2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers

The Knicks return home after a tough road trip to host the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are having an eerily similar season to the Knicks. Both teams were expected to be awful and yet, so far, both Cleveland and the Knicks have been mediocre more than bad. The Cavs are currently tied for the #6 seed and the Knicks are tied for the #8 seed right now.

Soo…if the Knicks win tonight, they probably go into sole possession of the #8 seed in the East (as of, you know, roughly 30% of the season completed). So that’s something!

After getting beaten every which way but loose in the West, I think a return East is just what the doctor ordered and the Knicks will knock the Cavaliers under .500 tonight.

Let’s go, getting closer to .500, Knicks!

Liked it? Take a second to support Brian Cronin on Patreon!

254 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers”

  1. Clyde kinda dressed down for this one. Seems appropriate. Here’s hoping he’s got the vaccine already!

  2. With the 2 preseason games, Mitch is 1-2 against Drummond, so i’m expecting Mitch to outplay Drummond to even the season.

  3. I have my microscope ready and waiting to examine any possible Obi/Mitch post moves!

  4. What the phuck was that shit. Both Randle and Robinson trotting back … I’m as appalled as Clyde …

    Not for nothing but Robinson been playing like ass for most of games. He has his moments but come on …

  5. At least the crowd noise guy is on top of his game, even had the cheers ready on Nance’s airball

  6. Starter Elfrid Payton:

    7 minutes, 0-2, 2 turnovers, no assist, -8 /-

    If the Cavs were a normal team we’ll be down by 15…

  7. We have no answer for Drummond. But with Allen, the Cavs should probably trade him at the deadline and grab another 1st. That team is definitely headed in the right direction, tho.

  8. Get RJ going to basket … if it doesn’t work someone else makes a play … Randle or IQ … if that doesn’t work kick out to ? Rivers Burks Frank Knox

  9. Sorry but Noel has been infinitely more active and effective than Robinson lately. Granted he’s not up against Drummond right now… he’s still been “better”

  10. Actually, maybe they need Drummond, lol.

    That was an abusive move by Quick… and then an offensive foul.
    :(

  11. With the full length fur coat, Clyde’s outfit was over-the-top. I’m loving it.

    I was clearly wrong, operating with incomplete information.

  12. That three from Toppin was wide left. Way left

    And yes, Macri had a photo of Clyde with someone holding the coat up for him while he wore it. It would have made any pimp in America in the seventies very very proud.

  13. I thought Windler was going to be a d-league type during preseason but apparently he is a thing according to hollinger…

  14. Mitch runs more or less like a normal person and then he slows down and starts doing that weird side to side thing

  15. I think he’s playing too passively. Guys just push him around and on offense there’s something missing

    Owen:
    Mitch is taking a lot of hard hits lately….

  16. KJG:
    I think he’s playing too passively.Guys just push him around and on offense there’s something missing

    yeah..he need to put his big boy pants on…

  17. Kevin Knox is getting abused on D like he did last year. On offense, he is adding less than Mitchell Robinson. Did nothing to make himself a threat against the zone.

  18. It really is amazing how many times guys miss Mitch and even Obi tonight when they dive to the basket and are wide ass open.

  19. It really is amazing how many times guys miss Mitch and even Obi tonight when they dive to the basket and are wide ass open.

    Yep. They really need an actual point guard (who is not 50 years old and making $80 million a year).

  20. Very impressed with Obi tonight. He looks like he’s figured it out. The ball doesn’t stick to his hands, he sets nice picks, and he hustles his ass off. A three and a swoop to the basket doesn’t hurt either.

  21. The Pelicans are also kicking ass. Up 26 in the first half against the Bucks. It’s a strange year.

  22. Damn, just noticed both Kawhi and PG back with the Clippers. Was hoping they missed the Knicks game lol.

  23. RJ is physically dominating Garland. It’s a matchup nightmare for Cleveland. This is a 3 center game today to keep the like’s of Drummond from taking over the game. The Knicks could use a thug. That was some turn-around. Down 3-15 they’re now up 47-33 that’s an 42-18 stretch!

  24. Is djphan on victory laps about RJ yet? I’m relieved to again hope RJ can be a robin to the batman we’re still missing.

