NY Post: Julius Randle, Alec Burks lead Knicks past pesky Magic

From Peter Botte:

Tom Thibodeau often lauds his Knicks’ roster for its versatility, with the ability to run their offense through All-Star power forward Julius Randle and veteran guard Alec Burks, if needed.

Such a necessity never felt more immediate for the Knicks this season than it did Thursday night, when those two players fronted them to a nail-biting, 94-93 victory over Orlando with their top three point guards — Elfrid Payton, Derrick Rose and rookie Immanuel Quickley — all unavailable.

After suffering crushing road losses earlier this week against the Nets and the 76ers in their final possession, Reggie Bullock sealed the win for the undermanned Knicks with a strip of Evan Fournier in the closing seconds.

“Really important, we needed a win in a bad way and we knew we couldn’t leave without a win today, especially on our home court,” said Randle, whose second triple-double in six days and third of the season featured a career-high 17 assists. “So I’m proud of us, how we got it done. We won the game on the defensive end, like we have all year.

After two “good losses,” the Knicks then pulled off a “bad win,” but I think it was a better win than it looked, as the Magic are starting to get a bit more healthy, as both Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier played tonight and they both played well, so the Magic that the Knicks saw probably aren’t quite as pathetic as the recent Magic have appeared (although, don’t get me wrong, even with Gordon and Fournier, the Magic are not a good team).

But really, to pull off the win via a Reggie Bullock steal at the end of the game (after Bullock had a costly turnover leading to the Magic getting the ball back down one with a chance to win) was just beautiful to see. A big defensive play to seal a win? That’s just awesome.

The Magic not fouling once the ball was stolen, when there was very much still time let to tie the game? That was just pathetic, but that shouldn’t distract from how great Bullock’s play was.

While Randle’s now usual strong production (another triple double!) was great, the Knicks were really boosted by Frank Ntilikina showing some offensive life and Alec Burks just having a great offensive game.

The Knicks now have a lot of time off before they host the Sixers on Sunday night. They played them so close last time that it’d be amazing to see them pull an upset over the Embiid-less Sixers.

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277 thoughts to “NY Post: Julius Randle, Alec Burks lead Knicks past pesky Magic”

  1. Thrilling and important win, we tied last year’s win total with 30 games to go and we’ve raised our 3PFG/per game significantly after the ASG.

    Thibs’ diplomatic words and his Actor’s Studio performance aside, yesterday we played a 7 -men rotation and that wont do.

    Very good game from Bullock (that he put in jeopardy at the end, before his last play heroic), I think he’s well suited for a bench role, and if so we could resign him next year.

    Burks kept us afloat in the first half (and had 10 boards!),
    Randle had an off-night from outside but was spectacular in the point-forward role, RJ didn’t shine but his defense is improving day by day.

    Frank, as a decoy-PG, was very good on defense all night long and finally in the second half he gave us something on the offensive front.
    He doesn’t need to score 20 a game, a contribution like yesterday is enough, if he could keep shooting around 40% on three, keep shooting when he has space and attack the basket if possibile, that’s the 3 & D player many of us (me included) see as his best chance to be a solid rotation player in the league.

    I asked him for a redemption game at the start of the thread and he gave me just that, thank you.

    Now let’s focus on Philly and hope that some of the missing players will come back soon.

    Dame Lillard for MVP!

  2. [copy-pasted from end of the previous thread]
    Ugly-ugly game, yet I couldn’t help jumping off my couch when Bullock intercepted that pass.

    Meanwhile, LaVar Ball is stirring the pot, doing an ESPN LA radio interview where he said he hoped the Pelicans traded Lonzo, because they shouldn’t be trying to turn him into a 3-and-D guy. Reading between the lines of various Berman of the Post reports, it seems clear LaVar is angling to get his eldest to the Knicks. But beyond the cost in assets (if we trade for him) and dollars on Lonzo’s next contract, which we’ve discussed here a lot over the last couple of weeks, there’s the question of how much we’d want to deal with his dad.

  3. Alan:

    Meanwhile, LaVar Ball is stirring the pot, doing an ESPN LA radio interview where he said he hoped the Pelicans traded Lonzo, because they shouldn’t be trying to turn him into a 3-and-D guy. Reading between the lines of various Berman of the Post reports, it seems clear LaVar is angling to get his eldest to the Knicks. But beyond the cost in assets (if we trade for him) and dollars on Lonzo’s next contract, which we’ve discussed here a lot over the last couple of weeks, there’s the question of how much we’d want to deal with his dad.

    Good point…
    For me, emotionally zero, I despise LaVar Ball,
    rationally it depends, Magic shut him up and MJ did the same in Charlotte, do we have anyone with such gravitas?

  4. Alan: But beyond the cost in assets (if we trade for him) and dollars on Lonzo’s next contract, which we’ve discussed here a lot over the last couple of weeks, there’s the question of how much we’d want to deal with his dad.

    I kinda don’t think we are going to trade for him. We’ll come up with a contract that is probably an overpay, has some poison pills, but is better than trading assets and then giving him a similar overpay contract.

    Although that’s sort of an interesting question.
    Let’s say you trade the Detroit 2021 pick Knox for him (which personally would be the most I would give up), then sign him for 4 years 18MM/year. Is that better than keeping Knox and the pick and signing him for 2 1 starting at, say $22MM/year? It might be. Need to bear in mind that I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely that we will add 3 rookies to the roster. Those picks are going to be used for something, but I would imagine no more than 2 rookies will make the opening day roster next fall.

    I’m not sure we need to worry too much about Lavar. He’s doing what a rational person would do right now, which is to agitate to get his kid to a better situation. The situation is not good in NOP — he’s playing in one of the league’s smallest markets on a team that stinks.

  5. Max: Magic shut him up and MJ did the same in Charlotte, do we have anyone with such gravitas?

    No we don’t. And if we did have someone who could do it in another market, they aren’t shutting down the NY tabloids who will eat up every word coming out of LaVar’s mouth

  6. Meanwhile, last night was the 2nd or 3rd time this season that Bullock did something dumb with the ball in the closing seconds. I think it was a TO last time, this time a held ball. Some dudes just don’t have the handle or the decision-making to have the ball in their hands at that point in the game. I know he redeemed himself on defense but geez man.

  7. I wonder how little we might have to pay Sac to get Bjelica?
    Backup 4 is really a problem on this team. Obi looks awful, Knox is not much better. Need something if for no other reason than to give Randle a few more minutes rest. Bjelica can space the floor, good passer, etc.
    He’s expiring and 32, obv not part of Sac’s future. Wonder if a protected 2nd in like 2025 plus just taking his salary on would get it done?

  8. Frank: some poison pills

    This isn’t a well known part of the CBA, but involves my namesake Early Bird rights. Poison pills can only be offered to players in their 2nd NBA season.

    The Gilbert Arenas provision limits the amount of money new teams can offer to players with early bird rights after season 2. This happens because the old teams can only match offers slightly over the MidLevel. So if there wasn’t a limit, then the EB rights would be useless for opposing offers over that limit. Because the NBA wants teams to retain young talent, they created this limit for year 2 EB players.

    Another factor is the annual raise limits. Contracts can usually only increase 5% every year. But the 3rd year of the 3rd contract is the players 5th year (2 yrs to get EB rights 3yrs on 2nd contract). Note that this mirrors the 4yr cost control on 1st rd contracts with the 5th year being a significant raise.*

    *This does not apply to players drafted by the Knicks who instead of getting a raise get shipped to Europe or China.

    This is what creates the poison pill. Contract of year 2 free agent getting Midlevel years 1 & 2, up to the max year 3. So this only applies to 2nd rd picks & UDFA since 1st rd picks only hit FA in yr 4.

    Anyways, long way of saying we can’t offer Ball a poison pill.

  9. Frank:
    Meanwhile, last night was the 2nd or 3rd time this season that Bullock did something dumb with the ball in the closing seconds. I think it was a TO last time, this time a held ball.Some dudes just don’t have the handle or the decision-making to have the ball in their hands at that point in the game.I know he redeemed himself on defense but geez man.

    I don’t think he was to blame for that issue, he was given the ball in a bad spot. Lots of players get trapped there. It was a lousy inbounds play more than anything else.

  10. Balls are in the details
    Despite Frank’s shy personality it takes big ones to go dunk in front of Vucevic and go try to get the clutch inbound (the one that Bullock got and lost right after…)
    Big part of the Frankophilia obsession has to do with his heart and his good character.
    This kid deserves to succeed in NY.

  11. Randle shooting wasn’t good yesterday but I’ll put this game among his very best ones as a knick.
    He was sensational as a point forward and I don’t give him easily credit despite him turning it around triumphantly!

  12. I used to mock 3p specialist Bullock as much as WEllington last year since their speciality wasn’t very evident but its now clear that Bullock has find his game and he’s definitely a precious player on this scrappy team.
    Thibs effect has made miracles on many players this year and Bullock seems among them.
    Turning Obi- Knox into nba players would be Thibs’s ultimate challenge.

  13. Maybe I’m squinting a bit but I thought Knox played decently on D except for one baseline drive…

  14. I could easily watch Obi’s and Knox’s pseudocloseouts on shooters and bitings on pump fakes as part of a Pina Bausch modern choreography about alienation, pain and human destiny.

  15. I didn’t hear any word on Noel after the game so I assume it was just a strategic choice to play Taj the last ~17 minutes without a break. Burks also played the last 17 minutes with no break. RJ played the entire second half. Randle played 22 2nd half minutes. I know we’re a little short-handed right now and Thibs is always going to be a ride with his guys kind of coach but man he is asking a lot from these guys right now. Starting Sunday we don’t have two days in a row off until April 22-23, 18 games in 32 days with 3 separate back to backs in there. We’re in the thick of a playoff chase but Thibs has to find a way to keep the minutes at least moderately under control. This is still a building season for us and one serious injury to the wrong guy could completely undo all the good progress that has been made this year.

    Maybe there will be a trade in that period to bring some reinforcements and maybe we’ll get healthier but neither of those is a guarantee and we still need to see the bigger picture here a little bit.

  16. Reggie has been playing pretty good basketball for the last 20-25 games, it would be smart to try to trade him at the deadline.

  17. Meanwhile, LaVar Ball is stirring the pot, doing an ESPN LA radio interview where he said he hoped the Pelicans traded Lonzo, because they shouldn’t be trying to turn him into a 3-and-D guy. Reading between the lines of various Berman of the Post reports, it seems clear LaVar is angling to get his eldest to the Knicks

    It was a matter of time.

    I’ve been saying this all week. LaVar was on record before the lottery saying he hoped LaMelo was drafted by the Knicks and it’s been obvious that both he and Lonzo hated the trade to New Orleans. So Lonzo (and Reddick) to NY makes too much sense to ignore.

    That’s partly why New Orleans has been open to moving him. They know Lonzo wants out and they don’t want to match a big salary to keep him anyway. If they don’t trade him there’s a very good chance they will eventually lose him for nothing.

    The only question is what it will take to get it done and are we willing to pay that price.

    If it’s mostly draft assets, I’m in favor. We are unlikely to find a PG as good as Lonzo with our picks unless we can combine them to move up. Even then we are probably talking about a multi year process. But if Mitch gets involved you have to think twice. We don’t want to strengthen one position and weaken another. It’s on Thibs to evaluate the gap between Mitch vs. Nerlens long term and decide whether it’s too large to make Mitch part of the deal. It’s on the Pelicans to decide if they’ll take a deal that doesn’t include Mitch, RJ, or Quick. Maybe they’ll take some kind of deal that Includes Frank (who will fit their team just defending and standing in the corner) and/or Knox and picks.

  18. I know we’re a little short-handed right now and Thibs is always going to be a ride with his guys kind of coach but man he is asking a lot from these guys right now.

    I agree.

    Rose should be back Sunday. The way I understand it, the protocol calls for 2 days of practice after quarantine is over. Since he was at the game last night and put up some shots, that means he’s almost back.

    Mitch can’t be too far away because he’s doing light practice.

    I’m not sure about Quick or Payton, but I don’t think Quick’s injury was serious.

    They are all listed day to day. The Cavalry is almost ready.

  19. thenamestsam:
    I didn’t hear any word on Noel after the game so I assume it was just a strategic choice to play Taj the last ~17 minutes without a break. Burks also played the last 17 minutes with no break. RJ played the entire second half. Randle played 22 2nd half minutes. I know we’re a little short-handed right now and Thibs is always going to be a ride with his guys kind of coach but man he is asking a lot from these guys right now. Starting Sunday we don’t have two days in a row off until April 22-23,18 games in 32 days with 3 separate back to backs in there. We’re in the thick of a playoff chase but Thibs has to find a way to keep the minutes at least moderately under control. This is still a building season for us and one serious injury to the wrong guy could completely undo all the good progress that has been made this year.

    Maybe there will be a trade in that period to bring some reinforcements and maybe we’ll get healthier but neither of those is a guarantee and we still need to see the bigger picture here a little bit.

    That’s exactly why in the last few games Toppin and Knox unplayability has been so annoying and the Rivers’ exile so puzzling (despite his “official”, wink wink, paternity leave)…

  20. If it’s mostly draft assets, I’m in favor. We are unlikely to find a PG as good as Lonzo with our picks unless we can combine them to move up.

