208 thoughts to “2021-22 Game Thread: Knicks vs Magic”

  1. dtrickey: Surely they aren’t calling that a fragrant on Wagner?

    The refs are drunk too. One went to check if it was 2 or 3 FTs, the other informed us that they would be checking if it was a flagrant. Hilarious.

  2. BingBongHits: Knicks are 12 pt favorites and go in down by 1.

    I think we should expect better defense on Anthony and Ross, given what they did in the last game against us, but this team surely thinks the jerseys will win the game, no need to put in the effort.

  3. The end of the half let me speechless, the starters did it again.

    A couple of quick things,
    first, a lot of our shots were short, too early too be tired so it’s lack of confidence,
    second, we’d better trading for Ross, he always kills us and if you can’t beat them…

  4. Our offense is a mess. We’re stepping out of bounds and banging into each other. Why does the ball never get passed around the perimeter for an open corner shot like everyone else does?

  5. Our offense is a mess. We’re stepping out of bounds and banging into each other. Why does the ball never get passed around the perimeter for an open corner shot like everyone else does?

    Because “some” (hint hint) of our players don’t move without the ball and stand like Subbuteo’s players in fixed spot, then when they get the ball they keep it too much…

  6. as the sample size gets bigger…it becomes more obvious as to the relative mediocrity of this roster…

  7. Z-man:
    Has a team ever stepped out 5 times in a game before?

    Probably not. But I do like it when Randle is making threes.

  8. There is zero foot speed in the starting 5. It just doesn’t work and that is not going to change. This can’t be the starting lineup anymore, it’s terrible

  9. JK47:
    There is zero foot speed in the starting 5. It just doesn’t work and that is not going to change. This can’t be the starting lineup anymore, it’s terrible

    So slow laterally … brain half step behind

  10. Max:
    Randle is 4-11… and 10 are three pointers!

    This is insane…

    That’s such horse shit makes me very very mad

  11. Most pleasing thing about this run is that it’s RJ, Mitch, Obi and IQ. Love seeing the young guys step up.

  12. Remember when we were saying we should have kept Bullock instead of Burks?

    Even without the 3s, he’s the defensive stopper Barrett wants to be.

  13. I know suggs has been struggling but you can’t just leave guys take rhythm 3’s down the stretch

  14. You see the starters do what they do and then the bench does what they do and you say ok maybe it’a anomaly one or two times… but it’s every friggen game now .. so at what point does it become historical fact that is leveraged in the future ….

  15. For all the momentum we had a few minutes ago it’s hard to believe we’re down 1 … we’re working too hard

  16. So I’ve missed basically the whole game other than most of the 2nd quarter because NBATV sucks. Had Randle actually only taken one 2 point FGA the entire game? Box score has him 4-10 from 3 and 4-11 overall. That’s wild.

  17. Mitch was destroying them before he got injured. I don’t know why you go small after that. Throw Sims out there at least

  18. Last year’s team was fluky and Leon Rose doubled down on it instead of trying to really improve it.

    It’s hard to get excited about this bunch right now.

  19. That’s all she wrote … we have a real problem… we don’t have a closing lineup that makes enough money to be a closing lineup … they have some real confidence issues … Randle , Barrett , Fournier …

  20. Well at least we got Evan “doesn’t play in the 4th quarter” Fournier locked up for 3 years…

  21. They must be ashamed…
    It will be a long season, this team needs something very drastic to reverse course.

  22. This and the next game against the Rockets are auto-losses for us, when they should be the exact opposite

  23. Thibs had a lineup with Randle Barrett and the uptempo guys. Barret was handling it for a bit and then randlencomes back after Mitch get hurt. After that timeout everything was slow halfcourt stand behind 3point line .. Randle afraid to shoot late too … they’re robots out there sometimes. We wasted two very important obi 3s for Christ’s sake

  24. DudeInKnicksTown:
    So our starting backcourt will be a burden for us the entire season, won’t it?

    Well, based on last season we can be pretty sure that Thibodeau won’t make any changes no matter how bad they are so probably.

  25. thibsy gonna have to earn his check this year…leon too…we will need some major reconstructive surgery on that starting five…no juice there…

  26. Yeah, this team is not responding well to the pressure at all. Outworked by a vastly inferior team once again, starters being trash once again, the kids on the bench are trying but they didn’t have the gas to keep up.

    I’m kinda lost to be honest, I typically hate platitudes like “they just played harder than us”, but it’s impossible to watch this game and don’t think that it was a factor. Randle feels lost and with zero confidence, Fournier too, everybody is looking like trash, even Rose who’s been constantly good was horrible tonight.

  27. Don’t know which Magic loss was worse but it says something that we lost to the Magic twice. Embarrassing.

    This team is playing really bad right now. The 5-1 start looks like a fluke and we have a really tough schedule coming up. I still can’t get over the fact how lazy and uninspired Randle is playing. We started playing well once he sat and I had a feeling we were gonna lose once he checked back into the game. He’s hesitant and doesn’t look interested. He supposed to be the leader but he’s been anything but. Really tough to watch.

