Knicks Morning News (2021.11.11)

  • New York Knicks vs Charlotte Hornets Prediction & Match Preview – November 12th, 2021 | NBA Season 2021-22 – Sportskeeda
    [www.sportskeeda.com] — Thursday, November 11, 2021 6:50:37 AM

    New York Knicks vs Charlotte Hornets Prediction & Match Preview – November 12th, 2021 | NBA Season 2021-22  Sportskeeda

  • #SportsReport: Nets beat Magic; Bucks defeat Knicks – WAMC
    [www.wamc.org] — Thursday, November 11, 2021 5:59:00 AM

    #SportsReport: Nets beat Magic; Bucks defeat Knicks  WAMC

  • Bridges, Hornets square off against the Knicks | Sports | bakersfield.com – The Bakersfield Californian
    [www.bakersfield.com] — Thursday, November 11, 2021 3:01:14 AM

    Bridges, Hornets square off against the Knicks | Sports | bakersfield.com  The Bakersfield Californian

  • Kyrie Irving’s Former Star Teammate On The Brooklyn Nets Spoke About Him Before Playing The New York Knicks Last Week – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 11:20:04 PM

    Kyrie Irving’s Former Star Teammate On The Brooklyn Nets Spoke About Him Before Playing The New York Knicks Last Week  Sports Illustrated

  • Connaughton helps Bucks recover, top Knicks after blown lead – TSN
    [www.tsn.ca] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 11:05:53 PM

    Connaughton helps Bucks recover, top Knicks after blown lead  TSN

  • Opinion: Try To Make This Trade? If The New York Knicks Trade For This Player They Could Be A Real Contender – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 10:38:48 PM

    Opinion: Try To Make This Trade? If The New York Knicks Trade For This Player They Could Be A Real Contender  Sports Illustrated

  • Furious rally can’t undo Knicks starters’ dud in loss to Bucks – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 10:16:00 PM

    Furious rally can’t undo Knicks starters’ dud in loss to Bucks  New York Post Bucks 112, Knicks 100: Scenes from a three-point barrage spoiling a miraculous comeback  Posting and ToastingHow to watch Knicks vs. Bucks: NBA live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds  CBS SportsConnaughton helps Bucks recover, top Knicks after blown lead  Daily UnionBarker: Thibodeau’s patience finally runs out in Knicks’ loss  Newsday

  • Milwaukee 112, NY Knicks 100 – Albany Times Union
    [www.timesunion.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 10:00:43 PM

    Milwaukee 112, NY Knicks 100  Albany Times Union

  • Milwaukee 112, N.Y. Knicks 100 – SFGate
    [www.sfgate.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 9:57:15 PM

    Milwaukee 112, N.Y. Knicks 100  SFGate

  • It’s easy to forget how important Mitchell Robinson is to Knicks – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 8:21:00 PM

    It’s easy to forget how important Mitchell Robinson is to Knicks  New York Post The Knicks have an awesome duo developing in the paint: “Twin Towers”  Empire Sports MediaKnicks’ Nerlens Noel ‘day-to-day’ with knee sprain  New York Daily NewsKnicks starting Mitchell Robinson for inactive Nerlens Noel on Wednesday  numberFireNew York Knicks’ Nerlens Noel Questionable vs. Sixers on Tuesday  Sports Illustrated

  • Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau thinks best is yet to come for Evan Fournier – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 8:06:00 PM

    Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau thinks best is yet to come for Evan Fournier  New York Post

  • Former Blazers Coach Kaleb Canales Named to Mexico’s National Team – Blazer’s Edge
    [www.blazersedge.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 5:31:16 PM

    Former Blazers Coach Kaleb Canales Named to Mexico’s National Team  Blazer’s Edge

  • Knicks: Succession mashup video is perfect – For The Win
    [ftw.usatoday.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 2:48:00 PM

    Knicks: Succession mashup video is perfect  For The Win

  • Breaking down the Westchester Knicks roster – Posting and Toasting
    [www.postingandtoasting.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 2:00:00 PM

    Breaking down the Westchester Knicks roster  Posting and Toasting

  • Knicks Go to Enter Stud at $30000 – BloodHorse.com
    [www.bloodhorse.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 12:23:00 PM

    Knicks Go to Enter Stud at $30000  BloodHorse.com

  • SALE: Save 15% on New York Knicks items at FOCO – Daily Knicks
    [dailyknicks.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 10:00:00 AM

    SALE: Save 15% on New York Knicks items at FOCO  Daily Knicks

  • New York Knicks and Rangers get BetMGM partnership – SportsPro – SportsPro Media
    [www.sportspromedia.com] — Wednesday, November 10, 2021 8:41:16 AM

    New York Knicks and Rangers get BetMGM partnership – SportsPro  SportsPro Media

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    104 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2021.11.11)”

    1. We all have seen how much better the bench unit plays than the starters this season, but what is the solution? Leave aside the matter of ego and money and that there is no way the team starts bringing Julius and RJ off the bench, and pretend Thibs actually had the juice and player buy-in to just swap the roles of the two five-man units. Would our bench mob be nearly as effective playing primarily against other teams’ starters? Would Obi be able to hold up defensively if he had to start out against guys like Sabonis and Tobias Harris? Quickley is tenacious and effortful on defense, but if he’s matched up against guys like LaVine every night?

      But since the full five-for-five switch is definitely not happening, what can Thibs do? Again, Julius and RJ are not sitting. And in general, they are not the big culprits here, even if RJ remains streaky and Randle still has some frustrating habits on offense. If Noel and Mitch are ever healthy at the same time, I certainly wouldn’t object to a switcheroo there. But it feels like it’s a backcourt thing. Would swapping Burks for Fournier solve anything? Would IQ be as effective playing without Rose? And would some of the Rose/Randle synergy problems we saw last season return if they were primarily playing alongside one another?

      Brian and/or Mike, it may be time for some more all-poll content, regarding which bench guys you would start and vice versa.

