2021-22 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers

The Knicks host the surprisingly decent Cleveland Cavaliers, who are being led by the impressive defense of their star rookie, Evan Mobley.

However, due to injuries and a short roster in general, the Cavs are highly dependent on their starters, so hopefully the Knicks second unit will exploit them.

The Knicks second unit has a new look tonight as Kemba Walker is getting a game off to rest, so Derrick Rose will start and Thibs is deciding between Grimes and Deuce for who makes it into the rotation.

Should be a fun game.

IS 56 WINS STILL IN PLAY? I am still quite confident!

As part of our all-poll content…

Will Evan Mobley be the best player taken in this draft?

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Let’s go, Knicks!

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209 thoughts to “2021-22 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Cavaliers”

  1. Alternate poll idea: Would you rather IQ be the back up point guard and Grimes plays as the back up shooting guard, or IQ is the back up shooting guard and Deuce is the back up point guard?

  2. Mobley has had a very good start,
    I voted “no” just because I like what I saw from Scottie Barnes so far…

  3. Surprisingly excited to watch the Cavs play. Mobley’s offensive numbers are pretty pedestrian so far (which is fine, he’s 20) so curious to see if his defense justifies the hype. Garland is having a great year but it hasn’t been the best season for me as the lone resident on “the Knicks should trade for Colin Sexton” island.

  4. @Alan: i love the idea of watching what Deuce can do, but i think Grimes has earned the right to be the first choice, so IQ and Grimes is my option.

  5. We match up well with these guys, we have a deeper bench, we just came off a spectacular win and we’re at home. All signs point to coming out flat, letting our guard down and getting outworked on the boards and having to play catch up all game. Let’s hope they prove me BingBongWrong.

  6. Good D so far. But somehow I don’t think we’ll be getting many offensive rebounds against this team.

  7. I don’t know who was more surprised by that sweet baseline spin step-back 2: Fournier or the defender. Frenchie needs to remember that one next time he gets caught down low.

  8. wow Mitch sits down and Mobley immediately gets a dunk and a jumper. How much more evidence do the haters need?

  9. Anyone who suggested Fournier wasn’t an upgrade over Reggie can hand in their hot take licence.

  10. I hate to frame it this way because I like the guy, but the roster is what it is so Obi has probably rehabbed a lot of his trade value from draft night

  11. I like the way Obi comes in off the bench and always brings energy. His shot needs work but he always hustles.

  12. Looks like Thibs is going with a short rotation. Oh well. Would’ve really liked to see Grimes get some run.

  13. “the Cavs are missing Marketten”, and i was missing hearing Clyde try to pronounce Markkanen. LOL

  14. Looks like Thibs is going with a short rotation. Oh well.

    It would be kind of funny if he burns out his regulars on the first game of a B2B in order to protect Kemba from having to play 2 nights B2B.

  15. Alan:
    Looks like Thibs is going with a short rotation. Oh well. Would’ve really liked to see Grimes get some run.

    Maybe he’ll do it in the 3rd quarter, but only if we’re up by double digits, i guess

  16. Randle’s back at not passing the ball after a DReb, but he picked up his pace taking the ball up the court…

  17. My son and I met Coach Cal one summer on the NJ shore at an arcade. We took turns on one of those timed mini basket shooting games. He threw brick after brick. It was hilarious.

  18. Obi not being terrible creates the (partially good to have) problem of not being able to let him play extended minutes when he has it going. Felt premature to take him out in this game.

  19. thenoblefacehumper:
    Obi not being terrible creates the (partially good to have) problem of not being able to let him play extended minutes when he has it going. Felt premature to take him out in this game.

    Totally agree on this. He played only four minutes. We could have let Julius sit for longer. And/or, as good as Noel has been tonight, I would have liked a little run with the small lineup to keep Obi out there..

  20. Interesting comment by Breen that Rose is leading the entire NBA in (the almost useless but always amusing) plus-minus.

  21. Wow, nice burst from Randle. Feels like RJ’s string of 20pt games will be tough to maintain if he doesn’t get hot in the second half

  22. Raven:
    Interesting comment by Breen that Rose is leading the entire NBA in (the almost useless but always amusing) plus-minus.

    yeah, he was like +30 against the Bucks and so on.

  23. Randle and Barrett at their worst…

    The way we’re unable to crush inferior teams at home is frustrating like hell…

  24. Barrett’s off and Randle with one of the dumbest turnover ever…

    I hate the players rotation tonight…

    And Fournier with an airball…

  25. Picked this dog as my first in person game of the year. At least I don’t have to hear about the world’s favorite fucking sports book.

