Knicks Morning News (2022.01.18)

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  • Knicks hear Garden boos in matinee stinker vs. Hornets – New York Post
    [nypost.com] — Monday, January 17, 2022 3:52:00 PM

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    124 thoughts to “Knicks Morning News (2022.01.18)”

    1. Almost all middling, mediocre teams go on streaks where their fans get overly optimistic and the team looks better than middling and mediocre — sometimes quite a bit better. But like Rebekah Del Rio, it’s eventually just an illusion.

      That just happened with the Knicks.

    2. It was just one of those games.

      We just have to hang in there until Rose is back and we get some real PG play from somewhere.

    3. I still don’t see the point in a middling team waiting for a point guard who’s going to be 34 in October to maybe help it squeeze out an additional win or two. Mediocrity isn’t a specific point, it’s a range. Where you are in that range is virtually the definition of irrelevancy.

    4. Sometimes midday games throw players off. I’m not too worried about it. If tonight is another clunker, then I’m worried.

    5. I still don’t see the point in a middling team waiting for a point guard who’s going to be 34 in October to maybe help it squeeze out an additional win or two. Mediocrity isn’t a specific point, it’s a range. Where you are in that range is virtually the definition of irrelevancy.

      You constantly act like the team we have right now is the final product in what the FO is doing when it clearly isn’t. What is your solution? Let me guess. trade randle for a superstar. Draft a superstar in the making. What a great plan!

      Our team is loaded with young players. We have all of our first round picks, the dallas pick and lots of second rounders over the next few years. Our vets are on reasonable deals and Rose, Noel and Burks all have team options next year. Kemba will be gone by next year if not sooner too. Randle and Fournier are the only ones locked up for longer/bigger contracts and neither are albatrosses.

      You’re making a lot of assumptions about Leon Rose being content with mediocrity. But the fact is, mediocrity is a huge improvement over 7 years of losing seasons. You don’t jump from shitty to contender in the NBA unless you’re lucky enough to do a super friends scenario like The Heat did or Nets are doing now. Pretty much every other team has to go from bad to mediocre to good to great. This is literally half way through Leon’s second season. Just be patient dude.

    6. is virtually the definition of irrelevancy.

      And yet once the Knicks went from shitty to a mediocre playoff team, they literally went from zero national tv games to almost 30 nationally televised games in one season. In the eyes of the NBA, the mass media, ESPN…the Knicks being average or just kind of good is relevant.

    7. Another way to look at the team (as currently constructed and behaving) is that it is maddeningly inconsistent. I think that defines it better than mediocre. Our actual record is our median, not mode, with a massive variance.

      Not sure it matters, since in the end you are what your record says you are (mediocre), But it leaves the fan base with a similar massive variance, since you can look at this team and see a number of different versions. All of which are true, at least at times.

    8. E, all merc’d out: I still don’t see the point in a middling team waiting for a point guard who’s going to be 34 in October to maybe help it squeeze out an additional win or two.

      I actually have no idea what you are trying to convey with this sentence. The facts are that Rose is on the team, is going to come back when healthy, and will be 34. Are you advocating trading or waiving him? Bringing him back before he is healthy? Doctoring his birth certificate?

    9. I actually have no idea what you are trying to convey with this sentence. The facts are that Rose is on the team, is going to come back when healthy, and will be 34. Are you advocating trading or waiving him? Bringing him back before he is healthy? Doctoring his birth certificate?

      To E, every player on this team that we didn’t draft is by definition a mercenary, despite all of them being signed to multiple-year deals, and thus unworthy of his trust.

    10. @swifty, I think virtually all GMs in the NBA who’ve had some success would orient this team more towards youth, Riley being the only exception. Yes, there’d be a range, but the KNicks I think would fall outside that range. Evaluating the youth on the team by number of roster spots they occupy is we all know a crap way of measuring how focused on the future a team is. The NBA has basically written the blueprint for becoming a good team into the CBA: don’t spend real money on veterans until your team is good. I don’t think it’s too much to ask the Knicks to do that…

      HOw good would this team be without its expensive vets? I would bet they’d be in the 5 win vicinity if the starters were Barrett, Grimes, McBride (or Quickley), Robinson, Toppin. That tells you a much realer story about the quality of our young talent.

    11. I don’t believe that the things I’m saying about the team or its 33-year-old point guard “savior” are unclear in the least and I don’t believe that the people saying those things are unclear, really believe that. That’s simply a way to avoid the substance of the matter.

      But I’ll say it again: Whatever marginal wins Derrick Rose would bring to the table are counterproductive and worthless. To a team in a different place, they might not be. To the Knicks they are. It has nothing to do with whether or not Derrick Rose was home-grown.

      Was the fun but ultimately hollow first-round blowout by another mediocre team worth missing out on the 2021 lottery?(*) To those who say it was, please show your work.

      (*) I looked again at the really cool footage on my iPhone of the end of Game 2 last Saturday night. I like it. It has a valued place on my phone and in my sports memory bank and I’ve sent it to several of my friends. So that’s not it.

    12. E, all merc’d out:
      I still don’t see the point in a middling team waiting for a point guard who’s going to be 34 in October to maybe help it squeeze out an additional win or two.Mediocrity isn’t a specific point, it’s a range.Where you are in that range is virtually the definition of irrelevancy.

      The point is to make the playoffs, get more playoff experience for the younger players to develop them further, and not worry that Rose is 34 when the team already knows it eventually has to find a permanent solution at PG asap using the draft, cap space, and trade assets.

      The alternative to our few contributing veterans is to take a huge step backwards AGAIN, draft some teenager, probably whine every day for at least 3-4 years because he’s not a star yet, and then trade him because we didn’t want to extend him based on his boxscore stats at the time. :-)

    13. Evaluating the youth on the team by number of roster spots they occupy is we all know a crap way of measuring how focused on the future a team is.

      HOw good would this team be without its expensive vets?

      Two of our starters are RJ and Mitch, both part of the youth core. IQ and Obi always play minutes in every game and that’s 2 of our bench pieces. So 4 players (2 starters, 2 bench) our of a 10 man rotation are all super young. That’s 40 percent of the rotation. Grimes is also getting minutes now. So 50 percent of our rotation are young players.

      How bad would we be if RJ and Mitch and IQ didn’t play at all? They’re just as important as Randle or Fournier, etc.

      Rose, Noel (who hasn’t played at all this season) and Burks are not “expensive.”

      Randle is 27. He may not be part of the youth collective, but he is hardly an aging vet. Let’s say we keep this youth core and 3 years from now we’re a really competitive team. Randle would be 30. That is literally when NBA players peak.

      You would be hard pressed to find a single NBA team that is mediocre or better that has more than 50 percent of their rotation with players under the age of 24.

      We’re obviously threading a needle between rebuild and competing now. I get some people want to go all in on youth but it’s not it’s just one young player and the rest our vets. Its literally half of the rotation and 2/5 of the starters.

    14. Deeefense!!: The point is to make the playoffs, get more playoff experience for the younger players to develop them further, and not worry that Rose is 34 when the team already knows it eventually has to find a permanent solution at PG using the draft, cap space, and trade assets.

      That doesn’t even remotely offset missing the lottery.

      THIS IS A SIDE ISSUE TO THE MAIN POINT ABOUT THE HIGH COST OF MISSING THE LOTTERY, WHICH WOULD HOLD EVEN IF THE KNICKS HAD A COACH WHO CARED ABOUT DEVELOPMENT, but the Knicks don’t have a coach who cares about development anyway. His recent comment that no player’s development is more important than another’s is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard an NBA coach utter.

