Game Thread

2023 Playoffs Thread – Dead Team Walking @ Cavaliers

After getting their first (and only) win of this playoffs in Game 1 against Cleveland due to J.B. Bickerstaff forgetting how to speak for 20 minutes or so, so he was unable to tell anyone that he wanted Cedi Osman either out of the game or just not playing Jalen Brunson 1-on-1, the Knicks remain in Cleveland for their fruitless attempt to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series (well, “commanding” for most teams, unlike the Knicks, for whom a 2-0 lead would be meaningless).

In big news if the Knicks weren’t inherently screwed, Josh Hart will probably play tonight (he will only not play if he has a problem in warm-ups. Basically, he’s in a lot of pain but he’s managing it, so it’s just a question of whether the pain gets worse during warm-ups. He’s already prepared to play through his current levels of pain). That’s great, as he and Jalen Brunson were on a whole other level than anyone else on the court in Game 1 (outside of perhaps Donovan Mitchell and Isiah Hartenstein) in terms of just not seeming overwhelmed by the drama of the moment. They were calm, cool and collected. It’s great to see. At least it would be great to see if the Knicks had any chance of winning this series.

Let’s go, Knicks, not that it matters!

179 replies on “2023 Playoffs Thread – Dead Team Walking @ Cavaliers”

Let’s go Knicks!

Also let me just vent before the game starts about how fucking bullshit it is that the NBA isn’t suspending Draymond Green. If I’m the Kings right now I’m already scared of a repeat of 2002 happening as the NBA really will want to push the possibility of Lakers / Warriors in the 2nd round as hard as possible. They’ll have to play flawlessly to win this series.

I’m with you 100% Bruno,

The NBA want a Lakers-Warriors series at all cost and they’ll do everything to get it.

Both Memphis and the Kings need to be much better to have a chance at winning because they’re going to play 5 vs 8 all series long.

silver learned his craft from the slimeball david stern…so no surprise with the state of the league nowadays…

Conspiracy theories are great and all, but the league has historically screwed itself out of having their best players on the court in the playoffs due to their hard-line unambiguously-languaged behavior policies (no leaving the bench area, mandatory suspensions for foul quotas, etc). As a fan of watching great players play rather than watching great players sit in street clothes, I have no problem with the league using its subjective discretion to put the best product possible on the court for fans to consume.

“Both Memphis and the Kings need to be much better to have a chance at winning”

Memphis might be screwed anyway considering how many injuries they’re dealing with.

I seem to recall that, many years ago, there was a pro wrestler called The Mongolian Stomper.

Since the NBA will not suspend DG for his foot stomping actions, maybe they should just market him as The Dramondian Stomper. $$

If not, maybe he’s now got an after career path that he might pursue. He might make a great heel. He’s already got the finishing move in his repertoire.

I love that Okoro got a rebound while lying down and then got called for a foul while lying down.

Kenny Smith actually said Brunson is a mini-Melo

Worst comp ever”

It makes some sense. They’re both high scoring, relatively unathletic players. Brunson is worlds better than Melo of course.

Was it announced if Hart is playing tonight? Last I heard he was going to test his ankle before the game.

Why does Cheryl Miller have to do our games…she’s worse than Mark Jackson

Cavs playing with a lot of intensity, especially on defense.

We just have to weather the storm and stay close.

I don’t get msg on league pass on my TV if the game is on a network locally…

Just tuning in to see Obi (the nicest guy on the court) get called for a flagrant. Um , NO.

Let’s Go, you doomed Knickerbockers!

Sorry to say it, I’m not too happy with JB’s shot selection…
(And I know, if they go in they’re good, but he’s not involving the other players and they’re becoming too passive)

“Sorry to say it, I’m not too happy with JB’s shot selection…”

He’s definitely forcing it but also no one else seems to be able to do anything.

“If I’m open I’m going to shoot it,” Barrett said. “If they close out, I’m driving. It’s pretty simple.”

Maybe nobody hits a field goal for the rest of the game?

Is everyone on IQ like a foot taller than during the season? The kid has nothing but he has to get it going.

Knicks shooting 32% and it feels much worse and only down one, because the Cavs are shooting 28%.

If I was a Cavs fan I’d be pissed they’re not up double digits the way the Knicks are playing.

