Knicks Morning News (2021.12.02)

  • NBA Preview: Mr. Opposite Picks takes New York Knicks +2 Vs. Chicago Bulls 12/2 – SportsGrid
    [www.sportsgrid.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 11:43:07 PM

    NBA Preview: Mr. Opposite Picks takes New York Knicks +2 Vs. Chicago Bulls 12/2  SportsGrid

  • Here’s What Kevin Durant Said After The Brooklyn Nets Beat The New York Knicks – Sports Illustrated
    [www.si.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 10:35:09 PM

    Here’s What Kevin Durant Said After The Brooklyn Nets Beat The New York Knicks  Sports IllustratedNBA admits Knicks were victim of two bad calls vs. Nets  New York PostNew York Knicks upset with officiating in loss to Brooklyn Nets  ESPNOne big silver lining in Knicks’ shootout loss to Nets  Empire Sports MediaNets vs. Knicks odds, line, spread: 2021 NBA picks, Nov. 30 predictions, best bets from model on 117-77 roll  CBSSports.comView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks Prediction, Preview, and Odds – 12-2-2021 – Winners and Whiners
    [winnersandwhiners.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 9:03:17 PM

    Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks Prediction, Preview, and Odds – 12-2-2021  Winners and Whiners

  • Bulls offense finding success in midrange game, face Knicks Thursday – Bulls.com
    [www.nba.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 8:29:47 PM

    Bulls offense finding success in midrange game, face Knicks Thursday  Bulls.com

  • Knicks’ Alec Burks making Kemba Walker benching look like right move – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 7:18:00 PM

    Knicks’ Alec Burks making Kemba Walker benching look like right move  New York Post

  • The Knicks’ Struggles Go Deeper Than Kemba Walker – The New York Times
    [www.nytimes.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 4:21:06 PM

    The Knicks’ Struggles Go Deeper Than Kemba Walker  The New York TimesKemba Walker trade rumors: Knicks look to deal guard, Rockets’ John Wall could be potential target, per report  CBSSports.comKnicks Rumors: 3 teams interested in dealing for Kemba Walker  Daily KnicksWhat? Tom Thibodeau Shared Big News About New York Knicks’ Point Guard Kemba Walker  Sports IllustratedKemba Walker confidant ‘taken aback’ by sudden Knicks benching  New York PostView Full Coverage on Google News

  • Atlanta Hawks star and New York Knicks villain Trae Young among athletes who got a vote for New York City mayor – ESPN
    [www.espn.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 4:13:55 PM

    Atlanta Hawks star and New York Knicks villain Trae Young among athletes who got a vote for New York City mayor  ESPN

  • Guard Coby White becomes second fully vaccinated Chicago Bulls player to test positive for COVID-19 – ESPN
    [www.espn.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 3:12:07 PM

    Guard Coby White becomes second fully vaccinated Chicago Bulls player to test positive for COVID-19  ESPN

  • New York Knicks fans, please stop hating on Julius Randle – Daily Knicks
    [dailyknicks.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 2:00:00 PM

    New York Knicks fans, please stop hating on Julius Randle  Daily Knicks

  • GLUE GUYS: Nets > Knicks – NetsDaily
    [www.netsdaily.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 1:09:15 PM

    GLUE GUYS: Nets > Knicks  NetsDaily

  • Pete Davidson attends Nets game with his sister as Kim, Kanye hit Miami – Page Six
    [pagesix.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 11:29:00 AM

    Pete Davidson attends Nets game with his sister as Kim, Kanye hit Miami  Page Six

  • The best part of being a Knicks fan is being a Knicks fan – Posting and Toasting
    [www.postingandtoasting.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 9:38:10 AM

    The best part of being a Knicks fan is being a Knicks fan  Posting and Toasting

  • Pete Davidson Proves He’s the Best Big Brother While Sitting Courtside at Nets Game With Sister Casey – E! Online
    [www.eonline.com] — Wednesday, December 1, 2021 9:06:00 AM

    Pete Davidson Proves He’s the Best Big Brother While Sitting Courtside at Nets Game With Sister Casey  E! Online

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    71 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2021.12.02)”

    1. by the way – speaking of Obi

      We are in small sample size world of course, but Obi + Randle without Kemba (ie. the ability to switch most things on defense presumably) –> in 63 possessions, those lineups have a net +30.2 rating. Given how great Obi has been, how injured and generally ineffective our centers have been — we really need to see more of these lineups.