    2. I’m a bit of a different mind on what to do here.

      I’m not for either of swapping Rose for Kemba or Burks for Fournier. I think IQ is the player that would give the starters the biggest boost and has earned a crack at starting. His shot has regressed back to closer to last year and his defensive energy is good. He can also run the floor a bit more with RJ. He’s also a player in whom we are invested in growth potential. I say IQ for Fournier in the starting lineup.

    3. Of course Thibs won’t sit RJ and Julius, that’s madness. The bench is very good against other teams backups, sometimes against other teams starters, but later in the game, having played half the time of those opposing guys.
      Now about the changes, i think Mitch’s awesomeness was totally scrambled by the brolicness. He must sit, and Noel is never available, that’s our main problem right now. And yes, i admit i’m a (big) Mitch fan, but i have eyes and i can read stats. :P
      Then there’s the other change i was predicting for the playoffs, but maybe we got there sooner than i expected. Some of you suggested yesterday to swap Evan for Burks, but i must invoke a “paternity test” on the Fournier to the bench move… :D

      cybersoze (November 4, 2021 at 9:02 am):
      come playoffs time we may need to change Fournier’s role to 6th man. It’ll be hard to have two bad defenders on the backcourt in the playoffs

    4. And am I just Mandela Effecting memories of Rose and Julius not playing well together last season? I’m not even talking about the Hawks series, where Randle couldn’t do anything right. But it always felt to me that neither guy was at his best when he shared the floor with the other during the regular season, because their games aren’t very complementary.

    5. I would still wait for at least 20 games before making a change for all the boring reasons. 7-5 isn’t a bad start, Kemba deserves a chance to play himself into shape, the sample sizes are still small, etc.

      However if we were to make a change, I would keep Fournier and Rose where they are and put Quickley in the starting lineup for Kemba. Quickley is far from an ideal starting point guard since he doesn’t get into the paint, but at this point in Kemba’s career he doesn’t do that either so we wouldn’t lose anything there.

      Kemba is still probably the more gifted playmaker, but since he’s lost his entire drive-and-kick game he’s really not, well, making many plays these days. His AST/36 is actually identical to IQ’s right now and IQ has a slightly better AST/TO ratio. When you consider IQ is a much better defender and generally more active on both sides of the ball I think this might be an easy upgrade.

      Rose seems to do his best work in spurts off the bench, and I’m not feeling any urgency to marginalize Fournier. He’s missing shots right now but he looks fine to me and the back of his basketball card is what it is. He’ll be fine.

    6. Man, I’m so happy I missed yesterday’s game.

      As for lineup solutions, it seems pretty clear that Rose doesn’t want to be the starter for whatever reason. There does seem to be a conundrum in the starting lineup, though: Kemba and Fournier are simply too bad at defense to play together.

      Starting Rose is the easiest solution, but barring that, you could try swapping Fournier with Burks, but Fournier is often our hottest shooter in the first quarter. I would love for Quickley to win the starting PG job, but that’s a longer-term solution. More and more, Fournier and Kemba are looking like they’re just placeholders for Deuce/Grimes/Quick/etc.

      Meanwhile, we have the problem that Obi has been our best player and is averaging 12 min a game. That has to be dealt with somehow. Also, we should probably start Noel until Mitch is in game shape.

    7. Meanwhile, we have the problem that Obi has been our best player and is averaging 12 min a game.

      Has he been, or has he just been beasting against fellow reserves? Don’t get me wrong: no player’s success on this team makes me happier than Obi’s, and I am pleased and relieved he has turned out to be a real NBA player after looking like a lost child for so much of last season. And I also think he should be getting more than 12 minutes a game, and that Thibs should be more willing to try the smallball frontcourt. But it feels like his game is still flawed, and in ways that will get exposed the more of a burden (both in minutes and offensive focus) we place on him.

    8. @Alan: I think you’re right. If they’re together, they switch to “your turn, my turn” and that’s not how the offense should look like.
      @TNFH: I agree with you, no changes before the 20-game mark. Yesterday they watched the 2nd team finish the game, so that should light a fire under them, i hope. If this trend is still happening by game 20, the change i would make is Burks for Fournier, because Burks has been average at defense, and that a huge plus over Fournier’s defense this season. Quick in the starting lineup is a good idea, but we must wait to see if he indeed regained his mojo or not (he’s been ok to good only this last 2 games). But i wouldn’t do it, because Kemba and DRose in the same lineup doesn’t look to me like it could work.

    9. The starters aren’t giving us any passion on defense and they aren’t moving and sharing the ball well on offense. That’s a losing formula. I’m not sure there’s an easy fix.. Maybe Nerlens would change the energy a little, but mostly we made our bed when we swapped Fournier for Bullock, Kemba for Payton, and decided to launch a lot more 3s. The defense got worse and the offense is getting lazy. I’m not at practice to see how the rookies look, but the next time Kemba takes a night off they should probably give a few minutes to McBride or Grimes. At least McBride is going to hound the ball and try. One of those guys should be in the Frank role and get upgraded if there is an injury or they need some extra defense. They will certainly play with passion. That’s what we need.

    10. For those calling for Burkes instead of Fournier or Quick instead of Kemba, don’t expect that any time soon. That goes double for Fournier. They aren’t going to bench their marquee signings any time soon unless there is an injury.

    11. This team is regressing right before our eyes.

      Defense is a big problem, I think is better with Noel and I don’t like Hulk-Mitch (and his annoying flexing gestures).

      Yesterday I stopped keeping track of open shots halfway through the 3rd, with the Bucks 10-21 and us 0-5.
      We conceded too much and we took too few, the difference was immense, the difference was the 24 points Bucks’ lead.

      And we took too few because offense is becoming a problem too.
      Easier to identify, but a problem nonetheless.

    12. Strat, I’m not even going to indulge the Elfrid Payton nostalgia. He was GARBAGE on defense last season, as evidenced by both the eye test and the advanced stats. Nearly as useless on that end as he was on offense. Kemba’s defense is obviously a problem, but the solution is not Elfrid goddamn Payton, and you are making an especially broad parody of yourself anytime you suggest otherwise.