“If I’m open I’m going to shoot it,” Barrett said. “If they close out, I’m driving. It’s pretty simple.”

One for five so far… pretty simple(ton) indeed.

Unimpressive game from both sides (like game 1)…

…meanwhile Celtics look very impressive. (Just wanted to stick that into this game thread:)

RJ playing like ass on both sides on the ball and is leading the team in minutes so far. I can’t fucking take this.

“Please get RJB off Garland.” — especially bc RJ seems to think he’s in a gunslinger duel as a result and is, therefore, gonna just dribble out the clock and launch a fadeaway bc reasons. WTF?

Team needs a full mental reset. This is where Thibs has to earn his money with some inspiration and not just sour sulky pouting scowls.

At times I thought my recent criticisms of RJ might be a little emotional and over the top, but I now see I’ve underrated just how terrible of a basketball player he is. He should never be on the court for a high caliber playoff team. NEVER!

It’s getting harder and harder to dump RJ in the offseason without having to attach a sweetener to do it… I hate this.

And this is why the Cavs bitched so much to the refs, because it clearly works.

Adjustments: get rj outta there and put shooting on the floor (grimes/quick), sagging in the paint. Give Obi more mins in as well.

I expected us to lose this game and am not super worried but we’re losing in a very frustrating way at the moment

Where is Grimes? Get that running lineup out there for a stretch and try to get the offense moving.


*** I guess complaining about the refs after game 1 worked***

This thread started with conspiracies about the league wanting large market teams to advance. If the NYK don’t qualify for similar treatment over the defensecentric Cleveland Cavs, they need to take a hard look in the mirror.

WTF is This doing? This lineup is getting run off the court! Why the hell is he sticking with it?

To be fair, all the Knicks are playing like ass.
To be fair, the Cavs have WAY ratcheted up their D from game one.
To be fair, until that three, Randle hasn’t really shown up.
To be fair, Barrett sucks.
To be fair, I’ve poured myself one big-ass martini…

Donnie…you are confusing theories…the other one is they want each series to go seven…

Okay, Randle’s face after accidentally slapping Brunson was priceless.

I remember McMillan complaining about the refs before the series two years ago, and it worked for the Hawks 🙂

Well I do kind of appreciate that now they’re trying to win the game by not taking any shots, since they can’t make any. They’re just handing it to the Cavs each possession.

Not that anything would’ve redeemed this disaster, but I think we needed to reinsert Quickley. Yes he’s been awful, but you gotta trust him to turn it around after the season he’s had. Better than whatever we did instead.

We’re playing comically bad basketball, but no matter if they win by 80 points, it’s just one game…
… and we’re doomed anyway 😀

It would be weird if Garland took LeBron’s single-game Cavs playoff scoring record (51) in just his 2nd career playoff game. And Knicksy.

Well, for those who thought that after one game we had the series under control, this is what we’ve been trying to alert to. But Max is right, it’s only one game. We need to win the next 2 games at MSG.

This little offensive flurry by the Cavs aside, I don’t see either of these teams getting very far.

Sixers/Celtics matchup should be highly competitive, though so there’s that.

If we’re doomed tonight, at least get IQ in there to shoot himself out of the slump.

1. Figure out how to guard Garland.
2. Bench needs to step up. Outscored 16-7. Quickley needs to show up.
3. Randle needs to get his head out of his ass on D.
4. Maybe Brunson should stop shooting threes?

Welp, that was a fun series. Us losing both of games 3-4 at home is so Knicksy an outcome that it’s almost predestined at this point.

Better talent plus strategic ref complaints have always been reliable avenues to beat our physicality and scrappiness. Just ask Phil Jackson

NO. Refuse to roll over. Bit by bit. Figure them out. We have beaten them before. We can beat them again.

Holy cow. 14 field goals and 14 turnovers in the first half?

“Randle’s back in Atlanta…”

Thibs has to slap him out of it. This is a total test of the coach. We can either repeat being dejected complaining psycho losers (like in Atlanta) or we can make a game of this, which, even in a loss, would be a good emotional lift.

Yeah, cut it to 10-12 and give them a scare in the 4th…

They have given us chances to come back a little but so far we can’t buy a shot.

Down by 20 with Donovan Mitchell only taking 7 shots makes a victory all but unattainable. He hasn’t even broken a sweat.

