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124 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.05.07)”
Scheduled loss, terrible refereeing, but we did really play like hot garbage.
We weren’t prepared from the start and I’ll always put that on the coaching staff.
One of your main goal, especially in the playoffs, is to have your team prepared to jump out of the gates with the right focus, your players charged as a nuclear plant and this time it’s wasn’t the case.
Miami’s tough minded, experienced and razor sharp bunch of players, coached by one of the few coaching geniuses around (to me they’re “mentally” the strongest team in the league).
We knew it would not be a walk in the park and we wouldn’t stand a chance if we don’t play at 100% on every single ball.
The rebounding battle was more or less even (50-48 Miami, and for them it’s a great win), Miami scored by far more PiP (50-36) and while it’s true that 3-pointers rule the league, so we were headed nowhere shooting 8-40 (20%) from beyond the arc, Miami wasn’t much better (7-32 21.9%) and the Knicks actually WON the three point contest making one more basket.
Alas, our “supposed” best players stunk up the joint:
JB was bad and hobbled (7-20 FG, 0-5 3FG), Randle was awful and hobbled (4-15 FG, 0-5 3FG, 4 TOs, unwatchable effort on defense), RJ was healthy but he was RJ Barrett instead of “The Canadian Guy” (5-16 FG, 2-7 3FG, -32 in 25 minutes!).
Bad play, awful shooting, mediocre coaching, a bitter way to lose a game.
Still, it’s the playoffs, we’re down 2-1 but “just” need to win the next game.
The funny thing is that we have a chance to do it, because all our players can play way better than this Game-3 shit…
Anyway, no matter how it ends, I won’t let this series change my opinion about this (very good, fun and unexpected) season…
… And at the same time if I were in Leon Rose’s shoes I’d try everything this summer to make meaningful changes in my personnel both on* and off the floor**.
Let’s get ready to Game-4.
* While some of our players have a bit of trade value.
** It doesn’t mean firing Thibs, but maybe helping him with a good offensive coordinator…
We need a consistent shooter or two in our rotation. Maybe some of our guys can become that with more experience and practice. But as much as RJ put together a nice little string of games against Cleveland, a three who was a consistent threat from three and a good defender would do wonders for our starting lineup. We got enough ISO scoring with Randle and Brunson.
I’d try to do an OG RJ swap this summer. Mikal Bridges is probably a pipe dream.
Let’s hope they can rebound and win the next game. If we get back at MSG tied, we’ll win this series. If not, i fear we’ll go down in 5.
Yup. Next game we have to win.
I watched most of the game and agree about the refs but also agree that we were playing so badly it wasn’t the deciding factor. I do remember reading that there have been studies of what causes a home team advantage in the NBA. The general conclusion was that refs tend to slightly favor the home team in their calls and this jibes with our experience with this series.
Wonder how long Thibs is gonna continue to tank our starting lineup before he realizes what worked in the regular season. He is who we thought he was.
They were disorganized and scared. Sad to see.
Max, great point about the Heat’s mental toughness. I’d expand that to the Heat culture in the post-LBJ/DW/cb era. Miami players play smarter and are more adaptable than their competition. It seems like with the exception of Hart and Grimes, the Knicks shrunk from the grit they displayed all season. If they don’t recapture that, we are looking actually doomed.
Just not enough pop from the 2/3 position, particularly when RJ stinks it up. It’s been obvious for several games now. IQ was ok for parts of yesterday, but has generally been meh at best — sub-meh really. Grimes has been awful.
The thing about the Heat is they’re not gonna do dumb shit and beat themselves. After 3 games, turnovers are Heat 19 Knicks 36. They’re not gifting us points like we are to them with stupid turnovers
So to beat them you have to execute your offense and make shots, which we’ve shown no ability to do.
I 100% agree.
9 of the 17 players on the Heat roster are UDFA:
Gabe Vincent (originally signed and cut by Sacramento)
Max Strus (signed and cut by Boston)
Caleb Martin (signed and cut by OKC)
Haywood Highsmith (signed and cut by Phila)
Omer Yurtseven (signed and cut by OKC)
2-way Orlando Robinson
2-way Jamel Cain
And obviously Udonis Haslem
Their ability to transform unknowns (often rejected from other teams) into useful disciplined players is supernatural…
P.S. And Zeller was a free agent until february 20th!
The Knicks have 3 cards left to play. The first is putting Grimes back in the starting lineup at least for the first few minutes of each half to adjust Hart’s minutes more with the bench unit’s. The second unit really misses his rebounding and energy. Second, with Quickley being mostly ineffective and now injured, they should give Deuce the backup pg minutes. It’s not likely, but he could get hot from three and help us steal one. Third, and this would probably only happen if we lose Monday, is to dust off Fournier. He had that “one night stand” where he went 5 for 8 from three during the regular season, maybe he has another one. If they go down 3-1, they won’t have anything to lose. The series is far from over, so I’m not going to start talking about the offseason or next year just yet. A win on Monday puts us back in the driver’s seat!
