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129 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.02.11)”
No big deal, an expected loss and basically the reverse plot of Sunday’s game.
Anyway it was a good effort and the final score is unfair, the game was much closer.
The Knicks had a good 1st half on the back of JB’s monster 1st quarter, wavered in the 3rd (more on that later) and collapsed in the 4th.
Embiid is unstoppable but allowing Maxey and Nieng to score a combined 40 points coming from the bench (with sizzling percentages) and letting an unconfortable crowd back in the game was the real deal.
Forget this game and go beat the pestiferous Jazz, fresh from a win in Toronto.
Plays Of The Game (with a boring explanation):
I like numbers, numbers are important in basketball but they don’t tell you “when” something happened.
So I believe in numbers and I believe in “soft factors” too: momentum, clutchness, BB-IQ, timing. Context is everything.
I think everyone that have played in a competitive environment, no matter the sport, no matter the level, know what I mean.
Sometimes while playing you “know”. That thing, that mistake, that great basket or point or shot or save, changed the game for you or against you.
You keep on playing, trying to keep it going or to change the wave (and sometimes you’re able to do it) but sometimes you just can’t and later your mind go back to “that moment”.
To me that moment yesterday was the in the 3rd quarter.
The Knicks were up by 12 and playing well, the Sixers were disappointed and the home crowd murmuring.
The Phila went on a 13-0 run and 3:21 later the Knicks were down, the 76ers were energized, the crowd was roaring again.
New York didn’t give up and was able to close the quarter with a lead, but to me from that moment on it was just a matter af “when” we’d lose the game, not “if”.
During a 58 seconds span in that Sixers’ run, RJ did this:
5:48 RJ Barrett misses 26-foot three point jumper (Harden scores)
5:24 RJ Barrett bad pass (the infamous inbounds turnover, Maxey hit a three after the steal, the crowd exploded***)
4:50 Joel Embiid blocks RJ Barrett ‘s 2-foot two point shot (Embiid scores)
That’s 3 offensive possessions blew in 58 seconds. Then:
4:08 Immanuel Quickley enters the game for RJ Barrett (sigh, a little too late)
RJ wasn’t alone on the floor in those 58 seconds and later had some nice moments but… you read his boxscore line and you see “average” numbers (except the 4 TOs).
But if you watched the game you know.
30, 7 Reb, 9:2 AST:TO. Sixers zeroed on him after the 1st qrt and they did well. He deserved an All-Star spot.
Good game, trademark “tripping over one’s legs” TO, some faintings on defense.
Decent numbers but see above (and 4 fucking TOs, including his trademark: “drive, spin and kick in the first row”).
He shows great flashes, then he makes you yell and sometimes he moves like in molasses. He’s nerve-racking.
Missed some crucial open threes. Plus, was clowned by Tobias Harris (ops) on an awful baseline defense. Anyway I love the way he cuts to the basket. He’s ticketed for a nice game against the Jazz.
Okay, it was against Embiid and he shuffled his feet well on Harden, but I don’t think he give us more rim protection than the new “healthier” I-Hart. Just my opinion.
Lost the challenge against his former teammate Maxey but put on a valiant effort nontheless.
Not perfect but eminently playable. 3 BLKs and a OReb snatched under Embiid’s nose (again). Question: from when Knicks’ centers are allowed to dribble & drive to the basket?
What are you still doing here Obi?
What? Ah okay, you’re here to camp in the corner and miss open threes. Now I get it.
Nah, not his night and only 9 minutes.
A Hart, a Hart, my benchdom for a Hart!
He’s coming Thibs, keep cool.
*** Raven wrote about it in the game thread.
If Reddish could play for the Trail Blazers last night why couldn’t jHart play for us?
Nice win for Utah. Kessler had another very good game. We could have drafted him.
I must confess, I have no idea who Simone Fontecchio is but I am sure he is a cousin of Max.
And good cap!
Some players did play for their new teams, some don’t.
I think it’s kind of random, many things can have an impact (doing physicals exams, booking flights, find a place to stay…).
LOL, you know we italians have are very into the “family” thing 😉
SGA with 44 points last night on 16 shots
The missed draft pick that keeps punching us in the gut. )-:
if anyone is going to the all star game and interested in playing in an (expensive) charity poker tournament with a bunch of big nba names (retired) lmk
Max – Everyonr in Greece is a cousin! It’s a festival of cheek pinching for my kids.
That is a monster line from SGA. Unreal
I would like to take their money but have no desire to go to Utah.
— Coffee Can Rama
Whatever djphan’s reference was (probably not Coffee Can, can’t remember), I never heard it in 8 years of competitive poker in my 20s. It seems entirely possible he made it up, in which case, kudos, sir.
February 11, 2023 at 08:45
if anyone is going to the all star game and interested in playing in an (expensive) charity poker tournament with a bunch of big nba names (retired) lmk”
Obviously a ruse to drum up suckers to fleece…you’re better than that pt
Max, thanks for the summary and as usual, I love the grades! Reading your stuff (and other talented writers’ material) is part of my morning routine. I am very much looking forward to Hart tonight and I hope he adds a special sauce to this team. Minimally, I think he will make the team more fun to watch. In addition, while he probably won’t shoot us out of a zone D, when we inevitably long brick 3’s, he will get a bunch of rebounds for second and third possessions. Indeed, there is more than one way to defeat the Zone!
