NY Post: Julius Randle too much to handle as Knicks drop Lakers

From Marc Berman:

It was too much Julius Randle and too much Knicks’ defense for the Lakers to handle.

Yes, this was Lakers Lite, but Randle punished his former team with 34 points and 10 rebounds and the Knicks’ crushing defense stymied the gold-clad defending champions in a 111-96 victory.

The Lakers (33-21) are the No. 1 defense in the NBA — based on the all-important defensive efficiency number. But Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks showed the Lakers on Monday at the Garden that sometimes numbers can lie.

“We had to bring our hard hat,’’ Randle said. “We’ve relied on our defense all year. Just doing what we’ve done all year. They’re a good defensive team. I was aggressive from the start. It’s important early on in the second night of a back-to-back to bring energy and that’s what I tried to do.”

After beating Memphis Friday and the Raptors Sunday, this was the Knicks’ third straight victory to boost their record to 28-27. They have survived that recent 1-5 stretch, survived it stronger.

It’s fucking BEE-ZARRE that the Knicks are now over .500 (which is amazing) and yet still in 8th place and tied in the loss column with the #9 team. What a strange twist of fate for the Eastern Conference, right? The #4 seed was .500 seemingly just a month ago and now the #9 seed is practically .500? In-sane.

But anyhow, this was a very, very impressive win. The Lakers are not a good team, but they’re not an awful team, either, and the Knicks just dismantled them easily. Great win.

One thing I don’t like, though, is that Immanuel Quickley is basically an afterthought at this point. He’s shown he belongs in the NBA, why not let him play through this recent stretch of poor play? Currently, it’s “Be awesome or you don’t play” and I don’t like that. They won by 15 and Quickley couldn’t get more than 15 minutes? That doesn’t seem right. He’s going to be an important part of this team next year and who knows if that’s the case for some of these other guys, so let him play through his issues.

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134 thoughts to “NY Post: Julius Randle too much to handle as Knicks drop Lakers”

  1. DudesTown
    April 12, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Deeefense:
    If Thibs put me infor 4 seconds, 5 seconds, and 14 seconds I might politely tell him “No thank you” or I’d say “Go F yourself”.It would depend onmy mood.

    He’s just stretching him out for the end of the season. By game 72 he’ll be playing full minutes.

    ha, that’s just too funny, full minutes, if he can stay healthy for that long…

    yeah, cya frank…hope he plays well in the future, as long as its not against the knicks…if he ends up playing professional basketball on a whole other continent, well, then I hope plays well every game…

  2. Very good win and for once without heart attacks (but it was still a 5 point game with 5 minutes and changes to go), I was happily wrong about not sniffing .500 anymore after the Boston loss and our record is unbelievable.

    Payton carried RJ’s load on offense and Randle got his revenge (but 7 turnovers hardly would cut against a better team).

    This defense allows us to be in nearly every game, despite our clumsy offense (I can’t remember a team so bad in transition).
    Thibs and the coaching staff deserve a lot of credit, be it just for convincing the players to buy in.

    Despite all his merits Thibs’ management of IQ (that isn’t playing well) and Obi (always benched at the first error) is harsh, but yesterday was the rare occurrance where Payton and Rose played so much better than IQ that I find it hard to complain as I usually do :-)

    I hope at the end it will help the kids grow, but for now to me it looks like it generates insecurity, albeit in different form, with IQ always trying to do too much and Obi disappearing in the folds of the game.

    Speaking of which, maybe Pop uses the same method, Vassell is in a 9 games streak of under 20 minutes and his april numbers are bad.

  3. Despite all his merits Thibs’ management of IQ (that isn’t playing well) and Obi (always benched at the first error) is harsh, but yesterday was the rare occurrance where Payton and Rose played so much better than IQ that I find it hard to complain as I usually do :-)

    Someone on P&T was suggesting that the rare Good Elf games tend to come when he feels his job is threatened, and that his worst habits take over when he feels secure in his role and his minutes. I’m too dumb/lazy to go through his game logs to see if that’s accurate, but it at least sounds plausible.

    I hope at the end it will help the kids grow, but for now to me it looks like it generates insecurity, albeit in different form, with IQ always trying to do too much and Obi disappearing in the folds of the game.

    This is hard to gauge from the outside. Most rookies are bad. Giving them an unlimited leash doesn’t necessarily help, as we’ve seen with Knox, but Knox is just a bad player who can occasionally get hot from deep. It’s possible that the accountability will give IQ and/or Obi bad habits in the long term, but it’s also possible that one or both (IQ more likely than Obi, given the starting points) finds more consistency next year because Thibs, Payne, Bryant, and company have been keeping them so close.

  4. I’m wondering if there is something in Ntilikina’s contract that depends on how many games he actually plays in and they are trying to help him in that regard.

  5. This is hard to gauge from the outside. Most rookies are bad. Giving them an unlimited leash doesn’t necessarily help, as we’ve seen with Knox, but Knox is just a bad player who can occasionally get hot from deep. It’s possible that the accountability will give IQ and/or Obi bad habits in the long term, but it’s also possible that one or both (IQ more likely than Obi, given the starting points) finds more consistency next year because Thibs, Payne, Bryant, and company have been keeping them so close.

    Agreed, Fizdale’s management of Knox’s rookie year was a disaster,

    I think there’s a “middle way” that could be used instead of the “first error = bench” without giving the kids too much rope, but clearly Thibs’ has different ideas and gets millions for that…

    For instance, I hate IQ’s “dribble-dribble-dribble-dribble-logo shot without a pass”, if he played for me he would find himself on the bench every time, even if he scores… :-)

  6. What a strange twist of fate for the Eastern Conference, right? The #4 seed was .500 seemingly just a month ago and now the #9 seed is practically .500?

    It is weird. For years, the teams just making the playoffs in the Eastern conference had worse records than the teams that make the playoffs in the Western conference, but now there is not much difference between the two conferences. The eighth team in each conference is slightly over 0.500 and a 0.481 Winning percentage puts you in a play in game.

  7. KJG: Everyone asleep tonight
    KJG: Well , not everyone
    KJG: That’s a complete joke

    This sequence was super funny! :D
    And in my case, you were right… i was asleep! Missed a great win, but felt great in the morning checking the score! :)

    Cdiggy:
    I DON’T GIVE A SHIT THAT YOU HAD NO LEBRON OR AD. WE DON’T HAVE ANY SUPERSTARS EITHER!!!
    I’m taking a victory shot or three.

    That’s exactly it, they play with no superstars some weeks of the year, we play the whole season! Of course we deserve our victory shot (which i didn’t take, because i was asleep… too bad! LOL)!

    And this will be a happy day in Knick-land, enjoy it guys! :)

  8. cybersoze:

    Cdiggy: I’m taking a victory shot or three.

