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Knicks Morning News (2023.02.28)

  • 6 takeaways as cold-shooting Celtics fall to Knicks, drop to second in East – Boston.com
    [news.google.com] — Tuesday, February 28, 2023 7:10:00 AM

    6 takeaways as cold-shooting Celtics fall to Knicks, drop to second in East  Boston.com

  • Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks Feb 27, 2023 Game Summary – NBA.com
    [news.google.com] — Tuesday, February 28, 2023 6:18:34 AM

    Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks Feb 27, 2023 Game Summary  NBA.comKnicks’ stomping of Celtics left little doubt they’re for real  New York Post Jayson Tatum Ejected In Boston Celtics’ Loss To New York Knicks  Sports Illustrated

  • NBA round-up: Boston Celtics drop from top spot in Eastern … – Sky Sports
    [news.google.com] — Tuesday, February 28, 2023 1:26:39 AM

    NBA round-up: Boston Celtics drop from top spot in Eastern …  Sky Sports

  • Jalen Brunson’s superb season with Knicks, Josh Hart’s future in New York and more – The Athletic
    [news.google.com] — Tuesday, February 28, 2023 1:07:27 AM

    Jalen Brunson’s superb season with Knicks, Josh Hart’s future in New York and more  The Athletic

  • Quentin Grimes’ playing time keeps shrinking in new-look Knicks lineup – New York Post
    [news.google.com] — Tuesday, February 28, 2023 12:35:00 AM

    Quentin Grimes’ playing time keeps shrinking in new-look Knicks lineup  New York Post

  • Josh Hart thinks Knicks ‘can make some noise’ in playoffs, but ‘can’t get complacent’ – Yahoo Sports
    [news.google.com] — Tuesday, February 28, 2023 12:34:00 AM

    Josh Hart thinks Knicks ‘can make some noise’ in playoffs, but ‘can’t get complacent’  Yahoo Sports

  • Josh Hart gets brutally honest on Knicks’ 6-0 record since trade with Blazers – ClutchPoints
    [news.google.com] — Tuesday, February 28, 2023 12:33:00 AM

    Josh Hart gets brutally honest on Knicks’ 6-0 record since trade with Blazers  ClutchPoints

  • Celtics’ Jayson Tatum ejected late as Knicks extend winning streak to six – CBS Sports
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 10:47:10 PM

    Celtics’ Jayson Tatum ejected late as Knicks extend winning streak to six  CBS Sports

  • Knicks deliver statement with stifling win over NBA-best Celtics – New York Post
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 10:28:00 PM

    Knicks deliver statement with stifling win over NBA-best Celtics  New York Post

  • N.Y. Knicks 109, Boston 94 | National Sports | recorderonline.com – Porterville Recorder
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 10:27:00 PM

    N.Y. Knicks 109, Boston 94 | National Sports | recorderonline.com  Porterville Recorder

  • Boston Celtics stagnate against New York Knicks, lose 109-94 – Celtics Blog
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 10:04:54 PM

    Boston Celtics stagnate against New York Knicks, lose 109-94  Celtics Blog

  • NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks | Fieldlevel … – Rockdale Newton Citizen
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 8:40:06 PM

    NBA: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks | Fieldlevel …  Rockdale Newton Citizen

  • Knicks Land Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram In Bold Trade Scenario – NBA Analysis Network
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 5:58:18 PM

    Knicks Land Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram In Bold Trade Scenario  NBA Analysis Network

  • Who will be the New York Knicks’ best player in 2 years? – Daily Knicks
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 5:00:00 PM

    Who will be the New York Knicks’ best player in 2 years?  Daily Knicks

  • Why there’s a lot of value on the red-hot Knicks, plus other best bets for Monday – CBS Sports
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 4:17:06 PM

    Why there’s a lot of value on the red-hot Knicks, plus other best bets for Monday  CBS Sports

  • New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics: Preview, odds, picks, player … – AMNY
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 3:57:36 PM

    New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics: Preview, odds, picks, player …  AMNY

  • Stephen A. Smith ‘Begged’ Damian Lillard to Join Knicks – Sports Illustrated
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 3:46:28 PM

    Stephen A. Smith ‘Begged’ Damian Lillard to Join Knicks  Sports Illustrated

  • Is Derrick White playing vs. Knicks? – ClutchPoints
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 2:34:16 PM

    Is Derrick White playing vs. Knicks?  ClutchPoints

  • How close are the Knicks to contending? – Posting and Toasting
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 12:49:41 PM

    How close are the Knicks to contending?  Posting and Toasting

  • NY Jets WR Garrett Wilson takes in a Knicks game at MSG – Jets X-Factor
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 12:34:12 PM

    NY Jets WR Garrett Wilson takes in a Knicks game at MSG  Jets X-Factor

  • Phoenix Suns Derrick Rose buyout market speculation swirls amid report – The Arizona Republic
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 12:23:35 PM

    Phoenix Suns Derrick Rose buyout market speculation swirls amid report  The Arizona RepublicWhy Knicks have little interest in buying out Derrick Rose  Yahoo SportsKnicks fans’ Derrick Rose chants rock MSG so loud Tom Thibodeau had to play him  ClutchPoints

  • Pod Strickland: Episode 274 – The Strickland
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 9:13:50 AM

    Pod Strickland: Episode 274  The Strickland

  • Josh Hart’s latest comments could foreshadow long-term Knicks deal – Daily Knicks
    [news.google.com] — Monday, February 27, 2023 8:00:00 AM

    Josh Hart’s latest comments could foreshadow long-term Knicks deal  Daily Knicks

  • 392 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.02.28)”

    Yes, Brown was out, but Randle and Brunson both had subpar games by their standards, and RJ played like trash other than that one burst in the second. To convincingly beat a team that good, and that deep even sans Brown? That is pret-tay, pret-tay good! Max IQ, max JHart, eject RJ into the sun. Let’s effing go, Knicks!

    Impressive team win against one the best teams in the league (Boston missed Brown, but Breen said they were 10-1 without him before this game).

    The Celtics never got closer than 9 in the second half and while “blown leads PTSD” creeped all night long in truth it was “relatively” easy.

    The 6-games winning streak started with J-Hart’s arrival (maybe it isn’t a concidence?) and our guys, coach included, are definitely rolling, with one sad exception.

    Now at 36-27 we have the 8th best record in the league with a good chance wednesday to grab a stronger grip on the 5th eastern spot against a Nets team that is well within our reach if we keep the right attitude.

    1 Qrt

    Mitch anchored the defense (he had a great block on Tatum’s dunk attempt), Randle (12 points) took care of the offense, IQ gave them energy and covered for Barrett’s awful start. Boston was ice cold (1-12 3FG, 11 consecutive misses after the first hit) and the Knicks’ offense too reliant on iso, with barely a pass here and there, but it was enough to build a promising 12-points lead despite too many errors from the free throw line (6-11).

    2 Qrt
    RJ added a couple of dumb spinning turnovers but the Knicks’ bench stretched the lead to 20 thanks to J-Hart (7) IQ (6) and an active Toppin (4) before the return of the isos (fueled by JB and Randle stubborn no-pass plays) and a suddenly porous defense let the Celtics go on a 12-0 run (all PiP), stopped by Good-Barrett only stretch of the night (see “Plays Of The Game). The Knicks went to the locker room up by 14 with Boston shooting 2-19 3FG.

    3 Qrt
    Awful start for the Knicks with Randle’s two consecutive airballs-3 following a RJ shot that barely grazed the rim and Boston cut the lead to 9 before a timely Thibs’ timeout sparked a 7-0 run, restoring some breathing space. The Celts answered with another 8-00 (in 45 seconds!) , then J-Hart had a couple of great steals and after three the Knicks lead by 13.

    4 Qrt
    Barrett went in a coma again (missed shots, dumb fouls, stupid turnovers) but Obi and Mitch kept the Celtics at bay, then a year-long foul review lulled everyone to sleep until a J-Hart corner dagger made the frustrated Tatum* mad (6-18, 1-9 3FG) and his ejection sealed the end of the game.

    Plays Of The Game

    2nd 2:48 Mitchell Robinson makes alley oop dunk shot (RJ Barrett assists BOS 41 NY 51)
    2nd 2:22 RJ Barrett makes three point jumper (Julius Randle assists BOS 41 NY 54)
    2nd 2:01 RJ Barrett defensive rebound
    2nd 1:50 RJ Barrett makes 3-foot two point shot (BOS 41NY 56)
    2nd 1:50 Robert Williams III shooting foul
    2nd 1:50 RJ Barrett makes free throw 1 of 1 (BOS 41 NY 57)
    2nd 1:13 RJ Barrett makes two point shot (BOS 44 NY 59)

    This is my way of encouraging RJ. A 10-3 run basically all by himself in 95 seconds. Why can’t he do it more often?

    4th 4:14 Jalen Brunson out of bounds lost ball turnover (BOS 91 NY 102)
    4th 4:06 Jayson Tatum misses 26-foot three point pullup jump shot
    4th 4:04 Immanuel Quickley defensive rebound
    4th 3:52 Josh Hart makes three point jumper (Julius Randle assists BOS 91 NY 105)
    4th 3:46 Jayson Tatum technical foul (2nd technical foul)
    4th 3:46 Jayson Tatum ejected

    Tatum missed the last chance to make it a real one, J-Hart hit the dagger, Tatum lose his mind, game over.

    Stats Of The Day

    9-42 (21.4%). Boston’s 3PT performance. Some is luck, some isn’t, defense was stingy tonight.

    23-34 (67.6%). Too. Many. Missed. Fts. This things tend to come back to haunt you at the worst of times so… come on guys!

    Grades:

    Brunson B
    The ASG break disrupted his rhythm (15-45 FG since), tonight he dribbled too much, didn’t pass enough and missed 3 more FTs. And we won nonetheless! He’s such a calming and steady presence that he’s useful even when he has an off night.

    Randle B+
    He set the tone in the 1st qrt, as he often does, then become a little too enamored with the three ball but the energy level was strong and he had a good all around game.

    Robinson A
    Getting him back has been like making another huge trade.
    Yes, he owned RWIII tonight, had his 3rd double-double since his return and played a great game (10, 13, 2 BLK, 2 STL). But he MUST get better at the line or in the playoffs Hack-A-Mitch will become a thing and it will not be pretty.

    Barrett C-
    Basically he played the aforementioned 1:35 in the 2nd, when he showed what the “right” RJ can do, but the other 24 minutes were hideous (1-11, 5 TO) and Thibs sit him for the last 8:45 of the game.
    I think now that it’s all mental, between focus drops and “illusions de grandeur”**. With Randle we’re seeing live what peace of mind and come to terms with himself can do for a player (and a human being) so there’s still a chance. But the kid must awake. Fast.

    Grimes B+
    At one point he finally heard my prayers and start attacking & dishing again (4 AST), he’s still searching the right balance between Glue and invisible but defense’s always there.

    Quickley A
    MVP of the game for me, he squared off against one of the leading candidate for 6MOTY and didn’t flinch. Oustanding performance (23, 7-13 FG, 4 3s, 3 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL).

    Toppin B+
    Freed from the corner for one night he had an impact with his energy and drives. His 3-point shooting is a nice weapon when mixed with posting and slashing.

    Hart A
    After an hesitant start (he had maybe his worst signle play as a Knick in the 1st) went back to work and was instrumental again with his defense, hustle and timely baskets (12, 5-8 FG, 5 REB, 5 AST, 2 STL).

    Hartenstein C-
    His worst game in a while.
    Slower and less mobile than in the last weeks (he went up a bit too soft on Smart’s block, then was slow and traveled on a J-Hart’s nice dish). I’m a bit worried, was it a simply an occasional dud or did his Achilles flare up again?
    He makes too many fouls on rebounds but he’s whistled for things that other players do going unscathed.

    Thibs A
    Brunson hijacked the offense a bit too much tonight but Thibs was perfect, he’s more and more confortable with the rotations and his benching of RJ was well deserved (and long due).

    Breen & Clyde A+
    I want to kudos these “guys” for their incredible job. They’re a treasure, the best broadcasters team in the league and have been for decades. We’re gonna miss them, I hope as late as possible, so we need to cherish every single game they’re on.

    * We can’t complain abot the refs tonight. Boston can. 😀

    ** Even if it’s true that his last bad stretch started with the finger injury.

    God I love this team! So many great moments in the win yesterday!

    I feel like I’ve heard a lot of talk of heliocentric offenses in the NBA. Last night I had the thought that the Knicks are more like a geocentric model: very old school, doesn’t really make sense, the spacing shouldn’t add up, the movement is sometimes stagnant or even retrograde, bodies have gravity even when they have no observable positive contribution to the stat sheet.

    But goddamn it do we believe in it…

    Between Brogdon and White there isn’t much of a drop-off without Brown.

    Brunson finally cooled down. I can’t remember his last bad game before we played the Wizards, and even then he had 9ast to 1 TO that game.

    The closing unit of Brunson/IQ/Hart/Randle/Mitch might be one of the best in the league (somehow). By EPM & RAPTOR, those are our 5 best players. It’s nice when things work that way.

    I’m proud. Not proud because we won, but proud because of HOW we won.

    I can’t remember the Knicks having a defensive strategy like this actually work since the JVG area. Tatum was the only big threat, so Thibs schemed him out of the game. Normally, this does not work so well for us as the big guns in the league still go off against us. But not last night. What this means is we have a way to seriously bother your best player. Remember when JVG was coach? Every time he schemed to make Mike inefficient and it was executed- we beat the Bulls. Doesn’t mean we are contenders, but it does mean that’s another tool to build with. And we’re developing that ability right as we’re getting into a good groove. We might just make it out of round 1 of the playoffs- hopefully everyone stays healthy so we might see it.

    There seems to be this weird thing going on where some people think that when the Knicks play well it means all previous criticisms of the front office were unfounded.

    Since the vibes are great – thanks to the players – I will simply say I find that logic to be unsound.

    Anyway, this team is marginally better than I predicted at the start of the season and I am enjoying the fuck out of it.

    I see the excess performance as attributable to three factors: Brunson outperforming my wildest dreams, Quickley being much better than I realized, and Leon using a first round pick to make an in-season upgrage.

    I was watching it out of the corner of my eye and I felt like every time I looked up RJ was doing something awful.

    He had a sequence in the first half where he drove into the teeth of the defense and got absolutely swallowed. There was a half transition the other way and he played some of the worst defense I have ever seen after they settled the ball. I actually looked for a clip on Twitter to see if I could figure out what he was doing and if it made more sense in slo-mo.

    I saw this clip instead which was also a doozy. This kind of live ball turnover should never happen. Move the ball. This is a force.

    https://twitter.com/edemirnba/status/1630478366045249536?s=46&t=1sEoZV537q559rDp2BD2fA

    The good thing is I am no longer annoyed by RJ. He will improves or gets benched. It’s quite binary. IQ and Hart are both 1000x better and we all can see Thibs understands that.

    RJ definitely has had one of the longest leashes I can remember in the NBA. There is coddling and then there is this.

    Also enjoying this a great deal. Doing this to the Celtics, having them whine later. It’s sweet.

    I can’t remember the Knicks having a defensive strategy like this actually work since the JVG area.

    I seem to remember JVG had an assistant coach on his staff who went on to be a pretty good head coach in his own right. What was his name again? 🙂

    A key moment in the game was with about 6 minutes left and the Knicks up 10. Sam Hauser (who looks so much like Gordon Hayward it’s crazy) missed a wide open 3 from the corner that would have cut it to 7.

    If he had made it, Thibs calls timeout and there would be some very nervous Knicks fans.

    One of those nights for the Celtics where nothing was falling, but hey, better them than us!

    It’s weird. If you only look at what a FO does wrong you end up with an inaccurate opinion of the FO.

    Even though Katz and others have referred to JHart as the Thibsiest player ever, it’s still amazing just how perfectly he fits onto this roster.

    1. He brings at least as much defensive intensity as Deuce, if not more, but with the benefit of being taller (and thus much more switchable), a great rebounder, and a non-zero on offense.

    2. His energy is infectious, both in terms of ball movement and pace, and in terms of the other guys clearly hustling more when they play with him.

    3. He has finally given Thibs a reason to just sit RJ when RJ is playing terribly, which unfortunately is most of the time. Hart, IQ, and Grimes are all substantially better than RJ right at this moment, and it’s just easier to have that extra guy who can play on the wing and basically never take anything off the table.

    Love him. All signs point to him sticking around, and I’m more than happy giving up what looks like a pick in the 20s for a guy we so desperately needed.

    If this winning trend continues the Knicks are going to establish themselves as a top tier team by the end of the regular season. Top-tier being something like: top 7 in record, 3+ SRS (currently at 2.97–next highest after is the Kings at 1.98), 5+% chance to win a championship by RAPTOR (we’re only at 1% via 538’s player based rankings but at 5% and a top 5 rating via their ELO rankings…)

    The only teams that appear clearly better to me are the Milwaukee, Boston, Denver, and Memphis, with Philly being somewhat better than us but a bit inconsistent and Cleveland being somewhat better but a good matchup for us on paper.

    Definitely a bit of a lucky win, but if the Celtics make an averagish number of 3s it’s still a game we can win, and being good enough to play with one of the best teams in the NBA isn’t a problem.

    Except, Early Bird, my opinion of the FO is and always has been accurate: they make a lot of mistakes, and those mistakes have limited our upside. Nothing this season has rendered that opinion wrong.

    When players outperform, they can overcome other people’s mistakes. Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, Mitchell Robinson, and Immanuel Quickley are all outperforming reasonable expectations. And for now, that is enough to overcome both RJ Barrett’s foul play and the litany of front office mistakes that cost us a better supporting cast.

    being good enough to play with one of the best teams in the NBA isn’t a problem.

    Absolutely. And a big difference to me is how I would feel this morning even if we had lost this game. D-Mar astutely points out above that it could have gone sideways easily. But I would still be bullish on IQ’s play, Mitch’s play, the Hart acquisition. Yes, I would be nervous about RJ (as we all rightly mention), but seeing Thibs reel in his leash would be a plus. Finally, the youth, potential, and lock-step-gritty-style-buy-in on our current roster 1-15 would keep me an optimist. I haven’t seen it in years (decades?).

    Well, one would certainly *hope* that Josh Hart improved the near-term team/roster, given that they traded a first-round draft pick for him. If they traded a first round draft pick for him and he *didn’t* improve the near-term team, that would be complete abject incompetence.

    The FO has traded out of several first rounds in exchange for an immediate upgrade, essentially trading the chance for a much higher ceiling but realized later, for a lower-ceiling, lower risk situation vesting immediately. That strategy is available to every team in the association; the vast majority of them, other than clear contenders, eschew it. The Knicks aren’t a contender picking up that last piece for a deep playoff run. They’re a non-contender.

    Were those upgrades enough? Depends on your standard. Mine’s higher than “making the playoffs” or even “winning one playoff series.” We know Tom Thibodeau is good at getting certain types of players to win at the higher end of the reasonable expected range. The question though is: What’s the ultimate point of that?

    Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, Mitchell Robinson, and Immanuel Quickley are all outperforming reasonable expectations.

    Julius definitely is. MItch is playing like Mitch, he’s been gradually getting better on defense his entire career. Brunson is performing like he’s getting paid to perform. IQ is playing better this year than last year, but he’s 23. We have a bunch of promising young guys. It’s not unreasonable to think one of them (at least) will significantly improve, and IQ was a good player last year.

    Speaking of Mitch, if you can find it watch the long highlight of his block on Tatum. Mitch has obviously always been a good shot blocker, but the way he reads that play as it develops and gets in the right position to make that block is something he never would have done 3 years ago.

    “There seems to be this weird thing going on where some people think that when the Knicks play well it means all previous criticisms of the front office were unfounded.”

    Nah, just the extreme hot takes, and the condescending smug tone in which they were made. Most everyone here agreed on whether moves were sound or unsound. Most everyone agreed on Leon and Thibs having flaws and blind spots. However, some used extreme and derisive language to decry the FO, the head coach, the draft day decisions, the (there isn’t a) plan, etc., and divided the board into two camps:Team Realist vs. Team Pollyannna (later refined to Team Patience to Team We’ve Seen Enough.)

    I don’t want to evoke a flame war here, but it would be greatly appreciated if folks didn’t sugarcoat their prior posting when the premises don’t hold up over time.

    Were those upgrades enough? Depends on your standard

    I was a vocal critic of the trade, and even by my stringent standard the upgrade is beyond enough. Other than OG or Mikal Bridges (neither of whom were attainable) there probably wasn’t a better upgrade to be made in the trade market. So kudos to Leon and the FO for identifying the perfect piece and getting it done. The 2023 Knicks are massively better off for it.

    My criticism of the trade, though, wasn’t about 2023. I was – and still am – concerned that this is going to be Derrick Rose 2.0, i.e. two months of great regular season basketball for a team that fizzles out in the playoffs, followed by a contract extension that we come to regret when the new car smell wears off and he’s reverted to a lesser version of himself. Not to mention the decent possibility that a player drafted in the middle of the first round could reasonably be expected to perform better than him from 2024 to 2027.

    We got a long way to go before the buzzer sounds on that one. It’s way too early to pull the starters.

    Brunson is performing like he’s getting paid to perform.

    Yeah, no.

    He’s performing like Deron Williams back when he was a supermax player who made the Redeem Team.

    It’s weird how you’re willing to wait for that pick, but not for any of the other picks acquired by the FO.

    And the pick is currently slotted to go 23rd, which isn’t really the middle of the first round.

    It’s really too bad that it’s quite possible 4 of the top 5 teams in the NBA are in the East. We could easily be one of the 7 or so best teams in the NBA and still lose in the first round without it being a disappointment. I mean, Cleveland is who a lot of people are hoping to face and they have the #1 SRS in the NBA! Very different situation than 2020-2021.

    For some reason during the Hart debate, it was considered off limits to point out that literally last season he was so obviously worth a lottery protected first no one would’ve batted an eye about such a trade. Obviously *this level* of play is unsustainable, but we may have just bought low on a very good player. We’ve done it before with Randle and Brunson. Agree with everyone pointing out the ancillary benefit of declaring the era of impunity for RJ Barrett officially over.