Annoying game because we could’ve had it. That Maxey steal-and-3 definitely felt like a dagger. I suppose it’s getting repetitive to point out our most glaring weakness, so I’ll just say I’m looking forward to Hart’s arrival.
Also, Brunson was legitimately snubbed. What an absolute beast. We all know the numbers (though I will shoutout him being tied with one Kyrie Irving in BPM) but he makes every game worth watching.
I guess the idea was we’re not good enough to have two all-stars, which is arbitrary and inaccurate. We’re just still kind of figuring out the other 13 roster spots.
Old Man Coffee! Rama, I have played a ton of poker and it was new to me also. I find it a very creative way of saying nit and I like it a lot.
In J-Hart we trust (or at least Thibs will) 🙂
TNFH-RJ’s stuff is very concerning of course, but I find myself unduly focusing on his mistakes. By unduly, I mean I think I am exaggerating things in almost a scape goat way. Last night I said to my wife that he is the weak link, which I am not sure is quite true. Nevertheless, he has many aspects of his game which need improvement, including his conditioning and concentration. BTW, I know that you were recently admitted to the Bar. At the time, I posted a congratulations, which I don’t think you received, so I repeat it again–Good luck in your legal career. Your posts indicate that you have a sharp and analytical mind and your peppery exchanges will provide great experience in negotiation and dealing with both judges and adversaries in Court-no kidding. Welcome to the noble profession!!
cavs are really playing well. best defense in the nba and mobley seems to have stepped up his aggression on offense from a pretty pedestrian start. he’s never going to have an explosive close out step but he seems to be figuring out ways to use his length and coordination to start from 20 plus feet out and still get to the rim when the defense is stretched out. the overall offensive fit still feels a bit clunky but damn they are fun.
Thanks, Owen. I haven’t played or even followed poker for a decade, so maybe it’s a newer thing the kids say.
Re Cleveland, I’m a little disappointed in Okoro. I had him higher than Obi (but still under Hali, obvs), but he’s never added the couple components to his game to make him actually good.
“Annoying game because we could’ve had it. That Maxey steal-and-3 definitely felt like a dagger.”
I sort of felt that the Sixers were just not gonna let this one get away. When they are on their game, they’re just better than us. I have always felt that Doc Rivers is one of the most overrated coaches in the association, but at some point it’s a player’s league and they have the better players. Embiid is just a monster.
“I suppose it’s getting repetitive to point out our most glaring weakness, so I’ll just say I’m looking forward to Hart’s arrival.”
He’s probably under the microscope more than he should be these days, but his bad stretches are so glaringly harmful.
“Also, Brunson was legitimately snubbed. What an absolute beast. We all know the numbers (though I will shoutout him being tied with one Kyrie Irving in BPM) but he makes every game worth watching.”
The only thing I’m good with is that he’s going to get a chance to rest up. He takes a beating out there. But yeah, totally deserving.
That was one of your best posts in a while, E
I’m a little rusty on my Morse code, but we can probably rule out “I love Thibs”…
So I just had my cappuccino (only one today) and I was looking at the standings, and the most remarkable scenario became apparent to me…
NBA play in game #1: Knicks vs Hawks at the Garden. Hawks win.
NBA play in game #2: Bulls vs Wizards. Wizards win.
NBA play in game # 3: Knicks vs Wizards…. the Knicks would get two first round picks if they lose this game.
Appreciate it Waylon! In my line of work they get you started pretty quickly, so I’ve already made plenty of court appearances and engaged in a lot of negotiations.
If there’s a silver lining to spending more time than I should on a Knicks website from 2003, I definitely think it has sharpened both my arguing and writing skills a bit.
Re: RJ, I’m not sure he’s getting more negative attention than he deserves. I suppose it’s not his “fault” that he finds himself playing a big role for a good-ish team before earning such a role on the merits, but that’s a pretty rare situation.
A quick way to quantify this: there are 65 players who have played 500+ minutes with a usage rate of 25%+. RJ ranks 59th among them in TS%. The only guys behind him are on bad teams…or no team at all (LaMelo, Banchero, Rozier, Oubre, Wall, and Westbrook). https://stathead.com/tiny/24eYO
Most even modestly good teams just don’t find themselves/put themselves in this situation. I won’t say I know exactly how to navigate because I do still think it’s important to develop him further, but it does put RJ in a situation where his flaws are rightfully going to get a lot of attention.
This might be the Wizards’ best chance to sneak into the playoffs in the next few years so I would be pretty tempted to tank that play-in game.
Kelly Oubre Jr. is a frightening upside comparison for RJ. I always shudder when his name comes up in trade proposals. Hopefully that’s not where RJ tops out.
TNFH-that’s great. It sounds like you hit the ground running. I’m glad you are engaging in direct legal work, rather than reviewing pleadings, bills of particulars or discovery responses-which happens to some new attorneys and contributes to burn out. As to RJ, I guess I will keep my fingers crossed since there really is no other choice.
I would be tempted, too, but we all know having three picks in the first round is Leon Rose’s worst nightmare.
I am hesitant to bring this up, but it’s too hilarious not to:
That would have been epic. Michael Malone has a lot of Thibs in him, so Bones would have probably just played left bench here.
Doc Rivers sucks, but when all three of the Sixers scorers are hot, even a checked out Doc can’t keep them from winning. They probably have enough talent to win in the first round, but they need to get a new coach next year if they want to make the Conference Finals.
I used to seriously admire Doc as a coach, but, like, the instant he won a title he immediately stopped giving a shit, and it shows. It’s kind of sad, really. He just half-assed his time in Los Angeles and now it’s the same deal in Philly. Where has the Doc of the Aughts gone?