    Of course we deserve our victory shot (which i didn’t take, because i was asleep… too bad! LOL)!

    And now i got that you were talking about taking shots at your colleagues, whereas i was thinking about drinks! I guess people read things and take it to what suits them best! LOL

  9. Both Begley and Berman say that Schroder is on our radar for free agency. Which only makes me more willing to throw money at Lonzo, because I do not want Schroder if we can help it.

  10. I’m wondering if there is something in Ntilikina’s contract that depends on how many games he actually plays in and they are trying to help him in that regard.

    That makes some sense, but I can’t imagine what it could be. Other than that, you don’t play a guy for 5 seconds unless it’s for 1 critical possession. You certainly don’t do it 3 games in a row.

    I think I sort of know their plans for Frank. From everything I’ve read Thibs likes him, wants to keep working with him, and sees a role for him. We simply don’t enough offensive firepower at other positions to put him on the court primarily for defense. He’ll test free agency and depending on what happens with him and the Knicks they may still make him a 1-2 year offer (kind of like bringing Payton back this year).

    His job this year was mostly to stand in the weak side corner, watch all the action on the other side of the court, and take a nap until they were back on defense. All he did was shoot 3s when the ball got kicked out. He did that quite well. I wish we saw a little more of that to see how much of it was a mirage, but either way he’ll have to add something besides spot up 3s unless he’s on a team like Brooklyn.

  11. Alan:
    Both Begley and Berman say that Schroder is on our radar for free agency. Which only makes me more willing to throw money at Lonzo, because I do not want Schroder if we can help it.

    Just when I was hoping that yesterday no-show could push any Drummond-idea to another planet…

    For me Schroder is a big “NO”, talented player but undisciplined, discontinuous, unreliable and with a story of locker-room frictions.

  12. Alan:
    Both Begley and Berman say that Schroder is on our radar for free agency. Which only makes me more willing to throw money at Lonzo, because I do not want Schroder if we can help it.

    I’m not a big Schroder fan at the salary they are talking about in the papers. He’d be an upgrade over Payton, but not a 15+ million dollar upgrade. Plus, I could be wrong, but he doesn’t seem like a team first guy. He might ruin the good team chemistry we have now. I think Lonzo would be better and he still has upside.

  13. I think most posters here have thought about Frank Ntilikina more than Leon Rose has and he will not be a Knick next season and might not be an NBA player next season

  14. It was nice to see the Randle come back with a great game. We needed that badly last night. Say what you will about him, but he’s a work horse. He plays a lot of minutes, that was a back to back after a bad game, and he came back with a great effort. He’s in great shape.

  15. Randle also seemed to take it personally that the Lakers let him go for nothing when they had his RFA rights, which may be why he went back to some of his turnover-prone, ball-hoggy ways last night. Or it may just be that none of the wings could throw the ball in the ocean, and he realized he had to do more than usual.

  16. Alan:
    Both Begley and Berman say that Schroder is on our radar for free agency. Which only makes me more willing to throw money at Lonzo, because I do not want Schroder if we can help it.

    I was having a happy day, Alan! :P

  17. Pass on Schroder, who had a breakout season playing 2nd banana to CP3 but has basically regressed to his career/mediocre #s with the Lakers this year.

    Would much rather throw the 2 for 50 at Lowry and/or the 4/80 at Lonzo.

    We probably have the cap room to do Lowry + Lonzo and bring back Noel and one of Bullock/Burks. So we would probably have a starting lineup of Lowry, Lonzo, RJ, Randle, Mitch, and bench mob of Quickley, one of the Bs, Obi, Noel, Taj, Knox (plus whoever we draft).

    I think that’d be a pretty fun team to watch, and it might just be good too…

  18. Frank: Would much rather throw the 2 for 50 at Lowry and/or the 4/80 at Lonzo.

    We aren’t getting Lonzo at 4/80

  19. thenoblefacehumper:
    I think most posters here have thought about Frank Ntilikina more than Leon Rose has and he will not be a Knick next season and might not be an NBA player next season

    If I was Rose I’d be thinking about Toppin because that one is on “his” resume and he’s already 23.

    I think there will be teams interested in Frank for one more contract. IMO, it’s still too early to give up on a long switchable plus defender when he has shown he can hit an open 3 this year. He’s younger than Toppin. All he has to do is hit that little pull up mid range shot and finish around the basket a little better and he’ll be fine.

    Knox still has time also.

    I’ve been saying the same thing about development all along.

    They all come in with “x” skill. Some are further along than others on one side or the other or both. You try to add one thing every summer (exactly what they are correctly doing with RJ). Then you hope by 24-26 their peak years are good enough to add something important to the team. It’s either that or sign/trade for 24-26 year old players that are ready and stop drafting 18 and 19 year old projects (and especially not 23 year old projects). :-)

  20. We aren’t getting Lonzo at 4/80

    No, we are not. Also, I’m not sure he’d want to come here to play alongside Kyle Lowry, given his dad’s complaints about him being turned into a 3-and-D wing so the Pelicans can do the Point Zion thing.

  21. An interesting Daryl Morey quote from his appearance on the Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast (as transcribed by Seth Partnow in his latest analytics notes column):

    A few weeks back, Daryl Morey appeared on the Rights to Ricky Sanchez podcast, and in the course of answering a question about the state of analytics with respect to individual defense, had this to say: “I would say public-domain, all-in-one defensive measures are all really bad. I think internally, several teams have some pretty OK ones, not good. Defense is hard…it’s so dependent on what the coach wants them to do.”

    Partnow then adds:

    That last part is key, because even the best “single number” metrics are not measuring how good a player is. Rather they are measuring how effective they have been within the scheme and role in which they have been deployed.

    And also:

    Somewhat fortunately, the difference in player offensive roles is readily understandable enough that it is largely understood that Patty Mills (ninth in 3-year Offensive RAPM) and Devin Booker (10th) aren’t really being graded on the same curve. There are enough examples of solid offensive role players’ efficiency and productivity falling off a cliff when asked to do too much in a larger role that most people avoid direct comparisons across roles. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t really hold for defense. There is no readily understood defensive analog to “Usage Rate” which would allow for a quick and dirty categorization of a player’s defensive role.

    Anyway, there’s a bunch more there that may be of interest to Athletic subscribers.

  22. I know this is considered old school but I still think that you must “watch” defense,

    Given it’s dependency on lineups, opponents schemes, team defensive choices, situational decisions and so on, it’s really difficult to find a number (or numbers) that could reliably define a defender.

    (aside from some “dirty quick” ones for specific kind of roles, for instance opponents %FG at the rim when defended by player X for rim protectors…)

  23. We’d all still obviously take Hali over Obi in a heartbeat, but if it’s any consolation, he’s been decidedly mediocre to bad lately (as Jowles pointed out in an earlier thread)

    And in the meantime, Obi has taken a few baby steps forward.

