Knicks Morning News (2021.10.21)

  • Marcus Smart with a buzzer beater vs the New York Knicks ? 4State News MO AR KS OK – 4state-logo12
    [4state.news] — Thursday, October 21, 2021 7:21:50 AM

    Marcus Smart with a buzzer beater vs the New York Knicks ? 4State News MO AR KS OK  4state-logo12

  • Knicks to face Magic on the road – Associated Press
    [apnews.com] — Thursday, October 21, 2021 4:18:29 AM

    Knicks to face Magic on the road  Associated Press

  • NBA Player Kanter Slams China’s ‘Brutal’ Xi – International Business Times
    [www.ibtimes.com] — Thursday, October 21, 2021 4:14:22 AM

    NBA Player Kanter Slams China’s ‘Brutal’ Xi  International Business Times

  • Simmons trolled as Embiid enters ‘to hell with Ben mode’; Knicks stun in ‘all-time classic’: NBA wrap – Fox Sports
    [www.foxsports.com.au] — Thursday, October 21, 2021 1:34:00 AM

    Simmons trolled as Embiid enters ‘to hell with Ben mode’; Knicks stun in ‘all-time classic’: NBA wrap  Fox Sports

  • New York Knicks outlast Boston Celtics in wild, albeit sloppy, double-overtime opener – ESPN
    [www.espn.com] — Thursday, October 21, 2021 1:06:17 AM

    New York Knicks outlast Boston Celtics in wild, albeit sloppy, double-overtime opener  ESPNKnicks vs. Celtics score, results: Resilient Knicks outlast Celtics in double overtime thriller  Sporting NewsKnicks’ small-ball lineup turned the tide in opening night win over Celtics  Yahoo SportsKnicks 138, Celtics 134 (2OT): ‘Last year ain’t looking like a fluke’  Posting and ToastingKnicks vs. Celtics: Evan Fournier goes wild as New York, Boston trade haymakers in thrilling season opener  CBS SportsView Full Coverage on Google News

  • N.Y. Knicks 138, Boston 134 – SFGate
    [www.sfgate.com] — Wednesday, October 20, 2021 10:51:38 PM

    N.Y. Knicks 138, Boston 134  SFGate

  • The Knicks haven’t played a regular-season game yet, but have already taken an ‘L’ with bad graphic – Yahoo Sports
    [sports.yahoo.com] — Wednesday, October 20, 2021 2:59:49 PM

    The Knicks haven’t played a regular-season game yet, but have already taken an ‘L’ with bad graphic  Yahoo Sports

  • The Knicks Are Here To Save New York Sports From Sad Boy Season – Barstool Sports
    [www.barstoolsports.com] — Wednesday, October 20, 2021 12:23:26 PM

    The Knicks Are Here To Save New York Sports From Sad Boy Season  Barstool Sports

  • Opinion: The Knicks, Nets, Or This Team Should Sign A Former Duke Star – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Wednesday, October 20, 2021 12:07:09 PM

    Opinion: The Knicks, Nets, Or This Team Should Sign A Former Duke Star  Sports Illustrated

  • New York City Reinstates Full Lockdown After Disturbing Reports That Knicks May Resume Play – The Onion
    [www.theonion.com] — Wednesday, October 20, 2021 10:55:00 AM

    New York City Reinstates Full Lockdown After Disturbing Reports That Knicks May Resume Play  The Onion

  • Opinion: The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Or This Team Should Sign Former Duke Star That Got Waived By The Los Angeles Clippers – Yardbarker
    [www.yardbarker.com] — Wednesday, October 20, 2021 9:48:07 AM

    Opinion: The New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Or This Team Should Sign Former Duke Star That Got Waived By The Los Angeles Clippers  Yardbarker

  • The Knicks might take a step back this season, but that’s alright – Posting and Toasting
    [www.postingandtoasting.com] — Wednesday, October 20, 2021 9:00:00 AM

    The Knicks might take a step back this season, but that’s alright  Posting and Toasting

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    151 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2021.10.21)”

    1. One more thing – the defensive rebounding was horrendous. It seems easy to say that it was related to the Obi-Randle small frontcourt, but I felt like it was bad pretty much all the time. Not only did they give up 15 offensive rebounds, but had at least 3-4 uncontested rebounds that they just lost out of bounds.

      Re: the Obi/Randle lineup –> per cleaning the glass — 135.3 ORtg, 102.9 DRtg in 34 possessions. That seems good.

    2. Yeah, but some of those offensive rebounds were really long rebounds from missed Celtics 3s. Not saying its “ok”, but it’s more understandable. Also, there was one sequence that had 3 of those in 1 possession, so there’s 20% of your offensive rebounds right there.

    3. In terms of those Obi-Randle lineups.
      Sometimes on offense it will be advantageous to iso Julius against a center. But last night, Robert Williams was really up to the task. When that happens, it seems like the Knicks should go PG+Obi PNR and put Randle either in the corner or weak-side wing and use his 3 point range to your advantage. It gives Obi some great PNR chances when the opposing center has to guard Randle out to the 3 point line.

    4. Toronto is a surprising mess, the Wizards are annoying

      As I said at the time of our preseason games with tgem, the Wizards looked better than I expected and I think they have the makings of a decent team with a good scorer (Beal), two centers who are good defenders, a defensive minded coach and a lot of reasonable NBA role players. I think a lot of teams will find them annoying.

    5. Crazy game last night obvs. By the end it looked like each team was daring its opponent to win. Missed dunks? WTF? But these are exactly the kinds of wins I commented on during preseason that will push us to 50+ victories. I think last year we lose this ball game from mental errors and a reliance on hero ball down the stretch. Last night (to me) Evan Fournier was the difference. He gives us a completely different look. Yes, there were nights last year when Bullock or Burks or Rose or RJ exploded in the 4th to propel the team, but Fournier’s game seems like a much more consistent threat. He’s someone with skills we can rely on to get a certain kind of easy bucket every night. Let’s hope that’s true. And, honestly, I like his D. He’s a pest and seems always angling for the ball.