    I should add one thing.

    If we know for certain he wants NY and we are willing to pay him enough, we could always wait for him to opt out and sign him as RFA if we feel confident New Orleans won’t match what we offered. That’s kind of our leverage in the deal. We could say to them, “We aren’t paying what you want because we can sign him for nothing after this season and keep all our assets”.

    Again, this is on Rose and Thibs to evaluate the players and assets and know what we can pull off and what we can’t and when it makes the most sense.

  21. I could easily picture this team sporting a new Lonzo Ball/Oladipo backcourt after the trade deadline. And in the East, a Ball/Oladipo/RJ/Randle/Mitch lineup with a Rose/Bullock/Quickley/Noah/playerX bench could make some noise, maybe a 4-seed.

    But is it worth it? I would say no. Aside from having to pay Ball and Oladipo next year (if you think they’re worth it), the draft capital you’d lose in this year’s draft is probably worth more than those two players combined, even if it delays your winning timeline by a year or two.

    With those 3 picks, we could easily grab 3 starter-level players (Keon Johnson, Donsumu, Greg Brown?) or do a package trade-up for a guy like Jaden Springer.

    So imagine drafting Springer and, say, Ayayi (and roughly 30 extra mil of cap space) versus running out Lonzo and Oladipo. Plus, we’d get to keep (if we want) whatever trade pieces we’d lose at this deadline (aside from draft picks) like Knox, Frank, Nerlens, Rose, etc. (even if you don’t like them, they are still trade assets.) In short, the Knicks aren’t ready for “all in” trades this year. Those should be the ones that push a team to become a Finals team and not a perennial 4-6 seed.

    **I know this is probably the position of most posters here, but creating a legit playoff team for the next 3 years is undeniably very appealing to many fans and definitely management/Thibs. A team with a winning record shouldn’t be poo-pooed, especially in the NY market. And as an aside, I think Oladipo will regain most of his all-star form, which still isn’t a legit #1 option but is a decent player.

  22. Deeefense:
    They are all listed day to day.The Cavalry is almost ready.

    On the one hand that’s true, but on the other hand, there’s always going to be one or two guys out for one reason or another. Those guys will come back and odds are somebody else will sprain an ankle or strain a calf or go into the contact tracing program. Obviously we’re in a bad situation at the moment with such an injury stack at one position but Thibs has been riding Randle and RJ hard all season and somebody just needs to keep reminding him to see the bigger picture. If one of those guys picks up a minor injury then we’re really over a barrel.

  23. ***Rivers literally posted a photo of himself holding his newborn baby eight hours ago.***

    Oh please, anybody can rent a baby for a few hours. I do it all the time when I want early boarding.

  24. I really enjoyed watching the team celebrate after Bullock’s steal. They really do seem like a cohesive bunch, led by their alpha dog, Julius Randle.

    On the negative side, Obi Toppin played 8 minutes last night and did not score a point, grab a rebound, dish out an assist or even foul anyone. He looks completely lost and Thibs can’t get him out of the game fast enough.

    If he was 19 I’d give him a pass, but for a supposedly “NBA ready” guy he looks quite the opposite.

  25. Re: Lonzo, my question is how much of LaVar’s carping is actually about his role vs. the role thing just being a cover to try to force his way to a better market. Because a big part of the hypothetical appeal of Lonzo (I’m not personally a big fan but I get it) is exactly his fit into the role that his dad is now saying is a problem, right? The reason to favor Lonzo is that he can be a nice fit with point-Randle in the half-court as an off-ball shooter while also adding a little bit of transition spice and a pretty good defender. If we really believe that he has a problem being a 3-and-D pseudo-PG letting a PF do a lot of the driving of the half-court offense then it seems to me like that reduces his appeal significantly.

  26. I could easily picture this team sporting a new Lonzo Ball/Oladipo backcourt after the trade deadline.

    No way I’d go all in with Oladipo. So far he’s still not the player he was in that “single” peak year.

    But as far as lottery picks go, our record with lottery picks in the last few years is Frank (still struggling to become a rotation player), Knox (still struggling to become a rotation player) and Toppin (still struggling to become a rotation player). It’s a weighted crap shoot. Yes, the higher you pick and the more picks you have the greater the probability of landing a solid NBA starter on purpose or by accident, but it’s still a crap shoot that we’ll land a PG that turns out to be better than Lonzo who we know is a young, improving, huge upgrade at PG.

  27. As the father of two small children I am now far more reluctant to give Lavar a hard time and a little impressed that he has actually got two kids in the NBA who will be in and around a max contract.

    Maybe their mom is responsible.

    The minutes thing is crazy. The way it might drive personnel decisions is crazy. But you have to give Thibs credit for how hard these guys go every night.

  28. The reason to favor Lonzo is that he can be a nice fit with point-Randle in the half-court as an off-ball shooter while also adding a little bit of transition spice and a pretty good defender.

    I don’t think Randle has become our Point Forward by design. He has become our Point Forward because we don’t have a legitimate starting PG and the rest of our offense is suspect enough that teams can still focus on shutting Randle down. The difference is that when they did that last year he did some crazy spin move into the double team and threw up a trash shot or turned the ball over. This year he’s making the right read, passing out of it, and we are knocking down some 3s with Burks and Bullock. If we had a legitimate starting PG I think Randle would handle the ball less, get fewer assists, but get better shots and not have to play as many minutes.

  29. Alan: Rivers literally posted a photo of himself holding his newborn baby eight hours ago.

    His last game was 5 weeks ago, that’s a pregnancy not a paternity leave…

    Nice news by the way, best wishes to hm and his wife/fiancee, now he could come back and play against the 76ers?

  30. Deeefense: LaVar was on record before the lottery saying he hoped LaMelo was drafted by the Knicks

    Me and LaVar have something in common, I guess.

    ess-dog: I could easily picture this team sporting a new Lonzo Ball/Oladipo backcourt after the trade deadline.

    This would be about as bad as the trade deadline could get for us. The Rockets have not won a game since February 4th and have been getting absolutely rocked. 15 of their 17 consecutive losses have been by double digits and Oladipo has been a big part of that, having played in 10 of those losses. Overall, they’re 5-13 when he plays.

    If Rose and Thibs trade their 1RP for him, I suspect he shoots them out of a playoff spot and secures another lottery pick for the Rockets. It’s just crazy to think that we’re still talking about Oladipo as a trade target for really any team, given that he thinks he’s worth more than the extension offered to him by Houston. The prospect of re-signing this guy for $100M should send chills down our collective spine. It would blow the whole rebuild up to soothe Thibs’ ego.

  31. His last game was 5 weeks ago, that’s a pregnancy not a paternity leave…

    He was physically with the team until very recently, just getting DNP-CD’ed every night.

  32. No to Oladipo, yes to LaMelo.

    I think Knox plus the Detroit 2nd rounder is pretty solid. NO could lose him for nothing.

    Also, I think Thibs and Leon Rose have enough gravitas to keep Lavar in check. I mean, if he says something crazy to the media every once in awhile, who cares? As long as its not affecting the locker room, hw can be entertainment for the press and back page for all I care. Could even be a little fun to have a team mascot.

    Leon has deep connections in the agent world and Thibs is a super respected coach. I think they could shut him down if needs be. He doesn’t seem as bad as he was when LaMelo first came into the league.

    I just think NO isn’t in a great position of power here to ask for a king’s ransom. So if its Knox and that 2nd rounder, which is decent, that might be the best they can get or lose him for nothing in the off season. And I think trading for him now shows good faith that we really want him. Plus, you get him for THIS season, which helps with the playoff push and also gives him some experience with our young players.

    The sign him and Kawhi in the summer. Don’t laugh. If the Clips lose in the second round again, Kawhi could totally leave and we might be a nice spot for him. Defense first coach, nice young core.

    Lamelo/Rose
    RJ/Quick
    Kawhi/Burks
    Randle/Obi
    Mitch/Noel

    That’s a team that could get to the finals if all breaks right and we got picks and youth to keep it going. Defense would be pretty nasty for that team.

    Let me dream, folks.

  33. I would trade a #1 and a #2 for Lonzo.
    I would only acquire Oladipo if the Rockets attached assets to it or we gave them, at most, a 2031 second rounder.

  34. I think Julius is in the role that he is because he’s the only player on our team that needs to be double-teamed regularly. Maybe RJ or Burks in a mouse in the house match-up, but that’s it. Any player who demands a double-team at any position can be in that role. So Randle’s doing what he’s doing is totally independent of whether we have a good point guard or not. A good PG will dump the ball too Randle and become yet another option for Randle to pass to when teams sag on his moves into the paint.

  35. DRed:
    Reggie has been playing pretty good basketball for the last 20-25 games, it would be smart to try to trade him at the deadline.

    I think TNFH hit the nail on the head last night:

    Must be painful for Brock Aller to watch Alec Burks build up legit two unprotected seconds value, knowing if he cashed in on it Thibs would hire somebody to make it look like an accident

    We’re just going to have to accept forfeiting the assets we could add for Reggie and Alec.

  36. So why should Burks and Bullock not be re-signed to similar deals as the ones they are on now? They are league-average players who fit Thibs’ mindset well. If you can get a first rounder or two, fine, but what do you think they would bring back, given that they would be free agents at year’s end? I doubt that it would be very much.

  37. My hope is that we can use our cap space to facilitate a trade for other teams and pick up assets that way. I couldn’t care less whether we trade any of the 1-year guys or not.

  38. Why do we want Victor Oladipo and his .499 TS%? Because he had that one good season four years ago?

    He’s a downgrade from Burks and Bullock. Shit, he’s a downgrade from FRANK.

  39. And I say that not so much out of personal preference as out of acceptance that once Thibs was hired, such moves were far less likely right from the get-go. Our front office should be saying that anyone is available for the right price, but the fire sale mentality is just not gonna happen.

  40. The Clippers, with a well-chronicled need for a playmaking upgrade, are exploring trade routes to acquiring New Orleans’ Lonzo Ball before next Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, league sources say.

    From Stein, who also notes the Clips may have a hard time pulling this off with their lack of draft capital. But Knox and the Detroit pick probably doesn’t get it done if there’s competition — and from the kind of team LaVar might want Lonzo to stay with.

  41. Admittedly, I get roughly 95% of my basketball news and opinion from this site, so I am much better versed in the Knicks and their needs than any other teams, but this board has left me with a few lingering questions regarding the discussed deadline targets.

    1) The Pelicans can’t lose Ball for nothing this summer because he is restricted. So why would they dump him for small change when he is young and starting to come of age? Does Ball have leverage that I’m unaware of?

    2a) why would Houston have to attach assets to Oladipo in a trade? Isn’t he an expiring contract?

    2b) why did the Rockets have to include the Cavs and Pacers in the Harden trade? They got Dante Exum and Oladipo when they could have had LaVert and Jarret Allen? Allen, who’s 22 years old, is already easily the 2nd best player in that 4-way trade. The Rockets really had no use for him? And why not just stick with LaVert, who’s younger and kind of better than Oladipo anyway?

  42. 2b) why did the Rockets have to include the Cavs and Pacers in the Harden trade? They got Dante Exum and Oladipo when they could have had LaVert and Jarret Allen? Allen, who’s 22 years old, is already easily the 2nd best player in that 4-way trade. The Rockets really had no use for him? And why not just stick with LaVert, who’s younger and kind of better than Oladipo anyway?

    very good question donnie…

  43. i’m not sure the pels can let lonzo go right now being only 3 games out of the 10th seed…with zion on the team – you have to make sure you continually show him that you’re trying to win, otherwise you might lose him down the road…

  44. 1) it sorta depends what small change means. it’s very possible someone will max offer lonzo without agreeing to a sign and trade and the pels will have to match a contract they don’t want and can’t trade without consent for at least a year or lose him for nothing.

    2) tillman fertitta is a long time fan of money, even sub 8 figure amounts. he once even sold the free and clear ownership of a serialized gif of daniel house catching an inbounds pass for mere money. still, you’re right they are not going to have to do so.

    2b) see 2a. they can let oladipo walk if they don’t trade him and seemingly will. next year’s golden nugget rockets will consist entirely of john wall christian wood (why his nickname isn’t spotlight i’ll never understand) and several joe’s crab shack general managers.

  45. 2b) why did the Rockets have to include the Cavs and Pacers in the Harden trade? They got Dante Exum and Oladipo when they could have had LaVert and Jarret Allen? Allen, who’s 22 years old, is already easily the 2nd best player in that 4-way trade. The Rockets really had no use for him? And why not just stick with LaVert, who’s younger and kind of better than Oladipo anyway?

    I never understood that. They obviously had/have no intention of keeping Oladipo, so I wonder if they just want a totally clean cap sheet going forward.

    Alan: From Stein, who also notes the Clips may have a hard time pulling this off with their lack of draft capital. But Knox and the Detroit pick probably doesn’t get it done if there’s competition — and from the kind of team LaVar might want Lonzo to stay with.