Alan, I’ll pretend I never saw that…
BC you would think that Morey might have brought in his own coach by now. Really strange that he has rolled with Rivers for so long…is it a money thing or does he actually like him?
Rivers has to be the worst coach people think is good.
“I used to seriously admire Doc as a coach, but, like, the instant he won a title he immediately stopped giving a shit, and it shows. It’s kind of sad, really. He just half-assed his time in Los Angeles and now it’s the same deal in Philly. Where has the Doc of the Aughts gone?”
I’m not so sure it’s even true to say that “he” won a title. He had probably the most coach-proof team of this century. You could argue that a better coach might have won 2 or 3 chips with that team…
100% a money thing. But after this year, just two years left on Doc’s massive contract, so maybe there is a chance.
“If Reddish could play for the Trail Blazers last night why couldn’t jHart play for us?”
He missed a coverage in warmups and is in the doghouse.
He coached his ass off in Orlando and then did a good job in his first year in Boston with a shitty team (a #3 seed with a washed up squad). I think his time with the Big Three was great coaching, because there was major tension there and they had to work in a young point guard. He got them to all buy in in a way he doesn’t even attempt anymore in Philly.
Doc, at his best, is like Phil Jackson. A guy who could get everyone to buy in and get complicated egos to get along, all while putting the xs and os in the hands of his trusted assistants. New Doc has just checked out and is simply collecting a fat paycheck.
Are we sure Rivers was ever actually a really good coach. I can’t remember the details, but I think he was loaded with excellent assistants back in the day.
You nearly killed me…
I think the best coaches use their assistants to their benefit. Kerr defers to his assistants a lot while, say, Mark Jackson, wants to fight them.
this is year by year 3p% and 3pa/100 from two guys in the 20 draft. (1) bey (2) IQ
He missed a coverage in warmups and is in the doghouse.
i laughed strat
Doc won Coach of the Year with the following assistants:
He used to just be a flat out hardworking good coach. He checked out as soon as he signed his first big extension in 2011, having won the title in 2008 and gotten back to the Finsls in 2010.
There was an assistant on that Celtics coaching staff who was pretty good too. Can’t remember his name though.
Reddish last night
2/5 from 3
+ 4 in losing game
In 17 minutes
Looks totally unplayable for a team that starts RJ Barrett at SF and that’s in desperate need for some size at that position.
I wish I was a fly on the wall to see what happened in NY.
“There was an assistant on that Celtics coaching staff who was pretty good too. Can’t remember his name though.”
Does he bear a striking resemblance to the varsity football coach in Dazed and Confused?
Looks totally unplayable for a team that starts RJ Barrett at SF and that’s in desperate need for some size at that position.
I wish I was a fly on the wall to see what happened in NY.
you should have been a fly at the game bc he wasn’t good. played less than 20 min but had more shitty effort defensive mistakes than anyone in the game. and he plays on a team with lillard and simons.
Cam’s NY career was really over as soon as RJ got the big extension. There just wasn’t enough money or minutes for both of them.
What’s the o/u on games before Cam is dropped from the Blazers’ rotation?
The 04-05 Celtics had a #3 seed when their most common starting lineup was:
Gary Payton (36 years old)
(Young Tony Allen worked his way into the starting lineup by the end of the year over Welsch and Antoine Walker was traded for, with Blount moving to the bench. Still, that’s not a good team at all).
“you should have been a fly at the game bc he wasn’t good. played less than 20 min but had more shitty effort defensive mistakes than anyone in the game. and he plays on a team with lillard and simons.”
You want him to defend too?
You make it sound like RJ defends. 😉
A. How annoying was it for the Heat to play down to the Rockets’ level, only to win it on a tip-in with 0.7 seconds?
B. How annoying is it that Spoelstra can make getting good looks ATO look easy?
C. How dumb was Mazzula, another guy who can write up good ATO plays, to wait until the Knicks had the lead in overtime to actually call a timeout back in the last Knicks/Celtics game? Being a good ATO team is a huge benefit, and to see Mazzula just concede the advantage is so dumb.
“What’s the o/u on games before Cam is dropped from the Blazers’ rotation?”
That’s on him.
Even before yesterday’s game, which got pretty good reviews from fans and one blogger, one of the beat writers watched a practice and called him the most talented player on the court.
I think it was you that said he reminded you of an Anthony Randolph level knucklehead. That may be the case.
By the way, Brown hasn’t officially been ruled out yet for the All-Star Game, right? Brunson still has a chance.
I would pay good money to see Thibs coach Anthony Randolph.
Remember how we always used to have to hear about it every time Frank Ntilikina went like 3-5 with 8 points and a +8 in 13 minutes for the Mavericks? Whatever happened to that?
Yeah BC, I mentioned that yesterday…seems like a logical substitution. Is there a deadline? Or is Brown going to make a ceremonial showing with a mask?
Doc kind of seems like one of those benign neglect parents who started out thinking it was the right thing to do but now is just totally mailing it in and hoping the kids will figure things out themselves
Cam Reddish is even more talented than Anthony Randolph, who had no off hand whatsoever. Such a shame that he can’t put it together, he has some real athletic gifts and a prototypical physical profile.
That it hasn’t been announced yet certainly suggests that he really wants to go for whatever reason. He’s been an All Star before, right?