    13. But i wouldn’t do it, because Kemba and DRose in the same lineup doesn’t look to me like it could work.

      This is a good point. Honestly, I was kind of envisioning a scenario in which Kemba rests for a while or is otherwise generally marginalized. If you assume he still needs 20 MPG or so this all gets more difficult.

      I think we’d miss Fournier’s offense in the starting lineup and by my mediocre eye-test he’s not one of the primary reasons our defense has sucked.

    14. We started the season sharing the ball, working for open shots and balancing offensive loads. Defense was up&down but we did show immense offensive potential.

      Then in consecutive games (both wins, Bulls and Pels) Randle took 9 and 11 shots, with bad body language, low defensive energy and a certain scowl.

      Since then we abandoned the collective and reverse more to long stretches of iso play.
      We’re 2-4 since.

      In the last 2 games Julius Randle has 40 FG (17 3s), 4 FTs, 4 AST, 5 TO… but he’s scoring a gaudy 23.5. His assists went from 6.3 (october 6 G) to 3.8 (november also 6 G).

      Kemba is playing poorly (remember when he was 25-44 from 3? Good times…) and his defense will always be a problem.
      Fournier has long disappearing stretches, he’s a streaky “rhythm” player that 3 times in the last 4 games took 7, 8 and 5 shots (remember when he was 23-51 on 3s? good times).
      They’re both out of the flow on offense.

      Yesterday the game start like this:

      11:48 RJ Barrett bad pass (Hill steals)
      11:48 Robinson Foul
      Note: The sequence I called Dumb and Dumber yesterday, bad start and harbinger of things to come.
      11:10 Randle misses 26-foot jumper
      10:49 Randle makes 26-foot jumper (Fournier assists)
      10:02 Randle makes 21-foot jumper (Walker assists)
      9:27 Randle misses 21-foot step back jumpshot
      8:53 Barrett makes 18-foot pullup jump shot
      8:31 Walker out of bounds bad pass turnover
      8:05 Barrett misses driving layup
      7:33 Randle makes 16-foot step back jumpshot
      7:18 Randle makes free throw 1 of 2
      7:18 Randle misses free throw 2 of 2
      6:44 Fournier misses 28-foot three point jumper
      Note: kind of an Hail Mary with the clock running out
      6:31 Randle makes 25-foot jumper (Walker assists)
      6:04 Fournier makes 2-foot dunk

      Fournier didn’t take another shot in the quarter.
      6 MIN, 3 AST, all from newcomers. Randle and Barrett doing “my turn your turn” all the time.

      Bench share the ball. Bench has energy.

    15. My Grades:

      Walker, Fournier, Barrett, Randle, Robinson D-
      No need to explain.

      Rose, Burks, Quickley, Toppin, Gibson A
      No need to explain too.

      Thibs A
      I applaud him for the lesson he gave to the starters even if at the end the bench mob was panting.
      Maybe some shame can help.
      He’s saying the same (right) thing on post-game over and over: energy, ball movement and yadda yadda.
      I’m worried not everyone listen.

    16. Doncic has a team worst -29.5 on/off this year.

      https://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/DAL/2022.html

      His TS% is .518

      His 3p% is .286

      I’d say it was because he showed up at camp looking like the Pillsbury Doughboy again and he’ll come around as he gets in shape, but I think that’s only half the problem. As I often said, under Carlisle the offense was designed to maximize Doncic’s stats and efficiency. KP was at C most of the time and often standing 25-30 feet away from the basket taking 3s and Maxi Kleeber was at PF. Now KP is usually at PF with Powell at C. The spacing is way worse and gets even worse when KP is out with an injury. I think Kidd has the right idea long term to mix up their offense more, but they have to make some changes. There are some potential solutions to their problems, but so far he hasn’t tried any of them. In the mean time, Doncic can’t be happy.

    17. Our worst starter over the length of the season so far is RJ but yall are not ready for that discussion.

    18. @YourManDevine
      Kemba-Fournier-RJ-Randle-Mitch has now been outscored by 64 points in 205 minutes this season, according to @nbastats
      , making it both the most used and the worst lineup in the league thus far. Bad times!

    19. Alan:
      Strat, I’m not even going to indulge the Elfrid Payton nostalgia. He was GARBAGE on defense last season, as evidenced by both the eye test and the advanced stats. Nearly as useless on that end as he was on offense. Kemba’s defense is obviously a problem, but the solution is not Elfrid goddamn Payton, and you are making an especially broad parody of yourself anytime you suggest otherwise.

      Sometimes things are relative. You can think Payton’s defense was overrated and still think Payton was better on defense last year than Kemba is this year. At least Payton often picked up full court, hounded players, and until the end of the season when he went into that confidence death spiral, he tried hard. Kemba is terrible on defense.

    20. Our worst starter over the length of the season so far is RJ but yall are not ready for that discussion.

      No doubt Barrett has been peaks and valleys and now he has a streak of lousy games going.
      He did show potential and had very good games, but also bad habits that resurface too often (bad shooting streaks, dumb turnovers).
      He absolutely needs to do more and do it consistently.

    21. We still need another dozen games to see where the dust settles…but at the halfway mark, i.e., trade deadline…if there are still messages being sent in press conferences about “getting it figured out” or “getting it together” than shuffling the deck ain’t gonna work and pieces are going to need to be swapped out, i.e., Leon and Co need to earn their money and bring in better fitting pieces …otherwise…this looks like a 500 club or maybe a little better…i can’t recall if Thibs was throwing out these kinds of sound bites early in the season last year…but I was glad he said that the “we need time to gel quotes” are bullshit…..

      but to Dred’s point above …RJ is too much boom or bust..not consistent enough.. but I am not sure how much of that is playing with Randle..but I would say Mitch has been just as bad as RJ from a consistency standpoint…

    22. DRed:
      Our worst starter over the length of the season so far is RJ but yall are not ready for that discussion.

      I’m not buying that. He had a couple of dreadful games that weigh heavily on his overall stats because the season is so young, but I think he’s been our best player not named Rose.

