2020-21 Game Thread: Non-Losing Record Knicks vs. Pistons

The Knicks have an amazing opportunity tonight to actually have a winning record, which would put them at their best record through 35 games since the 2012-13 season (the 2015-16 Knicks actually got to 22-22 after 44 games, which is the last time the Knicks were .500 that late in a season, but that team never got over the .500 hump after being 8-7, and they were under .500 through 35 games).

And really, there’s no reason they shouldn’t get there, as they are playing the worst team in the NBA now that Towns is healthy again for Minnesota.

Hopefully Dennis Smith Jr. has a terrible game!

Let’s go get a winning record, Knicks!

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248 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Non-Losing Record Knicks vs. Pistons”

  1. going with a nice sicilian white tonight..gotta have a nice buzz to process the inevitable career night from dsj…

  2. DSJ’s 30 points revenge game?
    D-Rose’s 25 FG return game?
    Both?
    Will Thibs be forced to play some smallball with Taj out and Noel back from a 41 min night?
    Will Knox made his return in the rotation?
    Will Frank get a special mission on Jerami Grant?

    The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind…
    Stay tuned!

    Let’s go Knicks!

  3. And you’ve been wrong a whole bunch of times as well. For example, you thought Fizdale would be a fine coach.

    Bro, you’ve misrepresented my position like ten times today. cut it out.

    I hated Fizdale. I was the first person here to say he was shit, I dubbed him a snake oil salesman within a month, and had to sit here an endure the typical “it’s too early” bullshit from the likes of you while you were waiting for more overwhelming evidence to accrue.

  4. #I was the first person here to say he was shit#

    Remember myself yelling “Fire Fiz” during a game so you may were second!

  5. With Oladipo turning down an extension from the Rockets already reading Knicks trade rumors. Miami another team reportedly interested in trading for Oladipo.

  6. BigBlueAL:
    With Oladipo turning down an extension from the Rockets already reading Knicks trade rumors.Miami another team reportedly interested in trading for Oladipo.

    Hard pass on Oladipo unless we’re getting a pick

  7. because it was leaked as houston offering their max extension, i’m assuming this is another fertitta pr leak to get in front of blowback bc they are planning to trade him. houston can actually offer him a 4yr extension starting around june, before free agency. seems like a legit possibility (meaning that Rose goes for him).

  8. casey just said they’re going to try to pick rose up full court to tire him out given that he played 36 min last night and detroit had him on a 24-25 min limit

  9. ptmilo:
    casey just said they’re going to try to pick rose up full court to tire him out given that he played 36 min last night and detroit had him on a 24-25 min limit

    God forbid we have to bench Rose and play Quickley 30+ minutes!!!

  10. In Victor Oladipo’s 9 year NBA career he’s averaged over .100 WS/48 1 time and that was 3 years ago. Hard pass.

  11. noel is really the only player i’ve ever seen with a jab. he goes for the steal literally every time but bc it’s just a kovalev body crusher he usually can do it without taking the normal risks of a big going steal hunting. drummond sort of does this too but it’s not the same.

  12. Does Plumlee just woke up from an U-V bed?

    Our tendency to play down to the competition is lurching in the background…

  13. I was going to say something snarky about the starting five, but these last few minutes just filled me with sadness.

  14. Every time Plumlee makes a bucket, the Knicks coaching staff needs to make these guys run a lap or burpees or something.

  15. Good defense by RJ, Toppin active in the boards, IQ’s floater makes me nervous…

    Toppin shamefully blocked by another rookie (facepalm emoji)

  16. Quick is just ridiculous with that….

    I look forward to seeing him pitch it on the web

    Learn the Life Hack that Will Drive the Other Team Crazy

  17. Some ugly, rec league level basketball, Detroit is really bad, we adapted.

    The stolen foul by IQ made me cringe, this is simply not basketball and I hate it…
    But we suffer so much when we play Young, Harden and the likes that I’m not going to complain, I just hope the league will revise how this fouls are called.

