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Knicks Morning News (2022.09.08)

  • NBA Notes: Lakers, Patrick Beverley, Knicks, Trail Blazers – Yardbarker
    [www.yardbarker.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 11:01:44 PM

    NBA Notes: Lakers, Patrick Beverley, Knicks, Trail Blazers  Yardbarker

  • 3 Under-The-Rader Trade Targets For NBA Contenders To Consider – NBA Analysis Network
    [nbaanalysis.net] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 10:46:46 PM

    3 Under-The-Rader Trade Targets For NBA Contenders To Consider  NBA Analysis Network

  • NBA Trade Rumors: 3 New Stars For New York Knicks To Monitor – NBA Analysis Network
    [nbaanalysis.net] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 10:14:09 PM

    NBA Trade Rumors: 3 New Stars For New York Knicks To Monitor  NBA Analysis Network

  • Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t see Knicks as NBA ‘play-in’ lock: ‘A lot has to go right’ – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 6:32:00 PM

    Jeff Van Gundy doesn’t see Knicks as NBA ‘play-in’ lock: ‘A lot has to go right’  New York Post

  • Knicks’ Dolan Dynasty Backs NYC’s Only Republican Rep Nicole Malliotakis – THE CITY
    [www.thecity.nyc] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 5:22:00 PM

    Knicks’ Dolan Dynasty Backs NYC’s Only Republican Rep Nicole Malliotakis  THE CITY

  • Liberty’s Michaela Onyenwere Undergoes Knee Procedure – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 4:30:10 PM

    Liberty’s Michaela Onyenwere Undergoes Knee Procedure  Sports Illustrated

  • Former Knicks, Wizards And Jazz Player Retires – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 3:55:00 PM

    Former Knicks, Wizards And Jazz Player Retires  Sports Illustrated

  • NBA Rumors: This Knicks-Warriors Trade Features Andrew Wiggins – NBA Analysis Network
    [nbaanalysis.net] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 3:52:30 PM

    NBA Rumors: This Knicks-Warriors Trade Features Andrew Wiggins  NBA Analysis Network

  • ‘They Deserve A Lot’: Jalen Brunson Lauds Knicks Fans, Prepares For Pressure – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 2:20:25 PM

    ‘They Deserve A Lot’: Jalen Brunson Lauds Knicks Fans, Prepares For Pressure  Sports IllustratedJalen Brunson vows to do whatever it takes to win: Knicks fans deserve a lot  Empire Sports MediaKnicks’ Jalen Brunson Sends Strong Message to Luka Doncic  Heavy.comJalen Brunson Shooting More Benefits Everyone  The Knicks WallView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Kemba Walker’s NBA Future Remains Unclear – The Cold Wire
    [www.thecoldwire.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 2:12:43 PM

    Kemba Walker’s NBA Future Remains Unclear  The Cold Wire

  • Knicks Fan Fat Joe’s Brutal Shot At Julius Randle, Carmelo Anthony – Game 7 – Game7
    [itsgame7.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 1:56:03 PM

    Knicks Fan Fat Joe’s Brutal Shot At Julius Randle, Carmelo Anthony – Game 7  Game7

  • What should the Knicks front office do now? – Posting and Toasting
    [www.postingandtoasting.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 12:02:07 PM

    What should the Knicks front office do now?  Posting and ToastingNBA Trade Rumors: 3 New Stars For New York Knicks To Monitor  NBA Analysis Network2 way too early Knicks trades New York needs to pull off  ClutchPointsCould Knicks’ Desire to ‘Win Now’ Neglect Younger Players?  Sports Illustrated2 Julius Randle trades Knicks could consider after Donovan Mitchell news  Daily KnicksView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Knicks Adding 10-Time All-Star ‘Could Make Life Easier,’ Analyst Says – Heavy.com
    [heavy.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 10:56:42 AM

    Knicks Adding 10-Time All-Star ‘Could Make Life Easier,’ Analyst Says  Heavy.com

  • 30 Teams in 30 Days: Jazz look to future after seismic summer of change – NBA.com
    [www.nba.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 10:05:05 AM

    30 Teams in 30 Days: Jazz look to future after seismic summer of change  NBA.com

  • NBA Stars and Players Most Likely to Hit 2022-23 Trade Block – Bleacher Report
    [bleacherreport.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 10:03:28 AM

    NBA Stars and Players Most Likely to Hit 2022-23 Trade Block  Bleacher Report

  • Knicks missing out on Donovan Mitchell isn’t the end of the world – Daily Knicks
    [dailyknicks.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 10:00:00 AM

    Knicks missing out on Donovan Mitchell isn’t the end of the world  Daily Knicks

  • “F** Y*!”: Michael Jordan was ready to fight the Knicks for Scottie Pippen – The Sportsrush
    [thesportsrush.com] — Wednesday, September 7, 2022 9:30:47 AM

    “F** Y*!”: Michael Jordan was ready to fight the Knicks for Scottie Pippen  The Sportsrush

  • 88 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2022.09.08)”

    Re-listened to Seth Partnow’s pod with Alan, because yesterday i only caught the part about TV. You spoke great, as usual, Alan. Probably the optimists here will think you’re a pessimist, and the pessimists will think you’re a optimist. 😛 But not me, i think i have almost exactly the same opinion about the team as yourself. 😉
    To listen to the podcast: https://www.callin.com/episode/peak-tv-and-knicks-pique-with-alan-sepinwall-eOIEKcNLiV
    (Note: the basketball part is the first part of the show, and the TV part starts at 23:25)

    One other thing, i wasn’t aware of this callin.com system, but the voice to text tab they have on the episode is great. If you have the imagination to understand that there’s some errors where you need to use common sense, of course. And you can laugh too with some of the errors, like Juliet Randall. 😀

    “E, all merc’d outsays:
    September 8, 2022 at 08:01
    Grimes wasn’t even the best pick in his slot, much less a proper substitute for a high lottery pick. Bones Hyland would have been way better.”

    If you only look at one end of the court they are close…I’d give Bones the edge. On defense, there’s no comparison. So way better is clearly a narrative driven adjective.

