Knicks Morning News (2023.03.19)

  • “Can’t Trap Nikola Jokic as Much as a Joel Embiid”: Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein Has His Say on Difference in Defending 2023 MVP Leaders – The Sportsrush
    [] — Sunday, March 19, 2023 12:08:20 AM

    “Can’t Trap Nikola Jokic as Much as a Joel Embiid”: Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein Has His Say on Difference in Defending 2023 MVP Leaders  The Sportsrush

  • RECAP: Motor City Cruise Notch Fourth Win In a Row Against … – Detroit Sports Nation
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 10:33:33 PM

    RECAP: Motor City Cruise Notch Fourth Win In a Row Against …  Detroit Sports Nation

  • Knicks’ RJ Barrett on fire after 3rd consecutive 20-point performance – Empire Sports Media
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 8:01:42 PM

    Knicks’ RJ Barrett on fire after 3rd consecutive 20-point performance  Empire Sports Media

  • Nikola Jokic says Nuggets ‘need to be concerned’ after falling to Knicks for fifth loss in six games – CBS Sports
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 7:25:09 PM

    Nikola Jokic says Nuggets ‘need to be concerned’ after falling to Knicks for fifth loss in six games  CBS Sports

  • Jason Sudeikis enjoys a night out with his son Otis, eight, at the Nuggets vs. Knicks game in NYC – Daily Mail
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 7:08:26 PM

    Jason Sudeikis enjoys a night out with his son Otis, eight, at the Nuggets vs. Knicks game in NYC  Daily Mail

  • Nuggets Malone Has Big-time Praise for Knicks’ Thibodeau –
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 7:02:44 PM

    Nuggets Malone Has Big-time Praise for Knicks’ Thibodeau

  • Knicks’ Julius Randle: Subpar shooting continues – CBS Sports
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 6:50:53 PM

    Knicks’ Julius Randle: Subpar shooting continues  CBS Sports

  • Knicks Notes: Mitchell Robinson shines in win over Nuggets; New York’s depth continues stepping up – Yahoo Sports
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 6:30:09 PM

    Knicks Notes: Mitchell Robinson shines in win over Nuggets; New York’s depth continues stepping up  Yahoo Sports

  • 3 takeaways from Denver Nuggets’ loss to New York Knicks – The Denver Gazette
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 5:07:00 PM

    3 takeaways from Denver Nuggets’ loss to New York Knicks  The Denver Gazette

  • Knicks fans can enjoy Nets’ lack of long-term plan for Ben Simmons – Daily Knicks
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 5:00:00 PM

    Knicks fans can enjoy Nets’ lack of long-term plan for Ben Simmons  Daily Knicks

  • Jalen Brunson’s return sparks Knicks in telling win over West-leading Nuggets – New York Post
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:55:00 PM

    Jalen Brunson’s return sparks Knicks in telling win over West-leading Nuggets  New York Post Knicks 116, Nuggets 110: “Nice to have Brunson back”  Posting and ToastingJalen Brunson after win at MSG: “It’s the best place to play, the best fanbase”  Posting and Toasting

  • Mitchell Robinson slams home the dagger for the Knicks – ESPN
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:44:59 PM

    Mitchell Robinson slams home the dagger for the Knicks  ESPN

  • Nikola Jokic: Nuggets ‘need to be concerned’ about recent skid – ESPN
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:44:59 PM

    Nikola Jokic: Nuggets ‘need to be concerned’ about recent skid  ESPN

  • Denver Nuggets lose close game to New York Knicks, their fifth loss in six games – Mile High Sports
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:43:02 PM

    Denver Nuggets lose close game to New York Knicks, their fifth loss in six games  Mile High Sports

  • N.Y. Knicks 116, Denver 110 – Torrington Register Citizen
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:30:48 PM

    N.Y. Knicks 116, Denver 110  Torrington Register Citizen

  • N.Y. Knicks 116, Denver 110 – Danbury News Times
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:30:38 PM

    N.Y. Knicks 116, Denver 110  Danbury News Times

  • Ted Lasso stars take in NBA game at Madison Square Garden – For The Win
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 3:15:54 PM

    Ted Lasso stars take in NBA game at Madison Square Garden  For The Win

  • Denver Nuggets vs New York Knicks Mar 18, 2023 Game Summary –
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 2:00:00 PM

    Denver Nuggets vs New York Knicks Mar 18, 2023 Game Summary

  • Knicks vs. Nuggets: Will Jalen Brunson Return for Nikola Joki?’s Visit? – Sports Illustrated
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 12:21:35 PM

    Knicks vs. Nuggets: Will Jalen Brunson Return for Nikola Joki?’s Visit?  Sports Illustrated

  • Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks, and Betting Preview – NESN
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 9:15:31 AM

    Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks Spread, Line, Odds, Predictions, Picks, and Betting Preview  NESN

  • Denver Nuggets at New York Knicks odds, picks and predictions – Citizen Times
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 8:13:16 AM

    Denver Nuggets at New York Knicks odds, picks and predictions  Citizen Times

  • 3 Teams Knicks could trade Obi Toppin to during offseason – Daily Knicks
    [] — Saturday, March 18, 2023 8:00:00 AM

    3 Teams Knicks could trade Obi Toppin to during offseason  Daily Knicks

  • 70 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.03.19)”

    Well, we have a winning season and this team’s resilience and fighting spirit are something to behold.
    Another great team win, literally everyone did something important to win, and another game where we took punches but refused to go down for the count.

