2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Nuggets

One of the things we’ve noticed early in the season is that the teams that made the playoffs and thus have had very little time off have been especially sloppy in these early games and the Nuggets are a notable example of this, especially since they just lost Michael Porter Jr. to a COVID quarantine.

However, they just easily defeated the shorthanded Sixers, so hopefully they’re not as sharp tonight.

Let’s go stay over .500, Knicks!

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217 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Nuggets”

  1. the wife and her bestie are going to the beach to grill – therapeutic for me and them.

    that sounds like a real good day…enjoy…

  2. These Nugs duds kinda rip off those nice Jazz jerseys. So much better than Knicks city jerseys can’t really talk shit about them.

  3. now that we got that stinker out of the way last game (in all fairness, OKC played hard – i’m feeling a little more optimistic again about these games…

    sure wish obi and burks were back…

    frank who?

  4. I like that the Knicks are getting tested against this team – especially for Mitch. Let’s see if Mitch defense can stop The Joker tonight.

  5. I know it’s a terrible strategy, but I feel like Bullock should just shoot long twos for a while. They seem to go in a lot, while his threes, not so much.

    Just glanced at his stats — WAY down so far this year compared to his career numbers. 32.8% 3s as compared to a career of 38%. Free throws suck so far, too. Looking forward to that coming back to the mean.

  6. I’d like to see RJ-Noel P&Rs surrounded by the three shooters in the lineup. Can’t complain about lack of space.

  7. Lavine followed his 38 vs the Lakers with 45 against the Clippers, two close losses for the Bulls…

    Than I had to watch Elfrid Payton…
    Still too early to worry about RJ’s shooting right?

  8. Yeah, we’re missing Burks 3 pointers. Would be nice to send DSJ+Bullock packing for another 3P shooter.

  9. Quickley is not a point guard lol

    And neither is Rivers

  10. yeah, to be fair to IQ he’s a rookie playing the wrong position. We need Frank to get healthy

  11. knox needs like an ankle bracelet that electrocutes him whenever he tries to play beyond himself…..

  12. Quickley is showing he has a very nice handle, but no ability to orchestrate an offense.

    One for two ain’t bad, I suppose…

  13. There is no lineup in which we have plus passing, shooting, and defense simultaneously except when Alec Burks is healthy

  14. There is no lineup in which we have barely adequate passing, shooting, and defense simultaneously except when Alec Burks is healthy

    Fixed that for you.

  15. This game sucks, but Mitch is playing like his hair is on fire. It’s worth the agony just to watch his effort.

  16. d-mar:
    Tough having a PG In Payton who doesn’t have to be guarded on the perimeter

    Maybe the idea some of you guys had of bringing Larkin from Europe can be revisited?

  17. Sure love that we drafted a 22 year old pf who played one game instead of the guard shooting nearly 50/50/90 and averaging 8 assists per 36

  18. it’s pretty bananas that hali only has a 5 to 1 a:to ratio…

    that’s pretty rare for a rookie….

  19. Our guys are pooped. Our depth is shit. We are playing a much better team. Not going to freak out yet.

  20. Can we discuss if the rookie season of the Invisible 6th Man is going well? He started very promising…

  21. We have 6 players who have played at least 10 minutes and the 6th is Austin Rivers at 10:50. There’s about 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and no one has been subbed in. I’m fucking sick of this bullshit from Thibs.

  22. someone tell thibs he got a 5 yr deal…no need to impress the brass and play dudes 40 minutes…

  23. Barrett playing like the proverbial dumpster fire. We may all have to rethink that last thread. Including the people who were saying he sucked.

  24. Barrett has been a disaster…

    Down 20 I’ll go Quickley/Rivers/Knox/Randle/Mitch and order them to shoot a three every possession,
    it could not be worse than this tragedy…

  25. Noel really hasn’t played to his usual level this season

  26. One of my favorite part of watching these games is seeing the wide open threes for the Knicks, and going “Shoot the damn ball!” and then going “Wait, no, don’t shoot it…”

    What’s interesting is that it’s almost like Thibs gave the green light only to Rivers and maybe Randle and Knox, and told everyone else they’ll be running laps if they take one. It’s like they’re visibly terrified to shoot from beyond the line.

    Still debating whether that’s a good strategy or not…

  27. Raven:
    One of my favorite part of watching these games is seeing the wide open threes for the Knicks, and going “Shoot the damn ball!” and then going “Wait, no, don’t shoot it…”

    What’s interesting is that it’s almost like Thibs gave the green light only to Rivers and maybe Randle and Knox, and told everyone else they’ll be running laps if they take one. It’s like they’re visibly terrified to shoot from beyond the line.

    Still debating whether that’s a good strategy or not…

    Narrator Voice:

    It isn’t.

  28. I’m gonna go ahead and conclude that we should sell on everyone but Mitch at the deadline

  29. great…get to watch fucking randle pad his stats for the next 12 minutes…

    quickly was right next to him and he didn’t let him bring the ball up

  30. Boy league pass on the laptop is a miserable experience. Especially when the game is like this.

  31. I was going to make a snarky comment about how bad they shoot from three, but just glanced at the box and they’re currently at 35.7% 3s for the game. I thought it was going to be ~20%. So Vincoug wins that short debate…

    Edit: now 40%. On a whopping 15 shots.

  32. nicos:
    Boy league pass on the laptop is a miserable experience. Especially when the game is like this.

    I have chromecast to stream to my TV, it works pretty well. Also, apparently you can get it through Amazon but I don’t know if it’s any better.