    That’s my rose colored glasses Knicks assessment for today (-:

  24. I think Obi’s going to be fine… eventually… he actually makes some really quick and sound instinctual decisions in passing situations… i think he gets caught in between doing what his daddy (or mommy (Thibs)) wants him to do and what might come naturally to him… which in the end, might mean this is not the organization for him… I hope and pray for his freedom, here or elsewhere… I think the quick hooks mentioned earlier are “ok” for a time… but I’d rather the kid not be re-engineered into a shell of himself… its been a bit harsh…

  25. … one stat that seems ick… is 18 assists on 42 FGs… i don’t follow that stat or ratio too much but it seems pretty ick… Payton, who may have saved the day, our PG, tied with Noel with 2 assists…

  26. That makes some sense, but I can’t imagine what it could be. Other than that, you don’t play a guy for 5 seconds unless it’s for 1 critical possession. You certainly don’t do it 3 games in a row.

    I can’t think of much either. The only thing I can think of is maybe he has some sort of endorsement contract, perhaps in France, where the pay to him depends on how many games he’s in.

  27. KJG:
    … one stat that seems ick… is 18 assists on 42 FGs… i don’t follow that stat or ratio too much but it seems pretty ick… Payton, who may have saved the day, our PG, tied with Noel with 2 assists…

    And it was 6 on 21 after the first half (when basically only four players scored and all the wings shoot blanks).
    Luckily with better ball sharing in the second half we were able to get separation…

  28. Sounds like Jamal Murray got Thibbed by Mike Malone. First game back from knee soreness and it’s not looking good for the Nuggets.

  29. PGs are just expensive now. We’re going to need to bit the bullet at some point unless we luck into a talented PG through the draft.

    We either go for Schroder at $15M or Ball/Dinwiddie at 25M+ & likely the max. Between those 2 options I think I take Schroder.

    Or we can always run it back with Elf for the 3rd time…

  30. We either go for Schroder at $15M or Ball/Dinwiddie at 25M+ & likely the max. Between those 2 options I think I take Schroder.

    Schroeder turned down 4/$84M from the Lakers. Maybe that will prove to be a disastrous decision a la Nerlens Noel, but he certainly does not think we’re getting him for $15M.

  31. thenoblefacehumper: Schroeder turned down 4/$84M from the Lakers. Maybe that will prove to be a disastrous decision a la Nerlens Noel, but he certainly does not think we’re getting him for $15M.

    *sigh* If only there were a PG we could have drafted last year instead of Obi

  32. Schroder didn’t just turn down $84M — he turned down $84M to play next to LeBron and AD deep into the playoffs until LeBron retires. But sure, he’ll come here for $85M to play next to Alec Burks.

  33. The thing about this past year’s draft is that the entire lottery outside of Hali and LaMelo doesn’t look good so far. For us to grab the third best rookie overall from the draft at #25 should be a monumental credit to the FO. Obi sux, and the nepotism is gross, but we had one of the few hits in the entire draft. I wanted Hali too but just saying for perspective – there are a lot of lottery busts every year.

  34. Shams says Jamal Murray has a torn ACL. Just brutal. The Gordon trade seemed like it might finally put the Nuggets over the top.

  35. Wasserman’s new mock draft has us taking Kispert at 15 (with Bouknight and Ziare Williams still on the board, but Josh Giddey going to Indiana at 13) and Jared Butler at 21 (with, among others, Ayo, Sharife Cooper, and Jaden Springer still on the board).

  36. man… this nuggets team was insanely fun to watch with gordon… was going to be super interesting to see them in the playoffs with this squad….

    late season knee injuries are the worst… it will probably affect him next season too….

  37. The Schröder stuff is stupid really. Why overpay for him when you can draft Jared Butler and/or steal Jalen Brunson from the Mavs? We need to be building around the Barrett win curve, not the Randle curve, and it’s not like Schröder has been an outstanding player. Jalen Brunson is basically Leon Rose’s nephew and that kid might be the next Kyle Lowry; I’d much rather give up real assets for Brunson than pay Schröder $25M a year until he’s 32.

  38. The Murray news is flat out devastating for Denver. You’d think they’re out of title contention until at least 2023, and by then they will be on the clock in a real serious way with Jokic. Maybe Michael Porter Jr (obligatory fuck Mills/Perry for fucking up what seems to be a historically great lottery in 2018. How the fuck does a team as desperate as that year’s Knicks pass up on MPJr, SGA, and Mikal Bridges?) turns into a top 15 guy but Denver has no juice from their guards without Murray.

  39. Alan:
    Wasserman’s new mock draft has us taking Kispert at 15 (with Bouknight and Ziare Williams still on the board, but Josh Giddey going to Indiana at 13) and Jared Butler at 21 (with, among others, Ayo, Sharife Cooper, and Jaden Springer still on the board).

    I haven’t looked to deeply into the draft, but I kinda like that for the Knicks. Kispert is on the older side, so maybe a younger wing is better. We definitely need a PG & SG with our 1sts (assuming we keep both).

    Add a C in the 2nd rd and I’d call it a good draft.

    I could also see Rose going all in, trading 3 or 4 1sts plus 2nds for a top draft pick this year. Or something equally crazy.

    Re: PG FA

    Maybe we can get away with drafting a PG and paying Dinwiddie or Schroder a 1yr max.

    Doubt anyone beats that 1yr deal for Schroder and Dinwiddie has 1yr to prove himself coming off injury.

    It’s possible that holds us over until Jalen is available or our draft pick develops.

  40. I remember when the news broke about schroeder turning down that contract extension someone pointed out that it was not all guaranteed. We never really got a detailed breakdown. Maybe there is more to it than at first glance.

    Either way, pass.

  41. Igno-Bot 3000: The thing about this past year’s draft is that the entire lottery outside of Hali and LaMelo doesn’t look good so far.

    Um, not quite.
    Edwards was one of just 16 players to average at least 23 points, five rebounds, and two assists per game during this stretch. Twelve of the other 15 have made at least one All-NBA team; all 15 have made at least one All-Star appearance.

    Also (from Ringer’s Third Quarter awards):
    Tyrese Haliburton, still the steadily efficient complementary scoring and playmaking backcourt piece Sacramento desperately needed; Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, cementing themselves as hard-defending and increasingly sweet-shooting building blocks in Detroit; Théo Maledon and Aleksej Pokusevski, joyously commanding the tank in Oklahoma City; Chuma Okeke, the brightest spot in a dark time in the Magic Kingdom; Jae’Sean Tate, a furious fire hydrant of a defender coming into his own in rebuilding Houston; Kira Lewis Jr., getting a chance in Stan Van Gundy’s backcourt and making the most of it; Jaden McDaniels, who looks like an absolute steal of a two-way forward in Minneapolis.

