New York Knicks 106 – Atlanta Hawks 91 – Game Recap

What is this? Is this some magical artifact shaped like two mountain peaks, only upside-down? What in the world should I do with this W? I wasn’t ready anymore to write about… a win? And a from start to finish line one to boot?

Seriously, where do I begin? This was like watching a usual Knicks game, only from the other side of the mirror.

Oh, ok, I’ll start from the beginning: the Knicks came out with guns blazing and got to an early 14-0 lead thanks to some good shooting and abysmal Hawks offense. Dennis Smith Jr was hitting his shots (not the free throws, though). Mitch dunked a lob just 5 seconds after he got onto the court. John Jenkins shot and hit with a vengeance against the team that originally drafted him, and the first period ended 28 to 13. The lead could have been larger but the Bockers couldn’t stop turning the ball over. In the second quarter the table turned, our offense ground to a halt (Kadeem Allen’s efforts to involve people notwithstanding) and the Hawks scored 38 points. Mitch blocked two shots but was involved in early foul trouble, with a useless foul on a double on Trae Young 27 feet from the basket. The Hawks weren’t ever able to gain the lead, though, earning a couple of ties (47-47 and 51-51) before a Dotson three broke the tie for good. The third quarter never saw the Knicks gain enough separation (at most they led by 9), and the fourth was a matter of keeping the Hawks at bay (Smith was pretty good at it). An unremarkable win, but a win nonetheless that ended the longest losing streak in Knicks history. It’s amazing to think that, as bad as we have been, we don’t have anymore the worst record. The Phoenix Suns, who have arguably more talent than us, are 0.5 games behind us. That Devin Booker must be really worth a max extension (thank you, Janis)! I don’t know, I don’t feel so happy about this win, not for the tank but because it was pretty meh all around.

The good:

– Dennis Smith Jr (19 pts, 2 rebs, 7 ast, +9 +/-) played the game you’d like to see on a regular basis from him, free throws aside. 19 points on 10 shots, 7:1 assist/TO ratio, passable defense. If this was what you’d get from him every night, he would be the surefire starting PG for the next two years and nobody would bat an eye. I don’t like particularly the type of player DSJ projects to be, but what he is now doesn’t scream “future failure” as some egregious examples we have on our roster when they were in their second year in the League. His shooting problem reeks of Nick Anderson-itis, so maybe the coach who taught DeAndre his “Who ya got?” routine could be helpful. Speaking of DeAndre, DSJ found him on a couple perfect lobs. I can’t wait for him to develop the same chemistry with Mitch.

– Kadeem Allen (14 pts, 2 rebs, 9 ast, +8 +/-) keeps on being a net positive for this team, as his steady hand and defensive competence provides stability to the team. I can only imagine Steve Mills watching him play and getting ready to offer him a 14/2 contract with a player option for the second year. Seriously, though. Kadeem is averaging good numbers in his Knicks stint (.136 WS/48 included). I don’t know if he has a place in the future of this team, but it’s really hard to get a feel of that right now. Let’s enjoy his teamplay while we get sad thinking that Frank has never produced like this.

The bad:

– I don’t know who told Luke Kornet (11 pts, 3 reb, 4 stl, +17 +/-) he can create from the dribble, but I guess it’s the umpteenth side effect of the “eat what you kill” offense. I mean, I have no issue with Kornet shooting 10 threes in a vacuum, provided that those 10 threes are open and/or last second heaves. Those 6 attempts from two, though (all misses) were extremely terrible. I used to have a cover image on Facebook that looked exactly like one of the attempts from Luke tonight (pic taken on a Brooklyn playground): a shot from 18 feet, left leg up, turning around to face the basket. The pic was super cool, especially because it didn’t included the aftermath: a clunk on the rim very similar to the ones Luke experimented last night. Anyway, his fit with the team is becoming clearer by the day. I hope he sticks and he never forces a shot again.

Fun-sized bits:

– What about Mitch? He played pretty well as usual, but Fizdale kept him on the leash thanks to two quick fouls in the second quarter (I would have left him on the floor, but whatever): 6 points, 7 boards, 4 blocks, 1 steal in nineteen minutes of play. To be honest he had 5 blocks, but one of them was on a halfcourt heave after the buzzer. It was exhilarating and very stupid (why risk a foul there?).