  25. It sure as hell would be nice to have a 280 pound mammoth like Drummond. Not advocating for trading for him or even moving on from Mitch, but it would be damn fun watching teams in the NBA try to contend with RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Andre Drummond. We’d just beat people into submission all year.

    Also, more and more it looks like RJ’s skills are catching up to his IQ on the offensive side of the ball. Stop putting a ceiling on this kid; he hasn’t played 82 NBA games or turned 21 yet.

  26. cybersoze:
    Is djphan on victory laps about RJ yet? I’m relieved to again hope RJ can be a robin to the batman we’re still missing.

    I personally need everybody who wishes we traded out of pick 3 for Brandon Clarke and Tyler Herro to come to the front of the congregation.

  27. Z- Man – I honestly can’t believe it. I looked at the boxscore and was like, that’s the most empty 20 point half I have ever seen.

    But that’s bullshit. It was amazing. I saw it.

  28. #Whoa, 16 points on 14 shots….let’s not get crazy#

    Stop acting like a Yankees fan!!! LoL

  29. Knox looks like a crash test dummy on defense and was a zero on offense, he’s better get accustomed to DNP-CD as soon as Bullock’s back…
    With Payton ugly as usual, IQ with 3 fouls and RJ cooking I’d like some minutes for Frank.
    Toppin’s sloooowly showing something but I like his effort level.
    Randle with 2 shots (and 4 assists) in 16 minutes?

  30. ephus:
    I think Knox may have played his way out of the rotation, at least when Bullock returns.

    I said it during preseason Frank, DSJr and Knox have one foot on a banana peel on their way out of the league. I saw someone suggest that those 3 could be traded for Beal and ended up snorting the coffee I was drinking out my nose when I read it. (it wasn’t pleasant). I would trade all three of them and a pick for Beal.

  31. Owen:
    Z- Man – I honestly can’t believe it. I looked at the boxscore and was like, that’s the most empty 20 point half I have ever seen.

    But that’s bullshit. It was amazing. I saw it.

    not to mention 1 reb and 1 ast in 20 minutes

    keep it real

  32. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    It sure as hell would be nice to have a 280 pound mammoth like Drummond. Not advocating for trading for him or even moving on from Mitch, but it would be damn fun watching teams in the NBA try to contend with RJ Barrett, Julius Randle, and Andre Drummond. We’d just beat people into submission all year.

    Also, more and more it looks like RJ’s skills are catching up to his IQ on the offensive side of the ball. Stop putting a ceiling on this kid; he hasn’t played 82 NBA games or turned 21 yet.

    Guys like that don’t grow on trees – even though they are trees

  33. i wasn’t even making any wild statements about rj….

    it’s pretty clear from the numbers and the eye test that rj has taken a decent step forward this year…. and all it really took to see that was very possible was not being overly pessimistic about it…

  34. I think RJ is going to stay polarizing for a while.

    I actually was shocked when I saw how unproductive his first half was, in the box score. If he doesn’t hit that contested three at the end of the half it would actually be a really ugly line I think. He had an amazing rebound in traffic that I commented on but that was his only rebound apparently

    Z-Man, there was some sarcasm there I think you missed.

  35. The Payton effect is real,
    from now on I’ll simply call him The Plague.
    Everything he gave us on defense (and is not much) is obliterated by how he destroys our offense…

  36. Max:
    The Payton effect is real,
    from now on I’ll simply call him The Plague.
    Everything he gave us on defense (and is not much) is obliterated by how he destroys our offense…

    worse point guard since childs

  37. that airball was classic payton…i mean this guy should be released tomorrow…he serves no purpose…

  38. It’s reassuring we still know how to piss away a lead. Some traditions are worth keeping.

  39. On February 6th (a week away) free agents signed in the offseason can be traded. I would love to see the Knicks make some trades. The playoffs are not out of the question and players like Beal, Rose, LaVine can make a big difference.

  40. ptmilo:
    did rj just try the patented imitate a dolphin to distract the shooter move

    When I used to play with my brothers my go-to defensive play when I was too far away to contest was to shout something random at them as they took the shots. I wonder if something similar might be the basis of our patented invisible sixth man defense.

  41. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    On February 6th (a week away) free agents signed in the offseason can be traded. I would love to see the Knicks make some trades. The playoffs are not out of the question and players like Beal, Rose, LaVine can make a big difference.