    Re: Cam as the only potential superstar on the roster:

    It’s really more of a critique of our young players than a compliment to Reddish. Still, think of the way it took Wiggins to become anything decent. Cam has really special physical tools and skills and shoots 90% from the line. He was rated higher than RJ and Zion out of HS.

    I’m not advocating that we max him or anything. Just would like for him to get a really good look before cutting bait. He did cost us a coveted #1 pick.

    PS I agree with E that Thibs is likely too stubborn to do this. That said, maybe Cam wows them in training camp. He is in a contract year…

    Thanks, Cyber! It felt cathartic to talk it all out.

    Here is my Question of the Day, which is really two questions: of the four guys who currently seem like problematic fits on the roster, rank them in order of whom would you must like to see traded before the season starts, and who has the greatest likelihood of being traded.

    I’d most want to see them gone in this order:

    1)Randle, because Obi needs to play, because he’s awful to watch, and because there’s so little upside even if we get Good Randle back, given the configuration of the rest of the team.
    2)Rose, because I want Thibs to be forced to play IQ some minutes at point guard every night, because I want to see Deuce play a little on nights when Brunson or IQ is hurt/resting, because there seems no point to playing an old man big minutes on a team in our position, and because of the general unpleasantness of having him on the team.
    3)Fournier, just because I want to free up more minutes for Quickley and other young wings, though I wouldn’t mind him staying just to help with spacing.
    4)Reddish, who is probably just bad at basketball, and who our coach really doesn’t want to play, but who in his idealized form gives the team something no other guy on the roster offers, and after all the stupid transactions that led to him being here, we may as well find out if there is a real player there.

    Likelihood of being traded:

    1)Reddish, because we know the Lakers want (or wanted) him, because he’s still young, and because some FO will be willing to buy extremely low on a young guy who allegedly still has upside. And because the coach doesn’t want him and our FO seems to realize acquiring him was a mistake.
    2)Fournier, because he can be useful to most teams even if his contract is a bit too high, and because I suspect our FO also wants to open up minutes for the younger players. But he may require a sweetener to dump.
    3)Randle, but only if they are willing to attach one of the protected picks to get rid of. Outside of Charlotte, I’m not even sure what team would want him right at this moment.
    4)Rose, because he is clearly Thibs’ security blanket, and thus the team won’t consider moving him until it’s clear that this year’s team is going nowhere and we’d best collect some kind of asset from a contending team who needs a backup playmaker.

    Oh no, Alan, you think the most likely to be traded is the only player we have with superstar potential?? 😀
    ( Sorry Z-man, i couldn’t resist sending this 😛 )

    Hey Z-man,

    Cam Reddish was not ranked higher than RJ Barrett in high school. Cam was the #2 prospect and RJ Barrett was #1. In fact, RJ’s senior year of high school was so dominant that the last player to accomplish as much as he did was LeBron James. Even then, LeBron James never won a high school national championship or a U18 gold medal (and RJ Barrett did that for world basketball powerhouse Canada).

    The only player on this roster with superstar potential is RJ Barrett. Cam Reddish doesn’t have the discipline in his game to be a superstar; his shot mechanics tell you everything you need to know about his potential.

    Obi needs to play, that should be a priority. I don’t mind keeping DRose and Fournier one more year, but Fournier has to be a backup, his defense is atrocious and when playing against starters it’s a problem for the team. Probably his defense will be passable against other teams backups. And Cam should stay if he has a place in the rotation, which can be done if we trade Randle, he can be Obi’s backup.
    Team without Randle: Brunson/DRose, Grimes/Quick, RJ/Fournier, Obi/Cam, Mitch/Hart.
    This is a rotation i can get behind.

    One of the reasons I want Randle traded now, regardless of cost, is that if it is not now, it is never. The “rehab his trade value” is a fantasy. If he gets better why would they trade him if they won’t when he is a bad player and a bad roster fit.

    If the Knicks are willing to start Isaiah Hartenstein there’s a chance we see a better Julius Randle.

    I don’t expect that Hartenstein will be Maxi Kleber but he also won’t camp out in the paint and give the other guys some more room to operate.

    Starters: Brunson, Grimes, RJ, Randle, Robinson

    Bench: Rose, Quick, Fournier, Obi, Hart

    Cam will get minutes any time Rose is out. Quick goes to PG, Fournier to SG, and Cam to SF.

    Cam will get minutes any time Obi or Randle is out (though Hart might play some PF here or there too).

    If Cam comes to camp in shape, playing hard on both ends, and Thibs thinks he deserves the rotation spot, Fournier will be moved.

    If by some magic stroke of luck Randle gets moved, it depends who we get back. If we get back someone like Hayward, Cam is gone. If it’s some other position, Cam can be used as the 3rd string SF and backup small ball PF.

    If by some amazing magic we move both Fournier and Randle, it again depends on who we get back, but you can see Cam with a more important role at SF/PF.

    It’s on Cam to show up ready to become an NBA player and to stay healthy long enough to show what he can do. If it looks like more of the same, Cam will be moved.

    A player can have superstar athleticism without having superstar potential. That’s Cam Reddish if I were actually sold on his superstar athleticism.

    “If the Knicks are willing to start Isaiah Hartenstein there’s a chance we see a better Julius Randle.”

    I agree with your premise.

    If Hartenstein shows he can be as productive in more minutes against starters as he has been previously, we could easily see a situation where he and Robinson split the minutes even if Mitch starts.

    Here is my Question of the Day, which is really two questions: of the four guys who currently seem like problematic fits on the roster, rank them in order of whom would you must like to see traded before the season starts, and who has the greatest likelihood of being traded.

    Honestly I’d rather just accept that – other than Cam, who is definitely heading out – they’re going to be here all season.

    I think there is a chance we trade Derrick Rose at the deadline if he’s playing well because he can be waived after the season.

    But that’s it. Everyone else is going to be here through the end.

