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138 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.04.16)”
I was visiting someone in the hospital last night (a rare role reversal for me), and watched chunks of the game on my phone while the kids in the room watched The Muppets Take Manhattan. Despite this person on the verge of being discharged, Frank tells me I now have to find a way to be in the hospital, watching it on my phone, while Muppets Take Manhattan is on the TV.
Wish me luck.
Josh Hart, what an unbelievable trade.
You can see his value not only in what he did for the Knicks but in what the Cavs roleplayers couldn’t do for them. If Garland & Donovan can’t get it done, nobody can.
The league demands players shoot, defend, and drive. The 3&D Bullocks don’t cut it anymore. Not only does Hart give you that, but brings high level passing and elite rebounding.
Hart is a near idealized modern roleplayer.
I cant remember a morning where I woke up more satisfied and optimistic as a Knicks fan.
We have a really good chance to win this first round. We’ve got a lot of young players who can get better and an excess of first round picks. And two all star caliber players in their prime.
If we win this series I’m quite certain we won’t beat the bucks but I bet we make a series out of it. Regardless, this moment right now…we need to just soak it in and enjoy it. It’s been a long time coming and unlike 2012-2013, it’s not all or nothing with no future afterwards to look forward to.
Watching the replay, Osman was *also*, presumably through a bunch of switches and chaos, guarding Hart one on one on the perimeter when Hart hit the clutch, dagger 3. Osman got lit up virtually every possession in the last 8 minutes when he was one-on-one on the perimeter and for some inexplicable reason was on Brunson 1 v 1 routinely.
You’d think that would have been Okoro, but I guess maybe he was woozy from the elbow he took from Randle? Or the coach just had a brain fart and traded Okoro’s defense for Osman’s “shooting”?
In any event, about as bad a run of big possession perimeter defense as you’ll ever see from Osman.
The Cavs “Big Four” was a +15 when they played together, so a lot of this is going to come down to whether they can get production from someone else.(*) Last night, they got none. If that holds, the Knicks are going to win the series.
(*) Why exactly did they buy out Kevin Love again?
Yeah, Osman’s “defense” on the Hart three was, as I noted last night, insane. The idea of letting Hart take that shot is just absurd to me. When you’re guarding a guy one-on-one, you don’t have to allow a guy to shoot a three, you can guard him! The problem is that when you do that, the guy can drive past you, but there were less than four seconds on the shot clock when that happened! Osman chose to let Hart shoot a three! It was the most absurd fucking thing. That “Oh shit, I misjudged this terribly” look on Osman’s face was high-larious as Hart took the three.
I’m anxious to see which adjustments both coaches make. This is the series for Thibs to show whether he’s deserving of Leon’s faith because Bickerstaff is gonna make good adjustments. He may not have the bodies to throw out there and change the game, but he’s not going to have another game where Brunson’s in early foul trouble- so he has to make good adjustments. Nor will he have another 0-fer from Quickley to help him. On Thibs’ side, he’s got to get Grimes more touches off some screen action to try to drain some energy from Mitchell and Garland.
This is going to be a fun series and I am proud of the grit our guys showed yesterday.
Someone was asking for turnovers by half. BBRef has box scores by quarter and half: https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/202304150CLE.html
We had 6 TO in the first half and 7 in the second half. Confidently, the 4th quarter was our worst and we were outscored by 4; it’s also The quarter that RJ played the most minutes.
Grateful that Thibs swapped Grimes for RJ when he did or else, RJ might have taken those last two foul shots.
I think Okoro was compromised out there by his sore knee, saw him favoring it in the 2nd half. That might continue to be a thing.
Letting Hart take a 3 with the shot clock winding down rather than letting him get into the paint is not a bad strategy per se. Sort of like letting Marcus Smart shoot the 3. Seems to backfire a lot though, as those guys seem to step up in big moments.
The crazy thing is RJ was doing nothing well up until that point. It’s almost like Thibs forgot he had a better defender and three point shooter named Grimes on the bench.
Hart hitting that three was incredible but as Clyde said, that guy was everywhere. He also got banged up late. I’m glad for the extra days off.
Just gotta get IQ in gear.
RJ Barrett is averaging 10x as many steals per game in the playoffs as he did in the regular season. Stepping up BIG.
Thibs had his hands full last night, given that all three of IQ, Grimes and RJ were terrible (and Randle was pretty bad in the second half too.) The 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals actually made RJ the most productive of the bunch. He had a game BPM of 3.4, while IQ was -15.0 (yikes!) and Grimes was -1.0.
