NY Post: Knicks clipped by Warriors in first game with fans back at MSG

From Marc Berman:

It was as if 11 months of enthusiastic fervor had been unleashed in one night at the Garden.

A lively, loud crowd of 2,000 cheered the Knicks, heckled the Warriors and booed the referees Tuesday night. But in the end, the season’s first Garden crowd — which a team spokesman called a sellout — only could do so much and the Warriors’ talent won out.

Golden State pounded the Knicks in the second half to post a 114-106 victory. Stephen Curry rained in 37 points and Draymond Green was all over the court in a defensive gem.

Green made newly minted All-Star Julius Randle struggle from the field while piling up 11 assists, two steals and one block. Randle finished with 25 points on 8 of 21 shooting and got ejected with 17.5 seconds remaining after picking up his second technical.

Indeed, the Knicks were frustrated afterward, with coach Tom Thibodeau and Derrick Rose each taking issue with the lack of calls going the Knicks’ way — perhaps causing them to shoot just 39 percent.

“Sometimes you get calls, sometimes you don’t,’’ Thibodeau said. “It just seemed like there was a lot of contact on our drives and we didn’t get the calls. We have to deal with that, yeah.’’

Look at Berman throwing the Knicks a bone! “Maybe the officiating led to them shooting poorly.” You go, Berman! Secure that access!

Anyhow, shitty loss against a pretty good Warriors team. Still, Julius Randle made the All-Star team, so that’s cool, at least!

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215 thoughts to “NY Post: Knicks clipped by Warriors in first game with fans back at MSG”

  1. Been an ugly stretch of games, even counting when we’ve won. With this team, that’s to be expected, but still less fun than other periods of the season.

    At least Obi showed signs of life. Imagine if he and Quickley ever play well on the same night.

  2. Alan: Imagine if he and Quickley ever play well on the same night.

    Even if they did, would Thibs play them more than 15-20 minutes?

  3. Even if they did, would Thibs play them more than 15-20 minutes?

    If they were playing well enough to help the team win, yeah. Thibs doesn’t have a veteran fetish; he was a winning fetish, and if kids like RJ or IQ can help him win, he’s gonna ride ’em like Secretariat (to paraphrase Coach Pringles on Linsanity). Quickley plays a lot on nights when he has it going, and less on nights where, like yesterday, he can’t throw the ball into the ocean. Toppin has the problem of playing the same position as our best player and minutes leader, but I can picture the guy we saw in spurts last night sharing the court with Randle more than they have so far, depending on the matchup.

  4. One easy reason why the team hasn’t been good on offense — we are badly missing the best spacing threat in the starting lineup – Mitchell Robinson.

    Meanwhile, as soon as I saw the closing lineup last night, I knew the game was over. Elf, Rose, RJ, Randle, Taj. You couldn’t pick a worse shooting lineup if you tried. Randle has been a revelation in terms of 3 point shooting, but when your PF is your only shooting threat, you’re probably not going to score much.

  5. Obi Toppin DID look like an NBA player last night, though, so not a complete dud of a game.

    Randle up to 41.4% from 3. Starting to shoot way too many midrangers though.

  6. Alan: If they were playing well enough to help the team win, yeah. Thibs doesn’t have a veteran fetish; he was a winning fetish, and if kids like RJ or IQ can help him win, he’s gonna ride ’em like Secretariat (to paraphrase Coach Pringles on Linsanity). Quickley plays a lot on nights when he has it going, and less on nights where, like yesterday, he can’t throw the ball into the ocean. Toppin has the problem of playing the same position as our best player and minutes leader, but I can picture the guy we saw in spurts last night sharing the court with Randle more than they have so far, depending on the matchup.

    No, he has a veteran fetish. It doesn’t matter how bad Taj is he’s still going to get his minutes. Rose has to be brutally awful, going 1-10 and 1-8, to get pulled early and even then he generally plays more minutes than the rookies while Obi hasn’t played even 20 minutes since opening night. Not to mention, Thibs’ refusal to pull guys during blowouts.

  7. It’s hard to win games in the NBA when your starting backcourt is Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock.

  8. IMHO Taj has been great considering he was a midseason free agent minimum pickup pressed into emergency duty. He wouldn’t be getting any minutes at all if Mitch were healthy. And honestly, Noel has been pretty terrible. He’s ok on defense but offensively he has hands of stone and just seems unable to finish anything unless it is literally laid in front of him on a silver platter. Last night there was a play where he was 4 feet from the basket with only Steph curry in the way, and he threw up a floater like he was a 6’1″ guard. Ridiculous.

    There was a time earlier in the year where I thought maybe Noel’s play would be a bargaining chip against Mitch, but man has that time passed.

    Rose? Yeah he is playing too many minutes, and while there were a couple games in which it looked like he and IQ would have good chemistry, it’s looked pretty bad lately.

  9. Everyone keeps saying Thibs only wants to win and veteran status doesn’t matter, but there isn’t a stitch of evidence supporting that proposition and ten years of actual coaching completely contradicting it.

    Another piss-poor job by the Knicks head coach last night. He’s getting worse and more of a stubborn old coot as the season progresses. “He can’t deal with younger players/No he just wants to win” is going to be the continuing dialectic as this season and future seasons progress. It’s already tiresome. The Derrick Rose thing is already just exhausting.

  10. Yeah I don’t think we realize how much Mitch being out hurts us. The overall team defense might still be solid bc Thibs/everyone buying in, but you definitely downgrade when you go from Mitch to Noel as the starting center. Plus, Mitch may not score a lot but I think he has better hands and is still a bit better on offense than Noel.

    And then you probably downgrade a bit from Noel to Taj. Taj isn’t really even a center. He’s a wiley vet so he’s not gonna make big mistakes or royally screw you that way but he’s also pretty old and undersized most nights.

    And with this team, even a slight overall downgrade on defense for us is a big deal since our offense is so terrible. If we go from top 3 to top 10, that’s going to cost you some games.

    But also, Quick is stalling and having a rough stretch. It is what it is. But also, the Warriors aren’t a bad team and Steph can go off any night.

    I just hope the FO doesn’t do anything stupid and will just ride this team out as is. A big trade for Beal where we deplete assets would be really dumb at this moment. I could be down, though, for a Lonzo trade if we got rid of Elf in the process. Not sure what my limit would be asking price wise but I feel like even though he’s not a great shooter, you upgrade a little on defense, upgrade a lot on passing and get some slightly better outside shooting plus the potential for future growth/improvement from him. He’s the one young PG out there that I could see us making a play for bc he’d be a slight upgrade in the short term but also could be huge long term if we locked him up.

  11. 1. I still like RJ long term, but at this point he’s not a starter on a serious basketball team. I don’t mind the volatility of his 3 point shooting, but he has to be more consistent from 2 and around the rim. If you are going to go 1-9 in a game and 0-6 from 2, we could have Frank out there going 1-4, passing the ball to Randle, playing better defense and we’d be better off (and we don’t want that either).

    2. Payton is Payton. He does a few things well. I like him. He plays hard. But we need an upgrade at PG. Jalen Brunson had another terrific game last night. IMO, he looks too good to be coming off the bench and he’s never going to be the starting PG as long as Doncic is there. At some point he’s either going to want out or Dallas is going to try to maximize their team by trading him for something they need more. At this point, it would probably cost too much but that’s a player we should still keep our eyes on. He may be the next VanVleet.

    3. I don’t think Mitch being out is a major problem. Obviously, I’d way rather have him than not, but Noel is doing a good job defensively as a starter and Taj is filling in nicely at backup so far. We haven’t lost that much on offense.

    4. Quickley seems to have run into a rookie wall or perhaps teams have scouted him and are focusing more and adjusting defensively. Either way, he has to expand his game.

    5. The spacing still blows because we have no shooters.

  12. Lonzo’s probably close to a realistic best case PG for next year and he’s a good defender so Thibs should actually play him. I do wonder how much it’d cost to get him here. Fultz already signed an extension and he’ll be making $16.5M and Lonzo is pretty clearly better than him so I think we’re probably looking at an AAV of at least $20M or $25M.

  13. This looks like the definitive article on KP and Dallas.

    That article was 100% a puff piece, nothing more. KP is a star because you need to make big trades for stars and stars only. KP is a star because he’s a star. KP is a star because he averaged 26 and 10 during the last month of last season. KP is a star because he averaged 30 over a period of like eight games.

    The bias is on another level, bro. Primary sources or G T F O

  14. This kind of intentional leak and vehement denial (*) is how smart front offices let the world know their guy is available for the right offer so as to try to generate a bidding war and maximize the return.

    Compare and contrast the Pills panic clownshow.

    (*) With nice little references to “we love him, why would we ever trade him look how tough he is Jaren jackson still isn’t even back yet from his meniscus surgery ….” thrown in to up his perceived quality.

  15. Jimmy Patsos… https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jun/04/nba-finals-stephen-curry-davidson-loyola-scoreless

    Hah, not quite what I was looking for, but a great story anyway. Didn’t know that. (I have too much self-respect to spend time watching the NIT.)

    I don’t know about y’all, but I haven’t seen my parents IRL in 21 months and this made me a little verklempt: https://streamable.com/lxj9td

    Big ups to our superstar point forward, Julius Randle. But not, like, All-NBA superstar. That would mean a supermax…

    This kind of intentional leak and vehement denial is how smart front offices let the world know their guy is available for the right offer so as to try to generate a bidding war and maximize the return.

    A little tinfoily, if you ask me. The Mavs have nothing to gain by Porzingis believing that he’s on the trade block. They saw what happened to his trade value when he said he wanted out of NYK. Whether he’s on the block or not, you deny it. No indication either way.

  16. RJ’s downturn coincides exactly with him being Hickory Highed in that Portland game for allegedly “missing a pick and roll.” He was playing great basketball for like ten games prior to that and then was benched for no reason.

    It would be nice if just one time Thibodeau would take the occasion of a Knick youngster playing really well to then up the guy’s confidence level even more and start depending on him even more. He consistently does the opposite. It’s always, without exception, just grudging and harrumphing and snorting and he still has a long way to go-ing. He just saps all the fun out of the entire enterprise, which is why pretty much everyone both above and below him on the org chart eventually grows to just want to get away from him.

  17. Just a thought: maybe Thibs should consider playing his best defensive guard, especially when the other team’s guard is going off?

    (I’ve got your back, Frankie Smokes!)

  18. Just a thought: maybe Thibs should consider playing his best defensive guard, especially when the other team’s guard is going off?

    I want more ping-pong balls, so yes, this, exactly.

  19. I mean, I’m not some hard core Frank or Knox believer but it is weird that neither of them can get off the bench at all even when RJ, Burkes, Bullock and Elf are struggling.

    I mean, before he got hurt, Frank was playing pretty well. Small amount of games, I know but if you take those games and what he was doing at the end of last season, he was definitely improving. The defense is good and he was shooting from 3 pretty well. Again, I know it was just a handful of games and he was out for awhile and then the covid protocol, but still. Why not throw him out there when others are struggling?

    And Knox also played well at the beginning of the season. Then he hit a shooting slump and its like he can’t even get off the bench at all even when multiple players are shooting poorly. Like I get yanking him or not playing him when he started to not shoot well but then to never go back to him? Its kind of wild.

    Again, I don’t think these dudes are the answer nor do I think the chances of them turning into good players are great at this point, but its not like the players ahead of them are lighting it up either. They aren’t exactly rookies either.

