2021-22 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Rockets

The Knicks host the awful Houston Rockets while reeling from a terrible home loss against the Orlando Magic.

Some very good injury news, as the Knicks two-headed center pairing might finally get another game together, as Nerlens Noel appears likely to play today (once Noel gets fully healthy, I’d like to see Mitch get some days off to rest his injuries so that he doesn’t just keep reaggravating them by playing hurt).

The Knicks really need to win this one.

HOW IS 56 WINS LOOKING?

Not so good, but nothing a nice long winning streak couldn’t hurt!

We need the return of the all-poll content to get the Knicks to avoid falling to .500, so here goes…

It's Game 7 of the NBA Finals, who would you most like to see take 18 shots in the game?

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Let’s go, Knicks!

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178 thoughts to “2021-22 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Rockets”

  1. This is HS basketball. With the extra time off, I expect us to run (I don’t know) an offense. They’re just throwing the ball at the hoop. WTF? This kind of thing makes me nervous.

    PS — Our guys look like they just met on the court and are playing pickup at the Y

  2. if you’re not watching you shouldn’t mistake this for the normal game thread chatter about how bad the play this. this is more like a category error.

  3. Well so far it doesn’t look like they spent any of the two days off working on moving the ball.

    Like not any of that time.

  4. We’re 3-16. We come down court and chuck up a shot. Maybe there’s a pass or handoff first. It’s like they learned how to play basketball earlier this week. And not very well.

  5. wow. an extra pass. an E4 three. see?

    EDIT: And then Noel trips a guy. They are just not focused on the important stuff. I don’t know WTF is going on in the locker room.

  6. you could literally roundhouse kick someone upside the head and clyde would call it the old foot trick

  7. This is getting too ugly. I wish I had a good theory, but I don’t.

  8. We had one play with decent ball movement and it ended with an open three that Fournier sank.
    One decent play in 12 minutes.
    Randle and Barrett are 3-14.

    And the bench mob has been off too…

  9. still in the first with a few minutes to go…might need to keep myself busy and wait to sit down and watch when the fourth quarter starts…

  10. weird dynamic with the rookies trying to stop nerlens from getting his second tech and rj sitting there like whatevs

  11. Put the starters minus Mitch on a plane to Chicago so we don’t have to watch them anymore tonight.

  12. This is the weirdest game I’ve seen in a long while.

    Good game to give Deuce and Grimes some run.

  13. RJ Barrett seems like a nice kid and I like him. I’m pulling for him.

    He seems to be not very good though.

  14. That 3 from E4 with the proper screen from Randle should happen all the time.

    EDIT: Haha. Dude. Right on.

  15. ess-dog:
    This is a team we should be KILLING though.

    Yeah, I completely misread this game. I thought we’d be slowly going through our offensive sets one by one and leading by ten at the half, but maybe we have no sets?

  16. it’s legit impressive to be tied with the rockets when they shoot 4/19 from 3 and have a ton of unforced turnovers

  17. Randle and Barrett 4-18, 15 points in 34 minutes.

    Walker and Fournier 6-11, 18 points in 28 minutes.

    I’d like to watch Kemba and E4 work with Obi, Burks and Mitch, I’m not sold about them being the problem in the starting lineup…

    P.S. I know on paper Julius and RJ are better defenders but they’re not setting the world on fire on that side too…

  18. ptmilo:
    it’s legit impressive to be tied with the rockets when they shoot 4/19 from 3 and have a ton of unforced turnovers

    Impressive indeed, maybe the mob is into them?

  19. “Expectation feeds frustration. It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things, and outcomes we wish we could control; but don’t.”

    we are not much more than a .500 team, which means during many games we’ll perform less than a .500 team…

    hopefully we improve by february or so…til then, rollercoaster – of basketball, that’s right…

  20. Max: I’d like to watch Kemba and E4 work with Obi, Burks and Mitch, I’m not sold about them being the problem in the starting lineup…

    I’m not skilled enough to find the stats pairing E4 with different players, but “eye-test-wise” he seems like a really disciplined offensive machine. Get him in the right spot in rhythm with the right screen, he’s going to make his shot. He missed a couple in that half that were just not the right shot. Like you, I’d love to see him more with either of DRose, Burks, or even IQ. I think each of those guys would find him for good looks very consistently.

