Knicks Morning News (2023.01.08)

  • Tom Thibodeau racks up his 100th win for Knicks – New York Post
    [] — Sunday, January 8, 2023 3:43:00 AM

    Tom Thibodeau racks up his 100th win for Knicks  New York Post

  • How Will Obi Toppin Get Back Into Knicks’ Rotation After Injury? – Sports Illustrated
    [] — Sunday, January 8, 2023 12:15:17 AM

    How Will Obi Toppin Get Back Into Knicks’ Rotation After Injury?  Sports Illustrated

  • Quentin Grimes emerging as Knicks’ shutdown defender regardless of size – New York Post
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 5:08:00 PM

    Quentin Grimes emerging as Knicks’ shutdown defender regardless of size  New York Post

  • Grade the Trade: How Knicks could pull off deal for Trae Young – Daily Knicks
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 5:00:00 PM

    Grade the Trade: How Knicks could pull off deal for Trae Young  Daily Knicks

  • Following Pete Davidson Split, Emily Ratajkowski Gets Real About … – CinemaBlend
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 3:30:50 PM

    Following Pete Davidson Split, Emily Ratajkowski Gets Real About …  CinemaBlend

  • Pay Day! Knicks Guarantee Contracts of ‘Invaluable’ Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk – Sports Illustrated
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 3:11:01 PM

    Pay Day! Knicks Guarantee Contracts of ‘Invaluable’ Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk  Sports Illustrated

  • 5 Obi Toppin-centered trades the Knicks could consider – Yahoo Sports
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 2:49:16 PM

    5 Obi Toppin-centered trades the Knicks could consider  Yahoo Sports

  • Knicks guarantee Svi Mykhailiuk and Ryan Arcidiacono’s contracts for remainder of season – Yahoo Sports
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 2:10:08 PM

    Knicks guarantee Svi Mykhailiuk and Ryan Arcidiacono’s contracts for remainder of season  Yahoo Sports

  • Knicks’ DaQuan Jeffries: Records double-double in win – CBS Sports
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 1:11:04 PM

    Knicks’ DaQuan Jeffries: Records double-double in win  CBS Sports

  • Jurassic Spark: Randle, Knicks Handle Raptors For 4th Straight Win – Sports Illustrated
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 1:09:57 PM

    Jurassic Spark: Randle, Knicks Handle Raptors For 4th Straight Win  Sports Illustrated

  • Knicks To Guarantee Salaries For Arcidiacono, Mykhailiuk –
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 1:04:00 PM

    Knicks To Guarantee Salaries For Arcidiacono, Mykhailiuk

  • Long Island Nets lose to Westchester Knicks, 120-119. – Nets Daily
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 12:03:56 PM

    Long Island Nets lose to Westchester Knicks, 120-119.  Nets Daily

  • Knicks Notes: Barrett, Reddish, Toppin, Rotation –
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 10:13:00 AM

    Knicks Notes: Barrett, Reddish, Toppin, Rotation

  • Should Knicks be buyers or sellers at trade deadline? – Daily Knicks
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 10:00:00 AM

    Should Knicks be buyers or sellers at trade deadline?  Daily Knicks

  • Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson: Pulls down 18 rebounds – CBS Sports
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 9:58:21 AM

    Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson: Pulls down 18 rebounds  CBS Sports

  • Julius Randle proves why he deserves to be All-Star in Knicks win – Daily Knicks
    [] — Saturday, January 7, 2023 8:00:00 AM

    Julius Randle proves why he deserves to be All-Star in Knicks win  Daily Knicks

  • 48 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.01.08)”

    Thibs has reached 100 wins in less than 200 games (194), so he’s probably one of the most successful Knicks coaches of the last 2 decades.

    I was the one to bring up Devonte Graham, because i like him, but i don’t know how the discussion went to be a swap for IQ. God no! I wanted Devonte because Deuce can’t score and the Pelicans want to save money. So my trade was Cam and Arch for Devonte. That way, DRose could keep getting DNP-CDs to be an assistant coach on the bench and mentoring the young guards, and the backups at the 2 guard positions would be Quick and Deuce, if we need defense, and Quick and Devonte if we need offense. Just a small trade to give Thibs a different option. DRose could bring offense from the bench, but i think he’s cooked.
    It doesn’t have to be Devonte, but a trade along these lines would be a nice little upgrade, i think.

