Why I’m Less Concerned About Thibs Burnout Than I Otherwise Would

There is obviously some debate over whether Thibs’ “treat every game like it’s Game 7” strategy is a good one, and one of the best critiques of it is why I predicted more wins than most posters (not all, of course. Who could out-optimize swifty, for instance?), which is that we have seen this exact thing happen multiple times in NBA history, where a hard-nosed “do anything to win” coach comes in, turns the defense around, gets more than expected out of a team, then after a season or two, burnout sets in and everything collapses. A relatively recent example was the “Scott Skiles effect,” Skiles turned around Phoenix, Milwaukee and Chicago and burned out in each place. It got to the point where Orlando started burning out midway through his first season there (he was fighting with the GM and wanted to quit midway through that first seaon, but waited until the end of the season to quit). He hasn’t coached since.

So I had no doubt that Thibs, like Skiles, would wring out every win he could get by teaching these guys to play hard-nosed defense.

So why, then, am I not worried about the corresponding burnout? Well, for one thing, I am a bit, just in the sense that the options for improving the talent on this team for next season are not exactly limited, but they’re not quite diverse, either. Four of the key players to getting the Knicks just to mediocrity this season are veteran free agents (Burks, Bullock, Noel and Rose, who makes this list only so far as “being better than Payton” has helped this year), as is Elfrid Payton. Their key area to add talent looks to be the #15/16 picks in the draft, or perhaps a max offer to a restricted Lonzo Ball that might very well just be matched by New Orleans. So I am a bit worried, but there is one key thing in Thibs and the Knicks’ favor… they’re the Knicks.

Which is to say that unlike Milwaukee, Orlando, and even Chicago and Phoenix, just being decent and having a pretty good core is appealing when you’re a big market. Jeff Van Gundy did a similar job in 1995-96, taking the Knicks to a 13-10 record in the back end of the season (along with a playoff series win over a similarly mediocre Cleveland Cavaliers team where he basically just played the starters every minute) where the Knicks were cutting salary to make moves in free agency. And one of the hottest free agents that year, Allan Houston, picked the Knicks over an up and coming Pistons team that had Grant Hill on it, who had won just one less game than the Knicks while being significantly younger with an All-Star centerpiece who would be just 24 the next season.

Now, was even a 34-year-old (in the 96-97 season), clearly declining Patrick Ewing (with a 33-year-old Charles Oakley as the other key player on the team, with the Knicks planning to move on from Anthony Mason either way) still a more appealing centerpiece for free agents back then than this current Knicks team? Maybe, but it’s still true that a mediocre Knick team is more interesting for star players to try to maneuver their way to than a decent Milwaukee team or a decent Orlando team. Let’s say Chris Paul wanted out of OKC this offseason instead of last, and the Suns were the same team they were last year… would he still choose the Suns over the Knicks? I doubt it.

In a way, Thibs is taking a roundabout way to getting where the Nets were when Durant and Kyrie wanted to come there, or where the Clippers were when Kawhi wanted to come there.

There doesn’t seem to be any Kawhi/KD level guys this offseason, which is a major critique of this plan, but who knows who will become available next year, when the Knicks will be able to make a big move before having to decide on resigning Randle and Mitch (if Mitch is still here), so just one more year of mediocrity could be enough to work, so that’s why I’m not too concerned about Thibs burnout.

For now.

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123 thoughts to “Why I’m Less Concerned About Thibs Burnout Than I Otherwise Would”

  1. I don’t know if it was just because of where the mics are located in Minny but you could definitely hear Thibs even louder than usual last night which inevitably gets me thinking about this same issue because man does he seem like a pain in the ass. He barely stopped bellowing at any point on any defensive possession in the second half it seemed like, and I do think that’s a hard way to maintain a long-term coaching relationship, particularly in a league where the majority of the players are realistically higher in status (and pay) than the coach.

    I doubt that Thibs is going to have a 13 year run here like Carlisle in Dallas or Spoelstra in Miami but I also agree with you Brian that it’s not necessarily a big deal. Finding a good coach in the first place is hard enough, if you find a guy who can have a positive short-term impact that’s already a success in my eyes – then you just need to find a way to leverage the short-term success and be prepared to move on from him at the right time.

  2. I would be more worried about Thibs as our coach if I thought we were planning on keeping him long-term. He is doing a great job getting the players to play hard and buy in, which is very helpful for where we are now. (Tanking this one year might have been better, but that ship has sailed.) For the next few years, Thibs will probably continue to get the most out of our guys, and that should help legitimize us and help improve the team to be a genuine playoff threat, at which point we can thank Thibs for his service and move on.

  3. He’s intense during games. Not a bad thing. But the reports from dudes like Taj is that he’s mellowed out a bit in practice and stuff. I don’t think its a problem really.

    Did he really wear out his welcome with the players in Chicago or was it with management? And didn’t he leave mainly because he was uninterested in sticking around for a rebuild/tank job and they knew he was too good of a coach to tank a team with him? He had just coached a 50 win team.

    The wearing out his welcome with players meme really comes down to KAT (and Wiggins to a lesser degree).

  4. @swiftandabundant

    The Celtics were able to trade their big 3 to launch a rebuild. This is not unusual for well run teams. you can trade your aging players or your aging core to jumpstart a rebuild.

    Every year teams get a certain amount of resources that come in the form of cap, picks, under contract players. Every year, if Thibs has his way, teams put all their resources into the most win-expediting option. Teams that stay good for long periods or have short rebuilds or never really have to bottom out like the Spurs, Celtics (post big 3), Jazz and Nuggets accomplish this by rarely redlining (in the car sense) their team’s approach towards the present… even when they’re better than these Knicks.

    Re: players’ thoughts on the process… Hinkie is a boogeyman. He is the migrant caravan that gets dangled in front of moderates to scare them away from normal, sane approach to rebuilding that involves dedicating more resources to your future than other, better equipped teams.

  5. I guess I’ll take the good with the bad when it comes to Thibs. The team is playing defense with an intensity we haven’t seen in years, but riding the starters in blowouts and being inflexible with lineups is pretty annoying.

    I mean, we all use to jones for a coach like Boy Brad, who has the Celtics playing mediocre defense at best and Boston fans complaining about his lack of offensive play calls down the stretch of close games,

  6. Alt Title: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tom

    Nicely done

  7. I would agree with you, Brian… I mean I think I sorta do agree with you… except, well, this is the Knicks, and this is not 1996 when Houston joined. The city still is hugely attractive to players, but the team has work to do to get respect back from players.

