2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Pacers

The Knicks host the Pacers tonight with a real chance to get to .500 on the season, which would be the latest the Knicks have been at .500 in a season since the 2016-17 season, so that would be cool!

Not only that, but it would put the Knicks up on the Pacers in the season series and since every team from 4-10 is separated by, like, a half game, being up 2-1 on the Pacers would be huge.

The Pacers played last night and lost to the Celtics, which is helpful, as is the fact that the Pacers’ star guard, Malcolm Brogdon, might not be able to play tonight after injuring his knee last night.

Time to get even, Knicks! Literally!

Let’s go be at .500, Knicks!

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277 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Pacers”

  1. This article was linked to in the Ringer piece about IQ. It was written last May, but it sort of supports the way that Randle is being used as consistent with a trend in NBA offenses towards point forwards.

  2. Someday Jowles and Lady Jowles may have kid or two, and, should that happen, I will be very curious to see how his perspective on these things changes.

    I believe very strongly in the power of good parenting. This analogy would make more sense if we were not talking about a basketball player who had tens of thousands of hours of practice and playing time before joining up with a coach six months ago, having a three-week preseason and then playing 30-some games under him. It would make more sense if we were talking about Tom Thibodeau drilling a 7-year-old Julius Randle on proper shooting and dribbling mechanics.

    This, on the other hand, is some really narrative-seeking by Knickerblogger, in my opinion. Randle is 26, so the expectation of improvement, independent of coaching, is pretty reasonable. There’s no fucking way on earth that Tom Thibodeau is himself uniquely responsible for Randle shooting 41% from three. He is responsible for allowing Randle’s point-forward talents to receive lots of possessions when they could be used on Frank’s skittish dribble drives and Kevin Knox’s deep bricks.

  3. The Honorable Cock Jowles: This, on the other hand, is some really narrative-seeking by Knickerblogger, in my opinion. Randle is 26, so the expectation of improvement, independent of coaching, is pretty reasonable. There’s no fucking way on earth that Tom Thibodeau is himself uniquely responsible for Randle shooting 41% from three. He is responsible for allowing Randle’s point-forward talents to receive lots of possessions when they could be used on Frank’s skittish dribble drives and Kevin Knox’s deep bricks.

    I don’t think there is a poster here who credits Thibs with Randle’s improved 3pt%. What’s silly is that you keep harping on that. You aren’t known for beating up on strawmen, so it’s kind of odd.

    And if you are saying that the 3pt% is what is making the difference for Randle, that’s even sillier. I have pointed out several times that his improvement from there has had a negligible impact on his overall advanced stats, and that his TS% is actually lower than it was two and three years ago. It’s curious as to why you keep going there, it’s as if you lent your account to Hubert or something.

  4. Very Important Game

    We’re getting a break with Brogdon missing, let’s use it accordingly.

    Let’s Go Knicks!

  5. BigBlueAL: Brogdon out for the Pacers tonight.

    Let’s hope this isn’t one of those games where the guy that steps in has the game of his life at MSG.

  6. Randle is averaging 0.8 more made 3pt shots made on 0.5 more attempts per 36 than he did last year.

  7. cybersoze: Let’s hope this isn’t one of those games where the guy that steps in has the game of his life at MSG.

    TJ McConnell always kills us.

  8. we really need to make sure frank didn’t wake up kafka style as a 3&D killer before we give him away in the name of playing reggie bullock and derrick rose a billion minutes

  9. Now would be a good time to mention that Justin Patton has put up good minutes at center on the Westchester Knicks

  10. Now would be a good time to mention that Justin Patton has put up good minutes at center on the Westchester Knicks

    Sadly the Rockets signed him while we putzed around with Gibson and Rose. I’m guessing the same thing will happen to Louis King.

  11. The Knicks have terrible tendencies on offense. Way too many of our possessions are one pass possessions, and that does not work against good basketball teams.

  12. noel in foul trouble, taj was limping a bit, and obi did a lot of travis wear things. this may be a kevin knox situation in h2.

  13. If we want to continue running out the corpses of former Bulls Tyson Chandler spent the first few years of his career in Chi-town.