  18. IQ needs to learn how to use short jumpers or some kind of bank shots, the floater’s become annoyingly bad.

  19. You can see that Quickley is not really a true point guard. He’s an excellent combo guard who should be playing alongside a true point.

    The IQ/Frank backcourt is no threat to penetrate at all.

  20. The weird thing about Quickley’s surprisingly productive season is he’s been able to achieve it without really dispelling any of the concerns raised by his college career. Those are on full display tonight.

  21. alec burks is the only nba player who won’t have to change his game at all when he’s 55, forty lbs heavier and holding court at la fitness

  22. IQ is able to make the initial move to beat his man off of the dribble. He has not figured out how to get all the way to the rim. Defenders are recovering when beat to contest the floater.

  23. pepper:
    the floater has hit the rookie wall

    You would think he’d get a friendly roll or bounce. The mechanics or physics of how he’s shooting it probably make it worse. No arc at all to even give it a shot at bouncing in.

  24. not the highest quality game of all time but gotta appreciate the hustle on the b2b, rj and noel especially

  25. Was going to suggest Knicks only shoot threes the rest of the game — no layups, no alley oops, no jump shots. Since they can’t make any of those. But then RJ proves me wrong twice.

  26. BigBlueAL:
    RJ gets drilled on every drive but gets no calls if he finishes or not.

    He has the same problem as Melo where he’s just too strong for the contact to show

  27. BigBlueAL:
    RJ gets drilled on every drive but gets no calls whether if he finishes or not.

    If it’s not a reach anymore it’s rarely a foul … he’s constantly bodied

  28. RJ’s keeping us ahead…
    I’m ready for Julius’ usual “Fuck you I’m An-All-Star” 5 minutes explosion to blow the game open…

  29. Rose & DSJR both trying to show their former teams what they’re missing. And there’s a lot of missing.

  30. hi Knick compatriotas, so we are about to be over 500 a and still complaining, lets be happy and enjoy this while we can, d-rose is keeping us alive while he has been here our record has improved, but we need help, how tall is toppin , he looks like 6’3 out there

  31. Where the fuck did this narrative come from that being dissatisfied with any aspect of our team/direction means we’re complaining about winning? Team Optimism has been going overboard with the psyops recently.

    (This is mostly a joke.)

  32. I think New Yorkers and, more specifically, New York sports fans are predisposed to pessimism. But also we’ve had a bunch of mediocre teams that haven’t made the playoffs and were just good enough to have terrible lottery odds. There’s a bunch of really good draft prospects this year, so people are more conflicted.

    Toppin does look like a little kid out there. It’s definitely a little concerning.

  33. Third quarter. Strap in.

    Obi is like a quarter-miler; a bit slow out of the blocks, but he’s got a hell of a top speed once he has some runway. Since he seems to be three-quarters legs, no big surprise.

  34. Wiz blew it for anyone who cares. As great as Beal played he gave Celtics chance they needed and they took advantage…. slipped on sweat

  35. pepper:
    Clyde’s two pet peeves…(1) stepping out of bounds and (2) allowing cross court passes

    3) leaving your feet
    4) PGs picking up their dribble

  36. KJG:
    Wiz blew it for anyone who cares.As great as Beal played he gave Celtics chance they needed and they took advantage

    Yeah, saw that. Beal steps out of bounds with a 1-pt lead.

  37. I don’t care how bad Detroit is, destroying them like this on a 2nd night of a back to back coming off a tough game last night this is awesome to watch.

  38. Detroit is really bad but RJ’s playing like a future cornerstone…

    And Julius gave me those expected 5 minutes…

  39. Clyde’s pet peeves (continued)
    3. Jumping to pass on offense;
    4. Jumping on defense before the offensive player does;
    5. Wearing a coat.

  40. The Knicks, who are missing two starters and 2 of 3 available centers, are dominating a team on their second night of a back to back and cruising to 4th in the Eastern Conference half way through the season.