    The Lakers… sure it makes sense just to try to win 45 games and preserve cap room so you do a mini rebuild to get a few discount contracts and then you add some decent FAs on short deals, and then you say to Lebron James, “We’re not completely incompetent of late, and look at our location and storied history!” and Lebron is like, “Let’s do this! I’ll get Anthony Davis to come here too!”

    The Knicks pretty much enacted this plan in the lead u to 2009-10, when we were only one decade removed from competence, and all the big name FAs went another direction. We’ve added another decade of incompetence (a couple years in the early 2010s notwithstanding). You can bet that players and their agents are even less eager to come play for the Knicks now.

  8. With me, it’s not just a Thibs thing. I’ve never really cottoned to the concept of the turnaround specialist coach. Not just in the NBA but in other sports as well. We saw this play out with Parcells in the NFL during the latter part of his career, wherein he’d be hired by some underachieving team with assets & promising young pieces. Bill would come on board, bring in a raft of “his guys” to help right the ship, reap the accolades of a 4-5 game improvement in Year One, only to leave a burnt out franchise 2-3 seasons later in search of his next turnaround project.

    And I say this as a diehard Giants fan who loved what Parcells was able to do at the beginning of his career with NYG.

    As Brian & others have pointed out, the problem with the quick fix coach may or may not lie with the players themselves. No, the issues will often arise with the FO who may not be quite so eager to sell the farm in order to conform with the coach’s expedited timeline. It appears as if Rose & Co. have thus far succeeded in holding firm in keeping their powder dry for a sustained rebuild. Whether or not this stalemate can last beyond this season remains an open question. As a fan, albeit one long frustrated by an endless skein of losing seasons, I’m content to live with another year of incremental improvement and the continued husbandry of assets. If Thibs has not the patience (nor the humility) for that, then I’d vote to send him packing in favor of someone who will.

  9. Max, you bring up the Celtics as an example of a team trading away an aging core of stars after their window closed. But in your own example, Doc Rivers stopped coaching the Celtics when they did that!

    Yes, the Bulls had Rose, Taj, Noah, Gasol…all either aging or had some injuries. But the Bulls also had Jimmy Butler when Thibs left. Butler was the ripe old age of 26 during Thibs last season in Chicago. So they had an all-star two way wing just entering his prime and they wanted to blow up the whole team up, including getting rid of Butler! His last season at Chicago was the next season!

    I’m not saying teams/GM’s shouldn’t blow it up if they think their window to compete is over and they want to tank/rebuild. But should Thibs be criticized for not wanting to stick around? Especially after coming off a 50 win season when he had a 26 year old all-star on his roster?

    Would it have been impossible for The Bulls to get rid of some players and then use the fact that they have Butler and Thibs’ to lure another star and retool on the fly instead of going to the scorched earth policy of tanking it all? I mean, they literally were able to get rid of Rose and Noah to The Knicks around that same time, so they could have done that, kept Butler and Thibs and retool the way teams like Miami and The Spurs do all the time.

    Again, I get that teams like to do that but you can’t criticize Thibs for not wanting to stick around. In his mind he’s been nothing but successful there and he still had a 26 year old all-star.

    Its not like Chicago had traded away all their picks to build that team for Thibs. They literally had all of their first round picks and almost all of their second round picks every year going forward.

    And I think we have to separate Thibs the coach from Thibs the GM. What he did in Minny as the GM was no bueno but he’s not the GM. It’s a huge stretch to act like Thibs’ personality is so big that he’s going to force Rose to trade away…

  10. I think teams in general are too quick to blow it up. The Bulls could have easily stayed the course for another season or two. Butler was 26. In a few seasons of being 45ish win teams that make the playoffs, Rose, Noah, Taj, and Gasol would have all had their contracts ended. The Bulls could have easily kept making their draft picks, develop them, ride out the contracts of their older players and then retool completely a few seasons later when Butler was still only 28.

  11. Regarding, Thibodeau not wanting to blow up a 50 win team for a rebuild: he was absolutely wrong. Thibodeau is a good game to game coach that has 0 long term vision. That last Bulls team was an injury-riddled mess. Noah played one more season in Chicago before Phil Jackson gave him $72M/4 years to play here; Deng was traded the year before Thibodeau left Chicago, played two seasons in Miami, signed with LAL and was completely done; over the last 4 years Thibodeau coached in Chicago, Derrick Rose played 39, 0, 10, and 51 games. Rose played one more year in Chicago before Phil Jackson traded for him.

    There was nothing left to blow up, that team was completely done and had no future.

  12. I’m not worried with Thibs this year
    (apart from the game by game criticism I could express, that’s part of watching every game)
    and I have a positive judgement on his first season.

    But I’m convinced that he is (and hopefully will be) the coach that take us to respectability,
    not the one that lead us to contendere status.

    There’s no doubt he will be there next season, we will see what the “summer” will bring to the roster, then from 2022-2023 who knows?

    Is the work of the FO to take away the “dangerous tools” from him (see Elfrid Plague and o smaller extent D-Rose), we’ll see if they’ll be able to do so.

  13. Vincoug – I think that’s VERY debatable.

    They had a 26 year old Butler. Rose, Noah, Gasol etc…only had a few years left anyways, If Thibs can get a team with Butler and those dudes to win 45 to 50 games, what would be so wrong about staying the course, make your late first round picks and then in a few seasons when Butler is still only 28, you then go get some new free agents with your cap space?

    If you have a star player who is 26 where is it written that you have to blow it up just because you got a few older guys with big contracts? Its not like Rose, etc…had all just signed 5 year maxes. They weren’t that far away from being done with their contracts when The Bulls decided to blow it up. Thibs walking was a major reason why Butler didn’t want to stick around. Has Chicago had a single player as good as Butler since he bounced?

  14. It’s pretty funny how every major job basketball coach opening is followed by people saying, “Brad Stevens?”

  15. Jayson Tatum is a great player, but it is hilarious seeing him in a national commercial when he really isn’t that recognizable.

  16. I agree. two comments:
    1. You have to remember teams aren’t practicing like they normally do this year. there’s more off time to recover
    2. I listened to Randle on JJ Redick’s pod; the comment that stuck was that he’s never been this prepared in his career, which he credits to Tibs. I know the minutes are high, but I’m not sure the defensive improvement is all related to screaming and intensity, it’s also got a lot of experience and knowledge behind it.

