NY Post: Knicks losing patience after heartbreaking loss: ‘It’s annoying’

From Marc Berman:

These two old rivals could well meet again in the NBA’s one-game, play-in event. Maybe then the slumping Knicks could turn this recent heartbreak into a something joyful.

Another defensive slugfest turned bitter and sour at the end as the Celtics rallied from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit and eked out a 101-99 victory over the Knicks at TD Garden on Wednesday.

The Knicks have lost five of six games and are now 2-8 in contests decided by three points or fewer this season. Losing nailbiters to top teams has been their recent modus operandi. Just ask the Nets, Sixers and Heat.

“It’s annoying losing these two-point games,’’ RJ Barrett said. “They’re frustrating and annoying.’’

A wide-open Marcus Smart hit the game-clinching 3-pointer with 35 seconds left to break the tie. Knicks shooting guard Reggie Bullock decided to double Jayson Tatum (25 points) on the play and leave Smart open. The Knicks paid the price.

“Anytime you commit to putting two on the ball, you’ve got to understand what you’re willing — you’re going to be vulnerable in another area,’’ Knicks coach Thibodeau said. “You don’t want to give up open shots. And so, they have two dynamic scores in Tatum and [Jaylen] Brown. So you go in with you’re game plan. You know that, particularly in the fourth quarter, you have to be committed to putting two on to them, so that’s part of it.’’

I dunno, man, I really don’t feel these losses as hard as it seem the rest of you do. Once again, a Knick hit a big shot to tie the game late in the game against a pretty good team (the Harden/Durant-less Nets don’t rise beyond “pretty good”) and then they just couldn’t pull it out in the end. Is it frustrating? Sure, but they weren’t blown out. Getting blown out is the worst. Close games are good.

They’re good enough not to get blown out. That’s a good thing.

They’re just not all that good enough overall, that’s the bigger issue. But 2-8 in close games is practically meaningless from a “What are they doing wrong?” perspective.

Thibs had an encouraging line when someone asked him if Quickley was shooting too many floaters, ““I actually like the shot profile. The floater is a big part of the game. I think he’s got one of the best ones in the league. There’s going to be ebbs and flows to the season. As long as he’s taking the right shot. His shot selection is very good.”

Maybe play him more than 13 minutes then, Thibs.

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135 thoughts to “NY Post: Knicks losing patience after heartbreaking loss: ‘It’s annoying’”

  1. The Knicks have lost five of six games

    That sounds pretty bad, but 4-6 over our last 10 games is pretty normal for a ~.500 team.

  2. Some of that is situational, no? If Obi was on the tanking Thunder he would probably have some “relevant” games….

    I don’t think Obi could put up 25 (9/14, 7/11 3PT), 9, and 4 in an open gym right now

  3. Maaaaaan..the RJ disrespect is just..I dunno..stupid. I know folks wanna see him averaging 25ppg in year 2 because of what Zion and Ja are doing, but how can you ignore the development in every aspect of his game? This kid is developing into a fine 2 way player, while improving his shot quality and percentages. Yo..he’s at 38% from deep this year! Steady improvement and a great work ethic. No, RJ’s not the elite threat yet- but his working all game and getting better minute by minute, it feels like. That list on ESPN is beyond ridiculous. Seriously with Jarrett Allen, Mikal Bridges, and Haliburton before RJ?

    Really?
    REALLY?

    Just wanted to finally half-rant about that.

  4. With RJ’s growth, I’m beginning to think we’re one player away, not two. Not from a championship, but from a very good 50-win team. Our needs are attainable:

    RJ takes another step forward
    Mitch stays healthy
    Re-sign one of Bullock or Burks
    Randle maintains his excellent conditioning
    Thibs brings on a good offensive coach
    IQ takes a small step forward

    Add a great PG to that team and it’s no longer .500, but more like .600.

  5. Alan:
    I’m starting to dream of ping pong balls again…

    Maybe we should just draft the entire Baylor backcourt?

  6. Yeah I don’t get the RJ disrespect at all. He’s having a great second year. For as good as Ja and Zion are, their teams aren’t any better than our team record wise.

    The last decade we’ve all become accustomed to the fake comeback Knicks. Those losses were always annoying but deep down you knew they were fake comebacks.

    These close losses are way more frustrating because they aren’t fake comebacks. In most of these close losses we’ve been ahead or neck and neck with the team the whole game and just can’t close it out.

    As much as I’ve loved Thibs, I’m getting frustrated with his lack of flexibility. Please give the kids a bit more rope! IQ’s minutes are way down. Obi still only plays like 8 minutes a game. Obi has been looking better. Give him like 5 more minutes and I bet Randle would play better!

    And even though I don’t think Frank or Knox would help that much, why not try them out sometimes? Maybe we give them some minutes? I feel like we might be at a point where these guys (and maybe Theo too) could actually help us if for no other reason than they’re young and have fresh legs and might be hungry to show something. Maybe it just changes up the energy, which is what we need right now.

  7. It’s not disrespect. It’s just skepticism. It takes a lot to really believe in a guy being a real NBA player that matters.

    I do get it though. You can point to RJ’s 53.3 TS% on the downside but he undoubtedly has been much better since the opening stretch of the season. And he plays solid defense.

    I feel good on where I am with RJ, which basically hasn’t changed since the start of the season and the DJPhan defense that followed. He’s going to be a good but not great player who we overpay on his second contract. He’s not fools gold but he is not going to be a true surplus generating building block.

    Losing close games to the Celtics is the worst. I didn’t like that last night. And while I haven’t been as hard on Elf as most, last night I was really scratching my head why he was on the court.

    That did look like a bad loss for the Mavs but Christian Wood is back for the Rockets, which makes a big difference.

    I love plus/minus numbers. Poku was a plus 1 in 33.5 minutes. Maledon was a -20 in 36. It is interesting how little Charlotte seems to miss Lamelo.

  8. RJ Barrett is:

    3rd in the NBA in minutes.
    2nd on the currently playoff-bound Knicks in scoring.
    The best perimeter defender on the NBA’s 3rd best defense.

    He turns 21 in 2 months, and he’s already a reliable two way player.

    We don’t need anymore numbers, people. The only players on their rookie deals I’d take over RJ Barrett are Jayson Tatum (who already signed his max extension), Luka Doncic, and LaMelo Ball. The efficiency numbers aren’t good as yet but consider he plays in an offense that gets him no easy buckets besides his 3 point looks, and he makes those at a 38% clip for the season. Get this kid a point guard who is going to push the ball ahead to him in transition and I guarantee he gets an extra trip to the line and two more dunks in transition. The best way to use RJ Barrett’s strength and athleticism is on the break, but unfortunately for him we play at the NBA’s slowest pace. RJ Barrett hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he’s capable of, and we are truly in for a treat when it comes to his career.

  9. The only slightly negative thing I have to say about RJ is that if you’d told me when we drafted him that he’d turn himself into a 38% 3-point shooter I would’ve expected that to lead to him being a really efficient offensive player overall and we haven’t seen that yet. Obviously he’s still got a couple months before his first legal beer so I don’t see that as a major problem, but it’s the fly in the ointment.

