2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ the Cavs’ New All-Center Starting Lineup

Now that Jarrett Allen is on the Cavaliers and the Cavaliers’ starting backcourt is out due to injury, I think they’ll probably go something like:

Javale McGee at the point (they actually tried a little bit of point McGee in the preseason, hilariously)
Andre Drummond at shooting guard
Larry Nance at the three
Thon Maker at power forward
Jarrett Allen at center

All-Center lineup!

The Knicks finally catch a team that is A. also missing a bunch of guys and B. is also in the middle of a comedown losing streak following a surprisingly good start to the season, so this is sort of like the movable object facing off against the resistible force. Someone is going to leave here at 6-7, why not the Knicks?

Let’s go, bounceback game Knicks!

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310 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ the Cavs’ New All-Center Starting Lineup”

  1. All my dreams for all those years about running a Wins Produced superstar lineup of all big men are coming true.

    I want to see 35 feet of opponents

  2. My previous “Let’s go Knicks” comment is awaiting moderation.

    Are we banning optimism?

    :-)

  3. Visual processing isn’t just helpful for the recognition and planning stages of movement though. Spatial awareness is a specific genre of visual processing that also incorporates proprioception – otherwise known as our ability to perceive the position and movement of our own body through space. Spatial awareness is key in both the planning and execution stages of movement.

    thanks milo, really interesting stuff you linked up…a little busy at the moment, but, bookmarked for later…chances are good i won’t be able to get it all (or even most of it) on the first skim thru…

    recently watch the sisters brothers and o’ brother where art tho, which now has me intently wanting to watch the ballad of buster scruggs

    i think i’ve already watched it, but, just don’t remember it well…it sticks out cuz i think it reminded me a bit of cat ballou which i saw when i was much younger and thought was just really weird…

  4. If the last twenty years of the Knicks hasn’t managed to kill Team Optimism, nothing ever will. Y’all are some very upbeat cockroaches.

  5. Alan: NBA considering allowing teams to have a third two-way player for this season, presumably to help deal with outbreak situations. Not that Thibs would play anybody else in a non-blowout, but is there anybody on one of the Exhibit 10 deals you’d like to see bumped up a contract grade?

      

    what Alan failed to mention in the last thread is that Thibs considers blowouts “leading by 40 at some point in the last six minutes”

  6. Touche, Jowles.

    Meanwhile, what a gut punch of a statement from KAT about testing positive for COVID. Of all the players to have to deal with it, after what the virus has already done to him and his family…

  7. For what’s worth I was watching the pregame and Sexton looks ready to play (he was listed as day-to-day with an ankle injury).

    I’m very sorry for KAT, He and his family are really unlucky with this fucking virus (he said they lost 7 family members to it, including his mother).

  8. My bad, Sexton was out there shooting but now looks like he will not play.

    Cavs’ starters: Dotson, Okoro, Osman, Nance, Drummond.

    Bullock’s back so Knicks with their most common lineup, Payton still haunt us…

  9. I think KAT should take off from this season and deal with his mental issues. Dude was talking suicidal not too long ago and just needs to work on processing everything that’s happening in his life before all of the depression comes crashing down on him.

  10. Ntilakilla: I think KAT should take off from this season and deal with his mental issues. Dude was talking suicidal not too long ago and just needs to work on processing everything that’s happening in his life before all of the depression comes crashing down on him.

    That’s a reasonable take, but also, he is making $29M this year. That’s hard to walk away from, even if it’s the right thing to do.

  11. league pass (on the tv/fios) only sometimes gives you an option of watching either home or away broadcasts…i’m stuck with the cavs announcers this game…

    if there is one thing you can count on – if walt and mike are calling the game – they’ll be at least one item of excellence related to the broadcast…

    of course, i got about another half hour here at the office and then a 20 minute walk home, then a trip to go pick up some grub – i will catch you all after the game…

    it seems if i read the comments here prior to turning the game – there’s a good chance i’ll skip the whole thing if we’re really sucking that game…

    and, we are not going to suck tonight…the knicks will win…i deem it so…

  12. I can’t tell you how many times I yell “Shoot the F**n ball already!” at the TV.

  13. ***That’s a reasonable take, but also, he is making $29M this year. That’s hard to walk away from, even if it’s the right thing to do.***

    Physical illness and mental illness are cosmically indistinguishable and equally incapacitating. In 2021, with the medical knowledge we possess, shouldn’t someone with incapacitating mental illness be treated as an injured player, and therefore not play and still get paid per their contract?

  14. At what point do we just give up on Bullock? His entire value is in his 3pt shooting, last year he shot 33% in 29 games and this year he’s also shooting 33%.

  15. Our starting lineup doesn’t start great most of times… It’s starting to tire me…

  16. vincoug:
    At what point do we just give up on Bullock?His entire value is in his 3pt shooting, last year he shot 33% in 29 games and this year he’s also shooting 33%.

    i gave up on him a long time ago

  17. bullock is on the tail end of a cheap 2 year contract… the reason he was cheap was because he got hurt…. if this is what he gives you gotta live with the results especially when there aren’t many alternatives….

    and he’s shooting 33% …. he’s a career 38% shooter… no reason to give up on that… might as well give up anyone with a cold streak shooting from distance…

  18. Money is very important in life. But its not more important than one’s health, and that includes mental health. I think KAT will be doing the right thing for his relationships and even his career in the long-term if he sacrifices some short-term profit to take time off this season so he can receive professional help and spend time with his family.

  19. i really don’t think anyone should be diagnosing people’s mental health based off of public comments….

  20. djphan:
    bullock is on the tail end of a cheap 2 year contract… the reason he was cheap was because he got hurt…. if this is what he gives you gotta live with the results especially when there aren’t many alternatives….

    and he’s shooting 33% …. he’s a career 38% shooter… no reason to give up on that…might as well give up anyone with a cold streak shooting from distance…

    i am not just doing that based on his shooting…I just don’t think he is that good…another footnote in knickerbocker history…

  21. Quickley passing up a good look from 3 in favor of a weak floater is not what you want to see

  22. djphan:
    bullock is on the tail end of a cheap 2 year contract… the reason he was cheap was because he got hurt…. if this is what he gives you gotta live with the results especially when there aren’t many alternatives….

    and he’s shooting 33% …. he’s a career 38% shooter… no reason to give up on that…might as well give up anyone with a cold streak shooting from distance…

    Yeah but he also shot 33% last year. He’s not good if he’s not hitting 3s and he doesn’t really have a future with the team. Would rather give those minutes to someone else.

