2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Future Knick Zach LaVine’s Team

The Knicks host the LaVine-less Bulls in what has got to be a must-win (or should I say, they obviously should win, so a loss would be devastating) game ahead of some tougher future games.

The Eastern Conference is somehow actually still bunched together even after the Knicks’ awesome nine-game winning streak, so they need to pick up wins in games where they are the clear favorites, like tonight.

Let’s go, get back to winning, Knicks!

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297 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Future Knick Zach LaVine’s Team”

  1. Tonight’s game and the upcoming road game against Houston are the most winnable. Every other game will be tough, if the opponents are still trying to secure playoff position.

  2. Please keep the focus, respect the game, play New York’s style basketball.

    Let’s go Knicks!!!

  3. Theis and Vuc at the same time is an odd strategy, are they aware that we’re in the small ball era?

  4. Completely forgot Thies was traded to Chicago. Seemed like he was a solid rotation piece in Boston.

  5. A good quarter. Could be better. The only scoring by CHI were when they found some holes in the interior defense. I keep thinking that with Mitch in there, that changes.

  6. Taj Gibson is a treasure…

    RJ Barrett mixing good things with defensive lapses and dumb turnovers…

  7. Early leads are only good if you keep it
    and we tend to start playing fancy as soon as we get up “too much”.

    We’re only as good as our intensity level and every time we forget who we are we get punished.

  8. As far as I’m concerned Quickley is shooting 100% on those baseline bank floaters

  9. Max:
    End of quarter sets with Randle dribbling to death are really annoying…

    Yeah, seems like Thibs should be able to coach this away.

  10. I’m jumping on this relatively early, this would be without a doubt by far the worst loss of the season.

  11. It’s a strange feeling when the Knicks get calls work in their favor

  12. CLyde called Markkanen Marketten and Markenson in the same paragraph.

  13. Obi highlight plays > actual on court production, but damn it if some of those dunks aren’t fun.

  14. d-mar:
    Obi and Quick, be still my beating heart.

    Indeed. Cut to: one year later. I think/hope we’re gonna be thrilled.

  15. cybersoze:
    Quick is going to put the Knicks on the bonus with a lot of minutes in the quarter :)

    Yeah, IQ sometimes does that. I don’t know why. Almost like he thinks Thibs is gonna yank him if he slacks on defense. Meantime, he’s torching them from the field, so … why?

  16. what is RJ doing … he sags WAY too much … love his on ball defense!… but hes losing his man otherwise tonight over and over

  17. White looked like he was asking “do I even try to jump?” before committing an idiotic foul.

  18. Giving up that lead in the 3rd was worrisome, but being able to put a nail in the coffin in the 4th is encouraging.

  19. Feel confident enough we have this one in the bag. Given current results and they way some of the games in progress are tracking, this was an absolute must win. Pulling for the Spurs and Hornets now.

  20. Max:
    So is Thibs able to smile?

    That was a sardonic snarl at the delay of game. An angel lost its wings and fell to earth.

  21. Honestly, we need to re-sign Noel. He has done enough in turning our defense around that he deserves to get paid. Another masterclass for him today

  22. BigBlueAL: Huge sigh of relief after that awesome 4th quarter!

    They can’t do that to you, as it’s not easy to come up with another awesome name for the L. :P

  23. Every post-game interview: every single guy on our team pays respect to the opponent and credits his teammates.

    That’s a new Knick culture, for sure.

  24. #My bold game predictions
    Randle 36p
    Obi 3dunks
    Frank 6sec#

    2p, 1 dunk and 1min away
    Not bad!

  25. Mitch, Noel and Taj. I like our center position. Every reason for a repeat next year.

  26. Job done, ugly wins count as wins and that’s the only thing that matters.

    IQ’s blaze to start the fourth was the main factor,
    5 blocks for Noel, 30+ for Randle, nice offensive game with unusually bad defense for RJ.
    Obi’s slowly growing into a rotation player.
    Bullock and Gibson were solid, Rose useful despite a bad shooting night… and Payton hit a three :-)

    Take your rest guys, next step Houston, I hope Burks will be back…

  27. cybersoze: They can’t do that to you, as it’s not easy to come up with another awesome name for the L. :P

    Considering the tough schedule remaining looks like the game in Houston is the last possible worst loss of the season candidate lol.

  28. Not trying to come up with excuses, but my team (soccer) here in Portugal has the tendency to kind of relax when the game is easy, because it’s a long season and they have to “waste” their energy when it’s most needed. I think that might be what the Knicks did today, which is a huge step from where we were last season (recognize an inferior opponent and get the W with the minimum possible effort).

  29. Max:
    Job done, ugly wins count as wins and that’s the only thing that matters.

    IQ’s blaze to start the fourth was the main factor,
    5 blocks for Noel, 30+ for Randle, nice offensive game with unusually bad defense for RJ.
    Obi’s slowly growing into a rotation player.
    Bullock and Gibson were solid, Rose useful despite a bad shooting night… and Payton hit a three :-)

    Take your rest guys, next step Houston, I hope Burks will be back…

    And we did it without Vildoza.

  30. Gotta say, also (sacrilege?) : Right now Noel might be a steadier/better force than even a healthy Mitch.

    B/c of Mitch’s fouls, we’re so often in the penalty early and the game can lose flow (eye test), but Noel is just solid, automatic.

  31. I think people are forgetting how good Mitch is. Without question, a better player than Noel. But Noel makes you forget because his defense is generally excellent.

  32. cybersoze:
    Not trying to come up with excuses, but my team (soccer) here in Portugal has the tendency to kind of relax when the game is easy, because it’s a long season and they have to “waste” their energy when it’s most needed. I think that might be what the Knicks did today, which is a huge step from where we were last season (recognize an inferior opponent and get the W with the minimum possible effort).

    If you’re talking about this season, I know you’re not Sportinguista hahahah, smells like FC Porto

  33. rama is cautiously optimistic:
    I think people are forgetting how good Mitch is. Without question, a better player than Noel. But Noel makes you forget because his defense is generally excellent.

    I totally agree. Mitch and Noel are the same rim protectors. They both have great hands on defense. But Mitch is a superior offensive player both scoring and on the offensive boards. Thing is, they are very similar which means they are interchangeable in a game. And BTW, Taj’s game is similar to theirs too.

  34. Watching highlights and seeing the various Bridges continue to play well makes me feel sad about Knox every time. A truly indefensible pick. If you’re happy where you are, you have to accept each part of it…but damn, that was just so terrible.

  35. Bruno Almeida: If you’re talking about this season, I know you’re not Sportinguista hahahah, smells like FC Porto

    FCPorto till i die! ;) I’ve been 2 times World Champion with FCPorto, now i have to be with the Knicks! :)

  36. And BTW, Taj’s game is similar to theirs too.

    I appreciate Taj’s game, but he isn’t nearly the rim protector the others are. You could see it during the run the Bulls made – they weren’t afraid to go to the hoop the way teams are with Mitch and Noel.

  37. GoNYGoNYGo – Gearing up for the playoffs: But Mitch is a superior offensive player both scoring and on the offensive boards. Thing is, they are very similar which means they are interchangeable in a game. And BTW, Taj’s game is similar to theirs too.

    I hear you, and I would love for Mitch to round out a Yankees style core four of RJ, IQ, Mitch, and Obi.

    My point is only that Mitch is an erratic player. With Noel (and Taj for sure), the center position is like turning on the tap. It just works.

  38. rama’s cautious optimism was warranted: I appreciate Taj’s game, but he isn’t nearly the rim protector the others are. You could see it during the run the Bulls made – they weren’t afraid to go to the hoop the way teams are with Mitch and Noel.

    Right. He’s not as good, which is why he’s the 3rd stringer. But he’s still an outstanding defender and he is averaging 1.7 blocks per 36.

  39. B/c of Mitch’s fouls, we’re so often in the penalty early and the game can lose flow (eye test), but Noel is just solid, automatic.

    This season Nerlens has fouled at a higher rate than Mitch.

  40. Not to throw a wet blanket on things but the 4-5-6 spots are far from a lock for us. Since we own the tiebreaker with ATL, we are essentially 2 games ahead of them…and since the Heat own the tiebreaker with us, we are 1.5 games ahead of them. The Celts are two games back and the last game of the season will determine the tiebreaker with them. We have a very tough 8 games before that one….only HOU looks like a sure win on paper.

    It would really suck to be in the play-in tournament at this point. Let’s hope we go 5-4 and lock things up. Even 4-5 should do it. 3-6? Yikes.

  41. DRed: This season Nerlens has fouled at a higher rate than Mitch.

    That’s interesting. And I appreciate it, if those are the facts. My (admittedly eye test) memory is that Mitch’s silly mistakes more often knock us out of our usual bench rotations. Maybe that was only last year. And I’m glad to learn otherwise. I have high hopes for Mitch.

  42. Mitch started playing more in control and fixed his foul issues this season, it’s why his block numbers were less gaudy.

  43. cybersoze: FCPorto till i die! ;) I’ve been 2 times World Champion with FCPorto, now i have to be with the Knicks! :)

    Always had a sweet spot for Porto and I never liked the Lisbon teams, but it’s really a big leap from the best team around to the Knicks in this case hahaha

    I think the 4th seed is not really realistic for us to keep, there’s too many hard games left, but even just getting the 6th seed and playing a hard series against the Bucks would be a nice reward for these guys. I just want the Knicks to finish ahead of the Celtics and I’m happy, everything else is just gravy.

