Knicks Morning News (2021.11.01)

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    64 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2021.11.01)”

    1. > KnewYourNicks,50,20,10

      I appreciate that this is a “I’m not planning to win, so let me contribute and be a true homer”, but my question is — why stop at 50 points? :-D

    2. Okay, so we’re talking in here and predicting in the other thread? Got it.

      I miss the Obi/Randle combo. It seems like Thibs only did it as a lineup of last resort.

    3. I was listening an old Duncan & Hollinger podcast about offseason grades and one of their wishes was that Obi plays 28 MPG as a small ball five in a lineup with Randle.

      I’m wondering if this is a widespread opinion in the League’s FOs and if Obi’s a concrete trade bait.

      For the record I’m in Z-Man camp about rolling with what we have instead of trading “just for the sake of”.

    4. Alan: I miss the Obi/Randle combo. It seems like Thibs only did it as a lineup of last resort.

      Agree 100%. I’m afraid when Noel comes back we see even less of it (if that’s possible).

      And agree with Max. No trade please. If Kemba and Rose stay healthy, I’m insane enough to think we have a shot this year (!)

    5. Max:
      I was listening an old Duncan & Hollinger podcast about offseason grades and one of their wishes was that Obi plays 28 MPG as a small ball five in a lineup with Randle.

      I’m wondering if this is a widespread opinion in the League’s FOs and if Obi’s a concrete trade bait.

      For the record I’m in Z-Man camp about rolling with what we have instead of trading “just for the sake of”.

      I too agree. Let the team gel first, there’s no real superstar available for trade at this point. Re-evaluate post asb and see what’s there.

    6. Agree 100%. I’m afraid when Noel comes back we see even less of it (if that’s possible).

      I wonder how Thibs is going to juggle the minutes at center if/when all three guys are healthy. He is very much committed to Obi as the backup 4, so I don’t think — or maybe I just hope — that Obi’s minutes won’t be cut into even more by attempts to play Taj at PF. But is Taj just going to go back into the In Case of Emergency, Break Glass display box once Noel is back? Will Thibs try to play all three guys every night? There were times last season when the rotation expanded out to 11 guys, but that feels unwieldy. Taj has a different skillset from Mitch and Noel, and maybe his usage will be matchup dependent. The good thing is that he seems to not get rusty if he’s stuck on the bench for stretches of a season.

    7. ESPN is such a biased joke with their NBA coverage. Aren’t weekly power rankings supposed to be about how teams are playing now? For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the Nets are ranked 3rd and the Knicks are ranked 7th in ESPN’s list. HOW?? They’ve also got Milwaukee ranked above us, but I can let that slide because they’re the defending Champs and are missing Jrue Holiday- yet they are playing fairly well. But Brooklyn? NUMBER 3?? The only player who is playing well for them is obviously KD. But as a whole..they aren’t playing at half the level they should be playing at. I don’t give a flying fuck and a half who they have on their roster- THEY ARE NOT BETTER THAN THE KNICKS RIGHT NOW.

      What a joke, ESPN.

    8. Totes, power rankings — especially at this early stage of a season — are more about narrative and confirmation bias than anything else. Pundits went into the year assuming the Nets, Bucks, and Lakers would be title contenders. So it’s going to take a lot more losing before any of them starts sliding to the middle of the pack of such things.

    9. I think the list of who the Knicks could/would trade for is much smaller now: Ja, Jokic, Luka… maybe guys like Paul George, LaVine, etc. who can create their own shots. Otherwise, you roll with the current lineup, which has four staters capable of taking/making big shots.

    10. I think Taj will go back to third string Center and Obi will remain as backup PF. Thibs has subbed in Taj at the end of some games since Mitch is prone to mistakes still but Noel is one of the smarter defenders in the league so he would fill that role.

    11. @TimBontemps
      The Raptors say Scottie Barnes is doubtful with a thumb sprain for tonight’s game in New York against the Knicks. Pascal Siakam and Yuta Watanabe remain out with injuries.