    Trying to keep my irrational enthusiasm in check, the Nuggets were, and are, in a bad swing (this was their 5th loss in the last 6 games with losses against CHI, BRK, SA and TOR, not exactly juggernauts, and a win only in DET), but they still own the best record in the West by a fair margin and anyway the Knicks have 42 wins with 10 to play, so there’s every reason to be happy and proud of this team.

    Next game will be at home against Minnesota, Ant Edwards is questionable with a right ankle sprain (he didn’t play in Toronto), another chance to cement our claim to the 5th spot.

    1st Half:

    The Knicks rode the returning Jalen Brunson (16 points, 6-8 FG 1st qrt) to a good start and they reached double digit lead (+13) before carelessness with the ball and a drop in defensive consistency bring the Nuggets back and the game and later to lead it. A three point play from Randle kept it close at halftime.

    3rd Quarter:

    The Nuggets were hot and their lead bulged to 13 (84-71) when Thibs was whistled for a technical halfway through.
    The old trick worked as the technical sparked an emotional reaction.
    The Knicks went on a 17-4 run (Mitch had 6, including 2-2 FTs) and less than 4 minutes later the game was tied, with IQ and J-Hart assisting each other on consecutive threes. Then both team stopped cold, scoring only 3 points each in the last 3 minutes, and they were tied at 91 at the end.

    4th Quarter:

    The Knicks started with a 7-0 run, with J-Hart and IQ again leading the way, then went scoreless for 2:47 and the Nuggets regain the lead.

    In a frantic finale Randle’s layup tied the game at 108, JB and the Joker exchanged baskets, then Randle buried another one and the Nuggets went scoreless in the last 2:47, while Brunson blew up the Garden’s roof with 2 heavy FTs and an alley-oop to Mitch.

    Play Of The Game:

    4th 11:26 Josh Hart makes two point shot (Isaiah Hartenstein assists DEN 91 NY 94)

    Not the most meaningful, not the most beautiful, but it epitomizes the Hart Foundation’s pass first, team oriented way of basketball and I have a crush for this kind of play…

    Stats Of The Game:

    25-28 (89.3%). Knicks FTs. Yes!
    43-44. Knicks’ rebounds advantage. 15 were offensive.


    Brunson B+
    An adrenaline-fueled blazing start then the legs gave up a little, but the Little General was masterful when it counts (he was 2-11 post-1st quarter before his last basket).
    Honestly should Ant Man miss the next game I’d rather sit JB, I’ve always been scared by “bone bruises”.

    Randle B+
    Yes, he had a (very) bad turnover at the end, but he had hit two huge baskets moments before.
    Yes, he didn’t shoot well (6-15) but was perfect from the line (7-7).
    He’s bound to do at least three maddening things every game, but when Brunson keep him in check he does a lot more positive ones…

    Barrett A-
    He has cut his 3 points attempts and he’s 15-20 from 2PT in the last 2 games (albeit versus teams without a true rim protector). He’s playing more under control and tonight he had 2 ASTs and no TOs. Until the summer I can live with this RJ, and you?

    Grimes B
    He has a thankless job, always getting the opposing team’s backcourt star and sometimes he get burned, but his 3 threes were important.

    Robinson B+
    The Joker is a monster and he’s not easy to deal with, but his 7 OREB were huge, he was in the thick of things when the Knicks had their comeback and he closed the game with a good defense on Jokic and a sprint to dunk the dagger.

    Quickley B
    A cold start, 2 missed FTs, 3 TOs, but he buried a couple of big baskets.

    Hart A
    13-8-5, 3 steals, 4-4 FTs, tons of energy… he’s spoiling us. To date Leon’s Rose masterpiece (Brunson is the best free agent signign of the year but… cough cough… we had ways to grease the rails)

    Hartenstein B+
    The other half of the Hart Foundation is always there, always doing things (can we talk about the block on Uncle Jeff’s dunk?).
    He and Mitch are the perfect combo, both taking pride on defense, both hitting the offensive boards relentlessy.
    He leads the League in total rebounds from the bench.

    Toppin C
    A couple of absent-minded turnovers (one really ugly) and some growing recklessness in shooting threes early in the count, but he did bring his little contribution…

    Thibs A
    The tech was an old trick played to perfection, and he was spot on with the rotations all night long.

    albeit versus teams without a true rim protector

    This is an important bit for me, because teams usually go small in the playoffs when they need to score. Well, if a team tries that on us, RJ will attack the rim relentlessly and they won’t be getting stops, meaning no clear advantage to do that.