– Dotson played well enough, apart from his errant shooting. 13 points and 5 boards in 21 minutes.

– DeAndre had another double double and is looking a bit more interested in the game than when he got here. My guess is that he likes playing for the Knicks (no idea why). We really might have a puncher’s chance to retain him at a fair price. 10 points, 13 boards, 3 blocks in 30 minutes.

– Our bigs need to do a better job of knowing which opposing bigs can be left open on the perimeter. Alex Len = good. Dedmon and Spellman = bad.

– Knox ended with 10 boards, a good number. I think it’s a fluke, since most of them ended in his hands without him making a serious attempt to get them. Mitch’s boards, instead, were of the good kind (effort and focus). Kevin scored 9 points on 2-for-9 from the field. A lot of cringe-full drives to the rim that ended nowhere. At this point Knox looks like a parody of himself (who in turn is a parody of Andrew Wiggins), but in the end he’s only a rookie, let’s try to be patient here.

– John Jenkins had the second most shots for the Knicks. He started on fire and cooled off a bit. I like him, but when a shooter (not a shot creator) ends up with 13 shots in 27 minutes something’s gone wrong, much like Kornet’s 16 shots in 31 minutes seemed to indicate. The five boards were cool, though.

– Noah Vonleh is looking lost on the court. It’s discomforting, but that’s what it is. Also, has anyone ever botched more alley-oops and putbacks than him in a season for the Knicks? Iman Shumpert : layups = Noah Vonleh : dunks when you get the ball while you’re already jumping. Also, he was able to post a negative plus/minus in this game, the only Knick to do so.

– Quiet night for Trier, who shot only twice and hit both times. 6 points, 1 rebound, and nothing else in 19 minutes.

All in all, a good team effort by our Knicks. They can go to rest for a week, as I will, while we root for Knox in the Rising Stars Challenge and DSJ in the Slam Dunk contest. I think Knox will suck but Dennis can win it. See ya!

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Farfa

Just an Italian basketball fan with an insane passion for all things Knicks (and yes, linguine Alfredo is not a real Italian dish).

69 thoughts to “New York Knicks 106 – Atlanta Hawks 91 – Game Recap”

  1. From the last thread:

    So if Mitch Lob stays healthy, stays on pace, and finishes the season top 5 in the entire NBA in FG% and top-5 in Blocks per Game what kind of recognition will he receive? How will that affect his reputation?

    It all depends on whether he’ll have a 20 points game somewhere. Unless he does, the media at large will ignore him as a small sample size darling.

  2. Great cap as usual, Farfa. I guess we shouldn’t be worried about keeping Vonleh anymore. Anyway, from the last thread:

    There is no debate about who our starting PG should be. DSJ is our best point guard prospect and probably our best point guard, period.

    Kadeem is set to be an RFA unless we sign him to a new contract before the offseason, right? It would be great if we could get him to sign a Trey Burke contract right now.

    40 players from the 2017 draft class have played 500+ minutes and Frank Ntilikina’s WS48 ranks 40th among them, so while I hope he’s ahead of Mudiay in the rotation I’m not going to be able to gin up outrage if he’s not a major factor for Fizdale down the stretch.

  3. Yeah, he’s just going to get ignored anyway. The media barely pays attention to the best guys in this archetype, like Capela or Chandler or even Jordan, so they won’t pay attention to a rookie who didn’t play in college and averages 15 mpg for the Knicks.

  4. Good stuff Farfa. Kind of the Knicks to think of us all on Valentine’s Day. Kadeem looks pretty decent so far. If Frank had put up a .136 with good D in 225 minutes we’d all be pretty stoked.

    Fiz taking Mitch off the court with three fouls is sort of hilarious. Teaching him a lesson I suppose but just let him play and foul out.

