NY Post: Knicks’ season ends in blowout playoff loss to Hawks

The Knicks have been sent “on vacation,’’ as Hawks center Clint Capela promised.

The Knicks weaved a wonderful 41-31 regular season, but the Hawks proved it to be an inflated ledger in taking them out in five.

Atlanta outclassed the Knicks all series, eliminating them with a 103-89 victory Wednesday at the Garden in Game 5.

Capela was a huge factor in wiping the glass with 14 points and 15 rebounds, and shoving them into an offseason of potential promise with $60 million of cap space and two first-round picks. The Knicks missed injured center Mitchell Robinson in the series.

The Garden crowd showered the Knicks with a standing ovation in the final 50 seconds.

I was going to use this for a theoretical Game 6, but it works for now, as well.

Sorry for the thread delay, but I figured we all wanted to sit with the loss a bit first before we really fully reacted to it.

Okay, first things first, boy, that sucked.

Second thing, that crowd serenade was nice.

Third thing, I get wanting the starters on the court to celebrate their first playoff win, but I hope Nate eschews that approach if they win another series. Trae’s antics don’t really bother me (you know Knick fans would love it if the situations were reversed and that was a Knick doing those antics), but he really didn’t need to be out there to do the antics.

Fourth thing, as I joked in the opening of the game thread, Thibs soon realized that he needed Derrick Rose to start the game for the Knicks to have a chance, but he then also needed Derrick Rose to come off the bench for the Knicks to not fall apart when Derrick Rose rested. In other words, the Knicks were in a lose-lose situation at the point.

Fifth thing, with that in mind, though, while Thibs was right to lean on Rose, we saw last night that doing so likely led to Rose’s body giving out. As soon as he got hurt, this series was truly over. Rose just can’t play big minutes anymore. It’s simply not in his current physical capabilities.

Sixth thing, as even Berman noted, the Knicks really missed Mitch. However, they also missed a healthy Noel. After a season with really good health luck (where their one major injury was at a position where they had basically an only slightly discounted version of the injured player ready to fill in and then got a seemingly washed up veteran who was so good that he often closed out games), they had bad injury luck this series with Noel getting hurt early and Rose getting hurt late.

Seventh thing, we all get by now that it’s almost assuredly true that the downside of Thibs treating every game like it is Game 7 means that the Knicks have no extra gear left for the playoffs, while other teams A. Put more effort into the playoffs B. Play shorter rotations C. Don’t rest players and D. Spend the time on film that Thibs always does in the regular season. That’s an issue, I just don’t think it’s a major one. Getting the fourth seed instead of the ninth seed is a good thing. You just hope Leon Rose gives Thibs even better players in the future, so playoff letdowns will be less of an issue.

Eighth thing, Chandler Parsons was signed away from the Mavericks on a max contract while recovering from knee surgery following a mediocre Age 27 season. Julius Randle was just an All-Star and will possibly be an All-NBA player. He’s getting maxed out by someone if he holds off until next offseason to sign a deal following his age 27 season. Maybe it shouldn’t be the Knicks, but it will happen regardless. Don’t think that his shitty series here will suddenly limit his max offers.

Ninth thing, however, the shitty series likely does cap out all the other Knick free agents at the midlevel (not counting Taj or Payton. The former because he’s too old and the latter because he’s awful). That’s still $40 million for the Knicks to bring them all back, and likely not one year deals. So who knows what happens there.

Tenth thing, with how much the Knicks relied on a career resurgence by Derrick Rose, it does highlight that there are serious questions about how good this team will be next year. They’re in a great position, cap-wise and draft picks- wise, but there are so many question marks that this could go either way easily.

Final thing, this was still a very fun season and I’m glad we all had each other to share this with.

Let’s go, win the offseason, Knicks!

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484 thoughts to “NY Post: Knicks’ season ends in blowout playoff loss to Hawks”

  1. Thanks for the cap, Brian. And although we’re in better position than in years before, the number of questions surrounding our future that you list here shows that it really can go either way easily. We have to trust that Leon knows what he’s doing (so far he earned that, let’s hope he can continue to earn it).

  2. All in all, it was a great season, i had a lot of fun. And i’m very happy i started commenting here, because it’s even better to be able to share this with you guys. Thank you all for being a part of KB community, either i agree or disagree with you, you’re all my “knicks brothers”. Let’s hope next year we can go one step further, which is winning at least 3 playoff games.

  3. Amen, soze!

    Now let’s root like hell for the Suns to close out the Limpers…err Lakers on road tonight. I will make libations out of Laker fans salty tears :)

  4. cp3 reportedly going to decline his option which puts one possibility onto board for us in the offseason….

  5. Okay here it goes: I’ve said in the past that next season would be where the team would have to make its big decisions. When it comes to Randall, I would like to say, “hey, love what you did this regular season – now show me you can do it again in ’21-’22”. Right now, I’d:
    A. Fully guarantee his full 2021-22 salary. He’s earned it.
    B. Propose this third option for a short term extension.

    I would not offer a 4-year extension just yet: I want to see the team remain as fluid as possible with players that are not (or not yet) franchise-level talent. I want to buy as much time as possible to improve the talent base and to reposition Randall’s use on offense closer to the basket. I need to go into preseason next October seeing whether Barrett makes the 3rd year leap (which I’ll argue is maybe even more important than navigating Jules’ contract situation), and what improvements IQ and Obi bring to training camp.

    Well said, CDiggy. If DRed ever needs a Brock Aller, you’ll do nicely.

    I, too, like the idea of rewarding Randle with a two year max extension that allows him to become a free agent in year 10. I don’t know what he’ll like, though. I don’t think he’s going to age well, so he’ll probably want to get paid this year or next year.

  6. djphan:
    cp3 reportedly going to decline his option which puts one possibility onto board for us in the offseason….

    That’s potentially interesting. Unless the Lakers get back to full strength, you gotta think the Suns feel there isn’t a team that’s a clear cut above them w/Paul. How often are the Suns in true title contention? And they have some young guys that can still improve. They should do whatever it takes to resign him.

    Now for us: A 3-year deal is worrisome for me because Paul always seems to get hurt in the playoffs, and I can’t imagine that going away the older he gets. But the Knicks would be AMAZING with him in the regular season at least w/a baseline of a puncher’s chance come playoff time. And this team could really use his bball acumen.
    For me, I’d want the team to have a PG Apprenticeship, Succession and Development Plan if they were to pursue him, which starts with this draft (or plucking a young-ish PG like a Brunson from Dallas). Get a young lead guard* who could use two to three years of development and seasoning as Paul’s backup with the goal of eventually becoming a legit starter by Paul’s last season.

    *I won’t yet rule out that said lead guard could even be Quickley.

  7. Raven:
    Z-Man, I’m going to have to disagree with you on the Thibs point. He gets all the credit in the world for getting the Knicks to way overachieve and become a 4th seed with home court, just like Randle gets all the credit in the world for morphing into a borderline All-NBA star during the regular season and driving the team’s success. And both of them get some criticism for shitting the bed during the playoffs.

    I agree that Atlanta is a better team, everything would have had to go perfectly for us to beat them. Part of the struggle is that in the second half of the season, it felt like having everything go right was status quo. Somebody always got hot in the 4th, the defensive intensity went up a notch, and we’d pull games out. So it was a bit of cognitive dissonance to suddenly fail as badly as we did.

    Thibs is a very good coach. He didn’t coach this series very well. If he had, we’d probably still lose, but maybe 4-2 or even 4-3. Which would have been more fun. C’est la vie. Here’s hoping that both he and Julius recognize the need to improve on a few things.

    I dunno Raven, on one hand you say that the Hawks were better and everything would have to go perfectly to beat them, and on the other hand you say that Thibs’ coaching cost us a game. On one hand people say that he waited too long to bench Payton, and on the other hand, the games Payton played were the only ones we had a chance to win.

    I would argue that the talent differential between the Bucks and Heat is less than it is between us and the Hawks. The Heat had essentially the same team that went to the finals in the bubble. Maybe if Spo was coaching the Knicks they would have gotten swept, and maybe if Thibs had the Heat roster he figures out how to beat the Bucks a game or two.

  8. djphan:
    cp3 reportedly going to decline his option which puts one possibility onto board for us in the offseason….

    Mitch would feast.

  9. cybersoze:
    All in all, it was a great season, i had a lot of fun. And i’m very happy i started commenting here, because it’s even better to be able to share this with you guys. Thank you all for being a part of KB community, either i agree or disagree with you, you’re all my “knicks brothers”. Let’s hope next year we can go one step further, which is winning at least 3 playoff games.

    If there was a KB ROY, you and Max* would be hoisting the trophy. One of the best elements of this site for me, in addition to the intelligence and sophistication, is having people from all over the globe bonding over their love for the Knicks and their willingness to suffer for it.

    * I’m using my flawed senior citizen memory to recall that Max started posting this season.

  10. I mean, Thibs is a good coach. The team is organized, everyone knows their role and plays hard. But his approach to resources is myopic and childish. You don’t…

    1. Stretch your available resources until they are tapped and then push them further. It will get them broken, duh, or depleted.

    2. Maximize the top resources you have while freezing out the lesser productive ones, because you won’t have them ready when you’ll need them.

    3. Abandon creativity for the sake of repetition and execution. Both are important and using only one approach (D’antoni is the opposite example) will cause rigidity and hurt your ability to adapt.

    That’s why I think he’s limited. Give him prime LeBron and Durant and Paul and he’ll be Phil Jackson. Give him less than that and he’s not even Nate McMillan.

  11. Annnnnnnd here come the trolling text msgs from my coworkers.

    It’s not like their defending champs are about to face elimination tonight or anything.

  12. DudesTown: What does he say? ESPN wants money from me to read the article.

    Strange, i’m not a paying customer and i can read the whole article. Maybe it’s because i’m not in the US. I’ll try to summarize it.

  13. The Knicks had a great season, but this series really exposed a lot of our flaws both with personnel and coaching. Thibs did a great job this year but his lack of flexibility did hurt the team. He was not willing to experiment with different lineups over the course of the season so once we were in the playoffs we were stuck either sticking to something that wasn’t working or trying things we had never tried. The regular season is the time to trot out different looks and get your bench extended burn so once you are in the playoffs you have a much bigger toolbox to draw from.

    With that said I am happy with Thibs and just hope he learns from it and is more open to new things next season.

    I think we should let most if not all of our free agents walk. I would resign Noel if we don’t draft a big but if we do I’d let him walk and run it back with Robinson, Pelle, and our rookie. I’d let Rose and Burks walk because I think they played themselves into expensive contracts. I’d resign Bullock for anything less than $8 million per but I don’t think that’s happening.

    As for pickups I would check the temperature on Ball and Powell, I would also look to see if we could steal away Trent Jr, if he’s not too expensive, and I would also look at Larkin or Micic from Europe.

    As for the draft any combination of Springer, Cooper, Jackson, or Butler would be great. In the second round maybe a flier on Boston or Pravin or even Dosunmu, if he slides, and then Maker with our late pick.

  14. The Infamous Cdiggy: It’s not like their defending champs are about to face elimination tonight or anything.

    They like to live on the edge. Some more hours and it’s payback time. ;)

  15. As for pickups I would check the temperature on Ball and Powell, I would also look to see if we could steal away Trent Jr, if he’s not too expensive, and I would also look at Larkin or Micic from Europe.

    I think the whole point of Toronto trading for Trent Jr. was because he’s a restricted free agent, so they’d be able to keep him, while Powell was older and an unrestricted free agent, so they thought they were going to lose him.

  16. Ingmarrrr:
    I mean, Thibs is a good coach. The team is organized, everyone knows their role and plays hard. But his approach to resources is myopic and childish. You don’t…

    1. Stretch your available resources until they are tapped and then push them further. It will get them broken, duh, or depleted.

    2. Maximize the top resources you have while freezing out the lesser productive ones, because you won’t have them ready when you’ll need them.

    3. Abandon creativity for the sake of repetition and execution. Both are important and using only one approach (D’antoni is the opposite example) will cause rigidity and hurt your ability to adapt.

    That’s why I think he’s limited. Give him prime LeBron and Durant and Paul and he’ll be Phil Jackson. Give him less than that and he’s not even Nate McMillan.

    I think “childish” is a poor choice of adjective, but beyond that:

    Point 1: Agreed, but understand that this team probably doesn’t make the playoffs, much less the 4th seed, without that approach. And keep in mind that Rose got depleted because he took on Payton’s minutes on top of his own, and that Noel was depleted because Mitch was hurt, Taj is old, and Pelle is essentially unplayable in the playoffs if you want to win

    Point 2: Obi got playing time all year way beyond what his play merited. IQ got plenty of minutes and if he were played more, point 1 would likely apply.

    Point 3: that’s fair but probably more true of other coaches than is being suggested and less true of Thibs than is being suggested.

    And your final point makes no sense. He did more with this shitty roster than anyone had a right to expect. Do you actually think that Nate McMillan coaches this team past the play-in?

  17. Hollinger has a new article on the Knicks’ future: https://theathletic.com/2630901/2021/06/03/hollinger-knicks-and-grizzlies-are-eliminated-now-comes-the-hard-part/

    1) Thinks Randle has outplayed his extension value
    2) Thinks best two options for FA are a) one-year overpay for Lowry b) long-term contract for Ball and resign our veterans as salary filler for a trade
    3) Doesn’t think the Knicks will get a chance to sign CP3, nor should they given that it will be 3 years

  18. I get the autopsy and all, but this series wasn’t close. It wasn’t won or lost on the margins. The rookies playing more, Rose coming off the bench, Mitch Robinson being available — all that may have helped make the series a bit more competitive, but the outcome would have ultimately been the same. The Hawks didn’t kick into a special playoff gear. Their good players just kept doing what they had done to get them there, whereas the Knicks played a lot worse that they’d played to get there. The post mortem is pretty simple: Randle was bad. (That was basically the post mortem for why last season ended the way it did too.)

  19. I read the Hollinger piece, too, which is also about what the Grizzlies should do next. That half has an intriguing section about Jaren Jackson Jr., whom Hollinger helped draft when he was a Memphis exec, and whom Berman of the Post claimed we might try to acquire in the offseason:

    Jackson, however, is a huge decision, a franchise fork in the road. The 21-year-old forward just finished his third season, although he only played 11 games due to a knee injury. Jackson tempts with his “big man 3-and-D” package; he hit 39.4 percent from 3 on high volume in 2019-20, and for a 6-11 guy, he has unusually clean footwork running into catch-and-shoots. He can also score on the block against switches, has the feet to guard fours and good shot-blocking instincts.

    At the moment, however, he offsets those strengths with a bizarre inability to rebound, a maddening propensity for fouling and an inability to see secondary defenders once he puts it on the floor. He’s also missed significant time due to injury in all three of his pro seasons.

    Overall, this one seems it could be headed for a John Collins situation. Jackson no doubt thinks he can get max-type money with a big year and has enough admirers in other front offices that he’s probably right. The Grizzlies, understandably, would probably like to see a longer track record of health and production before committing those kinds of dollars.

  20. Z-man: Point 1: Agreed, but understand that this team probably doesn’t make the playoffs, much less the 4th seed, without that approach.

    I think this may be the availability bias. Playing people a few minutes less could have made them less tired and more productive. It’s hard to prove either way, but maybe ptmilo has historical data and the resources to check.

    By childish I meant stubborn, probably not the right choice of words, I agree.

    Nighttime in my time zone, sorry if I don’t respond later, I think this is interesting stuff.

  21. Z-man: Agreed, but understand that this team probably doesn’t make the playoffs, much less the 4th seed, without that approach. And keep in mind that Rose got depleted because he took on Payton’s minutes on top of his own,

    Love the verb choice here and the intentionally misleading quasi-passive voice. Of course what really happened wasn’t that Rose “took on” Payton’s minutes; what really happened was that Rose “was given Payton’s minutes by the coach.” (*) If you’re at all a Thibs skeptic and at all an attention payer to the claim that he runs guys into the ground, the sight of a broken down Derrick Rose noticeably limping and gimping around in the second and third quarters of an elimination Game 5 is quite the ammunition.

    (*) And similarly Rose didn’t “get depleted,” Rose was depleted.

  22. Summary about the Bobby Marks article that’s behind a paywall:
    1. Manage expectations – here he analyzes how it’s likely that the fans will be expecting the same or better performance from the team next year;
    2. Knicks options to improve the roster –
    2.1 internal (draft, own free agents);
    2.2 cap space;
    2.3 trade market;
    2.4 or a combination of all 3?

    Then he explores the options above, but it’s all things we already know, so i leave you some interesting parts of it.

    On the internal part:

    Would New York commit multiyear contracts and at a significant cost to keep the same roster together?
    The 2015-16 Miami Heat are a good example of the downside of falling in love with your own free agents. The Heat finished that season 48-34 and lost in the second round to Toronto. In the offseason, they signed their own free agents to four-year contracts: James Johnson ($60 million), Tyler Johnson ($50 million) and Dion Waiters ($47.3 million).
    The following season, they finished .500, and they missed the playoffs in two of the next three seasons.

    This gives food for thought, don’t you think?

    On the cap:
    He says we can have 50M to spend, if we want, but in that case we won’t keep our own free agents, of course.
    You can check our cap situation here: https://www.spotrac.com/nba/new-york-knicks/cap/2021/

    On the trade market:
    It’s just that we’re well positioned to nab the next disgruntled all-star, nothing new there also.

    What is really new is the valuation of our players’ season, with Randle having outperformed his salary by 13M and DRose by 15.1M.
    I really don’t know how they calculate this, but he cites the source (http://profitx.ai/), and i think DRose valued at 22.8M to be a backup PG seems too much.

    And i think i gave you some insights of the article without saying too much, to be fair to the author.

  23. Ingmarrrr: I think this may be the availability bias. Playing people a few minutes less could have made them less tired and more productive. It’s hard to prove either way, but maybe ptmilo has historical data and the resources to check.

    By childish I meant stubborn, probably not the right choice of words, I agree.

    Nighttime in my time zone, sorry if I don’t respond later, I think this is interesting stuff.

    I would be of the opinion that if he took his foot off the gas even for one game in the last 20 game stretch, we would be talking about how we got blown out 4 straight times by the Bucks. We went 16-4 in our las t 20 games and barely eked out a 4th place finish via a tiebreaker. One more loss and we’d be the 6th seed. I fail to see how the playoffs would have turned out differently if we were a well-rested team going up against the Bucks.

  24. E, all merc’d out: Love the verb choice here and the intentionally misleading quasi-passive voice. Of course what really happened wasn’t that Rose “took on” Payton’s minutes; what really happened was that Rose “was given Payton’s minutes by the coach.” (*) If you’re at all a Thibs skeptic and at all an attention payer to the claim that he runs guys into the ground, the sight of a broken down Derrick Rose noticeably limping and gimping around in the second and third quarters of an elimination Game 5 is quite the ammunition.

    (*) And similarly Rose didn’t “get depleted,” Rose was depleted.

    So you think he should have kept playing Payton? Do you think that playing IQ or Burks more would have put us over the top?

    If anything, he actually DID rest Rose during the regular season by not starting him even though he was by far the best PG on the roster.

    PS nice psychoanalysis, dude, is that where you ran off to for 3 months?

  25. Bo Nateman: If there was a KB ROY, you and Max* would be hoisting the trophy. One of the best elements of this site for me, in addition to the intelligence and sophistication, is having people from all over the globe bonding over their love for the Knicks and their willingness to suffer for it.
    * I’m using my flawed senior citizen memory to recall that Max started posting this season.

    Thanks, Bo. :)

  26. Z-man: So you think he should have kept playing Payton? Do you think that playing IQ or Burks more would have put us over the top?

    If anything, he actually DID rest Rose during the regular season by not starting him even though he was by far the best PG on the roster.

    I think a bunch of people over the years have opined that Thibs runs guys into the ground — we even talked about that here on Knickerblogger!! — and, lo and behold, in a playoff series, he ran Derrick Rose into the ground. I put little stock in fatuous claims that he had no choice but to run someone into the ground.

    What exactly was he going to do if somehow there was a Game 6?

    As to IQ in particular, I wrote live from the Garden last night that it was ridiculous that he got pulled in the first half after 4 minutes and I’m of the exact opinion now, 20 hours later. Thirteen minutes for IQ last night was absurd. I would think exactly the same thing even if Derrick Rose didn’t look desperately in need of some quiet time in his stall with some fresh oats and carrots and a nice brush and shine of his coat.

  27. cybersoze:
    Summary about the Bobby Marks article that’s behind a paywall:
    1. Manage expectations – here he analyzes how it’s likely that the fans will be expecting the same or better performance from the team next year;
    2. Knicks options to improve the roster –
    2.1 internal (draft, own free agents);
    2.2 cap space;
    2.3 trade market;
    2.4 or a combination of all 3?

    Then he explores the options above, but it’s all things we already know, so i leave you some interesting parts of it.

    On the internal part:

    This gives food for thought, don’t you think?

    On the cap:
    He says we can have 50M to spend, if we want, but in that case we won’t keep our own free agents, of course.
    You can check our cap situation here: https://www.spotrac.com/nba/new-york-knicks/cap/2021/

    On the trade market:
    It’s just that we’re well positioned to nab the next disgruntled all-star, nothing new there also.

