Knicks Morning News (2024.01.01)

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  • Tyrese Haliburton stares down Knicks analyst Wally Szczerbiak during historic game after ‘wannabe fake All-Star’ jab – New York Post
    [New York Post] – Sun, 31 Dec 2023 14:53:00 GMT

    Tyrese Haliburton stares down Knicks analyst Wally Szczerbiak during historic game after ‘wannabe fake All-Star’ jab

  • Donte DiVincenzo already showing what’s possible in increased Knicks role after trade – New York Post
    [New York Post] – Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:45:00 GMT

    Donte DiVincenzo already showing what’s possible in increased Knicks role after trade

  • Knicks Join Lakers With Interest in Hawks Guard After OG Anunoby Trade, per Report – Sports Illustrated
    [Sports Illustrated] – Sun, 31 Dec 2023 21:26:42 GMT
    1. Knicks Join Lakers With Interest in Hawks Guard After OG Anunoby Trade, per Report
    2. Los Angeles Lakers are favorites to land $114 million Atlanta Hawks star, per reports
    3. Lakers Should Seek Trade for Hawks’ Dejounte Murray amid Latest NBA Trade Rumors
    4. Knicks trade rumors: New York interested in Dejounte Murray, but deal would be complicated, per report
    5. The Knicks see Dejounte Murray as an ideal trade target, but there’s a catch with Rich Paul

  • Wolves vs. Knicks Preview, Starting Time, TV Schedule, Injury Report, Odds – Canis Hoopus
    [Canis Hoopus] – Sun, 31 Dec 2023 20:10:32 GMT
    1. Wolves vs. Knicks Preview, Starting Time, TV Schedule, Injury Report, Odds
    2. Minnesota Timberwolves vs New York Knicks Prediction, Odds and Picks
    3. Timberwolves-Knicks game preview: Broadcast info, odds and analysis
    4. Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New York Knicks odds, tips and betting trends | 1/1/2024
    5. Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New York Knicks Prediction, Preview, and Odds – 1-1-2024

  • Goobye, RJ. Goodbye, IQ. – The Strickland
    [The Strickland] – Sun, 31 Dec 2023 17:27:54 GMT

    Goobye, RJ. Goodbye, IQ.

  • Timberwolves vs. Knicks: Start time, where to watch, what’s the latest – Hoops Hype
    [Hoops Hype] – Mon, 01 Jan 2024 08:32:01 GMT

    Timberwolves vs. Knicks: Start time, where to watch, what’s the latest

  • 66 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2024.01.01)”

    Also, I like how Strat “I only believe verified sources that I consult first hand” Omatic is now citing the rumor aggregator in his arguments. The man has come half-circle.


    I don’t trust anything or anyone in media anymore. It’s like there’s a Holy War on truth going on these days among the few competent people out there and the rest are flat out incompetent. But as long as we are all living in a big lie about everything, I might as well have some good basketball fantasies.

    Happy New Year Everyone

    Happy New Year. I think this is my 15th or so year on this blog. It is the only one I participate on in any way. Great source of entertainment and information.

    It does seem like Leon has an opportunity to thread the needle on the hybrid method to contention with one more move. But wow is the next one a biggie.

    I’d like to throw in another wrinkle. Where is Indiana really on their timeline? Would they be willing to part with Turner for Mitch and other pieces?

    Happy 2024, Everyone!

    After listening to a KFS post-trade pod, I wonder whether their suggestion that DeJounte Murray will be the guy. Obviously this would depend on whether he could be had for the right price, probably meaning something like Grimes, Fournier, and maybe one unprotected and two protected picks.

    If it happens, not sure how I would feel about it. Probably not great.

    Most of us feel that OG is a clear upgrade over RJ. But is DJM an upgrade over IQ? It’s an interesting question because his salary is in the range of IQ’s likely extension. He’s maybe more switchable on D, and maybe a better defender. He’s got maybe better attack-the-rim chops, maybe more of a post game. But he’s pretty inefficient. Could it be about his role being too big for him in ATL? Would being a 3rd option here behind Brunson and Randle help his game? Is the 38% from 3 this year real or an outlier?

    Lots of question marks.

