NY Post: Knicks rally past Hawks to even NBA playoff series

From Marc Berman:

Trailing 1-0 in the first-round series, the Knicks were down 15 points late in the second quarter Wednesday night in Game 2.

Julius Randle was horrendous again, and Trae Young, Atlanta’s superstar point guard, was soaring in the face of the Garden’s derogatory chants.

But it all changed dramatically in the second half. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau finally started Derrick Rose at point guard to begin the third quarter and gritty Taj Gibson at center, and regular-season Randle showed up as the Knicks rallied for a resounding 101-92 victory before a rocking 15,000-plus fans at the Garden.

Rose scored 26 points, Randle fired in 13 of his 15 points in the second half and Reggie Bullock awakened from 3. The Knicks showed immense force, grabbing all loose balls and evened the best-of-seven series at one game apiece. The series shifts to Atlanta for Friday’s Game 3.

Thibs was a bad coach in the first half and a great coach in the second half.

Orrrrrr…players made plays in the second half that they didn’t in the first and Randle and Bullock played like they did in the regular season and not in Game 1 (or the first half of Game 2) and the Knicks pulled out a huge victory.

Granted, Thibs di make a move by pulling Payton and Noel and replacing them with Rose and Gibson in the second half. It worked out really well.

Gallo was once again the Knicks MVP.

The Hawks are still a tough out. A lot of their players missed a bunch of open threes, including Gallo (he was terrible), so that might not be the case in the rest of the series. So the Knicks need to work on that, as their defense on Trae left a lot of Hawks open for threes.

But that’s for future us to worry up. For now, let’s just celebrate what a win this was!

Oh, and feel better, Hubert!

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232 thoughts to “NY Post: Knicks rally past Hawks to even NBA playoff series”

  1. Great win.

    How is Farfa? Hope everything is good with him. Hopefully we make it deep enough to get a playoff win recap from him.

  2. Sweet, MSG Encore is on now. It’s 54-41 Hawks in the 2nd. I hope my 40% battery can make it to the end.

  3. If you can comeback from ….Hell and win by 9 while opponents’ star has 30p and yours has 15p you may have a better plan of how to win a game than “give Him the ball”

  4. KB Apprentice with the key play of the game…it doesn’t always work – but, every so often switching chairs and hats can be effective tools for willing your team to victory!!!

  5. seems like as julius goes, so does reggie…

    weird way for reggie to get himself in to the game early in the 3rd, but, oh well…

    wow, it’s 2021 and the new york knicks won a playoff game…best 3 out of 5 now…understatement of the season, but, game 3 on friday is huge…

  6. I wasn’t able to watch the game, but I feel like I saw it because it was such a pleasure reading the game thread. Excellent work, KBers.

    (And Hubert for KB comeback player of the year!)

  7. Best wishes Hubert, hope you’re feeling better!

    Good win yesterday.

    They didn’t shoot well (Bogdan & Gallo 4-22 from 3)
    and for the second straight game McMillan’s rotations were shaky,
    while Thibs was at his best in the second half, mixing, matching, nailing Payton to the bench and riding the emotional waves (Obi was surprised he wasn’t subbed during a timeout and an assistant had to push him in the huddle).

    We dominated on the boards and, very important, only allowed them 6 OREB despite more than 50 missed shots…

    Now let’s steal two in Atlanta!

  8. Not that it hasn’t BEEN time for a change, but these first 2 games has shown- beyond a shadow of doubt- that it’s time to elevate Ntilikina to the rotation to replace 6, and start Rose. Burks and Quickley can handle the 2nd unit with Obi stepping up and Taj taking sips from the fountain of youth. If Thibs doesn’t see that, then he is even more stubborn that we thought

  9. Hope you’re feeling better, Hubert. It was the change of bars that sealed it, you don’t repeat the concussion part, ok?
    About the game, playoffs are all about momentum and for a while it looked like we wouldn’t have a chance to change it, but then Thibs made adjustments for the 2nd half and (thank God) McMillan didn’t… and even better, Trae also didn’t manage to adapt to it. Very hard and fought win, this is what playoffs are about.
    Someone said that for Atlanta it was mission accomplished to get back home with a tied series, which i agree, but i think the way the game went they felt they were on their way to have a 2 game advantage, and now it’s all tied, so the momentum is on us for game 3.
    Either way, this is looking just like we predicted on the beginning of the series, a very tight series (probably) on it’s way to a game 7.

  10. Totes McGoats as Totes McGoats:
    Not that it hasn’t BEEN time for a change, but these first 2 games has shown- beyond a shadow of doubt- that it’s time to elevate Ntilikina to the rotation to replace 6, and start Rose. Burks and Quickley can handle the 2nd unit with Obi stepping up and Taj taking sips from the fountain of youth. If Thibs doesn’t see that,then he is even more stubborn that we thought

    Exactly this. When i was “fighting” the Frankophiles, it wasn’t to keep Payton and don’t play Frank, it was because they went out of their minds and wanted him to start (!?), which is insane. Now, start DRose is the obvious move, and to not overplay him we should use Frank. If Frank isn’t dragging the team down, he can play all 16 mins we need DRose to sit. If he’s not playing well, Thibs can turn to point Burks again (great assist to Obi yesterday).

  11. Hubert, Get well soon bud!

    Although we won, the game underlines the two Knick weaknesses which will keep the Knicks from being an elite team: A dominant starting point guard and a big-bodied center. Also, as awesome as Randle was, he will need to develop a few more moves in the off-season to really reach his full potential.

  12. And i don’t agree that we’re screwed if Bogdanovic and Gallo start hitting their shots, because that argument goes both ways and in our case it’s our main players (Julius and RJ). Probably in Hawksblogger.net they are saying that they’re doomed because they lost with Julius and RJ having awful games… “if they start playing well, we don’t stand a chance” or something like that. But the playoffs are like this, it’s a grind.

  13. Those are regular season games, but he’s notorious for not performing well in the playoffs, just ask Blazers or Pacers fans. The last time he reached the second round was with Seattle in 2005. Ignoring the Blazers time, because they really were outmatched every year, and the first loss to the Cavs, they lost a winnable 7 game series against the Cavs and got swept back to back against Boston and Miami in a pretty embarrassing fashion

    Thre Cavs and Miami both went to the finals and the Celts went to the ECF’s. That IND team was highly flawed.

    My point is that we’re going against a team that is good, probably more talented overall than the Knicks, but that isn’t really doing anything special. They have the absolute killer Trae / Capela pick and roll, Bogdanovic is really good and they have a decent defense, that’s pretty much it. It’s not a team the Knicks should be afraid of.

    Agreed, as I said, Nate is a fine, better than average coach, Thibs is on a whole other level, in the class with the very best in the league….just quirky like many of them and a terrible GM.

  14. Brief thoughts on a great win –

    – Better late than never for Thibs, coming out with Rose to start the 2nd half. Most important big picture takeaway was how well the team played with Rose off the floor the first 4-5 minutes of the 4Q. Rose has to expect to play 36-38 minutes every game going forward – question is whether we can survive without him — if we can’t, then Thibs is going to feel like Rose has to play 40+ per game, which might not be sustainable even in the short term. The 4Q opening lineup was Quickley, Bullock, Burks, Obi, and Noel, and the lead went from +1 to +6 during that 4+ minute stretch.

    – props to Obi, who I certainly left for dead midseason- playing with tons of confidence right now. His 3P ball path looks great – no more moon balls. It’s a tiny sample, but he is 10 for his last 22 from 3 point range since 4/23 – the last ATL reg season game. Over that time period, he’s played about 130 minutes and the Knicks are a +45 during those minutes. That is such a far cry from around the ASB where it seemed like he could only play 4 minutes without getting pulled because it was such a disaster.

    – can’t wait for the Twitter video army to break down exactly what the Knicks were doing differently with Trae in the 2nd half – seemed a lot of forcing him left, hedging and recovery after the screen, and hoping that the Hawks missed 3s. But maybe that’s the only way. Have to make someone other than Trae beat you – get the ball out of his hands and live with whatever playmaking Huerter/Bogdanovic/etc can do even with an advantage.

    – last thought — for me, the COVID pandemic didn’t feel real until 3/11/2020 when the NBA abruptly canceled the season. With MSG rocking the way it has been, it feels like the NBA is announcing that it’s over – at least the part of the pandemic (in the US, not other countries where it’s still a mess) where we have to live in fear. Feels amazing.

  15. As a corollary – Barrett didn’t play a ton of minutes but did play 26 pretty good minutes. Quickley missed a bunch of good looks but competed well and made that big floater. Obi as mentioned played well. Our young guys really contributed. Full team effort from young guys (Obi/RJ/Quickley), mid-career guys (Burks/Bullock/Randle/Noel), and grizzled vets (Rose/Taj).

    Now just shoot Payton into the sun and we are good to go.

    by the way – speaking of players that didn’t show up at all – anyone see John Collins anywhere? 0 point 2 Reb in 15 minutes 5 fouls? Wow.

  16. Hawks are not more talented than us. If you took individual players, they might have a lot more listed near the top but our defense is leaps and bounds better than their defense.

  17. Early Bird:
    Hawks are not more talented than us. If you took individual players, they might have a lot more listed near the top but our defense is leaps and bounds better than their defense.

    In a fantasy basketball league, they have better players. But there team is littered with 1-way players – Trae, Huerter, Collins, Gallinari all stink on defense.

  18. The ironic thing about last night’s game is that I thought the Knicks should give Trae more space and let him take more 3s to prevent him from penetrating and drawing fouls. I also thought they should get more physical with him when he tried to come inside. They did all that, but he shot 4-7 from 3. The good news is that Gallo and Bogdan were 4 for 22. lol IMO, the volatility of 3s can be a big problem in the playoffs unless you are Curry, Durant, Thompson or some other all time great shooter/scorer. For mere mortals if you make a couple and get loose it’s no problem, but if you miss a few and tighten up under the pressure it can really spiral down.

  19. Damn — get well, Hubert.

    In the span of like an hour, the series completely changed, and now the Hawks coach is the one being second-guessed, and there might actually be a bit of dissention and questioning on the Hawk side. Which is why I’m nominating whoever it was that invented the best-of-7 playoff series for a bronze statue and a national holiday.

