Knicks vs. Pistons: 1st 2020-21 Preseason Game Thread

It’s the first preseason game and already not a great sign.

1. Elfrid Payton
2. Alec Burks
3. RJ Barrett
4. Julius Randle
5. Nerlens Noel

But hey, at least RJ’s at the 3. That’s something.

But yeah, Thibs, get over yourself, dude.

Let’s go, Knicks!

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543 thoughts to “Knicks vs. Pistons: 1st 2020-21 Preseason Game Thread”

  1. The first 3 are perfect, and Randle over Toppin is annoying but inevitable.

    However it’s still a god damn F from me, and there’s not much more to say about it than if you keep looking for any excuse to not start your best player, you ronly have yourself to blame when that player loses patience with the organization. It’s an especially bad look with Mitch’s contract situation.

  2. Alan: This lineup would have fallen into the “highly likely” column. Mitch sitting, Elfrid to organize.
    I would say, right now, that this lineup is my favorite for opening night.

    (copied and reworded from the last thread, which was put to rest….)

    This lineup would have fallen into the “highly likely” column. Mitch sitting, Elfrid to organize.
    It is now the leading candidate for the opening night lineup.

  3. Few random thoughts:

    – I do suspect that Noel is a better overall defender than Mitch and likely makes fewer mistakes. Still not happy about it.

    – I suspect this will be our starting lineup come opening night because it lines up with a lot of our predictions, except we assumed Mitch would start over Noel. I assumed he’d start over Noel even though Noel is better for now.

    – I thought Bullock would sneak into the starting lineup. Perhaps his injury is still having an impact. Maybe Burks is just the shiny new toy. Burks can definitely carry more of the offense.

    – Burks, Randle, and RJ all really like taking shots. There’s been some evidence that putting high usage players together increases their efficiency.

    Anyway, how’s that for overanalyzing a preseason game? And we haven’t even started yet.

  4. I might have guessed Bullock over Burks, but I think of them as interchangeable at this point. Maybe the same person. HATE the Noel start. Otherwise the rest was a given. Obi should get some good run.

  5. I can’t watch for my own mental health. Basically the only justification for Mitch not starting has been that he fouls too much… and Nerlens Noel is one of the 13 players that averaged more fouls per minute than him last year!!! He’s 22 years old and the best player on the team!!!

  6. Also, this is definitely a “Let’s keep Randle all season because we can make the playoffs” lineup.

  7. “Also, this is definitely a “Let’s keep Randle all season because we can make the playoffs” lineup.”

    Or a “Let’s showcase our veterans in case someone’s interested”

  8. man, mitch must really not understand where he’s supposed to be standing offensively and defensively…more so than any other young knick player in recent memory they’ve really moved slowly with him…

    no real complaints on the line-up…curious to see what we have with burks…

  9. good thing we signed mitch’s dad to keep the middle clogged for rj while mitch gets motivated

    I was reading a quote the other day from Noel about how he was looking forward to mentoring Mitch. Or, you know, blocking him from starting, I guess. Either or.

  10. So, besides me and Hubert, who’s on team tanking? And who’s on team go-for-the-10th-place?

    you play to win the game…

    just kidding, mostly, sort of, just a very little bit…from a fan’s perspective – i’m sick of losing…a couple of years ago though i finally (after much reading of this very same site right here) came to realize being perpetually stuck with shitty draft slots meant that we were unable to land that big talent high up in the lotto…

    i mean, obviously that’s not the only way to land talent; but, when you’re a shitty organization that no decent competitive spirited free agent would list as their first, second or twenty-ninth choice to join – well, then you have to hold out hope on landing that can’t miss draft talent…

    so i’ll tell you senhor kint, yes, i understand the benefits to this team for losing; but, no – i am so sick of watching terrible knick basketball just to be able to at least fake a little like i know what’s going on with the team so i can sort of know what’s going on here…

    i’m currently hoping for the front office, coach’s and player’s success…

    when i tune in tonight (nba league pass free preview) i’m going to be hoping to see thibs and the team progress from where miller had them playing last year…

    I’m excited to see the young jedi obi…and frank, i want to see frank…

  11. guys… it’s preseason…. and besides who starts who doesn’t isn’t more important than who gets more minutes….

  12. Knew Your Nicks:
    “Also, this is definitely a “Let’s keep Randle all season because we can make the playoffs” lineup.”

    Or a “Let’s showcase our veterans in case someone’s interested”

    I refuse to be anything but pessimistic. I’m really not sure how I’d handle the Knicks being good for more than 1 season at a time.

  13. #I refuse to be anything but pessimistic. I’m really not sure how I’d handle the Knicks being good for more than 1 season at a time.#

    I’m READY to ride the Knicks 2021 Tsunami!
    If we suck i’ll enjoy it but if we’re good i may enjoy it even more!

  14. My guess is Randle is much better this season. Not better enough that anyone will give up an asset for him so pointless but still better which is worse because that means more wins.

  15. Mitchell Robinson should have chosen the Wildcats and not the Hilltoppers. It’s really his fault.

  16. guys… it’s preseason…. and besides who starts who doesn’t isn’t more important than who gets more minutes….

    i know people can’t help but hang the do not panic signs in all the usual places but you’re on the fucking set of airplane 3 here and we’re all outta coffee. find a seat and start screaming.

  17. After 9 fkn covid months of Non Knicks bball its a Win Win situation for me even if we lose by 75points! Even if the veterans play all 48minutes!
    Even if Knox miss 20 3s in a row!
    Staying healthy is the main shit right now.

  18. Mitchell Robinson should have chosen the Wildcats and not the Hilltoppers. It’s really his fault.

    He also fired CAA. He’s making all the wrong moves.

  19. The only thing you can debate about this starting lineup is Nerlens over Mitchell. I’ve been saying all week this would not be a surprise to me because Nerlens (despite the similar TOs and Fouls) is the more experienced and less green player. This is a very Thibs move. If Mitchell can’t take the job away from Nerlens, then it’s on him and a really bad sign for us unless Nerlens is breaking out also.

    Randle is much better than people give him credit for. People are putting way too much weight on last season. You should draw a line through that entire season for virtually every Knick, bust especially Randle. That team was poorly constructed and coached. In a couple of months if Randle is still starting and Obi hasn’t taken the job from him, then maybe we have an issue. But Randle should be starting now.

  20. I don’t have any issues with Randle over Toppin given no summer league. He’s only been in the organization for like five minutes. I do wonder how 96 minutes can be divvied up to be enough for those two plus Noel and Mitch if Randle is still going to play a lot (spoiler alert: he is).

  21. I’ve been saying all week this would not be a surprise to me because Nerlens (despite the similar TOs and Fouls) is the more experienced and less green player.

    Right, which is precisely why it is so foolish. “Noel still has the same problems that I have with Mitch, even though he’s a veteran, but I’m going to start Noel over Mitch because Noel’s a veteran.” It’s like Bizarro World.

  22. I actually think the Noel start can go both ways. On the one hand, Mitch needs to have someone to challenge him, to make him work harder to continue to improve. The threat should light a fire. On the other hand, it can backfire and tune him out. Walking out on his college, dumping multiple agents – those are a sign of someone that gives up rather than works through challenges. I hope that Thibs makes it work.

  23. The only thing you can debate about this starting lineup is Nerlens over Mitchell.

    This part is more or less true. Randle’s not going to the bench so soon. RJ is playing his proper position finally. You can’t start a Frank/Payton backcourt, so the real SG question was Burks vs Bullock, and Burks was much better last year.

    Still… I feel tired already.

  24. “The only thing you can debate about that staging of Our American Cousin was that one interruption by an actor who wasn’t even in the show.”

  25. “The only thing you can debate about that staging of Our American Cousin was that one interruption by an actor who wasn’t even in the show.”

    I needed that laugh, Brian. Thank you.

  26. It’s probably a bad sign if a second, and by all accounts better, Knicks coaching regime is perhaps not all that thrilled with Mitch.

    Mike

  27. It’s probably a bad sign if a second, and by all accounts better, Knicks coaching regime is perhaps not all that thrilled with Mitch.

    Agreed. It is a bad sign.

  28. I can’t watch for my own mental health.

    I refuse to be anything but pessimistic.

    airplane 3 here and we’re all outta coffee. find a seat and start screaming.

    Still… I feel tired already.

    You wanna hear about my new obsession?
    I’m riding high upon a deep depression
    I’m only happy when it rains
    Pour some misery down on me

  29. Z-man:
    I just played Black Sabbath Wicked World and The Wizard in my car to get fired up.

    I didn’t think school principals did such things!

    I was listening to this just the other night, and my much younger girlfriend says, get this: “What is this? It sounds just like the WHITE STRIPES.”

    I died.

  30. ess-dog: I didn’t think school principals did such things!

    I was listening to this just the other night, and my much younger girlfriend says, get this: “What is this? It sounds just like the WHITE STRIPES.”

    lol 60’s-70’s music is 95% of what I like.

  31. Ok time to do some preseason stretching :

    Obi Toppin is the next Tracy MCGrady

    Immanuel Quickley is the next Ray Allen

    There, I’m ready to go !

  32. Not a bad G League contest

    Except for Noel, pretty much. Even Griffin looks rusty as heck.

  33. Wow RJ. He’s had 9? months to work on his shot and this is what he looks like? If we trade him after the game what could we got for him?

  34. Oof, that was an ugly look for RJ.

    It’s just the preseason, but…yeah, that was pretty damn embarrassing.

  35. James Dolan is somewhere reading Knicks’ blogs thinking “this is why we can’t rebuild.” Shame on all of you.

    I’m kidding.

  36. i do like that thibs is trying to set rj up in the pnr on the right side. i wish they didn’t turn into randle isos.

  37. Well we have 2 offensive options: (1) Julius Randle overdribbling or (2) RJ Barrett airballs

  38. Which is uglier?: RJ’s shot or Thibs’ face in a too-small mask?

    Thibs, definitely. It is hard to take him seriously with a mask that stupid.

  39. Seems to be the corporate line that Randle was the best player on the team after we traded Morris.

  40. I don’t care how ugly this looks, it’s basketball!

    But jeeze, it’s as if I was launching 3’s out there!

  41. Turned it on. Toppin has two buckets and an o rebound there. Mitch had a block after Smith drawing a charge. And Frank hit a three.

    I might call it a season.

    Brian, that was really funny

  42. Last possession they set up Obi in the corner and Mitch in the dunkers spot. Obi’s going to have to show he can make that shot for this to work

  43. Dennis Smith Jr and Obi Toppin are outplaying the Payton/Randle tandem, and I think that will be a theme all season until those guys go back home to the bench.

  44. The Jedi looks good!

    Frank has a triple crown already: a 3 pointer, a rebound, and a drawn foul.

  45. That was a hilariously bad shot attempt, Dennis.

    And that was also a hilarious attempt at playing d by Obi.

  46. How did Hayes look?

    He was fluid, but made some bad decisions. None of the Pistons could hit any shots, though.

  47. What a pass by Knox, but that’s also why they say that catching the ball in a good spot is so huge. Obi had that there.

  48. Sooooo Obi Toppin is going to be very hard to stop. He doesn’t need the ball to light it up.

  49. Obi has been excellent on offense and has been a mess on the defensive end and in rebounding. But overall, being good at one thing right away is better than most recent Knick lottery picks.

  50. You can see with Okafor posting up that Obi is too small to guard NBA bigs who can score down low.

  51. I think it was Frank who got caught defending Okafor in the paint.

    Shit, I think you’re right. But anyhow, it was Mitch bailing out a teammate.

  52. Good pnr there from Frank to Mitch.

    Not sure I see the extra 15 pounds on Mitch. But I still love him.

  53. KJG:
    Knox much quicker this year I swear… could be promising

    Don’t take the bait. He starts every year looking like Danilo Gallinari.

  54. Brian Cronin: It was terrible boxing out by Obi there to create that mess.

    Boxing out? The first foul was a blatant moving screen and the second he was all over Blake trying to steal the ball.

