2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Future Knick Jalen Brunson’s Team

The Knicks head to Dallas to hopefully put more of a stamp on their chances of avoiding the play-in games while also helping to make sure that the Dallas Mavericks do have to play in the play-in games (and hopefully lose them both and have their first round pick, which goes to the Knicks, end up in the lottery, where I can only assume it will be picked as the #1 overall pick).

The Knicks head into tonight clinging to the #6 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they’re just barely ahead of the Miami Heat for the #7 seed (and the Heat own the tiebreaker with the Knicks). Luckily for the Knicks, the injury-ravaged Hornets are falling down, and while the slightly less-injury ravaged Pacers are doing better, they have some ground to make up, so it really looks like the Knicks’ best chance is being either the #6 or the #7 seed, which would be either an amazing avoidance of the play-in game all together or at least get to have two chances at making the playoffs via the play-in games.

Let’s go win five in a row, Knicks!

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175 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Future Knick Jalen Brunson’s Team”

  1. The Nets are shooting 54% and 48% from 3 and are only up 5 points vs the Hornets.

    Dee-fense!

  2. daniel gafford a couple of huge blocks on zion down the stretch. he’s pretty good.

  3. ptmilo: daniel gafford a couple of huge blocks on zion down the stretch. he’s pretty good.

      

    Interesting piece in 538 on how Zion’s the leader in getting blocked by a mile.

  4. it’s cool that rj is comfortable enough going right now that he literally reset his iso so he could right on maxi away from help

  5. While talking assists, we have 8 made shots and 6 assists. So far a nice ratio…

    My bad, it’s 9 and 7.

  6. KP will play like dog shit and then hit a deep spot up 3 and he’s the almighty unicorn again.

  7. RJ finally did what I’ve been telling him to do (thanks for finally listening, kid). He normally bricks his first four shots, all taken out of rhythm early in the game. I’ve wanted him to just take the first few minutes off. This game he did absolutely nothing on offense until just under 6 minutes left, then in a 20 second span he had an assist, a rebound, and a layup.

  8. Early appearance by Obi. I think Thibs is matching Randle’s rest with Doncic, just like he matched rest with Zion against the Pelicans.

    In the second half, I suspect the Randle will play virtually the entire time.

  9. I think I saw Derrick Rose guard three different Mavs on one possession. Or was it an opioid hallucination?

  10. I have never watched Porzingis and thought “boy, I really wish we had that guy signed to an enormous contract”

  11. ephus: Early appearance by Obi. I think Thibs is matching Randle’s rest with Doncic, just like he matched rest with Zion against the Pelicans.

    In the second half, I suspect the Randle will play virtually the entire time.

      

    So far you’re spot-on…

  12. That was one of the best end-of-quarter offensive sets all season. Randle passed out of the double and ball went all the way to the weak side corner and back out to the strong side elbow for a wide open IQ 3. Swish.

  13. DS: To be fair, I haven’t thought “I’m glad Mills and Perrycontacted hardly any teams to see what they would offer” either.

    LOL

  14. I get Thibs telling Obi that he is only going to play when Doncic is resting. Luka would exploit Obi’s ball watching on defense.

  15. Randle on his way to a 60-point game.

    Meanwhile, IQ is averaging 108 pts per 36.

    I love microscopic sample sizes…

  16. Raven:
    Randle on his way to a 60-point game.

    Meanwhile, IQ is averaging 108 pts per 36.

    I love microscopic sample sizes…

    Whoever IQ is covering is also averaging 108 pts per 36.

  17. Trading KP was the right move, as much as I hated it at the time.

    Trading for DSJ with Jordan and Mathews as cap filler was bad from Day 1.

  18. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I think we should let Payton actually run the offense here … his hesitation is ruining their D it would appear

  19. Hahaha. KP sends back only one of Payton’s shots, after giving up several, and the announcer is like, “and THERE is that rim protection that Rick Carlisle values so much.”

  20. DS:
    Hahaha.KP sends back only one of Payton’s shots, after giving up several, and the announcer is like, “and THERE is that rim protection that Rick Carlisle values so much.”

    Yea it’s asinine… wait until he hits another 3….

  21. If they did an anonymous poll of NBA players of which opposing player they hate the most, there’s no doubt Luka would be number 1.

  22. Randle better stick with the braids for the rest of the season…and playoffs!

  23. thenoblefacehumper:
    Randle better stick with the braids for the rest of the season…and playoffs!

    Yeah I wonder if the Mavs keep similar stats to track Spray Tan KP v. no Spray Tan

  24. Nice to go into the locker room with a lead.
    Games against Dallas have a lot of meaning. The pick, Luca, KP, and all the other former Knicks.

  25. d-mar: If they did an anonymous poll of NBA players of which opposing player they hate the most, there’s no doubt Luka would be number 1.

    I’d bet that 7’3″ Rolfe Gruber wouldn’t be that far behind…

  26. I thought KP was having an efficient half, and lo and behold, checking the box score I see he has more shots than points. And that’s being 2/4 from 3pt.

  27. marechal:
    I thought KP was having an efficient half, and lo and behold, checking the box score I see he has more shots than points. And that’s being 2/4 from 3pt.

    Recency effect. I can’t remember now, but he started out something like 1-8.