    15. @ShamsCharania
      Pacers say center Myles Turner will be re-evaluated in two weeks due to a stress reaction in his left foot.

      Probably depresses the trade market for Turner, though there’s still a bit of time between the re-evaluation date and the trade deadline.

    16. Another way to look at the team (as currently constructed and behaving) is that it is maddeningly inconsistent.

      It’s hard to fathom considering last year we were so damn consistent. We systematically wore down all bad teams, so much so that you could count on a win any time we were playing a sub .500 team. Now we get embarrassed by the likes of Indiana and Orlando.

      I guess the injuries have a lot to do with it, especially at C. We were pretty lucky last year compared to his year. There was never so much lineup changing we had to do.

    17. Now that me and Z-Man made peace on Martin Luther King day, it seems like E and Swifty are stepping up to fill the void.

    18. Another way to look at the team (as currently constructed and behaving) is that it is maddeningly inconsistent. I think that defines it better than mediocre. Our actual record is our median, not mode, with a massive variance.

      I’m of two minds about this because on one hand, it definitely feels true. We’re .500, and yet it doesn’t feel at all like I’m following a .500 team. At different points in the season I’ve talked myself into both an ECF run and a top-4 pick run.

      On the other, it’s probably the case that most fans of .500/mediocre teams more or less feel this way. It’s kind of painful to admit that your team is just…what it is. We probably are just a mediocre team, and for that reason I think it’s imperative the front office do something soon. As always my preferred route is a rebuild, but even a more win now oriented move(s) would at least give us a more coherent direction.

      I think the way to harmonize E’s point with everyone else’s is this: we need to make sure we get something valuable out of the veterans/mercs/whatever you want to call them at some point. That something can be future assets in a trade or it can be wins that actually matter, but if we just let them rack up wins for a play-in level team and eventually walk, that’s bad asset management. The best GMs make sure every roster spot and cap expenditure go towards something productive. Whether we’ll do that is TBD at this point.

    19. Stein:

      The Pacers say Myles Turner’s injury is a stress reaction in his left foot.

      Yeah, we’re not trading for that guy this season.

    20. HOw good would this team be without its expensive vets? I would bet they’d be in the 5 win vicinity if the starters were Barrett, Grimes, McBride (or Quickley), Robinson, Toppin. That tells you a much realer story about the quality of our young talent.

      This is a really good point by latke, and it highlights my biggest issue with Leon:

      I think it’s great they want to compete instead of tanking. That’s a good strategy for a large market team. BUT! I hate that they use their draft picks to support that effort. They draft like they’re a contender looking for a cheap 7th man to fill out the roster.

      You want to win with vets? Fine by me. We don’t need to be in the lottery. But don’t pass up a really good looking prospect in the draft bc you want someone who is hard nosed for Thibs and fill out the back of a rotation

    21. Would anyone trade IQ or Grimes plus the Dallas pick to Dallas for Brunson? I would and I think they might bite. How much would it cost to sign Brunson?

    22. thenoblefacehumper: On the other, it’s probably the case that most fans of .500/mediocre teams more or less feel this way.

      Was thinking this as I typed my note, but I think our variance is bigger than most. No question even really good teams go through slumps, and players go through droughts, and bad teams can go on runs. But this team is just nuts. Individually (Randle, RJ, Mitch, IQ, Fournier) and overall, in terms of how the team is playing, defensively and offensively, the swings are almost nausea-inducing. Actually they ARE nausea-inducing.

      In fact it’s as much quarter to quarter as it is game to game or stretch to stretch.

    23. If the Knicks were an actual contender with mercs and vets, I’d be perfectly fine with it. But they aren’t even close to that, even though like mediocre teams from association time immemorial, they kind of go through stretches where their fans get overly optimistic and squint themselves into thinking actual contention is justthatclose.

      They weren’t an actual contender last year — they weren’t even close; they got demolished by another non-actual contender — and they’re further from that status this year.

      Last year was fun and had its charms, obviously. Let’s not confuse that with something it wasn’t. The association is not about fun and charming and little engines that can.

    24. GHenman:
      Would anyone trade IQ or Grimes plus the Dallas pick to Dallas for Brunson?I would and I think they might bite. How much would it cost to sign Brunson?

      I would not

    25. Raven: But this team is just nuts. Individually (Randle, RJ, Mitch, IQ, Fournier) and overall, in terms of how the team is playing, defensively and offensively, the swings are almost nausea-inducing. Actually they ARE nausea-inducing.

      Hard to tell when many of us spend more time thinking about the Knicks than all other teams combined. I assure you that there are Thunder fans out there who were pulling their hair out to watch Shai go 2-14 in a narrow loss against the Nuggets about a week ago and then smash the Nets with 33 efficient points just a few days later.

    26. Jowles, so when do NBA players peak?

      EVEN IF THE KNICKS HAD A COACH WHO CARED ABOUT DEVELOPMENT

      ALL CAPS MEANS ITS TRUE!!!! Never mind that RJ, Mitch, IQ and Obi all play plenty of minutes and have all gotten better since Thibs started coaching the team.

    27. Fair point, Jowles. And we’ve been rooting for outright garbage teams for so long — with two oddly successful blips with the Kidd/Felton team and last year’s squad — that we are all long out of practice in knowing what it feels like to regularly watch a mediocre one. But the variance for both individual players and the team as a whole still feels very high, in that we have generally looked either excellent or awful, with barely anything in between. Without checking back over the game logs, I can only remember a handful of games this year where we were just okay and either eked out a win or fell just short.

      Hell, that roller coaster nature applies to individual quarters. How many times this year have we dug ourselves into a deep hole and then made an amazing rally, or burst out to a big lead that we eventually squandered?

    28. The Knicks search for a a real solution at point guard now going on 20+ years. Its like Moses wandering in the desert for decades. Hopefully we make it to the promised land some day.

    29. Jowles, so when do NBA players peak?

      a dumb heuristic, but why not: single-season BPM career highs

      Jordan, 24
      Jokic, 26
      LeBron, 24
      Curry, 27
      David Robinson, 28
      Giannis, 25
      Chris Paul, 23
      Kawhi, 26
      Harden, 29
      Wade, 27
      Dirk, 28
      Westbrook, 28
      Durant, 25
      Garnett, 27
      Duncan, 27
      Kobe, 27
      Paul George, 28
      Lillard, 29
      Davis, 25
      Kevin Love, 25
      Irving, 27

      And no, swift, 27 is not “basically 30.” Not in athletes’ careers.

    30. If we had a real point guard, one that was young even, I don’t what the hell I would do. It would be so unnerving yet wonderful.

    31. The consensus seems to be that signing and trading for Brunson in the offseason would cost us less no.

      On the other hand I would do Quick and a 1st for Brunson in a Heartbeat.

    32. Jokic is 26 right now. Seriously?

      And are you really using a single stat BPM to define when a player’s best season was? Jordan won his first title when he was 28. Chris Paul made his first finals appearance when he was 36.

      “peak” isn’t about stats and you know this. Come on bro. It’s about being the best version of yourself as a player for your team. So many of the greats took a step back in their stats in order to play within a better team system. This is ridiculous.

    33. I like Brunson a lot and hope we wind up with him, but I don’t see what trading IQ + a first AND paying him in the offseason does for us. We’d be a decent amount better, but still nowhere near contention and we’d be without key assets to help us get there.

