Game Thread

2023 Playoff Thread – Team That No One Believes In (Rightly So) vs. Cavaliers, Game 3

The Knicks were beaten badly in Game 2 of this opening round series, and as everyone knows, teams that get beat by a lot in Game 2 on the road after winning clutch Game 1 victories on the road are 50.0000001% more likely to lose the series, so facts are just facts, the Knicks are clearly screwed in this series.

You might be thinking, “But Brian, the series is tied, the Knicks currently have home court advantage, how can things be that bad?” Well, I’ll tell you. Yes, the series is tied, but the Cavaliers beat the Knicks very badly in Game 2. When you beat a team very badly in one game of the series, that means you win the series. That’s just the rules. I don’t make the rules. Those are just the rules. For instance, the largest margin of victory in an NBA playoff game is 58. The Lakers beat the Hawks by 58 points in the 1955-56 NBA playoffs, and the Hawks went on to…win the series. Okay, forget that time. That’s just a one-off. The other team that won a game by 58 points, the 2009 Nuggets, did win their series, so therefore, it is a fact that all teams that have big wins in series, win the series. F-A-C-T.

Also a fact? Jarrett Allen had a hard foul on Julius Randle late in Game 2, when Randle was still playing because he needed to keep his conditioning watching the Cavaliers run up and down the court scoring the ball with ease. Did you know what Randle didn’t do? He did not punch him in the junk! Everyone knows that if you want to win an NBA playoffs game nowadays, one of your players has to hit the other team’s players in the crotch. Why Thibs hasn’t considered this obvious strategy is a huge slap in the face to his coaching ability (but only a proverbial slap in the face, because, again, the Knicks aren’t into that stuff).

It’ll be nice for the Knicks to play this at MSG, as the MSG playoff atmosphere will be intense, and that’s a very good thing. Granted, for this Knicks team, it won’t matter, but at least the players will be able to go back to their own homes to cry when they lose badly again. That’s a huge plus for any playoff team.

Not that it will matter, as they are doomed, but let’s go, Knicks!

248 replies on “2023 Playoff Thread – Team That No One Believes In (Rightly So) vs. Cavaliers, Game 3”

Tonight is no doubt the most important game of the year for the Knicks. If they go down 2-1 in the series, they will have to win 3 out of the next 4. This is a very tough assignment. Throughout the regular season, Knicks offense had admittedly been ugly and clumsy, but always delivering. This has not been the case the last two games. It is safe to assume defensive intensity will be there tonight. The hope, then, is that they figure out how to get IQ and Grimes going on offense. I wish Randle gets his outside shot falling, but most importantly, I have high hopes on Jalen Brunson. He is a cerebral player and, hopefully, he will figure out how to respond to the blitzes, double-teams, and whatever Cavs have been throwing at him. If Brunson gets it going, the entire team settles down.

I think winning either tonight or Sunday is huge. Both would be a lot to expect.

“I think winning either tonight or Sunday is huge. Both would be a lot to expect.”

I think tonight is more important than Sunday. But we need BOTH games! LGK!

Most nervous I’ve been before a Knicks game since 2013 Game 6 at Indiana.

Most nervous I’ve been before a Knicks game since 2013 Game 6 at Indiana.

We have been through so much pain the past two decades that nothing will move me anymore. I’m happy we are at least respectable right now.

I can tell you that Lonzo Ball had been bad for almost all of his 4 years when he was signed to a big offer sheet; Omer Asik was bad for his career when he was signed to a large offer sheet; Jeremy Lin was good for only a few weeks when he was signed to his large offer sheet; Chandler Parsons wasn’t exactly dominating the league when he signed an large offer sheet; Tyler Johnson had shown very little when he signed a large offer sheet; the aforementioned Allen Crabbe was not very good at basketball when he signed an offer sheet; and, finally, Zach LaVine had been RJ Barrett bad for 4 years when the Kings signed him to an $80mil offer sheet in 2018.