  20. cybersoze: Exactly this. When i was “fighting” the Frankophiles, it wasn’t to keep Payton and don’t play Frank, it was because they went out of their minds and wanted him to start (!?), which is insane. Now, start DRose is the obvious move, and to not overplay him we should use Frank. If Frank isn’t dragging the team down, he can play all 16 mins we need DRose to sit. If he’s not playing well, Thibs can turn to point Burks again (great assist to Obi yesterday).

    I think Thibs didn’t start Rose due to lineup considerations, wanting him to be fresh at the end of the game, and wanting to limit his minutes overall. I think all 3 of those things are still true.

    The question was NEVER what is the best way to maximize the starting lineup. It was obvious to everyone, including Thibs, that starting Rose would create the best starting lineup. The question was who can you start instead instead of Payton if you think the best use of Rose is coming off the bench in the 2nd unit, playing fewer minutes, and closing,.

    If Thibs stays with Rose starting. the questions now are what happens to 2nd unit (that often has an advantage) with Rose off the court and can Rose play 36-40 minutes every night and be as productive over the course of the game and at the end or can he only do it once in awhile when we absolutely need it.

    All of those are still open questions.

  21. Hawks had the chance to finish the series yesterday and let it slip away.
    0-2Knicks would have been dead psychologically and almost impossible to recover imo.
    MrMomentum is in NY right now!

  22. I’m all good & well, thanks fellas. It was a damn shame to miss the best half of the year, though.

    I think going to Atlanta is actually going to help unleash Randle. The dude seemed so uncomfortable. Maybe a change of scenery is what’s needed to get him going.

    PS to be more clear, I wasn’t crushed or anything. It was just a teenager on one of those dirtbikes you seen riding around the city doing wheelies. One of em just crashed into me at light speed, but strong enough to knock me out. The rest was just a precaution.

  23. by the way I am sure everyone here has seen that Instagram post from DRose – I think it is just great:

    I love chess so I would put it this way… I lost my Queen early in the game but I fought my f—– way back to get one of my pawns down the board to get her back.

    It is hard to imagine the youngest MVP in the history of the league suffering repeated injuries, literally being cut and out of the league — and how humbling that must have been — then scratching and clawing his way back to relevance and now, back to stardom on the biggest stage. The pawn analogy is really powerful — such an awesome story. That’s why I don’t see him going anywhere this offseason.

  24. The key to this series is solving the Capella/Randle rotation mystery. If the Knicks do that they will win the next 3 games by 10 points each.

    This is probably a bad time to make this point given how he played in Game One, but I am not high on Trae Young as a player. He is a streaky shooter with range, but he is not as consistent a shooter as he is given credit for and his game is highly dependent on flopping and getting to the line. He is also turnover prone and a horrific defender.

    The reason the Knicks have struggled the first two games is because of their offense. This has opened the door for Young to be impactful. If the Knicks can straighten out their offense, what Young is doing would seem more like empty box points (or whatever the expression is).

  25. Trae Young is an amazing offensive player, but just so bad on defense. In the 2nd half yesterday the Knicks really started to target him on defense, which seemed to lead to a great shot every single time they did it. The look of resignation on Capela’s face when he has to come over and overload the strong side tells the whole story.

  26. One defensive adjustment that I liked seeing yesterday, even in the first half, was how they were less predictable on Trae and made an effort to force him to shoot rather than penetrate. He hit many of those shots, but you live with it. I don’t think he had more than 4-5 floaters/alley-oops throughout the game?

  27. Trading for DRose was the trade of the year, wasn’t it?

    I suppose an argument could be made for the move of that bearded guy over to Brooklyn, but nobody cares about that team. So, yes, this was the trade of the year.

  28. It’s a weird thing to think about, and honestly I’d rather never think about Elfrid Payton again, but it seems pretty likely that a non-injured lottery pick 27 year old player goes from starting PG for the 4th seed in the playoffs to out of the NBA within a few months? I mean, who would take a flyer on a guy who can’t shoot at all and whose film (both actual play and effort-level) is as bad as it has been these last few months? The only imaginable reason he will be on an NBA roster next year is because CAA flexes its muscles.

  29. Someone’s going to roster Elf as their 15th man, In Case of Point Guard Emergency Break Glass kind of role. He had enough games this year where he played well — even a few where he was a significant contributor to wins — that I imagine some GM will convince himself that this last stretch was just Elf in a massive mental funk, and that a change of scenery might restore his (admittedly limited) basketball utility. It will just need to be a team with so much shooting talent that it can survive whatever minutes Elf has to play.

  30. Feel better Hubert. I have been hit twice by delivery bikes going the wrong way, once was a high speed yard sale, but no concussion. I definitely look both ways now though at any likely intersection and when I see bicyclists going the wrong way at speed I go full crotchety old man and just start yelling.

    Those were some incredible highlights. 91-91 and we finished on a 10-1 run. The Toppin alley oop and the Taj dunk sent shivers down my spine. I had a really good dinner at Cosme, no threesome though, so my regret level is moderate but that’s a fantastic win.

    I love Taj’s comments after the game. He’s like, I can’t even describe how it feels, and then he describes it perfectly.

    https://twitter.com/sny_knicks/status/1397756517324099585

  31. Owen: I love Taj’s comments after the game. He’s like, I can’t even describe how it feels, and then he describes it perfectly.

    I find it nuts that Taj and Thibs had a conversation when they were with the Bulls about how great MSG is and that they should meet up there in the future. That is pretty weird (and awesome) if you ask me!

  32. it’s really nice to be causing buzz around the league and it’s not the scandalous/lolknicks kind for a change… we are in the most exciting series of the playoffs so far… with the loudest crowds… with all sorts of positive/feel good storylines around…

    it’s kind of amazing because as knicks fans we always expect the other shoe to drop at any moment… and by the graces of red holzman… we’re still waiting…. and the only explanation is its magic…

  33. What an incredible game (second half). Just an amazing turnaround. So many thoughts.

    1. Start Rose! If that means Franks has to get a few minutes with the second unit, so be it.
    2. Really proud of Randle playing his heart out despite struggling on offense. That pass to Taj for the dunk at the end was huge. He was rebounding, playing defense and making the extra passes and once Rose started in the second half, things opened up for him. I expect him to explode in game 3 but dude is a warrrior.
    3. TAJ FUCKING GIBSON.
    4. I like Taj starting too. Put the dudes with lots of playoff experience in the starting line up and have Noel anchor teh second unite defense.
    5. OBI TOPPIN BABY! I mean, that dunk had me jumping off the couch and man he has given us big minutes. THIS IS WHY YOU DON’T CALL ROOKIES A BUST AFTER 20 GAMES. For next season, we gotta see if its possible to play Randle at the 5 or if Obi can ever play the 3 cause he is going to need more minutes next season. He brings a whole different element to our offense that we sorely lack.
    6. IQ had a bad shooting night but still competed hard and the floater he made was big.
    7. Bullocks. Man, what a game. Again, you have Rose out there and they can’t double randle as much and it opens up things for Bullock too.
    8. RJ has been a little off on offense but he’s attacking the paint and making some great passes.

    I just love this team so goddamn much and if we can win this series, I think the confidence it will give us going into a second round match up will be huge.

    Just so amazing to see the garden rocking again. Now glue Elf to the bench and we good.

  34. trades the Knicks have won historical timeline:

    1968 — Bellamy and Komives for DeBusschere.
    1971 — Riordan and Stallworth for Monroe.
    1998 — Old Oakley for Young Camby
    2020 — Young Smith for Old Rose

  35. I do have to make one negative comment. Don’t get me wrong I am euphoric.

    Fans that spit or try to spit on players in the name of the Knicks are a disgrace. Not sure if you all saw that video clip where the guy tried to spit on Trae and hit the woman courtside. Would like to hear that he gets a lifetime ban from MSG. Hold your fucking liquor!

    Carry on…

  36. So what is the story on Mitch?

    Is he close to returning?

    I love Nerlens (who may have been less than 100% last night) and Taj’s, but this is one series where I think we may be missing Mitch. Capela is able to help so much because Nerlens is not much of a threat. Mitch is a much bigger lob threat. If we burned them a few times on lobs we might be able to neutralize their current strategy with Randle.

  37. Donnie Walsh:
    trades the Knicks have won historical timeline:

    1968 — Bellamy and Komives for DeBusschere.
    1971 — Riordan and Stallworth for Monroe.
    1998 — Old Oakley for Young Camby
    2020 — Young Smith for Old Rose

    I’m gonna add the Porzingis trade to that list. We avoided giving him a max deal, which would have been disastrous, we got a ton of cap space and a 1st round pick. Yes, Timmy has been pretty good for them, but playing with Luka makes a lot of mediocre players look good (except Porzingis )

  38. cgreene:
    I do have to make one negative comment. Don’t get me wrong I am euphoric.

    Fans that spit or try to spit on players in the name of the Knicks are a disgrace. Not sure if you all saw that video clip where the guy tried to spit on Trae and hit the woman courtside. Would like to hear that he gets a lifetime ban from MSG. Hold your fucking liquor!

    Carry on…

    Agreed, between that and the Westbrook popcorn incident it was an ugly night for fan-player relations. I tend to agree with Breen that even the “Fuck Trae Young” chants kind of cross the line. It has been an absolute joy to see the Garden rocking again and I think passionately rooting against the opposing team is as much a part of fandom as cheering on your own team but it’s important to keep some perspective here. I think sometimes fans have the attitude that it’s a product they’re consuming and they should be able to do whatever they want – customer is always right kind of thing – but these are real people (and honestly still a kid in Trae Young’s case).

  39. cgreene:
    I do have to make one negative comment. Don’t get me wrong I am euphoric.

    Fans that spit or try to spit on players in the name of the Knicks are a disgrace. Not sure if you all saw that video clip where the guy tried to spit on Trae and hit the woman courtside. Would like to hear that he gets a lifetime ban from MSG. Hold your fucking liquor!

    Carry on…

    I agree 100%.

