NY Post: Knicks decide contract fate of Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr.

I figured we should get up a thread for this relatively big news. From Marc Berman:

The Knicks on Monday picked up the fourth-year options on point guards Frank Ntilikina ($6.3 million) and Dennis Smith Jr. ($5.6 million) for the 2020-21 season. They also picked up the third-year 2020-21 option on Kevin Knox.

The Post reported over the weekend the Knicks would make their decision on Ntilikina before the season opener to eliminate any distractions. With the deadline for a decision on Oct. 31, that seemed to signal their decision was leaning toward the positive.

While that’s a whole lot of money for a guy who’s done nothing in the NBA so far, the Knicks don’t really need the cap room next year, so it’s probably worth the shot.

And the DSJ and Knox pick-ups for obvious.

Liked it? Take a second to support Brian Cronin on Patreon!

251 thoughts to “NY Post: Knicks decide contract fate of Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith Jr.”

  1. That Jaylen Brown extension…Jesus.

    I maintain that trading KP rather than sign him to one of these behemoths was one of this front office’s more shrewd moves.

  2. It was the obvious move on all of them, especially considering the lack of pop in the free agent class this summer, not to mention they have 100 1-year deals they can just opt out of if something unexpected crops up this summer.

    Meanwhile — 4 years $115MM for Jaylen Brown. Wow.

  3. I don’t think Frank or Dennis are a good bet to turn out good but neither are the Knicks in the next year or two so hey, why the heck not. Trust the process.

    lol Jaylen Brown robbed the Celtics. Good for him.

  4. Jaylen Brown must have something on Ainge.

    Picking up Frank, DSJr and Knox was a no-brainer. This makes it easier to trade them if we want to.

  5. Well, Tatum is getting every available dollar, so enjoy the Celtics topping out at 45 wins for the next five years. You love to see it.

  6. Zion Williamson has surgery today to repair torn meniscus in right knee and is expected to miss six to eight weeks, Pels say.

    From Woj.

  7. 6-8 weeks for Zion? I wonder what that means for his explosiveness going forward…

  8. You really can get trapped with these young guys who are good and have a lot of promise, but are still largely potential over production. Brown is a young wing who can fit on any team in the NBA, so he was was almost definitely getting that money or similiar next year given the young teams with max space who would be happy to throw him an RFA sheet. But at the same time you’re really paying him with the assumption that he keeps getting better. He’s only turning 23 this week so obviously there’s still real chances that he does so, but if he stagnates or even goes full Wiggins you can be in big trouble. But you also obviously don’t want to just walk away from a 23 year-old #3 pick who’s already a solid-ish contributor on a good team.

    The smart value move is probably to trade these guys as @1 said, and as the Knicks did with KP, but you’re usually getting picks back which means resetting your timetable significantly and teams are really hesitant to just keep doing that endlesslly. It’s a bad deal but I see why they did it I guess is what I’m saying.

  9. And man does that suck about Zion, although not unexpected – we all saw through the “nothing serious, just a bit of soreness” farce right away. I would bet he ends up missing significantly more than that 6-8 weeks – they’re obviously going to be beyond careful with his rehab, and for a guy where so much of his game is explosion and his weight is always a concern you’d want to make sure he’s 110% back into the best shape possible before you put him back out there.

    Can you imagine the level of despondency on this board if we had won the lottery and he was a Knick right now? When we discussed the Knicksiest possible outcomes of the draft I don’t think even our wisest philosophers of Dolan’s razor foresaw the possiblity “win the lottery, but Zion’s career is consistently undermined and eventually ruined by injury”. Would have been truly the pinnacle of Knicksiness.

  10. Just wondering, might the Knicks reap some kind of a serendipitous windfall if the cap shrinks due to the China situation? Might we be one of the few teams with max space below the luxury tax in the next couple of years?

  11. So the Cavs claimed Alfonzo McKinnie from the Warriors off of waivers. We have the number one waiver priority, so we must not have tried. I know nothing about the guy, but when he was released, NBA Twitter suggested he might be a hot commodity among rebuilding teams with room for a project.

  12. Murray still needs to learn how to shoot.

    He’s only turning 23 this week so obviously there’s still real chances

    Wigginsism intensifies

  13. It is really hard to get good value on a player’s second contract these days

    Yeah, I ask the question periodically and PTMilo gives some perfect response that goes in one ear and out the other.

    Would Jaylen Brown really have turned down 80 million over four years?

  14. It’s pretty funny, when you think about it. In order to prevent the best players in the game from getting paid their true worth, the NBA set up a system that forces teams to take dole out huge contracts on nonelite talent or lose them for nothing. They went through, what, three lockouts? They broke the player’s union. And this is what they ended up with.

  15. You really can get trapped with these young guys who are good and have a lot of promise, but are still largely potential over production. Brown is a young wing who can fit on any team in the NBA, so he was was almost definitely getting that money or similiar next year given the young teams with max space who would be happy to throw him an RFA sheet. But at the same time you’re really paying him with the assumption that he keeps getting better. He’s only turning 23 this week so obviously there’s still real chances that he does so, but if he stagnates or even goes full Wiggins you can be in big trouble. But you also obviously don’t want to just walk away from a 23 year-old #3 pick who’s already a solid-ish contributor on a good team.

    It’s often a tough situation, but I think there are a few basic tests you can apply:

    1) Does the contract represent good or even value in a vacuum?
    No matter where you are on the win curve you re-sign KAT/AD/Giannis etc., and I would probably extend that to players in the Turner/Sabonis/Hield tier. If a guy is young and solidly productive, it’s hard for the trade market to dry up on him even if he’s overpaid. That’s why I don’t blame SAC for giving Hield that deal–someone will take it on if need be.

    2) What would the contract do to your place on the win curve?
    If a player is an important part of a team that’s already contending or close to it, you don’t have much of a choice but to extend him. Unless you want to pinch pennies instead of maximize your window e.g. MIL with Brogdon, you’ve got to get it done. If you’re not contending, not particularly close to contending, and the player up for an extension isn’t unambiguously productive I think you’ve got to get whatever you can on the trade market. I suppose you can carve out an exception if you have great reason to believe the player will get much more productive, but since this conversation tends to happen after 3 full NBA seasons, be…

  16. “Would Jaylen Brown really have turned down 80 million over four years?”

    Yes, because it’s a virtual lock he’d get offered at least that next year. Have you SEEN the list of available free agents next off-season?

    One of the things that gets lost in all the smart talk around here is that if you are successful, which the Knicks haven’t been in forever and a day, there comes a point where you have put your money down and actually make your bet. If you want to win, there’s going to come a point when you’re going to have to risk overpaying a player and that means you could make a mistake.

    Or, you can be the Knicks and trade away the best young player you’ve had since Patrick Ewing because you’re afraid of overpaying. I forget, how has that worked out so far?

    Mike

  17. Brown isn’t good though. Call me crazy but if I am paying a guy 29 million a year I want him to be, at minimum, an above average player.

    I’d rather have Reddick for 2 years at 13 million.

  18. Or, you can be the Knicks and trade away the best young player you’ve had since Patrick Ewing because you’re afraid of overpaying. I forget, how has that worked out so far?

    I just looked up the roster and Mitchell Robinson is still there?

  19. One of the things that gets lost in all the smart talk around here is that if you are successful, which the Knicks haven’t been in forever and a day, there comes a point where you have put your money down and actually make your bet. If you want to win, there’s going to come a point when you’re going to have to risk overpaying a player and that means you could make a mistake.

    What’s hilarious about this is the implication seems to be that the Knicks haven’t been successful…because they haven’t signed enough risky contracts.

  20. The thing with Milwaukee and Brogdan (assuming they don’t have medical info that suggests he’s not going to hold up for the next for years) is that they gave Middleton a huge 5 year deal and he’s not particularly good. Say they bring back Bogdan and not Middleton, and the freak walks next year-you can deal Brogdan pretty easily if you want to blow things up. That Middleton deal looks like deadweight. So I don’t know what Milwaukee is doing. They’re not going all in to keep Giannis but they’re also maxing a league averagish player.

  21. Whoa, I completely forgot that the Bucks will be paying Middleton $40M at age 33. What the fuck!

  22. Nothing worse than a bunch of highfalutin ‘smart talk’ getting in the way of tired gambling bromides and eye test straight-shootin’.

    MBunge is just keeping it real.

  23. 4 years $114MM for Jaylen Brown… That’s a crazy deal. Utterly absurd. Is he the best defender in basketball?

    If Ntilikina shows anything this year, he could be next in line for the Head-Scratching Jaylen Brown Contract Award at this time next year…

    Knicks should have declined the option JUST to avoid an October, 2020 KB thread for the ages.

  24. They seem to think Middleton is more essential to their success than Brogdon, which I agree is wrong. It would make sense to just do what it took to keep both, but if they had to prioritize I think they’re going to find out they made the wrong choice. It’s possible Giannis weighed in on the matter, which would be difficult to quantify in terms of importance.

  25. idk who here loves Buddy Hield but in the broader sense it’s probably because he was a really fun college player and because he shoots twice the 3’s Trier does and people love the 3 ball.

  26. They seem to think Middleton is more essential to their success than Brogdon, which I agree is wrong. It would make sense to just do what it took to keep both, but if they had to prioritize I think they’re going to find out they made the wrong choice. It’s possible Giannis weighed in on the matter, which would be difficult to quantify in terms of importance.

    But Middleton was an All-Star and Brogdon was not. Easy call (and yes, that was sarcasm).