  23. He’s not good if he’s not hitting 3s

    we are talking 150 3p attempts between the last 2 years…. that’s a difference of 5 made 3pt’ers that separates 33% with 38%….

    i’m not saying you shouldn’t give up on that… but that’s a pretty tough standard which will probably lead to giving up on a lot of other people too….

  24. I am starting to believe in Knox’s jumper.

    It kind of feels like believing in American Demoracy.

  25. No comments on Dotson starting at point guard? It’s because of injuries, but still, we could have had him instead of DSJ.

  26. Owen:
    I am starting to believe in Knox’s jumper.

    It kind of feels like believing in American Demoracy.

    Let’s hope they both do well

  27. Knox has the stroke. It’s just up to his teammates to commit to getting him the ball in catch and shoot situations.

  28. Ntilakilla:
    Knox has the stroke. It’s just up to histeammates to commit to getting him the ball in catch and shoot situations.

    good luck with that…

  29. I love that IQ presses on the baseline inbound after scoring. The 24 is constantly at 17-18 by the time the Cavs get into the half-court.

  30. I have no idea if that was on purpose, but I swear I’ve always wondered why more guys don’t try a bank floater. Seems kinda workable from a physics perspective?

  31. thenoblefacehumper:
    I have no idea if that was on purpose, but I swear I’ve always wondered why more guys don’t try a bank floater. Seems kinda workable from a physics perspective?

    i think i heard him call “bank” when he shot it…

  32. The Cavs announcers just compared Quickley to Anthony Edwards noting that Quickley was SEC player of the year and Edwards was not

  33. IQ owns the Cavs

    Just saw that Karl Towns has covid-poor guy. I’m sure he’ll be fine but getting the disease that killed 7 people in your family including your mom has to be a real mindfuck.

  34. I remembered who had an efficient floater just like the one IQ uses… wasn’t Steve Nash’s floater just like this?

  35. It’s weird, Knox’s reaction time once he grabs a board is pretty quick- his head is up and he either pushes himself or gets it out of his hand quickly. Too bad he rarely grabs boards and that his reaction time for nearly everything else besides threes is so bad. He’s the opposite of the guys in the article ptmilo posted earlier today.

  36. Like what I’m seeing from the bench this quarter, even more so since it’s mostly young guys. Also, we’ve played normal rotations and minutes so far this game.

  37. ess-dog:
    So… Kevin Knox, all-star?

    Why aren’t Quick and Toppin pick-n-rollin?

    Because we don’t seem to run any pick and rolls.

  38. As soon as the starters went in the offense goes in the mud again… no spacing, no shooting, dumb turnovers… it’s just unwatchable…

  39. I can’t blame Kevin for trying something with that wild shot. His teammates aren’t getting him the ball.

  40. RJ declining the heave once again? It was close.

    Drummond really is something. Breen said he woke up this morning wanting to be a point guard but it looks more to me like he woke up wanting to be Julius Randle.

    Looked like Shaq out there though.

  41. Max:
    As soon as the starters went in the offense goes in the mud again… no spacing,no shooting, dumb turnovers… it’s just unwatchable…

    If the Knicks are interested in winning games Burks needs to start once he gets back. And honestly they should probably swap out RJ for Knox for spacing. I’d rather just lose but you can’t start two wings with a sub-.500 ts% and expect to run any kind of efficient offense.

  42. nicos: If the Knicks are interested in winning games Burks needs to start once he gets back. And honestly they should probably swap out RJ for Knox for spacing. I’d rather just lose but you can’t start two wings with a sub-.500 ts% and expect to run any kind of efficient offense.

    Don’t forget IQ for Payton, everything starts with the PG… teams know he couldn’t shoot and sag on him doubling every other player…

  43. Max: Don’t forget IQ for Payton, everything starts with the PG… teams know he couldn’t shoot and sag on him doubling every other player…

    I want to see IQ play the point a little more before I’d start him.

  44. nicos: I want to see IQ play the point a little more before I’d start him.

    You only need him to play a little PG with Randle in the same lineup.

  45. I feel like Ice Cube in the end of Boyz in The Hood.

    Either Thibs don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on with Mitch’s injury.

  46. Seriously, is this the playing through pain part of his apprenticeship?

    Drummond appears to be his kryptonite. To be fair, he wrecks a lot of people

  47. Man that sequence there was pretty impressive. Drummond to whoever to Osman.

    And so was my Cedi Osman game prediction

  48. still stuck at work…wow, we have 7 free throw attempts and cleveland has 24 – that’s not good…

  49. Rooting for us to eek out a win against the 30th best team while they are severely undermanned feels pathetic. I’m going to go read a book.

  50. We can’t run a fast break or guard a fast break. Does anyone on the team know what a fast break is?

  51. ess-dog:
    Rooting for us to eek out a win against the 30th best team while they are severely undermanned feels pathetic. I’m going to go read a book.

    Which book you reading?

  52. Jesus Barrett.

    Problem with these kids is that they end up feeling themselves after a few shots.

  53. They need that gizmo that they use for VAR in soccer

    Clear path is a good rule but it shouldn’t take this long

  54. just went live at the 3 minute mark…if they can pull it out, i’ll check out what happened before…if the score stays as is – delete…

    great, tuned in just in time to see them get o’ so close, and, it’s a clear path foul…

  55. I’ll never enjoy the last two minutes of a basketball game. The NBA has to do something about timeout palooza in crunch time.

  56. well, at least it’s dinner time…looks like i’ll be looking for a little joy elsewhere this evening…

  57. Looking at the schedule this 5 game losing streak will most likely reach 11. Rooting for a decent team was fun while it lasted.

  58. What a bunch of idiots…

    When Burks and Frank come back I don’t want to see Bullock and Payton anymore… trade them, cut them, just take them out forever…

  59. Lost to a team with Dotson running point down the stretch. When you look up motivated reasoning in the dictionary it will show the people who convinced themselves this team was good because of two weeks of bad opponent shooting.