Yeah I think it is being overlooked that TJ played pretty good defense. 4 steals and also he had 6 assists. He shot horribly but if he’s doing that other stuff I can live with him playing (until the 4th lol).
The puzzling thing in my mind is that, eye-test-wise, iHart seemed to be more effective overall than Mitch. I know that’s not completely true statistically (other than plus/minus), but it seems a tough call for Thibs to close out games.
I thought Hartenstein and Mitch were about even, even though Hartenstein got more touches. But holy shit did Mitch look like a man child bully against Allen and Mobley. I love the way Mitch was assertive in his physicality against those 2. One play- in the 4th I think- there were 3 Cavs around him and he still got fouled on the offensive rebound. Nutso!
And, yeah, I get that RJ has ASTs and STLs, and maybe I have a bias now, but he always seems to be in the wrong place and making mistakes that ruin our flow. Grimes played like crap but (in my head at least) he rarely makes self-defeating mistakes.
IDK. I’m quibbling. I’ll take three more games exactly like last night if I’m offered. Hahaha.
RJ was pretty terrible on defense, at least in the 1st half that I watched more closely, the Cavs just really liked throwing the ball to him. Garland blew by him quite a few times.
I just thought that was a funny stat.
This series is far from over, I fully expect the Cavs to regroup and adjust. But the odds have definitely shifted in our favor, not just because we won but because the Cavs looked very one-dimensional and top-heavy, while the Knicks still seem to have more tricks in their bag.
Oh yeah. Cavs won’t roll over but they seem to just have 4 good players where as we have 8.
And I said this last night but I’ll say it again. We know how to win low scoring games where neither team is shooting well. They don’t.
One more eye thing to note: There was a clear moment when Randle lost his cool and could have been teed up. Spida did kind of get some emotional momentum and he went on a run, but we stopped it (somehow). Of course, that could have been the turning point in a loss, and it felt too familiar because so many (same old) Knicks teams have lost that way (to MJ, to Reggie, to any forgotten G-league scrub on the planet having his career game), but we held on. Progress. Let’s go!
I just love that we have a team that can assert themselves physically over opponents and grind extra possessions if Mitch, Randle and both Harts continue to bring this physicality to all the games, Cleveland will struggle because they just can’t match it.
If you told me before the game that RJ, IQ and Grimes combined for 15 points I would 100% think that this would be a bad loss, so there’s room for improvement too.
On that play, Allen locked up Randle’s arm and Randle yanked it free in a demonstrative way, then walked away with his arms up. That didn’t really bother me, in fact, I like when Randle physically bullies people (like he did to Okoro on that drive.) His physicality is a major plus for him. In fact, I remember reading somewhere (here?) that other players rate him as one of the most physically punishing players to play against…it literally hurts to guard him, box him out, etc…
What I didn’t like is the scene where he got into a very animated discussion with a ref…that looked headed for a T, glad it didn’t go too far.
On that note, Spida seems kinda soft for a guy with his strength. He’s built like a brick shithouse and should bang more on both ends than he does. He had one foul in 44 minutes yesterday.
“We know how to win low scoring games where neither team is shooting well. They don’t.”
On Friday I was workshopping the idea that our bizarro elite offense is well suited for the playoffs, because rebounding, ball security, and to a lesser extent free throws don’t go cold. E didn’t understand what I was saying and kind of derailed the whole thing, but I think this game was evidence in favor of the theory.
Gotta say, I enjoyed the aesthetics of that rock fight. There’s a lot to be said for a game that comes down to who can hit tough shots as opposed to who can get hotter from 3 in the 2nd quarter.
It’s hilarious we still have Hart trade holdouts. At this point I have to admire it. Strat/Ntilikina level commitment to the bit. I mean that was literally the best playoff debut for a Knick since the 90s, no? We should sign that guy to a lifetime contract.
It’s understandably flying under the radar, but how about the stones on Grimes to hit those two free throws?
This may be a little controversial, but I think there are certain possessions in a game that carry more weight than others because they create or kill momentum, change the energy of team, or come at a critical point in the game when nothing but exceptional effort will get the job done.
There are also very smart and very dumb plays/shots.
If we created some kind plus/minus ratio for great key plays and terrible key plays we’d see Josh Hart at one end of the spectrum and RJ at the other.
