New York Knicks 106 – Indiana Pacers 102 – Quick(ley?) recap

You know how often are the little things that go and make a difference? Like, I don’t know, adding just a pinch of pepper to a sauce and make it go from meh to amazing? Or like diving just the fish side of a nigiri into the soy sauce and not the effing rice? Or putting a few drops of water into your Lagavulin as to enhance the flavor and the zest?

Yeah, I think you get me.

And you know what? That’s exactly what happened to the Knicks getting Immanuel Quickley back into the rotation. Now, it’s not that he’s been great (he hasn’t been). It’s not that he shot the lights out (he didn’t, mainly because he didn’t shoot much so we don’t know if he could – I highly doubt it for now but we have no proof). It’s just that between him and Austin Rivers (!) the Knicks suddenly had a few more chess pieces to deploy a functional backcourt rotation for 48 minutes, minus a few clock ticks from Bullock who sometimes becomes nearly unplayable for unknown reasons. Maybe the weird patch of hair in the back of his head is a microchip that makes him glitch from time to time. The Knicks were fine throughout the whole game, even with Bad Julius coming to play in the first half (1-7 from the field, 4 turnovers in the first two quarters), but when you added that bit of extra spacing given by Rivers and Quickley, the mechanism looked very much smoother.

The story of the game is basically this: the Pacers had a hard time getting Sabonis going (kudos to Randle for his adequate defense, but also kudos to Oladipo for wasting so many possessions), and so even with Brogdon balling out of his mind and hitting everything in sight the Knicks stayed close or got ahead for the whole game. Turner was impalpable on defense, while on offense he did hit a few open corner threes (I guess the invisible 6th man didn’t come to play this time). The Knicks rebounded like crazy, which is becoming a constant: nobody in the starting five corralled less than five rebounds, and the starting five as a whole outrebounded the entire Indiana team 40-33. Barrett hit his shots, Payton drove into the heart of the defense and got what he wanted, Mitch was a beast on the offensive glass, blocked two shots (more on that later) and altered many more, Randle stayed with his head in the game and got near a triple double again even on an off-night, while getting away with a breakaway dunk after a steal that was pretty much the defining moment before the real defining moment. In short: a very enjoyable game with a few great highlights.

The fun-sized good:

– Look. It’s still early, but how can you not be impressed by what Thibs is doing to this team? This was the classic game that, during a season like this and with a roster like ours, you didn’t mind losing at the end. Because all we want, as always, is competitiveness, and hell if we got it. We’re getting it in spades, be it on a night when everything clicks or on a night when everything doesn’t (the Toronto game). I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m totally enthralled by the early results with these mostly forsaken players. Thibodeau is the MVP of these first six games, way more than whatever Randle is doing on the court. I’m finding hard even to hold against him the fact that we don’t shoot as many threes as the other teams, because it looks like we’re shooting quality threes. And when the right personnel is on the court, the spacing is enough to get quite easy buckets at the rim.

– Remember when we were asking for a 30mpg Mitch? Yeah. Looks like we were right. And looks like Mitch is doing his best at staying in his lane. I also have this feeling that after Mitch will have proven that he can stay on the court without fouling too much and therefore he can properly anchor the defense we will see a bit more on offense from him. I feel like he’s terrified of doing anything that might cost him the ire of Thibs, and rightly so. But I won’t be surprised if by March Mitch will start shooting the occasional jumper because he’s earned it. Anyway just having a guy who’s a superb finisher around the rim and on putbacks is not a weapon to be overlooked. That’s probably the main difference between Mitch and Noel.
Also: that block on Malcolm Brogdon’s three with 40 seconds to go and the Pacers down by five. Tremendous athletic prowess, amazing reflexes in recovering the ball and passing it to a teammate in stride. That play was the equivalent of Robocop shooting a rapist in the nuts: impressive, intensely satisfying and morally right.

– Barrett icing the game from the line. Do I have to remind you how he struggled last year from the stripe? That’s what development looks like. I wonder what Keith Smart is doing these days, maybe he’s teaching kids to hit rims in some Pop-a-shot.

– Quickley and his moxie. Dude is fearless and crafty. It makes you realize how some players will never get it, just because they weren’t born with it. He did. Will he ever be a good NBA player? Who knows. Anyone doubts he will ever be an NBA player? Don’t think so. I would bet a few hundred dollars he will have a lasting NBA career though, just based on these few games. Overreaction much? Maybe, but the kid is preternatural in a few things, and that’s what you search in young players. Not (just) potential.

The fun-sized bad:

– And that’s where we talk about Kevin. It’s good that he has a place in the rotation. It’s very bad that he’s not yet a capable contributor night in and night out, and looks useless on bad nights. Kid’s shooting 38/29/66 for the (early) season. And he’s supposed to be a shooter. This is like hiring Donald Duck to play the part of a lucky mouse. Hope. Hope is all we have left for Kevin.

A quick note:

Paul Westphal passed away yesterday. Yeah he was a Knick once, and he even won Comeback Player of the Year in 1982-83 playing for the Bockers. But his passing brings sadness to me not because of that; you see, before becoming a Knicks fan, I started following the NBA in the 93 offseason, right on the heels of the Bulls-Suns finals. I just loved those Suns and became a fan of them (I think I already wrote something about that in the past). Westphal was the coach of that team, and by transitivity he was my favorite NBA coach from day one. I don’t even know if he was good. I know he was at the helm of the first team that made me fall in love with the NBA, even if I kinda forgot about him later. Still, it’s sad to see your childhood heroes die, even when their memory grew distant in the meantime. I can’t imagine what will happen to me the fateful day when Wally will be called to become the titular color commentator for the Knicks. You know what I’m saying here. I can’t even bring myself to write it out loud. So cherish every single minute of your favorite guys, because sooner or later they will be gone and you will be miserable. Just enjoy the time we have.

Until next!

 

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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).

360 thoughts to “New York Knicks 106 – Indiana Pacers 102 – Quick(ley?) recap”

  1. I really don’t want to get too overly excited about a win here or there but yeah, I am.

    It’s mostly about the coach. Thibs won’t let this team fail. When he sees stupid, he calls it out. You can see that players are afraid of slacking off, even for a single play. If you’re not hustling back, if you make a lazy pass, if you turn the ball over, if you launch a corner airball, you’re gonna hear it. The Knicks are playing 48 minutes of basketball. And he’s simplified the game. Players know their roles. We were all wondering if Mitch was going to launch long-range missiles after watching his offseason workouts, but he hasn’t. Tell me that wasn’t Thibs threatening playing time? Even after a ridiculously short preseason, the players know where to be, how to move, how to spread the floor.

    Atlanta, OKC, Utah and Denver coming up. Let’s see if we can go .500 through that.

    Knicks are tied with the Nets and Celtics.

  2. That play was the equivalent of Robocop shooting a rapist in the nuts: impressive, intensely satisfying and morally right.

    Chef’s kiss.

  3. Nice recap Farfa, interesting insight about Robinson’s fear of shooting.

    I’m pleasantly surprised by Rivers’s attitude, not only on the floor (he’s always been fearless, bordering on reckless), his IG post about the team was hearting.

    Looks like the players are buying Thibs & Co. and this is great but it makes me pout on all the months we thrown away with the snake oil salesman and his staff.

    For now I don’t wanna hear about “meaningless win” and “lottery odds”, just watching this team play its heart out every game is a refreshing feeling.

  4. I posted in the last thread but I’m putting it here too. Happy with Thibs minutes allotment. Nice to see guys in rhythm and allowed to play through mistakes. Good for confidence, conditioning and cohesion. Seems like Payton and Barrett are really benefitting.

  5. So far I think the minutes allocations have been fine. Randle looked a little gassed here or there, but when Obi is back he’s going to get minutes. That will decrease the load on Randle.

    For me, the outstanding problem is solving the glut at guard and maybe adding a PF instead.

    Burks and Rivers are playing very well so far, Bullock has been good on and off, but we already know what they are. They are “decent” backups at best. I think we want some experienced vets to be part of the team because we want to compete, win games, and help the young players develop, but we also want Quickley, Frank, and even DSjr to get minutes so we know who to keep, who to trade, who works well together etc.. out of the younger players. I think we should probably trade one of the veteran guards and I’d still like to move DSjr. We don’t want a situation where 1-2 young players aren’t seeing enough (or any) minutes because Rivers, Burks, and Bullock are the blockers. If those guys were “really good” players, that would be fine. They would probably stick for a few years. But they are backups on a good team and may be out after this year anyway. One can go.

  6. So very strange to have the Knicks with the #8 DRtg in the league in spite of playing the league’s hardest schedule so far.

    We are essentially playing the lion’s share of the minutes with the same players as last year — add in a few minutes of Burks, Rivers, Quickley, and Toppin, but really, I would wager 80% of the minutes have still been played by the same team that looked like complete ass under Fizdale and just slightly better than that under Miller. I never really thought the NBA was a coaches’ league but obviously in can be the opposite – ie. Terrible coaching can really matter in the wrong way. And just think – this is all with an extremely abbreviated training camp.

    I thought Randle played great. RJ played about the same as he has, except the shots went in. And I have an irrational love for Quickley. He just knows how to get fouled, can obviously shoot the rock, and just competes. The only downside like Farfa said was how bad Knox looked (he seems to have the greenest of green lights even though he is not close to the best shooter on the team). But great to see Thibs give him the hook quickly.

    And Rivers? Rivers is good? Rivers is good.

  7. Meanwhile, Tommy Beer is always great for B-R diamonds – it is a small sample but how about this:

    Julius Randle is averaging 7.2 assists and 10.5 rebounds per game.

    Per @bball_ref,
    He’s just fifth player in the last 40 years to average more than 7 dimes and 10 boards thru the first 6 games of a season.

    The other four are:
    Larry Bird,
    Scottie Pippen,
    Kevin Garnett,
    Giannis

    If Thibs, Payne, and Johnny Bryant have unlocked Randle into even 80% of what those 4 other players are, they should just pack up the coaches of the year trophies and send them now. (Also sort of amazing that Lebron has never done that). And ALL 6 games we have played have been against top-11 defenses in the league. (PHI #1, CLE #2 (!), TOR #4, MIL #7, IND #11).

  8. There was a sequence in the first half last night where Mitch really kept us afloat with just putbacks and it was glorious to see, really showed how an offensively limited Center can still affect the offense if he has the work rate and positioning (and Mitch’s crazy athleticism).

    Most of the minutes have been played by the same guys Fiz was playing but I’m with Farfa, that really isn’t the point. The “new” minutes are all going to legitimate NBA players, Burks, Quickley, Rivers and Noel, and it makes a world of difference to have those 50+ minutes being distributed amongst actual NBA level rotation players instead of DSJr, Portis, Ntilikina, Gibson etc. The starters know they don’t have to do too much because the bench will hold its own and we can exploit weaknesses on the other end much much better.

  9. Deeefense: I’d still like to move DSjr

    The once “OMG no!” thought of trading any of Frank, Knox and DSJr is now gaining popularity.

    BTW, here’s my secret dream. The Wizards continue to disintegrate. They trade for cap space all three plus a couple of 2nds in exchange for Bradley Beal. I think Thibs finds a place in the rotation for Beal.

  10. I think Bullock stays in the rotation. Thibs has called him his best wing defender. (Small sample size alert: Oladipo went 0-for-7 last night when Bullock was guarding him.) If you assume the DSJ experiment is over, and that Frank now only plays when other guys are injured (or if an opposing guard is destroying us), then once the team is at full health, we have 11 guys Thibs in theory wants to play:

    PG: Payton/Quickley
    SG: Bullock/Rivers
    SF: RJ/Burks
    PF: Randle/Obi/Knox

    Thibs is probably not playing 11 guys, nor should he. Looking at this list, Knox is the guy who should sit. But will he be? The 1-3 spots are interchangeable enough that Thibs may opt to sit one of those guys (not RJ or Elf) most nights.

  11. Frank: So very strange to have the Knicks with the #8 DRtg in the league in spite of playing the league’s hardest schedule so far.

    Thibs is a great coach.

    I’m not sure why people were so closed minded to that other than they wanted to tank for another 10 years and thought Atkinson would be the better 10 year development tank commander. The problem in Minny was the player’s unwillingness to work hard on both sides and play team ball. That’s why Butler left. When asked about it Butler made it clear Thibs wasn’t the problem. You have to find “winning” players that will work hard on both sides and play the right way anyway.

    This team may not have a legitimate high level starter on it (though Randle is playing like one) and one of the best defenders has been limited by injury but they are actually playing “good defense” on top of sharing the ball and winning games against good teams. Imagine if we had a few good two-way players.

  12. I think Bullock stays in the rotation. Thibs has called him his best wing defender. (Small sample size alert: Oladipo went 0-for-7 last night when Bullock was guarding him.)

    I assume that’s why Thibs is overlooking the streakiness and subpar offense so far. He defends well. If he can get his shot going, he’s a pretty good player.

  13. Alan:

    Thibs is probably not playing 11 guys, nor should he. Looking at this list, Knox is the guy who should sit. But will he be? The 1-3 spots are interchangeable enough that Thibs may opt to sit one of those guys (not RJ or Elf) most nights.

    I totally agree. I don’t know what a Knox defender can say to convince me he deserves to play at all. In 15 minutes, Knox fouled McDermott on a 3 point attempt, air-balled a corner 3 and scored 0. A wings that can’t defend the perimeter or shoot from the perimeter with consistency does not belong in the NBA.

  14. Alan, I don’t know if Thibs will do it, but based on production Knox should be odd man out in those lineups. Even in the Tampa family-night ‘breakout’ game, he shot ~35% from the field and 25% from three (5-14, 2-8). He doesn’t move like a wind-up toy as much anymore, but he still flat-out sucks.

  15. I don’t think rotation matters too much because players will get injured, catch covid, etc, it’s going to be a weird year anyway, so all these guys will eventually see minutes, even the bottom of the barrel ones like Frank and DSJ or Iggy. I like Bullock as a starter mostly because teams have to respect his shooting and he’s shooting way below his career averages now, which should mean he’ll get back to a decent level eventually.

  16. They trade for cap space all three plus a couple of 2nds in exchange for Bradley Beal.

    This doesn’t check out as something the Wizards would accept even when you adjust for dream decision making.

    I’m not sure why people were so closed minded to that other than they wanted to tank for another 10 years and thought Atkinson would be the better 10 year development tank commander.

    Yeah, so many people were saying we should tank for 10 years. Like, so, so many people. I bet you can find countless examples of people saying we should do this, or at least one, because so many people were saying it.

  17. thenoblefacehumper: This doesn’t check out as something the Wizards would accept even when you adjust for dream decision making.

    Beal is at the end of his current contract. Then he goes into a potential walk season with his extension. The Wizards might be rethinking that max extension they gave him. The Knicks have the cap space.

  18. Thibs gets a lot of credit as a great defensive coach and I think that’s not fair. He’s a great coach overall.

    As a team manager, he has been really smart about the rotation – smarter than all of us, for sure. He put 5 players from last season’s team in the starting lineup and it was a stroke of brilliance. With a short pre-season there wasn’t enough time to develop chemistry so he’s giving players that have already developed cohesion on the floor for the bulk of the minutes. You might say that Mitch wasn’t an original starter, but we all know that that was Thibs coaching up his young center’s “attitude”. He’s inspired Barrett with a huge minutes despite ice-cold shooting. He’s gotten Randle to share the rock. He’s gotten the entire team to play intense man defense.

    On offense, he’s simplified the game tremendously. The game is simple. Play#1: Payton looks for the Robinson high pick and roll. If the defense tightens the perimeter, it leaves Randle one-on-one in the post with Bullock and RJ waiting for the corner 3. Play #2: Randle tries to drive into the paint. He either shoots of draws defenders and kicks to the open 3. That’s pretty much it in the half-court game. When the bench comes in, it works the same.

    Simplifying the offense meant that Thibs could work on team defense. There is still lots of room to improve here but they are switching well on the perimeter and the right players are collapsing on drives into the paint. This is all showing up in the stats.

    Thibs excites me more than any player. He’s the big difference.

  19. Begley said that Rose & Co. will take 15-20 games to evaluate our current personnel.

    “This year, maybe more than others, there are many NBA-ready free agents looking for jobs. If you watched the Knicks shoot 3-for-36 from three on Thursday and are wondering whether they’re looking to add any shooting, keep mid-January in mind.

    Entering the season, some Knick decision-makers wanted to assess the roster at the 15-20 game mark before considering any roster changes.

    That doesn’t mean that the roster is going to change at the 15-20 game mark. It just means that the Knicks, entering the season, wanted to take a few weeks to assess the roster before considering any moves.”

  20. That doesn’t mean that the roster is going to change at the 15-20 game mark.

    I would not expect any changes at the margins at that point, barring a significant injury. It’s not that the team can’t be improved, but that a healthy version of the roster is pretty well-balanced. Ideally, we’d have a stretch 5, but that in theory is what they’re trying to make out of Spellman. There are vets who would be improvements over Bullock or Noel or Rivers, but would they be improvement enough to be worth the price of trading for them?

    The one exception would be if a real point guard shakes loose, but I’m not sure who that would be at this point.

  21. Obviously competence is to be preferred to incompetence, but I’m still not sure I’m happy where this is going. The Knicks need another lottery pick, particularly in this great a draft.

    Where’s it heading with Randle? Pick up his option, make him the focal point … and then … what exactly? … when he wants a max contract? He absolutely, positively thinks of himself as a max player and with current trends he’ll have the assistz and the reboundz to market himself as such.

    I assume/hope the idea of maxing the guy is nausea-inducing around here.

    (I mean, shit, he could start making noises about being pissed off if the Knicks exercise their option for next year and he wants a max now. What then?)

  22. I hate to say this here on KB, but if you build a “winning culture” (?) with this roster (lot of mercs but you’re also developing RJ, Mitch, IQ, maybe Obi, who knows about Knox and Frank) it’s still a step in the right direction.

  23. Brian Windhorst: NBA teams are going to need a James Harden trade soon.

    In the summer of 2018, Masai Ujiri kept thinking about the difference between a good team and a great team.
    The Toronto Raptors president had built good teams; he even won the NBA Executive of the Year award in his third season as general manager of the Denver Nuggets. He built a bunch of 50-win teams. He built teams that won division titles. He built teams that went to the conference finals.
    But Ujiri asked himself: Had he truly ever built a great team in Toronto — one that legitimately could win it all?
    As he spent days mulling over what could have been the riskiest move of his career, he finally came to grips with the answer and then executed the trade for Kawhi Leonard.
    At the moment, the NBA has a bloated middle class. There is a large group of teams, maybe as many as a dozen, that are on the edge of contention. They have a star or two. They have a path maybe to reach the second round of the playoffs or maybe even the conference finals, if things fall just right. They are good; they are not great.

    Enter the Knicks? (I’m wearing my +5 plate armor so I’m ready for the attacks…) Add the Dallas 1st round picks to the following proposed trade.

  24. Still early, but as kind of envisioned around here, Westbrook has fallen off a cliff.

    I could be talked into Harden. I’d probably prefer truly building around the young guys, and keeping all the picks and getting in the lottery again next spring — but Harden is preferable to the mercs.

  25. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Thibs excites me more than any player. He’s the big difference.

    I agree somewhat but not entirely. There’s no question that a coach having a higher profile than any of the players is a refreshing change. Knowing that even his “star” players better do what he tells them to do and do it well or else, is a huge advantage.

    But I’m really excited about the players too, even the mercenaries.

    Noel hasn’t gotten much banter here, but he was a huge factor last night and having 48 minutes of shot-blocking dunkers is fun. That move Noel made down the paint was a joy to watch.

    Rivers has a steadying veteran presence about him. He’s been through the wars as a backup, and seems to really want to be a leader of this young group. At his contract he looks like an absolute steal. I really don’t care if he’s getting minutes over our scrubs like Frank and especially DSjr. Just seeing him think his way around the court, like he did when he drove and took that reverse layup because that’s what the defense gave him, is a sight for sore eyes and an example to the younger guys.

    And some folks around here owe Elfrid Payton and Julius Randle an apology. Elfrid is playing very solidly after a tough first 2 games. Randle has been rock solid from the get-go. Sure, Thibs gets some credit, but they deserve credit for playing very fundamentally sound on both ends.

    And how can you not like what Burks has done?

    So between them and the young guys (RJ, Mitch, IQ, OBI, and yes, even Knox and Frank) I’m down with these players.