    Should we really care about pushing for the playoffs this year? Why not keep our powder dry, let the chips fall where they may, get another couple picks added to the roster and improve via free agency next year?

  42. cybersoze:
    Moment of the game: that bullet pass from Randle :D

    yeah…that was like he recalled Magic doing that 40 years ago and tried it this one time…

  43. It is straight up embarrassing to be winning this game. Knicks really need to slow it down to an 81 pace or so I can pay less close attention.

  44. we need to let frank out

    We need to send everyone to their rooms so they can think about what they’ve done.

  45. Mike Honcho: Should we really care about pushing for the playoffs this year? Why not keep our powder dry, let the chips fall where they may, get another couple picks added to the roster and improve via free agency next year?

    The name of the game is collecting really good players. A team that has Mitch, Randle, RJ and (lets say any one of the 3 I listed) is sure to attract free agents. This is what you try to do in the NBA. We shouldn’t have to give up too much.

  46. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: The name of the game is collecting really good players.A team that has Mitch, Randle, RJ and (lets say any one of the 3 I listed) is sure to attract free agents.This is what you try to do in the NBA.We shouldn’t have to give up too much.

    Why not just sign Beal in free agency to a better team in two years? Why give up assets now? There aren’t any big ticket free agents to attract next year, so shortcutting the process doesn’t give us anything other than a somewhat better record this year, and we’d lose the opportunity to acquire more assets before going in.

  47. Remarkable that after how the 3rd quarter started the Knicks actually increased their lead at halftime.

  48. Z-man:
    this game should be expunged from the NBA archives

    this isn’t much worse than some of the other slop on any given night…but it is pretty sad…

  49. Mike Honcho: Why not just sign Beal in free agency to a better team in two years? Why give up assets now? There aren’t any big ticket free agents to attract next year, so shortcutting the process doesn’t give us anything other than a somewhat better record this year, and we’d lose the opportunity to acquire more assets before going in.

    Trade for him. Resign him and don’t let him hit free agency. That’s how it’s done. That’s why there are no big-name free agents out there. And his contract won’t prevent other big contracts. The Knicks have the cap room.

  50. So refreshing to have RJ, Mitch and Quickley. Do you guys remember when we were trying (hard) to see a future with Frank, Knox and Dotson?

  51. ESPN box score says quickly is SG and Rivers the PG for what it’s worth. Which I know isn’t much. I just also happened to notice quickly has the same number of assists as all of us combined …

  52. I just don’t understand how Thibodeau can continue to start Payton after tonight.

  53. Clyde says Quickley should still come off the bench. Which I’m good with, as long as he gets 35 minutes a night…

  54. Look at this trade

    Mike Honcho: Why not just sign Beal in free agency to a better team in two years? Why give up assets now? There aren’t any big ticket free agents to attract next year, so shortcutting the process doesn’t give us anything other than a somewhat better record this year, and we’d lose the opportunity to acquire more assets before going in.

    GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Trade for him. Resign him and don’t let him hit free agency.That’s how it’s done. That’s why there are no big-name free agents out there. And his contract won’t prevent other big contracts. The Knicks have the cap room.

  55. Quickley really is a scorer in a point guard body. The Lou Wiliams comp is excellent.

    And I love it.

    I say that and he immediately throws a lovely alley oop to noel

  56. “They made a mistake… he’s a bona fide point guard” – Walt Frazier talking about Immanuel Quickley.

  57. DRed:
    Lou Williams who isn’t a disaster on defense would be a fine player

    Yeah, but I don’t think the Clippers are trading him.

  58. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Look at this trade

    Sorry dude, but there is no way in hell Washington accepts that. Offering that pupu platter for Beal would probably fall under trolling. Washington is going to want at least two first rounders an actual player, not just our rejects and a second rounder. Also, unless Washington has open roster spots they’d have to cut people to make room for our dreck so that’s even less of a reason to take that trade.

  59. such a damn fun game for quickley. not just shot falling but went all the way to the rim again, took a legit pull-up jumper in lieu of floater and most importantly seems to have gotten the memo that when you are shooter it is okay to just shoot threes when open instead of perpetually pump faking.

  60. Would you have traded Marcus Morris for Immanuel Quickley and the Detroit 2nd in 2021?

  61. Mike Honcho: Sorry dude, but there is no way in hell Washington accepts that. Offering that pupu platter for Beal would probably fall under trolling. Washington is going to want at least two first rounders an actual player, not just our rejects and a second rounder. Also, unless Washington has open roster spots they’d have to cut people to make room for our dreck so that’s even less of a reason to take that trade.