  20. My preference would be to play our best players regardless if one of them happened to have played for Thibs on a previous team or if one is marginally better at defense than the other.

    EDIT: With a preference towards younger players who actually have a future with the team.

  21. https://streamable.com/8cykzi

    The Doncic play is, you know, peak Doncic, and requires very little analysis. But that Jaylen Brown scoring possession is pretty interesting for such a simple play.

    Theis sets a high screen for Tatum, but Brown has no passing lane to get to Tatum, who’s open for just a split-second before Finney-Smith swivels his head to get a read on the ball. Theis clogs that passing lane but immediately drops to set a phantom pick for Brown. He lowers his shoulder ever so slightly and forces Johnson on his heels. Almost looks like Johnson was expecting to have to hedge Brown, but quickly realizes that Theis is diving to the rim and needs to stay with him. So he’s almost in the restricted area while Hardaway, also expecting to have to fight over Theis’s screen, is trailing Brown’s low, slashing dribble. Theis is wide open for a dunk if Brown finds him, but Johnson is wary of fouling and gives him more than enough space to simply attack the rim. Excellent finish by Brown.

    Chalk another up to the Boy Wonder (/s)

  22. E, all merc’d out: He just saps all the fun out of the entire enterprise, which is why pretty much everyone both above and below him on the org chart eventually grows to just want to get away from him.

    E, you mentioned this once before about the people above him and someone pointed out that at best, this is a debatable position. You now are saying this applies to “pretty much” every player he has coached? I really doubt this. But it does fit your singular narrative of the last two months!

  23. The Wolves owner and the Bulls owner/FO hated him. KAT hated him. People who always bring in loyalists and familiar guys are typically people who can’t build relationships very well from scratch and there’s also an authoritarian element to using your loyalists to help “keep order.” (See, e.g., Jimmy Butler in Minny.) It won’t be too, too long before we start hearing rumblings about him from Knicks. We probably won’t hear much/any this season, but by about this time next season, it’s a virtual guarantee. Also keep in mind that in Dolan’s mind, Thibs is still a Van Gundy guy, which means Dolan will turn on Thibs in a heartbeat. This very likely is not heading to a good place, at all.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news and a Debbie Downer, just calling it like I see it. His record is just too long and he’s clearly falling into the same patterns here. He’s actually getting more and more dug in/stubborn as the year goes along and now he’s actually closing games with a backcourt of Derrick Rose and Elfrid Payton, with Taj Gibson at high post center. (LOL.) Wish it was otherwise, but unfortunately it isn’t. I won’t belabor it anymore.

  24. BTW Dallas has now won 6 of their last 7 games and are a game out of the playoffs. Looking more and more likely that neither of our first round picks will be in the lottery.

  25. RJ’s downturn coincides exactly with him being Hickory Highed in that Portland game for allegedly “missing a pick and roll.” He was playing great basketball for like ten games prior to that and then was benched for no reason.

    I was vocally anti-Thibs when the decision was being made and still have plenty of gripes with him, but this is QAnon-level paranoia.

  26. vincoug:
    BTW Dallas has now won 6 of their last 7 games and are a game out of the playoffs.Looking more and more likely that neither of our first round picks will be in the lottery.

    i would pump the brakes on the “likely” neither is lottery..last time i looked…we are one game in the loss column from 13th place in the East…there is plenty of road to hoe in this season…I am interested to see what happens in this mini-slump…how Thibs continues to handle minutes and if the losses pile up…what kind of murmuring comes out of the locker room…can he keep the team together…its one thing to bust your ass on defense all the time and get wins…but doing that every night and you get L’s and you don’t see minutes ….morale can go down hill fast…seems like Randle is holding the fort down…most of his public discourse has been how good Thibs is …holds people accountable, etc., if he stumbles/starts to fade and can’t keep it together…I don’t see any other leaders on this team…and the lottery becomes a reality for at least our pick…

  27. Is there any clarity on whether the 9th and 10th seeds still get lottery picks? Does it depend on the outcome of the play-in games?

    I don’t think we’re finishing in the top-8. Miami, with all of their flaws, is a lock to jump us (they’re 11-8 with Butler), and I think there’s a good chance at least one of Atlanta/Charlotte/Chicago does too.

  28. IQ is a rookie so inconsistency was always going to be par for the course. And a still-raw 20 year old RJ has a ways to go before he can be counted on as a legit #2-3 option on a nightly basis. But those are the slings and arrows that rebuilding teams are willing to tolerate with young talent. Let them play through the growing pains en route to bettering themselves; two steps forward, one step back.

    That seemed to be the approach the Knicks had been willing to take with IQ & RJ early on in the season. Then Derrick Rose happened.

    Even if one is willing to overlook Rose’s history of scumbaggery, his less-than-aesthetically-pleasing style of play, and the obvious signs of his physical decline, it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore the deleterious effect that his addition to the team may be having on the development of who should be two of the young cornerstones of this Knicks team’s future. I’m far too lazy to research it myself, but my impression is that IQ & RJ have both regressed – in minutes played and overall effectiveness – since Rose was brought on board. It’s quite possible that they may have perceived the Rose trade as a vote of no confidence by the head coach and front office – a perception that Thibs’ subsequent choices re: playing time and rotations have done nothing to dispel.

    I don’t think it’s paranoia or some crazy CT to suggest that the recent drop off in play of both RJ & Quickley may possibly be linked to the addition of Rose. Although both had their share of stinkers early on, it sure does appear as if their ratio of bad:good games has increased since then. Still a pretty small sample, I know, but the apparent trend is disturbing.

  29. Other than a few good shooting nights, Knox made it pretty clear that he really doesn’t know how to play basketball. Why should he be entitled to the opportunity to learn during actual games? Pretty sure he’ll play once he shows his coach that he can do something on the court other than shoot

    Same with Frank. He has one skill. He plays hard on D. That’s just the price of admission for the current coach. He needs to show more before he plays real games

    I’m totally fine with thibs approach here. RJ plays big minutes even though his performance doesn’t always warrant them because he has made incremental improvements to his overall game

  30. E, I just can’t really get behind your doomsday proclamations about Thibs. I don’t disagree totally with the criticism that he rides vets too much. But you say he was hated by Chicago and Minny and I think that is a pretty subjective thing to say.

    Thibs was the most successful coach for The Bulls since Phil Jackson and coached there for what, 5 or 6 seasons? They made the playoffs every year, usually wont at least 50 games and got to the ECF. He was about as successful there as a coach can be without winning it all. The players who played for him there all loved him (hence, Rose, Taj, Butler all wanting to play for him again on other teams). There are very few coaches that coach the same team for more than 5 or 6 seasons even if they’re successful. The team started to decline and he wanted to retool so they could continue to compete and ownership wanted to tank. Its pretty well known that Bulls ownership is some of the cheapest in the NBA. Yeah, it ended “badly” but he had a pretty damn good ride before and it ended that way bc of a philosophical difference in the direction he and ownership wanted the team to take. The Bills have been awful since then (just now starting to turn it around).

    Minny was basically all about KAT. They’re one of the worst franchises in the league and have had zero success before or after Thibs left. They just fired what, their third coach since thibs left?

    I mean to me all of that stuff comes down to him and KAT not getting along. And while he is insanely talented and still young enough to take it to the next level, he has experienced zero success without Thibs as his coach.

  31. thenoblefacehumper: Is there any clarity on whether the 9th and 10th seeds still get lottery picks? Does it depend on the outcome of the play-in games?

    Despite the unclear wording I would think that all 14 teams that miss the playoffs do get lottery picks. So if a team finishes 9th or 10th but win the play-in games they won’t get a lottery pick and instead the 8th or 7th seed that miss the playoffs do get a lottery pick.

  32. IQ is going to be inconsistent. When you rely on 3s and hitting floaters instead of getting to the basket, that’s going to happen. Hopefully the pendulum swings the other way soon.

    RJ continues to be inconsistent, I don’t think this is new. Players are never as good as their hot streaks or as bad as their cold streaks. I don’t want to start worrying about RJ again, but that’s definitely in the cards if this continues for much longer. He had such a promising January…

    Both IQ and RJ would rather have the ball in their hands, so I don’t think we necessarily need a pure PG for a backup. That said, I do think Rose has helped Obi look better because he is more of a pure PG than Rivers or IQ. I still hate Rose though.

  33. Closing out the game with Payton, Rose, RJ, Julius, and Taj is pretty indefensible to me. It almost shows a lack of understanding of the game to a point where I went from pro-Thibs to anti-Thibs in a couple of minutes. If only we could’ve replaced RJ with Luol Deng!

  34. DRed:
    Taj getting minutes is a roster construction problem more than a coaching problem

    Yeah, it’s weird that LRose decided to grab Taj and he assumed we just wouldn’t need a longterm solution there. I was fine with Taj when Noel was out game-to-game, but with Mitch out for multiple weeks I think it’s time for an upgrade. The recently cut Cousins is a Kentucky kid, so $5 says we chase him (I have no opinion on if he’s actually good still).

    On the other hand, ping pong balls.

  35. From Andy Bailey Twitter

    “If you sort every NBA player w/ 250+ MIN on February 24 by the AVERAGE OF THEIR RANKS in 10 catch-alls (RPM, RAPTOR, BPM, LEBRON and GmSc/36, as well as cumulative versions of each)”
    Where Knicks rank (out of 323 players)…

    16-Julius Randle
    78-Immanuel Quickley
    115-Mitchell Robinson
    128-Alec Burks
    161-Derrick Rose
    169-RJ Barrett
    222-Nerlens Noel
    244-Obi Toppin
    272-Reggie Bullock
    278-Austin Rivers
    280-Elfrid Payton
    303-Kevin Knox

    some others of interest
    haliburton-83
    lonzo ball 59
    Oladipo-70
    lavine-40
    Beal-15

  36. DRed:
    Taj getting minutes is a roster construction problem more than a coaching problem

    Taj is only on the team because of the coach. Same with Rose.

  37. The Honorable Cock Jowles: That article was 100% a puff piece, nothing more. KP is a star because you need to make big trades for stars and stars only. KP is a star because he’s a star. KP is a star because he averaged 26 and 10 during the last month of last season. KP is a star because he averaged 30 over a period of like eight games.

    The bias is on another level, bro. Primary sources or G T F O

    I’m not going to debate all the details of KP with you again because you become borderline clueless when it comes to evaluating him using the one number stats you cherish so much (which are often ridiculously wrong).

    Injuries are a risk that varies from player to player, but stats earned when you are playing with an injury, recovering from injury, missed training camp, etc… are not particularly relevant to what a player can do when he’s healthy.

    The only question here is whether after and ACL and meniscus surgery he’s the same player now as he was over the last 2-3 months of last year, whether he’s taken a permanent step back due to them, and how often he gets injured going forward.

    There’s no question that when he was healthy and being used correctly he was one of the better two-way players in the league last year, a legitimate star, and still getting better.

  38. ***stats earned when you are playing with an injury, recovering from injury, missed training camp, etc… are not particularly relevant… when he was healthy and being used correctly he was one of the better two-way players in the league last year, a legitimate star, and still getting better.***

    I think that current stats earned post injury are probably more relavant than historical stats earned when healthy, especially for a player who is, literally, NEVER healthy.