      On the other hand, WTF is going on with IQ? Last year he had such swagger, and that was prolly b/c DRose was the only guard with better skills. Now we have Fournier, Kemba, DRose, Burks can also play guard, and even Grimes has completely outplayed IQ so far this year. It’s gotta be messing with IQ’s head. Plus IQ’s game has always looked strange — tossing up half court push shots? When they went in last year, we all shook our heads but looked around the court and saw no better options. Now when they miss — and they’ve been missing badly — it’s clear there are better quality options. I think this robs IQ of his confidence. I’m not sure how to get it back. I’m not sure Thibs is a therapy kind of guy. And I know psychoanalysis is not really the point of this stats board, but IQ looks completely lost.

    6. So that was a wild game yesterday. What’s everyone’s thoughts on Kemba? I was kind of disappointed in his play but also kind of expected it. Nice to see Obi and Randle get burn together and nice to see Obi look like an actual NBA player. Anyone know why Burks played so little? Only 16 minutes.

    7. vincoug: Nice to see Obi and Randle get burn together and nice to see Obi look like an actual NBA player.

      Can’t say enough nice things about Obi last night. He looked like the fastest player on the court by far, got us going in transition for easy buckets, and he made no mistakes. If he had hit his two threes, this would be known as “The Obi game” with no OT.

    8. Moments of the night:
      – Julius blowing past Grant Williams for a thunderous dunk (was that a first?);
      – DRose’s alley-oop to Obi, what a thing of beauty;
      – RJ’s defense on Taytum to end the 1st OT;
      – Fournier saving the ball from going out of bounds in the baseline and making a super precise pass to RJ for the fast break (it happened, right? it was all so fast, i might be remembering it wrong);

      And there was many more. Who wants to name some more moments of the night?

      It was a spectacular game, that’s what it was. :)

    9. vincoug: What’s everyone’s thoughts on Kemba? I was kind of disappointed in his play but also kind of expected it.

      Disappointed? Yes. Expecting more? Yes. I think he had a bad game, and he and Julius didn’t really made plays for each other, let’s give him some time to check if he’s washed or if he can get back to being a useful player. I also think he should talk to DRose, because Kemba needs to change his game, trying to blow past defenders and score at the rim is not for him anymore, he’s got to re-invent his game. DRose can tell him what to do, because he has done it with success.

    10. cybersoze: Disappointed? Yes. Expecting more? Yes. I think he had a bad game, and he and Julius didn’t really made plays for each other, let’s give him some time to check if he’s washed or if he can get back to being a useful player. I also think he should talk to DRose, because Kemba needs to change his game, trying to blow past defenders and score at the rim is not for him anymore, he’s got to re-invent his game. DRose can tell him what to do, because he has done it with success.

      One (eye test) thing on Kemba. He looked like a happy millionaire out there playing in the Garden, in front of his mom, against a bunch of old friends. I don’t begrudge the guy, but he lacked that “Anthony Mason” look that I think Thibs wants — always. Maybe it’s nothing, and it’s only one game, but Kemba also made multiple mental mistakes going down the stretch, so … just sayin’. By contrast, Randle, RJ, Fournier, Obi, DRose were all Game Seven Face from the jump to the end.

    11. cybersoze: – Fournier saving the ball from going out of bounds in the baseline and making a super precise pass to RJ for the fast break (it happened, right? it was all so fast, i might be remembering it wrong);

      Haha. Yes, this absolutely happened. Thing of beauty.

    12. Last night may have had more wtf moments, both good and bad, than any game I’ve ever seen

    13. I liked the play where Julius just hands off the ball to Fournier and stands there setting the pick as Evan makes the three ball. Did they successfully run that play three times in a row? So simple.

    14. I think we knew Fournier could do more on offense than just spot up shoot 3s like Bullock. That’s why he’s here and why we are paying him more. He gives us one extra more versatile scoring option. Last night was his turn. Maybe next time it will be Rose, maybe RJ will put together 2 halves, Kemba might light it up, maybe even Quick will remember he can shoot. The big thing for me is still going to be his defense relative to Bullock. I saw a couple of possessions where he was all over the place switching and covering multiple guys really well, but I saw some bad possessions also. Not to blame him, but somehow I think if Bullock was on the court, Brown wouldn’t have scored 46. So as much as I loved his clutch shooting and effort, it’s hard for me to quantify it all off one game to determine how much of a net benefit there is.

    15. Some good stuff about Obi in Fred Katz’s gamer:

      Obi Toppin sat in the corner of Madison Square Garden’s press room, watching Julius Randle work his charm after an opening-night win that felt like a mass hallucination. Then came Toppin’s turn to speak with reporters. He strolled to the table and gestured at his departing teammate.

      “I ain’t that good,” Toppin quipped. “I can’t answer questions like that.”

      Toppin is learning how to follow his vet — and in more ways than one.

      and

      The fast breaks are impossible to ignore. But Toppin may also be the Knicks’ most active screen-setter right now. New York ran pick-and-roll aplenty with him Wednesday, far more often than anything we saw from him as a rookie.

      This all adds a new dynamic to the Knicks’ mostly prodding offense. Toppin is a burly reliever, and he’s coming in for Jamie Moyer.

      Among many other great passages.

    16. Jayson Tatum will probably go off for 40 next game, but his wildly inconsistent play puts him in the 2nd tier of stars IMO.

      And he’s also not the smartest when it comes to shot selection (as evidenced by some awful ones last night. )

    17. Grimes 1 second of play resulted in a +/- of -2. That has to be some kind of record for a league debut.

    18. The one major negative for the evening was Randle’s continuing poor decision making and the overall lack of ball movement. We didn’t bring Kemba and Fournier here so Randle could dribble, play hero ball, take occasional bad shots because he ran out the clock, or make occasional dumb passes. They are here so he doesn’t have to do that anymore.

    19. d-mar:
      Jayson Tatum will probably go off for 40 next game, but his wildly inconsistent play puts him in the 2nd tier of stars IMO.

      And he’s also not the smartest when it comes to shot selection (as evidenced by some awful ones last night. )

      Tatum has modeled his entire game around Kobe and it shows, so many times he could try to drive and get fouls and attempts at the rim, but he settles for the difficult shots. He’s so talented that sometimes it doesn’t matter, but the inconsistency is very much related to this play style more than anything. He was well guarded, but there’s no way a player of his talent should be taking 30 shots with only 5 free throws in a double OT game.

    20. Biggest problem last night is Kemba just being there on offense to hand it off to Julius and let him Iso. If thats all hes gonna do we would be better off with someone else who doesnt kill us on defense.

      We should be running P&R with him as much as we can.