  26. Randle’s done some nice things, but there’s no future with him, and I don’t hear anyone in the fanbase explaining what the future is with him.

    The Knicks are still a LONG ways away from anything and can’t begin to afford the idea of not being in the lottery next spring.

    I hope/assume no one wants them to make the playoffs this year. That makes zero sense.

  27. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Still early, but as kind of envisioned around here, Westbrook has fallen off a cliff.

    I could be talked into Harden. I’d probably prefer truly building around the young guys, and keeping all the picks and getting in the lottery again next spring — but Harden is preferable to the mercs.

    I couldn’t be talked into Harden. He’s absolutely the kind of player that Thibs doesn’t need right now.

  28. I’m not “building around” Thibs, either lol. It’s a players and a talent league. At the dreg levels, yeah there’s a big delta between a Fizdale and a Thibs, but at the levels you want to play at, that’s irrelevant.

    We really need to keep this in mind. The deltas above a Steve Mills or a David Fizdale don’t really mean anything (*), because the top levels of the league don’t employ the Steve Mills’s and the David Fizdales. We’re talking nomenclatures and stuff the San Antonios and the Milwaukees and the Miamis and the Utahs and the Portlands don’t talk about, because they never employ people like Steve Mills and David Fizdales.

    (*) And, in reality, the same can be said for the delta above old and new Randle.

  29. E, two-way G-Leaguer: Randle’s done some nice things, but there’s no future with him, and I don’t hear anyone in the fanbase explaining what the future is with him.

    Why isn’t there a “future” with him? If he continues to play as well and as hard as he’s playing right now, he can be either kept for another year at the same salary, extended, or traded. You may not like the thought of keeping/extending him, but it could happen and it could be a good thing at the right price. As to being in Obi’s way, let Obi play better and earn extended minutes…until he does, play him 15-20 minutes a night, including some minutes with Julius at the 5.

  30. Z-man: Why isn’t there a “future” with him? If he continues to play as well and as hard as he’s playing right now, he can be either kept for another year at the same salary, extended, or traded. You may not like the thought of keeping/extending him, but it could happen and it could be a good thing at the right price. As to being in Obi’s way, let Obi play better and earn extended minutes…until he does, play him 15-20 minutes a night, including some minutes with Julius at the 5.

    OK, what future do you envision with him? Are you picking up his option? That decision is a few short months away. What happens if he bitches about his option being picked up and makes noises about wanting a long-term extension instead?

    It’s very easy to say he’s playing pretty well, but that’s not really the issue here. Can he play this role on anything but a mediocre team? Would you want him to? He certainly wants to and you certainly don’t want to pay him in line with that role, only to reduce his role as you will inevitably have to if you ever want to be really good.

    That’s still the problem with his future. He isn’t good enough to have this role on a good team and there’s no indication he wants a lesser role or would even be able to fill a lesser role. We shouldn’t lose sight of this just because the MIllsdale clown show has left town.

    I know these comments have an ants at the picnic kind of feel to them, but they’re kind of the truth, no?

  31. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    I’m not “building around” Thibs, either lol.It’s a players and a talent league.At the dreg levels, yeah there’s a big delta between a Fizdale and a Thibs, but at the levels you want to play at, that’s irrelevant.

    We really need to keep this in mind.The deltas above a Steve Mills or a David Fizdale don’t really mean anything (*), because the top levels of the league don’t employ the Steve Mills’s and the David Fizdales.We’re talking nomenclatures and stuff the San Antonios and the Milwaukees and the Miamis and the Utahs and the Portlands don’t talk about, because they never employ people like Steve Mills and David Fizdales.

    (*) And, in reality, the same can be said for the delta above old and new Randle.

    There’s nowhere to go with this argument. Thibs is going to be a consideration in building a team, but since he only cares about having guys who play hard and smart, it’s not exactly limiting.

    Coaching is more of a thing than you are suggesting. Spoelstra was a huge factor in getting that Miami team to the finals, and a bad or even average coach might not have even gotten to the playoffs with that team.

  32. Don’t mercenaries mean a guy that is making a lot of money? We don’t have that, except for Randle, but he was here the last year, and can be on the next one too. For me they are guys fighting hard for their place in the NBA, and that’s what we want. They can all make more than they’re making right now, so that’s a great incentive. Last year Mills and his stupid idea to outspend for everyone only got us players that didn’t have any incentive at all to play harder, they were at their top (or even higher, like Portis).

  33. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever:
    Brian Windhorst: NBA teams are going to need a James Harden trade soon.

    Enter the Knicks? (I’m wearing my 5 plate armor so I’m ready for the attacks…) Add the Dallas 1st round picks to the following proposed trade.

    Has no one learned from the 2010 Melo trade? Why are people here so intent upon repeating that mistake by blowing up team depth and taking on a bloated contract for a player who will totally throw off the very brand of basketball Thibs is coaching where the ball is passed around and guys hustle on defense? I don’t understand why we just can’t let this team develop and be right now without a crazy trade scenario.

    PS – I know Harden is three times the player Melo ever was and that his metrics are all-NBA level. I just don’t like tampering with the team right now for a guy who will most definitely clash with Thibs.

  34. Z-man: Thibs is going to be a consideration in building a team, but since he only cares about having guys who play hard and smart, it’s not exactly limiting.

    Something tells me Thibs wouldn’t be against a Harden trade ….

  35. And i want to know what you’re drinking, GoNY! There’s no way any of your proposed trades is accepted by WAS or HOU. You want to trade bad players for all-stars, and think they’ll accept it??

  36. cybersoze:
    Don’t mercenaries mean a guy that is making a lot of money? We don’t have that, except for Randle, but he was here the last year, and can be on the next one too. For me they are guys fighting hard for their place in the NBA, and that’s what we want. They can all make more than they’re making right now, so that’s a great incentive. Last year Mills and his stupid idea to outspend for everyone only got us players that didn’t have any incentive at all to play harder, they were at their top (or even higher, like Portis).

    Mercenaries means average to meh middle-aged guys on one-year or otherwise very short deals where they’ve made no commitment to the team and the team has made no commitment to them. Athletically, they’re in their prime years and so occasionally play well and give fans the happies, but there’s ultimately no real there there and the marginal wins they generate are meaningless and counterproductive.

    Thibs is coaching them up pretty well, but ultimately it’s going to be counterproductive. Again, that has an ants-at-the-picnic, eat your vegetables kind of vibe to it, which I get, but it’s unavoidable. This is not the future state of the team we want.

  37. Also there’ll be no trades before Feb 5 at the very least, because that’s only when the players signed this season are available to be transfered (Payton included). So chill, enjoy the games, and by game #22 we’ll have a better idea of what to do.

  38. why are ppl so eager to trade away our future for a soso team?

    the national media push the lolknicks narrative precisely because of this mentality…. it’s been a nice 6 games but we’re going to hit a rough patch no matter how good you think we are at the moment…. nothing about this season is normal and as promising as we’ve looked it’s still only 6 games with many bubble teams disappointing at the moment…. so us looking good against some of these bubble teams shouldn’t be indicative of much…

    if you’re happy with where we are what do you think of cleveland? they’re 4-2!

  39. I rooted hard for the Knicks to win last night. That part has a dualist, yin yang thing going with the rational brain. I’m not exactly sure how to sort it out, but at the end of the day, I’m a rationalist.

  40. The Knicks are 3rd in the league in defensive eFG%. They were 20th last year.

    We’re average or below average at literally everything else, but that good defensive eFG% is keeping us afloat. We’re #1 in the NBA in 3PT% allowed, which is of course a huge part of the good defensive eFG%.

    I don’t know if we’re really THAT good at eFG% prevention but we’re going to be a hell of a lot better than 20th.

  41. Small sample size alert, but the Knicks have the #12 SRS after playing the #1 hardest schedule in the league. I doubt this level of play from Randle is sustainable (this goes double for Burks), but if Randle is 75% of what he’s been the past several games we could plausibly be in the back end of the playoff hunt. Do we want that? I’m not sure. Suggs/Cade/Mobley all look worth tanking one last time for. In any case, I only see us making the playoffs if two conditions are met: 1. Randle continues to play at a legit all-star level; 2. one of the young guys (RJ or IQ, probably) steps up. In that case I couldn’t be too mad about getting a back end spot in the playoffs. If it were just a matter of Randle overperforming that would be a bummer, but this team needs some extra juice to get to 8, Imo.

    What to do with Randle if he keeps up this level of play all year is a fascinating question. There’s three options here: trade him at the deadline, exercise the team option and ink him to a new deal, or exercise the TO and let him walk next year. I wouldn’t want even this version of Randle at max contract money (I think he’s just too limited on defense for that)–in fact I probably wouldn’t pay more than 20m for him, unless the better (and currently unpublished for 2020-2021) productivity metrics are eye popping. Whether you keep Randle is contingent on whether you think this version of the team competing for a mid-seed in the EC after penciling in spending in FA along with some development from RJ is better than the first or two that you could probably get for Randle (plus whatever you can get from Burks), at the trade deadline.

    I still think we’re too far away from contention to not take further bites at the draft apple–we still only have two real prospects in RJ and Mitch. So I lean toward trading Randle and Burks at the deadline. But it’s a testament to how fun this team has been that I wouldn’t mind to see them stick with what they got and make a run for the playoffs, either.

  42. I don’t think there is much future in playing Randle 38 minutes a game.

    There is definitely a future in Mitch learning to defend without fouling. I think what I liked best about last night was how many shots he altered without getting a block.

    Going to enjoy our success while it lasts. Feels good!

    And great cap Farfa!!!

  43. Hey Farfa, nice recap again, and for this one i’ll point to what made me laugh harder:

    Maybe the weird patch of hair in the back of his head is a microchip that makes him glitch from time to time.

    :D

    And kudos for bringing up the expression of the game: Bad Julius!

    I love it, just as i loved the “invisible 6th man”. We have some really funny people around here. :)

  44. If they make the playoffs with Randle as point forward and a lot of merc minutes, it’s unsustainable and I’m 110% against. If they make the playoffs with IQ and others running the point, a spaced floor where RJ can work effectively, and a generally modern offense with modern sets and modern action like we saw the last five quarters of preseason, I’m fine with it. That’s sustainable and something that can be built on and that you can envision as a very workable high-level future state.

    But they need another lottery pick.

  45. Also I think it’s obvious that you pick up Julius’ TO if you don’t trade him at the deadline. He’s by all indication performing at or above his contract value right now and his value as a trade chip will probably stay the same next year (if he keeps up his level of play) since he’s an expiring. If he wants a max contract, you simply keep your cards close to your chest and tell him to take a hike when the time comes, or you trade him for assets before then. But if the Knicks and his camp can agree on a reasonable number, then I wouldn’t mind having Randle for another 4 years as the starting PF. We shouldn’t let Obi influence our decision-making here, since we have no information about whether he will in fact be an NBA player. Randle can definitely be a part of the Knicks’ future, at the right price. If the price isn’t right, then who cares–we’ll get a pick or two out of him.

  46. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada:
    Randle can definitely be a part of the Knicks’ future, at the right price. If the price isn’t right, then who cares–we’ll get a pick or two out of him.

    This. There’s no rush on Randle. In fact, I’d argue there’s no rush on this season. We need to sort out a lot regarding this team before making any big changes.

  47. Yeah, Burks (assuming he’s healthy) can get us something at the deadline. That’s a gimme to do. What to do with Randle has a lot of additional things to consider, including what we’re offered, Randle’s own play, and how Toppin — who in theory was drafted to replace Randle — is looking that deep into the season.

  48. I knew I would press some buttons :)

    E, two-way G-Leaguer: I could be talked into Harden.

    E, two-way G-Leaguer: Something tells me Thibs wouldn’t be against a Harden trade ….

    It’s not far fetched.

    cybersoze: And i want to know what you’re drinking, GoNY! There’s no way any of your proposed trades is accepted by WAS or HOU. You want to trade bad players for all-stars, and think they’ll accept it??

    Would it? Forget the players involved. The trades would be for picks. Beal isn’t worth more than one 1st. I omitted RJ in the Beal trade too. Harden is worth two. The players are fan optics. And these work only if the situation in WAS or HOU become Jamal Adams bad.

    djphan: why are ppl so eager to trade away our future for a soso team?

    I’m old enough to remember the last championship. I want to be alive for the next. I don’t think the team would be so-so.

    cybersoze: Also there’ll be no trades before Feb 5 at the very least, because that’s only when the players signed this season are available to be transfered (Payton included).

    All of the players I listed are trade eligible immediately.

    Ntilakilla: I know Harden is three times the player Melo ever was and that his metrics are all-NBA level. I just don’t like tampering with the team right now for a guy who will most definitely clash with Thibs.

    I wonder if they would.

  49. E, two-way G-Leaguer: OK, what future do you envision with him? Are you picking up his option? That decision is a few short months away. What happens if he bitches about his option being picked up and makes noises about wanting a long-term extension instead?

    I can’t answer to hypotheticals…and neither can you. So why worry even one iota about it? The bottom line is, if he plays very well, it’s a great thing for him and for the team. He has more value no matter what you decide to do with him.

  50. E, two-way G-Leaguer: Can he play this role on anything but a mediocre team? Would you want him to? He certainly wants to and you certainly don’t want to pay him in line with that role, only to reduce his role as you will inevitably have to if you ever want to be really good.

    That’s still the problem with his future. He isn’t good enough to have this role on a good team and there’s no indication he wants a lesser role or would even be able to fill a lesser role.

    But why do we even have to consider that question right now? How do we know what he’s thinking about his role? You’re just making shit up and trying to pawn it off as a worst-case scenario to be worried about.

    Tell you what, let’s have all of our players play well enough to have these kinds of worries about them…then we can start worrying when the time is right for it. It would be a great problem to have.

  51. we also have the mitch contract to iron out so how this next year plays out in totality will determine the next 5 years or so…..

    this draft is pretty deep as well as having consequential players at the top…. so i wouldn’t feel too bad about missing out on mobley and suggs and to a lesser extent cade…. altho it would be really really sweet to add those guys… these other guys at the tail end of the lottery are also really really good… a lot better than it normally is….

  52. There is absolutely no way that this team trades for Harden right now. It’s almost trolling to bring it up. There is also zero evidence that Thibs would be in favor of such a trade, other than him saying that you needed stars to win. We are not even on the list of teams Harden would prefer, meaning that you’d be getting a disgruntled player who wanted out even before he got here. It’s a preposterous conversation to have.

    I wonder how many of these ridiculous hypotheticals we have to go through before it’s decided that Rose is not going to lurch at the quick fix? I mean, some folks here were absolutely convinced that Westbrook was coming here for several picks and Mitch. Or that we were going to bet the farm on Gordon Hayward. Or that the Knicks were going to trade a bunch of #1’s to move up for LaMelo, or even Obi. Or that we only drafted a worthless scrub like Quickley 20 picks too soon because he was from Kentucky.

  53. Or that we only drafted a worthless scrub like Quickley 20 picks too soon because he was from Kentucky.

    I believed this one, to be honest.

  54. Z-man: But I’m really excited about the players too, even the mercenaries.

    I agree. They’re buying in. At this point I’m starting to question if any of Randle, Payton, Bullock, Burks, Rivers and Noel are really mercs.

  55. Z-man: There is absolutely no way that this team trades for Harden right now. It’s almost trolling to bring it up.

    I knew you would feel that way. LOL

  56. If we could trade for Harden and Harden was interested in coming to the Knicks it is a no-brainer, obviously, the guy is a guaranteed playoff spot by himself and is probably the best star to raise the floor of a single team in the NBA. But with him playing well again, and rumors of a bunch of other teams interested with potentially better packages, and the fact Harden wants to move to a better situation to win, not just get out of Houston, it’s just not viable.

    I would take every Knicks player to the airport myself if those conditions applied, because Harden has somehow managed to become underrated with his recent shenanigans, but I can’t see it happening.

  57. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: I agree. They’re buying in. At this point I’m starting to question if any of Randle, Payton, Bullock, Burks, Rivers and Noel are really mercs.

    It depends on your definition. By E’s definition, sure, Payton, Bullock Burks and Noel are mercs. But Randle and Rivers are not, unless you really stretch the definition, since there was enough 2-way commitment for a longer deal.

    The more important thing is that unlike last year, none of these guys are getting paid a dime above their actual value….and it could be argued that they took a discount. If they play well and the team outperforms expectations:
    -their value at the trade deadline goes up
    -they might choose to stick around and Rose might be able to keep them on a low cost deal
    -it makes the Knicks look like a good team to play for to prospective FAs and trade targets.
    -it puts the team in a better position to manage the playing time of young players based on both merit and developmental needs
    So who cares whether they are mercenaries or not? It’s nice not to be a laughingstock or a guaranteed L vs. good teams. Again, once we hired Thibs, the whole conversation about tanking became moot, so there’s no point in discussing it as a realistic alternative.

  58. E,
    I don’t know what we need to get to great but I know what we need to get to good and that seems what we are doing a good job of working towards. The team is playing well and we are getting the unexpected. The anomalous. Did we expect Julius to be a triple double threat every night? (Quadruple double actually if you count TO’s lol) Did we expect IQ to be a pretty legit looking player and for the team to look cohesive with him and Rivers in the back court? Did we expect Payton to get into the paint and finish on the regular? Pat Riley and MIA are the masters at getting unexpected results. Herro, Robinson, Bam, Kendrick…They get value from who they have. They even got excess value from Jimmy Butler. I’m overjoyed to be rooting for a 3-3 team right now. One that can take a punch, play shitty, and get up off the mat. This is the time when hope springs eternal and an idiot like me can kid himself that there really is something there. Or maybe there really is something there. Gosh that Mitch block on Brogdon was magic. It’s sports. Strange things happen. I know this is a statistically based blog and leopards don’t change their stripes, but I’m loving our scrappy, out of nowhere roster right now. I want to beat James Harden not join him.

  59. Bruno Almeida:
    If we could trade for Harden and Harden was interested in coming to the Knicks it is a no-brainer, obviously, the guy is a guaranteed playoff spot by himself and is probably the best star to raise the floor of a single team in the NBA. But with him playing well again, and rumors of a bunch of other teams interested with potentially better packages, and the fact Harden wants to move to a better situation to win, not just get out of Houston, it’s just not viable.

    I would take every Knicks player to the airport myself if those conditions applied, because Harden has somehow managed to become underrated with his recent shenanigans, but I can’t see it happening.

    Trading for Harden would virtually guarantee that we would be stuck in cap hell with a 40-50 win team that never gets past the EC semis. It would totally fly in the face of hiring a coach like Thibs. I fully admit that I don’t like the aesthetics of his game and would prefer to lose with this team than to win with his likes. But even so, I don’t see a path to a perennial winning team that goes through a Harden blockbuster.

  60. Z-man: Trading for Harden would virtually guarantee that we would be stuck in cap hell with a 40-50 win team that never gets past the EC semis.

    Hmmm. I did the math. 7 players, $84.7M for 2021/22. Randle, Harden, Toppin, Rivers, Quickley, Robinson, Brazdekis and a $6.4M cap hold on Noah. With salary cap for next season set at $109M ($132.6M luxury tax) and an assumed cap $6M rookie cap hold, it leaves about $20M for the rest of the free agents. I didn’t look into what exceptions might be use to exceed that number, but the Knicks still have flexibility.

  61. I’m not wholly unsympathetic to E’s thinking. Here are some things we need to watch for:

    -If we’re in the playoff hunt close to the deadline, do we not take calls on Burks? That would be a disaster.

    -It would be more excusable re: Randle since we have him for another year, but we need to have a plan in place for him. Picking up his TO and then letting him walk for nothing would be a disaster, as would overpaying him in free agency. We need to trade him or sign him to a contract commensurate with what other defensively challenged bigs are getting.

    -If we’re in the hunt, does Thibs start ceding IQ minutes to Payton, Toppin minutes to Randle, RJ minutes to Rivers, etc.?

    Personally I still think we’ll laugh at ourselves for having this conversation in a few months when we’re near the bottom of the standings, but I will say some of this seems to be sustainable enough for me not to be 100% confident in that. E’s not wrong to say the possibility raises thorny questions.