    And yeah are our starting backcourt is straight garbage right now. They can’t guard and can’t make the right plays on offense. I don’t know if they can turn it around.

    God what a embarrassing loss. Magic wanted it more, it’s that simple. They’re a pretty garbage team and made us look bad at times. Don’t be surprised if we lose to Houston.

    I’m not liking this team’s attitude right now

  28. … Randle afraid to shoot late too …

    I don’t think it is fear, I think it’s his way to say “you can’t win without me”,
    he went on strike and suck all the energy from the other guys.

    To make matter worse Rose had his worst game of the year.

  29. KJG:
    Thibs had a lineup with Randle Barrett and the uptempo guys. Barret was handling it for a bit and then randlencomes back after Mitch get hurt.After that timeout everything was slow halfcourt stand behind 3point line .. Randle afraid to shoot late too … they’re robots out there sometimes. We wasted two very important obi 3s for Christ’s sake

    Thibs ran RJ & Randle with the bench unit to close out last game, they looked excellent doing it that game. Not this game.
    The small ball is what killed them. Mitch was crushing it and they had nobody to help once he sat, thus the Wagner and-1.

  30. We finally had a starter with a positive +/-… and he gets injured.

    All the reserves except Obi were also in the negative tonight.

  31. Early Bird: Thibs ran RJ & Randle with the bench unit to close out last game, they looked excellent doing it that game. Not this game.The small ball is what killed them.Mitch was crushing it and they had nobody to help once he sat, thus the Wagner and-1.

    But did they go right into spread half court I don’t recall … Julius actually took and hit mammoth shots tho too .. he probably deferred to Burks one too many times tonight .. I could be getting my games all messed up

  32. KJG: But did they go right into spread half court I don’t recall … Julius actually took and hit mammoth shots tho too ..he probably deferred to Burks one too many times tonight .. I could be getting my games all messed up

    They ran PnR with Burks & Randle a bit, but also some 5-out. Burks got to the rim at-will last game, but got shutdown driving the ball this game.

  33. This team has too much talent to be this bad. I don’t think we are a top team, but we are too good to lose to scrubs like this and to be getting beat at home so often. Something is wrong with the lineups, chemistry, confidence, etc.. Thibs is also not blameless. It’s a little of everything.

  34. Clyde was talking about how the Magic moved the ball and the Knicks, well, not so much. It was pretty obvious down the stretch.

    I’m not panicking over this loss, in a weird way I think the Magic are a perfectly designed scrubby team to beat us, i.e. they are strong where we are weak.

    The season starts for real on Sunday.

  35. The high volume of 3s is probably a mistake for this team.

    I said at the beginning of the season it was likely to be mistake and I still think that. We didn’t shoot well from 3 last year because we have good shooters. We shot well by being extremely selective and probably a little lucky. You can’t just up your volume a lot and expect the same percentage. The quality changes. lmao

    We are going to have hot nights where it looks like the right move, but we are also going to blow games against bad teams this way. I think it hurts other aspects of the offense. It makes players kind of lazy to go inside and bang a little, draw fouls, get OREBS, and get other high quality shots. I also think on the bad shooting nights it impacts the defense. We had a winning formula last year that started with defense and we went away from it trying to become something we are not.

  36. I’m ready for Deuce & Grimes to join the starting lineup. Hell, throw Luka in for Randle at this point

  37. I thought there were possessions tonight we moved the ball in meaningless ways.

    Sometimes it appeared players made an extra pass because they were afraid to shoot.

    Sometimes it seemed like they were so focused on making an extra pass “because that’s the plan” they were passing when they should have been driving into the lane and trying to do something.

    They just seem lost.

  38. pepper: oh yeah…i forgot the first 15 games don’t count anymore…duh…

    No, we actually need it to start earlier and count our 4-0 preseason. We’re 12-7, still on pace for 51 wins!!!

  39. During the start of last season we are considered a lotter team.
    We exceed expectations and got the 4th seed but was clearly outclassed in the playoffs.
    This year, we bring back the same core with ‘upgraded’ backcourt and we are expected to go deep in the playoffs.
    Maybe if you will middle out everything, we are a .500 team. Should lower the expectations. We still need one star to fully contend.

  40. Z-man: do I really have to explain what I meant?

    nope…but as thibs said the other day…it’s all bullshit when you say you need 15 games,…then its 20…then its 30…I think the “we’re gonna get there and the light bulb is going on and win many games” gobbledygook is starting to not age well…

  41. pepper: nope…but as thibs said the other day…it’s all bullshit when you say you need 15 games,…then its 20…then its 30…I think the “we’re gonna get there and the light bulb is going on and win many games”gobbledygook is starting to not age well…

    I think it’s fair to predict future performance on what we have done so far. But in terms of the standings, we are pretty much where a team like ours should be, meaning with a winning record and in the playoff mix in a more competitive Eastern conference. Starting with the Chicago game on Sunday, we have a tough stretch against other likely playoff teams. If we’re for real, we will hold our own. If we are as bad as some here fear after today’s game, we will be exposed. Losing to the Magic (or to the Rockets on Friday) means virtually nothing to me, in that they are classic trap games. Losing to better teams that aren’t true contenders is far more telling.

