2019-20 David Fizdale Coaching Death Watch: Game 2 – Knicks vs. The Team That’s Stuck With KP

How funny would it be if two thirds of the Knicks’ victories this year came against Kristaps Porzingis’ new team? That could easily be the case tonight as the Knicks host the Dallas Mavericks, who previously lost to this here Knick at home, so in the somewhat friendly confines of Madison Square Garden, you would like to believe that the Knicks would have a decent enough chance of beating them this time around as well, right?

Porzingis didn’t have a terrible game in his debut against the Knicks, but nor did he have a particularly great game, either, and he was outrebounded for a key rebound late in the game, leading to him committing a foul that fouled him out of the game. Even with all of that, the Mavericks were one “Oh my god, why are you taking that shot? You fool!” three-pointer from Luka Doncic of going to overtime against the Knicks, so it will be a lot to expect the Knicks to sweep this series.

But it would be really cool if they did so.

Fizdale can get fired some other night. Tonight we can root for the Zinger to have a bad game and the Knicks go 2-0 against him this season.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. can have a great game, too, and at least one dumb reporter will be, like, “Maybe the Knicks won the KP trade just with Smith Jr.!”

Let’s go, Knicks!

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338 thoughts to “2019-20 David Fizdale Coaching Death Watch: Game 2 – Knicks vs. The Team That’s Stuck With KP”

  1. Really hoping DSJ starts to get back to some form. I think I read the team were looking to send him down to the G-League, so at least they aren’t in denial about his form. I know he doesn’t offer a lot of what we need at the PG position, but we ate least need some competent guard play.

  2. Fiz says Mitch is likely to be active tonight. Will come off the bench if he plays.

    I really want him to stuff a KP 3 pointer.

  3. Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks only good player, has played over 20 minutes how many games this season?

    One fucking game!

  4. Looks like Mitch has gone from likely to officially cleared. For the love of God Fiz just play the man 30 minutes!!!

  5. No actually, don’t. He has been out long enough he’s probably not in game shape. I don’t want him injured because he gets too tired out there.

  6. i still don’t understand how bobby has more minutes than mitch…. i don’t understand how bobby has more minutes than taj…

    that will be fizdale’s downfall…

  7. Speaking of things that have happened only one time this season, let’s talk about Dennis Smith making a basket.

  8. Smith should be better than last game.

    But that doesn’t mean he’ll be good. But he’ll make a basket. In fact, a few.

    I’m more curious about his BPM. And for traditional stats, his assist and steals numbers. Can he contribute to the team game?

  9. Is it messed up that I’m hoping KP has a monster game and Dallas blows out the Knicks so the crowd can start chanting “Fire Mills, Fizdale, Perry, Dolan” etc.

  10. Is it messed up that I’m hoping KP has a monster game and Dallas blows out the Knicks so the crowd can start chanting “Fire Mills, Fizdale, Perry, Dolan” etc.

    Yes, but I think that is just a product of what this franchise does to a person.

  11. Is it messed up that I’m hoping KP has a monster game and Dallas blows out the Knicks so the crowd can start chanting “Fire Mills, Fizdale, Perry, Dolan” etc.

    Grounds for banishment… for the part before the word “so” That second part should happen anyway.

  12. still at work…working, working, working…recording the game until i’m free…just wanna say – i love new music…don’t listen to a lot of it – unless you all suggest something…

    right now listening to fear inoculum – holy shit that is some good stuff right there….

  13. DSJ understands best among our guards that you can just lob it within the same time zone as Mitch and he’ll flush it

  14. Checking in from section 227 to say some of y’all gave up on DSJ too early. Mitch is a god.

  15. unless you all suggest something…

    If you are in to instrumental stuff, check out Tasmanian Glow by Strawberry Girls.

    Reports of DSJ’s demise have apparently been greatly exaggerated.

  16. Nice start by the Knicks. DSJr looks locked in with Mitch. Frank was attacking on defense. If those two could just lock in every game …

  17. In all seriousness if the Knicks played every game like they were playing the Mavericks we’d be in good shape. Maybe.

  18. Okay, which paper will have the “The Knicks won the KP/Smith Jr. swap”? Its hilarious that my bit is actually coming true!

  19. If you are in to instrumental stuff, check out Tasmanian Glow by Strawberry Girls.

    nice, thanks dtrickey :)

  20. Good to see KP’s shot selection is as terrible as ever

  21. still at work…working, working, working…recording the game until i’m free…just wanna say – i love new music…don’t listen to a lot of it – unless you all suggest something…

    This is one of my favorite albums of the decade. I thought they were a generic festival folk-revival band and was very wrong about it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwfQDYKd4gE

    Also I just read that Melo is going to be a fucking Blazer. Kill me now.

  22. Luka LeBroncic can’t save them every night. Porzingis will be better than he is tonight but Dallas does not have two franchise players on its roster as of today.

  23. Luka is so much like James Harden in that way. He’s got a lot of matador qualities. You have to pair him with a guy like, say, Frank Ntilikina. He’s never going to be anything better than an occasional steal artist.

    Just kidding about the Ntilikina part. Frank fucking sucks.

  24. you rock jowles…

    making a list:
    Strawberry Girls – Tasmanian Glow
    Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues…love the title…

  25. I hope Luka Doncic plays the full strength Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are gonna eat his lunch.

  26. The “maybe he might get more fouls” argument makes no sense when your back up center is Bobby Portis. Foul trouble Mitch is infinitely more valuable than Bobby Portis. Let Mitch foul out and then Bobby Portis can miss all the set shot 3s he wants.

  27. Hope he do well in Portland. I wish Melo success.
    After being out of the league i hope Melo will have new perspective and work on his game.
    He is a good fit in Portland (who is starting Mario H).

  28. I really wouldn’t mind benching Mitch for foul trouble if we still had Luke Kornet. You know, the version of Bobby Portis who can actually make 3s and protect the rim at 12.5% the cost of an actual Bobby Portis.

    I’m still mad.

  29. i dunno… something still feels off with dennis… the body language is different…. he’s been doing that ass guard to protect the ball that cp3 does and they did hook up over the summer…. so maybe he’s just trying to slow down his game…

    we still haven’t seen him elevate yet which if he does then we know he isn’t hurt for sure…

  30. DSJ is making a difference tonight. Looks healthy. Shot still looks terrible but he’s playing with confidence which is great to see.

    Randle has two turnovers but looks 1000% more restrained tonight.

    And great to have Mitch back!

  31. You can tell Fiz is working harder these days on the job – his head and facial hair grooming game has let down.

  32. DSJ has talent and he’s one of the few guys on the team who can ever break down a defense off the dribble. He was still 3-8 from the floor. He’s certainly worth giving minutes to for the next year and a half to see if we can develop something.

  33. After being out of the league i hope Melo will have new perspective and work on his game.

    He’s 35. There’s nowhere to go but down. You can’t just magically become 25 again. You can be a gym-rat like Vince Carter or Ray Allen and hang around for awhile, but it’s not like Dirk sucked in his final few years because he stopped caring about the game. Your body is just different and you still have to compete against guys who can jump out of the gym and do it every day of the week.

  34. It makes me really mad when Frank Ntilikina brings the ball up court just to hand the ball over to Julius Randle.

  35. the best thing fiz does is that he’s not that scared of leaving someone out there with 4 fouls….

    unless it’s mitch… then he sits for life…

  36. I thought Fiz should have challenged the last Ntilikina foul. It looked to me like Frank was the one that got bumped.

  37. Not able to see the game, but checking the box – why hasn’t Mitch returned in the second half? Anyone say anything?

  38. Haha yeah Frank O, though I haven’t watched in years. I hear good things about Dragon Ball Super tho.

    I’m on my way home following on gamecast and I keep seeing “Luka Doncic hits ___ft three-pointer”. Plus someone upstream wondered if the Mavs will get hot from 3.