    Raven:
    I was going to make a snarky comment about how bad they shoot from three, but just glanced at the box and they’re currently at 35.7% 3s for the game. I thought it was going to be ~20%. So Vincoug wins that short debate…

    We’re actually above average in 3P% but dead last in 3PAr.

  33. We’re playing bad basketball no doubt … but also exasperating to see shooters vs non shooters. We are the non shooters. Quickley turned into a pumpkin quickly

  34. feeling better about my sub 20 win projection…and we can go back to dissecting the lottery odds now…

  35. It’s pretty ridiculous that we put the starters back in at this point

  36. JK47:
    Would be nice if any of our last five lottery picks could play basketball even a tiny bit

    I was dumping on him last thread but Barrett can play a little bit even though he’s been awful today. The rest, I’ve got nothing.

  37. Denver is a better team than us. 2 losses in a row isn’t good, but we’re still doing better than I thought

  38. I think we were always a bad team, and we’re just regressing to where we should be right now. We were getting bailed out a lot by nutty play from Rivers, IQ, and Burks. This is the team we are when we’re not hot from 3

  39. we took advantage of early season imperfections…no camp…no fans..covid…reality is seeping in…

  40. Brief culture shock and some luck and now we’re reverting back to stubborn, unwatchable Hoosiers ball. I’m back to where I was with Thibs after the second game. Just not going to happen with him and things have passed him by.

  41. If we can win tomorrow … 6-5 is as good as 35-5 … if we lose, I’m going to start to wonder when we win again …

  42. It’s not Thibs’ fault (though he plays his starters too much), it’s that we have two (2) good basketball players on this team.

  43. vincoug: I have chromecast to stream to my TV, it works pretty well. Also, apparently you can get it through Amazon but I don’t know if it’s any better.

    Thanks! Didn’t realize league pass on Amazon. 100% better so far.

  44. Raven:
    Payton is going to be arrested for being a serial bunnie killer.

    We should nickname him Lennie?

  45. What’s clear is that the euphoria wears off fast. There’s lot of work to do. This tells me that while the Knicks have improved from last season, they are still really bad.

  46. Dennis looking point guardish in limited burn. He should play tomorrow

  47. Boy league pass on the laptop is a miserable experience. Especially when the game is like this.

    i tried it for a couple of years on the playstation – it wasn’t good…

    we probably could get a few dozen used N95 masks for knox

    ha :)

    I’m so sick of Thibs and his rotations already. We need to act like a baseball team and take away lineup decisions from him and give it to a computer.

    isn’t that what the new analytics “coach” rose hired focuses on?
    The Knicks have hired Nick Restifo to oversee the team’s coaching analytics, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

  48. Bad game, we have so few options in offense that if the opposing team takes them away from us we can only double down and pray for the best. I think Thibs has at some point try to bring more variety attacking. Perhaps when we get Toppin and Burks from injury is time to open up things a little bit.

  49. LOL at people here going overboard because the Knicks got whooped by one of the best teams in the NBA. Similar to the over reaction when they started 0-2. 5-5 with the schedule they had to start the season is better than anything we could’ve possibly imagined. At best this is a 30 win team, so far they have way exceeded expectations and any criticism of Thibs is absolutely insane.

  50. What a drubbing!

    RJ Barrett 6-13 on FT in the last 3 games, 1-22 3PFG at MSG.
    Could I feel a bit worried?

    Right now he and Payton together are unplayable, no spacing, no shooting, every opponent go to zone and we’re fucked.

    I’ve never seen a team pass on so many open threes.

    Also, two consecutive games under 90-points.

    Maybe the fear of skipping the lottery was a bit premature :-)

  51. geo: isn’t that what the new analytics “coach” rose hired focuses on?
    The Knicks have hired Nick Restifo to oversee the team’s coaching analytics, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.

    Oh god, I hope so. We had basically a 6 man rotation until late in the 3rd quarter in a game that was a blowout the entire time on the first night of a back to back. I’m going to lose my mind if this keeps up.

  52. Well now that the league has actual film to scout us, seems like out schemes aren’t working so well…

  53. BigBlueAL:
    LOL at people here going overboard because the Knicks got whooped by one of the best teams in the NBA.Similar to the over reaction when they started 0-2.5-5 with the schedule they had to start the season is better than anything we could’ve possibly imagined.At best this is a 30 win team, so far they have way exceeded expectations and any criticism of Thibs is absolutely insane.

    And that’s exactly the problem. If you’re a 30 win team, you should get a high draft pick because you’re still missing good players.

  54. We really need to bring either RJ or Payton off the bench. Add another 3pt shooter to the starting lineup. Rivers or Quickley for now, probably Burks when he comes back.

  55. KJG:
    Can they win 23 games?… I just want want to win my over 22.5…

    We’re well ahead of pace and the backend of our schedule should be much easier.

  56. Who the fuck is Thibs supposed to play that he isn’t playing?? This criticism is just people bitching and whining for the sake of it. During the preseason and during the first couple of games he was using a 10 man rotation (even with Rivers out) but injuries have killed that experiment. No Obi, Frank, Burks, Noel for a couple of games and same for DS Jr who most people here hate anyway. You really think Iggy, Harper and Pinson need more minutes?? Sure Randle and RJ’s minutes are a bit higher than even I would like but really give it up with the complaining about the rotation.