    21. I spent the whole night praying that Thibs wouldn’t tilt the defense towards Brown because Tatum is the last person you’d want to get hot. That being said, I am very impressed by Young Rowan. He played EXCELLENT defense on Tatum all night and recovered from an abysmal first half on offense. The raw numbers don’t tell the story, but if you watched the game- you know what I mean.

      Kemba looks to have lost some serious lift. Still has the quickness, but the lift is not there. I’d recommend Thibs not play him 36 minutes ever again. This game I understand because Quickley didn’t have it. Still 28 mpg seems fitting for Kemba, as far as maximizing his game goes. At least early on.

      Mitch looked great. I’m still concerned with his conditioning, and I wanna see him go against a bigger C
      But..his energy and presence was awesome. I’m not too concerned with the team defense. It will round into form- especially once Noel gets back. Mitch also seems to have added passing to his repertoire. I like it. Now take a jumper or 2, please. Hell..Tyson Chandler did

      This team is scrappy. Who knew Fournier had bonbons that big? LOL. He certainly exemplifies the fight this team has. It’s gonna be a fun season

    22. I still need a recap from TNFH on his potential brother in law.

      Also, the major positive last night is that it looks like Mike K is going to have no trouble reselling his extra tickets.

    23. NO Deeefense At All: I saw a couple of possessions where he was all over the place switching and covering multiple guys really well, but I saw some bad possessions also. Not to blame him, but somehow I think if Bullock was on the court, Brown wouldn’t have scored 46.

      I don’t know. I saw multiple steals from E4 and good passes leading to fast breaks. I can’t remember a single thoughtful pass from Bullock, ever. And I also think it’s a bit much to hang Brown’s 46 on E4 — not that you are completely. I get it.

      That said, when Fournier was gassed at the very end, he did make some bad decision. No doubt. I guess we’ll see if his shot lasts all season, but his all-around game and court savvy is just way more fun to watch than Reggie’s (IMO).

    24. NO Deeefense At All:
      The one major negative for the evening was Randle’s continuing poor decision making and the overall lack of ball movement.We didn’t bring Kemba and Fournier here so Randle could dribble, play hero ball, take occasional bad shots because he ran out the clock, or make occasional dumb passes.They are here so he doesn’t have to do that anymore.

      Totally agree on this. He’ll have a learning curve. His handle through the midcourt is also terrible (IMO). Watching him break out of a defensive set with the ball, I cover my eyes and just hope he makes it.

    25. d-mar:
      Jayson Tatum will probably go off for 40 next game, but his wildly inconsistent play puts him in the 2nd tier of stars IMO.

      And he’s also not the smartest when it comes to shot selection (as evidenced by some awful ones last night. )

      Yeah, his wildly offbalance shot at the end of the 1st OT would be a terrible shot normally and was horrifically bad considering he was ice cold the entire game. And JVG and Mark Jackson kept on talking about how good a shot it was. Drove me crazy.

    26. Great offensive debut by the Knicks. Consistent 25+ points scored in each quarter before overtime, 6 players in double digits, shot 49% from the field and 38% from three. It’s also pretty rare you have an opposing scorer with 50 points at better than 50% efficiency from two and three and still win. Brown hit insane shots. The only downer in all this is the brain farts by a veteran player in the 4th quarter, have to believe he learns from this. The defense should get tighter but this offense has way more weapons!

    27. Yeah, the shot was horrible, RJ’s defense was great, and Jackson was doing some real motivated reasoning there because he had been calling for the Knicks to use their foul to give. Kind of stuff that drives me wild.

      I do think it was interesting that they didn’t use their foul in that spot. Quite clearly RJ was told to play it straight – maybe because the risk of him simulating a shot attempt during the foul is so high. Anyway, good outcome.

    28. NO Deeefense At All:
      The one major negative for the evening was Randle’s continuing poor decision making and the overall lack of ball movement.We didn’t bring Kemba and Fournier here so Randle could dribble, play hero ball, take occasional bad shots because he ran out the clock, or make occasional dumb passes.They are here so he doesn’t have to do that anymore.

      I think this is unfair to Randle. I remember him having some nice passes and so I checked the box score. He had nine assists. And that probably means he made fifteen or more nice passes because not all shots go in, even if they are good ones off of nice passes.

    29. I still need a recap from TNFH on his potential brother in law.

      -Demonstrated some grit by wearing a Celtics jersey (Isaiah Thomas, so not quite, say, Pierce, but a Celtics jersey nonetheless) and taking some mostly light-hearted ribbing. Personally think that’s preferable to going undercover. Own it.

      -Is legitimately a pretty big NBA fan e.g. was excited about Romeo Langford showing some positive signs. Always nice to have someone to shoot the shit about basketball with at family events.

      -I suppose it’s worth mentioning she seems to like him a lot and he seems to treat my sister very well. So that’s good.

    30. @ Frank

      I totally agree. I want Randle to run lots of PNR with Obi. I think it will open things up for both of them in half-court sets.

      I also liked the way the Celtics used Robert Williams on offense a few times faking the screen and then darting to the basket for the alley-oop. We should do that a lot more with Mitch.

      I find the small lineup to be more active on defense because the lack of an interior shot-blocker forces the team to always be ready to switch, rotate, and recover. If Julius is ready to help and provide rim protection like he did with that block on Tatum, the small-ball lineup becomes even more viable.

      Speaking of the small-ball lineup, did anyone notice that RJ was a major beneficiary of that dynamic? The spacing spread out the defense that Randle had easy reads and was able to swing out the ball to RJ for good open looks at the 3 point line.

    31. Knick fan not in NJ: I think this is unfair to Randle. I remember him having some nice passes and so I checked the box score. He had nine assists. And that probably means he made fifteen or more nice passes because not all shots go in, even if they are good ones off of nice passes.

      He did have some nice passes but not all assists are created equal. A lot of Randle’s assists last year were just because he had the ball in his hands all the time and you’re going to get some assists just because of that.

    32. TNFH – Those do sound like the kind of things that might help him avoid the instant disqualification that being a Celtics fan should merit, in a just world.

      Glad you had fun and glad everyone who went to that game got more than their money’s worth.

    33. I am far less worried about Kemba, a point guard that has played a handful of games with his teammates, than IQ who looked worse than Elfrid last year. It’s easy to see that his confidence is shot. I don’t know why but it’s very concerning.