  39. Deeefense: Injuries are a risk that varies from player to player… and how often he gets injured going forward.

    “Just you wait till he’s healthy!!” – KP stans for the last 4 injury-plagued years

  40. I’m not going to debate all the details of KP with you again because you become borderline clueless when it comes to evaluating him using the one number stats you cherish so much (which are often ridiculously wrong).

    I think you are 100% impervious to evidence of all kinds when it stands against your position on literally any topic in this big, wide world of ours.

    There’s no question that when he was healthy and being used correctly he was one of the better two-way players in the league last year, a legitimate star, and still getting better.

    Yeah, he was a two-way star during those four games. What about the rest of them?

  41. This is a bad team on paper, Thibs has improved our defense so that we could stay in most of games but we still suck, our talent is what it is.
    This last few games have been bad, but the reaction of the fans are conditioned by the hopes that were glimpsed.

    On the other side, there are things to criticize, especially on the playing time and lineups construction side.

    NBA’s rookies usually hit a wall, our rookies hit the Thibs’ Wall.

    Let’s say we’re okay with the “rewards and punishments” system for the youngsters (I’m not, not to Thibs’s extreme), if so where’s the reward for Toppin yesterday? He was yanked 50 seconds after hitting his three and he wasn’t playing so bad.

    You want to teach something to Quickley?
    Put his ass on the bench every time he shoot a three without doing a single pass before and tell him that you’ll do the same thing every game if he’s unable to stop that shit.
    Now instead he’s spending half of his time passing shots because he’s afraid to miss and the other half shooting bad shots because he wants to impress Thibs and “play well” so he gets more minutes.

    Everybody knows Thibs has a problem with rookies and what’s our FO’s prescription for this illness?
    Getting him Gibson and Rose, two of his childhood pets that you know he’ll overuse…
    Silly, no-future moves.

    We’re missing Mitch.
    Here comes a bunch of winnable games, let’s see how they react to this slump…

  42. Thibs got to Minnesota, couldn’t get through a season without getting Rose and Gibson. Thibs got to New York, couldn’t get through a season without getting Rose and Gibson. Beyond bizarre, approaching a discomfiting level of obsession.

  43. There’s got to be some extremely niche memes out there of people photoshopping Thibs and Rose over Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix in the Master. If not, this might be the hour for us as a blog to step up and do Paul Thomas Anderson proud.

  44. To the MP doomsayers, you don’t get to complain that Thibs plays RJ too many minutes AND a month later complain that RJ doesn’t play enough minutes.

    Pick a side and stick to it.

  45. you can def look at thibs rotations and find something to gripe about… i think chief among them is that no matter how rose plays in any game he manages to find his way out there during crunch time….

    i do think though that complaining about rotations is sort of a perpetual topic amongst fanbases…. no matter who the coach is the fans are just going to have a different take on who gets what minutes when…. it’s sports talk radio fodder….

    one thing i’ve been keeping an eye on is how well our defense is performing with mitch out…. it’s a good keyhole into the question of whether or not our defense really should be attributed to thibs or is it just simply playing mitch more and having noel around this time… especially since we got taj back our big rotation is sort of similar to last year…

    only 4 games but our def rtg so far is 111.1 … which is good for 13th (vs 107.6 and 3rd up to mitch’s injury)… with mitch out a little while longer we’ll probably get a decent sample to answer this question…

  46. DJ, those preliminary numbers show me that we do, indeed, miss Mitch out there. The team is going to slip from one of the best defensive teams to a pretty good defensive team without Mitch but that slip is significant when your offense is one of the worst in the league.

  47. @dj,

    That actually goes to my 1 true rotation gripe, that Noel should play 40min a night till Mitch comes back.

  48. I’m under the impression that Thibs might rather play literal 3-on-5 at the end of games than have to close out with guys who weren’t on his halcyon Bulls teams.

  49. Mike Honcho: There’s got to be some extremely niche memes out there of people photoshopping Thibs and Rose over Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix in the Master. If not, this might be the hour for us as a blog to step up and do Paul Thomas Anderson proud.

    Are we talking the “processing” scene, the best acting I’ve seen between two guys, like, ever?

  50. Early Bird:
    @dj,

    That actually goes to my 1 true rotation gripe, that Noel should play 40min a night till Mitch comes back.

    In a NY Post article..last week…Noel said he would play as much as needed given Mitch is out…unfortunately at times he can’t control his tendency to committ stoopid fouls which puts him on the bench…but it was good to see that he acknowledged that we need him to play more…someone just has to make him watch the training video they gave to Mitch to keep him out of foul trouble…

  51. pepper: In a NY Post article..last week…Noel said he would play as much as needed given Mitch is out…unfortunately at times he can’t control his tendency to committ stoopid fouls which puts him on the bench…but it was good to see that he acknowledged that we need him to play more…someone just has to make him watch the training video they gave to Mitch to keep him out of foul trouble…

    I haven’t been able to catch many games recently, has he actually been in foul trouble or does Thibs just like Taj a little too much?

  52. He’s been in foul trouble. The other night, Thibs actually used his coach’s challenge super early in the game to undo a ticky-tack foul on Noel, because he knew he’d need him as much as possible on KAT.

  53. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Are we talking the “processing” scene, the best acting I’ve seen between two guys, like, ever?

    100%. The questions just write themselves: “What is consent?”, Thibs asks, his steely eyes boring into Rose. “Don’t blink.”

  54. Alan:
    He’s been in foul trouble. The other night, Thibs actually used his coach’s challenge super early in the game to undo a ticky-tack foul on Noel, because he knew he’d need him as much as possible on KAT.

    Good to know, saw last night’s boxscore when Noel ended with only 3 fouls and the same MP as Taj & got concerned.

    I’m definitely on team let’s lockup both Mitch & Noel for the next 3-5 years. I love having the tandem at C.

  55. Berman Of The Post suggests the cost would be Frank or Rivers and one of our many second round picks. Cleveland just wants him gone — which to me means they should be giving us something, even if we use Frank to help even out the salaries a bit.

  56. When we were compiling second round picks I was hoping the idea was to have a lot of chances to draft productive players who would be signed on the cheap for four years. Not to amass trade fodder for bad players.

  57. Holy shit, we should not do that trade. But there’s no way Rose says no if it only costs us Frank & a 2nd. I pray this is a bluff to force another team to raise their bid.

  58. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZLG9MV5GvQ

    We’ve seen all this before. Going after overrated, expensive veterans to push for a low playoff seed. It’s what Phil Jackson did and what Scott Layden did before him. Also, does anyone think we won’t be trying to resign Rose and Drummond this Summer? All that cap space people were excited about will basically be gone.

  59. Hubert: come on, man

    Hilarious that the guy who complains about ubiquitous media bias and “fake news” posts a puff piece as the “definitive source” when it’s clear that the reporter is a mouthpiece for the Dallas FO. Absolutely priceless.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZLG9MV5GvQ

    We’ve seen all this before

    Only difference is that I never get tired of the Four Tops’ song. The Knicks’ same old song makes me want to fucking vomit.

  60. pepper: i would pump the brakes on the “likely” neither is lottery..last time i looked…we are one game in the loss column from 13th place in the East…there is plenty of road to hoe in this season…I am interested to see what happens in this mini-slump…how Thibs continues to handle minutes and if the losses pile up…what kind of murmuring comes out of the locker room…can he keep the team together…its one thing to bust your ass on defense all the time and get wins…but doing that every night and you get L’s and you don’t see minutes ….morale can go down hill fast…seems like Randle is holding the fort down…most of his public discourse has been how good Thibs is …holds people accountable, etc., if he stumbles/starts to fade and can’t keep it together…I don’t see any other leaders on this team…and the lottery becomes a reality for at least our pick…

    Ehh, they’re still 6-4 in their last 10 games, so I don’t see this stretch as any mini-slump.

    That said, it’s a precarious 7th place position the team is in right now, as you basically pointed out. An actual mini-slump of, say, a 3-game losing streak at the wrong time could have the Knicks on the outside looking in. It won’t take a locker room meltdown to miss the playoffs – hell, they could play to their current win percentage and potentially miss the playoffs or need to win 2 in the play-in as a 9th or 10th seed.

    We’ve seen the establishment of team defense (which, as a fan who came to the team in ’92 is very dear to my heart). We’ve seen an improving version of RJ – he just needs to learn to do it every game. We nabbed the surprise of the draft in Quickley – now he needs to learn how to produce consistently when good teams gameplan for him. We’re seeing a significantly improved Julius Randle. These elements help comprise a new baseline of basketball competence not seen here in a long time. And I’m here…

  61. ***I pray this is a bluff to force another team to raise their bid.***

    I don’t know, man. “We don’t want anything back, we just want him gone” isn’t exactly the way you bluff another team into RAISING a bid…

  62. There’s no question that when he was healthy and being used correctly he was one of the better two-way players in the league last year, a legitimate star, and still getting better.

    This is like saying “When Charlie Sheen is sober he’s a really good guy.”

    Yeah, when KP is healthy and isn’t either wearing a suit or coming back from one of his many injuries he occasionally looks good. It’s pretty fucking rare though I gotta say.

  63. In a vaccum picking up Drummond for nothing would be an ok move for me to help us win some games this season.

    The problem for me is what does it mean for Mitch in the future? Do we cut TAJ when Mitch comes back? Do we trade Noel? Does Mitch, who has been the starter all season until this injury, anchoring a very good defense, now become Drummond’s back up or does Drummond become Mitch’s back up? Does Noel now become the third stringer?

    I bet Drummond could be resigned for a cheaper deal after this year bc Centers do not make what he makes anymore. But would he be cool with that and being a back up after starting his whole career? Is Mitch gonna zone out if he’s asked to be a back up?

    So I’m wary of making a move for him even though I think he would be a good upgrade for us and help us out while Mitch is out. I’d rather just muddle through and hope for the best.

  64. Drummond might seem like a win-now move, but he’s kinda sucked this year.

    Given that our success is based on our stalwart defense, he likely makes us worse this year even if his offense bounces back.

    It seems a lot like the Rose move, where we’re paying an asset to take on a salary dump. We should be the team getting a pick, not the other way around.

  65. In a vaccum picking up Drummond for nothing would be an ok move for me to help us win some games this season.

    he had a VORP of 0.3 in 722 minutes with DET this year

  66. Drummond stinks. He’s an obsolete player. He’s a big who gives you .500 TS% on 30% USG. He’s a great rebounder but he’ll just be taking minutes from other players who are good rebounders. Rebounding isn’t a problem for NYK, we’re a reasonable 10th in both offensive and defensive rebounding.

    He has a .474 eFG%. If you want to make absolutely sure that you continue to rank near the bottom of the league in eFG%, that’s your dude right there.

    What the fuck, man

  67. Deep breath everyone, let’s all remember that not everything we read on the internet is true. See QAnon.

    Of course if they DO trade for him, I’ll need to rethink all that vampire pedophile shit…

  68. I am a guy who loves bigs who can board, or really anyone who can board, but zero interest in Drummond.

  69. A rough May schedule for a playoff push (but a pretty good one for tanking!). The first and last 2 games are back to backs:

    @ Houston
    @ Memphis
    @ Denver
    @ Phoenix
    @ LAC
    @ LAL
    vs SAS
    vs Charlotte
    vs Boston

  70. ***Other Knicks-related songs “Won’t Get Fooled Again”***

    Hey, JK, you submitted your resignation around the same time as I did. We were gonna be Clippers fans, man! Now here we are, being fooled again and again… (meanwhile the Clips are actual title contenders with a good owner, an ability to attract top players, and a new generation of fans that don’t even know who Donald Sterling, Michael Olowokandi, and the Baron Davis draft pick were… wtf!)

