2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Rockets

The Knicks continue their second half playoff push by heading to Houston, where I think every player is shorter than Frank. Or something like that.

The Knicks better win the rebounding game tonight, at least!

Let’s go? Knicks!

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149 thoughts to “2019-20 Game Thread: Knicks @ Rockets”

  1. Mitch is 6″ taller and can jump higher than any player on the Rockets roster we should lob him the ball every single play. Don’t overthink things!

  2. yeah but all the reporters were asking him if centers were going obsolete because rockets. mitch was like fuck off you’re obsolete. so i say buckle in he’s launching.

  3. god bless you milo…for following a path few are willing to walk…enjoy the game sir…

    having just written that – i now sadly realize, there’s a good chance i’ll tune in to some of it myself…i may need to upgrade my life…

  4. It’s nice to see RJ playing well. He has to become more than just a role player for this team to get anywhere in a reasonable time frame.

  5. Harden wouldn’t get away with this crap if my boy Frank was locking his ass down.

  6. RJ and Mitch looked alright… Dotson with the fuck it I’m going to shoot it if I touch it mode.

  7. Im ok playing against smarter and more talented teams.
    Im not ok playing softer than our opponent…

  8. Its kinda funny that Harden has such a bad rep with refs he has to go stand next to D’antoni like, “Dad, tell them I didn’t do it!”

  9. Unfair to play a team that is more talented and also much smarter than you

    story of my life

  10. He was picking pockets like he was three months behind on rent. And turning shit over like he was three months behind on rent. The man needs a financial advisor.

  11. Can we do a revised Elam scoring where the game ends when Harden hits 70 points?

    That is funny

    At least Mitch did his thing

  12. His shooting is just fine too. He must’ve done a Derek Fisher or something for his minutes allocation to be where it is on this team

    I was getting my hair cut the other day and I got in a 10 minute argument about Kevin Knox. I can understand where the other side of this argument is coming from when it’s about Andrew Wiggins circa 2018. But Knox just looks so hopeless out there. There is nothing flashy about his game. Even if you’re 100% eye test or die, I don’t understand how you can come away from the tape seeing anything besides “awkward”, with the exception of “soft” or “clueless”

  13. With this loss and Cleveland winning, the 2nd through 5th (Knicks) worst records in the league are only a game apart.

  14. Just browsing the box score, we actually shot better from three but took far fewer shots from there (and worse from two with more attempts).

    We won handily on the boards and only had 4 more turnovers. We even shot better from the line.

    The Knicks are just not a smart team, and they refuse to play modern basketball. So then we’ll hire Thibs and it will get even worse smdh.

  15. DSJ’s defense has improved a bunch over the last couple of months…not sure if it’s health or head that’s hurting him more this season, but, he’s really athletic and quick when he’s healthy(ier)…

    the irony at the moment for him being what’s helping him with the steals and staying with his man is hurting him with his ball control and passing…

    only watched the first half or so, that bit of time when RJ was trying to feed portis a bunch was painful to watch…

    hey mo harkless can play some D…

  16. Im ok playing against smarter and more talented teams.
    Im not ok playing softer than our opponent…

    oh, that was funny…yeah, I guess if we were listing the top 100 reasons why the knicks suck – effort would be in there somewhere…

    I’m almost inspired to put together a complete (at least up to a 100) list as why the knicks are so bad…

    take comfort in the fact that things are always worse than what they may initially seem with this team…

    pretty simple at this point, send knox down and bring wooten up…let kevin get a few 20 point games in him and run him back out there in a month or so…

    other than the fact that he can stay healthy, not much more happening for kevin up til now…

  17. pretty simple at this point, send knox down and bring wooten up…

    Wooten is injured. Maybe out for the season. But Knox and Iggy should definitely switch places.

  18. Wait..wait..way’ment…
    How…how do you have the stat line DSJ had last night and end up a -19? Simply saying he’s a bad player is cheating lol. Seriously, I just don’t get that. As the only PG, you have got to find a way to be better for your team.

  19. Michael Who? Kevin Porter Jr. with the monster performance!

    After Clarke, he might be the steal of the draft!

  20. alsep73: Wooten is injured. Maybe out for the season. But Knox and Iggy should definitely switch places.

    Iggy is ballin and Peters is playing really well. The season is practically lost. Send DSJ & Knox to the G League, drop Ellington, and bring up Wooten, Iggy, and Peters. If that happens, I will gladly watch every minute of every remaining game. I’d even watch the Westchester games

  21. geo: guess if we were listing the top 100 reasons why the knicks suck – effort would be in there somewhere…

    I’m almost inspired to put together a complete (at least up to a 100) list as why the knicks are so bad…

    A list of 100 problems wouldn’t get you past describing everything wrong with Knox: dribbling, shooting, driving, off-hand,man defense, zone defense, defensive awareness, off-ball defense, pick and roll defense, etc.