  17. In a way, Thibs is taking a roundabout way to getting where the Nets were when Durant and Kyrie wanted to come there,

    By and large, I agree with your calm, Brian, and I hope you’re right. But this quote also suggests one potential flaw in the argument that our big market Knicks will be more appealing to free agents (like we were to Allan Houston). Now we must compete with BKLYN, and, as we all know, they just collected not one, two, but three of the exact #1-type guys Thibs needs to make his hero offense work. I’m not saying there won’t be other guys available in the future, I’m just saying NYC no longer means just the Knicks.

  18. Dolan wasn’t here when Houston came to NYC. No one has come here since Dolan took over, and now Dolan has the stain of being a Trumpy on him. Is the Garden toxic at Chernobyl levels? Probably not, but nor is it really any kind of destination anymore.

  19. E, all merc’d out:
    Dolan wasn’t here when Houston came to NYC.No one has come here since Dolan took over, and now Dolan has the stain of being a Trumpy on him.Is the Garden toxic at Chernobyl levels?Probably not, but nor is it really any kind of destination anymore.

    Actually he was. That year was the year lil jimmy dolan took over control over the team.

    swiftandabundant: They had a 26 year old Butler. Rose, Noah, Gasol etc…only had a few years left anyways, If Thibs can get a team with Butler and those dudes to win 45 to 50 games, what would be so wrong about staying the course, make your late first round picks and then in a few seasons when Butler is still only 28, you then go get some new free agents with your cap space?

    How would Thibodeau have reacted if Chicago just let his guys walk instead of resigning them?

  20. It just bothers me that we added no one at the deadline or after to make this flawed team a little little better.

  21. Why would they be trying to win swaps at the trade deadline? It’s basically a guarantee to overpay. Who would they have gotten? You wanna trade three firsts for Rozier? Two for Oladipo?

  22. I’m not saying the path the Bulls took after tt was the right one, but I think the bulls’ plan was “lick our wounds for a season or two and get everyone healthy and add a decent lotto pick and then go back to going for titles in 1-2 seasons.” They didn’t want to be the LeBron James Cavaliers. They wanted to find another real Star on a similar timeline to Rose. In retrospect, maybe they already had that player in Butler, but I don’t think anyone foresaw Butler achieving this level of greatness at that time

    Tt chose instead to overplay a few vets, drastically shortening their careers, all to get a 30 win team a weak playoff seed.

  23. I’m so glad we added no one. No overpay. No “quick fix”. But I’m still naive enough to think we can draft or develop our own #1 hero options.

    I like Thibs. I’m thrilled our guys are playing defense. I think he might be better off sticking with low profile over-achievers and not bucking for big signings, because such stars will come with bigger egos that will eclipse his own and send him packing.

    In fact, overall, Thibs strikes me as better suited to to coach college ball, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up running a program one day with “total control”. The kids cycle through, he gets them to “buy in” to his max-effort approach, and they leave before they hate him. Thibs remains the figurehead. He might really like that.

  24. KB Apprentice: Now we must compete with BKLYN, and, as we all know, they just collected not one, two, but three of the exact #1-type guys

    Well, reading this i remembered that there’s a question i’ve thinking to ask you guys:
    As now they are the heavy favorite to win, are we (fans) ready to have our neighbors be NBA Champions? And are the Knicks ready, or this win now moves we’re talking on this thread will be even more acute to try to shine a little and not be totally in the Nets shadow?

  25. Max, are you talking about the bulls or twovles? I can’t keep up?

    The bulls won 50 games the last year Thibs coached them. The Twolves won 47 games the season they made the playoffs before he left. At least be accurate with your win totals. Thibs has never coached a 30 win team in his career.

  26. cybersoze: Well, reading this i remembered that there’s a question i’ve thinking to ask you guys:
    As now they are the heavy favorite to win, are we (fans) ready to have our neighbors be NBA Champions? And are the Knicks ready, or this win now moves we’re talking on this thread will be even more acute to try to shine a little and not be totally in the Nets shadow?

    A Nets championship will make me sad. It will make Dolan furious. And it will lead to very bad and expensive decisions — But what’s new ;-)

  27. ***Actually he was. That year was the year lil jimmy dolan took over control over the team.***

    James Dolan became chairman of MSG in 1999 and had no impact on the team until 2000 (which, coincidentally, is when the team began its 20 year losing streak).

  28. cybersoze: are we (fans) ready to have our neighbors be NBA Champions?

    I really don’t care a fig about what the Nets wind up “achieving.” And, near as I can tell, neither does anyone else of my acquaintance.

    It’s odd. I know several people who like and root for KD; for Harden (hell, there may even be some out there who are Kyrie fans as well, just haven’t met them) and they refer to themselves as such. But I don’t know a solitary soul who identifies him/herself as a “Nets fan.”

    The Knicks/Nets dynamic is one of the weirder ones in pro sports. While the Knicks continue to slog their way through the mire of the NBA’s nether reaches, the Nets have managed to shortcut their way to NBA title favorite. And yet, most of the hoop fan passion in NYC remains heavily tilted toward the Knicks. I doubt a 2021 Nets championship moves the needle all that much. That may change if the Nets go on to establish themselves as a destination franchise (Lakers East, as it were) and the Knicks stay stuck on the hamster wheel of mediocrity. Unless that happens, I doubt Dolan & Co. are too worried about being overshadowed by the Nets.

  29. Off topic: I do not blame Nick Nelson even a little bit, he pitched well. Not his fault MLB does dumb panicky shit because it has no idea how to market its product.

  30. RJ’s ankle is sprained, and he’s questionable for the Mavs game, dammit. One of the few games the rest of the way that I really want to win.

  31. thenoblefacehumper:
    Off topic: I do not blame Nick Nelson even a little bit, he pitched well. Not his fault MLB does dumb panicky shit because it has no idea how to market its product.

    It took me one game to remember I much I loathe this fucking extra innings rule.

    And how much I despise the Yankees’ annoying inability to get productive outs and/or put the ball in play when needed…

  32. I think that Fournier could have helped us. Teague too. Our offense is pitiful.

    Fournier cost two unprotected seconds and is an upcoming UFA. We’d be paying that price purely for this year, in which we’re not even positive we’ll be in the playoffs. Teague is cooked, that’s why he was waived.

  33. Alan: RJ’s ankle is sprained, and he’s questionable for the Mavs game, dammit. One of the few games the rest of the way that I really want to win.

    As he’s built like a tank, i thought this was your way of trying to april fool us. But now i’m seeing the KnicksPR tweet. :(

  34. As he’s built like a tank, i thought this was your way of trying to april fool us.

    I. Would. Never.

  35. thenoblefacehumper: Fournier cost two unprotected seconds and is an upcoming UFA. We’d be paying that price purely for this year, in which we’re not even positive we’ll be in the playoffs. Teague is cooked, that’s why he was waived.