  27. According to the new NBA height/weight measuring system, young Frank has lost 2″ over the past year, now listed at 6’4″.

    Knox also shrunk, went from 6’9″ to 6’7″.

    My favorite has to be Barea going from an even 6′ to 5’10” lol

  28. According to the new NBA height/weight measuring system, young Frank has lost 2? over the past year, now listed at 6’4?.

    Uh, I was told that he would be 6’9″ by the time he’s old enough to drink.

    Knox also shrunk, went from 6’9? to 6’7?.

    I think I’d like my money back.

  29. So tell me again, why do some of the same people who love Buddy Hield hate Allonzo Trier? Their rookie seasons were almost identical, except Hield was a year older…

    If you’re basing it all on age alone, then you can just as easily ask why do people like Allonzo Trier but not like Courtney Alexander, Jerian Grant, Eugene Jeter, Vonteego Cummings, Sindarius Thornwell, Langston Galloway, Quinton Ross, and a handful of other 23 year old rookies that had similar stats to Trier but didn’t become Buddy Hields.

  30. middleton is also only a year older than brogdon…. it’s close but i would’ve picked middleton also…

  31. Jalen Brown had an absolutely horrific start to the season last year. I’m not sure if he was playing injured, coming off an off season injury, having trouble fitting with Kyrie or it was just a random rough patch, but he couldn’t make a shot in the ocean. However, he was very good on both sides after a rough first 20 games.

    Given he made a sharp jump from year 1 to year 2, the Celtics must be convinced the early season nightmare was the aberration and he’s the solid two-way player with upside he was for the rest of the season.

    IMO, he’s more marginal than a guy like KP who is more proven as an offensive player but where the injury risk is higher, but when you get solid young two way players with upside you have to pay them or you’ll die of old age before you finally strike gold with a sure thing like Zion…….only to find out he may have bum knees.

  32. there comes a point where you have put your money down and actually make your bet. If you want to win, there’s going to come a point when you’re going to have to risk overpaying a player and that means you could make a mistake.

    Decisions like this come way more frequently now that everyone is drafting 18-19 year old kids. That’s one reason I’ve been saying 1st round picks (other than the very top lottery picks where you might strike obvious gold) are being overvalued. With the new lottery system, even being terrible doesn’t put you into “auto star” territory. You are more likely to wind up with a very good player with upside and have to make a tough decision. The only thing that’s guaranteed is that if you give most of the marginal decisions the extension, some will work out poorly and if you pass on all them you are going to die of old age before you build a great team via draft unless you luck into a generational player.

  33. Might be looking into this one and may need to be fitted for a new tin foil hat, but it was interesting to note that Detroit finalised it’s roster very shortly after the Frank announcement was made. Probably more coincidence than anything, but given their were whispers the Pistons were interested in him, there was potentially something that fell over there. Would be interested to what (if anything) Detroit may have offered.

    With the list of names left for next years FA class, I can foresee it being a real tumbleweed off-season. Given the state of play (and depending on how this current roster performs), would it be the worst thing if they picked up some of the team options and rolled with a similar roster next year? My preference would be to trim the fat and replace some veterans with prospects, but if picking up options means we avoid giving out an over inflated deal to a scrub, then I would prefer that than a Jaylen Brown type deal.

  34. I’d definitely prefer to put a bunch of money in Dolan’s pocket than sign anyone other than Mitch to that kind of deal, assuming he is good for the next couple years. Maybe Barrett will but that’s a long way off.

  35. Decisions like this come way more frequently now that everyone is drafting 18-19 year old kids. That’s one reason I’ve been saying 1st round picks (other than the very top lottery picks where you might strike obvious gold) are being overvalued. With the new lottery system, even being terrible doesn’t put you into “auto star” territory. You are more likely to wind up with a very good player with upside and have to make a tough decision.

    I think you’re overstating this problem, perhaps to cover for a couple of your faves who haven’t been all that productive in their first few seasons.

    Teams don’t even have to think about this until after a player’s 3rd season, and if that fails they still almost certainly have the advantages that come with restricted free agency after a player’s 4th. If at that point in a player’s career you’re not positive they’re productive…there’s a damn good chance they aren’t, and even if you wind up being wrong about that, you still get some value out of them via whatever you can get back in a trade.

    Just to take a few recent examples, look at seasons 1-3 of Karl-Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons, Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis, Pascal Siakam, Buddy Hield, Devin Booker, and Dejounte Murray. Obviously there’s a huge variation in how productive all of these guys are, but no one had to ask “is [Player X] even good?” for any of them upon signing their extension. That’s despite the fact that a lot of them were one and dones, or in Sabonis’ case came over as early as possible.

    The other rookie extensions signed during this time were Larry Nance Jr., Justise Winslow, Jamal Murray, Caris LeVert, Taurean Prince, and Jaylen Brown. Whatever you think of the others (FWIW I think the Nuggets and Nets were justified in doing whatever to maintain contending cores), you’ll notice Brown’s is exceptional in that it’s very expensive, and he hasn’t been clearly productive. You simply do not have to do that!

  36. If you’re basing it all on age alone, then you can just as easily ask why do people like Allonzo Trier but not like Courtney Alexander, Jerian Grant, Eugene Jeter, Vonteego Cummings, Sindarius Thornwell, Langston Galloway, Quinton Ross, and a handful of other 23 year old rookies that had similar stats to Trier but didn’t become Buddy Hields.

    Donnie, I normally get a kick out of your snark but this was pitiful. Even Mike Bunge could have offered a more intelligent rebuttal. Truthfully, was there alcohol involved?

    Thornwell: 519 TS%, 12 USG%
    Alexander: .484 TS%
    Galloway: .489 TS%
    Grant: .479 TS%
    Jeter: .460 TS%
    Cummings: .484 TS%
    Ross: .471 TS%

  37. I wasn’t thrilled with Hield after his rookie season either. And yeah, not every player grows the same way.

    Hield isn’t a rookie, he’s had 2 more seasons since then. I want the Hield who played well last year. If Trier plays better this year, I’ll want him too. I don’t think he will.

  38. @47 my point exactly. You didn’t think Hield would improve, yet he did. Why not learn from your mistakes?

  39. We should go all in and trade for Jaylen Brown and Wiggins. I think Minnesota is willing to trade Wiggins for expiring contract and one young stud like Mitch or RJ.
    Boston will easily say yes for our picks next year plus maybe Frank.

    DJ – Jaylen Brown – Wiggins – Knox – Portis.

    That’s our NEW YORK KNICKS.

    Good days.

  40. Part of my issue with signing 22-year-olds to these contracts is that teams are often in the camp of something like “just extend them and then say a lot of veiled stuff in the media that they need to improve to prove their doubters wrong and earn their contract,” a la Ryan Saunders talking about Wiggins on the Lowe Post last summer. But yes, great players don’t plateau for 3 or 4 years and then suddenly put it all together. The Raptors are banking that Siakam continues his climb toward first-option superstar, but that’s only reasonable because he has gotten significantly better every year he’s been in the league.

  41. I’m just going to put this out here.
    The Jets may be worst team in NY and that includes the Knicks.

  42. Exactly how exceptional is Trier’s age-23 rookie ts% of .564? Can one of you beautiful minds punch the numbers on how rarified that air actually is?

  43. I love that Trier knows how to shoot but it’s literally the only thing he knows how to do and we don’t need another Jamal Crawford please

  44. Truthfully, was there alcohol involved?

    Um, duh. Every post I’ve ever made has had alcohol involved. (I’m a recovering Knick fan!)

    But, fine, sorry, you didn’t base it all on age, so let me rephrase…

    If you’re basing it on age and TS% alone, then you can just as easily ask why people like Trier but not like Mike Penbernathy, Šarunas Jasikevicius, Toney Douglas, Matt Maloney, Gary Neal, Nando de Colo, and Tony Delk.

    Have a scotch.

    Happy now?

  45. I am not sure about Trier, I do not like how iso heavy he is and his defense could be better. With that said a TS% over 56% and a usage over 20 with at least 1000 minutes is pretty exceptional for a rookie. Only three other guards have done it over the past 10 years. Two of them are stars (Curry and Irving), and one is a 26-year-old Gary Neal. My guess is that Trier is a lot more Neal than Irving but it is enough to make want to see more. I hope he is in the rotation getting consistent minutes, 15-20 should be fine to really see what we have.

  46. If Trier wasn’t a free agent, then sure. However, he’s a free agent.

    Good Trier =$$$$

    The difference between Trier and Hield is that Trier needs to pound the ball into the pavement to be effective. There’s a lot of players I’d rather have do that than Trier, he needs to increase his efficiency a lot more to justify his playstyle. There’s an opportunity cost to Trier’s style. When you can play off the ball there’s no opportunity cost.

  47. I’m a Trier fan. Them locking him in for this season was one of the best moves they made last year, I thought (I mean, Mitchell Robinson’s deal is in the upper stratosphere of awesome, but still).

  48. I did statistics for the previous thread. I counted 39 predictions. The predictions were symmetrically distributed with an mean prediction of 27.9 wins and a median prediction of 28 wins. The predictions ranged for 18 or 19 (by Unreason, which I counted as 18.5) and 36 (by the glass half rebuilt)

    This is not a small range, but it is still smaller than the predictions of the New York Times, where two sportswriters thought we would make the playoffs and one thought we would have the worst record in the league.

