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2023-24 Game Thread: Knicks @ Bucks, #3 Seed In Play Opener, which is still a thing

Due to the Cavs blowing a big lead, the Knicks can move into the third seed by winning tonight!

So, you know, let us hope that that happens!

Let’s go, Knicks!

184 replies on “2023-24 Game Thread: Knicks @ Bucks, #3 Seed In Play Opener, which is still a thing”

Wow the Bucks lost three in a row to Toronto, Memphis, and Washington!? That seems hard to do.

I have the strangest feeling that we’re going to win. Brace yourselves.

The more the Cavs are playing like this, the more likely is that Mitchell is going to ask out at the end of the season. Though he would be a great addition, we do have DDV and Deuce right now and we are not so desperate on the shooting guard position. Isn’t that a really nice dilemma to have, for once?

With Miami on the verge of losing at Indiana that would mean both Miami and Philly at best can win 47 games if they both win out. That would then mean Knicks only need 2 more wins to guarantee avoiding the play in.

Guys, Pags is optimistic about this game, if that is not a sign of the apocalypse, i don’t know what is! 😀

I can’t sleep so I decide to give it a try 😎
Superstars always playing against us is a little annoying…

Let’s Go Knicks!

Hart passing up a wide open 3 to shoot a violently bricked floater made me physically wince

Hart/Achiuwa/Mitch, we go with the sharpshooting lineup… 🤦🏻‍♂️

Dame… another one that deserves to go to Hollywood when his career ends.

That Brunson was able to do that while sharing the floor with Hart, Precious and Mitch is incredible.

J-Hart’s range is shrinking day by day, now he passes every kind of open shot no matter the distance, not only three pointers…

The non-Giannis, non-Dame Bucks are not very intimidating. The problem is Giannis is often enough.

Doc Rivers actually said on National TV that his team needs more mental toughness. His players must love him.

Damn, our Mavs pick is getting worse and worse.

If only they didn’t protect the pick because the Mavs sucked last season

Josh isn’t exactly steph curry on a good day but he can’t shoot at all from anywhere right now

Sorry guys my prediction didn’t account for them getting 50 fucking free throws

I know he’s rusty and yadda-yadda, but can OG help a little on offense please?

Edit: this botched fastbreak was really depressing… and then the Bucks scored again…

The debate the other day about what type of player the Knicks need is laughable when you watch them without Randle. To take the final step they need another dynamic shot creator not another 3 and D type.

Do we really foul more than every other team in the league or are we just a huge target for every ref in the league? It seems like there’s always a free throw discrepancy for us.

Believe it or not the Knicks are actually one of the best teams in the NBA in FT rate allowed on defense.

It feels like the non jump ball call on Mitch/Lillard was a big turning point. They were down 3 with a good chance to get the ball there.

We are not a high-scoring team, especially without Randle. Our offense in the first half was poor, ugly, and predictable; most of the time it was Brunson, Brunson, Brunson. We struggled but still managed to put up 50 points. The problem was on the other end. Given what we are right now offensively, we simply CANNOT afford to allow opponents to score 30+ points per quarter on us. Without playing great, the Bucks put up 61 points in the half. It is not the first team to do this to us lately. It was a little bit of everything tonight. No help defense here, stupid foul there, not finishing the defense with a rebound there, and so on. The Knicks are going nowhere, I repeat, nowhere playing like this. Let’s hope they pick it up in the second half.

Turned it off because this is an obvious loss. We really squandered every chance at a 2 seed this year.

Brunson had looked a bit sluggish lately, but tonight he’s in vintage form. Just need more from players 2 through 15.

I love Mike Breen and will thus ignore that he seemed to think Tim Duncan was an “international player”

Brunson had looked a bit sluggish lately, but tonight he’s in vintage form. Just need more from players 2 through 15.

Have a feeling this is going to be said frequently going forward, the problem is majority of these players are in roles that are to big for them.

Lillard is becoming Hardenesque in his attempts to get fouled every time he takes a 3.

OG has really stepped up on defense this quarter and ihart has also been strong

Tough trying to watch both the Knicks and Wrestlemania at the same time….

Tough trying to watch both the Knicks and Wrestlemania at the same time….

I forgot Wrestlemania was on, I used to be the biggest fan of wrestling.

I was at a sports bar last night to watch the final four and I could’ve sworn Wrestlemania was playing? Used to be a big fan too, particularly of Rey Mysterio who at age 49 was in a match last night.

Wrestlemania last night was great with the Rock at 51yo taking massive bumps and being way more physical in his match than I expected.

Maybe it’s the recent losing, but damn does it feel like the Knicks have gotten a terrible whistle lately.

Like, isn’t that foul on Brunson supposed to be a flagrant? It was his landing spot!