      IQ isn’t untouchable obviously, but I can’t quite get there on Brunson being worth giving him up in a trade.

    34. Alan:
      Stein:

      The Pacers say Myles Turner’s injury is a stress reaction in his left foot.

      Yeah, we’re not trading for that guy this season.

      Is that a real injury? Or is it a “excuse us we’re tanking” injury?

    35. Thirty as an NBA players’ peak doesn’t even work as a throw-away off-the-top of the head heuristic. It’s more like 27-28. There’s a small window between, spitballing, 29 and 31 when you might, underline might, see a guy use acquired wisdom and guile he didn’t have at 22 to close the gap in lost athleticism, but even that’s rare. But there’s no sense whatsoever that a guy’s at his athletic peak at 30.

      Damien Lillard is now 31, and breaking down. He’s unquestionably past his peak. There’s literally zero question about it.

      I get the urge, believe me, but there’s really nothing special snowflake about the Knicks’ 2022 mediocrity. It’s standard fare, made even worse by its coach’s Neanderthal commitment to it. As measured against other philosophical alternatives, of which there are several, dude positively revels in it.

    36. swiftandabundant: And are you really using a single stat BPM to define when a player’s best season was? Jordan won his first title when he was 28. Chris Paul made his first finals appearance when he was 36.

      “peak” isn’t about stats and you know this. Come on bro. It’s about being the best version of yourself as a player for your team. So many of the greats took a step back in their stats in order to play within a better team system. This is ridiculous.

      You can’t possibly be arguing that last season was Chris Paul’s best just because he went to the finals. Other than Steve Nash, can you think of a player who’s peak/best season was after they turned 30?

    37. @KevinR I believe a sign and trade would cost more because we are going to have to clear cap space. We also are going to need to clear some room to get Cam some playing time. Regardless of what Thibs says, we did not give up a first round pick just to have him sit on the bench. If you add a true point guard, Quickley and Grimes become pretty redundant.

    38. Is that a real injury? Or is it a “excuse us we’re tanking” injury?

      Real injury. Indiana wants to move this guy. They will have a much harder time doing that if people think he has a bum foot.

    39. I like IQ a lot, but an actual PG is worth significantly more than a SG. Right now IQ is a SG, and the transition to PG is not an easy one.

      Brunson is a relatively young and very talented PG. I’d easily give up IQ & a 1st.

      I’d give up IQ before Grimes because Grimes’s shooting & defense look better than IQs right now.

      Brunson’s bird rights go with him, so that’s worth a good deal as we likely can’t sign him for the MLE. Maybe DAL would be amenable to a S&T but they don’t need to do it.

    40. Re: the never-ending PG search, it’s such a strange thing. After Clyde, we scuffled for a decade, then took Mark Jackson and Rod Strickland in back-to-back drafts. We sold low on Strickland for one glorious but ultimately pointless playoff series win orchestrated by an elderly Mo Cheeks, and shipped Jackson out in the ill-fated Charles Smith deal. Greg Anthony could defend but was all but useless on offense. (A less-celebrated case of the Knicks’ pick falling one slot too late: Terrell Brandon wasn’t a Hall of Famer, but he was a two-time All-Star who would’ve made a world of difference for those early Riley teams.) Doc Rivers and Derek Harper were basically Mo Cheeks redux, giving all they had but also on the verge of falling apart. Then we had Charlie Ward and Chris Childs, both of them backup combo guards masquerading at different times as a starting point guard. We brought Mark Jackson back when he was now ready for the nursing home, and brought in yet another glorified backup in Howard Eisley. There was also a half-second where I convinced myself that Frank Williams was a good PG prospect.)

      Then Marbury came in, and while the team as a whole sucked — and he didn’t play a hugely winning brand of basketball himself — he was nonetheless a legitimate starting NBA point guard. Then Zeke paired him with Stevie Francis for some reason. Pringles came in and gave Marbury the Theo Pinson treatment while starting Chris freaking Duhon, with Nate Robinson a shooting guard who had to play PG due to his height. Ray Felton was a perfectly cromulent point guard for half a season before he went away in the Melo deal, replaced by a semi-washed Chauncey Billups, who we chose to amnesty over Amar’e a half-season later. The animated corpses of Mike Bibby and Baron Davis tried manning the position for a hot minute, along with Toney Douglas Do What Toney Douglas Do, followed by Jeremy Lin playing out of his mind for three weeks. Then… [deep breath] we cobbled together a functional PG rotation for a season out of Felton 2.0, Jason Kidd in his Mo Cheeks phase, and Pablo Prigioni. Felton went back to being a pumpkin the following year. Then Phil Jackson got the brilliant idea to trade Tyson Chandler for Jose Calderon, and followed that up two years later with Derrick Rose’s disastrous first stint in orange and blue. Year after that was the inspiring group of Ramon Sessions, Jarrett Jack, Emmanuel Mudiay, and America’s favorite fighting Frenchman. Fizdale then arrived to “fix” Mudiay and frighten Frank, before Elfrid Payton began laying bricks. Then it was Elf, Austin Rivers, and DRose, and finally this year Kemba “Mo Cheeks” Walker came over.

      We’ve occasionally had good point guard play over this period, but it’s almost always lasted far more briefly than our long stretches of utter ineptitude at a position that every other team in the Association seems able to competently fill season after season.

    41. Re: Middling, mediocre teams
      The Heat were one of those teams in 2018-19 (39-43), then they signed Jimmy in free agency and proceeded to reach the NBA Finals. Covid luck some will say, well go look at the standings and 2 years later they are almost at the top of the eastern conference again.
      Re: Player’s peak
      Jowles list was correct, but what Swift was talking about was the player’s prime, i think. And that is an interval of years, not a single year. Eg, Lebron’s prime is his whole career. LOL. Nowadays there’s some freaks (Lebron, CP3) re-defining what is an “old player”, but i think before 33/34 is too early to say the player will fall off a cliff and be past his prime. I don’t think Dame is washed, most likely he was playing bad because of the injury.

    42. Alan: Real injury. Indiana wants to move this guy. They will have a much harder time doing that if people think he has a bum foot.

      No more trade ideas involving Myles Turner, then. ;)

    43. Thibs on the ’18-’19 Heat:

      “Bam Adebayo’s development is no more important than Dwyane Wade’s development.”

    44. Almost nobody peaks at 30. But “peak” and “cliff” are not the same, so Jowles and Swift can both be right on this one. The cliff is more important than the peak, anyway.

      (Re: peaking in their 30s, Sam Cassell peaked at 34 (his lone all star season). Reggie Miller peaked at 31. Lowry and Billups both had their best statistical seasons post 30th birthday. Carmelo Anthony turned 30 during his best season, as did Kidd, Conley, and Aldridge. And Jimmy Butler still hasn’t peaked at 32.)

    45. Alan: we cobbled together a functional PG rotation for a season out of Felton 2.0, Jason Kidd in his Mo Cheeks phase, and Pablo Prigioni. Felton went back to being a pumpkin the following year. Then Phil Jackson got the brilliant idea to trade Tyson Chandler for Jose Calderon, and followed that up two years later with Derrick Rose’s disastrous first stint in orange and blue. Year after that was the inspiring group of Ramon Sessions, Jarrett Jack, Emmanuel Mudiay, and America’s favorite fighting Frenchman. Fizdale then arrived to “fix” Mudiay and frighten Frank, before Elfrid Payton began laying bricks. Then it was Elf, Austin Rivers, and DRose, and finally this year Kemba “Mo Cheeks” Walker came over.

