Here’s the thing with Marc Berman “mouthpiece” articles. They’re seriously just repeating whatever he gets told at any given moment. The issue is that we never know if he’s being used to test the waters on a particular idea or if what he is repeating is actually what the Knicks are planning. I believe he has excellent sources (including almost certainly the President of the Knicks himself, Steve Mills), but you can never tell the agenda in which the sources tell him stuff. With Charley Rosen, it was a bit more direct. He was used as Phil Jackson’s way to explain himself without having to go on the record. When Phil was in charge, that was also how Mills used Berman (to point out stuff that Mills disagreed with that Phil was doing). Now that Mills is in charge, though, it is unclear how he is using Berman. Is this stuff legitimately what Mills is thinking or is it just throwing stuff out there to test the waters on stuff?
So keep those questions in mind when you read Berman’s latest piece on the Knicks, specifically the future of Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay.
Perhaps Ntilikina’s status as a future Knicks point guard was shattered Wednesday in Phoenix. Jason Kidd was summoned for the morning shootaround at Talking Stick Resort Arena and staged a 20-minute summit with Smith and fellow point guard Emmanuel Mudiay.
Ntilikina stood only 15 yards away — an afterthought. He was said to be too busy rehabbing. Ntilikina only exchanged greetings with Kidd. The incident was another indicator Fizdale views Ntilikina as an off-the-ball wing player.
According to a source, Knicks brass will explore their options on draft night with Ntilikina. Obviously, Ntilikina is available in any Anthony Davis package, but if the Knicks can acquire an extra first-round pick for him, they would consider it.
“The Knicks will be active on draft night,” one NBA source told The Post.
Some NBA sources believe Ntilikina has not been given a fair shake at point guard.
“Don’t they have to see what they have first?” one NBA source said. “If he turns into a bust as a lottery pick, fine. But they do not know that yet.”
See what I mean there? The “Ntilikina could net them a first round draft pick” is almost certainly Mills trying to put it out there that they’re looking for a first-rounder, but it also probably does mean that the Knicks are planning to move Frank. That’s not some shock, as Frank has been somehow worse in his second year on offense (and on defense!) than he was in his first season, but it’s still an insight.
Later, I think we get another legit insight into Mills’ thinking at the moment…
Fizdale has indicated when the 6-foot-6 Ntilikina returns, he mostly will play wing, even mentioning power forward. The Knicks are putting it all in Smith’s hands and still analyzing if they can re-sign Mudiay, a restricted free agent.
That doesn’t mean that they will bring Mudiay back (as it would be pretty difficult to find room for him under the cap), but it probably does suggest that the Knicks front office is still a fan of Mudiay (which also certainly matches everything else we’ve seen from them this season regarding Mudiay).
All in all, it was another interesting look into the mind of Steve Mills by Marc Berman.
114 replies on “NY Post: Draft-night whispers, Kidd hint: Frank Ntilikina’s Knicks future fading”
Mudiay’s career arc is a cautionary tale for Frank. Mudiay was god awful at everything, easily one of the worst players in the NBA. Sorta like Frank is now, unless you’re inclined to give him tons of credit for his questionably impactful defense.
Then Mudiay make a huge jump and got much better! The problem is he still sucks ass, because his starting point was so woeful.
Frank’s is even lower than Mudiay’s. Would love to be wrong yadda yadda yadda, but I simply do not believe players come back from -4.4 BPM, .431 TS% hell.
If we wind up moving on from Frank I’m sure there will be lots of consternation and accusations that we “didn’t give him a chance” (2500 minutes in which he was the worst player in the NBA apparently isn’t enough) and whatever else. If he makes the absolutely absurd, unprecedented leap he’ll need to make if he wants to be an NBA player on another team I’ll eat crow, but I do not think it’s going to happen and would trade him for just about anything of value.
I do think Frank probably has a new team next year. If we do completely whiff in free agency and go into next year intending to tank again then I could see them giving him another developmental year, but I would be pretty shocked if we’re not planning to “contend” next year in some form or fashion. If we get Durant and Kyrie it might be at least semi-legitimate contention; if we get two of the lower tier guys it might be pretty B.S. “contention”, but I expect we will be trying to win next year. And as much as I like Frank’s hypothetical future 3&D skillset on a contending team I don’t think he’s good enough right now to play on a team trying to make the playoffs. And unlike, say, Knox who is also not currently good enough to play on a team trying to win basketball games, I’m pretty sure the Knicks brass realizes Frank’s current level. I expect him to end up in a deal this summer, and if any team offered a first rounder, I’d bite their hand off.
