NY Post: Heat still own Knicks as winning streak gets snapped

From Marc Berman:

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said during the NBA Finals last October he’d like to build a gritty defensive culture like Pat Riley’s Miami Heat.

Thibodeau has done an excellent job at trying to get there, but his Knicks still can’t beat the Heat.

Their three-game winning streak snapped, the Knicks allowed Miami to sweep the season series, 3-0, as Thibodeau’s favorite player, Jimmy Butler, led a second-half comeback with 27 points.

With Miami getting down and dirtier than the Knicks, the Heat powered to the 98-88 victory at the Garden.

It’s funny. That was a bad loss, no doubt about it, and yet Berman somehow had to be extra douchey about it. The Heat barely edged out back to back wins over the Knicks and then won tonight pretty handedly. How is that “owning” the Knicks?

That said, losses like these definitely do sort of speak to the Knicks’ identity so far this season, which is that Thibs has them working hard for every win, so they don’t lose to bad teams, but after some early wins against some good teams, the Knicks have since spent the last couple of months just not beating good teams. The Heat aren’t even .500 and a possible win over them was (rightly, I believe) seen by Knick fans as being a big statement.

That they couldn’t pull it off was a statement, as well. That they’re the disciplined team that plays above the sum of its parts and always competes, so they’ll take down the bad teams that are undisciplined and are less committed to winning, but then will fall short once they’re up against a good team.

Always beating the bad teams is a very good thing. The fact that I don’t think any one of us really doubts that the Knicks will win on Wednesday is an awesome thing. A lot of that is owed to Thibs. He pushes them the way no one has pushed this team in over two decades. I’m very pleased that this is a team that I have total confidence in against a bad team. I legit can’t even remember the last time the Knicks lost to a bad team (after checking, it looks like it was the Magic over a month ago), but it’s a lot harder to grind out wins against good teams.

Taking down the Heat would have been huge. Not just for the standings (as the East is such a mess that at least a top ten finish seems like a near certainty), but just to reshape the narrative around this team, to give us a happier picture of the future of this team as a playoff threat.

They still have time to reshape that narrative, but it didn’t happen tonight.

Three other stray observations…

1. They really should give Randle a game off. Dude looks like he is pressing. Either Minny or Detroit would be a good spot to rest him a game to get back to at least 90%.

2. While most of the team struggled, Nerlens Noel was outstanding. With the awful Mitch news, we are so lucky that the Knicks have such an excellent backup/fill-in starter in the middle.

3. Alec Burks has been playing so well that it was a bit disconcerting to see him get just four shots (with him hitting two. All four shots were threes) while Rose and Quickley combined for 24 shots (making ten, although they were a strong 5-11 from three between the two of them).

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188 thoughts to “NY Post: Heat still own Knicks as winning streak gets snapped”

  1. First of all, Berman is a douchebag, he always was, he always will be.

    Back to the real things.

    I agree 100% with Brian, I’m happy with the season and so on,
    games like this just remember us who we are,
    still a team with not enough talent to survive mediocre nights against good teams (and Miami, despite is record, is a good team with a top defense and two real stars).

    It’s frustrating to be unable to make a statement (and a meaningful jump in the standings thanks to all the competitors losses).
    And it’s two times frustrating when you’ve righted the ship playing the second unit and you watch the starters come back in and lay an egg, only because sometimes looks like Thibs has a “fixed time” substitution pattern until the fourth quarter (when he usually go with the “hot five”).

    I gave up on Thibs’ choices on the starting lineup, and I know I’m beating on a dead horse, but in the 47th game of the season to still play The Plague more minutes than IQ is borderline insane, even when Payton plays… not too bad.

    Now we need some players to get out of shooting slumps and everyone to stay laser focused, the next three games are very important.

    As much as I’m optimistic about Minnie and Detroit away games, they’re classic traps, against bad but frisky teams (MiN has Beasley back and stayed in the game to the end with the Nets while DET just mauled Toronto and we’ll be on a SEGABABA).

    I’m hopeful in a good reaction.

  2. I think the game could have gone both ways, if it was our all-star taking over the game in the 3rd instead of theirs, we’d get the W. Clearly Randle wasn’t already at his best, and that makes a huge difference on the Knicks play, as nobody can consistently pick up the slack. Most of the time it’s RJ, but he’s not playing very good, as of late. Then there’s IQ, when he plays like 6th man of the year, that’s a huge boost from the 2nd unit, when he doesn’t, maybe DRose steps up but that’s becoming less likely to happen, he’s ok in his role but that’s it. Usually one of Bullock and Burks helps the team, well yesterday neither did it, and Bullock was the worst, that shot selection was crazy, who does he think he is? Steph?

  3. Mostly, we haven’t beaten good teams, but we did just beat Milwaukee. Even though they rested a bunch of players, we didn’t have Randle either, so I would say that counts.

  4. Mostly, we haven’t beaten good teams, but we did just beat Milwaukee. Even though they rested a bunch of players, we didn’t have Randle either, so I would say that counts.

    don’t know if you saw this but they had a laundry mishap before our game and had to wear kirkland signature

  5. if i’d told you randle would be taking 18.9% of his shots at the rim this year you’d already have his guarantee money slotted into next year’s dead cap space

  6. That they couldn’t pull it off was a statement, as well. That they’re the disciplined team that plays above the sum of its parts and always competes, so they’ll take down the bad teams that are undisciplined and are less committed to winning, but then will fall short once they’re up against a good team.

    What we sometimes forget is that on paper, we are a bad team. We were widely predicted to finish with 22 wins. Randle is barely an all-star, and he has been our best all-around player by far. Most teams have at least one and often two or more guys as good or better than Randle. Bam is better than Randle or any of our bigs. RJ is promising, but he’s not anywhere near Jimmy Butler right now. From there, the Heat’s supporting cast is as strong or stronger than ours. You could see that we just had no answer for even a simple zone defense that they threw at us, and Butler scored at will in isolation.

    But all of that is okay. That’s why this loss didn’t bother me much at all. This team has no business being above .500 and I feel fairly certain that they will not be there at the end of the season. I don’t think there are a lot of Milwaukee G-League victories left out there, and we will continue to lose to the top 20 teams at reasonably full strength. Which is fine! We’re doing it without having made a single butt-ugly move at the deadline, and probably the best outcome is to lose in the play-in games and have a tiny chance of a top-4 pick. Other than a full-on tank, this is about as good of a season that I could have hoped for. Wins against bad or undermanned teams, competitive losses against good teams, with a few gritty wins and trap losses sprinkled in.

  7. After watching the game, I feel more and more that Jimmy Butler is the best analog for the best RJ outcome. I don’t think he ever gets all the way there, but it’s a much more viable path than Paul Pierce based on playing style.

  8. Knicks are currently 24-23. Looking at the rest of the schedule and giving W’s and L’s only where the team is worse or better record wise, this is what we can expect. We will probably pull off an upset or two and lose some games we should and some of these “worse” teams are only a game or so worse, but still, this is a reasonable outcome:

    Minny – W
    Dallas – L
    Detroit – W
    Brooklyn – L
    Boston – W
    Memphis – W
    Toronto – W
    Lakers – L
    NO – W
    Dallas – L
    NO – W
    Charlotte – W
    Atlanta – W
    Toronto – W
    Suns – L
    Bulls – W
    Houston – W
    Memphis – W
    Denver – L
    Suns – L
    Clippers – L
    Lakers – L
    Spurs – L
    Charlotte – W
    Boston – W

    That’s a record of 39 – 33. So I think its very reasonable to think we’ll be 37-35 or 36-36, which if things stay the way they are, puts us definitely in the top 10 and possibly at #6 or #5. Ideally we get the #5 spot and avoid Philly, Nets, Bucks in the first round. If that happens and we can then win our first round match up against Charlotte/Atlanta/Boston and then take the second round to a respectable 6 game series, that would be my ideal realistic outcome this season.

  9. Hmmmn.

    I don’t think we are as good as Boston, Atlanta or Toronto and maybe not even Chicago or Charlotte. I realize a few of those teams are below us or not playing especially well lately, but imo they have better overall rosters and I think they are all going to make a playoff push. We’ll win a few of those because the gap in not large in some cases and maybe they’ll have further injuries or other issues that have impacted them so far this year. But I think we are going to struggle to stay at .500 unless we get some upside development. I was hoping Mitch would be one of the possible sources of that, but now that’s out of the question. It’s kind of on RJ/Quick to break out to an even higher level.

  10. We are nowhere near as good on paper as the Celts, so those should L’s. NO is also better than us…another 2 L’s. We are likely not to beat Memphis or Charlotte twice, so that’s 2 more L’s. Optimistically, even if you suppose that we win two of those 6 games, that ends us up at 35-37, which I think is a hard ceiling for us. But hey, you never know!

  11. I’d classify Jimmy Butler at the superstar level. He’s very good on both sides. He may not be a top 5 player in the league, but he can impact and take over a game on either side on a lot of nights. He’s one hell of a player. I still think the Heat are one player away from serious contention, but when you can defend like them to keep it close down the stretch and have Butler, Bam and some shooters, you are going to be a tough out.

  12. Yeah, ATL is clearly better than us and we probably lose at least once to Toronto. 35 wins seems like a very optimistic outcome, but sure, it’s possible. But so is 32-40. No freakin way we get to 39, I’d bet $ on that.

  13. Deeefense: I’d classify Jimmy Butler at the superstar level. He’s very good on both sides.

    Yeah, to be clear, I think Butler is somewhere around Pierce in the all-time list, just a completely different kind of player, and that RJ is more of the Butler ilk.

  14. I’m thinking we have two roster spots to fill and probably intend to use the buy out market. One is certainly a center. Georgiu Dieng was already signed by the spurs. Cousins is available. We might also have a shot at Whitesides since Sacramento is rumored to want buy him out. Who do you all think we should pursue?