Before the series started, I thought we had a big advantage in terms of depth, meaning our players 5 through 8 in the rotation were just better, specially with Herro and Oladipo being out and the Heat being forced to play Zeller, Highsmith and Robinson.
I still believe this to be true, but when IQ, Toppin, Grimes and Hartenstein are such non factors, it simply doesn’t matter. These guys have dropped off so much from their regular season play or even relative to how they were playing against the Cavs. Quickley specially has been so disappointing, he really looked like he turned a corner towards the end of the regular season, but now he’s been just terrible offensively.
I’m not confident of a bounce back for game 4, but at this point all we can hope for is that they somehow find ways to be useful like their counterparts are doing for Miami.
Katz tears a new a-hole on Barrett (completely unable to self-evaluate when he does stupid shit), Randle (couldn’t shoot and then refused to play defense), and Thibs (doesn’t recognize what’s happening) in The Athletic today. All sad but true.
This playoffs has exposed Randle. He was historically bad against Atlanta in 2021 and is stinking up the joint again. We beat Cleveland in spite of him, not because of him.
Clearly he’s capable of having great regular seasons. Have to give him credit for that. But the chances of a deep playoff run with him as a featured player seem smaller by the day.
Thibs is pulling a Woodson going away from something that was working in the regular season and it has looked like garbage for 3 straight games.
Cavs are playing Hart like we did Okoro last series. Only difference is one is guaranteed nearly 40 minutes a night for some reason.
Our “depth” has turned out to be a paper tiger, as Grimes, Quickley, and Obi have provided zilch. So when a couple of the starters aren’t playing great, we just don’t have enough horses. We also carry a couple of dead roster spots in the form of free agents who are unplayable (Fournier and Rose) and some no-hoper, shouldn’t-be-on-an-NBA-roster types. It seems like everybody Miami sends out there can play at least a little, and it has allowed them to survive injuries to some of their mainstay rotation players.
“Eight or nine guys plus whoever is in Thibs’ doghouse and never plays” seems like a formula that could use some improving.
If Miami had a guy like Fournier on the roster, they’d probably figure out a way to use him. Here he’s just a void of a roster spot, in mothballs for many months and unplayable.
The Knicks are shooting 27% from three but the Heat are shooting 30%.
FTA are a mere 77-72 advantage for the Heat.
Both teams have been hit hard by injuries.
These excuses don’t hold water.
There are two very obvious reasons we’re down 2-1:
One team has been prepared and well coached; one team keeps showing up without a plan.
One team’s alpha dog is full of confidence and fight; one team’s alpha dog is Julius Randle.
Julius & Thibs deserve an opportunity to right the ship. Plenty of teams go down 2-1 and respond.
But it’s beginning to feel like these issues are systemic. If this turns into Atlanta 2.0 it’s going to unwrite a lot for these two.
It’s hard to figure out why Deuce, Fournier, and even Rose weren’t playing the last 5 minutes of the game yesterday.
Steve Kerr emptied his bench and the warriors lost by 30 instead of 20.
Thibs played his guys til the end, got one of his players seriously injured in a blowout, and still has a bunch of cobwebs on the end of his bench. But he only lost by 19, not 30
Randle has been terrible in the playoffs and has actually lapsed into his defensive indifference and bad body language for wide swaths of time.
Miami has basically shut down everything and in part that’s because — covered at length in the regular season — a lot of it is really easy to shut down. Well-prepared, well-coached playoff teams aren’t going to run hard at a one-dimensional guy in the corner and let him do his only non-3-ball move of beating a too-hard closeout baseline, and then dishing. Many other examples of same.
I don’t know the degree to which Evan Fournier’s career collapse is systemic or irredeemable, but at bare minimum, he should have been held in reserve by the coaching staff, and readied for a possibility that he would be deployed in the playoffs. The Evan Fournier that the Knicks signed to a contract last summer would be useful in this series. What should not have happened is that he was permanently mothballed and one-night-standed.
But as Hubert says, the chance to turn things around is well-deserved and they get it. We’ll see.
Leon Rose has definitely had some success with the hybrid method, more success than I thought he’d be able to pull off. But Miami is an example of a team that is REALLY good at the hybrid method, because they’re so good at chiseling value out of these UDFA types and players they found on the scrap heap. They keep all of those guys ready to play.
We get zero value out of anybody beyond our ninth or tenth best player, the “depth” falls off a cliff.
“It’s hard to figure out why Deuce, Fournier, and even Rose weren’t playing the last 6 minutes of the game yesterday.”
Thibs just doesn’t know how to use garbage time. It’s usually just a joke among us, but now we are seeing the downside.
“Cavs are playing Hart like we did Okoro last series. Only difference is one is guaranteed nearly 40 minutes a night for some reason.”
Hart has been our best 3-point shooter throughout the playoffs at 36%.