    EDIT: And like that miss from RJ, I feel like he takes a lot of outside shots that would be better from Fournier.

  21. Also, is it just me, or is it annoying to see Kemba laughing and joking around on a timeout when we’re down by six to f-ing Houston.

  22. just in case any one uses the “D” word – got this one ready:
    Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.

    it seems like forever ago now, but, i remember longing for knick mediocre…sometimes you do get what you ask for…

  23. OMG, the one game in the week that is on a weekend morning here so I can watch it and it is this one.

  24. “Attachment is the root of all unhappiness” – The Buddha.

    “Disappointment is a bankruptcy of the soul too invested in hope and expectation.” – Geo

    “Abandon all hope ye who enter Knickerblogger.net” – BingBongHits

  25. This team just never goes on a good run. We exchange baskets with shitty teams and then hope to do slightly better than them in the last 5 minutes.

    It’s an incredibly un-fun, unsatisfying team to watch.

    One year wonders.

  26. JK47:
    This team just never goes on a good run. We exchange baskets with shitty teams and then hope to do slightly better than them in the last 5 minutes.

    It’s an incredibly un-fun, unsatisfying team to watch.

    One year wonders.

    I’m just glad the starters are keeping it close until the 2nd team comes back in.

  27. We have a good chance of losing this game.

    And we know Randle and Barrett will be on the floor in the clutch.
    I’m scared, we need a miracle to beat the 1-14 Houston Rockets,

  28. So coming out of the timeout, the idea is to get Nerlens (who just had his jaw cracked) an open 3 b/c that guy is just automatic.

  29. Can’t blame the starters for this.

    Can I blame Randle and Barrett for their 8-27 combined performance?

  30. This team just really isn’t that good. And honestly they don’t really work that hard, although that’s in part a vision mirage because they’re so unathletic.

  31. Never mind 50+ wins. My prediction of 37 wins appears irrationally exuberant right now.

  32. I’m a big Thibs fan, but I think this roster does not suit him well anymore. He’s a defensive minded coach. But unlike last year we built a roster that’s not particularly talented on defense. The problem is he’s also not a good enough offensive coach to get the best out of the more offensive oriented players we have on the team now. We are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. IMO that’s why we are struggling with dreg teams. You have to build a team to suit your coach.

  33. Max:
    Embarrassing airball for E4.

    Yeah, but you see: that’s the wrong shot. He took it on ego and b/c no one else is fucking moving.

    EDIT: IQ’s 3 on the other hand is the right shot ;-)

  34. Credit to Randle on that pass instead of launching fadeaway junk.

    EDIT: Haha. Not THAT pass. The previous one to Burks

  35. d-mar:
    Can’t wait to hear Wally’s rosy take on this one

    They fought hard.
    They never lost hope.
    They refused to lose.
    They shut the Rockets down from three.

  36. I was going to say something about how Fournier played pretty well tonight, until those two utter airball threes in the 4th… not a great audition for why he should be closing games…

  37. Max: We have a good chance of losing this game.

    And we know Randle and Barrett will be on the floor in the clutch.
    I’m scared, we need a miracle to beat the 1-14 Houston Rockets,

    That’s what I would have thought, but actually the closing lineup had Quickly and Burks instead of Kemba and Barrett. I was surprised but not unhappy.

  38. Fournier hit some threes, but his defense makes him unplayable. He’s also a terrible athlete, probably smokes a pack of Gauloises a day.

  39. We’ll see if Thibs can adjust or whether the front office makes any big moves, but right now I think last year’s team was better than this one. I loved the energy and defense Nerlens brought to the team last year. So I’ll reserve final judgement until he’s playing regularly, but we haven’t added enough offense to compensate for the lost defense, especially when guys like Burks, IQ, and Rose are the players carrying us in the clutch most nights. That’s last year’s team.