    I do think he’s missing the fact that on the off-chance we do make a playoff run, it will necessarily be due in large part to contributions from Mitch and RJ at a minimum (they’re 40% of our starting lineup after all), and unless you think Julioka Randic is here to stay probably IQ as well. That’s all we’ve ever really asked for here. If we were to have an objectively impressive season on the shoulders of those guys, well, that’s just how the roots of a good team begin to form.

  62. GoNYGoNYGo – Tanking forever: Hmmm. I did the math. 7 players, $84.7M for 2021/22. Randle, Harden, Toppin, Rivers, Quickley, Robinson, Brazdekis and a $6.4M cap hold on Noah. With salary cap for next season set at $109M ($132.6M luxury tax) and an assumed cap $6M rookie cap hold, it leaves about $20M for the rest of the free agents. I didn’t look into what exceptions might be use to exceed that number, but the Knicks still have flexibility.

    And you see a way to fill out that roster with that would make us a contender? I don’t. But no matter, it isn’t happening so I’m not going to argue with you.

  63. Z-man: harvesting mushrooms I see…

    HAHAHA great catch!

    The more important thing is that unlike last year, none of these guys are getting paid a dime above their actual value…

    This is very important. Aside from a cohesive team concept, you want guys that will perform and outperform their contracts – and you can argue that building a cohesive team allows guys to do so.

    If they play well and the team outperforms expectations:
    -their value at the trade deadline goes up
    -they might choose to stick around and Rose might be able to keep them on a low cost deal
    -it makes the Knicks look like a good team to play for to prospective FAs and trade targets.
    -it puts the team in a better position to manage the playing time of young players based on both merit and developmental needs

    Improving teams have “good problems” to solve, because they will be dealing from a position of strength. Now sure, the thorny-ness can come in making the right decisions once you’re in that position (enter Knicks PTSD), but you wanna get to that bridge first before you worry how to cross it.

  64. in today’s edition of pump the brakes folks… the knicks despite their 3-3 record are 23rd in ewp with .382 which would be 23rd in the league… our expected win total would be 2-4 ….. it’s really too soon to think that this is the beginning of some real good team…. that doesn’t mean there aren’t bright spots… it just means we’re probably not a .500 team…..

    randle is already facing some reversion with his shooting taking a nosedive…. which if he’s only 50% from 2 then it’s going to limit his impact substantially….. we’re getting a better version from last year tho…. but on the whole it’s something short of what sabonis gets you….

    and i think that’s the upper limit of what you could expect randle to get…. sabonis got 4/77 before the 2019 season…… randle got a little more…. the upper bound for what randle could get is obviously the blake extension which was 5/171 and i think even this version of randle will never sniff in his career…

    i do think randle starts shooting a little better from 2…. but i doubt anyone gives him more than $20mm on the open market… that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t opt in… but guys like randle aren’t exactly highly sought after…. they’re sort of like zach randolph… good players that need the right fit to make it all work around them… we’re trying to figure out if we’re one of those teams…. and we’ll see in a year or two…

  65. The anti-tanking rules DID make it harder to pull off a successful tank. You could be very bad, still be like the third or fourth worst team in the league, and get shut out of the lottery and end up picking like seventh or something.

    I’ve been one of the biggest advocates for doing a proper rebuild, but we do have some future surplus draft picks coming to us and might be able to pick up a few more with Randle and Burks. I’m not gonna sweat the marginal wins.

  66. thenoblefacehumper: If we’re in the playoff hunt close to the deadline, do we not take calls on Burks? That would be a disaster.

    I think the word “disaster” is a bit much. Imprudent maybe. And what does “not taking calls” mean? Is it the same as “not taking back a 2nd rounder if that’s what’s offered?” I’m fine with not making a marginal move in the name of continuity…but not with turning down a very good (i.e. Morris-type) offer.

    Of course, if Burks turns back into who he was before we got him (a roughly league average player) then the point is largely moot.

    thenoblefacehumper: It would be more excusable re: Randle since we have him for another year, but we need to have a plan in place for him. Picking up his TO and then letting him walk for nothing would be a disaster, as would overpaying him in free agency. We need to trade him or sign him to a contract commensurate with what other defensively challenged bigs are getting.

    Again, letting a player go for nothing isn’t a disaster unless you were offered something of significant value for him. It also frees up cap space to be used for something else, so it isn’t for nothing. Overpaying for him is more aligned with the “disaster” designation.

    thenoblefacehumper: If we’re in the hunt, does Thibs start ceding IQ minutes to Payton, Toppin minutes to Randle, RJ minutes to Rivers, etc.?

    I see nothing wrong with the notion that young players should earn their minutes. It’s pretty ridiculous to worry that the effect on their development, as clearly they are going to be playing significant minutes unless they totally suck. As you said, if we’re in the hunt, it will probably be because…

  67. in today’s edition of pump the brakes folks… the knicks despite their 3-3 record are 23rd in ewp with .382 which would be 23rd in the league… our expected win total would be 2-4 ….. it’s really too soon to think that this is the beginning of some real good team…. that doesn’t mean there aren’t bright spots… it just means we’re probably not a .500 team…..

    We also have the most difficult SOS in the league so far, so you gotta factor that in. We’re 12th in SRS because of this.

    The sample sizes are tiny, but still.

  68. thenoblefacehumper: I do think he’s missing the fact that on the off-chance we do make a playoff run, it will necessarily be due in large part to contributions from Mitch and RJ at a minimum (they’re 40% of our starting lineup after all), and unless you think Julioka Randic is here to stay probably IQ as well. That’s all we’ve ever really asked for here. If we were to have an objectively impressive season on the shoulders of those guys, well, that’s just how the roots of a good team begin to form.

    This is the most important point. Why worry about this stuff right now, other than indulging 20 years of PTSD from prior regimes? Doesn’t this one “feel” different to you yet?

  69. how do fellow knickerbloggers :)

    some thoughts about last night’s game:
    1). elf doesn’t need to hit from outside if he can get to the rim and then not be repeatedly rejected by the rim

    2). the third quarter of last night’s game was the best basketball the knicks have played since – a very long time ago

    3). rivers is here to stay so far as rotation minutes go, he’s 100% thibs’ kind of guy

    4). when burks come back I expect him to eat in to bullocks minutes significantly, hard to see either frank or dsj getting significant consistent minutes going forward

    5). any talk of trading away randle or burks is silly, rose and thibs are here to win, unless they’re traded to obtain another player, they probably aren’t going anywhere…definitely not for picks…

    plenty of time for worrying and fretting in the weeks and months to come – for today, shoot – I may just have to re-watch last night’s game, that was some really good basketball…

  70. Again, letting a player go for nothing isn’t a disaster unless you were offered something of significant value for him. It also frees up cap space to be used for something else, so it isn’t for nothing. Overpaying for him is more aligned with the “disaster” designation.

    Not sure how you define “significant” value but we’ve had this conversation many times before. If you are offered any kind of asset whatsoever for a player you subsequently let walk for literally nothing, that is per se bad asset management. Obviously passing on a single second or something isn’t the end of the world, but we have so much work to do to get to contention I can’t abide passing on an asset because you didn’t think it was “significant” enough only to not get anything.

    This is the most important point. Why worry about this stuff right now, other than indulging 20 years of PTSD from prior regimes? Doesn’t this one “feel” different to you yet?

    The presence of RJ and Mitch in the starting lineup and what seems to be genuine dedication to finding minutes for Toppin and IQ assuages a lot of my concerns here and I said as much. It’s still fair to want the team to act like a team that has a lot of work to do. That means to the extent possible getting assets for Burks and Bullock, and figuring out a sensible Randle solution (i.e. a solution that isn’t not trading him and then not re-signing him, or re-signing him to a bad contract) at a minimum.

    Having said all of that, this whole conversation is premature and I’m not sweating the wins. I don’t think Denver and Toronto will be two of the worst teams in the league and I don’t think us and the Cavs are good. We should really wait before making pronouncements about what this season means for long-term planning.

  71. Z-man: Trading for Harden would virtually guarantee that we would be stuck in cap hell with a 40-50 win team that never gets past the EC semis. It would totally fly in the face of hiring a coach like Thibs. I fully admit that I don’t like the aesthetics of his game and would prefer to lose with this team than to win with his likes. But even so, I don’t see a path to a perennial winning team that goes through a Harden blockbuster.

    Well, we would be up one all-nba caliber superstar from the zero we have on the roster, current or projected, so it’s clearly one step closer to contention. Jokes aside, it makes no sense, Harden is not coming to the Knicks anyway.

    I’m with JK47 here, this team is fucking cursed anyway and I’m convinced at this point we’ll always drop and get leapfrogged in the lottery every year, so why bother. Like Z-Man said, it’s not any veteran or any wins, if you show us decent wins and good basketball we’ll take it, as it has always been the case. The strat strawman beating is just as useless as ever because like tnfh said, it’s never even been said on this board ever.

  72. djphan: it’s really too soon to think that this is the beginning of some real good team…. that doesn’t mean there aren’t bright spots… it just means we’re probably not a .500 team….

    And I don’t see much in the way of disagreement with this in the thread…only some speculative “what if?” questions.

    djphan: randle is already facing some reversion with his shooting taking a nosedive…. which if he’s only 50% from 2 then it’s going to limit his impact substantially….. we’re getting a better version from last year tho…. but on the whole it’s something short of what sabonis gets you….

    If his TS% levels off at around .600, which is where he was for 2 years before we got him, then he’s probably going to get somewhere in the $25-30 mill AAV range. The passing and better decision-making seem real, and although he is turning it over too much, my guess is that he gets a nice contract but not a max. I certainly don’t ever think he will be worth a max contract. I disagree with tnfh’s contention that he’s a “defensively-challenged” big. He’s not a rim-protector but not a complete stiff in space like KP or Kanter either. He did a noce job helping on Sabonis last night.

  73. We also have the most difficult SOS in the league so far, so you gotta factor that in. We’re 12th in SRS because of this.

    it’s a factor but i don’t think we’re going to be seeing indiana be top 5 or cleveland top 10 in SRS when all is said and done…. and that’s weighing heavily into that also….

  74. oh it’s stripes I guess. Are there leopard mushrooms? I’ll look it up. As usual I’m punching above my weight class here.

    Z-Man,
    What was the last NBA team in your memory to come out of nowhere seemingly. Mostly basketball seems like tennis. If you’re Federer you win. If you have Lebron you win. Who was the player to severely outplay the back of his bubble gum card?

  75. Z-man: And you see a way to fill out that roster with that would make us a contender? I don’t.

    Just for kicks and giggles, start with this….
    PG Quickley, Piston’s 2nd
    SG Harden, Rivers,
    SF Knicks 1st, Brazdekis
    PF Randle, Toppin
    C Robinson, Hornets 2nd

    Sprinkle in some of 3 free agents for $20M. Note that the trio of Noel, Burks and Payton (salaries: 5/6/6 respectively) cost $22M this year. $20M is flexibility.

  76. Trade deadline is March 25th (ops, that’s my birthday, I’m waiting for a big Knicks’ gift),
    our schedule is set until March 3rd only and that will be our 37th game, we could be 3-34, 34-3 or (probably :-) ) anything in between.

    At that time, stats become more reliable, means go back to the mean, flukes defluke.
    That’ll be a good time to start chatting about what to do and don’t in the three weeks that follows till the deadline.

    Until then I think it’s kind of pointless to talk of anything beyond real games, good statistical analysis, factual players’ performances, youngsters’ improvement (or not), coaching staff work and so on (we could add some old/new classics: how much do Frank stink, why we botched the pick on Obi, why we got IQ at 25th, did Phil ruin the Knicks and other known topics).

    Until then optimists’ll see improvements, pessimists’ll see fake numbers, someone’ll marvel at the coaching staff’s work, other’ll say it’s bullshit.

    And so everything else is, to use Farfa’s native slang, “aria fritta” (the non literal translation is “thin air”).

    Are we so traumatized that we’re unable to rejoice in a good win and hope to beat the Hawks tomorrow?

    P.S. I’ve already apologized to Payton after his game with the Bucks, he’s playing decently but is still prone to some of the dumbest shit on the show and he’s the first PG in the league to start a season 0-6 on FT, so I’m not going to apologize every time he’ll play an average game. I’m still astonished that the Pacers let him to the rim so easily despite having one of the best shotblocker in the league.

  77. I’m still astonished that the Pacers let him to the rim so easily despite having one of the best shotblocker in the league.

    What in the world was up with Turner last night? Payton had a drive where he, like, ran right up to Turner and Turner just didn’t do anything until Payton put up the shot, at which point Turner basically shoved him for a foul that had no chance of affecting the shot. If this was the 1990s, I would seriously think Turner was partying too much on New Year’s, but I think players are generally (Harden-excluded) better about that stuff nowadays, right?

  78. thenoblefacehumper: I can’t abide passing on an asset because you didn’t think it was “significant” enough only to not get anything.

    But you actually do get something. You get continuity and balance to finish out a season. You got noticed by the media and by free agents. And you got the possibility of re-signing the player to a longer deal.

    I just feel that they will act reasonably and prudently…maybe not perfectly or in accordance with the parameters you set (i.e. getting literally any asset is better than the things I mentioned) but on an upward path to respectability. That’s literally all that matters to me right now…and that’s what seems to be reflected in the approach thus far.

  79. And Brock Aller is Mr. Asset Management/Accumulation, especially compared to guys we’ve had in front offices past. He’ll know what real value is for trading Burks versus keeping him.

  80. danvt:

    Z-Man,
    What was the last NBA team in your memory to come out of nowhere seemingly. Mostly basketball seems like tennis. If you’re Federer you win. If you have Lebron you win. Who was the player to severely outplay the back of his bubble gum card?

    I think Miami caught everyone by surprise last year. I mean, did anyone predict that they would get past the first round when the season started?

    (and just teasing about the zebras vs. leopards…glad to see you chime in!)

  81. Mere “respectability” isn’t my goal. Again that’s just a delta up from the Millsdale clown show. I’m not basing anything on that delta. Maybe that’s the disconnect.

  82. Brian Cronin: What in the world was up with Turner last night? Payton had a drive where he, like, ran right up to Turner and Turner just didn’t do anything until Payton put up the shot, at which point Turner basically shoved him for a foul that had no chance of affecting the shot. If this was the 1990s, I would seriously think Turner was partying too much on New Year’s, but I think players are generally (Harden-excluded) better about that stuff nowadays, right?

    On the subject of Harden, he gave the league the middle finger on the Covid’s protocol rules a few days after they declared them, got fined a comical amount (25K for someone making 40 Mil?) and then the league decided that teams are accountable to deliver suspensions and other disciplinary measures to players that don’t comply to the rules? How petty it was from Silver? He’s really so terrified about clashing with the Union or what?

  83. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Mere “respectability” isn’t my goal.Maybe that’s the disconnect.

    You can’t go from laughingstock to competitor without the “respectability” phase.
    Maybe that’s the disconnect.

  84. FWIW: My dream scenario is for the Knicks to just miss the playoffs and be karmically rewarded for their improvement by jumping up in the draft.

    Short of that (lol), I’d like to see the Knicks continue the mid-1st round drafting process they exhibited with Quickley – searching for market inefficiencies to unearth competent rotation players with upside.

  85. Alan:
    And Brock Aller is Mr. Asset Management/Accumulation, especially compared to guys we’ve had in front offices past. He’ll know what real value is for trading Burks versus keeping him.

    Exactly, why bring on guys like that just to make bad decisions anyway?

  86. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    FWIW: My dream scenario is for the Knicks to just miss the playoffs and be karmically rewarded for their improvement by jumping up in the draft.

    Short of that (lol), I’d like to see the Knicks continue the mid-1st round drafting process they exhibited with Quickley – searching for market inefficiencies to unearth competent rotation players with upside.

    +1

    Who’s good (but not too much) on Kentucky this year? ;-)

  87. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Mere “respectability” isn’t my goal.Again that’s just a delta up from the Millsdale clown show.I’m not basing anything on that delta.Maybe that’s the disconnect.

    No one is saying mere respectability is the end game, so why would you assume that it’s anyone’s long-term goal? It’s a starting place…did I really need to clarify that?

    As to the disconnect, to me, the “clown show” is shouting at the wind when there’s like zero reason to do that right at this moment. All evidence thus far is that there is a sound methodology behind what Rose has done since taking over. You clearly won’t accept that they are on the right path until there is a lot more evidence, which I can respect. But at this point in time, nearly all posters here are at least guardedly impressed with what they are seeing, both on the floor and in the front office decision-making, with some residual but fading criticism of the draft-day decision-making and concerns about allegiances to CAA and UK.

  88. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    FWIW: My dream scenario is for the Knicks to just miss the playoffs and be karmically rewarded for their improvement by jumping up in the draft.

    Short of that (lol), I’d like to see the Knicks continue the mid-1st round drafting process they exhibited with Quickley – searching for market inefficiencies to unearth competent rotation players with upside.

    You can throw Dallas missing the playoffs into that scenario…

  89. Brian Cronin: What in the world was up with Turner last night?

    I think a lot of that had to do with Mitch’s success on the high pick and roll and tap-ins early in the game frustrated him. Turner had to choose between the Payton driving and the slam-dunk/put-back Mitch threatened all game.

  90. Look, we hired Tom Thibodeau, who is obviously competent and who was maybe the best guy to hire if you wanted to squeeze extra wins out of this group of players. He’s not gonna un-Thibodeau himself at this point. You bring that guy in to teach you how to do things the right way, hold players accountable, and grind for wins. It’s actually kind of a refreshing change.

    Maybe that costs you a few ping pong balls and drops you a draft slot or two, but again, the worst team in the league has a 48% chance of getting bypassed in the lottery and picking 5th. Maybe an improved, Thibs-juiced Julius Randle means you pick 9th instead of 6th, but also maybe it means you flip Julius Randle to a contender for a late-round first at some point in the future.

    A hard tank and shooting for the lotto would have been an acceptable strategy to me, but we hired Thibs and it’s seems to be working out. I’m fine with it. You can still gradually improve, flip your veteran pieces for assets, and rebuild that way. Maybe that way is better actually, considering James Dolan is our owner and has the patience of my two-year old while he waits for the Amazon Fire Stick to boot up. Maybe Rose won’t get shitcanned in a year and replaced with Steve Mills.

  91. Exactly, JK. It may not be one’s preferred path, but it’s certainly one way to get there if colossal blunders are avoided. A little bit of luck might help too.

  92. @StevePopper
    Knicks injury report for Monday at Atlanta: probable: Knox II (sore left knee, bruised right hand); Questionable: Burks (sprained left ankle); Doubtful: Smith Jr (contused left quad) & Spellman (sore right knee); Out: Ntilikina (sprained right knee) & Toppin (strained right calf)

  93. Maybe that costs you a few ping pong balls and drops you a draft slot or two, but again, the worst team in the league has a 48% chance of getting bypassed in the lottery and picking 5th. Maybe an improved, Thibs-juiced Julius Randle means you pick 9th instead of 6th, but also maybe it means you flip Julius Randle to a contender for a late-round first at some point in the future.

    I agree with all of this, my only point is to reap the benefits of this strategy as opposed to the all-out tank you have to actually do the flipping of the Randles and the Burkses. If you ask me, it would be fair to hold it against Rose if when push came to shove he got cold feet about breaking up a potential “playoff team” and didn’t do that kind of thing.

    However I’ll reiterate that I am not particularly concerned about this as I think by the time the deadline rolls around we’ll be pretty solidly out of the playoff picture.

  94. Watching DET-BOS. Some thoughts:

    Who’s that Pritchard kid?
    Celtics are trying to clone Mitch Rob with Robert Williams (AKA Time Lord).
    Stevens could be short on pixie dust but his ATO plays are always to notch.
    Griffin looks like Old Melo (next year he has a player option for 38 MIL, I suspect he’ll opt in)
    Grant’s trying to do everything to justify his contracts, not sure it’ll ever be enough.
    Josh Jackson has always been talented, maybe now he’s out of the weeds…

  95. Alan:

    To have 40% of the team regularly on the injury report is annoying.

    Question about the two-way contracts:
    Been on the bench but not playing (as Pinson and Harper did yesterday) count as one of the 50 games limit?

  96. Yeah, if you just assume Randle will be flipped, you assume the potential problem away. He’ll never have more value than at this deadline because (a) a team will be able to get a second year at a decent price; and (b) there’s a good chance he won’t be in this good shape next year.

    Moreover, if you hew to that assumption, it just enhances the whole, “The team is filled with mercenaries” idea even more.