  39. Cdiggy, lol
    Super is good. Watched it with my son.
    He likes it and it’s something we can do together.
    But you’ll like it

  40. Only watching on gamecast, so can’t get a proper feel for the game but that is a massive FT differential. Are we being sloppy on D as usual or is the game being called tight? I feel like it might be the former given we have only shot made 9 FTA.

  41. What exactly did Randle just do on that drive? Did he even try to defend the cutter?

  42. I hope Fiz will sit down with Mitch before he’s axed and explain to him that the Knicks need him to play in order to win games and that they can’t do it if he’s on the bench with foul trouble.

  43. Marcus Morris ruined his 5-7 from 3 point range by going 2-12 from 2 lol.

    He was born to be a Knick.

  44. Yay we won! And Portland signed Melo.

    One less day of #lolKnicks jokes from my supervisor. Maybe.

  45. Smith came up pretty big.
    Robinson must, must stop fouling out. They are way more dynamic with him

  46. Dennis Smith Jr with 13 points (2-4 from 3), 8 assists, and 6 rebounds in 30 minutes.

    COUNT YOUR F**KING DAYS, FRANK.

  47. That was a good win, especially after the halftime show by TNT. The Knicks were leading by five or so, had been leading the whole half, and all Kenny Smith could talk about was how great Porzingis and Doncic were. I was pissed. But who knows, maybe it jinxed the Mavericks.

  48. Fun win, Knicks have 2 extremely winnable games next. Would be nice to see them go on a little decent run here.

  49. fabulous game…. if mitch doesn’t play we get blown out…. he only played 22 minutes but hopefully it’s clear to fiz that mitch needs to be out there and play until he fouls out if need be….

    subpar games from mostly everyone else but good to have dsj back…. 8 assists 2 to’s and the offense looks a lot better with a guard who gets into the paint… shot is better but we’ll see how it progresses…

  50. Nice to see DSJ with a decent bounceback game. He really just needed to start to clear his head from his bereavement.

  51. Wish we could see a DSJ Frank RJ Knox Mitch lineup at some point

  52. To answer an earlier question of where the fouls came from, at least one of Robinson’s Six was a stupid one. Frank, on the other hand was defending Doncic, which is tough, and I also thought he got a couple of bad calls.

  53. @195

    Agreed. Frank also played well with 5 fouls. I thought he had a good read on Luka in the 4th.

  54. @194 it’s the only line-up that makes any sense but we gave Mook $15M, Bobby $16M, and Julius $21M so we probably won’t see it happen as a starting five.

    We gave $52M to 3 power forwards.

  55. Half of Mitch’s fouls were stupid. The one in the corner on the Doncic 4-pt play made my stomach turn.

  56. Dennis Smith Jr breaks down a defense.
    Frank plays defense to keep Dennis Smith fresh on offense.
    RJ Barrett does a little bit of everything on both ends.
    Kevin Knox stretches the floor.
    Mitch catches every lob and locks down the paint.

    But instead Morris and Randle will get in the way of that.

  57. Mitch has to learn shit like you can’t foul boban when he’s got you under the basket-just let him score

  58. continue to doubt frank at your poster’s credibility peril…

    some of ya’ll are gonna have to do a little better job at coming to terms with your fears and desires…

  59. Thanks for the clarification on fouls. Reading Twitter there seemed to be a bit of discourse from Knicks fans, so I figured in reality it was a mix of stupid fouls and some soft stuff. Credit however to Fiz for keeping Mitch out there for as long as possible by the looks of it.

  60. Randle with another 6 turnover game.

    Morris-20 points 19 shots
    Randle-17 points 18 shots
    RJ- 8 points 10 shots
    Frank-5 points 4 shots
    Denis-13 points 12 shots
    Portis 10 points 8 shots

    Mitch-16 points 8 shots

  61. That crowd was crazy. I’ve been to 4 games this year and we’ve had great crowds. I don’t know where all these die hards come from. I can’t even get volume on a knicks game in an nyc bar. I got laughed at for asking them to play the season opener at the white horse tavern.

    Would love to see some Frank and Smith. Don’t want to pick on Fiz bc he coached a competent game tonight but how come we can play three power forwards but not two PGs? And since I’m picking on him… does he know you can challenge calls? There were some questionable ones he didn’t flinch at.

    On the pro Fiz side: he played Mitch til he fouled out and made some sensible offense/defense switches.

  62. What a game, what a game!

    geo, if you’re into lowkey ambient shit at all, you should check out SUSS. New album just came out.

  63. Weird game. Normally when one team shoots 43% from three and the other shoots 22% it’s a blowout. But the Mavs shot 32 FT’s and we had 11.

    Encouraging performance by DS Jr. but he’s a real tight wire act – you hold your breath and pray he doesn’t do anything stupid. But tonight he made mostly good decisions

  64. thanks grocer – music matters :)
    making a list:
    Strawberry Girls – Tasmanian Glow
    Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
    SUSS

    spend a lot of time sitting at my desk, so, it’s cool to check out different music…

    today was a day for tool…might get a chance to see them soon…fingers crossed…

    it was funny, was having a little challenge with my nerves the other day and spent the day at work listening to ocean sounds…

    fucking xanax and waves all day…

  65. I have a crazy idea for this team: One power forward lineups.

    I’m pretty unimpressed with Randle. It’s the turnovers. It’s fine that he has to start bc of the $. But maybe Smith comes off the bench for him and we try some Frank-Smith-Barrett-Morris-Mitch.

  66. I do agree ther Frank and DSJ should play together more, but this wasn’t the game. With no Payton, DSJ not being 100% after being out for so long and Frank in foul trouble there just wasn’t a good opportunity. Glad to see Smith bounce back from looking like the worst player in the league to somewhat capable, let’s hope he gets into a good rhythm.

  67. it was funny, was having a little challenge with my nerves the other day and spent the day at work listening to ocean sounds…

    Yeah dude, SUSS is ambient country. Don’t let that turn you off, it’s that soothing high lonesome sound. Peace and emptiness.

  68. But maybe Smith comes off the bench for him and we try some Frank-Smith-Barrett-Morris-Mitch.

    Makes sense to me. Morris is decent from 3 and plays better D than Knox. Though Knox is significantly improved this year (from a very, very low place to start, yes).

  69. today was a day for tool…might get a chance to see them soon…fingers crossed…

    I have seen Tool twice in my lifetime and I would highly recommend it on both a sonic and visual level.

    You would hope as more key guys get back into the swing of things we can see more lineups with 2 PG’s. I know we already don’t rate Fiz, but I think we will start to see how much of his bizarre lineups were out of necessity with players out, or whether he just has 0 handle on the roster. I hope it is the former, but good chance it is the latter.

  70. Yeah this wasn’t the game to do it. But it was the game to make you think about it. Prior to tonight I didn’t want to see smith at all!

    The same idea works with Payton & Trier, too. I know it sounds crazy, but bear with me, I might have a template for a good lineup:

    I’m thinking we should play two guards in the backcourt, one who sets up teammates and one who scores. And in the front court, I’m thinking we play one forward who is big and strong, one who is quick and aggressive, and have the tallest guy on the team play center.

    I know, I know. It sounds dumber than stumping for Mark Jackson. I just think the NBA is moving away from the traditional three-power-forward-with-only-one-ball handler lineups and moving towards these more balanced lineups that put players with complementary skills on the court. Maybe this revolutionary lineup will unlock the dormant might of this 3-9 team.

  71. I like watching those AXS tv music specials…so many rock artists from the 70’s name merle haggard and george jones as some of their biggest musical influences…

  72. Didn’t catch the game, from the boxscore it looks like Fiz had Taj or Mitch in for defense for a large part of the game. Seems like that should have been the plan from the beginning. Have at least one defensive big in at all times and pair them with the more offense oriented Portis and Randle.

    Glad to see Dennis back to himself.