  5. At this point, the question of playing Frank or not is zero-sum game. IMO he is a wasting asset as he is not demonstrating much improvement if any. He should have been traded for a pick at the deadline. A number 1 would have been pie in the sky, #2, even a year or more out would have been more likely. Now, playing him is just solidifying the tape of him frozen at the point of attack just looking to dump the ball off like Charles Oakley used to do on the perimeter. Don’t get me wrong-Oak was great and even developed a reliable outside shot as his only move other than putbacks and the occasional drive to the hoop
    Instead, play Kadeem Allen and DSJ and develop a greater understanding of their value to the team and to the market.

  6. I can’t imagine Kadeem keeping this up. I also think it’s worth giving Mudiay minutes.

    I mean, Mudiay sucks but Kadeem is on the older side and smacks of a Trier like post-contract falloff.

  7. That’s why I’ve referred to him as a snake oil salesman.

    I’ve run into personalities like this in the past. Typically they are high level executives. They’ll take you through a presentation about the company and talk glowingly about the culture change, new direction of the company, great financial projections, etc.. You’ll come away feeling like this is going to be the greatest company in the world. Then 3 weeks later 3 of your best friends in the company (highly competent workers) get laid off, they suspend payments to everyone’s 401K, the stock is down 20%, and all hell is breaking loose.

    I think part of “political” success in this world (not just actual politics but in business also) is being so wildly optimistic you border on delusional. Superiors, subordinates, and just people in general respond much better to optimistic delusions than uncomfortable truths. Every CEO I have ever known was wildly optimistic and exuded that kind of positivity no matter how badly things were going.

    In the end though, the truth usually prevails (though usually not before the optimist has lined his pockets and moved on to the next gig).

    Whoa, has Strat turned on Phil Jackson?

  8. re the question of Mitch’s rep around the league, i couldn’t care less. the higher his rep, the more likely he is to be traded, which is the last thing i want to see. He is our best prospect since Ewing, and i want us to stop trading our best prospects.

  9. (Posted this by mistake in older thread)

    Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that it took Kittles to show Mitch how to reduce his fouling? And that his defensive rebounding improved after Jordan got here? Does this not indicate a failure on the part of our coaching staff? And Frank/Dot/Hez/Baker/Trier/Knox are not exactly positive exhibits of our crack staff at work. Vonleh is regressing hard. Other than Mudiay, I think they’ve done a poor job at what they’re supposed to be focused on this season which is in stark contrast to Westchester staff. Everybody seems to be getting worse except Mitch and his improvement happened through external factors. You could argue that they all are marginal players not capable of improvement so Fiz and his staff are not to blame but then are you saying the result would be the same if these guys were on a different team with a different coaching staff?

  10. Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that it took Kittles to show Mitch how to reduce his fouling? And that his defensive rebounding improved after Jordan got here?

    Clearly we just need to bring in Durant and Kyrie, then our whole team will suddenly blossom into All-Stars.

  11. Is anyone else disturbed by the fact that it took Kittles to show Mitch how to reduce his fouling?

    When I put up the post with that quote I had the same thought. Seriously? No one can talk to him about this on the coaching staff? There was actually a lot of “huh?” kind of stuff in there.

  12. @9 – I think you’re essentially saying you don’t want the rest of the league becoming wise to Mitch’s value and suckering us into a trade in which we take back lesser value. I don’t blame you.

  13. It all depends on whether he’ll have a 20 points game somewhere. Unless he does, the media at large will ignore him as a small sample size darling.

    How many times do I hear NBA commentators gush about some player’s 30 point game, completely ignoring the fact that the player was 12-30? Donovan Mitchell is a prime example. I don’t know if we’re better or worse having Mitch fly under the radar.

    Also, Farfa, I love your line “At this point Knox looks like a parody of himself (who in turn is a parody of Andrew Wiggins)” That made me laugh.

  14. horrible recap.

    1. minor transgression. zero mention that jimmy and rosalynn carter, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary before mitch was born, attended the game and complied with the kiss cam. this was the only action i noticed mudiay attending to all game, although he and frank had some borderline kiss cam moments of their own.

    2. unforgivable omission. zero mention that robin s performed a house-musak version of show me love at halftime, which quieted even the planted make-noise section who spent most of the game jeering IsoZo every time he touched the ball. show me love was written before the birth of every knick who played save deandre jordan.