*cough* Jerome James *cough*

I agree with Rough. We need both, but especially tonight. This is a big test of where they’re at.

And look, I would rather not see RJ Barrett in the lineup tonight. He’s been awful.

But the dude is a #3 pick who has averaged 17.6, 20.0, and 19.6 ppg in his age 20, 21, 22 seasons.

There is no f’n way Leon Rose can’t find a team to take a flyer on him for a lottery-protected first.

Anyway…. game on!!

It’s really sad watching Knicks games in an empty bar at 5:30pm in San Diego, btw. Like, really, really, really sad.

I’m not very confident about winning both games this weekend but I do expect the series to at worst be tied 2-2. Don’t really think it matters which game they win but sure would be awesome to win tonight and have the opportunity to gain real control of the series on Sunday.

*** It’s really sad watching Knicks games in an empty bar at 5:30pm in San Diego, btw. Like, really, really, really sad.***

I tell you what, Hubert. If the Knicks make it all the way to the finals, and face the Sacramento Kings, I will come to wherever you guys are and watch How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days with you, JK, and geo. Sound good?

I predict about a 75% chance of losing both games 3-4, and a 100% chance of losing one. Not trying to run a reverse jinx or anything, it’s just going to be extremely hard to overcome:

-Thibs giving the worst player remaining in the playoffs 36 minutes and 15 shots at sub-40% TS every game until the series is out of reach (i.e. the Elfrid Payton Protocol)
-Grimes and Quickly being so scared you can see the shit running down their legs if you watch in 4K
-Playoff Randle having significantly less mental toughness than my 1-month old son

I’ll be pleasantly surprised if this one isn’t over by halftime.

Some good ones being tossed out there pregame…every one seems to be in fine form…bodes well for the game…except strat with day drinking might be passed out already 😵

This is why we’ve posting here every day for all these years. It’s for nights like this!

LET’S GO!!!!


I think Clyde’s suit caused the site to have a small conniption of admiration.

Go Knicks!!! Didn’t realize it was an 830 tip

“except strat with day drinking might be passed out already 😵”

I’m here and still drinking…..

I love how the whole of MSG went “noooo…” on the Barrett three and then went nuts when it went in…

I don’t like what I see so far. They are getting much higher quality shots than us.

RJ keeping us in the game, Randle trying to shoot us out of it…

Strange days…

I’d give Randle 3s all night until he shows he can make them. He’s not close

I can’t remember a Knicks’ (multiple times) All-Star that makes me cringe every time he touches the ball as Julius Randle does…

Discombobulated….seem a little tight…mitch has zero offense to offer…he looks outclassed by Allen…

…and Hubert, just sayin’, sitting in an empty bar in San Diego watching a Knicks playoff game sounds kind of great…

I think I just heard Van Gundy praise Randle’s pick and roll defense!

If this basketball thing doesn’t work out for RJ, let’s hope he doesn’t head for a career in Hollywood…

This might be the combo lead us to victory and pump up his off season trade value game for mista Barrett

** It’s really sad watching Knicks games in an empty bar at 5:30pm in San Diego, btw. Like, really, really, really sad.***

I put an alarm clock at 3:30 in the morning to watch this match live man!
I win!

…and Hubert, just sayin’, sitting in an empty bar in San Diego watching a Knicks playoff game sounds kind of great…

The volume is on Celtics Hawks

I don’t have any words to describe how awful Brunson and Randle were in the 1st quarter.

OMG seventeen points for each team after the end of the first quarter. This is not a modern NBA game so far.

I love the defense and how the ball is moving. Just can’t put the round thing in the hoopy thing.

Katz with a fantastic tweet:

“This is the gas station bathroom of basketball games”


They should just end this game now and play a best of 3 series starting next week.

What’s the matter with you people? We’re winning. It’s beautiful…

Garland is killing the Cavs right now. He’s 1/12. The rest are 9/20.