    This seems extremely transparent as a means of scaring the Knicks into upping their offer by bringing the specter of another big market team.
    Clips can’t trade a 1st round pick until 2028
    They do have some seconds (2023 Portland, 2024-2026 Detroit).
    The only young player of note on a good contract on their team is Terrence Mann

    Honestly – Knox and the 2021 Detroit pick is better than anything the Clips can offer unless they’re throwing in their actual real rotation players ie. Lou Williams. Which I guess is possible, but the Pels problem is defense, not whatever Lou Williams provides off the bench.

  46. it seems that if randle is staying and about to be part of our core going forward, it makes sense to keep bullock on the roster also – the chemistry those two have together is fun to watch…not sure what percentage of randle’s assist go to reggie, but it looks like a good bit…

  47. JK47:
    Why do we want Victor Oladipo and his .499 TS%? Because he had that one good season four years ago?

    He’s a downgrade from Burks and Bullock. Shit, he’s a downgrade from FRANK.

    This. Oladipo single handedly won us our last game against Indy because he shot so poorly and just kept shooting. I’d gladly take him for a 1st or 2 though.

  48. he once even sold the free and clear ownership of a serialized gif of daniel house catching an inbounds pass for mere money.

    bahahah, talk about cheap!

  49. I think we should bring back one of Bullocks or Burkes but probably not both. So my preference would be Burkes in the back up role and Bullocks we sub out for Kawhi. :)

    I’m just going to keep saying Kawhi until I secret it into existence.

  50. I just got this strong feeling that we are indeed going to trade for Lonzo. That Stein “leak” about the Clippers says to me that the negotiations are ongoing and Griffin is looking for any leverage he can find.

    My guess is that Leon Rose knows what’s real and what’s not real. For example, Aaron Mintz is Paul George’s agent, and Aaron Mintz works for…. you guessed it! CAA. Have to figure the Clips would at least run such a Big Deal past their two superstars.

    “Knox + DET 2021 — if you don’t like that, then we’re going to give him a huge offer sheet and you’ll lose him for nothing. No one else is going to trade for him because everyone knows he wants to come to the Knicks”. That is definitely how the convo is going from Leon’s side.

  51. I’m a big fan of the Warriors subreddit these days. They’re losing their minds over Wiseman, but in the “This is the worst possible season for him to come into the league. He’s still a rookie! He’s so young! That ceiling tho! Patience!” sort of way.

    Kinda hard to imagine a player from the draft class better suited to play in the Warriors system than LaMelo.

  52. >>> I’m just going to keep saying Kawhi until I secret it into existence. <<<

    I'm a charter member of Team Dreamer, swift, and I welcome your unbridled optimism.

    But I'm as sure as anyone who knows nothing can be that the only reason Kawhi isn't already signed up long term is that he's waiting to finish this year so he can get 10-year player money. He's going nowhere.

  53. Honestly – Knox and the 2021 Detroit pick is better than anything the Clips can offer unless they’re throwing in their actual real rotation players ie. Lou Williams. Which I guess is possible, but the Pels problem is defense, not whatever Lou Williams provides off the bench.

    In a followup tweet, Stein suggested the Clips would have to get a third team involved. So maybe if they’re willing to sacrifice LouWill, they flip him to a team in need of offense in exchange for a pick or different kind of player they can reroute to NOLA.

  54. Yeah I just find it hard to believe The Clips would have anything left to trade at this point besides players that are on their team right now and if its anyone good then its pointless to trade for Lonzo bc you gain in one area but lose in another. Lou Williams? The Clips have to keep him and would NO really want him anyways given his age?

    Throw in a 2023 second rounder too since we have like 7 of them.

  55. >>> “Knox DET 2021 — if you don’t like that, then we’re going to give him a huge offer sheet and you’ll lose him for nothing. No one else is going to trade for him because everyone knows he wants to come to the Knicks”. That is definitely how the convo is going from Leon’s side. <<<

    Man, I would be thrilled if we have a negotiator like that for once.

    But David Griffin is good at two things: winning lotteries and extracting maximum value for a trade chip. I wouldn't trust him to do anything else, but he's got that shit down pat.

    If we acquire Lonzo, it will hurt.

  56. Goes to show how much a crapshoot the draft is.
    Same team and GM that chose Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green has basically whiffed continuously ever since then (although Jordan Poole is looking better). Yes, we’re talking later picks in the draft, but still…

    Sam Presti had that amazing run in the 2000s (Durant, Ibaka, Westbrook, Harden) but in the last 11 drafts the highlights are Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe (other 1st rounders they kept = Terrence Ferguson, Cam Payne, Perry Jones, Mitch McGary, Reggie Jackson).

  57. Hubert: But David Griffin is good at two things: winning lotteries and extracting maximum value for a trade chip. I wouldn’t trust him to do anything else, but he’s got that shit down pat.

    You should probably take a look at the transactions he made as Cavs GM before you give him all the credit. He’s really good when he has all the leverage. But when the tables are turned…

  58. You should probably take a look at the transactions he made as Cavs GM before you give him all the credit. He’s really good when he has all the leverage. But when the tables are turned…

    You mean like the time he got an unprotected 1st from the Clippers for Mo Williams that turned out to be Kyrie Irving?

    Most of his tenure as a Cavs GM was spent acquiring players for LeBron. Maybe as a buyer he’s paid full price, but whenever he has been a seller he’s gotten a pound of flesh.

    And Anthony Davis sure didn’t leave him with a lot of leverage, either.

  59. I think the alternative for the Pelicans of matching any offer for Lonzo and then trading him afterwards is way too strong an option to think you’re going to get him for nothing. There’s no world in which Lonzo on whatever deal they have to match isn’t tradable for a 2nd round pick (Knox has ~0 value) so there’s no reason for them to take that offer now, particularly when they’re still just about hanging on in the playoff race. Remember as well that signing guys to offer sheets isn’t costless for us – it ties up a big chunk of cap space for multiple days while other options come off the board. I can’t see discussions even beginning at anything less than a 1st rounder.

  60. Man, I so hope Lonzo comes to NYC. He’s currently 4th among PGs in terms of RPM only behind Steph, Conley, Graham. He’s the 2nd most offensive productive PG according to ORPM behind only Steph. He makes tons of sense for this team on multiple levels and would make us such a much more fun team to watch.

  61. thenamestsam:
    I think the alternative for the Pelicans of matching any offer for Lonzo and then trading him afterwards is way too strong an option to think you’re going to get him for nothing. There’s no world in which Lonzo on whatever deal they have to match isn’t tradable for a 2nd round pick (Knox has ~0 value)so there’s no reason for them to take that offer now, particularly when they’re still just about hanging on in the playoff race. Remember as well that signing guys to offer sheets isn’t costless for us – it ties up a big chunk of cap space for multiple days while other options come off the board. I can’t see discussions even beginning at anything less than a 1st rounder.

    Agreed. I doubt Knox and Frank have any value in a trade other than as a throw in or to help match salaries. Surely the Pels would at least want a 1st rounder, and probably a more. I wonder what kind of value Toppin has in any potential trade, not just in one for Ball?

  62. There’s no world in which Lonzo on whatever deal they have to match isn’t tradable for a 2nd round pick (Knox has ~0 value) so there’s no reason for them to take that offer now, particularly when they’re still just about hanging on in the playoff race.

    If the Knicks sign Lonzo to an offer sheet and the Pels match, Lonzo has a no-trade clause for a year. Meanwhile, let’s say the offer sheet is for $22MM starting – that would put the Pels at $112MM for 9 players. The salary cap next year is $112MM. Josh Hart is also someone they’d like to keep – let’s say he gets $8MM. So now you’re at $120MM to bring back the same team that can’t even make the play-in game…

    Let’s say they’d rather do that than lose Lonzo in a bad deal. But if they suck again next year in Zion’s 3rd year… whose to say Zion isn’t the guy to just take the qualifying offer and take off in UFA? He’ll have made $45MM in salary by end of year 4, not to mention whatever endorsements.

    IMHO, the only way they can comfortably bring Lonzo back is to foist Bledsoe’s contract on someone. But it’d probably take a 1st and a 2nd to get someone to take Bledsoe. They’ve got plenty of picks, so I guess they could do that.

    I guess an interesting possibility is if the Knicks agree to take Bledsoe on in addition to Lonzo. We’d have to send back $15MM in salary- that’d be like Knox Payton Rose or something.

  63. Frank: If the Knicks sign Lonzo to an offer sheet and the Pels match, Lonzo has a no-trade clause for a year. Meanwhile, let’s say the offer sheet is for $22MM starting – that would put the Pels at $112MM for 9 players. The salary cap next year is $112MM. Josh Hart is also someone they’d like to keep – let’s say he gets $8MM.So now you’re at $120MM to bring back the same team that can’t even make the play-in game…

    IMHO, the only way they can comfortably bring Lonzo back is to foist Bledsoe’s contract on someone.But it’d probably take a 1st and a 2nd to get someone to take Bledsoe. They’ve got plenty of picks, so I guess they could do that.

    I guess an interesting possibility is if the Knicks agree to take Bledsoe on in addition to Lonzo. We’d have to send back $15MM in salary- that’d be like Knox + Payton + Rose or something.

    This is the way to go IMO. Knicks have a bounty of cap space and would be foolish to not use it to their advantage

  64. Frank/Knox/Payton works in the trade machine for Bledsoe and Lonzo, but the pick compensation is where that trade would get interesting. They’d want something for Lonzo, but Bledsoe and his contract suck so that has to counterbalance Lonzo’s value to some degree. On our end, we’d be giving them a pupu platter, so you’d think they’d want some pick compensation to balance it out. Kind of a fascinating potential deal, actually, depending on how cap space and flexibility gets valued.

  65. Ten of Randle’s assists last night went for threes so he had a hand in 62 of the Knicks 94 points. While Randle has shot like shit since the all-star break he’s averaging 9.8 assists/3.6 turnovers per game (43.5%/14.9%). His assist rate for the year is now 28% with a 14.2 turnover rate- Lonzo’s career averages are 27%/18.3. Even though Randle actually turns the ball over more (his higher usage lowers his turnover rate compared to Ball) if Lonzo comes here don’t be surprised if Thibs uses him more or less like NO is now- let him run the break but play him off of the ball a lot in half-court sets.

    Also on Obi- he’s looked awful since the injuries have screwed up the rotations but so has the entire second unit. My guess is once everyone is back he’ll go back to being just disappointing rather than an absolute train wreck.

  66. ***If the Knicks sign Lonzo to an offer sheet and the Pels match, Lonzo has a no-trade clause for a year.***

    This isn’t true is it? I think that the Pelicans can’t trade Ball to the Knicks for at least one year. They can trade him to any other team though (after December 15th). Ball, himself, has no veto power in this scenario.

  67. lot of chatter about Stevens leaving the Celtics for IU which would be absolutely hillarious

  68. So now you’re at $120MM to bring back the same team that can’t even make the play-in game…

    This would be a concern if their three best players weren’t 20, 23 and 23. The Pels will peak in 2024. They should stop throwing big money at old guys and start preparing to contend for the WCF. Zion is 20 years old and putting up a 4.5 BPM. It’s not unreasonable to assume that at 22 or 23, he’ll be an MVP candidate.

    The best teams in the West are led by old men. Utah:

    Ingles 33
    Conley 33
    Gobert 28
    Favors 29
    Clarkson 28
    Mitchell 24

    Do you think they’ll be contending in 2023?

    LeBron is 36. He’ll probably play to 42 or 43, but at a championship level? Hard to imagine it. Best case for him is he signs for pennies with a superteam and rides younger talent deep to the playoffs.

    Phoenix has Chris Paul, who, again, is very old. The top five players in MP on the Clippers are 29-34 right now. Lillard is 30. The Nuggets are young and Jokic is putting up an all-time season. They’re a contender for another five years or more. Spurs are scrappy and young but overrated with no clear superstar as in years past. The Mavs have Doncic, so they’re a playoff team for a decade. The Dubs are on the decline and are dogshit at identifying talent. No chance they contend unless Wiseman becomes Embiid this offseason. The Grizzlies are still a WIP, too, with lots of upside but underperforming future stars due to injury and other weirdness. Quite young but a murky future — will they be perennial 7-seeds or will Morant, Jackson, Melton and Clarke take the leap? Unclear. And OKC has half of the league’s picks, including three firsts, a swap, and a condition 1RP from GSW that will likely become MIN’s 2nd next year. Then three firsts in 2022 and possibly three firsts in 2023. They could be the 2011 Thunder all over again, or become the Magic 2.0 with a 30-win core that has no upside.

    I’m standing pat if I’m the Pels.

  69. College basketball is pretty bad to begin with, but without the crazy fans it’s even more unwatchable

  70. Frank: IMHO, the only way they can comfortably bring Lonzo back is to foist Bledsoe’s contract on someone. But it’d probably take a 1st and a 2nd to get someone to take Bledsoe. They’ve got plenty of picks, so I guess they could do that.

    Would anyone think of just taking Bledsoe off of the Pelicans hands for a decent first? He’s on the books at 18m next year but only 3.9m of his 2022/23 salary is guaranteed. He’s struggled this year but for his career he’s been a solid starter: 1.9 career BPM- he was 1.8 last year for the Bucks. He’s basically the good version of Elfrid. He doesn’t solve any long term issues but if he upgrades the position and gets you a nice asset or two it’s not the worst idea ever. His horrible playoff play shouldn’t be too much of an issue this year and he’ll be more or less an expiring next year so maybe you can dump him for another asset next year if his play rebounds.

