2021 NBA Playoffs Game Thread: Knicks @ Hawks, Game 3 – Thibs Finally Made The Move!

Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson, who have been the keys to the Knicks in the playoffs so far, will move into the starting lineup tonight as the Knicks headed to Atlanta for Game 3 against the Hawks!

Great job by Thibs adjusting. Hopefully Rose gets Randle heavily involved right away.

It’s all happening, people!

Let’s go, take control of the series, Knicks!!

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298 thoughts to “2021 NBA Playoffs Game Thread: Knicks @ Hawks, Game 3 – Thibs Finally Made The Move!”

  1. Thank heaven Thibs finally surrender to reality and stopped giving advantage to the other team…

    Noel was trying his ankle before the start and can be on a minutes restriction.

    Now let’s go get them… Let’s go Knicks!!!

  2. Now its time for chips and cola offering to the Gods! We got this one!
    Let’s Do it!

  3. Who will breakthrough this game? I’m thinking Burks/RJ, IQ and Randle owe us a big game

  4. If Julius can shoot some threes Atlanta’s defensive scheme will become useless.

  5. Even with Taj starting, I expect Noel to get playing time. I am fine with that. Noel has made real contributions defensively and even a few on offense. Just don’t ask him to catch the ball on offense.

    I hope that starting Rose means that Payton will not get in the game (other than garbage time). I certainly do not want to see him opposite Trae Young. I also do not want him playing when Young sits, because that has been when the Knicks have dominated.

  6. i have a confession, wednesday i intentionally hung around work just so i could get home and turn the game on during the 4th…i blame it all on donnie, he led me down this dank path of minimizing my emotional knick fan stress…

    since learning that not only does donnie not watch much tv, but – owns no cell phone – i do though feel very justified in doing what donnie does…

    with 20 children ages 40 to new born – donnie is living right…this season i have become a firm believer in DWDD..

    that’s right domain wall displacement detection is the key to a happy life…

  7. It’s gonna be weird not having to wait until the 7 minute mark or so for the game to really start

  8. It was a foregone conclusion.
    Noel will help the second unit dominate inside. I think this is a great move. Rose’s ability to score will open it up for Randle.
    Let’s go Knicks!!!

  9. As Macri noted in his newsletter today, Thibs’ willingness to take Rose out of the bench unit also speaks to how much confidence he has in our two rookies, who, along with Burks, will have to provide the scoring when the starters are out.

  10. thenoblefacehumper:
    It’s gonna be weird not having to wait until the 7 minute mark or so for the game to really start

    I am terrified that Thibs is stubborn and uses Elf as the first PG off the bench. That’s just paranoia and anxiety, right? No chance. Right? Right? :-0

  11. Unfortunately, don’t think Elf gets benched, my bet is it’ll depend on how the game goes…if we start out well, he’ll likely get in, if we fall behind, he won’t

  12. I think it’s very possible that Thibs goes with a 9-man rotation today.

  13. A few bench questions.
    1. Does Thibs use 9, 10 or 11 tonight?
    2. If 10, does Frank play in front of Payton?
    3. If Frank plays, is he a wing (my preference)?
    4. If Frank is a wing, does Burks run point?

  14. ***Prediction: Knicks eke this one out***

    Prediction: Knicks eke this one out, but Z-Man passes out with 2:20 to go in regulation.

  15. Max:
    RJ Barrett with his best Payton impersonation…

    True. He needs some Z-man positivity. Let’s send it.

  16. A starting pg who can shoot? A starting center who can catch passes? What sorcery is this?

  17. Looking forward to the second unit coming in and building us a lead.

  18. Rose is lighting it up beautifully on O, but he CANNOT stay with Trae. At all.

    We might need someone who’s a bit more Quickley…

  19. It’s just shocking how easy everything has been for both teams around the rim. Just no protection on either end.

  20. My God Randle and RJ with 4 wide open 3s and none of them came close to going in.

  21. We need our wings to fly high…

    Fantastic start for Rose and Gibson, still waiting for the others to show up…

    Randle and Barrett with the short arm, every shot is on the front of the rim…

  22. Part of the defensive problem was Taj not sliding fast enough. Like the Noel sub

  23. Flagrant foul should be called on Huerter for throwing Noel to the ground. That was not a basketball play.

  24. How in the world was that Gallo post up something that McMillan actively wanted?

  25. this team’s lack of on court awareness is so frustrating. Nate Mc Millan can play the worst defensive lineups in the world and not be penalized bc the players on the court won’t exploit it.

  26. Brian Cronin:
    How in the world was that Gallo post up something that McMillan actively wanted?

    That was hilarious. I think not even Gallo thought it could lead to anything good.