      Our luck continues

    12. Our luck continues

      They’re still better coached than the Pels, and we saw in both New Orleans and the second Orlando game that we’re not immune to let-downs against subpar teams who are missing key contributors. As a defender, Anunoby can cause RJ a lot of problems, and I could imagine this being The Fred Van Vleet game or somesuch if we keep playing sloppy.

    13. Alan: I wonder how Thibs is going to juggle the minutes at center if/when all three guys are healthy. He is very much committed to Obi as the backup 4, so I don’t think — or maybe I just hope — that Obi’s minutes won’t be cut into even more by attempts to play Taj at PF.

      I love our small ball lineup, so I want to see it as much as possible.

      But — also — since Taj is taking more threes, maybe playing both Mitch and Taj or both Noel and Taj might work alongside Randle or Obi or even RJ. It’s prolly crazy but maybe two bigs on our end could be successful on D depending on matchups. Capela comes to mind as someone who gives us trouble. Jokic, etc. I wouldn’t mind seeing twin towers once in a while.

    14. KB, are you suggesting we play a frontline with Randle or Obi at small forward? Even Mike Woodson might not think the East is that big, man.

    15. Alan:
      KB, are you suggesting we play a frontline with Randle or Obi at small forward? Even Mike Woodson might not think the East is that big, man.

      Haha. Yes. That’s what I’m suggesting. I think it depends on the defensive matchup for each of them, but it could work.

    16. Alan:
      KB, are you suggesting we play a frontline with Randle or Obi at small forward? Even Mike Woodson might not think the East is that big, man.

      Uhh…Mike Woodson is currently the Cleveland Cavaliers’ silent partner LOL

    17. Bummer about Barnes, I’m going to the game tonight and was looking forward to seeing him. Toronto still has some reasonably fun players (always been a big OG fan) but that one hurts.

      Alan is right that we can’t take them lightly. They’ve thrown together a top 10 defense, largely due to playing hard and having a handful of players who are pretty versatile. Still, a little hard to see them having the offensive firepower to keep up with us if we don’t go ice cold.

    18. Alan wrote this yesterday:

      Julius can also at times get a little too focused on hero ball, and that can be frustrating. But it’s also a long-standing sports fan tradition for a teams best player to draw a disproportionate amount of criticism.

      It reminds me of Patrick Ewing in the late 90’s.

      When we added Houston, Johnson, and Childs, people started to grumble about Ewing shooting too much and that maybe the Knicks should minimize his role. And by the time Camby and Sprewell were here the grumbling became a roar.

      When we actually traded Ewing, some people thought we were going to be better! Of course, we have only won one playoff series in the 20 years since then.

    19. It reminds me of Patrick Ewing in the late 90’s.

      Ah, yes. I remember those calls to WFAN well.

      Ewing, like Randle, was a big man who made his living shooting from the perimeter, and whose commitment and effort were rarely in question. The difference, arguably, is that a team with Ewing as its best player could have won a title, if he’d ever been surrounded with better talent, particularly in his prime. (Heck, even in this reality, Ewing came a Hakeem fingertip at the end of Game 6 away from winning a ring in 94.) Whereas Randle is probably better suited as the number 2 guy on a title contender. But either way, they’re the Man for their respective teams, so they get a disproportionate amount of complaints when things don’t go well (or even, in this case, when things go well, but not in the way we’d prefer).

    20. #I appreciate that this is a “I’m not planning to win, so let me contribute and be a true homer”, but my question is — why stop at 50 points? :-D#

      Just wait a few hours and you’ll see why 50 Mike K!
      ;-p

    21. A few thoughts about Randle….

      1. Even if he is our “best player” he probably shouldn’t be our closer. It seems like in the NBA usually it works out better if you’re closer is a guard or wing and not a big man. So I’d say its Kemba or Rose or RJ, depending on who is playing. But when the game is tight, I would trust them a bit more to get a good shot off and not turn it over than I would Randle. Big men just don’t have the handles that guards or wings have.

      2. we’re so good this season we don’t need Randle to go big every game to win. That is a very good thing but also Randle does have to redefine his role a bit. He is still absolutely going to have games where he feasts.