  55. I’m just looking at game cast and after it said Wayne Ellington three pointer my first thought was why the hell is Thibs playing Wayne Ellington?

  56. On defense, Obi’s being beaten by Griffin’s speed and Okafor’s brawn. Needs to do better there.

  57. Man, don’t know what Obi is thinking on that foul. I guess the plan is to transition Frank to SG (even though he can’t shoot). He’s played next to Smith and now Payton.

  58. My sense is Obi is exactly as advertised

    It’s kind of creepy, right? He’s like precisely what we expected, pro and con-wise. The only thing I was surprised by was how relatively smaller he looks.

  59. Griffen blowing by Obi at the 4 spot is not a good look given the way the league is trending

  60. Griffen blowing by Obi at the 4 spot is not a good look given the way the league is trending

    That was the more worrisome sight that him being pushed around by Okafor.

  61. I can’t believe Randle is on this team. Toppin does look like a light battleship out there but I was watching some practice video and he looked a lot taller than Randle.

    I am not going to mind watch Noel. Always loved that kid, followed him back in high school.

  62. Another great move by RJ. I’m glad to see him go to the hoop while his shot isn’t falling.

  63. Brian Cronin: Bullock.

    Thanks. The Knicks feed is all fucked up so I’m watching the Detroit feed and the announcers refuse tell when players sub in or out for either team.

  64. Oof RJ. Jesus

    The next time he gets the ball will be key. He can’t hit the outside shot tonight, so he should keep going to the hoop. Will he?

  65. Wow, what is that shooting motion? He looks like Markelle Fultz or DSJr last year.

    That last shot had nooooooooooo chance. Yeah, it was disturbingly bad.

  66. Noel has 8 and 6, Toppin 9 and 5 thus far.

    Noel is functioning like a better Taj thus far. It’s so weird that he couldn’t get a better deal than what we gave him…

  67. It looks like the problem is actually with the NBA. They just gave the coaches terrible masks.

  68. ess-dog:
    Noel has 8 and 6, Toppin 9 and 5 thus far.

    Noel is functioning like a better Taj thus far. It’s so weird that he couldn’t get a better deal than what we gave him…

    I’ve said it before, but we could really make the playoffs just by not starting Taj and our other shitty players.

    Taj to Noel is a huge upgrade

  69. Brian Cronin:
    Why won’t someone trade for Rose? He’s so out of place on this Detroit team.

    You’re going to regret saying that sometime around the trade deadline…

    Thibs-Rose Three-union

  70. Early Bird: You’re going to regret saying that sometime around the trade deadline…

    Thibs-Rose Three-union

    lol there’s no way we would ever bring Rose back.

  71. Thanks. The Knicks feed is all fucked up so I’m watching the Detroit feed and the announcers refuse tell when players sub in or out for either team.

    You and I are both going to have to learn all the uniform numbers. They are something I don’t normally pay attention to. I couldn’t get any of my hopes for streaming options to work and finally switched to the Tencent Sports app. Pros are it’s free and the streaming quality is good. The big con is all the commentary is in Chinese.

  72. Barrett defending the point with Payton on the 2-guard. I hope Iggy and Quickly get some burn.

  73. Are the Pistons going to play Blake 30 minutes in a preseason game?

    My guess is that they rest him the entire fourth. He probably wants to test his knee out in as close to real game action as possible, so playing regular minutes even in a preseason game.

  74. Randle playing the 5 is interesting. Probably his best position honestly and one solution to the question of how to get Obi the minutes he needs and also keep Randle involved at the level he expects. If Randle is playing some 5 and Noel is starting Mitch is getting squeezed for sure though.

  75. Knicks uniform numbers

    1 Obi
    2 Spellman
    3 Noel
    4 DSJ
    5 Quickly
    6 Payton
    8 Rivers
    9 Barrett
    11 Frank
    14 MKG
    17 Iggy
    18 Burks
    20 Knox
    23 Mitch
    25 Bullock
    30 Randle

    I didn’t bother including the two-way guys.

  76. RJ obviously worked very hard this summer on the NBA skill of getting shots up.

    That seemed to be what Thibs was planning, too, oddly enough. Shades of Wiggins there.

  77. I mean, those 3’s by RJ are WIDE open. Unless we think he’s gonna become the next Ben Simmons he has to take them.

  78. guys dont’ overreact to this stuff… this is like rj in his first summer league game…. this is the first game in a long time for everyone…. this doesn’t mean all that much either way….

  79. This is what I expected. It’s still not fun watching your top young gun air ball everything

  80. I know he’s young, but I’m more concerned about RJ than anyone, even Knox and Dennis.

    He has to shoot well.

    He’s too small/slow to get away with the bullyball he was successful with at Duke, and he can’t make up for that with rebounding/defense at his position.

  81. Liking Noel as expected.

    RJ continuing to get big minutes while showing no clue about what shots to take is bad for him. Sit him till he stops taking many bad shots as he wants to.

    Maybe Obi can score some at this level – hopeful. Very Amare looking on the other end though.

  82. Burks can shoot. His problem is he loves the midrange.

    Hope for him. our last two Colorado alum were pretty good

  83. I would like Thibs to try a legit, 4-out good shooter lineup, if that’s even possible.

    “I know about the modern NBA.” Cue the Knicks taking half as many threes as their opponent.

  84. ess-dog:
    I would like Thibs to try a legit, 4-out good shooter lineup, if that’s even possible.

    Rivers is injured. So yeah, that’s literally impossible.

    Edit: Best I can do is Payton/Burks/Bullock/Obi/Spellman?

  85. wonder if that was RJ’s fault or Randle’s (or both)

    He was mad at RJ for not telling Randle to go cover Griffin.

  86. “Randle dribbling into trouble.” How many times will we hear that this season?

  87. Takes Blake Griffin off the dribble, posts him up, and then spins into the defense. He sucks.

  88. Hayes taking a page out of countryman Frank’s book by continually picking up his dribble at halfcourt

  89. There were people who thought Payton should not be the starting point guard on this team

  90. Listening to Wally talk about how great we look is…something. Clyde for Wally whenever it happens will truly go down as an all-time Knicksy transaction.

  91. Julius Randle does not make smart basketball plays. Ever.

    It’s important to note that his best seasons seemed to be the ones where he had the least amount of control.

  92. How has no one offered Nerlens, like, 4/$24M yet?

    Been asking this for a few years now. The Sixers could have had him right next to Embiid for a decade, but, haha, Colangelo.

  93. thenamestsam:
    Listening to Wally talk about how great we look is…something. Clyde for Wally whenever it happens will truly go down as an all-time Knicksy transaction.

    Just another reminder that anything good associated with the Knicks was put in place before Dolan took over.

  94. The Knicks do seem to me to be running more fast breaks than last year. Does anyone else have that impression?

  95. Knick fan not in NJ:
    The Knicks do seem to me to be running more fast breaks than last year.Does anyone else have that impression?

    I think almost every team starts every year trying to push the ball more. How much are you running on the 2nd night of a back to back in February is the test. Don’t think you can take away too much from this game where everyone is totally fresh and enthusiastic.

  96. One thing I’m going to enjoy is having a rim protector on the floor at all times with Mitch and Noel alternating.

  97. The guy doing the crowd noise is also clearly working himself back into game shape. Sounds like he’s using a random number generator to pick the sounds.

  98. Gonna be a lot of fun to watch Mitch and Noel this season. Looks like Payton and Noel have some chemistry, too.

    Randle is somehow worse than I remember

  99. Is the NBA going to fine coaches for taking off their masks? We’re not the only one that hate Thib’s mask.

  100. I’ll say one thing:

    Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks won’t beat themselves the way Fizdale’s did.

  101. Z-man:
    I don’t like DSjr’s game at all but he looks like an NBA player tonight.

    He gets where he wants whenever he wants and that’s a real skill. And while he has a natural lethargy to his game, he’s never in a rush either.

  102. Z-man: Well that was true about Miller’s Knicks too,…

    Miller’s Knicks let Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle do as they pleased and that, my friend, is how you beat yourself.

  103. Z-man:
    Mitch does some freakin uncanny things on D.

    Everyday he does something amazing there. He really is a special talent. All he has to do is not foul out.

  104. Well that was true about Miller’s Knicks too,…

    Yeah, it really just looks like the Miller Knicks with better players, honestly.

  105. Came back to complain about fucking Wally, but y’all clearly beat me to it.

    DSJ has looked very engaged and isn’t doing dumb things. Very impressed. Frank will be traded soon. Guarantee it.

  106. Second Unit >>>>>>>>>>> First Unit

    Dennis still looks sloppy with the ball but also better than last year.

  107. Toppin way out of control there but gets the 3 point play. His physical talent is very impressive even at this level.

  108. I like Smith trying to throw to Robinson, but, dude, it has to be at least a little close.

  109. Toppin’s spins are so much sexier than Randle’s.

    Also, I think Z-Man might have been right about Hayes.

  110. Nice three by Smith. Amazing block by Mitch.

    Mitch blocks shots more disrespectfully than anyone in the NBA. Makes some of the best athletes on earth look like kids.

  111. Whatever strength Mitch gained with his extra bulk he sacrificed his agility around the basket.

  112. I hope they’re friendly and helping each other but a vicious Mitch – Nerlens competition could be very fun too.

  113. Knox has looked more aggressive and competent out there. *checks box score* yeah, he sucks still

  114. Knox has looked more aggressive and competent out there. *checks box score* yeah, he sucks still

    Yeah, he’s more aggressive in his suckiness. It’s still legitimately an improvement.

  115. If Frank is going to be in the NBA long-term it’ll be as a 2, so it’s good that Thibs seems to think that’s his role going forward

  116. Ya’ll need to watch the Pistons broadcast instead of the MSG one.

    I didn’t bother with Wally’s nonsense. No Clyde, no watch.

  117. The star of the game tonight is Thibs. He’s got the team playing defense and hustling in the first pre-season game. They’re playing hard

  118. anyone watching the Detroit telecast?

    they just show solo dancing by the pistons dancing girls…good stuff…

  119. If our defense can hold some teams roughly twenty points a quarter, other teams are not going to enjoy playing against us. It’s a nice thought.

  120. pepper:
    anyone watching the Detroit telecast?

    they just show solo dancing by the pistons dancing girls…good stuff…

    Me. It’s way better than anything MSG puts on. Lots of music and dancing girls. Plus, their announcers aren’t bad.

  121. How in the fuck can’t Quickley or Iggy get in there? They’re up 15 with 5 minutes to go!

  122. pepper:
    anyone watching the Detroit telecast?

    they just show solo dancing by the pistons dancing girls…good stuff…

    Yes.

    While enjoying that part it occurred to me they could just pre-record all those clips for the season and no one would know the difference.

  123. Brian Cronin:
    How in the fuck can’t Quickley or Iggy get in there?

    I’m guessing Thibs wants to make sure his rotation players all get in game shape. The short pre-season makes it difficult on him.

  124. E:
    Frank still looks fantastic on D

    He does but watching him try to run a pick and roll there was…not pretty.

  125. Julius Randle has a rookie on him and what does he do?

    If you guessed “spin into a double team,” you would be right!

  126. Pretty good so far considering the circumstances but just like last year Payton is the only guy on the team who can run an offense

  127. Elfrid Payton really does have a wide variety of basketball related skills so it’s pretty incredible the extent to which he straight up cannot shoot a basketball

  128. Piston’s broadcast >>> Ours

    We have to listen to shitty blues music from Dolan affiliated bands.

    Pistons fans are listening to Bel Biv Davoe and Pharell Williams.

  129. as long as elf us making his layups it’s not too bad…he still gambles a lot on defense…

    we don’t have many bigs that can make a three…just obi I think…

    what a defensive backcourt rotation nerlens and mitch make though…

  130. The offense is going to be tragic but we pretty much knew that. Still seeing our starters struggle against the Pistons scrubs definitely drove it home. Defensive effort was good tonight and it feels like exactly how bad this team will be will largely be determined on that end.