  60. man folks quick to the trigger on blaming rj on that when it was at worst a bad pass by quickley but just a better play by drummond….

  61. Barrett destroys his surprisingly efficient night with two unforgivable turnovers at the end.
    Wake up kid!

  62. The mind is a strange thing, men.
    We must begin by asking it…
    …”What is losing?”

    Losing is a disease…
    …as contagious as polio.
    Losing is a disease…
    …as contagious as syphilis.
    Losing is a disease…
    …as contagious as bubonic plague…
    … attacking one…
    … but infecting all.

  63. Perfect game for the tank,
    Quickley plays well, Barrett has a good shooting night, Knox was decent…

  64. KP just airballed a three to win off the backboard. Small karmic reward

    Giannis somehow 1-10 from the line

  65. Max:
    Perfect game for the tank,
    Quickley plays well, Barrett has a good shooting night, Knox was decent…

    and mitch didn’t blow out his acl…

  66. I really do wonder how long before IQ takes the starting job from Payton. Elfrid Payton just doesn’t serve any long term purpose on this team, and he’s not even looking to get guys involved anymore.

  67. Quickley 28 min to Payton 20, maybe Thibs… maybe Thibs?

    Payton -14 /-, 0 assist and 3 turnovers but you really have to watch the game to understand how much he sucked…

  68. If the Bulls hang on tonight, the Knicks will have the 5th worst record in the league. I’ll take that all day so long as RJ Barrett gets his jumper in order and Immanuel Quickley continues to show he belongs.

  69. Reggie Bullock played 30 minute and had 4 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

    2 good games in a row from RJ. Good game from IQ so who cares that Obi looks like a bust.

  70. Max:
    Quickley 28 min to Payton 20, maybe Thibs… maybe Thibs?

    He has a penchant for playing the hot hand and if neither guy is hot, he defaults to Payton. Quickley is going to have to tear it out of Payton’s hands.

  71. Obi didn’t have a bad box score in 10 minutes of play when you look past his scoring. 4 rbs, 2 ast, 1 st? I’ll take it for now.

  72. i thought obi’s minutes weren’t terrible… i really wish he just stopped taking 3s period and just concentrate inside the 3pt line…

    only 30 some odd minutes…. if he keeps jacking up 3s in the next 100 or so it’s probably time to panic though…

  73. They asked Thibs about IQ starting vs. Payton. He said they’re still working guys into the rotation and they’re still evaluating to find the best combinations. I wonder how long he’ll need to see that IQ makes the spacing so much better with the rest of the starting lineup.

  74. Never watched Toppin playing in college,
    I was expecting a lot of short-to-midrange jumpers and power moves,
    instead he jacks threes and stays out of the paint all the time.
    I’m really surprised.

  75. SGA having one of the best individual games of the year. OKC ain’t tanking.

  76. Sup guys. Read a few pages of Mary Webb, then switched to the news, then curled up in the fetal position for a bit.

    That Lavine-Shai showdown looks like it was pretty entertaining. Too bad we can’t have nice things like that.

  77. Chicago was able to lose a game that they lead by 22 in the third and by 10 with two minutes to play.

  78. djphan:
    i thought obi’s minutes weren’t terrible… i really wish he just stopped taking 3s period and just concentrate inside the 3pt line…

    only 30 some odd minutes…. if he keeps jacking up 3s in the next 100 or so it’s probably time to panic though…

    Ha I love that you’re ready to panic over 130 NBA minutes with Toppin but anybody who is worried by RJ’s .470 TS in 2150 minutes is completely over-reacting. Not a bad game for RJ though. Shot well and had a few nice passes. The turnovers were bad but he rarely makes those kinds of mistakes- they shouldn’t happen but it’s not like there’s a pattern there. His defense on Dotson’s late drive was inexcusably bad though. Dotson caught the ball 16 feet from the basket and with no pick or even much of a fake RJ completely lost him. There are things RJ does well on defense but keeping guys in front of isn’t one of them yet and you can’t hide a wing so that needs to get better.

  79. just spent some minutes reading through some of mary webb’s poetry…yeah, she’d have most definitely understood what it is to be a knicks’s fan…

    all dark and gloomy up on a lonely hill…

    on a positive note – at least we’re not pistons fans…

  80. Ha I love that you’re ready to panic over 130 NBA minutes with Toppin but anybody who is worried by RJ’s .470 TS in 2150 minutes is completely over-reacting.

    you don’t get it….

  81. @Nicos I think he’s saying he’s worried that Toppin seems allergic to scoring inside the 3pt line, when that’s kind of his whole jam so if (and this is a big if) he can’t do that on this level and just jacks up moonshot threes he doesn’t really have much value since his defensive track record is not great. That’s a worst case scenario, though, so it is definitely early to panic but so far it is a (smallish and slightly-off color) red flag.

  82. Warriors should trade Wiggins and Wisemen to Drummond. Would help both teams. Drummond is too good to play for the likes of pistons or cavs.
    Hope Our mitch will be more consistent

  83. I don’t know what to make of how they’re using Obi. Thus far, it does not inspire confidence that they made the right pick.

  84. Not that Andre Drummond is an easy matchup for anyone, but I think it’s matchups like these that show us where Mitch’s game is now relative to where it has to get eventually. The Cavs have Allen now. Drummond is probably going to wind up on some playoff team before the trade deadline. In the playoffs, Mitch will face bigger, stronger, better, and smarter Cs on average than in the regular season. They’ll be better at taking away what he does well and taking advantage of his weaknesses. Even though Nerlens has way less talent, he has a bit more experience.

  85. Yeah, Toppin did not make much of an impact last night. He seemed completely anonymous.

    Looking forward to his next run but having continued doubts about him.

    Okongwu debuted last night. Interested to see how that take ages

  86. Ntilakilla:
    They asked Thibs about IQ starting vs. Payton. He said they’re still working guys into the rotation and they’re still evaluating to find the best combinations. I wonder how long he’ll need to see that IQ makes the spacing so much better with the rest of the starting lineup.