    The big reason for that disconnect I think is that the 38% is coming on a very low, very easy diet of attempts. The next step for him is to jack that 3-point rate significantly up – as long as he’s hitting at this percentage he needs to be more aggressive taking them off the catch and in the offseason he really needs to work towards adding an off the dribble 3 as well (99% of his 3s this year are assisted). If he can get that shot then it will really open things up for him offensively because right now he still takes way too many long 2s (shooting them pretty well which is encouraging development wise but that’s not an efficient shot) pretty much all of which can be moved behind the line and hopefully forcing teams to go over picks on him would open up his driving game to get all the way to the rim more because the floater zone is where his efficiency is going to die right now.

  10. The only players on their rookie deals I’d take over RJ Barrett are Jayson Tatum (who already signed his max extension), Luka Doncic, and LaMelo Ball.

    I’m pro RJ, too, but you might want to review the list of players on their rookie deals. I mean, you wouldn’t really take RJ over Zion, right?

  11. My ideal draft night now:

    Moses Moody falls to the Knicks, which isn’t too implausible if we end up losing a play-in game and having like the 11th or 12th pick.
    We take Jared Butler with the Mavs pick. Davion Mitchell is too old for me; would anybody be surprised if Malik Monk lit up Gonzaga? Because he’s the same age and archetype as Davion Mitchell.
    We trade Mitchell Robinson and the Detroit pick for Myles Turner.

  12. Hubert: I’m pro RJ, too, but you might want to review the list of players on their rookie deals. I mean, you wouldn’t really take RJ over Zion, right?

    Totally forget Zion Williamson lol. Yeah, I’d take Zion over RJ Barrett BUT I firmly believe RJ Barrett at age 28 is a better player than Zion Williamson at age 28.

  13. Owen: It’s not disrespect. It’s just skepticism. It takes a lot to really believe in a guy being a real NBA player that matters.

    It’s okay, Owen. You’ve always been more of a front court fanboy anyway. We’ll save your seat and make sure the boat doesn’t take off without you :)

  14. I’m in the Brian camp – these losses aren’t bothering me too much. It helps that I didn’t get to watch most of them, but we were never going to be a contender, so it’s kind of immaterial to me whether we get into the playoffs as the 8 seed or the 10 seed or whatever. Sure, it’d be nicer to maintain a higher spot, but the lower we go the better our pick gets, so either outcome is pretty okay with me. RJ’s play is also very encouraging regardless of the season’s outcome.

  15. The Glass Half Rebuilt: The only players on their rookie deals I’d take over RJ Barrett are Jayson Tatum (who already signed his max extension), Luka Doncic, and LaMelo Ball.

    You’d take RJ over SGA? Have you seen his numbers this year? Dude is a baby step away from All-NBA.

  16. The Honorable Cock Jowles: You’d take RJ over SGA? Have you seen his numbers this year? Dude is a baby step away from All-NBA.

    Forgot him too. Okay, so here are the guys I’d trade RJ Barrett for, straight up:

    Luka Doncic
    SGA
    Jayson Tatum
    Zion Williamson
    LaMelo Ball
    Donovan Mitchell

  17. vincoug: Ja Morant?

    I would not trade RJ Barrett for Ja Morant. I think Barrett’s the better shooter and defender, I think he’s more durable, and they’re in the same ball park as scorers. I also don’t think Ja Morant has a lot further to go as far as developing his game, while I think there is still so much more room for Barrett to grow.

  18. I also don’t think Ja Morant has a lot further to go as far as developing his game, while I think there is still so much more room for Barrett to grow.

    hope springs eternal when you’ve got the endowment AND Ikea effects working in tandem

  19. ***The only players on their rookie deals I’d take over RJ Barrett are Jayson Tatum (who already signed his max extension), Luka Doncic, and LaMelo Ball.***

    I don’t think that countering perceived disrespect with extreme over-respect is going to help your guy’s cause. Sure, RJ has made some nice strides this year. But there are still 116 players under 25 in the league right now with a higher BPM than Barrett and 147 players under 25 with a better WS/48 right now.

    I’m sure the people making the 25 under 25 list don’t watch him on a daily basis, and are missing the nuances of his improvements, but a bunch of the 100+ players that have played better than he has thus far are also making nuanced improvements that you may be missing because you’re only watching Knicks games, no?

  20. i wouldn’t really get caught up with top lists or whatever…. it’s not like nba journalists watch actual nba games anyway… they just sort of hang out on twitter and check in on things when there’s social media buzz….

    and the reason rj has gone undercover nationally is because of how quietly he’s been doing things… there’s no flash in anything he’s doing but he has developed a real cerebral type of game…. sometimes it’s just a hair too slow since he’s young, inexperienced and he’s not overwhelmingly athletic… the 3s are 99% catch and shoots and his finishes are more of the golf clap variety than making you jump out of your seat….

    but there’s incremental improvement across the board and it’s hard to notice unless you’re looking at it everyday.. and even then i’m sure there are folks on this blog who still doubt how good RJ can be even despite answering all the questions people had of him..

  21. djphan: i wouldn’t really get caught up with top lists or whatever…. it’s not like nba journalists watch actual nba games anyway… they just sort of hang out on twitter and check in on things when there’s social media buzz….

    Yeah, when Dwyane Wade was talking about how the Celtics “have no identity,” I was like, bruh, you’re a mega-millionaire with a celebrity wife. You’re not Ben Taylor, watching, like, 6 condensed games a day. You don’t watch any team enough to make such pronouncements. But they’re underachieving, and pundits have to pundit — what’s more non-falsifiable than “[team] has no identity?”

  22. I know some people don’t care if we make the playoffs or not and I know its a possibility with the schedule the rest of the way. But IMO, it would be super deflating for us to miss out on the playoffs or at the very least, the play-in games after the way the season has progressed so far.

    It would mean a lot more L’s than W’s in the next few weeks. I would be really worried about the perception that we’re sliding back into the same LOLKnicks and the early season was just a mirage. A higher draft pick would be nice but I will still maintain that we can find good players with our 2 first rounders later in the draft and I think the Knicks shaking off their loser perception is just as important as another lottery pick. Especially since we probably can’t slide down enough to nab a top 5 pick, which is where the franchise changing players usually are. I believe if you don’t pick top 5 or 3, then you might be better off with multiple first round picks in the teens because that 5 to 10 range is where teams (especially us it seems) tend to swing for the fences on potential and miss. I’d rather the tantalizing raw talents that go higher get picked before we get a chance to mess up yet another 8th pick.

  23. It would mean a lot more L’s than W’s in the next few weeks. I would be really worried about the perception that we’re sliding back into the same LOLKnicks and the early season was just a mirage. A higher draft pick would be nice but I will still maintain that we can find good players with our 2 first rounders later in the draft and I think the Knicks shaking off their loser perception is just as important as another lottery pick. Especially since we probably can’t slide down enough to nab a top 5 pick, which is where the franchise changing players usually are. I believe if you don’t pick top 5 or 3, then you might be better off with multiple first round picks in the teens because that 5 to 10 range is where teams (especially us it seems) tend to swing for the fences on potential and miss. I’d rather the tantalizing raw talents that go higher get picked before we get a chance to mess up yet another 8th pick.

    You’re spending a lot of keystrokes trying to convince yourself that the #15 pick is better than the #5 pick. It’s not.