  27. KB Apprentice: Eye test says when these two start the game by shooting threes, they suck. When they start by driving to the hoop, they’re better.

    This is why we miss Mitch. They are using Capella to double. If Mitch was in the game those would be drives and stuffs. Now it’s a drive into a crowd.

  28. That was hilarious. I think not even Gallo thought it could lead to anything good.

    The Hawks sure aren’t succeeding due to the playcalling.

  29. I’m shocked they called it a flagrant to be honest. We don’t get that kind of stuff.

  30. Gallo has the height, but that far from the basket it was dumb to think he could push RJ around

  31. GoNYGoNYGo – Gearing up for the playoffs: This is why we miss Mitch.They are using Capella to double. If Mitch was in the game those would be drives and stuffs. Now it’s a drive into a crowd.

    Agree. But I would rather see them drive hard into that crowd. Draw a foul or even get the offensive foul, but claim some space.

  32. After how bad they looked in Game 2 to start I shouldn’t care about this start but holy shit the Knicks offense right now is beyond garbage.

  33. Whoever said it above might be right. This series could be all about getting/keeping Taj on the floor.

  34. The inevitable Randle extension next season is looking a hell of a lot more questionable with each game in the playoffs so far… 2019 Julius is back in full force.

  35. Maybe a little too much handwringing on our part. ;-)

    Score looks okay from here.

  36. Randle makes his first shot at the buzzer. The Hawks seem to want the Knicks to win.

  37. There is a reason you rarely see a team double the inbounder to leave a shooter open for three. Randle makes ‘em pay.

  38. Some ugly basketball and in the end we’re up by 2, unbelievable…

    RJ needs to wake up,
    comparisons between he and Ja Morant look sillier with every new playoff game…

  39. What is the attendance of this game? I can barely hear the crowd.

  40. Well, I guess if you’re the Hawks you’d rather shit the bed in the last minute of the 1st quarter than in the last minute of the 4th quarter. But, man, that was a total team collapse there. They led 27-21 with 40 seconds left in the quarter, and walk off the floor trailing 31-29.

  41. If the Hawks lose most of the blame will be on Gallo’s hair….

    Love IQ. Emerging master of the bullshit foul

  42. It’s amazing how terrible the offense can be but we’re still up because no Elfrid

  43. Teams are combining for a record breaking number of dumb plays and silly turnovers…

  44. Thibs should stagger Rose and Randle a bit. They need one creator on the floor.

  45. The men’s intramural tournament at the Yerba Buena Athletic Center is going very well.

  46. The good thing is Rose is getting a decent break right now.

  47. This is worse offense than anything during those classic Knicks Heat playoff slugfests.

  48. I feel like Clyde refers to a half dozen different kinds of play as “the old foot trick,” to the point where I’m not even sure what he means anymore.

  49. If you told me that Noel would make 7 free throws In the first half, I would have scoffed. If you told me that he would do it on 8 shots, I would have assumed you were heavily medicated.

  50. My take on their respective awful play – The Knicks just don’t have a lot of offensive players. The Hawks are plain ol’ dumb.

  51. What’s the German word for when you are watching Doris Burke but could be watching Clyde

    Don’t like the last couple of possessions.

    Also, quite by accident, but have had way too much to drink

  52. Is it a new rule that you don’t need to have ball possession to call a timeout?

  53. Don’t care they’re only down 6 this has been an embarrassing performance so far.

  54. This is just so fucking terrible.

    RJ needs to either wake up or sit on the bench, he’s missed every open shot so far. Only Rose and Gibson seem like they want to go play hard.

  55. pepper:
    we can’t possibly shoot 30 percent the whole game…………can we?

    We’re shooting that high of a percentage?

  56. No one on the Hawks can shoot but Trae and they’re up six. That is annoying. That 31-footer was rough.

  57. Just awful offense. Barrett and everyone else bricking, bouncing balls off our feet, can’t throw it in the ocean.

  58. My take on their respective awful play – The Knicks just don’t have a lot of offensive players.

    but we’ve never been *this* bad. we’re totally flummoxed by the simplest defensive adjustment in the world.

  59. Owen: What’s the German word for when you are watching Doris Burke but could be watching Clyde

    Yeah, watching this without Clyde is a lot less enjoyable

  60. Owen: What’s the German word for when you are watching Doris Burke but could be watching Clyde

    Schadenburke.

  61. How to stop the lob:
    1. put pressure on the ball (not recommend against Trae Young 1 on 1).
    2. Keep a body on lob targets in the paint.
    3. Block the lob on the catch.