    I like IQ a lot. I’ve almost stopped obsessing about Frank since he joined the team. :-)

    After the first couple of games, I felt comfortable saying he has some PG skills. But after seeing more I’m not sure he can be the PG in an offense that’s using that position as the engine for the offense. I think he can be part of team that’s getting playmaking and penetration from multiple players. That’s more or less what we are doing now with Randle anyway, but it still feels like this team has dreadful spacing with RJ, Randle, and Mitch on the court together. No matter who is in the other 2 slots we are going to have issues. Aside from RJ suddenly learning how to shoot, I don’t see an easy solution, but that’s the best argument for trading Randle. It’s not that he isn’t very good or sometimes turns the ball over on bad plays etc… I liked Randle last year and I’m happy he’s proving me correct. It’s that out spacing is so broken we need a real clear cut stretch PF, not someone that’s trying to stretch his game out a bit. If RJ and Mitch are on the court, the other 3 guys have to be able to shoot well.

  87. Guys, keep (very) cool about Mitch, as his match against Drummond this season is at 1-2 (with the preseason). This is exactly the games Mitch needs, a guy that shows him he still has weaknesses. Can’t wait for the rebound game, because Mitch probably has now marked the next game against the Cavs.

  88. Toppin has some skills. The problem is his offense is not translating well to the pros so far. As I feared, they are taking away what he did well in college and he’s not really an NBA 3 point shooter. It’s way too early to go to red alert, but he’s not 19. He was drafted because he was supposedly more physically mature and ready at 23. It’s at least a yellow alert situation.

  89. Mitch played the second half hurt it should be said. He did not look normal out there. Which was dumb.

    Alan had it on Twitter, but the only player who has hit more corner threes than Knox this year is Mikal Bridges.

  90. Wow, didn’t make the connection between DET being the only team that will tank all the way and… the Knicks having their 2nd round pick. That’s valuable. I sure hope this isn’t like CHA last year, and this time we can really get the 31st RP for the 2021 Draft.

  91. Owen:
    Mitch played the second half hurt it should be said. He did not look normal out there. Which was dumb.

    No doubt, but he was getting dominated before he got hurt.

    Keeping Mitch in was the first time this season I yelled at the TV, “WTF is Thibs doing?”.

  92. geo:
    just spent some minutes reading through some of mary webb’s poetry…yeah, she’d have most definitely understood what it is to be a knicks’s fan…

    all dark and gloomy up on a lonely hill…

    on a positive note – at least we’re not pistons fans…

    Are the Pistons really worse than us? We just lost to a terrible Cleveland team that was missing a bunch of players to injury and the trade. Plus, they won a title in recent memory. If anything, I would think Pistons fans feel sorry for us.

  93. vincoug: Are the Pistons really worse than us? We just lost to a terrible Cleveland team that was missing a bunch of players to injury and the trade. Plus, they won a title in recent memory. If anything, I would think Pistons fans feel sorry for us.

    I think geo was only talking about this season, where DET opted for the “walk of shame” and will be the worst team all year long. With the flattened odds, would you subscribe for that? I sure don’t, a 5th worst record is a more balanced course of action, we’ll have (almost) the same odds and we’ll make through the season with less drama.

  94. Ugh.
    Once everyone is healthy the rotation absolutely needs to be:
    C- Mitch, Noel
    PF- Randle, Obi
    SF- Barrett, Knox
    SG- Burks, Rivers
    PG- Quickley, Ntilikina

    Harper, DSJ, Bullock, Taj, and Iggy should be break in case of emergency players. As soon as Ntilikina is back we need to find homes for Bullock and Payton. Those 2 have been hurting us all season when they’re not a part of the future. Thibs needs to snap out of his bias and get the kids goin. We can lose to a shorthanded Nets and Cavs if the kids are playing and it would be understandable. But when you’re giving Elfrid too much rope or playing Bullock more than you’re playing Knox in those losses, it’s unacceptable.

  95. I’m actually ok with these last two losses. RJ, Quickley and Knox played well in both. Mitch still being Mitch as a starter. Last night was disappointing but at least our youngsters are contributing and playing well. And Randle continued to play well which is only a good thing whether we keep or trade.

  96. Yeah this team really needs a rebounding force who can knock guys on their asses. We were miserably out rebounded last night. Taj probably would have helped.

    Also, I think Obi will eventually provide rebounding. I just don’t get why they don’t have him pick and roll with RJ or IQ to get him going. He’s already a master roller.

  97. When you look up motivated reasoning in the dictionary it will show the people who convinced themselves this team was good because of two weeks of bad opponent shooting.

    It’s becoming an annual tradition. We get off to a decent start that’s clearly unsustainable, a segment of the board points out the red flags, another segment shouts them down and calls them wet blankets and starts talking about the playoffs, and by February we’re all checking tankathon on a daily basis.

    Numbers are real, folks!

  98. On the bright side, RJ’s “if you arbitrarily give him his 3PT% from last year” adjusted TS% now stands at almost exactly .500. So there’s that.

    Thibs sounds amenable to a starting lineup change at point guard and that’s probably for the best. I do feel a little bad for Payton, the starting lineup has 4 guys who can’t shoot and he’s not the worst basketball player among them. He’s a sensible odd man out for a variety of reasons, but I think the whole “he’d be great if you surrounded him with shooters and a rim runner” thing applies to him more so than RJ at the moment.

  99. Deeefense: No doubt, but he was getting dominated before he got hurt.

    Keeping Mitch in was the first time this season I yelled at the TV, “WTF is Thibs doing?”.

    Thibs’s sell-by date has long lapsed.

  100. thenoblefacehumper: It’s becoming an annual tradition. We get off to a decent start that’s clearly unsustainable, a segment of the board points out the red flags, another segment shouts them down and calls them wet blankets and starts talking about the playoffs, and by February we’re all checking tankathon on a daily basis.

    Numbers are real, folks!

    Yeah, is it ok for us to stop “enjoying the run” now?

  101. cybersoze: I think geo was only talking about this season, where DET opted for the “walk of shame” and will be the worst team all year long. With the flattened odds, would you subscribe for that? I sure don’t, a 5th worst record is a more balanced course of action, we’ll have (almost) the same odds and we’ll make through the season with less drama.

    Yes, I would want to be the worst team in the league, have the best lottery odds, and can’t fall any further than the 5th pick. People overrate this stuff in the moment. Two years ago we finished with the worst record but I have no idea if we the worst all year long and I doubt anyone else does either.