    Quick’s not even mentioned, which seems harsh, although he has really been in a shooting slump this quarter.

  42. I’m very much on the Jalen Brunson train, his improvement this season has been really good and he’s starting to tick all the boxes we need. He’s not much of a passer yet but I could see his prime being similar to Kemba / Lowry levels. No idea if the Mavs would really consider it though.

  43. I could also see Rose going all in,

    It’s weird that Rose has shown good restraint and
    yet we all live in fear of the day he wants to make a splash and cannonballs into the kiddie pool.

    For example, we have three really valuable picks and we absolutely have room on the roster for all of them. But how many people actually expect all three picks will be on the roster? I certainly do not.

  44. i am no dj phan on evaluating draft prospects…but watching kispert in the tourney…not sure I would spend the 15th pick on him…did not really do anything that stood out…seems like a right handed luke kennard…who I guess was like a 12th pick…so maybe that is what you get talent wise in that slot…

  45. yea it’s worth mentioning that haliburton wasn’t the only pg we could’ve taken with the pick… kira lewis was a soph but was still significantly younger than almost everyone in the draft and performed pretty well and unsurprisingly holding his own in new orleans now at the tender age of 19….

    if they let ball go… it’s probably because of him… and i wouldn’t blame them…

  46. Jonathan Wasserman
    @NBADraftWass
    Nerlens Noel ranks

    1st in NBA in defensive plus-minus,
    2nd in NBA in block % for the
    3rd best defensive team in the NBA while earning
    $5M on a one-year deal

    Talk about this more

  47. yea i’m not kispert’s biggest fan either…. or spending 1st rd picks on one-dimensional 3pt shooters…. sometimes they do pan out like jj redick… but they wind up hopping around teams because they’re so disposable anyway… and most of the time they don’t pan out like jimmer fredette or adam morrison… and at best you get someone like duncan robinson or joe harris who you normally spend 2nd rd picks for that kind of shooting talent…

    and that’s basically what kispert is…. cause he doesn’t play defense… doesn’t have a dribble drive game.. he’s basically catch and shoot all day… which he was good at but against a high pressure defense like baylor he was just another guy on the court that struggled to get their shot…

  48. Hubert: It’s weird that Rose has shown good restraint and
    yet we all live in fear of the day he wants to make a splash and cannonballs into the kiddie pool.

    For example, we have three really valuable picks and we absolutely have room on the roster for all of them. But how many people actually expect all three picks will be on the roster? I certainly do not.

    Going all-in isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It could theoretically workout wonderfully.

    But historically the Knicks doing it has been disastrous.

  49. Bruno Almeida:
    I’m very much on the Jalen Brunson train, his improvement this season has been really good and he’s starting to tick all the boxes we need. He’s not much of a passer yet but I could see his prime being similar to Kemba / Lowry levels. No idea if the Mavs would really consider it though.

    If Jalen Brunson wants to leave the Mavericks have zero leverage; his 4th year is a non-guarantee as opposed to a team option. He’ll be headed to unrestricted free agency next year and Dallas doesn’t start him nor do they have the assets to build around Brunson, Doncic, and Porzingis (it’s likely all 3 guys will cost $85M+ in 2022). We could offer them their 2023 draft pick back if Brunson wants to leave, but Dallas does not have control of the situation.

  50. I’m going to temper my predictions again cause we lost so many close games to better teams that I now think we do have a hard cap on the types of teams we can beat. Although Denver is much more winnable now, which sucks. I love watching Murray play and that team is so much fun.

    But I’m gonna say we win 37 games this year. I see 7 more games on the schedule that I think we can for sure win, leaving 2 more surprise wins. I’m also really hoping that closing out these close games against Toronto and Memphis might give us a bit more confidence in close games against better teams. Also, maybe Rose is finally over Covid and the team can be a little bit closer to full strength.

    Would love to see Obi build on this recent improvement and maybe Thibs rewards him with a few more minutes so Randle can be fresh.

    I don’t know much about Brunson but I do like the idea of screwing over the Mavs some more. Also warming up to the big 2 year offer for Lowry idea. I think he still has some juice left.

  51. swiftandabundant: I don’t know much about Brunson but I do like the idea of screwing over the Mavs some more. Also warming up to the big 2 year offer for Lowry idea. I think he still has some juice left.

    The Mavs screwed themselves by giving him a non-guaranteed 4th year instead of a team option on the 4th. You can’t waive a guy and get restricted free agent rights on him lol. Why draft a guy 33rd overall if you didn’t think he’d be valuable to you for more than 3 years? Stealing Brunson from the Mavs should be plan A at point guard this summer.

  52. swiftandabundant: But I’m gonna say we win 37 games this year.

    This probably depends a bit on whether other teams rest starters down the stretch.

    It’s a feasible outcome.

  53. This probably depends a bit on whether other teams rest starters down the stretch.

    or how many times we’re able to play teams without one or two (or in the case with milwaukee… 4) of their best players….

  54. Why draft a guy 33rd overall if you didn’t think he’d be valuable to you for more than 3 years?

    As a matter of rate relative to first rounders, 2nds rarely end up as rotation players. You can create your own luck by drafting smart, but the best-case scenario in a given year is a solid bench player like Jalen Brunson or De’Anthony Melton. You certainly can’t expect Jokics or even Brogdons to be there at 36 or 37.

    That said, I don’t see the point in balking on a $1M option in year four. Worst-case scenario is you waive them or trade them to a scratch-off addict for nothing.

  55. Raven: Um, not quite.
    Edwards was one of just 16 players to average at least 23 points, five rebounds, and two assists per game during this stretch. Twelve of the other 15 have made at least one All-NBA team; all 15 have made at least one All-Star appearance.

    Also (from Ringer’s Third Quarter awards):
    Tyrese Haliburton, still the steadily efficient complementary scoring and playmaking backcourt piece Sacramento desperately needed; Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart, cementing themselves as hard-defending and increasingly sweet-shooting building blocks in Detroit; Théo Maledon and Aleksej Pokusevski, joyously commanding the tank in Oklahoma City; Chuma Okeke, the brightest spot in a dark time in the Magic Kingdom; Jae’Sean Tate, a furious fire hydrant of a defender coming into his own in rebuilding Houston; Kira Lewis Jr., getting a chance in Stan Van Gundy’s backcourt and making the most of it; Jaden McDaniels, who looks like an absolute steal of a two-way forward in Minneapolis.

    Quick’s not even mentioned, which seems harsh, although he has really been in a shooting slump this quarter.