  71. The Knicks are 4-2 over their last 6 games yet people here are saying they are in a slump, what year is this 1994?

  72. Hey, JK, you submitted your resignation around the same time as I did. We were gonna be Clippers fans

    I missed this blog too much.

    If not for this blog I would have bailed long ago.

  73. Never really liked Genesis, but “Land of Confusion” seems an adequate song for this year at least. Are losses wins? Are wins losses? Is Julius a Ceasar or a Romero?

  74. BigBlueAL:
    The Knicks are 4-2 over their last 6 games yet people here are saying they are in a slump, what year is this 1994?

    i used the term slump …..i have to assume you have been watching the last 3 games and would agree that the offense coming out of halftime has been woeful..the 2nd unit has been “in disarray” and the rotations/substitutions have been questionable …we’ll see…Sacto is certainly slumping…7 l’s in a row…if we fall to them there will be more rumblings like trading for drummond..

  75. Elf is listed as doubtful for tomorrow with a bad hamstring.

    By god is that frank ntilikina’s music?!

  76. CSNY: Deja Vu

    we have all been here before
    we have all been here before
    we have all been here befooooooooore……

  77. If the Hawks beat the C’s tonight I may have to go to the hospital with one of those four hour deals…

  78. This is a terrible team that is vying for a playoff spot only because of Thibs

    They mostly can’t shoot, dribble, pass or score. What Thibs has done is just short of a miracle

    And not drafting Haliburton is a fireable offense.

  79. Z-man:
    If the Hawks beat the C’s tonight I may have to go to the hospital with one of those four hour deals…

    The Celtics being sub .500 with their “genius” coach and GM is bringing me more joy than anything in basketball right now. I feel the need to throw it on everybody’s face how I hated the Kemba signing and spent weeks discussing about how he was never going to be a real improvement over Kyrie, but it’s been too much fun to waste on pettiness.

    I didn’t watch the Warriors game because I was so tired, but also it still hurts watching Curry play at MSG, it’s the one basketball expectation-related wound I think I’ll never overcome.

    Also congrats to Julius, now some amount of money richer and closer to being tradeable for a great package if this fun stretch isn’t sustainable at the end.

  80. And so castles made of sand
    Fall in the sea
    Eventually

    a lot of hendrix’s music is a bit overwhelming to me (similar in some regards to some of miles davis’ music), just a lot going on and it’s happening at an incredible pace…Castles Made of Sand is a really nice song…thanks…

  81. howdy donnie, i put this in yesterday at the end of a dying thread – just wanna let you know, i’m following your path to a happier fan experience…

    just wanna give credit where credit is due…

    having a much more pleasant knick fan experience this year, in part because of their improved play – but, also a result of adapting a modified version of the donnie walsh fan plan…

    I think I may have seen the final quarter on perhaps 2 or 3 of the team’s losses this year…I’ve most definitely watched every win, start to finish to post game when available…

    thank you donnie, for helping to get me to knick fan nexus…

  82. I mean, Kemba Walker’s issues are directly related to a major knee injury, no? And this was a guy who had been known for his durability, so I don’t know if we can knock the Celtics that much for that move, especially since it came after Kyrie left on his own. It wasn’t like they decided to swap Kyrie for Kemba. It was Kemba or no replacement for Kyrie. I think there are a lot more moves by them that can be second-guessed (and were criticized as they were happening, like turning down the Pacers sign and trade offer).

  83. Haha, you’re welcome geo. I gave up on this franchise a long time ago: About 10 years ago freed myself from the two time sucking vices of my childhood: the Knicks and the Cubs. After a year off from baseball I looked at it objectively and saw it as an immensely boring sport if you don’t have a team on the field that you’d die for, and to this day I haven’t watched another game. The NBA, though, was harder to walk away from. It’s a better sport, with better personalities, and more entertaining games, and a more fan-friendly business structure. So I’ve hung around, and enjoy following the league with you guys here at KB, but I really don’t care how the Knicks do. I haven’t invested a minute of time in them since Linsanity, and haven’t coughed up a single dollar to Dolan in that time. I’m better for it. (Glad you’re feeling better for it too:) Love ya, geo. -DW

  84. Brian Cronin:
    I mean, Kemba Walker’s issues are directly related to a major knee injury, no? And this was a guy who had been known for his durability, so I don’t know if we can knock the Celtics that much for that move, especially since it came after Kyrie left on his own. It wasn’t like they decided to swap Kyrie for Kemba. It was Kemba or no replacement for Kyrie. I think there are a lot more moves by them that can be second-guessed (and were criticized as they were happening, like turning down the Pacers sign and trade offer).

    I wasn’t a big fan of the Kemba move (or before it the Hayward signing) because it didn’t seem to match the defense-first identity of the team. But they blew their wad well before that by not going all in on a top free agent. Ainge just wasn’t willing to lose a deal. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too, so he went with the faux max free agents. And Smart is an excellent defender, but he’s not suited to be the heart and soul of a championship team.

    Ainge has one more chance to make a big move…kind of like Morey did when he blew his wad on Westbrook. Let’s hope he either freezes or blows it on the wrong guy.

  85. Brian Cronin:
    I mean, Kemba Walker’s issues are directly related to a major knee injury, no? And this was a guy who had been known for his durability, so I don’t know if we can knock the Celtics that much for that move, especially since it came after Kyrie left on his own. It wasn’t like they decided to swap Kyrie for Kemba. It was Kemba or no replacement for Kyrie. I think there are a lot more moves by them that can be second-guessed (and were criticized as they were happening, like turning down the Pacers sign and trade offer).

    Kemba was known for his durability, but he was still getting closer and closer to 30 and he’s a small guard who’s never been a lights out shooter, it was expected that he would start to drop in production when his athleticism started to decline.

    I don’t think the Celtics could have done much better than him, my gripe is much more with the media narrative and Celtics fans endlessly saying how Kyrie screwed them up by himself and Kemba would completely change their culture and turn them into contenders. It’s the same annoyance I have with Heat fans this season trying to argue Harden wasn’t worth it because he would destroy their culture. These guys have done some stupid stuff we can criticize for sure, but there was no real indication that they were locker room cancers or hated by all teammates outside of rumors and salty interviews by interested parties.

  86. I thought swapping out Kyrie for Kemba was a reasonable tradeoff between talent and availability but it certainly didn’t work out that way. I wonder if Tatum is missing all these shots on purpose?

  87. Kyrie did force his his way off of a title contender because he couldn’t stand to be in Lebron’s shadow. Like other people have said, Boston’s real problem is Ainge not being willing to make a deal unless it’s an absolute homerun; it’s still insane he didn’t get anything for Hayward in a S&T especially when Hayward and Indiana were practically begging him to make a deal. Now they’re pretty much locked into this current team until Kemba’s contract expires in 2024.

    Anyone watching the Det-NOP game? Zion is so fucking good. 30/5/4 on 13-18 shooting.

  88. wow, looks like the warriors are about to pull off another win on this back to back they’re finishing up…makes me feel a little less bad about yesterday…

    i think looking at the schedule and being able to “reasonably” predict outcomes – is pretty much not a thing this year…

  89. There’s still a lot of season to go, I think teams have started to gel and are scouting better. There was a ton of player movement, so at the end of the year, things will probably look something like they were supposed to. The play-in scenarios should get interesting. And there’s enough parity that a couple of key injuries could really mess with playoff outcomes.

  90. The Celtics have the Boy Genius as their coach, but in the 4th quarters of close games, their offense turns into Tatum or Kemba going 1 on 1 and forcing up a bad shot. Like, shouldn’t the coach be yelling “run the damn play!” instead of just standing there watching that shit?

    It really does seem like he’s lost the team, but I can’t see him getting canned.

  91. As I have said all along, the Celtics are all nuts and bolts, no chrome and leather. Kemba at his best is a good, not great player much like most of their rotation players.

    Ainge had a golden opportunity to put something great together and he blew it. The Celtics are mediocre on both sides of the ball. Gee isn’t that too bad.

  92. JK47:
    As I have said all along, the Celtics are all nuts and bolts, no chrome and leather. Kemba at his best is a good, not great player much like most of their rotation players.

    Ainge had a golden opportunity to put something great together and he blew it. The Celtics are mediocre on both sides of the ball. Gee isn’t that too bad.

    Well, they have done better than Morey did in Houston with all kinds of chrome and leather, so there’s that…

  93. ***Boston’s real problem is Ainge not being willing to make a deal unless it’s an absolute homerun; it’s still insane he didn’t get anything for Hayward in a S&T ***

    Wait, getting Turner for Haywood WAS a home run. If he was playing next to Tatum and Brown instead of Sabonis, Turner would probably have Randle’s all star spot at the moment.

    Also, Jarret Allen is making Zion look like an inefficient checker these days. Plus 15 rebs and 5 blocks. Wow.

    And, finally, I gotta believe Smith jr is done in this league. He gets a fresh start in Detroit and immediately gets outplayed by some kid named Saban Lee. Doesn’t bode well…

  94. Z-man:
    If Miami holds on, there will be a 5-way statistical tie for the 6-spot in the East…

    I take that back, CHI just moved ahead of that group! The East is so freaking nuts, 3 teams above .500 and 8 teams within a couple of games of each other.

  95. Z-man: Well, they have done better than Morey did in Houston with all kinds of chrome and leather, so there’s that…

    Well, they also weren’t gatekept out of the finals years in a row by a monster all time team, and still didn’t make it even after Lebron left the east and the conference weakened considerably. I get the comparison but the circumstances are just very different.

  96. Z-man: Well, they have done better than Morey did in Houston with all kinds of chrome and leather, so there’s that…

    They have? Since 2013-14 Houston has won at least 50 games 5 times including one year going 65-17. Boston’s won 50+ twice. I guess Boston does have one more trip to the ECF than Houston to the WCF but Boston also plays in the easier conference.

    Donnie Walsh: Wait, getting Turner for Haywood WAS a home run. If he was playing next to Tatum and Brown instead of Sabonis, Turner would probably have Randle’s all star spot at the moment.

    Hey, I agree. I thought he was insane to turn that deal down but people legitimately defended him at the time.

    Donnie Walsh: Also, Jarret Allen is making Zion look like an inefficient checker these days. Plus 15 rebs and 5 blocks. Wow.

    Jarret Allen’s pretty fucking good but let’s not go that far. And remember, Zion is still only 20 years old and won’t turn 21 until the offseason.

  97. d-mar:
    Is Malik Monk good now? Did not see that one coming

    I wouldn’t say good but if he’s learned to shoot 3s he could at least be called useful.

  98. Bruno Almeida: Well, they also weren’t gatekept out of the finals years in a row by a monster all time team, and still didn’t make it even after Lebron left the east and the conference weakened considerably. I get the comparison but the circumstances are just very different.