    I asked Mitchell Robinson about the Snapchat after the game. He playfully responded, “Leave me alone.” He then proceeded to stay and answer every question. Said “it’s in the past” and that he’s happy with his role. “If I wasn’t, then I wouldn’t be playing how I just did,” he said

    This is about how offended the Knicks were by Mitch: Immanuel Quickley told me they were joking around about the Snapchat on the team plane back from Portland, the day after Robinson posted it. “He’s a great guy…He’s a character,” Quickley said.

    Tempest, meet teapot.

    Our next 5 games are: MIN, @MIA, @ORL, HOU, MIA. I think the non-Miami games are very winnable, so if we go 4-1 splitting the 2 games against Miami, that would put the chances of them catching us in the 1% range. 🙂
    Assuming we go 4-1, then we’ll either be closer to the Cavs or the Nets will be far behind, because they meet two times, both in Brooklyn.

    Tempest, meet teapot.

    Yeah, i never thought it was a problem, it’s just his way of expressing frustrations. And as he doesn’t bring it to the locker room, all is cool.

    When we’re winning it’s me dominating the thread, not E. 😀 Hope all is well with you, E, and that you’re enjoying this Knicks run to the… ECF? 🤭:P But i’m just kidding, i’m not dominating the thread because i’m off to go hike the mountains around me at any minute now. 🙂 Until i’m back, let’s hear what everybody thinks about the new winning Knicks!

    Nice recap, Max. I’m guessing you’re enjoying this task lately.
    This team never lets down, aided by the DeBusschere-like acquisition of JHart. It seems everyone is adapting towards their ideal hoops selves with the possible exception of Obi. Even Thibs adapting in his substitution patterns to close games.

    Our next 5 games are: MIN, @MIA, @ORL, HOU, MIA…….

    Based only on “feel,” I see us losing to the Wolves (just one of those things that happens sometimes), beating the Magic and the Rockets, and winning one of two from Miami. I love the idea of 4-1, but would rather expect a slightly more realistic 3-2 and be pleasantly surprised by 4-1. 45-32 with five left is not a bad place to be.

    Tommy Beer: “ The last time Brunson and Hart played a full game together and lost was six years ago yesterday (March 18, 2017), when Villanova lost to Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament.

    Dating back to their Nova days, these two are 76-9 in their last 85 games”

    I’m guessing you’re enjoying this task lately.

    A lot more than at season’s start Bo! 😉

    P.S. I love the DeBusschere reference!

    “JK47 says:
    March 18, 2023 at 23:36
    I figured Brunson would be good, but never in my wildest imagination did I think he’d be 4 BPM good. I thought Josh Hart would be a nice pickup but I didn’t expect him to play like a more low usage, high efficiency version of Scottie Pippen. I didn’t see the return of 4 BPM Julius Randle coming, and I thought if anybody was likely to have a breakout it was RJ, which is the one positive development that didn’t happen.”

    It certainly wasn’t irrational to think that Randle and Brunson wouldn’t be as good as they have been. But I don’t think we’re looking at their 99th percentile outcomes either.

    In Brunson’s case, the sample of his play without Doncic was small, but not so small that it seemed like a fluke. He’s doing exactly what he did in those games. His overall numbers seem very sustainable, maybe except for the 41% 3pt shooting. His USG% and AST% are both higher than they were overall with DAL, but again, not in the sample without Doncic. Frankly, it would have been disappointing if he didn’t play this way after watching him destruct Spida in the playoffs like he did.

    In Randle’s case, he had 3 good seasons out of 5, including an all-MBA season. The main question was whether he could do it without unsustainable 3-pt shooting, and with more deferring to Brunson. What bugged me most was when folks insinuated that he was either in physical decline, or had irredeemable character issues. He’s probably close to his ceiling this year, but there might be a bit more efficiency to squeeze out of him if we find a true alpha at another position. But I don’t see any reason to believe that what he’s doing is unsustainable for the length of his contract.

    Hart’s BPM with us is coming down to earth, and I like some aspects of the Pippen analogy but he was an all-time great so maybe that’s a bridge too far. Maybe Ron Artest? Trevor Ariza? Draymond Green? Marcus Smart? The nice thing is he doesn’t seem to have one iota of asshole in him.

    RJ is so maddening. I truly wonder what Thibs sees in the game films that he pores over (really, does anyone doubt that he does that?) that justifies his love for him. The numbers are so glaringly negative. If there is one cause for optimism it’s that he is probably a better 3pt shooter than he has shown recently, and is getting up towards 50% from 2. His shot selection seems better since Hart was acquired and his TS% is .548 since the ASB even with a dismal 27% from 3. Maybe he’s hearing footsteps? In any case, Hart is the perfect role model for RJ.

    RJ really has a way of giving me some hope whenever I’m about to quit him for good. Yesterday he read and reacted to Denver’s defense nearly perfectly, and even made some off-ball cuts IIRC! Realistically the odds are stacked against him ever being a guy we’re really happy to have, but who knows, maybe with the right attitude adjustment there’s *something* there.

    By the way, I was sitting next to some Denver fans who were getting extremely frustrated with how good Mitch was on both ends. Seems demoralizing to go up against a guy who rebounds what feels like half of his team’s misses. He was an absolute force yesterday.