My biggest problem with RJ is that every time he touches the ball I’m expecting a bad decision, a forced or premature shot, a terrible TO etc.. Even on the nights he does well statistically because his shots were falling, I still dread every minute he has the ball in his hands.
“On Friday I was workshopping the idea that our bizarro elite offense is well suited for the playoffs, because rebounding, ball security, and to a lesser extent free throws don’t go cold.”
I thought that was a terrific insight…..but RJ can derail anything. 😂
For the Obiphiles out there, his advanced stats in his 14 minute stint were off the freakin’ charts:
23-10-3 per 36
“E didn’t understand what I was saying and kind of derailed the whole thing, but I think this game was evidence in favor of the theory.”
This is like the weird 8th personal callout of me since last night, including several on game threads, and I’m obviously not taking the bait.
Like I said multiple times during the season, when the playoffs come, I’m done with the back and forth of time-killing granular team-building and “analytics” arguments. I’m going to let the playoffs play out, comment on the game threads, root heavily for the team, and put that stuff aside. When and if the Knicks are eliminated, I’ll get back to roster building and analytics.
There’s a time and a place for everything. It’s the time and place now to respect the playoffs, respect the game threads, and respect your fellow fans.
When / if Mobley learns to hit those layups, instead of wildly bricking them off the backboard 5ft away from the rim, he’s going to be unstoppable. I hope it doesn’t happen this series.
Lol. E you show up and stink up every next day thread after a loss. You literally disappeared for entire win streaks only to show up with your negativity after a loss. And you emphatically said offensive rebounds are moneyball stats that only matter in the regular season and that trading a first for Josh hart was dumb. Of course you’re getting called out and we will continue to do so if we keep winning. That’s what happens when you position yourself as a naysayer during our most successful season in at least a decade.
Feel free to post away about how we were foolishly “chasing the second round” when we lose to the bucks in the second round in 7 games
So let me get this straight…one can be an insufferable flamethrowing troll that blows up threads all off-season and regular season, but once the playoffs start one should be “respected” because one declares that one is done with the back and forth until after the playoffs.
My only issue with the naysayers about this team is that there should be more of an appreciation that only 1 team is going to win the championship even though 5-6 are serious contenders that are more or less finished products that were built intelligently.
It’s very difficult to win a championship even when you have a great team.
We are getting important playoff experience now and will hopefully get to 2nd round for more. That’s going to help in the future. This team is not a finished product yet. It has internal upside and excess picks to work with.
IMO, the standard by which we should judge this team is whether in this widow we reach the point where we can honestly say we are one of the very serious contenders for the title.
i think the question is whether or not the cavs offense shows up… the cavs effectively bottled up randle and contained brunson… really only mitchell showed up last night for the cavs which can continue but garland and the others are pretty good…. okoro’s health will be key….
bickerstaff did make some odd choices… and not just the osman assigments…. they continually ran that high pnr and with mobley getting the ball at the elbows and that generally did not end well… mobley can be better there but him missing bunnies effectively ended any non-mitchell offense since they went to it so many times….
being dedicated to the bit is actually just understanding that whatever happens now is less important than the long term…. and not imagining things that actually happened as impossibilities….
that doesnt mean i dont appreciate him on the team… kings fan feel similarly with sabonis… it’s not mutually exclusive that you can hate the price you paid and love the guy you got…. being offended over it is kind of aching for a fight that really shouldn’t exist if you truly understand where it’s coming from…
Honestly, strat. I think we’re all ready there. If we were in the west I think we’d all feel pretty confident we could reach the finals or at least the conference finals.
And we’ve competed well against the bucks, 76ers and Celtics especially since we’ve acquired hart. We’re a top 8 team. That doesn’t make you a contender per day but it does put you in the conversation.
Of course I’m getting way too ahead of myself bc we could still lose this series. But I think any fear we were just a regular season mirage like two years ago faded last night. Everyone is saying Cleveland didn’t play well but we didn’t really either. Brunson probably scores 6 or 8 more points if he doesn’t get in foul trouble. Randle was rusty and got gassed easily. IQ did not play up to his level. Grimes didn’t do much. RJ missed a lot of shots. Outside of RJ missing shots (lol) I think all those other players can play better than they did.
What happens now is not “less important.” We’ve won exactly one playoff series in the last two decades. Progressing through the playoffs is part of the process. Hart being here now is huge for us, in these playoffs and beyond, and it is so bullheaded to believe we could have our pick and still sign Hart in the off-season. If he was traded to another playoff team he would have elevated them too and that team would have bird rights and would totally want to resign him.