    Some people here want the Knicks to lose every game because tanking is what’s best yet when they look bad against one of the best teams in the league those same people bitch and complain about the coaching and the players. So when the Knicks play better than expected they complain because they should be losing instead for the betterment of the franchise, when they do then lose some games they complain saying this team sucks. It’s beyond annoying.

  57. KJG:
    Can they win 23 games?… I just want want to win my over 22.5…

    We’re already 5-5, would only need to go 18-44 the rest of the way to hit the over. As long as we don’t miss a bunch of games due to covid I think your bet is safe.

  58. The Knicks don’t have a full roster, Noel is coming off an injury and I guess Taj isn’t ready to go because of covid protocol. There’s no other bigs on the team.

  59. BigBlueAL:
    Who the fuck is Thibs supposed to play that he isn’t playing??This criticism is just people bitching and whining for the sake of it.During the preseason and during the first couple of games he was using a 10 man rotation (even with Rivers out) but injuries have killed that experiment.No Obi, Frank, Burks, Noel for a couple of games and same for DS Jr who most people here hate anyway.You really think Iggy, Harper and Pinson need more minutes??Sure Randle and RJ’s minutes are a bit higher than even I would like but really give it up with the complaining about the rotation.

    Some people here want the Knicks to lose every game because tanking is what’s best yet when they look bad against one of the best teams in the league those same people bitch and complain about the coaching and the players.So when the Knicks play better than expected they complain because they should be losing instead for the betterment of the franchise, when they do then lose some games they complain saying this team sucks.It’s beyond annoying.

    We need to be able to skate by giving Knox, Noel, and Quickley 20 minutes/game and use the end of the bench guys when necessary due to injuries. You can’t treat every regular season game like it’s game 7 of the finals.

  60. BigBlueAL: Some people here want the Knicks to lose every game because tanking is what’s best yet when they look bad against one of the best teams in the league those same people bitch and complain about the coaching and the players.

    Not me. I want him to play good rotations that try and develop the young players, and not rotations to win. Also the focus on winning is contrary to development, as they pass on open 3P because they’re bad at it, but they should be shooting those to try to get better.

  61. BigBlueAL:
    Who the fuck is Thibs supposed to play that he isn’t playing??This criticism is just people bitching and whining for the sake of it.During the preseason and during the first couple of games he was using a 10 man rotation (even with Rivers out) but injuries have killed that experiment.No Obi, Frank, Burks, Noel for a couple of games and same for DS Jr who most people here hate anyway.You really think Iggy, Harper and Pinson need more minutes??Sure Randle and RJ’s minutes are a bit higher than even I would like but really give it up with the complaining about the rotation.

    Some people here want the Knicks to lose every game because tanking is what’s best yet when they look bad against one of the best teams in the league those same people bitch and complain about the coaching and the players.So when the Knicks play better than expected they complain because they should be losing instead for the betterment of the franchise, when they do then lose some games they complain saying this team sucks.It’s beyond annoying.

    I’m not complaining about minutes (exactly for the reason that you described, too many injuries),
    I’m complaing about playing Payton and RJ together.

    One of the two must go to the bench, and with Burks out it must be Payton.

    Rivers and Quickley are more a threat from outside and the spacing is better, one of them must start.

    Also, runners and floaters must be forbidden for Quickley and Knox, only threes and at the rim on fastbreak (which fastbreaks?), no other shots allowed.

  62. I do think RJ needs to have his minutes reduced- I’ve been critical of his athleticism but he looked positively stuck in the mud on every drive. He’s better than that. And yeah, Payton doesn’t help him but he’s not helping anybody on the spacing front either.

  63. At least Mitch is improving a lot, that’s very good. And Randle has been playing great, so i think he’ll net us a pick by the trade deadline, that’s fantastic.

  64. cybersoze:
    At least Mitch is improving a lot, that’s very good. And Randle has been playing great, so i think he’ll net us a pick by the trade deadline, that’s fantastic.

    If he keeps playing like this I really doubt they trade him.

  65. cybersoze:
    At least Mitch is improving a lot, that’s very good. And Randle has been playing great, so i think he’ll net us a pick by the trade deadline, that’s fantastic.

    If it’s not a lottery pick, I say no.

  66. running around the house doing stuff, didn’t get a chance to finish the first quarter

    Haha :P

  67. playing his starters 40+ minutes in certain games is a great way to maximize wins but it’s even better this year because a)the team or key players may miss some games due to covid or injury and b)we’re only playing 72 games…. so probably not as huge a deal this year….

    that said… rj and randle are probably playing too much….. rj especially there’s been more than a few occasions where it felt like he hasn’t had the legs on his shots or drives…. and if there’s anyone who should be playing 40+ minutes it should be mitch since he’s got all those fresh legs from sitting these last couple of years…

  68. ***We’re already 5-5, would only need to go 18-44 the rest of the way to hit the over.***

    But are they really going to be able to get 62 more games in? It feels like this non-bubble experiment is starting to slip away…

  69. At this point is hard to envision the NBA being able to complete its season without resorting to the mini-bubble plan.

  70. Donnie Walsh:
    ***We’re already 5-5, would only need to go 18-44 the rest of the way to hit the over.***

    But are they really going to be able to get 62 more games in? It feels like this non-bubble experiment is starting to slip away…

    Yeah, that’s the caveat. Though, if games do get cancelled I would assume that the bet is cancelled.

  71. Coming into the season we knew that PG and spacing were our 2 major weaknesses. They still are. Compounding the problem is missing our backup PF (Toppin), critical 6th man because he can shoot (Burks), and one of our best switchable perimeter defenders that also keeps the ball moving (Frank).