  15. I mean maybe nobody on the staff has been telling him not to foul people, but I think it’s also likely his trainer is doing a bit of self promotion.

  16. Also players like Chandler, DeAndre, while generally underrated, they are not totally ignored either. They each have an Olympic Gold Medal and an All-Star appearance… Capela is 24. People will catch on if he keeps it up. Although I don’t see him getting Switzerland a gold medal.

  17. Nobody has to tell Mitch anything about fouls. At some point it’s not coaching. Of course, early in the season, Fiz was pulling him after racking up fouls. you mean to say Fiz (or anyone else on the staff) didn’t say “dude you gotta stop fouling so much, here’s how-don’t leave your feet so easily, don’t jump into your opponent”, etc.. I attribute it to Mitch not having played organized ball for a year and getting his legs under him. As he grows into his frame he’ll be even more under control. Also, from what i can see he is a smart player and a becoming a better position defender as time passes. The league will adjust and start putting a body on him to prevent being posterized, at which point he’ll have to “re-, re-, re-adjust” (pace, Great One) and get to spots earlier than his opponent. For god’s sake, look what he just did to Embiid.

    But i will admit that he should have a good, dedicated big man coach to work with him. I said that for years about KP to no avail.

  18. I’m glad Vonleh is regressing. He was one of many Knicks to put up 25 good games out of nowhere and sucker people into thinking he had miraculously turned a corner on his otherwise bad career. This season alone, we’ve seen Kornet, Vonleh, Trier, Kadeem, Mudiay, Kanter and Dotson all have “breakout performances” that had some people calling for them to be extended. Last year it was Beas, Burke, KOQ, Kanter, and Troy Williams. Pretty much all of these guys regressed within the same season of their alleged breakout.

    Any player can have a good run of games, especially on a bad team. It doesn’t mean they’ve suddenly put it all together. It doesn’t mean they need to be locked up to a new contract that they will almost certainly underperform.

    Vonleh had four bad seasons and one good half season. Chances are, he’s just not that good. Guys like him are a dime a dozen in the veteran’s minimum pool every offseason.

  19. robin s performed a house-musak version of show me love at halftime

    To be honest, this thing brought me back to my childhood and now I’m crying in a corner while thinking about all my mistakes.

  20. Interesting, there is a Robyn and a Robyn S and they both sing a song called Show Me Love. I am a major Robyn stan, the Swedish one, and I know she would never associate herself with Dolan.

    Also interesting, Dell Demps out in NO.

  21. Pelicans’ SRS under Dell Demps:

    1.28
    -3.11
    -3.12
    -1.98
    1.13
    -3.56
    -1.69
    1.48
    1.08

    Ryan Anderson, Omer Asik, Solomon Hill, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins. The fact that Demps wasn’t fired five years ago is beyond my ability to understand.

  22. @22

    I always knew Owen had great taste.

    (The game was in Atlanta and they were celebrating some sort of pride event, so it’s not related to Dolan in any capacity I would say).

    Well, now I want to read all the stories about how the Pelicans played the Lakers exactly like they wanted and all was going according to plan… that was really weird.

  23. Hopefully the Pels hire someone who really likes the type of package that the Knicks can offer for AD.

  24. I woke up in a cold sweat today after having a nightmare that the Knicks ended up with the #5 pick and drafted some lanky Yahoo from Ubetchacan that never sees the floor in a blue and orange uni.

    That aside, DSJr is certainly showing much more than Frank ever did. He can run an offense. I wish he was more careful with the ball and I hope that his foul-line yips disappear. But I think he’s a “real” point guard. I can’t be sure because I haven’t seen one on this team since … Clyde?

    If the Hawks had any real players the Knicks would have lost last night by double digits. They have great streaks followed by complete head-scratching sequences. We haven’t seen a complete game all season.

  25. Progress, especially with young players, is not linear and it isn’t always a straight line forward. And I also do not buy the idea that Mitch wasn’t getting better until Deandre showed up and he spoke with Kittles. Maybe his talk with Kittles coinciding with Deandre showing up solidified some stuff in his mind and body that the coaches have been working with him on since training camp.

