2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Magic

The Knicks host the Magic on their annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee (I used to go these a lot back in the day). The Knicks actually WEREN’T home last year, which irritated the Knicks a lot (they were also on the road in 2018, but that was because of a scheduling conflict with the Grammys). So even though there won’t be an audience, I’m still glad to see the Knicks back at the Garden for MLK Day.

The Magic have been struggling, so this would be a nice game for the Knicks to snare on the back end of a back-to-back. Hopefully Quickley will continue his strong play from the last few games and hopefully Toppin continues to improve after a good game against the Celtics.

Let’s go, get closer to .500, Knicks!

And happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone!

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595 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Magic”

  1. If Mitch can’t go, I wonder if we’ll see a front line of Knox, Obi and Randle at the 3-4-5 for a stretch.

  2. Today is the 18th anniversary of the one and only Knicks game I took my daughter to, where the Knicks lost 111-68 and Latrell was 0-9.

    For some reason, she never wanted to go back (-:

  3. Knicks say Mitch is gonna play today. We’ll see if Thibs can curb his impulses under the circumstances.

  4. “All I know is that runner/floater is nice weapon to have in the paint. Tony Parker made an NBA career off them and half of Steph’s game in the paint is based off them. And, as someone else mentioned before here, that shot pairs real well with the alley-oop game because it looks like a lob pass coming out of his hands.”

    Quickley clearly has exceptional hand-eye coordination, and his FT shooting suggests that he can repeat his shooting form. Seems like he’s going to keep studying film of himself and of other PGs and will continue adding to his game. But the hand-eye thing is a gift, can’t be taught.

  5. I might be able to do that if my clients tomorrow behave like the Celts three point shot yesterday, as in “a total no show”

  6. Z-man: Quickley clearly has exceptional hand-eye coordination, and his FT shooting suggests that he can repeat his shooting form. Seems like he’s going to keep studying film of himself and of other PGs and will continue adding to his game. But the hand-eye thing is a gift, can’t be taught.

    And if you look at the careers of 1-guards who excel with the shot its a lot of the 50/40/90 types (Nash, Steph, Stockton) who have that insane hand-eye coordination.

  7. I don’t think IQ has the body control and ambidexterity those guys did, nor the elite handle, but the kid can shoot.

  8. Vuc looking like one of the 5-10 best players in the NBA so far this season

  9. RJ off to his all-too-regular 1-4 start. Maybe he should give himself five minutes of only passing to start each game until he gets a rhythm.

  10. To be clear, I don’t think Vuc’s nutty play is sustainable, but so far it’s hard for me to argue with 26/12/4 with 2 stocks on 60 TS% especially when some of the top guys have come out a little slow out of the gate

  11. Here it’s working day, so i can’t watch this one. Have a nice game, and a good holiday, guys. ;)

  12. We want Obi to be able to shoot threes, I don’t know if we want him to stop in transition to shoot threes.

  13. Just maybe 15 years from now, RJ and Julius Randle retire a Knick with their jerseys going up to the Garden rafters

    I’m delusional

  14. thenoblefacehumper:
    We want Obi to be able to shoot threes, I don’t know if we want him to stop in transition to shoot threes.

    Yeah that was a questionable decision. He was wide open though.

  15. To be clear, I don’t think Vuc’s nutty play is sustainable, but so far it’s hard for me to argue with 26/12/4 with 2 stocks on 60 TS% especially when some of the top guys have come out a little slow out of the gate

    He’s kind of the ultimate test of the positional scarcity discussion we were having re: Randle. Do we think contenders would line up to trade for Vuc? It’s tough to say.

  16. Classic noon-matinee quality, ugly game so far, but we’re up because the Magic are shooting really bad (5-22)…
    Alas we had a couple of threes that rattled out…

  17. IQ hit Randle for an open 12-footer but he decides to drive. Then he hits Knox for a wide-open corner 3 that went in and out. He’s getting the ball to guys in good scoring position.

  18. vuc is interesting… he’s better than randle … plays center defensively better but not by much…. better perimeter shooter… but older…

    i’m not sure if orlando is looking to deal him though…. they’ve had an opportunity to deal him so many times yet he hasn’t been so much in rumors… he’s got a couple more years left on his deal for 25mm too so i’m sure that has something to do with it…

  19. The Knicks win on offense a lot more than I’m used to when IQ is the point guard. We just need more offensive talent to actually, like execute.

  20. So my question to the hive is whether we’re just being weirdly consistently lucky (an oxymoron if there ever was one) with Invisible Sixth Man, or are we playing some kind of great defense that is going to be replicable throughout the season?

    A little bit of both – Thibs focuses on the corner 3 on both offense and defense. Wants us taking mostly those and not others, wants the other team not talking those, but didn’t work as much about giving up others. Simple reason is that is the most efficient shot in the game in terms of PPS x Eff. So the other team is getting some open looks (bad), but most are above the break (good).

  21. The Magic jerseys are fucking terrible

    It’s like they didn’t want to pay for Comic Sans so they got the next closest font. I’m embarrassed for them.

  22. I had to laugh at that last sequence. That looked like me under the basket!

  23. Randle should bounce back in the third quarter when we run every play on offense through him.

  24. I think Randle needs a blow with all those minutes and back-to-back games.
    Toppin should get the 35 minutes today.

  25. we only have one turnover and it was that weird moment when noel just starting dribbling from 40 feet out

  26. Let’s say, hypothetically, that RJ tops out as the kind of player he’s been the last few games. Good for 18-20 points a game, good rebounding, okay passing and around average from deep but nothing special. What would we be comfortable paying him contract-wise and what do we think the Knicks would actually pay him?

  27. Mike Honcho:
    Let’s say, hypothetically, that RJ tops out as the kind of player he’s been the last few games. Good for 18-20 points a game, good rebounding, okay passing and around average from deep but nothing special. What would we be comfortable paying him contract-wise and what do we think the Knicks would actually pay him?

    RJ Barrett’s been excellent over the past few games. If this is who he is from here on out he’s a max player.

  28. That the Magic have the record they do is testament to the fact that Vucevic is playing like a top 10 player this season because they suck minus his game.

  29. Mike Honcho:
    Let’s say, hypothetically, that RJ tops out as the kind of player he’s been the last few games. Good for 18-20 points a game, good rebounding, okay passing and around average from deep but nothing special. What would we be comfortable paying him contract-wise and what do we think the Knicks would actually pay him?

    My guess if that he’s playing like that as his rookie contract ends he’ll get somewhere near the max.

  30. Mike Honcho:
    Let’s say, hypothetically, that RJ tops out as the kind of player he’s been the last few games. Good for 18-20 points a game, good rebounding, okay passing and around average from deep but nothing special. What would we be comfortable paying him contract-wise and what do we think the Knicks would actually pay him?

    It’s hard to say, but at age 20 it’s pretty likely that he will improve. The question is whether he will live up to a max deal.

  31. Looking at RJ’s advanced game log, he’s really either been unsustainably terrible or unsustainably hot. He has 3 games all season where his TS% fell between .450 and .600. I’m not sure we know who RJ Barrett is, as a scorer, just yet because the numbers are so hot and cold.

  32. Let’s say, hypothetically, that RJ tops out as the kind of player he’s been the last few games.

    it’s a hard question to answer because you’d be giving him money knowing what his upside would be….

    if he’s the player he’s been the last few games that’s a really good player and would get at least jaylen brown money… something short… jerami grant…. that’s the market for less than perfect sf’s….

  33. Good first half. Nice to see them come out strong after a game yesterday. Quickley is awesome. Who knows if he actually tops out as a legit starter but at the very least we got ourselves a possibly really good 6th man off the bench. RJ playing well again. The FT’s are really encouraging.

    It just feels good to have a collection of young players to root for and place some (not totally misguided) hope on.

  34. I have a comment stuck in moderation right now, but since Brooklyn RJ Barrett has a TS% of .642 on a 24.3% USG. That’s a max player, especially with the defense and secondary stats, anyway you slice it.

  35. Damn, the refs have a real hardon against RJ after the half. He was fouled, they didn’t call it. Then he was called on a BS offensive foul.

  36. altho i’ve been i guess pessimistic on rj he’s also become one my favorite recent knicks. he has an elite combination of try hard and poise, and not just for a 20 year old. borderline travel call followed by very borderline offensive foul and he doesn’t sulk for a second on defense.

  37. What’s this mess goin on with Porter and the Cavs? Should we get in on it? Maybe they’d be amenable to taking DSJ in a swap?

  38. So, are Knicks’ opponents posting low scores because the Knicks are lucky? Or are the Knicks playing tenacious D?
    Serious question.
    I know the shooting hasn’t been great, but a lot of teams seem to be shooting poorly v the Knicks

  39. howdy frank o.

    I think nicos answered your question perfectly:

    It’s like the Knicks are playing a worse version of themselves.

  40. That was a good dunk. Otherwise super ugly. My son stopped to watch for a bit and asked “when are they going to make a basket’?”

  41. Payton really hates Orlando :-)

    This game is a real mess, good day for Randle to have his long awaited stinker…

  42. Knicks are ranked 1st in points against and 1st in 3pts against.
    Knicks are 4th in FG% against.

    Seems like a good trend for a team that struggles to score

  43. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats:
    What’s this mess goin on with Porter and the Cavs? Should we get in on it? Maybe they’d be amenable to taking DSJ in a swap?

    From ESPN/Athletic:

    “Porter, 20, who has not played this season due to personal issues, grew angry when he entered the locker room and realized the team gave his old locker to Taurean Prince, who was acquired in a blockbuster trade Wednesday.

    Sources said Porter, whose locker was moved to the wall where the younger, end-of-bench players reside, began yelling and at one point threw food.

    Sources said general manager Koby Altman came into the locker room and confronted Porter, and the player remained combative with his boss. The Cavs spent the weekend trying to trade him.

    Coach J.B. Bickerstaff heard the commotion in the locker room from his office and came in, shocked and disgusted by what he heard.

    Porter was involved in a one-car accident in November. He was arrested and charged with improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, failure to control the vehicle and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. All of those charges were dismissed. He was considered to be the most promising of Cleveland’s young players after last season. The Cavs were helping him address his issues before getting him back on the court.

    Porter was suspended indefinitely for “conduct issues” in January of his freshman season at USC, according to the L.A. Times. However, he missed just two games before returning to the court.“

    Do we really want him? At least DSJ is a good kid…

  44. Our starting offense is so shit if Randle struggles. The spacing is already trash and Bullock is kind of useless.

  45. Holy shit the starting squad can’t shoot worth a sheeeeeeit!

    Don’t worry the backups are shooting 4/16. It’s wild we have a double digit lead

  46. I think a good comp for Barrett is Dwayne Wade, if Dwayne Wade had 6 Modelos before every game or 3.5 Lagunitas.

  47. Difference between RJ Barrett’s TS% and his “if you arbitrarily give him his 3PT% from last year” adjusted TS% continues to go up

  48. KnickFaninChicago:
    I think a good comp for Barrett is Dwayne Wade, if Dwayne Wade had 6 Modelos before every game or 3.5 Lagunitas.

    You mean if Wade didn’t take HGH to give himself insane athletic bounce and explosiveness.

  49. Austin Rivers showing compassion on MLK day by showing Cole Anthony it’s possible to have a ten year career despite sucking.

  50. randle’s assist 2p fg% has plummetted during these last handful of games… and he has been iso’ing a lot more… payton’s aggressive shot attempts probably has somethign to do with that… so we’re seeing more last year randle than we did earlier in the season….

  51. djphan:
    randle’s assist 2p fg% has plummetted during these last handful of games… and he has been iso’ing a lot more… payton’s aggressive shot attempts probably has somethign to do with that… so we’re seeing more last year randle than we did earlier in the season….

    Another reason why Payton should come off the bench. I don’t like that pairing of him and Randle. Its a two man game.

  52. Who Thibs chooses to close this game out with should be telling. He definitely wants the win.

  53. Who Thibs chooses to close this game out with should be telling. He definitely wants the win.

    And he’s sticking with the starting 5…

  54. Randle looks positively gassed. I know it’s unsophisticated to suggest that may be attributable to him playing every minute of every game but…

  55. Just checked the box scorea and Gordon is somehow only two assists away from a triple double?

  56. Gordon really is a great defender. If we win, Cole Anthony should get the game ball for this brickfest.

  57. Knicks are contesting shots, putting bodies on bodies, hustling to loose balls.
    Effort.
    A grind; but lots of effort.

    For a young team, you can’t complain.

  58. Jesus, Thibs rode the starters today in a daytime back-to-back. What a maniac. Rivers has the most bench minutes with 18.

  59. Jesus, Thibs rode the starters today in a daytime back-to-back. What a maniac. Rivers has the most bench minutes with 18.

    The bench shot 5/22 and blew most of a 14 point lead. If your offense winds up with Nerlens Noel shooting a 3 guys are going to get benched.

  60. On his 71st game as a Knick, RJ announces to the world that he has arrived! And yes, he can go right too.

    Randle is a true pro. I wouldn’t call him a LJ-Oakley combo quite yet but I admit I fancy him having a long, successful career as a Knick.

  61. Knicks now the 6th seed in the East!! Won’t be there much longer after the upcoming 4 game west coast trip but hey at least for next couple of days we can call them a playoff team lol.

  62. swiftandabundant:
    We’ve now beaten the following playoff teams from last year:

    Bucks, Pacers (twice), Utah, Celtics, Magic.

    Not bad!

    We only beat the Pacers once but I feel you

  63. When the bench plays bad, they don’t play as much. When they play well, they play more. Its almost as if Thibs is implementing the controversial, groundbreaking and unconventional strategy of playing players who play well more minutes than those who play poorly.

  64. DRed: The bench shot 5/22 and blew most of a 14 point lead.If your offense winds up with Nerlens Noel shooting a 3 guys are going to get benched.

    Was wondering who blew that lead (didn’t watch). I guess the rooks are still wildly inconsistent at this stage. But at least Barrett continued to do some good things.

  65. Our team can play D with anyone, and when the shots are falling we have a puncher’s chance. I mean honestly, who figured on 7-8 at the 15-game mark?

  66. Our upcoming 4 game road trip isn’t exactly against the top of the west though. In this season with no fans I could see us winning all 4 of those games (or losing all 4 too). But its Golden State (who is merely average), Sacramento, Utah (who we’ve beaten) and Portland. Some decent teams but its not The Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets of the West.

  67. Thibs is a great, result oriented, old school coach who still instills confidence even on the heels of a 5 game losing streak.

  68. Ugly, eyes-wounding game, against a depleted Magic team.

    I’ll take the win because they had a good reaction after Orlando took the lead, these are the kind of games that we regularly lost in the last few years.

    And they played 20 hours after the end of the Boston game, add the travel and they’re excused for being tired (and they had a shootaround in Boston after the game!).

    Randle was due a bad game but he was instrumental in the clutch,
    IQ with a blazing first half then he struggled (but he’s a rookie, even Haliburton was bad in the last two games),
    nice double-double by Barrett despite not hitting threes,
    a decent game from Bullock and some moments from Payton.
    Not a great game by Mitch, he needs to learn shooting free throws or the Hack-A-Mitch will become reality. Rivers’ slump continue.

    And now to the West!

    P.S.
    Cole Anthony was picked 10 spots before Quickley…

  69. If Knicks can win 1 of these 4 out west they’ll take it. The schedule softens up alot in February and the Knicks are .500 vs East opponents so far and most of those games have been against the best teams in the conference. Really does seem that there is a legitimate chance the Knicks could go into March in the Top 10 of the East and in a position to make the play in tournament.

    I know many here want them to lose as much as possible and there is still a good chance they’ll end up in the bottom 5 of the conference but I for one would enjoy watching meaningful games in March, it’s been since 2014 that the Knicks have played somewhat important games in final 2 months of the season.

  70. Such an ugly game. Not a great shooting night for RJ but another solid game- the rebounding really has been impressive. Gordon is a tough matchup for Randle. He’s one of the few guys who’s both quick enough to stay in front of him and strong enough not to get overpowered.

  71. What I really like about Randle is that he had an ugly shooting day and was getting frustrated, but he busted his hump at both ends the whole game and was on the floor at the end when it counted.

    He’s a tough bastard, would have actually fit in well with the 90’s Knicks.

  72. Whatever RJ takes to maintain his confidence, I want some. That game won’t do much to mend his TS% but he looked like Steve Nash compared to most of the guys out there today.

    I am not sure that game was much of a tribute to MLK but at least Walt and Breen were on top of their game.

  73. Shot 18% from 3 and 70% from the line and still won. That was a really hideous W. The IQ run offense was stuck in the mud in the 2nd half-I’d like to see Thibs play IQ with Payton and slide RJ to the 3. Still not a lot of shooting in that lineup but IQ is more dynamic than Bullock

  74. Burks is really going to help. Bullock is decent defender but useless on offense and Rivers is Rivers- taking 30 minutes from those two and replacing them with 30 minutes of at least close to league average play will make a difference. But I worry that he makes them just good enough that they’re not selling at the trade deadline. The Knicksiest outcome for this year is the 12-14th pick in the draft.

  75. I don’t know, Big Blue.

    I mean I don’t think they’ll sell Randle, if that is what you mean. But I think Burks could be a guy they sell (along with maybe Elf, DSJ, Frank). I could see a situation where they win a few more before Burks comes back and then he does, plays well and is an enticing piece for a late first rounder. Trading him wouldn’t mess up the team we currently have too much (as we’ve played a lot without him now). And maybe you could throw in Elf/DSJ/Frank as a little bonus to a team.

    But yeah, I doubt they sell Randle and honestly, they really shouldn’t because you can always do that next year. Unless Toppin just starts going nuclear. But I’m cool with them bringing Toppin along slowly this season and then look to move Randle in the off season when teams are really retooling or next year at some point.

  76. There is no chance in hell they will be able to get a 1st rd pick for Burks and the other guys you mentioned even a 2nd rd pick would be a minor miracle.

    Randle is the only player they can maybe get something significant for but most likely they are going to be in contention for a spot in the play in tourney come trade deadline and I can’t imagine they’ll punt at the chance of making it in by trading Randle.

  77. Yeah, I can see some of the mercs being traded for some sort of future 2nd.

    But the core players aren’t going anywhere.

  78. This is probably the strangest season ever…
    We’re always a half step away from a N-games losing streak,
    but I’m getting into a fetal position about ending up with two picks in the teens (one of them a late lottery)…

  79. It’s very early but Anthony Edwards is a gunner, and for now not a good one.
    I don’t think MInnesota is the best situation for him to develop good habits,
    it’s hard to do if your role model is D’Angelo Russell…

  80. Start getting into that fetal position cause that’s what’s gonna happen lol. I’ve always been of the belief this team wasn’t gonna be as bad as many here hoped and I assumed they’d win in the late 20’s maybe sneak into the 30 win total and so far I think I’ve been proven right.

    The bottom of the East is really bad and even some teams we thought were locks for the back end of the playoffs might be worse than expected. I still don’t think the Knicks will make the Top 10 but they’re gonna be right there battling for one of those final spots until the end of the season I believe and quite frankly I hope so, like I mentioned earlier would be nice to play meaningful games down the stretch of the season. I know I’m in the minority with that belief but whatever lol.

  81. This was another game where Thibs likely made the difference. He really wrings blood out of a stone.

  82. There is a very good chance that the Knicks will be buyers sitting somewhere near the 7-10 seed in the east.

  83. I think NBA tv referred to MLK as “the original influencer”.

    Jake Paul, PewDiePie, MLK. The holy trinity.

  84. “I’m going to get a glass of wine,” Julius Randle says. “I ain’t had one in a couple of months. I’m going to get some wine tonight and enjoy the rest of the day with my wife.”

    You’ve earned it Jules

  85. Max:
    “I’m going to get a glass of wine,” Julius Randle says. “I ain’t had one in a couple of months. I’m going to get some wine tonight and enjoy the rest of the day with my wife.”

    You’ve earned it Jules

    I’ve got to say, in spite of the surly demeanor Randle seems like a really good guy. Whether it’s here or elsewhere I’d really like to see him succeed.

  86. There really isn’t a tough to root for player in the rotation, and only DSjr is hard to like, but even with him it’s totally an on-the-court thing. It’s not the 69-70 team but they are highly rootable.

  87. Elf annoys me, but mainly for his play, and because his new haircut makes me (and Breen) constantly confuse him and RJ when they share the court.

    Apparently, I am now Knickerblogger’s official hair reporter?

  88. I also constantly confuse Elfrid and RJ but it helps that they wear their arm sleeves on different arms (Elf wears his on the left arm and RJ on the right, if I remember correctly). One of them needs to grow a beard or something.

  89. There’s been a whole lot of ugly basketball league-wide this season, today especially- the polar opposite of the bubble.

  90. Problem is, Elf’s previous floppy pompadour dreads were easy to mistake for Bullock’s.

    Clearly, someone needs to switch to cornrows, a vintage Afro, or just shave it all off.

  91. If Burks is even posting league average starting guard numbers at the deadline you’ll be able to trade him for a first. Guards who can shoot and make their own shot that aren’t defensive sieves are in extremely high demand. So far he’s blown Marcus Morris out of the water and we traded that mediocrity for the 25th pick.

