2021-22 Game Thread: Knicks @ Spurs

The Knicks head to San Antonio hoping to end their recent skid and get back to .500 playing against a rebuilding young Spurs team, who only has a single player 30 or older (and that player, Thaddeus Young, will likely be dealt as soon as they can).

Nerlens Noel will start tonight in place of Mitchell Robinson, because that‘s the problem with the team, what order Noel and Robinson get into the game.

As for our all-poll content…

Will RJ Barrett receive a max contract extension from the Knicks?

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Let’s go, Knicks!

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187 thoughts to “2021-22 Game Thread: Knicks @ Spurs”

  1. Although i’m now fearing that he doesn’t end the Charlie Ward curse, i voted on “sign him for less than the max”. I still believe he can turn this around, it’s just that the odds are not very good.

  2. Puttting out good energy that we sign him for less than the max and after that he truly breaks out

  3. One guy i wish we had is Jakob Poeltl, who’s having an insane defensive season… but we’ll always have the Bargnani memes to remember I guess.

  4. From the last thread:

    Sir Charles is throwing shade at KP for playing hard 2 out of every 6 games. Shaq adds that he settles for bad jump shots too much.

  5. Fournier was wide open under the basket but decided to throw the ball out to Noel for a guaranteed turnover.

  6. Noel dribbled 7 times more in one possession than Mitch dribbles all game… thats gotta be good for something ?

  7. Poeltl is on track to have a pretty amazing career for a throw in. If he plays defense he has something not in common with David. I love you David.

  8. One guy i wish we had is Jakob Poeltl, who’s having an insane defensive season… but we’ll always have the Bargnani memes to remember I guess.

    We would have drafted someone stupid like Taurean Prince

  9. Noel with a few fumbles but hes just a more active guy out there, so ill take the good with the bad…

  10. d-mar: And there’s the brick layup we’ve grown to know and hate this season

    got stuffed and followed up with the righty brick… oh yea…

  11. cybersoze:
    I miss the fun of last season. These games are no fun at all.

    im actually embarrassed to wear knicks gear sometimes….. i have a lot of it… it was easier to wear when we were terrible… now being bad with expectations, i feel like there’s no defense…

  12. Mitch gets the 2.. but watching a 7 footer not play above the rim… especially one that was always above the rim… is this guy somewhat shot?

  13. More on that game, It was Christmas Day 1985 and my two fellow season ticket holders couldn’t go. Ewing’s rookie season vs. the mighty Celts on their way to a chip. Garden loaded with C’s fans, who were mocking the home fans when they opened up a huge lead in the third, only to leave in disgrace as the Knicks fans mercilessly heckled them on their way out. Lots of heroes, including Ken “The Animal” Bannister. It was one of the most enjoyable meaningless regular season games I ever attended.

  14. living dangerously and watching live…

    it would be nice if the knicks won tonight…

  15. our offense is completely 1 on 1 effort… its Thibs… the offense calls for passing the ball around setting screens that do nothing and eventually the guy who has the ball with shot clock winding down has to go 1 on 1…

  16. maybe thibs moved mitch to the second unit to get him going…

    maybe we could rotate the whole first unit through there…

  17. wow, it definitely kinda seems like the issue may be julius’ usage on offense…we need a starting point guard – badly…

  18. d-mar:
    I swear I just heard Mitch yell “Fuck you Z-man” after that last block (-:

    If he keeps playing like this i’ll let him…

  19. KevinR:
    Sims probably gives us more than Noel right now

    Noel still doesnt look right… his first 2 minutes had good and bad… mostly good… but since coming back in, he’s not the guy… prior year noel challenges that baseline dunk…

  20. late quarter collapse… coincides with certain players getting subbed in and out of the game…

  21. Not watching but I do think the Mitch/Noel swap makes a lot of sense. Nobody on the starting unit is gonna lob it to butterstumps and butterstumps doesn’t need to catch lobs. The second unit throws lobs and Mitch in theory can catch them.

  22. Pre-occupied with work and the Ashes, but looks like RJ wanted all that Thibs smoke. Looks like Mitch has benefited from some minutes off the bench as well.

  23. I can tell Doncic played in spain because he just matador d’d the shit out of James Harden…

  24. On the Spurs blog someone definitely posted “Of course RJ Barrett had to pick this game to stop sucking”

  25. d-mar:
    On the Spurs blog someone definitely posted “Of course RJ Barrett had to pick this game to stop sucking”

    RJ does shoot better in empty stadiums.

  26. In case it wasn’t obvious, my earlier RJ trade proposal was just Jackson-esque 11-dimensional motivational chess

  27. I suspect no matter which players are starting our second unit will look good. We seem to have a relatively flat talent distribution. No matter who is in the second unit they will be better than a lot of other teams second units. Whereas no matter who we put in the first unit, they don’t outclass other team’s starters.

  28. RJ basically is just shooting well from 3, if he was 2-5 instead of 5-5 he’d just be having a decent game and we might be losing. Still nice to see though.

  29. RJ basically is just shooting well from 3, if he was 2-5 instead of 5-5 he’d just be having a decent game and we might be losing. Still nice to see though.

    I think he’s had a few drives, resulting in both scores and passes, that have looked much better than, well, anything he’s done of late

  30. I keep telling myself RJ will learn to finish at the rim eventually so not bothered by the hot 3 carrying for now

  31. Mitch looks much better tonight. It could be the matchup, but he looks way healthier and more athletic.

  32. d-mar:
    You all know the Knicks are gonna make us sweat this, right?