    Knox regressing can easily be attributed to the dreaded rookie wall.

    Trier came to camp better than expected. But he is still a rookie. Teams were caught off guard by him but now they know what’s up and he’s having to adjust.

    Mudiay’s been hurt.

    frank has regressed for sure. He’s also had injury issues.

    Maybe the coaching staff does suck but I question the logic that improvement from a young player is supposed to just steadily go up on a nice curve in all areas as a season progresses, especially with rookies. I think its fits and stops. Good games and bad games. A player doesn’t do X well but does Y well, so they work on X a lot, try it out in games and maybe has some success but because they’re focused on skill X, skill Y takes a back step for a moment. I think a lot of this learning then gets processed in the off season when they really have the time to work on those skills and can reflect on the season as a whole and go over a whole season’s worth of tape.

    Just my two cents.

  26. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them! says:

    Strat, it seems like you’re projecting a lot of shit onto Fizdale. What exactly do you want him to say? Do you want him to be brutally honest about the players after every game?

    I prefer honestly and balance expressed in an acceptable way.

    For example, you don’t have to say “Frank totally sucks on offense and if he doesn’t start making some shots he’s going to have a tough time getting minutes”.

    You can say, “I love what Frank brings to the team on defense and we need his pass first mentality on this specific team, but he knows he’s got a long way to go on offense”.

  27. Really looking forward to the 1000 + posts about how we let Willy go for nothing when we decide to not resign Mudiay this summer.

    huh?

  28. Stratomatic "I'm tired of the Knicks paying lip service to DEFENSE. Get defenders & two-way players. Then play them! says:

    I think some of the ups and downs in stats this year are role related.

    Fizdale has been pushing almost everyone (except Robinson) to do things outside their current “circle of competence”. The idea being that he doesn’t really care that much about your stats or winning right now. He cares that you are trying to develop new skills.

    example.

    Ideally, Dotson should probably be shooting mostly spot up 3s off kickouts and after coming around screens and things like that. When he gets room and is in rhythm he looks a lot better than when he’s creating off the dribble. So the question becomes do you want him to play defense and remain in a very limited offensive role so his TS% is higher or do you want him to become a better basketball player?

    Maybe it’s time to ask Robinson to add a baby hook or 10 footer.

    Who cares about his TS% now?

  29. Demps certainly deserved to be fired for his history of ineptitude, but that Deadspin article is trash.

    1. Demps essentially got the Lakers to set an incredibly high opening bid on AD, which any team that wants him now has to beat.

    2. LeBron and HIS management tried to strong arm an NBA franchise into giving up their best player. If you think AD was the driving force behind all this, I’ve got some Florida swamp land to show you.

    3. If players want to control where they go, don’t sign extensions and become free agents. The idea they should get ALL the money and ALL the control is ridiculous.

    Mike

  30. Really looking forward to the 1000 + posts about how we let Willy go for nothing when we decide to not resign Mudiay this summer.

    huh?

    I also had no idea what this was supposed to mean

  31. @34

    I agree, if anything the way Demps handled the AD trade request was probably the best thing he has done for the Pelicans.

    I’m fine with Davis wanting out, he’s entitled to decide where he wants to work and to do what he did to the franchise, which was pretty much to tell them he won’t be re-signing. But that also obviously means that the Pelicans are well within their rights to go about it in the way they think it’s going to be optimal for them.

    Neither Davis nor the Pelicans are victims, they both knew what they were walking into.

    I do think Demps should have been fired a long time ago simply because he was bad at his job, and as soon as they decided AD wouldn’t be traded, firing him now is optimal in the sense that the deadline is gone, so they can start preparations for the draft and free agency with the new FO already. People are just massively overreacting to something that was expected and not even that bizarre or poorly handled in the first place.