    “Where is Indiana really on their timeline?”

    They look like a really happy team right now and Turner is a big part of that. I don’t see that kind of a move. They might be looking to upgrade everything but PG and C.

    Happy new year! May 2024 bring the Knicks its superstar.

    I’m curious about all the talk of Murray’s defense declining significantly in ATL. But perhaps they see him as someone who could help them this year and who they could then flip in another trade. I’m not sure if it’s a great idea unless he reverts to his San Antonio self.

    The KFS guys seem to be suggesting Murray less as The Move, and more as an intermediate one: a way to use the Fournier contract and some of our picks while we can, before he’s then flipped as a key piece in the actual star trade.

    Who the hell knows? Leon is both an open book — we know he wanted OG, we know he wants a superstar — and impossible to read.

    Happy New Year Folks!

    Are you ready for the “New” New York Knicks?

    Re: Indiana
    I’ll not be surprised if they’re one of the team in the Siakam sweepstakes.

    Re: DJM
    One advantage over other solutions (e.g. Spida), he’s already signed for 4 years (the 4th is a player option) so you know the finances going on.
    Not a a deciding factor for sure, but an interesting detail, useful if you want to flip him in another deal.

    Thinking about the trade a bit more… this does have potential to be worse than I thought.. here’s why:

    1. The Usage Problem – originally when evaluating a potential OG deal I was onboard with it but saw this issue coming… we needed to include RJ OR IQ… in combination with Grimes or Fournier.. once it became clear that we needed to trade IQ.. i was almost certain it had to be Fournier .. now that they were both included.. RJ’s 27 and IQ’s 23 usg has gone out the door and what’s coming back is OG’s 18 and Achiuwa’s 21 usg… in an ideal world OG’s and Achiuwa’s flip but more or less that still leaves a ton of possessions up for grabs that needs to be absorbed by the leftover roster… but it’s not just RJ and IQ’s usg that needs to be replaced because now…

    2. There’s a Backup PG problem – namely Deuce… playing Deuce is a huge problem for the offense in the same way that playing Taj is a huge problem for the defense… not only does he compounds the usg problem (12.6) but he is a horrible shooter and makes certain rotations.. chiefly playing with Hart.. untenable.. i don’t know wtf we were doing extending him… but if we plan on playing him it is going to end profoundly badly… Flynn is not good either and also poses its own set of issues but if you plan on winning you cannot put G-Leaguers out on the court… Flynn is borderline but McBride is akin to Ntilikina…

    3. The Exploitable Offense issue – also related to the usage problem but more of a tactical problem… is that Brunson and Randle avoided hard and fast doubles because there was at least another guy on the court who can get the ball with space and do something… at least sometimes… no RJ and no IQ means it’s now down to the rest of the roster and no you cannot just catch and shoot everything…. more than likely they will each have to be on the court alone which means life will be even more difficult…

    it’s possible that teams won’t be that aggressive every night.. but we’ve already started seeing an approximation of the blitzing type of looks against Indiana and i imagine against the better teams we will see it more…. there’s really no reason to respect the rest of the offense now since so many are not that good from 2pt territory… they also have very little margin for error… so any fall off from where they are now will have profound consequences….

    It’s not a death knell… but there is going to be a need for huge huge performances in order to stay in the playoff picture… and it’s going to be apparent that the next deal is going to be mandatory in order to stay relevant….

    That’s correct, Alan. Does it seem almost like a foregone conclusion that Spida will eventually be the play?

    It’s still hard to process that Obi, IQ, and RJ are all gone and we haven’t made anything close to all-in move yet.

    DJ, didn’t you say your New Year’s resolution was to be more optimistic about the Knicks in 2024?

    if by optimistic you mean that i was going to spoonfeed you a reality more to your liking.. then no.. that will probably never be true..

    but if you’re truly an optimist there’s no reason why any of these things should bother you… if randle and brunson are going to turn in all-nba performances.. and og really was hidden by two coaches including nick nurse… and thibs is about to unlock something special in him… then none of this stuff is actually a problem….

    DJ, didn’t you say your New Year’s resolution was to be more optimistic about the Knicks in 2024?

    Come on dj, Deuce is shooting 42% from 3 this season!

