2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Wizards

Simply put, if the Knicks are going to have a chance at avoiding the play-in games, they really need to sweep this home and away versus the Wizards.

I expect they’ll pull it off.

With Derrick Rose now confirming he actually had COVID, who the heck knows what that means for his readiness the rest of the season. Hopefully he’s healed up well.

Let’s go start the sweep, Knicks!

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197 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Wizards”

  1. From last thread:

    E, all merc’d out:
    Tom Thibodeau does not want to coach young players.That can be worked around; for example, he would pick coaching young players over unemployment.But he does not want to coach young players.Once that’s understood and internalized, every iteration of all this that we see starts to make sense.

    This is a tiresome mischaracterization. He doesn’t want to coach players who don’t play well (according to his own definition, which is not all that bad,). That’s why RJ and Quickley play and Austin Rivers sits.

  2. Payton will start tonight and as much I understand that IQ is better suited as a 6th man, the second unit needs scoring and yadda yadda, this is my personal Groundhog Day…

    Despite that: Let’s go Knicks!

  3. Marc Stein @TheSteinLine: The Pelicans say Lonzo Ball (right hip flexor strain) is out for tonight’s game against the Lakers.

    When a player is placed on the injury list a few days from the deadline, that immediately rises his chances of being traded, i would say.

  4. Steve Popper @StevePopper:
    A little note for tonight’s Knicks-Wizards game. Courtney Kirkland, who was crew chief Sunday night, is back as crew chief tonight, working with Brian Forte and Justin Van Duyne. Reminder – L2M report confirmed the last second calls.

    Better start booing the referees from the 1st minute on

  5. I think we have three picks in the upcoming draft. Our roster is full at the moment, but likely to lose Rivers. Iggy is probably also replaceable. That’s two openings if you don’t count two way players, which means we can sign two of our draft picks to regular contracts. One probably goes on a two-way contract, unless maybe Peyton or Rose don’t get rehired if we need space. But I can see why management might like to have fewer picks added to the team but better players overall.

  6. ***Lonzo has a strong defensive reputation that Brogdon lacks***

    Brogdon has a better career D-rating, and he played 29 minutes a game on the #1 defensive team in the league in Milwaukee, and 31 minutes per game on the #6 defensive team in the league in Indiana. Ball doesn’t have as good of a defensive resume as far as I can see. (They even have the same career steals rate).

  7. lonzo is a better defender than brogdon. i won’t stoop to the evidence gutter; but he is. brogdon is definitely better overall at the moment.

  8. If healthy, Brogdon is a better player than Lonzo. He shot 50/40/90. He is at least as a floor general. He is a plus defender.

    The big issue with Brogdon is the durability of his knees. He slid in the draft because many teams red flagged him. He might be like Brandon Roy – great while he lasted, but not built to last.

  9. i am in the Lonzo camp…he came into the league after his freshmen year…I think he is going to get better….

  10. payton ditching the armband is helpful to those of us who are bad at telling left from right and confuse him with rj

  11. Alex Len is a walking ear worm. Every time I see him, I know that it’s over for me. He’s gonna Steal My Sunshine.

  12. <blockquote cite="comment-739696"

    Brogdon has a better career D-rating, and he played 29 minutes a game on the #1 defensive team in the league in Milwaukee, and 31 minutes per game on the #6 defensive team in the league in Indiana. Ball doesn’t have as good of a defensive resume as far as I can see. (They even have the same career steals rate).

    Brogden’s numbers around the rim have dropped off the last two years- you wonder if the knees are already an issue.

  13. So the Celts have to play Milwaukee on the road on Wednesday and again on Friday. They have lost 5 of 7 so some circuits must be blowing in Ainge’s brain right now.

  14. Oh thank god, that UnderArmour ad about imposter syndrome has been replaced. I’ve seen it so many times now that I’m doubting everything.

  15. Donnie Walsh: Brogdon has a better career D-rating, and he played 29 minutes a game on the #1 defensive team in the league in Milwaukee, and 31 minutes per game on the #6 defensive team in the league in Indiana. Ball doesn’t have as good of a defensive resume as far as I can see. (They even have the same career steals rate).

    Milwaukee’s defense was better without Brogdon on the floor that year and got better after he left.

