Knicks vs. Hawks Playoffs Preview

It’s been so long since we’ve done a Knicks playoff preview that I am unsure how to actually do one. So let me do it as a matchups sort of deal.

POINT GUARD

The Hawks’ star player is Trae Young, a talented scorer and disher who will forever be known as the guy that the Hawks foolishly thought was better than Luke Doncic. Still, he’s an excellent player in general, although you would have to believe that his strategy of flopping his way to foul calls will not work as well during the postseason. However, at the same time, he lost out on an All-Star spot to Jaylen Brown playing with half a lung, so how good is he really? Lou Williams backs him up and that’s like having Elfrid Payton playing point guard for you. Not a good idea. Derrick Rose, meanwhile, is a finalist for Sixth Man of the Year. Is Trae Young a finalist for any award? Nope, so I think it is clear that this one is Advantage: Knicks

WINGS

The Hawks got a boost when they received Bogdan Bogdanovic back from a major injury earlier in the year. That guy shoots a ton of threes and makes a lot of them. Deandre Hunter has played well and he’s been a strong defender (and it’s really weird looking at the Pelicans and thinking, “Huh, wouldn’t Deandre Hunter make a lot more sense for them than Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker?” What an odd trade for them that was). Lou Williams is basically the ghost of Lou Williams at this point, but that’s still relatively not awful. Kevin Huerter is a nice glue guy who is somehow the #2 guy on the team in minutes per game and Tony Snell somehow has hit 56% of his threes this year. The Knicks, on the other hand, have the steady combination of RJ Barrett and Reggie Bullock as their wings, with Bullock’s strong defense and excellent outside shooting leading to him likely finally cashing in on his career (he’s literally made the same amount in his career as Frank Ntilikina, which is insane). Alec Burks plays the Lou Williams role on this team, only he does it better than Lou Williams at this point in their respective careers and Immanuel Quickley can obviously light it up when need be. Cam Reddish will miss the series, which almost tipped this thing in the Hawks’ favor, but it’s still Advantage: Knicks

POWER FORWARD

John Collins is a good player. Not a good defender, but he’s a good player overall. Danilo Gallinari is a fine stretch four who can really help the Hawks soar when they have one of their crazy “Everyone shooting three pointers” lineups out there. Julius Randle, though, is quite possibly an All-NBA player this year. And since he’s been playing 57 minutes per game, he is better used to playing more minutes in the playoffs (at least I hope that that math checks out). Advantage: Knicks

CENTER

Clint Capela is a lot to deal with, but at the same time, he was traded so that the Rockets could start a 5 foot 3 guy at center, so how good can he really be? Nerlens Noel, meanwhile, has little twigs for fingers and yet can block shots like crazy and Taj Gibson apparently shoots himself up with the blood of the younger Knicks (this is why Kevin Knox, Theo Pinson and Jared Harper don’t play much. Too much blood loss) and is playing like he’s 27 again. This is actually the tightest category, I think, but still…. Advantage: Knicks

COACH

Nate McMillan whines and believes that the NBA is having the Knicks and Hawks play on Sunday to…benefit the Knicks, somehow? Tom Thibodeau, though, does things just to make sure that appeals to authority can still be invoked, so that’s a win for Thibs. Thibs, also, is a finalist for Coach of the Year and McMillan isn’t even the official coach of the Hawks, so how good can he be? Advantage: Knicks

When you add in the advantage of the roaring crowds at MSG, I pick the Knicks to win this one in three games (four if three games is mathematically impossible).

Also, as part of our all-poll content (I think we all know that the move to all-poll content here was why the Knicks became so good this season)…

Who will win this series and in how many games?

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260 thoughts to “Knicks vs. Hawks Playoffs Preview”

  1. I feel bad for my friend who will have to deal with us talking about the happenings of a rather obscure blog, but I am in on pre-game drinks at The Local.

  2. @geo

    Finally got around to seeing the Bad Batch (at least the first 2 episodes, I think there’s 4 coming out today?) really enjoyed it so far.

    The animation quality is excellent. They add lighting and background details & movement that wasn’t there in the clone wars/rebels.

    Looking forward to seeing where they go with it. Kinda seems like they’re setting up the premise a bit still and it’ll be more of a continuous story than the old shows too.

  3. I really enjoy how unbiased KB is in its takes. KNICKS IN 3!!!

    (If you say it’s mathematically impossible, then I remind you of your preseason prediction and that you need to adjust upward in the Knicks favor)

  4. The only thing i don’t wanna see in these series is Capella having a paint party.
    Avoiding fouling Trae also would help.

  5. Swept up in fandom when I voted, actually really worried about this series. Knicks in 6 (instead of 4).

  6. Brian, have to disagree with your “advantage Knicks” at the center position. Even with our two headed monster of Nerlens and Taj, Capela hurt us pretty bad in those 3 regular season games and I don’t expect that to change much in the playoffs

    It’s not a huge advantage, but I think I’d still rather have Capela than Noel/Gibson.

  7. D-mar, I don’t think Brian is being completely serious. Like his all-A grades on the previous post, it’s what’s known in the biz as “schtick.”

    I hope I am as wrong with this prediction as I was about wins (27), but I think the Knicks are vulnerable to great guard/center play without Mitch (and without a real PG), so Hawks in 6.

    Bleah.

  8. Yeah, Brian’s having a bit of a laugh up there.

    Nonetheless, I went Knicks in 6. Why not?

  9. a playoff preview and only mentioning frank once in passing? what has the blog done to deserve this travesty?

  10. Knicks have been giving up a lot of second shot opportunities it seems. Maybe it’s just that other teams are bricking based on our good perimeter D. I wouldn’t have thought we have an advantage at 5 or 1, but maybe Trae shoots them out of as many games as he shoots them into. With Julius, RJ and Reggie handling their matchups, I guess the Knicks really do have the squad. Feels very odd to write that. Knicks in 6

  11. djphan: a playoff preview and only mentioning frank once in passing? what has the blog done to deserve this travesty?

    I know Mike K. is essentially the man behind the curtain anymore, but I would pay real money to have that player’s name filtered out of every thread.

  12. Brian isn’t being serious, I mean he gave Payton a D in the last thread and his name is literally Spanish for “The F (rid)”

  13. howdy early bird :)

    The animation quality is excellent. They add lighting and background details & movement that wasn’t there in the clone wars/rebels.

    i watched some of the earlier clone wars’ seasons with a friend whom had the disc collection…there was a bunch of “behind the scenes” stuff with the folks doing the technical work as far as the sound and animation…whoa, talk about some serious freaks and geeks, some really neat folks working behind the scenes…

    it’s just amazing the advancements they’ve made over the last decade or so…still, you need an engaging story, good voice acting and direction…

    from about season 4 of the clone wars and season 2 of rebels on, those two animated series provide some of the best star wars stories and canon that have been produced to date…

    honestly, the mandalorian was a bit of a let down, it had about the same production value as the Firefly series, without the interesting characters, acting and stories…it just hasn’t worked that great for me to date…

    the clone wars, some of rebels and rogue one have been my favorite productions to date reference star wars…

  14. It’s weird how much more I like all of you guys now that we’re in the PLAYOFFS!

    that’s too funny (and true) ess-dog…success is an alluring scent…

  15. This may be an incredibly obvious take (welcome to the 21st century, Raven), but I have a creepy feeling this series will be determined largely at the three-point line. Bogdanovic scares the hell out of me, and they have lots of other firepower out there. Of course so do we, and we also have both great perimeter defense and the Invisible Sixth Man, who’s been fairly dependable all season long. Capela and Collins will get their dunks, and Trae will get his annoying foul shots, but it’s whether we can run them off the line consistently (and capitalize on our end) that I think will make all the difference.

  16. I said Knicks in 6. People see the names Trae, Gallo and Capella and think The Hawks have the better players. They don’t. But it is very even (hence 4/5).

