NY Post: Derrick Rose carries Knicks to sensational win over Clippers with playoffs in sight

From Marc Berman:

The Knicks usually struggle when Julius Randle struggles. But not when Derrick Rose plays like an MVP — and not when they get 3-point marksmanship from Reggie Bullock.

In the final regular-season home game for the Clippers, the Knicks spoiled the Sunday-matinee party with a resounding and sensational 106-100 victory before 2,578 relatively passive fans at Staples Center.

The victory means the magic number to solidify a Top 6 finish and clinch their first playoff berth since 2013 is two. With four games to play, the Knicks (38-30) moved three games ahead of seventh-place Boston.

With the Celtics playing before them Tuesday night, the Knicks could take the court against the Lakers knowing a win would end the seven-year playoff drought and end any notion of being in the play-in event.

Coming off the bench for a struggling Elfrid Payton, Rose carried the Knicks (38-30) on his shoulders with a spectacular first half. Rose finished with 25 points and eight assists in 31 minutes.

I’m sorry for missing the game, folks. Mother’s Day stuff. Thank you to Owen for putting up the game thread! Looks like I missed an amazing game. The magic number of clinching at least a #6 seed is just two, but why accept the #6 seed when they can easily get the #4 seed? Just beat the fucking Lakers on Tuesday!

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245 thoughts to “NY Post: Derrick Rose carries Knicks to sensational win over Clippers with playoffs in sight”

  1. it was a pretty close and competitive game throughout…

    boogie and rondo messing with julius and trying to knock the ball out of his hands during a stoppage of play was absolutely hilarious…

    drose seems to be running the offense now more than julius…hopefully that helps julius get some easier baskets…

    derrick rose is looking extremely legit out there right now…

  2. I’m wondering if some of Randle’s low scoring games are because he’s putting In a lot effort on defense and that takes something from his offense. Guarding Leonard or George is a lot of work.

  3. Great team win against a top tier opponent.

    Once again our defense proved to be true, now we need IQ and Burks to come back so we could finally erase The Plague from the playoffs rotation.

    I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but Thibs has clearly stated that Luca will be a “summer evaluation”, we’re not going to see him this year.

    Also, every player on the team has lost around 200K with the Vildoza’s signing, so they’re not so happy and I’m sure Thibs will consider that and avoid to piss them more.
    Let’s be real, giving a rotation spot to a player that hasn’t played a minute while the others busted their asses all year long will not be a savvy move from a locker room management standpoint.

  4. The Derrick Rose Trade Conundrum has haunted me for months… and it still does.

    When the trade was announced I was against it, mostly for non basketball reasons. My three main points were, in order:

    1. Rose’s past as a sexual offender, just after having to stomach Dotson past as a sexual offender and Rose’s trial before that. For me this was by far the most important.

    2. Memories from his year in NY. The process. The disappearing act. The no-defense, the selfish play, the eye rolls when a teammates did mistakes (later he candidly admitted he refused to follow Hornacek’s advices because he though it would diminish his value as a free agent).

    3. The fear that he could get minutes at IQ’s detriment.

    As of now:

    1. I still feel unconfortable, my hope is that maybe people could learn and grow even when they got away scott free and become better persons.

    2. This is a completely different player. He defends, he shares the ball, he acts like a mentor to young players. Talent was never in doubt, now he looks like he finally understand “the secret” (copyright Bill Simmons) and he’s really balling.

    3. To Thibs’ credit, after an adjustment period, it was The Plague that has lost minutes.

    One thing I underestimate were Thibs and Taj. They are truly family for him, they know him deeply, he listens to them and I’m sure he does anything not to disappoint them.
    Plus, maybe he has finally came at peace with his mortality, his place in the basketball world and finally accepted his role as the “savvy veteran” in a growing team.

    From a basketball standpoint I was wrong about the trade (and I’m happy to be).

    On the other side I still cringe when I realise that I’m jumping from my couch for a man that admitted he didn’t know the meaning of “consensual sex”.

    Aside from my Knicks fandom, I hope that Derrick Rose the “new” basketball player has also evolved in Derrick Rose the better human being.

  5. Hubert: I think we all agree we should avoid trades that are stupid and kill the cap. But the idea that you will make better trades if you do them in the future… where does that come from?

    Time is our real cap killer. Patience sounds great til you have to start paying everyone.

    Patience always sounds great. You don’t have to pay everyone. That’s kind of the core principle of Moneyball. And that’s how we built a winning team with the lowest salary aggregate in the league. It’s not about whether you make trades now or in the future. It’s about proper valuation of what you have so that you don’t make trades that cost you in the long run.

    The key pieces you have to worry about right now are Randle and the Rose/Bullock/Noel/Burks conundrum. I love Mitch but he’s replaceable. RJ is still on his rookie deal. Luca, IQ and Obi are locked up for now. Who cares what happens with Knox, Ntilikina?

    I’m fine with offering a deal to LaVine or whoever, but not at the cost of multiple blue chip assets. I’d be reluctant to bring on an old PG like Lowry unless it’s on a very short-term deal, cdrtainly not until I see what I have in Vildoza and what I got in the draft. Now if some deal comes along that makes you say “What? We got so and so for this and that? That’s great!!” them sure, pull the trigger, but it has to be that kind of deal. We’re not getting someone like Beal for less than a king’s ransom, though, and this is not the time to give up a king’s ranson.

  6. I guess the only hope for WAS to beat ATL without Beal is for Russ to go all MVP on them…

  7. Hey swifty, when all is said and done, your crazy, wild-eyed 39 win prediction might turn out to be overly pessimistic….

  8. It seems to me that the disagreement between those preaching patience and those thinking we should make a smart move now is that the latter consider it a rare opportunity to have so many players on surplus value contracts, while the former think it’s a repeatable process to consistently find players who can perform at levels 5 times above what they’re getting paid.

    I don’t see any evidence that Leon Rose & co. used some moneyball style secret to steal IQ in the late 1st, or identify Derrick Rose as the perfect buy low candidate, or anticipate an All-NBA leap from Julius Randle. These things just happened and we’re blessed that they did. I don’t think it’s wise to let this opportunity pass and expect them to be able to keep doing it. It’s kind of like have 4 aces in your hand and not going all in because it’s too soon and you’d rather go all in the next time you get 4 aces.

  9. What an amazing win yesterday. Julius’s 3 point shot looks really off right now – release looks different etc – but man did those buckets in the last couple minutes look sweet. I liked that he took it strong to the basket a number of times when it was clear the jumper wasn’t there – would like him to do that a lot more. His shot distribution is pretty ugly right now. I guess in the playoffs those are the shots that will be available, but he’s a freaking freight train – I appreciate that his jumper is much improved and he’s initiating a lot of the offense now, but he’s only taking 16.5% of his shots at the rim now – down from 36% last year and his career is 39%. Even yesterday he only had 4 attempts in the restricted area out of 19 FGA. Now that he’s playing more with Rose, Thibs needs to figure out how to give Julius some easier shots.

    RJ Barrett – transformation from primary ball handler bully to rim –> 3-D wing —> task completed. Now shooting 40.3% from 3 for the year, and if you whittle down to 2021 (excluding December), he’s 13th out of 137 players with >200 3PA, shooting 42.8% from 3. It really is remarkable. What is less remarkable is that he’s seemingly lost his touch from 2P range. Oh well, can’t have everything.

    Reggie Bullock – he’s been indispensable. Here’s a crazy stat from last night. He played 45:35 last night, so sat for a total of 2 min 25 seconds. He was +15 in his 45:35 and we won by 6. So the team was a -9 in those 2:25. Hard to do. I think without a doubt he is more integral to the team than Burks, so if we need to choose one, I’d choose Reggie without a doubt — especially if we re-sign Rose, Quickley takes a step forward, and we sign someone like Lowry, Burks’s shot creation won’t matter nearly as much.

    Obi Toppin – kudos to the kid for having productive minutes every time out now. I definitely was out too early on him – great to see his improvement even while playing limited minutes.

  10. At risk of sounding jrunk off of the kool-aid..

    If wins like this doesn’t show that this team isn’t legit and finally has an identity- I don’t know what does. Coming off of 2 blowout losses- albeit to 2 top teams on the road- to win at the Clippers is more than solid. And the defense controlled the game, no less! Nah we’re not championship contenders, but this team has taken to Thibs and has grown up right before our eyes. I hope there’s a way that we can keep everyone except Payton and maybe Knox while adding shooting in the draft. When Thibs was coaching the Bulls, I religiously said that he was at or near Pop’s level as a coach. Looks like I was right lol. Of course having Bryant and Payne on the staff helps with the development. I hope those guys don’t get poached for at least 2 more years

  11. by the way – I find it so crazy that NO ONE signed Taj Gibson before the season. I get that he barely scores anymore (~10 points per 36) and his jumper has never really come around, but the dude just makes winning plays every time he’s on the court. 0.189 WS/48, 66.2 TS on his limited usage.

  12. In hindsight, maybe we just match up better with the Clips than we do the Suns and Nuggets? Kawhi + George is a better combo than anything the other two have (at least at the moment: Jokic and a healthy Murray makes it an argument), but thanks to Paul and Jokic, those teams have much better overall ball movement than the Clips do, and more overall shooting. That combination seems to really trouble us.

  13. He was +15 in his 45:35 and we won by 6. So the team was a -9 in those 2:25. Hard to do.

    Hard, indeed. But Frankie Smokes was up for the task!

  14. Frank: Obi Toppin – kudos to the kid for having productive minutes every time out now. I definitely was out too early on him – great to see his improvement even while playing limited minutes.

    Just to expand on this – he went through a really bad stretch in the beginning of March where it seemed like the Knicks were a (-)5 to (-)10 in his 5-10 minutes every time he played. But over the last 15 games, the Knicks are a +31 in his 148 minutes which is just huge for getting Randle some rest.

    For the year now, he’s averaging 13 and 7 per 36 (only playing 11 min/game) with a TS of 56.3, usage 16, and a WS/48 of 0.099 – it’s modest, it’s not great, but given his obvious improvement in defense he’s a playable player now.

  15. Alan:
    In hindsight, maybe we just match up better with the Clips than we do the Suns and Nuggets? Kawhi + George is a better combo than anything the other two have (at least at the moment: Jokic and a healthy Murray makes it an argument), but thanks to Paul and Jokic, those teams have much better overall ball movement than the Clips do, and more overall shooting. That combination seems to really trouble us.

    I think we are better against wings than beast centers and quick PGs, especially without Mitch. Noel and Taj basically had no shot against Jokic, and I shudder to think would Embiid would do against us in a playoff series. For that reason I think I’d be ok with seeing Boston and Miami — those matchups seem ok to me. I am a little nervous about Atlanta – they have been really really good since McMillan came on board (+3.4 net rating, much better than Boston +2.1 and Miami +0.8) on March 1st. And Trae Young always kills us. Capela is a really tough matchup for Noel and Taj.

  16. For the year now, he’s averaging 13 and 7 per 36 (only playing 11 min/game) with a TS of 56.3, usage 16, and a WS/48 of 0.099 – it’s modest, it’s not great, but given his obvious improvement in defense he’s a playable player now.

    I’ve been assuming Obi would not be in the playoff rotation, but now I wonder if he will be. With Mitch out, Taj has to be the backup center, and we don’t have any wings who can play passable minutes at the 4 (except against really small lineups). So for Randle to get even a few minutes of rest, Obi has to play. So either it’s a 10-man rotation at full health, or Elf draws the short straw and Burks or Rose starts at PG. (I would bet on Burks, because Thibs really likes the Rose/IQ bench combo.)