  73. I went to the game tonight. The crowd was nuts!

    1. DSJr does a good job of penetrating and making more things happen for our offense, but you still get some bad decision making and below average efficiency on his higher usage. He’s still young, but I’m more a fan of players with less talent and a higher basketball IQ than the other way around.

    2. I predicted that Morris would become a very popular Knick because of how hard he plays even though I don’t think he’s as good as he looks, but he’s even growing on me despite not having changed my opinion of his game. He’s a hardened pro and the clear leader of the team.

    3. Add Doncic to the list of players that hates being guarded by Frank. lmao. For a guy with a growing reputation on defense Frank gets no respect from the refs. One of his fouls was highly suspect and the other was terrible.

    4. Fiz tried some smaller lineups. Hooray!!!

    5. I hope Fiz stays with Dotson through his shooting struggles. He didn’t play all summer and unfortunately I was correct that he’s not sharp yet.

    6. If we could get an accurate weight, I’d be willing to bet KP has already lost weight since the start of the season. I’m not sure if that’s by design, but he already looks thinner. Now that KP is playing way more C, he’s getting more rebounds despite being on the perimeter even more on offense, but he’s still way too passive. He is also not used to guarding from that spot. Every time he helps like he used to effectively from the PF position he gets burned. Teams should start targeting him. Other than that he looked as expected. Lots of talent, very rusty.

  74. Every time the Nets lose and the Celtics win I laugh my ass off at how wrong conventional wisdom often is.

    The Celtics are magical. No Horford. No Baynes. No Rozier. No Irving. Hayward goes down after finally recovering his form. They ADDED KANTER BACK and they still won. That won’t last forever. They need Hayward and a real C, but playing the right way is WAY underrated.

    The Nets probably under appreciated the value of the some the role players they gave up to make room for Irving and Durant. It doesn’t surprise me they are struggling. I predicted this would happen despite the fact that Irving is clearly an upgrade over DLO. That team is not that good.

    I’m pretty sure Jokic’s physical trainer must be a Twinkie, Ding Dong, Yodel, HoHo and other snack cake salesman.

  75. nice, strat on the inside…was that an “asshole” chant for kp when he went to the line…

    The crowd was RUTHLESS from start to finish and you could tell it was effecting him a little. It was probably worse than he was prepared for.

    KP sucks!

    Go back to Latvia!

    Asshole!

    It was relentless.

    It was like a payoff atmosphere down the stretch. Great win for the crowd.

  76. Charles Barkley is enjoying how well the Suns are playing. Lol. They made some really nice moves. Adding Baynes and Rubio was perfect. It was good for Rubio also. He never fit right in Utah. That’s one of those moves where both the player and team were better off moving on. The Suns desperately needed a play making PG that makes his teammates better and they got a good one. He’s still underrated.

  77. Go back to Latvia!

    Ugh, isn’t that kind of chant reserved for the likes of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib at MAGA rallies? C’mon New Yorkers, do better than that.

  78. I still feel like Fiz has to go but tonight’s rotation was crisp.

    When Payton comes back you hope we settle into

    Payton/DSJ
    Frank
    RJ
    Morris
    Mitch

    DSJ/Payton
    Dotson/Ellington
    Knox
    Randle
    Taj/Portis

    Trier as the break in case of emergency guy

    It’s never gonna happen but I think everyone with a modicum of basketball acumen knows this would be the best scenario by a long mile.

  79. @228,
    Co-signed!

    You know what I wanna see at least for one game? I wanna see Fiz trot out a lineup of DSJ/Ntilikina/Barrett/Knox/Mitch

    Give em at least 10 minutes together just to see. I think that would go a long way towards telling us where Knox and DSJ fits with the team.

    Nice showing by DSJ last night, by the way. Now do it again

  80. What a fun game last night.
    Honestly it was basically pretty perfect if just for 1 night.

    Mitch was great minus the dumb fouls on Boban. Still chasing blocks too much but he was a monster offensively last night.

    DSJ looking more like himself — definitely brings a different dimension with his athleticism and ability to get into the lane.

    Frank got called for a few weak fouls (c’mon refs, Luka isn’t Tom Brady just yet!), but was still really impactful down the stretch. 6 more deflections in just 18 minutes. And even though he missed those 2 jumpers mid-end of 4th, I liked the confidence he had shooting them (this will only take you so far though!). And for a team that has been so bad at the line, it was great to see him step up and can those two FTs at the end.

    10 players played, with minute totals that seem pretty reasonable! I think I would rather have seen Gibson play 20-25 minutes instead of 15, with his minutes coming from Randle and Portis, and maybe a couple more minutes from Knox, but Dot got 23 minutes and was pretty good (missed a couple good looks from 3 but otherwise was active on both ends).

    Re: Randle- for all the things Fizdale did better last night, he has to stop letting the offense go through Randle. You just can’t have that many turnovers and expect to win games. He has 4 or more turnovers in 8 of the 12 games they’ve played and he has a sub-1 assist/TO ratio. In what world is it a good idea to keep giving him the ball and having him be a playmaker? Someone (on this board?) compared him to Eddy Curry and I sort of see it stylistically — except unlike Curry, I think Randle REALLY plays hard and wants to be good, which gives me some hope for the future.

    Anyway – for one night, it was really fun. Glad KP got his ass chewed out by the MSG crowd, and glad to get the win.

  81. I’m still tryina figure out why Randle and Mook are still bringing the ball up as opposed to RJ, Ntilikina, or DSJ…or even Trier when he’s in the game

  82. I think I would rather have seen Gibson play 20-25 minutes instead of 15, with his minutes coming from Randle and Portis, and maybe a couple more minutes from Knox

    It’s no coincidence that everyone’s solution involves less Randle and Portis.

    We all have variations of the same theme:

    Drop one of the forwards, add a guard.

    The forwards people want to keep are always either Morris or Knox. One plays defense, one is young and spaces the floor.

    We all have our own favorite guard combos, but we all seem to agree we need two guards and Barrett as a forward.

    With Fiz, it’s gotten to the point where I sympathize with his plight, but if he can’t figure this out, he deserves his fate.

  83. The other Fiz thing many have pointed needs to go is the easy switching.

    There was a play in the 1Q where Frank was on Doncic on the wing. Doncic did not move . First Barrett’s man came over, stopped, and ran away. Frank followed him, leaving Barrett on Doncic. Then Randle’s man came over, stopped, ran away and got followed by Barrett. Now Randle was on Doncic!! We put our worst defender on their best player before Luka even needed to dribble. It was the most courteous defense I’ve ever seen.

  84. More than one person on this board has called for a lineup of DSJ, Ntilikina, RJ, Knox & Mitch and I’m there. It makes some sense. A second lineup of Elfrid, Ellington, Randle, Morris & Portis makes sense too. But why isn’t that happening? That first team is energetic and (unless we sell players off) will be here next season. But they are very young and lack veteran leadership. Maybe that’s why Fiz breaks them up? Swapping out a few kids for vets in that lineup brings experience and stability.

    While I can see what Fiz is doing, I don’t agree. I want that first group of 5 to play together all year so that they develop chemistry. One of them will be replaced by a first round pick next season. Odds are it’s DSJ. I don’t mind seeing the kiddie lineup coming off the bench but getting 25-30 minutes to keep the seniors happy.

    What this team is missing is disruptive, speedy, driving point guard and team leaders that don’t allow letdowns like we’ve seen all too often (the prior 2 games).

    BTW, why is Dotson a forgotten man? He plays D and can shoot the 3-ball. He fits nicely. I would much rather see him than Ellington.

    BTW2, I’m still waiting to see Iggy play some significant minutes. We haven’t seen what he can do.

  85. Excellent short form recap Farfa. 10/10, would read again.

    Swap Morris and Randle and I think those lineups have a good chance of happening.

  86. Farfa:
    The efficiency of your recap is like a Mitchrob stat line without the fouls.
    DSJ from the reviled eye test actually seemed to play much better defense than earlier games, where his men routinely drove by him.