  131. Brian Cronin:
    Wally is basically like a Knicks propaganda robot. It’s bizarre.

    There’s a lot of guys like that around the league. I hate all of them.

  132. There’s a lot of guys like that around the league. I hate all of them.

    Definitely. I just hate that one of the biggest markets out there has someone like that.

  133. I liked the defense that they played. I liked Obi. Knox looks better. I did not like much else.

  134. solid debut for toppin… the rebounding #s are good and good to see him make buckets near the basket…. the passing was there too altho he was kind of doing some crazy stuff towards the end that’s not going to work out for him….

    rj was solid… forcing shots early but getting to the rim and finishing later…. even showing off a midrange game which looked good… 7-12 from 2pt land is superb…. 3pt shot was no good but the basis for his game improving is going to start at the ft line and at the rim… and namely not forcing the issue there…

    noel and mitch are going to be really good defensively for us and cover for a lot of mistakes most nights….

    things are probably going to look sloppy for awhile…. this looked like a summer league game….

  135. It’s gonna suck when Austin Rivers breaks up the DJ/Frank back court. I like those guys together a lot. Maybe Frank pushes Bullock out of the rotation but I’m not hopeful.

  136. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    It’s gonna suck when Austin Rivers breaks up the DJ/Frank back court. I like those guys together a lot. Maybe Frank pushes Bullock out of the rotation but I’m not hopeful.

    Well, Frank and DSJ combined for 8 turnovers. They’ve got to get those down.

  137. quickley better get up to speed soon…we are seriously deficient from 3pt land…that spot in the rotation is there for the taking..

  138. Not bad for first game
    Youngsters had moments of promise and nostalgic shittiness as well

  139. One of the things I liked about the Noel signing is that he and Mitch are similar enough on defense that we can play a consistent scheme.

  140. Read nothing into this game except what we already know about Julius, Elfrid, Burks, Bullock, Noel, Breen and Wally; that there’s a glimmer of hope for Knox, DSJ and Frank; that RJ’s shot is anxiety-inducing; that Obi doesn’t seem to suck; that Thibs is gonna drive us berserk; and that Mitch is a 5-armed prehistoric cartoon character.

  141. All the Knicks players looked exactly like we thought they would.

    Obi looks like he belongs.

  142. Brian Cronin: Definitely. I just hate that one of the biggest markets out there has someone like that.

    It’s even more painful considering how many good announcers we’ve had over the years. We had Marv Albert for 4 decades announcing next guys like Al Trautwig and John Andaraise and they transitioned into Breen and Clyde for the last decade+ and we’re going to end up with Wally’s dumbass when Clyde decides to hang it up.

  143. Z-man:
    Um, something interesting is going on with the Rockets…

    More like the Bulls are sending us a message that they’re going to be every bit as bad as we are. Nice to see Wall bouncing back though.

  144. DRed:
    What’s that?The Bulls have looked atrocious in the couple minutes I’ve watched

    That Demarcus Cousins and John Wall seem healthy and with James Harden that could be interesting…

  145. Z-man: That Demarcus Cousins and John Wall seem healthy and with James Harden that could be interesting…

    almost as intriguing as the Noah Vonleh and Luke Kornet pairing in chicago..

  146. We have a few guys that can shoot 3’s. Bullock, Burks, Rivers. Just none that can shoot them off the dribble coming around a screen and, more importantly, we do not have a player that collapses the defense and leaves shooters open so we simply can’t generate that shot with volume. That’s why we shoot so few.

  147. It’s even more painful considering how many good announcers we’ve had over the years. We had Marv Albert for 4 decades announcing next guys like Al Trautwig and John Andaraise and they transitioned into Breen and Clyde for the last decade+ and we’re going to end up with Wally’s dumbass when Clyde decides to hang it up.

    It’s like a really slow moving runaway train. We know it will be a disaster when it finally crashes, but we can’t stop it.

  148. It must be stopped.

    The only possible way is if some young hot shit announcer comes around or if Wally gets hired by an even dumber organization. I don’t think either will happen.

  149. Brian Cronin: The only possible way is if some young hot shit announcer comes around or if Wally gets hired by an even dumber organization. I don’t think either will happen.

    Who are our radio guys? I know Albert, Breen, Clyde, and Gus Johnson all got their starts announcing Knicks games on radio. Maybe we’ll get lucky and continue the streak?

  150. Mike Crispino is a fine play-by-play guy, but the radio analyst, Brendan Brown, is just decent and he has no name recognition.

  151. I just saw the top-5 highlights from the bubble…#1 was a going under then right move by Jamal Murray that was astonishing. That and his 360 left move (also in the top 50) are all-time classics.

  152. The fact that we managed to win easily tonight while having:
    21,8% on 3p
    47,4% on FTs
    and
    24 TOs
    is pretty remarkable.
    Thibs and his D may surprise us this season.

  153. That Demarcus Cousins and John Wall seem healthy and with James Harden that could be interesting…

    Preseason? We talking about preseason?

  154. they really cannot have wally regularly doing games…

    Logically, you’d be correct, and yet…

  155. The guy doing the crowd noise is also clearly working himself back into game shape. Sounds like he’s using a random number generator to pick the sounds.

    this made me smile…

    it’s been said a bunch already, but, yeah mitch really has some unique physical skills…his eye hand coordination has got to be completely off the charts…

    i am sooooo glad i don’t root for the pistons…what a change of coaching fortune dwayne casey has had…

  156. Most encouraging thing for me was the defense. Granted the opposition was very poor and didn’t play their best players much at all, but you could see the outlines of something good. This is a young, athletic team and if Thibs has them consistently flying around on D they’ll at least make it hard for some teams. Not putting to much weight on it yet but encouraging.

    Most discouraging has to be RJ unfortunately. Played much better in the second half but this game from him could easily have been in March. We’re looking for a huge leap forward from him this year and this was an inauspicious start from that perspective.

  157. I take two consolations from RJ’s game:

    1)He looked just as horrible shooting in his first summer league game last year, and then got better quickly. He’s been off a long time and is still susceptible to nerves.

    2)He came out in the second half and did the thing a guy with his skillset should do when the jumper clearly isn’t working: he attacked the basket early and often, and ended up with a respectable shooting line for the night despite the first half fiasco.

    Oh, and also, Thibs is doing him no favors putting him in that fugly starting unit with Elf and Randle. I’d enjoy watching him be part of that bench mob with Frank, Mitch, and Obi.

  158. Alan:
    I take two consolations from RJ’s game:

    1)He looked just as horrible shooting in his first summer league game last year, and then got better quickly. He’s been off a long time and is still susceptible to nerves.

    2)He came out in the second half and did the thing a guy with his skillset should do when the jumper clearly isn’t working: he attacked the basket early and often, and ended up with a respectable shooting line for the night despite the first half fiasco.

    Oh, and also, Thibs is doing him no favors putting him in that fugly starting unit with Elf and Randle. I’d enjoy watching him be part of that bench mob with Frank, Mitch, and Obi.

    To your third point, it will probably take some time for Thibs to find combinations that complement RJ’s game, and if the beginning of the season produces ugly losing basketball in service of determining who the pieces are going forward so be it. On a positive note, it will be a scrappy team that will be fun to watch.

  159. The other thing I will say is that a lot of the play designs looked really good on both offense and defense. Lots of guys, RJ included, got freed for wide-open looks. We’re just starting from such a lousy talent base on offense, especially when it comes to both shooting and playmaking, that the results may not be apparent for a while. But this didn’t just seem like, as some said, the Miller Knicks with a minor talent upgrade. Scheme-wise, at least, this was a drastic improvement on anything I’ve seen going back at least to the 54-win season.

  160. I thought both teams were so terrible it was almost unwatchable at times.

    Shooting tends to be below par early in the season anyway, but this year it’s likely to be exaggerated because camps are shorter. I wouldn’t put too much weight on shooting stats in pre season or even the first couple of weeks of the regular season. They’ll probably be down for a lot of players. Maybe even more so for the non bubble teams that were laid off longer.

    Personally, I didn’t see much to be excited or negative about other than they gave a good effort on deeefense and seemed to have some goals in mind on offense. That’s all Thibs. We got a huge upgrade there.

    On the downside, there is going to be a serious logjam at the guard position, especially when Rivers comes back and Quickley works his way up. They have so many guys with different strengths and weaknesses and none of them may be good enough to clearly lock in their position as the starter or backup.

    IMO, someone is going to have to be traded. It’s going to be on Thibs to decide whether he wants to prioritize offense, defense, younger players or keep a couple of vets. One or two of these guys has to go, if not early, then by the trade deadline.

    Hopefully they’ll be less sloppy in the next game.

  161. Most discouraging has to be RJ unfortunately. Played much better in the second half but this game from him could easily have been in March. We’re looking for a huge leap forward from him this year and this was an inauspicious start from that perspective.

    this game was good from rj.. the 3pt shot was obviously not looking good but it’s early.. there’s plenty of time to recover from an 0-4 start from 3….

    the encouraging part is 7-12 from 2pt territory…. rj needs efficiency improvements and it starts from there…. and the reason rj was not good last year was that he was forcing his shots near the rim and not making them… we saw some of that happening but also saw some midrange game being utilized… and he was hitting!

    midrange shots aren’t good but for rj they are since he doesn’t shoot a lot from there anyway.. he needs to move some shots from 3-10 ft (shot 27% and a really high 20% of his shots came from there) to anywhere else and moving some to 10-16 ft is one option … the other is to just not shoot and pass it out…

    the shots from 3-10 ft are when he fails to get all the way to the basket and puts up a heavily contested floater…. and he just needs to pull those back and do something else when he recognized that.. f he does that less and just gives up the ball more in those situations it will improve his efficiency a ton…. 2pt % goes up.. assists goes up… ts % goes up…. if his midrange game becomes passable then it does open things up in the paint more… i’m pretty sure every team will be sagging off him on screens….

    that’s why i’m optimistic on his improvement… yes.. he did force things on occasion but he was finishing strong and he was pulling up instead of forcing a drive when the defender was sagging.. and hitting… that’s progress… if that’s a more consistent thing then that improvement alone could be enough… but i think we’ll see other improvements from him as well..

  162. You’re not going to win a lot if your starters only make 2 3 point shots, On the other hand, it’s going to be very hard for teams to score in the paint against this team. Hopefully we’ll see some of the fringe guys get some minutes on Sunday

  163. Alan:
    I take two consolations from RJ’s game:

    1)He looked just as horrible shooting in his first summer league game last year, and then got better quickly. He’s been off a long time and is still susceptible to nerves.

    2)He came out in the second half and did the thing a guy with his skillset should do when the jumper clearly isn’t working: he attacked the basket early and often, and ended up with a respectable shooting line for the night despite the first half fiasco.

    Oh, and also, Thibs is doing him no favors putting him in that fugly starting unit with Elf and Randle. I’d enjoy watching him be part of that bench mob with Frank, Mitch, and Obi.

    I’m a bit more concerned with his shot than everyone else here. It’s not just that he was missing but he wasn’t even close and his form was screwed up. It looked like he was pushing the ball instead of shooting it at one point.

  164. We played a godawful team last night and they used more non-rotation players than we did. Cleveland is terrible on paper too. We won’t know anything about this team until we’ve played some games against good competition. We open the season against the Pacers, Sixers and Bucks. Reality should hit pretty hard then. Watching some starting units from good teams last night was revealing. Since they just stopped playing recently, they looked sharper than normal in preseason.

  165. RJ’s game was pretty much the perfect Rorschah test depending on your side in the Barrett-Clarke Wars. He’s clearly got talent but if he can’t put it all together as a scorer that talent will be sub-optimally distributed.

    I’d like to see him get spot minutes in lineups where everyone but him can shoot. Something like Rivers-Barrett-Burks-Toppin-Spellman could be fun here and there. You can swap Rivers for Quickley if he’s playable.