“Our “depth” has turned out to be a paper tiger, as Grimes, Quickley, and Obi have provided zilch.”
Obi’s playing at a 3.8 bpm in the playoffs. He’s one player who should be playing more minutes, not less.
I like Josh Hart, it’s impossible not to, and he’s played well in these playoffs. He does everything the right way and the way you’d want it done.
That said, he’s averaging 12 points per 36 minutes in the playoffs. That’s not really enough for a starting wing. And although he is overachieving a bit from downtown and clearly holding his own in percentage terms (but not really in the MIA series), he really isn’t someone defenses have to worry about from there … or really anywhere.
I’m thinking with Quickley out for a game or 2, Thibs needs to insert both Rose and Deuce into that 2nd unit. I’d also like to see Grimes back in the starting 5, but I understand why Thibs is sticking with Hart. Still though- we need to expose Strus and Vincent any way we can. Hart isn’t running around trying to get open with screens and such. Make him work! He was undrafted for a reason. And Vincent- I’m sick of seeing the refs let him get away with all that off arm action. Since when has he EVER been able to get to the rim pretty much at will? They need to check those push offs and arm hooks.
Even with the subpar officiating- we just need to have more space on offense and use it. Hart can’t keep pump faking to get to the rim when he has space for a jumper. We already have RJ to do that in the starting unit. We can’t be out there worried about the refs- just play our game and let our big 3 put pressure on the defense. I will also say- I HATE the way the refs are calling the Bam-Mitch matchup too. This is too tough a series without poor officiating. I’m looking forward to better results Monday
If IQ is out he will probably be forced to bring Hart off the bench as their spark. Then magically Brunson will have more room to operate since you cant just leave Grimes on offense.
The biggest reason they’re better at the hybrid method is that Riley gets those old superstars and somehow uses them as if they weren’t old. Butler and Lowry and Love are prime examples.
I’m a thibs apologist but I will say this.
I love picking up Hart. But what I didn’t like was him replacing deuce in the rotation. Deuce was starting to put together some nice games before we got Hart and he was Brunson’s back up. I wish we had expanded the rotation to 10, not kept it at 9 and taken deuce out of it. He was part of the initial season turn around when he replaced rose in the rotation.
And I do not like hart replacing grimes in the starting line up. Feels like grimes got injured, we closed out Cleveland with in our and hart starting and thibs just fell back into his veterans over young players tendencies without really thinking about the consequences to our rotation and bench that taking Hart out of the second unit would do.
The simple fact is that we choked. Sure, we aren’t a good 3pt shooting team, but we shot better this year than Miami, and they are missing their best 3pt shooter. We’ve seen the case made many times that the defense’s effect on 3p% is minimal, and the main effect is on the number of attempts. Well, they let us shoot all day with their zone, presumably at a better shot quality than is typical. 8-for-40 combined with our trend throughout these playoffs is more than variance. Our guys choke. Every single one of them is scared and doesn’t have the mental make-up to compete against a team that isn’t equally so. We win that game if we shoot our season average of 35%. I’d say we might regress to the mean next game but we won’t, because it’s not variance. We choke.
I’m now convinced of the following:
-Randle can never be a main piece on a championship team. He is the worst playoff performing “star” in the league right now and perhaps of all time. Not only does he choke, he actually makes others worse.
-RJ put together a few decent games (or halves I should say). This is variance/fool’s gold. The success of Rose’s offseason hinges on jettisoning those two for at least something of colorable value.
-It was a mistake not to make a consolidating trade, whether for Spida or not. Our role players are outclassed by a literal gang of replacement-level scrubs. This indicates they are eminently replaceable, and any perception that they have value should be taken advantage of.
-Brunson is good, but ultimately he is a league average starting PG. He just doesn’t have the talent to be the best player on a contender.
-Thibs is a fatally flawed coach that is incapable of long-term strategy, and really even short-term tactics unless his counterpart self-destructs. Time and again we’ll see overinflated and meaningless regular season performance followed by us having the worst playoff offense in the league. The failure to make ANY adjustment thus far in this series shows he is just not fit to be a head coach in the league.
-E was right about nearly everything. This is purgatory. Our pathways to improve are much narrower than they seem and it’s very unlikely that this window between superteam dominance will last much longer.
-The Heat are not that fucking good! They had negative SRS!
-Their injury issues weren’t that bad! Butler played 64 games, typical of a star in this era. Bam played 75. Brunson only played 68 for us. That’s a bullshit narrative.
-Spo is an excellent coach but it didn’t take “genius” to cripple our gimmick offense. “Run a 2-3 zone and let our shooters choke” really was most of it.
-hEaT cUlTuRe seems to consist of expertly working refs so that Bam gets away with an illegal screen every play and Lowry/Butler selling every 50-50 call. We should get a culture like that. Not a peep from Thibs about Game 4 officiating, another indicator that he’s out of his depth.
I should’ve known better than to check on comments here today….