  87. Randle is going to start and play 30+ minutes. We have to accept that. He’s their marquee signing and one of the few players who might be here for three seasons.

    But the other ~18 minutes of the game is when we need to move to these Two Guards + Barrett + Morris or Knox + Mitch lineups. The problem is that’s Bobby Fucking Portis time!

    And that’s why I said Portis is fucking everything up the other day. He presents the same problems as Randle without any of the long term benefits. His status is the most perplexing issue on this team. I hope he’s being pumped and dumped but I doubt it.

  88. Ugh, isn’t that kind of chant reserved for the likes of Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib at MAGA rallies? C’mon New Yorkers, do better than that.

    yep

  89. Nice TEAM effort, guys doing what they do best.
    Dennis drivin’….Mitch dunkin’….Frank defendin’…..Morris drainin’

    Those 2 missed box outs by Randle and Frank were hideous. Fiz better be on this. It’s simple technique: (1) Look for nearest guy to box out (2) Spread arms. Curry started his foray to the rim late from far away so it might have been tough for Frank to pick him up. However, Frank didn’t even look. And Frank was positioned too far from the rim; had he been closer and spread his arms, Curry doesn’t waltz in uncontested.

    My preferred lineups:
    DSJ/Frank/RJ/Randle/Mitch…and…Payton/Trier/Dot/Morris/Taj
    Note: If Morris gripes, tell him we’ll try to trade him to contender like Portland.

    Starting lineup:
    – 5 guys whose contracts and age might make them part of our future
    – Nice defense other than Randle and we have to hope his flaking out is somewhat correctable
    – Driving 1 guard who works well with Mitch on lob
    – 4 PnR ball handlers and 2 roll guys (lotta flexibility there)
    – Spacing is the major question mark. Have to hope Frank continues to shoot 38% from 3 and DSJ/RJ/Randle could get to 35%+ and mid-range Mitch is possible. Defense is gonna take away the paint and force those guys to make outside shots. If Randle is brickin’ them, he needs to be replaced by Morris. Randle’s just not worth it if he’s playing poor defense and brickin’ open 3’s.

    Second unit:
    – Nice outside shooting
    – Good defense for second unit
    – Play making and shot creation

  90. Kyrie has some sort of shoulder impingement now…. Jesus…..

    As enjoyable as their struggles are, we want him to play and carry that team to the playoffs so their lottery protected pick conveys to Atlanta. I don’t need to see the Nets pulling a Pelicans and adding James Wiseman and Kevin Durant next year.

    They’re the kind of team smart enough to be extra cautious and shut him down just to be in the lottery, though.

  91. Yikes I forgot Knox. I’m not that high on Kevin – he plays defense on a tape delay and I doubt his 44% from 3 continues. But he needs time. Cycle Knox and Dot at the 3 and Dot and Trier at the 2.

    And fire Fiz and replace him with Miller.

  92. Yikes I forgot Knox. I’m not that high on Kevin – he plays defense on a tape delay

    In the world of music recording there’s a concept called “latency.” It’s the amount of time it takes for your computer to process the audio you’re feeding into it and then play it back to you.

    Knox plays defense like his buffer is set to 1024 milliseconds.

  93. I’m not so upset at Fizdale’s rotations as many of you. He is slower to change than many of you want, but it’s because he waits until it’s more obvious that the change is needed than most of you like. For example it took him a while to play Gibson before Portis, but now he is doing that. By doing it his way, I think he gets more buy in from the team and that makes them more likely to play hard for him and play as a team. Long term this should be better for the team even if hurts a little short term. And anyway game by game results are so noisy he’s being logical in getting more data.

  94. because he waits until it’s more obvious that the change is needed than most of you like

    He’s not only making individual changes though. Swap this guard for that guard, this forward for that one. He needs to make a structural change and play more guards, and it is already very obvious.

  95. I’m not so sure about that. Our front court is better than our backcourt and one thing we do well is rebounding. Our guards are crappy. So even if it’s the more modern way to play, he would be going away from a relative strength to a clear weakness. If Smith starts playing better and Payton gets healthy and reasonably productive, then I will be more interested in seeing what happens with a more guard heavy rotation.

  96. The team really needs a third point guard, they should stop considering Frank a PG. If he’s playing PG he’s playing out of position. He’s a 3-and-D wing. If they had some other nominally competent PG like Jeremy Lin or whoever, they’d have Dotson/Frank/Ellington/Trier in the mix at SG with Payton/DSJ/Lin at PG and that would be a bad but at least somewhat balanced guard rotation.

    Right now it’s a lot of Frank at PG and RJ at SG and they’re both not playing their best position.

  97. Dsjr to Mitch lob was a thing of beauty.an element to the offense that is sorely lacking, guard penetration and breakdown to an above the rim lob

  98. Mikal Bridges is not a better player than Kevin Knox. Lets put that one to rest. I am impressed with Knox’s 3PT shot selection and accuracy. He does not do much else, but he also does not turn the ball over.

  99. he waits until it’s more obvious that the change is needed than most of you like.

    Mitchell Robinson is the best player on the Knicks by an enormous margin over whoever our second best player is and he’s played more than 20 minutes twice. Any coach given this collection of players who is not playing Robinson as much as possible is failing the most basic task of coaching. This is almost as dumb as the Nuggets missing the playoffs by one game in a season they didn’t start Jokic for like 20 games

  100. Portland signing Melo indicates desperation at PF position. On Dec 15th, Perry should offer them Morris and Ellington for a protected 1st OR Morris/Ellington/one of Charlotte 2nds for an unprotected 1st (Bazemore’s expiring makes #’s work).

  101. I don’t think RJ at SG is all that bad-he’s going to have a size/strength advantage if they put a guard on him.

  102. That was a fun fourth quarter. Frank is good on defense and made a couple of big plays while I was watching. That strip of Doncic was key and he had another great defensive play in the corner that got nullified by that crazy inbound lob from Doncic to Powell. Frank is terrible in so many ways but I really enjoy watching him play defense. He is a difference maker out there.

    Mitch continues to be a total dumbass with insane natural talent for basketball. His being such a bonehead with the fouls is going to cost him a ton of money, which I appreciate on some level. He’s committed at least. But man it would be great to see him string a bunch of 32 minute outings together.

  103. Portland signing Melo indicates desperation at PF position. On Dec 15th, Perry should offer them Morris and Ellington for a protected 1st OR Morris/Ellington/one of Charlotte 2nds for an unprotected 1st (Bazemore’s expiring makes #’s work).

    Imagine if Melo plays so well he eliminates the one team that was most likely to trade for a forward. Fuck us one more time, why don’t you?

  104. I don’t think RJ at SG is all that bad-he’s going to have a size/strength advantage if they put a guard on him.

    You’re right but he’s the only guy capable of playing 3 in a small lineup. Play him at the 2 when we’re big, play him at the 3 when small.

  105. @251 – In NO trade should the Knicks trade a draft pick unless they’re getting a higher pick back. I like those deals.

  106. The team really needs a third point guard, they should stop considering Frank a PG.

    I think that’s supposed to be Elfrid Payton. Trier and Dotson can bring the ball up too. And I’m still a proponent of RJ running point.

  107. Watching the game yesterday on TNT was torture. We don’t need to be reminded of how pathetic the organization is and has been. That being said, one thing those jerks said deserves discussion. “They have no identity”.

    What is the Knicks identity? Or what do we think it is?

  108. Imagine if Melo plays so well he eliminates the one team that was most likely to trade for a forward.

    I suspect that if Melo doesn’t work out — and I suspect that he will be even worse than he was last year, but perhaps with less leverage to be a crybaby about playing time or role — the Blazers will not let the experiment impede their ability to trade for a key position while they believe that their championship window is here and now.

    Tolliver has been so bad that the bar is pretty low for Melo, but when McCollum stops playing like a G-Leaguer and they get to the cusp of the playoff hunt, I think they’ll try to push the chips in a little, so as to not waste a year of Dame’s prime on a 1.5% chance at a top-3 pick.