    I don’t think there’ll be good players available this trade deadline, because almost all the league is fighting for something. Without clear improvement, i wouldn’t trade any of the starters (Brunson, Grimes, RJ, Randle and Mitch). Quick is great as backup PG/SG and Hart/Sims are a nice tandem behind Mitch (although we expected more from Hart, half a season is not the time to give up). I think Obi won’t have a lot of PT with Randle playing the way he’s playing, but i think he won’t mind waiting until the offseason to have a clearer path for minutes (here or elsewhere), so i think we’re also good at PF with Randle and Obi. My concerns are Deuce/DRose as i stated above, and i don’t like Fournier/Cam as RJ’s backup. I think we need to have a better backup SF than those two, preferably one that is good at defense and isn’t a black hole on offense.

    Thibs has reached 100 wins in less than 200 games (194), so he’s probably one of the most successful Knicks coaches of the last 2 decades.

    Forget about number of games…only 3 of the 13 Knicks coaches in the last 2 decades even made it to 100! (Thibs is sandwiched between the 2 Mikes).

    Hart is insurance if Mitch gets hurt, which is something that happens often. I would not be fast in trading him.

    Right now, everyone’s asking price is high, but I would wait patiently to the deadline, when more teams will decide to sell. The Clippers are on a 5 game losing streak and a Kawhi season ending injury away of calling it quits and selling everybody at the deadline. If they do so, Paul George might be perfect for us, combining good defense and good shooting. He is the player we are wishcasting OG to be.

    Fantasy dreams apart, the asking price for players will lower if more teams decide to sell at the deadline. There is enough parity so there is still lots of upside in being sellers (and also buyers), so my guess is that there should be quite a lot of movement as we get closer to the deadline.

    I definitely think we’re only gonna make moves around the margin if anything. I’d like to add a true combo forward like Mook unless Thibs is gonna finally try Obi in that role. If we’re gonna keep Obi, Thibs needs to find a useful role for him because the way he’s using him is flat out ridiculous. Otherwise..Obi(along with Cam) is the fat we need to trim. Sounds stupid, doesn’t it? I’m not sure where the blame lies in the Obi saga because we all know how talented he is. But at the same time, shouldn’t he have forced Thibs’ hand by now?

    OBI isn’t playing bc Randle in two out of three seasons has played like one of the best power forwards in the NBA. Thibs probably should have given OBI more minutes earlier last season when Randle was falling apart but Randle has bounced back so much this season it makes sense thibs wouldn’t have much PT for OBI. And our two win streaks just so happened to coincide with OBI being hurt and Sims playing back up and giving us more defense.

    Random thought.

    We’re all enjoying this team but also kind of fretting about the end of these games where the other team battles backs d we almost lose the game.

    But for years we have watched bad Knicks teams mount fake comebacks only to still lose the game.

    So we’re just experiencing the other side of that now bc we’re actually decent.

    This is true. I’m just suggesting that Thibs could have been imaginative with Obi, or Obi should have shown enough to force Thibs to find ways to put him on the floor. Though Obi’s a little too upright and stiff sometimes, I still think he can play the 3 in spurts. A true combo forward is probably our biggest need outside of a “star”.

    Realistically..what can we get for Obi? Are teams gonna bite on the potential he showed at the end of last season? Or are they gonna think there must be a reason Thibs didn’t use him enough even when Randle wasn’t playing well? Tell you what though- that injury doesn’t help Obi or the team because we’re running out of time to make a decision. I mean- if all Obi’s gonna do is spot up, why not give him some minutes at the 3? We have no one else unless you use Fournier as a bench SF.

    We also need a replacement for Obi if we trade Obi, because there doesn’t seem to really be one on the roster.

    I think the age vs. NBA experience debate is fun discourse in general, but don’t think you can confidently draw any conclusions about the ceiling of a player like RJ going forward. It really will come down to the continued development of RJ’s “bag” and his decision-making. He’s definitely bumping up against some bad numbers that haven’t moved much in his 7000+ minutes.

