2021-22 Game Thread: New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers

The Knicks head to Indiana to take on the reeling Pacers.

This is a great matchup for the Knicks, as the Pacers are a mess right now.

ARE THE KNICKS STILL ON PACE FOR 56 WINS? Yes, my prediction is looking fine, so fine. It’s gotta be mine.

Here’s our all-poll content…

Will the Pacers finally blow this team up this year?

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Let’s go Knicks!

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236 thoughts to “2021-22 Game Thread: New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers”

  1. Indiana is much better than their record indicates and they’re getting healthy, this would be a very nice road win if the Knicks can pull it out

  2. Great stuff by Randle off an aggressive drive. He has more pep in his step.

    And that volleyball stuff by Mitch was great

  3. Randle SCURRYING down court now. Still bringing the ball up, but someone (i.e., Thibs) told him to stop strolling.

  4. Yeah, the faster pace was effective. Broke right through D and Fournier was able to exploit it

  5. to owen from previous thread

    Do you have a stat service you use beyond that one you mentioned using the free data from or are you just pulling from B-Ref?

    ya i have access to a few things. there is so much in the public domain now that it hardly matters tho. if you don’t have any ins via team/media the $$ services are totally not worth it (i mean just to nerd out, it’s different obv if you’re srsly betting), and all their plans are incredibly low value to price (ie synergy’s base retail subscription is something like $50 a month but excludes by far its most important value-add: the linked video clips). that excludes cleaning the class which isn’t really that useful but it’s at least priced for retail. as you imply, it’s more about having the beautiful bill james geekenergy than access to anything.

  6. BJ:
    Can you all see Mike K’s second post in this thread? Is it just broken for me?

    Was broken, working after refresh

  7. Well on the bright side, I definitely don’t see us blowing a first half lead tonight

  8. Randle is maybe the player who makes the most mistakes in the nba despite having a transparently good box score, jesus

  9. They need a Thibs cam in a little box in the corner of the screen. I want to watch him yell at our terrible defense all year.

  10. Last year’s secret was outworking the opponent.
    So far we have games that we “rest” too much…

  11. i would def be up for planting noel in the corner and letting him chuck a couple of catch and shoot 3s on offense and having obi take the dunker’s spot. as it stands nerlens is basically an attractive nuisance for our penetrators– amirite tnfh?

  12. Love Clyde but I have a Georgian buddy who won’t be thrilled with the reference to “the Russian Georgia”

  13. How are the pacers 2-6? They kind of look like the Golden State warriors. It’s like everybody can and will shoot from three.

    I suspect I’ll get my answer in the second half when they fall apart.

  14. Someone tell me why I’m crazy for thinking an enormous Obi-Randle-Mitch lineup might be worth a very brief, skeptical shot here

  15. “Fournier not going after that loose ball looks like a glitch in The Matrix.”

    Lol
    It was strange

  16. Games go by so much more quickly without a bunch of silly foul calls. I’m not a ’90s purist type but it’s a huge benefit of the new rules IMO.

  17. Honestly we’re lucky to be only down 9 after that half. Let’s hope we turn it up a bit

  18. nba refs are doing what nhl refs do during the playoffs..i.e., whistle in the pocket…need to draw blood for a foul..I like it…

  19. Randle should consider focusing all his energy on passing, defense and rebounds… he can be so damn physical or as someone else put “high effort”. We would love him even more of he put up 20 bounds and 7-10 assists

  20. Turner is the rare example of a nominal shooter it doesn’t seem crazy to strategically leave a bit open so naturally he’s hit 5 threes

  21. thenoblefacehumper:
    Someone tell me why I’m crazy for thinking an enormous Obi-Randle-Mitch lineup might be worth a very brief, skeptical shot here

    Haha. Agree. I said same a couple threads back and I was mocked as Woodson Apprentice ;-)

    Also would like to see. Mitch, Taj, Randle or Noel, Taj, Randle both with Barrett as the SG, but I’m insane.

  22. I know it went in but when Randle has Brogdon in the deep post I’d like something better than a fallaway.

    RJ though. Starting to feel like our best player.