    As I understand how buyouts work a player takes a cut in pay to be released from a team that isn’t playing him. He hopes to make the money back by signing with a new team. Of course the team buying him out wants to save as much salary as possible, but he doesn’t want to take a big cut that he can’t recoup on the open market from a team he wants to play for. This might give the Knicks an advantage. Consider if they wanted Otto Porter. He is in the last year of his contract and make $28M this year. If the Magic want to buy him out and he goes to a team over the cap he could only get paid the vet minimum and he might not want to take a big pay cut to get that little back. On the other hand, if the Knicks want him (I don’t think they do, this is just a hypothetical example), they could pay more. If they paid him say $5M, then the Magic could get him to accept a bigger buyout which would save them money. But three parties have to agree to make this work, the two teams and the player. So players who are in the last year of their contract and aren’t playing minutes for their current team could be csndidates.

  15. I’d be a lot more confident predicting wins if I could count on Payton being the 3rd PG behind Rose & IQ instead of the first.

  16. I’m not counting any of those games as automatic L’s at all. You all say those teams are clearly better than us but the record doesn’t prove that. Will we lose some of those games? Sure. We might also beat The Lakers both times we play them. We beat Utah earlier this year. You know this team is going to play as hard as they can against Dallas and try to get those W’s. So I expect us to win some games we aren’t supposed to either.

    At this point in the season, we shouldn’t doubt this team’s ability to beat teams with a similar or worse record. Doesn’t mean we will always get them but we’ll also probably make up for it somewhere else.

  17. Hmm, Z-man. You’d bet money on the fact that there is no way we’d get to 39 wins? Really? What was your pre-season prediction again? You honestly want to bet against this team this far into the season?

  18. DRed:
    We had 15 assists and 13 turnovers.

    Stats like this make it painfully clear to me that Thibs won’t be the coach of this team if/when we’re ready to win. Our offensive philosophy hasn’t changed since David Fizdale’s “eat what you kill” mantra, and that mentality doesn’t create easy buckets. Julius Randle should be rolling to the basket ten times a game. Immanuel Quickley and Reggie Bullock should be catching the ball on pin down screens. RJ Barrett should get some back door cut action. Elfrid Payton should be sitting next to Theo Pinson. Our offense is a mess and while the talent may improve in the coming years, I don’t know if Thibs’ schematics will change.

  19. I’m not really a fan of Thibs’ system offensively but I think it’s pretty hard to argue with the results this year. We’re 23rd in offense (above the Heat) with really, really mediocre talent. Our star really had no track record of success with anything resembling this size of role; our second highest volume offensive player is RJ, a second-year player who has gotten a lot of (deserved) accolades for his development but still isn’t sniffing league average efficiency; our 2nd best offensive player from a productivity standpoint is probably IQ, a rookie PG drafted 25th overall who it wasn’t clear was going to be in the rotation this year. There’s not a lot of shooting, not a lot of playmaking, not a lot of anything to be honest. It’s not always pretty to watch but we’ve stayed afloat on that end this year and I’m not sure how much beyond that you can ask for with this talent level.

  20. 39 wins is a lot for this team, swift. I’d bet against that, too. I wouldn’t automatically put us down for 4 L’s against the Celtics and Pelicans, though.

  21. I was optimistic with my preseason take and ended up being right, so I’m gonna say 39 wins is possible!

    But I do think 36 or 37 is more likely. I’m just saying if you go on record alone, its not like we’re only playing teams with better records than us. Some on paper might have better rosters but the game isn’t won on paper people! And we will snag a win or two where its not expected.

  22. 39 is technically possible but I’d be pretty proud of the team if they stick it out and stay at .500 by the end of the year.

  23. I remember at the start of the season when Brian and I both picked around 32 wins, and most everyone else was in the low-mid 20s, and I began worrying I had the homer glasses on again.

  24. thenamestsam: It’s not always pretty to watch but we’ve stayed afloat on that end this year and I’m not sure how much beyond that you can ask for with this talent level.

    Very much a glass-half-empty, glass-half-full argument. I agree with all Glass’s AND your points, but while it’s certainly a truly ugly offense (outside of Randle much of the time, and brief flashes from Quick and RJ), there seem like clear tweaks that could improve it. I mean, just don’t put Obi in the corner. Simple stuff that I’m consistently shocked that our crack coaching staff can’t seem to figure out and implement.

  25. swiftandabundant:
    I was optimistic with my preseason take and ended up being right, so I’m gonna say 39 wins is possible!

    But I do think 36 or 37 is more likely. I’m just saying if you go on record alone, its not like we’re only playing teams with better records than us. Some on paper might have better rosters but the game isn’t won on paper people! And we will snag a win or two where its not expected.

    My call on this team remains 36-36. You have us going 6-0 against Memphis, New Orleans, Boston. I have us going 3-3. That’s the difference.

  26. Raven: Very much a glass-half-empty, glass-half-full argument. I agree with all Glass’s AND your points, but while it’s certainly a truly ugly offense (outside of Randle much of the time, and brief flashes from Quick and RJ), there seem like clear tweaks that could improve it. I mean, just don’t put Obi in the corner. Simple stuff that I’m consistently shocked that our crack coaching staff can’t seem to figure out and implement.

    My biggest quibble with the offense is our stubborn refusal to attempt any semblance of a small lineup. And the fact that Woodson is involved makes me irrationally upset at times bc it triggers my residual anger from his coaching tenure.

    It’s 2021, though. How do you not even try Randle at the 5 for a few minutes? Just give me one experiment with something like Quickley-Burks-Barrett-Bullock-Randle. Or Rose-Quickly-Barrett-Bullock-Randle. I bet the lineup data on those quintets would look pretty good.

    Come on, man. This is modern basketball. You don’t need to have a traditional center playing 48 minutes.

  27. Hubert: New Orleans

    Unless I’m mistaken, April 14 will be the first game that Zion plays against the Knicks. Get your tissues out, boys. It’s gonna feel bad.

  28. Unless I’m mistaken, we did actually run out a small lineup last night with Taj at center and (I might be misremembering the specific players) DRose, IQ, either Burks or Bullock and RJ,

  29. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Unless I’m mistaken, April 14 will be the first game that Zion plays against the Knicks. Get your tissues out, boys. It’s gonna feel bad.

    Hopefully we get good RJ that day bc you know he’s going to be aggressive against his buddy.

  30. Taj is a center. The key is Randle. The way he’s playing this year, Julius could be a poor man’s Jokic if you put him in that role. It’s negligent to not even attempt it.

  31. Hubert:
    Taj is a center. The key is Randle. The way he’s playing this year, Julius could be a poor man’s Jokic if you put him in that role. It’s negligent to not even attempt it.

    Oh I definitely agree and think we should try Randle at the 5 for sure, just noting we are edging closer to that.

  32. Bullock seems strong enough to me to be able to play that small ball 4 role, too. How many teams are really equipped to punish us for going with Bullock and Julius as our bigs?

    It just seems like the perfect lineup is hiding in plain sight but we’re too close minded to attempt it.

  33. Hubert:
    Bullock seems strong enough to me to be able to play that small ball 4 role, too. How many teams are really equipped to punish us for going with Bullock and Julius as our bigs?

    It just seems like the perfect lineup is hiding in plain sight but we’re too close minded to attempt it.

    IQ/Burks/RJ/Bullock/Randle would actually punish teams for using the zone against us, too. Plenty of ball movement and shooting in that lineup as well as space for Randle and RJ to do their thing.

  34. Tom Thibodeau has no interest in coaching a modern offense. Eventually, that will sink in. That is why the Knicks never use these kind of lineups.

  35. E, all merc’d out:
    Tom Thibodeau has no interest in coaching a modern offense.Eventually, that will sink in.That is why the Knicks never use these kind of lineups.

    An interesting hypothesis, and evidence to date certainly leans in your favor. But why? And don’t answer with the usual inflammatory insults aimed at the man. I mean really, why? For someone who’s a Game 7 win-at-all-costs coach, being utterly inflexible and trapped in the 90s offensively seems contradictory.

  36. Raven: An interesting hypothesis, and evidence to date certainly leans in your favor. But why? And don’t answer with the usual inflammatory insults aimed at the man. I mean really, why? For someone who’s a Game 7 win-at-all-costs coach, being utterly inflexible and trapped in the 90s offensively seems contradictory.

    His rhetoric (i.e,. citing advanced stats/describing what he thinks is good/bad/needs to be improved) suggests he is aware of the way the game has changed/should be played….I think it is a mix of playing the roster hand he has been dealt with a desire to win every game…is resulting in using muscle memory of neanderthal ball…I think with some roster tweaks and outside advice…he might get there on the offensive side…maybe not…

  37. I think the real test of Thib’s offensive flexibility will be next season, where he’ll have a proper off-season, a whole bunch of information and film from this season and hopefully some roster upgrades. If we’re still running a caveman “eat what you kill” offense next year, Thibs is probably not willing/able to go the disance in modernization.

  38. Best guess for the “why” would be “because he doesn’t think it’s that important to winning basketball games and that it can be overcome by defensive scheme, effort, and elbow grease.” And to a lesser degree, because he’s risk-averse and is more comfortable with the conventional. Lots of people out there like that.

    There’s probably a second-level “why” about that part, but it goes to the psyche and is a bit beyond the scope.

    It looks like he can mouth and regurgitate the sound bites about modernization, but has no capacity and/or willingness to actually apply them to his team. Lots of people out there like that, too.

    His vision of basketball is to slow the pace, thereby shrinking variance and whatever talent gap is there, and then outwork the other team. A fast-paced game based on talent and offensive creativity and scheme that didn’t depend much on elbow grease and work rate and the coach pushing his players to stick with the elbow grease and the work rate would probably cause him to break out in hives — if not lead to full-on hospitalization.

  39. An interesting hypothesis, and evidence to date certainly leans in your favor. But why? And don’t answer with the usual inflammatory insults aimed at the man. I mean really, why? For someone who’s a Game 7 win-at-all-costs coach, being utterly inflexible and trapped in the 90s offensively seems contradictory.