    Add Burks and make the pick the Dallas 1st this year instead of the 2nd.

  62. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Add Burks and make the pick the Dallas 1st this year instead of the 2nd.

    Alec Burks + dreck and one first rounder is not enough to get Beal. He’s the main trade market target right now; you need to put up a lot more than that for them to take your call. Two first round picks + an actual player is the floor, not the ceiling, to get Beal.

  63. Knox almost had a perfect statline tonight. One fewer rebound and one fewer foul and it would have been a Knox performance for the ages.

  64. RJ grinds through the ugliest parts of the game tonight while quickley took advantage of his minutes.

  65. To celebrate the win, you can listen to me as the guest this week on Mike Vorkunov’s The Long Twos podcast. Your call as to whether I should be excommunicated from Knickerblogger for some of my agnostic comments about Mitch. Stream here or download on any podcast app.

  66. Good to get wins on the youngster’ shoulders…
    RJ gave us the lead in the first half and IQ close it out in the second.
    Rivers with a spark in the first quarter, when nobody was scoring, then the kids took over.
    Randle padded his stats at the end, Burks was silent,
    Mitch was in foul troubles from the start but Noel was better.
    Too few minutes for Toppin in a blowout, Knox is playing himself out of the rotation…
    … and The Plague is The Plague…

    It’s really annoying that Thibs played RJ and Randle till the end, what’s the sense of it?

    As an aside, I’ll be happy if Mitch learns a couple of offensive moves from Allen (he had a really nice post up move and a good skip pass to a shooter at the 3PT line, plus he’s shooting around 80% FT).

    WAS would want to get RJ or IQ in the Beal trade, they think they’re set on the frontcourt with Hachimura, Bryant and Deni, their weakness is in the backcourt. BTW tonight a robust 0-8 3PFG for Beal (and 0-6 from Bertans).

  67. I’m almost at the point where I’m going to pronounce this RJ run a “leap forward.” This is what happens with 20 -year-olds. RJ and IQ are starting to get real interesting.

  68. Alan:
    To celebrate the win, you can listen to me as the guest this week on Mike Vorkunov’s The Long Twos podcast. Your call as to whether I should be excommunicated from Knickerblogger for some of my agnostic comments about Mitch. Stream here or download on any podcast app.

    I’m just downloading it! :-)

  69. per bbref..

    last knick rookie to score 23+ points three or more times in his first 16 career games…Patrick Ewing…

  70. At the beginning of the season it crossed my mind that the first 2 Cleveland games might be the only 2 games we were favored in to start the season. Turns out I was worrying too much.

  71. Didn’t we attempt something like this here a few years ago?

    https://newarena.com/nba/ranked-each-nba-franchises-all-time-starting-5/30/?amxt=new_pag_dt_2021_inview

    I don’t quite understand the methodology (haha), but it seems strange that a player can’t appear on two different teams. But because if it, the Knicks crack the Top-10! woohoo! (Though, I think that if guys like Shaq, Zo, LeBron, Rodman, Kwhai, Durant, etc could “play” for multiple franchises, they’d be closer to the 20-25 range… but even still, I don’t understand how Portland’s best five don’t beat the Knicks in a 7 game series)

  72. So, is the consensus here becoming that RJ has turned something of a corner and that IQ is a legit?

    Just curious what the opinion here is right now.

  73. ptmilo:
    kp not really in the mood to play any defense tonight

    Now that’s what I call playing the right way!

  74. Tim Cowlishaw:

    It’s one quarter and we have all seen NBA. teams come roaring back from 25-point deficits. So I’ll refrain from saying how completely unprepared Rick Carlisle’s team appears to be against the SAME team they played without Mitchell 2 nights ago…

  75. Dallas is getting crushed on the boards with KP playing the 5 in their small ball lineup.

    Looks like a problem to me.

  76. He does the things that don’t show up in the fake box score. You wouldn’t understand. Not old enough.

  77. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    He does the things that don’t show up in the fake box score. You wouldn’t understand. Not old enough.

    Your hate boner for Strat’s basketball takes is so strong Viagra wishes it could patent the formula.