    “(As an aside, in a roughly 300 rotation player league, Randle’s 0.5 BPM was tied for 83rd in the NBA. His WS48 was tied for 151st. His VORP was 1.6, tied for 71st. If despite these metrics he was the most detrimental player in the NBA, we shouldn’t really use them in the future in defending positions, should we? )”

    Here’s a crazy idea, let’s view these metrics in the exact way they were intended to be viewed, and in the only way the people who regularly cite them here have ever said to view them: as a decent shorthand for overall production that come with a number of flaws.

    One of those well-known flaws is that players can drown out poor shooting efficiency by racking up other box-score statistics, even though their poor shooting efficiency is far more detrimental to winning than their other box-score statistics are conducive to winning.

    I think very few proponents of BPM would argue Russell Westbrook was the best player in the NBA in 2016-2017. He was certainly very good, but OKC’s well-known propensity for letting him get every loose rebound, and more importantly simply giving him the ball on every single possession, allowed him to accumulate assists and rebounds that he wasn’t necessarily adding to the team’s total.

    Let’s see how this applies to Randle and his glorious 0.6 2021-2022 BPM–Randle is credited with racking up an astounding number of assists for his position, he was in the 97th percentile among power forwards in AST%! Sounds good, right?

    Well, the Knicks’ AST% as a team was rather significantly *higher* with Randle off the floor (56.9 vs 60.2). This is an enormous hint, or more accurately a surefire sign honestly, that Randle racked up assists in a manner that was actually detrimental to the team’s offense.

    I cannot tell you just how much this jives with the eye-test, and since I know you also watched the Knicks last season I’m sure you agree. Randle would pound the ball into the ground for 10 seconds before either taking a horrible shot, or eventually making a pass. Great way to get assists, not a great way to help a team.

    Even the team’s TRB% was better with Randle off the court, so his rebounds didn’t seem to do a whole lot for us either.

    Randle’s 0.6 BPM, which was already not good, definitely overrated him. It’s genuinely hard to capture just how detrimental a player who hijacks an offense despite a .509 TS% is to a team, but the on/off numbers and the good ol’ eye test are good places to start.

    But that’s it [DRose]. Everyone else is going to be here through the end.

    You’d be risking a lot more if you were to give us this message during medieval times. 😀

    I’m more pro-Randle than the general consensus around here but even I would like to see Randle traded the most by far just because he’s the most in the way. I really believe that as long as he’s here Thibs is going to play him a ton of minutes and he’s going to have the ball on offense a ton; the team is just going to look Randle-y and even if it’s good Randle instead of bad Randle that’s not ultimately a productive direction. Trading him clears the minutes that Obi needs, makes a role for Reddish which even if you think he’s bad (I do) is still worthwhile with his RFA coming up and ultimately the team will sink or swim with the young guys instead of being propped up to the 20th best offense by Randle.

    The rest of Alan’s outsiders just aren’t really in the way. Rose is a mortal lock to miss half the season and will need to be babied from a minutes perspective the rest of the time but is still very possibly the team’s best minute-to-minute player when he’s healthy. Hope that the first half of the season he’s healthy and there’s a decent shot to get a 1st for him at the deadline.

    Fournier I think Thibs will be happy to shrink his role as necessary, he doesn’t monopolize the ball at all and this team can definitely use another guy who can really shoot it. Would happily keep him around unless/until there’s a decent offer.

    Reddish I don’t really see the point in trading unless he’s going to really start acting out. I can’t imagine we could get any kind of real asset for him that’s worth more than another year to coach him up and his RFA rights.

    And for those of you who think you’ve now caught me in a gotcha because I have said teams need to acquire players who pass a certain BPM threshold to contend, please don’t embarrass yourself by revealing just how badly you misunderstood my point.

    Having 2 or more players with a 4+ BPM is a *necessary* condition to contention, this is clear as day from NBA history. It is equally clear that it is not a *sufficient* condition–plenty of teams with multiple 4+ BPM players do not contend.

    I didn’t think this needed to be explained, but here we go: having multiple 4+ BPM players does not relieve a team of having to do the whole “put together a good offense and defense” thing. This is why the Dejounte Murray BPM gotcha rings so hollow–he wouldn’t have addressed our team needs in the way Mitchell would’ve.

    I have never said acquiring multiple 4+ BPM players is a surefire path to contention. Obviously, you need to acquire *the right* players, players that make sense with both one another and the rest of the team, etc. I do not think the Knicks would be contenders if they moved heaven and Earth to acquire Robert Williams and Rudy Gobert.

    It’s simply a shorthand that goes a very long way towards revealing whether a team has the kind of elite talent *all* NBA contenders have had. Right now we obviously don’t have that kind of talent, in fact we’re arguably further from it than every other team in the NBA, and it’s extremely unclear how we can get that kind of talent.

    TNFH,

    I agree with your point about the flaws in BPM and how they apply to Randle, but it still seems like an awfully long way from “+0.6 BPM overrates his contribution” to “worst player in the NBA”. Like a long, long, long way. The more plus-minusy systems EPM, RAPM, LEBRON etc. definitely don’t back up the idea that he was anywhere near that bad last season. I don’t know if anybody is still doing pure adjusted plus-minus models without a box-score prior anymore but I’d be interested to know he fared in those if they are.

    ***RJ’s senior year of high school was so dominant that the last player to accomplish as much as he did was LeBron James. Even then, LeBron James never won a high school national championship or a U18 gold medal***

    Premature ejaculation is a condition that afflicts 1 in 3 adult men. But, unlike RJ Barrett’s early peak, PE can be treated and fixed.

    This really isn’t that complicated. They don’t have elite talent because they drafted Frank and Knox with prime lottery picks, traded away a flawed but high-potential 4 for pennies on the dollar (*), and then threw away a bunch of potential ping pong balls on a bunch of pointless merc wins in 2020 and 2021 on a quixotic quest for who the hell knows what. (And then preposterously didn’t draft at 32, 18, and 11).

    That’s why.

    As to what to do about it, well, that one’s pretty obvious. Start garnering ping pong balls and rolling the dice on high risk outcomes like Reddish and, to a degree, Barrett. (And to a degree Toppin and Quickley.) Give RJ the ball, clear out the dead weight, see what happens.

