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2022-23 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Bucks

The Knicks host the Milwaukee Bucks, who are one of the best teams in the NBA despite playing the whole season without perhaps their second-best player (maybe third-best, depending on what you think about Jrue Holiday’s defense), Khris Middleton, so it’s really remarkable how good they’ve been.

The Knicks have played them tough in the past, though (and also played down to their level in a game where the Bucks sat most of their rotation players), so I think that this could be a fun game!

Perhaps the Knicks could get back to .500! They gave me the laugher I wanted last night, so maybe they’ll give me the upset I’d like tonight!

Let’s go, Knicks!

168 replies on “2022-23 Game Thread: Knicks vs. Bucks”

Stuck with you cantankerous bastards

LOLOL! Gooooo Knicks! 🏀

PS: Cantankerous – Always learning new words with you guys, thanks Owen! 😉

I’m glad Middleton is out, but I think Giannis or Holiday should be forced to sit as well to even things up.

Whatever happens tonight, just remember it’s only 46 more days until we play Detroit again

just noticed we’re playing at home tonight, thought we were gonna be at milwaukee…

not sure what the line is – but, i’d feel pretty confident going with the bucks and like 20 points…

no way julius gets past 16 points tonight…

“ I have read the comments on Hartenstein, and I have to say I don’t understand them. We pay him a modest salary to be our backup center and he’s worth the salary. We do also have Sims but that doesn’t mean we have an extra center. We need three of them. Mitch gets hurt too often and Sims gets into foul trouble pretty often.”

It’s a fairly modest salary, but if you don’t account for it we could’ve cleared the cap space for Brunson without having had to fully dump Kemba’s contract—we could’ve just stretch waived him and kept the 13th overall pick.

So since his salary *may have* been the difference between keeping a lottery pick and not keeping a lottery pick, you can understand why people view signing him as debatable.

Maybe it’s me, but Portis’s eyes don’t look as buggy. Maybe he’s dialed back the meds a bit.

They have Giannis, but we have Randle. “I’m going to be coming at you all night” 😀

Outside of that Randle jump-pass to nowhere, this has been a very well-played game so far.

It’s a fairly modest salary, but if you don’t account for it we could’ve cleared the cap space for Brunson without having had to fully dump Kemba’s contract—we could’ve just stretch waived him and kept the 13th overall pick.

So since his salary *may have* been the difference between keeping a lottery pick and not keeping a lottery pick, you can understand why people view signing him as debatable.

Thanks for the explanation. Since the lottery pick turned out to be Duren, and we need a third center, then I can think of it as having Duren and a future salary cap hit versus having Hartenstein and a future Milwaukee pick. I’m not sure it’s clear cut which one is better. For whatever reason, it seems like Detroit really liked Duren and NY didn’t and that’s why the deal was made. It’s much too soon to actually tell which of those two options was best.

“That’s just unacceptable defense.” Mike Breen

Forget what I said about a well-played game so far.

Remember when we would all pucker up when Obi spotted up? Now he looks smooth.

I can’t believe Bobby Portis ended up better than Julius Randle

ANOTHER Randle jump pass, although this one went to a Knick (with two seconds left in the clock).

Why did they sign Hart if they didn’t want to use any of the skills that made him an interesting free agent? He’s kind of a waste out there.

I don’t know if this is good defense or bad offense. It’s certainly unusual, either way.

I think they are using Hartenstein‘s defense at the rim. But his defense at the rim seems hampered by who’s around him. I remember seeing him defending the rim alone against more than one player from the other team on some occasion’s and sometimes he’s defending quick guards instead of some other center. So he doesn’t look so great on occasion.

Feels like a college game on some level but entertaining.

Giannis is just from another planet

All hail Good RJ

First thing Randle does after the end of the half? Go talk to the refs. Man, this is annoying.

“We are missing some incredible layups”

Right? I mean, I was never great at layups, but I don’t get paid millions of dollars to make them, either. Knicks kill more bunnies than a ferret.

Weird game, but we’re still in it. Helps that the Bucks are 4-22 (18%) from three. Of course we’re 4-17, so there’s that.

First thing Randle does after the end of the half? Go talk to the refs. Man, this is annoying.

He’s suuuuuuuuuch a dickhead.

If they show other GMS just this half for RJ and last game for Randle, maybe they can trade them both!