  49. Um, duh. Every post I’ve ever made has had alcohol involved. (I’m a recovering Knick fan!)

    But, fine, sorry, you didn’t base it all on age, so let me rephrase…

    If you’re basing it on age and TS% alone, then you can just as easily ask why people like Trier but not like Mike Penbernathy, Šarunas Jasikevicius, Toney Douglas, Matt Maloney, Gary Neal, Nando de Colo, and Tony Delk.

    Have a scotch.

    Happy now?

    Not really. Most of these guys were at least 2 years older than Trier when they got to the league (Sarunis was 29!). Delk never hit that TS% again (career .494). Same with Douglas (career .515). If Trier can’t shoot, sure, bench him and then cut him. But for now, play him until we find out what he is.

    PS: I had the scotch anyway, Port Charlotte 10. yum!

  50. Trier’s 3-point% when has the ball for more than 6 seconds is 55.6% and 53.8% when he dribbles 7 times or more during a possession. The only other player I would want in control of the ball for that extended period is RJ. Allonzo also knows how to finish a lay-up. Watching him defensively is not one of my favorite things in the world, but he has the speed to chase down players that get by him initially. The Jamal Crawford comparison is not wrong, but it is nice to have a guard who could can make opposing defenses work a little bit.

  51. If the fear with iso-zo is that he will shoot well enough to bamboozle the FO into signing him to a $$$ deal, ok, I get that. But that’s a separate issue. It is counterbalanced by the possibility that he improves in other areas and actually becomes worth a reasonable extension. In either case, it’s important to find out what he is. What I object to is writing him off given the team we have right now. He’s older but much, much closer to being a productive NBA rotation player than Knox or Ntilikina or Dotson. Rub him out there and let him do his iso thing. Maybe he becomes Lou Williams 2.0. If not, no worries!

  52. Although a critic of his game, Trier is worth the shot because he has the talent but he also needs the desire to evolve. He has upside only if he starts sharing the ball and playing tough on-ball and team defense.

  53. I love that Trier knows how to shoot but it’s literally the only thing he knows how to do and we don’t need another Jamal Crawford please

    I was going to use the Jamal Crawford comparison also, but I used Tim Hardaway Jr instead because Crawford is at least proven to be able to take over an important game without melting down.

    Guys like Hardaway and Trier have shown flurries of becoming excellent 6th men, but they haven’t actually done it yet except in meaningless situations in meaningless games. Until proven otherwise, we should probably assume their poor decision making will be a bigger problem under pressure than it is in meaningless games.

    But that’s the aspiration for Trier. You are hoping he becomes a more efficient 6th man than either of those guys (because he shoots better) and slowly matures out of the poor decision making.

    Trier is the flip side role player to Frank right now. Frank will lock down on defense, make unselfish plays, move the ball quickly etc… but there’s not enough there overall yet to start.

  54. If we re-upped on Frank for another year we’re probably going to give him some time on the court

  55. If we re-upped on Frank for another year we’re probably going to give him some time on the court

    We have so many SG/SF players, it’s hard to find a role for Frank off the ball also. In my mind, as limited as he is on offense I’d rather have him on the court (with the right compliment of players) than DSJr. I just can’t see that happening for both political reasons (KP trade) and because they value offense more. I liked Payton last year when he was healthy. I’m not writing him off as a legit starter yet just because he had a bad pre season. He may be much of the best of the 3 right now.

    Frank will get minutes when one of those guys is hurt (which could be an issue given DSJrs health issues) and he could also get minutes down the stretch when we need stops or when those guys are just having a rough night.

  56. The next time THJ shoots 39% from 3 will be the first, and when he was Trier’s age he was banished to the G-League.

  57. My favorite part of that article, Totes, was this piece of horseshit:

    Fizdale’s mantra is not to hold the ball more than a second without passing.

    If that’s his mantra, when do we actually see it on the court?

  58. Based on preseason my key rotation takeaways were that:

    We’re not looking to play small at all with either Morris or Knox at the 4. It sure looks at least to start Fiz intends to play two bigs all the time, with Morris and Knox as the 3s. That means the frontcourt rotation is basically locked in (Mitch, Portis, Randle, Taj, Morris, Knox) with the only question being (gulp) who starts between Portis and Mitch.

    RJ is going to play a ton. I mean he somehow averaged over 37 minutes in freaking preseason (have I mentioned that Fiz is an idiot?). Combined with the filled out frontcourt rotation that means RJ is taking the lion’s share of minutes at the 2 (even when he’s doing a lot of ball handling I think he’s always likely to be paired with a smaller guard because he’s not quick enough to guard 1s).

    They still see Frank as a 1. For all the talk around here about him maybe being a 3 and D wing, it sure seems like they see a 3 man battle for 2 PG slots and we didn’t see them looking to pair those guys up at all. The upshot of that is that Ellington is the backup 2 (could also be Trier and would in my ideal situation just for the potential of development but sure doesn’t seem like they’re going that way). That means if it’s a 10 man rotation one of Frank, DSJ and Payton is on the outside looking in. I really don’t know which way it’s going to go and don’t think it’s impossible that to start the year we see the same thing we saw in preseason where the two guys who play varies from night to night, but this to me looks like the one big question out of the 10 slots.

  59. We have so many SG/SF players, it’s hard to find a role for Frank off the ball also. In my mind, as limited as he is on offense I’d rather have him on the court (with the right compliment of players) than DSJr. I just can’t see that happening for both political reasons (KP trade) and because they value offense more. I liked Payton last year when he was healthy. I’m not writing him off as a legit starter yet just because he had a bad pre season. He may be much of the best of the 3 right now.

    I think the one thing Frank might have going for him is he seems like the best partner for Barrett and Barrett is the golden boy here.

    Ultimately I think our best lineups will be when we ditch the two bigs approach and play Frank and Barrett with another guard. But it seems like it will take a long time for our brain trust to figure that out.

  60. Oh my goodness, just checked out the jets box score. Wasn’t someone taking bows on this guy last week?

    C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT SACKS QBR RTG
    Sam Darnold 11/32 86 2.7 0 4 1-13 0.7 3.6

  61. Ultimately I think our best lineups will be when we ditch the two bigs approach and play Frank and Barrett with another guard. But it seems like it will take a long time for our brain trust to figure that out.

    This team has a ton of flexibility to play smaller – Randle’s best position throughout his career has been small-ball 5, Morris is arguably more of a 4 than 3 (and I’m in the camp that also thinks Knox’s best role is 4 long-term), RJ is more 3 sized than 2, and Frank can also guard up to 2 and maybe even 3. And we didn’t even look at it in preseason, not even just to try it out.

  62. Shams story on Zion’s injury:

    Sources with knowledge of the situation have told The Athletic that Williamson and the Pelicans cannot pinpoint one specific moment when the injury occurred.

    The Pelicans do not believe Williamson’s frame contributed to his torn meniscus, nor do they believe it will be an issue moving forward, sources have told The Athletic. He was drafted with everyone involved knowing how special he is at his size and frame.

    Now, Williamson’s rehabilitation could mean less weight-lifting and more strategic planning, but the Pelicans plan to figure out the best method while letting Zion be Zion, and that does not include managing his weight.

  63. @64 – It is interesting but we’ll see. I heard say that if Frank and Trier were somehow combined into a single player, that player would be a superstar. Problem is, both are severely flawed in the area that the other excels in.

    But let’s focus on Trier. If all he does is start sharing the ball, it’s a huge leap for Trier. He needs to get his Assists Per 36 in the 5-6 range (double what he did last year). He also needs to become an adequate defender. He was rated #489 out of 514 ranked NBA players in DPRM last year at -2.28. To get to 0 and leave the negative realm, he would need to climb 230 spots.

    Note: of course, Kevin Knox was worse at #512 out of 514!

  64. Trier had 4.9 rebounds per 36 last year, same as Beal, 0.5 more than Donovan Mitchel, 0.1 less than Jrue Holiday. He’s not a great rebounder for a 2 guard but to say he’s “not doing anything else other than scoring” is going over the top.

    If he’s able to throw the ball away a bit less, which would be typical for a 2nd year player, his advanced stats would probably look much better.

  65. @73 – Did you watch the game? I’m surprised Darnold’s line looked THAT good.

  66. I barely watch the NFL team I’ve supported my whole life, so no, I definitely didn’t watch the Jets game. I don’t know if Darnold is better or worse than Jones and there’s a long way to go in that one. But I feel pretty confident I’m never going to regret defending Gettelman’s decision to take Barkley over Darnold (or Rosen or Allen). That case is settled.

  67. Anyway, back to hoops….

    interesting Knicks convo on the 538 chat. The Kevin Knox bit made me both laugh and cry.

    neil: What about some of the other next-tier East teams? Anybody you have an eye on as a dark horse?

    tchow: The Knicks!!

    natesilver: Tony.

    neil: I was literally typing, ‘DON’T SAY THE KNICKS TONY.’

    LOL

    natesilver: I think the Knicks are a dark horse for how bad they might be.

    neil: Cavs-Knicks II: The Re-Basementing

    tchow: We have them as a 20-win team. That’s so harsh!

    natesilver: Like, I’m not sure it’s out of the question that they’re worse than last year. They have exactly one player on the entire team, Mitchell Robinson, who we rate as above average.

    And he’s only above average by 0.1 points per 100 possessions.

    neil: They also have Kevin Knox, whose projection required us redoing our axis to present negative WAR on his player card.

    natesilver: LOL’ed in the quiet car again.

    It’s a roster that’s designed for tanking.

    tchow: Julius Randle. Underrated. Ntilikina. Underrated. Dennis Smith Jr. Underrated. RJ Barrett. Rated.

