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New York Knicks vs Miami Heat – May 08, 2023 FOX Sports
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Lakers beat Warriors for 3-1 lead; Heat push Knicks to brink The Associated Press
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Knicks on brink of elimination as Heat take home Game 4 – ESPN ESPN
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What the Knicks Need To Do To Avoid Elimination Sports Illustrated
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Four Things the Knicks Need to Do to Avoid Elimination Hermiston Herald
[news.google.com] — Monday, May 8, 2023 11:58:00 PM
Heat simply beating Knicks at own game in devastating reversal New York Post Heat vs. Knicks score, takeaways: Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo lead Miami to 109-101 win in Game 4 over New York CBS SportsNBA playoffs: Heat beat Knicks at their own game to take 3-1 series lead Yahoo Sports
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Knicks takeaways from Game 4’s 109-101 loss to Heat, including rebounding struggles Yahoo Sports
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Quentin Grimes couldn’t provide Knicks spark in Game 4 loss to Heat New York Post
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Knicks-Heat Game 4 live updates: Score, news, more from NBA Playoffs New York Post Knicks Fall to 3-1 Vs. the Miami Heat The RingerHow Miami Heat’s Twitter Reacted to the Win Against the New York Knicks Monday Night Sports Illustrated
[news.google.com] — Monday, May 8, 2023 7:00:00 PM
2023 NBA Playoffs Day 18: Heat vs. Knicks, Lakers vs. Warriors Blazer’s Edge
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Monday NBA picks, best bets: High-scoring Heat-Knicks, Warriors bounce back vs. Lakers CBS Sports
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The New York Knicks Are In The Playoffs And On Sale Forbes
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Leon Rose deserves credit for the Knicks success New York Daily News
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Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks: How to watch NBA online, TV channel, live stream info, start time CBS Sports
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What we learned about the Cleveland Cavaliers in first round loss to New York Knicks Fear the Sword
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Game 4 Preview: Knicks at Heat- 05/08/23 Posting and Toasting
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Why Won’t Black NBA Players Greet Howard Stern At Knicks Games? OutKick
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Could the Knicks be a potential landing spot for Giannis … AMNY
[news.google.com] — Monday, May 8, 2023 11:52:13 AM
UPDATE: New York Knicks Likely Without Key Player For Game 4 Sports Illustrated
[news.google.com] — Monday, May 8, 2023 11:00:00 AM
Knicks Notes: Hart, Randle, McBride, Grimes hoopsrumors.com
[news.google.com] — Monday, May 8, 2023 8:12:00 AM
New York Knicks at Miami Heat Game 4 odds, picks and predictions USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire
126 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2023.05.09)”
The effort was mostly there (I’m looking at you Matador Randle), the difference in big-games experience is huge in favor of Miami*, losing in the playoffs is a painful necessary step but it was frustrating as hell nonetheless…
Anyway lessons can be learned without the need to rain on this very good season.
Very few would have bet on a 47-wins season and a first round series win, every team but one ends his season with a loss, so while there’s a lot to process before next season, don’t let it sour your taste.
Now let’s show some pride, don’t let them celebrate on our turf, then try at least to give them a scare in Game-6.
– While both are playing on a bum ankle, their perennial All-Star star is better and especially mentally tougher than our regular season-only All-Star.
Playoffs Jimmy is miles ahead of Playoffs Randle, we’re scared when Butler has the ball, they lick their chops when Randle has it.
And you can add that Randle’s defensive effort in this series has been very low, bitching with the refs instead of going back on defense is so dumb…
I hope Leon’s watching.
– Mitch’s probably nicked, but Bam’s two-way play dwarfs Mitch’s one dimensional skillset.
Mitch VERY limited offense is something we need to talk in the postseason.
A lot of centers aren’t good shooters, but Mitch has bad hands and often miss point blank layups like he’s never used the glass to bank them. Add his miserable FT% and you have a problem when the going gets tough.
– Kevin Love is a caged veteran, a great rebounder, a good shooter and a willing passer.
Let him in Cleveland and that series could have changed.
He doesn’t need to hit every shot, his presence alone with the space he creates, is enough to change the game, so are his full-court passes when our defense is slow to get back.
– This version of Lowry, who coasted through the entire regular season, can keep pace with an hobbled Brunson. While he’s a potential target for bigger players, alas a thing that we rarely explore, he’s a pest and his quick hands disrupt a lot of plays.
Plus, he’s a well’known “big-games/big-onions shots” performer.
– UDFAs Strus and Vincent are both free agents-to-be, so they’re playing for their next contract, their first and maybe only chance to get a fat one.
They’re hungrier than Barrett and Grimes, they die on every ball (Barrett on the other hand is often slow as a turtle and Grimes scared).
Strus is a more reliable three-point shooter too.
– On paper our bench is better. On the floor UDFA Caleb Martin alone has been better than all our players combined.
Even before the injury IQ was a disappointment and he’s the offensive force of the unit, without him (and we didn’t really replace his minutes) we should use more high-post Hartenstein, but we didn’t do it for most of the year, it’s too late now.
– Our iso-ultraheavy (often with zero passes) offense it’s easy to smother when the level raises.
It must be a big red flag for next year.
The Cavs did smother it, but we killed them on hustle plays and second efforts.
You can’t beat the Heat on hustle plays and second efforts, they’re like a platoon of terminators.
They can have turnovers but basically never do something stupid. We do it a lot, our turnovers are more often than not of the low-BBIQ/careless behaviour kind…
– We aren’t losing for Thibs, even if he’s been far from perfect (Toppin 6 minutes? McBride 4, with IQ out? Grimes 42? Really?).
I’m even ready to hot take and say that if we play Boston he can be better than Joe “timeouts are for the weaklings” Mazzulla.
But we’re facing the real elite here. Spo is a fucking genius, fullstop.
There’s only one thing I’ll never stop saying: Erik Spoelstra would never leave Evan Fournier** and Derrick Rose rot on the bench for months, making them unplayable in the moment when you need to try something to change a series. Never in a million years.
* I’ll say it again: the Heat aren’t a juggernaut, they’re “just” a bunch of battle-tested, never-scared, strong-willed samurais lead by an elite daimyo.
And they were lucky (but ready to exploit the chance) to beat Milwaukee basically without Giannis and with Bud’s personal issues.
And the Knicks were favorites before the series!
At the same time calling them “the 8th seed” is disingenous.
Despite their injury they won 44 games against Atlanta’s 41 for god’s sake! So we’re losing to the 7th seed… 😉
Anyway re-seeding after the play-in is really dumb (for instance, Miami didn’t get the 1st seed beating the Bucks, regular season wins still counts for home advantage in the playoffs).
** Evian still has 1 guaranteed year in his contract and now you’re forced to trade him at a depreciate value, if Thibs’ still the coach next season…
Nice recap, Max, as usual.
Does anyone really think that the Heat team that just gentleman’s swept (there, I said it) the favored to win the title Bucks and is on the verge of doing the same to us is really the team that had a negative SRS in the regular season? And that’s why we should be winning?
The regular season and play-in don’t mean shit right now. Ask the Warriors. And the Bucks. And the Griz. And the Kings.
Did we have a “realistic” chance to win the series? Sure. On paper. But now that we are 4 games in, there are no illusions. They are not just better than us. They are the better team from top to bottom, all things considered. There is nothing flukey about what they are doing, on either end.
Should we have been favored? No way. Let’s keep in mind that the Vegas line is based on what bettors are anticipated to think. The Heat don’t give a shit about what Vegas thinks.
We’re seeing the importance of:
a) having legit 2-way superstars (they have 2, we have 0),
b) having playoff experience beyond the first round (they have oodles, we have a meager amount), and,
c) coaching (they have the very best in the business, we have a second-level guy.)
They never did. Several of us tried to explain this over and over and over and over again while the regular season was going on.
In addition to all the regular season quirks that helped the Knicks in the regular season and are now dissipating, Thibs has now lost even his tryhard, hustlebunny regular season advantage in this series, as his team is getting completely outhustled and outworked and has lost virtually every 50-50 ball.