  24. These under 25 lists don’t amount to much. The only thing I care about is progress and RJ’s game has progressed by leaps and bounds this year. Dude went 6 for 6 from three last night. Would anyone here have predicted his ability to do this before 21 years of age at this point in a season where he is shooting .380 percent from there? He’s been really impressive, and like Glass wrote, he’s doing it on a team with supporting players ill suited to compliment his game.

  25. I can’t see us falling out of the play in tournament but finishing 10th and not making the playoffs is possible

    Let’s say that happens, we’re looking at a very appealing 11.7% chance at a top 4 pick, with a high likelihood of picking 10–12.

    The alternative is winning the play in tournament, slotting ourselves firmly into the 15-17 range.

  26. Yep. He’s only 20 and is playing far better than he did last year. He’s exceeding expectations and making me look dumb in the process. Anthony Edwards is doing the same.

  27. The only real value I’d place on making the playoffs is if we got in a series I thought we could actually win. I think it’s hard to come up with any theory that there’s a lot of value in getting through the play-in just to get washed in the first round by a team warming up for the series that actually matter to them. Given the way the East standings have worked out with such a strong top-3 it looks to me like that has to mean getting to the 4-5 series but with our hard schedule and us looking up at teams that I think everyone would agree are more talented than us it looks like a longshot. Other than that I’d happily take a play-in game or two worth of postseason excitement plus the lottery pick as a second best outcome.

    edit: I will caveat this and say that even if we got totally run over I think a first round series against the Nets would be exciting, at least for the first few minutes of each game.

  28. the playoffs would be fun. We’ve played brooklyn and philly both pretty tight. And you never know which stars will be injured.

    But the 11.7% chance of a top 4 pick is enticing, and there’s immense value picking 10-12 over 15-17.

    Que sera, sera.

  29. thenamestsam: The only real value I’d place on making the playoffs is if we got in a series I thought we could actually win. I think it’s hard to come up with any theory that there’s a lot of value in getting through the play-in just to get washed in the first round by a team warming up for the series that actually matter to them. Given the way the East standings have worked out with such a strong top-3 it looks to me like that has to mean getting to the 4-5 series but with our hard schedule and us looking up at teams that I think everyone would agree are more talented than us it looks like a longshot. Other than that I’d happily take a play-in game or two worth of postseason excitement plus the lottery pick as a second best outcome.

    edit: I will caveat this and say that even if we got totally run over I think a first round series against the Nets would be exciting, at least for the first few minutes of each game.

    The lottery slot would be fine if we somehow found ourselves losing a ton of games and falling well out of playoff contention. I’d rather get a playoff series and the 16th pick than a lottery slot and the 13th pick. Missing the playoffs by a single game would be the worst of both worlds — until jumping into the top 3 with the 0.1% odds and getting one of Mobley/Suggs/Cunningham.

    I’d love to see them take on a full-strength Nets team. They’d probably smash this squad but I’d like to see them work for it.

    edit: wat Hubie sed

  30. btw with Randle looking exhausted and Payton getting way more minutes than he deserves, it’s quite possible Thibs is a better tank driver than we thought ;)

  31. Moses Moody falls to the Knicks, which isn’t too implausible if we end up losing a play-in game and having like the 11th or 12th pick.
    We take Jared Butler with the Mavs pick. Davion Mitchell is too old for me; would anybody be surprised if Malik Monk lit up Gonzaga? Because he’s the same age and archetype as Davion Mitchell.
    We trade Mitchell Robinson and the Detroit pick for Myles Turner

    Co-sign. Despite my love of Skynet, he’ll be in the last year of his amazing deal and seems to be somewhat fragile. And Myles has an outside shot, which would really help our offense.

  32. he’s doing it on a team with supporting players ill suited to compliment his game.

    I dunno, they all seem to speak pretty positively about each other

  33. Hubert:
    I can’t see us falling out of the play in tournament but finishing 10th and not making the playoffs is possible

    Let’s say that happens, we’re looking at a very appealing 11.7% chance at a top 4 pick, with a high likelihood of picking 10–12.

    The alternative is winning the play in tournament, slotting ourselves firmly into the 15-17 range.

    I think the NY Rangers had the 5% and maybe 11% odds the last two years respecitivley in the NHL draft and got the 1st and 2nd picks in the draft…I would much rather have that then a meaningless play in game….

    what is interesting is that the Rangers have been in rebuild for the last 3-4 years and accumulated a ton of young talent…and hired a “developmental” coach fromt the college ranks…the fan base is up in arms because he doesn’t play the kids and has no offensive strategy…it is seen as more “dump and chase” hockey kind of primitive in the modern era….sound familiar?

  34. I’d rather get a playoff series and the 16th pick than a lottery slot and the 13th pick.

    If you told me deterministically that we were getting the 13th pick then, yeah, who cares. But the way the standings are set up right now there’s a real possibility to both be in the play-in and have pretty good lottery odds should you lose. The Bulls are currently sitting in the 10th seed in the East and also would have over a 20% chance of picking in the top-4 (with their most likely slot being 9th) based on the current standings according to tank-a-thon. There’s definitely some possibility of getting a little taste of the postseason and getting a great pick.

  35. Donnie Walsh: I don’t think that countering perceived disrespect with extreme over-respect is going to help your guy’s cause. Sure, RJ has made some nice strides this year. But there are still 116 players under 25 in the league right now with a higher BPM than Barrett and 147 players under 25 with a better WS/48 right now.

    But this is the problem with using “Under 25” which sounds snappy but includes a bunch of already bonafide stars and strong role players who have already hit their prime. We may already be seeing Mitchell’s best season.

    It’s weird to lump 24 yo Donovan Mitchell or Mikal Bridges in with the 19 yo Edwards. If you’re going by potential, Mikal Bridges & Jarett Allen shouldn’t be in either. If you’re going by production, then several of the younger players with sky-high upside shouldn’t be listed.

    End of the day, ESPN probably excluded RJ after deciding they’d get more clicks because Knicks fans are better about complaining about this stuff than other fanbases. We spark debate. Just a twist on Knicks for clicks.

  36. End of the day, ESPN probably excluded RJ after deciding they’d get more clicks because Knicks fans are better about complaining about this stuff than other fanbases. We spark debate. Just a twist on Knicks for clicks.

    I think ascribing nefarious motives to “ESPN” here is kinda silly. There were 3 voters (Pelton, Schitz and Bobby Marks), you can see all of their ballots and 2 of the 3 had RJ on their ballots (but near the bottom).

  37. weird rj day. did nobody notice that he actually had a way below average rj game outside of his insanely great shooting? got beat back door multiple times on d and got caught overhelping or just standing in the wrong spot repeatedly. also got beat off the dribble both left and right against jaylen way easier than randle did when he was guarding him. add a couple of really rough turnovers on low reward plays. still a good game bc
    6-6 is 6-6, but no way do i have him on a trajectory ahead of, say, bam, morant or trae young right now.

    rj has shot 46pct from three since jan 16 in 1280 mins. that’s incredible and i’m not ignoring it even a little. it means something. in january he was still a candidate to be a nevershooter. seems pretty unlikely now.

  38. For those who would rather miss the playoffs and get a higher pick than make it. If you knew that we’d win the first round series, would that change your math?

