2016-17 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Bulls

The Knicks host the Butler/Mirotic-less Bulls tonight in a game that is a key game for the future of this squad. They’ve been losing some hard-luck games recently, which suggests that they’re probably a little better than this current streak shows, and, of course, being “a little better” is the worst thing for this team overall, so a win tonight could be very bad for them.

I’m attending the game. I presume they’ll win because they’re better off losing, so at least I’ll get to see the stupid Bulls lose. They’re so dumb. They’re like the mirror image Knicks, except they have a legit superstar on their team in Jimmy Butler (already – while KP is on his way).

EDITED TO ADD: Oh boy, I get no Butler AND no Porzingis. Awesome.

Let’s go, Knicks!

PHI 98, NYK 97 — The Knicks Suck

This has to be the Knicksiest last 48 hours. Well maybe not the Knicksiest, as they didn’t trade any draft picks for an overpaid and over-the-hill scorer in that time. But it’s hard to argue that it hasn’t been a Knickly two days.

It started when New York drops a home game to the Pelicans, competing like an actual NBA team for a half, before playing a third quarter that saw a 9 point deficit balloon to 25. In that period Knicks star Carmelo Anthony got himself ejected. And tough-guy Kyle O’Quinn decided to try to end the career of Anthony Davis. Or as I like to call Davis, “the super star most likely to move teams and win a championship in his next stop.” Way to make him cross off the Big Apple as a destination, KOQ. (Although it’s hard to argue that New York, given the current state of affairs, was a destination for The Brow anyway.)

On the court last night, the team toys with the Sixers, taking them about as seriously as the adults playing the nieces and nephew’s in a backyard game after Thanksgiving dinner. Of course despite their mediocre effort, the Knicks had the opportunity to close the game out on the final possession. Instead of running a play that might give them a chance to score, they allowed their point guard to dribble into a triple team and … well … I know you know what happened next.

If their on the court performance wasn’t enough, reports surfaced that the franchise’s main off-season acquisition, Derrick Rose, went AWOL for Monday’s game. Supposedly he left the team to go back to Chicago, but didn’t notify management with a call, text, or email, despite going to an airport. (You know the place you wait for hours doing nothing but play with your phone.)

Apparently Rose’s punishment was a $500 fine and a plane ticket back to New York. Not only is $500 less than the Knicks paid per game for Rose, it’s probably half the amount that might be worth for him to stop and pick off the floor if he dropped it. Surely it’s not even the cost of the plane ticket back to New York.

The Knicks’ suits botched their handling of this situation, much like the team bungled their last 2 games. There’s a reason some franchises win year after year. Good owners hire competent front offices and the trickle down effects results in wins. Maybe not every year, but surely more often than not. And if that were ever in doubt, look at the Los Angeles Lakers, and how their dynasty has suffered since the death of Jerry Buss. Or look at how Mark Cuban turned around perennial loser Dallas into a solid franchise.

The Knicks lose on the court, because the ownership hires the wrong front office staff, who acquire the wrong players. Our team is so incompetent that they can’t even get some basics right, like how to discipline players or what basketball philosophy to enact on the court.

This will not change, because ownership is blind to the problem. Everyone who has suffered through an addiction problem, or knows someone who has, understands there is no progress until the addict can admit they have a problem. Yet before the start of the last season MSG thought the Knicks were a playoff team, and they ended with the worst record in franchise history. This year, our “Big 3” was supposed to make the playoffs and then some. Yet statistical minded folk knew both teams were doomed to the lottery from the start.

I started this blog in 2004, and the Knicks have given me 10 losing seasons and only 4 playoff appearances. And I’m pretty sure every fan here reading this has been a Knick fan for at least that long. Last night I had my notes ready for a game recap. I had some witty ideas of a Russian/Wikileaks hacked version. But then New York put on their perverse show, and a wave of disgust came over me — and I couldn’t stomach the joy to go through with writing about them in a fun & light way. So all I’m left with is this:

The Knicks Suck.