    They were also wondering why Denver didn’t try to beat our offer for Hart, which now looks like a laughably small price to pay. Looking like one of the best midseason trades we’ve made in my life.

    I remember as a 10yo who religiously listened to every game baack then how much I respected and feared Dave Debusschere as an opponent, partly due to the reverence that Marv Albert expressed for him. He felt like a legit superstar at that moment in time. When we acquired him I was literally floored. It definitely made us a championship caliber team, and at such little cost…a washed Bellamy and a lovable scrub in Howard Komives.

    Josh Hart is definitely a revelation of a low-cost mid-season acquisition, but maybe we’re getting carried away?

    “or had irredeemable character issues”

    Julius Randle is an emotional mess. I suspect he always will be. But we have the Randle-tamer in Brunson. I give Julius credit for getting some of his shit together on his own, honestly, but in terms of on-court idiocy, it’s about getting the ball out of Julius’s hands and limiting the decisions he makes. Thank you Jalen.

    Z–Man: Debusschere was also a player coach prior to the Knicks before becoming a major domo starting forward for one of the greatest teams ever assembled. I remember those days. There are some similarities though and Hart’s impact is undeniable.

    “Julius Randle is an emotional mess. I suspect he always will be.”

    He’s definitely an oversensitive hothead, but let’s not pretend that he’s some kind of outlier in that category. The NBA is loaded with guys like Julius. Fort example, the Celts blogs have been all over Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart.

    I think it’s well-established that Randle can’t be a winning team’s lone alpha dog. But he’s a formidable force of a player when in that co-leader or secondary role. And he comes at a discount commensurate with his flaws. If he was less emotionally vulnerable, he’d be worth $40+M AAV. Even with his warts, he’s a bargain on his current extension.

    “There are some similarities though and Hart’s impact is undeniable.”

    We are 12-3 since acquiring him. If we had stood pat, I cringe to think what our record would have been in those 15 games, especially the ones without Brunson…7-8 at best?

    His stats are mind-boggling:
    13.3pts-8.5rebs-4.7asts-1.6 stls per 36
    56% from 3
    62% from 2
    .730 TS%
    4.9 BPM
    .202 WS48
    .423 FTr
    OnCourt: +15.4
    On/Off: +13.9

    The dude has been a fucking cheat code.

    I’m happy we put a little more space between us and Miami. It would be nice if we won the first one. At that point maybe they’ll throw in the towel on catching us and start looking forward to the play in and getting people healthy.

    From after the Portland game:
    “It’s great,” Hart said, “I think this team was trending upwards when I got here, and I was able to just fit right in and continue to help this team grow…I’m in a new position right now, where I’m sitting here and we’re really playing for something. I haven’t really been in that position before in my career, and I think that’s just making myself even more hungry, and the rest of the guys in the locker room.”

    I didn’t realize that Josh Hart had only played for losing teams before now…that’s pretty cool that he’s referring to our team as “really playing for something…”

    fun fact. if you take the average vorp of picks 15-25 from the twenty 2003-2022 drafts over their 1-4 seasons, you get 0.28. if you subtract out the average salary of a current 15-25 pick over his rookie deal in vorp-cost terms, you get 0.12 net vorp profit per season ($3.5m avg salary over 4 years, less $1.5m min salary = .16 vorp cost per year using $4.8m 2022-23 cost per marginal win), or .48 over the entire 4 year rookie deal (time permitting). this .48 total four-year net vorp profit of the average 15-25 pick compares to the .8 vorp josh hart has already generated in his 15 games as a knick, which arguably came at no marginal salary cost for this season and thus is all net gain.

    two preemptive responses to replies.
    reply 1. whatever the fuck ptmilo just said.
    response 1. josh hart.

    reply 2. yeah but this ignores the value of homerun lottery picks like giannis who pay dividends for years even when they get the max.
    response 2. yeah it really does. think of it as an update to that oft cited 538 article in 2014 that also ignored the lifetime giannis factor, used win shares, didn’t account for the downward trend in early year production since the 1980s surely due in party to lower draft age (it used 1985-2013), and didn’t include a good replacement wins component in its cost estimate.

    Hart has to be setting records for production above career numbers in first 15 games/500 minutes with a new team after a mid-season trade.

    Although there’s another Villanova guy across the river who I hear good things about…

    Technically, the East River is a tidal estuary, not a river.

    My PT translator is taking Sunday off but I would marry Josh Hart if we were both available and he was willing.

    Re RJ, I am deeply skeptical that we are seeing anything more than a string of good performance against bad defenses. But I also don’t care. At least he has played well.

    I’m skipping over ptmilo’s argument with himself to instead argue, or at least question, Z–Man. Jason Tatum seems fragile, which is related to but different from Julius’s volcano-waiting-to-explode status. Marcus is a hothead, but he usually falls in the Dillon Brooks/Pat Beverly world of trying to get in the heads of opponents by acting like dicks, which sometimes goes too far.

    From afar I’ve wondered if KAT falls into the Julius category, but I haven’t watched him enough to know. But while acknowledging I don’t watch the other teams a lot, it sure seems that Julius is our little rage-filled outlier.