    What is really new is the valuation of our players’ season, with Randle having outperformed his salary by 13M and DRose by 15.1M.
    I really don’t know how they calculate this, but he cites the source (http://profitx.ai/), and i think DRose valued at 22.8M to be a backup PG seems too much.

    And i think i gave you some insights of the article without saying too much, to be fair to the author.

    Thanks, cybersoze. Most of what he said is not earth shattering. As far as paying DRose, I think he proved that he’s a nice backup PG but not worth nearly that money.

  28. A few minutes of Frank and we might still be playing meaningful games. Lol. I do believe that Thibs should have tried Frank on Trae for a few minutes because what we were throwing out there simply wasn’t working well.

  29. Whether he rested Rose and played IQ more, or did what he did, the result would have been the same. IQ is a dumb rookie who was a -10 in 13 minutes. The game before that he was 0-3 for zero points in 13 minutes. The game before that he had 4 points on 8 shots in 15 minutes. In what fucking fantasy world does playing IQ more to rest Rose a few more minutes change the outcome of the series?

    Chris Paul is hobbling now, Did Monty overuse him?
    AD is hobbling, did Vogel overuse him?
    Embiid is hobbling, did Doc overuse him?
    Giannis was hobbling last year vs the Heat, did Budz overuse him?
    Jason Kidd turned into a pumpkin vs. Indiana, did Woodson overuse him?

    It’s the playoffs. Coaches ride their horses hard. In game 2, everyone was calling Nate a moron for not playing Trae more minutes. Coaches can’t win. No matter how they lose they get criticized. And that’s fair game. But be real about it.

  30. The guys on your list are all injured. That’s different.

    I know the defense of Thibs here is that “it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.” That’s not really a defense. The characterization of IQ as “dumb” doesn’t remotely jibe with reality and sounds bitter. I know he’s gotten on your shit list because to defend him is to criticize Thibs, but he’s not remotely a “dumb” player.

    He ran D-Rose into the ground. Expired after 4.5 games from overuse. That’s simply fact. Probably didn’t really “matter” that much, but still simply fact. It was sort of a stunning sight to behold, really — it’s something you don’t often see in pro basketball or any other sport. Less than five games into a first round playoff series and one of your starters is flat wiped.

    What was he going to do in Game 6? Does he realize playoff series are the best of 7 games?

  31. DudesTown:
    A few minutes of Frank and we might still be playing meaningful games. Lol. I do believe that Thibs should have tried Frank on Trae for a few minutes because what we were throwing out there simply wasn’t working well.

    That might be the most fair criticism of all, but hey, a few more minutes of Rolando Blackman instead of John Starks and maybe we have a championship in 1994. Does that make Riley a bad coach?

  32. I think that there is a world where you can say, “Is it worth it to drag these guys to a higher seed when it won’t help the future of the team to do so?”

    But that world is when it is the difference between, like, the #7 seed and the #10 seed or the #9 seed and the #11 seed.

    Not the freakin’ fourth seed and home court advantage!

  33. Z-man: Does that make Riley a bad coach?

    Z-Man, nobody is saying Thibs is a bad coach (okay, maybe a few people are saying that, but they’re, um, misguided). Thibs is a very good coach. But he’s also not perfect. I think a post-mortem assessment of the season, including the playoffs, can and should include where Thibs fell flat or made mistakes. We can all improve, even me (or at least so says my partner).

  34. E, all merc’d out: The guys on your list are all injured. That’s different.

    Oh, I guess Rose limping means he’s not injured, just tired. Okay. And overusing players doesn’t make them more injury-prone, like when CP3 blew out his hammy in game 5 vs. the Warriors. Right. What injury did Jason Kidd suffer?

    E, all merc’d out: I know the defense of Thibs here is that “it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.” That’s not really a defense. The characterization of IQ as “dumb” doesn’t remotely jibe with reality and sounds bitter.

    I only meant that in the sense that all rookies are dumb by definition. No slight to his potential. And certainly no bitterness. I wished he played more like a veteran, but the numbers speak for themselves. He was awful this series, Is that really debatable?

    E, all merc’d out: He ran D-Rose into the ground. Expired after 4.5 games from overuse. That’s simply fact. Probably didn’t really “matter” that much, but still simply fact. It was sort of a stunning sight to behold, really — it’s something you don’t often see in pro basketball or any other sport.

    What was he going to do in Game 6? Does he realize playoff series are the best of 7 games?

    If you played Rose less minutes,, your chances getting to game 6 or 7 drop. So you pick your poison. You wish he took a different poison, and a more lethal one. Without Rose’s 38 minutes in game one, including the game-tying shot with 9 seconds left, we get blown out. Without his 39 minutes in game 2 where IQ went 2-9, Burks went 4-13, and RJ went 5-14 and Julius went 5-16, we lose game 2 and surely get swept. Is that so…

  35. I don’t think Rose got run into the ground…he got hurt early in game 3…he went to the locker room and came back to the bench but was never the same…he mentioned that he “hit his knee” or something but he was very careful when he spoke about it and the team never said anything…but he was rocking before that…there is no way he just “hit the wall” from over use…he was adamant to that point about how his body was good and he could play more minutes…there was some physical issue that happened in Game 3 and it wasn’t from over use…if it was the regular season..he probably takes a seat for a few games to heal…looks like he just tried to play through it…like Noel did with his ankle..

  36. Raven, I hear you but and I’m not saying he’s a perfect coach or pressed all the right buttons. My position is that no coach could have done more with this team to get to where it did, and in the playoffs, no coach could have been competitive with the Hawks with the vast disparity in talent. Whatever his flaws are, they had almost nothing to do with the outcome of this series, and if so, it was probably a net positive that we almost won game 1 and won game 2 by playing Rose more minutes than some here would have liked to see. In other words, limiting Rose’s minutes would have meant sure losses in games 1 and 2 instead of a nail-biter and a win. Why is that getting misinterpreted as me saying that Thibs can do no wrong?

  37. Thibs is a very good coach. But he’s also not perfect. I think a post-mortem assessment of the season, including the playoffs, can and should include where Thibs fell flat or made mistakes.

    This really should not be remotely controversial

  38. Z-man: He was awful this series, Is that really debatable?

    It’s extremely debatable, and in fact completely false. He wasn’t remotely “awful.” Not only wasn’t he awful, but the sample is always biased because if he starts out 0-3 or something, Thibs never gives him a chance to recover. His deployment of the kid was brutally bad.

  39. THIBS IS A GOOD TO EXCELLENT COACH. THIBS IS A GOOD TO EXCELLENT COACH. THIBS IS A GOOD TO EXCELLENT COACH!!

  40. Rose wasn’t on the injury reports as anything but a pure “go,” there was no talk about his knee before the game, and he looked perfectly fine in warmups and in the first part of the game. I don’t think the claim here is that he literally collapsed because of exhaustion, and the more exact “his knee didn’t hold up to the extra workload” isn’t meaningfully different from the more colloquial and conversational, “he was run into the ground.”

    His own words were that he had some “knick knack” injuries that eventually made Thibs have to pull him, which is pretty much synonymous with being “run into the ground.” His body didn’t hold up to the extra workload. Predictably so, IMHO.

  41. E, all merc’d out:
    Rose wasn’t on the injury reports as anything but a pure “go,” there was no talk about his knee before the game, and he looked perfectly fine in warmups and in the first part of the game.I don’t think the claim here is that he literally collapsed because of exhaustion, and the more exact “his knee didn’t hold up to the extra workload” isn’t meaningfully different from the more colloquial and conversational, “he was run into the ground.”

    His own words were that he had some “knick knack” injuries that eventually made Thibs have to pull him, which is pretty much synonymous with being “run into the ground.”His body didn’t hold up to the extra workload.Predictably so, IMHO.

    pleez…like there is never subterfuge around injuries in the playoffs so the other team doesn’t know what is going on…to say “he got run into the ground” and immediately went from 25 pts a game to limping is fucking bullshit…he got hurt and to hypothosize with certainly is even deeper bullshit…if you don’t want to be selective on his quotes…you can find a million of them with him saying he is fine with extra minutes and he is in great shape…blah..blah …blah…which is it?

  42. I’m down with CP3 for 3 years. The third year will be garbage most likely, but it would be nice to have an incredible point guard for once.

  43. Ben R: I would also look at Larkin or Micic from Europe

    Larkin is in fact a great option to replace Elfrid. He’s one of europe’s best paid players, but here that means 4M, so a deal would be quite easy. He’s still in europe because he wants a starter job to get back to the NBA, and we can give him that. And he’s 28 and in his prime. Match made in heaven?

  44. So..in my mind, I’ve broken down this coming offseason for our Knicks into 3 options:
    1. Package our picks with a player like Knox to move up and get a top tier talent in the draft.
    2. Package Randle in a trade for a disgruntled star.
    3. Resign our free agents, add Ball, and draft a SG who can score off the bounce and a shooter with our 1st rounders.

    Out of the 3, I’d rather do option 3. Listen..I trust Randle. Yea he clammed up in the playoffs. But, he also did a helluva job building off the pain from the previous season, so we should keep him. I trust RJ to build off of the pain as well. They both proved they are the types of players that “get it out of the mud”- so to speak. They will be better next season. I kinda got my eye on Wagner in this draft. We may have to trade up for him, but I think he shoots well enough and can defend fairly well. He also had some playmaking in him. But..is he good enough to supplant Bullock in the starting lineup as a rookie at some point in the season?

    I like the bench unit of Noel/Obi/Burks/Quickley/ Rose ALOT. That being said, I’m also thinking we should extend Mitch now before his price goes through the roof. We obviously need him. Noel played valiantly all season, but he will never be the physical presence that Mitch is.

    I am not down with trading a bunch of assets for a disgruntled star. So, if we go that route, Randle has to be included so that we won’t Melo deal ourselves. And that star has to be head and shoulders above Randle. It’s hard to say who that might be, unless Dame or Beal are made available. This team has shown so much growth under Thibs, I don’t really want to add a star who might not be cut from the same cloth as Thibs, RJ, and Randle- I don’t care how good they are at scoring. I’d rather have rookies who are malleable and cut from the same cloth. At least this year. I dunno..I can’t wait to see what the FO does

  45. Thibs is a very good coach and I give him a lot of credit for our season especially getting Randle to be a good defender, Toppin’s defensive improvement, and the overall effort this team gave every night. But he often coaches not to lose, afraid to stray from his game plan and rarely thinking outside of the box. This constant fear of making the wrong move often means he makes no move at all or leans too heavily on players and systems he is familiar with.

    We really needed to shake things up after game 3. The series was moving in a bad direction, Rose was hurt, Randle was ineffective, and we had no answer for Trae. Most likely any changes we made probably wouldn’t have been enough but I would have still liked to see us at least try something since what we were doing was clearly not working.

  46. I think next year we have to really ask if it’s worth it to sell out in the regular season. People keep saying we wouldn’t be the 4 seed if we didn’t squeeze every drop of juice out of the team in the regular season. Well… so what? We got our asses kicked by the 5 seed. How is that better than losing to the 6 seed?

    This year was fun and I have zero complaints but next year let’s just be who we are without playing pedal to the metal. Let’s not have the top players in minutes played again. Play some kids more. Experiment with different lineups. Build something sustainable. Because winning with your top guys playing 200 more minutes than any other player in the league is not sustainable.

  47. I think next year we have to really ask if it’s worth it to sell out in the regular season. People keep saying we wouldn’t be the 4 seed if we didn’t squeeze every drop of juice out of the team in the regular season. Well… so what? We got our asses kicked by the 5 seed. How is that better than losing to the 6 seed?

    Most of us, you included, I believe, thought that the Knicks had a good chance of winning this series, while I don’t think anyone would have believed that the Knicks could have won against Milwaukee, hence it being better to be the #4 seed.

  48. no for cp3…maybe for lowry or conley on a one year deal…

    i like jaren jackson a lot, but, he’s hurt a lot and doesn’t seem to really understand basketball all that well…

    personally, i think the series was decided on a lucky bounce for the hawks in game 1, if they had lost that first game, i think we roll them in five…

  49. Brian, I stated I have zero complaints that we did it this year. I said we have to consider whether it’s right to take the same approach next year.

    Can we really have *two* guys playing more minutes than anyone in the NBA year after year? I have to think the data on that doesn’t look good.

  50. But getting the fourth seed any year typically gives you better odds of winning your playoff series than finishing lower, no?

  51. Yeah, the next time they make the playoffs I want regular season performance to translate more “normally” to the playoffs. Not interested in a yearly guessing game as to how many of the regular season wins are just “Thibs wins.” It’s great that he changed/shocked the culture, but now that that’s been accomplished, we need some normalcy around here.

  52. Brian Cronin:
    But getting the fourth seed any year typically gives you better odds of winning your playoff series than finishing lower, no?

    Only if you’re a “true” 4 seed. This team wasn’t. I mean, obviously an “untrue” 4 has a better chance of winning than an “untrue” 6 or 7, but I’m not sure that’s the ultimate question here.

  53. oh, and for anyone now or in the future whom may disagree with my observations/opinions/beliefs/bullshit and choose to comment on whatever crazy shit you may be thinking that contradicts the edicts which i have decreed – just know – i am correct…and, it is irrefutable that you are wrong and i am right…

    well, now that that has been established i am fully prepared to engage in some vigorous disagreeable discourse…

    come get sum…

  54. Going forward, I think we should be whoever we are without playing our best players significantly more than other teams do. If that’s not the 4th seed, so be it.

  55. E, all merc’d out:
    Yeah, the next time they make the playoffs I want regular season performance to translate more “normally” to the playoffs.Not interested in a yearly guessing game as to how many of the regular season wins are just “Thibs wins.”It’s great that he changed/shocked the culture, but now that that’s been accomplished, we need some normalcy around here.

    You should never speak about normalcy.

  56. CP3 is going to opt out, his people are going to leak how impressed he was with the job his old agent Leon Rose did with the Knicks, espn will do a story about how much he loves the garden and then he’ll sign a big deal with Phoenix.

  57. Guys I also think the poster who left the Knicks fan blog because the Knicks were winning too many games might not be arguing with you in good faith

  58. One
    I’m not buying that the reason we sucked in this series was that we were playing every game like it was a game 7 in the reg season.
    Atlanta has 2 huge weapons where we had our biggest problems (C and PG) while our biggest weapons (Randle and JR) couldn’t find their groove.

  59. CP3 is going to opt out, his people are going to leak how impressed he was with the job his old agent Leon Rose did with the Knicks, espn will do a story about how much he loves the garden and then he’ll sign a big deal with Phoenix.

    Sure sounds likely.

  60. ewwwww, i wanna disagree sooooo badly KYN, but, yeah, good point, we did struggle with good point guards and centers all year…

  61. Two
    Thibs used the same rotations over and over again in the reg season till any rotation problems were coming up like dead fishes in the sea.
    This technique didn’t work tho in the playoffs where faster adjustments could be used.
    We can say that Thibs played it safe or expected more from rotation stability or that he simply avoided worse blowouts.

  62. Three
    Personally i found our D Not so good and the main reason for saying it don’t come from the numbers but from the feeling i got right from game 1 till the end of the series except one half of the game we won.
    I felt that Atl had easier and open shots while we were fighting to get a decent look.
    Choosing IQ and Burks over Frank tells me that Thibs feared about his offense but forgot about his D.
    With Frank in the game we may had been fucked harder but I’d like to see it instead of watching the same approach on the last 3 games.

  63. Four
    Haven’t watched Knicks’ interviews after elimination but I’d love to watch our players/coach addressing the truth and avoiding PR shit.

  64. Maybe drafting MPJr would have been a good move….
    Six threes already, 22 points, first quarter is not over…

  65. ***i like jaren jackson a lot***

    Not to rehash an old debate (though it is the off season now, so why not:), but I don’t understand how Jaren Jackson is demonstrably better than Mo Bamba in that draft class. In fact, there’s a lot of criticism of the Hawk’s Young for Doncic trade-down, but the overlooked piece to that trade was Memphis choosing Jackson jr over Trae Young and not even getting a future first for it. Meanwhile, Jackson has dealt with health and flat-lined productivity, even when healthy.

    I wouldn’t be against the Knicks investing in a player like Jackson jr, who has clear skills at a position of great value (stretch 5), but doesn’t the Bamba criticisms from the “Bamba is bad because of questionable production + high draft status” crowd of last month also apply to Jackson? Because, per minute, Bamba seems like the better horse to bet on at this point, no?

  66. ***Maybe drafting MPJr would have been a good move….***

    Porter jr, on the other hand, I get. He would be a VERY exciting player to have on any roster…

  67. This goes back to the debate about hiring Thibs in the first place. And that’s a fair debate but once he was hired the hope should be that he has as much success at doing things the Thibs way as possible. The other hope was that Leon would establish guard rails around personnel decisions, to have assistants that rein in his worst tendencies, and to live with the results. There is zero chance that he will change his approach.

  68. Maybe drafting MPJr would have been a good move….

    you know owen, i think one thing that gets left behind here at times when discussing basketball, and life to some degree, is if a person should have a differing ‘view” of the situation, to make sure to keep the discussion on topic and not make things personal; however, i will say that you are a total nutcase, completely deranged, delusional, paranoid…your thought process is all fucked up…your information train is jammed, man!

    whew, i feel better for that…i hope that worked for you too :)

    let’s arrange for some similarly invigorating discourse in a week or two…

  69. Hahahahahaha Geo

    According to some, you don’t want to be around me for the week after I play a bad poker hand.

    With bad Knicks decisions, I basically never get over it. Maybe when we win a chip.

  70. Shoot, I have to go to a screening. All I can say is, I hope this series goes 7…

  71. I don’t know what the consensus is around here but I’m really happy that Melo has been able to add a few years to his career in Portland. Getting cut by HOU and essentially blackballed by the league was embarrassing for everyone involved. Say what you want about Thibs, but he never throws his players under the bus.

  72. now, i myself might lean a slight bit towards the side of sliding in a slight humble brag from time to time…

    but, c’mon man…

    okay then, i raise you your whatever screening by the fact that i recently finished a complete set of both marvel and star wars disney infinity characters…yeah, take that for facts…

  73. The thing I really don’t understand about the series with Atlanta is why we did better with Payton than without him. And we definitely did.

  74. it seemed like a mistake at the time, but, terry stotts really should have challenged that three by jokic…

  75. Watching Melo still can’t believe his Game 2 performance vs Boston in 2011 and how the Knicks blew that game. Jared Jeffries…

  76. BigBlueAL:
    Watching Melo still can’t believe his Game 2 performance vs Boston in 2011 and how the Knicks blew that game.Jared Jeffries…

    That loss still hurts my soul. Melo nearly beat The Big 3 with Toney Douglas, Bill Walker and Shawne Williams

  77. The thing I really don’t understand about the series with Atlanta is why we did better with Payton than without him. And we definitely did.

    he played 13 minutes during which we shot 7-25 and were outscored 27-18.

  78. ptmilo:
    The thing I really don’t understand about the series with Atlanta is why we did better with Payton than without him. And we definitely did.

    he played 13 minutes during which we shot 7-25 and were outscored 27-18.

    That’s true, but then our bench had Rose and was more competitive than the bench without him in the last two games of the series, which made up for the starters doing badly. D see o the team overall did better when Payton was used than when he wasn’t.

  79. booker is doing a klay Thompson on the lakers…so fun to watch them get embarrassed on their home floor

  80. The Suns drubbing of the Lakers reminds me of George Foreman laying waste to Joe Frazier. Five knockdowns in two rounds before a TKO.

  81. Knick fan not in NJ: That’s true, but then our bench had Rose and was more competitive than the bench without himin the last two games of the series, which made up for the starters doing badly.D see o the team overall did better when Payton was used than when he wasn’t.

    I think you answered your own question. We had a better bench as long as D Rose came off the bench. Everybody on the bench struggled without Rose and being forced to create more on their own. ATL also seemingly gave their bench guys pretty long runs, so I don’t think it would have helped to keep bringing Rose off the bench.

    Also, Burks and IQ are notoriously streaky so you may just be seeing random variance in the outcomes to games. Burks can win you games almost single-handedly, like he almost managed to do in game 1, but the fact he ends every season with a pedestrian TS% tells you he must balance it out with lots of bad or mediocre games.

  82. Also in games we saw Burks or IQ run point, we did see struggles with the offense. Payton may have sucked, but he was a PG and the offense looked smoother with him on the floor despite Burks and IQ being better players.

    One of Burks or IQ needed to step up once Rose moved to the starting unit, but neither did. End of day, you’re not supposed to count on your bench though. We need to rely on our starters and stars, just like every other team, and Randle and RJ didn’t come through. First playoffs for both, so hopefully a good learning experience for next time.

  83. I’ve taken my time to react.

    Thanks Brian. Good takes all. It was a fun season. I never expected it. I am grateful that I was able to watch basketball in June. We’ve been done with basketball by mid-December too often recently. My knee-jerk initial team assessment is as follows:
    We have 8 rostered players for 2021/22- Randle, RJ, Obi, IQ, Mitch, Pelle, Knox & Vildoza

    (PG): Vildoza; (SG): IQ, RJ; (SF): Knox; (PF): Randle, Obi; (C): Mitch, Pelle

    What’s obvious is that we need 2 point guards, 2 small forwards and help at center.

    #1 (PG) Derrick Rose must be our backup point guard next season. No explaining needed. We need a real super-star here, CP3? Lonzo Ball? Conley? Lowry? Rumors of Schroeder disappoint. Film I saw of Vildoza put him in the “I can’t wait to see if it translates to the NBA” ledger. He looked stupid good. I can’t remember who posted the link, but thanks. Is IQ a PG? Let’s say not.