      3. He’s still grabbing a lot of boards, racking up assists and playing good defense. That is all you can ask of any star player on nights they aren’t scoring as much.

      This is a guy that a large chunk of the fanbase blamed for how bad we were under Fizdale and who they wanted to trade before last season. If he slips, those same people are gonna be sharpening his knives but Randle is the main reason we’ve gotten to where we are in the first place. We just started this season and we’re 5-1. There is absolutely no reason to start talking about is Randle the guy or not and do we need to trade him for a real star. Anyone who says he can’t lead us to a championship doesn’t know what they’re talking about. On the right team with the right teammates he absolutely can help us get a chip.

    22. Man those city jerseys have me nostalgic for the 90s Knicks. Awesome!

      When we rolled out the Obi/Randle frontcourt, I thought Randle put in a tremendous effort on D (because he had to as the last line of defense). We also seemed to play faster. I think Thibs should consider it as a change up when the situation/matchup calls for it. I know he wants a rim protector at all times but sometimes small ball is the way to go.

    23. @ShamsCharania
      Sources: Phoenix is declining center Jalen Smith’s third-year rookie option ($4.7M), making him an unrestricted free agent in 2022. The 6-foot-10 big man averaged 9.5 points and 8 rebounds in four preseason games after posting 16.25 PPG/12.5 RPG in summer league.

      Was taken 10th overall in the 2020 draft. Whoops.

    24. Rokas rebounded with a nice ACB game: 19 min, 11 pts, 4-6 2FG, 1-2 3FG, 4 DREB 2 AST.

      He was used more because Calathes was out and he responded well.

    25. 1. Even if he is our “best player” he probably shouldn’t be our closer. It seems like in the NBA usually it works out better if you’re closer is a guard or wing and not a big man

      I agree, but for a different reason. I think the entire concept of a closer in basketball is all wrong. Just your offense and get the best shot. It didn’t even work well when Melo was here, and he’s one of the best scorers ever.

      While Randle is our best player, he’s not necessarily our best playmaker or even our best shot maker. For one play, or a final minute of game time, he doesn’t stand out over the other 4 options on the court.

    26. People tend to complain about hero-balling when the ball doesn’t go in the basket, not so much when it does. Ultimately I think it boils down to the fact that Julius isn’t shooting the ball well yet this year and so a lot of shots that he took and made regularly last year look worse in that context. Some of that is probably regression to the mean after he shot the ball much better last year than he ever had before in his career, but some of it is almost certainly just a small sample (e.g. he’s at 19% on long 2s so far vs. 34% career).

    27. That’s a fair point, thenamestam. But there were a lot of shots Randle made in winning time last year with a very high degree of difficulty — those turnaround fadeaways from the baseline in particular. It may be that he has practiced those enough that they are a higher percentage shot for him than they look. But I’m also not surprised by any regression to the mean. He’s flubbed a couple of layups (most notably late against Chicago), but mostly he’s been missing on circus shots in the fourth quarter.

    28. Alan:
      That’s a fair point, thenamestam. But there were a lot of shots Randle made in winning time last year with a very high degree of difficulty — those turnaround fadeaways from the baseline in particular. It may be that he has practiced those enough that they are a higher percentage shot for him than they look. But I’m also not surprised by any regression to the mean. He’s flubbed a couple of layups (most notably late against Chicago), but mostly he’s been missing on circus shots in the fourth quarter.

      Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely room for improvement in the process part of the late game offense too – I just think making it a story mostly about the validity/non-validity of hero-ball is a mistake. It’s mostly a story about whether Randle is really the guy who should be doing the hero-balling because we came into the year thinking this guy was our main building block and he just isn’t playing very well yet this year (small sample caveats obviously in place).

    29. Alan: Was taken 10th overall in the 2020 draft. Whoops.

      Robert Sarver’s a parsimonious douchebag to begin with, but I suspect that this has less to do with his own risk re: the luxury tax bill and more to do with the prospect that he will be forced to sell this team within the next several months.