Hot takes coming in fast
Not good, but fast
So let me get this straight. Since we might lose in the second round and are ONLY one of the best 8 teams in the league we should trade our all-star, RJ and all of our role players and possibly fire our coach.
So that leave who? Brunson and Hart? Install a whole new crew of players and a new coach and we should easily be able to win a championship?
With this current group of talent it seems like we’re at a bit of a plateau. Brunson and Randle aren’t likely to play a whole lot better than they did this season. We do have some young players with theoretical upside, namely Quickley, Grimes, and Toppin, but none of those guys have a cathedral ceiling. You’ll probably see a bit of improvement from them. RJ remains a black box, and has a long way to go to even live up to his contract, let alone supply surplus value.
The plateau we appear to be at (series ain’t over yet) isn’t a bad plateau! We won a playoff series, which was a really good goal to attain. But we’re going to need to make moves to level up.
Knickerblogger one week ago:
We won a playoff series! No matter what happens now this season is a great success! We can really build on this season!
Trade and fire everyone!
Trade RJ seems a good idea still.
It is funny how losing to the Heat instead of the Bucks is going to completely change the feel of this season.
Process-wise, the idea was always “collect all the data points, and then reassess.”
I’m not going to change my opinion on the season, even if we lose to Miami in 5. But people already trashing the team might want to wait for game 4, our team isn’t dead yet.
I’m saddened but ultimately okay with losing to the Heat in this series. It’s been a great season.
I’m saddened but ultimately okay with our kids struggling under the spotlight. They’re getting (and hopefully learning) important lessons the hard way.
I’m totally annoyed and not okay with RJ Barrett and Julius Randle playing like mentally deranged and hyper-narcissistic morons.
At least watching the Mets and Yanks provides a balm from the depressing Knicks’ posts.
Mets are heading into “worst team money could buy” territory
Don’t feel bad JK the Yankees aren’t too far behind.
So you guys are saying that Bo’s a liar.
I omitted the irony emoji in my post( fwiw, the Yanks without Judge and Stanton have a chance of taking the series from the Rays, while Los Mets are losing down the bottom feeders of MLB).
IQ hurt now too, Yankees stink, Mets stink, it’s joever for NY sports until the Jets play I’m afraid.
He thought we weren’t going to make the playoffs and we had no chance of winning a series if we did. He was completely wrong and whined his way through the best Knicks season in like 20 years.
I swear, it’s possible to talk about the real flaws these 3 games have exposed without letting your brain turn into yogurt.
Not to be cheeky but what did you expect? Was this not… the worst loss of the season?
Grimes is shooting 14% from 3. Granted it’s a small sample, but given that he was missing games with a shoulder injury there’s a chance he just can’t shoot right now. Thibs may very well be fucking up by playing Hart too much, but we unfortunately don’t know.
FWIW, I have an inkling we’re even more banged up than it seems. Brunson, Randle, Hart, and Grimes have all had injuries during the playoffs and now Quickley is severely hobbled too. We’ve all noticed Mitch seems a bit hampered. So it’s reaching “all of our good players” status.
I’m not “making excuses” because I don’t actually care to do that–it’s not like the performance of the Knicks is some kind of reflection on me personally. I just think it’s probably a larger part of the explanation for the underwhelming play than people are saying.
There are a lot of hot takes for what I think mostly boils down to “we aren’t hitting the shots we hit in the regular season,” but I also think it’s cope to pretend that’s basically a random phenomenon. I think it’s somewhere in between random and revelatory about systemic personnel issues. Scattered related thoughts:
-I think there’s a lot to be said for the idea that the bizarro elite offense isn’t fully sustainable and ultimately we need more guys who can put the ball in the basket. “Get the ball to the 6 foot guy” probably can’t be the only button you can press when you really need to score, as much of a wizard as he is.
-The last versions of Fournier and Rose we’ve seen would be helpful, and I agree with the critique that it was unwise to put them fully on ice. That’s a pretty uniquely Thibsian behavior. Spo has found ways to get Duncan Robinson on the floor, largely out of necessity, so it’s a little hard for me to buy that there’s no way we could survive some Fournier minutes.
-I concur with the consensus that we should start Grimes again, but I can’t get as excited about it as others because Grimes is sucking, might be hurt, and on the merits Hart is going to play 30+ minutes anyway.
-I don’t hate Randle’s process even though the results speak for themselves. He’s missing a lot of shots he made in the regular season. This could be health related, but I wish we’d try to get him going via mismatch hunting. We’re going to lose the series if the Heat feel comfortable switching Caleb Martin et al. onto him.
What a shocker, a Doc Rivers led team blowing a crucial playoff game down the stretch
Losing in the second round is much closer to a “will definitely” than a “might” at this point. We’ve been easily destroyed in 10 of 12 quarters. Do you really think there’s a realistic chance we win 3 of the next 4?