  71. d-mar: College basketball is pretty bad to begin with, but without the crazy fans it’s even more unwatchable

    It’s so hard to watch. I’m sure Z-man is going nuts right now. Probably a few scotches deep, given the trajectory of this Colgate game.

    nicos: Would anyone think of just taking Bledsoe off of the Pelicans hands for a decent first?

    nicos is Thibs, confirmed

  72. This isn’t true is it? I think that the Pelicans can’t trade Ball to the Knicks for at least one year. They can trade him to any other team though (after December 15th). Ball, himself, has no veto power in this scenario.

    no you have it wrong. if you match an offer sheet you can’t trade the player to any team without his consent for one year.

  73. Here’s a fascinating alternate way to acquire Lonzo that I just came up with (take notes, Barrettcuda):

    Offer him a one-year max contract ($28mm) this summer.

    That’s a tough contract for the Pelicans to match. It puts them over the cap so they can’t make any moves to improve their team this summer. And they can’t match it and trade him without his approval.

    Of course this requires Lonzo being willing to wait a year for long term security, but it seems like he and his family might be open to that to get him in a big market.

  74. Hubert:
    Here’s a fascinating alternate way to acquire Lonzo that I just came up with (take notes, Barrettcuda):

    Offer him a one-year max contract ($28mm) this summer.

    That’s a tough contract for the Pelicans to match. It puts them over the cap so they can’t make any moves to improve their team this summer. And they can’t match it and trade him without his approval.

    Of course this requires Lonzo being willing to wait a year for long term security, but it seems like he and his family might be open to that to get him in a big market.

    My gut tells me that there’s no way he’d agree to that, but I guess similar things happened when teams had huge chunks of space, like the $20+ 1-year deals for KCP and Reddick a few years back

  75. The Honorable Cock Jowles: nicos is Thibs, confirmed

    Ha, Thibs would love Bledsoe. So would Wes! I wouldn’t do it for one of the Bucks picks but if you could get say a top ten protected 2022 NO pick that turns into an unprotected pick in 2023 for taking on 18m next year? He was still good last year (except for the playoffs) so maybe he’d be a short term upgrade though at 31 he just might be cashed. I don’t know if NO would do it (probably not?) but if they want to keep Lonzo they’re probably going to move him somewhere for financial reasons.

  76. Which other old declining guys who were good in 2012 do you want to trade draft assets for, Tom?

  77. sorry to be rules nerd but one year offer sheets not allowed

    Crap, should have known that.

    I guess if Lonzo really wants to call his shot he has to accept the qualifying offer, which is quite a risky bet.

  78. This would be a concern if their three best players weren’t 20, 23 and 23. The Pels will peak in 2024. They should stop throwing big money at old guys and start preparing to contend for the WCF. Zion is 20 years old and putting up a 4.5 BPM. It’s not unreasonable to assume that at 22 or 23, he’ll be an MVP candidate.

    They could be the 2011 Thunder all over again, or become the Magic 2.0 with a 30-win core that has no upside.

    This is true, but remember that by James Harden’s rookie year, Westbrook’s 2nd year, and Durant’s 3rd year, they were already a 50 win team. All 3 of those guys were on rookie contracts. In this case 2 out of the 3 players will already have gotten paid,

    The cap situation is completely different. In 2010-11 KD+Westbrook+Harden made a combined ~$13MM out of a $58MM cap (22.4% of the cap). Even the next year when KD went up to $15MM, that was only ~$24MM out of the $58MM cap (41.3% of the cap).

    If they resign Lonzo to a ~$22MM/year contract, then Lonzo+Ingram+Zion will collectively make ~62.2MM or 55.5% of the cap, and that’s while Bledsoe and Adams are collectively making another $35MM. That’s as opposed to Serge Ibaka making like 12cents/year in 2011.

    And news flash – Lonzo+Zion+Ingram aren’t anywhere near the players KD/Westbrook/Harden were.

    On top of that, the NBA is completely different now. Someone someday will take the qualifying offer from a small market team having $50MM in their pocket already (ie. rich for his life and his kids’ lives) and then just leave as an UFA.

    And remember cheap ownership/small market ultimately made presti trade Harden away while he was still on his rookie contract.

    I mean I know what I would do if I were the Pelicans (don’t let young talented players leave) but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

  79. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Which other old declining guys who were good in 2012 do you want to trade draft assets for, Tom?

    Bledsoe was pretty good last year- the 1.8 BPM he put up would be second on the Knicks this year and he put up a 3.1 bpm the year before that. He’s stunk this year so I’d want a pick that would at least potentially be in the lottery to take him. I wouldn’t do it for a Bucks pick and I sure as heck wouldn’t give up any assets to get him.
    So I’m maybe I’m just Thibs-adjacent rather Thibs himself.

  80. I dunno – if I’m Zion and my team still sucks in my 3rd-4th year, I have $40-50 MM in the bank (plus endorsements) and I see LA/NY/MIA all spending way into the luxury tax, and meanwhile my owner is making my GM trade dudes away to stay under the tax… why wouldn’t I want out? This isn’t a small market like San Diego where the weather is amazing and life is awesome. New Orleans is a great place, but to live there when I could fully afford to live in style elsewhere? I dunno.

  81. d-mar:
    College basketball is pretty bad to begin with, but without the crazy fans it’s even more unwatchable

    I’m watching Queta against Texas Tech, not going well… losing by 14 with only 5 mins to go. :(
    Queta is playing relatively well, i think, but if they shut him down, they don’t have another go-to player.

  82. Frank: This isn’t a small market like San Diego where the weather is amazing and life is awesome.

    If I was a 21 year old multimillionaire who could afford to get the hell out of NO during July/August I might prefer it to San Diego. There’s no better small market for food/nightlife. Of course it’s also dangerous as fuck so maybe not.

  83. nicos: If I was a 21 year old multimillionaire who could afford to get the hell out of NO during July/August I might prefer it to San Diego. There’s no better small market for food/nightlife. Of course it’s also dangerous as fuck so maybe not.

    It would be kind of funny if someone tried to start something with them and he pulled a Charles Barkley and threw them through a window.

  84. The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s so hard to watch. I’m sure Z-man is going nuts right now. Probably a few scotches deep, given the trajectory of this Colgate game.

    Good memory, chief, or do you keep a notebook? I had to bail at halftime for an all-consuming zoom call, but it was a great first 12 minutes before the Razorbacks woke up. Proud of my alma mater though, they played like they belonged. (full disclosure: picked ark in my bracket pool, don’t tell the trustees)

  85. Utah State 53 Texas Tech 65. No more chances to show his skills for Queta, finished today with a double-double (11 Pts, 14 Rbs, 8 Blks).

  86. Z-man: Good memory, chief, or do you keep a notebook?

    I just remember when Colgate flat-out rejected me when more selective schools found me intriguing as a prospect, and also that they scraped the bottom of the gutter 60 years earlier when they let you in based solely on your interest in captaining the Glee Club. So the chip on my shoulder stays, and the memory is locked in.

    Jowles, he’s talking about absorbing Bledsoe for a pick! Nicos is Brock Aller.

    Oh, fuck, Brock, I’m sorry.

  87. College basketball would be much better if they spent as much energy dribble-driving as they do helping each other up after fouls.

  88. DRed:
    Oral Roberts is giving Ohio State the business

    Ohio State players should know never to take Oral for granted

  89. You have to feel bad for Washington on Ohio State, missed two free throws down the stretch, and then missed a wide-open three at the buzzer that would have tied the game.

    I usually root for underdogs in the tournament but I cannot be happy with any success for Oral Roberts.

  90. I don’t think either side will pull the trigger on a Lonzo trade tbh.

    He’s pretty far from the usual drive-and-kick point guards Thibs likes. And as people have eloquently shown up above, it probably behooves the Pels to bring him back.

    I also don’t expect an Oladipo trade but I wouldn’t count it out!

    Small trades for draft capital, maybe taking on a bad contract, are more likely.

  91. ***no you have it wrong.***

    Aha, thanks.

    I’ll try to think of some more questions for the ptmilo mailbag later today.


  92. In his weekly “Ten NBA Things” on ESPN Insider, Zach Lowe talks about… Elfrid Payton (no, not in a positive way)

    https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/31088282/ten-nba-things-like-including-james-harden-beautiful-dimes

    An extract for those who couldn’t go over the paywall (please don’t report me to Disney!):

    5. The wandering of Elfrid Payton

    Payton’s failure to improve his jumper is the biggest reason he never met expectations. His defense was supposedly a given. Nope. He staganted there too, and that is the most disappointing part of Payton’s career so far.
    He has never shaken the habit of roving aimlessly and ball-watching in no-man’s land.

    (Note: there’s an embedded video of Payton wandering here)

    What should Tom Thibodeau do when Payton returns? Immanuel Quickley, fill-in starter until missing Thursday’s game, is (like most rookies) a liability on defense, but I’m not sure he’s markedly worse than Payton. Quickley’s range opens room for Julius Randle, Nerlens Noel, and the bulldozing RJ Barrett; the Quickley versions of New York’s starting lineup — one with Noel, one with Mitchell Robinson — are plus-21 over 74 combined minutes.

    But Payton is a Proven Veteran, and the Quickley-Derrick Rose duo has been blowing opposing second units out of the water.

  93. OTOH Bullock (praised in Lowe’s piece) has been very good in the last four games,
    going 18-39 on threes and defending really well, plus he has great chemistry with Randle.

    I wrote days ago that his basketball IQ is not the best and I’m still convinced on that, but I’m okay with him as a veteran rotation player next year, with a more talented player starting.

  94. I have no objection to either Bullock or Burks returning next year as a bench piece, but we need a substantial upgrade over one of them in the starting unit.

  95. for some reason i had thought we had given burks a 3 year 18m deal…guess not…i wouldn’t mind seeing burks, bullock and noel back next year to play off the bench…

  96. who knows how long he was playing with a bad hamstring, or just how bad it is/was – but, elf is killing us on both offense and defense…

    hopefully his role is off the bench, next to rivers…

  97. honestly, after last night’s game – i don’t know what to make of frank…

    usually he’s a decent on ball defender, but, last couple of games he seems to have found a knack for getting in the other team’s passing lanes and getting deflections…

    i swear, i’ve been out on him more than a few times since he’s come to new york…every once in a while though he’ll do some stuff for a few games that looks like it could be useful towards winning ball games…

    he had a couple of moments last nights that were pretty cool to watch…

    if he’s here next year i’ll be okay with it, if he’s gone, i’ll be okay with that too…

  98. geo:
    honestly, after last night’s game – i don’t know what to make of frank…

    usually he’s a decent on ball defender, but, last couple of games he seems to have found a knack for getting in the other team’s passing lanes and getting deflections…

    i swear, i’ve been out on him more than a few times since he’s come to new york…every once in a while though he’ll do some stuff for a few games that looks like it could be useful towards winning ball games…

    he had a couple of moments last nights that were pretty cool to watch…

    if he’s here next year i’ll be okay with it, if he’s gone, i’ll be okay with that too…

    I’m fond of him and I’ve always hoped he became a reliable player, able to disrupt opponents’ offensive flow, lock in hot players and consistently score 10 ppg playing in the 22-25 minutes range off the bench.

    But between injuries and rollercoasting (mostly bad) play he has been so frustrating that now I’m in the “whatever” camp just like you…

  99. Bullock is a pretty good two way player and he seems to fit this team well. I’d like to see him back and he probably wouldn’t cost much.

  100. Guarding 4 guys at the same time is what Frank does before breakfast.

    dude, and then he drained a three pointer – seriously like wtf…

    him going chest to chest with vucevic was even weirder…he could get to the rim 10 times a game cuz absolutely no one on either team is expecting it…

    as a coach it must be soooooo frustrating to see glimpses of that, and then to watch him out there some nights like he doesn’t belong at all…

  101. Still not that impressed with Cade. He’ll be a good pro but not a great one I think.

    Also, yes, college basketball is terrible.

  102. It would seem to me that the Pels would be better off moving Bledsoe by attaching an asset rather than losing Lonzo for pennies on the dollar. They are stocked with picks from the AD and Jrue trades. Well, it makes sense to me anyway.

  103. not a good year for him (doesn’t look like svg is doing such a great job there), but – bledsoe would be much better than what we have now…

    again, i don’t anticipate the pels dealing lonzo until at least the off-season in a S&T…

  104. geo: dude, and then he drained a three pointer – seriously like wtf…

    him going chest to chest with vucevic was even weirder…he could get to the rim 10 times a game cuz absolutely no one on either team is expecting it…

    as a coach it must be soooooo frustrating to see glimpses of that, and then to watch him out there some nights like he doesn’t belong at all…

    It’s simply confidence. I still believe that Frank could have benefitted by some d league time.

    Oh, BTW, don’t call me dude, geo. Lol.

  105. NetsTown is hereby known as DudesTown now and forever. If you think I’m going to forget, reread the thread — I won’t, dude.