      Suns have around $117M in guarantees next year without accounting for a possible Ayton offer sheet match. Cam Johnson, Jalen Smith and Abdel Nader would kick them up to $130M if all exercised — Johnson is all but a guarantee to be exercised, given how well he played in the playoffs last year. Ayton will likely be offered a $128M contract by some team out there. Not sure what the first year salary would be, so I’m guessing $25M. That’s $142M, plus $6M from Johnson, and maybe another $3M from Nader or some other vet. That’s not a huge tax bill, but it’s also paying Smith $5M and then paying the league $5M for the honor of watching him play in the G League.

      Jalen Smith doesn’t play for the team and probably won’t play for the team while Chris Paul is getting paid out the ass to be a very old and very good old player. Weird situation. Most teams would exercise the option and trade the guy for a 2028 2nd rounder. Not Sarver. I think his asshole is clenched for that report to drop, and is minimizing his exposure to bad cashflow on the books.

    30. Last season Randle hit such a ridiculously high number of insanely difficult shots it wouldn’t surprise me if there’s some regression in both his 3PT% and long-two percentage. I was hoping he could make up for this by greatly increasing his frequency of shots at the rim due to better guard play–last season’s 16% number is straight up the lowest I’ve ever seen, non-Novak decision, for a 6’8″+ player.

      He has thus far increased his at-rim frequency but only up to 26%, which is still such a far cry from his career highs it continues to feel like he’s leaving points on the table. Hopefully he brings that up as he develops some chemistry with Kemba, Fournier, etc.

      I would also echo stam’s “it’s 6 games” sentiment as if Randle had hit 14 threes instead of 11 his TS% would be near where it was last season.

    31. Lol

      I liked Jalen Smith in college. Loved the goggles. Surprised he wasn’t a little more productive.

      Agree with Hubert on not needing a closer per se. You ought to move the ball and find the best shot.

      And agree that Randle has missed some tough shots that went down for him last year.

      I am happy to let this play out before offering any especially strong hot takes. I don’t know that I have a handle on what is going on really. But we are 5-1 and Thibs seems to be doing a good job.

    32. Hey KBers.

      I’m co-hosting a music podcast and our first episode debuted today. The show is called “Discograffiti” and the premise is this: in each episode we discuss and analyze the entire discography of whatever artist happens to be the subject of that episode. It’s a ton of work– we’re going back and listening to everything in chronological order, and researching stuff along the way as well. The first episode is up, the artist this week is Pink Floyd. We’re going to be posting new episodes weekly, so subscribe if this is your type of thing! We’re on all the major podcast platforms.

      Links here:

      https://open.spotify.com/episode/0L0yAZkeAtdsTrwlTPc3BD

      https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discograffiti/id1592182331

      http://discograffiti.com/

    33. I am not a big podcast listener but you’re kicking things off with my all-time favorite band, so I’ll definitely will give it a go. That’s a great one to start out with. Pink Floyd had so many interesting iterations with their band. Covering the whole history of that band is a big task!

    34. go jk, go jk, go :)

      i will say though – seeing as how it is: disco graffiti, probably should have started with donna summers or kc and the sunshine band…

      yeah, not much disco about floyd, except maybe run like hell, that’s got a beat you can move and groove too…

    35. JK :
      Perfect to listen to as I walk to my student’s homes. Hopefully, you will have an episode on The Band, one of my all-time faves. I just watched the documentary, We were Once Brothers and would love to supplement that. Best of luck.

    36. I’m not a Hollinger’s supporter but nice piece today on the new rules impact on NBA offenses.

      https://theathletic.com/2927068/2021/11/01/nba-defenses-strike-back-thunders-josh-giddey-shines-and-more-hollingers-week-that-was/

      Also, I find very amusing that the fast-break stopping fouls are called “euro-fouls” when it’s been years that in Europe they’re sanctioned with 2 FTs and the ball, under the “unsportsmanlike” tag (just as the NBA must quickly do if they want to preserve the watchability of the product).

