopes of fielding a “competitive” team that other people will want to join, rather than using that cap space to hoard other people’s overpaid players. Imagine if the Knicks had simply tanked as hard as they have since 2015 and been in a position to take some of those awful summer ’16 contracts for future unprotected draft assets.

    Well, the league has caught up on this whole “don’t trade unprotected firsts like the Knicks did for the better part of a decade” thing, and now teams know to protect their draft assets through conditions until those traded picks turn into 2nd rounders after, say, 8 years or so.

    The Knicks could do both. They could stop drafting projects and try for guys who actually performed at the NCAA level. They could also hoard assets by leveraging their uncompetitive short-term future and high tolerance for bloated salaries.

    Frank Ntilikina is an NBA player. If Knox can really shoot and learns how to do stuff like rebound and draw fouls, he’s an NBA rotation player.

    And then you completely lose me here.

  56. d-mar

    Some guy bet $260,000 at the Borgata on the over in the Kings-Nuggets game (206)

    Final score: 100-97, in overtime!

    Betting on NBA games is just plain stupid.

  57. KnickfaninNJ

    This is a false dilemma. The Knicks consistently pick guys with shitty college stats hoping they’ll outperform their histories. They are not the only team to do this, but they are a team that does this.

    Because of course players never improve, they are only what their college stats say they were. They are bad, therefore they will always be bad. (sarcasm intended).

  58. Hubert

    Betting on NBA games is just plain stupid.

    It really is quite random.

    Of course, I bet on Fizdale getting fired after this game, so what do I know. The Knicks will probably win by 15.

  59. Z-man

    @69 really? Is that what you think that Jowles is saying? My take is that sure, you might make a 20% play and win and you might make an 80% play and lose, but smart GMs always make the 80% play over the 20% play.

    Knox had lousy stats in college and the odds were that he would continue to have lousy stats in the NBA. Now he has a year and change of lousy stats in the NBA and the odds are that he will continue to have lousy stats in the NBA. SGA had good stats in college and he continues to have good stats in the NBA. Odds are that he will continue to put up good stats in the NBA going forward. It’s about probability, not about absolutes like “always” and “never”.

  60. Grocer

    Did not watch the game, but from the two highlights I saw of people taking the ball to the basket, both times Embiid appeared to stick to Mitch the entire play and made no effort to help against the drive. Based on that admittedly small sample, it seemed like the sixers were daring the Knicks wings to beat their man one on one in order to prevent the Mitch lob.

    We have been assured by Strat that teams do not game plan for Mitch and that’s why his numbers are so meaninglessly impressive. Maybe if you Watched The Games you would oh. Hmm.

  61. KnickfaninNJ

    Z-man, you made a reasonable argument why Knox was a bad pick. Jowles did not, even if you inferred that he thought the same thing you expressed.

  62. geo

    I thought mitch looked a lot more in control friday – embiid is just a beast…

    I’ll be amazed if he ever averages more than 60 games played each season…

    he’s 25 years old and the dude already looks like his body is breaking down…

    incredible talent though…

  63. KnickfaninNJ

    We seem to play Dallas, Brooklyn and Philly toughly, but get blown away by Cleveland and Toronto. I’m trying to think of some matchup reason this could be, but I can’t think of one.

  64. d-mar

    @77 I agree, they’re gonna be a really tough out in the playoffs. Their D is outstanding- they held Embiid to zero points and Friday they beat the Magic in Orlando despite Siakam going 4-22 by holding them to 87 points.

  65. The Infamous Cdiggy

    Welp… this Giants game is basically over.
    What a baaaad sequence of events, starting from the confused 12-man D coughing up a TD pass on 3rd and G from the 18. Then a questionable play call begets a lousy snap begets a lousy handoff which begets a fumble. Then an INT on the next play. Yeah…

  66. Bruno Almeida

    The Knicks have drafted terribly, but also the stupid insistence on not really tanking has been the biggest problem.

    We’ve argued this for years, people were always saying stuff like “there’s no guarantee that top picks are necessarily better!” or “you can find value anywhere on the draft!”, or even “you can rebuild in many different ways, the Knicks are just choosing a different one!”.

    And yet here we are, again full of garbage veterans on the roster, with uninspiring mid lottery picks failing to develop into real NBA talent, and our best prospects are a 2nd rounder and the one guy we picked in the top 3, which was what guys like jowles always said, stock up on 2nd rounders and focus on getting a top pick.

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