  14. Omar Asik is also presumably still alive and kicking somewhere, and he was kind of tall, right?

  15. Omar Asik is also presumably still alive and kicking somewhere, and he was kind of tall, right?

    We’re gonna have Joakim Noah in two different places on our payroll

  16. Rose!
    BANG!
    That’s the way to end a half! Knicks lead for the first time tonight.

  17. Hmm, giving minutes to Randle at the 5 and, like, not playing Elfrid Payton seems to work a little bit.

  18. That three doesn’t make up for all those cutesy, gag-inducing turnovers.

    Still, I’m not sure how that halftime score happened….

  19. As embarrassing as the first 18 mins of this game was that was a pretty remarkable quick turnaround. This team never quits say that much for them at least.

  20. I can’t believe that in the boxscore Rose has only 2 TO…

    In a few minutes the game did a 180° turn and now is fairly winnable,
    let’s hope they could avoid their usual third quarter snooze…

  21. Yeah I just [hate] watched like 3 minutes of Brooklyn vs Dallas and damn the way Brooklyn passes the ball without any of their big 3 in the game is incredible. It’s hard to accept our one pass offense when you see what other teams are doing.

  22. When I was a kid I had a dog. Our mailbox was just outside our chain link fence. Every day the mailman would come, and the dog would charge out and slam into the fence face-first. Must have hurt like hell, but he never learned. Just kept slamming his face into the chain links.

  23. pepper:
    I’m tired of rj’s game…he is a very reluctant passer

    I agree but Noel is a very reluctant pass catcher on that last one.

  24. I get the feeling this game is going down to the wire and will be a slugathon until the final buzzer.

  25. If RJ didn’t make those contested threes he would be having his worst game of season so far.

  26. He came at the refs after a Myles turner travel. League pass picked it up not sure if y’all saw it

  27. #The Knicks have blown a few fastbreak chances tonight, super annoying.#

    Yeap
    Hurts deep inside…

  28. That’s an elite play by IQ. His 3 point shooting, his floater, his free throw shooting and his ability to get to the line are elite talents.

  29. DRed:
    Whoever that guy on the Pacers who just dunked it is he’s got some serious hops

    He was in danger of actually jumping through the rim. That was seriously impressive

  30. Never heard of him but he should be in the dunk contest. That was insane. I thought he was going to ram the rim

  31. Rose, Burks, Bullock, Randle and Noel is an ugly lineup to see in the 4th for out hopes and expectations regarding the young guys on this team…

  32. All star is bottled up .. ok, fine… so what should said all star do… don’t force it… make a play … we play so poorly in close games …

  33. the tide turned when thibs yanked toppin…and we went Randle iso..hero ball..with a spritz of washed up rose

  34. BigBlueAL:
    This would be by far the most devastating, frustrating loss of the season.

    Both teams showing some real lack of execution. But we are certainly winning the non execution

  35. Bruno Almeida:
    Rose, Burks, Bullock, Randle and Noel is an ugly lineup to see in the 4th for out hopes and expectations regarding the young guys on this team…

    Unbelievable…

    Thibs will glue to the bench every young player doing what Rose did in this quarter…

  36. Max: Unbelievable…

    Thibs will glue to the bench every young player doing what Rose did in this quarter…
    Every younger player would be glued to the bench

    Yep… RJ is the silver lining I guess

  37. DRed:
    Not sure what Sabonis is crying for he fouled Julius like 3 times on that play

    At least 3 times.

    Next week the two are team mates. There won’t be any defense in that game, however.

  38. pepper:
    why is Bullock out there again?

    Bullock has played a very good game. Solid at both ends of the floor.

  39. I had to check the spread to make sure something wasn’t going on … knicks were gettin points, so Derricks in the clear…

  40. Knicks are at .500, tied with the Raptors for 4th in the East, with the tiebreaker against the Pacers. A big win.

  41. Now that RJ is a good 3 point shooter if he could ever finish around the basket he’d be good player. lol

  42. It won’t happen, but if we could somehow land the 5th seed? I’d take us in a 7 game series against Miami, Indiana, Boston, or Toronto.

  43. Dunno how the hell Noel is gonna be able to bounce back tomorrow night but helluva effort by him tonight.

  44. Quickley is our best guard, but is it possible that Frank is our most trustworthy guard?

    I am NOT a crackpot.

  45. Brian Cronin:
    The freakin’ Wizards are now 13-18!

    I always had a feeling they were snakebit early on and would come back. People are shoveling dirt on Westbrook’s grave way too early.