  44. One can only hope that Nerlens is the perfect role model for Mitch…I think Mitch has more raw talent, but he doesn’t read the game as well. Noel may have a higher foul rate but more of his fouls aren’t of the dumb variety and he tends to get his minutes. He also gets tons of deflections and blows up plays in ways that don’t show up in the stat sheet. He’s been a defensive anchor for us, way beyond what I expected.

  45. Z-man:
    One can only hope that Nerlens is the perfect role model for Mitch…I think Mitch has more raw talent, but he doesn’t read the game as well. Noel may have a higher foul rate but more of his fouls aren’t of the dumb variety and he tends to get his minutes. He also gets tons of deflections and blows up plays in ways that don’t show up in the stat sheet. He’s been a defensive anchor for us, way beyond what I expected.

    Noel gets steals and can actually hit outside shots. His free throw shooting has been good too. He cuts off lanes and then gets back to his man on defense. There’s a lot to like here.

  46. If you look at the remaining schedules for the teams involved, it’s pretty hard to see us staying ahead of Atlanta and Boston. The Heat have some tougher games, so 6th could definitely stay in play.

    We’re already pretty safe to for at least 7th though are almost guaranteed a winning record. Two things that even at the halfway point in the season, many models and analysts doubted. And at the start of the season seemed impossible. So whatever happens now, it’s been a pretty incredible year!

  47. For me who is best between Mitch and Noel is not a discussion, but even for those of you that think Noel is better than Mitch please take note that Mitch earns peanuts and is under contract next year, and then we’ll have his full bird rights for very little money (cap hold). If you don’t prefer Mitch for his performance, which i disagree, i think money-wise in our plan to build a contender in the next 2 summers, everybody has to agree Mitch is the guy to keep (or else you’re in need of some NBA salary cap lessons).

  48. Bruno Almeida: Always had a sweet spot for Porto and I never liked the Lisbon teams, but it’s really a big leap from the best team around to the Knicks in this case hahaha

    Oh cool, thank you. :) Are you into soccer? If yes, which Sao Paulo team do you prefer?

  49. If our experience of grabbing a “replica” on the black market, with the typical slight change of name (Luca instead of Luka), works out well. I have to tell you that we can try again in the 2022 Draft where there’ll be a serbian named NIKOLA JOVIC ! LOL

  50. Espn BPI projections have Hawks winning 39 and us, Boston and the Heat on 38. 538 has the hawks on 40, Celtics on 39 and us and the heat on 38. Obviously these projections are never bang on but it’s so, so tight. I fancy us to get to 39 with an outside chance at 40 though…

  51. english_knick:
    Espn BPI projections have Hawks winning 39 and us, Boston and the Heat on 38. 538 has the hawks on 40, Celtics on 39 and us and the heat on 38. Obviously these projections are never bang on but it’s so, so tight. I fancy us to get to 39 with an outside chance at 40 though…

    I’m with you, hoping to get to 39 and winning the last game against the Celtics, which in ESPN’s projection would put us in 4th and in 538’s would put us in 5th (tied with BOS but with the tiebreaker in our favor). Let’s do this, Knicks! :)
    In the worst case scenario, which is 538’s projection having us tied for 6th with the Heat, but as the tiebreaker is on their side, we’d be 7th and having to be in the play-in. But even in that scenario we would have two games at MSG to win one and be in the playoffs. Knicks home record is .666, and the other play-in teams have the following away records – CHA(.424), IND(.563), WAS(.414). I guess the odds would still be (a lot) on our side.

  52. So Luca replaces Harper (he’s on a 10-day contract to earn more money) on the 15-man roster, and then what? Harper gets back to the 2-way contract? Or was yesterday his last day as a Knick and it’s Simi Shittu that gets the available 2-way slot? And this because i think the cheerleader (Pinson) is safe, right? He’s the best at it. :D

  53. I honestly don’t know who is better at anchoring Thibs’ defense..Noel or Mitch. Sheesh! Noel is ROLLING! He was amazing last night. I still want both guys on this team for the next couple years..don’t know how that’s gonna work though

  54. The Utah-Sac box score highlights the modern game. Utah had 1more FGA and 4 more FTA than Sac…and won by 49 points.

  55. I still think we here at Knickerblogger are having a hard time processing that this team is actually good and that other teams should be worried about us and not vice versa.

    Since the ASB:

    We have the same net rating as the Nuggets ( 5). They’re now playing without Jamal Murray.
    We have a far superior net rating to the Grizzlies (they are 0.9)
    Who knows if Lebron will be back and how many minutes he will be playing.
    Clips and Suns have been better than us since ASB.

    Last 15 games:
    #2 Net Rating ( 8.7)
    #3 Offense, #4 defense
    (insert googly-eyes emoji).

    I would feel good about going 2-3 against that gauntlet of MEM, DEN, LAL, LAC, PHX. Important that we have a back to back May 2 and 3 vs HOU and MEM. We need to take care of business early in that Houston game and keep Randle and RJ to <35 minutes.

    Still think if we get to 39 wins that we are safe from the play-in.

  56. Not to throw a wet blanket on things but the 4-5-6 spots are far from a lock for us.

    I agree.

    There are a few extremely likely losses on our schedule and a couple of the easier games (like Houston) are on the road. So they aren’t automatic wins. I haven’t checked all the schedules, but I like the nights when some of the teams below us play each other, That way at least one of them has to lose. That slows down the rate at which some teams can potentially pass us if we have a rough stretch here.

  57. It’s what I said right from the start of season.

    Mitch is the more talented player with greater upside. He’s also the better target for lobs on offense now. Noel is the more seasoned pro and will do a better job “overall” on defense. He’s also less likely to make rookie caliber mistakes on defense. 2-3 years from now, I’d rather have Mitch. For this playoff run, I have no problem with Noel. He’s terrific.

  58. We will go 3-3 on this road trip. We’ll beat Houston and I bet we lose to Memphis. But we’re going to beat Phoenix and one of the LA teams. Lose to Denver cause that altitude always gets teams.

  59. The timing of this Vildoja thing is pretty interesting. I guess they were just waiting for the end of the Euroleague season? It has to be a multiyear deal or else why even bother if you’re both parties.

    Would be amazing if he’s actually good.

  60. BernieEarnie- That is pretty interesting

    I can’t believe we played that whole game last night with only four turnovers.

  61. Frank
    April 29, 2021 at 8:39 am
    I still think we here at Knickerblogger are having a hard time processing that this team is actually good and that other teams should be worried about us and not vice versa.

    Logic tells me that we are good, but emotionally I refuse to believe it.

  62. I am ready to have taken the L on RJB. Not yet, but I am prepared for it.

    I urge caution here, fellow long-suffering Knicks fans. This is a <2 SRS squad whose best case scenario is the 4/5 seed and a potentially winnable first-round series. Despite beating the Bucks this year, facing any of the top three seeds is a tall order.

    We should all enjoy this season for what it is and hope they can find a way to tack another five wins onto the ledger next year. Anything past a first-round win against the #5 should feel like ‘99 all over again.

  63. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I am ready to have taken the L on RJB. Not yet, but I am prepared for it.

    I urge caution here, fellow long-suffering Knicks fans. This is a <2 SRS squad whose best case scenario is the 4/5 seed and a potentially winnable first-round series. Despite beating the Bucks this year, facing any of the top three seeds is a tall order.

    We should all enjoy this season for what it is and hope they can find a way to tack another five wins onto the ledger next year. Anything past a first-round win against the #5 should feel like ‘99 all over again.

    You can tell it’s a weird Knicks season when Jowles and I agree on nearly everything.
    This whole season is found money and I am loving every minute of it without any expectations. Next year is a different story though… need to make some concrete steps forward. Doesn’t have to be pushing chips all in but there needs to be a solid plan.

    A second round exit in 6 games would be an amazing outcome for this year. Even a tight 1st round series would be an overall win for the season and the larger mission.

  64. cybersoze: Oh cool, thank you. :) Are you into soccer? If yes, which Sao Paulo team do you prefer?

    I used to be a huge São Paulo FC fan when I was younger, but our national league is such a shit show that I haven’t really followed much lately, only really European leagues and American sports.

    Interesting signing with Vildoza, he’s still only 25 and has shown some real good shooting in his career, but mostly it’s nice to see the FO looking at alternative options to find talent.

  65. Since the ASB:

    I agree.

    I think the annual SRS doesn’t capture the fact that RJ had a terrible start to the season and has made a lot of progress towards becoming a consistent reasonably efficient 2nd option. It also doesn’t capture the addition of Rose. We are a better team now than we were at the start of the season. We just aren’t as good as the top tier teams who have better 1-2 options.

  66. Again, it is crazy how much winning changes not just the fortunes of the franchise and the trajectory of the future, but also the tone of this board. The arguments now are much more civil because the disagreements seem like less of a big deal since the team’s baseline is already pretty solid. Maybe that changes in 2 seasons if we’re still stuck at the 5th seed and a first round exit team. But for now, after year’s of suffering, its just such a weight being lifted off of our collective backs.

    You want Lavine and I want CP3 and someone else wants Ball? Hey! That’s ok!

  67. Yeah I definitely feel that way when I look at the schedule. I see us playing a team that is 500 or a little below and my instincts immediately kick in and I think “oh that’s going to be a tough one we’ll probably lose.” Then I stop myself and say “WAIT! We’re better than them. We’re supposed to win that one!”