  42. 18 turnovers and out-rebounded AGAIN.

    Why that says to me is that this team is just not as athletic as most. We brought older players on board and it is hurting us.

    I kind of hope this team bombs so they trade some of these older players and really try a youth movement with the young guys we’ve got. They’re clearly more watchable at this point anyway.

  43. The starting lineup is just dreadfully slow. Nobody can really beat his man off the dribble, so nobody on the opposing team has to play much help defense. All of the foot speed is on the second unit, which is probably why the second unit can get some buckets.

    They can’t keep sending this starting five out there, it just does not work. There are no easy shots to be had.

  44. Z-man: I think it’s fair to predict future performance on what we have done so far. But in terms of the standings, we are pretty much where a team like ours should be, meaning with a winning record and in the playoff mix in a more competitive Eastern conference. Starting with the Chicago game on Sunday, we have a tough stretch against other likely playoff teams. If we’re for real, we will hold our own. If we are as bad as some here fear after today’s game, we will be exposed. Losing to the Magic (or to the Rockets on Friday) means virtually nothing to me, in that they are classic trap games. Losing to better teams that aren’t true contenders is far more telling.

    losing to shit team means nothing? yeah right…

  45. McBride supposedly had a very good game in the G League. At some point, they’ll have to give him some run. Maybe we’ll have to wait, but I think either Rose or Kemba is going to miss some games eventually. They should take a look at him then even if IQ takes most of the minutes.

  46. JK47,

    Plus one on your last post.

    I don’t see an easy fix to that starting lineup. The off season moves don’t look very good to me right now. We had an identity (deeefense and unselfishness) and blew it up. IMO all we really needed to do was find a better PG to replace Payton while we waited for an opportunity to try to land a #1 option in a trade or future free agency. We should have stayed with Bullock and Frank, added the rookies, and been patient. It wouldn’t have been that hard to find an upgrade to Payton as a placeholder if we couldn’t find a long term solution, though Lonzo was the solution and I said it at the time. Sometimes you have to pay a premium for the right player. They got impatient and brought in the wrong players. It’s not going to be easy to unwind these errors quickly. Thibs has his work cut out for him.

  47. i’m working hard to adjust my perspective on stuff, so here it goes:

    we were stuck to suffering in suckitude for what seems like an entire millennium…now we are simply mired in mediocrity…

    embrace the mediocrity, win some, lose some…hopefully we can go on a run again at the end of the year and actually sustain it through at least the first round…

    be easy on yourselves, it’s just a game…

    holy cow, i really have been out here too long in california…the sun must’ve finally got to me…

  48. geo:
    i’m working hard to adjust my perspective on stuff, so here it goes:

    we were stuck to suffering in suckitude for what seems like an entire millennium…now we are simply mired in mediocrity…

    embrace the mediocrity, win some, lose some…hopefully we can go on a run again at the end of the year and actually sustain it through at least the first round…

    be easy on yourselves, it’s just a game…

    holy cow, i really have been out here too long in california…the sun must’ve finally got to me…

    i’m getting there geo…i am embracing the knicks as 500 material…moving my energy to the Rangers…seems to be more upside on the hockey …

  49. Whoops, sorry, I thought the games were tomorrow and Saturday. I am afraid that the Knicks missed out on the poll content and that made all the difference.

  50. seems to be more upside on the hockey …

    that’s funny, but true…time and emotion are most definitely an investment of finite resources…the knicks are a .500 club right now – who knows what games they’ll win or lose…it’s a flip of the coin game by game for the foreseeable future…

  51. Whoops, sorry, I thought the games were tomorrow and Saturday.

    i mix up the days sometime…strangely maybe, i enjoy it…

  52. It’s been a tough year for everyone who thought “Thibs single-handedly carried this team to 41 wins” last year. What happened… did he suddenly get bored of carrying everyone? Why isn’t he turning mediocre players into 2nd Team All NBA players like he did last year with Randle? I was told to believe that Thibs could just wave his magic wand and turn a guy like Evan Fournier into the second coming of Dwayne Wade. Did he run out of magic beans this year?

  53. I mentioned it the other week, but we’ve seen the Scott Skiles Effect so many times that there likely is something there and while the Skiles Effect usually peters out after a couple of years, perhaps Thibs is so intense that it happened sooner? This really seems a lot like a traditional Skiles Effect…only just way quicker than normal.

  54. I said this the other day but it bears repeating: we’re getting flat out dreadful play from Randle and Barrett. That’s kind of the whole enchilada right there. If those guys play like they’ve been playing, this is a sub-.500 team. Some of the supporting cast has been a little disappointing but those two guys have been stinking the joint out night after night.