  22. I mean Knox sucks but why do we need to send anyone to the G-league to open up minutes for Iggy when we’re still playing useless vets big minutes? Harkless, Portis and Bullock played like 80ish minutes combined last night. Those guys aren’t any good either and they have no future on the team (and that’s leaving aside Randle who I would absolutely love to never see play for the Knicks again, but sadly we are stuck with). There’s no reason for them to be still be soaking big minutes. There’s plenty of minutes for all the young guys to get everything they can eat.

  23. >Kevin Porter Jr. with the monster performance!<

    I don't mind missing the very good role players that much, but he has a shot at becoming an actual star. That's the kind of player it hurts to miss.

    Given what everyone knew about his back at the time, I don't blame a lot of teams for passing on him. You more or less had to be in the position where if you struck out altogether, it wasn't going to set your own rebuild plan back that much to take that risk near the top of the draft.

    In fact, just because he's showing star quality talent right now, that does not mean he's not going to break down at some point still early in his career.

  24. I would keep playing Harkless. I’d be interested in keeping him next year. So I’d like to see how he looks and fits with some of our younger core pieces.

  25. Given what everyone knew about his back at the time, I don’t blame a lot of teams for passing on him.

    You’re confusing your Porter Jrs.

  26. Maybe we should take out an ad somewhere that DSJr had 7 steals last night and find someone that will take him off our hands in the off season.

  27. >You’re confusing your Porter Jrs.<

    Thanks.

    I thought we were talking about the potential star in Denver

  28. Given what everyone knew about his back at the time, I don’t blame a lot of teams for passing on him.

    I think you’re confusing him with Michael Porter Jr. This is the guard on the Cavs, not the forward on the Nuggets, and aside from some decent scoring, he’s been a bog-standard scrub on a truly dreadful Cavs team. Good fight last night, though. Love to see the Heat get sliced and diced while our lotto brethren add a notch in the W column.

  29. The Ringer absolutely nailed Knox:

    MINUSES
    Settles for too many midrange jumpers and floaters early in the shot clock.

    Lacks passing instincts.

    Average rebounder; teams will be hurting on the boards if they choose to play Knox as a 4 in smaller lineups.

    Takes too many naps on defense, fails to contest shots, keeps his hands by his side, and rarely makes high-impact or timely plays.

    Versatility is theoretical; he’s not quick enough to contain elite guards and needs to get a lot stronger to defend interior bigs.

    We could add a few more to this list now, but damn, everyone saw it coming except for the gentlemen with the seven-figure contracts whose primary job responsibility is to avoid putting players like this on their roster.

    Also, do we know how much the USC suspension affected Kevin Porter’s draft stock? I read it was about marijuana violations. With all respect to Owen, I’m still shocked that organizations will shoot themselves in the foot on something as relatively harmless as cannabis. If anything, they should outlaw smoking and tell their players to consume it via other means.

  30. Kevin Porter Jr. has been mostly bad overall, but I’d bet he’s having a pretty good season by age-19 standards. He’s certainly been better than RJ Barrett. 16-5-3/36 with a .550 TS% (rounding here and there) is nothing to sneeze at considering his age and where he was picked (30th). He suffers a bit from the way all-in-ones dock SGs. He was a massively touted recruit who didn’t play much at USC for unclear reasons and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him really break out sooner rather than later.

    You. Can. Get. Good. Players. With. Any. Pick.

  31. I have to say I don’t think Portis is useless. He can shoot threes and that’s valuable. He’d probably have a slightly better percentage if he was surrounded by players who shoot better than most Knicks do. He also can score down low if he gets guarded by a smaller player. But even if his three point percentage remained the same, you need players who can come off the bench and score reasonably. He’s just overpaid. If he re-signed for next season for significantly less, I wouldn’t mind keeping him. He’s not old either.

  32. What’s crazy is that the Bucks could have had Porter and he could have had a nice role on that team in the future, but instead they just sold him essentially to save some cash. Fucking NBA, man.

  33. I was in favor of taking Michael Porter Jr. back in the day provided that his injury wasn’t career-altering. The problem is that I don’t think anyone could tell the Knicks (or anyone else) that it wasn’t. That was what was so painful about it. I wanted them to take a shot with Porter Jr., but I didn’t have access to the medicals. They might have been really bad looking.

  34. The thing about Knox is you can’t point to him and say ” Well, he’s good at _____” Every once in a while his stroke from 3 looks nice, but he’s shooting .324 from there. That floater is garbage, he’s not a great passer or rebounder and his defense is awful.

    But other than that, I like his potential! )-:

  35. I’d much rather have a #30 pick who scores efficiently than whatever it is our #3 pick is doing right now. Porter is a fine teenage rookie — just not someone I’d look at and be like, “Oh yeah, that’s a future star right there.”

    I’m two or more years away from saying the B-word about Barrett, but I am not feeling great about a guard who can neither score nor pass.

