NY Post: Julius Randle pours in 37 to lead Knicks past Wizards

From Marc Berman:

Julius Randle got fined $15,000 by the NBA, then tried to score 15,000 points on the lowly Wizards.

Randle took out any lasting referee frustrations on Washington Tuesday at the Garden as he poured in 37 points, making 7 of 10 from 3-point range as the Knicks blew out the Wizards, 131-113. Randle’s seven 3s tied a career-high.

The All-Star power forward, who was punished for his inflammatory remarks about the refereeing in a loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, is the chief reason the Knicks are 22-22, already surpassing last season’s win total when they finished 21-45.

“The statement [he made] was the win was the most important thing,’’ Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He’s done that a number of times for us. To bounce back after a tough loss, and the way we lost the game, that’s what leaders do.’’

Randle, who hasn’t missed a game this season, shot 13 of 24 from the field as the Knicks won a wire-to-wire blowout, leading by as many as 31 points.

The Wizards aren’t good and they were terrible tonight (I thank my lucky stars every day that the Knicks were smart enough to not get saddled with Russell Westbrook’s decline years. Boy howdy), but they have played some good teams really hard recently, so don’t be mistaken, this was a great win.

Randle was dominant, RJ was awesome and Mitch was tremendous. Those were the three most important players on the team coming into the season and they were all great tonight. That’s dynamite.

Now, were there issues? Of course. The bench was mostly terrible outside of Burks, Quickley’s shot is falling apart and his scoring tendencies are making Derrick Rose look subtle (if he peaks at Lou Williams, though, that’s still tremendous value at the #25 pick) and Obi Toppin looks like he’s about to change his last name to DNP-CD and, of course, Thibs kept all the starters in in a blowout, but that’s not as important as the fact that the Knicks kicked the ass of a shitty team and Randle, Mitch and RJ all were great.

Very good win.

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235 thoughts to “NY Post: Julius Randle pours in 37 to lead Knicks past Wizards”

  1. Man, if only Obi didn’t look totally lost now, this would have felt so, so satisfying.

  2. I didn’t bury RJ at all. I was very optimistic about him for this season. I didn’t bury Frank (he was young and had at least one clear skill – defense). I didn’t even bury Knox (he was so young that I thought there was at least a chance of him turning things around, although I was very doubtful of it happening). I’m burying Obi. If you come in as “the most NBA ready prospect” and you suck? Then what even are you?

  3. Fourteen points on 8 shots in 12 minutes is a guy’s shot falling apart? Sounds like a Tom Thibodeau burner account.

  4. His last fifteen games:

    4 for 11
    1 for 12
    1 for 5
    1 for 5
    5 for 10
    3 for 6
    4 for 9
    8 for 21
    0 for 4
    3 for 10
    9 for 16
    6 for 19
    6 for 11
    4 for 12

    And then tonight, he was 1 for 4 until they inserted him into the game when they emptied the bench after the two minute mark and he somehow managed to take four shots in less than two minutes in a blowout, going 3 for 4.

    He definitely likes to shoot it.

  5. His TS% is .555, .022 behind Julius Randle’s, way higher than Derrick Rose’s and light years higher than Elfrid Payton’s and he scores more per 36 than Julius Randle or anyone else on the Knicks. It’s laughable that he’s fighting for minutes with Elfrid Payton, much less that he’s losing the fight. Pour the Thibs Kool-Aid down the drain — it’s bad for the brain.

  6. His TS% for January was .555
    For February it was .572
    For March, so far, it is .534

    His shot is clearly having issues. It has nothing to do with Elfrid Payton or Julius Randle. Actually, Randle has also been in a bit of a shooting slump this month, outside of tonight.

  7. And IQ is in a bit of a shooting slump. That’s a far cry from his shot “falling apart.” That’s the misplaced panic and fear that a rookie’s marginal shooting slump is a possible harbinger of the bottom completely falling out. That panic and fear is textbook Thibodeau-ism.

  8. Good win, good reaction,
    happy to see Randle, RJ and Mitch (welcome back!) play well,
    very disappointed with Obi’s trajectory to the drains.
    Also Bullock and Burks have raised their play in the last few games, they could do for a great bench next year if resigned.

    I’m worried about IQ too, not too much about his shot (even if he has missed more FT after the ASG then in the previous half season and his shooting% is boasted by his high volume shooting in a few blowouts) but about his behaviour.
    I don’t like his “dribble-dribble-dribble-shoot without a pass” shit, not involving the teammates and yesterday his refusal to pass to players that seldom have a chance to try a shot was very annoying.
    He literally took every single shot in the last two garbage time minutes and there’s no need for a “semi-starter” to do that, garbage time is made to let scrubs have some fun, Harper probably hate him…

    I see him trying to impress Thibs because he feels snubbed not starting over Payton and I see him very focused on getting his numbers to boast his Rookie Team chances and both things bother me.

    While is young and (probably) coachable, right now his ceiling seems to be Lou Williams and that’s a very good one for a low first rounder, but he doesn’t look like a future starter. I hope the (too good to stay in NY) coaching staff will help him mature and become more a team player.

  9. Or maybe he took advantage of the garbage time to take shots and get reps to try to work himself out of his slump. The horror. This relentless deconstructing of the guy is getting borderline ridiculous. He’s now getting ripped for making shots. He played 12 minutes when he should have played 30.

    And of course he’s trying to impress Thibs because he feels snubbed. He’s been snubbed. Makes perfect sense then, right?

  10. I don’t even want to bury Obi so much as I want to protect what’s left of his value.

    Right or wrong, we are a win-now team. Today, maybe, you can get someone like Brogdon for Obi. Soon… look at the Kings desperately trying and failing to get something for Marvin Bagley.

    If we’re going to give up an asset for a player now, I’d rather it be Obi than one of our firsts. Those firsts will likely be better prospects than Obi.

  11. He gets all the reps he want during the “real” gametime, he shot more than 10 shots in 5 of his last 6 games not including yesterday, including nights with 19 and 21 shots…
    Let that poor kid Harper have some fun no?

    Yes, he’s been snubbed, I understand how he feels and I campaigned for him to start since the preseason, but still forcing the issue to impress Thibs is not a good thing and wont change the situation with a stubborn coach.

  12. The thing I noticed about Quickley is that he seems to get to the line less often now.

  13. He didn’t force any issue. He took shots and he made them. He’s trying to get out of a mini-slump and the coach doesn’t play him enough. That’s it. This is silly. The guy is literally getting ripped for making shots.

  14. As someone wrote in a previous thread,
    Obi’s totally missing the “it” (or “x”) factor, that IQ, RJ and Mitch showed.
    They behave like they belong in the league from day one, they have a swagger that Obi didn’t show.
    RJ had issue with his shot, but his defense, rebounding and passing never wavered, same goes with IQ and is hot&cold shooting, Obi looks like his confidence is in the The Marianas Trench and wasn’t too high to start with.

  15. The thing I noticed about Quickley is that he seems to get to the line less often now.

    You’re not mistaken. In 253 minutes in February, he got to the line 52 times. In 196 minutes so far in March, he’s gotten to the line just 26 times. He also made 49 of those 52 free throws in February, while just 18 of the 26 free throws in March.

  16. Yeah, they need to sell this week on Obi. If they can get Brogdon for him, they should do it immediately. This isn’t the coach or the organization for Obi. Maybe he doesn’t have it, but whatever he has isn’t going to be developed or realized here.

  17. Obi has a sense that he doesn’t belong, which is always a danger with late bloomers. They’ve had experience with actually not belonging and that will inevitably with some people hit their psyche and never leave. It’s very hard to succeed when you have that sense.

  18. E, all merc’d out:
    He didn’t force any issue.He took shots and he made them.He’s trying to get out of a mini-slump and the coach doesn’t play him enough.That’s it. This is silly.The guy is literally getting ripped for making shots.

    Okay, I understand, we can criticize (?) Payton and Rose, Bullock and Noel, Gibson and Knox, but IQ ascended to the throne of untouchable (a similar thing happened to Mitch once upon a time). I beg pardon, kneel to the new king and keep my mouth shut.

    P.S.
    I hope IQ score 30 points in every game from now on, I want the Knicks to win (and I have a good opinion on IQ, even before his untouchability) :-)

  19. I don’t like his “dribble-dribble-dribble-shoot without a pass” shit, not involving the teammates and yesterday his refusal to pass to players that seldom have a chance to try a shot was very annoying.
    He literally took every single shot in the last two garbage time minutes and there’s no need for a “semi-starter” to do that, garbage time is made to let scrubs have some fun, Harper probably hate him…

    Exactly this. I love the guy, but IQ is turning into the one guy in the team who doesn’t pass. He may never be a great point guard, but HE claimed he could do it, so you’d at least like to see him working on that part of his game — a little. We know he can shoot.

    And, yes, I do agree he was trying to get his shot right at the end of the game, but everyone was hating that solo practice time.

  20. I am not sure what to do with Obi big picture, but I am pretty sure he should not be playing right now. He was again a negative last night, and over his last 101 minutes is a -63. The 4 games prior to the Wizards game were all decided in the last possession and we lost 3 of those games. Those throwaway minutes with Obi very easily could be considered the reason we didn’t go 4-0 instead of 1-3 in those games.

    I’m all for playing the young guys, but only if they look barely competent. The current version of Obi is possibly even worse than Knox was for most of his rookie year — and by “possibly” it’s only because he sort of knows he sucks right now and just does nothing as opposed to shooting 100x/game like Knox did. But he is providing no value on the court right now. Not scoring, not defending, and outside of one pass to Mitch last night (where he was already well -defended by a good post defender in Robin Lopez), only makes passes around the perimeter.

    If we were tanking, then by all means, play Obi 35 minutes/game. But we’re not – we are in the thick of a playoff race with a team that has a puncher’s chance even against good teams every night – but the margin of error is small. We can’t keep giving Obi valuable minutes when it’s obvious he doesn’t deserve them at all.

    I never thought I would ever ever say this, but it’s time to #FreeKnox. At least he can hit a corner 3. I know Randle is in amazing physical shape, but it would be nice not to have to play him 39 minutes/night.

  21. One thought re: the trade deadline – I am actually wondering whether or not it is smart to trade for Lonzo and his matching rights. Everyone is saying that we are trading for the right to overpay him, but the restricted FA market historically has not really been where players are really overpaid – it actually suppresses player salaries precisely because of those matching rights.

    If you look at the teams that are projected to have cap space this summer – this is the landscape (per RealGm – their “projected” cap space):

    New York – ~$64MM
    San Antonio – ~$48MM
    Oklahoma City – ~$44MM
    Dallas – ~$34.5MM
    Miami – ~$27MM
    Cleveland – $24MM
    Toronto – ~22MM
    Charlotte – ~$21MM
    Chicago – ~14MM – although they could have a huge amount of space if they renounce players.

    I think we can cross off San Antonio, OKC, Cleveland, and probably Toronto just because of the market (Toronto is an amazing city but I don’t see Lonzo signing an offer sheet to play in Canada).