    I don’t really buy this. Frankly, I think Ainge is too gun-shy but all-in-all did a better job than Morey, and Stevens did a better job than D’Antoni. I hate the C’s but objectively they’ve had their share of tough luck and tough circumstances, between Hayward’s injury, Kyrie being hurt, sullen and weird, and now Kemba breaking down after a long stretch of durability. The Rockets thought that ditching Capela and going crazy small with two divas in the backcourt was a good idea. If they played it smarter, they could have taken advantage of GSW being hurt last year. And Morey/D’Antoni left the team with a horrific mess to clean up. At least Boston built their team through the draft and have all their own picks going forward, and Tatum and Brown are definitely components of a future big 3. They still have a chance to go all in like Houston did.

    Anyway, my point was more directed at JK’s “chrome and leather” comment. The Clips have yet to make it to the finals and have had excellent players.

  99. ***Jarret Allen’s pretty fucking good but let’s not go that far. And remember, Zion is still only 20 years old and won’t turn 21 until the offseason.***

    I was kind of joking, but Allen, himself, is only 22. And in the 4 games since Drummond’s been removed, Allen is 34-42(!), while averaging 14.5 rebounds and 4 blocks…

  100. I don’t really buy this. Frankly, I think Ainge is too gun-shy but all-in-all did a better job than Morey, and Stevens did a better job than D’Antoni. I hate the C’s but objectively they’ve had their share of tough luck and tough circumstances, between Hayward’s injury, Kyrie being hurt, sullen and weird, and now Kemba breaking down after a long stretch of durability.

    The Rockets, meanwhile, have had no bad injury luck in recent years.

    I really don’t see much difference between the recent Celtics and the recent Rockets. Ainge, though, won a title earlier, so that’s definitely one he has up on Morey.

  101. Brian Cronin: The Rockets, meanwhile, have had no bad injury luck in recent years.

    I really don’t see much difference between the recent Celtics and the recent Rockets. Ainge, though, won a title earlier, so that’s definitely one he has up on Morey.

    Agreed (I got the sarcasm, but whatever, tweaking a hammie is not the same as a guy’s ankle getting crushed a minute after signing him to a near-max deal), since when Ainge had the big 3 he won one and almost had another one. Even after that, Ainge (possibly stupidly) never went all in to the detriment of the team’s future and still accomplished as much as Morey, even though Morey had 2 superstars (CP3 and Harden…I’ll leave out Westbrook) while Ainge had none.

  102. It still took a Chris Paul injury and a monumental, unprecedented stretch of bad shooting for the Rockets to never reach the finals against such a great team, while the Celtics were never very close to begin with. I do think Ainge deserves credit because Tatum and Brown are still good young building pieces, I just think he gets too much praise when the hand he has to play with (which, to be fair again, he build for himself) was better than anyone’s at the time. They started from the best position and it just never materialized and that’s got to be on the GM too.

  103. I gotta new rose I got it good
    Guess I knew that I always would
    I can’t stop to mess around
    I got a brand new rose in town
    (The Damned)

  104. Morey had 8 years to build a championship team around an all-time great player. He failed, there’s no disputing that. There is no guarantee that they would have made the finals with a healthy Paul. An unprecedented stretch of bad shooting is not “bad luck. It is a design flaw in extreme 7SoL team configuration. Great teams can overcome bad perimeter shooting with alternative ways of scoring. Also, Houston got a break when OKC had a bad stretch of shooting after they were up 3-1, they should have lost earlier.

  105. I mean, your points are all valid, we can’t ignore the fact that Morey did weird moves too and that in the end it played out similarly for both teams. I just think that Morey had to create the position Houston ended up in in a more difficult position than Ainge fleecing the Nets in the stupidest trade ever, and I think they were a better team at their peak than anything we’ve seen from Boston so far.

    The one thing that truly makes me lean towards Ainge a bit more is that well, Morey left scorched earth in Houston that will take like 5 years to recover from, while Boston is in a much better position to retool with 2 young core pieces. But in the end I’d rather go the Morey way and go for broke than be as cautious as Ainge has been and remain stuck in the good not great bracket.

  106. The Rockets had a better team in a tougher conference while the Celtics had the worse team in an easier conference and they both ended up roughly the same. No Finals appearances and three Conference Finals for the Celtics and two for the Rockets, with the Eastern Conference, again, the much (I mean, much) easier conference. I’m not even saying this as some pro-Morey thing, more a knock on the Celtics. Neither team ended up with much, but during the time in question, the Rockets were the better team. They had a 65-win team! Only once in the Brad Stevens era have the Celtics even been the #1 seed in the much, much easier Eastern Conference and it was the year that they won 53 games (53 games was the #1 seed!)! The Brad Stevens-era Celtics have only even won their division once!

  107. Can we truly quantify the impact of the Boy Wonder though? His tactically-deployed “aw shucks” ingenuity is the only engine this side of the Mississippi capable of hauling the collective entitlement of Celtics fans.

  108. Mike Honcho:
    Can we truly quantify the impact of the Boy Wonder though? His tactically-deployed “aw shucks” ingenuity is the only engine this side of the Mississippi capable of hauling the collective entitlement of Celtics fans.

    When even the Celtics fans, who have spent years defending the guy from literally anything remotely criticizing them, are getting fed up with the shit plays at the end of the game… it’s not looking great for Boy Wonder Fraud Stevens

  109. I agree that the Rockets had the better team. Yet that is 100% due to one transaction…the Harden signing. That was 100% Morey and he deserves tons of credit for that. The 65 wins came from maximizing Harden’s value with D’Antoni, who took what he did in PHX and turbocharged it with Harden and CP3, another all-time great. But as we know, when you hire and empower D’Antoni, you are taking a huge risk of hitting a ceiling. Your team can only win in one way…it’s a very fragile witch’s brew. And Morey and D’Antoni were simpatico in the buying into the 7SoL hook, line and sinker.

    Morey also cared zero about things like chemistry and team leadership. He was like the anti-Ainge in that regard…wheeling and dealing without regard to fit, only considering what the numbers said about productivity. That’s better than many approaches, but also has its side-effects. When your two best players either can’t get along or step all over each other, that’s not gonna age well. Neither is rolling with a 6’6″ and under roster. Ainge is at the other extreme…he cares too much about chemistry and culture and yet took a hit (unfairly I believe) for the way he handled Isaiah Thomas, even though that no-brainer trade killed the team culture.

    I just think that in the end, I’m more of a culture guy and never found the Rockets all that appealing. If you are going to do things Morey’s way, you had better get a couple of rings out of it. Ainge built a homegrown team of loveable overachievers and while he has screwed up plenty and had some bad luck, I’d be happier as a C’s fan over the last 10 years than I would be as a Rockets fan.

  110. Macri’s newsletter today looks at every other team in the league for potential trades the Knicks could make before the deadline. And I came away from it thinking there’s no trade we should be making, unless the front office has already assessed the offseason and decided that Lonzo is by far our best option at PG for the next year or two, that NOLA would likely match any offer sheet, and that the cost in trade wouldn’t be that onerous. Just sink or swim with this group, though if we can pick up a 2nd for somebody like Rivers or Payton, do that, too. And speaking of Payton, Macri writes:

    About those needs: I think the Knicks are looking to upgrade the starting point guard spot, and to a lesser extent, the starting two. I’ve heard that the Elfrid Payton situation is in flux. On one hand, they value the chemistry the team has right now and don’t want to upset it. They also value the things Payton does well, despite his deficiencies, which means you shouldn’t expect them to deal him just to deal him (i.e., for a top-55 protected second round pick). At the same time, they understand he’s not an ideal fit with this starting five. If there’s a team that sees him as a helpful piece and is willing to give up a real thing to take him on (don’t laugh), he’ll probably be elsewhere before the deadline.

    As for Bullock, my assumption is that they see what we see: a perfectly fine roll player in a spot where they’d ideally like to have a little bit more.

  111. @KeithSmithNBA
    Danny Ainge on the Celtics struggles: “It’s hard to explain. The intensity level hasn’t been there. I don’t know how to explain it. Our team isn’t playing well. They don’t play hard all the time. I don’t have an explanation. It’s been frustrating for the players and the coaches.”

    Cut to Jerry Seinfeld muttering, “That’s a shame.”

  112. I would taste Brad Stevens’ tears if given the chance. I am not kidding. I know this is a weird admission but we’re all friends here and I would do it for the clout.

  113. An unprecedented stretch of bad shooting is not “bad luck.

    We’ve been over this. Like half of their missed shots were not strongly contested. You can absolutely call it a once-in-a-lifetime choke, but it’s not a design flaw of the system. It had literally never happened before and it probably won’t ever happen again. These were good shooters on a championship-caliber team. A design flaw would be making a team full of Barretts take 40 threes a game.

    Re: Kemba, he was really good last year and fell off a cliff this year. Impossible to predict his OBPM going from like 5 to 0 over one short offseason. He will probably regress a bit but not back up to where he was. He’s just had a very long slump due to the injury.

  114. The Rockets didn’t hit their ceiling they got beat by the Warriors, who beat every other team in the NBA in that stretch. Saying Morey or D’Antoni’s shit doesn’t work because they lost to the Steph/KD Warriors is saying there’s only one good front office/coach in the NBA, because nobody beat that team.

  115. We should have the Celtics problems. lmao

    They have 22 year old centerpiece player in Tatum and a rising 24 year old all-star in Jaylen Brown. They are set for almost a decade.

    The reason they aren’t playing well is that they’ve had injuries, Kemba Walker is still recovering from his knee issues and Marcus Smart is a key role player on defense/hustle that’s been out (not that I’ve been saying for the last 3 years that guys like him have more value than it looks). They also have an emerging Mitch type in Robert Williams. This team is going to be fine once they are 100% and get back into the flow.

    There’s plenty to criticize Ainge about. Sometimes a fair deal makes your team better because of your needs. You can’t sit on the sidelines and do nothing unless you are stealing year after year. Boston is one player away from being a title contender and they have the assets and position to get it done if that player becomes available and Ainge pulls the trigger.

  116. Shooting almost all 3s is a flawed strategy for the playoffs. Teams lock down defensively against the 3 better in the playoffs and many players tighten up shooting under playoff pressure, Teams understood that for as long time. Shooting 3s works great in the regular season or If you have Hakeem Olajuwon in the post when you need him. But if you live by the 3 you will often die by the 3 in the playoffs. Everyone learned the wrong lessons from the Warriors. They thought the game was permanently changed, but it wasn’t. The Warriors simply had 3 of the greatest shooters in history on the same team. Good luck duplicating that model. lmao What you want is a more balanced attack inside and outside to take advantage of whatever the other team is giving up and to avoid falling apart under playoff pressure. The Morey/D’Antoni model was flawed. The 76ers with Embiid is the ANSWER. If he can stay healthy and in shape you try to surround him with shooters. That’s the formula.

  117. I love dancing on Celtic graves as much as anyone but while Ainge is getting blasted everywhere it seems worth kind of reviewing the big picture perspective that they made the ECF 3 out of the last 4 years and still have two under 25 all-NBA level players, both of whom are locked up long-term (one for significantly below the max). This year’s team has some real roster construction issues and Ainge has blown some stuff around the margins but I can’t help but feel like people are getting way ahead of themselves in celebrating their demise.

  118. Shooting almost all 3s is a flawed strategy for the playoffs. Teams lock down defensively against the 3 better in the playoffs and many players tighten up shooting under playoff pressure, Teams understood that for as long time.

    Here are the conference finalists for each year since the 3-point revolution in 2015 with their rankings in 3PA/G in the playoffs.

