NY Post: Knicks no match for Tobias Harris, fade late in loss to 76ers

From Marc Berman:

Long Island’s Tobias Harris quietly fumed when he was not selected to the NBA All-Star Game after helping the Sixers to the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Harris sure looked like he had a strong case Tuesday night. For one night, he took it out on his hometown team that was desperate for the offensive firepower that Harris supplied the Sixers.

Harris hit two key inside buckets down the stretch to finish with 30 points as the Knicks went cold, scoring only 14 points in the fourth quarter, and Philadelphia escaped with a defensive-oriented 99-96 victory at Wells Fargo Center.

The Knicks point-guard issues are rearing their ugly head as Derrick Rose (health and safety protocols) and Elfrid Payton (hamstring) continue to be out and Austin Rivers (paternity leave) may be done with the club.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is finding it difficult sledding deciding whom to tab in the fourth quarter between rookie Immanuel Quickley, who looked limited with a balky ankle, and Frank Ntilikina, who has gone stone cold offensively.

Starting his second straight game, Quickley missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 11 seconds left that would have tied the score. He finished with 13 points but was just 1 of 5 from 3-point land.

Ntilikina, as good a defender as he was again, went scoreless for the third straight game, going 0-for-4. He’s 0-for-15 in the last three games.

“We’re shorthanded — that’s part of it,’’ Thibodeau said.

Though they battled tough against the East’s two best teams in the Nets and Sixers on back-to-back nights, the losses dropped the eight-place Knicks’ record to 20-21. The Knicks blew a nine-point lead after three quarters with their anemic final period.

It really is kind of absurd how much they are leaning on Quickley, right? I mean, don’t get me wrong, they lean on Randle and Barrett, as well, but Randle is an All-Star veteran, Quickley is a rookie and they just need so much from him right now.

Hopefully someone of Rose and Payton get healthy by the next game. Annoyingly, the Magic are getting healthier, too, with Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier possibly ready to play on Thursday. The Magic still suck, though, so it is a good chance for the Knicks to get back to .500.

Anyhow, the Sixers are a really good team, even without Embiid, so this was as close to a “good” loss as you can get. I really thought the Knicks would get one of these games just because Thibs pushes them so hard and both games were winnable, so that’s something!

Boy, the Eastern Conference lower teams are all really bunched together right now. The Knicks are just 2.5 games back of the #4 seed, but they’re only 2 games ahead of the #11 seed!

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217 thoughts to “NY Post: Knicks no match for Tobias Harris, fade late in loss to 76ers”

  1. If IQ’s ankle injury is serious, or even if it isn’t maybe we should have Jeremy Lin in for a tryout to determine if he can replace Pinson’s cheerleading and if he can, sign him to a 10-day contract.

  2. Can you even imagine Lin returning to the Knicks as they return to the playoffs? That’d be pretty hilarious.

  3. We have a limited number of NBA players in our roster (Toppin is quickly approaching Knox’s territory) and as much I dislike “Rose and “The Plague” Payton, they’re two of the few, so their absence is meaningful. Plus Mitch is obviously very important to our defense.

    Now it looks like he’s on paternity leave, but I don’t dig the Austin Rivers’ management. He started red hot, said all the right things in interviews, showed some NY’s pride, then went cold (with the notable exception of the Utah’s game), then after the Rose’s trade he disappear. He’s been a streaky player all his career, that’s not a surprise, but for me having an instant offense player on the bench, a “break the glass in case of emergency” shooter, could be useful, especially in games like this one…

    I used to like Frank a lot and to defend him (yes, it’s an easy task given his offensive skills) but he’s becoming so frustrating to watch…

    And while I’m here: Dame Lillard for MVP! :-)

  4. Bo Nateman:
    If IQ’s ankle injury is serious, or even if it isn’t maybe we should have Jeremy Lin in for a tryout to determine if he can replace Pinson’s cheerleading and if he can, sign him to a 10-day contract.

    If he can still play at a high level, it’s an interesting idea. But no need to cut the cheerleader, as Thibs didn’t play Harper yesterday so he never will, might be better to waive Harper then. Pinson looks like a glue guy that everybody likes, it’s a role and there’s no need to change it.

  5. Obi-One isn’t that bad. He’s a rookie scoring at an impressive .566 TS%.

    Look at Kaminsky, a former 22yo rookie. Kaminsky was barely above .500 TS% for 2 years and his rookie USG was similar to Obi’s. People sold on him early. Kaminsky has turned into an okay-ish role player for a solid PHX team.

    Maybe not what you want to hear about your 8th pick, but a better outcome than the French Prince or Knoxville are looking so far.

    Worrying stats on our Frank Ntilikina:
    – He’s taken exactly 1 more shot within 3ft of an NBA basket than me this year
    – A .490 TS% despite shooting 48% from 3

  6. Max: I used to like Frank a lot and to defend him (yes, it’s an easy task given his offensive skills) but he’s becoming so frustrating to watch…

    I’m kind of fed up that we keep on talking about Frank, but i think he can be a rotation player, call it instant defense of the bench, like Thybule on the Sixers. I even consider re-signing him on the cheap to keep filling in that role. But please, Frankophiles, stop raving about him like he is some kind of star anytime he does something good. And by the way +/- is a shitty stat, how come a guy has 3 air balls and still is the best on his team? Non-sense!

  7. Early Bird:
    Obi-One isn’t that bad. He’s a rookie scoring at an impressive .566 TS%.

    Look at Kaminsky, a former 22yo rookie. Kaminsky was barely above .500 TS% for 2 years and his rookie USG was similar to Obi’s. People sold on him early. Kaminsky has turned into an okay-ish role player for a solid PHX team.

    Maybe not what you want to hear about your 8th pick, but a better outcome than the French Prince or Knoxville are looking so far.

    Worrying stats on our Frank Ntilikina:– He’s taken exactly 1 more shot within 3ft of an NBA basket than me this year– A .490 TS% despite shooting 48% from 3

    I agree is too early to give up on Toppin,
    and no, I don’t call a Kaminsky-like career a succes (even if better than Knox or Frank, no doubt),
    but please, stop (not you, everyone) giving stats about him as a matter of discussion,
    because his numbers are heavily skewed by garbage time (his three “best” statistical games in the last month and a half, MILW, SA, HOU, are three blowouts).

    Judge him on his “real” playing time and his “fish out of the water” (or “deer in a headlight”) look, remember that he was dubbed “the readiest player in the draft” and he’s already 23.
    The last two games he’s been embarassing, pure and simple.
    Rookie’s wall? Maybe, but denying his awful play doesn’t help him become a better player.

    We’ve been through this discussions with Frank, we’ve been through this discussions with Knox, we’ve changed coaches, systems, teammates, years had passed, it had not help at all.

    I hope Obi’s better than the other two… I hope.

  8. From the last thread:

    djphan: 20. Neemias Queta

    Thanks DJ. :) I should be his agent, with me promoting him, he’s clearly on the rise. :D

    Oh, and by the way, they start March Madness on friday at 1:45pm against Texas Tech. They’re the underdogs on this game, but let’s see what Queta can do. If they manage to go through, maybe they catch the eye of KB’s college basketball followers, because it’ll probably be against Moses Moody’s Arkansas.

    It’s only the 22nd appearance all-time for Utah State (10th in the last 22 years), but you know what? They made it 2 times this 3 years Queta has been with them, and only missed one because with covid there was no March Madness last year.

    One last thing about March Madness, there’s no Duke and no Kentucky this year (might be better for the Knicks to re-think drafting UK’s players) and that’s the first time both miss the tournament since 1976. Wow.

  9. Before I forget, jumping from thread to thread,
    thank you Djphan for your rankings, I always read them with a lot of interest.

  10. Ian Begley @IanBegley:
    Tom Thibodeau said Mitchell Robinson has progressed to being cleared for practice. He’ll be able to take contact in practice. That’s the next step to clear before for Robinson’s return to the court.

  11. Literally what is the point of rostering Harper if we don’t play him if IQ has to miss time? Harper played well in the G-League bubble and he’s already 23 so he shouldn’t be treated like a long-term project. Frank Ntilikina is 100% not an NBA point guard, 99% not an NBA player, and can’t play much without getting hurt himself anyway.

    It’s nitpicky, sure, but our use of two-way slots has been confusing all season.

  12. Max: his numbers are heavily skewed by garbage time (his three “best” statistical games in the last month and a half, MILW, SA, HOU, are three blowouts).

    Way too lazy to figure out non-garbage time minute stats. But kinda fun project to approximate non-garbage time play.

    In theory, if we look at Q 1-3 we can eliminate garbage time which happens in the 4th Q. It eliminates a lot of his normal rotation minutes too, but that’s why we’re approximating. Luckily NBA.com gives splits by Q and Half. Add 1st Half & 3rd Q and we have an approximation!

    1-3Q: .498 TS%

    Breaks down as follows:
    1st Half: .519 TS%
    3rd Q: .385 TS%
    4th Q .718 TS%

    So looks like garbage time is a big boost. The .498 TS% is at least still comparable to Kaminsky, but Kaminsky also had more assists and fewer TOs.

    The large variance in splits does make me question how good of an approximation this is. But may just be he’s only played 30ish minutes in the 3rd since that’s usually for the starters.

    We end up eliminating ~1/3 of his shots by removing the 4th Q since his regular rotation minutes are the 2nd & 4th Q.

    Max: “the readiest player in the draft” and he’s already 23.

    This is partially why I brought up Kaminsky, he was also dubbed the readiest player in the draft and his birthday is only a month after Obi’s.

  13. Great piece on the Athletic about the early days of the Riley’s Knicks and the Mc Daniel – Mason fight.

  14. Obi not dunking the shit out of that open drive down the right of the lane, which he unquestionably has the capability and athleticism to do, and instead going with a crazy, weird-ass layup attempt that botched miserably was a massive tell as to where his head and confidence are right now.

    This was like the tenth time this year I’ve seen him take the first explosive dribble with some open area and said to myself, “He’s going to dunk the shit out of this,” and he never does.(*) He absolutely could. It’s bizarre and perplexing that he doesn’t.

    And if anyone is ever in position to express doubt about the existence and reality of the “it factor” or the “X factor” or whatever you want to call that intangible, all that person needs to do is compare and contrast Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin.

    (*) He did in preseason more than once.

  15. thenoblefacehumper: It’s nitpicky, sure, but our use of two-way slots has been confusing all season.

    Yeah, it’s baffling. And not only this season, we started well with Iso-Zo, then Kadeem also was of some use, but since then it’s kind of fill the slots with some guys but never giving them a chance whatsoever.