    But we have a week of rest for a team that plays hard and has some injuries. That week to rest, for Thibs to game plan (betcha he’s watched A LOT of film this week) and the team to practice specifically for The Hawks. That is huge! One knock on Thibs is going so hard in the season his teams are tired by the playoffs but this week of rest totally negates that possibility, which is great. That and home court advantage…I think we got this.

    And man I really hope we win this series. If we lose, I know the season is still ultimately a huge success but it would be a disappointing end, especially after they took us so high this last month or so.

    I also think there is an even bigger perception jump when you make it to the second round as opposed to going out in the first. We lose in the first and we are a new playoff team that is still multiple moves/years away from being a legit team. We get to the second round and can hang in 6 games, we’re a team that is one big piece or two away from being legit contenders. I think that shift is huge because it will give the players on the team who are free agents even more incentive to stay AND it will make us even more appealing to big name players who are free agents or who might be disgruntled stars on shitty teams looking for a way out. And I believe we would play against Philly in the second round and out of the big 3 teams in the east, I like our chances against them the most.

  17. I deserve an A, always have, and that is because I am more handsome and more smarter than you. I’m the man who has the ball, I’m the man who can throw it faster than fuck. And that is why I am better than everyone in the world.

    oh, if only there wasn’t a lady jowles, and i was a lot younger, and i was gay…you’re a keeper THCJ…

  18. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/nhp7j2/and_the_results_are_in_for_the_least_valuable/

    Z-man is gonna be triggered by #4. There’s not even a single mention of how Thibs trusts him! In fact, the writer says that Thibs jettisoned his playmaking in favor of Julius “Spin Move Turnover” Randle!

    I am outraged.

    Seriously, it’s a very good take. You could easily make the argument that he’s the least valuable starter on a current playoff team. I don’t think it’s as much about Thibs “trusting” as Thibs “reckoning” that its preferable to the alternatives. As some here e.g. iserp have tried to explain, he probably feels that it’s the most consistent with his “defense first” philosophy…Thibs has said as much. The writer pointed out that the metrics are sort of contradictory on that front, and the team has been winning, so “Whatever he’s doing, it can’t be that bad.”

    In any case, there are signs that the leash will be pretty short. On the other hand, there’s this.

  19. Another deadpan from a Z-man offspring, this from my rather cantankerous 19yo daughter. When my older daughter texted the official DRose for Sixth Man of the Year nominee graphic on the family chat, she responded: …as in sixth man in on a gang rape?

  20. Yeah, how good Bad Batch is will depend on the story and characters. Don’t think we’re far enough into it to really judge yet though. Took awhile for the others to really pick up. Clone Wars early seasons weren’t terrible but also not terribly memorable and a little too child-oriented. I hated a number of characters in the first couple episodes of Rebels (maybe first season?) that I wound up liking once they fleshed them out more

    I enjoyed Mando season 1, but it’s kinda hit or miss for me. Season 2 felt a little too gimmicky at times, but admittedly resulted in some really cool moments. I liked Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka and meeting the OG Mando. Feel like all the spinoffs they’re planning won’t excite me too much

    Definitely agree on Rogue One, Clone Wars, & Rebels being the best Star Wars of the last however many years

  21. Seriously though, I really hope Payton got his head right with the week off. Not just for the Knicks sake, but he just looks lost out there.

  22. Taj Gibson apparently shoots himself up with the blood of the younger Knicks (this is why Kevin Knox, Theo Pinson and Jared Harper don’t play much. Too much blood loss) and is playing like he’s 27 again.

    nice work BC :)

  23. Good Vorkunov article examining some of the reasons for our overall improvement in 3-point shooting this season, on top of previous stuff he and others have written about the work that Randle and RJ put into their shot over the offseason. (And though Keith Smart is not mentioned by name, his incompetence wafts off the screen in the passage about RJ.)

    There’s also fun stuff in there about the team installing a 4-point line at the practice facility (which other teams have previously done) and about Thibs’ comfort level with Quickley in particular letting fly from anywhere on the court:

    “We’re comfortable with him shooting those shots,” Thibodeau said. “We see it every day. He works on it. He’s good at it. And if he’s left unguarded sometimes it’s difficult for your opponents to blitz in that area, to get a second defender there so you can get a clean look at it. If he gets a clean look he’s got a good chance of making it.”

  24. What the hell was Elf doing in the off season then?

    Here is our best realistic scenario. Knicks win round 1 against The Hawks and Elf is good enough to not cost us the series. Then we lose the second round but its close…6 or 7 games. And Elf is bad in that series so its VERY apparent to all the PG’s around the league that might be wanting greener pastures that if the Knicks can upgrade at the PG spot, they can be ECF or better NEXT SEASON.

  25. I would guess that there is zero chance of Elf being back with NYK next year.

  26. the playoffs are going to be the first significant crowds the players have seen all season… and there were a couple of theories on why 3pt shooting was so good this year…. and the empty arenas was one of them… going to be interesting to see how good 3pt shooting will be … especially for us … altho i’m not sure if anyone will notice a difference in atlanta…

  27. This may be an incredibly obvious take (welcome to the 21st century, Raven), but I have a creepy feeling this series will be determined largely at the three-point line.

    I agree with you only because teams are, on the whole, living and dying by the fickle 3PT shot. What’s weird, though, is that the Hawks aren’t really even close to an elite 3PT team. They rank 19th in 3PAr and 12th in conversion rate. Likewise, they aren’t even a great eFG% team (16th) but they are bloody murder at drawing shooting fouls, surprise surprise. But weird: they are not elite at drawing personal fouls on the whole (9th, with a very limited spread between the #1 LAL at 21.3 and the #30 IND at 17.7).

    Of the four factors, here’s where they rank on offense:

    eFG% 16th
    TOV% 9th
    ORB% 4th
    FT/FGA 1st

    Oddly, they are also pretty good at eFG% against (6th) but mediocre to bad at the rest of the four factors.

    Ultimately, when we talk about Four Factors, we’re talking about their performance against the league’s best and worst, and the Knicks are somewhere between those two extremes. So all of that shit I wrote is kind of, I don’t know, moot.

    I think a simple game strategy is to not give Young easy buckets at the line and to slap the piss out of him when it can’t be avoided. As I said on draft night, he speaks like a person who boldly alleged through his gaming headset, between gulps of Mountain Dew and handfuls of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, that he has had sex with my mother, who is apparently both disconcertingly fat and also pleasurable to have sex with, and for that, I am fine with some real throwback Knicks basketball being played against him. Being that he personally has never said this to me, but only resembled those who have, it’s irrational, I know, but it’s also both morally and aesthetically pleasing to imagine him questioning his own judgment whenever he drives into the paint.

    Go Knicks.

  28. Excellent piece by Vorkunov and not just because it validates my ongoing disdain and frothing hatred of Keith Smart. Mind boggling that he could get hired by an NBA franchise

  29. This is the kind of fair, well-balanced analysis you won’t find in the Knicks hating lamestream media. Nice work Brian

  30. I still think Capela is their most important player for the series, because he can bully Noel and Gibson and create tons of inside buckets and offensive rebounds, but that is probably something we should expect to happen anyway, it’ll be somewhat of a constant. The x-factor definitely is their 3 point shooting and the free throws. We’re one of the teams that foul the most in the league and I really hope we can keep that to a minimum this series.

    I’m excited so I guessed Knicks in 6, but the most realistic outcome seems to be a 7 game series. Im happy with our chances in a game 7 with a full MSG against a similarly inexperienced team, so I’d guess it’s either Knicks in 7 or Hawks in 6.

  31. Macri’s pod is always a good listen, but I recommend today’s episode in particular ;)

  32. I think Taj should be able to hold his own against Capella on the boards. Wouldn’t surprise me if we see more of him matching up against Capella than of Noel.