They are leaving the door open for us. Let’s get it. Enough stupid mistakes, and chip away.

Drafting RJ Barrett in front of Darius Garland is finally taking it’s rightful place in Knicks’ blunder history.

Well, on the bright side, Garland won’t play this well again this entire series. So, that’s out of the way.

Is Randle actually recovered from his injury? He’s still pretty physical but I feel like he’s settling for a ton of jumpers instead of taking it to the basket.

C’mon, RJ. Take one for the team and put a dirty foul on Garland. It’s a win-win.

At least we’ll be able to re-sign IQ to a cheaper contract after this series.

Wtf is wrong with quickley? Completely lazy relaxed defense on garland who did his own move on him

“”At least we’ll be able to re-sign IQ to a cheaper contract after this series.”

— oof

*** Well, on the bright side, Garland won’t play this well again this entire series. So, that’s out of the way.***

But it’s balanced out by Mitchell taking a DNP-Garland Decision.

“Garland is so hot I don’t think any of his made shots have touched the rim”

Same with Obi 🙂

I don’t think the iso offense is going to work against the best defense in the NBA…

We have the personnel to play more open, let’s see if Thibs adjusts next game

It’s the playoffs, every game has its own narrative.

But I’m sure the pundits will overreact like hell to this one.

There’s different types of game 2 losses by the road team when they’re up 1-0

The good losses are the ones you pforce the home team to lay it all on the line, come from behind, and beat you with a huge 4Q effort. That is what the Knicks did against Hawks two years ago after Z-Man ran me over w his scooter.

(And it’s also what the Melo Knicks did against the Pacers with that glorious 20 point run fueled by a small lineup that Woodson never used again.)

When you lose like that, whatever. You’ll be up 3-1 in no time, and the series is effectively over.

When you lose like this, though, good god. You’ve effectively invalidated your first win and given your opponent so much confidence that your defeat in game 3 is all but assured.

What a bad time to lay an egg.

But wait, aren’t we playing with house money this game?

Yup. The only way we could have come out behind was if we were exposed in a completely dominating performance that strongly suggests that Game 1 was a fluke, the Cavs have figured out our gimmicks, and our homecourt disadvantage makes game 3 a likely loss.

“Is it me or does quickley look like he’s not competing out there?”

Not just you. IQ looks like he doesn’t care. It’s mind-boggling. He should totally be figuring out his game in these garbage minutes.

So Deuce locks up their guy who’s been torching us… and then he never plays again? Shrewd.

Jesus have you guys watched any playoff series in your lives? Wtf does this game have to do with game 3 at MSG??

Ridiculous takes

Deuce did an excellent job on Garland, maybe leave him in. Hart can’t stay in front of him.

*** But wait, aren’t we playing with house money this game?***

Unfortunately, it’s Eddie House’s money.

LeVert has one game like this out of every 20-plus games. It’s why he keeps getting contracts.

“Ridiculous takes”

IDK. The Cavs were roaring back at the end of game 1. They are roaring away tonight. Thibs needs to do something when we get home.

*** LeVert has one game like this out of every 20-plus games. It’s why he keeps getting contracts.***

Levert’s actually had a pretty good year this year. Easily a career best. 39% from 3, career high BPM, VORP, WS/48, etc… He’s made an impact defensively too this year. I’m not even joking when I say he’s a best-case scenario for Barrett at this point.

They’ve been doubling Brunson all game when he crosses mid court.

Thibs has to figure out a way to punish that.

That loud noise you hear is the sound of everyone who took their obnoxious Josh Hart Trade premature victory laps crashing through this team’s short glass ceiling.

And halfway through the 4th quarter, down like 27 points, Randle awakens…

Considering it would take a historical collapse that isn’t even mathematically possible, it’s hard to understand why Thibs OR Bickerstaff has the starters in.

I’m sure those 4 mins that could have gotten them injured helped with conditioning

*** According to Breen, Randle and Brunson are in for conditioning purposes…***

According to Donnie, who doesn’t believe in minute restrictions or load management, walking up and down the court watching the Cavs score isn’t goons get them in game shape.

[edited to add: getting laid out on your back under the basket by Allen isn’t that helpful either]

RJ Barrett’s reputation ain’t coming back from this. You can’t hide from a playoff series in which you shoot 20% or whatever the fuck it’ll be in the end.

Only 4 more years!

