Post-Game Recap Mitchell, Love rally Cavaliers past Knicks, 121-108

From the AP:

Donovan Mitchell had 38 points and a career-high 12 assists, Kevin Love scored 16 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and the Cleveland Cavaliers rallied to beat the New York Knicks 121-108 on Sunday night.

Mitchell and Love combined for 28 points in the final period as Cleveland outscored New York 37-15. Love made five 3-pointers and Mitchell scored 12 points — both also had four-point plays — in rallying the Cavaliers from a nine-point deficit.

Cleveland made 23 3-pointers in a franchise-record 50 attempts. Mitchell and Love each went 8 for 13 beyond the arc, while Dean Wade was 6 for 8 and scored a career-high 22 points.

“This team never loses its fight,” Love said. “Sometimes, you have to win ugly and we did that tonight. Donovan was finding guys out there, I was finding guys out there, Dean made big shots, and we just got rolling. It’s amazing playing with these guys.”

This was a weird game. Generally speaking, the Cavaliers looked like the better team throughout, as they were hitting threes at a much higher rate (and more efficiently) than the Knicks, but damned if the Knicks weren’t MORE than just “in the game,” but actually took the lead in the third quarter from a particularly strong period from their new point guard, Jalen Brunson (who, overall, probably didn’t have his finest game as a Knick).

Then the fourth quarter happened, though, and the wheels came completely off of the bus. As we all know, the Cavs’ big thing is that they are, well, you know, big. You can almost hear Woody when you see the Cavs followed by the Bucks – “The East is big, man.” Size has been, and seems like it will be, a problem for the Knicks this season. The Knicks really only have Mitch and Hart as effective “bigs” (Sims is glued to the bench), since whatever Randle does, even when he does good things, they’re not particularly big things, as he rarely acts like a big out there (no blocks or offensive rebounds, just one blocks and 13 offensive rebounds through the Knicks’ first six games), and is instead more of a secondary point forward…who just doesn’t pass that much in general (but did get seven assists in Cleveland). And when the other team is very big, like Cleveland, Mitch/Hart aren’t even all that effective, really. And if Randle doesn’t do a lot of “big” things, Obi does practically none on defense. He was roasted in the fourth.

A lot of different guys had some decent impact on the game, but overall, it definitely felt like one of those games where attrition would eventually benefit the better team, and that looked to be Cleveland throughout most of the night. That was a shame, as avoiding said attrition could have brought the Knicks a really big win.

104 replies on “ Mitchell, Love rally Cavaliers past Knicks, 121-108”

Now this loss was cause for concern. Not the fact that we lost..but the way we gave the game up. 37 points in the 4th? 22 points for Dean F’n Wade?? 29 off the bench for Love? WHERE WAS THE GODDAMN DEFENSE?? The fuck?! That game was ugly. What makes it worse is the 3rd Q gave me SO much confidence in our boys. Yeesh. I really don’t know what else to say..

FWIW, Love is playing quite well so far this season.

Spida has a .637 TS on 31 USG. 8th in the league in BPM. Have a feeling that there is going to be a lotta of regret on that one around here.

That was a bad 4th quarter all around, but two guys stood out. Obi wasted 5 of our first 7 possessions of the quarter, and specially the first 4 possessions when the Cavs were missing everything and if we had built a double digit lead maybe the game would be ours. And RJ, committing 2 fouls for 4pt plays is beyond stupid, but the first one was 2 seconds since he had subbed in Cam, what the hell does he even think about when on the bench if his first play is as stupid as this?

As someone said on the last thread, let’s hope that this was the worst 4th quarter of the season. I don’t even want to analyze the game, but will be reading all that you guys will write about it, just not in the mood to answer to such a horrendous game (and it was all condensed in one single quarter). I think the best answer that the team can give to this blunder is getting a W against Atlanta at MSG on wednesday.

My only regret is that Mitchell wasn’t available before the Brunson signing.

Would you have surrendered 5 consecutive drafts UNPROTECTED to Utah? That’s what Cleveland did if you count the 2 unprotected swaps in 2026 and 2028, along with the 3 unprotected picks in 2025, 2027 and 2029.

This game doesn’t change my stance on the Mitchell’s trade.
He’s a star, a top-somewhere player (20? 25? 30?), but the Cavs were closer to contention that we were and the price was astronomical.

At 3-3 I think we’re still on par with the expectations, everyone knew this stretch of games would have been hard and there’s a good chance we emerge from it under .500 but if we’re able to keep our head clear it will not be the end of the world.

Cavs started molten hot but we clinged and answered every time they tried to take a large lead.
Bench Mob did his usual job and at halftime we were down 3 mainly because Brunson was having a bad shooting night.
The starters had a great 3rd, everything was clicking and we go to the 4th up by 9.
The bench was terribile from the start of the quarter, missing a lot of opportunities to widen the gap while the Cavs were bricking from three.
Then Spida blocked Obi’s fastbreak but we’re still up by 8 with 9:32 to go.
Then Mitchell twirled for a dunk.
Thibs called timeout but let the bench in. They blew other chances, while Rose tried to keep them afloat.
Starters began to trickle in but Spida tied it with a 4-point play on Hart’s dumb foul (according to the play-by-play, I thought he was RJ).
RJ gave us our last lead… and then he made an incredibly dumb foul on a Love’s made three for ANOTHER 4-points play.
The momentum was totally reversed.
Thibs put the last starter in (the once-hot Fournier), but they vaporized and the Cavs used them to sweep the floor.

