2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Trailblazers

The Knicks head to Portland to take on the Trailblazers who, due to the crazy bunching together in the Western Conference standings, are somehow the current #4 seed despite only having an 8-6 record!

The Blazers, of course, are in the news for having TWO players break bones in their body, with both Jusuf Nurkic (broken wrist) and CJ McCollum (broken foot) out for an extended period of time. The Blazers actually have strong depth, but going from Nurkic and McCollum to Enes Kanter and Rodney Hood is…ungood.

The Blazers are a top ten offense, but they’re also one of the very worst teams in the NBA on defense, so that should help the Knicks’ offense. I think that this is a good matchup for the Knicks. I think they’ll get back to .500 tonight.

Let’s go, get back to .500, Knicks!

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443 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Trailblazers”

  1. I guess the Celts took their frustration from losing twice to the Sixers out on the Cavs. Jaylen Brown is a one-man wrecking crew these days.

  2. I am curious before the basketball starts. Should the Bills have gone for the touchdown on fourth down before the half rather than kicking a field goal? Saw you guys discussing a Green Bay decision.

  3. Owen:
    I am curious before the basketball starts. Should the Bills have gone for the touchdown on fourth down before the half rather than kicking a field goal? Saw you guys discussing a Green Bay decision.

    no I don’t think so. you want the points at that juncture in the game

  4. Covington with two blocks on Mitch. Unreal. Can’t remember that happening

    Covington’s a heck of a player.

  5. Owen:
    This isn’t going well

    Blazers are 12-14 to start the game.
    Did the ISM get suspended for a game?

  6. Yeah we need to tank because we desperately need a PG Jesus Christ

  7. The Blazers are on fire and the Knicks are disorganized. It could be one of those nights.

  8. Maybe we should have picked Giles off the scrap heap at some point and drafted Halliburton.

    Just ate up Toppin there

  9. Thibs needs to remind the team about the very real strategy that makes the other team miss all of their threes

  10. at least the other team has to respect iq from three…they could give a shit where payton is…its like playing with four dudes…

    and rivers went from decent to washed up in three weeks

  11. Portland is just jacking up 3pters with most of them not even open looks, their 3pt% will come down by the end of the game. Problem is dunno how the Knicks make up the deficit with their offense.

  12. You know in anime when the hero first faces an OP supervillian and the villian is like, “let me teach you the difference between your power and mine” which is followed by the hero getting that ass molly-whooped? That’s what’s happening to us right now.

    Dame says, “Let me show you the difference btwn a conference finalist and whatever the hell it is you think you are”

  13. I mentioned this a couple of games ago, IQ looks like the 8th pick in the draft and Obi looks like the late 1st rd pick project. Problem is one of the main reasons that Obi was considered a Top 5-10 pick is because he was supposedly NBA ready.

  14. “Kevin Knox is the kind of player who when his shot isn’t falling contributes in so many other ways”

    Said no one ever.

  15. I mentioned this a couple of games ago, IQ looks like the 8th pick in the draft and Obi looks like the late 1st rd pick project. Problem is one of the main reasons that Obi was considered a Top 5-10 pick is because he was supposedly NBA ready.

    I didn’t like the Toppin pick at all and even I thought he’d be decent this year. Hell, I even thought he had good ROY chances.

  16. kinda weird we just stopped running the rj pick and roll, i think we literally ran it once. i guess they were obsessed with attacking lillard, and thibs also did a weird minutes thing where he suddenly decided to play rivers and knox a ton, perhaps matching stotts who is on the first of a b2b.

  17. oh shit, we’re back to sucking again…not to sound too much like a homer, but it definitely looks like all the breaks and bounces are going portland’s way – but, that may just be because we suck…

  18. This Knicks team is built as the National Soccer Team of Germany. Competes till the last second of the game no matter what the score is. I expect serious fight on the 2nd.
    Lass uns gehen Knickerbockes!

  19. My analysis, wait for Dame to miss a shot and then pounce.

    Of course, he may never miss

    If only we had a beautiful Frenchman who could guard him

  20. Gotta say, not sure what Thibs meant when he said he’d play Frank “situationally” if “Damian Lillard has not missed a shot” isn’t one of those situations

  21. I mean, I don’t think Frank would stop Dame but i’d like to see it happen anyway, just for kicks

    Oh man, that shot over Mitch with the off hand was insane

  22. I’m not a coach or anything, but maybe Thibs should spend some practice time on playing against a zone

  23. what’s worse is that I’m stuck with the portland broadcast team, they’re damn near giddy with this ass whoopin…

  24. yeah, portland missed a bunch of shots in a row, that was our chance…couple of outside shots rattled around the rim but didn’t go in…

    just not our night – again…

  25. just re-watched blade runner (final cut) last night…

    is there anyone out there that believes rick deckard is a human…

    I’m starting to have doubts about gaff, considering holden’s another skin job, kinda makes sense all the blade runners are replicants…

  26. This is similar to the Raptors game, opponent just jacking up 3pters many of them contested off of one pass and really no ball movement or penetration. Don’t think Knicks D has been that bad tonight.

  27. man is it nice to see iq go al the way to the rim great game for him

    I think it was literally the first time I’ve seen him do it

  28. That drive to the rim was really promising for Quickley though – if he can do more of that it opens up a lot for his game, methinks.

  29. Quickley looks so much better when he stops and pops on drives or keeps up his dribble to the rim rather than going for the floater. He really needs to stop using the floater as a crutch!

  30. I’m kind of impressed Thibs has just been letting the bench mob keep playing. They’re definitely rewarding his trust tonight.

  31. obi is better than kevin at least…really, with obi on the team now, makes kevin not so neccessary…

    wish frank had taken rivers minutes…

  32. lol Mitch can’t get anyone to pass to him when he’s wide open tonight

    he’s a zero on offense…

  33. wait so thibs went from starting payton/rj/randle sees lillard hit some three and suddenly understands the inverse square law

  34. Win or lose, Quickley put together a really excellent game. Obi, well, has a whole season to impress us.

  35. Kanterstuffed Randle twice, accomplishing more on defense than he did in his entire Knick career.

    I love you Enes. Keep boarding.

  36. Definitely pro benching Rivers permanently now that half the roster isn’t injured

  37. i kind of applaud thibs for a more socialized minutes distribution but strategically this probably wasn’t the game to do it in….

  38. DRed
    January 25, 2021 at 12:00 am
    lol Mitch can’t get anyone to pass to him when he’s wide open tonight

    This. The first half of the Golden State game nobody passed to him. Then it was like Thibs mentioned it was okay to do that during halftime, and Mitch scored like 18 in the second half. He dominated again in the first half of the Sacramento game. Then Thibs must have said to stop that shit at halftime, because they surely have stopped that shit from that point on.

  39. I know our team sucks but damn it I’m proud of the effort tonight. These guys give a shit.

  40. Mitch is standing alone under the hoop doing a little dance to try to get attention and your takeaway is that it’s his fault his teammates aren’t throwing him the ball?

    Classic Knicks fake comeback tonight

  41. d-mar:
    The 3 blocks by Kanter equals his career high and also brings his career total to 3.

    I was thinking something similar haha.

  42. Before this trip I said I’d gladly take going 1-3 but after dominating Golden St to start the trip was really hoping to take 1 out of Sacramento and Portland. I’d rather just forfeit in Utah to make sure nobody gets injured cause there is no chance in hell they’re winning that game.

  43. We had some damn good chances to force turnovers down the stretch, but fouled instead. So close.

  44. all and all, not too terrible a night…

    quick is getting closer to starting…

    thibs needs to figure out how to include mitch in the offense…

  45. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Is this a moral victory?

    I’d say yes because before the season started you’d pencil this one in as a hard L. To be down 25 to a red-hot team with a superstar going off and to get back to within 4 with the ball with ample time left, and to have a rookie be a huge part of the comeback is pretty cool.

  46. i mean it was still a bad decision…. that didn’t mean quickley has no shot to turn out good… just look at what austin rivers is doing and see any number of guys picked after quickley who could’ve fit in that place instead of him….

    i still have my doubts on what quickley’s game is going to look like when he’s only shooting 3% of his shots at the rim… thankfully there’s other things to be optimistic about but that’s the dark cloud hanging over what he’s doing so far since that’s not only unprecedented… it’s really difficult to sustain efficient shooting when you’re forgoing rim attempts for floaters….

    but we’ll see… returns are good so far but we should see how this shakes out….

  47. As long as Quickley stays able to draw fouls at a good level, I don’t think the lack of rim attempts is too problematic. The issue with guards who can’t get to the rim, for example D’Angelo Russell, is that they end up shooting a ton of midrange shots and never getting fouled, which lowers their efficiency by a lot.

    Quickley, however, does attack the basket and puts pressure, he just does it in this super weird way prioritizing floaters, and when he does go to the line he shoots over 90% which is huge. We obviously have to wait and see how opponents adjust to it, how the refs adjust to him drawing fouls intentionally etc. It’s definitely very unconventional but there’s a possibility it works as long as he hits 3s at around 40% or better and the free throws stay over 90%.

  48. pepper:
    I guess Dotson did it…30 in one game

    I remember that game. I was thinking at the time: “it’s so good to see him break out like this” but then I remembered it was like the last game of the season and he wasn’t really facing the opposing team’s starters.

    Quickley’s is waaay more legit.

  49. Nate Robinson not score 30 as a rookie?

    He did it twice, with a high of 34 in one game.

  50. Cmon Brian, we are a playoff team! What is this tanking nonsense you are talking about?

    The scoreline flatters IQ a bit between the three point fouls and rhe late stat stuffing with unguarded two point shots, but still a really fantastic game. Ice in his veins to go 6-6 there.

    You have to reevaluate the FO a bit with how well he is playing, which isn’t something I have said, well, ever. I stilll have some doubts about how good he will be but you can see him being an average NBA guard for a long time which is amazing value. If he starts shooting the three ball as aggressively as that floater he has some real upside.

  51. Brian Cronin:
    That was a perfect tank loss, with Quickley playing so well.

    Yup. A nice result to wake up to, all things considered.

    How has Obi looked in his minutes the last two games? I fell asleep before both.

  52. Good, useful loss.

    The Blazers started molten hot, they hit a bunch of difficult shots, but our guys fought till the end and without a bad mistake by the refs (acknowledged post game) who knows? At that moment It was a game changing whistle.

    Dame is my favorite non-Knicks player in the league and I’ve a crush for the Blazers, their history is so full of unlucky moments so I’m happy for them.

    Great game by Quickley, I don’t know what more he can do to convince Thibs to start him.
    What with Barrett’s disappearance? Not a good night but why play him so little?
    Not the best game for Randle but he always grind, by far not the best game for Mitch, Kanter was better.
    Rivers looks lost and continue to pass on open threes, very strange.
    We need to keep Burks as a starter.
    Obi is still meh, the pull up jumper was nice but his moves to the rim are weak, for now.
    Knox in a cold streak, Payton is still Payton…

    Now let’s go on and hope for another good loss in Utah…

  53. Rivers has some skills. but overall he’s pointless. He’s not good enough to move the chain in an effort to get this team to the playoffs and quicken the development of the young players and he’s not young enough to hope he continues getting better and plays for the team longer term.

    Every time Knox teases that he may have a role on this team and I start getting encouraged he quickly squashes my hopes.

    I want to like Toppin, but I’m just not seeing it yet. We may have REALLY blown it with Hali. It may not be as bad as Knox/Mikal Bridges, but it’s not looking good so far.