    I think we’ll sell on Burks and keep Randle, and end up at the #9 seed. I don’t think that’s the optimal outcome, since I really want Jalen Suggs, but if it’s mostly driven by the youth and an eminently tradeable guy in Randle I won’t be too crestfallen.

  92. Burks signed a 1yr-6m deal this offseason, Morris was being pursued last year by multiple teams offering over 10m per season and this offseason signed a 4yr-64m contract. There is no comparing Burks value league wide to Morris.

    Heck last year at the trade deadline Burks was part of a trade from Golden St to Philly and the Warriors only got back 2nd rd picks while the Knicks got a 1st rd pick for Morris.

  93. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada:
    If Burks is even posting league average starting guard numbers at the deadline you’ll be able to trade him for a first. Guards who can shoot and make their own shot that aren’t defensive sieves are in extremely high demand. So far he’s blown Marcus Morris out of the water and we traded that mediocrity for the 25th pick.

    I think we’ll sell on Burks and keep Randle, and end up at the #9 seed. I don’t think that’s the optimal outcome, since I really want Jalen Suggs, but if it’s mostly driven by the youth and an eminently tradeable guy in Randle I won’t be too crestfallen.

    Philly gave up three 2nds for Burks and Glenn Robinson III last year. If he’s shooting really well maybe you get a first. 2 seconds seems more likely if he’s at his career norms.

  94. Just finished watching the game.
    Another unexpected early one for me…
    Ugly stuff but I’ll gladly take ugly Wins over pretty Losses. They build players/team’s character.
    My biggest complaint?
    Losing 10p+ advantages easily while losing focus.
    It’s still early in the season but i’d love to see us not taking the foot off the gas and give the opponents the chance to come back.

  95. KYN, I grok you. However, I take a different tack. The NBA is a league of runs. I was impressed that the team kept their foot on the Magic’s neck most of the game. And when the Magic finally made their run, the Knicks were resilient and beat them back. The whole thing was ugly, but the spirit was great.

    They can’t all be 30-point laughers like the Celtics game. Those’re nice, especially against the Celts, but this was a game to be proud of — they couldn’t buy a basket and they still led for all but a few moments. And pulled away at the end.

  96. It does help when a team is missing some of its best players. Not that Tatum would have swung a 30 point margin but Fultz and Isaac and Bamba and Fournier whoever might have helped.

    But they were gritty today. No lack of fight this year and I appreciate it.

  97. Imagine this one as a Loss at the very end.
    Wouldn’t that be a shame?
    The game was screaming Knicks Win from the start.
    Why give ANY chance to Vucagic to steal it?

  98. All i ask is some more Focus at crucial points.
    I’m impressed so far by the effort.

  99. We’ve benefitted from some luck with opponents and injuries, but no doubt we come to play every game.

  100. I don’t think it hurts. It’s from Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, and more or less means, understand, or empathize.

    However, I long conflated the term with a slender series of poetry books I somehow ended up with as a kid from a nutty Danish poet/polymath named Piet Hein. They were short and charming, and he called them grooks. Here’s one, which might even be applicable to some on this site:

    It may be observed, in a general way,
    that life would be better, distinctly
    If more of the people with nothing to say
    were able to say it succinctly

  101. Raven: It may be observed, in a general way,
    that life would be better, distinctly
    If more of the people with nothing to say
    were able to say it succinctly

    Truer words were never spoke

  102. Let me grok too:

    Are we good? Are we bad? Should we win? Should we tank?
    Now a mystery…
    Will we sell? Will we buy?
    At the trade’s deadline?
    What a blistery!

  103. Elf annoys me, but mainly for his play, and because his new haircut makes me (and Breen) constantly confuse him and RJ when they share the court.

    For a moment I thought RJ’s number was sewn on upside down today.

  104. For a moment I thought RJ’s number was sewn on upside down today.

    I was so relieved the first time I heard Breen mix them up (in part because he and Clyde are watching remotely on a monitor, and not at the road arena), because it meant I wasn’t just imagining it. And now several of you have affirmed. RJ is listed as having 3 inches and 20 pounds on Elf, but their postures and now their hair are similar enough to throw me.

  105. Nice to see that Ja is back out there for the Griz…3 weeks is a fast recovery for that sprain.

  106. #Elf might have the flattest jumper in NBA history.#

    His previous haircut which looked like a rooftop that was blocking his upper vision was the perfect alibi.

  107. I like that poem raven…

    I think one of the points that go unnoticed to a degree with elf is just how big and physical a guard he is…

    RJ is a pretty healthy looking young guy, not overly muscled up, but definitely looks like he’s been taking weight training serious for a while…

    out on the court moving, elf looks about the same size…

    what thibs said was true, when he’s not reaching in and gambling for steals, he’s a solid defender…on offense he can pretty much push his way to the rim against a lot of teams…

    just don’t ask him to have shoot from outside more than once or twice game, he has to drive or give it up…

  108. It’s annoying to think about how much better the Knicks would be if they drafted Mikal Bridges instead of Knox.

  109. just for the record: it’s not me that starts these odd tangents…

    okay, here’s a weird hair thing that I can’t help but continually fixate on – what’s going on with trae young’s hair?

    I can’t tell if he’s simply given up, or is that like a style or something…

  110. BigBlueAL:
    It’s annoying to think about how much better the Knicks would be if they drafted Mikal Bridges instead of Knox.

    Shai Gilgeous Alexander is the real crime. How did you watch that Kentucky team and say “yeah Knox is the guy we need?” That’s ridiculous.

  111. Yeah I love SGA too but at draft time the talk was about Knox or Bridges, I don’t remember SGA being talked about as someone the Knicks were considering unless I’m remembering wrong? Same with Frank and Donovan Mitchell, there were some rumors about the Knicks considering Mitchell so that’s another annoying draft scenario to think about. Can you imagine having Mitchell and Bridges instead of Frank and Knox?

  112. Ja with three great plays in a row in the clutch and ten minutes later (to play 55 seconds) Memphis get the win.

    The league must really do something with the timeouts at the end,
    every close game takes ages to end…

    Booker shares a strange thing with Donovan Mitchell, 80% of the time when I watch them play they shoot like Payton…

  113. I no longer have any beef with the IQ pick, but would’ve been awful nice to take Xavier Tillman with that 33 pick, you know…

  114. Elf might have the flattest jumper in NBA history.

    he should take heart from watching IQ’s shots falling – they’re starting to actually look like good shots now…

  115. think one of the points that go unnoticed to a degree with elf is just how big and physical a guard he is…

    He’s much bigger than Quickley and I think he defends better. It’s one reason to keep starting him. Quickly shoots better, but I’m not sold he should be the starter yet.

  116. Shai Gilgeous Alexander is the real crime. How did you watch that Kentucky team and say “yeah Knox is the guy we need?” That’s ridiculous.

    Yeah, I don’t think SGA would have been a consensus pick there at all (as it was almost all Bridges up until the Knox rumors started and then, on draft night, when it became clear that Porter was going to be there and it was, “Well fuck, if you really just want a project there, why not Porter?), but he did come up at the time under that specific point, when the rumors started that the Knicks were all in on Knox, which was, “If you really want a guy from Kentucky, why not just take SGA then?”

  117. Yeah I love SGA too but at draft time the talk was about Knox or Bridges, I don’t remember SGA being talked about as someone the Knicks were considering unless I’m remembering wrong?

    from what i remember mikal bridges was mostly an after thought too… i remember after a certain point in time knox was connected to the knicks and that’s really all there was to it….

    i don’t even think sga worked out which is just an lol…. there were a few folks on the sga train including me but i don’t think anyone thought he was going to get picked in a million years because why would you pick the guy who was carrying the same college team they were on when you could pick the guy who showed out in a 3on3?

  118. But really, it is kind of sad to reflect back on how happy I was when it seemed like Mikal Bridges was going to be there for the Knicks (when the rumors of Sexton going to the Cavs started) and how foolish it was of me to get my hopes up for him, as the Knox rumors started soon after that. Looking back on the old threads, I was so optimistic about the Knicks having the chance to get Bridges. Sigh.

  119. Watching highlights of the game. RJ is strong, like bull. You don’t need many ballhandling moves or a lightning-quick first step when you physically displace whoever’s in your path. It’s like he has a personal force field.

  120. We’ve benefitted from some luck with opponents and injuries, but no doubt we come to play every game.

    Agreed, and I really think much of that is due to Thibs. Basically, when a game gets sloppy, I assume the Knicks will win. When the game is played cleanly, the Knicks’ talent has a hard time winning out, but when things get sloppy, Thibs will almost always have the advantage over the preparation of the other coach and thus the Knicks seem to pull out the sloppy, ugly games. It’s the sort of coaching asset that is a lot more useful when you have a better team, but it’s still cool to see.

  121. Despite me not liking our starting five i must admit that after today’s game i feel that it will take much more from the bench guys to change the rotation.
    Even IQ will need some more experience to get Elf’s spot right now.
    Unless injuries, 2pg starting scheme or Thibs’s epiphany.

  122. Re: Tillman, looking at his game logs so far, it looks like he doesn’t shoot 3’s, never gets to the line, and hasn’t done much on the boards. Seems to be a pretty good passer, although it’s unlikely that his 6:1 ast:tov is for real. It will take more than 4 decent games for me to jump on the bandwagon.

  123. I don’t think we really need to have a place to play him. Just having him on the roster would be fine.

    And I can’t imagine Thibs wouldn’t enjoy having a guy like him in his arsenal.

    He’s maybe better than Toppin?

  124. Owen:
    I don’t think we really need to have a place to play him. Just having him on the roster would be fine.

    And I can’t imagine Thibs wouldn’t enjoy having a guy like him in his arsenal.

    He’s maybe better than Toppin?

    Is he? You’re ready to conclude that after 8 games? And do you think he gets PT with Toppin and Randle (and Project:Knox) in front of him?

    As I said above, you don’t really know what you have in a player until he’s gone around the league a couple of times. If he settles in as generic roster filler, he’d never see the court here with the way our roster is constructed. If he keeps up the great numbers, sure, it’d be nice to have him.

  125. Knicks now the 6th seed in the East!! Won’t be there much longer after the upcoming 4 game west coast trip but hey at least for next couple of days we can call them a playoff team lol.

    So you are saying we might miss the play-in tournament. :-)

  126. You don’t need many ballhandling moves or a lightning-quick first step when you physically displace whoever’s in your path. It’s like he has a personal force field.

    ha :)

    i cannot believe what i just read….

    look mom, he’s doing it again!!!

  127. Greek Freak is the 2 time MVP yet down the stretch the ball is nowhere near his hands on offense. It’s all Holiday or Middleton, which I’m not saying is the wrong strategy but it says alot.

  128. Is Chris Boucher, like, the best player in the NBA right now?

    When that guy is hitting his shots…wow.

  129. Brian Cronin: When that guy is hitting his shots…wow.

    I mean, the guy has a PER of 29, WS48 a league-leading .304 and a BPM of 7.4.

    And that was before tonight, when he had 21, 10 and 2 with 3 blocks in 28 minutes, on 8-12 shooting. WTF?!

  130. BigBlueAL:
    It’s annoying to think about how much better the Knicks would be if they drafted Mikal Bridges instead of Knox.

    Eh I’m told on good authority that rookies take 80 years to become useful so on a geological scale it’s a wash

  131. Z-Man – My point would be that if we had him on the roster we could find out if he is better than Toppin pretty easily. I mean, I refuse to believe there is no space for a guy who has debuted like this. Especially a guy who has Thibs written all over him. And my recollection is that lots of people thought he was a big sleeper.

    He’s definitely the kind of guy I like. I have a soft spot for that kind of PF with defensive chops and passing ability. I loved Mase growing up. So I am a little partial.

    But what’s not to like? Not sure what the other side of the argument is here. We should have less promising players?

    Is he too undersized to make up for his lack of an outside shot?

  132. This seems liked a rehash of whether it was a bad idea to punt on the #33 pick in general. I’ve been in Camp WhoCares on that one, and I don’t see a player like Tillman moving the needle much for me at this point, especially since the Knicks would not have drafted Tillman once they drafted Obi anyway. That said, I’d like a bit more time to see who Tillman really is as a modern NBA PF.

  133. It’s a take. 90% of the fun is seeing how they play out.

    Jared Porter appears to be in a wee bit of trouble. Stevie won’t mind too much though. I suspect….

  134. Owen:
    It’s a take. 90% of the fun is seeing how they play out.

    Jared Porter appears to be in a wee bit of trouble. Stevie won’t mind too much though. I suspect….

    That’s some pretty creepy stuff- As long as no one else comes out of the woodwork he’ll most likely survive it but if anyone else steps forward he’s toast.

  135. Yeah I love SGA too but at draft time the talk was about Knox or Bridges

    rama, king of superfluous poppycock
    June 21, 2018 at 12:06 pm
    I have a feeling SGA will emerge as the steal of this draft, a la Mitchell last year. Don’t see him going top 10, maybe not top 15, but I think in a year or two he’ll look like the 5th best prospect.

    I also have the feeling Knox will look like he shouldn’t have gone in the first round. Not Mudiay bad, but bad. So if we take him…what a letdown that would be.

    Heya!

  136. When Bridges was unexpectedly available, I did debate which one would be better on the actual draft thread, and it was close, but ultimately I went with SGA.

    Of course, the Knicks went with Knox.

  137. Reading more of that thread, there wasn’t anyone who thought Knox was a good idea. TNFH used the word “dread.” Yep.

    Then there was this:

    rama, king of superfluous poppycock
    June 21, 2018 at 12:12 pm
    Porter is interesting – could be a total bust, but I like Massive’s suggestion that we take him if he falls and give him the year to get his body right. More losing for us (better draft pick next year), good foundation for him staying healthy going forward, he and KP come back together and work with each other as part of a young core building toward 2020.

    Building toward 2020…instead we’re building in 2020. Oh wait, 2021. Well, one of these years we won’t suck….

  138. Yeah, no one was on board with Knox. RJ was probably as close to a consensus pick we’ve had in the last 10 years, and he had his detractors although almost entirely as a trade-down contingent.

    Obi wasn’t dreaded like Knox, but virtually no one was excited about picking him or hoping he would fall (except to avoid a dumb trade-up for him). In fact, there was a much more widespread and vocal outcry about Quickley, lol.

  139. geo:
    just for the record: it’s not me that starts these odd tangents…

    okay, here’s a weird hair thing that I can’t help but continually fixate on – what’s going on with trae young’s hair?

    I can’t tell if he’s simply given up, or is that like a style or something…

    i think he did the hair club for men thing in the offseason..

  140. Obi wasn’t dreaded like Knox, but virtually no one was excited about picking him or hoping he would fall (except to avoid a dumb trade-up for him). In fact, there was a much more widespread and vocal outcry about Quickley, lol.

    I think Obi’s issue was that it wasn’t until, like, the day before the draft that we even thought he was a possibility, so we didn’t even really think about him. It seemed like he was going top five in the lead-up to the draft. So we didn’t have a lot of time to think about him one way or the other, and when it was, it was in the frightening scenario of trading up to get him, so when he was taken at #8 without a deal, it was this big sense of relief that at least they didn’t trade up for him.

  141. It was a strange draft and hard to scout, so I didn’t look as hard as I usually do. I was mildly disappointed with Obi, but only because Hali was still there. I wasn’t as high on Vassell and Nesmith as some others here. Maybe they turn out better than Obi, maybe not.

    I worried about trading up for Lamelo, because I thought he was fool’s gold. If he can be a two-way player, maybe I was wrong on that…time will tell.

  142. 2018 was one of my favorite drafts to follow…. but definitely the worst to experience….

    https://knickerblogger.net/2018-draft-comment-thread/

    there’s going to be a trail of starters picked right after knox… and i hope this means perry gets fired within two years….

    let’s put that into perspective…

    mikal bridges… sga… miles bridges… jerome robinson… michael porter jr.. troy brown jr.. zhaire smith.. divenczo… lonnie walker… kevin huerter… josh okogie…

    knox is probably only better than one guy…and that’s only because that guy almost died… i mean that’s worse than the frederick weis pick right?

    i was so so mad that day…. and i’m still mad thinking about it now….

  143. Brian Cronin:
    Goddamn, CJ McCollum broke his foot. That blows.

    I feel for him, bad luck for him and the Blazers, he was playing very very well.

    So many injuries around the league…

  144. It’s almost like rushing back and not having a real training camp while traveling across the country in the middle of a pandemic was a bad idea.

  145. Brian Cronin:
    It’s almost like rushing back and not having a real training camp while traveling across the country in the middle of a pandemic was a bad idea.

    Nah, Chamberlain averaged 48,5 minutes/game in 1961-62, 47,6 in 1962-63 and 45,8 for his career,
    it’s just that this new players are a coddled bunch of softies…

  146. Ha, TNFH. I was just about to ask how people now feel about Quickley vs Maxey (who clearly seemed to be the guy the Knicks wanted, based on their maneuvering on draft night, and has had his own moments so far), and you go and tell me I’m setting my sights way too low.

  147. Jared Porter out. As he should be. More significant Mets tenure: Beltran as manager or Porter as GM?

  148. About 21% into the season and the Knicks have the #5 defense in the league (per cleaning the glass). I know the shot profile of the opponents has not been “ideal”, but the longer this goes on, the longer you have to at least consider the possibility that it’s not all just good luck but in fact something the team is doing that is causing it. By the far the most obvious contributor to the defensive rating is holding opponents to a low eFG (2nd in the league at 50.1% to Utah.

    So we give up the 5th most shots at the rim… but are 7th best in term of FG% there. Not super surprising considering we have Mitch and Noel guarding the cup. We are basically worst in the league at forcing teams to take mid-rangers, reasonably good at preventing corner 3s (top 10), but give up a lot of ATB 3’s. You have to figure some of that is by design, including letting certain guys shoot (Terrence Ross is not one of them). Gotta wonder whether maybe we are funneling guys away from the corner 3’s and are willing to give up other shots, including shots in the restricted area — “welcome to the restricted area, here is Mr. Robinson to greet you”, and since opposing teams are conditioned to go for restricted area shots, let them shoot these high difficulty shots around/over two of the best shot blockers in the league? And giving up ATB 3’s to the likes of Gary Clark, Aaron Gordon, James Ennis, and Dwayne Bacon is probably just fine with Thibs?

    The game before against the Celts – lots of noise about the Celtics shooting 7-46, but 41 of the 46 3’s were ATB 3’s, and 25 of the 46 3PAs were from the likes of Grant Williams, Marcus Smart, Semi Ojeleye, and first-game-back Kemba.

    Another under the radar thing – we’ve gotten a lot better about fouling – 10th in the league in opponent FTR which must be a major improvement recently since it seemed like we were fouling everyone over the first couple weeks of the season…

  149. last thing – small sample size (46 possessions) but anyone want to guess at what our O/D ratings look like for lineups that include Quickley, RJ, Randle, and Mitch?

    How about a net 39.8 with ORtg 126.1 (100th percentile) and DRtg 86.3 (100th percentile)?

    ok I lied, last last thing – RJ Barrett, 75.3% FT shooter. Have to love it.

  150. The Irony is that by the eye test Maxey seems a lot more like a Mitchell-type player…

    Yeah, stylistically Quickley and Mitchell are very different. To be clear I’m not actually making the comparison. It’s just kind of funny how similar the lines are as of now. My guess is Quickley hits a rookie wall/stops hitting 44% of his shots from 10-16 feet and that changes, but hey, he also might see a 3PT% uptick so who knows? Eating my crow on the pick this early in his career seems like a great way to jinx him so I’ll just say it would be lovely if a pessimistic Knicks prediction was wrong for once.

    Meanwhile RJ’s “if you arbitrarily give him last year’s 3PT%” adjusted TS% stands at .515. The free throw improvement looks pretty legit–the sample size is increasing and the shots themselves look better. Pretty weird year from him all things considered, but I think I’m more encouraged than discouraged?

    I’m still not stressing about wins because I think we’ll have plenty of ping-pong balls when it’s all said and done (we might have two sets…) and the list of players I’d be happy to come away from this draft with is fairly long, but I also don’t blame anyone who is thinking about such things. At the end of the day we need an unambiguously great player(s) and the non-draft path to getting one is murky.

  151. About 21% into the season and the Knicks have the #5 defense in the league (per cleaning the glass). I know the shot profile of the opponents has not been “ideal”, but the longer this goes on, the longer you have to at least consider the possibility that it’s not all just good luck but in fact something the team is doing that is causing it

    I said this when the conversation first took place and still think it’s true.

    It’s hard to tell how much of an opponent’s bad shooting is random and how much is defense without a super detailed study. It’s nowhere near as easy as knowing whether the shots were contested or not.

    Most basically, if we are taking away corner 3s well, that would help depress the opponents 3p%. But the very best defensive teams know EXCATLY where each player shoots well from. So they can guide them into their worst spots on the floor and take away the best spots. If some guy is only good on the right side of the court and we give up an open 3 on the left side, he might be 25% from there. That’s not random.