    What I’ve appreciated is that his insane unforced errors are now infrequent enough (as in only three times a game) that I laugh instead of scream. Partly because his impossible, unbelievable made shots are almost always many times more than that a game.

    Here is the clip DRed was talking about.

    Mitch looks like a veteran right now. Discernible difference in seasoning level. He had a couple of passes last night you never would have seen delivered so calmly two years ago. The one to Grimes was perfect, ideal catch and shoot. It’s a matter of degrees but he has become a better player although the surface level stats seem similar. On defense he has learned a very useful modicum of restraint too.

    Raven, my objection to the narrative about Julius’ volatility has been that it doesn’t allow enough for context. From my perspective, his vibe was exacerbated by being in a role for which he really isn’t well-suited, and also compounded by being embarrassed by the booing and negativity in front of his son, which is understandable but obviously unacceptable. I just don’t agree that he’s as weak-minded as some here think. It took an enormous amount of mental strength to go from where he was at last year’s nadir to where he is right now. He knows who he is, and even after last week’s setback, he sort of owned it and moved on.

    The brain farts are infuriating, but lots of players around the league do the same stuff…even Jokic got stripped and had passes stolen in Randle-like fashion yesterday. Randle does it more than most stars, but he gets paid way less than them so I can live with it.

    And that’s the key for me…whether he is outplaying his contract or not. He is certainly doing so this year. And his “revised” mental state is a big part of that. It’s not perfect, but I think your characterization of him as an “emotional mess” is pretty extreme.

    One thing about this team is it seems like a very tight knit group. Last season during all of Randle’s tantrums you never once heard any negativity from his teammates and this season as we saw yesterday Mitch’s teammates all defended him and didn’t seem bothered at all with his comments. Same with guys like Fournier and Rose, despite their lack of playing time this year not one word about them being discontent and disrupting team chemistry.

    Even Cam while he was here didn’t cause any issues in the media until he was traded then made some inopportune comments considering how awful he played against the Knicks the other night. The players regardless of their playing time all seem to like playing for Thibs too.

    Fair enough, Z, and I do give Julius enormous props for the transition from last year to this one. Perhaps part of my take is that every one of his emotions is right out there for all to see — like comic strip thought bubbles — as compared to someone like, say, that hothead Sims. And his constant barking at refs, arm waving, eye rolling, etc. always makes it feel like he’s one push from literally blowing up into a million pieces of fleshy confetti.

    But he doesn’t, and it only rarely seems to affect his play these days, and perhaps he even needs to be on that knife edge to play the way he does.

    Randle had an awful year from an emotional standpoint last year but prior to that, while people questioned his decision making and defensive effort, he didn’t have any reputation for emotional fragility that I was aware of (PT Milo correct me if I’m wrong!). This year he’s had a few moments but a lot of guys have moments during the season. His ratio of techs to time spent complaining to the refs actually seems fairly low so at least he’s been able to control his language if not the need to complain itself. Last year’s death spiral was real but hopefully it was an outlier.

    I mean, virtually every player complains to the refs incessantly these days. Coaches too! I agree that Randle wears his heart on his sleeve more than most, but he also is the kind of player that doesn’t show contact well and doesn’t get as many calls as he should.

    He’s clearly not the most cerebral player out there, and is less self-aware of his limitations than I would like. He’s an awful lot like Melo in all of these regards, including playing through contact and complaining to refs. I don’t care for Randle’s antics all that much, but wasn’t a fan of Melo’s grinning or stuff like his yelling “get the f outta here” to his teammates when getting an uncontested defensive rebound to pad his stats.

    And I would have been way more accepting of Melo’s warts if he was on a team with someone who could get him to defer, like maybe CP3 (who can also be a hothead, but I digress…). Melo was probably worse…can you imagine prime Melo deferring to the likes of Jalen Brunson? He certainly didn’t defer to Jeremy Lin! (although he did slightly to Billups and Iverson, but again I digress…)

    But that’s what Randle conjures up for me…a Melo-level star (statistically speaking) with similar warts who is at least deferring to the cooler-headed Brunson and who didn’t cost a max contract and a trove of assets to acquire.

    It seems pretty clear that Julius does need some of that fire to perform well. It is also clear that he can lose control of the intensity. But having just rewatched the Denver game, he was really great in the clutch last night. Two big makes when we were down 2, great help D on Jokic that led to a TO. Yes, he had that TO himself, but it wasn’t a terrible play; he had good position in the paint, got fouled, didn’t get the call, and passed to where RJ had been standing a second earlier.