    I get that there’s a lot of passion out there because it has been so long since the Knicks have been good and everyone has finally been let out of lockdown, but that was disgusting. I hope they caught that person and barred him. I think the profane chants against Trae were even a bit out of line. I can tolerate a little “these refs suck” after an obviously bad call, but they went over my personal imaginary line in game 1.

  40. Yeah, spitting on a player when Covid is still a thing? That is just gross and classless and that dude should never be allowed in MSG again. Taunt all you want, the second you get physical (and spitting is definitely physical) you are crossing a line. Disgusting.

    Deefense, I think we will be lucky to see Mitch in a cameo appearance if we make it to the second round. In a weird way, an extended first round series could be good in this way. I think he is practicing but I think its a lot to ask him to come back in any significant way after spending so much time off the court.

  41. I consider myself a passionate fan who becomes aggressive or even vulgar quite easily but i couldn’t connect with “Fuck Trae Young”
    Found it not smart and not fair to him tbh
    But i get the pathos in doin it

  42. I also agree that even “fuck trae young” is a bit too much. Booing an opposing team’s player, the classic “airball” chant when they airball, yell when they shoot free throws…all good. But cursing, personal insults, etc.

    Side note, when I lived in NYC, my buddies and I would always do a road trip to Philly to watch a 76ers game because you could generally get really close seats for a good price. This was back in the Iggy days when they were decent but not great. We went to a 76ers/Magic game when the Magic had Dwight…the season after they went to the Finals. We sat right behind the magic bench and this philly fan was taunting Matt Barnes the whole game with really over the line personal insults. And Matt Barnes threatened to come up into the stands and kick his ass. It was crazy intense. In that same game, a kid had this helium balloon that he let go of and it floated over the magic bench over Stan Van Gundy and hung there about 15 feet above Van Gundy’s head for like 20 minutes. People kept shouting at Van Gundy to do something about the balloon.

  43. Tough to call on where to hold the line with chants, it does seem like Trae really enjoys the heel, and I literally can’t remember an NBA playoff crowd as loud as what I’ve seen in these first two Knicks games. It’s kind of WWE-esque at this point when everyone is clearly leaning into it, but for the moment I’d rather err on the side of too much enthusiasm than too little.

    That said, the guy who spit on him should be banned from all NBA arenas for life. What a disgusting piece of shit. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  44. geo:
    KB Apprentice with the key play of the game…it doesn’t always work – but, every so often switching chairs and hats can be effective tools for willing your team to victory!!!

    Haha. It was Z-man who first switched our collective emotions to positivity. Props to him.

    But I DID switch up to an old Starter Cap from the 1990s, so … who knows ;-)

    Such a GREAT game!

    And as Frank rightly says below, if Thibs uses that strong 4th Q lineup some minutes in both halves, we might get a starting DRose the necessary rest and also preclude the need to use (and further discuss) … Frank.

    Frank: The 4Q opening lineup was Quickley, Bullock, Burks, Obi, and Noel, and the lead went from +1 to +6 during that 4+ minute stretch.

  45. Igno-Bot 3000: That said, the guy who spit on him should be banned from all NBA arenas for life. What a disgusting piece of shit. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    Totally agree on this. And did you see the asshole throw popcorn at an injured Westbrook. I mean what is with humanity?

  46. 1968 — Bellamy and Komives for DeBusschere.
    1971 — Riordan and Stallworth for Monroe.
    1998 — Old Oakley for Young Camby
    2020 — Young Smith for Old Rose

    what is with the derek harper erasure…

  47. swiftandabundant: I also agree that even “fuck trae young” is a bit too much. Booing an opposing team’s player, the classic “airball” chant when they airball, yell when they shoot free throws…all good. But cursing, personal insults, etc.

    Absolutely. No cursing necessary. I am a proud member of the 90s Knick-fans who chanted Scaaaaaaaattttty at Pippen every time he screwed up and when he lined up a free throw. Thanks to us, we all remember how well the Knicks dominated the Bulls during that decade.

  48. the ‘fuck trae young’ chants are really really stupid…. he literally hasn’t done anything notable to deserve it… it’s a completely random thing.. paul pierce who did way worse against us for much much longer didn’t get this treatment… it’s completely nonsensical…. we’re elevating him for no apparent reason…

    the ‘trae young is balding’ chants… now that is funny… and i fully endorse…

  49. The Sixers just announced that the popcorn thrower will have his season tickets revoke and be banned from the arena. Hopefully, MSG gives the spitter the same treatment.

    I’m with Breen that I’d rather the crowd come up with a creative chant — and I’m not sure the balding one is quite it. Just cursing out Young — and doing it even before he hit the game-winning dagger on Sunday night — feels beneath us. Forget the profanity; it’s too generic. We’re better hecklers than that.

  50. If Thibs stays with Rose starting. the questions now are what happens to 2nd unit (that often has an advantage) with Rose off the court

    the funny thing about this is that if there is one player on the knicks who benefits least from playing with rose and in fact probably maximizes his marginal contribution without rose, that guy is burks, because he tends to be most comfortable creating his own shot.

    rose and burks together this year: pts/100 = 108.3 (413 mins)
    rose or burks separately: pts/100 = 116.7 (1365 mins)

    burks with rose: 16.6 pts/100; 51.2 TS%
    burks without rose: 29.2 pts/100; 54.5 TS%

    and burks and rose also have a similar defensive weakness in terms of keeping quicker guards (or kevin huerter) in front of them.

    not only that, but gibson (or basically anyone) is a way more capable offensive player than noel, so there is nothing about the second unit mix that could possibly be worse than pairing two off the charts offensive anchors like noel and payton. rose has been great but i think the one strength of a bench unit anchored by a burks iq back court is guards who can space and/or initiate, so i think if anything we’ve been diminishing part of his key value to the team. the one thing thibs should consider if rose is starting would be to bring obi in a bit earlier so he can overlap more with rose. obi has looked a lot more useful on offense when rose has been on the court, as rose is the one guy who effectively pushes the ball and puts obi in position to finish without having to start.

  51. high level chants should be confusing and arbitrary. trae young hates cheese would be solid.

  52. Yeah but now that Obi can contribute 6 to 8 points off the bench, I think the second unit with Frank is the way to go

    Rose/Burks
    RJ/IQ
    Bullocks/Frank
    Randle/Obi
    Taj/Noel

    Frank doesn’t have to get THAT many minutes. Just more than 10 seconds at the very end of the game. You’re basically running a 9 man rotation with Frank getting the minutes Elf gets but with the second unit. Burks/IQ/Obi is enough scoring for the second unit to still hold down the fort. Rose means less double teams on Randle with the starters. Taj is crafty enough to make up for the size/strength advantage Capella has and Rose also makes Trae work harder on defense.

  53. ptmilo: if rose is starting would be to bring obi in a bit earlier so he can overlap more with rose. obi has looked a lot more useful on offense when rose has been on the court, as rose is the one guy who effectively pushes the ball and puts obi in position to finish without having to start.

    Yes. And I think this tracks also with Randle feeling a bit more comfortable when Capella is off. Managing Randle/Obi a bit better might accomplish both things.

  54. Trae Young supposedly has a fear of birds. I saw a video of a guy at MSG with a pigeon mask on.

    Now that’s funny!

  55. Payton starting again tomorrow would mean that Thibs is clearly and heavily into S&M and wants to share it with knicks fans

  56. Trae Young and birds:

    From the Post: “In 2018, rival Oklahoma State fans tried to psych Young out by holding up photos of birds in a game against the Sooners. How effective was it? Well, Young did score 48 points, though it took 39 shot attempts to get there. And Oklahoma State prevailed with an 83-81 overtime victory.”

    I’ll take that. ;-)

    EDIT: Dolan should do a pigeon mask giveaway.

  57. I for one am totally fine with pretty much any chant the crowd wants to do that doesn’t make fun of family members or kids, isn’t racist/homophobic etc. These guys have all heard much worse, and honestly, like djphan says, Trae’s street cred has gone even higher with all this. The balding thing is hilarious.

    Re: the birds thing – PA system should play super-loud sounds of birds wings flapping etc when Trae goes to the line. This is the fun stuff that arenas should do to improve the homecourt advantage and up the emotional intensity. MSG could definitely give out bird masks to everyone behind the basket. I mean, that’s fun!

  58. Damn, Hubert. You have to know by now that when you’re crossing any NYC street, you need to take as much time to scan for moving objects as [redacted] does when he’s deciding whether to dribble a couple feet into the paint or dump it off and hide himself in the corner. Use up some of the clock, dude.

    Also, Young is the perfect heel. And shades of ’09 Finals Courtney Lee on the finish there, Hunter.

    https://streamable.com/23h5gq

  59. Interesting nugget about D-Rose these two games – taking the ball to the hoop a whole lot stronger than during the regular season, when he was settling for floaters. Averaged only 21.5% of his FGA at the rim during the regular season, and is at 40.5% FGA at the rim these two games. Small sample of course, but it’s noticeable even in real-time. He knows it’s go time.

  60. I agree about Rose. It’s amazing how far he has gone towards the rim in contrast to the regular season.

    I agree the Trae abuse is a little generic. Still, we have won playoff games in 2 out of the last 19 years. We’re New Yorkers so it’s in our DNA but we need a little time to limber up maybe.

  61. I hope they ban the guy that spit on him. I am 100% all-in on trash talk, but there are certain lines that can’t be crossed. Spitting is a triple jump over that line. The Westbrook shit is disgusting too.

  62. The trae abuse made us look dumb. The crowd was great in game 1 but there were also a lot of what I would call hockey fans there: aggressive, belligerent, juvenile. I think we could have had just as great an atmosphere without their stupidity.

    That Rose quote about chess was great but it sounded like it came from a man who expects to get paid. shouldn’t Rose be looking at Ricky Rubio as a comp and think $18mm is fair?

  63. One of the weirder obnoxious fan experiences I had was at a UT Vols game back probably 20 or so years ago. It was an SEC game, though I forget who against.

    At any rate, there was a guy 3 or 4 rows down from us and a bit to the right who stood nearly the entire game and shouted insults to the referees. All kinds of profanities, relentlessly, seemingly every single call that they made. We called him “Wayne Newton” b/c he looked a bit like the famous Vegas singer. He was far enough away that he didn’t bother us, though we could pretty clearly hear what he was saying when the overall crowd noise was low.