    That leaves Dallas, Miami, Charlotte, and Chicago. Dallas and Miami are looking to make big moves, and I sort of doubt they are going to use their big swing on an offer sheet that could get matched, leaving their cap space frozen for the matching period. So that leaves Charlotte and Chicago – Charlotte with the obvious theoretical draw of playing with Lamelo (is that a draw?), and Chicago because it’s another big market that could have the ammo for a big offer sheet.

    I dunno – I just have a hard time seeing Lonzo wanting to play in Lamelo’s shadow (which is what it would be) in another small market, even if it is for MJ. And so that really leaves Chicago. Are they going to want to play chicken with the Knicks when the Knicks have even more cap space than them AND matching rights? I don’t know.

    It could very well be that Lonzo just foregoes looking for an offer sheet (if one doesn’t come, then his leverage only decreases) and just signs a market-size deal.

  22. Damian Lillard, age 22, rookie: .546 TS%, 24.2% USG, .368 3PT%, 17.8 PTS/36, .088 WS/48
    Immanuel Quickley, age 21, rookie: .555 TS%, 27.7% USG, .375 3 PT%, 23.1 PTS/36, .136 WS/48

  23. Way’ment…
    Indy is making Brogdon available??

    Can we throw them Elfrid, Knox, Rivers and the Dallas pick for him? Please? I’m not sure if they can be sold on that package, but considering that they are likely out of the playoffs and this deal saves them money while giving them 2 young assets in the pick and Knox- I certainly hope they would consider it. Brogdon is a perfect fit in that starting 5.

  24. Tom Thibodeau’s Id’s Twitter account:

    “Well, it’s funny — other than the shots he made, IQ missed all his shots. But other than the shots he missed, Elfrid made all his. Practice hard, the magic’s in the work.”

  25. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats:
    Way’ment…
    Indy is making Brogdon available??

    Can we throw them Elfrid,Knox, Rivers and the Dallas pick for him? Please? I’m not sure if they can be sold on that package, but considering that they are likely out of the playoffs and this deal saves them money while giving them 2 young assets in the pick and Knox- I certainly hope they would consider it. Brogdon is a perfect fit in that starting 5.

    If Brogdon is available he’s pretty much the best player available, that we know of, by far. And he’s on a reasonable contract for another 2 seasons. It’ll take more than a single 1st round pick and literally nothing else to get him.

  26. considering that they are likely out of the playoffs

    They’re currently two games back of the Knicks. If Brogdon is actually available, I think it’s a sign that Indiana is worried about his knee. As otherwise, it makes no sense.

  27. Quickley would have played more minutes last night if he didn’t pick up 3 fouls in 5 minutes, earning him the hook. Since his 5 assist outing against Atlanta on January 15, he’s averaging 1.4 assists in the last 14 games including 6 donuts over that span. He doesn’t actively seek to set up his teammates.

    6th man instant offense is his best role on the team right now. If he comes in hot, ride him if not, its much easier to sit if if he’s not the starter. All season long (and for years) we’ve moaned about needing a point guard, The answer is not on the team right now.

    I like Quickley and I like his future, but he can be a liability on a win now team with 30 minutes a night.

  28. I know Dinwiddie is almost certainly gone in Brooklyn no matter what, and so technically, any players Brooklyn can get for him now would be a bonus for this season, but Mo Harkless, Avery Bradley and Kendrick Nunn? How do those guys make sense for the Nets at all? Sure sounds like a sign and trade during the offseason makes a ton more sense if that’s the best offer they’re getting for him.

  29. It’d be hilarious if the Heat balked at trading Herro for Harden but then traded him for Lowry.

  30. Re: RJ and his leap — we had all been really concerned about his inefficiency. Well, it’s been literally 1 month since he had a game in which he averaged <1 point per shot. On 2/23 he had that stinker of a game against GS (1/9 for 4 points).

    Since then he's played 12 games and scored 244 points on 177 shots, TS of 60.5, usage of 23.4, TO% of 8.4, and averaging (per-36) 21.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, shooting 52.5/43.6/73.2. He's 20.

  31. Bunch of rumors that Sabonis is also available, so the Pacers might just be throwing in the towel on this nucleus. It was really stupid of them to fire Nate McMillan. I’d make them an offer for both Brogdon and Sabonis.

    (They’ve also gone a year-plus with no/few paying customers and it’s a small market to begin with, so it could also be a money issue in part.)

  32. Obi, Knox, and two 1s for Brogdon and Sabonis — who says no? I know I don’t.

  33. E, all merc’d out:
    Obi, Knox, and two 1s for Brogdon and Sabonis — who says no?I know I don’t.

    Probably Indy. I think you either have to throw in Quickley or Mitch and another 1st or some 2nds.

  34. Stefan Bondy outs himself as a KB reader:

    Which brings us back to Randle, who was once the Knicks’ consolation signing after missing out on Kevin Durant in free agency. His revelation season has elevated the questions, and the answers will be key to the Knicks’ future:

    Can the 26-year-old be a legit No. 1 option on a contender?

    And if not, will he be as effective off the ball with a superstar teammate?

    I’m still at “no,” and “no.” Sorry, Julius — nothing personal.

  35. Quickley plays like a 6th man. As a 6th man you generally want a guy that can get hot off the bench and score in bunches on a night when the offense is otherwise struggling and needs a shot of adrenalin or you don’t have enough scoring in the second unit.

    He sort of reminds me of a D’Antoni quote about Nate Robinson.

    “The best thing about Nate is that he can get his own shot any time he wants. The worst thing about Nate is that he can get his own shot any time he wants”.

    That seems to be a common problem with guys that are good at creating decent (but not great) shots and that have no conscience when it comes to shooting. When the shot is falling they are going to do spectacular things, but when it’s not they can shoot you out of a game. Fortunately, Quickley is a good shooter. So overall he’s doing fine. But I think he has to settle down and I think Thibs is the perfect coach for him because if you are doing foolish things he yanks you, end of story. So he’ll stick with Quick off the bench and roll with him when he’s on and yank him if he’s putting up trash. That’s fine for now.

  36. Can the 26-year-old be a legit No. 1 option on a contender?

    And if not, will he be as effective off the ball with a superstar teammate?

    1. IMO “No”

    2. Define “effective”.

    If by that you mean score as many points and get as many assists per game, the answer is almost certainly “No” because he won’t have the ball as often. If by that you mean will he be as efficient, still make plays if he’s double teamed, still make 3s at a decent clip etc.. the answer is YES. The 3 point shooting is a major question mark. It’s probably not sustainable no matter what, but it won’t be because he’s the 1st, 2nd or 3rd option. It will because he’s really not that good a shooter. But he could be more efficient in other ways, have fewer TOs etc.. on lower volume and that’s just dandy by me.

  37. I’ll agree that Quickley looks like a sixth man right now. I just have hope he can do more. I think he does, too, so he should look to assist (a bit more?) and take more shots as part of the offense. This whole group is pretty young, so roles are less defined as it should be. Who knew Julius would be knocking down threes?

  38. you were making up fake controversies about randle last year like how he was cursing out perry and mills …. of course it’s personal with you….

  39. It would have been nice for IQ to pass a little to his garbage time teammates but IMO, this is a fake controversy.

    Remember, IQ has also been out some games recently. And he has been in a bit of a shooting slump. Knox, etc…are not really in the rotation. So for IQ to hoist up some shots in garbage time to maybe get his rhythm back is totally fine with me. He made most of them, so maybe this extra time did him some good.

    He is a rookie after all. Maybe he’s let the early success go to his head a bit. Maybe he’s adjusting to the fact that teams are now aware of his abilities and threat. Maybe he’s hit that rookie wall/slump for a bit. I mean, people now expect the world from him when before the season he was a horrible pick. He’s gonna have ups and downs. If he tops out as Lou Williams that’s an amazing outcome for where he was picked.

    MAN, the Obi pick is a disaster. Maybe he needs an off season but at this point, I would definitely package him in a trade cause he still has value. Um, maybe in a deal for Lonzo? Taj should be playing the PF back up spot right now.

    I do really like the idea of grabbing Lonzo now. I feel like we could use him THIS season, it gives him reps with the players this season and gives us the inside track to keep him. Obi, Knox and the Dallas pick? Is that too much?

  40. Can the 26-year-old be a legit No. 1 option on a contender?
    And if not, will he be as effective off the ball with a superstar teammate?

    1. No
    2. Maybe, it depends on who’s the superstar teammate

    Legit No.1 option on a contender is a small bunch of players,
    I counted around 15 that already showed they belong and 4-5 that could be but haven’t showed it yet. Problem is, I don’t see any of them (the already established) coming to the Knicks soon.

  41. Can the 26-year-old be a legit No. 1 option on a contender?

    I think we have to reframe your thinking with this team. Start thinking of Boston’s big 3 of stars who couldn’t carry a team by themselves but were incredible together. We have the assets and the cap space to create that kind of team. That’s why I’m all about Beal in the offseason. He and Randle would support each other incredibly well.

  42. It would take a lot of guts from Rose to admit he totally botched the pick and trade Obi now,
    I don’t know how many FOs will do it, but we could hope for another 30 hours or so…

  43. i think the criticisms on obi are a bit overdone… yes he has sucked but this is what you get with young players…. yes 22/23 is still young and they aren’t immune from struggling early in their careers also… the nba is a huge adjustment….

    it’s an expectation game and with knox and frank they were expected to suck early and so people gave them a TON of rope when they probably shouldn’t have even though they were irredeemably bad(for whatever reason RJ didn’t get that same benefit of the doubt)… obi is much older and thought he should have been ready right from the jump and he’s obviously not been that… but obi’s at least shown some ability to finish inside and hold his own on the boards… he’s struggling with his shot selection and creating his own shot…

    i’m pretty down on obi too…. and if we can trade him for a good piece we should do it but there’s probably a useful player here and maybe even a pretty good one if he fixes his shot selection….

  44. swiftandabundant: MAN, the Obi pick is a disaster. Maybe he needs an off season but at this point, I would definitely package him in a trade cause he still has value. Um, maybe in a deal for Lonzo?

    I thought about that but he doesn’t fit a team with Zion and Ingram at all. They want a wing who can shoot. You’d have to flip him.

  45. djphan: i’m pretty down on obi too…. and if we can trade him for a good piece we should do it but there’s probably a useful player here and maybe even a pretty good one if he fixes his shot selection….

    It strikes me, though, that useful player he can be is a small ball 5, and that will never happen here. So best to just admit the mistake and move on.

  46. Thibs’s offense so far is Drives, Spot Up 3s, ISO plays and rare pnr and fast breaks.
    Obi’s 3 is a nightmare. His ISO moves are Prayers during a storm and his dribble ain’t that good for drives ala Randle.
    The only way he can be a part of the offense is by pnr when Rose comes back or by running the…rare fast break.
    Otherwise he needs to Upgrade his post moves and work from 9-5 on his 3 to be decent at shooting 3s.

  47. It strikes me, though, that useful player he can be is a small ball 5, and that will never happen here. So best to just admit the mistake and move on.

    yea i’m pretty sure it’s not happening here since he’s basically being asked to stay behind the 3pt line or iso…. but if we ever get a pg… let’s say lonzo or lowry or cp3… i’m pretty sure those guys would be capable of unlocking a bit of obi’s usefulness which is getting in a position to score and doing so many many times…. dayton led the nation in dunks because they had a really good halfcourt motion offense which involved a lot of passing and getting obi the ball while he was moving …

    thibs offense is basically a iso heavy and drive and kick offense… and for a guy who’s probably best used as a rollman and never being used as such he’s going to look like a fish out of water because for a guy that needs other to create for him and literally using the worst aspects of his game… he’s going to look terrible….