      I’d really like to get to the bottom of the Thibs/Obi shouting match in Brooklyn. I imagine some of what Thibs is doing with Obi is a tough love approach, but whatever he and the staff have done has worked wonders on the kid. The question now is this: is Obi not playing more in small-ball lineups next to Julius because Thibs is too dogmatically committed to the emphasis on rim protection above all else, or is something else going on between our coach and our most entertaining player?

    2. In HoopsRumors.com: Miles Bridges is an All-Star candidate this season with two-way impact.

      I wanted one of the Bridges… we took Knox out of the blue. It felt better when at least Miles was also a stinker. Not anymore. Sigh.

    3. Alan: or is something else going on between our coach and our most entertaining player?

      From what i saw on TV, Obi didn’t seem too upset, he just answered the coach with what he felt was his opinion. They exchanged words like 3 times, and that’s it. Is this a problem? I don’t think so.

    4. Yeah Thibs needs to learn to love small ball and give the Randle/Obi front court some serious burn. I bet we could have won that game against The Nets if we’d left Obi in. I get wanting defense but Obi is electric right now. He needs to be unleashed.

      I’m cool with more tough love for the time being but by next season, Obi should be getting some serious burn if he continues on this way.

      Same with IQ. These two guys are our most exciting and dynamic players right now and we need to see how high they can fly.

    5. Obi has had good games and some stinkers. Let’s not proclaim him the second coming yet. I do love how he has improved his free throw shooting, though.

    6. I don’t see Obi having a complete game yet, but he’s deadly around the rim and he’s been playing tenacious defense. There’s much more he needs to add to his game and I feel he might get exposed with too many more minutes. Whatever Thibs is doing with the kids feels right to me.

    7. cybersoze:
      Tonight i’m optimistic. How about you D-Mar? :)

      Well, I’m going to the game so they better win. Hate to spend $36 for 2 beers and watch them lose!

    8. d-mar: Well, I’m going to the game so they better win. Hate to spend $36 for 2 beers and watch them lose!

      Wow, that’s some premium beer. :P

    9. Obi is way more comfortable than he was last year. His handle seems to be improved a bit. I love the energy he brings off the bench . But he’s basically doing in the pros what he used to do in college, except against better competition . He’s using his athleticism around the rim and getting out fast in transition. Last year I was pretty vocal that NBA teams would take away most of his easy transition points (and they did), but surprisingly we are doing a little better this year. I suspect that will only be true until playoff time. He’s terrific as an energy player off the bench, but if he wants to take another step he has to be able to shoot from outside.

      This is not a perfect compare, but since I followed the Nuggets closely in the Gallo days, he’s our Kenneth Faried.

    10. In college, Obi was also something of a poor man’s Randle, in that he made a lot of plays for his teammates because of the attention he drew. We have seen this occasionally from him in the pros — albeit most prominently in his first few preseason games back in 2020 — but he’s not featured in the second unit offense in the same way Julius is with the starters, so the opportunities mostly aren’t there. It may be that “absurdly athletic high-energy player” is his NBA ceiling, but I also don’t want to write off the possibility of him being more than that. Which is why, as I’ve said a few times, I’d be awfully curious to see how things go with him starting in a game Julius misses for some reason. Last year, Thibs started Taj the one time Julius was out, but I feel like he’d try Obi now. Or maybe I just hope that he would.

    11. Harden to Philly for Simmons would really be something. That might be a smart pivot for Brooklyn, especially if they can trade Kyrie, too.

      I’m fine with where Obi is now; RJ is the problem. He looks like yet another draft bust to me. I really wanted Garland (or the Herro/Clarke package) in that draft, but we had a terrible FO at the time.

      Even in his “good” season last year, he was only at an “encouraging” level — not on a definitive star trajectory. And now, with this backslide, things aren’t looking good for him.

