2017-18 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Magic

The Knicks have yet another home game as they host the spiraling Orlando Magic.

This is a huge game for the Knicks, as they have a stretch of winnable games coming up and they really need to, you know, win them.

Let’s go, Knicks!

72 replies on “2017-18 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Magic”

This is a bad game to potentially lose due to injuries. There are plenty of tough games in our future where even if we are healthy we are underdogs. I’d rather it be the other way.

At least we’ll get to see more of Dotson. We’ll get to see he handles the increased pressure of being expected to score.

kind of an interesting game…the magic are a pretty bad team…knicks got a good shot to win this one…

It looks like the Knicks are hanging in there even hamstrung without THJr and KP.

Frank looks a little better so far today. He showed a few new moves and his only miss was a late quarter heave. Hopefully he’ll start putting it all together here or there on both ends.

(I’m not worried about the fouls at all. That’s rookie nonsense a lot them go though).

Nice post-up by Frank on Augustine- that’s something that maybe he can do against smaller guards going forward.

Knicks have been fortunate the Magic have missed a ton of wide open 3pters today considering the Magic are one of the best 3pt shooting teams in the league.

Kanter is really doing well again, nice shots from Frank, McD… its a winnable game still.

I think Lance Thomas has a lower basketball IQ than Michael Beasley. How does Lance Thomas look off Frank at the top to take a turnaround mid range fall away jumper? YOU ARE LANCE THOMAS.

Dotson is not having a great game. Lot of mental lapses on both sides of the court.

Nice buzzer-beater by KOQ!

Lance Thomas, Joakim Noah, and Ron Baker make like $28M combined.

One of these things is not like the others. Lance may be slightly overpaid, but he’s also a perfectly serviceable rotation player and defensive specialist.

Looks like he hurt his wrist, so we’ll see how much longer he plays today.

Letting Arron Afflalo walk was absolutely the right decision except for the fact that it set up one of the most predictable revenge games of all time

Why the hell are Frank and Doug sitting when Sessions and Baker are playing????

In what universe do you take out Frank in order to play the corpse of Ramon Sessions

They did better than I expected with KP and TH2 both out, but when you go down 17 in the first quarter, and you’re undermanned, that’s a tough game to win, even against Orlando.

The Knicks have an incredibly easy schedule this month before it gets brutal in January. If they want to stay in the playoff hunt going into the 2nd half of the season they can’t afford to lose home games to shitty teams like Orlando no matter who is out.

That horrible stretch with Baker + Sessions led to a tied game becoming a 8 point game… I can’t understand what Hornacek was thinking.

It’s an expected loss without Porzingis and THJ, the Knicks might be the worst team in the league without then in terms of talent, but the way to lose was surely frustrating.

@34 I agree. This is a bad loss for exactly the reason you mentioned. I mentioned that before the game. But really, it’s to be expected. Orlando is not as bad as they’ve been playing recently and we were missing both our #1 and #2 scoring options. When you are relying on Beasley as your #1 scorer and looking for players that usually play off others to have to create for themselves, you are going to have problems somewhere. We needed a miracle game from Dotson or someone like that to win , but it wasn’t to be. More of the same tomorrow, but it should be worse.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if Frank hit a few more shots and we could take a positive out of the game, but he kind of faded.

Dotson being a complete non factor in 21 minutes was not promising at all.

Yeah, I was hoping he was going to force himself into the starting lineup at some point in the season, but that was obviously a delusional view based on garbage time minutes.

Tomorrow should be a major ass whooping in Indiana, just hope at least either KP or TH can return on Wednesday.

For the life of me I would love to know WTF the Knicks were thinking when they gave Baker his contract.

I don’t know why, but this loss made me furious…
21 minutes for Dotson and 16 for Frank?
Ramon Sessions? Ron Baker?
Do we start tanking at game 22?
Sorry, I’m really angry…


Hornacek has had games this season where he seems to push all the right buttons, but I don’t know WTF he was thinking tonight putting Sessions and Baker in cold at a key point in the 4th quarter.

Also, in the 2nd quarter right after Frank hit a couple of nice jumpers he takes him out and puts Jack back in. Made no sense.

He took Frank out in the second because he had three fouls but that Baker/Sessions line-up? No excuse for that. As for Dotson, Simmons is a really good, long defender and he actually stuck to Dotson for the most part. Still Dotson needed to work harder off of the ball to get some looks. His defense on the ball was really good but, like a lot of rookies, had a couple of mental lapses off the ball that led to easy buckets.

For the life of me I would love to know WTF the Knicks were thinking when they gave Baker his contract.