  36. Other than Harkless, I think we are at the point where it makes some sense to start tanking the rest of the way to take a look at various combinations of the young players. Not to continuously harp on it, but there are a lot of lineups with various combinations with Frank, Dotson, and Mitch over the last 2 years that haven’t gotten a lot of minutes but that were productive when used. That they are productive together makes some intuitive sense to me. I’d like to see a lot more of that.

  37. >I’m two or more years away from saying the B-word about Barrett, but I am not feeling great about a guard who can neither score nor pass.<

    IMO, he can pass. In fact, I think he can pass very well for a 2/3. I think he's simply not looking to be a facilitator and that's why he's not getting many assists. He's looking to score. Whether that's what they are asking him to do or he's sort of lost his way a little, I don't know, But he was a very good passer with very good vision in college and shows flashes of it from time to time now. Mostly though, right now he's just looking to score. But since he's not efficient except going to the rim at this stage, he's in a tough spot on this spaceless team.

  38. They might have been really bad looking.

    They must have been, no? The Stepien had him as a top-2 pick in November 2017. IIRC, he was a consensus top-3 prospect before he got injured.

    IMO, he can pass. In fact, I think he can pass very well for a 2/3. I think he’s simply not looking to be a facilitator and that’s why he’s not getting many assists. He’s looking to score.

    Maybe, but this is one of those things about my auntie having bollocks. If he doesn’t pass, he’s not a passer.

  39. It’s unbelievably frustrating to see the Knicks at #5 in the lottery odds, just a single game behind #2 Cleveland. Golden State should get a major boost from Curry; he will likely replace a lot of minutes from Ky Bowman (-4.2 BPM), Jordan Poole (-7.7 BPM) and Damion Lee (-2.7 BPM). Hopefully Drummond, Trae and KAT have some big games for the rest down the stretch.

  40. They must have been, no? The Stepien had him as a top-2 pick in November 2017. IIRC, he was a consensus top-3 prospect before he got injured.

    We knew that they were bad (hence no one picking him in the top 10), but for him to drop as far as he did makes me think that they were throwing around words like “never walk right again, let alone play basketball.”

  41. I don’t think we can catch GS even if Steph comes back. We’re 5 games behind them with 25 to play. That’s too much ground to make up against a horrible team. GS was bad even with Steph at the beginning of the season, and he’ll be on a minutes/games restriction when he gets back.

    We’re at 17 wins now. I think we can finish anywhere from #2 (Cleveland, 16 wins) through #9 (Washington, 20 wins). Hopefully the talent upgrades in Atlanta, Cleveland, and Minny will push them ahead of us.

  42. I think it’s a PR stunt — they’d be doing a great disservice to their ticket-holders by keeping him out. Also helps them sell tickets into next year, I’d think. “Hey, remember when we were basically the best team in the league, not the worst? Like, 8 months ago?”

    Curry only played 4 games before the injury, so I don’t think we can look at his 2.3 BPM or .067 WS48 and deduce anything of value there.

    Let’s say Curry comes back playing all of Jordan Poole’s minutes (22 per game), and via a combination of rust and aging, he’s only a 6.0 BPM player. According to BPM — and I recognize that this is a total hypothetical — it would improve the Dubs’ MOV by 6.1 points — that would turn their MOV from -8.9 to -2.8, going from 30th to 22nd. That’s a big swing even with the minutes restriction!

  43. It matters most to get into the bottom 3 due to those lotto odds changes. Still, the downside of finishing 3rd is way worse than the downside of finishing 1st, and the odds of the worst case scenario are much higher since the lotto odds changes.

    They already seem to have cut Ellington from the rotation. It’s probably worth keeping Bullock due to his tiny contract. But I would be ready to cut Portis. There’s no way we opt into that deal. I would cut Payton too but it’s less delusional to think you might get some value for him than to think the same about Portis. Hopefully we can just keep his minutes down. I think even with the softer schedule, a rotation now without Portis, Morris or Ellington and with a lot less Payton probably finishes with around 21 wins, which will probably be right around the cutoff.

    The real key more than shifting vet minutes around is playing lots of Knox and Barrett. They are our tank commanders.

  44. Ugh. Jonathan Macri saying that the odds of Thibodeau becoming the next head coach is “90 percent.”

    Kiss your knees and ankles goodbye, RJ.

  45. excellent article owen…thank you very much for the link…hard to educate and entertain at the same time when writing…that definitely did both…

  46. Randle is supposed to be a 3rd option or better yet a scorer off the bench. He’s not a #1 option on a team with spacing issues, He lacks the skills and experience to do what the team has been asking from him. But that’s what you get when you have management that just looks at PPG or PG/TS% and has no idea what skills the player has or how to fit pieces together.

    If we wind up trading Randle, he’ll be a useful piece on a very good team as long as he’s in the right role. But he’s overpaid and a terrible fit in NY. I’m not sure we could get fair value for him given how we’ve probably damaged his value around the league.

    Maybe we can send him to Dallas. They’ll fix him and he’ll fit nicely with KP.