    2015:

    GSW, CLE, ATL, HOU (1, 2, 3, 4)

    2016:

    GSW, CLE, OKC, TOR (1, 2, 3, 4)

    2017:

    BOS, CLE, GSW, SAS (2, 4, 5, 11)

    2018:

    HOU, GSW, BOS, CLE (1, 3, 4, 5)

    2019:

    MIL, TOR, POR, GSW (2, 5, 8, 10)

    2020:

    BOS, MIA, LAL, DEN (9, 10, 11, 13)

    An interesting thing about the 2020 departure is that DEN and LAL led all playoff teams in fewest Opp. 3PA/G. So if the answer isn’t to take more threes, it’s to stop your opponent from taking them. OKC, ORL and BRK gave up the most three per game (51, 41, 41 per game) and got bounced from the first round.

  119. Deeefense:
    Shooting almost all 3s is a flawed strategy for the playoffs. Teams lock down defensively against the 3 better in the playoffs and many players tighten up shooting under playoff pressure,Teams understood that for as long time.Shooting 3s works great in the regular season or If you have Hakeem Olajuwon in the post when you need him.But if you live by the 3 you will often die by the 3 in the playoffs. Everyone learned the wrong lessons from the Warriors. They thought the game was permanently changed, but it wasn’t. The Warriors simply had 3 of the greatest shooters in history on the same team. Good luck duplicating that model. lmaoWhat you want is a more balanced attack inside and outside to take advantage of whatever the other team is giving up and to avoid falling apart under playoff pressure. The Morey/D’Antoni model was flawed. The 76ers with Embiid is the ANSWER.If he can stay healthy and in shape you try to surround him with shooters. That’s the formula.

    This post is so anachronistic I feel like you faxed it in.

  120. Payton is probably out tonight. I guess that means Rose moves to the starting lineup, but who do we see off the bench. Is Rivers back in the rotation or do we finally see, yes I’ll say it, FRANK!

  121. They thought the game was permanently changed, but it wasn’t.

    holy shit strat if the reddit stockbros knew about those diamond hands you’d be a meme hero. how many 3s per game did the lakers shoot in the playoffs last year vs the avg playoff team 10 years ago?

  122. That felt suspiciously like a manifesto that will give hope to the counter-revolutionaries of the 3 point era for years to come, pouring strength into their exhausted limbs as they row against the tide on principle. “Embiid is the ANSWER.”

  123. That Jazz team is so well constructed and coached, but I’m seeing a parallel to the 2014-2015 Hawks, who won 60 games and got swept in the conference finals. Another well constructed, well coached team that seemed built for the regular season.

    I may end up being wrong, but I have a hard time seeing them make the Finals, and of course the Donovan Mitchell wild card is always a factor, you never know whether the good or bad version will show up.

  124. Early Bird:
    Has anyone posted this “nerds bad” video circulating on Twitter yet?

    Gems like:

    “efficiency is taking over the NBA with stats like PER”

    I’d try and argue with him but I’m afraid he’ll stuff me into a locker.

  125. Yeah, people are jumping on the Boston hate wagon way too early. Everything is like this now, though. Franchises look at their teams from a year to year perspective but the fans can only really think in now terms.

    The fact is Ainge built the Pierce, KG, Allen era team and got a title, two trips to the finals and 3 conference finals out of it. Then he was able to absolutely fleece the Nets and rebuild on the fly without any real down seasons. I think they missed the playoffs one year? And that rebuild on the fly has yielded a team that has gone to the ECF 3 times and still has 2 foundational pieces that are some of the best players in the league under the age of 25. He may have exhausted all of those extra first round picks and could have pivoted to a championship level team a little better but its not like he’s painted himself into some corner where he can’t make trades/moves and sign FA to retool this team next year. And at the end of the day they still will most likely make the playoffs and get to the second round at least. I wish we were so lucky.

    I do think Brad is probably gone though after this season. The players may have reached that point with him where they no longer respond to his coaching. That happens with teams that are good but never break through.

  126. ptmilo:
    They thought the game was permanently changed, but it wasn’t.

    holy shit strat if the reddit stockbros knew about those diamond hands you’d be a meme hero.how many 3s per game did the lakers shoot in the playoffs last year vs the avg playoff team 10 years ago?

    The point I was making is that it extremely difficult to win a championship with a team that is as dependent on 3 point shooting as the Rockets were unless you have several great 3 point shooters like the Warriors (no one else does). The Lakers, Cavs and Heat etc.. shot more 3s but they also had Lebron using his strength to get to the basket almost at will, they have AD using his athleticism and size inside, and a couple of traditional Cs doing clean up work inside. Those are more balanced teams.

    The way the game has changed appropriately is to avoid the long 2s that are barely better than 3s on a percentage basis but obviously WAY less valuable. Other than that, the mid range, post up on mismatches, cut/slash, and bully ball inside game is still extremely important in championship playoff basketball. If you are too dependent on 3s, you are begging for teams to take it away and for negative volatility from pressure to get you beat. Just ask Kawhi Leonard what he thinks of mid range in the late playoffs and finals

  127. 2015 was actually a cultural inflection point year and I find those fascinating. In addition to the 3 point revolution Jowles rightly noted, that year also brought the shift revolution in baseball and the woke revolution in the culture. (*)

    I can think of two major causes: One, some sort of critical mass tipping point in the ways in which the internet impacted people. I find this kind of cultural entropy endlessly fascinating, how big changes kind of bubble along the surface, growing year by year, without a whole lot of comment and notice, and then they just … tip … over … and then the world is new. (**) This clearly is what led to the 3 point and shift revolutions and, while not as crystal clear, IMO to the woke revolution. The second is the nearing end of the Obama era and the cultural realization/disappointment that his election and re-election weren’t going to magically solve whatever residual racial issues America still had. This one obviously was a major factor in the woke revolution; less so the sports ones other than the generalized, oblique realization that the world was in turmoil and ready for/in need of drastic change.

    There absolutely was a “Spirit of ’15” in the air.

    In any event, Elf appears to be on the shelf again. I doubt Frank plays. Last he was seen a couple weeks ago, he still had a massive offensive lineman knee brace on.

    (*) Caitlyn Jenner at the ESPYs, huge public movement toward weed liberalization, in NYC things like school parents rejecting the state’s standardized testing en masse including through street protests, public opinion polls showing a big woke-i-zation of the liberal left, etc.

    (**) Cultural historians will likely conclude that 2015 was right about the time our internet selves finally became our “real selves.” The world is never going to be the same after something like that.

  128. @TheSteinLine
    The NBA announces that NBA Rising Stars “will not be played this year due to the limitation of having All-Star events all on one night” … but the league says it “will still recognize deserving players”by releasing its Rising Stars rosters on March 3.

    Seems likely that both Quickley and RJ will be named to these ceremonial rosters.

  129. Here are the conference finalists for each year since the 3-point revolution in 2015 with their rankings in 3PA/G in the playoffs.

    This is the kind of thing you would think one would take 2 minutes to look up before confidently proclaiming “shooting almost all 3s is a flawed strategy for the playoffs,” but our beloved Strat has always been more of shoot from the hip type.

  130. Strat is indeed wrong, but Jowles’s chart shows clearly the effects of homogenization and loss of first-in advantage.

  131. Lebron using his strength to get to the basket almost at will, they have AD using his athleticism and size inside

    Wait, so all you have to do to beat the 3PT revolution is have the greatest player of all time and a 4-time All-NBA All-Defensive player in his prime in your starting frontcourt playing 36 MPG apiece?

  132. Hubert: lol. what is this, 2007 day??

    See, I agree that “nerds” can ruin sports because every sport has become a ruthless efficiency race a la every other American corporation still hitting their earnings goals. And although I really enjoy this era of basketball, baseball largely sucks and football has one of the most disgusting work cultures imaginable (“Alex Smith snapped his leg in half? Next man up!”).

    And it’s not just the games as they’re played between the lines. It’s the games in the front offices. It’s the Mariners’ POBO bragging about exploiting the MLB CBA to deny wage increases to employees. It’s the NFLPA selling out their rookies by implementing price controls on draftees’ wages. It’s the NBA holding an All-Star Game without any fans during a global pandemic. And I don’t think I need to mention how disgusting it is that the NCAA prints money off the backs of teenage athletes and funnels the proceeds to administrators, using a small fraction of the revenue to produce slick PR campaigns featuring inspirational commercials about how sports prepare kids to be good people someday, the gross irony lost on all but a small portion of the viewership. The rot of late-stage capitalism is fucking everywhere.

    That said, the Twitter dude is an idiot. Anthony Edwards has sucked and his dunk was cool. You can hold both opinions at the same time. Well, he can’t, because he’s a fucking moron, but other people can.

  133. I do remember when our 2012-2013 54 win Knicks were winning games in the regular season ALL of the pundits said we shot too many 3’s and it wasn’t sustainable. They weren’t totally wrong cause once Kidd stopped being able to hit open 3’s, that team reached its ceiling, but it is weird that we were actually ahead of the curb there and then our response to losing to the Pacers was to get Bargs (this is where Jowles reminds the board that I supported that move but I supported it AFTER it was made!)

    If Woodson had just gone small ball with Copeland who knows what might have been!

  134. See, I agree that “nerds” can ruin sports because every sport has become a ruthless efficiency race a la every other American corporation still hitting their earnings goals.

    It is pretty depressing as someone who’s always been fascinated by sports analytics to see them used as a tool to depress player salaries and more broadly sap power from players’ associations. It’s less of a problem in the NBA, where the trend is more so that different players are getting paid (the guarantee of X% of BRI has something to do with this too), than it is in the MLB where players are just not getting paid anymore, period, because of the data on aging curves.

    There are some potential solutions if players’ associations are willing to dig in. A salary floor in every sport should be the bare minimum. I don’t know a lot about the finances of the NFL, but in the MLB the PA desperately needs to end the stranglehold teams have on young players. 4 pre-arb years + 3 arb-years is insane. Most guys won’t sniff the market for seven years. At least the NBA has restricted free agency to mitigate this to an extent.

    I mean by the time Aaron Judge is a free agent, teams will argue they can’t risk paying him past his prime, and that will be his first opportunity to test the market!

  135. You saw that guy’s agenda the moment he mentioned how “nerds” are ruining the legacies of Kobe Bryant and Alan Iverson for their high volume, inefficient scoring tendencies. It’s so disingenuous. Their real underlying issue isn’t that advanced metrics have taken the fun out of the game. What these guys don’t like is how these metrics have questioned the orthodoxy of prevalent hot takes they accept as Gospel. If a fan of DeMar DeRozan can reduce the game to evaluations of how pretty his long range jumper is then they don’t have to look at the flaws in his style of play. And that’s where you lose me, because its impossible to have a conversation with someone who bases their opinions on subjective “eye tests” — hence the reason I never argue with the Strats of the world when they go on about a favorite player like KP. There’s no way disprove their own biases because those biases aren’t rooted in premises that can be commonly agreed upon. It’s like playing a game of chess with someone who insists upon moving their King two spaces.

  136. Ntilakilla: You saw that guy’s agenda the moment he mentioned how “nerds” are ruining the legacies of Kobe Bryant and Alan Iverson for their high volume, inefficient scoring tendencies.