  48. We’re just one sucker away who will take Eric Bledsoe’s albatross contract away from getting Lonzo to play in the garden, boys!

  49. I think you bring up a good point about Boston’s big 3.

    People always want to ask “is this guy a superstar, number 1 option on a contender” but the question is kind of loaded. I mean, was Jimmy Butler that guy before the Heat went to the Finals? Did he suddenly become that guy or was he always the player he was but now on the right team at the right time?

    Its a self fulfilling prophesy to some degree because once a team gets to the Finals or conference finals, now they’re contenders and their best player is a “number one option on a contending team.” But at the end of the day the list of true, legit superstars who can be the undisputed number one option on a championship team is pretty small. Durant was only ever really that guy on a team that also had Curry and Klay and had won without him. Garnett and Pierce and Allen I wouldn’t call any of those dudes pure number one options but htey worked so well together and had a good supporting cast it worked. As good as Jokic is, is he that guy? They’ve gotten to the WCF but that’s it. Was it AD or Lebron last year who was the number one?

    I think the better question is can Randle be one of the top players on a contending team. And I think the answer is “possibly” but there is really only one way to find out. Resign him and then try to get another star to join him and RJ, build out the rest of the team and see how far they go. But I would say early results are promising because outside of Randle and RJ (who is still somewhat inconsistent) the rest of this team is a rookie 6th man, Mitch (who doesn’t score a lot) and some decent journeymen.

  50. E, all merc’d out:
    Obi, Knox, and two 1s for Brogdon and Sabonis — who says no?I know I don’t.

    I think Indy says no. Two 1sts for an all-star plus another really good player is a pretty cheap deal.

    Alan:
    Aren’t Randle and Sabonis fairly redundant?

    I’ve always thought Sabonis would shine at C but played PF because Turner was so good at defense. Randle & Sabonis could be the next Z-bo & Gasol.

    I think either Brogdon or Sabonis alone could justify 2 late firsts.

  51. Last night was the first boxscore, maybe of the whole season, where Mitch felt like Mitch. Hopefully we start seeing more of those numbers

  52. Obi would have a shot with a pace and space team and/or a heavy pick and roll team. On a drive and kick team that plays at a glacial pace, he has no shot or at the very least is a long way away.

  53. The truth is that prior to this season Julius wasn’t considered even as a player you want on your team cause of his ballhogging.
    3 months later the guy has turned his game upside down and demands Respect.
    Can he compete with The Lebrons and the Freaks and the Kawhis of this league?
    Right Now he’s not at their level but excluding him going from AllStar to Superstar mode in the near future would be premature.

  54. Hoping there aren’t many buyers this year so we can swing some nice deals. I wouldn’t hate giving away picks if we can also leverage some cap space to take on a bad deal or 2. Probably difficult to improve & take on bad deals, but this front office has surprised me so far.

  55. The Indy rumors to me just seem like they know they need to shake things up somehow and they’re looking into all their options. I don’t think they’re going to be looking to tear it down though; they’re one of the small-market teams that always strives to be in the middle rather than being cyclical. I’d guess they’re looking for something more along the lines of what they were trying to do over the summer with the Turner for Hayward swap, present talent for present talent in a way that lets them rejigger their roster a little bit and solves the Sabonis-Turner logjam (both guys are really Cs I think). I would be surprised if a package of picks is what they’re looking for.

  56. Barrettcuda:
    We’re just one sucker away who will take Eric Bledsoe’s albatross contract away from getting Lonzo to play in the garden, boys!

    You have some new information today that I can’t find? Bc that’s not an accurate reading of yesterday’s news.

  57. Also worth pointing out that Eric Bledsoe’s contract is a massive albatross. Two years, $37.5 million after this season. That’s either going to cost a haul of draft picks to unload or it’s going to fuck up our ability to operate in free agency for two years.

  58. Thibs said it his post-game that Obi is playing very well in practice. I’d like to know more about what he’s excelling at when no one is looking

  59. The thing with Obi to me is he isn’t even showing flashes of the player he is supposed to be. The guy can definitely dunk the ball when he’s alone next to the hoop but there’s a lot of basketball players that can do that. I haven’t seen any evidence that he’s actually got an above average skillset in terms of finishing in traffic around the rim, or generating more of those shots than usual. He doesn’t set good screens, he shies away from contact, he gets knocked off his path to the basket by players of all sizes, and at 6’9″ 220 he’s got the size of a large wing much more than a smallball C.

    With our other struggling rookies I understood what the theory of them as players was supposed to be. With Obi I really don’t get it – “if we could generate more open dunks for him that would really help him” just seems like a more polite way of saying he doesn’t do anything well.

  60. Hubert: Also worth pointing out that Eric Bledsoe’s contract is a massive albatross. Two years, $37.5 million after this season. That’s either going to cost a haul of draft picks to unload or it’s going to fuck up our ability to operate in free agency for two years.

    I don’t want Bledsoe, but I believe the 2nd year of that contract is only partially guaranteed (like $3.9MM).
    It’s not THAT bad. Definitely a negative asset, but not 1st-round pick material. If the cost to get Lonzo is to take on the Bledsoe contract, I think you’d have to do that. It’s not that Bledsoe is useless, it’s that he’s not quite worth the contract and NOP has a bunch of young guards that need to play.

    My guess is if somehow Lonzo and Bledsoe were to come, it would mean we don’t re-sign Derrick Rose, Payton is a goner, and for salary matching purposes you’d have to send Knox, Rivers, and actually maybe Rose the other way in addition to some draft compensation.

  61. with all these names being tossed around for pg i’m kind of shocked rubio’s name hasn’t been mentioned….

    he’s a variation on the caretaker part of the pg equation with an eye to compete this year and next while we see what FA and the draft can net us in terms of pg talent…. he’s sort of been languishing on the wolves but really is a useful player for a team who wants to win…..

  62. djphan:
    with all these names being tossed around for pg i’m kind of shocked rubio’s name hasn’t been mentioned….

    he’s a variation on the caretaker part of the pg equation with an eye to compete this year and next while we see what FA and the draft can net us in terms of pg talent…. he’s sort of been languishing on the wolves but really is a useful player for a team who wants to win…..

    he’s due another $17.8MM next year…. that’s a killer and definitely a negative asset.

  63. IQ has had both groin and ankle injuries recently. Combine that with his drop off in play and I can’t in good faith bash Thibs for playing Randle 40+ minutes for no reason all the god damn time but also insist IQ rub some dirt on it and get back out there. He’s pretty much getting playing time commensurate with his production right now, which is the rule being applied to all non-Obi players. It’s not my preferred approach but it is what it is.

    Speaking of Obi, I’m at a true loss. I really didn’t like the pick and even I can’t claim to have thought it would turn out this disastrously. The guy looks completely rattled out there. For all of the flaws I thought he’d have as NBA player, that was certainly not one of them. It’s not a problem you typically see among 23 year old NCAA players of the year. He’s unwilling to try anything, and the things he does try always seem like the wrong decision. I’m inclined to think there’s something to unlock there, but I would still favor selling on any remaining value he might have.

  64. I heard Indiana was shopping brogdon because they feel comfortable having Levert run the point, although it probably helps that they have like five point guards on the roster. I also thought it was Turner they were looking to trade, not Sabonis? Maybe they are really just looking to blow up the team. If we’re trading for any combination of Pacers I’d rather go with Turner/Brogdon, as Turner seems a better fit alongside Randle. I love Mitch, but that’s also a scenario where I wouldn’t mind trading him as Turner and Brogdon are both excellent and should fit in any offense or defense.

  65. he’s due another $17.8MM next year…. that’s a killer and definitely a negative asset.

    why is that negative when it’s only one more year and he’s absolutely not a bad player.. this isn’t eric bledsoe…. he’s overpaid but that’s not some onerous anchor on your team especially when you plan on him being a contributor for a playoff run for ~100 games…

    can we do better? lowry might be better… cp3 might be better… ball might be better…. but if we don’t get those guys… who are we throwing out there? derrick rose? payton? rubio isn’t better than them?

  66. I’m not optimistic about Obi, but pretty much all rookies suck. And the ones that don’t suck, they don’t always improve. Obi likely has a pretty low ceiling, but I’m not convinced he’ll drop out of the league yet. Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did.

    I still think he can turn into a shooter off the bench, at the very least. It was always going to be difficult finding room for him in the PnR in a modern offense unless we have a shooter at the 5.

  67. Obi is still being featured so, so poorly. Ideally, he needs to play with 1. a real point guard who looks for him often and 2. another stretch big so he doesn’t have to be the featured corner shooter.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s been even worse since Rose has been out, as he was the only guard calling Toppin’s number. The only other good passer (Randle) is never on the court with him. Put him between Myles Turner and Trae Young, and he’ll look a lot better.

    Sure, he wasn’t a smart pick. But a lot of factors are making him look even worse. Thibs wants to win now, so he’s not prioritizing how to best feature Obi. That’s fine, but it also doesn’t seem like a great idea to sell low on the guy, unless he’s part of a trade for a star.

  68. djphan: why is that negative when it’s only one more year and he’s absolutely not a bad player.. this isn’t eric bledsoe…. he’s overpaid but that’s not some onerous anchor on your team especially when you plan on him being a contributor for a playoff run for ~100 games…

    can we do better? lowry might be better… cp3 might be better… ball might be better…. but if we don’t get those guys… who are we throwing out there? derrick rose? payton? rubio isn’t better than them?

    Yeah, I think the play is grabbing some guys now who expire before 2022 FA and trying to retool that year. The extra 1yr isn’t meaningful unless Kawhi leaves LAC or we really love Ball. Rubio shouldn’t cost much asset-wise, maybe even available in a salary dump. That’d be a coup.

  69. djphan: why is that negative when it’s only one more year and he’s absolutely not a bad player.. this isn’t eric bledsoe…. he’s overpaid but that’s not some onerous anchor on your team especially when you plan on him being a contributor for a playoff run for ~100 games…

    can we do better? lowry might be better… cp3 might be better… ball might be better…. but if we don’t get those guys… who are we throwing out there? derrick rose? payton? rubio isn’t better than them?

    I guess I might consider it as a second resort, but the idea of taking on Bledsoe is that you get Lonzo too. I’d never willingly take on a $18MM PG who is way better than Payton of course but still compromises spacing.

    I dunno – I’ve always been a Rubio fan. I’d be fine with that I guess, especially if Minny sent something with it.

  70. djphan: with all these names being tossed around for pg i’m kind of shocked rubio’s name hasn’t been mentioned….

    I personally wouldn’t mind Rubio (although he’s having a bit of a down year) but he just doesn’t seem like a stylistic fit with Thibs to me. Rubio is a good transition player, Thibs wants to play slow. Rubio is a good passer and creator with the ball but useless as an off-ball shooter, Thibs wants the ball to be in Randle’s hands a lot. When Thibs had him in Minneosta he traded him.