To me this 4th quarter was eerily similar to last year pre-ASG games were we blew gigantic leads time and time again.
Hot players were let to cool off on the bench while our coach was unable to ride the hot hands and find the right mix to stop the bleeding.
There were goods things in this game before the meltdown, I tried to remember them in my grades…

Next Trae’s Hawks. And it strongly resembles a must win to avoid a long losing streak.

Plays Of The Game:

Spida’s block on Obi weak layup.
The 4-point plays.
Cam’s Keystone Cops moments with Randle and Obi, just for comedy reasons.

Stats Of The Day:

23-50. Cavs’ 3FGs (Mitchell, Love and Wade were 22-34)
8-16. Knicks’ FTs (Randle 5-10)

Brunson C
Bad 1st half, way better in the 2nd. 7 AST 3 STL 1 TO. The only Knicks with a positive plus/minus (plus-2).

Fournier C
He was 5-6 and had just buried two consecutive corner threes.
Thibs took him out.
And as we’ve seen time and time again, he lost his rhythm and was another (bad) player when he came back.
It’s more than a year now and still someone on our bench doesn’t know how to use a streaky, hot-and-cold shooter like Casper.
It makes me mad.

Barrett C-
No 20-point game this time. He took less shots, hit his 3s, buried some nice layups, but his foul on Love’s 4-points play made me curse gods from multiple pantheons.

Randle C-
We need him under the boards and he had 7 assists. He had 4 TOs too. And shot 5-13 (4-12 before his classic meaningless last basket of the game). And missed 5 FTs. And committed some unnecessary fouls.
There’s a good chance he lead the league in stats-padding PPG, he makes me laugh every time.

Robinson D
Allen is trouble for him since his Nets days, add Mobley to the mix and it’s understandable that he was fouls troubled. But to me his energy level wasn’t there.
Adams, Lopez, Allen, three games against solid centers, three lousy game for Mitch.

IQ D +
Good start then an inexplicable coach decision in the 2nd. A ghost in the 4th.

Rose D +
Unusually careless with his dribble, wasn’t good in the Bench Mob’s first shift, but was the last to raise the white flag in their second.

Toppin D +
Nice first half, he was part of the coach’s inexplicable decision, a total disaster in the second half. Ugly defense and brainless turnovers, rookie year like.

Reddish D-
Is the sound we’re hearing the midnight’s bell for this pumpkin?
His talent is mesmerizing. His BB-IQ below sea level.
His shots in the paint are never easy.
He up-and-undered, double-clutched, pump-reversed them every single time.
And he still hit them sometimes, because his pure skills make you salivate.
The more I watch him the more I think he’s a playground player, alas one I’d hate to have as teammate.
At least he provided some much needed comic relief, I have to give that to him.

Hartenstein C
As the great Breen pointed out, he’s always in motion, always doing something. Not always good things, but you have to respect the effort. 12 and 9 from the backup isn’t something to sneer about and his ugly shot-put floater is a weapon.

Thibs D-
I detailed what I saw as his main mistakes in the game-thread.
He was right in yelling at the refs faces, but this time I really can’t buy his timing with the substitutions. One can’t be perfect every time, he’ll do better against the Hawks (fingers crossed).

There was a real lack of poise in 4th quarter and both the bench players, who were in at its outset and the starters thereafter, were guilty. It seems that scheming to stifle Brunson results in last year’s version of the Knicks on offense. The defense was also head scratchingly poor.

I think for the sake of all of our sanity we need to stop obsessing about Donavan Mitchell. He’s off to a scorching start and if he continues to play like this then yes, he’ll be the best player in the NBA and we should have given Ainge everything he asked for.

He’ll cool off guys, right now he’s prime Steph Curry and it ain’t gonna last.

Starters began to trickle in but Spida tied it with a 4-point play on Hart’s dumb foul (according to the play-by-play, I thought he was RJ).

No, it was RJ’s. Unless the referee is stupid, which is a valid concern nowadays on Knicks games. If you click on the link to the video, in the play-by-play, you’ll hear that he whistled the foul before Hart has his hand near Mitchell, and i even think he didn’t touch him after either.

I agree Cyber,
I don’t know why but both ESPN and play-by-play give Hart the foul and I went with the “official” scoring.

There was a real lack of poise in 4th quarter and both the bench players, who were in at its outset and the starters thereafter, were guilty. It seems that scheming to stifle Brunson results in last year’s version of the Knicks on offense. The defense was also head scratchingly poor.

That really does seem to be the case. When he’s schemed against, Brunson has problems, and when he has problems, the rest of the team falls apart. I like Jalen Brunson a lot, and I said for a long time that if the Knicks were going to try to compete this year for whatever reason, the best way to go would be to clear out cap room, sign Brunson and extend Mitch, and they did just that, so I’m happy to see him on the Knicks if this is the way that they want to go…but at the same time, “If Jalen Brunson has problems, we all fall apart” is not a good thing for a team.

Spida’s a star and got good whistles all game long.
It’s a League’s unwritten rule since the dawn of times.
Stars get bad whistles only if/when they face another star.