    All in all, everyone played well down the stretch. Brunson did what Brunson do, Hart was all over the place, Mitch was fantastic…just really solid team play. As for RJ, I am encouraged that this will be a sustainable level for him the rest of the season. He seems to have figured some things out. I don’t expect it to be there next season, but for the moment he is playing within himself on both sides of the ball.

    reply 2. yeah but this ignores the value of homerun lottery picks like giannis who pay dividends for years even when they get the max.

    the argument was not about whether the trade would be helpful this year… the 2023 draft pick was obviously not going to help the 2023 team so whatever josh hart is doing was always going to be a net gain this season as long as he’s productive…. you dont need a cost benefit analysis to tell you that….

    the argument was whether or not sacrificing future expected value was worth gaining value now…. and where we are on the win curve and in terms of talent accumulation we are not…. and that is especially true when you factor in hart’s next contract which most certainly will cost us something cap wise…

    if the argument is that hart has ALREADY surpassed the expected value of the pick… then that’s not true because you’re not factoring in Hart’s next contract… whatever Hart or the draft pick is generating the rest of the way… it’s clear that it’s more important to get that value within the next couple of years and not so much now….

    it’s true Hart didn’t cost much cap wise.. at least right now… but what does a couple of extra wins actually net us this year? especially when his cost cap wise is going to actually impact us going forward… it’s probably also worth close to nothing… not to mention there was at least some possibility that we didn’t need to give up anything to grab him this offseason….

    “but what does a couple of extra wins actually net us this year”

    Are you fucking serious? Acquiring Hart this season has given the Knicks a legitimate chance at winning 50 games and a playoff series. God forbid they trade a 1st rd pick in the 20’s for that opportunity especially since they still have a 1st rd pick this year via Dallas that will probably be in the teens.

    2. yeah it really does. think of it as an update to that oft cited 538 article in 2014 that also ignored the lifetime giannis factor

    I’m unwilling to concede that Giannis is better than Josh Hart.

    The more I watch the NCAA tournament the more I think you’re better off having one of those lightning quick water bugs like Nowell on Kansas State (he’s 5’8”!) than a plodding big man like Edey.

    You can figure out ways to stop the slow big guys but not a lot you can do with a kid who’s just faster than everyone else.

    It’s not just a couple of wins this year (which could be the difference between us winning a playoff round and not, but I digress). Hart is playing himself well outside of the MLE range, so we wouldn’t have been able to sign him absent the trade that got us his bird rights.

    Maybe that doesn’t move you if you think Hart’s next contract will be a hindrance, and as emotionally attached as I am to Hart I suppose that can’t be ruled out.

    I just see it as very unlikely. I mean what part of his skill set is going to atrophy in the next 3-4 years? Of course I wish he was a better shooter, but a silver lining of him not being much of one is that he excels in areas that tend to be very stable across seasons.

    I’d happily bet that Hart will outproduce the 2023 23rd pick over the next four seasons, and I can’t abide a win curve based argument that it was inappropriate for us to prioritize present value when we might win 50 damn games. It was a perfectly appropriate time to trade some pretty meager future equity to get materially better, both now and in the immediate future.

    Chances are Hart will outproduce a draft pick in that range over the next 4yrs too. He could very well outdo the 4yr average each year of the next deal.

    In the NBA, raw value is often more important than value per dollar. You can only play 9-10 guys anyways, so a rookie on a winning team is often giving you zero vorp. You can sign a min deal player if you want to keep cost down.

    For this year, the closing lineup with Hart/IQ is a significant improvement over our other closing lineups. Even with RJs improved play he’ll be difficult to play in crunch time with his current shooting percentage, as he’ll mostly play off-ball.

    Hart is unfortunately playing us into a matchup with the Cavs, who are by some measures the best team in the east (I don’t buy they’re better than the Bucks at least). If the Celtics keep limping into the playoffs it might turn out to have been better to have the six seed.

    Milwaukee is still incorporating Middleton back into the team. They’re the best team in the league until further notice.

    Phoenix is the only team I’d concede, *maybe* a healthy Clippers or Lakers.

    if the argument is that hart has ALREADY surpassed the expected value of the pick… then that’s not true because you’re not factoring in Hart’s next contract…

    As I understand it, the argument is that Hart had already exceeded the expected return of that draft pick this year alone. That has nothing to do with his next contract; the point is that at the very least an argument can be made that his contributions right now outweigh expected contributions over the lifetime of the rookie deal of the pick.

    I agree, but my rebuttal would be that an analysis of the Knicks’ picks over the last three years (when made) deliver substantially higher value that the league average. And so it’s possible that the Knicks would have found a greater return by making the pick. The counters against that would include the obvious sample size caveat and also the question of this particular draft, which may be weak?

    All that said, it seems pretty damn obvious that Hart is a perfect fit for this team, a big part of winning, and almost certain to re-sign. Since we’re over the cap and have an abundance of assets to trade should the need arise, sounds pretty damn good to me!

    Off topic, I’ll say that IQ has been phenomenal rotating to challenge players at the rim, and going vertical during the contest, it’s unfortunate he’s only 6’3″ because usually they go right over/around him. He still causes misses but if he were taller he could be the next Draymond Green.