    How not to stop the lob:
    1. Watch and do none of the above.

  62. Hubert: but we’ve never been *this* bad. we’re totally flummoxed by the simplest defensive adjustment in the world.

    This is what’s annoying, the Hawks are doing NOTHING special on defense, they’re just trying hard and moving. It’s been self inflicted shit, just terrible misses.

  63. A game like this is really tough on all us people who had a hard time believing 2021 Randle was real

  64. this reminds me of the infamous game 3 in Indiana that spooked Mike Woodson. We are just shitting the bed on every level, including the coaching. Thibs and Randle are having a “who can show up less” contest.

  65. Owen: What’s the German word for when you are watching Doris Burke but could be watching Clyde

    I thought it was verfremclydeseffekt, which is the alienation you feel when you don’t see the game and your man at the same time.

  66. Where the fuck did that alley oop to Capela come from. Jesus.

    Crowd is loud now

  67. Only positive is Knicks will only be down 2-1 after this game and not facing a sweep on Sunday like they should be.

  68. Well, if they’re not willing to try hard in a decisive game, I’m not willing to watch this bullshit.

  69. The shot chart the Knicks have generated this series is just dreadful.

  70. If I was Thibs I would walk in that locker room and call Randle and RJ out. If they’re going to play like shit than lose with them on the bench for all I care.

  71. Dissapointing
    Hawks don’t give us many open shots but we’re also playing without rhythm and confidence
    We need… Something
    Thibs magic please!

  72. Ten periods of playoffs basketball with crowds in the stands:

    Randle is shooting 12-48 (5-16 3PT)
    Barrett is shooting 11-34 (3-13 3PT)

    We can win this serie and maybe even this game, but I’ll keep my expectations low for next year… better to be surprised than disappointed.

  73. DRed:
    Hubert I hate to say this but we need you to get hit by a scooter again

    Haha! No we don’t. Classic.

  74. Monica calling it out exactly.

    RJ, Julius: Take the ball to the goal, and make them foul you!

  75. Julius costing himself money. This showing is not an all nba player, it’s barely even starter much less all star. He can’t have three games in a row like this

  76. The only thing I’ll say is if we somehow do a game 2 repeat and get the lead down to 2 or something by the 4th quarter, we’re gonna be all inside the Hawks’ heads

  77. DudesTown:
    Can we try passing the ball in the 2nd half perchance?

    They passed the ball fine in the 1st half, at times passed too much cause they were reluctant to take open 3pters.

  78. I don’t know if it’s just me, but i find Doris Burke annoying when we’re losing. She raves too much the team that is winning.

  79. If Randle shoots 10%, there are no adjustments that bring the Knicks back. Randle has to be better for the Knicks to have a chance.

  80. Julius being a regular season, empty arena mirage would be a disaster.

  81. Without checking Basketball Reference, I’m going to say that no team has ever won a playoff series with it’s top two scorers playing this badly.

  82. I liked more the reality where Julius makes his FGs and Noel misses his FTs, but now we’re on the alternative reality… :(

  83. Well deserved (at least for this serie) chants of “Overrated” from the Hawks fans…

  84. Felt the same, unfortunately …

    Max:
    Well deserved (at least for this serie) chants of “Overrated” from the Hawks fans…

  85. Best I can do guys is walk across 7th Avenue South with my eyes closed and see what happens.

  86. Maybe Julius is overrated at the moment, but i’d sign him to that max extension all the same

  87. If the next step in Randle’s evolution is learning how to perform in a playoff atmosphere, then so be it.

    It would suck to lose the series because he stunk up the joint on offense. But it’s a bit to soon for me to hit him with the “oh he can’t perform in the playoffs” moniker. Not after one season, and with the season being a wildly overachieving success.

  88. I just lost the satellite signal. Can I get a little play by play please?

  89. It’s rough seeing them down so much to such a dumb opponent. That Bogo foul was insane.

  90. The Hawks are whooping our ass in the shooting dept, but somehow we’re just one good run away…

  91. We’re optimally set up to make a run and steal a game, crushing Atlanta’s confidence for the rest of the series.

  92. Thank goodness for Lou Will’s “Run down the shot clock and then just chuck an ugly three” play call to end the third.

  93. Play-by-play

    Knicks: terrible offense
    Hawks: Dumb offense but not godawful

  94. Brian Cronin:
    Thank goodness for Lou Will’s “Run down the shot clock and then just chuck an ugly three” play call to end the third.

    Isn’t that our play?

  95. ephus:
    Can Obi give a spark? He did nothing in the first half.