Hey Max, good news for Italy’s national basketball team, Banchero says he’ll play for you guys. 😉

Thanks Cyber! 🙂

I was waiting for the official announcement, he told it to (former Warrior) Manning a couple of weeks ago but it wasn’t definitive and I was worried.

“If Jalen Brunson has problems, we all fall apart” is not a good thing for a team

Yeah, i agree. But that only means Leon’s job isn’t over, what we already knew of course. Now i think we need to upgrade Fournier’s place in the lineup with a defensive stopper. Would the Suns accept Cam and one of our protected picks for Crowder?

Have a feeling that there is going to be a lotta of regret on that one around here.

I don’t understand why there should be. People need to accept the fact that Cleveland’s offer blew our best offer out of the water. Ainge was always going to get his price, and we couldn’t meet it.

The equivalent yield from us would have been something like Mitch (=Markannen), RJ (=Sexton), Grimes (=Agbaji), and unprotected control of our draft picks from 2025-2029.

It’s not like all we had to do was add RJ Barrett to a minor package of highly protected picks. We had no shot.

Imagine a starting lineup of Brunson-Mitchell-Fournier-Randle-iHart.

I will never begrudge Leon Rose for not making that deal.

Heck, I begrudge him for going as high as he did in his trade offers. 😉

Personally, I blame Cyber for Cronining us last night.

It would have been nice if Spida had gone 6-23 but the Cavs seem to be better than us at every position and look like a top 5 ream, at worst.

Max I agree with most of your evaluations, but not Reddish. It’s not that he did great, no one did. But he’s better than what I think of as a playground player. A number of times he drove into the paint but then passed it out to someone reasonably open. Maybe he tries to score too fancily sometimes, but I don’t see why other players would mind playing with him. He’s more team oriented than Barrett, for example.

While the Cam play was terrible, I think way too many people on social media were acting like he was legit trying to make a shot there. He was clearly trying to draw a foul. It was still a terrible play, but come on, Knicks Twitter!! Be better!

I don’t think Mitchell is going to keep averaging 32/4/7 with a .637 TS% (though my god, it’s impressive to do that even over 6 games) but both the eye-test and a glance at his stats strongly suggested there could be another leap in the cards.

Right now he’s combining his career best finishing from last year with elite 3PT shot making. It obviously won’t last to *this* extent, but there’s nothing completely crazy about his shot profile right now. He’s more or less hitting the shots he’s always hit outside of a relatively small outlier performance from 3.

No, I am not saying we should’ve traded for him. Cleveland gave up a ton and were in far better position to do so than us. But there’s a reason his market reached the point it did.

Kevin Love was 17th in BPM last year. He’s the 2nd best player on the Cavs unless Garland makes another leap forward when he’s back healthy.

I wish there was more to say but we look like a 37-41 win team that goes as far as Jalen Brunson takes us. That’s more or less what we thought before any games were played. Has anything really stood out or surprised anyone?

I would say Mitch has been a little better on defense than I thought. That’s…about it? Randle has played the way we’d like him to stylistically but unfortunately the results haven’t been there, so not much there in terms of updating priors. I blame the game 2 victory lappers for the fast regression (I kid).

Kind of feels like a team that could use a strong shift in a particular direction, but hey what do I know?

Hopefully we get some more compelling games from Quickley and Grimes when he returns soon, otherwise I don’t see a clear way out of this existential meh-ness.

I really like Mobley. His defense is amazing. I’d say he is their second best player. He looks like KG-lite on defense so far. Obviously he needs some seasoning still.

They have a ton of talent, no way around it. Mobley, Allen, Lopez is a great group of bigs. Wade, Love, and Osman are good spacers. Garland, Lavert and Mitchell obviously fill some usage gaps. Okoro seems like a good perimeter stopper. Neto is a solid backup guard.

They have done a good job putting this team together. They were nowhere three years ago.

Side note: remember when Kevin Durant said “the Knicks just aren’t cool right now”?

How’s it goink, Kev?

I will say, with the important caveat that I am no Xs and Os guy, last night it felt like we gave up an annoying number of open/open-ish threes. I took a look at the numbers and it turns out we have given up the most 3PT attempts in the NBA.

My understanding is the generous view of Thibs’ defensive scheme is it seeks to pack the paint and concede 3PT looks to shooters we don’t think will kill us. My take here is the weirdness of the 2020-2021 season may have obscured the extent to which this is just not a very sound strategy in the modern NBA.

It seems like the nerds have won the argument about our 2020-2021 defense. Our current defensive rating is 12th which is definitely not bad, but also not particularly good if we’re going to have an offense in the bottom half of the league, so I have to wonder if we’d be better served trying to limit 3PA more than we do.

I would say Mitch has been a little better on defense than I thought. That’s…about it?

1 – Obi is shooting 50% on threes on the same number of attempts per 36 as IQ. He’s hitting them off motion. He’s a legitimately good shooter.

2 – RJ & Randle’s 2fg% are up. As djphan said, this is a more stable indicator than 3p% (welcome to the new site djphan btw)

3 – IQ’s rebounding & passing are up. He might be our best player?

4 – Reddish, despite still being an idiot, is shooting over 50% on 2PA & exactly 40% on 3PA. If he cuts a couple Cam specials out of his season he’s on a 50/40/90 club pace.