    34. vincoug: He did have some nice passes but not all assists are created equal.A lot of Randle’s assists last year were just because he had the ball in his hands all the time and you’re going to get some assists just because of that.

      Melo didn’t

    35. Some thoughts on last night’s thriller:

      -If it not for Jaylen Brown’s heroics (that logo 3 at the end of 4th was a terrible, lucky shot), I think the Knicks win this easily. I saw nothing last night that scares me about the Celtics, who looked like they did last year – a perimeter-oriented team lacking toughness.

      -Obi looks so much more confident than last year. His energy in the 3rd changed the game. And he’s much more active on D. Still a work in progress but it’s good to see him make an impact.

      -The extra weight Mitch put on was evident. There were a couple of times he simply overpowered folks for offensive rebounds and finishes. Against a small team like the Celtics, he should feast and once his conditioning is better, watch out.

      -Still too many isos with Randle. I’m ok taking advantage of matchups and bullying smaller guys but the team has more options this year so he shouldn’t have to forced it as much. Was frustrating to watch.

      -After his two blunders to end the 4th helped the Celtics force overtime, Thibs should’ve sat Kemba for Rose. Not sure what his reasoning was for keeping him in the overtime and I’m surprised Marcus Smart didn’t test his defense more in the extra period.

      -Fournier looked great and exactly what the team needed. And I thought his D was actually pretty solid for the most part. Good team defense and some clever steals.

    36. One of the best parts about winning that game is that we don’t have to spend today litigating all the terrible things that went wrong in the final three minutes.

      I said it yesterday, I said it all summer, and I’ll say it again: I fucking love Mitch, and people who think we can replicate something close to his value with Noel and any old dime store center are CRAZY.

      We should have offered him the extension already. We should now offer it ASAP. And if he doesn’t take it, we best be prepared to pay up this summer. Mitch, more than anyone on this team (including RJ), has the internal improvement ceiling that can take this team to the next level.

    37. Maybe it’s as simple as starting DRose and having Kemba lead the 2nd unit? I agree that his defense hurts and but it’s also a waste having him just hand the ball off to Randle. However it shakes out, I’m glad we have them both (Kemba was definitely a risk worth taking) but wish we had a true pg prospect in our system nonetheless, maybe like Sharife Cooper? (ducks…)

    38. vincoug: Does he still have the quickness?He couldn’t get by anyone of offense yesterday.

      I think he does. Definitely not peak-Kemba quickness, but enough to get by most guards. In all fairness, Smart and Shabba Ranks are pretty good on the ball defenders, so Kemba wasn’t going to consistently blow by them all game anyway.

    39. Knick fan not in NJ: I think this is unfair to Randle.I remember him having some nice passes and so I checked the box score.He had nine assists.And that probably means he made fifteen or more nice passes because not all shots go in, even if they are good ones off of nice passes.

      1. He also had 7 TOs to go with the 9 assists.

      2. IMO, assists (and TOs) can be misleading. If you have the ball in your hands a LOT, you are going to wind up getting more assists than if you simply move it and the assists are ultimately spread around more. The goal is not to pad your boxscore stats with points and assists. The goal is for the team to get the best possible shot. IMO, that unquestionably comes from more purposeful player and ball movement.

    40. Fournier will never be a great defender but he busts his butt on the defensive end, makes a pest of himself, and makes up for his lack of strength and quickness with hustle and determination. He’s definitely not a zero on the defensive end.

      Offensively he’s just as advertised— jumper is very wet and he’ll attack the rim with a lot of confidence when given the chance.

    41. I defer to no one in my love of Mitch.

      He looked really good last night. His presence was a very evident deterrent on defense. But he looked really really tired a lot of the time too. Which was strange because his line was in line or better with everything we have seen over the years.

      I don’t know, good win. Would have been horrible to lose that game.

    42. And I know Kemba looked terrible last night, but let’s give him time to get going before making any conclusions or dropping him from the starting lineup. He should definitely be dropped from the closing lineup, though!

    43. GoNyGoNYGo: I am far less worried about Kemba, a point guard that has played a handful of games with his teammates, than IQ who looked worse than Elfrid last year. It’s easy to see that his confidence is shot. I don’t know why but it’s very concerning.

      If I had to guess, I’d say it was a combination of the rule/role change that IQ is struggling with. So much of his swagger last season seemed to come from his belief that he could usually draw one of those silly fouls when nothing else was available to him offensively. Now that’s been taken away. In addition, he’s now being expected to play more of a facilitator’s role than last year. He looks like a player who’s thinking waaay too much out on the floor right now. He’s young and time is still on his side so I wouldn’t write his obit just yet. He can figure things out.

      OTOH, time is not on Kemba’s side. Like IQ, he is also faced with the necessity of changing his approach. But this change is not being dictated by rules or role changes but by mean ol’ Father Time. He appears to be faced with the same dilemma as the countless numbers of aging star players before him who were forced to either reinvent themselves or continue to stubbornly rely on their declining athleticism and gradually limp off into irrelevance. So I guess I’m on the opposite side of the concern fence as you. I’m far more worried about Kemba going forward than IQ.

    44. Davion Mitchell off to a very slow start. Maybe part of that was having to share the court with the husk of Tristan Thompson.

      There is a crazy highlight out there. Fox lost his shoe and then the ball bounced off his shoe. Hijinks ensued.

      So happy the NBA is back.

    45. Was looking over some box scores from yesterday and Iggy Brazdeikis is (1) still in the NBA and; (2) played 20 minutes for the Magic last night. They must really be terrible.

    46. Interesting thing about Quickley is that I got to the game early last night and so saw all the warmups. He couldn’t hit a thing during warmups – at one point he missed like 4-5 straight floaters, then missed a bunch of 3s. Have to wonder if he’s having a little crisis of confidence in his shot given how poorly he’s shot the ball since summer league.

      They should definitely extend Mitch. I do not know what they are waiting for, although in truth, he’s in a different bucket than all the other 2018 draftees in that I think his extension deadline isn’t until the end of the year since he’s a 2nd round pick.

      Re: Tatum – I kinda am not really a believer. Trouble with him is that when he’s not scoring, he basically is invisible. Not a great passer, not a great defender. Is he a better player than Zach LaVine? I don’t think so.