    I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand what the hell is going on.

  41. I know there are probably other guys ahead of him, but is Randle in the conversation for most improved? His numbers are only up a few points across a few categories, but (apologies for the eye-test) he is arguably having a significantly bigger impact on games.

  42. Our G-leaguers had a 4th quarter meltdown for the second straight game,
    for some reason they played only 8 guys.
    G-league’s boxscores make me crazy with their strange FT rule.

    Nice move by Toppin

    How did the Wizards lose that game?

  43. i am excited about the way that our coach does his things, if you see pope from the spurs can make players better and we are better

  44. dtrickey:
    I know there are probably other guys ahead of him, but is Randle in the conversation for most improved? His numbers are only up a few points across a few categories, but (apologies for the eye-test) he is arguably having a significantly bigger impact on games.

    That wouldn’t surprise me. The NY Knicks playing well narrative will help him a bunch. Don’t know who else would be there either.

    Going back to the last thread, I do think Thibs would also be in line for an award (agree with it or not) except the Jazz are unexpectedly dominating the league right now. Thibs is probably runner-up though.

  45. Max: Our G-leaguers had a 4th quarter meltdown for the second straight game,
    for some reason they played only 8 guys.

    Must be training them for a call up into Thibs’s rotations.

  46. Max:

    How did the Wizards lose that game?

    Wiz made a super conscious decision to give up easy 2 when they were up 5 … that or Westbrook was lazy. It all started there … beginning of end

  47. Leon Rose and Tom Thibodeau will eventually have dinner and discuss Obi Toppin. That is going to be one hell of a conversation, I bet.

  48. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    Leon Rose and Tom Thibodeau will eventually have dinner and discuss Obi Toppin. That is going to be one hell of a conversation, I bet.

    we need another power forward and send obi to another team

  49. Ok which one of you is on the Knicks coaching staff?

    Someone told IQ “psst the KB board says you need to pick it up out there even though the team is up 20”.

  50. Randle started his Knicks’ career 1-18 from three.
    He must be proud of his work during the layoff.

    We’re going re-sign him and I’m not displeased, not at all…

    IQ with his best Vinnie “microwave” Johnson imitation.

  51. Max: Alas he looks more like Kenny Sky Walker…

    I applaud this regardless of whether the Star Wars joke is intentional or unintentional

  52. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    Leon Rose and Tom Thibodeau will eventually have dinner and discuss Obi Toppin. That is going to be one hell of a conversation, I bet.

    We’re going to regret passing on Hali for a long time…

  53. Lol taking out Quickley for Rose up 20 with 5 left is objectively insane

  54. Okay, let’s start a crowdfunding to give Nerlens a couple of human hands so he could dismiss the butter ones…

  55. Max: Alas he looks more like Kenny Sky Walker…

    wasnt that the guy that was a top pick but never became a good player

  56. Before the season started, I went through the Knicks’ schedule and estimated that they would end the first half 13-24. This is a wonderful surprise.

  57. Kenny Walker’s biggest highlight as a Knick was hitting a jumper to put the Knicks up 3 with a few secs left vs Boston in Game 3 of the 1990 playoffs.

  58. If we caveat it by saying Thibs has obviously been a net positive overall enough times, are we allowed to say it is perhaps suboptimal that all of our important players played way, way more than necessary?

  59. Max: We’re going to regret passing on Hali for a long time…

    I’m not so sure about that one. Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Halliburton play the same role, and I believe Quickley will be a better shooter/scorer. Also everyone was saying the same thing about Brandon Clarke last year and that guy cooled down significantly.

  60. There is something about Barrett’s game that I like.

    He normally doesn’t care if he’s freezed out.

    He’ll play and not sulk if he doesn’t get X amount of shot attempts.