There’s a reason I started getting grumpy when they fired Phil and put “Mills” in charge. I wasn’t a big fan of Phil’s during his tenure. But Mills is incompetent. It’s not like we needed more evidence. He was a major part of the organization for a long time during all the worst debacles on and off the court. Then right out of the box he made 2 blunders. Right now we are counting on Perry being competent and Mills just signing off on whatever he says. He won the Melo deal. So at least he is off to a positive start.

I’m actually beginning to think the TH Jr signing was actually a pretty decent move so I won’t rip Mills for that move much anymore but nothing will ever change the fact that the Baker contract was pure asinine.

I could easily see Phil giving Baker that deal. That player option is a Phil specialty.

He took Frank out in the second because he had three fouls but that Baker/Sessions line-up?

Does it really matter when you have 3 fouls when you’re a backup that only plays 20 minutes a game? He should have left him in IMO.

So Timmy has a “stress injury” in his leg and KP won’t travel to Indiana. Marvin Bagley time.

Yeah that’s worrisome cause if TH has a stress fracture in his shin that’s not good. Hornacek specified after the game it’s his shin that was bothering him.

I’m actually beginning to think the TH Jr signing was actually a pretty decent move so I won’t rip Mills for that move much anymore but nothing will ever change the fact that the Baker contract was pure asinine.

Hardaway is playing closer to the high end of my expectations than the low end risks, but I personally don’t think he’s a quality starting SG and definitely not a quality SF. He’s more of an occasionally explosive scorer I’d ideally like coming off the bench as a 6th man like Crawford.

IMO, if we couldn’t do better than him with all that cap space, we should have signed a 1 year filler with an option like we did with Afflalo. You should always look for bargain long term deals, but when they aren’t there, you should sign short deals, pass the time, and keep looking. We should have tried to keep rolling that space over.

Missed this one-I see Courtney Lee had another in a season long string of excellent games. He’s really been impressive. What was up with Dotson-did we just not get him any open looks?

@37 I agree, but at least he got some extended burn with Hardaway out.

I’m calling it now: the #stealthtank is back on. Hear me out:

I think we’ve seen plenty during these first 22 games to believe there are beginnings to a real good team here eventually, and they need more talent. The improvement of KP and Tim Jr – and their ability to positively affect games – are absolute building blocks. Frankie Baby has begun to show flashes, especially defensively. Hornacek has the team moving without the ball and playing hard. I think management sees the foundation. I also think they see where they can do things like play Sessions and Baker at “inopportune” times and rest KP, Tim, Frankie and Kanter and build up Ls against similarly talented teams knowing that January’s schedule will probably end talk of the team being a legit playoff contender. So yeah, #stealthtank.

It would be seriously Knicksy to start well with all the players and win just enough games, then stealth tank while already ahead 7-8 wins of Chicago, Atlanta etc and draft 9th.

I just hope that we go full on in either direction.

Yeah, at this point the Knicks can stealth tank the rest of the season and barely get a Top 10 pick. Try to make the playoffs without making any bad long term trades to try to get in and tank when they are officially eliminated from playoff contention.

I’d rather have the 7-10th pick than 10-14th. We’re that bad, and I believe if it weren’t for Jarrett Jack’s leadership (seriously!), we’d be losing a lot more games. Take away Lance, Lee, and O’Quinn, and we may be bottom-3.
Again, I don’t see the point of winning when it’s driven by vets on a future-oriented team. We won’t make the playoffs, and we’ll think of how dumb we were in November, again.


I would rather too, I’m just skeptical because there’s like 3 teams who are full commited to tanking right away (Bulls, Hawks and Kings) and at least 3 or 4 teams that would be very stupid not to tank and have a pretty good head start already (Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies and the Nets who are just not talented enough). If the Lakers, Magic and Clippers go the same way (which they really should), the Knicks are very likely out of the top 10 already. Then the difference between the 11th and the 14th or 15th pick is no longer that huge.

That’s not how I play cards. With an 11th worst record, you could luck into the 9th pick. Or have bad health in the last 40 games and lose most of them and end up with the 7th pick.
But lets say the choice really is the 11th pick or the 15th pick. Per 82games, you get a 5% higher chance of drafting a “star” with the 11, and 10% increase in relative value of the pick (see here for their analysis) with the 11th pick.
I just don’t see the point of being 15th worst, to me that’s worse than being THE worst.

Despite all of the early season optimism so far, we actually have a worse record through the first 22 games than we had last year.

Breen wants Clyde to watch The Wire! I want this so much, too!

I would pay so much money to hear Clyde do episode-by-episode reviews of the Wire.

Most of the optimism is because there really is so much to be hopeful about!
KP appears to have made a leap of sorts (although he still gets tired or anemic or whatever after strong starts to the season), and then there’s Kanter’s brilliance on offense with some playability on D, and Hardaway impressing me daily with all-around play, young possible studs such as Frank, McDermott, Dotson, and Willy. And all these players are under 25!
I don’t like to sound finicky all the time about rising the draft boards, but I do believe that everyone not named above are actual liabilities in the way they contribute wins, take away minutes, and give us less chances of drafting the next great piece.