  16. We may be bad at two-way players but we sure know how to pick no-way players!

  17. I know Philly didn’t have Embiid and The Nets didn’t have Durant, but we just lost 2 very close games to the two best teams in the East while missing our starting PG, our back up PG and our starting center. And we lost because we just couldn’t close the games, which is what happens when an okish/young team faces a much better opponent full of people that know how to close out games and win. On a back to back game too (on the road both games as well).

    We all knew this 4 game stretch was going to be tough and 1-3 was what most of us expected but GD if we weren’t THIS close to going 3-1 during this stretch. We now have a stretch of easier games that we MUST win. Mitch and Rose should be back soon and Elf as well. Hope IQ is ok though.

    I bet when Mitch comes back, Obi is going to get glued to the bench and Thibs will move Taj to the PF spot with Noel. Honestly…I’m ok with that. We might get roasted for doing this but I would definitely look to trade Obi while he still has some trade value.

    I think the move for us is to wait for the waiver wire and pick up someone off of that. No need to trade anything unless there is a really clear upgrade we can make without giving up too much. But I’d make Obi, Knox and Frank all available right now. It sucks that’s 3 of our recent draft picks, but it is what it is.

  18. I have no idea why they haven’t contacted Lin. We have no PGs on the team right now and it probably cost us two games. At least Lin can penetrate, make plays, and is enough of a 3 point threat to have to guard.

    It’s a miracle we’ve even been competitive against two very good teams without our starting C, without both our PGs, and with a bench made up of Toppin who give you nothing on both sides and Frank that gives you nothing on one side.

    We actually could have used Austin Rivers.

    I was all for putting Frank in the rotation ahead of Rivers as long as we were playing him with Rose or maybe Quick, but he’s no a PG. Pretending his is is like pretending Bullock is a PG. Even saying he’s at PG is idiotic. No he’s not.

    He was given a chance to show whether he could develop those skills, but I guess there’s a reason they say PGs are born not made. He wasn’t the PG for France and he’s not a PG for the Knicks. He should be playing off the ball with a good PG and enough scoring on the court so he can focus on disrupting the other teams guards or he should not be playing at all.

  19. Man the seeming progress that Frank had made on offense sure reversed in a hurry, huh? It’s not just that he’s cold shooting the ball right now although obviously it doesn’t help, but how viscerally you can still see his confidence whipsaw when he misses a couple shots is really striking. He’s still shooting almost 50% from 3 for the season and after one bad game he’s back to passing into shot clock violations rather than shooting a semi-contested 3. He’s not a 19 year-old rookie anymore, and as impactful as his defense can be it’s a little hard for me to believe his offense is ever going to get to where it needs to when so much of it seems to be a mental issue. He could become the best 3-point shooter in the league and I’m not sure it would actually make him playable offensively unless he can find a confidence infusion.

    On Obi I just think he’s a little lightweight. We knew in the draft there were concerns about his high waist and thin legs and while it hasn’t impacted his D as much as we thought it might, he just doesn’t look strong or powerful at all when he’s around the rim with the other bigs. There were a lot of Amare comps thrown around (recklessly) on him and I will always be able to picture Amare surrounded by 3 guys somehow rising up for an absolute monster jam and that’s just inconceivable for Obi right now. On that one in the second quarter it looks like he’s cruising in for a big dunk but Scott gets back in the play just enough to give him a slight nudge and that’s enough to throw him completely out of whack. It probably could’ve been called a foul but for a guy who is supposed to be a big physical PF to get completely off his line from that bump is concerning.

  20. Man the seeming progress that Frank had made on offense sure reversed in a hurry, huh? It’s not just that he’s cold shooting the ball right now although obviously it doesn’t help, but how viscerally you can still see his confidence whipsaw when he misses a couple shots is really striking. He’s still shooting almost 50% from 3 for the season and after one bad game he’s back to passing into shot clock violations rather than shooting a semi-contested 3. He’s not a 19 year-old rookie anymore, and as impactful as his defense can be it’s a little hard for me to believe his offense is ever going to get to where it needs to when so much of it seems to be a mental issue. He could become the best 3-point shooter in the league and I’m not sure it would actually make him playable offensively unless he can find a confidence infusion.

    I agree with every word. Some of his lack of willingness to be aggressive and actually be able to execute well is mental. It’s not that he’s a soft player. It’s that he’s mentally as soft as I’ve ever seen any professional athlete in any sport. He has no mental strength or confidence at all for a 22 year old that’s been in the league awhile. He can’t even shake off a bad shot or bad game. One or two missed shots carries over to the rest of the game and then the next game. He’s the complete opposite of Quick. It’s brutal for me to watch because I know he has the innate talent to be an impact 3&D player, but now he’s 22 still going on18. He’s out of time to mature.

  21. I continue to think Frank’s alleged mental deficiencies are exaggerated. People have trouble conceptualizing just how bereft of talent he is, because most people with as limited an offensive game as him are filtered out well before the NBA, maybe even before the higher tier D1 programs. For that reason it’s hard to understand why he doesn’t even try to do, well, anything because there are certain things we just assume you can do once you’re in the NBA pretty much regardless of your production.

    I think Frank is more aware of his true talent level than his fans and plays accordingly. He doesn’t try to dribble into the paint, because he’ll get stripped. He doesn’t fire away from three with abandon, because he’ll miss. He doesn’t try to make high level passes, because he doesn’t have the court vision to see them. In a weird way, I give him more credit for being a smart player than his fans. It’s not his mind holding him back, it’s just the fact that he’s not good.

  22. Defending Frank right now feels like defending Al Capone but I’m still waiting for his resurrection to offensive decency.

  23. Thanks DJ. :) I should be his agent, with me promoting him, he’s clearly on the rise. :D

    one of the reasons i like college ball is seeing big men do big men things and queta’s def pretty skilled…. texas tech does look like a good matchup to showcase what he does and they have a good chance at an upset…

  24. I continue to think Frank’s alleged mental deficiencies are exaggerated.

    I think your points about his skill level are valid and no one would dispute them, but you can see his body language and behavior on the court change depending on how things went over the last 10 minutes. No one is saying that if he was mentally tougher and more confident he would suddenly become Rose or Quick. Just that his lack of confidence is making matters worse.

    In dating terms there are guys loaded with confidence that have no problem meeting women, talking to women, getting plenty of dates, shaking off the occasional rejection as if something must be wrong with her, and they keep firing. They are loaded with confidence and that confidence leads to even more success.

    Frank is the guy that’s attractive enough to get dates, but he’s so insecure he stands in the corner all alone because he’s too afraid to talk to women and get rejected.

  25. i think toppin needs the “sit out and watch the game for awhile” treatment…I actually think Knox would be a step up from him…at least it would force guys to come out and defend…I don’t see anything that he is doing well out there…I guess if you count “keeping your body between your man and the basket” as a positive…then there is that…

    it is becoming very concerning that he is regressing from a very low baseline…

  26. Deeefense: I think your points about his skill level are valid and no one would dispute them, but you can see his body language and behavior on the court change depending on how things are going over the last 10 minutes. No one is saying that if he was mentally tougher and more confident he would suddenly become Rose or Quick. Just that his lack of confidence is making matters worse.

    In dating term there are guys loaded with confidence that have no problem meeting women, talking to women, getting plenty of dates, shaking off the occasional rejection as if something must be wrong with her, and they keep firing.They are loaded with confidence and that confidence leads to even more success.

    Frank is the guy that’s attractive enough to get dates, but he’s so insecure he stands in the corner all alone because he’s too afraid to talk to women and get rejected.

    seems like a common thread on our high picks…very fragile pysches…low confidence…no swagger…in the NBA…once the opponent sniffs that out..you’re done…

    you can see quickely/mitch feel that they belong out there….knox, frank, obi….not so much…

  27. I’d like to see Knox get some of Obi’s minutes too. I can’t believe I just said that.

  28. FRANK i’m really interested to see what masai does before the deadline. they actually have a pretty damn good six man rotation in FVV-lowry-Siakam-Powell-Boucher-OG. the emergence of powell and boucher make that pretty solid! and their utter lack of depth would be a smaller issue in the playoffs, although if they do try to win this year they should probably try to at least pick someone halfway decent up to take stanley johnson’s minutes. but with siakam seemingly taking a step back or at least not a step forward, they also might not be too psyched about paying both 36 year old lowry and powell this summer to run it back. lowry is still good enough to change some team’s playoff prospects this year. FRANK

  29. Frank has been in the league four years. He still can’t:

    -Dribble
    -Pass
    -Get to the line
    -Rebound
    -Shoot

    It ain’t happening with Frank, dudes. His growth rate is glacial. He can’t play. It’s fine. He tried. He’s just bad.

  30. I’ve never had hope for Frank above 8th/9th man. It’s amazing how many arguments have gone into a bench guy. He is a glue guy and an outstanding defender; it looks like his offense is going to suck, or be wildly inconsistent for the foreseeable future. I can’t ever remember seeing such a confidence discrepancy in a player between one side of the ball and the other. If you want to use the date analogy, and it’s a good one, offense Frank stands in the corner and can barely look a woman in the eye. Defense Frank is Pepe Le Ntilikina.

    If they need his fifth year money, renounce him; if they don’t, exercise his option. That’s basically it.

  31. FRANK i’m really interested to see what masai does before the deadline. they actually have a pretty damn good six man rotation in FVV-lowry-Siakam-Powell-Boucher-OG. the emergence of powell and boucher make that pretty solid! and their utter lack of depth would be a smaller issue in the playoffs, although if they do try to win this year they should probably try to at least pick someone halfway decent up to take stanley johnson’s minutes. but with siakam seemingly taking a step back or at least not a step forward, they also might not be too psyched about paying both 36 year old lowry and powell this summer to run it back. lowry is still good enough to change some team’s playoff prospects this year. FRANK

    This is probably the most interesting storyline of this deadline. It might be the most clear cut test of Masai’s willingness cold heartedly rational. The Raptors are better than they’ve shown this year and if healthy could probably be a tough out in the playoffs, but they’re not a contender and even getting to the ECFs would take a minor miracle. Trading a 36 year old on an expiring contract who could still probably fetch something of a haul is a no-brainer in a vacuum.

  32. NetsTown: Tankathon has us picking 15th now and taking Jaden Springer.

    We have 15th and 18th, but that’s before Leon does some trades and net us 12th and 14th without giving up a single asset :D

  33. >>>So looks like garbage time is a big boost. <<<

    Do we even have garbage time stats?

    I can't imagine obi is benefitting from playing in blowouts since Julius Randle is usually still playing in a blowout.

  34. cybersoze: We have 15th and 18th, but that’s before Leon does some trades and net us 12th and 14th without giving up a single asset :D

    And then trades the 14 pick for a 2022 late first rounder?
    :-)

  35. I for one would be very excited about a Lin reunion, for obvious reasons.

    Deeefense: Frank is the guy that’s attractive enough to get dates, but he’s so insecure he stands in the corner all alone because he’s too afraid to talk to women and get rejected.