    Also wondering if we’ll see Capella defend Randle rafter than patrol the paint this series. Randle should be able to eviscerate Gallo & Collins, but Capella could give him trouble.

  33. I’m in full reverse-jinx mode,
    so I voted Hawks in 6 and from now on I will only say good things about Hawks’ players (with the inevitable exception of Trae Young, of which I wont talk)…

  34. Yeah that article today was pretty good and man what a huge indictment on the previous coaching staff. Also proves Thibs isn’t a dinosaur and is much more flexible than he is given credit for.

  35. I’m going to game 5 at the garden! (Unless the Knicks sweep of course). Section 209, vaccinated section. I’m so pumped. Going with my childhood buddy Dave. We both went to our last playoff game in 2013. Our lives are so different now. What a difference 8 years makes. For both the Knicks and us.

  36. What’s weird, though, is that the Hawks aren’t really even close to an elite 3PT team. They rank 19th in 3PAr and 12th in conversion rate.

    I noticed this also but wouldn’t read too much into it because of how much time some of their now healthy 3PT shooters missed. Bogey missed 28 games, Gallo missed 21, and Hunter missed 49. I think they’ll much more 3PT happy than they generally were in the regular season.

    I have rarely hoped I’m wrong more than I do right now (and that’s saying something)…but I voted Hawks in 6. I think their health/coaching issues obscured how good they are, and even with those our net rating/SRS is nearly identical. I think they’re a good amount more talented than us when fully healthy, and pose some serious matchup problems to boot.

    I just don’t see us as having the personnel to really capitalize on their flaws (i.e. weak point of attack defense), and think Capela is truly a matchup nightmare for us.

    If I’m wrong, I’m guessing it’ll be because one or more of these things happened:
    -We neutralized Trae Young to a pretty insane degree
    -Randle had a monster series, which included snatching boards from Capela
    -We got better-than-expected contributions from Payton, Quickley, Toppin, and/or…Vildoza?!?!?! (I’m kidding, Alan)

  37. thenoblefacehumper:
    I feel bad for my friend who will have to deal with us talking about the happenings of a rather obscure blog, but I am in on pre-game drinks at The Local.

    I’m in, too.

    Two weeks ago, I was mentally in the “The Knicks are going to beat the Hawks and go to the second round” place, solidly, but now I’m not so sure. The Elf thing has me petrified.

  38. I agree with you only because teams are, on the whole, living and dying by the fickle 3PT shot. What’s weird, though, is that the Hawks aren’t really even close to an elite 3PT team. They rank 19th in 3PAr and 12th in conversion rate. Likewise, they aren’t even a great eFG% team (16th) but they are bloody murder at drawing shooting fouls, surprise surprise. But weird: they are not elite at drawing personal fouls on the whole (9th, with a very limited spread between the #1 LAL at 21.3 and the #30 IND at 17.7).

    Of the four factors, here’s where they rank on offense:

    eFG% 16th
    TOV% 9th
    ORB% 4th
    FT/FGA 1st

    Oddly, they are also pretty good at eFG% against (6th) but mediocre to bad at the rest of the four factors.

    Ultimately, when we talk about Four Factors, we’re talking about their performance against the league’s best and worst, and the Knicks are somewhere between those two extremes. So all of that shit I wrote is kind of, I don’t know, moot.

    I think a simple game strategy is to not give Young easy buckets at the line and to slap the piss out of him when it can’t be avoided. As I said on draft night, he speaks like a person who boldly alleged through his gaming headset, between gulps of Mountain Dew and handfuls of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, that he has had sex with my mother, who is apparently both disconcertingly fat and also pleasurable to have sex with, and for that, I am fine with some real throwback Knicks basketball being played against him. Being that he personally has never said this to me, but only resembled those who have, it’s irrational, I know, but it’s also both morally and aesthetically pleasing to imagine him questioning his own judgment whenever he drives into the paint.

    Go Knicks.

    You know how when an NBA players gets snubbed for the all star game and drops 50 in his next game? We’re getting Peak Jowles today and it’s all because Donnie Walsh gave him a B+. I love it.

  39. The Elf thing has me petrified.

    The Gallinari is on their bench and he’d be our 2nd player thing has me petrified. :-)

    I’m counting on our defense and the refs letting the games be more physical to win this for us, but honestly I think they have the better team. I thought they were very good coming into the season. If it weren’t for various injuries and issues with the coach they may have challenged the Bucks for the 3rd seed. Be that as it may, they have a lot of young players also, we have home court, and we may unleash our secret defensive Trae killer on them. :-)

  40. djphan: the playoffs are going to be the first significant crowds the players have seen all season… and there were a couple of theories on why 3pt shooting was so good this year…. and the empty arenas was one of them… going to be interesting to see how good 3pt shooting will be … especially for us … altho i’m not sure if anyone will notice a difference in atlanta…

    A significant part of the reason I picked Knicks in 5 is that I know we’re going to have a big home court advantage in MSG…and I think there’s a good chance we have a pretty decent home court advantage in ATL as well.

  41. We’re getting Peak Jowles today and it’s all because Donnie Walsh gave him a B . I love it.

    I give Jowles a clear A plus, but I use the eye test on blog ratings. So I’m not sure if that will cheer him up. :-)

  42. knicks in five…i don’t think it’s an accident we swept them this year, even with the lloyd pierce situation and young getting hurt in the 3rd game…i just don’t think they’re built for a really physical style of play, which we fortunately excel at…

    i think elf will be okay, or a least on par with how he was playing earlier this year…this week of preparation will do wonders for him and the team…

  43. Strat, what are you doing Sunday? Come to the meetup!!!

    PS – if anyone doesn’t have tickets, you can still come and just watch the game there.

  44. Brian, I think we’re much better than that.

    Knicks in two would just be ridiculous!

  45. What has ME terrified is the idea of meeting a bunch of you in the flesh! I have very clear images of all of you based on your writing styles, with actual visuals of only JK47 and Alan, and I know seeing you is going to lead to massive cognitive dissonance. Even the shot of Jowles’ ass was all wrong and I don’t know what to think of him anymore. Thank god I’ll be far away at game time…

    I’m sticking with my initial thinking about what swings the series. For us it’s about Bullock, Burks, RJ, and Quickley hitting threes consistently, ISM and our players chasing theirs off the line, and Capela not getting Noel into foul trouble early.

    And of course you-know-who shutting down Trae…

  46. Strat, what are you doing Sunday? Come to the meetup!!!

    PS – if anyone doesn’t have tickets, you can still come and just watch the game there.

    Thanks for the invite. Maybe next time. I have a date with my sofa and a 6 pack for this one.

  47. ha raven, too funny…what would fuck me up at a meet up is if people started hitting me with their real names…you would literally see the confusion on my face as i try to get keep shit straight in my little lizard brain…

  48. There’s a possibility I’ll be in NYC during a playoff game, depending on how deep the Knicks go and when exactly I need to return.

    If so, here’s a recent pic so you can ID me.

    So I’m not sure if that will cheer him up.

    I won’t be cheered up until [redacted] is leading the tank with his skittish half-assed dribble drives in ORL, HOU or OKC next year.

  49. Came here for the latest knicks news and stumbled upon a Tsitsip ass!

  50. Observations from today’s media day:

    Thibs said that ….the Vildoza situation is pretty much fluid… he’s not really part of the post season plans…blah blah blah
    My guess – if we miss most pgs or go down ugly like 0-2 he’s getting in.