Mitch will get better as he plays into shape. Excellent block though!

Brunson somehow always manages to surprise me, I guess I should just expect it at this point. I can’t believe we really have that dude.

I hope Bogey makes me do a mea culpa on my mea culpa about the Detroit trade

I’m glad Bogey seems to be rounding into his role. He’s going to be so important to us going anywhere in the postseason.

Lillard is becoming Hardenesque in his attempts to get fouled every time he takes a 3.

Anyone else still see Dame as a villain since the whole trade fiasco? The way he’s been drawing these ticky-tack fouls have really turned me off of him.

It does feel like Mitch will round into shape just in time for the playoffs.

Wow that was excellent defense by Bogie closing on Lopez at the 3pt line.

We’re gonna need Dolan to do some out of the books shenanigans to keep Hartenstein… I can’t lose him.

okay, so if this is the team we got, that’s not bad…

bogey has become a very very important player for us…

and yes – jalen brunson has most certainly leveled up…

I’m forced to listen to the Bucks feed and they can’t seem to understand what’s happened to their team.

Alright Doc surrendering down 10 with over a minute left is going to turn me into the most avid Thibs defender alive

I’m forced to listen to the Bucks feed

ddv hits second three. pause.

“that one hurt”

The minute police would be proud of Doc!

OG’s shooting line was a bit concerning for his elbow. He did hit 2-4 from 3 in Chicago though.

Much needed victory. Really sucks we took that Bulls loss.

Early Bird Writessays:
April 7, 2024 at 20:22
We aren’t down 20? This is gonna be a piece of cake

Knew it

OG got helped up at about the minute mark … he refused to extend his right arm to be helped up with both hands … my expectations that he finishes the year are low

If Bogey gives us these type of minutes in the playoffs, that changes everything. He can lead the non-Brunson-on-the-floor scoring and be an additional scorer in crunch time when teams try to take the ball out of Brunson’s hands.

OG’s shot is flat right now but his defense is so elite. A joy to watch

Knicks should’ve sat Brunson tonight for load management like a smart team would’ve done…

We got our offense going in the second half, Brusnon had a great game, and the 3s started falling. However, make no mistake about it: it was the second half DEFENSE that made the difference. OG played like the OG we traded for, Robinson played his best game since coming back, he shut down the paint, and team defense was what is supposed to be. The Bucks scored 24 points in the third quarter, and 18 by the time the game was decided with about 3 minutes to go.

BTW: the Bucks are a mess, Doc is lost, but this is their problem, not ours 😂😂😂

It’s time for Giannis to realize that he has a better shot winning by pairing with a better teammate than Lillard and a better coach than Doc. Come to New York.

It is still absolutely unbelievable that Milwaukee decided to hire Doc Fucking Rivers to be a head coach in this day and age…

And no one played 40 minutes! Excellent work, Thibs! Crazy how we won while waving a white flag.

Milwaukee plays Orlando twice this week so hope they get their shit together against them so Knicks could possibly still get the 3 seed.

It’s time for Giannis to realize that he has a better shot winning by pairing with a better teammate than Lillard and a better coach than Doc. Come to New York.

Yes!!!!

Standings wise, we are in a great spot.

Tied with Orlando for #3, one game behind the Bucks for #2.

The Bucks have these four games coming up next: Celtics, Magic, @Thunder, @Orlando.

If the Knicks take care of business against the Bulls and Nets, I think they could end up at the #2 seed, or at least at the #3 seed, given that Orlando and the Bucks will meet twice.

It sucks that they have to face Boston for a fifth time. But maybe they will be in resting people mode. Who knows.

I prefer the 3 seed, don’t want any part of Miami or Philly in the 1st rd. Give me Orlando, Cleveland or Indy all day instead.

Lillard can get hot and be crazy two or three times a season, but Brunson is day in day out soooo much better than him!

Milwaukee probably not finishing 2nd. They play:

Boston
Orlando
at OKC
at Orlando

I think this Bucks team will get obliterated by Boston if they get to the ECF. But they might not even make it out of a Miami matchup.

I was joking, but I do wonder what Giannis will be thinking this offseason.

Really sucks Randle is out, with him the Knicks are clearly the 2nd best team in the East.

Question for those who know: if the Bucks, Knicks and Orlando all tie, who has the tiebreaker? It’s conference record, right? They are all very close (MIL 32-17, ORL 31-18, NYK 31-17). So for them to finish tied, I think the Knicks would likely have the better record (as they would have to win one more game than the Bucks, like Orlando).

In that 3 team scenario Orlando and Milwaukee I believe would both finish ahead of the Knicks regardless of conference record cause they are leading their division.