We need IQ/RJ/Randle to hit their 3s and we’re going to look like a much better team.

@cyber The way it looks right now, all of those unprotected picks from the Cavs will be in the 20’s, so I’m sure we could have made a better offer. Maybe Ainge was just unwilling to trade with the Knicks. As it stands, I’m still satisfied with where the team is in terms of young players and draft picks. I hope these first few games have put to bed all “the east is big jokes” for good. Play Obi at the three!

Having Grimes out there might help. Evan and Jalen aren’t long.

Luka had 44 points on 33 T-shots without a turnover. Pretty good. His start has been absurd.

Pretty solid night for Keldon Johnson. It’s hilarious SAS and UTA are both 5-2.

That Luka kid is pretty good. I would love for him to be that disgruntled star that forces his way to New York!

Just a quick look at the numbers…

*We’re 6th in opponent 3p%.

*We’re 2nd in defensive efg%

*We’re 27th in DRB%

*We’re 29th in defensive TOV%

I don’t think giving up 3s is the issue here.

Cam is way better than I thought he would be, and way stupider. He’s a classic “Are you not entertained?!?!” kind of player.

When he drives it is just as sphincter-tightening as when Barrett drives, but he’s much more athletic and can actually weave his way to the rim and make shots despite sizeable defenders. But, even more than Barrett, he’s passophobic.

While I agree with Brian that he was trying to get fouled, he really should have realized he was screwed on those two hysterically awful plays and just looked for a teammate. There are five players out there for a reason, Cam…

EB, good point on the Obi front. Guess it’s hard for me to get too excited about him knowing there might be months we go without seeing him rack up all of 20 minutes in a game. Feels like whatever good comes from his career, it will be for someone else. Sucks, IMO.

It’s also a little hard for me to get excited about RJ and Randle’s 2PT% when they’re still not in the range that would make them valuable players even with 3PT% regression. Still, totally fair point.

I’m less gung ho about IQ and Reddish. Reddish had about 20 good minutes in game 1 and has otherwise looked like Cam Reddish. Not seeing much there.

With IQ, I’d need to see more before I conclude anything about slightly elevated assist and rebounding numbers. To be clear, I support seeing more of him in general! It’s kind of wild to me we’ve been so slow to really deploy guys we were nominally valuing highly in trade talks for Donovan Mitchell.

We could have built a much bigger lead (and also withstood the furious Cavs rally in the 4th quarter ) if it wasn’t for some really, really dumb unforced turnovers and 8 missed FT’s.

I mean, the Cavs are obviously a better team, but we kind of gift wrapped that game for them.

I think Cam is still a young player with a lot to learn. If he can learn to be more of a 3 and D player and not try to do too much, he can definitely be a solid back up.

Despite my Cam skepticism, I do think he should continue to play when Grimes returns because there’s more upside down that path than there is down the “bench him and continue to play Fournier” path.

The problem is the Fournier path has the higher floor, and it’s not particularly close. Fournier is about as predictable as they come, Reddish is Reddish.

A team that wanted to maximize present wins would thus go with Fournier, while a team dedicated to developing players that might still have upside would go with Reddish.

This is why I’ve never been particularly convinced we can pull off some “hybrid” model when it comes to choosing between developing players and winning now. It’s easy to say “we’ll do both,” but there will almost always be circumstances the present a direct tradeoff between the two. Which do you choose when they arise?

Hubert is sadly correct in that the Cavs just had a better offer for Spida. We maybe could’ve gotten it done with the 3 firsts and RJ/Quick/Obi, though, but we overvalued our kids.

And now it’s a little late to be veey high on any of our young guys at this point. There are no future stars there, just decent role players if we are lucky.

I guess I’m starting to feel very E:
mediocre vets, mediocre kids, mediocre picks, mediocre coaches… is there any way off this bus?

“Knicks were EVEN against Milwaukee and Cleveland in the 55 combined minutes Hartenstein was on the court vs both opponents”

“The trio of Brunson, Barrett and Randle have been even better, scoring at a clip of 114.9 points per 100 possessions. That’s encouraging, but it’s notable that those three have just a 110.2 offensive rating alongside Mitchell Robinson and a far loftier 122.7 figure with backup Isaiah Hartenstein in about a third as many minutes”

Those quotes were from KFS email this morning. Its evident to most that Hart and Grimes are better fits with our “big 3”. How long will it take stubborn Thibs to make both line up change decisions?

The whole premise of this team was that we were gonna need either major improvements from Randle and/or RJ, and for some of the other kids to break out. So far that’s not really working out.

As far as the defense, I just really don’t see how we have the personnel to be anything more than a mediocre defensive team in the long run, unless Grimes’ foot heals and he turns into a Jrue Holiday-type defender. I’m not super optimistic on that front.

I’m hoping the Knicks can start getting some rebounds, playing some team defense, and looking like they belong with above-average teams, but so far this team looks like I thought it would: it’s a .500ish team.

FWIW, Love is playing quite well so far this season.

Spida has a .637 TS on 31 USG. 8th in the league in BPM. Have a feeling that there is going to be a lotta of regret on that one around here.

If Mitchell shoots 45% from 3 while taking 9 a game, I will eat a literal hat off the street in downtown Portland

(his contract is pretty awesome even when he comes back to earth but not when you include the 5 unprotected picks {unless you are a title contender like the Cavs miraculously appear to be})

Welcome to Hot Take City!