  102. I don’t think keeping Mitch in was a big deal, he tweaked his ankle. Players do that all the time and keep playing.

  103. Detroit spent a decent amount of money to put together this team that is allegedly tanking on purpose-I think they just might be badly run.

  104. I know folks keep hoping that Payton will get benched (i.e. out of rotation) but I don’t see it happening.

  105. vincoug: Yes, I would want to be the worst team in the league, have the best lottery odds, and can’t fall any further than the 5th pick. People overrate this stuff in the moment.

    I wouldn’t mind that, but let’s do some math. I don’t know if you value a lot being 5th instead of 7th, so let’s do the math to be worst or be 4th (probably this team don’t fall further than 6th).

    Worst: Top3% .401, guaranteed 5th;
    4th worst: Top3% .366, % for 6th or better .911;

    I don’t think this marginal better odds are worth the trouble, that’s all.

  106. DRed:
    Detroit spent a decent amount of money to put together this team that is allegedly tanking on purpose-I think they just might be badly run.

    Yeah, totally puzzling. They’re the “Knicks of the East” now (and that’s what geo was talking about). :D

  107. Most likely, once the new car smell wears off we’ll be jockeying with the Bulls, Cavs, Pistons, and Wizards for the bottom 5 spots in the East, and we’ll probably be closer to the bottom of that pile of shit than the top. I still think we will end up with low-mid-20’s in wins because of random hot streaks/poor shooting nights from other teams/playing hard due to Thibs.

  108. Hali had a bad one yesterday but I’d still rather have him than Obi,
    at least until we’re able to understand what kind of role Toppin will play in the NBA (the way they’re using him in this few games, preseason included, is puzzling me).

    I’m okay with the losses (caveat, if the youngsters play well) but I prefer to lose with 30 minutes of Knox and 18 of Bullock and not vice versa as yesterday.

    Also Rivers has gone from supernova to ice age in the blink of an eye, but he’s been this way his entire career, I still think he could be useful.

    Burks’s upgraded to day-to-today, maybe he’ll play in at least one of the incoming back-to-back

  109. Assuming we don’t do anything rash involving this year’s 1st, and that Dallas doesn’t swing for the fences, I think we will have a pick around #6-7 and a pick in the late teens. If we can swing a star and a solid rotation player out of those two, I’m good with out trajectory. RJ, Knox, Mitch, Quickley and Obi are all getting rotation minutes. DSjr is an afterthought, as he shoud be. Frank can’t stay healthy. Iggy isn’t an NBA player yet.

    The one x-factor right now is Burks. He looked very good, and maybe he makes the starting/finishing lineups better enough to eke out a couple of extra wins. But beyond that, this is a high lottery team.

  110. Z-man:
    I don’t think keeping Mitch in was a big deal, he tweaked his ankle. Players do that all the time and keep playing.

    The problem was that he was visibly limping at times.

  111. Deeefense: The problem was that he was visibly limping at times.

    Yeah, but again, that’s pretty common. We’ll know if it was a bad decision if he’s out for tomorrow and Monday. If he’s in, it was really not a big deal.

  112. After that ridiculous game by Rivers, we are starting to see the real player now. He has some skills, but he’s not efficient enough and doesn’t do a lot. He’s role player off the bench.

  113. Deeefense:
    After that ridiculous game by Rivers, we are starting to see the real player now.He has some skills, but he’s not efficient enough and doesn’t do a lot.He’s role player off the bench.

    He’s good value for a $3mill player. I don’t think anyone should have expected more. All of our vets should be expected to play somewhere around what their salary says.

  114. As unwatchable as he is, it’s probably fine to have Elf starting for now. Even with his ridiculous numbers, Hali doesn’t start on a not-so-great team. Burning out rookies and messing with their confidence is a real thing, so I think it’s good they’re bringing Quick and Obi along slowly.

    Those Knox numbers are really something. Who would’ve predicted that? At this point, I honestly think a CP3-type vet point guard would make this team drastically better in the standings, which we probably don’t want, but it’s good to see the young pieces coming around.

  115. I’m just a little tired of investing myself in such an inept basketball product…

    I’m a fan, not some long term stock investor or something…

    I wanna come home after work, eat some dinner while watching some enjoyable sports thing that I actually care about…

    i really thought we would beat the cavs last night…

    we’ve only played 14 games or so, but – I feel like it’s already post all-star break and we’re all looking towards the draft…

    I’m just soooooo tired of always looking forward to the draft…so tired of watching the knicks stumbling and bumbling their way to a loss at the end of games….

    hell, I ain’t even got frank to root for out there right now…

    i wanna blame thibs, but he can’t control player health, he can’t acquire a functioning point guard on his own…

    most likely, I’m gonna wait until I know we’ve won the game before watching much more knick basketball…

    I’m tired of having that losing feeling when I tune in to watch them play…

    thankfully, as terrible as the knicks are at providing good/satisfying entertainment – you all make up for it in being so much fun to engage with…

  116. Austin Rivers is still Austin Rivers. He has never been very good. He’s in his perfect role as bench filler on a terrible team.

  117. ess-dog:
    As unwatchable as he is, it’s probably fine to have Elf starting for now. Even with his ridiculous numbers, Hali doesn’t start on a not-so-great team. Burning out rookies and messing with their confidence is a real thing, so I think it’s good they’re bringing Quick and Obi along slowly.

    Those Knox numbers are really something. Who would’ve predicted that? At this point, I honestly think a CP3-type vet point guard would make this team drastically better in the standings, which we probably don’t want, but it’s good to see the young pieces coming around.

    Hali is not starting because the Kings starting backcourt is Fox (the team’s star) and Hield (who gets 25 Mil this year). They’re signed for 5 and 3 more years respectively for a combined 220 Mil from 2021-22 on.

    Payton is a journeyman, on a 1-year/5 Mil deal, a terrible shooter and a disadvantage for the team.

    It’s not the same situation, not even close.

    The Kings are trying to trade Hield, if they’re able to do that, Hali’ll start.

  118. “NY_KnicksPR tweeted

    Injury Report 1/17 at Boston – Probable – Nerlens Noel (sore lower back) and Mitchell Robinson (contused right heel); Doubtful – Alec Burks (sprained left ankle); Out – Frank Ntilikina (sprained right knee).”