    That’s a more-than-20 win team.

    natesilver: Lots of guys who like to shoot and aren’t very good at it.

    tchow: OK. I’ll stop.

    neil: “RJ Barrett. Rated.” ? ? ? ?

    natesilver: RAPTOR doesn’t even think their long-term outlook is that bad! It likes Barrett’s upside just fine — it likes Robinson OK. It likes young point guards, and the Knicks have three of them, so maybe they’ll find something there.

    But they’re NOT gonna be pretty to watch this year, in RAPTOR’s estimation.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/is-the-nbas-eastern-conference-really-just-a-two-team-race/

  68. Oh my goodness, just checked out the jets box score. Wasn’t someone taking bows on this guy last week?

    C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT SACKS QBR RTG
    Sam Darnold 11/32 86 2.7 0 4 1-13 0.7 3.6

    Everyone needs to take a chill pill. Darnold and Jones aren’t locked in a Texas Death Match. Does anyone remember Eli’s 3rd or 4th start vs the ravens? 4 of 18 passes for 27 yards and was intercepted twice. His passer rating that dismal day was 0.0…. and it worked out pretty good for old Eli.

    Darnold is a little more disquieting because he had an entire season of starting and a second off season to learn and the “I’m seeing ghosts” deer in the headlights thing yesterday certainly must have raised some chatter in the locker room today. He shouldn’t have been THAT confused. 3 of his picks weren’t him trying to force the ball into bad spots….. they were just throw it up for grabs bailout throws off the back foot to no one in particular.

  69. Happy first day of the season, everyone!

    LOL Me! Wifey is an Economics professor @ CUNY and guess where I get to spend Wednesday night….. at a Paul Krugman lecture…… lucky me!

  70. Darnold and Jones aren’t locked in a Texas Death Match

    It’s not about Darnold v Jones, at least not to me. It’s about the buckets of ink that was spilled decrying the Giants for taking Barkley with so many great QB prospects on the board.

    That was a decent, not great, batch of QB prospects. Just like Jones is a decent QB prospect. I hope they both mature well. I’m just glad we took the surefire Hall of Famer if he stays healthy in Barkley.

  71. It’s not about Darnold v Jones, at least not to me. It’s about the buckets of ink that was spilled decrying the Giants for taking Barkley with so many great QB prospects on the board.

    Anyone who ever watched a football game knew Barkley was the best player in that draft months before the draft!

  72. @85 For Nate Silver to lump Randle into the category of “guys who like to shoot and aren’t very good at it” is just lazy analysis.

  73. And anyone who has paid attention to football over the last decade knows how little value even a potential Hall of Fame running back like Barkley provides compared to a quarterback, an edge rusher, or several other positions. I love Saquon. He’s fun to watch play. There is still no defending taking him at two, regardless of how Darnold and the others have played so far.

    Meanwhile, from Stein:

    Pels GM David Griffin, pushing back on suggestions that weight has factored in Zion Williamson’s knee injury, said just now after shootaround: “He’s in elite condition”

  74. That 538 article was interesting. It looks like 538 agrees with the Times in being completely split in their opinion of the Knicks. Each has a writer that thinks they will have the worst or close to the worst record in the league and a writer who thinks they could make the playoffs.

  75. The Pelicans do not believe Williamson’s frame contributed to his torn meniscus, nor do they believe it will be an issue moving forward, sources have told The Athletic

    LOL what do you think they are going to say…. anyone who isn’t concerned that that a 19 year old 285 pound hulking pogo stick who needed to be shut down in July due to a sore knee and now needs to have some cartilage shaved from the shock absorber of his condyles and isn’t scared shitless is a moron or a liar.

  76. That 538 article was interesting. It looks like 538 agrees with the Times in being completely split in their opinion of the Knicks. Each has a writer that thinks they will have the worst or close to the worst record in the league and a writer who thinks they could make the playoffs.

    It can be hard to tell in those chats but I’m pretty sure Tony was trolling when he called the Knicks a dark horse. He said he thought they were a more than 20 win team but his next comment referred to the Heat as a “serious dark horse”. I don’t think he was actually suggesting the Knicks were a potential playoff team.

  77. And anyone who has paid attention to football over the last decade knows how little value even a potential Hall of Fame running back like Barkley provides compared to a quarterback, an edge rusher, or several other positions. I love Saquon. He’s fun to watch play. There is still no defending taking him at two, regardless of how Darnold and the others have played so far.

    If you didn’t have front line/elite grades on Darnold/Rosen et al it would be foolish to take them over a super elite prospect who is a running back. Certainly QBs who are elite are much more valuable than any running back or any other player but that wasn’t/isn’t the case.

  78. I never liked Krugman until it dawned on me that he had been mostly right about everything related to economics for about a solid decade. Especially inflation.

    I chuckled pretty hard about Knox requiring a re-centering. I also absorbed the criticism of Mitch, collected it, and then threw it in a trash can.

    The 20 win prediction is kind of inspiring too. I kind of wish I had found the courage to be as pessimistic as I truly am.

  79. And anyone who has paid attention to football over the last decade knows how little value even a potential Hall of Fame running back like Barkley provides compared to a quarterback, an edge rusher, or several other positions.

    I guess you would pass on Shaq today because the NBA is 3 ball centric if Buddy Hield was still on the board????

  80. Yeah, I’m in the “take an obviously great player when you have a top pick” camp, not the “take a chance on a decent prospect at a high value position” camp. And that goes for any sport (in the NBA it’s mediocre PGs instead of QBs). Take the best damn player. The happiest teams from the top of the 2018 draft are the ones who took a RB and a Guard, not exactly high value positions.

    Of course, Gettelman switched camps one year later by going with Jones over the elite Josh Allen, leaving me dazed and confused. I’ve obviously come around on Jones but I still would have taken Allen bc Jones isn’t a can’t miss QB prospect. I may actually watch Allen terrorize the Jets next week to see what might have been.

  81. Taj is also hurt, which means we’ve gone from “too many bigs” to not enough bigs. I wonder if this speeds up the Kenny Wooten two-way contract, just so we can have an extra big body on hand. At minimum, it means we’re gonna see Randle at center, and maybe some of those Barrett + Frank + another guard lineups we were all just hoping for.

  82. Obviously, Portis starts at center if Mitch and Taj are both out. But he’s not going to play all the minutes at center, which means there will be minutes in the game where Randle will have to be the 5, with, say, Knox, Barrett, Trier, and Frank.

  83. Yeah, I’d like to see Morris at the 4 and RJ at the 3, even though that’s almost zero rim protection.

  84. the spurs are unfortunately one of the worst teams to be light in the frontcourt against…. could get pretty ugly if both taj and mitch are out…

  85. I worry that the Jets are going to ruin Darnold’s chances. The OL is awful and the team seems unable to adjust to blitzes, with defenders running in unblocked at him with alarming consistency.

    And Gase seems clueless what to do. How about some more “max protection” packages to give the kid some time? How about installing some rollouts, which Darnold seemed very adept at doing last year?

    If Mitch is out, then it’s Bobby Portis time! Wait, what?

  86. The offensive line wasn’t as big of a problem as last night would make it seem. The Jets aren’t as bad as last night made it seem, either. The Patriots are simply head and shoulders above the competition, and Bellichick always coaches games against the Jets like it’s the Superbowl. The exotic pressures that the Patriots dialed up last night were unbelievable, and I’m starting to believe this defense is simply the best work any coach has ever done.

    Sam Darnold looked mighty fine last week against a good Cowboys team that just wiped the floor with the Eagles. This week’s game against Jacksonville will tell a lot more about who the Jets are than who we were against Bill Bellichick on national television.

  87. Also, it really sucks if Mitch and Taj can’t go. That means our back up center will be Julius Randle and Portis will start.

  88. Portis seemed to have a good preseason by the numbers, so maybe it won’t be so bad after all!

  89. LOL Me! Wifey is an Economics professor @ CUNY and guess where I get to spend Wednesday night….. at a Paul Krugman lecture…… lucky me!

    Krugman is a brilliant economist. But much more importantly, he and Bobby Portis are both future inductees into the Kurt Thomas Crazy-Eyes HOF…

  90. Lol now Begley says they are “considering” starting Trier. Z-Man argued his case effectively!

  91. Allonzo Trier is probably better at basketball than Dennis Smith Jr, Frank Ntilikina, and Elfrid Payton so I don’t mind it at all if he starts.

  92. If Robinson is out and they play Portis, Randle, Trier, DSJr and RJ, I’ll just assume we are tanking again starting with game 1 or Fizdale already bet the Spurs. It’s hard to imagine anyone could think that’s a good idea.

  93. Krugman is to economics what the members of LTCM were to investing. High IQ real world idiots.

  94. It seems certain that RJ will start, so if Trier really does start then I would assume it’s because they want RJ to be the guy with the ball in his hands offensively, and the requirements for the other guard are that they be able to (nominally at least) guard 1s, but offensively provide shooting off the ball. Which I guess is basically Trier’s profile (ignoring that he can’t really guard anyone)? That’s the only thing I can think.

    Setting up the whole preseason as a 3 way battle at the PG position and then starting none of them would be a nice little early season taste of Knicksiness.

  95. I mean, RJ’s prominence is a perfect opportunity for Trier to stump for a starting spot next to him if he can just not be an asshole and learn to effectively catch-and-shoot when needed instead of hogging the ball and driving 1-on-3 (although he’ll first have to pry the ball out of Morris’ clammy hands).