    My personal opinion / uneducated guess is ego. Men of a certain age have attitudes about some things and they just don’t change.

    My dad, for instance, has ignored some of the greatest advancements in technology all bc that’s not the way they did it when he grew up.

  40. Some of you guys need to get off the Toronto is good premise, they are not that good. Siakam isn’t what people thought he’d become, FVV is good but Lowry is getting old and Boucher has crashed back down to Earth after his hot start. They have no depth and quite frankly are not that good.

    Also the Knicks talent isn’t as bad as many of you think. Guys like Burks, Bullock and Noel would be rotation players on almost every NBA team. The Knicks don’t have great players but they now have alot of average players which is actually very important and is a good thing. A team with a couple of very good players plus a bunch of solid, average players like the Knicks have right now is basically a .500 or so team which is what the Knicks are. Nothing to brag about but also not something to dismiss either.

  41. Some of you guys need to get off the Toronto is good premise, they are not that good. Siakam isn’t what people thought he’d become, FVV is good but Lowry is getting old and Boucher has crashed back down to Earth after his hot start. They have no depth and quite frankly are not that good.

    I was kind of surprised that people were still so high on them coming into the season. With Gasol and Ibaka’s departure they’d lost four of the top 7 or so from the title team with basically zero incoming talent of any significance in that period. They’ve had some internal improvements and obviously they’ve earned some belief in their development capabilities but man that is just a lot of talent drain to overcome in a couple years.

  42. Thibs has a philosophy of the game that has worked well for him and that fits his personality well. He’s 63 years old. Guys typically don’t waver too, too far from their longstanding philosophy at that age. Credit to him for continuing to try to learn, but we typically fall back on the comfortable and dependable when the pressure and the tests start. It shouldn’t be remotely surprising that he’s falling back on Bulls, ca. 2012 ideas.

    His philosophy of life and basketball and virtue aren’t mine, but he’s had a successful run and is doing a nice job this year. Since I’m an open-minded and actually tolerant guy, there’s no disdain, just managed disagreement. It is what it is.

  43. E, all merc’d out:
    Since I’m an open-minded and actually tolerant guy, there’s no disdain, just managed disagreement. It is what it is.

    How gracious of you.

    RE: Thibs, I really do think next year will be pretty revelatory one way or the other. Given the team’s performance this year, a likely spot in the playoffs, a full off-season to implement new stuff and a hopefully upgraded roster, there should be enough things going on to push him in the direction of modernizing our offense, as it’s pretty clear our offense is holding us back. Whether he resists or leans into it will be up to him.

  44. BigBlueAL:
    Some of you guys need to get off the Toronto is good premise, they are not that good.Siakam isn’t what people thought he’d become, FVV is good but Lowry is getting old and Boucher has crashed back down to Earth after his hot start.They have no depth and quite frankly are not that good.

    Also the Knicks talent isn’t as bad as many of you think.Guys like Burks, Bullock and Noel would be rotation players on almost every NBA team.The Knicks don’t have great players but they now have alot of average players which is actually very important and is a good thing.A team with a couple of very good players plus a bunch of solid, average players like the Knicks have right now is basically a .500 or so team which is what the Knicks are.Nothing to brag about but also not something to dismiss either.

    I agree BBA, we’re an “around .500 team”.
    I wrote many times that “we don’t have enough talent”, but I write agreeing with your take.
    When I say that “we lack talent”, I imply “to be a top-4 or a surefire playoff team”,
    so we need to caliber our expectations to that reality.

    Counting only contenderes and playoffs hopeful, we have:

    3 NBA starters (Randle, RJ, Mitch)
    6 NBA rotation players of varius degrees of “rotationality” (Burks, Bullock, IQ, Noel, Rose and yes, even Taj)

    9 spots out of 17.

    To use your words: “Nothing to brag about but also not something to dismiss either”.

    So every injury, Covid related absence or other things to one of this 9 guys strongly limit our value and put us in a bad spot.

    Basically we’re short two starters, that’s why I campaign for a starting PG and a starting wing in the coming offseason (draft, FA or trade). If we get those two, everything changes because then, scaling down players, we could have a really strong bench AND a good starting five and that for me is a “real” playoff team.

  45. Totally agree with you Max. I think the current roster’s ceiling is very low but at the same time it’s floor is alot higher than most people think. Too many people are way too dismissive of guys like Burks, Bullock, Gibson and even Rose. Again not saying it’s something special and that we should be celebrating it but this current roster is a far cry from the Knick teams that could barely win 20 games in a season.

  46. Some of you guys need to get off the Toronto is good premise, they are not that good. Siakam isn’t what people thought he’d become, FVV is good but Lowry is getting old and Boucher has crashed back down to Earth after his hot start. They have no depth and quite frankly are not that good.

    Toronto has an EWL of 23-24, which still is miles away from last year’s incredible 53-19 mark. What’s changed? Their defense. Their offensive rating has stayed at 14th in the league, but the defense went from 2nd to 21st. They’re missing Gasol, Ibaka, Hollis-Jefferson and McCaw. Were they the foundation of a #2 defense? I know Gasol has jumped to the league’s best defense, but is he still that good?

  47. A funny and interesting thing about this blog’s (and probably every knicks fan’s) predictions was that Randle was considered gone from the team.
    Our predictions had faith in Thibs, in D, in Youngster taking the next step,even in Obi’s nba readiness but not in our “swirling dervish’s” controlled spinning!

  48. I don’t want half my posts to turn into a defense of Thibs’s coaching, but our players are not that good on offense. D’Antoni would have a tough time getting these guys to play an efficient offense and he’d make some trade offs on defense to accomplish some of the improvement. Our #1 option is more of a #2 or #3 option and our #2 option is just now getting good enough to be considered a legitimate starter on a good team. On top of that we don’t have a legitimate PG that can shoot or C that can score. That’s some tough sledding. If we get further development out of RJ and add a good PG next year and the offense still looks stagnant and lacks some creativity then it will be time to start dumping on Thibs a bit. Until then, I’m grateful the team is playing defense and showing up almost every night.

  49. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Toronto has an EWL of 23-24, which still is miles away from last year’s incredible 53-19 mark. What’s changed? Their defense. Their offensive rating has stayed at 14th in the league, but the defense went from 2nd to 21st.They’re missing Gasol, Ibaka, Hollis-Jefferson and McCaw. Were they the foundation of a #2 defense? I know Gasol has jumped to the league’s best defense, but is he still that good?

    They lost some key players for the defense, but I’m not buying they are anywhere near as bad as their record. Other players also missed games. It takes awhile for everyone to get in peak form and start playing together. Unless they throw in the towel, I expect them to make a good run at some point.

  50. Without being able to prove it and straight out of my ass I’d say that our roster under a conventional nba coach would be proudly 16-31 and we’d all be thrilled for our super chances on our next lottery pick!
    It’s just a matter of different mental approach. More loose playing. Switzerland and Spanish D. No team motivation.
    Just individual stat stuff for better contracts.

  51. Word is Schroeder declined a 4/$84M extension from the Lakers!? Is he crazy, or will he receive a lot more in the open market?

  52. A funny and interesting thing about this blog’s (and probably every knicks fan’s) predictions was that Randle was considered gone from the team.

    I always liked Randle. He was in such a tough situation last year he couldn’t show his best, but I expected him to be traded. Even Knicks management probably expected to trade him. lol

    I would love to know what the thinking was behind drafting Obi over Haliburton. The “generally accepted view” is that they thought Obi looked ready to contribute right away and Haliburton was more of a combo guard than the kind of pure PG they were looking for. But it would not shock me if they thought they would ease Obi into the starting lineup by the trade deadline and then they could trade Randle to improve another position. Their plans went up in smoke when Obi turned out to be limited and very green and Randle was playing so well it didn’t make sense to trade him during a playoff run they did not originally expect.

    When you think back on it, if we drafted Mikal Bridges and Haliburton (two very easy decisions) we’d all be doing a dance. If we took Mitchell over Frank (a little bit tougher because there were also some knocks on Mitchell too that caused him to fall) , we’d all be throwing a wild party. If we did those things and brought in a legitimate talent as part of the KP deal we’d all be at a wild party without mask (well maybe not that far haha). But seriously, none of that other than maybe Mitchell (who was supposedly next on our draft board behind Frank) is some fairly tale “what if”. We made mistakes that many of us would not have made at the time.

  53. This is an interesting question, because both stam and E/Hubert have legitimate points.

    I think stam is correct that if someone told you before the season we’d have the 23rd ranked offense at this point, and from a raw PTS/100 perspective we’d be 2.5 points better than last year despite not having Morris, you’d think that was pretty optimistic.

    At the same time, it is absolutely ridiculous that we have the 11th ranked 3PT% but are 29th in 3PA. I understand it’s not as simple as just saying those numbers should be more or less aligned, because some players have good a 3PT% but more or less require being set up (e.g. Reggie Bullock being assisted on 99% of his threes, which I keep double checking because it seems too ridiculous to believe), but I don’t think any other team has that large of a delta between their 3PT% and 3PA. We have some dudes who can shoot off the dribble a bit–only 61% of Quickley’s threes are assisted, 74% for Burks, 81% for Randle. Those guys should fire away more without worrying that it’ll get them benched.

    There’s also the separate but related fact that Randle has played 94% of his minutes at PF. I get that the defense has disaster potential with him at center, but those numbers indicate it pretty much hasn’t been tried at all.

    I guess you can square this circle by saying Thibs has coached the offense impressively within the narrow framework he’s willing to operate, but it’s silly to argue his offensive coaching is anything close to optimal.

  54. cybersoze:
    Word is Schroeder declined a 4/$84M extension from the Lakers!? Is he crazy, or will he receive a lot more in the open market?

    Is this a Warriors move, i.e. “we’re capped out until LeBron retires, so we might as well extend everyone on the roster?” Or is it, “We think Dennis Schroder is a $21M player?”