    Edwards and Lewis were the only players there taken in the lottery. The context was Obi being a disappointment with Hali sitting right there, but the majority of players taken in the second-half of the lottery have been disappointments so far. Quickley will be selected first-team All-Rookie this year whether or not a writer from the Ringer acknowledges his existence.

  56. Going all-in isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It could theoretically workout wonderfully.

    for sure. but there’s a specific set of circumstances that is worrisome:

    when we have a lot of cap space and assets, there are no upper echelon players available, and the front office “wants to make a splash.”

    No one is worried that we might sign Kawhi Leonard! It’s the Schroeder guys that scare us.

    To his credit, Rose has avoided this type of mistake every time it’s been reported he’s thinking about it. I think it’s fair to wonder if he can remain patient when he’s got an owner and some parts of the fan base pushing him to make a splash.

  57. I also think there is a difference between going all-in on free agents who don’t necessarily deserve the bag and going all-in on a draft by packaging a bunch of middling picks in exchange for one much higher pick. Especially in a draft like this. Given RJ and Randle’s development and the potential for Quickley to improve, I don’t hate the idea of coming out of this draft with a couple of solid role player types in the mid-late teens. But if Rose and Aller could find a way into the top 4 by giving up all of this year’s picks and maybe something else, I also wouldn’t hate that, because Suggs, Mobley, et al, would look GREAT on this team.

  58. I’m not afraid of a good splash!

    typically, the “make a splash” move is an impatient one.

  59. there’s really no way for us to get into the top 4 – 5 unless we miss the playoffs and win the lotto.. that’s a pipe dream akin to trying to wrangle away the #1 pick in the 2019 draft…. you could offer picks for the next decade and it wasn’t going to happen… every one of those guys could be #1 in any other draft and the worst guy is the guy who everyone thinks is #1 this year…

    the #6-8 pick is much more doable but probably not worth it… there’s not much separating the #6 guy… than the #15-20 guy this year…. and most of the mocks reflect that… there’s hardly any sort of consensus on what comes after the top 5….

    we are in an enviable position… the draft should have very solid players all throughout the first round and there will be deserving guys that will drop and we should have an opportunity at more than a few of them….

  60. Yeah, if we can’t get top 5, I would just assume hold on to the picks we got and make those. If we can get two rotation/bench players that are good with those picks, that’s a solid win for us.

    I believe we now have both of our second rounders again? I would be into the idea of packaging a first and second to move up a few spots. So end up with 2 firsts and no second rounders but our firsts are each a few spots higher because we included the second to move up with each one.

  61. I really like Brunson (since before he was drafted), a steady player used to play a big role in a winning team,
    whose draft stock declined for the usual “stupid” reasons (he’s old, he’s a junior, his ceiling is low…) that negates the only real question: does he ball?

    His contract for 2021-2022 become guaranteed if the Mavs don’t waive him on june 30th, there’s no way they do that. He’ll be a UFA at the end of 2022 (if not extended).

    In Windhorst’s podcast last week he and McMahon said that Brunson is Dallas’ only “untouchable” player outside of Doncic and previuos reports said that his name was kept out of every trade discussion Dallas was involved in.

    We would hope that he would want to come to us for his “personal relations”, otherwise it will be hard.

  62. the #6-8 pick is much more doable but probably not worth it… there’s not much separating the #6 guy… than the #15-20 guy this year…. and most of the mocks reflect that… there’s hardly any sort of consensus on what comes after the top 5….

    that’s the move I’m afraid of! Giving up all three picks to move up to 8 to pick some guy who is no better than someone we can get with the mavs pick.

    To be fair, that is precisely what Rose tried to do last year, so the fear is not without merit.

  63. swiftandabundant: I believe we now have both of our second rounders again?

    We have our pick, Dallas’s pick, Detroit’s 2nd, and Philadelphia’s 2nd.

    Oh, and we have swap rights with the Clippers :)

    Detroit’s 2nd is one of the most enviable picks in the whole draft, but based on what they did last year I don’t expect us to use it.

  64. swiftandabundant: I would be into the idea of packaging a first and second to move up a few spots. So end up with 2 firsts and no second rounders but our firsts are each a few spots higher because we included the second to move up with each one.

    I think we hold onto a 2nd this year. Last draft we had a bunch of young players, but we’ve cleared out Iggy, DSJR, & Frank is likely gone. We could use some end of the bench filler with upside. Last year we couldn’t fit them & also assemble a competent team. This year we probably can.

    Pelle or Taj might be 1 of those guys, but there’s plenty of bench space leftover.

    Wouldn’t surprise me at all if we packaged them to move up though.

  65. cybersoze: Of course we deserve our victory shot (which i didn’t take, because i was asleep… too bad! LOL)!

    And now i got that you were talking about taking shots at your colleagues, whereas i was thinking about drinks! I guess people read things and take it to what suits them best! LOL

    I meant libations ;-) – but yes I did both.

  66. Alan:
    Randle also seemed to take it personally that the Lakers let him go for nothing when they had his RFA rights, which may be why he went back to some of his turnover-prone, ball-hoggy ways last night. Or it may just be that none of the wings could throw the ball in the ocean, and he realized he had to do more than usual.

    Laker fans were glad to get rid of him. Snobs.

  67. KJG:
    … one stat that seems ick… is 18 assists on 42 FGs… i don’t follow that stat or ratio too much but it seems pretty ick… Payton, who may have saved the day, our PG, tied with Noel with 2 assists…

    You follow that one too? I remember that being something Pat Riley would frequently talk about after games during his Knick tenure. I believe the aim is to have 50% or more of your made field goals to be assisted. I check that within the box score after every game.

  68. Owen:
    Jonathan Wasserman
    @NBADraftWass
    Nerlens Noel ranks

    1st in NBA in defensive plus-minus,
    2nd in NBA in block % for the
    3rd best defensive team in the NBA while earning
    $5M on a one-year deal

    Talk about this more

    I think if you calculated wins per overall payroll dollars for every NBA team, the Knicks would be one of the best in the league.

  69. Knick fan not in NJ: Talk about this more

    I love Nerlens Noel. I love his name. I love his facial expression. I love his blocks. I love his overall defense. I love his dunks. I love his contract. I love his awful, awful hands that are so much fun to make fun of.

    I love Mitch more. But I have lots of room in my heart. I love Nerlens Noel.

  70. Raven: I love Nerlens Noel. I love his name. I love his facial expression. I love his blocks. I love his overall defense. I love his dunks. I love his contract. I love his awful, awful hands that are so much fun to make fun of.

    I love Mitch more. But I have lots of room in my heart. I love Nerlens Noel.