  17. Obi’s been in a straight jacket. It’s what Knox and Ntilikina should have had. Really, Barrett too in year one. That’s bad coaching. Thibs obviously said to Obi. “You’re out there to defend, rebound and catch lobs. You get to try one three”. It’s why Mitch never took a shot other than a dunk. Not allowed. We won’t win so coach says no. That’s old school and it works, but then you give more of a green light as time goes on. “OK Obi, you shut your man down, go ahead and take another three…”

    You play Thibs way or you don’t play. He has that power because there’s no Jimmy Butler level “star” with more power than him.

    I think we have something special and am looking forward to the playoffs

  18. Thibs has been a revelation, hasn’t he? Having an elite coach and staff can make all of the difference in the world.

  19. Assuming Obi isn’t traded in the offseason (which may still be the best outcome for both him and the team), I’d like to see him featured on offense more in the second unit — or the first on the rare games Randle misses. Like Danvt, I respect what Thibs is doing by limiting his role this season. But based on what he did at Dayton and some of the stuff he showed in preseason, I feel like he could give us some poor man’s Randle minutes next year if he has the green light to do so, rather than the offense having to completely reconfigure itself around the guards whenever Julius gets a breather.

  20. So the players are gonna make a little less money now since we signed the new PG but we’re still under the salary floor, right? So they will all still get a pay bump bonus at the end of the year, right?

    Obi was quietly huge yesterday. Randle wasn’t shooting great but Obi kind of made up for it scoring 7 points efficiently and those minutes in the second half allowed Randle to come in and close it out with some big shots. Obi’s been legit decent in the back up role for awhile now.

  21. I think we have some advantages over other teams right now. The major one being no max star. Julius is playing like one but not getting paid like one. So, we have depth that the other, star based, systems do not. Three good twos, three good 5s (two now…), three guys who can run point…

    We are, also, outworking people. While other “star” players have accepted load management, we’re finding middle school gyms for extra shots. I think it’s making our skills increasingly sharp. Are we ready for the deep waters of a possible playoff second round? I can’t say I’m convinced, off of some recent losses, but I know we’ve been improving as the season progresses, and yesterday’s win would have been considered impossible at the beginning of the season…

  22. You know who would have been a great target for this team? The Nets version of James Harden. He might have complemented the rest of the team pretty perfectly, and would have reduced the need for a playmaking PG. It’s a shame he got disgruntled a year early. Also difficult to know whether he would have worked with Thibs. But it would have been a great trade target for this offseason, assuming you could make it work with Obi+picks (or Mitch if you had to).

  23. I think we have some advantages over other teams right now. The major one being no max star. Julius is playing like one but not getting paid like one. So, we have depth that the other, star based, systems do not. Three good twos, three good 5s (two now…), three guys who can run point…

    I think you’re exactly right, Danvt. But I’d go a little farther and suggest we can (and should) push that advantage to make ourselves be better than these stars and scrubs squads. I’ve always hated that model, and felt the Toronto model and the one we have now is better.

    So how do we make the most of our advantage?

    The Rose emergence is posing a hard question. Are we set with him and Vildoza? We might be. But his emergence also makes a Paul/Lowry move even more sensible. The big risk with those guys is age & health. But we could limit Paul/Lowry to playing 28 mins a night in the reg season, with Rose playing 20, and Vildoza at the ready when ever either of them needs a rest or gets hurt. That seems… kinda awesome, no? That’s the kind of thing we can do now bc of all the surplus value we’re getting from our contracts. I love me some Dame Lillard but I’d rather piece together the PG position like that than spend 4 picks to acquire a megastar.

    If we make that kind of PG move, and add an elite wing like Lavine (either through trade this year or free agency next), we will have a legitimate title contender that’s deep AF. And we won’t have sold out any piece of our future.

  24. danvt:

    We are, also, outworking people. While other “star” players have accepted load management, we’re finding middle school gyms for extra shots. I think it’s making our skills increasingly sharp. Are we ready for the deep waters of a possible playoff second round? I can’t say I’m convinced, off of some recent losses, but I know we’ve been improving as the season progresses, and yesterday’s win would have been considered impossible at the beginning of the season…

    Yeah, come playoff time it’ll be interesting if some players and teams suddenly turn it on, lessening the Knicks’ effort advantage. But, hey, this season is well into “extra gravy” time as it is. Still, it would be so fun for the Knicks to knock off at least one team in the playoffs.

  25. So the players are gonna make a little less money now since we signed the new PG but we’re still under the salary floor, right? So they will all still get a pay bump bonus at the end of the year, right?

    No, the Vildoza signing took the team to the salary floor, which means he cost everyone else on the roster about $200,000 apiece. Hopefully, nobody holds a grudge.

  26. Alan:
    In hindsight, maybe we just match up better with the Clips than we do the Suns and Nuggets? Kawhi + George is a better combo than anything the other two have (at least at the moment: Jokic and a healthy Murray makes it an argument), but thanks to Paul and Jokic, those teams have much better overall ball movement than the Clips do, and more overall shooting. That combination seems to really trouble us.

    We absolutely do, I was saying this last night too that it was night and day the difference between the Clippers approach and the Suns approach. The Knicks played defense the same way, but while Paul and Ayton destroyed us every time on the pick and roll (and Jokic.is just too smart and too strong inside for Noel to handle), those same plays that ended in dunks for Ayton ended in jumpers for the Clippers. Z-Man also made a great point that it was happening too with Trae Young and Capela before Trae got injured and we flipped the game around once the Hawks moved to Bogdanovic as the main creator.

    Rose and Elf just aren’t really top defenders and Noel doesn’t have the size to deal with guys like Jokic or Capela. I think we still match up well with the Hawks because they’re still inexperienced and building up their team, but it’s something to pay attention to.

  27. If we avoid the play in, apparently we get a week or so with no games. I hope Vildoza can practice with the team then. The timing seems about right.

  28. If we avoid the play in, apparently we get a week or so with no games. I hope Vildoza can practice with the team then. The timing seems about right.

    Thibs has made it very clear that Vildoza’s not playing this year. Called the evaluation of Vildoza “a summer thing” repeatedly when pressed on it by the beat reporters. They’re going to be focused on the playoffs from now until when they’re eliminated. I’m unclear on how many development-only coaches we have — as opposed to guys like Bryant and Payne, who do development but are also core parts of the in-game staff — but maybe Luca will be a project for them while it’s otherwise all hands on deck for the playoff push.

  29. I read that too. What I don’t understand is how they’ll evaluate him over the summer. All the players go their own separate ways until
    Summer league, if there is one.

  30. swiftandabundant: Obi was quietly huge yesterday. Randle wasn’t shooting great but Obi kind of made up for it scoring 7 points efficiently and those minutes in the second half allowed Randle to come in and close it out with some big shots. Obi’s been legit decent in the back up role for awhile now.

    Rose was looking for him, too, which is a good sign. I think they’ll get even better together. FWIW Obi’s 7 points basically never existed in the first half of the season, and we won last night by 6. So …. Obadiah! ;-)

  31. Alan: Thibs has made it very clear that Vildoza’s not playing this year. Called the evaluation of Vildoza “a summer thing” repeatedly when pressed on it by the beat reporters. They’re going to be focused on the playoffs from now until when they’re eliminated.

    As much as we hate on Elf, Thibs always seems to push back on this publicly. Clyde does too, sometimes. Jackson did yesterday.

    For Thibs, it might be like “These are my guys this year, and I’m gonna win or lose with them.” Riley had that for sure. Van Gundy, too. Same tree, right?

  32. I think of Vildoza as possibly an emergency backup in the playoffs. It’s very unlikely he’ll play. I don’t think he can get used to the team in time. And the team needs to function like a team. Thibs is reinforcing that. But if he’s officially a member of the team, no reason he can’t be at practices.

  33. IMO, focusing on whether we should make a move now or later is focusing too much attention on the timing. The main question to ask is whether it’s a deal that makes the team better now without hindering us long term. If you make a good deal now, that does not stop you from making another good deal later. In fact, a good deal now may give you the assets you need to make an even better deal later that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to make.

  34. Re: the salary floor stuff, that $200k for each player is essentially the league’s penalty when a team finishes the season under the salary floor, which teams almost always work to avoid. It is somewhat rare that a team rises above the floor this late in the season, but it’s not like Vildoza is “taking money away” from the rest of the Knicks per se. The players never had or were owed that money. As such, there won’t be any grudges.

  35. If Vildoza shows that he can help the team then Thibs should definitely play him. I mean, we’re talking Elfrid here.

  36. The Nets have signed numerous players including Mike James and they’re all playing. Our rotation players can definitely use the help.

  37. Killian Hayes with 28/8/7 (with 7 TOs) and 3-6 from three against the Bulls last night. Maybe the kid’s still got a future, Z-Man?

  38. ess-dog:
    Re: the salary floor stuff, that $200k for each player is essentially the league’s penalty when a team finishes the season under the salary floor, which teams almost always work to avoid. It is somewhat rare that a team rises above the floor this late in the season, but it’s not like Vildoza is “taking money away” from the rest of the Knicks per se.The players never had or were owed that money. As such, there won’t be any grudges.

    On top of that, we can still use the residual salary cap space until the end of the league year (ie. in trades around the draft, etc), right? I can’t imagine anyone thought we were really going to end the year with all that unused space.

  39. Noel and Taj basically had no shot against Jokic

    To be fair, no one has had a shot against Jokic this year. Out of the 68 games he’s played this year, he’s failed to crack .500 FG% just 15 times, failed to crack .400 FG% just 3 times, and never shot worse than .333 from the field. He’s also taken fewer than 10 FGA in just 4 games. He’s just a phenomenal talent having an otherworldly year. If this isn’t the best all-around performance by a center in the modern era, I don’t know what is.

  40. Still holding out hope that Jokic leaves Denver for the Knicks in two summers, but the most likely outcome is he follows a long line of big men to leave their small market team to play for the Lakers. AD and Joker is going to be a scary sight.

  41. Hubert: I’ve always hated that model, and felt the Toronto model and the one we have now is better.

    Yes, I agree. I can see many, way worse, outcomes than bringing back the exact same team next year. This might be a 50 win team over a full season. So don’t blow it, NYK! Vildoza looks to be another value signing. We have numerous players, as good or better than Tim Hardaway Jr, who have a negligible effect on our cap. Drose as a 21 million dollar lead guard was a flop, but at the price he was this year he saved our season.

    If we give up significant assets it better be Dame or Giannis. It’s all about knowing the value of the players. It’s amazing how bad this organization was at that for so long but now we really do look like Billy Beane out there!

  42. There is no defensive scheme that works against Jokic. Single cover him and he’ll destroy you down low or with a 3 pointer if you give him space up top. Double cover him and he will absolutely make the right pass and most of the time you end up with an open 3 point shooter.

    The word “magician” often comes up when describing Jokic – when he holds the ball over his head, about to make an other worldly pass to a cutter it really is like watching a performer doing magic tricks.

  43. I watched the game with my wife yesterday. Backstory.

    She hates Melo bc she is a KU fan and Syracuse beat them in the NCAA tournament. When we first started dating was Linsanity and that was when she first started watching Knicks games with me and she loved that phenomenon and was pissed that Melo seemingly ended it because of his ego.

    She did like the 54 win team but then over the years they’ve gotten worse and worse and so she stopped watching them with me. But this whole year I’ve been like “no, they’re actually decent this year” and she’d say “yeah, you’ve said that before and then they collapse.”

    But we turned it on yesterday cause I was like “no, they are actually good and really fun to root for.” Of course the game started out with the clips getting ahead early and she was like “looks like the same knicks to me.” But I was patient. By the second quarter, she started going “uh, they seem really resilient” and by the end she was in love with them.

    “They aren’t selfish like the other teams recently. (Melo shot) They play really tough defense. Wow. They seem really resilient. They seem to all really like each other. I like their coach.”

    She’s old school. She wants teams to slow it down and set up plays and share the ball and gets furious when teams don’t rebound. So she likes this team a lot.