  61. Thibs’ strategy is gonna look moronic when Randle ends up tearing something in garbage time, just like it did when peak Rose tore his ACL playing garbage time for Thibs

  62. Thibs should create a burner Knickerblogger account and just post middle finger emojis to everyone here lol

  63. I appreciate what Thibs has done with this team and don’t consider myself a “Thibs-hater”, but can someone give some sort of defense of subbing the starters in and sticking with them until the end of the game?

  64. we won cheers, we havent been like this since mike woodson coaching time, it feels good, and we are number 1 in defence like when we had oakley
    , mason and the rest

  65. The Glass Half Rebuilt: I’m not so sure about that one. Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Halliburton play the same role, and I believe Quickley will be a better shooter/scorer. Also everyone was saying the same thing about Brandon Clarke last year and that guy cooled down significantly.

    At the risk of starting another multi-thread debate, Clarke has still been a much better scorer and probably player than RJ this year. Clarke started off slow but has upped his efficiency quite a bit since the slow start.

    Just tonight Clarke has put up 16 & 12 on 9 shots in 21 min so far.

  66. BigBlueAL:
    Thibs should create a burner Knickerblogger account and just post middle finger emojis to everyone here lol

    What for? Not drinking the Kool-Aid and begging for a second helping? He’s a good coach. That doesn’t make him some unimpeachable sacred cow immune to criticism. I mean, Derrick Rose is a walking reminder of the costs of Thibs’ pyschotic need to play starters in garbage time. Is it so crazy to maybe hope to avoid that kind of thing happening with Randle or RJ?

  67. This was a very enjoyable win. Ugly at times, but the team stuck it out and RJ showed up to play. Detroit sucks, but beating them like this is what we should do if we’re a legit playoff team.

  68. TNFH, we only have one real center, he has to play 39+ minutes on a back-to-back up by 19. What else can they do?

  69. Why not finish your b2b with your starters in triumphantly like Julius Ceasar entering Rome on his chariot followed by elephants, tigers and rhinos on parade?

  70. JK47:
    I like Thibs overall but man is he Thibsy

    He’s like the Thibsiest Thib who ever Thibbed

    There isn’t another coach in the history of the game that still has his starters in up 20 with 3 minutes to go on the second night of a b2b where they played big minutes in a tight, physical game. Not one.

  71. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada:
    Thibs’ strategy is gonna look moronic when Randle ends up tearing something in garbage time, just like it did when peak Rose tore his ACL playing garbage time for Thibs

    The coach on BB breakdown already did a segment on this very issue back when Thibs coached Rose in Minnesota. See here: 1:53 to 7:20.

  72. Z-man: There isn’t another coach in the history of the game that still has his starters in up 20 with 3 minutes to go on the second night of a b2b where they played big minutes in a tight, physical game. Not one.

    Does that make it a good or advisable course of action?

  73. The palpable anger towards Thibs is a curious thing. We’re probably 8 wins above where we should be right now.

  74. 18-17!
    Nice, easy win against a terrible team, I hope it‘ll become a good habit, we’re building something.

    Randle is a rock, very good game for Barrett, Noel went crazy on defense.

    I kneel at the altar of the COTY (the coaching staff as a whole is doing a great job) but I can’t get why the starters are in at the end…

    We have a good chance to close the first half with a winning record and it’s simply unbelievable.

  75. Knew Your Nicks:
    Why not finish your b2b with your starters in triumphantly like Julius Ceasar entering Rome on his chariot followed by elephants, tigers and rhinos on parade?

    Exactly this.

  76. If Elf comes back healthy for the next game, we may have just seen the last of Frank.

    Good win. B2Bs are tough even against bad teams, we avoided the trap game.

    4th place!! Over .500!!

  77. I have no idea why Thibs left the starters in at the end of the game tonight and I agree it was dumb but still I get a good chuckle out of seeing so many people here complain about it.

  78. I may be reevaluating my opinion on Randle’s viability as a long-term piece

    Same. He’s turning into Thibs’ new Jimmy Butler.

    And honestly, a Bradley Beal trade must be beginning to make more sense for Leon Rose. He would complement Julius very well.