    RJ said about Elf that he’s a great locker room guy so get ready for our beloved starting five on Sunday

    Elf’s interview was awkward at least
    His psychology is clearly shit

    Taj is badass

  51. One last thought that’s swirling like last year’s Randle inside my head for a long time.
    I really find it difficult to believe that DRose is a dick or a raper.
    His way of talking and moving, his facial expressions plus the respect he gets from (in my eyes) high character guys like Thibs and Taj plus the respect he gets by most in this League don’t match with that kind of a lowlife
    I may be wrong tho or he may have changed drastically

  52. I don’t blame them much for Porter – no one really knew what was wrong with his back, and spinal injuries can be really bad news. Massive/Glass/RJstan was touting him like crazy before the draft and it was exciting that he was falling to us…until it seemed like he might never play hoop again. Since we didn’t have a lot of info about the situation, I couldn’t second guess them for passing.

    But SGA played at the same school as Knox! And Mikal was both a better prospect AND filled a need! Indefensible.

  53. “rama’s cautious optimism was warranted
    May 21, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    I don’t blame them much for Porter – no one really knew what was wrong with his back, and spinal injuries can be really bad news.”

    *

    I suppose there is a fundamental philosophical question to this then: when drafting for a home run, do you prefer the guy who has tools but needs to “put it all together”, or the guy who has it all together, but has an injury history?

  54. Knew Your Nicks:
    One last thought that’s swirling like last year’s Randle inside my headfor a long time.
    I really find it difficult to believe that DRose is a dick or a raper.
    His way of talking and moving, his facial expressions plus the respect he gets from (in my eyes) high character guys like Thibs and Taj plus the respect he gets by most in this League don’t match with that kind of a lowlife
    I may be wrong tho or he may have changed drastically

    He does seem like a good guy- he’s seemed genuinely emotional when talking about this team- but that doesn’t mean much. I live about 2 miles from where he grew up (though it might as well be a different planet) but really can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up there. This American Life did a devastating two part episode on the school situation there. That doesn’t excuse anything- at the very least he’s guilty of seriously sketchy behavior even if you don’t believe the rape accusations- but it does make me a little less willing to sit in judgement of him or consider him an irredeemable lost cause. I’d still rather cheer for someone else though.

  55. ***I know Mike K. is essentially the man behind the curtain anymore***

    Mike K.: F (he created this site in response to the Marbury trade, predicted 17 years of misery, and doesn’t even make a cameo when the skies clear 17 years later…)

  56. ***I really find it difficult to believe that DRose is a dick***

    When Latrell Sprewell spoke, I always had a hard time equating the person I was listening to with the guy who choked his coach. He clearly had a high intellect, and the capacity to be empathetic and reasonable. Then he left NY and I’d read about him complaining about his contract while punching the walls of his yacht and I’d remember that people are complicated, and there are many facets to every character, and that good people can do bad things and bad people can do good things, and now I just figure that you shouldn’t base a relationship on post-game interviews.

  57. Thanks Donnie. I was going to respond but dropped out. Your reply is pretty much spot on.

    I hate this Memphis-Golden State game. I don’t want either team to lose.

  58. I voted Knicks in 6. I think it’ll be a tight 6.
    Credit will go to the 6th man – 13,000 loud fans in the stands.
    Are the Nets going to put tix on E-Bay?

  59. #Sprewell, who will have served an NBA-record 68-game suspension by the end of the season, said he has told his four children he made a mistake in attacking Carlesimo and that using physical force is not the solution.#

    Snapping after feeling disrespected don’t seem unethical to me but i get what you’re trying to say

  60. Wish I could be in New York for a KB meet up, but am too busy in the near term to make it from Chicago for the first round. If we make the second round I’m super down to attend a KB meet up, however—someone organize something for the 2nd round, after the Knicks win in 7! :)

  61. There’s no doubt in my mind that without Steph Curry the Warriors would have had the worst record in the NBA.

    That’s a pretty strong argument for MVP.

  62. Ja was outstanding tonight. Credit for knocking Steph out of the playoffs.

  63. Impressive year from Curry, carrying the player that used to be Draymond Green and a roster full of hot garbage onto the verge of the playoffs

  64. If I’d have told you 3 years ago that the Knicks would be a top 4 seed and the Warriors wouldn’t even get into the playoffs in the Year of our Lord 2021 AD I’d have been laughed out of here faster than you can say STAT.

  65. warriors with 21 turnovers…not sure how many they had against the lakers, but they pretty much threw the game away in the 3rd quarter against them…

    just a lot of lazy, maybe tired, passing…

    I haven’t felt like looking at his numbers, but, it seems andrew wiggins has improved a lot this year, they should have gone to him more when they double teamed curry…whenever I’ve seen him play…crazy bouncy on the court, but, still learning how to play basketball…

  66. one person left off the report card was Bob Neptune – F (or incomplete)

    Wouldn’t the better grade be
    Bob Neptune – DNP Coach’s Decision

  67. i just remembered, these play-in game numbers don’t matter, i don’t think they’re recorded anywhere…it’ll be like those 41 turnovers in two “key” games never happened…

  68. just looked at the box score for the last 2 warriors’ games – green and curry with 6 TO’s a piece against the lakers and green with 6 and curry with 7 against the grizz…force it much guys :p

    both wiggins and poole had decent games, they should have gone to those two more…

  69. “DRed
    May 21, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    Jowles must be so excited watching the Kyle Anderson game”

    *

    I played in a fantasy league this year and I won it with Kyle Anderson as my second best player. He had an amazing under-the-radar year.

  70. Owen:
    Will try to make the next meetup. Will be in a car for this one.

    Hopefully a self-driving model…

  71. thenoblefacehumper:
    Macri’s pod is always a good listen, but I recommend today’s episode in particular ;)

    I’ve been listening to KFS on my commutes and caught Alan’s spot…nice! although as usual I disagreed with everything he said ;-)

  72. looks like we’re locked into the Sun-Wed-Fri slot. That means two games this memorial day weekend. Those of us over 40 probably remember that the Knicks on MDW was a thing for quite some time back when we used to play in the ECF a lot. There’s been many great games with the Bulls and Pacers played on this holiday.

  73. I’ve been listening to KFS on my commutes and caught Alan’s spot…nice! although as usual I disagreed with everything he said ;-)

    One of these days, Z-Man, we’ll have to meet up at a game and hash out our many differences… :)

  74. Alan: One of these days, Z-Man, we’ll have to meet up at a game and hash out our many differences… :)

    Starting with is The Simpsons a sitcom?

  75. would-be #3 overall pick Brandon Clarke with the DNP-CD in a loser-goes-home game

    I am taking Ls

  76. In a surprise, Clarke was a DNP-CD. The former Gonzaga star has been dealing with right thigh soreness but did play in the regular-season finale. Clarke was a solid contributor this season, averaging 10.3 points and 5.6 rebounds and started in 16 of his 59 games. Perhaps it was just for matchup reasons Wednesday, or maybe he’s not healthy.

  77. Alan:
    Begley interviews Mike Woodson about this years Knicks. Some very interesting stuff, particularly regarding Mitch.

    https://sny.tv/articles/mike-woodson-knicks-rj-barrett-s-evolution

    That’s really good, Alan. I’m going to pull out the Mitch section — it’s the most we’ve heard about him in a while.

    SNY: WHEN YOU FIRST SAW MITCHELL IN NEW ORLEANS, WHAT DID YOU THINK? WAS HE NOT IN SHAPE?
    WOODSON: “He wasn’t in shape and I just didn’t know how much he would allow you to push him. I think he’s over that stage now. He’s starting to figure things out. Figuring it out means you have to work hard at improving. And he’s starting to do that.”

    There’s been questions about his maturity and I’ve had moments of concern myself, what with going through so many agents. And “starting to figure things out” doesn’t mean the concerns are resolved for good, given the contrast in how Woodson talks about RJ. But this is encouraging that Mitch is going in the right direction.

  78. Alan:
    Begley interviews Mike Woodson about this years Knicks. Some very interesting stuff, particularly regarding Mitch.

    https://sny.tv/articles/mike-woodson-knicks-rj-barrett-s-evolution

    “WOODSON: “When I first saw Mitchell last summer when I went to New Orleans with Kenny Payne to work him out, I was like, ‘There’s no way in hell this kid is going to make it.’ And when he got to camp and Thibs got a hold of him and Kenny (Payne) and Woody and Johnny and Andy (Greer) and all the guys that were pushing him started working with him, he started to get better.”