  44. d-mar:
    There is no defensive scheme that works against Jokic. Single cover him and he’ll destroy you down low or with a 3 pointer if you give him space up top. Double cover him and he will absolutely make the right pass and most of the time you end up with an open 3 point shooter.

    The word “magician” often comes up when describing Jokic – when he holds the ball over his head, about to make an other worldly pass to a cutter it really is like watching a performer doing magic tricks.

    IMO Jokic is the kind of player that needs a dedicated stopper/shadow, maybe someone playing out of position who just sacrifices his own game to make Jokic’s life a misery the whole time. Especially over a series, someone like that might get in his head a bit.

  45. I want Kawhi. And no I don’t think it’s a pipe dream. Call me crazy but the Clippers are only ok without Kawhi and seem to have the same chemistry issues on offense as they did last post season. If they go out early in the second round, are we not on the table? Everyone points to Kawhi being from SoCal but he seems to do things his own way. Plus, I feel like he’s the quiet type and we have the vocal leaders with Randle and RJ. You gonna tell me….

    Rose, RJ, Kawhi, Randle, Noel/Mitch with Villadoza, IQ, Burks/ Bullock, Obi and Mitch/Taj isn’t a legit contender next year? Defensively we’d go from good to absolute elite best defense in the league if we added Kawhi.

  46. Kawhi bought two prime pieces of LA real estate recently: a $17mm home in Pacific Palisades, and a penthouse apartment by the Staples center. Both of those are in addition to his San Diego mansion.

    The man is not leaving LA.

    (I do think he will come to regret choosing PG as his wingman. But he won’t leave the Clips over that; he’ll get PG traded.)

  47. swiftandabundant: She’s old school. She wants teams to slow it down and set up plays and share the ball and gets furious when teams don’t rebound. So she likes this team a lot.

    Your wife seems like a very smart basketball mind, is she getting it from you, or is it the other way round? ;) :P

  48. swiftandabundant:
    I want Kawhi. And no I don’t think it’s a pipe dream. Call me crazy but the Clippers are only ok without Kawhi and seem to have the same chemistry issues on offense as they did last post season. If they go out early in the second round, are we not on the table? Everyone points to Kawhi being from SoCal but he seems to do things his own way. Plus, I feel like he’s the quiet type and we have the vocal leaders with Randle and RJ. You gonna tell me….

    Rose, RJ, Kawhi, Randle, Noel with Villadoza, IQ, Burks or Bullock, Obi and Mitch/Taj isn’t a legit contender next year? Defensively we’d go from good to absolute elite best defense in the league if we added Kawhi.

    OMG. I would love that team. Kawhi is the one star I would agree on.

    And I heartily second your wife’s opinion. I’ve been watching since 88 and lurking here for a while. John Starks is my all-time favorite Knick, for his gritty play but also for his story (former bag boy makes good). Even the so-called choke in 94 makes me love the guy more — I know, I know, but we never would have gone that far without him!

    Since those 90s teams, there have been a few other rootable squads (Linsanity ofc), but more often I hated so many of them despite being a fan. And I still hate everything about the Mxlo era, just as your wife did, for many of the same reasons.

    As for this year, I’m actually glad we don’t have a team of obvious mercenaries (like the Nets). The current group is making me care b/c they’re good but also (like Starks) b/c many of them are/were not supposed to be good.

    Sports is at bottom entertainment. The Knicks are most entertaining team in the league right now.

  49. Hubert, you respect swift’s dreams as he’s on a row of nailing Knicks predictions. :P
    And to help swift’s Kawhi dream, i read something i wasn’t aware of, which is this summer the Clippers can only offer Kawhi the same max as all the other teams. This is because he was a free-agent signing and not a trade, so they will only have his early bird rights and aren’t allowed to offer the 5 year deal that usually protects the team trying to keep the player (that is only allowed with full bird rights).

  50. KB Apprentice: IMO Jokic is the kind of player that needs a dedicated stopper/shadow, maybe someone playing out of position who just sacrifices his own game to make Jokic’s life a misery the whole time. Especially over a series, someone like that might get in his head a bit.

    Sounds like Anthony Mason. They don’t make many guys like that any more.

  51. Kawhi bought two prime pieces of LA real estate recently: a $17mm home in Pacific Palisades, and a penthouse apartment by the Staples center. Both of those are in addition to his San Diego mansion.

    So he couldn’t buy a penthouse apartment in Manhattan too and chill there during the NBA season and spend the rest of his time on the West Coast?

    I get that he’s from there but he can sell his houses if he wants or not and just live in NYC during the season. These dudes spend half of the time on the road during the season anyways. He can hop on a private jet and go anywhere. I don’t think what houses he owns really matters all that much.

  52. Hubert raises a good point in that there’s a hard ceiling when it comes to “patience.” By the start of the 2022-2023 season, we’ll need to have re-signed Randle and Mitch, so this very same group will become much more expensive. We basically need to make sure we’ve spent every possible dollar by the time we re-sign Randle and/or Mitch if the idea is to build on this group (I think it is, and I think that’s justified).

    This is all complicated by the fact that we have no idea what the cap figures for anyone in the Bullock/Burks/Rose/Noel/Taj group will be by then, nor do we know how many of our draft picks we plan to keep and sign.

    If we don’t take on any long-term money besides our two firsts and the DET pick this offseason, we should have around $53M to spend in the summer of 2022 with Randle and Mitch’s cap holds. That’s enough to give LaVine a full max and still have around $19M to spend on either depth (could just be as many guys as we can sign from the Burks/Bullock/Rose/Noel/Taj group) or another significant piece e.g. Terry Rozier (we could give out a contract with an AAV of $20M due to the 5% increases).

    Of course, we very well may spend long-term money this offseason and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It could be used on the Burks/Bullock/Rose/Noel/Taj group within reason or any other opportunities that might come up.

    Regardless, by the time we put pen to paper with Randle in 2022 we need to have blown through all available cap space. We have two offseasons and two trade deadlines to do it so we don’t need to be desperate, but we do need to take whatever the best opportunities are between now and Randle’s next deal.

  53. The Honorable Cock Jowles: To be fair, no one has had a shot against Jokic this year. Out of the 68 games he’s played this year, he’s failed to crack .500 FG% just 15 times, failed to crack .400 FG% just 3 times, and never shot worse than .333 from the field. He’s also taken fewer than 10 FGA in just 4 games. He’s just a phenomenal talent having an otherworldly year. If this isn’t the best all-around performance by a center in the modern era, I don’t know what is.

    Best offensive season for sure but David Robinson’s 93/94 (11.9 bpm, 11.4 vorp) might have been better overall. It’s surprising how much better Robinson’s advanced stats were than Hakeem’s or Ewing’s- by the numbers he was easily the best of the three.

  54. Hubert: Sounds like Anthony Mason. They don’t make many guys like that any more.

    Haha. Right? At times RJ has reminded me a bit of the old locksmith. He’s not as big as Mason (yet) but he sometimes bullies to the hoop in a similar way, and they were both lefties. They have similar game faces, too — that scowl with the eyes like … watchit.

  55. ess-dog:
    Killian Hayes with 28/8/7 (with 7 TOs) and 3-6 from three against the Bulls last night. Maybe the kid’s still got a future, Z-Man?

    Heck of a game, sort of. Kid’s definitely got a future. So far though do you think I was more right or wrong about his draft position? If you were drafting a guard, would you rather have him or LaMelo? Or Haliburton? Or Maxey? Or Lewis? Or IQ? Or Maledon? Or Prichard?

    Let’s remember that my counterparts in the draft-time debate thought he should be the #1 pick and was a much better choice than LaMelo, who I liked way more than most. How’s that turning out?

    Of course, the jury is still out, he could have an RJ level of improvement next year and go on from there. But right now, of players who have played at least 500 minutes, Hayes has the lowest WS48 and the lowest BPM in the draft. He’s somewhat improved since returning from injury, but has a long, long way to go before he becomes a productive player and justify being a mid-lottery pick.

    The kid can pass,though, even with the turnovers I’ll give him that…but that was never my problem with him.

  56. With Vildoza on board we have 2 solid players at every position (except PF but I’ll give the rookie a break). It feels good knowing we shouldn’t have any devastating holes in our lineup. Really can’t think of many seasons that’s been the case, except 2013.

    Payton continues to suck but he’s the backup PG now, so at least it’s not as egregious. But damn, he’s been bad still.

  57. I like our chances against any of Miami, Boston, or Atlanta. None of them will be easy, but I’d feel confident going up against any of them.

  58. Let’s remember that my counterparts in the draft-time debate thought he should be the #1 pick and was a much better choice than LaMelo, who I liked way more than most. How’s that turning out?

    I know you weren’t specifically referring to me, but to be clear while I did have Hayes #1 I had Ball at a very close #2 and said multiple times I could go either way. I was on your side in the Ball wars.

    Obviously, Ball is looking like the much better choice between the two and I highly doubt that ever changes. My guess is Hayes doesn’t overtake Haliburton either.

    I’d still take Hayes over any of the other guys you mentioned though. I don’t think you’d be crazy to take IQ over him, but Hayes is still only 19 and is the only guy in that group with full-time lead guard potential IMO.

  59. the extent of this surprised me a little. there are 65 guys with at least 10 2pa per 36 this year. here are the bottom five (of those) in fg%:

    65. Lou will 41.9%
    64. Dillon Brooks 45.7%
    63. Dwayne Bacon 45.9%
    62. RJ 46.0%
    61. Elf 46.8%

  60. why are you guys worrying about killian hayes when nesmith is taking clearly taking the chason randle to garrett temple leap right before our eyes

  61. The word “magician” often comes up when describing Jokic – when he holds the ball over his head, about to make an other worldly pass to a cutter it really is like watching a performer doing magic tricks.

    Usually with physical outliers in professional sports, you’re pointing to some kind of biomechanical advantage: Zdeno Chara’s slap shot, John Isner’s first serve and Randy Johnson’s fastball, to name a few. With Jokic, it’s something else entirely He’s not fast. He’s not athletic with any resemblance to the traditional sense. He’s tall as hell, built like a mountain and looking down over the court as a 6’11” point guard. There’s really never been anything like it. I remember all the fawning over Shaq’s cut passes and Jokic makes Shaq look like Nerlens with the ball.

  62. we should have around $53M to spend in the summer of 2022 with Randle and Mitch’s cap holds

    what figure are you using for randle’s cap hold? I
    assumed it would be prohibitive. Aren’t they usually like 200% of a player’s salary? Or is he capped at 120% bc we have his bird rights?

  63. bc randle is a bird rights guy cap hold would be 150% or about $30 million in 2022

  64. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Usually with physical outliers in professional sports, you’re pointing to some kind of biomechanical advantage: Zdeno Chara’s slap shot, John Isner’s first serve and Randy Johnson’s fastball, to name a few. With Jokic, it’s something else entirely He’s not fast. He’s not athletic with any resemblance to the traditional sense. He’s tall as hell, built like a mountain and looking down over the court as a 6’11” point guard. There’s really never been anything like it. I remember all the fawning over Shaq’s cut passes and Jokic makes Shaq look like Nerlens with the ball.

    His water polo chops, We should bring a water polo coach to summer camp.

  65. I’m more focused on the playoffs, but as you guys are talking about the offseason, how’s the John Collins situation? Is Atlanta ready to pay him, or can we trade for him (and the privilege to pay him the max)? If yes, is this a good idea (Randle would have to play C)?

  66. From Ian Begley’s well-sourced piece on how differently other NBA players and front offices view the Knicks in the wake of this season:

    So where do the Knicks go from here? They’re fully committed to keeping Randle beyond his current contract. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley are certainly part of the future. And the club has the cap space and draft picks to be active in both free agency and the trade market.

    They’re keeping an eye on Damian Lillard and any other star who may seek a trade if things go sideways with their current franchises. They also have guards like Dennis Schroder, Lonzo Ball and – per SNY sources – Kyle Lowry – on the radar for the offseason.