    #2 (SG) RJ is going to be impossible to guard soon. IQ also looks awesome. He’ll get much better. John Starks good. Another 3pt assassin here please. JJ Reddick?

    #3 (SF) A black hole. We need a dominant player. Knox should go. Include him in a draft-day trade-up.

    #4 (PF) Randle. Alan Hahn said it and I agree. Your power forward cannot be your #1 player. Maybe not #2. Still, Randle’s young and this is where he belongs. Take the bargain contract we can get now for the 4 year/$106 contract extension, these days it’s a bargain. It leaves the possibility of adding other big contracts.

    #5 C: I would be fine going into next season with a repeat at center. Mitch should start I hope he keeps lifting weights. Is Pelle a factor at all? Sign Taj as the 3rd string big. I love Noel but he needs to protein up to be a viable backup center. We could draft one.

    Draft: With 4 picks we must find a potential all-star. Trade up if need be. I don’t think we find one at 19, 21 or 32.

  84. Burks is interesting because he had the best 3P% of his career but was so bad at mid rangers that it brought his whole TS%. He’s one of the worst two point shooters in the league, though I don’t remember that disparity being so evident from watching him.

  85. GoNYGoNYGo – Gearing up for the playoffs: #2 (SG) RJ is going to be impossible to guard soon. IQ also looks awesome. He’ll get much better. John Starks good. Another 3pt assassin here please. JJ Reddick?

    #3 (SF) A black hole. We need a dominant player. Knox should go. Include him in a draft-day trade-up.

    I still consider RJ more of a 3 than a 2. He doesn’t appear ready to carry the offensive load yet either. He made a huge leap forward but I still don’t think of him as a serious offensive threat. You can’t leave him in there without Rose/Randle and expect the offense to get by. I’m much more optimistic he’ll get there after this year, but we’re talking multiple years of average-ish play from my viewpoint.

    I’m not really sure what to make of IQ. I think he’s better with the ball in his hands, but isn’t quite capable of running an offense. I keep picturing him as more of a combo guard who does all the bench scoring for a team, it’s why I compare him to Lou Williams (and not just because we were playing the Hawks). Interested to see how he develops, but his game is already so polished I worry he doesn’t have much room left to grow.

  86. Igno-Bot 3000:
    Burks is interesting because he had the best 3P% of his career but was so bad at mid rangers that it brought his whole TS%. He’s one of the worst two point shooters in the league, though I don’t remember that disparity being so evident from watching him.

    This has pretty much always been Burks’s problem. He loves midrange jumpers and, like most players, he isn’t great at hitting them. His 2p% isn’t that far out of line with his historical numbers. In fact, he was better than his career averages from midrange. Like many Knicks, he struggled getting to the basket this year. I suspect playing a true C all 48 min is part of the issue.

  87. ephus:
    The Suns drubbing of the Lakers reminds me of George Foreman laying waste to Joe Frazier.Five knockdowns in two rounds before a TKO.

    ehhh the Lakers aren’t dead yet. They’ve made a few 3s to get it under 20.

    But Booker, man….

  88. 13 pt game now. Lakers have tightened their D and are making shots. LeBron is waking up.

    A lot of times, the whole “heart of a champion” thing can be conjecture. But I do believe you need a killer’s instinct particularly to put away a defending champ even when they’re struggling.

    Don’t continue to let LA gain confidence. Step back on their necks and then put a bullet through their brain!!!

  89. Drummond’s decision to go to the Lakers will cost him a lot of money. Getting a DNP-CD in an elimination game against Ayton (a real 5) tells the entire league that he is unplayable. I would be shocked if he gets more than the taxpayer MLE.

  90. I see posters suggesting we trade up in the draft. I assume they want something like a top six pick or better. But the top six picks are owned by Houston, Detroit, Orlando, OKC, Cleveland and Golden State, in order. I don’t see any of those teams trading down. Houston, Detroit, Orlando and Cleveland are all rebuilding and will want the best pick possible. OKC is also rebuilding and has so many picks already, they aren’t going to trade one good one for two or more lesser ones. Golden State is capped out and their pick is probably the best chance for them to add talent.

    I can see us making a small deal to move up a couple of picks if there is one player we really want who will be available, but that’s the most I can see happening.

  91. THE LAKERS ARE FINISHED!!!!

    THE LAKERS ARE FINISHED!!!!

    THE CHAMPS HAVE BEEN KO’D! ON THEIR OWN FLOOR!!!

    SUCK IT LAKER FANS! SUCK IT SOOOOO HAAAARD!!!!!

  92. Always enjoy watching the Lakers lose. Amazingly, this is the first time LeBron has lost in the first round.

    With LAL and Miami losing both Finals teams from last year are eliminated. Anyone with any guesses on the last time the previous year’s Finals teams didn’t make it out of the first?

  93. The only thing that could’ve made this season any more awesome is if the Knicks could’ve made it to the 2nd round. And that would’ve been nirvana +1.

    Of course the Laker fans are trying to roll it off.

    “Why would anyone be happy just getting to the playoffs”
    “Were any of us alive the last time the Knicks won a title?”
    “Winning it next year when we are healthy. While NY continues to fish”
    “AD was hurt. Can’t win without half your team” (I mean AD is awesome but half the team, my dude? hahahaha)
    “ELAC bball beats the Knicks in 5”.

    By the way – if anyone questions if I’m overdoing it at all, know that yesterday I visited my office for the first time in a month, On my door were 5 cruddy-ass post-it notes full of #lolKnicks drudgery.

    And good for CP3 getting past LeBron too. I hope his shoulder somehow gets better.

  94. lakers and celtics going out in rd 1 is some salve in the knicks ousted in 5 wound….

  95. Bo Nateman: Bo Nateman

    Thanks Bo, I’m humbled by your kindness*.

    :-)

    * While a long-time member of the family, after an on-off presence and a year long hiatus I understand why I’m perceived as a rookie… and that’s good because as a rookie I can appeal to indulgence for my many mistakes…

  96. BigBlueAL:
    Maybe we should’ve kept Austin Rivers.

    Yes, we shouldìve…
    Especially when the alternative were a full year and two playoffs games of The Plague…

  97. Things I would like to see this offseason….

    1.) Use all of our draft picks. This is going to be the number 1 way to keep the cap in check. Obviously we’d all love Rose to find 2 way starters with all these picks, but honestly, if we ended up with a few very good bench players it would be a complete success of a draft in my opinion and we’d be in a great place salary-wise for the next 4 years.

    2) Transition RJ to the 3. I know that basically we’re in the world of positionless basketball, but RJ needs to start guarding the bigger wings on teams all the time. I say this because I think we need to give IQ a shot at being the off guard as a starter. He’s energetic, has the range, and needs to play 25-30 a game to see if he’s the real deal.

    3.) Give Julius the max extension if he’ll take it. He’s good. We know he’s not alpha, but with a real PG directing the offense and getting him better looks will only help him look better or at least maintain where he is. He’s young, entering his prime, and doesn’t seem to get injured, that’s the type of player we should be locking up.

    4.) Find a real starting caliber PG. I’m sure we’ll debate who that is all summer.

  98. Bo Nateman: If there was a KB ROY, you and Max* would be hoisting the trophy. One of the best elements of this site for me, in addition to the intelligence and sophistication, is having people from all over the globebonding over their love for the Knicks and their willingness to suffer for it.

    * I’m using my flawed senior citizen memory to recall that Max started posting this season.

    It’s Europower!

  99. Mike Vorkunov posed some familiar questions in the Athletic today:

    It is anathema to say a bad word about Thibodeau right now. Makes sense, as he might win Coach of the Year for the work he has done this season. He deserves all those flowers for that — but this series did raise some red flags. Was Randle’s inability to break out of Hawks jail an individual problem or the coach not being able to spring him into better looks? Why didn’t the Knicks try to go small at times and give Atlanta different looks? Were the Knicks unable to attack Young more potently when they were on offense because Thibodeau was unwilling to orchestrate the right switches or put out a lineup where all five players could hurt Young or because he had no one better to turn to than Bullock? Was Young able to keep burning the Knicks because Thibodeau couldn’t figure out the right pick-and-roll coverages and defense to stop him, or because he just didn’t have the kind of personnel to slow him down? These are all complicated, but when a team goes down in five games, it’s fair to take a constructive look at everyone.

  100. “AD was hurt. Can’t win without half your team” (I mean AD is awesome but half the team, my dude? hahahaha)

    @cdiggy,

    Hope your co-workers realize AD stands for Always Damaged

  101. I’m so sorry not to have been around for the final stretch, I really hope next season will be better :)

    But anyway I’m fine and healthy, and also got my first vax shot this Monday, so life is good! Apart from these Knicks who, anyway, were amazing all season. It just felt like an awesome summer fling where you’re prepared to its end, still want it to last as long as it can, but can’t despair too much when it actually ends because you’re just so grateful that you experienced it.

    At least, that’s how I went through it. That, and skipping five minutes at a time during playoff matches because it was really fugly from time to time

  102. Farfa: It just felt like an awesome summer fling where you’re prepared to its end, still want it to last as long as it can, but can’t despair too much when it actually ends because you’re just so grateful that you experienced it.

    You still got it Farfa, that’s an awesome recap right there

  103. “My summer fling with Thibs” would be a hot Penthouse letter.

    Still pondering how the Nuggets streamrolled the Blazers last night in the fourth quarter. Dame’s comments pretty telling. “They beat us without two of their best four players” I may have heard him wrong but I think he wants to be traded to New York for Kevin Knox.

    Monte Morris did some work. It’s always interesting how random bench pieces turn out to be actually pretty good.

  104. My guess is that Portland appeases Dame this offseason by firing Stotts and trying to remake the supporting cast a bit. But if he wants out already, and the Clips get bounced by Dallas and Kawhi decides he doesn’t need to live in LA year-round… buckle up for one crazy NBA summer.

  105. That’s true, but then our bench had Rose and was more competitive than the bench without him in the last two games of the series, which made up for the starters doing badly. D see o the team overall did better when Payton was used than when he wasn’t.

    I said this over and over and still think it’s true.

    Thibs was just as aware that Payton in the starting lineup was a huge problem as anyone else. He could see the boxscore stats, Payton’s on and off numbers, the bad 1st quarter starts. the details of his execution via game film etc.. He knew the starting lineup would be better with Rose. But there were flip sides.

    You had to wonder whether taking Payton out of the lineup altogether and not using any PG other than Rose was worse than suffering through Payton for a few minutes in each half. We only had 2 PGs.

    You had to winder whether Rose would be as effective at the end of games when we needed him if he started playing more minutes regularly.

    You had to wonder whether taking Rose off the bench would hurt that unit more than he would help the starters.

    Sometimes you don’t know the answer to questions like these until you try, but if you make changes every time someone has a bad game or goes into a slump you are going to lose the team and make a mess. You have to make a decision on what your best lineups and rotations are OVERALL and stick with them. You can tweak things here or there due to matchups or someone having an especially energetic or lackadaisical night, but you can’t start blowing things up on a whim like fans want. There comes a point when the evidence accumulates and you have to make a change. But as we saw, when Payton came out some of the reasons to be concerned were legitimate. Rose wore down, the second unit wasn’t as effective, not having another real PG was an issue etc.. Thibs did the best he could with a bad situation.

  106. Ingmarrrr: Nighttime in my time zone, sorry if I don’t respond later, I think this is interesting stuff.

    So you’re also in Europe, right? Where you at, if i may ask?

  107. Alan:
    My guess is that Portland appeases Dame this offseason by firing Stotts and trying to remake the supporting cast a bit. But if he wants out already, and the Clips get bounced by Dallas and Kawhi decides he doesn’t need to live in LA year-round… buckle up for one crazy NBA summer.

    Where are you going with this, Alan? Dame AND Kawhi on the Knicks next year? :D

  108. Alan: But if he wants out already, and the Clips get bounced by Dallas and Kawhi decides he doesn’t need to live in LA year-round… buckle up for one crazy NBA summer.

    I fear pairing Kawhi and Dame on the Knicks would require Hubert to be in a coma the entire offseason, and I just can’t wish that on anyone. But perhaps it’ll count if we just have geo smoke Hubert out everyday

  109. I’m geting the Jonshon up mine on Sunday…woohoo.
    One for two. One and done.The shot.That Johnson fella is one pure efficiency savant.
    Only one beer on saturday tho. You can’t have it all.

    If i don’t write at least one post in the offseason then Johnson didn’t hit his one shot.

  110. Where are you going with this, Alan? Dame AND Kawhi on the Knicks next year? :D

    Guys, we should think bigger than this!

  111. You had to wonder whether taking Payton out of the lineup altogether and not using any PG other than Rose was worse than suffering through Payton for a few minutes in each half. We only had 2 PGs.

    Our offense ran through Julius Randle. He didn’t need a point guard on the floor with him. He needed someone who could play basketball. Inserting either Quickley or Burks in the starting lineup would have given Julius the help he needed and preserved Rose’s ability to change the game off the bench.

  112. I fear pairing Kawhi and Dame on the Knicks would require Hubert to be in a coma the entire offseason, and I just can’t wish that on anyone.

    I’ll sleep for all 82 games but I want to be awake for the playoffs. I’ve always wanted to hibernate anyway. Bears have it good.

  113. It is anathema to say a bad word about Thibodeau right now. Makes sense, as he might win Coach of the Year for the work he has done this season. He deserves all those flowers for that — but this series did raise some red flags.

    okay.

    Was Randle’s inability to break out of Hawks jail an individual problem or the coach not being able to spring him into better looks?

    Mostly B

    Why didn’t the Knicks try to go small at times and give Atlanta different looks?

    Because our small lineup would have gotten murdered by either their big lineup or their small lineup

    Were the Knicks unable to attack Young more potently when they were on offense because Thibodeau was unwilling to orchestrate the right switches or put out a lineup where all five players could hurt Young or because he had no one better to turn to than Bullock?

    100% choice B

    Was Young able to keep burning the Knicks because Thibodeau couldn’t figure out the right pick-and-roll coverages and defense to stop him, or because he just didn’t have the kind of personnel to slow him down?

    100% choice B (see previous question)

    These are all complicated, but when a team goes down in five games, it’s fair to take a constructive look at everyone.

    Sure, it’s fair, so long as you are fair-minded about it. I’m sure that you can do this for any coach on the losing end of a series. Could Spo have done some things differently, tried some different wrinkles, etc.? Sure. Would it have mattered much? Nope. Same for Vogel, Stotts, Stevens, etc.

    It’s totally fair to wonder what would have happened if a given coach made different decisions, but that’s not what Hubert and E do. Just because coaches don’t do what you wanted them to do doesn’t mean they were outcoached or made bad decisions. Sometimes there just aren’t any good answers, it’s pick your poison.

  114. Correction: Stotts is worth questioning because the talent differential is not as much of an issue in DEN vs. POR.

  115. These are all complicated, but when a team goes down in five games, it’s fair to take a constructive look at everyone.

    It’s a bit easier than that.

    They had a player like Gallinari on their bench and he’d be the 2nd best player on our team. It’s doesn’t take much analysis beyond that. The talent gap was apparent, but it was even greater than I thought going into the series because I didn’t realize that come playoff time the Hawks would step up and play good defense too.

  116. Were the Knicks unable to attack Young more potently when they were on offense because Thibodeau was unwilling to orchestrate the right switches or put out a lineup where all five players could hurt Young or because he had no one better to turn to than Bullock?

    He could have turned to Alec Burks. The answer to that one is definitely unwilling.

  117. Was Randle’s inability to break out of Hawks jail an individual problem or the coach not being able to spring him into better looks?

    Mostly his basketball IQ or lack thereof. He reverted back to last year’s version of himself when the Hawks took away his strengths. He tried to force them anyway.

  118. Hubert: Our offense ran through Julius Randle. He didn’t need a point guard on the floor with him. He needed someone who could play basketball. Inserting either Quickley or Burks in the starting lineup would have given Julius the help he needed and preserved Rose’s ability to change the game off the bench.

    You make is sound running an offense through Randle is ideal or that he could actually run an offense when the opposing team is good and is taking away all his strengths. Did you look at his assist to turnover ratio? Running some of the offense through Randle was never a choice. It was an act of desperation all year. These were the playoffs, not games against scrubs where you can get away with some things.

  119. Z-man: Bullock is a better defender than Burks.

    If we are only going to keep one, I think we should keep Burks. There is a role for 3&D players in the NBA, but typically they are best used on teams with a surplus of scoring options. That way their low usage is not impacting the overall offense much, but you get the full benefit of their defense. The Knicks need more versatile scoring. I’d keep Burks even though I like both.

  120. Because our small lineup would have gotten murdered by either their big lineup or their small lineup

    You have literally zero way of knowing this and your Thibs-colored bias has already shown with your ludicrous description of Immanuel Quickley as a “dumb rookie” who played “awful” in the series. You quite likely have succeeded in channeling and communicating Thibs’s inner thoughts about IQ pretty well — he probably does think of IQ in something like those terms — but there’s nothing objective about that and it’s barely even sane and coherent.

    It’s hard to see what you could possibly have seen in the games if you think Reggie Bullock was an effective or even semi-effective defender against Trae Young. He got completely and totally lit up.

  121. Deeefense: Thibs was just as aware that Payton in the starting lineup was a huge problem as anyone else. He could see the boxscore stats, Payton’s on and off numbers, the bad 1st quarter starts. the details of his execution via game film etc.. He knew the starting lineup would be better with Rose. But there were flip sides.

    We have no way of knowing this and to a degree it comes down to semantics and definitions. Was Thibs baseline “cognizant” of the stats and the on-off numbers? Most likely, yeah. Was he in any serious sense “aware” of them in the sense that he showed any kind of “awareness” of them as any kind of material factor in anything he did? Didn’t really seem like it, did it?

  122. I think The Hawks did a good job defending Randle but I also think Randle totally got into his head. I could count 3 or 4 times a game in every game where he got the ball at the top of the key and was open and looked to take a 3 but then hesitated, giving the defender time to come up on him. Then he either took a contested three or he did a pump fake and drove into multiple defenders. The outcome was either a defended mid range shot, barreling into the opposing players and drawing a charge or taking a super contested shot that was rebounded by the Hawks or he made a pass to a teammate (often a wild pass) and that teammate might have taken the 3 or shot but they were surprised to get the ball. I honestly believe because he missed so many shots in game one, it just got into his head all series. I’m not taking away anything from The Hawks but I think Randle doubted himself and was second guessing a lot of his decisions. He should have just taken those 3’s at the top of the key. He was making them all season. One bad game screwed him up.

    This is why I’m not concerned about extending him. This was his first playoffs and if we have a better team around him, it won’t matter as much if he’s off one game.

  123. E, all merc’d out: It’s hard to see what you could possibly have seen in the games if you think Reggie Bullock was an effective or even semi-effective defender against Trae Young. He got completely and totally lit up.

    Maybe it’s just that Trae is better than any of our guards by an absurdly wide margin. But you go on thinking that IQ would have slowed Young down more than Reggie. It’s cute, kind of like a toddler’s babblings.

  124. Z-man: Maybe it’s just that Trae is better than any of our guards by an absurdly wide margin. But you go on thinking that IQ would have slowed Young down more than Reggie. It’s cute, kind of like a toddler’s babblings.

    Right, we’re back to the default of “nothing Thibs could have done would have mattered anyway.” Kind of like patriotism being the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  125. Bullock’s defense was superb in the second half of game 2. There’s no way we win that game without his effort.

    But Trae adjusted marvelously and lit him up in games 3, 4, and 5. Whatever marginal edge Bullock has over Burks as a defender was not as critical as our need to help Randle and take advantage of Trae on defense.

    It’s really hard to say he had no choices when Alec Burks was available.

  126. I definitely wanted to see more IQ regardless of how well he was playing, but he wasn’t every going to be the answer to Trae Young. IQ wasn’t playing well at all and even in the last game he was making a mistake for every 3 he hit.

  127. Think we would have lost no matter what Thibs with Randle in his funk, but was surprised they didn’t try different approaches on the PnR — given Trae’s size, could have doubled him off the PnR with high hands and forced him to give the ball up and have less time on the shot clock vs watching is PnR floater over and over again

  128. IQ’s TS% for the series: .402

    And’s that’s inflated by a good game 1 performance. Beyond that, he fucking sucked. He couldn’t even guard Lou Williams. It’s asinine to think he was any kind of answer against Trae Young.

  129. Reggie did have a good last 2/3 of the second half of Game 2 defensively, for sure. That said, there was a strategic change then that included higher ball pressure with extra defenders either directly on or shading. For whatever reason, Thibs went away from that strategy the rest of the series, even though it worked swimmingly. Another pretty major head scratcher.

  130. Z-man:
    IQ’s TS% for the series: .402

    And’s that’s inflated by a good game 1 performance. Beyond that, he fucking sucked. He couldn’t even guard Lou Williams. It’s asinine to think he was any kind of answer against Trae Young.

    We already know you hate the kid, Z.(*) You don’t have to repeat it yet again. We get it. Though you’re delusional if you think he “couldn’t even guard Lou Williams.” But you’re right — he’s no Elfrid Payton.

    (*) LOL at the idea that making shots and performing well “inflates” your shooting percentage. Derrick Rose “took on minutes,” Immanuel Quickley “inflated” his shooting percentage by making shots. Consistent theme, anyone?