    OK but you didn’t have come after high school me like this.

  36. I continue to think Frank’s alleged mental deficiencies are exaggerated. People have trouble conceptualizing just how bereft of talent he is, because most people with as limited an offensive game as him are filtered out well before the NBA, maybe even before the higher tier D1 programs.

    I think this is a great observation. I know you’ve made it before, I was still having trouble conceptualizing just how bereft of talent he is.

  37. thenoblefacehumper: I think Frank is more aware of his true talent level than his fans and plays accordingly. He doesn’t try to dribble into the paint, because he’ll get stripped. He doesn’t fire away from three with abandon, because he’ll miss. He doesn’t try to make high level passes, because he doesn’t have the court vision to see them.

    I think this is the same reason Obi Toppin has good stats. Unlike Frank, though, he has some skills.

  38. Anyone else starting to get anxious about what we’ll do at the trade deadline? Maybe this front-office doesn’t deserve it, but i’m always thinking that we’ll trade for [insert here player name that’d be stupid to trade for].

  39. The Drummond rumors are concerning but we could just be kicking the tires on everything.

  40. I think this is the same reason Obi Toppin has good stats. Unlike Frank, though, he has some skills.

    Yeah, this is what scares me about Obi. If I only saw his stats and knew nothing else I’d assume he was having a fine if unspectacular rookie year. It’s only via watching him you can tell he’s protected his efficiency numbers by not really trying to do anything other than stuff a lot of 6’9″ people could do. On the rare occasions he has…well, we’ve all seen the results.

    I’d like to think with Obi there’s a bit more of a mental aspect involved just because he does at least have a college pedigree, but it’s tough to say. He really might just not have NBA level offensive skills.

  41. cybersoze:
    Anyone else starting to get anxious about what we’ll do at the trade deadline? Maybe this front-office doesn’t deserve it, but i’m always thinking that we’ll trade for [insert here player name that’d be stupid to trade for].

    Yesterday From Hoopsrumors.com:

    Tom Thibodeau has urged the Knicks‘ front office to be active at the deadline, and the club may pursue upgrades, but so far New York has shown little appetite for moving any of its top young players or taking on long-term salary, Mannix reports.

    (Chris Mannix write for SI)

  42. Also I’m hesitant to rehash this tedious debate because to some any criticisms of Tom Thibodeau are viewed as tantamount to saying he’s a terrible coach, but regardless of the circumstances it’s inexcusable to play Julius Randle 82 minutes in 48 hours halfway through the regular season.

    I know our depth isn’t good. I know both games were close. I know Randle himself says it’s fine. At some point you still need to grapple with the fact that no other coach does this shit, and my guess is that’s for all of the common sense reasons that tell you it’s not a good idea.

    I hope it turns out fine (which wouldn’t validate Thibs), but it’s asking for trouble with very questionable payoff.

  43. It sounds as if Rose won’t be back for next game:

    Derrick Rose has been out seven straight games because of COVID-19 issues – with the Knicks coach saying Tuesday that he’s “feeling a a lot better.” But the coach had no date for his return. NBA sources say each COVID-19 situation is analyzed case by case by physicians.

    source https://nypost.com/2021/03/17/knicks-lonzo-ball-urgency-increasing-as-pg-troubles-worsen/
    As Thibs doesn’t intend to play Iggy or Harper, it seems that there is some poor personnel mgt going on.

  44. thenoblefacehumper:
    Also I’m hesitant to rehash this tedious debate because to some any criticisms of Tom Thibodeau are viewed as tantamount to saying he’s a terrible coach, but regardless of the circumstances it’s inexcusable to play Julius Randle 82 minutes in 48 hours halfway through the regular season.

    I know our depth isn’t good. I know both games were close. I know Randle himself says it’s fine. At some point you still need to grapple with the fact that no other coach does this shit, and my guess is that’s for all of the common sense reasons that tell you it’s not a good idea.

    I hope it turns out fine (which wouldn’t validate Thibs), but it’s asking for trouble with very questionable payoff.

    Are you telling me the coach of 3 players (Deng, Noah, and Rose) who were broken down shells by the time they turned 30 might be overplaying one of his players?

  45. shooting flames today, TNFH.

    Re: that Mannix report… it strikes me that all these drummond and Turner rumors are bc the front office is doing Thibs a solid by looking into his stupid idea before ultimately telling him the cost was too high. The outline of what Thibs wants to do is pretty clear: he wants to trade a kid for veteran help. The easiest kid to replace is Mitch, so they’re looking into it. I’m confident they are ok disappointing Thibs, but given the work he’s done you have to at least try.

  46. If you’re old enough, and a big enough sports fan, you’ll recall Billy Martin absolutely blowing up an entire Oakland A’s 5-man starting rotation through overuse in 1980 and 1981, in an effort to quickly turn around what had been a terrible team right before he was hired. Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah are the 21st century basketball equivalent of Mike Norris, Rick Langford, Steve McCatty, Brian Kingman, and Matt Keough and, adjusting for sport and era, Tom Thibodeau bears an almost uncanny professional resemblance to Billy Martin.

  47. Kenny Payne is in the list of candidates to be interviewed in the coming days for the De Paul coaching job.

  48. Just for fun I looked to see if there’s been anyone in league history who played more minutes than Frank while putting up a worse BPM than Frank’s -4.6 career average. Answer? While Frank missed the top ten- he sits at #15- he does rank second to last in WS among that group. Only the immortal Bobby Hurley was worse. Looking at WS only 6 players have put up a worse number than Frank’s -.6 while playing as many minutes- Dennis Smith I see you! If you’re just going by stats Frank is among the handful of worst players ever to get substantial minutes in the NBA.

  49. I tried the $1 for a year last last year, but had to cancel. The site kept logging me out every few days, and I was unable to log back in through normal means (including clicking on links to articles sent me via email). Their tech support acknowledged the problem and gave me a workaround that involved several pages/clicks (including using my browser’s back button) just for the site to let me get logged back in. I was told that they were working on the problem. Weeks passed.

    It got old, so, sadly, I unsubbed. It seemed to me that my account was somehow flagged as being a temporary trial sub, and I guess they never could get that undone.

  50. Kenny Payne is in the list of candidates to be interviewed in the coming days for the De Paul coaching job.

    good for coach payne, but that’s not good news for us…

  51. It’s weird with Frank. His defense has been absolutely fantastic the last two games (ridiculous foul calls notwithstanding), but it’s like he had only so many points to put on the sliders and took all the offense points and put them into defense.

    His shot is so ugly right now – like he’s completely lost confidence. Even on that steal / breakaway – pass to Bullock last night – if I were the philly guy I would’ve just sat on the pass. You know Frank doesn’t want to shoot it.

  52. Super sad news about Shawn Bradley: he got hit by a car while out riding his bicycle, and is now paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury. I have a quadriplegic friend whose response was basically, “It’s tough enough for me at 5-foot-7, but imagine dealing with that when you’re 7-foot-6.”

  53. pete myers had a ton of confidence but it didn’t help his offense much. george karl once even called him a poor man’s nate mcmillan. he literallly replaced michael jordan in his prime and never once half cried on the court from the pressure. but he never did shoot. i always said, pete will either shoot or he won’t. this post was about pete myers.

  54. yes, the shawn bradley accident news is incredibly sad. he has always been very thoughtful and could be sneaky funny, too. the combination of getting older and social media is like a personalized 3D printer for gut punches. the vornukov oral history today made me a bit wistful about mase again. he was probably my favorite player of that era.

  55. Alan:
    Super sad news about Shawn Bradley: he got hit by a car while out riding his bicycle, and is now paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury. I have a quadriplegic friend whose response was basically, “It’s tough enough for me at 5-foot-7, but imagine dealing with that when you’re 7-foot-6.”

    That’s really terrible news. I thought Shawn would be an all-time great when he came into the league but he made Porzingis look like a success story. He did manage to play some good years in the NBA so the story had a somewhat decent ending. Until now. Shit.

  56. ptmilo:
    pete myers had a ton of confidence but it didn’t help his offense much.george karl once even called him a poor man’s nate mcmillan.he literallly replaced michael jordan in his prime and never once half cried on the court from the pressure.but he never did shoot.i always said, pete will either shoot or he won’t.this post was about pete myers.

    Yes, good ol’ Pete Myers…one in a never ending line of promising scrubs who didn’t pan out.

  57. I continue to think Frank’s alleged mental deficiencies are exaggerated. People have trouble conceptualizing just how bereft of talent he is, because most people with as limited an offensive game as him are filtered out well before the NBA, maybe even before the higher tier D1 programs. For that reason it’s hard to understand why he doesn’t even try to do, well, anything because there are certain things we just assume you can do once you’re in the NBA pretty much regardless of your production.

    What a dumb post. There are plenty of clips showing Frank doing exciting and encouraging things, things that require the NBA talent you say is missing. But I don’t say that to defend Frank; in fact, last night was it for me. As one of the original Frank stans, I officially resign my post.

    The thing is, Frank has shown lots of flashes of real talent beyond his obvious ability to disrupt games on the defensive end – games where his shot is pure, 4 for 4 from downtown, nothing but net; games were he crosses a guy over and makes a driving layup with his off hand; games where he penetrates to the paint and nails a sweet step back J or makes a beautiful pocket pass. The problem is that you can’t count on him to do any of this regularly. A third of the time he’s injured; another third of the time he’s f^cking shooting airballs because he’s lost his confidence. And that’s fine if you’re 19, but he’s not 19 anymore.

    Somewhere I heard that the definition of a professional (beyond that fact that it’s someone who gets paid to do something) is that they can be counted on to show up and give you consistent quality every day. In sports, the coach needs to known a player can be relied on to give X every game, even if X is kind of mediocre.

    Put simply, you can’t rely on Frank. For all the flashes of talent, for all the occasional dominance on D, he is not now and probably never will be an NBA pro.

  58. Hubert:
    https://theathletic.com/2423356/2021/03/17/anthony-mason-fought-the-x-man-and-the-knicks-of-the-90s-were-made-neither-one-backed-down/?source=user_shared_article

    great story about the 90’s Knicks and a perfectly good reason to subscribe to The Athletic.

    As I read the article I imagined how much fun it would be to watch those 90’s Knicks play against the current Nets, Celtics, et. al. Current rules would be against them but I would relish how they would agitate Harden, Durant, Kyrie, Tatum, Brown and today’s players.

  59. Frank needed time playing in the d and g leagues. I never understood why he didn’t get it.

    That goes for Knox and Obi too.