    The Bucks seem to disagree about Teague.

  36. Swift, my point was that the team should have won 30 games but because Thibs didn’t consider his players’ well being or the long term success of the team, they squirmed their way to more. Looking back at the details, I don’t htink this applies as directly to 2014/15, when Rose’s career and thus the viability of the Bulls’ core was way more questionable than to the two seasons following Rose’s injury: 12/13 and 13/14. In those two years, Noah played 5+ more MPG than he ever had or would again. Deng led the league in MPG in 12/13.

  37. Apropos of nothing in this thread:

    Spent a long time speaking with Sam Hinkie yesterday (not about basketball) and the guy couldn’t be nicer, smarter, or more gracious. It’s an outrage that he was shadow-banned by the league.

  38. I’m no traditionalist when it comes to MLB, but most of the rule changes they have instituted in the last few years are completely idiotic.

  39. MKinLA:
    Apropos of nothing in this thread:

    Spent a long time speaking with Sam Hinkie yesterday (not about basketball) and the guy couldn’t be nicer, smarter, or more gracious. It’s an outrage that he was shadow-banned by the league.

    I am in an article/book reading group with other university admin types. I had us Hinkie’s resignation letter. Glad to hear that he also seems nice.

  40. DudesTown: The Bucks seem to disagree about Teague.

    Yup, because they’re the same team that traded two 1sts and two swaps for one year of a 30-year-old Jrue Holiday. They are desperate.

  41. Z-man: I tried and it went over like a lead balloon…

    I saw it, and in your case it was very good news. :D
    But then Brian created a new thread and i forgot to answer. :P

  42. One point nobody has made about Thibs is that players seem to like playing for him. If I recall correctly, Rose wanted to play for Thibs, told Detroit that and that’s one reason we have him now. Randle clearly thinks Thibs is helping him and Gibson was happy to come back. That’s got to be a help to us, not only in signing free agents but also in re-signing our own players.

  43. MKinLA: Apropos of nothing in this thread:
    Spent a long time speaking with Sam Hinkie yesterday (not about basketball) and the guy couldn’t be nicer, smarter, or more gracious. It’s an outrage that he was shadow-banned by the league.

    That is something i don’t understand, unless the NBA has (unofficially) banned the guy, how come a stupid team like SAC – with their never ending tanking – don’t look at the Sixers and think “would be good to replicate this here!”. Baffling.

  44. I thought my car was trying to play April fool’s on me, turns out it’s screwed and I still owe money on it.

    Also, fuck the Nets.

  45. Knick fan not in NJ:
    One point nobody has made about Thibs is that players seem to like playing for him.If I recall correctly, Rose wanted to play for Thibs, told Detroit that and that’s one reason we have him now.Randle clearly thinks Thibs is helping him and Gibson was happy to come back. That’s got to be a help to us, not only in signing free agents but also in re-signing our own players.

    You can add Jimmy to that list, he went to Minnesota of all places, because of Thibs

  46. LOL, that was hilarious. Didn’t knew about it, as here at that time there wasn’t the same access to NBA news we have now.

    Mike Breen and Scott Brooks are giving performances. It’s great!

  47. Wow, that gag was tremendous. JVG I give a D but everyone else was great.

    I feel like the world has turned on the April Fool’s Day prank and I don’t know how I feel about it. A good one is something special.

    This was one I particularly enjoyed. https://www.warbybarker.com/

    I turned on WFAN today in a car for some reason and listening to Yankees fans go nuts about the loss was kind of priceless.

    As for the matter at hand, I still don’t like Thibs but he has my respect. The guys definitely play really hard for him. For a certain team at a certain time, he’d be a good choice. The Knicks were not that team though.

  48. 50 wins vs. 30wins is hardly squirming you’re way into the playoffs. The bulls weren’t an 8th seed that year. They were the 3rd seeded team and they got to the second round. If thibs alone is capable of squeezing out 20 more wins from a supposed 30 win team then he’s probably the best coach in the NBA.

    They had prime butler and management wanted to blow up a 50 win team that lost to the team that went to the finals. And they lost to them in 6 which is respectable.

    Even if you’re talking about the twolves team. 48 wins vs 30 represents a huge amount of wins being squeezed out by thibs.

  49. Donnie Walsh:
    ***Actually he was. That year was the year lil jimmy dolan took over control over the team.***

    James Dolan became chairman of MSG in 1999 and had no impact on the team until 2000 (which, coincidentally, is when the team began its 20 year losing streak).

    Here’s Dave Checketts talking about Dolan lecturing the team after the 1997 playoff brawl with the Heat: https:///www.theringer.com/platform/amp/2017/5/15/16045664/oral-history-nba-playoffs-new-york-knicks-miami-heat-1997-brawl-20-year-anniversary-96b8a5be329f

  50. He ruined they’re careers and yet rose, Taj and butler have all played for him after their time in Chicago. Let me ask you this. Watching the way Noah played in his prime is it surprising he didn’t have a king career? Would a big who can’t shoot a lick even if he stayed healthy have survived in today’s NBA anyways?

  51. Would a big who can’t shoot a lick even if he stayed healthy have survived in today’s NBA anyways?

    “With a large enough derrière and the ability to run the pinch post, anything is possible.” -Philip D. Jackson

  52. A truly Westbrook-ian stat line tonight in a blowout loss to the Pistons:

    16 shots, 16 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists, 9 turnovers

  53. Owen:
    Also, while listening to WFAN, I heard the new Kars for Kids song. It is a nightmare.

    I can’t stand the old song either.

  54. 1. You have to remember teams aren’t practicing like they normally do this year. there’s more off time to recover

    2. I listened to Randle on JJ Redick’s pod; the comment that stuck was that he’s never been this prepared in his career, which he credits to Tibs. I know the minutes are high, but I’m not sure the defensive improvement is all related to screaming and intensity, it’s also got a lot of experience and knowledge behind it.

    3. It’s a shorter season this year and they had a shorter camp.

    4. The reason for resting players during the season is that you don’t want to risk any players wearing down from accumulated minutes and small nagging injuries. You want the team still peaking for the conference finals and finals. The idea being that if you rest during the season little nagging injuries don’t carry forward into the playoff etc..

    There is every reason to think you get away with playing more minutes per game this year and be fine.

    If the Knicks get to the conference finals or finals and wear down, that would be a wildly successful season. lol

  55. 1. This forum is a bit too manic depressive. One really bad loss against a T-Wolves team that is actually better than it looks when Towns is healthy and Anthony Edwards is playing well is no more important than any of the surprise wins we’ve had. Reading this forum lately you would think the world ended.