The ultimate problem, big picture, is that Thibs gets so enamored of his regular season guys that it puts a ceiling on his roster’s playoff quality. (*) Which is why, year after year after year, his seasons end kind of like this one appears for all the world to be ending.
(*) The idea isn’t to intentionally self-select for tryhards and then get them to play hard — that’s cheating the system, really. The actually top-level coaches select for talent and then get the talent to play hard.
“The idea isn’t to intentionally self-select for tryhards and then get them to play hard — that’s cheating the system, really. The actually top-level coaches select for talent and then get the talent to play hard.”
So you are saying that the Heat have far better top-level talent than we do. Thanks, that’s exactly the point. Although most would consider Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Caleb Martin and Duncan Robinson to be hustlebunny tryhards…but I digress…
I have consistently said that the franchise we are emulating in our hybrid approach to rebuilding is the Heat. And the fact that we are in the second round of the playoffs just three years removed from being predicted by Vegas (see, I can do that too!) to have the worst record in the association at 22.5 wins is pretty solid evidence that it is working pretty well. There are avenues for getting to the next level with the resources we have and cap situation we are in. It will take some strong, opportunistic GMing and some luck to get to the next level, but at least there’s a path. Nothing is guaranteed, and other teams are going to improve in our conference too…so while this season has been a rousing success, it could easily come crashing down if the FO gets complacent or makes a rash move…or if the injury bug bites.
Now that might not be good enough for some. Miami is eventually going to run into a better team and once again fall short of a championship. There’s not much juice left in their current iteration. One might just describe them as being in purgatory, just in the first class section rather than steerage. But since we are not going to revert to tanking any time soon, that’s what we’re left with.
There’s only a path with the current coach if he’s completely walled off from personnel decisions, and probably not even then. He deserved this year of data points, and now no more data points are necessary.
He’s a good coach, just not good enough.
“The regular season and play-in don’t mean shit right now.”
“They never did. Several of us tried to explain this over and over and over and over again while the regular season was going on.”
It depends on context. The regular season is CRITICALLY important for a number of reasons, and only someone being wilfully argumentative would say otherwise. Our regular season record is the main reason why we are still playing right now, as opposed to every other iteration of the Knicks since the Ewing days, save one capped-out, asset-less cameo a decade ago. Our regular season and playoff record combined lifted the value of our players as assets….don’t think that GMs aren’t noticing that RJ is earning every bit of his contract this postseason. That doesn’t happen if we get knocked out in the play-in or miss the playoffs, as would have been likely under a different coach.
It just doesn’t mean much in predicting who will win a particular playoff series, for a number of obvious reasons.
Well – the effort was there – just some boneheaded turnovers, some really really questionable officiating — and then I think we just ran out of gas in the 4th quarter. To some extent I do think this comes down to a Thibs’ failure — we are doubling Jimmy Butler for no reason and the Heat are too good a passing team. Generally speaking we did a very nice job in rotation, but just like the Cavs series, being in rotation leaves you wide open on the boards. And playing 40+ minutes with all that frantic activity – it’s no wonder they were tired in the 4th.
We also really missed Quickley and his ability to get long rebounds, and foul trouble led to Hart not playing a lot. I thought Grimes did a pretty good job defensively but literally just watched a bunch of balls go by him on the defensive glass.
For game 5 – Honestly I let Grimes and Hart play Jimmy Butler mano e mano, at least until he gets both feet into the paint. Sending doubles at him 18 feet from the basket is not working.
Also – this is not a Mitch series. Hartenstein needs to play 25+ min. His offensive versatility is key against Miami’s defense.
It is certainly fair to feel that Thibs is not the right coach for a sustainable contending team, for a whole host of reasons. But given the commitment to the hybrid approach, he has been far more of an asset than a liability thus far. I agree (always have) that he should have no say in personnel decisions, nor should the FO make personnel decisions based on Thibs being our coach. But the diatribes about hustlebunnies are dumb. All teams look for and employ those players.
“we are doubling Jimmy Butler for no reason”
…other than every time we don’t double him he scores at will or gets to the line…
Re the game: We lost, but I thought several of our guys were competitive, and the Heat just had answers to everything we did. It happens. I hope our guys learn from it. I fault Thibs for not giving Obi more time, especially b/c Julius was hardly playing superstar minutes. I think Deuce should have played more (even if he’s not in our longterm plan). I think iHart should have played more b/c Mitch (though an amazing beast) was having problems, and iHart gives us another good passer in the lineup.
Re Thibs: I’m in the center (with DRed?). I’m furious that Thibs always seems too late on any adjustment BUT — I hated him for an entire season bc he wouldn’t play the kids, then he played the kids. So he has the capacity to change.
Re the series: In the spirit of growth mindset, I just want our guys to get playoff experience, to meet new challenges with full effort, and for the series to make them better players for next year. That would be losing “the right way.” The mental lapses have to happen for our guys to learn. The lazy stuff, not so much. If Thibs himself comes out of the series as a better coach, good for him. I would harbor no grudge.
From the beginning I thought IQ was the X factor in our playoff run. If late-season IQ showed up, we could go deep. If not, we were gonna have problems. IQ is a mess, so we have problems. I just hope he gets back on the floor with a chance to fail some more and learn from it.
giannis was missing for all but 2 games of the heat series…. and the games he did play butler went next level… beating a giannis-less bucks team doesn’t really mean anything when it was effectively a 3 game series….
Not good enough to beat a team with a better roster. I’ve been on both sides of the Thibs fence. His flaws are so very visible and apparent to everyone except himself. Short rotations, rigid system, and inability to adapt are at the top of the list.
However I still posit that a replacement isn’t necessarily going to be an improvement. Look at the history of Knicks’ coaches, or coaches around the league (that will be available), and I don’t see a lot of them that would be a marked improvement. If you look back at the Knicks’ history which would be the first coach you’d consider? D’Antoni sticks out, but then again his flaws are nearly exactly the same as Thibs’.
Unless we can coax Jeff Van Gundy out of the booth or somehow strike gold with another coach, I’m not sure if replacing Thibs nets us anything. The improvement has to be with the roster, not the coach.
I was trying to think about available coaches and that’s exactly the only name I came out with… 🙂
I was thinking the same thing at the time. Give Butler the Jordan treatment — let him score his 30/40, but shutdown everyone else. However the more I thought about it, the more I got convinced that the rest of the Knicks were up to the task of clamping down on the Heat. There was some matador D and confusion on switching. The Knicks gave a good effort, but this wasn’t the 90s Knicks that could match up defensively like that.
And if you funnel them towards Mitch, that would be Bam open, which would be just as disastrous. RJ Barrett just can’t cover him on the switch.
While Giannis being compromised was certainly a major factor in the Heat steamrolling them, the Bucks are still a very solid team without him, and would likely have easily dispatched of the Knicks if that was the matchup and Giannis was back for game 4 and 5.
Right now, Jimmy Butler is playing at a level reserved for the all-time greats of the game. On top of being the consummate alpha dog leader who reads the game at an elite level and makes his teammates better, he is both an unstoppable offensive weapon and a 5-position lockdown defender. He is light years ahead of our best player, whoever that is. He’s not a healthy Giannis, but Giannis isn’t him either.
The Knicks just didn’t match up well with Miami. Or you could say Miami matched up well against us.
Miami kept the glass clean, on BOTH ENDS! Crisp ball movement, hustle plays, and just the right amount of physical contact to make the refs swallow their whistles and get into the Knicks’ head. Oh and (compared to the Knicks) reliable three point shooting.
I think the rebounding and three point shooting were the decisive factors. the Knicks were 2nd/9th in offensive/defensive rebounding during the season, but you wouldn’t know that by this series. Those second chances that powered NY over Cleveland was now fueling Miami. And the Knicks didn’t have a knock-down three point specialist (not tied to the bench). There wasn’t a single three point attempt by New York that I felt was going in. Miami could go to their psuedo-zone and have two/three defenders harass Randle, without fear of reprisal.