  96. Krugman is to economics what the members of LTCM were to investing. High IQ real world idiots.

    Meanwhile it’s the Austrians who are the real geniuses. The Austrian School is like the Frank Ntilikina of economic thought.

  97. It sucks that Michael Porter Jr.’s test results were so bad before last year’s draft. If they had given any indication that he would be okay in a year, I’d have recommended still taking him. The results, though, looked SO SO SO bad. So it just didn’t make sense to take him. So I am not knocking them for not taking him, but man, it still sucks that he looks like he’s past his health problems now.

  98. Not easy to take that kind of gamble when there’s a safe, sure to be productive option like Kevin Knox on the board.

  99. we assembled such a pathetic field of starting candidates we decided to simply pretend point guard is not a position that exists in the nba. i had no idea this was allowed. i am on board with this strategy as long as we can skip the logistics and roll straight down the slope to a knicks that operate as an ownerless, unmanaged, uncoached, floating menagerie of purely power forwards (plus breen and clyde). a fiat knicks. don’t fret austrians. our nominal anchor was us all along. and here we are.

  100. Forgive me if I’m starting to sound like i’m going all ruru (rip) on Trier now, but skill-wise, he might just be the best candidate for PG on this team. Obviously not saying much!

  101. Barrett, Morris, and Randle are definitely starting. The questions are:

    1) Is Mitch healthy enough to play tomorrow (because if he is, then he is the starter)?

    2) Will Trier start next to RJ Barrett at guard or will Dennis Smith Jr get the starting nod?

    I won’t lie; my dog in this race is Dennis Smith Jr because dammit we traded Porzingis for him. He needs to be good at basketball.

  102. I think if we start Morris, Randle and Barrett, the best course of action is probably to start DSJ, because he can score a bit more and work without the ball when Barrett handles it. Payton is a zero without the ball in his hands, so it makes more sense to bring him in when we put Ellington, Trier and Knox on the court, so he’s somewhat surrounded by 3 point shooters.

    My rotation would be DSJ, Barrett, Morris, Randle and Mitch, with Payton, Trier, Knox, Portis and Ellington as the priorities off the bench, then try to insert Frank and Gibson as necessary. Also keep the guard spots rotating for whoever shows hes playing better.

  103. I would start Frank over Payton or DSJ. All are bad on offense but at least Frank can defend and he probably has the best chance to shoot decently from 3. If we are starting Randle and Barrett I think we can afford Frank’s lack of dribble penetration since he won’t usually be the one initiating the offense.

    Also if Gibson doesn’t get at least 20 minutes off the bench then Fizdale is an idiot, Gibson is one of our best defenders and his 3pt shot seems for real. I will be annoyed if Portis gets more minutes than Gibson.

    I would move DSJ out of the rotation, in fact that’s who I’d be trying to trade. I don’t like his prospects much at all. But I would be okay with him getting minutes over Payton since Payton is a rental.

    My rotation:
    Frank —– Payton
    Barrett —- Trier
    Morris —- Knox
    Randle —- Portis
    Robinson — Gibson

    I would also be okay with Ellington replacing Knox or Portis in the rotation, but I think Knox and Portis are for sure getting plenty of minutes.

  104. i was holding out hope we would gamble on porter…. it was literally anybody but knox at that point…

    i’m a bit dubious that he holds up… it’s kind of staggering how everyone in his family has failed to avoid catastrophic injuries… but from the preseason he does look like he can be a pretty good player if healthy….

    that’s worth alot more than knox right now…

  105. i don’t like rj playing the pg role…. he’s a good passer but his handle isn’t nba pg level… meaning he’ll get trapped and struggle when pressured… we already saw glimpses of it in preseason and if fizdale is worth anything he noticed that too….

    filling a gap because the 3 pg’s you invested in suck is not a solution…. even if they suck you roll the ball out and see who sticks…. 4 preseason games shouldn’t drastically change your strategy on this… if you want to find out who’s gonna make it you gotta play them real minutes…

  106. i was holding out hope we would gamble on porter…. it was literally anybody but knox at that point…

    While I didn’t want Knox, either, Porter’s health stuff was just so bad. It’s no surprise that he lasted another, what, six more picks before a good team that could afford to totally whiff on the pick took him. But yeah, it is amazing at how well he has recovered. I thought he might be doomed to never be healthy in his career. Hell, some of the stuff sounded so bad that he might not even be able to have a normal life off the court!

  107. Porter looks very smooth on the court I have to say. He still seems like a very high injury risk but he’s obviously so much more polished and skilled than a guy like Knox, you can eye test that shit within like 10 seconds of watching him.

  108. I don’t think you can fault lottery teams for passing on Porter. Back issues are a huge red flag, so understandable a rebuilding team wouldn’t want to blow a 1st rounder on a guy with big health red flags. Perfect low risk – high reward pick for teams with late 1st rounders though given most would be playoff/contending teams already. Makes that Nuggets team a real smokey in my books to potentially win the West.

    As far as the Knicks go – looking forward to the start of the season, but really just looking forward to watching Mitch an RJ. The sheen wore off KP pretty quick, so it’s nice to have some young guys that are pretty rootable (god that word hits the ear so wrong). On the PG rotation, not sure RJ is well-suited just yet for the PG role, but I think at this stage my preference for the starting 5 would be DSJ, RJ, Morris, Randle and Mitch. Despite the warts, I think that 5 has a nice balance of scoring a defence, with Randle to potentially be the no.1 option on offence. Pretty vanilla prediction tbh ha ha

  109. I’d go with:

    Payton
    Barrett
    Morris
    Randle
    Robinson

    That’s a somewhat reasonable two way team if you kind of squint your eyes. Remember kids, Elfrid Payton is not the complete bum he played like in the preseason, he is actually a decent boxscore stuffing NBA point guard.

    There’s not a lot of floor spacing in that lineup but there are only so many ways to rearrange the deck chairs. None of the PGs on this team can shoot and Barrett needs to play starter’s minutes so there’s not a lot you can do about that problem.

  110. Trier:
    +
    His ballsy attempt to dunk the ball through a crowded paint during the preseason told me all that i needed to know about his game this season (even if missed).

    His body language and the look in his eyes during preseason screamed: I PLAY FOR MYSELF
    =
    Not Fully Convinced but i’m slightly positive on him.

  111. Payton should (probably) start.
    (till he starts sucking)….
    His ‘career’ has earned him this right compared to our other two pgs.

  112. a knicks that operate as an ownerless, unmanaged, uncoached, floating menagerie of purely power forwards (plus breen and clyde).

    Other than ownerless, I think we’re well on our way to this dream scenario….

    As for lineups, I’m with Ben R, but I’d be OK with starting Elfrid instead of Frank. I just think Frank’s skills mesh better with Mitch and Morris — and playing with RJ and Randle, he doesn’t need to be trying to penetrate. Just bring the ball up and hit the open 3. Which he probably can do as well as Payton.

  113. They did hit on one thing I’ve been saying for a while: he needs ball dominant non-PGs to be successful, and in Barrett and Randle he just might have them. (Of course, I think he needs an offensive system, too, and he definitely won’t have that.)

    That’s the hope for Frank: that guys like Randle, Barrett, and Morris prefer playing with his unselfish style over Smith and Payton.

  114. The main thing I don’t want is DSJ playing a ton of minutes. If he can’t defend at least okay or hit an open 3 I don’t think should get many minutes. At least 2 different times in the game vs New Orleans, he had a wide-open corner three and passed it up for a shot that was blocked and a turnover.

    I think I actually have more hope for Knox than DSJ and that is really saying something.

  115. Side note: I just moved back into my NYC apt after 4 months on eastern Long Island. I have a new upstairs neighbor with three children under 6 who all live in one room directly above me, and my next door neighbor’s kid apparently has taken up the trumpet.

    I don’t know if there’s enough bagels and pizza to keep me here much longer.

  116. @137
    Yeah, but I’d guess that the “braintrust” really wants DSJ to get significant time since he was a part of the KP deal.

  117. The Knicks sign Payton to a 2yr-16m contract, pick up the 4th yr options on Frank and DS Jr yet none of the 3 will start at PG?? Instead you start Trier who got DNP-CDs during pre-season??

  118. I’m not sure I believe it about Trier. That could just be hot air on Fizdale’s part. What I do believe is that Fizdale is frustrated that all three point guards on the roster are so bad that he wants to send a message that nothing is guaranteed for any of them. That’s also why he hasn’t said who will start. So far, no one has shown starter capabilities. As I said before, it seems like no one is winning the point guard job; it’s just that some players are losing the job.

  119. Brandon Ingram has a crazy build. I don’t fault anyone for thinking he might turn out to be a great player.

    Also, Serge is not done yet. I don’t care if he is actually 39. Good sleeper pick in fantasy.

  120. Zion, Ingram, and Ball might really be something special in a couple years. I like the way those two look so far, even if they aren’t playing “well” as yet.

  121. fizdale ain’t really in a position to be playing games… and it’s crazy to think that they are really serious about trier… it sounds more like agent leaks… ellington has outplayed trier by a mile and he’s actually ok defensively….

  122. Yeah, the Pels are really interesting. Ball’s shot is starting to look for real. Holiday is ferocious. Ingram and NAW are good looking wing prospects. Favors is a bruiser. Redick can still fill it up. When Zion comes back, look out!

  123. It’s still early, but I like these Pels. If you add the Zion we all know and love to these guys you have a playoff team.

  124. kenrich williams isn’t exactly stacked with 2k skills, but damn is he a smart basketball player

  125. Who is Frank Jackson and why is he +9?

    Melli I have never heard of either, although I saw him in the preseason game I guess.