    We were expected to win low 20s games and we are 5-5 despite some critical injuries. That’s not so bad,

    It’s frustrating to see RJ struggle so badly shooting, but I remain convinced some of it is random and some of it will improve if we ever get good PG play and better spacing so he gets better quality shots for his skills.

    Quickley has been a bit disappointing lately only because he came in with the expectation of being a good shooter, got a lot of praise from Thibs as a shooter based on practice, and started so hot. I’m not worried, but to help out with out spacing issues he has to shoot and make 3s and worry less about those floaters, You go to the hoop if they are taking the 3 away, not as a goal if you are theoretically an excellent 3 point shooter.

    It seems Frank’s injury was a lot worse that initial reports because he’s not expected back any time soon. He is “week to week” not “day to day” .

    I’d still like to see Quickley, Frank, RJ at some point in the season, but 2 of the 3 will have to make shots and that may be a lot to ask.

  72. Thibs pulled Quickley immediately after a “bad” 3 attempt in Atlanta after 4 minutes. Probably not the tone you want to be setting with impressionable rookies or your team.

    Down to 28th in ORat, 25th in net rating, last in 3 point attempts. Yuck. The ship be sinking.

  73. vincoug: Yeah, that’s the caveat. Though, if games do get cancelled I would assume that the bet is cancelled.

    That’s what happened to me last year. I had a couple of “over” bets that were basically guaranteed losers when the season was cancelled. I got refunds. It was one of the biggest gambling “good breaks” I’ve ever gotten. As a gambler, you usually expect it to go the other way. lol The rules are spelled out. They may not be the same everywhere.

  74. Seems like the new car smell is wearing off and we are now destined to be who we are…a bottom 5-10 team who will lose to most good teams and will win a few trap games here and there.

  75. Its truly amazing how two losses can really change the mood of the fan base. If you were told after 10 games the Knicks would be 5-5, I think most people here would call that wildly optimistic.

    I think what is bringing people down is we lost to an OKC team that we should in theory have beaten and then we got absolutely crushed by Denver.

    Man, RJ is bumming me out because if he was even just an average shooter he’d be a pretty good piece going forward. But its not even that he’s bad. He’s god awful. Hopefully its just a slump. But most of his bad shooting is due to him shooting so poorly from 3. He’s actually doing a little better in 2pt shot percentage and he’s FT percentage is up (although its starting to creep down…now at 69%). If he can maintain his 2pt shot percentage where it is now, stay at 70 percent from FT and get to his 3pt average from last year (32 percent), that would be a decent improvement for him from his rookie year. But man he’s looking bad right now.

    I also do think he’s playing way too many minutes. Toppin and Burks coming back needs to happen.

  76. My mood is down because the offense is primitive, the personnel deployment is suspect, and the peripherals are terrible. The 5-5 is misleading because of the net rating and other peripherals, including non-sustainable starters minutes. There’s also a philosophical misfit between the coach and the franchise’s current rebuilding state. Just not at all feeling the “every game is Game 7” and the “forget about offense; if we just outwork and out-intensity and out-practice the other teams, we’ll be fine just put more elbow grease into it” vibe.

  77. Swift, your post on RJ really depressed me because you always tend to have an optimistic viewpoint on all things Knicks.

    I was so pumped after his opening night performance (I recall jokes about being happy we didn’t get to pick 1 or 2) Since then, he’s regressed badly. What worries me other than his horrid 3 point shooting is his slow motion drives to the basket. He occasionally gets bailed out by a foul, but often gets blocked or turns it over. And lately he’s been reverting to poor free throw shooting.

    The positives: better than average defense, good decision making (although not as much lately) and a good attitude and work ethic. But unless he starts making 3’s, his value is pretty limited.

  78. The tab for this site on my Safari app reads: “knickerblogger.net — Statistical Anal”, which I just noticed, and it brings a smile to my face.

  79. That is pretty funny Donnie….

    IQ, both listening to his first half stint on the radio, and then watching him later, just seemed completely at sea. He seemed like a completely different player from the canny, collected character we saw in a couple preseason games and against Atlanta. I am sure it will sort itself out but the luster is off him a bit at the moment.

    Elsewhere, Anthony Edwards was 0-8. Nailed that one I will say as Lamelo racks up another triple double against us tonight.

  80. Statistical anal just about says it. I think the depression (outside of living through a little stretch of national infamy) is that all the team’s warts are suddenly highly visible. Outside of Randle (who I struggle with, but saw something about only Oscar Robertson putting up equivalent stats to start the season — I’d be good with a thread discussing whether he’s actually really good, and if so how good) and Mitch, with his manic hustle-bunny effort combined with a sudden defense switch going on in his head, most everyone else sucks. I’ll leave RJ to others, but yuck right now. Quickley went from a savvy vet to a clueless rookie in a nano-second. Bullocks is a decent bench player getting starter minutes. Elf swings wildly from ‘Hey I’m a real NBA point guard!” to “Just kidding!” three or four times in a game it seems. Knox continues to horrify.

    And I’ve got the bitter taste of seeing DSJ again, and almost thinking he was doing okay, in my mouth.

  81. I think the first round of scouting reports is probably out on IQ now. He definitely has a few pet tricks that were absolutely killing for him in his first few stints – the foul draw with the swipe when guys reach in on him on the perimeter, and the floater he likes to pull up for on every drive. Last couple games he’s not finding that foul as consistently and teams look more prepared for the floater to me; they know he doesn’t want to drive all the way to the rim and those shots are a little more contested (and they were probably going in at an unsustainable rate to begin with).