    What we do here on KB is we rationalize our way around this pretty obvious truth about where they are. We do that because we’re rightly excited for the new season and there are some young pieces with potential.

    But that’s where we are. We pissed away our shot at elite talent through (1) bad drafting, (2) a bad trade, and (3) a stupid philosophy the last three years that burned ping pong balls like heyday Pacman burned bills in the strip joints. The current philosophy is antithetical to getting it. Factorial.

    (*) No interest in relitigating Kristaps Porzingis.

    “The more plus-minusy systems EPM, RAPM, LEBRON etc. definitely don’t back up the idea that he was anywhere near that bad last season. I don’t know if anybody is still doing pure adjusted plus-minus models without a box-score prior anymore but I’d be interested to know he fared in those if they are.”

    As you said, all of those models have a box-score component so I think they’ll all give Randle more credit than he’s due.

    Having said that, he ranked 194th in EPM and 223rd in RAPTOR (he fared much worse in the pure on/off component of RAPTOR than the box-score component). I can’t find the RAPM data for this past season, but I imagine it wasn’t particularly flattering either.

    When you account for the fact that these figures are likely overvaluing him to some extent due to his box-score stuffing, it’s not that big of a reach to “bottom of the league” territory.

    Now, “worst player in the league” is always going to be an unclear designation because the actual worst players in the league will rarely be allowed to rack up Randle’s usage and minutes.

    But I’m very comfortable saying he was one of the most detrimental players in the league. Whether he was the absolute most detrimental or merely in the bottom 10 is not very important to me. The general point is that he showed the NBA it may be very hard, maybe impossible, to fit him in to a winning scheme going forward, and the trade market has reacted accordingly.

    Oh he absolutely was. I can’t remember a guy with more useless empty calorie assists than him in association history.

    No good team wants him touching the ball enough to get that many assists. Renders the box score metrics essentially useless (not that he doesn’t suck in them anyway.)

    His value as an asset became negative literally before his extension kicked in.

    I don’t RJ Barrett peaked early as much as he’s had to fight for the ball with the following players:

    Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, Marcus Morris, Julius Randle (2020)
    Elfrid Payton, Julius Randle (2021)
    Julius Randle, Kemba Walker, Alec Burks (2022)

    The Knicks drafted RJ Barrett with half hearted conviction (Steve Mills wanted to trade the pick) and then did everything they could for 3 years to impede his progress. If it wasn’t Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton playing keep away, it was Tom Thibodeau treating RJ like Bodie from The Wire and sticking him in the corner for 100 games.

    None of this changes the fact that RJ Barrett’s numbers from the free throw line are bad (Brandon Ingram’s numbers sucked for 3 years, too) and his FG% from 0-3 feet are also bad. But if I had to bet that a 22 year old would convert 1 more lay-up attempt and 1.5 more FT attempts by the time he’s say, I dunno, 24? Show me the player prop and I’m hammering 5u.

    Again, I am VERY bullish on the Brunson/Grimes/Barrett trio. I hope they prove me right this year but I am projecting RJ Barrett to make his 1st all star game this year. If the kid doesn’t improve, we’re screwed, but I think having QG to be the lead defender and Brunson as his set up man is as ideal a situation he’s ever had going back to Duke.

    Having said that, he ranked 194th in EPM and 223rd in RAPTOR (he fared much worse in the pure on/off component of RAPTOR than the box-score component). I can’t find the RAPM data for this past season, but I imagine it wasn’t particularly flattering either.

    I hadn’t looked at RAPTOR and indeed that is the one that seems to justify at least the idea that he was one of the worst in the league last year (or at least one of the worst to hit minutes limits). I also didn’t realize they published splits of their +/- model and their box model which is valuable. It’s really interesting to me that their box score model also hates his play last year to quite the degree it does given what we’re discussing. Will have to take a closer look at the methodology when I have some time and see if I can understand why that is.

    I’m still not sure I’m totally buying worst in the league as opposed to just merely very bad but also probably it’s not a point worth fighting over too much.

    Not sure if I was banned or not but my posts weren’t going through. I changed my username a bit, you’re not getting rid of me that easily!

    I don’t want Randle out just because he was very bad last season, i want him out because even if he gets better, his style of play doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the team. He’s a ball stopper. Even RJ embraced the ball movement at the end of last season, when Randle was out.

    I think Julius was detrimental, but a) not nearly as much as TNFH is definitively stating and b) in the same ballpark as RJ. I think if he and RJ were as detrimental as suggested, it would have been literally impossible to have won 37 games without others on the roster being superstars. I listed several teams with fewer detrimental players and more superstars finishing with fewer wins.

    More accurately, Randle and RJ were deeply flawed players who both did non box-score positive things (and didn’t do non-box score negative things) that other players like Obi and Grimes would not have made up for if they got 75% of the minutes at their respective positions. I’m trusting that Thibs knew that when he (stupidly) threw Obi under the bus.

    Again, Thibs has an obsession with studying film. He sees nuances that don’t show up in the box score but that contribute to winning and losing. You could argue that Randle’s numbers were at least PARTLY bad because he had GIANT HOLES in the lineups on the floor with him in most of his minutes. A wing playing point guard. A center that can’t shoot more than 6 inches from the basket. A high-usage wing who had an eFG% of .466. A shooting guard who was a turnstile on D. So to single out Randle and ignore that context is fair but only to a point.

    The much larger and more definitive point is that he was probably the worst player in the league RELATIVE TO HIS CONTRACT. If he were on a $7M AAV 2-year deal, teams would be happy to bring him aboard, or even had 2 years left on his previous deal. No one want him for 4 years/$100+ million.

    Julius Randle would fit like a glove down in Charlotte. He’d have shooters in Rozier and Washington to his East and West, and Charlotte has zero center depth so he can play the five. Not sure how Clifford feels about him but if he’s good enough to play 4,000 minutes for Thibs he’s good enough for Steve Clifford

    “I think if he and RJ were as detrimental as suggested, it would have been literally impossible to have won 37 games without others on the roster being superstars.”

    I don’t understand this at all. 37 games is simply not a very impressive win total. You can get most of the way there by simply not tanking in a season in which a bunch of other teams are tanking. Sound familiar?