I get that our franchise traded picks for years and so now some Knicks fans are traumatized to the point that they think every first round pick is sacred but we used it to get a good player. We
13 turnovers is actually pretty good, that’s exactly what we averaged during the regular season, and the Cavs are a team that generates lots of turnovers. Basically, we played our game: low turnovers and lots of offensive rebounds, which overcame our low eFG%. And our bench killed theirs.
“being dedicated to the bit is actually just understanding that whatever happens now is less important than the long term….”
Seems the disconnect here is that you think what happens now has no influence on the long term.
I think if the Knicks win a playoff series they are arguably in pole position for the next star/superstar trade. Even if they don’t, the fact that they have acquired a bunch of good players and, you know, become a good team materially benefits us in the long term.
Do you think we have to become contenders in one fell swoop and thus should not make any moves that make the team better until we make *the* move? Because it’s sure starting to seem like the Hart trade is serving two masters.
E, is it not the case that you argued, contra me, that the Knicks should hope for offensive volatility as opposed to continuity?
I would simply not take positions I didn’t want to be identified with going forward!
saying they “effectively contained brunson” is a bit of a mischaracterization…the dude had 27 points and basically played one half of basketball?
and they didn’t do anything special on Randle…he just reverted to Mr Hyde for awhile…on his own volition…not really anything any other team hasn’t done on him?
going to the “bickerstaff is going to make good adjustments” above…not sure what he can do…his roster is set and that bench is woeful…if osman is your defensive stopper…you have problems…i mean they likely will shoot better (mobley and garland and perhaps levert) but what else is he going to do…I guess make Brunson give it up quicker and RJ shoot more…but not a whole lot of arrows in his quiver…
The one thing that was a little concerning is that the Cavs missed so many bunnies, so many high quality, high-percentage shots. Maybe that was a little bit of the yips, or maybe just some unfortunate luck, but if you’re a Cavs fan that is probably the thing that is haunting you most today. That was a very winnable game for them that they gave away by bricking so many of those easy looks.
So I think the Knicks have adjustments to make too.
so then why are you taking weird victory laps now before we’ve even advanced? what are you taking a victory lap over exactly even? i like hart…
the point of contention is the price we paid and the alternative approaches.. which are sort of proxies for where we are on the win curve… but that’s always going to be a point of contention for most transactions especially for me i’m a cheap guy… you’re like my friend who goes to a dessert spot yesterday and doesn’t hesitate to blow 150 bucks on a bunch of cookies … i mean they’re damn good cookies but still…
“That was a very winnable game for them that they gave away by bricking so many of those easy looks.”
Yes, but the Knicks literally handed the ball to them (IQ 3X all by himself) and short-armed a bunch of wide-open 3’s. Mitch (2X) and iHart both f’d up two point-blank shots.
A huge reason for the win was that we outshot them from the FT line, their misses came back to haunt them and we shot 19-22. That worries me a bit, since I don’t expect for that to continue.
I mean we’re definitely taking victory laps prematurely but you gotta give us this. Knicks haven’t wins game one on the road in thirty years. It’s kind of a big deal.
saying they “effectively contained brunson” is a bit of a mischaracterization…the dude had 27 points and basically played one half of basketball?
on 24 shots? yea brunson looked unstoppable for a bit and he’s very capable for doing that for long stretches.. but he wasn’t like that the entire game… the degree of difficulty on those shots were really high…. and relative to the scoring output for the game he was great… but zoom out a bit and it wasn’t…. he was certainly not doign anything what mitchell was doing… and he didn’t need to…
randle’s shot attempts were equally very high difficulty and maybe part of that was randle being randle… but when mobley was on him it definitely impacted his shot selection and his drives to the basket… 4-10 in 2pt territory…. normally that’d be 5 or 6 for 10…
that’s not to say that they can’t breakthrough for a big game at all this series… brunson’s probably in for at least 2 and i’m hoping randle can have at least one… but in terms of what the cavs are known to do well on that end of the court.. they more imposed their will than the knicks did there’s…. and the score is evident of that….
the bigger questionl.. as i’ve said before… is what happens on the other end…. our defense looked a lot better there .. mostly thanks to mitch and ihart…. but also some really bad performances from the cavs… and that has to continue in order for us to win… which might happen… but also might not…
I doubt there’s an executive or analyst anywhere who still thinks there is any downside to the Knicks trade for Josh Hart. Except here at KB, of course. The trade graded out as a B by even the Knicks-bashing pundits at trade time, and no one expected Hart to be THIS good.