  55. we only played plus .500 ball for about a month and a half last year…

    i’d wager we get better as the year progresses…

  56. It’s possible Randle and RJ just aren’t that good.

    It’s possible Kemba is washed.

    But Fournier???? Variance? Foul rules? Age? He flatout sucks right now despite having a longer track record of success than RJ & Randle and a lack of career ending injuries a la Kemba.

  57. Here’s the poll question Brian failed to ask:

    Would you trade the Knicks roster for ____[Orlando]’s____ roster?

    (it’s routine here after your regularly scheduled bad losses)

  58. Hubert:
    It’s been a tough year for everyone who thought “Thibs single-handedly carried this team to 41 wins” last year. What happened… did he suddenly get bored of carrying everyone? Why isn’t he turning mediocre players into 2nd Team All NBA players like he did last year with Randle? I was told to believe that Thibs could just wave his magic wand and turn a guy like Evan Fournier into the second coming of Dwayne Wade. Did he run out of magic beans this year?

    The hyperbole never ends…

  59. Brian Cronin:
    I mentioned it the other week, but we’ve seen the Scott Skiles Effect so many times that there likely is something there and while the Skiles Effect usually peters out after a couple of years, perhaps Thibs is so intense that it happened sooner? This really seems a lot like a traditional Skiles Effect…only just way quicker than normal.

    Naah…

  60. pepper: losing to shit team means nothing?yeah right…

    I guess that means the Bucks, Lakers, Hawks, Celtics, etc. are done. Last I checked they lost to some shit teams…

  61. I’m sticking to my hypothesis that Kemba Walker is totally cooked and is the reason the starting lineup is terrible, along with having one of the worst starting C’s in the league. Funny how people get giddy every time Mitch makes a great block or OREB but totally ignore when he gets blown by or fumbles an interior pass. And sure, having a guy who is zero threat beyond the restricted area and who hasn’t made a high level pass his entire career doesn’t hurt a bit!

    As to last night, the Knicks missed a ton of wide-open 3’s last night, especially in the 3rd Q. Unless the other team is equally ice cold, you are not going to win many games when you do that. If RJ and Randle are going to shoot in the low 30’s from 3, we are going to lose a lot of games. This game would have been even worse if Obi didn’t break the ice with his 2 3’s.

    I, for one, have faith that the poor 3-pt shooting isn’t going to continue. But the Kemba and Mitch problem is much more worrisome to me.

  62. The high volume of 3s is probably a mistake for this team.

    This just comes down to the personnel. There’s no other viable way for this specific team to generate efficient offense. You don’t get guys like Walker and Fournier, who have racked up the bulk of their efficiency by taking almost double digit 3PA/36, and then tell them to start taking long twos or whatever.

    I understand you don’t like the personnel decisions and I also had my grievances with them at the time (of course, the idea that Bullock and Frank would be a solution is laughable but as always respect your dedication to the bit), but once we made those decisions it was clear a modern offense was the way to maximize them.

    I think more of the 3s will start falling and hope we keep taking them, but that is far from the only thing ailing this team. I actually the defense will more or less come together, and the recent trends there are positive.

    The offense on the other hand looks like a mess right now. Randle shot 40% from 3 last night and was still thoroughly mediocre because for some reason we cannot convince a 6’9″ behemoth of a man to try to shoot the basketball close to the basket. We don’t have 48 minutes, or even 30 on most nights, of genuine point guard play and it shows. On RJ…not much more to say than our ceiling is pretty low if he’s going to be terrible.

  63. Z-man: I guess that means the Bucks, Lakers, Hawks, Celtics, etc. are done. Last I checked they lost to some shit teams…

    The Lakers and Celtics very well might be. The Celtics weren’t good last year when they went 36-36 and they made their head coach the POBO and hired a rookie head coach. The Lakers traded for Westbrook which was almost universally acknowledged as a bad trade and a terrible fit for the team and brought in a bizarre collection of players to build out the rest of the roster. Meanwhile, Lebron and Anthony Davis can’t stay healthy.

  64. Thibs is primarily a culture shocker — not a builder and not a sustainer. I’m not sure exactly how much evidence people need of that — that’s been his clear pattern. It naturally didn’t get much of an audience last year when it was stated, and it’s naturally one of those things that tends to get more of an audience over time. It will continue to. The “Thibs is responsible when players play well; the players are responsible when the players play poorly” idea really … doesn’t work.

    It’s now coming into pretty clear focus that Randle’s empty building regular season may very well be the flukiest season in the last 30-40 years of NBA basketball.

    It was incumbent upon the front office and the personnel decision makers to properly evaluate what happened last season and not get fooled by the flukes and the culture shocks, and they did not do that effectively.

  65. It’s eminently possible several of the players are already starting to tune Thibs out and getting sick of him. There was a story somewhere, I can’t remember where, about Thibs yelling to RJ after a defensive rotation, “RJ, WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!” That kind of shit gets real old, real soon.

  66. E, all merc’d out: It’s now coming into pretty clear focus that Randle’s empty building regular season may very well be the flukiest season in the last 30-40 years of NBA basketball.