    We won a few more games than Washington because Beal was injured for most of the year and their team was worse than ours without him. This just ain’t rocket science.

    We got the rest of the way there because we had some decent-to-good players. We finished the season 7-3 against a bunch of teams not trying to win either because they were tanking all season, or they were preparing for the playoffs with seeding settled.

    Winning 37 games was just more important to us than it was to all of the other teams, for whatever reason. So we basically chose to get there.

    I have no idea how many games we would’ve won without Randle. Probably a few more, but the difference wouldn’t have been huge.

    I have always recognized the efficiency stats of players who take on extreme usage should be viewed in context, but a .509 TS% is easily replicable by the lower-usage players in the absence of someone like Randle. It’s a more complicated conversation if the high-usage player in question has a slightly below average TS%, but .509 makes this quite easy. That’s “Mitchell Robinson post up” level efficiency. It is absolute garbage.

    Again, this isn’t speculation–the team’s offense was much better in the absence of Randle. The team’s shooting efficiency was much better in the absence of Randle. Non-Randle minutes were 36% of our total minutes, so this is not small sample size theater.

    It turns out the surprisingly controversial proposition “having a guy take a ton of shots and missing most of them is bad” is true.

    I don’t understand this at all. 37 games is simply not a very impressive win total. You can get most of the way there by simply not tanking in a season in which a bunch of other teams are tanking. Sound familiar?

    The knicks have “not tanked” for a bunch of seasons and not reach 37 wins, and often being far from it. And as already was said, early title favorites Lakers did not reach 37 wins, and they were definitely not tanking.

    I dont think the future is as gloom as you make it to be. We won 37 games and had a pythagorean .500 team, while being deeply flawed at the PG position, and our PF, who shoulders the playmaking responsibilities in absence of a competent PG, having a mental breakdown. We have clearly improved our PG and C position, we are a young team, and we have the assets for a future trade. Our team is going to be way more structured this year just by virtue of having a PG and a C at all times, and that will probably help Randle the most, who will be able to focus on what he is good.

    RIP, Queen Elizabeth. Will they jump William ahead of his unpopular dad in the line of succession?

    “I don’t understand this at all. 37 games is simply not a very impressive win total. You can get most of the way there by simply not tanking in a season in which a bunch of other teams are tanking. Sound familiar?”

    This is simply not true. Again I will point out that the Lakers, Kings, Spurs, Pelicans, and Wizards were not tanking and they didn’t reach that amount of wins, despite not having 2 of the so-called most detrimental players sucking up the most minutes by far on the team, and not a single legit star to bail them out. Of the 4000 or so team minutes, RJ and Randle were on the floor for 2500 of them, mostly together with Fournier, Mitch or Taj, and Kemba or Burks. So for the majority of the time, those two were on the floor with 3 guys who were below average for their respective positions (if you want to call Mitch slightly above average for a starting NBA C, fine, but at a 11.4 usage he was hardly an alternative shooting option.)

    And remember, even the tanking teams are putting 2 much better players on the floor at the highest usage positions in their respective starting lineups. Doesn’t that logically follow from your assertion?

    To reach 37 wins, either your assertions are obviously exaggerations (my guess) or some of the other 8 players in our rotation must be really, really good! Well it wasn’t Kemba. It wasn’t Burks. It wasn’t Noel. It wasn’t Fournier. It wasn’t IQ. It wasn’t Taj. It wasn’t Reddish. It wasn’t Grimes. It wasn’t Sims.

    Yup, must be Mitch and Obi, closet superstars.

    People are being way too blase about Randle’s issues, treating them as if they’re some kind of exogenous, random variable.

    In fact, they correlate *exactly* with the buildings being open and closed. He like literally started to meltdown the first time he touched the ball in the Hawks series when the Garden was fully open.

    Terrible in 19-20 with buildings open.
    Really good in 20-21 with buildings not open.
    Meltdown that never wavered in spring 2021 with buildings open.
    Dreadful in 21-22 with buildings open.

    Sorry, but I ain’t fading that pattern.

    Randle would pound the ball into the ground for 10 seconds before either taking a horrible shot or committing a horrifically brutal turnover.(edit)

    I think it’s Randle without any question. More shots for Obi, IQ and RJ.

    I’d love to place money on IQ having a better career than RJ and hedge with a bet that RJ will make more.

    The more I look at my avatar the less convinced I am that it looks like a space invader. E’s looks like a cactus. Or maybe the middle finger. Z-Man’s new avatar is definitely an angry chichuaha. Thenamestam is a dark-haired woman with glasses on. Swifty is also a woman, a bit older with no glasses.

    I’m going to have to eat mushrooms and get back to this.

    “Winning 37 games was just more important to us than it was to all of the other teams, for whatever reason. So we basically chose to get there.”

    Really? The assumption is that the players on the floor are trying their best to win, no matter what the team’s record. If we usually had two of the worst players in the league using up over 56% of the possessions every night, even the bottom feeders would have a huge advantage on the floor unless we had other really good players making up the deficit. Whoever those players are, they must be really, really good!

    The Knicks’ talent distribution was a little bit unusual in that their 6-10 guys were similar in talent and production to the 1-5 guys. The starters were a pretty poor unit for most of the season, and many times the bench would often come in and bail them out. I’m too busy/lazy/dumb to figure out the exact on/off numbers, but I think we all remember this dynamic. Maybe somebody can look that up. I always feel like I’m doing it wrong when I try to figure out on/off numbers.

    Anyway. A good chunk of those 37 wins came from our bench kicking the butts of the other team’s bench. The starters usually sucked.

    A team of experienced basketball players with a good coach should definitely not have a hard time winning 37 games. It’s pretty easy.

    lol angry chihuahua…what should I read into that?

    As to Alan’s rankings, I’d rather lose Fournier than Rose. His contract is longer and he would get more minutes if Thibs thinks it’s best for winning. Rose is probably limited to 20mpg for 50ish games, and he’s not blocking Brunson, so that’s fine by me. But any vet out the door is better than no vets out the door.