    If Frank is healthy, move him ahead of Rivers, try him WITH Quickley and give him his last chance to prove one way or the other whether he deserves more time in NY. I haven’t lost faith that he can still become a high level defense first role player eventually, but he’s running out of time to demonstrate that in NY. I won’t mind being wrong about him, but I’d hate to be right and watch him lock down our best guards for years for another team.

  54. There are definitely aspects of Quickley’s game I didn’t anticipate. I don’t think he’s a full-time point guard but he has more point guard skills than I thought. His penchant for drawing fouls gives him an easy source of efficient points. The floater just might be good enough that defenses have to respect his drive despite him not being able to finish.

    I still see the holes in his game that made me not like the pick, but then I remember the dude is a 21 year old rookie guard playing in arguably the most brutal season for rookies of all time and can tighten up a lot of that stuff. Of course, it’s also possible defenses adjust to him and he doesn’t have any answers.

    It’s still too early for any victory laps or mea culpas so I’ll leave it at that. I love watching him and would like nothing more than for my pessimism about a Knicks draft pick to prove unfounded.

  55. I really hope we’re thinking about cutting bait on Burks, Bullock, and Rivers at the trade deadline. They all have good enough three point percentages that you can get something at the deadline for them, even if Bullock and Rivers are in reality useless players. I don’t want to compete for a playoff spot at the #9 seed unless it’s almost entirely driven by people who have a chance to be here next year.

    I would also like more minutes for Frank now that he’s back. He acquitted himself well enough in the first 40 minutes he played this season to merit some time ahead of the veteran dross on this team.

  56. With Frank’s return, Elfrid Payton should be waived (or traded for the top 55 protected second he theoretically could bring but probably won’t, whatever). And Thibs’s Austin Rivers obsession is just beyond bizarre. Does Thibs actually realize how well RJ Barrett has been playing? I really and truly wonder.

  57. I still see the holes in his game that made me not like the pick, but then I remember the dude is a 21 year old rookie guard playing in arguably the most brutal season for rookies of all time and can tighten up a lot of that stuff. Of course, it’s also possible defenses adjust to him and he doesn’t have any answers.

    Try to see the glass half filled instead of half empty. Not everyone is going to be Larry Bird and shoot well from everywhere with either hand, make plays like a maestro, rebound, be super clutch, and play very good underrated defense. Quick does quite a few things well, is smart, seemingly works very hard, will probably get better, and has a definite future here. I couldn’t be happier with him.

  58. I don’t want to compete for a playoff spot at the #9 seed unless it’s almost entirely driven by people who have a chance to be here next year.

    I understand this thinking and can’t disagree with it much, but there is a flip side.

    There’s almost no question that playing in the post season under playoff pressure and conditions is part of the development process that all young players have to go through. The lessons and experience gained carries forward. Sure, getting into the playoffs make cost us some infinitesimally better chance of grabbing a better player in the draft “probably by accident”. But I’d way rather see Mitch, RJ, Quick and the others play one tough series in the playoffs and lose to set them up better for next year than have a miniscule better chance of getting lucky in the middle of the lottery. A lot of things could change for the better next year with a deal or two and some development.

  59. Deeefense: There’s almost no question that playing in the post season under playoff pressure and conditions is part of the development process that all young players have to go through. The lessons and experience gained carries forward.

    But they won’t be the ones Thibodeau will play if they make the playoffs. That’s the problem.

  60. As long as Quickley stays able to draw fouls at a good level, I don’t think the lack of rim attempts is too problematic. The issue with guards who can’t get to the rim, for example D’Angelo Russell, is that they end up shooting a ton of midrange shots and never getting fouled, which lowers their efficiency by a lot.

    the floaters are kind of like midrange shots…. they don’t draw fouls and they don’t draw attention from the defense… they’re mostly uncontested which is why it’s a shot… it’s just a shot that’s very different from any other shot on the floor….

    and it’s not only the foul shooting aspect … when you’re forgoing every attempt at the rim which even the worse players shoot low 50s… for a shot that’s ~40-50% … you’re taking a big hit to your efficiency… and that’s why he shot below 41% from 2 in college… even russell attempts near 10% of his shots near the rim… 3% is very weird…

    and that’s because the floater is an adjustment most players make when trying to get all the way to the rim…. the players with alltime great floaters still got to the basket….the floater was an option for them in case they couldn’t beat the big to the rim… or in some cases just do it right in front of them because they jump too slow…

    it’s certainly fun seeing it work…..and he has some good players in terms of his upside profile at the moment… which i know people love focusing on narrow upside cases…. and one of them is probably chauncey billups… but time will tell to see if this is is a mirage or if he’s what he’s doing is sustainable…

  61. Quickley needs to start.

    Sure, you could do the honorary starter thing with Elf and yank him after 5 minutes, but I think the danger there is Elf will have good games and if he starts out playing well in a game, Thibs will be tempted to play him more minutes. Whereas even when Quickley is off, the unit on the floor tends to play better overall with him in. Let him have his ups and downs and let Elf be the back up. If Quickley is really having a hard time, then you can give Elf a few more minutes or close out the game. But let Quickley take his lumps.

    Also, while I think Burks is better than Bullock, I might go back to Bullock. I think he’s a little better defensively and can stretch the floor but I worry about RJ becoming invisible if Burks is starting out there.

  62. “There’s almost no question that playing in the post season under playoff pressure and conditions is part of the development process that all young players have to go through.”

    I mean, this is something people say. That doesn’t mean it’s true. Key components of the Heat EC champions were guys like Bam, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Derrick Jones without any playoff experience. I don’t think I have ever seen any data saying players perform differently than you would expect.

    The one thing about Quickley’s floater that makes it slightly more palatable is that he does seem to use it pretty interchangeably as a shot and a lob. There was one play yesterday where Mitch dunked a ball and I honestly wasn’t sure it wasn’t a shot. But there is a little bit of a double edge to it as a weapon at least.

    He just needs to shoot more threes.

  63. Re: Quickley, his floater is currently a crutch. He should focus more on bringing it into the teeth of the defense, even if he can hit the floater at an elite rate. He also looked really nice when he stopped and popped last night, he should also do more of that. It seems like he’ll learn though, since he’s a heady player.

    Re: cutting bait. I’m fine with the kids getting “playoff experience” and whatever (by my lights minimal, especially in comparison to a better draft pick) benefits it may provide. But the thing is that Bullock and Rivers aren’t even contributing to wins or losses. They’re just flotsam, posting replacement-level or worse numbers in every category. We could have Frank playing at a .030 WS/48 clip (like Bullock is) for 25 minutes a game, and if he couldn’t soak up the minutes we could play Theo or Iggy for spot minutes. Or, we could pick up prospectish guys on the waiver wire/from the G-League, which is probably the best option.

    The main engine of the offense–Randle–would still be here, and we’d still have a good shot at the play-in. Even if we sold at the deadline we’d still be a tier above Detroit (bad), Cleveland (wildly overperforming right now and due for regression), and Washington (fucking miserable). It would just allow for more minutes to go to some fringe upside guys who we need to make decisions on who also present little to no drop off in quality of play (though spacing would suffer unless Frank’s shooting is for real), and allow us to get assets for our non-upside deals. What’s wrong with that?

  64. Quickley is just a fascinating player right now. I really can’t come up with a comp for him. He’s currently 11th in the NBA in fewest attempts at the rim, and most of the other guys with similarly low rim attempts are 3 point gunners who rarely take 2s at all, but Quickley actually takes a pretty high percentage of 2s and in particular a high percentage of unassisted 2s. It’s really not a shot profile that seems like it should work but the ability to draw fouls and convert them at a freakishly high rate (he’s 21st in the entire league in free throws made per 36) without the ability to get to the rim that usually prompts those fouls makes the whole thing work from an efficiency perspective. I’m not really sure what conclusion to draw from that but he really is doing something very unique right now.

  65. The floater should just be looked at as a quick-release 2. Instead of jump stopping and taking more time and shooting a customary jump shot, he goes off one foot and gets it off more … cough … quickly. It’s actually a smarter way to do it if you’re able to make them as much as you’d be able to make jump-stop jump shots off two feet. Dirk kind of occasionally did the same thing but I’m honestly surprised more players don’t do it.

  66. We’ve had this discussion before but RJ was the number 3 pick.

    What is the point of getting a top 5 pick if that player isn’t progressing enough and the team ends up picking another top 5 pick again?

    Randle is definitely out best player but RJ and Mitch are probably the second and most important players and contributors to this team right now. So if we start losing a lot more games and fall out of the playoff race and then continue to lose so much we’re one of the worst 5 teams in the league, then that means RJ and Mitch (and Quickley) have not only not improved from where they are now but have regressed from now until the end of the season. This also means Thibs is not as good of a coach as we thought. Or that Randle has fallen off (whether we keep him or trade him, this would be bad either way).

    So yes, if we were already looking bad, I would say tank away. But at this point, being as decently competent as we are off the backs of Randle (26), RJ (20) and Mitch (20 or 21?) plus Quickley (21)…to me it would be a disaster to suddenly start losing so much we’re one of the worst teams in the league and secure a top 5 pick.

    Plus…flattened odds, and extra Dallas pick, yada, yada, yada. There actually is no guarantee that the top players in this draft are franchise saviors. Plus, we tend to pick better later in the first round anyways. Having two first rounders in the mid to late teens in a deep draft (plus 2 second rounders) is NOT a bad place to be at all.

    Things are looking good for this franchise for the first time in a long time. No franchise hits every pick, develops every player, wins every trade, signs every free agent to perfect market value. The goal is to be trending in the right direction overall and to be constantly getting better while leaving room to improve. And not making any franchise crippling moves. Pasing on Hali for Obi is unfortunate, but its not the end of the world if Quickley ends up being the real deal, this is the new Randle and Thibs is a good coach. It sucks but its not a franchise crippling mistake. The journey is the destination.

  67. I forgot if I heard it here or elsewhere, but it sounds like the floater is a pretty inefficient shot. However, I like IQ’s weird shot profile because 1) it’s fun as a fan, 2) I like when a player tries something new/it could potentially throw -off defenses or open up opportunities 3) the potential of these shots also being potential alley-oops to Mitch could be VERY intriguing. I was also happy he let the 3 fly a little bit last night. Really great performance from him last night.

  68. I know here at Knickerblogger we tend to over react, both positively and negatively, to limited data, but I don’t know how you can watch Quickley play and not be super optimistic about him.

    Just his attitude, for starters, he plays with no fear and I loved him jawing with Lillard last night after the foul call. He’s incredibly crafty drawing fouls, a superb foul shooter and at some point we can start believing the floater is a legit weapon (although I do agree he needs to get to the basket more) We all know rookie guards tend to struggle in the NBA, and for Quick to start out like he has is really encouraging.

    Obi, on the other hand……

  69. I mean, this is something people say. That doesn’t mean it’s true. Key components of the Heat EC champions were guys like Bam, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, and Derrick Jones without any playoff experience. I don’t think I have ever seen any data saying players perform differently than you would expect.

    People say it because they’ve even elite athletes choke and admit it gets easier to handle pressure with experience. Not everyone is the same, but experience is going help everyone.

    The game is unquestionably played differently (starters get more minutes), called differently (much more physical), tends to slow down, and it played under way more pressure. Not everyone is going to adapt to the changes quickly and even more are not going to be able to handle the pressure in crunch time until they experience it multiple times, With each pass, they handle it all better. That improved adaptability and experience under pressure is what turns mistake prone young players into tougher veterans. If you ask me, even Lebron would admit he’s better handling pressure now than he was at the peak of physical abilities when he was young.