Let’s hope he continues to suck.

Drinking, don’t stop drinking, drinking, Empire State of Mind, drinking.

Mitchell caught his own shot… that’s a god dam travel … I don’t think iHart touched it…

Both teams are playing good defense and both are very tight on offense. Whoever loosens up first could really open things up.

*** Garland is killing the Cavs right now. He’s 1/12. The rest are 9/20.***

Those other guys have 9 turnovers though. At least Garlands shots have a chance of going in

I guess maybe the idea is that Osman is “physical” with Brunson. They must think that works better than someone quick?

IQ has very little confidence right now offensively, playing amazing defense though.

IQ is tripping balls this series. Julius shouted at him to go inbound the ball. IQ dismissed him with “Calm down, calm down, I got you.” Then Quickley stepped over the line on the throw in and turned the ball over. WTF is he doing? This is his series to shine. Get it together, kid!

EDIT: haha. @Max. Yes.

The Cavs look rattled, not even the missed shots, but so many bad uncharacteristic turnovers. I love it.

As long as we keep managing to find points somehow, I like our chances. Shout-out to Barrett for being the unlikely scorer this half.

Luckily for the Knicks, they are playing the Cuyahoga County Middle School Girls JV today.

Not the most aesthetically pleasing experience for my money but if the result holds it’ll be worth every penny

Both the Knicks and Cavs are playing like young teams without a lot of playoff experience. The defense is very good, but the players are missing open shots too. The Knicks should not be this tight, but I guess the pressure at MSG is extreme. Hopefully we loosen up and blow them out in the 3rd.

The only explanation for IQ is that Dolan denied his mother tickets for the games, thus far.

Yeah, Grimes was in agony and the way he was holding his shoulder looked bad.

Playing so bad and still being up by 13, I will take it! It’s not the Knicks play, it’s the MSG atmosphere that keeps the Knicks in front. Cavs look stunned like middle school girls that have been yelled at by their gym teacher.

If Ice Spice, whoever that is, isn’t sitting court side for game 4, then Dolan isn’t serious about this team winning. We need IQ at 110%.

Knicks started getting much better shots towards the end of the 1st half, hopefully it continues in the 2nd half.

Why are there so many empty seats behind the Knicks bench and on the end? Bizarre. Long lines?

Randle could have blown this game open all already but he’s bricking like crazy

Mobley has been looking really good when he gets the ball down low. We are DOOMED.

Gotta admit it’s cool of Darius Garland to pay homage to John Starks in the garden

Next few minutes seem real big for the Cavs….Knicks on the verge of blowing them out.

Knicks still missing too many open 3s but the offense is looking really good right now.

Barrett’s got like 25% of the Knicks’ points, but he’s been failing at D this quarter. Caris has been burning him, then the egregious foul on Donovan.

Fuck his defense. Keep hitting threes, RJ.

Damnit, play better D, Barrett.

If Randle was a horse they’d drop him into a claiming race and hope someone took him. He’s in a coma.

Randle struggling, hopefully if the rest of the guys pick him up it will calm him down for next game.

I was making a joke about Randle being overmeditated, but it’s really looking like the guy’s medication got a bit upped… He’s defining the term lackadaisical. How can you be this low energy in a playoff game on your home court?

Thanks to RJ for the shooting, but he is still so careless with the ball on passes. They always look like they hit our guys in the wrong place, or else they hit the other guys.

Considering the circumstances this might be the best game of RJ’s career.

We can call this one tonight. RJ Barrett is a bum, but RJ Barrett can be traded without sweetener.

RJ is having the game the Knicks needed him to have. With the Cavs smothering Brunson and Randle, someone else had to step up. He’s 22. Remember. I don’t care that he’s a 4 year pro.


Whistling nonchalantly while incessantly he paces the room refusing to say anything about the game…

Let’s go Obi!!

Chris LeVert stopped his Michael Jordan impresssion finally and they look tired on defense.