  26. If threes aren’t falling don’t shoot fucking threes when you’re in transition!

    They played this quarter as a bunch of idiots…

  27. Gotta capitalize on this. Would like to have that 3rd quarter wiped from my memory Men in Black stlye.

  28. Alright if Rubio is hitting that the invisible sixth man has left the building, and maybe the country

  29. Just returned from a break to find the kids making a run. IQ, Obi, Grimes!

    Let’s win this!

  30. We should start every 3rd quarter with this lineup. We wouldn’t have fallen behind by 14.

  31. A bit hard to blame the defense when Ricky Rubio and Evan Mobley are raining down threes on you

  32. marechal:
    The Knicks give up so many uncontested corner 3s. It’s insane.

    It’s horse shit. 5 guys playing 5 guys… there’s no excuse really

  33. Know when you’re beat and run to the open corner to cover for the guy that has to cover you …

  34. DRed:
    Quickley has played pretty well for the worst player in the NBA

    It’ll be nice if he’s back, still want to win this game too

  35. It’s hard to win when a guy like Rubio goes 8 for 8 from 3P land. He’s a .326 career 3P shooter.

  36. It all started and ended with Rubio. We could not contain him and our defense collapsed from there.

  37. I can’t be too mad about this loss I mean if Ricky Rubio is 4/8 instead we might win.

    Grimes made his case for some more consistent minutes I think.

  38. We can still lose by 20 guys

    Not for nothing but other than Grimes I think Thibs pushed many many wrong buttons

  39. The list of “worst loss of the year” keeps getting longer and longer…

    I’m disgusted for Toppin’s management.

    Mobley’s gonna be a star.

  40. Knicks play with much more intensity on the road than at home for some reason, wouldn’t be surprised at all if they win at Philly tomorrow.

  41. This is such a weird season. 10 games in and we’ve already had the Terrence Ross game, the Gary Trent Jr game, the Myles Turner game, and now the Ricky Rubio game.

  42. Not for nothing but other than Grimes I think Thibs pushed many many wrong buttons

    Even great coaches can have a bad night, this was one of his worst as a Knick…

  43. BingBongHits:
    We match up well with these guys, we have a deeper bench, we just came off a spectacular win and we’re at home. All signs point to coming out flat, letting our guard down and getting outworked on the boards and having to play catch up all game. Let’s hope they prove me BingBongWrong.

    So predictable, so Knicksy…

  44. how does Toppin only play 10/11 minutes? I mean WTF?

    EDIT: 4-4, 3-3, 2REB, 1AST

    Was he loafing on D or something?

  45. You don’t win games when the opponent hits 50?% of their 3s, also don’t let your opponent hit 50% of their 3s

  46. Never in Ricky Rubio’s fucking life is he going to shoot that well ever again. Fuck that puto.

    Also that was a terrible referee crew. There were other reasons we lost but some of the calls tonight were atrocious.

  47. KB Apprentice:
    how does Toppin only play 10/11 minutes? I mean WTF?

    EDIT: 4-4, 3-3, 2REB, 1AST

    Was he loafing on D or something?

    He wasn’t … he was fair … also, his bag of tricks opens up extra options for other players too …

  48. Randle looks lazy on defense. I’m getting sick and tired of watching him half ass it majority of the game. He had that one nice block but that doesn’t make up for the not getting out to shooters, bad pick n roll defense. Thibs needs to get on his ass

    Also why the hell does one player from the other team seem to not miss every home game lately? Cole Anthony, OG Anunoby, now Rubio. Rubio was the worst cuz no way he shoots like that ever again

  49. KJG: He wasn’t … he was fair … also, his bag of tricks opens up extra options for other players too …

    Plus Obi looked so locked-in in the first half. I just don’t get it. I come back, and …

    Unless Obi was some kind of chronic liability, I don’t see Julius needing to log 37 minutes.

  50. SoNiceWeShowItTwice: Cole Anthony, OG Anunoby, now Rubio. Rubio was the worst cuz no way he shoots like that ever again

    You forgot Myles Turner, Rubio set new career highs, and here I thought he was finished

  51. Cole Anthony has been pretty good this year, he just lit up the Jazz and he dropped 30 something on the Wolves last week.