  70. NetsTown,

    I think that is probably why Thibs won’t start him. If he doesn’t take over, I would at least like Thibs to give him a longer leash. Even when he’s not hitting his shots, the units play better with him on the court than with Elf. Let him play through his rough patches.

  71. I think Quickley has looked a little less paint-phobic lately. Early in the season if he got a step he was immediately going into floater mode even if he was 18 feet out. Now more often he’s at least trying to slow down a little, keep his dribble alive and either get a closer floater or make a play for someone else.

  72. My new take, only somewhat tongue in cheek, is that the Knicks should always trade down in the draft, since they seem constitutionally incapable of making the right pick at the top end of the draft (Rj excepted) and always seem to find value the in the late first and second.

  73. If you ask me, even Lebron would admit he’s better handling pressure now than he was at the peak of physical abilities when he was young.

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01/gamelog/2009/#pgl_basic_playoffs

    I also think LeBron would admit that as a Cav from 2003 to 2010, his very best teammate was Mo Williams, and since then, he has played with:

    Dwyane Wade
    Chris Bosh
    Ray Allen
    Kevin Love
    Kyrie Irving
    Anthony Davis

    It’s a fun narrative to invent, but rather than positing non-falsifiable claims, maybe we could just look at the tangibles: young LeBron had to carry Larry Hughes, Sasha Pavlovic, Drew Gooden, Z Ilgauskas and Boob Gibson through the playoffs, ripping through an excellent Pistons ECF team on their way to getting bodied by the Spurs.

    LeBron absolutely had elite poise in the playoffs as a young player. That’s why 2009 is at least as good as anything Michael Jordan, the very best playoff player of the modern era, ever did. You don’t put up a 17+ BPM over 13 games without confidence and poise and all those talk-radio buzzwords.

  74. But as with all things, is it really fair to compare Lebron to anyone else about anything?

    Mere mortal basketball players might really benefit from playoff experience early in their career.

    I agree its an unquantifiable thing and probably varies wildly from player to player, but the atmosphere and level of play is more intense. If nothing else you’re going up against good teams every game in the playoffs and you’re getting more games to play vs. going home early. Even a first round exit in 6 games is an extra 4 or 5 percent of games your young player gets to play before going home for the summer.

    For me, though, the benefit of us making the playoffs isn’t so much the experience its that making the playoffs means that RJ, Mitch and Quickley all played well enough and contributed to enough wins in the regular season for us to make the playoffs. I think making the playoffs also opens the possibility of more free agents wanting to come to the Knicks than before. The better a team is, the more players will consider coming to that team. It also possibly means getting a good free agent at a price that isn’t an extreme overpay. It also makes it easier to retain the good players you want to retain when they hit the free agency market.

    The Knicks have been incompetent for a long time. Showing competency this year with a playoff berth would be good for us, especially considering RJ, Mitch and Quickley would all be a part of the success that led to us getting to the playoffs. Randle might be our best player but he’s also only 26. This isn’t Phil hoping a broken down Rose and an aging Melo and Noah can make the playoffs and then make some noise. A playoff berth for this team would just be the beginning bc of the number of young players we currently have and will add to our team with future picks. Our best player is 26, not 32.

    Also, another thing that is not being mentioned. We’re a 500ish team with the lowest payroll in the NBA right now and we still have that 18 million in cap space that we haven’t used THIS season.

  75. I mean, it might mean something real. It might not.

    Take Tyler Herro. How much has our opinion of him changed based on his full playoffs performance?

  76. Tommy Beer
    @TommyBeer
    NBA Rookie leaders in points per-36 minutes this season:

    1. Immanuel Quickley: 22.3
    2. James Wiseman: 19.8
    3. Anthony Edwards: 17.7

    NBA Rookie leaders in assists per-36 minutes this season:

    1. LaMelo Ball: 8.7
    2. Tyrese Halliburton: 6.2
    3. Immanuel Quickley: 5.2
    Quote Tweet

  77. Tommy Beer
    @TommyBeer
    Incredibly impressive performance from Immanuel Quickley last night:
    31 points (on 18 FG attempts)
    5 made 3-pointers
    4 assists
    3 rebounds
    in just 24 minutes.

    He’s the first and only rookie in #Knicks history to tally at least 30 points, 5 treys and 4 dimes in a single game.

  78. Tommy Beer
    @TommyBeer
    Replying to
    @TommyBeer
    IQ is also the first rookie in the NBA this season w/ 30+ points and 5 triples.

    And, per
    @bball_ref
    ,
    Quickley is the first NBA rookie in more than 15 years to score more than 30 points in fewer than 25 minutes.

  79. I’m so glad that he scored 30 points in 24 minutes in that, even if he ends up a .480 TS% shooter by season’s end, we can produce dozens of 500-post threads about his ceiling and whether we should preemptively offer him a supermax or trade him for Luka plus unprotected future firsts

    (that said, I’m real happy that he currently leads all eligible rookies in BPM, and he does look like a fantastic pickup in the 20s)

    Side note: Anthony Bennett was the only #1 pick to be released or traded after his first year, correct? Is Anthony Edwards about to become the second? What a dreadful start to his career.

  80. listening to the post game interviews – thibs looks pretty good for 63…too funny, the older i get the more i keep pushing back that age of when folks are “old” :)

  81. It’s funny that for all the agonizing over IQ’s role and minutes it’s Obi that I’m really worried about in that regard because he is getting squeezed badly right now. He’s averaging just a little over 12 minutes a game now since returning from his injury and that’s not including the weird 57 second cameo in the first game. He definitely hasn’t been great and certainly not as ready as we all hoped but it’s also not like he’s unplayable or anything like that (currently 11.6 PER, -2.0 BPM) and 12 minutes a game is nowhere near enough for a top-10 pick. And when he is out there it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a plan to get him involved in ways that play to his (theoretical) strengths – the portion of his touches that come from catches above the break outside the arc is really worrisome to me.

    Everyone seems really down on him and I’m over here feeling like a quarter of the way through the season I still have no idea what this guy can or can’t do because we haven’t even seen him be involved at all as more than a peripheral figure. Feels like he’s really getting lost in the shuffle and I’m not sure what to do about it as long as Randle is on the team, although lowering Randle to 30 minutes a night would be a start.

  82. Can’t be expected to give Toppin more minutes when every game is Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

  83. For me the only really distressing thing about Obi offensively thus far is his complete inability to do anything in the post. He seems clueless how to get position even on smaller guys. It’s so weird- he posted up a ton in college and he can’t get low post position against a guard? The other stuff I can at least pretend is mostly tentativeness- I think the lack of assertion at times is him really trying to fit in- and adjusting to being a secondary scorer. At Dayton almost everything ran through him so figuring out how to create offense when you’re spending a lot of time on the weak side takes an adjustment. Or maybe not- whistling past the grave yard with regards to young players is a longstanding tradition for Knicks fans.

  84. Like I’ve said before, I don’t think we’re at all in a position to know whether the IQ pick was bad process. Given publicly available data it looked that way (though I did quite a bit of squinting at the time in an attempt to be charitable to Rose et al. in justifying the pick, and after that squinting I thought he belonged in the late-first early 2nd round conversation). But we don’t know if they had genuine insider information (i.e., Kenny Payne tells them that IQ can actually sort of play PG or that Dallas was choosing between Tyrell Terry and IQ at their pick), or if we just picked him in the first out of our weird Kentucky nepotism thing. If it’s the former that justifies it as relatively good process (despite the somewhat suboptimal asset management strategy). If it’s the latter, it’s bad process even if IQ hits. Point is, we don’t know, so we should just be happy that he’s showing out for us rather than some other team.

    Obi was bad process, all told. We had a genuinely good guard prospect just sitting there and we refused to take him (though it sounds like Hali was playing games with certain teams as well in a bid to get a team that he wanted). Obi wasn’t a terrible pick in a vacuum, but given team needs and the presence of straightforwardly better prospects on the board, he was suboptimal. I still believe he can be good, but like tsam, think he needs more mentoring/deliberate game-planning than he’s currently being given by the coaching staff. Hopefully that changes soon. Let him pass out of the post, who gives a shit!

  85. Obi’s totally playable, maybe even more than playable. He should be playing. Pretty simple.

    The Knicks didn’t hire a development coach.; the Knicks didn’t hire a help get us to this future state coach. That ship sailed. They did hire a coach who would end the clownshoes routine, and he’s certainly done that. There are in fact non-clownshoes development coaches out there. That would have been, and is, my preference.

  86. Everyone seems really down on him and I’m over here feeling like a quarter of the way through the season I still have no idea what this guy can or can’t do because we haven’t even seen him be involved at all as more than a peripheral figure. Feels like he’s really getting lost in the shuffle and I’m not sure what to do about it as long as Randle is on the team, although lowering Randle to 30 minutes a night would be a start.

    i mean this board … like everyone these days… is all about what happened in the last few days and nothing else really matters… so it’s not shocking when a rookie kind of looks a little lost out there they are ready to dump him….

    it’s not time to eject on obi just yet… but if he’s shooting more 3s than attempts at the rim… that’s one sign that he’s going to bust pretty spectacularly…. he’s played like the stretch 4 everyone wants him to be… but why does he look terrible? it’s because that’s a one way ticket to bust town… especially when you’re calling card was dunking on everyone in college…. the 3s were a bonus not something he had to rely on and that’s half his offense now.. whether out of fear or necessity…. and neither bodes well for his future….

    he can turn it around…. and honestly if randle is this good then accepting losses on toppin is probably fine… randle’s only 3 years older anyway… it’s just the massive opportunity cost on missing on yet another lotto pick that’s the real gut punch…

  87. As for Randle, the answer is now and will forever be: He needs to be moved and the offense and defense normalized. We really shouldn’t let the random noise ups and downs and random blips of the season change perspective on that. The next time they have a nice game or a nice couple games we can’t be all like “Well, maybe they CAN find a way to get this to work with Point Forward Initiator Julius.” They can’t.

  88. Randle is perfectly cromulent at 20m. More than that there’s a real question about whether we keep him, but he can be a genuine building block for this team on the next contract, at the right price. He also should net value at the trade deadline, so we should really be evaluating all options with regard to him, and not let Obi influence our thinking about our decision to keep Randle too much, since, again, we don’t have much evidence that Obi is going to be a Randle-level player yet.

  89. E, all merc’d out:
    As for Randle, the answer is now and will forever be:He needs to be moved and the offense and defense normalized. We really shouldn’t let the random noise ups and downs and random blips of the season change perspective on that. The next time they have a nice game or a nice couple games we can’t be all like “Well, maybe they CAN find a way to get this to work with Point Forward Initiator Julius.”They can’t.

    Agree…if we want to be a 30-35 win team with Point Randle then just stay the course…if we want to get to be somewhere in the “upper echelon”, i.e., competitive with the top teams…this current run it through Julius plan is fucked up…going nowhere…don’t care what his stats are…there is a long history of NBA stat guys who played on shit teams…Randle is at best a 2nd option…preferably a 3rd option on a good team…he is the 1st option on a road to nowhere team…

    Thibs has been saying that they are focusing on D (which I take to hint that minimal time is spent on offense) and it shows…it isn’t helped by the fact that a large portion of our roster cannot shoot from the outside with any semblance of consistency but it would be nice to see some sort of evolution in how we approach possessions rather than one rotation through whatever that motion is that we are doing where everyone seems resigned to eventually throw it to Randle at the top of the key…Randle can play and is very talented but he is not and will never be a good distributor…that is wishful thinking…and certainly not the “guy” on a top notch NBA team..