    The people just in front of and behind him couldn’t have been happy, but I guess no one complained. The guy did have a wife who was seated deep into her seat and seemed very embarrassed.

  64. isn’t spitting at people considered an assualt these days…

    hopefully thibs sticks with the second half starters: rose, reggie, RJ, julius, taj to begin game 3…

  65. Alan: Forget the profanity; it’s too generic. We’re better hecklers than that.

    ^This.

    For years, Knicks fans have flattered themselves as being the most sophisticated & knowledgeable in the entire sports universe. It’s a viewpoint that I, myself, believed that to be true and that has certainly been validated by the overall level of discussion on this board which is the most sophisticated, knowledgeable sports blog that I know of.

    Hearing the “Fuck Trae Young” chants has lent a somewhat sour taste to what has otherwise been the utterly joyous return of playoff basketball to the Garden. That’s the kind of mouth-breathing stupidity one expects to hear from an SEC football crowd and not a Knicks fanbase lauded for its smarts. Be better, folks.

    Oh yeah, was very relieved this morning to read that Hubert was not seriously hurt. That’s generally not the case when flesh & bone meets metal objects powered by internal combustion and dumb teenagers so I’m glad Hubert had a happier outcome than I’d initially feared.

    Go Knicks!!!!!!!!!!!!

  66. Count de Pennies: ^This.

    For years, Knicks fans have flattered themselves as being the most sophisticated & knowledgeable in the entire sports universe.It’s a viewpoint that I, myself, believed that to be true and that has certainly been validated by the overall level of discussion on this board which is the most sophisticated, knowledgeable sports blog that I know of.

    Hearing the “Fuck Trae Young” chants has lent a somewhat sour taste to what has otherwise been the utterly joyous return of playoff basketball to the Garden. That’s the kind of mouth-breathing stupidity one expects to hear from an SEC football crowd and not a Knicks fanbase lauded for its smarts. Be better, folks.

    Oh yeah, was very relieved this morning to read that Hubert was not seriously hurt. That’s generally not the case when flesh & bone meets metal objects powered by internal combustion and dumb teenagers so I’m glad Hubert had a happier outcome than I’d initially feared.

    Go Knicks!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Knicks fanbase is no better than “SEC football fans”, whatever weird coded language that even means. What a small thing to say.

  67. Young’s smile made it clear that he enjoys living rent-free, etc. When the chant is that generic, it must be easy to feel proud for inspiring it.

  68. Comparing Trae to another balding clown might also work.

    Full-throated, long-vowelled chants of “Boe … Zoe” … every time Trae touches the ball might be fun ;-)

    I mean, as a backup, if Dolan refuses to comp every fan with this pigeon mask

  69. geo:

    hopefully thibs sticks with the second half starters: rose, reggie, RJ, julius, taj to begin game 3…

    will be intersting to see…his response to why he did it in the 2nd half was “we needed a spark” generic don’t shit on my guy speak…if he goes back to the elf for game 3…it would be a big mistake but not surprising given what appears to be some kind of weird loyalty to the guy…

  70. Young’s smile made it clear that he enjoys living rent-free, etc.

    begrudgingly, that was kind of cool moment when trae grinned at the crowd before throwing that beautiful out of bounds lob to hunter (which he thankfully missed) at the rim…

  71. Hubert:
    I’m all good & well, thanks fellas. It was a damn shame to miss the best half of the year, though.

    I think going to Atlanta is actually going to help unleash Randle. The dude seemed so uncomfortable. Maybe a change of scenery is what’s needed to get him going.

    PS to be more clear, I wasn’t crushed or anything. It was just a teenager on one of those dirtbikes you seen riding around the city doing wheelies. One of em just crashed into me at light speed, but strong enough to knock me out. The rest was just a precaution.

    Damn, yo. Glad you’re alright. Getting put on your ass is no fun regardless of how. I once got cold-cocked as a teen and it was like the TV got snowy in my eyes and brain for a moment.

    There’s something spiritual about watching these first two games – like it’s beyond simply cheering for a team. You feel the crowd and your fellow New Yorkers, and it’s like inhaling (I’m a cigar guy not a weed guy, lol) it and it brings you closer as you’re watching it on TV.

  72. Live your myth in Greece!

    #Eddie A Johnson
    @Jumpshot8
    It is wrong for a fan to throw anything at a player, but if I had a choice I would choose popcorn! My first game in Greece I got hit with a coin and got stitches below my eye. Then later that game I had a doorknob and a fish thrown at me. Dropped 35 on their #%## and left! I won#

  73. 1. Great win last night. The rest of the series is House Money.

    2. The big defensive change in the second half was hedging hard and recovering, instead of just dropping. That generated open 3s for Gallo/Hunter, which they missed. Near the end, Young found Capela in the dive a couple of times.

    3. IQ did a great job on the defensive boards, boxing out. He grabbed three rebounds, and generated at least two easy defensive rebounds for teammates.

    4. The drop off from Young to Lou Williams is enormous. Williams is even worse on defense than Young, which is saying a lot. Williams is still a good offensive player, but Young is great on offense.

    5. Any list of all-time great Knicks trades has to include 1982: Bernard King for Michael Ray Richardson. King was MVP caliber in his healthy Knicks seasons. Richardson could not handle his substance abuse issues.

    6. I expect State Farm Arena to sound like a neutral site game. There will be a substantial number of Knicks fans there. Even in the best of times, Atlanta does not get great home crowds.

    7. Derrick Rose was the most important trade acquisition this year, non-Harden division.

    8. I was SO wrong about Obi Toppin mid-season. He has turned himself into a real bench asset.

  74. its impact was short lived but I’d give the Jerrod Mustaf & Trent Tucker for Xavier McDaniel trade an honorable mention.

  75. That sequence when Obi blocked a shot and run up court for the dunk, with Clyde calling it seconds ahead of time was wow ? big time. Athleticism and high basketball IQ coming together for a masterpiece moment.

  76. Spitting and lame chants aside that crowd at the garden should remind free agents that playing at the Garden is special.

  77. geo: edit: just noticed, taj got a pretty tight manicure game going on…

    I wonder if there’s any peer pressure around the league for guys to keep their nails under control- no one likes getting scratched.

  78. Ingmarrrr:
    That sequence when Obi blocked a shot and run up court for the dunk, with Clyde calling it seconds ahead of time was wow ? big time. Athleticism and high basketball IQ coming together for a masterpiece moment.

    Totally. I’m so grateful Obi, RJ, and IQ are getting this experience. Even Randle is only 26.

    I’ve said it in other threads, but I kind of feel with Obi, RJ, IQ, and Mitch, that we’ve got a chance for our own young “Yankees Core Four” from those great Championship teams. I hope they make it true.

  79. marechal:
    “Trae is balding” was a good chant.

    Magnus Carlen retweeted something on that about Nakamura. lol

    When chess players are trash talking each other based on Knicks games you know a lot people are paying attention.

  80. ha!!! the first basemen chased the batter back to home plate???

    was he worried that if the runner stepped back in to the batter’s box he’d get another plate appearance…people get distracted, lose focus, shit happens, that was funny though…

  81. That was a pretty clever play by the runner coming in from third. But yeah, the 1b had a real bad brain lock.

  82. The half-hearted attempt to catch the ball by the guy standing on second base as the throw came in from right field is the best part. Although the part where Javy Baez stands there and claps for a second before heading back down to first base is also excellent.

    It really is the worst play I have ever seen.

  83. Donnie Walsh. I would add Cazzie for Lucas (as underrated as I think Cazzie was). Luke was a big key in the ’73 championship

  84. What’s extra hilarious is that I’m guessing the 1b does not even get charged with an error on the play? Probably scored a Fielder’s Choice (and what a choice it was), then a throwing error by the catcher.

    Actually, yeah, if the catcher’s throw to 1b had been completed, the run that scored would not have counted, so they had two chances to get the hitter out…failed twice and two runs scored.

  85. “I C No D in T R A E”
    Not very good or likely to take hold in a noisy crowd, but something targeting his lousy defense might have a better chance of getting into his head than mocking his appearance. My guess is he doesn’t have any trouble finding dates.
    Or maybe something that dares him to give in to his uber chucker weakness.
    “Hey Trae no way. You can’t hit from far away.” Something like that but better.

    In any event, game one was great theater and he played his part well. Have to tip your hat sometimes.
    Having a Reggie-like villain to despise adds spice to a delicious dish if we can manage to serve it to him.

  86. random question:

    Quickley and Trae have a surprising amount of similarities. Trae is obviously a far superior ball handler and has better vision. What percent of Trae Young do y’all think IQ can become? Sometimes during this series I get a little giddy and think IQ can be 75% of the player Young is one day.

  87. JK47:
    They could have just tagged Baez at any point during that play

    What about, you know.. stepping on first?

  88. KnickerBloggerPowerRankings: What about, you know.. stepping on first?

    Even AFTER they fucked all that up, and the runner from third came home, dude STILL could have just tagged Baez, who was standing right in front of him. They still had a way out of it, it’s just that nobody knew the basic rules of baseball

  89. Hubert:
    random question:

    Quickley and Trae have a surprising amount of similarities. Trae is obviously a far superior ball handler and has better vision. What percent of Trae Young do y’all think IQ can become? Sometimes during this series I get a little giddy and think IQ can be 75% of the player Young is one day.

    I don’t like the premise of the question because it’s apples to oranges, or at least lemons to limes. There are simply some things Trae does that are not possible for IQ. It’s part ball-handling, part court-vision. However, IQ has the capability to be a solid 2-way player, he’s long for his height and has good instincts. Trae will never be even an average defender. So Trae is a transcendent scoring PG and IQ is a smallish combo-guard with wing tendencies.

    Trae is a fringy max player…the one-way thing is an issue. So in those terms, can IQ be 75% as valuable at some high but non-max salary some day in a more complementary role? Yeah, maybe even more so. Trae is not the player I’d want to build a team around, but he will command that status salary-wise. It will be a long time before IQ gets paid anything near what he is worth, and even then, it will be far less than Trae.