Obi seems like such a good dude.

Somehow the Bucks make having Lopez and Giannis out there at the same time work.

Grimes!

Mitch! Thought he would get whistled for the three seconds but the ref knew how rare those post up shot attempts are for him.

I saw a quote from Mitch today somewhere where he said he doesn’t practice post moves because there is no way he would ever get to use them in Thibs’ offense.

Not that they should go to him but I’d like it

I’m starting to fall in love with Grimes.

Will Deuce ever forgive me?

Randle is reaching Melo-level frustrating in terms of the difference between what someone with his skillset should do and what he actually does

Randle on offense or Randle of defense. I don’t know what’s more frustrating. He’s obviously better on offense but the way he gums up everything is and always has been terrifically painful.

Mitch has shown better judgment about how he contests tonight. Good to see.

Was DPOY already in place when Russell played? I thought about KG. He was MVP once, right?

You might be right that Defensive Player of the Year wasn’t around back then. KG makes sense.

Hill stole a rebound from Hart’s hands!? That can’t happen!

Edit: But he redeemed himself on the offensive board on the next two possessions.

Can’t understand any complaints about a backup center getting $8 mil a year who gives us what Hart does. With plenty more to come once he’s Incorporated into the offense more.

Some positivity: I have the Bucks feed tonight and organically was thinking about how one of their announcers seemed likable and smart. It turns out it’s Steve Novak. Warmed my heart.

Rama, my complaint is defense and not offense. I think his defense is way worse than advertised. But it’s just to debate, now that we have him we should keep trying to put him in a better situation to succeed. Oh, and the 3P seems to have been fool’s gold too.

I’d love a few more defensive rebounds from Mitch but he has been great lately

How the hell was Connaughton so open?

We’ve been praising Cam’s defense recently but he’s been brutal defensively in the 2nd half.

Barrett should just go left every time. It’s his best move. Kind of his only move. But it works.

Fuck off Giannis

I thought we were in the inevitable stretch where the Bucks pulled away but we’ve got heart

RJ with an efficient 20+ points game. I didn’t thought i was going to write this in 2022.

Good RJ game on offense, but letting Pat Connaughton blow by you is not a great look

Come on, you’ve got to respect Connaughton’s explosive athleticism

Brunson has amazing touch on layups, floaters, and short jumpers. It’s pretty fun to watch.

Giannis vs Peak Lebron is an interesting debate for another day. He is putting on a show tonight but this is basically what he does every night.

Want to take a cyber monday deal to get back to RJ island?

What’s the refund policy?

Good RJ game on offense, but letting Pat Connaughton blow by you is not a great look

Hey, baby steps, one thing at a time! 😛

What’s the refund policy?

LOL! You’re still not a believer although the sample size of RJ playing great is huge, 1 game. 😀

This team is just so fucking bad defensively especially down the stretch in tight games.

I don’t hate the effort tonight, just tough to win these games when we have one guy who can really be trusted in crunch time and he’s 6’1″

If Milwaukee has an Achilles Heel, it is their interior defense. The Knicks seem to be exploiting that.

Have I ever mentioned that Grayson Allen looks like a 99.9% clone of one of the few persons I strongly dislike in real life? The coincidence is just too much.

It was not on purpose, but, I mean, he hit him right in the eye and didn’t touch the ball, soo….

can’t really big mad at brunson because he’s been so good but man it sucks he missed all those FTs

“The missed FTs killed us”

Shooting 21% from three didn’t help…

Speaking of lookalikes, Lopez looks eerily similar in the face to a cousin of mine. Of course, my cuz is about a foot shorter.

Tough loss…really need to move RJ or Randle and get a wing who can shoot or a stretch four.

I liked this game. Of course, i prefer to win, but nowadays i just want a fun game. And that’s what this game was.

does not help to have only one closer

And to have another guy who thinks he’s a closer with that hero three.

The moment RJ touched the ball I knew we lost.

There were only two possibilities.

Even though he’s one of the worst 3 point shooters on the team, he was going to take a 3 pointer anyway because he thinks he’s a star even though he’s not even a starter on a good team.

He would have a rare moment of thoughtfulness and either pass it or go to the hoop in which case his very forced shot at the hoop would get blocked or he’d turn the ball over.

There was no 3rd possibility.