    47. From Jets guy Michael Nania’s apparent Knicks twitter account

      michael nania nyk
      @KnicksNania
      R.J. Barrett’s defense vs. Celtics via NBA .com

      FGA: 27
      FGM: 5
      FG%: 18.5% (best in NBA min. 15 FGA)
      Contested 3PT shots: 12 (leads NBA)

      We just witnessed an elite individual defensive performance from our young king
      9:52 AM · Oct 21, 2021·Twitter Web App

    48. ess-dog:

      However it shakes out, I’m glad we have them both (Kemba was definitely a risk worth taking) but wish we had a true pg prospect in our system nonetheless, maybe like Sharife Cooper? (ducks…)

      Rokas has been playing very well in Euro league so thats something to look forward to next year

    49. Carmelo Anthony would beg to differ!

      Ahem.

      @TommyBeer
      Question:
      How bad has the Knicks PG play been this century?

      Answer:
      Over the past 15 years, from 2005-06 through 2020-21, the Knicks franchise leader in total assists is:

      Carmelo Anthony
      (yes, despite the fact ‘Melo hasn’t played in NY since 2017)

      (Melo also gets this distinction because he had one of the longest tenures of any Knick this century.)

    50. Alan: Ahem.

      (Melo also gets this distinction because he had one of the longest tenures of any Knick this century.)

      that is pathetic that one of the most selfish players in the league lead the team in assists…

    51. This has been mentioned a lot but in both the preseason and the opening game RJ looked like he is more than up to the task of being a defensive stopper. He’s not just a passable defender anymore, he is a truly plus defender on the wing, and that really adds a lot to his value.

    52. pepper: that is pathetic that one of the most selfish players in the league lead the team in assists…

      Yeah, but you’re forgetting his jab step gravity effect where he’d sometimes draw 3 or more defenders, thus forced to pass to an open player…
      :-)

    53. vincoug: He did have some nice passes but not all assists are created equal. A lot of Randle’s assists last year were just because he had the ball in his hands all the time and you’re going to get some assists just because of that.

      Worth mentioning that the Knicks scored 25(!) points off of Randle’s 9 assists. He does turn it over a lot but he generates lots of wide open threes for the team. Hopefully there’s more balance this year and the hero ball we saw in the last 3 minutes of regulation becomes far less frequent.

    54. JK47: RJ looked like he is more than up to the task of being a defensive stopper. He’s not just a passable defender anymore, he is a truly plus defender on the wing, and that really adds a lot to his value.

      Yup, he really does seem to have embraced that role – even if it comes at the expense of his offense. If he’s truly committed to expending the bulk of his energy on D, it stands to reason that he will disappear at times on the other end of the floor. Last year, that would have been a problem as he was relied upon to be option #2 behind Randle. This year, the team has enough other weapons that it can afford to have RJ go missing offensively from time to time.

      It speaks well of RJ’s maturity if he has really made the choice to forego more pointzz for the less glamorous (and less lucrative) defensive stopper role. If so, the question then becomes: If the RJ we saw last night is indicative of what we might expect from him going forward, is that a max player?

    55. Not to bring the convo back to COVID, but I was honestly taken aback by how few people at the garden had masks on last night. Even kids who were clearly not old enough to have been vaccinated mostly were unmasked.

    56. One last thought:

      Mark Jackson is a dumbass. I think he’s beginning to wear thin on me as a commentator, and it’s pretty clear why he hasn’t landed a coaching gig in years. He made some pretty head scratching comments last night and that “momma, there goes that man” line is lame.

      I know the trio chemistry is pretty good for the most part (though nothing will ever beat the NBC team of Marv Albert, Bill Walton, and Steve “Snapper” Jones) but it was tough listening to the game last night, hearing many of Mark’s dubious takes.

      On the flip side, Van Gundy was great and you can tell he was excited to be in the Garden and vibing with the crowd. My favorite line from him was after Thibs on court interview, Van Gundy hit it with “you know what Thibs needs? More intensity” Once a Knick always a Knick.

    57. I also love how much Breen and Van Gundy love “Go New York, Go New York, Go.” I think Jackson was already with the Clippers by the time that song dropped, so he has no homegrown affection for it.

    58. I made my Melo comment mainly out of jest but I do think its interesting to compare Melo to Randle now that Randle is clearly our franchise player.

      Melo was pretty deadly at the 4 but the problem was that he was just a little too small and it wore him down especially when he had to face aholes like Garnett.

      Randle is like an offensively less polished (but still deadly), bulkier Melo who can defend better and is a more willing passer. That’s a damn fine player. Maybe not a guy who can lead you to a championship but I bet Randle as our best player in the next few years might get us close to one.

      It does speak to RJ’s character that he knows this year what is needed from him is good defense now that Bullock and Elf are gone but we have more offensive weapons. If he tops out as a guy who gets you 18 to 20 somewhat efficiently while being a plus defender taking on the Tatum’s on the league, that’s a really good fucking player. I suspect his counting stats won’t be much higher than last season but he will nevertheless be taking that step forward bc of the extra defense. Maybe he will be our Jimmy Butler?

      This team is so damn deep, Randle/Obi at the 4 is going to be brutal for other teams to face all game long. Kemba won’t be the old Kemba and his defense is gonna suck but he’s going to be fine. He’ll be competent and Rose is just as good. We still don’t have a young, elite PG in hte making on the team but that position is in good hands with two former perrenial all-stars. Randle is going to have a big year bc the threat of Fournier and Kemba opens it all up for him.

      We’re going to be good. ITs going to be a hell of a season. The team still needs to gel some on offense and Thibs will tweak the defense. By January we’re gonna be rolling.

      Also, welcome back Mitch. We missed ya!!!

    59. That game was won when Fournier got loose for that layup on the inbounds play towards the end of regulation – great pass by Burks. What came after that was inexcusable, Thibs must have been apoplectic. Fortunately I controlled my urge to throw the remote through the TV.

      It’s one game but Fournier is so much better all around than Bullock, huge improvement.
      Randle will continue to play at a high level this year, but they need to vary the offense and get some more ball movement. Too many iso Randle possessions IMO.
      RJ heated up in the 2nd half and played good defense all night and he hit some crucial 3’s
      Kemba was very disappointing. He didn’t run the offense well at all. He had no lift when he went to the hoop and got his shot blocked almost every time. He did make a few long 3’s, so maybe the shooting is still there. I’m hoping he will improve with more games because that effort is not going to cut it for this team.
      Great to have Mitch back, Noel is good but Mitch affects the game at another level.