  166. Don’t get too excited about the defense. DET has maybe the worst offense in the league.

    We have 2-3 elite defenders between Frank, Mitch, and Noel.

    We have 2 solid defenders in Payton and Bullock.

    Everyone else kinda sucks on defense.

    I liked the effort, especially from our bigs (7 steals!), but don’t expect these results.

  167. Re: the lineup: when you sign Tom Thibodeau and you sign a bunch of veterans, expect the veterans to play. It’s not “a crazy conspiracy theory”. It’s 2 plus 2 equals 4.

    This team is going to really disappoint you if you’re expecting 22 wins, a high draft pick, and lots of playing time for the kids.

  168. Obi really moves like Amar’e. It’s that hunched acceleration with a power dribble. Love it.

  169. This team is going to really disappoint you if you’re expecting 22 wins, a high draft pick, and lots of playing time for the kids.

    I think that was about our season win total o/u. We’re going to stink-the Vets we have outside of Noel aren’t any good.

  170. It’s still too early to say…could have been some opening night jitters…but sure, RJ’s shot looks ugly. It’s no tthe form that bothers me as much as the wild inconsistency. His misses are absolute bricks. It’s as if he just can’t repeat the motion in a controlled way with his hands, arms and legs in sync. That’s very worrisome. Maybe the Demar DeRozan route is the best one for him.

  171. Once RJ Barrett stopped trying to out-alpha Julius Randle he got his act together and played a lot better. I cannot say the same for Julius Randle. That guy never makes the smart play; it’s either an alternative play that has a positive outcome or a dumb play that leads to a turnover or a forced missed. And it always happens out of the spin move. Sadiq Bey and Killian Hayes are rookies and had zero issues guarding our 6’9” 250 pound 20 point per game scoring power forward.

    If last night is any indicator of what the regular season will be like, we’ll need to remove Julius Randle or Elfrid Payton in the closing minutes. They hijacked the offense to run a terrible two man game and we only won because we were playing the Pistons. Considering Elfrid Payton is actually useful, I think it’s best if Obi Toppin closes games instead of Randle.

  172. Knick fan not in NJ: I couldn’t get any of my hopes for streaming options to work and finally switched to the Tencent Sports app. Pros are it’s free and the streaming quality is good.The big con is all the commentary is in Chinese.

    Once the season officially starts the games on there won’t be all free, only some selected games are. (Most of the time are games played in the west coast as the time fits Chinese viewers better) Others will need a league pass thingy so if no other options maybe can ask a friend to help you buy a tencent pass. It also eliminates some ads with the free stream.

    What’s funny to me was the rockets game still has no video stream now even after Morey moves on. Imagine how pissed tilman is gonna be if rockets will be ignored by Chinese money for the new season.

    One more thing was I watched tencent reporter covered the draft and did an interview with Obi. During which Obi appears quite likable, attributes all his development to his coaching staff in college. I am hopeful for this kid.

  173. Owen: Toppin is going to win me over pretty quickly if this continues….

     

    Toppin is like the Knicks’ equivalent of the Saquon Barkley pick. They’re both undoubtedly good players, but there’s real reasons a smart front office would have made a different pick. Selecting both players revealed the low upper limit of the front office’s capability right away, and that’s disappointing.

    But ultimately we’re fans, and the players are pretty damn good. Toppin is going to be a lot of fun.

  174. Early Bird:
    Don’t get too excited about the defense. DET has maybe the worst offense in the league.

    We have 2-3 elite defenders between Frank, Mitch, and Noel.

    We have 2 solid defenders in Payton and Bullock.

    Everyone else kinda sucks on defense.

    I liked the effort, especially from our bigs (7 steals!), but don’t expect these results.

    RJ is a very decent defender. Rivers isn’t bad. That’s 7 possible rotation defenders. I think we have much bigger problems on offense. Even our so-called shooters are nothing special. And in today’s league where guards are hitting 30 footers like FTs, no level of D is gonna make much difference. Our defense is good enough to keep us in games, but we just won’t be able to score enough unless someone like Knox, Frank, RJ, DSjr or Obi goes off from deep. And that is highly unlikely.

    I hope we see some of Quickley and Iggy in the next game. Burks, Payton and Bullock are so boring to watch.

  175. Rj’s 3point shot is shit.
    Definitely Needs help to learn how to shoot it naturally and confidently.
    The rest of his game seems pretty FutureBigDoggish to me.

  176. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    Once RJ Barrett stopped trying to out-alpha Julius Randle he got his act together and played a lot better. I cannot say the same for Julius Randle. That guy never makes the smart play; it’s either an alternative play that has a positive outcome or a dumb play that leads to a turnover or a forced missed. And it always happens out of the spin move. Sadiq Bey and Killian Hayes are rookies and had zero issues guarding our 6’9” 250 pound 20 point per game scoring power forward.

    If last night is any indicator of what the regular season will be like, we’ll need to remove Julius Randle or Elfrid Payton in the closing minutes. They hijacked the offense to run a terrible two man game and we only won because we were playing the Pistons. Considering Elfrid Payton is actually useful, I think it’s best if Obi Toppin closes games instead of Randle.

    I think you are being too hard on Randle. He played fine last night. Didn’t jack up 3’s, had 6 assists, played passable defense, rebounded very well. He also went 0-3 from the line, so that won’t last. His game is ugly, but I actually liked what I saw.

  177. DRed: I think that was about our season win total o/u. We’re going to stink-the Vets we have outside of Noel aren’t any good.

      

    They’re not good but they’re not terrible. 22 win teams are usually teams full of kids. If you have a bunch of mediocre vets, coached up and playing hard, and motivated to make the playoffs, you’re not going to be absymal.

  178. Frank probably had a good Synergy game…no blocks or steals but a menace at the point of attack. The 5 rebounds in 19 minutes are encouraging. Two of his 5 misses were on a crazy sequence under the basket, I think Mitch had his miss there as well.

  179. Randle should Not get the ball among the Free Throw Line and the 3p line and start dribbling and spinning. That was his main problem last night. He did it a couple of times and brought back nightmarish memories…

  180. Hubert: They’re not good but they’re not terrible. 22 win teams are usually teams full of kids. If you have a bunch of mediocre vets, coached up and playing hard, and motivated to make the playoffs, you’re not going to be absymal.

    We are one of the youngest teams in the league.

  181. Frank showed decisiveness and confidence.
    His D was pesty from start to finish and if you exclude a few awkward dribbling at times he seems better than last season to me.

    DSJ was SURPRISINGLY very decent.
    And his Jump shot looked legit.
    Maybe MARauf should work with RJ too.

  182. Z-man: I think you are being too hard on Randle. He played fine last night. Didn’t jack up 3’s, had 6 assists, played passable defense, rebounded very well. He also went 0-3 from the line, so that won’t last. His game is ugly, but I actually liked what I saw.

    It’s not even that his game is ugly to me. Obi Toppin isn’t Hakeem Olajuwon or even post-ACL Amar’e when it comes to his polish, but he gets in where he fits in as opposed to Julius who only passes when the defense forces him to pick up that weak ass handle. He’s out of control on offense all of the time and sometimes it ends up in a bucket or an assist. His defense was encouraging, though. Thibs seems to have these guys playing as a unit on that end.

  183. DSJ took a charge! I can’t remember him ever doing that in a game, but it’s also not a stat I’m having much luck Googling.

  184. #I saw nothing last night to suggest that we will be anything but bad.#

    I saw a 36-36 record team on the floor but probably it was the withdrawal symptom’s adrenaline talking!

  185. Knew Your Nicks:
    #I saw nothing last night to suggest that we will be anything but bad.#

    I saw a 36-36 record team on the floor but probably it was the withdrawal symptom’s adrenaline talking!

    No, it was the we’re beating a bunch of scrubs talking.

  186. The Glass Half Rebuilt: It’s not even that his game is ugly to me. Obi Toppin isn’t Hakeem Olajuwon or even post-ACL Amar’e when it comes to his polish, but he gets in where he fits in as opposed to Julius who only passes when the defense forces him to pick up that weak ass handle. He’s out of control on offense all of the time and sometimes it ends up in a bucket or an assist. His defense was encouraging, though. Thibs seems to have these guys playing as a unit on that end.

    I dunno, he took 11 shots in 29 minutes and had 6 assists. Hard to spin that in any way as a negative.

  187. Alan:
    DSJ took a charge! I can’t remember him ever doing that in a game, but it’s also not a stat I’m having much luck Googling.

    Macri said DSJr took 1 charge in his 500+ minutes last year. He took 1 in his first 3 min last night

  188. I am projecting Toppin to be my next David Lee right now, except it’s not going to take me two years and a broken heart to realize he is awful on defense. But I think overall he is a player I like. The defense is troubling but if he is good enough there for Thibs then I guess that will work for me.

    As for RJ, sort of like what Alan said, that wide open three he airballed was super disheartening. I mean, it was so bad you could GIF it. But at least he came back strong. Got no high hopes for him but let’s see what happens.

    Also, I liked Bey too. He looked solid out there.

  189. Z-man: RJ is a very decent defender. Rivers isn’t bad.

    I think RJ is bad. He’s just not the complete zero we expected.

    I gleefully forgot about Rivers for a moment. He takes DSJr, Bullock, or Frank’s spot in the rotation. I don’t really want him in the rotation.

  190. I’d be fine with Rivers taking the place of DSJ or Bullock (who seems much more useful to us in theory than he has been in practice thus far). Frank as a backup combo guard is a thing I hope Thibs will explore more of.

  191. On the Ex-Knicks Watch:

    Melo channeling his youth, 8/13, 3/3 on threes, 21 pts in 23 minutes.
    Kanter an unusual 1-5, but 11 rebounds in 21 minutes.
    Gallo a decent 14 points in 20 minutes off the bench.
    Y’all saw Mr. Ellington go 1-3 for 3 points in 17 minutes.
    Kenny Wooten gets 8 minutes on the Rockets, goes 1-3 (a 3-pter!) with one rebound.

    And on the Tyrese watch, a quiet 2-4 in 20 minutes for 5 pts; 3 reb, 2 assts. Early days, but so far the Obi pick is looking okay.

  192. I think it’s grossly unfair to boil a guy’s night down to a missed 6 footer in the paint, especially a guy who put up like a $600TS% in two straight years before he got here. It’s kind of unseemly to argue from a preconceive conclusion and only show evidence that supports it. He had a decent overall game. There’s no disputing that.

  193. I decided to invest 127$ for the League Pass one team deal. I’m glad I did… right now. The interface is nice and streams well over my desktop. I watched the game and then read this thread and saw the up and down. The beginning was ugly but, most importantly, of the two non playoff teams we saw, the Knicks were clearly superior. They had the better young talent, the deeper bench and didn’t have two players from a bygone era set to play huge structural roles.

    All the kids looked stronger, and more developed. Mitch was sensational in decisive moments. Bullock with two automatic open threes to stretch the lead (if I remember correctly). RJ with tough buckets down low in the second half. This team needs one more player to have a chance of winning more nights than it loses IMO but the supporting cast is starting to round into shape. Even the much maligned Knox had the assist of the game to Toppin for the dunk. That kid absolutely floats off the ground. Reminds me of Dr. Dunkenstein, Darrel Griffith. The one more player we need is the great facilitating PG but for this year we got what looks to be an excellent finisher.

    I hope I don’t regret my investment in a few weeks. If they make a habit of being way down by the end of Q1 I’ll be bummed. That makes it unfun. I just hope they keep my interest this year and that I don’t feel bored and demoralized. I don’t know what that equates to as far as wins and losses. Tanking is so boring. I want Cade Cunningham but I also want some fun now. Is that possible?

  194. Z-man:
    Frank probably had a good Synergy game…no blocks or steals but a menace at the point of attack. The 5 rebounds in 19 minutes are encouraging. Two of his 5 misses were on a crazy sequence under the basket, I think Mitch had his miss there as well.

    I’m just waiting for the nonsensical complaints that his assists are down this season. Now that he doesn’t have the ball in his hands as often as the PG (as many people wanted) his assists will be down.