  46. Z-man: I always had a feeling they were snakebit early on and would come back. People are shoveling dirt on Westbrook’s grave way too early.

    Word.

  47. Did anyone but me wonder why Frank didn’t go in for the dunk there? He had 2 steps on the field in the frontcourt…I guess if you fuck up it’s worse than missing FTs…

  48. How do we feel about being buyers at the deadline if it guaranteed us a top 6 seed and didn’t compromise our 2021 1RPs?

  49. When Indy gets Brogdan and TJ Warren back they will be a handful.

    Oh, sure, but that’s what is great about banking wins.

  50. I’m not sure if Thibs is going keep Frank in the rotation when Payton comes back, but at least he’s ahead of Rivers now. It has been a LONG time since we’ve seen him play enough minutes at 100% to know if he’s made any progress after having such a long off season to work on his game. Even if we have no intention of keeping him, you never know. He could be a piece that’s part of bigger trade package if he looks pretty good.

  51. 17-17 The dream continue!

    A big win, the tiebreaker could be useful.

    We tried everything to lose (did I mention that Derrick Rose is an idiot?), RJ nearly cost us the game with his missing FT, but Frank is a stone cold killer and hit his two to close.

    Slow start but monumental game by Randle, RJ turned the game with 6 straight points and Noel had some good D.

    Rose 38 Quickley 13 N O T G O O D

    Rose started well but finished bad just as the last game, I don’t think he has 25 plus minutes in him every night.

    The Wizards beat the Minnesota Coachfirers and are trying to come back in play-in contention,
    while the Cleveland Tankers couldn’t help themselves and won at Philadelphia.
    Orlando is plummeting, Dallas easily stomp on the Brooklyn Star-Orphans.

  52. Randle vs. Sabonis is a great matchup. Randle got the better of him this time, but the next game will be another dogfight.

  53. That was a Pretty Guttsy Win.
    I seriously doubted a comeback after trailing by many pts during the first but these mfkrs have soul!

  54. Did anyone but me wonder why Frank didn’t go in for the dunk there? He had 2 steps on the field in the frontcourt…I guess if you fuck up it’s worse than missing FTs…

    He was running clock

  55. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    How do we feel about being buyers at the deadline if it guaranteed us a top 6 seed and didn’t compromise our 2021 1RPs?

    I shouldn’t have to raise my hand. I’ve been on this vector for a while now.

  56. Frank looks thicker out there.
    Now when he barely touches the guy with the ball they fall out of bounds in a heap.

  57. As much as Westbrook as declined, he can still rebound and make plays well (and score albeit even less efficiently) and Beal is a killer. They are supposed to win some games unless the rest of the team is total trash. But they do have a few role players that can play a little. They aren’t as bad as they were to start even if they aren’t any good.

  58. My Latest Proposed Pessimist Mantra:
    Are the Knicks really getting better or is it that the other teams underperforming?

  59. RJ did miss those 2 huge FTs but he basically saved the Knicks in the 4th quarter. Down 5 he scored 6 in a row, hit Randle for a 3pter then scored a tough layup.

  60. Westbrook is shooting at a career low (and that’s saying something) so I’m not sure whether it was premature to bury him.

  61. RJ did miss those 2 huge FTs but he basically saved the Knicks in the 4th quarter. Down 5 he scored 6 in a row, hit Randle for a 3pter then scored a tough layup.

    Agreed. The free throws were brutal, but he was amazing in the fourth overall.

  62. The Wizards are basically the sort of setup as the 2001 Sixers. The entire team is geared around Beal. Luckily for them, he’s been playing so well that it has worked recently (granted, tonight they were playing the Timberwolves, who are bad and then have also lost Malik Beasley, as well).

  63. i think most people thought it would be impossible considering how he started the year but rj just got his 3pt shooting to 34% on top of all the improvements he made….

  64. Westbrook is inefficient but he’s still a force. He puts pressure on opposing defenses and still gets tons of rebounds and assists.

  65. Reggie Bullock, 9 points on 11 shots in 26 minutes or Frank Ntilikina 5 points on 2 shots in 11 minutes

  66. BigBlueAL:
    Dunno how the hell Noel is gonna be able to bounce back tomorrow night but helluva effort by him tonight.