The only way that doubling Jimmy would work is if his teammates missed open 3s and Bam missed layups, 10-ft jumpers and dunks.
And none of RJ, Grimes and Hart can contain Butler 1-on-1. Jrue Holiday is a better defender than all of them and Butler mercilessly torched him.
In game 3, coming back on a bum ankle, there was a stoppage in play and Butler threw down a dunk that only guys like Obi could do. He still has an elite vertical. You need a wing with elite length, strength and athleticism to even slow him down 1-on-1, and he’s so crafty that he still gets to the line repeatedly against those guys unless he’s having a cold night. He’s like Dwyane Wade in that regard, only bigger.
It’s not that The Heat are a “juggernaut.” That is not what people are saying.
It’s the the 5th seed Knicks were only 3 games better than the 8th seed Heat. And the Heat are super experienced, have an amazing 2 way player with Butler and literally were in the conference finals last season. And they have one of the best coaches out there. They also did deal with a good amount of injuries during the regular season.
Yes, on paper we’re supposed to be better. But on paper people said Cleveland was better and they weren’t. Matchups matter. Miami is better than us. That’s it.
Doesn’t mean our team can’t get better. We do have a roster full of a lot of young players. And sorry, I’m still not buying that Randle can’t perform in the playoffs. He had his moments. But if his ankle injury had happened earlier in the season, he probably sits for 3 or 4 weeks and not 2. He is not 100 percent.
And yeah, Butler isn’t either but Butler’s ankle injury in game one was nowhere near as bad as Randle’s at the end of the regular season. Randle literally left the game and was in a boot for 10 days.
I don’t know what Leon should do but I would say do nothing. Resign Hart. Pick up IQ and OBi’s QO. Maybe take a flyer on a one year veteran merc to shore up the bench (and piss off E). But next season is all about Thibs. He HAS to play the depth all season so our main dudes are fresh. We have the depth to do that.
I get why he went 9 man this season. Honestly, it saved our season and helped us find our identity. But next year, with HART here all season, we need to go 10(or even 11 with Sims) deep. Give more minutes to McBride and Obi especially.
And for the love of God. RJ, IQ, Grimes, Hart, Mcbride – practice your 3 point shooting all summer and Mitch – practice your free throws!
I would do a RJ, Obi plus picks (2 to 3 at the most) trade for a super clear upgrade for a bordeline all-star Randle/Brunson level player if one is available. I just don’t know who that would be and if that would be an enough. Otherwise just keep building.
Guys, it’s ok. We won a playoff series. This team can win 50 plus games next year and hopefully get to at least the 2nd round.
May 9, 2023 at 09:30
The Knicks just didn’t match up well with Miami. Or you could say Miami matched up well against us.
Miami kept the glass clean, on BOTH ENDS! Crisp ball movement, hustle plays, and just the right amount of physical contact to make the refs swallow their whistles and get into the Knicks’ head. Oh and (compared to the Knicks) reliable three point shooting.
I think the rebounding and three point shooting were the decisive factors. the Knicks were 2nd/9th in offensive/defensive rebounding during the season, but you wouldn’t know that by this series. Those second chances that powered NY over Cleveland was now fueling Miami. And the Knicks didn’t have a knock-down three point specialist (not tied to the bench). There wasn’t a single three point attempt by New York that I felt was going in. Miami could go to their psuedo-zone and have two/three defenders harass Randle, without fear of reprisal.”
+1. Blocking out isn’t a thing in today’s NBA (Clyde often refers to it as a lost art) and Miami is well coached enough that it IS a thing for them. Additionally, Kevin Love has always been an elite rebounder even though he isn’t all that athletic. Kyle Lowry is an excellent rebounding guard for his size. Jimmy and Bam speak for themselves. And then there’s those pesky hustlebunnies…
Max, nice recap. Thanks for doing them all season.
Frank, pretty much agree. We shouldn’t double Butler 20 feet from the hoop – his strength is not reliable outside shooting. And Grimes has been solid on him. But he will beat most defenders at least some of the time, and we have to be ready to rotate inside. That’s on Julius, mostly, who has to switch to Bam when Mitch moves to Butler. So… Not great no matter how you play him.
Posting this as a criticism of Thibs after a loss to the Heat has to be all-time dumb. What did we do to lose ptmilo and gain this?
And I wasn’t saying that people said that…
I could have used “They’re not the best team in the League”…
In all honesty I was trying to pay homage to the Heat, but maybe I didn’t express myself well…
No one can, but I rewatched some of the game late on TNT and yes, actually Grimes did contain him on many possessions. My favorite is when he funneled him under the backboard and Butler hit the bottom of it when he tried to shoot.
Like Mike said, single coverage could work if we could nail our rotations. But whether Randle (confused) or RJ (overpowered), we can’t.
Knicks in 7
The play that sent me through the ceiling was that Jimmy B offensive rebound where he posts on the block and then throws a no look pass to Bam coming down the middle of the lane completely uncovered as two Knicks (Randle? Barrett? Mitch?) watch with helpless confusion. Jimmy had so many easy layups. And their scrubs really hit a ton of shots last night.
They also seemed to have more Hart than we did. Our Hart was missing? We had a Hart attack?
Hart hasn’t been able to change games in this series like he has been able to all year.
The most basic truth is that this hurts a lot because of the intrinsic optics of playing the nominal #8 seed (which really was the #7 but we’re digressing).
If this Heat team was the #4 seed, we would hate this but not so much. We’re the less experienced, worse (while still finely) coached, way less mentally tough team, it’s ok to lose.
We should just hope management gets it right and tries to cash in on Randle’s All-NBA berth and RJ’s decent playoffs, and we’re set for a half-decade.
Max, sorry, I was more referring to what some posters were saying in the previous thread.
So what does cashing in on Randle and RJ look like? I get that this is something people may want to do but what do we think is a feasible get for these guys plus picks?
“Like Mike said, single coverage could work if we could nail our rotations. But whether Randle (confused) or RJ (overpowered), we can’t.”
First, obviously Spo and Butler KNOW that the Knicks aren’t going to nail rotations. So it’s pick your poison.
Second, Jimmy hasn’t even been sweating this series. They won the three games he has played in going away without him needing to score 30+. He has another level to go to if needed.
I think prime, healthy Dwyane Wade is a pretty good comparison for Jimmy, maybe better on D and not quite as good on O but that level of player. Ultimately the supporting cast is not good enough for a chip without a ton of luck, but he’s the real deal.
Hard pass. There’s a lot of improvement needed here. I’d love to see them move RJ for an upgrade.
As much as I like Obi, he’s like a kid that was taken out of the stands and put into an NBA game. The enthusiasm is there, but this isn’t the team/environment for him to “find himself”. He needs to get a lot of run on a losing team, then he can develop the skills that will make him into a bench option. (or not!)
The team needs upgrades to get off that treadmill of mediocrity. This was a nice season, but they need to look to get past that. If it’s not a huge trade for a superstar (and it won’t be), then they need to get better at every position save for PG & PF.
I mean, I don’t think I really care about how this lines up with pre-series expectations that much. Sure, the Bucks losing created a bit of hope and I blame Cronin for things that were said.
But honestly, we have just played bad. We have missed a ton of open shots and done a ton of dumb stuff, while losing it feels like all the 50/50 balls.
It’s been a really frustrating series that way for me. I don’t believe they are that much better than us. This actually doesn’t feel inevitable to me. But it’s playing out so badly. The game action last night was exquisitely painful. We just couldn’t get our shit together.
It’s actually not, on paper.
But mentally they’re in a completely different ballpark, as we were compared to Cleveland.
The team needs upgrades to get off that treadmill of mediocrity.
Is being a top 8 team in the NBA a treadmill of mediocrity?
This statement feels like a huge moving of the goalposts. Top 8 team in the league we’re literally contenders. Maybe not contender contenders but we’re close. To say we’re mediocre? Come on! Don’t let the Heat get you down that much!
We’re definitely close but we saw firsthand how volatile Julius can be.
While I’d gladly bet a few grands on a steady basketball production from Brunson, I wouldn’t bet a penny on any over/under for Julius about next year.