    DJ, I think you are making things worse than they probably are. Someone will always take shots so the usage will work out. The question is will the shots now have better results than they did with RJ and IQ. IQ was good at shooting, but RJ was bad and took many more shots than IQ since he played more minutes. So overall we are probably replacing inefficient usage with something else that is probably not worse and may be better.

    McBride was a terrible shooter the last two seasons but this season he’s actually good. Of course he’s taken very few shots. But still for the season he’s hit 7 of 10 two point attempts and 8 of 19 three point attempts for an eFG of 0.655. Now I know 29 total shots is very few, but the Knicks just extended him for three years and they see him shooting in practice too, so they probably have a good idea his current percentages aren’t a total fluke and that he really has improved (as young players often do).

    I don’t know about the exploitable offense part. The Knicks already take a lot of threes and I don’t see why that won’t continue. Time will tell.

    One last point is that this trade was made to improve our defense, not the offense. If our defense improves and our offense just stays the same, then the trade improved us.

    As of today the Knicks are on a 43 win pace, rank 12th in SRS and have a +1.5 net rating. And most of that was compiled with Mitch available.

    Let’s see how they do in their last 50 games.

    It’s gonna be a good 2024. The turn of the calendar has been a little toxic and bittersweet for most of the world since 2020.

    Happy New Year, all!

    It is also gonna be a good year for our Knicks even if we stand pat because we have a balanced roster with the types of guys Thibs likes AND he let’s them shoot 3’s at will- which historically isn’t in Thibs’ wheelhouse lol. Let’s petition the team to hire MDA as an offensive consultant lol. Jokes aside- Imagine Brunson playing in that type of offense with Randle doing what he does, and having solid defenders around them.

    So what is the consensus next move for the team? Are we upgrading the starting SG spot and moving DDV back to lead the 2nd unit with Hart? Or are we adding a scorer to the bench to replace Quickley’s shot creation?

    McBride is gonna show the fuck out in 2024.

    Ever since that road win against the lakers last season when we were short and McBride got extended minutes and basically won us the game, he’s been a much better player on the offensive end. But thibs loves his 9 man rotation and we picked up Hart and this season we had to play IQ. But McBride is gonna bring it. Bookmark this post!!!

    As much as we can joke about it*, we traded away our 3rd and 4th scorers, who combined for 33 points and 26 shots a game.

    Someone not named JB or Julius must step up, OG alone isn’t going to cover for that (and Achiuwa took under 7 shots per game this year in Toronto).

    I think DDV can absorb some, but Q-Dot, J-Hart and Deuce are better be ready.

    * Less shot from RJ will be an improvement.

    Barrett and Quickley took a combined 26 FGA per game. You figure OG is probably good for something like 15. That leaves 11 shots or so to redistribute to guys like DDV, Grimes, and Hart, and possibly McBride I guess. Doesn’t really seem like a huge deal to me when you consider a lot of the shots we’re replacing are RJ’s bricks.

    They’ve also played a ton of road games and a ton of back to backs. Schedule is going to get easier soon.

    Someone will always take shots so the usage will work out. The question is will the shots now have better results than they did with RJ and IQ.

    i thought that was implied but in case it’s not clear.. yes shots will go elsewhere… they have to.. the problem is what comes out of those redistributed shots…

    a big part of what we were doing is iso and pressuring the rim… who left on the roster is able to do that? no OG is not that guy and once you see him it will become obvious if you’re not familiar with him… if we start putting out lineups with OG out there without Randle and Brunson.. that should clue you in that we don’t know who he is either… toronto has tried and failed with that idea for years…

    a lesser but not so insignificant thing is that you were able to rest brunson and randle together for large chunks so they play together more often… they are presumably going to be out on an island a lot more often… so doing the iso and pressuring the rim is going to be very difficult once they start getting surrounded by 3 people a lot quicker…

    hidden in the indiana game was that our offense was mostly struggling due to this despite ok efforts from brunson and randle…. if donte was not scorching hot how do you think the offense looks? how much does OG change the face of that game?

    well we’re going to find out very soon….