    What more is there to say about Quickley? He’s almost the RJ Barrett we were promised. Elite defense, the ability to score at mid-to-high usage on good efficiency, make plays for others, and sometimes get molten hot? Dude is a stud. Thank god we didn’t trade this guy for a protected first.

    this team sort of reminds me of the twolves squad thibs used to helm… no it’s not EXACTLY the same… but it’s headed up by two pretty good players that are lifting up the offense essentially by themselves… a young rage inducing high usage player… and a mix of youth and vets scattered along the roster… they even both share the corpse of derrick rose…

    they’re a little bit better offensively and we’re better defensively but at least on the offensive side of the ball it’s a very much a similar strategy…. a lot of isos and attacking the basket… and through that get low to’s and high free throws… basically all of our high usage guys get to the line well….

    we don’t shoot 3s well which is another thing we share with that twolves squad… that’s sort of why Lavine kindofsortof makes sense as he fits a need but there’s plenty of time to stew over that…. but i do think Fournier should get another shot since come playoff time his 3pt shooting will most likely be needed…

    However, some used extreme and derisive language to decry the head coach,

    Remind me, was it me or Z-Man who spent the first quarter of the season putting Thibs on the hot seat and reminding people over and over that he never wanted him to coach the Knicks in the first place?

    I’ve actually not been critical of Thibs at all this season other than on his treatment of Barrett.

    I’ve been very critical of Leon. Leon’s made a lot of mistakes. I also said that there’s still a path forward for this team if he can find it. My confidence him being able to find it was less than 2% at the start of the season. It’s up to about 20% now, which is very low but not impossible.

    “Definitely a bit of a lucky win, but if the Celtics make an averagish number of 3s it’s still a game we can win, and being good enough to play with one of the best teams in the NBA isn’t a problem.”

    I don’t think there was anything inherently lucky about this win. We played one of the most cohesive teams in the NBA who had the equivalent of a 67-15 record without Jaylen Brown in a game that they needed to stay in first place. I mean, should we boil every win against a good team to “Well, they missed a lot of makeable shots so we were lucky!”?

    I prefer to see it as “Every time they made a run, Thibs called a timeout, made adjustments, and afterwards the Knicks responded with a run to get back to a double-digit lead, like good teams do all the time. They made big plays on both ends in critical moments.”

    There was nothing lucky about this win. We wanted it more and out-executed an excellent team.

    I think there’s is a fundamental misunderstanding of why people are actually optimistic about this team that I see every time this discussion comes up.

    My personal standard, as everyone here knows, is that I want the steps taken to be focused on building a contender, sooner or later. We’ve discussed this ad nauseum and there’s plenty of ways to do it, and this front office has been committed from day one to one of them: building slowly through getting better, developing some select young players and positioning itself for a trade for a star. That’s the plan.

    So I’ll grade this front office on what it has proposed to do, not on what I, in a vacuum, would have chosen, and inside the parameters of this specific strategy, it has been a success.

    The stats are there, as many have said lately, the defense is getting there, and the offense is there (even though I’m less confident than many about this come playoff time). Is this team a contender right now? I think we can all agree the answer is no. But if this is the strategy the front office has chosen to follow and we grade them through that lens, the results are good and there’s plenty of room for improvement to take the next steps.

    I just don’t see the point of complaining so much about a team that is actually good and is statistically good too. This team is not good in the way we’ve seen recent Knicks teams, where things clearly looked flukey or unsustainable to anyone without rose colored glasses. It is just good, no caveats necessary.

    I don’t see the point of saying stuff like “we’re playing well because players are outperforming expectations”, like wow, so you’re telling me if players play better than expected and improve the team gets better as a result???

    I would understand the argument if the numbers didn’t support the case for this being a good team, or if those recent wins were flukey wins against banged up teams, or one score high variance games that were decided by a lucky shot here or there. This is not the case.

    “It’s weird. If you only look at what a FO does wrong you end up with an inaccurate opinion of the FO.”

    There are no certainties in the NBA. There’s an element of randomness to it all, especially when it comes to injuries.

    Managements are making educated guesses about how much a player contributes to winning, how much a young player will develop, whether a player will fit & handle their role, what the correct value is to place on a pick relative to a player they are considering trading for and so on.

    What you should expect is a mix of successes and failures, but if management is good, over time there will be more successes than failures and the biggest successes will be bigger than biggest failures.

    “Remind me, was it me or Z-Man who spent the first quarter of the season putting Thibs on the hot seat and reminding people over and over that he never wanted him to coach the Knicks in the first place?”

    See, this is exactly what I mean. I never, ever lost patience with either Thibs or the FO, and Hubert knows it. I simply told it like it was…Thibs was indeed in trouble, and everyone with a brain in his/her/their head knew it at the time.

    And what did Thibs do? He went to a 9-man rotation, benching 2 players everyone assumed would be in the rotation and another that some here thought deserved minutes even though it was obvious that he sucked.

    And what did the FO do? They avoided making colossally shortsighted trades at the deadline, including some being proposed by some here, and brought a low-cost piece in that perfectly complemented the team chemistry. Some offered extreme hot takes at that time too….and those aren’t aging particularly well either.

    “Thank god we didn’t trade this guy for a protected first.”

    I have my moments where I lose it, but talk of trading Quick for some BS protected 1st because he got off to slow start shooting from 3 had me in meltdown mode. It was so obvious even at that stage he was one of the best two way players on the team, I would have really lost it. And it wasn’t any kind of secret. That’s why teams were calling us asking about him. They were hoping we were dumb enough to trade him because of a slow start from 3.

    3 point shooting is obviously very volatile.

    Same with Josh Hart. It was obvious he was going to shoot way better than he had for Portland this year. It was just noise (same as his super hot streak now).

    I don’t want to evoke a flame war here, but it would be greatly appreciated if folks didn’t sugarcoat their prior posting when the premises don’t hold up over time.

    dude you do this all the time…. you instigate and you sugarcoat what you posted before… you just called a whole group of posters ‘wet blankets’ for simply giving criticism of your beloved front office and you don’t expect people to respond to that?

    why do you think there’s so much hostility with you around? it’s insufferable….

    I don’t see the point of saying stuff like “we’re playing well because players are outperforming expectations”, like wow, so you’re telling me if players play better than expected and improve the team gets better as a result???

    It’s only because we’re having a discussion about attribution and sustainability in response to an abundance of wildly premature victory laps. Outside the Leon context, you’re right, none of this stuff matters. And the team is indeed very good.

    Brunson has played like a borderline all-star and we’re paying him like that. Not sure why it’s relevant that Deron Williams was hugely overpaid at one point.

    My take has always been that Thibs was not the right coach for a rebuilding team, and that at the moment he was hired, we were committed to the “win now while rebuilding” route. It is not the route I could have chose, but not the plan-less dead end strategy that many made it out to be, either.

    Even though I never bought into the Scott Skiles syndrome that others were evoking about Thibs, I admit to being pleasantly surprised that Thibs has gotten THIS level of buy-in from the team. And I agree that he doesn’t deserve all the credit for that. Johnny Bryant’s influence on Julius Randle over the summer was huge. Leon’s outmaneuvering of Cuban, including the tampering and hiring of Rick Brunson to acquire the “perfect” PG at minimal cost was huge. Unintentionally whiffing on Spida was huge.

    But that kind of shit happens even to the best FOs. Between great moves, Riley has both fucked up and gotten lucky. Same with Ujiri. Same with Ainge. Same with Morey.

    I have my moments where I lose it, but talk of trading Quick for some BS protected 1st because he got off to slow start shooting from 3 had me in meltdown mode.

    I argued the other side, i.e. in favor of trading him, and I was flat out wrong. In fact I even said I doubted we could get a first for IQ. I should have known that one was going to age badly as soon as ptmilo chimed in and said “I think you’re wrong about that.”

    Bottom line is, we are in a much better position than Team We’ve Seen Enough expected. Ever since the rotation change, we are on a 53 win pace. TNFH modified his opinion to suggest that we are now only one player away from being a contender, and we have plenty of assets to acquire that one player.

    And if last night’s game showed us anything, it’s that if you take that one player away from the Celts, we are competitive with them as is. Give them back Brown and give us the equivalent of PG13, or Butler, or Kawhi…and I like our chances.

    “Leon isn’t good, just the players Leon acquired are good” is definitely a take

    an abundance of wildly premature victory laps.

    No one is taking a victory lap. Even the most Pollyanna among us (me?) knows we haven’t won anything (yet).

    Bruno has it above. We are in a good place, riding a winning streak, playing unselfish basketball, and the coach is (finally?) doing (most of) what we’ve all been pining for him to do. Attention is allowed to be paid.

    If the Knicks make the playoffs and get knocked out in the 1st round by a team with similar or more talent, it’s not going to change my mind about anything at all. And it shouldn’t change anyone’s mind unless you just enjoy whining.

    This team made a lot of progress this year.

    We added a very good starting PG, got Randle back on track, added a good young backup C, added a low usage efficient wing that adds wins with hustle plays, got good development and further maturity out of Mitch and Quick, and have other young players that are inching forward. A tough playoff battle will add to the maturity and experience level of just about every player on this team and make them better.

    So you take that, go into the off season looking to develop younger players further and try to make more moves that will move us further forward again next year. Maye the goal for next year should be 50 wins.

    “I never, ever lost patience with either Thibs or the FO, and Hubert knows it.”

    No, you said explicitly you never wanted Thibs to begin with.

    “why do you think there’s so much hostility with you around? it’s insufferable….”

    Nah, there’s hostility around here because certain posters go ballistic whenever the FO commits a minor quibble….like drafting IQ at 25 when he (in the opinion of some) should have gone undrafted. Or trading out of #19 because we could have had the great Keon Johnson rotting on the bench, or Bones Hyland turning a #19 pick into two second rounders. .

    My basketball opinions are basically the exact same as TNFH’s. Often I will come here to post something to find that Noble has already said it. We both made the argument before this season that a return to playoff basketball for the Knicks would need to involve either a breakout from RJ or a return to form for Randle, both of which seemed possible but unlikely. Well, the unlikely happened, and Randle is having an even BETTER year than his career year.

    Leon’s approach to the draft is still inscrutable to me, but the Hart trade suggests to me that he might actually be getting better at his job. It’s maybe the first time I’ve seen him make a creative move that solved actual basketball problems in a way that considered team needs and the tendencies of the coach.

    Obviously we’re going to need Randle to keep playing great to maintain our position, and he’s a wildly up and down player. Fingers crossed that he keeps playing like an All-Star for a while. If he does, we’re in good shape because everything else seems completely sustainable with room to grow.

    “Even though I never bought into the Scott Skiles syndrome that others were evoking about Thibs, I admit to being pleasantly surprised that Thibs has gotten THIS level of buy-in from the team.”

    That’s because he can only get buy-in from certain types of players. He never got buy-in from KAT, he never got it from Evan Fournier, he never got buy-in from any number of examples over the years.

    If you can only get buy-in from certain types of guys, it puts an inherent ceiling on the enterprise of “short of contention.” That’s where he’s been his entire career. It’s where he is now, too. He is, as I’ve said from Day One, able to get buy-in and manage his roster to the higher level of a non-contending win range. He’s doing that again this year, too. He did it two years ago.

    That’s the inherent trade-off with Thibs — lower ceiling for higher floor. (*) I haven’t seen a single shred of evidence that he even cares about ceiling and nothing about his career would tell you he does.

    (*) And then of course various segments of the fanbase and media get all excited over the raised floor and go “See, told ya so!!.” I never have and never will. I’m a ceiling guy.

    “I argued the other side, i.e. in favor of trading him, and I was flat out wrong. In fact I even said I doubted we could get a first for IQ. I should have known that one was going to age badly as soon as ptmilo chimed in and said “I think you’re wrong about that.””

    I’m not going to pick on you because we all get some wrong. It’s hard to project development. I’m on record with strong opinions that were wrong when it comes to projecting development.

    I will say that I think some people here have a problem with recency bias.

    There are certain aspects of the game that are the result of role, fit, injuries, layoffs, and just plain randomness like shooting 3s.

    I think you have to look at a players overall record, understand his full story, and then also weigh in possible improvement or decline before you get too high or low on anyone.

    “No, you said explicitly you never wanted Thibs to begin with.”

    Because like you, I would have preferred a total down-to-the-studs rebuild.

    But unlike you, I didn’t go on a 3-year long diatribe about it, nor did I conclude that he was a bad coach, or that the team would never be good with him at the helm. Nor did I refer to him, or Leon, or Randle in the most extremely negative ways that a person could describe another person. Nor did I disappear from this board when the team was doing well, then go on smug posting binges when they were struggling. Nor did I make creative uses of the term Purgatory an art form.

    What are we arguing about? The team is good and we can all enjoy the rest of the season if the current trajectory holds. The FO did a good thing with Hart given where the team was. The fact we have Derrick Rose and Evan Fournier using so much cap isn’t great. But I think we all have more confidence in the FO than we used to. Which is good.

    Apropos of nothing, my buddy is a season ticket holder and he was at the Garden over the weekend early for something. He says Fournier was there early too and was only guy on court for an hour practicing his shooting. Said he basically never missed. Nice thing to hear about a guy who has effectively been a doorstop this year.

    He never got buy-in from KAT, he never got it from Evan Fournier, he never got buy-in from any number of examples over the years.

    What evidence that you have that he didn’t get “buy in” from Fournier?

    Fournier is just a bad defender. Full stop. He can “buy in” all he wants and he’s still not going to be that good on that end of the floor. But Fournier has been the utmost professional since his demotion to the bench.

    If he wasn’t “buying in” he would most likely be grumbling to the media about not playing. In fact, the last time Fournier played, he went off for 17 points off the bench and afterwards had nothing but positive things to say about the team and Thibs and was super gracious about getting to play and repeated about “staying ready.”

    So your example of Fournier is bullshit.

    Between great moves, Riley has both fucked up and gotten lucky. Same with Ujiri. Same with Ainge. Same with Morey.

    Yeah, exactly. Between great moves.

    Prior to Jalen Brunson, Leon mostly had fuck ups. So we talked about them. Well, we tried to, anyway, when Leon’s own personal RuRu allowed us to.

    Now Leon has one great move. One. And because of that, I think he’s earned a reprieve for his previous mistakes and a fairly long leash to make more moves.

    The thing is, though, it was demanded we give him that before he earned it. This great stretch of play is not a vindication of the endless belligerence that preceded it. It is just a really, really good stretch of basketball by a really fun team that we should all try to enjoy without inserting our egocentric arguments.

    “But unlike you, I didn’t go on a 3-year long diatribe about it, nor did I conclude that he was a bad coach, or that the team would never be good with him at the helm. Nor did I refer to him, or Leon, or Randle in the most extremely negative ways that a person could describe another person. Nor did I disappear from this board when the team was doing well, then go on smug posting binges when they were struggling. Nor did I make creative uses of the term Purgatory an art form.”

    Yeah, but that’s just a stylistic difference. Shouldn’t cause much agitation, particularly if you’re on board with the underlying premise.

    Nah, there’s hostility around here because certain posters go ballistic whenever the FO commits a minor quibble….like drafting IQ at 25 when he (in the opinion of some) should have gone undrafted. Or trading out of #19 because we could have had the great Keon Johnson rotting on the bench, or Bones Hyland turning a #19 pick into two second rounders. .

    so having an opinion on a basketball matter justifies generating hostility to you? that’s what makes your blood boil? and this is still a mystery to you why so many people can’t stand you?

    like why? mostly everyone here can disagree on an opinion yet someone’s opinion on a totally benign subject like front office strategy gets your blood to boil to call people names unprompted?

    you’re always the common denominator… and what i just quoted is the reason why…. you will never realize it because you’re too busy patting yourself on the back ….

    “This is just a really, really good stretch of basketball by a really fun team that we should all try to enjoy without inserting our egocentric arguments.”

    Thibs has his guys and they’ve found their groove much like two years ago and everyone has said it and yet there are still the victory laps. Then when the victory laps are pushed back on it’s “Why can’t you just enjoy it and not ruin it???,” then rinse and repeat.

    And they have in fact sacrificed future and upside for immediate gratification. Was it worth it? We’ll see. Probably not, but I’m open-minded about it.

    “Leon isn’t good, just the players Leon acquired are good” is definitely a take

    So is watching Michael Jordan hit his last shot over Russell and saying “damn that Jerry Krause is something, ain’t he?”

    +1 to what Swift said about E4. If anything Fournier seems the current epitome of selflessly buying into the “culture change” that Leon promised. And yeah yeah yeah everyone promises a culture change when they take over, but all these Knicks def want to be Knicks. That’s saying something.

    Thibs has got nothing but shit play out of Fournier, who’s fallen off a cliff since becoming a Knickerbocker. There’s no serious sense in which Evan has “bought in.” Let’s not confuse “being a team guy and an under-contract mature professional rather than a dick” with “buy in.”

    Some good clips of RJ and IQ attacking Hauser last night.

    https://twitter.com/APachecoNBA/status/1630603912536367106

    RJ is just baffling. I think this guy has more layups rim out than anyone in the NBA.

    But you don’t need to watch more than a handful of possessions from these guys to know who the better player is.

    I think I would trade a first round pick right now if that’s what we needed to do to have space to pay IQ. Which is insane but I love him so much.

    Well, the unlikely happened, and Randle is having an even BETTER year than his career year.

    this is a pretty onpoint that i just wanted to highlight before we start rewriting history on the brilliance of Leon Rose…

    all of this that we’re enjoying right now really hinges on Julius Randle…. that’s pretty much the same as two years ago only we have a more sustainable/better version of Rose…

    and before anyone starts taking passive aggressive victory laps… you should ask yourself where this team would be if Randle was anything less than he has been…. maybe he’s not as worse as last year but 2-3bpm version of Randle which is something we might get going forward… maybe the results look a lot different….

    the conversation really should be that we’ve been a product of good fortune… some of that isn’t of course… but whatever acumen this front office has will be argued for a long while because generally most of this gets sorted over the long run anyway….

    They have Bird rights on Quickley so nothing need be traded. The only reason the idea of trading him even came up a couple months ago is because Leon’s trying to sell the writers on his silly notion that teams will be more conned by a draft pick they can dream and fantasize about, rather than a good player, and thus his “two star” “strategy” will be more easily realized.

    To their … detriment … several writers bought it, Fred Katz being one. But it’s still nonsense.

    The fun thing about RJ Barrett is that his wild standard deviation makes almost anything possible this year. Not likely, but possible.

    Like I could totally see RJ having 2-3 monster RJ games this spring. That would be huge!

    It kind of reminds me – and don’t kill me, please, bc I know the advanced stats are wildly different – of Marcus Camby in 1999.

    Marcus had that one game – Game 5 in Indiana – where he was the best version of himself. It was totally unexpected and we were unstoppable that night. RJ can do that, I think.

    as big audio dynamite once said…”annnnd the horses are on the track…track….track”….this thread today was as predictable as a tom thibodeau in bounds play in the last minute of the game…

    let’s move on to possible playoff pairings and who we’re going to sweep in the first round…

    I think there’s meaningful evidence that Thibs has either personally evolved or is taking good advice/mandates from the front office.

    1) We have a fairly Morey-fied shot chart despite not having Morey friendly personnel–66% of our shots are at the rim or 3s.

    2) We don’t have anyone in the top-10 in minutes per game (this one shocked me, Randle is 15th)

    3) There is a pretty good correlation between the players who play the most and the players who are good, with the major exception of RJ Barrett which now seems to be being addressed (I also suspect, admittedly with no evidence, that the front office was understandably pressuring Thibs to stick with RJ in the first place–would make sense from an asset management perspective)

    To be sure he still does some things that confuse and infuriate me. There’s no reason all of our good players need to be left in games that have clearly been decided. Forget load management, which is an inexact science. Anyone can tear an ACL going for a random rebound at any time.

    I also find myself baffled by what seems to be our defensive scheme at times. Maybe all fans of all teams feel this way, but it definitely seems like we leave more shooters open than other good teams.

    Overall though, I’m fine with the job Thibs is doing. Players, both on the roster and off of it, speak highly of him. Lord knows we needed some damn credibility before he was here, and I think it’s safe to say he was at least part of establishing a culture that seems unambiguously better than what preceded it. Crucial players have made key improvements with him as the coach (obviously there are all kinds of attribution questions there).

    He might not be able to take us all the way, but I don’t think that’s something to worry about until we have a roster than can plausibly go all the way with a legitimately great coach.

    I definitely don’t have a strongly negative opinion of him at this point, and he’s done some things well.

    Prior to Jalen Brunson, Leon mostly had fuck ups.

    Let’s see – Draft IQ – total fuck up of a move. Everyone knows Leon should have risked picking him later even though it was already the 25th pick because he might have been able to squeeze out an extra 2 percent value for a pick! And since IQ wasn’t mocked to go 25th, it was a HORRIBLE pick even though IQ is now probably our best young player on the team.

    Mitch -resigned to a descending, team friendly contract. HORRIBLE MISTAKE! He risked losing him for nothing even though he didn’t lose him for nothing. But he could have!

    Randle – resigned to a team friendly deal. ABSOLUTELY ATROCIOUS MISTAKE! Last year Randle was bad. NO ONE WILL EVER FORGET THAT. The past is way more important than the present.

    Grimes – WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE PICK. Can’t really say why but it is. I mean couldn’t Leon traded that pick back one spot to pick up an extra late 2nd rounder in 2045 and still drafted GRIMES?

    SIMS – what a stupid pick. Everyone knows you can pick up bigs like him undrafted from the Australian league. What a waste of a second rounder.

    I’d like to focus on the Hart trade more simply because I feel, like JK47 stated, that it’s a significant step up from the front office.

    Last season we did almost the exact same move, but for a guy who really did not fit the squad, or the coach, in any way. They were swindled by the idea of Cam Reddish’s high school prowess and felt it could be a good idea to “buy low” on him, and it failed almost immediately.

    I hated the Reddish move right away because he was a terrible player, not necessarily because of the cost. By making essentially the same move for Josh Hart they’ve shown me they can actually understand the type of player Thibs values and impact the areas the team needed improvement on.