    Otherwise I think he mostly looks like a rookie guard – he’s always going 100mph out there, he doesn’t know how to slow down once he gets in the lane and force the defense to commit and he just ends up tossing that floater up way too readily when that should be more of a last resort play. He needs to shoot the 3 much more readily when it’s open because that should be his bread and butter – I really hope Thibs isn’t coaching that out of his game. People hoping he was going to be legitimately productive this year were always getting ahead of themselves; rookies are pretty much never good as a rule and he was taken 25th in a week draft. I still like a lot of what I see from him so far.

  82. Alan:
    Meanwhile, Porzingis is going to play tonight against the Pelicans.

    Expect a few weeks of inefficient KP after not working out in the off season and then missing all of camp. Sometimes they come back with 1 good game off a layoff and then fall apart, but we’ll see if adrenaline can carry him tonight. They did OK without him, but they clearly need him for interior defense, rebounding, spacing, and a 2nd option to make any noise out west. They are still missing a couple of pieces if they want to contend even though they are way healthier now than at the end of the season last year.

  83. Expect a few weeks of inefficient KP after not working out in the off season and then missing all of camp. Sometimes they come back with 1 good game off a layoff and then fall apart, but we’ll see if adrenaline can carry him tonight. They did OK without him, but they clearly need him for interior defense, rebounding, spacing, and a 2nd option to make any noise out west. They are still missing a couple of pieces if they want to contend even though they are way healthier now than at the end of the season last year.

    If you don’t have this saved for copypasta, you’re doing it wrong. Work smarter, not harder.

    I think the first round of scouting reports is probably out on IQ now. He definitely has a few pet tricks that were absolutely killing for him in his first few stints – the foul draw with the swipe when guys reach in on him on the perimeter, and the floater he likes to pull up for on every drive.

    Eh, maybe. He’s also played 82 minutes in six games so far. Why would opposing teams waste time and mindshare on a guy who’s taken a grand total of 28 shots in the league?

  84. D-Mar,

    Sorry to bum you out. I still think RJ has a bright future but we gotta be patient with him. He’s not just shooting worse from 3, he’s taking one more 3 per game. I’m hoping Thibs is just letting him take those in the hopes that the reps will eventually pay off. He brings so many good intangibles to the game and I want to think he can be a real piece going forward but man he’s going through a slump right now.

    But its still early. If he has 2 good games in a row his numbers will spike considerably and he should not be playing this many minutes. We need Burks and Toppin back in a bad way.

  85. He needs to shoot the 3 much more readily when it’s open because that should be his bread and butter – I really hope Thibs isn’t coaching that out of his game.

    I’ll be a broken record on this and I should get at least some leeway since I said it in real time: In his fourth minute of the game in the first half in Atlanta, Quickley put up kind of a meh, heat check-y 3. He missed it. Thibodeau immediately pulled him. I found it preposterous (because it was), but that pessimism got wrapped up in his fantastic second half and we were happy and moved on. Since then, he’s been too shy in shooting the three.

    Particularly given the lineups and players he uses, it really doesn’t seem like Thibodeau even gives much thought to the three and certainly doesn’t seem to be doing a single thing to try to generate them. Once again, we find the Knicks 30th in threes attempted and players getting pulled for taking them.

    I’m just worn out and done with Hickory HS ball and attitude.

  86. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Eh, maybe. He’s also played 82 minutes in six games so far. Why would opposing teams waste time and mindshare on a guy who’s taken a grand total of 28 shots in the league?

    Teams have scouts whose sole job is to put together things like this so it’s not really a waste of mindshare. If you’re a small guard on the Nuggets going into last night’s game there’s 3 guys you might be matched up with – Elfrid, IQ and Rivers. It’s not exactly rocket science to give guys a couple of points to keep in mind for each opponent.

  87. So much for KP’s debut. Game got postponed because Dallas doesn’t have enough eligible players.

  88. If you don’t have this saved for copypasta, you’re doing it wrong. Work smarter, not harder.

    I’m not sure what your point is.

    Last year I predicted KP would start the year off poorly, slowly work his way into shape and play much better for a team that used him properly and that had good PG play like Dallas. That’s exactly what happened. He started off poorly and then slowly got into peak shape, comfortable in his new role and system, and was playing out of his mind down the stretch and into the playoffs until he got hurt.

    That was the exact opposite of what most people here thought. They thought he might start off fast and fade again as usual.

    I’m basically making the same prediction as last year. He hasn’t played, didn’t have an off season to prepare, and had no camp. It’s hart to imagine he could come back sharp. That’s not the way it works. If he does, it would be amazing.

    It was different for a guy like Durant who was also hurt. He has been healthy and working out for many many months in preparation for his return. He probably could have returned for the playoffs last year, but there was no point to it. He also already has a very mature game and noting to learn. You could at least see him coming back close to 100% if his mobility and athleticism were OK. That was the question mark with him. he came back fine.

  89. I just kind of think being unable, or at least unwilling, to get to the basket and instead relying on getting fouled or hitting a floater from 10ft+ just isn’t sustainable.

  90. DRed:
    No Bullock tonight.We’re going to have to play Theo Pinson or Iggy or maybe both.

    Nah, we’ll start Rivers and play DSJr with Quickley.

  91. That’s exactly what happened. He started off poorly and then slowly got into peak shape, comfortable in his new role and system, and was playing out of his mind down the stretch and into the playoffs until he got hurt.