  32. Demps certainly deserved to be fired for his history of ineptitude, but that Deadspin article is trash.

    i totally agree – i imagine though the quality/tone of the article will probably be on par with most of what is written today about this situation…

    it would’ve been cool to get to see AD out here on local LA broadcasts – but, i didn’t see any issue with Demps holding on to AD past the trade deadline, “possibly” leaking all the LA trade offer details, or – even sitting him out for the rest of the season…

    i wish i could remember whom said it – (some talking head on espn) – but, i think they pegged it right when they stated this situation reflected most poorly on the lakers FO…basically, magic and pelinka don’t really know what they’re doing…

  33. wrong sport – but, sport salary management nonetheless – man, the yankees keep killing it in off-season moves…how the heck are they getting to use severino so cheaply for so many years…

  34. I also had no idea what this was supposed to mean

    I think you can just file it with “Picks are risky. That’s why it’s called the lottery” in the “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown” folder.

  35. @33 – I think that indeed, adding the baby jumper or hook shot is the next step for Mitch. He should also start working on hoisting 3’s. I don’t expect those for a while but the NBA will catch on to his P&R soon and that means they’ll fall off and dare him to shoot. He needs defenders to be somewhat wary of his outside shot.

    According to the Deadspin report it was the AD injury and how he just walked out of the arena that got Demps canned. Demps was given the boot and the shaft.

  36. According to the Deadspin report it was the AD injury and how he just walked out of the arena that got Demps canned. Demps was given the boot and the shaft.

    I’m sure Alvin Gentry calling the whole situation a dumpster fire didn’t help.

  37. Alvin Gentry calling the whole situation a dumpster fire didn’t help.

    I don’t get it. What’s so bad about a dumpster fire? They are easy to contain, and all that’s being burned is garbage anyway. (Or did Gentry mean to call it a “Dempster Fire”, meaning it was so bad that only firing Demps could put it out?)

  38. He should also start working on hoisting 3’s.

    people are gonna laugh, but there’s video of
    him shooting 3s with form that looks tauntingly good. his ft shooting this year is a loud counterpoint and at times approached shot put status. but it actually looks like it has improved already, at least a bit. i wouldn’t totally write it off. he has the one thing that so many would be three point shooters lack and never develop. he shoots with a relaxed, fluid, compact motion. still need the touch of course but it’s ok to dream.

  39. I don’t get it. What’s so bad about a dumpster fire? They are easy to contain, and all that’s being burned is garbage anyway.

    Perspective is everything. One man’s dumpster fire is another man’s controlled burn.

    What’s your thoughts on clusterfuck?

  40. Mitchel Robinson is as untouchable of a prospect as we’ve had since Ewing. In other words, we’ll be trading him along with all of our young assets and draft picks for the privilege of maxing out AD and his creaky body.

  41. Question: What are the odds of the Knicks drafting outside the top 4 and Dallas landing the #1 pick?
    Answer: 100%

  42. was going through different sites concerning nba rookie rankings year to date:
    http://www.nba.com/rookie-ladder
    https://hashtagbasketball.com/fantasy-basketball-dynasty-rookie-rankings
    https://uproxx.com/dimemag/nba-draft-top-5-picks-ayton-bagley-doncic-jackson-young-best-class/

    it’s funny, it wasn’t until i clicked on this reddit post that mitch’s name really stood out:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/nba/comments/aqx8zb/top_5_rookies_based_on_different_metrics/

    this article has knox rated between john collins and jarret allen amongst the participants in the rising stars challenge:
    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2820581-ranking-the-star-potential-of-every-player-in-the-2019-rising-stars-challenge#slide3

    yeah, gimme jarret allen over knox each day every day…

    i’m sure things will change as the season nears it’s end, but, i think we may be the only folks whom are shining a spotlight on mitch…

    it’s weird – particularly in light of steve ballmer’s comments about teams not having more advanced statistics at their disposal than what’s publicly already available…

    man, this might be the only place in the universe where statistics carry their fair share of weight amongst other evaluation criteria…

    as i was rummaging around different articles – one did spotlight kadeem allen a bit as an up and coming two way player…

  43. What’s your thoughts on clusterfuck?

    Generally speaking, I think I’d rather be in the vicinity of a dumpster fire than in the vicinity of a clusterfuck, regardless of whether it was a figurative one or a literal one. But there are possibly a few exceptions I could come up with…

    (Now if Gentry really wanted Demps fired he should have called it a shitstorm. There’s no ambiguity there.)