      I like the kid and want him to turn it around, but he’s back in worst-case-scenario land, and it’s a real bummer.

    12. Let’s get back on Mitch… all we want is a little 2 or 3 ft baby hook push shot… a pump fake, a pivot, and an easy 2 with touch… his intent, every time is to dunk, and every once in awhile if hes fouled or off balance, he goes with a hopeful layup… too many excuses for this guy, the weight, the injuries, the whatever… there is not one thing he does fundamentally well… he is capable in a few spots and maybe above average here and there… i dare to say if, and its a big if, noel catches the ball, he is capable of these things… and he’s probably closest to Mitch in terms of all the other stuff… i just dont like the guy…

    13. RJ has been disappointing recently, but I think some of it is self inflicted and changing conditions. Last year he improved his 3p%, but they were typically fairly comfortable higher quality shots because teams didn’t respect him very much. This year they are guarding him better and he’s trying more things. I think his overall shot quality from 3 has declined. He may also be having more trouble around the rim because he’s playing SF instead of SG. I haven’t been paying close enough attention to know, but on average he may getting guarded by taller stronger players than last year that are making it more difficult for him to finish. He’s stronger than most SGs. That may not be the case when he’s being guarded by SFs. I think we have to be patient with his development. He’s 5-6 years away from his peak.

    14. Mitch’s development has been stalled by injuries, but it’s no shock to me that teams are taking away some of his lobs and put backs. When that’s all you can do, good defensive teams will make adjustments. During his peak “hype” period I was saying that. If he can ever get healthy and stay that way for awhile, hopefully he’ll make some progress. What he probably needs is a couple of very healthy off seasons and some dedication. But for now, we just need him to get healthy. Maybe he needs to drop a few pounds. He may have overdone it.

    15. The 3 lowest usage players in the NBA (200min minimum) are Taj Gibson, Nerlens Noel and MItchell Robinson. The lowest usage player in the NBA (no minimum) is Jericho Sims. MItch is our highest usage center.

    16. I know we hate talking about stats around here but our centers are doing what our offense calls on them to do, Mitch taking a baby hook shot once a game for some reason isn’t going to make RJ start hitting his shots again

    17. DRed:
      The 3 lowest usage players in the NBA (200min minimum) are Taj Gibson, Nerlens Noel and MItchell Robinson.The lowest usage player in the NBA (no minimum) is Jericho Sims.MItch is our highest usage center.

      Yeah, this seems significant when we’re talking about Mitch’s “development” or lack thereof. He’s simply not meant to get touches. This definitely seems like a feature and not a bug of Thibs’ offense.

      I don’t really like the approach at all, it means you’re playing 4-on-5 on the offensive end at all times, and it simply makes the defense’s job easier. If we had an elite defense you could maybe make the argument that it works, but alas.

    18. I respect the usage argument, but my disappointment in Mitch stems from his lack of impact on the defensive end. His defensive rebounding is poor for a man his size. It’s been this way 3 years now, so we might as well stop expecting significant improvement. His steals & block numbers are languishing, too. Last year you could see in the team numbers how he still made an impact despite that decline, but that’s not the case anymore.

      If we’re going to use our centers the way we are on offense, then Z-Man is right that we can duplicate Mitch’s production at lower cost.

    19. One thing that jumps out to me about Obi is that he beats everyone down court for a fast break dunk at least once or twice every game I’ve seen which is impressive. He’s got some wheels getting up court for sure and has been the beneficiary of some great outlet passes by Rose and IQ. It’s great to see his overall improvement as he seems like a good guy who appears to be working hard on improving his game.

      A good effort against the Nets overall, but they suffered from several self-inflicted wounds or they would have won. The Knicks offense was taking too long to get a decent look. There were several 24 second violations and I don’t know how many times they had to chuck something up with under 5 seconds but it happened over and over. They need to stop all the slow developing iso shit on most possessions and move the ball more. This was especially disconcerting as I don’t believe the Nets are particularly adept on defense.

    20. The Nets surprisingly have put together a solid defensive team(8th in the league). They have some plus defenders in Bembry, James Johnson, Bruce Brown and Jevon carter.