    And I’d like to keep Cam unless we can get something good back for him, or at least what we gave up (not including KKII)

    A team of experienced basketball players with a good coach should definitely not have a hard time winning 37 games. It’s pretty easy.

    I guess Frank Vogel is not a good coach.

    “The Knicks’ talent distribution was a little bit unusual in that their 6-10 guys were similar in talent and production to the 1-5 guys. The starters were a pretty poor unit for most of the season, and many times the bench would often come in and bail them out.”

    If you want to say that other teams’ starters were better than our starters but our bench was better than other teams’ benches, that’s fair.

    But it’s a lot different than saying that we would have won more games if we played our bench against other teams’ starters.

    Our bench was essentially Obi, IQ, Grimes, Taj and one of Rose/Nerlens/Sims/Cam/McBride.

    Let’s say you had started last year’s version of Mitch, Obi, Burks. Grimes, and IQ, benched Randle and RJ , and allocated bench minutes to Rose (for 26 games), Kemba (for 37 games), Taj, Sims, McBride, Cam (15 games) and Nerlens (for 25 games). Does anyone actually think that’s a better than 37 win team?

    Also, I stayed up last night watching Alcaraz Sinmer on tv after bitter ending the Kyrgios match in person and I have zero regrets about it.

    One of the best tennis matches I have ever seen. Those guys are both stars but Carlos is the love of my life.

    Went for my daily* 3 mile run. Felt great, my body already knows Randle is going to get traded. What did you guys do for your health today?
    * – on the days i indeed decide to go.

    Some great takes today.

    Cyber, just back from my 4.5 mile limp. Bad hip, but damned if I’m going to let something as simple as pain hold me back.

    And the only good monarch is a butterfly. Sadly more likely to go extinct in the near future than the British version.

    “A team of experienced basketball players with a good coach should definitely not have a hard time winning 37 games.”

    Weren’t the Knicks slated to win 21.5 games just two years ago? Even when everyone expected them to try? This seems like a very not accurate take. There are 29 other teams of experienced players all trying desperately to win (well, most of them, at least for most of the season…). I side with JK on the bench mob kicking ass on a regular basis (someone run the numbers please!), along with Thibs’ savage defense (when Kemba, Fournier, and often Julius wasn’t on the court…).

    Let’s not be pedantic about what a team of experienced players is.

    37 wins is easy to attain for any team that commits to winning for 82 games and largely uses league veterans that they paid market rate for.

    Cyber, just back from my 4.5 mile limp. Bad hip, but damned if I’m going to let something as simple as pain hold me back.

    Wow, that’s a great effort. 😉

    Leon Rose sucks
    37 nba wins are piece of cake
    and Cam Reddish is going for GOAT!
    KB in mushroom mode!
    Those ecstasy avatars seem like more than graphics!

    “Space Invadersays:
    September 8, 2022 at 16:35
    Let’s not be pedantic about what a team of experienced players is.”

    So playing the two most detrimental to winning players in the entire NBA the most minutes and having them take the most shots is a sure ticket to 37 win, so long as they’re experienced. Sure, that makes sense!

    Christ, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports, we are interested in obtaining Bogan Bogdanovic from the Jazz. Can this actually be true?

    The 2020-21 Raptors, coached by Nick Nurse and with the best GM in the league, went 27-45. The non-tanking Spurs under Pop and Buford went 33-39…must have been DeJounte Murray and his .509 TS% killing them, because they sure seemed like a well-coached team with lots of experienced market-level vets. Not to mention the Bulls, Hornets, Pacers, Wizards….I didn’t see any indications that they were not interested in winning.

    Really, saying any old team can get 37 wins, especially one dependent on the two worst players in the NBA plus a couple of no-name vets and a rookie and two sophomores in the rotation is truly as laughable of a statement as I’ve ever read on this site.

    Alternatively, maybe we should have maxed Mitchell Robinson, he must be really freaking good!

    “Christ, according to John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports, we are interested in obtaining Bogan Bogdanovic from the Jazz. Can this actually be true?”

    No way this is true. The Knicks and Jazz may never do business again lol

    “Really, saying any old team can get 37 wins, especially one dependent on the two worst players in the NBA plus a couple of no-name vets and a rookie and two sophomores in the rotation is truly as laughable of a statement as I’ve ever read on this site.”

    Yeah I really don’t understand this narrative. Some of you are acting like RJ Barrett and Julius Randle are Tony Wroten and Michael Beasley and that’s…well that’s an opinion I guess.

    Shitty efficiency at the top of the individual player usage chart wouldn’t port to wins (losses), anyway; it would port to overall team offensive efficiency. The Knicks were 22nd in the league in that metric.

    Their offense was trash.

    Hi all. I haven’t commented here in a while. Cyber, I ran 5 miles today with my cow heart valve and Dacron Aorta (which means it was a lot slower than before congenital heart issues “went south”).

    Cyber, I ran 5 miles today with my cow heart valve and Dacron Aorta (which means it was a lot slower than before congenital heart issues “went south”).

    Great effort too! 🙂 Do you have to control your heart on the smartwatch to check if everything’s ok, or it’s just setting the right pace and enjoy the run?

    I have great news to you all, and no it’s not the definitive answer on if winning 37 games is great or not. LOL
    It’s to inform you all that there’s less than 30 days for the 1st preseason game. I don’t know if it was the short offseason last year because of covid, but this time around the offseason feels longer than usual. Give me basket again, please. 🙂

    This is an incredible conversation. Guys, 37 win teams can in fact employ very bad players. I would wager most 37 win teams employ bad players, actually.

    I don’t even know how to resolve the “contradiction” between RJ and Randle being bad and the Knicks winning 37 games, because there is no contradiction. Randle and RJ being bad is the primary reason the Knicks won 37 games, which is a low number of wins.

    They won more games than some other teams because the non-Randle and RJ players were better than those other teams players.

    It feels silly to go down the list, but the Lakers put all their eggs in the basket of two players, both of whom missed substantial time and were playing hurt when in the lineup. Their other players are terrible.

    Bradley Beal missed over half the season and was also very bad by his own standards. The non-Beal players on Washington suck.