    Do you admit that the Mavs’ offense was better, per possession, with him off the floor?

    I’m basically making the same prediction as last year.

    Then you understand my point. Create a macro. Save your energy.

  92. Another injured Knick, with what appears to be a repetitive type injury. Basically half the team is (or has been) already injured, 10 games into the season. Something’s badly amiss.

  93. Always love a good office reference.

    But I’m not down on the team. Not yet. We’re 500. That’s way better than anyone would have though to start the season.

    I would like to know though. Have The Knicks ever done any research into comparing the number of injuries they get vs. other teams cause it feels like no matter what GM or coach we have, the training and medical staff is always untouchable and yet it feels like we suffer way more injuries than most teams. Maybe it just feels that way but why does Dolan insist that his buddies remain the medical staff?

  94. Maybe Cronin should post a poll on whether this season gets cancelled or postponed at some point.

    I’m sadly leaning towards “yes”

  95. d-mar:
    Maybe Cronin should post a poll on whether this season gets cancelled or postponed at some point.
    I’m sadly leaning towards “yes”

    i posted this back before the season started that there was no way they were going to pull this off…mucho chutzpah to think in the middle of a raging pandemic they could play a nonbubble season…anyway…

    I also said it would be interesting to see how players react to the thibs “my way or the highway” act…once the losses pile up…we shall see how that dynamic evolves…

    on the injuries…I think the lack of a real training camp/preseason highlighted the extent to which most players were not in “game shape” ….seems like most teams are dealing with injuries…not sure if as extensive as the knicks but appears to be a league wide thing..

  96. Donnie Walsh: The tab for this site on my Safari app reads: “knickerblogger.net — Statistical Anal”, which I just noticed, and it brings a smile to my face.

    Safari just calls it like it sees it

  97. JCMacriNBA
    ·
    4h
    Wrote about the conundrum that is Elfrid Payton. Clearly his lack of shooting is hurting New York, and yet no player has had a more positive impact on the Knicks’ offensive output through 10 games

    I’d point out 10 games is too small of a sample and all the other Knicks guards are bad but also this is funny to me

  98. Payton is so frustrating. He’s the only real point on the roster and if he was finishing inside at his career levels he’d look like NOP Payton which still isn’t good but a guy you can live with. His assists are down and usage up as teams sell out on Mitch and give him bunnies which have rattled around and popped out all season. Payton is the only guy with a clue as to how to run an offense- running it through Randle just means Randle iso’s which isn’t much of an offense. Still, he’s a horrible fit with RJ and even at his best is thoroughly mediocre so if you’re going to split them I guess you start Rivers and make RJ the main pnr initiator (even though he has no idea how to set up screens) and live with the results. No one’s going to complain about a higher lottery pick. Starting Burks once healthy and bringing RJ off the bench is the other options but then E would really have a point with the merc stuff.

  99. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Do you admit that the Mavs’ offense was better, per possession, with him off the floor?

    Then you understand my point. Create a macro. Save your energy.

    1. I think the team was way better overall with him on the floor once he got his legs under him and starting shooting well. The offense alone would depend. There were other ways to create space (like Curry for example) but sacrifice significantly in other ways.

    2. I never heard the term copypasta. Thanks for the suggestion. :-)

  100. Wrote about the conundrum that is Elfrid Payton. Clearly his lack of shooting is hurting New York, and yet no player has had a more positive impact on the Knicks’ offensive output through 10 games

    That’s probably one of those situations where you can be mediocre/bad but the alternatives worse.

  101. 1. I think the team was way better overall with him on the floor once he got his legs under him and starting shooting well. The offense alone would depend. There were other ways to create space (like Curry for example) but sacrifice significantly in other ways.

    But do you admit that the team was better at scoring with him off the floor?

  102. The Honorable Cock Jowles: But do you admit that the team was better at scoring with him off the floor?

    For the year, the team’s Ortg was slightly better with him on than off, but that contains weeks of data where I am 100% sure his overall on/off was negative because I was tracking it. He was shooting poorly on offense at that time. His on/off slowly moved sharply higher as he started playing well and ended up in positive territory. I have to assume that as his offensive contribution got way more efficient so did the Ortg of the team while he was on the court but I don’t know that for a fact. I didn’t track that separately. Maybe someone has that data.

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/p/porzikr01/on-off/2020

    I think it would be possible to create a better offensive lineup with him off, but only a crazy person would do it because you’d be giving up too much elsewhere to simply satisfy a Knickerblogger poster. :-) When he started playing well, he was VERY good and it followed through to the playoff games he was in.

  103. I’d recommend reading the Macri piece but what it boils down to isn’t complicated. Payton is obviously the best point guard on the roster, but his fit with Barrett is terrible because neither of them can throw the ball into the ocean. This leads to some ugly looking offensive sets and puts Barrett in a position where he isn’t developing in a normal NBA offense. The problem is there’s no clear solution because despite what you may have read on Knickerblogger Immanuel Quickley is not about to set the world on fire, and Rivers in all likelihood wouldn’t work nearly as well with Mitch as Payton does.

    I said before the season it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world to bring Barrett off the bench with the idea of focusing on getting him into lineups with multiple shooters. Basically we want as much Payton/Mitch overlap as possible while minimizing Payton/RJ overlap and that’s obviously tough to do if all 3 are starters. I still feel that way but it’s also still a non-starter for multiple reasons. So we’ll probably continue with this clunk lineup for the foreseeable future.

  104. Thibs’ clever solution to this problem is simply to play Barrett the whole game, with the starters and the bench.

    Problem solved.