  90. Randle had two huge steals last night. Didn’t end up mattering but they were major impact plays. He’s definitely doing some new things this year.

    But for all the reasons other have articulated I don’t need to have a long term relationship with him.

  91. djphan: i mean it was the same process we got to obi… so what was your opinion on that?

    Obi was widely thought to be worthy of a top 5 selection. I preferred Hali, but was fine with picking Obi. I have no problem with the process, and am not out on Obi yet. He wasn’t some weird reach, just a guy with concerns like everyone else at the top of the draft. I’m less concerned with his age than others here, and think he’s still capable of outperforming his rookie contract at some point. I mean, was the process any worse than the process that concluded that Killian Hayes was a better prospect than Haliburton?

  92. Killian Hayes was a better prospect than Haliburton–he was an excellent player in Europe with projectable numbers, while Hali was one of the most unique and difficult to gauge prospects in a decade. Stop indexing this discussion to when the cars have already been driven off the lot–that’s not how process evaluation works. Hitting on 12 and drawing a face card isn’t bad process even if the outcome is bad. Updating on early returns is even more questionable when we have, literally, sub 500 minutes samples for a lot of these guys.

    Obi was bad process because he didn’t fill a position of need for us and had somewhat (not hugely) worse projections than other guys available at the time. Combining those things is enough to say that the process needed improving, and in a way I’m decidedly more sure of than in the IQ case, where it’s much more murky.

  93. The Knicks didn’t hire a development coach

    They hired Kenny Payne and Johnny Bryant, two coaches with extraordinary reputations as development coaches, Payne in particular. Obi’s spot on the bench is next to Payne’s, who is reportedly talking to him constantly throughout games, on top of all the work they’re doing in practice. If Obi busts, it will not be for lack of being around guys who know how to develop young big men, but because of inherent limitations in his game/body that couldn’t be overcome through effort and coaching. (Said limitations would have made me very reluctant to draft him at 8 to begin with, but I’m not writing him off yet.)

  94. RIP Harthorne Wingo.
    OAKAAK
    He was on the ‘73 team.
    I remember him playing in Italy for years after his Knicks’ days.

  95. Hard not to like IQ right now. But so much will depend on where his shooting percentages end up at season’s end and how much room for improvement remains. Still I have to think we have a player.

  96. Yeah, I was about to say. They hired Kenny Payne and Johnny Bryant but don’t ya know, Thibs has never coached a team with a young player who’s improved under his watch. Just ask Jimmy Butler, who came into league a fully polished top 5 lottery pick.

  97. We need more data points on IQ and Toppin…but for now…IQ looks comfortable and can shoot…which is a much needed commodity on this hodgepodge squad…..

    All rookies need time to figure out how to adapt their game to the NBA game…IQ seems to be getting up the learning curve “quicker”…Obi had the injury and has a different skill set that he needs to figure out what he can and can’t do at this level…but i would rather have him play over knox…i just don’t see knox getting there…well…at least on the north american continent…

  98. Notably IQ is up to 37% from three point land for the season. I suspect his overall FG% will never be especially high unless he develops a more effective way to drive to the rim, but as Bruno noted he can still be an efficient scoring piece just by shooting and making threes at a good volume and drawing lots of free throws.

  99. And Silky a lot of people on this board constantly say a team like The Knicks shouldn’t draft for need. Obi was projected to be a top prospect and generally mocked higher than Hali.

    But now everyone turns around and says he was a bad choice bc Hali fit a need we had even though these same people would have said before the draft to NOT draft based on need when you’re one of the worst teams in the league.

    What they’re really saying is they didn’t like the Obi pick and wanted Hali and therefore, that is what makes it bad process even though Obi was projected higher than Hali and bad team should draft for talent, not need.

  100. It’s kind of nice to see how Obi is always looking to give the ball to IQ and how IQ has been feeding him for his dunks.

  101. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada: Killian Hayes was a better prospect than Haliburton–he was an excellent player in Europe with projectable numbers, while Hali was one of the most unique and difficult to gauge prospects in a decade. Stop indexing this discussion to when the cars have already been driven off the lot–that’s not how process evaluation works.

    This is not true. There was a robust discussion well before the cars were driven off the lot. Hali put up two years of outstanding shooting and passing numbers. Hayes did not. He shot terribly from 3 except in one tiny sample that was skewed by an outlier game. Plenty of red flags were raised about Hayes in scouting circles questioning the validity of his numbers.

  102. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada: Obi was bad process because he didn’t fill a position of need for us and had somewhat (not hugely) worse projections than other guys available at the time. Combining those things is enough to say that the process needed improving, and in a way I’m decidedly more sure of than in the IQ case, where it’s much more murky.

    I’m in the camp that when your team sucks from top to bottom, you draft the best player available without regard to position, especially in the lottery. The “position of need” assertion suggests that you potentially should pass on a better prospect if you don’t “need” someone at that position. Obviously if the players are virtually equal, you can draft for position, but my guess is that the Knicks were higher on Obi than Hali based on the inside look they were getting from his agent. So far it’s looking like they overestimated his ability to translate his offensive game to the NBA. Criticizing the pick/process is fair, it’s pretty clear that Hali was better by the numbers and that his 3-pt shooting was not a mirage like Hayes or Obi. But it wasn’t a reach, or a bad pick based on positional need.

  103. my guess is that the Knicks were higher on Obi than Hali based on the inside look they were getting from his agent

    ahhahahahahahaha, if true, fire fucking EVERYONE

    Might want to hire your friendly neighborhood burglar to install your windows, too.

  104. Z-Man,

    Let’s not rehash the Hayes debate, since we well-understand each other on this point, I think. I’ll just say that many people thought Hayes had a good argument for being a top 3 pick in the draft, and that picking him with any of the first 8 picks could not have been bad process, despite the real red flags he had (and that you pointed out).

    Regarding Obi, I think he was simply systematically overrated by front offices, and pretty much every draft board that incorporated analytics rated him lower than Hali. Meanwhile, the Knicks were deep in the frontcourt and desperate for competent guard play, and had a superior prospect (by the numbers and by most draft boards) presented on a silver platter. But, we took Obi, to reasons that are still pretty unclear to me. It wasn’t a reach, and it wasn’t picking a bad player based on positional need, but it was still a poor pick, since there was a better prospect (at least by the numbers) available to us who also filled an intense positional need for us.

    There would have to be quite significant private information available to the Knicks FO to outweigh the publicly available data indicating that Haliburton was the better pick. And I just don’t think it’s plausible to suppose that the data are present in this case, unlike the IQ pick, where I think it’s quite plausible to think there was some inside baseball indicating that he was a better pick at 25 than the publicly available data suggested at the time.

    My suspicion is that the FO is still not very analytics oriented and fell in love with an offensive dynamo whose game wouldn’t translate easily to the NBA and were still hoping to make the playoffs, inducing them to draft an older rookie for bad “fit” reasons.

  105. The Honorable Cock Jowles: ahhahahahahahaha, if true, fire fucking EVERYONE

    Might want to hire your friendly neighborhood burglar to install your windows, too.

    Normally I’d agree, but in this case it granted them access to things like workouts during a COVID-restricted period. And you have to admit, his college stats were pretty good, unlike in Kevin Knox’s case.

  106. The other point I’d make re Z-man’s comment is “So far it’s looking like they overestimated his ability to SPEEDILY translate his offensive game to the NBA.”

    There was hope he’d come in ready to deliver right off the bat. That he hasn’t yet is a disappointment, but he’s still a dumb-ass rookie. As with RJ (we hope), it might just take a bit.

    It’s more disappointing because Hali — and IQ — were able to deliver immediately. But give the lad time.

  107. Just to clarify, I had Obi at #11 on my board, and was tepid about him when he was picked. I am still tepid on him, but really like him as a person. I’m fervently hoping he can become an Amar’e facsimile, and hold out hope for him and don’t want to write him off–but his early returns are really weird and for that reason troubling.

  108. my guess is that the Knicks were higher on Obi than Hali based on the inside look they were getting from his agent

    Just remembered that one of Obi’s agents is 27 y.o. Sam Rose, son of Leon. Trust the process, lol.

  109. Correct me if I’m wrong: aside from whether Haliburton should have been taken, there was a logic of BPA + Team need to Obi. He could project to be a poor-man’s Amare with a 3-point shot and some passing who could eventually replace Randle. I think that last part gets lost because of Randle’s markedly improved play.

    It can be a disappointment that’s he’s not as ready (on offense) as advertised. But I think with Randle’s play plus this coaching staff’s ability to build blueprints for players, you can pivot to bringing him along a bit slower.

  110. @SBondyNYDN
    Tom Thibodeau says he likes the rotation now, including Immanuel Quickley coming off the bench: “Right now we feel the best opportunity to win is doing the things that we’re doing.”

    Sigh.

  111. Yeah, I’m not suggesting that Obi was the right pick over Hali. Personally, I would have gone with Hali but I also think its perfectly fine to draft for need when you’re drafting where we were picking. Especially in a draft where there is no consensus top player or top tier of guys pre-draft. We needed outside shooting and PG play and had Randle on the team already, so personally I would have gone with Hali.

    But its not like Hali was a slam dunk prospect over Obi. Most mocks had Obi ahead of him or right around where Hali was. And many people advocate for picking BPA regardless of position when you’re a lottery team.

    I also think we are again jumping the gun based on less than 20 games, half of which Obi missed. The Knicks had no way of knowing Randle was going to take off like he did and for all we know they might still be looking to trade Randle for more assets.

    Also, I think people are far too quick to assume a rookie lottery pick not starting is a bust. Obi could back up Randle all this year and next and then take over when Randle’s contract is done.

    Also, I said this upthread. Of course you want to hit on all your picks, especially your higher ones. But as long as you are coming away from the draft not totally whiffing out (which we didn’t bc of Quickley) and you’re doing the other things well (good coaching, development, no bad FA contracts, etc)…you’re fine. People want to win every transaction and no team does that.

    Maybe this draft we hit on both of our first rounders. Maybe RJ and Mitch show they’re legit and Randle keeps it up and we keep getting better. We’re far from a finished product but the early results are promising.

  112. Dink: There would have to be quite significant private information available to the Knicks FO to outweigh the publicly available data indicating that Haliburton was the better pick. And I just don’t think it’s plausible to suppose that the data are present in this case, unlike the IQ pick, where I think it’s quite plausible to think there was some inside baseball indicating that he was a better pick at 25 than the publicly available data suggested at the time.

    Nepotism
    I don’t necessarily think this is bad. I doubt Leon would give his son Obi’s account unless he thought highly of Obi. Presumably he wants his son to make more money and his son probably makes more money the better Obi plays and the bigger contract he signs next time around, plus more endorsement deals.

    Overall
    But yeah, the synergy numbers on Obi in college remove a lot of the sheen from the face-value of his numbers. Admittedly, I give rookies at almost any age a pass because year 1-2 usually shows a big improvement at almost any age.

    But the early returns combined with the eyetest and college numbers makes me extremely skeptical.

    Projection
    I see his future projection as a floor-stretching 4, which isn’t terrible if he steps up on defense but also isn’t a thrilling result.