    So I have to correct myself about Burks… :-(

  119. I really hope this is the last year I have to watch Elfrid Payton in a Knicks jersey. He’s not good, and it’s not like having him in the starting line up makes anybody’s job easier. I think by President’s Day we’ll see a starting five of IQ, Burks, Barrett, Randle, and Robinson with Payton, Rivers, Toppin, Noel, and Knox rounding out the rotation. I’d expect Reggie Bullock to be cut so he can join a playoff team for the 2nd schedule or something like that. He makes some sense off the bench in Portland.

  120. ess-dog:I honestly think a CP3-type vet point guard would make this team drastically better in the standings, which we probably don’t want, but it’s good to see the young pieces coming around.

    If you plugged just a good not great point guard into the starting lineup (Brogdon, Jrue, Van Vleet) the Knicks would be instantly better, maybe 10 games better. Having a PG who is actually a 3 point threat would open things up for everyone else, including RJ, Randle and most of all Mitch

  121. Elfrid has been abnormally awful this year so far; the player we’ve seen isn’t really who he is. Assuming he eventually plays to the proverbial back of the baseball card, he does deserve to be in the rotation, and certainly so until Frank and Burks are back and we have some more options. IQ’s minutes should obviously be the priority but he played 28 minutes including crunch time last night so worrying about who started seems a little pedantic to me. It seems like just yesterday that everyone was arguing you had to completely ignore the portion of last season where we didn’t have Elfrid because of how crucial he is. I think there’s a little bit too violent a swing against him based on what’s still a relatively small sample of games.

  122. #When you look up motivated reasoning in the dictionary it will show the people who convinced themselves this team was good because of two weeks of bad opponent shooting.#

    Despite our recent slump i do believe we have a chance against any opponent.
    Are we good?
    Not exactly right now…
    Can we play good basketball?
    Definitely.
    All we need is to play better D and regain our lost confidence.

    Would you bet that we’re going 0-5 on our next 5 games? I wouldn’t.

  123. thenamestsam:
    Elfrid has been abnormally awful this year so far; the player we’ve seen isn’t really who he is. Assuming he eventually plays to the proverbial back of the baseball card, he does deserve to be in the rotation, and certainly so until Frank and Burks are back and we have some more options. IQ’s minutes should obviously be the priority but he played 28 minutes including crunch time last night so worrying about who started seems a little pedantic to me. It seems like just yesterday that everyone was arguing you had to completely ignore the portion of last season where we didn’t have Elfrid because of how crucial he is. I think there’s a little bit too violent a swing against him based on what’s still a relatively small sample of games.

    The funny thing is that Payton is playing more this year, he’s shooting more and is shooting better.
    Last year he shot 20% from three and 57% from FT (32% and 65% this year).
    His usage is higher, rebounds lower, assists way lower, turnovers are trending up.
    From the eye test his defense is cratering, but I could be wrong.
    He’s progressing as a shooter and is still unplayable in a starting five that desperately need shooters.

    Oh, I don’t think he was crucial last year, the team was a bit better because we fired Mr. Snake Oil Salesman, not because of Payton.

  124. Starting Five needs to be shaken a bit.
    Elf, Bullock and RJ should be benched one after another till we find a better starting unit and avoid getting hammered from the 1stQ.
    IQ Rivers and Knox can’t be much worse than the starting brickers!
    Shake em Thibs!

  125. djphan: you don’t get it….

    See, I don’t think you get it. I know you think TS shouldn’t be too concerning because it’s highly variable over small sample sizes. But you know what’s predictive of NBA TS? NBA TS! Starting out with a .478 TS% isn’t a giant red flag but it’s a pink one. Start off with 2 sub-.500 years and that flag turns from pink to flaming crimson. He was awful last year. -4.2 bpm may not be a full-on dumpster fire (see Frank) but it’s something bums can warm their hands over. He sits at -3.4 this year so the bums are still doing fine.

    RJ needs to add 90 pts of TS to hit league average- that’s a ton. He’s been better at the line and from mid-range for sure but he can keep improving those for years but those aren’t going to move the needle all that much. In order to really move the needle he needs to improve at the rim and from three. 39% of his shots are at the rim and this year’s % is exactly the same as last year’s: .561. That’s another pink flag number, one year you can live with but starting off with two solidly sub-.600 years is really bad. Finishers finish, even at 19. RJ did not. As for threes, ugh.

    The sad truth is even if had shoot well from three, say 38%, and great from the line, say 80% for his career thus far his TS% would be .530. Obviously if he was able to shoot 38% from three his shot chart would change and everything else would most likely get a big boost- If RJ can shoot 38% from three with any kind of volume he’s going to very good but I don’t know if his ceiling is any higher than what Randle is doing now. Maybe he can do it with fewer turnovers and in a way that doesn’t require the ball in his so much- I think at his absolute peak he’d be a below average Robin/really nice third guy. He’s got so far to go to get there I’d say his more likely outcome is someone like Will Barton- a league average guy…

  126. I should add that our resident dumpster fires Frank and Knox have both made huge TS leaps this year but they’ve done so by both shooting great from three and drastically restricting their shot charts in a way that I can’t see RJ doing.

  127. I should add that our resident dumpster fires Frank and Knox have both made huge TS leaps this year but they’ve done so by both shooting great from three and drastically restricting their shot charts in a way that I can’t see RJ doing.

    wait so do you think that frank and knox have better futures purely based on their ts%? are they better players because they were able to improve their ts or that the only way to improve ts is to limit shot selection?

    or what exactly is it that you’re saying so i don’t misintepret you?

  128. Knox has moved the needle for me with his 44% three point shooting from “nearly impossible to see a future” to “ it could happen”

    Which is probably ridiculous. It’s 13 games.

  129. djphan: wait so do you think that frank and knox have better futures purely based on their ts%?or what exactly is it that you’re saying so i don’t misintepret you?