    I’ve said it before, I don’t care much about the moves in a vacuum, I care that the front office has a consistent approach and targets actual productive basketball players. Reddish is not one of them, Josh Hart certainly is. I felt the same way about bringing Brunson, I didn’t care much if it was an overpay or not at the time because he’s simply a good player, the same goes for Hartenstein in a way. The strategy they are employing means sometimes they’ll need to overpay for players, instead of getting cost controlled production for essentially “free” in the draft, but if that’s the case, I’m fine with “overpaying” actual productive players.

    Speaking of Mitch, if you can find it watch the long highlight of his block on Tatum. Mitch has obviously always been a good shot blocker, but the way he reads that play as it develops and gets in the right position to make that block is something he never would have done 3 years ago.

    i agree and i think it also applies to the key q4 brogdon block. the initial move was right and mitch easily could have relaxed but he stayed tuned in and when brogdon went behind his back he was just patient enough to avoid making rwil and easy lob target before pouncing. much more of an wise old man block than a tarantula rookie mitch block.

    https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2023/02/27/0022200921/521/9464df3e-1ada-0a5f-a88e-bac9724d8184_960x540.mp4

    I believe Tom Thibodeau has clearly underperformed in the playoffs because he squeezes advantages out of his “preferences” (*) that disappear when the other teams are locked in on strategizing for just his teams in a multi-game series where the games repeat. I believe that happened two years ago, and I believe there’s ample evidence that this happens and very little that it does not. His lifetime playoff winning percentage is .410.

    I further believe that when and if he ponders this in the times of basketball repose, his mind turns not toward getting more talented players to get himself out of his conundrum, but instead toward simply executing his “preferences” even more diligently and making sure the players he has are “his type.”

    I believe that, unfortunately, there’s a good chance this will happen again this spring, though the presence of Jalen Brunson is a decent place for optimism that they can be transcended. Julius Randle is, of course, still on playoff probation and rightly so. One more spring like the spring of 2021 and he becomes useless and pointless. But he may have a good or even really good spring; that’s why they play the games.

    And we’ll see about Thibs more generally this spring — also why they play the games.

    (*) Rim protection, “playing hard,” etc, etc. We all know them by now.

    I think Thibs has done a really good job this year, and that he has mostly been the coach we’d all like him to be. As Noble said, the good players are getting minutes, the lineups make a lot of sense, nobody is playing an absurdly high minutes load. He’s getting the most out of the roster. You could maybe argue that some of the back of roster guys like Fournier should be getting spot minutes but that is a minuscule squabble. The offense is modern and not antiquated, and is somehow one of the better offenses in the league despite a lack of great shooting.

    I swear I’m a real person and not Noble’s sock puppet.

    “Grimes – WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE PICK.”

    Grimes is completely overrated around here. Don’t shoot the messenger. Is what it is. (Nor is this any kind of comment about how “fun” he is.)

    as big audio dynamite once said…”annnnd the horses are on the track…track….track”….this thread today was as predictable as a tom thibodeau in bounds play in the last minute of the game…

    I feel you, Pepper, and I’m sorry.

    E and djphan, I love you guys. But fellas, we’re not a gang. We can’t all talk on the same day, it’s dark and overbearing. So I’m going to dish out assignments:

    E, we all know your favorite day to talk is the day after the Knicks lose. That’s all you.

    I, strangely, like to insert my brand of cautious optimism (this is what my PR people told me to call it) when the Knicks are doing great. So I get days like today. But you guys can’t join in.

    djphan, the rest is yours.

    I do care if productive but low-ceiling players are targeted in lieu of first round draft picks in order to achieve short-term small deltas to the roster. The only exception being when a team is a true contender and tweaking things for a legitimate run at a chip.

    The vast majority of front offices agree.

    The weird thing about Thibs’s defense is that we seem to leave a lot of guys wide open but have had one of the best 3p% defenses each of the last 3 years. The defense is doing something very right despite what the eye test says.

    Just for the record, Josh Hart is obviously a much better all around player than Cam Reddish. That’s why we gave up a pick as part of the deal. But Cam is starting for the Trailblazers and so far he’s averaging 17.3 per 36 with a TS% of .620%, .a 3p% of .367, and and on/off of +4.1.

    In other words, he was outplaying RJ Barret on both sides for a stretch in NY and he’s still outplaying him Portland – which is what I was whining about when he was in the doghouse and RJ was stinking the place out.

    Reddish is what he is. He’s still a negative player overall with questionable desire and a suspect basketball IQ. He also has to broaden his game. But he’s 23 and has gotten better every year despite constant injuries that slowed his development. He may eventually bust out because, well, he’s Cam Reddish. 🙂 However, IMO, he’s STILL a more talented prospect than RJ.

    The only mistake was trading for him when Thibs didn’t want him.

    I think Thibs has done a really good job this year, and that he has mostly been the coach we’d all like him to be.

    I agree. He plugged holes when the ship was taking on water and he bought this team time for the pieces to come together. It’s the best coaching performance we’ve seen here since Woodson’s great year. Maybe even the best since Riley left.

    I am utterly inept musically and always have been. No one will confuse you for being my sock puppet JK.

    E, correct me if I’m wrong it seems like you’re saying the team has made talent sacrifices in order to have a roster that Thibs likes. That would certainly be a problem if it were true.

    What’s the evidence for it, though? You used to point to Cam Reddish’s banishing, but 29 teams could’ve had him for a second-round pick and there were no takers. If anything, it was Thibs who showed our front office the light on this front.

    I think you have some priors that are leading you to see things that are not there. Leon Rose seems to be trying to acquire good players at advantageous prices like every other GM. I have my well-known qualms with the way he’s gone about that in certain contexts, but regardless I see no reason to believe we’re passing on good players because Thibs doesn’t like them.

    Overall we’re not really a great defensive team though. We don’t generate a lot of ball pressure and we rely on Mitch to play a ton of help defense, which I believe hurts our defensive rebounding, which is poor.

    Not a slight on Thibs, it’s more of a reflection of our personnel. We just don’t have a lot of guys who can pressure ball handlers and create havoc in passing lanes. Watching Josh Hart for like five minutes is a stark reminder of how lacking we are in that kind of defender.

    The good news is that the closing lineup features our two best and most disruptive wing defenders.

    “Cam is starting for the Trailblazers and so far he’s averaging 17.3 per 36 with a TS% of .620%, .a 3p% of .367, and and on/off of +4.1.”

    Been a glorious 48 field goal attempts

    “Grimes is completely overrated around here. Don’t shoot the messenger. Is what it is. (Nor is this any kind of comment about how “fun” he is.)”

    No he’s not.

    No one here thinks he’s some blossoming all star. He’s an energetic defender that can shoot the 3, make some plays, get some boards, and finish. He’s not going to score a lot partly because of his skill level, but it’s also partly because he’s 4th option on this team. He could easily give us more if need be. He’s a good player. He’s not Josh Hart good, but he’s young. He’ll get better.

    “What’s the evidence for it, though?”

    Trading a bunch of first round draft picks, including a lottery pick. Flat out incinerating a first round pick. You know what the evidence is for it.

    Tom Thibodeau has been an NBA head coach almost the entire time since 2010. He’s led a front office. We know who he is. I guess those of us who know who he is and don’t waver on that have to sit through those times when he does his thing where he squeezes out wins and gets his teams to the top end of their reasonable range (*), with that range being “short of contention.” I can’t fathom why people still get excited about that and confuse it with fundamental change in the guy. I really can’t.

    But as I’ve said several billion times before, in his way, he’s an excellent coach. His way just isn’t “dealing with and managing potentially difficult talent and striving for championships.” It’s something else. I prefer the something else to his “way.”

    (*) It should be noted here that last year, he did not do this. It’s not as though he does it every single year, he just does it more than baseline expectations.

    More impressive than Cam’s shooting is that he’s averaging more than 2 rebs and 1.5 asts per 36.

    He still sucks at rebounding for a SF, but he’s averaging a respectable 3.5 asts (sample size, but that’s what I’d like to see more of).

    I want Cam to succeed, it’s a joy to see him float to the rim, but his game needs more sting.

    “…and this is still a mystery to you why so many people can’t stand you?”

    What could possibly be more egocentric than to annoint oneself the spokesman for “many” on this board? I get that you can’t stand me (and I consider it a badge of honor) bit if others feel the same way, let them speak for themselves.

    As to name calling, I don’t think I engaged in that in this conversation. I criticized posting, not posters. If you or anyone else interpreted that differently, sorry about that, it wasn’t intentional.

    E, I hear you about Thibs and the regular season vs playoffs, but he only has the players he has. You could bring Red Auerbach or John Wooden or pre-dementia Phil Jackson in here and none of them would probably be able to make a deep playoff run with this roster either.

    Thibs plays a playoff rotation for the entire season, that’s a part of his formula. Pat Riley did the same when he coached here. That will inflate your win total a bit. I just don’t believe there is a much higher upside lurking with this roster if we had a “better” coach than Thibs.

    “Trading a bunch of first round draft picks, including a lottery pick. You know what the evidence is for it.”

    What’s the evidence for this being Thibs-dictated, though? Nothing to that effect has been reported and it doesn’t check out logically.

    The incineration fiasco led to us acquiring Cam Reddish…and you think Thibs commanded it?

    The 2022 draft was a completely different scenario. We cleared the cap space we needed to sign Brunson. I personally think we could’ve cleared the space and still made a pick and wish we did so, but this is cap minutiae it seems highly unlikely Thibs was involved with at all.

    These seem like examples of Leon Rose trying to be a good GM and screwing up.

    The first time we hear of the Knicks passing on a good player because he’s not a “Thibs player” or whatever, I’ll board the outrage train with you. Just don’t see a shred of evidence for the puppet master theory right now. We seem to be trying to acquire the best players we can for prices we’re comfortable paying.

    “Been a glorious 48 field goal attempts”

    His TS% for the last 4 years.

    20. .500
    21. .488
    22. .543
    23 . 574

    If RJ was developing like that as a scorer despite repeated significant injuries, we’d be talking about him a lot less than we do now or possibly in the opposite direction.

    Cam is taller, longer, more athletic, more talented, and developing as a scorer faster than RJ. The only thing RJ has over him is work ethic and knuckleheadedness and the latter is sometimes close.

    I’m not overselling Cam. I’m saying it’s still not over for him and it was crazy to play him zero minutes and have RJ leading the team in minutes and shots on many nights when he’s the worst player in the rotation.

    “You could bring Red Auerbach or John Wooden or pre-dementia Phil Jackson in here and none of them would probably be able to make a deep playoff run with this roster either.”

    ************************

    Thus the complaints about the FOs approach …..

    Cam is taller, longer, more athletic, more talented, and developing as a scorer faster than RJ. The only thing RJ has over him is work ethic and knuckleheadedness and the latter is sometimes close.

    ****************************

    The Knicks should have taken a swing at developing Cam Reddish’s obvious talent. It’s a failure that they didn’t and it’s hard to see that failure not falling in Thibs’s lap. But Thibs simply does not do “risky young talent.” He does “low-ceiling, high floor, nothing “too cool,” marginal win squeeze out.” He’s very good at it. But it doesn’t really vindicate anything.

    “I want Cam to succeed, it’s a joy to see him float to the rim, but his game needs more sting.”

    I agree.

    His rebounding is more in line with a meh SG than a SF. He has to do more, but first he has to stay efficient and defend well because right now he’s primarily a scorer. If he can’t score efficiently and hold his own defensively, he’s out.

    I can’t really quibble too much with the idea that there is a good chance Cam ends up better than RJ. But it’s not an argument I care about.

    I really enjoyed “The era of impunity for RJ is over.” I am going to use that later in the year and given my early onset senility I am sure I will think it’s original.

    1) We have a fairly Morey-fied shot chart despite not having Morey friendly personnel–66% of our shots are at the rim or 3s.

    that’s really more the personnel than anything Thibs has been doing and all of his teams have prioritized getting to the rim… you saw that with his Minny teams and you saw that on every knick team he coached… which is why elfrid payton of all people was ‘featured’ going to the rim a ton….

    the one thing he did do was feature Randle on the elbows a lot less which to those terrible melo-esque step back fades that missed a ton…. that one adjustment took out a ton of terrible shots away from Randle…. but then again he can do that because he has more sets to run that feature Brunson in those Payton-esque iso’s and pnrs….

    if you go back to some footage for those Minny teams you’ll probably see a lot of similar things happening…. Thibs has very slowly very gradually evolved because the game has evolved and everyone’s adjusted… but the sets more or less remain the same….

    Two springs ago, Tom Thibodeau started a guy in two playoff games who at age 28 cannot get a basketball job above the Puerto Rican league. Why we’re supposed to just overlook these kind of things remains a mystery.

    “I really enjoyed “The era of impunity for RJ is over.” ”

    It should be over, but again — what is the point of the additional delta, assuming there even is some?

    Whatever happened to the Sam Hinkie Fan Club this place used to be? If the team, which everyone admits is the case, isn’t primed to make a deep run, then who gives a shit if some of RJ Barrett’s inefficiency is squeezed out? Why are people positively *exalting* at these meaningless tiny deltas?

    Grimes is completely overrated around here.

    He’s a second year player who is starting and who plays great defense and can score a bit. He’s not overrated at all, especially considering where he was drafted.

    Grimes was a great pick by Leon. Full stop.

    Cam Reddish is a theoretical concept more than a basketball player. I don’t know how you’re supposed to play a small forward that pulls down less than 3 rebounds per 36, especially when his head is lodged firmly up his ass on the defensive end about 60% of the time. Let somebody else figure out how to get that guy to stop sucking.

    If he wasn’t “Cam Reddish, 5-star recruit” he’d have been forgotten by now.

    Thibs has never won as head coach but orchestrated the Celtics defense on their way to a title. His defense was rightfully considered as establishing a scheme that every team copied.

    That team was stacked but there’s at least some evidence that he can get a team to a championship given enough talent… even if “enough” is overwhelming (but that’s usually the case for any championship team).

    If you get a rotation player with the 20-something pick in the draft you did well. Grimes hasn’t fully exhausted his upside either, I like the form on his J a lot and think he’ll eventually be a quality sniper.

    He’s not some untouchable future All-Star but he’s cromulent plus in relation to his draft position.

    Jesus christ if we’re handwringing over Cam Reddish I’m more confident in my cautiously pro-Thibs stance than I was when I wrote the post. Amazing that we’re pretending this is some Thibs eccentricity when literally every NBA team didn’t think he was worth a second-round pick.

    “If RJ was developing like that as a scorer despite repeated significant injuries, we’d be talking about him a lot less than we do now or possibly in the opposite direction.”

    This is variance from a player who has basically played one full season’s worth of minutes in his career.

    TNFH has unfortunately let his personal grudges against certain players overcome his previous Hinkie bona fides.

    There was no downside to taking a swing at Cam Reddish’s obvious talent, which all number of NBA personnel types see and attest to and is clear to anyone who watches the games honestly. If he washes out, who gives a fuck?

    E, I don’t think Thibs is the end-all for putting a hard ceiling on this team. Coaches can be fired at any point…see: Nate McMillen. Coaches can be hired at any point…see: Quin Snyder. Supposedly excellent coaches wear out their welcome. See: Rick Carlilse. Supposedly excellent coaches have up-and-down years…see: Nick Nurse.

    We are in agreement that roster construction is far more important than the standard variance between coaches.

    Where we (vehemently) disagree is on 1) the quality of the players of the roster compared to their current contracts, 2) the opportunity cost associated with various transactions involving first round picks and 3) the ability to further enhance the roster so that it is no longer “short of contention.”

    Your opinions seem to be grounded in hard assumptions about Leon, Thibs, Julius, and your takes on various players in the Level system you often refer to.

    I think (in alignment with what TNFH posted above) that these assumptions have been eroded by recent developments.

    And the fact that you just uttered “Was it worth it? We’ll see. Probably not, but I’m open-minded about it….” says that you are aware of that. Nothing in your prior 2+ years of posting suggested that you were the least bit open-minded about it.

    We started winning when Cam got benched. It’s hard to argue with the results.

    We know Cam doesn’t want to be on the bench, and maybe doesn’t even want to come off it. He was a FA this summer and I’m skeptical he had a path to playing time even for next year.

    .
    .
    .

    Grimes just dominated a tournament featuring the purported best young players in the league. We’re justifiably excited even if he never makes an all-star game.

    This isn’t hockey where if you get the right mix of guys and make marginal improvements here and there and get into the playoffs, you can make a deep run.

    In NBA basketball, personnel and talent is destiny. It’s unyielding. There’s no way around it and Tom Thibodeau (lol) certainly has not found that way.

    Coaches can be fired at any point…see: Nate McMillen.

    *********************************

    Nate McMillan coached circles around Thibs two years ago.

    “Your opinions seem to be grounded in hard assumptions about Leon, ”

    My opinions aren’t “grounded” in anything but the reality of NBA basketball. See above.

    Where we (vehemently) disagree is on 1) the quality of the players of the roster compared to their current contracts, 2) the opportunity cost associated with various transactions involving first round picks and 3) the ability to further enhance the roster so that it is no longer “short of contention.”

    ******************************

    I don’t believe you believe this roster can ever make a deep playoff run. All the rest is noise.

    So a weird thing is how incredibly similar RJ’s bad play is compared to Randle in 2021. Outside of giving the finger to the fans.

    Every time RJ gets the ball at the top of the key, my brain starts shouting, “Pass the ball RJ, pass it, c’mon pass the ball, pass it, pass it, just pass it, don’t not pass it, pass it — NOOOOOOooooooo….!”

    I will grant that RJ has a few more ways of fucking up than Randle’s two classics, the spin-and-lose-it and the jump-pass-to-the-other-team. However, RJ is close to perfecting both of those lately, as we saw yesterday.

    But what this means is interesting, if true. One is that RJ is a fucking idiot. But the other is that he’s just a ‘wising up’ away from becoming a useful basketball player. As with Randle. Cut out the stupid. Play in rhythm. Pass the ball.

    I was trying to figure out what E was pretending to be mad about today but then I read ‘he never got buy in from evan fournier’ and lost it laughing.

    Also, if Randle regresses to a 2 BPM player then we still have a 2 BPM player on what I assume is, at worst, a market rate contract for a 2.0 BPM player.

    Even if we trade for someone like OG on the incorrect premise that Randle and Brunson keep up this level of play, we should still have a 1st rd pick every year.

    The fact that he just gave us the phrase “previous Hinkie bona fides” does mean a lot, though.

    “We don’t have anyone in the top-10 in minutes per game (this one shocked me, Randle is 15th”

    This is mostly due to Randle playing less minutes in October and November (22 games) which sort of aligns with when Thibs shortened the rotation. Since then he’s likely in the top-5. He is second in total minutes, so there’s that…

    One dramatic change in the conversation here is that there’s very little chatter about Obi not getting more minutes. It does seem that Thibs leaves Obi in for as long as he feels that the game is not going to turn, and that can be seen in the slight dropoff in Randle’s minutes in February. There’s been more than a few 4th quarters when I felt like it was time to re-insert Randle, or alternatively, that I was happy that Obi played well enough to give Randle some rest (last night was an example of the latter.) More generally, I have definitely felt in sync with his substitution patterns of late, as well as the timing of time-outs and the decisions on reviews.

    I’m honestly curious whether any playoff team has ever had a worse offensive 4-man unit than Payton/Bullock/RJ/Noel.

    Rose was a huge upgrade when he came in, but it’s still a paltry arsenal overall.

    As to name calling, I don’t think I engaged in that in this conversation. I criticized posting, not posters.

    who has been at the center of more personal fights on this board.. now that the others were actually banned? do you know the answer to that? and do you still think i’m being egocentric? that’s just objectively true boss…. that you don’t even realize that you called people a wet blanket in the other thread is so on brand….

    all you have to do is address the arguments… you attribute so many opinions and arguments as some sort of personality flaw… and you make so many assumptions about people… you even did so on your latest post about E… it’s inevitable that all your targeted responses will get hostile if you think the poster is dumb rather than the opinion is dumb…

    people will have different opinions than you… it’s a tough thing to accept but sometimes those opinions will challenge some closely held beliefs that you have…. and if you actually care about those beliefs you should welcome differing opinions…

    if those opinions are ruining your enjoyment of the team.. then you got a lot more problems that nobody can help you with.. just don’t ruin anyone else’s discussion …

    I don’t think this board was ever a Hinkie fan club if you actually paid attention to the opinions past the meaningless divide (which was always stupid) between “team tank” and “team tanking doesn’t work ever”.

    I’ve defended Hinkie on multiple occasions here and everywhere else because I think his strategy was sound at the time and it worked. However way you feel about the Philadelphia 76ers, the aftermath of the Hinkie years gave them multiple playoff appearances past the first round and ended up resulting in a Embiid – Harden led team that is at least a fringe contender.

    But you can’t simply ignore the fact that the lottery odds have changed since then, as we painfully realized when we were left at #3 to draft Barrett in a 2 star draft, and that other teams around the league have built their rosters in different ways and had success.

    The league has effectively destroyed the market inefficiency that Hinkie exploited by making the lottery a crapshoot of bad odds even for the worst team, so adjustments need to be made.

    I’m off the “let’s tank” train for now simply because the front office has committed so clearly to a different building strategy that tanking won’t ever be even in consideration anyway, so what’s the point? Specially when said strategy has yielded an actual good and fun to watch basketball team that is in the best position its been in more than a decade.

    Mind you, I’ll still maintain tanking can work, it’s just less viable now than it was when Hinkie arrived in Philly.

    Also, if Randle regresses to a 2 BPM player then we still have a 2 BPM player on what I assume is, at worst, a market rate contract for a 2.0 BPM player.

    and how good do you think we’d be win total wise? would we still be on a 46 win pace or do you think worse? much worse?

    and how would that differ from your opinion now? it seems like it would be the same right?

    What was better: “previous Hinkie bona fides” or “your own personal RuRu”?

    (The latter obviously needs to be sung to the tune of Depeche Mode.)