    Unlike DeRozan, I don’t see him ever developing his game inside the arc where he can afford to be a below-average low-volume 3pt shooter. He absolutely must get better out there. This year he’s at 33%, but in 12 December games he was in a better rhythm and hit 42% of them. Still, that only moved his TS% up to .571, and he isn’t ever gonna stabilize at 42%, so that’s not the only answer. Probably something like 37% is a reasonable target.

    Another place to mine TS% points is in his FTr and FT shooting. DeRozan has a career 40% FTr and hits 84% of them. RJ is in the mid 30’s for his FTr and is only making 76%…improved but not enough. When you’re missing shots, defenders have less reason to foul you.

    And that’s a major obstacle for RJ right now….his shooting percentages inside 10 feet. He’s getting ever so slightly better at getting all the way to the rim and scoring and getting to the line, but it’s still a long way from where he will become a plus player in that regard. He’s up to a career high 47% from 2, based on career highs from 0-3 feet and 3-10 feet, but shooting 36.4% from 3-10 feet just isn’t gonna cut it. He’s gotta get up close to 50% from 2.

    It will be interesting to see how much of Brunson rubs off on RJ, as well as playing more with the second unit. Seemed like something good was happening in December, hopefully the finger thing and missed games won’t be a setback.

    Agree iserp. Parity should mean more not less trading potential. Opportunities increase when more teams want to make a positive move rather than when the top spots are locked in, and the rest of the teams are just trying to unload their flotsam. Just like in real estate when the buyers are there the good stuff appears on the market. But prices will be high.

    This Milwaukee game should be a great test, it will halfway point in the season at either 23-18 or 22-19. We’ve had pretty good injury luck and it seems like the players are mostly settled into their roles. That 6-spot in the standings is looking attainable, so I’m looking forward to a similar, if not better second half.

    Barring injury, the Vegas preseason O/U of 38.5 wins is looking like a lock for the over…17-25 would do it…

    Milwaukee has been playing relatively badly lately, they have a worse SRS than we do.

    Knicks guarantee salaries of Ryan Arcidiacono and Svi Mykhailiuk for the rest of the season. Clyde is not happy.

    Why is how many minutes Obi plays even a huge thing?

    I never really got it and I like him.

    1. I’ve been saying forever that Randle is the much more complete player and should be the starter as long as his head is on straight.

    2. Obi is not a plus defender, rebounder, or outside shooter and he has almost no handle. That more or less automatically makes him a backup PF unless he’s on a bad team.

    He is what he is. He’s a terrific athlete and plays with a ton of energy. Against certain matchups and defenses he can use those abilities for lobs, leaking out and getting fast transition points, and other occasional easy baskets, but he’s not going to score consistently against teams trying to take those things away. There’s nothing wrong with a player like that. He gives the 2nd unit a lot of energy. He’s working on defense and 3 pointers. So maybe he’ll eventually be more complete. But to me he looks like an ideal backup. I don’t see the reason we should want to trade him or he should be asking for a trade.

    The reason to trade Obi is that he might be more valuable to a team that has a need at PF than he is to us. The idea would be to convert him into a piece that plays a more prominent role than “15 MPG backup power forward.”

    I don’t know if that’s really possible or what Obi’s trade value really is, and the Sims/Hart combo seems like an awkward fit, so you probably need to find a reserve PF if you trade Obi. If you could move Obi for a “Cam Reddish but better” type wing who is long and can guard bigger wings and smaller PFs that would be ideal, but players like that have high trade value.

    there was some discussion on IQ’s defense and DRAPM… and just wanted to say that RAPM is very noisy in small samples even if you do have a whole years worth of data.. so taking half a seasons worth is going to be exponentially more noisy… just like anything relying on lineup data it’s going to be very volatile.. casme in point you have the 2019 season where derrick white finished ahead of giannis in RAPM… and you can look at any one season’s worth of rapm to see how noisy it can be… in large samples is where it shines which is how it’s best used where you have multiple years’ worth of data as bpm uses…

    also if you accept the theory that opponent 3pt% is largely out of the defenses control… you should also realize why defense for guards is particularly way more noisy than defense for centers and to a certain extent power forwards… this is sort of why RAPTOR is pretty unreliable and why tracking data can be very misleading….

    all this is to say that we all know numbers for defense can be unreliable even outside of all the reasons i’m stating…. when the pnr is used so often attributing anything to any one defender is going to be a futile exercise… and using any data to backup defensive observations for guards should be taken with some care….