    Oh no- I definitely didn’t mean that. Their shot charts scream role player. Now, I think both Frank and Knox can be pretty good role players but for both of them anything more than solid starter would need require a sea-change. And even being good role players is going to take a fair amount of improvement unless you think Frank has actually turned into a .587 TS% based on almost nothing.
    I don’t think RJ needs a sea-change to get to solid starter but he needs to make multiple big leaps to get there let alone to #2 guy. He was really bad last year- I’m not sure you agree and maybe that’s the source of our disagreement. Even if he made the kind of improvement to his three point shooting that he’s made in the mid-range he’d still be bad but it’d be easier to see Rudy Gay in his future than Will Barton. Right now he looks like a swiss army knife guy but is there anything you think he’s shown flashes of being really good at besides getting to the line in terms of scoring (the main blade)? He’s been better from mid-range and I think the elbow jumper looks legit when he’s in rhythm but his rhythm is slow- when he has to stop on a dime and square up the results are ugly. Maybe there’s a dynamic mid-range scorer there ala DeRozen or Melo but Melo had an elite jab step and DeRozen’s came in with a better touch and was probably more athletic. And both of them are overrated high volume/below average efficiency guys anyway. I guess my questions to you would be who do you see as his comps in terms of likely ceiling and what have you seen that makes you think he’ll get there?

  130. For the record
    For RJ:
    Absolute ceiling: Paul George without the defense or maybe DeRozan with fewer spacing issues. So, a below average #2 but a really solid player.

    Most likely good outcome: Rudy Gay- better than average but not a guy you build around.

    Most likely outcome: Will Barton (career 0.0 bpm). Maybe a little better than Barton, say .2 or .3 bpm for career average.

    Worst Outcome: Just a guy who hangs around for 6-7 years without ever hitting the break even mark.

    What has he shown that makes that seem wildly off-base? I’ve probably seen 2700-2800 minutes of play between Duke and the NBA- that’s a still a small sample size but what the heck else are you going to base it on?

    Sorry to post so much but there’s a pandemic going on and I don’t have much else to do- I’ll try to cool it!

  131. I have realized that Courtney Lee has reincarnated as Reggie Bullocks, or at least taken over his body. Good three point shooter (not really). Solid defender (maybe, maybe not). Good locker room guy (um, sure, whatever). Average box score line: 5-2-2 in 27 minutes.

    Do exorcisms work in these cases?

  132. The Nets are pretty much unstoppable with Harden and Durant, but man, does their defense suck.

  133. Caris LeVert’s physical revealed a mass on one his kidneys. Scary stuff. I hope it proves to be benign.

  134. Harden is playing as casually and out of shape as I’ve seen and is 2 rebounds away from a triple double at the end of the third quarter.

    Given the make up of the roster now, Nash should try to give him like 20 minutes a night without Durant/Irving to let him do his thing. There will still be like 15 minutes for the three to play together.

  135. Harden and Durant would have been the greatest duo in NBA history if OKC hadn’t fucked it up so bad.

  136. I guess my questions to you would be who do you see as his comps in terms of likely ceiling and what have you seen that makes you think he’ll get there?

    i’ve answered this question a ton of times… esp recently… but i’ll do it again… the universe of outcomes is still really wide …. just because he’s a bad shooter now doesn’t mean he will continue to be a bad shooter….

    he was bad last year yes… but he was bad in a way that can improve… he’s established that he can get to the hoop and the line and finish when needed… he rebounds well for his position…. he creates for others…

    yes it’s preferable that he makes shots but as long as he does those other things well he has time… he doesn’t have all the time in the world and he needs to show improvement but he can still be a really really good player….

    what does that look like? well if he only makes very tiny improvements for the rest of his life then he probably looks alot like evan turner… if he makes a little more improvement jason richardson…. a little more than that derozan…. and more than that probably derek anderson… brandon ingram… vince carter.. paul pierce and so on and so forth…

    like i said… the range of outcomes is very wide…. and the reason it’s wide is because rj is better in some areas than a lot of these guys on the list at a comparable age….

    if you freeze rj’s number for the rest of the year.. i’d probably be disappointed… but there’s very good reason to expect these numbers to improve.. particularly his 3p% and probably even his rim #s also…. and if it does there’s absolutely no reason to panic… you just have to wait….

    if you were expecting doncic or zion levels of play then you had bad expectations to begin with and i suspect the lashback against rj is due to bad expectation.. but if you can accept something less than you can settle for a decent player who was worthy of the #3 overall…

  137. Oh no- I definitely didn’t mean that. Their shot charts scream role player.

    so then what was the point of mentioning them?

  138. djphan: so then what was the point of mentioning them?

    I mentioned that he needed to make a huge leap in TS and don’t think the huge leap Knox has made in limited minutes (or that Frank has made in a minuscule sample size) was applicable to RJ- Knox has a three point rate of .560 which he’s hitting at 44%, that’s never happening for RJ.

    If all you can say after 2500 NBA minutes is that he’s going to wind up somewhere between Evan Turner and Paul Pierce you’re basically punting and saying absolutely nothing. Evan Turner and Jason Richardson are guys that you should never make a single personnel choice based on while Pierce is guy you can build around- the Knicks are going to be making a lot of decisions in the next few years so I’d want a little narrower range of outcomes than what you gave. I’ll say this, if he ends the year with a sub .500 TS and below the .600 line at the rim I’d look to see if you could get a pick in the 15-20 range for him. One year of those numbers you can live with two years of that to start your career is really tough to recover from if you’re expecting anything looking like league average #’s for a wing. Maybe I’m wrong- show me a few guys who’ve had those numbers and turned out to be plus efficiency scorers. I mean I hope I’m wrong- I’m pretty sure I’m on record saying I wanted him at three than trading down so I don’t get to say I told you so to anybody and I really, really would like to see some watchable basketball. Right now he looks like a finesse wing with extremely questionable shooting and a below average handle. He’s young, has a good Bball IQ and works his ass off so I think Evan Turner is about as bad as you could possibly expect but Pierce seems like real stretch. I’ll give you Jason Richardson as a solid probable outcome- decent starter nothing more- with guys like DeRozan as a likely ceiling. Good on a good contract.

