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90 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.02.05)”
No surprises other than Sims maybe. He has not been doing much in the box score lately.
I don’t know what to say about this team anymore.
We lead the league in OT games with 9 (BOS is 2nd with 7) we’re 3-6 in those games.
In two of those losses we were caught at the regulation’s buzzer over an opponent’s offensive rebound (Dallas and yesterday).
This team is draining me, I need a break, I really do… 😀
Nothing wrong here that a good healthy dose of Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt can’t fix.
I think the main thing to take away from these games (frustrating as they are) is that we are very competitive with the very best teams almost every night. That’s telling you how close we are to being a very good team too. So the question is what can we do to improve our 1-9 players or even 1-12 assuming injuries to take that next step.
I think we need better play from Sims (or another C) primarily because Mitch is hurt so often and Thibs prefers to start Sims so the lineups are more similar. There are too many nights we get almost nothing from him. I think he’ll get better, but right now I think we need an upgrade.
We need a starting defensive minded SF that’s closer to 6’ 8” or 6’7” and long that can also at least shoot from outside and make 3s consistently.
We have to move RJ to the bench where he can do less consistent damage on both sides of the ball. More likely is that Thibs will move him to SG if we get the SF. So it’s on Thibs to reign him in on nights he’s leading the team in shots and lowest TS%.
Don’t get me wrong..I care that we lost..but I don’t necessarily want to talk about the game and us losing it. I just want to say 2 things:
1. If people outside of Knicks-fandom aren’t sold on Brunson, they better damn sure be sold on him know. Brunson is HIM. It’s not the fact that he’s putting up huge numbers consistently, it’s how he does it. Most big games he has- he shoots efficiently, gets 5-8 assists, 4 or 5 boards, and 1-3 turnovers. That shit is crazy. Even how he consistently shoots it efficiently on such high volume as a non-explosive athlete is nearly in the same rarefied air that Steph Curry operates in. I never in a million years would have thought our Knicks would get another player who plays so well since I’ve been a Knicks fan. We better not waste his prime like we did Ewing.
2. IMO, Grimes’ floor is prime-Courtney Lee. He’s already above that. With his game, I can’t think of another 3&D player to compare him to. And you can’t really compare him to 2-way players who score because at some point, they take breaks on defense so that they can have the energy to generate offense. Once Grimes realizes his full potential, he may end up in a class of his own as far as 3& D players go because he can create and pass due to his PG upbringing. I’m saying all this to say I hope that he stays on this pace because we’ve got a sneaky good player at SG.
Z, you joke and I’m not saying we should do that trade. But we’ve been in so many close competitive games this season. Like more than I can ever remember as a fan. If you think Beasley and Vanderbilt are a slight upgrade over Fournier and OBI, which I think they would be, wouldn’t that help us win a lot more games?
People are frustrated but we’re above 500 and literally could have like 10 more wins this season if we’d scored one more bucket or got one more stop or made a few extra free throws. The fact that we’re so competitive with every team, even the good ones, and are above 500, makes me believe that we are not that far off from being a legitimately good team. Maybe not a title contender but one that can get to the second round or even ECF.
Since we don’t see any foreseeable trade out there that would being back an in their prime superstar that fits our roster and doesn’t gut our core, maybe some trades like this that strengthen our team as a whole and address some specific weaknesses is the way to go for now. As long as we’re still giving us room to continuous to upgrade later, I don’t see why this is a bad strategy. We’re so fucking close.
Now if we were 5 or 6 games under 500 and Mitch was healthy and we were losing all these close games, I’d be more hesitant to pursue this strategy.
I’m not trying to be provocative, it’s just simple math: the easiest way to upgrade this team would be to give fewer minutes to RJ Barrett.
That doesn’t mean we should do it–there are a number of goals NBA teams should pursue other than maximizing wins in the present season–so it’ll be interesting to see how the FO/Thibs navigates that tension at the deadline and for the rest of the season. Reasonable minds can disagree about RJ’s ceiling but the case that he is adding wins to this team right now is paper thin.