  105. thenoblefacehumper

    I agree with your last post completely, but I think we both know RJ is not coming off the bench, especially when we don’t have many great shooters as an alternative (maybe Burks). We have the same exact spacing and PG issues as last year. Not only does it hurt the team, it hurts some individual players more than others. There are no easy solutions. That was why Quickley’s supposed sharpshooting was so welcomed. If you could get him on the court in some lineups it could open things up a little. We’ll see what happens with him over time. A couple a bad games are just as meaningless as a few great ones.

  106. thenoblefacehumper: This leads to some ugly looking offensive sets and puts Barrett in a position where he isn’t developing in a normal NBA offense.

    There’s more reason than just this, but this reason alone should be the beginning and end of the discussion. Payton is one of those kind of comfort food PG veterans who can occasionally pass for kinda sorta ok and so unimaginative or frightened coaches tend to fall back on them. (And bestow up on him the honorific “floor general” and blame their dismal failures on his absence, etc. etc.)

    The process has grown entirely tiresome and if I was running things, I’d rid the coach of this illusory security blanket pronto. He NEVER should have been brought back.

  107. The process has grown entirely tiresome and if I was running things, I’d rid the coach of this illusory security blanket pronto. He NEVER should have been brought back.

    This only makes sense if you view RJ Barrett’s development as the sole acceptable pursuit for the New York Knicks in 2020-2021. I see no reason that should be the case. Payton was probably the best overall point guard we could get on a 1/$5M deal, we know he works well with Mitch, and he theoretically works well with Toppin though we’ll have to wait and see on that.

    At the end of the day, Barrett’s going to have trouble fitting into most lineups if he doesn’t learn to shoot.

  108. thenoblefacehumper: This only makes sense if you view RJ Barrett’s development as the sole acceptable pursuit for the New York Knicks in 2020-2021. I see no reason that should be the case.

    The team sucks and needs to put their 20 year old #3 pick in the best atmosphere to succeed and any delta that Elfrid Payton brings over anything else is so secondary to this as to be invisible.

    thenoblefacehumper: At the end of the day, Barrett’s going to have trouble fitting into most lineups if he doesn’t learn to shoot.

    A lineup of people like Elfrid Payton, who can’t shoot and doesn’t space the floor and give slashers with some talent like RJ Barrett room to operate and slash is pointless and counterproductive.

    Thibs’s apparent opinion of Payton is a massive red flag. Massive.

  109. thenoblefacehumper: At the end of the day, Barrett’s going to have trouble fitting into most lineups if he doesn’t learn to shoot.

      

    At the end of the day we need a PG and PF that can shoot. :-) Then we can be more patient with RJ. RJ’s the long term piece we have to worry about. I actually like Payton a bit, but he’s a back up. He’s not going to be the PG when we are eventually good. WE have to find an upgrade.

  110. For the year, the team’s Ortg was slightly better with him on than off

    Correct.

    but that contains weeks of data where I am 100% sure his overall on/off was negative because I was tracking it. He was shooting poorly on offense at that time.

    Okay?

    His on/off slowly moved sharply higher as he started playing well and ended up in positive territory.

    When I stand outside in the rain, I get wet.

    I have to assume that as his offensive contribution got way more efficient so did the Ortg of the team while he was on the court

    Indeed, when I chew food and swallow it, I have eaten food.

    but I don’t know that for a fact

    When you are standing in direct sunlight, it is daytime.

    I didn’t track that separately. Maybe someone has that data.

    So the question you’re trying to answer is: When Porzingis is playing his very best basketball, are the Mavs better than when he is playing his worst basketball?

    I think it would be possible to create a better offensive lineup with him off, but only a crazy person would do it

    The Mavs did create a better offensive lineup with him off.

    because you’d be giving up too much elsewhere to simply satisfy a Knickerblogger poster. :-)

    Not on offense, last year.

    When he started playing well, he was VERY good and it followed through to the playoff games he was in.

    Right, and when he wasn’t playing well, was he VERY good?

  111. the nba isn’t filled with ideal situations where you have perfect spacing around you with the right mix of players that maximize the skills you have for every player out there… that is what makes nba players nba caliber…. they find ways to produce at an nba level in imperfect situations….

    rj is just like anyone else…. yes you should probably try to maximize his efficiency and try to put the best situation around him… and there’s improvement in that regard as he’s getting more assisted 2p fgs…. but if he’s going to develop the change has to come from him irregardless of who he plays with…

    his problem is that shots aren’t falling… and if he’s getting poor quality shots the answer is to just not take them and work for a better one for yourself or others….

    i do think rj and payton do provide benefits for each other… and i think folks are blaming them unfairly for being insufficient in general… the alternatives aren’t better… and spacing isn’t going to magically unlock things that aren’t there… they’re imperfect players and that will lead to imperfect results but that will be better than the results that you get from more heavily flawed players….

  112. My problem with the last two games is not about losing or shooting like shit.
    I knew we couldn’t shoot and i also have no problem losing while playing to win.
    Last two games felt like the team was tired and the body language wasn’t so good.
    During the Okc game we were up10 and lost focus and started the “loser’s game”.
    Against Denver you could sense that the team wasn’t pumped to win and a comeback was out of the question…
    I don’t know if the players are already exhausted or if they’ve started abandoning Thibs’ ship but i feel the team losing its connection and its faith to Thibs system.
    Against Denver you could watch Hero ball in all its glory…
    Idk…
    Waiting to see the next one

  113. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Right, and when he wasn’t playing well, was he VERY good?