  78. Not that anyone needed me to tell them, but I can’t recommend Alan’s appearance on Vork’s pod strongly enough. He brought a true Knickerblogger’s perspective to the real world!

  79. Definitely psyched to listen.

    Joe ingles looks like Chris Elliot if he had applied himself in sports….

    And as for KP, don’t know why they let Luka drag him down

  80. Ntilakilla:
    So, is the consensus here becoming that RJ has turned something of a corner and that IQ is a legit?

    Just curious what the opinion here is right now.

    Obviously.

    Also, Randle and Mitch are much improved. All four show glimmers of eventual all-star potential.
    Quickley should already be in the running for 6th man of the year.

  81. Would you guys take on Kristaps Porzingis for the Mavs’ pick this year and their 2023 pick, maybe top 10 protected? It’s an interesting question.

  82. I guess Luka and the Dallas Knicks aren’t the juggernaut contender everybody thought they would be. If the Mavs keep this up, you have to think Carlisle gets fired.

  83. I don’t want KP

    The Knicks looked great when RJ was on the floor. The statline was meh.

    I don’t know. He just has these moments at the rim where he just sort of gets blotted out and puts up some feeble shot. And he doesn’t always shoot well. And he has a dumb turnover every game at least.

    But other than that he looks pretty good.

    Tyrese had 9 assists.

    And Clint Capela is a guy again I think.

  84. i would rather have the picks…. kp’s ftr is sort of alarming right now…. the 2p fg% is nice but i think the ftr is a bit more real given kp’s history with scoring inside and it’s not uncommon for someone’s ftr to tank after knee injuries (e.g amare, blake)…. and kp was sort of soft to begin with…. the pick even if it’s late in the first should net a decent player and it wouldn’t take much to eclipse what kp gives you…. that’s not even accounting for the other pick and the contract….

    it seems like kp is stuck and that’s because of his performance inside… but if his 2p fg% is anything close to real he could outperform those two picks…

    but i wouldn’t want that contract to find out either way…

  85. Alan & Vorkunov are great. I have no idea, because I don’t really check Knicks forums outside of here anymore, but the Iguodala-RJ comparison certainly strikes me as KB unique. Slowly the gospel of KB will spread to the outside world through our prophet Alan. Alan, it’s all on you to get DRed installed as Knicks GM.

  86. Great pod. Repping us well.

    I had forgotten we chose Ron Baker over FVV in addition to Knox over SGA

  87. Whoa, 250 posts on the game thread for a sub .500 team in late January against the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers? That’s amazing.

    I remember back in 2009 or so, it was just me and Frank O. on a game thread. No one else. Just the two of us watching a game together via KB. (And the knicks are pretty much just as blah now as they were then, “early on” in what was, even then, a seemingly endless “rebuild”. Crazy times indeed.)

  88. Brian Cronin:
    You did well on the podcast, Alan!

    Thanks, guys. I’m definitely not the smartest basketball mind on here, but I’ve become pretty good at talking into a podcast mic over the years.

  89. Nice pod Alan! You made the KBloggers proud :-)

    Another good game from the Mavs, well done.
    Anthony Edwards back to his normal.
    Are the Raptors in trouble? (Don’t look, Hali with only one three but it was clutch)
    Pop wont stop.
    7-13 (!!) from 3PT for Lonzo and 0-6 for Lamelo, which of the two is a surprise?

    Washington’s in a free fall but according to Woj:

    Appearing on NBA Countdown, Wojnarowski said that Washington isn’t close to beginning another rebuild by moving its top player.

    “He is not going to be on the trade market here in the near future and he’s not expressed, really at all yet, that he’s ready to move on,” Wojnarowski said. “He has loved that city, that organization and he’s fought through a lot there and he’s fighting through a lot right now.”

    Wojnarowski said if Beal went on the market, Washington could receive a “massive” haul. A lot of potential suitors are hoping the Wizards will finally reach the point of listening to offers.

    “He fits anywhere,” he said. “Teams every day in this league are monitoring the situation. They want to know if he gets lodged free, in terms of the Wizards being willing to talk about trades.”

  90. Z – The pandemic has definitely juiced the comment numbers. The kind of thread we would get only at the trade deadline we get pretty frequently. No more tumbleweeds around here like the old days.

    It would be interesting to see what would happen if we were a genuinely good young team.

Comments are closed.