    We’ve slipped recently but getting the 5th seed is still very much a possibility. Which most likely puts us up against Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami or Boston. I like our odds against any of them (Miami the least).

    If you knew we’d win the first round, does that change your mind a bit?

  39. For Quickley, he’s really struggled since the beginning of March. He has a .508 TS% between then and now.

    As far as I care to look at game logs, IQ has really struggled in games L-frid & Rose both play, which makes me think Quickley really needs the ball in his hands.

    However, looking at lineup combos, the Knicks actually play incredibly well (sample size only 216 min) when both Rose & IQ are on the floor together. The Knicks have a net-rating of +14.5/100 poss. So his bad play isn’t showing up in the box score, that or IQ manages to play really badly in the minutes they don’t share the floor.

  40. pepper: I think the NY Rangers had the 5%and maybe 11% odds the last two years respecitivley in the NHL draft and got the 1st and 2nd picks in the draft…I would much rather have that then a meaningless play in game….

    what is interesting is that the Rangers have been in rebuild for the last 3-4 years and accumulated a ton of young talent…and hired a “developmental” coach fromt the college ranks…the fan base is up in arms because he doesn’t play the kids and has no offensive strategy…it is seen as more “dump and chase” hockey kind of primitive in the modern era….sound familiar?

    I haven’t been paying attention to hockey but it seems like the two kids they took at 1 and 2 and severely underperforming expectations. you worried about them or is it too soon?

  41. thenamestsam: I think ascribing nefarious motives to “ESPN” here is kinda silly. There were 3 voters (Pelton, Schitz and Bobby Marks), you can see all of their ballots and 2 of the 3 had RJ on their ballots (but near the bottom).

    Personally, I don’t think it’s egregious to leave RJ off the list. And maybe it didn’t happen here, but generally speaking I do think writers and publications think about these other factors when making decisions for these types of lists. It’s not all writers or all publications, but you do see it from time to time. But yes, maybe I jumped the gun here. I don’t have insider, so I’ve been assuming I can’t read the article.

  42. swiftandabundant:
    For those who would rather miss the playoffs and get a higher pick than make it. If you knew that we’d win the first round series, would that change your math?

    We’ve slipped recently but getting the 5th seed is still very much a possibility. Which most likely puts us up against Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami or Boston. I like our odds against any of them (Miami the least).

    If you knew we’d win the first round, does that change your mind a bit?

    If we could make the 4th/5th seed I would be in favor of winning. But with Randle regressing a bit, IQ hitting the rookie wall, and Mitch out the remainder of the season… I just don’t see that as too likely, or at least a lot less likely than being a 1-and-done team at best.

    Maybe other teams get hit with some important injuries the rest of the way, but I’d guess we’re in the position we’re in because they’ve already dealt with some bad injury luck. With vaccination going well, I don’t think we’re going to see teams missing as many players.

  43. An annoying wrinkle of draft positioning is our pick hasn’t budged upwards since we’ve been struggling, because the team with the worst record in either conference within the top 8 seeds is still locked out of the top 14 picks. So if we’re the 8th seed, we’ll pick 15th whether we’re 36-36 or 30-42. For that reason, there’s no benefit to losing games unless we get overtaken by Chicago and/or Indiana. If that happens, it’s certainly worth asking questions about the value of getting ritually slaughtered by Brooklyn or Philly vs being in the lottery. Especially considering, as tsam pointed out, we really wouldn’t be looking at terribly long odds of getting a top 4 pick. I think everyone here would agree Cade/Suggs/Green/Mobley would be more valuable to this team than the 15th pick + getting swept in the playoffs.

    The fun that would come with being in the playoffs isn’t lost on me, and I think there’s at least some anecdotal evidence suggesting it can improve a team’s free agent luck. You can also improve your free agent luck by drafting really good players, though.

  44. Moses Moody falls to the Knicks, which isn’t too implausible if we end up losing a play-in game and having like the 11th or 12th pick.
    We take Jared Butler with the Mavs pick. Davion Mitchell is too old for me; would anybody be surprised if Malik Monk lit up Gonzaga? Because he’s the same age and archetype as Davion Mitchell.

    I’m starting to fall in love with Josh Giddey, and I have a feeling he’s going to find himself in the top ~8 discussion before too long. The guy is a 6’8″ pure point guard who is putting up serious numbers (13-8-8 per 36, 47 2PT%, 32 3PT%, 67 FT%) in a league we know is pretty legit, and he doesn’t turn 19 until October.

    The efficiency stats don’t jump off the page, but his age is worth reiterating, and over his last bunch of games they’ve improved substantially. I won’t pretend I’ve done any kind of deep dive as far as tape goes, but I’ve seen nothing that puts a damper his numbers from what I have watched.

    There are still 15 games left in the NBL season so we’ll have a clearer picture by the time the draft rolls around, but he might be #1 on my “could realistically fall to us” wishlist.

  45. Hubert: I haven’t been paying attention to hockey but it seems like the two kids they took at 1 and 2 and severely underperforming expectations. you worried about them or is it too soon?

    Kakko..who was picked 2 overall last y is rounding into form…Lafreniere…no 1 this year…has not done much but enough to see he will be good…just needs some time…Chytil who was no 7 pick three yrs ago..is also rounding into form…with hockey…given how hockey works with ice time split amongst 4 lines..and if there are vets above them..getting time on ice can be an issue and that is what the fans are concerned with…the Rangers have some real good vets on the top lines so it is a catch 22 …but to answer your question…this isn’t a Frank/Knox type deal where you know it isn’t going to happen…

  46. Yesterday i fell asleep midway through the 3rd quarter, so i didn’t watch our closer fail again. Was it Julius?
    Anyway, i’m with Brian, we keep fighting even in games in which at some point we all think “this one will be an L, i’m 99% sure”, and that’s a positive thing. Now, next year we’ll want more than this, but until then i’m going to enjoy this season.

  47. Early Bird: Personally, I don’t think it’s egregious to leave RJ off the list. And maybe it didn’t happen here, but generally speaking I do think writers and publications think about these other factors when making decisions for these types of lists. It’s not all writers or all publications, but you do see it from time to time. But yes, maybe I jumped the gun here. I don’t have insider, so I’ve been assuming I can’t read the article.

    Yeah I agree with you that some publications definitely do that kind of thing I just think it’s a little unfair in this instance because a. they were pretty transparent about how they did it with showing each of the 3 individual ballots, b. I didn’t see any of the ESPN personalities pushing RJ not making it as any kind of story related to the list (the viral content I saw was all Stephen A. ranting about Booker being too low) and c.as you said RJ not making it wasn’t so egregious or anything. There were certainly names you could quibble with (and I would) but it’s not exactly super spicy.

    For the record, Marks had RJ 22nd, Pelton did not list him (but did have IQ 24th) and Schmitz had him 24th.

  48. swiftandabundant: We’ve slipped recently but getting the 5th seed is still very much a possibility.

    We’re still in there, but we fell a little behind and our remaining schedule turns it not likely to happen. I think we have the 4th most difficult schedule.
    I think the teams behind us are more likely to have a chance to overtake us, than we have a chance to climb in the standings one more time. When i checked this the other day, i didn’t notice that IND and CHI have 2 and 3 games fewer than us. So if IND wins those 2 games, we’ll be tied, and if CHI wins those 3 (not probable but can happen) they’ll be 1 game behind us.
    Right now, i think the most probable outcome for us is between 8th and 10th, so let’s try to defend the 8th slot.