The Knicks are 3-3.

Their 3 wins came at home against 3 likely lottery teams.

Their 3 losses came against 3 legit NBA Finals contenders on the road.

All we know right now is thay we are probably better than the Pistons Magic, and Hornets, and definitely worse than the Griz, Bucks, and Cavs.

We knew these things before the season started.

So what have I learned definitively about the Knicks?

-Randle is trying to play differently, with forays to the rim replacing long 2’s, and a decrease in usage. But there are still infuriating aspects to his game that are not likely to change very much.
-Brunson is a fine starting PG for a team at this level, pretty much what we should expect of him on his contract, both good and bad.
-Hart’s floater is legit
-Mitch is probably overrated here, he’s not a DPOY candidate and Hart’s simple floater game underscores how limited Mitch is offensively.
-Rose seems healthy.
-We really need Grimes in the rotation
-We are smallish at every position except the C, and even those guys can get pushed around.

Beyond that, everything is pretty unclear. The next stretch of games should be more revealing. ATL at home is an important game. They are somewhat of a rival given all the Trae drama, and on paper are better than us but not as much as MEM, MIL and CLE. And it’s a home game coming of of two competitive but boilerplate losses to excellent teams on the road.

All-in-all, this has the makings of a .500ish team. Our current record is pure chalk, no reason to expect much variance from that based on what we’ve seen.

unless you are a title contender like the Cavs miraculously appear to be

But will they be 4 or 5 years from now? And what about 6 or 7? That’s the bet Ainge decided to make and i think he did great. I’d be very optimistic about some of those picks/swaps if i was a Jazz fan.

Re: Donovan Mitchell, I think Markannen and Sexton are more reliable young players than any of the guys we were dangling, and Ochai is a nice roll of the dice. So it wasn’t just about the draft picks. That CLE could part with those 3 guys and actually not miss them even a tiny bit is pretty telling. When they get Garland back, their rotation is 10 deep with really good players.

That CLE could part with those 3 guys and actually not miss them even a tiny bit is pretty telling.

This is correct, and this is what you call proper management of the win curve. The Cavs stockpiled enough good assets to be able to trade for a player like Mitchell and still be able to field a good team with plenty of young, improving players on it. The Knicks had not done that, and would have been gutted by a Spida trade as we all pretty much agree.

The Cavs should be a strong contender for at least 3-4 years. They’re set up well now.

Even post trade, a bench of Love, Osman, LaVert (assuming he is replaced by Garland in the starting lineup) Okoro, Neto and Lopez is at least as good if not better than our bench. If we had traded for Spida, both our starting lineup and bench would have been depleted except for him.

Yes, JK, and while it was very concerning that our FO was even considering that trade, it’s sort of a back-handed compliment that they didn’t execute it.

Sadly, this would be an excellent year to just play the kids and roll with that. Even the so-called tanking teams are already piling up marginal wins.

The only thing that could derail this team’s quest for the 10th seed is a long-term injury to Randle. I know many here feel that we’d have more wins, but I beg to differ. We’re a sure lottery team without him playing a significant role, meaning 30+ minutes a night.


I don’t know if the other Knicks players are happy to play with him, my comment was that I would hate to have him as teammate on a playground. 🙂

I worship the 70’s Knicks, the 2014 Spurs played the best basketball I’ve ever seen “in real time” and the 2015 Warriors did follow suit, I’m also a great fan of players like Boris Diaw or Igoudala, substance and team play over style.

Maybe Reddish is beloved and everyone likes to play with him, but the way he plays is the polar opposite to my basketball soul, it’s just a matter of taste.

Just for fun, Reddish career AST% is 7.3% (4.8% this year, a career low), Barrett is 13.8% (this year 8.6%, also a career low).

I don’t know if the other Knicks players are happy to play with him, my comment was that I would hate to have him as teammate on a playground.

What you don’t like to get a breather on offense every now & then?

While the Cam play was terrible, I think way too many people on social media were acting like he was legit trying to make a shot there. He was clearly trying to draw a foul. It was still a terrible play, but come on, Knicks Twitter!! Be better!

Hard disagree. Sure he was trying to draw a foul. But he didn’t & looked the fool. There are probably 50 other things he could have done in that situation other than try to force the issue. It was a playground play. NBA players don’t normally look that bad on a basketball court. Cam seems to have 1-2 of these bush league plays every game.

Yeah, but that’s why it’s terrible. It was just a different kind of terrible than how Twitter was acting like it was.

I’m not sold on Cavs. Randle bullied their young buck.

Knicks were up 9 going into 4th quarter on the road putting up 93 points and then shut them down in first 3 minutes of the 4th. At this point, odds of Knicks winning must have been ~80%. Should have easily went up 15 and blown them out the gym.

Giving up two 4 point plays is a statistical miracle. Same with their 3 point shooting all night but especially in the 4th. Since when does Love have Steph range? – even swished his heat check one from way deep.

We were a few turnovers, bonehead offensive plays and dumb defensive fouls away from blowing them out; all while DM was having an offensive Mamba night out there creatively writting an open love letter to Leon.

OT: discussing which “brand” of terrible Cam Reddish falls under?