  44. Generally speaking, I think I’d rather be in the vicinity of a dumpster fire than in the vicinity of a clusterfuck, regardless of whether it was a figurative one or a literal one. But there are possibly a few exceptions I could come up with…

    A dumpster fire will always smell unappealing, but from my own experience, clusterfucks have greater variance in the risk-reward redolence factor.

  45. I dunno, clusterfuck sounds like it could at least have some positive outcome, whereas a dumpster fire is just bad in every iteration.

    Agreed on shitstorm, though… Dumpster fire beats it by a mile.

  46. I guess in that sense, the Knicks are a clusterfuck, because even if the odds are against it, things could still work out.

    Charlotte is a dumpster fire, maybe – no real chance of anything good ever happening. Even Cleveland could win the lottery.

  47. Question: What are the odds of the Knicks drafting outside the top 4 and Dallas landing the #1 pick?
    Answer: 100%

    If you add “or Cleveland” after Dallas, then yes, 100%. The Cavs deserve one more chance to fuck up a #1 pick.

  48. The thing I disagree with about the Deadspin article is their facile articulation of Davis’s demand.

    I wonder if anybody mentioned that they could have started that overhaul fruitfully a little over a week ago by trading Davis away, instead of pitching a stupid, punitive tantrum over the prospect of one of the sport’s biggest stars expressing an opinion about where he’d like to work.

    See, I don’t knock professional athletes for being unhappy about many terms of their employment. MLB, e.g., has come under fire recently for their treatment of superstar free agents, which begs questions about how they handle players up through arbitration and into their free agency. Consider how ridiculous it is that Bryce Harper, called up to the majors virtually as young as a player can be called up, has played 927 game over seven seasons and is just now hitting the open market. Consider that the NFLPA sold out their rookies to pad the exorbitant salaries of their franchise players, all the while failing to secure long-term healthcare and adequate pensions for a class of employees that are subject to some of the harshest legal working conditions in our country. Consider the unethical decision to disallow legal adults from entering the NBA or NFL in wholesale collusion with “amateur” sports leagues that pimp young people in ways that would make pro-track youth soccer leagues blush.

    The problem I have is that Davis did express an opinion about where he wanted to play in the summer of 2015 when he signed his contract well before it was required of him. Full stop. He should have been counseled that he was taking on the risk of organizational failure by having a player option only in the summer of 2020, and that, just as the Pelicans would be required to pay him if he lost both legs in a deep-sea diving accident, he would be required to play for them if they mismanaged their roster. And that decision was one he …made, himself.

    And I think if you poke holes in that argument — that Davis merely expressed an opinion about his organization’s failure, and therefore where he would rather play — the whole criticism of Demps’ actions falls apart.

    Yes, you can argue that purposely sabotaging the Lakers’ chemistry is unprofessional or outside of the decorum among members of the NBA cartel. But the Lakers don’t have clean hands here, and they were all the same angling to win the zero-sum game of taking more from the Pelicans than they had to give up.

    Demps is inept. He’s a total failure as a GM, among the worst in the league since he was hired. But I’m not going to sit here and act like I wouldn’t be unhappy if Magic Johnson and Rich Paul started diminishing my resources through unilateral power.

  49. “Question: What are the odds of the Knicks drafting outside the top 4 and Dallas landing the #1 pick?
    Answer: 100%”

    Let’s not even contemplate that clusterfuck of a dumpster fire just yet

  50. we’ve invested time in analyzing the state of both a clusterfuck and a dumpster fire…i think we’d be remiss if we failed to include FUBAR in to our discussion…

    with the draft looming (a top five pick all but secured), an excellent (and a couple of decent) prospect(s) on the roster, no KP decision pending – no more timmy – i firmly believe the new york knickerbockers can no longer be classified as fucked up beyond all repair…

  51. What outcome does Dolan’s Razor predict as the most likely upcoming clusterfuck?

    1) Dallas ending up with the #1 pick in this draft and selecting Zion to pair with KP and Doncic?

    Or

    2) Dallas ending up with the the #2 pick in this draft and still selecting Zion to pair with KP and Doncic because Perry and Mills fall in love with Barret after his 3-3 workout?