  71. Even the diminished version of Bledsoe would be the best point guard on our roster, and we could almost certainly get a decent asset for taking on his contract. Only $3.9M of it is guaranteed in 2022-2023. Seems like the best way to serve literally everyone’s interests here (Aller gets his asset, Thibs gets his roster upgrade), not sure why it isn’t being discussed.

  72. Given that we’ve got to be one of the 2 or 3 teams in the league that are best suited to take Bledsoe’s contract it’s not too surprising that looking for someone else to take it is proving a bit of a sticking point.

  73. Man, Ricky Rubio has been on a lot of bad teams. His two years in Utah were the only winning seasons of his ten. But hell, now that he’s on the wrong side of 30, let’s trade for him!

  74. thenoblefacehumper:
    Even the diminished version of Bledsoe would be the best point guard on our roster, and we could almost certainly get a decent asset for taking on his contract. Only $3.9M of it is guaranteed in 2022-2023. Seems like the best way to serve literally everyone’s interests here (Aller gets his asset, Thibs gets his roster upgrade), not sure why it isn’t being discussed.

    I’d be very okay with that trade, especially if it downgrades what we have to give up for Lonzo.

  75. Barrettcuda:
    @Hubert

    “So far, an impasse seems to have been reached, with sports writer Mike Mazzeo reporting that New York is still looking for a third team to absorb Eric Bledsoe’s contract in any deal for Lonzo.”

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2937901-knicks-rumors-trade-buzz-surrounding-lonzo-ball-victor-oladipo-and-more

    This is the old kid’s game of telephone.

    The original source said the Knicks are looking for a team to absorb Bledsoe’s contract. That subsequent repost is implying that a deal is in place and this is the final impasse. That’s not a fair reading of Mazzeo’s tweet at all. The Knicks could still be just putting their proposal together.

  76. While is young and (probably) coachable, right now his ceiling seems to be Lou Williams and that’s a very good one for a low first rounder, but he doesn’t look like a future starter.

    He’s one of the three best rookies in his class and has performed way beyond anybody’s expectations. There’s no way his “ceiling” is bench player. That’s his floor.

    The Knicks should be looking at IQ as their starting SG next year and he should be playing the bulk of the minutes at that position, simply because he is good at basketball.

  77. Haha, I would be very happy if we acquired Lonzo Ball at a fair price!! I’m merely afraid of being fleeced by the Pelicans.

    The Bledsoe piece really puzzles me, though. Why would we give an asset to a 3rd team to absorb him when we can absorb him ourselves? The only answer I can think of is to save room for signing Oladipo this summer, which would just about the dumbest thing we could do.

  78. i don’t think rubio is the answer but we are choosing from a handful of imperfect and expensive options… rubio is one that requires little investment….

    i do agree that rubio doesn’t fit thibs’ style but i have a tough time imagining some of these other options… esp lonzo… do… so i think it’s worthy to discuss him if you want an upgrade over what we have without committing long term dollars to doing so…

    i’m very much in the … draft your pg this year and do what you can in FA to do better than derrick rose… camp…. there’s no reason to give up assets for mediocre options at this point…

  79. Rubio doesn’t shoot threes well. Point guards who don’t shoot the three are point guards I’m not interested in.

  80. Brogdan would be so perfect for our team. I’d trade the Dallas pick and Frank or Knox to get it done.

  81. i’m very much in the … draft your pg this year and do what you can in FA to do better than derrick rose… camp…. there’s no reason to give up assets for mediocre options at this point…

    Me, too, but all the vibes I’m getting through these reports indicate the Knicks don’t think drafted players can contribute fast enough for them.

    The vibe around this team (even in some corners here) is weirdly in the “NOW IS THE TIME!” camp. But this team is .500, and frankly we’re pretty fortunate to be that good. None of these moves being discussed are likely to even make us a top 5 team in the East.

    It is mighty ironic that the first time we’ve ever had such good draft capital, we might also have a deranged attitude and a bias against using them. The organization should be excited to use three quality picks in this upcoming draft on players who can help for a long time.

  82. I would totally take on Bledsoe’s contract to get Ball. Bledsoe for all the red flags around him declining is still probably better than Rose or Payton. If taking on Bledsoe lowers the asking price for Ball then it’s a good move, plus it makes it harder for us to sign Oladipo over the summer which is a bonus. Also if we got both Bledsoe and Ball we could flip Rose to the Clippers (they wanted him earlier this season), maybe get back the 2nd round pick we traded for him. I would much prefer rooting for Bledsoe than Rose.

    As for finding a backup for Randle, that would be silly. We have Toppin, if anything we need to play him more not less. The last thing we should do is compromise the value and development of our young players to chase a marginal improvement. We are still not that good. Memphis is missing its second-best player, is also .500 in a better conference, and they are still prioritizing development, as demonstrated with them playing Tillman over Dieng. They are more the model we should be following. This year is not the focus, any winning this year is gravy and should be treated as such.

    As for Quickley, there is no excuse for him playing so little. The fact that Thibs would rather run Burks and Payton as our PGs over Quickley shows everything wrong with our coach.

  83. Hubs,

    I disagree with your take. I don’t think it has to be an all or nothing approach one way or the other.

    We can use SOME of our draft capital to bring in a vet to upgrade and then use the rest of the draft capital to draft players that we can develop over time. Thibs will play young players IF THEY’RE GOOD and will keep them on a shorter leash, but that’s different than not playing youngsters at all, which is how he gets characterized. Butler hardly played at all his rookie year and then came back in year 2 and played a lot. So maybe Thibs is just old school and believes in bringing them along slowly. But RJ, Mitch and IQ have all gotten a lot of minutes this year.

    With 5 first round picks over the next 3 seasons (and a ton of second round picks in 2023), I see no problem with using some of those picks to upgrade with vets or young players on the rise. Do that, use cap space wisely to make sound free agent signings and make some first round picks and we can have a balanced approach where we upgrade the team in the short term to satisfy our coach while also still adding young talent that’s being developed in the long haul.

    What we don’t want is a Melo type trade but the front office has shown to be against that type of situation.

  84. swiftandabundant: Thibs will play young players IF THEY’RE GOOD and will keep them on a shorter leash, but that’s different than not playing youngsters at all, which is how he gets characterized

    That’s fine, and I agree with you. But we’re talking about player acquisition attitudes here.

    Thibs’ willingness to play IQ some minutes doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t hold the FO’s feet to the fire to trade a draft pick for a veteran that costs 10 times as much and only offers marginal improvement.

  85. We might not be on the cusp of contention but if we brought in a competent PG who can shoot like Brogdon we’d be getting close. We have black hole level play from the PG position and none of the guys we run out there can shoot. We wouldn’t just be replacing a not-very-good PG, we’d be legit plugging a black hole.

  86. This argument that Thibs runs a pure meritocracy is fiction. Thibs plays his players over other players and prefers vets over young players. Early on in his career, he did play a handful of young players a bunch but ever since he has clearly not put any priority on playing younger players and has leaned away from young players even when they were productive. Quickley is a great example of this. According to every metric, Quickley is our best guard yet plays fewer minutes per game than Bullock, Payton, Rose, or Burks and has even played fewer minutes per game than Rivers did when he was in the rotation.

    Quickley is 3rd in BPM and first in WS/48 out of all rookies who have played at least 100 minutes yet he is 10th in minutes despite playing on a mediocre team with worse players in front of him. Boston, Brooklyn, and Philly all have rookies who have played more than Quickley despite being much more “win now” than we are.

    Even when our PGs went down Thibs has seemed reluctant to play Quickley big minutes often opting to play Frank or Burks ahead of him. Despite neither really being a true PG and both being less effective.

  87. I am all for giving up a single pick to acquire Brogdon. We haven’t been linked to him, though. We heard Brogdon was available and we all said “let’s get him!” It seems like a case of us projecting our sensibility on a team that is rarely as sensible as us.

    All the reports out there indicate we’re looking at Oladipo (who sucks) and Ball (who I like but I’m afraid of the price).

    Naturally, these are just reports, and I accept we could be pursuing some avenues that have not been publicized yet.

  88. I’m still not out on Obi, let’s wait for the 2nd year to give up on him. But please, for the love of God, stop playing the guy. He’s terrible right now. And as i’ve been saying lately, we need a backup PF or Thibs is going to play Randle so much that the risk of injury will become very high. If we don’t address this until tomorrow, then Thibs and the FO will be to blame if something bad happens.

  89. cybersoze:
    I’m still not out on Obi, let’s wait for the 2nd year to give up on him. But please, for the love of God, stop playing the guy. He’s terrible right now. And as i’ve been saying lately, we need a backup PF or Thibs is going to play Randle so much that the risk of injury will become very high. If we don’t address this until tomorrow, then Thibs and the FO will be to blame if something bad happens.

    We should not have to make roster moves in order to protect our players from bad coaching. The problem of Thibs playing Randle 40 minutes a game isn’t on Obi it is on Thibs.

  90. cybersoze:
    I’m still not out on Obi, let’s wait for the 2nd year to give up on him. But please, for the love of God, stop playing the guy. He’s terrible right now. And as i’ve been saying lately, we need a backup PF or Thibs is going to play Randle so much that the risk of injury will become very high. If we don’t address this until tomorrow, then Thibs and the FO will be to blame if something bad happens.

    Depending on the game circumstances( score and opposition lineup/matchups), Thibs is better off playing Taj or Knox to give Randle a blow.

  91. Having cap space is possibly the best FO decision in this young regime if they can pull off a non VO guard swipe.

  92. Agreed. But we know Thibs wants to win and if the backup he’s clearly a negative, he’ll play him very little. And this applies to Obi, Taj (at PF) and Knox. If we can get a better player, say Doug McDermott taking advantage of the apparent fire sale in Indiana, then as McDermott is a much better backup than what we have, he’d play him 12 to 18 mins (maybe even more), depending on the game’s score.

  93. According to every metric, Quickley is our best guard yet plays fewer minutes per game than Bullock, Payton, Rose, or Burks

    I love Quickley, and I want him to be a star, but he does the opposite of what Thibs wants from a PG. Thibs wants only drive-then-Kick-or-Layup. Payton, Rose, and even Burks now all do exactly that every time they get the ball. Thibs also seems to regard Bullock as his best defender — dunno if stats bear that out.

    The Knicks should be looking at IQ as their starting SG next year and he should be playing the bulk of the minutes at that position, simply because he is good at basketball.

    +1 on this.

    Until then, IQ should be the one we’re begging to look for Mitch and Obi more often. He should already be great with lobs. If not he should make it so in practice every single day.

  94. The “this is what Thibs wants” and the “this is Thibs’s definition of a good player” stuff as excuses are getting real old. Thibs’s opinion of IQ is fucking stupid and bullheaded; let’s just call it what it is rather than trying to rationalize it.

    Thibs has done a nice job changing the culture here. Net-net, he’s had a real nice 2020-21 reentry. But he has massive blind spots and obsessions.