  90. One guy I have to take the L on is Davis Bertans. He has sucked and I thought he would be a good FA target for us. Glad he wound up elsewhare!

  91. “Trae is a fringy max player…the one-way thing is an issue”…they said the same thing when Steph first came into the league..

  92. pepper: “Trae is a fringy max player…the one-way thing is an issue”…they said the same thing when Steph first came into the league..

    Steph was 2nd in the league in steals as a rookie. Whoever said that about him was a dummy. He may not have the ability to switch like wings do, but he sure as hell wasn’t hurting his team when he took the ball from his man’s hands.

  93. Trae’s ceiling is Nash and at 22 he looks like he’ll at least get close. His decision making seems to have turned a corner- his reads against the Knicks’ defense have been on the money and I think he’s a little bit more judicious in his foul-drawing flops which spares him a heaves a game when he doesn’t get the whistle. He’ll never be Luka but he’ll get maxed without question and should be worth it.

  94. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Steph was 2nd in the league in steals as a rookie. Whoever said that about him was a dummy. He may not have the ability to switch like wings do, but he sure as hell wasn’t hurting his team when he took the ball from his man’s hands.

    i have been living in the bay area for the last 12 years and watched him play from infancy to now and he definitely has always been a good ball hawk…but one on one he was overmatched but he is stronger now and not so much of a pushover on defense…my point was…to suggest Young has no future on dee at this point…may be premature

  95. Hubert: What percent of Trae Young do y’all think IQ can become? Sometimes during this s

    I don’t need IQ to be Trae by any means, but it begs a question that interests me:

    Can players improve their ball handling at IQ’s age? Are there relevant precedents?

    I love IQ’s game, but in the off-season I’d coach him to get more confident handling the ball. If Randle can make a surprising leap and RJ can make a surprising leap. Maybe IQ can do the same.

  96. IQ doesn’t seem to have the PG skills that Trae does and that’s a huge disadvantage right there. So we’re already looking more at Lou Williams than Trae Young.

    Also IQ is only a year younger than Trae, so he honestly doesn’t seem anywhere near him.

    Whatever a Lou Williams type 6th man is as a percentage of Trae is my answer. It’s a big drop off unless Quickley surprises me and shows a better ability to run the point.

  97. Maybe they should just go back to not having fans in attendance. Between the spitting, and the riling up Trae Young to beat us, and the ruining Randle’s game altogether, I feel like they have been a failed experiment. (Would Dolan agree to no fans in game 5 if the players asked him for it?)

  98. I love IQ’s game, but in the off-season I’d coach him to get more confident handling the ball.

    ditto for obi, it would be good if we could play him at the 3 with julius at the 4…doesn’t seem like thibs will ever use julius at the 5 much…

  99. Wasn’t coming at you personally, and I agree with you on all points. I don’t think Young will ever be a plus defender though. He’s tiny even compared to baby Steph, to my eyes.

  100. Wait, the Nuggets/Blazers aren’t on national TV?? That sucks, that’s the matchup I’m most interested in. (Is there a reason some of these games aren’t broadcasted? Seems weird they wouldn’t try to get Jokic v Lillard on TV)

  101. When I watch this series, I see IQ as closer to Trae than Lou. Specifically, I can actually see IQ being the starting PG and primary ballhandler, and being quite good at it. And obv they both have the unstoppable runner.

    But I did get concussed last night, so…

    As for precedent, was Steph always an elite ballhandler? I don’t remember him coming into the league like that. People thought he was just a shooter.

  102. ***nuggets game is on nba tv***

    Yeah, that’s not a channel that Hulu live carries I guess. (Which is too bad because I can watch the Lakers/Suns on their local channel here. Oh well).

  103. doesn’t seem like thibs will ever use julius at the 5 much…

    I don’t know if we could play julius at the 5 in this series, but the way Capela is dominating really highlights the need for a stretch 5. I actually found myself wishing we had Bobby Portis!

    Work on your 3, Mitch. It will make you rich!

  104. Kinda weird how we’re so fixated on the Lonzo debate when we could just sign Cam Payne to be our starting PG for similar money

  105. Not sure why, it seems like someone put a mic on the rim or something every Portland miss sounds like a thunder strike…

  106. is Harrell injured…he doesn’t play at all…

    It’s the same reason he couldn’t get paid this past offseason. The modern NBA has made him pretty much useless.

  107. It’s stunning that before Jokic got the rebound on the missed three and tapped it back in, the Blazers were this close to having the ball down three with, like, two seconds left in that game. Absolutely stunning.

  108. I’m late on the discussion but:

    – “Punch in the face” jokes aside, the spitting on Young and the Westbrook’s popcorn incident were a shame, banning them from the arena forever is not enough of a punishment for the culprits. Harassing an injured opposing player? Disgusting…

    – There’s no need to be vulgar in harassing another team player(s), we’re better than this. (I still fondly remember the “goodbye” chants to the Bad Boys Pistons in 1992).

    On other subjects:

    – The Bucks wanted Miami, they got them, Middleton slayed the dragon in Game-1 and now they’re bludgeoning them relentlessy. The Ariza and Oladipo trades don’t look so smart and last year Finals starts to look more and more like a lucky hit due to the strange conditions of the bubble.

    – Alas, Paul’s injury heavily tilted the serie in LA direction.

    – Rivers with a Rivers’ game in a clutch moment in a playoffs serie, while we’re still debating if Payton will start or at least play in game-3. I’ve said it before, but once again I put the “keep Payton dispatch Rivers” move in the loss column for the season. (And he had a fantastic contract!)

  109. About the game, it’s the playoffs, so for people that don’t remember the 90s (although 2013 left a mark also when IND looked stronger than before), there’s no telling if a team will regress or improve for the playoffs. One clear example of this it’s the Miami Heat, they clearly take a step up (or two) in the playoffs.

    This quote of mine has aged beautifully! LOL

  110. Re: IQ, is his problem ball handling? I think he’s ok at that, what i think is his problem to be a PG is court vision, floor general, orchestrate the offense skills (kind of relevant to be a PG, i’d say :P). He’s got 3.6 AST per 36, and even Elfrid’s worst season (this one, by the way) is at 4.9. Which plays does he call? I just remember the PnR and (eye test alert, didn’t check the stats) most of the time it’s only for himself, i don’t remember that he assists the roll man a lot, if any, and Mitch is super quick (but sets terrible screens, he must improve at that).

  111. I don’t think IQ and Trae are so similar. Physically IQ is 6’2″ without shoes with a 6’8″+ wingspan and 8’3″ standing reach. Trae was 6ft 0.5″ with a 6’3″ wingspan and 178 lbs 7’11” standing reach.

    As players – offensively IQ is ok passing the ball but Trae is probably a top5 passer in the league right now – I mean it’s not even close. I am not sure passing vision is so much of an improvable thing – Randle going from 3.4 to 5.8 assists per 36 is basically unprecedented – and probably has more to do with the offense being more structured and Randle being better coached than any specific improvement in his vision. I love Quickley but he basically has zero chance IMHO of becoming the top 10% offensive hub that Trae is. He could be really good but not close to Trae offensively.

    The big difference is that defensively, Trae is too small and on top of that just doesn’t play hard. Can you imagine Trae boxing out and fighting through screens like Quickley has done the first two games? And re: the Steph comparison – Steph is like 6’4″ and works really hard on defense. Trae just doesn’t. Atlanta’s big issue that they will need to figure out going forward is that while they have a bunch of wings, none of them are really 2-way guys except for Hunter, who while better this year, is pretty limited offensively. They really could’ve used Gordon Hayward, who (when healthy) is a pretty good defender. It’s just hard to hide Trae when you have multiple other bad defenders at the same time.

  112. Holy$%^@ I did not realize there were two outs on that play. That is easily the worst defensive sequence in baseball history.

  113. cybersoze: Re: IQ, is his problem ball handling? I think he’s ok at that, what i think is his problem to be a PG is court vision, floor general, orchestrate the offense skills

    I agree IQ could improve his court vision, but I do see him get the odd/good assist with a clever pass every so often, so I have hope for him there. What I rarely see him do is beat his man off the dribble. He protects the ball well, but he goest East – West a lot unless, as you say, he calls his own number and goes for that floater. I’d like to see him improve going AT the basket and get better at finding the open man, especially finding Mitch for dunks. The latter is one thing Trae does very well that IQ might match. And driving AT the basket is also what DRose does well and Burks does well when necessary. To me IQ seems very smart and very motivated, more so than a Knick rookie in a long time except maybe RJ. If IQ improves this part of his game, he becomes a very valuable piece of our puzzle. Certainly I feel he can get as good as anyone in our pantheon of illustrious point guards from the last decade.

  114. Quickly lacks experience, but he’s the answer to the Elf question. He seems to not have enough confidence as a playmaker yet. I think Thibs puts serious constraints on guys and it works for winning but not for player development sometimes. Your job in the off season and at the middle school gym is to get better. In the game, IQ is allowed to take floaters and threes. He’s not asked to do a lot of playmaking and you can see him second guessing himself when he has to. I could easily see him being our starter next season and soaking up Elf’s minutes now but he has to be more aggressive and have a better idea of what he’s trying to do. He’s got a good model in Drose and they could be a great two headed monster for seasons to come if we make our big FA splash at another position.

    #Knewyourknicks great Eddie Johnson quote. Sums it up

  115. danvt: Your job in the off season and at the middle school gym is to get better.

    Exactly this. I hope IQ sees himself more as baby Steph (with better D!) and less as Lou Williams

  116. Yeah, agree with you both, KBA and danvt. I think IQ can get a lot better, he has the role model (DRose) and we have the right coaching staff. My hopes are high for him.

  117. About tonight, i’m super calm and optimistic, in contrast to the highly anxious day i had on wednesday. What a huge difference winning the first game in the playoffs can do for you. :)

  118. I’ve let the energy from the game pass and have reflected on it overnight, and I’m definitely anti-FTY. The only caveat, and it’s marginal, is that I haven’t seen any indication from Trae in body language, face, anything either on the court or on the bench, that he has a problem with it. My wingman for the next 1 (likely 2) games will be my 16 year old son, and he won’t be chanting it, that’s for sure. Like a lot of commentary here, my objection is that it’s crude and uncreative and just belligerent for belligerence’s sake.