It may be slightly premature, but at least in broad outline form it’s starting to look pretty clear why Utah moved on from Spida after four straight playoff whiffs. Just a lot of empty, one-way stuff and often not even that.

Color me unimpressed.

I’m all for ball movement and making the extra pass, but some of the Knicks are afraid to shoot. They are making passes when they should be shooting.

Spida is not the problem. He’s not a transcendent star, no, but he’s also not 2-17.

Both teams playing very, very nervously, but the Cavs look outright shook, terrified of the game.

Not sure what’s more tasty..the porterhouse I grilled up at halftime or this bludgeoning of the cadavers

Uggh… soon as i try to turn the game on, my wife says it’s time to bathe the little guy lol

LeVert is like one if those flowers that blooms only for 20 minutes a month or something. When time is up, it’s really up.

Of course, LeVert is also no longer being guarded by RJ

… But no RJ bashing tonight. He’s been very good.

I do love watching Obi Toppin play basketball..

And, of course, jinxed the poor guy

Hard foul on Jarret Allen coming up soon?

Hustle play! What? It’s just a hustle play!

getting to the playoffs and getting at least a real result against a better team makes this a successful season no matter what happens going forward in my book

cyber, never doubt me again when I suggest that the Knicks are about to blow a team out…

Now that both teams have a blowout loss, who the heck wins this series?!

Can you even imagine if a Knick player had a playoff game like Garland? Not even Randle in the 2021 playoffs was that bad! Hilarious.

Well Garland is 4-21, but Randle is 3-15.

edit: Damn you DRed…

Best I’ve felt about the Knicks since beating Boston in Game 3 of the 2013 playoffs.

It feels weird having both the Lopez brothers in the playoffs playing their old roles: Brook dominating the post & Robin getting onto the court

This was only Randall’s 3rd game back from that ankle. Let’s cut him a bit of slack. He might put up 40 Sunday.

RJ came to play. Can’t wait to read Max tomorrow. Let’s get the rest of these games.

It was a garbage game, and Randle’s 5-point spurt was a defining part of it. He also played very hard-nosed D. He only took 15 out of 83 shots. He was a plus 19 in 33 minutes.

I give him a C+-B-

I’m betting the Cavs come out hard for Game 4, but so do the Knicks. Could be a banger.

Great response after being blown out in Cleveland! Defense made the difference with Cavs folding midway through the third. Their inexperience played a huge role tonight. I still hope Randle finds his groove, and IQ intensity and confidence. Brunson was better in the second half. Mitch, RJ, and especially J-Hart were very good. Now onto game 4. Whoever wins game 4 will almost certainly win this series.

RJ Barrett had 31 steals in the regular season & has 6 so far in the playoffs. If we go deep enough, he can conceivably pass his regular season mark.

Obi has 5 so far, had 23 on the season

C- to D+ for Randle here. Slow, indecisive, lethargic on offense, lots of sloppy plays, shots out of rhythm. When he held the ball for what felt like a minute in the corner for no reason and then threw it cross court to a Cav, that was emblematic of his offensive game.

He did seem to play decent D, so there’s that. I await our professor Dr. Max for the actual grade tomorrow.

Cavs missed some open 3pters but the Knicks defense was the best it’s been all season tonight.

I really like to go to and read on our series “NYK leads”. 🙂

I was going for a Garland joke back there but Mitch was fantastic tonight. Looked engaged and springy throughout.

I am not changing my negative opinion about RJ, but his delusion that his is a great player made him play with confidence in this series, while several other players on both teams folded under the pressure of the moment. This is, in my view, the reason why RJ has been good so far.

When RJ Barrett wins you a playoff game it’s like winning a baseball game with an emergency starter.

I feel fucking great.

10am Sunday. Let’s fucking go!!!

Can you find an open bar in SD on a Sunday at 10 am, Hubie?

Didn’t someone make a particularly douchey comment about Josh Hart after game 2?