  113. Silky, your points about Obi are fair. I was very pro-Hali and so was the consensus here. So I’m not arguing that the process was a great one, only that it wasn’t necessarily a bad one. It’s still early and I have seen Obi do some promising things, but Hali or Deni or Vassell were very reasonable picks and probably better gambles. But Obi still has some very good attributes. He’s averaging 9.1 rebounds per 36, which is better than he did in college and that was a red flag. Maybe he evolves into a Michael Beasley-type without the cray-cray. He is in the process of finding out what works and what doesn’t. The game will slow down for him. He’s got length and lift and decent touch with both hands. He has a semblance of a 3-pt shot. He can pass. His lower body needs lots of work but he runs well and can handle the ball a bit. He cuts well. There’s something to work with there.

  114. Alan: Sigh.

    From a player development standpoint, I’m fine with bringing IQ off the bench and playing fewer minutes. From a, “hey maybe we’re actually not terrible let’s actually try to win some games” perspective, this really makes no sense.

    As a Payton supporter last year, he’s been awful so far this year and is redundant with Randle taking on a large portion of playmaking responsibilities.

    I’d actually argue for giving Burks another shot at PG with Randle out there to help him create. It often looked bad, but I thought it started looking better right before Burks got injured. Burks should greatly improve shooting/spacing in starting lineup.

    Play Payton or Rivers with Quickley to give another ball handler w/ the backup unit when he gets in trouble.

  115. Alan: Tom Thibodeau says he likes the rotation now, including Immanuel Quickley coming off the bench: “Right now we feel the best opportunity to win is doing the things that we’re doing.”

    You “feel” wrong, dude.

    And of course he “feels” that; it’s already been explained. When Elfrid Payton plays bad, it isn’t an indication of who he truly is and he’s bound to bounce back. When Immanuel Quickley plays bad — which happens far less than it does with Elfrid Payton — it’s reality and true nature rearing its ugly head. This is how the Tom Thibodeaus of the world perceive their players. There was no reason to think it was ever going to change.

  116. This is unrelated to my last post, but … rookie years:

    Damian Lillard, age 22: 546 TS%, 16.4 PER
    Immanuel Quickley, age 21: 551 TS%, 17.9 PER.

  117. I think total minutes are more important than who starts. I’d like to see IQ as the first sub in, and then to let his play determine his minutes after that. I hate when Thibs waits until Q2 to sub him in, and puts Rivers in before him.

    OTOH, I hated when Fiz, etc. would give unlimited minutes to rookies playing horrendously. Accountability should be at least a part of development. I like that Obi has to earn minutes, but isn’t being buried. I liked that RJ was benched for a stretch yesterday and got to see the team playing better without him. Let IQ continue to fight for minutes, it’s good for him.

  118. Z-man: Let IQ continue to fight for minutes, it’s good for him.

    I do think there is some rationale to keeping IQ backup if only because it’s easier to pull him when he makes mistakes and thereby reinforce good habits/penalize bad habits. Maybe it pays off longterm, but IQ is just better than Payton right now.

    I do like Thibs system of awarding IQ more minutes when he plays well, but worry more of it is based off lucky bounces on 3pt shots than Thibs realizes.

  119. IQ is on probation. If he doesn’t heat up immediately next game, or goes 0-3 or something, he’s likely to get 11 or 12 minutes yet again — even though he started that way in Atlanta and microwaved the team to victory in the second half. Elfrid Payton, a worse player, is NEVER on probation. It’s an absurd state of affairs, utterly indefensible.

    I’m not close enough to the situation to know for sure and maybe it isn’t worth whatever fight with Thibs might ensue, but if I was running the team and this continued much longer, I’d waive or trade Payton and take away Thibs’s silly toy. It’s becoming absurd at this point.

  120. Quickley played 24 minutes last night and Thibs showed he’ll close with him if he’s playing well. I do want to see an IQ, Burks, RJ, Randle, Mitch lineup play real minutes- that looks like the lineup that’d give us the best chance to win. But I really want to see Frank instead of Rivers- Rivers is like Chris Duhon just dribbling into and out of the paint with no real purpose. The difference is Duhon could deliver a pass in the unlikely event his penetration caused the defense to collapse while that’s a rare event for Rivers. Frank’s feet rarely touch the paint in a purposeful way as well but he’s a better defender and maybe the three point shooting has actually improved enough for 3 and D status. I’ve never been a Frank stan but there’s no reason not to run him out there instead of Rivers.

  121. Popper:

    Ntilikina said that it was a sprained MCL and he will have to wear a brace on his knee – but feels 100 percent.

  122. I think we are all selling in Obi a bit early. I didn’t love the pick either and would much rather have taken Haliburton but what’s done is done and has no effect on his future. So I’m done with the hand wringing.

    Obi started bad in his first game and then getting injured but over his last five games, he is shooting 64.7% from two and averaging 16.2 pts, 10 rebs, 1.7 asts, 1.7 blks per 36. Those are not terrible numbers and that is with no plays run for him and barely any offensive structure. I’d like to see him get closer to 20 minutes a game and see how he does over the next month.

    Our entire offense is broken, we have almost no structure, our players seem afraid to shoot threes, even the players who can shoot them well, and we force feed Randle while running zero plays for any of our rim runners. Part of the problem is personnel but most of the problem is our spacing is terrible, even with our good shooting lineups and we run almost no pnr or back door cuts. It’s all one on one and then either difficult shot or kick out. It’s almost like we have no offensives sets at all and it’s just glorified playground ball. It’s why we cannot beat the zone even when we sub in our shooters.

  123. I’m in the “Obi over Haliburton was per se bad process, but willing to defer to the process if IQ turns out well” camp.

    The combination of the Kentucky connections, general lack of consensus about guys projected to go later in the draft, and Quickley’s extremely bizarre (but thus far effective) game lead me to buy that there was enough information asymmetry between, say, me and the front office for the process to have been more robust than I thought. The hit rate on prospects in his range is so low I think you pretty much have to credit front offices for success stories barring any incredibly compelling reason to believe it was luck.

    Straight up no excuse for Obi over Hali. Just a pants-on-head level stupid decision that is playing out predictably.

  124. thenoblefacehumper: Straight up no excuse for Obi over Hali. Just a pants-on-head level stupid decision that is playing out predictably.

    I know it’s not the same dunce-led regime that picked Bagley over Doncic, but it still feels bad to have been bodied by the Kings.

  125. Not defending Obi. Given that he’s played <100 min of NBA basketball, i.e. a little over two full games, the sense that he's something close to a known quantity seems a bit odd.

  126. part of it could be the stuff he did at dayton just doesn’t fit in with how the knicks would like to use him…

  127. I’m not even throwing in the cards on Obi though the early returns are rough. I just consider it a damn near foregone conclusion that passing on Haliburton will prove to be a mistake. He’s younger, better, and (least importantly, but worth mentioning) a better fit. What’s frustrating is all of those things were obvious on draft night, which is what makes the process so bad.

    I felt strongly that Terry/Bane/Dotson and others would’ve been better picks than Quickley, but I wasn’t nearly as confident as I was about Hali because as a general matter everyone should be somewhat humble about their ability to project players who are drafted that late.

  128. I just consider it a damn near foregone conclusion that passing on Haliburton will prove to be a mistake.

    part of a very very very very long list of draft errors over the years…

  129. Spurs-Pelicans postponed. Per Stein, only six teams have yet to have a game postponed due to Covid: Knicks, Nets, Raptors, Nuggets, Lakers, Clippers.

  130. Well if it’s any consolation, we weren’t alone, a bunch of teams passed on Hali…and Deni, and Vassell. All of them may have been better choices than several players picked above them. It wasn’t the easiest draft class to handicap.

    One of the most impressive things about Tyrese H is is look-away game. He really displayed elite peripheral vision in the game against us. That’s probably why he can pile up assists w/o turnovers. That and looking like a genius out there relative to his peers.

    I don’t know what his ceiling is, but his floor is damn good NBA player.

  131. It’s funny to think that back in early 2020 the KB board was convinced that we were taking Cole Anthony. So hopefully we don’t end up wishing we took Cole over Obi, like we did when we were convinced that Miles Bridges was our fate, only to later wish that we took him over Knox.

  132. how about them sacremanto kings, got a few good young players: hali, fox, bagley…decent entering his prime player: hield…and, a pricey established vet in barnes…

    all that for a 6 and 10 record…

  133. 25 minutes a game, 14 points and 7 rebounds, almost league average TS…

    is it his poor: WS/48 and really bad BPM and VORP that are sinking him and that indicate his poor play?

    i thought he was a center, looks like they’re using him now a power forward…

  134. geo:
    25 minutes a game, 14 points and 7 rebounds, almost league average TS…

    is it his poor: WS/48 and really bad BPM and VORP that are sinking him and that indicate his poor play?

    i thought he was a center, looks like they’re using him now a power forward…

    Compare this to Obi’s per 36 numbers from Ben R’s post.

    Obi started bad in his first game and then getting injured but over his last five games, he is shooting 64.7% from two and averaging 16.2 pts, 10 rebs, 1.7 asts, 1.7 blks per 36. Those are not terrible numbers and that is with no plays run for him and barely any offensive structure. I’d like to see him get closer to 20 minutes a game and see how he does over the next month.

    They are pretty similar and yet we’re worried about Toppin. Imagine if we had drafted Toppin at number two? Now it’s true that part of our disappointment is that apparently better players were available when we drafted Toppin. Yet Toppin could still easily turn out to be as good as a typical number eight pick. But still, given where he was drafted getting a guy who is just a useful starter makes Bagley a disappointment.

  135. @anthonyVslater
    Steve Kerr is changing the Warriors starting lineup. Kevon Looney in place of James Wiseman.

  136. no feel, no d, no shoot, no soup.

    he’s only 21 and obv has all sorts of kinetic hijinx going for him but my guess is even if he improves quite a bit it’s probably into the sort of overrated empty stat late career boozer type.

  137. that makes sense…i don’t watch many kings’ games…heck, i don’t watch a lot of basketball outside of when the knicks play…

    i forgot he was selected second overall…gotcha, i see their per 36 is very similar…yep, bagley either needs to score more, rebound more or block more…play a lot better basketball :)

  138. holy crap, james harden has 2 fga in to the 3rd quarter…i wanna get home so i can watch them lose…

  139. The Mavericks are about to lose, but boy, they just played the Nuggets really tough. I find it hard to believe that the Mavericks will miss the playoffs when all is said and done.

  140. Brian Cronin:
    The Mavericks are about to lose, but boy, they just played the Nuggets really tough. I find it hard to believe that the Mavericks will miss the playoffs when all is said and done.

    KP showing the fruits of his Melo mentoring tonight…and MPjr reminding us again that drafting him might have been a pretty good idea…

  141. When Anthony Edwards said he didn’t really like basketball, I was wrong to not believe him.

  142. There are currently 18 teams within 3 games of 500. Only 6 teams are more than 3 games below .500. One of those teams was in the NBA finals last year.

    What a weird year!

  143. It’s an absurd season so far. I would imagine that things will balance out by the end of the season, but wow, a quarter of the way in and it really hasn’t happened yet.

  144. It’s pretty funny that Anthony Edwards is trending on Twitter for a monster dunk and that’s the only bucket he has.

    The Lakers are legit. That’s the only thing that feels normal. Well that and Enes Kanter having 18 rebounds in 24 minutes.

  145. With all the minor injuries and missed games we’ve had Obi, Burks, Rivers, Quickley, it seems like every team we play is way more undermanned than us. Between actual injury, COVID protocol, and just weird shit like the Harden drama, the Bubble was like a rock of normalcy compared to this.

  146. I think we are setting up for an ending that feels more like college basketball. But maybe it will normalize by the playoffs.