    Really?

  79. The Bucks really are such a soft team. They have so much talent but they really don’t feel like true contenders to me.

  80. Unbelievable — 1:07 left on the clock and Giannis gets a 10+ second violation on his free throw attempt, no shot. One point game. Unreal.

  81. for the life of me I don’t know why the Bucks didn’t throw that game against Miami to get us in the 3/6 matchup.

    @ Jowles – that call was un-freaking believable. You just can’t call that (especially with Caron Butler being the timekeeper?!!?) at that moment, especially when he shot it like 0.5 sec after they blew the whistle.

  82. you’re seeing why I didn’t agree with the “Milwaukee will destroy us” crowd.

  83. Bucks shooting 18% from 3 and still tied? How worried should they be longterm?

  84. for the life of me I don’t know why the Bucks didn’t throw that game against Miami to get us in the 3/6 matchup.

    well we’re no pushover, either.

  85. Butler is so clutch.
    I think that Milwaukee is vulnerable and Miami is dangerous.

    We should have done series predictions. Even if you don’t, I will. This game is going into OT and I’ll call the series.

    MIA v MLW: Milwaukee in 7.
    BOS v BKN: Brooklyn in 5.
    WAS v PHI: Washington in 7.
    ATL v NY: New York in 6.

    DAL v LAC: Clippers in 5
    POR v DEN: Denver in 6
    LAL v PHX: Phoenix in 7
    UTA v MEM: Utah in 5

  86. Speaking of Mitch, it’s been more than 7 weeks since he fractured his foot. Just saying.

  87. Shocked they didn’t give it Giannis, but wow, what a shot by Middleton!

  88. MIA v MLW: Milwaukee in 7.
    BOS v BKN: Brooklyn in 5.
    WAS v PHI: Washington in 7.
    ATL v NY: New York in 6.

    DAL v LAC: Clippers in 5
    POR v DEN: Denver in 6
    LAL v PHX: Phoenix in 7
    UTA v MEM: Utah in 5

    Washington, eh? That’s bold.

    I like Philly, NY, Brooklyn, Milwaukee in the East. Utah, LAC, Phoenix, and Portland in the West.

    Then Knicks over Sixers, Bucks over Nets, Jazz over Clippers, Suns over Blazers.

    NBA Finals: Knicks over Suns

  89. DudesTown: I’d rather face the Bucks.

    I don’t have any preference, as if we play any of these teams it means we’re in the ECF. ;)

  90. Mil in 5
    Philly in 4
    Nets in 5
    NY in 6

    Dal in 7
    Den in 6
    LAL in 7
    UT in 4

  91. Although I agree that it was an aggressive enforcement of that rule, I used a stopwatch to see how long Giannis holds the ball — dude is playing with fire. It’s also bad for the TV product. He should consult a psychologist and figure something else out.

    MIA v MLW: Milwaukee in 7.
    BOS v BKN: Brooklyn in 5.
    WAS v PHI: Washington in 7.
    ATL v NY: New York in 6.

    DAL v LAC: Clippers in 5
    POR v DEN: Denver in 6
    LAL v PHX: Phoenix in 7
    UTA v MEM: Utah in 5

    Mine:

    MIL in 6 (cheating)
    BKN in 4
    PHI in 4
    NY in 6

    LAC in 6
    DEN in 5
    LAL in 7
    UTA in 4

    Memphis eked out wins against a bad Spurs team and a terrible plus Curry Warriors team. Utah is 100% a title contender, but depending on whether 2019 or 2020 playoff Donovan Mitchell shows up, they’ll either burn something like 16-3 through the playoffs or get roasted in the Semis by DEN, LAC or DAL.

    That block was worth 4 first round picks right there!

    That’s a huge WPA play. Holiday might be the player I’ve underrated most over the last five-plus years.

  92. The issue with the Bucks is that they just can’t seem to exert dominance over tough teams like Miami. They’re much more talented than the Heat, Giannis is better than Butler, they have better shooting overall. Hell the Heat played Trevor Ariza 38 minutes and he was washed like 2 years ago, Butler shot 4-22 and it still was this close.

    I argued that the Bucks would destroy us because at the end of the day, talent wins games over toughness when there’s enough of a meaningful difference, and the matchups are just horrid since we have no Adebayo to defend the Bucks; but against teams closer to their talent level I have no confidence at all in the Bucks.

  93. Wonder if they’ll start going to Middleton more and Giannis less in crunch time.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: That’s a huge WPA play. Holiday might be the player I’ve underrated most over the last five-plus years.

    RAPM loves the dude. His defense is excellent and his passing does seem to make a meaningful difference. Box score seem to really underrate Holliday more than anyone.

  94. My predictions for the sake of it:

    MIA v MLW: Milwaukee in 7
    BOS v BKN: Brooklyn in 5
    WAS v PHI: Philly in 4
    ATL v NY: New York in 6

    DAL v LAC: Clippers in 7
    POR v DEN: Denver in 5
    LAL v PHX: Lakers in 6
    UTA v MEM: Utah in 4

  95. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I used a stopwatch to see how long Giannis holds the ball — dude is playing with fire. It’s also bad for the TV product.

    Foul-and-pray end of games with Giannis on the line a lot will be even more annoying.

  96. Early Bird: He’s out there… getting blocked and then committing a 3-sec violation

    LOL! But Playoff P is there to level it for the Mavs. ;)

  97. cybersoze:
    Who in hell voted Hawks in 4 or Hawks in 5 ??

    People voted for the Hawks at all? And here I started the thread praising KB for being unbiased. Knicks in 1

  98. You could tell Tucker Carlson never once talked about the Knicks because bobneptune’s Knicks opinions weren’t total dogshit.

  99. I’m just pleased to not know whether or not bobneptune believes that the 2020 election was rigged through widespread voter fraud

    Ehh who am I kidding of course he does

  100. July 10, 2019: Traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Los Angeles Clippers for Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a 2021 1st round draft pick, a 2022 1st round draft pick, a 2023 1st round draft pick, a 2023 1st round draft pick, a 2024 1st round draft pick, a 2025 1st round draft pick and a 2026 1st round draft pick. (2021 first-round pick is MIA’s unprotected pick.) (2023 first-round pick is MIA’s pick, top-14 protected.) (Right to swap with LAC.) (Right to swap with LAC.)

    Never forget.

  101. I don’t watch west teams all that much, so here goes my predictions for the east only:
    MIA v MIL: Miami in 7
    BOS v BKN: Brooklyn in 6
    WAS v PHI: Philly in 4
    ATL v NY: New York in 7

  102. MIA v MLW: MIA in 6
    BOS v BKN: BKN in 4
    WAS v PHI: PHI in 4
    ATL v NY: NY in 5

    DAL v LAC: LAC in 6
    POR v DEN: DEN in 4
    LAL v PHX: LAL in 4
    UTA v MEM: UTA in 5

  103. NBA Playoffs are Heaven…

    Great battle between Bucks and a Heat,
    Giannis need to do something for his FT (but the 10-seconds call was bullshit).
    Nice little first half for Luka… :-)

  104. Can you imagine 5 years of Porzingis as a max player for the Knicks?

    It would have been nauseating

  105. A weird thing is happening where I keep trying to post my picks and the comment keeps not showing up, but trying this again:

    Bucks in 6
    Clippers in 6
    Nets in 4
    Denver in 7
    Hawks in 6
    Sixers in 5
    Suns in 7
    Jazz in 4

  106. Maxi Kleber is a pretty good NBA player who will now forever be known for exactly one thing. Brutal.

  107. damn that Kawhi dunk. how the fuck did he have that much strength at the end of his glide??