      In the 3rd quarter we saw how having no real PG’s in the starting lineup started to stagnate the offense a bit. We didnt start to turn things around until Quickley and Rose checked back into the game.

    21. granted, one can argue, low usage guys are low usage for a reason… can anyone grab the 5th through 10th lowest usage centers with a minimum… like… does eye test at least tell us those guys have some semblance of “finesse” or “touch” around the basket?

    22. I haven’t given up on Mitch, but injuries and/or weight gain have robbed him of his elite athleticism. He used to be much quicker to the rim and a much more explosive leaper, which made him a much better lob target. He also could cover a lot more ground on defense which made him a good switch defender, and the best 3pt shot blocker around. All of those things are gone now, so he looks like just another big guy out there.

      Obi definitely deserves more playing time. I would give him some minutes at the 3, especially with Burks now playing more minutes at pg, and RJ underperforming. He is a better 3point shooter than he has shown so far this year and his defense against smaller players is better than he is given credit for.

    23. It is amazing that no one in the organization warned Mitch about the potential downfall of putting on too much weight. If he really is at 280 maybe finding the happy balance between his rookie weight(240) and his new weight at 260 ish is the best idea

    24. The point that Mitch’s miniscule usage is due to the role in the offense is a solid rebuttal to the idea that he’s gotten significantly worse on offense but doesn’t really address the fact that he’s supposed to be getting better (if not on offense than at least at something).

    25. i put together of couple of comparisons oop attempts from mitch’s rookie year vs this year. as comparisons they are necessarily clunky bc the world stubbornly refuses to provide isomorphic counterfactuals. but to me they paint a clear picture. mitch has lost more than a modest about of his mitchness.

      these are both impromptu reverse dunk attempts. the key here isn’t only how high he gets but how much more work he has to put on the take off this year:

      rookie
      https://tinyurl.com/yckumjae
      21-22
      https://tinyurl.com/2p8h4r99

      this one is actually a rookie yr miss from dotson where he jumps off one foot in stride vs a make from rj this year. and yes the passes are very different but i think it still reflects a huge gap in his general athleticism. look at the take-off plus the catch atop the square then vs the entire sequence today, especially the gather and roll speed. i don’t think you can throw the first pass to him today and have any shot.

      rookie
      https://tinyurl.com/2p8vuzbu
      21-22
      https://tinyurl.com/287w6xec

      this one is an iffy rj lob from this year, too flat a trajectory. but you can see in the comp his take-off and ridiculous bodily chicanery allowing him to adjust are in a different universe than they once were. i used a rookie year pass from frank that wasn’t even intended as an alley-oop to show what mitch used to be able to do to adjust to rough trajectories. if you freeze frame here on the catch he gets baryshnikov envy.

      rookie
      https://tinyurl.com/buk9sdmj
      21-22
      https://tinyurl.com/2p893cs4

      and finally just look at where his knees are at the apex of his jump, patella to eye w jodie meeks. have to think this one is gone forever. there is no reasonable comp.

      rookie
      https://tinyurl.com/yckk3sw2

    26. as far as the never ending search that is the starting point guard position for the new york knickerbockers – mister quik is starting to make me more and more a believer…

      i mean – he said he’s a point guard, and it sure seems like him and our whole coaching staff are out to prove it…

      immanuel quickley is turning out to be one intriguing player…dang, his advanced stats ain’t really all that pretty either though…

      thank goodness for that warm and fuzzy feeling the eye test provides…

    27. ***Hate to spend $36 for 2 beers//Wow, that’s some premium beer.***

      James Dolan personally pisses in each one.

    28. granted, one can argue, low usage guys are low usage for a reason… can anyone grab the 5th through 10th lowest usage centers with a minimum… like… does eye test at least tell us those guys have some semblance of “finesse” or “touch” around the basket?

      In Mitch, Noel, and Taj we are talking about guys that have already shown they can handle higher usage without an efficiency drop off. Mitch specifically led the NBA in TS% at a USG% of 13.3, so him being in single digits seems like a huge waste.

      Of course, it’s entirely possible pre-injuries/weight gain Mitch was a different story. Noel has an injury history of his own so it’s possible he also no longer has the capacity to post mid-teens usage like he did in OKC. It’s possible Taj has aged such that he can’t handle usage pushing 20% like he did in his final Minnesota season.