  47. >Maybe, but this is one of those things about my auntie having bollocks. If he doesn’t pass, he’s not a passer.<

    I hear you, but all it takes is competent management giving the right pieces to the coach and a competent coach using them correctly. It's not an accident that so many players come to NY and shit the bed or leave and get better. It's for the same reason players come and go from Boston and the opposite seems to happens more often that's you'd expect by chance.

    They are identifying skillsets, fitting pieces together well, developing players, and using players correctly.

    I'm not even saying that RJ is a great playmaker. But I think he's better than he looks based on what we are seeing this season in NY.

  48. on to a happy subject:

    used the time i normally would waste watching the knicks (i only caught the first half last night) on watching the first two episodes of the new season of Better Call Saul

    the show just continues to impress…the acting, writing, pace, cinematography, sets, wardrobe and probably a whole lot of other stuff that i’m completely oblivious to are just so amazing…

    i have no idea how or why rhea seehorn (she plays Saul’s love interest) has never been nominated for an emmy…that makes no sense – at all…

    i’ve always been a big fan of actors whom bring a noticeable physicality to their performance…travis fimmel as ragnar is most definitely one of the most memorable…

    considering the incredible amount of information which can be shared between us just based on our body movements – it’s no surprise when someone conveys a thought or emotion through just body movements that it can play so effectively on screen…

    rhea seehorn’s/kim wexler’s perpetual agitated state just plays so beautifully on screen…you can so easily feel her energy without her much changing her expression or tone of voice…

    i though anna gunn and betsy brandt did a great job in breaking bad, but, yeah – maybe it’s just that it’s easier for me to connect with her character, but i think rhea is just phenomenal…

    on maybe a little less flattering side of things – oh my goodness, every time poor jonathan banks is on screen i just want to cringe…it looks like he’s in pain simply trying to stand up straight…the poor guy just can’t move around much…

    having him portray a dangerous action type of character – just doesn’t work…he may be the only character whom’s aged worse than poor todd did…

    oh well – hope some of you have had a chance to enjoy the first couple of episodes from this season…

  49. Randle is supposed to be a 3rd option or better yet a scorer off the bench.

    I agree that he could contribute to a good team as an offense first big man off the bench, but given the way bigs are currently valued and paid in the league that’s probably like a $10M a year player at most. There’s very little market for bigs who aren’t elite defenders at the 5 and/or floor spacers. Try to find a workable trade for him to a good team and you’ll quickly see that none of them would have any interest on allocating a $20M salary slot to that kind of player. I suspect he’s probably close to untradeable outside of paying a first round pick to dump him on some other bad team.

  50. Pills….the gift that keeps on giving…

    Randle, like many other Pills’ signings/picks (Portis, Mudiay, DSJ, Knox, etc.)…and was pointed out in that article above…have low basketball IQ…filtered…meaning they have no clue on playing a team game or how to make the right play in various situations….it happens once in awhile by accident (I have seen Knox this season display it on rare occasions but in like slow motion) but if we could just put a team out there with half of the athletic ability but with above average bball IQ…it would be a much better product…as has been said before…they just really are/were poor at their jobs…

  51. The Knicks need to draft Obi Toppin, start him at power forward next to Barrett at the 3 and Mitch at the 5, and move Julius Randle to the bench. Julius Randle is not an NBA starter. You cannot build an offense around his style because he’s a turnover prone player who can’t shoot or pass. His scoring has taken a tremendous dip as the lead player and we shouldn’t be giving this too much thought. I’d much rather give him away for nothing but cap space and another 2nd rounder than watch him try to reincarnate Amar’e Stoudemire’s 2011 season.

    Also, Obi Toppin is just an excellent basketball player. He can shoot, he’s a great NBA athlete, has a grown man’s body, and can play defense. He’s like Al Horford in Blake Griffin’s body.

  52. Randle needs to either play C or play next to a C that can shoot threes. Either option let’s Randle work primarily as the roll man. Instead we play him next to Taj Gibson. Yet another reason to keep Luke Kornet.

  53. I’d love to see Randle traded to the Rockets and turned into a small ball 5. Westbrook would fuck it up but I bet he’d work great with Harden.

  54. The Knicks should be running a lot more p-n-r with Mitchell, because he has the only elite skill on this offense. Even if we’re going to insist on bringing him off the bench for no fucking good reason, when he’s on the floor put the only decent shooters we have on the floor with him. PG Dotson/Ellington/Trier Bullock/Dotson Portis and Mitch and just run and pick and roll heavy offense.

  55. Bball IQ. Its a real thing.

    I think about the 2012-2013 team that won 54 games. I think they outperformed bc they had those veterans who actually did have high bball IQ ESPECIALLY KIDD. Melo and JR weren’t exactly the highest IQ guys but with Kidd and Pablo and Sheed off the bench early season….they played the right way. Shared the ball, made the extra pass. It was simple. Pick and roll with Chandler and Felton, Melo ISO in the spots that worked for him, ball movement that led to open 3’s shot in rhythm for Novak, JR, etc. And they fell off so much the next season simply because Kidd was gone. Even old man gassed Kidd made the right pass more often than not.