    I’ve said several times that a legitimate complaint about him was that as a pretty tall guard with his length he should get more rebounds. Playing off the ball may give a couple of extra rebounding opportunities instead of assists. I really couldn’t tell if he looked like he put on some weight and muscle, but that would help.

  195. I don’t know if it was a thing, but it seemed that on several occasions on defense the bigs tipped the ball out to the FT line area where the guards picked it up.

  196. Frank was fighting very hard to get through screens last night, which has to attract Thibs’s attention when it comes to minutes. The rebounds were nice, too. OTOH, he had 4 turnovers and looked generally sloppy with the ball. But hey, he was perfect from three! :-)

    DSJ looked a lot more engaged on D than usual, so that’s a good sign. His decision making and shooting still need improvement, though his shot form did not look as bad as last year. I’d guess one of DSJ or Frank will be losing minutes to Rivers.

    Knox made that one very nice pass to Obi when it looked like he was going to do yet another of his crazy one on three drives to the hoop. But, that’s all I remember about his night.

  197. Knox’s best moments were a nice exchange with Obi, a great 1-on-1 block, and a good drive across the lane for a scoop finish from 3 feet. He looked less floppy overall than last year, but nothing to get excited about yet.

  198. A lot of teams (and maybe us) are going to regret passing over Saddiq Bey. He looked very polished out there.

  199. Z-man:
    He had a decent overall game. There’s no disputing that.

    Sure, if you want to make it a box score discussion that’s fine. But the next time the Knicks play, pay close attention to how many times Randle doesn’t make the pass to the open shooter/cutter, how many times he spins into a double team, or loses the ball trying to dribble through defenders. We couldn’t trade him partly because his contract is bad value, and the other part is he’s not a good NBA player.

  200. A lot of teams (and maybe us) are going to regret passing over Saddiq Bey. He looked very polished out there.

    There really weren’t any good trade down opportunities that could have gotten the Knicks Bey and another guy, but yeah, I think he dropped waaaaay too far. It really worked perfectly for the Nets, as Shamet fits their team better than Bey.

  201. I’m just waiting for the nonsensical complaints that his assists are down this season. Now that he doesn’t have the ball in his hands as often as the PG (as many people wanted) his assists will be down.

    I literally complemented Thibs in the game thread for taking him off the ball. There’s no conspiracy against ya boy. If he plays well people will be happy.

  202. A win is more encouraging than a loss. Thoughts.

    We won’t really know if RJ’s shooting has improved or not till at least halfway through the season. He hasn’t played real ball since March. One half of bad shooting should not really concern us. Even if his shooting has improved he’s still gonna have bad spurts bc he’s not a naturally good shooter.

    It’s gonna be nice having Noel and Mitch all game.

    Toppin is going to be fun and the more games he plays the more we’re gonna want Randle out the door but I think coming off the bench is a good start for him.

    Knox looks better and that pass with Toppin was super encouraging.

    Overall the defense looks better. One game against a bad team obviously but I think we will see the thibs effect. And I felt like the passing and sharing was overall pretty good last night.

    I think we’re gonna be scrappy and fun. Ultimately still not good but I think this will be a fun season.

  203. The Glass Half Rebuilt: Sure, if you want to make it a box score discussion that’s fine. But the next time the Knicks play, pay close attention to how many times Randle doesn’t make the pass to the open shooter/cutter, how many times he spins into a double team, or loses the ball trying to dribble through defenders. We couldn’t trade him partly because his contract is bad value, and the other part is he’s not a good NBA player.

    The point is, he really didn’t do that much of that stuff yesterday. He’s going to do some spinning….so do a zillion other players in the league….that’s part of his game. The difference needs to be that he doesn’t initiate the offense. You act like he turns the ball over a ton…that’s just not true. For a relatively high usage player, a turnover rate of 14% is not crazy high, pretty much in the same ball park as Giannis. It’s all about efficiency for Randle, at anything below .600 TS% he’s more of a liability than an asset. But at that level, you can live with some ugly spin moves.

  204. I think Toppin will struggle once the league scouts him. He will need to improve in a lot of areas to be a star. But the potential is definitely there. I like the way he is thinking pass, even though those crosscourt passes he likes won’t work in the NBA. You can be sure that teams will be ready to force him into those and will pick them off.

  205. I think Toppin will struggle once the league scouts him. He will need to improve in a lot of areas to be a star. But the potential is definitely there. I like the way he is thinking pass, even though those crosscourt passes he likes won’t work in the NBA. You can be sure that teams will be ready to force him into those and will pick them off.

    I think we saw a little bit of that just from the first to second half of his first preseason game, honestly. He’s definitely a bit one-note right now. It’s a really good note, though. One of the things that worries me is that what Toppin really needs to stand out is the three ball, and yet the Knicks didn’t seem all that interested in shooting threes in general.

  206. Clearly the “force Killian right” memo got out….it will be interesting to see whether he can adjust to that.

  207. Nice deal by the Mets for James McCann, they get him for $10M AAV and he should be worth 2-3 WAR for at least a couple of seasons. That’s one major hole they plugged with a very reasonable contract.

    If they are able to snag Springer and give the SS job to Gimenez they could be a very nice defensive team up the middle all of a sudden.

  208. As i only watched the 4th quarter, i took a look at the box score while reading your comments. There’s not a lot of good nor bad to take from this game, so it was a typical preseason game. We’ll need more games to get a better picture.

    But i noticed one player on the box score, Jerami Grant.

    If the Knicks had spent 60M on a player that proceeded to log 6 points and 3 rebounds in 21 minutes, to go with a 3P% of 0% (0-5) and a FG% of 9.1% (1-11), Knickerblogger would be on fire! So this time, thank God we’re on the other side! ;)

  209. Z-man:
    I think Toppin will struggle once the league scouts him. He will need to improve in a lot of areas to be a star. But the potential is definitely there. I like the way he is thinking pass, even though those crosscourt passes he likeswon’t work in the NBA. You can be sure that teams will be ready to force him into those and will pick them off.

    I mentioned early in the week that he did a lot of scoring in transition in college and that’s party why his efficiency was so high. I’ve been concerned about that a bit. You aren’t going to get that as often in the pros. Then he mentioned that himself yesterday in an interview. I think he said he only got 1 transition basket in all of the Knicks practices. Still, he did show some skills getting shots for himself. So that was encouraging. We need some 3 point shooting though. His job is going to be stretch PF.

  210. Z-man: I don’t know if it was a thing, but it seemed that on several occasions on defense the bigs tipped the ball out to the FT line area where the guards picked it up.
      
    (Quote)

    I noticed the same thing, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to know whether bigs couldn’t get to the ball and were just trying to keep it alive or whether they were strategically trying to get it to the guard to start the break. But I saw that a few times also.

  211. i’ve been keeping an eye on the college schedule and while they haven’t had huge issues yet with game cancellations it is starting to escalate…. they are facing an increasing amount of postponed or cancelled games due to covid in the last couple of weeks…. before it used to be about 5-10% of the schedule in a given day… they are probably 20-30% now….

    hopefully the nba has a plan to mitigate this but this has some implications for the early part of the season…..

  212. thenoblefacehumper: I literally complemented Thibs in the game thread for taking him off the ball. There’s no conspiracy against ya boy. If he plays well people will be happy.

    That has been the consensus opinion.

    My point is that all else being equal, his WP48 and BPM are going to go down as a result. But that will because his assists will probably be down if he’s playing off the ball. It will be a function of role and not less productivity or less playmaking ability.

    IMO, SG’s tend to be underrated by models because on average they don’t handle the ball enough to pile up assists and are not big enough to pile up rebounds, Their job is to score in a variety of ways and space the floor (which does not get proper credit).

    Frank doesn’t score or space the floor. His job is to defend at an elite level (which won’t get measured properly either) and be efficient enough on lower volume to make the net of everything given his defense still be a plus.

    I’m adding that he has the length to rebound better. If he’s not going to be handling the ball as much he should try to be more active on the boards instead.

    But the models did not capture his value before and they’ll capture it even less if his assists go down off the ball.

  213. Deeefense: I’m just waiting for the nonsensical complaints that his assists are down this season. Now that he doesn’t have the ball in his hands as often as the PG (as many people wanted) his assists will be down.

    When he has 0 assists and 4 turnovers in a game you’re going to hear about it.

  214. cybersoze:
    Thibs is known as a defensive tactician, so who am i to criticize, but if this defensive scheme happens “by design” and we intentionally leave two shooters open on the 3P line, i’m having a hard time agreeing to this.

    https://twitter.com/JCMacriNBA/status/1337858753920708608?s=20

    That’s on DSjr and Knox…they hedged too hard and were slow to get back. You can’t commit 100% to the roller, especially DSjr whose man is an easy kickout away from a wide open 3. Knox has a bit more time to get back to the corner as the pass there would be riskier and less direct.

    But that in a nutshell is what bad defenders do….they overcommit, they get caught in-between or ball-watching or with their back to the play. they are a half-step slow to react, they reach in, they buy pump fakes, etc.

  215. The other problem on that play was a miscommunication in the PnR between Obi and Frank. They both went with the ball man, which in my opinion should have been Frank’s because he got held up on the screen. If Frank get in front of the roller, no reason for the weak side help to come in as far, especially DSjr.

  216. Yeah, that’s probably it, they are still learning that play and in that case it was poorly executed. But hey, so good we can discuss a proper defensive scheme, last year i think Fiz only used one defensive scheme… anarchy! ;)

  217. PnR defense depends so much on the 2 guys at the point of attack. It was a big negative for Obi, and there was an example of it…if he’s up on the screener and hedging properly, the ball handler has a longer trip around the screen and there are more defensive options. As it turned out, Obi had to switch, leaving Frank to choose whether to double or stay home. He took a chance and doubled, which is not terrible but it kinda leaves the weak side very vulnerable. That happens to lots of teams….it’s not like other teams don’t get burned on the same play over and over.

  218. Joinone: Once the season officially starts the games on there won’t be all free, only some selected games are. (Most of the time are games played in the west coast as the time fits Chinese viewers better) Others will need a league pass thingy so if no other options maybe can ask a friend to help you buy a tencent pass. It also eliminates some ads with the free stream.

    What’s funny to me was the rockets game still has no video stream now even after Morey moves on. Imagine how pissed tilman is gonna be if rockets will be ignored by Chinese money for the new season.

    One more thing was I watched tencent reporter covered the draft and did an interview with Obi. During which Obi appears quite likable, attributes all his development to his coaching staff in college. I am hopeful for this kid.

    Joinone, thanks for the info. It’s a shame they will charge, but not surprising. Signing up seems like a good idea because streaming from the US only works when VPN is working well and it often isn’t. I will ask a guy at work for advice. I am sure he will help. He loves Basketball.

  219. I can’t believe they finished that Florida-Florida State game after Keyontae Johnson collapsed. Poor kid, I hope he comes through okay.

  220. keyontae johnson is a fun player to watch and he is one of the best returning players in college…

    i hope he’s ok…. very talented and unique guy….

  221. The Raptors are currently controlling the game against Charlotte and they’re doing it with none of their starters. Malachi Flynn looks great, but damn Nick Nurse is thoroughly out coaching James Borrego.

  222. Flynn is the oldish guy from San Diego who some thought about drafting instead of Quickley?

    Theo Maledon a nice line too.

    Ahh, yes, the preseason. When it dawns on the Knicks they drafted the wrong guy.

    Also, Ja Morant. Would have been good to draft him

  223. What I thought about Flynn before the draft was, “If he’s lucky, he’ll be taken by Toronto and they’ll turn him into the star he would never be here.”

  224. Just like, sure, the Knicks should have drafted Rajon Rondo back in the day, but can you imagine Rajon Rondo backing up Starbury back in the day? It would have been a glorious trainwreck.