      This season should be a fun ride.

    60. “…but it was tough listening to the game last night, hearing many of Mark’s dubious takes.”

      I hear you…i had some spotty cable reception and lost the game for awhile so i went to streaming app and they had the spanish broadcast on and I just listened to that even though I could get the main espn feed…just so I didn’t have to hear Jackson drone on and on..he is tired at this point…

      If you stream on the set top box…there is an option (when its ESPN) called view from the top and I clicked on that and it was from the cameras that sit on top of the backboard…its kind of a weird view plus there is no commentary…anybody else ever watch that?

    61. Frank:
      Not to bring the convo back to COVID, but I was honestly taken aback by how few people at the garden had masks on last night. Even kids who were clearly not old enough to have been vaccinated mostly were unmasked.

      What’s the rule now? Proof of vaccination OR negative Covid test?

    62. I wanted mfkn-Schroeder during the summer, got myself Kemba and had the chance to watch them a few hrs ago both play in a game that really mattered (despite being the season opener).
      Schroeder seemed to me as better fit for these knicks but I’ll stick rooting for our homeboy KWalker and cross fingers for the best.

    63. Obi’s got a brand new pair of balls!
      Can’t wait to see him grow as the season progresses!

    64. Oh, there’s no question that Schroeder would have been a better get than Kemba. Everybody loves Kemba, but let’s not fool ourselves.

    65. rohank: What’s the rule now? Proof of vaccination OR negative Covid test?

      Vaccination required 16 and over, kids under 12 supposed to be masked. At least that was the latest missive from MSG that I got.

    66. Fournier saved our hearts and our souls last night! Deserves a statue! Totally cold-blooded during the 2nd overtime.

    67. Celtics seemed in game7mode too and tried really hard to bring their coach a Win during his first nba game but…These Knicks have Thibs!
      And Thibs has Iron Will to Win.
      Early Statement Win.

    68. Only got to watch part of the 2nd live, definitely missed a good one. Highlights suggest a very different team, offensively.

    69. Will be interesting to see how RJ guards someone like Trae since that was Bullocks role last season

    70. If so, the question then becomes: If the RJ we saw last night is indicative of what we might expect from him going forward, is that a max player

      This is a great question. In other words, what would we pay RJ if he were Mikal Bridges?

      :-)

    71. rohank: What’s the rule now? Proof of vaccination OR negative Covid test?

      12+ years old requires at least 1 vaccine dose
      <12 doesn't need anything except to come in with a vaccinated adult.
      no testing required at all

      We all know 1 vaccine dose doesn't do a lot (unless you've already had an actual COVID infection or if the 1 dose was J&J). so easily could've been a fair amount of covid in that building last night…

    72. Just a heads up to anyone going to a future game at MSG – last night it took us over 30 minutes to get to our seats. Massive line for vax card check, massive line for metal detectors, massive line to get tickets scanned.

      Missed half of the first quarter, pretty damn annoying.

    73. Set plays for Obi cutting hard to the basket could be a coming thing. Looked hard to stop when done right. The size-speed combo he brings is intriguing.

    74. d-mar:
      Just a heads up to anyone going to a future game at MSG – last night it took us over 30 minutes to get to our seats. Massive line for vax card check, massive line for metal detectors, massive line to get tickets scanned.

      Missed half of the first quarter, pretty damn annoying.

      Which entrance? Last Friday the C and D entrances at Eighth and 33rd were painless. Smaller crowd that night, but I was impressed. Took five minutes.

    75. Frank: We all know 1 vaccine dose doesn’t do a lot (unless you’ve already had an actual COVID infection or if the 1 dose was J&J). so easily could’ve been a fair amount of covid in that building last night…

      I thought 1 dose gave like 70% protection. But whatever, get two, everyone.

      Probability of Christian Wood being a Rocket come March? He has a very good contract but he does not fit the Rockets’ long-term plans at all.

    76. KB Apprentice: Which entrance? Last Friday the C and D entrances at Eighth and 33rd were painless. Smaller crowd that night, but I was impressed. Took five minutes.

      Both entrances on the 8th Ave end had huge lines. Front of MSG was the same.

    77. d-mar: Both entrances on the 8th Ave end had huge lines. Front of MSG was the same.

      Yikes. Game 7 ;-)

      Thx for the heads up.

    78. @ShamsCharania
      Sources: 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons is currently not mentally ready to play for the team and was receiving treatment on his back today due to ramp up process. He will miss Friday’s home opener vs. Nets and is not expected to play for an undetermined period of time.

      I love every freaking minute of this.

    79. Seriously, HBO should make a show about Simmons, Morey and Embiid but make them all Celtics. It would crush.

    80. In other news: LaMelo. Wow.

      And did you read that thing where they were chanting F Ben Simmons at the FLYERS game. hahaha. No way he comes back from this.

    81. How do people think this ends? Outside of Sacramento or Minnesota, what team would even be willing to trade for Simmons with that contract and the state of his game and psyche?

    82. “How do people think this ends?”

      I think he eventually comes back to the Sixers and gets reincorporated into the team.

      But that’s why you have to watch the season finale!!!!

    83. KB Apprentice:
      In other news: LaMelo. Wow.

      And did you read that thing where they were chanting F Ben Simmons at the FLYERS game. hahaha. No way he comes back from this.

      Let’s Go Ben!!

      Yeah, he is completely done in Philly. The longer it goes on before they trade him the more it will drag the Sixers down. That can’t be good for team morale or chemistry – but it’s good for the Knicks so more please

    84. Knox, 1 barrel of feta cheese and 3 distant future draft picks (yrs 20221,30234,40221)

    85. I don’t know if all this was a Simmons’ or a Rich Paul’s idea,
      but they didn’t play their hand well,
      starting with the flop about Simmons “taking back” the money lost with the fines when traded to another team (even the NBAPA acknowledged it’s not true)…
      Simmons is looking worse every day, a locker room problem and a spoiled primadonna.

    86. From Jawn Gonzalez on Twitter:

      Daryl Morey on the radio just now: “People should buckle in. This is going to go a long time.”