    Pretty great game to start the season.

  126. So ESPN has season previews of all the NBA teams. The Knicks are number 28 with only the Hornets and the Cavaliers below them. I think they could do better than that. I don’t see the Wizards or the Suns being better for example.

  127. frank jackson is one of two pg franks from the 2017 draft with a career bpm worse than -4.5. the other is too obscure to be of interest here.

  128. Frank frank frank. Can’t solve the riddle.

    JJ, thank you for making my comment the other day look good….

  129. Maybe that other Frank (the obscure one) will also end up plus nine and have Spurs fans wondering who he is.

  130. it’s so wierd watching a game where lebron’s not the best player on the floor…heck, he may not be the best player on his team…

    not sure why but it still surprises me watching kawhi handle the ball and shoot…

    during the preseason there was a lot of talk about how much rest lebron got since the end of the season (and during a chunk of last season)…

    my thought is – he’s not so much rested up for this season as he is more susceptible to injuries going forward…I’ll be surprised if lebron plays more than 60 games this year…

    the clippers are gonna be a fun team to follow this year…

  131. my thought is – he’s not so much rested up for this season as he is more susceptible to injuries going forward…I’ll be surprised if lebron plays more than 60 games this year…

    It’s interesting to think about AD and LeBron teaming up, only for LeBron to play 3/4 of the regular season. I get the MO would be to have LeBron ready for playoffs, but when you look at the Lakers outside of LeBron for AD, that team really doesn’t look much different to the Pelicans last year in terms of potential.

  132. From Berman:

    If Robinson is out, sources confirmed an SNY report about the possibility of the Knicks starting Allonzo Trier as a replacement. It’s unclear if RJ Barrett and Trier would then share the backcourt and go without a traditional point guard. That would be a huge morale crusher on the Knicks’ three point guards and an indictment of the front office, but a source said the organization is disappointed in Dennis Smith Jr.’s preseason.

    If Fiz is going to start trier with MR possibly out, isn’t it far more likely he will play Randall as the small ball 5, Morris at his more natural 4 and RJ at 3 with Trier at 2 and whomever starts at the 1???

    But nahhhh…. Berman has to infer Fiz is going to do some off the wall shit on day one which is sure to piss off half the roster

    This is why I hate the NY sports media and why most players loathe the media when the cahn’t use it for their own monetary benefit. namely the are only interested in stirring shit and clickbait.

  133. The Knicks sign Payton to a 2yr-16m contract, pick up the 4th yr options on Frank and DS Jr yet none of the 3 will start at PG?? Instead you start Trier who got DNP-CDs during pre-season??

    lol that would really be something

    but as someone wrote above, if Trier really is in line to start, I presume it would be next to one of the PGs and RJ playing the 3. Would be a pretty good test for RJ right off the bat trying to guard Derozan, the guy he’s been compared to the most! I would predict he will get roasted if that actually happens.

    Meanwhile, if I were a Laker fan, I would be pretty stressed out about Lebron looking mortal last night. They quite literally put all their eggs in the AD basket blindly hoping that he will resign this coming offseason. They basically have no ability at all to improve their team significantly other than exceptions and what will presumably be late 1st round picks.

  134. Meanwhile, if I were a Laker fan, I would be pretty stressed out about Lebron looking mortal last night. They quite literally put all their eggs in the AD basket blindly hoping that he will resign this coming offseason. They basically have no ability at all to improve their team significantly other than exceptions and what will presumably be late 1st round picks.

    Yeah… they really can’t expect more from Danny Green than the 28/7 on 7/9 from three last night. The have a one man bench virtually. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy……

  135. if Trier really is in line to start, I presume it would be next to one of the PGs and RJ playing the 3

    Maybe it’s Frank, Trier, RJ, Morris, Randle. Frank would cover for Trier on D, and Trier would cover for Frank on offense. Kind of makes sense.

  136. Much hinges on how effective RJ is playing the 3. In general it’s tougher to find a quality 3 than a 2. If RJ’s more effective playing the 2 and Trier plays well, would the NYK want to pay ZO 8m+ to be a reserve when we might need that cap to pay a starter (or in a trade to land a starter)? Maybe they look to package Trier and Morris at the deadline for a 1st round pick in that instance and use that pick and 2 Mavs picks to try to land a starter.

    And that brings up the best case scenario. What if Bron appears spent? Maybe AD might bolt? Would it then be better for NYK to play for wins this season to attract him? If AD would sign here, Randle and the Mavs pick(s) could be a nice trade package to fill a position of need. How about a starting lineup of Frank/Beal/RJ/AD/Mitch?

  137. I love the Clippers. When they are 100% healthy they are practically built to perfection. That have high level #1 and #2 two-way scorers, multiple role players that are plus or elite defenders that can space the floor or do other things, they share the ball, have a scoring machine 6th man that’s not afraid of big moments, and multiple other players off the bench that play defense and with high energy. About the weakness they may have is at C, but even though Zubac is not a defender/rim protector, he still does some useful things on the court. If they stay healthy they are going to be a pleasure to watch all year. If they add a veteran defensive C that can give then minutes, just wow.

  138. In general it’s tougher to find a quality 3 than a 2.

    Leaguewide I believe SG is the least productive position. At least I think I remember reading that last year.

  139. The Knicks should have 4-5 major goals right now.

    1. Teach Mitchell Robinson “anything” on either side of the court about how to play basketball because right now he has no idea what he’s doing on either side. Then we can work on skill enhancement.

    2. Work on RJ’s right hand, outside shot, and defense.

    3,. Turn Frank into a 6’5″ switchable version of Patrick Beverley and stop worrying so much about penetration, scoring aggressiveness, and other nonsense.

    4, Try to turn Trier into our Lou Williams and make him happy in that role.

    5. Keep developing Damyean Dotson (even though he lost a summer of development this year and make take time to get back into the swing of things )

    There are a few other players that can be useful in various ways (like Randle), but we need to focus on two way players and players that do something exceptional that can perhaps add to their core efficiency so they become exceptional role players.

    We can worry about about #1 and #2 options later, but it sure would have been nice to have KP in the mix with Randle on the rise.

  140. Leaguewide I believe SG is the least productive position. At least I think I remember reading that last year.

    I think this is mostly due to the fact that “shooting guard” is really an outdated concept. Most of the league sees positions primarily in terms of “primary ball handlers”, “wings” and “bigs”. The guys who end up thought of as “shooting guards” are basically undersized wings who aren’t good enough to be primary ball handlers. When you think of it that way it can both be true that SG is the least productive position and that they’re easier to find – they’re not productive precisely because all of the good ones are either good enough or big enough to be redefined into a better category.

  141. Leaguewide I believe SG is the least productive position. At least I think I remember reading that last year.

    That idea is based on the output of models that primarily use boxscore metrics to measure player productivity. Those models say that Klay Thompson is barely an above average player. rotflmao

    To think those models are correct, you have to think all the all time great genius coaches that have been observing and studying the game for decades are dumb for playing some guys that don’t rebound a lot (because they tend to be small and play on the perimeter) or get a lot of assists (because they tend to be secondary play makers behind the PG and don’t get as many assist opportunities) are idiots.

    The traditional role of the SG is to “score efficiently in a variety of ways, but especially from outside to create space for the less skilled shooters to get inside more effectively”. If he does that well, he’s doing a valuable job that doesn’t hit his boxscore. If he’s also a high level defender and can do other things like make a lot more plays “if need be”, then he’s adding tremendous value that’s not hitting the boxscore.

    If you happen to find a SG that rebounds and makes plays at a very high level, that’s fine. He’ll also look terrific in the boxscore. But then you are probably going to team him up with players that do the other things you need that will not hit the boxscore. Michael Jordan doesn’t come along in every draft.

  142. kawhi getting booed in his first home game by lakers fans was interesting. I kind of loathe the lakers. And all the stories from The Infamous CDiggy make me loathe their fans. But I also feel a strange kinship to them now that the Nets and Clippers are trying to usurp us both in our own cities. I hope one day we’re good enough to boo Durant on his home court and say “the nets just ain’t the cool thing in NY right now”.

    Of course, the demise of the Lakers would help us get there. I remain optimistic that AD will want out after one year.

  143. We can worry about about #1 and #2 options later, but it sure would have been nice to have KP in the mix with Randle on the rise.

    I meant RJ on the rise.

  144. Who else read Vorkunov’s feature about Mitch’s childhood in The Athletic? You can’t help but root for the kid more after reading it.

    Mitch asked his grandmother, who raised him, to retire so she could live with him in New York. So she did.

    He calls her Ma. She often sat courtside before home games last season watching his workouts. He still rings her for permission, like he did last year, telling her he wanted to buy a new laptop. She’s never laid out any edict for him or served as a backstop to any big purchases, but appreciates the check-in nonetheless.

    Awww.

  145. In the last game Mitch was beyond the arc and his defender was at the foul line. He’s gotta take those WIDE OPEN shots if he’s hitting them in practice. Those dribble handoffs Fiz is so fond of go nowhere because Mitch’s man is not guarding him. All kinds of cutting and driving lanes would open up for DSJ/Trier/RJ/Randle if Mitch could hit wide open 3’s. Yes he’s great as dive guy but some teams will be able to guard that so better to have more flexibility on offense.