  49. but to answer your question…this isn’t a Frank/Knox type deal where you know it isn’t going to happen…

    Thanks, Pepper.

    At the same time, it also seems like this isn’t a Crosby/Malkin type deal either. Is that fair or too soon?

  50. RJ for DeAndre Hunter, who says no?

    I don’t know, I can’t say anything more about RJ than that I hope the optimistic predictions come true.

  51. thenamestsam:
    For the record, Marks had RJ 22nd, Pelton did not list him (but did have IQ 24th) and Schmitz had him 24th.

    IQ 24th and RJ out of the list shows that Pelton don’t watch Knicks games… (I have esteem for him so I don’t think he could be so wrong without some “excuses”)

  52. Owen: RJ for DeAndre Hunter, who says no?

    Hunter’s come a long way but he’s 3 years older and is apparently having knee issues. I’d rather have RJ.

  53. thenamestsam: Yeah I agree with you that some publications definitely do that kind of thing I just think it’s a little unfair in this instance because a. they were pretty transparent about how they did it with showing each of the 3 individual ballots, b. I didn’t see any of the ESPN personalities pushing RJ not making it as any kind of story related to the list (the viral content I saw was all Stephen A. ranting about Booker being too low) and c.as you said RJ not making it wasn’t so egregious or anything. There were certainly names you could quibble with (and I would) but it’s not exactly super spicy.

    For the record, Marks had RJ 22nd, Pelton did not list him (but did have IQ 24th) and Schmitz had him 24th.

    Sometimes I rage against the machine, but this time the machine is in the right

    FWIW, I don’t think it’s necessarily bad to drum up controversy either. The articles are largely for entertainment and generating discussion is fun and can be valuable. Beats the hell out of talking about our season collapsing.*

    *I don’t really think it’s collapsing

  54. Only 4 games in, but the 2021 Mets sure look a lot like the 2020 Mets, esp. on offense.

    Let’s keep RJ and add to him.

  55. Hubert: Thanks, Pepper.

    At the same time, it also seems like this isn’t a Crosby/Malkintype deal either. Is that fair or too soon?

    neither of them were seen as generational talent, like Crosby/McDavid, etc…but both probably could be in the Malkin category…perennial top line/all-stars.they’re also wingers..not centers so the talent pool is larger…it’s like stud centerman are to stud point guards/quarterbacks versus wingers are like shooting guards/wide receivers..

  56. cybersoze: Here i was undecided what music to play next… thanks for the help! :)

    fyi…i secured a bottle of 2017 Fonseca yesterday…very happy…should be at my house in next couple of days..

  57. Here i was undecided what music to play next… thanks for the help! :)

    Rage Against Rap Rock

    Port drinkers are a totally different breed. I have no idea what you experience when you sip it, but it sure as hell ain’t my experience.

    I popped open a bottle of Barolo 2013 for Lady Jowles’ birthday last weekend and our friend proceeded to knock her glass over before even taking a taste. Joke’s on me for spending $50 on a bottle of wine. I really wish I could pretend I were a broke grad student again — anything not packaged in a bag would have made me happy. And here I am, cellaring Barbaresco like a stereotypical yuppie DINK–

  58. What Conforto did was out and out cheating. He intentionally moved his padded elbow into the pitch.

  59. I have never seen an umpire call that, an intentional HBP. They should though.

    Whatever, a little cheating never hurt baseball

  60. I have never seen an umpire call that, an intentional HBP. They should though.

    I distinctly recall seeing it called exactly once in my life–against Doug Mientkiewicz when he was on the Yankees in 2007. I had no idea it was even a rule. One of those oddly specific memories.

  61. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Rage Against

    Port drinkers are a totally different breed. I have no idea what you experience when you sip it, but it sure as hell ain’t my experience.

    I popped open a bottle of Barolo 2013 for Lady Jowles’ birthday last weekend and our friend proceeded to knock her glass over before even taking a taste. Joke’s on me for spending $50 on a bottle of wine. I really wish I could pretend I were a broke grad student again — anything not packaged in a bag would have made me happy. And here I am, cellaring Barbaresco like a stereotypical yuppie DINK–

    i would put the port experience (depending on the quality) on the drinking robutussin to very fine sweet dessert wine continuum…speaking of robutussin…always think of this when I see it…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nrs9_EpSlyc

    also, if you feel bad about cellaring barolo…send it my way…i’ll gladly add it to my collection…

  62. Becoming slightly bougie about our alcohol is a big part of what we do here.

    No denying that Italian wine is awesome though.

  63. ***For those who would rather miss the playoffs and get a higher pick than make it. If you knew that we’d win the first round series, would that change your math? We’ve slipped recently but getting the 5th seed is still very much a possibility. Which most likely puts us up against Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami or Boston. I like our odds against any of them (Miami the least).***

    The #dolansrazor scenario is the Knicks miss the play-in round by ending up with the sixth best record and proceed to get swept by the Bucks.

  64. The whole “the player has to make an attempt to avoid the pitch” rule in MLB is silly. Players regularly get hit on pitches that they just stand and take. Conforto not only did not try to avoid the pitch, he clearly pushed his elbow out over the plate to get hit.

    My solution: the rule is….if the player is hit by a pitch in the strike zone, it is a called strike. If he is hit by a pitch out of the strike zone, it is a HBP and he takes 1st.

  65. zion was so so bad on defense last night. they can’t even hide him on bruce brown bc he won’t reliably give the help shows that a guy hiding on bruce brown needs to give. he can sometimes use his speed to recover from always being a tick late to see the play, but if there is ever a second switch or recovery needed you can forget it. he also is constantly trying to do the fake help then steal the pass thing, but like the melo swipe it usually misses. they probably suspected this wasn’t a rookie problem that was going away quickly when they traded for adams and gave him $35 million, but adams does not seem like the right guy for the job. he still seems pretty good overall but he is just too immobile and not enough of a rim protector to be a real defensive mistake savior.

    he is such a monster offensively that you can afford to put him with a lot of lopsided defensive talent. they probably need to.

  66. My solution: the rule is….if the player is hit by a pitch in the strike zone, it is a called strike. If he is hit by a pitch out of the strike zone, it is a HBP and he takes 1st.

    Doesn’t really work because some players would look to get intentionally all the time if it was legal, especially with those big pads they wear nowadays. It would be all but impossible to pitch inside if anything off the plate a guy just had to lean in and take one off the elbow pad to head to down to first.

    But getting hit on a pitch that was actually a strike, and to drive in the winning run no less? That’s baseball Suzyn (wrong team I know but it feels right).

  67. thenamestsam: Doesn’t really work because some players would look to get intentionally all the time if it was legal, especially with those big pads they wear nowadays. It would be all but impossible to pitch inside if anything off the plate a guy just had to lean in and take one off the elbow pad to head to down to first.

    But getting hit on a pitch that was actually a strike, and to drive in the winning run no less? That’s baseball Susan (wrong team I know but it feels right).