  109. What is the Knicks identity? Or what do we think it is?

    I don’t meant this as a joke, but we do have a clear identity on both sides of the ball:

    On offense it’s hero ball.

    On defense it’s switch off your man too soon.

    I saw snippet of that TNT show this morning, by the way. I thought they were a little harsh on the players when they said, repeatedly, that they don’t play hard. I think they’re stuck running a terrible “system”.

    They go up the court 10 times in a row and the call is “make something happen.” And then they go back down the court and run something easy to exploit. If you do that consistently against an NBA team running a system, you’ll find yourself blown out a lot no matter your level of effort.

  110. What is the Knicks identity? Or what do we think it is?

    This is a good question. I’m not surprised it’s not answered yet because we have so many new players. The team is better at defense than offense. In their three wins their opponents scored 98, 102 and 103 points which is well below the median NBA offense of 111 points. I don’t have stats for this, but I think they are better on offense when they try and score quickly or have a fast break than when they set up in the half court. Their depth is pretty good, so I think could evolve into a team that defends hard, races down the court to try and score and then gets back on defense. Having depth will make that easier to do, because you can play players in shorter spurts. Of course, this assumes that most or all of their players are healthy and available, which hasn’t been the case so far.

  111. rj has positional advantages at the 2 and the team is much better off leaving him there unless there’s a very good reason…. someone like anthony edwards is a very good reason…. replacing randle’s minutes in favor of frank or dotson is not it…

    i don’t mind rj playing a few min here or there at the 3 but there’s much higher upside in leaving rj out there against the bryn forbes and collin sexton’s of the world than someone like jayson tatum… aside from the obvious matchup reasons…. it allows you to allocate more minutes to your best players…

    and it behooves us to devote whatever we can in making randle work with our best lineups instead of making him a side piece… and it doesn’t require any mental gymnastics for that to happen.. he just needs to perform like how he did last year…

  112. Hubert, I agree TNT was harsh about the lack of effort. I don’t see that. I see players that sometimes don’t know what to do and therefore hesitate.

  113. What is the Knicks identity? Or what do we think it is?

    3-9 on the backs of 7 or 8 players who won’t be here next year or the year after

  114. One of the issues raised on TNT, which better described the “what is their identity” question was (I think it was Reggie Miller who said this) “OK, it’s the 4th quarter, what are the Knicks going to do to hold on?” They went on to say that Doncic would get the ball in crunch time. Who is that on the Knicks?”

    Are we a defensive team? A pick and roll team? A light up the scoreboard from beyond the arc team?

    I think the answer came from Morris in the beginning of the season. “We’re dogs”. Frank picked up that mantra yesterday. Fiz doubled down.

    They’re not foo-foo lap dogs. The Knicks are mangy junkyard dogs.

    Another question. Had Smith and Peyton not gone down for much of the season, would they have 1 or 2 other games? I don’t know how an NBA team can deal with losing their top-2 point guards. (Elfrid has played in 4 games and, including Smith in 5).

  115. holy shit, now i know why i don’t go to more concerts – just getting tickets is a stressful and harrowing experience…

    I don’t know how an NBA team can deal with losing their top-2 point guards

    what do you mean – our number one has been fine and out there setting the tone for us on the defensive end…and, crushing it from the free throw line in crunch time…

    i’m all in on frank – you all should be also…

  116. i’m all in on frank – you all should be also… … what do you mean – our number one has been fine

    As far as almost everyone in the world was concerned, at the start of the season Frank was borderline in the rotation. I can go back and show everyone those posts but you know what I mean. There were even questions about him being on the team. It was DSJr and Elfrid that were really vying for that lead point guard spot. Frank got lucky that he was forced into the rotation.

    As far as where I’m at now, I was hopeful before and more hopeful now. I’ve coached 19 year olds and they have a lot of growing yet to do. Frank came to a foreign country, away from his family an friends and put under the most powerful microscope and was prodded and poked more than those captured by aliens. I’m surprised he’s not sitting in a padded cell, a string of drool hanging from the corner of his mouth, wearing a shirt with sleeves so long they need to be tied behind his back.

  117. It’s too early to hold him up as evidence but Brandon Ingram’s start bears watching. He had nearly 6,000 terrible NBA minutes but lo and behold at age 22 and in the right system he’s looking pretty good.

  118. i know we have been talking a lot about coaching recently on the board, i think a good test case is what is going on with Andrew Wiggins in Minnesota. Its super early and he probably will come crashing down to earth for sure but it is interesting to say the least

    I would be curious if someone could pull his shot chart, from bref it looks like he is shooting about two more threes per game since last year and there is a massive spike in his two point %. It could all just be a hot streak from mid range but i would assume he is taking more shots in the paint and I believe he is always been good in there because of his athleticism.

    I am in no way advocating trading for him, just curious about if the change sticks what some coaching/analytics can do for specific players.

  119. dude – i was ready to not pick up frank’s option this year and let him walk…

    then, he started doing okay in the world championships, he showed up to start the season ready to play…sure, he looks like a rookie out there still, but, he’s also still really young, and, he provides something which our team has sorely lacked for a very long time – a defensive mindset…

    plus, jesus – the kid moves his feet out there like fred astaire…it’s cool to watch…i don’t know what stat it shows up on, but, yeah, whoever he guards usually doesn’t seem too thrilled to have frank in their face, feeling up their body with his hands and humping on their leg…

    and the kid could track a golf ball shot in to space…great vision and focus…

    fuck it – i’m a fan and i’m fickle…

  120. brandon ingram was not exactly terrible… he was bad for a starter but you can reasonably devote solid rotation minutes as of last year… there’s a clear difference than what ingram was or someone like mudiay.. or knox… ingram was no where in that neighborhood…

    he also improved his 2p fg% and ftr every year… his breakout is sustainable and not at all surprising….

  121. Iseman:

    RJ Barrett (contused right quad), Taj Gibson (sore left plantar fascia) and Frank Ntilikina (sore left abdomen and groin) didn’t practice today. They’re all probable for tomorrow vs. the Hornets.

    Berman tweeted that RJ’s quad was confused. I assume it was told a brain teaser of some kind.

  122. David Fizdale says Taj Gibson will start at center and Mitchell Robinson will come off the bench against Charlotte.

    i think that totally works, for now…

    NBA Math
    ?
    @NBA_Math
    Via RPR Predictor, our current Rookie of the Year standings (min. 10 GP):

    1. Eric Paschall, #DubNation: 2.976

    2. Kendrick Nunn, #HEATTwitter: 2.564

    3. PJ Washington, #AllFly: 2.428

    4. Ja Morant, #GrindCity: 2.303

    5. RJ Barrett, #NewYorkForever: 2.233https://nbamath.com/rolling-player-rating-mvp-predictor/ …

    who the heck is eric paschall???

  123. I was at the game last night and watched Frank and DSJr closely all night trying to compare the offense. Here were the obvious differences.

    1. When Frank brought the ball up he almost immediately put it in motion, then often ran to the corner and tried to set a screen in that area if he could. He rarely got the ball back.

    2. When DSJr brought the ball up he kept it more often and tried to create something for himself or to penetrate. If he attracted defensive attention, he looked for an open man, especially Robinson on the lob.

    Either way they eventually got a shot.

    The overall quality of the shots is hard to determine watching as a fan, but they clearly got way better shots when DSJr dished well off good penetration (especially those lobs to Robinson) and lower quality shots when he got into trouble and forced something.

    What’s also clear is that since DSJr actually runs the offense like a quarterback with control of the ball for way longer in the possession, he accumulates boxscore stats (points and assists). Frank does not. The action gets spread out more when he’s in there because the ball moves more among all the players.

    I think this is a fundamental debate in how best to play basketball.

    Do you allow one guy to dominate the ball and action by both scoring and making plays or do you try try to encourage ball and player movement, cuts, picks etc.. with multiple guys handling it and trying to make plays?