    What’s weird to me is that the Kobe’s & MJ’s of the world will 100% of the time choose winning over the highlight reel dunk or pretty midrange jumper (I’ll leave Allen Iverson out, because I have literally no idea what he’d choose). Although they objected to it initially, if those 2 were still playing I don’t doubt for a second they’d be trying to maximize their efficiency. But he’s not even saying the stats nerds are wrong, his argument is really just saying I’d rather lose and watch an awesome dunk than win the game.

  137. I will say this. I do think the barrage of 3’s and the fact that every team now is shooting so many for the sake of efficiency/whatever is making the game more homogenous and in some ways, more boring. At least the regular season.

    There used to be far more variety in the styles of teams and ways teams were built for winning. You’d have the hard nosed teams like the Pistons and Knicks. The run and gun like the Suns or Warriors. Phil’s triangle teams. And since players didn’t just shoot threes or try to get layups and dunks, you did see more variety with dunks and layups, midrange, post moves and yes, 3’s. And the 3 could be a real dagger or something that was used to help spur a comeback or secure a win. If a player like Reggie or Ray Allen went off one quarter and hit 3 or 4 three’s, it was a real momentum changer. And now you’ll have these games where a team is shooting 3 after 3 and if they’re cold, they just get blown out. I guess in some ways its MORE unpredictable cause teams can just go cold all game not hit three’s but its super aggravating to watch games like that sometimes.

    I’m not advocating to a return to the early 2000’s ISO ball. That was sometimes excruciating to watch too. But balance would be nice. I don’t know how you do that, though. The cat’s out of hte bag as far as 3’s being an equalizer in a lot of ways.

  138. I just can’t believe this story is going like a week after one stupid, but extremely innocuous tweet.

  139. The Expanse Talk Time

    can’t thank you all enough for some of your movie, book, music and tv recommendations…

    I’m about halfway through season 5 now – absolutely loving this series…I take back everything I initially said regarding the acting – frankie adams (bobbie draper) and cara gee (carmina drummer) might just be my very favorite actors at the moment…and how about chad coleman – holy cow, getting to play: cutty, tyreese and fred johnson all in a 2 decade time period, mister coleman is doing something very right…plus he was in left for dead 2 – which was one of my favorite video games for a couple of years…

    So, after having seasons 1 thru 3 fly by at the speed of light – season 4 was quite an adjustment…good to see that the pace of the storyline has picked up again in season 5…someone pointed out earlier about the special effects boost in season 4 when amazon took over the series, it is noticeable…

    I really liked the story telling technique they used midway through season 3, that was very cool…

    One major complaint (outside of the entirety of season 4 :) – was not so thrilled with the husband swap, I really liked that first actor, second hubby was way too weak and whiney, may though just have been the writing…

    Excited to see how the season 5 storyline wraps up…I read season 6 will be the last, and, they’ll need to cram about 3 books worth of plot in to the season – it should move along at a pretty good pace…

  140. swiftandabundant: I’m not advocating to a return to the early 2000’s ISO ball. That was sometimes excruciating to watch too.

    Forget 2000’s ISO ball- Obi’s going to singlehandedly bring back the mid 80’s Aguirre/Dantley 10 second slow motion low post back down.

  141. Cultural historians will likely conclude that 2015 was right about the time our internet selves finally became our “real selves.”

    that’s a very interesting thought…

    The rot of late-stage capitalism is fucking everywhere.

    yes it is, and, we got it written right in to our declaration of independence, it may not be in the constitution, but might as well be…of course there were only two a half million people in our country when those words were written – but, it is a rallying cry and permit for many selfish actions…the pursuit of happiness (and wealth/personal gain) for some can have devastating effects on many others…

  142. nicos: Forget 2000’s ISO ball- Obi’s going to singlehandedly bring back the mid 80’s Aguirre/Dantley 10 second slow motion low post back down.

    i would take that in a second if Obi can be like one of those dudes…with hops ….as neither of them could jump…just new how to use their physical tools well…rj could learn something from them as well as he is similar in that his vertical is not that explosive…

  143. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Wait, so all you have to do to beat the 3PT revolution is have the greatest player of all time and a 4-time All-NBA All-Defensive player in his prime in your starting frontcourt playing 36 MPG apiece?

    You almost always need either 2 great players or 3 all stars to win a championship.

    If your overall team is built around shooting a REAL LOT of 3s, the defense is going to take some of the easy ones away in the playoffs and a few of your secondary 3 point shooters are going to get tight sphincters in the 4th quarter of important playoffs games. So you are probably going to lose to a team with similar talent and a more balanced scoring attack inside and outside (unless your 3 points shooters are Curry, Durant, and Thompson) .

    What Morey was trying to do was one up the Warriors with 3s and pray he got the upside of 3 point volatility to beat a better foe. IMO, that was idiocy because he was way more likely to get the downside volatility against a top defensive team under playoff pressure given his 3 point shooters were not all time greats like the Warriors 3 point shooters (and they did fall apart).

    The Warriors were a once in a generation team. There was little to be learned from them other than seeing that defense, ball movement, and player movement can maximize the talent of a team regardless of whether they are the lowly Knicks or the all time great Warriors.

    In normal times, you should be trying to build a team with a player or two that can dominate inside and put shooters around him/them for space. The 76ers were a horribly constructed last year because there was no space. I said that right from the start & everyone eventually figured that out. This year they are moving in the right direction. They could go all the way. Maybe they need 1 more shooter. Embiid must be healthy.

  144. In normal times, you should be trying to build a team with a player or two that can dominate inside and put shooters around him/them for space.

    To add to this, my point is that maximizing the number of 3s you take is not the answer. Players like Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan (now that he’s being coached & used better) add value in the mid range because you aren’t going to get a spot up 3 or layup on every possession (especially in the playoffs). Having guys that are above average in the mid range and that can draw fouls in that area adds a lot of value even though the models penalize them for it. The only thing we’ve learned is that long 2s suck. The idea that mid range is bad is wrong. It’s only bad if a good 3 point shooter had an open 3 on that possession. Otherwise, I want my players to be as good in md range as possible if that’s all we are getting from the defense on a lot of possessions.

  145. Anti-eye test wisdom from long time KB lurker Charles Wright’s soul/funk classic Express Yourself:
    “It’s not what you look like when you’re doin’ what you’re doin’
    It’s what you’re doin’ when you’re doin’ what you look like you’re doin’!”

  146. geo: plus he was in left for dead 2 – which was one of my favorite video games for a couple of years…

    I actually just started playing this again with a friend over the interwebs. It’s a fun way to waste quaran-time. Great game.

  147. geo: howdy bo, i’m not subscribed, it sounds interesting though – if you have time, what were the main points?

    It’s a pretty short article that basically says front office people need to stop judging players by their size/height/weight. The actual book says nothing about baseball except a passing reference to moneyball. It does seem to say that Billy Beane based a number of his ideas off Tversky & Kahneman’s work. I think the statheads probably realized that the book was the best way to convince the business-types that they were right.

    The book itself is pretty popular and has a bunch more. If you want to know what the book is about, luckily Wiki is free. Wasn’t sure if you were asking about the book or article.

  148. So watching this video on how Zion is wrecking shit, and it was interesting to imagine if this was all about Randle. Not making a comp here in terms of talent, but they’re now using Zion as a point forward. Watch the PnRs that the video opens with. I can’t tell if they’re so much more effective because it’s Zion, or if it’s because they’re actual PnRs as compared to random mosh pit action like Knicks ‘plays,’ or if it’s because good shooters open up the middle for Zion. Probably a little of each, but still worth watching and mulling.
    Plus it’s just fun to watch Zion wreck shit.
    https://www.theringer.com/video/2021/2/25/22300830/zion-williamson-is-a-playmaking-wrecking-ball

  149. What Morey was trying to do was one up the Warriors with 3s and pray he got the upside of 3 point volatility to beat a better foe. IMO, that was idiocy because he was way more likely to get the downside volatility against a top defensive team under playoff pressure given his 3 point shooters were not all time greats like the Warriors 3 point shooters (and they did fall apart).

    The Warriors were a once in a generation team. There was little to be learned from them other than seeing that defense, ball movement, and player movement can maximize the talent of a team regardless of whether they are the lowly Knicks or the all time great Warriors.

    Do you not realize how the second part of this invalidates the first? Morey knew he wasn’t going to be able to match the Warriors on a talent-for-talent basis, but unlike just about every other team in the NBA his was actually close enough that using a high-volatility, high-reward strategy gave them a shot at beating them in a 7 game series.

    It’s not like he was passing on, say, Jimmy Butler for Eric Gordon because the former wasn’t a good three-point shooter. He was going to war with the best army he could assemble under the CBA. In any event, the fact that he targeted a relatively low-volume three point shooter who was still brutally productive via other means in Chris Paul shows he wasn’t dogmatic.

    Any objective evaluation in hindsight would come to the conclusion that he was vindicated. They were literally the only team to take a fully healthy Warriors-with-Durant team to seven games (and I think they would’ve won but for CP3’s achy hammy, but whatever).

  150. If your overall team is built around shooting a REAL LOT of 3s, the defense is going to take some of the easy ones away in the playoffs and a few of your secondary 3 point shooters are going to get tight sphincters in the 4th quarter of important playoffs games. So you are probably going to lose to a team with similar talent and a more balanced scoring attack inside and outside (unless your 3 points shooters are Curry, Durant, and Thompson) .

    You are saying absolutely fucking nothing, here.

    “When you have elite shooters, shoot from distance. When you have elite interior scorers, score inside.” Yeah, no fucking shit, Strat.

    What Morey was trying to do was one up the Warriors with 3s and pray he got the upside of 3 point volatility to beat a better foe.

    Nah, he was probably praying that his top-3 all-time PG wouldn’t wreck his hamstring in game 5 of the toughest WCF matchup in modern NBA history facing two of the three best all-court scorers and perhaps the best catch-and-shoot player on earth. But no, it was definitely a “offensive system” thing. I hate to tell you this, but when Chris Paul goes down with an injury, you can’t just plug another guy in and be like, “Okay, now be Chris Paul.”

  151. Actually just checkout this article by Michael Lewis: THE KING OF HUMAN ERROR. Unless you frequent Vanity Fair often, you should have a couple free article views. Seems way more in-depth than the Times article. Slightly different subject though.

  152. TFAS is a great book. I had read a lot of their stuff before but it was nice of them to make it fully digestible.

    Edit: Nice of him

  153. I was majoring in Philosophy & Psychology right around the time that book got published and so got quite a bit of it from both the Phil & Psych sides. People were pushing back against their findings a bit. Not that the Tversky & Kahneman are entirely wrong, but that they’re too harsh in their judgments and several of their experiments are flawed.

    I found it all really interesting back in the day.

  154. Everyone learned the wrong lessons from the Warriors. They thought the game was permanently changed, but it wasn’t. The Warriors simply had 3 of the greatest shooters in history on the same team.