    I don’t how much is good fortune and how much is defense, but we have one of the best defensive coaches in the NBA. It doesn’t make sense that we are suddenly getting lucky after all these years of being horrible even if there is a little luck involved. A lot of people came into this with a negative bias against Thibs because they wanted Atkinson, but maybe, just maybe, the pro Thibs crowd was right. :-)

  152. Taking Knox over Mikal Bridges was a gamble that most of us thought was a bad idea. With Bridges we were getting an older and potentially more limited 3&D guy, but we were getting a very high quality role player at least. You could also hope he could expand his offensive skillset a bit with time. With Knox we were getting a physically very immature player and project that might have a more versatile overall offensive game “eventually” at a time the Knicks were looking for a potential all star, but there was a much higher bust risk. To me, it was a no brainer because I saw KP + Bridges, + Frank as 3/5ths of the way to one of the best defenses in the NBA and with 2 shooters. They gambled, made more mistakes, and lost. But Knox looks far from hopeless right now and we have competent people in charge going forward.

  153. BigBlueAL:
    Greek Freak is the 2 time MVP yet down the stretch the ball is nowhere near his hands on offense.It’s all Holiday or Middleton, which I’m not saying is the wrong strategy but it says alot.

    The Greek Freak is a great great player, but he has weaknesses on offense. Durant has none. I keep saying this, but Durant is probably the greatest scorer of all time (not to mention everything else he does well).

  154. My guess is Quickley hits a rookie wall/stops hitting 44% of his shots from 10-16 feet and that changes, but hey, he also might see a 3PT% uptick so who knows? Eating my crow on the pick this early in his career seems like a great way to jinx him so I’ll just say it would be lovely if a pessimistic Knicks prediction was wrong for once.

    i was going to do a checkup on quickley but i’m waiting on another 100 minutes… the shot mix is very weird… 3% at the rim… 27% 3-10 ft and 20% 10-16… i can’t really find anyone who’s this allergic to get to the rim and that probably has some implications for his game… pretty sure the shooting is coming down but the passing is encouraging… i would probably not get too crazy tho….

  155. I don’t think anything Thibs’ defense does is random. We are a good defensive team. Period. It’s so freakin’ obvious.

    One thing that is very noticeable…there isn’t a “switch on everything” mentality. There’s a very detailed approach to the PnR and screens in general. If there’s a mismatch, the approach seems to be to either take a risk on a switch before the ball is passed in, or to double and force a predictable/risky pass. The other thing is that our bigs are highly mobile on the perimeter and it’s not really a mismatch when they are isolated at the 3-pt line on a guard/wing.

    Another thing is limiting possessions. Thibs is clearly slowing the game down (which kinda sucks aesthetically) as evidenced in very few transition baskets for us, and for opponents. I would guess that we go deeper into the shot clock on both ends.

    Then you have Randle. He’s not a perfect player, but the dude can play the slow-down grind it out offense, kinda like Memphis-era Zach Randolph. He’s mixing in some 3’s too.

    Also, our 3-pt specialists like IQ and Bullock happen to be solid defensive players. IQ is a crafty guy on the defensive end as well as the offensive end. He uses his length and footwork very well for his size. So the tradeoff with non-3-pt shooters isn’t as great as with someone like, say, Kemba or Augustin.

    If we have a weakness, it’s Knox and Obi getting twisted around left and right on drives. But Thibs seems to be on that.

  156. I’m very optimistic that IQ is an outlier with regard to the necessity to get to the rim. He is a 90+% FT shooter over a long time and has a knack for drawing fouls away from the rim. He clearly has mastered that floater and has great confidence in it…it’s kind of like a running FT for him…so why go to the rim when you can draw bigs out and open up alley-oop possibilities?

    That’s not to say that he shouldn’t ever go to the rim or work on finishing…I’m sure he will. But he clearly can be a very effective offensive player without it. It might even keep him healthier.

  157. I’ve seen a few video breakdowns of Quickley’s floater that rave about the repeatability of his form. He surely will hit a rookie wall at some point, because all rookies do. But the fact that he hits the floater rather than going to the rim doesn’t at the moment feel like a problem to me. Knox over-relied on a floater as a rookie because he just wasn’t strong or coordinated enough to get to the basket, where Quickley is doing it because he knows the damn thing will go in most of the time.

  158. The other thing about IQ is that he is very adept on the PnR. He seems to get the advantage-disadvantage decision-making as the ball-handler and makes good pass-shoot decisions. And when he didn’t do that in the 2nd half, Thibs yanked him, so he’s also being held accountable.

  159. Same with Frank and Donovan Mitchell,

    I’m pretty sure the front office was split on that one. I know I read they had it down to those two. I think Mills wanted Mitchell. From what I gather, the reason they didn’t go with Mitchell was because he wasn’t a PG and they thought he might have trouble guarding bigger SGs. That’s partly why Quickley dropped also. There’s a long history of “small combo guards” turning into total busts because they can’t run an offense and can’t defend or switch on wings. I was all over the place in that draft, but I ended up being comfortable with Frank based on the offense we were expected to run at the time. Then the world changed and so did his fit on this team, We took on a project and had no idea how to use him or develop him.

    At this point, unless he gets healthy fast and has a great 2nd half of the season he’s probably gone. I feel certain there will be interest around the league, but with Quickley on board I doubt the Knicks bring him back. Hopefully he’ll find a team with a point forward where his job is to become an elite defender, secondary playmaker, hit wide open 3s, and slowly expand. He’s a good young kid and deserves more of a chance but he has to stay healthy for once.

  160. Alan: He surely will hit a rookie wall at some point

    Maybe, maybe not. He seems to play a very efficient game physically, doesn’t get knocked down a lot. He’s also pretty strong for a wiry-looking guy. He clearly used the 9 months off to get into top condition. It’s possible that he actually gets better as the season goes on.

  161. Then you have Randle. He’s not a perfect player, but the dude can play the slow-down grind it out offense, kinda like Memphis-era Zach Randolph. He’s mixing in some 3’s too.

    I made that comparison a couple of weeks ago also.

  162. Tommy Beer
    @TommyBeer
    As of this morning, the Knicks rank:
    * 1st in fewest points allowed per game (102.7)
    * 1st in opponents FG%
    * 1st in opponents 3-point FG%
    * 5th in Defensive Efficiency

  163. I’m very optimistic that IQ is an outlier with regard to the necessity to get to the rim. He is a 90+% FT shooter over a long time and has a knack for drawing fouls away from the rim. He clearly has mastered that floater and has great confidence in it…it’s kind of like a running FT for him…so why go to the rim when you can draw bigs out and open up alley-oop possibilities?

    because teams will give him that floater….. it’s not a main weapon because it’s usually a bad shot…. when you get to the rim you should be shooting at least 55%…. when you goto a floater… AT BEST that’s 45%…. steve nash… tony parker… d’angelo russell… lou williams…. they shot between 39-45% for their careers…. it’s a very volatile shot….

    that’s part of the reason he shot so terribly in college…. when you forego rim opportunities for the floater… that is going to tank your 2p fg%… it’s just that he was also terrible at the rim also….

    in any case… he will have more rim opportunities… and it’s better to judge him when he does… this shot mix isn’t sustainable for anyone and that’s really all i was saying….

  164. If the Knicks are in the top 10 at 40 games I will start to think about it. The numbers by far have to be super noisy.

    IQ’s floater is destined to be a very polarizing shot.

  165. I used to think Frank was the more defensible pick than Knox but now my thinking has changed. And yes, this is partly because Knox is starting to look ok and Frank can’t seem to ever stay healthy. But regardless of what you think of the Frank pick in a vacuum, its just insane to me that Phil was allowed to make that draft pick a week before he got fired. Was there really no indication from Dolan that Phil was on the way out? Was it that impulsive of a decision?

    Knox was always a project (as was Frank) but GD it would have been nice to have this coaching staff with those two from the beginning of their careers. I feel like we lost so much time with both of them bc of Horns and especially Fizdale. A competent coach with a system asking young players to do very specific things and holding them accountable to do those things. What a novel idea!

    We’re a good defensive team. And its funny to me that people are trying to write off a Thibs coached team as only being good because of the invisible 6th man or whatever. Reducing the number of corner 3’s alone is a great way to make the opposing teams clank more open looks. I know the eye test is NEVER to be trust (jk) but come on. You can clearly see the effort and scheme on defense. The “bad” defensive players have a clear plan to follow that reduces how bad they are and that allows the good defensive players to shine as opposed to cleaning up the mess others create. Plus you got Mitch staying out of foul trouble and staying on the floor.

    We ain’t getting a top 5 or even 10 lottery pick with our pick and people need to make their peace with that. As long as RJ, Mitch, Toppin, Quickley, Knox are contributing to the wins and playing minutes, its fine. I mean RJ was the #3 pick so him improving is just as important as us getting another #3 pick.

    And I keep thinking we’re going to be rewarded with Dallas missing the playoffs. We’re bound to get some good karma and you’re more likely to get good karma when you…

  166. Stratomatic “Porzingis, Ntilikina, and one of the Bridges are going to lead us to the promised land”
    June 21, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Rama
    And I think Mikal will be a solid if unspectacular player no one would regret taking. Courtney Lee level – which would be great at the 9 spot, and on a rookie salary.

    Stratomatic
    If Mikal is going to be a Lee caliber player, then I’d rather pass and take a shot with Knox. No disrespect to Lee who everyone knows I like, bit I think Dotson has a really good chance to be as good or better than Lee. So what would I need Mikal for. I’m expecting Mikal to be a better defender and better all around scorer than Lee. Otherwise, I want to go elsewhere.

  167. IIRC, the rumors about the front office being divided between Mitchell and Frank only began well after the season started and it was clear how good Mitchell was. At the time, all the scuttlebutt was about the choice being down to Frank, DSJ, and Malik Monk, with Frank winning out because Phil thought him the best fit for the triangle.

    Whereas there were actual pre-draft reports in 2019 of the Knicks having some interest in both of the Bridges, as well as Porter, before the infamous 3-on-3 scrimmage ruined everything for us.

  168. Thibs is clearly slowing the game down (which kinda sucks aesthetically) as evidenced in very few transition baskets for us, and for opponents. I would guess that we go deeper into the shot clock on both ends.

    You are correct:

    According to Second Spectrum tracking, the Knicks rank last in the percentage of their shots that have come in the first six seconds of the shot clock (8.7%), when they have an effective field goal percentage of 64.5%. And they lead the league in the percentage of their shots that have come in the last six seconds of the shot clock (20.1%), when they have an effective field goal percentage of just 49.8%. That 49.8% ranks third (and Randle leads the league with 23 buckets) in the last six seconds, but no team should want to be playing late in the clock so often.

  169. last thing – small sample size (46 possessions) but anyone want to guess at what our O/D ratings look like for lineups that include Quickley, RJ, Randle, and Mitch?

    How about a net 39.8 with ORtg 126.1 (100th percentile) and DRtg 86.3 (100th percentile)?

    More reason for why IQ should start. You can talk to me about rookie this, or regression that, or that Payton’s defense is better until you’re blue in the face. But at the end of the day you construct a lineup based upon a whole team concept that is greater than the sum of its parts, not on the merits of one player’s game vs. the other. And its been so clear from the beginning that our spacing is sooooo much better with IQ running the point with Randle, Barrett and Mitch clogging the frontcourt. Hell, I could make an argument Payton’s skills as a penetrator/slasher fit better with our bench shooters like Knox, Obi, and Rivers.

  170. It doesn’t matter a lot who starts. It matters who gets the most minutes, and who plays in crunch time (assuming there is a crunch time). It seems obvious to me that Thibs recognizes IQ’s contributions, and if he plays politics by starting Elf, that seems fine by me, especially since there’s plenty of time for teams to adjust and start shutting down what Quick can do. Once that happens, if he’s your starter and can’t adjust, what do you do next, start Elf again? Thibs has chosen a more prudent path, while still giving Q plenty of time.

  171. AT BEST that’s 45%…. steve nash… tony parker… d’angelo russell… lou williams…. they shot between 39-45% for their careers…. it’s a very volatile shot….

    They shot between 39%-45% on floaters throughout their careers or in general FG%?

  172. Idle perspective — what really has surprised me is that we went from a chaotic shitshow to what appears to be a really good defense with basically the same players (and our secret Frank sauce out, although Noel in) with almost no practice time or pre-season. I’ve always been of the opinion that defense takes a lot of work and re-training, footwork and learning schemes etc., and that it’s not something that happens overnight.

    Apparently I was wrong.

    And it brings up my second idle perspective. There has been a lot of chatter over the years here that coaching isn’t really important. I’m curious if those who espoused such opinions still hold them, or if this weird start to the season is changing minds.

  173. I don’t think coaches matter much. Never have.

    If you find one who can help recruit players, that is an advantage. But teams generally do about as well as you would expect based on the players they have, in my experience.

    I’d make an exception for Pop maybe. Definitely not for Thibs.

  174. rama is cautiously optimistic:
    It doesn’t matter a lot who starts. It matters who gets the most minutes, and who plays in crunch time (assuming there is a crunch time). It seems obvious to me that Thibs recognizes IQ’s contributions, and if he plays politics by starting Elf, that seems fine by me, especially since there’s plenty of time for teams to adjust and start shutting down what Quick can do.

    The whole point is that our spacing is better because teams do and will adjust to shutting down to what he can do, particularly as a 3 point shooter. If he’s a better shooter than Payton defenses will naturally have to stop crowding the paint as much and give some open lanes for our slashers to work with. I will say though that the question of IQ’s ball-handling is up in the air. Will he continue to give up his dribble early if teams fullcourt pressure him?

  175. And its funny to me that people are trying to write off a Thibs coached team as only being good because of the invisible 6th man or whatever.

    2019-20 centers’ MPG

    Mitch 23.1
    Taj Gibson 16.5

    2020-21

    Mitch 30.0
    Noel 15.2

    Something tells me that having 45+ minutes of elite rim protection each night is a good thing for a defense. I credit Thibs with actually playing Mitch, but let’s not act like Mitch and Noel were schlubs before he arrived.

    The offense sucks, though. If not for Randle this team probably sits at 4-11.

  176. Mike Vorkunov
    @MikeVorkunov
    Knicks gave up 42 wide-open 3s over those 2 games, via http://NBA.com; Boston + Orlando hit just 7 of them (16.7%). There’s some flukiness there but that’s not to completely take away from a defense that ranks 5th in def. rating & 1st in pts/game

    42 wide open threes for our opponents. They made 7.

  177. We’ve benefitted from some luck w/ players being out and still lost some games to depleted teams. But still, we are over-performing Vegas expectations by a lot and that’s without anyone playing waaaay over their heads. Randle has settled in to sustainable numbers, Mitch is fouling less but his numbers are down, Bullock has shot badly, Payton is Payton, Knox and Obi have been detriments, and RJ is showing modest improvement but isn’t lighting the world on fire.

    Coaching definitely makes a difference. If you want to argue that there are lots of excellent coaches, that’s fair, but a bad coach (e.g. Fiz) or a coach not suited for this team (e.g. D’Antoni) would almost certainly not have this team at 7-8 with the schedule we’ve had…and Pops probably doesn’t have us better than 8-7.

  178. But Jowles Mitch is only able to play these minutes because he’s staying on the floor and not fouling much. Does the coaching staff get no credit for that? I mean, just last season Mitch was still having that issue. In 9 months without playing basketball Mitch learned on his own how not to foul? Me thinks not.

  179. And anyone making an injury excuse for the teams we’ve played…come on! We’ve had a TON of injuries. The biggest one to Burks who was playing like our second best player before he went down. And we’ve all seen how QUICKLEY, Immanuel has changed the calculus for this team and we were missing him too. Frank and Toppin you could argue aren’t missed that much but its still rotation depth that we’ve lacked. The team hasn’t been fully healthy since game 2.

  180. Owen:
    Mike Vorkunov
    @MikeVorkunov
    Knicks gave up 42 wide-open 3s over those 2 games, via http://NBA.com; Boston + Orlando hit just 7 of them (16.7%). There’s some flukiness there but that’s not to completely take away from a defense that ranks 5th in def. rating & 1st in pts/game

    42 wide open threes for our opponents. They made 7.

    But as was pointed out, if you have the right guys shooting those 3’s from the right places, they tend to miss lots of them. Obviously 7-42 is unsustainable, but we beat the Celts by 30 and we missed lots of open looks from 3 as well.

  181. They shot between 39%-45% on floaters throughout their careers or in general FG%?

    from 3-10 ft….

  182. I’d agree that Mitch not fouling out of every game has made a big difference and that’s probably due to coaching.

  183. #I don’t think coaches matter much. Never have.#

    In European basketball which is D-oriented as fuck coaches are GODS.
    A well coached scrubteam has a chance against any star-studded team here and that’s the Only reason i predicted a 36-36 season under Thibs.
    #RememberSaitama2006#

  184. swiftandabundant: Does the coaching staff get no credit for that?

    Am I really expected to believe that the coaching staff fixed Mitch’s foul problem with 3 weeks of training camp, 4 preseason games, 15 regular season games and whatever practice they’ve been able to conduct during the season? Or could it be that players are largely responsible for their own improvement, since they’re the ones who actually have to play the game?

  185. Also, here are Mitch’s splits from last year:

    Minutes per PF (higher is better)

    Oct 5.3
    Nov 5.9
    Dec 6.8
    Jan 8.3
    Feb 7.6
    Mar 11.4

    This year: 11.0

    So, like, yeah, um, he did apparently get better with fouling… from playing basketball.

  186. Jowles is right of course.

    But I do notice a big difference in how Mitch is defending this year. I don’t think Thibs has shown him the light but I do think Thibs may have told him, you are my guy, don’t be a hero out there, stay within yourself, etc.

    Who knows. Coaches don’t matter but they matter a lot to our narrative of what is happening and it’s hard not to fall into that….

  187. Or could it be that players are largely responsible for their own improvement, since they’re the ones who actually have to play the game?

    why bother with coaches at all then?

    or like in school why bother with teachers, since it’s the kids that have to do the math problems and essays? Those silly teachers don’t take any tests at all, it’s ridiculous that we have to pay them to *airquotes* teach *close-airquotes* my kids. My property taxes would be so much less with this approach!

  188. why bother with coaches at all then?

    This is a bit facile for you, Frank. It’s not that coaches are totally irrelevant — it’s that most NBA-level coaches are largely indistinguishable from each other. There are geniuses like Jax and Popovich (both of whom have been left behind by the modern NBA) and excellent tacticians like Stevens, Snyder and Spoelstra. And then there are just totally average coaches like Donovan and Brooks and Mike Brown. Then you can get into the Jason Kidds and Mark Jacksons, who actively sabotage your team. They rarely last.

    or like in school why bother with teachers, since it’s the kids that have to do the math problems and essays? Those silly teachers don’t take any tests at all, it’s ridiculous that we have to pay them to *airquotes* teach *close-airquotes* my kids. My property taxes would be so much less with this approach!

    Right, because 400 of the best basketball players in the world, having developed their skills over a decade-plus of drilling, practicing and playing in high-stakes games, are similar to little illiterate 2nd-grader Johnny. There’s a selection bias in the NBA that we can work with. Public education has no such thing.

  189. I did education reform for a bit and the numbers I remember looking at showed unequivocally that there was zero correlation between what you paid teachers and what academic results you got, in the aggregate, in the public school system.

    Which shocked the hell out of me. And which isn’t a reason not to pay teachers more.

    I wouldn’t find it all controversial at all if someone told me you could slash corporate CEO pay by 90% and get the exact same results.

  190. Saying that coaches don’t matter and then putting them in tiers seems contradictory to me.
    There are not many Pops and Jaxs as they’re not many Jordans and LeBrons out there.
    Top coaches don’t come in bunches.

    Food for thought:

    Obradovic has won 63 club titles and honours in his entire coaching career, including nine EuroLeague titles with FIVE different clubs, and has also made 18 EuroLeague Final Four appearances, during his coaching career. In addition to his success at the club level, he has also won major trophies as the head coach of the senior FR Yugoslavian national team, most notably winning the gold medals at the 1997 EuroBasket and the 1998 FIBA World Championship.

  191. One more fun fact!
    From wiki:

    Revered San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has been a longtime admirer of Obradovic’s coaching style, frequently praising him and admitting to “stealing his plays”. In turn, Obradovic, ahead of his second season coaching Fenerbahce, talked about spending a significant portion of the summer 2014 off-season, dissecting the San Antonio game, particularly positioning and ball movement, with a view of implementing it into his team.

  192. 42 wide open threes for our opponents. They made 7.

    I’m kind of amazed that anyone on a stats-based blog can just willfully ignore more detailed information already shared by another poster about the kinds of shots being given up – corner 3s vs. 3s above the break, 3s taken by certain players, etc. I’m less amazed that someone might argue that a similar group of players doing vastly better are somehow figuring it all out on their own and coaching plays no role. At least there we’ve seen data making the case that most coaches don’t make a difference. But both detailed statistics and the eye-test reveal a totally different team defensively, which is what many of us predicted with a Thibs-coached team. Better rotations, less mindless switching, different kinds of shots given up, and so on. Also, just more hustle – which by the way can be a measurable stat, as in distance traveled during the game. The Knicks rank in the top 10 in that category.

    So, um, yeah, coaching has made a really big difference, and it’s easy to validate both with advanced statistics and the eye-test.