We probably win last night substituting replacement level play for RJ and it’s not the only game about which you can say that.
There’s a lot of bright spots on this team – Brunson’s consistently superb play, Randle’s return to All Star level, IQ and Grimes continued development
Unfortunately RJ Barrett looms over our team like a big dark cloud. And I don’t think any GMs are gonna see a change of scenery as the answer, it’s pretty obvious that he just sucks.
I’ve always said you can survive 1 bad defender in a lineup without much trouble because you can typically hide one guy. Also, if you have 3-4 plus defenders elsewhere they can cover up almost anything, especially if the C protects the rim well. But when you have 2-3 bad defenders the problem starts compounding in a way where minus 1 plus minus 1 equals minus 3. You need plus defenders out there with them. Neutral is not good enough.
IMO, our key plus defenders are Mitch, Quick, Grimes, and Deuce.
IMO, our key minus defenders are Brunson, RJ, and Fournier.
Some of the other guys may be mildly positive or negative depending on matchups. Hart I really can’t tell yet because he’s been hurt.
Right now there are too many minutes with RJ or Brunson and not enough plus defense around them. The loss of Mitch is killing us. I’m going to keep harping on the fact that if RJ is a problem on D, it’s going to be really tough to build a solid defensive team around Brunson, RJ, and Randle.
Everyone has very bad nights. But RJ’s very bad nights are frequent and his very good nights are rare and only good by RJ standards, not by the standards of what you want your high usage players to be.
It’s not even a matter of necessarily lowing his minutes. We just have to lower his usage. Last year was different. We didn’t have a high usage efficient player like Brunson on the team. They’d double Randle. So we needed RJ to create. But now the strategy against the Knicks is to try to slow down Brunson and Randle best they can (much tougher than just slowing down Randle) and let RJ try to beat them outside. RJ is a willing participant in our self destruction.
My son and I watched the game together last night. He’s 10. Our conversation revolved around the fact that the bad games that RJ has are so bad and so much more frequent than what is acceptable that it is the single biggest catalyst to losses. Someone here said replace him with replacement level play and this game is a win. That’s the truth. Very painful. Was really rooting for him to succeed. But as of now for a #3 pick he is a bust.
Yeah I’m definitely losing faith in RJ. He’s just so inconsistent. Even if he could just have good RJ games on the regular as E puts it, I’d have much more faith to keep him. I honestly don’t mind him being an inefficient scorer. It’s the fact that he’ll have one decent or good game followed by an absolutely atrocious game or he’ll have a decent stretch followed by an awful stretch. Why can’t he just be more consistent even if that consistent level was just average? And why can’t he understand this about himself and focus on other non shooting aspects of the game when he isn’t shooting well? The lack of self awareness is disturbing. I mean people rag on Randle for his deficiencies but props to the guy for recognizing his own flaws as a player and owning up to the mental lapses he’s shown and trying to improve them. RJ just carried himself with this cool cocky demeanor all the time even when he sucks. Liked dude get pissed at yourself or so some fucking emotion or realization that your clanking brick after brick.
Honestly if we can get OG for him and a few picks I would do it. Would improve our shooting and defense. OG can probably up his usage a bit from Toronto and could grimes and IQ and we’d be fine on offense.
With a grain of salt because this is partly eye test and partly soul test, i.e., a hypothesis. It still feels like the difference between winning and losing these games (losing these games) is all the stupid.
Stupid plays are very similar to turnovers. They frequently ARE turnovers, but even when they aren’t, a Randle jump-pass to IQ’s feet with three seconds on the clock for a hurried and off-balance three is the equivalent of a turnover (especially with Mitch out). Ditto Barrett repeatedly driving into traffic with open teammates on the perimeter and jacking up shots we ALL know are going to be blocked or clank off the rim.