    87. Here’s a question:

      Who’s next to be a first-time MVP? Luka is the odds-on favorite, but who else is on the shortlist? We all know it takes a whole team, so SGA seems unlikely until the Thunder decide to draft some good players with all those picks. Tatum is another candidate if he puts up big per-game numbers on a 50-win Celts team.

      Call me crazy, but I think Anthony Edwards could be the guy next year or the year after. He had a horrific start to last season, but started playing exceptional rookie basketball in the last couple months of the year.

    88. ***I said it yesterday, I said it all summer, and I’ll say it again: I fucking love Mitch, and people who think we can replicate something close to his value with Noel and any old dime store center are CRAZY. We should have offered him the extension already. We should now offer it ASAP. And if he doesn’t take it, we best be prepared to pay up this summer.***

      Maybe I am CRAZY, but a lot of teams seem to have a player that does what Robinson does, and none of them are held in crazy high value. And there seems to be a pretty hard ceiling for traditional, non-offensive focal point centers, with Gobert the only real outlier. Jarret Allen’s $20/year is the comp for Robinson’s agent, but Allen went 11-11 yesterday and his contract is already kind of a regret despite that, considering the Cavs have already drafted his replacement.

      I’m not really sure what Robinson can even do between now and next summer to pump his value up into that range, barring a league-wide shift in strategy.

    89. Simmons is a sunk cost for the Sixers at this point. They should trade depreciated Simmons for whoever gives the best offer. Get a bidding war going. Get SOMETHING.

      The longer they delay the worse it gets, and Morey doesn’t seem to be really understanding that.

    90. The Sixers’ joyfully vindictive fanbase make it almost impossible that Ben could reunite with them even if he wanted to. “Don’t let the door hit your soft ass on the way out you no-dunk spineless mfkr” was about the nicest thing I heard any of my Philly area friends and family say after they lost. He’ll be mercilessly heckled every time he steps on the floor for the rest of his career regardless of the jersey he wears. I vividly remember the hatred and verbal abuse that Toni Kuko? got from guys all around me in the stands back when he fell out of favor. He hadn’t screwed their championship dreams, just played a bit worse than expected, but the intensity felt like the prelude to a brawl. I don’t think rejoining the team is an option for Ben.

    91. @DerekBodnerNBA
      Morey on his timeline: “You’re going to think I’m kidding, I’m not. This could (go on for) 4 years. … We’re in the prime of Joel’s career…Either Ben Simmons is playing for us, or we have to get back a difference maker.”

    92. My best friend was just released from the hospital after battling Covid for 15 days. I’m so relieved. He’s still not in great shape, but at least he’s breathing on his own

    93. Simmons is a sunk cost for the Sixers at this point. They should trade depreciated Simmons for whoever gives the best offer. Get a bidding war going. Get SOMETHING.

      The longer they delay the worse it gets, and Morey doesn’t seem to be really understanding that.

      Morey’s requests are out of whack but I don’t think this is solely a Morey’s crusade,
      more 30 owners sending to the players an “enough is enough” message.
      Asking for a trade with 4 years of (max) contract remaning and then act like a jerk to sink your trade value?
      Come on guys…

    94. I think Trae & LaMelo would also be on the plausible next first time MVP list, and if Zion ever gets healthy he’s probably the strongest competition for Luka

    95. Obi’s speed filling the lane, decent corner 3, and improved D, make him a good choice for some minutes at the 3. Especially against bigger wings like Brown and Tatum.

    96. Tune in tonight fellas, it’s the unveiling of the new and improved Kristaps Porzingis, not held back back by that shitty coach Rick Carlisle and that usage soaking turnover machine Luka Doncic.

      Oh, and don’t forget he’s in the best shape of his life.

    97. And Jowles, besides the people already mentioned, Giannis and Curry are possibilities

    98. Sharing some random nuggets from a Ringer article on under-25 NBA players. It’s using WAR, so there’s that, but some interesting points about the players being discussed:

      Collin Sexton (7.5) remains a divisive prospect on the verge of reaching restricted free agency—he has the worst defensive metrics of any player over the last half-decade.

      In NBA history, there have been only six seasons in which a player posted block and steal rates of at least 3 percent each, while playing at least 1,200 minutes. Hall of Famers David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Bobby Jones did it once each. Gerald Wallace also did it once, 15 years ago. Matisse Thybulle has done it twice in two seasons.

      Doncic is hilariously far ahead of every other young player. He’s projected to provide about as much value through the next five seasons as Zion Williamson and Trae Young combined; as Jayson Tatum and De’Aaron Fox combined; and as Deandre Ayton, Bam Adebayo, and Cade Cunningham combined.

      The second-best youngster is Ntilikina, who never found a footing in New York and has by far the worst career true shooting percentage for any active player with at least 1,000 attempts.

      (And I know we’ve already consigned him to the scrap-heap of history, but…)

      Add in a rookie surprise from Immanuel Quickley (14.9 projected WAR), whose closest rookie comp, numbers-wise, is Donovan Mitchell

    99. Had to watch the game on delay yesterday so had to avoid the game thread, but damn it if it isn’t good to have meaningful basketball back on KB. Gotta agree with Breen that yesterday was one of the all time great season openers.

      Hard to take too much out of 1 game, but I feel our perimeter D is going to be a work in progress. Brown hit some stupid contested shots, but we gave up some wide open looks on decent shooters which Thibs would be ropable about. That being said, there is a rumour that Tatum is still in RJ’s pocket today. Huge if true.

    100. Who’s next to be a first-time MVP? Luka is the odds-on favorite, but who else is on the shortlist?

      If the Hawks win 50+ games and Trae makes some plausible improvements, it’s easy to see a narrative developing that he’s giving a “renewed effort” on defense or something even if that’s not really true. So he’s a good candidate.

      LaMelo is definitely worth a shout, though I don’t know if the Hornets can get enough fast enough.

      If Chris Paul takes a step back usage wise and the Suns are still top-4 in the West, Booker might be able to get the narrative train rolling even if it offends Knickerblogger sensibilities. I’d say more or less the same thing about Mitchell and Conley.

    101. Dave Debusschere and Earl The Pearl join Clyde, Willis and Patrick on the All-Time best-75 train,
      former Knicks Carmelo Anthony, Bob McAdoo and Jason Kidd did it too…

    102. It’s tough to see what Morey’s end game here is, because even if a superstar becomes available within a reasonable timeframe, what on Earth makes Morey think Simmons would be part of the best package for him? To be sure there was a time when that would be true, but between his continued lack of development and, um, personal idiosyncrasies, I see no reason Simmons would be at the top of the list for the Blazers, Wizards, etc.