“Remember how we always used to have to hear about it every time Frank Ntilikina went like 3-5 with 8 points and a +8 in 13 minutes for the Mavericks? Whatever happened to that?”
Frank got displaced in the rotation by Josh Green who is rapidly turning into one of the best young role players in the NBA. Frank was injured all summer (again) and hasn’t been able to throw the ball into the ocean from 3 since. He’s still one of the best and most versatile defenders on a team that needs defense, but you have to be a “plus” at something on offense like a Reggie Bullock to play. So far he’s shooting 3s worse this year on low volume than in the past. That makes him unplayable on a team with a couple of younger guys that show some promise. All he needs is a 3 point shot, but he can’t seem to find it. Constant injuries haven’t helped.
Josh Green looks like he could be a very good player.
“All he needs is a 3 point shot”
My dude has a -7.8 BPM this year. You might want to consider taking the L on this one. Maybe Cam Reddish will pan out better as an “I told you so” play for you.
Cam! Before next fall you’re in need of a serious attitude adjustment, young man!
Brown was an all-star in 2020-21.
All Frank ever needed was a complete set of NBA skills, but he could never quite get there. So close, yet so far away.
Speaking of Frank, Cam, and RJ Barrett, it’s interesting to think about when teams stop thinking of young players as prospects in need of “development” and just start viewing them as more generic NBA players.
There’s no official time when the “prospect” shine fades, but it seems to happen more quickly for some guys than others. Marvin Bagley is only a year older than RJ, was the 2nd overall pick, and is now basically an afterthought. Jarrett Culver probably has 1% name recognition among casual NBA fans.
All this to say, RJ might be getting closer than he realizes to “generic NBA player” status, which comes with only getting playing time when your coach feels like he needs your specific skillset on the court. It would behoove him to get really good at something, anything, accordingly.
You don’t want to wake up and find yourself unable to get off the bench for a team that signed Kemba Walker.
“My dude has a -7.8 BPM this year. You might want to consider taking the L on this one. Maybe Cam Reddish will pan out better as an “I told you so” play for you.”
That stat is utterly gibberish, especially in the limited minutes he’s played so far this year.
Frank’s “plus” was always in everything that is not measured by the boxscore. It’s in his defense, ability to switch, ability to use his length to disrupt passing lanes and things like that. He always sucked in boxscore measurements but teams often played better with him on the court because of those other things.
But you can’t be a zero on offense like he is.
I’ll take the L, but not in my analysis of his potential value, but in him being one of those guys that just could not improve his 3 point shot and whose injuries and poor use hampered his development.
Cam is a the exact opposite. He can do almost anything on the court on offense you’d want from a basketball player. But it’s like Mike D’Antoni’s quote on Nate Robinson. “The best thing about Nate is that he can get his own shot any time he wants. The worst thing about Nate is that he can get his own shot almost anytime he wants”. 😂
With Cam you are hoping his basketball IQ improves with experience and he’s willing to work hard consistently on defense.
We all want two way prospects, but young guys with a lot of talent on one side can also become very useful players.
You have to play pretty fucking horribly to rack up a -7.8 BPM in 300+ minutes. He must have vomited on the ball five or six times
if you don’t know what OMC is you probably have not played since black friday or the social media era…. which is understandable i didnt know what it was until i had various flirtations back with the game over the last decade and during lockdown…
i have been playing since the moneymaker era.. back when limit poker was cool… when nate silver was still just another poster on 2+2 and gene michael was a reg at the 20/40 borgata game… back when the online game generated more than anything crypto could ever mine on your pc…. and i’ve played up to and through the cepheus and gto era… there was a time i spent more time talking about poker than basketball…
so no… i did not just make it up.. but you could also just spend the same amount of time it took you to make accusations and use google….
I don’t think they were accusing you dj, they were just bemused by a phrase they hadn’t heard before!
Excited to see Hart play tonight—would love for him to put up numbers to make Thibs think about relegating RJ to the bench
“All Frank ever needed was a complete set of NBA skills, but he could never quite get there. So close, yet so far away.”
Some of the most valuable players on championship teams have been role players that were elite on one side of the ball and just meh or even slight negatives on the other side.
You are looking for 2-3 high level scorers that are hopefully at least OK on defense, but after that you are mostly looking for guys that are VERY good at other things because of dismissing returns and an inability to afford all superstars.
We don’t need Grimes to be a more complete player, though it would be nice. We need him to become an even better defender and consistent 3 point shooter. Then he’ll be an elite role player guarding the best guard on the opposing team. We’ll get the scoring elsewhere when either RJ gets more efficient or we upgrade.
and PT if the game was closer and somewhere i actually wanted to visit i would take you up on it… but if you know of anything in the future let me know… one of my favorite things to do is shooting the shit at a table full of interesting ppl….
Thought I remembered that. Then I have no idea why he’s apparently not ruling out going to the game with a fractured face.
“You have to play pretty fucking horribly to rack up a -7.8 BPM in 300+ minutes. He must have vomited on the ball five or six times”
He’s doing his typical Frank things but shooting 21.7% from 3 and not hitting FTs as well as usual. He’s the only 24 year old that still looks like a deer in the headlights at times.
DJ! No disrespect my man! I am just surprised I haven’t heard the term but I can definitely see it’s a thing.
i have never seen you be anything short of respectful to anyone here owen… including me… but it seemed like rama needed more convincing….
Are there some people here who would seriously prefer the Knicks to lose in the play in tourney if it means Washington makes the playoffs??