    2. Thibs has one plan and one plan only. He’s changing the culture of the Knicks. Players will have to work hard in practice and games to earn their minutes. If they lose, it will be because the other team was better on that night. It won’t be because the other team out hustled them. Wherever that formula leaves them is fine, but anyone that doesn’t work hard or doesn’t like to work is out. This is the Knicks of the 90s again.

    That’s why the hard workers (like Butler, Taj etc..) love him and keep playing for him and the lazy players (like the T-Wolves that caused Butler to leave) didn’t like him. And for the record, Thibs had nothing to do with Rose breaking down. The was a freak thing. The minutes haven’t hurt Taj career’s a bit. It’s an individual thing. Some guys can handle more than others. If he was giving KP 40 minutes a night he should be arrested for player abuse. Randle is handling it fine so far.

  56. Deeefense: That’s why the hard workers (like Butler, Taj etc..) love him and keep playing for him

    I’m not sure why you’re bringing up Butler and Taj. Butler didn’t choose to play for Minnesota he was traded and then forced a trade out the next season and has never played for Thibs since. Taj was never run into the ground, he’s only played 30+ minutes/game once in his career, and this season he was sitting at home before we signed him.

  57. Thibs wears players down – a meme because of 2 players. Derrick Rose and Noah. Rose – a player who relied mostly on his insane athleticism and then suffered a horrible injury. Noah – a guy who couldn’t shoot but played balls to the walls every game. I mean, maybe Thibs instilled that in him but he was like that in college too. Is it really hard to believe that maybe Noah’s career would be a shorter one regardless of who his coach was.

    Thibs wears out his welcome with management and players – 1. With management because he didn’t want to stick around after 5 successful seasons in Chicago for a rebuild when he still had an all-star two way player just entering his prime on his team. With players because one player who hasn’t had a lick of team success before or after Thibs didn’t like the fact that Thibs got on him for not playing defense.

    I just think those two criticisms of Thibs are overblown. I do agree that he doesn’t play young players enough and leans on vets too much and isn’t the most creative offensive coach. But the worst season he had at Chicago was a 45 win season. So if the argument is that he squeezed out extra wins because of his approach to the game and that team was supposed to only be a 30 win team (and I’m picking the worst season he had with Chicago)…45 wins vs. 30 represents a 50 percent increase in wins. I think any coach who can squeeze out 50 percent more wins from his team no matter the roster is a damn good coach.

  58. vincoug: I’m not sure why you’re bringing up Butler and Taj.Butler didn’t choose to play for Minnesota he was traded and then forced a trade out the next season and has never played for Thibs

    If Butler didn’t want to go to the T-Wolves because he didn’t like Thib the deal never would have happened. Butler has endlessly praised and defended Thib. When the “media” started spinning that the reason he left the T-Wolves was Thib, he defended him strongly and subtly made it clear it was the immaturity of his teammates and their unwillingness to work hard on both sides that was reason he left. He loves Thib.

    Taj is 35 years old and he’s still playing like 25. So it’s not like Thib kills all his players.

  59. ***Here’s Dave Checketts talking about Dolan lecturing the team after the 1997 playoff brawl with the Heat***

    He may have had access to the team and facility, but he didn’t have any managerial power. Cablevision bought the team in 1997. Charles Dolan was in charge of it until James became chairman of MSG in the summer of 1999.

    ***There is every reason to think you get away with playing more minutes per game this year and be fine.***

    Strat— I am actually with you on this, and agree with just about everything that you wrote this morning. Except that one difference with this season compared to others is that, though the season is shorter, there are fewer days between games on the whole, making “rest days” a little more sensical than I normally find them to be.

  60. ***Luol Deng who was also broken down and washed up at 30.***

    There are hundreds of examples of NBA players breaking down and washing out by 30. Thibs coached very few of them.

    Look at the minutes per game of the 90s Knicks. These were older men playing in a rougher league. Pro athletes can still handle playing sports. The thing that has changed since the 90s isn’t that players have gotten weaker, it’s that salaries have gotten higher. Coaches need to protect the owners investments, so they handle them with silk mittens. Basically just to avoid the endless criticism that Thibs has gotten for “injuring” Rose.

    I’m surprised the analytic crowd here can’t recognize a correlation = causation argument when it is staring them in the face.

  61. You left out Luol Deng who was also broken down and washed up at 30

    Yeah, when it’s literally all three of his three biggest players in Chicago, it raises eyebrows. Especially when he was fired in Minny after less than three seasons, so who knows what would have happened to his best player (and Wiggins) there, who he was similarly riding hard (and is now doing the same to Randle).

    And while Rose’s injury, in and of itself, was a fluke, it occurred with 1:12 left in Game 1 with the Bulls up 12 and with the ball. Can anyone theorize how that injury could have been avoided?

  62. Donnie Walsh: He may have had access to the team and facility, but he didn’t have any managerial power. Cablevision bought the team in 1997. Charles Dolan was in charge of it until James became chairman of MSG in the summer of 1999.

    james dolan was CEO of Cablevision in 1995, two years before they bought out ITT for full ownership of the Knicks.

  63. Bullock also questionable for tonight. We are gonna be thiiiiin while taking on Luka and whatsisname.

  64. Donnie Walsh: There are hundreds of examples of NBA players breaking down and washing out by 30. Thibs coached very few of them.

    Look at the minutes per game of the 90s Knicks. These were older men playing in a rougher league.

    Sure, but how often is that happening today with the advances in medicine? And while they played more minutes and more physically in the 90s they also played at a much slower pace. In 1996-97 when 34 year old Patrick Ewing was playing 37 mpg the average pace was 90.1 possessions/game. This year, teams are averaging 99.2 possessions/game and in the last full, regular season, 2018-19, teams averaged over 100 possessions/game.

  65. vincoug: You left out Luol Deng who was also broken down and washed up at 30.

    Deng made $161 million over 17 years. Rose made $155 over 13 and Noah $136.5 million over 13. Hard to make a case that Thibodeau ruined their careers by playing them too many minutes

  66. Shams:

    The New York Knicks plan to sign center Norvel Pelle to a 10-day contract this weekend

    A fun name to say. I know nothing else.

  67. Fetch: Deng made $161 million over 17 years. Rose made $155 over 13 and Noah $136.5 million over 13. Hard to make a case that Thibodeau ruined their careers by playing them too many minutes

    Deng and Noah were both given insane last contracts by the Lakers and Knicks which bumps those numbers up. Regardless, do you think either player is particularly happy that their careers were finished at 30?