  193. Hmm. So Mitch’s foul numbers went down when Miller took the reigns. You just made my point, Jowles.

    I’m not saying he’s a magician. OF course the players are the ones who play the game. But honestly, do you think this team is super talented with lots of experience? We aren’t.

    Little things add up. Getting this player to foul less. Getting this player to picks their spots when they do/don’t shoot. Instilling confidence in this player. Getting this player to agree to a more limited role. Calling good time outs. These are all little things but you do enough little things better than the other guy and your team is suddenly playing much better than they’re expected to.

    And Thibs has had a lot of success in Chicago. And he was an assistant for good Knicks teams and great celtics teams. And he improved Minny vs. what they did before. To act like he has no effect…I just can’t with this bullshit.

    Paying a teacher more doesn’t mean you get a better teacher but that’s different than saying a teacher doesn’t matter.

  194. Swift – The point of his post was that Mitch’s numbers fell dramatically last year through the year, right? So this is just a continuation of an existing trend.

    I am happy to wait till the 40 game mark to declare victory in this argument. ;-)

  195. I did education reform for a bit and the numbers I remember looking at showed unequivocally that there was zero correlation between what you paid teachers and what academic results you got, in the aggregate, in the public school system.

    interesting owen…out of curiosity, what were some of the most significant factors towards academic success?

    what really makes one school better than the next?

    is success isolated more towards an individual school/zip code or can success be extended towards school districts and counties and states…

  196. I think coaches are like any other profession.

    There are a bunch of mediocre professionals that doesn’t really move the needle outside some very specific situations. And there is a few really talented ones that change everything.

    Maybe Thibs is on the mediocre side, but found(built?) a team that matches very well with his defensive mind approach.

  197. I’d love to see the study that showed zero correlation with what teachers are paid vs. academic results. How did it measure “academic results?” Over how many years? Which levels of instruction? Elementary school? Middle? High? All? Which school systems and where? What are the demographics of the kids there? What were the salaries involved…how much higher were they and for how long was the study? I mean, are we talking token raises or a huge jump like doubling salaries? Etc. Etc.

    I remember someone in educational leadership once telling me confidently that there was a study that showed that there is no correlation between class size and “student learning.” I asked to see the study so that I could at least see how this conclusion was arrived at, since I have grave doubts about its conclusion, but the person just ignored my query.

    The few studies I did see over the years always struck as very small sampling, over too brief a time span, and with very questionable terms, particularly how they defined student learning/academic results/whatever. That almost always meant multiple-choice standardized test scores of some sort.

    Anyways, off the soapbox…
    :-)

  198. So Mitch’s foul numbers went down when Miller took the reigns. You just made my point, Jowles.

    Really fishing for an explanation that suits your presumptions here, aren’t ya.

  199. Owen:
    Mike Vorkunov
    @MikeVorkunov
    Knicks gave up 42 wide-open 3s over those 2 games, via http://NBA.com; Boston Orlando hit just 7 of them (16.7%). There’s some flukiness there but that’s not to completely take away from a defense that ranks 5th in def. rating & 1st in pts/game

    42 wide open threes for our opponents. They made 7.

    OK, I’ll be the one to say it. Yes, it’s obviously an unsustainable fluke and it would be front office malpractice to miss this year’s fantastic lottery on the backs of mercs. Yes, it’s fine if the young guys “contribute” — a really flexible word — but they aren’t contributing enough now for it to be ok to miss the lottery.

    You cannot miss this year’s lottery unless the team makes the playoffs with both Toppin and Quickley (and of course Barrett, but he seems on the way) making huge contributions. Essentially the only way you can miss the lottery is if you try as hard as you can not to, and the young guys are just too good. And, no — Randle doesn’t count as a “young guy.”

    It’s great that they’re more competently coached but to sneak into the playoffs on some slow-paced, merc-based, Covid-fluky, neo-grit-and-grind? No. Just no.

  200. MItch’s rebounds and blocks per 36 have gone down this year, a full board and .8 blocks. He’s less aggressive and mobile and active and that’s why he’s fouling less.

  201. ***Am I really expected to believe that the coaching staff fixed Mitch’s foul problem with 3 weeks of training camp, 4 preseason games, 15 regular season games and whatever practice they’ve been able to conduct during the season? Or could it be that players are largely responsible for their own improvement, since they’re the ones who actually have to play the game?***

    But Robinson’ block rate is half of what it was his rookie year, so has he really even improved at all? I don’t think it takes weeks and weeks for a coach (or an agent) to say “be less aggressive”, or “don’t leave your feet”, or “don’t try to block everything in sight and your foul rate will decrease and your playing time will increase.” But it seems to be coming at a cost, as his production is down as well.

  202. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Also, here are Mitch’s splits from last year:

    Minutes per PF (higher is better)

    Oct 5.3
    Nov 5.9
    Dec 6.8
    Jan 8.3
    Feb 7.6
    Mar 11.4

    This year: 11.0

    So, like, yeah, um, he did apparently get better with fouling… from playing basketball.

    He played six games in February- throw that out and you’re talking about going from 6 to 8. He improved under Miller because they stopped switching absolutely everything (thanks Fiz!) on the perimeter which led to mismatches on every damn play. This year he’s not switching nearly as much and staying on his feet rather than chasing blocks. He’s playing differently rather than just a natural evolution. In pretty much every interview with Mitch early in the year he talked about how the staff was working with him- getting him to slide and contest rather than chase blocks. I’d say his improvement is at least partly coaching/system and partly natural growth.

  203. But both detailed statistics and the eye-test reveal a totally different team

    Including players who were traded, released, left to expire, or have been injured, the Knicks lost about 40% of their total minutes players from 2019-20. So yes, it is essentially a totally different team, largely populated by young players expected to make incremental improvements year over year.

    This is reminding me of the “Carmelo was an amazing rookie and single-handedly improved the 2003-04 Nuggets” argument, where the Nuggets had roster turnover of like 60% year over year.

    He improved under Miller because they stopped switching absolutely everything (thanks Fiz!) on the perimeter which led to mismatches on every damn play.

    Well, I was told it was Thibs that did it. But that wasn’t true, was it?

  204. NBA players don’t miss 84% of their open threes because the opposing coach was steering the shots and the looks to the “right spots.” That’s cray-cray talk. It’s a fluke.

  205. Geo – That’s a long conversation and I must confess to being 15 years out of date on the research. Maybe the state of play is different now. It was certainly a very controversial topic of conversation at the time. Still is obviously. You had the right wing pointing at the teacher’s unions and claiming that the free market could fix everything. You had the left wing pointing at a variety of targets but principally all the stuff outside the school that destabilized life for kids in the bottom 75% of the income distribution.

    The things that were broadly predictive of student and school success were things relating to the student’s home environment. Principally parental income, parental educational attainment, marital status, and some other bits and bobs.

    That’s still true in a lot of ways. For instance, someone posted a chart I saw somewhere recently showing how SAT and ACT scores map extraordinarily tightly with income.

    The international comparative numbers were pretty interesting too. Almost every country got more bang for their educational buck. You see something very similar with healthcare too. Some of that was chalked up to certain countries just having such a focus on k-12 academic achievement as a ladder to success, especially in Asian countries. The US, by contrast, was described as a place you could get a good job with a high school degree with a lot more ease from 1945 to 1970, which sort of became the culture in some people’s telling.

    It’s as big a topic as you could possibly imagine. I will say this. People have been trying really really hard to fix things for a long time. I’d definitely agree with those who say that the schools are fine and that it’s things we should be doing outside of school that would move the needle the most. For instance, universal pre-k. Or criminal justice reform.

    But it’s very complex.

  206. It’s a harsh verdict given his general quality as a pure tactical coach, but right now Thibs is not coaching the team in the best medium and long-term interests of the organization, in terms of style, personnel deployment, minutes, pace, and emphasis. This has always been the worry with the guy, and it’s clearly his history. It’s happening again.

    Bottom line here, and we should all face it, is that if you’re a GM/PBO, you have to have the stones to take his toys away if necessary, and the stones to be able to deal with any fallout that falls out. Ultimately that’s why we have front offices — to plan the future. The coach obviously — obviously — isn’t going to do that himself. His history is the exact opposite.

  207. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Well, I was told it was Thibs that did it. But that wasn’t true, was it?

    Yeah but that’s a lot different than coaches don’t matter! If you put a pedometer on him I guarantee you’d see he’s just moving around a lot less-a lot of that’s scheme. And given the fact that Mitch spent all summer practicing his outside shot and still hasn’t taken any tells me he’s a guy who definitely listens to his coach. I’d guess that’s true on defense as well.

  208. ClashFan – Don’t want to go down the rabbit hole but we did triple our spending on education over a multi-decade time frame and see basically very little change in the NAEP data. That may have changed since I checked out but I don’t believe it has greatly.

    And the returns on many different kinds of reform initiatives were, broadly speaking, quite inconclusive. Stuff like reducing class size, increasing salary and benefits, charter school competition, and requiring more stringent teacher credentials didn’t move the needle.

    And I want to reiterate, that’s not an argument for paying teacher’s less or for devaluing their work. I believe they are asked to do too much.

  209. The few studies I did see over the years always struck as very small sampling, over too brief a time span, and with very questionable terms, particularly how they defined student learning/academic results/whatever. That almost always meant multiple-choice standardized test scores of some sort.

    state standardized test scores (i believe their state and not federal?) sounds about right as the major metric for success…so basically – teachers teach the test…improved learning, i don’t know…

    the class size thing is crazy – for the last decade plus whenever i’ve sat in on one of the kid’s classes – there’s at least 25 plus students in the room…usually it’s the first thing i do when i sit down in the class: count students…

    Growing up – i don’t think i ever had more than 15 students in a class up until about high school…pretty sure at that though the number never went over 20…

    it has been a real struggle with the fourth grader to track all his work assignments and get him to catch up on weekends and holidays…just soooooo much work due each day…

    the last month or so the school has added another resource (IXL) in to an already crowded list of “resources” which the students need to utilize (IReady, Xtra Math, Wonders Connect, Spelling City, Typing.com, Think Central, Daily Check-in worksheet, Google classroom, workbooks), it’s crazy…

    however, it’s forced the kids to become more responsible for their own work, as well it has forced parents to become more involved in their children’s education – as opposed to simply abdicating all responsibilty to teachers and the school…

  210. Any thoughts on Silver advocating for NBA players getting vaccinated “as a PSA?”

  211. The things that were broadly predictive of student and school success were things relating to the student’s home environment. Principally parental income, parental educational attainment, marital status, and some other bits and bobs.

    thanks owen…lots of important stuff happening in our world/country – no doubt educating our youth is extremely important for our collective future…

    That’s still true in a lot of ways. For instance, someone posted a chart I saw somewhere recently showing how SAT and ACT scores map extraordinarily tightly with income.

    one of the reasons i’m so upset with the push towards the privatization of primary school education…which sure, works great for the small percentage of folks whom can afford better schooling…

    another tool to further stratify our society and kill off the middle class…

    to be honest, i pretty much assumed academic success was mostly tied to demographics, in particular education and income within a home…

    i’m not sure how that can be addressed within the primary school system – hopefully Joe changes some things up to make secondary education more impactful and more accessible/affordable to all…

  212. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Any thoughts on Silver advocating for NBA players getting vaccinated “as a PSA?”

    My first thought was fuck no given how poorly the roll-out has been handled. But. Given the level of medical distrust in the black community I guess I’m for it. Kareem ain’t moving the needle. I’m not sure LBJ will either but you’re talking about 600-700 doses which isn’t anything in the grand scheme of things. Worth a try, especially given the Covid outcomes for minorities.

  213. Would be pretty interesting to see the impact of Lebron, Mahomes, and, I don’t know, Mookie Betts getting a vaccine on national TV. Or the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan.

  214. Now that I think about it, as long as the vaccine works as well as the testing suggests it’d make a great, highly visible case study. If the game cancellations go away with no adverse reactions that’s going send a message. Given the protocols there’s no hiding sick players; if games stop getting cancelled it’s going to be tough for skeptics to say the government is tricking us with fake numbers (though plenty still will). I’d love to be a fly on the wall for the Players Assoc. meeting if it actually becomes a possibility- I’m sure it’d get approved but not without real pushback from some players.

  215. I’m sad, btw, that Farfa’s clients were not no-shows, and thus he’s been too busy to do a double recap of these last two contests. I’d have enjoyed his description of the offensive dumpster fire that was the Magic game.

  216. I wouldn’t be too worried about Mitch’s drop in blocks. I think a not significant amount of his defensive contribution in the productivity stats over the last couple of years came through empty calorie blocks that left him out of position and led to easy dunks or no change of possession (since he often had a habit of swatting them out of bounds). I think his defensive contribution this year has been much more consistent and impactful overall. His offensive numbers are definitely down, though. I still prefer this version of Mitch to any other—he’s starting to look like a genuine defensive anchor rather than a rich man’s Hassan Whiteside

  217. Eye-test warning but I concur with the idea that Mitch’s defense has improved even as his blocks have gone down. He’s still getting plenty of blocks, and he seems to be making much better decisions as to which shots he should try to block as opposed to contest with his long-ass arms.

    I’m more concerned with his offensive numbers declining, though I think it’s more the fault of our guards/coach not just running the damn PNR with him until the defense proves they can do something about it.

  218. We’re obviously in very small sample size theater but if Toppin can keep his steal/block/rebound numbers close to where they are (1.2 steals 1.8 blocks, 7.8rbs per 36) it’ll really help mitigate the bad defense. He’s got a positive BPM (as does Quickley) despite the bad shooting.

  219. If you asked me a few weeks ago if NBA players should get the vaccine, I would’ve said the idea is abhorrent. Outside of exceptional cases I don’t know about, these guys are just about the lowest-risk group you could possibly imagine.

    However since there have been unexpected demand-side issues leading to vaccines getting flushed down the toilet, you could probably do worse than giving them to NBA players. I have no idea what the potential benefits might be in terms of a PSA but anything would help (which is related to the demand-side issue).

  220. Once the defense knows that you are very effective on the P&R and OREB put backs but that’s all you can do, they are going to try to slow that down or take it away . That’s why even though everyone was celebrating Mitch’s TS of 70%, etc.. (which of course was amazing), it was on such a limited skillset, if we ever make the playoffs, the best defensive teams are going to slow him down and may even make him almost irrelevant on some nights. That’s why I keep saying he has to expand to mid range at least. It may lower his TS% a bit, but as long as he’s efficient enough to have be covered, it will make it easier for his teammates to operate inside and make it harder for defenses to stop the P&R because they can’t focus exclusively on taking that away. They won’t know if he’s going roll, pop, stand out in mid rage and just shoot etc.. In theory all you want to do is dunk, take layups and shoot corner 3s, but in the real world the defense is trying to take those things away. Sometimes you have to take other shots. The more things each player can do, the harder it is for the defense to stop you and you wind up with a higher efficiency overall even if you dunker drops a little.

  221. Mitch isn’t blocking as many shots because he’s starting to play smarter overall defense. Last year, at times he was trying to block every shot in his area and chase others that weren’t. The idea is not to maximize your boxscore metrics. The idea is to play good overall defense. Blocking shots is one skill among many that are part of that but some are not even in the boxscore.

  222. In the Berman article today Jeff van Gundy opened about some of the issues with “professionalism” Mitch had (missing flights?). Now we know what Thibs was talking about at the start of the season and why he gave him a kick on the pants and put Nerlens in front of him to start.

  223. His offensive numbers are down because we have no spacing and our opponents are collapsing on the pick and roll. Last year we also didn’t have much spacing but occasionally Mitch would catch them by surprise. No one is caught off guard this year. Also, Randle rarely looks for Mitch and now that we are running so much offense through Randle it tends to leave Mitch out of the offense a lot.

    I think we need more shooting on our team and we need at least 2 preferably 3 real threats from 3 to function. If we do that we can punish players who collapse on the PNR and then it should start to open up for Mitch and hopefully Toppin as well.

    Once Burks and Frank come back it is two more shooting threats to open up our offense. I think we should also change our end of the bench guys to get more shooting so we don’t need to play our starters soo much when there are injuries. I think cutting DSj and signing Frank Mason III would be a positive move, so would cutting Pinson and signing someone like Allen Crabbe, That way our end of the bench guys can at least hit threes.

  224. This isn’t meant to be a jab at anyone but: You know a team is in dire offensive straits when its fans start talking about how much the spacing will improve when Frank Ntilikina comes back

  225. NBA teams also seem a clear risk for superspreading. That calls up the question of whether there should be 600+ people flying around the country for entertainment purposes, but I’d rather the dipshits like Kyrie and Harden have the vaccine than be unvaccinated while attending private parties sans masks.

  226. geo: to be honest, i pretty much assumed academic success was mostly tied to demographics, in particular education and income within a home…

    @Owen and @Geo
    I find the research by Raj Chetty, Saez and colleagues pretty convincingly support that teachers have big impact on outcomes that matter – adult income, health, etc. and that wealth is the main driver. I.e that paying teachers more will get you better teachers and outcomes. E.g: http://www.rajchetty.com/chettyfiles/value_added.pdf
    https://www.opportunityatlas.org/

    I’m glad this came up in the context of measuring coaches’ impact because the same “value added” analytic approach is what I always think is needed to assess that when the topic comes up. It takes into account how people (students or players) were likely to do given their trajectory before the teacher or coach “intervenes”.

    geo: i’m not sure how that can be addressed within the primary school system – hopefully Joe changes some things up to make secondary education more impactful and more accessible/affordable to all…

    I think their experimental work suggests their are policies that can make a big difference. A fun review of Chetty’s research and efforts to reform economics education is here: https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/5/14/18520783/harvard-economics-chetty

  227. Here’s the Vermin article strat alluded to…JVG had lots to say about the IQ pick:

    In an interview with The Post about the 7-8 Knicks, Van Gundy, unsolicited, raved about Quickley’s rise, comparing him to the Knicks drafting Charlie Ward at No. 26 in 1994.

    “Whoever was in charge of drafting Quickley needs to have an article dedicated to him,’’ Van Gundy said, as the Knicks sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. “This was a guy looked at as a second-round pick. Someone went to bat for this guy and wanted this guy. He gives them real hope from an offensive standpoint.

    “He knows how to draw fouls. He can shoot. He plays with great enthusiasm and energy. That’s a Charlie Ward-type pick to me. A guy who was drafted low, but can be a good player over a long period — most likely a starter at some part of his career. It’s a great draft pick.”

  228. Re: the vaccine, I’m fine with NBA players skipping the line and getting them, so long as the league contributes lots of $ to COVID-related causes. Public service announcements are a good start.

    In that context, I think that the NBA (and sports more generally) can have a benefit the community. They give people a semblance of normalcy which is good for the mental health of homebound Americans. If we’re talking about less than 1,000 vaccines, that’s not going to impact the national stockpile all that much.

  229. “The Honorable Cock Jowles
    January 19, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    Any thoughts on Silver advocating for NBA players getting vaccinated “as a PSA?””

    I mean, I did post this exact suggestion here five days ago. So I guess I’m happy that Adam Silver reads this blog and listens to the posters here. (If only Dolan did the same). (As you’ll see, I used the term PSA and everything)

    “Z
    January 14, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Forgive me if this has been discussed here already, but I got to thinking today: why doesn’t the NBA publicly vaccinate all 400 or so rostered NBA players and then just send them out to play? I understand that 20 year old men in top physical condition are last in line for the vaccine. But in the case of the NBA, which is obviously struggling to make this season work and perpetuate their billion dollar industry, it seems that this is a great chance to show people that vaccine works. It could serve as a full-season PSA, and save the season, and, considering they are basically giving unclaimed vaccines away at the end of the day to anybody who wants them so they don’t expire (at least they are doing this in the city that I live in), it seems not only possible, but desirable for all sides. Especially since we are talking about so few doses, and for such a high-profile subgroup.”

    https://knickerblogger.net/brooklyn-nets-116-new-york-knicks-109-game-recap/

  230. Z-man: If we’re talking about less than 1,000 vaccines, that’s not going to impact the national stockpile all that much.

    Rather than the proportion of the national stockpile they’d use think of it this way: How many of the elderly super vulnerable people ahead of them in line would have to get sick and die for you to think the sense of normalcy provided by the NBA wasn’t worth it? Not many, if any, I’d guess. Prioritizing the most vulnerable ASAP really does affect life and death outcomes at this point.

  231. Re: teacher pay and educational outcomes, it’s complicated because teachers are not paid according to any reliable measure of productivity. Yet “merit” pay has been tried and has negative side effects as well.

    But if you can pay your best teachers and administrators enough to make them want to do the toughest jobs, you’d probably have the best chance of improving outcomes meaningfully. Teachers (and administrators) unions are generally lukewarm on a) performance incentives/merit pay and b) significant pay differentials for “hard to staff” schools.

    The whole “return on investment” thing is very hard to measure when it comes to educational expenditures. It takes years, even decades, to determine whether something works or not, if you can even determine it at all. And by the time you find out anything conclusive, the playing field…political, economical, etc… has probably changed dramatically.

  232. Unreason: Rather than the proportion of the national stockpile they’d use think of it this way: How many of the elderly super vulnerable people ahead of them in line would have to get sick and die for you to think the sense of normalcy provided by the NBA wasn’t worth it? Not many, if any, I’d guess. Prioritizing the most vulnerable ASAP really does affect life and death outcomes at this point.