TNFH, your recent posts are so spot on, I’m glad (as usual) when we are in complete agreement.
“That was a very winnable game for them (Cavs) that they gave away by bricking so many of those easy looks.”
This is the thing. By some miracle WE made all the heads up plays, clutch free throws, key substitutions, and got to the crucial rebounds at crunch time. That is indeed a bizarro-world-bearded-Thibs kind of generational development. I would love to pass the choke-torch to the Cavs for the next three decades.
Xs and Os wise, I think a key run was also when we had Obi in and stretched the lead to 10. It was a bit of the “fast” offense logic we flagged in previous threads even though (I think) jHart was not part of it. IMO that run gave us cushion/confidence and allowed us to withstand Spida’s last licks. I definitely did not want to see overtime.
“The one thing that was a little concerning is that the Cavs missed so many bunnies, so many high quality, high-percentage shots. Maybe that was a little bit of the yips, or maybe just some unfortunate luck, but if you’re a Cavs fan that is probably the thing that is haunting you most today.”
They did, but we were actually worse. They were 18/29 at the rim and we were 14/26: https://www.nba.com/game/nyk-vs-cle-0042200131/game-charts?shotchart=shotzone&awayPlayerShots=
So while there’s plenty of room for improvement for Cleveland the same is true for us. Overall, I’d say this game 1 isn’t really representative of what either team can do but it does bode well for us.
Brunson scored 21 points in the second half and did so by making the same shots he has been making all year.
but yea you guys are trying to dunk on someone who also likes hart… liked hart before you guys even knew who he was even…. so what exactly are you guys even doing touchdown dances over? a playoff win? i like playoff wins too….
i’m sure you guys are right enough times not to invent things to be right over… so try to act like it….
Yeah Brunson and Randle make difficulty shots. That’s why they’re both so good isoing.
I didn’t see Brunson make any shots that were more difficult than what he’s done all season.
“on 24 shots? yea brunson looked unstoppable for a bit and he’s very capable for doing that for long stretches.. but he wasn’t like that the entire game… the degree of difficulty on those shots were really high…. and relative to the scoring output for the game he was great… but zoom out a bit and it wasn’t…. he was certainly not doign anything what mitchell was doing… and he didn’t need to…”
so…i think you posited that they effecitvely contained him…to me…he was the reason we won the game..if he doesn’t go off in the 2nd half…we’re likely toast as nobody else had any mojo on our side….if you agree with that then your point is not real accurate…other than you point to the fact that he took 24 shots ….
Yeah, it’s small-sample-theatre, but this is not the day to hassle Leon. All of his decisions were key to last night’s victory: Brunson, JHart, iHart, Grimes and “No” to Spida.
so…i think you posited that they effecitvely contained him…to me…he was the reason we won the game.
so does brunson only have to play as well as he did yesterday? if he does 27 points on 24 shots every game we should win all those games?
or was it the fact that the cavs scored 97 points the reason we won the game? i mean it’s a close game so it all matters…. but the herculean effort was on the defensive side of the ball which made the 8th best offense look more like the worst…
that’s not to say the things brunson did didn’t matter…. he was our most valuable offensive player in a tough defensive game…. and you need that kind of performance in these kinds of games… but that’s a substandard offensive game from brunson…. and the cavs defense had a little to do with that…
Brunson made two massive shots with 1:15 and :35 left in the 4th quarter. Yes he missed a bunch earlier but the man is a killer in crunch time
It’s playoff basketball, shooting percentages are going to drop as defenses get way more intense. Jordan had plenty of subpar shooting performances but there was nobody better down the stretch of close games.
You know what I think will seal this series if it were to be pulled off properly? If RJ takes today and tomorrow to study how guys like Steve Smith, Kobe, and Jordan punished smaller guys from the high post down. If he can apply some of what they did as long as Mitchell or Garland is guarding him, it should make our halfcourt offense more of a threat to the Cavs’ vaunted defense. They already have no one that can guard Brunson. And if they try to match Randle’s physicality by throwing Allen on him, then Mobley is gonna get worn down trying to keep Mitch off the boards and limit his easy buckets. That’s how the series gets shortened. But unfortunately, I’m not sure if RJ’s footwork is good enough to use some of Smith’s, Kobe’s, or Jordan’s post moves against Cleveland’s backcourt. RJ driving and spraying it around is a good thing for him to do, but Garland and Mitchell have quick hands so I have my fingers crossed every time RJ gets to his spots. Maybe Brunson can give him some pointers with his footwork
“This may be a little controversial, but I think there are certain possessions in a game that carry more weight than others because they create or kill momentum, change the energy of team, or come at a critical point in the game when nothing but exceptional effort will get the job done.”