  108. Ok if the playoffs stay at this level of play we’re in for a treat. Today has been awesome and the only bad match-up seems to be Boston and Brooklyn, which is enjoyable in itself because Boston will get crushed.

  109. https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/31433978/2021-nba-mock-draft-end-teams-missed-playoffs

    Has us taking Bouknight, Ziaire Williams, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Santi Aldama in that order.

    Bouknight at 20 would be great. I would not take Ziaire at 21, or anywhere else for that matter, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world as an upside play that late.

    Sharpe at 32 would be a good Noel replacement, though I’d probably prefer Shannon. There’s no way we’re making that Sixers’ pick but if we did Aldama would be a great choice.

  110. Bruno Almeida:
    Ok if the playoffs stay at this level of play we’re in for a treat. Today has been awesome and the only bad match-up seems to be Boston and Brooklyn, which is enjoyable in itself because Boston will get crushed.

    I want Boston to get crushed too, but watching Kyrie, Durant and Harden running it up won’t be all that enjoyable

  111. A true sentence that would’ve sounded insane when the trade happened: the only silver lining of the Porzingis trade for the Mavs is Tim Hardaway Jr.

  112. I find it hard to feel strongly one way or another about the Nets. They’re having trouble selling out a playoff game.

  113. If the Mavs beat the Clippers in the first round I think that puts Kawhi Leonard in play as a free agent. He has a player option.

  114. They looked like a zombie basketball team at the end of that game.

    I think the Mavs ran a little hot but it does make you worry about the Clips.

    I do think it would take a lot to move Kawhi out of LA though. It’s where he wants to be.

  115. soulless and tourists were the 2 words i was thinking about the clippers too

  116. Just move the Nets to Kingston or Hudson or Beacon and the Brooklynites will be able to walk to the game

  117. I see it the other way around from everyone else. The Mavs already know Porzingis can play well in the playoffs. He was playing great against the Clippers last year until he got hurt. If I’m the Mavs I’m thinking “We just beat the Clippers in their house even though Porzingis had a bad game”. They have to be even more confident now.

    In game 1 the Clippers basically said, “We’ll let those other guys beat us. Let’s lock down KP and try to slow Donic down a little”.

    As long as the supporting cast of THJ and Dorian Finney Smith keep shooting that well, they can beat the Clippers. But It’s hard to count on that much from those role players every night and Doncic is not going to shoot the tough 3s he takes as well all the time either. So KP will have to step up even if they are defending him really well.

  118. The Clippers are a different type of soft, they’re fake tough soft, which makes them even less enjoyable. It’s like if Kevin Garnett as a worse basketball player than he was materialized into a team.

  119. thenoblefacehumper: A weird thing is happening where I keep trying to post my picks and the comment keeps not showing up, but trying this again:
    Bucks in 6
    Clippers in 6
    Nets in 4
    Denver in 7
    Hawks in 6
    Sixers in 5
    Suns in 7
    Jazz in 4

    Quite easy to spot why the system didn’t accept your comment, and for a change the system was right :P

  120. If the Mavs beat the Clippers in the first round I think that puts Kawhi Leonard in play as a free agent. He has a player option.

    The Clips are not very good. If they don’t go down vs Dallas, they’ll lose to UTah.

    I don’t think that makes Kawhi bail, though. I think it means they trade Paul George for a better sidekick.

  121. thenoblefacehumper:
    https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/31433978/2021-nba-mock-draft-end-teams-missed-playoffs

    Has us taking Bouknight, Ziaire Williams, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Santi Aldama in that order.

    Bouknight at 20 would be great. I would not take Ziaire at 21, or anywhere else for that matter, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world as an upside play that late.

    Sharpe at 32 would be a good Noel replacement, though I’d probably prefer Shannon. There’s no way we’re making that Sixers’ pick but if we did Aldama would be a great choice.

    BJ Boston is our destiny.

  122. In game 1 the Clippers basically said, “We’ll let those other guys beat us. Let’s lock down KP and try to slow Donic down a little”.

    dude i watched that whole game. the clippers did not focus their defensive attention on porzingis.

  123. Even if they did focus on KP, you still can’t be a max player and put up only 14 & 4 on 13 shots. I’m sure he’ll bounce back at some point in the series, but max players find ways to score and impact the game regardless of defensive focus.

    That trade for THJr is looking pretty decent though

  124. Hubert: dude i watched that whole game. the clippers did not focus their defensive attention on porzingis.

    Strat: First those soulless tourists visited the Capitol on Jan 6, then they shut down KP.

  125. They were doubling Luka right after crossing half court but I guess that’s focusing on him “a little”.

    The Mavs also made 17 3s at a 47.2% rate which, taking a wild guess, might not be sustainable over 7 games, so yeah the series is still very open.

  126. Kawhi has already won twice, I don’t think he’ll care much about winning again. Seems like he just wants to chill near his childhood home

  127. Seven games series are loooong and the longer format tends to minimize upsets, but it’s fun to try to get “signs and trends” and watch for teams’ adjustments.

    The Bucks dodged a bullet, Miami is in their heads and very confident to have their number but Middleton saved the day.

    The Clippers looks really soulless, Dallas complementary players had a very good game to offset Porzingis’ weak performance.

    Today’s other series put me in a quandary, I hate Boston but I don’t want Brooklyn to win anything, while I like both Portland and Denver…

  128. Max: The other series put me in a quandary, I hate Boston but I don’t want Brooklyn to win anything, while I like both Portland and Denver…

    I want Boston to win, because they’re not going far and it would be more embarrassing for Brooklyn to lose to Boston without Jaylen

  129. Early Bird: I want Boston to win, because they’re not going far and it would be more embarrassing for Brooklyn to lose to Boston without Jaylen

    I like this logic.

    But I can’t root for either team. I’m only watching in the hopes that a “Let’s go Knicks!!” chant starts up.

    Y’all could grab some of those half-price tickets and get those chants going in Game 2…

  130. I have decided that the best outcome in BOS vs. BKN would be for the home team to lose every game, screwing their in-person fans. That would result in the Celts moving on, but I am so confident that they won’t win a championship that I could swallow a first round victory.

  131. I hate to say it but I think that one day Nesmith is going to be very good…

  132. In game 1 the Clippers basically said, “We’ll let those other guys beat us. Let’s lock down KP and try to slow Donic down a little”.

    Lol

  133. The Honorable Cock Jowles: The Honorable Cock Jowles
    May 22, 2021 at 9:12 pm
    In game 1 the Clippers basically said, “We’ll let those other guys beat us. Let’s lock down KP and try to slow Donic down a little”.

    Lol

    It must have been “Let a fan coach the game” night

  134. I’ll root against Boston always, so I’ll have to wait until the next round to finally go against the Nets.

    Can’t bear the idea of ever rooting rooting a Celtics win, and the Nets never had any real relevance so they really don’t bother me as much.

  135. Z-man: It must have been “Let a fan coach the game” night

    Plot twist: that fan’s name? Stratomaticus Deeefensus

  136. Bruno Almeida:
    I’ll root against Boston always, so I’ll have to wait until the next round to finally go against the Nets.

    Can’t bear the idea of ever rooting rooting a Celtics win, and the Nets never had any real relevance so they really don’t bother me as much.

    It really is a terrible dilemma…

  137. I just think that the Nets losing would even further cement the Knicks as NYC’s team…

  138. Brooklyn might lose some quarters but they ain’t gonna lose many to these Celts. Don’t get your hopes up on the upset.

  139. seems like the nets only sold what few tickets they did bc celtics fans bought them.

  140. If Boston can’t steal a game in which the Nets shoot 8/34 fro 3 (with 2 minutes remaining) this might be an easy sweep.