    Its a hard thought process to shake off after so many years of expecting the worst.

  68. Total shock of a season. What Randle has done this year has turned the league upside down. I think many thought he had this in him based on his college profile, but it took him a while to get there.

    It’s also incredible that RJ is now in the discussion as the top sophomore player. Ja and Zion (and maybe even Garland and Herro) are better offensive talents, but none of them compare to RJ defensively. And RJ still has a lot of room to grow as a creator and driver.

    I’m very nervous about meeting the Hawks in the playoffs. With Trae and their shooters, they are a handful. I think we match up better against the Celtics, honestly, although playing the Bucks would be worse.

  69. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I am ready to have taken the L on RJB. Not yet, but I am prepared for it.

    I’m hoping I can make this same statement about Obi in a few years. I’ve been very skeptical this season of his ability to be a productive NBA player, but lately he’s been showing a few signs that he might be (eventually)

    Knox on the other hand is a completely lost cause, maybe one of the dumbest picks in Knicks history.

  70. d-mar: maybe one of the dumbest picks in Knicks history.

    Fully agree (and I am going back to 1967 ( took Clyde at 5 and “how’s it goink” at 17)).
    Assuming that they actually made contact with Frederic Weis before the 1999 draft and then he changed his mind, it may be THE dumbest and not one of the the dumbest picks.

  71. Again, it is crazy how much winning changes not just the fortunes of the franchise and the trajectory of the future, but also the tone of this board. The arguments now are much more civil because the disagreements seem like less of a big deal since the team’s baseline is already pretty solid.

    It also probably doesn’t hurt that a few unnamed posters no longer have the inclination to posit that the since-departed humongous fucking idiot in the White House was just getting an unfair shake from the lamestream media while we sat isolated in our homes watching him waste millions on golf trips and promoting MyPillow.com and suggesting that we use a disinfectant to clean our bodies from the fake China virus. But yes also winning, that helped.

  72. Yeah, the whole tone of the internet is a lot better than it was 5 months ago. You still see the trolls comment on stuff but there are far less of them and the energy behind their posts is far weaker. Hope it stays that way. Probably won’t but I’m really enjoying the respite.

  73. Randle in April – 27.1/9/7.3 with a 32 usage and 57.2 TS, shooting 42.7% from 3P range and 85.8% at the line. He’s up to 6.9 3PA/game in April. It’s like we added a hybrid of LeBron James and Luka Doncic.

    RJ in April – 18.1/4.7/2.5 with a TS of 59.5, shooting, 48.2% from 3 and 80% at the line. Now 5 consecutive months shooting 34 % from 3 (which is pretty much where I thought he’d top out this season – instead, he is shooting 39% for the year 42.7% since the ASB). He’s took 5.7 3PA/game in April.

    It really is insane how much better these two have gotten. The shooting improvement has to be unprecedented for two teammates to get this much better on significantly higher volume at the same time.

  74. Frank: It really is insane how much better these two have gotten. The shooting improvement has to be unprecedented for two teammates to get this much better on significantly higher volume at the same time.

    Fuck Keith Smart

  75. RJ and Randle are both hard workers and I think more than many other players in the delete 8, used those 9 months to REALLY work on their game, especially the shooting. It helps that they both seem to really like each other. Also, the whole team is staying after practice and shooting.

    I will say this about Thibs. I think he’s mellowed some since Chicago/TWolves days but he’s still passionate and still enough of a hardass to really drill home how much hard work and dedication is important for success at the NBA level. I mean, the level of talent between a bad and good team in the NBA is really not THAT much. A bench player and a legit starter are both insanely talented, best basketball players in the world. The difference largely does come down to drive. The guy who is willing to spend 8 or 10 hours in the gym in the offseason vs. 4 or 6. The guy who is willing to shoot free throws for an hour after a game. Thibs’s style might rub some players the wrong way but those who take to it can really thrive off of it.

  76. Donnie Walsh
    April 28, 2021 at 7:14 pm
    I clicked on that Almost Famous clip, despite my better judgement. Wow, 8 minutes of watching people listen to the most over-played song in American music history was not only an idea, but was actually executed too? Reminds me why I was colossally disappointed by that movie. Pretentious, un-entertaining, tin-eared blah.

    what!!!

    okay then donnie – we’re going to need some kind of frame of reference for you regarding:
    a). best “coming-of-age” movies of all time (ex: juno, breaking away, the graduate, spiderman: into the the spiderverse, breakfast club)

    b). best rock-n-roll movies of all time (ex: this is spinal tap, walk the line, selena, amadeus)

    so, if almost famous isn’t one of the greatest coming of age and rock and roll movies of all time – what would be?

    if i had to choose maybe one movie over almost famous that fits the bill on both genre’s – maybe: amercian graffiti

  77. I was involved in the promotion of the movie “Walk Hard” and although it bombed at the box office, it sums up exactly why most rock movies and musician biopics in general suck. It’s a dead-on parody of the tired tropes that seem to be in every one of those movies.

    I wasn’t actually in the movie but I was one of the musicians in Dewey Cox’s touring band and we did a little promo tour when the movie launched. It was pretty much the closest thing possible to playing in Spinal Tap— we’d pretend to be this band and the fans would pretend to be fans of the pretend band. Unlike regular tours which you do in a tour bus, this one had Sony Pictures’ budget behind it so we flew to all the destinations in a G5.

    One of the highlights of my career without a doubt. The movie has since reached cult classic status and people still make bad rock music biopics with the same tired tropes 15 years later.

  78. I was involved in the promotion of the movie “Walk Hard”

    that is so freaking cool – you were a hard walker…ugh, i wish i had like one scintilla of creative ability, i’m okay at taking shit apart, not so great at putting things together…

    i will say though – isn’t the concept of pretentiousness or tired tropiness dependent on the perspective of the viewer…what may be cliched/hackneyed for one person – could be like a revelation for another…

  79. I like the highlight of Obidiah getting his own miss and flushing it.

    Thaddeus Young rushes up to guard him in the corner and doesn’t take away the baseline. Obi barely starts to fake a shot then blows past him. Markkanen goes up for the block but bounces off Obi like a kid off a tree as they collide in the air. Obi switches the ball to his right hand in the air as he wards Markkanen off with his left shoulder and gets the shot off under decent control despite the contact. Then he’s back up to get his miss very quickly as Markkanen watches and Vucevic just reaches for it flatfooted from under the basket.

    It’s only a highlight clip but it conjures ideas of what his strength and quickness might allow him to do more often as he gains confidence and focus, especially if his three starts to demand more attention. I don’t know if he’ll get there but after a rough start to the season, it’s nice to see glimmers.

  80. It’s only a highlight clip but it conjures ideas of what his strength and quickness might allow him to do more often as he gains confidence and focus, especially if his three starts to demand more attention.

    That last part is key. If Obi becomes even decent at shooting from the corner, defenses have to play him very differently, and he can do a lot of damage even within the confines of our current offense. And if we actually pair him with a real point guard? That could be a lot of fun.

    The problem is that, barring injury, Randle is going to play a ton of minutes, and it doesn’t seem like he and Obi can share the court except in very specific situations. So Obi will likely have to be traded at some point. Let’s just hope it’s no until he’s showed enough in his limited minutes to build his trade value back up.

  81. JK47:
    I was involved in the promotion of the movie “Walk Hard” and although it bombed at the box office, it sums up exactly why most rock movies and musician biopics in general suck. It’s a dead-on parody of the tired tropes that seem to be in every one of those movies.

    I wasn’t actually in the movie but I was one of the musicians in Dewey Cox’s touring band and we did a little promo tour when the movie launched. It was pretty much the closest thing possible to playing in Spinal Tap— we’d pretend to be this band and the fans would pretend to be fans of the pretend band. Unlike regular tours which you do in a tour bus, this one had Sony Pictures’ budget behind it so we flew to all the destinations in a G5.

    One of the highlights of my career without a doubt. The movie has since reached cult classic status and people still make bad rock music biopics with the same tired tropes 15 years later.

    Omg JK my friends and I always talk about how Walk Hard is one of the most underrated comedies of all time. The Beatles scene was brilliant, and also the Tim Meadows “you don’t want any part of this Dewey” bathroom scenes.

    Can’t say enough about how hysterically funny that movie is, but it’s not on many people’s radar for some reason

  82. Owen: It really is insane how much better these two have gotten. The shooting improvement has to be unprecedented for two teammates to get this much better on significantly higher volume at the same time.

    That last part is key. If Obi becomes even decent at shooting from the corner, defenses have to play him very differently, and he can do a lot of damage even within the confines of our current offense. And if we actually pair him with a real point guard? That could be a lot of fun.

    The problem is that, barring injury, Randle is going to play a ton of minutes, and it doesn’t seem like he and Obi can share the court except in very specific situations. So Obi will likely have to be traded at some point. Let’s just hope it’s no until he’s showed enough in his limited minutes to build his trade value back up.

    As many of you know, I’m on TeamOptimist. With that said, even I still have to allow myself to process that this team is now good. Obv not “contender” good yet, but “mid-seed playoff” good: the type of team that can potentially win a 1st round series depending on opponent. And the thing is this: this feeling is not just new to this season, but even newer within the past 3+ weeks! We were happy to hover around .500, then the 9-game win streak happened which showed off some upward trends (i.e. Obi giving good minutes off the bench, team improved 3-ball shooting).