We super-weirdly have a super low team turnover rate, like fourth in the league or thereabouts. Randle and Barrett are in the middle of the high-usage players turnover rate at 2.9 and 2.3 respectively (Brunson’s at 2.1 despite having similar usage – they’re all in the 26-28% area).
Randle’s improved significantly from last season (2.9 vs. 3.4), partly by being less stupid, partly by having Brunson shouldering so much of the load (although Randle’s USG% is the same as last year, oddly enough).
But between those two (Randle and Barrett), continued spates of stupid plays give the other team the equivalent of extra possessions leading to scoring runs. And losses.
I mean really, who else do you yell at your screen about? Deuce’s shooting anything up until two games ago (Go Deuce!). Hart’s tapping easily snagged rebound to the other team. Not much else. It seems like a really high IQ team (special thanks to the real IQ) outside of those two. But with RJ and JR’s huge usage, it’s really hard to win when stupid reigns.
No idea if any of this is actually true.
I don’t disagree but think you could look at most teams every game and find stupid plays by their top few players.
Mediocre teams lose to good and elite teams a disproportionate number of “close games” or “games we could have won with just one or two more breaks.” That’s been a fact of association life for decades.
As to the RJ obsession, let’s assume they win three extra games with his minutes “rightsized.” That takes them from a 41.5 win team (latest Vegas projection) to a 44.5 win team. Completely meaningless, definitively marginal wins. Which renders the obsession not only obsessive, but pointless.
If the goal of this season is to win 1 playoff series or to credibly have a shot at winning one playoff series, surely three wins (let’s just assume for the sake of argument that it’s not more) matter, as that is currently more than the difference between the 6 seed (Miami) and the first play in spot (us). Also, a 45 win team is usually better (I.e., non-marginally) than a 41 win team.
As to the RJ obsession, let’s assume they win three extra games with his minutes “rightsized.” That takes them from a 41.5 win team (latest Vegas projection) to a 44.5 win team
The pointless part is plucking the number 3 out of thin air. Why not use 1 or 10? While I agree that looking at a close loss and pinning it on the worst player for that game is not a sound proposition, but a player that consistently (and this is the only thing RJ is consistent at) doesn’t temper his usage when the shots are not falling inordinately affects W-L when your team doesn’t have the clear-cut superior talent.
E, I don’t know. Can you ever remember a season recently where the Knicks have lost so many close games? And not just fake comeback games where they got within 6 or so with a few minutes left after being down20. But games where they were ahead by double digits only to lose right at the end or in OT?
And again, if we had this many close losses but also had 10 less wins I’d be far less optimistic. But this to me shows we’re super close to being more than a mediocre team. Also we are losing these games with our starting center, who is pretty good, out.
Yeah, E. You’re going to have to be more objective on your RJ defense. Everyone on this board has been rooting for the kid and getting excited when he goes through his highs. But he is a bad player who is definitively costing the Knicks games. Whether it’s 3 or 5 or 10 who knows. There is very little about his profile to be optimistic about.
Ah yes, the totally irrational “obsession” with one of the highest paid, highest usage players on the team is rearing it’s ugly head again!
If you remove his rookie year, RJ is at career worsts in every major statistical category. Shooting, assists, rebounding, steals and blocks. He is at career worst BPM as well. What more evidence is required here?
Also raises the fun question (not really) of how many make it completely meaningful, definitively non-marginal wins.
Because objective facts.
RJ is going to have 32 on 27 shots tonight. All will be well!
This loss is on Thibs. RJ keeps shooting because he puts himself ahead of the team, but so do 100 other players. It’s the coach’s job to get players to buy in, and then manage their minutes up or down based on the results.
RJ played 44 minutes yesterday. It’s no anomaly. When is the last time he went 3-14 in the first half and then played only 5 min in the second half because he wouldn’t stop shooting? Never. Thibs just feeds him more and more minutes like he doesn’t notice that he’s bricking the game away. Why would RJ ever change? What’s the incentive? Thibs’ philosophy is mo’ misses, mo’ minutes.