  141. Celtics fans, and I know more than a few, were so glad to get rid of Kyrie Irving and replace him with Kemba Walker

  142. Well, Time Lord is fun. This has been a hell of a quarter from the Nets.

    That’s a strange flagrant on Durant

  143. Berman of the Post with a rare interesting process story, about shot-tracking machines Thibs had installed at the Tarrytown practice facility, right before our three-point shooting exploded. May be correlation rather than causation, but…

  144. My guess is that it fell into the refs interpretation of the “Zaza” foul which can be called a flagrant, but yeah, very weird to call this on a decided game.

    Another reason to root against the Celtics is that at least you’ll root for the winning side every game of the series.

  145. The ref said that it was “reckless.” That implies that it is the responsibility of the defensive player to actively avoid the shooter’s landing area, i.e intent doesn’t matter. If that is the case, it was a good call.

  146. Great article Alan. Pretty surprising.

    Not as surprising as Boban in a John Wick movie though.

  147. This wait for the Knicks game is interminable. I might need a sedative or two tomorrow to make it to 7 pm.

  148. Like Clyde, I hate Boston. Old timers will understand. For several years after 72/73, the standings seemed to young me to be 1. Boston 2. New York 3. etc….
    I want the Nets to move on to face them. I want Harden Kyrie and KD get to hear chants of Go-NY-Go-NY-Go in their building in the playoffs. The Nets must be hoping for the Knicks to move on to face them. How else are they filling their building?

  149. d-mar:
    The Clippers are a soulless basketball team

    This is what happens when you play in a city that couldn’t give two tails of a rat’s ass about you :)

  150. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Just move the Nets to Kingston or Hudson or Beacon and the Brooklynites will be able to walk to the game

    Lol… Interestingly enough I stayed with my sister and her family a few days while I was in NY recently. They live in Poughkeepsie – there’s space to put an arena up there. They can draw all those areas you mentioned plus the wealthy Northern Westchester folks. Traffic accross the Mid-Hudson Bridge would be problematic as it’s only 3 lanes, lol.

  151. Let’s see…Campazzo and Austin Rivers vs. Dame and CJ…that seems a bit problematic for the Nuggets…

  152. I think ptmilo’s Blazers call is looking really good. They probably won’t make the finals but they’re a slept on contender.

  153. I want Harden Kyrie and KD get to hear chants of Go-NY-Go-NY-Go in their building in the playoffs.

    As loud as Knicks fans can be, it’ll be hard to be heard over the artificial noise they pump into that arena.

  154. Hubert what time are you getting to your meetup? I have dinner plans elsewhere but if you are there early enough I might stop by just to say FU ;-)

  155. Me & TNFH are going to meet up at the Local on 33rd & 8th at 5:30. I believe E is coming, as well. Anyone going to the game or just in the area is welcome to stop by. I’ll post some identifying information here later.

    For anyone who cannot make today, I’ll be hosting a game 2 viewing party Wednesday at Eastpoint on Ave B.

  156. Who’s ready for PLAYOFF BASKETBALL!?!?!?!?!

  157. In game 1 the Clippers basically said, “We’ll let those other guys beat us. Let’s lock down KP and try to slow Donic down a little”.

    It must have been “Let a fan coach the game” night

    Lol

    I hate to tell you guys, but that’s exactly what the Clippers did.

    Last year Porzingis killed them. This year they were trying to prevent Porzingis from getting the ball in his spots and often used Kawhi and Morris on him instead of trying to lock down Doncic with Kawhi.

    They were doing different things on Doncic. They tried Beverley on him, but Doncic was too big and strong and just started posting him up. They tried just about everyone, but I think they mostly just wanted him taking long tough 3s. The idea being if you can stop one of them (KP in this case), the only way they can beat you is if Hardaway or Finney-Smith goes off. They both went off and Dallas won.

    The question for Dallas is do you want your series to depend on Doncic hitting a high percentage of the extremely difficult 3s he takes and Hardaway and Finney-Smith carrying the rest of the load?

    IMO, that’s not a winning strategy for Dallas.

    IMO, the Clippers should continue doing what they are doing. They should try to take KP out of the game and force Doncic into tough long 3s. If Hardaway and Finney-Smith beat you then you shake their hands and say congratulations.

    IMO, Dallas has to make some kind of adjustment to get KP good looks in his spots because they aren’t going to win that series counting on Hardaway Jr and 28 foot off balance 3s from Doncic .

  158. Bruno Almeida: I’m so anxious today, I had forgotten this sensation lol.

    Same here. And even more because we’re not in the playoffs to be swept out, we have a winnable series ahead of us.

  159. Could see the Knicks in 6 could be shorter.
    D.Rose is our key player here. We can’t trust randle to bail us in clutch. D.Rose knows how to win. He should elevate his game and lead this team.
    It’s a make or break for Barret. He needs to show his star potential and be the first players in the top 5x 2019 draft to win a playoff series. You need to be a top 3-4 player for both teams in this series.
    Will we see some Frank against young? Let’s win this Knicks. We need this.

  160. I hate to tell you guys, but that’s exactly what the Clippers did.

    Last year Porzingis killed them. This year they were trying to prevent Porzingis from getting the ball in his spots and often used Kawhi and Morris on him instead of trying to lock down Doncic with Kawhi.

    They were doing different things on Doncic. They tried Beverley on him, but Doncic was too big and strong and just started posting him up. They tried just about everyone, but I think they mostly just wanted him taking long tough 3s. The idea being if you can stop one of them (KP in this case), the only way they can beat you is if Hardaway or Finney-Smith goes off.

    it is so fascinating to see mental gymnastics performed at this level.

    Strat, the guy’s a bum. Teams are more focused on stopping Tim Hardaway Jr than Kristaps Porzingis.

  161. I think if you got a few beers into Luka he’d tell you he thinks Porzingis is a big pussy

  162. I bet he’d say the same thing about the Clippers, too. Something is seriously wrong with that team. I remember looking at that Denver-Phoenix-Clippers-Lakers stretch of our west coast trip and being very confident they would be the team we could beat. Just a very soft team that seems oddly disinterested. I had them losing to the Jazz but now I’m not sure they get by Dallas. Probably going to be a big shakeup there this summer.

    Thanks for Immanuel Quickley, tho!

  163. Yeah I thought adding Ibaka and the humiliation in the bubble would propel the Clips, but they really do look like they don’t give a shit.

    But as we all well know, game ones of playoffs don’t mean all that much, Clippers could still win it in 6.

  164. What’s that old saying. Lies, damn lies and Statistics.

    Mark Twain, FYI

  165. Is it time to get hype yet??? I feel it’s time to get hyped.

    I woke up sluggish, and the wife wants to hit the gym this morning. Also woke to trolling texts from the coworkers.

    I had some coffee while watching NYK hype videos on YouTube. Now I’m ready to workout AND for the day!

  166. Hey geo (and anyone else out here in La La land)… if you on FB, friend a brotha and holla at me via Messenger. Or find me here – I think you can figure out which one is me lol.

    Its high-time for us to go Voltron out hea and form The Resistance. Show these LA cats why New York is the Empire State i.e. get imperial on their asses. I don’t even care if we get swept (well I do, but…).

    I’m clearly on one this morning :)

  167. I don’t think I’ve ever seen strat change his mind about a player he liked early on. I might buy the Mavs’ full game footage so I can do YouTube videos debunking his disinformation campaign before it influences others.

  168. I was pumped for the game,
    then came Woj with the news that Silver is pushing with this fucking mid-season tournament idea that gets me so annoyed…

  169. I honestly really like the concept of a NBA “cup” mid-season, because I think one of the biggest issues American sports have is the fact that if you don’t win the league, your season is a failure, period, and so often it’s determined by who’s less injured / who’s peaked at the right time at the end of the season.

    Having a smaller tournament, less prestigious obviously, would balance that out a bit and give teams other reasons to compete even if they’re not real contenders for the title. I would rather have a more lengthy cup, with home and aways, happening during the first half of the season in place of like 10-12 regular season games which are meaningless anyway.