    23. DRed:
      Our worst starter over the length of the season so far is RJ but yall are not ready for that discussion.

      172nd out of 196 qualified players in BPM.

    24. The major problem with Mitch is that his skillset on offense is so ridiculously limited, there are inevitably going to be nights he’s a non factor. Plus, he’s seems to have lost a step. He may be stronger (which is good), but it appears there was a cost. I think we should give him some more time. He missed a LOT of time with injuries. It could take awhile until he’s 100% (whatever 100% is now).

    25. RJ has been bad but he’s our best long-term prospect and we’re not contenders so he should be left alone. Not much more to it than that. Starting Quickley has the dual effect of passing the torch to a prospect and possibly making us better.

      Has he been, or has he just been beasting against fellow reserves?

      Well, there’s only one way to find out right? I know I sound like a broken record but there’s an easy way to get Obi a few more minutes without doing anything drastic–stop operating under the assumption that Julius Randle absolutely must be among the MPG leaderboards. Take him from 36-37 MPG to 32-33. This is not “bench Randle,” it’s “give Randle the normal amount of minutes for an all-star level player.”

      The funny thing is being among the minutes leaders isn’t even really a prestige thing. Most of his contemporaries in the MPG top-10 aren’t MVP candidate types, who actually mostly seem to appreciate getting some rest. I honestly think this would make Randle play better to the extent it would have any effect on him at all.

    26. I’m in the camp that it’s a little early to start tinkering with the starting lineup, particularly because I agree with tnfh that the best change may be Kemba moving into a very small role which is too dramatic for so early in the season. To me though he’s looking a lot more like a past it guy whose knees felt pretty good for about a week and now are gone than like someone who is playing their way into shape; I’m not holding out that much hope and with IQ starting to look like himself again that’s the change that may need to be made eventually.

      The rotation change that should be made now is finding time for the Randle-Obi frontcourt. I understood why Thibs didn’t go to it last year because for one thing it was so counter to that team’s identity, and for another Obi just wasn’t good enough to force the issue. Both things are different this year though – Obi is consistently playing well in his minutes, and a lot of the traditional C lineups aren’t guarding anybody anyway, this year’s team is winning with offense. I think it’s an open question whether Obi can translate the crazy high energy style he’s playing to more minutes but it’s time to start finding out. Particularly with Noel on the shelf this is the moment to give those lineups a loook.

    27. Let’s face it, our Deeefense sucks!: Sometimes things are relative. You can think Payton’s defense was overrated and still think Payton was better on defense last year than Kemba is this year.At least Payton often picked up full court, hounded players, and until the end of the season when he went into that confidence death spiral, he tried hard.Kemba is terrible on defense.

      I should add, at no point have I ever suggested that Payton was some kind of solution to the PG problem. I have merely suggested that the move from Payton to Kemba was not going to be as beneficial as some people thought. Kemba has an arthritic knee. It will NOT get better. He has lost a step on both sides (which is bad when you were already suspect on defense). He’s probably going to have his moments when he feels great and plays great on offense, but he’s not the same player and he’s terrible on defense. With the addition of Fournier and slow improvement of RJ, I’m not sure his offense is necessarily what we needed at PG to begin with. We needed someone that could at least hit an open 3 (Payton couldn’t), make plays, and defend. After the initial burst of excitement because we landed him on a cheap deal, I’ve been dubious. I’ve seen nothing so far to change my mind. Our starting lineup is still unbalanced, just in the other direction. This may be spectacularly premature and ultimately wrong, but I want to see McBride.

    28. The Noel-Mitch swap, to me, makes sense… Noel just more fleet of foot out there… he can close out better, and his butter stumps are very useful on defense… and believe it or not, he actually does have some touch around the hoop… with Mitch its dunk or bust… I am really down on Mitch… he needs to stop flexing… you dont expect mitch to completely shut down giannis, i know, but you would think he’d be pumped to guard him… two twin towers out there, big strong guys… you dont hear about that matchup at all… it was team defense that got the job done, i understand that, but its not even remotely suggested as a “matchup to watch”. Mitch is a big man, and we’ve all thought of him as fairly mobile, athletic freak (no, not like the greek freak)… alas, he’s not really that anymore… i posted the mitch flying through the air for reverse alley oops highlights the other day… we havent seen anything remotely like that…

      does anyone remember when KP was the apple of our eye, and he used to follow everyones shot to try to dunk on someones head on the O-glass… and then… after getting hurt, he just never did it again, not even close, and wasnt exciting at all… hmmmmmmm

    29. Let’s face it, our Deeefense sucks!: I should add, at no point have I ever suggested that Paytonwas some kind of solution to the PG problem.I have merely suggested that the move from Payton to Kemba was not going to be as beneficial as some people thought. Kemba has an arthritic knee. It will NOT get better.He has lost a step on both sides (which is bad when you were already suspect on defense). He’s probably going to have his moments when he feels great and plays great on offense, but he’s not the same player and he’s terrible on defense. With the addition of Fournier and slow improvement of RJ, I’m not sure his offense is necessarily what we needed at PG to begin with.We needed someone that could at least hit an open 3 (Payton couldn’t), make plays, and defend.After the initial burst of excitement because we landed him on a cheap deal, I’ve been dubious. I’ve seen nothing so far to change my mind.Our starting lineup is still unbalanced, just in the other direction.This may be spectacularly premature and ultimately wrong, but I want to see McBride.

      If Kemba knocks down 30% of the shots he’s missed, we’re probably ok-ish with him right now… when he comes of a screen, and takes that 3, those are the ones he needs to hit…

    30. Right now, Kemba is not an NBA player. If he was unknown named Wemba Kalker, there’s zero chance he’d get a minute of action. He might be the worst defensive player in the entire league and his offensive game is stuck in neutral. He doesn’t get to the rim, can’t create space on the perimeter, and isn’t setting anyone up for good looks. Moving him to the bench would only make the bench unit suck in the same way he makes the starting unit suck.