Is getting the 14th pick in the NBA draft really that much of a game changer that you would want the Knicks to collapse and lose 2 play in games and be happy they don’t make the playoffs? Shit man that’s fucking crazy to me.
“Are there some people here who would seriously prefer the Knicks to lose in the play in tourney if it means Washington makes the playoffs??
Is getting the 14th pick in the NBA draft really that much of a game changer that you would want the Knicks to collapse and lose 2 play in games and be happy they don’t make the playoffs? Shit man that’s fucking crazy to me.”
I don’t think it’s “crazy” per se. If you hate the coach or don’t believe in the direction the FO is taking the team, it’s pretty rational. I just don’t see the point myself, given that the odds of Dolan making an optimal POBO/GM hire who will make the optimal coach hire seem pretty slim. So I’m rooting for the current management team/roster/asset mix to succeed even with my caveats about their methodology, and if their success includes making the playoffs, rooting against that for the sake of draft picks seems counterproductive.
Apologies for the cross-sport post, but given it’s about a Knick, and it’s Super Bowl Sunday, this bit from a WashPost piece on Black quarterbacks is amazing for many reasons, including for how recent it was.
Ward, the 1993 Heisman Trophy winner at Florida State, went undrafted in 1994. Dungy, then the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator, pitched his plan as a creative and prudent decision for the quarterback-needy franchise (which he declined to name).
“You’re getting a quarterback basically for free,” he remembered saying. “You don’t need to use a draft pick. You don’t have to make a trade. You don’t have to guarantee the starting job. Just sign him as a free agent at an affordable price.”
The reaction: silence.
The team had no tolerance for an aspiring Black coach promoting a disregarded Black quarterback. It took a while longer for Dungy, now a Hall of Famer, to get a job he knew he could do. Ward, a versatile athlete who played 11 NBA seasons, became the first modern-day recipient of college football’s top honor to never play in the NFL.
It was a joke, dj, jeez. I did not doubt it was a real phrase, and referring to my playing days as being a couple decades behind me was kind of the clue. This blog would be better if more people remembered the Humor element of it.
That’s unsurprising but infuriating, Raven. I dealt with it in the publishing world at one point with a project from a high-profile person wanting to do something for young readers. The publisher said, yeah, but everyone knows black boys don’t read. M*therf*cker.
Theoretically that’s changed, but the apparent contempt for The Woman King in the film world makes me think it’s all just temporary virtue signaling, and when a few projects/books don’t work commercially, the creative industries will go back to saying “everyone knows…”
I’m not even one of the more vociferous Thibs haters and I think the front office’s strategy is deeply flawed but not doomed. I just probably place a higher value on an extra 15th overall pick than I do a 1 vs 8/2 vs 7 playoff series. I didn’t actually think that was all that hot of a take.
Winning a play-in game might end up being the high water mark of this entire front office regime’s tenure and the thing we look back on in the future the way we look at that one Boston series we won with Melo that one time. Might as well go all-in for that.
YOLO, I guess. Draft picks, schmaft picks!
Again man I’m sorry but it’s one thing rooting to lose as many games as possible to improve your chances of getting a Top 5 pick, I’m all for that and was hoping for the Knicks to lose the years when they drafted KP and RJ. I totally get that.
But to root for your team to miss the playoffs just to get a mid round pick? It would be one thing if they were fighting to just squeeze into the play in tourney like the Knicks were doing last season but the Knicks right now with 25 games left have a legitimate chance of finishing 5th in the East. You must really hate this group if you would actually prefer to see them collapse that badly and miss the playoffs.
BBA, in the hypothetical I was responding to we were already in the play-in game.
We’d get two first round picks: our own and washington’s.
And hell yeah I’d want to lose that game. It would be crazy not to.
It’s kind of adorable that we’re still pretending Leon Rose might actually do something productive with a first round pick
I really hope the Knicks finish in the Top 6 then cause this site is gonna be fucking miserable if the Knicks finish 7th or 8th and we’ll have people complaining if the Knicks win in the play in tourney.
Of course if they finish 5th or 6th and lose in the 1st rd I’m sure they’ll still be people saying they would’ve been better off missing the playoffs.
hubert you’re right that would be a crazy scenario with both picks on the line
Crazy that anyone would think wanting two first round picks is a sign that you hate Thibs.
I much prefer having a competitive, young, and (mostly) enjoyable team to watch and rooting for them to improve with experience. If the Knicks were outright bad right now, sure, I’d be hoping for more lottery tickets. As they are? I want them to make the playoffs and put on a better show than they did two years ago vs ATL.
The hypothetical lose to WAS in the play in scenario is fun… But we’re really not better off missing out on the playoffs. That WAS pick is likely to convey in the near future, and might be more valuable in a future trade than it is as an actual 15 pick this year.
But hey, if you’re the kind of person who likes to gripe about every perceived draft miss with the benefit of hindsight, maybe you’d like more ammo for your grievances?
hey rama… if it was a joke it’s cool… but going on about your resume in poker and never hearing the term and suggest it was made up doesn’t seem like a punchline to me…. but you know maybe my spider senses were tingling a lil too much..
For me it comes down to why we lose more than if we lose. But I certainly won’t be rooting for losses. The WAS pick will likely convey eventually so that is still an asset. Our own pick at #14 would be nice, but it would also mean that our current group of players was overrated and choked, which is not going to be remedied by a #14 pick unles we defy all odds and hit the lottery.