    I prefaced it by saying I haven’t seen Ball enough to confirm. But he does seem to be regarded highly on defense. Maybe it’s Frank-like and doesn’t show up in steals rate?

  16. Here’s my luke warm take. Mitch even before the injury I feel had been milliseconds late or too deep to make the big blocks in defense. Noel outplayed him in that dept. I think but Mitch is superior on O boards. That’s all I got. Maybe we go twin towers late in games !!!

  17. I don’t know what the hell happened on that RJ-Mitch lob but it warmed my heart

  18. ephus:
    Alex Len is a walking ear worm.Every time I see him, I know that it’s over for me.He’s gonna Steal My Sunshine.

    I, too, owned the Go soundtrack in 1998.

  19. Z-man:
    I don’t get the challenge in the first half…

    Thibs was definitely being stubborn trying to prove a bad point … def dumb move

  20. Mitch made his presence known right away. Noel is good, but Mitch has something Noel doesn’t, dexterity.
    Barrett’s breaking down the defense and passing out of the paint for the Bullock 3’s was a thing of beauty.

  21. IQ just sent Neto to another zip code before nailing that step-back 3. When Brooks called a TO, I was afraid IQ pushed off and we were getting a challenge. It was a clean, DEVASTATING move.

  22. Z-man: This is a tiresome mischaracterization.

    There are probably better nights for this facile accusation than those on which Elfrid Payton starts after a multi-week absence and no practice, and Alec Burks is the first “point guard” off the bench.

  23. Neto just guaranteed that he’ll be on every NBA highlight show for the next 2 weeks.

  24. Toppin airballs the shot.
    Next possession he’s wide open in the corner, Payton drives into traffic.
    The players have not trust in Obi.

  25. I can’t watch Obi anymore. Just trade him for anything

  26. Toppin sucks but he sucks even more if His role is to stand behind 3 point line and take a shot he can’t make

  27. It’s amazing seeing a center with hands on offense after watching Noel for 20 something games

  28. Toppin’s regression from struggling rookie who shows flashes
    to unplayable bust is really disappointing…

  29. Toppin’s now lost all confidence. He’s a shell of what he was in the first preseason game. Wasn’t developed well. Plays for a coach who isn’t good at development. May or not be a lot there to work with, but that’s really neither here nor there at that point. If Thibs is going to be the coach, they should just trade him now before his value completely dissipates. It’s not working and this isn’t the organization for him.

  30. E, all merc’d out:
    Toppin’s now lost all confidence.He’s a shell of what he was in the first preseason game.Wasn’t developed well.Plays for a coach who isn’t good at development.May or not be a lot there to work with, but that’s really neither here nor there at that point.If Thibs is going to be the coach, they should just trade him now before his value completely dissipates.It’s not working and this isn’t the organization for him.

    I sadly agree. I wonder if his teammates lift him up at all. It’s a shitty situation.

  31. Apparently I should have tuned in before halftime….69-49, sweet!

  32. They’ll never do this but if they want to play toppin … let Randle take his breather earlier. Let him play with some of the better players to create for him (not corner 3). Worth a shot. Especially up 20.

  33. E, all merc’d out:
    Toppin’s now lost all confidence.He’s a shell of what he was in the first preseason game.Wasn’t developed well.Plays for a coach who isn’t good at development.May or not be a lot there to work with, but that’s really neither here nor there at that point.If Thibs is going to be the coach, they should just trade him now before his value completely dissipates.It’s not working and this isn’t the organization for him.

    Barrett, Quick, Randle, and Mitch haven’t been developed well? The fact that Toppin can’t play says that the coach isn’t good at development?

  34. sometimes I think Obi Toppin for Lonzo Ball is too much for a pending free agent. And then Obi plays a game.

  35. d-mar:
    RJ just keeps adding more aspects to his game. So nice to see.

    Absolutely. Lotta stretches on offense where RJ seems to make his teammates better. Did not expect that this year.

  36. Randle got away with the most blatant lane violation on that last FT. He was off of the key and crossed into the paint long before the ball hit the rim.

    Mitch scooped up the loose ball for the power slam.

  37. yeah, if they keep the big lead it would be nice to see them try to try to feature Obi

  38. KJG:
    They’ll never do this but if they want to play toppin … let Randle take his breather earlier.Let him play with some of the better players to create for him (not corner 3).Worth a shot.Especially up 20.