    Taj is the only vet who “plays the right way” (and Payton too but he can’t shoot).

  56. ugh, luis severino needs tommy john…that sucks…probably a lot more for him than me…but, it still sucks…

    hopefully loaisiga can continue to come along…

    there should be some ratio limit to the number of vowels folks can have in their name…that’s some hard shit to pronounce…

    speaking of weird words and such – came across the name of the norwegian intelligence service the other day: Etterretningstjenesten…

    i tried pronouncing it, and ran out of breath about halfway through….

  57. I continue to be disappointed that they keep playing Barrett at the 2. He really should be a 3. That’s where his future should be.

  58. trying something different…gonna watch two good teams play a game of basketball…raptors and bucks going at it…

  59. geo:
    trying something different…gonna watch two good teams play a game of basketball…raptors and bucks going at it…

    Geo you’re a madman. You just… can’t… do that… can you?

  60. it’s weird…I almost forgot what the game is supposed to look like :)

    hard to do, but, trying not to think of the knicks in comparison to either of these two teams…

    why, why can’t we just be better…why do we have to have been bad for soooooo long…why does it have to seem like the bad will never…

    oops, commercial’s over, back to real basketball…

  61. >I continue to be disappointed that they keep playing Barrett at the 2. He really should be a 3. That’s where his future should be.<

    That's what I've been saying. It makes more sense to me to have him at the 3 and to put a shooter at the 2 with our brick throwing PGs. The only counter that I've seen that makes any sense is that right now he has a physical mismatch against many SGs that allows him to finish at the rim better. If you put him at the 3, he'd be up against a bigger stronger guy,

    But of course the counter to that is the bigger guys would also tend to be slower.

  62. Zion is a little different than I expected him to be. He seems far more focused on being a scorer and is filling up the box score a little less than I would have thought. Last night especially , more so than in other NBA games I have watched, he was forcing the issue and going ISO a lot. It was a contrast with the way he generally works within the offense.

    Will be interesting to see how he develops. May just have been him facing Lebron for the first time on national television. But I hope he sticks to his instincts to be a team player. It would suck if he decided to go the heroball route.

  63. Here’s another site I just discovered with RPM Data. I have’t done much research on it, but a few quick player lookups looked reasonable

    Taylor Snarr
    @taylor_snarr
    I created an adjusted plus-minus player metric for the NBA AND a website for basketball analysis. The former is called Estimated Plus-Minus (EPM) and the latter, https://dunksandthrees.com/epm. Check it out!

  64. but a few quick player lookups looked reasonable

    you’re still doing it completely backward

  65. Interesting stuff:

    Now, we do not actually sum to the team’s efficiency. Jeremias Englemann demonstrated that players play worse with the lead and better if behind. The effect is linear and has been consistently replicated. The team in the lead plays about 0.35 pts/100 possessions worse for every point of lead. To adjust for this, we must estimate what the team’s average lead was, and then add or subtract one half of the effect (the other half is assumed to belong to the opponents). There are a number of ways to estimate the lead (or actually calculate it). A quick estimate puts 2017 Cleveland at an average lead of around 1.4 points. The effect of playing with that lead is -0.35/2*1.4 = -0.24, which shifts the Team’s Adjusted Rating from 3.0 to 3.24.

    OP:

    http://apbr.org/metrics/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8501&start=0

    I am drooling for the Elam Ending to be enacted as a core feature of NBA basketball. If the NBA cares about the quality of basketball on the floor, it should eliminate the “running out the clock” feature of the game. The only people who would care are the record-book fetishists: those who would rather see a guy score 15 points on intentional-foul free throws in the last 4 minutes of a game, for the trivia of it.

    The fix is right in front of us, but, like with many of our more-important institutions, popular stupidity reigns.

    Zion is a little different than I expected him to be. He seems far more focused on being a scorer and is filling up the box score a little less than I would have thought.

    I can’t remember if I voiced this publicly, but I thought he would be a SG/SF in this league, just forced into the PF box because of his size. He’ll never be a PG — he’s just way too good at driving and creating a good look, despite the iffy handle right now. Flashy passing is there, but I don’t know if he’s ever going to rise up in AST% the way Westbrook and Harden were able to. He really is a combination of prime Wade and Heatles LeBron when he starts on the perimeter. In all other aspects, he is Barkley 2.0.

  66. >you’re still doing it completely backward<

    No, I'm the only one doing it correctly because I know all these models are total bullshit, fall apart for some players and some player profiles, and can't handle many important factors.

    I admit I can't value every player in the NBA correctly using these models or stats. To value every player reasonably well would require a full time staff, tons of data, and a lot of video time.

    However, I CAN sometimes have strong opinions on SOME individual players based on the data, what I am seeing on the court, and their ultimate impact on/off the court.

    When I was gambling on basketball, I had a list of handful of players I had reason to believe were being valued incorrectly by Vegas. In other words, their impact was different than they moved the odds line when they were out. Those were rare instances that gave me a chance for profit.