    Last time we played the Bucks, Randle went 8-24 and Brunson went 8-22 and we still were in it to the end. The time before that was game 5 of the season, where both Randle and Brunson went 3-10. Hopefully they will have better games tomorrow, but those two don’t match up well with Giannis and Jrue.

    Speaking of which, Jrue Holiday was not a very efficient player in his first 7000 minutes at ages 19-22. His BPM was not as low as RJ’s but his TS% was terrible in his first 4 years, especially in year 4 when it was .496 on a 26.6% usage. Obviously he is a PG and has advantages over RJ on the defensive end, but just efficiency-wise, he’s a guy who made significant improvements later in his career.

    I think we will probably hold onto Obi for the season at least. He’s great Randle-injury insurance and a fan favorite.

    The only players we will likely look to trade are Cam, Fournier and Hart. Really Cam is the only one who might bring back some value, and he will likely be used as a sweetener to move Fournier for one rotation-level player. Otherwise, they will just move Cam for two 2nds, which is what the Charlotte pick will likely become.

    I don’t think a star trade is happening because of all the parity this year, but you never know…

    I don’t see much logic in trading Obi right now. As ess said, he’s well suited for that backup/emergency starter role and I doubt that other teams would give up much for him, certainly not enough to make a trade worthwhile. It also would fly in the face of the “winning while developing the kids” mantra because the only path to effectively replacing him probably involves a merc of some kind.

    Eventually he might have some trade value as part of a package, but he’s pretty valuable in his role right now. Worries about his next contract shouldn’t be a reason to trade him before the deadline either.

    I don’t see much reason to trade Hart either, but he is probably tradable for a decent return on his current contract. If someone makes an offer, sure, but I wouldn’t be actively shopping him right now.

    Fournier is an interesting case. He seemed to handle the benching with class, and he played some great minutes against Toronto. I would hate to sell low on a guy like him. He seems to have the clutch gene and might be useful if we actually make the playoffs if one of the kids tweaks something or goes cold.

    Then he becomes essentially an expiring deal and should be easier to move without sweenener, maybe even getting something back.

    Has there been any kvetching about Obi’s minutes this year? Last year there was plenty, because Randle was dreadful and Obi was playing well. This year Randle has been fantastic, which obviously changes the calculus a lot. I’ve seen very little handwringing over Obi’s minutes.

    Re: Jrue, it’s a fine example but worth nothing when he put up a .496 TS% that was a 94 TS+, which is RJ’s career high from the empty gyms, lower usage season.

    TNFH iirc there was some early on when the expectation was that Thibs would play him more, and when he starting going Obikaine from 3 for a while. His minutes went up into the 20s and Thibs was playing him and Julius together for stretches.

    But then at about the 15-game mark there was a significant stretch where Obi cooled off and was contributing hardly anything. Then he got hurt right at the beginning of the winning streak. Since then he seems to have become an afterthought.

    As to Jrue vs. RJ, the point was more about making significant improvement over time and less about comparing their baselines relative to league average. I get that RJ has further to go relative to the league, but he’s got some reasonable paths to get there, as I described above….getting his 3pt shot to stabilize in the high 30’s, 2pt at 50ish, and FT% close to 80% on a modestly higher FTr. And he did some of that in December.

    The dreaful start to this season will haunt his numbers for the rest of this year, so starting off seasons stronger and being more consistent in general might also factor in down the road. What I’m getting at is that I don’t think he has to reinvent himself at all, just make incremental improvements in those key areas.

    And as others have pointed out, 2pt% is super-important, as it plays into FTr. RJ has to play smarter in attacking the basket. He bails out defenders by taking poor quality shots near the basket, the kind that he would probably miss even without being contested or that are easy to block. Grimes is a good example to him in that regard. Even though he uses his right hand on drives to his left, it doesn’t matter much because he has already generated the separation that allows him to do that.

    One thing I noticed in December was that RJ seemed to be using his left hand more when going right, rather than shooting a weaker shot with his right hand just because he’s working on that. It seems to have made a difference. Maybe it’s just eye-test wishcasting, but wondering if there’s a way to find that out.

    Jrue was a 2 VORP player his second season. And he had a reputation as an elite defender early in his career. Just like with Ingram I dont feel like the comp does that much to make me feel better about RJ.