    All this is kind of my point. If the FO does the right thing, he’s on a very short term lease here and it doesn’t really matter how “improved” he is because he’s only here another couple months; if the FO doesn’t do the right thing, the FO is not doing right things (and the team can’t succeed with Randle in that role). So it’s hard to get real excited about the guy and therefore the rational part of my fandom isn’t going to.

  97. Max: To have 40% of the team regularly on the injury report is annoying.

    Question about the two-way contracts:
    Been on the bench but not playing (as Pinson and Harper did yesterday) count as one of the 50 games limit?

    As to the injuries, I say this with all seriousness: There’s a good chance the team is practicing too hard. These injuries don’t often seem to reveal themselves during the games, that’s for sure.

  98. Are people here really that desperate to trade Burks for a 2nd rd pick?? Cause that’s all they will get for him, no chance in hell they will get a 1st rd pick for him.

    Also the Knicks have the Mavs 1st rd pick this season so even if the Knicks somehow sneak into the playoffs you are still looking at having at worst a couple of 1st rd picks in the mid to late teens in the 2021 draft. If there ever was a season to not be all panicking about the Knicks winning “meaningless” games and trying for a fake playoff push its this season. Just enjoy watching some competent basketball being played by mostly younger players/vets and not worry about what fake damage it will do to the future of this franchise.

  99. E, two-way G-Leaguer: As to the injuries, I say this with all seriousness:There’s a good chance the team is practicing too hard.These injuries don’t often seem to reveal themselves during the games, that’s for sure.

    It could be, but actually at least Knox’s hand (vs. Tor) and Burks’ ankle (vs. Mil) happened in games.

  100. Max: It could be, but actually at least Knox’s hand (vs. Tor) and Burks’ ankle (vs. Mil) happened in games.

    The hand, yes, the “sore left knee,” no.

  101. All this is kind of my point. If the FO does the right thing, he’s on a very short term lease here and it doesn’t really matter how “improved” he is because he’s only here another couple months

    Actually it very much DOES matter how improved he is if you intend to flip him. Julius Randle, but a version that can play defense and hit threes? That’s a LOT MORE valuable than Julius Randle 1.0. The new and improved version could actually help a contender and would probably net at least a 1RP.

  102. BigBlueAL: Are people here really that desperate to trade Burks for a 2nd rd pick?? Cause that’s all they will get for him, no chance in hell they will get a 1st rd pick for him.

    Speaking for myself, I just don’t have much interest in a team where mercenaries play such a big role. There have been very few such teams in association history (possibly never), and it just doesn’t do it for me. This is now two years in a row of it. So even if they’ve somehow reached the “respectability” stage, they haven’t hit it the normal way and it therefore isn’t the normal “gateway” to something better.

    It’s not just aesthetics; it’s just not the way to build a contending basketball team. Once you get to actual, organic respectability, it’s easy to pick up the Alec Burks’s of the world. Getting them now doesn’t get you anywhere. The only use they have is as a way to convert your cap space to assets without having to take on an onerous contract. They basically did that — unintentionally — with Mook. I’m not going to take a whole lot of basketball interest in that transition time, beyond hoping they play well to maximize their ultimate asset value.

  103. JK47: Actually it very much DOES matter how improved he is if you intend to flip him. Julius Randle, but a version that can play defense and hit threes? That’s a LOT MORE valuable than Julius Randle 1.0. The new and improved version could actually help a contender and would probably net at least a 1RP.

    It matters, but not aesthetically or emotionally.

  104. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Yeah, if you just assume Randle will be flipped, you assume the potential problem away.He’ll never have more value than at this deadline because (a) a team will be able to get a second year at a decent price; and (b) there’s a good chance he won’t be in this good shape next year.

    Moreover, if you hew to that assumption, it just enhances the whole, “The team is filled with mercenaries” idea even more.

    All this is kind of my point.If the FO does the right thing, he’s on a very short term lease here and it doesn’t really matter how “improved” he is because he’s only here another couple months; if the FO doesn’t do the right thing, the FO is not doing right things (and the team can’t succeed with Randle in that role).So it’s hard to get real excited about the guy and therefore the rational part of my fandom isn’t going to.

    This post is based on lots of total conjecture
    -Randle will never be more of an asset to us than he will be at the trade deadline (unless he signs an extension and becomes a legit 3rd option at a reasonable price for the next 4 years)
    -The team can’t be successful with Randle in that role and Randle will not accept any role less than the one he has right now (there is no evidence for this)
    -If we trade Randle, the other mercs were pointless (sigh)

  105. If the FO does the right thing, he’s on a very short term lease here and it doesn’t really matter how “improved” he is because he’s only here another couple months; if the FO doesn’t do the right thing, the FO is not doing right things (and the team can’t succeed with Randle in that role).

    Well, this kind of contradicts itself. Everyone should be invested in Randle playing as well as possible. That’s the only way we get an asset for him, and that’s the only way you might be able to talk yourself into him being a core piece.

    Also the Knicks have the Mavs 1st rd pick this season so even if the Knicks somehow sneak into the playoffs you are still looking at having at worst a couple of 1st rd picks in the mid to late teens in the 2021 draft. If there ever was a season to not be all panicking about the Knicks winning “meaningless” games and trying for a fake playoff push its this season. Just enjoy watching some competent basketball being played by mostly younger players/vets and not worry about what fake damage it will do to the future of this franchise.

    At a certain point if we are ever going to be good we need a top-15 or so player(s). From my vantage point, the most conceivable and least costly way to get one of those dudes is in this draft. For that reason if given a choice I would prefer a high lottery finish than an 8-10th seed finish (hell, there might not even be a big difference between the two wins wise).

    However, like I said earlier our fate this season is more tied to our young core than in any season I can remember. As long as it stays that way, I will have no complaints as long as the non-young core guys are dealt with in a sensible fashion. In other words, I think it would be a bad outcome to let Randle propel us to half-decency, not trade him, and not re-sign him.

  106. E, two-way G-Leaguer: Speaking for myself, I just don’t have much interest in a team where mercenaries play such a big role. There have been very few such teams in association history (possibly never), and it just doesn’t do it for me.

    Did you just make this up?

  107. Z-man: The team can’t be successful with Randle in that role and Randle will not accept any role less than the one he has right now (there is no evidence for this)

    He told the Lakers to renounce him once they signed guys that would naturally have led to a reduced role. He basically said no to LeBron James. There’s plenty of evidence. If he said no to LeBron James, who’s he going to say “yes” to?

    -Randle will never be more of an asset to us than he will be at the trade deadline (unless he signs an extension and becomes a legit 3rd option at a reasonable price for the next 4 years)

    Speaking of conjecture. None of that stuff is going to happen. And his value will in fact never be higher than it is in the next few weeks. It won’t be higher next year because a team won’t get a decently-priced second year; it won’t be after that because he’ll be overpaid at term. Now’s the time to find a sucker and pawn him off.

  108. Z-man: Did you just make this up?

    Make what up? The fact that no team constructs itself this way? OK, find one. I doubt there’s a team in the last 40 years that has given this many minutes and this much usage to veterans on one (and in a single case, two) year deals. Their opening day starting lineup included four guys on one year deals.

    Teams give minutes to players on the last year of multi-year deals, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

  109. BigBlueAL:
    LeBron James is the ultimate mercenary, ask the Miami Heat.

    The guy said no thanks to LeBron James and potential championships so he could chuck for dreck. That’s his story. Tough to live that one down. It’s the likely prelude to the story of what will happen if he’s ever asked to stop chucking again. If that doesn’t factor large in your decision making, you aren’t paying attention.

  110. Payton and Bullock are the only players on 1 year deals and actually Bullock is on the 2nd year of his 2yr deal. Randle is on the 2nd yr of a 3yr deal and obviously Mitch/RJ are draft picks. You have draft picks in IQ, Obi, Knox and Frank playing off the bench along with Rivers who is on the 1st yr of a 3yr deal. Burks and Noel are on 1yr deals. So of the 12 players who will realistically expect minutes (not even counting DS Jr who is still on his rookie contract) only 4 of those players the team has no control of after this season. Not exactly a team of mercenaries.

  111. Bullock was a team option. They committed one year to him. Randle got a two year commitment. Noel, one year deal. Burks, one year deal. No team constructs itself this way, no team gives this many minutes and this much usage to temporary mercenaries. Maybe the French Foreign Legion does, but as far as I know, they don’t have a basketball team.

  112. Honestly, E, I don’t get the whole problem with aesthetics and emotions. Virtually everyone here has enjoyed the look of this team. And the nice thing about 1-year guys is that a) they are harmlessly disposable in a number of ways, including just cutting them and b) like with expirings, they can be packaged for a good player on a team desperate for cap flexibility. And as long as you sign the right guys to value deals (i.e. don’t pay Portis $15mill, or Taj $9mill, or Ellington $8mill) the 1-year guys are actually assets if they play well! (see: Morris, Marcus)

    So while they are here, why are you so offended by the prospect of rooting for them to do well? And if you only enjoy Knicks basketball when management is doing what you want them to, which they haven’t in forever, and show no signs of doing in the future, why even bother?

  113. Z-man:
    Honestly, E, I don’t get the whole problem with aesthetics and emotions. Virtually everyone here has enjoyed the look of this team. And the nice thing about 1-year guys is that a) they are harmlessly disposable in a number of ways, including just cutting them and b) like with expirings, they can be packaged for a good player on a team desperate for cap flexibility. And as long as you sign the right guys to value deals (i.e. don’t pay Portis $15mill, or Taj $9mill, or Ellington $8mill) the 1-year guys are actually assets if they play well! (see: Morris, Marcus)

    So while they are here, why are you so offended by the prospect of rooting for them to do well? And if you only enjoy Knicks basketball when management is doing what you want them to, which they haven’t in forever, and show no signs of doing in the future, why even bother?

    Because I want the Knicks to be actual contenders not just better than the team constructed and coached by Steve Mills and David Fizdale. Like I said, I rooted for them last night and root for them all the time.

    A lot of it is laundry rooting, though. Not sure why the expectations would be to get emotionally invested in the mercenaries, particularly when they aren’t really all that good.

    It’s a mistake to keep Julius Randle beyond this trading deadline. If you agree with that, we agree. If you don’t, we disagree on basketball terms and aesthetics/emotions have nothing to do with that. Clock is ticking though, which I tried to say earlier. The FO should already have a decent outline of what they’re going to do and probably should have already engaged teams in trade discussions. That’s really the crux of it.

  114. E, two-way G-Leaguer:
    Bullock was a team option.They committed one year to him.Randle got a two year commitment.Noel, one year deal.Burks, one year deal.No team constructs itself this way, no team gives this many minutes and this much usage to temporary mercenaries.Maybe the French Foreign Legion does, but as far as I know, they don’t have a basketball team.

    No, they do much, much stupider stuff. They sign Burks and Noel to 3-year deals, or max Randle, or sign the Haywards or trade for the Westbrooks. This is a cautious approach to team-building…don’t lock anything in until it’s the right time to lock something in. That way you will build credibility, collect or at least don’t squander assets, and keep cap flexibility for when the right opportunity comes along. You can re-establish the reputation of your coach after it took a hit at his last gig. You can give your fan base something to root for and hope for. I doubt that more than a tiny fraction of fans are in the state of despair that your comments reflect when they see Burks or Noel or Payton or Bullock play well. But hey, you’re woke and everyone else just doesn’t get it.

  115. Z-man: No, they do much, much stupider stuff. They sign Burks and Noel to 3-year deals, or max Randle, or sign the Haywards or trade for the Westbrooks. This is a cautious approach to team-building…don’t lock anything in until it’s the right time to lock something in. That way you will build credibility, collect or at least don’t squander assets, and keep cap flexibility for when the right opportunity comes along. You can re-establish the reputation of your coach after it took a hit at his last gig. You can give your fan base something to root for and hope for. I doubt that more than a tiny fraction of fans are in the state of despair that your comments reflect when they see Burks or Noel or Payton or Bullock play well. But hey, you’re woke and everyone else just doesn’t get it.

    No teams sign guys like Burks to three-year deals and once you get to the Haywards, you’re talking a different level of player.

    But I wasn’t talking about a guy here and there; I was talking about a whole team of mercenaries. No one does that. If it was a guy here and there sprinkled in with actual Knicks, it would be a completely different story.

    I’m not sure what “hope” you’re seeing in Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, Elfrid Payton, and Reggie Bullock. As best I can tell, you’re saying that they help show that Thibs is a better coach than Fiz, but I didn’t need them to show that; it was known already. I’d rather Thibs’s skills be used on a team of non-mercs.

    I’m not in a state of despair; I’m in a state of rationality. It’s time to move to the future and the mercs aren’t it.

  116. E, two-way G-Leaguer: It’s a mistake to keep Julius Randle beyond this trading deadline. If you agree with that, we agree.

    I don’t have to agree to respect this POV per se, which I do. Personally I’m rather neutral at this point. Randle has played very well thus far, but it’s too far ahead to even think about. I don’t have a specific litmus test like the one you propose, it all depends on a context that simply hasn’t solidified enough to feel strongly one way or another.

  117. E are you implying you would prefer Bullock’s contract if it was a straight up two year deal over one year and a team option? If ‘aesthetics’ are leading you to prefer worse contracts cause “mercenaries bad”, you might need to lay off the ganja for a bit and go troll the Knicks subreddit instead.

    Seriously, though, it seems like you find a way to be at odds with everyone in pretty much every thread and drag down the discourse by incessantly arguing the same tired points over and over again. I think you’re probably more of a contrarian than a full-on troll, but your dynamic with the board is not far off from what it would be if you were outright trolling us. Please try a little harder to resist the temptation to die on every hill you come across.

  118. I side with BigBlueAl on This mercenary talk. These players signed to play basketball and unless they feel like mercenaries, they aren’t and I don’t think that management looks at them like that either. All players are tradable at some point and at that point they are simply commodities. Each has a value and each can be traded or cut.

  119. Mike Honcho:
    E are you implying you would prefer Bullock’s contract if it was a straight up two year deal over one year and a team option? If ‘aesthetics’ are leading you to prefer worse contracts cause “mercenaries bad”, you might need to lay off the ganja for a bit and go troll the Knicks subreddit instead.

    Seriously, though, it seems like you find a way to be at odds with everyone in pretty much every thread and drag down the discourse by incessantly arguing the same tired points over and over again. I think you’re probably more of a contrarian than a full-on troll, but your dynamic with the board is not far off from what it would be if you were outright trolling us. Please try a little harder to resist the temptation to die on every hill you come across.

    There really isn’t that much disagreement.

    I’d prefer they not give this many minutes to mercenaries. That’s it. I don’t see a future with Julius Randle and think he should be traded at the deadline. Those things probably have majority support on the board. Tough to be a contrarian when you agree with the majority sentiment. Fans should enjoy the time between now and the actual future in any way they want.

  120. Owen:
    Was really rooting hard for the Pistons. Tatum iced it quite neatly though.

    Me too… :-(
    But how cooked is Blake Griffin?

  121. As cooked as Julius Randle will look in three years.

    The Pistons went to Plumlee in the post down 2 in the final minute.

  122. Owen:
    As cooked as Julius Randle will look in three years.

    The Pistons went to Plumlee in the post down 2 in the final minute.

    I’d done the same after the airball & the brick (it sounds like a Traffic or Jethro Tull song from the ‘70)

  123. Owen:
    As cooked as Julius Randle will look in three years.

    The Pistons went to Plumlee in the post down 2 in the final minute.

    Truly impossible to outtank Detroit this year.

  124. The Pistons are running the perfect tank this season, competitive but just bad enough to lose like crazy.

    The mercenary thing does make sense, but this team, just as it happened in the previous seasons, has nowhere near enough quality mercenaries to win a lot without real contributions from at least Barrett and Mitch, which are the two big prospects we have and the two guys who are a priority over everyone else. As long as they get to develop, with Quickley, Toppin and even Knox also seeing the court, everything else barely matters, it’s just something we’re going to discuss because we are here precisely to overanalyze this sad, infuriating franchise.

  125. It’s good to have a coach who gets misfits, rentals, mercenaries, busts and hoggers and make them play good bball.
    It’s like using garbage materials to create art.
    Creates assets while also attracting big doggos.
    Build the nest. Steal the eggs. Get the birdie!
    Thibs is building the nest right now.
    And it looks very attractive so far.

  126. And you don’t have to keep Elf or Randle or whoever or overpay pseudostars to make it work.
    You just keep it competitive, and attractive and wait for the right opportunities to take the next step and be a legit contender.

  127. Luka is out tonight for the Mavs, Knicks could make the playoffs and still have a lottery pick!

  128. I can’t believe this. I’m gone for a couple of days and the entire board’s turned anti-tank and is rooting for us to compete for the playoffs. Guys, this team is .500 on the backs of Randle, Payton, Burks, etc. The only young player that’s improved is Mitch. Everyone else is just as bad as they’ve always been. This is our worst case scenario.

    We look like we’re just good enough to totally fuck up our draft position (in a really good draft!!!), we’re going to be capped out or nearly capped out for the foreseeable future if we keep this team together (someone up above said we should have around $20M in cap space, check here to see what $20M gets you in FA), and since all of our young players suck we don’t have enough assets to put together a trade for a good player to improve the team.

  129. Compete for the playoffs don’t really matter.
    Playing good bball tho even on the backs of hobos or zombies or even cartoon characters is a nice way to create assets, gain respectability in the league, attract serious players and separate your roster’s wheat from the chaff.

    Instead of waiting for the next Jojo…

  130. vincoug:
    I can’t believe this.I’m gone for a couple of days and the entire board’s turned anti-tank and is rooting for us to compete for the playoffs.Guys, this team is .500 on the backs of Randle, Payton, Burks, etc.The only young player that’s improved is Mitch.Everyone else is just as bad as they’ve always been.This is our worst case scenario.

    We look like we’re just good enough to totally fuck up our draft position (in a really good draft!!!), we’re going to be capped out or nearly capped out for the foreseeable future if we keep this team together (someone up above said we should have around $20M in cap space, check here to see what $20M gets you in FA), and since all of our young players suck we don’t have enough assets to put together a trade for a good player to improve the team.

    No one is campaigning for the playoffs.

    Have you seen yesterday’s game?
    RJ was the best scorer, Mitch dominated and Quickley played very well. This three, plus Toppin, are the meaningful youngsters, DSJ is a lost cause and everything you get from Frank and Knox is gravy.

    Burks has played 3 games until now: two are losses and in the third he played 21 minutes before hurting himself, do you call that “been .500 on his back”?

    This is our worst case scenario? Not trading the farm for Westbrook or Paul? Not overpaying for Hayward, Van Vleet or Grant? Not paying assets to trade up for Toppin?

    Look here: https://www.spotrac.com/nba/cap/2021/
    We potentially have close to 73 Millions, plus the mid-level, of “Practical Cap Space” (denotes cap space with FA cap holds renounced, Club Options declined and Non-Guaranteed released), 53 if you keep the infamous Randle’s option and let any other go (and they just showed us that they’re capable of letting useless players go: Portis,…

  131. We probably should be 2-4, we’re 3-3. Maybe we can make a challenge for the play in playoff spots, but we’re probably still going to be a bad team.

  132. Max: No one is campaigning for the playoffs.
    Have you seen yesterday’s game?
    RJ was the best scorer, Mitch dominated and Quickley played very well. This three, plus Toppin, are the meaningful youngsters, DSJ is a lost cause and everything you get from Frank and Knox is gravy.

    Burks has played 3 games until now: two are losses and in the third he played 21 minutes before hurting himself, do you call that “been .500 on his back”?

    This is our worst case scenario? Not trading the farm for Westbrook or Paul? Not overpaying for Hayward, Van Vleet or Grant? Not paying assets to trade up for Toppin?

    Look here: https://www.spotrac.com/nba/cap/2021/
    We potentially have close to 73 Millions, plus the mid-level, of “Practical Cap Space” (denotes cap space with FA cap holds renounced, Club Options declined and Non-Guaranteed released), 53 if you keep the infamous Randle’s option and let any other go (and they just showed us that they’re capable of letting useless players go: Portis,…

    For the season so far, RJ’s numbers are exactly as bad as they were last year except for an improved FT%. I already said Mitch was good. Quickley and Toppin are unknowns. I want them to be good but we shouldn’t be pointing to them as pieces for the future.

    Sorry, these wins have been on the backs of Randle, Payton, and Bullock.