  139. If all you can say after 2500 NBA minutes is that he’s going to wind up somewhere between Evan Turner and Paul Pierce you’re basically punting and saying absolutely nothing. Evan Turner and Jason Richardson are guys that you should never make a single personnel choice based on while Pierce is guy you can build around- the Knicks are going to be making a lot of decisions in the next few years so I’d want a little narrower range of outcomes than what you gave.

    if you want a crystal ball… i don’t think anyone can help you…. nobody .. not even rj knows what he will become…. the universe of outcomes is large because he’s so young and he’s established solid level of play in some key areas but fallen short in the most important aspect…. but he still has room to prove that he can improve and get to a needed level….

    it’s just really too soon to judge him…. we’ve seen a lot of players recently struggle in a similar way… ingram.. fultz… russell…. and you can go back even further for other guards and forwards who have struggled early on also… it happens… not everyone develops in the same way…

    when you’re not all-world like anthony davis or kevin durant or lebron james …. your development path can be very windy or spurty…. everyone’s different…. and this is probably our first prospect where we actually had to exhibit some patience with and we’re currently failing at that as a fanbase….

    but he’s going to show what he can do soon enough… whether it’s good or bad… but we certainly have not seen enough to bury him… and he’s still at a juncture where you probably would be silly to bet against him… after this season is another matter…

    if you’re hanging on every make or miss then you’re going to have a tough time in general …. so i would just advise against that too….

  140. ha, fat harden messed around and got a triple double…may take a round or two before their season comes to a joyous end…

    to be honest, i am a little curious to see what the three of them out on the court together will look like…

    more to the point – i wanna watch kyrie”s expression as harden holds the ball for 15 solid seconds or so possession after possession after possession…

    next two knick games on nbatv…hopefully burks is ready for monday’s game…

  141. djphan: if you want a crystal ball I don’t think anyone can help you…. nobody .. not even rj knows what he will become…. the universe of outcomes is large because he’s so young and he’s established solid level of play in some key areas but fallen short in the most important aspect…. but he still has room to prove that he can improve and get to a needed level….
    it’s just really too soon to judge him…. we’ve seen a lot of players recently struggle in a similar way… ingram.. fultz… russell…. and you can go back even further for other guards and forwards who have struggled early on also…it happens… not everyone develops in the same way
    but he’s going to show what he can do soon enough… whether it’s good or bad… but we certainly have not seen enough to bury him… and he’s still at a juncture where you probably would be silly to bet against him… after this season is another matter…

    Mostly agree but I’d disagree with you in that if his numbers freeze where they are this I would absolutely, positively try to move him for any first rounder. If he gets to plus .500 TS this year he’d have to shoot pretty well from here on out so you could squint and say “hey he shot pretty well for 80% of the season” so I’d be mildly encouraged. Right now his scoring pluses are FTr and getting to the rim but if that’s going to be his bread and butter then even .600 0-3 is low. He’s 20 so a ton can and most likely will change- I guess I see coming up with Jason Richardson as a pretty poor outcome for a third pick and if I had to predict his path based on what I’ve seen that seems a more reasonable outcome than Pierce. Like I said show me a current wing with back to back .480 TS seasons who wound up an efficient well-rounded scorer. I can’t find any.

  142. The odds of RJ being a Paul Pierce-level player are like 10,000 to 1. It’s stupid to even bring up his name as a possible outcome. Get real please.

  143. Mostly agree but I’d disagree with you in that if his numbers freeze where they are this I would absolutely, positively try to move him for any first rounder.

    i’ve said that i’d probably be disappointed if the numbers froze too….. but with improving his ft% by as much as he has.. i mean a 10+% improvement just doesn’t happen that often… you can probably expect some of the other #s to improve also… we just don’t know when it’s coming.. or if it does at all… but it’s a promising sign and i expect his 2p fg% to improve and certainly his 3p%….

    ingram’s mini-leap to respectable levels in his 2nd year didn’t even come until the latter half of the season and it was really only a little over month’s worth of games…. then he got hurt… sometimes the lightbulb turns on… sometimes it never does…. but you don’t give up on guys with talent… and certainly not 10 games into their second season….

  144. The odds of RJ being a Paul Pierce-level player are like 10,000 to 1. It’s stupid to even bring up his name as a possible outcome. Get real please.

    paul pierce wasn’t much of a player at age 18… in fact rj was way better….he shot 60% at the line at age 18… at age 21 pierce was shooting 53% at the rim in his rookie year…

    it’s probably not likely… i agree… but pierce isn’t miles ahead of rj at this stage in the game…. pierce was in the process of becoming the player we knew but it took him a couple of years to piece together that game that we recognize…. and rj right now is right around that age where pierce was putting it together…. and if he improves his shooting .. esp dramatically… then he’d probably be somewhere along that track…

  145. Paul Pierce put up a .144 WS/48, 3.4 OBPM, and a 2.3 VORP as a 21 year old rookie. He didn’t piece together anything- he pretty much arrived in the NBA as Paul Pierce despite not finishing that well. Also very different league back then- I wonder what the norm actually was.

    Look if RJ manages to crack .500 TS% by the end of the year I wouldn’t write him off but if he stays where he is he looks a lot more like Dragan Bender or Mudiay than anybody who’s any kind of player.

  146. more to the point – i wanna watch kyrie”s expression as harden holds the ball for 15 solid seconds or so possession after possession after possession…

    The funny thing is that Harden was annoying in the playoffs last year when he let Westbrook, I think, shoot too much. Basically, Harden with the ball is almost always the best thing for a team if you need a score late, so it was annoying how often he would pass it. And D’Antoni would actively be running plays for other guys at the end of the game.

  147. There’s no way this ends well with Kyrie. He’ll derail the whole thing before he accepts playing off of the ball enough to satisfy KD and Harden. I think Harden really wanted it to work out with Westbrook- they’re friends. I doubt he feels the same about Kyrie. If they can’t get on the same page I doubt Harden is going to bend over backwards to make things work- he’s every bit the egotistical jerk Kyrie is but with a lot less crazy. At the end of the day Harden’s just a better player than Kyrie and everyone who matters- KD, Nash, and D’A- knows it and I can’t imagine Kyrie accepting that.

  148. I thought Harden was incredibly deferential when he shared the floor with Durant. He was actively looking to assist first. I think the problem is being overblown. They have two of the best offensive players ever, they’ll figure out a way.

  149. Don’t much care if we win or lose, although beating Boston I will always root for, but definitely want to see RJ & IQ continue their recent play. Hopefully IQs mini bad streak was just him shaking the rust off.

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