    Most likely the right answer is “it depends” who the players are. Most teams these days are running offenses with ball dominant PGs that preferably score, but many of the all time great basketball teams played the other way and got penetration in the post or from multiple plays and players.

    Unquestionably though this team either needs a LOT more ball and player movement to play what I believe is the “better way” or they need much better PG play.

  124. Here were the obvious differences.

    1. When Frank brought the ball up he almost immediately put it in motion, then often ran to the corner and tried to set a screen in that area if he could. He rarely got the ball back.

    2. When DSJr brought the ball up he kept it more often and tried to create something for himself or to penetrate. If he attracted defensive attention, he looked for an open man, especially Robinson on the lob.

    Another way of looking at this Strat, is that Smith put put pressure on the defense and Frank didn’t.

    You know I love me some Frank, and he’s getting better. But I was at the game, too, and the team looked more dynamic with Smith in the game. He got the defense moving. He got Mitchell involved. He did what a PG should do on offense.

    If you’re using the QB analogy, Frank just handed off to the RB.

  125. It’s not quite that the Knicks have split all the skills you would want in a point guard into three separate players, since none of our guys can shoot. But if you had a PG who could defend like Frank, distribute like Payton and fly to the rack like DSJ, well… that’d be a pretty good player. Instead, we have to make do with parts of a good point guard. Which is also why a Frank/DSJ backcourt (with RJ at the 3) is something Fizdale should be trying for stretches.

  126. who the heck is eric paschall???

    I was there first!

    Paschall was a solid Villanova guy. I think he is five years older than RJ Barrett. I predicted a few weeks ago he would have a better season than any of the guys we acquired in the offseason.

    As much as I liked him in college he is no Draymond Jr. Zero upside but perfectly serviceable bench guy which is a better outcome than we generally have.

  127. making a list:
    Strawberry Girls – Tasmanian Glow
    Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
    SUSS

    all right then…let me just say – some of ya’lls basketball insight can be a little suspect at times…however, when it comes to music recommendations – you guys kill it…

    enjoyed listening to all three a great deal…many thanks to my fellow knick travelers/captives…

    switching back to my favorite floyd album – animals:
    Big man, pig man
    Ha, ha, charade you are

  128. I can easily see Frank having a Bruce Bowen type career just based on the fits he gives Luka. I am sure Pop salivates at the prospect of using him to cover Doncic out there in the Southwest the way Bowen was used to blanket Kobe all those years in the aughties.

  129. I can easily see Frank having a Bruce Bowen type career just based on the fits he gives Luka.

    Sefolosha gave CP3 fits in the playoffs. His contribution on defense will be magnified with Mitch at center because it will enable Ntilikina to play guys tighter on the perimeter. Frank’s a guy who, IF he’s able to hit 3’s at about 38% and improve his 2FG% to about 43%, would be a valuable role player IN THE PLAYOFFS. In contrast, if Knox remains a poor defender, opponents will eat him alive because in the playoffs opposing coaches will game plan against specific players. That’s a major reason I have remained on the bandwagon from the beginning (along with Hubert and Strat).

    Sometimes youtube recommends Knick videos and one of them was by I think a husband and wife team (Terry and Ray?). They had traveled to DC to watch the Wiz game. They got some Perry and Mills photos and Mills talked to them about Frank off camera. He told them Frank will be a good player on a good team. I take that to mean that he could be a valuable role player if his shooting improves. Him saying on a good team implies a playoff team.

  130. Frank’s a guy who, IF he’s able to hit 3’s at about 38% and improve his 2FG% to about 43%, would be a valuable role player IN THE PLAYOFFS.

    Who else would be good if we gave them arbitrary statistical boosts? This is a very important question!

  131. If/when Payton comes back, maybe we can get a little bit of what we want. If Payton starts with RJB, Morris, Randle, and Taj, then how about a second unit of DSJ, Frank, Dotson, Knox, and Mitch? There would be some overlap with the rotations of the players, but you get the vet starters and the developmental kids. Any very close game late, and I think you want Mitch and Frank in there for D (assuming one or both are not in foul trouble).

    Give that second unit at least 20 minutes per game together and see what they do. Frank no longer needs to run the show, DSJ won’t have to worry about D so much, etc.

    But that means dumping Bobby Portis’s minutes, which the Knicks will likely not do.

  132. all those years in the aughties.

    I can’t wait to say “the twenties” next year.

    It’s like decades that don’t have a proper name to be called suffer for lack of identity. We all know what the 90s, 80s, 70s, even the roaring 20s were like. When have you ever seen a decent history of 1901-1910?

  133. I loved the announcers comment on the missed dunk the twitter link referred. It was something like “he hit his elbow on the rim, I wish I had that problem”.

  134. How many one-way defensive specialists have gotten major playoff minutes in recent years? I dunno, none?

    The good teams have tight rotations of two-way players.

  135. Who else would be good if we gave them arbitrary statistical boosts? This is a very important question!

    I agree but I’ve never viewed Frank as someone who’s destined to be a poor outside shooter. I watched the Strasbourg tape and I felt he was a good defender and outside shooter and not much else. In the shoot around videos, he appears to hit 3’s at a high rate. His rookie year he shot 31% from 3 which is normal for a lot of Europeans. And there’s a history of the outside shooting of defensive standouts taking longer to show itself. Everything went to pot (not just his shooting) in year 2 so I’m willing to consider that injuries, his age (about a year younger than most 2nd year draftees), playing multiple positions might have affected him.

    So the question for each young player is what is the probability he will improve enough in the key area in which he needs to improve? The problem, for example, with Knox is I think it will be hard for him to improve much on defense. He’s a guy then who, like Novak, will appear fine in the regular season but be a major liability in playoffs. Regarding Smith, there’s no denying his talent. In fact, I wrote that Knicks should draft DSJ IF FO felt it would not be able to sign Rubio (otherwise draft Frank). He appears to be a low IQ player who checks out for extended periods and is a shaky shooter. That’s a problem when you’re hoping for the guy to be NYK starter and the primary ball handler.

    So this is my order in terms of probability of improvement in key area to be valuable playoff player: Frank, DSJ, Knox. What’s important though is that FO doesn’t have to make any decisions on these players at this time unless a trade pops up. I just hope they all get significant burn (regular minutes in well-defined roles). It would be nice if just 1 of the 3 breaks through.

  136. Check out this THIS. May be time soon to reopen the Wilt discussion?

    Mitch’s body type is not great for setting screens. He’s not very strong and he’s thin – fine for diving but not setting screens. Chandler could both set great screens and dive. Amare after a few years used to slip every screen as well. Mitch though has got to set a decent screen some of the time to keep the defense honest. He could still slip a lot of screens but not all of them. This is similar to he shouldn’t try to block every shot or shooters will just pump fake – he’s gotta keep the opponents guessing.

    Regarding strength, Mitch might not hold up if he has to set a lot of picks. It would be nice if Randle could be the roll guy on some PnRs.

  137. They got some Perry and Mills photos and Mills talked to them about Frank off camera. He told them Frank will be a good player on a good team. I take that to mean that he could be a valuable role player if his shooting improves. Him saying on a good team implies a playoff team.

    Wait, so if a player becomes better at shooting, he could be more valuable?

    And hearing it from the guy responsible for drafting him? Wow. This is all relevant as hell!

  138. And hearing it from the guy responsible for drafting him? Wow. This is all relevant as hell!

    Of course it’s relevant. Mills didn’t draft Frank. Phil drafted him upon Clarence Gaines’ recommendation. Mills now is the most important guy in terms of player decisions. His remark gives us insight on how he views Frank long-term and why he’s still on the team. It helps explain why Frank wasn’t traded to the Pistons for a 2nd round pick. I happen to agree with Mills statement about Frank.