    I just see it as very unlikely. I mean what part of his skill set is going to atrophy in the next 3-4 years?

    guys who are around league average fall off all the time…. they are league average for a reason… not all of them are good all around players like Hart is… but all it takes is for any one thing to fall off and they’re not league average anymore….. which is why paying anything of value for a league average player is not a good deal… this has been settled ad nauseam in a number of different arguments…. it can happen through injury… it can happen through pure skill erosion like losing their shot…. or just pure father time…. Hart is more insulated than most but he’s not immune….

    and i’m probably Hart’s biggest fan and i’ve probably seen more games specifically to see Hart than anyone besides his mom…. but his value is very much settled and the value of picks are also pretty much settled… and in a vacuum it’s a small loss or a small gain….

    the only thing in dispute is where we are on the win curve… and it exacerbates whatever you think the margins are on the value…. and that’s probably leading most people to throw everything out the window for the sake of winning now.. and it makes sense if you think we have a shot at the title or you’re thinking that this season is more important than anything else for whatever reason…

    but i don’t think that… and i think it’s worth investing more in the roster that’s going to appear in two years than this year… especially since Hart was going to be available without having to give up anything this offseason….

    There is no magic formula that’s fairly certain to win you a championship. All you can try to do is get to the point where you are among the teams that has some reasonable chance of pulling it off.

    We are close to a 50 win team as is. One could argue that if we had Josh Hart the entire season and Thibs had figured out the rotation earlier, we would be a 50 or 50+ win team. That’s doesn’t make us the best team, but we are getting close to the best teams.

    Our biggest problem now is that the east is so darn tough, every series is going to be tough. Hopefully, we’ll get more than one round out of this so we get the kind of seasoning we’ll need in the future anyway. But if the Cavs or whoever beats us, we’ll go back to work and try to get better in the off season internally and any other way we can.

    Are you fucking serious? Acquiring Hart this season has given the Knicks a legitimate chance at winning 50 games and a playoff series.

    ok let’s expand on this thought then… how many wins do you think Hart has or will improve us this year… 1? 5? 10? 15 possibly? and how does this number relate to being the difference in winning a playoff series? or is the notion that we’re so even with whoever we’re going to play that even just being a little better is going to make the difference?

    i think i may have missed the origin of this iteration of baiting…

    josh hart gives us six really strong pieces in a nine player rotation…plus deuce, grimes, obi and RJ have all had their moments…

    life is good as a knick fan…even in my most hopeful imaginations leading up to the season, never saw this level of play happening…

    i thought thibs would hold us back this year, he’s made some changes with rotations and the offense that i didn’t believe he could…

    i’m almost confident that with enough good pieces – jalen brunson is going to win another basketball championship…whatever that winning it thing is – he’s got it…

    let’s hope we show out well in the playoffs this season…been sporting my knick gear again pretty freely, so yeah…really hope we don’t poop the bed again…cleveland’s a good team, not sure how deep they are, but, at the top they got talent…

    We’re 12-3 since acquiring Hart. He’s put up a 4.9 BPM. In that span we’ve won 6 games by single digits. It’s entirely possible, if not likely, that he’s kept us out of the play-in.

    Keep in mind that’s 12-3 while missing Mitch for 4 games and Brunson for 5.5 games.

    It also includes a 2 point win over Miami

    “and i think it’s worth investing more in the roster that’s going to appear in two years than this year”

    Are you taking the ~23rd pick over Hart in two years? I’m not, I mean definitely not from a raw production standpoint, and I’d favor Hart even from an ROI standpoint.

    Also, echoing what EB said earlier there comes a point in which raw production is more important than ROI. We’re capped out for a while and are more or less limited to adding impact talent via trades anyway, so I’l take Josh Hart at ~$17M over a worse player who might have a better $:VORP ratio.

    “especially since Hart was going to be available without having to give up anything this offseason….”

    I’m pretty sure he’ll be out of the MLE range and I said that before he joined the Knicks and made it even more likely. I don’t think we would’ve been able to sign him without the trade. If a lottery protected first in a weak draft in which we have an earlier pick was the price to ensure we could sign him I’m very much okay with that, and that’s ignoring any and all 2022-2023 value.

    The Hart deal has been a lottery level windfall. He has played amazing and I think it’s right to say that he has turned us from a fringe playoff team (play in) to a fringe contender.

    The issue I can see with him is just his athleticism waning. But it’s not really a concern for the next couple of years.

    Nets and Hawks lost, another good night for the Knicks.
    Miami needed a strong comeback to beat the Pistons…

    The data on “average” return for picks 15-25 is not really all that useful in this discussion. First, draft picks in this range are hit-or-miss, and usually miss. Second, many of the hits often require 2-3 years of seasoning, and if they are truly hits, you get 1-2 years of cheap production and then have to pay them. I think looking at median data would be more useful, since the data is probably skewed by outliers on the high end.

    If you ignore factors like injury risk (which can be a concern for any player) Hart is pretty much a sure thing to be far better than the median player selected in that range. Not to mention that he seems to make other players on the court with him better…meaning that the counting stats only tell part of the story.

    Beyond that, the Knicks’ FO is clearly looking to maximize wins without a heavy cost in “win now” acquisitions. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect transaction in that regard than the Hart trade. You had insurance against it being a complete flop in the short run with the lottery-protection.

    Honestly, I don’t know why we are even debating this, it’s such a clear win.