  40. Barrett deserve to be benched,
    Fournier had two airballs in the clutch but both were end-of-the-clock out of rhythm shots.
    Burks added 5 steals (!!) to his 20 points.
    Rose was on par with Kemba tonight, if not slightly worse.

  41. At least Randle did some other shit tonight, but another atrocious shooting performance from him and RJ

  42. if feel like kenyon jr is maybe getting the gary payton treatment. he looks pretty good every time i see him. seems like he should be playing more than 14mpg on a terrible team starting daniel theis.

  43. Alec Burks is a nice little journeyman guard. He looked like Oscar Robertson out there compared to everybody else.

  44. KB Apprentice: Haha. I thought he and Joachim Noah were touring with the Generals …

    I thought I heard that they’re paying Wall $44 million this year not to play basketball but that’s not possible, is it?

  45. DudeInKnicksTown: I thought I heard that they’re paying Wall $44 million this year not to play basketball but that’s not possible, is it?

    Actually, that’s true about Wall. I was making a (lame) joke about those two getting big money to smoke bowls.

    EDIT: Wall is guaranteed 47M next year too. Clyde joked, ~ “That’s one way to extend your career. Don’t play.”

  46. Requiring a Steph curry 4th from Burk to best the Rockets, not ideal. This team needs to prove it’s not mediocre at best, before we raise expectations. I liked the IQ, Burks backcourt, and sure pair with Fournier if he’s having a good game despite the airballs. Not bringing RJ back was the right call. I think we need to start Burks…and bring RJ off the bench. The starters don’t have enough shooting …Mitch can’t shoot, RJ can’t shoot, Fournier is in a slump, Kemba is inconsistent …more spacing might help the starters ..and a 2nd unit of IQ, Rose, RJ, Noel and Obi is still good/fun

  47. It’s amazing homie many nba juniors there are in the NBA.

    A win is a win but the first half of the second half was some of the worst basketball I have seen.

  48. johnlocke: a 2nd unit of IQ, Rose, RJ, Noel and Obi is still good/fun

    I actually think swapping Burks for RJ is a good idea. Randle and RJ are pretty one-dimensional guys. I think E4 would benefit from Burks’s passing and return the favor quite a bit. I also think RJ would benefit a lot from running the floor more, which is what DRose, Obi, and IQ are all about.

  49. Hypothetically a bench unit of IQ, Rose, Toppin and RJ would be able to get out and run on the transition

  50. KevinR:
    Hypothetically a bench unit of IQ, Rose, Toppin and RJ would be able to get out and run on the transition

    RJ with the other “kids” on the second unit would likely run other second units off the floor as you rightly point out. And it need not be a “demotion.” He’s only a third year player and Burks is a vet.

    As for the starters, Burks is that half step quicker than either RJ or E4 off the dribble, so he might better execute Thibs’s mantra of “drive and kick” (better even than Kemba). Burks too is prolly more consistent than RJ from 3 off Randle’s passes out of double teams (as we saw nicely tonight in the 4th).

    Right now our half court is either “Julius bulls into the paint” or “RJ bulls into the paint.” Or they both stand around and watch. Thus, E4 is consistently getting the ball a bit too late from them (or not at all) or he’s driving himself with no movement around him. I think Burks solves that. He’s a much better and willing passer than RJ and even raises the quality on D a bit. He’s a pest.

  51. A win is a win but the first half of the second half was some of the worst basketball I have seen.

    Did you see the first quarter?

  52. Swapping Burke for RJ in the starting lineup would definitely help. RJ needs to to be able to run with the second unit. Burke’s defense is sorely needed on the first unit.

  53. sign me up for the burks and RJ swap…

    shoot low boys – they’re ridin’ shetland ponies

    i’m guessing the bulls are gonna wax us tomorrow…

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