      I think there’s a Grammy-contending country song in there somewhere.

    46. Thanks, Alan. That was an amazing recap of the “PG less” Knicks since right around the time i started being a fan.

    47. I’m tempted to say we should do whatever it takes to get a good PG. Players at other positions are usually fungible.

      Alan, excellent recap!

    48. Early Bird: I’m tempted to say we should do whatever it takes to get a good PG. Players at other positions are usually fungible.

      I’m with you on the do whatever it takes to get a good PG take. It’s just that i don’t think Dallas will be interested in your trade proposal. Unless they have some deal in place, and need to send multiple firsts, they’ll probably say no because your trade makes them worse now.

    49. Shockingly, Alan is very good at writing recaps.

      I’m tempted to say we should do whatever it takes to get a good PG. Players at other positions are usually fungible.

      The last few drafts, I’ve been very tempted to throw out everything I believe about optimal draft strategy and just hope the Knicks take the best damn point guard left on the board. If that guy doesn’t look good, do it again the next year. It’s part of what made the Obi over Haliburton choice so infuriating–Obi wasn’t the BPA, but at least he also wasn’t the best fit.

      All that said, I am cautiously optimistic we might have something in Rokas.

    50. I get the Brunson interest from our end but I wonder if people have noticed that Dallas is kinda good right now?: 25-19, 8th in Net Rating and 9-1 in their last 10. Things can change fast I guess but the idea that they’re going to be looking to trade their starting PG for a young player and a draft pick seems incredibly far-fetched. They have a lot more reason to be trying to improve their team for this year than we do, that’s for sure.

    51. It’s actually our perceptions of players that peak later in their career. You think Jordan peaked when his team did, but he really did peak long before the Bulls did. We just weren’t watching bc the Bulls sucked.

      I would keep an eye on Durant, though. He’s doing some miraculous shit right now. His shooting numbers last year were the best of his career.

    52. Last year was fun and had its charms, obviously. Let’s not confuse that with something it wasn’t. The association is not about fun and charming and little engines that can.

      oh, those sweet summer children, how quickly they forget the 1,000 years of winter and darkness…sadly, our sub-forty percent winning seasons seem to stretch back to eternity for me…

      “peak” isn’t about stats and you know this. Come on bro. It’s about being the best version of yourself as a player for your team.

      i love this post…it’s about feelings :P

    53. it’s not that we’re atypically volatile this year, it’s that we are atypically reliable last year. here’s a measure that i think matches people’s intuition when they try to talk about consistency: how often do you win when favored?

      last year we led the nba, going 23-7 as favorites with an average win margin of 7.9 pts in those games (technically okc was 2-0 as favs). so we won 77% of our games as favorites while the median team won 66%. that really understates how “reliable” we were bc when were favored it was by a below-average amount (3.4 pts), so you should expect us to win a lower percentage than average.

      this year we are 16-10 as favorites or 61.5%. this is below median which is again 66%, but hardly in the maddening tier. and our underdog win percentage (6-11 or 35%), is essentially the % median. last year we were actually modestly above average as underdogs at 40%.

      it’s also possible the feeling of consistency is more about streakiness, ie it feels like our last few performances predicts our next few performances more than it should. without doing any kind of runs test (where you ask whether there are more streaks than you’d expect from coin flipping) but just eyeballing, it looks pretty likely that on that measure last year was actually more “streaky” than this year.

      last year we wildly outperformed expectations while also winning an elite % of games we were favored in. that probably makes us feel inconsistent this year when we are really typical.

    54. We also are going to need to clear some room to get Cam some playing time. Regardless of what Thibs says, we did not give up a first round pick just to have him sit on the bench. If you add a true point guard, Quickley and Grimes become pretty redundant.

      if i had to chose one to keep today, i’d stick with quik…that may be more emotional than anything though…credit to grimes for being ready to go this season…

    55. Shockingly, Alan is very good at writing recaps.

      it’s funny noble, i remember well during the end of that bob neptune crap and al stepping up to get us all back on track…he definitely put some work in on it…

      not only can he write, al’s like a professional cat herder or something :)

    56. Are the favorite stats based on Vegas odds? Because I’d think our team last year was significantly underrated by Vegas, which could generate the seemingly outlier numbers. It doesn’t count us as favorites in games when it turns out we were objectively a better team. It also deflates the point spread, making it closer than suspected.

      Conversely, this year may have generated more favorite opportunities when we shouldn’t have been favored. By SRS, we’re only better than 10 teams and most of those we’d be favored just barely.

      From my view the problem isn’t that we’re losing more favored games generally, but the losses are against vastly inferior opponents. 2 losses to the Magic, 1 loss to a Beal-less WAS, 1 loss to LaMelo-less CHA.

    57. The underlying numbers tell the truth about the Knicks: our offense is about the same as it was last year, our defense is quite a bit worse, and as a result we’re 20th in the league in SRS. We’ve had a very soft strength of schedule– 28th in the league. We’re a .500 team, but a .500 team against a crummy schedule.

      Below average offense, average defense, that is how we have played. My back of napkin math tells me that’s probably a sub-.500 team in the big scheme. Poor team eFG% is the #1 culprit. League eFG% is .523, ours is .513. The only players we have with better than average eFG% are Mitch (who never shoots), and then Toppin, Grimes, and Fournier. Most of the guys who take the shots are below-average eFG% players.

      Worse still, almost none of the guys who take most of the shots are players who you would expect to improve a lot in eFG%. The Knicks’ roster is full of low-eFG% players. You’re not gonna win that way.

    58. Early Bird: From my view the problem isn’t that we’re losing more favored games generally, but the losses are against vastly inferior opponents. 2 losses to the Magic, 1 loss to a Beal-less WAS, 1 loss to LaMelo-less CHA.

      Mediocre teams lose those games all the time (and then usually stew about how vastly inferior the opponent was.)

    59. Just an observation. eFG% is a funny thing — I was just looking at this over the weekend, because football blowouts only hold my attention for so long. For example, while league average is .523, Devin Booker’s is .511. Matisse Thybulle’s is .563. Ja Morant is .527.

      If I’d had to guess, that’s not where I would have landed those numbers.

    60. This organization’s entire focus should be trying to develop Barrett, Quickley, Reddish, Robinson and (to a lesser degree, Toppin and Grimes (who will never be that)) into stars and superstars. That should be goal number 1. Goal number 2 should be barely visible to someone standing on goal number 1.

      “Making the playoffs in 2022” or “Making the play-in tournament in 2022” are LOLKnicksy goals in relative comparision.(*)

      This doesn’t mean you get rid of Randle or you get rid of Fournier or you get rid of Burks or you get rid of Rose, necessarily; it simply means you sublimate them and use them in service to goal number 1.

      (*) As is the idea that Cam Reddish’s development is no more important than Derrick Rose’s.

    61. Alan:
      Re: the never-ending PG search, it’s such a strange thing. After Clyde, we scuffled for a decade, then took Mark Jackson and Rod Strickland in back-to-back drafts. We sold low on Strickland for one glorious but ultimately pointless playoff series win orchestrated by an elderly Mo Cheeks, and shipped Jackson out in the ill-fated Charles Smith deal. Greg Anthony could defend but was all but useless on offense. (A less-celebrated case of the Knicks’ pick falling one slot too late: Terrell Brandon wasn’t a Hall of Famer, but he was a two-time All-Star who would’ve made a difference for those early Riley teams.) Doc Rivers &Derek Harper were basically Mo Cheeks redux, giving all they had but also on the verge of falling apart. Then we had Charlie Ward and Chris Childs, both of them backup combo guards masquerading at different times as a starting point guard. We brought Mark Jackson back when he was ready for the nursing home, & brought in yet another glorified backup in Howard Eisley. There was also a half-second where I convinced myself that Frank Williams was a good PG prospect.)