    +1

  39. Very solid half overall, great to see Mitch doing Mitch things, Randle being consistently good, RJ very confident and impactful too. Let’s blow them out so we can get some garbage time.

  40. They should be offering Toppin around right now and who knows maybe they are, but it’s so early there’s still likely a big factional FO disagreement about where to go with him. Hard to imagine Rose giving up on him this quickly.

  41. 1. RJ is getting better bi-weekly.

    2. Randle is dribbling too much and taking the occasional bad shot lately . Obviously he’s having a good game overall, but I don’t like seeing those old bad habits emerge again.

    3. It’s time to bench Obi and give Knox a chance. At least Knox doesn’t throw up air balls on a regular basis.

    4. We made some really dumb plays in this game. Good thing Washington sucks.

  42. KJG:
    Toppin needed G league more than anyone, now he’s stuck …

    Agree. After a week or two starting in the G-league he’ll be back strong.

  43. E, all merc’d out: There are probably better nights for this facile accusation than those on which Elfrid Payton starts after a multi-week absence and no practice, and Alec Burks is the first “point guard” off the bench.

    Do you even read your own posts? Or the responses?
    You said (twice!): “Tom Thibodeau does not want to coach young players.”

    I said: “He doesn’t want to coach players who don’t play well (according to his own definition, which is not all that bad)”

    If you want to take issue with his coaching, it should be based on the “his own definition” part. He thinks Payton is “good” in the context of the team. You don’t. But it has nothing to do with age. That you keep insisting that it does is the tiresome part. Mitch, RJ, and IQ are all major parts of the rotation. Even Obi continues to get minutes.

  44. If you want to take issue with his coaching, it should be based on the “his own definition” part. He thinks Payton is “good” in the context of the team.

    OK, so his stupid “own definition” always winds up with him playing shitty veterans and not better young players. Not sure how that’s an improvement. It would be better to just not want to admit not wanting to play young players rather than making up stupid excuses as to why you don’t play young players.

    He’s played Immanuel Quickley literally the bare minimum his performance and talent, and the other players at his position, would call for. IQ is not a pro-Thibs data point on the question.

  45. Toppin’s problem is that he excels in transition and taking advantage of smaller 18-19 year old players. He’d be great in college. lol Seriously, his skillset was bound to be a problem in the NBA, but he might look better on a team that ran a little more. I think a player like Lonzo Ball could help make him look a little less terrible because Ball prefers to run.

  46. i know obi hasn’t set the world on fire but this is part of having young guys… he’s been bad but not entirely irredeemably bad… there’s a lot of folks here who wanted to throw rj in the garbage and look at him now…

    i don’t think benching obi is the answer… and certainly not for knox… but if you’re going to draft someone in the lotto you need more than 400 minutes to figure out what he can do…

    it doesn’t look great… he’s old for a rookie… he looks like a fish out of water… but rookie years even for old rookies can look like this….

  47. Bruno Almeida: Let’s blow them out so we can get some garbage time.

    Yeah, i wanna see our All-NBA G-League First Team PG play some minutes tonight

  48. After the tough loss Sunday night I was worried about tonight’s game, this is an incredibly impressive performance.

  49. I’m sure I’m in the majority but I’m not sure Ja Morant will be the no doubt second best player in the 2019 draft by the end of the season. I know we’re playing the Wizards but an RJ Barrett who knows who he is and is also improving is a very scary thing for the NBA.

  50. E, all merc’d out: He’s played Immanuel Quickley literally the bare minimum his performance and talent, and the other players at his position, would call for. IQ is not a pro-Thibs data point on the question.

    It’s not even a pro-Thibs or anti-Thins argument. You continue to ignore that he’s playing RJ big minutes even though he’s 20 years old and his stats certainly don’t justify more playing time any more than Payton’s do. Or that he played Mitch far more than Nerlens before his injury. You think Quickley is a better PG than Payton…that’s a debatable position. But to make a generalization based on that flies in the face of what is happening.