    So what I did just now was check a handful of players I think I have a good line on to see if the output was reasonably close to my current estimate.

    If I saw blatant errors among the players I think I have a good line on, I would know I couldn't trust anything in the model until I found the pattern to the flaw (s) (you can usually find flaw profiles in time).

    In my quick glance, I didn't see any blatant errors. That doesn't mean there aren't some. It just means that among the handful of players I think I can value well, they all looked pretty good. That's a good sign for the model.

  67. Dink, I was about to come here to post about the same Inigo Montoya nonsense. For those too lazy to click:

    RJ Barrett just informed us that he’s actually a righty and has better shooting form with his right. Just more comfortable shooting with his left. Huh.

    Barrett said he does everything with his right hand, but grew up feeling more ambidextrous. His mom is a lefty, so he picked up some of her habits.

  68. “Also, my right eye doesn’t work half the time, but I’m more comfortable shooting 60% on free throws with an eyepatch anyway.”

  69. >>Now, we do not actually sum to the team’s efficiency. Jeremias Englemann demonstrated that players play worse with the lead and better if behind. The effect is linear and has been consistently replicated. The team in the lead plays about 0.35 pts/100 possessions worse for every point of lead.<<

    I never saw any data on this, but I think most people already knew this from observation.

    I even used one of my horse racing analogies to describe it.

    No horse runs as fast as he can from start to finish of a race. They can't. They'd be gassed long before the end of the race. What horses generally do is run as fast as they have to early to secure the position they want and then they are rated to save something for the finish.

    That's kind of what basketball players do. They step on and off the gas peddle. They play really hard, go on a run, exhaust themselves a little, take a break, make another run, save something for the 4th quarter etc…

    It's only natural that if a team opens up a solid lead, the tendency would be take their foot of the gas peddle for awhile either because they are gassed from the effort or because they are in control and trying to save something for later when/if the other team makes a run. If they are behind, they give maximum effort trying to get back into the game.

  70. Yeah, saw that about Barrett. Don’t know what to make of it.

    As for Zion and Barkley, the rebounds aren’t there yet. He doesn’t look as dominant on the boards as I expected.

  71. Just got a clarification: Barrett has been TOLD he has better shooting form as a righty. He doesn’t necessarily believe that to be the case.

  72. >lmao<

    I'm glad I was successful in giving you a chuckle. That's what I was trying to do, but I left out the :-)

    Truthfully though, what I am saying has merit. None of these models can handle all the complexities. So even if they are pretty accurate in a broad sense, they can be comically wrong for some individual players. The idea is to find the player profiles that are wrong for each model.

    IMO, you shouldn't just test a model's overall predictability. It may test great overall but still be wildly wrong for some players.

    IMO, you should test the cases where you know you have a very good line for that player and see what it says. That's how you find the problems.

  73. I never saw any data on this, but I think most people already knew this from observation.

    It wasn’t knowledge but rather an assumption; this is data that quantifies and thereby supports it. The means to bridge the gap between the hypothesis and the confirmation is what you, no offense, struggle to understand. Or refuse to. I don’t know.

    It just means that among the handful of players I think I can value well, they all looked pretty good. That’s a good sign for the model.

    https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

  74. >IMO, you should test the cases where you know you have a very good line for that player and see what it says. That’s how you find the problems.<

    When they first came up with BPM, they admitted there were certain players whose rating didn't come close to passing the smell test. Outliers cause problems for systems. That's partly why we have BPM 2. They probably fixed a few things, but I'm sure there are still issues, maybe even new ones.

  75. >It wasn’t knowledge but rather an assumption; this is data that quantifies and thereby supports it. The means to bridge the gap between the hypothesis and the confirmation is what you, no offense, struggle to understand. Or refuse to. I don’t know.<<

    It was an assumption based on watching thousands of games, playing sports, understanding human physical limitations, understanding human nature etc.. It was a certainty, not some theoretical idea.

    This was/is an ATTEMPT to QUANTIFY what everyone on earth with any knowledge of the game already knew to be true.

    Here's the kicker though.

    Like all their bogus one number models, they are using averages.

    The impact for a team lead by Lebron James may not be the same as the impact for the Scaramento Kings.

    These are individual players with different amounts of gas in the tank and different levels of competitiveness. The Kings may check altogether when they are down 15 instead of playing harder. Lebron may step it up another notch when he's ahead by 15 to put the final nail in the coffin.

    That's what you don't understand or refuse to admit.

    It's more complex than these math guys can measure even though the data they are giving us is useful as a starting point.

  76. It’s totally wild to me that you could be talented enough to make it to the NBA while shooting with your wrong hand. The very epitome of winning with one hand tied behind your back.