Frank isn’t just a guy with bad numbers. His intangibles are also bad. He is the most “beta” player I have possibly ever seen. He plays with fear in his eyes. You have to have some dog in you to compete at this level, and honestly I don’t see it.
WHERE ARE THE RUFF RYDAHS
@3, this is why I’m more doubtful of Frank than I have been if other guys whose careers started terribly. I guess there’s an #eyetest component. In a word, the guy is always shook.
While few if any players have been at Frank’s level of model-breaking statistical shittiness, De’Aaron Fox had a brutal rookie year statistically. I didn’t write him off though, because he never looked absolutely terrified to do anything on a basketball court (that, and the fact that unlike Frank he had a positive pre-NBA track record).
I mean people joke about the ruff rydahs things but what you say is true and I really liked what I saw in Frank his first year when he was playing with Porzingis. But yeah, he didn’t improve at all this year and in fact got worse. Plus he seems to be kind of injury prone. You don’t have to take a leap your second year but you do have to get better unless you have a great rookie year then I think its ok to have a sophomore slump. But you can’t have a sophomore slump when your rookie year was horrible to begin with!
He should be. But given how loyal the Knicks are, I think he’s more likely to be Scott Brooksed.
Yeah, Frank sucks on defense even though players that have been guarded by him say he’s very good, his on court impact defensively has been positive over 2 years, the team (albeit a bad team) has been better with him on the court for 2 straight years despite his obviously woeful shooting and negative impact on offense, he ranked highly in several defensive areas as a rookie when asked to focus on defense & not pretend to be a shot creator, he can switch 3 and maybe someday 4 positions, his length makes him tough for passers, and he’s pretty much the only player in the NBA I’ve seen this year give James Harden a really tough time when coach Fizdale finally asked him to just be Frank.
Frank is good at everything boxscores metrics suck ass at and bad at everything they weight heavily.
If they trade him, I hope it’s at least to a team that understands his potential value and tries to develop him correctly so he offers enough on offense in a couple of years to become the high level switchable defender he can be. He deserves a shot to fulfill his potential. He’s immature in some ways (afraid to screw up) and will need time.
His value has certainly taken a hit because he hasn’t developed on offense in year 2, but people at the NBA level still understand his value and potential on defense and the fact that’s he’s a team first coachable kid. I suspect he still has more value around the league than people think. No one at the NBA level is looking at boxscore metrics. They are looking at skills on “both” sides, detailed game film, on court impact, and potential.
I’m higher on Frank than most here but I’m surprised with the “beta” comments from some on here. I think he just plain lacks the ability to break someone off the dribble or get into the paint consistently.
I’ve always said that if he can just get to 35% from 3 then he can be a worthwhile player off the bench at the least. That shouldn’t be a difficult task for someone with his shooting form.
Wow, Strat. So you’re on the NBA level then, huh? Impressive.
Of our fringe “prospects” — Knox, Frank, Mudiay — I’d rather hang on to Frank than the other two. While his most likely outcome involves MBC Dynamo Moscow, it’s possible to see him as a guy that could fit on a KD/Kyrie/AD team. Then he could stand in the corner on offense and wait for kickouts, while on defense he could guard the best opposing ballhandler. He’d have to improve a lot as a shooter of course, but the path to being an effective role player is imaginable. With Knox and Mudiay, I don’t see how they fit alongside a bunch of stars.
What a coincidence, wow!
Look, we’ve been over this: you can turn Frank into Steph Curry as a three-point shooter and he’d still be a bad offensive player. Stop with the “he just needs to add an outside shot” argument. It has been debunked.
@12 I’m assuming that he also improves in other aspects of his game so he isn’t a guaranteed bust to me.
Knox on the other hand I have no hope for.
I have no words
The problem isn’t so much Frank individually it’s just they will give a ruf frydah who is an abomination every chance but a timid kid (who in theory would benefit from “nurturing”) gets kicked to the curb. Also, there is a myopia about the fact that they keep score for both teams so the guy who had shown some promise on defense is ignored. It’s more the preference for offense v. defense that bothers me, or more precisely a complete indifference to defense than that my eye test make me feel like Frank seems like a contest winner little brother who is forced to play on the big team.
But that’s like, what, a 20/80 split?
I like that you think you proved this.
Frank sucks, sure, but if he could magically drain 40 footers with consistency, I think he’d be ok.
Oh, a thread about Frank Ntilikina, this is going to go well!