This reminds me of the old Ted Nelson arguments where he would quote John Wooden on saying each possession was equally valuable. It seemed pretty wrong then and not very controversial.
I attribute the missed shots in the paint to players being aware of the great rim protection on both sides and rushing just a bit. I really don’t expect that to change much. As long as we can keep Mitchell somewhat under control, we will win this series.
I don’t think it’s super reasonable to expect RJ Barrett to suddenly discover ways of being an effective basketball player, in the middle of a playoff series. He’s a very limited player who seems to have great difficulty in expanding his game beyond its many limitations.
My expectations of RJ doing effective things are so low an ant couldn’t limbo under the bar.
Without changing anything, Barrett should be able to take Garland inside and shoot better than 1-7 or at least produce some Kobe assists for Mitch.
Yeah, I just think RJs skill level is near zero. He dominated lower levels with his athleticism that let him get to the hoop and finish through players, and he can’t do that in the NBA.
He has no history of skills outside the immediate rim area and only just started working on his little post-up flip shot this year.
He doesn’t have the touch or footwork to make anything beyond 3ft viable.
Sucks that i missed this game yesterday and meeting up with Hubert and JK. Glad y’all had a blast via celebrating a win.
I had to work: our baseball team had a home game, and they’re chasing a playoff spot with two weeks to go.
Our bball play by play guy just texted me “Knickstape”. He’s not a hater like my trolling coworkers: I’m live-streaming yesterday on our dept IG acct and one yells “go Cavs”. Smh
“All of his decisions were key to last night’s victory: Brunson, JHart, iHart, Grimes and “No” to Spida.”
1. Rose didn’t say no to Spida, Ainge said no to us. And it was reported in multiple places that Rose was pissed he didn’t get a chance to match/beat the Cleveland offer.
2. Giving $100M to RJ Barrett was also a Rose decision and I don’t think it was one that helped us win last night.
The wildest thing about yesterday for me was the absolute lack of pessimism I felt when the Cavs went up 93-92. My feelings were: “Nba teams make runs, they just had theirs, now they’re done and we will pull away.”
It’s reasonable if you didn’t feel that way. But there is a feeling of inevitability that I sense here. We’re much, much more ready for this than they are.
This is Knicks in 5, maybe less.
In playoff basketball, what you do when the game is on the line is pretty much what matters. Because djphan actually knows something about the game, his citing Brunson’s 24 shot attempts is nothing but trolling.
There I have said it.
To quote Dirty Harry, a man’s got to know his limitations. And RJ’s inability to know his own is as much of a problem as his relative lack of skill, if not more. His instincts are so poor so much of the time, like when he didn’t give the ball back to Hart on the 2-on-1 fast break, got stripped, and looked utterly bewildered that it happened, and that the ref didn’t call a foul on the play.
If he thought of himself as a role player, I doubt he would be as good at it as Hart, because Hart’s instincts are superhuman, and he’s generally more athletic than RJ. But the version of RJ that focuses on defense and playmaking for his teammates, and who spends his offseason doing nothing but practicing his three-point shot, would be playable. This one should lose his rotation spot to Deuce and/or to Thibs going down to an 8-man rotation.
Last time I woke up still excited after the Knicks winning Game 1 on the road I was still a teenager.
BBA was a teenager in 1999!?? I did not guess that at all.
(I was 21, btw. And I vividly recall all three of those game 1 wins: Miami, Atlanta, and Indiana. I watched them all in the same shitty pool bar on Merrick Road in Bellmore.)
Btw, thank you, Brian. I did wonder why Lawrence Funderburke was so involved in that game. Then I forgot about it for 20 years. It is satisfying to get the answer.
Yeah pointing out an inefficient shooting night from a star player in a playoff game we win is dumb. Shooting percentages go down across the board bc teams try harder on defense. It’s not something to remotely worry about. At this point you do whatever it takes to win the game.
Well I was barely still a teenager, I turned 19 a week later the same day LJ hit his 4pt play. That was a great birthday!
I don’t think you should be.