    The Spurs sold at the deadline and tanked.

    The Kings are the Kings, they also employ a lot of bad players.

    The Pelicans were an injury riddled mess to begin the year, then bought at the deadline and finished the year strong.

    Everyone else worse than us was intentionally losing from the jump.

    Apparently I need to clarify that other teams also have bad players. Just because Randle and RJ were bad doesn’t mean we cornered the market on bad players in 2021-2022.

    Perhaps most importantly, as E made mentioned, our offense was even worse than our general place in the standings. Having the 22nd ranked offense absolutely screams “they gave a ton of shots to bad players and let the other, better players clean up the scraps.” Unless you think RJ and Randle (lol) were essential to our strong defense, attributing these wins to them is silly.

    There is no contradiction to resolve here.

    I mean I can’t believe we even have to argue about this.

    The Knicks’ net rating was *9.5* points per 100 possessions worse with Randle on the court.

    It was 7.1 points per 100 possessions worse with RJ on the court (amazingly neither figure “led” the team despite both being among the worst figures in the league, as Kemba made us 12.5 points per 100 possessions while he was on the court).

    It would be one thing if these numbers contradicted strong box score statistics. Then we’d have to have a conversation about whether the players in question accumulated their box score statistics in a detrimental way, or whether they got screwed over by their lineup mates, etc.

    But we’re talking about players whose box-score stats sucked, who sucked by the eye-test, and who literally made the team substantially worse when they played.

    What the hell are we arguing about?

    >>But that’s where we are. We pissed away our shot at elite talent through (1) bad drafting, (2) a bad trade, and (3) a stupid philosophy the last three years that burned ping pong balls like heyday Pacman burned bills in the strip joints. <<

    We are fairly close in thinking.

    I think the main problem has been that we tanked twice and didn't get a star either time, blew one draft horribly, and had another lottery pick without a good choice. I have less of a problem with rolling picks out to the future because we still have assets. Those decisions have yet to bear fruit, but they are not completed either.

    The amazing thing to me is that as horrific as our luck and competency has been in the draft, people still prefer the draft over allowing someone else to develop some young player and then grabbing him when he's proven (like Brunson and Hart).

    The other thing that’s hurting us is Randle. It’s not so much that bringing him in was a mistake. He was young enough and a pretty good player. It’s that he’s not what we need at PF now and we extended him just before he melted down. Now we are stuck.

    You start a conversation, you can’t even finish it
    You’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything
    When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
    Say something once, why say it again?

    “Randle would pound the ball into the ground for 10 seconds before either taking a horrible shot or committing a horrifically brutal turnover.(edit)”

    Thibs had no choice and this is why Randle’s attitude went south. Most people somehow assume that Randle doesn’t like easy shots at the rim created for him by others. That he somehow prefers to drible around, run point, create offense for others and himself. That he thinks he’s LeBron or Luka. Really? – Who was supposed to run the offense? – Alec Burk? & Quick was just as bad till the season was completely lost. Same with RJ. Thibs lacked point guard play and Leon solved it. If we stay healthy, this team is primed to overachieve and excite this season again. Everyone loved Randle 12 months ago, NYC will love him again. Straight bully down there…grabs 10 rebounds a game when he’s not even trying.

    Randle and Barrett weren’t efficient last season but they were at least productive
    KBers may see them as trash but who’d bet his house that they’re both finished and unable to bounce back?

    It’s actually not that surprising the Knicks are interested in Bogdanovic. They are short on players and need another forward. (and, of course, they are definitely not trying to tank)

    Yeah I really don’t understand this narrative. Some of you are acting like RJ Barrett and Julius Randle are Tony Wroten and Michael Beasley and that’s…well that’s an opinion I guess

    You’re right; you don’t understand it.

    I mean I can’t believe we even have to argue about this.

    It’s not even an argument. They are deliberately misunderstanding you. It’s troll behavior.

    cyber: Do you have to control your heart on the smartwatch to check if everything’s ok, or it’s just setting the right pace and enjoy the run?

    My wind is the rate limiting step now. The heat rhythm is good. I just don’t have the cardiac output I had before my Aortic valve failed. When I was young, the doctors said I would never be able to do anything active. 160,000 miles later, here I am still exercising.

    If we get Bojan, i’ll go to the poll and change my vote from 3 to 2. Bojan here would mean one of Quick and Grimes would be out of the 10 man rotation. We’re trying to trade a vet away to have a place for Cam in the rotation and the Knicks would do the opposite. Knicksy!

    When I was young, the doctors said I would never be able to do anything active. 160,000 miles later, here I am still exercising.

    That’s the spirit, keep proving them wrong.

    Randle and Barrett put together the 38% of our pts , grabbed the 35% of our rebs and gave the 36% of our assists.
    Refining their game would definitely produce more wins for the team but even like that you can’t call them trash.

    The only thing I am arguing about is whether in fact Randle and RJ were “the worst players in the NBA” as opposed to “somewhat bad.” When you make extreme statements like the worst, the best, the most, the least, and those statements can’t be verified except by cherrypicking or by attributing all blame to one source, you should expect pushback. For example, TNFH just said that Kemba was even worse than Randle. My recollection is that Kemba played the vast majority of his 948 minutes with Randle. So for that chunk of, say, 700-800 , minutes, who was more responsible for the combined on-off variation? RJ was on the floor too, how responsible was he? The team was 3.9 points per 100 possession better with Mitch off the floor than on. Was he also a bad player? How much of the poor offensive production was directly attributable to Mitch, to Julius, to Kemba, to RJ? Then there’s Fournier. The team was 6.7 points better with him off the court than on. How much of that was his fault? Is it less because his TS% was higher and his usage is lower? Or was it more because he was a fucking turnstile on defense, had a whopping FTr+ rate of 47, and was somewhere between Derrick Williams and a Coke Machine as a rebounder? Or maybe Alec Burks, the nominal point guard with the 15.7 AST% and the .378 2PT% (.064 lower than RJs!!!)