That is a very dirty play by Allen. I wouldn’t blame Randle for punching him in his face.

Punching Allen in the face is like punching Geo in the face. He’s one of the most low-key players in the league.

Watching late season highlights waiting for the postgame. JHart was mic’d up shouting “Get stops, rebound, run. Get stops, rebound, run. Let’s not get stagnant; let’s not get stagnant.”


“Punching Allen in the face is like punching Geo in the face. He’s one of the most low-key players in the league.”

There was no reason for him to do that in a blowout. I don’t give a shit how low-key he is, it was a very dirty play, even more so given the context.

*** There was no reason for him to do that in a blowout. I don’t give a shit how low-key he is, it was a very dirty play, even more so given the context.***

If you’re on the court, you keep playing. He tried to block the shot. There was nothing dirty. (That said, there was no reason for either of them to be on the court.)

Well, I missed this game too. I saw the Allen foul and the last two min res.

At least RJ delivered on his promise….

Alright time to just forget this game, it’s onto Friday night where the atmosphere at MSG should be electric.

“If you’re on the court, you play. He tried to block the shot. There was nothing dirty.”

Sorry Donnie, I think that is BS. It was reckless and dangerous. Players know when to ease up, and Randle clearly was ahead of him with the angle to the rim and there was no way Allen was going to block that shot without commiting a flagrant foul. It occurred in a situation where there was no reason for a starter to commit a foul, let alone an obvious flagrant. It flies in the face of good sportmanship, way worse than when a starting player from a winning team scores the ball when they are up 20 with ten seconds left rather than dribbling it out.

You can commit a dirty play without having the rep of a dirty player. If Draymond Green or Dillon Brooks did that, they would have been crucified.

“Dirty” implies malicious intent. Allen didn’t want to hurt Randle. He wanted to deny east baskets in the playoffs, just like Mason, Oakley, Starks, and Ewing were told to do, once upon a time.

Dirty can also imply not caring whether you hurt someone or not. Allen is not new to the game, he knows full well that that is a dangerous play. Again, not labeling him a dirty player on the basis of one play, but that’s exactly the kind of foul that dirty players are known for committing.

If Oak, Mase or Ewing did that to someone when the Knicks were up by over 20 with 2 minutes left, they also would have been crucified. Comparing what Allen did to guys like Oak and Mase makes the case that it was dirty, as they were dirty as hell.

And if Julius or Mitch had done that to one of the Cavs when we were up 20 with 2 minutes to go, I’d have felt the same way.

At least RJ delivered on his promise….


That quote was reasonable grounds for being benched.

Hubert “one game tells you all you need to know” IV

“We never would have beaten the Cavs in game 1 without him” just doesn’t have the same ring to it if you lose in 6 games.

The part me and Donnie agree on is that neither of them should have been in the game at that point.

I think that “dirty” should be reserved for players who do deeds that gain them an advantage while being surreptitious. Flicking people in the balls, tugging on shorts, spitting in the floor to make their opponent hydroplane… all the John Stockton shit. I think trying to block someone going up for a dunk in a playoff game on your home court may not be nice, or even smart, but I don’t think it’s dirty. (But, then again, I don’t think that stomping on an opponent’s chest while he’s laying on the ground is dirty either:)

That game was rough. I hope we can bounce back. A humiliation that bad (that is the kind of absolute domination you generally only see from a 1-8 matchup) can either energize you or break you. I am worried that it makes us less likely to be able to stay steady the next time Cleveland goes on a run.

Cleveland wasn’t even playing that well and their defense was good but not great and we were completely outclassed and embarrassed.

29 point losses in the playoffs are hard to simply brush off. I hope we come back and win the next game handily because if we don’t we probably lose in 5.

With an unusually very late decision (20 minutes before midnight ET) the League suspended Green for 1 game, citing “an history of unsportsmanlike acts” as a motivation and barely anticipating the Kings’ announcement that Sabonis is questionable for Game 3 (it would have been embarrassing to have the “perpetrator” play and the “victim” sidelined).

I’m more and more convinced that the NBA is using Shams, Woj and a few others as “barometer”.
They supply them some unofficial “breaking news” about their decisions, then watch the media, teams and fans reaction and later take the official decision, sometimes backtracking (as in this instance) if the public outcry is loud.

Comments are closed.