  67. I was watching Suns PG Cameron Payne play the Lakers last night and he was the best player on the court. In limited minutes he shoots 48/43/88. He played well against us a few days ago too. It’s taken him a few years but he seems to be coming into his own.. I believe that he’s a UFA and would be an upgrade over Elf.

  68. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Usually with physical outliers in professional sports, you’re pointing to some kind of biomechanical advantage: Zdeno Chara’s slap shot, John Isner’s first serve and Randy Johnson’s fastball, to name a few. With Jokic, it’s something else entirely He’s not fast. He’s not athletic with any resemblance to the traditional sense. He’s tall as hell, built like a mountain and looking down over the court as a 6’11” point guard. There’s really never been anything like it. I remember all the fawning over Shaq’s cut passes and Jokic makes Shaq look like Nerlens with the ball.

    The best comparison is honestly the other football, soccer. Nobody in their right minds would argue Messi has a biomechanical advantage over anyone on the pitch, he’s short and frail and really not that fast in a vacuum, but nobody can stop him either way. The big difference is that Messi doesn’t have to run as much as anyone else because he knows perfectly well when, and how, to run precisely to the point he needs to go, it’s a super human mix of coordination, vision, anticipation and an insane understanding of the game’s physics and patterns.

    It’s what I feel when I watch Jokic, he’s simply mastered this understanding of movement, for himself and others, so he doesn’t have to be faster or stronger because the ball still moves faster than any player out there.

  69. @wojespn
    Much more optimism on state of LeBron James’ right ankle after on-court work Sunday and Monday, sources tell ESPN. James was pain-free after several days off – and able to make hard cuts and elevate. Return on Tuesday vs. Knicks is likely.

  70. per the suns finals bet conversation on here recently, i want to throw my longshot hat in with the blazers. i have them fairly recently at 75-1, tho they’re currently at around 55-1. obviously they still have some play-in risk. my argument is something like this:

    derrick jones has largely been a whiff but covington really has not. he is exactly the kind of player you want to pair with their back court, and it has worked. will he shoot you out of at least 1 playoff game with a 1-9 for 3? probably. but lillard, mccollum and covington were +7.5 in over 800 minutes this year. that admittedly doesn’t scream championship, but it’s a far, far cry from a team with a 1.4 net rating and 75-1. when you add nurkic to that group, they are actually +9.5 in 538 minutes, a fairly small sample, and yeah nurkic has looked both very good/fucking awful this year, but i feel fairly positive at least about the upside of that lineup. nurkic at his best is a lot more unicorny than ppl give him credit for. he is a good, somewhat less immobile than you’d think defender, and an almost (but not) bam-level passer.

    and for this year at least i think powell is a way better fit than trent. trent is a defensive tryhard but despite being technically taller he plays much smaller than powell on defense, i guess because of wingspan and strength. powell’s also a much more useful pairing with them on offense bc unlike trent he is a big threat as a cutter. i’m also a long term anfernee simons hopeful and i think he can duplicate a lot of trent’s value as a bench scorer, though with notably shittier defense. powell, CJ and lillard are +14/100 in 454 post-trade minutes. this is a pretty good, well rounded, more-two-way-than-you-think team with an absolute monster closer. this is also why i couldn’t get excited about the chris haynes article. i think it might have been written at the short term trough for them.

  71. Jokic is really improbably well-rounded. He’s too slow to be an elite defender but it’s pretty amazing how great he is at every other component of basketball. His inside and outside scoring, rebounding, and passing are all just bananas. And he holds his own on defense even with his physical limitations.

  72. The Knicks are most entertaining team in the league right now.

    just how insane is this comment…crazier yet, it’s been like this since around december…

    we were all joking how thibs was approaching near every game as a game seven…turns out that kind of intensity makes for interesting sports to watch…

  73. His water polo chops, We should bring a water polo coach to summer camp.

    it’s been years since i’ve watched any water polo, but, now that you mention it – yeah, that’s exactly what his passing looks like…

  74. @ptmilo,

    Interesting abstract. I might read the whole thing later.

    It’d be interesting if this temporal distortion kicked in for different players in different ways. I’m mostly thinking of players like Rubio or Kidd who were phenomenal passers on another level but, but couldn’t shoot for their life(at least early in their careers).

  75. Alan: @wojespn
    Much more optimism on state of LeBron James’ right ankle after on-court work Sunday and Monday, sources tell ESPN. James was pain-free after several days off – and able to make hard cuts and elevate. Return on Tuesday vs. Knicks is likely.

    I’m suprised he wants to work his ankle back against these rough ryders.

  76. Oof. From Shams:

    Celtics say All-Star Jaylen Brown has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his left wrist and is out for the remainder of the season.

  77. Well now I can root for miami to lose tomorrow. They’re too close to that 5 seed for my liking.

  78. Alan:
    Oof. From Shams:

    That sucks because Brown is one of the least unlikeable of the current Celts, but it’s nice to see their dumpster fire of a season that much more likely to end in a way that pains Celtics Nation.

    I agree that it makes rooting for a Heat loss a bit more appealing, but nah, I want to see the Celts eliminated as rapidly as possible. If they can beat the Heat, they can beat us in game 72. Better for them to be checked out and resting for the play-in by then.

  79. Go Heat tomorrow then hope they lose at least one of their next 2 games vs Milwaukee and Philly. If that happens and the Knicks defend their homecourt the final 3 games regardless if they lose to the Lakers they’ll be guaranteed no worse than the 5th seed. Atlanta slipping up in their next 2 games vs the Wizards would help too but with no Beal can only see them losing 1 game at most. Knicks do have tiebreaker vs the Hawks though, the Heat though have the tiebreaker vs the Knicks. Have no clue what happens in a 3 way tie, conference record?

  80. BigBlueAL: Have no clue what happens in a 3 way tie, conference record?

    Goes by overall head-to-head, I think…it would be Heat then Knicks then Hawks.

  81. just watched the post game interviews…too funny how thibs and the players go at berman, not like disrespectfully or anything, more like – chill out old guy…

    julius and rj both jumped on him quick…really liked rj’s short set at his post game…

  82. You would risk playing the heat in round 1 just to avoid having to beat the Celtics on the last day of the season?

    I’d rather have to beat the Celtics at home in game 72 than beat Miami 4 times out of 7.

  83. Alec Burks (contused left knee) is questionable and Immanuel Quickley (sprained left ankle) is doubtful for tomorrow’s game at LA Lakers.

    I’ll take Burks if we can get him.

  84. Hubert:
    You would risk playing the heat in round 1 just to avoid having to beat the Celtics on the last day of the season?

    I’d rather have to beat the Celtics at home in game 72 than beat Miami 4 times out of 7.

    Why would you rather risk needing to win a play-in game where you would be guaranteed to face either the Sixers, Nets or Bucks?

    I mean, honestly, if you’re saying that the ideal outcome is to play the Hawks, sure, I get that, but if we lost game 72 and wound up in the play-in, that would be much more painful to me than losing to the Heat in the first round. And whether the Heat win or lose, we could still wind up playing them…or the Hawks…or the #3 seed. Get that bird in the hand first and don’t mess around with ideal matchups. We ain’t the Lakers.

  85. Why would you rather risk needing to win a play-in game where you would be guaranteed to face either the Sixers, Nets or Bucks?

    You’re still worried about falling into the play in game? Jeez. I know you predicted this team would fall apart in the 2nd half, but it’s not gonna happen.

  86. odds for who our first round opponent will be:
    – hawks: 10%
    – bucks: 10%
    – nets: 40%
    – heat: 110%

  87. Looks like we are going to have to play our way into fourth or fifth place. Atlanta and Miami aren’t going to give it to us.

  88. hahaha geo. don’t be so bleak! here’s the rub:

    1. are you confident the Knicks can win at least 2 out of the next 4? If so,

    2. We need the Heat to lose 2 games, any 2 games, and we’re locked in to the 4/5 with the Hawks, assuming they don’t lt ank.

    The only reason to root for the Heat tomorrow is if you fear an implausible scenario where Boston goes 4-0 and we go 1-3.

  89. What’s up with the Spurs absolutely pasting the Bucks despite Milwaukee’s Big Three going 30-45?

  90. I am so happy that I’ve not heard one Knickerblogger raise expectations on the season. It sure feels like we all realize how magical this has been and that there is no circumstance that opinions like Max Kellerman’s who said “expectations for the Knicks has been reset” deserve anything but absolute scorn. This season is an absolute success no matter what happens from here on out. (Note: For some reason, links always get rejected here).

    Before we dive into next season, let’s get through the playoffs.

    Has anyone heard an update on Mitch? It’s been 6 weeks. I think this was a 6-8 week injury. Could he be back for the playoffs?

  91. @GoNY,

    Yeah, that’s such a ridiculous narrative. If we had made an all-in mid-season trade it would make sense. But this doesn’t feel like that, this feels like the beginning of something rather than the end. We have 2 young studs and a bunch of stellar complementary pieces with the assets necessary to make a blockbuster deal or slowly add talent thru the draft.

    Plus, we all have our prediction thread guesses that all look waaayyyy too pessimistic

  92. book it hubie, it’s both divine and scientifical…it’ll be be good and brutal…if julius, drose, and RJ stay consistent along with our defense and either reggie, IQ, or burks kicks in 20 – good chances we may win 4 out of 7 against whomever we play in the first round…well, except for philly and the nets maybe…they’re going to be really hard for anyone to beat…until the bucks actually win the east, they’re gonna have to prove it…

  93. i see TNT picked up our game for tuesday…bless you knickerbockers – i may not even need to sign up for league pass next year…there’s gonna be a nationally broadcasted knick game on at least once a week next season…of course, i myself am counting on a blackout here locally for tomorrow…damn spectrum…

    i imagine at least one of the last 3 will find it’s way on NBAtv, espn or tnt…

    it’s good to be good…

  94. With NY versus LA in a game that matters to both teams and the probable return of LeBron, I’m not surprised TNT picked it up.

  95. ***He’s tall as hell, built like a mountain and looking down over the court as a 6’11” point guard. There’s really never been anything like it. I remember all the fawning over Shaq’s cut passes and Jokic makes Shaq look like Nerlens with the ball.***

    It was a long time ago, and probably before you were watching much NBA, but Arvydas Sabonis was the best passing center of his generation. We Americans only got to see him play in his 30s when he was a gimpy, lumbering 7’3” guy playing in a pound-it-into-the-post kind of league, and even still the passes he’d make would just make you say “whaat?”.

  96. Early Bird: Plus, we all have our prediction thread guesses that all look waaayyyy too pessimistic

    I said 17 wins. They’ve more than doubled it.

  97. Even my midseason predictions were way too pessimistic. No sense in putting a cap on this team any more.

  98. Donnie Walsh:
    ***He’s tall as hell, built like a mountain and looking down over the court as a 6’11” point guard. There’s really never been anything like it. I remember all the fawning over Shaq’s cut passes and Jokic makes Shaq look like Nerlens with the ball.***

    It was a long time ago, and probably before you were watching much NBA, but Arvydas Sabonis was the best passing center of his generation. We Americans only got to see him play in his 30s when he was a gimpy, lumbering 7’3” guy playing in a pound-it-into-the-post kind of league, and even still the passes he’d make would just make you say “whaat?”.

    Some guy named Wilt was a pretty good passer when he wanted to be,,,

  99. GoNYGoNYGo – Gearing up for the playoffs: I said 17 wins. They’ve more than doubled it.

    Out of 133 votes, we had only 33 optimists going for 30+ wins, and out of that group we had 1 predicting 38-40 and 2 predicting Over 40. Right now, only 3 out of 133 are in the game. So it’s a fantastic season, no matter what. And no need to raise expectations, we know where we came from.
    http://knickerblogger.net/the-how-many-wins-will-the-knicks-have-in-2020-21-prediction-thread/

  100. I went 31 in that thread and, as I read the other responses, I immediately felt like the most Pollyanna-ish Knicks fan this side of Macri. How little did we know…

  101. Alan:
    I went 31 in that thread and, as I read the other responses, I immediately felt like the most Pollyanna-ish Knicks fan this side of Macri. How little did we know…

    LOL, next year you’ll go for 50. ;)

  102. I voted for 32, based solely on what I thought would be a major in-season acquisition to boost the short-term versus the future. I could not envision hiring Thibs and keeping our powder dry. If you had told me we would have the same team plus Derrick Rose to end the season, I would definitely have voted below 20.