    “Are you taking the ~23rd pick over Hart in two years?”

    I suppose you could argue that without the Hart deal, we’d be picking significantly higher…maybe in the 12-16 range. But there’s no point in ignoring context in this discussion. Dolan went on record saying that he expects the team to make the playoffs this year. Thibs is the ultimate win-now coach. The bed is already made. There is virtually no possibility that the pick would serve the chosen team-building strategy as well as Josh Hart.

    So our magic number vs. MIA is 6, right?

    Their next 4 games: NYK, BKN, @TOR, @NYK
    Our next 5: MIN, @MIA, @ORL, HOU, MIA

    If our magic number isn’t down to 2 or lower by then, I’m going to be upset…but as I said, if we can’t win when we need to, we’re not going anywhere in the playoffs anyway, so no matter what happens against MIA I have faith that we can go at least 6-4 and get the job done.

    As to BKN, our magic number with them is 8 but they are in freefall and their next 3 games are vs. CLE, CLE and @MIA. I’m conflicted about how I want them to do…is it really all that important to try to catch CLE?

    These next 10 days should be fun!

    IQ, Josh Hart, Quentin Grimes, Jalen Brunson, Mitchell Robinson, and Isaiah Hartenstein were all drafted after the 23rd pick. The Knicks are a late draft pick powerhouse.

    I think the trade was good, but there’s one good player on this team who was a lottery pick.

    Are you taking the ~23rd pick over Hart in two years?

    yea i might actually…. if that’s like maxwell lewis… or any sleeper type of pick then yea it’s worth the gamble on those type of guys.. if it’s a narrow role player type… that’s a harder decision… but the decision it’s not a pick for hart.. the decision is 3 months of hart for that pick…

    and i don’t understand the notion that just because we’re capped out it would’ve been impossible to grab hart EVEN IF he started going bonkers from 3 in portland or elsewhere…. if hart wanted to come here portland would’ve taken just about anything to facilitate a sign and trade to us instead of giving him up for nothing…. that’s not a real impediment in this day and age…

    Portland moved Hart so they wouldn’t have luxury tax issues, they would not have made a sign and trade this offseason because it guarantees they take back money and they’d be over the cap.

    There is no alternative in which the Knicks get Hart. Most likely he ends up on a 3rd team for a different package.

    Not only is there risk we wouldn’t have gotten Hart if we waited till the offseason to try and sign him but we wouldn’t have had him for any games of this season, which would be a definite negative.

    If we had to S&T for Hart we would’ve had to surrender an asset, probably in the range of a lottery protected first. So similar value, but without having him for this season.

    My Miami Hurricanes looking to avenge Chris Copeland!

    Leon should just call up the NBA league office and send that 1st round pick Detroit owes us as a gratuity tip to Calvin Booth at Denver for handing us Josh Hart.

    Portland moved Hart so they wouldn’t have luxury tax issues, they would not have made a sign and trade this offseason because it guarantees they take back money and they’d be over the cap.

    and so you think this and still think his market would’ve been over the MLE when the only team who can sign him for over the cap doesn’t want to? and so who else was going to sign him for over the cap if that’s the case? the thunder? the pistons? rockets? the pacers? the jazz? do you think it’s everyone of these teams? any?

    guys this is easy stuff to look into… maaaybe it’s not definite that we sign him.. but this is lunacy that you guys think that it’s unlikely and this was the only way… it’s either portland is willing to go into the tax to resign him in which case a sign and trade is on the table or they are unwilling in which case his market isn’t exactly a lot of teams… if any.. who will go over the MLE to sign him….

    and this is really only one consideration of that deal that would undermine the whole trading picks rationale…. in isolation how much is this deal worth it if we just have a first rd exit? what is meaningful that’s coming out of these 3 months with him if the outcome would’ve been the same as it would’ve been without?

    there are a lot of questions that have uneasy answers for me… and i know folks think we have a shot at the title because we have hart or that we have too many picks… and if you think that nothing anyone will say will be convincing… but once you get past the current euphoria… these questions will have to be answered and will determine whether it was worth it or not… not that we won another 3 regular season games…

    (1) At minimum Utah would sign him. Detroit has indicated they’re ready to get out of the cellar.

    (2) Additional teams can get below the cap by renouncing cap holds. This stuff is easy to look into.

    (3) Other teams have the MLE. If he did sign for the MLE, it’s not necessarily with us.

    (4) Trading for him let’s us keep the MLE for another player.

    (5) It’s all moot because Portland would have traded him to another team at the deadline… which I said last post.

    (6) Not sure why you’re so against winning now.

    I can’t believe we’re really discussing the Hart trade…

    Yeah, i’m baffled. Looks like even trades that are a huge improvement are questioned for… what? Potential? How’s the chances of selecting a scrub in the draft at 20 or later? Are those chances being taken into account? Of course not, we would make a good pick for sure, only guys that will produce. Come on. Between the chances of selecting a bad player and the hard path that it’d have been to sign Hart in the offseason, it’s a good move to have him right away. And in the meantime maybe we win a playoff series, for a change.

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