While he’s still on the roster he should be played; but he sucks and should be traded for anything of value. I really don’t think there’s much else that can still be said about it.
I’m much more worried if they’re gonna find a way to bring Mudiay back, but I’m still hopeful management is not that stupid.
Kind of amazing that we completely whiffed on our last 2 first round picks and are still in a position to become contenders next year. Porzingis was the key in more ways than one – the league (and the Mavs) overvalued him enough to enable us to dump bad contracts, and his injury pushed us into full tank mode, giving us a chance for Zion this year.
One thing is for sure: Frank needs to get on the court ASAP if he wants to be here next year.
I was encouraged by the parts of that article where Smith was talking about wanting to play with him. I’d really like to see if it improves his game at all.
Frank has certainly had moments of promise. Yet, my concern with Frank mirrors my concern with the Knicks, in general. There’s a philosophy but no system supporting that philosophy. Fizdale talks about defense, but there’s certainly no team defensive discipline which is the responsibility of the coach. I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank does better on another team with a system in place, with a coach dedicated to that system…If Frank joined the Spurs, for example, I think you would see his potential realized to a much greater degree. I think that’s the job of a coach, to bring out the best in his/her players and the team. In this respect, the Knicks have failed Frank…maybe I’m wrong. Let me know if you disagree.
Not related to Frank (who if they turn into a late first round pick would actually be sorcery), but the NBA’s new tanking rules did absolutely nothing to affect change. I guess at the bottom you don’t have teams all out tanking, but now teams with fringe playoff hopes are abandoning ship to get as low as possible in the standings. Dallas, Memphis, Los Angeles, and New Orleans have all given up down the stretch and they’re joining the Tank Top 5. I wouldn’t be surprised if every team outside of 3 games back gives up and we’re in a situation where around half the league is intentionally trying to lose games.
I don’t know what the answer to this problem is, but the NBA needs a better solution. The flattened lottery odds are just encouraging tanking.
I’ll go off topic. Sad to see the official news that Tom Seaver has dementia and will be retiring from public life. Seaver was a huge hero to me as a kid back in the 70’s.
Funny anecdote. At 11 years old, I was an all-star Little League pitcher (most all stars were 12 where I grew up). At any rate, after a game where I pitched a complete (6 innings, IIRC) game one-hitter, the opposing team’s coach called me “the next Tom Seaver.” Sadly, I never grew to bigger than 5’9″/150 pounds in high school, so so much for that!
I’ve seen a couple of loved ones succumb to dementia. Best of everything to the families and friends of all those suffering from dementia and Alzhimer’s.
There are two problems with this argument: 1) Frank isn’t the Knicks only player, and certainly isn’t the one you want to build a system around; 2) systems don’t make a player better at shooting or dribbling.
Suppose a system works better for Ntilikina, what about the other 14 players on the roster? Does it work better for them? Should the Knicks spend the amount of time necessary to install a basketball system so that one player, one of the worst scorers in the NBA, can gain some marginal increase in efficiency? No, that’s absurd.
Second, is a system notably different than running a series of plays? Or generally playing basketball? When you get the ball you drive, pass, or shoot. That doesn’t change in or out of a system. The system does not make Frank better at making open shots or driving past his man. To any theoretical extent it does, again, the marginal increase wouldn’t make him more playable.
Yeah, strangely when more teams have a better chance of winning the lottery, more teams have incentives to tank. We really see the difference in the almost fringe playoff contenders who have the better chances of moving up this year than they did last year.
I agree with this, and when he’s healthy (doesn’t help his case that he appears to be injury prone) I hope he gets every minute now going to Mudiay.
I think the front office’s calculation might be that at this point every minute he’s on the floor he’s lowering his value. That’s why I think they didn’t send him to the G-League; the second you put up 11-4-3 with a .490 TS% down there your trade value evaporates.
I’m sympathetic to that point of view, but at this point it’s hard for me to believe he could do anything but increase his value. I truly do not think we could get a single second rounder for him at the moment, so there’s really nowhere to go but up.
Agreed, but I have zero faith in Fizdale playing him significant minutes.
Right? All they did was shift the teams who are tanking to higher in the standings. Now the 6th, 7th, and 8th worst teams are vying to get closer to the 30% mark. It was a terrible solution, and everyone knew it.
Don’t forget, the whole reason the NBA went to the model they had was because in the 90s bubble teams were willingly backing out of the playoff race to get decent lottery odds. Back then it was “do you want to be the 8 seed, or do you want to tank and win Anfernee Hardaway like the Magic did?” Now teams are going to drop out of the bubble to get in the middle.