    Yes, this is the worse case scenario. Good enough to compete for the 8th seed with no realistic path to improve.

    We don’t have $73M plus the MLE. The MLE, and all exceptions, count against the cap so it has to be waived. That number also doesn’t take into account a Mitch extension, a (lol) Ntilikina extension, cap holds, or the players we end up drafting which will be a minimum of $2M to a max of about $10M. Ran out of space. I’ll continue in my next comment.

  133. vincoug: For the season so far, RJ’s numbers are exactly as bad as they were last year except for an improved FT%.I already said Mitch was good.Quickley and Toppin are unknowns.I want them to be good but we shouldn’t be pointing to them as pieces for the future.

    Sorry, these wins have been on the backs of Randle, Payton, and Bullock.

    Yes, this is the worse case scenario.Good enough to compete for the 8th seed with no realistic path to improve.

    We don’t have $73M plus the MLE.The MLE, and all exceptions, count against the cap so it has to be waived.That number also doesn’t take into account a Mitch extension, cap holds, or the players we end up drafting which will be a minimum of $2M to a max of about $10M.Ran out of space.I’ll continue in my next comment.

    Did you watch yesterday’s game?

  134. Here’s a list of 2021 free agents. Go ahead and realistically use at most $60M and add free agents to RJ, Mitch, Knox, Toppin, Quickley, and Braz that improves the team from this year.

  135. Max: Did you watch yesterday’s game?

    No, I missed yesterday’s game. What does one game in the course of a season mean?

  136. Noone here prefers the playoffs over the number 1 draft pick which is logical and understandable.
    The true dilemma tho is
    between having a competent team which Must Definitely Have Good Players and Probably a few youngsters among them to reach let’s say the 50%
    and between sucking all year to get one of the five top picks.
    I see the first option being better in many ways assetwise/teamgoingforward and not about feeling the playoffs atmosphere and drinking a few more beers while watching a few more games…

    #No, I missed yesterday’s game. What does one game in the course of a season mean?#

    Do yourself a 2021 gift and watch it.
    You’ll never be the same again!

  137. Enter the Knicks? (I’m wearing my +5 plate armor so I’m ready for the attacks…) Add the Dallas 1st round picks to the following proposed trade.

    I was really excited about this when I thought it was about trading for Ujiri.

    Luka is out tonight for the Mavs,

    It’s against the Bulls, they probably aren’t all that bothered.

  138. Nets fans about to have their first meltdown of the year.

    Durant and Irving missing uncontested game winners after some questionable coaching by Nash in the final possessions.

  139. I’m loving me some Team Pessimism today.

    All I’ll say is Frank is hitting 55.6% of his threes…

  140. #Sorry, these wins have been on the backs of Randle, Payton, and Bullock#

    Will you believe me if I tell you that they’ve been on the… balls of Thibs?
    Mercenary Hero Ball is dead…Long live the ThibsTeam ball!

  141. The biggest misconception that gets thrown in this board every time is that people here are pro tanking randomly. It’s literally never been true. I’ve said it so many times and it falls on deaf ears every single time, I’m pro tanking when the following 2 characteristics are true of a franchise:

    1) they have no young talent or legit superstar on the roster and are fighting for at most the 7th seed and a first round sweep;
    2) the front office is so incapable and inept that they can’t possibly be trusted with a slow, incremental rebuild and have to get lucky in the lottery for anything to change meaningfully.

    Both those characteristics were true of the Knicks for every single season recently, except for a brief moment when November Zingis enticed us into believing he might be a star. If those statements are both true, tanking and gathering assets is by far the best way to kickstart a rebuild, as you don’t get saddled with bad contracts unless they come with nice picks attached and you get more chances to get lucky in the draft, or to draft well.

    Now, the lottery has changed massively, to the point where being the worst team doesn’t guarantee shit anymore. Plus, the Knicks do have some young talent at least, even if I’m not a Barrett believer just yet, and they appear to have a somewhat competent front office at least in the sense that they’re not as terrible as the garbage we endured before them. That obviously also changes things.

    That’s why people are, and were, pro tanking, it’s not a masochistic desire to watch garbage basketball and hope against reason for dumb luck to go our way. So obviously even the people who believe that tanking is viable are going to be excited by a good stretch of above average basketball, even with all the obvious caveats that come with it.

  142. We probably should be 2-4, we’re 3-3. Maybe we can make a challenge for the play in playoff spots, but we’re probably still going to be a bad team.

    Exactly this. Knicks haven’t looked like a good team, just a sporadically competitive one. Confusing the opponent by leaving them wide open from 3 is not gonna play once teams have some tape on it.

    But Randle has been playing really well and I wouldn’t be upset if they sign him to another contract for reasonable money. And not just because it’d piss off E. Another lottery pick this year, maybe squeak into the actual playoffs next, build from improvements from there. Good thing the FO artificially held back progress by drafting someone who couldn’t immediately contribute!

    I’d also be fine if Randle got traded for something nice. And I hereby declare Frank a mercenary because he’s injured all the time.

    Did anyone figure out how the play-in spots and the lottery intersect this year? What if you’re eight and you get bounced in the play-in games? I would assume it’ll be based on regular season standings and they’ll ignore the new shit but who knows. It’s gonna continue to be a strange season.

  143. For the season so far, RJ’s numbers are exactly as bad as they were last year except for an improved FT%. I already said Mitch was good. Quickley and Toppin are unknowns

    It’s 6 fucking games into the season, dude. You have to actually allow your young players to play before passing a verdict on them. WTF is wrong with people here?

  144. #Exactly this. Knicks haven’t looked like a good team, just a sporadically competitive one.#

    Going 3-3 against pretty good teams while having many injuries with a new coach and a motley crue roster can be considered close to being good imo…

  145. vincoug:
    Here’s a list of 2021 free agents.Go ahead and realistically use at most $60M and add free agents to RJ, Mitch, Knox, Toppin, Quickley, and Braz that improves the team from this year.

    I didn’t discuss the quality of the FA class, I wrote about its low quality in a previous thread,
    it’s the “we have only 20M of cap space next year” that I’m contesting.

    It’s obviuous that if you confirm all the players the cap stay the same (or get worse) but that’s true for every team and doesn’t consider expiring contracts and options declined.
    For us to do that they need to resign Frank, DSJ, Bullock, Payton, Burks, Noel, Spellman and confirm Randle’s option… even if all of them are here after the trade deadline do you really think they’ll do that? What gives you this perception, when they declined every option from last year except the very cheap Bullock?

    What to do with that cap space is another matter, a thread for later.

    That you missed yesterday’s game doesn’t surprise me,
    it was obvious from your “on the back of the veterans” comment,
    because as I wrote before three of the available youngsters were instumental in the win,
    and because if you don’t watch the games you couldn’t judge the progress/regress of individual players and team as a whole.

    In the end I could only subscribe to Bruno’s last comment, he explained today’s feelings way better than I would.

    If you like to believe that we’re doomed forever no matter what, it’s your right to do so.

  146. We can debate the merits of tanking until the cows come home, but as JK said, once Thibs was hired, the notion of tanking was off the table. So it’s a moot point and not worthy of rehashing for the billionth time.

  147. Max: we have only 20M of cap space next year” that I’m contesting.

    That cap figure was brought up in the context of a particular post-Harden trade scenario.

  148. Z-man: That cap figure was brought up in the context of a particular post-Harden trade scenario.

    Yes, I know, but it was brought out of the contest, without reference to trades, in Vincoug’s comment that I was discussing with him… :-)

  149. vincoug: For the season so far, RJ’s numbers are exactly as bad as they were last year except for an improved FT%. I already said Mitch was good. Quickley and Toppin are unknowns. I want them to be good but we shouldn’t be pointing to them as pieces for the future.

    RJ’s numbers are better across the board except for his 3p%, which is notoriously noisy.

  150. #..but as JK said, once Thibs was hired, the notion of tanking was off the table#

    Thibs will (most possibly) always play to win.
    Trading his most useful players for picks tho in the trade deadline will be a clear sign of him accepting a cryptotanking approach instead of a “Win at all costs” mode which would be to try to acquire better players while mortgaging the future by giving away valuable picks and promising youth.

    The trade deadline will tell us all we need to know about this season’s goals. Not the desire for winning bball.

  151. Max: and because if you don’t watch the games you couldn’t judge the progress/regress of individual players and team as a whole.

    I missed one game, not games.

    Querly Q-Word, Pen Name of Pen Name Early Bird: RJ’s numbers are better across the board except for his 3p%, which is notoriously noisy.

    His Per36 and Per100 are a tick better than last year’s though with a serious drop in already bad efficiency. The biggest change from last year is that he’s playing 8 more MPG.

  152. vincoug: I missed one game, not games.

    His Per36 and Per100 are a tick better than last year’s though with a serious drop in already bad efficiency.The biggest change from last year is that he’s playing 8 more MPG.

    If RJ shoots his career average of 31% from 3, then his TS% is .496. Suddenly, he’s much better. Unless you think he’ll continue shooting 24% from 3. He’s a bad shooter, but I doubt he’s that bad.

  153. His Per36 and Per100 are a tick better than last year’s though with a serious drop in already bad efficiency. The biggest change from last year is that he’s playing 8 more MPG.

    the only thing that’s down is his 3pt %… stls/blks… all of which are noisy in this small a sample….

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/barrerj01.html

    everything else is up…. rebounds… assists.. turnovers (down)…. ft%… even his 2p% is slightly up…. that even results into a positive ws48….

    what part of his efficiency is down?

  154. Knicks haven’t looked like a good team

    queue bill lumbergh at his passive-aggressive best: ew, ah, yeah – i’m gonna have to go ahead and sort of disagree with you there…

    if you can honestly say you watched the 3rd quarter of last night’s game and didn’t notice a “good” performance from the new york squad, that would be: a less than accurate statement…

    towards the end of the quarter mike and clyde even mentioned – we look like a well coached team…well coached teams are generally good…not always, but generally…

  155. Looking good at times and outperforming the abysmal performance from last year is not really the same thing as being a genuinely good team, unfortunately. I’m also suspicious that the teams we’ve played are either 1) not actually good (Cleveland), 2) suffering from the lack of a preseason to gel better (Indiana) or 3) missed a ridiculous amount of open threes against us (Milwaukee). Once things settle in more, I would be surprised if we were within sniffing distance of .500 for long.

  156. Are we a heavily talented team?
    No
    Are we a hard fighting team?
    Yes
    Do we play good bball?
    Yes
    Are we a good team?
    So far We are

    And as the fanalytics say:
    You are what your numbers say that you are!

  157. Did anyone figure out how the play-in spots and the lottery intersect this year? What if you’re eight and you get bounced in the play-in games? I would assume it’ll be based on regular season standings and they’ll ignore the new shit but who knows. It’s gonna continue to be a strange season.

    They specifically haven’t revealed the answer yet. It’s kind of crazy.

  158. Clock ticking down, Nets trailing by one, Kyrie takes (and bricks) a fallback three pointer? Sounds about right.

    “KD who?”

  159. Bulls beating the Mavs potentially improving both Knicks picks next year. More of this please.

  160. Memories

    Watching the Greek Freak on the bench while Milwaukee being down 20 points at some moment i thought i could read his mind (and I can’t even read the lips talking from a distance)…

    What the fuk is happening ?
    Why did i choose the bucks?
    Where are the shitknicks?

    Yesterday’s game was a better revelation for team’s progress, quality playing.
    You could sense the confidence during clutch time.
    You knew you were the better team.
    You knew you were…you know….

    …Good!

  161. djphan: the only thing that’s down is his 3pt %…stls/blks… all of which are noisy in this small a sample….

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/barrerj01.html

    everything else is up….rebounds… assists.. turnovers (down)…. ft%… even his 2p% is slightly up…. that even results into a positive ws48….

    what part of his efficiency is down?

    You’re talking about 0.7 rebounds and 0.3 assists per 36 and his 2P% is basically identical. His eFG% is down from 44.5 to 41.1 and his TS% is down from 47.9 to 46.9 from last season.

  162. Brian Cronin: They specifically haven’t revealed the answer yet. It’s kind of crazy.

    I think you’re overthinking the lottery. I would think that after the play-in tournament the 14 non-playoff teams will be ranked according to their record and the team with the best record will have the worst lottery odds and so on. Is there any reason to think it’ll work differently?

  163. vincoug: I think you’re overthinking the lottery.I would think that after the play-in tournament the 14 non-playoff teams will be ranked according to their record and the team with the best record will have the worst lottery odds and so on.Is there any reason to think it’ll work differently?

    Yes, I think the lottery teams should be decided purely by regular season record. Why should a team get rewarded for losing in the play-in tournament or penalized for winning? It’s already much harder for the lower seeds to win, so they shouldn’t have even less incentive to do so…

  164. Z-man: Yes, I think the lottery teams should be decided purely by regular season record. Why should a team get rewarded for losing in the play-in tournament or penalized for winning?It’s already much harder for the lower seeds to win, so they shouldn’t have even less incentive to do so…

    But I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the opposite of that and that the lottery rankings will be decided after the play-in. I don’t think it’s functionally all that different than when the 9th seed in the Western conference finishes with a better record than the 8th seed in the Eastern conference and the west team is in the lottery while the east team is in the playoffs.

  165. But I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the opposite of that and that the lottery rankings will be decided after the play-in. I don’t think it’s functionally all that different than when the 9th seed in the Western conference finishes with a better record than the 8th seed in the Eastern conference and the west team is in the lottery while the east team is in the playoffs.

    I’m more with Z-Man on this, but my issue is more that it’s weird that the NBA hasn’t said what the deal is yet.

  166. His eFG% is down from 44.5 to 41.1 and his TS% is down from 47.9 to 46.9 from last season.

    you realize efg% and ts% are highly reliant on 3pt % and hence they are also as volatile as 3pt% right?

    you’re talking about two things that really is a result of one thing…

  167. I looked at the link far Barrett’s stats. His free throw percentage is better. Every other difference in percentages looks small enough to be noise. He is playing more minutes, but he doesn’t seem much better otherwise. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.

  168. Also, I looked at the standings (I know, a No-No this early in the season). We’ve played Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Toronto, Cleveland and Indiana twice. By record, all good teams except Toronto. We haven’t been blown out by anyone and we win games against good teams. It’s encouraging. The next couple of weeks will tell if this is fool’s gold or not.

  169. Brian Cronin: I’m more with Z-Man on this, but my issue is more that it’s weird that the NBA hasn’t said what the deal is yet.

    I hate tanking and I support the complete elimination of the draft (with a hard cap, NHL/NFL style), or a “pure luck” lottery with no predefined odds, so I must be a little happy with this shit, but I’m not.

    I think they refuse to talk about it because they really don’t know how to solve it without potentially putting someone in trouble.
    Money drove the choice, not competitive spirit (despite all the bullshit they said about it: Yahoo Silver!) and now they had put themselves in a corner.

    The Play-In his a stupid idea to start with (heartful thanks to Zach Lowe, Bill simmons and his minions at the Ringer) now they could choose to have lottery teams decided:

    1. By the Regular Season.
    Risking that a 48-wins 7th or 8th seed team that won 9 more games that the 9th and 11 more than the 10th (2018-2019 Spurs and Clippers) lose his playoff spot AND doesn’t enter the lottery (isn’t that very bad?).
    What if a 7th/8th lose is best player to a light injury (or Covid) just before the play-in?

    or

    2. By the Tournament.
    Lowering incentives for the 9th and 10th team to try to win a playoff spot (the 10th in particular) but enabling a team that lose his well earned “real” playoff spot to at least be in the lottery.
    If you’re the 36-win 2017-2018 Charlotte Hornets what’s your choice between a first round sweep and a 9,4% chance to a top-4 pick (in a draft like this one)?

    Maybe if they had limited it to a play-in game between the 8th and 9th team this could be more palatable, as is it’s a good way to devalue the regular season and screw the lottery at the same time.

    I’m a Ranger fan, but I think that getting Lafreniere and at the same time been in the playoffs was a disservice for too many teams…

  170. You guys are getting too caught up in the conference seeding when the conferences don’t matter for the lottery. The lottery is the 14 teams that don’t make the playoffs, that’s it. We’ve consistently had better teams in the lottery and worse teams in the playoffs because of the conference setup. Just year, Phoenix and Memphis were in the lottery and Orlando wasn’t even though Orlando finished with a worse record.

  171. 100% true.

    That’s why there’s a “movement” in favor of suppressing the conferences,
    hard to do because a large majority is requested in votes for this kind of things and a lot of teams from both conference are against it for “personal reasons”.

  172. Strong endorsement from Thibs:

    “Let’s talk about Mitch,” Thibodeau said. “He’s just, every day he’s growing and growing and growing. The way he’s working, studying, preparing for the games. you could see his confidence grow. He’s making multiple effort plays. He’s a hard guy to score over. And he’s really the anchor of the defense back there. And offensively there’s a lot of room for him to grow. He’s putting a lot of time in.”
    As for when Robinson could take the next step in his improvement, the veteran coach gave a blunt response: “You guys haven’t seen it yet, but it’s coming.”

    Knowing Thibs’ standard is nice to see that Mitch has a strong work ethic.

  173. Bruno Almeida: The biggest misconception that gets thrown in this board every time is that people here are pro tanking randomly. It’s literally never been true. ..
    …Now, the lottery has changed massively, to the point where being the worst team doesn’t guarantee shit anymore. Plus, the Knicks do have some young talent at least, even if I’m not a Barrett believer just yet, and they appear to have a somewhat competent front office at least in the sense that they’re not as terrible as the garbage we endured before them. That obviously also changes things.

    That’s why people are, and were, pro tanking, it’s not a masochistic desire to watch garbage basketball and hope against reason for dumb luck to go our way. So obviously even the people who believe that tanking is viable are going to be excited by a good stretch of above average basketball, even with all the obvious caveats that come with it.

    Very accurate comment. I’ve endured decades of tanking and we’ve haven’t done well with it since Dave D drew the frozen envelop with Ewing’s name on it. Tanking isn’t the same. We were at bottom and are digging out and we have assets up the yin-yang. It’s time to start winning and putting those assets to work towards that. I predicted an 18 win season and nothing will make me happier than if I’m proven to be horribly wrong. I’m here to watch winning basketball.

  174. Brian Cronin: I’m more with Z-Man on this, but my issue is more that it’s weird that the NBA hasn’t said what the deal is yet.

    From NBA.com:
    Q: How will the Play-In Tournament be structured?
    The Play-In Tournament will include the teams with the 7th-highest through the 10th-highest winning percentages in each conference.

    At the conclusion of the regular season but before the first round of the playoffs, the team with the 7th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 8th-highest winning percentage in a Play-In Game (the “Seven-Eight Game”). The winner of the Seven-Eight Game in each conference will earn the No. 7 seed.

    The team with the 9th-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the 10th-highest winning percentage in the “Nine-Ten Game”. The loser of the Seven-Eight Game will host the winner of the Nine-Ten Game in a Play-In Game, and the winner of that game in each conference will earn the No. 8 seed.

  175. Max:
    Strong endorsement from Thibs:

    “Let’s talk about Mitch,” Thibodeau said. “He’s just, every day he’s growing and growing and growing. The way he’s working, studying, preparing for the games. you could see his confidence grow. He’s making multiple effort plays. He’s a hard guy to score over. And he’s really the anchor of the defense back there. And offensively there’s a lot of room for him to grow. He’s putting a lot of time in.”
    As for when Robinson could take the next step in his improvement, the veteran coach gave a blunt response: “You guys haven’t seen it yet, but it’s coming.”

    Knowing Thibs’ standard is nice to see that Mitch has a strong work ethic.

    That’s very encouraging to read, I love it. It definitely feels Mitch is getting better at controlling himself, and that has always been the key, the talent is clearly there, he just needs to slow down and make the right decisions.

  176. Bruno Almeida: As for when Robinson could take the next step in his improvement, the veteran coach gave a blunt response: “You guys haven’t seen it yet, but it’s coming.”

    That seemed to be a hint at him taking 3’s. Thibs is probably working it into a set play that they’re practicing.

  177. I just don’t get the worry about getting a lottery pick above all else. Yes, it’s great to get lottery picks but if you look at a lot of the bad teams from the last 10 years they’ve picked in the lottery often and that hasn’t helped them move out of the lottery.

    It’s just as important to establish an identity and put a good coaching staff and system in place and develop your players. The league is full of great players who were drafted outside the top ten or even fifteen.