  23. Mitch, Taj, Randle or Noel, Taj, Randle both with Barrett as the SG, but I’m insane.

    Alright this I cannot abide

  24. I think RJ’s second half heroics aren’t just noise. Dudes conditioning is elite and he still has juice when everyone else is tired

  25. Max: how is Randle doing?

      

    Completely changed his game. Racing upcourt with the ball, or actually passing to a guard after a Dreb.

    Otherwise, same ol’ Randle.

  26. I think it’s generally good Thibs isn’t letting a small sample of poor Quickley play affect his rotations, but man, at a certain point you have to wonder when enough is enough…

  27. Completely changed his game. Racing upcourt with the ball, or actually passing to a guard after a Dreb.

    Otherwise, same ol’ Randle.

    That’s a nice progress, someone spoke to him…

    I can’t stand Quickley stupid shots. Play the rookies!

  28. At this point you need to let Quickley regain his confidence in a blowout rather than a close game on the road.

  29. If egos weren’t involving in this game i d had tried the rookie backcourt even from the 1st Q but it’s not a good idea psycholocically

  30. Obi did miss a wide open Burks but at least he’s being decisive. Last year that’d be some bizarre dunk/layup/pass amalgam.

  31. At least were keeping alive the tried and true Knicks tradition of getting torched by the scrubs on our opponents

  32. It’s not a new thing, but the Knicks help so much off the weak side that it’s not particularly difficult to get a good 3pt shot against them. This is what killed them out of that timeout.

  33. I’m surprised they’re even in this with the 3 point differential in this game.

  34. So much wrong with what’s going on … from the very start… sadly Randle is a big piece of it… Mitch is rebounding like ass in traffic… Fournier to me is still on a fog. He’s not shooting… he’s pump faking into worse shots.

  35. How is this the lineup to close tonight? They haven’t done anything the whole game.

  36. Did they play the Randle/Obi small lineup at all tonight? I didn’t see it, but I came in at the half.

  37. It’s becoming uncomfortably possible that the Knicks just aren’t really that good a team.

  38. I remember when I started to age out of basketball…whenever a guy blew by me I thought, “man, that guy’s got a quick first step!” Then I noticed that the fat guys were blowing by me…

    So on Monday I was saying,, “man, Toronto is actually a really good team! Now I’m feeling the same thing with Indiana…

    Not feeling good about what I’m seeing at all.

  39. One thing I don’t like about Kemba … he’s certainly a Player most of the time but he doesn’t strike me as a Killer. I consider RJ both a Player and a Killer …

  40. Z-man:
    I remember when I started to age out of basketball…whenever a guy blew by me I thought, “man, that guy’s got a quick first step!” Then I noticed that the fat guys were blowing by me…

    So on Monday I was saying,, “man, Toronto is actually a really good team! Now I’m feeling the same thing with Indiana…

    Not feeling good about what I’m seeing at all.

    This seems very on point

  41. Everyone should probably hold their eulogies for, like, 15 more games. This team has a lot of kinks to work out (like last year’s) but given the state of the East it’s really, really difficult to know just how good any team is right now. I still have a fair bit of confidence in this team, though we may need another shrewd move at the trade deadline to shore up our defense

  42. Teams aren’t doubling Randle as much lately. That results in more iso, less ball movement and fewer open 3’s.

  43. Kemba draws a nice charge, but other than that he’s a botton 10% defender. Unless he’s knocking down a bunch of 3’s, he’s a massive liability out there with these new rule changes.

  44. Invisible sixth man really needs to step up. Contract year last year and now he’s getting lazy

  45. Toronto beat the Wiz in Washington tonight

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they and the Pacers go on nice runs. Good to know we’re the catalyst.

  46. KJG:
    One thing I don’t like about Kemba … he’s certainly a Player most of the time but he doesn’t strike me as a Killer. I consider RJ both a Player and a Killer …

    Agree on this. And over and over I’m seeing Kemba beat his man off the dribble, but then he ends up under the basket without a shot, so he goes back out again. Like he lacks another gear to get UP to the hoop.

    BUT (more important maybe) WTF with the centers. No lobs. No cuts. No points. Taj/DNP. But also no small lineup at all, either. Sheesh. I get that this was a wire to wire loss, but especially because of that: Were there any (any?) adjustments by Thibs to the failings on the court?

  47. KJG: I know that was a joke

    I know. I just didn’t think it was that funny. :-P

    That’s it, let’s start the tank!