It’s the lottery that is the problem, Silver!! All the NBA has ever done is shift what part of the standings the tanking occurs.
It is pretty hilarious that the league tried to dissuade tanking and they instead just forced more teams to tank (granted, they all tanked fairly late in the season, but still).
And Adam Silver is burying his head in the sand on it, too.
The total value of NBA franchises is about $60B, but apparently there’s not enough money in the budget to hire a small team of economists to create an incentive structure that promotes competitive basketball contests from game 1 through 82.
So it’s one of these three:
(1) an old boys’ club that has a greater interest in maintaining the status quo than fixing problems, a la pre-analytics MLB
(2) there’s actually no concern about uncompetitive games or teams, and Silver has been giving lip service and token “solutions” that exacerbate the problem, with, again, no concern for the outcomes
(3) they actually think that their latest solution is working and will work in the future, which might be the worst of all three since Silver is paid like $20M a year to be really smart at organizational management
There is no good look, here.
Also, 538 has us two full games under Phoenix, with a Bargnani-esque 17-65 projected record. This is very encouraging.
The flattened odds really hurt, but a 40% chance at a guarantee of one of Zion/Morant/Barrett is good enough for me. I dread the #4 pick.
In some ways it leads to more egregious examples as well because those teams are decent and thus to ensure losing games they need to take part in “active tanking” in terms of resting helathy players, playing bad lineups, etc. Whereas a team like the Knicks can mostly just passively tank by having no good players, which isn’t particularly egregious (some teams will always be bad no matter what you do). So it may have actually led to more clear cut, active cases and they’re happening with way more visibility on teams that were in the playoff race until a few weeks ago. Not the best solution so far.
The only thing I like better about the new tanking rules is that it makes life slightly less miserable for the teams (like us) that tend to suck all the time.
Kadeem Allen goes off and shoots 9/13 one night and the Knicks eke out a win? No big deal! Lottery odds are flattened! I don’t have to worry *as much* about winning meaningless genas as I used to! It’s a very tiny win but I’ll take it.
Of course, the year the Knicks do the most epic tank job ever, it’s the year they flattened the odds and made it possible for the #1 tank team to fall to #5. The Razor never fails.
This is the strongest indicator of Barrett’s rise yet.
I think the league simply does not care. They only cared about the Sixers tanking when it became highly publicized and talked about as a viable strategy, and it pretty much blew up when the strategy showed success. If Hinkie had failed miserably they wouldn’t have done anything about it. They only cared about it last season when Cuban publicly announced he was going to tank.
They tried to make a move to keep the PR talk that they’re about keeping the integrity of the game or whatever, but they really don’t give a crap if the Memphis Grizzlies or Atlanta Hawks are garbage. This lottery will be a shitshow, there’s potential for so many teams moving around.
I still think the best possible option to increase competitiveness is league contraction, but that is never ever happening as long as enough rich dudes want to keep their slots as NBA owners.
You’re right, Bruno. They did it just to say they did something. The outrage will quiet down while the problem persists.
I bring it up all the time and it always leads to the same responses, but Association Football has this down pat. Multiple tiers of leagues with relegation and promotion and financial incentive to be in the top is the way to go.
Hell I would even go with the table method and a cup tournament. But that would never fly. America can’t tolerate the confusion of not knowing who is definitely the best, even if the method of determining that is bunk.
Until draft position is totally untethered from record, it will be clear to some teams that losses are preferable to wins. The system now in which the NBA’s rules make that very obvious, but the league office essentially guilt trips the teams that realize it, is beyond stupid.
You can tinker with the odds, maybe even go further and ban teams from being in high-lottery for multiple years, etc. As we’ve seen all that’s really going to do is change the type of team that benefits the most from losing more games.
Maybe the NBA can combine the good features of relegation with their stupid lottery process. There’s revenue sharing, right? I don’t know how exactly it works, but I know it exists. You want to tank? Go ahead, but your final standing impacts your share. So now you have to choose if you want $10mm of additional operating revenue or 7 extra percentage points.
Maybe I’m missing something, but he looks like a very, very strong defender for the next level. He is an aggressive, alert on-ball defender and gets up there to challenge.
I really don’t want him, but Barrett at #2 would be FAR better than Reddish at #4 or #5. I think Barrett could be Barnes/DeRozan 2.0, but not a Wiggins.
Reddish will never be a starter who earned his minutes, and he’s going no later than #5. That means that he could very well be a Knick.