    Wow the level of hyperbole on this site has reached absurd new heights.

  67. Wow the level of hyperbole on this site has reached absurd new heights.

    And this is only the beginning… ;-)

  68. There are certain posters — and one poster in particular — who vanish whenever this version of the team is playing well for a long stretch, and then could not be happier to scream “Toldja so!” whenever the team begins to stumble.

    There are some genuine problems here, and we’ll have to see if Thibs and/or Leon can fix them. But the level of schadenfreude in some corners here is really something.

  69. Yeah sorry E, but when it becomes clear you have a very specific axe to grind, and grind that axe regardless of the circumstances, people just ain’t gonna take you seriously.

    Relatedly, I’m having a hard time tying any of our current struggles to Thibs. Our shot quality is currently 13th on offense and 8th on defense so from a pure Xs and Os perspective asking for much more than that isn’t fair.

    I can definitely come up with some quibbles about rotations i.e. playing Obi more but this stuff is generously worth a single win at best. The absolute best criticism I can come up with is that our coaching staff broadly hasn’t gotten Randle to optimize his shot distribution, and it’s always tough to tell how much of that is coaching vs a player’s mentality–the ghost of Red Holzman wasn’t getting Melo to stop chucking twos (until recently, anyway).

  70. I’ve thought it all along, consistently. So I can either bore and alienate the board by repeating it over and over … or I can say it very occasionally instead. Not sure what text words over the internet convey, but there’s no subjective sense when I say it of “Nya, nya, told you so.” It’s frustration plus my opinion of the reasons and problems, i.e., pretty much the same place everyone else is coming from.

  71. Yesterday’s game was so bad, that even the morning news bot decided to give up on this team! LOL

  72. If only we’d maxed out KP and kept Frank. We would be in so much better shape if we had done that.

    Thibs isn’t a sustainer. Except every season in Chicago he had 50 win teams and that was in spite of an almost career ending injury to his franchise player.

  73. Z-man, I am inclined to agree with you. I don’t think we can bench Fournier because of the politics of his contract being the big one we singed this off season. But I think we should look to bench Kemba and start Rose.

    Rose is old man Rose but he is clearly our best and most consistent back court player.

    I would also start Noel if he ever gets healthy. Right now he is the one here long(ish) term, not Mitch.

    I would go Rose, Fournier, RJ, Randle, Noel. I think Noel is more nimble and a better overall C right now than Mitch even if Mitch is the better lob threat. Rose improves the defense and gives Kemba a chance to cook the second team. I don’t think it would screw up the bench mob too much either.

    Ideally I would even go one step further and start IQ over Fournier and go Rose, IQ, RJ, Randle and Noel as teh starting 5.

  74. I think it’s somewhat fair to say Randle overachieved to get his extension and is now coming back down to earth.

    Last year he was insanely good from the midrange and from three. With his lack of verticality and average height, he’s just not going to be a monster in the post in this era, and that’s fine — Mitch is our lob threat and post moves are kind of a thing of the past.

    So if Randle’s shot isn’t falling (not adjusting to the new ball?), he’s not the same Randle as last year.

    As for RJ, I have no idea what’s going on with him. I think the missed shots affect his whole game, but he still contributes with passing and on the boards. He just needs to find his shot again.

    As bad as those two have looked, we are still 8-7, so there’s some hope, but sheesh…

  75. Z-man: I guess that means the Bucks, Lakers, Hawks, Celtics, etc. are done. Last I checked they lost to some shit teams…

    please…the bucks have been decimated by injuries/covid…lebron hasn’t played in two months or something and the hawks had a hellish west coast trip (check our record after we do one of those)..so the comparisons are a little skewed but anyway…i didn’t say we’re done…just a 500 ball club…

  76. As bad as those two have looked, we are still 8-7, so there’s some hope, but sheesh…

    If we go with “real” SoS our 8-7 record is not so good.

    Wins with Milwaukee without Middleton and Lopez (and Di Vincenzo, plus we lost the second game), NO without Zion and Ingram (saved by RJ’s heroics), Phila missing Embiid, Harris and Thybulle, the Bulls missing the last shot… And we have played one more game at home that on the road..

    We had all the chance to be anywhere from 13-2 to 11-4 but we blew most of them.

    Where’s the bot?

  77. Relatedly, I’m having a hard time tying any of our current struggles to Thibs. Our shot quality is currently 13th on offense and 8th on defense so from a pure Xs and Os perspective asking for much more than that isn’t fair.

    Yeah I think we have been somewhat unlucky so far this season. We’ve played better than our record-maybe not a lot better, but better. It would also be very helpful if we got Nerlens back. Taj is a great 3rd big but he is too old for this shit and Nerlens is a real impact player on defense

  78. The single biggest problem we’ve had so far is the guy who is second on the team in minutes has easily been our worst player. RJ has to get better for this team to play well

  79. A bad, depressing, pessimistic-predictable loss (I honestly thought they would have done this time).

    Enough bricks to build a condo, an uptrending shyness to shoot by the starters, 5 out-of-bounds demential turnovers, the wrong game for Rose to have a bad day… And then there’s him, the Galactus that devours this team-planet (I know, I’m a little pissed off today).