  60. haven’t thought about shawn bradley in a long while…a couple of things have been bugging me the last couple of days, this news though definitely puts the day in perspective, but for the grace of god…

  61. There are plenty of clips showing Frank doing exciting and encouraging things, things that require the NBA talent you say is missing. But I don’t say that to defend Frank; in fact, last night was it for me. As one of the original Frank stans, I officially resign my post.

    The thing is, Frank has shown lots of flashes of real talent beyond his obvious ability to disrupt games on the defensive end – games where his shot is pure, 4 for 4 from downtown, nothing but net; games were he crosses a guy over and makes a driving layup with his off hand; games where he penetrates to the paint and nails a sweet step back J or makes a beautiful pocket pass.

    Seriously? There are D3 walk ons who, given 4000+ NBA minutes, could have the occasional decent night from 3 and once in a blue moon more or less look like they belong. That does not mean they have the physical ability to play in the NBA. That you’re pointing to “lots of flashes” over a four season sample size kind of proves my point–what differentiates players with the necessary talent from those who don’t is the ability to carry out these incredibly basic actions every game. No one can recall every individual time a replacement level player successfully dribbles into the paint, because it’s a non-event.

    I mean let’s use Occam’s Razor here, what’s more likely, Frank can actually dribble, pass, shoot, and rebound and just refuses to despite doing so being obviously in his own interests because uhhhhh confidence or something, or that he just can’t do these things?

  62. Frank needed time playing in the d and g leagues. I never understood why he didn’t get it.

    His numbers down there would’ve been bad too and that would’ve immediately sapped him of any and all trade value.

  63. thenoblefacehumper: His numbers down there would’ve been bad too and that would’ve immediately sapped him of any and all trade value.

    And how is that any different from reality?

  64. was just looking through headlines on espn and came across this:

    Oklahoma City has accumulated 17 first-round picks and 15 second-round picks through the 2027 draft.

    that sounds like something from one of those episodes of hoarders

  65. originally went there to see how many assists quik had last night, only 3, but it definitely seemed like he was more focused on creating shot opportunities for teammates…

  66. Can’t remember THIS argument before — all things being equal, who’s the worse basketball player — Frank or Kevin?

    I’ll keep Obi out of it because he still has that “He could be an all-star in four years once he figures it out!” shiny rookie patina on him…

    (And yes, I’m sure we’ve had it before, I just can’t remember it…)

  67. I was going to comment on that recently, Raven. Out of the three of them, Kevin Knox is the most equipped to be an NBA player bc he can do one valuable thing well: drill the corner three.

    He’s also the youngest of the three and has the most maturing to do.

    None of them have great odds to stick around the league, but if I had to give a 5% chance to someone sticking, it would be him.

  68. Frank is better but like Hubert I’d say Knox is the likely to have the longer career because of his stroke. I think there’s still a chance Obi can turn things around so I’d bet on him of the three but only because he hasn’t played enough to write him off completely.

  69. Hubert:
    I was going to comment on that recently, Raven. Out of the three of them, Kevin Knox is the most equipped to be an NBA player bc he can do one valuable thing well: drill the corner three.

    He’s also the youngest of the three and has the most maturing to do.

    None of them have great odds to stick around the league, but if I had to give a 5% chance to someone sticking, it would be him.

    I’m guilty of forgetting that in his rookie year Knox had some good and promising offensive games (I remember a very good one against the Bucks), then last year he start regressing (or not progressing at all) and this year he’s in Thibs’ doghouse, mostly for defensive incompetence.

    But his corner threes are so sweet…

  70. I think you are all writing off Toppin way too quickly. Not many players of any age were as dominant as he was in college and so far in the NBA, he is being misused as badly as any player could possibly be misused.

    I think a great comparison for Toppin is Sabonis. He was also grossly misused his rookie year, played away too far away from the basket, and had many similarities to Toppin’s year. Way too many 3’s, he took more his rookie year than his next three years combined, no offensive rebounds because he was always so far away from the rim his orb% went from 3.1 rookie year to 10.4 his 2nd year, no free throws because he wasn’t given room to attack the basket FTr of .139 rookie year to .339 2nd year. His shots at the rim doubled between his rookie and 2nd year from 3 per 36 to over 6 per 36. Sabonis didn’t all of a sudden remember how to play basketball but his team and his role radically changed and so did his production, which was actually much worse than Toppin’s production during his rookie year.

    The way Thibodeau has bungled Toppin’s role so far this year is easily as bad as anything good he has done. The fact that this supposedly “good” coach cannot figure out how to utilize him better is pretty damning as is our offense which is barely better than last year despite a greatly improved Randle, a greatly improved Barrett, and the addition of IQ, Rose, and Burks over extended minutes for Smith Jr, Ntilikina, and Knox. Miller had us with an ORtg of 109.0, Thibodeau has us playing at an ORtg of 109.3. Thibodeau’s unwillingness or lack of ability to make any real offensive adjustments makes our ceiling with him as coach pretty low. Thibodeau is the kind of coach that does a great job raising a team’s floor but does nothing to raise their ceiling.

  71. Knox would be unplayable in big games and the playoffs because of his defensive deficiencies. You can play a shitty offensive player who can fuck with another team’s halfcourt offense in big games. You cannot play a low basketball IQ pylon in big games.

  72. You cannot play a low basketball IQ pylon in big games.

    a pylon, oh – that’s harsh…funny, but harsh…

    at this point – it still looks like we missed on our first round picks 3 out of 4 years…the whole strategy of just having more picks when you don’t already have a lot of talent on the roster seems to make more sense, particularly when you keep whiffing on your lotto picks…

    i don’t know about 32 1st and 2nd round picks in 7 years like OKC has, that seems a little excessive…

  73. I’d have no hesitation having Frank in the last six minutes of a playoff game. The Nets game a couple nights ago is the model. My overall opinion of Frank was set out above.

  74. Alan:
    Super sad news about Shawn Bradley: he got hit by a car while out riding his bicycle, and is now paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury. I have a quadriplegic friend whose response was basically, “It’s tough enough for me at 5-foot-7, but imagine dealing with that when you’re 7-foot-6.”

    That’s awful news. I’m 5’8″ and I imagine being 7’6″ is a pain outside of getting to play in the NBA, the world just isn’t built for you and you need everything customized. Like your friend said, I’m sure being paralyzed compounds those issues above and beyond an the already terrible situation of being paralyzed.

  75. Would people be comfortable with giving Lonzo 18 mil next summer? I was thinking 15 before reading that article . I think it would solve our PG issue and allow us to concentrate on upgrading the wing.

  76. comeon: Your comment made me remember that 538 lists Sabonis as a good comp.
    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2021-nba-player-projections/obi-toppin/

    Are those player projections any good, in the opinion of this board?

    I’m no expert but I just look at comparisons like that as indicating a range of possible outcomes. The first points on the graphs for the different players are all similar. After that they diverge. RAPTOR has no way of distinguishing between the different outcomes because it has less than one year of Toppin data and it’s only comparing that data to the first years of other players.

  77. E, all merc’d out:
    I’d have no hesitation having Frank in the last six minutes of a playoff game.The Nets game a couple nights ago is the model.My overall opinion of Frank was set out above.

    He committed 4 fouls in 8:12 of play in the 4th against the Nets. That’s not great defense- 9 times out of them you foul like that then the other team is in the penalty early and they kill you from the line. The Knicks were fortunate that there was only one other foul on the Knicks in quarter until under two minutes. Now Frank is a plus defender for sure but he’s a historically bad offensive player- if you’re not hesitating to play him down the stretch in a big game you’re nuts.

  78. KnickFaninChicago:
    Would people be comfortable with giving Lonzo 18 mil next summer? I was thinking 15 before reading that article . I think it would solve our PG issue and allow us to concentrate on upgrading the wing.

    A salary of 18M is probably a typical price for a solid, non-star starter in the NBA. If he’s going to be that it’s probably a fair price.

  79. The question is kind of nonsensical because if you don’t have an unambiguously superior option to Frank Ntilikina to deploy in the last 5 minutes of a playoff game, you’re not in the playoffs.

  80. I think the bidding on Lonzo will start around 20m given the lack of quality free agents this summer. I can’t see 18m aav getting it done. If I had to guess I’d say he’ll get 4/90-100m. He’s never cracked a 30% assist rate and doesn’t get to the line at all. 18m and I’m in, 25m no thanks.

  81. KnickFaninChicago:
    Would people be comfortable with giving Lonzo 18 mil next summer? I was thinking 15 before reading that article . I think it would solve our PG issue and allow us to concentrate on upgrading the wing.

    18M for a competent young PG? Hell yeah!
    But i don’t think he’ll be available at that money, it’ll be more in the range of 20 to 25M AAV.

  82. comeon: Your comment made me remember that 538 lists Sabonis as a good comp.
    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2021-nba-player-projections/obi-toppin/

    Are those player projections any good, in the opinion of this board?

    I’m not sure how meaningful they are overall, but for rookies they’re especially unmeaningful because college is such a small sample and has a lot more noise than for NBA players. The numbers haven’t been updated since the season started, so we probably have a much better idea of him now than 538 did at the time.

    Also Knick Fan Not in NJ is right, the comparisons just help inform the projections seen above. The 10-90 percentile gray bars have a pretty high variance, so they help but that’s still a pretty wide range without knowing how skewed the distribution is.

  83. Frank is a difference maker on the court. I honestly believe that if he becomes a free agent there’d be a mini bidding war for his services.

  84. Obi was also over 2 years older than Sabonis when they were both drafted. I’d have more hope in Toppin developing if he was only 20y.o.

  85. Dink:
    Obi was also over 2 years older than Sabonis when they were both drafted. I’d have more hope in Toppin developing if he was only 20y.o.

    It’s not about developing. Sabonis didn’t improve because he developed between years one and two he simply was utilized better and looked like a completely different player. That is what Obi needs. If he was utilized well he would be putting up good numbers instead he is being used poorly and looks lost and because of that looks like a bad player.

    I think Obi’s struggles are 100% on our coaching staff. They are not setting him up to succeed at all.

  86. nicos:
    I think the bidding on Lonzo will start around 20m given the lack of quality free agents this summer. I can’t see 18m aav getting it done. If I had to guess I’d say he’ll get 4/90-100m. He’s never cracked a 30% assist rate and doesn’t get to the line at all. 18m and I’m in, 25m no thanks.

    He’s a RFA, so we might get him at a slight discount if we trade for him now.

  87. I would be shocked if Ball ends up signing for less than $22 million and closer to $25 million or even a max is probably more realistic. I would probably still do it, but at that price, it becomes a real question.

  88. KnickFaninChicago:
    Would people be comfortable with giving Lonzo 18 mil next summer? I was thinking 15 before reading that article . I think it would solve our PG issue and allow us to concentrate on upgrading the wing.