  131. Hubert:
    Bullock’s defense was superb in the second half of game 2. There’s no way we win that game without his effort.

    But Trae adjusted marvelously and lit him up in games 3, 4, and 5. Whatever marginal edge Bullock has over Burks as a defender was not as critical as our need to help Randle and take advantage of Trae on defense.

    It’s really hard to say he had no choices when Alec Burks was available.

    You’re wrong, the difference isn’t marginal. Bullock’s name was being bantered about for an all-defensive team. He’s a very good defender and his defense played a significant role in many of our wins this season. And Burk’s offense fell off a cliff after game 1. But hey, you wanted to bench Bullock for game 5. Agenda much?

    Just because there were choices doesn’t mean that there were better choices. Maybe Thibs could have tried Pelle on Trae. That’s a choice, isn’t it?

  132. Z-man: Bullock’s name was being bantered about for an all-defensive team.

    By who? Thibs’s burner account?

    Dude, the guy got lit up like a Christmas tree practically the entire series. We all saw it. (Well, most of us anyway — not sure if Thibs really did.) Trae. Young. Lit. Him. Up.

  133. E, all merc’d out: We already know you hate the kid, Z. You don’t have to repeat it yet again. We get it. Though you’re delusional if you think he “couldn’t even guard Lou Williams.” But you’re right — he’s no Elfrid Payton.

    lol sure, I hate the kid. Right.

    You are such a clueless asshole that when your vapid agenda-driven arguments fall apart, you resort to bullshit like this. But keep right on kepping on, you makes strat’s unflinching support of Phil look like utter genius.

  134. You mean to tell me that IQ, a rookie, couldn’t guard Lou Williams, a perrenial 6th man of the year winner and one of the best bench scoring guards of the last decade?

  135. Trae Young lit up the Knicks. It didn’t matter who guarded him. Because Trae Young is a budding superstar who is 1000x better than anyone on the Knicks. Trae young is going to light up lots of very good defenders.

    Except IQ, of course. He’s Trae Young Kryptonite. Can’t believe that Thibs couldn’t see that.

    Oh wait, you were one of the guys who said we were just as talented as the Hawks. How many folks are still on that island with you?

  136. For the people on this board who do converse in good faith, it’s worth pointing out that people like Vorkunov, myself, TNFH, et al are not making the argument that the Knicks could have won the series.

    The questions are:

    – have red flags been raised about the coach after a marvelous season (I think the answer is a resounding yes).

    – what can we do to mitigate them? (this strikes me as a better conversation than whatever is going on with Z-Man and E above, but whatever. If trolls want to troll, I’ll just eat some mushrooms and call it a day.)

  137. IQ “couldn’t guard” Lou because Lou made a basket when IQ was guarding him. Reggie Bullock on the other hand, is an all-defensive team guy and can guard Trae Young even though when Reggie Bullock was guarding Trae Young, Trae Young made a basket almost any time he wanted.

    That’s what passes for fair-minded logic and insight in Z/Thibs world.

  138. I think you’re both wrong right now.

    Um, Trae young is REALLY FUCKING GOOD but he actually didn’t light up Bullock in game 5. He had a bad shooting night that night. And trae is a PG, Reggie plays SF for us. It was either him, RJ, Elf or Rose who was going to guard him (and Rose did guard him a bunch too once he started).

    I don’t think you can really pin Trae Young’s offensive performance in this series on Bullock alone. Trae Young is usually going to get his. That’s like getting mad at someone for not being able to stop Steph or Harden.

    This is why I actually think it was not the right move to bench Elf. Elf also would have been a defensive option against Trae and would have kept Rose fresh for the bench (where he has chemistry with IQ and the other bench players.

  139. swiftandabundant:
    You mean to tell me that IQ, a rookie, couldn’t guard Lou Williams, a perrenial 6th man of the year winner and one of the best bench scoring guards of the last decade?

    Yeah, but he would have stopped the much less decorated and accomplished Trae Young in his tracks. Anyone can see that, amirite?

  140. Hubert:
    For the people on this board who do converse in good faith, it’s worth pointing out that people like Vorkunov, myself, TNFH, et al are not making the argument that the Knicks could have won the series.

    The questions are:

    – have red flags been raised about the coach after a marvelous season (I think the answer is a resounding yes).

    – what can we do to mitigate them? (this strikes me as a better conversation than whatever is going on with Z-Man and E above, but whatever. If trolls want to troll, I’ll start my nap now.)

    Almost the entire media commentariat has raised questions about Thibs’s performance in the series and obviously so. There are some holdouts here with whom at least from my perspective, I’m having good faith fun tweaking a bit. (If I’d had the chance to see Z in person, I’d have probably asked him about his back PT, becaue I’m in the middle of same now.) I’d like to see them give at least a little nod in the direction of the commentariat, but internet gonna internet.

  141. Hubert: Hubert
    June 4, 2021 at 11:19 am
    For the people on this board who do converse in good faith

    You’re not including yourself in that group I hope…

  142. There’s no way to win a series with RJ & Randle shooting the way they did, coaching can’t change missing shots you hit all season.

    The Hawks played excellent defense and forced Randle to take tough shots, but those are shots Randle hit all season. I remember freaking out every time he took them early on, but they kept going in and at some point I got used to it and even expected Randle to hit those crazy fadeaways. He just wasn’t able to do it in the playoffs. It wasn’t just the difficult shots, Randle missed the open shots too.

    Maybe it was the crowd, maybe it was the playoff pressure, maybe it was the week off, but Randle just couldn’t hit shots.

    I don’t think you should go away from what worked all season because of a player’s cold shooting. You have a better chance of Randle getting in rhythm doing the same thing he has 1000 reps doing than learning something new on the fly. Fwiw, I do think Thibs tried a few wrinkles but those plays got blown up because Randle didn’t have it and RJ, Bullock, and everyone except Rose couldn’t buy a shot.

    The Knicks had the 3rd highest 3p% during the regular season (.392%) they would’ve been 27th based on their playoff shooting (.342). No coaching can fix missed shots.

  143. As to mitigation, I’ve suggested one thing. Thibs should hire an offensive Thibs. If I were the FO, I’d strongly suggest that he does. It’s badly needed. The guy’s an excellent leader and motivator and genius on the defensive end. Those are his strengths, and he’s A-plus in them. He is not A-plus on the offensive end, strategically, tactically, personnel-evaluation-ally. He’s quite a bit below A-plus .

  144. There are red flags with thibs but I think far lesser coaches have won titles before, so I don’t think those red flags are going to hinder us from one day winning a championship. To me there are far more important problems for us to address than coaching right now (mainly who we want to draft/sign/trade for long term).

    This is why I get a little annoyed with nitpicking what a coach does. There are so many coaches in the NBA who have won titles and haven’t done anything special as far as coaching to get those titles. But its always the first thing fans want to go after when a team fails. But right now is not the time to worry about Thibs. If we seriously upgrade our roster in the next few years and reach a hump in the playoffs that we just can’t seem to get over, then we can talk about a coaching change, especially if the team stops responding to him. But why worry about that now when there are way bigger problems to address.

  145. This is one of the craziest Knicks season I ever watched.

    The coaching squeezed every drop, the effort from the players was fantastic.
    But at the end the talent was what it was.

    On april 10th this team was 25-27, with one win in the last six games, and was down 13 with 6 minutes to go against Memphis at home.
    A surprisingly decent season, but closer to the play-in that to home field in the first round.
    Then something happened.
    We won that game and other 8 in a row, we closed the year 16-4.

    The last three games, all at home, were clear signs, we needed extra effort to beat three mediocre and/or depleted teams, never resting our best players, not even against the Celtics G-League team.

    At the time our reaction was “a win is a win is a win” and that’s totally true.
    But our vision was blurred by the streak and the fourth place.

    109 Voters in the Poll. 87 picked the Knicks to win.

    We were never as good as our record.
    Go game by game through our schedule, read the opponents’ lineups, put everything in the right context (back to backs, travels, motivations to lose).
    We were never as good as our record, never.

    This playoffs were a dip in reality and after a fantastic, unexpected, funny season for the ages, this can save us from illusions, help us to objectively define who we are and what we need to do to get even better and build on this great run.

    With the right moves next year can be step two in our journey to the stars, otherwise better keep the expectations low or next year can easily bring disappointment.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the start of the postseason, until then this NBA Playoffs are so good I’ll take a mini-vacancy from Knicks’ conjectures.

    But I’ll never stop reading about the Holy War between Thibsian Ortodox and Heretics…

    :-)

  146. Again, I am completely aware of Thins’ quirks. He is absolutely stubborn and is not an offensive mastermind by any stretch. I think that one can nitpick his coaching decisions in good faith.

    But I don’t think “good faith” includes:
    -arguing that any of the decisions that he “didn’t” make would have improved our chances of winning even a single game more against ATL. There is zero hard evidence to suggest that anything but placating critics would have resulted from any changes. On the other hand, there is actually hard evidence that the changes he did make worked, e.g playing Rose 38 and 39 minutes in games 1 and 2, and benching Bullock in the 4th quarter of Game 1 but going back to him in Game 2 resulted in a coin-flip loss and a win. And benching Payton (which every Thibs critic screamed for) coincided with 3 straight ass-kickings. Imagine if he stuck with Payton and we lost 3 nailbiters…the same Thibs critics would be blaming that decision for the losses…every possession matters, etc. Now instead they are blaming Thibs for burning out Rose. That’s good faith?
    -arguing that the talent differential was not significant, as Hubert and E did over and over again. Not a single serious pundit/analyst, including Vorkunov, doesn’t acknowledge that there was a major disparity in talent.
    -not holding the players accountable for their poor performances. It’s not Thibs’ fault that players like Randle, RJ, Bullock, Burks, etc. missed shots that they made all year. It’s bad faith to blame him for that.

  147. Seth Partnow had a piece in The Athletic this morning – The Knicks in Game 1 of the series had the worst shot quality of any team in any game this season. There is fundamentally an execution problem there, which is Thibs’ fault (I like Thibs but we need to be fair here). I think some kind of offensive-minded assistant would do wonders. Some of this is a personnel issue – having a PG as good as Rose was in Games 1-3 (who is actually of age) would help, as well as having better shooters to kick out to. But the Knicks will never be successful in the playoffs if their offense is even mediocre, let alone the worst in the league.

  148. Z-man:

    -arguing that the talent differential was not significant, as Hubert and E did over and over again. Not a single serious pundit/analyst, including Vorkunov, doesn’t acknowledge that there was a major disparity in talent.
    -not holding the players accountable for their poor performances. It’s not Thibs’ fault that players like Randle, RJ, Bullock, Burks, etc. missed shots that they made all year. It’s bad faith to blame him for that.

    Not to contradict but only to be fair to some pundit/analyst,
    both Zach Lowe and Hollinger were in the “The Hawks are more talented, the Knicks looks tougher” camp.
    They were wrong on the “most tougher” part.

  149. But why worry about that now when there are way bigger problems to address.

    Because it informs how we go about constructing the roster. I go back to Max F-C’s point: do we have to take away some of Thibs toys to force him to utilize his whole roster? Maybe we give him Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson and force him to use IQ, Obi, and our 3 draft picks. Maybe we have to let Noel go to get him to try playing Obi Toppin or Julius Randle at center.

    Now that we know how low the ceiling is for this team, why do the same thing next year?

  150. E, all merc’d out:
    As to mitigation, I’ve suggested one thing.Thibs should hire an offensive Thibs.If I were the FO, I’d strongly suggest that he does.It’s badly needed.The guy’s an excellent leader and motivator and genius on the defensive end.Those are his strengths, and he’s A-plus in them.He is not A-plus on the offensive end, strategically, tactically, personnel-evaluation-ally.He’s quite a bit below A-plus .

    This is totally fair. Why can’t all of your posts be like this?

  151. So do I have it right that we can sign a free agent before free agency begins, or did we already do that with Vildoza?

  152. But I’ll never stop reading about the Holy War between Thibsian Ortodox and Heretics…

    fucking max lol. dude this is like you finishing up your ROY campaign by hitting a three from the logo!

    Look, it’s obvious I can’t raise the points I want to raise without Z-Man hijacking the thread. And it’s also obvious that this must be some Bob Neptune level reading for the rest of y’all, and I’m sorry. So out of respect for everyone I’m going to ban myself from discussing the coach until the season starts up.

  153. Max: Not to contradict but only to be fair to some pundit/analyst,
    both Zach Lowe and Hollinger were in the “The Hawks are more talented, the Knicks looks tougher” camp.
    They were wrong on the “most tougher” part.

    Yeah, that’s how I felt going into the series. The rules of engagement in today’s NBA makes the toughness thing much less of a factor than it did back in the day. And even so, when the talent differential turns out to be so pronounced, the tough-guy antics only inspire the other team to pile on. Capela is not intimidated by anyone on the Knicks…he’s bigger and tougher than any of the Knicks players. All of ATL’s wings and bigs bullied the Knicks in the post, especially when we switched. Capela’s words were spot on and were backed up 100% on the Knicks home court in front of me and 15,000 maniacal fans. THAT”S toughness.

  154. Early Bird: I still consider RJ more of a 3 than a 2.

    I agree. SG/SF is better described as a “wing”. RJ is a slashing/driving wing. He worked on his perimeter game but there’s lots of room to grow. In order for him to become a tier-1 (perennial allstar) or tier-2 (all-star/best player on his team) player, he needs to continue to work on his 3 pt shooting and develop a strong mid-range game. He should study Carmelo Anthony tape.

    Early Bird: m not really sure what to make of IQ. I think he’s better with the ball in his hands, but isn’t quite capable of running an offense.

    Another youngster that didn’t play point in college but showed he has what it takes in the NBA. He has to get stronger because he has trouble getting to the hoop. His floater offsets that somewhat but he has to be able to drive. He stands to gain a lot by working with DRose. For now I put him at the SG position but if he takes a next step, he can be a strong starting point guard.

  155. I also promise that you won’t suddenly see a brand new poster join the forum making the same points I was making :)

  156. Hubert:
    I also promise that you won’t suddenly see a brand new poster join the forum making the same points I was making :)

    LOL

  157. DudesTown:
    So do I have it right that we can sign a free agent before free agency begins, or did we already do that with Vildoza?

    I believe we can sign free agents (I’m not going to look it up because the CBA is dense), but players currently under contract remain under contract until the FA Moratorium period begins. So we can sign random scrubs, but not Lillard or any other player who was worth making the roster. Basically better players will be available once FA begins.

    We only signed VIldoza when we did because he got an extra year’s salary. At this point, I don’t believe any players would still get a salary for this year.

  158. But we would need an open roster spot to sign another player, and we don’t have one at the moment. Vildoza took our last spot once we cut Jared Harper and gave him another two-way. We could in theory cut Harper or Human Mascot Theo Pinson and sign someone new to a two-way, but I doubt that’s going to happen before the free agency period begins. I don’t believe we could, like, cut Elf at this stage of the process.

    (Speaking of Pinson, one of the reasons he was able to be Locker Room Superhero all year long is that one of the Covid shifts to the rules allowed teams to roster their 2-way players all year, rather than for a limited number of days/games. I wonder if that change will stay in place, or if they’ll go back to the old rules, which were designed to keep teams from hoarding extra players at the bottom of the roster who might get to play immediately for other, less deep teams. Pinson was definitely worth devoting a two-way on all year, but to give one of the 15 main roster spots to a guy who’s amazing for team chemistry but doesn’t/shouldn’t play?)

  159. Alan: Guys, we should think bigger than this!

    What’s bigger than Kawhi and Dame on the Knicks? Do you need Wilt and Walt?

  160. Hubert: Our offense ran through Julius Randle. He didn’t need a point guard on the floor with him.

    That is why he was ineffective. They doubled him when the ball was in his hands. He needed a point guard that threatened the rim so that he could work 1-on-1 outside.

  161. Alan:
    Loathe though I am to so much as acknowledge the existence of Stephen A, he claimed this morning on First Take that six or seven teams have already called Portland about Dame, and we are one of them.

    Yeah and a bunch of guys also called Victoria’s Secret about possibly hooking up with one of their supermodels

  162. Loathe though I am to so much as acknowledge the existence of Stephen A, he claimed this morning on First Take that six or seven teams have already called Portland about Dame, and we are one of them.

    Hypothetically, let’s say Kawhi said he would come play with us if we acquired Damian Lillard.

    We could match what OKC gave up for George with:

    RJ Barrett
    Toppin or Quickley
    Knicks 2021 pick
    Knicks 2022 pick (we can trade this because we have Dallas’ picks)
    Either NY or Dallas’ 1st 2023 pick (whichever is better)
    Knicks 2024 pick (unprotected)
    Knicks 2026 pick (unprotected)
    Pick swaps in 2023 and 2025

    I’m all for the slow rebuild, but Dame-Kawhi-Julius would test my patience.

  163. Alan: Guys, we should think bigger than this!

    What’s bigger than Kawhi and Dame on the Knicks? Do you need Wilt and Walt?

    swiftandabundant: I think The Hawks did a good job defending Randle but I also think Randle totally got into his head. I could count 3 or 4 times a game in every game where he got the ball at the top of the key and was open and looked to take a 3 but then hesitated, giving the defender time to come up on him. Then he either took a contested three or he did a pump fake and drove into multiple defenders.

    During the game I referred to this as 2019/20 Randle. I agree totally. A switch flipped off. He wasn’t an assassin like he was in the regular season. Where there’s worry is how this beat-down will land on him. Looking at a similar situation, Sam Darnold was toast once he “saw ghosts” against the Patriots. There’s two way he can go. He can hone his game to offset that defense or he can fizzle. I think he has the mental toughness to overcome it but that’s a gamble.

  164. Do you need Wilt and Walt?

    Too old. But maybe once Doncic sees what we’ve got cooking with Kawhi and Dame and friends, he’ll get tired of playing alongside the Unicorn and come to NY, too?

  165. slovene knick:
    I’m geting the Jonshon up mine on Sunday… woohoo.
    One for two. One and done. The shot. That Johnson fella is one pure efficiency savant.

    That’s awesome news, man. If you’re not older than me, it means Slovenija is ahead of Portugal in the vaccination program. Either way, happy for you!
    PS: If you’re near the Under-21 European Soccer Championship, you go cheer for Portugal in my place, ok? It’d be much appreciated. :)

  166. And now i’m going to read E and Z-Man’s back and forth, i bet in the end i’ll feel like i watched an intense game of table-tennis. LOL

  167. @ Infamous CDiggey:
    NY Magazine TV critic Jen Cheney ( a Thibs to Alan’s Pop) named Last Chance U: Basketball one of the Best TV shows of 2021 ( So Far)

    This Netflix docuseries, which previously focused on junior college football, delivers equally intense drama and high emotional stakes by turning its lens on the world of junior college basketball. Following the young men of the East Los Angeles College basketball team and their spiritual, committed coach John Mosley, Last Chance U takes us inside the locker rooms and lives of guys who just missed their shots as Division I players and must claw their way through all kinds of challenges — including grief over lost loved ones and management of their anger — in the hopes of winning a championship and a path back to a major university. What would have been an absorbing season of television under any circumstance is elevated by the specific, unforeseen circumstances that the 2019–2020 season brings. The eighth and last episode of the season will break your heart in ways that few sports documentaries have before. — JC
    (Available to stream on Netflix.)

  168. Seth Partnow had a piece in The Athletic this morning – The Knicks in Game 1 of the series had the worst shot quality of any team in any game this season.

    I have to say, Anchorage Man has become one of my favorite basketball follows on Twitter. That guy is good. And apropos of nothing but Jason Concepcion is definitely one of the major things, beyond KB, making being a Knicks fan bearable.

  169. Seth also highlighted that the Hawks scored 10.5 pts under their expected shot-quality in game 5 and 11.7 under in game 2. Only two other games in the whole playoffs featured such cold shooting on open shots.

    It’s good to know our Invisible Sixth Man was not spooked by his first playoff appearance the way other Knicks were.

  170. Hubert: Look, it’s obvious I can’t raise the points I want to raise without Z-Man hijacking the thread. And it’s also obvious that this must be some Bob Neptune level reading for the rest of y’all, and I’m sorry. So out of respect for everyone I’m going to ban myself from discussing the coach until the season starts up.

    Hubert, I don’t see how responding to your posts about Thibs, especially when they are highly opinionated and the opinions are dubious, is hijacking the thread. When you say stuff like “Thibs should bench Bullock for game 5” or “The Knicks are just as talented as the Hawks” or that “It’s Thibs’ fault that Randle is playing like shit” is that not begging for a response?

    There are good faith ways to question Thibs’ decision-making, and even the Thibs hire. That’s not what you or E have engaged in.

  171. thanks for the link max…wow, really moving article…dang, think I may have caught a little dust in my eye…

  172. Here’s the Partnow piece some have mentioned (if you’re not an Athletic subscriber, I guarantee you you’re spending at least $5 a month more stupidly than they’d be spent on a subscription): https://theathletic.com/2630981/2021/06/04/luka-doncic-usage-conundrum-and-the-knicks-offensive-failures-analytical-lookaround/

    It’s a great read, as it also mentions another recent topic of discussion here: Luka’s extremely high usage.