    Players already do that all the time (lean in to get hit). It’s just that there’s a silly rule that never gets enforced, so just ditch the silly rule. At least now if the pitch is a strike, no HBP would be awarded.

    Another issue, that was a game-winning play, but it is not reviewable? Ron Darling seemed particularly disgusted about that aspect of the play.

  68. To be fair to Conforto, we’re watching the replay in super-slow motion, and he’s trying to protect the plate with two strikes. I’m not so sure he intentionally leaned into it. In ultra slow motion it seems like he has time to make that decision but in real time IDK

  69. which makes me think Quickley really needs the ball in his hands.

    6th men need the ball. :-)

  70. pepper: fyi…i secured a bottle of 2017 Fonseca yesterday…very happy…should be at my house in next couple of days..

    Very good choice. And now you’ve remembered me that i don’t have any Port Wine in the house, and that must never happen. :D

  71. I totally forgot that the Knicks get the Lebron-less Lakers on Monday. That’s huge. That suddenly becomes a very winnable game when it was normally going to be an easy loss. That’s big.

  72. The Honorable Cock Jowles: You’re spending a lot of keystrokes trying to convince yourself that the #15 pick is better than the #5 pick. It’s not.

    You’re right, Jowles. But just remember that some of us live in places where the #lolKnicks fanbois text Dolan and Isiah Thomas gifs to us whenever the opportunity presents itself.

  73. I don’t get the obsession with Poku. I mean, doesn’t he pretty much suck at basketball?

  74. Looks like Dennis Schroder is channeling some 2023 incarnation of Draymond Green: 0-9, 13 assists, 7 TOs.

  75. At least the Raptors are further away from the Knicks! So that’s good. But yeah, the Bulls are now just a game back in the loss column.

  76. d-mar:
    I don’t get the obsession with Poku. I mean, doesn’t he pretty much suck at basketball?

    He’s a taller version of Knox who is somehow skinnier and less efficient.

    He and Deni Avdija, I just don’t get the hype outside of them being young enough to improve.

  77. He’s a taller version of Knox who is somehow skinnier and less efficient.

    He and Deni Avdija, I just don’t get the hype outside of them being young enough to improve.

    I mean, almost all 19 year olds are terrible in the NBA. Not many of them are 7 feet tall and have shown the ability to do literally everything on a basketball court. Of course, it’s possible Poku just never puts it all together but I would say he’s actually ahead of schedule–based on his body I straight up did not think he would play in the NBA this year. Combine that with the fact that he had one of the best statistical profiles in the 2020 draft and you can understand why people are excited.

  78. Early Bird: Deni Avdija, I just don’t get the hype outside of them being young enough to improve

    Deni was the MVP of the Israeli League last year, the youngest to do it (19yo). And although it’s not the best european league, it’s certainly better than the NCAA. We’re talking about grown men, and some of them with NBA experience. I wouldn’t rule him out just yet.

  79. He’s a taller version of Knox who is somehow skinnier and less efficient.

    idk how anyone can watch those two as rookies and smell a rhyme. i could write a lot about this but maybe you’re just talking about their bref pages.

  80. Brian Cronin: At least the Raptors are further away from the Knicks! So that’s good. But yeah, the Bulls are now just a game back in the loss column.

    Yeah, the play-in is 99% guaranteed, so let’s focus on being 8th or better.
    Oh, and in this game Chris Boucher posted 38pts and 19rbs, impressive.

  81. the latest espn mock draft from givony & schmitz has blog favorite moses moody falling to 21.

    it also has us taking dosonmu with the mavs pick. i like ayo’s profile a lot. I like it so much that I’m going to accept the fact that he will be the annual guy-I-fall-in-love-with-before-he-inevitably-rises-because-he’s-too-good-to-fall-to-us. So I’m just going to ignore him.

  82. @NYPost_Berman
    C John Henson listed on injury report as out tonight vs. Memphis with calf strain. That’s tough injury and looks like he’ll spend his new 10-day contract on the shelf. Henson will earn $111,000 for his services.

  83. So it is my understanding that the two losers in the play-in tournament enter the lottery. My assumption is that once the lottery teams are determined, lottery order is solely based on finishing win% and then usual tiebreakers, i.e. being in the play-in does not affect lottery order in and of itself.

    If this is true, it lends itself to some interesting possibilities. As it stands now, the non-playoff/play in teams will probably be: MIN, HOU, DET, ORL, WAS, CLE, OKC, TOR, SAC, NOP.

    But theoretically, it’s possible that the 9 and 10 teams in the West knock out the 7 and 8 teams, so if we finish at 10 in our conference and get knocked out in game 1, we could be 11th in the lottery. In fact, if we have a worse record than some of the teams that didn’t make the play-in in the West, e.g. the Pels and Kings finish strong but don’t make the top 10 and we barely hang on to the 10 spot with a worse record than them, we could be maybe wind up 8th or 9th in the lottery, with at least a prayer of moving up…that might be the ideal scenario.

    Losing both games to Zion might be step 1 in that process…

  84. But theoretically, it’s possible that the 9 and 10 teams in the West knock out the 7 and 8 teams,

    this part isn’t possible. the 7/8 play each other in game 1 of the play-in and the winner is in.

  85. The Bulls are making that little playoff run I expected. We better hope Toronto stays hurt and/or keeps losing or we could blow this thing. Memphis has been playing better lately. The best thing we have going is that out of the remaining games, 4 more are at home. We’ve played better at home.

  86. ptmilo:
    But theoretically, it’s possible that the 9 and 10 teams in the West knock out the 7 and 8 teams,

    this part isn’t possible.the 7/8 play each other in game 1 of the play-in and the winner is in.

    Oops! Although I don’t think that part matters much, other than that the two team who finished 7th can be in the lottery, almost certainly in the 13th and 14th spot. I guess the best case I’m hoping for is finishing 10th, winning the first and losing the second play-in game, and picking 9th with a 20% chance of moving up to the top-4. The odds of moving up seem to drop off pretty steeply after that.

  87. it also has us taking dosonmu with the mavs pick. i like ayo’s profile a lot. I like it so much that I’m going to accept the fact that he will be the annual guy-I-fall-in-love-with-before-he-inevitably-rises-because-he’s-too-good-to-fall-to-us. So I’m just going to ignore him.

    ayo has def been that guy for me… and i think he’s going to wind up being like the mikal bridges pick .. pretty solid prospect with little to pick at that ultimately gets overlooked in favor of some guy from kentucky….

  88. as for poku… i would pump the brakes a bit… i haven’t seen much of him but his results have largely come on the backs of 3p shooting…. which really wasn’t his problem… ok that was a problem also but it’s less of a problem than his allergy to the paint which has been an issue even through this hot streak….

  89. Dosunmu is fine I guess, but he’s over 21 already; he should be lighting it up at this point.

    I’d rather take Springer if he’s there, who had a much better freshman year than Dosunmu did in ’18-’19. I might even prefer a guy like Terrence Shannon. Age matters.