Kyrie Irving to Dallas for Dinwiddie, Finney-Smith and 2029 1st… and some 2nds…
Not bad for the expiring contract of a madman…
Unfortunate that if Luka is going to win a chip it’s going to be because Kyrie got them over the hump. Not sure a chip is worth having that cancer on your team, in the scheme of things.
This makes BK much more beatable should we meet in the playoffs…
Well, that might suck for our Mavs pick.
On the bright side Luka will demand a trade soon.
What a weird trade. Not bad, per se, but definitely weird.
Kyrie Irving and Markieff Morris.
Dinwiddie, Finney-Smith, 2027 1st (unprotected), 2027 2nd, 2029 2nd.
Maybe they were just ready to be done with Kyrie (totally reasonable) but I’m not sure I like that better than doing nothing for Brooklyn. Can you really win a title Dinwiddie as your 2nd best shot creator? And if the answer is no, then what does this trade do for you exactly? I feel like calling Kyrie’s bluff, trying to win this year and then reassessing in the summer was a better option.
Can’t speak to the trade per se, but it’s the most appropriate state for him to end up in.
Only slightly more seriously, can’t believe the Lakers didn’t pull it off.
RJ and Picks for KD?
I think that they now have enough assets to trade for a point guard. Like, I think that they can get VanVleet.
Dinwiddie and DFS were just key parts of a Mavs team that made it to the Conference Finals just last season.
Yeah that team also had Luka and Brunson.
Great tweet from Dinwiddie:
When Shams Charania says it’s time to go, you pack your bags…
This one would have Durant, though, and whoever you can get for their excess assets (possibly VanVleet?). I mean, if any player in the NBA is built to succeed with players just surrounding him, it’s Kevin Durant.
The first thing Irving did after asking for a trade was calling for a timely calf injury and skip the next game.
Keeping him would have been a nightmare.
Dinwiddie’s a good (albeit inconsistent) scorer and Finley-Smith a really good defender, maybe they can make another trade and if KD is healthy they can still be good.
I’m eager to watch Luka and Kyrie share the ball… and defend
Welp..here’s to hoping Kyrie destroys that team because it looks like we won’t be getting a decent pick from the Mavs
It’s not impossible that the Mavs are worse this regular season with Kyrie. They’re subtracting two important role players who were integrated with the team for a ball dominant poor defender. They’ve only got 30 or so games left to acclimate.
Also, he’s nuts.
Cam would seem to fit the Mavs even more now, right?
We have to assume that Luka signed off on this, right? I mean, the Mavs would never do this without Luka’s buy-in, right?
Makes it easier for Brunson to make the All Star Game next year.
Kyrie does not seem to be a good fit with Luka, although on sheer talent they will be better now.
According to Marc Stein,
Luka is onboard with the move and was consulted in advance.
I am bit surprised. The Nets were playing so well when healthy, and they have endured so much of Irving’s antics, that I really thought they would go along with it: reach the postseason with the best chances, deal with Irving in the offseason, and hope he is not angry any more by then.
Fuck Kyrie. Seriously I hate the nets but these antics getting rewarded where he now goes to a team with a top three player. Fuck that.
I really feel sorry for the Nets. You can say they asked for it by signing Kyrie, they have had THREE stars ask for trades in one calendar year. That’s unprecedented.
My brother is a Nets fan going back to the NJ days. Between the Boston trade debacle and this, it’s been a stressful run.
I suppose I’ll be all alone in being bummed that we didn’t outbid Dallas for Kyrie. I like him as both a player and a person (like Donnie, I would put him high on my list of roommates; last would be Harden). Plus he’s so highly regarded among his peers, he would actually be able to get a second star to come here.