  52. @57
    How about the Knicks hit at #1 and draft Zion who is traded 3 years after devolving into an underperforming, oft-injured malcontent while Dallas picks RJ Barrett at #2 who becomes a Mount Rushmore-level player.

  53. Ryan Anderson, Omer Asik, Solomon Hill, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday, DeMarcus Cousins. The fact that Demps wasn’t fired five years ago is beyond my ability to understand.

    He’s also the guy who fired their most successful coach, one that the players liked, and they immediately regressed big time the next season.

  54. How about the Knicks hit at #1 and draft Zion who is traded 3 years after devolving into an underperforming, oft-injured malcontent while Dallas picks RJ Barrett at #2 who becomes a Mount Rushmore-level player.

    Pretty Knicksy, but what if the Knicks draft #3– Cleveland takes Barrett (“we have K-Love, don’t need a PF”) and Phoenix takes Morant (“we need a PG next to our max wing and future-max big!”). Knicks are on the clock. The board is freaking the fuck out, setting a record with 2,000 comments in the draft thread: “How did we just slide and STILL pick Zion? This is unreal. This shouldn’t be happening!”

    Knicks select… CAM REDDISH, DUKE UNIVERSITY

    Dallas picks #4 and we all die in a clusterfuck inferno.

  55. Yeah, Jowles has got the worst one, outside of incredible stuff like getting the first overall and trading it for Andrew Wiggins or some absolute garbage scenario like this.

  56. Any Dolan’s Razor scenario first involves winning a bunch of pointless games late in the season. And then whatever team leapfrogs us at the very end gets the #1 pick. Dolan’s Razor would also have to mean Cam Reddish would be a Knick.

    Followed by max contracts to people not named Kyrie, Kawhi or Kevin, and instead people named things like Kemba and Demarcus. Somehow Tim Hardaway Jr would come back to the team in this scenario, he’s the manifestation of Dolan’s Razor that you just can’t kill, like Rasputin

  57. Also, if Zion busts, I think we all need to eat that crow. I believe I called him the easy #1 pick during those preseason exhibitions against the Canadians squads, and then he went to non-conference play and got better, then ACC play and got even better (look at his numbers in conference play… unreal).

    It would be real Knicksy for him to have the greatest freshman season of all-time while being the easy #1 player in the sport and then be a total wash in the NBA, but I think if you asked the best front offices in the NBA right now, they’d all take Zion #1. So it wouldn’t be a uniquely Knicksy outcome.

  58. @63 THJR 3.0 – I can’t wait!

    Yeah, I’d put money on Cleveland getting the #1 pick another fucking time because we haven’t suffered enough.

    Demps may have been incompetent but I love what he did to Lebron and the Lakers – Life is full of disappointments….

  59. Ahhh, Dolan’s Razor… seems like it’s only a matter of time before we load up Knickerblogger and an ad for “We’ll always have Mitchsanity” pops up.

  60. “It would be real Knicksy for him to have the greatest freshman season of all-time while being the easy #1 player in the sport and then be a total wash in the NBA, but I think if you asked the best front offices in the NBA right now, they’d all take Zion #1. So it wouldn’t be a uniquely Knicksy outcome.”

    True. What about we wind up fourth, we give Dallas backs its 2 picks to move up to #1 and then Zion flames out and the guy picked at #4 becomes a HOFer?

  61. “What about we wind up fourth, we give Dallas backs its 2 picks to move up to #1 and then Zion flames out and the guy picked at #4 becomes a HOFer?”

    You guys are killing me, please stop…

  62. It would be real Knicksy for him to have the greatest freshman season of all-time while being the easy #1 player in the sport and then be a total wash in the NBA

    So, per Dolan’s Razor, if he’s drafted by the Mavs he’ll be the next LeBron, but if he’s drafted by the Knicks he’ll be the next Greg Oden. Got it.

  63. What’s your thoughts on clusterfuck?

    It’s a bit too much of an anarchic approach for me, but people are free to organize their orgies however they see fit. Dumpster fires are kind of wasteful though, you get more hobo heating per volume of garbage with a barrel fire.

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