  95. I don’t like his “dribble-dribble-dribble-shoot without a pass” shit, not involving the teammates and yesterday his refusal to pass to players that seldom have a chance to try a shot was very annoying.
    He literally took every single shot in the last two garbage time minutes and there’s no need for a “semi-starter” to do that, garbage time is made to let scrubs have some fun, Harper probably hate him…

    so quik is still a very young man, i have to imagine that if it was that obvious to us – it was obvious to everyone on the bench too…hopefully some one speaks to him about it…but, yeah – it was most certainly a shining example of “me first” and “team second”…

    hopefully no big deal…i did think it was pretty funny though that harper got the ball at the very end to dribble it out and hand it over to the refs…

    that was actually kind of funny…

  96. E, all merc’d out:
    Damian Lillard, age 22, rookie:.546 TS%, 24.2% USG, .368 3PT%,17.8 PTS/36, .088 WS/48
    Immanuel Quickley, age 21, rookie:.555 TS%, 27.7% USG, .375 3 PT%, 23.1 PTS/36, .136 WS/48

    Shit, why are we looking to build a big 3? We already have Paul Pierce 2.0, Dame Lillard 2.0, and since Mitch broke the FG% record in year two, he must be Wilt 2.0. A couple more years of seasoning and we’re talking DYNASTY! Oh, I forgot, Thibs doesn’t get it…he doesn’t see the all-time greatness in these players. Heck, he probably only plays them because he’s forced to.

  97. I rarely agree with Hollinger,
    but if it’s true that we could have him for a lousy second I’ll give a try for Kenrich Williams, he’s signed until 2022-2023 for a measly 2M/Yr.

  98. I would totally take on Bledsoe’s contract to get Ball. Bledsoe for all the red flags around him declining is still probably better than Rose or Payton. If taking on Bledsoe lowers the asking price for Ball then it’s a good move, plus it makes it harder for us to sign Oladipo over the summer which is a bonus. Also if we got both Bledsoe and Ball we could flip Rose to the Clippers (they wanted him earlier this season), maybe get back the 2nd round pick we traded for him. I would much prefer rooting for Bledsoe than Rose.

    i was really hoping we’d address the point guard situation prior to the season beginning, but, i think this would be an excellent outcome for us…

    elf seems like a good guy with a great wardrobe, rose is rose…swapping those two for ball and bledsoe would be outstanding…

    how crazy is it the the pels wouldn’t miss either of them very much, but, they would make a big difference for us…

    i know i don’t fully grasp the whole asset management aspect of the nba, but – if lonzo’s your guy, get him now…it would suck having to pay both of them a combined 40 million or so next season, but, oh well…

    mmmmm marshmallows are soooooo gooooood…

    i actually hate marshmallows, but whatever – just fix the dang point guard position already so i can stop worrying about it year after year after year after…

  99. Max:
    I rarely agree with Hollinger,
    but if it’s true that we could have him for a lousy second I’ll give a try for Kenrich Williams, he’s signed until 2022-2023 for a measly 2M/Yr.

    Don’t remember this player, but he’s a PF so he fits my plan. The problem is that Presti and sell low doesn’t seem to get along. That price was Hollinger’s valuation of the player, i assume.

  100. To be clear if it were up to me Quickley would be getting all the minutes he could handle. I also think we should wait until he’s not listed on the injury report before we start drawing sweeping conclusions about how Thibs uses him. I do not want him trying to fight through multiple injuries in order for us to scratch out an extra win or two.

    Woj on ESPN saying we’re not all that interested in Oladipo. From his lips to god’s ears.

  101. Since they clearly aren’t going to give up on Obi yet, it would be cool if we could extract Bol Bol to pair him with in practice/on the 2nd unit, as they’d fit together nicely.

    As for starting point guard, I’m sure they’re prioritizing Lonzo. Brogdon is great but isn’t really the right age and will probably cost a lot.

    But I don’t think NO will trade Ball unless they get a good young player and a good pick, which we can’t really offer. Maybe there’s a three-team trade in there where Brogdon goes to NO and Ball to NY?

  102. Z-man: Shit, why are we looking to build a big 3? We already have Paul Pierce 2.0, Dame Lillard 2.0, and since Mitch broke the FG% record in year two, he must be Wilt 2.0. A couple more years of seasoning and we’re talking DYNASTY! Oh, I forgot, Thibs doesn’t get it…he doesn’t see the all-time greatness in these players. Heck, he probably only plays them because he’s forced to.

    Wouldn’t that be nice Z-Man? A full dinasty of 2.0s just changing coach (one of our few things we do really well)…

    ;-)

    Missing from those stat lines,
    in his rookie year Lillard started all the 82 games, playing nearly 39 minutes (albeit in a bad team) as the second option to Aldridge and his AST% was 28,8% (IQ today is at 18,6%).

    Quickley is already a good player, he could become a very good one if he work on some edges (shot selection, passing, defence) and if his career could match what Dame did I’ll be ecstatic but that’s a high bar to set.

    I’ll still consider me happy if he gets to 3-time 6TH Man of The Year and 15K points scorer Lou Williams…

  103. To be clear if it were up to me Quickley would be getting all the minutes he could handle

    Agreed. I was kind of sad the Frank/Quick backcourt didn’t work out well. Or did it? I do remember seeing Frank go to the hole that one time (and the entire stadium and this board had a heart attack). More please.

    Overall, though, I can’t even believe we’re discussing so many players as clear positives this season: Randle, RJ, Quick, Mitch, even Noel (to me). It’s bizarre and welcome.

  104. IQ is a rookie making a ton of rookie mistakes out there on both sides of the ball. He is a mediocre defender at best, and I’m going to concede that Thibs probably sees his defensive deficiencies, and Payton’s defensive strengths, more clearly than I do. And it seems pretty obvious that IQ would not hold up if he’s played much more than he is right now.

    Anyone arguing that the team would be winning more games if someone else was coaching really needs a reality check. There are other contributing factors (including luck) but far and away the most important factor in being AHEAD OF THE FUCKING CELTICS AND RAPTORS AND TIED WITH THE MIAMI HEAT is the head coach.

    This doesn’t mean that there aren’t legitimate arguments about whether the whole win-now thing is good for the long-term health of the franchise. But in terms of grinding out the maximum number of wins out of a given roster, the dude is the best coach we’ve had since Pat Riley (apologies to Mike Miller). You have to be blind, stupid, or willfully ignorant not to be able to accept that.

  105. We’re entering the final 24h and still no deals!? Is this the least active trade deadline week or what?

  106. Read Zach Lowe on Payton’s D, Z. You’re seeing what you want to see. With a bit of appeal to authority shilling thrown in for good measure.

  107. cybersoze: Don’t remember this player, but he’s a PF so he fits my plan. The problem is that Presti and sell low doesn’t seem to get along. That price was Hollinger’s valuation of the player, i assume.

    For Hollinger a second is the starting price. Here’s a snippet from the piece:

    “ Kenny Hustle” has had a breakout year with the Thunder. No, he isn’t an elite athlete, and his shooting has always been a question mark. Nonetheless, he has established himself as a rotation-caliber player at both forward spots for the rebuilding Thunder with his ballhandling, plus rebounding, tough D and generally high basketball IQ.”

  108. Max: For Hollinger a second is the starting price. Here’s a snippet from the piece

    For a 2nd, i’m in. Anything to try to take some of the burden on Randle’s shoulders, as right now he is our most important player and we should try to save him for the playoffs (if we manage to qualify).
    As for OKC, aren’t them at a point where more picks is just foolish? 17 firsts and 15 seconds in the next 7 drafts!? :O

  109. but far and away the most important factor in being AHEAD OF THE FUCKING CELTICS AND RAPTORS AND TIED WITH THE MIAMI HEAT is the head coach.

    Wrong. The most important factor is the vast improvement of RJ and Randle. Thib’s coaching wouldn’t mean squat if RJ still had a sub-.500TS or if Randle didn’t double his AST% while shooting 3’s like Curry. Those improvements likely have very little to do with Thibs. Players will always matter more than the coaching.

  110. The issue with Bledsoe is he interferes with 2022 FA. That’ll be the last year we can sign someone before RJ is due for a really big contract and we’ll likely have to ante up for Randle and Mitch too.

    So we’ll probably have to dump Bledsoe and use a 1st or two to offload him, if we want to sign another star player that year. Good idea, but not sure the timing is worth it or Ball is the guy that makes giving up on 2022 worthwhile.

    At least I see the plan forward as trying to compete with RJ, Randle & whomever, then trying to add a superstar or 2 in 2022 before RJ takes up a substantial amount of cap space.

  111. Anyone arguing that the team would be winning more games if someone else was coaching really needs a reality check.

    Z-Man only came here to do two things: kick some ass, and build some straw men. Looks like we’re almost out of straw.

  112. I like Mitch a lot, but since he’s so loved here I tend to be the one that throws a little cold water on the enthusiasm. He looked great to me last night, but I think some of that was that were were playing a terrible team with a terrible defense. No doubt we missed him though.

  113. Isn’t Bledsoes’ contract only guaranteed for a tiny amount after next year? We could always just cut him.

  114. Early Bird: The issue with Bledsoe is he interferes with 2022 FA. That’ll be the last year we can sign someone before RJ is due for a really big contract and we’ll likely have to ante up for Randle and Mitch too.

    Bledsoe’s contract is only guaranteed for $3.9MM in 2022-23. If absolutely necessary we could stretch waive him and have only a 1.3MM hit x 3 years.

  115. Saying that the only reason the Knicks are better is because Randle and RJ are better is preposterous. The DEFENSE and consistency of the team’s effort are the major reasons we are playing better. That’s all Thibs. No doubt RJ and Randle worked hard and got better on their own, but developmental coaches are part of that and Thibs is also using Randle better. Randle is making the right reads and passing out of double teams now. Adding Nerlens, Burke, and Quickley is part of it too. But anyone that thinks this team would playing this well with anyone other than Thibs is stone cold crazy (OK maybe Pop).

  116. Am I the lone old grouchy geezer that dislike buyouts?
    Trades are fun! Buyouts are not…

  117. In terms of defensive improvements the two players who improved the most from last season to this one are Julius Randle and RJ Barrett when you look at RDPM…

  118. Frank: Bledsoe’s contract is only guaranteed for $3.9MM in 2022-23.If absolutely necessary we could stretch waive him and have only a 1.3MM hit x 3 years.

    I missed that. Yeah, that’s not terrible for 2022. Unless the Knicks are looking to make a play this FA or next year via trade, that won’t be a huge issue.

  119. I think it’s a little silly to try and cut either Thibs or the player’s own improvement out of the equation. RJ and Randle clearly worked their asses off in the off-season, and it shows – both are massively improved over last year. Kind of hard to credit that to Thibs, who didn’t even have much of an offseason to work with them. That said, Thibs is also clearly responsible for the general player buy-in and effort we’re showing on defense. He’s obviously been the driving factor behind why the players are competing as hard as they are as well as much of our defensive improvements.

  120. Saying that the only reason the Knicks are better is because Randle and RJ are better is preposterous.

    Nobody here said ‘the only reason’. I just said those guys getting way better at basketball has had a bigger positive effect on the team than Thib’s coaching. His defensive schemes are better than Fizdale’s, he has the team playing hard every night, and his rotations add W’s for better or worse. I just don’t think any of those things matter as much as the leaps made by RJ and Julius.