    The point’s pretty much moot, there’s no way Lonzo’s going to be available for only $18M. He’s going to cost at least $20M and I’m guessing the final number will settle around $25M/year.

  89. I would be shocked if Ball ends up signing for less than $22 million and closer to $25 million or even a max is probably more realistic. I would probably still do it, but at that price, it becomes a real question.

    The guy is a RFA, the only way he signs for less than the MAX is if he stays in New Orleans. What notable RFA has ever left his team for a non-MAX offer sheet?

  90. Big, big loss for the Raptors today. That was huge for the Knicks. Pacers losing was big, too.

  91. Yeah good night for the Knicks in the playoff chase. The 3 teams immediately behind them all lost and Charlotte is getting destroyed in Denver. If the Knicks can take care of business on this 4 game home stand and go 3-1 they’ll be in pretty good shape heading into April.

  92. Yeah, the Bulls blowing a big lead against the Spurs was huge, too. Pretty much every team you’d want to see lose lost.

  93. How bout those Cavs? On St. Patty’s day no less, so much for the luck of the Irish!

    Ainge must be going out of his mind at suddenly not even being in the top 4 in the East, and light years below the Nets. As much as I’d like to see the Nets lose, there’s a bit of poetic justice in seeing Ainge looking up at the team he fleeced back in 2013. And it’s not even like he fucked up….drafted well, won deals, top-shelf coach…

  94. what a shocker…myles “i didn’t know what it meant” leonard gets shipped off to okc…nuff said..

  95. It’s great to have draft picks, but I wonder if OKC has too many to use them all effectively. They just acquired another in the Myers Leonard trade.

  96. Ainge must be going out of his mind at suddenly not even being in the top 4 in the East, and light years below the Nets. As much as I’d like to see the Nets lose, there’s a bit of poetic justice in seeing Ainge looking up at the team he fleeced back in 2013. And it’s not even like he fucked up….drafted well, won deals, top-shelf coach…

    Part of it was Kyrie inexplicably not wanting to play for them anymore, so I can’t blame them for that, but I think that turning down that Hayward deal will haunt them for years.

  97. It’s great to have draft picks, but I wonder if OKC has too many to use them all effectively. They just acquired another in the Myers Leonard trade.

    Ariza wasn’t even playing for them, so it was a second round pick for nothing.

  98. Knick fan not in NJ:
    It’s great to have draft picks,but I wonder if OKC has too many to use them all effectively.They just acquired another in the Myers Leonard trade.

    I assume they’ll do a lot of packaging of lesser picks to ensure they get the guys they want in the draft – they’ll be able to make a lot of godfather offers for high picks the next few years.

  99. By the way, so Derrick Rose actually has COVID, right? Isn’t it weird that they haven’t confirmed that?

  100. The deal was reasonable. You can’t complain about a free pick. But still, they have something like seven picks this coming draft alone. If they actually draft seven players this summer does that mean half their roster will be wAived? And this isn’t just one year, they have an average of five picks a year for the next seven years. I assume they are counting on being able to trade some of the picks, but most teams will not be able to absorb that many picks either, so they have to make a lot of deals. If they want to trade lots of picks for a top player, there has to be some player like that available and that isn’t always the case.

  101. Brian Cronin:
    By the way, so Derrick Rose actually has COVID, right? Isn’t it weird that they haven’t confirmed that?

    Yes it is

  102. The OKC owner is pretty cheap, so it may be that they just end up selling a few of their surplus second rounders for cash, which would be funny.

  103. Early Bird: I’m not sure how meaningful they are overall, but for rookies they’re especially unmeaningful because college is such a small sample and has a lot more noise than for NBA players.

    Thanks KFNINJ and Early Bird. That’s what I thought too, that for rookies/sophomores, the projections still have a huge variance. I like to look at them for players that have been in the league for 3+ years, but I wanted to get your opinion on it.

    I agree with Ben R in the sense that I don’t think that Obi is being utilized and developed optimally. He might be a bust, but I don’t think it’s fair to make final judgements yet, and that’s not just because I generally want young, decent kids to succeed. I’m not going to argue that Frank didn’t have his chance, for example.

  104. Hollinger has a column proposing a bunch of theoretical win-win trades at the deadline, including the Knicks trading Knox, Frank, the Detroit 2021 2nd-round pick, Minnesota’s 2026 2nd-round pick, and $5.2 million cash for Oladipo and Sterling Brown.

    I’m at the point where I just don’t want Oladipo on the team, even at a relatively low cost like that. Yes, he can break down a defense better than many of our guys can, but that’s about it. He’d take possessions away from RJ, Randle, and IQ, and the team would likely use his Bird rights to keep him in the offseason. Hard pass.

  105. Excited to open Twitter and find the perfect Nets win/Celtics lose gif.

    That sucks about Shawn Bradley. My wife won’t let me ride a bike.

    I still think Frank is an NBA player long term but just barely. There will be interest in his services but at a very low salary.

    He should have come over at 25. I actually think his dribbling is better this year but he is doing nothing at alll with the ball in his hands.

  106. Re: Derrick Rose, it feels odd that no one else had to quarantine, right?

    Brian Cronin: The guy is a RFA, the only way he signs for less than the MAX is if he stays in New Orleans. What notable RFA has ever left his team for a non-MAX offer sheet?

    Will be a very interesting offseason for Lonzo assuming he doesn’t get traded beforehand. Despite having a lot of great pieces and a presumably good coach, their owner is cheap, they’ll already be up against the tax very soon, and they play a tiny market. The Ball family has gazillions of dollars already and Lonzo himself will already have made $35MM by the end of the season. You have to think Lavar (and not just Lavar, but Lonzo himself) will want to go to a big market. Could easily see him signing an offer sheet with the Knicks with all the poison pills to scare NOP from matching. And if I’m New Orleans, do I really want to commit to Lonzo when I have Kira lewis, Bledsoe, and 100 picks coming up that I could use to find a cheaper/better version of Lonzo? My team sucks WITH Lonzo, could easily suck without him.

    If I’m New Orleans, I try to package Lonzo with Bledsoe’s awful contract, get some young players on rookie contracts and more picks back. If they let him get to RFA, he has to consent to any S&Ts which is hard, and if he wants to leave, he can just sign an offer sheet with another team. If he does that, he can’t be S&T’d anymore and will have a no-trade clause for a year. Let’s say he signs an offer sheet for $20MM — that’ll put the Pelicans at ~$110MM salary for 9 players – basically capped out.

  107. Alan: proposing a bunch of theoretical win-win trades at the deadline, including the Knicks trading Knox, Frank, the Detroit 2021 2nd-round pick, Minnesota’s 2026 2nd-round pick, and $5.2 million cash for Oladipo and Sterling Brown.

    That’s a win-win only in the sense that Houston wins twice.

  108. Here’s a fair trade for Oladipo:

    We give you Frank and the $5.2mm, you give us Oladipo and your 2nd round pick for saving you a shit ton of money.

    If Houston can beat that, great. No big loss for us.

  109. There’s no way the Pelicans keep Lonzo Ball past this year. You’ve seen Ball/Zion/Ingram together for two years and they haven’t played better than the 11th seed? They already paid Ingram, the Adams contract is probably not one you can trade, and Zion is about to get $1M for every pound he weighs. They either sign and trade Lonzo or lose him for nothing, but there’s no way that team locks themselves into Ball/Zion/Ingram.

  110. A player I’m really interested in is Myles Turner. If you could trade something like Elfrid Payton, Mitchell Robinson and a relatively low stakes pick (like this year’s Mavs pick or the Detroit 2nd) for him you’ve turned last year’s spacing hell into spacing heaven for Barrett with Rose/Quickley, Bullock/Burks/, Randle, and Turner. Robinson it seems isn’t too pivotal to our ability to field a top 5 defense, but having Turner could really expand the offense (and he may even be a better defensive player than Mitch). When I first heard the rumor it felt like typical “Knicks for Clicks” stuff, but now that I think about it Turner is a guy that makes a ton of sense next to Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

  111. Good Macri newsletter this morning on comparisons for RJ, inspired by one of our very own (unless there are multiple renowned TV critics who ponder such things). The long and short of it is Butler and Pierce are reasonable high-level outcomes but his game makes comparisons difficult.

    In other news, Rose out, Payton doubtful, Rivers out, and Quickley questionable for tonight. Yikes. Frank will certainly have yet another chance to prove he can dribble and stuff like that, but if we don’t see Harper tonight there’s truly no reason he should be on the roster.

    Re: Oladipo, it’s sad because I loved watching him in that one really good season he had, but at this point we’re talking about a guy who has been bad and injured for three straight seasons and still stands to get paid handsomely at the end of the season. Trading assets for him would be an Isiah esque move–completely illogical with the only attempted justification being his name.

  112. Knick fan not in NJ: But still, they have something like seven picks this coming draft alone.

    In this draft, with some variations depending on the place HOU and GSW finish in the standings, they have 5 picks that right now look like this: 10, 19, 31, 38, 53.
    They easily upgrade 31 and 38 to one late first with a team that is over the cap and doesn’t want more guaranteed contracts. LAL and LAC are the most likely to do it, but only after the draft because they didn’t have a pick last year.
    The late 2nd RPs don’t warrant good players so they’ll probably sell 53rd to a team wanting to pick a specific player at that position, like the Knicks bought a pick to select Iggy in 2019.
    End result: they would’ve pick 10, 19, 24 with this strategy. I think they can acomodate 3 players, and all 1st RPs in a deep draft. I like their strategy.

  113. The long and short of it is Butler and Pierce are reasonable high-level outcomes

    I have it on good authority (i.e. Z-Man) that this makes Macri an idiot.

  114. Oladipo was a good player, and now is a bad player that lives of the fame from that one all star season. He is a salary dump. Either he comes with a 1st RP attached or we should stay away from him.

  115. They either sign and trade Lonzo or lose him for nothing, but there’s no way that team locks themselves into Ball/Zion/Ingram.

    They should trade Ingram (and Bledsoe, if they can). You want Zion to handle the majority of the load on offense. Despite their massive physical differences, Ingram is basically a lesser Zion-a very good offensive forward who doesn’t play defense. The Pelicans should be looking to build something like the peak Melo Knicks with Zion as the offensive fulcrum. If Ingram could or would play defense he’d be a good fit, but with Zion’s own defensive shortcomings he’s not

  116. The Glass Half Rebuilt: There’s no way the Pelicans keep Lonzo Ball past this year.

    That’s exactly what i think, so we should stay on top of this waiting for NOP to lower the price and trade for him before the trade deadline. And please, send Payton also to help lower the price.