    I don’t know why you’re bringing up Rose’s career earnings. He was one of the youngest MVPs in league history and he’s made less money than:

    Nicolas Batum
    Deron Williams
    Rudy Gay
    Elton Brand
    Gordon Hayward
    John Wall
    Paul Millsap
    Zach Randolph
    LaMarcus Aldridge
    Al Horford
    Joe Johnson

    And he’s gonna get passed quickly by Danilo Gallinari and Jrue Holiday. Those injuries cost him something around $100M in career earnings and probably his chance at the Hall of Fame.

  68. Alan: Shams:

    The New York Knicks plan to sign center Norvel Pelle to a 10-day contract this weekend

    A fun name to say. I know nothing else.

    Odd signing. He’s played a little bit overseas but mostly in the G-League but he doesn’t play many minutes in either. Seems to have decent to good rebounding and block rates but I find it hard to imagine that there isn’t a better player available to sign. Hell, I think Kyle O’Quinn is still a free agent and he’s an actual NBA quality player.

  69. KOQ is currently signed by Fenerbache. Not sure if he’d return to NYC, he seems to be enjoying life in Turkey via his Instagram posts.

    I’d love to bring him back tho.

  70. Any older Knick fan should know that being up 12 in a playoff game with a 1:12 left means nothing. We all watched Reggie Miller score 8 points in 8 seconds.

    They weren’t up 20 in a regular season game. They were up 12 in a playoff game. 1:12 is a lifetime in the NBA especially these days when players are called for fouls on 3 point shots all of the time. And if you win game one, you are like 50 percent more likely to win the series. So Thibs should take out his best player in a playoff game just because there’s a pretty good chance they can win the game? Sorry but I just don’t think that’s a great example of him being irresponsible.

  71. 11% block rate is insanely high

    More importantly, our centers are now named Nerlens & Norvel

  72. I think we all know Thibs plays all out to win every game, If statistically there’s a 3% chance of the other team coming back, he’s liable to leave his starters in an extra few minutes when other coaches would start emptying the bench and only go back to the starters if the other team made a huge run. He won’t even take that chance.

    But what’s happening here now is that some people don’t like Thibs. So they are looking for any possible reason to trash him. In this case they are looking at ridiculously small samples of players and attributing every past injury to him playing them too many minutes.

    Guys get hurt. It’s part of sports.

    It’s not like we don’t have a staff of doctors and trainers examining these guys, taking tests etc.. and player agents and the players themselves looking out for their health. The problem we have this year is the lack of depth and the occasional injury. Neither Mitch or Nerlens is playing too many minutes. Nerlens has been given nights off for mild stuff because we have Taj. We have good depth.

    However, we don’t have a legitimate backup PF at all really. Both Obi and Knox are simply not good backups at this stage and Taj is more of a C in the modern game and can’t score like Randle. They WILL cost us wins in close games if you give them too many minutes to rest Randle.

    If we strengthen the depth in the off season and get some more development, these issues are very likely to go away even if Thibs is more aggressive than the average coach in that regard.

  73. More importantly, our centers are now named Nerlens & Norvel

    Stop, you’re making me nervous

  74. Any older Knick fan should know that being up 12 in a playoff game with a 1:12 left means nothing

    A. That crazy shit happened once is not actually an argument.

    B. If the game got closer, you can always bring players back into the game. For instance, if it were a 6 point game with 18 seconds left, like that Knick game, you should have your starters in there. Different game situations merit different moves.

    Rose shouldn’t have been in there, up 12, with the ball, with 1:12 left.

  75. There doesn’t seem to be any Kawhi/KD level guys this offseason, which is a major critique of this plan, but who knows who will become available next year,

    I think the hopeful idea that is harbored in some corners (specifically, that superstars become available every year) really needs to be examined by those who hold it.

    Yes, we’ve had a bevy of activity recently, but over the longer term that looks more like an anomaly than the norm.

    Most stars are either locked in to their preferred destinations, or unlikely to be available until they’re on the riskier side of the age curve.

    Replicating the Nets seems impossible, so we need to find another way.

  76. But what’s happening here now is that some people don’t like Thibs. So they are looking for any possible reason to trash him.

    It’s not reasonable to conclude that everyone who observes something suboptimal about Thibs doesn’t like him.

    Sometimes I think he has the optimal skill set to take a team from the basement to the mezzanine while lacking the nuance to take the same team from the the mezzanine to the top. And since the goal is the top, not the mezzanine, I may gripe about those issues when they become apparent.

  77. DudesTown:
    At least we did something. Hopefully he’s a young defensive center with some upside.

    I posted his bref page above. He’s not that young, just turned 28 in February.

  78. I think we all know Thibs plays all out to win every game, If statistically there’s a 3% chance of the other team coming back, he’s liable to leave his starters in an extra few minutes when other coaches would start emptying the bench and only go back to the starters if the other team made a huge run. He won’t even take that chance.

    it’s interesting that even when trying to define a ‘go all out to win every game’ style, you went with 3% as your (no doubt somewhat arbitrary) example of a risk thibs would not take in the name of player rest. but the marginal probabilities are worth talking about. so let’s forget 3%. let’s ask, how often has thibs left randle in the game when the win probability for either team (using one of the popular models) had dropped below 1%? to give some perspective, we have neither lost nor won a game yet this year where a model had WP going below 4% for the winning team at any point.

    i don’t have a way of getting summary stats on this, but there are several examples where thibs violated a hypothetical 1% rule:

    1. when he went up 88-57 against the wiz in q3. the wp never against dropped below 99%, yet randle played 14 mins in the 1% window. rj played 13.

    2. when we went up 81-57 against detroit on 2/28. randle played the entire 4th quarter at sub 1% to lose, 12 minutes. rj played 9.

    3. against orlando 2/25, randle played 6 minutes below 1% to win.

    4. 2/13 against the rockets. randle played 6 minutes below 1% to lose. this was the second game of a b2b, the day before he also played 2 min in a sub 1% situation.