If we were really one of the 8 best teams in the league we’d have looked at least somewhat competitive against the 19th best by SRS. We have not. Yes, big changes are needed. Most here have been on board with trading RJ, even acknowledging it might cost assets to do so. As for Randle, “All-Star” is a regular season thing. In the playoffs he’s better identified by his career .435 TS% or -2.3 BPM, i.e. one of the worst players in the league.
Brunson, Hart, Mitch, iHart, and whoever we can get in a consolidation trade for Randle, RJ, and a group of guys who has done nothing but shit their pants in this postseason, yes. Add in a coach that doesn’t mismanage our roster and turn into a deer in the headlights every postseason and we might be able to avoid getting completely embarrassed by an 8th seed with negative SRS.
We both know that easily winning the championship isn’t on the table either way, you’re better than this straw man stuff.
TNFH, don’t disagree with most of your take above. The part I struggle with is “I don’t hate Randle’s process even though the results speak for themselves.”
Didn’t watch most of the game because Barrett, but reading the thread made it seem that Randle’s process was pretty bad. Here’s Katz’s takes:
‘The first play of the game ended with Julius Randle squaring up Adebayo on the right wing and throwing up a turnaround that barely grazed the rim. Randle took nine dribbles over the final 14 seconds of that possession; his four teammates on the floor took zero.
It was foreboding.’
And everyone yesterday was yelling about his shitty D effort, and Katz says this:
‘He was routinely the last Knicks player to get back on defense and was late to close out on Miami’s 3-point shooters.’
If that’s because he’s hobbled, maybe he shouldn’t be playing starters minutes, you know? And if it’s not because he’s hobbled, maybe he needs to get his damn head on straight.
I can imagine the comments if this was 76ersblogger right now.
Embiid flushing his MVP trophy down the toilet here
I’m gonna blame the Cavs for the Knicks struggles vs the Heat, they wound up being too easy a matchup for the Knicks and didn’t prepare them for the intensity of the 2nd rd…
There’s no way Embiid is healthy. I mean Horford’s a good defender, but not that good.
love watching the playoffs for games like this…desperation from philly…the celts looking good again…
rooting for denver next game…
In no particular order:
All of these 11 guys are clearly better or comparable but younger and with more upside. Some are also able to add value on the defensive end other than drawing the occasional charge.
In the same tier are guys like Holiday, Fred VanVleet, Brogdon, Jamal Murray, and the corpse of CP3. Brunson is arguably our best PG since Frazier, but he’s around the 12th-15th best PG in the league. We’ve been so talent-poor at the position that it’s possible for both of these things to be true.
it’s interesting that it seems in most of the playoff games I can remember obi playing in – the bright lights and increased intensity don’t seem to rattle him too much…
if julius comes out tentative next game, get obi in there…
Ok guys. I can bake Hot takes easily too!
Miami lost on purpose vs Atl to pick Mil instead of Bos.
NYK were informed by the refs that they’re going to be fucked on the previous game cause of the wrong calls on the 2nd game so it’s useless for them to try to win.
Is Thibs going to find adjustments with one day off that he couldn’t find with three? Are we going to bust Miami’s zone with even less shooting now that Quickley is hurt? The most likely outcome is that we run it back with a team that is even more hobbled, scared, demoralized, and mentally defeated. I’d like to agree with you, but give me a reason.
Sometimes Sex is better than other times.
It has to do with experience, confidence, fitness, preparation, communication and desire.
Let’s try to win the next one!
It’s annoying that the refs didn’t review that call themselves. Seems like a dick move to make Doc challenge that.
randle’s played 2 games this series and he played well in game 2…. he was bad vs cleveland but that wasn’t a great matchup for him so i give him a mulligan….
the overall issue is that our offense stinks in the playoffs… some folks might think this is trolling but brunson has been dependable but he’s not playing anywhere near close to his regular season self… and a lot of that has to do all these no-pass possessions… he’s a great iso player but if that’s your whole offense then it doesn’t take much to shave some efficiency off if your defense is good…. and both miami and cleveland have good defenses…
we beat cleveland because they couldn’t hit anything and had issues breaking 100 pts… partly because of our defense but partly because their best players caught john starks syndrome…. the heat so far dont have that problem….
we have the 4th worst offense in the playoffs so far and would be a regular season worst…. that’s our problem and when there’s so many people having issues across multiple series then it’s pretty obvious where the issues lie….
You think if that was Julius Randle blatantly pushing off his defender that doesn’t get called?
How ironic that his name is Marcus Smart.
That was a great basketball game in Philadelphia.
Big Game James!
Hell of a game. Wow
James Harden has a proven track record of not getting it done in the playoff, right?
For us, the big problem I can see aside from the very obvious missing all our 3 point shots is that our FTAs have vanished. I thought teams might be able to stop our offensive rebound game in the playoffs but that’s carried over. We’re not putting pressure on the rim like we did all season though.
It does seem his prediction that our offense would be easily stopped in the playoffs isn’t going to be wrong.
It’s very easy to make yourself look somewhat correct when you’re constantly moving the goal posts.