      All of these things being true just seems a bit fishy though, so I think it’s fair to ask questions about our scheme.

      It is amazing that no one in the organization warned Mitch about the potential downfall of putting on too much weight. If he really is at 280 maybe finding the happy balance between his rookie weight(240) and his new weight at 260 ish is the best idea

      I’m not sure how much of a conscious decision it was, since with a broken foot weight lifting was probably the only exercise he could consistently do.

    29. There’s no question Mitch is less mobile than he used to be, and that saps a lot of his value. GHenman is right, he’s not as effective as a switch defender anymore and he is just a step slower overall.

      Without the athletic freakishness he’s a lot less early Marcus Camby and a lot more generic backup big. I’d be looking for a replacement.

    30. I know people are bummed about Mitch’s performance thus far, but I think coming back from a broken foot takes a long time because of a lack of conditioning, added weight, and the fact that you’re just always on your feet.

      I guess I just assume he will still play his way into better shape, regardless of the added muscle. The nagging injuries along the way don’t help, but that’s part of being on your feet at a heavier weight than you’d like.

      I guess the real argument is, as DRed pointed out, the Thibs system seems to keep the ball almost completely out of the center’s hands. Therefore, Sims might be a reasonable facsimile of Mitch at a much lower cost. But letting Mitch leave for nothing doesn’t seem like a bright plan either.

      I would hope we could at least let Mitch “show out” to raise his value before trading him at the deadline, but that doesn’t seem likely either. Ultimately, we might just give him a Nerlens-style deal, but maybe over three years? That’s probably what he would get from a team like OKC or Detroit next offseason.

      Speaking of OKC, we could probably get a future first from them for Mitch as they have so many. But they also might prefer to go after a five-out shooting lineup that Mitch’s skillset wouldn’t fit. I guess we’ll find out eventually what he’s worth.

    31. Are there any (useful) advanced stats comparing how RJ plays with Julius, Fournier, Kemba vs. how he plays with IQ, DRose, Obi. The latter is prolly a tiny sample, but I think RJ might do better with the young guys for a variety of reasons.

    32. All this talk about Mitch has me thinking about player development. There now is enough body of work to start evaluating just how good our player development staff is. My default position has been very good in that the franchise prioritised it and backed it up with investment in solid hires, with RJ’s year 1 to year 2 leap as evidence. Obi and IQ are progressing well. But…if Mitch’s development isn’t an F, it can’t be above a D; they must have given up on Knox, and our 2-ways and Westies have so far produced nothing.

    33. @ShamsCharania
      Bucks center Brook Lopez underwent back surgery and is out indefinitely.

      Big blow to Milwaukee wonder if they will be in the market for another big man.

    34. Career NBA Games Played so far:
      Zion Williamson – 85
      RJ Barrett – 149

      RJ may not be as good, or even good right now, but at least he plays. As they say your best ability is your availability.

    35. That Shams tweet is hilarious. Clearly his source is someone in the NOP and/or Zion camp that told him not to use the term “setback.” So he uses, like, 50 extra words to lightly describe a setback.

    36. Zion’s gotta lose about 40 pounds or that foot is going to re-injure over and over. And even then, he might be the next T-Mac.

    37. All this talk about Mitch has me thinking about player development. There now is enough body of work to start evaluating just how good our player development staff is. My default position has been very good in that the franchise prioritised it and backed it up with investment in solid hires, with RJ’s year 1 to year 2 leap as evidence. Obi and IQ are progressing well. But…if Mitch’s development isn’t an F, it can’t be above a D; they must have given up on Knox, and our 2-ways and Westies have so far produced nothing.

      But Mitch has been hurt for a huge chunk of the time we’ve had this new development coaching staff in place, right?

    38. @FredKatz
      Silence from the NBA regarding Julius Randle’s and Tom Thibodeau’s comments Tuesday about officiating likely indicates no discipline is coming from the league. Neither has been fined yet.