  79. “Z-man
    February 28, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    There isn’t another coach in the history of the game that still has his starters in up 20 with 3 minutes to go on the second night of a b2b where they played big minutes in a tight, physical game. Not one.”

    I don’t know. Red Holzman played Clyde 43:00 minutes on the tail end of a 4-games-in-5-nights set in a 26 point win over the 9-63 Sixers once…

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/197303070PHI.html

  80. 2012-13 was the last time Knicks were over .500 after 35 games. They were 22-22 in 2015-16 but they never got over .500 afterward, in fact I believe that season they finished with only like 32 wins.

  81. We’re also tied w/ the Pacers for the 5th best point differential in the East & 11th best overall.

  82. I wish there was a way we could bring in a legit point guard in the off-season without burning our draft capital. Take this current team, add a competent PG and then two more 1RP prospects?

    I’d buy League Pass to watch that team.

  83. there is, you just gotta hope Chris Paul continues to defy age like LeBron has.

    We ain’t gonna have much else to do with our cap space. I’d fucking pay him.

  84. JK47:
    I wish there was a way we could bring in a legit point guard in the off-season without burning our draft capital. Take this current team, add a competent PG and then two more 1RP prospects?

    I’d buy League Pass to watch that team.

    Dennis Schroder and Spencer Dinwiddie are the 2 available PGs I kinda like, I’m not even sure if Schroder’s still good.

  85. There is something about Barrett’s game that I like.

    He normally doesn’t care if he’s freezed out.

    He’ll play and not sulk if he doesn’t get X amount of shot attempts.

    He has the kind of attitude and temperament we thought KP would have after his draft day interview.

  86. Lonzo Ball…he’s a competent PG who fits the team needs. I think he’s on the way up offensively.

  87. Ntilakilla:
    Lonzo Ball…he’s a competent PG who fits the team needs. I think he’s on the way up offensively.

    Him too, but as a RFA we’re gonna have to pay for him. I’m not sure NO lets him go at any reasonable price with how he’s played.

    TJ McConnell is also probably worth a shot.

  88. If Spencer Dinwiddie is willing to go to the Julius Randle 3-point Shooting Camp over the summer I’d sign him in a heartbeat.

  89. I wish there was a way we could bring in a legit point guard in the off-season without burning our draft capital. Take this current team, add a competent PG and then two more 1RP prospects?

    I’m warming up to the idea of offering Lowry an absolutely enormous 2-year deal, maybe second year team option if he’d go for it.

    I think we could offer him up to 2/$80M.

  90. Z:
    “Z-man
    February 28, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    There isn’t another coach in the history of the game that still has his starters in up 20 with 3 minutes to go on the second night of a b2b where they played big minutes in a tight, physical game. Not one.”

    I don’t know. Red Holzman played Clyde 43:00 minutes on the tail end of a 4-games-in-5-nights set in a 26 point win over the 9-63 Sixers once…

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/197303070PHI.html

    Yeah, I should have known better. But guys played more back then in general…Wilt once played all 48 minutes in every game of a back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

  91. BigBlueAL:
    2012-13 was the last time Knicks were over .500 after 35 games.They were 22-22 in 2015-16 but they never got over .500 afterward, in fact I believe that season they finished with only like 32 wins.

    As JK pointed out, the difference here is that we have cap space, roster flexibility, and surplus draft picks. It feels like the start of something, not the end of something.

  92. Kyle Lowry wants to go home to Philly. Lonzo Ball is the guy we always talk about but I really see him as a Prigioni/Kidd 1.5 guard and not an actual point guard. Lonzo and Quickley could be a ton of fun as a backcourt tandem and it probably wouldn’t cost us a 1RP to pull off. All of our assets should be kept so we can make a push for Nikola Jokic.

  93. thenoblefacehumper: I’m warming up to the idea of offering Lowry an absolutely enormous 2-year deal, maybe second year team option if he’d go for it.