  106. DudesTown it is – now and forever :)

    oh shit, still at work, listening to the daily show, and – i needed that…the daily show is almost always interesting, but usually more sad and disconcerting than actually humorous…

  107. Nets lose to Orlando by giving up 121 pts to a team playing the 2nd night of a back to back, Knicks defense has their skeptics on this site but they really are a good defensive team.

  108. There’s a simple formula to beat the Nets:

    Hope they miss wide open 3 pointers and make all of yours.

  109. wishing i was watching the mavs/blazers game…

    i gotta imagine there is gonna come a time when luka gets tired of losing in the first or second round and ditches the sideline sodas and comes back one off season born again hard, kind of like what joker did last year…

    when he does that, he’s gonna be hard to beat…

  110. geo:
    DudesTown it is – now and forever :)

    oh shit, still at work, listening to the daily show, and – i needed that…the daily show is almost always interesting, but usually more sad and disconcerting than actually humorous…

    So it shall be written…..

  111. Another pretty good night for the Knicks in the standings, by the time they play Philly Sunday night they could be back up to 5th in the East.

  112. Porzingis is getting lambasted for his showing tonight and I think we’ve reached the point where the guy probably gets too much shit, as while he didn’t play well tonight, he wasn’t that bad and yet he was the story. That’s not cool.

  113. i’m not sure if you’re referencing the channing frye NBAtv stuff – but, yeah, he seemed to take some glee in repeating over and over how porzingis was getting bbq’d in crunch time…i think he mentioned it about three different times…it did seem a little personal???

    or, was there someone else crushing him?

  114. With the Pelicans in mind, I wonder if you can actually build a contender today when your two best players are dogshit defenders. The Suns are really the last team who did just that when they had Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, but can NOP do it with Zion and Ingram? Portland is always frisky and neither Lillard/McCollum are defenders, but they’re also back court guys. Bledsoe, Ball, and Adams are all at least good on defense and that hasn’t been enough for them to make the playoffs. I really do wonder about the long term prospects of NOP as a title contender if neither Ingram or Zion get their shit together. The positions they play are way too important to a team’s defense for them to stay alive in the Western Conference.

  115. Owen:
    Why is Wally doing NCAA?

    I’m praying that Wally gets a godfather offer to do college ball and leaves MSG post-haste. They’re really setting him up to replace Clyde!

  116. Dink: I’m praying that Wally gets a godfather offer to do college ball and leaves MSG post-haste. They’re really setting him up to replace Clyde!

    That would be awesome. I’ve endured 2 decades of dreadful basketball, and yet i’m sure that would be much more painful.

  117. Looks like Mitch might play tomorrow. Mitch, IQ and Elf are all questionable. Rose is still out.

  118. Brian Cronin:
    Porzingis is getting lambasted for his showing tonight and I think we’ve reached the point where the guy probably gets too much shit, as while he didn’t play well tonight, he wasn’t that bad and yet he was the story. That’s not cool.

    I think except Knicks fans, everybody else is expecting KP to be something he’ll never be – a number 2 option on a champioship team, or in other words a AD to their Lebron (Luka). Until they understand this, of course he will be lambasted game after game, with the exception of some 10 or so games a season he manages to play at a high level.

  119. BigBlueAL: Looks like Mitch might play tomorrow.Mitch, IQ and Elf are all questionable.Rose is still out.

    Mitch and IQ? Yes, please. Elf? For me, he can remain on the injured list.

  120. There’s great court vision and then there’s whatever you call the spooky-action-at-a-distance epistemic freakshow that Luka’s got going on. The mere act of observing the momentum and position of the photons that must somehow enter his eye to trigger the neuronal cacsade that results in afferent muscle excitation and the perfect translocation of basketballs, that simple impulse to watch in order to learn how he did what seemed impossible to do, collapses the probability wave function of all the possible trajectories that his cognitive representations of player positions and movements must have simultaneously calculated and forces you to infer cause and effect where none exists. We can only watch the film one frame at a time. He sees them all at once.

  121. Unreason:
    There’s great court vision and then there’s whatever you call the spooky-action-at-a-distance epistemic freakshow that Luka’s got going on. The mere act of observing the momentum and position of the photons that must somehow enter his eye to trigger the neuronal cacsade that results in afferent muscle excitation and the perfect translocation of basketballs, that simple impulse to watch in order to learn how he did what seemed impossible to do, collapses the probability wave function of all the possible trajectories that his cognitive representations of player positions and movements must have simultaneously calculated and forces you to infer cause and effect where none exists. We can only watch the film one frame at a time. He sees them all at once.

    So you’re saying he’s good, huh?

  122. Unreason: There’s great court vision and then there’s whatever you call the spooky-action-at-a-distance epistemic freakshow that Luka’s got going on. The mere act of observing the momentum and position of the photons that must somehow enter his eye to trigger the neuronal cacsade that results in afferent muscle excitation and the perfect translocation of basketballs, that simple impulse to watch in order to learn how he did what seemed impossible to do, collapses the probability wave function of all the possible trajectories that his cognitive representations of player positions and movements must have simultaneously calculated and forces you to infer cause and effect where none exists. We can only watch the film one frame at a time. He sees them all at once.

    I would offer Knox, Frank, and the Dallas pick top-14 protected. Maybe a couple seconds if they agree to send Porzingis to the Rockets.

  123. Brian Cronin:
    Porzingis is getting lambasted for his showing tonight and I think we’ve reached the point where the guy probably gets too much shit, as while he didn’t play well tonight, he wasn’t that bad and yet he was the story. That’s not cool.

    KP seems to be one of those lightening rod personalities.

    He’s averaging 20 PPG in 30-31 minutes with a TS% of .584 despite the surgery related slow start. That’s damn good for a 2nd scoring option.

    Last night was not one of his more energetic nights, but at least one of those “elbow” calls was bogus and should have been contested. Other than that, they have to understand he’s a 7’3″ guy. He’s not a Guard or Point Forward you can give the ball to and expect to create a shot on every possession like many other scoring options around the league. He’s a guy you have to run plays for and get the ball to in the right spots. At most he’s going to take a few dribbles.

    It’s all a big tadoo about nothing.

    Dallas has 4 problems.

    1. They don’t defend well
    2. They don’t defend well
    3. They don’t defend well
    4. They don’t move the ball consistently.

    Doncic is a great talent and very efficient overall but imo he dribbles too much and plays too much hero ball with both his shot selection and passing selection (kind of like Harden on Houston and similar “stats guys”). IMO, the TEAM would be better off if he did less and just moved the ball more instead of dribbling looking to create shots for himself. He’s the PG, #1 option, and always has the ball. It’s on him to keep the ball moving.

  124. Porzingis is supposed to be the anchor of their defense and their defense is crap. He’s a big reason why it’s crap. You can roast him in space pretty easily and in fact he has become a defender that opposing teams look to exploit.

    Most Mavs fans want to dump him, it’s a common sentiment on their blogs. He’s a poor use of a max contract and I’m glad he’s somebody else’s problem.

  125. KP seems to be one of those lightening rod personalities.

    it was a bit of a weird vibe when Channing Frye kept going on about him getting bbq’d by cj and dame after the mav/blazers game…

    I don’t know, maybe it was just about basketball…

  126. ugh, this is totally not pc, but – porzingis has kind of got a look about him that might tend to put some folks off…

  127. Luck is important in life,

    Nate Mc Millan is now 8-0 with the Hawks and Woj just tweeted that “he’s making a strong case for keeping the job beyond this season”.

    Tonight they beat the Lakers without AD AND with LBJ injuring his ankle after 11 minutes (the Lakers went scoreless for 6 minutes to start the third quarter and never recovered).

    Before that their wins were: Thunder (H), Rockets (A), Cavs (H), Kings (H), TOR (A, by 1 point, on Snell’s buzzer beater, TOR without Siakam, FVV , OG), Olando (by 3, Magic without Gordon and Fournier), Miami (A, without Jimmy Butler).

    Strangely enough nobody’s saying that “they’re lucky and are going to regress as soon as their luck wind down”, they’re praising Mc Millan for his incredible job and nobody’s talking of the Hawks’ players silent strike against Pierce or all the injuries that cost him his job (Hunter, Gallo, Rondo, Bogdanovic)…

  128. Atlanta still has the Clippers, Denver, GS, SA, and Phoenix left on this west coast swing so we’re going to see how they good they really are.

  129. I still love me some Tyrese Haliburton but his numbers are not so lofty these days…might be some rookie wall stuff but still…

  130. I wonder how much LeBron’s high ankle sprain will impact the deadline. Lakers had been scuffling anyway, but if there’s a chance LBJ could be hobbled when the playoffs come, it might convince more teams to go all-in.

  131. Meanwhile, Thibs sounded a bit more measured regarding the playoffs-or-bust mentality and the trade deadline:

    “It’s important for us to go step-by-step and not skip over things,’’ Thibodeau said. “The whole goal this year is to build a foundation and the right type of habits. Wherever that leads us, it leads us. Our players have responded. In this league, you’re always looking for player development first, then look at the draft and free agency, then trades. You never stop working in all four areas. Every day it’s how can we make the team better. That’s where our focus lies with coaches, front office and players. We’re all tied together. We’re going to do what’s best for the Knicks.’’

  132. 76ers without Embiid, Curry and Simmons blowing out the Kings at halftime. Would be nice if Simmons also sits tomorrow.

  133. It would be nice to see how the sixers play on the second game of a b2b against our hungry for revenge hyaenas…

  134. Thibs not only chasing the Best Actor Award for his ” obi and knox good minutes” marlonbrandesque-apocalypse now performance but also seems as a strong candidate for the Best Adapted Screenplay award!

  135. The LeBron injury really gives you a perspective on what a surreal career he’s had as a pro for 17 years. The guy averages 70 games a season. And he’s probably played about 2 more full seasons in the playoffs. It’s really supernatural.

  136. cgreene:
    The LeBron injury really gives you a perspective on what a surreal career he’s had as a pro for 17 years. The guy averages 70 games a season. And he’s probably played about 2 more full seasons in the playoffs. It’s really supernatural.

    He’s played 260 playoff games so another 3+ seasons. Wow

  137. Brian Cronin:
    How long does a high ankle sprain typically sideline a player?

    He’s done for 4-6 weeks for sure. They aren’t going to rush him back unless there is real playoff jeopardy.

  138. Haliburton injured his shooting wrist back in early February, right? I’m not concerned.

    It’s now Jokic’s trophy to lose. And he will deserve it if he keeps up his play.

  139. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Haliburton injured his shooting wrist back in early February, right? I’m not concerned.

    It’s now Jokic’s trophy to lose. And he will deserve it if he keeps up his play.

    If the Nets go on a big run sans Durant gotta look at Harden. Same with Portland and Dame.

  140. High ankle sprains are not all alike. Knowing LeBron, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back in 2-3 weeks.

  141. Z-man:
    High ankle sprains are not all alike. Knowing LeBron, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back in 2-3 weeks.

    Why would they even consider rushing him back unless they are taking a massive nose dive. They have this year and next MAYBE 1 more after that. I mean the guy has to crack sometime right?

  142. Jordan was pretty durable too. Played all 82 games his rookie year, had his injury plagued 2nd season but then played 82, 82, 81, 82, 82, 80 and 78 games. After his retirement and shortened comeback season he did not miss a game during their 2nd 3peat, he played in all 82 games all 3 seasons. Heck even with the Wizards he played 60 games in his first season but then played in all 82 games in his 2nd and final season.

    He also played in 179 playoff games where he averaged 42 mins per game.

  143. BigBlueAL:
    Jordan was pretty durable too.Played all 82 games his rookie year, had his injury plagued 2nd season but then played 82, 82, 81, 82, 82, 80 and 78 games.After his retirement and shortened comeback season he did not miss a game during their 2nd 3peat, he played in all 82 games all 3 seasons.Heck even with the Wizards he played 60 games in his first season but then played in all 82 games in his 2nd and final season.

    He also played in 179 playoff games where he averaged 42 mins per game.

    Agreed. But if you add that up say 95ish games a year for 12 seasons it pales in comparison to the totality of LBJs 17. He’s played like 40% more career games at this point. And he’s still playing at MVP levels.

    Peak Michael > peak LBJ. But career wise the debate is becoming very one sided.

  144. ***With the Pelicans in mind, I wonder if you can actually build a contender today when your two best players are dogshit defenders***

    I think in the NBA anything is possible when you have an unstoppable force on your side, which Zion clearly is going to be (if he’s not there already). People here were certainly down on the Warriors roster back in the summer of 2014. I remember an extended conversation with the poster Lavor Postell (who may have been the real Lavor Postell for all I know), where he argued that Kerr was making a drastic mistake choosing the Warriors over the Knicks because the Warriors roster was so flawed and locked into mediocrity for as far as the cap could see. All it took to turn an offensive savant and an inefficient sidekick into the greatest juggernaut in 20 years was the emergence of a 2nd round pick into a defensive DPOY glue-guy. Not saying it’s easy, or is certain to happen for them. But the Pelicans have done the hard part: gotten the savant. The rest is about luck, system, and a little more luck.

  145. cgreene: Why would they even consider rushing him back unless they are taking a massive nose dive. They have this year and next MAYBE 1 more after that.I mean the guy has to crack sometime right?