  55. We made mistakes that many of us would not have made at the time.

    The Knox pick was just a staggering disaster from the word “go.” I still remember being so happy about the fact that that draft was so deep that, at the very least, Bridges would be there at the Knicks’ pick. But then Porter Jr. had his injury problem and he dropped from the top nine, so that was scary, but then Cleveland fell in love with Sexton and I was happy again and then the Knicks…picked Knox. Oooooph.

  56. I was just going to tweet a link to that, Pepper. This reads as Berman Of The Post hearing things from around the league, but not from his usual sources within the Knicks’ front office. So BOTP suggesting that they will simply pick up the option, then try to engage Mitch’s new agent on an extension, may be what Rose tries to do, but we have no way of knowing at this point.

  57. @ChrisIseman
    Knicks say Derrick Rose is questionable for tomorrow vs Minnesota due to a sore left ankle.

  58. Alan:
    I was just going to tweet a link to that, Pepper. This reads as Berman Of The Post hearing things from around the league, but not from his usual sources within the Knicks’ front office. So BOTP suggesting that they will simply pick up the option, then try to engage Mitch’s new agent on an extension, may be what Rose tries to do, but we have no way of knowing at this point.

    yeah..that is the way it reads…hypothesizing based on talking to others but nobody who actually will be involved in making the decision…

  59. We were all panicked that this FO would trade for dated, overpaid vets and pseudostars but not only we got only DRose (for peanuts) but we seem like we re sort of 2-3 players…which could result to Thibs turning our goofy draft picks into real players.
    This FO is a box of the finest chocolates so far

  60. we are really 25th in 3pa/poss. and this comes down to two things, and really mostly one thing. the first and lesser issue is always playing with a 5. the randle at 5 experiment would surely arrive with a jacked up 3pt rate, tho my guess is it would ultimately give back on defense at least as much as it grabbed. jokic at least sticks his poles up at the rim every now and then, randle is a worse shot blocker than quickley.

    the big thing is playing payton. when randle plays with payton we shoot 25.4 3pa/100 and when he plays without him we are at 31.8, a big difference. i just don’t think payton is a very useful nba player when you’re not running most of the offense through him. thibs instead has given the ball to randle, quite understandably. but randle is a poor interior passer as offensive hubs go (his assists at the rim per 100 ytd are below guys like andre drummond, josh jackson, rj, and blake), so you really don’t want to saddle him with another non shooter. randle as pg is actually a fairly three point friendly setup if randle is playing well and the shooters are actually at the party, because that’s where most of his assist creation goes. when you add rj still being a an iffy sort of spacer, it’s a recipe for lower quality shots.

    thibs presumably likes payton’s defense and his secondary ball handling, since randle isn’t quite ben simmons yet, but this is the basic decision that’s causing the low 3pt rate.

  61. In the short term, this team needs help for a playoff run.

    Payton, Frank, Obi and Knox are not going to cut it.

    Why haven’t we signed a Teague, Hollis-Jefferson, Henson or some other free agent who could give us a good 10 minutes a game?

  62. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Is this a Warriors move, i.e. “we’re capped out until LeBron retires, so we might as well extend everyone on the roster?” Or is it, “We think Dennis Schroder is a $21M player?”

    I’d say it’s the former, they’ve already did it with Kuzma (13M AAV for a backup… oof), and that’s why i was surprised he didn’t accept it right away.

  63. From the Post article cited above

    The Knicks have done research on former Sixers/Nets center Norvel Pelle, a shot-blocker in Thibodeau’s mold. They’ve had internal talks about Jordan Bell, John Henson, Thon Maker, DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside – if the latter is bought out by the Kings.

    In Cousins’ and Whiteside’s cases, Knicks brass is concerned about having a player who fits in seamlessly in the locker room

    None of the options seem great, but it is the buyout market anyway. I’d probably pick Cousins, but that’s just me. Maybe Pelle is better for our style of play and the Knicks will go for that.

  64. The Locker Room seems like a big part of this squad’s success. I wouldn’t like a talented dick to spoil team’s unity.

  65. Knick fan not in NJ:
    From the Post article cited above

    None of the options seem great, but it is the buyout market anyway.I’d probably pick Cousins, but that’s just me.Maybe Pelle is better for our style of play and the Knicks will go for that.

    I haven’t seen Teague play in a while but wouldn’t he be able to help us over Payton or Harper? What about Rondae?

  66. Until we decide what to do with the roster spots, wouldn’t it be logical to sign G-League standouts to 10-day contracts? Or if we do it, we’ll be tied to the player for the 10 days without having the possibility to waive him if a better option comes along?

  67. DudesTown: I haven’t seen Teague play in a while but wouldn’t he be able to help us over Payton or Harper? What about Rondae?

    Teague is going to sign with the Bucks

  68. There are a few seasoned veterans out there who would probably help us in a playoff run. Thibs won’t play G league types or our failed draft picks either unless he has no other options.

  69. ***Tom Thibodeau has no interest in coaching a modern offense. ***

    By “modern offense” do you mean just shooting a lot of 3 pointers? Because Thibs HAS shown a willingness to adapt, and even modernize the game. He used Noah as a Point Center before Kerr made Draymond the key to the Splash Brothers championship.

    His use of Randle as a playmaker wasn’t foreseen by many here, but it has worked. That is a modern move for a modern offense, unlike what a Mike Fratello or a Lenny Wilkens or an Isiah Thomas would probably have done.

  70. Wasn’t the big knock on Randle last year that he was trying to be a point forward and failed miserably at it? He’s clearly doing much better this year under Thibs but the experiment is not a new one.

  71. DudesTown: There are a few seasoned veterans out there who would probably help us in a playoff run. Thibs won’t play G league types or our failed draft picks either unless he has no other options.

    Yes, you’re right, i know they won’t play. What i thought was if it wouldn’t be better to check some prospects in practice until we have something to do with the roster spots. For now, they are empty roster spots.

  72. DudesTown: Thanks. Shouldn’t we have offered him more money?

    I have to admit i don’t know what’s Teague’s level of play nowadays, but as the Bucks grabbed him, probably we should have tried too.

  73. ***Wasn’t the big knock on Randle last year that he was trying to be a point forward and failed miserably at it? He’s clearly doing much better this year under Thibs but the experiment is not a new one.***

    Okay, look. I obviously can’t compete with you all when it comes to the game-to-game watching of an unwatchable team, but the point is that when Don Nelson utilized point forwards, it was a novel, modern approach to what had become predictable, boring, inefficient offenses in the 90s. Thibs didn’t try to pound Noah into the low post in Chicago simply because he was a center. He ran the offense through him from the top of the key. That’s doesn’t show an inability by him to adapt to a modernizing game. (And if Randle was such a failure at the role last year, an antiquated coach would have changed his role back to a more traditional “forward” role, no?).

  74. I hope Thibs is spending most of his time teaching our guys how to better attack a zone defense, because we’re prolly gonna see it every night from now on. I expect the remaining games to get tougher, even against the poorer teams, because they’ve all watched tape on us by now. Quick, RJ, and Randle 2.0, aren’t a surprise anymore.

  75. Our offense sucks because most our players suck at offense. Doesn’t seem that complicated.

    RJ & IQ playing well for a sophomore & rookie is not the same as them actually playing well.

  76. KB Apprentice: I hope Thibs is spending most of his time teaching our guys how to better attack a zone defense, because we’re prolly gonna see it every night from now on.

    I think we’re getting used to it, but there’s not much you can do when you’re shooting the 3 ball at .278 like in this Miami game. For me it was much more that we were shooting the ball really bad than the zone defense.

  77. Side note: man the NFL is morally reprehensible. They’re adding a 17th game, player’s salaries stay the same, all the money goes to The Cartel, and the kicker: Goodell claiming it’s for the safety of the players. For real, he said that bc they’re taking a preseason game away this is for player safety.

  78. cybersoze: You mean Evan Mobley? ;)

      

    Isaiah Mobley is 6’10” and shot 44.4% from three as a soph. Unfortunately he’s had two years shooting free throws at a 52-53% clip.

  79. I think the players very much dislike the idea of a seventeen game season.

  80. cybersoze: I think we’re getting used to it, but there’s not much you can do when you’re shooting the 3 ball at .278 like in this Miami game. For me it was much more that we were shooting the ball really bad than the zone defense.

    Yup

    Starters: Payton, Bullock, RJ — 0/10 from three
    Bench: Rose, Quickley, Burks — 7/15 from three

  81. Burks also had a relatively quiet game with only 6 points after five straight 20+

  82. I obviously can’t compete with you all when it comes to the game-to-game watching of an unwatchable team

    it’s funny donnie, i’ve had a few friends over the years whom had zero interest in watching sports…i’ve known a few whom watched almost no tv/movies or anything…

    most were more social sort of folks whom would rather just chill with friends – and talk…some who were less social, just preferred reading, games or music…

    i can imagine fathering a thousand children occupies a bunch of your time (it’s spring break, i got the boys over this week, i’m exhausted – but it’s fun)…the notion though of someone avoiding “tv” is interesting…trying to imagine what i would do with all the time i spend on the internet, playing games or watching sports or shows…probably get out of the house more :)

  83. one of the better berman articles i’ve read: Tom Thibodeau back to face Timberwolves again: ‘Unfinished business’

    this was interesting:
    The Knicks did not have a formal practice Tuesday, so Thibodeau was not made available for comment. It’s the third straight off day Thibodeau did not hold practice, indicating he has grown to realize it’s a marathon not a sprint.

    perhaps thibs is willing to be coached himself…

    reference the poor offense – it seems like we have a fairly deep coaching staff, can’t imagine none of them can figure out a better offense than what’s currently going on, i’d lean towards holding the gm to blame for the roster…which sadly talent wise is much better than what we’ve experienced in more than a few years…

    i really hope mitch stays beyond this contract, but does more with the ball in his hand next season…

  84. geo: this was interesting:
    The Knicks did not have a formal practice Tuesday, so Thibodeau was not made available for comment. It’s the third straight off day Thibodeau did not hold practice, indicating he has grown to realize it’s a marathon not a sprint.
    perhaps thibs is willing to be coached himself…

    This is encouraging, and to be fair to Thibs we used to suck at both defense and offense, whereas now we only suck at offense. I call this progress. Of course we get mad when we don’t see basic stuff the other teams do on offense not being run in our offense, but let’s give him one year to up the defense and the other to up the offense (with the help of smart draft/deals from the FO).
    And i should add that in the case of defense, we’re one of the best teams this year. I don’t really remember when was the last time the words knicks and best were used together, so there’s that.