    It feels so good to be so wrong!

  103. Westbrook seriously took that shot for the win???

    Shots like that are why Durant has rings and plays in Brooklyn now instead of both still being in OKC.

  104. Whoever asked about the three-way tiebreaker… i think the first tiebreaker is division winner – if any of the teams in the tie win their division, they get the first breaker. In a three-way tie with the heat and hawks, the hawks will win their division (by virtue of h2h record with the Heat). So the hawks will be 4. The heat own the breaker with us so I think we’ll be 6th. Emphasis on ‘I think’ though…

  105. LOL, next year you’ll go for 50. ;)

    Depending on how the offseason goes, I may pick us to eclipse the 2016 Warriors — only without the stumble in the Finals. :)

  106. Wasserman’s latest mock draft has us taking Tre Mann at 20 and Brandon Boston at 23, even as he says, “Watch out for the Knicks, who have two picks in the 20s and could look to move up for a facilitator like Giddey.” Re: Boston…

    Boston’s draft stock remains fascinating, considering he started the year top-five on boards and struggled through most of his one season. We’ve seen a number of Kentucky prospects look better as pros than college players. And for a 6’7″ wing, Boston’s flashes of slashing and shot-making remain intriguing. After hitting big with Immanuel Quickley, the Knicks could go back to the well at Kentucky and buy low on a 19-year-old who actually shot 42.0 percent from three over his last 10 games.

    With the Pistons second-rounder, he has us taking Josh Primo from Alabama.

  107. Oh, and I forgot to skim down the first time to the pick we got from Philly in the Austin Rivers deal. With that one, Wasserman has us taking Yoan Makoundou from France. I definitely don’t expect us to keep all our picks, but if we do, I imagine at least one or two will be draft-and-stash.

  108. Not sure I’d trade 20 and 23 for Giddey given by most accounts he can’t shoot. If we assume Randle and RJ regress a bit from 3 and we may or may not be able to keep Bullock, I’m not sure we can afford to add more non-shooting rotation pieces?

    Wasserman also says Sac may look to trade for an athletic defensive big. I guess it’s just wishcasting to think20, 23 and Mitch gets a discussion about a top 5 pick?

  109. Giddey has become a triple double machine recently and I doubt that he’ll be available to us. I wouldn’t mind ending up with Mann, Boston and Queta, with our 2nd round pick. That would be a haul.

  110. Alan: Wasserman’s latest mock draft has us taking Tre Mann at 20 and Brandon Boston at 23, even as he says, “Watch out for the Knicks, who have two picks in the 20s and could look to move up for a facilitator like Giddey.” Re: Boston…
    With the Pistons second-rounder, he has us taking Josh Primo from Alabama.

    BJ Boston is 33rd on Tankathon and 35th on ESPN Big Board. If he’s there for the Detroit pick sure, why not? Although i’d go for a big with that pick (Queta or Bassey). But we better don’t pick him with the 2 firsts.
    Tre Mann looks like an OK pick, and probably will be there for our 2 firsts one more of Springer, Bouknight, Butler and Dosunmo. I’d pick 2 of those 5 and call it a day. But combining the picks to trade up can also be a good idea (although that only the Knicks know, as they have intel and we don’t).

  111. Bullock’s value in the 538 article is estimated at about $8M so $11M isn’t much of an overpay and that $8M value probably doesn’t take his good defense into account, so I’d be OK with paying him $11M this year.

    By the way, the article is fun. It makes it feel like we are the basketball equivalent of the A’s in Moneyball.

  112. As for the low 2RP, and even for the high 2RP depending on if we want to accommodate 3 rookies or only 2, we should do what smart teams do now – which is we select 2 players in the 2nd round and place them on our 2 Two-way contracts. I won’t miss Harper and Pinson, although the latter is a very good cheerleader, and much prefer to evaluate 2RPs at those spots.

  113. i think there’s a good chance we use all our picks… we should probably take a blow torch to the end of the roster…we’ll probably have plenty of roster spots next year…. gleague should be back to normal… and stashing is usually for capped out teams unwilling to pay tax anyway…

    with the pending extensions coming up in a couple years we are going to need cheap roster spots and all those picks are great to cycle through as many players as possible in search of guys who can stick …

    we’ve really lucked out and the stars have truly aligned this year… i really would not like to have a mid lotto pick as having two later picks is much preferable this year since some of these guys in the 20s are not that far off from the top 10 guys….. tre mann is one of those guys…. bj boston is probably just a meme…

  114. english_knick: What’s amazing here is that i had totally forgotten the original deal was 2/$21m with Bullock. When we found his injury we renegotiated, and with the savings signed Morris, who became IQ. How different do we feel right now with Bullock on $11m and no IQ?

    Right? That was a big/lucky break for us and a costly one for Bullock. I hope he gets rewarded (by us) for his fine season. And I hope IQ is a Knick for life.

    One other thing I enjoyed was the breakdown of Noel’s game. Teams take MORE shots in the paint with him on the floor but make LESS of them. Probably b/c he looks like a bamboo reed out there. Good for us.

    The whole article is a love letter to LRose et al, how they’ve managed costs yet added victories (twice my prediction). The whole year has been a win on all fronts no matter what — as many have said here.

  115. Knick fan not in NJ:
    Bullock’s value in the 538 article is estimated at about $8M so $11M isn’t much of an overpay and that $8M value probably doesn’t take his good defense into account, so I’d be OK with paying him $11M this year.

    By the way, the article is fun.It makes it feel like we are the basketball equivalent of the A’s in Moneyball.

    Sure. But the whole thing about these vets surely is that they’re playing above the value of their contracts and that’s why we can have a 40-win team going into the off-season with league-leading cap space. It’s much less ‘moneyball’ if they’re just decent vets earning slightly over their on-court value!

  116. Knick fan not in NJ:
    Bullock’s value in the 538 article is estimated at about $8M so $11M isn’t much of an overpay and that $8M value probably doesn’t take his good defense into account, so I’d be OK with paying him $11M this year.

    I was curious about this. It mentions a two year deal for 21M cut down to a two year deal for 8M. Does that mean Bullock really left 13M on the table?

    By the way, the article is fun.It makes it feel like we are the basketball equivalent of the A’s in Moneyball.

    And, yeah, I agree with you on the Moneyball comparison, felt similar when we won nine in a row, like that streak the A’s had.

  117. Alan: With that one, Wasserman has us taking Yoan Makoundou from France.

    Queta was still on board and he took that guy!? Hell, he didn’t put Queta on the board whatsoever. This mock draft doesn’t count for me. :P
    By the way we’re talking of one of the 4 finalists for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, which he lost to Davion Mitchell. All of the other 3 were selected except Queta, he probably doesn’t follow Mountain View Conference, and probably last year he also didn’t had Sam Merrill (also from Utah State) and he’s doing OK on the Bucks (and much better than usual at the spot he was picked – 60th).

  118. KB Apprentice: I was curious about this. It mentions a two year deal for 21M cut down to a two year deal for 8M. Does that mean Bullock really left 13M on the table?

    At the time, Bullock’s agent went out of his way to praise Perry and Mills for following through with a contract at all – definitely sounded like when they found the injury it could have meant no-one signed him until at least mid-season.

  119. cybersoze: BJ Boston is 33rd on Tankathon and 35th on ESPN Big Board. If he’s there for the Detroit pick sure, why not? Although i’d go for a big with that pick (Queta or Bassey). But we better don’t pick him with the 2 firsts.
    Tre Mann looks like an OK pick, and probably will be there for our 2 firsts one more of Springer, Bouknight, Butler and Dosunmo. I’d pick 2 of those 5 and call it a day. But combining the picks to trade up can also be a good idea (although that only the Knicks know, as they have intel and we don’t).

    Queta didn’t even make Wasserman’s list so the list is definitely flawed. Tankathon has us taking him in the 2nd round.

  120. english_knick: At the time, Bullock’s agent went out of his way to praise Perry and Mills for following through with a contract at all – definitely sounded like when they found the injury it could have meant no-one signed him until at least mid-season.

    Got it. Sounds like a “good culture” move, indeed.

    I do hope Bullock gets paid well on his next one. He’s been outstanding, and MSG can prolly afford it ;-)

  121. Getting KAT would be a coup. His game has a ton of perimeter camping last I checked, so playing him next to a rim protector would be doable.

    Randle
    Quickley
    Barrett
    KAT
    Noel/Mitch

    I have no problem trying to make this work. That’s three good distance shooters, an emerging one in RJ, and two guys expected to set big screens, convert at the rim. That looks like a team that could crack the top 10 on both sides of the ball.

  122. The offensive fit is fine but KAT trying to chase around perimeter players on the other end would be an epic disaster in my opinion.

  123. Yeah, you can’t play a frontline of KAT, Randle, and Noel (or Mitch) in the modern NBA. One of those guys would have to come off the bench. (Assuming Randle doesn’t wind up being the piece we would trade for KAT. And that would bum me out, even though KAT is the more talented player.)

  124. From that KAT article, there’s this ridiculous part though:

    I don’t think the Knicks honestly have the assets to get him. I don’t think Barrett, Robinson, and whatever picks they’re going to have since they’re not going to be in the lottery will be good enough for Towns, who’s one of the best offensive players in the league and has three years left on his deal.

    And in the next paragraph the same guy talks about the Warriors as a possibility. Sure.

  125. I just don’t understand the appeal or going after KAT.

    He is a talented offensive player sure. But he is 25 years old (only one year younger than Randle).

    He also has also only every played on losing teams except for one season when Thibs was his coach and he had Butler. And guess what? He HATED Thibs. You know, our current coach who has coached his ass off and turned around our culture into one that is hard working and plays defense and is unselfish in less than a season. KAT doesn’t play defense. I’m going to say it, he’s a more efficient, modern Melo. A guy who puts up great numbers on losing teams and plays for himself.

    Now maybe he’s matured and realized how great Thibs really was. But he isn’t that much younger than Randle. Why mess up a good thing with Randle and RJ for a player who is all of one year older?

    I’d much rather we get a dynamic PG or SG or elite wing to pair with Randle and Barrett than give up draft picks and young players to bring in a guy that clashed with our coach who has brought winning basketball back to NYC.

    But you know…his advanced stats and efficiency make him “good.” Color me skeptical.

  126. What guaranteed do we have that KAT wouldn’t within several months of being here get tired of Thibs and want him gone.

    Screw this whole idea that its a player’s league and talent always trumps coaching. This season should prove to all of us how illogical and dumb that way of thinking is. I want players that will run through a brick wall for our coach and are willing to stay around after practice and shoot for hours in an empty gym. That’s what Miami has had for years. What the spurs have had. CULTURE AND ACCOUNTABILITY. Its what we have lacked and its what Thibs has brought to us and now people want to risk that by bringing in KAT? Are people on this blog really that insane?

  127. DudesTown: Queta didn’t even make Wasserman’s list so the list is definitely flawed. Tankathon has us taking him in the 2nd round.

    Yeah, this year for me Queta is the barometer for how good the mock draft is. ;)

  128. All the talk about culture is fun and all but thinking that it takes you all the way is really insanity. It’s a difference between winning the championship or just being a tough out in the playoffs.