    LeBron will probably tell them when he’s ready to return. My guess is that the injury is not a “severe” sprain and he will be fully healthy when he returns. If it is actually a severe high ankle sprain, then I agree that he will be out for the full 6-8 weeks. His anatomy is just different, and looking at the play, it didn’t seem like it was all that severe…just very painful.

  146. The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s now Jokic’s trophy to lose. And he will deserve it if he keeps up his play.

    Is it? Jokic is obviously having a monster season but Denver’s tied with Portland at 5; voters don’t tend to reward players on such a low seed with MVP. The only player I can think of winning an MVP on a team like that is Westbrook and he had to average a triple double to do it and he was far from unanimous. Right now, considering injuries, record, and stats I think the MVP could come down to Giannis vs Chris Paul.

  147. I don’t think Chris Paul really has enough buzz around him to go the distance for MVP, and his numbers (while excellent as always) don’t pop out in the way a usual MVP’s do. Giannis may just win it by default, assuming he doesn’t also get injured.

  148. MVP is silly, and who cares and all, but it seems that in this weirdo season it should be a three man race between Lillard, Jokic, and Embiid. Anybody else is kind of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

  149. Giannis may just win it by default, assuming he doesn’t also get injured.

    Everything I’ve read/heard from the national media guys like Zach Lowe is that nobody wants to vote for Giannis again if they can help it. It’s a mix of looking for a new story and holding his playoff failures against him. Lowe said something like, all the other threepeat MVPs had a championship before or at least midway through the threepeat.

  150. Alan: Everything I’ve read/heard from the national media guys like Zach Lowe is that nobody wants to vote for Giannis again if they can help it. It’s a mix of looking for a new story and holding his playoff failures against him. Lowe said something like, all the other threepeat MVPs had a championship before or at least midway through the threepeat.

    I did see some of that as well, I’m just not sure how many viable candidates are actually left. I kind of thought Lebron might get it this year, but now he’s down. Maybe this is Lillard’s year? I think he has a case, especially now that some of the bigger names are out. I also think Jokic would be a fine pick.

  151. After Embiid’s injury, here were the odds:

    LeBron James 6/5

    Nikola Jokic 5/2

    Joel Embiid 6/1

    James Harden 8/1

    Luka Doncic 12/1

    Stephen Curry 14/1

    Giannis Antetokounmpo 16/1

    Damian Lillard 20/1

    Kawhi Leonard 33/1

    Donovan Mitchell 40/1

    So yeah, I think Jokic has the pole position right now.

  152. It’s really funny how just taking a bunch of days off helped the Knicks’ position in the standings, with the Hornets and the Celtics both losing three straight games. However, this is the last big stretch of days off for the Knicks, I believe.

  153. Brian Cronin:
    It’s really funny how just taking a bunch of days off helped the Knicks’ position in the standings, with the Hornets and the Celtics both losing three straight games. However, this is the last big stretch of days off for the Knicks, I believe.

    It’s incredible that there is 4.5 games between the 4th and 11th seed. And in two weeks ATL and TOR have switched places at the top and bottom of that 8-car pile-up.

  154. It’s incredible that there is 4.5 games between the 4th and 11th seed. And in two weeks ATL and TOR have switched places at the top and bottom of that 8-car pile-up.

    It’s funny what an 8-game winning streak and a 7-game losing streak can do for two teams’ fortunes!

  155. Honestly, with the Raptors just constantly losing, it’s making the top 10 teams starting to look sort of academic, ya know? The Wizards are almost going to pass the Raptors!

  156. Z-man:
    High ankle sprains are not all alike. Knowing LeBron, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back in 2-3 weeks.

    It is true that “high ankle sprains” are not all alike but I doubt he will be back in 2-3 weeks. High ankle sprains are a tear of the interosseus membrane (a ligament like tissue between the tibia and fibula (the two lower leg bones). They do not heal properly on their own and require internal fixation to stabilize the injury site (surgery to insert a Titanium metal screw to hold the two bones together). Expect the full 6-8 weeks and more if there is any complications.

  157. Brian Cronin:
    So Lebron might not even be back for the start of the playoffs?

    There are 9 more weeks of the season so not unless there is a healing complication. Since he was diagnosed and treated promptly, has health and age on his side, complications are less likely than the average case.

  158. what exactly is this Hawks story? Did they hate Lloyd Pierce? Did Nate McMillian figure something out?

    The numbers in this streak are remarkable. They have a strong point differential on the season. That team seems a mile ahead of us.

    It may be bunched in the East right now but it seems like Atlanta and Miami have put their early season woes behind them and are locked into a top 5 finish.

  159. what exactly is this Hawks story? Did they hate Lloyd Pierce? Did Nate McMillian figure something out?

    It’s not quite Fiz—->Miller, but there are similarities. Pierce got fired right before a bunch of injured players returned and the schedule got much easier. So McMillan is benefiting from some things Pierce never really had access to.

  160. Thanks, Alan.

    For all the talk of how hard our schedule is, I still doubt we stray too far from .500 unless Randle or RJ get hurt. The East picture is beginning to look a little clear: Miami and Atlanta will rise above the play in game muck, Boston, us & Charlotte are in a race to stay out of it that we probably can’t win.

    How much fun would a Knicks-Celtics play-in game be?

    That’s one of those games where you go all out and play your starters like it’s game 41 of the regular season against Orlando.

  161. Hubert:
    what exactly is this Hawks story? Did they hate Lloyd Pierce? Did Nate McMillian figure something out?

    Trae Young surely “hate” Pierce, it’s well documented (a good piece on that could be found in The Athletic).

    They start getting players back, their scheduled softened and they have been incredibly lucky with other team’s injuries, as yesterday win showed (see my previous post for details).

    As Nicos pointed out their next games are vs Clippers, Denver, GS, SA, and Phoenix, we’ll see if they could keep this pace.

    They were considered a surefire playoff team before the season and the talent level is really high but it could still be a fluke.

    Also, rumors are they wanted to fire Pierce last year, but the Hawks never got in the bubble and he was very active in the BLM movement so they fear a negative reaction from fans and public opinion.

  162. Hubert: The numbers in this streak are remarkable. They have a strong point differential on the season. That team seems a mile ahead of us.

    This was what was expected at the beginning of the season…so while the road has been a weird one, the outcome shouldn’t be surprising at all.

  163. KnickFanInCelticLand: They do not heal properly on their own and require internal fixation to stabilize the injury site (surgery to insert a Titanium metal screw to hold the two bones together). Expect the full 6-8 weeks and more if there is any complications.

    This depends on the severity of the damage to the ligament. The diagnosis is about involvement, not severity. Most do not require surgery.

  164. For all the talk of how hard our schedule is, I still doubt we stray too far from .500 unless Randle or RJ get hurt. The East picture is beginning to look a little clear: Miami and Atlanta will rise above the play in game muck, Boston, us & Charlotte are in a race to stay out of it that we probably can’t win.

    I feel pretty confident that we are at least going to be one of the top 10 scenes, but I keep going back-and-forth on what the ideal outcome for the season is based on how things have gone so far. If we fall apart completely, we wind up in the lottery, and that gives us a better draft pick, and maybe a long shot chance at one of the star prospects. But it’s a bad look, and it erases a lot of the good karma we’ve had and a lot of the image rehab we’ve had around the league. Making the playin game, and then losing and winding up in the lottery is probably the best of both worlds, but it would still feel like a bummer to not actually get a playoff series. So I guess I’ve been sucked in by our coach’s mentality, and now want to see an actual seven game series against allegedly better team.

  165. IMO, we probably have the 10th or 11th best team in the east as it stands now, but we are reasonable close to several of the teams I’d rank ahead of us. So all it takes is an injury or two ahead of us or to get some upside from our young players down the stretch and we can secure a playoff position. Part of the growth for players like Mitch, RJ, Quick, Obo, Knox (and Frank if he’s still here) is going to be actually competing under pressure for a playoff spot. Then if they get it, competing to get into the next round.

    It will be interesting see what they do at the deadline.

    Will they try to accumulate more draft assets and throw in the towel on the playoff run?

    Will they try to add a small piece to give greater depth to the bench?

    Will they pull the trigger on a player like Ball or wait for the off season to try to sign him?

    Are the Frank conversations finally over? Will we get to watch him lock down Knicks guards for the next 10 years? :-)

  166. They start getting players back, their scheduled softened and they have been incredibly lucky with other team’s injuries, as yesterday win showed (see my previous post for details).

    I would add Cam Reddish getting hurt. His numbers are awful and he was playing 29 mpg for the Hawks.

  167. Alan: I feel pretty confident that we are at least going to be one of the top 10 scenes, but I keep going back-and-forth on what the ideal outcome for the season is based on how things have gone so far. If we fall apart completely, we wind up in the lottery, and that gives us a better draft pick, and maybe a long shot chance at one of the star prospects. But it’s a bad look, and it erases a lot of the good karma we’ve had and a lot of the image rehab we’ve had around the league. Making the playin game, and then losing and winding up in the lottery is probably the best of both worlds, but it would still feel like a bummer to not actually get a playoff series. So I guess I’ve been sucked in by our coach’s mentality, and now want to see an actual seven game series against allegedly better team.

    I feel the same way, my brain tells me one thing but the adrenaline of the games takes control, it’s been so refreshing to be a decent team again and watch some of the youngsters improve (Randle included).

    I’m still (barely) clinging to the hope that the lottery pick could come from Dallas and if so I’ll feel less guilty if we’ll end up in the playoffs.

  168. As some, including strat, have pointed out, there is value in winning in and of itself. The fact that we are doing it without compromising future flexibility and on the backs of several young players (as well as vets who could possibly be part of the future like Bullock, Burks and Noel) make it all the more palatable.

    What also makes it palatable is the unbelievable chemistry of the team. It’s hard to believe that a team so oddly constructed with so many contract year types is playing like a cohesive unit. They really seem to like each other and to be playing unselfishly and hard every night. They seem to have embraced the “next man up” philosophy when someone gets hurt, the guys out of the rotation or getting limited minutes have stayed ready and have contributed when called upon. And our only “star” doesn’t seem to have an ounce of diva in him, just a consummate lunch pail type that Knicks fans relate to.

    It will be bittersweet at draft time when we see the likes of Suggs and Cunningham fall off the board, but when IQ is in the ROY running and RJ is a Most Improved candidate, you can sort of live with that, especially in what looks like a deep draft class.

  169. what exactly is this Hawks story?

    They have a good team. It was just a matter of time before they got healthy and started playing better. There were also clearly some problems between Trae and Collins and the coach. Collins can really play. I think there were some issues about Trae’s shot selection and not getting the ball to Collins in some situations.

  170. They really seem to like each other and to be playing unselfishly and hard every night.

    It’s amazing.

    Off the top of me head I can only recall two games where I thought they came out flat and didn’t play hard. A few times I expected them to come out flat and they played a really hard and intense game. They are mostly a very likeable group and very easy to root for. You can tell they really like each other too. It’s tricky to make trades in a situation like that. You want to make the team better but you don’t want to ruin the love fest.

  171. ptmilo:
    put me down for raptors finishing top ten if they don’t sell

    Agreed, they’re just in a bad way right now. Sort of like Frank’s jumper (and RJ’s earlier, even IQ had a cold spell) they just need to get off the schneid.

  172. Z-man: This depends on the severity of the damage to the ligament. The diagnosis is about involvement, not severity. Most do not require surgery.

    Of course it is about severity but it is also about involvement. The involvement is serious. The severity is unknown. Neither of us have the details of this information. The interosseus membrane does not heal with the same type or strength tissue. If it is torn, you get chronic instability and increasing swelling over time. They do not show up on on regular x-ray. You need a stress radiograph or a special MRI. Someone walking around a house can get by with these chronic symptoms. A professional basketball player cannot. All I am saying is that if it is a true distal tibial-fibular syndesmosis injury (technical name for “high ankle sprain”) Lebron will not be back in 2-3 weeks without risk to the rest of his career.

  173. I don’t really believe in the Bulls, they seem like the team most likely to fall out of the top 10. I could see Orlando going on a big run at some point, but it might be too little too late unless we go on a bender (which we surely will if Randle goes down, heaven forbid!). Indiana should be good if Levert and Brogdan stay healthy. So if Toronto replaces Chicago, that seems like your top 10 right there.

  174. KnickFanInCelticLand: They do not show up on on regular x-ray. You need a stress radiograph or a special MRI.

    We are in agreement. I am simply predicting that these tests will show a less severe injury. And to my knowledge, the majority of professional athletes who suffer high ankle sprains do not require surgery. Many are Grade 1 sprains with a recovery time of 2-4 weeks. If it turns out to be a grade 2 (partial tear) or grade 3 (full tear), then all bets are off. But LeBron is such a unique athlete that it is more probably a grade 1 sprain. We’ll see.

  175. ***Damian Lillard 20/1***

    Wait, what??

    I don’t gamble, but if I was to start, I might start here. Not only has Lillard been a top 3 player this year both statistically and to the eye test, but he meets the narrative that MVP voters love. #1 he’s leading the league in points, #2 he’s carried his team to a .600 record in the west BY HIMSELF, #3 his body of work has earned him the status of “superstar”, and #4 he’s a great pro and a great ambassador for the league.