    Barrett and Quickley took a combined 26 FGA per game.

    and also took 5.8 and 4.7 free throws per 36…

    OG takes.. drumroll…. 1.8….

    what do you think happens to our free throw rate?

    dj didn’t you spend the whole year complaining the Knicks offense was actually bad

    Happy New Year to all of you!

    I really like OG and look forward to seeing him as a Knick.

    dj didn’t you spend the whole year complaining the Knicks offense was actually bad

    and how does it look when we don’t shoot 3s at ungodly clips?

    look i don’t put myself out here like this on a whim.. i lay it all out there… you can pick it apart how you wish or just handwave it all away… it will be apparent one way or another eventually… i am not trolling… there’s actual data and very reasoned logic behind all of this…

    but you can go back and check everything i’ve said this year about this team and see if i have no clue what i’m talking about…

    Man I guess the only reason Brunson and Randle are any good was bc of all the gravity RJ created. Or that he’s gone, they’re gonna suck!

    Dude it’s a trade off. Losing Iq is big but losing RJ is big too and OV will bring a lot to the team we sorely lack.

    It’s fine to bring up your reservations but you’re really only ever focusing on the negatives. There are gonna be positive trade offs too.

    None of those things bother me, DJ. We’ve created a missing piece. So what? The next step is to find the missing piece.

    In the meantime, do I care if this keeps is fighting for the 8th seed instead of the 4th? No.

    What I hated about the Hart trade was that we gave up assets to go from 8th to 5th. And now that Jacquez Jr has turned out to be one of the 4 best players in the draft and we probably could have had him if we didn’t trade a pick for Josh Hart, the book is officially closed on how terribly stupid a mistake that was.

    This is the opposite. So what if it creates short term problems? They improve our draft position. Maybe this year we don’t fuck that up for once.

    But while creating a short term problem, it sets the stage for a long term solution. This is a much stronger foundation now.

    If RJ’s USG was the key to being 4th instead of 8th, c’est la vie!

    We’re replacing a shitty three point shooter in the starting line up with one who is quite good.

    so wait… what are those trade offs then? where do folks think our offense/defense rating going to be by the end of the season? for that matter where is our record going to be?

    i’m pretty sure we’re an under .500 team now with something like a 8th -10th seed in store for us… with some luck maybe .500… our offense will finish lower than 15th and our defense will be around 15th….

    can we get everyone else accusing me of being overly pessimistic on the record please? swifty you were 50+ wins before the season right? do you care to revise at this point? dred you were 48 weren’t you?

    I think I said 50+ but then revised it to 48.

    Man we’ve already lost so many upcoming games! We should just end the season now and write in our record! Since we lost one bad player and one good one and replaced them with one good one we’re obviously going to be so much worse! One of the best and most versatile defenders in the league won’t help us at all and his 38 percent career 3 point shooting is totally a mirage too! There’s absolutely no way DDV or Grimes or McBride or IHart or precious or hart can make up for any of the offense we lost from IQ either!!!!

    RJ was a problem on offense, which is why trading him is going to be a big problem for our offense.

    What’s so annoying about this too is that anyone rational knows that we’re probably going to struggle for 5 to 10 games while we adjust to OG joining the team but the very next loss we have you’re gonna be all the sky is falling on us all over the thread the next day.

    I know DRed. And RJ was an elite defender too! And totally switchable!

    Anyone even considering the fact that OG can play the 4 so now Randle could potentially get more minutes at the 5?

    that’s great dred… but please let’s be more precise with our thoughts… if i’m so ridiculous where are you at in relation to that…. i’ve written probably thousands of words with a ton of analysis on almost every single aspect of the team…

    if you’re going to poke at one thread without offering up your own complete thoughts on this… wouldn’t you consider yourself trolling at that stage?

    you’re not a troll… but that’s not fair to me is it?

    dred you were 48 weren’t you

    I usually don’t predict win totals, but I broadly thought we’d probably end up about where we did last year if we were reasonably healthy. I didn’t bet on the Knicks this season if that means anything, but if you’d held a gun to my head I would have bet over whatever the vegas line was (45?)

    Happy New Year everyone!!! Glad to see nothing has changed and DJ is still running around trying to convince everyone that the sky is falling.