  139. one thing i find interesting watching frank is that although mister frank looks kind of thin and stringy – he’s able to hold his position really well against bigger players…he doesn’t seem to get moved around too easily…

  140. How many one-way defensive specialists have gotten major playoff minutes in recent years? I dunno, none?

    At guard? Marcus Smart, a career negative OBPM player, received major playoff minutes for the Celtics in his career.

  141. Mills now is the most important guy in terms of player decisions.

    Is he? What are you basing this on?

    Also, Mitch is great and we’re all real happy about him but he is not Wilt. It’s real fucking strange that has to be said, but apparently it does? Calm down, pal.

  142. Is he? What are you basing this on?

    He’s the POBO. Anything Perry recommends has to be approved by him. Remember Mills didn’t want to give Griffin autonomy so he’s not just a rubber stamper.

    Also, Mitch is great and we’re all real happy about him but he is not Wilt.

    Discussion was about athleticism. If Mitch had participated in the combine, people’s eyes would have been opened – and by that I mean wide open, Portis peepers.

  143. Marc Berman
    @NYPost_Berman
    Fizdale said will keep Mitchell Robinson coming off bench and Taj Gibson as starter. Wants consistency. Wants MRob and reserve Dennis Smith Jr. to continue alley-oop hookups.

    Worth noting that this sounds like code for “we want Mitch to be paired with an actual point guard.” So if you’re dead set on starting Frank at point guard, sure seems like Mitch in the starting lineup is a casualty of that

  144. Fizdale put Taj in the starting lineup as a concession to Randle. Keeping Taj with Randle ensures that Randle is the focal point of the offense and finishes plays. When Randle and Mitch share the floor, the paint gets crowded. Also, Mitch can’t bounce the ball back to Randle after getting a pass, with Taj on the floor the ball moves better. The ball movement is also made necessary since nobody on the floor can drive.

    Mitch and Portis make sense together too. Portis should draw more attention on the perimeter than Randle’s awful shooting. Smith can run a spread offense pick and roll with Mitch and Portis’s defender can’t collapse.

  145. It sounds like Fizdale is trying to put sets of players who fit well together on the floor at the same time. I am all for that.

  146. I am also all for that, but I am not for marginalizing Mitchell Robinson in any shape, way, or form. He should be starting games and playing as many minutes as he can handle, which would be the rare move that benefits both development and the team’s record this season. We should move around literally anyone else on the roster to make that happen. If that means benching Julius Randle, fine. If you feel like you can’t do that because of his contract or whatever, then you start DSJ over Ntilikina if you feel like Mitch should be paired with DSJ (which I tend to agree with).

  147. The Knicks are 3-8 you moron consistency is not what you should be striving for

    edit: to be clear the moron i’m talking to is fizdale

  148. Idk that I mind Mitch off the bench. He ended last game with 22 min to Taj’s 15 min. Also, I question the difference in growth that comes with 36 min versus 25 min. Even an optimized Knick lineup will struggle to compete, no reason to play Mitch all game. If we do end up competing (you know having pgs and all) then Mitch can get 30 min a game.

  149. The time Mitch and Taj weren’t on the floor the Knicks ran out 2 different lineups:

    1) Smith/Dotson/Knox/Randle/Portis
    2) Smith/Barrett/Dotson/Morris/Randle (with a few minutes at the end that swapped Frank for DSJr and some Off/Def swaps)

    DAL/NYK lineup data

    The first lineup should be able to space the floor and score well, but defense not so much
    I like the second lineup’s balance of offense/defense (Mitch had already fouled out so it’s possible he’d close instead of Dotson)

  150. I find doris burke to be kind of sexy…there, I said it – and, i’m not ashamed…

    first time watching ja and clarke play…

    not sure it’s all that necessary right now to guard mike conley from behind the arc…

  151. Devin Booker shooting 54% from field, 94% from line, 50% from 3. 6 assists too. Give the man his due.

  152. Booker is breaking through in a way I didn’t think he would but also had 7 turnovers tonight. Very impressive efficiency though.

    Meanwhile, DeAndre Ayton is shaping up to be one of the greatest Ewing theory candidates ever….

    And look at Frank Kaminsky and his +29….

  153. Hyper-efficient guard and wing play wins championships in this era. Every champion dating back to the 2012 Heat has proven that traditional star center is now irrelevant. Embiid was making his attempt to overturn that trend, but a hyper-efficient wing got in his way.

    You can get a rim-runner for a vet’s min anymore, but you have to pay Bradley Beal something like $8 billion to keep him on your roster. It’s crazy.

  154. I don’t actually advocate being a dick to your kid, but it is funny how apparently hatred for his dad is precisely what Ja Morant needs to succeed. He’s ridiculous.

  155. He’s the POBO. Anything Perry recommends has to be approved by him. Remember Mills didn’t want to give Griffin autonomy so he’s not just a rubber stamper.

    Mills is the Dolan stand-in, yes, but that doesn’t mean Perry isn’t making the decisions until he fucks up too badly to be ignored. Mills is a manager, not a basketball guy per se, and he knows it. He’s a lickspittle, but a savvy one.

    Discussion was about athleticism. If Mitch had participated in the combine, people’s eyes would have been opened – and by that I mean wide open, Portis peepers.

    In context of the combine, agreed. But Wilt was a generational athlete. Mitch is great but he isn’t remotely that. It’s hard to overstate how tremendous an athlete Wilt was.

  156. Worth noting that this sounds like code for “we want Mitch to be paired with an actual point guard.” So if you’re dead set on starting Frank at point guard, sure seems like Mitch in the starting lineup is a casualty of that

    It also sounds like code for “Smith can create lob opportunities without me having to draw plays or create a motion-based offensive system.”

  157. Those lob plays are nice for sure, but they seem to work better against some teams than against others.

    And there is nothing wrong with actually running plays or using a motion based system.

  158. In general, the notion that Mitch needs a specific PG to be in the game is preposterous. Run PnR with Barrett when Frank is the PG.

    This is more about Randle and Fiz’s limitations than Frank’s.

  159. I’m trying to figure out Fiz’s coaching approach. There seems to be some logic behind starting Taj and moving Mitch to the second unit. Consider these lineups, which is I see Fiz is doing a lot:

    Starters: Ntilikina, Barrett, Randle, Morris, Gibson
    2nd Unit: Smith/Payton, Ellington/Dotson, Knox, Portis, Robinson

    Taj brings a veteran presence to the starting lineup and is, at this stage, a better help defender than Mitch. That was evident in the first win over Dallas. He understands rotations and helps the young guards, Frank and RJ, to get organized. Randle and Morris add toughness and scoring. Frank is the only one that doesn’t score consistently.

    Mitch showed a chemistry with Dennis Smith. A driving point guard that draws interior defenders who can deliver passes above the rim to Mitch is gold. Surround him with perimeter players in Knox, Portis and Ellington/Dotson and the offense writes itself. And it also makes sense to put Mitch in the second unit because he can’t stay out of foul trouble and only plays 20-25 minutes because of that. Mitch owns the interior so the other players, none of who are good defenders, can concentrate on perimeter defense. Obviously, for defense, I prefer Dotson over Ellington and Payton over DSJr.

    Both lineups provide a good blend of youth and experience, have defensive stoppers, perimeter shooting, rebounding, post up and slashing players. I would love to hear Fizdale talk about this.

  160. Don’t look now, but Mudiay is playing pretty well in a backup role…

    Wiggins, Booker and Mudiay…all giving the double-bird to KB

  161. Mitchell Robinson was the best player on the Knicks by a ludicrous margin while DSJ was on the bench or spending time with his family. Again-he is literally the only good basketball player on the fucking roster. Here’s a list of Knicks players with a positive BPM:

    Mitchell Robinson

    Here’s a list of Knicks players with an above average WS/48

    Mitchell Robinson
    Kevin Knox (.001 above average)

    The list of Knicks with an above average PER? That’s right, its a list of Knicks named Mitchell Robinson. If you’re coaching the Knicks and trying to win games your first thought should be how can I get my best player on the court as much as possible.