Yeah, I’m not quite on JK’s Bus of Despond. Our three losses were against top-flight teams, and for each of them we had a real, fighting chance to win. You don’t have to go too many universes over to find a 6-0 Knicks team.

What worries me is the level of boneheadedness, and the number of boneheads capable of boneheading the team into a collapse each and every game. With Randle, Barrett, and Cam, we’ve got three highly skilled guys with surprisingly poor basketball IQ, just repeatedly dumbing up the works. And at this level of professionalism, other teams can really take advantage of dumb. As we just saw.

And Love’s always been an absolutely dynamic three-point shooter. As the post-game folks said, you just can’t leave him alone, especially if he seems to be getting hot. That one was on a lot of people, from Thibs on down.

Cam will have occasional nights where his shots fall and he looks good, but the game seems to move too fast for him. He also has no secondary skills to speak of. I don’t see one standout skill and he’s definitely not a well-rounded and versatile player, so my expectations remain pretty low.

I’m not too worried. This loss was an infuriating one: the Cavs shot 44% from 3 on 49 attempts! Hard to win when that happens. Many of them were uncontested (and this is something I think we really need to clamp down on, Thibs defensive strategy or no), but they were swishing them even with hands in their face. This feels like one of those early season losses where the losing team isn’t, strictly speaking, outclassed (though the Cavs are obviously better than us), but rather doesn’t have all their parts cohering nicely just yet (hence all the dumb in Q4).

The Bucks loss, meanwhile, was a legitimate example of being outclassed by a team, from positions 1-5.

We do really, really need Grimes back though, which feels strange to say. Adding a 3 point threat who can play defense is huge for both Barrett and Randle, though I fear for the bench defense if we move Fournier there.

I’m actually very optimistic given where we are right now. You all should be too.

(1) The Knicks have the 13th best ORTG

(2) RJ, Randle & IQ will shoot significantly better, increasing our already good ORTG

(3) We’re currently 6th in SRS, 10th in net rating, and have played the 5th toughest schedule by win%

My guess is that we’re currently on pace to finish with a record closer to 50 wins rather than 40 wins.

How I feel about the knicks at this moment:

I’m trying hard to do what Donnie do more oft: which is to care about the things that really need caring about…

like the kids I got in my life…

Good analysis from EB. I hope it holds up.
Wednesday seems like a long time to wait for another game.

Yeah, I feel the same way every time I hear CJ. And he seems to have answered any questions about how much he benefited from playing next to Lillard

BTW since no one has mentioned it, I will: Zach Wilson was truly bad yesterday. Maybe he thought the guy holding the first down marker was an eligible receiver? Seriously he was just taking a few steps back waiting and tossing it out of bounds. And a few times he couldn’t even do that properly.

I read somewhere that he was truly awful when pressured, and man he lived up to it. When the rush came, he’d elude a defender and have time and space, but instead just panic and throw it away. It’s ironic because he’s actually pretty good avoiding the rush. He knows when the pocket is collapsing, and can move to get out of their grasp. But I think that takes all his brain power, and he doesn’t take advantage of those moments and opportunities. NFL QBs often find that extra time frees up a receiver or two, and uses it to their advantage. Not Zach, who’s more than content giving up downs.

EB: I’m actually very optimistic given where we are right now.

I tend to agree with EB’s takes, but not this one. Only 6 game sample size but big enough to predict RJ is not going to make the leap. “Very optimistic” is off this season’s menu at the moment.

To Mike’s point about Zach Wilson, Steve Young has an interesting take on young QB’s and their abilities to quickly process what the defense is doing and allowing the QB to successfully implement (similar in concept to a PG). He was talking about Daniel Jones’s improvement being linked in part to his improved “processing” of what is going on a particular play. Zach seems to have very poor processing, ergo yesterday’s calamitous performance. You can see the same thing when comparing Brunson and Rose vs. Randle and RJ as point players.

I haven’t changed my opinion much based on the last two games.

I think the offense struggles a bit at times because there are still significant spacing issues. I thought that could be an issue for Brunson too because he’s coming from a team designed to maximize space to a team that has Mitch at C, Randle at PF, and RJ at SF/SF.

I was hoping his mere presence would help RJ and Randle be more efficient by taking the ball out of their hands a bit. Even though that might be the case, it’s not translating into enough to get excited about so far. The spacing still looks bad to me at times. The paint is packed. If the defense gets the ball out of Brunson’s hands, we are back to Randle fadeaways etc..

As far as yesterday’s game goes, I think the Cavs have a pretty solid defense and move the ball extremely well. That lead to a lot of quality looks from 3 and they made a lot of them. So we lost. We probably have to tighten up the D a bit. I wasn’t a fan of a Brunson/Fourmier backcourt to start and I’m still not. I think Brunson/Grimes will be better, but I’m not sure what we’ll get from Grimes from 3 and how long it’s going to take him to be back and 100% sharp. We may make the offense and spacing worse for that better defense.

We know what the long term solution is.

We need a stretch PF to go with Mitch or Hart has to eventually win the starting spot with much better outside shooting and overall play.

We need a #1 option, most likely, to replace Fournier


Agree 100% but that #1 option to replace Fournier could have been Spida. Who else can it be now?