What I say is management shouldn’t be complacent. It’s not about moving RJ and Randle for the sake of it (please don’t), it’s more about aggressively perusing every team’s nook and cranny to see if there’s a good trade on the horizon.
“…To say we’re mediocre? Come on!”
I’m not touching this with a 10-foot pole…
Nothing to s(w)orry about Swifty! 🙂
I think at last one significant move is needed this summer, with other on the fringes (resigning J-Hart, extending IQ, maybe finding a rebounder/defensive minded backup “4”? And can we extend I-Hart?).
For different reasons I’d like to see both Julius and RJ go,
but I think that changing the team so much isn’t a good thing,
and it’s very hard to do with a reasonable chance of success,
so I’m okay ditching only one of them for the right ransom (ca va sans dire).
We sure need to improve shooting and raise the yield from the 2/3 position. RJ lacks defensive awareness but he’s younger and compared to the regular season his playoffs run has been slightly better.
On the other side Julius is at least a good regular season player (albeit on a boring and unpleasant to watch offense), a very good rebounder when involved, but at the same time everything could be for naught if we can’t convince him to commit 100% on defense and he’s always on the brink of a meltdown.
I’m glad it’s Leon’s work to do and not mine (but I’m better on press conferences) 😉
Then I wouldn’t expect to go much farther than we went this season, because honestly I don’t see enough internal improvement coming from our current roster to get us to the next level.
If you’re okay with winning a playoff round then going home, I get that. This is easily the best season we’ve had in 10 years, and probably the best we’ve had in 20+ years. The thing you do at this step of the hybrid method is to figure out how to make more improvements. Just “running it back” doesn’t seem like the best way forward here. Unless you’re a legitimate contender, of course you should be looking to fix your flaws.
It would be pretty disappointing if we just ran this team back. I doubt that’s what Leon will do, but who knows? Not sure what kind of changes he has in mind, but I’d be shocked and disappointed if they were just window-dressing plus new contracts for Hart, IQ and Obi.
The only guys I’d commit to are Brunson and Hart. Everyone else should be on the table in trade discussions.
I’d be fine with retaining Randle and RJ, but would also be fine with them being turned into better players with assets attached. My guess is that we will see them in the opening day 2023-24 starting lineup. Whatever.
Mitch is not my cup of tea. Packaging him in a trade for a star would be fine by me. I know folks here love him to death, but he’s a reasonably valuable trade asset and I just don’t see it being that hard to overcome losing him, given his glaring flaws. I also think the strategy of counting on his offensive rebounding to make up for RJ and Julius being unreliable 3pt shooters has been exposed as unreliable beyond the first round. In short, unless we land a superstar-level 2/3, one of him, Julius, or RJ has to go. (Although hopefuly Zach LaVine is not seen as that superstar.)
We desperately need a big 3-and-D wing. The most obvious guy to replace is Obi. He is just not good, and at 25, I doubt he gets much better. In fact, his value in a trade may never be higher than it is right now. For example, Taj Gibson might have been a significant upgrade if he played Obi’s minutes in this series. Maybe not, but the fact that I’d have to really wonder about it says it all.
And obviously it’s time to jettison Fournier and Rose.
Speaking of D-Rose…
Everyone in the Knicks’ media environment was sure his team option will be declined, but there are rumors about “mutual interest” in re-signing him at a lower price for a mentoring role (a la Udonis Haslem, just to stay on the hybrid approach).
(insert head scratching emoji)
the point that i’m making is that this heat series is about us being more bad than the heat being good… they are not doing anything very fancy.. yes some box in one / hybrid zones for a few possessions is somewhat fancy by nba standards…. and they put bam on randle which was a nice adjustment…
but they’re not digging too deep to beat us at all.. and the numbers reflect that…. we have the same ortg as we did last series…. the offense is exactly the same… different defenses same results.. only this team is shooting more normally…
that should tell you that there are worrying trends that need to be addressed… whether that’s player or coach driven…. but to me… when you’re favored in the series… no matter that it happens in the second rd or not …. that’s on the coach… we have the talent to win this series… and thibs does not deserve a free pass just cause the cavs went ice cold in the first rd….
I guess I’m ok running it back because I still think there is a high chance that one of RJ or IQ could make a big leap forward and I think there’s a decent chance Grimes could take a leap too.
Obi no so much and I realize those leaps are not guaranteed for any of those 3 players but they are all still pretty young.
The other thing is I’m having a hard time seeing what the retooling of this team by trading Randle would look like. Who would be the guy we get if we say trade Randle, RJ, Obi and picks?
I think I’m at a point where I’m simultaneously fine with this loss, and wishing the front office make moves for next season.
I’d tend to agree with Z-Man that only Brunson is truly untouchable and Hart should probably be too, after re-signing. Everyone else, and that includes IQ and Mitch, who I love, should be available if the right moves present themselves. IQ specially has been very disappointing to me and it brings enough doubt to me that I don’t know anymore if he’s a long term piece.
I think there is a lot we can do in terms of possible moves, and I think Barrett has shown enough in this playoffs to rehabilitate his trade value to a point where he is a piece for a possible deal, and no longer someone that needs to be dumped. Randle is harder because to say because I think he hasn’t done enough to be seen as a real piece by other teams, so the most viable possibility could be keeping Brunson, Hart and Randle as a core and making moves with the other pieces like Grimes, IQ and Barrett.
Looking at this and trying to be as removed as possible from the disappointment of losing to our hated rivals in what seemed like a winnable series, this team has exceeded expectations and done very well, but also shown that the current roster has limitations that are unlikely to be solved by internal development. So this offseason will be absolutely crucial in terms of continuing to ride this upward momentum.
Again, saying they have good three-point shooters and we don’t and they hit threes and we didn’t is just simply wrong. They shot 33% and we shot 32%.
Here’s a good example of why we lost:
“In the final period, they [Miami] went 6 of 22 from the field and 0 of 9 from 3-point range. Knicks guard Jalen Brunson almost outscored them by himself, pouring in 13 fourth-quarter points to give New York hope for a late comeback.
As the Heat have done all season, they kept their composure and adapted to the situation in front of them. They responded to the moment by grabbing eight offensive rebounds as a team to keep possessions alive. Each of those offensive boards slowly drained the life away from the Knicks.”
Poise and composure. That’s a very helpful skill. We have a couple of players who don’t have that.
Treadmill of “not reaching the Finals”?
I allowed myself to imagine this team going on a magical championship run. And then asked myself afterwards “Would this be the worst team to win an NBA championship?” Absolutely yes.
The closest I could come up with would be the 2004 Pistons team, pre-Sheed. They just need that one nearly perfect piece to put it all together. And what would that piece look like?
Either a scorer that could drop Randle to option 2 and Brunson to 3, or a two way player that can lock down defensively, contribute in a lot of categories.
Otherwise upgrade everything you can. It’s unlikely you’ll improve of Randle at PF or Brunson at PG, so everything else is on the table.
I have my favorites that I love to watch, but after this series I think a lot of their flaws were brought to light. Trade them all if it gets onto the treadmill of “could make the Finals”.
Knicks did go 3-1 vs Miami during the regular season and Butler played in all 4 games.
I don’t know what a “big leap” from IQ would look like. He’s already a 1.7 BPM player, already quite good. He’d need to either become a great playmaker or shoot the lights out to make a truly big leap, and even then… do we see IQ as a 5 BPM player or something? That seems optimistic.
RJ could legitimately take a “big leap” and still be a negative player, and would have to make a Bob Beamon-sized leap to actually become a truly GOOD player.
I don’t doubt that both of those guys can improve, it’s just that the improvements seem pretty likely to be incremental in nature. RJ is going into season 5, and I don’t see why we should expect a rapid burst of improvement after so many years of barely perceptible growth.
I don’t think we can afford to run it back–remember when we ran Burks, Rose, and Noel back? This team has real flaws–namely a primitive offense that doesn’t shoot all that well, and a defense full of inconsistent or overmatched players who can only play defense one way (e.g., Randle can’t play drop, no one gets any steals besides J-Hart, etc.)