    How this isn’t a two-man conversation between Lillard and Jokic I don’t understand, (I didn’t realize Embiid was set to miss extended time, narrowing the field even more). Portland and Denver even have the same record. What am I not seeing that the Vegas oddsmakers are depending on?

  176. I know he won’t win it and it’s not just me being a Knicks fan. But I honestly think Randle deserves at least some MVP voting love. We would be nowhere without him this season. I know the award is usually only given to the best player on a handful of legit contenders but think about what our record would be right now if we’d traded Randle this off season and we’re starting OBI instead. Or even just an average veteran PF. We’d easily be one of the worst teams in the league.

  177. swiftandabundant:
    I know he won’t win it and it’s not just me being a Knicks fan. But I honestly think Randle deserves at least some MVP voting love. We would be nowhere without him this season. I know the award is usually only given to the best player on a handful of legit contenders but think about what our record would be right now if we’d traded Randle this off season and we’re starting OBI instead. Or even just an average veteran PF. We’d easily be one of the worst teams in the league.

    I disagree, and don’t think Randle deserves a single MVP vote. He’s having a great year and is indispensable to our team’s “success,” but there are a bunch of players that are much better than him no matter what measuring stick you use. He’s simply not a legit MVP candidate, and for any voter to think that he is would reek of an agenda.

  178. I think Most Improved Player is in play. His stats are not all that different from prior years…I’ll point out again that his improved 3pt% is not playing out in his overall TS%…he’s just being smarter and more unselfish on offense and more engaged on defense. He is also much more of a leader and a closer. Not sure what ther competition is…Nic Batum? Terry Rozier? Collin Sexton?

  179. Z-man:
    Not sure what ther competition is…Nic Batum?

    No way they give it to Batum for playing like shit on purpose in Charlotte.

  180. X-Man mansplaining ankle injuries to an osteopath is peak Knickerblogger

  181. rama is cautiously optimistic:
    X-Man mansplaining ankle injuries to an osteopath is peak Knickerblogger

    Yeah, kinda like when we have the temerity to question the thinking of professionals in the front office and coaching lines of NBA franchises. The nerve!

    And as I said to him, we are actually in agreement. Our quibble is about the seriousness of the injury, and KFICL conceded that you can’t draw firm conclusions about the severity of the injury without advanced diagnostic techniques, e.g. MRI. You don’t hear KFICL disputing that the majority of these injuries don’t require surgery even though he said the following:

    “High ankle sprains are a tear of the interosseus membrane (a ligament like tissue between the tibia and fibula (the two lower leg bones). They do not heal properly on their own and require internal fixation to stabilize the injury site (surgery to insert a Titanium metal screw to hold the two bones together).”

    If KFICL wants to stick by this statement, fine, but every research article I read indicates that a) there are varying degrees of “high ankle sprain” injuries and that most do not involve tears severe enough to require surgery and b) the time frame can be 2-4 weeks in the case of a grade 1 sprain to the associated soft tissue. Is this wrong?

    PS Am I missing something with the X-man reference? Nice dig, even if unintentional!

  182. iserp:
    I guess Jerami Grant will have a strong case for MIP, too

    True. His team being among the worst in the NBA will probably hurt.

  183. b) the time frame can be 2-4 weeks in the case of a grade 1 sprain to the associated soft tissue.

    OP made clear that there’s a difference between “normal activities” for the average joe and for a player in the most competitive basketball league in the world, but hey, if u wanna dig ur heels in on this one…

  184. Z-man,

    The title is Most Valuable Player, not Best Player In NBA This Season. The narrative behind the player and team is a huge part of who gets it. It’s not just about stats. I agree with your facts but think you miss the sentiment of my post. For his team this season, Randle is one of the most valuable players in terms of what he’s done for the team. Throw in the fact thats it’s the Knicks and we’ve been a joke for twenty years, I think he deserves some symbolic votes. That’s all I’m saying.

  185. The Honorable Cock Jowles: OP made clear that there’s a difference between “normal activities” for the average joe and for a player in the most competitive basketball league in the world, but hey, if u wanna dig ur heels in on this one…

    Not digging in my heels at all…I don’t know where that is coming from.

    I’m only saying that I’m guessing that LeBron’s injury is on the “mild” end of the spectrum of injuries classified as “high ankle sprains”…mainly because he’s LeBron, the most freaky athlete in his sport since Wilt Chamberlain….you know, the guy who returned to play the same season after suffering a ruptured patella…

    Put another way, if the over-under for his return is 5 weeks, I’m taking the under, because it’s LeBron. That’s all I’m saying, other than there are

    I’m not really disagreeing with anything that the OP has said and don’t get where you and rama are getting that from. If you have a disagreement with projected recovery time for a grade 1 high ankle sprain, it’s not with me but with the articles I read.

    Here’s one:

    Over the last six seasons, the average missed time for an isolated high ankle sprain is roughly 10 games. However the variability is high and a quicker return is possible. For example, earlier this season Indiana’s Myles Turner was able to return to action from a high ankle sprain after just three days and one game lost.The severity is the question here…There’s just no way to know at this point. James, in general, has been about as indestructible as it gets. The return time can be as short as two weeks or as long as 6-8 weeks/blockquote>

  186. Here’s a more scholarly article: “Time to Return to Play After High Ankle Sprains in Collegiate Football Players: A Prediction Model”

    Mean time to return to unrestricted play was 15.5 ± 9.5 days (range, 2-30 days). Injury severity measurements included mean height of tenderness of 9.9 ± 4.6 cm (range, 1.8-17.8 cm) and mean height of zone of injury on ultrasound of 3.9 ± 4.9 cm (range, 0-20.3 cm).

    When the ultrasound findings were compared with number of days to return to play, patients with an intact interosseous membrane had an average return to play of 12.6 days (range, 2-26 days), and those with an interosseous membrane tear had an average of 19.6 days (range, 8-30 days), which was not statistically significant (P = 0.19).

  187. swiftandabundant:
    Z-man,

    The title is Most Valuable Player, not Best Player In NBA This Season. The narrative behind the player and team is a huge part of who gets it. It’s not just about stats. I agree with your facts but think you miss the sentiment of my post. For his team this season, Randle is one of the most valuable players in terms of what he’s done for the team. Throw in the fact thats it’s the Knicks and we’ve been a joke for twenty years, I think he deserves some symbolic votes. That’s all I’m saying.

    Sorry, that doesn’t resonate with me, nor will it with any serious voter. You are interpreting the award to mean “most valuable to his team compared to how valuable other players are to their teams.” The award often goes to someone who is not the best player in the league, but almost never to someone who isn’t in the discussion. Literally no one is talking about Randle as a top 5 player, and few even as a top-10 player. Nor do his stats justify him being in that conversation. He’s simply not an MVP candidate, case closed.

  188. Pretty remarkable how rare the Knicks have had MVP candidates. Melo finished 3rd in the 2012-13 season and Ewing had 6 seasons when he finished in the Top 5.

  189. Scoreboard watching update:

    Playoff atmosphere in Miami,
    Indiana up 6 with 1:34 to go went cold, Miami forced OT and went up by 5 but Indiana regrouped and with a barrage of threes took the game home, sweeping a 2-games serie in Miami, Jimmy Butler missed the tying three pointer.
    Heat, losers of 3 in a row, are 22-21 Ind 19-22.

  190. Alan: If we fall apart completely, we wind up in the lottery, and that gives us a better draft pick, and maybe a long shot chance at one of the star prospects. But it’s a bad look, and it erases a lot of the good karma we’ve had and a lot of the image rehab we’ve had around the league.

    While I will not actively root for this, this is the best possible outcome for us.

    I seriously doubt we would suffer any loss in the karma dept if we struggled down the stretch. We’ve accomplished what we needed to this year and I don’t think it would be tarnished by a bad stretch at the end.

    Besides, there is no free agent reward this year. Next year is much more important for karma.

  191. cgreene: He’s played 260 playoff games so another 3+ seasons. Wow

    That’s insane. And that’s the reason i no longer know if i’d pick Jordan over Lebron for GOAT. Maybe Jordan would be as durable as Lebron has been, but he retired too early (i’m not counting the “i’m going to play pro baseball retirement”) and that has to count for something, right?

  192. Click on Jordan’s BBR page to get a reminder on who the GOAT really is. It’s really incredible how amazing he was with the Bulls.

  193. We’ve accomplished what we needed to this year and I don’t think it would be tarnished by a bad stretch at the end.

    Agreed. Can’t help wanting to win, and with flattened lottery odds and a foundation built mostly on youth, that’s ok – but it wouldn’t be terrible if we ended up in the lottery. In terms of luck we’re due to move up…

  194. The Knicks are 6th in the East with only 30 games remaining and people are still talking about preferring to finish in the lottery. Tell that to the players who celebrated like crazy after Bullock’s steal to beat Orlando.

    If you’ve been watching this team all season how could you possibly hope they lose down the stretch and miss the playoffs considering how hard they’ve played all season and how much they obviously care about making the playoffs?

  195. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    It’s now Jokic’s trophy to lose. And he will deserve it if he keeps up his play.

    I think Luka has a chance also, because he has last year (where he was 4th, only behind Giannis, Lebron and Harden) going for him. If he can carry DAL to 4th or 5th in the west, leapfrogging POR (and Dame for MVP) and one of the LA’s teams (or both). Of course i don’t want this, as that’d mean we receive a bad pick, but it’s possible because they have the easiest remaining schedule.

  196. Alan: I keep going back-and-forth on what the ideal outcome for the season is

    It’s easy, Alan, the ideal outcome would be getting the 6th place (to avoid the impredictability of the play-in) by 0.5 games ahead of the Celtics, with a win in the last game against… the Celtics (@MSG).

  197. BigBlueAL:
    The Knicks are 6th in the East with only 30 games remaining and people are still talking about preferring to finish in the lottery.Tell that to the players who celebrated like crazy after Bullock’s steal to beat Orlando.

    If you’ve been watching this team all season how could you possibly hope they lose down the stretch and miss the playoffs considering how hard they’ve played all season and how much they obviously care about making the playoffs?

    You know it’s possible to have been happy when Bullock got the steal and still hope for a season outcome that will set us up better for future success, right? There isn’t a provision on being a True Knicks Fan (TM) that requires you to only care about the current season and not, you know, the future of the team. If we make the playoffs, cool. The young guys will have earned it. If we don’t, we’ll get a better pick and be set up better next year to try again. It’s not this binary thing you keep making it out to be.

  198. BigBlueAL: Pretty remarkable how rare the Knicks have had MVP candidates. Melo finished 3rd in the 2012-13 season and Ewing had 6 seasons when he finished in the Top 5.

    If you could see the future and you’d tell me now that we’ll have a player finishing 6 times in the Top5 for MVP this decade, i would be a happy man.

  199. BBA this schtick of yours is quite tired. Mike Honcho nailed it.

    I’ll root for us to win every game but I’m not ignorant to the fact that we’re probably much better off if end up with a 20% chance for a top 4 pick.

  200. put me down for raptors finishing top ten if they don’t sell

    I agree.

    IMO, that’s clearly a team that’s better than us that’s only behind us because so many key players have missed a lot of games. IMO, the Celtics are also clearly better than us. After that, a couple that are behind us are probably better than us but we are close enough that it could go either way for the top 10 depending on injuries, Covid, what kind of moves all these teams make next week, and if one of our young players breaks out to another level down the stretch.

  201. Get a lottery pick or watch your drecks becoming actual winning players?
    Sign me up on the second. Seems to me more real.
    Even if i know that it will hurt during the drafts.

  202. Ewing finished 5th or 4th in MVP voting in 6 of 7 seasons. Also was Top 10 in the NBA in points, rebounds and blocks per game for 8 seasons in a row. He was as great as you can be without ever actually being the best player in the league.

  203. BigBlueAL: Click on Jordan’s BBR page to get a reminder on who the GOAT really is.It’s really incredible how amazing he was with the Bulls.

    Yeah, i was here in the 90s. It was totally insane to get a W against Jordan’s Bulls by that time, and we (Knicks) tried real hard every time. Good times. ;)

  204. Hubert:
    BBA this schtick of yours is quite tired. Mike Honcho nailed it.

    I’ll root for us to win every game but I’m not ignorant to the fact that we’re probably much better off if end up with a 20% chance for a top 4 pick.

    +1

  205. IMO, the best possible outcome is that the team keeps playing hard for Thibs, our young players keep improving, we make the playoffs, and we compete hard in the first round. Even better, but not as likely, we finish somewhere in the middle and get a 1st round opponent we actually have a chance to beat.

    Assuming we aren’t sellers this week.

    The idea would then be to see who out of Bullock, Burks, Noel, Rose, Payton, Taj, and Frank (if he’s not traded this week), we want to bring back next year based on the price and who else is available in trades and free agency. The goal being to upgrade the veteran players while developing Mitch, RJ, Randle, Quick, Obi, Frank, and Knox and also adding as high a quality player as we can in the draft (either by trading up if we can or because we like two players and get two chances to make a score). The goal is to be a lot better next year.