Ok, let’s say:

The Bucks go 2-2 (split with ORL, loss to BOS, win against OKC – probably optimistic for them

Orlando goes 3-1 (split with MIL, win against HOU and PHI – probably optimistic)

NYK goes 3-1 (loss to BOS, wins against CHI x2 and BKL)

They all finish 49-33. The conference records would be MIL 33-19, ORL 33-19, NYK 34-18, so I think the Knicks would be the #2 seed.

It’s very hard to come up with a 3-way tie scenario in which the Knicks don’t have the best conference record.

Edit:

Damn, I didn’t realize winning the division matters. Thanks, BigBlueAL. That kind of sucks. We get extra games against BOS, MIL and are also rewarded for being in Boston’s division. Fantastic.

It’s wild how good Wemby is on defense already because if you watch him he doesn’t really know what he’s doing

My question was about 3-way ties because conference record supersedes team-to-team record as a tiebreaker. But it turns out winning the division supersedes conference record. Sigh.

I could see the Bucks going 1-3 in their final 4 games. ORL could easily go 2-2. So I think the Knicks going 3-1 might really give them the #2 seed.

Edit: The #3 seed might be better anyway, because it looks like we’re getting a fun MIA-PHI play-in. But PHI could get to #6, I suppose.

This is how I see it ending (I looked up H2Hs for tiebreakers):

2 NYK 49-33
3 CLE 49-33
4 ORL 48-34
5 MIL 48-34
6 IND 47-35
7 PHI 47-35
8 MIA 46-36

Not the easiest 1st round matchup against either Philadelphia or Miami but a killer 2nd round matchup vs Indiana or Cleveland.

The East is so close after Boston, it’s hard to know what seed to want. I guess #2, so we would face Boston as late as possible, but Orlando does seem like the most favorable matchup.

OG is transformative. I love him. I love that they’re right back in the mix for #2. I also love that the Yankees are 8-2. Lots of love to go around.

Gonna be interesting to see what Boston does this week. They’re at Milwaukee on Tuesday then have a home back to back Thursday/Friday vs Knicks and Hornets.

Yeah, I think you have to go for the better seeding you can, as it’s impossible to predict who you will get and how that team will be playing.

@FredKatz with the incredible quote:

Josh Hart said when he took a halfcourt heave to end the second quarter, he felt his wrist click and it almost clicked back into place. Said he went to Brunson at the half and told him, “I can shoot 3s now.” This is basically the plot from Rookie of the Year.

At this point it seems like 3rd seed would be best for the 1st rd matchup plus avoiding Boston in 2nd rd.

We have to be realistic. We don’t know what the ceiling of this roster is without Randle. You can’t expect Brusnon to score 43 every game, Donte going 8 for 11 from three, and the team shooting 48% from three. It is going to be hard to get past the first round, and we need a lot of luck in the matchups to make it past the second round.

The good news is that OG isn’t going to be this bad on offense every night. He’ll work his way back into form by the playoffs. The bad news is that DDV is not going to shoot this well every night.

I don’t believe the Bucks are as bad as they’ve been playing recently, but maybe Doc is this bad. If they collapse in the playoffs, their future looks grim. Giannis can’t be happy.

Where or where has Budenholzer gone? Where oh where can he be?

It feels like the East this year will be similar to the Heatles era, where a bunch of good-not-great teams fight for the right to be eliminated by best team in the league.

I am a little high on the Knicks though because (i) their main flaw – bench play – gets significantly easier to manage in the playoffs when everybody plays big minutes; (ii) OG and Mitch should round into form; and (iii) they thrive in the grind-it-down style of the playoffs with defensive intensity, slow pace, and creating advantages from iso-play.

I hate that the Mavs are playing so well lately. Their two headed monster of Doncic and Kylie’s was going to be tough if Kyrie stayed healthy and was on his best behavior. That was no lock, but he’s playing well. Now it’s looking like they filled out some of their needs well at the deadline. I’m not sure many teams in the west are looking forward to playing Doncic and a healthy well behaved Kyrie down the stretch of a close game.

It’s been a crazy season to watch unfold because I genuinely believe outside of Boston and Denver, the two flat out best teams, everyone else in the playoffs can beat each other. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the 2nd seed Bucks or Magic loses to the 7th seed, and it feels similar in the west, where I don’t trust the Wolves or Thunder to decisively win in the first round against teams like the Suns or Warriors, or even the Pelicans or Lakers if they get going.

It’s been very fun to watch but I do wonder if it will all unfold towards the very obvious Nuggets vs Celtics finals and that’s it

Should OG be returned to Toronto for Immanuel Jaylen Quickley?

I wouldn’t be surprised if OG was moved in a sign and trade

am a little high on the Knicks though because (i) their main flaw – bench play – gets significantly easier to manage in the playoffs when everybody plays big minutes;

That’s not really our main flaw, though. Our main flaw is the lack of a secondary scorer, and that’s significantly harder to manage in the playoffs. Brunson’s gonna get trapped a lot.