    I’d love for us to nab the 4-seed and potentially win the 1st round. That’s just pure euphoria though: I’m way more excited by the fact that a non-zero level of team improvement this summer will come from within.

  83. JK47: I was involved in the promotion of the movie “Walk Hard” and although it bombed at the box office, it sums up exactly why most rock movies and musician biopics in general suck. It’s a dead-on parody of the tired tropes that seem to be in every one of those movies.

    I really enjoyed the movie. I remember thinking it wasn’t going to be good, but it really surprised me. I think everyone had Ferrell/Reilly fatigue at that point which probably hurt it too

  84. The problem is that, barring injury, Randle is going to play a ton of minutes, and it doesn’t seem like he and Obi can share the court except in very specific situations. So Obi will likely have to be traded at some point. Let’s just hope it’s no until he’s showed enough in his limited minutes to build his trade value back up.

    I think we have a while before we cross that bridge, though I could be wrong if Obi absolutely crushes his offseason development this summer.
    Beyond that, I would love… LOVE… for the Knicks to be in a position of talent-surplus. We know Randle has embraced being a workhorse, but imagine next year he’s able to tally a few more mid-20 minute games b/c Obi & the 2nd unit were able to hold and expand upon Knick leads in wire-to-wire blowouts.

    This would be a GOOD problem to have. I’m not used to this team having good problems.

  85. How many legit title contenders are there this year in the NBA? 7? 8?
    3 in the East and 4 or 5 in the west?
    Sixers
    Nets
    Bucks (?)
    Jazz
    Suns (?)
    Clips
    Denver
    Lakers

    Are we the best or second best non title contender out there? Seems like it’s certain possibly we can join that conversation with a couple of good moves.

  86. You can tell it’s a weird Knicks season when Jowles and I agree on nearly everything.
    This whole season is found money and I am loving every minute of it without any expectations. Next year is a different story though… need to make some concrete steps forward. Doesn’t have to be pushing chips all in but there needs to be a solid plan.

    A second round exit in 6 games would be an amazing outcome for this year. Even a tight 1st round series would be an overall win for the season and the larger mission.

    This offseason – and the results of it – I believe will dictate what the plan will/should be during the next season.

    With the work effort and competitive spirit instilled in this team by Thibs, I believe a tough playoff loss will do wonders for the players’ off-season motivation. Substantial Year-Two improvements by IQ and Obi plus the Third Year Jump by RJ… I’m speaking it into existence!

  87. last night kept thinking how cool it would be for obi to keep julius glued to the bench a little longer in the second half…

    he only had 11 minutes last night (his average for the season), and he didn’t exactly fill up the box score last night – it seems though he has a good eye for the rim, whether it be snatching rebounds (i know, he’s 6’9″, 220 lbs and averaging less than 3 rebounds per game – but) or attacking the basket…

    he really seems to be improving his game the last month or so…he no longer looks consistently lost out on the court…it’s tough though, with julius in front of him, not sure what his real upside is…

    what i like most about obi – he looks desperate to succeed out on the court…

  88. This fkn team wouldn’t shock me anymore even going 9-0 the rest of the regseason way!
    Even getting the trophy!
    It’s chemistry/psychology reminds me of the greek 2004 football team that was considered bottom and got the euro trophy in Portugal.(sorry cybersoze)
    Of course basketball ain’t football and knockout games ain’t Playoff series but…a grick can dream…

  89. I believed early on that Thibs would change the culture. I loved the idea of a defense first team in NY.
    Impossible to have foreseen how good they are.
    But when you win 10 of 11 and beat who you need to as well as peers, it becomes clear.

    And the Knicks have been so close to beating the likes of the 76ers, Nets and Suns.
    I keep wondering if we are going to start beating very good teams.

    It feels so close. So close.

  90. Z-man: Not to throw a wet blanket on things but the 4-5-6 spots are far from a lock for us.

    No, and I know that we could easily slip but I think this team still has another gear. I really do. The return of Burks and the sudden emergence of Obi might be big for us. I wonder if and when Mitch returns. I wouldn’t want to play the Knicks. On the other hand, this team has “passed” for the 20/21 season. No matter what happens, it’s a lock for a successful season. Not one of us, or anyone else, had this season in their expectations. This FAR exceeded all of our expectations. If the Knicks go 0 for theRestOfTheSeason they would have still achieved the unachievable.

  91. geo: what!!!

    okay then donnie – we’re going to need some kind of frame of reference for you regarding:
    a). best “coming-of-age” movies of all time (ex: juno, breaking away, the graduate, spiderman: into the the spiderverse, breakfast club)

    b). best rock-n-roll movies of all time (ex: this is spinal tap, walk the line, selena, amadeus)

    so, if almost famous isn’t one of the greatest coming of age and rock and roll movies of all time – what would be?

    if i had to choose maybe one movie over almost famous that fits the bill on both genre’s – maybe: amercian graffiti

    depends on the decade but from the 80’s …you got Fast Times…you got Breakfast Club ..you got Valley Girl….etc…anyway that was my age 16-26 time period so i remember those…

  92. Hmm. Are The Breakfast Club or Fasttimes really “coming of age” movies or are they just teen/high school movie? I feel like there’s a distinction. Like Stand by Me I would call a “coming of age” movie because the kids in that movie are definitely older when the movies ends. But Breakfast Club they’re still just high school kids, just ones that have a better understanding of cliques and social groups and how bad they are.

    I don’t know. Nitpicking but its an interesting thing to think about.

  93. While I’m happy for Obi getting better, I don’t think he unlocks some new level for the team. Maybe a bit because if he can give quality minutes then Randle can rest more but in the playoffs Randle is going to continue to play huge minutes since they have a day or two off between games.

    Burks just gives us another option, which is good.

    By the way, I love the signing of the new PG. Because to me it shows the FO realizes what they need to upgrade at the PG position. I think its no coincidence Obi has started to look better now that Rose is playing so well. Rose can get him lobs, throws it down court on the fast break, etc. And this PG from Argentina seems to have that ability too. I don’t think he’ll do much for us the rest of this season or even in the playoffs, but I like that we’re making this sneaky end of the season move and its a multi-year deal. To me it shows me they know Elf is an issue and he probably won’t be back. I also love that we didn’t make some move for Drummond or Fournier or even Ball but have instead targeted these really under the radar guys (this dude, Pelle) who fit into exactly what we’re about and address specific things we need right now without screwing us long term with big salaries or trading away picks. It shows real intelligence.

  94. Coming of age movies that I think get at least a little bit of the true horror, crazy risk, extreme beauty, danger, confusion, and joy of growing up: Léolo, City of God, Time Stands Still, Cyclo.

  95. ess-dog: Total shock of a season. What Randle has done this year has turned the league upside down. I think many thought he had this in him based on his college profile, but it took him a while to get there.

    I think being traded to a bad team has been a boon for Randle’s individual game. He’s gotten a lot of reps having to be “the man” and, sure, he has made the most of them. But he prolly wouldn’t get nearly that same usage on a lot of other teams.

    It’s the same with RJ. If the Knicks had other good options, RJ might never return from some of his 1-8 first quarters — to then get “percolating” in the fourth. Again, to his credit, he’s delivered and made us believe, but no doubt he’s been in a good situation to improve.

  96. swiftandabundant: By the way, I love the signing of the new PG. Because to me it shows the FO realizes what they need to upgrade at the PG position.

    I also love that we didn’t make some move for Drummond or Fournier or even Ball but have instead targeted these really under the radar guys (this dude, Pelle) who fit into exactly what we’re about and address specific things we need right now without screwing us long term with big salaries or trading away picks. It shows real intelligence.

    Totally agree with this. It makes me think they’re finally reading our posts.

  97. i seem to remember we had a very well respected international scout… kevin wilson… is he still with the team? i thought he was one of the longest tenured on the whole staff….

    edit: and yes he is! he is based in spain..

  98. I read somewhere that Kobe Bryant told the Laker brass to sign our Luca 2 years ago. There is also a young scout named Spencer who was very high on him back in 2019 and tweeted about him. Hopefully we’re onto something here.

  99. Is it just me or has Randle basically turned into the player Melo should have/could have been- a mid-range assassin who stretched out his range to three, is a very willing passer and competes defensively?

  100. Here’s the tweet:

    Spencer
    @SKPearlman
    ·
    Feb 13, 2019
    Luca Vildoza (@lucavildoza
    ) is someone NBA teams should keep an eye on in the FA market. Skilled PG who can defend, finish in the paint with either hand, create out of the PnR for shots at all 3 levels, hit C&S 3s and off the bounce 3s, and plays with some flair.

  101. Is it just me or has Randle basically turned into the player Melo should have/could have been- a mid-range assassin who stretched out his range to three, is a very willing passer and competes defensively?

    it seemed some games he was willing to create and pass, it was just so few occasions…but, yeah, this was exactly who i was hoping/wishing melo would be (including the hard work and defensive attitude)…

    “Never get mad at someone for being who they’ve always been. Be upset with yourself for not coming to terms with it sooner.”

  102. Hey Alan, just read your TV article in Rolling Stone and top 50 sitcoms list. Great job! The Simpsons absolutely belongs at #1, my only quibble would be Seinfeld at 3 and Cheers at 2. I’d put Simpsons and Seinfeld at 1 and 1 a.

    Also wondering why you left off Schitts Creek?

    Fun read tho!