    The future is gonna be stretch 5’s (combo PF/center). Consider the most recent top teams: GSW/Raptors/Bucks all had centers who were stretch 5’s. You know when Brook and Marc are stretch 5’s that this is the future. AD will play center for Lakers when it matters. You sorta get why NYK like Portis (though Kornet would have been better and cheaper). But Mitch’s versatility on defense sets him apart from others (switch, trap, hedge, back etc) Rudy, Brook, and Marc, for example, are terrible guarding in space.

  146. Nice piece about Mitch. I was mostly reading it for any hints about why his career might not work out like the paranoid-obsessive I am. It’s kind of amazing he fell to the second round. He was the exact same kid in high school he is now athletically. Just an absolute physical marvel.

    Seems like a nice kid. His grandma needs to talk to him about not fouling so much.

  147. I was just looking at that LA box score.

    Is there any way that team works if LeBron can’t turn in a peak LeBron season? And can he possibly do that at 35?

  148. Is there any way that team works if LeBron can’t turn in a peak LeBron season? And can he possibly do that at 35?

    No and no. He might be able to turn it on for the playoffs, but that means they need to make the playoffs. If Davis goes down, LeBron will be playing Finals minutes in February. Not good.

    I mean, look at this playoff bracket. The Lakers will have to beat three of these teams to get to the Finals:

    Denver
    Utah
    Clippers
    Houston
    Portland
    Golden State
    San Antonio

    And then face the Bucks or Sixers in the Finals? God damn. Parity is dead in the regular season and very alive in the WC playoffs.

  149. lakers will be fine as long as they stay mostly injury free…. lebron will be lebron… you’re not getting miami lebron but he’s probably not deteroriating just yet… it’s one game…

    the supporting cast kind of sucks but the shaq and kobe lakers were working with less…. but as bad as it looks those cavs and heat teams weren’t exactly deep either…. in the playoffs they’ll have 2 of the best 3 players in every series… and usually the best 2…. as we’ve seen over the years that generally prevails over anything else…

    davis is the best running mate lebron has ever had…. and these guys are legitimately great players… they will figure it out and it will look pretty scary….

  150. 3,. Turn Frank into a 6’5? switchable version of Patrick Beverley and stop worrying so much about penetration, scoring aggressiveness, and other nonsense.

    We talkin’ about the absolutely ferocious rebounder, who takes 55% of his shots from 3PT territory and hits 38% of them?

  151. I can’t see AD not being in play. He’s really going to reup there? They have no move left to make.

    We were on his short list this summer. And there’s not going to be a lot of teams in the max free agent market, since most teams made their move this summer. So if this is really the Knicks’ plan, it’s not terrible. They really need some player development, though. RJ and Mitch, in particular, need to look like real players.

  152. If anyone is interested in Nets opening night tickets vs the T-Wolves, Stub Hub has tix as low as $34 and the arena seems half full on the Nets web site. No, I’m not trolling KD and KI …. not much.

    I just got an alert on my phone that Mitch is out, Taj is available tonight. Don’t you all think we could use another rim protector? Taj and Portis don’t do it for me.

    LeBron is bound to get old one day. He turns 35 this year. He’s not the 27 year old LeBron. AD should pay attention to the up-and-coming Knicks for 2020/21!

  153. There was a lot of fawning over the Pelicans last night, but they gave up 130 freaking points! And is that really going to change when Zion comes back?

  154. but the shaq and kobe lakers were working with less

    Robert Horry had a career playoff BPM of 4.8 and aside from shitting the bed in 2003, he was a legit third star for that team. 2002 was particularly great for Bob.

    If the Lakers get bounced in round 1 and Davis leaves for nothing, I think that deal might go down as one of the worst in league history.

  155. There was a lot of fawning over the Pelicans last night, but they gave up 130 freaking points! And is that really going to change when Zion comes back?

    114 DRtg would have been 28th in the league last year. Let’s maybe try not to extrapolate 82 games worth of information out of 53 minutes of floor time. That’s a stratomatic move.

  156. I was on the treadmill a half hour ago and of all people Evan Roberts came up with an interesting stat. Last year when Mitch Robinson played:

    When he played >30 minutes….. Knick’s record = 6-4
    When he played 0 minutes……. Knick’s record = 1-15
    When he played < 30 minutes….. Knick's record = 10-37

  157. let’s not get carried away… horry was def not a star… he was a fine player in his own right but the lakers have some bad players but they also have some fine players… it just kind of drops off a cliff once you hit the bench…

    but there have been plenty of finals teams that were scrounging from the scrapheap to fill major bench minutes also… the 7th man is largely irrelevant….

  158. YESSS!!!

    Thank you, Hubert for heeding my stories! Don’t worry – I’m wearing Knicks colors and my cap on my way to work now. Can’t wait to hear my AD (and probably others) crank up the #lolKnicks chorus. Fuck ’em :)

    Here’s the thing: There are teams I currently can’t stand or really don’t like: Cowboys, Bills, Patriots, Red Sux, Heat. Bulls I hated back but in the Jordan years, ditto for Pacers during the Reggie years. Starting to get a lil.tired of the Astros too. But I’ve never hated or disliked the Lakers. I don’t like them, but I don’t hate em either.

    Laker fans however are a bunch of entitled, annoying, shallow spoiled-ass bastards that can go kick rocks… except my fiancee, because love…

    (And yes I’m saying all of this as a Yankee fan. So sue me… lol)

  159. Cdiggy: let’s imagine a world where this Lakers team shows it doesn’t have the guns, where the Knicks young players develop well, and where one year from now you’re wearing an Anthony Davis Knicks jersey in LA.

    But let’s never talk about it. Let’s not make this another Durant story. We’ll do it like ninjas this time.

  160. davis is the best running mate lebron has ever had…. and these guys are legitimately great players… they will figure it out and it will look pretty scary….

    They are thin at every position and have mediocre play expected from the 1 and 5. When AD decides to leave he will go to visit Masai and will love playing with established players like van Vleet, Siakim, Powell and Anuoby on his exact timeline.

    Stop the insanity here…. why would AD come here when he could play with that roster in Toronto and that management???

  161. @188 – interesting.

    Where’s Wooten? (Westchester, of course). We could use him tonight.

  162. I got a dopey work happy hour thing tonight that goes until 8, any good Knick bars around 9th and the 40s to catch the game? Ideally with the sound on.

  163. i mean it could all go horribly wrong… that’s what happens when you take flyers on soso players.. but he took a team playing major minutes to knick outcasts… and vets who had one foot out to retirement… to 50+ wins… and the supporting cast on this laker squad is certainly better than that…

    it may not turn out to be much better if say danny green goes down or if guys like howard and rondo don’t have anything left…. but i kind of think they can contribute at least something…

    and something is really all you need when you’re playing lebron and ad… they of course have to deliver but they’re good enough to do that consistently….

  164. @oaktrees – i have never been there but clyde’s bar is somewhat in that area on 10th ave…

  165. Horry was a guy with a sky-high playoff BPM who played big minutes on 7 titlists. Coincidence, I’m sure.

  166. Stop the insanity here…. why would AD come here when he could play with that roster in Toronto and that management???

    Because Canada?

    No NBA player has ever actually gone there on purpose yet. Except that one time they gave Landry Fields $20,000,000. And he was like “did you say $2,000,000 or $20,000,000? I’m signing it either way, but just curious.”

    But yeah, I’d rather play with Siakim and for Masai. I’m not going to argue this one. Just going to cross my fingers.

  167. There was a lot of fawning over the Pelicans last night, but they gave up 130 freaking points! And is that really going to change when Zion comes back?

    114 DRtg would have been 28th in the league last year. Let’s maybe try not to extrapolate 82 games worth of information out of 53 minutes of floor time. That’s a stratomatic move.

    C’mon Jowles, you’re better than that, don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say they’re gonna give up 130 points every game, just that it’s a pretty alarming number on opening night.

    And everyone sure seems to be extrapolating on LeBron after one lousy game

  168. There are teams I currently can’t stand or really don’t like: Cowboys, Bills, Patriots, Red Sux, Heat. Bulls

    Definitely added Astros to my list.

    Don’t know why the Taubman scandal is burning me up so much, small potatoes given stuff happening. But the way the Astros handle their business is just phenomenally shitty. And dumb.

  169. Stop the insanity here…. why would AD come here when he could play with that roster in Toronto and that management???

    Because he already said he wanted to?

  170. Don’t know why the Taubman scandal is burning me up so much

    Didn’t know about that – glad to know about it, because I have been wanting to hate them more than I do! I respect how they built the organization…but that kind of thing makes it easier to see them as a bunch of arrogant asshats who need a comeuppance.

  171. Definitely added Astros to my list.

    I didn’t even realize how much I disliked them until I was mad rooting for washington last night. And I haven’t even spent more than 2 minutes on the Taubman stuff. I’m just mad they were great the two years we were good, and had a down year when the Sox were good.

  172. Incidentally, this world series is full of pitchers Brian Cashman didn’t think were worth the price: Justin Verlander, Gerritt Cole, Patrick Corbin, Anibel Sanchez.

  173. The Pels did give up 130 overall, but 117 came in regulation, same as the Raptors. Should we shit on the Raps defense too, I mean, they only lost some bum named Leonard, while the Pels were without THCJ supercrush greatest prospect in NBA history Zion…

    (meaning someone’s gonna get to 200 this year, u heard it here first)

  174. C’mon Jowles, you’re better than that, don’t put words in my mouth. I didn’t say they’re gonna give up 130 points every game, just that it’s a pretty alarming number on opening night.

    And everyone sure seems to be extrapolating on LeBron after one lousy game

    Focusing way too much on raw point totals in a fast-paced overtime game. 1.14 PPP is still terrible but it’s not sustainable.