    Yeah, that’s one casualty of starting Rose. Obi does less well without him.

  96. That’s outrageous for it to be that slippery under the basket. Get your shit together, Atlanta.

  97. Just want them to get it to single digits here. Get the Hawks nervous.

  98. I can’t figure out why they all seem so hesitant to shoot when they’ve got a look. It’s been like that all night.

  99. The Knicks are so lucky that the Hawks are taking some terrible shots.

  100. That Trae miss and then that Bogo make were the only good shots the Hawks have taken in four minutes.

  101. Sorry everyone but the Hawks are not good. This is more an indictment of our squad at the moment … an extremely predictable set of individual players and plays right now … and bad shooting … granted our predictability is leading to contested difficult shots

  102. No need to have the starters in down 15 with 2 to go,
    let the end of the bench taste playoffs basketball and try to avoid injuries…

    P.S.
    … or stupid things that can lead to suspensions…

  103. I would like to pick Young up and pile drive him into the court.

  104. Max:
    No need to have the starters in down 15 with 2 to go,
    let the end of the bench taste playoffs basketball and try to avoid injuries…

    P.S.
    … or stupid things that can lead to suspensions…

    Absolutely.

  105. Learning experience, I think the closer we got in the second half was -11.

    You need to have selective memory in the playoffs,
    forget this game and go get the next one.

    We can’t play worse than this, let’s come back to the Garden tied…

  106. Well, the plan was to steal a game in Atlanta, so let’s try to do better on the next one.

  107. KJG:
    Sorry everyone but the Hawks are not good.This is more an indictment of our squad at the moment … an extremely predictable set of individual players and plays right now … and bad shooting … granted our predictability is leading to contested difficult shots

    They shot 60% from 3 and still only scored 105, they’re not even good, they’re gonna get obliterated by the Sixers if they get there. This game was lost by Julius Randle and well, I guess RJ tried his hardest to help him too. Even just decent shooting and the series is 2-1 for us.

  108. Early Bird:
    Randle and RJ have been embarrassingly bad this series

    Yes and we need to remember this when we talk about next season…
    this team needs to add reliable offensive talent.

  109. Bruno Almeida: They shot 60% from 3 and still only scored 105, they’re not even good, they’re gonna get obliterated by the Sixers if they get there. This game was lost by Julius Randle and well, I guess RJ tried his hardest to help him too. Even just decent shooting and the series is 2-1 for us.

    With decent shooting this series is 3-0 for us, Randle and Barrett were 12-38 in game-1…

    They’re costing us the series.

  110. DudesTown:
    This Hawks team is bush league.

    I hate them like crazy, but did we dance it up on our victories over them. I can’t remember exactly, but … maybe?

  111. Hopefully they find a gym to go take 500 shots at next couple of days.

  112. Bruno Almeida: Even just decent shooting and the series is 2-1 for us

    This is what bothers me the most. Keep telling myself they are going back to the team we liked so much in the regular season any minute now, and it never happens. They look like they’re in some kind of mental block, the plays are astonishingly bad. It’s baffling.

  113. Randle needs a new game plan. The Hawks aren’t letting him get to his spots comfortably and he isn’t bringing anything else.

    Rj… I don’t even know what’s going on with RJ

    Both are missing 3s they’ve hit all season. Randle at C is the nuclear option, but maybe they need to go to it. ATL seems to dumb to really exploit it and the Trae/Capela PnR gets 100 lobs (give or take) a game anyways

  114. We keep talking about maybe maxing Julius. Is there any other max player who has played this badly in three consecutive playoff games?

  115. KB Apprentice:
    We keep talking about maybe maxing Julius. Is there any other max player who has played this badly in three consecutive playoff games?

    I hear Paul George is bad in the playoffs, but probably not this bad

  116. KB Apprentice: We keep talking about maybe maxing Julius. Is there any other max player who has played this badly in three consecutive playoff games?

    His max extension isn’t really max money, it’s just the max we’re allowed to give him. Before he made his 2 incentives, the extension was 4/$106M, i don’t know if it was reviewed after it.

  117. Whoever said this feels like the Roy Hibbert series hit the nail on the head, except Roy Hibbert was actually good at defense

  118. Hahn and Monica saying we should just lay off Trae the whole game. Give him the threes and negate all the easy alley-pop assists and floaters. “He’s gonna beat you off the dribble, anyway. Why let him get all the other guys in rhythm? Make Trae hit those threes and keep the offense stagnant.” I may agree with this.

  119. Noel was amazing from the line tonight. He hit almost half of our free throws.

  120. If the refs continue to allow Trae’s taunting I fear that it may lead to an ugly incident. Aren’t there rules against it?