    I would assume that those folks have had access already…since NY is already giving vaccines to teachers and administrators. If that’s not the case, sure, hold off.

  233. I was tracking the vaccine usage around NY for awhile. There was a period where we had hundreds of thousands of doses just sitting around in a freezer somewhere because the priority standards were so tight there wasn’t enough demand. I was screaming about that with friends. When it gets to that point, screw priorities. Just make sure you use every dose and none go to waste. Eventually, they came to their senses and lowered the age to 65. Vaccinating basketball players as a PSA gives me mixed feelings. On the one hand they are probably the lowest priority in terms of risk and it would feel like an excuse to help the economics of the league. On the flip side it would help the community see it’s safe. I think I’d rather see a bunch of older athletes go public. Maybe Kareem can’t move the needle alone, but I think if there were a large number of high profile older athletes getting vaccinated that might do the trick. Heck, if Clyde got one at MSG that would move the needle in NY. :-)

  234. A lot of places have started moving into the 2nd or 3rd stages of phase one so it would be rerouting a very small number of vaccines from not terribly high-risk populations like essential workers and healthcare admin staff not from high-risk people in retirement homes. Plus, two or three thousand doses wouldn’t really affect anyone more than a very little amount. That is a very small fraction of the number of doses that are made every day. At worst it would move back the vaccine schedule less than a day for most of these people.

    The positive effect it would have could be very high. Vaccine skepticism is a real problem and will delay herd immunity greatly, potentially putting some of the highest risk members of society in jeopardy since they cannot take the vaccine. If every NBA player takes the vaccine and the league starts a full press information campaign on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine that could convince tens of thousands of people to take the vaccine or at least take it sooner saving far more lives than rerouting 2000-3000 doses would ever jeopardize.

  235. Unreason: Rather than the proportion of the national stockpile they’d use think of it this way: How many of the elderly super vulnerable people ahead of them in line would have to get sick and die for you to think the sense of normalcy provided by the NBA wasn’t worth it? Not many, if any, I’d guess. Prioritizing the most vulnerable ASAP really does affect life and death outcomes at this point.

    In one recent poll only 42% of African-Americans said they would take the vaccine. If you can raise that number to 60-70 by the time the vaccine is more widely available it’ll make a huge difference. I highly doubt NBA PSA’s alone would do that but given the poor Covid outcomes for Blacks there’s got to be major pr campaign and the NBA should be a part of that. But even if you raise that 42% by just a percent or two it’d be well worth it from a numbers perspective.

    It does have the potential to be a PR nightmare though- think Fox News interviewing someone whose grandmother just died and didn’t have access to the vaccine. You think Tucker Carlson wouldn’t lead a week of shows with “Why did LeBron get access to the vaccine before this sweet (white) grandma?”

  236. Also let me send out my heart-felt congratulations to RJ for hitting the .600 mark from 0-3! Onward and upwards I hope!

  237. While there are stylistic/athletic differences and the era has changed, does anyone see a little bit of a poor man’s Tracy McGrady in RJ’s most optimistic upside? RJ probably doesn’t have the physical gifts to handle a 30 % usage even at medium efficiency, but T-Mac was also never an efficient scorer…just a very solid all-around player.

  238. thank you so much unreason, i’m going through the article about harvard and raj chetty a few more times – i’m not sure i get it entirely…

    so is this new perspective of economics more focused on economics’ social cause and effect as compared to the old supply and demand model of thinking?

    is he trying to shift the focus of economics away from the acquisition of wealth more towards influencing social equality?

    ha, that is funny…

  239. Man, I didn’t realize how low McGrady’s TS% was in every other year other than 02-03.

    One year over 53.2%. A few years under 50%. He had injury issues I know.

    Excellent passer and rebounder though.

    I don’t know. T-Mac just seemed a lot more athletic.

    Re – Education Reform. All for that other stuff. I think there is a huge case to be made that most of the benefits of school aren’t measured in tests. I also totally agree that only a very long term study can isolate the benefit of a policy for the most part and when enough time has elapsed nobody cares anymore.

  240. TS% during those years was just relatively very low in general, I mean Eddy Curry led the league with .607 in 02-03 and T-Mac was 30th with his .564. There are some outliers like Billups, Reggie Miller, Michael Redd, Dirk, Nash, who had TS% values more in line of what we expect today from a superstar shooter, but even star big men like KG or Duncan were routinely around the .520 to .560 mark.

    The 30th placed player last season was Larry Nance Jr., with a .608 ts%, which would lead the league in 02-03.

  241. McGrady also came into the league blocking shots all over the place. He remains in the all time top five for blocks by a teenager, I think. (He largely stopped doing it when he became a guard in Orlando, but he was as clear of a “5 tool prospect” in Toronto as the nba had seen.)

  242. “An Ode to FN”

    If better stats means avoiding to try a halfcourt buzzer beater, go for the steal and the block without caring about Team D, passing only for assists instead of moving the ball freely and chasing triple doubles and individual records instead of just going with the flow of the game then count me out.
    I prefer a Wincentric basketball instead of a Statcentric one.
    That’s why many times i value the eye test more than the stats.
    It’s not always in the numbers.
    It’s the way you play that gives your team the best chance to win.

    Get Well Soon Frank
    Team Optimist Loves You!

  243. I’ll never forget watching a Spurs-Rockets game with my son in 2004, where McGrady scored 13 points in the last 33 seconds to win the game for Houston.

    We were both shouting at the TV, still to this day one of the craziest finishes I’ve ever seen to an NBA game

  244. Bruno Almeida:
    TS% during those years was just relatively very low in general, I mean Eddy Curry led the league with .607 in 02-03 and T-Mac was 30th with his .564. There are some outliers like Billups, Reggie Miller, Michael Redd, Dirk, Nash, who had TS% values more in line of what we expect today from a superstar shooter, but even star big men like KG or Duncan were routinely around the .520 to .560 mark.

    The 30th placed player last season was Larry Nance Jr., with a .608 ts%, which would lead the league in 02-03.

    Right, but T-Mac’s TS% was only that high once, and in every other year it was at least 30 points lower. So he was still quite inefficient for a guy widely viewed as a top-5 player. Think about Kobe, who played in the same era and who many here criticized as an overrated, inefficient chucker. He never once had a TS% lower than .544 for 15 straight years during the T-Mac era. Paul Pierce’s career average TS% was better than T-Mac’s outlier best year! (Which is why it’s a joke to think that RJ will ever be on the same level with Pierce if you consider that Pierce’s TS% during his era was truly elite.)

  245. Z-man:
    While there are stylistic/athletic differences and the era has changed, does anyone see a little bit of a poor man’s Tracy McGrady in RJ’s most optimistic upside? RJ probably doesn’t have the physical gifts to handle a 30 % usage even at medium efficiency, but T-Mac was also never an efficient scorer…just a very solid all-around player.

    T-Mac was a much better ball-handler than RJ as well. I did come up with a good comp for RJ athletically- he’s late-Denver/early NYK Melo but without the first step. Really strong, but lacking explosion. The problem is Carmelo was bigger and more skilled (better handle, far better touch). RJ is smarter (at least bball IQ) and works harder so I think he could have a similar impact- I think 13/14 Carmelo could have been the second best guy on a very good team as long as the first best guy wasn’t Tyson Chandler. But something like .560-70 TS, 16-18 assist %, 11 rebound % without the usage. That’s a really nice player. But he has to make a big improvement in ball-handling and a huge- HUGE – improvement in shooting to anywhere close to that.

  246. I like your excellent points Nicos and Ben R! I can see the potential value of players setting a positive example and agree that a small delay for a smallish number of vulnerable people would have little to no effect. I’m swayed.

    Glad you find it a good read Geo.

  247. That’s where I was going with it Re T-Mac…

    I never thought Zion would be this one dimensional. It’s a hell of a dimension though.

  248. geo: so is this new perspective of economics more focused on economics’ social cause and effect as compared to the old supply and demand model of thinking?

    is he trying to shift the focus of economics away from the acquisition of wealth more towards influencing social equality?

    It is those things, but he’s hugely ambitious, so it’s more than that. It’s how to teach econ, how to do econ, and how to make econ super policy relevant to the people that need it most. The intervening is key rather than just observing and analyzing. The effects when you get people to move to higher opportunity areas are really big. Showing that experimentally like in https://www.povertyactionlab.org/page/creating-moves-opportunity carries more weight and has direct bearing on policies and programs.

  249. You are seriously underrating Melo by comparing RJ to him. Melo in his first 3 1/2 seasons with the Knicks was a great player. It went downhill pretty quickly after that but as much as people here love hating on him you can’t deny how good he was in the years under Woodson and even his first half season under D’Antoni. If RJ can come anywhere near close to that Melo it will be an incredible achievement.

  250. RJ
    age 18 – 2p% – .529 ft% .665
    age 19 – 2p % – .432 ft% .614 (nba)
    age 20 – 2p% .462 ft% .753

    Pierce
    age 18 – 2p% – .478 ft% .606
    age 19 – 2p% -.492 ft%.717
    age 20 – 2p% – .513 ft% .738
    age 21- 2p% .451 ft% .713 (nba)

    rj in many respects is ahead at the same age from a scoring perspective…the only thing that’s different is the 3p shot….. of course pierce also got to the line at insane rates and basically double the steals/blocks #s… but that came later…. they basically go toe to toe…. so rj has more work to do to get to pierce’s level but that’s why pierce is an upside case and why they’re not exactly alike… go look at the shot mix also very similar…

    i keep saying this but just because someone is a bad shooter doesn’t mean they will continue to be a bad shooter… most people are just caught up and anchoring on the fact that rj is shooting 21% from 3 and thus will continue to be a bad 3p shooter… or rj shot 61% at the line and he’s not really a 75% shooter there….

    pierce is just one in a long line of players that progressed well during their formative years and turned into a consistent shooter when they weren’t… he just did it in a gym in kansas instead of the nba…. he was once a 60% shooter at the line…. he also struggled scoring at the rim…. and he did so at an older age than rj….

    all of a sudden right now rj is at 60% at the rim … 75% at the line… in a universe where that’s true the universe of outcomes starts including guys like pierce also…. it could also include the likes of ingram and jaylen brown… you could also put evan turner and andrew wiggins in there too… who’s to say how exactly it turns out…

    but is it possible? i mean maybe you thought paul pierce was godly from the jump and that’s where your problem was… but he certainly wasn’t….

  251. wow, ya’ll certainly have a whole lot more to offer than just b-ball hot takes and numbers dissection…i appreciate it, got to try to stay green and learning, or get gray and wither away…

    come for the basketball, stay for the knowledge :)

    a day late, but, yeah, MLK had it right:
    “Capitalism forgets that life is social. And the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism, but in a higher synthesis.”

  252. i also don’t know why there’s so much obsession with who rj could be… there’s a long long list of SG/SF types…. he will fall somewhere along the spectrum depending on which areas catapult his leap once he establishes baseline nba performance (which he’s on his way to doing hopefully right now)….

    no improvement? andrew wiggins
    better passer poor 3p shooter? evan turner
    better 3p shooting small improvement 2p shooting? jason richardson
    better 3p shooting small improvement 2p shooting with some passing? rudy gay
    no 3p shooting but much better 2p shooting? demar derozan
    3p shooting and much better 2p shooting? vince carter
    much better 3p shooting much better 2p shooting much better ftr? paul pierce

    you can sub in whatever names or add more categories but that’s the spectrum….

  253. Z-man: Right, but T-Mac’s TS% was only that high once, and in every other year it was at least 30 points lower. So he was still quite inefficient for a guy widely viewed as a top-5 player. Think about Kobe, who played in the same era and who many here criticized as an overrated, inefficient chucker. He never once had a TS% lower than .544 for 15 straight years during the T-Mac era.Paul Pierce’s career average TS% was better than T-Mac’s outlier best year! (Which is why it’s a joke to think that RJ will ever be on the same level with Pierce if you consider that Pierce’s TS% during his era was truly elite.)

    Oh, I agree, I wasn’t really defending McGrady or anything, as much as I liked watching him and will argue that he was an underrated passer who deserved a chance with better teams, he had very clear flaws to his game and was overhyped because of all the points for sure. He was always bad shooting free throws and his 3 pointer varied from straight up terrible to wildly inconsistent.

    I was more pointing out that we have to mediate ts% for whatever the league average is, meaning that T-Mac’s underwhelming numbers are still much better relatively to he average in the league than RJ’s are today. The same goes for Pierce, who was and still remains one of the very few examples of a guy who turned himself from a typical 2000’s NBA chucker to an efficient scorer (and an outlier that I wouldn’t really compare to Barrett because of that)

  254. djphan:
    RJ
    age 18 – 2p% – .529ft% .665
    age 19 – 2p % – .432 ft% .614 (nba)
    age 20 – 2p% .462 ft% .753

    Pierce
    age 18 – 2p% – .478 ft% .606
    age 19 – 2p% -.492 ft%.717
    age 20 – 2p% – .513 ft% .738
    age 21- 2p% .451 ft% .713(nba)

    rj in many respects is ahead at the same age from a scoring perspective…the only thing that’sdifferent is the 3p shot….. of course pierce also got to the line at insane rates and basically double the steals/blocks #s… but that came later…. they basically go toe to toe…. so rj has more work to do to get to pierce’s level but that’s why pierce is an upside case and why they’re not exactly alike… go look at the shot mix also very similar…

    I’m pretty sure someone mentioned this above but different eras dude. Pierce’s .451% was 99% of league average. RJ’s .462 clocks in at a far less impressive 88%. RJ would need to make another jump bigger than this year’s to hit Pierce’s year 21 number. Maybe he can? I don’t see him ever shooting the three like Pierce though- Pierce had a nice stroke from day one.

  255. No, I think that Pierce was an efficient scorer in his soph and jr years in college (TS% .561 and .585) and the fact that he shot 38.6% from 3 on 189 attempts with excellent shooting mechanics suggested that he would be a much better shooter in the NBA than RJ has any chance of being with his low release and poor mechanics. RJ hasn’t cracked .500 TS% in the NBA and was .532 in college with the best player in college basketball by far drawing double and triple teams and creating all kinds of space for him. And as was pointed out, Pierce’s TS was elite in his era, where it would be merely above average today. So even if RJ gets up to Pierce’s career average of .568, it wouldn’t mean he’s the same player relative to the league.

    Sure, he could eat some magic beans and become Pierce 2.0, but what are the odds? 5-1? 10-1? 100-1? I’ll take door #3

  256. Another thing is that back then, players almost universally stayed in college longer. Today, players know by senior year in HS that they are likely to be one-and-done. Many prepare harder and come into the NBA in top physical condition. RJ was not some gangly rookie that needed time to physically develop before he could get his shot off. He came in about as physically mature as a 19yo could possibly be. So the route of improving by putting on 20 lbs of muscle is not there for him.

  257. I’m pretty sure someone mentioned this above but different eras dude.

    we haven’t hit rj’s age 21 year yet…. if rj improves this year why can’t he improve again next year? do age 20 players just stop improving or something .. is that the assumption?

  258. No, I think that Pierce was an efficient scorer in his soph and jr years in college (TS% .561 and .585) and the fact that he shot 38.6% from 3 on 189 attempts with excellent shooting mechanics suggested that he would be a much better shooter in the NBA than RJ has any chance of being with his low release and poor mechanics.

    there are other components of TS which i broke out for you…. what you’re basically saying is that pierce is a much better 3p shooter… which yea no kidding…. but 3p shooting can be improved upon especially when ft shooting is improves too…. is it guaranteed to happen? no of course not…. but i don’t see how you guys can easily scoff at this and then say… you know what tracy mcgrady! that’s a MUCH better comp….

    and look we can sit here and dissect comps all day… mentioning paul pierce is just illustrative….

    did you think rj could hit 75% of his free throws this year? no? then why can’t he ever hit 40% of his 3s? and if he can he’s somewhere in paul pierce territory… maybe just vince carter but improves his 3s… 2p and ftr? that’s impossible? no i don’t think so….

  259. FT shooting is not a proxy for 3pt shooting. Demar Derozan has shot over 81% every single year since his rookie year and 11 years later he still can’t shoot 3’s. Shawn Marion had a couple of outlier years as a stand in the corner guy under D’Antoni but was mediocre from 3 despite shooting over 80% from the FT line year after year.

    Then there’s the types of 3’s RJ will make. Will RJ ever be able to shoot 3’s off the dribble, or with a hand in his face, or from well beyond the line, or is he strictly a stand in the corner guy like Marion? Will he ever force defenders to go over screens to guard him in the high PnR? Pierce shot 37% for his career, including 3 terrible years. He was a feared #1 option in the clutch, winning many a big game with huge, backbreaking, contested shots. He could pull up from anywhere at any time no matter who was guarding him. He was not just deadly from 3 but from midrange and driving to the basket, and his mechanics made his shot very hard to block. He’s just a different animal than RJ.

  260. And btw, I’m not down on RJ…if I was, I wouldn’t have compared him to T-Mac. I just think you have to consider the nature of his game, his body, his mechanics, his make-up when you project who he may become as a player. Whatever the “results” the fact is that RJ was nowhere near as polished of an offensive player as the Melos and Pierces and Durants of the world, the scoring champion types, even in college. Read their scouting reports and compare what is said about their shooting mechanics. RJ can make his mechanics “repeatable” but there are flaws that he most likely can’t correct. His most likely outcome is a “decent spot-up shooter” who can score in more crafty ways nearer the basket. He’s a solid all-around player with strength, toughness and smarts. We can celebrate that without projecting him t be someone he’s not nor will ever be.

  261. FT shooting is not a proxy for 3pt shooting.

    i never said it was a proxy… but it’s impossible for someone to improve their 3pt shooting if they don’t improve their free throws…. rj has… and so his 3pt shooting COULD follow… i don’t know why you keep misinterpeting that….

    Then there’s the types of 3’s RJ will make. Will RJ ever be able to shoot 3’s off the dribble, or with a hand in his face, or from well beyond the line, or is he strictly a stand in the corner guy like Marion? Will he ever force defenders to go over screens to guard him in the high PnR?

    i don’t understand why he can’t do that… he already has a pullup game in the midrange and he can already shoot off the dribble… why can’t he ever do that at distance? why does he even need to? you can shoot plenty of attempts from 3 just on catch and shoot jumpers….

    that’s not to say it’s likely… but i mean that’s being overly dismissive if you’re saying it’s impossible…. how did jerami grant or jaylen brown or blake griffin or any number of players learn how to shoot 3s? how did brook lopez? this isn’t some monumental feat….

    so marion can’t… demar derozan can’t… ok… what about everyone else?

  262. Whatever the “results” the fact is that RJ was nowhere near as polished of an offensive player as the Melos and Pierces and Durants of the world, the scoring champion types, even in college. Read their scouting reports and compare what is said about their shooting mechanics.

    i said this earlier… but pierce was not in melo or durant’s class as a prospect… he was good but it took him awhile to get to where he was at kansas…. that’s where rj is on the development curve…. that’s why they are similar….

    and yes pierce is superior in some ways but in terms of rebounding… ftr… 2p% … ft%…. assists…. they are basically in the same neighborhood…. no they are not exactly the same but i have no idea who you think is exactly the same if you want to dismiss pierce… he was good but he wasn’t that good….

    that’s why the comp game is stupid…. people are different… history rhymes of course but if you’re just going to dismiss every little difference then why go through that exercise to begin with?

  263. djphan: we haven’t hit rj’s age 21 year yet…. if rj improves this year why can’t he improve again next year? do age 20 players just stop improving or something .. is that the assumption?

    I haven’t looked at adjusted fg% that much but guys in their 20s tend not have giant spreads between career lows and career highs unless there are injury issues. And it’s not a number that rises and falls steadily but instead tend to move around 10-20 points over the course of a career. Guys tend to fall off late in their careers but the twenty point swing that RJ would need to go from 80 to Pierce’s 99 is a little high for a career swing let alone a two year improvement that he can then improve upon. Here are some random examples (I left out late career and injury years).
    T-Mac’s pre-injury low was 94, career high 104.
    Pierce: career low 94, high 112
    Kobe: 99-106.
    Carmelo: 94 – 106.
    Dirk: 100-110.
    Kemba: 82-95.
    Marcus Morris: 88-100
    Paul George: 89 (last year) – 110 (his rookie year)
    DeRozen: 88-103
    Rudy Gay: 90-103
    Dennis Shredder (I’m leaving that autocorrect): 87-98
    KCP: 92-104
    CJ M: 91-101
    Dame 92-103
    Rodney Hood 89-100
    Wiggins 85-99
    Beal 88-107
    Zach LaVine 93-102 (though he’s at 114 this year)
    Will Barton 86-103
    Derek Anderson 83-103
    Jason Richardson 92-107

    Having done all that I don’t think it means much of anything other than that the 80 RJ put up last year was really bad. If he can’t get to league average from 2 he’s going to have make it up from three or become elite at getting to the line.

  264. Is Jerami Grant in the category of Paul Pierce…a #1 option on a championship-level team? Is Jaylen Brown? (I don’t know why you would bring up Blake or Brook, they are not remotely comparable. This is about a comparison to a specific player, not can a guy improve his 3-pt shooting.)