    It sucked to lose IQ, and maybe RJ figures things out in Toronto, but OG is such a gigantic improvement over RJ’s actual real life performance that I can’t help but feel good about the rest of the year. Despite potentially no Mitch.

    Any idea on whether we could bring Rokas Jokubaitis over this year? Or would that have to be an offseason thing?

    Happy 2024 everyone! How weird is that. Of course, it’s already feeling like 2023 redux.

    Hey djphan, here’s a new year challenge. Write one post that is entirely positive, without even a caveat. Just one. A single post. Not buts, ifs, or maybes, even. Just a purely positive one. Double dare you.

    This trade definitely swapped out one kind of problem for another. The thing is, the residual problem is much easier to solve. Players like OG are a rare breed and very highly coveted. He opens up way more possibilities for ways to further improve the team than either RJ or IQ did…in fact, you could argue that those two guys actually limited possibilities more than they created them. Finding a usage-soaking shooting guard/wing is hardly a difficult job. IQ was a great answer to that question on a rookie deal, maybe not so much on a $25-20M AAV extension, and his size was definitely an issue no matter how you slice it. RJ was not a great answer at any salary, much less his current massive overpay.

    I also think it’s not useful to analyze this team as a finished product, as more moves are definitely coming. That said, I think that the team as currently constructed, they will probably stay on the mid-high 40’s trajectory. Thibs will see to that.

    sounds like some pretty wobbly legs out there after trying to wag your finger at me… but how you guys reconcile things with yourselves is up to you…

    Hey djphan, here’s a new year challenge. Write one post that is entirely positive, without even a caveat. Just one. A single post. Not buts, ifs, or maybes, even. Just a purely positive one. Double dare you.

    so all those posts defending RJ and Mitch and trying to start every conversation about how good Brunson is don’t count?

    do you consider that you only tolerate one viewpoint of this team and anyone who doesn’t is not part of your team? that hasn’t crossed your mind at all has it?

    Any idea on whether we could bring Rokas Jokubaitis over this year? Or would that have to be an offseason thing?

    I wonder why so many people are eager to bring Rokas here… 😀

    I think If it’ll ever happens it will be in the offseason and not necessarily the next one.

    Hey at least dj is putting down a marker, he is saying pretty explicitly we’re going to be sub-.500 from here on out. That’s a falsifiable prediction, so credit to dj for being bold.

    Health is going to be a big factor when it comes to our second half record. Our depth is not what it was.

    DJ, here are some post examples that wouldn’t qualify, to help you craft your one positive post language challenge:

    “Maybe our defense will improve enough to overcome the USG collapse of our offense.” (nope)

    “Really looking forward to seeing if Deuce is a small sample size error or has actually improved.” (nope)

    ‘What are the odds that Donte can pick up the slack and keep shooting the lights out on heavier usage?” (nope)

    “Wobbly legs.” (nope)

    I’m sticking with my win prediction. We’ve played a lot more road games than home games and a ton of back to backs. We’ve also played the bucks like a gazillion times.

    I predict another loss today. Slot of sky is falling posts tomorrow from the usual suspects. And then in the next three to five games we’ll start putting together a string of victories.

    Also predicting that Leon is not done yet.

    I asked Max about Rokas yesterday. He didn’t think his game had progressed much, so it’s not likely that he comes over.

    I tend to agree with z-man’s take on the usage thing, it’s much easier to find usage soaking players than it is to find a guy who can be an elite 3 and D player like Anunoby. Even Bill Simmons’ idea of trading one of the protected picks for Jordan Clarkson would work in that sense. Hell, maybe Fournier himself could be reinserted in the rotation and probably do a passable job at it.

    If this is the team going forward, and no more moves are made, then yes, we have a glaring issue with bench scoring. But considering most of Barrett’s usage was at shit efficiency, we really only have Quickley’s usage to replace.

    “do you consider that you only tolerate one viewpoint ”

    No. I appreciate critiques, and in fact I appreciate yours, even if they’re interesting negative potentials presented as guarantees (and much of the time, to be honest, the Knicks feel like a blind man’s collection of loose parts to me). It’s the incessant negativity that makes me laugh. I actually think you’re a fan, but holy cow, mix it up a little. It’s like listening to my son’s playlist of Travis, 21, and Drake. Trap beats and autotune are interesting, but all day?