    And the better a team plays, the more desirable that team becomes to free agents and the more valuable all of the players become as potential trade pieces. Which means potentially being able to put together a package for a star that isn’t all of your players and draft picks. Randle is 26. If he continues to play this way he could be the centerpiece of a trade for a legit star.

    If Quickley is good, him and Mitch would be two young foundational pieces drafted late in the draft.

    Develop a winning team, sign players to good value contracts, don’t trade away first rounders, make good picks and develop the youngsters. Don’t make trades where you trade everything away for pseudo, aging stars. Do this and you’ll be good and be good long enough and you might one day be great.

  178. @GNYGNYG

    That implies the play-in would affect lottery standings but it’s not obvious. Lottery odds were locked before the bubble and that included theoretically regular season games. I would assume they’d lock before since you could end up with so strangely successful lottery teams otherwise. But we don’t actually know.

    Nice words about Mitch.

  179. Grocer: Lottery odds were locked before the bubble and that included theoretically regular season games. I would assume they’d lock before since you could end up with so strangely successful lottery teams otherwise.

    I don’t think that’s correct. They were locked for the teams that weren’t in the bubble but I don’t think bubble teams were locked.

  180. Setting aside his volatile outside shooting, I think RJ has clearly been better around the rim and from the FT line so far this year to go along with a little sharper ball movement and passing, There are 3 possibilities about his outside shooting.

    1. Last year was a positive aberration and he’s really a worse shooter than he looked.

    2. This year has been a short term negative aberration and he’s at least as good as last year.

    3. People are being wildly premature to start worrying about his mid range, long 2s, and 3s after 6 games or to get too hyped about his much better FT shooting and better finishing around the rim. The most likely scenario is that he’s a bit better shooter overall and we’ll see that over time.

  181. Mitch would have a much bigger and more consistent impact on the offense if he added something to his game besides the OREB putbacks and lobs the way Thibs is hinting. It would change how teams defend us and potentially even change the spacing for Randle and RJ if he could add an outside shot that had be defended. Even if he can’t add a 3 yet, if he had a consistent 15 footer like Amare eventually added and could put the ball on the floor he’d be awfully tough to guard. When Amare added that shot, teams had to come out on him and that opened the door to using his athleticism to blow by the slower Cs. A Mitch that could create some stuff for himself would be like mana from heaven.

  182. The Knicks currently rank 8th in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency, allowing just 105.5 points per 100 possessions Relatedly, New York ranks inside top-10 in Contested Shots and top-5 in contested 3-point attempts.#ThibsEffect?— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 3, 2021

  183. Ntilakilla: The Knicks currently rank 8th in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency, allowing just 105.5 points per 100 possessions Relatedly, New York ranks inside top-10 in Contested Shots and top-5 in contested 3-point attempts.#ThibsEffect?— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) January 3, 2021

    Stats! Here’s another: the Knicks and Bucks have the same ! exact ! record, even though the Bucks have a total margin of victory of 84 and the Knicks are at -18. Stats!

    Can we please use the eyetest for a few more games?

  184. I think the lottery should clearly be determined by the regular season standings.

    I’m fine with the play in tournament because it reduces the incentive to tank in the regular season. There will be more teams in contention for a play in spot until much later in the season and almost everyone wants to get into the playoffs if they are in contention for a spot. However, the play in games are likely to produce way more upsets than a 7 game series. So I don’t think the lottery should be impacted by the more random results of those games.

  185. Grocer: Lottery odds were locked before the bubble and that included theoretically regular season games. I would assume they’d lock before since you could end up with so strangely successful lottery teams otherwise.

    Never mind, you were right about lottery odds being locked based on record before the bubble. But, the lottery teams were still the 14 teams that didn’t make the playoffs.

  186. Deefense,

    I would LOVE Mitch to have a little ten foot jump shot he could take from time to time or step out to the corner 3 once or twice a game. Or have some post moves.

    But right now…just him playing full starter’s minutes every game, not getting in foul trouble, and focusing on being a real game changer on defense…I think its wise Thibs is just having him focus on these basics. Right now he’s working on getting himself to that peak Tyson Chandler level of player, which is an incredibly impactful player. I don’t want him right now working on those other offensive tools yet. That will come with time.

  187. i predict our defensive rating takes a nice jaunty swoon forthwith. we have forced the fewest non-rim 2pas in the league , excluding of garbage time.

  188. ptmilo:
    i predict our defensive rating takes a nice jaunty swoon forthwith.we have forced the fewest non-rim 2pas in the league , excluding of garbage time.

    Could this be a product of having one of the two of the best shotblockers in the league in the game for 48 minutes? Both of them are also mobile on the perimeter and in the PnR…

  189. @NYKnicksPR
    Knicks injury report for Monday at Atlanta UPDATE:
    Questionable: Invisible 6th Man (Bruised Ego)
    Ego suffered the injury january 2nd @Indiana while getting tangled up with Malcolm Brogdon and Justin Holiday.

    Tom Thibodeau’s comment’s: “I hope we’ll get Invisible back soon, before the injury he played great and he’s instrumental in our team success. He and Robinson are the anchors of our defense.”.

    Ego declared but went undrafted after two years at Stealth University.

    (Invisible 6th Man is a Copyright of Bo Nateman)

  190. Z-man: Could this be a product of having one of the two of the best shotblockers in the league in the game for 48 minutes? Both of them are also mobile on the perimeter and in the PnR…

    I was wondering the same thing, if the scheme is to funnel players in their direction. It can also be a product of the quality of teams we’re facing.

  191. Could this be a product of having one of the two of the best shotblockers in the league in the game for 48 minutes? Both of them are also mobile on the perimeter and in the PnR…

    percentage of shots at the rim: 39.8%. 28th of 30. league average: 32.9%.

  192. So how do we reconcile Invisible 6th Man (who I love, to be honest) with “top-5 in contested 3-point attempts”?

  193. there’s nothing more silly than asking your 7ft center that shoots 58% from the line to go out and shoot 3 pters.. because spacing….

  194. djphan:
    there’s nothing more silly than asking your 7ft center that shoots 58% from the line to go out and shoot 3 pters.. because spacing….

    I guess that you disagree with almost all NBA organizations.

  195. Raven:
    So how do we reconcile Invisible 6th Man (who I love, to be honest) with “top-5 in contested 3-point attempts”?

    People don’t. Which is why some are eager to dismiss the defensive stats.

  196. ptmilo:
    Could this be a product of having one of the two of the best shotblockers in the league in the game for 48 minutes? Both of them are also mobile on the perimeter and in the PnR…

    percentage of shots at the rim:39.8%.28th of 30.league average: 32.9%.

    Sorry, I misinterpreted…seems weird though. What is opponent’s FG% at the rim?

  197. I guess that you disagree with almost all NBA organizations.

    is deandre jordan and andre drummond shooting 3s a new trend or something?

  198. I don’t think that’s correct. They were locked for the teams that weren’t in the bubble but I don’t think bubble teams were locked.

    Locked pre-bubble. Consider: Kings improved their record v the Pellies but still picked before them (via tiebreaker since their records were the same pre-bubble). The Suns picked before all of them despite finishing better in the standings due to their undefeated bubble.

  199. I think the Invisible 6th Man is a (very) funny way to explain things every time one of our opponent miss an open three.
    And it works as a rallying cry for those who remember that this site used to have a mantra: “Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.”

    This year defense, as a whole, has been better by a country mile (despite some occasional lapses that put Thibs’ life in jeopardy every time), the coaching staff has done wonders in making the players buy in.

    Sometimes you defend well and your opponent is too good (or lucky) and score and others you skip a rotation and the same player miss an open three. It’s part of the game.

    That’s why watching the games is so important for evaluating defense, it’s important to check the effort, the timing of the rotations, the ability to not jump on a fake.

    Randle’s steal, Mitch block at the end of the game or his footwork on the Sabonis’ one, the sequence when we defended 4 vs 5 while Rivers was stunned under the other basket, could not be described just by a number, as good at this number could be.

  200. Looking forward to a Trae-Quickley matchup tonight. Two players very adept at drawing bullshit fouls, maybe they cancel each other out?

  201. I missed nearly all 2020, I read somewhere in a previous post that someone’s been banned from the site.
    Could I humbly ask if is it true and if so who and why?
    Thanks for the answers.
    :-)

  202. sry vincoug, you’d already looked it up. Update failure on my part.

    True, no playoff teams picked in the lottery but the Suns ended up 1.5 games out of the 7th seed and picked 10th. Did I do the math on 1.5 right? Never was a baseball fan.

  203. Don’t forget Lopez in Milwaukee.

    glad you mentioned lopez… what does he shoot at the line?

    in fact can we name any center that shoots less than 60% from the line that shoots 3s at a competent level anywhere let alone on every nba team?

    let’s not even restrict it by centers… are there any players that shoot 60% from the line and shoots 3s at a competent level period?

  204. Hi Max, totally agree with your Invisible Sixth Man comments. However, it was interesting that I bought into the narrative spun here that we were allowing a huge number of uncontested threes that were being missed, as like most people I was fixated on the results rather than the defensive effort that occurred beforehand. To me the reason that matters is that when our favorite term, regression to the mean, kicks in it suggests that the fall might not be as precipitous as I was imagining it was going to be. Which bodes well, or at least better.

  205. “I missed nearly all 2020, I read somewhere in a previous post that someone’s been banned from the site.”

    BobNeptune.

    We had a lot of political conversations in the offseason covering Covid, BLM, and Trump. There was no basketball to talk about and a lot of people used this board as an outlet.

    Bob didn’t engage in the dialogue that ensued as respectfully as he might have and ended up veering into some clear trollishness.

    In sum, he was making the board a fairly hostile and unhealthy place. He ended up getting banned. There was another healthy discussion after that about whether that had been the right thing to do and then we all moved on.

    Anyway, I think we are all glad to be back to our regular diet of Mercs v Prospects, Tanking, Frank, and the Impending Front Office Apocalypse.

  206. The defensive stats are all distorted by the Buck/Raptor flukish 3 point misses en masse. Sample size isn’t big enough yet to overcome that.

  207. I think a little praise for Mike Miller is needed. He’s no Thibs, but he did a fine job and the team was getting better by the day, when covid abruptly cut his work short. He at least righted the ship last year, and teached things like defense to the team. Now we’re even better, but it certainly wouldn’t be the same if the players went to the prolonged offseason with the stupid ideas that Fiz called basketball schemes in their heads. They got better during the offseason, maybe because they left with much better ideas on what to do.
    Long live Mike Miller, OAKAAK! :)

  208. Owen:
    “I missed nearly all 2020, I read somewhere in a previous post that someone’s been banned from the site.”

    BobNeptune.

    We had a lot of political conversations in the offseason covering Covid, BLM, and Trump. There was no basketball to talk about and a lot of people used this board as an outlet.

    Bob didn’t engage in the dialogue that ensued as respectfully as he might have and ended up veering into some clear trollishness.

    In sum, he was making the board a fairly hostile and unhealthy place. He ended up getting banned. There was another healthy discussion after that about whether that had been the right thing to do and then we all moved on.

    Anyway, I think we are all glad to be back to our regular diet of Mercs v Prospects, Tanking, Frank, and the Impending Front Office Apocalypse.

    Thank you very much Owen!

    I remember Bob and I’m not surprised things went awry with him in that particular context.

  209. cybersoze:
    I think a little praise for Mike Miller is needed. He’s no Thibs, but he did a fine job and the team was getting better by the day, when covid abruptly cut his work short. He at least righted the ship last year, and teached things like defense to the team. Now we’re even better, but it certainly wouldn’t be the same if the players went to the prolonged offseason with the stupid ideas that Fiz called basketball schemes in their heads. They got better during the offseason, maybe because they left with much better ideas on what to do.
    Long live Mike Miller, OAKAAK! :)

    +1

    I respect Miller’s work,
    coming after Fizdale’s it’s was easy to look better but the team he inherited was a dispirited bunch of rubble and he made them play at least decently.

  210. I think a little praise for Mike Miller is needed.

    I definitely appreciate Miller illustrating what a clown Fizdale was by showing what merely competent coaching could do with this group. But Thibs feels like a significant upgrade over Miller. (Miller didn’t have an offseason to devise or implement new schemes on either side of the ball, but it’s not like Thibs had a normal preseason, either.) I thank Miller for his service, but am also glad we didn’t decide to stay the course with him.

  211. Fizdale always had that “what the fuck just happened? look on his face”

    Dude, you’re the coach, you should know!

  212. Lets face it. In retrospect, Fizdale was hired by Pills to tank and as a “player’s coach” with a decent rep in the league to attract any combination of the big name FA class that included Durant, Irving, Kawhi, Butler, etc. Once we picked Barrett and couldn’t bring in anybody of note outside of Randle the jig was up and he outlived his usefulness.

  213. Basketball/Knicks: We’re so starved for anything positive that we probably exaggerate the positives at this point.

    Bobneptune: His banning is part of a broader trend in message board/social media culture and I’m still trying to work out all the whys and the wherefores. I have one or even more than one foot solidly in the left, but you’d have to be blind to reality not to notice that in the last five years or so, the “left” broadly defined has undertaken an effort, consciously or unconsciously, to make online public spaces “theirs.” And that effort, as it has gained pace, has become very successful. As a liberal member of the left, I find that troubling if not very troubling. Typically this effort is covered in euphemisms like “he made the board hostile and unhealthy” and the like and it’s hard not to recognize that those euphemisms are a substitute for “he expressed too many right wing thoughts.”

    Now, with that said, there are likely reasons for this and that’s what I’m trying to work out and think through. The whole notion of a “public space” is now entirely different and the two “sides” engage each other politically far, far, far more frequently now and it could just be that ultimately the engagement stretched the bonds of co-existence beyond their natural breaking point and they snapped. There really isn’t the possibility anymore to just norm-write certain things out of bounds — religion and politics being the two typical primary examples. It could be that we simply wind up revealing more of ourselves to strangers than any of us have evolved to handle, and that frays things to the snapping point.

    But there’s little doubt that message board/social media culture has come to be inconsistent with liberalism and open thought. Maybe those things need certain underlying conditions and premises to flourish — which is what I’m still thinking through — but they do need to be re-discovered. But the left’s idea that they have a monopoly on truth because they’re “better on race” and whatnot is inaccurate, at times laughably so. That idea seems to be the animating reason behind trying to make the online public spaces “theirs.”

  214. I think we should band together and send Doncic some gift cards for Shake Shack and Five Guys

    the two “sides” engage each other politically far, far, far more frequently now and it could just be that ultimately the engagement stretched the bonds of co-existence beyond their natural breaking point and they snapped

    It could also be that the Overton window has shifted such that open sedition and other anti-democratic criminal conduct, based on gross misinformation, are considered wholly patriotic among a large chunk of citizens and their elected officials alike. Or it could just be a natural breaking point, whatever that means. I apologize for not tolerating the wholesale dismantling of democratic institutions. I should probably be more tolerant, I guess.

  215. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    I think we should band together and send Doncic some gift cards for Shake Shack and Five Guys

    I’ve to check google for this one and I’m amazed to discover that there’s one Five Guys franchise in downtown Milano :-O

    P.S. It got mixed reviews

  216. Do you think Luka has ever been to the Cheesecake Factory? The menu is like 24 pages long. He’d love it.

  217. Bob was banned because he was routinely derailing threads. I wouldn’t have banned him if I were a mod, but I understand why they did and something disciplinary needed to be done. This is a privately owned board whose mods have ample latitude to allow or disallow speech. That had nothing to do with the first amendment, liberalism, or illiberalism; rather, it was about wholly nonpolitical forum desiderata, viz, what counts as an acceptable level of derailing and off-topic discussion.

    I repeat: It had nothing to do with his opinions being verboten–after all, MBunge is still unbanned and occasionally posting on this board, and boy howdy, he makes Bob look eminently reasonable by comparison.

  218. Luka’s favorite restaurant in Madrid and presumably the US is the Hard Rock Cafe. He loves their burgers. Let’s get him in there next time he’s in New York, KB’s treat.

  219. What exactly did Bob say that riled everyone up so much? I normally find it illiberal to censor discourse, unless its done in bad faith. That’s the kind of shit the rightwing has done in the country for decades on issues regarding patriotism (see Colin Kaepernick’s BLM protests), antimilitarism (see Dixie Chicks during War in Iraq) or anticapitalism (see the McCarthy witchhunts). So I always find it sad when purported “leftists” or “liberals” resort to this “canceling” because its really the Right who pioneered cancel culture in America.

  220. Creating a GoFundMe for Luka Doncic’s poor diet to continue may be the best idea all season.

  221. It’s so funny. I look at Luka’s weight gain and wonder if its affecting his play and then I see Harden’s bloated ass is balling.

  222. I didn’t mean to re-open a sensible topic,
    my question was more of the “previously, on Knickerblogger dot net… dum dum” kind,
    I apologize if my question pissed someone.

  223. If I can find a way to send some of my lasagna or parmigiana to Luka, you’ll see the effect on his girth

  224. Ntilakilla:
    What exactly did Bob say that riled everyone up so much? I normally find it illiberal to censor discourse, unless its done in bad faith. That’s the kind of shit the rightwing has done in the country for decades on issues regarding patriotism (see Colin Kaepernick’s BLM protests), antimilitarism (see Dixie Chicks during War in Iraq)or anticapitalism (see the McCarthy witchhunts).So I always find it sad when purported “leftists” or “liberals” resort to this “canceling” because its really the Right who pioneered cancel culture in America.

    Come on, this is way too much. You’ve been in this board for how many years now, and how many people have you actually seen banned? Reub spent literally years spewing all sorts of bullshit without getting banned, the same for Bob who was always belligerent and disrespectful in many ways. Brian has always been extremely patient and diplomatic in every way, so at least give him some credit instead of coming with this cancel culture bullshit that is one of the most annoying myths created in the recent years.

  225. Hey Max, you’re from Milano? Been there twice, lovely city, one time i decided not to go for the “touristic sites” and walked around for hours… it was an amazing day! And as this forum likes to talk about food, one time i went to dinner at La Piccola Ischia (it’s a pizzeria) and the food tasted superbly! Best “Crocchette di patate” i’ve ever eaten! :)

  226. Bob wasn’t banned for his opinions, which were largely the same as Strat’s. He was banned because he made the board a much worse place. We’d be talking about, like, Jarrett Culver and he’d come in spewing some incomprehensible inflammatory nonsense about Andrew McCabe or some shit.

  227. cybersoze:
    Hey Max, you’re from Milano? Been there twice, lovely city, one time i decided not to go for the “touristic sites” and walked around for hours… it was an amazing day! And as this forum likes to talk about food, one time i went to dinner at La Piccola Ischia (it’s a pizzeria) and the food tasted superbly! Best “Crocchette di patate” i’ve ever eaten! :)

    Nice Cyber! I live in the neighbors now but I used to live in the city, and glad you loved the town. Good idea to skip the tourists’ places and just walk around, always the best way to “feel” a city.
    I’m calling The Piccola Ischia and arranging a speedy delivery of crocchette to Luka!

  228. ptmilo:
    Could this be a product of having one of the two of the best shotblockers in the league in the game for 48 minutes? Both of them are also mobile on the perimeter and in the PnR…

    percentage of shots at the rim:39.8%.28th of 30.league average: 32.9%.

    Playing 5 out of 6 games against teams who actually have low post threats probably has something to do with it. Embiid, Drummond, Sabonis, and Giannis have to be among the league leaders in low post touches. It’ll be interesting to see how the defense deals with more motion- oriented offenses as the season progresses.

  229. We’re 7 points underdogs, with a 28% chance to win according to ESPN’ BPI.

    Atlanta lay an egg with Cleveland so they’re pissed off, also they could run like hell and the Collins-Capela couple is a good test for our bigs.

    Over/Under on Young’s FT? 15,5?

  230. Ntilakilla: What exactly did Bob say that riled everyone up so much?

    It wasn’t what bob said so much as it was the number of times he felt compelled to say it. bob’s prolixity and his dogged insistence on belaboring every argument to well beyond its natural lifespan were making this site well nigh unreadable. At a time when new thread starts were few and far between, 7-800 post threads – the lion’s share of which were largely authored by bob – became annoyingly commonplace.