    37. Yeah Clyde has been complaining about the Euro foul since Prigioni lmao. I think its a solid strategy regardless to prevent fast breaks points

    38. I think its a solid strategy regardless to prevent fast breaks points

      I would compare it to these radical infield shifts in baseball: it’s good strategy that makes the product much less fun to watch. I assume it will be legislated into oblivion next season. Though Hollinger has an interesting point about players doing it more this year just as an excuse to catch their breaths, especially since fouling overall is down. (Which also means they can afford a non-shooting foul.)

    39. about 40 plus minutes in to the podcast – holy shit, you weren’t kidding about all the research you guys did, so much detail and depth…really makes you feel like you’re back in the 60’s when this was taking place…

      i still really enjoy reading you write about music, but, in this format it’s even easier for you to share a more complete version of all the knowledge and experience you have…

      i’m gonna share it with a few music (in particular floyd) fans…really nice work jk, you and your friend Dave nailed it…interesting and in-depth…very legit…

      i like it when you guys disagree on stuff, a lot of respect and love in it :)

    40. Is it aesthetics or strategy for Clyde? I can’t really tell.

      Two shots and the ball seems to devalue the flagrant a little bit. But I am definitely down for doing something about it.

    41. I think Clyde just doenst like giving away a “free” foul to the opponent. At least thats what I remember his reasoning being

    42. Two shots and the ball seems to devalue the flagrant a little bit. But I am definitely down for doing something about it.

      Hollinger even proposed public flogging for the culprits, and I’m down with that too… :-)

    43. Owen: Two shots and the ball seems to devalue the flagrant a little bit. But I am definitely down for doing something about it.

      How does it devalue the flagrant? It’s still a deterrent against aggressive, unsafe play. There is virtually no situation where two shots and the ball is worth a foul. Except maybe at the end of games, where basketball becomes a stupid clock-management game instead of a game about putting the ball into the hoop more than your opponent does.

    44. I think Clyde just doesn’t like giving away a “free” foul to the opponent. At least that’s what I remember his reasoning being

      i have to imagine though statistics bears out the rational for employing that particular “strategy”…and, thank goodness nobody’s is hack a mitching…

    45. Anyone notice Randle isnt taking that tough fadeaway baseline jumper on right side of basket… I feel like that was his spot… maybe he’s just not getting to his spots like last year? Maybe its in the design?

    46. JK47:
      Hey KBers.

      I’m co-hosting a music podcast and our first episode debuted today. The show is called “Discograffiti” and the premise is this: in each episode we discuss and analyze the entire discography of whatever artist happens to be the subject of that episode. It’s a ton of work– we’re going back and listening to everything in chronological order, and researching stuff along the way as well. The first episode is up, the artist this week is Pink Floyd. We’re going to be posting new episodes weekly, so subscribe if this is your type of thing! We’re on all the major podcast platforms.

      Links here:

      https://open.spotify.com/episode/0L0yAZkeAtdsTrwlTPc3BD

      https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/discograffiti/id1592182331

      http://discograffiti.com/

      go JK. listening now. boost-boost.

    47. Just finished listening the PF podcast
      Well done man!
      The info is Top Class. Nice talking flow and pleasant conversation.
      Don’t agree on UG and AHM but tastes many times differ.
      Personally i consider Saucerful as the best psych album ever released but… tastes differ!
      Good Luck with it!

    48. JK47: I’m co-hosting a music podcast and our first episode debuted today. The show is called “Discograffiti” and the premise is this: in each episode we discuss and analyze the entire discography of whatever artist happens to be the subject of that episode. It’s a ton of work– we’re going back and listening to everything in chronological order, and researching stuff along the way as well. The first episode is up, the artist this week is Pink Floyd. We’re going to be posting new episodes weekly, so subscribe if this is your type of thing! We’re on all the major podcast platforms.

      I’ll check it out later in the week, because i have a “go live” of a project wednesday. But already sent it to my best friend, because music is one of the things we’re always talking about. ;)

    49. @KnickerBloggerPowerRankings: Already in Portugal? Asked a great friend that is based in Lisbon for advices there, but like Clyde would say “to no avail”. When will you be in Porto?

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