Honestly, I think we should package all of RJ, Obi, and Grimes for an upgrade to the starters–for someone like, say, OG–then shore up our bench with the MLE and Bi-Annual Exception and re-sign Quickley (who we shouldn’t let go despite his awful playoffs performance.)
I would also love hiring, say, Nick Nurse, but I imagine we’re going to stick with Thibs hell or high water, which is somewhat disappointing in the scheme of things.
Honestly, trying to find an upgrade at center might be in our best interest as well…Porzingis or Myles Turner would really make this team go, offensively.
Jimmy got Bud fired. Spo is confirming Thibs is a middle of the pack coach. They may be doing us a favor here.
If Leon can land Bud, he should pull the trigger asap. Then, – I’m OK with signing Josh and running it back.
Randle said last night “they want it more than us”.
Translation: ” I don’t really care that much. They seem obsessed with winning”
This goes to what Pat Bev said. Julius doesn’t love the game. He’s in it for selfish reasons, for what the game provides him with. Status, Money, Fame, etc…Not for what he’s prepared to give to the game, to his coach, his teamates. to the fans and the city of NY.
Most of us ordinary shmucks do what we do for the paycheck only. We don’t sacrifice or take risks to benefit our colleagues, our management or the organization mission either. I don’t judge Randle. He’s the rule not the exception but champions are exceptions by definition.
What’s disappointing about the performance from Thibs is that he really had been showing signs of breaking his more stubborn habits – playing young guys over vets, not running his top dudes into the ground at 40mpg+ … but there’s been a bit of regression in the playoffs. Spo keeps finding ways to attack our strengths and our weaknesses and I wish we showed more capacity to meaningfully adjust.
I’m disappointed in IQ’s postseason but he’s shown the capacity for growth throughout his career. I feel like he suddenly got tentative and that’s not a particularly good sign, but you don’t want to sell low. Maybe it results in a bit of a helpful expectation shift for the next contract, but I love the dude and hope he sticks around.
Our shooting has completely evaporated. It wasn’t great in the regular season but has to be better. It’s all small sample sizes in the playoffs but Brunson (28%), IQ (24%), Randle (23%), Grimes (24%) all went into the toilet from deep. You have to credit the defenses somewhat but that’s some seriously aberrant statistical data there.
ALL of those guys have been playing hurt. Yeah yeah, everybody is hurt this time of year… but there’s a luck component to this thing. We had good health all year long and the guys are toughing it out, but I think the injuries are a major part of why we’re suddenly looking like we aren’t playing as hard. The players and coaches will never make the excuse, but as a fan, I sure can. There’s reason to be optimistic about growth potential here; don’t need to blow up the whole apple cart.
I was hoping for more fight in this series. Really hope they can show up for Game 5 and make it interesting. But when I look at the playoff landscape – watching all the games – the Knicks are the weakest of the 8 remaining right now. Was a great season in any event and hope it’s something we build upon.
This ain’t over.
We should take the next game with extra energy and a home whistle. But then we have to truly dominate them in game 6 to get that win. That means multiple Knicks need to catch fire from deep. Quick and maybe Brunson are really the only ones I can imagine doing that, maybe Randle if we’re lucky.
FWIW, my friend who is a huge Bucks fan is so excited they fired bud and says he’s a regular season coach who can’t make adjustments in the playoffs. Says they only won a title because Durant got hurt and they’ve dominated the regular season multiple times only to come up short in the playoffs.
So basically, the same criticisms that many people have with Thibs.
Thank you, tasty cakes. I’ve heard the argument “well Butler hurt his ankle too” as a way to dismiss Randles’ injury as a reason. But Randle missed 2 whole weeks and we were all pretty worried if he would be ready for game one of the last series. Then he missed a few more games. So I think his injury is more severe than Jimmy’s.
1. At the end of the season there will be 29 teams trying to figure what they have to do to improve next year.
2. The Knicks are better than around 20 of them. That’s damn good, but they are NOT better than Miami.
3. Of the remainder, some are older and will not get much better and others may even decline a bit. Some have already used some of their 1st round picks to get into their current superior position and will have a tougher time getting much better via trade.
4. The Knick have a lot of inexperienced players that will benefit from this playoff experience, go back to the drawing board in the off season, and be better next year.
5. The Knicks have excess first rounders, some young players that teams might want in a trade, contracts that can be used to make salaries match, and no bad contracts. Off season deals to make the team better are very likely.
6. It’s on Thibs and management to take stock of the players we have now and figure what we need and who we want to go forward with. I think most of us already know where the weaknesses are and what we need.
a. Better spacing/outside shooting
b. Consistent effort on defense from everyone
c. More consistent and higher basketball IQ play
d. A more consistent #1 option (with Brunson being #2)
There are a few potential ways to achieve those things, but we have to see who’s available and what the prices are. It may take more than 1 year, but that’s fine as long as we move forward again next year.
In the mean time, this has a been a spectacular season. Anyone that’s complaining after this is just a whiner. It’s also not over yet. Let’s hope they show some character, come out hard at MSG, and send this series back to Miami where the pressure will be on Miami to avoid a game 7 in NY.
I’ve been saying for years the game is different in the playoffs because the defenses are better and the pressure is higher (especially for young players. What works in the regular season often doesn’t work as well for mere mortals in the playoffs. Not everyone can keep firing 3s at their normal clip in the playoffs, especially to close tight games. When you find someone that can, that’s what makes them special. But you can’t assume it. That’s why IMO a more versatile attack is desirable. Our problem is that we don’t have good spacing. So Miami (or anyone really) can force us to our weaknesses by taking away the inside and we can’t make them pay for it from the outside.
Today’s Knickerblogger Emotional Tone:
– Confusion and despair, with brief respites of optimism
everything is gonna be alright…
sure, let’s trade julius for giannis, jalen for damian, RJ for mikal…
that’s my plan…oh, what a brilliant plan I have…
“I don’t know what a “big leap” from IQ would look like. He’s already a 1.7 BPM player, already quite good. He’d need to either become a great playmaker or shoot the lights out to make a truly big leap, and even then… do we see IQ as a 5 BPM player or something? That seems optimistic.”
Fair point, I also don’t see where the big leap from where IQ was comes from. But at the right price he’s a very valuable player and at age 23 he should improve at least somewhat.
“RJ could legitimately take a “big leap” and still be a negative player, and would have to make a Bob Beamon-sized leap to actually become a truly GOOD player.”
This playoff run has given us a reasonably good idea of where RJ is likely to top out as a player. He’s playing to a 3.0 BPM without really doing anything extraordinary (34% 3pt shooting, .517 2pt shooting, sme usage, FTr and 3PAr, slightly higher AST%). So the question is: leap from where? His regular season numbers (which include lots of stretches of similarly good play) or his 2023 playoff numbers (which seem to be very solid in spite of mediocre 3pt shooting and TS%)? In other words, if his TS% goes up because he improves his 3pt% to, say, 36%, and everything eles stays similar to what it is in this series, is that some kind of Bob Beamon leap or is it reasonable to expect that from a 22 year old?
Beyond that, I agree that it’s pretty clear that we shouldn’t be hanging our hat on these guys becoming all-stars in the true sense. But as a value proposition, they can both be solid pieces at the right price point. RJ has looked every bit of a $25M AAV player in these playoffs. Without him, we’d be long gone. And without IQ, we wouldn’t have been here in the first place.
The guy who I think can still make a decent leap is Grimes. One thing I hope he works on in the offseason is doing more when he blows by a close-out. It’s become predictable that he’s going to try to wrap something around to Mitch, etc. I’d like to see him develop more confidence in pulling up for a baby jumper, or banking in a 3-10 foot shot, a la Devin Booker.
It’s nice that RJ had a good stretch in 9 playoff games, and boy would it be nice if that was anything resembling his true level of ability, but I’m going to go ahead and assume that he is nowhere near a 3.0 BPM player in the real world. That would make him a DeAaron Fox, Paul George, Pascal Siakam-caliber player, something like a top 30 player in the league.