  51. Bullock has come a long way when he gets hurt and I’m hoping it’s nothing serious.

  52. I honestly wish we weren’t playing these guys again on Thursday. They’re gonna be angry and probably locked in.

  53. I thought Randle could play better than he did last year but I never thought he would turn into Steph Curry

  54. Mike Breen trying to justify Thibs and the no garbage time policy was kind of funny

  55. Well, Wizards’ defense is juuuust a little different than the 76ers’, but it’s fun to watch this kind of reaction after that brutal loss…

  56. d-mar: I honestly wish we weren’t playing these guys again on Thursday. They’re gonna be angry and probably locked in.

    Don’t worry, a relaxed Knicks team should probably be better than a locked in Wizards team. They’re baaad.

  57. Thibs calling TO after allowing an easy layup that cuts the lead to 29 is freaking awesome.

  58. I got to work and had to stop watching the game, but I checked the score and wow, we are leading by thirty and have over 90 points half way into the third quarter. I have to say, if this keeps up, Scott Brooks could get fired.

  59. The Wizards a playing All Star Game-level defense. All credit to the Knicks for making the open shots, but they are open for a reason.

  60. KJG:
    Randle a few dumb things last 2 or 3 touches.Obi coulda done that !

    Last three or four touches. It’s Obi time…

  61. 3 or 4 touches now. Too much one on one bad shots. I don’t care that we’re up almost 30

  62. Hard to imagine Rose giving up on Obi this quickly.

    This isn’t too fast to give up on Obi. This is precisely the time to trade him. His numbers don’t suck and there’s a story behind his lack of playing time (Randle). If we can get Brogdon for Obi and save our draft picks, do it tomorrow.

  63. That was a nice dribble drive and dish by Frank there. Actually shook his defender. The dribbling has improved a tiny bit.

    I can’t believe Randle is a guy who goes 7-9 from three now. It’s just crazy. Never saw that coming.

  64. Mitch shouldn’t do this block attempts that are clearly a goaltend, because you don’t know if the ball is going in or not.

  65. Randle’s played 32 minutes so far, end of the third. Up by 28. What’s Thibs’ decision for the fourth?

  66. Raven: Randle’s played 32 minutes so far, end of the third. Up by 28. What’s Thibs’ decision for the fourth?

    Sit Randle the entire quarter

  67. I just don’t see obi doing that many little things either. He doesn’t crash the boards … he wanders a lot… doesn’t love contact really …

  68. If the bench wants to finish the game don’t allow open 3pters on every possession against the Wizards scrubs.

  69. Say what you want about Elf, Rose, and Burks, they do go to the hoop relentlessly and with confidence, justified or not. Thibs obviously wants it from that position. Frank and IQ never do it.

  70. The Toppin’s watch experience is jumping from PG-13 to NC-17…

    Guys are giving Thibs all the motivations he needs to keep the starters in…

  71. I think we could play with 3 guys and not blow a 20 point lead with 2 minutes left. Maybe rest the starters now?

  72. As I wrote before, Thibs does not believe that Garbage Time starts before the last two minutes of the game. Maybe he will put in the bench for the last 2:14 after this TO.

  73. 22 points on 13 shots from the center position tonight, along with 17 rebounds and 5 blocks, not too shabby

  74. I officially believe that Thibs’ minute malpractice is a ploy to get the front office to not short him on talent this off season. Give him guys who can finish the job and he won’t destroy the $250M+ investment you’re going to make in RJ/JR.

    It’s actually scary to think about.

  75. Thibs certainly falling in love with Burks now too. Quickley not playing as well and his minutes show. When Drose is back, watch out… not saying any of this is wrong if winning tops all but I know many of us will harbor some resentment …

  76. As a fan of his, I’d love to see Quickley get his teammates involved more. Wouldn’t be surprised if some of the guys really hate his game.

  77. KJG: I stopped watching.Did he make any?

    Yes he did.

    But probably the scrubs that never play hate him :-)

  78. KJG: I stopped watching.Did he make any?

    Yeah, he made 2 three pointers, missed 1, and then made a layup. 8 pts in 4 FGs, very good.

  79. Best Mitch has looked all season. It helps that Washington has the worst interior defense in the league but he looked like last year’s Mitch.

  80. DRed:
    22 points on 13 shots from the center position tonight, along with 17 rebounds and 5 blocks, not too shabby

    +1

    Love seeing that.