  117. RJ Barrett trains in the off season with the same guy who trains Bradley Beal, Joel Embiid, and Jayson Tatum. In two years time RJ will be one of the most skilled and patient players in the NBA. If I were to compare him to any athlete, I’d compare him to a prime LeVeon Bell. Bell could run, catch, and block at elite levels for a running back but what made him so great was his size and patience. RJ’s strength for the position (I laughed when he moved 33 year old Danny Green like a child), his playmaking, and his growing patience now that he’s getting comfortable with the hostage dribble (h/t djphan) is going to define his game. The kid is a one-of-one talent and our future is very bright because of him.

  118. Well, if NOP somehow manages to trade Bledsoe to some team that still believes in him, so they don’t waste assets doing it. In that case, they might have some money to pay Lonzo.

  119. The Pels should absolutely sell high on Brandon Ingram to a team like Phoenix for Mikal Bridges or SAS for something like Vassel and Murray. It’s hard enough to build a winner when your undersized power forward doesn’t defend or rebound well enough for the position, but that goes double when you have an underweight small forward with the same issues. It really makes you appreciate how special Wade, Chris Paul, and LeBron were on their 1st and 2nd contracts because they were elite players on both ends of the floor. Wade won a chip in his 3rd year and LeBron went to the finals in his 4th with some pretty bad teams. Guys like Zion, Ben Simmons, Karl Anthony Towns, and Luka Doncic are awesome and surefire HoF players, but you just can’t put them in the same category as guys like LeBron, Wade, Kawhi, Kobe, Duncan, or CP3. Not when they only dominate on one end of the court.

  120. Very good news

    Baxter Holmes @Baxter:
    NEWS: NBA and NBPA agree to eased restrictions for those in the league who have been fully vaccinated. Benefits include no longer having to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19, no longer having to wear masks at the practice facility and more.

  121. Hubert: I have it on good authority (i.e. Z-Man) that this makes Macri an idiot.

    Yeah, I’m thinking James Harden is more appropos. They’re both lefty, both strong on the drive. All RJ has to do is improve his shooting and passing! Simple!

    Maybe a cross between Oscar and Elgin…thoughts?

  122. Cybersoze, I must have misread the sportrac chart to think they had seven picks this year. If they have “only” five, that’s more manageable. But I’m not sure I agree that “They easily upgrade 31 and 38 to one late first with a team that is over the cap and doesn’t want more guaranteed contracts.” The rookie salary for the 24th pick, to use your example, is about $1.8M. They aren’t likely to sign two players for less than that total and even if they could, the savings would be a pittance. And if a team doesn’t want the, say, 24th pick because it’s a guaranteed contract, they are more likely to trade that pick for a pick in a future year to some team that needs a pick this year.

  123. The Glass Half Rebuilt: A player I’m really interested in is Myles Turner. If you could trade something like Elfrid Payton, Mitchell Robinson and a relatively low stakes pick (like this year’s Mavs pick or the Detroit 2nd) for him

    If this can be made, i’m in. Myles Turner is a very good C.

  124. cybersoze: If this can be made, i’m in. Myles Turner is a very good C.

    I too thought the Mavs pick was going too far, but you really can’t hate landing MT for 1 1/2years of cheap Mitchell Robinson and a pick between 20-35. Kevin Pritchard is an excellent executive.

  125. Actually, I feel bad for the players OKC drafts with their late picks. It’s probably their dream to be drafted, but being drafted by a team that’s already full of young players and is adding five more such players means lots of competition for few playing spots. It’s much different than being one of two guys an older team has drafted.

  126. A long term question for New Orleans is how many more superstars will that franchise be allowed to draft after they lose their previous one before the league stops gifting them superstars through the top pick in the draft.

    CP3 then AD and now Zion. Most success they had was with CP3 getting to the WCF that one year. Never got past the second round with AD and now have Zion and aren’t even a playoff team.

  127. Knick fan not in NJ:
    Cybersoze,I must have misread the sportrac chart to think they had seven picks this year. If they have “only” five, that’s more manageable. But I’m not sure I agree that “They easily upgrade 31 and 38 to one late first with a team that is over the cap and doesn’t want more guaranteed contracts.” The rookie salary for the 24th pick, to use your example, is about $1.8M.They aren’t likely to sign two players for less than that total and even if they could, the savings would be a pittance. And if a team doesn’t want the, say, 24th pick because it’s a guaranteed contract,they are more likely to trade that pick for a pick in a future year to some team that needs a pick this year.

    Yeah, you may be right. I was thinking the player wouldn’t contribute right away and so they would prefer to have veterans filling the roster (if it’s for the minimum it doesn’t count against the cap). And would pick some players with the 2nd RPs to place on the 2-way slots or in the G League affiliate.

  128. The Glass Half Rebuilt: I too thought the Mavs pick was going too far, but you really can’t hate landing MT for 1 1/2years of cheap Mitchell Robinson and a pick between 20-35. Kevin Pritchard is an excellent executive.

    I would hesitate, but man, Myles with Thibs might get even better at defense, which would put him in the DPOY level.

  129. Turner solves a LOT of our spacing issues without sacrificing the rim protection offered by Mitch and/or Noel. But then it becomes a cap issue, right? He makes way more than Mitch, and we still need to significantly upgrade one or both of the guard positions. So even if the trade cost is reasonable (and Pritchard would absolutely demand at least one 1st), is getting Turner the best use of resources? I don’t know.

  130. OKC will prob end up selling some of the picks or trading them for future picks. They certainly can’t add 4-5 more rookies to the mix. The team is so young as it is. And then you have to worry about SGA wanting out if they’re just sitting around collecting rookies and draft picks.

  131. I would rather have Mitch than Myles, but Mitch is one of our more tradable assets. So I’m not opposed to get Turner into our cap space in exchange for picks (probably a couple of 1st rounders) in order to use Mitch to get a PG.

    But trading Mitch for Turner? I would just rather stay put.

  132. If we could get both Lonzo and Turner at the cost of both this year’s 1st + Mitch, (and whatever non rotation players to make it work) I would be up for that. But it would have to be both of them, as the cost of only getting one would put into doubt whether we had enough assets left to get the other.

    A team like that with Thibs as coach and IQ as 6th man looks really good.

  133. They should trade Ingram (and Bledsoe, if they can). You want Zion to handle the majority of the load on offense. Despite their massive physical differences, Ingram is basically a lesser Zion-a very good offensive forward who doesn’t play defense. The Pelicans should be looking to build something like the peak Melo Knicks with Zion as the offensive fulcrum. If Ingram could or would play defense he’d be a good fit, but with Zion’s own defensive shortcomings he’s not

    I agree with our GM.

    The best path forward for New Orleans seems to be keeping Ball at a reasonable price and capitalizing on Ingram’s trade value.

    I would be surprised if they don’t already know this.

  134. I agree about Zion and Ingram. Not enough defense.

    I like Turner, a lot, but I’d also rather keep Mitch.

    De’Anthony Melton was a plus 20 for the Grizz last night playing 23 minutes in a four point victory.

    What James Harden is doing is pretty amazing. It’s going to be funny if the Nets get all three stars healthy and turn out to be not as good that way. Every time I saw them with that trio out there it looked very awkward compared to the seamless feng-shui of a Harden only team.

    How good is Nic Claxton? Because every time I see him play he seems really good.

  135. Owen: How good is Nic Claxton? Because every time I see him play he seems really good.

    Good enough to conclude that Mitch’s trade value is far less than some here think it is…

  136. Why don’t we just try using Mitch the way Indiana uses Myles and see if he can stretch the floor for $15mm less?

  137. You know who could use Myles Turner? New Orleans.
    They certainly have more than enough assets to get that done.

    re: Lonzo – zero chance I trade anything (of value) for him. You can see the big offer sheet coming this summer from a mile away, and my sense is that Lonzo/Lavar and co. can make it very very well known to NOP that he wants out and that he’ll make them miserable if they match. I would not be opposed to a 4/80 2+1 with trade kicker. The way I see it – Lonzo’s main/only weakness is that he’s not really a primary ball handler / break-down-defense off the dribble kind of guy. But he’s a near-elite defender 1-3, amazing facilitator of ball movement, would immediately increase our pace and get us more transition buckets, and is one of the best spot-up shooters in the league. That’s easily worth $20MM/year, especially since he just continues to get better every year. He fits perfectly with RJ/Randle/Mitch/Quickley.

    Honestly – imagine this rotation:

    PG Quickley
    SG Lonzo
    SF RJ
    PF Randle
    C Mitch

    off bench – re-sign Burks OR Bullock, bring back Noel.
    Bring Knox/Obi along slowly
    Still have 2 first rounders and the DET 2nd and another 25+MM in cap space even with signing Lonzo.

    I actually think that team could make some noise, esp given the noticeable improvement in all the players this year under this coaching staff. Just in the starting lineup you have two good perimeter defenders, 4 guys who can shoot the 3, 4 guys that can playmake.

    can it beat Brooklyn? Obv not, but in 2-3 years when the BKN Big 3’s contracts are all up and/or they’re old, that team could make noise.

  138. Z-man:
    Why do people think that Indiana is itching to get rid of Myles Turner?

    I’m personally just going off of what national media coverage and J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star were saying. Five teams have called the Pacers with one being the Knicks, and the Pacers have shown a willingness to include him in trades in the past. I think schematically, Turner fits the Knicks perfectly on both ends and I wouldn’t mind moving Mitch and a late 1st round pick to pay that guy $18M a year. I’m probably in the minority but I thought it would be an interesting discussion at least.

  139. Frank: PG Quickley
    SG Lonzo
    SF RJ
    PF Randle
    C Mitch

    With this team, you’re banking that Julius Randle continues playing like a top 15 guy and that all four of his surrounding parts become top 40 players in the league. I’m a very optimistic guy and I can certainly see all of IQ, Mitch, Lonzo, and RJ doing just that but they’d be held back by our current one-pass, iso-the-mismatch hunting offense. IQ and Lonzo Ball need to be shooting off pin down actions, RJ needs more back door cuts, Julius Randle needs more P&R dive opportunities, and our current system provides none of that. I say all of that to say that Tom Thibodeau isn’t the guy to coach that specific starting five. You’d need a top 7 offensive creator in place of Lonzo Ball or Quickley if Thibs remains the coach behind our offense.

  140. I’d have no hesitation having Frank in the last six minutes of a playoff game. The Nets game a couple nights ago is the model. My overall opinion of Frank was set out above.

    I agree.

    IMO, basketball is a game where you are trying to cram as much talent as you can onto the court, but in a balanced way. You need a good balance of scoring (inside and outside), playmaking, defense, rebounding, ball movement etc.. And you have to keep in mind that diminishing returns is a factor. In some lineups the better all around player will add LESS than a specialist.