    No. I appreciate critiques,

    uh… how is that you say that but you hardly ever participate in these conversations except to wag your finger at me?

    have you asked me one question on any of the points i’ve tried to make? have you tried to understand any of it? do you find yourself answering no to these questions?

    that’s your problem….

    “Hell, maybe Fournier himself could be reinserted in the rotation and probably do a passable job at it.”

    lol, I was almost going to include that in my post, but then I remembered who our coach was!

    The Wolves have the 2nd best record in the league and we’re 1.5 points underdogs, losing today’s no big deal.

    1. IMO, the starting lineup is clearly better now than it was regardless of whether they start Grimes or DDV.

    a. OG will replace much of RJ’s inefficient offense with efficient offense and also add better spacing for Randle and Brunson. Either Grimes or DDV will replace the remaining usage or OG will up his usage like he’s been asking for in Toronto.

    b. OG will be a significant upgrade over RJ on defense.

    2. The bench will take a big hit on offense with the absence of Quickley because his replacement is a low usage player like Deuce.

    The key question is how do you replace Quickley’s bench scoring?

    Again, I think they should move DDV back to the bench and start Grimes again. DDV is the better scorer and seems more capable of upping his usage in that bench unit. The lack of RJ should help Grimes get an extra shot here or there if he starts and IMO his defense would help the starting unit on that side.

    3. I don’t think we are done yet. They are going to try to use that Fournier contract to upgrade another position.

    We “may” have given up the best player in this trade (remains to be seen), but moving off RJ at SF to a player that is both much better and that fits better is nothing to be overly upset about. I hate that we gave up Quickley, but imo he’s not really a true PG and management/Thibs didn’t like him starting at SG next to Brunson as a long term solution. This is coming from Quickley’s biggest fan.

    lot of sky is falling posts tomorrow from the usual suspects.

    God forbid if Quickley goes off for 25 with 7 assists and OG is 1-7 from 3 and is getting burned by Anthony Edwards. 😉

    November 9, 2023 at 10:48
    kind of shocked/not shocked over the optimism…. there are definitely clouds looming over this .500 start…. and chief among them is julius randle… he is not right and really just about the whole fanbase can see it… and while it wasn’t a horrendous performance altogether… a clear pattern is emerging….

    Was this a well reasoned critique or was it perhaps unreasonably biased against the idea that something bad wouldn’t improve? Like saying the Knicks 3 point shooting is going to get worse is perfectly reasonable thing to say. Saying the Knicks offense is going to struggle to replace RJs FT attempts without considering they might replace that scoring with made baskets is where I get lost

    Was this a well reasoned critique or was it perhaps unreasonably biased against the idea that something bad wouldn’t improve?

    how was it unreasonably biased? randle despite having as hot a month as you can ask for is still way below his production from last year… the only reason our offense is where it is.. is because of hot 3pt shooting…

    i laid out the case then… that comment did not come in isolation… there was also analysis on 2pt shooting… how historically that does not lead to good offense.. and that even in our great offensive year last year came with good 2pt scoring…. did you sort of glance over that? or is that more biased takes that i’m just trolling the board with?

    again… you want to come and throw tomatoes from your ivory tower… do you want to engage with any of this besides saying i’m wrong because i’m biased because i clearly did not put enough thought into any of these arguments?

    again… don’t pull on just one sentence out of context and say i got it all wrong… the season isn’t even over yet and you waited a whole month to take a victory lap… like seriously… you feel that confident taking me to the cleaners on this one sentence? what about the others?

    and let’s get it on the record… Dred.. you have to think with all this public flogging on my biased takes that you must feel that the offense got better right?

    is that a correct assumption that we’ve solidified a top 10 offense with the trade? do i have that right? or are we gonna go all wobbly legs on this now that the spotlight is on again?

    Happy New Year, all. Love reading the daily crank. Keep it up.

    RE IQ: I wish him well despite the endless would’ve-should’ve on here that will result.

    RE wins: FWIW I stick with 50, but the real challenge is Mitch being gone, not RJ.