      Then Marbury came in, and while the team as a whole sucked — and he didn’t play a hugely winning brand of basketball himself — he was nonetheless a legitimate starting NBA point guard. Then Zeke paired him with Stevie Francis for some reason. Pringles came in and gave Marbury the Theo Pinson treatment while starting Chris freaking Duhon, with Nate Robinson a shooting guard who had to play PG due to his height. Ray Felton was a perfectly cromulent point guard for half a season before he went away in the Melo deal, replaced by a semi-washed Chauncey Billups,who we chose to amnesty over Amar’e a half-season later. The corpses of Mike Bibby and Baron Davis tried manning the position for a hot minute, along with Toney Douglas Do What Toney Douglas Do, followed by Jeremy Lin…

      WHAT A COMPLETE SHIT SHOW

    62. Raven: Just an observation. eFG% is a funny thing — I was just looking at this over the weekend, because football blowouts only hold my attention for so long. For example, while league average is .523, Devin Booker’s is .511. Matisse Thybulle’s is .563. Ja Morant is .527.

      If I’d had to guess, that’s not where I would have landed those numbers.

      Booker’s isn’t surprising. He’s always been an inefficient volume scorer. I am surprised at Morant. Looking at his numbers, he’s taking 31% of his attempts between 3-10 feet and only hitting 43% of them. Combine that with with his averageish FT (77%) and 3P (35%) it drags down his efficiency from his elite finishing (71% at the rim).

    63. E, all merc’d out: Mediocre teams lose those games all the time (and then usually stew about how vastly inferior the opponent was.)

      There’s losing to those teams relatively frequently, then there’s losing to those teams 50% of the time. I’m not gonna count, but we’re pretty close to .500 against teams we should be beating at a much higher frequency.

    64. Raven:
      Just an observation. eFG% is a funny thing — I was just looking at this over the weekend, because football blowouts only hold my attention for so long. For example, while league average is .523, Devin Booker’s is .511. Matisse Thybulle’s is .563. Ja Morant is .527.

      If I’d had to guess, that’s not where I would have landed those numbers.

      I think this is exactly why we have, and often prefer, TS%. Morant & Booker draw fouls at very high rates, Thybulle at a very low rate. So, despite their efg% disparity all 3 have similar TS%. All 3 are above league average TS%, but Morant & Booker do it above 30% USG while Thybulle is at 10%.

    65. Barrett, Quickley, Reddish, Robinson and (to a lesser degree, Toppin and Grimes

      Which is exactly what they’re doing.

      Reddish just got here and is hurt.

      RJ and Mitch start and have started the entire time under Thibs.

      IQ and Obi come off the bench, roles they’re best suited for at this time.

      Grimes is in the rotation right now.

      So they’re doing exactly what you say they should be doing. Unless you somehow think RJ not taking 30 shots a game is him not being developed properly? Maybe they should run the offense through Mitch as a Point Center and let him shoot pull up 3’s?

    66. This doesn’t mean you get rid of Randle or you get rid of Fournier or you get rid of Burks or you get rid of Rose, necessarily; it simply means you sublimate them and use them in service to goal number 1.

      Randle hasn’t taken nearly as many shots recently per game. Fournier takes far less than RJ. Rose plays on the bench. Burks takes about as many shots as RJ and was on the bench before Rose got hurt.

      So again…what exactly is the issue? Are we not developing them properly because we’re 500 with 40 percent of our rotation players (actually 50 percent right now) being young players?

      Should the veterans all take less than 10 shots a game and let RJ, IQ, Obi, Mitch and Grimes take all of the shots?

    67. But “peak” and “cliff” are not the same

      Yes, this is more it and I should have been clear about that. A player at 30 is still in their peak years. My point is that Randle being 27 isn’t us being led by someone who is a year or two away from falling off a cliff (cue joke that he’s falling off of it now).

      Most of our team is young. Rose and Burks are on shorter deals (as is Noel) with team options after this year. Rose and Burks have been important, no doubt, but if we were missing RJ and Mitch we’d be in the same amount of trouble this year. The team has actually done al right since Rose went down if you look at the record the last few weeks.

      Fournier is 29 but he really hasn’t been a boost for us. So I don’t think if he was gone, we would miss much. So RJ, Mitch and IQ at least have all been a pretty big part of our success (mixed as it is) this year.

      We’ve got plenty of young players who are being developed. That is the narrative I’m fighting against.

    68. Update Fred Katz tweet from last night:

      Fred Katz @fredkatz

      Since Nov. 9 …
      Knicks’ record vs. teams currently .500 or worse: 14-5
      Knicks’ record vs. teams currently over .500: 1-13 (after CHA loss)
      They beat the teams they should and struggle against good ones.

      We are who we are.

    69. So it really seems that Frank Vogel will pay from the Lakers’ demential Westbrook trade.
      Another feather in the cap of GM LeBron.

    70. Max:
      Update Fred Katz tweet from last night:

      We are who we are.

      I was looking for this tweet to post here and I didn’t find where i read it. It’s exactly this, we are just a .500 team that plays like one, we think this team is inconsistent because we’re too involved into each individual game to remember the big picture.

    71. Are the favorite stats based on Vegas odds? Because I’d think our team last year was significantly underrated by Vegas, which could generate the seemingly outlier numbers. It doesn’t count us as favorites in games when it turns out we were objectively a better team. It also deflates the point spread, making it closer than suspected.

      yes they are and yes that’s the point.

      but it’s possible to kill your o/u yet tilt toward surprise over reliability. for example, memphis is only at the median win percentage as favorites this year (65%) but they are 13-7 as underdogs. that’s why last year for us probably felt particularly “reliable.”

      but the losses are against vastly inferior opponents. 2 losses to the Magic, 1 loss to a Beal-less WAS, 1 loss to LaMelo-less CHA.

      the ~20th ranked SRS team almost always loses a handful of games to very bad teams like orlando. the other games you’re naming were not big upsets. the closing moneyline on the no-beal washington game was only ~150, which means we’d be expected to lose ~2 of every 5 or maybe 6 of those sorts of matchups. the line in the charlotte game after the lamelo news we even closer, with us as a 2.5 pt favorite. that’s like 55% to win.

    72. I think this is exactly why we have, and often prefer, TS%. Morant & Booker draw fouls at very high rates, Thybulle at a very low rate. So, despite their efg% disparity all 3 have similar TS%. All 3 are above league average TS%, but Morant & Booker do it above 30% USG while Thybulle is at 10%.

      On a team Four Factors level, this is where FT/FGA comes in. The Knicks are league average in FT/FGA, and are above average in TOV% and ORB%. None of those things offsets their poor team eFG% enough. The Knicks are 25th in eFG%, and have the 23rd ranked offense despite being average or better in the other three factors.

      It’s really important to be able to throw the ball into the basket.

    73. We are who we are.

      bruno this is a terrible title for your thesis. judith and forrest would not approve. maybe try we are who we do.

    74. So again…what exactly is the issue? Are we not developing them properly because we’re 500 with 40 percent of our rotation players (actually 50 percent right now) being young players?