  85. If you want an answer to why the Knicks don’t run a “modern” offense (which is actually not true, but whatever) look no further than their struggles against zone-type defenses. The fact that there is a “disconnect” between 3pt% and 3pt attempt rate is because they are fundamentally a bad 3pt shooting team, and if they were less selective, their 3pt% (and eFG%) would drop like a stone.

    Now you can criticize Thibs for playing Payton and RJ together, or playing Payton at all, sure, have at it. But that won’t change unless either he gets injured or they go on a losing streak due to ineffective play vs. the zone and he is forced to juggle things (i.e. he goes into “searching” mode.) If that doesn’t happen, very little is going to change.

    If they continue to hover around .500, Payton will continue to be a minutes-eater at PG for the duration. He will continue to start and will alternate with Rose in finishing games depending on how they are doing. In the last 4 games, Payton is down to around 20 mpg. So if your thing is getting more Rose and less Payton, that seems to be happening. But starting IQ at PG doesn’t seem to be in the cards for now.

  86. The fact that there is a “disconnect” between 3pt% and 3pt attempt rate is because they are fundamentally a bad 3pt shooting team,

    We are not “fundamentally a bad 3 pt shooting team”. We are actually just a team whose coach consistently chooses to play the players who are bad 3 pt shooters bc he has a different value set.

    Here are the numbers of the optimal modern lineups I suggested. In what world are these numbers “fundamentally bad”?

    IQ: 37.6%
    Alec Burks: 40.8%
    RJ Barrett: 33.3%
    Reggie Bullock: 38.6%
    Julius Randle: 41.9%

    Even D Rose is somehow miraculously shooting 38% this year from 3, which is why I suggested you could insert him for IQ or Burks.

  87. And your zone defense argument is silly, too. The reason we struggle with zone so much is bc our coach insists on playing right into its hands by using a center and a non shooting PG! It’s basically 3 on 5 when you do that.

  88. Hubert:
    And your zone defense argument is silly, too. The reason we struggle with zone so much is bc our coach insists on playing right into its hands by using a center and a non shooting PG! It’s basically 3 on 5 when you do that.

    Since you are consistently in the bottom 5 of posters on this board in terms of intelligent commentary, I won’t dignify your comments with a response.

  89. As a testament to the power of discussion and open-mindedness, I’m finding myself more convinced by the anti-NCAA’ers, although I still think the problem is more than just the NCAA.

    My bile is aimed at the people who took what was kind of a sleepy enterprise that a lot of people loved, and shattered the norm that it wasn’t pro sports and therefore wasn’t there to monetize every last dollar out of. And that was in fact the norm, although there are certainly a new generation coming up who never saw that. I haven’t liked it as much since luxury suites came to the stadiums and the Nike swoosh got put on the uniforms, and the conferences realigned to get full cable TV payoffs — and the younger generation has it entirely right that that makes the idea that these are “amateur sports” laughable. To a degree the NCAA aided and abetted that, but it’s not just the NCAA. I have no solutions, other than reinstituting the previous norm. That of course is probably impossible.

    The people that benefit are the hangers-on. Not just the coaches, but the bowl heads, the middle managers at bloated athletic departments and the conferences, etc. And of course the people at places like ESPN and the shoe companies. Before the norm got shattered, you didn’t have this bloat, because you didn’t have the money to finance this bloat.

    And I hate the ESPN telecasts which at this point are little different than their coverage of the pros. That used to not be the norm, either. A broadcast of a college game reveled in the idea that the event was on a college campus and being played by students. Yes, the “student” part was honored in breach then as now but it was far more centered around the fact that it was a college event than it is now.

    Bleech.

  90. i think part of why we don’t really do well vs zones is because we insist on trying to beat it by only shooting 3s…. that’s really one way to beat it but you mainly beat it by passing the ball and attacking the free throw line area which is something that’s ingrained into people since elementary school….

    the teams running zone against us aren’t doing it because we’re a bad 3pt shooting team…. they’ll run it even though we have a great 3pt shooting lineup… it’s because we stop attacking the hoop against a zone…. all those double drags and top of the key pnr’s aren’t run vs zone and those are our two most popular plays because it gets both our guards into the paint….

    we just don’t move and pass the ball around as much because we’re used to someone creating space for themselves using those two plays or through randle iso’s… the zone takes away all the things we like to do… and instead of pounding the rock we need to move without the ball and make quick decisions with our passing and shooting… we suck at that and that’s why we suck vs zone….

  91. Get rebutted with facts, reply by calling the rebutter stupid. My 5 year old niece does that, too.

  92. There can be no more persuasive data point of Tom Thibodeau’s lack of interest in a modern offense than his continued deployment of Mr. Fred Flintstone himself, Elfrid Payton.

  93. Without looking, can anyone guess how many players have played minutes for the Nets this year?

    Z-man: Since you are consistently in the bottom 5 of posters on this board in terms of intelligent commentary, I won’t dignify your comments with a response.

    Z-man needs a spliff

  94. @E 1
    I can validate your description having gone to a Big 10 school in the mid-’70s. While football was on an elevated stage, it was nothing close to the bureaucracy that has evolved over the past 40 years. Moreover, the athletes were integrated more into the fabric of campus life. I went to school with the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner ( Archie Griffin)and was in several of my classes. He was a down-to-earth accessible dude, as were virtually all of the football players. I went back to visit about 10 years ago and had the chance to have a conversation with Archie, who basically restated E’s point. He said that unlike when we were at school where the goal of football was to drive donations of alumni, now it was a “business” and run like one. The football and ( now basketball) players are celebrities trying to build their brands and are much more segregated from campus life. He also said that the egos of some of the current athletes were monstrous ( While he did not mention him by name he was clearly referring to Dwayne Haskins).

  95. Hubert:
    Get rebutted with facts, reply by calling the rebutter stupid. My 5 year old niece does that, too.

    Make shit up, call it fact, call arguments to the contrary silly, claim to be misrepresented when “facts” turn out to be bullshit. Does your 5 year old niece do that?

  96. When I read “Thibs doesn’t run a modern offense” what it actually means is “Thibs plays Payton too much.”

    Just say you wish he didn’t play Payton so much!

    D Rose can’t play full starter’s minutes. And IQ is a ROOKIE! He is wildly inconsistent. And please don’t say Frank. Dude is a lost cause at this point.

    So what are Thibs’ actual options? If he doesn’t play Payton at all, that means either Rose or IQ gets full starter’s minutes and that could end up being just as bad as giving Payton 20 minutes a game. I mean, if you look at Payton’s minutes per game numbers from the start of the season to now, it has gone down. He has IQ on a shorter leash. What do you expect?

    I don’t really get the hand wringing over this at all. Payton can’t shoot but he is an experienced PG and steady hand. He sucks but he’s consistent with his suckiness. He’ll be gone next season (hopefully).

    The roster is far from a finished product. Let the team ride out this season and see what Rose does in the off season and then see what Thibs does with an off season and an upgraded roster. Maybe he wants to establish the defensive identity first and then upgrade/tweak the offense in the offseason one the roster is upgraded?

  97. E, props for the open mind and I think there’s something to what you’re saying. However I think the past dynamic you describe was a bubble of sorts–there was no way interest in professional leagues could explode, with salaries of professional players exploding to boot, without changes to the most common feeder system of the professional leagues (that being NCAA Division I athletics). Hell, we’re seeing these same changes at the high school level. It’s definitely not the healthiest set of developments, but as long as it exists there’s no excuse to not compensate players.

    The NCAA is actually getting grilled by all members of the Supreme Court on the matter (not precisely, but effectively in some ways) as we speak, so this argument may soon be officially settled.

  98. This is purely an eye-test thing, but it seems like we don’t have a single player who can neutralize close-outs by shooting 3’s off the dribble. Most of our 3-pt makes seem to be of the open catch-and-shoot variety. While that shot is clearly the most efficient shot in basketball other than shots at point-blank range, and we should try to generate as many open looks from 3 as possible, defenses have become much better at denying those shots. So players like Joe Harris become all the more valuable, as they have a response for the hard close-out. In watching the Heat, you could see how Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro have become all the more valuable.

    It’s clear that we neither have great “versatile” 3-pt shooter, i.e. guys that can make them beyond spot-ups, nor great options for attacking the rim that require doubles and vacuum in defenses to allow for more open catch-and-shoot opportunities. I’m not sure that there is much more we can do to generate “efficient” 3’s with our current team without massive trade-offs on the defensive end.

  99. swiftandabundant:
    When I read “Thibs doesn’t run a modern offense” what it actually means is “Thibs plays Payton too much.”

    Just say you wish he didn’t play Payton so much!

    D Rose can’t play full starter’s minutes. And IQ is a ROOKIE! He is wildly inconsistent. And please don’t say Frank. Dude is a lost cause at this point.

    So what are Thibs’ actual options? If he doesn’t play Payton at all, that means either Rose or IQ gets full starter’s minutes and that could end up being just as bad as giving Payton 20 minutes a game. I mean, if you look at Payton’s minutes per game numbers from the start of the season to now, it has gone down. He has IQ on a shorter leash. What do you expect?

    I don’t really get the hand wringing over this at all. Payton can’t shoot but he is an experienced PG and steady hand. He sucks but he’s consistent with his suckiness. He’ll be gone next season (hopefully).