    It’s also laughably disingenuous that the building’s owner kicks people out routinely for tepidly suggesting he sell the team, while at the same time, allowing his patrons to spew “FTY” at a singled-out, particular player.

    I actually wonder, given all the talk about what’s been going on in association arenas, whether there will be an effort to stop the chant — i.e., public notice, then an announcement before the game, and then even stopping the game and an announcement that the game won’t continue unless it stops. There’s precedent for that kind of thing in American sports. I’d put the odds at an attempted ban pretty low, but it’s not inconceivable. The chant basically led to a guy spitting on Trae, so it’s become pretty indefensible. I’d very much rather not hear it anymore — not to the point of pearl-clutching or waxing sociological or anything like that — but it’s just kind of lame.

  119. FYI – great video breakdown of Julius’s Tale of Two Halves at the Strickland:

    https://twitter.com/TheStrickland/status/1398236358422847488?s=20

    Interesting thing is the Hawks letting Julius go to his strong hand where help is waiting. Basically ICE-ing him (it wasn’t a PNR but the point is to get him going to baseline) and keeping him from going middle – then Julius flipping the script by jab-stepping / crossing-over dudes in the second half. The problem with the guys they have guarding him is they can’t keep up with his first step regardless of how they’re shading him. Maybe Hunter can but Gallo/Bogdanovic have no chance.

  120. Interesting segment by Ian Begley here, saying that due to Rose’s strong play that the Knicks might NOT go after Big Name Point Guard this offseason.

    Not to get too much into the offseason given we’re in the playoffs now, but I could imagine these moves:

    – Bring back Rose, Bullock, Burks – let’s just say that is $30MM combined
    – let Noel and Frank go. And Payton gone of course.
    – that would seem to get us to about $85MM in payroll with the cap being $109MM, so ~25MM in space. We would have these guys under contract:

    PG: Rose, Quickley, Vildoza
    Wing: Burks, Bullock, Barrett
    PF: Randle, Obi
    C: Mitch, and Bring Taj Back of course, Pelle

    So we would have 11 roster spots filled, 4 draft picks (19, 21, 33, 58), and $25MM in this scenario.

    That is a pretty nice place to be in, with no obvious weaknesses on the roster, multiple draft picks coming in, and still tons of cap space.

  121. We can fantasize about IQ improving his court vision and ballhandling skills, but I have yet to see the player who dramatically improved those two things the way that IQ would need to to get into Trae’s class.

    Offensive skill-wise, IQ is FAR closer to Lou Williams than Trae Young. It’s not even close. Trae is truly exceptional with the ball. IQ is at the very bottom of the league as PGs go. He’s a shooting guard with some PG aptitude (again, by NBA standards.)

    Can he improve somewhat? Sure! Trae Young can improve his defense somewhat, too! But he will never be even an average defender.

    PG (or point anything) is the position that depends the most heavily on innate talent. You don’t learn elite court vision or elite ball-handling skills. Either you have them or you don’t. That goes for point forwards and point centers as well. Randle improved his passing and ballhandling, but he will never be LeBron or Bird or Jokic. Which is fine!

    Same with IQ. He will never be Trae or Steph or Nash or Stockton. Which is fine! Lou Williams with better defense is a key piece. That’s what he should aim for, and I think he realizes that….he told Lou that he was his favorite player and role model himself.

  122. cybersoze:
    About tonight, i’m super calm and optimistic, in contrast to the highly anxious day i had on wednesday. What a huge difference winning the first game in the playoffs can do for you. :)

    Yeah, actually, though game 1 was hard, it was, perhaps, a lesson for the squad. Sometimes good game ones make squads overconfident. Game 2 was a great gut check where they realized how hard they have to play and finally, in the second half, Julius got in a rhythm. Now, the pressure to hold serve swings to ATL

  123. Lou Williams with defense is a fantastic player to have,
    even as a sixth man that close games playing 1 or 2 based on opposing lineups.

    If IQ becomes that, we will have hit the jackpot with the 25th pick, sign me in!

  124. It’s hard to believe that 3X 6MoY Lou Williams never got paid more than he is making right now ($8 million AAV.) Elfrid Fucking Payton made than that last year!

  125. I am expecting a rabid ATL crowd tonight. The notion that it will feel like a home game seems far-fetched to me.

  126. Max: If IQ becomes that, we will have hit the jackpot with the 25th pick, sign me in!

    I think it’s fair to say that despite the “unorthodox” process used by the Knicks to make draft decisions, it’s hard to second-guess the results at this time. Quickley looks like one of the steals of the draft, and Obi is at least looking like a legit lottery pick…maybe not the best guy at #8 but an NBA rotation player for sure.

  127. Frank:
    PG: Rose, Quickley, Vildoza
    Wing: Burks, Bullock, Barrett
    PF: Randle, Obi
    C: Mitch, and Bring Taj Back of course, Pelle

    So we would have 11 roster spots filled, 4 draft picks (19, 21, 33, 58), and $25MM in this scenario.

    Don’t forget our baby giraffe. :P

  128. Z-man: Obi is at least looking like a legit lottery pick…maybe not the best guy at #8 but an NBA rotation player for sure.

    Yes, after hitting the wall very hard around the ASG Obi had show slow but steady incremental progress, culminating in two very good appearances in the playoffs.

    With the right PG and the right system he can definitively become a very good NBA player, my doubts are tied to his playing time chances here, with Randle entrenched at the four.

    But I think they’ll find a solution, from a tactical standpoint or even a cynical one (extreme case: extend Randle this summer for the “mini-max” then trade him in year-2 if Obi’s ready to take over)

  129. I imagine that if Obi continues to develop, Thibs will find minutes for him. Either they will reduce Randle’s minutes a bit or they will be on the floor together.

  130. re: Lou Williams’ contracts, there have been a bunch of guys like that. IIRC Andre Miller played for like 25 years and was productive for many of them, but never earned much in a single year. Maybe Jamal Crawford too, but I have to believe he at least broke double digits. I’ll do some research when I’m at a bigger screen.

  131. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    re: Lou Williams’ contracts, there have been a bunch of guys like that. IIRC Andre Miller played for like 25 years and was productive for many of them, but never earned much in a single year. Maybe Jamal Crawford too, but I have to believe he at least broke double digits. I’ll do some research when I’m at a bigger screen.

    Jamal got paid $13 mill by the Clips and had 5 years where he made more than Lou. Miller also had 4 years where he got paid more than Lou, topping out at $10.3 mill with the Sixers. All were deserving of more, but Lou is truly egregious.

  132. Jamal made 13.25 at his peak. 124 million overall which is a lot of cheese in my book for a guy with his talent level. It’s pretty good to be in the NBA.

  133. Hubert:
    When I watch this series, I see IQ as closer to Trae than Lou. Specifically, I can actually see IQ being the starting PG and primary ballhandler, and being quite good at it. And obv they both have the unstoppable runner.

    But I did get concussed last night, so…

    As for precedent, was Steph always an elite ballhandler? I don’t remember him coming into the league like that. People thought he was just a shooter.

    1. I’d like to see what IQ’s passing looks like in Year 2. How much can he improve there will determine if he’s on the “Lou Will w/D” path or if he can pass & make reads well enough to eventually be a starter someday… which would be enormous return on his draft stock.

    2. I remember Bobby Knight doing a pre-draft breakdown of Steph, and he pointed out where his passing was good enough to be a point on the NBA level. At that point I said, “well if Bobby Knight says he can be an NBA PG then I’m sold”.

  134. One of the negatives about Obi was supposed to be that he was a bad to unplayable defender. It seems like Thibs has rather quickly coached him up to “adequate.”

  135. Z-man: I have yet to see the player who dramatically improved those two things the way that IQ would need to to get into Trae’s class.

    Yeah, don’t get me wrong. I don’t need/expect him to become Trae. And you answered my question about not seeing a player improve dramatically in PG skills. That’s exactly the question I pose to all the wise ones here: Has any player dramatically improved their PG skills in your experience?

    My eye test says IQ might have the ability to be better than or at least every bit as good as, say, Ray Felton, Chris Duhon, Charlie Ward, Greg Anthony, Chris Childs, Brandon Jennings, and on and on. I would love to give him the chance to try.

  136. There’s a trade in this article that I actually don’t hate by the standards of fake trades that will never happen. I was hesitant to even post it, because it will never happen, but I think it’s a useful thought exercise:

    New York Knicks receive: Collin Sexton

    Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox II, No. 21 pick (via DAL) and No. 32 pick (via DET)

    Sexton is about to get paid which is why it’s prooooobably a no from me, but he’s quietly become a pretty intriguing player. He’s basically a 22 year-old version of Derrick Rose. I’d definitely be tempted to see what a Sexton-Barrett backcourt could do for years to come.

  137. thenoblefacehumper:
    There’s a trade in this article that I actually don’t hate by the standards of fake trades that will never happen. I was hesitant to even post it, because it will never happen, but I think it’s a useful thought exercise:

    New York Knicks receive: Collin Sexton

    Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox II, No. 21 pick (via DAL) and No. 32 pick (via DET)

    Sexton is about to get paid which is why it’s prooooobably a no from me, but he’s quietly become a pretty intriguing player. He’s basically a 22 year-old version of Derrick Rose. I’d definitely be tempted to see what a Sexton-Barrett backcourt could do for years to come.

    I’d be a no on that trade. I like Sexton but that’s a lot to give up. Also, hope you are referring to Rose 2021, not MVP Rose. In any event, he’s not much of a passer, so I’d rather wait to see what we have in Vildoza and play IQ in whatever role you have imagined for Sexton. Obi by himself might wind up the better player than Sexton, not to mention finding an analog with the draft picks you propose giving up.

  138. I wasn’t a big fan of Trae coming out of college but he wound up being more efficient than I expected at the start of his career. Now he’s learning how to play on top of it (which I did expect eventually). He’s a star player.