    We may end up coining a 10,000 minute rule by the time we are done arguing about RJ.

    It is irritating because a breakout from him would actually make things come into focus in a big way.

    who’s better at the four, sims or hart when they play together…

    who’s a better fit at the four with mitch on…

    I wonder how our offense with julius at the five rates…brunson, quik, grimes, sims (playing the four) and julius…

    after the game julius mentioned how they’re more focused on working a half court offense now rather than always pushing it straight towards the rim…i think he mentioned that it’s helped them increase their efficiency…

    if the focus is defense first, run a half court offense through brunson and julius that sounds like a plan that’ll work…

    now that RJ is no longer burdened with guarding the other teams best offensive guard or wing, hopefully he’ll continue to play better…

    The only players I want to target in trades are Malachi Flynn, Ezekiel Nnaji, and Ishmael ‘Ish’ Smith, to go with our collective 1800s Massachusetts graveyard collection of Isaiah, Immanuel, Jericho, and Obadiah.

    “Jrue was a 2 VORP player his second season. And he had a reputation as an elite defender early in his career. Just like with Ingram I dont feel like the comp does that much to make me feel better about RJ.”

    Yeah, at the end of the day he’s definitely in “show me” territory. Hopefully 20 years from now someone will be using RJ as an example of a guy who became an all-star after playing negative BPM ball for his first 8000 minutes.

    Thanks, Geo, what’s not to like. Wishing the Knicks were on today, but hoping for a run if it stops raining, doing the laundry, pondering whether to take a new job. Maybe go to the gym and work on my three-pack (I actually have a six-pack, but the extra five pounds hide the bottom three).

    Hope your Sunday is as smooth as buttered lobster…

    We definitely need to get Ish Smith at least once before Clyde retires. It’s the least we could do for him.

    “The only players I want to target in trades are Malachi Flynn, Ezekiel Nnaji, and Ishmael ‘Ish’ Smith, to go with our collective 1800s Massachusetts graveyard collection of Isaiah, Immanuel, Jericho, and Obadiah.”

    Laugh out loud funny.

    Kind of blows my mind that our third and fifth biggest salaries at the moment are Fournier and Rose. Obviously that changes with RJ’s extension, but without a single player over 27m, we really in good shape.

    Even when it’s time to extend IQ, were still gonna be fine – $12-15 mil does seem about right…

    watching the replay…it was like Jimmy Butler knew he was falling on his knee and didn’t really do much to avoid it…maybe I’m wrong…it just looked weird…

    Jrue is a good submission. I guess Jeff Teague is too, to a lesser extent (he had his leap after 9000 mins, but it was more of a blip than a leap). I’m sure there are others, too. But the company seems neither vast nor particularly impressive.

    (As for KG and Melo, as mentioned by Mike last thread, their development, even as 18/19 year olds, seems pretty consistent with average NBA development windows. Both showed large and expected improvement in their 3rd season after logging big minutes as youngsters. And Tatum’s shooting efficiency was considerably above league average as a teenager, so I’m not sure what he’s doing in the discussion at all).

    DW if the point is that RJ would have to be some sort of statistical outlier to go from where he is now to something like a perennial all-star candidate, I would agree. And Tatum? Or Melo? Or KG? Naaaaah.

    But thankfully he’s not getting paid like an all-star (see: Andrew Wiggins), so “solid starter” would be an “acceptable” albeit disappointing outcome. In that regard, the discussion changes somewhat. And I personally see that as RJ’s floor. He will likely improve his efficiency enough via consistency to get there. Anything above that is just fine by me.

    Anyone else notice that our pace has dropped dramatically? We were up around 12 a while ago and now we’re at 23. Seems like we are back to Thibsing full time…

    Yes, we are back at a snail’s pace, which suits this roster, from Brunson down.

    I have to disagree that solid starter can be an acceptable outcome to a top3 pick. If when making your strategy, you think that pick is not a lock to be a star, you should tank one more year, which we didn’t do (powered by the summer of PFs). We’re now mourning the 2019 pick and trying to accept the reality, but that doesn’t make the reality less painful. I still hope that RJ can prove Donnie wrong and become a star, but with each season i get less and less hopeful.

    Comments are closed.