    I don’t think they are going to be big sellers of the vets to add draft assets and maximize our draft position this year. That nonsense is over. Maybe they’ll move Rivers and/or Frank. We have enough quality and assets to move forward.

  206. The best case scenario is that RJ and IQ continue their development and that it’s real, Toppin starts getting some sets and plays run for him and makes some strides, and the Knicks get another lottery pick.

    Everything else is a less good scenario. They might not be “bad” scenarios, but they aren’t the best scenario.

    Like a bunch of other people said, this doesn’t mean we root for them to lose.

    I trust very little about this season. It’s marinating in fluke.

  207. Yes, my schtick of actually rooting for my team and hoping they win and make the playoffs for the first time in 8 fucking years is very annoying I’m sure. Nowhere near as tiring as people openly rooting to be in the lottery because this will finally be the time they get lucky and draft the franchise savior.

    If the Knicks were currently a few games under .500 and barely holding on to the 10th seed I would understand preferring to lose and guarantee a lottery pick but for them to finish out of the Top 10 at this point would take a pretty good collapse and sorry but that’s not something I’d enjoy watching after the pretty fun season this team has given us so far.

  208. Nowhere near as tiring as people openly rooting to be in the lottery because this will finally be the time they get lucky and draft the franchise savior.

    the tired part of your schtick is the part where you make this shit up.

    you either can’t read or you actively ignore words on purpose so you can promote yourself as the one true knicks fan.

    either way, it’s tiresome. No one is rooting for us to lose.

  209. Hubert you’re one of the few people whose posts I scroll past and ignore anyway so I don’t give a shit if you’re tired of my schtick.

  210. The idea would then be to see who out of Bullock, Burks, Noel, Rose, Payton, Taj, and Frank (if he’s not traded this week), we want to bring back next year based on the price and who else is available in trades and free agency.

    to be clear, Strat, you think

    a) this information is more valuable than a top 5 pick, and

    b) we need to make the playoffs to figure out which of these guys we should re-sign?

    that’s your hill?

    what do you expect to learn about Bullock, Butks, and Payton in one playoff series that isn’t already apparent?

  211. BigBlueAL: Hubert you’re one of the few people whose posts I scroll past and ignore anyway

    says the guy responding to all my posts.

    then again, maybe the fact that you’re scrolling past them so fast explains why you clearly can’t read them.

  212. If you’ve been watching this team all season how could you possibly hope they lose down the stretch and miss the playoffs considering how hard they’ve played all season and how much they obviously care about making the playoffs?

    LITERALLY NO ONE SAID THEY WERE HOPING THE KNICKS WOULD LOSE

  213. 101-year old Loyola chaplain Sister Jean’s pre-game prayers are analytics-informed, simply incredible:

    “As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win. We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds as this team makes about 50% of layups and 30% of its three pointers. Our defense can take care of that.”

  214. E, all merc’d out: I trust very little about this season. It’s marinating in fluke.

    I’ve never been bullish on RJ but he’s been much, much better this year and he won’t be able to legally drink for three years. Quickley could shoot before NYK and again, it’s damn near impossible to imagine him getting worse at it. Unless they pull a Wiggins and Fultz, respectively, the core of this unusual team has nowhere to go but up.

  215. I’ll get off my soapbox to say I just saw the dumbest trade proposal ever. A Raptors blogger contributer mentioned on Twitter the Knicks should offer Toronto Mitch, Frank and a 2021 1st rd pick for Norman Powell. WTF? Powell is a nice player but he’s a FA at the end of the season but again what a horrible trade proposal that not even Steve Mills would endorse.

  216. Hubert, yet another poster (BBA) who “ignore (your) words”? Most misrepresented person in history or perhaps Hubert your proclivity to make provocative points many times lack factual bases. Interesting reading your first takes but tiresome reading your rebuttals.

  217. MONTHS* wow

    Boys, relax before I send you to your rooms.

    “As we play the Fighting Illini, we ask for special help to overcome this team and get a great win. We hope to score early and make our opponents nervous. We have a great opportunity to convert rebounds as this team makes about 50% of layups and 30% of its three pointers. Our defense can take care of that.”

    Supply-side Jesus is pretty good with econometrics, or so He tells me through His corporate lobbyists and enthralled politicians.

  218. Speaking of GOAT, i always think that i only got to follow closely Jordan and Lebron’s careers, so who am i to say Kareem (i got to watch the last years of his career, but very few games a season because the NBA in Portugal wasn’t a thing at that time) or Wilt aren’t the GOAT?
    And this to tell you guys i found this site about it – https://nbamath.com/progressive-goat-rankings/
    They have Jordan ahead of Lebron only until 2011-12, then in 2012-13 Lebron gets ahead but … Kareem is still the GOAT at that time! :O
    In 2014-15 Lebron moves past Kareem to number 1, and since then the top5 has been Lebron, Kareem, Jordan, Wilt, Duncan.
    They don’t seem to maintain the website anymore as the last year with data is 2017-18, but i thought you’d like to check it out.

  219. Isn’t Jowles on team optimist one of the signs of the apocalypse? I believe it is! :D

  220. BigBlueAL:
    Hubert you’re one of the few people whose posts I scroll past and ignore anyway so I don’t give a shit if you’re tired of my schtick.

    You mean I’m not the only one?

  221. BernieEarnie:
    Hubert,yet another poster (BBA) who “ignore (your) words”?Most misrepresented person in history or perhaps Hubert your proclivity to make provocative points many times lack factual bases.Interesting reading your first takes but tiresome reading your rebuttals.

    Hubert??? Naaaah…..

  222. Team Optimist has started matching Team Realist this season.
    Team Tanking right now seems like an old metal fan wearing the leathers and the spikes of his youth while going to the super market.

  223. BernieEarnie:
    Hubert,yet another poster (BBA) who “ignore (your) words”?Most misrepresented person in history or perhaps Hubert your proclivity to make provocative points many times lack factual bases.Interesting reading your first takes but tiresome reading your rebuttals.

    BBA is literally ignoring what we’re saying so he can be the martyred One True Knicks Fan, though. No one is watching games going “gee golly I sure hope we get shellacked in this one” while masturbating to the tankathon odds as he seems to think the rest of us do. It’s possible to root to win the individual games while also intellectually accepting it may be better for the future that we get a good draft pick this year, and doing so is not indicative that you hate the team and want it to tank for eighty years.

    Fellas, we win either way this year! Either we get to go to the playoffs as scrappy underdogs, or we miss the playoffs but are still scrappy underdogs that outperformed expectations and get a nice high draft pick as compensation. I’m happy with either of those results.

  224. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Supply-side Jesus is pretty good with econometrics, or so He tells me through His corporate lobbyists and enthralled politicians.

    Also, issuing subtle putdowns during prayer is a time-honored church tradition that traverses the Protestant-Catholic divide

  225. rama is cautiously optimistic:
    X-Man mansplaining ankle injuries to an osteopath is peak Knickerblogger

    Actually, I am a podiatrist.

    Z-man:

    You don’t hear KFICL disputing that the majority of these injuries don’t require surgery even though he said the following:

    “High ankle sprains are a tear of the interosseus membrane (a ligament like tissue between the tibia and fibula (the two lower leg bones). They do not heal properly on their own and require internal fixation to stabilize the injury site (surgery to insert a Titanium metal screw to hold the two bones together).”

    If KFICL wants to stick by this statement, fine, but every research article I read indicates that a) there are varying degrees of “high ankle sprain” injuries and that most do not involve tears severe enough to require surgery and b) the time frame can be 2-4 weeks in the case of a grade 1 sprain to the associated soft tissue. Is this wrong?

    For 41 years, I worked in private practice. We see these injuries in my profession after people resume weightbearing/activity too soon. Symptoms of pain and swelling start insidiously blended in with the reducing acute symptoms. Most of these people unfortunately do need surgery. The mechanism of injury is called diastasis and is the gradual widening and loss of strength and stability at the ankle.

  226. From Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer:

    There’s skepticism around the league that the Pelicans will move Lonzo Ball ahead of the deadline, but that won’t stop teams from trying. League sources say the Bulls and Hawks are both in pursuit. Chicago has offered Tomas Satoransky and second-round picks, but New Orleans is asking for at least one good first-round pick or a young player. Talks with Atlanta have revolved around Cam Reddish.

    New Orleans’s leverage is dinged by the fact both Chicago and Atlanta will have cap space to make an expensive offer to Ball this offseason. If the Pelicans wait, they might be able to sign-and-trade Ball to a wider list of teams during the offseason. But they’d also be at risk of losing him for nothing or be forced to match a contract more pricey than they’d like.

    Too rich for my blood now, and maybe in the offseason, too.

  227. Alan:
    From Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer:
    There’s skepticism around the league that the Pelicans will move Lonzo Ball ahead of the deadline, but that won’t stop teams from trying. League sources say the Bulls and Hawks are both in pursuit.”
    Too rich for my blood now, and maybe in the offseason, too.

    Yeah, i’m with you, he’s now with a price tag i don’t want the Knicks to pay.
    But what lead me to reply to your comment is – WTF is Atlanta doing?
    They have a good PF that they don’t want to pay, leaving them with a hole in the lineup, and they instead go out to get another PG (when they have Trae)? Mind boggling.

  228. If the cost is a 1st, I think the Knicks should jump onto Ball, even if it means matching a max offer in the offseason.

    Throughout these years we have already seen that the PG market is dire, and it does not seem to be any different in the future. We have whiffed on Haliburton, and we cannot rely on getting a good PG on the draft (as we have not been able to do so in the last years). Even if it looks like an overpay, market scarcity makes it a good deal.

  229. Is Lonzo Ball really worth it though? His 3pt shooting has improved and he’s always been a really good defender but he averages 1 FTA/G for his career and has never had a season with a .100 WS/48. His TS% for his career is 50%

    He’s a huge upgrade to what the Knicks have right now and I wouldn’t be against acquiring him but I don’t think he’s gonna be worth what it’s gonna take to sign him.

  230. @IanBegley
    Tom Thibodeau said Mitchell Robinson is likely to play tonight vs. PHI. Immanuel Quickley and Elfrid Payton are game-time decisions.

    Also:

    @MikeVorkunov
    Mitchell Robinson will come off the bench initially but “eventually” he’ll be back in the Knicks starting lineup, Thibodeau says.

  231. Ben Simmons is playing tonight after sitting out last night. Knicks haven’t been as lucky lately with injuries to both themselves and their opponents. Still Philly is without Embiid and Curry while playing the 2nd night of a back to back so Knicks have a good chance to win tonight and extract some revenge from Tuesday.

  232. Maybe winning in Denver without Lonzo and with 20 points from Alexander-Walker will convince the Pels to sell Ball while is perceived value is high, taking whatever the best offer is.

  233. I don’t get the infatuation with Ball. He’s aight but better than him will come along at the price he will likely command.

    Now LaMelo, that’s another story….

  234. Gotta give you props on LaMelo, you’ve been on his bandwagon since before the draft and rightfully so.

  235. ATL can play Ball at the 2. If it costs them Cam Reddish, they aren’t losing any sleep. They have Gallo at the 4 too, so it’s not like they really have a hole there.

  236. Z-man:
    I don’t get the infatuation with Ball. He’s aight but better than him will come along at the price he will likely command.

    Now LaMelo, that’s another story….

    He’s just one of the only interesting players on the market right now. He does a lot of things well and should be an interesting piece moving forward. Ball also seemed available on the cheap, if the asking price starts creeping then hard pass.

  237. LaVar is complaining that NOLA turned Lonzo from a point guard into a 3-and-D guy. Question is, have they done this because they know that Zion and Ingram are their future, and the offense should run through them? Or because they realize that Lonzo isn’t really a point guard? If he’s being misused and would solve our forever problem at the position, then maybe it is worth giving up a first plus giving him a big contract next year. If he’s an idealized version of Frank? No.

  238. Lonzo is thriving in the last few weeks playing more off the ball than as a “true” PG and that could fit well with the Knicks (with Julius and RJ moving the ball) but Lavar is making a fuss out of that.

    I don’t know, probably he’s going to cost too much in his next contract relative to his real impact on a good team.

    I’m not 100% sold on the move and for sure don’t want us to be involved in a crazy auction for his services…
    If we could have him for a second rounder and flotsam (Payton or… Payton, but he played in NOLA already and they didn’t resign him) to test his usefulness before free agency I’m okay, otherwise good luck in Chicago…

  239. BernieEarnie: Hubert, yet another poster (BBA) who “ignore (your) words”? Most misrepresented person in history or perhaps Hubert your proclivity to make provocative points many times lack factual bases. Interesting reading your first takes but tiresome reading your rebuttals.

    read them, you ignorant twit. quote the part where I said I’m rooting for the knicks to lose or shut the fuck up and change your name again bc you’ve already been discredited 20 times.

  240. 100% good news ;)

    NY_KnicksPR @NY_KnicksPR:
    Immanuel Quickley (sore left ankle) and Mitchell Robinson (right hand surgery) are available and Elfrid Payton (strained right hamstring) is out for tonight’s game against Philadelphia.

  241. With Mitch back, I wonder if Taj will get some of Obi’s minutes as the backup PF to Randle.

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