The Cavs turned the ball over a lot on bad passes but the defense also deserves credit, they were physical and staying in front of guys all the time, cutting passing lanes, and Mitch once again was very good against Allen. If the defense keeps this up we have a great chance, the Cavs have no one who can create a shot when Mitchell is playing passive like tonight and Garland is off, LeVert is unreliable and really not a good player.

Oops I meant to say we’re doomed and sure to lose I’m sorry.

It is unbelievable how bad Cavs were tonight. On Sunday they know they are playing their season, and there’s no way they will be that bad. We are up 2-1 and have the momentum, but Sunday is gonna be a bloodbath for sure. 😂 😂 😂

The brilliant poster who said this in the game 2 game thread:

“Hubert IV says:
April 18, 2023 at 21:45
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.”

Now says this:

“I feel fucking great.

10am Sunday. Let’s fucking go!!!”

oh shit…liking the new features above the chat box…nice work Mike K…

BC – single handedly willing the knicks to victory…

slept through most the game, well cuz life at times can be just a little too dang exciting on its own…

did catch the end of the 3rd quarter to the end of the game…

that was pretty cool…my hopes were for 2 knick victories in the playoffs…that has now occurred…it’s all gravy from here on out…

pour that thick salty tasty gravy all over me…

i hope all is well for everyone…

had another panic attack at work – with the same motherfucker from last year that made me trigger…

actually owe him…has helped me clarify the path forward…

and the date is: july 31, 2023…for the fifth time in the last 35 years i’ll be leaving work to go look after my health…my 60th birthday is a little bit before that…it’ll make a nice present to myself…

the really good news is – i’m in a way better place than i was the other four times…

blessed to have the resources to choose between more money or better health…

i’m a stubborn guy – but, like ma always told me: a hard head makes for a soft ass

biggest issue like always – fear…in this case the fear of letting go…

i truly don’t believe i’m retiring…just need a year or so of loving the family, adapt to a fixed income, focus on my health and home…

go watch movies with donnie…

wasn’t really the panic attack in the meeting that really set me off…couple of weeks ago got so caught up at work – forgot oldest son’s birthday…

thankfully their mom holds things down well, and made sure to send some pics of the kids go karting or some shit…was able to reach out that evening…

fucked me up for a bit to think just how easy it is for me to place work before family or health…

really easy for me…and, i ain’t really been anything more than a glorified clerk for 20 years…

moment of clarity it was…

Honestly I don’t know how Z-Man solves the “I’m not a robot” puzzles sometimes.

I think this win was more about the Cavs playing like shit, but, well, what the fuck, right? If the other team plays like shit, you better win the game and the Knicks did. Like, should they get demerits because they won a game where their opponent sucked? No way. That’s not their fault at all. Their job is to win the game and they won the game. They’re still doomed, but they deserved this win by virtue of playing better than their opponent. That’s all you can ask for.

Small but poignant point: Kudos to DRose for going in despite being as rusty as an abandoned used car on the Florida coast. He had a look on his face of I have had my moments so I can do this now.

Whoever had the parlay of Daquan Jefferies and DRose getting run together can upgrade their summer vacation.

Julius Randle has a slightly higher overall FG% than in the ATL series (.327 to .298), otherwise his numbers are worse in every single category than in that series, starting with 3PT% and FT% and going right down the line from there.

He has to be way better.

Geo, good luck with all that

Cavs are a great defense. Mobley and Allan should give Randle problems.

I still can’t believe how bad the Cavs offense was. And most of it was Garland, although none of the character actors who normally kill us had a pulse last night. I felt sure some rando like Dean Wade would come in and hit a flurry of threes but it never happened.

Garden was rocking, that was great

Look I’m gonna cut Randle some slack. He was out for two weeks with an ankle injury. Cavs defense is really good. He will play better at some point and as long as we survive and advance, it’s all good.

Z-man, I’m up for another Josh hart victory lap if you are!

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