    That said, this revelation (which I feel like must have been known but is news to me certainly) definitely makes me more bearish on his ability to become a plus shooter long-term. I don’t know if there’s any way to even guess at whether it would be better for him to try to learn to shoot righty at this point. On the one hand (heh) you have the hundreds of thousands of reps he has put in shooting lefty. On the other, shooting with your weak hand just seems way harder. Funny stuff and I look forward to this coming up repeatedly over the next 5+ years every time someone bemoans that RJ would be decent if he could just learn to shoot.

  77. I’ve been reading this board a long time and comment here and there. It’s been interesting to see how much people have adapted their point of views on specific types of players over the years. I just want to get a feel about how much that has changed.

    If you guys have some time I want to know what people think about John Collins i.e the kind of salary he would command and if he would have a substantial impact on winning games…

  78. “Basically I look at a statistical model and if it says the players that I like are good, then it’s a good statistical model. If it doesn’t confirm the things I already believe, then it sucks.”

    There, I boiled it down for everybody

  79. Collins has a reputation as a disengaged defender, but those efficiency numbers are nasty. I bet he’ll get $80M over four or something like that, dragged down by Atlanta being horrible overall. Maybe bet on himself with a 2+1. Not sure what the market will look like in the summer of 2021. We could see more movement toward the extremes, i.e. max guys and min guys.

  80. Yeah, my sense of Collins is that he is one of the most polarized players in the NBA. Elite offense and truly wretched defense. Which is a shame because his offense is droolworthy.

  81. Lebron is lefthanded and shoots right.

    I think RJ probably can’t shoot well with either hand.

    Lebron couldn’t shoot when he was 19 either

  82. Not sure if posted yet but neat article from Vorkunov on Knicks’ player development strategy, or lack thereof. Ends with the player development philosophies of 3 coaches around the league: Nick Nurse, Mike Malone, Kenny Atkinson. What’s the common denominator for all 3 regarding developing young players? Minutes, minutes, minutes. I’ll try and post their quotes over the next few posts as I don’t think they’ll all fit into one.

  83. Raptors coach Nick Nurse
    How do you measure what works in player development and what doesn’t on a day-to-day basis?

    We try not to evaluate daily. We say, you know, go to work daily, but evaluate periodically, right? And we try to have a little bit of a vision of taking it slow. You don’t want to throw them into too much too soon. But you also want to find out once in a while if you give them a chance to play against the first unit team on the road, start a game or, I don’t know, do something different. The one we always use is let Pascal (Siakam) bring the ball before that was — it’s not so much a rarity anymore. Everybody’s bringing the ball up the floor, but that a few years ago, and we were like, “We’re gonna play this way. With this kid, yeah, you can do it,” and things like that, but too get back to your question, I think that you gotta try to link in what you’re doing with these guys to your system you’re running. I think it takes a lot of people, not only the coaches but off-the-court people. There’s a lot to mentally, physically adjusting-wise. And I think we try to cover the whole person and the whole player if we can.

    When it comes to developing players, do young players need to play minutes either at the NBA level or G League or can some of that be done behind the scenes?

    Yes. I’m a firm believer that they need to be playing. They gotta play. How do you get any better if you’re not playing? I am big, big, big believer that if they’re not getting minutes with the big club that they gotta go down and play as many minutes as they can get down there.

  84. Nuggets coach Mike Malone
    What is the key to development now in the NBA?

    The easy answer is allowing young players to play and, more importantly, play through their mistakes. That’s what we’ve done. We don’t have a G League team, so we have guys that have all been given a chance to play and grow up and get game minutes. Right now the biggest challenge we have this year is Michael Porter, who falls into that young guy (category), he really hasn’t played in two years. He needs game minutes, and we’re trying to get him those as much as possible while understanding on the other side of that coin that the expectations are for us to be a team that competes for the Western Conference finals. So very, very hard to do both, but I think allowing our young guys to play has been the key to them developing and maturing.

    Can a player develop if they don’t play?

    No. I don’t think so. Experience is the best teacher. You can watch film. You can do a million and one workouts on the practice court, but if you don’t get game minutes in a game atmosphere, I don’t see how you’re going to get better.

  85. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson
    What’s the key to player development and are minutes necessary in the course of that?

    Yes. I think that was our huge advantage. That we had these ample minutes and we had a runway for these guys to improve. I think without that, without the opportunity — you can argue that’s the first part of development that you need the minutes. It’s hard to develop in the shadows, so to speak, and we went through a lot of struggles with that development process. Obviously if you take it from the beginning to get Joe (Harris) and Spencer (Dinwiddie) and Jarrett Allen and those guys, where they were three years ago, where they are now, so I think their minutes were huge. And patience. I think personally I kinda used a three-year marker, like, that’s where it starts. You really want it to start kicking in the development where guys are really starting to blossom. Sure, there are exceptions where guys right off the bat, they’re really good, but three (years) is kind of the magic number for me. But I know every every situation is different, every team’s different.

  86. I was particularly partial to this chunk of the Vorkunov piece (here for anyone with the Athletic):

    Craig Robinson, the franchise’s vice president of player development, has been in place since the summer of 2017. During his first year on the job, he said he was installing a program that would innovate player development. He compared it to Nike and Google.