I think that’s a good assessment. A few months ago he really looked like a Wiggins, though.
He seems to have a higher compete level than Barnes. That’s obviously not measurable so take it for what it’s worth. But I think a more aggressive Barnes is a good comp and a decent selection.
Barrett’s shooting is still an issue, .530 ts% for a guy of his talent in his team is definitely not what you want to see. What makes me like him is the rebounding, which is superb for his size, and he really fills the stat sheet while being a good defender, which shows that he’s always active and engaged. I’d rather trust that he is a talented shooter that will learn to score more efficiently eventually than gamble on the other more flawed prospects. I still wouldn’t be too happy about ending up with him when Zion and Morant look like better prospects, but there’s definitely a chance he becomes a very good player in the league, and if the plan eventually involves Kyrie and Durant, he fits very well with them.
If we can safely say that this has become a three player draft, it was still a good year to tank. If only they cut Mudiay…
I always think we look at this stuff in a misleading way. It’s not would you trade frank, it’s what is the minimum you’d want back. He’s going to make $4.8M next year. Unless we trade him to a team with room, we’re getting $5M of player back. So I think my questions are:
-What does having $4.9M avail to spend buy you?
-What would frank have to change next year to be worth $4.9M? Is that reasonable to expect? like, is he likely to miss 25-30 games again? what if he got his 3 pt shooting up from 29% to 33%? I think I could shoot 33%, and I just had an everything bagel. If he played decent d, shot 33% from 3 and played 70 games….is he worth 4.9M?
-What would you take back for him? if it’s for a 2nd rounder, is it worth it?
-Is he teaching anyone else on the team to speak French, or is he keeping that for himself?
every other team sees the same stats we do. I hate it when we have to sell low.
I like the idea of a playoff for the lottery teams! That would be fun! One game elimination NCAA tourney style. The Suns suck but if Devon Booker goes off against The Lakers or whoever, they get a higher pick. And there would be non tanking among the teams at the end of the season to try and get a higher seed.
I know it would never happen but it would be so much fun. Lebron could go supernova in the toilet tourney to get a shot at Zion.
Do players really give a shit about lottery position?
You would have to be a destroyer of worlds on defense to stick in the NBA with an offensive skill set like Frank’s. His offensive toolbox is barren. I do think he is a pretty nice defender, does a nice job disrupting pick and rolls. But that’s really not enough. He is very much like a slick fielding shortstop with a .280 on base percentage, a horrible batted ball profile and a high strikeout rate. There’s just to much to fix. How you gonna get easy baskets or generate free throw attempts if you can’t dribble the ball? How do you fix something as basic as dribbling? It’s like if you haven’t figured out how to dribble the thing by now you probably aren’t gonna be getting it.
He’s just not that talented, full stop.
What happens if we get Morant though? It probably wouldn’t deter us from signing Kyrie, which makes Morant a backup and therefore a low impact guy. So say we sign KD and another max free agent instead of Kyrie and give Morant the starting job. He won’t be ready to contribute to a championship team for years. And what do we do with DSJ, who will become disgruntled just like he did in Dallas?
Even if Morant is a little better than Barrett, Barrett seems to fit better on a star-laden, win-now team.
I’m still believing my dream that we won the draft lottery and picked Zion. Positive thought focus on that.
@23…really well said Fan…
@47…I like that baseball anaolgy…yeah, ‘ol frank is way below the mendoza line (although in today’s baseball – he’s hardly alone)…
talent evaluation and roster fit should be a continuous process…if the front office has come to a conclusion to move on from frank, hopefully they can get some type of value (salary relief, draft choice, or, someone else’s draft “bust”) for him…no reason to bring him in to next season with us…
wonder how many more college games from zion we’ll get to see…
Yeah, I can’t imagine LeBron or even Booker giving enough fucks in a tournament like that.
Well, then we can trade Morant for someone else, or even trade down from the #2 spot if it becomes clear Kyrie is signing. I’d still rather take Morant unless Kyrie is 100% confirmed, there’s a bunch of bad teams in the league in need of a very good PG prospect.
I think if it’s a tournament only for lottery position, the players really wouldn’t give a fuck about it, specially when it could mean the team drafting someone to replace them. If it’s a tournament for a spot in the playoffs then yeah, they’ll go hard, but only for lottery position, no way.
Really? So this year the players wouldn’t want to go hard at a shot to play with Zion next year? Sure there might be some players worried about if it would affect their future but it’s kind of theoretical and when the game is being played players don’t actively throw games usually.