  48. Tonight was a bit of bad luck / anomaly with Turner going off beyond the arc … but our offense has seriously turned into dribble drive and dish or shoot bad shot and nothing else. I saw very little two man game… I have a sick feeling in my belly … a few other observations. Toppin is back to the corner thing more often lately. Not sure what changed there… Burks is just eating minutes but not doing entirely too much with them … Randle is hindering our runs with bad shots. Mitch Is still kinda dumb out there… I like em but…

  49. I actually think the problem is that we look physically overmatched. Team are throwing their bodies around and totally disrupting our offense. Then on the other end they seem to be scoring right over the top of us in the paint and complementing that with mostly open 3’s. That’s 6 quarters in a row where we just seemed overmatched.

  50. Z-man:
    I actually think the problem is that we look physically overmatched. Team are throwing their bodies around and totally disrupting our offense. Then on the other end they seem to be scoring right over the top of us in the paint and complementing that with mostly open 3’s. That’s 6 quarters in a row where we just seemed overmatched.

    As Clyde says out hustled and out muscled … it’s certainly true…

  51. Mitch isn’t bouncy, granted I missed the early blocks. Hopefully that’s still him getting back into shape.

  52. d-mar:
    Toronto beat the Wiz in Washington tonight

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they and the Pacers go on nice runs. Good to know we’re the catalyst.

    So we’re definitely worse than MIL, BKN, MIA and ATL.

    Seems like we’re in a mosh pit with BOS, IND, CHI, TOR, CHA, WAS and PHI.

    CLE, ORL and DET will almost certainly be in the lottery.

    So that’s 7 teams fighting for 4 playoff spots, or more specifically the 5 and 6 seeds and the play-in tournament.

    If we want to make the playoffs, it’s going to be a grueling, bloody slog.

  53. Z-man:
    I actually think the problem is that we look physically overmatched. Team are throwing their bodies around and totally disrupting our offense. Then on the other end they seem to be scoring right over the top of us in the paint and complementing that with mostly open 3’s. That’s 6 quarters in a row where we just seemed overmatched.

    Exactly because of this, I think it’s worth at least trying Mitch and Noel (or Taj) on Turner and Sabonis, then playing big the rest of the way down with Randle at the 3 and RJ and Rose at the guards. I know I know I know I’m insane, but this team just pushed us around all night.

  54. Atlanta is in the same mosh pit, I’d only put BK, Mil and Miami as clearly better than the Knicks. They might not finish 4th but I really think the Knicks will finish in the Top 6 and avoid the play in.

  55. I think it’s hustle. Last year our starters had five guys absolutely flying around on D. This year we have Randle and RJ flying around (whatever you want to say about Randle’s O, he looks like he still works his ass off on D), Mitch being dangerous but a bit late (weight, game shape, time away, BB IQ compared to Noel, some or all of the above), and Kemba and Fournier trying but playing flailing D 101.

    Our second unit is still a work in progress (IQ buried in a deep slump although it looks like he’s working hard on D, Noel just back), so we’ll see there. But the D on the first unit is my story, and I’m sticking to it — until someone pulls up the stats to prove me wrong…

  56. Raven: But the D on the first unit is my story, and I’m sticking to it — until someone pulls up the stats to prove me wrong…

    But then exactly this is why they shouldn’t have closed this game. DRose had us down by 2. Then …

  57. KB Apprentice: Exactly because of this, I think it’s worth at least trying Mitch and Noel (or Taj) on Turner and Sabonis, then playing big the rest of the way down with Randle at the 3 and RJ and Rose at the guards. I know I know I know I’m insane, but this team just pushed us around all night.

    At this point, nothing is insane. But I don’t think that is in the cards.

  58. BigBlueAL:
    Atlanta is in the same mosh pit, I’d only put BK, Mil and Miami as clearly better than the Knicks.They might not finish 4th but I really think the Knicks will finish in the Top 6 and avoid the play in.

    I couldn’t disagree more re: ATL. As to the top 6, maybe, but we will need to play waaaaay better than we have thus far.

  59. Mitch doesn’t look very good or very productive to me. I’m kind of over him at this point. It seems like this is all we’re gonna get from him.

  60. Raven: I think it’s hustle.

    Maybe. But what if it isn’t? What if we’re being “outhustled” because teams are bigger, stronger and faster than us?