    The roster is far from a finished product. Let the team ride out this season and see what Rose does in the off season and then see what Thibs does with an off season and an upgraded roster. Maybe he wants to establish the defensive identity first and then upgrade/tweak the offense in the offseason one the roster is upgraded?

    Another option is to allow Burks to be the nominal point guard ,which happened recently when both Rose and Elf were out.

  100. Bo Nateman: Another option is to allow Burks to be the nominal point guard ,which happened recently when both Rose and Elf were out.

    I think Thibs likes the 2nd unit with DRose+IQ+Burks, and he’ll do anything he can to keep it that way. At the beginning Burks was outplaying Bullock and he didn’t change, probably all year Payton has been outplayed by the backups (DRose, IQ) and he won’t change that either. And i have to say that i understand his pov, our 2nd unit a lot of times puts us on the road to another W.

  101. thenoblefacehumper: The NCAA is actually getting grilled by all members of the Supreme Court on the matter (not precisely, but effectively in some ways) as we speak, so this argument may soon be officially settled.

    Agreed, but even if the fundamental argument is settled, the questions remain about how far into the food chain will the pro-pay benefits accrue, and as E pointed out, at what cost to less profitable school programs? Clearly it only be relevant to the highest echelons of college athletics, so I could see a whole range of outcomes. Maybe a migration out of the NCAA by the top football and basketball powerhouses. Maybe a salary-cap structure of sorts. At the end of the day, colleges are not going to want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. They will adapt in a way that preserves the profitability of TV and advertising revenue, finding a balance between losing the one-and-done’s and keeping enough good players around to maintain viewership and ticket prices.

  102. Make shit up, call it fact, call arguments to the contrary silly, claim to be misrepresented when “facts” turn out to be bullshit. Does your 5 year old niece do that?

    This is you on vacation!?

    Dude, I did literally none of that. You said we’re a fundamentally bad 3 pt shooting team, and I posted 5 players with good 3 pt % who I think could play together, and you responded as if I called your baby ugly.

    Our arguments on the internet are not our identities. A disagreement with your position is not an attack on your self.

    Smoke that spliff.

  103. This is purely an eye-test thing, but it seems like we don’t have a single player who can neutralize close-outs by shooting 3’s off the dribble.

    IQ can definitely do it. But his shot comes and goes. And Burks and Randle can do it a bit. Everyone else is a catch-and-shoot player from distance.

  104. Another option is to allow Burks to be the nominal point guard ,which happened recently when both Rose and Elf were out.

    And another option is to try Randle at point center instead of point forward.

    Keep in mind, this began as a discussion about how to fill some of the minutes Mitchell Robinson is vacating. We’re not talking about completely rebranding the team’s identity and playing 5-out for 48 minutes.

    Surely that gives something back on the defensive end. But I think it’s worth situational experimentation to see if it’s effective.

  105. Boogie Cousins signing with the Clips. Scratch another backup big man option off the list…

  106. Boogie Cousins signing with the Clips. Scratch another backup big man option off the list…

    I know beggars can’t be choosers and the pickings are slim but this was still a very unexciting option, so whatever

  107. As it pertains to the offense, I really don’t think we can blame our two-passes-then-shoot style on Payton. All of RJ, IQ, Alec Burks, and Julius Randle are guilty of grabbing rebounds just to come up the court and “hunt.” We don’t really have any off ball actions and attacking an off-balance defense doesn’t seem to be prioritized over manufacturing mismatches. We’ve successfully morphed Julius Randle into a heavier Carmelo Anthony in the process but even the best Melo-centric offenses were built around a Felton/Chandler P&R with the threat of JR Smith and Steve Novak incinerating you from deep. Payton, Rose, and Quickley aren’t exactly P&R maestros at this point in their careers, so I’d give Thibs a pass there, but I think it’s time to start considering using some of our assets to target a real point guard. We simply need a better and more capable decision maker on the roster as long as Thibs is our coach.

  108. djphan:
    i think part of why we don’t really do well vs zones is because we insist on trying to beat it by only shooting 3s…. that’s really one way to beat it but you mainly beat it by passing the ball and attacking the free throw line area which is something that’s ingrained into people since elementary school….

    the teams running zone against us aren’t doing it because we’re a bad 3pt shooting team…. they’ll run it even though we have a great 3pt shooting lineup…it’s because we stop attacking the hoop against a zone…. all those double drags and top of the key pnr’s aren’t run vs zone and those are our two most popular plays because it gets both our guards into the paint….

    we just don’t move and pass the ball around as much because we’re used to someone creating space for themselves using those two plays or through randle iso’s… the zone takes away all the things we like to do… and instead of pounding the rock we need to move without the ball and make quick decisions with our passing and shooting… we suck at that and that’s why we suck vs zone….

    Re : beating the zone. I agree with all of this above, but I don’t get the sense Thibs wants to teach/preach any of the solutions from ball movement. Maybe there’s just not time.

    Going forward, we’ll prolly live and die by our shooters who can get their own threes — Quick, Burks, Randle. But even those shots are starting to look forced (I know eye test) much more than earlier in the season.

    I suspect that’s because we’re working against more zones now. Teams are pretty comfortable watching us do multiple handoffs beyond the arc before one guy just decides to hoist it.

  109. If you run a lineup of IQ, RJ, Burks, Bullock, and Randle out there (or Rose), that team will likely get significantly outplayed by the better lineups of all good teams on the other end, and probably both ends. Whatever you gain in 3pt shooting would be more than accounted for by an increase in the opponent’s PPP caused by zero rim protection against bigger, better scoring lineups, many with actual good 3pt shooters and guys who can get to the rim or get fouled. As it is, we are barely beating bad teams, and Noel is a huge part of those wins.

    The Spurs have a lower 3PAr than the Knicks, even though their 3PT% is 36%, barely below ours. Is Pop a dinosaur? Or does his team continue to overachieve what they are expected to do on paper? Does anyone think he’d grind more wins out of this team by running the above lineup out there more than Thibs does?

  110. Did anyone else see the whole KD/Michael Rapaport thing? KD is not coming off very well in that particular drama

    I basically missed yesterday’s discourse on the blog, so apologies if it’s already been discussed.

  111. Between injuries and the big trade I would guess 23 players.

    Pretty close! 25.

    Durant is totally fine with his heel turn, it seems, and lets loose all the offensive slurs to prove it. Can you imagine being that guy’s publicist?

    Bo Nateman: The football and ( now basketball) players are celebrities trying to build their brands and are much more segregated from campus life.

    And now we have a whole cottage industry of influencers that will put their faces in frame with anyone remotely famous for crossposting to expand their viewership. So it’s not just that people want access to their local hotspots — as I imagine it was for the groupies and Entourage bros in, say, Miami’s football scene in the 90s and early 00s, trying to “make friends” with players to ride the coattails into the hottest parties and clubs that the city had to offer — but access to the global market of advertising and promotional sponsorship. It’s hangers-on all the way down.

  112. If you run a lineup of IQ, RJ, Burks, Bullock, and Randle out there (or Rose), that team will likely get significantly outplayed by the better lineups of all good teams on the other end, and probably both ends.

    If that is your crunch time or starting lineup, you may be right.

    Keep in mind, though, this was suggested as an alternative to picking someone up off the scrap heap and giving him playing time.

    I’m talking about experimenting with Randle at the 5 for the 8 extra minutes a game Thibs plays him against second units. That seems more appealing to me than giving time to someone like Dieng or Cousins. And it gives us some data points so we don’t have to guess how it might work.

  113. Strat it seems you were right about this one and I was wrong about the lingering potential for reinjury:

    Broken clock.

    Last week I even picked a couple of winners at Gulfstream Park. Imagine that. :-) As long as I’m on a roll I’m going to go with a longshot. I predict Frank will have a 20 point game before the end of the year. hahahaha

  114. KD being so immensely petty is just hilarious to me. Like, why even engage with Rapaport?

    Anybody else remember when KD got caught using burner accounts to defend himself on twitter?

  115. Mike Honcho:
    Did anyone else see the whole KD/Michael Rapaport thing? KD is not coming off very well in that particular drama

    I basically missed yesterday’s discourse on the blog, so apologies if it’s already been discussed.

    Yup, same here. KD comes off pretty badly.

  116. Well, that’s where PR people come in. Protect the image and make sure it’s not real.

  117. NCAA in court today too and it did not go great. Big day for off the court sports news.

  118. and fwiw, while the small lineup may not be great, we just had a game in which our coach played Payton, Barrett, Taj, and Noel together for the majority of a game. That is possibly the worst combination of players you could put together. I think it’s fair to question if a guy who would do that but not try a small lineup is perhaps too rigid.

  119. Hubert: If that is your crunch time or starting lineup, you may be right.

    Keep in mind, though, this was suggested as an alternative to picking someone up off the scrap heap and giving him playing time.

    I’m talking about experimenting with Randle at the 5 for the 8 extra minutes a game Thibs plays him against second units. That seems more appealing to me than giving time to someone like Dieng or Cousins. And it gives us some data points so we don’t have to guess how it might work.

    That’s a different proposition, but even so, it is at best a break-even proposition and probably a losing one. I think that a major reason those players are shooting at or better than their career averages is because they are being selective. If you go small, you have to sustain or surpass those numbers against a defense (probably a zone) that can cheat even further out than they would with a lob threat around the paint. So the 3’s would be even more heavily contested and the % would likely fall since they are mostly shooting open catch-and shoot ones right now.

    If there is frustration because Thibs is so consumed with defense that he won’t take risks by experimenting on offense at the cost of wins, sure, I get it. Thibs will continue to go with what he believes is most likely to produce wins, which is defense above all else. Only some kind of losing streak will force him to consider other approaches. That said, there is little to suggest that the tradeoffs of playing more small-ball, or more IQ vs. less Payton, would result in more wins.