  121. Just got my first Covid shot. I can feel the vaccine altering my DNA as we speak. I think I’m turning into some kind of X-man PG. Forget Lonzo. Pfizer has just turned me into John Stockton.

  122. Mike Honcho:
    I think it’s a little silly to try and cut either Thibs or the player’s own improvement out of the equation. RJ and Randle clearly worked their asses off in the off-season, and it shows – both are massively improved over last year. Kind of hard to credit that to Thibs, who didn’t even have much of an offseason to work with them. That said, Thibs is also clearly responsible for the general player buy-in and effort we’re showing on defense. He’s obviously been the driving factor behind why the players are competing as hard as they are as well as much of our defensive improvements.

    Agree.

    But I’m surprised, I’m here under the assumption that rational, balanced, not manichean explanations are banned from the site if not supported with at least three lines of numbers and acronyms.

    (I’M JOKING)

  123. Deeefense:
    Just got my first Covid shot. I can feel the vaccine altering my DNA as we speak.I think I’m turning into some kind of X-man PG.Forget Lonzo.Pfizer has just turned me into John Stockton.

    Just make sure not to get bitten by a radioactive 5G tower or you might gain some unsettling powers

  124. Just got my first Covid shot. I can feel the vaccine altering my DNA as we speak. I think I’m turning into some kind of X-man PG. Forget Lonzo. Pfizer has just turned me into John Stockton.

    Super Strat!!!
    :)
    i’ll be honest, i wasn’t anticipating any after effects from that 1st shot (i got the moderna one), but, ended up spending most that next day in bed…thankfully i get the next shot on a saturday and can just rest up the remainder of the weekend…

    some piece of mind though, ain’t it strat…

    The New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat have previously acknowledged receiving the vaccine.

    hopefully our guys are up soon…

  125. sadly – mike malone is really good at expressing many of our feelings towards this tragedy stuff…

    “Obviously, I think we are all tired of it,” Malone said of how he and his team processed the latest shooting in Colorado. “That’s an understatement. I know for me, you get so caught up in the job and basketball and …”

    “You know, we get judged on wins and losses. … I apologize,” added Malone, fighting back tears. “But if you take a step back and put yourself in one of those families, what do you feel?”

  126. Max:
    Am I the lone old grouchy geezer that dislike buyouts?
    Trades are fun! Buyouts are not…

    I’m with you, Max. But now that you’ve said it, if there’s no trades to be made, we’ll let go of the guys we don’t want (or need, if there’s players to sign) – Rivers and Brazdeikis. And what do we go get, from the rumored buyouts?

  127. some piece of mind though, ain’t it strat…

    Yes. :-)

    My mother is 86 and as some of you know my brother is special needs. I made my mother the priority and have an appointment for her for next week. By some strange luck I found one for myself locally for this week and jumped on it. Someone must have cancelled and I just happened to be looking at that moment. So now when I go with my mom, I’ll already have one shot in me (which can’t hurt). Then I have to take my brother. I can only handle so much because I had a flurry of other doctors to see and to help my mom with besides dealing with this Covid stuff. But yes, I feel better that at least it’s in progress now and I should get some protection from the single shot.

  128. How can Thibs hold the FO’s feet to the fire?

    He’s not the boss. What, is he going to quit if they don’t trade all their picks and young players for an aging PG to squeeze out a few wins.

    Thibs just went on record saying that the franchise has to strike a balance between winning now and developing for the future. He’s not the GM. He can push them all he wants. He’s not quitting his job.

    I think people think this about him because of how it ended in Chicago but IMO that was a very different situation. Thibs had multiple years of success with that team and even though they had declined a bit with Rose and Noah getting injured, they still had Butler and were still a playoff team. I don;t think it was wrong for Thibs to think they could retool and get back to where they were a few seasons earlier But Chicago is CHEAP and wanted to tear it down and Thibs wasn’t down with that. I can’t blame him honestly.

    he’s just starting out here. Sure he might want that veteran piece but its not like he’s going to storm out if he doesn’t get his way. He literally just said a few days ago that the franchise has a long term goal they have to keep in mind.

  129. Deeefense: Yes.:-)

    My mother is 86 and as some of you know my brother is special needs.I made my mother the priority and have an appointment for her for next week.By some strange luck I found one for myself locally for this week and jumped on it.Someone must have cancelled and I just happened to be looking at that moment.So now when I go with my mom, I’ll already have one shot in me (which can’t hurt). Then I have to take my brother.I can only handle so much because I had a flurry of other doctors to see and to help my mom with besides dealing with this Covid stuff.But yes, I feel better that at least it’s in progress now and I should get some protection from the single shot.

    Best of luck, my man. I’m glad things are looking up for you there – my aging and out-of-shape parents recently got Covid and it was completely nerve-wracking. Thankfully they had mild cases and pulled through, but it’s no joke. Terrifying stuff.

  130. My point is about what Thibs is doing with the cards in his deck. Only an excellent coach would have this team at .500 even with RJ and Randle doing what they are doing. Do we have better players on paper than the Celts? The Heat? The Raptors? The Hawks? The Pacers? Obviously the players do the playing. When you win, someone is going to be playing well, so sure, you can point to the players that are playing well and credit them, but on paper before the season, no one predicted they would be playing this well. And the folks who did expect the Knicks to rise in the standings did so specifically because of Thibs!! Even the losses are highly competitive…our last 3 losses against the Heat and 2x the Sixers were by a total of 9 points. Thibs has them playing hard-nosed cohesive basketball for 48 minutes every night. That’s indisputable.

    That said, as I will point out for the 10,000th time, Randle’s overall improvement is due mainly to two things: increased AST% and improved defensive effort and technique. His overall stats beyond are nearly identical to what they were in the last 3 years, and his TS% is actually down from what it was in his two pre-Knicks years despite the improved 3pt%. Everyone here, including the current detractors, thought that Julius was totally unsuited for the point-forward role. Who is responsible for putting him in that role? Certainly not Hubert or E, who couldn’t wait to run him out of town. Who is responsible for his increased intensity and efficiency on D? Thibs? Of course not. Right.

    And Hubert, are you actually saying that there isn’t anyone here questioning Thibs’ coaching decisions in the context of wins and losses, e.g. we’d win more if we benched Payton, or played IQ more minutes? Seriously?

  131. cybersoze: I’m with you, Max. But now that you’ve said it, if there’s no trades to be made, we’ll let go of the guys we don’t want (or need, if there’s players to sign) – Rivers and Brazdeikis. And what do we go get, from the rumored buyouts?

    I think nobody, because judging from the rumors they will all go to contenders (I hope Boston will save us from signing Drummond…)

    We’ll probably buy out Rivers if not traded, I don’t know know if Iggy will be released, his contract is so low and he’s not, let’s say, in high demand from other teams.

  132. I’m glad for you guys, is good that the vaccination campaign is speeding up in the US,
    hope we could gain some traction here in continental Europe (and I’m in my country lowest “priority ranking” so who knows when I’ll get mine).

  133. *NON-BBALL RELATED*

    Any NJ-based Knickerbloggers who are having a hard time getting a vax appt, please let me know if you want/need help. I’ve been able to sign up over 50 people this past week by using a bot that constantly checks all the NJ appt. websites for openings. These appointment ‘drops’ usually fill up in under 10min so if you aren’t ready to pounce then you’re not gonna get one. Please reach out if you want me to get you (or a loved one) signed up. I’ll drop an email address later if anyone’s interested.

  134. i got the moderna shot yesterday and don’t tell andrew wiggins but my arm feels like kevin love’s contract

  135. Z-man: And Hubert, are you actually saying that there isn’t anyone here questioning Thibs’ coaching decisions in the context of wins and losses, e.g. we’d win more if we benched Payton, or played IQ more minutes? Seriously?

    Straw man followed by a moved goal post. Z-Man is on fire.

  136. Hubert: Straw man followed by a moved goal post. Z-Man is on fire.

    Sorry, I must be misrepresenting you…

    (PS I was gonna offer to help you pack up for Cali but I’m sure there’s a long waiting list…)

  137. Oh, I have no hesitation saying the Knicks would have won more games if IQ had been playing starters minutes and Elfrid Payton was on the bench or off the team. There’s no doubt about it, unless someone somehow thinks playing way worse players helps teams win more games.

  138. We wife and I are in Manhattan but would drive anywhere in NJ at this point if that’s possible. My email address is terryrutt@gmail.com

    Dink:
    *NON-BBALL RELATED*

    Any NJ-based Knickerbloggers who are having a hard time getting a vax appt, please let me know if you want/need help. I’ve been able to sign up over 50 people this past week by using a bot that constantly checks all the NJ appt. websites for openings. These appointment ‘drops’ usually fill up in under 10min so if you aren’t ready to pounce then you’re not gonna get one. Please reach out if you want me to get you (or a loved one) signed up. I’ll drop an email address later if anyone’s interested.

  139. E, all merc’d out:
    Oh, I have no hesitation saying the Knicks would have won more games if IQ had been playing starters minutes and Elfrid Payton was on the bench or off the team.There’s no doubt about it, unless someone somehow thinks playing way worse players helps teams win more games.

    I don’t know what’s worse, your player evaluation takes or Hubert’s reading comprehension.

  140. Children, Children, Children!

    You’re all right, okay?

    Each of you is equally terrible.

    Happy now?

  141. who wants to play a game?

    can Z-Man’s pea-sized brain spot the difference between his original straw man argument and the subsequent argument in which he moved the goal posts?

    Here we go!!!

    First, Z-Man said:

    Anyone arguing that the team would be winning more games if someone else was coaching really needs a reality check.

    And then he changed it to:

    Hubert, are you actually saying that there isn’t anyone here questioning Thibs’ coaching decisions in the context of wins and losses, e.g. we’d win more if we benched Payton, or played IQ more minutes?

    Will he or won’t he??? Stay tuned!

  142. It’s been a while since we’ve had a good Chefblogger thread, anybody been cooking anything fun lately?

  143. It’s been a while since we’ve had a good Chefblogger thread, anybody been cooking anything fun lately?

    food, it’s what is really on everyone’s mind…at least mine usually…idle thought moments are generally for food and sex…and pvp toon fighting builds, can’t forget those…oh yeah, ensuring i have at least 3 months of weed reserves hidden away in the closet seems to occupy way more time in my head than it probably should…

    i need to cook some porkchops this weekend for the youngest, just got to get with his mom so i can replicate however she does them…

  144. Mike Honcho:
    It’s been a while since we’ve had a good Chefblogger thread, anybody been cooking anything fun lately?

    Let’s see:

    1. French Onion Soup -always wanted to make it…came out good..used a local bakery’s garlic croutons and some smoked gruyere…
    2. Went to a farmers market and got a bunch of smoked ham from a farm in Sonoma and used the smoked ham and aforementioned leftover smoked gruyere and some eggs and made a nasty ham n’ cheese scramble…with some san fran sourdough bread…
    3. have some meyer lemon trees in front yard…been making variations on lemonade, cranberry/passion fruit, etc. …forgot how good homeade lemonade can be…

  145. Begley said that a “prominent voice” on the Knicks wants Drummond, but no one else does. I wonder who the lone Drummond fan is.