The players like playing basketball and like competing.
This is why trading picks/players + MitchRob for AD’s max contract is so stupid:
The real problem with a tournament for the #1 pick would be teams actively ducking the playoffs to get into it in my opinion. Would you rather be a #8 seed up against Golden State in the first round or the favorites to win a tournament for Zion? Easy choice.
It would be horrendously stupid to make players compete in a tournament so the franchise can benefit from a high lottery pick to replace one of them as a starter the following year, not to mention how dumb it is to reward teams for losing by asking them to lose less.
You could give players/teams bonuses for winning more games–a profit sharing sort of thing
Horrendously stupid or amazingly awesome?
I say the later!
OK. How about each team gets to pick 3 players from their squad to compete in a 3 on 3 tournament and those 3 players are guaranteed that they won’t get traded or cut the following year if they are still under contract. We would win in this scenario cause we know Knox is a 3 on 3 GOD.
Knox would be a lottery tourney superstar then, how fitting
So the Lakers are out of the playoff race and are putting LeBron on a minutes restriction and maybe resting him on back-to-backs. This is exactly what they should do to reduce wear and tear on their aging star. It is also indistinguishable from tanking. The league isn’t pissed about tanking per se. They’re pissed that post-Process tanking is the automatic assumption that fans make for any team that isn’t going all out for pointless wins. It’s turned into the simple but lazy explanation the cynical use when they don’t want to have to think. Thinking is work, and they’d rather be angry anyway.
I too aspire to pay a 34-year-old a supermax to ride the pine to a lottery berth while citing long-term health as the reason.
Maybe they should just let him rest a couple years so he’s fresh when he’s hitting 36.
Barnes was the worst starter on that first Dubs behemoth, clearly overrated but not so bad as to hurt their chances. I would be disappointed if Barrett capped out as him. But I’d be far more pissed if he were Wiggins.
This board has been onto Wiggins since his first season. Most of us knew it before the masses did. I’m just afraid the Knicks-colored glasses will bring the Porzingis argument back around, only this time it’ll be for a player who plays 3,000 minutes instead of being Mr. November. I am afraid of a high lottery mistake compounding into a max extension mistake.
Did everyone read the Forbes article on Mitch:
Hell, I quoted it above in my last post.
Wiggins wasn’t even good in college. I felt like I was losing my mind heading into that draft reading lamestream NBA analysts
I’ve never really followed the draft that closely before, but, it seems a little surprising that there’s only one name within the top 10 and 20 draft prospects coming from overseas: sekou doumbouya, a 18 year old power forward from france…
interesting to see another point guard getting in to the top 10 prospects: nickeil alexander-walker from virgina tech…cousin to SGA…
I remember reading some where that frank never played much “pick up” basketball…if he does come back next year, I hope he spends time doing so this off-season…
And his team lost in the second round of the tournament to 10th ranked Stanford with Wiggins playing unbelievably bad, so there’s not even the tournament run excuse this time.
(Btw looking at that game, that Stanford team was led by our very own Chasson Randle and had Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis on it too, I really didn’t remember that)
Fizdale calls Knox “an easy pick at nine”, for Perry & Mills.
First round pick for Frank? Sounds awesome.
I think it would be interesting to know whose hate is stronger, d-mar for the Celtics or JK47 for Frank’s game.
Dolan’s razor is still a thing and as objectively horrible as Frank is I still assign some probability to him ending in San Antonio and turning into a supremely useful piece.
Also I posted it before but that Wiggins piece in the ringer is disaster porn of the highest order
I am so happy the Lakers are missing the playoffs. I think they should trade LeBron for Davis and then sign Leonard. LeBron trapped in New Orleans for the next three seasons as they struggle to even make the playoffs would be mighty sweet.
Man the NBA media have spent like 2 weeks producing all this shit to try to figure out why oh why the Lakers aren’t making the playoffs and it’s because a bunch of dudes got hurt it’s not a remotely interesting story.
You know, I hate to say it because I just love Ben Simmons’s freakish potential as a 6’10 point guard but his game is presenting a real offensive spacing problem for Philadelphia in a way that will limit his impact and their success against superior competition down the line. If he doesn’t develop a consistent jumper to make teams pay for sagging off him in drives and on the perimeter without the ball he will be an offensive liability. Well coached and disciplined defenses cut are cutting off his lanes to the basket and fouling him in crunch time minutes because they know he’s a pretty piss poor free throw shooter.