Knicks Morning News (2017.01.12)

  • [NYTimes] 76ers 98, Knicks 97: Knicks, Losing at the Buzzer, Are Unable to Break Their Fall
    (Thursday, January 12, 2017 5:00:20 AM)

    Squandering a 17-point lead in the first half, the team lost for the ninth time in 10 games despite the return of Derrick Rose.

  • [NYTimes] As Jimmy Butler Sizzles, Bulls Struggle to Play .500 Ball
    (Thursday, January 12, 2017 1:58:01 AM)

    Butler, an All-Star swingman, is averaging career highs of 25 points and 6.7 rebounds a game, but Chicago, like the Knicks, is lingering outside the playoff pack.

  • [NYTimes] New Three-on-Three League Has a 4-Point Shot, and Allen Iverson
    (Thursday, January 12, 2017 1:54:20 AM)

    The Big3, featuring retired N.B.A. stars, will be a traveling league: All eight teams will head to a city for four minigames on the same day.

  • [NYPost] The rising Knicks brain who opted against Chasson Randle
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:09:41 PM)

    PHILADELPHIA — In Clarence Gaines Jr. We Trust. According to a source, the major reason the Knicks kept defensive forward Maurice Ndour over point guard Chasson Randle coming out of training camp was the lobbying by Gaines, a trusted confidant of Phil Jackson, who has gone from an adviser to vice president of player personnel….

  • [NYPost] Derrick Rose much angrier over retirement talk than $200K fine
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 7:31:44 PM)

    PHILADELPHIA — Disappearing Knicks point guard Derrick Rose was fined roughly $200,000 for missing Monday’s loss to the Pelicans without notification, sources said. Coach Jeff Hornacek indicated the Knicks followed the code used for a player being suspended for one game — which is 1/110th of his $21 million wage or roughly $200,000. A source…

  • [NYPost] Kristaps Porzingis’ final shot could not have gone worse
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 7:18:40 PM)

    PHILADELPHIA — All Kristaps Porzingis really had to do was hit the rim. Oh, making the shot would have been nice, but the Knicks would have settled for a piece of the rim. Or even the backboard. Just not the bottom of the net, which was all that Porzingis’ 3-point shot found with 6.8 seconds…

  • [NYPost] The only way Knicks can exploit this deadly spiral is a pipe dream
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:41:39 PM)

    PHILADELPHIA — At one end of the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night, 76ers coach Brett Brown, who has won just 20 percent of his games since the 2013-14 season, spoke of optimism for the future, admitting his team was much closer to being where they have tried to get for three-plus years. At the…

  • [NYPost] ‘S–t is definitely embarrassing’: Knicks cave in utter gut punch
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:38:07 PM)

    PHILADELPHIA — Derrick Rose showed up, shined and still couldn’t prevent the Knicks from losing a buzzer-beating heartbreaker. T.J. McConnell scored on a spinning, off-balance 10-footer after faking out Carmelo Anthony as the Sixers stole a 98-97 victory Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center, setting off a wild celebration after the Knicks blew a 13-point fourth-quarter…

  • [NYPost] Derrick Rose is already over his freakout
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 10:34:33 AM)


  • [NYPost] Carmelo: It was ‘scary’ playing with Derrick Rose missing
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:49:45 AM)

    PHILADELPHIA — Carmelo Anthony admitted it was “scary’’ and “worrisome for everyone’’ when the Knicks took the court Monday night not knowing whether Derrick Rose was in serious danger. Monday night turned into a horrible one for Anthony, too, as he got ejected in the third quarter of a blowout loss to the Pelicans at…

  • [ESPN] Thursday’s Knicks News: Tough time for Kristaps Porzingis
    (Thursday, January 12, 2017 4:43:29 AM)

    Thursday’s Knicks News: Tough time for Kristaps Porzingis

  • [ESPN] Knicks stunned, Melo deflated: ‘It’s unacceptable’
    (Thursday, January 12, 2017 12:29:42 AM)

    Knicks stunned, Melo deflated: ‘It’s unacceptable’

  • [NYDN] Rose scores 25, but Knicks still fall to 76ers on buzzer-beater
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:21:22 PM)

    This is one the Knicks absolutely needed. It was one they had in their grasp.