  52. good:

    obi looked confident…he needs more minutes…on Thibs to make that happen
    iq – might have his mojo back
    grimes – was pretty good for first meaningful minutes

    bad

    defense – perimeter d is lacking/non-existent most of the time both rose, kemba and burks don’t like to play dee that much
    rj – i guess he is going to suck from distance some games
    thibs – not very creative with the rotations…seesm wedded to randle and he needs to break that habit
    randle – reverted back to i get rebound…i need to bring it up ….need to break that habit…

  53. Other than Detroit and Orlando (who have already beaten us and Utah) there’s not one team in the East that we’re clearly better than.

    It’s gonna be a dogfight to make the playoffs

  54. At the same time, D-Mar, I don’t see any teams in the east other than Brooklyn & Milwaukee that are clearly better than us. It’s been a weird season. There’s a lot of parity, and no one knows they’re bad yet except Detroit.

    It might take til the middle of the season to get a good read on where we stand. Might as well sit back and enjoy. It’s still gonna be one of the best teams we’ve had this century.

  55. Maybe we should stop the “Defense” chants. In our 3 losses at MSG we gave up 110, 113 and 126 points. .

  56. SoNiceWeShowItTwice:
    Randle looks lazy on defense. I’m getting sick and tired of watching him half ass it majority of the game. He had that one nice block but that doesn’t make up for the not getting out to shooters, bad pick n roll defense. Thibs needs to get on his ass

    Also why the hell does one player from the other team seem to not miss every home game lately? Cole Anthony, OG Anunoby, now Rubio. Rubio was the worst cuz no way he shoots like that ever again

    Never ever attempts to close out

  57. And, honestly, I don’t think that poor defense is all b/c Bullock and Elf (!) are gone.

  58. It kinda looks like the team that is hottest from 3 is gonna win on most nights. There’s so much variance in 3pt% that we’ll likely continue to see upsets all over the place on the backs of neophytes/scrubs having career nights.

  59. SoNiceWeShowItTwice: Randle looks lazy on defense. I’m getting sick and tired of watching him half ass it majority of the game. He had that one nice block but that doesn’t make up for the not getting out to shooters, bad pick n roll defense. Thibs needs to get on his ass

    The eye test thing about Randle (IMO) is he seems unable to just play “his” game and block everyone else out. He routinely seems goaded into silly matchup challenges against players or he has spurts of bravado (good and bad) based on slights he perceives from refs or other players. When it works, he’s draining threes and shaking his head like, “not in my house” BS. When it doesn’t work, he’s just shaking his head and slacking off.

  60. Another night, another scrub going supernova on us… it feels like a 2016 flashback or something.

  61. Was at the game tonight. Rough loss, fans wanted it so bad when the fake comeback happened in the 4th. Even the lady threw out an f bomb lol. Rubio was unconscious and RJ and Randle scoring a combined 25 points not going to win us any games. Oh well…

  62. RJ’s streak of all-star level play came to a screetching halt, guess it was bound to happen. Hopefully he (and the rest of the team) bounces back tomorrow.

    Was nice to see Grimes come in and play pretty well…promising.

  63. Also went to the game felt like they would’ve had a chance if Rubio didnt turn into Prime Steph. Also nice to see Grimes get some important minutes

  64. Imagine how good the Cavs would be if Jarrett Allen was as good as Mitch…

    Z-Man’s relentless commitment to his new schtick is sure to make this board a better read every day… said no one ever.

  65. Hubert: Z-Man’s relentless commitment to his new schtick is sure to make this board a better read every day… said no one ever.

    The easy solution for you (and anyone who feels similarly) is to skip over my posts like I do most of yours…

  66. Children, children, you’re both up way past your bedtimes.

    I must admit, looking around the league at stuff like the game today and Washington keeping the Bucks under 100, and it feels like a bunch of teams are pulling a Knicks 20-21.

    Which is a little scary for Knicks 21-22.

  67. We suddenly have a fairly old and un-athletic team while other teams’ high draft picks have just started to ripen. I like our few young guys, but they aren’t the same as having future stars like Jalen Green or Evan Mobley.

    Hopefully RJ, Obi, Quickley, Grimes and Mitch can prove they are more than just role players this year.

  68. ***Imagine how good the Cavs would be if Jarrett Allen was as good as Mitch…***

    As a resident objective reader, I have to say, I’ve had a hard time understanding the Mitchell Robinson love here. Most times when I’m watching the Knicks, I don’t even notice Robinson at all. I know there’s always been a low-usage/high-efficiency fetish at KB, but Allen has always seemed like the better prospect to me. He got 15+ rebounds more this week than Robinson has gotten in his career. Oh, and he’s younger.