    Does anybody remember when Randle and Payton used to freeze out then-rookie Barrett?
    If our All-Star and supposed leader misses his friend Elfrid Payton, AKA the artist currently known as DNP-CD (Don’t Negate Plague – Causes Damage), maybe we can try to ship him to Phoenix for Bridges? But fast, Sarver’s on his way out… no, not even Sarver will do it.

    I understand the frustration from who claim that Lonzo would’ve been a better choice, at the same time I think this team on paper (and not so long ago on the floor too) has a lot of potential if ego doesn’t drive someone completely astray.

    Thibs & Co. have a lot of work to do, but I think it’ll be into the heads for the most part.

    Me, another couple of games like this and maybe I’ll stop losing hours of sleep on this team.

    Stats Of The Game:
    18 turnovers are too many, 5 of them out-of-bounds are way too many and Rose’s one with 31 seconds to play was the last straw.

    Play Of The Game:
    Franz Wagner dunk-and-1 that put the Magic ahead for good.
    Knicks’ whole lineup on the floor deserves to be shown to the public contempt, such a play cannot be allowed whatsoever in a game, much less so in the clutch.

    Good Feel Of The Game:
    A lineup with IQ, RJ, Obi and Mitch together that did his work admirably. Put Grimes in Burks’ spot and we’ll be in a Knicks’ fan wet dream…

  80. Robinson B (13-11 1 BLK + 8)
    Easily the best starter, his 8 OReb (!) were instrumental to our lead, he was active on defense and fit very well in the dynamic lineups that temporarily saved the game. Then he went down again. The new bulk and lingering injuries sapped some of his explosiveness and the need to cover for others’ defensive miscues keeps him away from DREB, now he’s positive to Noelitis and fumbles too much but this was probably his most consistent game of the year.

    Randle D- (13-5-3 3 TO -21)
    Our build-like-a-tank PF got 5 boards yesterday and all his shots except one were from 3PT, a suicidal choice to say the least (and no, I don’t care if he hit 4).
    He was uninspired, didn’t give a damn on D, walkd with arms down, played most of the game outside the 3PT range, blatanly refusing to go in the paint and behaving like a spoiled child who throws a tantrum to prove his parents that he’s right.
    When he entered the game with 3:42 to go and the Knicks up 3 many of us suddenly felt the game was lost. In those 3:42 Knicks were outscored 13-4.
    He must understand he can to be the main cog but not the hero, start putting effort on defense again, not feel slighted when another player is the game MVP.
    He needs to attack the rim, punish double-teams, shoot in the flow, pass the ball after DREBs so we can try to run…
    Good-Julius makes everyone around him better, we need him and fast.

    Barrett C + (17-9-5 3 TO -2)
    Still off from 3 and at times mediocre on D, the energy was better, he rebounded and passes well and at times attacked the rim with decision.

    Kemba D (5-1-2 2 TO -3)
    Uninspiring, unable to find some rhythm on offense, when he doesn’t score he’s basically unplayable, his defense is too bad.

    Fournier D (5-1-1 -1)
    I think the average Fournier is closer to the one instrumental in wins over BOS, PHI and NO than this sleepwalking guy scared to shoot. He’s the one that suffers Randle’s bad mood the most.

  81. Toppin A- (14-5-2 1 Blk 3 TO + 11)
    Finally hit some 3s and that changes everything. The usual energizer, active but not perfect on D, had a nice run with Mitch, the 3 TO’s cost him an higher grade. Remember, we draft him as the replace for the “on the market” Randle…

    Gibson D + (0-2 3 BLK -5)
    Has the right to a bad game, wasn’t his usual self but had his moment on defense.

    Rose D + (10-2-1 5 TO 2 BLK -11)
    Bad game, he can’t always be perfect. The TOs were a killer and offset the often active defense. He and Walker played just 40 minutes combined, interesting…

    Burks B- (15-5-4 -5)
    Didn’t shoot well overall, caught fire in the fourth (13 pts) but he missed a couple of important shots at the end. Very active on D and on the boards, did move the ball well and protected it well (0 TO)

    Quickley B (6-4-7 -1)
    Did play more like a distributing PG and less as a microwave shooter. Very good at passing the ball, I would have liked for him to shoot juuuust a little bit more, but I really appreciate his progress on defense.

    Thibs A-
    Screwed by Mitch’s injury and betrayed by some of his players. Had a very good game, shortening the leash of the starters or benching them for good, mixing the lineups and trying new combinations (the IQ-Burks-RJ-Toppin-Mitch was a heartwarmer, we’re waiting for Grimes). Needs an headshrinkers’ team to help him with Randle and a couple of other starters, but I’d like to watch Fournier and Kemba work with the bench a bit more, just to get a feel.