The Cavs just don’t have enough offense for the playoffs. They don’t have the shooters or creators, so it’s (1) Mitchell; (2) Garland; (3) ???. They need Mobley & LeVert to step up in a big way.
Moreover the Okoro/Mobley/Allen non-shooters let the Knicks aggressively double/trap Garland & DMitch. It also plays to the Knicks strengths, forcing teams to beat MitchRob & iHart inside. Mobley in particular got stonewalled at the rim a number of times.
The Knicks always have 3-4 shooters on the floor at time with 4 guys who can put it on the floor. That’s their one implementation of modern basketball concepts. They aren’t necessarily the best shooters but they can’t be left open.
That was your birthday? Damn.
For those who don’t know, June 5, 1999 was one of the best sports days in NY history.
It started with the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium (it still mattered back then, as it was only three years into interleague play).
As I’m sure BBA remembers, the Yankees beat the Mets in a game that featured El Duque throwing his mitt to Tino Martinez bc he couldn’t get the ball out of it.
Later in the afternoon Charismatic went for the triple crown at Belmont.
And at night was Knicks Pacers game 3 at MSG, arguably the peak Knicks moment of the last 40 years.
Plus on my 14th birthday the Knicks defeated Indiana in Game 7 to reach the 1994 NBA Finals!
June 5th is arguably the greatest day in Knicks history.
Is there a stat that looks at the points per possession RJ generates relative to others who create their own shot at the rim?
Idk, this has PPP broken down by play type. If you can find a list of players, or just think of one, you can compare them there.
Thanks EB. I’m looking to understand if his skill, generating his own shot at the rim, is somehow more significant then what it seems to be — when looking at shots made plus Kobe assists plus off rebounds that generate another possession even if there’s no assist generated directly.
My intuition is he’s better offensively than what his box score suggests but obviously that’s entirely not measured by what we have on hand.
“Maybe there’s more to Newman than meets the eye.”
“No. There’s less.”
“To quote Dirty Harry, a man’s got to know his limitations.”
So does this mean RJ is Briggs and the Knicks are Briggs’s police car on the pier?
Stephen A. Smith and the rest of the ESPN talking heads are so fucking insufferable it makes me want to never watch this sport again.
I find it really hard to root for either team in the Memphis-LA series.
Weird to see AD back in the game — I thought for sure that he had a season-ending shoulder injury there. Not because of how it looked, but because of who it was.
Would be nice if Mark Jackson had a season ending injury to his vocal chords…
Lol, I muted him.
Why isn’t AD guarding JJJ
Also, seriously, who the hell is Austin Reaves
Austin Reaves should star in the remake of White Men Can’t Jump
Austin Reaves just played the best 2 minutes of nobody offense I’ve ever seen….
The hollering is priceless!
Feels like Linsanity. But in the playoffs.
Lakers fans love them some Austin Reaves.
And if they’ve discovered some consistency in their 3-ball, they can be… problematic.
For those who are watching Lakers Grizz, is Memphis imploding in these last 2 minutes?
I thought Memphis looked a bit fraudulent towards the end of the season but wow, what a collapse… embarrassing.
Lakers have a really good team post-trade, I think they’re gonna go pretty far in the playoffs if they stay healthy ( sorry Diggy)
I hate the Lakers but this does make me like them a little bit. I mean, the audacity. I knew Reaves was a bit of a thing but that was a preposterous five minutes of basketball.
Rui was great too
Morant went down with some sort of a right hand/wrist injury, looked pretty serious. Obviously losing him would pretty much seal this series for the Lakers. I picked the Lakers anyway, but it would kinda suck for Morant to be out.
I just saw LeBron James instruct teammates to get the ball to Austin Reaves and get out of the way down the stretch of a playoff game
What I love about the Lakers is that Pelinka, for some godforsaken reason, only signs these unheralded rookies to two-year deals, so the Lakers find these diamonds in the rough, shine them up and then either have to lose them or pay them $15-20 million dollars when they could have them for the minimum if their GM wasn’t so weird. Like Austin Reaves wasn’t going to take a four-year deal with the third and fourth years non-guaranteed.
I guess I just have to accept the fact that the universe loves the Lakers.
They didn’t wilt when LeBron was out – they went 13-6 from March 1 till the season end, moving up from #11 to #7, jumping Utah, Minnesota, New Orleans and of course, Dallas. No clear alpha dog in the west and they draw a drama-laden, vulnerable #2 in the Grizzlies.
OKC finished 12-8 in that same span, fwiw, to make the play-in.