By the way, on the refs yesterday – how in the world did the refs think that that was an offensive foul on Gabe Vincent before Spo challenged it? Brunson was draped all over Vincent in the corner, and it was an offensive foul for Vincent to bring his arm up to shoot the ball? That was such a garbage call.
This is correct. Offensive problems were evident in the first round, but nobody paid attention because we easily won the series against the Cavs. People were warning, yours truly, too, here in this forum just ten days ago: things won’t be so easy in the second round and offensive execution has to improve.
We won the Cavs series on defense. We are losing the Heat series on offense.
Shooting this Knicks team for not being ready to compete this season for the chip is not exactly smart.
But helps the conversation…
We’re not the Casey-Nurse Toronto team and Brunson ain’t Kawhi
Knicks doing their best out there despite playing like garbage!
One last thought of me bout the washed old men and I’m going to sleep right afterwards
If i were Love or Lowry personally I’d have the swagger of a proven pimp on the court and would try to turn any young and restless opponents into my bitches!
The Lowry incidents were the most notable, but yeah, Obi was sonned a few times, too.
1. I think people underestimated how good Miami is. During the playoff drive I was constantly saying either Miami or Toronto could go on a serious run. The Heat went to the conference finals last year and just missed the finals. They had a rough start this year with injuries. So I sort of knew it was just a matter of time. That’s why I was worried. Unfortunately, they put it all together in the playoffs. They did just beat the Bucks too.
2. We’ve known for 2 years that we need better outside shooting. That’s why Rose made the mistake of overpaying Fournier a bit. His shooting would be beneficial, but we lose too much on defense relative to guys like Grimes, Hart, and Quick.
3. I don’t think this series is over, but we are going to need a good run of luck from 3 to have any chance because the Heat are good at taking away the inside. We also have to get healthy. We have a lot of key players that are less than 100% (Randle, Brunson, Grimes, and Quick). They also have a couple of players that may be playing a bit over their heads. So maybe that will level off.
4. The reason Hart is starting over Grimes (aside from the fact that he’s been the better player since we got him) is that Grimes has been less than 100% fit and healthy. Thibs has shown a tendency to ease role players back into their normal roles and minutes after injuries. He did this with Grimes to start the season. When Grimes is 100% fit and sharp, that could switch. In fact, game 4 may be the game to do it.
5. We’ve known from the start of the season this was still an unfinished team. So I’m not sure why anyone is surprised we still have weaknesses.
Assuming Randle is still here, we need someone at SG/SF that is at least a mildly plus player on both sides, but he definitely has to be able to hit the 3 consistently. Whether Grimes grows into that role, we trade RJ, we trade someone else and move RJ back to SG, who knows. But the target is two way shooting at SG/SF.
The other possibility is changing directions totally. That would involve a trade for Towns who could be on the block given that the Towns/Gobert experiment doesn’t look ideal.
If we did pull off that trade (maybe RJ could be part of that), I could see us also moving Mitch in a separate deal because the T-Wolves are not going to want trade Towns with Mitch coming back as a major piece. That makes no sense for them.
Towns would help open the court for Randle, Brunson, and RJ (assuming they are all still here post trade), but the defense would suffer badly going from Mitch to Towns. We’d still have I-Hart as the high energy backup. That’s a tough decision. I guess it depends whether you want a top 3 offense and weaker defense or more balance. Of course if you think you can get Towns to play defense, that it would be a great move.
Two games and change to be sure, but Grimes was awful before he got hurt.
i haven’t seen anything in these first three games that makes me think we are winning this series…it is what it is.
The good piece is getting exposed on the big stage let’s the braintrust know what needs to be fixed as far as the roster….not sure about Thibs.
I just hope that nothing about Randle’s injury clouds judgment on his part in our future…if we move on from RJ (hopefully)…then he probably sticks around…I am ok with him (julius) as 3rd banana to Brunson and whatever alpha dog they bring in for #1…but we can’t go forward with those two in the starting five…no way…
Also, Grimes is not a starter on a contender…he is a rotation piece…just like the rest of the bench and Hart…if we keep Mitch we need to 86 RJ and Grimes from that unit and get some bona fide shooting talent and tell Thbis to suck it up if he whines about the defense…
Has Doris Burke always been this insufferable…i recall being ok with her a few yrs ago…if she says the word “cup” one more time instead of rim…my head is going to explode…i mean who the fuck refers to the rim as the cup ….is that a 21st century expression…whatever happed to “hole”?
Grimes has not been healthy. Just because a guy is in the lineup does not mean he’s 100% fit and his shooting is sharp.
It’s possible he’s also having a tough time with playoff pressure. He (and others on this team) are very young and/or inexperienced under playoff pressure. That’s why getting into the playoffs is a goal. It accelerates the development process. Guys like Love and Lowry are past their primes, but they aren’t afraid. Pretty much everyone on Miami is more seasoned than our players.
I never understood her popularity.