    No culture building could ever get over the talent hump in the NBA and we have decades of proof that this is the case. If you’re happy with a good team that fights hard and eventually loses, then that’s fine, I won’t hold it against anyone, some people would rather watch a team play the way they want and have that as the end result. I, personally, as much as I’ve loved watching this team, would absolutely trade this season for an actual title. The exciting part about this season is that it’s showing we’re not as far as we once were and that there is a road map for building towards contention, we just need the top end talent. If we’re going to draft it, trade for it or sign it at free agency, it doesn’t matter to me.

  129. Mann would be a decent pick, his game is well-rounded if unspectacular. I think it would be a mistake to pass on Springer though. If you’re looking for a guy with serious sleeper potential I think it’s him. Doing what he did in the SEC at 18 years old is no joke, and theoretically he’s pretty much a hand-in-glove fit for our needs.

    Boston…I mean, troll me about my Quickley opinion if you insist but the thing about exceptions to general rules (i.e. unproductive college players being unproductive NBA players) is you really shouldn’t bet on them happening all that much. Quickley bucked the trend, but let’s not forget about Kevin Knox folks! I think it would be tragic to take him with Donsumu, Christopher, Duarte, and Cooper on the board.

    If you told me right now I could trade both 1RPs for Giddey it wouldn’t be an easy decision but I think I’d have to pull the trigger. The upside there is about as high as it gets outside the top 5 in this draft IMO.

    Haven’t looked into Primo at all, but would prefer Shannon Jr., Ayayi, Queeta, and Bassey just off the top of my head. Justin Champagnie seems underrated too.

    I hope we make at least 3 picks. For a good team we have a surprising amount of flotsam to clear out. Frank, Knox, Harper, and Pinson have all given us nothing, and it shouldn’t be hard to find an upgrade on Pelle.

  130. here’s what I think we should do next year……whatever the hell thibs and wes decide. I was wrong about Randle, Bullock, Obi, Frank, Rose…..everyone except Payton. I’ve never been happier to be wrong!

  131. It is hard to see how KAT and Randle can coexist, and while KAT is a bit better, I don’t think the gap is enough to justify the assets that it would take. A guard/wing would be much easier to integrate into this team. Lillard getting disgruntled would really be ideal even if he is a bit older than what you would look for.

  132. If we’re gonna go all in with players and draft picks to get a superstar, figure out a way to get Damien Lillard here.

    Talk about a perfect fit…..

  133. marechal:
    It is hard to see how KAT and Randle can coexist, and while KAT is a bit better, I don’t think the gap is enough to justify the assets that it would take. A guard/wing would be much easier to integrate into this team. Lillard getting disgruntled would really be ideal even if he is a bit older than what you would look for.

    Dame would be perfect. Did i already said he’s my favorite PG in the whole league? :)
    About KAT, i just shared the link, i’m with you thinking he may overlap some of our players, and that it would take to many assets to be a good move.
    But to take pre-defined ideas from people’s heads, KAT has been defending much better since Thibs (or by getting more experience).
    Here’s the DBPM (and BPM) of KAT, Julius and Mitch on the last 3 seasons:
    KAT: 0.6 (6.0), 0.8 (7.8), 0.4 (4.4)
    JR: -0.6 (1.5), -1.0 (-0.3), 0.7 (3.7)
    MR: 2.4 (2.5), 1.4 (2.9), 1.1 (0.9)
    All seasons with a positive DBPM, and i don’t think being in a losing team helps in that regard.

  134. He also has also only every played on losing teams except for one season when Thibs was his coach and he had Butler.

    Put differently: he has only played on losing teams, except the one year his team had some other good players.

  135. I think Boston Jr is still a 1st-round pick and it’s fairly likely that the Knicks will gamble on him with one of their picks (if he’s even there at 20). He’s a top-5 HS recruit AND a Kentucky guy.

    With two firsts, I don’t mind them taking one homerun swing and one plug-and-play guy, plus a big and a draft-and-stash with the two seconds.

  136. You’re right, noble. And that good player HATED his attitude so much that he showed him up in a gym at practice for being a lazy, me first player who didn’t want to do what the coach asked of him to do.

    Sorry, but I’m siding with Thibs and Butler on this one. Butler is a second round pick who through his own hard work and dedication turned himself into a top 15 player who has been to the finals. Thibs is a COY, has been to the playoffs a bunch, the ECF and is probably going to get COY this year. Not to mention was an assistant under Van Gundy for The Knicks when they were good and defensive coach for one of the best defensive teams of all time (08 Celtics, who won a title). But yeah, let’s get KAT so he can dog it on defense and then complain about Thibs and try to get him run out of town like he did in Minny. Sounds like the same ole Knicks to me. Bringing in an overrated “star” who has won nothing and choosing him over the coach who demands hard work and sacrifice from his players.

  137. Butler is a second round pick

    Butler was drafted in the first round.

    and is probably going to get COY this year.

    Monty Williams is in negative odds territory for COY at the moment.

  138. I like Jimmy Butler a lot but to my knowledge we’re not deciding between him and KAT?

  139. Culture creates talent. Would Jimmy Butler have spent 14 hours in a gym after his rookie year if he had gone to The Kings instead of The Bulls and had Thibs as his coach?

    Would Randle’s jump this year have meant anything if Fiz had been the coach? Would that hard work have rubbed off on the other players throughout the season if Fiz was the coach and not Thibs?

    I agree we need more talent but lets not fool ourselves. Talent alone also does not win championships. Otherwise The Lakers would have won in 05 and The Heat would have won in 2010. You need both to win it all but if I’m choosing one over the other as the foundation for my franchise, I’m choosing culture because culture can create talent. But talent without culture can often go wasted.

    We look at the players drafted and their stats after the fact like those outcomes were their destiny. But doesn’t it dawn on people that maybe those draft picks that end up being labelled busts maybe would have had a different outcome if they went to a team that had strong culture in place? Its ultimately an unanswerable question because we can’t live in alternate universes. Sure, Lebron could go to Cleveland or The Kings and still would have been the GOAT. But he’s the rare exception. The difference in talent between most NBA players is actually pretty negligible.

  140. It’s hilarious to see Kent Bazemore so obsessed with the scoring title that he is suggesting that Bradley Beal is faking injuries to protect his lead (even though Curry has now passed Beal). When’s the last time anyone seriously gave a shit about who won the scoring title? 2004?

  141. And besides all that. We don’t need KAT. We have Randle, Mitch, Noel. our front line is set. Where we need to improve is at the wings and guard positions. It seems pointless to me to go get him.

    I look at what THIS team as currently constructed needs to do to improve and where that improvement is most likely to take this team to the next level. To me, getting KAT doesn’t do that. There are potential issues with him and Randle. He’s not good on defense and rim protection and interior defense is a huge strength of ours and where we could most use an upgrade is at the PG spot or the SG/SF spot.

  142. Maybe. But that report just says “I’ve heard” there is no actual quote from Thibs so we have no idea what “I’ve heard” actually means. It could easily just be him being diplomatic or just acknowledging that KAT is talented and could help a team win.

  143. Brian Cronin:
    It’s hilarious to see Kent Bazemore so obsessed with the scoring title that he is suggesting that Bradley Beal is faking injuries to protect his lead (even though Curry has now passed Beal). When’s the last time anyone seriously gave a shit about who won the scoring title? 2004?

    Melo in 2013 (himself, not us Knicks fans)

  144. Melo in 2013 (himself, not us Knicks fans)

    That’s also the last time I was even aware of who won the scoring title, and it was only because a guy on our team did it.

  145. KAT is a great offensive player, but if this year has proved anything it’s that focusing on defense is important, as is coaching, work ethic, culture, players liking each other, players liking the coach, and players putting the team first.

    I’m not sure KAT is the ideal fit and we may have to give up too much to get him.

  146. Who leads the league in various categories really does seem like something that NBA fans have just stopped giving a shit about. It used to be an actual big deal. Remember the Michael Cage/Charles Oakley battle for the rebound title? People actually cared about that! Man, the days before the internet was fascinating in sports fandom.

  147. swiftandabundant: And besides all that. We don’t need KAT. We have Randle, Mitch, Noel. our front line is set. Where we need to improve is at the wings and guard positions. It seems pointless to me to go get him.

    Agreed. Upgrades at guard and wing will be more impact ones, as there’s more room to improve.

    But if KAT and Thibs don’t have a problem with each other, and KAT can buy our (new) culture, having SF+PF+C filled by 3 all-stars (RJ*, Randle, KAT) is a very good option. Then you can have 2 gritty guys, TJ McConnell/Marcus Smart type, for the backcourt.

    The Lakers were champions in 2009 with Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic as their backcourt options.

    * – he’ll be an all-star pretty soon, maybe as early as 2023.

  148. KAT? I’m just enjoying the current Knicks and seeing how far they can go with the current “overachieving” group. Sure, I rather expect the clock to strike midnight soon, the Knicks possibly out of the playoffs in the first round, but they may yet have more surprises in store for us.

  149. I’ve never seen BJ Boston play, but we obviously can’t draft him, no matter where he is on the big board: when he’s on the court knick fans can’t chant “BOSTON SUCKS” without damaging his development. I’m not willing to give that chant up. Are you?

  150. Yeah I’m just a KAT skeptic in general and I’ve always LOVED Thibs as a coach. I get that his moves as a GM in Minny weren’t the best but it says a lot to me that a player like KAT would butt heads with Thibs and Butler and not follow their lead when he had no success in the league before they showed up. I mean, Minny was trending in the right direction. They had a good coach and a veteran all star two way wing with Butler and KAT was like “Nah.”

    It just makes me suspect of him in general.

  151. Brian Cronin
    May 11, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    “Who leads the league in various categories really does seem like something that NBA fans have just stopped giving a shit about. It used to be an actual big deal. Remember the Michael Cage/Charles Oakley battle for the rebound title? People actually cared about that!”

    I remember caring about that! (Hey, that was an amazing close out by Cage. It’s fun to read the story from that game to. The ball “slipped” out of teammate Mike Woodson’s hands and into Cage’s for his 30th rebound (man, Woodson is like the Forest Gump of the NBA) and they stopped play with 1:33 secs left to award Cage the game ball, and he got a standing ovation from the 8,000 fans in attendance (Sterling was so far ahead of his time when it came to 25% capacity crowds at games).

    (And Cage got $15,000 contract incentive for leading the league in rebounding, so I imagine that’s why that somebody cared)

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1988-04-25-sp-1158-story.html

    Even worse than the Cage-Oakley “battle” was when Robinson’s teammates fed him 71 points on the last day of the season to edge out Shaq for the scoring title in ’94. Up by 20 with 2 minutes left the Spurs started fouling on purpose, just to get more possessions for Robinson. Talk about cheesy. (And I don’t think there was even $15,000 on the table for Robinson that day)

    https://ballislife.com/4-24-94-david-robinson-scores-71-points-to-win-the-scoring-title-over-shaq/

  152. tnfh, aren’t you the guy who trashed Thibs as antiquated and a bad coach because he had Jamal etc. taking shots away from KAT, and said that if it came down to a choice between KAT and Thibs you’d take KAT? Do you think that if you added KAT to this team (at the cost of assets not to mention obviously usurping minutes from Noel/Mitch/Taj and touches from Randle and RJ) and subtracted Thibs, do you think we’re playing for the 4th seed right now?

    For the record, I’m a hard NO on KAT. Thibs is clearly here to stay for the next 5 years or so, and you saw what happened when we paired Melo with D’Antoni. They are just not a good match, and no matter what they say to sugarcoat what happened in MIN, nothing would convince me that they are a good match. Thibs needs to have his kind of players with 100% buy-in, and I think he showed this year what he can do with a roster that gives him that 100% buy-in. Why would you want to distrupt that chemistry by bringing in the one star that he has a negative history with? It would be the dumbest thing ever.