  121. cybersoze: His max extension isn’t really max money, it’s just the max we’re allowed to give him. Before he made his 2 incentives, the extension was 4/$106M, i don’t know if it was reviewed after it.

    I’m talking about this: (quoted from CBS) “He can accept a typical veteran extension and guarantee himself over $126 million to stay in New York, or he can ride out next season and go for the jackpot. He will be eligible for a max contract starting at 30 percent of the cap in the summer of 2022. With a projected cap of $115.8 million, that would start him off at around $34.7 million for the 2022-23 season. The Knicks could give him five total seasons with eight percent annual raises, while other teams could give him four total seasons with five percent annual raises. In total, that means another team could give him a projected four-year, $149.4 million deal, while the Knicks could give him a five-year, $201.5 million deal.”

    Those decisions next year are gonna be interesting.

    But — I’m not abandoning our guys. They stunk up the joint all three games thus far (IMO) and were lucky to steal the Wednesday game. Let’s get back on track. Re-set.

  122. Our “shooters” (RJ, Randle, Quick, Buttock, and Burks, not counting Rose here) were 11 for 48. That’s (checks magic wristwatch) 23% from the field. Simple as that.

  123. Looking at the box score, we lost the second quarter big, but won or tied the other quarters. We just couldn’t get a scoring run against them at any time

  124. just 3 games so far…hard work normally triumphs, even over nerves…

    yeah, reggie started looking a little scary towards the end of the game…trae might want to direct some of that stuff in a different direction…

  125. If you cannot score, you cannot win. Simple math.
    We need to win Sunday.

  126. I’m risking a completely naive question. Feel free to laugh at me.

    Multiple times each game, the Hawks run a simple play in which Trae passes to someone at the top of the key who in turn tosses an easy alley oop.

    Why in the entire season with our Knicks have I never ever seen us complete that simple play? I mean what is Thibs coaching on offense?

  127. Cyber & KB App, you’re both right on Randle’s extension.
    If he signs this summer the extension will be for 4Yr/106M and will kick in in the 2022-23 season,
    so he’ll play 2021-22 at the expected 20M and the total will be 5Yr/126M.

    Otherwise he’ll play next season at 20M and then he can sign a new contract for the max (5 years with us, 4 for other teams) with a much higher starting point.

    Honestly, this summer extension can be somewhat “reasonable” (4 years at 26,5M avg) , the “new FA” contract will be madness (Knicks average 40M and change, other teams average over 37M…).
    I don’t think anyone will offer that.

  128. I’m a little drunk and a lot disappointed.

    All the faith I had started to build in Randle and RJ has evaporated.

    Also, I’m in a mood. Go Boston.

  129. Max:
    Cyber & KB App, you’re both right on Randle’s extension.
    If he signs this summer the extension will be for 4Yr/106M and will kick in in the 2022-23 season,
    so he’ll play 2021-22 at the expected 20M and the total will be 5Yr/126M.

    Thx. So if Randle flames out in these playoffs, does he sign the summer deal and lock in with the Knicks for less, or does he play next season out hoping to earn the “MaxMax?”

    Tricky. I suspect Randle signs over the summer, but I’m curious to see what happens, and how the performance in these playoffs affects the numbers.

  130. Spartan eye test
    Hawks played more physical than us at the start
    They contested most of our shots
    We let them more times to have easy shots
    After they got a double digit lead they cooled a bit and managed to retain it without much effort
    Hitting their 3s was critical
    So far in this series they seem as the better team but not very special also
    A few adjustments can beat them easily as we saw on the previous game
    Tighter D, more paintball, best possible rotations
    Fuck this one and Let’s get the next one

    Bright spot: Elf out of rotation completely

  131. Dass Experiment
    I truly don’t know if the use of Ntilikina or even Vildoza(!) could have a catalytic impact defensively but i wouldn’t mind trying it by giving them 10-15min of Rose/IQ/RJ total minutes.

  132. BigBlueAL:
    Wish the Knicks had Jayson Tatum.

    Or K. Leonard… who along w/George are 20-25 from the field against the Mavs.

  133. Speaking of RJ (and even Randle), Kobe wasn’t all that good in his first two playoffs from an offensive perspective in ’97 and ’98. Even in ’99 when he upped his PPG he needed a lot of shots to get his #s. Yes, Shaq arriving in 2000 made a huge impact, but Kobe still needed some time to develop his playoff muscles.

    It’ll be a disappointment if the Knicks lose to the Hawks b/c they both continued to struggle, but in the long term it will help their development.

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