    NBA University
    @NBA_University
    The Knicks are now 6-0 with a +15.5 net rating since acquiring Josh Hart. Hart is +66 & has provided elite 4th quarter minutes. 13.8 PPG, 74.6 TS%, a REAL transition presence, willingness to shoot, hard defense, strong rebounding, quality secondary playmaking. Star role player…

    Leon & company, deserve their flowers for passing on Massai’s OG ransom. This move exceeded expectations more than the Brunson’s signing did. jHart has clearly been a better chemistry fit for us than OG would have ever been. If he hits his wide open threes near 39%, – then he’s a better overall player too. Give us a break with Cam, please. Kudos to you Leon. Yes, its defitively nap time. Well deserved. Sweet dreams while Ujiri stays up trying to find a sucker.

    i was absolutely a part of the hinkie fan club… it was the win curve taken to its extremes… when crazy people succeed their called geniuses… when they flop they’re dumbasses…. and depending on how you define success is where the hinkie line was drawn in nba fandom…..

    and if you applaud out of the box thinking in life… then it’s at worst a fun experiment.. you can’t move forward without these things happening anywhere… that’s how we learn…. and that’s how you win at most competitions… you generally have to zig when others zag…. if you think like everyone else you’re destined to get results like everyone else….

    I would still pay the price for OG Anunoby this summer (as long as the price doesn’t include IQ).

    If we can actually get that damn Washington pick to convert, we can offer that, our pick in 2024, Grimes, and Obi. And if that doesn’t float I’d throw in the Bucks pick in 2025.

    If Randle has a 2 BPM season we’re probably around .500, likely better than Masai Ujiri’s Raptors.

    If we replace RJ Barrett with a league average player, then we’re probably back to a 46+ win pace.

    OKC is set up GREAT after their asset hoarding strategy. They’re already a decent team (10th in SRS) and they have cathedral ceiling upside.

    Brunson
    RJ/Hart
    OG
    Randle
    Mitch

    IQ off the bench
    iHart to back up Mitch
    Plus the MLE and the Mavs pick

    Sign me up for some of that.

    Washington, 22, averaged 7.9 points, 2.0 assists and 1.2 rebounds per game over 12.7 minutes of action in 31 games (three starts) with the Phoenix Suns this season.

    I know nothing about Washington. I don’t imagine any circumstance under which he’s going to play this year — Deuce and Fournier would be ahead of him in the pecking order if a few rotation guys get hurt — so I wonder if he’s here to fulfill the Ryan Arcidiacono role of good practice player.

    Anyone pay enough attention to Phoenix to have an opinion on the guy?

    My Own Private Ruruland directed by Donnie Walsh

    side note: rewatching The Wire (through season 2) and remembering (iirc) that Donnie didn’t like it, and I have a lot of issues with the quality of writing, directing and acting this go-around (it hasn’t really aged all that well), and thinking: holy shit, am I becoming Donnie Jowles? I think I am! I think I’m okay with it!

    Speaking of Mitch, if you can find it watch the long highlight of his block on Tatum.

    Excellent read but even better athleticism. Tatum has the ball cocked and just feet from the basket and Mitch is still hunched over. Just explodes up to the rim.

    I guess djphan hasn’t taken my suggestion and gotten the help he needs…

    (btw to all who were offended by my use of the term “wet blanket” I truly apologize…)

    OKC has a superstar, a budding superstar (Giddey), another mega-upside player who hasn’t played (Holmgren) and a bunch of other intriguing young players, plus FIFTEEN first round picks in the next five drafts. And they’re already a positive net rating team.

    Never mind Hinkie, Presti is the real boss of the asset collection racket.

    Anyone pay enough attention to Phoenix to have an opinion on the guy?

    I remember him playing against us for Indiana last year.
    I remember that he likes to shoot and found this on Hoops Rumors:

    “Washington had several strong outings for the Suns in his second NBA season, including four games of 21 points or more. In total, he averaged 7.9 PPG and 2.0 APG in 31 appearances (12.7 MPG) while making 36.0% of his three-point attempts. The team cut him in order to sign Saben Lee to a two-way deal.”

    Z-Man, I would like you to think of a number.

    The longest you’ve gone without posting on this board is, what, 3 hours? I’m just curious what it would be like without you here for a little bit.

    So the number is how much money it would take for you to go away for the rest of the season so we could enjoy this team without every event becoming new evidence to present in an argument you’ve been fighting since 2019.

    Make it a reasonable number, and I will consider paying it myself. You can even come back for the playoffs.

    I watched the Wire when I was pretty young I feel like i would have more appreciation for the social commentary now. I felt the same way with the Sopranos on a second watch it did feel really dated but still great.

    I don’t believe you believe this roster can ever make a deep playoff run.

    Um, so I actually think we can make a deep playoff run.

    The only team in the East that I think we would get smoked by is Milwaukee. I’m not saying we could beat Boston in a 7 game series but we could beat Boston in a 7 game series.

    Philly, The Nets, The Heat, The Cavs. I like our chances against all of them.

    I don’t think people are really accepting how much better we are now even compared to our 8 game win streak in December. HART has shored up the bench so much and being able to curtail RJ’s minutes when he doesn’t have it, makes a huge a difference. Add in a healthy MITCH and iHart and I think we’re legitimately one of the top teams in the league right now.

    Of course we can’t say anything till the playoffs happen. But Brunson being here instead of Elf is a huge huge plus for us. Dude was droppin’ 40 a game in the playoffs less than a year ago. We also did not have Mitch. Our center rotation that playoff was Noel and Taj. Now it’s Mitch and IHart.

    Plus IQ is SO much better than he was as a rookie. More in control, way better defense, rebounding and playmaking and much more in control of his game.

    I just think we’re a much more dynamic team than 2 seasons ago.

    So yeah, I think we can make a deep playoff run. Call me crazy.

    I asked my Suns friend about Washington said he’s solid as a microwave type off the bench. Guessing Rose never steps foot on the court in a serious manner for this team again.

    BTW,

    just back from a funeral I honestly didn’t expect today’s thread to be so harsh, we just beat the fucking CELTICS by 15 for god’s sake…

    Team Realist, Team Polyanna, Team Optimism, Team Pessimism, can I be part of Team Who The Fuck Care?

    I’m not dreaming playoffs wins or 4th spot in the East, nor I want Leon winning the Nobel Prize or a golden statue of Thibs in my living room, but can we never relax and rejoice, bathing in a Knicks’ win?
    Never?

    “Overall we’re not really a great defensive team though. We don’t generate a lot of ball pressure and we rely on Mitch to play a ton of help defense, which I believe hurts our defensive rebounding, which is poor.”

    We are currently 7th in the NBA in defensive rebounding.

    “We just don’t have a lot of guys who can pressure ball handlers and create havoc in passing lanes. Watching Josh Hart for like five minutes is a stark reminder of how lacking we are in that kind of defender.”

    While this is somewhat true, IQ has been getting lots of praise for this and the stats say that he is elite. Grimes and McBride are both plusses in this category.

    My guess is that some of Thibs’ defensive philosophy is based on not hunting deflections and steals at the expense of defensive positioning. Opposing teams are shooting poorly from both 2 and 3. Seems like the focus is on lowering opposing eFG% rather than forcing turnovers.

    Anyway, we have climbed back to 13th in DRtg, and my guess is that the coinciding of Mitch’s return and Hart’s acquisition has reinvigorated our D to one of the best in the league.

    It’s axiomatic Hinkie-ism (*) that you don’t strive for marginal improvements to chase the 5 or 6 seed. You especially don’t completely eschew the draft to make those improvements.

    It can’t be defended.

    (*) And former KB-ism. And smart GM-ing.

    The Knicks rank 16th in DRB%. Not seventh.

    Although, I was very surprised to see that number, because the Knicks were at the very bottom of the league for much of the season, so that’s on the severe upswing.

    JK, we are 7th DRebs per game and 3rd in total rebounding. Even if that translates into 16th in DReb%, I don’t see how that makes us a “poor” defensive rebounding team. We pretty routinely outrebound teams at both ends.

    I would agree however that we were indeed terrible at defensive rebounding for those first 20 games but have been much better since.

    Yeah, actually. Things like this are tough for me…

    I guess djphan hasn’t taken my suggestion and gotten the help he needs…

    Maybe djphan does need help, and you just mocked someone with a handicap, or someone who’s going through a hard time. What is wrong with you, dude? And literally on this same page you hilariously said “I attack the post not the poster.” Get the fuck outta here with that shit, man.

    holy shit, am I becoming Donnie Jowles? I think I am! I think I’m okay with it!

    horrendous execution of the donnie metamorphosis. you lost the minute you admitted rewatching the wire. in fact you came to realize the wire was derivative and caricatured despite maintaining your pristine record of never having seen three consecutive minutes of any single episode, recently finding yourself accosted by the faint shadows of several scenes worth of finnish closed captioning from the neighboring 75 inch plasma of a half deaf octogenarian as it spilled through the stained glass windows of your standing desk origami class. and you must be saying this to the members of your david simon appreciation coffee and scone club which you have attended (and for a short time operated as unofficial treasurer of) faithfully since 2014.

    DRB% is the much better metric. Total rebounds is context-dependent, and the context is that we miss a lot of shots and also make the opponents miss a lot of shots. So there are going to be more rebounds to go around.

    Regardless, we’re now a league average defensive rebounding team over the course of the season, that is correct. I check the Four Factors regularly and that has spiked over the last month or so. I was quite surprised to see it. Encouraging!

    One time I got into a massive argument here with Jowles about… something. I honestly don’t remember what. A few days earlier I had just gotten fucked over by my business partner and lost out on what would have been a 7 figure paycheck. I needed therapy. Instead I got into a fight with Jowles. Not sure if I ever said I was sorry about that, Jowles. It had nothing to do with you. I was in a Tyler Durden I Just Want To Fight Something Beautiful mood, and you’re so beautiful 😉

    But seriously, mental health jokes about each other? We’re talking about basketball, dude. Come on.

    you don’t strive for marginal improvements to chase the 5 or 6 seed.

    I think you mean to chase the play-in tournament because that’s what you were saying a few months ago. 🙂

    We aren’t “chasing” the 5th or 6th seed. We currently are the 5th seed. We’re actually chasing the 3rd and 4th seed.

    Hinkie-ism

    Can I ask in all seriousness what did The Process actually get Philly?

    They’ve gotten one MVP level player in Embiid. I mean, that is admittedly an amazing player to draft. But they’ve never gotten out of the second round and after a few seasons of being on the rise, now they’re slowly slipping backwards. Fultz was a bust. Simmons turned into a bust. Okafor? Bust.

    They got Harden but he could leave. Maxey was a late first round pick they picked after the process.

    I just don’t think the process really stands up that much in hindsight.

    I’ve advocated for Hinkie-ism as a means to an end. The end is assembling a team that could contend for a championship. My opinion on extreme asset accumulation hasn’t budged–it’s the best way to maximize your odds of contending for a championship in the modern NBA. As JK points out, OKC is in a fantastic position.

    The Knicks chose to pursue a means to the same end that I think is less likely to succeed, but unlike you, E, I didn’t officially declare the Knicks’ chances of assembling a contender to be zero the second they deviated from what I think is the optimal strategy.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the Knicks have executed their chosen strategy in a way that has given them a reasonable chance of assembling a contender, because they are currently about the 7th best team in the NBA and they didn’t exhaust their future assets to get there. It’s quite possible they can make a trade using the assets they still have that takes them from ~7th to the top-5, which is contention land. Like I said yesterday, I’m not going to give them credit for putting together a contender until they put together a contender. I’m just also not going to pretend they’re further away than they are because uhhhhh Thibs and Cam Reddish’s latent powers.

    You have chosen not to adapt your priors to new data and are accusing me of Hinkie Heresy because I have.

    Some guy on Twitter posted this about RJ if you wanna get really depressed about the dude:

    “I’ve said for a month the Knicks are a great team hiding in plain sight due to RJ Barrett’s destructive play”

    Celtics with Tatum on the court: +8.1 per 100

    Bucks with Giannis on the court: +7.9

    Sixers with Embiid on the court: +8.7

    Knicks with RJ Barrett OFF the court: +10.2

    (btw to all who were offended by my use of the term “wet blanket” I truly apologize…)

    I belive you also used the term “chirping” and “whining” to describe posters/posting behavior…I just let it go by as it is not worth jousting over but thought I would include for future reference…since you highlighted the “wet blanket” comment…

    The Hinkie story, and our own pathetic recent history with high draft picks, just goes to show that doing well in the draft is really, really hard. Or fucking up the draft is really, really easy.

    I’ve said it before, I think, but I’d love to be paid a lot of money to spend a year just working every angle regarding successful picks vs unsuccessful ones. There’s so much data now. I know people actually do this (and to be honest even with the money and time I’m not smart enough), but there’s got to be a suite of variables that greatly increases the odds.

    Of course, you’d have to completely ignore common narratives, and be willing to take huge abuse from fans, and have absolute buy-in from the front office. Can you imagine taking Maxey fifth, or Haliburton second in 2020? Even if you had a crystal ball and could see the future, odds are you’d be living that future in your PJs on the couch…

    Swift Philly has won 50+ games in 5 of the past 6 seasons including this one (in the outlier they won 48, pro-rated, in a season Embiid missed 31 games).

    I cannot tell you how happy it will make me if the Knicks literally ever have a similar run.

    Again, Swift, I’ll refer you to Sam Presti and the Thunder. Presti did it better, and his “process” has been uninterrupted, so far there has been no equivalent to Jerry Colangelo in OKC.

    A lot of the negative reaction to Hinkie was because he’s a very socially awkward quant who says the quiet part of things out loud. Had he quietly gone about The Process without calling a ton of attention to it, he probably would have gotten better results. Either way, Sam Presti and the Thunder are the gold standard for the asset haul rebuild. He acquired SO MANY darts to throw at the board that there was virtually no way it could go wrong.

    They have the following under-25 players:
    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (24)
    Lu Dort (23)
    Isaiah Joe (23)
    Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (22)
    Darius Bazley (22)
    Jalen Williams (21)
    Poku (21)
    Josh Giddey (20)
    Chet Holmgren (20)
    Ousmane Dieng (19)

    Future first round picks:
    2023: 2
    2024: 4
    2025: 4
    2026: 3
    2027: 2

    Plus they are currently 28-32 (with a 32-28 Pythag) and rank better than average on both sides of the ball. They’re 10th in the league in SRS.

    Presti did this in TWO YEARS. The Thunder were in the playoffs in 2019-2020, had made the playoffs for five straight seasons actually. It works pretty good if you do it right.

    Hubert, everyone should get help with whatever mental health issue that troubles them, and be proud that they did. My wife is a mental health practicioner. I have vast experience with it from many angles. So please, stop with the smug, condescending lecturing….it’s so transparent.

    We comfortably have the 7th best SRS and net rating in the league. I am pretty confident that’s a position that Hinkie, Morey, Presti, et al. would say justifies making moves to prioritize present wins as long as you get justifiable value.

    So the idea that those guys would’ve given Cam Reddish 3000 minutes this season or clutched to the ~23rd overall pick in a weak draft instead of trading it for a productive 28 year-old player in Josh Hart doesn’t really pass the smell test for me.

    We took a weird path to being “one move away” that relied on some dumb luck–if Mark Cuban doesn’t galaxy brain the Jalen Brunson contract situation I’m probably as curmudgeonly as ever right now. For that reason I wouldn’t recommend trying to emulate it, stick with asset accumulation.

    But the weight of the evidence suggests we’re there and analysis of *current* moves should account for that. You should ask if the things we do make sense for a team that is one big move away from contention.

    “I belive you also used the term “chirping” and “whining” to describe posters/posting behavior…I just let it go by as it is not worth jousting over but thought I would include for future reference…since you highlighted the “wet blanket” comment…”

    One’s posts can be characterized chirping and whining…that’s not a character attack, we all chirp and whine from time to time…. It certainly isn’t any more of a character attack as phrases as “pollyanna” and “apologist” and not nearly as offensive as terms like “fellating” which a certain poster defended to the hilt.

    Ousmane Dieng (19)

    I’ve been weirdly obsessed with Ousmane since the 5 minutes he was a Knick. I think he has a 2% chance of being French Giannis.

    I just don’t think the process really stands up that much in hindsight.

    i think you’ve said that since the beginning… and every single time you have mentioned it the response has been the same… they had a gm actively trying to do his best to sabotage that team and they STILL are considered a contender for the last SEVEN years and finishing with less than 50 wins only once…. and that only took THREE years of tanking…. a gm who was trying to sabotage the team…. and a complete headcase…. that’s they’re still contending is a testament to how robust the strategy is….

    it seems that you are ecstatic about this team’s prospects right? so how would you feel if there was a team who’s already been better any team we’ve had this century? i just don’t know how you could look at what our team is doing and then scoff at the team hinkie built… it was literally fool proof….

    you also used the term “chirping” and “whining” to describe posters/posting behavior…

    Real question from someone who’s not “american language native”:

    are “chirping” and “whining” really terms not allowed for political correctness?

    (It’s really hard to follow the evolution of “choice of words” in the US…)

    I guess it’s possible that Thib’s teams overachieve in the regular season so that then they can’t step it up in the playoffs. But there is a simpler explanation. Teams play tougher competition in the playoffs than in the regular season. In the regular season you play all the teams in the league and so your opponents average capability is that of a 0.500 team. But if you get into the bottom part of the playoff ranking you will play one of the top four teams in your conference and that is probably something like. 0.600 team or better. You are expected to lose such a playoff series so of course your expected playoff winning percentage is going to be less than 0.500.

    We have a winning record against Boston, Philly, and Cleveland. The only team ahead of us that is leading the season series is Milwaukee.

    Even if you want to filter out injury luck then the season series are all draws so far… and we’ve beaten all 3 teams sans Mitch.

    Are we going to go on a run in the playoffs? Probably not. But I’d say winning a series isn’t as far under 50% as people think.

    But the weight of the evidence suggests we’re there

    I’m not with you on this. I understand your criteria, I just think you need two consecutive years of evidence before you make moves.

    Put it this way: if last season hadn’t happened and we went straight from 41-31 to this season, I would have been all for trading first round picks at the deadline.

    In any given year, a number of fortunate things can happen to distort the picture: career seasons, healthy seasons for players who are normally injury prone, fortunate bounces, opponent injury luck. So far we’ve needed all of that and a couple teams ahead of us imploding just to get to 5th in the East, which looks like our ceiling. It’s eerily reminiscent of 2021.

    Over the course of two seasons, I think these things even out. Last year, IMO, was just a nasty regression. Next year very well could be, too. I wouldn’t go too all in on it until I see back-to-back seasons.

    One’s posts can be characterized chirping and whining…that’s not a character attack, we all chirp and whine from time to time….

    the problem is that you do this all the time…. you classify everyone who criticizes this front office as a whiner…. you did a literal virtual touchdown dance at the kemba signing because you wanted to rub it in so bad…

    do you not see anything wrong? how many people need to point this out to you? if i step out of line on the tone police… it’s probably occasionally… maybe rarely… for you it’s regular… you are out to get people and it’s not good natured at all…. and that’s the issue people have with you… (and yes i can speak for multiple people as you should be aware by now)….

    nobody else on this board has this problem… why does this have to be pointed out to you constantly? are you fucking special or something?

    Max, the problem with chirping and whining is that they’re pejorative, and thus used with the intent to insult (although one could chirp like a little bird in happiness, but that’s not how it was used). They’re perfectly fine terms, the problem is that a group of gents on this site tend to flush threads down the toilet by rapidly escalating the personal insults, rather than discussing basketball ideas. Which, you know, is fucking annoying for the rest of us.

    So for the mother of christ don’t make me chirp for Jowles, guys…

    you did a literal virtual touchdown dance at the kemba signing

    What if we limit our discussion to things that are happening now? Just for the rest of this really fun season. Is that a reasonable request?

    The Knicks beat the Celtics, and it’s a referendum here on every argument of the past 3 years. We even brought it back to Sam Hinkie!!

    What my book presupposes is… what if we didn’t?

    I don’t get it. The “one move away” is acquiring a tentpole superstar and they’ve been there for multiple years. Something like two dozen teams are there, too, which TNFH used to regularly point out.

    In terms of not giving away future assets, they’ve traded a lottery pick for Isaiah Hartenstein, a mid first for Josh Hart, incinerated 19, incinerated 32 and traded down in the 2021 first round. Through Katz (and maybe others, don’t remember) they’ve said they have no interest in trying to draft said tentpole superstar.

    A few weeks back, TNFH also sketched out a useful “purgatory index” which included (1) odds of winning the championship; and (2) odds of having a high first round pick to get a tentpole superstar. That seems to have been rubbished in the mania, as well. I see no material movement on that index since it was first formulated.

    The team needs a tentpole superstar. That’s the only “prior” that matters and it hasn’t changed.

    Too many people are doing the thing of confusing “kinda sorta close to a contender and in the playoffs just like contenders are” and “a contender.” It’s a subtle distinction, but fully understandable, kind of resembling the subtle gossamer-wing truism that the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.

    they STILL are considered a contender

    But they aren’t actually contenders. That’s my point.

    They haven’t actually gotten past the second round. I would think 5 plus years of tanking and processing the goal was to win a championship or get super closer to one. And they haven’t exactly done that. That is my point.

    And I’ll just say this. IF we did 6 years of incremental building, people would lose their shit. People have patience for bottoming out to get a top 3 pick for 5 years but have no patience for incremental building. It’s weird to me.

    Can I ask in all seriousness what did The Process actually get Philly?

    At this point, a question like this should get you Neptuned. How many fucking times do we need to relitigate it?

    HINKIE WAS FOLLOWED BY COLANGELO WHO WAS FOLLOWED BY BRAND

    It’s like you trying to sue the contractor who built your house because your father-in-law’s idea of home renovation was taking a sledgehammer to the walls and foundation.

    they’ve been there for multiple years.

    Not really. We only tried to get Mitchell this last season. Leon didn’t really try to acquire a star the first or second seasons he was here.

    “IF we did 6 years of incremental building, people would lose their shit.”

    They’ve done 23 years of incremental building and they still aren’t a contender.

    “Leon didn’t really try to acquire a star the first or second seasons he was here.”