  120. Owen: NCAA in court today too and it
    did not go great. Big day for off the court sports news.

    From what I’ve read, Roberts was the only justice who seemed interested in maintaining the status quo, saying that it was a slippery slope to change anything, because doing so would change everything, which would be (?) bad. Hilarious. Kinda weird how that didn’t apply to the Voting Rights Act when he finally succeeded in neutering it. Utter scumbaggery.

    And E, don’t @ me. I don’t give a shit about your opinions. Just a FYI so you don’t waste your billable-hour time.

  121. I don’t get the sense Thibs wants to teach/preach any of the solutions from ball movement. Maybe there’s just not time.

    it’s basically thibs’ offense… it’s always been sort of one guy generating space per possession vs a more socalist approach to touches and shot creation… for anyone who thinks we’re some sort of modern offense… have we even so much seen a curl play at all during the season?

    thibs likes the sets he runs on offense and he runs them quite often throughout the game…. that might specifically be a knick thing due to shorten training camps and what not but him having one player dominating a possession did not just appear this year… that’s how rose won mvp… how we got point noah and nate rob exploding when rose got hurt.. and how wiggins and crawford had higher usage than KAT who was stuck in the corner most of the game…

  122. The Honorable Cock Jowles: From what I’ve read, Roberts was the only justice who seemed interested in maintaining the status quo, saying that it was a slippery slope to change anything, because doing so would change everything, which would be (?) bad. Hilarious. Kinda weird how that didn’t apply to the Voting Rights Act when he finally succeeded in neutering it. Utter scumbaggery.

    And E, don’t @ me. I don’t give a shit about your opinions. Just a FYI so you don’t waste your billable-hour time.

    I’d recommend an outlet for your pent-up anger. Spending time on the internet railing against the imperfections of the world and browbeating your perceived enemies obviously isn’t assuaging it.

  123. Mike Honcho: Like, why even engage with Rapaport?

    They did a comedy skit thing when Durant was on the Warriors. Rapaport pretended to be annoyed by sitting 6th row, said he wanted to feel the floor and get splinters, and Durant played the straight man. Was actually pretty amusing, very similar to a Curb scene.

    I think there was some speculation that this was all a setup, but Durant going hard with the slurs and the wife stuff — not how anyone with half a brain would put it together. Seems real to me, and so a pretty damn bad look for KD.

    I’m still more worried about a sizable percentage of the league refusing vaccines because ???

  124. I’d recommend an outlet for your pent-up anger. Spending time on the internet railing against the imperfections of the world and browbeating your perceived enemies obviously isn’t assuaging it.

    The most didactic poster in the history of this site.

  125. Spending time on the internet railing against the imperfections of the world and browbeating your perceived enemies obviously isn’t assuaging it.

    have you had any comments that wasn’t complaining about something or someone on this board?

  126. E, all merc’d out: I’d recommend an outlet for your pent-up anger. Spending time on the internet railing against the imperfections of the world and browbeating your perceived enemies obviously isn’t assuaging it.

    Now I know how it feels to break up with E: gently phrased gaslighting. Thanks, babe!

  127. Random Knicks thing worrying me:

    IQ is playing so well this year, but I’m not sure if he can easily improve. He doesn’t go to the basket, so unless he starts hitting his floater at unprecedented rates, increases his already prolific FT rate, or starts hitting 45% of his 3s. I struggle to see how his TS% gets above average.

    Would not surprise me if IQ hits 45% of his 3s or finds other ways to improve, but he’s already so incredibly efficient at what he does that it’s difficult to imagine what the path forward looks like. Young players usually improve by getting craftier, but he’s already mastered those aspects of the game.

  128. Mike Honcho: Did anyone else see the whole KD/Michael Rapaport thing? KD is not coming off very well in that particular drama

    Durant’s ridiculous but it honestly doesn’t surprise me.

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’m still more worried about a sizable percentage of the league refusing vaccines because ???

    I think we’re learning that Kyrie’s dumbass conspiracy beliefs aren’t that uncommon at least in the NBA. Probably in the wider world of pro sports.

  129. This thread is great. It’s like a bunch of 70-year-old professors emeriti having lunch and arguing about Kant when one guy throws his peas at another and suddenly all hell breaks loose, with each professor slinging shit at the guy he’s had a grudge against since that criticism of his cherished pet theory 35 years ago.

    I guess that’s most every Knickerblogger thread. Still, fun to watch.

  130. Hubert:
    and fwiw, while the small lineup may not be great, we just had a game in which our coach played Payton, Barrett, Taj, and Noel together for the majority of a game. That is possibly the worst combination of players you could put together. I think it’s fair to question if a guy who would do that but not try a small lineup is perhaps too rigid.

    If you’re talking about the Miami game, this is just not true. Payton played only 21 minutes out of 48, so the “majority” is impossible. Then Taj and Noel played a combined 48 minutes and were mostly not on the floor together. Then Bullock is coming off an injury, Randle was still limping around, and Rose got injured.

  131. IQ is playing so well this year, but I’m not sure if he can easily improve. He doesn’t go to the basket, so unless he starts hitting his floater at unprecedented rates, increases his already prolific FT rate, or starts hitting 45% of his 3s. I struggle to see how his TS% gets above average.

    I’ve had this same thought, but there does seem to be some low-ish hanging fruit: take the damn basketball to the damn rim more often.

    His FG% from 0-3 feet is a fairly robust .667. Of course, this might be wildly misleading because of the related issues of his selectivity and the small sample size–the guy putting up decent efficiency stats as a rookie only takes 4% of his shots from the most efficient spot on the floor.

    So his FG% from that range would likely go down if he increased his volume, but I still think his overall efficiency would improve even without making genuine improvements when it comes to finishing. Especially when you take into account that if his ability to draw fouls, like, 37 feet from the basket is any indication, he could rack up a lot of fouls on drives.

  132. Early Bird:
    Random Knicks thing worrying me:

    IQ is playing so well this year, but I’m not sure if he can easily improve. He doesn’t go to the basket, so unless he starts hitting his floater at unprecedented rates, increases his already prolific FT rate, or starts hitting 45% of his 3s. I struggle to see how his TS% gets above average.

    Would not surprise me if IQ hits 45% of his 3s or finds other ways to improve, but he’s already so incredibly efficient at what he does that it’s difficult to imagine what the path forward looks like. Young players usually improve by getting craftier, but he’s already mastered those aspects of the game.

    He has made some rudimentary straight-line drives to the rim (very few!) but enough to suggest that he “can” improve there. It seems like pulling up for the floater rather than getting all the way to the rim is possibly a bad habit more than a flaw. He did try a facial dunk in traffic vs. Miami and got fouled, so maybe he will work on adding that to his game in the off-season. I sure hope so!

  133. the problem with IQ getting to the rim is it’s a skill that he’s a tough time showing in two years in college and one in the pro’s… it’s the same reason why 40% 2p% has been such a reliable indicator …… and why 50% in college has been a pretty decent one….

    the problem with just taking more attempts at the rim is that it’s not that easy…. it takes a lot of athleticism, reaction timing and skill to get to the basket and finish in the nba…. that’s why in order for IQ to get his usage up he relies on a floater… a shot that he throws up before someone can contest it….

    it’s certainly possible for him to improve on what he did in two years in college at the nba level… but i don’t think it’s likely to happen and if it does it will probably take a really long time… you’re basically asking him to change how he’s played the three years during his formative basketball years and that’s a very tough thing for any player to do without a sea change in their physical profile or some serious work in the gym….

  134. vincoug: I think we’re learning that Kyrie’s dumbass conspiracy beliefs aren’t that uncommon at least in the NBA. Probably in the wider world of pro sports.

    I have, or had, a friend who’s a world-class powerlifter. Probably 170 pounds with a 585# deadlift, no drugs whatsoever. He lives and breathes athletics, nutrition and physical fitness. Twin brother is a professional muay thai fighter. Younger sister was a diver at UMich. All three were USA Junior Team gymnasts before hitting their ceiling and acquiring some injuries.

    He is the walking definition of Dunning-Kruger on all things COVID. Masks? We don’t know if they’re safe to wear for extended periods. Mortality rate? No worse than a flu. Shutdowns? More harmful to overall health than the risk of being exposed to COVID. Vaccines? His buddy with a Ph.D in nutrition, an Instagram chiropractor and a social-media proponent of the Carnivore Diet all say that they’re unsafe, and he should be just fine eating lots of oily fish and taking vitamin D twice a day.

    That’s just one guy. Imagine a whole industry of like-minded folks who think that knowing how to rehab a rotator cuff and eat for a physique competition means they’re medical scientists, and doctors (he really said this) don’t actually understand the scientific method because they simply practice what others have researched. He allegedly knows more about the risk conditions of a severe respiratory illness than my close friend with 12 years of post-grad training and three cardiology fellowships under her belt, all because he read some studies on flu vaccines showing that they’re not all that effective at preventing flu cases. You wanna talk about circle jerks, go to fitness/wellness influencers on social media and see everyone’s hands well occupied.

  135. Z-man: Calm down, bro. (nah, not really, just wanted to give u a taste of ur own bleach)

    I’m downgrading the drink I owe you to Johnnie Walker Red. Dewar’s with a splash of Diet Coke if you keep it up.

  136. I will let the appellate folks weigh in on the NCAA. Don’t think the court will bring it all crashing down but when Justice Thomas is skeptical you aren’t doing well.

    Getting my shot tomorrow. Not sure I need it given that I probably still have immunity but can’t hurt and I am eligible.

    A friend has completely gone off the Covid cliff in a very public way. It’s just a fact of life that being incredibly smart is no protection from getting things very wrong sometimes.

  137. Owen: Getting my shot tomorrow. Not sure I need it given that I probably still have immunity but can’t hurt and I am eligible.

    Getting my first one tomorrow. I can’t wait.

  138. Owen: Getting my shot tomorrow. Not sure I need it given that I probably still have immunity but can’t hurt and I am eligible.

    Good luck. I got my first shot, Pfizer, Friday. No real complications though the spot where I got it is still a little sore and red almost a week later.