It’s a shame because he had a good game on offense overall, but you just know he’s going to do foolish things because he has the green light to do whatever he wants and won’t get benched.

And the best goes on- it’d be nice for RJ to have one of those games when Randle and Brunson don’t play like crap. Mitch was great though.

Hard to win when our 3pt specialist—who for some reason is Julius Randle—goes 1-8 from downtown.

Tough losses, but what an insane game from Mitch! At least the team is proving they can hang with the best of the nba.

Hopefully Jalen’s ankle is totally good. That’s all that really matters out of this game.

I can’t really get too worked up about this kind of loss. Give the Bucks credit, they are a serious championship contender and we gave them all they could handle. If Brunson knocks down 2 FTs there it’s a different game, and it’s hard to fault him for anything given how he’s lifting the team.

“Tough loss…really need to move RJ or Randle and get a wing who can shoot or a stretch four.”

At some point RJ is going to go on another run of good shooting and tease us that he’s finally putting it all together. Then he’ll go “oh” for 20.

Intellectually, I haven’t given up on him. But emotionally, he’s losing me. I can’t get past the fact that I believe the gap between what he is right now and what he thinks he is right now is vast. It causes all kinds of bad decision making.

The tough part of trading Randle for a stretch defense PF is that he is a PF. It’s going to be tough to find a deal that swaps PFs.

Our problems are clear. We need better shooters and better defenders. We don’t get consistent solid shooting or defense. Hopefully the defense will be more consistent with Mitch and Grimes back.

Knicks 1-6 in their last 7 games at MSG. I’m old enough to remember rooting for a Knicks team that went 44-5 at MSG playoffs included.

Hectic day and just was able to catch the 4th quarter which was fun but disappointing. We’re right there but not quite there.

I’ll echo what I said the other day. Mitch is elite. Stay health bro!

BigBlueAl,
Me too. Them were the days 🙁

This team is average. Pure average. 9-11, 10-10, that’s as average as average can be. We need a legit 3-n-D guy. Not a 3 guy. Not a D guy. 3-AND-D.

RJ is just so disappointing. He can score in the paint but he’s average (at best) on defense and not a serious 3 point threat. I thought he would become that wing defender with a lethal shot. He isn’t and I don’t know if he’ll ever be more than “good”.

Brunson is better than I thought. I wish he had hit those free throws. He needs to play better defense too.

What exactly are the stipulations of the Dallas 2023 1st rd pick for the Knicks?

Knicks get it if it is not in the top ten.

BBA, if I understand correctly, we get the pick this year (2023 draft) if it is not top ten pick. If it is in the top ten, it’s deferred and we get their first round pick in 2024 if it’s not a top ten pick. If we don’t get it in 2024 either,we get their first round pick in 2025 unless it’s also in the top ten. If their first round pick is in the top ten all three years running, we get their 2025 second round pick.

site withdrawals janky again. concerned that mike has been rehypothecating our posts into dogecoin.

Tix for Sunday’s game vs. Cavs are reasonable but not sure if I could take a 70-pt in-your-face outburst from Spida…

***Grayson Allen looks like a 99.9% clone of one of the few persons I strongly dislike in real life***

Is it Z-Man?

Website seems better now after I checked it earlier in the morning. The “uncategorized” is gone.

What are the chances we have a player the quality of Giannis on the team in the next 40 years?

And I posted it yesterday above but I think it’s an interesting question. Prime Giannis or Prime Lebron? I was surprised looking at bref that Giannis’ numbers are off his career highs this year so far. Scoring efficiency is down primarily and his usage has exploded higher.

But with as dominant as he is on defense I think I’d struggle a little bit with the decision before taking Lebron.

Some observations re: Wemby sweepstakes:

Seems like the following teams are headed for the bottom 5: DET, ORL, HOU, SAS, and probably CHA

UTA has been plunging down the standings but they seem good enough to stay atop this bunch. OKC has too much talent to break into the bottom 5. I’m guessing that these two teams fight it out for #6 and #7

Then things become murky.

In the EAST:

CHI is probably going to make a run at some point, especially if they get Lonzo back. But at best they are looking like a low-end play-in team, and my guess is that they just miss. My sense is that Billy Donovan is not going to last, the LaVine thing is not going away.