  90. Dosunmu is fine I guess, but he’s over 21 already; he should be lighting it up at this point.

    yes that is normally very true about upper classmen but what makes dosunmo not like some other upper classmen like.. kris dunn for instance… was that ayo was actually pretty good as a freshman also… the only thing that was missing from his game was an outside shot… and his ft% and his 3p% started developing to the point where he put it all together this year…

    that sort of thing points to real tangible improvement instead of appearing to improve because of aging over the player pool…. something like ft shooting should be competition agnostic….

    he’s also made strides as a pg… which is less evident in the numbers but one thing that works in his favor for the knicks is that the illini offense under brad underwood is a lot like the knicks offense… a lot of high pnr’s … double drag and other dribble drive sets…. that puts ayo in a position to adapt to the pro game… and thibs’ offense in particular… pretty quickly….

    springer is good too…. and him being younger should have him rated higher… but his problem is that he’s probably not a pg and the adjustment for him to be that is much much greater…. i think if you like springer he would fit a lot better as a sg who can create offense with less usage rather than someone who can dominate the ball…

  91. Z-man: Oops! Although I don’t think that part matters much, other than that the two team who finished 7th can be in the lottery, almost certainly in the 13th and 14th spot. I guess the best case I’m hoping for is finishing 10th, winning the first and losing the second play-in game, and picking 9th with a 20% chance of moving up to the top-4. The odds of moving up seem to drop off pretty steeply after that.

    Your scenario is fantastic, but there’s a little problem – when was the last time the Knicks jumped up in the draft lottery? Ewing, maybe!

  92. Poku is fucking awful, he has no business playing in the NBA. You can see he has intriguing skills for a kid that tall, but he’s got a long way to go.

  93. Yeah, Poku seems interesting to me as an experiment in giving a guy big minutes even though he clearly isn’t remotely ready for them. It feels like pulling a guy out of High A and putting him into the leadoff spot.

    The stakes are obviously low so I don’t have a huge problem with it. In baseball, there is a tendency to think that throwing a guy in the fire can damage his career prospects, i.e. too much too soon. Not sure if that will be the case here. I think it mostly depends on what his physical development looks like, if he is capable of any.

    I have always rooted for young players to get more minutes so I can’t complain about Poku. But the few times I have watched him it’s been a bit jarring.

  94. ptmilo:
    He’s a taller version of Knox who is somehow skinnier and less efficient.

    idk how anyone can watch those two as rookies and smell a rhyme.i could write a lot about this but maybe you’re just talking about their bref pages.

    They don’t move the same, but he reminds me of Knox because they both have gorgeous shooting strokes in their highlights and then I look at their #s & Poku is shooting 29% from 3. Also their rebounding is atrocious.

    Poku is pretty unique so he’s hard to find a comp. Maybe a skinnier, more mobile Yi Jianlian with some passing thrown in?

  95. Poku has a hitchy shooting motion to me. He hesitates like a motherfucker. Does not look confident at all with his decision-making. He’s just so tall that it doesn’t matter much, for now. And I’ve only seen his highlights. With his BPM, I can only assume he’s out there looking like rookie-year Ntilikina for much of the games.

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

    Thinking Basketball does his thing, gives us the summary of his “peak” analysis. Amazing content.

  96. Poku is similar to Knox in that Knox would have been a fine flyer-type in the late first round but had no business being taken at #9. It’s weird that tnfh is crowing about him, considering that he was taken over a bunch of much better prospects and has put up Knox/Ntilikina-type numbers so far. I would guess that there are like 10 guys drafted after him who the Thunder would trade him straight up for right now.

    Will he be better than Obi? Anyone who scrutinized Obi’s film would have known that he was a risky pick in the lottery despite his gaudy stats. So that’s a separate argument. What about Poku for Obi straight up? I would keep Obi even though he’s older but sure, it’s not a completely ridiculous argument.

    But let’s not act like Poku was some kind of find…he was drafted pretty much where he was projected to go and has absolutely sucked thus far as an NBA player. He will likely continue to suck until he does something with that emaciated upper body of his, which will take a couple of years. Since Obi has to play it safe and not lose games for his team while the alpha dog star at his position is getting a quick breather, we have no idea what he might be on a team where he could play 30 minutes a night on a tanking team and take over 10 shots per game as Poku has in 13 of his last 16 games.

  97. six out of our remaining 20 games are being nationally broadcast…of those 20 games, maybe only 5 or so (phoenix x2, denver, clippers, and maybe the lakers toward the end of the schedule if lebron is back) where will be serious underdogs…

    so, good chance for a lot more close games to end the season…seeing how we’re 2 and 8 in games decided by 3 points or less – there could be some potentially painful and agonizing basketball moments to come…

  98. I definitely think it’s way too early to take any victory laps on Poku – he is showing flashes but those flashes are coming on a team that is playing and featuring him more and more specifically because they’re trying to do a better job of losing games. And it’s worth noting that it’s working, they’re getting killed every night now.

    On the other hand, and this is where the Knox comp is a miss to me, Poku really is a worthy flier. Maybe the biggest sin of the Knox pick, and there were many, was that they drafted him in theory for his high upside as a scorer and that was a total scouting miss. He has never shown a single sign outside of a 3-on-3 game that he has any juice whatsoever with the ball in his hands – he can’t dribble or pass even a little and he’s not any kind of exceptional athlete either. The idea that he might ever become some big-time scorer was obviously invalidated pretty much the first time you saw him play, it was very quickly obvious that his only offensive skill was spot-up shooting.

    Poku for one thing is 7′. For another he really does have some skills with the ball – he has 12% Ast% which is double Knox, he blocks some shots despite his anemic body, there really is at least a player you can dream on a little there.

  99. yes, poku has been horrendous and has a good shot at being horrendous forever or getting hurt before we ever find out. but poku is absolutely nothing like knox or yi (who was actually like 47 when he entered the league and is generally a terrible comp for poku given that he was not even an above average passer).

    poku thinks he is gumby white chocolate and sometimes he kind of looks like he is. he has made more crazy in motion passes already than knox has since he was drafted. you can watch him for 30 seconds and know his movie reel runs a little slower. and it’s not just recognition; his feet are incredibly nimble for a 7 footer — he is fucking baryshnikov compared to knox, who defaults to an almost comically wide stance because of his high center of gravity. of course, he also has a serious case of the hezonjas and often looks completely ridiculous. there are not a lot of great comps for a caricature like poku. he is not an ersatz center who can do some other stuff like thon maker or bender, he is a pg stuck inside the body of an 85 inch pipe cleaner.

    will it work? i mean, probably not… but it might. and if it does it might be pretty damn awesome. he has definitely proven that even at 19 his vision and coordination can sometimes translate to nba speeds. that isn’t true about most pgs who come into the league, let alone 7 ft point guards. i have no idea how his shot will shake out. the way his feet pop up in sync with his forward arm matt bonner release when he takes a 3 kind of reminds me of one of those floppy party kazoos.

    i don’t think the usual heuristics will be useful for evaluating him, because he really is anomalous. would i trade him for obi? in a nanosecond, because even a 10% chance of poku’s upside is so much more valuable than how i see obi’s future outcome distribution, which tops out at statistically pleasant but still not very useful nba player.

  100. sometimes i want to compare poku to kukoc, but this is surely too friendly to poku at the moment. although kukoc didn’t come into the nba until he was well into his prime, he was kicking ass at the highest levels of the euroleague when he was young. i’m not actually sure what kukoc did at 18 or 19, but i’m guessing it was pretty awesome.