      My personal issue with this team is it is tenuously .500 (i.e. .500 against a soft schedule) and while there may be some low-hanging fruit for improvement via development of some of the younger players (there’s also low-hanging fruit for decline when Kemba, Rose, et al. decline and/or leave), I’m not seeing a viable path to contention.

      To contend you need stars, which I loosely define as players who can consistently post a 5+ BPM (whatever your issues with AIO metrics are, look at the list of guys who have done that in 2+ seasons and try to tell me it’s a bad heuristic).

      There are three ways to acquire players in the NBA, so there are three ways to get stars. You can 1) draft them 2) trade for them or 3) sign them in free agency. We’ve made the decision to grind the likelihood of 1 into dust by virtue of being a decent team, there don’t seem to be any intriguing opportunities on the 2 front, and 3 has been at least temporarily almost entirely shut off via extensions.

      Yes, this can all change somewhat quickly so I’m not nearly despondent about the state of things as I’ve been in the past. I can enjoy (some) games because we have some fun-to-watch young players in the rotation. This is not being capped out with Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah.

      But there’s a dullness to it, and some of our problems have the potential to get worse before the situation gets better. For example right now Julius Randle has a Ntilikinian TS% through 44 games, and I think that’s been very damaging to his trade value. I also think it will be even more damaging to his trade value if it remains the case through 82.

    75. The team is 20th in SRS and they’re 11th in the East. It’s a 35th percentile team. Give or take, roughly 2 of 3 teams in the association are better. And they’re older than type. (And, lord are they slow — 30th in pace yet again.)

      We still need an explanation as to how Derrick Rose coming back and (theoretically) moving them to 18th in SRS and 9th in the East improves a single, solitary metric about the organization.

      The other option is to put the ball in RJ’s hands like it was in the SAS and DAL games, play Toppin more, play Quickley more, play Reddish, play Grimes more, and let the chips fall where they may. That’s obviously a better option than a couple meaningless wins on the backs of fragile 33 year olds. It’s barely subject to reasonable debate.

    76. the mavericks are just completely fascinating this year. their offense has gone from 9th to 20th. but that’s not the half of it. with luka playing, their offense has gone from 118.5 to 108.4! if 108.4 sounds bad, it’s because it’s worse than our offense, which is 23rd. but dallas is the 4th best defense in the nba from 20th. ben taylor’s podcast today tries to talk about it, but i’m not sure they succeed in saying anything. and before someone says healthy kp (and i do agree he is moving way better this year on d), that can’t be a very big part of the story. he’s only played 848 mins, and their D has been even better without him.

    77. The only players we have with better than average eFG% are Mitch (who never shoots)

      Mitch has upped his usage to a whopping 14% in January and is still on pace to obliterate his own FG% record-for a team that cannot fucking shoot at all we are not playing Mitch enough or involving him on offense as much as we should be. I realize he is super limited and can’t shoot 20 times a game but for an offense as bad as ours getting him 2 more FGAs a night instead of shitty RJ/Randle mid range shots would probably move us up like 5 spots in offense.

    78. It would also very much help this team if Nerlens could play because Taj-a great guy-is looking cooked out there.

    79. while i’m vomit posting, one more thing. if you missed the game yesterday, here is a link to what is obviously the greatest moment in nba history:

      https://tinyurl.com/mnn32c2s

      the tantalizing thing about mitch is that despite four nba season and 31 agents, he has stayed in a narrower zone than, like, any player ever. most bigs who are limited at least go through an andre drummond phase, where they briefly wonder if they might really be dirk nowitzki or maybe in andre’s case ish smith. and even if they don’t, they look…at least…tempted. like, even tyson chandler would glance longingly at the rim when he was standing there at the elbow, just him and his basketball. mitch never even looks! admittedly his ft shooting has looked shitty, but he can cross over from the 3 pt line and look fairly coordinated doing it! his handle definitely looked better than obi’s! that was like a mini-eurostep finish! what are you hiding from us mitch??

    80. The funniest thing about that Mitch drive is Breen calling it like it’s Jordan scoring on the Lakers in the finals

    81. ptmilo: ben taylor’s podcast today tries to talk about it, but i’m not sure they succeed in saying anything. and before someone says healthy kp (and i do agree he is moving way better this year on d), that can’t be a very big part of the story. he’s only played 848 mins, and their D has been even better without him.

      You know the answer… it’s Frank Ntilikina! :D

    82. ptmilo: what are you hiding from us mitch??

      It would be nice if they had a coach who was both competent and imaginative and wondered the same thing himself and prodded Mitch to wonder. The thing about Thibodeau and development is that he never tries pushing the envelope or take any kind of risk with any of these guys. It’s just always so … grudging … both rhetorically and practically, kind of like he’s being forced to eat his broccoli or something. The “backup quarterback,” the “no player’s development is more important than another,” the “you earn your minutes in practice,” the “all that matters in winning the next game,” the “we have to start Elf in Game 1 or I’m going to get really nervous!” and on and on and on. It just wears. And there’s no serious question that attitude has impacted the draft and the decision-making.

    83. Re: Mitch’s comment to Berman.

      I hate Berman and think the worst of him, but for what I understand his question yesterday was perfectly fine.

      Do you think Thibs (and the FO) liked Mitch “relax” answer?
      Would Spoelstra, Pop, Riley, Red and so on liked one of their player saying anybody to relax after such an apathetic team show?

      Edit: Maybe the answer is “yes” when the target is Berman… :-)

    84. The Leon Rose plan seemed to be to fake it till you make it, put together a team that can generate some excitement at MSG and maybe lure a star player, get a star player to force a trade here or something like that. For a minute there it seemed like it might be working, but the Knicks are just a regular mediocre run of the mill NBA team again, battling for fringe playoff position. We have a few nice young pieces, but otherwise, we’re at the same place we usually find ourselves: trying to contend but not really succeeding, and hampering ourselves by not selecting in the high lottery.

      This seems like a marginally better iteration of the same old shit.

    85. I had expectations for this team so I’m disappointed and it sting worse than a .500 season from a 25-win predicted team.

      I’m trying to ease my disappoint shifting my observations from team results to players development and so I’m alligned to E’s “other option”.
      Play the kids is still my rallying cry.

      Unfortunately I don’t think this is a viable option, neither Thibs nor the FO will stop doing everything possible to reach at least the play-in, no matter if it’ll mean to play the veterans a lot.

      We still have a chance to close the homestand 3 games over .500 but within a week the schedule will become unfavorable and we’ll probably sink in the standings, maybe too late to be sellers at the trade deadline.

    86. On today’s HoopsRumors live chat, two interesting questions about the Knicks:

      Question:
      Is Leon Rose’s strategy of asset gathering while fielding a somewhat competitive team better than “tanking” and playing young players and trying to get high draft picks to build around?
      Luke Adams:
      I like it better than repeatedly bringing in young players to a 20-win team, but your mileage may vary. A well-run organization can generally develop useful young players without needing to be picking in the top 10 to get them.

      Question:
      Do you think there is a chance the Knicks picked up Reddish to use as “Bait” for a bigger trade? I read a great article about that scenario in the comments section on NBA Trade Rumors community shoot around about Jerami Grant
      Luke Adams:
      I suppose it’s possible, but as Travis Schlenk pointed out after making the trade, a first-round pick (even a protected one) probably makes more sense as a sweetener in a bigger trade than Reddish. Not every GM will be a fan of Reddish, but all of them will appreciate a first-round pick.