    Because they’re very rarely available, which a bunch of people pointed out during the Spida situation. Leon’s 0-3 now, with Spida, Kyrie, and Durant. Odds are very low he’ll ever be able to trade for one. He’d be way better off trying to get one in the draft, but he’s eschewed that explicitly, to inexplicable applause from too many quarters.

    horrendous execution of the donnie metamorphosis. you lost the minute you admitted rewatching the wire. in fact you came to realize the wire was derivative and caricatured despite maintaining your pristine record of never having seen three consecutive minutes of any single episode, recently finding yourself accosted by the faint shadows of several scenes worth of finnish closed captioning from the neighboring 75 inch plasma of a half deaf octogenarian as it spilled through the stained glass windows of your standing desk origami class. and you must be saying this to the members of your david simon appreciation coffee and scone club which you have attended (and for a short time operated as unofficial treasurer of) faithfully since 2014.

    so you’re saying there’s still a chance

    One time I got into a massive argument here with Jowles about… something. I honestly don’t remember what. A few days earlier I had just gotten fucked over by my business partner and lost out on what would have been a 7 figure paycheck. I needed therapy. Instead I got into a fight with Jowles. Not sure if I ever said I was sorry about that, Jowles.

    Well I want to be clear that I did not accost a single one of you during the worst periods of my separation and divorce from the now-former-Lady Jowles, and for that, you can kindly go fuck yourself ex post facto.

    Just kidding. All good. But which time are we even referring to?

    It’s like you trying to sue the contractor who built your house because your father-in-law’s idea of home renovation was taking a sledgehammer to the walls and foundation.

    Nah. Look at all the picks they got during the process and it yielded them…Embiid. That’s it.

    Embiid is obvioulsy a fantastic player. But all those years and they get one franchise player and not even a third or fourth option or good 6th man?

    OK, yes, Simmons was good. But not good enough. Then he imploded. Then they got close to washed up Harden.

    Harden could very likely leave. Embiid could want out soon too.

    All I’m saying is they did that for 5 years and they haven’t ACTUALLY competed. No finals or even conference finals.

    Seems to me we could get to be as good as they are by the incremental approach in just as much time. Fuck, Leon is knocking on their door in season 3.

    IF we did 6 years of incremental building, people would lose their shit.

    The salary cap makes this nearly impossible, Swift. Eventually your own guys become too expensive and it all falls down.

    “I don’t get it. The “one move away” is acquiring a tentpole superstar and they’ve been there for multiple years. Something like two dozen teams are there, too, which TNFH used to regularly point out.”

    Two dozen teams have the 7th best SRS and net rating in the NBA?

    We are materially closer to passing the Morey 5% test than the vast majority of teams. Every projection system says as much. Facts don’t care about your feelings.

    “All I’m saying is they did that for 5 years and they haven’t ACTUALLY competed.”

    But the Knicks are ACTUALLY competing? OK, then. Stay on brand, I guess.

    AGAIN.

    The Thunder got to where they are after TWO bad years. TWO.

    I’m not mad at the position we’re in, I’m quite enjoying it. It’s kind of working out. I’m warming up to Leon Rose a lil bit. But let’s can it with the “rEbUiLdInG mEaNs YoU hAvE tO TaNk FoR fIVe YeArS” nonsense. Sam Presti started the Thunder rebuild at the same time Leon Rose took over the Knicks. I’d go ahead and say that I’d WAY rather be in their position. Not that ours is bad! It’s just that theirs has a far, far higher ceiling, and probably the same floor.

    We’ve been doing like 20 years of incremental building, 20 years of NOT doing the rebuild that many of us have been screaming for. This is probably the best iteration of that incremental build, so yay for all of that. I’m enjoying it. But come on. I’m still here after 20 years of sucking. ALL WE DO ALL THE TIME is incrementally build. That’s the one running theme of every single front office we’ve had here: NEVER REBUILD. Do the hybrid thing or Dolan will fire you. It is what it is.

    I’m glad it’s working out this time, I truly am. This is infinitely preferable to pushing all the chips in on Joakim Noah or Eddy Curry or Steve Francis or Stephon Marbury or whatever dumb shit we did in the name of incremental building in the past. We actually have some decent young players and can still make some moves. Hooray, no snark. In my opinion it’s still not the best way (see OKC) but it’s going fine. The games are fun and seem meaningful.

    Can you imagine how dismissive Swift would be of anyone who criticized the Knicks if they won 50+ games in 5/6 seasons lol

    “Two dozen teams have the 7th best SRS and net rating in the NBA?”

    Two dozen teams are your “one big move” away from contention. If the Rockets traded for Giannis tomorrow, you don’t think they’d be a contender?

    You know who used to rightly and routinely point this out? You did, that’s who.

    I really don’t get your claim that the Knicks have become “one big move” away whereas before they weren’t. Plus that’s a massive move that’s virtually impossible to make. Outside the draft, anyway, which they’ve explicitly eschewed.

    Prior before: Knicks need tentpole superstar to contend.
    Prior now: Knicks need tentpole superstar to contend.

    Where’s this big “change”? Really don’t get it.

    But they aren’t actually contenders. That’s my point.

    they haven’t gotten past the second rd due to a number of reasons but chief among them is that one of their cornerstone players that they drafted who was quite excellent turned into a headcase in the middle of their playoff run….they then had their franchise player get hurt in another… and they were literally a bounce of a ball away from beating the eventual champions… any of those things don’t happen and they’re probably hoisting a trophy….

    if the bar is to build a sustainably good team that has a shot at the championship they succeeded… there aren’t many teams that had the same level of success for as long in this century either and they’re not running out of gas anytime soon as long as embiid is standing….

    OKC is a clear example. There’s also Memphis, who started from basically nothing because they held onto their grit and grind cause for too long, endured 3 sub .500 seasons in which they accumulated assets, and now are clearly a top-5 team with assets to boot.

    Gotta give it up Swift. It can be true that asset accumulation is a best practice and that the current Knicks are decently positioned despite not doing it.

    When the Knicks acquire a player as good as Embiid, wake me up. Until then, money talks, other stuff walks, as they say.

    I think the argument that it’s easier to attract the tentpole star once you’re a decent team and not a laughingstock has some merit to it. I mean, some star COULD force his way here. So yeah, we’re probably in a better position than say, Houston or Detroit when it comes to attracting that big star.

    Not to say that it’s going to happen, but… it’s something.

    “and yes i can speak for multiple people as you should be aware by now”

    I think the multiple people you can speak for are you, E and Hubert. I’m sure there are others that find these back and forths tedious and annoying, and hold us all to account. But whatever, I don’t purport to speak for anyone but myself. Folks can do with that what they may.

    My advice is to do what some of the other posters here are doing,,,just eat some crow, have a thick skin, lighten the fuck up, and enjoy the good times!

    We are materially closer to passing the Morey 5% test than the vast majority of teams. Every projection system says as much.

    *********************************

    But they haven’t passed it, so … so what? Getting closer to the 5% championship chance is now the test of something? Since when?

    It’s the opposite. The 5% test means that if you haven’t passed it, you don’t go all in and act as if you have. They’ve *violated* Morey’s test.

    “If the Rockets traded for Giannis tomorrow, you don’t think they’d be a contender?”

    No, I don’t actually.

    I also don’t think the Knicks need to trade for Giannis or an equivalently good player to be a contender. Another 4-5 BPM guy probably gets them into 5% territory easily.

    Again, you’re fighting against the math here–it’s just not accurate to say the 7th best team in the NBA needs to acquire Giannis to have a 5% chance to win a title.

    No shit the Knicks should try to get as good a player(s) as possible, but there is absolutely nothing that supports the idea that we can’t crack contention without a 10+ BPM generational talent.

    “Where’s this big “change”? Really don’t get it.”

    Before this season I thought the Knicks needed a Giannis-level player, more or less, to contend.

    77% of the way through the 2022-2023 season, the Knicks are the 7th best team in the NBA owing to factors that seem pretty sustainable. I think that is a relevant datapoint. You have made it clear that you do not, an opinion to which you are entitled but an opinion I don’t really understand.

    What data is relevant to you if “the stuff that happens in the games” doesn’t qualify?

    What if we limit our discussion to things that are happening now? Just for the rest of this really fun season. Is that a reasonable request?

    i think a reasonable request would be to keep arguments focused on the arguments…. that’s key to keeping any discussion civil surrounding hot topics such as abortion .. gun violence and front office strategy…..

    “It’s the opposite. The 5% test means that if you haven’t passed it, you don’t go all in and act as if you have. They’ve *violated* Morey’s test.”

    When did we go “all in?” When we traded what projects to be the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 draft for Josh Hart? Hahahahahaha.

    We had a chance to actually go “all in” this offseason. We didn’t do it and I’m glad we didn’t.

    So yeah, we’re probably in a better position than say, Houston or Detroit when it comes to attracting that big star.

    *******************************

    Assuming that’s true (I don’t think it is, but will assume it), that still doesn’t mean it’s smart to incur the costs they’ve incurred to get there.

    But let’s expand on the idea a bit. In terms of appeal, I really don’t see any indication that NYC has any to basketball players. Most likely, Dolan is a negative. I think the Knicks have gotten over the very low bar of “they completely suck, no way” to a star, but they’re still inherently behind places like Houston, Phoenix, Miami, both LA teams, Orlando, Dallas, and probably some others.

    There’s simply no indication MSG and NYC are the “mecca” to pro basketball players. Now, there is quite a bit of evidence that they are to hockey players, as the Rangers’ impending acquisition of Patrick Kane, who has the NYR as the only team he’d waive his NTC for, shows. He would be the latest in a long list. MSG and the bright lights play very big in hockey.

    Basketball, not so much. Wish it was different, kind of surprised it isn’t different (probably Dolan but don’t know), but it isn’t.

    “When did we go “all in?””

    Then I have no idea why you’re citing the Morey test. It’s a thumbnail of when it makes sense to go for it; it’s not any kind of independent criteria of success.

    (In terms of actualities, the Morey test implies you have a 20 to 1 shot or better to win the chip. On Fanduel today, the Knicks’ odds to win it all are 110-1. They wouldn’t meet the Morey test if the Morey test was 1%.)

    My advice is to do what some of the other posters here are doing,,,just eat some crow, have a thick skin, lighten the fuck up, and enjoy the good times!

    you should probably follow your own advice…. there’s no reason to rehash old arguments… to do a touchdown dance on anyone…. or do this whole i’m not doing a victory lap and i’m not saying i told you so … but i am routine….

    it’s so fucking childish…. and all it does is aim to antagonize people… nobody does this more than you do…. so please just knock it off and all of this would stop….

    I think the multiple people you can speak for are you, E and Hubert.

    yeah man that’s all it is…. those are the only people you had a problem with here…. woosh…

    MSG isn’t the Mecca because the Knicks perennially suck ass. Maybe if they stop sucking so much ass, it might be more of a Mecca. I mean, perceived superstar Carmelo Anthony forced his way here not long ago.

    And in terms of what the money thinks, which I put far more stock in, the Knicks have the 15th best odds to win the chip, smack dab in the middle. There’s no serious sense in which they’re *really* the 7th best team in the league. Thibs is maximizing the regular season again, and they’ve had impeccable luck in missing the other teams’ best players, and ISM has returned. Among other things.

    “you should probably follow your own advice…. there’s no reason to rehash old arguments… to do a touchdown dance on anyone…. or do this whole i’m not doing a victory lap and i’m not saying i told you so … but i am routine….”

    Yeah, right, no one else does that….

    “I also don’t think the Knicks need to trade for Giannis or an equivalently good player to be a contender. Another 4-5 BPM guy probably gets them into 5% territory easily.”

    Why are you now infatuated with this 5% chance thing? You aren’t really a contender at 20-1. You’re a longshot.

    Again, the 5% “test” is a thumbnail for when it *then* makes some sense to take real swings at it, including spending assets. It is not an end in itself. When and how did it become one?

    (And to repeat, the Knicks are 110 to 1. If people think that’s way off, well, Fanduel is legal and quick in the state of New York and numerous other jurisdictions. Though it would be breaking no laws, I’m sure not taking the odds.)

    One of the things I am enjoying most about this particular point in time (hint: it’s not another temper tantrum from a certain poster) is that the Nets are once again an afterthought. This is twice as enjoyable as when the Nets actually advanced beyond us in the playoffs and yet the Knicks upstaged them with a first-round exit.

    It’s certainly the case that the Nets could once again pass us by in the next couple of years, but for right now, no one fucking cares about them or their prospects. That’s some sweet sauce right there!

    So to use the late, lamented TNFH “purgatory test”:

    Odds of winning the chip: <1%.
    Odds of getting a serious tentpole draft pick: 0%.

    Pretty low on the ol' index, no? Massive prior adjustment mandated? Hmmm.

    “Why are you now infatuated with this 5% chance thing? You aren’t really a contender at 20-1. You’re a massive longshot.”

    So what do you define as “contention?” Has every front office that hasn’t given their team the single best Vegas odds to win the title failed?

    I have always, always, always defined it as having a non-zero chance to win the title. Morey has highlighted 5% as the point at which you should pretty much disregard future assets and that seems about right. There are too many competitors and too much luck involved to ask for more certainty than that.

    The Knicks are clearly one significant but plausible move away from reaching that point. Do you disagree?

    Yeah, right, no one else does that….

    nobody does it quite as often or as quite as passive aggressively and definitely not with as much intent to antagonize… why do people have to sidestep your snide comments so often?

    if you had thick skin you would probably let it go… this obsession is so weird…

    Man, the Rangers just added Patrick Kane. Why can’t we be like them?

    For those who don’t follow, the Rangers waived the white flag in the 2018 season. They traded everyone for picks. They tanked for two seasons. They were decent in year 3. They made the conference finals in year 4. And in year 5 they’re a massive contender making all in moves.

    That’s how you do it.

    “So what do you define as “contention?”

    I was actually using a lot of your stuff on this question! When old you was still here, you reversed it to, “When are the Knicks going to win a playoff series”?

    But in the spirit of discussion, I’ll throw out again what I’d consider a minimum, which is “Serious threat to get to the conference finals and win them.” Basically the 2021-22 NY Rangers.

    “Morey has highlighted 5% as the point at which you should pretty much disregard future assets and that seems about right.”

    For discussion purposes only, using Fanduel, your Morey Test contenders now would be Celtics, Suns, Bucks, Nuggets, Clippers, Sixers, Mavericks, Warriors, Grizzlies. Cavs next team out at 29 to 1.

    “The Knicks are clearly one significant but plausible move away from reaching that point. Do you disagree?”

    Depends on what the move is. Cavs got Spida last summer and they’re still almost 50% removed even from the Morey test. I think consensus opinion is that the move would have to be bringing in a guy who’s better than both Randle or Brunson. I agree with that. It’s not going to be some guy that merely crosses a metrics test.

    The current Knicks team, maxing everything out and having spent several firsts on moving “success” forward and having two guys in essentially their prime playing at all-star level, are at less than 1/5 the Morey test.

    My go-to remark in this is typically, “It’s extremely difficult to build a contender in the NBA.” I think it serves the discussion well.

    The Hinkie argument is long settled…it was a very successful endeavor that was hijacked by impatience.

    Alas the rules have changed, so there’s less likelyhood of success in taking that route, and if Hinkie wasn’t allowed to see it through, there’s no chance it would be tolerated here. That’s a fact that has to be factored in to any discussion about Leon’s efficacy. He would probably not have been hired had he tried to sell Dolan on the idea of going full Hinkie on this team.

    It should be mentioned that in regard to the OKC, HOU and others, they had the advantage of having superstars to trade in exchange for multiple first rounders to jumpstart their rebuilds. CLE is probably the best analog for what might have been had we taken the rebuild route, as they didn’t have much in the way of assets and had untradable contracts like Love on the books. Even so, are they really that much better positioned for the future than we are right now? They’re 2.5 games ahead of us in the standings, and have already blown their cache of draft picks on Spida.

    “nobody does it quite as often or as quite as passive aggressively and definitely not with as much intent to antagonize…”

    Yet you never call out anyone else…why is that? Could it be a weird (but treatable!) obsession you have with me?

    Bingo!

    The Knicks have enough assets to acquire a player that gets them to 5% and still have tradable draft picks.

    Or the Knicks could just bench RJ Barrett.

    “The Knicks have enough assets to acquire a player that gets them to 5% and still have tradable draft picks.”

    Yeah, this basically.

    The problem is E has already said he doesn’t trust all the numbers indicating that this is true, because Tom Thibodeau currently coaches the team. So it’s impossible to have this discussion with him.

    I have no idea what the references to our *current* championship odds are supposed to prove–zero people have said the current Knicks are contenders.

    I have said I have altered my opinion on *how far* they are from contention since the beginning of the season based on the 77% of the 2022-2023 that has been played. I guess this is what E objects to, because apparently you can’t trust data from a team if Tom Thibodeau coaches it.

    200+ comments!?!? 😮 You guys gave me a scare, i thought Brunson or Julius got injured or something! Phew, just the good old arguments once again… carry on, then! 😀

    “I have said I have altered my opinion on *how far* they are from contention since the beginning of the season based on the 77% of the 2022-2023 that has been played.”

    And I can merely repeat that having burned a lottery pick, incinerated a 19th pick, and traded a 2023 first round draft pick for more current assets, one would *hope* that they would be “closer to contention,” whatever that means.

    This isn’t meant in the least facetiously. The whole point of doing things like trading a bunch of first round picks is that you get better in the very near term and therefore closer to contention. If you don’t even pass that low bar, you’re abjectly incompetent and that’s never been my allegation.

    They’re still a tentpole superstar from contention. Same as it ever was, basically.

    The hire of Washington as a two way player is interesting relative to Keels. Now they have their two two way slots filled, so it’s it’s not so easy to return Keels to the two way contract he was in. But he’s only on a ten- day contract. So this is either very promising (if he stays with the NBA Knicks) or very negative for him (if they don’t renew his contract).

    77% of the way through the 2022-2023 season, the Knicks are the 7th best team in the NBA owing to factors that seem pretty sustainable.

    I know you’re having more fun with E, but again, the sustainability bit is very, very questionable.

    Incidentally, we had the 7th best SRS in the NBA in 2012-13, as well, with a 28 year old hall of famer and a DPOY still in his prime.

    Things can go to shit pretty fast. I think you have the right criteria but just aren’t weighing multiple seasons heavily enough.

    What lottery pick did they burn?

    Are you talking about the 2022 pick that they turned into 3 picks and room to sign Isaiah Hartenstein, Hartenstein himself being a relatively young player who put up monster numbers last year?

    This discussion has been interesting. For me though, I enjoy certain teams whether or not they can win it all. The Knicks, Mets and Giants have often fallen into this category. This particular Knick’s team has been extremely easy to root for of late-they are playing their butts off and there is no drama. Whether they are constructed to win it all, now or in the very near future, is irrelevant to me. Slowly acquiring the right players, playing the right way, making a run and moving toward that goal is a well-reasoned approach.

    BTW the Kings are the 8th best team in the NBA. Crazy. I’m gonna head over to Kingsblogger.net to see if someone named A-Man is taking victory laps around all the people who criticized the Marvin Bagley selection.

    Oh, it was a great win, and even more sweeter being against the Celtics. Now let’s win against the Nets and Heat (in Miami) to be even more solidified in the 5th seed.

    @Max

    I honestly didn’t expect today’s thread to be so harsh, we just beat the fucking CELTICS by 15 for god’s sake…

    Just imagine the vitriol when we win the title 😉

    E does a lot of revisionist history with regards to the 2022 draft. It was materially different than our 2021 approach, which everyone agrees sucked.

    The long and short of a whole messy series of transactions is we traded the 2022 11th pick and four seconds to dump some contracts and sign Brunson and we got the WAS pick, the DET pick, and the MIL pick. It is what it is and I’ve aired my critiques, but it ain’t the 2021 draft.

    I don’t think he actually thinks that it’s inexcusable that a team that traded the 19th pick in 2021 and the 11th pick in 2022 isn’t per se a contender, because that’s a patently ridiculous test that almost all non-contenders would fail. He is trolling.

    “I know you’re having more fun with E, but again, the sustainability bit is very, very questionable.”

    This is a completely fair point, but I think it’s fine to make reasonable projections about sustainability in the absence of the amount of data you’d ideally have.

    I think trading the ~23rd pick in the upcoming draft for Josh Hart is a perfectly reasonable balance of trying to sustainably improve a team that is playing well while weighing the risk the team takes a step(s) backward in the future.

    In other words, I don’t think we’re shit out of luck if it turns out we’re more like the 10th best team in the NBA.

    Incidentally, we had the 7th best SRS in the NBA in 2012-13, as well, with a 28 year old hall of famer and a DPOY still in his prime.

    Hubert, come on, man. You can’t be serious with this shit.

    That team had role players who were all ancient – Kidd, Sheed, Kurt Thomas, Prigs, Camby, KMART. The only young player on that team was Shump. They added Hardaway next year, so I guess they added one more young player who could have been good. But then they traded away a pick for Bargs the following season. They also had STAT’s albatross contract.

    The two situations aren’t remotely similar even if that team was more likely to win it all that year than we are this year.

    This discussion has been interesting. For me though, I enjoy certain teams whether or not they can win it all. The Knicks, Mets and Giants have often fallen into this category. This particular Knick’s team has been extremely easy to root for of late-they are playing their butts off and there is no drama.

    I’m with you, i loved the 90s and we didn’t win it all (although we were really close).

    “I don’t think he actually thinks that it’s inexcusable that a team that traded the 19th pick in 2021 and the 11th pick in 2022 isn’t per se a contender, because that’s a patently ridiculous test that almost all non-contenders would fail.”

    Few if any non-contenders would do those things.

    But, no, what I said was that a team should get closer to contention if it moves its future assets for current veteran ones. If it doesn’t it’s hopelessly incompetent. But that metric in no way supports squandering the assets, which is why no one else really does it.

    They moved several future more risky assets for current more dependable ones. *Of course* that moved them “closer to contention,” but so what? That’s the entire point of the enterprise. But they aren’t a contender as even TNFH realizes no one says or thinks. Which means they acted as a contender would act, even though they aren’t one. No reason to support that.

    On Leon Rose and the current state of our team, i feel that we are the “anti-Lebron” team, and that probably has been a conscious, even if difficult path.

    Lebron is a “do-it-all” player, he scores in the paint, from deep, rebounds, assists, defends several positions, … and he does (or did) what his team needs in a given moment. Consequently, he is very successful when surrounded by specialist players that play their role very well, because Lebron provides what other players do not have, and lets the team do what they are good at. In a sense, Lebron is the ultimate glue guy. A big star that adapts to its specialist players.