      I am fine with Thibs giving Kemba a long leash, it’s not a tiny investment and he deserves every opportunity to prove me wrong. He’s a great teammate/locker room guy and a Bronx native and has a great resume pre-Celtics. But he looks totally washed out there and you simply can’t intimidate other teams’ starters with a scrub PG and miniscule usage C’s who are totally dependent on shots at point blank range to score.

      If you are going to continue to run Kemba out there, you might want to play a C with some offensive game out there, either Taj or Obi. Obviously that hurts in other ways, but I can’t see any other solution that doesn’t involve benching Kemba.

    31. I was going to mention RJ’s regression, but DRed beat me to it. He’s turning it over way too much for a non-initiating wing and his defense has dropped to middling (maybe not his fault, he probably shouldn’t be guarding the other team’s #1 guy every night.)

      His shot should come around, and sure, he’s still young, but we need to see more — and soon (the same goes for Mitch btw).

      Yes, we are 7-5, but the FO’s gambles don’t seem to be working out thus far. As such, we still look like a first-round out, just an offensive-minded one this time.

      P.S. — raise your hand if you still think signing true young PG Lonzo Ball was the correct move…

    32. Based on Thibs’ postgame comments, it would seem that he is acutely aware of the issues with the starting lineup and is on the verge of making a change. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with. And I can’t imagine that the FO is looking at this roster and feeling great about what they’re seeeing, even with the 7-5 record. I wouldn’t be surprised if some kind of move is in the works.

    33. kevin5318:
      @YourManDevine
      Kemba-Fournier-RJ-Randle-Mitch has now been outscored by 64 points in 205 minutes this season, according to @nbastats
      , making it both the most used and the worst lineup in the league thus far. Bad times!

      This is insane, but sure, give them seven more games before making a change, I guess.

    34. I, for one, don’t think that Lonzo was a good fit for this team on the deal he signed. CHI has a great offensive core surronnding him with a C and two high-powered scoring wings who takes tons of pressure off of him so that he can just focus on what he does well…defend, pass and hit 3’s. Randle, RJ, and Mitch/Noel are not Vuc, DeRozan and LaVine.

    35. BTW, we have all seen enough fake comebacks to not go overboard about what the bench mob did…I mean, nice work and all but still…

    36. I’m more out on Fournier as a starter than Kemba, who I still have a shred of faith in. Fournier is clearly better off as a heat-check 6th man with Bullock still starting as our top defender.

      At least Kemba can get a quick hook with Rose on the bench if need be. I think handing the starting spot to Fournier and elevating RJ to top defender was our biggest offseason mistake.

    37. thenoblefacehumper:
      Thinking about where this team could be if we signed Lonzo brings me physical pain

      Am I missing something in Lonzo’s stats that suggests that he’s a $20+ million AAV player? He has a TS% of .562, an AST% of 18.2, and a TOV% of 17.4 on a well below 20% usage. He’s shooting .356 from 2 and averages 0.6 FTA per 36.

    38. I haven’t been super impressed by Lonzo’s Bulls tenure so far. It’s mostly Lavine and Derozan playing terrific ball that is making that team go (and, to a lesser extent, Alex Caruso!)

      He’d definitely be an improvement over Kemba but would bring a lot of similar problems on offense (i.e., the utter lack of penetration). The difference on d would be night and day but I’m not sure what I’ve seen so far would make me comfortable with the fact that I gave him 4/85. The only way I really see him improving is upping his steals numbers (which would buck his career trend) or increasing his 3s more and more, and I don’t think he can plausibly do much more of that, given how many he already takes. It’s beginning to look like he’ll never be a penetrator and is more of an oversize 3 and D SG with some passing acumen. I don’t think any FA acquisition was going to solve our starting PG problem (except maybe Cam Payne, who isn’t playing well but is coming back from injury and looks like a genuine PG out there)

    39. The good thing about Kemba is I’ve never heard anything negative about him from coaches or players so if hes actually finished it shouldnt be a big controversy to send him to the bench and move one of the the kids up in the rotation. RJ’s gonna play 30 mins no matter what most nights and Mitch I think is still working back from the foot injury so hopefully he drops some lbs as the season progresses.

      The good thing is we have assets to make some small deals so getting some help at the deadline shouldnt be too much of a problem for Leon.

    40. Noel this season has shot the ball even less frequently than Mitch has. Our offense completely ignores our centers. In any event, it’s not our offense that has generally been our problem, it’s that the our defense is bad, and our defense is bad because other teams are making a lot of 3s and a lot of their free throws

    41. Our defense is going to get better if for no other reason than other teams aren’t going to keep shooting this well from 3 and the FT line against us all year.

    42. More and more, Fournier and Kemba are looking like they’re just placeholders for Deuce/Grimes/Quick/etc.

      Said it yesterday, will say it again. I don’t see any simple lineup swap particularly improving things, for various complicated reasons. But we have two energizer bunnies on the bench who throw themselves around on D and appear to be able to play competent O. I think shorter leashes on the starters (and I include the Randle 32/Obi 16+ in there). Get the detectives in here and there, have them disrupt the other team (and our own).

    43. DRed:
      Noel this season has shot the ball even less frequently than Mitch has.

      Also, Kemba has blocked fewer shots than DRose.

      Seriously, is there another 48 minute C tandem in NBA history where both guys have a single-digit usage rate?

    44. Raven: More and more, Fournier and Kemba are looking like they’re just placeholders for Deuce/Grimes/Quick/etc.

      I think that’s true for Kemba but Fornier is more likely to stick in the starting lineup for a while. He’s getting paid starter’s money. But sure, it’s possible that Thibs shakes things up if they go on a bender. I’m expecting Fournier to play better when other changes are made.

    45. Both Noel and Mitch are attempting FGs at a rate well below their career norms this season. Is that because Mitch has too much muscle and is lazy and immature or does it suggest something about our offense

    46. DRed:
      Both Noel and Mitch are attempting FGs at a rate well below their career norms this season.Is that because Mitch has too much muscle and is lazy and immature or does it suggest something about our offense

      I think the muscle/weight/immature thing is overblown. There’s definitely some blame on the offensive game plan, but Mitch hasn’t developed as I had hoped. They could probably milk the PnR for a couple more lobs a game, but Mitch’s offensive skillset is so limited that I don’t see any way he becomes a consistent double-double guy.