    However, unlike, um, some people, Partnow seems to think it’s largely a function of necessity as the Mavs don’t really have other good high-usage options. The Athletic podcast was more explicit this morning, calling out Porzingis specifically for failing to emerge as one. Amazing that at the time of the trade, this blog was basically the only place you could find people saying it was good value. A few years later, it’s pretty clear Dallas would need to dump Porzingis with sweetener in order to trade him.

    Anyway, it’s pretty hard to read that piece and not come to the conclusion that Thibs’ shortcomings are worth discussion. No, they didn’t make a difference in the outcome of this series (I picked Hawks in 6 at the outset, because they are better than us), but this discourse reminds me a bit of the Frank discourse wherein his supporters would argue we should play him a ton because we were bad so it didn’t matter that Frank was bad. To which my response was, well, sure, but hopefully one day we won’t be bad, and then what?

    Similarly, hopefully one day we’ll be in the playoffs against an opponent that doesn’t have way more talent than us, and then what? It’s tough to argue that this kind of thing couldn’t potentially be the difference in such a series:

    With the first round almost complete, the Knicks had by far the lowest shot quality of any of the 16 teams. Their Game 1 loss featured the lowest shot quality from any team in any game so far this season, and their five games were all in the bottom 11 of the 78 team games played through Wednesday night.

    Continued…

  173. Really moving indeed. He’s a great dude, i’d very much like to keep him around.
    And btw i’m european and can’t understand why in the US people carry guns if they so wish, here in Portugal i probably never crossed paths with a person carrying a gun (except police and security services). What’s the point?

  174. Having said all of that, Thibs was clearly so good in other areas I am willing to give him something of a mulligan on shot quality for both the regular season and the playoffs. While it definitely could’ve been at least a little better than it was, our personnel was not exactly conducive to generating good looks.

    The real test will be what our offense looks like once that changes. Specifically, when we have non-Elfrid Payton guards/wings who are serious threats to drive-and-kick (as well as shoot themselves). If our shot quality improves with our personnel, no harm no foul. If it doesn’t, well, the Thibs skeptics might just be correct.

  175. thenoblefacehumper: if you’re not an Athletic subscriber, I guarantee you you’re spending at least $5 a month more stupidly than they’d be spent on a subscription

    If someone wants to try The Athletic to check if it’s worth it, i have 5 guest passes to offer ( Share a 30-day guest pass with up to 5 friends ).

  176. When you say stuff like “Thibs should bench Bullock for game 5” or “The Knicks are just as talented as the Hawks” or that “It’s Thibs’ fault that Randle is playing like shit” is that not begging for a response?

    What makes this guy such a troll is that my positions are clearly very different than these stupid, reductive statements; and I spend a fair amount of time making myself clear, yet he still spends all his time fighting with these straw men. The dude literally took time out of being at the Garden for game 5 to log on here and call me an imbecile for saying something I never said. And if it’s not me he’s obsessed with, it’s djphan, or TNFH.

    Next the troll is gonna come back and say I’m saying I’m misunderstood. No, I’m not misunderstood. Everyone understands what I am saying.

    I’mma go on vacation and put this toxic relationship in my rearview. I wonder who he’ll fixate on next.

  177. I guess Thibs went with the “dance with the one who brought you” approach, with the exception of rightly dumping Payton.

    It makes me sad to see all the references to The Athletic. I subbed there but got stuck in some sort of perma trial sub land where it would keep logging me out, even as it sent me emails with links to click that dead ended when I did so. Kept prompting me to sub when I already was. And even logging back in each time required in going through a few browser hoops.

  178. tnfh, all valid points. Thibs has blind spots, as do most coaches, even the very best. But he’s a package deal. That’s why I put him in the D’Antoni category of coaches. My point is that for this team, he took it as far as any coach possibly could have. The way he did it may not translate to the same level of success in the future. That’s totally different than saying he did a bad job of coaching in this series, and largely because he didn’t do what you wanted him to do.

    The biggest problem with coaches like Thibs and D’Antoni is that because their teams overachieve in the regular season, some personnel-based issues don’t arise until the playoffs. In this case, Thibs built the team’s 41 win record by being a top defense and slowing the pace down to mask a mediocre offense. Once he ran into a team with an offense that could be slowed but not stopped, the offensive flaws of his personnel were exposed. The only option was to have Derrick Rose go toe-to-toe with Trae Young and that worked a little bit until Rose broke down. Even that was a mismatch, and beyond that there really were no answers. But he took the team as far as it could possibly go, so whatever quibbles anyone has shouldn’t be confused with “bad coaching decisions.” Worrisome, maybe, but not bad. I don’t see how that can be disputed.

  179. The beauty of the “shot quality” data is that it conforms perfectly to what some of us were reporting in real time via the eye test. It was blatantly obvious from the get-go that the Hawks were creating significantly easier shots, and it isn’t really that surprising that the Knicks’ shot quality compared poorly against the rest of the playoff teams. It was a complete slog.

    How the difference in shot quality came to be is the critical debate, but it was very, very real.

    As to the “Thibs wins effect” TNFH and the Athletic hit that pretty well, too. Some of us are curious — is the relationship between playoff performance and regular season performance a negative fit with regular season wins? IOW, as the talent gets better and the regular season wins approach, say, 65, does the playoff gap shrink to 0? Or is there always a gap even at high levels of talent and wins? Do Thibs’s teams overachieve in the regular season at *all* levels of talent and wins, or only, say in the 35-47-ish win range, as with the 2020-21 Knicks?

  180. If there’s going to be a playoff “letdown” even with like a 68 win regular season team, that’s worrisome.

  181. cybersoze:
    Really moving indeed. He’s a great dude, i’d very much like to keep him around.
    And btw i’m european and can’t understand why in the US people carry guns if they so wish, here in Portugal i probably never crossed paths with a person carrying a gun (except police and security services). What’s the point?

    Being someone that lives in a rural area I know a lot of people with concealed carry permits and I can honestly say most of them never carry it in public because they figure that if they ever used it they’d be screwed anyway. They just leave it at home in case of a night time break in to protect their family. I don’t have a pistol myself. I just have a rifle I hunt with.

  182. Hubert: Hypothetically, let’s say Kawhi said he would come play with us if we acquired Damian Lillard.

    We could match what OKC gave up for George with:
    RJ Barrett
    Toppin or Quickley
    Knicks 2021 pick
    Knicks 2022 pick (we can trade this because we have Dallas’ picks)
    Either NY or Dallas’ 1st 2023 pick (whichever is better)
    Knicks 2024 pick (unprotected)
    Knicks 2026 pick (unprotected)
    Pick swaps in 2023 and 2025

    I’m all for the slow rebuild, but Dame-Kawhi-Julius would test my patience.

    I know this isn’t real, but if it was, i have bad news for you, because if you want to trade for Dame using cap space, having Julius on the books won’t allow you to offer the 35% max to Kawhi in free-agency (maybe you forgot we’re still paying a C that got lit in NY).

  183. Z, the shot quality data is independent of pace. I hope you would concede that there’s a possibility the shot quality was so piss poor because at least in part, the offensive coaching was poor/bad/suboptimal. If that’s the case, it falls on Thibs.

    I haven’t read the Partnow piece in full, but I’d want to see the delta with regular season shot quality as well. But the fact of the matter is the Knicks obviously and consistently generated poor to very poor quality looks throughout the series.

  184. That Bullock piece is so good and heartbreaking. I have nothing intelligent to add–everyone should read it.

    It feels ridiculous to bring this up in the context of that piece, but if we’re keeping one of Burks/Bullock I would prefer Bullock.

    Burks is definitely better at creating half-decent looks out of nothing, but he’s not good enough at it for it to be a serious option on a legitimately good offensive team, whereas what Bullock does will always be helpful to literally any offense (not to mention his vastly superior defense).

  185. I know this isn’t real, but if it was, i have bad news for you, because if you want to trade for Dame using cap space, having Julius on the books won’t allow you to offer the 35% max to Kawhi in free-agency (maybe you forgot we’re still paying a C that got lit in NY).

    Just for fun, I was doing this math earlier and you’re exactly right: Joakim Noah’s salary is what prevents us from being able to trade everything for Dame while maintaining space for Kahwi’s max.

  186. I actually think this is the summer the Knicks get one of these guys. I’ve never thought that in any of the other summers. The culture has picked up enough and the deployable assets have picked up even more. It’s never been as seriously doable as now. I’m still not at 100%, more like 80-85.

  187. E, I agree that the shot quality was poor, but that the biggest reason for it is that we have lousy offensive players who got away with being lousy all year. I don’t think any coach could have transformed our offense enough to match the Hawks, largely due to personnel limitations.

    Seriously, what would Mike D’Antoni have done? My guess is that he would have used Kevin Knox and IQ more and lost games 145-130 instead of 110-95. We would have generated better looks by running out and shooting quick 3’s and that would have played right into ATL’s hands, just in a different way. If Thibs couldn’t figure out how to defend Trae, can you imagine what D’Antoni would have done with this roster? (Actually, never mind, he wouldn’t have won 41 games with them.)

    The thing is, I’m with you and others about concerns with the offense going forward. But in the “package deal” sense, I’m hoping (not expecting, hoping) that his defensive strenghs balance out his offensive weaknesses, and that Leon isn’t fooled into thinking that the roster is better than it is just because we overachieved during the regular season.

  188. Couldn’t we rig the cap with Julius still under contract in that hypothetical and sign his extension after all the hoops were jumped through?

  189. True contending teams are not reliant on one way of playing…they can go big, small, fast, slow, offense-centric, defense-centric…they have several players that can generate their own shot as well as shots for others, and can mix and match around them as the situation dictates. And unless they have a coach on the floor such as LeBron, Magic, Bird where coaching doesn’t matter all that much, then the best coaches adapt to the conditions of the game. I don’t know whether Thibs is capable of adapting in that way because he has not really had the roster of a true contending team since Rose went down with the ACL injury. So eventually he was going to run into a team that could find a way to beat his roster, regardless of who was coaching. Those worries that he can’t are legitimate, and I’m not being dismissive of them.

  190. Yeah, I mean when you lose a series in 5 games and 3 of the losses weren’t ever really in doubt, I find it hard to believe that coaching was the difference. That’s just getting your ass handed to you by a better team.

    I mean would keeping Elf as the starter or playing Knox or Frank or IQ or Toppin more or going with Randle/Toppin REALLY have made a difference in a series we lost in 5 games with 3 losses being not close?

    In the last 3 games we really only hung with them in the first half. After that it was never really in doubt. Our offense wasn’t that good for a lot of the season but improved once we got Rose. Then we face a healthy, young and talented Hawks team and lost to them. Just cause we were the 4th seed and they were the 5th seed and we beat them in the regular season doesn’t mean we were better than them. I told myself we were going into the series too but I was drinking the late season win streak kool aid and now when you look at who they got and who we got, its pretty apparent they were better than us and not only that, but their strengths lined up perfectly with our weaknesses.

  191. I’d hazard to guess (not knowing where to find shot quality data) that we were near the bottom in shot quality during the regular season.

    I flagged this issue earlier in the year and worried it would come back to bite us. Rose and Randle both feasted from the midrange, hitting low quality shots constantly. As mentioned upthread, Burks is another player who loves his midrange jumper. IQ? Loves his midrange floater which has to be a terrible quality shot.

    Those 4 took exactly 1800 2pt FGA out of the team’s 6225 FGA (3s & 2s). So 29% of our shots were from players who love terrible midrange jumpers. Some of those are good attempts, layups and whatnot, but eyeballing distance splits that means we took a crapton of midrange jumpers.

  192. And that was my problem with hiring Thibs in the first place. My feeling is that you build the winning roster first and THEN hire a coach that fits that roster. I would have been perfectly happy with keeping a “disposable but servicable” coach, even keeping Mike Miller, and playing the kids, and landing a top 5 pick.

    Once Thibs was hired, I felt that my expectations had to change. Then it became about the fast track to relevance, hopefully without compromising cap and roster flexibility. So I went into the year with certain expectations. And the team blew them away, and in my opinion, largely due to Leon hiring Thibs and letting him do his thing. Sure, Randle and Rj get credit, and Leon gets credit. But most coaches don’t get beyond the play-in with this roster, I firmly believe that. So I give Thibs a free pass for our team losing to ATL the way that we did. Were there some worrisome signs for the future? Sure, I’ll concede that. But it wasn’t bad coaching. If anything, it was bad coaching for Nate to have not swept this team easily.

  193. In Chicago, even with a healthy Rose, who was their #2 offensive option? Luol Deng and Boozer don’t exactly strike fear into defenders. They’re good players, but not exactly #1 options. Even Rose was wildly overrated when healthy given his pedestrian TS%.

    I don’t think he ever really had a true contender, but he gets his teams to consistently overperform. The Knicks need some of that just to stop being a league wide joke.

  194. If there was one important thing that was accomplished this year, it’s the transforming of this franchise from laughingstock to respectabity. That doesn’t mean that great players are going to come flocking to us, or take discounts to play here. But at the very least, it makes Durant’s statement that “the cool thing right now is not the Knicks” a bit less true. I’m quite a bit less embarrassed to be a Knicks fan than I was when the season started, even with the ass-kicking by the Hawks. That will be even more true if the Hawks beat the Sixers with more great performances by Trae…even though he’s a villain I’ll be rooting for him.

  195. someone mentioned it earlier about how we have so many posters from around the world…thinking of max linking reggie’s poignant piece in the Player’s Tribute…

    just wondering for those living not here in the states, just what the impression others might have of the proliferation of gun violence here…

    one of my favorite follows the last year or so has been jordan klepper, he did some hilarious work with the maga folks…he also did a very revealing story on gun “control”

  196. Early Bird:
    In Chicago, even with a healthy Rose, who was their #2 offensive option? Luol Deng and Boozer don’t exactly strike fear into defenders. They’re good players, but not exactly #1 options. Even Rose was wildly overrated when healthy given his pedestrian TS%.

    I don’t think he ever really had a true contender, but he gets his teams to consistently overperform. The Knicks need some of that just to stop being a league wide joke.

    Yeah, that team did overachieve as well.

  197. i’d be very surprised if dame goes anywhere, but, just listened to some of his post game comments – yikes…very direct regarding his team and their roster…

    goodbye stotts, goodbye cj…

  198. Also, I’m not a huge Xs and Os guy. I’d love to see an article breakdown the Knicks playoff series and look if they added some wrinkles.

    To my very amateur eye we tried putting Randle in a Rose PnR a couple times to no effect and tried to have Randle dump the ball to our Cs when Capela cheated too much (I assume this drove the Noel FT bonanza), but no one except Randle or Rose can create shots consistently so there’s a limited number of offensive plays we can run.

    As for the small ball proposal, Trae & Capella would have put up 150 on us with Randle at C. If Taj & Noel can’t stop that PnR, then Randle is going to get eviscerated.

  199. Sorry for posting up a storm today. I’m bored and had too much caffeine.

    I don’t think Thibs is immune from criticism, but he can’t hit jumpshots for the players. It seems like a double standard to credit the players for career offensive years from Burks, Bullock, Randle, and the tremendously improved RJ during the season and say it wasn’t the players, but the coach in the playoffs. If Thibs deserves blame for the playoff offensive woes, then he deserves praise for the offense during the win streak which was spectacular.

    Hubert, hate to lose you as a poster for any amount of time.

  200. Hubert whenever I’m feeling stressed about KB I just receive a comforting gesture from my SO while I craft my next post and it miraculously turns out softer and more measured than it would otherwise. Go and find your ex-neighbor and have her help you work through your rebuttals.

    And speaking of fellatio, any chance that strat declares KP the MVP of tonight’s Game 6 on the back of a 4-11 FG, 4 rebound, 1 assist performance?

  201. Yeah, I guess I just take issue with the idea that “overperforming” is somehow bad.

    I mean, if its overperforming for a non-playoff team and it costs you a higher pick, I get why people think that is bad. But if a team can make the playoffs, why would you want to underperform and get a lower seed? Just so you’re rested? I mean, that’s great and all but then you face a tougher opponent in the 1st round and have a higher chance of going out early.

    The Lakers and Clippers this season are good examples of what happens when a team underperforms in the regular season. I know The Lakers didn’t do it on purpose but the Clippers with Kawhi’s load management probably left a handful of games on the table and that means facing Dallas in the first round instead of Portland or The Lakers.

    And I don’t think we lost to Atlanta because we were tired. We had a week off from games BECAUSE we avoided the play-in. Everyone (besides Mitch) was 100 percent going into game one. In fact, with the play-in, overperforming to get to the 4,5,6 spot is super important now.

  202. X’s and O’s don’t matter all that much when you’re starting Derrick Rose and Taj Gibson in a playoff game in 2021.

  203. You know what’s funny, Jowles, that actually was my more measured response! You should have seen the first one ;)

    Look, this place is too good to have people argue in bad faith. Here is my uncontroversial quote about Reggie Bullock:

    Hubert
    May 31, 2021 at 10:11 am

    By all means, start Reggie in game 5 again. But I think you’ve got to have a quick hook with him and move to IQ or Burks if, after 6 minutes, Reggie isn’t making the Hawks pay.

    And yet every day since then I’ve logged into KB to read “Hubert is an idiot who said Reggie Bullock should be benched.” That is the definition of trolling, from an experienced and dedicated troll, and it should have no place here.

  204. Yeah, I guess I just take issue with the idea that “overperforming” is somehow bad.

    It’s bad if you base your decisions on the assumption that overperformance is indicative of future performance. Pushing the chips in on an optimistic hunch or a longshot outcome isn’t the best strategy. Like I’m sure if I met a person who bought $50 of Bitcoin in 2010 and now lives in a yacht off of Monterrey, I’d be like, wow, good job, nice bet, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to turn over my assets to them to manage. A clumsy analogy, but it’s certainly possible this team wins 35 next year and we have 1,000-post threads about whether Thibs is a hack.

    Z-man said that Payton should be a playoff starter if Thibs so decreed it. So, haha, I mean…

  205. The problem was not overperforming in the regular.
    It was underperforming in the playoffs.
    Choking.
    But it’s ok since we were mostly Playoff Rookies.

  206. I think we just have to leave out the insults. Much of this place is about disagreeing with each other, or at least providing a different perspective. We can do that without hurling invective. A difference of opinion doesn’t make someone an enemy to be destroyed by any means necessary. And especially when we’re talking about alternative realities — the old what ifs. Seriously, who the fuck knows. Well ptmilo does, but the rest of us don’t. Not really.

    I like the idea of getting Thibs an offensive guru. Again, Atlanta was going to win that series, barring a miracle or an injury or two. I was just irritated by the ‘doing the same thing over and over’ mentality. I mean, if Carlisle can start a 7’3″ and a 7’4″ tandem in a playoff game, Thibs can maybe give [redacted] five minutes when Trae is really going off to see if [redacted] can, actually shut him down.

    That’s just one sorry-ass example. Give IQ a bit more burn. If Obi’s playing well (and Randle sucks), well…

    One final thought. Randle’s success next year, and thus his worth, is partly dependent on others. If the front office can get the team a competent point guard, and if the coaching staff can put in a few alternative plays, Randle is likely to do really well. If Randle spends the off-season just trying to do the same things better, and Thibs rolls him out to do those same point-forward-y things, I worry he’ll be flaming garbage.

  207. Atlanta has the players to go PNR, Fastbreaks, 3s, Paintgame, ISO, drives, heroball, foulgame…the whole arsenal against us.
    Thibs tried to take away some of those but as we all saw they were Too Good to be shut down.

    Personally I’d prefer from Thibs more D-oriented approach focused on ballsy 100% professionalism (as showcased by DRose, Taj) but we should have been down probably anyway we had played them.
    I just hate the pseudo toughness and the unprofessional frustration…(Capella sadly told the truth and Trae was the real badass in the series wo being a dick)

    Play hard, Give your 100% and if your opponent is better applaud him and Learn from him. (Unless he’s a dick!)

  208. #Trae was the real badass in the series AND he was a dick.#

    I’m usually oversensitive against dick opponents and curse badly Lebron, CP3 and other annoying to me floppers and whiners but Trae didn’t pull any trigger on me.

    As for the other…
    I’m with Zman!
    He keeps everyone accountable like a feisty vet sergeant without diplomacy and babysitting!
    He’s Thibsing! ;-P

  209. And to be perfectly clear i felt more annoyed by Randle/Bullock’s pseudotoughness and RJ’s pseudocool postgame interviews than with Trae’s response to MSG’s forced negativity.

  210. Trae Young is one of the biggest floppers in the entire league, so…huh?

    I don’t dislike Trae Young either, but he was definitely a dick at times during the series. The bow? I mean, come on.

    But yes, the Knicks certainly did not do themselves any favors with the pseudo tough guy stuff. Totally agreed there. They were so upset by Capela’s comments because he nailed them way too perfectly for their tastes.

  211. Yeah, I am with Brian. Capela owned the Knicks very solidly. Trae was a bit of a dick but I would be too if someone spat on me.

    These 9 o’clock games are killers. I can’t believe I have hit that stage in my life where 11 pm feels like 3 in the morning.

    Luka is a must watch though.

  212. #Trae Young is one of the biggest floppers in the entire league, so…huh?#

    True but he’s tiny so it’s part of his bball surviving skills.Fair

    #I don’t dislike Trae Young either, but he was definitely a dick at times during the series. The bow? I mean, come on.#

    What can i say man?
    If he’s a dick and you don’t dislike him one of the two is probably not true…trust your heart!