    It was a shitty starting lineup with 5 mediocre to bad players and one pretty good but extremely low usage one who was a one-trick pony on offense. I fail to see the point of pinning that on one or two guys just to try to appear clever by making extreme statements.

    Now again, if the statement is that Julius is the one who has to go because he was the worst in terms of what he produced compared to the size and duration of his contract, or that he has a bad attitude, or that he doesn’t fit in with the team as it stands, that’s totally fair. Same with feeling that RJ is not worth anywhere near the extension he got paid, or Fournier needs to go, etc. Just no need for the “worst player in the league” nonsense.

    And Hubert, I don’t see why you have to resort to referring to my rebuttals as trolling. There’s no need for that either.

    Those guys were very bad at their role, which was #1 option, and #2 option. They were literally the #1 and #2 scoring options on the team. Compared to other #1 and #2 scoring options around the league, they were rather bad.

    It’s not their fault they were put into those roles, and no, they’re not the worst players in the NBA. But as the #1 and #2 options, they were putrid.

    Take a look at a run of the mill shitty team, let’s say Orlando. Their #1 and #2 were Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony. Not great options. But…

    TS%+
    Julius Randle 90
    RJ Barrett 90
    Franz Wagner 99
    Cole Anthony 92

    eFG%+
    Randle 86
    Barrett 88
    Wagner 97
    Anthony 87

    RJ and Randle were a less efficient 1-2 scoring punch than Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony. I guess you could argue that other components of RJ and Randle’s game makes them better overall players than the Orlando guys, but that’s really not saying a whole lot.

    Z-Man, I certainly did not say “anyone with a negative efficiency differential was bad.”

    What I said was if your box score stats sucked, your efficiency differential was among the worst in the NBA, and it was blatantly obvious to anyone watching a game that your performance was terrible, you were definitely very detrimental to your team.

    Z-Man, I’m not attempting to personally call you a troll I just find this behavior silly. TNFH is being clear and everyone here has the capacity to understand him.

    Julius Randle had the most detrimental impact on winning in the NBA last year because he played 2,500 minutes and he was bad in them. Kevin Knox was worse than Julius Randle but he hardly played a meaningful minute all season so he caused no harm.

    Despite the fact that i m a LRose/Thibs supporter i ve gotta admit that last season i felt more dissapointed by LRose’s No-D-guard acquisitions and by Thibs’s “strange” coaching than by Randle’s and RJ’s patchy playing.

    Same way I felt as when Thibs got the Coty award.
    That players don’t matter much in the regular season as long as they defend HARD and coach keeps them accountable.

    Hey JK— not sure if it’s up your alley or not (discograffiti didn’t get to expand out from rock/pop/brief hip-hop during my tenure as a listener) but Lang Lang is teaching a master class (!) at my kids’ music school in downtown LA on Sunday, and it is free and open to the public, no ticket required. 4pm at 200 Grand Ave (I’m not sure if I will be able to make it (I don’t have any piano students at the time) but I’m telling all my piano playing friends regardless:)

    “I just find this behavior silly. TNFH is being clear and everyone here has the capacity to understand him.

    Julius Randle had the most detrimental impact on winning in the NBA last year because he played 2,500 minutes and he was bad in them. Kevin Knox was worse than Julius Randle but he hardly played a meaningful minute all season so he caused no harm.”

    Please stop patronizing. I totally understand what he’s trying to say. I simply don’t agree with it, nor do I agree with your (or his) contention that it’s “easy” for any non-tanking team to finish with 37 wins.

    “What I said was if your box score stats sucked, your efficiency differential was among the worst in the NBA, and it was blatantly obvious to anyone watching a game that your performance was terrible, you were definitely very detrimental to your team.”

    If that is what you actually said, we wouldn’t be having this argument. But it isn’t. What actually have said over and over is that Julius Randle was the most detrimental player to winning in the NBA. You also actually said that it wasn’t hard to win 37 games even with the two (3 with Kemba) most detrimental players in the NBA in the starting lineup. You just said his box score stats sucked (and again, if you stopped there I would largely agree) but is a BPM of 0.5 anywhere near the worst in the NBA? Is a VORP of 1.6 anywhere near the worst in the NBA? Last I checked, those were based on box score stats)

    And offense is only one side of the ball. Was Randle also one of the worst defenders in the NBA (19th in Defensive Win Shares, 0.2 DBPM)?

    What about rebounding? Randle was 13th in the NBA in total rebounds per game.

    And then you make the leap to “we won 37 games because it’s easy” and credit, i dunno, Obi, Taj and IQ (statistically, he sucked too) for digging us out of holes that Randle and RJ dug for us, and somehow we would have won more games if they started and RJ and Randle were benched. Scarcely a mention of Burks, or Fournier, or Kemba, or even Mitch, who were all part of that mess.

    “I agree with your point about the flaws in BPM and how they apply to Randle, but it still seems like an awfully long way from “+0.6 BPM overrates his contribution” to “worst player in the NBA”. Like a long, long, long way.”

    Funny how when thenamestam says essentially what I’m saying, Hunert doesn’t call him silly or accuse him of trolling.

    “RJ and Randle were a less efficient 1-2 scoring punch than Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony. I guess you could argue that other components of RJ and Randle’s game makes them better overall players than the Orlando guys, but that’s really not saying a whole lot.”

    First, the Orlando Magic won 22 games, fifteen games less than the Knicks. If we won 15 more games, we’d be one game ahead of the eventual EC champion Celts and one behind the EC team with the best record (Heat.) Its a huge difference.

    Second, you are actually helping to make my argument. If Franz and Cole were actually better, or even as good as, Randle and RJ, then their teammates in the starting lineup and bench would have less “detrimental play” by their #1 and #2 options to overcome. But in fact, Cole and Franz were actually worse than Randle and RJ because defense is half of the game and both of them were terrible at it. I mean’ come on, do you really think they would have won fewer games if RJ and Randle replaced Cole and Franz?

    Of course, they also had Jalen Suggs stinking up the court for 48 games, you know, the guy some tank advocates would have been thrilled to take if we had a top 4 pick (even #1), same guys who would have been thrilled to draft Killian Hayes in the top 4 (even #1) the year before.

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