    Invaluable … guy could be the best backup center of all time … yea I said it … I was happy to have him and he’s over delivered in every way

  71. The Honorable Cock Jowles
    April 13, 2021 at 10:04 am

    “Sounds like Jamal Murray got Thibbed by Mike Malone. First game back from knee soreness and it’s not looking good for the Nuggets.”

    I’m pretty sure Murray sat out the past 4 games with right knee soreness, but he tore his left acl. But if the narrative train is that coaches ruin players by playing them, I guess that’s just the way it’s gonna be. Strange coming from a blog that prefers to cut through silly narratives, though.

    As for the impact of Murray’s injury, I understand that having $30,000,000/season tied up in an injured player makes things very difficult, but I feel like losing Murray (the player) is kind of survivable. He was having a good season so far, but up until very recently he was maddeningly inconsistent, and even when healthy I’m not so sure I’d feel good about having $158,000,000 invested in him long term if I was the Denver front office. His .590 TS% on 25% usage is what the ever-available Malik Monk is doing for Charlotte this year, and what Corey Joseph is doing for the Pistons since arriving from Sacramento. Denver is deep, and guys like Porter jr, Gordon, Morris, Millsap, and even Bol Bol are all potentially able to do a large part of what Murray does alongside Jokic.

  72. Once again, the Knicks have their best results when they don’t play! Indiana, Charlotte and Miami all lose, which makes the #6 seed still in play and puts some separation between the Knicks and the Pacers for the #9 seed.

  73. Anthony Edwards’ bizarre honesty continues to be a delight. When asked what he thought of Alex Rodriguez buying the team, he said he didn’t know who that was (he knew he bought the team, he just didn’t know who he was beyond that) and after the reporters told him he was a famous baseball player he said that he doesn’t follow baseball (despite being an excellent baseball player growing up). Hilarious stuff.

  74. Brian Cronin:
    Once again, the Knicks have their best results when they don’t play! Indiana, Charlotte and Miami all lose, which makes the #6 seed still in play and puts some separation between the Knicks and the Pacers for the #9 seed.

    Yeah, it was great. The only game that didn’t went our way was Portland scoring 2 fewer points than needed.

  75. Yeah, it was great. The only game that didn’t went our way was Portland scoring 2 fewer points than needed.

    And even there, Dame tried his damndest! He made some crazy ass magic threes.

  76. I’m holding out hope that Dallas stays in the 7-8 spot and loses in the play-in. They’d probably be 14th in the lottery with a near-zero chance of moving up, but it’s better than being at #6 and possibly being #19-20.

    As to the Knicks, I’m truly ambivalent. I am enjoying the wins and rooting for a win every game, but if they lose it is good for the lottery odds. Seems more likely every day that we are going to wind up with the 7th seed.

    The most likely scenario seems like we will have two picks between 12-18.

  77. Z-man: The most likely scenario seems like we will have two picks between 12-18.

    I’m with you, but this scenario isn’t the most likely. Because there’s some chances that Dallas loses in the play-in, but they’re not great chances. They’d have to lose 2 games in a row, not all that likely i would say.

  78. For the most part, I’m rooting for the team to win, even as I can’t help thinking that the ideal scenario is losing in the play-in tournament. The season is still looked at as a success, but we wind up with a higher draft pick, even if the lottery gods aren’t in our favor.

  79. Barring injury, I think it’s extremely unlikely that Dallas ends up in the play-in. They’re rounding into shape and their schedule is remarkably easy for a western conference team. They have ~10 games left against teams that are likely tanking the rest of the season (Sac, Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, Minnesota, Toronto). It is highly likely they go something like 9-1 in those games. Portland only has 1.5 games up on them and has a much tougher schedule…

    Anthony Edwards man… there is zero chance he doesn’t know who A-Rod is. My kid is 11 and sure, is a Yankee fan, but everyone knows who A-Rod is. Why would you do that for literally a legendary baseball player and your future owner?

  80. cybersoze: I’m with you, but this scenario isn’t the most likely. Because there’s some chances that Dallas loses in the play-in, but they’re not great chances. They’d have to lose 2 games in a row, not all that likely i would say.

    Even if DAL loses in the play-in they will likely be #13 or 14 because their record will likely be better than the play-in losers in the East and probably the other play-in loser in the West.

  81. Lu Dort had 42! 7-11 from three. Sometimes I think I need more Lu in my life but then I look at his statline.

    Phoenix got some great minutes from their bench last night.

    Hawks win without their entire starting lineup.

    It’s a really strange year. You open a box score and basically expect that at least 2 of the best players in any matchup will be sitting.

    Cuban says he regrets voting for the play in games. I suppose we won’t know how we will feel about it until we watch some of the play in games but not sure I will know how I feel about it then either.

  82. Owen:
    .

    Phoenix got some great minutes from their bench last night.

    Hawks win without their entire starting lineup.

    It’s a really strange year. You open a box score and basically expect that at least 2 of the best players in any matchup will be sitting.

    According to The Athletic, Jason Tatum now has to use an inhaler to open up his lungs since his Covid infection. Certainly more health variables in the mix than in recent memory.

  83. Frank: Anthony Edwards man… there is zero chance he doesn’t know who A-Rod is. My kid is 11 and sure, is a Yankee fan, but everyone knows who A-Rod is. Why would you do that for literally a legendary baseball player and your future owner?

    What a great way to endear yourself to a new owner! LOL
    And even if he really doesn’t know who A-Rod is (but the way, i’m portuguese, don’t follow baseball at all, and i know who he is), didn’t cross his mind to search the name of the (possible) new owner? Google is older than Edwards, for God sake!

  84. Owen: Cuban says he regrets voting for the play in games. I suppose we won’t know how we will feel about it until we watch some of the play in games but not sure I will know how I feel about it then either.

    In my book he’s super cynical, as some weeks ago when DAL was on the outside of the top8 he didn’t say a thing about it. Now that the arrangement doesn’t favor him, is when he speaks.
    I hope the Knicks don’t do this if we end the season in the Top8. Those were the rules, let’s accept it and try to make the most of it.

  85. I don’t have an entirely settled opinion on the play-in tournament (my half-baked, undeveloped opinion is it should be triggered if the 9/10 seeds are over .500 or something), but Cuban is just publicly boosting the guy who controls every aspect of his team’s fate for the next 15 years. Doubt he feels particularly strongly about it in reality.

  86. I for one love the play-in tournament. It has really changed the season in that there are fewer outright tanking teams, which is what it should be like. The 7 and 8 seeds are rarely ever competitive in their first round matchup, and so the added drama of the play-in for them is good for overall excitement. That combined with the new lottery odds are a pretty decent answer to the tanking movement, which while totally rational was really bad for the league.

  87. What is the deal with the lottery and play in tournament? If a team finishes 8th, but loses both their play in games, do they go to the lottery, or does say the 10th seed get into the playoffs and get a lottery pick?