      

    I try to get past bottom line stats and add in what was actually going on with the player and team. Sure, I may make some subjective errors, but to ignore things like injuries, bad lineups, being misused, learning a new role, better or worse coaching etc.. can be worse.

    If you want to make the case that for him the injuries and recoveries are going to be chronic enough that they have to be part of the analysis, you won’t hear a peep of disagreement from me other than to say that’s not 100% yet. But there’s no denying that when he’s healthy and used correctly he’s a plus player on both sides and their offense was potent. That’s a tough thing to find.

  114. “The shots aren’t falling” was a common ruruland argument. Melo’s playing well, but “the shots aren’t falling.” The Knicks are playing well, but “the shots aren’t falling.”

    That one sets off my BS meter.

  115. the nba isn’t filled with ideal situations where you have perfect spacing around you with the right mix of players that maximize the skills you have for every player out there… that is what makes nba players nba caliber…. they find ways to produce at an nba level in imperfect situations….

    +1. I think it’s true that in the near-term RJ’s production would be helped by having a more spread floor so that he could focus more on his drive game and less on 3-point shooting. It’s not obvious to me that would be better for his long-term development, since it’s pretty clear that he’s going to need to become at least a decent 3-point shooter in order to become the player we hope for. The goal for RJ isn’t to maximize his TS% this year, it’s skill development and while I buy that Elfrid is negatively impacting the former I’m not sure I buy that he’s hurting the latter.

  116. Source: NBA considering a 7 to 14 day pause amidst the growing rate of positive cases within the league. The NBA brass & GMs will meet virtually today or tomorrow to reconsider safety protocols. The league wants to avoid a pause but it is on the table.
    @kron4news

    Macri retweet. Back the bubble I guess? Hard to see players agreeing to be cut off from everyone for 60 games. 6 months in the bubble is far different than 3.

  117. I have no idea why the league is starting to have so many positives, but when we are talking about guys in their 20s I’m going to guess women have to something to do with it. A lot of these guys are not married or in a serious relationship. They aren’t going to remain celibate for six months while traveling on the road a lot of the time.

  118. I have no idea why the league is starting to have so many positives

    250,000 new cases a day over the past week. 100,000 new cases a day for over two months. Sexual contact is not the only risk factor to this virus.

  119. Elfrid Payton is shooting .500 from 0-3 feet. 2019-20 Dennis Smith, Jr., one of the worst guards ever to run point in the association, shot .543.

  120. There’s not going to be another bubble. There’s no way the players are going back to a bubble. Opinion, yes, but hard to see them ever doing it again to any significant degree. Maybe for the playoffs like baseball did, but by summer the thing will probably have downturned again.

  121. The Honorable Cock Jowles: 250,000 new cases a day over the past week. 100,000 new cases a day for over two months. Sexual contact is not the only risk factor to this virus.

    Yes, I understand. But they are operating with some pretty strict protocols for practice, games, traveling, staying in hotels, where they can eat, even carrying luggage etc… They are more or less as locked down as you can expect. But they must have some freedoms for women that are adding risk. If I didn’t have a live in girlfriend who’s locked down with me, I’d be screwed, or actually, I’d never be screwed. :-)

  122. Seems like the fate of this season all comes down to how quickly the NBA can get all these guys vaccinated which is largely outside of their control since vaccines will have to be at least moderately widely available before they can justify giving it to the players.

    Doing another bubble could maybe work for just the playoffs but I think it was a massive cost sink for the league on top of all the stories about the mental drain it took on everyone involved. Not sure there would be an appetite for even that and no way is it a solution for the regular season.

    A pause just kicks the can down the road; I think a bunch of guys are ruled out right now because of contact tracing rather than positive tests so letting people separate for a while helps but unless you’re going to pause again every few weeks you’re going to be right back in this situation again shortly.

  123. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Elfrid Payton is shooting .500 from 0-3 feet.2019-20 Dennis Smith, Jr., one of the worst guards ever to run point in the association, shot .543.

    For his career he’s .585 at the rim- he was .575 last year but like RJ this year, he was so bad from three (and the line) that it tanked his TS, if you consider going from .500 to .470 tanking- it was certainly bad either way. If he was finishing at last year’s rate of .575 his TS% would somewhere around .525-530. which would be adequate, nothing more. But adequate is by far the best we got.

  124. Austin Rivers starting for the injured Bullock tonight. Taj should be available, which will hopefully lighten the minutes load on Randle. Though the offense goes in the toilet whenever Randle sits.

  125. Things are looking pretty grim again, but between the high volume of positives going on right now, the fact that close to 70 million people in the US may have already been infected at some point (latest estimate I saw), and vaccinations about to kick into high gear in a few weeks, it’s not going to take so long for this thing to slow down simply because so many people are immune. Then the warmer weather starts kicking in. Maybe that will also help again. I’m not saying they should kick the can down the road. I don’t know nearly enough. But if they did, when they came back it might be a better environment than it is now.

  126. ***But they must have some freedoms for women that are adding risk.***

    I blame statistical anal.

  127. I’ve been thinking about the injury bug and the comments on it here. My impression of the Knicks medical staff, and this is just an impression, is that players stay out longer than you might expect for a given injury. But this is probably correct medical practice if your priority is the health of the player. I think many teams rush players back and the players suffer long term for it. To give a couple of prominent examples, consider Kawhi on the Spurs being pushed to return by the team or Isiah Thomas on the Celtics.

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