It’s only a matter of time before MIA goes on a run and competes for the top 8, maybe higher. The Nets are slowly gelling and should round out the top 8. I still don’t believe in IND, especially since they have seemed primed for a trade since before the season started.

So I think the Knicks, Wizards, and Pacers and are going to battle it out for the 9-10 seeds, with maybe CHI in that mix if the climate improves and Lonzo comes back for the second half of season. If I had to bet on a final order, it would be Knicks 9, Wiz 10, Bulls 11, Pacers 12.

WEST:
Lakers are starting to get healthy and are good enough to be in the play-in even without a trade.
Kings are surprising people, but I can’t see them sustaining this level of play, I expect them to drop out of the top-10.
The Warriors are surely going to climb into the top 6.

So I expect the play-in teams will be DAL, MIN, LAL, and POR, while SAC and UTA are on the outside looking in, probably in two the #8-10 spots in the lottery, respectivly, depending on IND and CHI’s records.

Owen, I dont think Giannis is particularly close to Prime LeBron. Personally, I would also take prime Kareem, Wilt, Jordan, LeBron, Bird, Magic, Hakeem, Duncan, Durant and Curry over him, and you can make an argument for Shaq and Bill Russell.

I think great the all-time defensive players could neutralize Giannis. He is benefitting somewhat from playing in an era with great spacing and rules that benefit offensive players. I think he’d get vastly outplayed by Kareem and Wilt, and that the other bigs on the list would give him all he could handle.

I doubt that anyone in any era could neutralize Prime LeBron.

***Website seems better now***

Turns out the Knicks News Bot was really a Russian hacker meddling in our pessimism. He’s gone now and the site is back, phew.

WordPress has definitely given us our power back.

I don’t think Giannis would be easily stopped in any era. I think in the 90’s he would have thrived with his physical toolset. I actually think that he is negatively impacted in this era by his poor ft shooting and three point shooting.

But yeah, looking at Lebron 2007-14, that is hard to match.

It’s going to be interesting to see where Giannis lands on the all-time list when his career is through. I also loved the quote they had from him last night where he said, “I want to be like Tim Duncan when I retire and just disappear.”

It’s actually a great clip. Guy has an A+ personality.

https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2022/10/01/giannis-antetokounmpo-reveals-his-plans-for-retirement

Owen, I agree wholeheartedly, in that “easily stopped” is not the same as “often outplayed by great players from other eras.” He’d more than hold his own, but I doubt he’d stand out like he does now.

He would be an all-time great in any era. No doubt about it. He is already a top-20 player of all time, and may wind up as high as 8-12.

I recall how great the competition re: bigs was in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Hakeem, Robinson, Ewing, Mourning, Shaq, Duncan, Dougherty, Smits, Mutombo…and Giannis, Embiid and Jokic would have been right in the top that mix.

But LeBron is on an entirely different level. He could have dominated at pretty much any position in any era. He probably should have 10 MVPs.

As to personalities, Giannis is on Mt’ Rushmore. He’s just awesome.

PS I found a universal replacement base for the TV, it is adjustable, swivels and fits the same mounting holes as a universal wall mount. It should make it easy to raise the TV a couple of inches in an aesthetic way.

Lebron’s 2008-9 was the best individual season of basketball that I can remember. The only single season comparable, as far as I can tell, is Jordan’s 87-88 season, when he dragged a horrific Bulls team (with a rookie Scottie) to 50 wins. But that was before my time. I simply cannot fathom anyone doing what Lebron did in 2008-9 when he dragged that team to 66 (!) wins and the Conference finals.

I think that both statistically and in pure physical strength + innate on-court genius, Doncic’s first 4.25 years have been a lot like Lebron’s. (Also, their pre-NBA dominance as teenagers is probably pretty similar too).

Yeah, now Luca just has to play at close to this level for another 15 years to match LBJ. That’s insane.

I don’t think Giannis would be easily stopped in any era. I think in the 90’s he would have thrived with his physical toolset. I actually think that he is negatively impacted in this era by his poor ft shooting and three point shooting.

I think his poor shooting makes his dominance in this era somehow more freakish, but I see what you mean. If Giannis had a jump shot (Wembanyama incoming) he would be unfair in a previously-unseen sort of way. Instead, we just get Prime Shaq as a PG in the pace-and-space era, which is its own kind of unfair.