  139. thenoblefacehumper:
    There’s a trade in this article that I actually don’t hate by the standards of fake trades that will never happen. I was hesitant to even post it, because it will never happen, but I think it’s a useful thought exercise:

    New York Knicks receive: Collin Sexton

    Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Obi Toppin, Kevin Knox II, No. 21 pick (via DAL) and No. 32 pick (via DET)

    Sexton is about to get paid which is why it’s prooooobably a no from me, but he’s quietly become a pretty intriguing player. He’s basically a 22 year-old version of Derrick Rose. I’d definitely be tempted to see what a Sexton-Barrett backcourt could do for years to come.

    Hmmm… decent shooting and FT %s. I feel his assist #s are a bit low for my liking, but it did improve by 1.4 per game this season. Not loving the defensive #s.

    I’d probably pass; at the same time, he’s still only 22.

  140. I don’t think we should count on Rose being our starting PG next season. I think it’s still an open question whether he can play 36 minutes a night every night and remain as productive and injury free as he could with a lighter schedule. If he can, that’s great. But I think that’s a risky assumption given our weakness at the position if he can’t.

  141. If we’re giving Cleveland Obi, who was the #8 pick and is now playing well in playoff minutes, why would they get anything else? Knox, sure, but a draft pick and a second round pick on top of that? Sexton is on a BAD team and is one year removed from getting a much bigger payday. Obi has like 4 more cost controlled seasons after this one on a rookie contract and is showing to be worthy of his top ten pick status (how dope is to say that now?)

    Honestly, I’d keep Obi and see if we can give him more minutes by cutting back a bit on Randle’s, playing Randle at the 5 some and Obi at the 3 a bit. I mean, shit, I love Randle but if he stays at this all-star level even at a max contract he’s probably tradeable in 3 seasons if Obi proves to be a worthy replacement.

    Rose/IQ/Villadoza with a draft pick PG is probably fine for next season. Rose can probably start IF Thibs is cool with the minutes and gives him some nights off against scrub teams.

  142. I think trusting Rose to be this good next season, with this workload, is a bad plan. Unless they’re super high on Luca and/or IQ’s ability to play more than spot minutes at PG, we need to bring in somebody else. Maybe Rose’s presence allows us to not overpay for Lonzo or Lowry, but we need a good version of what we wanted Elf to be. Even if it’s off the bench.

  143. I don’t know why you think starting Rose next year means 36 minutes a game. Play him 27 and have Vildoza (I hope!) pick up 14 or so, and Quick playing with Burks (I hope!) taking up the remaining 7 or so.

    Also, curious if this is the worst idea ever. People keep mentioning running Obi at the 3. Maybe it’s just because of the way he’s shaped, but I look at him and see the potential for a small-ball stretch 5. A lot of development needed, and he’d be eaten alive by real big men no matter what, but for those times when the other team goes small…?

  144. Pass on Sexton. His traditional advanced stats look decent — fine by BPM and on the rise with TS% and usage — but newer impact metrics have him as a terrible defender and not much on offense either.

    It’s just not feasible to bet that big on Sexton when he’s been the tank commander for CLE for three years running, with no end in sight. If you’re going to target a player like that, you might as well attach some assets and get a disgruntled vet in his prime like Zach LaVine. LaVine can score the shit out of the ball, which would be perfect for these Knicks. There’s plenty of scoring in a lineup like this, even with Noel and Mitch being not much more than lob targets.

    Quickley
    LaVine
    Barrett
    Randle
    Noel/Robinson

    Swap out Payton for LaVine on this year’s squad and I think we’re looking at a 48-24 team that belongs in the conversation for ECF contenders, instead of mere underdogs.

  145. The Honorable Cock Jowles: Swap out Payton for LaVine on this year’s squad and I think we’re looking at a 48-24 team that belongs in the conversation for ECF contenders, instead of mere underdogs.

    It’s incredible that you are saying that, not because it’s wrong, but because of how far removed it is from the collective thinking here going into this season. If we are Zach LaVine away from being ECF contenders, Leon Rose may be the POBO of the century.

  146. Raven: Maybe it’s just because of the way he’s shaped, but I look at him and see the potential for a small-ball stretch 5.

    I would love to watch this experiment. Obi may not always know where to be, but he’s so quick/active on the defensive end that I still think he has a lot of potential.

    EDIT: For example, I think Obi could guard KP into dust and out-rebound him by ten.

  147. if you think parking obi behind the 3pt line and starting his offense from there is a great idea… then you could get away with obi at the 3.. but i think if you seen the season or even that possession he was trying to drive past huerter on Wed.. then that’s probably a bad idea….

    it’s probably ok to play both randle and obi at the 4/5 against certain lineups… and maybe next year he’ll try it..

  148. Deeefense:
    I don’t think we should count on Rose being our starting PG next season. I think it’s still an open question whether he can play 36 minutes a night every night and remain as productive and injury free as he could with a lighter schedule. If he c, that’s great. But I think that’s a risky assumption given our weakness at the position if he can’t.

    I think DRose definitely is in the plans, and I was saying that the minutes limitation on him would be lifted in the playoffs. I don’t quite get the “starter” label any longer. I look at minutes. He averaged 1/2 the minutes in games in the regular season. So I see a “platoon” next season unless the Knicks sign a big-time FA. I think they go the rookie route and don’t discount IQ playing more point.

  149. Don’t ask me why, but I watched a lot of Cavs games this year and I’m not sold on Sexton despite his gaudy scoring numbers, not at that price anyway.

    There are good signals (his AST% has improved) and PG’s usually need more time to develop, but he’s still a sieve on defense and as usual someone has to put up numbers on a bad team (otherwise every Cavs’ game will end 120-70).

  150. Also, hope you are referring to Rose 2021, not MVP Rose. In any event, he’s not much of a passer, so I’d rather wait to see what we have in Vildoza and play IQ in whatever role you have imagined for Sexton. Obi by himself might wind up the better player than Sexton, not to mention finding an analog with the draft picks you propose giving up.

    Yeah, I meant a 22 year-old version of the current Derrick Rose. Basically Derrick Rose with upside as opposed to age-related decline looming. Also, I didn’t propose anything. I quoted directly from the article and said I probably wouldn’t do it.

    If we’re giving Cleveland Obi, who was the #8 pick and is now playing well in playoff minutes, why would they get anything else?

    Because Sexton and Toppin are the same age and Sexton is a lot better and plays a more valuable position.

  151. Raven:
    I don’t know why you think starting Rose next year means 36 minutes a game. Play him 27 and have Vildoza (I hope!) pick up 14 or so, and Quick playing with Burks (I hope!) taking up the remaining 7 or so.

    You are making a good point about him starting and not necessarily playing 36 minutes, but I’m thinking in terms of finding someone that can play 36 or even 40 or more in the playoffs or the occasional OT game. I really don’t want to be in a position where our best PG can only give us 27 (or whatever) minutes. I’d like to solve this PG problem for the next 5 years or longer. But if we have to keep doing this so be it.

  152. I would be more comfortable if Sexton came with, say, a 4/$60 contract. But that man is gonna get the max, and what an incredible thing to say about a guy whose team has been between -7 and -9 SRS over the past three seasons. That’s not all his fault, but you can’t be that bad with a true star at PG. Look at SGA’s game log for a comparison:

    SGA plays: OKC goes 16-19

    SGA does not play: OKC goes 6-31, including two wins against the Rockets.

    Here are their wins from the no-SGA set:

    17 HOU
    10 TOR
    5 MIL (no Jrue)
    5 LAC (no Kawhi & PG)
    4 BOS (no Tatum)
    2 HOU

    They lost five games by 37 or more points (including that 57-point drubbing this month by IND) and all were without SGA. I’d pay SGA the five year max right now and ride him into a Finals appearance circa 2024, but man, Sexton is like fourth tier among the new batch of ball-dominant guards sprouting up across the league.

    Also small sample and a dumb comparison, but the Cavs had a better win rate with Sexton out of the lineup than with him in. Just a terrible team overall though. It’s not all on Sexton.

  153. Vildoza has to be better than Payton, right? I mean, right there you seem to have a low budget 20 minute guy to keep Rose from burning out.

    There are so many possibilities for this offseason, it’s hard to predict anything. So my hope is that we take exactly the same approach as last year…value signings that maintain flexibility for when a big splash might be prudent. I truly hope we retain Bullock, Rose, Noel, Burks and Taj…keep developing RJ, Mitch, Obi and IQ, and play Vildoza if he’s good. That’s a 10-man rotation right there. Throw in a couple of draft picks and shake out Knox, Frank and the other scrubs to fill in the back end of the roster. If a deal materializes for a star, whatever. This team has Knicks fans dancing in the streets after one playoff win. I can live with that for another year.

  154. Z-Man, I totally agree. Keep the band together (if we can afford to) and let the youngsters develop. Teams can get better just by sticking together from season to season and we’re adding those draft picks. This team as currently constructed is 50/50 a second round team and 25 percent chance ECF next season.

  155. How long Derrick Rose can sustain this kind of play is a pretty interesting question. He’s obviously an entirely below-the-rim player at this point in his career, and he’s relying on craftiness and touch. Still has the good wheels.

    The wheels will slow down at some point, but a lot of his current skills are “old man” skills and should age well.

  156. Alan:
    I think trusting Rose to be this good next season, with this workload, is a bad plan. Unless they’re super high on Luca and/or IQ’s ability to play more than spot minutes at PG, we need to bring in somebody else. Maybe Rose’s presence allows us to not overpay for Lonzo or Lowry, but we need a good version of what we wanted Elf to be. Even if it’s off the bench.

    Have you been watching Cameron Payne play for Phoenix? He’s improved tremendously this season and is an under the radar UFA. I’d give him Payton’s minutes.

  157. Knowing what we know now, would you have traded for Harden when he was on the market? Say, for Mitch/Obi/a bunch of picks.

    Harden
    Bullock
    RJ
    Randle
    Noel

    With Rose, Quickley, Burks and Taj on the bench.

    Isn’t that team a Finals contender in the East this season (especially when you consider that the Nets wouldn’t be as good)?

    It was obviously the right call not to trade for him at the time, but damn, that is a good team.