    From the perspective of a lurker such as I – whose main enjoyment of this site derives from reading the back and forth of posters far more intelligent than myself – bob’s incessant harranguing was transforming what had been a pleasant diversion into a throroughly tedious slog. The content of bob’s posts, their political leanings, were not the problem (at least not for me) It was more a question of quantity than quality. If bob had exercised a bit more discernment in expressing the same opinions, I daresay he’d still be here gleefully “owning the libs,” as well as extolling the wisdon of Dave Gettleman and the greatness of Daniel Jones. Cutting him loose was no doubt an uncomfortable decision for the mods but it’s one that probably kept several from abandoning this site for good. I strongly suspect I would have been one of them.

  231. You’ve been in this board for how many years now, and how many people have you actually seen banned?

    This is why I am as asking about what Bob specifically wrote because everything I’ve seen here leads me to believe that Brian is a rather fair, impartial and sober moderator on this board who tolerates quite a bit of dissent from basketball related topics. But it is interesting you bring my time here up because several posters have openly lobbied Brian to ban me several times in the past. Once because I made a crude, juvenile comment about someone “clearing sand from their vagina” which was very bad taste. Another time was because because my criticisms of certain sacred cows of Democratic centrism like the Russiagate hoax from a left-leaning perspective.

    Also, as someone who was called stupid by Bob, I know how belligerent and disrespectful he can be. But that alone doesn’t usually qualify as a basis for a ban here or else there would some others here who would’ve gotten a time out or two. So, again, I ask what happened with him?

  232. Max: I’m calling The Piccola Ischia and arranging a speedy delivery of crocchette to Luka!

    LOL! Jalen Suggs here we go! :D

  233. Okay, so it sounds like a combination of Covid isolation and Trump’s slow but steady political downfall during a botched and indifferent pandemic response melted Bob’s brain to the point of “bunker mentality” fixation upon protecting his MAGA Lord and Savior. I see. Thank you all for answering my question.

  234. So, again, I ask what happened with him?

    People have said. Repeatedly. Bob hijacked threads and made them unreadable with the sheer volume and belligerence of his posts. I stopped coming to the site for a while because of him. It wasn’t any one specific comment or topic, but the inescapable totality of the abusiveness. Asking for an explanation beyond that will get nowhere except valuable time that can be taken up with more important questions, like what football team I should pay attention to next year now that all signs are that the Giants won’t be firing Dave Gettleman.

  235. Bob literally derailed every single thread for what felt like forever. He also would pick fights with the same posters over and over and over again about the same few talking points. Since he seemed to relish getting people to take his bait and argue with him (and again I emphasize in EVERY SINGLE THREAD), there wasn’t much to do beyond either amending the Knickerblogger slogan to be “Bobneptune’s rants. Caustic shitflinging. Knicks.” or just ban him. I was on board with banning him at the time and I still think it was the right move.

  236. It would just be all kinds of awesome if that Dallas pick was in the lottery. Knicks deserve it.

  237. Ntilakilla:
    Okay, so it sounds like a combination of Covid isolation and Trump’s slow but steady political downfall during a botched and indifferent pandemic response melted Bob’s brain to the point of “bunker mentality” fixation upon protecting his MAGA Lord and Savior. I see. Thank you all for answering my question.

    Yeah, at that time i stopped reading the blog and only checked once a day, if in the first 10 comments bob had 4 or more, i’d close the tab and only came back the next day.

  238. It would possibly be one of the most ironic lottery outcomes of all time if the Dallas pick jumps into the top three, assuming ours does the usual and drops a slot. Marc Cuban would probably have an aneurysm from sheer rage and do the Looney Tunes thing where steam comes out of his ears.

  239. thenoblefacehumper:
    Bob wasn’t banned for his opinions, which were largely the same as Strat’s. He was banned because he made the board a much worse place. We’d be talking about, like, Jarrett Culver and he’d come in spewing some incomprehensible inflammatory nonsense about Andrew McCabe or some shit.

    Yeah, but that’s kind of it, right? Andrew McCabe is “inflammatory” but there’s no real left equivalent. The rightists, for all their myriad faults and misapprehensions, tend not to get “inflamed” by leftists to the degree it happens in reverse. Certainly the Bobs of the world don’t seem to. Or is there a rightist equivalent I’m missing because I never go to any rightist boards other than very rarely Free Republic?

    The argument can’t possibly be that no basketball thread (or something similar at other sane public message boards) is ever sent careening in a different direction by someone bringing up some non sequitur-ian leftist thing.

  240. Ntilakilla: This is why I am as asking about what Bob specifically wrote because everything I’ve seen here leads me to believe that Brian is a rather fair, impartial and sober moderator on this board who tolerates quite a bit of dissent from basketball related topics. But it is interesting you bring my time here up because several posters have openly lobbied Brian to ban me several times in the past. Once because I made a crude, juvenile comment about someone “clearing sand from their vagina” which was very bad taste. Another time was because because my criticisms of certain sacred cows of Democratic centrism like the Russiagate hoax from a left-leaning perspective.

    Also, as someone who was called stupid by Bob, I know how belligerent and disrespectful he can be. But that alone doesn’t usually qualify as a basis for a ban here or else there would some others here who would’ve gotten a time out or two. So, again, I ask what happened with him?

    That was precisely my point, you’ve butted heads many times with many regular posters, pretty aggressively sometimes, and you’ve never been banned. But Alan has explained it better already so it’s clarified at this point.

    I was watching the full highlights of the Curry 62 point explosion and all I could think of is how we were so close to watch this happen with the Knicks with a packed MSG (and not against us for once). It would have been the GOAT combination of player arena fan base. I’ll stop thinking about it because it hurts.

  241. the fact that Bob is banned and a thread is still being hijacked to talk about him makes extremely clear where the fault lied.

    It’s kinda like when a basketball team is so bad because all the players suck, but you can’t fire all the players so you fire the coach.

    Bob was an unabashed outsider, and this board likes to bond with each other by attacking outsiders together. Unfortunately, Bob enjoyed fighting back too much, so it became unbearable.

    I gave Brian grief for the decision, but he acted on behalf of the greater good. If a pack of animals can’t stop themselves from playing with a shiny object, you gotta take the shiny object away, even if the fault lies in the nature of the animals.

  242. The best outcome would be both The Mavs and Clippers miss the playoffs (let me dream here) and then The Clips get a high lotto pick, which we have swap rights on. Meanwhile, The Knicks MAKE the playoffs and actually are competitive, either in a well fought first round loss to the 1 or 2 seed in 7 games or they actually somehow make it to the second round.

    Then we get the best of both worlds. Two lottery picks and increased respectability from being a good team.

    Bonus: Kawhi is so mad the Clips faltered that he opts into free agency and we sign him.

  243. cybersoze: Yeah, at that time i stopped reading the blog and only checked once a day, if in the first 10 comments bob had 4 or more, i’d close the tab and only came back the next day.

    Yeesh.

  244. Do millennials, particularly left-leaning millennials, have any experience in seeking out good political writing on the various poles and points of the political spectrum? That came as easy as breathing to a lot of Xers, especially earlier Xers, but seems to have entirely disappeared as a thing. Maybe there just isn’t enough infrastructure there in effectively managing political disagreement.(*) To this day, I avidly seek out shit I know I’m going to think is claptrap, simply for the sake of it. I’m not remotely alone in my cohort. Maybe that’s a function of not being able to read only things I agreed with during my impressionable years, as people can do now. There wasn’t enough of it to fill all the time. That’s the fundamental change since the net came along — you can do nothing else in life other than read about and follow, say, the New York Knicks and get constantly refreshed info and articles 24/7. That wasn’t remotely possible pre-net. So you moved on to different things and got wider exposures and learned how to manage them.

    (*) Which in turn comes down to exogenous things like acculturation and online life.

  245. What the story with Rivers saying he didn’t have much practice with team and didn’t know the sets so he was just out there playing basketball?

    Was he kept in a separate room and didn’t get to watch practice, watch the games, watch the game films, etc.. and learn the plays while he was hurt. I understand it takes awhile to shake off the rust and get used to new teammates, but I’m not buying much of the rest of it.

  246. Fucking rad!

    Hermione Lee has a new biography of Tom Stoppard coming in February, and among the details: he ghostwrote Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. 'Spielberg says, “Tom is pretty much responsible for every line of dialogue.”' https://t.co/QPZ4vIO92a— Alexander Chee (@alexanderchee) January 3, 2021

  247. This is why I am as asking about what Bob specifically wrote because everything I’ve seen here leads me to believe that Brian is a rather fair, impartial and sober moderator on this board who tolerates quite a bit of dissent from basketball related topics.

    No one here is under obligation to do the research for you, comrade. The archives are open. You can go back to any thread you choose and read them for yourself.

    Do millennials, particularly left-leaning millennials, have any experience in seeking out good political writing on the various poles and points of the political spectrum?

    I subscribe to NYT for reporting and Economist for analysis. I have subscribed to Nation (which I often agree with, but make no mistake about its bias) and Reason (which I sometimes agreed with, but largely view as a batshit-insane Koch brothers mouthpiece, which it is).

    If Economist were not such a task to get through each week, owing to its enormous walls of text and, until recently, an audio app that would only let you listen at 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0x speed, none of which were all that useful, I would likely subscribe to Foreign Policy. I have no interest in filling my mind with National Review’s propaganda any more than I do Jacobin’s.

  248. The rightists, for all their myriad faults and misapprehensions, tend not to get “inflamed” by leftists to the degree it happens in reverse.

    Total horseshit. It doesn’t even take a ‘leftist’ to rile up the right, centrists like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi have been conservative bogeyman going on 20 years now. A good chunk of the GOP electorate believes Hillary Clinton is the leader of a satanic pedophile ring (not to mention all the other Q-Anon related insanity directed towards Dem pols). Tucker Carlson will spend half his program in hysterics because AOC played videogames on Twitch.

    For a self-described ‘rationalist’ you sure spend a lot of time living in fantasy land.

    Alright, back to b-ball.

  249. Hubert: Bob was an unabashed outsider, and this board likes to bond with each other by attacking outsiders together. Unfortunately, Bob enjoyed fighting back too much, so it became unbearable.

    It would be a nice, conciliatory New Year’s gesture to welcome Bob back here. He obviously liked posting here and enjoyed the camaraderie of shared Knickdom. And he seems quite capable of learning whatever lessons he needed to learn about co-existing. I would commend to whomever makes these calls to find it within themselves to do this.

  250. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I subscribe to NYT for reporting and Economist for analysis. I have subscribed to Nation (which I often agree with, but make no mistake about its bias) and Reason (which I sometimes agreed with, but largely view as a batshit-insane Koch brothers mouthpiece, which it is).

    Left, pretty much left, way the fuck left, libertarian left with probably some overlap with rightist fire breathers on taxes and regulation.

  251. Hubert:

    I gave Brian grief for the decision, but he acted on behalf of the greater good. If a pack of animals can’t stop themselves from playing with a shiny object, you gotta take the shiny object away, even if the fault lies in the nature of the animals.

    I sympathize with this perspective as well because It does take two to tango. The elephant in the room, expressed in much of the subtext of what I’m reading, seems to be that Brian intervened because several posters didn’t like what Bob was arguing but just couldn’t ignore his posts either. So the former decided to ban the latter for the greater good of tranquility and peace here in Knickerblogger.

    Bruno astutely observes that I have clashed with several posters here and was never banned. This is true. But its not for a lack of trying on the part of others. I just never pissed off enough people to the point where Brian was willing to dismiss my perspective altogether by casting me out. Sad that Bob reached that dangerous tipping point. Seems like he lost the popularity contest.

  252. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I have no interest in filling my mind with National Review’s propaganda any more than I do Jacobin’s.

    Exactly. I read both. They’re indispensable and I can manage whatever propagandizing they do quite easily.

    Obviously there isn’t enough time in the day to read or do everything, and everyone is free to do as they will, but this is just an example.

  253. Do millennials, particularly left-leaning millennials, have any experience in seeking out good political writing on the various poles and points of the political spectrum?

    Decades ago the news and opinion sources were so limited everyone was more or less seeing and reading the same things. You tended to lean left or right of that mainstream based on your upbringing. Then your politics tended to evolve with life experience, work experience etc..

    When the internet started growing as a news source people like me actively sought out different views. So many evolved further and quickly.

    Now, not only do many people not seek out a variety of views and sources, they seem to actively block and try to suppress views that differ from their own current world view. I’ve never experienced anything like that. That’s a brand new thing. At most, you just kept politics out of the discussion to avoid confrontation with friends and family.

    I started out as a liberal in school, slowly became moderate, switched to republican in my 30s (work and business experience), switched to libertarian in my 40s (work, new friendships, reading) but in recent years I’m picking up a lot of pro worker and anti-free trade tendencies because I think my perspective was WAY TOO LONG TERM in my 30s and 40s. I learned you can be right 50-100 years from now, but cause a lot of problems between now and them. Throughout it all, I was always pro environment, but never as extreme as some.

  254. E, two-way G-Leaguer: Left, pretty much left, way the fuck left, libertarian left with probably some overlap with rightist fire breathers on taxes and regulation.

    LOL the Economist is “Left”? To what? The New American?

  255. And here comes Hubert, again with his unending obsession to save the oppressed souls unjustly attacked by this board’s hive mind. I appreciate the Christianity of it all, but it really couldn’t be further from the truth.

    I’m a heavy outsider in many, many ways, I’m not american, about as radical left wing as you can be while still maintaining a social life, I work with transvestites, drag queens, pornoterrorists, queer antifas, all the scum of the earth for both right wingers and left leaning centrists, and I abhor everything the republican and democratic parties represent and embody. Yet I’ve never been treated with anything but respect except by people like Bob, because well, I know how to respect others outside of a few unacceptable opinions that I can’t pass without responding.

    People here have never hated outsiders, they’ve always been welcomed, what people hate is trolls and people incapable of reasonable argumentation.

  256. Ntilakilla: LOL the Economist is “Left”? To what? The New American?

    Well, it’s certainly not anything like “right,” so it’s “pretty much left.” Oh, and I guess it still supports the British monarchy.) It’s not confiscatory taxation left, but on everything else it pretty much is. Culturally left, socially left, etc. Anti-Brexit. It’s rabidly anti-populist, too, which is among the biggest markers.

    A lot of it depends on definitions; I mean, it generally supports managed capitalism under the auspices of the multinational administrative state and large corporations, which I certainly wouldn’t consider “right.”

    If “center-left” works better, fine.

  257. I was gonna write something reference bob and then read what hubie wrote:

    It’s kinda like when a basketball team is so bad because all the players suck, but you can’t fire all the players so you fire the coach.

    he’s right, better yet the analogy works really well here…

    personally, I don’t think free speech is free at all, there should be consequences for actions, including the stuff we share publicly…

    to me “cancel culture” accusations are simply folks not understanding why screaming fire in a movie theater ain’t that funny…

    bob just liked to poke on folks way too much, and he did so with a very sensitive subject for a lot of folks..

  258. Ntilakilla: LOL the Economist is “Left”? To what? The New American?

    The Economist is considered left leaning by some in business circles and among many in the investment community where there are a lot of sound money types. There’s a libertarian wing of the investment community that pretty much hates our monetary system, the Fed, deficits etc..

  259. The rightists, for all their myriad faults and misapprehensions, tend not to get “inflamed” by leftists to the degree it happens in reverse.

    do you just revel in the attention you get everyday or does the trolling just come instinctually?

  260. E, two-way G-Leaguer: Well, it’s certainly not anything like “right,” so it’s pretty much left. Oh, and I guess it still supports the British monarchy.) It’s not confiscatory taxation left, but on everything else it pretty much is. Culturally left, socially left, etc. Anti-Brexit. It’s rabidly anti-populist, too, which is among the biggest markers.

    So, basically I was right. Your baseline is the kind of paleoconservativism you’ll find in the New American because what you’re describing is the type of analysis found in a stridently neoliberal magazine: NATO interventionist, internationalist, pro-free-market capitalism, cosmopolitan, technocratic, and elitist. This position is definitely center-right, pro-status quo.

  261. Deeefense: The Economist is considered left leaning by some in business circles and among many in the investment community where there are a lot of free market, anti Fed, sound money types.

      

    And it made its bones on free trade, which it has never wavered from. There was a time decades ago, when the labor-capital struggle was something people actually took seriously instead of getting all deflected by cultural stuff, that free trade was anathema to the left. That changed a long time ago; if anything the left is more free trade now than the right.

    The Economist is probably the best mainstream example of a classically liberal (in the Lockean sense) publication. That’s its essential philosophy. Classical liberalism in 2021 is “pretty much left.” There’s a wide and growing illiberal faction even to the left of classic liberalism. And there’s obviously a whole bunch of populist rightist stuff that the Economist detests.

  262. Deeefense: The Economist is considered left leaning by some in business circles and among many in the investment community where there are a lot of sound money types.There’s a libertarian wing of the investment community that pretty much hates our monetary system, the Fed, deficits etc..

    Yes, the Ron Paul types who want us to disavow fiat currency, shift back to the gold standard and revert to late 19th century Gilded era type political economy. Many intersect with Randians and Rothbardians who are fine with people selling themselves into slavery. This is a minority wing of economic conservatives today.

  263. guys… the season has well started… please leave politics to the offseason….. nobody cares how politically intellectual you are…..

  264. Can we go back to arguing if Frank is a hidden gem unappreciated by the tyrannical analytocrats scoffing from their ivory towers of data at the yeomanlike eye testers toiling in the fields below

  265. Reason is not left libertarian. It’s firmly right-libertarian. The closest thing to an organized left libertarian outlet is C4SS or the now-defunct Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog, neither of which are actual publications but are rather online platforms for various academics and activists. I’d call the Economist center-right, not sure how it’s “left” in any capacity unless you think the only thing that counts as right are wingnut conspiracy theorists, Trump sychophants, and anarcho-capitalists. But that seems like a peculiar understanding of “right” to me.

    Imo polarization isn’t occurring because of the internet’s effect on media consumption–there’s good evidence that polarization began well in advance of the internet, pretty much commensurate with the repeal of the fairness doctrine, the rise of Fox News, and the oligopoloization of the media environment. I think blaming the internet distracts from the actual issue, which is mainly regulatory and should concern reinstating a fairness standard along with anti-trust action. Here’s a snippet from an interesting interview with some media scholars on the issue:

    This finding is complemented by very interesting recent work by other scholars that measures polarizations in attitudes since 1996—the year Fox News was launched—and shows that almost all of the polarization happens demographically in populations that use the Internet and social media less, rather than more. These are people who watch TV and listen to talk radio. So, if the most polarized population uses the Internet and social media the least, to suddenly point a finger at technology says more about our anxieties about the rate of technological change than about what has actually happened to us. The fact is that this twenty-two-year-old dynamic of polarization can’t easily be associated with the Internet.

    http://bostonreview.net/politics/yochai-benkler-deborah-chasman-selling-outrage

  266. thankfully we got a game tonight, if I was smart I’d stay away from the news for a few days – this is about to be another (yet) tough week for american democracy…

    someone mentioned a while back how our political system was in late stage capitalism unchained mode…

    which to me basically is simply class warfare…the haves versus the have nots…

    was watching that recent obama special on cnn, it chronicled the rise if the tea party and sara palin (who I viewed at the time as just a hot hockey mom)…

    granted, it ain’t all about money, power and control are pretty important also…maintain the status quo, or, better yet – go back to a baseline which more clearly benefited certain segments of the population…

    absolutely brilliant how wealthy corporate capitalists have convinced a large chunk of our remaining middle-class as well as a large portion of the lower economic class to shit on those less fortunate…

    I try not to let out what I really think too often – the effort to deny others opportunity is disgusting…

    I get it though, if you’re rich the point is to stay rich and buffer yourself from the poor…if you fall within a group that clearly benefits from the current system, keep that current system in effect as long as possible…

  267. Ntilakilla: Yes, the Ron Paul types who want us to disavow fiat currency and shift to the gold standard and revert to late 19th century Gilded era type political economy. Many intersect with Randians and Rothbardians who are fine with people selling themselves into slavery. This is a minority wing of economic conservatives today.

    It’s not as small as you think.

    There are loads of people in the investment community that are the anti-Fed types (or at least anti loose money types). They are mostly money managers and investors that have been going bat shit crazy since the loose money and Wall St bail outs started in late 80s under Greenspan and are now like an out of control freight train. Most aren’t full blown anarcho-capitalists. They are more pragmatic on most things. They just see the monetary and banking system as fundamentally flawed, the Fed and Fed chiefs as idiotic, and all of that a core reason for many of our economic problems and distribution of wealth problems.