  225. pritchard.. flynn… bane and terry all were really obvious picks instead of quickley….

    it’s not like these guys couldn’t shoot 3s if that’s what you wanted…

  226. djphan:
    pritchard.. flynn… bane and terry all were really obvious picks instead of quickley….

    it’s not like these guys couldn’t shoot 3s if that’s what you wanted…

    They were passed over because they didn’t go to Kentucky, which is both dumb and reasonable to me. Payne and Wesley know Quickly because they recruited him and watched him work for an entire season. They know his character and decided he would be a good pro, but I do wonder what the point is of bringing in a guy like Walt Perrin if you’re just going to add CAAntucky guys anyway.

  227. Berman has suggested that Quickley wasn’t the top guy on Perry’s board at that stage of the draft, but we don’t know about Perrin. We have to hope that he endorsed the pick, too. Because as desperately as this team needs shooting, it needs fundamentally competent point guard play even more, and Flynn looks ready to already provide that.

    Also, Okoro closed that game strong. Been an entertaining weekend so far from a lot of 2020 draftees. Our lottery guy included.

  228. Definitely psyched about McCann. Now they need springer AND Bauer. Then let’s go to war. Their payroll will be around 200 million. Finally playing with the big boys.

    JK47:
    Nice deal by the Mets for James McCann, they get him for $10M AAV and he should be worth 2-3 WAR for at least a couple of seasons. That’s one major hole they plugged with a very reasonable contract.

    If they are able to snag Springer and give the SS job to Gimenez they could be a very nice defensive team up the middle all of a sudden.

  229. Alan: Because as desperately as this team needs shooting, it needs fundamentally competent point guard play even more, and Flynn looks ready to already provide that.

    Our fundamentally competent point guard currently plays for Oklahoma State and I won’t let you convince me otherwise.

  230. The Glass Half Rebuilt: Payne and Wesley know Quickly because they recruited him and watched him work for an entire season. They know his character and decided he would be a good pro

    Neither Payne or Wesley are scouts and we should not take their word on anything related to projecting the NBA ability of college players.

    Even assuming Payne could function as a scout, he’s unfamiliar with players at other schools and there’s no reason to believe he knows what it takes to make the jump from college to the NBA.

    We drafted Quickley because he went to Kentucky. Until he proves he can play NBA basketball, we should assume he was a bad pick.

  231. Early Bird:
    We drafted Quickley because he went to Kentucky. Until he proves he can play NBA basketball, we should assume he was a bad pick.

    as per mr berman…looks like we’ll get a look tomorrow…

    “That’s why Thibodeau is surely going to turn to Quickley on Sunday as he’s already being hailed by the coach as one of the NBA’s top marksman.”

  232. I know Wiseman hasn’t played yet, but how crazy is it that none of the top 4 players drafted have started for their teams? Edwards, Ball, and Patrick Williams all came off the bench.

  233. Early Bird: Neither Payne or Wesley are scouts and we should not take their word on anything related to projecting the NBA ability of college players.

    Even assuming Payne could function as a scout, he’s unfamiliar with players at other schools and there’s no reason to believe he knows what it takes to make the jump from college to the NBA.

    We drafted Quickley because he went to Kentucky. Until he proves he can play NBA basketball, we should assume he was a bad pick.

    You are one negative mfer

  234. LaMelo’s line is hysterical. 16 minutes, 0-5 shooting, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 personal fouls. I don’t even know what to make of it. I know, first NBA game, pre-season. Still, he’s gonna be a fun one to watch, one way or the other.

  235. I saw a couple of clips on Twitter of LaMelo firing off two impressive behind-the-back no-look passes with the Hornets down 20 points. Everything about it seemed appropriate.

  236. Man, looking at the Pistons’ roster, I just don’t get how it all fits together. It doesn’t make any sense. Like, what is the upside for them if, say, Grant excels? Bey is clearly the future at the #3, they traded away by far their best asset to get Bey and then…signed Grant for $20 million a year to be their small forward? In a league that is trending small? For a coach whose offense is, you know, ancient? Grant’s not fucking Lebron. He’s a guy that you need to find shots for, while Casey literally seemed to just tell him, “Go shoot whenever you feel like it.”

    Casey is obviously talented in certain areas, but in a league where offense has become so important, having a guy who doesn’t know how to coach a modern NBA offense (to the point where a great team fired him and his successor took the same team MINUS DeMar DeRozan and made them a much better team last season) is just such a liability that even a guy who can get his team to play hard (like Casey definitely does) seems to be a net negative.

  237. You are one negative mfer

    you do realize the sun will explode one day…I think it’s pretty naive to behave otherwise…

    early bird is simply helping us all brace for that inevitable bleak future…

  238. Few thoughts-

    Our “future PG’ Cade Cunningham is obviously nice, but would I be crazy to say I just don’t see the juice in his athleticism? He seems kinda slow-footed to me. He’s big which obviously helps, and a I guess a guy like Luka doesn’t have that athletic juice either, but anyway that was my impression watching him a bit. He glides, but not sure that gliding gets you to the basket over NBA length.

    Obi – I thought the best part of his game the other night was that he was frequently looking to pass – ie. Not forcing stuff. I absolutely loved that sequence with him driving right in semi-transition, then kicking to Knox in the corner when the weak side defender came to contest him at the rim, then staying engaged enough to catch Knox’s (very nice!) pass for the dunk.

    Other than that, though – I thought he was pretty rough on defense. He also looks like he needs a tremendous amount of work on hits ball handling – even bringing the ball up without anyone around him he was fumbling with it a lot. And he has to watch those cross court passes from the post – during the regular season a bunch of those probably turn into transition buckets the other way – was lucky just to have a few deflections on them in this game instead.

    Frank was fine.

    Randle was surprisingly fine as well – hard to argue with 8 rebounds 6 assists and 2 steals.

    Re: our centers – who knows what will happen this year but 48ish minutes of elite rim protection, quick hands, and great finishing makes me happy.

    Not sure what to make of RJ – the beginning did seem like him just out of control probably excited to play a real game for the first time in 9 months. I didn’t watch the second half closely but it seems he really turned it around. He can still get to the rim pretty much anytime he wants.

  239. djphan:
    pritchard.. flynn… bane and terry all were really obvious picks instead of quickley….

    it’s not like these guys couldn’t shoot 3s if that’s what you wanted…

    What stands out about about those 4 guys compared to Quickley that makes it obvious? toss em in a salad bowl and pick again – they all seem somewhat fungible. What stands out for Quickley is that he got to the line more frequently than those other guys, and hit his FT at better rate than the other guys. That said they all have relatively similar numbers except Bane who is taller and rarely shoots free throws.

    They picked the guy they wanted at this spot. I hope they were right in their conviction. I wish I was a good enough scout to understand the obvious differences, but I’m just a fan.

  240. geo: you do realize the sun will explode one day…I think it’s pretty naive to behave otherwise…

    early bird is simply helping us all brace for that inevitable bleak future…

    Geo, ( the KBer who never sleeps)
    To be a Knick fan, one must adopt the philosophy of the former high-profile Knick fan ( posting this brought back the memory of when I and thousands of others observed Mr. Allen making out with Soon-Yi in the front row of what I called the gray seats [ this was before courtside and these seats were behind the bench]). Whatever one thinks of Mr. Allen, having his mindset helps one to be a Knick fan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yVPS8XBoBE

  241. Sly: What stands out about about those 4 guys compared to Quickley that makes it obvious?toss em in a salad bowl and pick again – they all seem somewhat fungible.What stands out for Quickley is that he got to the line more frequently than those other guys, and hit his FT at better rate than the other guys.That said they all have relatively similar numbers except Bane who is taller and rarely shoots free throws.

    They picked the guy they wanted at this spot.I hope they were right in their conviction.I wish I was a good enough scout to understand the obvious differences, but I’m just a fan.

    Let me guess:
    -they shot better from 2 in college
    -they got more blocks and steals in college

  242. I love that the new focus in deeefense first. It will be nice to root for a team that at least plays one side of the game fairly well. But you do have to have your best defenders on the floor. Nerlens and Mitch can’t clean up everything.

  243. To be fair, for sure I would have taken Terry and Bane, and strongly considered the other two. But Quickley is growing on me.

    Let’s all remember that preseason means slightly more than Summer League.

  244. Ingmarrrr:
    Highlights of LaMelo’s first game. Let the young Jason Kidd running the break comparisons begin.

    LaMelo has all the physical tools, court vision and skills. The between the ears part is the great unknown with him. His rebounding in traffic is very impressive…he’s bigger and stronger than he looked in Australia

  245. as a team bane member what stands out to me is his ferocious 3pt shooting resume combined with his size and very hi bball iq. he is like the grant williams of wings, pretty well cooked already without a sky hi ceiling but some critical nba friendly traits. bane and iq are like a caricature in the wingspan/size continuum. i think bane is the only nba player with a wingspan less than his height aside from teammate brooks. i’d have gone with the t-rex in this case but i’m not really all that up to speed on iq. flynn looks pretty interesting, too. i am also still on team nesmith for somewhat similar reasons, and he even has arms. i watched a disgusting number of grizzlies games last yr bc of melton, ja, clarke and jjj (yes, sadly, in that order) and this year if bane, konchar, and/or jontay get time that’s only going up.

  246. XXX is obviously talented in certain areas, but in a league where offense has become so important, having a guy who doesn’t know how to coach a modern NBA offense… is just such a liability…

    Ugh. This sounds like you’re talking about Thibs.

  247. LaMelo is a big dude who can really move well with the ball. His shot is an abomination but he threw some gorgeous passes in the parts of that game I watched

  248. Our “future PG’ Cade Cunningham is obviously nice, but would I be crazy to say I just don’t see the juice in his athleticism? He seems kinda slow-footed to me. He’s big which obviously helps, and a I guess a guy like Luka doesn’t have that athletic juice either, but anyway that was my impression watching him a bit. He glides, but not sure that gliding gets you to the basket over NBA length.

    I don’t think it’s crazy at all. He’s not really an explosive player. In high school it looked like that wouldn’t matter; so far it hasn’t mattered that much in college (though he didn’t have a good game yesterday). Like djphan has mentioned, there’s a little bit of a Ben Simmons confounding effect going on here, where he’s playing on a terrible team with no spacing. But still, he’s not looking generational quite yet. Jalen Suggs, meanwhile, has looked like the best player in the NCAA despite only shooting 33% from 3 and 66% from the line.

    I’m still quite high on Cade, but I’m beginning to get a little worried about his lack of burst. Still, you can’t really argue with a 48% 2pt %, 47% (!) 3pt percentage on good volume, 87% free throws on 5 attempts per 40, and 2.8 stocks per game from the guard position. That’s really good. And his assists numbers are not representative of his passing ability. He’s the kind of player who will only get better in the more open NBA game imo.

    If the season ended today I’d still draft him #1 overall I think, but Cade and Suggs both have a very good argument for the #1 spot right now. Hopefully we get a shot at either of them.

  249. What stands out about about those 4 guys compared to Quickley that makes it obvious? toss em in a salad bowl and pick again – they all seem somewhat fungible.

    they all contribute across many box score metrics which point to deeper and diverse skills…. you’d rather pick from this bucket than the kentucky reject bucket because it’s proven these type of guys are more likely to have nba careers because not everything will translate…. there are players with high 2p% that struggle to score inside in the pros.. there are guys that have high def #s but don’t get as much…. what you’re left with is hopefully an nba player….

    proving you can do all these things in college means you could develop these things in the pros…. but if you can’t do it vs weaker competition how do you expect to get better in the pros? you can’t develop your way out of terrible which we know from frank and knox…. and similarly we can turn dred into our gm but not our starting pg no matter how much money and time we throw at it…..

    in order for quickly to succeed his 2p% would need to be a complete aberration…. and there’s nothing that I’ve seen to say that… if you watch his games he throws alot of desperate attempts at the rim hoping for a whistle… you will probably see that whenever he does play….