Even if we tanked from the beginning of the season we were never going to be as bad as the bottom 5 teams with our roster. Players and coaches don’t tank (GM’s do) and especially not this early in the season. We are playing young guys and winning, and still might trade O’Quinn/Lee at the trade deadline. I agree with staying the course and trying to win games now while thinking about the future and it seems like the team has the same mindset.

I wonder how far Michael Porter Jr will fall in the draft. Ayton, Doncic, and Bagley are the consensus top 3, and all of them look like clear cut franchise players. Mo Bamba and Collin Sexton could both go in front of Porter Jr, too. I don’t really see a 6th guy getting ahead of him, but a guy like Gary Trent Jr, Kevin Knox, or Miles Bridges could elevate their stock. How Michael Porter Jr looks in workouts will do a lot for his stock in either direction, but I think he’s exactly what the Knicks need. He could play the small forward spot as a starter, and can close at power forward in a line up with KP, Dotson/McDermott, TH2, and Frank Ntilikina. If our season tail spins out, I’d like to see us target Porter Jr and Knox.

538 says the Knicks right now are on track to win 36 games. Compare that win % to the standings right now, the Knicks come in 13th worst. Trade Lee and O’Quinn and rest KP for 20 games here and there and rest or trade Kanter, and you easily cut that down to max 25 wins. I’d guess more like 18-22.

But let’s say 25 wins. That win percentage right now would be tied for 4th worst. Stupid when you could have started the season without Lee and O’Quinn and could have used Dotson, who is signed for cheap for multiple years, over McDermott, who is gone or overpaid (like all non-max free agents) this summer. Instead of 11-11, we’re like 5-17 even with KP’s early season strong play. But it’s never too late to start actually trying to build a team with a ceiling above 45 wins.

Yeah, I really don’t think Porter is ever dropping beyond 5th unless the injury is really major and has bigger implications, which would make him a huge risk anyway. If he’s good to be taken there’s no way he’ll drop to our position and if he’s screwed then there’s no point.

We’d have to go 14-46 to win 25 games. It is hard to be that bad. That’s an 18 win pace over a full season.

Not only do we have a worse record so far this year over last but I believe that we’ve played more games at home. I’m also optimistic long term but not for this season, which will probably get very ugly in January.

a top 5 pick is going to be very difficult unless kp misses a lot of time…..

the draft doesn’t look that great aside from the top 3 or 4 players…. but there’s some interesting guys projected in the mid lotto that could help us….


I really, really dont think he’s walking away from the max contract the Knicks will give him, and if he plays most of the season and we win 25, we won’t necessarily lose much to be honest. A superstar deserving of the contract offer he’ll receive brings wins, it’s not like the Knicks are completely devoid of talent or anything that even with him playing perfectly the team would still lose 55+ games.

I really don’t even remember if a top 5 draftee guy perceived as a star ever left for nothing before his first extension from any team, it’s always either the team cutting ties with the guy or the guy being so bad or injured he doesn’t even get offered an extension. Noel, who Philadelphia shopped around the league, was traded for a protected first rounder.

Even Cousins, Wiggins, Embiid or Davis, who pretty much only played with horrible teams with some awful franchises / markets re-signed instantly

As far as I’m concerned the Knicks have three guys who could be all stars this season in Kanter, KP, and TH2. KP and Kanter are already playing at that level and TH2 is on his way. Courtney Lee has been having a career year, and Kyle O’Quinn is his usual steady self in terms of his box scores. Beasley can get you healthy buckets. We don’t have a point guard yet but give the French kid some time. He can be the piece that puts us over the top in 2-3 years once he gets comfortable playing a big role against grown men.

I think the Knicks right now have the corps group of a very successful basketball team. What they need to do now is draft 3 real contributors (a back up point guard, a 3 point specialist, and a two way swing forward) and make more prudent decisions than Noah, Baker, and Lance Thomas. That starts with having a draft where we land Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier. The next successful Knicks team should look something like:

PG: Ntilikina, Trier
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr, Dotson
SF: Kevin Knox, McDermott
PF: Porzingis, PJ Tucker/Faried kinda guy
C: Kanter, Hernangomez

That’s a great looking ball club if everyone develops together and Hornacek doesn’t have to burn minutes with bums. We don’t need a high pick if we can draft wisely. College upperclassmen are what this ball club needs.

It would be seriously Knicksy to start well with all the players and win just enough games, then stealth tank while already ahead 7-8 wins of Chicago, Atlanta etc and draft 9th.

Remember Dolan’s Razor:
The most irritating possible outcome will be the actual outcome.

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