  88. What is the deal with the lottery and play in tournament? If a team finishes 8th, but loses both their play in games, do they go to the lottery, or does say the 10th seed get into the playoffs and get a lottery pick?

    The former. The play-in tournament itself does not count as the playoffs, for lottery purposes. The teams that don’t make it to the actual playoffs qualify for the lottery, regardless of whether they were originally seeded 7th or 10th.

  89. Alan: The former. The play-in tournament itself does not count as the playoffs, for lottery purposes. The teams that don’t make it to the actual playoffs qualify for the lottery, regardless of whether they were originally seeded 7th or 10th.

    Is there a confirmation of this, Alan?

  90. An interesting trend Macri noted in a recent newsletter: since the all-star break, our luck with regards to 3PT% has pretty much dried up and yet the defense has remained top-5 during that time. We’re still giving up tons of shots at the rim, but our opponents to continue to, well, miss them.

    We’re also giving up far fewer wide open threes than we were prior to the break (3rd highest rate to 21st highest rate), which is encouraging in the sense that Thibs may have recognized this as a problem despite it not burning us results wise.

    Or maybe it’s all just small sample size theater (17 games), but it’s good to know we’re still capable of defending well even when the invisible sixth man is on the mend.

  91. Bo Nateman: According to The Athletic, Jason Tatum now has to use an inhaler to open up his lungs since his Covid infection. Certainly more health variables in the mix than in recent memory.

    I wish my conspiracy-peddling fitness-trainer/nutritionist acquaintances would pay as much attention to this as they do the six blood clots representing something like 0.00008% of the administered doses.

  92. I’m with TNFH, i think the 9th and 10th would only enter the play-in if they were at a predefined distance from the 8th. And please, the 7th and 8th game is stupid. Having a team quite successful (7th) ruin a season because of 2 games doesn’t seem fair. Now, the 8th and if it didn’t separate from the teams below more than X games, say 2 game differential, would have its spot in jeopardy, but that seems fair as it’s quite leveled and they have the play-in to settle it out.

  93. I’m with TNFH, i think the 9th and 10th would only enter the play-in if they were at a predefined distance from the 8th.

    But then you have another hard cliff to present as “unfair.” And what of the 11th and 12th teams if they’re within striking distance of 9 and 10? It’s all arbitrary, but the arbitrariness is irrelevant. The fact is that the NBA wants more “playoff” games to nationally televise. They get 6 more games for a simple rule change, and the high-stakes nature of the games makes them more marketable.

    I wish that the NBA would eliminate Eastern and Western Conferences and allow the 1-7 seeds to choose their first-round opponents, in order. And maybe do the same for the next rounds. The drama would be juicy, logistical nightmares be damned.

  94. thenoblefacehumper: … our luck with regards to 3PT% has pretty much dried up … but it’s good to know we’re still capable of defending well even when the invisible sixth man is on the mend.

    RIP Invisible 6th Man! OAKAAK! :D

  95. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I wish that the NBA would eliminate Eastern and Western Conferences and allow the 1-7 seeds to choose their first-round opponents, in order. And maybe do the same for the next rounds. The drama would be juicy, logistical nightmares be damned.

    Jowles, the anarchist! And here i was thinking i was the only punk in this forum! :P

  96. But it’s a very good idea, Jowles, and there’s nothing that sells more these days than drama.

  97. Is there a confirmation of this, Alan?

    Multiple reporters have conveyed this, yes. After Berman initially messed up some of the details.

  98. My preference would include an expansion (hello Las Vegas, hello Seattle) to 32 teams. 2 conferences, 4 divisions in each. The winners of the 4 divisions in each conference would qualify for the 1st round of the playoffs. The Top8 teams that didn’t win their division would be in a preliminary round with the teams 9th to 12th, best of 3 (to not generate a lot more games in the schedule).

  99. Alan: Multiple reporters have conveyed this, yes. After Berman initially messed up some of the details.

    Thanks, Alan. I thought it was only what we (the hive-mind of Knickerblogger) thought should happen, and not proper confirmation from “sources” (LOL).
    But still nothing official coming from the NBA itself, right?

  100. The winners of the 4 divisions in each conference would qualify for the 1st round of the playoffs. The Top8 teams that didn’t win their division would be in a preliminary round with the teams 9th to 12th, best of 3 (to not generate a lot more games in the schedule).

    I don’t like the idea of conferences because it’s far more arbitrary than “team with most wins.” You end up having the NFL’s bullshit where a 7-9 team makes it in while a 10-6 team is denied.

  101. Ha, no way they’d let teams chose who they play in the playoffs.

    What I do think is realistic and I’d like to see is you still have the top 8 from each Conference but the seeding is based on record alone, not on conference. So the best overall team would play the worst overall team, etc.

    This would make it more likely that the worst teams (in the East) would get knocked out earlier and you’d have better second round match ups. I guess the downside is there would be no Eastern Conference or Western Conference champions, but they could still hang the banners for regular season and hang a NBA FINAL Four banner or something instead.

    But honestly, its fine the way it is. With the play in games, its reducing tanking some and making the end of the regular season more fun. Luka’s just complaining cause his team can’t coast right now.

  102. My preference would include an expansion (hello Las Vegas, hello Seattle) to 32 teams. 2 conferences, 4 divisions in each. The winners of the 4 divisions in each conference would qualify for the 1st round of the playoffs. The Top8 teams that didn’t win their division would be in a preliminary round with the teams 9th to 12th, best of 3 (to not generate a lot more games in the schedule).

    you lost me at expansion. further dilution is the last thing the NBA needs. of course we’ll get it anyway.

  103. The Honorable Cock Jowles: I don’t like the idea of conferences because it’s far more arbitrary than “team with most wins.” You end up having the NFL’s bullshit where a 7-9 team makes it in while a 10-6 team is denied.

    That’s a great improvement, i agree. So with no conferences, i think with 4 divisions of 8 teams (playing twice with the other divisions, and 4 times within division, for a 76 game season). Then i’d reward the division champions with automatic qualification to the Round of 16 (it’s the same as the current 1st round), and penalise the 4 worst in each division to go analyze Tankathon (LOL). The other 24 teams would be in the preliminary round (best of 3), to qualify 12 for the Round of 16.
    Is this better? :)

  104. I think the play in tournament is fair. You have to draw the lines somewhere, and I think it’s fair to assume that the first six teams in each conference have earned a definite spot, and the 5th and 6th teams are hit with a minor home court disadvantage penalty in the first round but get to rest up while the play-in goes on. I don’t think there is much difference between the 7-10 seeds in terms of who should be in or out, and I like that the 7 and 8 seeds have to lose 2, including one at home for sure, games to be knocked out. If you finish 7th and get knocked out, tough shit…you should have played harder and gotten in the top 6, or won the home game in the play-in. And as a consolation you get a lottery pick. And some of the non-tanking teams have something to play for in the last week, which is good for those franchises.