  250. the eye test on cade is mildly concerning but he has to iso on all of his drives… his teammates airball his alley oop attempts… they miss him on wide open shots… his coach decides posting him up is their goto play…. this isn’t ideal for him… and while plenty of blue chip guys famously had bad coaching and teammates and didn’t have much issue… some did… kevin durant is one that came to mind that struggled early shooting wise in similar fashion…

    we need more games to judge him but he’s probably more steve smith than grant hill all things considered… and a more athletic steve smith is still probably a franchise player….

  251. Let me guess:
    -they shot better from 2 in college
    -they got more blocks and steals in college

    A lot of it boils down to these things, yeah. They have been shown to matter a lot! If Quickley is better than this group it’ll be a major bucking of an empirical trend. Wouldn’t be the first time, but what bothers me is it feels like the front office’s reason for believing it’ll happen in this case is “Quickley went to Kentucky and the other guys didn’t.”

    Hope I’m wrong!

    I’m still quite high on Cade, but I’m beginning to get a little worried about his lack of burst.

    In the games I’ve been able to catch I’ve been struck by how positively normal he looks, at least compared to the hype. It’s hard to argue with the results like you said but he doesn’t feel quite like a no-brainer at #1, at least not yet.

    So far I’d say Cade, Suggs, and Mobley have separated themselves from the pack. Jalen Johnson has been pretty good and probably starts the next tier. I haven’t gotten a chance to watch a single minute of Moses Moody, but his numbers are pretty impressive.

    Everyone else gets a TBD from me.

  252. thenoblefacehumper: thenoblefacehumper
    December 13, 2020 at 11:51 am
    Let me guess:
    -they shot better from 2 in college
    -they got more blocks and steals in college

    A lot of it boils down to these things, yeah. They have been shown to matter a lot! If Quickley is better than this group it’ll be a major bucking of an empirical trend. Wouldn’t be the first time, but what bothers me is it feels like the front office’s reason for believing it’ll happen in this case is “Quickley went to Kentucky and the other guys didn’t.”

    Hope I’m wrong!

    Fair. But tell me, why does every draft model, including the ones you cite and your own draft board based on them, have so many misses in both directions, i.e. players high on the board that bust, players low on the board that become good players?

    In a vacuum, it’s hard to argue against the clear empirical trends. But this isn’t in a vacuum. We have other things to look at to determine whether the players are likely to be outliers or not. I have suggested in the past that scouting beyond simple trends is akin to card-counting when playing Black Jack. You and djphan argue that things like wingspan, FTr, Synergy stats, improvement over time, etc., don’t really do anything to shift the odds when players have the ugly trifecta of low 2pt%-steals-blocks. I’m interested in the ‘why” and is there a commonality among guys who buck the trend…situation, wingspan, college coaching scheme, development pattern, etc…

  253. thenoblefacehumper: In the games I’ve been able to catch I’ve been struck by how positively normal he looks, at least compared to the hype. It’s hard to argue with the results like you said but he doesn’t feel quite like a no-brainer at #1, at least not yet.

    So far I’d say Cade, Suggs, and Mobley have separated themselves from the pack. Jalen Johnson has been pretty good and probably starts the next tier. I haven’t gotten a chance to watch a single minute of Moses Moody, but his numbers are pretty impressive.

    Everyone else gets a TBD from me.

    Sounds like another meh draft…

  254. Z-man: But this isn’t in a vacuum. We have other things to look at to determine whether the players are likely to be outliers or not.

    I don’t disregard these elements and I trust scouts to do a reasonable job. But looking at the school name on the front of a jersey is not a valid method of scouting.

    Looking at the pick outside of a vacuum, about half the players we’ve signed between the NBA and g-league are Kentucky players. If Quickley went anywhere else, I’d believe the scouts saw something. But he didn’t, he went to Kentucky.

    Worth noting the mock draft boards often reflect scout opinions too. Quickley was usually projected midway through the 2nd round.

  255. Early Bird: I don’t disregard these elements and I trust scouts to do a reasonable job. But looking at the school name on the front of a jersey is not a valid method of scouting.

    Looking at the pick outside of a vacuum, about half the players we’ve signed between the NBA and g-league are Kentucky players. If Quickley went anywhere else, I’d believe the scouts saw something. But he didn’t, he went to Kentucky.

    Worth noting the mock draft boards often reflect scout opinions too. Quickley was usually projected midway through the 2nd round.

    This is all fair. We actually agree that he was not worthy of being picked over some other guys and that the Kentucky thing is creepy. But finding guys undervalued by draft boards and avoiding guys who are overvalued by draft boards is what scouting is all about. Jordan Clarkson is a good example. Draft analysts did not like him, probably for similar reasons that Quickley was not rated well. Here’s someone from back in May who eventually settled on him at #33 but who I think gave a fair amount of consideration to his defensive PPP stats and said he would likely be “severely undervalued” and could be a steal relative to his projections:

    -Efficient overall defensive player (allowed 0.70 PPP – 85th percentile, opponents aFG% of 36)
    -Efficient PNR defender (allowed 0.58 PPP – 80th percentile, opponents aFG% of 28)
    -Above-average athlete in terms of speed, quickness, and vertical

  256. There’s also the other side to the Kentucky coin. One thing that can be limiting, especially in this COVID world, is access to the players. Normally there is a short window between the end of NCAA play and scouting, but lots of access. This year, there were 8 months to evaluate players but very limited access. Having insiders could help in that regard. So sure, if he wasn’t a Kentucky player he probably gets skipped over, but until we know for sure whether he was worthy of the pick, it’s hard to have strong feelings about it. I’d be much more worried about it if we took Maxey at #8.

  257. Z-man: Draft analysts did not like him, probably for similar reasons that Quickley was not rated well. Here’s someone from back in May who eventually settled on him at #33 but who I think gave a fair amount of consideration to his defensive PPP stats and said he would likely be “severely undervalued” and could be a steal relative to his projections:

    Worth noting that at 33, the Knicks could have drafted him with the 2nd round pick they traded away.

    Also, their big board had Maledon at 18, Oturu at 19, Flynn at 20, Jones at 25, Tillman at 29, Ramsey at 30 and Bane at 31. All those players were still available at 25.

    I don’t agree with a number of those rankings, but someone pointed out Flynn & Bane. Both were ranked higher even by a board relatively high on Quickley.

  258. You and djphan argue that things like wingspan, FTr, Synergy stats, improvement over time, etc., don’t really do anything to shift the odds when players have the ugly trifecta of low 2pt%-steals-blocks. I’m interested in the ‘why” and is there a commonality among guys who buck the trend…situation, wingspan, college coaching scheme, development pattern, etc…

    there isn’t…. sometimes it’s a late growth spurt… like giannis and paul george… sometimes it’s a bad coach like with the ucla guys … darren collison.. jordan farmar… and russell westbrook (+growth spurt).. sometimes it’s a complicated college situation…. like with deandre jordan and mitch robinson…. or it could be any number of factors… it’s impossible to find any of these things out without inside info and even then things could succeed or fail based on unknowable factors… you could have a stat line like michael beasley … you know he doesn’t work hard… but you have no idea whether or not he will change or if that will continue… ppl with beasley’s #s in college usually have a few allstar appearances.. but that’s only if they work at it similar to how those guys did.. he didn’t and so he didn’t.. greg oden can’t stay healthy. what can you do?

    the box score metrics aren’t a crystall ball but if you’re going to pick one thing to rely on… it probably should be that…. and YOU PROBABLY DO ALREADY….nobody is making judgements on any of these players just based on qualitive assessments…. you’re looking at the box score … you are anchoring on certain elements of it… same thing with old baseball scouts relying on batting average and rbi’s…

    the question is… how should you look at the box score to judge prospects… and the way weiland did it has a pretty long and proven track record…. i’ve read enough of these nba gms, scout and draft analyst opinions to know that they don’t really have a consistent methodology to judge off…

  259. Early Bird: Worth noting that at 33, the Knicks could have drafted him with the 2nd round pick they traded away.

    Also, their big board had Maledon at 18, Oturu at 19, Flynn at 20, Jones at 25, Tillman at 29, Ramsey at 30 and Bane at 31. All those players were still available at 25.

    I don’t agree with a number of those rankings, but someone pointed out Flynn & Bane. Both were ranked higher even by a board relatively high on Quickley.

    Agreed in principle, but a) there really wasn’t certainty that Quickley was going to be there at #33. We all know that some teams hold their cards close, and that teams who play that game get burned all the time (see: Celtics and Tyler Herro). Same with Vernon Carey Jr., who they obviously thought would be and then poof! he was gone.

    It’s also true that every one of those players had serious question marks and were drafted where they were for a reason. There’s also a reason why Devon Dotson went undrafted, despite gaudy college numbers.

    At the end of the day, no one in the 2020 draft was an NBA-ready player without concerns, certainly no one taken outside of the lottery. So it is more about whether a players development has peaked and plateaued (say, Cleanthony Early, Stanley Johnson, Jimmer Fredette), or is still occurring at a fast rate (say, Fred VanVleet, Bam Adebayo, Kawhi Leonard.) The lower you go in the draft, the greater the premium is on picking guys who are not essentially done developing. That’s why I have mixed feelings about Obi…he’s old, but on the other hand, he’s improved dramatically over time and doesn’t seem to be hitting a ceiling. With Quickley, it seems like he was challenged for playing time as a freshman, and improved over the course of his sophomore year to being one of the best team in the country’s go-to guy (see strat’s post) who opposing coaches in his conference recognized as its MVP…and it seemed as if he wasn’t done improving. The boxes for character, motor, bball-IQ, unselfishness, and work ethic all seem to be checked off.

  260. … and for every scouting report that you can pick for one guy who gets it right for one particular guy (e.g., jordan clarkson)…. they can’t replicate that because they don’t even know how they are successful…. these analysts are not even watching all the games… they are reporters reporting on what gm’s and scouts tell them… that’s what chad ford was/is… he’s not an analyst…. same thing with givony… schmitz is actually an analyst but he only breaks down film and doesn’t make too many judgements of a player…. the stepien guys are capable of some great analysis but they are basically just a meme now….

    that’s why i posted my results… i get things wrong all the time… everyone does…. my methodology is pretty simple and there’s some subjective aspects that i put into it because you just have to…. the numbers alone will never tell the full story because that’s how you get luka garza or seth tuttle being the #1 prospect when he leads the league in bpm…

    but i like my results… i’m sure i’ve overperformed nba gm’s and most other mocks out there… they also get things wrong ALL THE TIME…. and to paraphrase nate silver..it’s about how you separate the signal from the noise.. are synergy stats a signal or noise? i say it’s noise for x, y and z reasons and that’s why i disregard it… if you can’t explain why you use it and why i should believe you … then there’s no reason for me to pay attention to it…. it’s really as simple as that…

  261. For the Knick’s sake, I hope Quickley is an outlier where those fancy stats don’t accurately predict his success or lack of it. Drafting in the mid twenties, a reasonable ceiling might be dependable rotation player.

  262. djphan: the question is… how should you look at the box score to judge prospects… and the way weiland did it has a pretty long and proven track record…. i’ve read enough of these nba gms, scout and draft analyst opinions to know that they don’t really have a consistent methodology to judge off…

    But you said yourself that Weiland stopped doing this a few years ago…so much has changed since then, both in the nature of both the NBA game and in the use of statistical info beyond the box score. In fact, what you suggested about baseball scouts using RBIs and batting average is not really the case…I rarely hear a baseball discussion nowadays without an advanced moneyball-level statistic being thrown around.

    As to Weiland, in 2016, his top-3 PG prospects were Kris Dunn, Gary Payton II and Denzel Valentine. He eventually had Jamal Murray 1 spot higher than Denzel at #12, and had Fred VanVleet at #32, but he had guys like Skal, Onuaku, Devonta Davis, and Zhou Qi in his top-10 (and Bender at #11). Yet Macolm Brogdan didn’t even make his his top 60, he had DeJounte Murray at #44 and Pascal Siakam at #28. This is not to say that he’s not “good” but there are clearly gaping holes in his work. And like with many analytical approaches, his work will get marginalized as new models that go beyond the box score into PPP metrics via Synergy come about…or he will might make that correction on his own.