  61. JK47:
    Mitch doesn’t look very good or very productive to me. I’m kind of over him at this point. It seems like this is all we’re gonna get from him.

    He’s looking pretty garden variety at this point.

  62. Z-man: Maybe. But what if it isn’t? What if we’re being “outhustled” because teams are bigger, stronger and faster than us?

    This shouldn’t be happening if Mitch is elite: Turner (25), Anunoby (36) Valanciunas (27), Vucevic (22) and so on … or at least it should be happening as easily as my eye says it is.

  63. the optimist’s perspective:

    maybe thibs isn’t approaching every single game like it’s a game 7 this year, maybe he’s playing some kind of long game and targeting January on as winning time…

    bring kemba, evian and mitch in to the rotation, let quik work through his issues, and preach defense but focus on offense for the first month or two…

    at times we looked pretty overmatched out there tonight against the pacers…our defense is pretty much no bueno right now…

  64. KB Apprentice: This shouldn’t be happening if Mitch is elite: Turner (25), Anunoby (36) Valanciunas (27), Vucevic (22) and so on … or at least it should be happening as easily as my eye says it is.

    That’s kind of JK47’s point…we keep waiting for elite production from Mitch and keep getting disappointed. Even if you want to be unbelievably stan-ish and blame it on coaching or his teammates, what does that say about the team?

  65. Mitch had 3 blocks in the first quarter and I thought it was going to be the Mitch Rob breakout game.

    Then he had 0 for the rest of the game

  66. geo: bring kemba, evian and mitch in to the rotation, let quik work through his issues, and preach defense but focus on offense for the first month or two…

    I’m fine with this, but the O seems to be regressing. In the preseason there was a sweet two man game going between E4 and Randle — easy baskets. I’ve not seen it since. Nary a lob tonight either from Kemba/DRose to Mitch. We need bread and butter sets that just work. I’m not seeing anything like that these last two games. Sure, maybe Toronto and Indiana were up on us and stopping all that stuff, but … come on, man. We gotta run those plays.

  67. Owen:
    And then they came for Mitch….

    Shouldn’t we be talking about Cronin and his 56 wins?

    Haha. I still believe! Basketball is life.

  68. K-anon, a group of conspiracy theorists who believe that everything that happens with the Knicks is a result of the actions of a shadowy cabal of WordPress bloggers….

    Although K-Anon sounds more like where we should all be – a support group for fans who got their hopes too high too soon….

  69. Again I’ll just say that Mitch and Noel were 2-3 (okay, Mitch had another shot that turned into FTs). I don’t think Mitch is turning into Embiid elite soon (or ever), but you don’t provide the both of them with four shots for the game.

    And Z-Man, I don’t disagree that we can fairly easily be out-athleticked, and out-lengthed. But with Bullock and Elf (for god’s sake) we ground teams with better length and athletic skills to dust.

    The NBA is always a place where you can outwork most teams (not all, but most). In our most recent iteration, we’re not doing that.

  70. Raven: And Z-Man, I don’t disagree that we can fairly easily be out-athleticked, and out-lengthed. But with Bullock and Elf (for god’s sake) we ground teams with better length and athletic skills to dust.

    The NBA is always a place where you can outwork most teams (not all, but most). In our most recent iteration, we’re not doing that.

    If you think this year’s NBA is the same as last year’s, this argument is sound. I for one think that the EC is very much improved, with several teams like CHI, IND and TOR having far better/deeper rosters than last year. We barely eked out wins vs. BOS and CHI and got soundly beaten by TOR and IND. I’m not a big believer in the “we need to outwork other teams” spin…there’s an assumption that other teams aren’t going to give as much effort than us. I don’t think it’s possible for us to work harder than TOR or IND did in these past 2 games. They busted their asses and so did we. The question becomes: when both teams give maximum effort, who is more likely to win? In these past 2 games, the answer was clearly TOR and IND. In other words, we weren’t outworked as much as outplayed.

  71. This Hornets – Warriors game is wild, Bridges has 27 points in the 3rd while getting evenly matched by… Jordan Poole with 25 on 12 shots, while Curry is shooting 2-8. This season has been wildly entertaining so far.

  72. This “the East is better this season” thinking seemed true but not a big effect to me, but I am changing my mind. At the moment, the top 11 teams in the East are .500 or better while in the West only the top seven teams are .500 or better. And there seem to be fewer really weak teams in the East than in the West.