  28. Julius is the man. Payton looks decent tonight. Really hope they don’t blow this one.

  29. That was pretty smooth from Luka.

    I got to say, while I have never liked R-Jeff for some reason I don’t think his analysis is that bad, judging by the prevailing standard anyway.

    Well below Clyde obviously. WELL below.

  30. RJ, I’m sorry, you misinterpreted me. I didn’t mean take the whole game off, just the first few minutes. Time to wake up…

  31. Kind of surprised Randle didn’t get a foul in addition to getting on a poster with KP

    Bullock has such a flat shot

  32. Julius has 23 points so far. The other four starters have 26, combined.

    Meanwhile, the bench has kicked in 14…

  33. It’s not quite a poster, but RJ ripping the ball from Porzingis and calmly scoring on his stiff ass was satisfying as hell.

    Pretty easy to see why Mavs fans are turning on this dude.

  34. I’m watching the game.
    My volume is on zero.
    A nice way to watch.

  35. RJ reminds me of Spree in that it seems like he can play 48 mins and not slow down a bit.

  36. Obi’s got 4 rebounds in his 5 minutes so far. And no missed moon shots (no shots at all, so that helps…).

  37. Props to old man Reddick…. But maybe let’s glue someone to him

  38. Pretty sure this is the longest stretch Randle has sat this whole season and I’m not joking

  39. The Mavs’ bitching is pretty grating, especially considering it feels like RJ alone should have 6 or so more free throws

  40. Oh, Noel…unreal block, then can’t hold the ball on the rebound

  41. The way they’re calling the game, that would be a flagrant if it was against the Knicks

  42. d-mar:
    How do you not T up a guy who complains the entire game?

    Agreed. I know this board loves Luka’s play, but I hate that guy.

  43. d-mar:
    How do you not T up a guy who complains the entire game?

    Did Mark Cuban create this culture of harassing the refs?

  44. call me crazy, but… I want the Bucks. Thibs could figure out how to make that a series that Giannis would need to play superhuman basketball to win.

  45. This has been a total Batman and Robin game. But the others pitched in for the most part. Obi with his 4 rebounds (pow!). Frank with a cameo (bam!). Noel 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, 4-4 from the line (swat!). Even Elf with 7 rebounds and 6 assists (pass!).

  46. Very satisfying road win. Maybe the most satisfying because it was Dallas!

  47. The shocking part of this team isn’t just that they’re playoffs-bound. It’s that I’m going to be entertained by them being there.

    thenoblefacehumper: Pretty easy to see why Mavs fans are turning on this dude.

    We did. Mavs fans have. His next team’s fans will. Not sure of many other active players with this kind of career. Gordon? Oladipo? Who else peddles a whole lot of “this year is the year” false hope and gets the benefit of the doubt each and every time?

  48. Yeah, this was definitely one of the most satisfying wins of the year. We looked like the better coached team and looked like we simply played harder.

  49. It’s shocking how everything is going their way, with every team they wanted to lose losing tonight. It’s a fun feeling! Heck, they almost have as good of a record as the Mavs, which is also amazing.

  50. So is my 39 win prediction from a few weeks ago THAT absurd now?

    Next four games are all very winnable with Atlanta being the toughest. Next really really tough one is Phoenix. If we win these next four we can get to 39 or even…40?

  51. The team looked like it was breaking down, Julius was playing badly, injuries, everything seemed to point to a let down, but man, those last few games have been so enjoyable. It’s really a great feeling to finally have a Knicks team that never gives up and continues to grind, guys are stepping up, RJ and Randle look like a real damn good duo and the defense remains right where we want it. I’m so impressed, really, there’s a real chance we could evade the Nets and Sixers in the first round, which would be amazing. I just don’t see the Pacers, Hornets or Raptors overtaking us, then it’s just a matter of keeping pace with the Celtics, Heat and Hawks.

  52. If the Knicks could get up to the 5 seed, I like our chances against any possible four seed (except Miami) to win a playoff series. Imagine a year ago thinking that Julius Randle and RJ Barrett would be leading the Knicks to a tie for the NBA’s 10th best net rating.

  53. KJG

    April 16, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    I don’t want to get ahead of myself but I think we should let Payton actually run the offense here … his hesitation is ruining their D it would appear

    I remember being somewhat startled by this same thought…

  54. My comments are being marked as spam? That’s tough.

    ouch, that sounds like a harsh social commentary…

  55. Boy, I think the Knicks finished just fine.

    Not really. They had trouble getting the ball inbounds, and they were rescued by at least one not great call when Randle was swarmed – otherwise it would have been a backcourt violation. And Noel sagged off Luka, allowing that 3, when…why? There were a bunch of miscues that could have hurt us. I wouldn’t call it luck, since we were the better team tonight, more prepared, more intense, so we deserved the win…but the execution still isn’t strong down the stretch.

  56. I’m reading some Mavs fan commentary and a common theme is that the Mavs are just kind of soft. That physical teams push them around pretty easily.

    That matches up with what I saw out there. The Knicks aren’t the most skilled team in the league but they’re definitely physical, there is really nobody in the rotation who plays soft.

  57. New York basketball is back! This is a Knicks team we can be proud of thanks to Thibs. Coach of the year in my book.

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