    I think we could offer him up to 2/$80M.

    how do you offer that deal to lowry instead of paul? come on. go for the greatest.

    BTW friendly reminder after y’all spent the day acting like I hate Thibs and thought the Knicks would suck this year…

    I stood against the whole blog last year advocating to acquire Chris Paul, and said adding him and Thibs would make us a potential second round playoff team just like the Thunder were. The consensus reply was there’s no point to adding chris paul, he would just make us a 30 win team. ha!

  94. I stood against the whole blog last year advocating to acquire Chris Paul, and said adding him and Thibs would make us a potential second round playoff team just like the Thunder were. The consensus reply was there’s no point to adding chris paul, he would just make us a 30 win team. ha!

    And I maintain it wouldn’t have been smart to give up the first rounder that turned into Immanuel Quickley for Chris Paul

  95. How are the PG prospects in this upcoming draft? I know there are a bunch of good shooters who should be available in the mid to late teens.

  96. BigBlueAL:
    How are the PG prospects in this upcoming draft?I know there are a bunch of good shooters who should be available in the mid to late teens.

    Jaden Springer is a good mid lottery guy, Sharife Cooper is a real wild card but he’s undoubtedly the best passer in the class, and then you have Jalen Suggs and Cade Cunningham at the top of the class.

  97. Yeah I know about Suggs and Cunningham but was looking more at late lottery/teens. Some writer on Twitter was comparing the Knicks and Kings and said he’d take 5 Kings players before choosing a 2nd Knicks player after Randle. He was trying to compliment the job Thibs is doing but his comments got lit up with fans defending RJ, Mitch and IQ.

  98. And I maintain it wouldn’t have been smart to give up the first rounder that turned into Immanuel Quickley for Chris Paul

    You have a great point there, but it’s a sleight of hand trick.

    The argument from the board was that even for free, we shouldn’t take Paul bc there was no competitive advantage. That it would just turn a 20 win team into a 30 win team.

    I argued vehemently that with Paul, Thibs, and some minor improvements this could be a 45 win team that wins a round of the playoffs.

    The point I’m making is not that we should have given up Quickley for Chris Paul. Rather it’s to to remind the clown show from earlier today what my position was on this team heading into the season.

  99. of course, Chris Paul’s hammy and Thibs’ minutes distribution are about as poor a marriage as can be in the NBA, so maybe that Lowry deal does make more sense.

  100. How are the PG prospects in this upcoming draft? I know there are a bunch of good shooters who should be available in the mid to late teens.

    Would love us to take a look at Josh Giddey if we end up with a pick in the 20’s (wishful thinking). Only 19, but has incredible IQ and passing instincts for a 19 year old. Outside shot needs work, but can get to the bucket almost effortlessly.

  101. In thinking about overpaying for Lowry, I was contemplating PGs in the EC and it’s a very mixed bag.
    PHI: Simmons
    BKN: Kyrie
    MIL: Jrue
    MIA: Dragic
    BOS: Kemba
    TOR: FVV
    CHI: Coby
    IND: Brogdan
    CHA: LaMelo
    ATL: Trae
    WAS: Russ
    ORL: Fultz
    CLE: Sexton
    DET: Killian?

    Certainly if Lowry doesn’t lose too much, he can hold his own with that bunch. But at age 35, I dunno, it would be hard to convince me that it’s worth the risk. And I don’t think CP3 comes here, why would he pass up that player option at his age?

    I don’t think either guy gets us out of the East, so why bother?

  102. The argument from the board was that even for free, we shouldn’t take Paul bc there was no competitive advantage. That it would just turn a 20 win team into a 30 win team.

    That was nowhere near the consensus opinion on Paul. The consensus was not giving up any assets for Paul (I’m sure someone was against Paul at any cost, there was someone who thought that Clyde Frazier was the problem with the Knicks, after all, but not even close to being the consensus).

  103. That was nowhere near the consensus opinion on Paul.

    oh god, Brian, yes it absolutely was. I thought y’all were on crazy pills.