It would be a miracle of epic proportions if RJ ever had a 3.0 BPM season in this league. I think people are going to be disappointed if they start believing that playoff RJ is the real RJ.
It’s interesting about Grimes. He certainly has a nice catch and shoot stroke. That said, shooting off the dribble, gathering, lifting, staying on balance, keeping your form, is a significantly different athletic movement pattern that often doesn’t translate from a player’s catch and shoot stroke. Some guys can shoot on the move, and some guys just … can’t.
But even with that said, Grimes does kind of look like someone who should be able to shoot off the dribble, since he does flash some ability to get himself to places on the floor where he could. There have been a number of times this year when he’s kind of made one of his rabbity moves, gotten to about 15-17 feet, been open for a pull-up gather, made a useless pass, and I’ve been like “Dude, shoot that!” (*)
But he just never does, which means he probably thinks he can’t, which probably means he in fact can’t. Who knows what the development path was to get him to that point, but that’s where he is. Unfortunately, at his age, it’s hard to envision a scenario where he can or will, except for very rarely.
So while I guess anything’s possible, I certainly wouldn’t invest anything in the possibility.
(*) I’ve never expected him to on one of his baseline forays, although as Z-Man says, he could and should.
I have been one of the most pessimistic posters on RJ but I do think maybe a light has turned on for him. He’s really been very good, and as Z-man wrote, none of the improved play has come from outlier shooting from distance. He’s just playing a lot more under control and making the right play as opposed to having blinders on going to the basket.
I don’t think the series is over, but weirder things have happened.
I do think we should try and move on from Julius. He probably has positive value on his contract. I wonder whether there is any Julius for KAT trade that would make any sense. The problem is KAT’s contract is horrendous… he probably has negative value, but Minnesota has nothing left to trade after the Gobert-fleecing. KAT is not a good defender, but he is really an elite offensive player when healthy.
In terms of what’s next, I’m pretty much with priors — modernize the offense, get rid of the rim-hanging 5s on both ends, move Randle, open the lane, forget the Moneyball quirks and the “hustle” and the “defense,” and just get better players. I don’t see a lot of room for internal growth and anyone on the roster could be moved. No untouchables for me, including Brunson.
That all pretty clearly implies a new coach, but that’s a derivative move, not the primary issue.
“It would be a miracle of epic proportions if RJ ever had a 3.0 BPM season in this league. I think people are going to be disappointed if they start believing that playoff RJ is the real RJ.”
Which of the counting stats he is putting up in the playoffs do you think is the most unsustainable? The most glaring difference is in his 2pt%, which is at .517, well above his career average of .459 but only modestly above his regular season mark of .495. Keeping in mind that he is 22 years old, what is he doing in these playoffs that is unreasonable to expect from him going forward?
I mean this as a serious question because I’m not seeing him doing anything all that different other than making better decisions when he has the ball. I am not ready to conclude that he is congenitally the dumb, selfish, inconsistent player he has been, mostly as a guy who couldn’t legally buy a drink.
Look for exactly this to be talked about out loud this summer.
In the Miami series, RJ is 60 points over his eFG% for the season, and 110 points above his 3PT% for the season. Also 38 points above his TS%.
Maybe a light suddenly switched on and he gained 60 points of eFG% while turning from a terrible 3-point shooter to an outright sniper. Or maybe this is one of his patented “hey look, maybe RJ is turning the corner” stretches that he has, but this time with good timing.
The RJ with a .543 eFG% and .423 3PT% percentage would indeed be a useful player, that’s for sure.
RJ Barrett is an achievable uptick in efficiency — which he’s showed in the biggest games of the year — from stardom.
I’m not entirely sure how he got such a bad Knickerblogger rap, nor do I really care. It’s a free country and people are free to form opinions and express them — wrong as they sometimes are.
That said, he’s certainly not untouchable. I’d move him in a heartbeat if I came upon a move that would help the team win a chip. But there’s no serious sense in which he should be traded for anything less than a clearer star that isn’t too, too much older. Or one of the ultra-elite guys in the league. RJ Barrett and multiple unprotected ones for someone like OG Anunoby is crazy time.
So basically blow up the whole team and fire the coach after our most successful season in a decade? And none of our players can improve even though most of the roster is under 25? And we should also include trading our Point Guard after one season when he’s the best PG we’ve had in over 2 decades?
Makes total sense. Burn it all down because we’re only a top 8 team that is losing a series to a team that’s been to the Finals and ECF in the last 3 seasons.
Serious question. Do you think The Bucks or Boston consider trading Giannis or Tatum and Brown when they come up short? Cause they have. Multiple times. Should Golden State have traded Steph, Klay and Draymond back in 2013 when they topped out in the second round?
I’m not buying this.
I bet on 44 wins a playoff loss.
The only reason we surpassed that estimation is because Leon recklessly spent a first round pick to make us a 47 win team who can win a round.
Speaking of that trade, the premature ejaculating is over and the truth is self evident: we overpaid for Josh Hart.
I love the guy, he’s a good player, he adds a lot of value. But he can’t shoot the basketball and it’s killing Jalen Brunson.
You don’t trade first round picks for wings who can’t shoot. Period. End of debate.
So you didn’t bet on 47 wins a playoff victory.
Also, seriously? Premature ejaculation? Gross dude.
I make the HART trade 10 times out of 10.
That is literally just your opinion, man.
So the 21st pick would be a player who can shoot? You know this how?
If you want to talk about premature ejaculation, let’s talk about jerking it to late first round picks because of “potential” and losing it whenever the Knicks trade a pick, no matter how late in the draft it comes or how useful the player is.
Where is it written that all first round picks are super valuable and turn into great players? A late first round pick? Really?
We get it. The Knicks are only a top 8 team and not winning a championship so we should trade everyone and just accumulate draft picks because the pistons have a brighter future than us obviously. Hybrid doesn’t work unless you’re miami.
“In terms of what’s next, I’m pretty much with priors:
modernize the offense
get rid of the rim-hanging 5s on both ends
Sort of agree, although they can be kept if the rest of the roster improve
Agree but only if either it is in a deal for a better player or for assets; beyond that, I am fine either way for next year
open the lane
if this means moving one or both of RJ or Randle plus Mitch, sure, but I don’t think the lane not being open is really a huge problem
forget the Moneyball quirks and the “hustle” and the “defense”/strong>
nah, all good and well-coach teams have these quirks; it’s really a tired talking point
and just get better players
I don’t see a lot of room for internal growth and anyone on the roster could be moved. No untouchables for me, including Brunson.
A good FO doesn’t believe in untouchables, but also doesn’t alienate players by broadcasting that no one is untouchable. It would be bad business to trade Brunson after engaging in tampering to acquiring him unless it was a true no-brainer. So I don’t really see the point in bringing this up, beyond if Milwaukee offers us Giannis and we have to give up Brunson in return, we would be stupid not to do it.
That all pretty clearly implies a new coach, but that’s a derivative move, not the primary issue.
I doubt that Thibs is forever, and would be happy if Leon tried someone else sooner rather than later, but alas, he’s almost certainly going to be around to start next year. That said, for me, it’s way more about the players than it is about Thibs.
Putting aside the cost, the problem with obtaining Josh Hart isn’t Josh Hart — it’s the way in which Tom Thibodeau will forseeably and predictably conceive of and conceptualize Josh Hart.
And that’s not a second guess, it’s a first guess.
Obi’s defense manages to be more unplayable than Randle’s in the playoffs.
He’s way too much of a liability out there.
I want to be very clear that — barring a miraculous trade for Giannis — I do not think we should replace Thibs.
I just think he’s getting pantsed in the playoffs again.
Alex Rodriguez used to be shit in October. I never wanted to trade him. I just wanted to complain about him on a blog while supporting him whenever I went to the stadium.
You honestly interpreted what I wrote as “burn it all down”?
If Thibs stayed in his lane and the front office paid no heed to “the type of player Thibs likes,” I’d have no inherent issue bringing him back. I just don’t see much hope of those conditions being met.