  103. Schitt’s Creek is so fucking dull that its popularity makes my head spin

    No offense

  104. DudesTown:
    Here’s the tweet:

    Spencer
    @SKPearlman
    ·
    Feb 13, 2019
    Luca Vildoza (@lucavildoza
    ) is someone NBA teams should keep an eye on in the FA market. Skilled PG who can defend, finish in the paint with either hand, create out of the PnR for shots at all 3 levels, hit C&S 3s and off the bounce 3s, and plays with some flair.

    Spencer Pearlman is a very good scout.

  105. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Schitt’s Creek is so fucking dull that its popularity makes my head spin

    No offense

    Ha love that term “no offense”. It’s like “all due respect” or “can I be honest?” right before you slam someone.

  106. MIA and BOS play a 2-game set in Boston. Would love to see Miami sweep but that’s unlikely so maybe it would be better if BOS swept.

    The specter of our final regular season game vs. BOS is haunting me. The thought of losing that one and ending up in the play-in because of it is nauseating.

  107. ***I am ready to have taken the L on RJB. Not yet, but I am prepared for it… should all enjoy this season for what it is and hope they can find a way to tack another five wins onto the ledger next year. Anything past a first-round win against the #5 should feel like ‘99 all over again.***

    Being bad as a teenaged rookie means nothing. LeBron was bad, Durant was bad. Lots of good and great players were bad at the beginning. The MOST important thing is improvement in year two. It’s why the book was closed on Frank Ntilikina in 2019. Guys that don’t improve in year two simply aren’t going to stay in the league, there’s not a single example that I’m aware of. Barrett obviously made the necessary leap after a poor rookie year. Obi Toppin can too, it’s certainly not too late. Don’t take a W or an L on him until next April.

    As for 1999 all over again, 1999 was in many ways “fool’s gold”. The Knicks were in the process of rebuilding: they had traded old Oakley for young Camby, and old Starks for younger Sprewell. But then the finals run happened, and instead of following through, they decided to squeeze 50 wins out of Ewing and Larry Johnson and then proceed to stay in fake “win now” mode for the next decade. If they’d missed the playoffs in 1999, they’d have done a proper rebuild around Camby and Baron Davis, let Ewing sunset, and probably have given you guys a lot more enjoyment during the 21 year wait up until now.

  108. ***okay then donnie – we’re going to need some kind of frame of reference***

    I liked all of Cameron Crowe’s movies at the time, and was excited for Almost Famous when it came out and remember just groaning my way through it. He just seemed too close to the story personally, and lacked the cinematic wherewithal to transcend it the way Truffaut did it in the 400 Blows, or Fellini did it in I Vitelloni, or Woody Allen did it in Radio Days, or Scorsese did it in Mean Streets, or Spike Lee did it in Crooklyn, or Bergman did in Fanny and Alexander, or even Linklater did it in Slacker and Dazed and Confused (though the latter may have fallen into the same traps, and if I revisited it as an adult, would possibly move into the Almost Famous category of “get over yourself dude and either write your memoir or make a movie, but don’t try to do both at the same time”. (Hope that helps:)

  109. Hmm. Are The Breakfast Club or Fasttimes really “coming of age” movies or are they just teen/high school movie? I feel like there’s a distinction. Like Stand by Me I would call a “coming of age” movie because the kids in that movie are definitely older when the movies ends. But Breakfast Club they’re still just high school kids, just ones that have a better understanding of cliques and social groups and how bad they are.

    that’s a good point – what does define: coming of age…i tend to think of it more as an event (“rite of passage”), rather than a timeline or period of time…

  110. Was Zach Wilson the right pick for the Jets? Should they have traded the pick and kept Darnold?

  111. a lot of solid performances in almost famous, like a lot of movies, it’s what’s around the edges that make a big difference…hoffman as bangs, and more importantly – jason lee as bebe is what really stuck with me the most after watching the movie the first time…not to be mean, but, patrick fugit’s performance nearly sank the film for me…

    finding the director’s cut to view through a streaming service is turning in to a bit of a challenge…i guess i could buy the blue-ray/dvd, although i’m running out of stuff to play it on…the fact that there are 38 additional minutes to the movie (not sure if the stairway to heaven scene remained cut for that cut) that i haven’t scene incorporated in to the film definitely intrigues me…especially after watching this

  112. Was Zach Wilson the right pick for the Jets? Should they have traded the pick and kept Darnold?

    oh shoot, draft day…here’s hoping the g-men go defense…several times…

  113. geo: oh shoot, draft day…here’s hoping the g-men go defense…several times…

    After 7 picks, not one defensive player has been taken. Interesting.

  114. i honestly think gettleman just makes some decisions out of spite, like drafting a running back number two…why???

    i’d bet against the bears being any good next year too though…although that whole division they’re in could really suck next year…

    hmmmm, maybe gettleman could get rodgers for jones and 2 firsts next year…

  115. geo:
    i honestly think gettleman just makes some decisions out of spite, like drafting a running back number two…why???

    i’d bet against the bears being any good next year too though…although that whole division they’re in could really suck next year…

    hmmmm, maybe gettleman could get rodgers for jones and 2 firsts next year…

    Parsons and Slater were the next 2 picks. One of them should be a Giant now.

  116. DudesTown:
    Giants traded down. If they lose out on Parsons or Slater they might regret it.

    They got the 20th pick plus a 1st and a 4th next year so not so bad.

  117. the rockets didn’t draft porter… cleveland drafted porter… but he was traded at the beginning of the season for peanuts cause he was acting weird…

    shouldn’t give up on talent so early…

  118. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Schitt’s Creek is so fucking dull that its popularity makes my head spin

    No offense

    Glad that being completely refuted by reality on how the front office should approach this season hasn’t kept you from firing off hot takes.

    Two questions:

    How much Schitt’s Creek have you watched?

    What about what you saw was dull?

    I’m not sure if it’s top 50 all time but I don’t understand dull.

  119. I tried the first season of Schitts Creek. I wouldn’t say i found it dull but I definitely feel like my expectations weren’t managed properly by the world at large.

  120. FWIW, Schitt’s Creek will be on the online sitcom top 100 we’ll be publishing sometime in the next week or so. That said, I was never the biggest fan of it. I found it pleasant (especially once the Roses accept that this is their life now) but never hugely funny. Other people love it, though, and the list is a mix of my favorites and ones chosen by the rest of our TV team.

  121. @Alan/@Owen/@Jowles- agree on Schitt’s Creek. It felt like it was trying to be Arrested Development v1 but was like 70% as funny which wasn’t quite good enough for me. My wife absolutely loved it though.

    I thought Almost Famous was great. It was a long time ago and I haven’t seen it in many years, but I really enjoyed it back then.

    Re: the Jets – I get the argument that trading up for a non-super-value position (ie. QB/CB/edge rusher) seems odd but if it keeps your #2 pick QB upright then it’s worth it IMHO. I wouldn’t even mind if they spent their 2nd round pick on another OL. Last time the Jets had a dominant offensive line was when they picked Brick and Mangold with two 1st round picks in the same draft, and all that led to was the best Jets team in my memory and 2 AFC championship games. All this talk about the Jets needing to trade down today/tomorrow to get more picks is weird – they have 7 more picks in the draft (so 9 total) even after the trade up, including two 4th round picks. I guess the 3rd round is a sweet spot for value but if you come away with an interior OL you love, then by all means go for it. The disastrous Maccagnan years were marked by a total abdication of the OL, so I am very happy to see Douglas put serious capital in improving what I think is the most important position group (except QB of course).

  122. Bruno Almeida: I used to be a huge São Paulo FC fan when I was younger, but our national league is such a shit show that I haven’t really followed much lately, only really European leagues and American sports.

    I don’t follow closely the Brasileirao, but i try to check it once in a while, and i have a simpathy for Sao Paulo FC, which is such a coincidence. ;) It was mostly because after FCPorto became world champion the first time (1987), i started to pay attention to it and then came those Raí lead teams, such a great player he was and with finesse. So at the time i followed Sao Paulo FC more closely, and wanted FCPorto to make a move for Raí, but hey we don’t have money like PSG, so in the end it wasn’t in our reach.
    And now i’m seeing that you are a two times world champion also (it were 2 times in a row for those early 90s teams, right?), and you are more focused on the Knicks being world champions, like myself. And when i said “now” it wasn’t for this season, it was more like for this decade, it’d be amazing if the Knicks can do it this decade! :)

    Knew Your Nicks:
    It’s chemistry/psychology reminds me of the greek 2004 football team that was considered bottom and got the euro trophy in Portugal. (sorry cybersoze)

    It’s all good, as i said before you guys beat us two times in that tournament, so enjoy it as it was deserved. And we’re the reigning european champions, so we’ve move past that in a great manner! ;)

  123. geo: a). best “coming-of-age” movies of all time (ex: juno, breaking away, the graduate, spiderman: into the the spiderverse, breakfast club)

    I’m going with Juno, which i find as great movie.

  124. geo: “Never get mad at someone for being who they’ve always been. Be upset with yourself for not coming to terms with it sooner.”

    And you should be ecstatic when someone overachieves expectations (eg, Randle, Julius). ;)

  125. d-mar: Hey Alan, just read your TV article in Rolling Stone and top 50 sitcoms list. Great job! The Simpsons absolutely belongs at #1, my only quibble would be Seinfeld at 3 and Cheers at 2. I’d put Simpsons and Seinfeld at 1 and 1 a.