    Our team seems the other way around. Randle does not lack skills (as a matter of fact, Randle is very skilled in multiple areas), but he has trouble to adapt to different situations. Mitch is very good, but he is definitely a specialist. Meanwhile, our role players (IQ, Grimes, jHart, iHart) are the ones adapting to the situation and providing many different skills to complement their stars. I am not sure where Brunson falls in this place, as I feel he is kind of a specialist, too, but has brought a lot of balance to the team as Randle sorely needed someone else to handle the ball on offense. That is also why we have failed to play well with very good, but specialist players like Toppin and Fournier next to Randle.

    I like it. The team feels balanced and it is very nice to watch. I worry that we are limited in the way we can adapt, and therefore is easier for other teams to gameplan against us in the playoffs. Also, it makes it hard to tinker with the team (aside from the RJ spot). But the team chemistry we are building is special.

    Yet you never call out anyone else…why is that? Could it be a weird (but treatable!) obsession you have with me?

    i don’t have an issue with anyone… and nobody else had an issue with me…. besides Ted Nelson… he was banned.. you’re not for some reason….

    Just wait till we win the title 😉

    I can see it now. Knicks are going into game 7 of the ECF tied 3-3 and E posts about how we’re “chasing a meaningless NBA title” and how you’re still in purgatory if it’s not a guarantee you win it all and won’t repeat the following year.

    Dude loves moving goalposts.

    A month ago it was meaningless to chase the play in. Now it’s meaningless to chase the 5th seed (even though we’re not actually chasing it, we are the 5th seed).

    let’s move on to possible playoff pairings and who we’re going to sweep in the first round…

    Why aren’t more of us talking about this? I want the Cavs and now i feel like it’s a 50/50 chance to win the series. So if i feel 50/50, probably Swift is certain we’ll sweep the Cavs. 😉 😀

    “In other words, I don’t think we’re shit out of luck if it turns out we’re more like the 10th best team in the NBA.”

    They’re more like 15th according to Vegas. The money is more trustworthy than a fan base. If you really think they’re the 7th best team in the association, that means the odds you could get on them are fantastic and you should jump on them. Bets are possible on more things than just the chip. For example, they’re 42 to 1 to win the East, sixth in the conference.

    “BTW the Kings are the 8th best team in the NBA. Crazy. I’m gonna head over to Kingsblogger.net to see if someone named A-Man is taking victory laps around all the people who criticized the Marvin Bagley selection.”

    Kind of a dumb analogy, since I was all over the Frank, Knox, and Obi picks…

    The most disingenuous thing that you and E do is try to portray me as someone who never critiques Rose or Thibs and buys into everything that they do. And what’s really rich is that you have actually clarified my positions to others in brief moments of impartiality…

    Then recently you accused TNFH of the horrible crime of going all Z-man…remember that? Hmmm…I wonder why djphan didn’t jump in to reprimand you for being snide and personally attacking another poster…hypocrisy anyone?

    I mean, like it or not, we’re incremental-ing, we’re doing the hybrid approach. The idea is to get incrementally better– not that that’s necessarily a great idea, but that’s the idea. That’s the chosen path. I’m not going to argue whether that’s the better path than a true rebuild, because it clearly isn’t.

    Are we doing relatively well with the incremental approach? I think so. We seem to be… incrementally getting better after a crummy season last year. This team seems better than the playoff team from two years ago, simply based on the fact that we’re not relying on Elfrid Payton to do good basketball things on a basketball court. Josh Hart is better than Reggie Bullock. Stuff like that.

    I’m gonna enjoy this team for what it is. We’re probably legitimately in the top 3rd of NBA teams, as we’re on a very good pace since Thibs made the lineup changes after the 10-13 start. This is about as well as you could hope for this kind of approach to work. If you want to say that it vindicates Leon Rose, uh, sure okay. It does to a certain extent. He’s not getting fired anytime soon, and the fans seem to be enjoying the team.

    I’m not going to be planning a flight to NY to watch the team ride down the Canyon of Heroes anytime soon, but this is a lot better than trying to convince myself that there’s untapped potential in Noah Vonleh or pretending that Frank Ntilikina can play in the NBA or admiring the scrappy grit of Lance Thomas.

    “i don’t have an issue with anyone… and nobody else had an issue with me…. besides Ted Nelson… he was banned.. you’re not for some reason….”

    Ted Nelson was banned for reasons that had zero to do with you….get over yourself.

    Ted Nelson was banned for reasons that had zero to do with you….get over yourself

    you have more than enough reasons to be banned excluding any interaction with me… just like Ted Nelson did….

    I want the Cavs and now i feel like it’s a 50/50 chance to win the series. So if i feel 50/50, probably Swift is certain we’ll sweep the Cavs. 😉 😀

    Yes. Bring it.

    “Man, the Rangers just added Patrick Kane. Why can’t we be like them?”

    Because we have a terrible owner (oops)

    The most disingenuous thing that you and E do is try to portray me as someone who never critiques Rose or Thibs and buys into everything that they do.

    Categorically false.

    The issue is not that you don’t criticize Thibs or Rose. It’s that you don’t allow anyone else to.

    You have a list of acceptable critiques and unacceptable critiques. You have zero tolerance for the takes you find unacceptable, and you pathologically mischaracterize them to make them more mockable.

    You’re an egomaniac and an asshole. That’s what I have accused you of.

    Our only loss against the Cavs came early in the season with 1/4 of our minutes going to Fournier, Rose, and Reddish.

    Our only loss against the Cavs came early in the season with 1/4 of our minutes going to Fournier, Rose, and Reddish.

    And Kevin Love’s 29 points are now … elsewhere 😉

    JK that’s a very lucid and fair take. Rose has been far from perfect, but he does seem to be doing well at learning on the job. The mistakes he made are sort of predictable…when you have a Team of Rivals approach and you don’t have much experience in the actual position, it’s understandable that it would take some trial and error to figure out how much weight to give to each voice.

    He probably listened to the wrong people in off-season 2021, and my guess is that Thibs was one of the most prominent voices in asking for him to re-sign Rose, Nerlens, and Burks and sign Kemba and Fournier.

    There has definitely been some opportunity cost in pivoting away from that ill-fated array of moves, but the pivot this offseason has been pretty well-executed. Equally important are the moves that weren’t made, e.g. Spida, Julius.

    The most egregious blunder (at least arguably) regarding this past offseason was extending RJ. But I think a lot of FOs would have done that under the same circumstances. But I’d rather be bemoaning that than the aftermath of an ill-fated Spida trade.

    All-in-all, it’s nice to be in this spot considering what we’ve been through for the past 20 years before Leon came on board. He keeps his mouth shut and lets the product speak for itself. We’ve leapfrogged the Nets for a while. The team is a blast to watch. There’s lots of dry powder yet.

    I finally figured out how to do an Avatar. Cleveland would be nice, Grimes and Hart shut down Spida-or at least keep him under 30.

    E….what kind of meds did they give you for the quick off the covid death bed back to full flame throwing…?

    I’m guessing it was the same B12 shot in the ass that Roger Clemens did, a couple of gimlets of paxlovoid and two aspirin?

    Hubert, it truly must suck having to spin your way out of all of your terrible hot takes of the past three years, especially the ones directed at me. But the posting record is there for anyone to review, I’ll leave it for others to judge.

    “a couple of gimlets of paxlovoid”

    5 day supply. It’s not pleasant. Metal taste was f/in disgusting.

    “terrible hot takes of the past three years,”

    TNFH: Could you shoot Z-man the memo about contention? Thx.

    I don’t think we are overmatched against anybody except Boston (if fully healthy) and the Bucks….then again…as someone said above…i think the achilles heel is our reliance on Brunson to handle the ball…any coach worth his salt is going to take us out of the offense, i.e., force Brunson to give it up once he gets in the half court…and if the default is Julius or RJ as secondary decision maker…we’re cooked…

    Teams are going to put a long defender on Brunson like TO did and shade a second guy to him and make him give up the ball. You might even see 1/2/2 or 3/2 zones with length up top. In fact, I’d anticipate that. If it’s the Cavs, we’re probably talking Mobley. And then they still have Allen in reserve in the back.

    Gulp.

    The playoffs are an entirely different animal. Shitloads of fun, but the regular season they are not.

    I think it was Washington game and they put Advija or whatever his name is the Israeli kid…and he frustured the shit out of Brunson…yep…long/tall guys who don’t go for his fakes can also get him off his game…then again…he torched alot of dudes in the playoffs last year who could game plan for him…so hopefully..he pulls the same magic this year…

    “Teams are going to put a long defender on Brunson like TO did and shade a second guy to him and make him give up the ball.”

    Possibly moving IQ alongside of Brunson into the starting line up as a secondary decision maker could be of some help in that case.

    JK, 2 years is an overstatement when it comes to the OKC rebuild. It’s really 4, assuming you begin with 2019 and the trade for SGA – who is arguably the most important piece in the rebuild, and already on his second contract.

    I mean, they are in a great position, and Presti has done well, but it ain’t two years.

    The Thunder were a bad team for two years. That’s how long their fanbase had to suffer through losing.

    In 2019-2020 they played .611 ball and made the playoffs.

    In 2020-2021 they were terrible, they bottomed out, and finished 14th in the conference.

    In 2021-2022 they were still bad, and again finished 14th in the conference.

    This season they are no longer bad. They have a sub-.500 record, but their Pythag record is over .500, and they rank 10th in the NBA in SRS.

    Two years of bad basketball, that’s what they had to endure.

    E, I agree with you that we are not serious contenders right now. I’m pretty much in lock step with TNFH and JK47’s posts as to where we stand right now. I’ve been pretty consistent in saying that I would not pass final judgment on this FO until opening day 2023-34 unless a clear all-in move was made before then (and repeatedly said as much during the Donovan Mitchell pursuit, which I felt was extremely ill-advised…in direct opposition to what TNFH and some other conspicuous posters felt). Most of the disagreements here have boiled down to patience with the FO vs. “we’ve seen enough.”

    You posted above that you will now keep an open mind. Isn’t that n admission of some sort? My sincere recollection is that there was absolutely no hedging in your doomsday outlook prior to this latest run.

    The only victory lap anyone is taking is for the call for patience with this FO before passing final judgment…not that they have arrived at some predetermined destination i.e contender status, or are certain to get there. No one is hanging a Mission Accomplished banner. Only that there has been a plan, and the plan seems to be working pretty well as things stand right now.

    You and others can try to spin our past positions however you want, but at least don’t lie about shit or have the temerity to accuse TNFH of being under some kind of Z-man-induced trance, as your buddy Hubert has.

    If you put Mobley on Brunson, then Randle can just shoot over whoever the Cavs put on him. The Cavs have to be one of the smallest teams in the league on the perimeter.

    “They’re more like 15th according to Vegas.”

    Decidedly not what the odds imply, and my first post of the day explains why. It can be true that we’re the 7th best team in the NBA but have virtually no chance of making the finals, because so many of the top 6 are in the East.

    If we were in the West we’d have better odds despite no difference in team quality, hence the Kings having better odds to make the finals than us despite being worse by all indicators.

    “Few if any non-contenders would do those things.”

    I mean, the incineration was just a piss poor move all around. No team should do it, contender or not.

    But I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that only contenders would do something like trade the ~23rd overall pick for Josh Hart. Should I bother to name some of the countless examples to the contrary?

    “Embiid is obvioulsy a fantastic player. But all those years and they get one franchise player and not even a third or fourth option or good 6th man?”

    Hinkie’s first big move was to trade a future perennial all-star in Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel. Had he not done that, he could have tanked for 1 year, drafted Embiid, and had a much better team built. Instead, he made a big production out of nothing. He didn’t do a good job at all. Stick with Presti for the pro tanking argument.

    was watching the thunder the other night, seems they’re wasting some of shai’s good years…

    the thought that stayed with me – if you are starting luguentz dort on your team – you are not seriously concerned with winning…

    when will the thunder ever start worrying about winning games…all those great assets, but, they don’t really wanna pay much in salary, or win basketball games…

    the oklahoma thunder are a joke and will be for the foreseeable future…

    No one is hanging a Mission Accomplished banner.

    Dude literally said “all previous criticisms of Leon Rose have been proven wrong” a week ago.

    “Dude literally said “all previous criticisms of Leon Rose have been proven wrong” like a week ago.”

    Total bullshit. Everyone knows it. Don’t do that.

    Geo with the hottest hot take of the flame wars today!

    Hey, remember when this site was filled with posts decrying Thibs’ lunatic use of players in the game, both in terms of lineups and minutes? Whatever happened to those good old days?

    Also left in the dust — are the Knicks going to make the playoffs?

    if you are starting luguentz dort on your team – you are not seriously concerned with winning…

    ok…now…watch that crticisim of ex Sun Devils…that is where i draw the proverbial line…

    I honestly don’t know what Z-Man thinks he’s gotten right.

    I have never doubted Leon Rose’s ability to get us to the mezzanine. I have doubted his ability to get us to the top.

    We are in the mezzanine now. There are no W’s for Z-Man in the mezzanine. He remains winless.

    One thing we can all agree on, though, is that the mezzanine is pretty fun. I am enjoying the fuck out of this team when Z-Man isn’t talking.

    are the Knicks going to make the playoffs?

    barring an epic collapse…which would certainly blow the server supporting the fallout banter on here…that should be a given…and further it should be starting as a series not a play in game…but then again…this team is streaky…they could lose 3 or 4 in a row and somehow have to play the 7/8 game..which I still think if that is the scenario the would end up either 7 or 8…and well…that first series could get ugly…but if we end up 5 or 6…i think that would be entertaining and competitive…assuming hart takes most of rj’s minutes (but as someone said above…rj is the kind of guy who could rise up for a game or two and propel us forward)…

    “I have never doubted Leon Rose’s ability to get us to the mezzanine. I have doubted his ability to get us to the top.

    We are in the mezzanine now. There are no W’s for Z-Man in the mezzanine. He remains winless.”

    Another wacky distortion of past arguments. George Santos has nothing on you, pal!

    The Thunder are most definitely NOT a joke.

    They’re above average on both sides of the ball. 12th in offensive rating, 12th in defensive rating. Positive net rating, as they have outscored their opponents. Pythag record is 32-28. That’s a 44 win pace.

    SGA is 24 and locked up through his age 28 season. He’s a top 10 NBA player.

    Second banana Josh Giddey is 20 and is already a positive BPM player. Needs to work on his shot, but he averages 19/9/7 per 36. Looks like a future All-Star to me.

    Jalen Williams is a 21 year old rookie. I’ll let you know when RJ Barrett has a season as good as Jalen Williams’ rookie season, because he hasn’t yet. Not even close. Williams has a 102 eFG+ and 100 TS+, and gets 1.6 steals per 36, so he’s contributing on defense too. Solid guard prospect.

    Poku is 21 and also a positive BPM player, despite the fact that he still has a lot of filling out to do. Already a presence as a shot blocker though, and can shoot the 3. He can play.

    Chet Holmgren is 20 and has not yet played, but if you’ve ever seen him play you know he is a very legit prospect. Lisfranc injuries are scary, and who knows if he ever gets healthy enough to play, but he’s a cathedral ceiling prospect.

    Those are just five of their assets, they have many more. And they also have 15 first round picks in the next five drafts. They’ll be crushing fools in a couple of years.

    The only thing you need to know about OKC is that both Jaylin Williams and Jalen Williams are starting now.

    Total bullshit. Everyone knows it. Don’t do that.

    Jesus the cognitive dissonance in you. You said your wife treats mental patients… did you meet her when you were in the asylum? Cuz you’re fucking crazy.

    Z–mansays:
    February 12, 2023 at 14:28
    At the very least, it seems clear to me that the negative takes about the direction taken and a bunch of decisions made, including the recent acquisition of JHart, were either misguided or overblown.

    The Thunder were a bad team for two years. That’s how long their fanbase had to suffer through losing.

    Sure, but the rebuild did start in 2019, when they traded away Paul George, and then Jeremi Grant and Russ. It didn’t look like a rebuild because Chris Paul was better than anyone apparently realized and fit well with Gallo and others, so they had a good year. But I don’t see how you can compare it to the Knicks, who, uh, did not have Paul George, Russell Westbrook, and Jeremi Grant.

    So, it was a four year rebuild that started in 2019, but yes, it was only two bad years, but no, it’s not a good analogy to what the Knicks could have done, because the Knicks started poor and OKC started rich. You don’t have only two bad years when you start with Porzingis, Hardaway, Courtney Lee, and Lance Thomas.

    speaking of Jalen Williams…this was what Windhorst wrote on espn today:

    At the start of the NBA draft in June, the Oklahoma City Thunder had two missions:

    — Get Chet Holmgren

    — Get Jalen Williams

    The first one was simpler; Holmgren wasn’t going No. 1 to the Orlando Magic, who had limited their choices to Jabari Smith Jr. and Paolo Banchero. The Thunder, with the No. 2 pick, had zeroed in on Holmgren for weeks.

    As for Williams, he is one of the developing stories of this rookie class. And getting him has underscored the importance of how a wild half-hour on draft night, one that saw the Thunder, New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets maneuver a series of trades, has had a significant impact on this season.

    Slotting into the Thunder perimeter next to All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and 2021 lottery pick Josh Giddey, Williams is already looking like one of the best players in the 2022 class. Since Jan. 1, Williams is averaging 14 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals, and he has played the most minutes on the roster.

    In a defining moment, Williams was given the assignment of guarding LeBron James the night he set the NBA’s all-time scoring record in Los Angeles on Feb. 7. James got the record, but Williams got the walk-off interview as he thrived in that spotlight, scoring 25 points with seven rebounds and six steals in OKC’s victory.

    It was a showcase moment alongside Gilgeous-Alexander, who had 30 points, and Giddey, who had 20, for the Thunder’s future.

    “He’s one of those guys that like every hurdle you put in front of him, he clears it,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said of Williams. “The way you help him improve is you give him those opportunities, and then you make sure they learn from it one way or the other.”

    First, though, the Thunder had to get Williams.

    The Knicks, who had the 11th pick on draft night, had let it be known they were moving the pick as part of a broad effort to hoard salary-cap space to sign coveted free agent Jalen Brunson. That pickup has become one of the best moves in free agency; Brunson is having a breakout season, averaging 23.7 points and 6.2 assists with the Knicks in the midst of a resurgence.

    The Hornets were picking 13th and 15th and also wanted to trade one of their picks. They already had a bevy of young players and had interest in saving cap room to sign restricted free agent Miles Bridges to a massive contract.

    As it turned out, though, Bridges was arrested on domestic violence charges a few days later, and he hasn’t played this season as the NBA investigates. It was a foreshadowing of what has been a disappointing campaign, as Bridges’ issues and back-to-back ankle injuries for LaMelo Ball derailed the Hornets’ season before it started.

    Bottom line: Pick Nos. 11 and 13 were available. At No. 12, using the LA Clippers’ pick they got as part of the 2019 Paul George trade, were the Thunder. It led to a flurry of calls, offers and activity.

    The Thunder had tracked Williams for months, identifying him as a perfect player for the modern NBA: a two-way wing with long arms, above-average shooting with high leadership and character traits, the son of military parents.

    He just happened to play at a small school, mid-major Santa Clara, which had one player drafted in the past three decades: Steve Nash in 1996. So it was noticed, especially by Williams, when Thunder scouts kept showing up at his games last season.

    When Williams came to OKC for a pre-draft workout, it was run entirely by Daigneault. This led to some comedy, because first, head coaches don’t typically run draft workouts; and second, Williams didn’t initially know who Daigneault was.

    The Knicks, who had the 11th pick on draft night, had let it be known they were moving the pick as part of a broad effort to hoard salary-cap space to sign coveted free agent Jalen Brunson. That pickup has become one of the best moves in free agency; Brunson is having a breakout season, averaging 23.7 points and 6.2 assists with the Knicks in the midst of a resurgence.

    The Hornets were picking 13th and 15th and also wanted to trade one of their picks. They already had a bevy of young players and had interest in saving cap room to sign restricted free agent Miles Bridges to a massive contract.

    As it turned out, though, Bridges was arrested on domestic violence charges a few days later, and he hasn’t played this season as the NBA investigates. It was a foreshadowing of what has been a disappointing campaign, as Bridges’ issues and back-to-back ankle injuries for LaMelo Ball derailed the Hornets’ season before it started.

    Bottom line: Pick Nos. 11 and 13 were available. At No. 12, using the LA Clippers’ pick they got as part of the 2019 Paul George trade, were the Thunder. It led to a flurry of calls, offers and activity.

    The Thunder had tracked Williams for months, identifying him as a perfect player for the modern NBA: a two-way wing with long arms, above-average shooting with high leadership and character traits, the son of military parents.

    He just happened to play at a small school, mid-major Santa Clara, which had one player drafted in the past three decades: Steve Nash in 1996. So it was noticed, especially by Williams, when Thunder scouts kept showing up at his games last season.

    When Williams came to OKC for a pre-draft workout, it was run entirely by Daigneault. This led to some comedy, because first, head coaches don’t typically run draft workouts; and second, Williams didn’t initially know who Daigneault was.
    On draft night, the Thunder were concerned several teams had caught on to their desire to take Williams, who was projected to go later in the draft, and were trying to get up to the Knicks’ pick at No. 11 to beat them to him. The Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies, in particular, are specialists at moving around in the draft and identifying players as diamonds in the rough.

    But it was the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had heavy interest in French prospect Ousmane Dieng and owned the 14th pick, who were most interested in getting in front of the Thunder and were involved in talks with the Knicks at the same time.

    The Cavs suspected Oklahoma City also wanted Dieng — and they were right, because when OKC won the bidding war to get the Knicks’ pick by sending three protected future first-rounders, they used it on Dieng.

    And with the 12th pick, the Thunder took Williams.

    By using their pick to take Williams instead of the Knicks’ pick one spot earlier, the Thunder assured they would get the Chandler, Arizona, native in case the trade with New York somehow fell apart later. It did not, and they landed both Williams and Dieng.
    The Knicks turned around and traded for the Hornets’ No. 13 pick for one future first-rounder plus four second-round picks. Then, in a bit of arbitrage, the Knicks immediately sold the Charlotte pick to Detroit, one of two trades they did with the Pistons that cleaned their books enough to be able to sign Brunson outright.

    The Pistons took Jalen Duren, who has shown promise as a rookie, paying two first-round picks after the talented center had slid in the draft.