    RE usage: I really hope OG is as advertised, and I’m totally fine with any of Devo, Hart, iHart, Grimes, even Taj or Deuce taking all of Rowan’s shots. I think Leon is, too.

    I think djphan’s points are entirely fair and well-reasoned, and unlike, um, others, I don’t think he has an agenda or an axe to grind. In other words he’s not a troll.

    I also disagree with him in key a respect that renders his first and third concerns less pressing–I will go ahead and predict that Anunoby will be able to raise his usage a tick without a major efficiency drop off. Put me down for 20 PTS/36 with a .570 or above TS% for the rest of the year.

    My primary reason for thinking this is basically the eye-test. I’ve always been intrigued by OG’s ability to use his size to attack mismatches and create space in the short-midrange, which he didn’t get to do all that often in Toronto. I won’t harp on this too much because it’s a subjective take and we’ll just have to wait-and-see.

    I do think there are numbers that support the idea of him succeeding in a larger role too though. For various reasons it seems like he and Barnes never quite clicked, and dating back to last season in about 900 minutes with Barnes off the floor OG put up a 58 TS% with 20% USG. With VanVleet also off the floor last season his TS% was 61 and his USG was 22.6% (about 500 minutes).

    Ultimately these sample are way too small to say anything even remotely definitive, but I’m a believer in OG’s ability to expand his offensive game in a beneficial way. I think he’s a better shot creator than RJ Barrett and that will bear itself out.

    The backup point guard issue is very real though and we might have to move DDV back to the bench to give those units some juice if we don’t acquire anyone else.

    I’m less concerned about the incresaed staggering we’ll have to do with Brunson and Randle because those guys have never played all that well together anyway. Our net rating has always been better with one of them on than both of them on, and significantly so.

    “I think djphan’s points are entirely fair and well-reasoned, and unlike, um, others, I don’t think he has an agenda or an axe to grind. In other words he’s not a troll.”

    I am in complete agreement. I was only wondering if, given dj’s penchant for always taking the under, if he could actually go over on something.

    And dj, I don’t engage in arguing with you because I don’t know! Most of your takes are within reason (if impressively and consistently negative). If I were to take you on, I’d end up sounding sycophantically upbeat, which doesn’t actually match my take. I’m more of a let’s wait and see, which is a pretty boring take.

    Speaking of such, here’s a fun let’s wait and see from Koreen in the Athletic, about Precious:

    “He is just talented enough to drive Thibodeau mad, I suspect.”

    he got blocked another two times yesterday… and that’s now up to 18…. that leads the league… now power forwards and centers tend to get blocked a fair amount… but they also shoot a lot in that area…. zion has gotten blocked 16 times this season but also shoots almost half his shots near the rim…. randle hardly ever gets to the rim… but for how few of randle’s attempts come near the basket… he is getting blocked at ridiculous rates… he basically is no better than a guard driving to the rim…. and it’s not like he’s converting when he gets there… when he drives he is drawing a lot of attention and he is shooting against a lot of resistance… and he’s not adjusting for 8 games now…. the blocks are just a symptom… but he’s just not pushing people around anymore without another two guys there to contest….

    i’ve talked a lot about Randle needing to come up with a second act and his midrange game… the same fate will befall zion too eventually…. but that moment has come right now for Randle… he’s not a spring chicken anymore and he had a great year last year and put the league on notice… well the league is noticing and they’re not falling over anymore…. this is what happens…

    Randle is on track for a bad year if he or Thibs does not adjust… Randle is going to be forced to move his game to the midrange…

    Randle is shooting at the rim at more often than he did last year, he’s getting fouled at exactly the same rate he was last year, and he’s shooting slightly better at the rim than he was last season. . .you were basically wrong about everything, even setting aside his somewhat hot December.

    The bench unit where Julius Randle goes 1-on-5 and the rest of the No Usage All Stars stand around and do nothing needs some work

    lot of sky is falling posts tomorrow from the usual suspects.

    The sky fell a long long time ago. Leon Rose is trying to get it back up there using giant cranes and cranks.

    Swapping 30 RJ minutes for 36-38 minutes for OB makes losing IQ a little easier to take.

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