  153. Quickley
    Barrett
    Randle
    KAT
    Noel/Mitch

    This is one of the reasons it reminds me of the Melo deal. As soon as we got Melo we realized that he & Amar’e weren’t a perfect fit and it minimized Amar’e. We eventually ripped up what we were building and rebuilt the whole team around Melo.

    Introducing KAT does the same thing, IMO. He’s either a Center who can’t protect the rim, or a 4 that forces Randle into a suboptimal position. In that lineup you’ve got, teams are going to go small in two seconds and run us off the court. Imagine Randle having to guard Jayson Tatum to make room for KAT. Fuck that, man.

    We should bring in a player who supports the style we’ve developed, not one who forces us to change. If KAT gave a shit about playing defense, I would have a different opinion, because him replacing Mitch/Noel at the 5 would be epic. But we’d quickly lose our defensive identity.

    Also, I don’t know why you have Quickley in that lineup. He’d be part of any KAT trade, along with Mitch and almost all our trove of draft picks. We’d quickly be a different team altogether: a capped-out, vet-laden team with a lot less young players.

    And to make it all worse, I do think he’d get the coach fired…again.

    Melo trade 2.0, man. Please don’t happen.

  154. Even worse than the Cage-Oakley “battle” was when Robinson’s teammates fed him 71 points on the last day of the season to edge out Shaq for the scoring title in ’94. Up by 20 with 2 minutes left the Spurs started fouling on purpose, just to get more possessions for Robinson. Talk about cheesy. (And I don’t think there was even $15,000 on the table for Robinson that day)

    Oh man, I had forgotten all about that until you just mentioned that! Wow, people really used to super care about this stuff. Too funny.

    It’s interesting that people clearly still do care about yearly leaders in baseball.

  155. Like all NBA players save for maybe 3-4 KAT has his flaws, but he’s put up multiple monstrous offensive seasons despite having mostly garbage teammates and is still young. Again, we have until the 2022 season to stuff as much talent under the cap as possible. I’m fine with arguing we shouldn’t pursue KAT, but then who are pursuing between now and then that will get us to contention?

    It would be a huge mistake to not even explore the possibility of getting him if the opportunity presented itself. Thankfully, I’m confident it’s not a mistake this front office would make.

  156. Even worse than the Cage-Oakley “battle” was when Robinson’s teammates fed him 71 points on the last day of the season to edge out Shaq for the scoring title in ’94. Up by 20 with 2 minutes left the Spurs started fouling on purpose, just to get more possessions for Robinson. Talk about cheesy. (And I don’t think there was even $15,000 on the table for Robinson that day)

    https://ballislife.com/4-24-94-david-robinson-scores-71-points-to-win-the-scoring-title-over-shaq/

    The one I remember best was the Thobpson-Gervin scoring title battle. Here’s David Thompson’s account. I loved me some Iceman!

  157. If i were 10-20yrs younger I’d love us to trade for a star player and then go buy his jersey and wear it proudly while playing streetball and wait for him to lead us to the promised land.
    But now?
    Why?
    Thibs is the star. We may not impress but we’re heading to the right direction.
    Keep doing what you’re doing this season Knicks.
    Upgrade without Fuking our Chemistry and asset stash…till the right star player becomes available at the right price.

  158. like all NBA players save for maybe 3-4 KAT has his flaws

    But his specific flaws are such a terrible match for our coach and roster.

    Unless… if you’re willing to dump Randle in the trade, it makes some sense. Looking back at the Melo trade, for instance, we would have been better off if we could have just given them Amar’e and kept all the good complementary pieces. (That wasn’t an option then, but it could be now.)

    I just don’t see him and Randle fitting together at all.

  159. It’s pretty early to tell but knicks 2021 seem to me like taking the SA way which means:
    No rush or fancy moves.
    King Coach.
    Very Competent FO and Scouting Department.
    Long Plan for many years to come.

  160. The one I remember best was the Thobpson-Gervin scoring title battle.

    And compare it to this current Beal/Curry battle, where they are each over 31 points a game (31.9 to 31.4), it’s shocking how little this is a big deal, right?

  161. tnfh, aren’t you the guy who trashed Thibs as antiquated and a bad coach

    Don’t think I used these words?

    because he had Jamal etc. taking shots away from KAT

    Yeah, this was dumb even though Thibs is coaching very well 4 years later.

    Do you think that if you added KAT to this team (at the cost of assets not to mention obviously usurping minutes from Noel/Mitch/Taj and touches from Randle and RJ) and subtracted Thibs, do you think we’re playing for the 4th seed right now?

    This is a meaningless question because it all depends what assets would be going out. Obviously, there’s a price I wouldn’t pay for KAT. I definitely think we’d be better if we had KAT for a reasonable price if that’s what you’re asking.

    They are just not a good match, and no matter what they say to sugarcoat what happened in MIN, nothing would convince me that they are a good match.

    Continue to think it’s weird people are disregarding the opinion of Tom Thibodeau when it comes to which players Tom Thibodeau would like to coach.

    But his specific flaws are such a terrible match for our coach and roster.

    Unless… if you’re willing to dump Randle in the trade,

    Completely agree that the Randle/KAT fit is not good, and might be downright untenable. I also love what Randle has done this year and have developed an attachment that would make a trade like this tough to swallow.

    Having said that, I am simply arguing in favor of entertaining all possibilities. Say you could land KAT for Randle + minor assets (you probably couldn’t)–a front office that wouldn’t even explore that would be negligent.

  162. One more thing: Tom Thibodeau, who is doing an incredibly admirable job and who I have defended on multiple occasions this season, is 63 years old.

    Seems like something you might want to keep in mind if you’re arguing in favor of him weighing heavily in long-term decisions we make.

  163. Say you could land KAT for Randle + minor assets (you probably couldn’t)

    I would probably want to keep Randle in this scenario. But I would not try to defend myself. I would throw up hands, cop to the endowment effect, and admit that I prefer the inferior player for reasons that cannot be quantified.

  164. I’m with Hubert on this one.

    And just a minor point — when he’s not ranting wildly on the sidelines, Thibs has shown himself to be extraordinarily diplomatic, at least with the press corps. He is almost always positive, even when the team loses, and does not ‘coach from the back pages’ like certain people (named Jackson, for example…either one in fact). So I have no idea how to translate anything he might have said or intimated about KAT, but I certainly wouldn’t expect him to have trashed him, even if he hated the guy.

  165. Don’t look now, but KAT and Randle are having pretty similar seasons value-wise. KAT leads in WS48 .151 to .141 but Randle leads in VORP 3.6 to 2.5. Obviously, they are not the same player and are at different positions, but Randle is shooting better from three, has more assists per 36, and is a better defender according to DBPM. And considering our depth at center, I don’t think a KAT or Randle trade should be a priority.

  166. FWIW Randle has been very good defending the perimeter this year- his switch-ability this year has been almost as surprising as his shooting. And he punishes smaller defenders so he may gain more than he gives back. I don’t think you’d want him to be a full-time three but if KAT actually did come here I think you could have him start at three but get plenty of time at the 4 with bench units. Also: KAT may have slacked when his teammates were Wiggins and Crawford but it’d be a whole lot tougher to buck Thibs when the entire rest of the team obviously has his back. He tuned out Thibs and Butler but it’d tough to tune out 14 other players.

  167. thenoblefacehumper: One more thing: Tom Thibodeau, who is doing an incredibly admirable job and who I have defended on multiple occasions this season, is 63 years old.

    I’m 63. If I was HC of the Knicks they would need to drag my rotting corpse out of the Garden.

  168. ***KAT may have slacked when his teammates were Wiggins and Crawford but it’d be a whole lot tougher to buck Thibs when the entire rest of the team obviously has his back. He tuned out Thibs and Butler but it’d tough to tune out 14 other players.***

    “There’s an old saying in Minnesota—I know it’s in New York, probably in Minnesota—that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on…shame on you? Fool me twice, um… you can’t get fooled again.’” -GW Bush.

  169. 63 is NOT OLD. I don’t think Thibs will coach for 20 years but Thibs could easily be our coach for the next 5 years. Beyond that, I don’t know but he is not old.

  170. 60s are the new 40s

    that’s right :)

    I’m 63. If I was HC of the Knicks they would need to drag my rotting corpse out of the Garden.

    too funny Go NY…from the chatter we heard though the media – it sure did seem like the knicks head coaching position really was thibs’ dream job…

    oh man, i still remember thinking how crazy it was that both thibs and mike woodson wanted to come here…i guess the same could be said for kenny payne leaving kentucky and johnnie bryant leaving the jazz…

    well, i guess finally after 2 decades dolan’s basketball relationship team building strategy finally paid off, just took leon and wes to make it happen…

  171. Interesting game tonight. James has missed 25 games this season. The Lakers are 10-15 in those contests. The Lakers are 28-15 in games that James started this season.

    Last two games, Anthony Davis went for 36 and 12, and 42 and 12.

    We’re going to need to bring our A game again…

  172. We’re going to need to bring our A game again…

    And also hope that LeBron needs a game or two to work off the rust, on top of Davis needing some time to remember how to play with the GOAT. It would help if Burks actually plays, but the Lakers really need this game, so it’ll be a battle.

  173. Re: Bullock Contract

    Also remember that we overpaid literally everyone that year except Randle. So no other team would have come that close to $21M even without the injury.

  174. There’s this funny debate on NBA Twitter about Duncan vs. Kobe in all-time rankings and whoever you ultimately think is the better player, the argument being used is just so bonkers. Basically, it’s that Duncan is worse since he never had to play with a bad team, unlike Kobe, who played with a couple of bad teams…and then the team was bad. It’s bizarre that Kobe is somehow getting credit for playing on some bad teams that…continued to be bad with Kobe on them. Logic goes out the window sometimes in these “Who is better?” debates.

  175. @wojespn
    LeBron James is going to give that right ankle one more day of rest today vs. Knicks — and target a return on Wednesday vs. Rockets, sources tell @mcten and me.

    Day feeling brighter…

  176. Interesting match up today between Randle and AD. There aren’t many true PF scoring threats so I’m really interested to see how Randle holds up being forced to guard him for 40min.

    Maybe Noel gets the AD assignment instead?

  177. That LeBron news is unambiguously good for us…but I gotta say I was looking forward to seeing what we could do against them at close to full-strength.

    No complaints, I’ll take it.

  178. swiftandabundant:
    63 is NOT OLD. I don’t think Thibs will coach for 20 years but Thibs could easily be our coach for the next 5 years. Beyond that, I don’t know but he is not old.

    I can tell you that the unexpected can easily happen to anyone, but especially in their 60s and older. I was in much better shape than Thibs is and it still happened.

  179. An AD-dominated offense will also give us a chance to revisit the discussion we had after the Clips game about how well equipped we are to take on teams whose best player is a big man (or a small guard). Davis is incredible, and we may be better off just letting him get his while we focus on staying home on all those shooters.

  180. Don’t forget they have Drummond, and Gasol too for whatever that’s worth. And big-ass centers are also something we struggle with.

  181. no surprise here i guess, looks like the A’s may be finally moving out of Oakland – out of Charlotte, Vegas, Nashville or Portland – i’d guess Nashville, but wouldn’t be that surprised if it was one of the other cities…

  182. It’s bizarre that Kobe is somehow getting credit for playing on some bad teams

    It should be about as bizarre as “it’s not the right time to talk about when Kobe raped that teenager” and then, lo, that time never came. Kobe has been fully venerated. No path was tougher, no title worth more, no mountain of bricked turnaround fadeaway jimbos less irrelevant.

  183. Lebron is ducking competition again. Maybe he should bring in another superstar to help him with the mighty Knicks. lol

  184. The Knicks and Lakers are both 38-30 and face off tonight.

    This is the moment CDiggy has been waiting for.

  185. lebron wants no part of the franco belgian stopperlina. he knows talent is irrelevant when facing the deadly alchemy of a strong work ethic and tom thibodeau.