I think it’s also good to remember that if Giannis played in the 80s or 90s, he probably would have been made to develop as a post-playing PF. Magic Johnson, the league’s first GOAT-level oversized PG, was an anomaly because he was so damn good at ball handling from the outset. Giannis was given a whole lot of reps before he got the greenlight to run an offense. So in another sense, Giannis benefits from the modern NBA’s greater focus on demonstrated skills than body archetypes. Put him on the 90s Sonics and he’s basically Shawn Kemp. He’s not scoring 25 PPG on ridiculous efficiency unless he’s allowed to initiate the offense.

IMO, Lebron is overrated. There I said it.

I know that’s the ultimate contrarian opinion, but I believe it.

1. The stats are the stats, but the stats are partly a function of who has the ball in their hands, how often, their role, the make up of their team, the rules, the system etc… Lebron’s teams were generally built to maximize HIM given the rules (similar to Doncic now). Other great players were on teams trying to win championships with a more balanced approach with tougher rules instead of one guy always having the ball piling up numbers in space. So I think the comparisons via stats alone are flawed.

2. IMO, when you get down to the top 10-15 players of all time playing on some of the all time great teams, the difference between winning and losing championships is not just a function of your best player’s overall stats in the series. Those games and series tend to go back and forth and are very tough and tight. Winning then partially becomes a function of who can execute at the same or an even higher level under extreme duress down the stretch of critical games consistently.

I would argue, that most of the all time greats could handle that extreme pressure and rise up. In fact, that’s why they won and that’s partly how we know they were great. They did it.

IMO, Lebron is in the same class as them in terms of raw basketball, but he’s notch below guys like Jordan, Bird, Magic, and quite a few others in “mental strength”. I don’t say that lightly. He’s made plenty of great plays under pressure, but imo he also clearly buckled at times in ways some of those other guys never did. There’s a difference between missing and buckling. They all missed. IMO Lebron buckled. I think given 2 very similar overall teams, guys like Jordan, Magic, Bird, Kareem, and a few others would handle Lebron fairly consistently.

If you ask me about Giannis, I think he’s still a hair below those guys in skills, but he’s mentally as strong as anyone.

Yeah, now Luca just has to play at close to this level for another 15 years to match LBJ. That’s insane.

Reminds me of Mike Trout. Before he started getting injured, the pace of his WAR was akin to the very best in baseball history. He’s a little over halfway through his career now (if he plays through his entire 30s, as I suspect he will, because he earns $37M a year until he turns 39) and only needs to duplicate his first decade to catch up to Bonds, Ruth and Mays. That’s all. Just have a HOF career… twice.

It’s pretty crazy.

IMO, Lebron is overrated. There I said it.

I know that’s the ultimate contrarian opinion, but I believe it.

This? This is not it, chief.

IMO, Lebron is in the same class as them in terms of raw basketball, but he’s notch below guys like Jordan, Bird, Magic, and quite a few others in “mental strength”.

Imagine having lived through the 2016 Finals and believing this to be true.

Just going to leave this here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl3JCYxLvDI

Well, if Lebron’s greatness is debatable, then everything is debatable, i guess.

Here are the career usages of the (by my lights) obvious top 3 basketball players of all-time, Lebron, Jordan, and Kareem:

33.3%,
31%,
24.3%

Hint: Lebron is not #1 on usage in this list. Yet the player that is is an “undisputed top player” despite being the most plausible candidate for having the offense designed to “maximize his talents”. Curious.

And let’s not forget Wilt, who we don’t have usage stats for but would definitely be competing with Lebron and Jordan for top 2 usage. But yes, we can pretend Lebron was some kind of all-consuming Westbrookian usage soaker and Jordan wasn’t for the sake of the bit.

I’m often a fan of contrarian, but Strat’s take was Kyrie Irving saying the world was flat.

Sometimes contrarian is just stupid.

Yeah, LeBron is overrated is a tough one. His first Finals team has to be the worst team to ever make it. And winning against the Warriors to bring a title to his hometown is the apex of what you can achieve in pro sports.

Luca is incredible but never going to have quite the same trust in the numbers given his defense being clearly mediocre. Still has a great chance to enter the pantheon but could also settle in that Nash/Nowitzki tier.

It’s still not as bad as his Frank Ntilikina and Phil Jackson takes. (Mostly because this is probably a one-and-done, and won’t involve 5-8 years of repetition)

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