  105. The play-in also makes NBA purgatory less crushing, since you either sneak into the playoffs or get a lottery pick. I agree that giving the non-tanking bottom feeders something to play for is a worthwhile thing to do.

  106. Did Zion play against the Knicks last year? I think i’m going to watch him play for the first time tonight (as i don’t usually watch games that don’t involve the Knicks).

  107. Did Zion play against the Knicks last year? I think i’m going to watch him play for the first time tonight (as i don’t usually watch games that don’t involve the Knicks).

    No. This will be the first time.

  108. Ha, no way they’d let teams chose who they play in the playoffs.

    I agree that this is fact, but why? Tradition?

    The reason we don’t have Elam, even in OT, is tradition, as foul-and-pray is somehow more palatable to “purists” than every OT being decided by a game-winner. The reason we don’t have a lottery wheel, or even flat odds, is tradition, as teams unabashedly (and smartly) choosing to tank is somehow more palatable to “purists” than the lottery-junkie foaming at the mouth over winners and losers in Tankathon. And don’t get me started on coaching challenges, a half-assed half-measure if I’ve ever seen one.

    Why shouldn’t they let teams choose?

  109. The Honorable Cock Jowles: No. This will be the first time.

    For whatever it’s worth, he played against the Summer League Knicks on opening night of 2019. He got injured and didn’t play the rest of summer league, iirc

  110. Is it an Elam Ending really if they are tied at the end of regulation?

    Would it just be a target score? Play to 15 or something?

    I’d be down with that for overtime for sure.

  111. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Why shouldn’t they let teams choose?

    I would imagine most teams wouldn’t want to. It just gives them something else to worry about, to be second guessed by fans and media, to fire up their opponent. And if there’s a bad matchup they’d like to avoid, they have to admit it publicly, which is kind of embarrassing and could mess with a team’s mojo, so it probably wouldn’t happen much.

    It just seems more like a headache than a reward.

  112. Sign me up for the Elam Ending instead of the 5 min overtime. Would be much more fun.
    And i don’t like at all double and triple overtime, which this option would prevent.

  113. Sign me up for the Elam Ending instead of the 5 min overtime. Would be much more fun.
    And i don’t like at all double and triple overtime, which this option would prevent.

    I like the idea of winning by 2. It would extend games in the highest-leverage scenarios. Just imagine a 1-point game with traded buckets over and over. You’d have guys like Dame and Steph rocking their arenas.

    Is it an Elam Ending really if they are tied at the end of regulation?

    No, it’s not. But you could also play the first 3 minutes normally and set the target score after that. It would eliminate foul-and-pray altogether, as far as I can tell. You’d probably have to work in some punitive rules about intentional fouling.

    I would imagine most teams wouldn’t want to. It just gives them something else to worry about, to be second guessed by fans and media, to fire up their opponent.

    Easy solution: don’t lose the series. If NBA players and franchise executives aren’t there to compete, they should find new jobs.

  114. I hate the Elam ending. Never had a problem with the nature of overtime. To me, the clock is an integral part of the game and the game should end when the clock counts down to zero, whether in regulation or OT. There are creative things you could do to discourage fouling…like lowering the foul-out threshhold, giving teams the option to take 2 FTs or inbound the ball, eliminating timeouts in OT. But the clock ticking down makes things exciting for me.

  115. To me, the clock is an integral part of the game and the game should end when the clock counts down to zero, whether in regulation or OT.

    How is foul-and-pray, a direct consequence of the game clock and foul rewards, an integral part of the game? Why is it that the last handful of possessions look nothing like the rest of the game? This is quite the take you’ve got, Z-man.

    (1) Reducing the number of allowed fouls would mean more high-minutes (i.e. star) players would foul out. And foul trouble would come sooner, so defense would suffer even more. And in high-leverage foul-and-pray situations, you’d have to sub in bench players. Or have your star players foul out. And not every game ends in foul-and-pray, so you’re just messing with every game’s foul balance to fix an relatively unusual, but highly irritating, possible game outcome. Terrible solution.

    (2) 2 FT or the ball would lead to — you guessed it — more fouling. Couple this with a lowered personal foul cap and baby, you’ve got a stew goin’!

    (3) Eliminate all timeouts for all I care. Inbound plays can be technically interesting but no one outside of nerds wants more of them. Still, this does not stop foul-and-pray. It just means that you’re going to commit fouls without a timeout. This does not fix anything.

  116. How can anyone have a problem with OT or double OT? Its FREE BASKETBALL!

    And when games go to double OT they are always the most intense games and turn into endurance battles LOVE IT!

    Foul and pray is annoying but its been a part of the game for as long as I can remember and it really isn’t all of the games where this happens. Plus, for every annoying ending that’s extended because of foul and pray you have those super dramatic ones where a free throw is missed and a team comes back and wins.

  117. but its been a part of the game for as long as I can remember

    t r a d i t i o n

  118. I think the NBA game is in a pretty good place when it comes to end-of-game excitement in both regulation and overtime. If they adopt the Elam ending in OT, whatever. OT games are exciting by definition, and so few games go to overtime that it won’t make much of a difference. I prefer a defined time frame, the finality of a buzzer, and the potential excitement of needing to score in a few remaining seconds rather than having 14 or 24 seconds on a last possession, or not even knowing if it is in fact a last possession. There’s no right or wrong, it’s just personal preference. Even with the Elam ending, you’d still have lots of games end with a thud on FTs as teams try to keep other teams from making the winning shot.

    That said, I still think things can be done to eliminate some of the intentional fouling. I would love to see teams have an option of either 2 FTs or a “technical foul” with 1 FT plus possession. If you think teams will still foul for a chance at stealing an inbound pass, you can give teams a free inbounds (defenders must stay a certain distance away until the ball is inbounded.) As to the foul-out changes, wouldn’t players (especially star players) be discouraged from committing fouls in overtime if they were benched if they fouled?

  119. I like the current setup, but I’ll admit that I’m being driven by tradition on it.

  120. I would make a rule change and treat non-shooting fouls in the last three minutes as if they were flagrant fouls (two FTs plus possession). This would resolve the foul and pray issue and pace of play at the end of games, though it would make those not very likely comebacks even less likely. I think FIBA had a similar rule at some point (or, rather, a more expansive definition of intentional fouling that would also give the team possession).

  121. the worst thing about game endings now is these constant, insufferable replay stoppages. Especially the ones that are obvious but take forever bc they’re trying to figure out how many tenths of a second should be on the clock.

    I’m at the point where I’d rather they just get a few calls wrong than ruin every game.

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