  101. It’s weird that tnfh is crowing about him

    I also think it’s weird that I’m doing this, since I’m not doing this and have never done this. I literally said in this very thread that he may never put it all together. I have expressed the opinion that the early returns are good, because I did not think a 19 year-old 7 foot 190 pound guy would or could play one NBA minute this season, yet he has, and has shown a lot of intriguing signs at that.

    Comparisons to Frank/Knox are super weak. Sure, Poku has been just as horrifically inefficient as those guys from a scoring perspective but that’s where the similarities end. He’s demonstrated legitimate 5-tool (or whatever the basketball equivalent is) potential at multiple levels, including the NBA (albeit only in flashes hence me still being far from sure he’ll make it).

  102. i don’t know man, he’s seven foot and 190 lbs (at least at the beginning of the year, not hard to imagine some of these guys dropping some weight during the season) – could some of this fascination/fixation be a part of his physical makeup – kind of like boban…visually you’re convinced he shouldn’t be able to play at the nba level at all, but, there they are, out on the court contributing (in poku’s case – at times)…

    plus he’s kind of got that “oh gosh” countenance, which can be a bit endearing when looking at nba players playing…

    and he’s young, ode to frank: forever young…

  103. thenoblefacehumper: I also think it’s weird that I’m doing this, since I’m not doing this and have never done this. I literally said in this very thread that he may never put it all together. I have expressed the opinion that the early returns are good, because I did not think a 19 year-old 7 foot 190 pound guy would or could play one NBA minute this season, yet he has, and has shown a lot of intriguing signs at that.

    Comparisons to Frank/Knox are super weak. Sure, Poku has been just as horrifically inefficient as those guys from a scoring perspective but that’s where the similarities end. He’s demonstrated legitimate 5-tool (or whatever the basketball equivalent is) potential at multiple levels, including the NBA (albeit only in flashes hence me still being far from sure he’ll make it).

    Really? I don’t think that anyone here would be even talking about Poku if it wasn’t for you bringing him up on a regular basis…and you clearly were very high on him going into the draft. That’s fine with me, but keep it real.

  104. Porzingis had a big game vs. the Bucks…seems like that wrist injury was no biggie…

  105. You guys have some really impressive assessments of Poku but I can’t figure out how or why y’all spent enough time watching the Thunder to be this informed.

  106. Really? I don’t think that anyone here would be even talking about Poku if it wasn’t for you bringing him up on a regular basis…and you clearly were very high on him going into the draft. That’s fine with me, but keep it real.

    Uh, not really sure what you’re getting at here, but if anyone else resents my occasional Poku updates, sure, I guess I’ll stop? He’s been kind of a hot topic in NBA discussion generally, because his game is so idiosyncratic and OKC’s “let it rip” approach has led to a lot of funny and interesting moments involving him.

    However if the consensus is that we should strictly limit discussion to “Frank Ntilikina is not an NBA player vs Frank Ntilikina is a passable 13th man,” I will abide.

  107. SGA is a near-future MVP candidate and is a blast to watch

    I wonder if anyone thought we should pick him

  108. However if the consensus is that we should strictly limit discussion to “Frank Ntilikina is not an NBA player vs Frank Ntilikina is a passable 13th man,” I will abide.

    Hahaha.

    No. I, for one, am glad I now know Poku exists. Keep such posts coming.

  109. KB Apprentice: I, for one, am glad I now know Poku exists. Keep such posts coming.

    Second that. Guy’s got a nickname that sounds like an animated creature, plus he LOOKS like an animated creature (I keep thinking he should have tiny, vestigial wings on his back). And periodically he does things that look deep faked. What’s not to like?

  110. Remember myself bringing up Poku here since he was playing in Greece and i made a desperate attempt to “contribute” to the predraft discussion.
    If i knew that Nfh would be obsessed with him I’d be more careful! ;-p

  111. “sometimes i want to compare poku to kukoc”

    And i remember watching a Knox coast to coast dunk and thinking him as the next Pippen but i guess it was just the beer talking! ;-p

  112. btw Knox’s favourite player is Kevin Durant if you want to visualize his potential!

  113. Poku’s stats don’t look great because he dug himself a Ntilikina sized hole to start the season, going 2-21 (1-16 on 3s) with 10 turnovers over his first 80 minutes in the league. His efficiency stats look a lot better if you give him a mulligan for December.

    ***there are not a lot of great comps for a caricature like poku. he is not an ersatz center who can do some other stuff like thon maker or bender, he is a pg stuck inside the body of an 85 inch pipe cleaner.***

    I didn’t realize he was this kind of player. Yes, intriguing and hard to comp. Anthony Randolph was 6’11, 195 at the combine I think. He, too, was an intriguing but ultimately unsound NBA package. I think Odom was a skinny 6’11 pg/pf combo when he entered the league, too. But from what you describe, this guy isn’t even like those two specimens, and is worth checking out. Thanks.

  114. Z-man:
    Porzingis had a big game vs. the Bucks…seems like that wrist injury was no biggie…

    In the game against Houston KP was having a good game and then didn’t see the ball in the 4th quarter. Doncic was having a terrible game but was taking all the shots. It became a big issue on the Mavs blogs and apparently spilled over into post game comments about why he didn’t score down the stretch. Porzingis said the plays they’ve been running in the 4th quarter often leave him never seeing the ball. It was backhanded shot at Doncic.

    The relationship between Doncic and KP is cold. They apparently do NOT like each other. Doncic freezes him out and looks him off at times. It’s very obvious. That pisses KP off. You can see it in his face, especially when Doncic throws up a trash shot instead. lol

    Supposedly Carlisle addressed it with KP and then KP and Doncic had a “talk”. So last night they were looking for him and he had a huge game down the stretch.

    I think it’s better than even money KP gets traded. He wants out and Dallas knows the two them don’t like each other. So Doncic will get what he wants. KP has to stay healthy to keep himself marketable. The rumor is the Warriors tried to trade for him before the deadline and will try again after the season.

  115. Damn. Since SGA went down on 3/24, OKC has lost 8 of 9 by an average margin of 20.4 points a game. It’s not hard to see them slipping to #3 in the tankthon standings. 20 remaining games and I’d be surprised to see them win more than 4 if SGA is held out for the remainder of the season. If I’m Presti, I’m shooting for the top (bottom?) of the draft board and making sure that SGA’s plantar fasciitis heals in full before he sees the floor again. That’s a nasty injury for a drive-first PG to have.

  116. swiftandabundant:
    Huh. I thought all white people from Eastern Europe were friends with each other. Strange.

    Personally, I don’t understand it, but it’s fairly obvious if you watch how they interact with each other. Even when they do interact sometimes it seems forced or fake.

    I watch a lot of their games. Doncic is a great offensive talent, but he’s still at that stage where he’s trying to do too much. At times it also appears he’s freezing KP out. You can tell KP gets upset about it. It’s almost as if there’s some kind of ego related competition between them and Doncic would rather shoot a bad shot himself or give it to another teammate rather than give KP the ball and let him score.

    There was a play a few games back where Doncic was driving to the hoop, got double teamed, had KP wide open under the basket and forced a bad pass and TO to someone else instead. I thought KP was going to have a stroke. lol

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