    He’s had on and off injury issues that raise a red flag for what I am going to suggest (ducks), but I have been saying all along that we don’t lose much with him on the court instead of Robinson. Robinson is younger, more athletic, more of a lob threat, and has more upside, but right now imo Noel is the better more professional defender. He also scores efficiently on low volume even not at the same level as Mitch.

    That’s why when a trade for a star comes up I mention Mitch. Unless you think Mitch is going to expand his offense a lot and become a serious two way player over time, if you put Mitch in a package with a pick or two and land a legitimate star player at another position, you don’t lose much at C and immediately get way better at another position. It just has to be the right player (young enough and legitimately good enough) and you have to trust that Thibs and company have a good idea of how Mitch’s development is going beyond just dunking. You don’t want to trade away a two way star C or a Gobert, but you can live with trading away a good but replaceable player for a huge upgrade elsewhere.

  67. Z-man:
    Westbrook is inefficient but he’s still a force. He puts pressure on opposing defenses and still gets tons of rebounds and assists.

    Westbrook has always been his best when he feels disrespected and have something to prove, but I thought this time he was too far gone in terms of athleticism to turn it on. His stats are still a horror show but it’s been fun seeing him play well again. One of the least efficient stars that I can still enjoy watching.

  68. but right now imo Noel is the better more professional defender.

    Your o is the only thing supporting that.

    But having Noel to back up Mitch and step up when Mitch has been hurt has been great for the team. They’d be screwed right now without Noel.

  69. I really wanted Bullock to succeed in NY, I love what he does off the court and how he’s not afraid to talk about key issues like violence against trans people, but unfortunately as a player he just adds so little to the team. He reminds me sometimes of a Lance Thomas that can shoot 3s a bit better. Not a bad 10th man for a decent roster, but really not a guy you want playing so much. Knox and Frank should really be getting those minutes to see if they can improve at least.

  70. DRed:
    Reggie Bullock, 9 points on 11 shots in 26 minutes or Frank Ntilikina 5 points on 2 shots in 11 minutes

    Frank is the probably the natural replacement for Bullock. If we upgrade that position, then he’s that guy but off the bench. I am still a firm believer that he’s going to be good role player eventually with the potential for being a key role player. The problem we have now is that the clock is ticking. He’s lost so much time over the years to injuries and sitting behind dregs like Mudiay, his progress has been delayed. He’s going to cost too much to keep and he’s going to be hard to trade for the same reason. If I thought he was treated well in NY, I’d suggest that maybe we can figure out a way to pull a Payton and sign him back cheaper because he loves NY. But If I was him I would have asked for a trade 2 seasons ago when it could have been done for a couple of 2nd rounders or something.

  71. Your o is the only thing supporting that.

    Understood. Some metrics say Mitch. Some say Noel (DBPM). On/Off says they are similar. I don’t trust much of that anyway. Those numbers are all over the place. To my eyes Mitch makes fewer “he’s a kid” mistakes this year, but I think he’s still a bit greener than Noel. His athleticism and talent should eventually make him the clearly better defender too. But that’s why I am saying you have to improve another position a lot more than what Mitch will eventually give you over a replacement to consider a trade. Right now, Noel is handling the job fine and we are playing well without Mitch.

    The mostly likely scenario is we stay with Mitch and Noel leaves at the end of the season because IMO he’s improving his value a lot. We are only going to keep one.

  72. I think you could still bring back Noel cheap— he’s a journeyman in the league— and keep the two-headed hydra rolling. In fact that’s what I hope happens.

    Other than the bricked free throws RJ played so great in the 4th quarter. Really some of the most encouraging play I’ve seen from him yet.

  73. Agreed, the two-headed hydra gives the Knicks a real advantage in the middle on defense. I’d love to see it continue next year.

  74. Noel is the typical player who ia always going to be underpaid in the modern NBA, so yeah, I’m pretty confident anything in the region of 7, 8 million a year gets him even if he continues having a good year. He’s still 26 too, there’s no reason not to try keeping him.

  75. I think Bullock has done a good job on defense. But Frank should get his minutes.

    Re Noel – people have loved him here for years. I have followed him since high school. The reason we don’t miss much when he is in for Mitch is that he’s a pretty good player himself.

    I don’t understand why a guy like Noel can’t get a real contract but if we can bring him back for 7 million that would be fantastic.

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