    For me it’s Seinfeld, i loved every bit of that series. :)

    @Alan: you have to be more careful in building your lists from now on, because the Knicks became good again, and it’ll be your lists taking the most heat around here. LOL

  126. you have to be more careful in building your lists from now on, because the Knicks became good again, and it’ll be your lists taking the most heat around here. LOL

    I’m more than prepared to take that grief if it means the Knicks will stay good.

  127. I Love Lucy was the Wilt Chamberlain of sitcoms

    Babe Ruth is the better analogue, in that it completely transformed how TV was made, and is still influential today. I’m trying to think of the NBA equivalent of that. Wilt has a GOAT argument, but how influential was he, given that nobody could come into the league and be as athletically superior to the competition? Maybe 50 years from now, we’ll call Steph the I Love Lucy (or The Sopranos) of NBA players?

  128. And I’m happy the Giants traded down, even if I have no idea about Toney. (I pay almost no attention to college football.) For most of my life, the Giants have gotten too locked into specific guys, rather than trying to generate value by trading back and forth the way the more consistently successful teams do. Having two firsts next year, in what everyone suggests will be a very strong draft, seems huge.

    (Though coincidentally, they did this on a day when Berman of the Post published a story revisiting Scott Perry’s insistence on taking RJ at 3 rather than trading down with the Hawks or someone else. Sometimes, locking in on your guy works?)

  129. Alan: Babe Ruth is the better analogue, in that it completely transformed how TV was made, and is still influential today. I’m trying to think of the NBA equivalent of that. Wilt has a GOAT argument, but how influential was he, given that nobody could come into the league and be as athletically superior to the competition? Maybe 50 years from now, we’ll call Steph the I Love Lucy (or The Sopranos) of NBA players?

    All in the Family is also iconic and groundbreaking on another level. You might say that The Simpsons is an analog for that in animated series, and The Flintstones was an analog for I Love Lucy. I can’t really think of animated shows as sitcoms because the character acting is such a big part of the picture.

    My personal list, in no particular order:
    Taxi
    I Love Lucy
    All in the Family
    The Jeffersons
    Home Improvement
    The Honeymooners
    Bewitched
    MASH
    George Lopez
    The Mary Tyler Moore Show

    Honorable Mention:
    Get Smart
    Living Single
    Sanford and Son
    I Dream of Jeannie
    Gilligan’s Island
    The Addams Family

  130. Just got pitched an interview with Ja Morant, tied to a documentary he’s in. Tempted to say yes just so I can ask how it feels that RJ Barrett is now better than him.

  131. I listened to a great pod on Desi Arnaz and the creation of I Love Lucy. Lucille Ball obviously was crucial but I didn’t realize what a pathbreaking figure he was. Totally fascinating. I watched that show as a kid and it held up.

    Frank and I are of one mind on Almost Famous and the importance of the offensive line. It’s always seemed pretty rare for a quarterback to play well in front of a bad offensive line. It’s pretty rare for running backs and receivers also. Offensive line play seems underrated because it’s difficult to quantify and irrelevant to fantasy, but maybe it’s higher in the pecking order than I realize.

    Are there advanced analytics for OL play now that work?

  132. The Honeymooners was the Boston Celtics of its time with Jackie Gleason, Bill Russell, and Art Carney, Joyce Randolph, and Audrey Meadows, Cousy, Sam, and KC Jones.
    @Alan: it would be great if you can off the podcast get Ja’s take on RJ.

  133. Alan, that would be ultra cool. RJ has won me over, but I’d still trade him and a #1 for Ja in a heartbeat.

  134. Bo Nateman: @Alan: it would be great if you can off the podcast get Ja’s take on RJ.

    Subscribed. Do it, Alan. ;)

    Z-man: Alan, that would be ultra cool. RJ has won me over, but I’d still trade him and a #1 for Ja in a heartbeat.

    Why would you do that? I wouldn’t trade RJ straight up. They’re on the same level now, and where Ja has the injury concerns, RJ is built like a truck.

  135. Two seasons, which felt like an eternity waiting for it to be anything but a will-they, won’t-they and fish-out-of-water on-set sitcom. It’s not Big Bang Theory (boilerplate nonsense) but it sure as hell ain’t Arrested Development (mildly transgressive comedy of errors). I was told it would be more like the latter, and it turned out to be the kind of show that is intent on making you care about a love triangle as fucking borrrrriiiiiing as Alexis, Mutt and whoever the cuckold vet dude was. Moira made me laugh a few times and I remember a cold open where Eugene Levy hammed it hard, which I really liked. When they were trying to do a witty bantery thing, it fell totally flat for me.

    But I’m a sucker for narrative experimentation, like The Office UK or Fleabag, or thematic experimentation, like Curb/Seinfeld, or a fully-developed and expansive world like Parks and Rec or Succession (a black-humored drama, but I’m talking about the comedy of that one). Shows like Schitt’s Creek are, as Lady J puts it, firmly in Sitcomland and that’s a tough place for me to want to go. I have even struggled to care about The Good Place, which is a Michael Schur show, who might be the most talented showrunner in TV comedy over the last twenty years.

  136. cybersoze: Why would you do that? I wouldn’t trade RJ straight up. They’re on the same level now, and where Ja has the injury concerns, RJ is built like a truck.

    I don’t think it’s a no-brainer by any means. RJ has really come a long way and if you squint a bit you can see perennial all-star candidate in his game. But I believe that PG is a much more critical position and Ja seems like a future top-3 PG and possible superstar. Sure, there are injury concerns, he has a lot of Derrick Rose in his game. But being set at the PG position for the next decade would be awfully nice.

    More generally, I wonder what RJ’s current market value is….he certainly has to be worth at least a high lottery pick, right? Suppose a team that is set at PG is in the top-3 in this year’s draft, would you trade RJ to roll the dice on Cade, or Suggs?

  137. I also wonder if Memphis could get an RJ-level player plus a mid-first round pick for Ja. I would say yes, very easily.

    On that note, the upcoming Memphis game should be fun, especially now that JJJ is back.

  138. Z-man: I don’t think it’s a no-brainer by any means. RJ has really come a long way and if you squint a bit you can see perennial all-star candidate in his game. But I believe that PG is a much more critical position and Ja seems like a future top-3 PG and possible superstar. Sure, there are injury concerns, he has a lot of Derrick Rose in his game. But being set at the PG position for the next decade would be awfully nice.
    More generally, I wonder what RJ’s current market value is….he certainly has to be worth at least a high lottery pick, right? Suppose a team that is set at PG is in the top-3 in this year’s draft, would you trade RJ to roll the dice on Cade, or Suggs?

    Fair enough, i agree with you that Ja being a PG is a plus, but i’d still keep RJ nonetheless.
    As for trading RJ for one of Cade and Suggs, i wouldn’t do it, but it’s not because i don’t see greatness in this year’s guys, it’s more because we took all this time to find a valuable player through the draft that i think now i’d need a king’s ransom to let him go.

  139. You don’t have to have an all-star, all-nba point guard to win a championship. There are plenty of all time great PG’s who don’t have rings and plenty of teams that won it all without all-nba PG’s. I mean, it doesn’t hurt but a dynamic wing is more important, IMO. The PG position is important but its not make or break for a championship team and if you can have playmaking at multiple positions, sometimes that is better.

  140. DudesTown:
    A list without Seinfeld on it is not a list.

    It’s weird but I’m hardly alone in not being a fan of Seinfeld. To me, the shtik in the same category as Friends and Cheers, either you connect with it or you don’t. I didn’t. Ironically, I find Curb your Enthusiasm to be hysterical.

  141. Z-man: It’s weird but I’m hardly alone in not being a fan of Seinfeld. To me, the shtik in the same category asFriends and Cheers, either you connect with it or you don’t. I didn’t. Ironically, I find Curb your Enthusiasm to be hysterical.

    good list z-man…i am with you on seinfeld…

    a few more old skool shows I would add on:
    Green Acres
    Beverly Hillbillies
    Good Times
    The Munsters

  142. Maybe this season is just a blip in Ja’s 3PT shooting but that shot has not been there for him this year. That’s such a huge part of the modern game.

    Ja has really stagnated as a soph, and combined with the risky injury profile, RJ’s intangibles and RJ’s durable tank-like body, it’s kind of hard to say which guy I’d want right now.

    RJ is also almost a full year younger.

  143. cybersoze: I don’t follow closely the Brasileirao, but i try to check it once in a while, and i have a simpathy for Sao Paulo FC, which is such a coincidence. ;) It was mostly because after FCPorto became world champion the first time (1987), i started to pay attention to it and then came those Raí lead teams, such a great player he was and with finesse. So at the time i followed Sao Paulo FC more closely, and wanted FCPorto to make a move for Raí, but hey we don’t have money like PSG, so in the end it wasn’t in our reach.
    And now i’m seeing that you are a two times world champion also (it were 2 times in a row for those early 90s teams, right?), and you are more focused on the Knicks being world champions, like myself. And when i said “now” it wasn’t for this season, it was more like for this decade, it’d be amazing if the Knicks can do it this decade! :)

    It’s all good, as i said before you guys beat us two times in that tournament, so enjoy it as it was deserved. And we’re the reigning european champions, so we’ve move past that in a great manner! ;)

    Yes, 92 and 93 over Barcelona and Milan, plus one over Liverpool in 2005 under the new Fifa format! But those days are just long gone, the 92 team was absolutely capable of playing all these teams on the same level, but it’s gotten progressively weaker to the point that not even talented young players stay in our league anymore, Man City just signed a 17 year old from Fluminense after he played 2 professional matches, for example. The new Raís don’t even last a full year on the team anymore, our currency went from 1:1 with the dollar at that time to 1:5,70, so it’s just over in a financial sense unfortunately.