  104. oh god, Brian, yes it absolutely was. I thought y’all were on crazy pills.

    You’re pulling a Rashomon. Go re-read the threads. Trading draft picks for him was the hill many of us were willing to die on for Paul.

    EDITED TO ADD: Heck, I didn’t even need to go further than an actual post:

    This is an interesting bit of news. There are now reports that the Thunder would be willing to get rid of Chris Paul pretty much just to dump his salary. They’re not so desperate that they would add draft picks, but it seems like they would be amenable to some reduced offerings.

    Ian Begley suggested both Reggie Bullock/Frank Ntilikina and Reggie Bullock/Kevin Knox offers, noting, “One executive (not with the Thunder or Knicks) speculated that the Thunder would be open to the Ntilikina/Bullock package. Another exec pointed out that the trade market for Paul would be limited. So, if OKC wanted to get out of Paul’s contract, the Knicks wouldn’t be competing with many other teams. ”

    Huh, if the Knicks aren’t giving up draft picks, I guess I wouldn’t mind either deal.

  105. Brian Cronin: That was nowhere near the consensus opinion on Paul. The consensus was not giving up any assets for Paul (I’m sure someone was against Paul at any cost, there was someone who thought that Clyde Frazier was the problem with the Knicks, after all, but not even close to being the consensus).

    Don’t bother…

  106. Z-man: And I don’t think CP3 comes here, why would he pass up that player option at his age?

    bc 2 years/$80mm is better than 1 year/$44mm

  107. Despite how well we are doing, I still think we wind up in the 8-10 area…but riding this wave is fun!

  108. Despite how well we are doing, I still think we wind up in the 8-10 area…but riding this wave is fun!

    Most likely, but exactly, ride this as long as they can!

  109. I think people have been too quick to jump on the Chris Paul saving the Suns narrative while ignoring that they legitimately have pretty good talent on their team. Booker is pretty good when he’s shooting a 600 ts% like he’s been, Bridges has become a monster 3 and D player, Ayton has improved and they have many quality role players like Cam Johnson, another lights out shooter, Crowder, Saric, even Kaminsky and Payne have been solid.

    Some of it is certainly related to Chris Paul, but there’s a lot of talent on the roster. They’ve won games where CP3 did not play well, and they were already flashing potential when they went on a tear in the bubble games.

  110. Finishing 7-8 is a huge advantage over 9-10, gives you 2 chances of winning 1 game to make the playoffs and I assume guarantees at worst hosting the 2nd game if you lose the 7-8 game.

  111. in fairness, Brian, you were on my side and thought Paul could continue to be an outlier, but a quick google search yielded some of the consensus responses I was referring to:

    from TNFH:

    The other outcome (and I find this one more likely) is that you’re wrong, as in the current Knicks aging Chris Paul aren’t a playoff team.

    Owen:

    I believe Thibs, Paul and this roster would be toxic disasterpiece theater. No way you can convince me it would work out.

    Jowles predicted we’d be a 20 win team with Chris Paul:

    maybe we should just get even more inured to the words, “And with the 9th pick in the NBA Draft, the Knicks select…”

    Anyway, this has little to do with the price of gas, just a reminder that not everyone thought this team was doomed.

  112. Lonzo Ball is the guy we always talk about but I really see him as a Prigioni/Kidd 1.5 guard and not an actual point guard.

    The beauty of having a point forward like Randle and a secondary ball handling wing like RJ is that you don’t really an “actual point guard” but a guy who can create his own shot from 3 complimenting them. That was the major takeaway from the Tjarks article arguing for IQ to start:

    That should be the takeaway for the rest of the league. Quickley wouldn’t be this good if he were on a team that forced him into a more traditional role where he had to balance scoring and passing. He needs the freedom to bomb away from deep. But the converse is even more important. Playmaking bigs like Randle need volume 3-point shooters like Quickley. Both kinds of players were rare a generation ago. They will be commonplace in the years to come. The NBA has more point forwards and point centers than ever, and players who can shoot off the dribble with unlimited range are coming out of the college game at increasing rates.