  213. Knew Your Nicks: As for the other…
    I’m with Zman!
    He keeps everyone accountable like a feisty vet sergeant without diplomacy and babysitting!
    He’s Thibsing! ;-P

    Thanks KYN. If Hubert thinks I’m a troll, lol, so be it. I still have a special place in my heart for him since he made a certain insinuation when I characterized Mike Miller as a gym rat. He does the same stuff to others, and can’t handle it when he gets a taste of his own medicine. I admit that certain things trigger the Bronx in me, especially the aloof know-it-all who makes provocative statements about capabilities and motivations and then bristles at being challenged in kind with the same rhetoric they used towards others.

    Or put differently, we know what’s really going on here, right Hubie?

  214. Brian Cronin: Brian Cronin
    June 4, 2021 at 6:11 pm
    Trae Young is one of the biggest floppers in the entire league, so…huh?

    I don’t dislike Trae Young either, but he was definitely a dick at times during the series. The bow? I mean, come on.

    That settles it…Trae Young will be a Knick some day.

  215. Maybe we underperformed by losing in 5 games instead of 6 or 7, but once Nerlens fucked up his ankle the series was over.

    If we keep one of Bullock or Burks who would you want?

  216. I think Bullock, mostly because he is a better defender with a more defined role.

    Burks is a bit of a Swiss Army knife on offense but also a touch erratic.

  217. I don’t blame Trae. What can be better for his notoriety than to get his name in the hands of NY sports media?

    As for Atlanta and the Knicks, I have to admit that I really liked what Atlanta did in the off-season. They had an up-and-coming point guard, a dominant big man and they made the right types of moves in the offseason. Of particular note was their additions of Galanari through a sign-and-trade and Bogdonovic as a free agent. They also signed Solomon Hill, who was a lesser talent. (Note: I cannot post links) I had a post in November about tier-3 players and listed them as my top priorities. I was unhappy with some of our signings in November but Leon Rose was more patient than me and added DRose and Taj mid-season. I hope that he’s more aggressive this off-season. Think about it. Would you rather have added Galanari and Bogdonovic or Peyton and Burks?

    @DRed-
    I would keep Bullock. I think Burks is a clear step down.

  218. pepper:
    I think Bryn Forbes is UFA….is he same as Burks/Bullock or a step up?

    I’m reading a post on the Bucks subreddit where Bucks and Spurs fans are discussing him… here’s what they’re saying:

    – system player that is doing better in Milwaukee than in San Antonio
    – Spurs tried to develop him into a 3rd option but it didn’t work
    – Best as a bench scorer and floor spreader that can be benched if not hitting his shots
    – Undersized and lacks lateral quickness, needs to play with athleticism and length on the floor to hide him on defense
    – Hard worker, gives full effort

  219. Watching the injured reigning champs with one of the GOAT in their Loaded roster going down in 6 by newbies/cp3 w/o much of a fight makes you realize that sometimes… You Just Can’t Win.
    Take it like a …fan!

  220. I think Burks was probably more valuable for us this year than Bullock because we had such trouble generating shots, but if we find someone who can Bullock would be more useful. As people have pointed out Burks takes too many bad shots (which was fine this year, because of the alternatives)

  221. I don’t know if Luka’s fadeaways go in enough to make sense but they look awesome….

    Also, I agree with JVG. They need to change the rules so it’s not so easy to hunt a foul by initiating contact.

  222. DRed:
    I think Burks was probably more valuable for us this year than Bullock because we had such trouble generating shots, but if we find someone who can Bullock would be more useful.As people have pointed out Burks takes too many bad shots (which was fine this year, because of the alternatives)

    Yeah, for this a team that had so much trouble generating basic offense, Burks was perhaps a bit more valuable. But if you assume that the offseason will bring with it at least one or two higher-level shot creators,, then suddenly having the fairly reliable 3-and-D of Bullock is more necessary than a poor man’s Lou Williams. Especially since we already have Young Lou Williams on the roster in IQ.

  223. they are looking at all the foulbaiting type of stuff from young/harden et al… it’s going to be hard to officiate but i think it’s absolutely necessary…

  224. The Mavs have released the Boban. Force feeding him. And KP out there too.

    Meanwhile Batum is playing center for LA.

    Is the Wesr big or not guys? Make up your minds

  225. Kawhi aging out of being one of the best defenders in the NBA and instead becoming one of the best offensive players in the NBA is a crazy career arc

  226. KP came up big?

    He wasn’t a non-factor but he wasn’t very good.

    That was a truly impressive second half from Kawhi.

    And I don’t know what was crazier – Mark Jackson saying that they should bring Boban back in with three minutes left or the fact I was in total agreement with him.

    I will give Strat this much – the Mavs offense can get kind of stagnant in the halfcourt when Luka is in.

  227. He’s basically Michael Jordan. And no one saw it coming. I wonder what the most optimistic pre-draft player comparison was. Shawn Marion? Gerald Wallace?

  228. Terry Stotts out as Portland Trail Blazers’ head coach after nine seasons

    well, that didn’t take long…i’d think they could move CJ for another more complementary player to liliard, at the 4 or 5 maybe…not sure what they can do with nurkic, he’s due 30 million plus each of the next two years, he is not worth it…covington needs to come off the bench…melo should retire…try to hang on to powell, and use simons more…

  229. looks like stotts is out… and dame is pining for …. jason kidd…

    the dame watch has officially started…..

  230. ***He’s basically Michael Jordan. And no one saw it coming. I wonder what the most optimistic pre-draft player comparison was. Shawn Marion? Gerald Wallace?***

    Who are you talking about? Doncic or Leonard? (at first I assumed Doncic, but Wallace was a very good defensive wing, and Owen referenced both in his previous post)

    (Speaking of Wallace, here’s a fun fact: during his career he was traded for the future picks that turned into Lillard, Jalen Brown, Tobias Harris, Colin Sexton, Kyle Kuzma, and Markel Fultz. That’s a 2022 ECF team right there.)

  231. okay then, let’s just say what everyone here is thinking – how was the movie donnie?

    more importantly, are you a popcorn person? lotsa butter, no butter, little bit of butter? no salt, little bit of salt, carry your own salt?

    what’s your favorite movie candy?

    for a drink, do you go with:
    a). water
    b). soft drink
    c). beer
    d). milkshake

    me: i’m a buttered popcorn with a water bottle and a bag of raisinets kind of guy…

    although prior to the pandemic i was doing burgers, fries and beer during the movie…occasionally would switch things up with chicken tenders, nachos and a milkshake…they closed down the one theater that served food in the area though…

  232. (Speaking of Wallace, here’s a fun fact: during his career he was traded for the future picks that turned into Lillard, Jalen Brown, Tobias Harris, Colin Sexton, Kyle Kuzma, and Markel Fultz. That’s a 2022 ECF team right there.)

    I’m pretty sure he was traded with the picks that became Sexton and Fultz, not for them.

    But yeah, Gerald Wallace for what turned out to be the #6 pick is one of those underrated awful trades that people don’t talk enough about.

  233. ***okay then, let’s just say what everyone here is thinking – how was the movie donnie?***

    It was better than the Blazer’s 4th quarter, but that’s not saying much I suppose…

    (popcorn butter is a carcinogen (…and just say no to all that other stuff too (…besides the water))).

  234. How in the fuck is Dame’s top pick Jason Kidd? I don’t even slightly get the choice by him.

  235. geo: me: i’m a buttered popcorn with a water bottle and a bag of raisinets kind of guy…

    For me it’s popcorn w/ little bit of salt and a beer. :)

  236. cybersoze: For me it’s popcorn w/ little bit of salt and a beer. :)

    i have evolved…i was buttered, coke and raisenets…now, i am like cyber with the light salt, if available coke/cherry mix freezee (or agua) and milk duds (raisinets if no milk duds available)…and yeah if they sell aclohol…swap in a brewski for the freezee

  237. anyone pumped up for the Azerbaijan F1 tomorrow?

    Since I binge watched Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix…I am addicted to F1…a new post pandemic hobby…

  238. pepper: anyone pumped up for the Azerbaijan F1 tomorrow?
    Since I binge watched Formula 1: Drive to Survive on Netflix…I am addicted to F1…a new post pandemic hobby…

    Used to love it in the 80s and 90s, but then it started to always have a car that is faster than anybody else (Schumacher’s Ferrari, Alonso’s Renault, Button’s BrawnGP, Vettel’s Red Bull and now for many years it’s Hamilton’s Mercedes), i lost interest. You let me know how’s the sport doing after the Azerbaijan GP, if it’s competitive again. ;)

  239. Reading this thread I’m realizing Thibs is the new Frank.

    1. Both are defensive savants.
    2. Their offense is a disaster.
    3. They are not a point guard.
    4. Z-Man will to go on a Churchillian battle for them, drawing blood, sweat and tears.
    5. They have no answer for Trae Young.
    6. Even this: one is French, the other has a French sounding family name.

    It took this board four years to come to a conclusion about Frank, he sucks. Will Thibs last that long?

  240. The Honorable Cock Jowles: It’s bad if you base your decisions on the assumption that overperformance is indicative of future performance.

    I think this Jowles’ comment flew under the radar, as i think we are all banking on Thibs overachieving as a given and that’s not very likely to happen season in and season out, i guess. Been giving it a thought and yeah, it’s best if we “just” bank on Thibs doing a good job, with no BS. Which is fine by me.

  241. I am concerned about Thibs’ inability to be creative enough on offense to produce better shots, but I also am concerned with Randle and his ability to deal with how the Hawks defended him. I don’t even think the soft double played much of a role this series, but the way Randle’s individual defender crowded him and loaded up on his left was different than what we saw during the year (from what I remember). Randle didn’t seem comfortable with this, and his relatively slow release made it so his shots were even more contested. I’m not sure if this would make a difference in the “shot quality” metric, because his regular season shots were frequently contested as well, but I believe that the slight change of crowding and contesting his left side made these shots even worse. Hopefully, the league doesn’t catch on or Randle makes some adjustments. Or maybe he just learns how to make these shots?? That’s what he did last summer!

  242. When people talk about the MVP award they rarely bring up Kawhi’s name, but imo he’s the best all round player in the NBA. He has his injury issues and probably overdoes the load manage to be fresh at the end of the season, but I can’t think of anyone else that can totally dominate and change a game on either end of the floor when it matters most in the playoffs, finals etc…

    Rick Carlise won’t get fired, but he should. I take back anything good I might have said about him in the past.

  243. It took this board four years to come to a conclusion about Frank, he sucks.

    it was a few people.. i think the vast majority knew what was up from the jump..

  244. If I had to pick one player to play 48 minutes in an elimination game, it would be Kawhi. I don’t think he’s the MVP (Jokic), but as I said: he is Michael Jordan come to play his prime in the pace-and-space era. If I had to pick one current player to duplicate five times and play a full game with, it would be Kawhi.

  245. And even when it comes to memes, Kawhi is GOAT level, just like Jordan. Who doesn’t remember Kawhi’s laugh? LOL

  246. And this brings in some light to the Luka is the new Lebron narrative. Will Luka improve his defense or not? If not, is he going to be the first GOAT level player to be a 1-way guy, or is he only going to be the “GOAT of Carmelos” and never will be in the discussion for the real GOAT of the NBA?

  247. I might be the biggest Porzingis skeptic here and even I’m surprised at the extent to which he’s been an utter non-factor in this series. Excellent job by the Clippers to plan their entire defensive scheme around stopping him, or something.

  248. It took this board four years to come to a conclusion about Frank, he sucks. Will Thibs last that long?

    Not me.

    If anything I think it’s more likely now that Frank is going to be a useful 3&D player on a good team someday than before this year. Small sample or not, he was good from 3 this year. He’s 43% for his career from the corner now. He had no role on THIS team because Thibs correctly recognized he’s not a PG. He’s not going to score in volume or in a lot of ways, but he’ll defend very well and he can hit an open 3 from his spots. He’s a younger Bullock type. He wasn’t experienced or good enough yet to take Bullock’s job and since our offense is so lacking in versatile scorers there were very few lineups with Frank off the bench that made sense either, but he definitely has a role in the NBA. It could be an important one eventually if he keeps developing into his mid 20s. He has to be on a team that has plenty of scoring and is looking to compliment that with a cheaper 3&D player. That’s not NY. But there are teams out there that need that kind of player.

    If you think Thibs sucks, I’m not even going to comment. It isn’t worth the keystrokes.

  249. i’m wondering how much this dame situation is going to impact this offseason… on one hand if there’s a >0 possibility to land him you should keep all your powder dry for that possibility… OTOH, we’re also trying to take a step up on the win curve…

    it’s going to be pretty hard as is to grab even the 5th seed next year so maybe we might play the one-year deal carousal again with a different cast of characters and three more picks…. i do think with the dame situation looming large that probably keeps us out out of the cp3 and lowry sweepstakes…. and we might go after someone younger to a)match with our core and b)matchup on a potential lillard trade better….

    with the way dame is talking… this does have potential to blowup mid season and very possible next offseason if they don’t even make the playoffs… maybe we don’t get held hostage by this situation but i’d bet this is the next big superstar to move and we should def be in on that…

  250. thenoblefacehumper:
    I might be the biggest Porzingis skeptic here and even I’m surprised at the extent to which he’s been an utter non-factor in this series. Excellent job by the Clippers to plan their entire defensive scheme around stopping him, or something.

    The Mavs are using Boban and KP on the court at the same time for defensive purposes.

    When KP was playing C the Clips were going small and dragging him away from the rim or forcing him into a switch and beating him to the basket. They were killing the Mavs inside. The Mavs were doing to the same thing to Zubac, which is why he’s not playing much in this series. The Mavs tried an unconventional adjustment. They are using two bigs to clog up the middle instead.

    The offensive adjustment is to keep KP planted firmly in the corner as the stretch PF to create space for Doncic and Boban. They are using Boban in the post sometimes. The Mavs have effectively taken KP out of the offense themselves with these adjustments. He barely touches the ball. All the Clip have to do is keep a man on him in the corner and he never gets the ball. I think it’s a terrible strategy because Boban can’t do much on offense. Now the offense is all Doncic and Hardaway. Good luck with that vs. Kawhi and George.

  251. Happy Birthday, BigBlueAl!

    (Though the Knicks are eliminated, I hope this birthday isn’t the most disappointing birthday of the season:)

  252. I never saw Porzingis as a Knick. I have watched a bunch of Mavs games over the past two years, but I’ve still barely seen Porzingis. The guy is the most invisible 7’3” person that’s ever stood in front of a TV camera.

  253. Some covid update:
    1) You guys in the US are all vaccinated by now, right? How’s life getting back to the old life pre-covid?
    2) Do we have posters in Canada, or in other non-US parts of North America? Speak up, guys, i want to know how’s the situation over there where you live.
    3) Saw Farfa saying he has already taken the shot, slovene knick for tomorrow, i’m for the end of the month. How’s the rest of the european folks (max, iserp, and the others i don’t know by name)? I guess we’re behind, but maybe in 2 months we’ll be with a very high percentage of vaccinated people in Europe and life getting back to normal;
    4) In South America i think we only have Bruno, but if there’s more, you speak up also. How’s things in Brazil, Bruno? Is Bolsonaro fucking up this thing also, or is the vaccination program running well?
    5) And down under, dtrickey and others i also don’t know by name, are you being vaccinated with speed, or as in your area covid isn’t a big problem, you’re not pressing it for now?
    6) For last, i don’t think we have posters in Africa, Middle East and Asia, besides our expat KFNINJ, but if we have, please speak up, would like a lot to hear from you. KFNINJ, you’re already vaccinated, right? I think i remember you telling us that you work on a pharmaceutical company (or some similar business) and because of it you were one of the first to take it, but i might be wrong. How’s things over there, in China?

  254. Donnie Walsh: Happy Birthday, BigBlueAl!
    (Though the Knicks are eliminated, I hope this birthday isn’t the most disappointing birthday of the season:)

    LOLOL! You’re a gem, Donnie! :)
    And have a wonderful birthday, BBA! ;)

  255. Some thoughts on Frank:

    1. I had high hopes when he was drafted. In retrospect, I wish that Phil Jackson had gotten his way to trade KP & the 8th pick for Booker and the 4th pick.
    2. Frank has never developed the ball handling skills to be a secondary creator, let alone a PG.
    3. His spot up shooting is not as good as his shooting % would indicate, because the vast majority of his shots are standstill open shots. Sometimes he will take a dribble to sidestep a close out. He does not run off screens (like Reddick), take step backs or even dribble into 3s.
    4. His defense is very good, but not great. He is not a great on-ball defender against quick PGs. He dies on screens too easily, leading to many switches. He is amazing at getting into passing lanes to create turnovers. He is also very good at helping and recovering.
    5. He never had a nose for grabbing defensive rebounds, which is an important part of defense. At his height and with his wingspan, he could be a much better rebounder.
    6. I think he might be a rotation player for the next few seasons as a 3&D guy. For example, if Boston trades Marcus Smart, he might slide in as a 7/8 man.
    7. The rationale for picking Frank – that he was a great fit for a Triangle offense – never made sense.
    8. As Philly has shown, a team can make a lot of front offense mistakes but still become a championship contender if they hit one MVP-caliber draft pick. Embiid makes up for a lot of horrible decisions (Noel, Okafor, Fultz, trading away Bridges on draft night and choosing Horford over Butler).

  256. I was lucky to be able to be vaccinated in February. My whole family has been and most of the people I know have all had their two doses.

    This is near Saratoga Springs NY.

  257. cybersoze:
    Some covid update:
    4) In South America i think we only have Bruno, but if there’s more, you speak up also. How’s things in Brazil, Bruno? Is Bolsonaro fucking up this thing also, or is the vaccination program running well?

    A short answer would be South America is still fucked. Pretty much every country here is in the top 10 in deaths per million with Peru being by far the worst affected and Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, all having super high numbers.

    Brazil is in a relatively ok state comparing to how things have gone so far, Bolsonaro is still doing everything he can to make sure more people die while still trying to take credit from vaccination, which is thankfully progressing decently well thanks to the efforts of state governments. I personally took my first shot already of astra zeneca and there’s real plans to open up for all age groups until early October. Since elections are next year its all been the usual Brazilian classic shit show where the good things that happen are pretty much byproducts of the political fights swinging one way or another.

    Vaccination starting and proceeding slowly was also a big issue because it led many people to think ok, vaccines are out, let’s return to normal life, much earlier than they should have. So yeah, it’s still a dumpster fire but there’s at least light at the end of the tunnel for once despite our illustrious president.

  258. with the way dame is talking… this does have potential to blowup mid season and very possible next offseason if they don’t even make the playoffs… maybe we don’t get held hostage by this situation but i’d bet this is the next big superstar to move and we should def be in on that…

    The situation has probably reached the point where it’s worth discussing where we’d draw the line in terms of a trade package.

    Dame is awesome and projects to age reasonably well, but a roster of Dame, Randle, and filler that is largely capped out and asset barren isn’t going anywhere. For that reason I don’t think we can afford to give up a true “kitchen sink” package.

    Like you said, I don’t think this happens this offseason. For that reason it’s imperative that we make good picks (as if it wasn’t already) since it would help a ton in terms of a package if the guys we pick retain their trade value once the draft picks ripen into actual basketball players.

    Another question is who we’d be competing with in the Dame sweepstakes. Off the top of my head, Miami, Philly, New Orleans, and Denver would appear to be candidates.

    Miami can offer Herro, Achiuwa, salary filler, 2024 + 2026 1RPs, and 2025 + 2027 pick swaps.

    Philly has no viable offer without Simmons, but if they’re willing to include him that may be curtains on everyone else.

    New Orleans can offer Ingram and a pick package so insane it’s hard to even figure out. Safe to say, they could put together a really nice offer.

    Denver could offer Murray, MPJ, and their 2021 + 2024 1 RPs as well as a swap for 2022.

    So yeah, the bidding will probably be insane. What does a competitive offer from us look like compared to these?

  259. TNFH – I agree that we really shouldn’t empty the cupboard for Dame. It would be Melo 2.0, (even though Lillard is obviously a better player), and we’d be looking at max 50 wins and 2nd round exits with no draft assets or youngsters to develop for years to come.

    As wonderful as it would be to have a star point guard fir the first time in centuries, it’s just not worth the price that Portland will surely demand.

  260. Bo Nateman: Bo N

    Awesome! Thank you for digging this up! I shared on our department Twitter account! (it’s @AthleticsELAC for those of you interested). And by the way, we’re up for a Critics Choice Award for Best Sports Show!

    Yesterday we had a doubleheader baseball scrimmage – first games held on campus since March ’20. I must be really out of at-work shape: spent time live streaming parts of the game on FB from the 1st base side, then on my way home I stopped to pick up a few groceries and my back tweaked bad on me. Still hurts, but better than last night.

    The school presidents within our conference have all pledged for a full return of sports this fall. Thankfully, LA County just passed our indoor facilities for use, and full/normal practices are set to resume Aug 5th (though the swim stadium hit a snag in their ADA upgrading and may not be ready on time for fall). Usually this would be a dead period in terms of athletic activity, but we’re trying to get a jump on certain vitals like team transportation – except we haven’t been able to preview our new fiscal year budget yet. And while no official word yet on whether Last Chance U returns to do a second season on us, it’s looking pretty good that they may.

  261. Portland really wouldn’t hire Kidd just to appease Dame, right? I mean, he’s great and all but he’s no LeBron – who actually does (or did) have the juice to make a front office dance to his tune.