  265. Pierce was undoubtably the #1 option on a high-level contending team for several years. When you say “he wasn’t that good” I’m not sure how I can take that seriously. He’s not an immortal, but he was a great player, a sure-fire first ballot HOFer.

  266. I haven’t looked at adjusted fg% that much but guys in their 20s tend not have giant spreads between career lows and career highs unless there are injury issues.

    you realize you’re comparing age 19 rj to a bunch of guys who came into the league much later than him right?

    and what are we looking at ts? rj put up an 85 in ts… what are you talking about? efg? 84…. fg? 87 what measure are we looking at?

  267. Pierce was undoubtably the #1 option on a high-level contending team for several years. When you say “he wasn’t that good” I’m not sure how I can take that seriously.

    he wasn’t that good at age 20!

    i said this earlier… but pierce was not in melo or durant’s class as a prospect… he was good but it took him awhile to get to where he was at kansas…. that’s where rj is on the development curve…. that’s why they are similar….

  268. Jaylen Brown came into the league after a year in college and put up a .539 TS%. The next year he upped it to .562. Ironically, I was one of the few here who thought very highly of him back then. RJ has yet to crack .500. He’s nearly .070 below where Brown was in his first year. He is .090 below where Brown was in his second year. Those are enormous deficits.

  269. hey unreason, thanks again for turning me on to that Raj Chetty fellow…gave up quick on trying to read his work – i lack the skill and desire :)

    watching this pbs vid though where he dumbs it down enough to where i can understand: Fading of the American Dream

    i’m fortunate enough to work for a software mapping company (i ship stuff)…back in school i studied geography and have always found demographics (again: go hari seldon – issac asimov had it figured out) fascinating…

    once a year the company hosts a users conference, i help out, nice break from my real job…on monday night they host a “map gallery” event…after doing my thing at the conference i go up to the map gallery, grab whatever free snacks there are, grab a beer and stare and study the maps – there’s hundreds of them…i don’t really talk much to folks i don’t know, but, a lot of the map creators hang out and discuss their maps to folks…it’s cool…

    wow, this guy Raj talks about some very personal stuff to me…social mobility

  270. If Randle has a chance of being an All Star this year, Knox has a chance of being a decent player and Mitch has a chance of playing without fouling why can’t RJ be The Next Truth?
    Thibs has also worked with Pierce in Bos.
    This might help.
    Starting RJ from the start of the season and believing in him wholeheartedly as it seems so far may do miracles on his development.

  271. djphan: you realize you’re comparing age 19 rj to a bunch of guys who came into the league much later than him right?

    and what are we looking at ts? rj put up an 85 in ts… what are you talking about? efg? 84…. fg? 87 what measure are we looking at?

    League adjusted 2 pt fg%. You quoted Pierce’s raw number so I gave you the adjusted. You asked- and I read this as you being a dick since you want to know how you’re being perceived- “do age 20 players just stop improving or something .. is that the assumption?” So I gave a list of what kind of swings you tend to see in guy’s career percentages. Making a 20 point jump is the difference between most guy’s career highs and lows. And unless RJ can make it up elsewhere he needs to be plus from two. And there are several guys who came in at 18/19- Kobe, Melo, Beal, LaVine, Wiggins and T-Mac. Garnett’s spread is 103-113. Give me a list of 19 year olds who’ve played at least 5 years and I’ll happily look them up. Guys tend not vary that much.

  272. Of course being like Pierce as Zman said means becoming a HOF caliber player which is tough as fuck but not impossible also if he works his ass off like the greek freak.
    We talk about SOLID DESIRE here.
    Not just improving his fg%

  273. “do age 20 players just stop improving or something .. is that the assumption?”

    you took offense to that? i mean i’m sorry but how do you want me to phrase it? you were basically assuming rj wouldn’t improve….

    so we’re looking at 2p fg% league adjusted then right? let’s add more to the list…

    jerami grant
    age 20 – 79%
    age 25 – 102

    brandon ingram
    age 20 – 88
    age 23 – 96

    deaaron fox
    age 20 – 86
    age 23 – 100

    markelle fultz
    age 20 – 83
    age 21 – 97

    devin booker
    age 20 – 89
    age 23 – 105

    kyle anderson
    age 21 – 74
    age 26 – 103

    gary harris
    age 20 – 81
    age 23 – 108
    age 25 – 91

    otto porter
    age 20 – 85
    age 27 – 96

    spencer dinwiddie
    age 21 – 77
    age 26 – 93

    corey joseph
    age 20 – 72
    age 23 – 107
    age 28 – 87

    kyle lowry
    age 20 – 76
    age 30- 103

    goran dragic
    age 22 – 82
    age 30 – 99

    russell westbrook
    age 20 – 86
    age 31 – 98

    george hill
    age 22 – 87
    age 30 – 104

    is this enough or do i need to keep going?

    fyi rj is currently sitting at 88

  274. I feel like these djphan vs the board debates on the matter of Barrett have tinges of ruruland hearts Carmelo all over them. But in the case of ruru, we had years and years of evidence against him, and with RJ, all he has to say is “but he’s young!”. Still, I think we all know where this is eventually going, and you don’t really want to be on the ruru side of history…

  275. Alex Len surprisingly waived by the Raptors. He’d be an interesting third-string center here, but I guess Gibson fits Thibs’ system better. Maybe the Nets?

  276. Okay lets limit it to 19 year olds and rather than career highs I’ll give you age 19 season (so year two for Kobe and other who came in at 18) and then their career averages. For some guys it’s a little misleading because they really declined late- add roughly 2 points for the guys who played into their mid-thirties. For some reason that’s the only field where BR won’t let you crop out years.

    Kobe: 97/101
    Garnett: 103/106
    LBJ: 95/112
    T-Mac: 98/98
    Stanley Johnson: 83/85
    Bam: 102/109
    Jamal Murray: 93/96
    Beal: 88/98
    Winslow: 96/88
    Myles Turner: 103/104
    Kyrie: 103/101
    Tyus Jones: 79/92 (Jones barely played at 19- he put up 90 when he first got real minutes at 21)
    Melo: 97/97
    Booker: 94/97
    Tatum 96/94
    CJ Miles: 81/95 (He was actually better at 18 with an 86.)
    Giannis: 90/112
    Josh Smith 99/99
    Al Harrington 105/100
    Dragan Bender 96/101
    Carmelo: 97/97
    Ingram 88/95
    Durant: 94/108

    There’s 22 guys. If you’re not LBJ, KD or Giannis it’s doubtful your adjusted 2 pt% is going to change drastically. Again, RJ is starting at 80 and he’s made a big jump to 88 so far this year. My memory is terrible and I can no longer search for age 19 seasons on BR so if anybody wants to give me a list of guys who played at 19 for a larger sample size I’ll look them up but I looked at a lot of guys who came in at twenty and there doesn’t seem to a big difference in terms of career outcomes. If you’re a crappy shooter at 19 or 20 you’re most likely going to be below average for your career. Of course, 2 point fg % isn’t the be all and end all. If he can get to the line at an elite level or shoot threes he can still post a very good TS% but it’s not a good sign.

  277. djphan: you took offense to that? i mean i’m sorry but how do you want me to phrase it? you were basically assuming rj wouldn’t improve….

    so we’re looking at 2p fg% league adjusted then right? let’s add more to the list…

    jerami grant
    age 20 – 79%
    age 25 – 102

    brandon ingram
    age 20 – 88
    age 23 – 96

    deaaron fox
    age 20 – 86
    age 23 – 100

    markelle fultz
    age 20 – 83
    age 21 – 97

    devin booker
    age 20 – 89
    age 23 – 105

    kyle anderson
    age 21 – 74
    age 26 – 103

    gary harris
    age 20 – 81
    age 23 – 108
    age 25 – 91

    otto porter
    age 20 – 85
    age 27 – 96

    spencer dinwiddie
    age 21 – 77
    age 26 – 93

    corey joseph
    age 20 – 72
    age 23 – 107
    age 28 – 87

    kyle lowry
    age 20 – 76
    age 30- 103

    goran dragic
    age 22 – 82
    age 30 – 99

    russell westbrook
    age 20 – 86
    age 31 – 98

    george hill
    age 22 – 87
    age 30 – 104

    is this enough or do i need to keep going?

    fyi rj is currently sitting at 88

    I didn’t see your list before the above post but I’d definitely like more- most of those guys either barely played in their first seasons like Lowry and put up much better numbers as soon as they got actual minutes or had one or two good seasons while remaining poor shooters like Westbrook or Dinwiddie. 88 is bad, you know that right? And age doesn’t seem to have much to do with it- it’s not like 19 year olds (and RJ was at 80 at 19) all are bad and then improve an extra amount as opposed to older rookies. Of your list Grant and Hill and maybe Dragic are the guys here who give you some hope so there are some. But I looked at a ton of guys and two pt fg% doesn’t tend to drastically improve like Grant’s has but it’s certainly possible I just looked at the wrong guys.

  278. And seriously I’ve never posted anything that ever implied that I think 20 year olds can’t improve- you were referring to a post where I explicitly acknowledged that RJ has improved a lot this year and could possibly get close to average next year but that that would be an unusual improvement and Jeremi Grant aside I still think it is. So yeah, your response seemed incredibly dickish. If you really don’t get that then I’d rather not engage with you at all.

  279. Brian Cronin:
    Alex Len surprisingly waived by the Raptors. He’d be an interesting third-string center here, but I guess Gibson fits Thibs’ system better. Maybe the Nets?

    The Nets were the first team that came to my mind when I heard the news.

    Hollinger said that they have some luxury tax penalty annoyances (they’re so over the tax that every dollar they’ll spend now end up costing them 6) but they’re all-in for this year and the nexy, so why bother?

    And the buyout market is still a couple of months away.

    My only concerns are about why Toronto gave up on him so early.

    P.S. Len went 3-3 on 3PFG vs the Knicks. Those were the only 3PFG he hit in the season…

  280. I’ve got some severe insomnia so I decided to look at the career league adjusted 2 pt. fg % for every vet (6 years plus) in the Eastern Conference to see what young RJ’s numbers might portend and I have returned from this Quixotic quest to tell you: nothing particularly good. In terms of 2 pt fg % it’s less about age than it is about experience. Basically, by the 2500 minute mark everybody is within 10 points of where their career mark will be and most guys are within 5 or 6 points though some stay flat or decline. The exceptions are superstars (LBJ, KD, Giannis) and centers that quit trying to do anything other than dunk. Lowry, Hill, Dragic, by the 2500 minute mark they’re all league average shooters and pretty close to their career numbers- Lowry actually declines. RJ winding up at 96 or 97 would be a really good outcome. If that’s his career average that means you’d probably see several above average seasons. More likely he’s a little south of that. It’s still not a huge sample size- maybe I’ll do the Western Conference tomorrow! Of course, I have to admit I have no idea what a mediocre 2 pt fg% means for his career prospects but at least I killed an hour or two.

  281. Donnie Walsh:
    I feel like these djphan vs the board debates on the matter of Barrett have tinges of ruruland hearts Carmelo all over them. But in the case of ruru, we had years and years of evidence against him, and with RJ, all he has to say is “but he’s young!”. Still, I think we all know where this is eventually going, and you don’t really want to be on the ruru side of history…

    I was thinking more strat w/ Frank, but yeah.

  282. The most encouraging thing about RJ’s start is that most of his peripheral #s have improved – rebounding, assists, turnovers. His steal percentage is down a little but basically the only thing that has trended worse is his 3p shooting. He’s up to 60% at the rim (from 56.8), and up to 38% from long 2 (from 29%). And of course his FT shooting is much improved. I’m ok with incremental improvement, and my inclination is that his 3p shooting will trend back up — hard to imagine they would let him shoot from 3 as much as he does if he was bricking them in practice too.

  283. Oh no doubt he’s improving his all-around game, and his 3pt shooting will rebound, probably into the low 30’s by season’s end. He’s going to be a good player.

    Let’s just keep it real.

  284. Yeah, basically 0.1% chance he turns into someone that can be best player on a good team. But if he tops out as someone who is like 18/7/4 with average efficiency and good defense, that can be a #1 or #2 option in the second quarter when bench units are on the floor – that is still super valuable, ie. a single or double, not a home run.

  285. I’ll say this…I think the gap between him and Zion is less than what was originally thought by many here. I was starstruck by Zion early in his college career and still would have drafted him over RJ, but disembarked from the all-time great hype train by draft time and right now I would strongly consider trading him for Ja straight up.

  286. i seriously have no idea how saying that ‘paul pierce is an upside case’ morphed into rj is going to be paul pierce… i mean i know how that happened…. but i find it pretty common how often someone makes a mountain out of a mole hill and winds up arguing something that no one was arguing….

    I feel like these djphan vs the board debates on the matter of Barrett have tinges of ruruland hearts Carmelo all over them. But in the case of ruru, we had years and years of evidence against him, and with RJ, all he has to say is “but he’s young!”. Still, I think we all know where this is eventually going, and you don’t really want to be on the ruru side of history…

    how is the clarke vs rj debate going? should we do a poll on that to see how that’s going or do we need more time on that?

    i am really not saying anything controversial…. everyone was saying that rj can’t be a good player… well you know he’s kind of an ok player right now… and now it’s that he can’t be a really really good player… well maybe if you give him more time he might show that too…

    why do i get so much pushback on this? it’s like ppl would rather not give rj the benefit of the doubt which is what these arguments boil down to…. i’m saying give him the benefit of the doubt… he’s young and he’s already improving right before your eyes… why is it super important that he’s paul pierce vs tracy mcgrady as his top end….

    i don’t get it… what exactly is it that i’m so offbase about? am i saying something so crazy about rj or something?

  287. And seriously I’ve never posted anything that ever implied that I think 20 year olds can’t improve-

    so then why is it totally out of bounds that rj can’t get to paul pierce’s level when paul pierce himself wasn’t at that level? if you’re saying it’s unlikely… i agree with you! i said that numerous times!

    is it possible? i say yes.. and i showed why… you’re saying no way… that’s obviously super false.. so why are we arguing this?

  288. Natural talent, work ethic, good developmental coaching, being levelheaded, avoiding the pitfalls of fame and money at a young age, basketball IQ, injuries, and other factors all play a part in a player’s development.

    Part of the joy of building a team via draft is watching young players add to their game and improve their existing skills over the course of a season and year to year.

    These days many players don’t peak until their late 20s and some stay fit and keep learning until their early 30s. It’s hard to know how good a young player will get.

    RJ has a LOT of good qualities going for him. I have no doubt he’s going to get a lot better as long as injuries don’t derail his development. Instead of debating his ceiling or having these game to game ups and downs, let’s just enjoy the ride. He’s going to get a lot better. He doesn’t have to become a top 5 player in the league to be an important piece on a championship team.

  289. djphan:
    i seriously have no idea how saying that ‘paul pierce is an upside case’ morphed into rj is going to be paul pierce…i mean i know how that happened…. but i find it pretty common how often someone makes a mountain out of a mole hill and winds up arguing something that no one was arguing….

    i am really not saying anything controversial…. everyone was saying that rj can’t be a good player… well you know he’s kind of an ok player right now… and now it’s that he can’t be a really really good player… well maybe if you give him more time he might show that too…

    why do i get so much pushback on this?it’s like ppl would rather not give rj the benefit of the doubt which is what these arguments boil down to….i’m saying give him the benefit of the doubt… he’s young and he’s already improving right before your eyes… why is it super important that he’s paul pierce vs tracy mcgrady as his top end….

    i don’t get it… what exactly is it that i’m so offbase about?

    I totally get your “paul pierce is an upside case” and understand how you fell with harmless things being tranformed in hot takes.
    Maybe we just need new arguments to dissect ad nauseam, to replace stale ones as Frank and Phil…

    I’m as guilty as anyone of pointing out to RJ’s weaknesses/bad plays (cold shooting nights, dumb turnovers) but I try to balance it pointing at his highlights/good plays too.

    He’s 20, most of the time he puts effort on defense (even when his shot deserts him), has good work ethic, he’s already a solid starter (not only because he plays on the Knicks).

    Could he become a star? I don’t know yet, but I haven’t lost my hopes.
    RJ with a reliable outside shot looks like a very very good player to me, easily third banana on a good team and maybe more…

  290. I don’t know why people love to argue about RJ this much. Why don’t we just wait till he has another 3000 minutes under his belt? That should be in early March. We will know more then.

    The idea that you might have passed on Zion for Ja would have seemed unbelievable to me during the draft but Zion, as I said last night, is so one dimensional it’s crazy. And it’s a lot harder to score efficiently when you can’t shoot threes and you only hit 64% from the free throw line. He also is clearly a tweener on defense.

    Still going to be a great player but perhaps not the generational player I think many thought he would be. I wiffle waffled about how good I thought his career would be and that seems to have been the appropriate stance.

  291. I’ll say again that RJ Barrett has a total of four games all season where his TS% is between .450-.600. He is nowhere near as bad as his low moments, no matter how frequent, and he’s not as good as his highs either.

    We can say definitively that RJ Barrett passes well, he rebounds well, he doesn’t foul or turn the ball over (even with the ghastly errors the past few games he’s under 2TOV a game), and he’s probably the second best defender in the rotation. The shooting doesn’t bother me much because RJ Barrett’s not supposed to be shooting 4 3s a game and his situation isn’t helped by being the 3rd best shooter in most line-ups he plays in.

    With RJ Barrett, I don’t think it takes much optimism to see a guy who by his second contract is a perennial top 30 NBA player. Not quite the MJ/Kobe level talent I saw way back in 2017, but that’s a player you don’t trade unless you’re getting back a Luka Doncic level talent. The Knicks could be really good as early as next season if we nail this next draft and all of IQ, Mitch, and RJ continue on their current trajectories.

  292. Also, regarding Ja Morant and Zion Williamson the only thing keeping those two from the Hall of Fame is neither guy is a great bet to stay healthy and explosive long term. This will probably be a freezing cold take but I think RJ Barrett, Darius Garland, and Tyler Herro will ultimately be remembered as the best players from the 2019 draft class.

  293. djphan: so then why is it totally out of bounds that rj can’t get to paul pierce’s level when paul pierce himself wasn’t at that level? if you’re saying it’s unlikely… i agree with you! i said that numerous times!

    is it possible? i say yes.. and i showed why… you’re saying no way… that’s obviously super false.. so why are we arguing this?

    As I said above, your examples didn’t show anything. Porter, Harris, Hill, Lowry, Anderson, Dragic- all guys who by the time they’d played 2000-3000 minutes were pretty much league average shooters from 2 and within a few points of their career averages. Ingram was at 95 after his second season, his career high is 102- maybe after a few years he’ll be better but right now he hasn’t made a huge jump there as of yet. I’ve looked at every current player who’s played 6 full seasons (wanted to see some kind of career arc) and unless you’re LBJ or Giannis or a dunking center you’re not adding more than 10 points to where you are in terms of career averages after your second full season’s worth of minutes. There are outlier seasons but the average stays within that 10 pt spread. And that’s true whether you start out at 19 or 22. Lots of guys never improve, some guys stay flat, and most of the improvement is around 5 points. There’s a decent handful that hit 10- maybe 15%. It’s still not a giant sample size- around 110 players. But the numbers are on my side- the kind of improvement RJ needs to make in this one area is really big.

  294. About over-hyper players,

    In his 4th year Lonzo Ball is shooting 38,7%, 28,2% from three (on 7 FG/Game!) and 58,3% FT, not a good model for Lamelo to look at…

    And to think that I’m so annoyed with Elf’s shooting…

  295. Yeah I don’t think it’s premature to call Lonzo a bust at this point.

    But fuck the Pelicans, it still pisses me off that Mr Lottery Luck David Griffin got the first pick.

  296. There are outlier seasons but the average stays within that 10 pt spread.

    nicos… what do you think i’m saying? do you actually think i said that rj was going to be the next paul pierce?

    no? then why are you looking at averages? i already said it was unlikely at the very onset… so what point do you want to make and what does this work youre doing supposed to show?

  297. A little surprised at the pushback djphan is getting for essentially saying the range of outcomes for Barrett is still pretty wide. Paul Pierce will always sound like an irrationally optimistic comparison for just about any prospect, but as a 100th percentile outcome I don’t think it’s insane. Not a lot of guys reach their 100th percentile outcome!

  298. But fuck the Pelicans, it still pisses me off that Mr Lottery Luck David Griffin got the first pick.

    Imagine Zion getting buried behind Taj Gibson and Bobby P last year, which is exactly what would have happened.

  299. I’ll say this…I think the gap between him and Zion is less than what was originally thought by many here. I was starstruck by Zion early in his college career and still would have drafted him over RJ, but disembarked from the all-time great hype train by draft time and right now I would strongly consider trading him for Ja straight up.

    Sorry, who is the “him” in the beginning of this passage? RJ? The gap between Zion and RJ? Huh?

    See, if you pick Morant over Zion at this point, that’s fair. Zion is one of the most dominant post scorers I’ve seen with my own two eyes — he is outrageously good around the rim. But this is the 3PT era, Zion can’t score from outside, and Morant looks to be an excellent distance shooter moving forward. Lillard is IMO below Morant’s ceiling, and Lillard is an elite modern PG, maybe the best PG in the game last season. That’s how good Morant is and can be, to my mind.