  186. more tangential sports stuff…was watching the buildup to UFC 262 chandler versus oliveira and noticed michael chandler’s son was black…came across a very interesting interview with former ufc fighter and current mma trainer/coach din thomas visiting with chandler and asking him a very pointed question: “How do you raise a black son?”

    it’s definitely not something i dwell on, but the question has come up for me internally a few times, just loved chandler’s answer:
    “Well, I think it adds an extra wrinkle to it, obviously. Because of, you know, kind of different experiences in life. I can’t say I know what it’s like to be a black man in America. But I would say that number one, it goes back to whether he’s black, white or any race in between, how do I raise a good man?”

    there it is…

  187. Kobe has been fully venerated.

    I have a tough time understanding the standards for who gets cancelled and who remains beloved.

    Admittedly, like others, I’m probably not totally unbiased when it comes to evaluating some cases, but I try to be consistent. I’m struggling with a less significant (but very significant in my world) Kentucky Derby drug overage. That’s a case where I least understand what’s going on well enough to form an educated opinion. People are all over the map on this case. It ranges from string him up to this is not a big deal.

  188. he knows talent is irrelevant when facing the deadly alchemy of a strong work ethic and tom thibodeau.

    My boy Frank is busy putting up corner 3s and growing an extra inch in the pre game. :-)

  189. Brian Cronin:
    This season is freakishly blessed.

    My Celtics fan friend likes to remind that we’ve been lucky with Covid and injuries relative to the rest of the league (of course we’ll ignore road wins over full strength Mavs and Clips and Mitch missing a boatload of games)

    I mean it is kind of true, but it’s moving the goalposts again. “The Knicks suck, oh wait they don’t? It’s only because you beat up on bad teams and you’ve stayed pretty healthy. “

  190. Randle missing only one game has definitely helped us. Jokic is the only All-NBA-caliber player to not be out at all, I believe, and even Dame and Luka have missed a handful of games.

  191. Randle missing only one game has definitely helped us. Jokic is the only All-NBA-caliber player to not be out at all, I believe, and even Dame and Luka have missed a handful of games.

    And the one game he missed was the one where the entire Bucks team took the game off, too.

  192. “It’s only because you beat up on bad teams and you’ve stayed pretty healthy. “

    Lol, it’s such a crazy take to say you only beat the teams you’re better than and lose to one’s better than you and act like it means anything.

    We’ve definitely had injuries but have weathered them because of the redundancies in our roster construction. Randle is the only player we’d truly miss… I guess Rose now too, but less so.

    Randle and RJ are young and built like tanks, so I don’t even think that’s surprising. The way Randle has played this year is pretty safe too, just drilling midrange jumpers & 3s

  193. ptmilo:
    lebron wants no part of the franco belgian stopperlina.

    He should counter with the Kings Indian attack.

  194. Brian Cronin
    May 11, 2021 at 3:30 pm
    This season is freakishly blessed.

    Just wait til the Joel Embiid injury turns around our 2nd round series with the Sixers.

  195. Owen:
    https://www.theringer.com/nba/2021/5/11/22423517/nba-defense-analytics-nikola-jokic

    I loved this piece, not sure if someone posted it.

    Apparently no one really knows anything about how to quantify and evaluate defense, even with technology generating billions of data points every season.

    Which is a relief since I long ago realized I had no idea.

    Good read.

    I still like to rely on the comments of star players and top coaches. Coaches are watching endless hours of film looking for way to exploit defenses and star players know who gives them a tough time and who doesn’t. If a strong consensus forms among players and coaches, it’s almost certainly going to be right. Maybe you can’t put a number on it consistent with some model, but you can subjectively weigh it with other data.

  196. Just wait til the Joel Embiid injury turns around our 2nd round series with the Sixers.

    It’s funny you bring this up because I never used to think along these lines when thinking about team building until a friend of mine didn’t agree with me on a point I made. I can’t remember who we were discussing, but I remember saying I thought it was mistake for some team to go all in because even if they went all in they couldn’t beat two other teams. He disagreed. He said he didn’t mind being an injury or two away from a championship instead of some middling team hoping to find the perfect player for a few years.

    Injuries are part of the game and sometimes all you are is a couple of injuries away from going a lot further then you expect. That’s not to say we should be rooting for injuries, but you get the Larry O’Brien trophy either way.

  197. Early Bird:
    Re: Bullock Contract

    Also remember that we overpaid literally everyone that year except Randle. So no other team would have come that close to $21M even without the injury.

    You’re totally right. But poor Bullock and, say, Frank Ntilikina will both have earned ~18million total for their entire NBA careers after this season (Frank in half as many years).

    Unless I’m reading “Spotrac” wrong (which I hope I am) that just seems insane.

  198. i’m already fucking exhausted 10pm feels like the 200 page sex scene in that book that owen likes away

  199. That Ringer article is great, and not just because of the hilarious Jokic quote. Pretty endearing from someone who is nominally supposed to be campaigning for MVP.

    I guess there’s a defensive metric out there that ranks Elfrid Payton very highly. There’s also one that says he’s woeful. My eye-test says he’s fine, definitely nothing special, and has trouble with screens. Who knows?

  200. I guess there’s a defensive metric out there that ranks Elfrid Payton very highly.

    I’m going to trust Thibs on this one. He knows what each player’s role is in his defense and how players are executing it. There are probably other reasons for keeping Rose and Quick on the bench, but he keeps saying Payton is good defensively, that he can switch, etc.. It’s one thing to defend your players with words, but his actions have matched those words all season. He wants to win more than anyone and he’s still starting Payton. It can’t be for his offense.

  201. He said he didn’t mind being an injury or two away from a championship instead of some middling team hoping to find the perfect player for a few years.

    Injuries are part of the game and sometimes all you are is a couple of injuries away from going a lot further then you expect. That’s not to say we should be rooting for injuries, but you get the Larry O’Brien trophy either way.

    Exactly. Just ask the 99 Spurs! They still celebrated a title they never would have won if Ewing didn’t get hurt :)

  202. i’m already fucking exhausted 10pm feels like the 200 page sex scene in that book that owen likes away

    most definitely one of the nicer perks of being a sports fan out here in the pacific time zone…

  203. geo: most definitely one of the nicer perks of being a sports fan out here in the pacific time zone…

    roger that…

  204. geo:
    looks up bongcloud to be somewhat disappointed by seeing chess images…

    I’m out here in LA looking to open with a bongcloud of my own at 7:00 PM.

  205. AD played possessed in his last game. He’s going to be a handful tonight.

  206. ***Injuries are part of the game and sometimes all you are is a couple of injuries away from going a lot further then you expect. That’s not to say we should be rooting for injuries, but you get the Larry O’Brien trophy either way.***

    Durant and Thompson both going down made the Kawhi trade look real real good, for sure.

  207. Speaking of injuries vis-a-vis team building:

    Injuries ARE a part of the game, which makes the players that don’t get hurt during the season all the more valuable. Randle is absolutely as important to the surprising success of his team than any player in the league and deserves a lot of MVP votes based on the production he’s provided coupled with the number of minutes his team has gotten from him. People like Randle and Lillard are unbelievably valuable when it comes to factoring games played in, and it’s no mistake that their teams are playing above their heads this year.

    You guys were discussing the merits of bringing in KAT, who is attractive mostly because he is “young”, even though he has only managed to play in about half of his team’s games over the past two years due to issues with his ankle, his knee, and his wrist, (and some covid too of course). These injuries effectively bounce his salary up from $370,000 per game to $700,000 per game. Meanwhile, guys like Randle (post broken leg) and Lillard, who play every game, give extraordinarily better production per game over the course of a season.

    Obviously, debilitating impact injuries can’t be foreseen. But it’s not impossible to suss out who is reliable and who isn’t. Lillard has played in over 95% of the 717 games that Portland has had during his career. That coupled with the max-contract ceiling makes him probably the best value at the start of a season than anyone because his value comes with no question marks.

    In fact, I don’t know why “per game” stats are tallied as per games played. Per 82 games is a much more telling and useful stat when comparing contract values, as contracts are paid per game whether players play in said games or not. Springsteen sang “union man tells me the same thing: you don’t do work and you don’t get paid”. Unless, of course, your union has negotiated guaranteed contracts, in which case you are a great asset to your employer if you DO, in fact, do work.

  208. (Speaking of Lillard, it looks like he is currently #9 in mvp odds, behind a bunch of guys that have missed 1/4 to 1/3 of the season. That is absurd. I feel like a true mvp list looks like this:

    #1 Jokic
    #2 Lillard
    #3 Curry/Paul
    #5 Doncic/Randle
    #7 Giannis
    #8 Embiid
    #9 Gobert
    #10 Westbrook

    Why LeBron, Irving, and Harden(!) are under any consideration seems bonkers. They’ve missed an entire season’s worth of games between them.)

  209. geo: too funny Go NY…from the chatter we heard though the media – it sure did seem like the knicks head coaching position really was thibs’ dream job…

    oh man, i still remember thinking how crazy it was that both thibs and mike woodson wanted to come here…i guess the same could be said for kenny payne leaving kentucky and johnnie bryant leaving the jazz…

    well, i guess finally after 2 decades dolan’s basketball relationship team building strategy finally paid off, just took leon and wes to make it happen…

    I was having a discussion with my pal just now. It’s amazing how Leon is not getting enough credit outside of here. And even we aren’t tooting his horn. When was the last time he even did a press conference?

  210. I was having a discussion with my pal just now. It’s amazing how Leon is not getting enough credit outside of here. And even we aren’t tooting his horn. When was the last time he even did a press conference?

    good point go ny…the only small glimpse we had in to the front office so far was that story about the draft…leon is looking like “the man” right now…

  211. When was the last time he even did a press conference?

    He’s done exactly one so far (when Thibs was introduced as coach, I believe). The beat writers are not happy about that. Though you really have to go back to Donnie Walsh to find a Knicks exec who talked to the press a lot. But Rose is essentially silent.

  212. I’m out here in LA looking to open with a bongcloud of my own at 7:00 PM.

    nice KBPR…we have a really nice store out this way not to far from the house…it’s like stepping in to the mall chain called the Sweet Factory – where in the world did all this candy from…

    looks like the big thing lately (at least for vaping, tincture or edibles) is that “live resin” stuff…taking a break on moon rocks for the moment – it’s funny just how fast your tolerance can build up when consuming some of the more potent cannabis products…

    the last couple of years i’ve needed to adopt more of a diversified consumption strategy :)

  213. Tense, physical game in Boston, the largest lead in the first half was six points,
    no team was able to take command, the Celtics are playing with a palpable desperation,
    Miami is really hard to play against.

  214. Hubert:
    The Knicks and Lakers are both 38-30 and face off tonight.

    This is the moment CDiggy has been waiting for.

    Maybe this is why I have heard not a single word from my coworkers today about it :-)

    Wouldn’t you know it – the Knicks are in LA as I’m in… wait for it… NEW YORK! I flew out last Friday and I’ve so far been btwn Ossining (mom’s place) and Poughkeepsie (sister’s place). I did make it into the Bronx on Saturday to see my brother’s new place, and I was in Manhattan (Bowling Green) yesterday to catch up with an old college friend. First time visiting the new World Trade mall/transit hub. So happy they rebuilt the retail spaces, and I LOVE the roof!

    I’ll try to stay up to follow the game tonight. I’m renting a car to head to Albany tomorrow to see some more friends – used to live there from ’05 – ’08. And Thursday it’s onto Syracuse for the wknd.

  215. As KBers prepare for an unusually relevant mid-may game, here’s a random thought to get you to tip-off:

    Somewhere out there, there’s a thread in which everybody unanimously poo poos KP trades involving Booker, Turner, and Jokic.

    Play on.

  216. Somewhere out there, there’s a thread in which everybody unanimously poo poos KP trades involving Booker, Turner, and Jokic.

    The first two, sure, but there was plenty of support for Jokic back in the day.

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