Mike K, Zach is hard to judge thoroughly while his offensive line is in complete shambles. I think he still can be “pretty good.” But as to being a “franchise” level quarterback, I am not optimistic at all. At his size you have to be kind of freakish at something, and nothing I see about him seems all that special.

+1 to all of that, Strat.

It’s early in the season but this team has a lot of continuity from last year, so we know what we have for the most part. There’s some talent on this team but it’s oddly assembled. RJ Barrett and Julius Randle do not seem to be complementary players, to put it mildly. It’s not even clear that RJ will turn out to be a passable NBA starter. It’s his fourth year and his growth rate is about the same as Spinal Tap’s during their “Intravenous De Milo” period.

Small sample size, obviously, but the Knicks have played well this season (our Net RTG is 10th in the NBA). I would sign up for that in a second.

This Cavs team is going to be really, really good if they stay healthy. They don’t even have Garland yet and they’re a non-flukey 5-1.

Put another way we lost to 2 out of the 3 best teams in the eastern conference on the road. That’s not a big deal.


Agree 100% but that #1 option to replace Fournier could have been Spida. Who else can it be now?”

Maybe I was wrong about hating the Spida deal as much as I did. But he’ll have to show me he can sustain a higher level of offense than he has in the past. Even then, I’d still have reservations about a backcourt of Spida and Brunson on defense.

I don’t have any smart ideas for a trade. I think we have to be patient, hope some star player is not satisfied with the results and direction of his current team this year and then pounce. We have the ammo and a good enough core to generate interest. Almost every year some star is unhappy. Maybe it will be next year. We have a lot of young players. We have time.

We should wait for a bigger sample size, but until now Hart only has 1.3 3PA per game and converts them at a 12.5% rate. He’ll probably get better, but he doesn’t look like a stretch-5 to me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to start him, he’s rebounding better than Mitch, and he’s also better at steals and FTs. What i’m questioning is the stretch-5 label.

Talking Book is the beginning of Stevie Wonder’s Imperial Phase, his run of untouchable albums. I could go on and on and on about that record. Stevie played almost every instrument on it, everything that isn’t either electric guitar or horns. It’s amazing sonically, it just has this fat pregnant kind of sound to it. Stevie plays the sickest keyboard shit ever on everything, I especially love the great burpy Moog basslines and chewy wah-wah clavinet. It’s maybe the greatest clavinet record ever.

The next run of records was Innervisions, Fulfilingness’ First Finale, and Songs In The Key Of Life. All incredible. Fulfilingness’ First Finale is kind of an underrated one, a little bit more of a late night kind of record. I mean music doesn’t really get any better than this. My dad was a big fan, we had these records on all the time when I was little. I know those four inside and out.

“We should wait for a bigger sample size, but until now Hart only has 1.3 3PA per game and converts them at a 12.5% rate. ”

I agree. So far he doesn’t look good enough to impact the game as a stretch 5. Mitch’s foul trouble is contributing, but so far he actually has more minutes than Mitch. So he’s getting his action and playing well overall. It was a good pickup.

“We should wait for a bigger sample size, but until now Hart only has 1.3 3PA per game and converts them at a 12.5% rate. ”

Agreed. I’m not sure Hart will ever be a true stretch 5. However, his mid range (3-10ft floater) and his passing (not really shown this year so far) is supposed to open up more space on offense for our big three than with Mitch. Net rating of our big three with Hart on the floor vs Mitch confirms this in small sample size so far this year.

Also, Hart has been better than Mitch defensively in both protecting the rim (4th in the NBA this year) and with his rebounding.

Philadelphia lost its own 2023 and 2024 second rounds picks for “violating free agency rules by having early discussions with forwards P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr” the NBA announced today. The Knicks are still under investigation.

queue up a 300-word thread about the nuances of the word “incinerate”

JK and I don’t have the same musical taste, but I couldn’t agree more about that run by Stevie. You can’t say it came out of nowhere – he was growing steadily from being a wunderkind to a pretty good musician and songwriter – but the leap is so huge with those albums it’s mind-blowing. They are so rich, with such great feel, amazing harmonic progressions, memorable melodies, rich and expressive lyrics, and excellent grooves, they put Stevie in the All Time Great pantheon by themselves. I never get tired of them

And that NYT article was great. I’ve been recommending to people. It is remarkable how often technological advances are tied to great artistic leaps as well, from the Renaissance on. An overlooked aspect of making art.

The NY Times ran the same kind of article earlier this year about Joni Mitchell’s Blue album, which I also consider to be in the pantheon of great singer/songwriter creations.

It’s a cool format, you have other musicians and producers talking about each of the songs and there are sound snippets embedded along the way which relate to their comments.

My life has been waiting for your love
My arms have been waiting for your love to arrive
My heart has been waiting
My soul anticipating your love, love, love

it’s funny z-man, lord knows i love to hear myself speak and read my own words – however – reference knickerblogger here – i know when i am way over my head…which is basically food, travel, and music…

y’all got some freaky insight in to that stuff…i’m just kicking back, eating popcorn and reading what y’all got to say…i like being able to do that…

thankfully the exquisitely tasteful arts and dining stuff makes up for a lot of stale basketball takes 😛

reference stevie, didn’t really get interested til i picked up Musiquarium, and i have that on cd, so, let’s you know i was pretty late to the game on that…

Do I Do, Isn’t She Lovely and Boogie on Reggae Woman are some of my favorite songs of all the songs i know…

oh, just remembered, when i was stationed in germany i went to the 100th anniversary of the eiffel tower…

i was there to see the air show, but, found myself wandering around paris most of the day…was in this park and saw a lot of people, that got my interest at the time…

remember stevie singing: happy birthday to ya

was really cool, when it got dark they had this one building with these huge stairwells lined with torches, and they were beating these loud drums, it was really cool…

I saw Stevie at Carnegie Hall the night after they made MLK Day a national holiday, and when he sang “Happy Birthday” he was grinning from ear to ear and belting it out like it was the last song he’d ever perform.