    87. DRed: Mitch has upped his usage to a whopping 14% in January and is still on pace to obliterate his own FG% record-for a team that cannot fucking shoot at all we are not playing Mitch enough or involving him on offense as much as we should be.I realize he is super limited and can’t shoot 20 times a game but for an offense as bad as ours getting him 2 more FGAs a night instead of shitty RJ/Randle mid range shots would probably move us up like 5 spots in offense.

      this goes to the pg issue but I generally see a half dozen times a game when our ballhandler on a pick and roll (or sometimes in the flow of whatever it is we call an offensive scheme) does not glance or glances at mitch and ignores him as an option…its frusturating to watch even more so because it seems like he has become (a) more surehanded at catching the ball in traffic and (b) has improved at improvising/making a pump fake or respositioning himself to make the hoop and/or at lease get fouled (he needs a free throw shooting coach)….to me this is just bad coaching…like..can’t they run film in practice to show the rj’s/burks’/randles/etc…how they have to try to take advantage of him as an option….simply practice a lob or simple entry pass?

    88. pepper: how they have to try to take advantage of him as an option….simply practice a lob or simple entry pass?

      They have to practice a lot of things… i’d start with FT shooting.

    89. pepper:
      …I generally see a half dozen times a game when our ballhandler on a pick and roll (or sometimes in the flow of whatever it is we call an offensive scheme) does not glance or glances at mitch and ignores him as an option…its frusturating to watch…

      The same thing happens with Obi.
      They get a missmatch or a split-second chance for a clear path to the basket and while the Lamelos of the world will try to thread the needle our PGs don’t even look…
      It’s maddening.

    90. ***You know the answer… it’s Frank Ntilikina! :D***

      I haven’t watched but 5 minutes of Mavs basketball over the past month, and rarely glacé at their box scores. But I know the answer is NOT Frank Ntilikina, because, if it was, it would be posted here daily, and we have read nothing about Le Buste at KB for a very long time…

    91. ptmilo:
      it’s not that we’re atypically volatile this year, it’s that we are atypically reliable last year.here’s a measure that i think matches people’s intuition when they try to talk about consistency:how often do you win when favored?

      last year we led the nba, going 23-7 as favorites with an average win margin of 7.9 pts in those games (technically okc was 2-0 as favs).so we won 77% of our games as favorites while the median team won 66%.that really understates how “reliable” we were bc when were favored it was by a below-average amount (3.4 pts), so you should expect us to win a lower percentage than average.

      this year we are 16-10 as favorites or 61.5%.this is below median which is again 66%, but hardly in the maddening tier.and our underdog win percentage (6-11 or 35%),is essentially the % median.last year we were actually modestly above average as underdogs at 40%.

      it’s also possible the feeling of consistency is more about streakiness, ie it feels like our last few performances predicts our next few performances more than it should.without doing any kind of runs test (where you ask whether there are more streaks than you’d expect from coin flipping) but just eyeballing, it looks pretty likely that on that measure last year was actually more “streaky” than this year.

      last year we wildly outperformed expectations while also winning an elite % of games we were favored in.that probably makes us feel inconsistent this year when we are really typical.

      PT, this is a great post. I would add that, statistically, if wins have a Poisson distribution, which they should, then a 0.500 team will have the largest variance in results. That is, really bad and really good teams will be more consistent in their results than mediocre teams. This is exactly what we see this season for the Knicks.

    92. Donnie Walsh: But I know the answer is NOT Frank Ntilikina, because, if it was, it would be posted here daily, and we have read nothing about Le Buste at KB for a very long time…

      LOL

    93. ptmilo:
      while i’m vomit posting, one more thing.if you missed the game yesterday, here is a link to what is obviously the greatest moment in nba history:

      https://tinyurl.com/mnn32c2s

      the tantalizing thing about mitch is that despite four nba season and 31 agents, he has stayed in a narrower zone than, like, any player ever.most bigs who are limited at least go through an andre drummond phase, where they briefly wonder if they might really be dirk nowitzki or maybe in andre’s case ish smith.and even if they don’t, they look…at least…tempted.like, even tyson chandler would glance longingly at the rim when he was standingthere at the elbow, just him and his basketball.mitch never even looks! admittedly his ft shooting has looked shitty, but he can cross over from the 3 pt line and look fairly coordinated doing it!his handle definitely looked better than obi’s!that was like a mini-eurostep finish!what are you hiding from us mitch??

      Thanks for the link. Its an amazing moment. I’m Back in China and missed the game since it was in the middle of the night for me.

    94. ptmilo:
      it’s not that we’re atypically volatile this year, it’s that we are atypically reliable last year.here’s a measure that i think matches people’s intuition when they try to talk about consistency:how often do you win when favored?

      last year we led the nba, going 23-7 as favorites with an average win margin of 7.9 pts in those games (technically okc was 2-0 as favs).so we won 77% of our games as favorites while the median team won 66%.that really understates how “reliable” we were bc when were favored it was by a below-average amount (3.4 pts), so you should expect us to win a lower percentage than average.

      this year we are 16-10 as favorites or 61.5%.this is below median which is again 66%, but hardly in the maddening tier.and our underdog win percentage (6-11 or 35%),is essentially the % median.last year we were actually modestly above average as underdogs at 40%.

      it’s also possible the feeling of consistency is more about streakiness, ie it feels like our last few performances predicts our next few performances more than it should.without doing any kind of runs test (where you ask whether there are more streaks than you’d expect from coin flipping) but just eyeballing, it looks pretty likely that on that measure last year was actually more “streaky” than this year.

      last year we wildly outperformed expectations while also winning an elite % of games we were favored in.that probably makes us feel inconsistent this year when we are really typical.

      PT, this is a great post. I would add that, statistically, if wins have a Poisson distribution, which they should, then a 0.500 team will have the largest variance in results. That is, really bad and really good teams will be more consistent in their results than mediocre teams. This is exactly what we see this season for the Knicks.

    95. Max:
      Re: Mitch’s comment to Berman.

      I hate Berman and think the worst of him, but for what I understand his question yesterday was perfectly fine.

      Do you think Thibs (and the FO) liked Mitch “relax” answer?
      Would Spoelstra, Pop, Riley, Red and so on liked one of their player saying anybody to relax after such an apathetic team show?

      Edit: Maybe the answer is “yes” when the target is Berman… :-)

      I’m sorry. That’s the clip of the year.

    96. JK47:
      The Leon Rose plan seemed to be to fake it till you make it, …..

      but the Knicks are just a regular mediocre run of the mill NBA team again, battling for fringe playoff position. We have a few nice young pieces, but otherwise, we’re at the same place we usually find ourselves: trying to contend but not really succeeding, and hampering ourselves by not selecting in the high lottery.

      This seems like a marginally better iteration of the same old shit.

      The Leon Rose plan is the “how do I get this job and not get fired by James Dolan” plan…i.e., was anybody walking into Dolan’s office that summer and saying “look dude…i’m gonna tank for the next two years and get the lottery pick” and see what happens from there…probably not what Jimmie D wanted to here….so…anyone taking this job would likely be traveling the same twisted path…

      with that being said…it is probably a little better than marginally better…given the pathetic squads/records we had the prior 6 yrs…but it does seem like the same old shit with some febreze sprayed on it…

    97. That doesn’t even remotely offset missing the lottery.

      The lottery is not even particularly good team building,

      This is what it’s saying.

      We suck now.

      We screwed up managing the long term as part of our process .

      It’s time to blow things up and hope we get a top pick, a star player is actually available in our slot, he eventually pans out, and knickerblogger doesn’t whine for 3-4 years because the 19 year old we drafted is still 5-6 years away from his peak at 22 when we have to pay him.