  162. I have no problem with Mitch not starting, so long as he gets in quickly and plays as long as much as he would be as a starter. He still does a lot of dumb shit out there.

  163. Hyper-efficient guard and wing play wins championships in this era. Every champion dating back to the 2012 Heat has proven that traditional star center is now irrelevant. Embiid was making his attempt to overturn that trend, but a hyper-efficient wing got in his way.

    That’s interesting but hyper efficient post play would win just as easily. I don’t think Draymond and Marcus Smart would last very long defending Shaq/Hakeem/Admiral/Duncan/Kareem

    I have a feeling you could run a pretty unstopable offense with any of those post players with a bunch of 3/D players. Imagine Shaq posting up every time down the floor with 3 Bruce Bowens in the lineup and any competent point guard.

    I don’t want to get involved in a long discussion about this but I think the notion that efficient post play is sort of a lost art is the prime moving force behind the current style of hoops. I’m fairly certain if a 26 year old Duncan or Robinson walked through the door Pop would have no difficulty finding a way to win with him……

  164. @316 yeah, this is where I’m at, and I can’t possibly entertain any other opinion. I get that theoretically he can still get starter’s minutes coming off the bench, but that’s rarely how it works in practice. There’s also the whole status thing attached to it—there’s no reason we should be subjecting our best player to being a “bench player.” It’s an own goal of the highest order.

  165. The thing is, if you ask Fizdale who’s the team’s best player, I’m 100% sure he would say either Morris or Randle, and while he’s obviously wrong, that’s just how people think about the game.

  166. It’s hard to not draw the conclusion that the Knicks’ whole organization has no idea how good Mitchell Robinson is. Based on MPG and the contract they gave Portis, it’s fair to reason they think those two players are similar.

    They definitely think Julius Randle is much better.

  167. a former nba video guy / scout posted this in defense of fizdale.

    https://twitter.com/scoutwithbryan/status/1195738919993786368?s=21

    not posted as a rec of the author. he is as much the foil from moneyball as he is a thoughtful video analyst imo, but he is parts of both. you can even hear at times the struggle between being a careful observer of the visual components without losing sight of the some of the less observable statistical lessons about efficiency.

    for example at one point RJ gets himself a wide open 17 footer and misses the pull up. the narrator says that’s a great shot, you have to hit that every time in the nba.

    but the fact is that nba players hit wide open 17 footers only 44pct is the time, slightly less if they are pull ups. that’s over thousand of reps. and this sample is biased toward decent shooters.

    sure, “every time” is hyperbole, but the fact is that an open pull up 17 footer is not a good shot for most players (and certainly not for RJ) in most nba situations, and a coach should not consider that in isolation a successful play result (it could still be a good set if that shot is the downside outcome, but that argument sounds very different).

    i do agree with him that the offense against dallas looked like a standard nba offense given the knick talent level. but i don’t think it’s a representative game this year; i was pretty surprised watching it. that play in particular where dotson fake a screen, curled, drove down the middle and found portis for 3 was very nice (tho mitch tried to ruin it by setting a moving screen). in other games we’ve done a lot more simple action just to get randle or morris open in the high post iso. it’s interesting that this game was different.

  168. I agree. Both Dallas games our offense has looked better and different. I don’t know why. Our defense was pretty good too and that may have helped our offense.

    The only pattern I’ve seen in our quality of play is that when we go up against teams that out rebound us, we really struggle. But this is just my eye test at work. I’m not sure if this is backed up by stats.

  169. Hyper-efficient guard and wing play wins championships in this era. Every champion dating back to the 2012 Heat has proven that traditional star center is now irrelevant. Embiid was making his attempt to overturn that, but a hyper-efficient wing got in his way.

    The only thing standing between Embiid and a championship is a team focused on spacing so he can totally dominate in the post or draw double teams and pass the ball out to players that can actually shoot.

    They were very close last year.

    As good as Simmons is, his weaknesses as a shooter have some negative impacts at the team level. Also, as I said weeks ago, as much as I love Horford, he may be an ideal fit when Embiid is hurt or resting because he can move to C and play at a highly productive level. However, imo he’s not really ideal WITH Embiid. Losing Reddick was a disaster for the spacing. And losing Butler was also a blow because he’s just a great all around player and competitor.

    The way to win championships is with defense, ball and player movement, players that are efficient scorers in as many ways as possible (at least do one thing very well to have a role), and fitting them together properly.

    Other than that, there is no magic formula.

    If the 76ers did it right, they’d win a championship with Embiid and everyone would be screaming about how you need a big that can defend guys like Embiid or you have no chance to win in this era.

  170. I think the organization knows exactly how good Robinson is.

    He’s an elite athlete that can finish very well on lobs and offensive rebounds and also defends the paint at a high level. That alone makes him our best player. But any well coached very good defensive team could neutralize him to the point that he couldn’t have a huge impact on our offense. They would also try to get him foul trouble right away.

    At this stage, he’d be a highly efficient 3rd option on a very good team that also defends.

    He’s going to have to bet a lot better on offense or we are going to have develop/find a #1 and #2 option for us to be really good.

  171. I would have liked to have seen him do a break down of the 4Q in Chicago.

    We did look more well coached in his video than we’re widely presumed to be. Perhaps the deathwatch led to some extra practice.

    I haven’t seen many Fizdale ATO plays look as good as those.

  172. Mitch is averaging an absurd 7.0 fouls per 36 and he’s had some injuries, so maybe we all need to chill about his minutes a little. Hopefully he’ll get in a groove and start having some 30 minute games but it’s hard to do that when he’s fouling somebody every other possession.

  173. He’s fouled out once! The fouls are a big problem but put him on the court, he’s the only good player on the team.

  174. It’s hilarious how many fouls Mitch racks up but we all agree his lack of playing time is no joking matter….

  175. D’Angelo Russell is out for at least two weeks. I think the Dubs have a real shot at a guaranteed top-5 pick.

  176. Risking to get severely injured should be 1000% avoided.
    Risking of fouled out ?
    Who cares ?!?!?!?
    Give Mitch his min and cut the shit Fizman !
    Spacing my ass….

  177. Mitch’s starting status is such a non-issue. Seriously.

    I think there definitely is a status aspect to it, as was made clear by the fact that when asked about being taken out of the starting lineup, Robinson was clearly displeased. He is, for all intents and purposes, being “benched.” That’s a blow to a guy’s ego, whether logical or not. And it seems odd to irritate your best player, who’s still in his very early 20s. Most teams do the opposite and cater to their best player, especially when he is a young guy, more prone to having a precarious ego.

    That said, yes, his minutes are obviously the most important issue. Much more so than starting.

  178. I think there definitely is a status aspect to it, as was made clear by the fact that when asked about being taken out of the starting lineup, Robinson was clearly displeased. He is, for all intents and purposes, being “benched.” That’s a blow to a guy’s ego, whether logical or not. And it seems odd to irritate your best player, who’s still in his very early 20s. Most teams do the opposite and cater to their best player, especially when he is a young guy, more prone to having a precarious ego.

    That said, yes, his minutes are obviously the most important issue. Much more so than starting.

    Fizdale might be trying to motivate Mitch to be better at using his fouls. I don’t see a problem with that at all. He’s 21 years old and has 34 year old vet Taj Gibson playing in front of him. You guys are way over the top.

  179. I think the Dubs have a real shot at a guaranteed top-5 pick.

    It’s what they should be doing but they’ve got that shiny new arena so.. Let’s hope Lacob’s ego is too fragile for that.

  180. So NYK are spending much effort trying to make Randle work. What does Randle do well? Nice at driving and finishing after some motion/screen. Are we sure Mitch couldn’t do that? He’s got a soft touch at the rim able, to finish in ways other than dunking. He’s coordinated. I’ve arrived at the conclusion it’s better to try to expand Mitch’s game on offense. Randle’s a guy who may be best suited as a scorer on a 2nd unit at max of 13m AAV.

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