  170. I’d have a hard time rooting for a lot of these teams. How could anyone get excited about the Nets, obviously, but then you have the merc Lakers, the listless Clips…. The Sixers, with the unlikeable and oft injured Embiid, Simmons who is so limited (though still damn good), and everyone’s favorite, Dwight. Trae Young is one of the most unlikeable players in the league and doesn’t play defense. The Bucks are OK, I guess, just kind of unexciting. The Wiz are actually kind of fun, but I don’t know that they have much of a future. And I can’t actually hate the Heat, because in many ways they are like a mirror of us. But again, where do they go from here? How do they get better?

    It’s a great time to be rooting for the Knicks, is what I’m saying. A likeable, no-diva, hardworking team with a bright future.

  171. Every competition with playoffs or “tennis bracket” is determined by injuries and “who’s peaking when”,
    the new “Losers Cup” will not be different, the healthiest and/or hotter team in October, March or whenever will have a better chance to win.

    As usual the decision will not depend on “love for competitive spirit” but the only thing that move our fucked up world: money.

  172. rama’s cautious optimism was warranted:
    I’d have a hard time rooting for a lot of these teams. How could anyone get excited about the Nets, obviously, but then you have the merc Lakers, the listless Clips…. The Sixers, with the unlikeable and oft injured Embiid, Simmons who is so limited (though still damn good), and everyone’s favorite, Dwight. Trae Young is one of the most unlikeable players in the league and doesn’t play defense. The Bucks are OK, I guess, just kind of unexciting. The Wiz are actually kind of fun, but I don’t know that they have much of a future. And I can’t actually hate the Heat, because in many ways they are like a mirror of us. But again, where do they go from here? How do they get better?

    It’s a great time to be rooting for the Knicks, is what I’m saying. A likeable, no-diva, hardworking team with a bright future.

    I like Portland and Denver because Dame and the Joker are two of my favorite players, Utah and Milwaukee are okay and Dallas has KP but otherwise I don’t dislike them (I rooted hard for them when they beat the Heat for the title years ago).

    But a lot of teams are easy to dislike and you’re right, it’s a great time to root for a team so easy to love.

  173. Rama, can you explain the hate for Trae? I get that he doesn’t play defense, which is certainly unsavory, and his Hardenesque three-point foul technique is irritating, but if you hate him for that, you have to hate our little Quickley fellow too. Don’t get me wrong, I hope he suffers a painful and debilitating bout of appendicitis this afternoon, but let me know what I’m missing other than he’s standing in the Knicks’ way at the moment.

  174. Although watching the game right now, and finding myself rooting wildly for the Wiz, I’m realizing I really despise the Sixers (except for Matisse).

  175. ***the unlikeable and oft injured Embiid***

    Embiid is unlikeable? I find him hilarious.

    As for the game today, such an odd first half box score. Tobias Harris outscores the other starters on his team 28-16, yet has the worst /- of them all by a lot. Meanwhile, Rivers is playing an 11-man playoff rotation? So many questions…

  176. I like Portland and Denver because Dame and the Joker are two of my favorite players, Utah and Milwaukee are okay and Dallas has KP but otherwise I don’t dislike them

    I do like both Portland and Denver too. I’d be a little down as a Portland fan because their window is small and probably too hard for them to get through, but it would be great if Dame at least got to the Finals. And Joker is of course enough of a reason to watch, and maybe enough of a reason to think they could contend at some point.

    Utah is a lot like the Milwaukee of the West – a genuine contender, could compete for a few years to come, but hard to get excited about unless you live there or something. Don’t care enough about them to hate them.

    Dallas are a bunch of whiny beetches. Sorry to be offensive, but I can’t think of a clearer reason why I don’t like them.

  177. Rama, can you explain the hate for Trae? I get that he doesn’t play defense, which is certainly unsavory, and his Hardenesque three-point foul technique is irritating, but if you hate him for that, you have to hate our little Quickley fellow too.

    You got two of the reasons right away. The other is just the sense of smug entitlement he exudes – maybe he’s a great guy and it’s just me interpreting his expressions and body language, but I kind of want to punch him in the face, and since he’s not on my team, I’m just going with it.

    As for Quick, there are a few similarities, but he doesn’t at all come off as smug, and he is trying hard on defense. That’s enough to love him. And he was drafted low and is “overachieving,” which is always appealing. Hustlebunny foreva!

  178. Max:
    Every competition with playoffs or “tennis bracket” is determined by injuries and “who’s peaking when”,
    the new “Losers Cup” will not be different, the healthiest and/or hotter team in October, March or whenever will have a better chance to win.

    As usual the decision will not depend on “love for competitive spirit” but the only thing that move our fucked up world: money.

    But who cares? It’s going to replace absolutely meaningless regular season games that nobody every cared about. Nobody ever cared about Orlando facing Sacramento on a Monday night in November.

    The NBA has always been about money, if that is a problem then yeah, the whole everything about the league is a problem. People won’t care about a mid-season tournament if the league does it poorly and doesn’t get the players to buy in. As soon as top players buy into the idea and it gets a couple of years in, guess what, it becomes meaningful because everybody would rather watch anything with players that care than another useless regular season game between dead teams. The play in games were also going to be shit, until they weren’t and people absolutely cared about the western ones this season.

  179. It’s also so confusing to me what people consider real titles that they care about. Mikan was in Minneapolis scoring over amateurs in a 11 team league without a shot clock, salary structure or a 3 point line and it’s a real title claimed by the Lakers to this day and recognized as such. We had NBA and ABA running simultaneously for a decade. Yet a new tournament idea could never work and would never be recognized ever?

  180. Bruno Almeida:
    It’s also so confusing to me what people consider real titles that they care about. Mikan was in Minneapolis scoring over amateurs in a 11 team league without a shot clock, salary structure or a 3 point line and it’s a real title claimed by the Lakers to this day and recognized as such. We had NBA and ABA running simultaneously for a decade. Yet a new tournament idea could never work and would never be recognized ever?

    I didn’t say it could never work,
    only that I don’t like the idea, if not as part of a reassessment of the whole thing
    (58 to 72 games regular season, no lottery, no age limit, hard salary cap and so on…).

    The ABA was the greatest league ever, especially for the fights, the drugs and the locker room sex… :-)

  181. Hubert:
    Me & TNFH are going to meet up at the Local on 33rd & 8th at 5:30. I believe E is coming, as well. Anyone going to the game or just in the area is welcome to stop by. I’ll post some identifying information here later.

    For anyone who cannot make today, I’ll be hosting a game 2 viewing party Wednesday at Eastpoint on Ave B.

    Definitely plan to be there, probably light shirt and pants, blue Knicks hat, tall, glasses with black frames. Only possible bailout will be if it’s already a shitshow to get in to the Garden; they haven’t handled 15,000 people checking vaccine/rapid COVID test status yet or anything close. Assuming they’ve got it covered.

  182. But they’re holding on to the lead, for Cdiggy to have the chance to troll back his colleagues. :D

  183. I don’t have Chris Paul getting injured til game 1 of the NBA Finals against us.

  184. cybersoze:
    But they’re holding on to the lead, for Cdiggy to have the chance to troll back his colleagues. :D

    If they drop this game, they’ll play it off like it’s nothing.
    They should be concerned that AD is playing sub-par right now tho.

    Why does CP3 always get hurt in the playoffs when he’s needed the most?

  185. Remarkable playoffs debut for Booker and Ayton,
    Paul’s condition is the wild card of the serie, let’s hope he’ll be okay with some treatment.

  186. I’m a bit surprised that LeBron was mostly a perimeter player this game. I’m wondering if he’s in his Shaq 2006 phase where he’s better suited taking a slight backseat to AD. This would mean AD needs to ball his ass off.

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