    “If you look at how things are done around the league, no one is actually trying to do this the way we’re trying to do it,” Robinson said two months before Fizdale was hired. “So it’s also got that aspect of being able to do something that is completely new and could be transformative in the industry.”

    It’s such a beautifully perfect bit of nonsense consultant-babble. Innovation! Google! Transformation! None of our prospects can shoot the basketball into the net but ultimately how important can that be as compared to something completely new and innovative.

  87. The fact that none of them can make shots is something really crazy to me still. Like it can’t be that hard to teach these super raw players how to improve their shooting right? Its obviously too early for a guy like Barrett, but Knox has even regressed on his already garbage rookie percentages and Frank in two years has shown almost no real improvement. It’s entirely possible and pretty much probable at this point that they are just busts anyway, but it is still surprising.

  88. So Nick Nurse, Mike Malone, and Kenny Atkinson all believe young guys need minutes, while Mike Miller thinks “there’s more to player development than giving guys minutes.”

    Can we fire him already?

  89. Can we fire him already?

    I’m not particularly pro-Miller but this seems more like an organizational issue to me. Fiz was doing the same thing, and the roster was clearly constructed in a way that was going to limit some of the kids minutes given just how many veterans were added to the team (and particularly vets on short-term deals who need to play for their next deal). If the organization thought it was a big priority to get Mitch and Knox minutes this year they wouldn’t sign Taj, Randle and Portis in FA for like 50M in combined salary.

  90. DRed:
    So what is our player development system?Who are the PD coaches?

    The Vorkunov piece notes that Fiz didn’t have a designated player development coach which apparently is pretty rare around the league. I assume that means we still don’t have one. Craig Robinson is the head guy on the front office side. I know this is going to be hard to believe but it seems like we may not be keeping up with the best practices of the top organizations around the league.

  91. Malik Monk hitting the bong too hard…not playing tonight..out indefinitely…too bad we didn’t trade for him…he would have been our “I was lit all the time” Joakim Noah character….

  92. No player development personnel? then wtf do those seven or eight jamokes who sit next to Miller on the bend do everyday except look concerned?

  93. I have a slight feeling that playing time alone don’t turn youngsters into Jordans.
    Working your ass off on the basics-dribble, shots, fts, passes and lifting weights help A LOT imo.

  94. I’ve only seen a few episodes of Billions, but the Knicks could ABSOLUTELY use an in-house ‘wall street psychologist’ to help our young headcases.

    Looking at you Mr. WTFIsUpWithYoGroin, Mr. NeedsToStartJunior, Mr. CrazyEyesYouGottaGotSomethin, Mr. LookinLikeTheThing..

  95. I’m not particularly pro-Miller but this seems more like an organizational issue to me. Fiz was doing the same thing, and the roster was clearly constructed in a way that was going to limit some of the kids minutes given just how many veterans were added to the team (and particularly vets on short-term deals who need to play for their next deal). If the organization thought it was a big priority to get Mitch and Knox minutes this year they wouldn’t sign Taj, Randle and Portis in FA for like 50M in combined salary.

    Agreed. That’s the maddening thing and why I think it’s likely forced on Miller, because Miller specifically has said that he wanted to keep Wooten in the G-League because (wait for it) he needed minutes! “He needs that experience right now. He’s getting major minutes there, he’s involved in late-game things, he’s seeing all these different situations. He’s trending the way he needs to. He’s doing everything he needs to right now.” It was the most absurd comment that made me think, “Okay, since this doesn’t make sense, the easiest solution is that he’s being forced to play certain guys.”

  96. Mr. LookinLikeTheThing

    oh my goodness, mister julius does sort have a slight resemblance to one benjamin grimm in the midst of having his rock on…

    you know when they do that baby pic segment during one of the msg broadcasts – he was actually a pretty adorable baby, in a not so actually adorable way…

  97. It’s such a beautifully perfect bit of nonsense consultant-babble. Innovation! Google! Transformation! None of our prospects can shoot the basketball into the net but ultimately how important can that be as compared to something completely new and innovative.

    we seem to consistently do a lot of “innovative” things…that don’t work out well…

    no secrets here, but, yeah – it always starts at the top…what has somewhat worked well for dolan in certain aspects of business: it’s not what you know, but who you know he continues to try and push the knicks in the same direction…relationships, relationships…when you are a billionaire’s son, well that is how you get ahead i imagine…

    despite the fact that it doesn’t do shit for your roster or player development, or play in general…for jimmy D being successful will always be about: who you know….

  98. I am sure the coach is getting some direction on how to allocate playing time, but it’s not necessarily at the level of give player A more minutes. At the beginning of the season the direction was clearly play the players who give the best chance to win. Then the direction might have been showcase Smith for a trade. Now it’s hard to tell, but my guess is it’s something like help us figure out which players we should try to keep next year. If this is the sort of direction the coaching staff is getting, it seems like normal management to me.

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