  146. Harden is unreal. It’s like, “We built a Big Three, but only one ever actually plays, but we still win every game because he’s just that good.”

  147. Mike Honcho:
    It’s been a while since we’ve had a good Chefblogger thread, anybody been cooking anything fun lately?

    I recently made a mushroom galette with a mornay sauce that was pretty great. I used the NYT recipe for the pastry, sautéed onion, garlic, and a pound of various mushroom, and topped with a mornay sauce made with gruyere and thyme.

    I also had (and still have) a fuckton of sweet potatoes so I made a sweet potato pie for the first time in my life and it was amazing. No crazy recipe I think just the basic one from Carnation. It was so, so much better than pumpkin pie.

  148. Tom Thibodeau’s Diary:

    Dear Diary:

    Be prepared. Magic’s in the work. OK, to dos:

    1. IQ, exit interview: Don’t spend summer “chasing the muff around.” Hehe.
    2. IQ: drug pledge card. Yeah, when Leon got wind of this he texted me something about how the league now “handled” these things, but that seems awful half-baked doesn’t it? Talk him out.
    3. Leon/Hinkie: ” Andre = Joe Barry/Kevin Duckworth” (Duck = CAA?) Low block/low block/low block.

  149. I think Thibs has done a decent job but people are getting carried away. Under Miller last year we played 44 games and were fives games worse than we are over the 44 games we played this year. Some of that is probably due to Thibs but also RJ has improved and we added Noel, Quickley, and Burks and have played a lot less Knox and Smith Jr. We also have a much more balanced roster, have seen improvement from Randle, and have been quite healthy.

    As for being better or equal to Boston, Toronto, and Miami that has nothing to do with us. All three teams have struggled (mainly due to injuries) and had all won over 30 games at this point last season so us doing as well as them this year is not that impressive.

  150. Brian Cronin:
    Begley said that a “prominent voice” on the Knicks wants Drummond, but no one else does. I wonder who the lone Drummond fan is.

    Did Perry draft Drummond? :-)

    I’m going to guess World Wide Wes but that’s only because I can’t see how it makes any basketball sense and I trust most of our other people with the basketball decisions. If we desperately needed a C, it would make some sense in a buyout. But we have one of the better 1-2 defensive punches in the league at C and Taj surprisingly still has enough left in the tank to be a very good backup if one of them gets hurt. Drummond is going to want to start. It makes no sense. We need a PG and some bench depth/shooting.

  151. Hey Build Around Mitch, I sent you an email from my gmail account. Check your spam if it doesn’t pop up.

  152. Forgive me if I went too far but the 1,000th time someone responded to a valid criticism of our coach with some variation of “why do you hate/want to get rid of Thibs?” proved to be my breaking point.

    Also I was hungry.

  153. Brian Cronin:
    Begley said that a “prominent voice” on the Knicks wants Drummond, but no one else does. I wonder who the lone Drummond fan is.

    Have to imagine that it’s Thibodeau. Maybe Scott Perry.

  154. I’m going to guess World Wide Wes but that’s only because I can’t see how it makes any basketball sense and I trust most of our other people with the basketball decisions.

    This is strong deduction and probably right.

  155. I made the baked feta tomato pasta recipe that went viral a few weeks ago and that was super easy and delicious. I used to get a lot more fancy with the cooking but dealing with a toddler 24/7 for a full year has made me gravitate towards shit that is just easy to cook. Today we picked up his flash cards off the floor about 32,167 times so there’s only so much energy I have left for mincing shallots and picking the little thyme leaves off the stems.

  156. Per Berman we’re interested in Norman Powell but don’t want to give up a 1st round pick. Hard to see how a deal gets done without one.

    Per Begley New Orleans is willing to give up a 1st round pick to dump Bledsoe’s contract.

  157. I have Melissa Clark’s garlicky pork shoulder in my pressure cooker right now, which will soon turn into pork tacos with salsa verde.

  158. They should be all over NO if they are attaching a 1RP pick for Bledsoe. That could be a nice asset.

  159. Berman’s story says Fournier was a Scott Perry draft pick lol. It’s not possible Perry told him that, is it? It’s probably just “Well he plays for Orlando now so Perry drafted him,” but still.

  160. Reading again the kb thread of the ’20-’21 season’s predictions it’s a good way to get back to reality and appreciate coaching.

  161. Brian Cronin: Begley said that a “prominent voice” on the Knicks wants Drummond, but no one else does. I wonder who the lone Drummond fan is.

    Dolan? :D

  162. As we usually do very well when we don’t play, if the Hawks lose in Sacramento and the Hornets lose in Houston, we’ll be tied for the 4th place.

  163. Short ribs with onions, carrots, mushrooms, beef stock, lentils and big jar of upscale chili sauce. Eight hours in slow cooker. Usually finish with curry and beef broth as soup. Just finishing a bowl as I write.

  164. Barrettcuda:
    Thank you, Dink.

    But I went all the way to Pennsylvannia.

    This is hilarious. I live in Pittsburgh and can’t get anything.

    Happy for everyone who has been vaccinated. It will be great to see music again.

  165. PerverseOsmosis: This is hilarious. I live in Pittsburgh and can’t get anything.

    Happy for everyone who has been vaccinated.It will be great to see music again.

    Same problem here in Baltimore. I actually finally got an appointment for Friday but nothing’s been available.

  166. Instead of having two good centers on cheap contracts, what if we traded for a really expensive center who sucks and is going to be a free agent?

  167. I mean it’s probably the Cavs trying to stir up a market but I need to deadline to get over with asap

  168. Dink,
    I don’t know about RJ’s shooting, but Randle’s assist percentage definitely has something to do with Thibs. Randle has said as much. Randle has to want to be a better team player too, but Thibs coaching helped him achieve that.

  169. If New Orleans is attaching a pick to get rid of Bledsoe that would be a great use of our cap space. Or tell them to keep the pick and grab Ball instead. If we could do that maybe sending Payton and Rivers over for cap relief and Knox as a sweetener then we could pivot to using the rest of our cap space and maybe Burks plus Rose and Frank/Bullock for cap relief to grab Powell or Fournier sending a 1st for Powell or a 2nd or two for Fournier.

    Both Powell and Fournier are huge improvements over Bullock or Burks and Bledsoe and Ball are big improvements over Payton and Rose. If we could do that and only lose mercs or spare parts that would be great.

    Basically, we could trade for Ball, Bledsoe, and one of Fournier/Powell and afford it if we moved all but one of Knox, Frank, Rose, Bullock, Burks, Payton, and Rivers. Since they are all expiring except Knox they are easy to use as trade filler. If we did that we would actually have a legit starting five with good youth off the bench and it would cost us nothing except maybe a couple of 2nds for Fournier or the Dallas pick this year for Powell.

  170. Actually, I just realized that Powell is going to opt-out of his contract and be a free agent this summer. I probably would not use a 1st to get him then. We can just sign him this summer if we want. I’d still give up a 2nd or 2 but that probably won’t get it done. So nevermind with that. But still, Bledsoe + Ball is a great move.

  171. DRed:
    I mean it’s probably the Cavs trying to stir up a market but I need to deadline to get over with asap

    O’Connor is usually pretty plugged into this kind of thing, but this Knicks front office is also super tight-lipped. So my hope is that he’s getting this info from the Cleveland end of things, and that, as DRed suggests, it’s a smokescreen to entice other bidders. Because Begley’s story from earlier in the thread implied that we were pretty well out on Drummond. I want no part of the guy.

  172. Short ribs with onions, carrots, mushrooms, beef stock, lentils and big jar of upscale chili sauce. Eight hours in slow cooker. Usually finish with curry and beef broth as soup. Just finishing a bowl as I write.

    that sounds delicious…

    but dealing with a toddler 24/7 for a full year has made me gravitate towards shit that is just easy to cook. Today we picked up his flash cards off the floor about 32,167 times so there’s only so much energy I have left

    oh but they are so cute when young – even having to change hideous diapers ain’t so bad looking back and when it’s a bunch of years since the actual experience…on second thought…

    i remember hearing a bunch about the “terrible twos”…the kids were generally pretty good around that age…never really happened with the oldest girl, but probably the toughest for me was the late 3 to early 5 stage for the boys when the tantrums would happen – pretty bizarre sight to see a child rolling around on the ground screaming and such…generally the behavior won’t even cease on its own, considering the amount of energy a demonstration like that must take, kind of amazing they can go at it for quite a while…

  173. Is KOC actually plugged in or does he just fake it? He’s a fine writer but I’ve never been totally sold on his transition towards being a news breaker. I’m struggling to remember significant stories that he has broken.

  174. Aside from writing the seminal 60’s counterculture book The Boat Rocker, who exactly is this Terrance Mann guy who went for 21 and 10 last game for the Clips? Does Atlanta now start to give out Mann Awards to go along with our Jimmer Awards?

    (Sorry, I sometimes run a day or two behind in my b-ball news:)

  175. Donnie Walsh:
    Aside from writing the seminal 60’s counterculture book The Boat Rocker, who exactly is this Terrance Mann guy who went for 21 and 10 last game for the Clips? Does Atlanta now start to give out Mann Awards to go along with our Jimmer Awards?

    Field of Dreams humor! Mann gets to the basket by threatening to beat people with crowbars.

  176. @jeskeets
    Just saw the news that SGA will miss a “significant” amount of time due to right plantar faciitis. OKC’s Daigneault said it’s part of the team’s “maintenance plan,” which translated into real talk means, “You’re too damn good, kid; we gotta lose some games.”

  177. If we’re taking Bledsoe, the Pels have to give us their 2021 1RP. Their other draft picks aren’t near as appealing. They have a couple of Lakers picks and swaps but the Lakers don’t figure to be a crummy team in the immediate future.

    The 2021 Pels pick would get us into the lotto. I’d live with a year of Bledsoe for that opportunity.

  178. I like Field of Dreams more than I should. We all need a little mawkish sentimentality.

    I remember liking Terrence Mann at FSU. Seems to be a good pro.

    Bucks just put 70 on the Celts in the first half and Giannis only had 5.

    And I am also a definite no on Drummond.

  179. 3. have some meyer lemon trees in front yard…been making variations on lemonade, cranberry/passion fruit, etc. …forgot how good homeade lemonade can be…

    You ever make preserved lemons?

  180. 2. Went to a farmers market and got a bunch of smoked ham from a farm in Sonoma and used the smoked ham and aforementioned leftover smoked gruyere and some eggs and made a nasty ham n’ cheese scramble…with some san fran sourdough bread…

    yeah, that sounds really good…

    3. have some meyer lemon trees in front yard…been making variations on lemonade, cranberry/passion fruit, etc. …forgot how good homeade lemonade can be…

    i got a poor lemon tree imprisoned in a planter thing – took a couple of years but it’s finally consistently putting out – most of the time the lemons just drop to the ground…
    kind of the same with peppers and tomatoes – i just like planting them and watching them grow, not so great with harvesting and actually using the stuff…
    been meaning to get to it for a few weeks now, but, need to prep the patio and get ready to plant some more stuff soon…i don’t expect any more cold spells to roll through the area…

  181. I’m glad Bobby Portis is doing well, but I’m more glad his eyes play for another team.

  182. If we’re taking Bledsoe, the Pels have to give us their 2021 1RP. Their other draft picks aren’t near as appealing. They have a couple of Lakers picks and swaps but the Lakers don’t figure to be a crummy team in the immediate future.