  147. Since most teams have been affected by the messy schedule and having players out all the time, I guess it will eventually even out and the better teams are going to end up with better records anyway, but there’s definitely space for one or two teams having either great or terrible luck, like Miami has been screwed really hard for example.

  148. Bruno Almeida:
    Since most teams have been affected by the messy schedule and having players out all the time, I guess it will eventually even out and the better teams are going to end up with better records anyway, but there’s definitely space for one or two teams having either great or terrible luck, like Miami has been screwed really hard for example.

    Agreed, and the 10-team per conference playoff scenario should help in that regard. Miami seems like a lock for the top-10, and even with a 6-10 record, they’re 2 games out of the 6th seed.

  149. So the Knicks have finally reached their natural destiny of 30th in pace to go with their 30th in three point attempts per game. With the point forward thing and the primitive, mosh pit offense and the running things through the post, and the obsessive belief that defense is what wins, the whole thing very much has a 90s Beastie Boys (*) kind of vibe to it.

    (*) “Well excuse me motherfuckers can I beg your pardon? I’m going to see the Knicks at Madison Square Garden ….”

  150. Since things are slow this morning, a question: It seemed pretty clear from the Knicks’ draft night maneuvering that they wanted Maxey with that 23rd pick, and traded down when Philly took him. Based on how they’ve played so far and what that suggests for their future, who would you rather have? And if it’s IQ, then what does that say about all the Knicks’ connections to Kentucky that they were inclined to take the other one?

  151. Based on how they’ve played so far and what that suggests for their future, who would you rather have?

    Definitely both

  152. Looking at the standings made me think…imagine if the Knicks had just waited and hired Morey. Just a little bit more patience, Dolan. Just a little bit more.

  153. Looking at the top 9 teams in the East, the Knicks have beaten all but two of them! What a wild season!

  154. We do seem to play up/down to the level of the competition, it seems. Not necessarily every game, but we’ve done really well against playoff-caliber teams, and then we looked like crap against the NBA’s worst defense.

  155. i always thought the ainge-as-a-miser hate was overdone. one funny thing about the start to this year is how dramatically each side of the argument has been bolstered. if he really had a chance get myles turner for free (at $18m), but balked and instead went with tristan thompson for $9m, that was just an incredibly bad decision without any benefit of hindsight. turner would be a nearly perfect addition to the celtics, who would look incredibly potent with a genuine rim protect who can also shoot a little if jaylen brown’s massive improvement is at least partly for real. tristan thompson is just not a good defensive big and also gives you negative spacing. they may yet add a big, but they are not going to get nearly as good a deal as myles turner for free.

    then again if jaylen’s borderline dwyane wade imitation is a real leap, persnickety ainge did the celtics a massive favor by turning down a shitload of offers over the years, almost all of which would have turned out really badly. surely some of brown’s shooting is ephemeral. he shot 66% from the foul line his first 3 years in the league and is shooting 58% from 16-23 this year, which is not a thing in the nba. but it also seems like he’s taken a pretty significant leap, both in shooting and in creation efficiency. right now they are around 19/1 to win the championship. bucks are 6/1, sixers 16/1 and nets are 3/1. where would the celtics be if they had turner?

  156. Alan:
    Since things are slow this morning, a question: It seemed pretty clear from the Knicks’ draft night maneuvering that they wanted Maxey with that 23rd pick, and traded down when Philly took him. Based on how they’ve played so far and what that suggests for their future, who would you rather have? And if it’s IQ, then what does that say about all the Knicks’ connections to Kentucky that they were inclined to take the other one?

    It’s an interesting contrast. Hollinger had a nice write-up in his column yesterday about Maxey and the two things that really stand out in his statistical profile are that he’s not a great shooter and, more than anything, that he really can’t get to the free throw line at all despite getting a ton of penetration. Obviously those are probably the two biggest stand-out strengths for IQ so far so you’ve got two guys who are almost polar opposites in a couple of major ways.

    Like everyone else here I’ve become pretty wary of the guy who “just” needs to learn to shoot over the years, but I also feel like there’s probably a ceiling on IQ’s foul drawing con-man routine which is such a critical part of his production right now. I think IQ is the higher floor prospect; it’s pretty clear to me that he’s going to be a productive player for a long time doing almost exactly what he’s doing now, the questions around him for me are more around whether his unique profile and already very exaggerated strengths and weaknesses limit his upside. Maxey has a more typical young guards game and his growth track is clearer to me. I’d love to have them both, and if our front office really did prefer Maxey as it appears I can’t really blame them, it’s very close for me.

  157. The Mavericks are about to lose, but boy, they just played the Nuggets really tough. I find it hard to believe that the Mavericks will miss the playoffs when all is said and done.

    They’ve been missing key pieces almost every night and Carlisle has been using some really strange lineups in the mean time. This is the first time I can think of where imo some of the lineup decisions he’s made have been terrible. Once they have their whole team they’ll be fine, but someone really needs to explain to Doncic that no matter how good you are, you can’t win basketball games by yourself every night. I’m starting to think he’s not particularly bright despite all that talent and skill.

  158. I don’t necessarily agree with Thibs starting Payton over Quickley, but I understand some of the thinking leading to the decision. We don’t have enough spacing and scoring in the starting lineup with Payton. IQ would help in that regard. But you also need scoring and spacing off the bench. If you flip spots between Payton and IQ, the starting lineup “may” be a little better overall, but then the bench may be a total disaster. The bottom line is that we still don’t have enough shooting and offensive firepower to create two balanced lineups. The only change I think he should clearly make is upping IQ’s minutes. I’d also consider trying Frank with IQ instead of Rivers.

  159. Steve Jones Jr. on Twitter made an interesting argument about Quickley: starting him may be better for the team in the short term, but it’s not better for IQ’s long-term development, because he’d spend most of his time in the starting unit spotting up while Randle and/or Barrett are doing a lot of the playmaking. Whereas Quickley has the ball in his hands the majority of the time he’s in with the second unit.

    No idea if that actually is the reason Thibs is sticking with Elf — especially since he could just start Rivers at the 1 — but it’s not a bad side effect.

  160. I think IQ is the higher floor prospect; it’s pretty clear to me that he’s going to be a productive player for a long time doing almost exactly what he’s doing now, the questions around him for me are more around whether his unique profile and already very exaggerated strengths and weaknesses limit his upside.

    Your analysis was good and interesting but I actually think it’s the opposite–Maxey’s more conventional skill set makes him the higher floor prospect, while Quickley has a higher ceiling but also has a higher chance of being completely solved by defenses.

    I didn’t care for either prior to the draft but I definitely would’ve went with Maxey between the two. If I had to choose right now, I’d probably still go with Maxey just because if he learns to shoot (I understand this will cause some eyes to roll here but he’s been an 80%+ free throw shooter for a while now) there’s basically nothing left to worry about in his game, while we still need to see if Quickley can maintain his free throw rate and floater efficiency. I think Quickley has the higher ceiling because he already can shoot and has serious potential if he can clean up his drives a bit.

    Once they have their whole team they’ll be fine, but someone really needs to explain to Doncic that no matter how good you are, you can’t win basketball games by yourself every night.

    Did you watch last night’s Nuggets-Mavs game and conclude “Luka Doncic was the problem for the Mavs?”

  161. I’m fairly agnostic on Quickley starting. I definitely want to see as much of him as possible, but I don’t have major gripes with when, and how often, Thibs has deployed him to this point. There’s something to be said for him being free to run units of his own as opposed to playing off Randle and RJ, but then again Payton is terrible in the playing off Randle/RJ role because he can’t throw the ball into the ocean.

    Basically there’s some logic to bringing Quickley off the bench, but Randle’s emergence as a point forward strips Payton of pretty much all of his value so it doesn’t make much sense to continue to start him either. Honestly, I wouldn’t say the status quo is indefensible given all of these factors.

    I won’t complain as long as Quickley gets a lot of minutes one way or the other.

  162. Hah! There’s already a rumor out there via a friend of his agent that Lamelo wants out of Charlotte after his first contract is up.

  163. Yeah I also feel pretty ambivalent about Quickley starting. I go back and forth on it but I think there are perfectly valid reasons to keep him coming off the bench. If Peyton is playing well, Quickley still gets plenty of minutes off the bench and if Elf is playing poorly, you can give Quickley more minutes (or if Quickley is going supernova).

    Once you make Quickley the starter, its very hard to go back on that decision and you could alienate the vet Elf. People might say “screw him” but he’s on the team and that can echo throughout the locker room. Quickley might be gunning for that starting spot but he’s also gotta feel pretty good about where he’s at right now as a late first round pick. If Elf is gone next year (let’s hope), then Quickley can take over.

  164. Once they have their whole team they’ll be fine, but someone really needs to explain to Doncic that no matter how good you are, you can’t win basketball games by yourself every night. I’m starting to think he’s not particularly bright despite all that talent and skill.

    35 points on .639 TS%, 16 and 11 with 4 steals and 5 turnovers (37 USG%) and he’s “not particularly bright.” This is about as strat as it gets.

    Any chance you could follow up on this cosmic brain post with a preemptive deflection on any criticism of Porzingis’s shit performance?

  165. I’m surprised that there’s this much controversy at this point about IQ starting or not. Who cares? Thibs is letting him finish some games and get plenty of minuets which is a huge responsibility for someone in their first twenty games. I’m not worried.

    I gotta say I LOVE being able to have more incentive to root against KP. What an absolute piece of shit human being.

  166. thenoblefacehumper: Your analysis was good and interesting but I actually think it’s the opposite–Maxey’s more conventional skill set makes him the higher floor prospect, while Quickley has a higher ceiling but also has a higher chance of being completely solved by defenses.
    I didn’t care for either prior to the draft but I definitely would’ve went with Maxey between the two. If I had to choose right now, I’d probably still go with Maxey just because if he learns to shoot (I understand this will cause some eyes to roll here but he’s been an 80%+ free throw shooter for a while now) there’s basically nothing left to worry about in his game, while we still need to see if Quickley can maintain his free throw rate and floater efficiency. I think Quickley has the higher ceiling because he already can shoot and has serious potential if he can clean up his drives a bit.

    That’s interesting. I definitely worry about the free throws being a mirage just because it’s so unusual to combine foul drawing with no ability whatsoever to get to the basket, but I just feel like the shooting is clearly such a carrying skill for IQ. The only way that wouldn’t be enough for him to be a pretty good NBA player was if everything else was awful and I’m close to ruling that out at this point. He’s already a productive NBA player and that’s a pretty great place to start in terms of high floor. Maxey on the other hand has a lot going for him but still is not overall productive right now primarily because the shot distribution is such a problem. When one guy is on +2.0 BPM and the other is on -1.8 BPM that’s a huge factor in my assessment of whose floor is higher.

  167. Interesting Maxey/Quickley thoughts, guys. Two follow-up questions:

    1)Which seems more likely: that Maxey learns to shoot, or that Quickley learns to get to the basket (or, failing that, that his floater game and con man skills draw enough fouls for it to not matter)?

    2)Who seems like the better defender/defensive prospect?

  168. Not to derail the debate but I’m wondering who people think we should target in the draft next year with our two picks assuming they both end up in the 14 to 20 range. I hear people saying this is a star laden draft but also a deep one. I’m wondering outside the top 10, who are the people we should be looking for.

    Tangentially related, who are some lowkey free agents we could/should target. Let’s assume for sure Randle stays for at least one more year and Elf goes but everyone else like Bullocks, Burks, Noel could come back or not.