  • [NYDN] Bad karma gets best of Knicks after they start Derrick Rose
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:09:06 PM)

    The Knicks needed the Sixers point guard to go AWOL on Wednesday.

  • [NYDN] Knicks post another unfortunate Derrick Rose tweet
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 3:49:25 PM)

    Even the Knicks’ Twitter account is having a rough week.

  • [NYDN] Derrick Rose back in Knicks starting lineup after ‘hefty’ fine
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 2:10:43 PM)

    Perhaps if he turned up in a strip club or a casino when he went off the grid this week, things would be different.

  • [NYDN] Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn fined $25,000 for foul on Anthony Davis
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:51:10 AM)

    Knicks big man Kyle O’Quinn was fined $25,000 by the NBA for the hard foul he leveled against Anthony Davis Monday night.

  • [NYDN] Derrick Rose: Will ask for more time off if I need it
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:29:32 AM)

    The veteran point guard also admitted that if he needed more time away from the Knicks he would ask for it.

  • [NYDN] Knicks Insider: Melo says being ejected ‘won’t happen again’
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 8:24:03 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony leads the NBA in something: three ejections, including the most recent during Monday’s embarrassing loss.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks fall to Sixers at the buzzer, 98-97
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:50:51 PM)

    The Knicks lost to the 76ers on Wednesday night, 98-97.

  • [SNY Knicks] Butler, Mirotic to miss Thursday’s game against Knicks
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 7:25:56 PM)

    Guard Jimmy Butler and forward Nikola Mirotic will both miss Thursday’s game against the Knicks with an illness, reports K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

  • [SNY Knicks] Rose expected to play vs. 76ers despite Monday’s absence
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:38:46 PM)

    Knicks G Derrick Rose will return to the lineup Wednesday night against the 76ers, head coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters.

  • [SNY Knicks] Is Rose in a good place with the Knicks?
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:08:21 PM)

  • [SNY Knicks] Kuzminskas feeling better, should play Wednesday
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 5:46:44 PM)

    New York Knicks forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas is feeling better and should be good to play in Wednesday night’s game against the 76ers, head coach Jeff Hornacek said.

  • [SNY Knicks] Tonight’s Game: Knicks at 76ers
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 5:29:04 PM)

    The Knicks head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.

  • [SNY Knicks] Barry: Knicks and Noah are terrible fit, Melo should ask for trade
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 2:00:21 PM)

    In critiquing the Knicks, Barry is especially right about something else: the team’s gamble to remain competitive around Anthony hasn’t worked out.

  • [SNY Knicks] Ex-Knick Greg Anthony says Rose’s actions ‘beyond unacceptable’
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:46:47 AM)

    Knick guard Derrick Rose’s actions were “beyond unacceptable,” former Knick and current TNT and NBATV analyst Greg Anthony told the Daily News.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony keeping the faith amid familiar losing skid
    (Thursday, January 12, 2017 12:01:57 AM)

    Carmelo Anthony feels like he’s watching the same movie over and over again, but he’s hoping for a different ending.

  • [NY Newsday] Knicks’ late collapse turns into crushing loss to 76ers
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:41:28 PM)

    PHILADELPHIA — Derrick Rose was present and accounted for and showed up for the Knicks in the fourth quarter. But the Knicks’ defense and ability to hold a big lead went AWOL down the stretch.

  • [NY Newsday] Derrick Rose scores 25 vs. 76ers, says he’s in a much better place mentally
    (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 9:41:00 PM)

    Derrick Rose said his focus is on playing basketball, and that he’s in a much better place mentally than he was two days ago.