    For example, you can’t put Frank onto the court with Noel and Bullock and expect that the offense is going to function properly or that his defense is going to add enough value to make up for it. But at the other extreme, if you have Durant, Irving, and Harden, the offense is going to be among the best in the league with almost anyone else. If you added another top scorer, it wouldn’t help all that much. That guy is barely going to see the ball. If you added Frank, the offensive drop will be minimal, but his defense he might win some close games by disrupting the other teams offense.

    That kind of thing is why I like to go beyond BPM, WS48 etc… over an above the accuracy issues. A player’s value to winning is dependent on what he does well and who is on the court with him. Frank defends at a high level and can impact a game on that side. That’s VERY important and has a lot of value. However, he’s still so dreadful on offense there’s not many lineups where you can use him and maximize the team output. He needs a consistent 3 and a higher confidence level.

  141. I have a question about restricted free agency.

    Let’s say the Knicks offered Lonzo Ball 18 million and then the Pelicans matched. Could the Knicks up their offer to 20 million in response to their match or do you only get to make one offer?

    In other words, can we keep bidding if we want to?

  142. The Glass Half Rebuilt: I’m personally just going off of what national media coverage and J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star were saying.

    But he specifically said that the Pacers are not shopping Turner…

  143. I forgot to say that I would bring Frank back also. Have to believe that this coaching staff can coax a 36% 3P% out of him. He’s a useful player as a 3/D player, and he would probably come cheap.

  144. Deeefense:
    I have a question about restricted free agency.

    Let’s say the Knicks offered Lonzo Ball 18 million and then the Pelicans matched.Could the Knicks up their offer to 20 million in response to their match or do you only get to make one offer?

    In other words, can we keep bidding if we want to?

    nope – if they match then the offer sheet terms become his new contract with the Pels…

  145. With this team, you’re banking that Julius Randle continues playing like a top 15 guy and that all four of his surrounding parts become top 40 players in the league

    The problem is Randle hasn’t started playing like a top 15 guy and there’s still nobody on that team who can reliably break down an opponents half court defense

  146. Meanwhile, it sucks to see the Deshaun Watson news. Sucks because he seemed like such a great guy. Now obviously not so great. Interesting this all comes out now when he was agitating to get out of Houston. You have to figure that teams may back away from swinging a big trade for a guy with multiple sexual assault-type charges. In a machiavellian world, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone in the Texans gently encouraged these women to come forward (otherwise known as double-victimizing them).

  147. The best path forward for New Orleans seems to be keeping Ball at a reasonable price and capitalizing on Ingram’s trade value.

    I would be surprised if they don’t already know this.

    The monkey wrench in this strategy is that LaVar Ball and Lonzo Ball were not happy about going to New Orleans. They want a big market. New Orleans is expecting Lonzo to leave and for there to be offers that are higher than they are willing to pay (cheap skates). So the idea has been to trade him now while they can still get something very valuable back rather than lose him for nothing, It’s better than 50-50 he’s leaving, especially if the Pelicans are still struggling to win games.

    The question for the Knicks is whether it’s worth trading for him now when there’s a good chance they can get him free agency if they put out the right number to make the Balls happy.

  148. DRed: The problem is Randle hasn’t started playing like a top 15 guy and there’s still nobody on that team who can reliably break down an opponents half court defense

    Julius Randle is 15th in Win Shares, 19th in BPM, and 11th in VORP.

  149. Don’t worry, Z-Man. I will only remind you that you called RJ’s good outcomes a 10,000-1 shot as often as you reminded us about the time you were right about Frank Ntilikina ;)

  150. Deeefense: The question for the Knicks is whether it’s worth trading for him now when there’s a good chance they can get him free agency if they put out the right number to make the Balls happy.

    even more interesting the “leaks” going on to reporters

    Ian Begley / Marc Berman – Knicks unlikely to trade for Lonzo before trade deadline

    Multiple sources – Knicks “high on Lonzo’s radar” going into RFA

    William Guillory (NOP beat writer for Athletic) – “I’d be surprised if Ball isn’t on the team post-deadline”, Chicago also has interest in Lonzo, and well, yeah, no one wants Bledsoe and yeah well it seems unlikely the Pels’ ownership will pay the tax.

    Definitely some behind-the-scenes jockeying going on between Leon Rose and David Griffin.

    The good thing about hiring an agent as POBO is that agents’ whole livelihoods are negotiations. Not so much for career basketball guys, although Griffin has been pretty good. But Griffin has been great when he has the upper hand (desperate teams) – not sure what he’ll be when he doesn’t have the clear advantage. He definitely got lit up in a few trades while in charge of the Cavs and under LBJ’s thumb.

    Wonder – if Lonzo ends up staying past the deadline – could he sign the qualifying 1-year offer then try and force the Pels to trade him before he becomes an UFA the following offseason?

  151. So are we basically concluding that Rose actually has Covid and the Knicks and/or Rose are not disclosing it for some reason?

  152. De’Anthony Melton was a plus 20 for the Grizz last night playing 23 minutes in a four point victory.

    he is so good and the universe just refuses to appreciate him. he was available basically for free on draft day and at least twice thereafter when he was all but given away in trades. this offseason he got 4/35, from memphis, less than they just gave to dillon brooks, who has the gerald wilkins “can create his own shitty shot without looking awkward” thing going for him, but is otherwise way worse than melton. the kid is a defensive beast and i don’t mean that in a “hey frank is a really nice defender” way but in an alvin robertson idc who you are this guy will turn your shit over way. and this year he is even shooting a little, though that has to be a little too good to be true.

  153. I’m not sure Rose has covid. From what I’ve read/heard, he attended a funeral for a close friend and then had to go into the protocol and he is still within that time frame.

  154. Alan – not sure if you do movies, but if so, is the Zack Snyder 4.5h Justice League any good? it’s a huge investment if I start it!

  155. Hmm, if The Knicks want him I think they should make an offer, just not a crazy one. Give them Knox, Frank and a couple of second rounders. Or maybe Frank and the Dallas first (we still have a week to see if Dallas keeps winning).

    I think you do this because making the trade shows Lonzo that the Knicks want him. And honestly, I don’t buy that he’s going to get some outrageous offer that is a huge overpay. I think he will get paid but he’s only just now started to show his potential.

    Plus you get the added benefit of him playing for the team the rest of this year, including possibly the post season. If the goal is to get a young PG that can grow with the rest of our young core and Randle, getting him now to get that experience with them will only help him and the team next season.

    I honestly think Lonzo would be exactly what we need and with his age, even if he gets paid as long as its not the most absurd offer out there, I think there’s a good chance he would live up to that contract. Its pretty well established that PG’s do take a few seasons to get into their groove and he is just starting to do that. He’d be on the same timeline as RJ, Mitch and IQ and our other first round picks. Worst case, he’s an overpaid on the rise PG that in 2 or 3 seasons we could trade as an expiring. We get him and then draft some shooters, we’re in a very good place with young players that can continue to get better.

  156. it’s up to rose whether he wants to disclose if he had covid. teams are are not deliberately identifying diagnosed players without their permission. it’s not that weird.

  157. Hubert:
    Don’t worry, Z-Man. I will only remind you that you called RJ’s good outcomes a 10,000-1 shot as often as you reminded us about the time you were right about Frank Ntilikina ;)

    Not to actually defend Z-Man, as he’s better at that than I could ever be, but I have to mea culpa on this one myself. I really thought RJ’s most likely result would be something akin to 15/5/3 and he’s already 17/6/3. Is it unreasonably to think he could get to 22/7/7 (Butler this year, and note that JB is also 22% from three this year, 33% career)? I don’t think so, amazingly enough. Maybe never the lock-down defender Butler is, but big strides this year, too. The assist part is my biggest concern as RJ has a real habit of head-down driving, but if Randle can suddenly wake up, maybe RJ can too.

    I know, these are counting stats, I’m on a deadline. Someone else can do a deep dive into the advanced numbers to show how ludicrous this take is.

    And please note I’m not saying JR is Butler. I’m just saying there’s a view, without closing one’s eyes entirely, to seeing JR getting onto that level someday. Last year I’d have had to close my eyes entirely, and perhaps even fall asleep, to see that.

  158. Frank:
    Alan – not sure if you do movies, but if so, is the Zack Snyder 4.5h Justice League any good? it’s a huge investment if I start it!

    I have not watched it, and was incredibly grateful that my editor deemed it something for the movie team to cover rather than me. Four hours of Snyder? No thank you!

  159. Alan: I have not watched it, and was incredibly grateful that my editor deemed it something for the movie team to cover rather than me. Four hours of Snyder? No thank you!

    lololol. I guess that counts as a short TLDW-type review?

  160. You’d need a top 7 offensive creator in place of Lonzo Ball or Quickley if Thibs remains the coach behind our offense.

    How much do we blame the primitive offense on Thibs and how much on our lack of a real point guard? IIRC, in Minnesota, his offense was more modernized — not exactly a Pringles offense, but also not our current three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach — and the problem was mainly on the defensive end. If we had a starting PG who could break down defenses, pass, and shoot well from outside, would we still be leaning so heavily on the iso game?

  161. Randle is also first in minutes, by a lot. That’s great, he has been very valuable to the Knicks this season, but when it’s playoff time and the other teams are playing their stars heavy minutes it’s not as valuable. I think Randle was a defensible all-star pick because of his minutes x productivity, but if I had to win a playoff series I’d take say Jimmy Butler over him without thinking

  162. Z-man: Good enough to conclude that Mitch’s trade value is far less than some here think it is…

    Acting as president of the MFC (Mitch’s Fan Club), i disapprove this comment :D

  163. I forgot to say that I would bring Frank back also.

    As Frank leads by a mile one particular stat (most commented on KB), i’d bring him back also. :D

  164. the minny offense was good but that probably had more to do with kat and jimmy than anything thibs did…. in fact it probably would’ve been a lot better if they ran through kat more rather than handing the keys to wiggins and crawford….

    i’m not sure if folks are noticing about our offense but it comprises a lot of no pass shot attempts / dribble-one pass drive kicks… that accounts a lot for payton’s nosedive in assists… and i thought that was more of a payton thing but after seeing what rose is doing and questioning some of those possessions i noticed a lot of these sets are run by everyone else too… RJ , IQ, and even burks and they’re also a cause of these no pass/one-pass possessions…

    thibs used to love running.. and defending.. the side pnr.. that’s sort of gone out of style and now we’re running those towards the middle of the floor using double or single screens with various ball handlers… i think with a better pg that can finish at the basket and/or more willing to whip it around to the open man these possessions would end up slightly better but ultimately i think it would be roughly the same …. and that’s more an indictment on thibs’ penchant to have one player dominate a possession….

  165. Alan: How much do we blame the primitive offense on Thibs and how much on our lack of a real point guard? IIRC, in Minnesota, his offense was more modernized — not exactly a Pringles offense, but also not our current three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust approach — and the problem was mainly on the defensive end. If we had a starting PG who could break down defenses, pass, and shoot well from outside, would we still be leaning so heavily on the iso game?