    And, since I watched both the Cavs and Warriors today, I’ll throw out a few other comps. Is RJ Barrett on a similar career path as Andrew Wiggins? Wiggins has been much maligned here, but he’s a solid, durable 3rd/4th option on a good team. And, finally, there’s something similar about the way Obi Toppin And Juan Toscano move up and down the court. I like and kind of like what I’ve seen from Toppin this year, so that’s not a dig. Obi on the Warriors this year would probably be looking really, really good right now.

  69. If anything, I’m less bummed about losing this one because we did lose to a one of a kind, never happening again, performance from a veteran guard. Rubio is literally the first person ever to have this statline coming off thr bench, it was a real aberration. I also think Mobley is going to be a superstar and if he figures out how to shoot 3s consistently he’ll be a major problem for the years to come. I was much more annoyed at losing to the Pacers and Raptors with some bona fide scrubs everywhere outperforming and outhustling our team.

    In this game, if RJ is shooting a bit better and Rubio doesn’t turn into Esteban Curry, we have a good chance of winning. I do hope however that Thibs is deep in the tank thinking about how to get the defense back on track, because we’ve been getting torched way too much by open shooters and guys who should never be scoring as much as they are.

  70. The KFS newsletter this morning catched my spirit quite well…

    Good morning! Would it be a much better morning had Ricky Rubio gone, say, 4-of-9 from deep, instead of having a once-in-a lifetime, “of course this shit happens to the Knicks” sort of game? Why yes, yes it would. But we deal with what we have.

    And another thing, we’re not overachieving (as the bunch of new Knicks 20-21 teams you guys are talking about) and we’re still up there, so i find this as a positive. When we regress to our new (and higher) mean, and the overachievers do the same, we’ll see where we are. Much likely ahead of them and on pace for the season we expected. Well, at least the ones that applied more caution and predicted wins for the season in the 40s.

  71. Donnie Walsh: As a resident objective reader, I have to say, I’ve had a hard time understanding the Mitchell Robinson love here. Most times when I’m watching the Knicks, I don’t even notice Robinson at all. I know there’s always been a low-usage/high-efficiency fetish at KB, but Allen has always seemed like the better prospect to me. He got 15 rebounds more this week than Robinson has gotten in his career. Oh, and he’s younger.

    To be fair, no one is actually currently arguing that Mitch is better than Allen per se. However, there are posters who a) have stated on multiple occasions over the past 3 years that Mitch is our best player, b) suggested for much of his first 2 years, if not longer, that Mitch was a better prospect than Allen, RW III, and others, c) believe that Mitch is significantly better than Noel, despite their stats on balance being similar in many/most regards, if not favorable to Noel. There seems to be a dread among posters that we are in danger of losing him in free agency by not offering him the max he can get right now. Yet, as high as I was on him his rookie year, I am pretty much done with the hype, which now has zero justification in 3 years of potential over production.

    Yesterday he got yanked by Thibs for glaring defensive lapses (including an embarassing blow-by for a dunk), yet one prominent poster who has been the conductor of the Mitch hype train remarked about how the defense fell apart as soon as he was pulled and how that should “show the haterz.” Yet Mitch’s on-off stats are a ghastly -18.4 thus far this year. Like you, I just don’t get the love, at least before we see some actual consistent production.

  72. BTW, for me, the guy whose career arc is most reminiscent to Mitch’s is Shump, who never turned the corner after a promising rookie year.

  73. ess-dog: We suddenly have a fairly old and un-athletic team while other teams’ high draft picks have just started to ripen. I like our few young guys, but they aren’t the same as having future stars like Jalen Green or Evan Mobley.

    This times ten thousand.

  74. Z-man: To be fair, no one is actually currently arguing that Mitch is better than Allen per se.

    It’s not even close. The KB love for Pogo Stick Mitch was overblown, but at least in the vicinity of reality; Rubensque Mitch is nothing like his KB portrayal.

  75. Brian Cronin:
    Man, Evan Mobley is so fucking good.

    He’s real nice. The Cavs’ neo-Twin Towers look is actually kind of cool and is very likely a future force to be seriously reckoned with.

  76. Thibs seems to think that Mitch is slightly better than Noel because he gets the nod as starter over Noel. I agree and think Mitch is slightly better on offense than Noel because he has better hands but not better on defense. That said Mitch has not managed to improve his offensive variety at all and he really needs to because every opponent is now defending him for the alley oop and it’s working. I don’t mind that he put on muscle. That’s going to happen as he ages anyway. But he’s got to use that muscle well and get a new sort of shot.

  77. Leave it to Z-Man to do everything he can to start a fight, I guess it’s been a while so it was due.

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