    When the smoke cleared, the Thunder had their preferred player as well as Dieng; and the Knicks had picked up three first-rounders and the money for Brunson. The Hornets drafted a different center at No. 15, Mark Williams, and they have an extra first-rounder for this year.

    Holmgren is out for the season with a foot injury, and Dieng has had his season affected by a broken wrist. But Jalen Williams has been a revelation, usually guarding the opposition’s best wing player and showing more and more promise, including playing some point guard.

    “The coaching staff has a lot of trust in me, and they’re willing to kind of throw me out there in those situations,” Williams said Friday after scoring 22 points and chasing around Devin Booker in a narrow loss to the Phoenix Suns. “I’m not backing down from whoever the situation or task is.”

    Another wacky distortion of past arguments. George Santos has nothing on you, pal!

    I’ve used that mezzanine line a hundred times. But go ahead, Martini. Tell me what you think my position has been. I can’t wait to read a bunch of things I never said.

    To be clear, we’re in agreement that OKC is in a good place! But it’s a facile analogy when the starting situations weren’t remotely comparable. We were too asset poor to rebuild the way they did.

    “When the smoke cleared, the Thunder had their preferred player as well as Dieng … But Jalen Williams has been a revelation, usually guarding the opposition’s best wing player and showing more and more promise, including playing some point guard.”

    To the surprise of no one sentient, Presti took Leon to the cleaners on draft night 2022.

    No one trades out of the lottery to clear cap space. Smart GMs clear cap space (and way more of it) at far less cost. Trading out of the lottery to clear a year of money from a guy you signed at buyout levels was flat out incompetent.

    So in Hubert’s mind, this:

    “At the very least, it seems clear to me that the negative takes about the direction taken and a bunch of decisions made, including the recent acquisition of JHart, were either misguided or overblown.”

    …equals this:

    “all previous criticisms of Leon Rose have been proven wrong”

    I know you are grasping at straws now that JK47 and TNFH are less pessimistic than you have been…that must really hurt (as evidenced by you accusing TNFH of going over to the Dark Side.

    “I honestly don’t know what Z-Man thinks he’s gotten right.”

    Seconded. I seriously and honestly have no idea what the argument even is. Plus the goalposts consistently move.

    They aren’t a contender, as Z-Man admits. They aren’t even close to the Morey test that doesn’t signify anything in itself, but is merely a shorthand that would merely free them up to sensibly make contender-type moves.

    Leon’s had three years at the helm in which he’s moved some future assets forward and therefore made the present a little bit better and a guy he inherited is having a big year. That’s it. They go into the 2023 playoffs a non-contender *by everyone’s sensible admission.*

    Leon started his reign with the team needing a tentpole superstar to have any serious contender aspirations. Exactly the same thing is the case as we sit here today.

    That’s somehow an inviolate record? Come on, now. Let’s be serious.

    Even if clearing that cap space allowed you to sign the best point guard New York had had since mark jackson and rod strickland?

    Leon was smart enough to know not to blow it all up when he got here and trade away everyone. Which is what most of the year it all down people would have wanted. Trade Randle and start over. A lot of GMs would have done that. Put their stamp on the team early with big moves (think Phil trading chandler right away) instead of being patient and seeing what we got.

    The person who wrote this earlier today:

    “Maybe djphan does need help, and you just mocked someone with a handicap, or someone who’s going through a hard time. What is wrong with you, dude? And literally on this same page you hilariously said “I attack the post not the poster.” Get the fuck outta here with that shit, man.”

    Just said this:

    “You said your wife treats mental patients… did you meet her when you were in the asylum? Cuz you’re fucking crazy….But go ahead, Martini….”

    Not to mention called me an asshole and an egomaniac.

    Wow.

    “Even if clearing that cap space allowed you to sign the best point guard New York had had since mark jackson and rod strickland?”

    Yes. Smarter, more on the ball, GMs do it at way less cost. All the time.

    They could have had Jalen Brunson *and* Jalen Williams (for example). That’s what a better GM would have done. But that’s not what Leon does. Leon squanders assets and gets taken to the cleaners. (And then his amen corner applauds. Or says silly stuff like “Well, Leon wasn’t going to draft Jalen Williams anyway.”)

    The real question is whether Leon even understands this, i.e., understands how he squanders assets.

    Even if clearing that cap space allowed you to sign the best point guard New York had had since mark jackson and rod strickland?

    only one part of that trade helped us sign brunson…. the other part was to help us sign hartenstein….

    What is so funny to me is that Leon is doing exactly what so many of you have wanted the Knicks to do for years. Be patient and grow the team slowly and organically. You’re just mad bc he’s not doing it solely off of draft picks bc somehow drafting a young player is somehow automatically better than trading for them or signing them in free agency. And it drives you all fucking cray for no good reason.

    And Hartenstein is a good young back up center. Like seriously he could start on a lot of decent teams and we got him here for a good price. Hartenstein is what? 23? 24?

    Sounds like another shrewd move to me

    Owen, look! Fred Katz answered our question!

    “It’s time to write a sentence that hasn’t been so common in New York over the past couple of decades: The Knicks are good.”

    Oh we could have had a better GM! Oh no! I guess we’ll just have to settle for a pretty good one! Oh the horror

    “What is so funny to me is that Leon is doing exactly what so many of you have wanted the Knicks to do for years. Be patient and grow the team slowly and organically. ”

    He’s not doing that. He’s moving future draft assets forward for immediate gratification. He’s done it numerous times.

    “And Hartenstein is a good young back up center.”

    Wow — a backup center for a lottery pick. Incroyable!! Sensation!!

    when we talk about OKC you have to realize this is presti’s SECOND go around at a tank and rebuild…. the first one started when they drafted durant… westbrook and harden in consecutive years… that rebuild took two years before they got to 50+ wins in their third….

    presti again… without the benefit of a top 5 lotto pick this time… has got back to respectability within two years…. you can poopoo where they are this time and where they started… but out of any gm that we talk about.. more than hinkie more than leon rose… more than whoever…. he’s ran the gamut of the win curve over close to 20 years in the league and has been able to navigate it.. arguably.. the best out of any gm currently in the league…..

    “He’s not doing that. He’s moving future draft assets forward for immediate gratification. He’s done it numerous times.”

    Yet we have the 8th youngest team in the league, with all our own picks plus three surplus picks.

    So building a team incrementally is now instant gratification? I don’t think you know what the word “incremental” really means.

    It’s also facile to pick the team that did the best at tanking and say why can’t the Knicks be like that. But it’s a difficult standard because you are basically saying you want your front office to be the best front office in the league.

    It’s so fucking comical to watch E do this. He just can’t stand it that we’re good and have a bright future and it wasn’t done his way. You look like an idiot right now.

    “It was a back up center and a badass young starting point guard.”

    And a better GM would have gotten them at far less cost.

    Presti is the best GM in the business and is perfect for that market. I doubt if his tactics would fly in a big market though.

    8th youngest team in the league with all of our picks plus three extra ones, no bad contracts, a two time all star, a point guard who should be an all star, a 23 year old who is a 6th man of the year candidate, a 24 year old starting center who is one of the best defensive players in the league all led by a two time coach of the year who once orchestrated one of the greatest defenses of the last twenty years as an assistant. But hey that 19th pick though.

    Sounds like another shrewd move to me

    let me get this straight… moving draft capital for the pleasure of signing Isaiah Hartenstein… was a ‘shrewd move’?

    please expand… i don’t find your actual answer interesting… but i might find the way you answer this interesting….

    let me get this straight… moving draft capital for the pleasure of signing Isaiah Hartenstein… was a ‘shrewd move’?

    We got three 1st round picks

    Sam Presti walked into the draft prepared, flexible, and ready to maximize his assets. Leon Rose walked into the draft locked in on Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein (*) and indifferent to any other possible asset(s) he could garner from the process.

    Accordingly, to no one’s surprise, Leon Rose got taken to the cleaners by Sam Presti.

    That’s what happened. It turned out “ok” as far as that goes — JB and IH are good players — but he could have had them *and* other assets very easily. Jalen Williams, for example. Any other even mildly decent GM would have.

    (*) As he walked into the 2020 draft locked in on Obi Toppin and the 2021 draft locked in, almost certainly at Thibs’s behest, on Quentin Grimes and Deuce McBride and into the 2020 draft locked in on whoever the hell that was that he wanted before he incinerated the 32nd pick.

    Of all the days to shit on the Knicks…

    I think I’m going to go watch a couple of these recent games. Maybe I’m missing something.

    “That’s somehow an inviolate record? Come on, now. Let’s be serious.”

    Again, no one said or implied that that’s an inviolate record. And there has been no moving of goalposts. My goalposts are, and have always been: wait until after the 2023 offseason to pass overall judgment on the success of the hybrid approach to teambuilding. I’ve been pretty clear that my goalposts were constructing a team that was a sustainable winner with a reasonable path to contending for a championship. I’ve compared this approach to Pat Riley’s numerous times and have said that if we could build something like what the post-LeBron Heat have been, I’d be incredibly happy. I was mocked by the usual suspects here for invoking Pat Riley’s approach as an example of how the hybrid method “might” work, including Riley’s mistakes and penchant for overcoming them?

    Does that thinking look misguided or absurd in retrospect? Aren’t we sort of in that ballpark right now? Even with the mistakes along the way that I said were indeed mistakes but not ones that would derail that approach?

    I’ll defer to anyone other than Hubert, E, or dj to judge whether I’ve moved the goalposts or think of Leon’s or Thibs’ records as inviolate. Beyond that, I’ll defer to TNFH and JK who are obviously compromised into doing Z-man’s bidding.

    We got three 1st round picks

    weren’t you part of this multi day discussion during the mitchell trade talks of how those aren’t valued as actual real first rd’ers?

    here let’s make this easy… put a % chance that the washington and detroit firsts convert eventually for us….

    They could have had Jalen Brunson *and* Jalen Williams (for example).

    Actually, they couldn’t have, as Presti was determined to draft Williams (he’s a good talent evaluator) and in fact selected him 10th, one pick ahead of the Knicks’ pick.

    We could have, though, had (insert other good prospects here) plus Jalen Brunson though. Which is my beef with Rose: he throws 1RPs around like candy with no regard for opportunity cost. We’d be in REALLY good shape if he had a better approach to the draft. Alas.

    JK47 and TNFH were far more pessimistic than me entering the season. What they’ve done is catch up to me. I literally wrote “the case for reasonable optimism” heading into the season, in which I gave Leon credit for an excellent offseason, predicted a strong season for Julius Randle, and an unexpectedly good season for the Knicks.

    None of these things mean that Leon will ever be able to overcome his blunders. He cost us Tyrese Halliburton and a prime pick in the loaded 2022 lottery. That’s my take. That’s been my take. That will always be my take. The 19th pick and all that other shit are just indicators of faulty thought processes.

    You’re just too binary. You can’t comprehend 2’s and 3’s and 7’s, so you just convert everything you don’t believe in to a nonzero. It’s a product of you not being very smart. And that’s really your entire online identity, isn’t it? There are smart people here, and you’re not one of them. I’m not either, but I don’t care. You care, though. You want to be seen as one of the smart guys so badly. So you put on these shows over and over and over where you try to impress the people you look up to by fighting with the people you look down on. I mean, you’ve had Jowles’ excrement on your nose for so many years now that I don’t know how you even smell the Laphroig.

    You know what your problem with djphan and TNFH is, and why you fight with them every… single… draft…? They’re actually smart. People recognize them as smart. And that makes you really mad because you want them to say that about you. But they won’t. Because you’re not smart. You’re actually pretty dumb.

    You’re also an angry old man who hasn’t taken a half-day break from this board in over ten years. And half the time you post here, you’re drunk.

    So like I said hours ago… Give me a number. Because I might not be smart but I’m rich. And honestly I can’t think of a better way to spend $20k than paying for you to go the fuck away so I can talk about basketball in peace.

    “My goalposts are, and have always been: wait until after the 2023 offseason to pass overall judgment on the success of the hybrid approach to teambuilding.”

    Ummm, except that what … three dozen times or more? … a good win the night before has turned into, “See, losers, how wrong you were about Leon’s record???”

    Don’t get me wrong, if people want to say that, it’s fine with me as long as they’ll take the retort in good faith, but to say that you just want to wait … I mean, not so much. I’ll credit your personal assignment of that as a benchmark — it’s fair, although four years is probably too long — but that hasn’t been the tenor of the board conversation.

    I still honestly don’t know the “pro-Leon case.” They aren’t contenders, they’re way short of the Morey test, they’ve spent three (?) first rounders to move asset realization forward, he inherited Randle … so what is it exactly? He’s not Isiah? They’re “closer to contention”? How? They’re still a tentpole superstar short.

    What’s the goalpost going to be after this 2023 offseason passes? Contender? Let’s hear it.

    Protected picks can’t get you players at the very top of the draft, this is why they’re valued significantly less than unprotected picks.

    Of course, neither can the 11th or 13th pick.

    The Wizards have a chance of giving us the 15th or 16th pick this year.

    Actually, they couldn’t have, as Presti was determined to draft Williams (he’s a good talent evaluator) and in fact selected him 10th, one pick ahead of the Knicks’ pick.

    we had the 11th pick and traded to OKC… and Jalen Williams was selected 12th…. he was absolutely there …

    Hubert said:
    “For those who don’t follow, the Rangers waived the white flag in the 2018 season. They traded everyone for picks. They tanked for two seasons. They were decent in year 3. They made the conference finals in year 4. And in year 5 they’re a massive contender making all in moves.

    That’s how you do it.”

    Still waiting for an answer as to whether we are “decent in year 3 of the Leon administration”, hence in the same place the Rangers were in via their chosen approach. Oh, never mind…you just said: “I am enjoying the fuck out of this team.” I’ll take that as a yes.

    What’s the criteria to evaluate Leon by after the 2023 offseason? Will he have built a contender?

    Jalen Williams went 12, but we traded 11 for 3 picks and then flipped a crappy Denver future 1st and a bunch of 2nds for the 13th pick.

    Most people would’ve been on board with that series of moves, moving back from 11 to 13 and picking up 2 more picks.

    So Jalen Williams went 1 pick ahead of us after shuffling picks.

    A lot of this discussion is very strange to me. I guess I’m learning something about myself: I don’t really dig my heels in about an opinion if I get some more information. Some people really be clinging to their prior opinions with a death grip. I still think Leon leaves a bit to be desired, mainly because he has a weird and bad approach to the draft. He’s good at some other stuff though. Probably a slightly above average GM? I’ll take that. I lived through Phil Jackson. This season is entertaining. I’m enjoying it.

    I like all of you though, even those of you who don’t like each other. I don’t really wanna be on any “team” whether it’s optimist or pessimist, or pro-Leon or anti-Leon. I spent the day today working on a song I’m pitching for the upcoming Barbie movie, I don’t have any illusions about myself as some deep font of basketball knowledge. I just calls ’em like I sees ’em. All of you make good points from time to time. Even Strat. Who I also like. Just fucking with you, Strat. Phil sucked though.

    But they could have, and should have, just drafted JW at 11 and then pawned Kemba off for like a 2026 2 as normal GMs would have done. Or just bought him out. Or signed and traded with the Mavs and/or LAC. There’s no real sense in which they even “needed” to drop his money. He had one year left, at *buyout rates*.

    Losing a lottery pick in all that was high-order clownshoes.

    So we could have drafted Jalen Williams after all.

    Oooof. See, my man Leon is bad at the draft. That one stings.

    Actually, they couldn’t have

    Actually they could have. You just have to go back a little farther to when he gave out $161MM in guaranteed money to Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier, Nerlens Noel, and Kemba Walker.

    Has anyone ever spent money worse in one offseason? One year later and none of those guys can get on a basketball court. That’s really, really bad.

    Any way you slice it, it comes down to him making a blunder and it costing us a lottery pick.

    Likewise to JK. Why would I have some kind of bias against Leon Rose? Absurd. If he does good, I’ll say so; if he does shitty, I’ll say so, too. And will try to explain why. There’s nothing more going on than that.

    Presti is a fantastic GM. Maybe even better than Ujiri. Would have loved for him (or Ujiri) to have been brought in and given complete control over all transactions. I’d trade out Leon for either of them in a heartbeat.

    Probably would do the same for Ainge, although the thought of it is so revolting, maybe not. Same with Stevens.

    There’s a few others for sure.

    But Leon is doing okay. Certainly far superior to his predecessors, in my opinion. There is a learning curve, but he does seem to be learning. Considering other possibilities, I’m cool with him for now. As Hubert said, I’m enjoying the fuck out of this team.

    damn..there’s a shit ton of games on tonight…i just wait it out till the 4th qtr on most of them and just flip to the close games…league pass is kind of awesome…

    The Knicks could not have bought out Kemba, drafted at 11, and ensured they could offer Brunson the max.

    There are other ways to do it — sign and trade, for example, or trading Kemba with the typical 2026 2 attached, but yes they could have. They also cleared out money on draft night, on purpose, for Hartenstein. Eight million dollars.

    TNFH, I think, did the breakdown a couple months ago.

    They basically traded the lottery pick for Hartenstein. Very poorly done. There’s a reason better GMs clear cap space on the fly at much lower cost.

    Leon should have walked into draft night with a strategy that would have gotten him the 11th pick, Hartenstein, and Brunson. It was easily doable. He failed to do it. To Leon’s credit, Brunson is an excellent player and Hart is a good player. Good work on that part. But Leon squandered a lottery pick. Can’t do that.

    ***am I becoming Donnie Jowles? I think I am! I think I’m okay with it!***

    Embrace your inner Donnie.

    (Haven’t you noticed that you’ve also shifted to hate-blogging the Knicks, and that you also think that the Beatles are kind of over-rated now?)

    Likewise to JK. Why would I have some kind of bias against Leon Rose? Absurd. If he does good, I’ll say so; if he does shitty, I’ll say so, too. And will try to explain why. There’s nothing more going on than that.

    Same here. I praised Leon’s offseason this summer and literally wrote a manifesto giving reasons to be optimistic. I even loved the RJ extension. I turned out to be wrong about that but I praised it.

    And Thibs… other than a few odd jokes here and there I haven’t said a negative word about him this year. I think he’s had a great year.

    But I criticized him in the 2021 playoffs (he was awful), and we can’t let that go?

    How about some dialectical belief systems?

    Thibs can be a good coach and make terrible decisions.

    The Knicks can be having a good season and Leon Rose still might have made a lot of mistakes.

    These things coexist very easily.

    I can’t fucking believe this board is still talking about The FUCKING Process

    The Knicks could not have bought out Kemba, drafted at 11, and ensured they could offer Brunson the max.

    so what would you say when Brunson… didn’t sign for the max?

    Well Jowles, it seems like the Knicks are playing well and Thibs is also doing well, so the board seems to need to find something to complain about.

    let me pose a question to the board…. something we haven’t really talked about is the kings…. who actually had a very similar strategy to us and they have very similar results… were they smart in trading haliburton for sabonis? trading a first for huerter? or were they lucky?

    my opinion may be apparent but if the answer is astronomically different for you then maybe you might be looking at things a bit skewed either way….

    Passing on a player like Jalen Williams (and to a lesser extent AJ Griffin) so you can clear cap space to sign a backup center is the sort of thing that makes me want to scream into the void. I hadn’t realized, or had forgotten, that the Knicks could have selected Williams.

    Really careless waste of an asset. Worse than the you-know-what pick.

    so what would you say when Brunson… didn’t sign for the max?

    I would congratulate you on mastering time travel, otherwise I’m going to assume you didn’t know the Mavs limit ahead of time

    Passing on a player like Jalen Williams (and to a lesser extent AJ Griffin) so you can clear cap space to sign a backup center is the sort of thing that makes me want to scream into the void. I hadn’t realized, or had forgotten, that the Knicks could have selected Williams.

    Really careless waste of an asset. Worse than the you-know-what pick.

    We got three 1st round picks

    Is there a bold-er option for text?

    DRed, I agree 100%. Let me try and change the tenor of the discussion and talk about playoff opponents. Some people seem to be worrying about which opponent we get. But I think that’s the wrong worry. At this point we just have to focus on getting the team to play better. If RJ learns to pass a little more that is more important than who we play.

    Sam Presti traded the pick that became Mitchell Robinson for a washed up Carmelo Anthony lol. That’s your king? The guy who couldn’t figure out how to win with KD, Ibaka and Westbrook?

    I would congratulate you on mastering time travel, otherwise I’m going to assume you didn’t know the Mavs limit ahead of time

    i mean the knicks didn’t have a time machine.. but they probably had the next best thing which was brunson’s dad…. or why the hell did the nba found out that we were tampering?

    why is it a foregone conclusion that we have hart resigned too? haven’t folks sworn up and down that we have some sort of inside information and that was one of the advantages of the leon regime? that’s not the case here anymore for… reasons?

    i don’t get why it’s so hard to admit that there was a massive blunder… and it’s part of a pattern of massive blunders in a series of transactions… it’s not that hard to see it…(massive in the sense of poor return not in magnitude before people get all vibratey) just like it’s not hard to see that we’re winning in spite of that with some good fortune elsewhere….

    we’re basically the kings… we found money! let’s go and see where this takes us! the conversation isn’t that we’re the kings! kneel before us and repent! like that’s a pretty silly mentality don’t you think? so why are we doing that here?

    We got three heavily protected first round picks and passed on some very useful players, one of whom is already way better as a rookie than supposed franchise cornerstone RJ Barrett is in his fourth year.

    We traded a dollar for a few dimes.

    You’re just mad bc he’s not doing it solely off of draft picks

    No one is mad at Leon right now, Swift. We’re mad at each other.

    Is there a bold-er option for text?

    There’s an option for true-er text.

    We traded the 11th pick in a loaded lottery for Denver’s 2023 1st (which is currently the last pick in the first round), and a couple scratch-off tickets from Washington and Detroit that might turn into nothing.

    It was a terrible trade. Absolutely terrible.

    That doesn’t mean Leon has never done nice things and the Knicks will never be good on his watch.

    It just means it was a terrible trade.

    Sam Presti traded the pick that became Mitchell Robinson for a washed up Carmelo Anthony lol. That’s your king? The guy who couldn’t figure out how to win with KD, Ibaka and Westbrook?