  169. Not to derail the debate but I’m wondering who people think we should target in the draft next year with our two picks assuming they both end up in the 14 to 20 range. I hear people saying this is a star laden draft but also a deep one. I’m wondering outside the top 10, who are the people we should be looking for.

    It’s tough to say because the consensus will shift a lot between now and the draft, but some reasonably intriguing guys who could be available in that range based on various mocks:

    Moses Moody, Jaden Springer, Franz Wagner, Jared Butler, Terrence Shannon, Josh Christopher, David Johnson, Sharife Cooper, Keon Johnson

  170. Not to derail the debate but I’m wondering who people think we should target in the draft next year with our two picks assuming they both end up in the 14 to 20 range.

    i think us ending up at 14 is a brave assumption… but some folks who could be available:

    james bouknight / josh christopher for high level scorers… moses moody for shooter/scorer… sharife cooper is also making a ton of noise right now after a late start and depending on how nba gm’s feel about short pg’s and actually paying attention he might be there he might go higher he could go later…

    by the time the 20s roll around it should be about as deep as other drafts but there are interesting guys… terrence shannon is a big sleeper…. jared butler is also one of my favorites… david johnson is on everyone’s radar and consensus late first type… dayron sharpe if you want a big…

    it’s a good draft and there’s a ton of opportunity to get everything we need if we hit on both of these…

  171. Knicks currently sit at 19th in MOV and SRS. We should expect a top-10 pick.

  172. thenoblefacehumper: It’s tough to say because the consensus will shift a lot between now and the draft, but some reasonably intriguing guys who could be available in that range based on various mocks:

    Moses Moody, Jaden Springer, Franz Wagner, Jared Butler, Terrence Shannon, Josh Christopher, David Johnson, Sharife Cooper, Keon Johnson

    Right now, I say Moses Moody and Franz Wagner. Not only do you get two shooters, but a spiritual leader and a classical composer to boot!
    :-)

  173. IQ shooting floaters over continuing to the hoop almost seems like a choice, though. Like he could get to the rim if he wanted to. (someone should explain to him he should want to)

  174. People who really like Quickley should check out the unfortunately named David Duke on Providence. Good defensive guard, great three point shooter who somehow has managed to be a worse shooter inside of the arc than behind it for his college career.

  175. Tangentially related, who are some lowkey free agents we could/should target. Let’s assume for sure Randle stays for at least one more year and Elf goes but everyone else like Bullocks, Burks, Noel could come back or not.

    assuming randle and mitch maintain this play and we keep them and rj keeps taking steps forward…. this isn’t exactly low key but i think we should make a big play for either cp3 or kyle lowry….

    this roster is going to have 7-8 guys under 23 and on rookie deals…. we are obviously in dire need of a pg and that’s probably going to remain true no matter who we draft outside of jalen suggs… and we should be taking a step up on the win curve given how many young guys we got on cheap deals and hopefully some excess value to try and leverage.. next year is really the only time to do it before rj’s and mitch’s extensions need to be worked out…

  176. sharife cooper is also making a ton of noise right now after a late start and depending on how nba gm’s feel about short pg’s and actually paying attention he might be there he might go higher he could go later…

    He might be the most interesting player in this draft. It feels like he’ll get himself into the top 10 or slip into the late first/second round without many possibilities in between. I’ve tried to catch as many of his games as possible–the guy is kind of appointment viewing right now.

    The differential between his FT% and 3PT% is pretty insane, though that may change one way or the other. Overall I think there’s a good chance models take a shine on him while scouts have a lot of reservations.

  177. yea i haven’t caught a full game but some thinslices on youtube leave me impressed … nba gm’s sometimes have a big bias against short pg’s… sometimes it’s like trae young and it doesn’t matter…. sometimes it’s like ty lawson and they go in free fall… or someone like isaiah thomas or recently devon dotson.. they get straight up ignored…

  178. Yeah I know the Knicks could end up in the top 12 or top 10 even. Ideally we barely miss the playoffs (dallas misses too)and then get lottery luck with both our picks but I’m just preparing myself for the possibility that we and Dallas both get into the playoffs and we end up with two late teen picks.

  179. “I definitely worry about the free throws being a mirage just because it’s so unusual to combine foul drawing with no ability whatsoever to get to the basket”

    I think that sums it up perfectly, the enigma of Quickley right now.

  180. The Honorable Cock Jowles: 35 points on .639 TS%, 16 and 11 with 4 steals and 5 turnovers (37 USG%) and he’s “not particularly bright.” This is about as strat as it gets.

    Any chance you could follow up on this cosmic brain post with a preemptive deflection on any criticism of Porzingis’s shit performance?

    I wasn’t specifically talking about the “results” last night.

    If you watched every Mavs game, you’d see all the foolish plays and dumb shots Doncic takes in the midst of all that brilliance on the basketball court. With his talent getting to and finishing at the basket, all the foul calls he gets, and that kind of space to operate in, his TS% should be over 60% on sustained basis and his TO rate should be lower.

    But the kid thinks the way to win is for him to do more of everything. It’s not. That’s the same mentality that has hindered guys like Westbrook, Harden, Melo, Iverson and others on occasion. The way for him to win more is to do LESS. He should raise his efficiency by eliminating some of the trash shots and passes (he could easily do that) and simply move the ball more. That in turn will create better shots and more assists for his teammates if they follow suit.

    Porzingis is the #2 option. They aren’t going to contend for a championship on KP’s back with the rest of that team. They need to both players to maximize their talents. KP is slowly learning to play the right way for his talent and skill level. Doncic is the vastly more talented and skilled player but he’s playing like a fool. That’s why I am targeting him. If Doncic plays the right way and they get healthy, they are a VERY good team. If Doncic feels compelled to average 30 – 10 – 10 and win an MVP, they aren’t going to beat the very best teams.

  181. Quickley has already said in interviews that he watches film of the players in the NBA that draw a lot of fouls and tries to mimic some of the moves they use successfully. It’s not an accident that he’s doing well in that regard without going straight to the basket. Whether it keeps working or not is another story, but it’s a great sign that he has the work ethic to watch that much film and actually try to use the same moves.

  182. shams:

    New York and the Clippers are among interested teams in Pistons guard Derrick Rose, sources said. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has a long history with Rose, coaching the former league MVP in Chicago and Minnesota.

    He also mentions that teams are starting to call NOLA about Lonzo, and Macri suggested that he’s heard Knicks are still interested in him.

    We already did the “what, if anything, would you give up for Lonzo?” Same question now regarding having DRose replace Elf.

  183. Alan:
    shams:

    He also mentions that teams are starting to call NOLA about Lonzo, and Macri suggested that he’s heard Knicks are still interested in him.

    We already did the “what, if anything, would you give up for Lonzo?” Same question now regarding having DRose replace Elf.

    The answer to Lonzo is “very little” and the answer to Rose is “what would the Pistons give us to take Derrick Rose off their hands”

  184. this roster is going to have 7-8 guys under 23 and on rookie deals…. we are obviously in dire need of a pg and that’s probably going to remain true no matter who we draft outside of jalen suggs… and we should be taking a step up on the win curve given how many young guys we got on cheap deals and hopefully some excess value to try and leverage.. next year is really the only time to do it before rj’s and mitch’s extensions need to be worked out…

    I’m not so sure the FA class is going to be that great next year. We are also probably not attractive enough to get any attention from the best players yet anyway. It’s a long season though. Maybe some of the young pieces will come together or we can add something at the trade deadline that moves us up a notch.

    More likely is that a couple of stars become unhappy along the way and demand a trade. To get any of them, we’ll still have to look good enough for them to think they would make a difference in NY. We’d also have to be willing to move picks and/or players to upgrade.

    Tanking and hoping Dallas loses for a mid teens pick is not a plan. It’s a prayer that is unlikely to be heard or answered. It’s probably bad karma if you believe in that sort of thing.

    We have to be good enough to attract attention and our players have to be playing well enough to be considered assets in a trade. That’s what we should be hoping for.

  185. Macri, when I expressed concern about Thibs using Rose as a security blanket:

    Yeah I imagine Thibs would be all in favor. There are other guys, all expiring, that I’ve heard they’re keeping tabs on. Attempting to buy low and using their cap space as an asset it would seem. We’ll see if they get any takers.

  186. Alan: 1)Which seems more likely: that Maxey learns to shoot, or that Quickley learns to get to the basket (or, failing that, that his floater game and con man skills draw enough fouls for it to not matter)?
    2)Who seems like the better defender/defensive prospect?

    1) I think part of the worry about Quick is that “getting to the basket” isn’t usually a development skill because it’s based so much around physical attributes that are peaking very early. Improving finishing/decision making once you penetrate for sure improves a ton but most of the other guards with such low rim attempt rates are older guys whose legs are gone (e.g. young Chris Paul got to the rim, old Chris Paul lives in the midrange). I guess the optimistic case would be that as DRed said, IQ is simply choosing not to get all the way to the rim, but given that it’s a pattern we see from his college numbers it seems optimistic to see it changing.

    I think the question of how much it matters is the more relevant one because he has already been pretty efficient as a rookie without it, but that’s why what I question with IQ is more his ceiling than anything else. I think there’s parts of the usage/efficiency spectrum that probably simply aren’t accessible if you can’t get to the most efficient shot type and there are probably pretty hard limits on how many of the BS fouls you can draw. Won’t limit his ability to be good, but might limit his ability to be great.

    2) I don’t have a strong opinion here. PG defense is kind of overrated generally I think and both guys seem approximately fine. Maybe this would be a tiebreaker between them if you felt strongly one way or the other but I think it’s pretty secondary.

  187. Does this fall under the category of “those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it”?

  188. Derrick Rose has had a pretty solid renaissance over the last couple years and some contender should probably give up like a decent second round pick to have him give their second unit a little zip but the idea that what our roster needs is a marginal improvement in the already overstuffed decent-ish veteran guard category is crazy. And Thibs would definitely overplay/overuse him.

    Lonzo continues to be an enigma but he’s back to not shooting it well this year. If the price is right in RFA he could be an interesting target for us this summer but giving up an asset to get his RFA rights doesn’t appeal to me at all.

    Overall talk of us buying is very concerning to me. This team is better than many of us expected so far but even with a lot of things working our way (opponent 3p%; no COVID issues so far) we’re 19th in Net Rating. Are we really chasing what at absolute best would be a play-in win and then first round throttling? If it happens as we’re currently set up I’ll be totally happy about it but giving up assets to improve our odds is just dumb. We should still be sellers.

  189. Derick Rose doesn’t make much sense even for 1 year, but it’s laughable that he’d still be our best PG.

    I’m not sure what I think of Ball. I’ve thought different things at different times. Coming into the season I thought he was showing steady improvement and might be ready to break out into a good two way player. But he’s been disappointing so far this year. There’s two main possibilities.

    1. He’s still on an upward glidepath and this year has mostly just been noise so far or him being unhappy in NO.

    2. He’s not very good.

    Depending on what you have to give up, I could think of worse gambles. Maybe we can bring Mudiay back. lol

  190. Alan:
    shams:

    We already did the “what, if anything, would you give up for Lonzo?” Same question now regarding having DRose replace Elf.

    At first I think (or hope) the Rose’s rumors were a joke…
    I don’t want Rose at all…
    Oh, you’ll say he’ll take Payton’s Place (pun intended)? Let’s do it!

    Last year he had a decent season, this year his numbers are declining.
    My biggest fear is that Thibs could resign him for “veteran leadership”…

  191. Lonzo is wack. Can’t shoot, doesn’t draw fouls, can’t make the free throws on the rare occasions when he does draw fouls. Has more flaws than attributes. Journeyman scrub backup. The Austin Rivers of the 2020s.