  158. No love for a Cam Payne offseason signing I see…I’ll continue to beat that drum alone, though I’d guess he’s about to get paid, at which point the question becomes “how much?”

    Edit: DudesTown is on board!

  159. It’s funny that many of us keep forgetting that our starting center is on the injured list,
    but he’ll projected to be fully available next year,
    so one of Noel and Taj if re-signed need to get accustomed to DNP-CD.

    I think Noel will choose a team that can give him a starting spot,
    if so who you’d rather have, Nerlens or Mitch?

  160. I would be more comfortable if Sexton came with, say, a 4/$60 contract. But that man is gonna get the max, and what an incredible thing to say about a guy whose team has been between -7 and -9 SRS over the past three seasons. That’s not all his fault, but you can’t be that bad with a true star at PG.

    At the end of the day I agree and wouldn’t do the trade because of his looming free agency. He’s kind of a trap player in that he’s good enough to get the post-rookie max, but not good enough to provide surplus value on it.

    Having said that, he does fulfill a boatload of our needs on offense and I wouldn’t worry too much about his defense based on our other personnel/coaching. He’s also probably dogging it to some extent on that end in Cleveland. He’s gotten better every year and there’s still some low hanging fruit for him to clean up.

    I wouldn’t make the trade, but I’d be kinda excited if we did make it.

  161. I fucking hate the idea of rooting for James Harden. If anything, this season has restored our identity as a lunchpail blue collar team. He is the antithesis of that.

  162. I think a rotation of Noel-Mitch-Taj is perfect. Taj was out of the league with no takers, so he’s at the point in his career where he’d probably be fine sitting behind those guys and being available however Thibs needs him. Not to mention that both Nerlens and Mitch are injury prone.

  163. I’m still not a huge fan of Zach LaVine. I can see what the boxscore data says like everyone else, but his teams are almost always worse when he’s on court. The Bulls were barely better with him on the court this year in what looks like superstar level breakout on offense. On/Off is very noisy for a season or two, but it’s rarely noisy for an entire career spanning many lineups and situations. I don’t watch him play enough to have a strong opinion on what it could be, but something doesn’t pass the smell test on him for me.

  164. I think Noel will choose a team that can give him a starting spot,
    if so who you’d rather have, Nerlens or Mitch?

    I haven’t changed my mind.

    I’d rather have Mitch, but if there’s a trade available that is a significant upgrade at another position and Mitch has to be part of it, I think you can at least consider making that trade and coming back with Nerlens and Taj. I don’t think Mitch is so far above Nerlens that’s he’s off the table and I’d hate to lose Nerlens for nothing. I’d like to bring them both back, but I have a funny feeling that’s not going to happen.

  165. No love for a Cam Payne offseason signing I see…

    cameron payne is probably the best idea this board has generated…. i also liked the jalen brunson idea but not sure how realistic swinging a deal for him would be… i also really like delon wright who got traded for peanuts but nobody seems to talk about…

    bringing back rose on a reasonable deal and drafting a pg rates somewhere right behind those options for me also..

  166. Yeah, sometimes I feel inferior to BKLYN and like the ultimate homer. I heard two Celtic fans up here crushing on Payton Pritchard and thought, “Is that me?” But I think there is something to be said for bucking the big three trend. That’s the possibility of a longer sustained run of greatness (not to mention that the essence of sports isn’t “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”)

    How long will Brooklyn’s run be? Is the band in LA(C) about to break up already? I think, if we do it right, we can build a decade of excellent basketball with an authentic NY identity.

  167. If I had my druthers, my offseason would look like:

    Sign Payne, Re-sign Rose and one of Bullock and Burks (no idea which would be better without salary info but probably Bullock, given expected price and role on the team…), draft one of Giddey/Springer/Dosunmu and one of Sharpe/Queta, then idk who for the 2nd rounder (maybe Trey Murphy? idk). The above signings are presuming that we maintain some kind of cap flexibility, though I have no idea if that’s a realistic assumption given what I just outlined.

    Our rotation:
    PG: Payne, Rose, Giddey/Springer/Dosunmu, Vildoza
    SG: RJ, IQ, Payne (you could probably run Payne/Rose two PG sets too, since their skill sets are complementary–it would be an interesting look), Springer/Dosunmu
    SF: Bullock, RJ, ??? (SF is a big hole for us after Reggie)
    PF: Randle, Obi, ???
    C: Mitch/Noel (I think only 1 is staying), Taj, Queta/Sharpe

    That’s 12 players, plus a second round pick, two empty roster spots for vet mins, and two two-way deals, probably for our late 2nd and Theo (we must keep Theo at all costs, for chemistry reasons). That’s not a bad team at all.

  168. Rose/Vildoza bring back Kidd/Prigioni memories
    A high caliber starting pg is needed tho

  169. Never going to get excited about Sexton. Or Lavine.

    In a perfect world our next point guard will be a rough cut gem lying in plain sight who we pick up on the cheap and who becomes a building block. Cam Payne at a reasonable price? I don’t know. Not that familiar with his game. Strong numbers this year but also a little old. But that could bring his price down.

    I am passing my firebrand stage and moving into the Jesus (Brock) take the wheel stage and just praying they can work some magic and find the next Kyle Lowry.

    It would be great to have a great point guard in the Garden again.

  170. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada:
    If I had my druthers, my offseason would look like:

    Sign Payne, Re-sign Rose and one of Bullock and Burks (no idea which would be better without salary info but probably Bullock, given expected price and role on the team…), draft one of Giddey/Springer/Dosunmu and one of Sharpe/Queta, then idk who for the 2nd rounder (maybe Trey Murphy? idk). The above signings are presuming that we maintain some kind of cap flexibility, though I have no idea if that’s a realistic assumption given what I just outlined.

    Our rotation:
    PG: Payne, Rose, Giddey/Springer/Dosunmu, Vildoza
    SG: RJ, IQ, Payne (you could probably run Payne/Rose two PG sets too, since their skill sets are complementary–it would be an interesting look), Springer/Dosunmu
    SF: Bullock, RJ, ??? (SF is a big hole for us after Reggie)
    PF: Randle, Obi, ???
    C: Mitch/Noel (I think only 1 is staying), Taj, Queta/Sharpe

    That’s 12 players, plus a second round pick, two empty roster spots for vet mins, and two two-way deals, probably for our late 2nd and Theo (we must keep Theo at all costs, for chemistry reasons). That’s not a bad team at all.

    Silky, I really like Queta’s passing skills in addition to his defense. Id allow Noel to walk with him getting drafted.don’t think that Giddey will drop to us but I’m in on Springer or Dosunmo.

    Payne would be a vast improvement over Payton but I’d like to find a way to keep Burks too. Call me greedy if you must.

  171. Does anyone know if Vildoza went to Atlanta with the team?
    If he practices with the rest yet?

  172. payne’s improvement has been awesome. it’s just really hard to know what he’ll get. he’s not a secret anymore. but he’s definitely an interesting option if his market doesn’t spiral.

  173. Does anyone know if Vildoza went to Atlanta with the team? If he practices with the rest yet?

    He literally just finished quarantine yesterday.

  174. I’m still on the fence about Payne because he was legitimately not a NBA player until last season in the bubble and I think Phoenix would want to keep him with thr CP3 uncertainty that’s coming for sure with their likely first round loss. He would be too expensive for a guy that still has to prove he can do it full time.

    I’m much more in the LaVine train because his terrible team overshadowed a ridiculous scoring season he had this year, when he was healthy he was absolutely unstoppable. I think Chicago is much worse than people realize and that’s because LaVine carried them to a more respectable record than they deserved. This team will need a elite scorer to go further and there’s simply not many options available that are better than him.

  175. thenoblefacehumper: At the end of the day I agree and wouldn’t do the trade because of his looming free agency. He’s kind of a trap player in that he’s good enough to get the post-rookie max, but not good enough to provide surplus value on it.

    Having said that, he does fulfill a boatload of our needs on offense and I wouldn’t worry too much about his defense based on our other personnel/coaching. He’s also probably dogging it to some extent on that end in Cleveland. He’s gotten better every year and there’s still some low hanging fruit for him to clean up.

    I wouldn’t make the trade, but I’d be kinda excited if we did make it.

    The other caveat to saying “no” to this trade is if you believe that this coaching staff could transform him into a truly winning player, and if he’d be the type that would commit to the tutelage of Thibs & Co.

  176. Never going to get excited about Sexton. Or Lavine.

    I felt the same way about Lavine until this season. He has put up video game numbers. I think he’d be a great add. Nothing Atlanta is doing in this series would work if Lavine were on the court with Randle.

    I’ve also become much less concerned about elite scorers with bad defensive reputations. We have a team defensive structure that would mitigate much of Lavine’s shortcomings.

  177. I’m not sure how much of Payne’s improved shooting is sustainable, but it’s coming in different areas. So I’d have to think some of it is. He’s another example of a player putting it all together in his mid 20s.

  178. Vorkunov:

    Tom Thibodeau is “still undecided” about the Knicks starting lineup for Game 2 in Atlanta.
    What he’s thinking about: “What gives us our best chance to win.”

  179. Vorkunov:

    Tom Thibodeau is “still undecided” about the Knicks starting lineup for Game 2 in Atlanta.
    What he’s thinking about: “What gives us our best chance to win.”

    Feels like the prelude to Elf starting again

  180. I mean, julius is your main engine, if it helps him having a point guard who can handle the ball and threaten the rim, as well as having a center who can catch passes around the basket – you gotta go with rose and taj in the starting five…right???

    if nothing else than to impress on the team how crucial every possesion is – especially the beginning of the 1st and 3rd quarters…

  181. Rose is the obvious choice, Taj just seems like a much better match up for this series to check Capela and add an extra dimension on offense.

  182. Kyrie: “please no subtle racism from Celtics fans ”

    Celtics fans: “don’t worry, it won’t be subtle”

  183. I’m waiting for a starting lineup for a game thread and still nothing. What is up with this silliness?

  184. YES!!!!! The Plague is no more!

    Do we know if Noel is out, or just backing up? Begley’s tweet about it was ambiguous.

  185. You think Thibs is stubborn enough to use Payton as first PG off the bench, or does he stick with the IQ and Burks show?

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