      How many starting C’s in the league are worse overall players than Mitch? Or Noel if they get switched?

    47. First of all, fuck you, Jowles! This is Day 7 of me signing Shanice in the shower.

      Secondly, I may be in the minority but I am not worried about our starting lineup and wouldn’t make any changes. I am very happy the bench is performing great. I expect there will be times this season when our starters outperform our bench, too. It’s still very early and I wouldn’t make any judgments til we get to the quarter pole.

    48. One early judgment I do think we can make, though:

      Derrick Rose is our best player, and whatever unit he is on will be the best unit on our team.

    49. I think the question of whether Lonzo is “worth” $20M AAV is basically irrelevant. I’m fairly sure the Bulls could trade him for value tomorrow, they had to trade value to get him at that number after all. That’s just the way it tends to go with young, productive players–there will be takers almost regardless of their salary.

      It’s true he wouldn’t solve all of our issues, but he’d basically be the hot-shooting version of Kemba we got at the beginning of the season with none of the defensive issues, plus way more of an ability to get us easy looks in transition (imagine him playing with Obi). For this, we’d probably have to sacrifice Burks and Noel (i.e. replace them with cheaper options). I’ve said before I think we come out on top with Lonzo there, and I believe that more strongly than I did when I first said it.

    50. Clearly Leon didn’t want salary longer than 2023, so probably Lonzo (signed until 2025) was never an option. They have their sights on a 2023 free agent, that i can assure. Zion, maybe?

    51. That 2023 FA class has a lot of impressive names, but many of them will be very old (LeBron), or unlikely to leave their current teams (Jokic), or restricted (Zion). Still feels like we’ll have to get our superstar via trade, but the way our contracts are structured at least gives Leon flexibility to try lots of different things, including replacing depth from a trade package by signing a bunch of FA role players.

    52. I would not change the starting line up EXCEPT for maybe switching out Mitch for Noel.

      What I would do is cut Randle’s minutes down to 32ish a game and give all of those extra minutes to Obi. And also give the Randle/Obi front court some burn each game. I would also give IQ a longer leash when he’s got it and try to find room for Grimes especially if any one of Burks/Fournier/RJ is having a really bad game.

    53. We’re still dealing with some pretty small sample sizes, and players go on streaks, so I’m really not sure what kind of team this is yet. A week ago we were all ready to banish IQ to the bench and give his job to Grimey, and now he seems like he’s getting back to normal.

    54. JK47:
      We’re still dealing with some pretty small sample sizes, and players go on streaks, so I’m really not sure what kind of team this is yet. A week ago we were all ready to banish IQ to the bench and give his job to Grimey, and now he seems like he’s getting back to normal.

      Not sure who felt that way about IQ vs. Grimes, but the issues with Kemba are pretty legit and not knee-jerk reactions, being that he is pretty much exactly who he was when Boston dumped him. I agree that patience is warranted for everyone else (especially Fournier and Mitch) but the Kemba thing is more clear cut. To put it in perspective, I think Lou Williams is a better player than Kemba right now and he’s on his last legs. Lou can still perform well in select games in a suitable role, but if he’s your starting PG, you got problems.

    55. Fournier gets grouped with Kemba far too much. His defense isnt nearly as bad, hes in his prime years and perfectly healthy(as far as we know). Just in a small shooting slump.

    56. The issue isn’t offense. We’re still number 4 in ORTG. So we can keep having Mitch & Noel in single digit usage.

      The real issue is defense. The starters blow coverages in transition, Kemba wouldn’t qualify as a speed bump, and Mitch isn’t as mobile this year.

      Fournier doesn’t look bad, but that doesn’t mean he’s good. I’d wager he’s a step slower than he needs to be. I can’t tell while watching live.

      If any offensive problem exists, it’s the starters inability to penetrate. Kemba & Fournier float around the perimeter too much, RJ is still mediocre in the halfcourt, and Randle posts or jab steps more than he attacks the basket.

      Meanwhile, the backup unit attacks the basket 1-4.

      But again, the defense is the problem.

    57. We’re not signing FAs in 2023, we’re cutting our entire roster in order to make every single 2nd rd draft pick.

      Come on guys, why else have we been stockpiling picks?

    58. kemba’s usage is way down from what he’s used to, his 2 point field goal percentage is way down also…

      maybe the team is still trying to gel???

      it’s tough, we have such an advantage with our second unit – you don’t want to mess with that…

      benching either evian or kemba seems a bit drastic after 12 games…

      love what thib’s had to say about giving players time to “gel”
      “You know what they say — when it’s 10 games, you say we need 20. When you get to 20, you say 30. When we get to 30, you say 40, and then before you know it, the season’s over,” said Thibodeau referring to how much time do his starters need to jell. “So, that’s a bunch of bullshit.”

      thibs is good at saying the right stuff…we kind of our starting to look like thib’s wolves team though…

    59. I think the frustration on this board can be summed up pretty easily. The second half of last season, the Knicks were basically the best version of themselves (discounting Elf of course). This season they are not the best version of themselves, pretty much top to bottom — with the exception of Rose, and one could argue Obi (acknowledging his limitations) and Noel (when he is on the court — if you include injuries, then no).

      The best version of any team is incredibly fun and rootable, even if they’re not very good. What’s especially frustrating this year is we can see the best version of this team — for a quarter, here and there. In a very few cases, a whole half. So it actually exists, and it’s pretty impressive. But never three quarters, much less an entire game (or series of games).

    60. thenoblefacehumper:
      Thinking about where this team could be if we signed Lonzo brings me physical pain

      It was a monumental fuck up.

      I’m still in the same place I’ve been since early last year — I have no real idea where this whole thing is going and I’m in that situation because the whole thing is in fact rather aimless. I liked Fournier and wanted him at the deadline last year and was fine getting him in free agency, but I never pictured him as a full time starter at 2 guard. He’s a 25 MPG bench piece. Obi’s now starting to show some of the production those of us who wanted to stick with him last year thought he’d probably show and the team should be slowly and steadily increasing his minutes and responsibility, and there’s little indication they’re doing that, Essentially the same thing is the case for IQ.