    5. 1/29 against the cavs. randle played 8 mins at sub 1%.

    just those examples would take 1 mpg off of randle’s totals. given the trend it’s likely that if you looked at the whole season there would be 40-100 minutes of extremely low cost rest available for randle, a seemingly material amount. is it affecting randle? [cont…]

  79. …i don’t think we can pretend to know with any confidence if it’s affecting randle. in fact, i am not at all confident that thibs’ minutes philosophy were important causes of the famed rose-deng-noah career arc, although i would bet that way if forced to choose. but within the realm of that humility, we can at least say that there does in fact seem to be some very mild evidence that randle’s play has deteriorated as the year has progressed.

    thru feb / 100:

    31.9 pts, 59.1% TS, 6.7 FT pts, 50.6% 2pt fg

    march / 100

    28.9 pts, 52.8% TS, 4.3 FT pts, 44.1% 2pt fg

    note that these are not the stats that are typically most subject to noisy volatility, although they are surely subject to enough of it that minutes might yet play absolutely no rule in this disparity.

    my point here is that the argument can be more nuanced that just thibs errs on the side of winning and everyone should just accept it as a “philosophy.” we could imagine another thibs, who errs on the side of winning but does draw the line at 1% (or 0.5%!) and still can be considered an extreme win-today coach. there can be a big difference between these two thibs if marginal rest really matters.

  80. For the record… if anyone cares… I love Thibs… I trash him a lot during the games because I (with my zero years of headcoaching experience) believe we could be even better… he’s gotten us “there”, which is exactly “where” we are, if that makes any sense, and I love it… we have a deeply flawed team, not enough talent, and we have a really solid, albeit rigid coach…

  81. Also, all of the MVP hype on Mr. Jokic has me feeling nostalgic. Here are some solid posts on Jokic in the past:

    https://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2017-12-26/#comment-606882

    “I wouldn’t trade KP for Capela, Simmons, Jokic, Bell or Tatum. None of thise guys are carrying the load of #1 option . . . or for that matter, even second option.
    Embiid – always injured. I wouldn’t do that deal either. That leaves Freak and Towns.”

    To be fair, I should be roasted for putting Jordan Bell on that list with the rest of the now-maxed guys. Yikes.

    http://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2014-06-03/#comment-470456

    JK47 picks Jokic out of the lineup. Denver gets an MVP candidate, we get Cleanthony Early.

    https://knickerblogger.net/knicks-morning-news-2016-03-15/#comment-526651

    chrisk06811: “So we are trading Melo AND Lopez for Jokic? is that really the best we can do? Why does Lopez even need to be a part of the deal?”

    nicos (sorry dude): “I still think KP’s ceiling is higher than Jokic’s. If he can put on 20 pounds and still maintain his mobility (a big if admittedly) he really can be a once in a generation type guy (or maybe two or three in a generation given that both AD and Towns will be around at the same time). I think Jokic’s ceiling is like Ewing- a perennial all-star but never really in the discussion for the best player in the league at any given time.”

  82. Randle has probably worn down a bit and again, I’m not against the idea completely that Thibs shouldn’t rest starters more. I just think its hyperbole to say that he “ruins people’s careers.” And up 12 in a playoff game with a minute 12 is not a sure thing at all. Thibs takes Rose out and the other team hits back to back 3’s and sure he can put him back in but maybe now the other team’s confidence is stronger and the bulls are shook. But leave him in for one more possession and Rose doesn’t get hurt and DRose goes on to have an amazing career and no one says Thibs wears players down. ITs all so subjective.

    The other thing too is that teams aren’t caught by surprise by us or by Randle. We aren’t a joke anymore. The word has gotten out that we play hard, play good defense and are not going to lay down and take an L like we used to. Teams aren’t coming in thinking they can easily beat us and they know Randle is the key to our offense. So is it Randle is “worn down” by too many minutes or is it just other teams taking us and him more seriously?

  83. And up 12 in a playoff game with a minute 12 is not a sure thing at all.

    C’mon, dawg. I know you stan whoever’s in the jersey but this is a ridiculous take. 72 seconds, 4 possession game. The game is over.

  84. vincoug: Pelle

    Pelle was the backup center for a couple of seasons for my favorite team here in Italy years ago,
    explosive vertical player, good blocker and dunker with a tendency to have fouls troubles.
    Think of him as kind of a Mitch (or Nerlens) light.

  85. Brian Cronin: Rose shouldn’t have been in there, up 12, with the ball, with 1:12 left.

    Sorry Brian, I have to disagree here. It is pretty routine for coaches to have their starters still in the game under these circumstances. There’s lots of evidence for Thibs overplaying players, but this in and of itself means nothing.

  86. The Honorable Cock Jowles: C’mon, dawg. I know you stan whoever’s in the jersey but this is a ridiculous take. 72 seconds, 4 possession game. The game is over.

    The real question is whether the typical coach pulls his players at the exact second the game is almost certainly over. The answer is, no, they don’t.

  87. I remember seeing video of the way that Rose used to land after his leaps, often on one extended leg. I think it was a matter of time for him. Thibs’ minutes allocations couldn’t have helped, but his landing mechanics were all sorts of fucked up, both a result and a risk of his enormous athletic talent.

    This is not a Dusty Baker/Mark Prior situation, and we don’t have any video from pitching savants showing that the inverted W mechanics are a prime tell for future Tommy John injuries, especially at high pitch counts. Even if we see numerous examples of Thibs leaving his players in during meaningless minutes, we don’t have any solid evidence that it creates catastrophic injury risk. Only anecdotal.

    Do we have any indication that players are more likely to be injured at a certain point in the season, after the year’s mileage increases? Or that they’re more likely to be injured early in the season before they’re back in game shape? This is a huge multivariate question. I doubt anyone’s going to make a lot of persuasive headway on it.

  88. I remember seeing video of the way that Rose used to land after his leaps, often on one extended leg. I think it was a matter of time for him.

    Same with Porzingis. With him I think part of it was that he was so weak he’d get knocked off balance while in the air. I don’t anything about it, but you would think if you are a little awkward in that way or just have a bad habit, with proper training you could improve on it.

  89. it’s interesting that even when trying to define a ‘go all out to win every game’ style, you went with 3% as your (no doubt somewhat arbitrary) example of a risk thibs would not take in the name of player rest. but the marginal probabilities are worth talking about.

    I agree with everything you said in this thread.

    I don’t agree with everything Thibs does. I just defend him a bit because it’s my contrary nature (lol) and I don’t think any coach is perfect. I can live with a little quirkiness on the minutes if I like most of the rest of what he does.

    If you’ll allow me to speculate a little when it comes to Randle specifically, it would not shock me if Thibs kept him in for a few extra minutes in a few blowouts so he could pad his stats and help him get that all star spot Randle so desperately wanted.

  90. It’s not reasonable to conclude that everyone who observes something suboptimal about Thibs doesn’t like him.

    That’s fair.

    Let me adjust it to say no coach is perfect and I think some people are being a little picky looking for the warts on what overall has been a great job so far. There may be a time I’ll be blasting him on the offense and minutes, but right now I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because we really don’t have a very good or deep team.