Anyway, it doesn’t really matter what we root for, the team is going to do what it’s going to do. I’d be fine with it either way.
I’ve been amused about this Old Man Coffee thing because I played online poker tournaments professionally from 2009 to 2016 and was active on the 2+2 forums but never heard this term. The kind of strategy Djphan describes, I would call weak tight. A player losing it is indeed virtually guaranteed to lose money, albeit slowly.
It’s a particularly bad strategy because paradoxically, it is the most reliant on luck in the sense that you only have a chance to profit if you’re dealt great cards. Against good players, this is just about the worst way to play. You’ll bleed off chips when you don’t have good cards, and you won’t get action when you do because it’s obvious you’re never bluffing. When you’re strategically outmatched in poker, the best thing you can possibly do is play as volatile and unpredictable a style as possible, so that you at least have a chance to get lucky.
Our FO is mandatorily strategically outmatched because ownership dictates an inherently poor strategy — basketball’s version of weak tight. That being so, the best thing they can do is raise the volatility. That’s why it’s entirely rational to want them to miss the playoffs. Our chance of advancing meaningfully in the playoffs is virtually zero, while history has shown that the probability of a mid first round pick turning into Giannis (or a 2nd rounder turning into Jokic) is nonzero.
We are a perennially asset and talent poor franchise. Smart rivals like Utah/KC/San Antonio are set up have 10-15 excess quality picks by the late 2020’s, even though they’ve all pretty recently fielded better teams than any in our entire history. We need to get extremely lucky to compete, and the draft is our only realistic avenue to do that. That’s why I’m apoplectic about spending picks on average role players, and that’s why it’s entirely rational to hope that we miss the playoffs this year and every year going forward until we have the kind of asset base that makes it rational to try to win. If our FO won’t try to accumulate them on purpose, we’ll have to hope they do so accidentally, which fits with the pattern in recent decades of most of our good decisions having been accidental.
I remember Charlie Ward getting passed on by the NFL and thinking it was crazy.
Andre Ware, Ty Detmer and Gino Toretta winning despite being pretty bad probably had something to do with it but I think mostly it was racism. But who knows, apparently he was only 5’11 but claimed to be 6’2.
Worked out well for the Knicks though
The Washington pick is not likely to convey if it doesn’t happen this year.
If WAS blows it up after this year, then the pick probably won’t convey.
If they keep trying to win with Beal’s $50M contract, then it will convey.
I’d be pretty happy if we lost in that scenario. I’m sure we’d trade several picks forward but I’d take that over losing them outright.
Our GM hates first round picks. He lies awake at night thinking of ways to get rid of them. Somehow I don’t think it will matter much whether we have those picks or not.
pags you have it exactly right… OMC is another word for a tight passive player…. and it’s mostly for live poker.. if you’ve ever played live anywhere in the US in the last 30 years you know who this kind of guy is…
and the reason they play that way was because it was a viable strategy for when these guys were younger… just playing tight and not reckless like the drunk guys playing it like any other table game to go back to the craps table…. was extremely profitable in their younger days because poker was just another casino game… they might not have been sharks but they probably were breakeven or marginally profitable for years….
but as the game matured and people actually studied it… aggression was now the name of the game…. but not just blind aggression like the drunk college kids looking to hit a hand big… it was tactical aggression which was the hallmark of tight aggressive playstyle pushed forth from the sklansky era… and once the internet poker era hit this was now validated through tools like pokertracker (proud v1 subscriber)…. that tight aggressive playstyle made money from all the yolks AND the nits in the game….
that’s a close analog to what we’re seeing with the Rose era from my view…. this is the same strategy employed by those clifford era hornets teams…. or any of the pre analytics era wave…. it’s the same strategy phil jackson except they inherited and signed a couple of better players…. they’ll probably keep their jobs but it’s not really going anywhere meaningful due to how inherently flawed the strategy is….
but you know everyday i see what ppl write on all these knick boards and blogs…. and dolan probably is right… you can’t really rebuild for long and playoff games at any cost are just the name of the game in this town….
I think that pick will convey. Washington never tanks and the protections are like this: 1-12 in 2024, 1-10 in 2025 and 1-8 in 2026. If they keep being the Wizards of the past two decades, they’ll be fighting to be in the play-in every year, and it’s not likely that they’ll miss it for 3 consecutive seasons.
Washington pick protection:
2023 – WAS 15-30 (via HOU to OKC)
2024 – WAS 13-30 (via HOU to OKC) if not already settled
2025 – WAS 11-30 (via HOU to OKC) if not already settled
2026 – WAS 9-30 (via HOU to OKC) if not already settled
Would you put money on it not conveying in the next four years? I wouldn’t.
If you could guarantee that the Wizards would keep trying to make the play-in, I’d be elated.
There’s also not that great of a chance we end up playing Washington in that scenario. So nobody should worry about it yet. It’s entirely possible both teams make the playoffs… or they both miss… or WAS misses the play-in altogether.
This season i’m all for wins and to be in the playoffs, but Hubert’s scenario is interesting because of two things. One is that if we are in that final play-in game, we can decide if we want to keep our pick or send it to Portland. There’s value in making the playoffs, but a pick is also valuable, so it’s a nice debate to have. The other thing is that if we get to that game, we’ll be playing the Celtics on the first round in case we win it. I’ll need to lose in 6 at worst to not feel regretful about the lost pick.