      Kemba is basically baked at this point, and not baked in the good way. He’s still NBA-caliber at shooting threes on screen/roll and spot up occasionally, but that’s it.

      They’re still a lottery short of where they should be, IMO.

      Where’s all this heading? It’s looking more than a little frayed to this observer.

    61. here’s a nice little morsel to really fuck with everyone’s favorite assumptions. last year when we played our defensive killer 5-man lineup of randle/rj/bullock/payton/noel, they actually generated pretty shitty numbers, both overall AND on defense. they were -5/100 and 117/100 allowed in 554 minutes.

    62. thenoblefacehumper:
      I think the question of whether Lonzo is “worth” $20M AAV is basically irrelevant. I’m fairly sure the Bulls could trade him for value tomorrow, they had to trade value to get him at that number after all. That’s just the way it tends to go with young, productive players–there will be takers almost regardless of their salary.

      It’s true he wouldn’t solve all of our issues, but he’d basically be the hot-shooting version of Kemba we got at the beginning of the season with none of the defensive issues, plus way more of an ability to get us easy looks in transition (imagine him playing with Obi). For this, we’d probably have to sacrifice Burks and Noel (i.e. replace them with cheaper options). I’ve said before I think we come out on top with Lonzo there, and I believe that more strongly than I did when I first said it.

      That’s one way of looking at it. Another is that we would be tying up $20mill AAV of cap space for a few years in a second rate starting PG who can’t drive, draw fouls or create his own shot, on a team bereft of true shot creators. As to his ability to find Obi in transition, I sincerely doubt that you would see any measurable difference to what you are seeing now. His AST% and AST/TOV ratio hardly suggest that Lonzo is some kind of passing savant. I think that Burks plus Noel provide more value to winning than Lonzo plus two lesser players at those respective positions.

      And that’s not even considering that Lonzo’s 3pt% is 10 points above his career average. If he regresses to, say, 38% from 3, then what?

      Ultimately, Lonzo was a much better fit for the Bulls, who have three excellent iso scorers and just need competent 3-pt shooting and defense from their PG. He wouldn’t have fit as well with us given what we would have needed to forego to get him. And a team trying to distance itself from its clown show days should be very wary of bringing Lavar’s son into the fold unless his name is LaMelo.

    63. Broke: Being mad the Knicks missed out on Lonzo
      Woke: Being mad the Knicks missed out on Caruso

    64. Woj: Chicago Bulls’ Nikola Vucevic to miss multiple games after testing positive for COVID-19, sources say

      We play the Bulls on Nov 22, i don’t know if he’ll be available to play us or not.

    65. Z-man: Am I missing something in Lonzo’s stats that suggests that he’s a $20+ million AAV player? He has a TS% of .562, an AST% of 18.2, and a TOV% of 17.4 on a well below 20% usage.He’s shooting .356 from 2 and averages 0.6 FTA per 36.

      I think you should compare his stats to typical point guard stats, rather than to league averages. A typical point guard probably has a TS% of 0.550 or less.

    66. yeah, i looked up devonte grahams’s stats with new orleans – nothing very special going on there either so far this year…

    67. Knick fan not in NJ: I think you should compare his stats to typical point guard stats, rather than to league averages. A typical point guard probably has a TS% of 0.550 or less.

      That’s a reasonable point (npi) but his current TS% is totallly a function of shooting 45% from 3, is that sustainable? He’s not really doing anything that should cause anyone to be caused “physically pain” thinking about it or calling it a “monumental fuck up.” He’s the 20th PG in BPM, 22nd PG in WS48, 34th PG in AST%, and 31st PG in TOV% (not exact numbers if you eliminate non-starting level pgs, but still…)

      That’s not the level of PG production I’d be pining over at $20mil AAV. Personally, I’d rather give McBride a shot at running the point than trade Nerlens and Burks for Lonzo. But hey, opinions vary!

    68. The Lavar thing has been a complete non-issue since Lonzo distanced himself from the BBB stunt, and has also been irrelevant in regards to LaMelo basically. All accounts we have is that the kids are actually very far from Lavar’s personality and are just hard working guys who want to play basketball.

      I really like Lonzo as a player, he’s a modern era 3 and D guard who can really defend multiple positions and bring value in other aspects of the game, transition and 3 point shooting mostly. Of course he wasn’t the solution to the current Knicks issues, but this team would 100% be better if we had him instead of Kemba. LaMelo is even better obviously.

    69. I think the obvious answer to getting Toppin more playing time is to play him at the 3. Even without his 3 pointers falling, he has a TS of .641. He’s also got the second best DBPM on the team. If anyone deserves more playing time it’s Obi.

    70. Z-man: That’s a reasonable point (npi) but his current TS% is totallly a function of shooting 45% from 3, is that sustainable? He’s not really doing anything that should cause anyone to be caused “physically pain” thinking about it or calling it a “monumental fuck up.”He’s the 20th PG in BPM, 22nd PG in WS48, 34th PG in AST%, and 31st PG in TOV% (not exact numbers if you eliminate non-starting level pgs, but still…)

      That’s not the level of PG production I’d be pining over at $20mil AAV. Personally, I’d rather give McBride a shot at running the point than trade Nerlens and Burks for Lonzo. But hey, opinions vary!

      Thise are good points too. I am not in the camp that says we should go after him hard. Honestly, I kind of agree with Thibs, we need more time for the starting unit to gel. Ten games just doesn’t seem a lot of games for that to happen. And also we are beating ourselves up over losing to the Bucks by ten points or so. We lost to a good team and, Brian aside, we’re winning games at about the percentage a lot of us predicted at the beginning of the season.

    71. Bruno Almeida: I really like Lonzo as a player, he’s a modern era 3 and D guard who can really defend multiple positions and bring value in other aspects of the game, transition and 3 point shooting mostly. Of course he wasn’t the solution to the current Knicks issues, but this team would 100% be better if we had him instead of Kemba.