Just amazing…

There’s only a handful of pop artists I would call geniuses. For me, it’s not just chops. It’s vision. McCartney, Hendrix, Bowie, Prince, Bjork… and Stevie is still atop the list, even while literally blind. That man was made to do what he does.

And I love his motown era as much as anything he ever did. Signed, Sealed, Delivered is a flawless vocal performance.

Jowles, I agree that there are only a few, but we’d probably disagree on who is in that group, and I’d probably be more inclusive. I think the scope of one’s genius varies broadly, and while virtuosity is a necessary component, it can be limited to one specific skill or sort of transcendent. For example, I don’t really care for much of anything McCartney did after the Beatles, and I think Lennon has a much greater claim to the mantle of genius for that group. I’d put McCartney individually (i.e. separate from Lennon) in the same group with Elton John and Billy Joel, and probably below them. We can debate Bowie but his instrumental and vocal talent is not in the league with the likes of Hendrix or Prince or Stevie. Where does Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell or Paul Simon measure up? David Gilmour? Ian Anderson did not start playing the flute until he was 20 years old, and Aqualung and Thick as a Brick are works of creative genius to me. Jimmy Page produced and arranged all of Led Zeppelin’s work. Michael Jackson literally owned the ’80s.

Anyway, no one in the popular music realm approaches Stevie for me. Prince comes closest, but I just don’t like his music very much. I don’t know much about Bjork, but would probably feel similar to how I do re: Prince.

I’m watching the Nets/Pacers game on YES, and while it’s possible I missed some stuff earlier in the game, from my POV their crew has even worse Baghdad Bob syndrome than the non-Clyde/Breen MSG bunch.

In discussing the Nets’ issues, “the point guard can’t stop tweeting Nazi-adjacent stuff” has gone unmentioned.

I think the Hawks suck this year. 4 wins against Magic, Rockets, & Detroit x2. Blown out in 2 of their other 3 games.

“ Trae Young with the rare points/assists/TOs triple-double”

Hopefully he can repeat that Wednesday night

Also, Hart has been better than Mitch defensively in both protecting the rim (4th in the NBA this year) and with his rebounding.

The samples are pretty small and it depends on what you mean by defending the rim. They’ve played about the same number of minutes and by’s tracking stats Hart has defended 36 shots at the rim and Mitch has defended 19. I don’t know if this stat takes blocks into account (Mitch has 15 and Hart has 6). Does this mean Hart is much more active defending the rim or that teams don’t shoot at the rim when Mitch is there (or maybe Mitch fouls them before they get a shot off). Are guys shooting at the rim more when Hart’s in the game because of some other guys who are on the court?

The rebounding with Mitch is weird. Randle, & RJ are down too.

Mitch is stepping out to block more shots, he’s putting up his best blks season since his rookie year, but maybe that’s tied to his worst—1/2 of his next worst—defensive rebounding season.

One of the improvements I previously liked from Mitch was him staying down more to be in better position for a DReb. Not sure if this is scheme, porous perimeter defense, or Mitch being too eager to “earn” his contract

Fwiw, on-off stats have Fournier and Randle responsible for the DRebing issues. I’m hoping games against anyone other than MIL/CLE fixes it…

Excited for PTMilo to parachute in with a Mitch/Hart breakdown

I am a Mitch partisan but the idea Hart might be better is not something I can discount too easily.

Stevie’s not even my favorite Stevie (I’ve been on a huge Stevie Nicks bender lately), but so much of all that depends on what you happened to hear during your formative years for music (age 10-25?)

All of these musicians are incredibly talented. Some of my least favorite *cough John Mayer cough* are still musical maestros.

And instead of using the “genius” label, I would even like to put forth that there are many levels of musical genius… even artists who are only struck with moments of genius… one album or even one song.

So rather than pit artists against each other, I find it more satisfying to simply identify why certain music feel ingenious to me and hear about how others feel their favorite music is genius.

The fact that ATL and NYK are both coming off of humiliating defeats makes Wednesday’s game even more intriguing…

Z-man I sort of agree, but I have to say that the actual paraphrased headline “Cavs rally in the fourth quarter to beat the Knicks” is nowhere near as humiliating as “Raptors rout Hawks 139 to 109”. But both teams do clearly want to prove they are better than their latest results.

In the early days of the pandemic I started learning Steely Dan guitar solos, started with Kid Charlemagne and Don’t Take Me Alive. Larry Carlton.

I remember learning the Kid Charlemagne solo back in the day- it’s a great one break down because it’s series of pretty short distinct phrases strung together. It really lends itself to being learned a few bars at a time. And it’s great! Did you cheat and use a youtube tutorial?

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