    I don’t think we’ll ever know the answer to this unless we somehow land a point guard who can break down a defense, but my issue is that we haven’t even tried running any actions off ball. I don’t think we’d need a legit point guard to work in some off-ball wrinkles, but I could be wrong.

  166. he is so good and the universe just refuses to appreciate him. he was available basically for free on draft day and at least twice thereafter when he was all but given away in trades.

    it’s not only deanthony melton… but also tyus jones… on top of having ja morant…

    /iverson.. and we’re out here talking about frank.. /endiverson

  167. Just checked RAPTOR standings for the first time this year. LaMelo at 79 and Wiseman near league-worst. The Warriors done fucked up!

  168. DRed: Randle is also first in minutes, by a lot. That’s great, he has been very valuable to the Knicks this season, but when it’s playoff time and the other teams are playing their stars heavy minutes it’s not as valuable. I think Randle was a defensible all-star pick because of his minutes x productivity, but if I had to win a playoff series I’d take say Jimmy Butler over him without thinking

    Butler is playing out of his mind this season. 4-11 without him, 18-7 with him. His raw on/off is 14.8. I’m definitely taking him over Randle for a deep playoff run.

  169. If Ingram were to become available, would we be interested? What would we even offer for him? I was messing around in the trade machine and it’s a little tricky since most of our salaries are in the 5-6 million range.

  170. I really like what Ingram’s become, but I wouldn’t trade for him. They’d want more than they got for Holiday.

  171. The Ringer’s Big Board is now up:

    https://nbadraft.theringer.com

    some notables: kispert and kai jones are pretty high up … i’m not so high on kispert but he’s been rumored late lotto area but even this is pretty high for him… kai jones is way high here than everyone else where he has been mocked to late first not sure why… i don’t have a high opinion on either…

    ayo dosunmo also looks to be climbing as he was late first beginning of the year and i think it looks like he’s solidly mid first now…

  172. Thibs is the anti-D’Antoni.

    Throughout most of his career D’Antoni was trying to maximize the “net rating”. Since his focus was primarily on offense, he would do things that would improve the offense by 1 point even if it would hurt the defense by 1/2 point. But if he could find something that would improve the defense he would do that too.

    Thibs works in the opposite direction. He’s trying to maximize the “net rating”, but he’ll typically make little tradeoffs towards improving the defense because unlike D’Antoni he thinks a great defense keeps you in and wins more games than a great offense. That doesn’t mean he isn’t trying to improve the offense too.

    Obviously, you need both a very good offense and defense to contend. With this squad getting them to play high level defense has been amazing, but it would have taken a miracle worker to get a good offense. Half our team is can’t create, can’t shoot, or can’t do either and we’ve been struggling at PG all year. Give it time. When we upgrade PG and add a shooter or two (or our players improve) things will open up.

  173. Butler is playing out of his mind this season.

    I love Butler.

    There’s a reason he left Minny and it wasn’t Thibs. Butler and Thibs were made for each other.

  174. Tonight is an important game. It’s a shame we are so decimated with injuries. If we lose this one it’s going to start feeling like the beginning of a potential post all star break debacle with the 76ers up again next.

  175. the magic have lost 8 in a row and we’ve been taking advantage of sub .500 teams this year (13 – 7 record), hopefully that continues…

  176. Quick out! :(

    NY_KnicksPR @NY_KnicksPR:
    Injury Report – 3/18 vs. ORL: Out – Elfrid Payton (strained right hamstring); Immanuel Quickley (sore left ankle); Austin Rivers (personal reasons); Mitchell Robinson (right hand surgery) and Derrick Rose (health and safety protocols).

  177. Deeefense: Throughout most of his career D’Antoni was trying to maximize the “net rating”. Since his focus was primarily on offense, he would do things that would improve the offense by 1 point even if it would hurt the defense by 1/2 point. But if he could find something that would improve the defense he would do that too.

    The Suns team that lost in the WCF in 2006 gave up a .485 eFG% to Dallas while shooting .534 over the six games. The problem was that the Mavs took a whopping 43 extra free throws over six games, with Dirk, a career 88% shooter, taking just one fewer FT than the top two Suns combined (57 to 56). That’s a five-point edge per game for the Mavs. And let’s not forget that prime Amar’e was out for nearly the entire season, including the postseason.

    In 2007, Amar’e and Diaw got ejected in Game 5 and were suspended for Game 6 against the very best team in the league, and would have faced a cakewalk of a series with LeBron and four scrubs in the Finals. It’s hard to blame D’Antoni’s coaching style for the Suns’ failures in those playoffs. They had a league-average defense in those years and were near the top of the league in SRS as a result.

    D’Antoni’s bad luck is the stuff of legend. That’s a man whose best rosters ran into Big Shot Bob’s hockey hipcheck and, a decade later, the greatest starting five ever assembled.

  178. So are we basically concluding that Rose actually has Covid and the Knicks and/or Rose are not disclosing it for some reason?

    He’s in the COVID protocol and Tom Thibodeau says Derrick Rose “is feeling a lot better” but doesn’t have a date for his return because they’re following protocols. If he does not have COVID, why would Thibs be saying that he is “feeling a lot better”?

  179. I’m pretty sure they have a policy in place that prevents teams from identifying players who have Covid if the player doesn’t say anything.

  180. DRed:
    I’m pretty sure they have a policy in place that prevents teams from identifying players who have Covid if the player doesn’t say anything.

    its a federal law…that is personal health information ..if a company/organization makes that public…the individual can take legal action plus I believe that opens the business up to fines, etc.

  181. Its a shame those Suns teams never won a title because they were so damn fun to watch.

    Don’t forget the bad luck Dantoni had with his GM making the inexplicable Shaq trade to try and match Tim Duncan and The Spurs. That team was rolling that year and making that big of a trade for an aging Shaq completely altered the style and chemistry of that team. That was one of the dumbest trades ever.

    I don’t think you ever mess with a top team’s starting 5 like that at the trade deadline. Its one thing to think “we need to have more size up front to counter Duncan in the playoffs) and make a trade for a bench big that you can sub into a playoff game if needed. But making a trade where you completely go away from what has worked for you for so long with so little time for the new team to gel? Just so dumb.

  182. If Rose had Covid, as Thibs’ unintentional mistake during the zoom conference suggested, we have been very lucky that he was the only one, he traveled back with the team from San Antonio despite being held out of that game…

    Looks like a chance for Frank to redeem himself after a string of stinkers… allez enfant!

  183. swiftandabundant:
    Its a shame those Suns teams never won a title because they were so damn fun to watch.

    Don’t forget the bad luck Dantoni had with his GM making the inexplicable Shaq trade to try and match Tim Duncan and The Spurs. That team was rolling that year and making that big of a trade for an aging Shaq completely altered the style and chemistry of that team. That was one of the dumbest trades ever.

    I don’t think you ever mess with a top team’s starting 5 like that at the trade deadline. Its one thing to think “we need to have more size up front to counter Duncan in the playoffs) and make a trade for a bench big that you can sub into a playoff game if needed. But making a trade where you completely go away from what has worked for you for so long with so little time for the new team to gel? Just so dumb.

    And that GM was Steve Kerr…. just to remind us that great coaches aren’t always the best GM (see Jackson, Phil)

  184. And that GM was Steve Kerr….

    Another piece of evidence of “Don’t let coaches be GMS.”

  185. Max: And that GM was Steve Kerr…. just to remind us that great coaches aren’t always the best GM (see Jackson, Phil)

    Maybe Fizdale would be one of the best GMs ever :D

  186. Meanwhile, the Magic’s only healthy point guard is… Chasson Randle. Nostalgia, baby!

  187. That is a very unsavvy blunder by Thibs vis a vis Rose and Covid. Not sure why there should be a stigma about having had it but it’s pretty crazy Thibs just broadcast it with HIPAA and all.

  188. Owen:
    That is a very unsavvy blunder by Thibs vis a vis Rose and Covid. Not sure why there should be a stigma about having had it but it’s pretty crazy Thibs just broadcast it with HIPAA and all.

    I don’t think there’s a stigma, only a privacy thing as with other medical conditions as Pepper said.

  189. ***Another piece of evidence of “Don’t let coaches be GMS.”***

    Kerr is such an interesting guy because he is just so abnormally candid. He assessed the Shaq move as:

    “It was a bad move. I’m not here to save my reputation. We went for it. We swung for the fences, but we disrupted what we had built. We made it for the wrong reasons. It was not a financial deal, it was a swing-for-the-fences deal. I was a young GM. It’s the kind of move that, yeah, you go for it, but you’re compromising the long-term health of the franchise. That was a mistake. The reasons for making it were not sound. We knew we weren’t good enough to win the whole thing. We’d been in it for several years. Kept losing to the Spurs. But it was a rushed, sort of home run swing that we struck out with. We went for it, which is admirable, but I just think we compromised our identity.”

    I don’t think the moral of the story is “don’t let players and/or coaches be GMs”. Kerr is a very smart guy (and affable, and respected) which is (are) the most important trait(s) of being a GM. If he’d stuck at it he probably would have been pretty good at it. (He didn’t double-down on his bad Shaq trade like a lot of people would have, but instead dumped Shaq for a floor stretching 5). Basically, the way he GMed was a lot like the way he’s coached: not married to a dogma, and willing to learn from mistakes and evolve. He’s proved himself to be very good as a “manager”, stepping into a very fractured Golden State situation and getting everybody headed in the same direction. I think limiting GM candidates to non-players and non-coaches is a bit narrow-minded.

  190. sports organizations aren’t covered entities under hipaa.. that’s why you have teams disclosing injuries and health statuses to the press… mainly to appease gamblers… but it’s a practice that’s obviously been done for a long time…. in some cases if it’s not on the field/court related/not treated by team physician.. then they usually don’t disclose …

    i’m not sure if covid makes this similar to off-field injury/illness thing or if they negotiated a separate thing with the union but i have to imagine that it’s similar and it’s to the player if they want to disclose… i don’t think any laws were broken though…

  191. Owen: That is a very unsavvy blunder by Thibs vis a vis Rose and Covid.

    That’s because Thibs is a basketball onanist who if you put truth serum in him would probably confess his deep-down belief that, like things such as the three-point shot and the forward pass in football, HIPAA rules are for pansies.

  192. I asked Vorkunov if Thibs discussed Harper during his pre-game media availability. He said, “Did not sound like much excitement from Thibs.”

    Sigh…

  193. Interesting take:

    Probable starting lineups
    Orlando Magic

    F Chuma Okeke
    F Al-Farouq Aminu
    C Nikola Vucevic
    G Dwayne Bacon
    G TBD

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