  81. So assuming the Heat lose, we will be 1/2 game out of 4th, 1/2 game out of 8th and 2 games out of 10th. Crazy.

  82. Barrett 39 minutes, Randle 38. Good thing we just edged out the Wiz.

    Even if you hate Obi, put Taj in for Randle for a while. Don’t break our all-star!

    Hope Bullock’s knee is okay.

  83. i have to imagine it’s been tough for the other coaches on the team to digest thibs propensity for leaving the starters in waaaay too long in more than a few games this season…

    no doubt thibs explained himself to the coaching staff, and the team – gotta think though woody, johnnie, andy, diasuke and kenny are sitting on the bench thinking this is really dumb and reckless…

  84. Harper…all g league

    IQ took care of all the shots in garbage time…

    i was kind of hoping quik would throw him a bone there at the end, not so much…quik’s a lou williams wannabe without the assists…

    i feel less bad now about rose stealing all his shots…

  85. 3. It’s time to bench Obi and give Knox a chance. At least Knox doesn’t throw up air balls on a regular basis.

    i don’t think benching obi is the answer… and certainly not for knox… but if you’re going to draft someone in the lotto you need more than 400 minutes to figure out what he can do…

    i agree with you both, give him a week or so off though…sadly for his development, there’s only a few days chance for the entire team to practice together over the next couple of weeks – doesn’t mean though he can’t do work with the staff and a few teammates, before and after games…right now i would sit him for a week, give him some specific stuff to work on…

    when it comes to player development, we don’t just have one coach, thibs just controls the rotation, shots, defense, how many breathes you take in a minute, your blood pressure…i’m sure you gotta ask him to go pee during a practice…

    wouldn’t mind seeing knox get a little court time, frank kevin, obi – they’re all the same at this point…

  86. i know obi hasn’t set the world on fire but this is part of having young guys… he’s been bad but not entirely irredeemably bad… there’s a lot of folks here who wanted to throw rj in the garbage and look at him now…

    To me there’s huge difference between RJ and Obi as rookies.

    RJ had a clearly defined set of skills at 19. The major questions were whether he could he improve his 3 point shot over time and would he be quick enough to defend well. Other than that, we knew he could score around the basket, had good vision and playmaking skills for a wing, and rebounded fairly well. All you had to do was give him time and hope the 3 point shot came.

    Obi is 22 and I can’t find a thing he does well other than jump and dunk. He’s not going to get transition points in the the volume he used to get in college and not only does he not have a strength advantage inside anymore, on many nights he’s the weaker player. Add that to the fact he’s throwing up AIR BALLS from deep, can’t defend a lick, and is not an especially good rebounder for a PF, and all you have a hard working kid that’s very easy to like and root for.

    I’m not calling him a bust yet, but even with Knox you could hold out more hope because he was a very physically immature 19 year old. And as disappointed as we are in Knox so far, he’s year YOUNGER than Toppin now and at least has a couple of NBA skills.

  87. KB Apprentice:
    As a fan of his, I’d love to see Quickley get his teammates involved more. Wouldn’t be surprised if some of the guys really hate his game.

    He’s a scorer off the bench. You bring him in for a heat check and either roll with him or yank him depending on how it’s going that night. IMO he should not be playing PG or even starting on a good team the way he plays now. He doesn’t have the same skill set as Hardaway, but he reminds me of Hardaway. He has no conscience. He’ll throw up any trash at any given time. He’ll win us some games and cost us games depending on whether they are going in on that night and how long a leash we give him. If he wants to become a serious player, he’s got to settle down.

  88. BigBlueAL:
    Thibs calling TO after allowing an easy layup that cuts the lead to 29 is freaking awesome.

    That was the funniest moment of the night. I was laughing hysterically at that timeout and my girlfriend couldn’t understand why. I told her they screwed up on defense. She said ‘But the game is basically over”. I said, “Exactly”.

  89. BigBlueAL:
    Thibs calling TO after allowing an easy layup that cuts the lead to 29 is freaking awesome.
    That was the funniest moment of the night. I was laughing hysterically at that timeout and my girlfriend couldn’t understand why. I told her they screwed up on defense. She said ‘But the game is basically over”. I said, “Exactly”.

    I read a Washington Wizards blog. They are unhappy their coach doesn’t hold people responsible like Thibs does.

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