    He’s a bust and he’s coasting on name recognition. Do not want.

  192. Lonzo was good enough on offense last year to be (probably) a productive player. He’s a rough fit for the Knicks, though, because he doesn’t generate offense in the half court. If he can find his shot again he’d be great on a team that already has a high volume offensive star, or a team that runs a lot, neither of which fit the Knicks. You’d have to pay him 14 million next year if you wanted to keep him and that’s a lot of money for a guy who might suck. I’d take a shot, I guess, if all NO wanted were some of our short term vets, but I wouldn’t even give up a 2nd for him.

  193. We discussed this the other day but Lonzo would be an awful fit on our team given our spacing issues. I imagine he’d be commanding at least 20M+ in RFA also next year. No way. Rose at least should theoretically cost very little and be a marginal improvement on Payton, although it is also a dumb idea.

    The play-in tournament is perverse as far as incentives – as some of you have stated there’s no reason that we should be buyers for the chance to play in two coin flip games for the chance for us to get swept by the Bucks or something. I’m all for competing for that spot – and I’m not opposed to getting creative as far as bringing in long-term talent for this year and beyond given our cap space – but I hope we act accordingly given our leverage.

  194. I’d want to know whether Lonzo was just mentally done with NO before making a decision. It’s possible he is, and if he is, he might be a go for me. Not dead set against it. The D-Rose idea is beyond ridiculous, not even worthy of discussion. It’ll probably happen. Feels extremely Thib-a-Knicksy.

  195. Igno-Bot 3000:
    We discussed this the other day but Lonzo would be an awful fit on our team given our spacing issues. I imagine he’d be commanding at least 20M+ in RFA also next year. No way. Rose at least should theoretically cost very little and be a marginal improvement on Payton, although it is also a dumb idea.

    The play-in tournament is perverse as far as incentives – as some of you have stated there’s no reason that we should be buyers for the chance to play in two coin flip games for the chance for us to get swept by the Bucks or something. I’m all for competing for that spot – and I’m not opposed to getting creative as far as bringing in long-term talent for this year and beyond given our cap space – but I hope we act accordingly given our leverage.

    A good example of a ‘bad’ team picking up a strong long-term player was the Cavs getting Jarrett Allen recently for an expiring contract and a late first-round pick. That was a unique situation because the Nets were desperate, but that was a very smart move.

  196. Like tsam said, it’s barely worth debating the merits of Rose specifically when the idea of being buyers with this season in mind should set off our “ah so these guys are more of the same” alarms.

    I don’t like the idea of trading for Lonzo at all, but at least in that case the idea would be that he could be a long-term piece. In non-Lonzo contexts a trade like that could make some sense. Rose, on the other hand, is thirty god damn two. Trading for him would have nothing to do with anything but maximizing our 2020-2021 win total. I don’t think I even need to go into how stupid that is.

  197. Rose would be a great pickup for a contender, so you would have to think that for the Knicks to outbid a contender, it would have to involve legit assets and that’s too much for Rose for this team. If I’m the Clippers, I’d give a real asset for him. He’d be a perfect fit there (and they’d keep him away from other contenders).

  198. i don’t think ball is going to come at any kind of discount and i think anyone who has him has to evaluate whether or not they are extending him…. and anything beyond sub mid level is the type of gamble that can backfire immensely.. even something like what malik beasley got would be too much since he’s just not that good even as a backup in his current state or the state he was in last year…

    the upside is probably not even all that high at this point… there is some upside that he could turn into an approximation of what haliburton is which could be a low end starter… but the shot needs fixing before you even discuss that.. the good news is that there seems to be progress if you look at the ft%… but it’s painfully slow and there’s other issues with his game besides that…

    if rumors are true about him wanting somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 million for an extension before the season… it would take me about 2 seconds to just nope out of that conversation….

  199. I was big on Ball coming into the league but yes, signing him to anything more than solid backup pg money seems pretty dangerous.

  200. The Rose thing got me thinking: are there any recent examples of Knicks who had two different stints as Knicks?

  201. are there any recent examples of Knicks who had two different stints as Knicks?

    How soon we forget Ray Felton 2.0. Or, even more recently, Taj Gibson 2.0.

  202. ess-dog:
    The Rose thing got me thinking: are there any recent examples of Knicks who had two different stints as Knicks?
    lance thomas?

  203. ess-dog:
    The Rose thing got me thinking: are there any recent examples of Knicks who had two different stints as Knicks?

    Jared Jeffries 2.0 :(

  204. And is Lonzo Ball actually an upgrade from Austin Rivers?

    I mean yes, I guess. But not much as one might wish.

  205. @chicagobulls
    INJURY UPDATE: Wendell Carter Jr. will be re-evaluated in four weeks after an MRI confirmed a severe right quad contusion.

    Bulls dealing with lots of injuries to their prospects the last few years.

  206. at this time i’m okay with quick getting 30 plus minutes and elf and frank playing the rest at point…

    going in to the year i thought it was crucial for thibs to have a veteran point guard running the offense…

    julius hasn’t been too terrible distributing (he’d definitely would look a lot better doing it if the other guys on the floor could hit shots)…and, i didn’t imagine quick contributing like this…

    speaking of frank – i wonder if he’ll be stuck to the bench going forward like DSJ…hopefully not…

  207. The Rose thing got me thinking: are there any recent examples of Knicks who had two different stints as Knicks?

    kurt thomas
    timmy
    marcus camby
    mark jackson

  208. Begley suggests that if the Knicks trade for Rose it would be with the intention of re-signing him.

    Nope, don’t like it.

  209. ptmilo:
    The Rose thing got me thinking: are there any recent examples of Knicks who had two different stints as Knicks?

    mike woodson..two coaching and one as a player?

  210. Jared Jeffries 2.0 :(

    i kind of remember him like lance thomas and being the best player on our team for awhile…wow, we’ve gone through some rough years as fans…

  211. geo: i kind of remember him like lance thomas and being the best player on our team for awhile…wow, we’ve gone through some rough years as fans…

    2011 Celtics Game 2 still hurts.

  212. The only thing I’ll say about Lonzo is I would be willing to bring him aboard for literally nothing, like a protected second rounder. I am assuming he will have a few actual suitors so this isn’t really worth discussing.

  213. Brian Cronin:
    Begley suggests that if the Knicks trade for Rose it would be with the intention of re-signing him.

    Nope, don’t like it.

    Brian, I need gif power now please to express my displeasure with events.

  214. Begley suggests that if the Knicks trade for Rose it would be with the intention of re-signing him.

    you would think this would be one of those times where as an owner dolan would be like hell no…

    he’s normally a fan favorite and i’m sure thibs would like to have him on the roster, also rose ain’t a bad backup (bad history as a player in new york though) – but, let’s get a legit starter first and then worry about signing their backup…

  215. Brian Cronin:
    Begley suggests that if the Knicks trade for Rose it would be with the intention of re-signing him.

    Nope, don’t like it.

    If it’s true I’ll keep my “beloved” Payton… :-)

    May the Clippers help us…

  216. 2011 Celtics Game 2 still hurts

    man, you all and your freakishly good recall capabilities…it’s crazy :)

    what happened?

    i will say this though – if jeffries or thomas shit their pants during a game, i wouldn’t really be that surprised…

  217. Getting DRose back on the Knicks is Bad.
    Getting him under Thibs on a Reasonable-Bargain contract for a backup not so bad.
    Not a champagne worthy move also.

  218. Once IQ and Frank start sharing the guards play we’ll forget about searching for starters!
    It’s Just a matter of time!
    It’s coming!
    I feel it!

  219. Derrick Rose has managed to become a decent offensive player again, but he hasn’t really been a productive basketball player since 2012.

  220. I mean — what a shock it is that Tom Thibodeau wants his medium-term point guard to be Derrick Rose.

  221. #Some real “Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin” vibes coming out of you, KYN…

    Or Bart waiting for Krusty…#

    Had to google Linus (I’m well aware of the Simpsons episode!) and found that:
    “Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin. The Great Pumpkin is an unseen imaginary character in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The existence of the Great Pumpkin is a strongly-held belief by Linus, who has often been described as the most intelligent of the group, and yet, the most gullible.”

    I’ll keep the:
    “Linus, who has often been described as the most intelligent of the group”
    lol

  222. #When are we signing Noah and Deng?#

    Is Ronnie Brewer still into basketball?
    We could have him too for a second round!

  223. I had an upset stomach but was having trouble vomiting. Then I read the Lonzo Ball rumor. All good now.

  224. If you are in favor of Thibs having a short tenure, you should be very supportive of trading assets for whatever ligaments Derrick Rose has left

  225. Trading assets for DRose is absurd but getting him ala ARivers style wouldn’t be the end of Thibs’ world.

  226. Z-man:
    If you are in favor of Thibs having a short tenure, you should be very supportive of trading assets for whatever ligaments Derrick Rose has left

    Can’t we just fire him without driving the team into the ground?

  227. Thibs wants a ninja-slasher attacking scoring pg.
    It’s more Obvious than Hugh Hefner’s obsession for blonde bunnies!

  228. Honestly, this seems like clickbait rumor-mongering to me.

    I mean, Rose is in the final year of his contract and is a decent veteran on a terrible team. Wouldn’t the odds be high that he does get traded? So I believe that he’s being shopped. As for whether the Knicks are actually interested, okay, that’s a fair question. Hopefully the answer is “no.”

  229. Brian Cronin: I mean, Rose is in the final year of his contract and is a decent veteran on a terrible team. Wouldn’t the odds be high that he does get traded?

    I’m referring to the Knicks interest in him. I suppose that if it’s a straight up deal for one of our mercs, I could imagine it. But to either give up assets for him, or to consider re-signing him….emesis bag, please.

  230. Berman says we have interest but haven’t spoken with the Pistons yet about him.

    If it’s, like, Payton and Frank, or Payton and Bullock, whatever. Hell, throw in Iggy, since he no longer seems to have a future here, either. Nothing of value, and even then I won’t enjoy it.

  231. Brian Cronin: I mean, Rose is in the final year of his contract and is a decent veteran on a terrible team. Wouldn’t the odds be high that he does get traded? So I believe that he’s being shopped. As for whether the Knicks are actually interested, okay, that’s a fair question. Hopefully the answer is “no.”

    Is he decent? He had a mini-renaissance the last two years where he almost had a league average eFG% and TS% but his numbers have cratered again this year and he’s 32 years old.

  232. We already have Noah. He’s our 3rd most expensive player!!

    the decision that just keeps on taking…

  233. Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery to treat renal cell carcinoma of his left kidney Monday, the team announced.

    wow, what a story, hope he fully recovers…good on the pacers for what they did and are doing…

  234. Fuck, Sekou Smith died from COVID! Dude wasn’t even 50! Shit, that’s awful.

    Yeah, I just saw Chris Herring tweeting about him. Seems to have been a guy everyone liked.

  235. Brian Cronin: Fuck, Sekou Smith died from COVID! Dude wasn’t even 50! Shit, that’s awful.

    Jesus, terrible. I’m wearing a surgical mask under the cloth mask these days, especially after my mother-in-law had about two weeks of hell, luckily didn’t have to be hospitalized but there were a couple days when we thought we’d get the call that she was headed for treatment. This shit is real and isn’t even close to over. Not one of us is totally safe.

    WEAR A MASK. STAY HOME. FUCK DONALD TRUMP.

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