He was perfectly healthy in the first two games and change of the Cavs series.
The problem with him is that he just isn’t that good. And the storm clouds on the horizon with the offense were always going to include to a significant degree Thibs overplaying guys like Grimes and Josh Hart because he “needed their defense.” That’s a big part of what’s happening.
And I want to repeat that I really like Josh Hart and he’s an excellent swiss army knife guy, a pro’s pro, and a fan’s pro. He’s a way better player than Quentin Grimes. He just really isn’t a starting wing, other than in a real niche-y situation. On a team that otherwise doesn’t care about stretching or spreading the floor? Not so much.
The playoffs expose some players and buttress some other players. That’s why we needed the playoffs data points.
They’re different games than regular season games. And of course they’re way more important since they’re the games you have to win to win championships.
Grimes in the 2nd season of his career had a 62% TS%. He’s established himself as a starting caliber wing, how high his upside is still in question but he’s definitely not a problem and is someone I’m curious to see how he develops over the next couple of years.
Lots of guys could have high TS%s if they only took the easiest of possible shots they’re presented and sloughed off the tougher work to other players.
But in any event, that’s a bit beyond the scope of the playoffs, and in the playoffs he’s been terrible. Still time for him to pick it up.
If grimes hits 8 3 point shots in game 4 victory all is forgiven.
There’s 2 things the Knicks have to do to beat the Heat in games. Win the turnover battle, and out rebound them.
we need to score more points in the game tomorrow…
thinking about cdiggy’s bonus family perspective…
I come from a more modern – everyone in the family kind of does their own thing, goes their own way…
my kids family though is tight, really tight, lots of folks, kids everywhere…
blessed to have a bunch over today…got real lucky with my bonus family 🙂
I remember there was a time when I thought jokic was soft…he was just out of shape early on…
that dude is crazy…
Jokic ripping the ball from Matt Ishbia is tremendous, what a fun player
The Cavs shut us down, you’re right.
Had to look up Mat Ishbia. Wasn’t missing much.
You do realize that the 111.1 Ortg we put up in the Cleveland series would have been good for 28th in the league this season, right?
They did all but shut us down, they lost because their offense was even more flawed and easily neutralized than ours. He may have been kind of annoying about it, but E’s prediction on that was dead right.
Knicks should take notes on how these teams are making shots
The Cavs gave up 109 points a game in the regular season. E’s hating ass thought we would win like 37 games and miss the playoffs. The Knicks not winning the title this year doesn’t mean the guy who was consistently wrong-based mostly on vibes-all fucking year was actually right. Grow up.
Is this like a bit we’re doing where we’re all pretending that pagliacci isn’t obviously E?
Only on this blog can the Knicks be criticized about their offense during a playoff series where the Knicks without homecourt advantage won 4-1 while outscoring the other team by 44 pts in the 4 wins.
Reese Bobby is E
Yeah, I know. So is pagliacci.
I kind of feel like Brogdon would be a better guy to have in there to take a three.
the shotmaking in this game is preposterous
If paggliaci is just E’s “bad cop” sock puppet, I’m totally here for it. I mean that would be a quality bit
The Cavs had a 110.6 Drtg in the regular season against all the teams. We were the 3rd ranked offense. A reasonable expectation would be that we that we would outperform the average team against them on offense to a significant degree. We didn’t do that. Ergo, our offense underperformed. What part of that can you dispute other than with personal attacks?
Your feelings towards E, or me, don’t change any of that, nor that he was right about our offense not holding up in the playoffs.
Why are we required to ignore the fact that our offense underperformed? Credit is due where it’s due — we played fantastic defense for that entire series, and Thibs ably exploited a poor coach in Bickerstaff. Cleveland’s offense fell off by over 10 points vs. their regular season mark, and near 10 points vs. our average opponent’s Ortg.
That’s why we won. Why is recognizing that so controversial?
you are defending a guy who said we wouldn’t make the playoffs by explaining why us winning a round of playoffs proves he was right all along. It’s fucking dumb!
For the record I’m not E, nor do I have any relationship with him. I did have an account on this blog about 10 years ago and made a lot of negative predictions about the Knicks and our future. In my defense, most of them turned out to be dead right.
But I annoyed a lot of people back then and to be honest, I wasn’t in a great place mentally. I guess I’m still not. My son is six weeks old now and I love him more than life itself, but part of me feels like I’m being erased. I feel as though I’ll never have a hobby again, or a break. There’s just too much to do, for him and for my wife and to keep all the plates spinning at work. The one treat I reserved just for me was watching this playoff run.
I’ve expected too much from this team, I know. I really thought we might beat Miami and have a run at the ECF. Even if we lost an old fashioned 90’s rock fight in 7, I’d have accepted it. The way we’re losing though, it just hopeless, and it brings 30 years of my Knick fan PTSD right up. I’ve been using this place to vent, and I’m sorry for that. You’ve all been so kind and accepting, so I’ll try to keep it measured and positive. Here’s hoping we somehow pull out Game 4.