    Are we gonna see important 4thQ free throws from Julius?

  33. On the Spurs blog someone definitely posted “Of course RJ Barrett had to pick this game to stop sucking”

    :)

  34. Well we won’t have to wait too long to see if RJ is really back, Pacers tomorrow night

    And for some reason we play so much smarter and looser on the road. Maybe MSG should stop allowing fans in the building?

  35. Heeeees’s Baaaack!!!

    Is it too early to enter RJ in the 3 point contest?

    lmao

    My RJ defense was quite timely. Who’s next?

  36. Thibs comments about RJ and the benching of Mitch seems to have helped them both.

    Hes been around too long he knows how to motivate his players

  37. My highlight of the night was Clyde saying:
    “Rose to Quickley to Frazier to Bradley for the basket.”

  38. When Kenny asked Clyde if any of the players in his day would work out after games like they do now or if they just showered and went home and Clyde replied “I went to the bar Kenny” was also great

  39. Spurs were what the doctor ordered apparently. Great to see signs of life from ArrrghJay and few dumb turnovers from Randle. Mitch may have quietly been the MVP of the game — let’s see how long his benching lasts :) Noel still has little hands of stone, but not much else to complain about tonight. Great win.

  40. It doesn’t matter which of Mitchlens starts when they split the minutes. I’m obviously a big Mitch fan but if Nerlens is playing 2 minutes more than him it’s not a big deal, especially with Mitch not being in great shape. Nerlens is pretty solid himself.

  41. I’m only half-joking when I say this team has been bing bong cursed, in the way they’re trying to hard to get the crowd hyped at home and are not letting the game flow naturally.

  42. It’s a bit of a narrative, but there’s some sense to the story arc that Noel is a good fit with the starters from all the time last year getting to know the guys, and the fact that offensively he’s nothing, which is what the starters do to the center position regardless (see Mitch’s number of shots the last few games). Meanwhile the kids (is Rose a kid?) get out and run, which suits Mitch well, and they like to pass, and there’s lots of kinetic movement so Mitch is often ready to clean up missed shots.

  43. I like Nerlens but would look to move his contract ASAP. Being such a liability on offense kills us sometimes.

  44. Even with Noel the starting five is a weird hodgepodge. There’s no foot speed in that starting five and Noel is an even more limited offensive player than Mitch because of the butter stumps.

    I think you could hide a center like Mitch or Noel better in a lineup where you have some speed to create scoring opportunities, but in this starting lineup with Burks-Fournier-RJ-Randle all being relatively slow-footed players, the 4-on-5 feel of the Knicks’ lineup just gets exacerbated. The pieces on this roster are not really a very good fit. Moving Kemba out and putting Burks in the starting lineup was almost certainly a net positive, but it’s still a fugly offensive lineup.

  45. The ideal scenario would be that Turner is the Noel with offense, which would be a perfect fit for us really. I just don’t know what we can offer to Indiana that doesn’t include Barrett and that they would accept.

  46. If RJ & Randle are starting to snap out of their slumps, then Noel will be fine offensively with the starters. RJ & Randle can usage soak and Noel can focus his butterstumps on defense. Randle is the de facto facilitator and his assists at the rim are almost nonexistent, which hurts Mitch but helps keep Nerlens TOs down.

    We have the 15th best offense in spite of Randle & RJ, if they turn it around that ranking could skyrocket regardless of how inept Noel is offensively. If they don’t turn it around, then the lineups really don’t matter.

  47. RJ Barrett said he had been dealing with the stomach bug for a couple of weeks, which could explain recent performance. Said it started to get really bad (I’ll spare you all the details) after the ATL game Nov. 27. Got really sick during the BKN game, then missed the next one.

    From Katz. Doesn’t cover nearly all of RJ’s slump, but it’s an excuse for at least the final stretch of it. Maybe.

  48. I’m not getting all that excited about this win, SA is a young, rebuilding team heading for the lottery and any decent team should beat them. Tonight is a better test. But seeing RJ and Randle hit shots is definitely nicer than the alternative.

  49. Also not getting too excited about the win, but it’s nice to have a win regardless.
    No surprise that the defense and Mitch look better when playing against slow-footed traditional centers, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers.

    Definitely thought Mitch looked a lot better with the bench crew. I don’t necessarily blame him for putting on weight/muscle given he couldn’t do much on an injured foot other than lift weights and eat, but clearly it was the wrong thing to do.

    Nice to see RJ hit shots, but 4-12 from 2 point range remains worrisome. I am just not sure if you can teach / work on touch around the rim. He gets there without much of an issue, but just can’t put the ball in the basket except on actual right-at-the-rim layups.

    I actually really enjoyed Randle’s game last night – he did sort of the LeBron thing where he spends most of the first half trying to get other players baskets, then turns it on in the second half when the defense is expecting him to pass. I’m not sure what was up with his sudden decrease in 3PA but happy to see him fire away last night.

  50. I’m not getting all that excited about this win, SA is a young, rebuilding team heading for the lottery and any decent team should beat them. Tonight is a better test. But seeing RJ and Randle hit shots is definitely nicer than the alternative.

    Yeah, this game was more of a “It would be really bad if you didn’t win it” sort of thing, where yes, you are glad that they did win a game they had to win, but it doesn’t say as much as a nice win in Indy would. So let’s hope that they show up tonight!

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