  73. I think we’re just seeing the same sort of thing we saw in 2011-12 to 2012-13. Chandler was the same guy in both years, but he went from being surrounded by good defenders (and thus the Knicks having a top five defense) to, well, not. Mitch/Noel are dealing with the same thing. I wonder if they really should be thinking about giving McBride some burn. Even RJ, while playing really well on defense, is still a downgrade because, like Shump going from guarding 2s to guarding 3s between 11/12 and 12/13, RJ has gone from being the secondary wing defender to the primary wing defender, sort of like how if you have two great corners, even if your #2 corner improves to the point where he can be a #1 corner, you’re still losing on defense if you move him over while losing the other guy.

  74. And yes, for fuck’s sake, let’s see some goddamn pick and roll with Mitch/Noel, even with Noel’s butter stumps.

  75. ***frank with a scintillating stat line tonight…***

    I know without even glancing at the box score that this is it jest. But, there have been some earnest posts here lately implying that Ntilikina is a valuable commodity in the league, which is much more haha funny. As if a decent contribution here and there in a limited role somehow validates 5 years worth of below average play. Just looking around the league, the best case outcome for Ntilikina is what DeJounte Murray is producing. Murray, selected 29th in his draft, and with a similar profile to Frank, is putting up 18.5/8/9 for the Spurs. And even that doesn’t make him a beloved figure in the league. Most people don’t even know who is. And OG Anunoby, selected 15 spots after Ntilikina, also a defensive minded “body” guy in his profile, is averaging 27/7/4. So, even if Ntilikina doubles, then triples, then quadruples his career production this year, he still won’t be sniffing the return of his closest successful comps, neither of which are even really considered franchise players in their own right. So, to put it short, stop wasting time pretending that Frank Ntilikina was worth holding onto. Nobody is falling for it.

  76. Without passing judgment on the Frank debate either way, I think you can concede that Frank was a bust as a pick and still have a worthwhile discussion over whether he is worth signing to a minimum deal.

  77. There was so much discussion about whether Frank could become good or not I think everyone is curious how he does. That’s a natural feeling. Per the box scores he’s had a good game or two along with some bad games offensively. The only consistent thing is he seems to be taking more shots per minute than he used to. This was my general intuition; and, checking his actual stats, it seems to be true. He is taking 12.8 shots and scoring 14 points per 36 minutes, both of which are career highs. His true shooting percentage and PER are also career highs, so he’s actually both shooting more and better, which I think is progress, even if he’s still lousy at offense. I’m curious what his stats will be after a month or two if he keeps getting regular playing time.

  78. Turner had an Unicorn game that was not to overcome.
    And we don’t look like a playoff team right now…our backcourt and threepoint D especialy look very suspicious.

  79. Couldn’t catch anything yesterday, as i worked until 3AM!? :O And this in a day with morning news, a Mike K post (really cool stuff) and a game thread… a lot to catch up later today.
    For now just 2 things:
    1) are we doomed? should i give up on Knicks fandom? LOL
    2) maybe we should hit the pause button on the bing bong thing… i’m having a feeling that it hasn’t any lucky charm to it!

  80. Knick fan not in NJ:
    There was so much discussion about whether Frank could become good or not I think everyone is curious how he does. That’s a natural feeling.Per the box scores he’s had a good game or two along with some bad games offensively. The only consistent thing is he seems to be taking more shots per minute than he used to.This was my general intuition; and, checking his actual stats, it seems to be true.He is taking 12.8 shots and scoring 14 points per 36 minutes, both of which are career highs.His true shooting percentage and PER are also career highs, so he’s actually both shooting more and better, which I think is progress, even if he’s still lousy at offense. I’m curious what his stats will be after a month or two if he keeps getting regular playing time.

    It’s been 7 games. Just after last night’s 0-6, he’s back to a .450 ts%, right back at his career average, however unbelievable that number might look.

  81. DRTG down to 25th

    Panic a bit, it’s justified.

    Also, it’s early and our our offense is good. We win last night if we hit our 3s, defense be damned.

  82. If both teams shot 34% from 3 this game would have been a tossup. We couldn’t make a bucket, the Pacers were running hot. Sure there’s more to it than that but this game wasn’t as bad as it looked

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