At what point does Malone realize he needs to pull Porter? He’s killing Denver out there.
I’m not sure I buy all this “offense exposed” talk. The quality of the shots we’re taking is basically the same as our regular season shots. There are three things we’ve been missing in the Heat series: 1. Our 3 point shooting has fallen off a cliff—and I think this is basically variance, not “players playing scared” or whatever armchair psychoanalysis we’re giving. How many open JR 3 pointers refuse to go in? So many, apparently!
2. We’re not winning the ORB battle. This is related to 1., since the Heat are packing the paint and daring us to shoot. It’s also related to Mitch not being himself.
3. The iso shots we feasted on in the regular season aren’t going in, either because of variance, the Heat zone, or because of injuries to our stars (likely all 3.)
What needs to change? Well, we simply need to play better, and I definitely don’t think it’s *all* variance, but if we even shot 30% from 3 our offense would open up significantly. You simply can’t expect to win a playoff series shooting 20% from 3 every other game.
(I also think Randle has been dogging it—he’s not just hobbled but mentally in his own head, has been absolutely horrendous on D and selfish on offense.)
Hopefully the Knicks and the Heat will also be tied at 2 after tomorrow night!
Alan Hahn tweeted that the Knicks were 2 for 19 on wide open 3s and during the 1st half were 6 for 23 on uncontested FGs in Game 3.
Sometimes as JVG likes to say it really is as simple as it’s a make or miss league.
I actually came on to write what Chicanery just did.
If it’s not E, it’s his brother with a case of the perma-furies.
Pags, sorry, I missed your last missive. If what you say is true, a six-month old will rock your world big-time, no matter where you start mentally. It gets better (in about six months to a year, fingers crossed), so stay strong and, as you say, write semi-positive shit here.
If you need to shit on something, you have my permission to do so on Barrett or Julius. because, you know, right now they deserve it.
pagliacci make sure to focus on health basics, food, sleep, meds if applicable, mindfulness stuff…no doubt you’re already getting enough exercise 🙂
keep communicating…busy beautiful times on hand…set your boundaries well…keep your mind as clear as possible…
the age that drove me crazy was around 4 to 6…
the youngest of 3 was the one who finally broke me…eat when want, sleep when you want…just be quiet about it all…
What’s up, hoolahoop!
was speaking with someone at work a bit ago, they had been in the marines, a little older than myself…
we were having an honest conversation and she slipped in a couple of times her awareness of how others perceived her (overly critical, “difficult” to work with, negative)…
I was super impressed by her ability to see herself from other’s perspective…less enthusiased she seemed to be pre-emptively apologetic for her behavior…
I made sure to remind her that she was not alone in her critical minded world view…
than we talked about therapy 🙂
i’ve discovered it to be a shared experience among many folks…
we had a 107 ortg vs cleveland and we’re at 105 ortg vs miami… this is not just restricted to the miami series…. what has changed is that our defense is not playing at an all-time playoff best level and we’re more middle of the pack .. our drtg vs miami is a very normal 113.5…
maybe you could blame it on variance… but this many players not playing to their regular season abilities over multiple series sounds like a pattern to me…. and yes you can blame 3pt shooting on variance…but everything else very likely cannot…. and that’s a problem…
I sort of agree, at least with regard to our supporting cast. I think Grimes, the Harts, Obi, and to a lesser extent IQ aren’t getting the looks they got in the regular season, and that’s because the defense is way tighter. (IQ is, I think, also just pressing—he’s missing bunches of the shots he often makes.) But it’s also just variance—Grimes often made those contested 3s and layups in the regular season!
Whatever the cause of our supporting cast struggles, it then redounds to the three core scorers, who have to shoulder more of the load against defenses that don’t respect our supporting cast, and to Mitch, who has to deal with more bodies in the paint. There is a pattern here, but I also think that us shooting 30% from 3 rather than 20 in our losses would make our offense, and the series, look significantly different.
We’ll get more data in game 4!
We beat Cleveland by killing them on the offensive glass and not turning the ball over a lot. In that series, the Knicks’ style of play absolutely translated to the postseason.
It has turned into a pumpkin in the Miami series, because we’re not doing so hot on the offensive glass against them, and we’re not winning the turnover battle either. Miami is a ball hawking team that forces a lot of turnovers. We’re just not getting those extra possessions and it seems like we’re getting killed on 50/50 rebounds and loose balls. Plus we can’t throw the ball into the ocean even when we get quality shots.
It’s a good question whether our offense is the sort that holds up in the post season. I don’t know the answer. But I do think you can’t just look at points per game compared to regular season. Lots of offenses get worse in the playoff because they face defenses more focused on them. The question is not did our offense get worse. It was bound to get at least a little worse. The question how much worse did our offense get compared to the average playoff team.
I also notice that when most players play harder defense their shooting percentages go down. If you have to put out the energy to guard Butler, it could make your shooting worse.