(I guess technically, he could agitate and the FO could ignore him, that would work, too. But we can’t have any more “Quentin Grimes is untouchable” or “I simply must have Josh Hart.”)
If IQ plays well we win this series.
What IQ does well:
* Spaces the floor
* Rotates on defense
* Scores off the bench
What we needed:
* See above
You have to be very willful to sit here and think “wow, all of our players are struggling. What bad luck for the coach.
They are all struggling because an opponent has game planned for them and is taking away their strengths, while their own coach is offering up little to nothing in response.
We are thinking on every single possession. The Heat are not thinking. They’re prepared.
I forget what writer said it, but RJ supposedly spent some time cleaning up his shot during or before the playoffs.
Hopefully, the new mechanics carry into next year.
“In the Miami series, RJ is 60 points over his eFG% for the season, and 110 points above his 3PT% for the season. Also 38 points above his TS%”
But his playoff stats also include his first round games, the first two of which were lousy, and a lousy game 3 of this series. On balance, the numbers settle in to either his career or last season’s averages except for a modest increase in 2pt%.
And that’s exactly what improvement from RJ might look like in a reasonable scenario: just a significant change in the ratio of “good RJ” games to “bad RJ” games.
It’s noteworthy that he hasn’t had a ridiculous outlier game in these playoffs to skew his stats in a small sample (26 point high) and was actually benched by Thibs in the 4th quarter of one of his good RJ games, holding him accountable for probably the first time in his career.
we are 8pts behind miami in net rtg…. that is WAY beyond one thing turning around and us magically winning the series…. and yes that includes 3pt shooting….
“You don’t trade first round picks for wings who can’t shoot. Period. End of debate.”
Right, damn it! you keep that pick and use it on a deadeye shooter like Keon Johnson!
This is sort of meaningless though, isn’t it? I mean, yeah, if a guy has more good games, and fewer bad games, then yeah, sure, he’ll improve. This is true of any player on planet Earth. The question is more in the margins, right? How MUCH will the ratio of good to bad games improve?
The problem so far is that RJ has had a really, really, REALLY difficult time when it comes to cutting down on the bad games and having more good ones, as we’ve had about 25 different “RJ has turned the corner this time” moments already when he has played well for ~10 games roughly in a row. I’m going to need more than this single digit number of playoff games to conclude that the light has finally turned on. I’m not ruling it out, but I think some skepticism is justifiable.
I don’t disagree with what you’re saying really, but it’s kind of a tautological argument: “All RJ has to do to play better is play better.”
If Miami had won those two “must win” games against the Knicks while they were vying for playoff seeding at the end of the season, they’d have been the #5 seed playing the Cavs and the Knicks would have been scrumming with Atlanta and Chicago in the play-in. That’s how close they were over a large 82 game sample, and the reason they seem a lot better now is because they have the best player, they have the best coach, they have almost all the experience, and they have the better fans.
There sure is lots of pantsing going on in the NBA these days!
-Budz also got pantsed by Spo
-Quin got pantsed by rookie Joe
-JB got pantsed by Thibs
-Vaughn got pantsed by Doc
-Lue got pantsed by Monty
-Jenkins got pantsed by Ham
-Finch got pantsed by Malone
-CoTY Brown got pantsed by Kerr
and now Kerr is getting pantsed by Ham, committing the unforgivable sin of losing game 4 after being down 2-1
We all think RJ has an inflated sense of how good he is and that belief is probably what’s helping him not shrink and actually step up in the playoffs. Irrational confidence can be helpful at times. One thing for sure is he won’t shrink in the big games, he might play like shit but it’s not because he’s scared and the moment is too big for him.
Somewhere, deep in a week-long 1,000+ comment thread of the early pandemic, there is a debate between Donnie and Z-Man where Donnie made the then out-of-vogue assertion that Jimmy Butler was an all-time great SG. Glad to see you’ve finally come around:)
Dude, we are not contenders. We are not one of the 8 best teams in the NBA, either.
Framed that way, yes — and there’s something to the framing — but it’s really more like “RJ can clearly generate quality usage, including on his own and including in the playoffs, he simply has to make a few more of the shots he can generate.”
It’s ability to generate the usage that’s the rare skill and the skill of stars. He has it. Things can be built upon from there.
“The problem so far is that RJ has had a really, really, REALLY difficult time when it comes to cutting down on the bad games and having more good ones…”
Yet somehow he has managed to do that under the most difficult conditions to do it. Meanwhile, IQ hasn’t done it. Nor Grimes. Nor Obi. Nor Ntilikina. Nor Knox.
I don’t agree that doing it in the playoffs is “nothing”. Temperment under pressure is a pretty big deal. It’s one thing to have a great game or a great quarter (see: Lonnie Walker IV). It’s another to do it game after game against the same team when they are clearly game-planning and adjusting, and when all the marbles are on the line.
“I don’t disagree with what you’re saying really, but it’s kind of a tautological argument: “All RJ has to do to play better is play better.””
I disagree. Developing consistency at age 22 in the skills that you do have is a lot different than acquiring a skill you don’t have and would need to overcome huge obstacles to develop. And the timetable for turning the corner varies from player to player.
RJ is doing everything he is doing within his skillset and without outlier production. The only difference in his game in these playoffs from his game during the season is decision-making. He’s just taking fewer “bad” shots and more “good” shots within his stock repertoire.
Now some of that may be due to CLE and MIA’s best wing defenders being re-deployed to Brunson and Randle, but that’s still a good development. It means that when that happens, RJ can thrive by just being opportunistic, rather than going 1 on 3 like he often did during the regular season. If Butler was guarding RJ full time, my guess is that he’d be rocking a negative BPM for the series. But that doesn’t make what RJ’s doing some sort of mirage.
“Somewhere, deep in a week-long 1,000+ comment thread of the early pandemic, there is a debate between Donnie and Z-Man where Donnie made the then out-of-vogue assertion that Jimmy Butler was an all-time great SG. Glad to see you’ve finally come around:)”
I remember that well, and commend you for your clairvoyance. He’s definitely made a believer out of me since.
Are we one of the 10 best teams in the league? There’s really not much of a difference. We were/are not a real title contender, but we’re as good as anyone else.
Knicks were 7th in SRS and are currently one of the final 8 teams remaining in the playoffs. So you can absolutely make a strong case that they’re one of the best 8 teams in the NBA. They’re obviously not better than the Bucks so it might be more appropriate to say they’re one of the 9 or 10 best teams but still they’re a legit top 10 team in the NBA.
Now the hard part is becoming a top 5 team in the NBA and a legitimate championship contender.
“It’s ability to generate the usage that’s the rare skill and the skill of stars. He has it.”
It’s also the skill of faux-stars that get undeserved extensions while generating usage on low efficiency. That’s what Wiggins was before he became a pretty good 3rd banana. Or Harrison Barnes. Or Rudy Gay. Or Josh Smith. Or Kelly Oubre. Or Nick Young. Or OJ Mayo. Or Ben McLemore. Or Dion Waiters.
That’s not to say that RJ will become any of those guys, only that having the skill to “generate usage” is hardly enough to generate optimism about his ceiling. Right now he’s a faux star as much as anyone before him in the high usage mode, but his performance in these playoffs definitely should pump the brakes on the “his extension was the worst move of the offseason” talk, at least a little bit.
Turns out that, despite all the purgatory talk over the years here, 2022-23 was a good year to be thoroughly average. Everybody that made the playoffs had a legitimate path to the finals with the one lone exception being the Nets, whose record was better than the sum of the parts that they finished with. So the Knicks have done well for a change by aiming for the playoffs and nothing more. The problem is that, for next year, bringing the band back together and expecting better results not only assumes internal improvement, but also that the rest of the league will remain beatable on any given night, which, historically, hasn’t been the case.
Jimmy B is an elite SG all time. I buy that. Especially when the refs have his back like they have in this series.