    If you are saying that the gap between Zion and RJ isn’t that big, you are way too deep into the Clorox.

  300. djphan: nicos… what do you think i’m saying? do you actually think i said that rj was going to be the next paul pierce?

    no? then why are you looking at averages? i already said it was unlikely at the very onset… so what point do you want to make and what does this work youre doing supposed to show?

    Just wanted to prove my point- I said the kind of leap RJ would need to match Pierce’s rookie year 2 pt % (which you brought up as proof that RJ was better than Pierce at 19) was unlikely to happen by next year. And you somehow took that to mean I was saying 20 year olds never improve. So I went and spent two hours looking at vets stats and I was, in fact correct- that kind of improvement (at least in a sustainable way) is really rare. But anything’s possible. Or he might start shooting threes or getting to the line enough that it doesn’t matter anyway. We’re in agreement that there are lots of outcomes still possible- I just think that his scoring has been bad enough to be concerning despite his age.

  301. thenoblefacehumper:
    A little surprised at the pushback djphan is getting for essentially saying the range of outcomes for Barrett is still pretty wide. Paul Pierce will always sound like an irrationally optimistic comparison for just about any prospect, but as a 100th percentile outcome I don’t think it’s insane. Not a lot of guys reach their 100th percentile outcome!

    Paul Pierce’s adjusted TS was never below league average until the embarrassing end in L.A. He comes in at 105 as 21 year old rookie and for his career was 107. Yes RJ is only 20 but he’s sitting at 84 right now. He’d have to add 90 pts of TS just to get to league average. Nothing in RJ’s profile suggests an outcome like Pierce- absolutely nothing. Similar rebound/assist numbers maybe, but scoring, zip. It’s a pointless comparison- Paul Pierce without the scoring efficiency isn’t Paul Pierce.

  302. Guys, arguing about RJ and Frank doesn’t need to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path

    can’t believe Biden just said that in the inaugural speech but much respect for taking on polarizing subjects

  303. Just wanted to prove my point- I said the kind of leap RJ would need to match Pierce’s rookie year 2 pt % (which you brought up as proof that RJ was better than Pierce at 19) was unlikely to happen by next year.

    so you wanted to prove your point and not responding to me?

    Nothing in RJ’s profile suggests an outcome like Pierce- absolutely nothing.

    and you went from unlikely to absolutely nothing… which is it?

  304. Specifically, NBA Central was aggregating ScoopB’s tweet on the subject:

    @ScoopB
    Without shirking the historic nature of this morning: I’ve heard a few teams have inquired about & are interested in the availability of New Orleans Pelicans guard, Lonzo Ball.

    Teams interested include: Knicks, Raptors, Mavericks, Clippers, Magic

    If Lonzo’s shooting is his shooting, how much of an upgrade is he over our current point guard situation? And what would you be willing to trade for him, given his contract status?

  305. This Biden inauguration feels like when Mike Miller replaced Fizdale. It is immediately noticeable how huge an upgrade someone who isn’t even that special provides over what we’d had.

  306. Hubert:
    This Biden inauguration feels like when Mike Miller replaced Fizdale. It is immediatelynoticeable how huge an upgrade someone who isn’t even that special provides over what we’d had.

    +1000

    This actually is a damn good analogy.

    And I hope it follows suit in that it leads to a better leader after Biden’s term is up.

  307. Alan:
    Specifically, NBA Central was aggregating ScoopB’s tweet on the subject:

    If Lonzo’s shooting is his shooting, how much of an upgrade is he over our current point guard situation? And what would you be willing to trade for him, given his contract status?

    If his shooting is his shooting from last year, probably a substantial upgrade over Payton in terms of fit. I’m not really sure what’d I’d be willing give up, though.

  308. Mike Honcho:
    NBA Central on Twitter is saying we have interest in Lonzo.

    I somewhat gave my take on him a few lines above, but to add details,
    he’s going to be a RFA and I think he’ll search an offer in the 12-15 Mil/year,
    way too much for my taste.

    He can’t shoot, never been on a winning team (LBJ has two losing season, one as a rookie, the other playing with Lonzo) and it’s very suspicious that the Pelicans denied him an extension to complement Zion and Ingram.

    I’ll say no as a free agent, you could convince me to take him in exchange for Payton and DSJ if NO wants to trade him.

    As a RFA I’ll cover offer up to 8-10 MIL/Year, over that he can go wherever he wants…

  309. If the Pelicans denied him an extension I’d just wait and see if he goes on the market, then. If it’s going to take a half-way significant asset to get the deal done I probably wouldn’t pull the trigger.

  310. I’ll say no as a free agent, you could convince me to take him in exchange for Payton and DSJ if NO wants to trade him.

    Maybe? If they think Quickley is a small 2, a big 1 would be a pretty good fit, I guess. Lonzo is probably a better defender than Payton, but a worse passer by the numbers. You’d have to think he could learn to hit his FTs, for one, and be interested in keeping him around. Doesn’t seem worthwhile, more just shuffling chairs.

    I’d maybe do DSj and Frank if they really want to kick the tires? It wouldn’t piss me off.

  311. djphan: so you wanted to prove your point and not responding to me?

    and you went from unlikely to absolutely nothing… which is it?

    I said it was unlikely he gets to Pierce’s 2 pt.fg%. And I don’t think he has a chance of matching Pierce’s scoring efficiency. Pierce’s 21 year old rookie season adjusted #’s.
    fg% 100, 2pt% 99, 3pt 122, efg 108, ft 98, TS 106, ftr 91, 3Par, 187.
    Rj – I’ll use his rookie numbers for everything except 2pt fg% because everything else is worse this year mostly due to the three point shooting.
    fg% 87, 2pt% 88, 3pt 89, efg 84, ft 99, TS 85, ftr 134, 3Par 71.
    Besides FTr (RJ’s has dropped this year to 124, in year two Pierce is at 133 and remains great at drawing fouls his entire career) and ftr he’s lightyears away from Pierce. No normal progression gets him to Pierce’s numbers- it’s a fantasy. Pierce without his best attribute- scoring efficiency isn’t Paul Pierce.

  312. #I don’t know why people love to argue about RJ this much.

    Because Frank is hurt? :-)#

    Best post by far!
    The Truth!

  313. joe Biden is the Mike Miller of presidents. This analogy has me smiling and laughing so hard. Could not have said it better myself.

    There are so many problems we face and the far right extremists are not going away. But for one day it feels damn good to be able to breathe a little easier.

    I also have been thinking that Biden may not be the guy we want but maybe he’s the right guy for the job right now. Its been a minute since we’ve had a former senator and VP as president (Obama doesn’t really count as he was a senator for less than 2 years before he ran for president). To have someone who was in the senate for 30 plus years and VP very recently for 8 years running the show. I think a basic level of competency can be expected. I also do genuinely feel like Biden is a decent guy. And he’s old enough, moderate enough and white enough to not scare off the people on the right (with exception of the far right, who are a lost cause).

    Also, if he really is just going to be a one term president, he can say “fuck it” on a lot of things. I think Trump’s awful presidency, especially the way it ended, as well as the pandemic, have given him and The Dems a real opportunity to pass some stuff and make some long overdue changes that they maybe wouldn’t have had the will or desire to do under normal times. Hopefully Trump is a wake up call. And having the 50/50 split means they will have to be either completely unified or work with some reasonable Republicans (there are still a few) to get some things done.

    I guess I would say I’m skeptically optimistic that the last 4 years weren’t the beginning of something but rather the end of something. I know the extremists aren’t going away. I’m not naive. But people are now aware of them and maybe that means everyone else will chill out a bit and work together where the can.

  314. I was admittedly curious about Lonzo before the season started when it seemed possible that he may have been on the trading block (post-Jrue trade, pre-George Hill trade). But a dude who’s injury-prone, can’t shoot, can’t get to the line nor shoot at it when he gets there…I don’t see how he fits with us at all

  315. Tommy Beer
    @TommyBeer

    RJ Barrett is one of just seven players with more than 200 drives to the basket this season.
    The other six are Luka, Dame Lillard, SGA, DeRozan, De’Aron Fox & Trae Young.
    Once the Knicks round out the roster with better shooters who can space the floor, that number should rise.

    Most points scored in the restricted area this season among guards:

    1. RJ Barrett (120 points)
    2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (98)
    2. Zach LaVine (98)
    4. Dame Lillard (96)
    5. Ben Simmons (92)

  316. ***This Biden inauguration feels like when Mike Miller replaced Fizdale. It is immediately noticeable how huge an upgrade someone who isn’t even that special provides over what we’d had.***

    The best. Well done, Hubert.

  317. very long thread can someone tell me if we reached a consensus on whether or not RJ is Paul Pierce?

  318. He is not.

    But Potus and our new most divisive prospect have the same three initials.

    Coincidence?

  319. DRed:
    very long thread can someone tell me if we reached a consensus on whether or not RJ is Paul Pierce?

    He is. And Mitch is the next Hakeem, Quickley is the next Isiah, and Obi is the next LeBron.

  320. Owen:
    What did Biden say about RJ?

    Is he a believer?

    He’s waiting for China to tell the NBA what to say and for that to be communicated to him via Hollywood right after Jeremy Lin gets an NBA gig again. :-)

  321. Hubert:
    This Biden inauguration feels like when Mike Miller replaced Fizdale. It is immediatelynoticeable how huge an upgrade someone who isn’t even that special provides over what we’d had.

    I disagree. I think Biden actually is that special.

  322. DRed:
    very long thread can someone tell me if we reached a consensus on whether or not RJ is Paul Pierce?

    Last post I promise- one number. Pierce’s career adjusted TS in today’s numbers would be .600. Unless you think RJ’s going to become a lights out volume three point shooter there’s no real path of getting there.

  323. DRed: DRed
    January 20, 2021 at 2:09 pm
    very long thread can someone tell me if we reached a consensus on whether or not RJ is Paul Pierce?

    RJ is Paul Pierce but not yet but also will be and also might not be

  324. Owen:
    He is not.

    But Potus and our new most divisive prospect have the same three initials.

    Coincidence?

    What does Qanon say? Conspiracy! You can’t spell JRB without RJB.
    :-)

  325. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Sorry, who is the “him” in the beginning of this passage? RJ? The gap between Zion and RJ? Huh?

    See, if you pick Morant over Zion at this point, that’s fair. Zion is one of the most dominant post scorers I’ve seen with my own two eyes — he is outrageously good around the rim. But this is the 3PT era, Zion can’t score from outside, and Morant looks to be an excellent distance shooter moving forward. Lillard is IMO below Morant’s ceiling, and Lillard is an elite modern PG, maybe the best PG in the game last season. That’s how good Morant is and can be, to my mind.

    If you are saying that the gap between Zion and RJ isn’t that big, you are way too deep into the Clorox.

    RJ:Pierce::Zion:LeBron

  326. I’ll offer a mea culpa- I’ve become the guy I complained about a few threads ago so I won’t post anything about RJ until his next bad game!

  327. I was admittedly curious about Lonzo before the season started when it seemed possible that he may have been on the trading block (post-Jrue trade, pre-George Hill trade). But a dude who’s injury-prone, can’t shoot, can’t get to the line nor shoot at it when he gets there…I don’t see how he fits with us at all

    Igno-Bot pretty much said exactly how i feel about lonzo…yeah, no thanks…

  328. If a real news outlet would just do a story on the Lonzo Ball rumors, I’ll gladly start a new thread.

  329. very long thread can someone tell me if we reached a consensus on whether or not RJ is Paul Pierce?

    RJ faintly resembles Paul Pierce in shape and style (from a distance, with a squint) so the conversation will never really go away, But he is not Paul Pierce.

  330. this is the most insufferable conversation i’ve had .. it’s like talking to qanon theorists….

    guys… it’s not really fair to continually be misinterprted on something i’ve stopped and clarified multiple times… if you value being fair to people try and listen… please…

  331. If RJ really wants to be the next Paul Pierce, he’s going to have learn to go down with what looks like a career ending injury, get taken off in a wheelchair, and return to score a bunch of 4th quarter points.

    Dude should have played in the Serie A soccer league.

  332. For some reason, I never knew Barrett was so relatively short. He has always looked taller than 6 foot 6 out there to me.

  333. it’s not really fair to continually be misinterprted on something i’ve stopped and clarified multiple times…

    Don’t you find it weird that a lot of people on this board appear, to you, to be misinterpreting you, despite your attempts to clarify?

  334. If this means we can trade RJ to the Nets for eighty thousand picks once he hits his early thirties, I’m pretty down with that.

    (Guys, djphan pretty obviously floated Pierce as a best-case outcome and said as much multiple times. He’s pretty clearly not saying RJ is fated to become Pierce or that he’s a lock to be anywhere near that good.)

  335. well, that didn’t work out: queue andy from parks and recreation commenting on passive aggressive behavior…

    which, is actually a quite effect technique for reconciling online disputes…

  336. For some reason, I never knew Barrett was so relatively short. He has always looked taller than 6 foot 6 out there to me.

    Kinda shocked by this tbh.

  337. Don’t you find it weird that a lot of people on this board appear, to you, to be misinterpreting you, despite your attempts to clarify?

    it’s pretty weird yes… especially when there were a few people who understood me perfectly fine….

    i seriously have no idea how saying that ‘paul pierce is an upside case’ morphed into rj is going to be paul pierce… i mean i know how that happened…. but i find it pretty common how often someone makes a mountain out of a mole hill and winds up arguing something that no one was arguing….

    is it really my fault when i then get comments like this?

    RJ faintly resembles Paul Pierce in shape and style (from a distance, with a squint) so the conversation will never really go away, But he is not Paul Pierce.

    i don’t find it surprising how people misterpret because they go with their first emotional reaction… paul pierce =/= rj because i hate guys who play like rj and i love paul pierce…. once that happens anything anyone else says is irrelevant… and i have people spending phd energy refuting anything resembling a similarity between pierce and rj and another guy who keeps wanting to make it an rj = pierce fight…. all because of one relatively harmless comment….

    how is that not weird? and why would that be my fault that people behave that way?

    there’s so much better use of oxygen… this is a stupid conversation that i’m forced to be in or else i have to constantly defend a position i never made ad infinitem… it just sucks…

  338. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Don’t you find it weird that a lot of people on this board appear, to you, to be misinterpreting you, despite your attempts to clarify?

    self-awareness is elusive for those who aren’t self-aware enough to embrace it

  339. RJ, Burks, and Bullock are all 6’6″.

    Just to complete our inane comparisons, Pierce is 6’7″.

    Pierce did outweigh all of them by 20-30 lbs.

  340. I worship God with my horn

    i tend to worship with chocolate chip cookies, weed and video games…we all can worship in our different ways…

  341. Z:
    Mike Woodson played with David Wood for a season in Houston. Maybe a reporter for KB could reach out to him for comment?

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/former-nba-player-turned-conspiracy-theorist-stages-oneman-pro-trump-protest-amid-inaugural-security-prepared-for-thousands-183053944.html

    I remember him playing in Italy for a bunch of games, his team went to the italians Finals that year.

    He wasn’t too popular for his political views at the time, the Wall was still up (albeit for a few months) and he played in a notoriuos “red” town.

    Maybe he didn’t know that “colors work in reverse” outside the US… :-)

  342. RJ, Burks, and Bullock are all 6’6?.

    Yeah, it’s so weird, as RJ looks taller than those other guys to me. It’s fascinating. It’s obviously just a matter of perspective that I’ve just been missing over his two years here.

  343. self-awareness is elusive for those who aren’t self-aware enough to embrace it

    why do you have such a hardon for me? it’s just incessant with you…. i frankly feel pretty uncomfortable about some dude on the internet thinking about me this much…..

  344. Pierce’s age-21 season: 17.4 PTS/36, 6.8 TRB/36, 2.5 AST/36, .451 2PT%, .412 3PT%, .713 FT% .540 TS%

    Does that seem completely and totally out of bounds for RJ next season, such that it’s ridiculous to even suggest Pierce as a 100th percentile outcome? Seeing as how his basically doing all of it aside form the 3PT% right now, not to me (it’s worth noting that was virtually Pierce’s career high in 3PT% and his career figure was .368, so that’s what RJ would need to hit in order to match him there).

    Of course, even if RJ matches it next season it’s still lightyears away from likely he goes on to match Pierce’s career. It just means the trajectories aren’t so dissimilar that you can rule it out as a best-case scenario.

  345. Brian Cronin: Yeah, it’s so weird, as RJ looks taller than those other guys to me. It’s fascinating. It’s obviously just a matter of perspective that I’ve just been missing over his two years here.

    I still can’t believe Toppin is listed as 6’9 and Randle at 6’8…

  346. Does that seem completely and totally out of bounds for RJ next season, such that it’s ridiculous to even suggest Pierce as a 100th percentile outcome?

    Are we talking about a raw comparison or a league-adjusted one? If RJ ends up a guy who shoots 107 TS%+ (Pierce’s career figure) and also takes 19,465 FGA and 8,578 FTA, he will be a hall-of-famer. If RJ ends up a guy who shoots .530 TS% (also Pierce’s career figure) with that same volume, he will help his franchise lose hundreds of games more than it wins.

  347. I still can’t believe Toppin is listed as 6’9 and Randle at 6’8…

    The weirdest, of course, was when Phil Jackson claimed that THJ was actually 6’8, despite obviously not being 6’8 and not even being listed at 6’8.

    But yes, that is also surprising about Toppin and Randle.

  348. guys this is stupid… we’ll have much more fun talking about rj barrett being the next tracy mcgrady….. that is a much more unifying topic apparently…..

    just drop the pierce talk…. forget i said it!

  349. i tend to worship with chocolate chip cookies, weed and video games…we all can worship in our different ways…

    It’s got to be a chocolate jesus

  350. Don’t you find it weird that a lot of people on this board appear, to you, to be misinterpreting you, despite your attempts to clarify?

    there’s a bit of selection bias at play there. A lot of people understand what he’s saying perfectly well, and because they do, they’re not engaging him. All he’s done is say there are still a wide range of realistic outcomes for RJ Barrett, and the upper end of those possibilities is an elite player. Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    All the people who are engaging are the ones who are misinterpreting him, and reading each other’s misinterpretations of him. So while maybe it seems like no one gets what he’s saying, it’s really just none of the people who are arguing with him that get what he’s saying.

    At some point, though, djphan, you have to trust that you’ve made your point.

  351. Are we talking about a raw comparison or a league-adjusted one? If RJ ends up a guy who shoots 107 TS%+ (Pierce’s career figure) and also takes 19,465 FGA and 8,578 FTA, he will be a hall-of-famer. If RJ ends up a guy who shoots .530 TS% (also Pierce’s career figure) with that same volume, he will help his franchise lose hundreds of games more than it wins.

    Pierce’s career TS% was .568, the league average for his career was .530. For RJ to get to a 107 TS+, assuming the league average TS% stays stable around .565, he’d need a .600 TS%

    In the context of a 100th percentile outcome I wouldn’t rule that out. You’re banking on him becoming a good 3-point shooter and continuing to improve in other areas.

    I agree we should drop it though because there seems to be a disconnect in how people are interpreting the likelihood of a best-case scenario. I’m not even a huge Barrett optimist! I just think we’re still looking at a wide range of possible outcomes and it’s not insane to suggest the absolute best one looks something like Pierce.

  352. djphan: why do you have such a hardon for me?it’s just incessant with you…. i frankly feel pretty uncomfortable about some dude on the internet thinking about me this much…..

    I remember when Z-Man used to make me feel this way. Now he hardly pays attention to me and only sends “you up?” messages when he’s drunk. It goes by so fast.

  353. I don’t even think many of us are misinterpreting djphan. His comments just led to an energetic discussion about whether RJ COULD become Pierce. Perfectly acceptable to take the conversation there, and it’s no slap at (or misinterpretation of) djphan to do so.

  354. 100% Percentile/Best Case Scenario for Quickley?

    Lou Williams? Jason Terry? Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf? Terry Porter?

    (Jamaal Crawford is two inches taller)

  355. ***I remember when Z-Man used to make me feel this way. Now he hardly pays attention to me and only sends “you up?” messages when he’s drunk. It goes by so fast.***

    Hubert in top form today, keep it up

  356. At some point, though, djphan, you have to trust that you’ve made your point.

    i appreciate that… but i let this go awhile ago and this is the result … if you don’t want anymore more of these smooth brain intellectual conversations about these narrow outcomes then something needed to be said…..

  357. And in fact, I learned something today (which is one of the reasons I love this site). I went from it’s utterly implausible that RJ could become Pierce to it’s extremely unlikely.

    So djphan, you should be proud…

  358. @IanBegley
    Alec Burks is probable for tomorrow vs GSW, Knicks say. Frank Ntilikina and Austin Rivers are doubtful, team says.

    We could definitely use Burks’ shooting and playmaking, and Rivers being doubtful spares Thibs from having to make a larger rotation decision just yet.