      We are finally doing thing correctly. What we have to worry about is them doing it competently.

    98. JK47: We have a few nice young pieces, but otherwise, we’re at the same place we usually find ourselves: trying to contend but not really succeeding, and hampering ourselves by not selecting in the high lottery.

      This seems like a marginally better iteration of the same old shit.

      My oh my. How short are out memories. What was your seasonal outlook 16 months ago, before the 2020-21 season? 15 wins? This team is where it reasonably should be. Achieving mediocrity is a major accomplishment. In order to take the next step it’s imperative that we can show that we are consistently mediocre and that we have good pieces to work with. I love the formula Leon Rose is using. There is and was zero chance of a championship this year. That is a target for two years from now. Now it’s about getting past the first round of the playoffs. Next year it should be to make it to the eastern conference finals. That is the trajectory we should be looking at. I expect what I see and hope that we can do better in the second half.

    99. Deeefense!!:
      We are finally doing thing correctly. What we have to worry about is them doing it competently.

      well…given the hisotry of this organ-eye-zayshun…we have nothing to worry about if all we need to worry about is being competent…

    100. last year we wildly outperformed expectations while also winning an elite % of games we were favored in. that probably makes us feel inconsistent this year when we are really typical.

      IMO, last year we did an especially good job of playing with consistent energy even if we lost. This year, the effort and energy is more uneven.

    101. Knick fan not in NJ: PT, this is a great post. I would add that, statistically, if wins have a Poisson distribution, which they should, then a 0.500 team will have the largest variance in results. That is, really bad and really good teams will be more consistent in their results than mediocre teams. This is exactly what we see this season for the Knicks.

      Sorry, I should have said binomial distribution, not Poisson.

    102. ptmilo:
      the mavericks are just completely fascinating this year.their offense has gone from 9th to 20th.but that’s not the half of it.with luka playing, their offense has gone from 118.5 to 108.4!if 108.4 sounds bad, it’s because it’s worse than our offense, which is 23rd.but dallas is the 4th best defense in the nba from 20th. ben taylor’s podcast today tries to talk about it, but i’m not sure they succeed in saying anything.and before someone says healthy kp (and i do agree he is moving way better this year on d), that can’t be a very big part of the story.he’s only played 848 mins, and their D has been even better without him.

      When Haralabos Voulgaris was advising them and Carlisle was coaching, the idea on offense was to maximize space for Doncic without much regard for defense or the way the game changes in the playoffs. Under Kidd, they are trying to make a serious run in the playoffs with defense and a more balanced approach to scoring. IMO, they don’t have enough to contend yet but they are scary when healthy and Doncic isn’t throwing up bricks because he doesn’t have enough space and isn’t getting calls.

    103. The weird thing is I seem to remember that Kidd had a reputation as an offensive minded coach, not a defensive minded one.

    104. How many minutes will Thibs play him? It feels like there is some real passive-aggression between those two.

    105. Under Kidd, they are trying to make a serious run in the playoffs with defense and a more balanced approach to scoring.

      If “more balanced” means “worse,” then Kidd is doing a bang-up job.

      It’s kind of crazy to criticize the Mavs’ playoff performance when they’ve run into a healthy Kawhi Leonard both times. It’s hard to imagine the Clippers not making, if not winning, the Finals last year if he had been healthy. Last year, the Mavs took them to 7.

      It’s like criticizing someone for because they lost to prime Federer in the first round instead of in the championship match.

    106. JK47:
      The Leon Rose plan seemed to be to fake it till you make it, …..

      The Rose plan is “How do we get better both this year and in the long term?”.

      They are trying to add both picks/young players that can be developed or used in trades and veterans that can improve us at positions where we are weak now. The only deal I question seriously is the contract for Fournier. I prefer defenders unless a player knocks my socks off on offense, but he hasn’t. I’m not so sure how easy it would be to move him either.

      I whine about Randle all the time as a player, but the problem with him is his role, the lack of space, the lack of a PG, and his basketball IQ. In a different set of circumstances I’m sure he’d handle the ball less and be more efficient. It might even eventually happen in NY after a few moves, but I’ve soured on his style, mental strength and basketball IQ.

    107. The Honorable Cock Jowles: If “more balanced” means “worse,” then Kidd is doing a bang-up job.

      It’s kind of crazy to criticize the Mavs’ playoff performance when they’ve run into a healthy Kawhi Leonard both times. It’s hard to imagine the Clippers not making, if not winning, the Finals last year if he had been healthy. Last year, the Mavs took them to 7.

      It’s like criticizing someone for because they lost to prime Federer in the first round instead of in the championship match.

      To understand what he is trying to do, you first have to acknowledge that the game changes a little in the playoffs. It tends to slow down a little, get called differently, elite defenses close out against the 3 and lock down better, and players get tighter under extreme pressure when it comes to shooting 3s. You have to be able to execute better in the half court at times, get stops on key plays, and score in other ways besides just launching 3s if they are taking that away.

      So what he is attempting to do is now is make TRADEOFFS that might hurt the team in the regular season on offense, but benefit them now on defense.

      The offense will get better when (IF) KP and Doncic finally get healthy (and in shape in the latter case), but more importantly the offense will be better prepared for playoff caliber defenses and refs and they’ll actually have a decent defense.

    108. It’s time to blow things up and hope we get a top pick, a star player is actually available in our slot, he eventually pans out, and knickerblogger doesn’t whine for 3-4 years because the 19 year old we drafted is still 5-6 years away from his peak at 22 when we have to pay him.

      You make this argument constantly, but it’s a straw man.

      You’re hoping with your lottery picks to get Ja Morants and Luka Doncics and Joel Embiids, not Cam Reddishes and Frank Ntilikinas and Kevin Knoxes, who may or may not be worth their extension. THAT’S the idea behind “tanking” also known as “properly rebuilding.”

      Drafting ninth every year because you’re aiming for the #8 seed but falling short makes it a shit ton less likely that you’re going to get Morants and Doncics, and a whole lot more likely that you’re going to get Reddishes and Knoxes. If you get a Morant or a Doncic, you don’t really have to wait real long to see if he’s going to pan out.

    109. You make this argument constantly, but it’s a straw man.

      You’re hoping with your lottery picks to get Ja Morants and Luka Doncics and Joel Embiids, not Cam Reddishes and Frank Ntilikinas and Kevin Knoxes, who may or may not be worth their extension. THAT’S the idea behind “tanking” also known as “properly rebuilding.”

      Drafting ninth every year because you’re aiming for the #8 seed but falling short makes it a shit ton less likely that you’re going to get Morants and Doncics, and a whole lot more likely that you’re going to get Reddishes and Knoxes. If you get a Morant or a Doncic, you don’t really have to wait real long to see if he’s going to pan out.

      Notice you use of the word “hope”.

      We were as terrible as is possible a few years back, dropped to 4th in the draft, took KP, and traded him for trash rather than pay him.

      We tanked for Zion, got RJ, and half the people here want to trade him after every rough patch of a few games.
      If we got Zion, they’d be whining about all his injuries and weight issues wondering whether he’s going to pan out.

      It’s not a strawman.

      It’s the reality of building via draft. It requires extraordinary luck, extraordinary patience, and is not even the best approach. You can start that way for one or two years when it actually makes sense, but then it’s better to use the draft, trades, and free agency to accelerate it. For every success via just the draft, there are loads of failures and 10 year struggles to get lucky. We have RJ. Develop him, hope he makes progress and move on.

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