  144. Seinfeld’s greatness is in the acting and the concept, but I don’t find it laugh-out-loud funny much, owing to the multi-camera setup. I love Curb for taking the same concept (an absurdist comedy of manners) and modernizing it for the post-The Office UK sitcom world.

  145. Z-man: It’s weird but I’m hardly alone in not being a fan of Seinfeld. To me, the shtik in the same category asFriends and Cheers, either you connect with it or you don’t. I didn’t. Ironically, I find Curb your Enthusiasm to be hysterical.

    I love Curb, even if they seem to produce only about 6 episodes every 3 years, or so.

  146. pepper: good list z-man…i am with you on seinfeld…

    a few more old skool shows I would add on:
    Green Acres
    Beverly Hillbillies
    Good Times
    The Munsters

    Loved all of these. F-Troop and Gomer Pyle USMC are a couple of others I watched religiously when they were in prime time but they wouldn’t make any list…

  147. JK47:
    Maybe this season is just a blip in Ja’s 3PT shooting but that shot has not been there for him this year. That’s such a huge part of the modern game.

    Ja has really stagnated as a soph, and combined with the risky injury profile, RJ’s intangibles and RJ’s durable tank-like body, it’s kind of hard to say which guy I’d want right now.

    RJ is also almost a full year younger.

    This is fair, and sure, Ja’s shot is concerning. If I had to bet right now on who will be the better player in 5-6 years I’m going with Ja, even with injury concerns. But I am very happy right now to be in a position to root hard for RJ’s best outcome, he’s a great kid to root for in every way. My biggest worry about him is that he is going to be maxed after his rookie deal and might not be worth the money. But for now, how can you not love him?

    Speaking of injury-prone, KP left the game last night with right knee soreness.

  148. I think The George Lopez Show is the most modern show on my list, I only watched it because my daughter had it on every morning while I was home during the pandemic. Couldn’t believe how funny I found it to be. Definitely at the top of the dysfunctional American family genre. Roseanne and Everyone Loves Raymond are up there too.

  149. Also wanted to comment on this post:

    Sixers
    Nets
    Bucks (?)
    Jazz
    Suns (?)
    Clips
    Denver
    Lakers

    The field really does feel open, right now. Part of that is that LAL has been decimated by injuries, and without their two superstars at full strength, they have virtually no chance at making it out of the West, to say nothing of matching up with Giannis & co. or the Nets’ ridiculous collection of talent.

    I don’t think Denver has a chance, even with Jokic putting up arguably the best season by a C in the modern era. Porter and Jokic will need to play like superstars through 16 wins to get there, and have the rest of their guys not leak away their advantage. Murray is overrated but a good player and they are much worse for losing him.

    PHX is one of those teams where you’re seeing the effects of a broad collection of talent, but it’s hard to imagine them tightening the rotation and getting substantially better. Booker really feels like Kobe 2.0. Frank Kaminsky as a part-time starter? Langston Galloway is still in the league? A very weird team to be fighting for a top seed, even with the best PG of the last thirty years at the helm.

    Kawhi is amazing but Playoff P might show up again.

    The Jazz look like the hands down favorites to win right now, but again, they don’t really have the real go-to superstar to rely on. Mitchell played like one last playoffs, but don’t forget about him shooting the Jazz out of the first round in 2019. And they’ve shown the best possible season they could — virtually no injuries, all of their top MPG guys have played 53+ games at this point. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the Finals. A MIL-UTA Finals might actually destroy the league’s next TV deal single-handedly.

  150. I actually just took a sitcom pilot writing class online with a guy who wrote for The Simpsons, The Office, etc. He had us watch the pilot for Cheers. It had been a long time since I had watched it. I gotta say. I think its still really really funny. I think the 3 camera aesthetic is now outdated for modern sitcoms but if you can get past that, the joke writing and characters are all still really solid. And I think it actually holds up a lot better than Seinfeld as its just a more classic show and the characters are so unique and full of love that it holds up better than the sort of snarky cynicism of Seinfeld.

    The show drops off a little bit after Shelly Long leaves but its really good those first 5 seasons. The other thing is that its so rare now for shows to have 23 or more episodes a season.

    But seriously, go rewatch The Thanksgiving episode from season 5 of Cheers. It has to be one of the top 5 sitcom single episodes ever. Just so freaking good from start to finish. Also, the physical comedy and chemistry between Ted Danson and Shelly Long is amazing.

  151. I also kind of have this thing where I defend the 3 camera style over single camera. Here is why.

    Obviously single camera is more “realistic.” But when you stop to think about it, that realistic style can sometimes work against comedy shows. I’ll find myself watching a single camera show and when someone is delivering a bunch of zingers and insults and one liners and acting really over the top in a comedic way, I start to think “this is not how people act in the real world.” I think now shows just do single camera because its now the norm and 3 camera is considered “cheesy.” But unless its a more subdued, dead pan type humor, I think the realistic style actually works against it. Whereas shows like Cheers where you have these more broad comedic characters, great one liners, insults, physical comedy, etc…it actually feels more appropriate to do 3 camera because its kind of like watching a play. I never really thought about this before but once I did, its now what I always think about.

  152. Schitt’s Creek was Arrested Development-lite in S1. Then from S2 until the end of the show it committed to doing wholesome redemption arcs for each one of its main characters and giving them their dream happy endings. It made it very effective comfort food television, but it had less and less of an edge each season. What sticks with me are Annie Murphy and Katherine O’Hara’s performances and that’s about it.

    Also, its ubiquity on twitter in the form of reaction gifs is pretty annoying.

  153. As for sitcoms I love, What We Do in the Shadows is brilliant. It’s my favorite show of the last ten years. My favorite sub-genre of comedy is “high-concept silliness” and they knock it out of the park consistently.

    My housemates and I are also binging through Frasier, which basically perfects the comedy of manners formula. I haven’t seen a show do “simple miscommunication escalates into an absolute farce” better. Also David Hyde Pierce is a genius at physical comedy.

  154. Sorry to hijack the sitcom chat, but I was watching the Knick postgame the other day and i thought some of the reporters were reaching a bit with the whole “Thibs yelling” thing. Like, the team has won 10 of 11 and that’s something dudes choose to hone in on?

    And I love how Thibs claps back at Berman. Something to the effect of “you haven’t changed in 30 years, Berman”. Hahahaa

  155. Z-man: Loved all of these. F-Troop and Gomer Pyle USMC are a couple of others I watched religiously when they were in prime time but they wouldn’t make any list…

    couple more:

    Soap
    Andy Griffith Show…. just based on Don Knotts alone

  156. Just by reading your suggestions i would make a list… Seinfeld, Simpsons (and then would be reminded of how i loved Futurama), Get Smart (a classic) and The Office UK (which then would bring back to mind another Gervais series – Extras). So cool to be a part of this group. :)

  157. What We Do In the Shadows is absolutely one of the best sitcoms of the last few years. Its so funny.

    I did like Schitt’s Creek ok but agree that the hype on it is a bit too much. My co-workers when I started my new job were all about sharing those GIFs and such and it’s a little over the top. As someone who has actually studied and performed comedy (I know that sounds pretentious, sorry), it annoys me to no end when there’s a show like that that the masses latch onto as being “sooo funny.” Katherine O’Hara is great in it though. And I always think Eugene Levy is underrated.

    My favs of all time are probably (in no order):

    Cheers
    The Office (British)
    Extras
    Simpsons (all seasons in the 90’s)
    Arrested Development (original tv episodes, not the Netflix crap)
    The Good Place
    Larry Sanders Show
    You’re The Worst
    The Comeback
    Party Down
    Freaks and Geeks

  158. The Infamous Cdiggy: Sorry to hijack the sitcom chat, but I was watching the Knick postgame the other day and i thought some of the reporters were reaching a bit with the whole “Thibs yelling” thing. Like, the team has won 10 of 11 and that’s something dudes choose to hone in on?

    I think it might have been because when RJ missed 2 defensive possessions Thibs clearly overreacted. The kid has been amazing and because of 2 missed assignments you shouldn’t treat him like he is Kevin Knox or something.

  159. I’m another who admires Seinfeld more than enjoys it. Can’t say it doesn’t belong high on the list, but to me Cheers is far superior. I comfort-binged the first 2 seasons at the beginning of the pandemic and was pleasantly surprised how consistently great it is. In the first season there’s an episode with Coach’s daughter that kind of blew me away – real heart, lots of humor, great performances. That show was great, and I think its willingness to touch on genuine sadness and sorrow was its strength. The best comedy tends to have pathos at its center.

  160. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Cheers, but I do remember it fondly. I need to check it out again. Frasier was a pretty good spinoff, too.

    I still think of MASH, at least the first five seasons (the Frank Burns years) as my favorite all-time sitcom. My two sons discovered it on dvd and really like it, too. That show really handled cast changes well, too, and had a real good series finale, unlike Seinfeld.

    Another series I want to watch again, that I’ve not seen in many many years, is Hill Street Blues. I’d imagine it might not have aged well, but it was incredible in its day. I think of The Wire as a sort of modern, gritty, realistic version of HSB.