    And what does happen should PDX choose a coach not to Dame’s liking? Shit, who am I kidding. He’ll probably wind up on the Lakers somehow.

  262. cybersoze:
    Some covid update:
    1) You guys in the US are all vaccinated by now, right? How’s life getting back to the old life pre-covid?

    Probably best to answer this on a state-by-state basis ;)

    Here in Cali, we’re almost 44% fully vaccinated and the state is set to (mostly) reopen on the 15th of this month. I first thought that this was a bit too ambitious when the opening date was announced, but now I’m cautiously optimistic it can work. I expect some form of pressure gasket valve release of people who have been cooped up for the past year, which means there probably will be some foolishness and stupidity here and there. But it’ll be nice to do mostly normal things again.

    My wife and I are fully vaccinated (Pfizer) and are still working from home as our union negotiates our terms for returning to the campuses.

  263. ephus:
    Some thoughts on Frank:

    2.Frank has never developed the ball handling skills to be a secondary creator, let alone a PG.
    3.His spot up shooting is not as good as his shooting % would indicate, because the vast majority of his shots are standstill open shots.Sometimes he will take a dribble to sidestep a close out.He does not run off screens (like Reddick), take step backs or even dribble into 3s.
    4.His defense is very good, but not great.He is not a great on-ball defender against quick PGs.He dies on screens too easily, leading to many switches.He is amazing at getting into passing lanes to create turnovers.He is also very good at helping and recovering.
    5.He never had a nose for grabbing defensive rebounds, which is an important part of defense.At his height and with his wingspan, he could be a much better rebounder.
    6.I think he might be a rotation player for the next few seasons as a 3&D guy. For example, if Boston trades Marcus Smart, he might slide in as a 7/8 man.
    7. The rationale for picking Frank – that he was a great fit for a Triangle offense – never made sense.
    8. As Philly has shown, a team can make a lot of front offense mistakes but still become a championship contender if they hit one MVP-caliber draft pick. Embiid makes up for a lot of horrible decisions (Noel, Okafor, Fultz, trading away Bridges on draft night and choosing Horford over Butler).

    Well, since we’re back on Frank… I recall being shocked to see him take…and MAKE… a step back three this season. I mean, if the guy can do that more often, he’d be more of a factor. Might have been a fluke, though. Re his lack of rebounding, I think he’s a good perimeter defender to a fault. He stays out there all the time, very rarely fading in even a little bit to help rebound. Anyways, he’s almost certainly a goner.

  264. The Infamous Cdiggy: Probably best to answer this on a state-by-state basis ;)

    Here in Cali, we’re almost 44% fully vaccinated and the state is set to (mostly) reopen on the 15th of this month. I first thought that this was a bit too ambitious when the opening date was announced, but now I’m cautiously optimistic it can work. I expect some form of pressure gasket valve release of people who have been cooped up for the past year, which means there probably will be some foolishness and stupidity here and there. But it’ll be nice to do mostly normal things again.

    My wife and I are fully vaccinated (Pfizer) and are still working from home as our union negotiates our terms for returning to the campuses.

    My youngest brother is actually my half-brother (same mother). On his other family side, he lost one of his two brothers to Covid just a couple of weeks ago. That brother was a Covid denier, refused to wear a mask and get vaccinated and ended up dying pretty horribly, from what I was told. I just don’t get those who refuse to get vaccinated.

    Anyways, yeah, let’s avoid an overpay for a star player. This team is not ready for a “last piece of the puzzle” sort of move.

  265. djphan: it was a few people.. i think the vast majority knew what was up from the jump..

    I tried to be hopefully, but even with the injuries I believe he’s had his opportunities. Same with Knox. Cut the losses and move on from them both this offseason – their spots should be replaced by our two upcoming 1st round picks.

    Here’s my challenge with this team: it’s hard to see where the premiere, bona fide starting PG and wing player they need will come from this summer w/out gutting most of the roster. But they do need to find at least a starting PG. In the same breath, guys like Bullock, Burks and (to an extent) D.Rose & Noel proved to be capable placeholders, and that’s how they should be looked at going forward:
    – Keep them while you look for their eventual replacements as long as the price is right.
    – Don’t be afraid to replace them with other competent “placeholders” if they price themselves out of team flexibility.

    Also: although it’s tough to see what starting level talent they can mine that will be available in their draft range, they need to keep at it. What the team showed this year is that they begun to understand they need to “save themselves” before they can look to attracting top-tier free agents. It’s AWESOME how much the team improved this year, but most of us realize that this is just (a great) Year One and:
    1. We finally have the staff that can develop young players.
    2. Yes, Thibs will play the young guys. (admittedly I feel this is dependent of #1)

    You know what I just realized? It’s almost like we can engage in our own version of a mini-Process: there is a need for patience, but at the same time our “floor” is substantially higher than originally thought.

  266. Deeefense: The Mavs are using Boban and KP on the court at the same time for defensive purposes.

    When KP was playing C the Clips were going small and dragging him away from the rim or forcing him into a switch and beating him to the basket.They were killing the Mavs inside.The Mavs were doing to the same thing to Zubac, which is why he’s not playing much in this series.The Mavs tried an unconventional adjustment. They are using two bigs to clog up the middle instead.

    The offensive adjustment is to keep KP planted firmly in the corner as the stretch PF to create space for Doncic and Boban. They are using Boban in the post sometimes.The Mavs have effectively taken KP out of the offense themselves with these adjustments.He barely touches the ball.All the Clip have to do is keep a man on him in the corner and he never gets the ball.I think it’s a terrible strategy because Boban can’t do much on offense.Now the offense is all Doncic and Hardaway. Good luck with that vs. Kawhi and George.

    https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/mavericks/2021/06/05/love-the-way-hes-playing-mavs-say-kristaps-porzingis-career-low-playoff-stats-are-part-plan-vs-clippers/

  267. Excited to find other Raisinets fans here. I’m usually the only one in the room that loves them!

  268. TheClashFan: My youngest brother is actually my half-brother (same mother). On his other family side, he lost one of his two brothers to Covid just a couple of weeks ago.That brother was a Covid denier, refused to wear a mask and get vaccinated and ended up dying pretty horribly, from what I was told.I just don’t get those who refuse to get vaccinated.

    Anyways, yeah, let’s avoid an overpay for a star player. This team is not ready for a “last piece of the puzzle” sort of move.

    Man, I’m sorry to hear that.
    What’s sadder is that he’s far from the only COVID-denier who ended up catching it and then dying from it. I have a few theories as to why preferred to deny or believe in conspiracies versus the truth, but I don’t want to re-litigate any of that right now.

    And yes you’re right we’re not close to making that “last piece” move. And taking a step back to look at the league in total: there’s no super-teams right now – a lot of really good and a few great teams, but really the league is wide open. You can make a case that the Nets have the offensive talent to be the lead juggernaut but I’d like to see how they deal with Milwaukee. The top 3 seeds in each conference have at least a puncher’s chance at the title.

    Beyond this year: Any of you have faith the Nets will keep their Big 3 together longer than, say, 2 season? Can AD take the lead for the Lakers as LeBron continues to sunset? If your answer to both is No, then title contender-ship in this league can be as open as it’s been in recent memory.

    P.S. I didn’t include the Warriors b/c I’d like to see how Klay returns and how Wiseman improves. Draymond has certain begun to sunset.

  269. cybersoze:

    3) Saw Farfa saying he has already taken the shot, slovene knick for tomorrow, i’m for the end of the month. How’s the rest of the european folks (max, iserp, and the others i don’t know by name)? I guess we’re behind, but maybe in 2 months we’ll be with a very high percentage of vaccinated people in Europe and life getting back to normal;

    I was originally scheduled to take my first shot today, but I had to re-schedule because the second shot would have interfered with my annual “fresh air pilgrimage” to the Dolomites.
    So I’ll take the first one june 16th and the second one july 21st.

    Here in Italy the situation is “relatively good”, more than 70% of the over-50 population had at least one shot and now younger people are flocking to hubs.

    Life’s slowly going back to normal even if you have to still be careful, wear mask and keep distance.

  270. I’m sure the Mavs are very happy paying a max to a 7’3″ guy to get 4 rebounds a game and take 7 shots as a floor spacer and it totally isn’t PR bullshit, the same org that was jumping with joy when they managed to “bamboozle” everyone to draft future superstar Dennis Smith Jr.

    The way the Mavericks talk you would think they’re the best thing that’s ever happened in basketball, instead of a franchise entirely defined by two euro guys they lucked into trading for.

  271. His rebounding would be irrelevant if he weren’t a stiff and could shoot .620 TS% on high volume. Just like no one would complain about [redacted] if he could nail the corner three and nothing else. But neither of those conditionals are real. But Porzingis is a max player, [redacted] was a lottery pick, one plus one is two, and that ain’t never gonna change. That’s factorial.

  272. If your max contract player’s ideal role is taller Kevin Knox, then he might not be a max contact player

    Knox: 12.6pts & 4.7 reb per 36

  273. Ingmarrrr:
    Reading this thread I’m realizing Thibs is the new Frank.

    1. Both are defensive savants.
    2. Their offense is a disaster.
    3. They are not a point guard.
    4. Z-Man will to go on a Churchillian battle for them, drawing blood, sweat and tears.
    5. They have no answer for Trae Young.
    6. Even this: one is French, the other has a French sounding family name.

    It took this board four years to come to a conclusion about Frank, he sucks. Will Thibs last that long?

    lol, I was on the other side ot the Frank argument, but point taken

    Fun fact about Thibs:

    He had been a starter at Salem State and an impressive player. In 1981, as a senior, he set the school’s single-game scoring record with 28 points against Rochester in the Division III tournament. Former teammates remember him for his dramatic changeover. He entered the school as a shoot-first guard and left it as a physical frontcourt force. (A scouting report of Thibodeau, the player, courtesy of John Furlong, a teammate: “He used to shoot from 35 feet like it was nothing. He would bomb away … He made himself into a really good power forward at 6-1, if you can believe that … He was just so strong. He used his body really well. He could shield people.”)

  274. If there was such a thing as Knickerblogger porn, this might qualify: Pablo Prigioni talking about Summer Thing Luca Vildoza, who Berman of the Post reports has finally worked out in person for Thibs.

  275. ***The Infamous Cdiggy: Probably best to answer this on a state-by-state basis Here in Cali, we’re almost 44% fully vaccinated and the state is set to (mostly) reopen on the 15th of this month. I first thought that this was a bit too ambitious when the opening date was announced, but now I’m cautiously optimistic it can work.***

    A friend of mine is a doctor of infectious diseases. Yesterday he was scheduled to work a double shift in the covid ward of one of the largest hospitals in LA. He came home in the early afternoon because there were no patients to treat.

    There’s talk that LA could reach herd immunity in August, but, given the volume of mass exposures in November and December, the aggressive vaccine rollout, and the staggeringly low rates of infection rates we are seeing, August seems cautiously optimistic, especially here on the westside where all the wealthy, educated white folks have all been fully vaccinated since February. (In my particular community the vaccination rate is at 76%, the highest in the city).

    Long post short, the pandemic feels over where I live. I know it’s not like that everywhere (or, really, anywhere), but the truth is that the vaccines work and if people would stop being stupid and take them, and if we can distribute them to every corner of the world (we can), this virus will be eliminated like a 28-94 shooting Julius Randle.

  276. “If there was such a thing as Knickerblogger porn, this might qualify: Pablo Prigioni talking about Summer Thing Luca Vildoza, who Berman of the Post reports has finally worked out in person for Thibs.”

    Can’t believe the article got through editorial without a censor bar. Will no one think of the children?!?!

  277. Troll Alert

    If Thibs had put Vildoza on Trae Young now we’d be still playing bball!

  278. What are the odds of Frank returning to the knicks next year?
    Has Vegas any odds or is it still early?

  279. Every sentence in that Pablo article made me happier than the one that came before it

  280. Thanks for all the replies, looks like we’re all getting near safety. Can’t wait to put this nightmare behind us.

    And this is what we all hope…

    Donnie Walsh: Long post short, the pandemic feels over where I live. I know it’s not like that everywhere (or, really, anywhere), but the truth is that the vaccines work

  281. Alan: Pablo Prigioni talking about Summer Thing Luca Vildoza

    I’m trying to not have high expectations for him, to prevent from getting disappointed. But each article sets the expectations higher than before. Let’s hope he can justify the hype.

  282. Is Vildoza, DRose and, say, a number one pick enough to cover our point guard needs? I don’t think so.

  283. Re: Dame, to keep flexibility and a future for the team, preventing a Melo 2.0 trade, the player we have to trade for Dame is Julius, not RJ.

  284. So our remaining ones are:
    PG Quickley (3yrs)-Vildoza(3yrs)
    SG
    SF Barrett(2yrs)
    PF Randle(1yr)-Toppin(3yrs)-Knox(1yr)
    C Robinson (1yr)-Pelle(2yrs)

    We look pretty naked rosterwise which ain’t that bad also
    Summertime and the signings look easy

  285. If i could put a title on our upcoming off-season it would be:

    #Endless Possibilities#

  286. Not only we had an incredible regseason (and a shitty playoffs series but it’s ok) but it looks like we’re heading for a pretty interesting off-season!
    Can’t Wait for Every Decision!

  287. Re: Dame, to keep flexibility and a future for the team, preventing a Melo 2.0 trade, the player we have to trade for Dame is Julius, not RJ.

    I don’t think Dame would want to come here if Randle wasn’t going to be his sidekick. The problem in Portland has been twofold: 1)McCollum should at best be the number 3 guy on a serious contender, and he’s been their number 2; 2)McCollum and Dame are a bit redundant, especially since they’ve generally played with good-not-great frontcourts. Dame plus Randle is a legit team right there in terms of balancing skillsets and ability, and if we’re not giving every single asset away in the deal (which we didn’t even do in the Melo trade), I would trust the FO to put enough role players around them for it to be something.

  288. Alan: I don’t think Dame would want to come here if Randle wasn’t going to be his sidekick. (…) Dame plus Randle is a legit team right there in terms of balancing skillsets and ability (…)

    I understand what you’re saying, and Dame’s reasoning. But that’s where i disagree, as RJ will continue to develop and we’d keep space to add another max guy to join Dame.
    I just can’t see a pairing of Dame and Randle cracking the east top3, can you?

  289. So yeah, the bidding will probably be insane. What does a competitive offer from us look like compared to these?

    it depends on so many things and most of our assets are pretty volatile given alot of what we’d be sending would be in their 1st, 2nd or 3rd years… and depending on how well they develop next year we could be putting up a very competitive offer or be way behind…. I also wouldn’t put it past us to include randle in certain situations but again.. alot can change in the next 6-12 months so i’m not really worried about it until the chatter really heats up….

    i’m more worried about how that impacts us this offseason…. and keeping enough flexibility to bring dame into the fold while also trying to improve to a sustainably good team is a very tightrope and it’d be interesting how it plays out….

  290. Dame in NY would be phenomenal but we may need to hire David Copperfield in the FO to get it done. I just can’t see how you keep Portland, NYK and Lillard all happy to make this trade reality instead of a wet dream and a PR move.

  291. Before I go out tonight for dinner I’ve been celebrating my birthday by watching Game 7 vs the Pacers in 1994 and of course LJ’s 4pt play in 1999. June 5th is indeed a great day in Knicks history!

    This off-season is truly fascinating because there are a ton of different ways the front office can go about it. I also read a report that the Knicks want to trade up into the late lottery instead of making 4 draft picks and I believe it said that it might even be Aller’s plan. Again who knows what will happen but end of July/early August will certainly be an interesting time for the Knicks and it’s pretty exciting to think about if not also a bit dreading.

  292. Happy Birthday BigBlueAl!
    I’m wishing a Bucks over Nets Win for your birthday!

  293. I don’t really think we have enough to trade for a Big Dog and keep him happy.
    We re probably 1-2-3 yrs away to do something like that.
    Till then we could use our cap space to attract one.
    Prove me wrong FO! Please!!!!

  294. Donnie Walsh:

    A friend of mine is a doctor of infectious diseases. Yesterday he was scheduled to work a double shift in the covid ward of one of the largest hospitals in LA. He came home in the early afternoon because there were no patients to treat.

    There’s talk that LA could reach herd immunity in August, but, given the volume of mass exposures in November and December, the aggressive vaccine rollout, and the staggeringly low rates of infection rates we are seeing, August seems cautiously optimistic, especially here on the westside where all the wealthy, educated white folks have all been fully vaccinated since February. (In my particular community the vaccination rate is at 76%, the highest in the city)…

    Really good to hear your doctor buddy could go home early. God only knows how many medical folk ave been overtaxed by this crisis.

    Me and the Mrs live in South LA which is mixed bag of “hood” – thankfully the immediate neighborhood we live in is pretty decent – I’ve probably heard or seen move car accidents within my block in the 4 years here than cops responding to gun violence (in fact this by far the most amount of traffic accidents I’ve ever seen in one place in my life – people here really drive however the fuck they feel like). I don’t know the stats of my neighborhood, but my downstairs neighbor is in his late-60s and won’t get vaccinated b/c he feels there’s nothing man-made that’s not already provided by God, and that people who are physically fit (like him) don’t have to worry. I let him know that my dad is physically fit yet has had high BP as long as I’ve been alive (plus some other 9-11 based ailments) – it’s not his fault that he’s at higher risk. …

  295. Cybersoze,

    Things are excellent in China. There is basically no Covid, and life is normal except you wear masks on mass transit and in some stores. They were slow to try and vaccinate people, but they are working on that now. The campus I am on is pushing everyone to get vaccinated. I and my wife are fully vaccinated with the Chines vaccine Sinovac.

  296. (con’t)
    I feel there’s a good deal of people who are bucking the vaccine b/c in their minds they rather place their trust in God vs man or (worse) “the government”. This is a problematic undercurrent with some Black folks – for example: my mother is hesitant to get vaccinated and cites her diabetic issues. I discussed with her that there are many elderly folk with her issues that have gotten vaccinated and that she should talk with her doctor. She responded that her doc doesn’t understand her diabetes like her specialist does, so I told her to talk with her specialist then. Unfortunately, I doubt she has.

    Some folks just fear the government is trying to screw with us again, except in this instance there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. Exhibit A: if the virus and vaccine was indeed a conspiracy against Blacks and minorities, then why were rich white folks (as you mentioned Donnie) rushing to get in line (and in some cases trying to skip the line) during the early vaccination rollouts? And I would’ve loved to ask my neighbor what natural concoction he knew of that equals the same benefits of the vaccines if it wouldn’t have led to an argument… lol.

  297. Happy birthday, BigBlueAL. Longtime and valued member of the community over here. Enjoy it

    I’m in Ridgewood for the night if anyone wants to catch the second half of the Nets game.

  298. d-mar:
    Knickerbloggers, tonight we are all part of Bucks nation

    Fuck Brooklyn!

    I’mma have to get down with this too.

  299. What happened to Harden? I just turned on the game and saw him walking off the court? (commentary is in Chinese, so that’s no help to me). The score seems to be 2-0

  300. Serious question… Would you package either Obi or IQ with one of our first round picks to move up to the late lottery?

  301. Z-man:
    Serious question… Would you package either Obi or IQ with one of our first round picks to move up to the late lottery?

    No. I would certainly want to move up by giving two picks for one, but, as I’ve said before, I find it unlikely some other team will want to do that trade with us.

  302. I’m watching the Bucks and Nets. All I can say is that it’s full of beautiful offense, and only every do often is there a good defensive possession.

  303. The entire NBA playoff landscape might have just changed with the Harden hamstring injury

  304. man so many injuries at inopportune times to some very consequential teams…. altho the harden injury makes this series even more interesting than it already was….

  305. Lopez was fouled 0.1 sec before the buzzer, shot clearly after the buzzer and made the shoot.
    The basket counted plus one free throw!
    Wow!

  306. Z-man:
    Serious question… Would you package either Obi or IQ with one of our first round picks to move up to the late lottery?

    No, not for the late lottery.
    But I would package one of our first, the Pistons’ second and Julius Randle for a top-3 pick.

    (I doubt the other team will accept with Randle not extended)

  307. If Mike James ends up being a difference maker for the Nets in the playoffs it would be pretty hilarious….

  308. I just don’t get how this Harden injury doesn’t knock him out for basically the rest of the playoffs (like, maybe a Finals return?). It’s the same hamstring that was already injured, so a re-injury is a major issue for him.

  309. Thanks for all the birthday wishes! Watched the Bucks Nets and unfortunately the Yankees Red Sox game at a sports bar with my brother and some friends. Pretty disappointing effort by the Bucks tonight but if Harden is out for the series would think the Bucks should have a very good shot at winning this series.

  310. Steve Clifford won’t return as coach of Orlando Magic

    i’ve thought of steve clifford as a good coach for a few years now…i bet he’d do a good job for the sacramento kings…

  311. three spots open now: blazers, celtics and magic…the pelicans should probably be looking for a new coach also…it’ll be interesting to see if sam cassell gets a chance at being a head coach this next season…

  312. Z-man: He had been a starter at Salem State and an impressive player. In 1981, as a senior, he set the school’s single-game scoring record with 28 points against Rochester in the Division III tournament. Former teammates remember him for his dramatic changeover. He entered the school as a shoot-first guard and left it as a physical frontcourt force. (A scouting report of Thibodeau, the player, courtesy of John Furlong, a teammate: “He used to shoot from 35 feet like it was nothing. He would bomb away … He made himself into a really good power forward at 6-1, if you can believe that … He was just so strong. He used his body really well. He could shield people.”)