      My best guess if he winds up being dealt for a package of balanced present and future assets so Morey can sell the idea that he increased their asset chest for the next superstar trade. D’Angelo Russell and picks, something like that. However I don’t feel confident about that at all and wouldn’t be shocked if he sits out this whole season.

    103. 9 points on 4-11 shooting, as many rebounds as turnovers (2) in 20 minutes. You hate to see it.

    104. Hawks and Mavs much less competitive than I expected. Kind of a bummer. Good to see DeAndre Hunter back out there doing his thing. I think they missed him in the playoffs. Solid player.

    105. Apparently KP looks dreadful in this game. Guess he’s still like working his way back from an injury or something.

      One of his jumpers got blocked by Deandre Hunter

    106. I’m glad McAdoo made the list. Most young’uns don’t know much about him, but he was a freakin’ badass. He had a 3-year span when he finished second-first-second in MVP voting. Three-time scoring champ, averaged 34.1ppg at age 23. Went 7 straight years averaging over 12rpg. Played a very significant role on two championship teams and a finals team It was disgraceful that he wasn’t on the top-50 list. Certainly the best perimeter shooting big man of his era, shot over 50% for his career at very high volume. He would have been even better in today’s game.

    107. ***Here’s a question: Who’s next to be a first-time MVP?***

      I’d like to answer Lillard, but, honestly, I don’t think there’s anything he can do to win it. He singlehandedly led a bunch of scrubs to a top 6 record in the west and came in, what, 8th in MVP voting? Doncic and Embiid did less with more and beat him out, so the deck is stacked for whatever reason…

    108. Klay Thompson thinks he is a top 75 player of all time. That honestly made me chuckle.

      Cam Reddish had a good game it looks like. There is always hope.

    109. Owen that twitter video clip was really funny! I remember folks dancing in the street during last spring’s regular season games I went to vs. Toronto and Atlanta. The fanbase is as fired up as I’ve ever seen!

    110. Also, there is a major tension this season between me wanting to see Luka do well and me wanting to see Jason Kidd fail as a coach.

    111. And yeah, Z-man, that shit is hilarious!!!

      It’s hard to believe they aren’t actors it’s so slapstick.

    112. BigBlueAL:
      Great Mavs debuts for Bullock and Frank….

      Bullock played fifteen minutes or so, and I agree his box score was bad. Frank I don’t know about. Of course playing four minutes wasn’t promising but he was their fifteenth man on the roster so getting playing time of any sort is ok. He took two shots, and had a rebound and an assist in that time which is a higher rate of doing actual stuff for the team than he usually showed in NY. I mean, imagine if he played sixteen minutes like he often did as backup guard in NY. Then if he shot at the rate he did in this game he would have taken eight shots, had four assists and four rebounds and we might be thinking good things about him (depending on how many of those eight shots went in of course)

    113. Raven:
      Except, sadly, that based on your direct extrapolation it means he would have shot 0-8…

      Yes of course. I am only inferring his aggressiveness as a player from his box score tonight.

    114. evian seems to be trying to make a statement about his defensive commitment…probably something to do with clifford and thibs…

      he also seems intent on doing whatever the team needs… having him, RJ, ju, rose, and taj with that mindset and ability to have all around strong performances is super useful towards winning…

    115. I think we play philly on the 26th, I hope mitch is in shape and ready for that matchup…

      I wanna say he’s worth around 15 to 18 mil a year for 3 years…most though would be 20 million average for 4 years…

      he’s sketchy at the line and can’t shoot the ball…

    116. one last thing – mark me down now for thinking kemba is way too smiley for this roster and coach…

    117. Thinking of a first-time MVP, best bet is Embiid, Doncic, or Booker. Dark Horse this season might be Paul George if he can continue his play from last season playoffs.

      I hate giving the award to just offensive-minded players but Nash, Harden, and others have set precedents in recent years. But you have to those type of seasons to win it. Could Trae Young win a MVP? Sure. Doesn’t mean I like the choice just like I didn’t like it when Harden won it.

    118. JK47:
      Apparently KP looks dreadful in this game. Guess he’s still like working his way back from an injury or something.

      Unfortunately, sucking at basketball is an injury many NBA players never recover from.

    119. I’m flipping through the comments at Mavs Moneyball and it’s pretty interesting.

      The consensus over there is that KP looks like he has better mobility this year, and that he looks decent on the defensive end, but that he’s pitifully soft on the offensive end and hopeless as a post-up player.

    120. He could be on a max here. He could be on a max here.

      Being a Knicks fan has been pretty solid lately.

    121. Damn, the Hawks are fucking deep. They’re playing without Gallo and Lou Williams and Onyeka Okongwu is out until, like, January, and yet they’re stacked. Jalen Johnson looks good for them and he doesn’t even play!

    122. Donnie Walsh:
      On this date in basketball history: Steph Curry leads the league in rebounds.

      Giannis has 24 & Gobert has 21(in 1 game!), but I know what you mean… sheesh!!! If you told me Steph was averaging 33 points & a double-double, I would not be surprised. If you told me it was points & rebounds, I’d do a spit take.

    123. Knicks should have taken Jalen Johnson with la sélection incinérée. He looks smooth.

    124. geo:
      one last thing – mark me down now for thinking kemba is way too smiley for this roster and coach…

      Exactly this. Might play if he still had it, but alas.

    125. Z-man:
      I’m glad McAdoo made the list. Most young’uns don’t know much about him, but he was a freakin’ badass. He had a 3-year span when he finished second-first-second in MVP voting. Three-time scoring champ, averaged 34.1ppg at age 23. Went 7 straight years averaging over 12rpg. Played a very significant role on two championship teams and a finals team It was disgraceful that he wasn’t on the top-50 list. Certainly the best perimeter shooting big man of his era, shot over 50% for his career at very high volume. He would have been even better in today’s game.

      100% Agree Z-Man,
      watched him play a lot in Italy in the 80’s and 90’s when he was considered washed up for NBA standards but still did dominate in Europe (he played 7 years here, until he was 41 yrs old) and broke my italian team heart’s many times…
      He was a fantastic shooter and scorer, perfectly build for today’s NBA.

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