    Don’t have a dog in any previous fight, but with respect, figuring out how to win with KD, Ibaka and Westbrook wasn’t Presti’s job. Assembling that talent was.

    Miitch is great, but the expected value of that 2RP was low — a lot lower than the picks we’ve traded of late. It’s better to be lucky than good to a point in the NBA, and I’m happy we’re at least trending towards lucky. But Presti is so good at maximizing his expected value that he doesn’t have to be lucky.

    I’m not sure any team in history has ever been better positioned in terms of assets than the Thunder are now. They are 10th in SRS with a likely stud having never touched the court and every goddam future 1RP in the world.

    And he’s done this before — the only thing that stopped Presti from assembling a dynasty to rival GSW around Durant + Harden + Westbrook + Ibaka was ownership’s tax aversion. That is my king. Can you imagine what this guy would achieve if he had somehow been handed the reins in our bad old days?

    I spent the day today working on a song I’m pitching for the upcoming Barbie movie

    I went to a couple of meetings, answered a bunch of emails, got stressed out, left work and retreated to the bed pretty much as soon as I got back to the house…

    thankfully though I have my new handy dandy laptop stand for the bed and when I finally feel brave enough, I can log on and work some more…

    I’m imagining trying to be purposefully creative and constructing a song is very exciting, challenging and a bit nerve-wracking…

    geo I never knew you had a killer Chris Cornell video on your name until I just clicked it by accident.

    PS – don’t work in your bed.

    I’m just gonna watch the 2nd half of Bucks vs Nets hoping the Bucks wake up and beat Brooklyn.

    How many times is Leon Rose going to turn his nose up at good talent that is available in the draft to make some weird inscrutable paper clip trade?

    All of the times, I guess.

    Advice to all of you who have vendettas against each other: Control your own feelings and stop letting other people do it for you.

    dang hubie, the therapist was really anti setting up a workstation in bed too…

    I can sort of understand the issue…i don’t want to fuck up one of my “sanctuaries” of peace…I’m a bit desperate though…

    hopefully it’s temporary…

    yikes, that didn’t sound very encouraging in my mind…

    As I recall, the Bucks woke up and beat us. It would be nice for them to do the same to the Nets

    I’ve always been fascinated, through professional participation and managing people primarily, by the way organizations, bureaucracies, groups of people formulate, evaluate, and implement ideas.

    And so it is here. Prior to the draft, the Knicks braintrust had *already decided* to just punt the 11th pick to clear Kemba’s money. One year, nine million dollars. Attaching a lottery pick to do that. To clear a year and nine mil. Using a lottery pick.

    That idea-cum-strategy is so horrifically awful and stupid that I become fascinated as to how it could have possibly gotten adopted. Like … who’s idea was it? How was it proposed? When it was first raised, what was the reaction of the other participants? How did it possibly survive the strategy process? Was it Leon’s idea and no one else pushed back hard enough? Was it a lieutenant’s idea and Leon lost his mind and went along with it? Was someone overly empowered and came up with it on their own such that he/she made agreements with other teams that couldn’t be reversed?

    This isn’t a situation where some crazy-ass dictator comes up with some absurdity and just pushes it through because he’s a dictator — there’s no real mystery there.

    I manage professionals and you of course manage different people differently, but if someone I had a longstanding and open working relationship had proposed it to me, I’d have been like, “Come on, a lottery pick? (laugh/smile), isn’t that a bit much?” (*) and moved to another topic. If it was someone who I already didn’t think much of, my thoughts would have turned to whether this was the right shop for them.

    (*) While thinking, “A lottery pick, are you out of your fucking mind?”

    looked back at the draft thread to see how mad everyone was that Leon didn’t draft obvious star Jalen Williams and aside from Early Bird putting him 12 on his big board he was not mentioned at all.

    Nets have gone ice cold, which is pretty cool.

    That’s actually cooler than being cool

    De’Aaron Fox has made The Leap at 25. They drafted a nice rookie at 4 in 2022. Sabonis for Hali wasn’t smart, but it wasn’t crippling and it might have even helped DAF make The Leap.

    That’s basically the Kings’ story.

    I have such an easy solution to literally all of our problems. It’s almost so obvious that we all seem to have missed it.

    Here it is…….

    Ready?

    Bench RJ Barrett and literally substitute all of his minutes with Evan Fournier. Yes, start Evan Fournier. Yes, it’s still better.

    On draft night, I know I said that Leon had probably been taken to the cleaners by Presti. At the bare minimum, Leon was putting a value on the lottery pick and Presti was also putting a value on it, and it was far more likely that Presti had done the valuation smarter.

    It’s not my job to know every possible permutation of how Presti could have taken Leon to the cleaners — it’s Leon’s.

    Thankfully the Bucks woke up, hopefully tomorrow night the Knicks continue Brooklyn’s misery.

    Anyone know what happened to Kristaps’s knee? Or is it just Kristaps’s knee that happened to Kristaps’s knee

    It doesn’t really matter whether any Knickerblogger liked Jalen Williams. We’re not professional basketball general managers. Leon Rose is supposed to be able to identify good players.

    Sam Presti managed to suss it out.

    looked back at the draft thread to see how mad everyone was that Leon didn’t draft obvious star Jalen Williams and aside from Early Bird putting him 12 on his big board he was not mentioned at all.

    It’s still a mistake if none of us called it.

    You have your meeting, you let everyone say what they want to say, you listen, you talk it through, everyone’s cordial and professional, you hope the others come up with the right answer on their own and then if the talking keeps going and they don’t come up with the right answer, you tell the meeting, “We’re not trading a lottery pick to clear a year and nine million,” and that’s the end of the discussion and you move on.

    That’s Leon Rose’s job description right there.

    “DRedsays:
    February 28, 2023 at 21:43
    looked back at the draft thread to see how mad everyone was that Leon didn’t draft obvious star Jalen Williams and aside from Early Bird putting him 12 on his big board he was not mentioned at all.”

    Of course, that doesn’t matter, even if it actually does.

    “Of course, that doesn’t matter, even if it actually does.”

    Oh, yeah, forgot — that was the lottery pick that Z-Man flat out insisted “wasn’t really a lottery pick.” Good times!!

    Most likely, although the archives will speak for themselves, he denominated it a “weak draft” without really having a single, solitary clue as to whether it was or wasn’t. The archives will also note whether he opined that “Leon didn’t think anyone was worth the rookie scale contract.”

    If we haven’t gotten to it yet, rest assured that “Leon wasn’t going to draft any of those guys anyway” can’t be too, too far behind.

    The “defenses” basically write themselves at this point. Wouldn’t be shocked if ChatGPT “defended” Leon along essentially these lines.

    I kind of like that we didn’t pick last draft…save the money and roster spot…

    not a lot of talent or value between 10 and 20…

    save it for the jhart’s and ihart’s of the league…

    I’d ship out just about all our young guys to bring in mikal…

    youth and potential are waaaaay over rated…

    “And he’s done this before — the only thing that stopped Presti from assembling a dynasty to rival GSW around Durant + Harden + Westbrook + Ibaka was ownership’s tax aversion. That is my king. Can you imagine what this guy would achieve if he had somehow been handed the reins in our bad old days?”

    He also traded for Chandler, who inexplicably failed his physical in OKC. If ownership didn’t run into financial trouble that definitely would have been the top team in the west for many years.

    youth and potential are waaaaay over rated…

    They’re wasted on the young, that’s for damn sure ….

    Jalen Williams was 6 or 7 on my board…. and was one of the few with actual upside in a draft bereft of it… if the thread before draft day was mentioned there was some discussion on him while we were trading boards…. there was no discussion about him on draft day because there was a lot more discussion about the trade and finding out what we actually got…. and it’s not just Williams either… there was Tari Eason also and a couple others that would help us more than some folks that are on our bench now….

    the point is that all of these machinations about how incinerating picks and these low draft picks or what have you don’t matter… and maybe you don’t give up allstars every time you do it… but you know eventually you do! you can’t keep giving up draft picks in favor of vets all the time especially when we were barely clawing to the playoffs…

    we are the kings! how many of you laughed at all their moves? and then pretending what we’re doing was 4d chess? it’s the same thing and we both got mostly lucky and we’ll see how long that lasts….

    “Oh, yeah, forgot — that was the lottery pick that Z-Man flat out insisted “wasn’t really a lottery pick.” Good times!!”

    The reason I said that is because it lumps the #1-#14 picks into some kind of magic category after the lottery has already been held. In this case, the lottery was already held, so there was no chance of “hitting the lottery” and therefore nothing special about the designation “lottery pick.” There was no more chance of it conveying higher than #11 than there was of a 15 pick. There was no greater difference between the #14 and #15 pick than there was between the #15 and #16 picks, or between the #19 and #20 pick.

    But whatever, if you want to take a petty victory lap on a semantical win, sure, it was indeed what is usually referred to as a lottery pick. I’ll happily concede the argument.

    What I won’t concede is that you can cherry-pick after the fact to conflate trading out of a pick with passing on a player that virtually no one had getting picked at that spot. They got commensurate value for trading out of that pick.

    I will also concede that it was dumb to be in the position to need to clear salary in that way due to the unfortunate signings of Burks, Kemba, and Noel. I’m glad that they pivoted away from those mistakes at what seems to have been a reasonable cost (and ptmilo concurred that the cost was reasonable in an actuarial sense without weighing in on the merits) and therefore I’m not inclined to second-guess them for the way they did it.

    Ultimately, I was happy with the offseason transactions taken as a whole at the time, and continue to be happy with how they are playing out.

    And I’m VERY glad that Leon avoided the blunder of all blunders…the one that E and others were BEGGING for him to make….that would be trading an all-star/all-NBA caliber player at the cost of a “lottery” pick, you know, one that wasn’t scratched off yet. Hopefully you can forgive me if I don’t take your judgment on draft-day trades all that seriously.

    I went back and checked my diary in 1986. None of my friends predicted the challenger would explode.

    And to clarify for the billionth time, on draft day, no draft picks were simply given up for nothing. They were traded for multiple future picks and the cap flexibility to sign young free agents on cap-friendly contracts that were 100% going to be valuable rotation players. There’s no wondering whether Josh Hart will be good right now. There’s virtually a zero chance that the pick will convey higher than #18 or so, and a very slim chance that whoever is picked there will be useful in the next 2-3 years, if ever.

    And yet here we are, with a team that most everyone here is “enjoying the fuck out of.” smdh

    “I went back and checked my diary in 1986. None of my friends predicted the challenger would explode.”

    sigh…

    did you hear the big news E?

    i got missy tickets…oh yeah baby…

    any performers out there that you would go a little above and beyond to see?

    also, dang you for so easily recognizing my weak bait…ugh, you’re like that roadrunner toon, pretty much impossible to catch slipping up 🙂

    I promise not to be argumentative. Please explain to me why it matters that none of us were vocal advocates for Jalen Williams.

    I’ll readily admit I never heard of the guy. What is the significance of that when we’re evaluating the Knicks’ front office?

    At the risk of belaboring the point, if you’re picking 11th in a draft, by nature there should be SOMEBODY you like at that spot. By nature you missed the playoffs and your team needs talent. It’s one thing to whiff on a pick, but it’s just weird to repeatedly say “nah, I don’t like any of these guys” then trade the pick for lower picks in future drafts. That’s a strategy that is so risk-averse that it’s downright comical.

    It’s just a really strange way of evaluating talent. It’s almost like they don’t bother to do any scouting, they just have the attitude that most young players aren’t any good, so they’re not worth having around. It’s even MORE weird because Leon has actually been able to acquire some decent young talent.

    I just really don’t get it. He treats first round picks like they’re worthless.

    That’s a strategy that is so risk-averse that it’s downright comical.

    that’s interesting he’s been professionally as successful as he has been with this kind of approach…

    risk/cost seeming to outweigh opportunity in particular regarding the draft – where there is such a wide variation in possible outcomes…

    turns out mitch was in the bag, brunson was in the bag, julius re-upping for a good price, jhart most likely signing this summer…transactions already complete before they even began…

    fingers crossed for quik following suit…

    his personality and behavior has probably been pretty consistent for a good while, you would imagine…

    maybe leon just really trusts surer outcomes…ha, easier to write when the team is nine games over .500…

    “What is the significance of that when we’re evaluating the Knicks’ front office?”

    We’ve gone through this. Once they are made, draft picks have the value of the player picked. There are widely available studies as to the odds that a given pick will retain the value of a commensurate pick in a future draft that hasn’t been exercised. For an 11th, or 13th, or 19th pick, there is a significant chance that the player picked will not help a team win during his rookie deal, and that chance increases with time.

    The picks that the 11th pick were traded for (3 of them) have rolled that risk over, so that they will likely have more value combined, or even individually, than the player selected at those spots.

    If a given evaluator doesn’t feel like the players available at that slot merit the risk of that pick losing some, most or all of its value, given that they are looking to improve the team right now via transactions like the Brunson, Hartenstein, Josh Hart, and sadly, Cam Reddish trades, having surplus fungible picks, even lottery-protected ones, is less risky in the short run.

    The Wiz selected Johnny Davis at #10. What is his value right now? Could you get a lottery-protected first for him? Or even 2 seconds? Probably not. That pick was incinerated beyond recognition. And it’s tying up $5 million in cap space. Doesn’t make the Wiz wrong, but they have to live with the consequences of swinging and missing in terms of their asset cache.

    Tari Eason is a nice prospect. So is Jalen Williams, and AJ Griffin. The FO may some day regret not drafting one of those guys. My guess is that it’s the furthest thing from their minds right now. What matters to them is that they have folks like Zach Lowe raving about the team and yet they still have picks and valuable young players they can use in subsequent moves before the clock starts ticking in Dolan’s petulant head.

    I don’t know where she got it from but my kid just referred to our beloved IQ as Sixthmanuel Quickley…

    If a given evaluator doesn’t feel like the players available at that slot merit the risk of that pick losing some, most or all of its value, given that they are looking to improve the team right now via transactions like the Brunson, Hartenstein, Josh Hart, and sadly, Cam Reddish trades, having surplus fungible picks, even lottery-protected ones, is less risky in the short run.

    I don’t doubt that is what Leon Rose is thinking, but that’s in a nutshell why I think his approach to the draft is, uh, let’s be nice and call it sub-optimal.

    You’re basically admitting up front that your ability as a talent evaluator sucks if you’re punting on a #11 pick. You’re telling yourself you’re probably going to fuck up the pick and end up with a bust. The good GMs don’t think this way. The good GMs know a good player when they see one. Being an agent is not really a great background for this job. This is not a guy who has spent thousands of hours breaking down game tape. He likes to hedge his bets because at a certain level he’s kind of a layperson.

    The benefits of knowing what the hell you’re doing and nailing a draft pick like Jalen Williams are obvious. Leon tries to play a shell game with draft picks, shuffling them around so it looks like he has a bunch of them, but that’s a really low-impact strategy. The other teams in the league are aware of the protections on those picks. By nature just about all of those picks are going to be lower than #11, which means Leon probably won’t like anybody on the board, which means he’ll probably trade those picks for other future picks, etc.

    You’re just throttling a major avenue of talent by approaching the draft that way. Maybe I’m mistaken but most good GMs in this league aren’t looking to get rid of lottery picks like they’re hot potatoes. You can’t be THAT afraid to make a mistake. His handling of the draft puts us at a disadvantage. He makes up for it in other ways, but that’s a clear weakness to me.

    I’m sure there are numerous success stories with players drafted 10 thru 20 each year…

    if you add them all up though – what’s the success rate: health and talent wise…

    it really may be a crap shoot that some feel the resource could be used elsewise…

    leon doesn’t seem too shy about grabbing guys after 20…

    Can i ask a thing for the new thread? Well, no one is going to read this, so what the hell am i doing? 😀
    I just want to ask people to just argue what you have to argue, i don’t mind reading word-wars about if it’s terrible to trade the 13th pick for iHart or if it’s just bad. LOL. But personal attacks like “you should go to therapy”, “you’re drunk”, and stuff like that should be left out of the discussion. We’re all friends, or at least like to come here and discuss the Knicks with each other, let’s do it just arguing the topics we come up to argue, and not direct messages to try to settle scores or whatever, because half of the board, or even a big majority of the board don’t want to read it. I like all the discussions, but when it gets personal i tend to just read the first line, be like “oh, it’s in the same personal way as the last” and skip it.

    I am leaving all personal animus in February.

    Respectfully, Z-Man, that did not answer my question at all.

    A. JK47 laments the fact that Leon failed to identify Jalen Williams as someone worth drafting.

    B. DRed refutes that criticism by pointing out that no one on Knickerblogger was mad about it at the time.

    This is an argument you use a lot, too. I do not understand it.

    The Challenger post which you sighed at presented my logic, i.e. the fact that no one predicted it doesn’t mean we should just let it go. We don’t have scouts and we’re not rocket scientists (other than ptmilo, of course).

    The picks that the 11th pick were traded for (3 of them) have rolled that risk over, so that they will likely have more value combined, or even individually, than the player selected at those spots.

    I do think it would be nice if we could reach an agreement on the facts here. As my friend (he hated me), Bob, used to say “you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.”

    Here is the press release:

    https://www.nba.com/news/knicks-trade-11th-pick-thunder

    We received Denver’s 2023 first and two heavily protected firsts from Washington and Detroit.

    As of today, that amounts to one first round pick, and it’s the last pick in the first round.

    If you trade the 11th pick in a loaded draft for the last pick in next year’s draft and two picks that have a good chance of never converting, I do not think it’s reasonable to conclude that you have retained or increased the value of that pick. That is a very, very significant reduction in value.

    I am going to stop in the new thread, but I would like to discuss these points further without any animosity or name calling. If Z-Man (or even EB, who is making the same “three firsts” claim) would like to respond in a similar manner, please do so here so in this thread so we can leave everyone else out.

    Technically, Denver’s pick got flipped into Milwaukee’s 2025 top 4 protected. Which basically moves it down the road two years with still a very late first round projection.

    Leon’s lazy. He can get away with it because the only expectation from his boss is that he obtain stars. And so that’s what he does. He occasionally locks in on particular draft picks well in advance and that’s the way he approaches the draft. If his locked-in guys aren’t there, he incinerates the pick. If they are, he takes them even if it’s way before their actual projected draft place. His act is now crystal clear.

    Beyond the superficial, I doubt he even knew who Jalen Williams was. He’d made the decision to trade the pick well in advance, as Windhorst reported, which freed him up for cocktail time. Unfortunately, the other GMs were actually working.

    If you punt lottery picks because you’re too scared that you’ll draft Johnny Davis, this really isn’t the job for you.

    Still crickets from Z-Man on the criteria he’s going to use to judge Leon “after the 2023 offseason.”

    Hubert, once again I have to clarify that I am not endorsing the approach per se, just that I am not irked by it and don’t feel it’s some egregious case of incompetence.

    In response to JK’s post, I don’t think Leon is doing the legwork on draft picks. He has what I believe to be highly-regarded scouts and capologists on his team, specifically Aller and Perrin, as well as other well-connected voices. Ultimately the buck stops with Leon and it’s his call in terms to the risk-reward analysis of a move (in this case, more like a conjoined series of moves). I also get that these decisions are made in the context of Dolan’s proclivities (in case anyone forgot, he just made a statement to the press that he expects the team to make the playoffs this year.)

    I do think the guys below Leon are grinders. This is apparent from the sheer number of draft-day transactions. I believe there are intensive efforts to maximize valuation in a moneyball kind of way. That is not the same as saying that I agree this is the optimal way of making decisions, or that the decision-makers are unfailing. Clearly errors have been made that were obvious to most everyone at the time, e.g. picking Obi over Hali, or getting something like 80 cents on the dollar for #19.

    As to the #11 pick, the FO decided that it wanted to clear cap space to sign multiple players to free agent deals. My guess is that their risk-reward analysis, which Leon bought into, suggested that getting as much future draft capital as possible while clearing cap space (including the $5M cap hold was a better use of the pick than expending it on any of the prospects available at that slot, since the actuarial odds of that player contributing much to winning in the next 2-3 years was less than what could be acquired with the 3 picks + cap space that the trade resulted in. In this case, I thought the return on the picks was reasonable, definitely better than the return on the 2021 #19 pick.

    The point that a better GM might have decreased the risk by having a better draft evaluation team than whoever works for the Knicks is certainly valid. But even those guys miss quite often. For every Jalen Williams there’s a Johnny Davis. Even the best GMs pick Aaron Nesmiths or Lonnie Walkers that, while eventually helpful rotation players, are not going to retain their “pick” value or help the team in the short window working for James Dolan provides.

    There obviously is no point arguing with anyone who feels that you MUST make a pick no matter what the circumstances because that is the most optimal way to find high-level talent on the cheap. I’m just not going to ever be that rigid in evaluating particular decisions or set of decisions (and I think the decisions this past draft day were connected and should be looked at that way, not broken up into components.) I think it would be fascinating to sit down with Brock Aller and Walt Perrin and have an honest conversation regarding 1) their thinking behind these decisions, and b) whether they were pressured, constrained, or overruled in ways that contradicted their own thinking. I definitely have more respect for those two than anyone else on the management team, anf frankly, for those on this board who are outraged by these transactions. This is especially true when there isn’t consensus, which is the answer to your fundamental question. No insult intended there, hopefully no one takes it that way.

    But at this point management team clearly prefers the short-term efficacy of building through trades and free agency to building through the draft, and sees trade-outs as an actuarial exercise in preserving asset value for future transactions.

    “Leon’s lazy. He can get away with it because the only expectation from his boss is that he obtain stars.”

    A lazy GM (by your own definition) would have caved on the Donovan Mitchell deal. There is nothing Leon has actually done that would suggest that obtaining stars at any cost (i.e. lazily) is his MO.

    “Still crickets from Z-Man on the criteria he’s going to use to judge Leon “after the 2023 offseason.””

    Copied from above:

    “My goalposts are, and have always been: wait until after the 2023 offseason to pass overall judgment on the success of the hybrid approach to teambuilding. I’ve been pretty clear that my goalposts were constructing a team that was a sustainable winner with a reasonable path to contending for a championship.”

    If you’re asking for more specificity, I can’t oblige. I CAN tell you that I like where the team is at right now and where it seems to be heading. I also am feeling pretty good about the possibility that I will feel even more that way come opening day next year, no matter what happens in the playoffs.

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