There’s been alot of nominations lately but I think I just read the dumbest comment in Knickerblogger history.

Our main flaw is the lack of a secondary scorer

Deuce might be the closest player we have to that, which is scary (or maybe Bojan now).

The lineup does feel a lot more balanced though with OG back and Deuce/Bojan cooking from the bench.

I couldn’t watch the second half and I missed a nice half. My thoughts on the final score are either they missed Middleton a lot in the second half or Doc was right, they aren’t tough mentally; or, more likely, both. If I were a Bucks fan I would not be happy and probably longing for Adrian Griffin.

Winner mentality is the greatest asset of this this roster. They believe they can beat anyone. We have an all-NBA player in Brunson. The Nova gang has won at the college level. They have a winning coach who is always prepared and capable of making the right adjustments. The entire team has 100% bought in. They can play great defense. They will never, never, never lay down and will put it all out on the floor in order to find a way to win.

This is not to say that they are unbeatable. Realistically speaking, we are probably a second round out, mostly because we don’t have down-low strength when the 3s are not falling. Randle is unreplaceable in this respect. However, nobody wants to face us in the playoffs, and no one can definitely say how far this team can go.

That’s not really our main flaw, though. Our main flaw is the lack of a secondary scorer, and that’s significantly harder to manage in the playoffs. Brunson’s gonna get trapped a lot.

That’s more or less the reason I’ve already written this season off. With Randle, OG, and Mitch healthy we had a chance to make some real noise and maybe even get to the Finals. But we can’t count on DDV as a second option every night or Brunson to carry this team alone against the kind of defense he’s going to see.

We also don’t have the kind of young talent I’d like to see develop in the playoffs other than maybe Deuce. So I’m not really sure what to root for. Maybe we can hope Bojan looks really good so when we trade him he’s perceived to still have value despite his age given the expiring contract too.

Still, I think this was a successful season in that Brunson, I-Hart and Deuce improved further and DDV made a surprisingly significant jump up. OG looks like he’ll be a perfect fit. I think they know what they need in the off season.

In the meantime, we’ll get to watch a tough team with no quit battle in the playoffs and get some more seasoning for what could be a very serious run next year.

Would you rather have OG or Mikal Bridges?

it’s hard to do what OG does at that size…

however – you can pencil mikal into the lineup – pretty much every game…and he’s very good defensively…plus the nova corps thing, there’s like multiplicative effect stuff going on…

obviously we’re all wishing for OG to resign (hopefully like 35 million or so per season), and to keep isaiah…

i think OG is much better suited as the small forward…funny, josh’s rebounding helps balance things out…still, i’d prefer OG at the small forward…

OG is a rare bird…i’d pick him…not as a power forward though…

if i had to choose: OG at the 4 or mikal at the 2…mikal maybe…

it would break my heart though if thibs figured out a way to break mikal…

Update on magic numbers barring 3-way tie [(—) owns the tiebreaker]:
Knicks: @CHI, @BOS, BKN, CHI
Bucks (MIL): 6 BOS, ORL, @OKC, @ORL
Magic (ORL): 5 @HOU, @MIL, @PHI, MIL
Cavs (NYK): 3 MEM, IND, CHA
Pacers (IND): 3 @TOR, @CLE, ATL
Heat (NYK): 1 @ATL, DAL, TOR, TOR
Sixers(NYK): 1 DET, ORL, BKN

We probably have to win 3 games to get the 3 spot. It would probably help if one of ORL or MIL won both games, minimizing the 3-way tie chances.

Those IST games looming large…

Question: If we clinch the 6 seed in the next 2 games, (one win would do it) do we rest guys in the B2B? Obviously Thibs won’t, and I probably wouldn’t either, but it’s not a terrible idea…

The ideal scenario from NYK POV:

1 Celtics
2 Magic
3 Knicks
4 Bucks
5 Pacers
6 Cavs
7 Sixers
8 Heat

Somehow I doubt Boston is thinking about how they don’t want to meet us in the second round and thus are very unlikely to rest players against us. This is especially so because the second part of their back to back is Charlotte, who they should take care of no matter who is resting.

I think the two seed is a trap. It is very unlikely that Philly can pass either Indiana or Cleveland so they are pretty much locked into the play-in. So most likely the two seed gets Philly. That is almost a worse case scenario.

Still a nice win.

I couldn’t watch the second half and I missed a nice half.

Yeah, me neither. 🙁 But the team managed to put up a fight and win the game, they don’t cease to amaze us. 🙂 For those who watched the full game, can we still dream about the ECF? I thought with Randle down, we’d get to the 2nd round at best.

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