    To add to this, my point is that maximizing the number of 3s you take is not the answer.

    i forget, what’s the term for moonwalking from a bold but ridiculous claim all the way past the straw man right into nobodyfuckingthinksthat’s house? the 14-15 warriors that you think taught morey the wrong lesson because only non-superstars miss 3s in the clutch took 30 3pa/g in the playoffs. that is 6 fewer than the average team took in last year’s playoffs. morey and many, many others realized that teams were, on balance, still failing to maximizing 3pa mix, even the warriors and even in the playoffs. this does not mean that any sane person thought that the ideal nba team should maximize paperclip production, including morey. literally no person would line up behind that sign you are shredding.

    morey took a lot of threes because he had harden, because people were still shooting too few threes, and because he probably knew that your non superstar choking theory sucked. did you know that eric gordon, trevor ariza, and pj tucker have combined for a better 3pt percentage in their playoffs careers than the regular season, and better in close games than blowouts? the 65 win rockets were an awesome team, but they were facing a juggernaut. their regular season #s were probably slightly helped by transition offense that isn’t sustainable in the playoffs when everyone tries (adding 4 pts/poss to their reg seasons offensive eff) and some luck wrt opponent reg season shooting. they were the underdog and had a perfectly reasonable strategy for either an underdog or an evenly matched team, and in fact they fought the dubs to the mat. there is always more noise and less story than people want to see.

  155. They were literally the only team to take a fully healthy Warriors-with-Durant team to seven games

    Do I have to remind everyone again that Golden State was handing a full strength Rockets team their ass on a plate until Andre Iguadola went down?

    It doesn’t mean anything strat is saying makes sense, but please let’s retire this “unlucky Houston” narrative once and for all. The Warriors win that series in 5 or 6 easy games if both teams are at full strength.

  156. I dunno, this Jazz team looks like it should do some damage in the playoffs, it’s a perfectly constructed modern NBA team.

    Every rotation player besides Gobert and Favors is a competent three-point shooter, they have a double PG backcourt with plenty of playmaking and they also defend the perimeter exceptionally well. There is absolutely nothing gimmicky about the way they play– they bomb tons of threes at you and get lots of second opportunities because they’re a great offensive rebounding team, then on defense they don’t allow you anything in the paint or on the perimeter.

  157. EBird, thanks for the Vanity Fair piece. Tasty.

    Strat, please read it. Hell, I’ll get a collection going and PAY you to read it.

  158. there is always more noise and less story than people want to see

    should be stickied to the top of every thread

  159. Raven: Strat, please read it. Hell, I’ll get a collection going and PAY you to read it.

    primary sources lacking

  160. Hubert: Do I have to remind everyone again that Golden State was handing a full strength Rockets team their ass on a plate until Andre Iguadola went down?

    Iguodala was what, their fifth best player? Let’s not act like he was that important of a player with Curry, Durant, Thompson, and Green.

  161. Celtics owner Wyc Grousebeck:

    “We had hoped Kyrie would stay forever and lead us all the way, He’s on maybe the best team on the league right now and so that’s that. That change touched off a lot of stuff because he left, we weren’t maybe able to recruit free agents in the same way, and a bit of a domino effect. But it is what it is. We went for it with Kyrie. We had a good year with him. He tried hard and then he moved on.”

    This is hysterical, because at the time all of Celtics nation was shouting in unison “good riddance, Kyrie, we’re better off without you”

    And what kind of name is Wyc Grousebeck anyway?

  162. geo: howdy bo, i’m not subscribed, it sounds interesting though – if you have time, what were the main points?

    Hey Geo, How are things on the left coast. The gist of the article is how management in baseball is using the book as sort of a bible. Many of the principles set forth in the book are often cited here, so I thought I’d bring it up. Compared to the long-time posters here the FO boys are kind of late to the dance.

  163. Iguodala was what, their fifth best player? Let’s not act like he was that important of a player with Curry, Durant, Thompson, and Green.

    You might want to look at some lineup statistics.

    When the 5 of them were together, they were unstoppable. The introduction of one weak link makes a lot of difference.

  164. d-mar:
    Celtics owner Wyc Grousebeck:

    “We had hoped Kyrie would stay forever and lead us all the way, He’s on maybe the best team on the league right now and so that’s that. That change touched off a lot of stuff because he left, we weren’t maybe able to recruit free agents in the same way, and a bit of a domino effect. But it is what it is. We went for it with Kyrie. We had a good year with him. He tried hard and then he moved on.”

    This is hysterical, because at the time all of Celtics nation was shouting in unison “good riddance, Kyrie, we’re better off without you”

    And what kind of name is Wyc Grousebeck anyway?

    I agree. That quote was some serious BS right there. There were clearly chemistry issues on the team (because Kyrie is a nut) and plenty of people were making a pretty good case they were actually better without him.

    What’s the great mystery here.

    1. Kemba has been hurt and is slowly regaining his form.
    2. Smart is out.
    3. They lost Gordon Hayward

    (they also lost Rozier (who was a pretty solid role player) the year before

    They’ll be fine when they are healthy, but they have to add another piece.

  165. thanks early bird…

    I was majoring in Philosophy & Psychology

    i have a friend whom majored in psychology, he has such an incredible ability to read others, also he’s really at connecting with folks…he’s cool to be around…

    i imagine both disciplines together allow for some excellent insight in to others…

    The human mind is so wedded to stereotypes and so distracted by vivid descriptions that it will seize upon them, even when they defy logic, rather than upon truly relevant facts.

    ain’t that the truth…it’s so fascinating how much of reality is actually our minds “filling in the blanks”…

  166. Early Bird: Not that the Tversky & Kahneman are entirely wrong

    Reproducibility problems are a big thing in many sciences including psychology. Prospect theory is an exception. It’s built on a large body of very useful research that’s been rigorously examined and reproduced across studies, across research teams, and across cultural settings. So, I’d go further than saying they’re not entirely wrong. They got a lot right.

    It’s most applicable to one-off decisions and described or imagined outcomes. It isn’t a good description of repeated decisions where outcomes have been experienced, for example. And, like almost all decision theories, it doesn’t have much to say about important decisions which involve multiple choices with multiple outcomes – rather than binary choices with single unambiguous consequences. So it’s got a somewhat limited range of applications. But they don’t give out those Nobels (amongst the many awards they got) for work that’s kinda meh.

  167. Deeefense: I agree.That quote was some serious BS right there.There were clearly chemistry issues on the team (because Kyrie is a nut) and plenty of people were making a pretty good case they were actually better without him.

    What’s the great mystery here.

    1. Kemba has been hurt and is slowly regaining his form.
    2. Smart is out.
    3. They lost Gordon Hayward

    (they also lost Rozier (who was a pretty solid role player) the year before

    They’ll be fine when they are healthy, but they have to add another piece.

    4. Tatum impaired due to chronic COVID symptoms

  168. hey bo, hope yourself, family and your students are all well…

    things are good here…still splitting working from home and the office, finding it harder and harder though to be productive at home…

    z-man mentioned this current pandemic situation helping to extend his time in the workforce, i can understand that…fortunately the beginning of the year is traditionally a slow period for me, but, i definitely feel as though my perception of work has changed some this last year…i’m able to let go of work things much easier these days…

    other than work, just trying to be a good son and god dad…need to get back to spending more time in the garden, looking forward to being able to plant stuff in a few more weeks…

    it was early in my 20’s that i learned that it was nearly impossible to continually make yourself happy, and that consistent happiness can only really be achieved through service to others/”greater” purpose, to be honest though – i was pretty self serving up until my early 40’s :) i’ve always been cautious with my commitments, mom and the kids though mean more to me now than ever before…

  169. It’s most applicable to one-off decisions and described or imagined outcomes. It isn’t a good description of repeated decisions where outcomes have been experienced, for example. And, like almost all decision theories, it doesn’t have much to say about important decisions which involve multiple choices with multiple outcomes – rather than binary choices with single unambiguous consequences

    i know this is a basketball site, but – yeah, this is the real good stuff…well, that and funk music links…yeah man, express yourself…

  170. Ptmilo

    Sorry but I lost some respect after that last post.

    1. The league used to think you could not win the TITLE the way the Warriors played because D’Antoni & others failed with smaller faster ball & shooting lots of 3s in the playoffs previously. That’s why Gentry was publicly celebrating that first title as vindication of D’Antioni. It DID change the thinking about how you could win a championship and accelerated the use of 3s. However, again, it’s one thing to win that way with 2-3 all time great 3 point shooters and another to win with role players like Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, and PJ Tucker that happen to shoot 3s well. That was a misunderstanding around the league.

    2. I’m going to assume you’ve never competed at anything for large sums of money or in front of peers where you are under extreme pressure and your reputation can be destroyed if you fail to perform.

    There is a huge difference between how you can perform in the regular season or “in the playoffs” and how you can perform in the finals against an equal or superior opponent with everything on the line and all eyes watching you. The great ones can do it. That’s part of what makes them great. Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, and PJ Tucker? Way less likely. If Morey doesn’t understand my “choking theory” then he’s an idiot. That’s why many great players mock stats guys. You don’t experience many things (like extreme performance pressure) on a spreadsheet.

    3. D’Antoni himself said in the past that the greater volatility from shooting 3s gave the inferior team a better chance. That’s part of what drove his and Morey’s thinking last year. They looked around the league and knew they didn’t match up well and thought their only chance was to go so insane with small ball and shooting 3s they’d pull out a miracle. It was dumber than a pile of rocks and that’s why they are all gone now. It could never work with those players. Durant, Steph and Klay? YES.

  171. @unreason,

    The issues with Kahneman & Tversky are less about reproducibility for me, but rather with methodology.

    For instance, in the article I linked I believe they give the following example (paraphrased):

    Is an avid reader more likely to be:

    (a) a banker
    (b) a banker and feminist

    K&T argue that (a) is the correct answer because logically the set of bankers includes the set of people who are bankers AND feminists. Put another way, if X is a banker AND feminist, then X is a banker.

    But few people actually use language according to strictures of formal logic. Most people hear the 2 options and assume (a) is supposed to mean “bankers who aren’t feminists” or reformat the question in some other way.

    There’s also several critiques about what it means get the right answer. Gerd Gigernzer, who I liked, did some work on this. A lot of Kahneman & Tversky’s work assumes you have an infinite amount of time and infinite amount of processing power, however, no humans have either one.

    A simple, but exaggerated, thought experiment is trying to catch a fly ball. Under K&T’s notion of rational, as soon as the ball leaves the bat you would immediately sit down in the outfield, take out a calculator, pen, & paper, use spin, force and various other inputs to figure out the exact landing spot of the ball, then run over to catch it. Of course by that point, the ball has landed, the hitter has rounded the bases, and both teams went home for the night 4 hours ago.

    A better solution is using your eyes and running to the ball. You don’t get the right answer 100% of the time, but you do get the out.

    I recently read a relevant paper reconciling contrasting ideas, co-authored by Kahneman: Conditions for Intuitive Expertise.

    K&T are right, but I qualify it. They’re right in…

  172. You are saying absolutely fucking nothing, here.

    No. You are missing the point.

    Teams are shooting a lot more 3s now because of the math behind it and because they saw the success of the Warriors (success always gets copied), but the math changes in the playoffs and especially for role players as you go deeper and get to the finals.

    No one would say “we have to copy the Lakers and just find another Shaq to win a title” because he was so successful. They know that would be impossible. But everyone seems to think they can find guys that can nail 3s from everywhere under finals pressure like Steph, Kevin and Klay. They can’t.

    IMO, the NBA has overshot on their use of 3s. More attention should be placed on trying to find guys that can be very efficient in the post and get to the rim and finish. The 3 point shooters should be there to help those guys. They shouldn’t be the primary weapons unless you have a Durant, Steph, Lillard etc… that you know can handle that job and won’t fold. There aren’t too many of those guys.

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