      I agree on all of this, but even if the odds of Lavar being involved are 5% it’s not worth that small chance of drama. Beyond the obvious W-L positives, the best thing this team has going for it is a complete absence of drama. The bottom line is that there’s a history there, and no guarantee that it won’t resurface.

      And we all agree (certainly I do) that Lonzo would be a better solution than Kemba. That’s not really the question, though. Kemba is making half of lonzo’s salary and is expiring in 2023. You can take the other half of that salary and roster another Burks/Noel level player, or sign the next Lonzo when Kemba expires. I just think at this stage that it’s better to hope McBride develops into something close to Lonzo at a much level cost, or wait until a big splash comes along, than to settle for Lonzo given our current roster situation. If we had signed Lonzo I’d have been totally fine with it, but I was (and stil am) equally fine with having not signed him. Sure, if he keeps putting up games like his last one vs. Dallas I’ll re-evaluate, but beyond going 7-10 from 3 that night, plus a great game early against the woeful Pels, he really hasn’t done all that much.

    72. GHenman:
      I think the obvious answer to getting Toppin more playing time is to play him at the 3. Even without his 3 pointers falling, he has a TS of .641. He’s also got the second best DBPM on the team. If anyone deserves more playing time it’s Obi.

      While certainly improved, Obi is still pretty heavy-footed and off-balance on D and the better small scoring wings would probably eat him up right now, but sure, run it out there and see how it goes. If only our bigs knew how to throw a long outlet pass!

    73. Its hard to get excited about Obi since he’ll probably never reach his potential here. Just hope he raises his value enough for a star trade down the line.

    74. Obi at the 3 is a terrible idea. Offensively, he’s a run running big, virtually all his points come in the paint. Trying to play him at the same time as Randle and Mitch/Noel would kill our spacing. And defensively there’s no way he’s keeping up with any wing.

    75. ***Its hard to get excited about Obi since he’ll probably never reach his potential here. Just hope he raises his value enough for a star trade down the line.***

      He’s destined to be this generation’s Jordan Hill, huh?

    76. It’s funny how slow Obi seems on defense given how lighting fast he is in transition and on cuts.

      He does contest shots pretty well. The vert is real

    77. Obi very well might suck at the 3 but if you gave him 5 minutes there a night it would be interesting. RJ is sucking so why not?

    78. @pepper Hopefully, we finally have a coaching staff and front office that will be patient. Obi scores a lot in the open court. At 6’9″ 220, I don’t see him as a big. Even at Dayton, his game was mostly about beating everybody down court and attacking the rim before the defense can set up. All he needs is to hit the corner 3 at a decent rate and he can play small forward. Also, his defense is much improved, especially his lateral movement.

    79. The biggest issue with Obi right now is that he can’t hit a 3 to save his life. If he can’t become a more versatile scorer he will be an overall liabiity at the 3. I know we love his transition game, but those opportunities will be limited by the way the game is played today where teams send guys back rather than crash the offensive boards. If you think the offense is stagnant now, imagine it with Randle, Obi and Mitch on the floor together.

    80. Thanx for the link, GHenman, the video explaining the change in Obi’s biomechanics helps understand why he looks so much better this season.

    81. Kyle Kuzma, Jason Tatum, Michael Porter Jr, Paul George, TJ Warren, Franz Wagner, DeAndre Hunter. Barrett consistently gives up 2-3 inches to his opponent.

    82. I’m not against trying different lineups in the beginning of the season, so it’d be ok for me. But i pretty much doubt Obi would have defended Tatum the way RJ did, even with the height advantage.

    83. I agree with Z-Man here. The reason Cleveland’s big lineup was working was because Mobley and Markkanen can both shoot threes. maybe if Obi starts hitting threes consistently, he could play the 3 some, but that will have to wait for now.

    84. Thanks GHenman for the link on Obi’s biuomechanics adjustments, very interesting… and promising!

      Now if only he can start hitting some threes…

      (I don’t think he’s a “3”, but a stretch “4”/”5″ is a nice piece to have especially with the offensive limitations of our main centers…)

    85. ess-dog:
      I agree with Z-Man here. The reason Cleveland’s big lineup was working was because Mobley and Markkanen can both shoot threes. maybe if Obi starts hitting threes consistently, he could play the 3 some, but that will have to wait for now.

      And also Mobley is a legitimately freak athlete who has unbelievable mobility for his size, so he can switch onto anyone. I’m fully convinced he’s the glue holding it all together at Cleveland and it’s been a while since I’ve been convinced so fast that a rookie is going to be a superstar in the league. If you switch him with Obi their defense falls apart really quickly.

    86. We don’t need to play Obi at the 3. At least not yet.

      We just need to play Randle a little less and Obi a little more and give the Randle/Obi front court some burn every game for a few minutes.

      Sub out Mitch first for Obi. Play the Randle/Obi back court for a bit. Then sub out Randle and Kemba and bring in Rose/Noel or Taj. Then sub out Fournier to bring in IQ.

      I honestly think a lot of our problems can be solved with a little more creativity from Thibs with rotations and a little more faith in the bench especially a little more faith in Obi and IQ. The funny thing is Randle would probably play better at the end of games if he was playing 32 minutes a night instead of 36 or 38 minutes a night. Its not THAT difficult to fix.

      And then also…give Grimes a shot on nights when RJ/Fournier/Burks are struggling.

      Kemba is what it is at this point. I honestly do not fault Thibs for not giving McBride a shot even if Kemba is struggling on defense. Plugging in a rookie 3 and D player like Grimes is a bit easier than handing over the keys to the offense to a rookie PG. I would be hesitant to do that too. I would not be surprised if Leon is looking to move Knox to bring back another vet PG or if we clear a roster space to sign someone like…I don’t know…Jeff Teague? I think we could use one more vet PG on the roster to really give Kemba some load management. Kemba himself might be half assing it on D cause its early in the season and he wants to save those knees for the playoffs.

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