  139. Good to hear so many of you are getting your shots now. Hope you’re spared the side effects. Anecdotally, it’s all over the map, with the one constant being arm pain for a day or two after each shot. I was otherwise fine after the first, needed to nap most of the day after the second. I know other people who got sick after the first and were fine after the second, some who got very sick after both, etc.

  140. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’m downgrading the drink I owe you to Johnnie Walker Red. Dewar’s with a splash of Diet Coke if you keep it up.

    Just this morning my wife reminded me that about 30 years ago she bought a bottle of JW Red as a Christmas present for our building super. The next day, she came home from work and found the bottle opened and nearly drained. She immediately suspected the worst about me….and was dead right. The next day was rough, to say the least!

  141. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I’m downgrading the drink I owe you to Johnnie Walker Red. Dewar’s with a splash of Diet Coke if you keep it up.

    A friend of mine was telling me over a drink recently that he hasn’t been able to smell or taste for 2 months since getting covid. My response was “then why did you just order the Macallan?”

  142. My only long term symptom is that I can’t taste the chicory in the Grady’s Cold Brew which is my favorite thing about the morning. Quite bizarre since I can taste everything else.

    Zion is apparently playing better defense lately. Starting to be very much the player we expected.

  143. Driving to Staten Island on Saturday to get shots for me and my wife. Couldn’t be more excited.

  144. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Getting my first one tomorrow. I can’t wait.

    It will be piece of cake.

    I finally got my mother vaccinated yesterday (first shot). Next up is my brother.

    Fun story. My mom is 86. She doesn’t walk well, but she can get around slowly with a cane. The rules at Aqueduct racetrack where I took her wouldn’t allow me to accompany her up an escalator to another floor to get the vaccination. I got upset and was begging the people at the entrance to allow me to go with her. I didn’t want to send her alone because she might get confused, lost, or fall.

    A military woman near the entrance came over and asked, ” Does your mom need a wheelchair”.

    I said “No”.

    She said, “You know, if your mom needs a wheelchair the rules allow me to send you up with her via the elevator”.

    She asked again, “Does you mom need a wheelchair?” while staring at me.

    My mom said “No”, not understanding what was going on.

    “Yes you do mom” I yelled!

    I turned to the military woman. “Thank you for your service”.

    “You’re welcome sir”. Up the elevator we went.

  145. Just got my first shot about an hour ago. Read KB on the phone in the waiting area, somehow thought about didacticism and forensically analyzing the paw placements of Pepe Le Pew. Sorry to report to Jowles that it didn’t seem to kill me, but there’s always dose 2 in a month!!

    Now that they’re really getting rolling with the vaccines, this is obviously a fantastic development. Can kind of finally see signs that this nightmare might finally be winding down. Good luck to all.

  146. djphan: it’s basically thibs’ offense… it’s always been sort of one guy generating space per possession vs a more socalist approach to touches and shot creation… for anyone who thinks we’re some sort of modern offense… have we even so much seen a curl play at all during the season?

    thibs likes the sets he runs on offense and he runs them quite often throughout the game…. that might specifically be a knick thing due to shorten training camps and what not but him having one player dominating a possession did not just appear this year… that’s how rose won mvp… how we got point noah and nate rob exploding when rose got hurt.. and how wiggins and crawford had higher usage than KAT who was stuck in the corner most of the game…

    I think you’re right about Thibs’s offense, which suggests he’s always going to need/want that MVP iso-style player to get him/us to the top tier. Maybe that’s redundant. Maybe every team needs one. But Thibs does seem to have fewer ideas and offensive sets than other coaches (again just an eye test).

    I’d almost prefer Thibs to hire an offensive-minded assistant to help with that (Phil? haha. Clyde? In all seriousness), rather than wait to sign some splashy free agent just to make his own offense work. I don’t see that kind of player being available short term, and I don’t know enough about college ball to be optimistic that such a player (like Zion, like Luka) will be there either. Randle has made a leap, but …

    Again, like someone said, it’s funny (and borderline ridiculous) to be nitpicking at what is clearly a very successful season thus far. Patience.

  147. And I hate the ESPN telecasts which at this point are little different than their coverage of the pros.

    welcome to friday night high school football…people seem to have a voracious appetite for just about everything…

  148. hey The Glass Half Rebuilt – have you ever coached the game or anything, you seem to have a better understanding of actual basketball mechanics than most of us…

  149. Now that they’re really getting rolling with the vaccines, this is obviously a fantastic development. Can kind of finally see signs that this nightmare might finally be winding down. Good luck to all.

    took the boys to the park the other day and it sure seemed like just about everyone there was over the virus…almost no masks worn and lots of groups doing parties…

    i had kind of thought though with the proliferation of all these different virus variants, this situation might be ongoing for a while yet…

  150. geo: …almost no masks worn and lots of groups doing parties…

    “The New Normal in N.Y.: High Virus Rates and a Steady Stream of Cases”

    “Cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. ‘We cannot afford to let our guard down,’ CDC director says”

    “CDC director warns of “impending doom” as COVID cases increase”

    “COVID cases rise nationwide as doctors fear a fourth wave”

    Couple of headlines from today. I don’t know about the rest of you, but after I get my second shot Friday I’m sticking with the mask — if only to remind people there’s a fucking deadly virus in the air. And something like 84% of Americans are not yet fully vaccinated.

  151. Raven: “The New Normal in N.Y.: High Virus Rates and a Steady Stream of Cases”

    “Cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. ‘We cannot afford to let our guard down,’ CDC director says”

    “CDC director warns of “impending doom” as COVID cases increase”

    “COVID cases rise nationwide as doctors fear a fourth wave”

    Couple of headlines from today. I don’t know about the rest of you, but after I get my second shot Friday I’m sticking with the mask — if only to remind people there’s a fucking deadly virus in the air. And something like 84% of Americans are not yet fully vaccinated.

    I have had two shots as well and I am doing the same. Though the initial data is encouraging about the chances of either getting infected to transmitting post vaxx, I have a daughter, who has not had her first shot yet. I do see a rising group of people, who are now not wearing masks even indoors like groceries and pharmacies. This development together with the re-opening of indoor places like restaurants seem to be a cause of NYC’s plateau.

  152. I got my first shot sunday. We drove to a small town 2 hours outside of Omaha bc a pharmacy there has extra ones and is letting anyone get them no matter their age.

    When we got there, it was no surprise. This is small town Nebraska at a Hy-Vee (midwest grocery store). No one was wearing masks except the employees and most of them weren’t wearing them correctly. At one point we saw an employee take off his mask so he could sneeze. Oh boy.

    It was crazy bc the all of the workers at the pharmacy were wearing masks perfectly and so were everyone waiting to get their shots but you could tell all the people getting their shots were from Omaha or Lincoln, which are both very “liberal” compared to the rest of the state. Seriously, I don’t mind it here at all. Omaha is actually a very chill city. But holy hell is the rest of Nebraska a hellscape of red state conservatism. No wonder this place has so many extras.

    We got the Pfizer shot. No reaction to it at all. Go back in 2 weeks to get the second dose.

    But I just don’t get everyone acting like this is over. Its so frustrating. After all this loss, people can’t just wear masks for like 3 or 4 months longer while we all get vaccinated?

  153. d-mar: I guess Boston, because draft pick>>Celtics hatred?

    I guess Boston, because draft pick>>Celtics hatred plus competing for playoff spot

  154. Raven: I don’t know about the rest of you, but after I get my second shot Friday I’m sticking with the mask — if only to remind people there’s a fucking deadly virus in the air. And something like 84% of Americans are not yet fully vaccinated.

    Please do, as here in Portugal a vaccinated man abandoned the covid-protocols and later became a super-spreader.

    More here at BBC.com:
    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210203-why-vaccinated-people-may-still-be-able-to-spread-covid-19
    In fact, most vaccines don’t fully protect against infection, even if they can block symptoms from appearing. As a result, vaccinated people can unknowingly carry and spread pathogens. Occasionally, they can even start epidemics.

  155. I’m vaccinated, and I just took a flight out of Newark on Tuesday. Airport and security lines were packed with long waits and families had kids running all over. (It’s Spring Recess for NYC public schools among others.) Everyone was good about wearing masks, but there was not six inches of social distancing let alone six feet. Flight was packed also.

  156. Very happy to know you guys in america are getting vaccinated. But how about the rest of the world? Any KBer from europe vaccinated? Here at least my parents (79 and 80) already got their first dose, not all is bad. And in China, KFniNJ? Australia (dtrickey and other i don’t remember the handle)? And you, Bruno, how are you? Brazil is the center of the pandemic right now, i think. Hope all is well with you.

  157. Z-man: DAL-BOS…damn, who do I root for in that game?

    Stare at the marshmallow a little more. Every DAL loss needs to be cherished.

  158. Huh. Just discovered that the Wolves have four guys averaging 17.2, 19.3, 20.0, and 24.1 points per game.

    That’s decent firepower. Thank god they suck otherwise.

  159. Mike Schmitz:
    New on YouTube: ESPN Film Session with UConn star guard James Bouknight, arguably the most effortless scorer in the draft. https://youtu.be/RuIs6dl19Hw

    Would be very happy if we get this guy in the draft. And “arguably the most effortless scorer” sounds like something we could use. :)

  160. Couple of headlines from today. I don’t know about the rest of you, but after I get my second shot Friday I’m sticking with the mask — if only to remind people there’s a fucking deadly virus in the air. And something like 84% of Americans are not yet fully vaccinated.

    granted i have an advanced degree in worrying, but, it’s weird, i think it was after the bird flu or something around 2010 or so, and it sure seemed like the folks in Asia that that (Saars or maars, birdflu or something) virus hit hard learned their lesson and reacted much better this go around…same for Africa after that ebola stuff (now that is one illness that should scare the hell out of you), they reacted much better to Covid-19 than here in the states…

    i don’t know, at times it seems like our country is filled with 300 million teens telling everyone that no one can tell them what to do: i’m pursuing my happiness, leave me the fuck alone…

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