But this is only Hubert derailing our path… we’re on the road to the 5th seed, so let’s keep on winning! 😉
Fun poker convo and a good analogy for the Leon FO. If I were my brother (who is actually a professional poker player, cut his teeth in the online heyday of the 2000s and still going strong…), I’d definitely take pt up on the offer. Unfortunately I’m a fish and haven’t put it in any effort to get better–all that extra time is going to my jumper and my chess midgame.
I think the analogy is ultimately imperfect, however: playing weak tight in poker will guarantee losses over the long run. But the goals of NBA teams are various–nothing nearly so simple as maximizing money over the long-run. For example: GSW was willing to pay 80m in luxury tax for GP2’s services. I’m not sure what the cash value of a chip is for a chip-rich team like GSW, but I’m not sure it’s worth 80m even given rosy projections for tickets and jersey sales. So, maybe they would’ve maximized profits by just trading Wiseman and not paying GP2. But, they want a chip. And likewise, some competing teams might trade away role players for tax relief. So championships aren’t the only end goal either. This balancing act is something every NBA team has to deal with, and this balancing is something that doesn’t really happen in poker, whose desideratum is quite clear: approximate GTO play as close as possible in order to maximize winnings. This is just to say I don’t think you can think of NBA FO strategy in game-theoretic terms without some explanatory loss (that’s not to say it’s useless–the analogy isn’t totally off base!)
GSW’s situation surely isn’t the Knicks situation, but I think the point stands. You can win in basketball with a suboptimal FO strategy much more easily than you can in poker (e.g., waiting for a team to stupidly give you Kawhi for cheap), partly because of this variety of ends that NBA FOs have, and partly because the math and projection is much more complex (and everyone in poker knows that you need to know the math.)
So while I agree that the weak tight Rose FO strategy is suboptimal for winning championships, many NBA teams–Knicks included–are perfectly happy with high rates of return. And being competently in the playoff mix can sometimes earn you more than paying 80m in luxury tax for GP2, or tanking for several years to get Wemby and Chet and whomever and then repeatedly making the finals. It’s definitely suboptimal from the fan perspective–we care about chips, not profits, but I think Dolan is perfectly happy to not have to think about the Knicks, since he has someone basically competent at the helm who is upping the team’s valuation.
All that said, I think there’s not much to be done, so we’re just in a position where we should try and enjoy the ride, taking the Rose strategy as a given. I’d do things differently, but I’m not in the FO.
The best thing this team could do *in the context of the FO’s chosen strategy* is to win as many games and go as far in the playoffs as possible. A rising tide lifts all boats. If the team is a playoff team and it got there largely on the backs of players under the age of 30, its pieces are more attractive than if they finish in the lottery.
The hybrid strategy may be suboptimal, but that’s one of the major tenets….be good enough so that a disgruntled star would feel like he could be the difference-maker. If we flatline between now and the playoffs or stumble into the play-in and lose not once but twice, that’s a hard sell.
Of course there are downsides to making the playoffs and not having as many picks. But I see that more of a silver-lining than something to wish for. That’s why it seems like rooting for it to happen suggests that one wants the coach and/or FO to fail and get replaced. It’s hard to imagine one without the other, unless bad injury luck is involved.
Funny. When people pin all of their hopes on playing the lottery in the real world, most people think they’re dumb.
But when NBA GM’s pin all their hopes on the lottery, people now think they’re really smart.
There’s several important disanalogies between this and old man coffee:
(1) In poker you get a new hand each round. In the NBA you’re stuck with Zach LaVine for 4 years and out 3-4 draft picks.
(2) You can grab players like Brunson outright with no real risk. Getting Brunson for minimal cost is more valuable than the chance of getting that player with a late lotto pick.
(3) Being a desirable destination is important in basketball. Players care about how good an organization treats them and where they live. Poker chips, as far as I’m aware, don’t care who’s pocket they end up in.
All of Hart’s pregame comments seem to confirm that he wants to stay here long term. So not a rental, at least.
Odds of winning Mega Millions – 1 in 292.2 million
Odds of winning the NBA lottery for the 10th worst team in the NBA team. – 3 out of a 100.
Josh Hart has averaged 28 mpg for his career and has been a starter the last two years- is he still going to want to stay if he averages 18-20 off of the bench?
Pagliacci writes so well that I actually dislike him for lurking so long.
Forgot to pay my respects. RIP Brian’s one sentence game threads. You will be missed. 😀
Washington has picked in the top 10 nearly every year for like, 30 years. That pick is *not* likely to convey.
Hart is going to play a lot, bank on it. My guess is 25 mpg. He will probably take minutes from all non-C’s and PGs.
Like most of y’all, I’ve suffered with this team for decades. This team – and front office – are such a major improvement over some of the detritus we’ve seen crawl through!
Team is young, plays together, is over .500, and we have a nice cache of picks. We haven’t overpaid for a marginal, aging, or toxic ‘superstar.’ There are multiple pathways to getting better, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
Looking forward to seeing J-Hart play – he suiting up tonight?
I don’t see anything definite on JH but I assume so
Washington’s last 10 picks: #10 (2022), #15 (2021), #09 (2020), #09 (2019), #15 (2018), #22 (2017), #13 (2016), #19 (2015), #18 (2014), #03 (2013). In 2016 the pick was top9 protected and they picked 13th, meaning they missed the playoffs and still let the pick go. The best pick, in 2013, they were 8th but got lucky. So i can only see ONE SEASON in the top8 in the last 10 years. Pick is top8 protected in 2026.
Was going to say something similar re Pagliacci. He’s come out of the gates like a racehorse.
