I don’t know if I’ve already told you this: I’m color blind.
My color blindness isn’t severe (I’m not seeing the world in black and white, and I can actually get right even some “advanced” nuances, such as lilac or fuchsia), but nonetheless here and there it pops up, especially related to green/brown and blue/purple mix and matches.
It’s not like I ever forget being color blind, but playing a bit with an old game for iPad (Forever Lost is its name, a clunky, quirky escape room/puzzle game) I was reminded how frustrating it is for a color-impaired person to try and solve incredibly easy puzzles just because the game designer thought it was a good idea to base at least one third of the game on riddles that rely on the ability to discern bright green from yellow in a very small pixelated area. The game can be solved in around one hour, one hour and a half. It took me three hours to beat it. I breezed through hard puzzles with total ease and repeatedly clunked easy riddle after easy riddle because I didn’t understand what the hell I was seeing. I knew very accurately what I should have done: I simply couldn’t find a way to make my eyes collaborate and step over the amazingly low hurdle.
Why am I telling you this, you might ask.
It’s simple: these Knicks play defense just in the same way I approach color-coded quizzes. They theoretically know what they should do; they just have no means at all to translate theory into practice. They’re lost.
To concede 121 points to a glorified G-League team is very bad, from whatever angle you choose to look at it. This was a positively Fizdalian game: nothing seemed to be working, the choice to put DSJ into the game before Frank was puzzling (not trying to reignite the endless battle between Frankophiles and normal people – just kidding! I’m a Frankophile too – but the team struggled mightily on defense from the get go, maybe Frank would have helped stabilize the defensive mindset a bit), guys seemed very frustrated and resigned to lose, Mitch was in foul trouble for the second game in a row.
In short: maybe it’s recency bias, but this is probably the worst loss of the season. Good for the tank, I guess, but very discouraging.
But then again color blindness might also be the right metaphor/allegory for the talent evaluation area of our front office. There’s no way you build a roster like ours if you grasp the basic tenets of basketball and you’re capable of watching the damn game. You know those visual tests where there are a bunch of differently colored dots and you’re supposed to see a number or a letter in there? And you know how easy it is for people who see correctly to say 13! or B! and then wonder what the hell was that test, so easy that nobody could flunk it? Well, most of the time I see jack shit in there and get looked with a mixture of amusement and pity by standard people.
You see where I’m going, right?
Farfa : colors = Pills : talent.
Show us KBers a Knox and a SGA, and pretty much everyone will go for SGA. Show Pills a Knox and a Durant, and they won’t tell them apart one from the other. Where we see a .020 WS/48 peak talent, they see a vast stream of indistinguishable .100 WS/48 prospects, and if it’s so, why not go with the youngest, tallest people?
So there you have it, guys: these Knicks are a Mondrian painting made by me.
I wish there was something good to say about anything that happened last night. About how Julius Randle went for 35 shooting the ball just 21 times, but then I look at his pitiful 5 boards and 2:3 ast/to ratio and I’m like whatever. About how Mitch blocked 6 shots and got 13 boards but then I’m reminded he fouled out again (of course your job isn’t made easier by those swiss cheese cardboard people we call backcourt, but come on big guy) and I’m like who cares. Elfrid Payton dished 12 assists! What’s the point. Dotson drilled 5 threes! Sure, good effort, good job.
But they’re our losers, right?
I don’t know, honestly. Are they? Is there someone on the team you could wholeheartedly call “mine” (in a sports related sense of course)? This is a team composed by hired guns, second round picks and ill-equipped lottery picks on their rookie scale contracts.
You want to call the rookie-scale contracts “yours”? Be my guest. You can have Mitch, who’s good, great almost, but not enough if he can’t stay on the damn floor. His advanced stats and like ambrosia, but he needs to make a few extra steps to be really serviceable (in the meantime play him all you can you morons).
Then I’ll feed you a few basic advanced stats (#teamoxymoron FTW) for the other youngsters:
Player A: .031 WS/48, -2.7 BPM, -0.1 VORP
Player B: -0.032 WS/48, -4.1 BPM, -0.4 VORP
Player C: .015 WS/48, -2.7 BPM, -0.1 VORP
Player D: -0.085 WS/48, -6.6 BPM, -0.4 VORP
Can you guess who’s who? (The last one is super easy, if you watched at least three Knicks games this season).
This is not what a rebuild looks like. This is a headless chicken running around.
Anyway, guys. Christmas is here. It’s time to be happy. To celebrate. To stay with your family.
I have a family, of course. A loving mom, a loving dad who just retired from his job and is all too eager to help me with mine, a smart, smoking hot and snarkily strong woman (who I love with all my heart) on my side and a lot of friends.
But we’re all family too. There’s no Christmas without Knickerbloggers. Heraclitus said there’s no light without dark, no happiness without sadness; then, there’s no moral strength without Dolan, and we can revel in knowing that we all have it. Let there be a smile on your face for the next few days. Save the frowns for these orange and blue clad clowns.