RJs box score looks relatively fine. It’s better than the regular season and actually look like the kind of line I expect Peak RJ to put up. But he still plays bad defense. He still misses a lot of free throws. He still misses a lot of wide open threes. Never been an RJ guy and while I am happy he has shown up this is the not the magnitude of breakout I want. I need moar.
My basic observation is that when he drives to the hoop he just doesn’t explode like other guys. He’s not spring loaded like a lot of stars or powerful like Jimmy and he doesn’t have the guile and deception of Brunson.
I will believe it when he actually puts up a season’s worth of numbers.
“Knicks were 7th in SRS and are currently one of the final 8 teams remaining in the playoffs. So you can absolutely make a strong case that they’re one of the best 8 teams in the NBA.”
I think we are clearly the worst of the remaining teams, and you could make a reasonable argument that we would have had a hard time beating the Hawks, Kings, and T’Wolves.
We don’t belong in the same conversation with the Bucks, Celtics, Lakers, Suns, Nuggets, Sixers, or Warriors. It’s painfully obvious to me that the Heat are significantly better than us. And we only advanced because we matched up well with the equally inexperienced Cavs.
So anywhere in the 9-12 range strikes me as fair. Outside of that seems either overly generous or overly dismissive.
some good posts…i guess in perspective – for a squad like ours that hasn’t sniffed the playoffs but a couple of times in a long long while…
maybe we are exactly where we ought to be…
Simply put, if you don’t think this Knicks team is better than a Heat team that barely made the playoffs, then running it back next year should not be a real option.
It was his trainer Drew Hanlon that said that. But he does that every time RJ goes on a hot steak so who knows what the truth is.
Is it a hint at signing a dude named Jerome James? 😉
Running it back next year is preferable to making trades and wasting assets just for the sake of change. I was under the impression that next offseason in the summer of 2024 the Knicks will again have some cap flexibility and should also have a couple of 1st rd picks.
So bringing back the same team and winning close to 50 games again and taking another shot in the playoffs isn’t that bad an outcome but then next summer yes changes and tough decisions will have to be made.
Kevin De Bruyne is something else
If they re-sign Josh Hart, I find it hard to believe that they’ll have any real cap flexibility in the 2024 offseason. They already have $94 million committed to just four players for the 2024-25 season. But I guess it depends on how high the cap goes that offseason.
Shit that’s right wasn’t taking into consideration signing Hart long term. I was thinking Fournier and Rose being off the books plus same could’ve been done with Obi and IQ. iHart too since I believe he signed a 2 yr deal.
I dunno I think the Knicks are in an interesting spot but not necessarily an easy one to figure out. I do think this summer if they aren’t committed to Obi and IQ long term they probably should look to see what they can get for them. I guess to a lesser extent could say same with Grimes. Some tough decisions with the young players are gonna have to be made soon.
I’m with you, Max, this is what i hope to get to end the season. But as the series is going, i think it’s more likely that it’ll end on game 5, just like our 1st round series ended in Cleveland. 🙁
I don’t think it’s a either situation, we need both. But if we only get one, i’d go for the lock down defender. I think we’d have a lot more chances to win against teams like Miami (only one superstar), if we have a guy that can slow down that superstar. And our offense would feel more confident and produce a lot more if they’d know we wouldn’t be scored against at every missed FG.
Going back to 2013 vs Indiana the Knicks looked worse in Games 3 and 4 than they did in Miami, at least last night the Knicks did put up a fight and didn’t play that bad. But in 2013 the Knicks were able to win Game 5 at MSG and put up a helluva fight in Game 6 and I expect these Knicks to be able to do the same. Would be easier if IQ was healthy though.
haven’t watched the whole vid, but an interesting comment from julius post game about the heat “wanting it more”…
I think it may have been reference all the 50/50 balls going the heat’s way…
hopefully when he woke up this morning and stared in the mirror while brushing his teeth – that comment he made was still on his mind…
I’d still bet on julius long term…his numbers equal winning…
his issues aren’t really physical, exactly…
I’d really like a new coach, but, risk versus reward…
maybe one more year with thibs…
as of the moment, still would try to replace RJ…re-sign josh for coming off the bench…
give quentin another year starting at the 2…
mitch and ihart are a conundrum – we need another big who can hit 3’s…
I’ll be interested to see how evian plays next year, for some other team…
I feel like we didn’t take advantage of what he does well…same thing for obi…
this year has been a serious lesson in that playoff seeding don’t mean shit…it’s the 2 teams playing, injuries and who is playing well at the time…
I have no doubt that if this thought came boxed by ACME, wile e. coyote would joyfully sign for it…
yeah, at some point, there’s always a cliff, right…
Wile E. Coyote (Knicks) and the Road Runner (Heat) 😛
I wish I cared more about the Sixers or the Celtics. I am always entertained by Embiid, who I find hilarious, but Harden is a cooler for me, I’ve never liked watching him play. These particular Celtics are rather unabrasive, but they are still the Celtics, so…
embiid has some crazy loud clanks…
the guys huge, but I don’t get how his misses on the rim are so crazy loud…
there it is cyber…
chilling before the missy show tonight…looking forward to it…now that I’ve spent hours lost rambling inside the casino, may grab a bite to eat while I’m there…
after many misses, I think I may even have the parking puzzle solved…
I realized a while ago that it’s not just “negative” events that trigger anxiety…fun stuff does too…some edibles and tequila should balance things out just perfect…
Geo…what are the ratios used…two parts edible to 1 part tequila…or vice versa?
fuck, just got my zoloft in the mail, gonna wait til later to start that shit…
I’m a lightweight/no weight drinker these days, as always I’m fairly weeded out 🙂 morning, noon, and night…
was thinking of a red bull to wash down the tequila, but, that may be a little too crazy, i’m pretty wired already…we’ll see…
We are not better than the 58 win Bucks or 51 win Grizzlies just bc we got an easier first round opponent. This is self evident.
I’m not ready for offseason mode yet but here’s the two moves I’d consider:
1. Trade Mitch for OG.
2. Sign Brooks Lopez (in a multi-team sign-and-trade).
I’m sorry, but Randle’s playoff numbers are too insanely bad to ignore:
WS/48 = -.007
BPM = -1.8
TS% = .467
3PT% = .231
EFG% = .425
I know he has had the ankle issue, but if that’s his problem, we’re better off just playing Obi. Bummer way for him to end the season (again).
Man, to get a T for taunting, you really go to be taunting. I’m almost impressed by Jamal Murray for that.
How is every play in the game not called for Dueant?
Geo, you nearly triggered me there with how much I’d like a little toke. I used to have a puff most days after work and it was the perfect dividing line between work Pagliacci and home Pagliacci…
I’ve abstained for my boy’s benefit and I do indulge in the occasional drink, but it’s not nearly as relaxing, nor does it take the edge off our team’s futility as effectively.
The Suns really let this get out of hand.
howdy pags…I smoke now mostly as a habit, cuz the action of smoking is soothing to me…I smoke these pre-rolled blunts called Presidential…supposedly “world’s strongest”…
they’re pretty sticky, oily things…I like the act of puffing away…it’s relaxing to me…
when the 2 youngest come over on weekends/holidays if I wanna smoke I gotta go “check the mail”, “throw out the garbage”, basically leave the house…
mostly what I use to medicate are these items called Punch Bars…chocolate squares about 1.5 x 1
.5 inches…maybe like a 1/4 inch thick = 100 MG thc – whatever that really means…
it’s strong, helps mute the anxiety…do a half bar at a time…usually in the mornings…
used to try to be sober around the kids, realized a while back though it’s not so important the kids stay calm, but real important I stay calm…the edibles help with that…
next up pags, gonna “investigate” the mushroom stuff…
from what I can gather, there seems to be some positive properties related to emotional trauma release/resolution…
I’m in no rush…I’ll take my time putting together a “as safe as possible” plan…
Missy was sharp, really sharp…50 minute show though, that was surprising…
maybe the most precise performance I’ve ever seen…definitely the most energetic and easiest to dance too…
queen latifah was sitting in a box to our right, folks kept stopping to pay their respects…
somehow daughter knew all the words to every song… the red bull was sugar free 🙂