    LeBron declined last year from superhuman to merely very good. Last night was not a typical LeBron game, but you can expect that to happen maybe 15 times a season instead of 7. That’s one way the decline phase manifests itself.

  175. It’s just one game between the Lakers and Clippers, but looking at both rosters it is quite impressive to see how much more depth the Clippers have. They have a very very good 8 man rotation once George comes back, with Beverley, Lou Will, Kawhi, George, Shamet, Harrell, Green and Harkless, and while they’re lacking in depth on the front court, we have seen for years that this is a problem that’s easily fixable. There’s always capable veteran centers available for trades and also as buyout guys late in the season, or Zubac could progress and become that guy for them.

    I won’t read too much on Lebron for 1 game, but the Lakers are in a much scarier position, as any real injury or signs of real decline from LeBron will hurt them massively.

  176. I don’t need a scandal to hate on the Astros. Was there a game last night? I had WS tix for game 1. Baseball is dead to me until the spring. So is football. Not a hockey fan either. Basketball now has 100% of my fandom attention. I just hope that the Knicks do better both during the regular season and at the draft lottery table!

    Let’s Go Knicks!

  177. LeBron has been on the Kobe Plan for the last five years where he maintains his stat line by playing progressively less and less defense. He actually gave real, consistent effort defending the Clippers last night…and you saw what happened. LeBron at soon-to-be-35 is not going to be able to average 28 pts, 8 rebs, seven asts, AND play good defense for 35 or so minutes a game.

    Mike

  178. Can I place an early bet on which Spurs guard will torch us with a career best shooting night?

    And the winner is: Bryn Forbes

  179. Just did a look at the teams with Cap Room next year. AD’s choices will basically be Lakers, Knicks, or Raptors.

    I think we’d have to pull off a trade for a 2nd star to convince him. But with Randle plus a lottery pick, plus 5 picks in the next 3 years, I think we could do it. And as Paul George proved, everyone is available.

    I’m never going to mention this again, but I think there’s an 18% chance The Infamous Cdiggy is wearing two things next year: An AD Knicks jersey, and the biggest grin in southern California.

  180. I don’t expect a Knicks Win tonight but i definitely wanna see them compete.
    Wanna see some ‘fire & desire’ !

  181. @213 – Remember that some teams will be shedding salary to open up cap room, like the Nets did, to screw the Knicks over. That’s why I agree that we’ll need to trade for a top player that we can control at the trade deadline to help attract him. But I wouldn’t bank on anything with Dolan still running this team.

  182. size is going to be a larger factor… this is not a golden state/rockets hierarchy anymore and a team like the lakers.. jazz.. bucks or sixers have the ability to punish weak frontcourts… we didn’t really see it yesterday but it seemed like davis was on an island and forcing things… same with lebron… i’m pretty sure we’ll see a more well oiled team later in the season from them…

  183. That’s why I agree that we’ll need to trade for a top player that we can control at the trade deadline to help attract him

    Not at the trade deadline. You do it the same way the Clippers did with Kawhi and George.

  184. Ivan Rabb isn’t the first guy I’d take a flyer on, but he’s not Isiah Hicks either.

  185. I dont know if you guys saw this, but 538’s RAPTOR algorithm has our boys slated at dead last for the season, with metrics at rock bottom. Like, astronomically low chances at the playoffs. Check it out.

    The only player with a positive differential is Mitch, at +.1pts. But then again, the next best defender is listed as… DSjr… so…. idk…

  186. No NBA player has ever actually gone there on purpose yet. Except that one time they gave Landry Fields $20,000,000.

    Well, Hakeem Olajuwon actually voluntarily signed there as a free agent once. And Olajuwon has said that “I think Anthony Davis might be like me”; therefore, Anthony Davis might voluntarily sign with the Raptors. (You heard it here first).

    (Also, he’s a weirdo european libtard that probably hates summer and loves paying taxes, but Hedo Turkoglu also voluntarily signed with Toronto as a free agent, fwiw)

  187. It is actively weird that they haven’t announced a starting lineup yet. Robinson is out, so presumably this will not be their normal starting lineup, so why is this even an issue? Just name the starters! How can this be so difficult? This is not normal behavior.

  188. This is not normal behavior.

    Fizdale is playing 3D chess trying to get into Pop’s head.

    He may even announce he’s not playing Morris tonight because the Knicks are so deep they don’t need any players the Spurs wanted to beat them. :-)

  189. Clarence Gaines suggested on Twitter that we shouldn’t pay much attention to who starts at PG tonight.

    He thinks whoever Fizdale closes with will probably give you a better indication of his thinking (assuming the game is not a blowout by then).

  190. No disrespect Strat, but is there any point in bringing up Clarence Gaines opinions on this current Knicks team? He hasn’t been with the org in well over a year.

  191. Glad we signed Ivan Rabb to a 2-way. Was worried Knicks’ PF stock might drop below 50% of roster.

  192. No disrespect Strat, but is there any point in bringing up Clarence Gaines opinions on this current Knicks team? He hasn’t been with the org in well over a year.

    Personally, I think he’s one of the few people that have been part of the organization in recent years that knows anything about evaluating players and building a team that can win at basketball. So I like to read his opinions. It reminds me there’s always a chance even the Knicks can employ a competent person once in awhile. But I think my admiration of him may be a minority opinion here. :-)

  193. Fizdale:

    *Taps head knowingly with shit eating grin*

    “Can’t break a starting point guard promise, if you don’t start any point guards.”

  194. Are the Knicks already in tank mode for game one!

    Last year you could whine about some of his decisions, but it was hard to know how much was incompetence and how much was player development and tanking. Now we know.

  195. This is possibly the most flammable lineup he could have constructed. Maybe if Knox was in for Morris it’d be a little more flammable. *sigh*

  196. Word is the decision was made on the basis none of the PG’s have earnt the starting role. Not sure what Trier has necessarily done, but maybe Fiz is starting to walk the talk?

    What’s a Knicks season without a little drama amirite?

  197. Lots of spacing and the offense should be decent.

    What’s the record for points scored in regulation? May be relevant for the post-game based on our defense.

  198. As much crap as I gave Trier the other day, I actually like the decision to start him at point. May force him to involve others and it’s the only way our backcourt offense isn’t completely inept.

    Would prefer Ellington in over Portis and shifting RJ et al. down one spot.

    FWIW, Z-man did give me more faith in Trier.

  199. Wow, that’s just… that’s something. Allonzo Trier, basically banished from the rotation during preseason, gets the starting nod over the three healthy point guards who are on the roster, including the veteran who was brought in specifically because he’s at least somewhat competent and probably won’t vomit on the ball if he’s asked to dribble it a few times.

    Gon’ be a long season KBers

  200. Fizdale in the pre game talk to reporters “Where’s Mudiay when you need him?”

    Seriously, how could any human being think starting Mudiay (who was terrible and almost certainly a rental) made perfect sense, but starting one of our current 3 PGs now is a bad idea?

    I surrender.

  201. Word is the decision was made on the basis none of the PG’s have earnt the starting role.

    I believe it. It’s what I’ve been saying. The possible point guards lost the job instead of someone winning it. I’m wondering if we will have any defense at all though.

  202. they are not starting trier at pg. fizdale was very specific that he considers rj the pg and claims he’s been playing him at point every day in practice.

  203. Fiz is galaxy braining his way through this one.

    Just start Elfrid Payton. He wasn’t good in the preseason. He’s been reasonably cromulent for much of his NBA career. He’s probably not going to completely kill you out there.

    Why are you signing dudes like this if you’re throwing in the towel on them before the opening game?

  204. wow… pretty irresponsible… why are we not at least starting ellington? wtf did trier do in preseason to deserve this start?

  205. It is also a little confusing since a lineup without Mitch won’t have the spacing issues that are normally a concern when Payton plays.

  206. He proved that he’s the only guard on the team who can score at all 3 levels and doesn’t need to wait for a shitty pass from a scrub PG who can’t shoot.

    Seriously, though, Trier handles the ball and passes as well as any of the PGs and is sneaky athletic (40″ vertical.) Until Barrett learns how to score from beyond 3 feet, you can’t have two guards who might go 2-15 in the first quarter starting the game. This lineup has 5 scorers and rebounders who can all get to the line and 3 perimeter shooters.

  207. I don’t want to overreact here because no matter how you shuffle all of this garbage around it’s still a bad team, but the whole concept of the 1+1 contracts and the idea that you’re going to faux-contend and that’s going to attract big star free agents is FUCKING STUPID.

    For the billionth time, we could have used the Elfrid Payton/Duke Ellington/Whatever Other Pointless Veteran cap money to take on bad contracts and extract assets. We didn’t do that because guys like Elfrid Payton were supposed to bring us some sort of respectability or something. Well I guess that’s not really working out so far.

    Just such a pointless exercise all around, such a needless expenditure of opportunity cost. Knicksy!

  208. You don’t need 5 scorers.

    You need “enough scoring” balanced with rebounding, play making, ball handling, interior and perimeter scoring, and preferably 4-5 plus or even elite DEFENDERS.

    The best defender in this lineup should be the weak link on a good defensive team (all while in the pre game he was still talking about defense). The worst thing that could happen is that we do well with this crap lineup for random reasons. Then he might think he’s on to something. You need good defense to win games. You start with defense and teamwork and work towards improving the scoring. Ultimately, you need star scorers, but when you don’t have them yet you play DEFENSE.

Comments are closed.