  359. Without getting into the nature of my dispute with Hubert, a) I was WAAAAY more antagonistic with you and b) once I got the feeling that the board had had enough, I let it go. I also recall Hubert issuing some kind of contrite words at some point. Now it’s all good, save a typical dig here and there. KB is a place where you need to have a thick skin, especially when you make controversial statements or go out on a limb with predictions. see: strat, who gets mercilessly bashed and lets it roll off of of his back.

  360. I’m not misinterpreting DJphan, I just disagree with him- I think where you are after 2500 minutes played (RJ’s not quite there) says a lot about the player you wind up becoming no matter what age you come into the league- you’ll still improve but the ceiling does get lower. I made an extremely long winded argument (for which I really do apologize) about 2 pt fg % to make that case but could have done so with BPM as well. If that makes me QAnon, whatever.

  361. Having pet Knicks is a big part of what we do here…

    djphan has his RJ
    Strat has his Frank
    ruru had his Melo
    owen had his D Lee
    Z-Man had his Baker
    Mike K had his Sweetney
    jon abbey had his Balkman
    Reub had his Wroten
    I had my Fields

  362. Alan: We could definitely use Burks’ shooting and playmaking, and Rivers being doubtful spares Thibs from having to make a larger rotation decision just yet.

    I’m curious to watch Thibs’ rotations when (if) all are available at the same time.
    With DSJ already relegated to garbage time, who’ll be the odd men out?

  363. Yea the people acting annoyed at djphan are being kind of ridiculous – he pretty clearly stated the Pierce comp as being a super high upside case (while listing other comps for 20, 50, 80, etc percentile outcomes).

    Comparing that to Ruru’s behavior is pretty uncalled for given that the fact that RJ is a 20 y/o 2nd year player really does make it an open question as to what he can or might be! The range should still be fairly wide (I appreciate Nicos attempts to try and figure out how wide!) – versus Ruru incessantly, season after season, coming up with new theories as to why Carmelo’s full potential would finally be unlocked in his 8th, 9th, 10th years.

    Zman definitely coming off petty here…

  364. thenoblefacehumper: In the context of a 100th percentile outcome I wouldn’t rule that out. You’re banking on him becoming a good 3-point shooter and continuing to improve in other areas.

    But you’d be the first one to bristle at someone bringing up the 100th percentile outcome for Frank or Knox. Generally speaking, any such talk in the KB forum is considered a hot take and roundly scoffed at. You’ve scoffed at such suggestions a billion times. AND THAT”S OK!! It’s part of what makes this forum fun.

  365. TopOaf:
    Yea the people acting annoyed at djphan are being kind of ridiculous – he pretty clearly stated the Pierce comp as being a super high upside case (while listing other comps for 20, 50, 80, etc percentile outcomes).

    Comparing that to Ruru’s behavior is pretty uncalled for given that the fact that RJ is a 20 y/o 2nd year player really does make it an open question as to what he can or might be! The range should still be fairly wide (I appreciate Nicos attempts to try and figure out how wide!) – versus Ruru incessantly, season after season, coming up with new theories as to why Carmelo’s full potential would finally be unlocked in his 8th, 9th, 10th years.

    Zman definitely coming off petty here…

    Where were you when djphan buried Quickley’s career before he played an NBA minute?

  366. I like this kind of sports bar arguments, as long as it doesn’t become a war of religion.

    It amuse me when people throw in names that I could’ve forgot or neglected, or make me view things from a different perspective… it’s fun even if I disagree with other people assessments.

    Now I’ll start thinking at 100% Percentile/Best Case Scenario for Frank and Knox, I can’t get one quick… :-)

  367. djphan: guys… it’s not really fair to continually be misinterprted on something i’ve stopped and clarified multiple times… if you value being fair to people try and listen… please…

    Welcome to my world. :-) It’s not easy being a minority opinion sometimes.

    For what it’s worth, I understand you. We don’t always agree, but that’s fine. Projecting player development is not exactly science. I enjoy your commentary. Please don’t stop.

  368. Strat has his Frank

    Don’t tell Frank, but I’ve been having a fling with IQ ever since Thibs said he was one of the best shooters in the league and I watched him play for literally 5 minutes and could already tell he was way more skilled than just being a shooter and we might have made a “score” in the draft.

  369. When Knox was a rookie i thought that the best case scenario for him was becoming the next Scottie Pippen. After his recent 3p hot streak i see him as the next KDurant!

  370. holy shit this board has now walked itself down the semiotic plank of technical truths right into the sea of complete bullshit. djphan there is a difference between a stochastic series of literally true statements (rj might with some probability turn out to be a small bird) separated by jolting punctuation and, say, a conversation. people like tnfh who actually try to read the half translated instructions accompanying their $14.99 side tables with attached magazine rack and mp3 charger may seem to grok your godelian consistency, but that’s not a compliment. these are semantic gold diggers. they will find meaning in your teeth if you open wide enough. but there is a reason so few ikea authors turn out to be poets.

    you once thought that someone with a high opinion of rj should reasonably expect him to be a solid starter from the get. now you accurately point out that it is quite possible for good players to be quite shitty when young. during the preseason you were providing near daily updates on the generally favorable undulations in his two point shooting percentage. almost immediately thereafter, with reason securely on your side, you chided the hoi polloi not to panic over small samples when they worried about rj’s crappy two point shooting to start the year.

    if you are just here to say what you think at any given moment and crossing guard-correct those who seem to stray from a near axiomatic truth (rj is at least 1 in a googol to win a gold medal in slalom) then don’t let me stop you. but if you want to actually communicate, show your ass a little. “hey, i thought rj would probably be good right away, but i still have hope bc look at these motherfuckers…” is also a way to say literally true things. and telling people not to panic about knicks basketball is just the worst possible karma and 150 proof that you are under 35. panic. always panic.

  371. @Z-man,

    Is that non-sequitur supposed to show that you’re not being petty (or letting your personal dislike of djphan color your response to the content of his posts in this thread)?

    I’m not sure, probably working I suppose. Is “the day djphan was not on board with the IQ pick” supposed to fall in the 9/11, moon landing, assassination of JFK category where everyone who was alive at the time should remember where they were? Is there a point you are trying to make?

  372. TopOaf:
    @Z-man,

    Is that non-sequitur supposed to show that you’re not being petty (or letting your personal dislike of djphan color your response to the content of his posts in this thread)?

    I’m not sure, probably working I suppose. Is “the day djphan was not on board with the IQ pick” supposed to fall in the 9/11, moon landing, assassination of JFK category where everyone who was alive at the time should remember where they were? Is there a point you are trying to make?

    I’ve been around here since Jowles’ bar mitzvah and most people know my schtick by now. If you want to join team anti-Z-man, there’s a waiting list. For now, go fuck yourself.

  373. I’m not misinterpreting DJphan, I just disagree with him- I think where you are after 2500 minutes played (RJ’s not quite there) says a lot about the player you wind up becoming no matter what age you come into the league- you’ll still improve but the ceiling does get lower.

    nicos… i appreciate the work you did…. that’s the type of engagement i like… but i really do think you did not get what i have been saying…. so if you can do me a solid and reread what i wrote and just drop it until rj goes 0 for 11 and you can rub it in my face then i would love that….

  374. Lmaooo huff and puff and stick that chest out, nice to see that a bit of mild criticism gets you that steamed and places me on “team anti-Z-man”.

    Definitely looking good in this exchange

  375. Donnie Walsh:
    Having pet Knicks is a big part of what we do here…

    djphan has his RJ
    Strat has his Frank
    ruru had his Melo
    owen had his D Lee
    Z-Man had his Baker
    Mike K had his Sweetney
    jon abbey had his Balkman
    Reub had his Wroten
    I had my Fields

    I think Owen wins this battle royale.

    My pet Knick predates this forum, and my screen name is dedicated to him. Yes, I’m talking about the man whose career 3P% matched the #44 on his jersey… the man who would have won Patrick Ewing a title if he’d played more than 4 minutes in game 7 in Houston…. Carolina legend Hubert Davis.

    (Seriously, that dude shot 44.1% on threes for his career. Born in the wrong era.)

  376. djphan:
    yo z… what were you saying about self awareness… something or other?i missed that….

    Well, there’s a 100th percentile chance I’ll be someone great, so I’m holding out hope for that…

  377. Donnie Walsh:
    Having pet Knicks is a big part of what we do here…

    djphan has his RJ
    Strat has his Frank
    ruru had his Melo
    owen had his D Lee
    Z-Man had his Baker
    Mike K had his Sweetney
    jon abbey had his Balkman
    Reub had his Wroten
    I had my Fields

    Baker will be back. He’ll be back and he’ll be millions…

  378. Hubert: I think Owen wins this battle royale.

    My pet Knick predates this forum, and my screen name is dedicated to him.Yes, I’m talking about the man whose career 3P% matched the #44 on his jersey… the man who would have won Patrick Ewing a title if he’d played more than 4 minutes in game 7 in Houston…. Carolina legend Hubert Davis.

    (Seriously, that dude shot 44.1% on threes for his career. Born in the wrong era.)

    You made my heart bleed Hubert :-)

    I love him so much when he came out of UNC…

    and he was the nephew of Walter “The Greyhound” Davis (great nickname), that pre-cocaine was a great player too…

    P.S. Actually, Walter Davis winning ROY is the first NBA article I ever read.

  379. djphan: nicos… i appreciate the work you did…. that’s the type of engagement i like… but i really do think you did not get what i have been saying….so if you can do me a solid and reread what i wrote and just drop it until rj goes 0 for 11 and you can rub it in my face then i would love that….

    Thanks- I don’t want to rub anything in anyone’s face- I want RJ to be good! And I do think he can be good. So let’s just let the good karma flow. Arguing about whether someone can be as good as Pierce is a very good thing in the Knicks universe- something that we couldn’t do with some previous draft picks who shall remain nameless!

  380. Max: You made my heart bleed Hubert :-)
    and he was the nephew of Walter “The Greyhound” Davis (great nickname), that pre-cocaine was a great player too…

    growing up in Phoenix…i saw alot of Sweet D…one of the top jumpshots of all time..

  381. When I hear the word semiotics I know PT has entered the room.

    The one thing I have to say about our least favorite Boston Argentinian Striker is that he did at one point have about 37 bullets pass through his body and then later won an NBA title. I hate him and the Celtics but I always thought that was a little.cool.

  382. Grocer
    January 20, 2021 at 1:27 pm
    I’ll say no as a free agent, you could convince me to take him in exchange for Payton and DSJ if NO wants to trade him.
    Maybe? If they think Quickley is a small 2, a big 1 would be a pretty good fit, I guess. Lonzo is probably a better defender than Payton, but a worse passer by the numbers. You’d have to think he could learn to hit his FTs, for one, and be interested in keeping him around. Doesn’t seem worthwhile, more just shuffling chairs.

    I’d maybe do DSj and Frank if they really want to kick the tires? It wouldn’t piss me off.

    The Ringer article actually makes him sound like Frank but with worse three point shooting— meanders on the perimeter, doesn’t drive, big guard who’s a good defender. Why would we trade Frank for him?

  383. TopOaf:
    Lmaooo huff and puff and stick that chest out, nice to see that a bit of mild criticism gets you that steamed and places me on “team anti-Z-man”.

    Definitely looking good in this exchange

    Ooooooh, sarcasm…..how formidable!

  384. Just keep digging, Z-mad

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you think responding to sarcasm with sarcasm is clever or something, but note that I also non-sarcastically laughed at you for getting so angry so quickly that you tried to pull rank on knickerblogger (lol)

  385. people like tnfh who actually try to read the half translated instructions accompanying their $14.99 side tables with attached magazine rack and mp3 charger may seem to grok your godelian consistency, but that’s not a compliment.

    I lol’d, but honestly I really didn’t feel like I had to rack my brain to understand what djphan was saying. Based on RJ’s career to this point, you can’t rule out a Pierce like career. I dunno, seemed like a simple enough point and when I looked at the numbers I didn’t find it objectionable.

    But you’d be the first one to bristle at someone bringing up the 100th percentile outcome for Frank or Knox.

    If the Frankophiles made clear that some of their projections/comparisons reflected a best-case scenario, and provided other projections/comparisons from across the range of outcomes, I’d have no issue with that.

    I’ve taken issue with people who insist that Frank’s ascent is an inevitability that only those who Understand Winning Basketball can foresee.

  386. The Ringer article actually makes him sound like Frank but with worse three point shooting— meanders on the perimeter, doesn’t drive, big guard who’s a good defender. Why would we trade Frank for him?

    Here is a good example of a Frank-based post that does in fact make me bristle.

  387. thenoblefacehumper: If the Frankophiles made clear that some of their projections/comparisons reflected a best-case scenario, and provided other projections/comparisons from across the range of outcomes, I’d have no issue with that.

    I’ve taken issue with people who insist that Frank’s ascent is an inevitability that only those who Understand Winning Basketball can foresee.

    Pretty much the response I expected.

  388. TopOaf:
    Just keep digging, Z-mad

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you think responding to sarcasm with sarcasm is clever or something, but note that I also non-sarcastically laughed at you for getting so angry so quickly that you tried to pull rank on knickerblogger (lol)

    The funny part is that you actually think I’m angry. Go fuck yourself is a term of endearment around here, newbie…but stick around, you’ll learn.

  389. Shams:

    Detroit Pistons rookie Killian Hayes will rest and rehab his right hip injury and be re-evaluated in eight weeks.

    Tough go for the kid, especially if the ping-pong balls bounce in a way that puts Cade in a Pistons uniform next season.

  390. pepper: Mindaugas Kusminksas

    For those of you as invested in their love story as I was I have bad news- From his Wikipedia page: “In 2017, after 6 years of dating, he married Lithuanian ballet dancer Egl? Andreikait?. The couple announced their separation in 2019.” I thought it would last forever!

  391. In other news:

    NY_KnicksPR
    @NY_KnicksPR
    ·
    1h
    Injury Report 1/21 at Golden State: Probable – Alec Burks (sprained left ankle); Doubtful – Frank Ntilikina (sprained right knee) and Austin Rivers (sore right Achilles).

  392. Arguing about whether someone can be as good as Pierce is a very good thing in the Knicks universe- something that we couldn’t do with some previous draft picks who shall remain nameless!

    That’s because the better comp was Pippen, obviously

  393. nicos: For those of you as invested in their love story as I was I have bad news- From his Wikipedia page: “In 2017, after 6 years of dating, he married Lithuanian ballet dancer Egl? Andreikait?. The couple announced their separation in 2019.” I thought it would last forever!

    I always thought their ceiling was much longer as well like George and Barbara Bush given the stats in that first few months after the marriage was consumated…but just goes to show you how much noise is in the early stages of the journey…

  394. It kind of works that Burks will slide into Rivers’ rotation spot. Sounds like Frank is getting closer. Will be interesting to see how Thibs handles minutes going forward.

  395. I’m sure some of you will know this but I didn’t till just now.
    Which Knick pitched a shutout in MLB?

  396. And by the way, I wish everyone a very sincere Happy Trump is Finally no Longer President Day! We made it and can all exhale now.

  397. Z-man:
    I’m guessing Dave DeBuscherre?

    Yep.
    Too easy I guess for the likes of you knowledgeable lot. But I had no clue. Impressive accomplishment.

  398. Ward and Beverley, tenacious defenders with some on-off ability to shoot the three…
    I think we are in the park…
    what about Doug Christie?

  399. i have a tough time when comparing/projecting players to separate their physical appearance and athletic strengths with their style of play…

    RJ’s main strengths seem to be his strength and his poise/personality…i think the demar derozan comp is about the closest…

    it seemed pretty obvious last year that he has the potential to be a team leader both in terms of his play and personality…he seems to have a solid all around game, he can’t shoot – but, he can get to the rim…

  400. Unreason: Yep.
    Too easy I guess for the likes of you knowledgeable lot. But I had no clue. Impressive accomplishment.

    One of my favorite Knicks of that era. I believe before coming to the Knicks, he was also a player-coach with the Pistons. (I’m sure Z-Man enjoyed DD’s epic battles with Gus Johnson of the then Washington Bullets, as much as I did).

  401. Max:
    Ward and Beverley, tenacious defenders with some on-off ability to shoot the three…
    I think we are in the park…
    what about Doug Christie?

    If Frank chugs some steroids, maybe he will morph into a Marcus Smart wannabe. He’d need the roid rage to meet that standard.

  402. Unreason: Yep.
    Too easy I guess for the likes of you knowledgeable lot. But I had no clue. Impressive accomplishment.

    He was also a player-coach for the Pistons at age 25. It was different being an NBA fan in the 60’s because there were only 8 opposing teams. You could go to a doubleheader at MSG and literally have nearly half the league in one building. You would hear Marv’s impeccable play-by-play and would get to know (and fear) opposing players on a whole different level than today. Dave D was a star with the Pistons along with Dave Bing, and when we traded for him, you just knew we were going to win a championship.

    During the Hubie Brown era, my buddy and I snuck down from the greens to the center court reds after halftime. A few minutes in, i felt a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and it was Dave D himself…we unknowingly sat in his GM seats!

  403. last year was pretty awful for him, but – knicks…

    we don’t need to decide anything with him at the moment, but i’d bet on julius long term…

  404. Two guys who I never thought would amount to anything based on their Knicks scrubdom were Doug Christie and Matt Barnes. I could see Frank being one of those kinds of players.

    One guy who I did think very highly of even before he made the team was John Starks, who was impressive during preseason. I remember being pissed when they initially favored Greg Grant, a tiny change-of-pace PG over Starks. The rest is history!

  405. i tend to gravitate towards telling long, somewhat odd, and overly personal stories…that seems to usually work to inspire new threads…

  406. Z-man:

    During the Hubie Brown era, my buddy and I snuck down from the greens to the center court reds after halftime. A few minutes in, i felt a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and it was Dave D himself…we unknowingly sat in his GM seats!

    Great story Z :-)

  407. Capela with 10 offensive rebounds at half time (!), that’s got to be close to the record for a single half since I think the all-time record for a single game is 21 by Moses Malone

    Have to say, used to love Capela, but gave up on him a bit because of the injuries – never would have guessed that would have performed as the best player on the Hawks up to this point in the season

  408. Brian, definitely need a new thread, page load time-wise. Even if it’s just one of the beat writers talking about Burks coming back.

  409. Jeff Green is a great example just how absurdly high the collective talent in the NBA is – good/great size, yet still nimble on his feet, decent ball skills, can shoot a bit, throws down some nasty yams from time to time and still has varied between scrub and below-average player for his entire career basically – just wild!

  410. #Somewhere between Paul George and Ricky Pierce!

    Man, Ricky Pierce was a badass#

    RJ’s a badmtfkr on the rise!
    Keep on believing

  411. Z-man: Man, Ricky Pierce was a badass

    Paul Pressey was my man on that team. While not the first guy to play that role he’s the first guy I remember being referred to as a point forward. Moncrief was their best player though- one of the best defensive guards ever even if he didn’t pile up the defensive stats.

  412. That was a really good team. Pressey was an all-star level player, was surprised that he never made the team. Tough era I guess.

  413. I don’t like Sexton much, but if he wants to shoot like that to beat the Nets I don’t mind

  414. “Why does Brian hate us?”, he pondered between the 4th and 5th minute of loading the latest KB thread

  415. Whenever i post or press the refresh button on the upper right side of my cell phone (right after pressing the three dots on the same spot) the page goes on the last post of the thread automatically and fast. I reallydk why some have problems with long threads…
    Only problem is the arrowbutton that sends you on the first post such as a punishment for not being focused while reading kb!

  416. Frank’s Realistic ceiling could be something between Nate Mc Millan and Thabo Sefolosha.
    His floor is a waiter on a cafe et bistro in Montmartre.

    If all planets turn his way…who knows? The sky is the limit!

  417. The ÜberNets losing to the lowly Cavs is probably more enjoyable than any Knicks win this year will be. Sexton must be having a nice night.

  418. “You’re going to stay locked in this thread together until you can all get along!”

    – Brian, probably

  419. We are going to get killed by the Warriors tomorrow, and Steph Curry is going to finish top 3 in MVP voting this season. It’s really scary to think GSW is going to add two more 1st round picks and Klay Thompson next season to Curry, Draymond, and Wiseman.

  420. We are going to get killed by the Warriors tomorrow

    c’mon glass, have a little faith in our formidable sixth man…

  421. I’d just like to share a sweet and touching story of the first time I ever masturbated…

    I remember it well, it was a sunny summer sunday afternoon and I had just recently gotten a tv in my room…well, I was going through the channels and came across a rerun of I Dream of Jeannie, I had had never noticed just how amazing

    oh, new thread, what do you know, guess I’ll just have to hang on to this story for another time…

  422. Hi Geo! I am a first time poster, very long time lurker (almost 12 years of lurking, I remember the days of Ted Nelson). I couldn’t resist to chime in on your story. Please share on the next thread!

  423. howdy muang, I don’t know man, I could find myself in moderation purgatory for an eternity :)

    seriously though – it was 1975 or so I first started watching a bunch of tv, at the time barbara eden was like a whole other kind of human being…

    I’m sure it’s probably considered hella sexist, but that outfit – that was the true star of the show…

    I wasn’t that crazy about the show after hagman left…plus, at some point charlie’s angels came on around that time…yep, that was some good tv back then…

    edit: just checked, it looks like hagman was in all five seasons, not sure why I thought he left after a just a few…

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