  161. Seinfeld just had so many amazing moments and lines that you remember long after the details of the episode are gone. I mean, so many. And it was a completely different show than just about anything that had come before it. Cheers was great and I really enjoyed it, but it was a really great sitcom with great characters but not that different than others.

  162. swiftandabundant: Party Down
    Freaks and Geeks

    Not a huge sitcom fan, but these two are excellent.

    Arrested Development is #1 for me.

    I really enjoyed Community, but I don’t know that it belongs on any top lists through no fault of its own.

    Enjoyed Seinfeld, Good Place, Parks & Rec, and 30 Rock.

    My parents never let me watch the Simpsons back when it was good, so I never got into it.

  163. As for others, a lot of shows make the list that I admire more than enjoy, like All in the Family. It’s also hard to evaluate some of the early shows; on the one hand they invented the genre, like Dick van Dyke, Lucy, the Honeymooners, but on the other, I don’t find myself wanting to watch them much.

    As for shows I actually watch when I come across them, Taxi was great (again, melancholy appeals to me in comedy, I guess), the SImpsons can be such a brilliant, crazy ride, Curb is consistently funny, The Good Place was audacious and engaging. I’d also add some dark horse suggestions like The Muppet Show and Barney Miller.

    I wanted What We Do in the Shadows to be funnier than it is…maybe I should have hung in past the first couple episodes. Schitt’s Creek is pretty meh (plus, it’s hard for me to get past such a stupid name). But I’ll check out the George Lopez show, Z-Man – always up for a new discovery!

  164. Frank:
    Seinfeld just had so many amazing moments and lines that you remember long after the details of the episode are gone.I mean, so many.And it was a completely different show than just about anything that had come before it. Cheers was great and I really enjoyed it, but it was a really great sitcom with great characters but not that different than others.

    Agree about Seinfeld. Some incredibly hilarious episodes, recurring characters, etc. Cheers I need to watch again to compare.

    Back in the 80’s when I was working on my English/Creative Writing degree, I took a screenplay/teleplay course. The professor in that one really liked Barney Miller as sort of the “classic” sitcom with a “sane” character surrounded by a bunch of quirky/weird ones.

    WKRP in Cincinnati was kind of like that, too.

    In its day, All in the Family was pretty great, I guess…

  165. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Also wanted to comment on this post:

    The field really does feel open, right now…

    My point is that while each other those teams have different likelihoods, they are all still in the realm of possibility. We also happen to be sitting right outside that group, so we might not be as far away as what is perceived.

  166. Nice to see so much good sitcoms listed here, I’m partial to The Office UK and Extras (Ricky Gervais is beyond ferocity in portraying his petty characters), All In The Family, Mash, Sanford & Son, Cheers and the (I suppose) unknown italian serie “Boris”…

    Does The Kominsky Method count as sitcom?

    Yeah, Thibs scolded Barrett the other day and rightfully so, the kid was good on offense but botched a lot of things on defense for three quarters. Tough love is the only way to learn and grow, no special treatment allowed in Thibs’ world… except for former Bulls :-)

  167. Deeefense: The Mavs won the Hardaway deal. :-)

    I’m glad you are slowly coming to terms that KP isn’t a valuable player (taking his salary in consideration, of course). I was going to bring the topic here to the forum about which one was more important to the Mavs, Timmy or KP, and i didn’t even knew at that time the monster game that Hardaway had yesterday. So yeah, it is clearly the Hardaway deal.

  168. If you like Extras and the british Office, you should check out “Hello Ladies” on HBO. Only one season I think but it’s Stephen Merchant (who is Gervais agent in Extras and co-creator of the british office).

    Its REALLY Funny and has that cringe worthy comedy that the brits do so well. But this time its a brit in Los Angeles, so its even cringier.

  169. swiftandabundant:
    If you like Extras and the british Office, you should check out “Hello Ladies” on HBO. Only one season I think but it’s Stephen Merchant (who is Gervais agent in Extras and co-creator of the british office).
    Its REALLY Funny and has that cringe worthy comedy that the brits do so well. But this time its a brit in Los Angeles, so its even cringier.

    Oh, thanks for the tip. Stephen Merchant is hilarious. :D

  170. It’s really hard to do something fresh within the format of the network sitcom. The formulas are so entrenched, and then when a show like The Office or Modern Family breaks through, that becomes the new template and all of a sudden everything looks and feels like those shows. The big four broadcast networks are pretty risk-averse, they’re not looking to push the envelope of comedy.

    I thought Broad City was a very funny show at times, much funnier than just about any recent network sitcom I can think of. I did like Parks and Rec quite a bit and I want to be best friends with Michael Schur.

  171. ha – for a while i actually thought you all were talking about Dawson’s Creek and just calling it Schitt’s (like a less offensive spelling of Shit) as a joke…who knew there was an actual show named Schitt’s Creek…

    man, it’s been soooo long since i’ve watched any kind of network tv, more specifically any kind of sitcom – okay then, this’ll be like a lifetime list:
    Honeymooners
    The Odd Couple
    The Munsters
    Barney Miller
    The Larry Sanders Show
    Northern Exposure

    dang, there ain’t even nothing from this century on my list…

  172. geo:

    it’s been soooo long since i’ve watched any kind of network tv, more specifically any kind of sitcom – okay then, this’ll be like a lifetime list:
    Honeymooners
    The Odd Couple
    The Munsters
    Barney Miller
    The Larry Sanders Show
    Northern Exposure

    dang, there ain’t even nothing from this century on my list…

    Thank you Geo!
    How could I have forgotten about The Odd Couple? They also had footage of a Knicks-Bucks match (with … Lew Alcindor) in one of the episodes … :-)

  173. geo: dang, there ain’t even nothing from this century on my list…

    LOL! :P
    I think you’re in need of some cyber approved music (where’s the trademark symbol?? LOL)… for today, i’ll suggest Emma Ruth Rundle.

  174. geo:
    ha – for a while i actually thought you all were talking about Dawson’s Creek and just calling it Schitt’s (like a less offensive spelling of Shit) as a joke…who knew there was an actual show named Schitt’s Creek…

    man, it’s been soooo long since i’ve watched any kind of network tv, more specifically any kind of sitcom – okay then, this’ll be like a lifetime list:
    Honeymooners
    The Odd Couple
    The Munsters
    Barney Miller
    The Larry Sanders Show
    Northern Exposure

    dang, there ain’t even nothing from this century on my list…

    Oh shit, forgot all about The Odd Couple! Probably second only to M*A*S*H* for sitcoms based on a hit movie…

  175. nice soze :)

    i like her voice and the tempo of the music a lot, all those songs were good, really enjoyed Living with the Black Dog…got me motivated to get back to working through some of those tiny desk concert productions again…

    as i age i notice at times i do tend to gravitate more towards food, music, movies, and books with which i’m already familiar with…i guess the need to feel comfort and security grows stronger…

    i am trying though to broaden my horizons a bit, particularly when it comes to newer music…“As long as you’re green you’re growing, as soon as you’re ripe you start to rot.”

  176. It’s weird that no one born after like 1980 remembers what it was like to be largely limited to network TV for everything and the sitcom lineup was an essential part of life. Speaking of which, how many of you remember watching Lucha Libre on a grainy UHF channel 47?

  177. The first 2 seasons of Modern Family were excellent but it got worse every season after that.

    A show that no one seems to have heard of but my wife and I loved was Crashing on HBO with Pete Holmes as a down and out comedian who in each episode crashes at a fellow comedian’s place (Artie Lange, Bill Burr, Sarah Silverman and others). Highly recommend.

  178. This is fair, and sure, Ja’s shot is concerning. If I had to bet right now on who will be the better player in 5-6 years I’m going with Ja, even with injury concerns. But I am very happy right now to be in a position to root hard for RJ’s best outcome, he’s a great kid to root for in every way. My biggest worry about him is that he is going to be maxed after his rookie deal and might not be worth the money. But for now, how can you not love him?

    Yeah, I’m thrilled with RJ, but it’s funny how we can’t be, “Wow, isn’t it great that RJ is playing so well?” before it’s “Yeah, RJ is better than Zion.”

  179. Sanford and Son still kills me. That show holds up.

    Soap was a great sitcom in its day, ahead of its time, very meta.

    I’m a sucker for a Chrissy-era episode of Three’s Company from time to time too.

  180. Z-man:
    It’s weird that no one born after like 1980 remembers what it was like to be largely limited to network TV for everything and the sitcom lineup was an essential part of life. Speaking of which, how many of you remember watching Lucha Libre on a grainy UHF channel 47?

    We are going to need to sub-reddit for KB boomer nostalgia ( all three of us). I used to sleep on my grandfather’s couch in BK while he watched Bruno Sammartino and Haystacks Calhoun in pre-steriod rasslin, as well as Lucha Libre. Mil Mascaras.

  181. recent guilty pleasure of mine: WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures

    haven’t watched pro wrestling in years, but – i remember as a kid in the early 70’s up through the 90’s loving it…only been to one show decades ago, it was a lot of fun…

    had little to no idea at the time what steroids were – but, i thought the change in physiques during the late 70’s was amazing…

  182. Z-man: Don’t forget Petticoat Junction!

    I was gonna list that but thought Marcus Morris would accuse me of being soft…that was a classic theme song..

  183. another oldie classic was Welcome Back Kotter…

    I just watched first season’s of Russian Doll and Feel Good on netflix..there is some funny shit in there…

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