  82. After the Rockets game we play 7 straight playoff teams, including the Suns, Nets and the Bulls twice

    If we go 4-3 or better during that stretch I think we’ll all be able to calm down a little. (Actually 3-4 would be ok considering the quality of the opponents)

    If we go 2-5 (or worse) then it’s time to panic a little

  83. Noel and Rose have been the best two players on the team this year. Noel is hurt, so the Knicks are worse. The turnaround last year coincided with the additions of Rose whom we acquired in early Feb and GIbson, who became a consistent part of the rotation in early Feb. The Knicks were 10-15 pre-Rose (33 win pace) and 31-16 (54 win pace) after acquiring him.

    Rose had an exceptional season. GIbson’s effectiveness as he enters his late 30s is also exceptional. Both meanings of exceptional apply here: excellent and outside the norm (and so unlikely to continue). Other exceptional things from last season include Randle’s play (maybe the most anomalous of all) and the production of Burks and Bullock.

    It was a house of cards much like the 12/13 season. Now, we’re seeing even worse play than you might have expected from Randle and Barrett, but on the flip, 33 yo Rose has mostly continued his exceptional play from last year, and Toppin and Quickley have been great, so maybe those balance out in terms of whether the KNicks are under or overperforming.

    It’s the FA acquisitions who are really sinking the ship. Kemba and Fournier are playing like replacement level players. If Kemba is this team’s Bargnani, the negative asset whom the FO invested too heavily in to give up on, then I could see the team missing the playoffs. But my guess is Quickley and Rose will eat more and more of Kemba’s minutes, and RJ and Randle will improve even if they don’t meet last year’s production, and the team will finish a little over .500.

  84. Remember when we used to wish Randle had a little better 3 point shot so they couldn’t sag off him, he would create more space for other players, and he’d be able to get to the basket easier.

    Remember when we used to hope to add a couple of shooters so Randle would be able to do what he’s actually good at around the basket.

    Remember when we were hoping RJ would eventually be able to hit a 3?

    How did we get from that point to Randle shooting 11 shots and 10 of them were 3s?

    How did we get from that point to RJ going 0 for 7 from 3?

    Randle should NEVER be shooting that many 3s. I don’t care that he made four of them last night. That’s not his strength.

    RJ is still better going left inside than from 3. I don’t care how many wide open 3s or 3s he hit from the corner last year. He should be doing what he’s good at and only taking the really easy 3s he took last year until proven otherwise.

    There’s something very wrong with the way this team is playing basketball right now. Some of that is on the new players management chose to bring in. but some of it is on Thibs. His formula for success is “defense is the priority” and good shots come both that good defense, sharing the ball, and smart shot selection. We’ve abandoned a winning formula for Isiah Thomas level nonsense.

  85. I think that Thibs blew it at the end when he went small against Bamba and Carter. They just shredded our defense for shots at the rim at crunch time. Taj should have been in there.

  86. They’re stuck in NBA purgatory. Unathletic, old-ish roster, hard to fit others around their “best” player, smack dab in the muddled middle. Last playoff foray a first round blowout, no real reason to expect any playoff foray to be any better this year. They should be giving RJ, Obi, and IQ as much or more than they can handle and seeing how it shakes out … but of course they aren’t going to do that.

  87. You shoot like shit, you’re probably going to lose.

    You give them an extra 18 chances to shoot, you’re probably going to lose.

    I think the new players gave the team a new identity, but they started off playing exactly like last year. It gave them a couple of wins, but the holes were obvious and gaping. Thibs put in a few early season course corrections, but nobody is comfortable with it yet and it leads to hesitancy (e.g., Fournier) and lack of rhythm (e.g., Randle). Exacerbated by some serious slumps (e.g., RJ).

    I suspect they’ll eventually figure some of this out, and the shots will start falling, but it’s going to be a tooth-grinding road to getting there.

  88. The Knicks gave up nothing to get Kemba except 8 million dollars in salary for 2 seasons. We literally traded a first round pick for Bargs and also gave up Novak (who was limited but effective in his role).

    They aren’t the same AT ALL. The Knicks can try to trade Kemba or just cut him for next season and eat the 8 million. It ain’t a big loss AT ALL.

    Also, a reminder the Heat were 8-9 when they got Lebron. We are not the Heat, so don’t get it twisted. But the idea that we absolutely aren’t going to get better is a little premature.

    The team, especially the starters, has bad chemistry. RJ is struggling. But the idea that we are now stuck in NBA purgatory (a way overused phrase) is ridiculous. We’ll have lots of cap space in a few seasons. We still have a lot of young players and multiple picks. This team is underperforming now and if it continues, its going to be a disappointing season relative to expectations. That doesn’t mean Leon Rose is a moron or Thibs should get fired. It is exactly this type of knee jerk reaction that has doomed the Knicks the last 20 years. STAY THE COURSE and remain patient!

    Let me put it another way. If the team had performed last season how most people predicted or had not gotten D Rose and continued to play like they did the first half of the season and was now 8-7, people would be excited, not wringing their hands.