This trade does help with flexibility on the court for Brooklyn once Simmons and KD are back. Kinda makes them more scary- especially if they can make a move for a big body off the bench. They can afford to start Curry at the 2 with Dinwiddie being a big PG. Or they could go long and choose flank KD with Claxton/Finney-Smith/Simmons/Dinwiddie, and go bombs away on that 2nd unit with O’Neale, Harris, Curry, and Cam Thomas. I mean…KD is the type of offensive weapon that Dinwiddie is enough of a creator on offense to make it work if everyone else plays defense and makes enough shots. As good as Luka, Giannis, LeBron, Jokic, and Embiid are- and despite how ugly KD’s personality warts can be- he still is the scariest player to defend when he has it going. Probably doesn’t make them title-worthy, but they can find their way to the finals if other teams make mistakes in a series
He apparently was prepared to say his calf hurt too much for him to play the rest of the season. And he’s one of the only guys psycho enough to actually do it, so they had to do it.
Sounds savvy to me. It’s what happens all the time in europe with soccer stars. They never reach the end of their contracts. There’s too much risk for both the player and club.
the story about morant’s entourage post indy game is ugly
That is a hilariously low price for a guy as good as Kyrie. I mean, it’s like what the Wizards are seeking for Kyle Kuzma. Obviously I understand why Kyrie Irving comes at a discount but it’s still surprising to me they couldn’t get two firsts.
Anyway I don’t think we would’ve been given the opportunity to beat the offer, I’m not sure how big the Brunson to Kyrie upgrade is anyway, and fuck Kyrie Irving.
curious if this sets off an arms race in the west and we move from the inertia equilibrium to a crazy deadline. it’s a weird year with all the congestion so you never know what might light the fuse.
i don’t think alan turing himself could have passed the hubert test
The Nets got marginally worse and the Mavs got marginally better. Neither are title contenders.
Prediction that neither get out of the 2nd round.
I know NBA teams are always going to be the embodiment of the Arrested Development “But it might work for us” meme when it comes to talented players but I would’ve been fascinated to see what kind of contract he would’ve gotten this offseason if he’d pulled that. Would a team really have given him a longterm deal after watching him personally blow up consecutive potential championship seasons (not to mention blowing up potential championship level teams in Cleveland and Boston before that)?
the kyrie trade return is reminiscent of but superior to when the wolves dumped butler (who was better overall thank kyrie, imo,
and much more reliable), who was also demanding a trade. dfs is lot like covington and saric had more value than dinwiddie but i don’t think minny even got a first.
Responding to PT’s comment about the Morant and Indy thing. Just read the piece in The Athletic. Ja Morant, his father and his crew are becoming rather unlikable IMO. Thoughts?
Is Kyrie signing an extension with Dallas? I assume no and that’s why the haul was so small. So he still has to go into FA this season no?
Ja Morant really lucked on the timing of that news dropping huh? I was definitely already starting to find him a bit annoying. Having said that I still wish we picked higher in the 2019 draft.
I think the Mavs got a lot better…on paper anyway. DFS always struck me as one of those reputation > production guys and Dinwiddie is having a good season but is basically just a broke man’s Kyrie. Shame for our 2023 pick, but worth it to see the Nets go up in flames like this.
…does Kyrie still get to be an Eastern Conference all-star?
***It’s not impossible that the Mavs are worse this regular season with Kyrie. They’re subtracting two important role players who were integrated with the team for a ball dominant poor defender. They’ve only got 30 or so games left to acclimate.***
Irving has never played and made a team worse for it.
The Lakers could have beaten this offer if they’d wanted to, right? So we learned something from the exercise.
The Lakers definitely could’ve topped it in terms of future assets but the Mavs were able to give the Nets some guys to keep them afloat this season.
It’s kind of a weird trade though because I don’t think DFS and Dinwiddie are nearly enough to keep the Nets in proper contention, so you have to wonder if they’d have been better off prioritizing future assets and beginning the teardown that seems inevitable at this point. Feels like they got caught in an awkward middle.