OH DEAR GOD THE LAKERS COULD MAKE THE NBA FINALS AFTER ALL!!?!??
The Lakers would get the Suns in the second round, though, and the Suns haven’t lost a game that Durant has played yet.
I have a buddy who was begging me to bet the Lakers to win the West at 50-1 even though I never bet sports and, well, he is very angry at me.
couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy who successfully did a week of therapy and is now definitely not a piece of shit who assaults minors
Yeah, Jowles, the Lakers are insufferable, but I’m not rooting for the team with Ja.
The West is so weak. I’d put money on the Suns & Lakers as the best teams.
It really is such bullshit. I couldn’t believe the Lakers made out so well given that they had absolute crap to trade. Ainge is really banking on that unprotected 1st to be huge.
You might have poor intuition.
I’m in principle always rooting against the Lakers, but this is one series where I really don’t care how it goes. It will be great to make fun of the Grizzlies for losing to meme players and seeing Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant losing, and it would be funny to see the Lakers lose because Lakers, so I’m fine either way. Let it burn.
Jimmy Butler has come to play it seems and Giannis went to the locker room already, this one might also be a series.
Lakers would get the Kings-Warriors winner in the 2nd rd.
Shit. Miami up 9 on Milwaukee, and Giannis is out for the rest of the game with a back injury.
Me watching a Pat Riley team: https://frinkiac.com/meme/S08E02/1092424.jpg?b64lines=IFN0b3AgaGltISAKSGUncyBzdXBwb3NlZCB0byBkaWUh
I wasn’t sure what to root for in the west but a fair fight between LeBron and Durant in the Conference Finals would be entertaining. We’ve never really had one before.
The Giannis back injury is the news I’ve been waiting for.
After we sweep the Cavs we’re going to beat the Bucks in 6. Giannis will play all 6 games but be limited.
We will, unfortunately, lose to Boston in 7 games.
Knicks Heat in the 2nd rd would be incredible.
Oof. Injuries everywhere. Ja, Giannis, and now
Now Tyler Herro has a broken hand, give the Knicks a bye into the Conference Finals.
I am not prepared for so many things going the Knicks’ way. They are still doomed, of course.
Well, another playoffs where it’s going to be determined by which teams remain the healthiest… it’s day 2 and all those injuries already, and the Clippers and Suns haven’t even played.
Keep on keepin’ on, BC!
I’m worried that Brian’s two bits — this one and the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days gag — are in conflict with one another.
My worry is that (other than us, of course) the healthy Bucks are the only team that can knock off the Celts…
One is within my control, the other is just plain ol’ incontrovertible science.
Things are actually all going the Celtics’ way, so that makes it a little easier to comprehend.
Good point, but while this is great for the Celtics, it’s also great for the Knicks, too!
TNT just aired a commercial for a show called Doctor Pimple Popper and I will never be able to unsee the disgusting shit I just saw.
In other news, Trump referred to Micheal Cohen today as a “cereal liar”
Can’t make it up…
Not to get too ahead of myself but I’m already texting my brother about getting tickets when the Knicks come down to Miami for Games 3 and 4….
Here are some takes in the Cleveland media with some telling player quotes.
Looks like the Knicks are the bruisers that were mentioned a few weeks back by that executive.
Father time is nipping at cp3’s tushy
Gordon is washed too…well…he did make that one🤔
The irony of Kevin Durant talking shit about the Knicks when we’re so much better than the two teams he wanted to play for.
Westbrook out-RJ’ing RJ with a 3-19 line for 9 points.
Westbrook is 3/19 and he keeps taking shots… my gooodness why is he still on the floor.
And now he makes two free throws to get the lead to 3 points, you can’t make this up lol
And he blocks Booker now holy shit, this is just insanity.
Good thing is Knicks would have homecourt in the NBA Finals over the Suns or Clippers.
Westbrook did fill up the stat sheet, but that shooting line is one of the worst I remember seeing in any game.
The win every game with Durant streak is over…
I still think Milwaukee would be a bad matchhup for us, albeit one with a massive talent void.
Lopez & Crazy Eyes can bang down low while spacing the floor on offense.
Jrue is still one of the best defenders in the league and could give Brunson fits.
Middleton torched a pretty solid Miami defense.
Some wake-up call Game 1’s thus far. Things should get very real in Game 2’s.
Hopefully there is no wake-up for the Cavs’ Game 2. Although there obviously will be, because the Knicks are screwed.