  91. I also think Thibs let Randle play in a few of those instances because of his All Star bid.

    I also agree it’s difficult to tell how much Thibs style leads to early decline, injury, or just late game or late season fall off in performance.

    Like PTMilo i would definitely say it leads to some of those things somewhat if I had to.

    It is interesting that some of his players want to come back and play with him. Others don’t though.

    My biggest issue with Thibs was a feeling that really good free agents might not want to come play for him. Not sure where that stands. Is he a good recruiter? I’d say he won’t be but it’s an open question.

  92. vincoug: I posted his bref page above.He’s not that young, just turned 28 in February.

    Well then, he can provide veteran leadership. Lol.

  93. I looked over that BR mock draft and saw that we now have Philly’s #2 pick too. In a deep draft, we will have 4 opportunities to improve ourselves.

  94. It’s funny how in the NBA we have the minutes police and in MLB for pitchers we have pitch count/innings limit police. Yet in both sports injuries are not decreasing and at least in MLB pitchers injuries have actually been worse even with “protecting” the players plus advanced medicine and training.

  95. thru feb / 100:

    31.9 pts, 59.1% TS, 6.7 FT pts, 50.6% 2pt fg

    march / 100

    28.9 pts, 52.8% TS, 4.3 FT pts, 44.1% 2pt fg

    this has been the undercover story of the past month.. randle has been playing well but in the last month he has been increasingly dependent on midrange fadeaways and 3pa’s and he is suffering from an efficiency standpoint…

    it is an alarming trend…. if it continues and his 3p% falls back even a little… we are basically splitting the difference between last year’s version of randle and early season randle…. which is still an ok player but far from the guy we saw as an allstar….

    and if that’s the case… that changes the calculus on a lot of things….

  96. It’s funny how in the NBA we have the minutes police and in MLB for pitchers we have pitch count/innings limit police. Yet in both sports injuries are not decreasing and at least in MLB pitchers injuries have actually been worse even with “protecting” the players plus advanced medicine and training.

    It’s true in horse racing also.

    Horses are given much more rest time between races and race far less frequently now than in the 70s when I first became fan and they raced less in the 70s than they did decades before that. Yet they seem to get injured more often. Everyone has a theory (selective breeding for speed, drugs etc..). But I sort of get the feeling everyone (maybe even including animals) may be a little more fragile for some reason or more likely we are pushing the extreme limits of what bodies can handle now in those fewer performances.

  97. It seems like a percentage of thibs haters want so badly to be right they are no longer objective about what is happening. Complain all you want about bench management, but theres not a lot of depth. Nobody (unless you are truly plugged) in knows how practices are organized and executed, which is a large part of the equation. He is not a hall of fame coach, but he is a bona fide pro with a pedigree of winning games.

    Fyi sharife cooper declared for the draft. Hope he is available.

  98. It’s funny how in the NBA we have the minutes police and in MLB for pitchers we have pitch count/innings limit police. Yet in both sports injuries are not decreasing and at least in MLB pitchers injuries have actually been worse even with “protecting” the players plus advanced medicine and training.

    Two words: spin rate.

  99. But what’s happening here now is that some people don’t like Thibs. So they are looking for any possible reason to trash him. In this case they are looking at ridiculously small samples of players and attributing every past injury to him playing them too many minutes.

    Actually just about every Thibs skeptic has allowed for a lot of nuance, giving him credit for the team playing well-above its projections while still taking issue with his anomalous minutes distributions, among other things. People in this camp have generally been very careful to not attribute causation on the injury front, despite some inferences being rather intuitive.

    It’s the Thibs defenders that won’t even concede it’s perhaps suboptimal that the guy is coaching his third straight team with a wildly disproportionate number of players among the league leaders in minutes.

  100. The real question is whether the typical coach pulls his players at the exact second the game is almost certainly over. The answer is, no, they don’t.

    There was a stoppage of play with the Bulls up 14 and 1:56 left to go. Yes, most coaches would empty their bench there.

  101. djphan: this has been the undercover story of the past month.. randle has been playing well but in the last month he has been increasingly dependent on midrange fadeaways and 3pa’s and he is suffering from an efficiency standpoint…

    it is an alarming trend…. if it continues and his 3p% falls back even a little… we are basically splitting the difference between last year’s version of randle and early season randle…. which is still an ok player but far from the guy we saw as an allstar….

    and if that’s the case… that changes the calculus on a lot of things….

    I think some of this is a function of the injuries/roster shuffling….not sure how to get those stats…but some “over reliance” on him versus prior to march could add some noise…but eye test is confirming above…

  102. Actually just about every Thibs skeptic has allowed for a lot of nuance, giving him credit for the team playing well-above its projections while still taking issue with his anomalous minutes distributions, among other things.

    It’s the weight of good vs. bad.

    Every thread has umpteen posts about his minutes allocation and our lousy offense. If you are searching for perfection, even Attkinson doesn’t qualify. :-)

    When I read some of these threads I get the impression the guy sucks even though he’d probably finish in the top 5 for COY if the vote was held today. There’s no telling what the vote would be next week though because all his players might break down before then. :-)

  103. Naturally it was eye test, but I’ve been pointing out for a couple of weeks that imo Randle’s shot selection and decision making has been deteriorating lately compared to the start of the season. He’s looking more like last year’s Randle but with an improved 3 point shot instead of the player that was also making better decisions. It feels like he’s trying to be “the guy” to a point where he’s doing too much. I think he has to take a step back in his aggressiveness, dribble less, and move the ball quicker unless it’s later in the clock.

  104. Brian Cronin: There was a stoppage of play with the Bulls up 14 and 1:56 left to go. Yes, most coaches would empty their bench there.

    I wish there was an easy way to disprove this but I will continue to disagree based on my own recollection of watching hundreds of playoff games (and even regular season games.) And not even because the game isn’t practically over, it clearly is, or that it’s smart to leave the guys in, it clearly isn’t. It’s probably more of a momentum thing, just let the guys on the floor finish the game unless the other team concedes (i.e. empties their bench) first.

  105. DudesTown:
    I looked over that BR mock draft and saw that we now have Philly’s #2 pick too. In a deep draft, we will have 4 opportunities to improve ourselves.

    Yeah, some end of roster talent in the 2nd rd would actually be welcome this year too.

    Iggy is gone. Frank is likely gone. Taj should be gone. Rivers spot is still available. Payton is hopefully gone.

    In theory we have room to use all 4 picks this year.

    On top of which, Bullock, Noel, Burks may leave and open rotation spots for picks with actual talent.

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