I’m a little surprised the Clippers didn’t top it. Could’ve offered some combination of Powell/Kennard/Mann/a pick.
Don’t know from Ja, but he certainly hangs around with some asshats. Some may have been permanently banned from home games. Which seems about right. Certainly worse than anything Oakley did…
Understandably lost in some bigger news today, but: “If the Cavs were to trade for Cam Reddish, either Cedi Osman or Dylan Windler would likely be sent to the Knicks in an attempt for them to remain below the tax line.”
Getting Osman for Cam would be a minor miracle such that I don’t think it’s a real possibility. Windler and a 2nd seems more realistic.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers offered Westbrook and two firsts but the Nets declined so as not to piss off Durant- he’s already asked to be traded once and don’t think he has any desire to reconnect with Westbrook.
with steph out for a while and gsw at deep risk for play in or worse is there any chance they try to trade draymond before he hits ufa?
I would want no part of an aged Draymond, except for the part where he first slaps Randle during a game, and then slaps Barrett. That part would be fun.
I joked upthread but seriously RJ and four or five first round picks for KD.
I know he spurned us and said we weren’t cool but like KD would make us instant contenders. Then do that Utah trade.
Honestly Leon should be working back channels to KD right now.
Very interesting trade.
I have to think the Mavs are thinking longer term with Kyrie because imo they weren’t deep enough as it was and now they are even more top heavy. So Kyrie has to get that new long term contract he wants.
DFS was a important part of their defense and Dinwiddie was quite efficient on offense. They need to make a couple more moves.
Thank goodness they have Frank. 🙂
From Tommy Beer – his last two stops (Boston and Brooklyn) both had better winning percentages in games he didn’t play during his times with those teams.
The more I think about this trade the more I like it for both teams. Dallas is not deep enough overall or good enough on defense to go all the way, but Doncic, Irving and Wood is a dynamite #1, #2, and #3 option on offense.
The Nets got rid of a headache and got 2 very good role players and some picks for an eventual trade or rebuild.
In my League Pass tonight’s game is ESPN or Philly broadcast… 🙁
Will post a thread after tip if he doesn’t.
Which leaves me enough time to figure out what you all are talking about with Ja
Oh yeah I mean Kyrie is crazy but if it works out Dallas got him for a steal. Of course there’s also the very real possibility that Dallas it traded for a dude who is now going tomorrow infect luka’s mind with anti vaxx and flat earth conspiracy theory garbage and totally ruin luka’s career.
i was having drinks with someone on the nets staff and he did hint at the mavs being the likely destination because of nico harrison and the nike/kobe connection…. didn’t think it’d actually happen and for this return but does kind of make sense since it’s not too far off the kawhi deal and they likely just wanted to get rid of him…
the lakers were rumored to offer 2 picks and westbrook but only with an extension in place and so that probably was an easy choice for marks…
Maybe someone that was expected to bid on OGA will now be focused on Durant and we can land OGA. The Suns for one have been very interested in Durant and were also in the group interested in OGA.
What channel is this thing on in NYC?
if kirk cousins tried to play flag football in my backyard i call 911. where the fuck is the game
What is going on with the ESPN telecast? I tuned in and the second half of the Pro bowl is starting even though the television schedule says it woukd end at 6:00pm.
Flag football keeps pushing the time. It was 6:10, now it’s 6:20.
Fuck the Pro Bowl.
ESPN.com still showing game hasn’t started.
It must be fun for the fans at MSG sitting there not knowing what the fuck is going on
This is the most emasculating thing that has ever happened to the NBA.
The NFL basically drove by and put a red dot on the NBA’s forehead
ESPN is crazy. They could have left a half hour buffer between the the two and filled it with fluff or even with basketball talk, but instead they do this.
It’s on ESPNnews it looks like
I kind of miss the flag football game