  89. Randle should NEVER be shooting that many 3s. I don’t care that he made four of them last night. That’s not his strength.

    It is quite literally his strength. Last year he had a 112 3P+, which is excellent. His 2P+ was 89, which is below average. This year he is at 102 and 86 respectively.

    I don’t know what to tell you. There is no way to read the data and come to any conclusion other than “Julius Randle 3s are good.” The problem, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, is he takes a lot of really bad 2s. He already takes so many 3s that I think it’s more realistic to ask him to convert those into better 2s (i.e. shots at the rim) than more 3s, but either would probably be better than the status quo.

  90. E, all merc’d out:
    They’re stuck in NBA purgatory.Unathletic, old-ish roster, hard to fit others around their “best” player, smack dab in the muddled middle.

    There was nothing wrong with trying to bring in more veteran fire power on offense to go with our high level defense. But the problem was not Bullock and Frank. They were part of the short and long term solution. The problem was Payton. All we needed to do was find a PG that could hit 3s and defend. Then we would have kept the identity and winning formula we had and upgraded the offense a bit. From there you continue trying to develop the young players, add a couple of new rookies like we did, (who I think may turn out to be quite good) and continue searching for trades for a star. But we kind of blew it up and went all offense. That was a terrible idea since our offense doesn’t have the real superstar offensive talent to compete with the best offensive teams. Now we are mediocre at everything.

    Again, I get that landing Lonzo would have taken paying a premium. But he was almost exactly what we needed. He can make plays, hit the 3, defend, and switch. The idea that he wasn’t some pure penetrating PG was always overblown. We weren’t trying to find the next Steve Nash. We were trying to find a young PG that fit what we were doing, that would be a huge upgrade over Payton, and that still had upside to add skills and grow with this team. Now he’s going it for the Bulls and we went in the wrong direction.

  91. thenoblefacehumper: It is quite literally his strength. Last year he had a 112 3P+, which is excellent. His 2P+ was 89, which is below average. This year he is at 102 and 86 respectively.

    I don’t know what to tell you. There is no way to read the data and come to any conclusion other than “Julius Randle 3s are good.” The problem, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, is he takes a lot of really bad 2s. He already takes so many 3s that I think it’s more realistic to ask him to convert those into better 2s (i.e. shots at the rim) than more 3s, but either would probably be better than the status quo.

    Randle not being able to figure out how to be more efficient at 2s is just yet another one of his what we’ll charitably call “quirks.” To add to the “quirkiness,” he makes a bunch of turnovers when he’s foraying after what would be, if not a turnover, an ultimately inefficient 2. Dude is just massively high maintenance.

  92. I agree that we really should have just replace Payton and maybe focusing just on Lonzo would have been the play. But I still think its premature to call this a lost season or mess up.

    Also, our roster isn’t old

    RJ – 21 (starter)
    IQ – 22 (rotation)
    Obi – 23 (rotation)
    Grimes – 21
    McBride – 21
    Sims – 23
    Mitch – 23 (starter)

    Then we have vets in their prime:

    Randle – 26 (starter)
    Fournier – 29 (starter)
    Noel – 27 (rotation)

    Then we have 3 older players in the rotation

    Rose – 33 (6th man)
    Taj – 36 (rotation)
    Kemba – 31(starter)

    This is hardly an old roster. True Grimes, McBride and Sims aren’t really in the rotation yet but all are here long term. This is hardly the 2012-2013 Knicks who really only had Shump as their only young player (and I guess going into the following season Hardaway Jr.)

  93. thenoblefacehumper: It is quite literally his strength. Last year he had a 112 3P , which is excellent. His 2P was 89, which is below average. This year he is at 102 and 86 respectively.

    I don’t know what to tell you. There is no way to read the data and come to any conclusion other than “Julius Randle 3s are good.” The problem, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, is he takes a lot of really bad 2s. He already takes so many 3s that I think it’s more realistic to ask him to convert those into better 2s (i.e. shots at the rim) than more 3s, but either would probably be better than the status quo.

    Forget short term stats for a minute. Look at his skills, the team we’ve had, and how he’s being defended.

    His strength has always been being very efficient inside. He couldn’t do that on this team because we had no space. That’s why he was always driving into walls and turning the ball over. That’s why I used to constantly whine about spacing and his fit. Those skills didn’t vanish. He still has them.

    His 3 point shooting last year was great, but no one here really believed he suddenly went from being a weak 3 point shooter to a strong one. We all knew in our hearts the truth was probably somewhere in between.

    Last year defenses gave him the occasional easy look from 3 because he was not known as a 3 point shooter. They took that away from him in the playoffs (and exposed him a bit) and are doing the same now. He’s clearly better than he used to be, but he’s not what you would call a good 3 point shooter. He’s still better inside with space than outside being defended and forcing up tougher ones.

    I obviously have no issue not taking long 2s, but the better question is how do we get him better looks inside and to the FT line more rather than tough 3s.

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