  268. Mike Honcho:
    Can we go back to arguing if Frank is a hidden gem unappreciated by the tyrannical analytocrats scoffing from their ivory towers of data at the yeomanlike eye testers toiling in the fields below

    Either trade one of the vets (Rivers, Burks, or Bullock) to free Frank up for a backup roll or trade Frank. The kid actually played OK before he got hurt yet AGAIN.

  269. @geo….

    i saw you posted back a few days or so on new Vikings season…assume you are watching it…what do you think?

    I watched the first episode but have mostly fast forwarded to the final episode…the last few seasons after Ragnar was gone were not good but still had some bright spots…this one has been pretty bad…

    I am now watching Raised by Wolves on HBO Max…Ridley Scott sci fi…enjoying it so far…

  270. Saying that the Economist is left-leaning reveals your own bias pretty clearly. Maybe it’s because of the emphasis on fact-based reporting…

    Speaking of fact-based reporting, if Frank can’t stay healthy, even us Frankinstans have to acknowledge he may not have a future in the league. I still believe he can be a rotation player on a good team, but what’s the longest stretch of games he was able to stay on the court? Damn.

  271. For laughs I googled “Is Frank Ntilikina…” to see what came up. First choice, “good,” second choice, “playing tonight.”

  272. Deeefense: Either trade one of the vets (Rivers, Burks, or Bullock) to free Frank up for a backup roll or trade Frank. The kid actually played OK before he got hurt yet AGAIN.

    I don’t think it would be possible to trade Frank given the neo-Keyesian demand curve is so skewed to a pluralism of irrational demand that it would confuse the supply sider knickerbocker brain trust and they would not be able to discern the correct optimal trade deal and thus would ultimately provide diminshing marginal economic returns…

    boy do i feel smarter now…

  273. there’s good evidence that polarization began well in advance of the internet, pretty much commensurate with the repeal of the fairness doctrine, the rise of Fox News,

    This is correct, but people often fail to understand why Fox and talk radio was such a huge success to begin with.

    The problem was most of the mainstream media was mildly left of center. So those that were mildly right of center often found themselves in disagreement with the discussion and spin of the news. That opened a market for the consumption of right leaning news both in the form of Fox and right wing radio.

    Everyone on the far right eventually bailed out on the mainstream and went to Fox and talk radio . That left the mainstream sources dividing up the center and left, which means it’s audience was further left than before Fox. Rather than simply moving to the right a bit (which would be the actual middle) to get back some of the Fox viewers, they moved further to the left to satisfy their further left audience and drove even more people on the right towards places like Fox, talk radio, and now more.

    That’s why Fox and right wing radio were so successful. They captured a huge percentage of the right and what remained was the center and left to be split up between many competitors that kept moving further to the left. Now instead of center news, we have two extremes.

  274. I don’t think it would be possible to trade Frank given the neo-Keyesian demand curve is so skewed to a pluralism of irrational demand that it would confuse the supply sider knickerbocker brain trust and they would not be able to discern the correct optimal trade deal and thus would ultimately provide diminshing marginal economic returns…

    boy do i feel smarter now…

    I think my head just exploded. :-)

  275. Deeefense: It’s not as small as you think.

    There are loads of people in the investment community that are the anti-Fed types (or at least anti loose money types).

    The biggest and most powerful investors (our banks) love fiat currency. The people who you write of are small fish in the pond.

  276. “If a pack of animals can’t stop themselves from playing with a shiny object, you gotta take the shiny object away, even if the fault lies in the nature of the animals.”

    I resent having my behavior compared to a corvid’s… oh right, never mind.

    But seriously, as others have said, it was the sheer number of Bob’s posts, along with the gleeful trolling nastiness. He could have been defending Noam Chomsky, doesn’t matter. It was un-ending, thread after thread. Like every other post, for hours.

    I do think he broke. But I was 100% in favor of the ban. He needed a life, but unfortunately his only hobby appeared to be derailing Knickerblogger.

  277. People often fail to understand why Fox and talk radio were such a huge success to begin with.

    The problem was most of the mainstream media was mildly left of center. So those that were mildly right of center often found themselves in disagreement with the spin of the news. That opened a door for right leaning news both in the form of Fox and right wing radio.

    Everyone on the far right eventually bailed out on the mainstream and went to Fox and talk radio. That left the mainstream sources dividing up the center and left, which meant its audience was further left than before Fox. Rather than simply moving to the right a bit (which would be the actual middle) to get back some of the Fox viewers, they moved further to the left to satisfy their further left audience and drove even more people on the right towards places like Fox, talk radio, and now more.

    That’s why Fox and right wing radio were so successful. They captured a huge percentage of the right. What remained was the center and left to be split up between many competitors that kept moving further to the left. Now instead of center news, we have two extremes.

  278. Ntilakilla: The biggest and most powerful investors (our banks) love fiat currency. The people who you write of are small fish in the pond.

    100%.

    They may be guppies, but there are a lot of them. :-)

  279. What, exactly, is right-leaning journalism in a liberal society? Is it inherently leftist to investigate gross abuses of institutionalized power, like Boston Globe did with the Catholic Church? Like Jane Mayer did with Pence and the Koch brothers? Like Ronan Farrow, NYT and the New Yorker did with Harvey Weinstein? If so, then yes: I actively seek out left-leaning media because I am inherently distrustful of economic, political and cultural institutions when they operate under veils of secrecy and with entrenched power. Whoops! I’m a leftist!

  280. Fellow Vikings fans: Give up after season 5. The show is a shell of its former self after that point. If you just watch the first five seasons you have a solid, if at times choppy, show about an interesting central character that at times reaches some surprisingly emotional heights while having excellently choreographed fight scenes and a kickass intro that gets you into the mood for Viking stuff pretty much every single time. It’s a terrible representation of the time period and RL people it namedrops, but that’s hardly the point. This is the History Channel we’re talking about; expecting actual history from the enablers of Ancient Aliens is to miss the forest for the (100% planted by itinerant Martian pyramid builders) trees.

    Also, Ivar is the worst character ever fite me bitches

  281. What, exactly, is right-leaning journalism in a liberal society?

    In your example, no one should or could ever defend the abuse that existed in the Church or the way it was handled (something that turned a lot of Catholics like myself away from the Church).

    IMO balance would be reporting the numbers, reporting who the guilty priests, bishops etc.. were and who covered it up, reporting the financial and reputational reasons that may have lead them to cover it up (that was criminal behavior not just immoral), analyzing the percentage of priests and parishes involved, reporting on the ignorance of the church on sexual matters decades ago, reporting on the ignorance in the psychiatric community advising the Church decades ago etc…

    So you are holding the guilty responsible, but you are also trying to understand how people that are supposed to be guiding us morally and spiritually could go so far off the rails and allow such evil to continue.

    I was raised Catholic. Now I consider myself agnostic with a rooting interest in the existence of God. It’s kind of like me and Frank developing a good 3 point shot. I’m not sure it will happen, but I’m rooting for it. :-)

  282. On a different subject — anyone tracking the rookie crop this year? I know what our kids are (or aren’t) doing, and I keep a jaundiced eye on Ball and Wiseman, and my crush on Haliburton had me checking in, but I have lost touch with most of the others. Would love to hear how they’re doing if anyone’s bored (as if anyone could be bored on the first workday after the holidays…).

  283. Politics AND religion in a single thread? In my Knickerblogger? It’s more likely than you’d think!

  284. Knew Your Nicks:
    Frank’s game is Communistic

    what game? he does seem adept at procuring one of the chairs on the sideline for the injured guys…like a musical chairs type skill set…

  285. #Still waiting on that Great Leap Forward we’ve been hearing about for years.#

    Thibs is rulling the team tyranically like Stalin.
    Millions of innocent communists died under Jo!
    Hang on (Frank’s name in russian unfortunately incompatible with blog’s letters)!

  286. Frank’s contribution to the team is to absorb the malas vibras and suffer the injuries that would befall our other teammates, much as a broken egg under the bed protects one from the evil eye

  287. Mike Honcho:
    Fellow Vikings fans: Give up after season 5. The show is a shell of its former self after that point. If you just watch the first five seasons you have a solid, if at times choppy, show about an interesting central character that at times reaches some surprisingly emotional heights while having excellently choreographed fight scenes and a kickass intro that gets you into the mood for Viking stuff pretty much every single time. It’s a terrible representation of the time period and RL people it namedrops, but that’s hardly the point. This is the History Channel we’re talking about; expecting actual history from the enablers of Ancient Aliens is to miss the forest for the (100% planted by itinerant Martian pyramid builders) trees.

    Also, Ivar is the worst character ever fite me bitches

    the first few seasons before Ragnar startying smoking/eating peyote were real good…then they milked one off of his legacy and then it went downhill as there was nobobdy to carry the show (maybe flokey) and hide the really bad dialogue…the death knell to any show is once they bring jonathan rhys meyers on…that’s a bad sign…and yea…ivar was done badly…according to the lore he was a real bad ass…the show didn’t do him justice..although the depiction of his battle tactics try to stick to the history/myth…

  288. Aww I had a snappy comment about Frank’s contributions and I think it got held up in moderation because I used the phrase evil eye

  289. pepper: the first few seasons before Ragnar startying smoking/eating peyote were real good…then they milked one off of his legacy and then it went downhill as there was nobobdy to carry the show (maybe flokey)and hide the really bad dialogue…the death knell to any show is once they bring jonathan rhys meyers on…that’s a bad sign…and yea…ivar was done badly…according to the lore he was a real bad ass…the show didn’t do him justice..although the depiction of his battle tactics try to stick to the history/myth…

    I would not attribute much to their depiction of Ivar’s tactics, especially since it boils down to 1) his opponents suffer irreparable brain damage before fighting him, much as the rest of us do before debating strat, and 2) he has taught his followers the ability to teleport in order to make him look clever.

    Other than that, I actually didn’t mind the drug storyline with Ragnar. It was ridiculous, but it was an oddly effective way to show the deterioration of Ragnar’s purpose in life and the ennui of ruling once that purpose has evaporated. He basically became the bad guy from season one, which was not the worst thing IMO. But yeah. Anything after season five is to be shunned.

  290. “Aww I had a snappy comment about Frank’s contributions and I think it got held up in moderation because I used the phrase evil eye”

    Moderation Don’t Lie!

  291. I argued with bob maybe more than anybody here and I didn’t want to see him banned. I’m not really the type to let people say idiotic bullshit and let it pass without comment, so, uh, maybe it was me who could have been banned. I dunno.

    Obviously it was not a lot of fun to read for many people. I do wonder sometimes what bob thinks of this disgraceful “election fraud” narrative that his fascist redhat buddies are such big fans of. He’s probably totally down with it. Because bob’s a fascist like most redhats.

  292. Knew Your Nicks:
    Frank shoots the 3 at 55,6% so far.
    How’s that for a stat start!?!

    You do realize, of course, that that’s from a sample size of nine shots, and in the same time he has also shot 1-3 from free throw land and 1-5 on his two point shots. Are we to conclude, then, that he is a 55% three point shooter who shoots 20% on non-three shots and 33% from the line? Or can we just dismiss it as random variance that proves literally nothing?

  293. Burks out again tonight. So rotation questions remain unanswered for another night. Would be nice to have his firepower to help counteract that Atlanta offense, but we have to make do with the 9 guys we have.

  294. On a different subject — anyone tracking the rookie crop this year? I know what our kids are (or aren’t) doing, and I keep a jaundiced eye on Ball and Wiseman, and my crush on Haliburton had me checking in, but I have lost touch with most of the others. Would love to hear how they’re doing if anyone’s bored (as if anyone could be bored on the first workday after the holidays…).

    For sure. I try to avoid Halliburton bc I liked him so much and was immediately certain we’d regret passing on him.

    One guy I love to check in on is Avdija. I liked him a lot, but not with much certainty. It’s early days, of course, but he looks good, I envy the alternate reality where there is a Barrett-Avdija pairing.

    Okoro is another guy I am curious about, but he hasn’t played much.

  295. #You do realize, of course, that that’s from a sample size of nine shots, and in the same time he has also shot 1-3 from free throw land and 1-5 on his two point shots. Are we to conclude, then, that he is a 55% three point shooter who shoots 20% on non-three shots and 33% from the line? Or can we just dismiss it as random variance that proves literally nothing?#

    Only if you realize that I’m Obviously trolling and having some fuckaroundtime with Frank’s almostnostatssofar!
    Let the kid heal, be in the rotation and play some meaningful minutes and then we’ll see where this pirate ship is heading to…

  296. Yeah, Fox News and talk radio got the process started wherein you could spend your entire waking day marinating in your echo chamber, thus turning politics into cultural, all-encompassing, quasi-religious identity expression, which is the main feature of our present conundrum. Politics wasn’t the way it was before Fox News/Rush radio, after Fox News/Rush radio. No question.

    But the internet sent it all into warp overdrive and the left now has its talk/Rush equivalent in terms of distending politics into something far beyond mere politics. The left could never do Fox News/Rush radio like the right, but it found its bearings in social media/message boards.

  297. Sorry Knew Your Knicks – to be honest I find it kind of hard to get what you’re driving at sometimes? I’m not really sure what to take seriously or not.

  298. Avidja hasn’t looked that great and neither has Vassell. Haliburton has.

  299. djphan: is deandre jordan and andre drummond shooting 3s a new trend or something?

    Andre Drummond attempted 35 3pt shots last season, 38 the year before.

    I’m not saying he should start chucking them up there like he’s Kristaps Porzingis, but there are times when there isn’t anyone near him. Letting him launch one every so often keeps the defense honest. It also feeds the kid’s ego.

  300. #Sorry Knew Your Knicks – to be honest I find it kind of hard to get what you’re driving at sometimes? I’m not really sure#

    It’s ok Mike.
    Sometimes I’m talking seriously and some others not. I think that it’s obvious each time but as many before you have told me its definitely not.
    As Fiz used to say: I take the responsibility of the Loss!

  301. @Mike Honcho

    small tip:
    When you see exclamation marks (!) at the end of my sentences better not take them seriously.
    At least the 55,6% of them!

  302. Raven:
    On a different subject — anyone tracking the rookie crop this year? I know what our kids are (or aren’t) doing, and I keep a jaundiced eye on Ball and Wiseman, and my crush on Haliburton had me checking in, but I have lost touch with most of the others. Would love to hear how they’re doing if anyone’s bored (as if anyone could be bored on the first workday after the holidays…).

    Too early to call, I’ll go with some very questionable first impressions:

    I hit Avadja in his worst game of the year (yesterday vs the Nets) and came away unimpressed, but could be only a blip,
    Anthony Edwards looks… I don’t know, up and downs but he plays for a baaaad team, let’s wait when KAT’s back.
    Haliburton was playing well before the injury, probably he’s been the best so far, or the more “reliable”.
    Lamelo shows flashes, he’s kind of a Globetrotter with the ball, an highlights machine but who knows if his shot will become useful (if so watch out!),
    ditto for Wiseman, the tools are there, the head I don’t know (but Steph and Draymond are drooling about him) he sure needs to play.
    Watched two of Vassell’s games, not good, he’s really green but SA has a history of developing talent.
    Killian Hayes looks Frank 2.0 with more bravado and less defense. He played 40 minutes combined in two games (BOS and GS) without scoring a single field goal (0-9) and yesterday he wasn’t much better.
    I was surprised by Boston’s Pritchard, not that I was expecting much.
    Lot of rookies injured.

  303. IMO balance would be reporting the numbers, reporting who the guilty priests, bishops etc.. were and who covered it up, reporting the financial and reputational reasons that may have lead them to cover it up (that was criminal behavior not just immoral), analyzing the percentage of priests and parishes involved, reporting on the ignorance of the church on sexual matters decades ago, reporting on the ignorance in the psychiatric community advising the Church decades ago etc…

    This… is called… reporting.

    So you are holding the guilty responsible, but you are also trying to understand how people that are supposed to be guiding us morally and spiritually could go so far off the rails and allow such evil to continue.

    This… is called… reporting.

  304. Knick fan not in NJ:
    Sounds like Quickly and Toppin still have a shot at Rookie of the year :-)

    I know I’ll made a lot of people howl, but for now, in the few minutes he played, small sample size and all, IQ has been one of the more “mature” rookies, on leadership, attitude and caginess.

  305. Alan: Burks out again tonight.

    Wasn’t his injury supposed to be of quick recovery? It’s taking a lot of time.

  306. Politics/BobNeptune
    I don’t have any problem with any Non Basketball subject talked in here as long as it’s not BenHurious.
    Even me who likes a few stuff outside basketball i could sense that write about them for days and months in a bball blog is not exactly right.
    The main attraction/goal here is basketball/knicks.
    This blog may works pretty well also as an
    alternative psychedelic group therapy but the Nucleus is and always should be basketball.

  307. “Are we to conclude, then, that he is a 55% three point shooter who shoots 20% on non-three shots and 33% from the line? Or can we just dismiss it as random variance that proves literally nothing?”

    It inexplicably makes me very happy that I can squint my eyes and imagine, if Frank were actually able to stay on the court, that he might actually post those lines for the year! (exclamation point added as per KYN)

  308. gonna pay a little closer attention to reggie’s defense tonight…hopefully it compensates for his inability to shoot recently…

  309. Max: Killian Hayes looks Frank 2.0 with more bravado and less defense. He played 40 minutes combined in two games (BOS and GS) without scoring a single field goal (0-9) and yesterday he wasn’t much better.

    I wanted Hayes, it’s not looking good, i guess.
    Well, at least we would be switching Frank-arguments for Killi-arguments, but remaining in France! :D

  310. cybersoze: I wanted Hayes, it’s not looking good, i guess.
    Well, at least we would be switching Frank-arguments for Killi-arguments, but remaining in France! :D

    qui ç’est la même chose ;-)

    Polyglot showing aside, this kids are young (well, except for Toppin, ça va sans dire), they need to play.

  311. This blog may works pretty well also as an
    alternative psychedelic group therapy but the Nucleus is and always should be basketball.

    that’s right KYN – jam on it!!!

    very important to remember:
    You gotta boogie to your best ability
    You gotta funk it up until it knocks you down
    And when you’re funkin’ up, be sure to pass it around

  312. Frank is playing Left-Wing basketball while Killian plays Left-Only Basketball (!)

  313. oh, i see mister frank plays the piano…nice…i give him about a 20% chance to be in a knick uniform after this season…

    sorry frank, the new love of our life: IQ, is about to take all your shine…but, you can play the piano though, and, that is something…

  314. #It inexplicably makes me very happy that I can squint my eyes and imagine, if Frank were actually able to stay on the court, that he might actually post those lines for the year! (exclamation point added as per KYN)#

    That’s it!
    Exclamation mark
    It’s easy, costs nothing and keeps you out of trouble!

  315. Team history inclines me towards saying ‘ourselves’.

    too funny, timing wise – this is exactly the kind of game where we would have a serious let down in the past, follow up a really good performance and win with an absolute stinker…

    i actually have some slight doubt that we’ll lose tonight…that’s different…

  316. When COVID hit I checked out for a while, had to deal with a host of pressing real-life stuff. (As well as my depression.) Then I was reading to catch up before jumping back in, and BobNeptune was destroying thread after thread. I would have been just as irritated with left-wing trolling. And it was trolling, not a sincere attempt to engage. I would have bailed had that sh!t continued any longer.

    As for tonight, I’m more optimistic Bob will be posting again than I am that we’ll win.

  317. Unfortunate that we won’t have Frank for this game. I do remember an earlier one against Atlanta where he seemed to be destroying Trae’s very spirit with his defense. One of my fondest Frank memories (not a huge vault of those, to be perfectly honest…).

  318. E, two-way G-Leaguer: Yeah, but that’s kind of it, right?Andrew McCabe is “inflammatory” but there’s no real left equivalent.The rightists, for all their myriad faults and misapprehensions, tend not to get “inflamed” by leftists to the degree it happens in reverse.Certainly the Bobs of the world don’t seem to.Or is there a rightist equivalent I’m missing because I never go to any rightist boards other than very rarely Free Republic?

    The argument can’t possibly be that no basketball thread (or something similar at other sane public message boards) is eversent careening in a different direction by someone bringing up some non sequitur-ian leftist thing.

    This is a joke, right? Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, AOC and the Squad, George Soros.

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