    The 2021 Pels pick would get us into the lotto. I’d live with a year of Bledsoe for that opportunity.

    There’s no way dumping Bledsoe is worth losing a lottery pick for the Pels, though.

  183. The 2021 Pels pick would get us into the lotto. I’d live with a year of Bledsoe for that opportunity.

    The right to swap picks with them would probably also get us into the lottery

  184. O’Connor is usually pretty plugged into this kind of thing, but this Knicks front office is also super tight-lipped

    i’ve seen this said a few times but are we sure this is true? the toppin pick was pretty telegraphed a few days into the draft… givony basically called it along with all the rumors of us trying to trade up for him…. then we had all the maxey rumors for that other pick which was probably going to happen given what we know now about mr. wes… then we had the derrick rose deal which was leaked a couple days before it got ironed out…

    and to top it all off we had an entire article basically leaking the front office warroom along with what they had for dessert….

    maybe it’s not rose’s folks… but somebody who knows something is talking a whole lot….

  185. DRed: You ever make preserved lemons?

    my wife did…and they just sat in the cupboard and got tossed…we use them to make moroccan tagine dishes …now I just go to the middle eastern market and buy the jars there…

  186. Brian Cronin: There’s no way dumping Bledsoe is worth losing a lottery pick for the Pels, though.

    Yeah, they would protect that pick and we’d end up getting it when Zion breaks out and carries them to the playoffs.

    I’d still take, it though. Decent chance it’s 12-20 next year.

  187. a shortage of back hair in the locker room…thank god he’s started to wax…i’m just kidding – i’m sure it’s like some sign of increased masculinity…dude did look a little sasquatchesque there for a while though…

    imagine being around the rim, boxing out on the guy, feeling something rub against the back of your neck, think it’s a head, and realize it’s actually a shoulder…

    i’m gonna stop posting for a while now…

  188. geo:
    a shortage of back hair in the locker room…thank god he’s started to wax…i’m just kidding – i’m sure it’s like some sign of increased masculinity…dude did look a little sasquatchesque there for a while though…

    imagine being around the rim, boxing out on the guy, feeling something rub against the back of your neck, think it’s a head, and realize it’s actually a shoulder…

    i’m gonna stop posting for a while now…

    back on the edibles..huh…

  189. Homemade sushi a la Mrs. Unreason

    BASE
    Nori
    Vinagered Korean rice
    Strips of eggplants roasted to the point of being almost mushy slathered in slightly sweet miso dengaku sauce*
    Liberal amounts of finely sliced shallots fried to the point of being crispy crunchy but not burnt*
    Small amounts of seriously spicy aioli*

    OPTIONS
    Choice of any combo
    VEG
    Very thins strips of pickled carrot
    Avocado
    Plain thin cucumber strips
    AND/OR
    FISH
    Fresh hamachi
    Fresh salmon

    CONDIMENT & PALATE CLEANSER
    Purple (wasabi and soy sauce mixed to personal taste) and sliced ginger

    PRO TIP
    With several friends and/or family lay out all fixings on a coffee table with a sushi roller mat
    Take turns making and slicing rolls for everyone to try
    Voice extravagant opinions on whose roll is best and why
    Have copious amounts of sake and excellent music available throughout

    * KEY INGREDIENTS

  190. DRed: You ever make preserved lemons?

    I did. Had both meyer lemon and kefir lime and a bunch of other fruit trees in my yard in Hawaii.
    Couldn’t find a good use for the preserved lemons. Way too salty.
    Candied lemon rind strips, on the other hand, are 6 kinds of awesome in several cocktails.

  191. Yeah, they would protect that pick and we’d end up getting it when Zion breaks out and carries them to the playoffs.

    Yeah, I would still totally take it if it was lotto protected. I just don’t see them giving a lottery pick just to dump Bledsoe.

  192. What problem exactly does Drummond solve for us?

    Not having enough players who would be dominant in 1995

  193. Ben R: I think Thibs has done a decent job but people are getting carried away. Under Miller last year we played 44 games and were fives games worse than we are over the 44 games we played this year.

    Really? So being at .500 after 44 games is nearly the same as being 10 games under .500? I think you are grossly understating how big of a difference that is. With Miller’s record, they would drop from tied for 5th to tied for 12th. In the WC, five games is the difference between 3rd place and 9th place, and 17-27 would place a team in 13th place with no chance to make the playoffs. And I think that Miller is a good coach and probably should have a head coaching job somewhere based on what he did. But he’s not in Thibs’ class.

    Ben R: As for being better or equal to Boston, Toronto, and Miami that has nothing to do with us. All three teams have struggled (mainly due to injuries) and had all won over 30 games at this point last season so us doing as well as them this year is not that impressive.

    All 3 of those teams are coached by very highly regarded coaches, and even with injuries their rotation personnel has been at least as good as ours, not to mention that they have been playing together and know each other’s games, and have had playoff success. RJ has a negative BPM and a .075 WS48. Our 3rd and 4th biggest minutes-getters are Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock. We played a stretch without a legit PG and Mitch (who some feel is our best player) has been out for 15 games. If you want to argue that Thibs is no better than Spo, Stevens or Nurse, sure, that’s fair. But do you really think that any of those guys, or even Pop or Kerr or Budz or whoever has this collections of 1-year journemen, non-star rookie contract guys and a fringe all-star over .500 at this point? I’m not buying it.

  194. DRed:
    shit Boston almost won that game

    Milwaukee still has some issues. That would have been a devastating loss for them. Maybe they needed to get that out of their system. The next game should be pretty telling.

  195. back on the edibles..huh…

    shit, almost 60 and I could measure sobriety in moments…

    actually getting ready to step in to a local sesh now – best deals on flower and infused pre-rolls…still got a couple of ounces of kief, would like to also find some hash oil to make some moonrocks…

  196. Hope Sacto can hold on…but with Bogdo and Hunter back, ATL is crazy deep.

    It’s hilarious how much Reddish has been addition by subtraction.

  197. Didn’t watch the game, but I notice Sacto going with the three-guard line-up, with Hali now starting.

  198. When I look at the Eastern conference standings now, the teams seem to fall into three tiers. There is Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Milwaukee in the top tier and Charlotte, NY, Atlanta, Miami and Boston in the second tier, with Indiana and Chicago pushing to join the second tier. After that Toronto, Cleveland, Washington, Orlando and Detroit look pretty bad and probably won’t make the play-in games. There are thirty games or so left and I don’t see a reason why this will change markedly. Maybe Atlanta will move up and Charlotte down for health reasons, but that’s all I see on the horizon.

  199. I think I’d put Milwaukee on its own second tier below Brooklyn and Philly and above the others. I’d also include Toronto (unless they blow things up at the deadline), Indiana and Chicago in the third tier with the rest of teams like the Knicks, Heat, Hornets, Hawks and Celtics.

    I do agree that the Hawks could possibly join Milwaukee. I don’t think the Hornets will fall apart, not with Rozier there to play the point. They won’t be as good, but I think they’ll hang in there about as well as they have (which is to say that they won’t be that good, but they won’t be terrible, either).

    The Raptors will easily fall apart, though, if they do a fire sale.

  200. Brian, Intuitively I agree that Milwaukee isn’t in a class with Philadelphia and Brooklyn, but actually their record is percentage points better than Brooklyn’s and just below Philadelphia’s. Given that one could worry about Brooklyn’s defense and Embiid health, I just left them together. I don’t agree about Toronto. They are 18 and 26 at the moment, meaning they have to go 18 and 10 for their last 28 games to reach 0.500 which is where the teams in the second tier currently are. I find such a turnaround very unlikely. We’ll see what Ujiri does at deadline. He has reason to change things with their current record.

  201. I’d put Milwaukee in the tier with BKN and PHI. Even though they almost collapsed last night, the Celts are desperate and talented and it’s still a good win. Jrue and PJ Tucker should really help them. They are 10 very good players deep and have the MVP.

    I agree that TOR is in that tier with the Knicks, et. al. but they are hanging on by their fingernails. What happens at the trade deadline is huge for them, but as is, they have a winning streak in them.

    The Hornets are going to miss LaMelo. Let’s see how much.

    The Knicks are overachieving but with Thibs driving them and the team buying in it seems sustainable. Less so with CHI.

    IND has talent but seems to be in a bit of turmoil. Maybe they need the deadline to pass before they can gel. Or maybe they just aren’t that good.

  202. I think Chicago is less willing to go for the playoffs, so I agree that they’ll likely fall off as they deal players. But for now, they’re just 2.5 games back of the Knicks. Heck, Toronto is only four back!

  203. This from Berman’s piece absolutely blows my mind:

    Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is not opposed to a talent infusion up front — especially with rookie lottery-pick big man Obi Toppin not yet ready to contribute on the NBA level and Randle logging the league’s most minutes. The [Drummond move] would make a lot of sense if the Knicks believe Drummond could play in an alignment with Robinson or Noel to give Randle more of a breather.

    Only Mike Woodson would think that two non-spacing centers can play on the floor at the same time in today’s NBA. Oh wait…

  204. by the way, depending on the first round pick that comes back, I would totally be ok with taking on Bledsoe’s contract and sending back Rivers to make the $ work. If NOP wants to give us the 2024 Lakers unprotected first (NOP also has the option to take the Lakers 2025 pick instead – interesting wrinkle), sure I’d go for that.
    He’s having a terrible year this year – I haven’t watched any NOP games, but wonder whether he’s just totally miscast in what they’re trying to do, if he has an injury, or if he just has some weird mechanical thing. He’s shooting well below career averages on 2P% and FT%.

    The interesting thing is whether by taking Bledsoe’s $ off NOP’s hands that it also makes it more likely they match any Lonzo RFA offer sheet. 3d chess I guess.

  205. When it comes to tiers in the East, we may be bunched with Atlanta now but I don’t feel like we’re in the same tier. Their point differential and SRS show them to be below expectations, while we’re well above ours. They are a coiled spring, we’re an orange with no juice left to squeeze.

    I don’t know what to make of Miami and Boston. Neither of them are very good but I still don’t feel confident we’re on their level.

  206. I am not so sure that we’re not just as good as Atlanta. They’ve underperformed their point differential for sure, but I don’t know that we’ve over performed that much — we have a barely positive net rating, a barely negative SRS, and we’re .500. We’re basically right where we should be.

    Atlanta has gotten better as they’ve gotten healthier (not sure whether it’s that or Nate McMillan who is a good coach – probably both), but we should not discount that we’ve been playing 5 weeks without our most important defensive player (Mitch), and Rose (ie. nominally our starting PG, or at least PG that plays the most minutes) being out also is a big factor. Especially since Rose being out makes us play Payton (and to a lesser extent, Frank).

  207. I guess it depends what we’re talking about. If we played Atlanta in a 7 game series, I feel like we could take them. But over the course of the rest of the season, I expect them to put some distance between us in the standings.

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