The Rockets are really crushing the Sixers, there was never a big chance they would be able to beat the Rockets without Embiid, but it hasn’t been even close.
People simply seemed to have forgotten how impactful Chris Paul simply is. He’s not even shooting well, but just his intelligence and the way he manages the game, he’s truly a guy who makes people around him better on both ends. The Rockets are just 3 games behind the Nuggets for the 2nd seed in the West with this win.
I haven’t. To me he is still the highest IQ player in the NBA, bar none. He’s a chess grandmaster in a league where 90% of the players are playing checkers. A shame he can’t stay healthy as the season goes on because he deserves to showcase his talents at an NBA championship stage.
It’s kinda weird that in an era of hyper-efficient scoring, guys like Simmons, Fultz, Ball, Ingram and Wiggins are being picked near the top of the draft. There’s not a jump shot to speak of (although I would weep to call Simmons our starting PG, he’s so damn good at everything else).
Simmons is a 60% FT shooter, which sucks, but if you want to foul him on purpose you’re not doing the math right. His unwillingness/inability to shoot from outside of 12 feet or so is definitely a problem, but he’s so good at so many things I feel like Philly should be able to figure something out (or if not they should trade him for AD).
True. And I think many of us (probably you as well) would say the Knicks just avoided that (or at least a very plausible case for that) in trading Porzingis.
Sidebar: someone here said the Bulls were likely to be more mediocre than tanktastic coming down the stretch. I was about to say they were up on the Pistons… until I saw Detroit outscore them 43-24 in the 4th to come from behind.
RE Ben Simmons… couldn’t he theoretically go the Giannis route as far as his J goes?
The thing is that Giannis is able to do it because he’s literally unstoppable physically. Simmons is an amazing physical specimen but he’s not at Giannis level of absurdity. Giannis plays inside like he’s prime Shaq, Simmons is explosive and incredibly agile and coordinated for his size but he can’t overpower defenders the same way.
I think he’s already working on a shot, and he’s already a very very good player but it is an issue. With Giannis I will confidently say it’s a non-issue, but not with Simmons. But hey, the kid is 22, there’s a lot of time for him to develop while he’s already very productive.
I don’t understand why the tanking issue is so hard to grasp. The small number of players and the large number of games make it a particular problem for basketball. Tanking is always going to happen. Baseball teams were “waving the white flag” on seasons before the NBA ever existed.
A sports league, however, can’t tolerate franchises giving up on competing before a season even starts and doing it for multiple seasons in a row. The new lottery rules work against that and if they shift the tanking incentives from the bottom five teams to the teams in the #12 to #16 range, so what? Teams at that level aren’t going to gut their roster to move from the last playoff spot to worst lottery odds.
And it’s even more important to reduce the tanking appeal for terrible teams because of the dumb talk from supposedly smart people. People are still holding Philly up as a success? They went through four or five straight seasons worse than any stretch the Knicks had during the last 20 years and the result is they might very well never be better than the #5 team in the East and the #3 team in their own division.
Was that a smart cost/benefit analysis?
The answer is yes.
DeAndre really loves yelling And One
Speaking of tanking. what’s up with the site lately, minimal daily “threads” and no game thread
Daily reminder that everything that the Colangelo family and his band of incompetent hacks did can’t and shouldn’t be counted when evaluating the Hinkie plan.
What Hinkie did was an obvious success, then the league took him out and forced the most incompetent family on the eastern coast of America on their franchise. But people are so intent on proving tanking does not work that they clump everything that happened together, when it makes zero sense.
Also having a top 4 team in the east that’s also very young after almost 2 decades of abject mediocrity is bad I guess.
Dennis is having a nice time
Do we have to watch Knox be terrible on both sides of the ball with the starters every game?
Wouldn’t it make some sense to let him run with the 2nd unit where he might get an easier matchup once in awhile and actually not embarrass and frustrate himself on both sides every single game!
At this point he’s probably both dead tired (from playing too many minutes in spots earlier in the season) and has no confidence left from not being able to compete. We have to turn him around. The best thing that could probably happen to him would be spraining his ankle, getting a week off, and coming back slowly off the bench.
I’m not big on wishing sprained ankles on people but that’s a rare Strat post I at least mostly agree with
There’s nothing wrong with the 76ers right now other than Embiid (who is great) being hurt.
They made a lot of changes this season. It takes some time to figure it all out. When healthy though, they have a very good starting 5 and enough experienced scoring punch and defense to play with anyone.