“Hart is going to play a lot, bank on it. My guess is 25 mpg. He will probably take minutes from all non-C’s and PGs.”
Except IQ will end up taking Deuce’s minutes. And my heart is breaking…
Far as I know J-Hart is suiting up. And apparently Westbrook is not. Is that good or bad for the Knicks?
“Washington has picked in the top 10 nearly every year for like, 30 years. That pick is *not* likely to convey.”
They’ve made the playoffs in 5 of the last 9 years. But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your narrative!
And what are the odds if you do win the NBA lottery that you’ll draft a franchise changing player. Cause I’ve been following the NBA for a long time and the number one pick very often isn’t a franchise changing player.
Me and Tastycakes are in tune today, bring it on Hubert! 😀
Swifty, this season i’m on your side, but i don’t think this is the best year to ask if the #1 pick will be a franchise player. Or aren’t you aware of a player called Wembanyama?
I like how I was drinking a cup of coffee looking at the standings and said “wow, check this out” and some people interpreted that wholly benign post as:
– I want the front office to fail
– I want us to miss the playoffs because I hate Thibs
– This Knicks/Wizards scenario is better than being the 5th seed
– I want the Knicks to tank so they can engineer this play in matchup
– I want us to have draft picks just so I can later criticize Leon for drafting the wrong player.
Some of y’all need to read better. A lot better.
Watching the Nets as predicted. Mikal has an A+ personality. Shame he is not a Knick.
what you’re describing is what the optimal strategy is for team’s at the end of the win curve… which is just another form of exploitive strategy and has been around and understood for decades…. flags fly forever and so any incremental step that achieves that goal has near infinite value…. which is why spending 100mm sort of makes sense for gp2… and why sending multiple first rd’ers for jrue holiday made some sort of sense…. it makes sense because chips have intangible value and so whatever that value has for you it can cost 100 billion dollars and so paying 99.9999 billion for a marginally good player would make sense if it theoretically got you closer….
gto in the nba doesn’t really exist.. it really only exists in poker in narrow scenarios when you can break down situations into different 2-3 player scenarios and so in those situations you can come up with a balanced strategy… the nba has 30 different competitors with a myriad of transaction types with players that come in a wide variety of flavors and an evolving game with changing rules both on and off the court…. i doubt we’ll see any part of this being solved in our lifetimes….
Cam Johnson also seems delightful.
DJ – That is interesting. I’d say game theory has applications in the NBA. People choose to maximize different things for sure. I certainly wouldn’t pay 80 million for Gary Payton in the playoffs so I can lose to the Suns in a more dignified fashion. But Lacob doesn’t care I guess.
I do think GTO in poker is less limited than you suggest but that’s a long conversation.
Who had Joe Harris having a new lease on life as a result of the trades? Nets looking good
and the other distinction is important here… what i’m saying is not that Rose’s strategy is suboptimal to winning championships…. it’s that it’s a very suboptimal strategy for a sustainably good team…. willingly giving up value in seemingly small situations is not a recipe for success… in fact that’s how you undermine everything that you’re doing….
our bench right now is proof positive of that as it’s littered with all the mistakes of this front office… and again… despite being absolutely blessed with the luck of randle recovering part if not all of his value and brunson wildly overperforming.. that we’re still only battling for a playoff appearance….
and if you doubt that… you have to ask yourself… so what happens to our team if Randle or Brunson turn back into a 1 bpm player? which maybe is an improbability at this point but certainly not an impossibility….
good strategies are resilient…. phil jackson probably drafted the best player since david lee…. yet that was still not enough to overcome all of his dumb mistakes… isaiah thomas probably has the best draft record of any gm we’ve ever had in the dolan era yet he is still viewed as a laughing stock….
it’s not enough to make one or two good decisions.. you have to be consistently good.. and that means having the right strategy and executing on it well enough…. and that’s where i think this FO comes up short… others will goto the mat to disagree and that’s fine… but i think the proof is already out there if you just want to see it….
As said, dj, I haven’t played competitively for decades. Yes, it was a joke. ‘Weak tight’ was actually the term I knew. I did know one guy like that, too; after playing with him once, you never lost a single hand to him again. I almost felt bad for the guy, but I felt worse for me because I couldn’t get much money out of him and it was just a question of how many hours before he went dry – taking up space at the table the whole time.
For me, winning took total concentration, not only for watching the cards and calculating odds, but trying to control the signals I was sending out and continually evaluating patterns of my behavior. I’m very easy to read, so I had to use that to my advantage by thinking about pre-determined situations at specific, planned times. Deciding on different counts before I moved regardless of my hand, leaning forward when I had a bad hand I was planning to show, etc etc. Programmed chaos. It was a lot of work and not particularly fun.
On the other hand, the money was good…
So I haven’t played seriously in a long, long time. Last game, in fact, was a celebration/memorial maybe 12 years ago for a player I had become friends with. When he died unexpectedly, a bunch of us got together and spent an evening playing low-stakes and telling stories about him. I miss that guy.
I guess I don’t understand why you think we should go all-in on Zach LaVine but clown the FO for signing Kemba Walker to a small 2y deal. Kemba is the exact type of move you keep saying the FO should make, but without the enormous risk LaVine costs on the front-end. Or even on the backend when he gets injured or continues to be Zach LaVine and we want to move him.
all good rama… i’m not eager to give ppl a hard time but if the biproduct was a few folks trading fond memories then it was a happy accident…