    Now, traditional point guards are the ones caught in the middle. A team has more flexibility when it builds an offense around a 6-foot-8 player like Randle than a 6-foot-3 one like Payton. Quickley would have been stuck in a sixth man role not too long ago because he isn’t a primary ball handler and doesn’t have the size to guard wings. But the Knicks can benefit from his elite 3-point shooting for nearly the entire game if they wanted to. They lucked into a weapon that warps defenses with the no. 25 pick. It’s time for them to use it.

    You add Ball to the mix and you have two of those types of guards to compliment what Randle and RJ do on offense.

  113. I think people have been too quick to jump on the Chris Paul saving the Suns narrative while ignoring that they legitimately have pretty good talent on their team. Booker is pretty good when he’s shooting a 600 ts% like he’s been, Bridges has become a monster 3 and D player, Ayton has improved and they have many quality role players like Cam Johnson, another lights out shooter, Crowder, Saric, even Kaminsky and Payne have been solid.

    Some of it is certainly related to Chris Paul, but there’s a lot of talent on the roster. They’ve won games where CP3 did not play well, and they were already flashing potential when they went on a tear in the bubble games.

    I mean, Paul is having another phenomenal year. It’s hard to not give the guy credit when he’s 90 and still the best player on the team.

    But yes…Mikal Bridges…sigh.

  114. Anyway, this has little to do with the price of gas, just a reminder that not everyone thought this team was doomed.

    Sure. Heck, I predicted 32 wins, after all!

    Or did I go 31? Whatever, you know what I mean.

  115. I predicted we’d be in the play in tournament. But Indont think I underestimated the Knicks, rather I overestimated the rest of the East.

    but i’m not making this up. many of our smartest posters thought adding chris paul to this team would still keep us in the lottery.

    anyway… I’ve been sleeping on Lonzo Ball. His numbers look better this year, but I’m reluctant to trust he is the player ntilikilla assumes we’ll get.

  116. anyway… I’ve been sleeping on Lonzo Ball. His numbers look better this year, but I’m reluctant to trust he is the player ntilikilla assumes we’ll get.

    You doubt Ball could be a volume 3 point shooting PG who would compliment Randle?

  117. How about this interesting fact, the Bucks are the only team in the East with more wins by 10+ points than the Knicks. They have 16 double digit wins while the Knicks, Nets and Raptors have 11. No other team in the East has more than 9.

  118. Yeah I think Lonzo has taken a big enough step forward this year that he’d be somebody I’d be interested in. He still never gets to the FT line but he seems to have figured out and fixed that hideous jumper.

    PG Lonzo Ball
    SG Immanuel Quickley
    SF RJ Barrett
    PF Julius Randle
    C Mitchell Robinson

    That’s a saucy starting five. Add two 1RPs to that, maybe bring back Nerlens Noel, fill out the rest of the roster with some decent Burks/Bullock type role players…

    That might not be the foundation of a chip winning team but it sure beats the hell out of wishcasting on Langston Galloway and Ron Baker.

  119. CP3 ties up a significant amount of cap space. If we traded for CP3 in the offseason, then we’d need to cut ~$21M of player salary. That means cutting out all our FA signings: Noel, Burks, Payton, & Rivers. Alternatively and more likely, we would have sent Randle to the Suns.

    If we cut Payton & Rivers, whatever, no big loss. But Burks & Noel have been good, and we’d be lost right now if we didn’t have Noel while Mitch is out with an injury.

    Trading Randle for CP3 doesn’t make us much better than we are today. Plus we wouldn’t have any cap space.

    So yeah, I still think it was right to pass on the CP3 trade. We’re currently in a much better position for having passed on him.

  120. Langston Galloway is shooting 45.7% from three this year.

    Plus his name is top-five mellifluous.

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