      I’ll take this as an admission that Thibs and Julius were right

    39. BernieEarnie:
      All this talk about Mitch has me thinking about player development.There now is enough body of work to start evaluating just how good our player development staff is.My default position has been very good in that the franchise prioritised it and backed it up with investment in solid hires, with RJ’s year 1 to year 2 leap as evidence.Obi and IQ are progressing well.But…if Mitch’s development isn’t an F, it can’t be above a D; they must have given up on Knox, and our 2-ways and Westies have so far produced nothing.

      You can’t get blood from a stone, which is more or less how I look at Kevin Knox as a basketball player. Mitch has been a disappointment, but there have been enough rumblings of his flakiness from the beat writers and people like Macri to make me at least question his willingness to be coached up over the last few years. And in terms of this coaching staff, our two-ways last year were used on a guy we knew was never going to play (Pinson), and a guy who just didn’t work out (Jared Harper). This year, we’ve got Sims playing some meaningful minutes to the big club and New Luka balling out for the Westies. Obviously, RJ’s peaks and valleys are worrisome, but on the whole, I feel like the current staff is living up to their rep for player development.

    40. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
      Zion’s gotta lose about 40 pounds or that foot is going to re-injure over and over. And even then, he might be the next T-Mac.

      One could get the impression he either wants out or doesn’t have the personality and determination to be a great player.

    41. Our Cs are so low usage primarily because they aren’t skilled!!!!

      Teams aren’t going simply allow us to run lobs when they know that’s all these guys can do. They don’t have to do anything but defend the lob and box out to reduce put backs and our Cs are marginalized on offense.

      We got away with that nonsense for awhile and may still get away with it from time to time against certain matchups but you can’t just up usage by flipping a switch. You need the skill to overcome defensive adjustments that are made over time. That’s why there are scouts and scouting reports. It’s to take away what you are good at and exploit what you are bad at.

      Other than that, Mitch had a very long layoff and is still constantly playing hurt.

      How many times do we have to see guys coming off long layoffs or playing hurt to see that they aren’t going to be as productive until they get back to 100%?

      When Mitch and Nerlens finally get healthy and in top shape, we’ll have a better idea of what they can do and how much Mitch has lost athletically. It may be as simple as a month of staying healthy and dropping 10-15 pounds and he’ll be good as new.

    42. Our Cs are so low usage primarily because they aren’t skilled!!!!

      They had the same skill set 2 years ago when they were shooting twice as often, this is demonstrably bullshit. We have the lowest usage centers in the NBA and there are other centers with similar skill sets who shoot more often

    43. Our coaching staff did a very good job developing Mitch last year on the defensive end. He became more positionally sound and defended the rim better without fouling.

      I wish djphan didn’t banish himself, because he always had the numbers that supported Mitch’s defensive impact handy (come back, djphan!).

    44. I wish djphan didn’t banish himself

      dang, that’s what it is isn’t it…

    45. Let’s face it, our Deeefense sucks!: One could get the impression he either wants out or doesn’t have the personality and determination to be a great player.

      It would be catastrophically stupid to tank his own value before he’s signed a max extension. But it’s also catastrophically stupid to be a millionaire athlete who eats mom’s cooking instead of hiring a nutritionist chef. And the word in NO is that his mom is his cook. Mt. Dew is his biggest sponsor. We can see what’s going on there.

      dang, that’s what it is isn’t it…

      He did say he had a newborn recently. Wouldn’t surprise me if he took a big long break for that reason. Or maybe he’s going full ruruland over RJB’s horrid slump.

    46. cybersoze:
      Stay cool, we’re going to win this one. ;)

      Haha. I never said we’re gonna lose. I just said we might go down by 20 ;-)

    47. I’m at work watching the ESPN game cast. Feel free to editorialize how the first team is doing (or looking)…

    48. Breen: Mitch going to the bench, but not ’cause of foul trouble. Because of …
      Clyde: Ineptitude.

      Ouch.

    49. Raven:
      I’m at work watching the ESPN game cast. Feel free to editorialize how the first team is doing (or looking)…

      Not good, Taj went in for Mitch after less than 4 minutes with Vuc already with 9 points…
      And we’re missing Kemba… :-)

    50. I’m at the game and before it started i said Vucevic would get 26.

      That’s gonna be way off.

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