If Embiid comes back soon, they still have enough time to play together to make a very good run in the east even though the top of the east has become totally stacked with great teams. They may not be deep enough yet, but they have the starting 5 and experience to compete.
Eh, Simmons’ shit jumper is becoming a problem. The fact that he’s a primary ballhandler who won’t take/can’t make a jumper more than 12 ft. from the basket is a problem.
I’m wasn’t wishing it on him. I just know management and the coach are too dumb to at least consider benching him for freshening and confidence reasons. They are probably more worried about the appearance of benching a player they selected in the lottery than how to develop him correctly (see Mudiay vs Dotson, Frank, and others)
But if you agree, I’m definitely wrong.
He’ll get more out of playing with the adversity.
I 100% agree that Simmons inability to hit jumpers is a negative. You can see defenses sagging off him. That makes it more difficult for others. But he’s so good otherwise, I don’t think that’s going to stop the 76ers. Their starting 5 is excellent!. What’s going to stop them (if anything) is that the other top teams in the east are also stacked, have superstars, and may be deeper and better.
I’m often amazed at the simplicity of our offensive sets after a timeout. Fiz spent all that time drawing up a play where every one cleared out so Trier could basically isolate to the basket.
Yup, Fox is gonna be a good one. He looks like he’s in control out there, and only 21.
Well if I knew it was that easy I would’ve said Frank Ntilikina will be an elite player and Phil Jackson was actually too smart for mere mortals to comprehend a long time ago
If Knox got injured that would jeopardize the tank.
I really find myself rooting for DSJ despite the fact that he’ll likely be displaced by Kyrie or Ja. Wherever he ends up, I hope he reaches his potential.
It’s scary af that we only have a 40% chance at a top-3 pick. There’s an ugly cliff after 3 and it might be tough to even trade the 4 or 5 for anything of worth. I guess at 4 I’d take one of the Gonzaga guys, maybe leaning towards Hachimura since good-shooting wings are so necessary these days.
Re: Frank, I think you definitely trade him for a 1st, ideally something #25 and up. I hope he transforms into a good-shooting wing himself, but I’m not holding my breath.
If only we had tanked so we could have Fox instead of Ntilikina… he has improved so much in only one year in every relevant stat, and he’s the engine that makes this team go, he went from clueless to playing like a veteran in one season.
I can put on the rosiest of rose colored glasses and squint really, really hard, and I still see nothing that indicates that Kevin Knox has any semblance of basketball ability.
“I can put on the rosiest of rose colored glasses and squint really, really hard, and I still see nothing that indicates that Kevin Knox has any semblance of basketball ability.”
Even using the Hubble telescope no signs of basketball ability can be found. It’s getting embarrassing to watch.
Being 6’10” is a useful skill.
Look, he’s awful now. I’d say the odds are strong that he’ll be a bust. But during the Player of the Month stretch, he DID look like an NBA player.
I hope we hold on to DSJ unless it makes no sense at all (e.g. sign Kyrie, draft Morant). He’s got a ways to go but box score stuffers like him don’t exactly grow on trees. He made a pretty big leap from his rookie year, and one more could make him a pretty good player.
If we wind up having to sell low on him it won’t be the end of the world, but I think whoever gets him will wind up being pretty happy.
I’m positively impressed by DSJ, there’s signs that he could be a productive player. I won’t cry if he goes somewhere else because we got a more promising or just better player, but you can see the potential production with him. Unlike Knox who frankly, I agree with everyone that I see nothing on him.
This next offseason will be the best chance to get some value out of Knox while the media and other GMs are still seeing “superstar potential” with him. I really hope they act on it and do it while there’s still a chance.
I’m in a bar in Durham for the game.
I wonder where Little will go…
Man, Cam does some dumb shit.
I hope we hold on to DSJ unless it makes no sense at all (e.g. sign Kyrie, draft Morant). He’s got a ways to go but box score stuffers like him don’t exactly grow on trees. He made a pretty big leap from his rookie year, and one more could make him a pretty good player.
i think he’s on the express train to schroderville and i’d snap deal him for our awol 2nd rounder. he is the kind of player with a glass ceiling, even when he is playing with his motor at 100 and his head on straight like he has for most of his brief tenure here, he’s still missing the key ingredients to be a really useful player on a good team. he should have full career and make some money but i seriously doubt he ever generates value equal to his salary.
If there is a God in heaven, please don’t let the Knicks end up with Cam Reddish.
We’re getting Zion I promise!
I hope Cam Reddish is as bad at 3-on-3 as he is at 5-on-5