  263. For the record, I don’t hate Quickley as a prospect. I’d just like he a lot more at 33 than at 25 and after Flynn, Bane, Tyrell Terry, and probably some others were off the board.

    What I do hate is the process that went into choosing Quickley.

  264. Early Bird:
    For the record, I don’t hate Quickley as a prospect. I’d just like he a lot more at 33 than at 25 and after Flynn, Bane, Tyrell Terry, and probably some others were off the board.

    What I do hate is the process that went into choosing Quickley.

    I think we are all at least skeptical of the process…so the consensus is between skeptical and cynical…is that fair?

  265. As to Weiland, in 2016, his top-3 PG prospects were Kris Dunn, Gary Payton II and Denzel Valentine. He eventually had Jamal Murray 1 spot higher than Denzel at #12, and had Fred VanVleet at #32, but he had guys like Skal, Onuaku, Devonta Davis, and Zhou Qi in his top-10 (and Bender at #11). Yet Macolm Brogdan didn’t even make his his top 60, he had DeJounte Murray at #44 and Pascal Siakam at #28. This is not to say that he’s not “good” but there are clearly gaping holes in his work

    this is what happens when you let perfect get in the way of good…. just because it’s not perfect doesn’t mean it’s not good.. that’s why i keep saying this stuff isn’t a crystall ball… if you have other work you want to point to that’s better then you should present it… other than that… how do you know it’s not good?

    what are the alternative and what track record does that have? ed weiland famously was the only who thought jeremy lin was an nba player… and he was right…. and it just so happens his model is really good at picking out those sleeper types…. it also gets a lot of things wrong too….

    just because you don’t get everything right doesn’t mean you have a license to just use anything you want…. that doesn’t work in any other field….

  266. his work will get marginalized as new models that go beyond the box score into PPP metrics via Synergy come about…

    and i’m asking you how? you’ve scrutinized weiland’s model… but what makes you think ppp metrics via synergy is better? what are you basing that opinion on?

  267. djphan: and for every scouting report that you can pick for one guy who gets it right for one particular guy (e.g., jordan clarkson)…. they can’t replicate that because they don’t even know how they are successful…. these analysts are not even watching all the games… they are reporters reporting on what gm’s and scouts tell them… that’s what chad ford was/is… he’s not an analyst…. same thing with givony… schmitz is actually an analyst but he only breaks down film and doesn’t make too many judgements of a player…. the stepien guys are capable of some great analysis but they are basically just a meme now….

    Some of the film guys are indeed analysts…they use numbers to start and then look for film that goes more deeply into the numbers and they get into what the numbers are actually saying. For example, there are lots of reasons why a given player is a poor rebounder for his size or position (i.e. low box-score rebounding numbers). Is it a problem with boxing out? Is it about motor? Is it about low strength/high center of gravity? Is it about other players on the team being primary rebounders? (this was recently discussed re: Russell Westbrook depressing his teammates’ rebounds and Robin Lopez incresing his teammates’ rebounds.)

    Clearly, a) we’re at the apex of knowing what can be derived from a box score, and b) at the infancy of what can be derived by other quantifiable metrics. I see it as a natural evolution…and many serious analysts are incorporating non-box-score data into their work. I humbly agree that I have not seen a study yet that proves that PPP/Synergy data is more predictive than box-score derived metrics, but neither have I seen anything saying that PPP/Synergy data is less predictive. I only know that Weiland’s work is full of gaping holes, and I don’t see a way that those holes are going to be patched up by rejiggering the box-score metrics.

  268. I humbly agree that I have not seen a study yet that proves that PPP/Synergy data is more predictive than box-score derived metrics, but neither have I seen anything saying that PPP/Synergy data is less predictive.

    you do realize how ridiculous this sounds right?

  269. djphan: you do realize how ridiculous this sounds right?

    It doesn’t sound ridiculous (and I would suggest that you be careful with your adjectives) because just about every serious scout is using PPP data. It’s not like i’m talking about some bizarre new undertaking, or doing some Trumpian “prove that there wasn’t voter fraud.” What’s curious to me is that you are so doggedly dismissive of PPP data in defending a model that rated Skal, Onuaku, Devonta Davis, Zhou Qi, and Dragan Bender as top11 prospects. All 5 of those guys are either complete busts or end-of-rotation players. The actual NBA draft had only 3 players arguably in that category (Chriss, Bender and Maker). You would think that you would have ample reason to look well beyond Weiland’s work, it that’s the best he could do with box score stats in 2016 at the height of his powers.

    In an interview with 538, he said the followng just before the 2016 draft:
    “If a player tops all of these benchmarks, he’s a decent prospect. If he falls below in any one category, that’s a red flag. The further below the number he falls, the less of a prospect he is. That’s just the starting point, though — I’m flexible in cases like that of a young player who has improved during the year, or a player who has been better in past seasons. The benchmarks aren’t a strict line, but more of a guideline. I try to look at the whole picture…I’ve been doing it this way since the 2007 draft, so it’s probably time to update the system a little for the changing NBA. I hope to get on that this summer.”

    I wasn’t able to find anything since then…I wonder why…

  270. I’m a Raider fan in the NFL. Jon Gruden is our GM. He makes “Immanuel Quickley” picks all the time— he drafts guys in the high first round that he could have gotten in the second round, and drafts guys late in the first round that he could have gotten in the third. Some of the guys he drafts turn out to be good, but it’s still a waste of draft capital.

    Quickley might turn out to be a nice player but it would have been worth the gamble to try to snag him at 33. He probably would have been available, and you could have gotten another interesting piece at the end of the first round instead.

    If he turns out to be good, it’s still a Jon Gruden-style bad process, good result.

  271. In Quickly, your model dismisses his prospects because he doesn’t get blocks or steals. Yet PPP data from Synergy suggests that he is actually a decent defender, and it looks at specific instances where the opponent’s PPP in a given situation is directly attributable to him. If he’s in the 80-90 percentile range in those categories, why would it matter as much whether the opponent’s possession ends in a missed shot, or a non-steal/block turnover, or a steal/block by someone else on the team?

    While I don’t know the answer because I doubt that I could find data about other players who had similarly high ratings in these categories but low ratings in steals/blocks.

    What I DO know is that in 2018, a Weiland disciple added “wingspan differential” to his analysis. Sounds like there are lots of holes to patch up…why not take a look at Synergy stats?

  272. It doesn’t sound ridiculous (and I would suggest that you be careful with your adjectives) because just about every serious scout is using PPP data. It’s not like i’m talking about some bizarre new undertaking, or doing some Trumpian “prove that there wasn’t voter fraud.”

    z…. you’re basically saying ‘i don’t know if ppp/synergy stats’ are better than weiland’s but i’m going to say it anyway based on zero evidence’…. not only are you relying on something with zero evidence… you are trashing on something else with zero evidence….

    weiland’s model is soooo bad… but we have no idea what the results are for these other things… you’re relying on a pure appeal to authority…. what have these authorities given you as far as reasons to trust them? have you seen their results? have they explained why it’s predictive? have you given these things the level of scrutiny you have given weiland?

    it does not seem like you have…. if you have i apologize.. but you haven’t really communicated that so far… and that’s why i’m asking…

  273. JK47:
    I’m a Raider fan in the NFL. Jon Gruden is our GM. He makes “Immanuel Quickley” picks all the time— he drafts guys in the high first round that he could have gotten in the second round, and drafts guys late in the first round that he could have gotten in the third. Some of the guys he drafts turn out to be good, but it’s still a waste of draft capital.

    Quickley might turn out to be a nice player but it would have been worth the gamble to try to snag him at 33. He probably would have been available, and you could have gotten another interesting piece at the end of the first round instead.

    If he turns out to be good, it’s still a Jon Gruden-style bad process, good result.

    Even at 33, why take him at all if there’s a high probability of him being a bust? I think that part of the argument against Quickley is that he wasn’t a good pick even at 33!

    I don’t think the process was great…although let’s remember that the same guys turned #27 and #39 into #23 and then turned that into #25 and #33. So it’s not like a complete comedy of errors took place. And to be fair, the gap of 8 pick slots is not as cavernous as what you are describing with Gruden.

  274. djphan: you are trashing on something else with zero evidence

    I just laid out his 2016 results, which were an absolute train wreck that was outperformed at the top by the actual draft…is that not evidence? Are you even open to considering it?

  275. Great discussion Z-man and Diphan

    I think the boxscore tells you most of what actually happened that’s critical, but it’s obviously missing a few important things, doesn’t tell you the why these things happened (coach, system, role, teammates, strategy), doesn’t tell you how to weight each factor properly, doesn’t tell you how to fit players together to maximize the “team level” output etc..

    You can try to fill in some of the blanks with more data, but you’ll still be missing a lot of things critical to the analysis.

    On top of that, when you are talking about drafting, you are talking about teams playing different strength schedules (another monkey wrench on top of an already complex analysis) and the fact these are kids at different stages of physical development, playing the game for a different number of years, with different work ethics, etc..

    You can argue about this crap all day.

    The bottom line line is that it’s hard enough to value the pros that you see all the time correctly. That’s why we have so many disagreements unless there’s a big difference. When it comes to draft prospects it’s an educated guess.

    Sometimes things are so complex the best way to learn is by trial and error and seeing what actually happens and what works on the court.

  276. Same starting lineup as Friday. MKG and Rivers still out. Thibs says he’s going to try to get Quickley some time tonight.

  277. Thibs also says he wants to play Obi and Randle together more tonight than the one minute they shared on Friday.

  278. Alan:
    Same starting lineup as Friday. MKG and Rivers still out. Thibs says he’s going to try to get Quickley some time tonight.

    The thing that bothers me about these guys being out it that it’s harder to guess what the eventual rotation is going to look like when they are back.

    Rivers is going to get some time at the guard position (not that I necessarily think he should) . So who’s out when he comes back?

    Frank? DSjr? Burks? Where does that leave Quickley?

    If MKG gets some minutes does that mean Knox is completely out of the rotation at SF? Does Knox become the 3rd PF behind Randle and Obi?

    There are so many similar players with different skills it’s going to be a tough job to settle on 10 players or so and a set rotation.

  279. I would not bank on MKG being in the rotation, even if/when he beats out Iggy or Spellman for the final roster spot. Rivers is gonna play when healthy, though. Burks’ minutes are safe, since he’s one of the few guys on the roster who can create his own shot. Frank’s probably are? DSJ and/or Bullock probably seem most at risk, though Quickley is the wildcard. If he’s hot right out of the gate, then the backcourt rotation becomes a real jigsaw puzzle, even if Burks sometimes slides up to 3 when RJ is on the bench.

  280. Alan:
    I would not bank on MKG being in the rotation, even if/when he beats out Iggy or Spellman for the final roster spot. Rivers is gonna play when healthy, though. Burks’ minutes are safe, since he’s one of the few guys on the roster who can create his own shot. Frank’s probably are? DSJ and/or Bullock probably seem most at risk, though Quickley is the wildcard. If he’s hot right out of the gate, then the backcourt rotation becomes a real jigsaw puzzle, even if Burks sometimes slides up to 3 when RJ is on the bench.

    It seems pretty clear that Thibs does not think much of Iggy, Spellman, Powell, Pinson or Harper beyond G-League filler. I can’t see MKG replacing anyone other than one of those guys, but his contract makes him seem like a courtesy invite. I’m guessing that he gets waived.

  281. In other words, no way that Thibs goes beyond the 11 who played thus far plus Rivers and Quickley. That seems perfectly reasonable. They seem to need a backup C more than a wing, so Spellman has a good shot if he works his ass off. Then I’m guessing Iggy is #15 but it won’t matter much…he’ll be back and forth to the g-league unless there’s trades or injuries.

  282. I just laid out his 2016 results,

    that is one year… he has drafts that go back to 2007…

    did you look at any one year of how synergy stats translate to the nba?

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