    Amazing. I bet he played 40 minutes a game every game and totally intimidated his coaches so that they wouldn’t dare taking him out.

  313. Owen:
    If Mike James ends up being a difference maker for the Nets in the playoffs it would be pretty hilarious….

    I don’t like the Nets but I’m happy for Mike James,
    he was a superstar in Europe, three times top-3 scorer in the EuroLeague,
    played in Spain, Greece, Italy (a 20 minutes car drive from my home) and Russia.
    I watched him playing a lot, inefficient but fun and very talented player.

  314. Not Knicks related..but same colors and I feel like starting an argument lol

    The best player in baseball right now is currently 5-2 with 93 K’s and an ERA of 0.62…AND batting .391 on the season! Sheesh!

  315. I’m not thrilled about the prospects of trading up in this draft. After the top five, a lot of the talent is pretty even (why draft Mitchell at 10 when you can get Butler at 21 for instance.)

    I suppose if they really like Giddey, he could be a wild card. Also, maybe there’s a plan to move up to 7 or 8 and package that pick with a ‘22 pick and a young player to get into the top five? I could get behind that route.

    Otherwise, I’d prefer they stay at their current positions and load up on potential, regardless of what Thibs wants.

  316. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    (con’t)

    Some folks just fear the government is trying to screw with us again, except in this instance there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. Exhibit A: if the virus and vaccine was indeed a conspiracy against Blacks and minorities, then why were rich white folks (as you mentioned Donnie) rushing to get in line (and in some cases trying to skip the line) during the early vaccination rollouts? And I would’ve loved to ask my neighbor what natural concoction he knew of that equals the same benefits of the vaccines if it wouldn’t have led to an argument… lol.

    My brother’s paternal half-brother was kind of in the anti-gov’t crowd (though, he was fond of ripping “lib-t*rds” in some of his Facebook posts that I saw). He was 60, white, supposedly in decent shape. His other half brother still refuses to get vaccinated or wear a mask, and has shared some “I trust my immune system” stuff on FB. My brother is both sad and angry about what’s going on in his dad’s side of his family.

  317. Embiid is playing and the Hawks are holding themselves. Looks like we didn’t lost to some scrubs. :P

  318. I would 100% double-trap Trae and force the other guys to beat me….interesting why we or Sixers don’t

  319. johnlocke:
    I would 100% double-trap Trae and force the other guys to beat me….interesting why we or Sixers don’t

    tnt pre-game before knicks-hawks game 5…had Draymond Green on…and he said the same thing…he said knicks should trap him right over half court line with cApella’s man and force capella to initiate/make a play…never happened

  320. cybersoze: Used to love it in the 80s and 90s, but then it started to always have a car that is faster than anybody else (Schumacher’s Ferrari, Alonso’s Renault, Button’s BrawnGP, Vettel’s Red Bull and now for many years it’s Hamilton’s Mercedes), i lost interest. You let me know how’s the sport doing after the Azerbaijan GP, if it’s competitive again. ;)

    not sure if you saw the results but it was crazy…leader blew a tire with two laps to go…they stopped the race and on the restart…hamilton..one of the greatest of all time…and who was in 2nd at the stoppage…pressed some brake lock up button and couldn’t drive his car and fell all the way to the bottom…so the 3-4-5 guys with two laps to go…ended up being 1-2-3…classic…

  321. pepper: not sure if you saw the results but it was crazy…leader blew a tire with two laps to go…they stopped the race and on the restart…hamilton..one of the greatest of all time…and who was in 2nd at the stoppage…pressed some brake lock up button and couldn’t drive his car and fell all the way to the bottom…so the 3-4-5 guys with two laps to go…ended up being 1-2-3…classic…

    Wow, that looks like a fantastic race. One of these days i must give it a try.

  322. Yeah, they are at it again, and Green can’t contain Trae. Wouldn’t it be better to put Simmons on Trae?

  323. Ben Simmons is 10-30 on FTs in six playoffs games…

    How a professional basketball player can’t learn to shoot 70% from the line is one thing I will never understand….

  324. Yes, it would be

    cybersoze:
    Yeah, they are at it again, and Green can’t contain Trae. Wouldn’t it be better to put Simmons on Trae?

  325. If I were Doc Rivers, I would switch Simmons onto Young and have Simmons deny Young the ball for 94’. If Young gets a bunch of back door passes, that is the poison I’d pick.

    Philly is not doing anything to pick on Trae on defense.

  326. I wonder how long it will be before the Thibs-t**ds here start crucifying Doc Rivers for his coaching…

  327. As woeful as the Knicks looked at times against ATL, they never had as dismal a half as the Sixers just had against the same opponent. Something to feel good about, I guess.

    Also: the draft day trade that brought the Hawks Trae instead of Luka is looking less awful by the day. Especially if Reddish turns out to be a serviceable player.

  328. Doesn’t Matisse Thybulle play for the Sixers?

    Isn’t he one of the acknowledged lockdown perimeter guards in the game?

  329. Good *quick* adjustments by Rivers — putting Ben on Trae and trapping. Let’s see if it works

  330. well it’s the 2nd half in game 1 and the sixers try a trap near half court… basically what draymond said…

    that was working a lot better than whatever they were doing in the first…

  331. JK47:
    Jacob deGrom has a 1.02 FIP

    That’s rather good

    Three extremely well-deserved Cy Youngs is going to solidify him as an immortal pitcher…what’s crazy is that it sort of came out of nowhere!

  332. After having Simmons defend Trae successfully for a few minutes, Doc switched back to Danny Green. Trae immediately carved up the D, with assists and one drive.

  333. Raven:
    Doesn’t Matisse Thybulle play for the Sixers?

    Isn’t he one of the acknowledged lockdown perimeter guards in the game?

    Good call…you lose some offense, though.

    The thing about Young is that if you keep trying to trap him he’s gonna adjust and get open looks for others. That’s why the Hawks so dangerous, they are a good shooting team with lob targets.

  334. simmons picked up 3 fouls on trae… he’s probably saving him for the 4th with a good foul situation…

  335. On another note, I was looking at some Trey Murphy III scouting reports and film. He might be an interesting prospect at our draft slots, a late bloomer with a recent growth spurt.

  336. The thing about running traps at a highly skilled PG is that they eventually become predictable and they throw the whole defense out of balance, essentially creating a 4 on 3. The Hawks seem to have faced that all year (it’s logical to assume that opposing teams have trapped Trae many times) and have a scheme to address it to create an easy look from 3 or a dunk. It’s almost as if the roster and offense is constructed to be trap-proof.

  337. Z-man:
    On another note, I was looking at some Trey Murphy III scouting reports and film. He might be an interesting prospect at our draft slots, a late bloomer with a recent growth spurt.

    Which draft slots? Our 2RPs?

  338. Because Trae is so good at handling the Trap, I would try to deny him the ball. This requires a major change in defensive scheme, because Trae’s defender is not available to rotate and help.

  339. Even trying to deny Trae the ball is challenging because he has such great body control and footwork that he can create space against pretty much anyone to receive a pass.

    Seems like the best thing to do is to throw different looks at him, with the goal of having him take contested shots without fouling him. Traps are part of that, but not to the point when they become predictable.

  340. Great game by the Hawks, but the Sixers have to be embarrassed by their effort today. It’s really surprising from a Doc Rivers team.

  341. it’s an ok draft… it’s probably about as strong as 2015 altho no one is as good as KAT…. the overall strength of the top 5/6 is more spread out.. rest of the draft is alot like it tho…

  342. I think the best way to play defense on them is not to double. If they want to drive to the paint all day so be it. Philadelphia is losing because of the total amount of 3s Atlanta has hit. Make them beat you with 2 pointers.

  343. Jason Kidd withdrew from consideration for the Portland head coaching job saying that the endorsement from Dame made it untenable for both him and Dame.

    I wonder if Johnny Bryant is now in the running. From all accounts, he is close with Dame.

    Bryant was widely credited with helping with the Knicks’ player development this year.

  344. Brian Cronin:
    Great game by the Hawks, but the Sixers have to be embarrassed by their effort today. It’s really surprising from a Doc Rivers team.

    I think the playing the Hawks can be very frustrating. Trae takes an emotional toll. You hate him so much and he just carves you up anyway and makes it look so easy.

  345. cybersoze:
    A rule to prevent this Trae sh*t of not picking the ball is needed

    I honestly thought there was already a rule in place. I thought the inbound 5 second penalty covered it. I guess not.

  346. bidiong the not so great: I honestly thought there was already a rule in place. I thought the inbound 5 second penalty covered it. I guess not.

    The only caveat is that it’s really the defense that is allowing it.

  347. There’s a lot of rule tweaks they need to work on. A lot of it having to do with drawing contact on offense in my opinion. Some of the “fouls” on the offensive end are asinine.

  348. Z-man:
    This pace has to favor the Hawks. Embiid’s knee is a time bomb out there.

    The Sixers are fighting back, but it’s probably too late. Embiid is risking a more serious injury, I believe.

  349. The inbounds 5 second clock starts when the ball is in the inbound ers hands and stops when the inbounder releases the ball.

    The game clock runs after made baskets until 2 minutes left in the 4Q (1 minute in the other 3 quarters). The 24 second & 8 second counts don’t start until the ball is touched in play.

    Trae bleeds about 5-10 seconds when his team has a 4Q lead.

  350. bidiong the not so great: I honestly thought there was already a rule in place. I thought the inbound 5 second penalty covered it. I guess not.

    If the defender just runs toward the ball, instead of laying back,, Young will have to pick it up and problem solved.

  351. If Philly could sustain the defensive intensity they showed in the last 5 minutes for all of the time that Trae is playing, they could contain him. That seems like a tall order. It also risks fouling everyone out.

  352. I’m not a doctor but Embiid has not looked like someone dealing with a fairly serious knee injury

  353. Phila sleepwalked through three quarters.

    Atlanta hit 20 threes against 10 and missed 1 FT against 11.

    The Hawks were nearly perfect and still it was a one possession game until the last foul.

    I’m curious to watch the next game and the first one in Atlanta…

  354. thenoblefacehumper:
    I’m not a doctor but Embiid has not looked like someone dealing with a fairly serious knee injury

    He seemed to be favoring it at times…probably playing through significant pain.

  355. How will this Mavs and Clips game unfold? Mavs with the away advantage, right? No team won playing at home in this series, has that ever happened? :D

  356. Luka with 19 points on 7 FGAs. Despicable stat stuffing. Should be passing more to Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell.

  357. He’s just unbelievably skilled, he understands every defender going at him and how he can exploit the match-up perfectly. There’s no way he finishes his career with anything less than multiple MVPs. Just gotta clean up those free throws and it’s over.

  358. KP with the steal. Two on one break against a smaller defender. Mr. Softee pulls up for a three point shot and bricks it.

  359. I’m very happy the Mavs traded for Porzingis for obvious reasons but I’m furious it deprives us of seeing Luka could do with some better players players around him

  360. Raven:
    Doesn’t Matisse Thybulle play for the Sixers?

    Isn’t he one of the acknowledged lockdown perimeter guards in the game?

    Thybulle is their Frank. Lol.

  361. THjr is a pretty easy guy to root for, always looks like he’s hustling…

    kp still lands awkwardly after dunking…which he does a lot less these days, do doubt in line with a greater mavs strategy to preserve him as much as possible by sticking him in the corner, even on defense…

  362. thenoblefacehumper:
    I’m very happy the Mavs traded for Porzingis for obvious reasons but I’m furious it deprives us of seeing Luka could do with some better players players around him

    They’re packing his bags and shipping him very soon, I’m pretty sure. Playing like this and all the rumors of a weird relationship with Luka, there’s no way he finishes this max on Dallas.

  363. Bruno Almeida: no way he finishes this max on Dallas

    Do they have draft picks to send as sweetener? I think they need to remove the protections of the 2023 pick they owe us to have draft picks available for trades.

  364. cybersoze: Do they have draft picks to send as sweetener? I think they need to remove the protections of the 2023 pick they owe us to have draft picks available for trades.

    I don’t think Porzingis has negative value to the point of needing multiple firsts to unload him, he has been clowned in the media this season but it will quiet down after the playoffs. All it takes is a desperate Sacramento or Charlotte or New Orleans etc to think he’s still so young and I think at most a single pick should do it. The Sixers got out of Horford’s contract attaching only one pick to it.

  365. I know it would set NBA twitter on fire, but I’m still rooting for a Clippers / Nets finals so we can see Durant and Kawhi going against each other in a real playoff series.

  366. In order to open up a first to dump Porzingis the Mavs need to lift the protections on the 2023 pick they owe us, but they can’t do that unilaterally (we have to agree). I wonder what asset we could extract from them in exchange for doing them that favor. We’ve got no reason to agree to it without sweetener because as long as the Mavs have Luka they won’t be picking in the top-10 barring him suffering a major injury.

    I’d take Tyrell Terry if they’re so inclined.

  367. To be fair, his stats are fine for a role player, just not a max player. It was really TH2 that let the team down, going 1-9 from 3.

  368. The Clips got better contributions from their role players (Morris, Kennard, Mann, Jackson, Batum),
    I feel for THJr, he had a great season but he went MIA today.
    Interesting things are coming in Dallas…

  369. Who says no to these two trades:

    Dallas sends KP to Boston for Kemba Walker.
    Dallas sends Brunson to New York for Mitchell Robinson.

    Walker and KP are both injury risks. Walker has a higher annual salary, but his deal is one year shorter. KP would be the stretch 4/5 that Tatum needs to open the lane.

    Robinson and Brunson make virtually identical money. Brunson and Rose could split PG time. Robinson would thrive catching lobs from Luca and Walker.

  370. Here’s how the Mavs shot from 3 in this Game 7, excluding Does-Too-Much Doncic and Finney-Smith:

    1-18

  371. Rick “I lose in the first round” Carlisle would have been fired how many years ago if he wasn’t a white guy?

  372. People here can complain Pills didn’t get enough for KP in that trade with Dallas in 20/20 hindsight.

    But I know in my head and heart that they did the right thing trading him there before the media got wind of how bad thing soured between both parties in MSG.

    Dallas now has to commit max contract dollars in amounts equal to or more than Giannis to an injury prone 7’3 ft. power forward/center who plays like a 5’27” ft. combo guard with no picks to surround their generational superstar while being cornered into overspending for Tim Hardaway to stay on their team.

    I can’t wait until Luka jumps ship from Dallas. I pray our team is still functional with cap space and some draft capital to make that deal happen.

  373. Ahahaha. Can you imagine the sh*t Strat would be writing if Luka was on the Knicks and he got to watch him every day?

  374. Boban for 7 mil or Kristaps for 27 mil per? Anyone?

    What about Boban or Kristaps, both at 7 mil?

  375. It probably won’t happen, but the Mavs overpaying Hardaway Jr and having him and KP occupy half of their cap space would be some ninja trade stuff by Mills, even if accidentally.

  376. The brilliant and insightful Isaiah Thomas said on NBA TV that the Mavs biggest problem was Luka’s usage (although he didn’t use that term)

    So Strat, Isaiah has your back.

  377. There’s no way Jason Kidd has ethics, right? I think something else is going on there with that Portland deal. Maybe he thinks he will get a better gig?

  378. Maybe the Blazers told him there was no way they would consider him and he is saving face

  379. Van Gundy said during the game that Doncic should have had about 20 assists, but his teammates kept bricking shot after shot. The Mavs certainly will pay Hardaway as he’s their best shooter, they can’t possibly let him go without enraging Luka after they traded Seth Curry away for Josh Richardson, who has been absolutely useless too, and got J.J. Redick and Melli to sit on the bench for a 2nd rounder.

    They’re trying to build a Rockets Harden style of team around him, but they seemingly forgot that those Rockets teams had plus defenders and at least one decent rim runner in Capela to give him options on drives. Now they’re capped, KP’s stock is at an all-time low and have no picks. You love to see it.

  380. offense isn’t really their issue… they’ve been a top offensive team the last couple of years… they’ve just had tremendous issues on defense… and the center of that is literally kp… but they haven’t had great defensive personnel either… they tried changing that with the richardson deal but he was too unreliable on offense…

    the narrative has probably gone too negative on kp…. he’s made SOME progress on the offensive end… but he’s still kleenex soft and in the playoffs.. even in this day and age… that’s a big nono for a center… it does take awhile for defense to develop in big men so i wouldn’t put it past him to get better there… but he needs to toughen up first and that’s not something that comes very easily for a guy like that..

  381. Really that Dallas was going to win that series. KP played terrible in way too many of those games.

    Hawks putting up points isn’t surprising, but a defense with Trae, Collins, & center Gallo as a backup getting enough stops is. Think maybe the Collins is bad on D narrative was overblown or McMillan is just using Capela brilliantly.

  382. So much for hoping the Clips would falter and Kawhi thinking about staying w/them. Though the Clips advancing while the Lakers faltering is… amusing.

    Kawhi Leonard: the guy my AD told me was a “done deal” to sign with the Lakers. ;)

  383. Maybe the Blazers told him there was no way they would consider him and he is saving face

    But then Dame looks like a moron, right? Going public with wanting a coach when the team has already decided on another guy? Weird, no?

  384. I’d argue Dame looks like a moron already for wanting Kidd as a coach in the first place, and making a public statement about that so early after the elimination and firing of Stotts. I think all the talk about Lillard’s clutch play and loyalty and the general love fest around him has masked some weird stuff he has said and done, talking about how his loyalty is his biggest flaw in his career, stuff like this. He feels like a Jimmy Butler type that has an over inflated idea of himself when in reality he’s merely a really damn good player, but not a top 5 / 10 talent that can feasibly carry a team to contention on his own.

    I’d love to have him on the Knicks, he’d be our best PG in so damn long, but I think there are worries to be had, age, asking price, this mentality, etc. I still think Portland is going nowhere and he’s probably going to choose to sink with the ship until the end while simultaneously dropping hints that he “deserved better”, and the Kidd thing is a part of this act.

  385. Rick “I lose in the first round” Carlisle would have been fired how many years ago if he wasn’t a white guy?

    you know all us white folk ain’t really all that bad, well, semantically I’m only halfish white, the other being latin…a lot of the latin in me though comes from the iberian peninsula…

    anyway, was thinking about the mavs and their desperate need not to just “run it back” with this same team…I thought about maybe carlisle being part of some needed change…I just don’t think that’s how cuban works, didn’t he hang on to don nelson like for forever…

    I think carlisle stays unless luka asks for him to go, which may just happen when luka’s asked the question…

  386. Cuban has come out indicating he won’t make a coaching change, so it’s probably not happening. I don’t think they could find a much better option anyway, so it makes sense.

  387. KP can hit some threes, although not at an elite rate, and he gets some blocks. But he has a LOT of holes in his game. He’s just not a well-rounded player.

    His conditioning is poor, and he has poor agility, can never seem to get his arms and legs moving in concert on the defensive end. His effort on defense is not consistent. He can’t set a screen. He’s not a willing passer. He has gotten his rebounding to “adequate” but it’s not a plus. His intangibles don’t seem to be there, he has not added much to his game since coming into the league.

    Add to that the fact that he is extremely brittle and has missed substantial portions of his last four seasons, and well… that’s a pretty shitty way to spend 30 million bucks. He’s on the hook for 3/100 over the next three years and if the Mavs are smart they would be looking to dump that contract as soon as possible. Every year he has a stretch of games that makes it seem like he has turned the corner, and he looks great when he’s in one of those hot streaks. But he always turns back into a pumpkin.

  388. Dallas only has $83M in salary committed for next season, so they could let THJ walk and use their cap space to bring in someone else. The problem is that the pickings are mighty thin at this year’s free agent buffet.

    The Lakers, on the other hand, have to past Schroeder because they are already over the cap. If they let him walk, they will only have the MLE to find a replacement. They could do a sign-and-trade, if they found a team that wanted Schroeder and was willing to send back win-now assets. The funniest choice would be if OKC sent Horford for Schroeder.

  389. Brian Cronin: But then Dame looks like a moron, right? Going public with wanting a coach when the team has already decided on another guy? Weird, no?

    It is weird, and maybe my hypothesis is wrong. But I agree with you that Kidd doesn’t seem the sort to rule himself out. I don’t think Portland has decided on some other guy. But I do think Kidd’s history undermining management in Brooklyn might make a GM leery of hiring him. Maybe Kidd doesn’t want the job for some other reason.

  390. The Infamous Cdiggy:
    So much for hoping the Clips would falter and Kawhi thinking about staying w/them. Though the Clips advancing while the Lakers faltering is… amusing.

    Kawhi Leonard: the guy my AD told me was a “done deal” to sign with the Lakers. ;)

    I think some Laker’s fans are really mad the Clippers won. I was told of a fan here in China that hates Kawhi because he didn’t want to play with LeBron and chose the Clippers instead of the Lakers. Now that same fan is really upset the Clippers beat Dallas.

  391. ephus:
    Dallas only has $83M in salary committed for next season, so they could let THJ walk and use their cap space to bring in someone else. The problem is that the pickings are mighty thin at this year’s free agent buffet.

    The Lakers, on the other hand, have to past Schroeder because they are already over the cap.If they let him walk, they will only have the MLE to find a replacement.They could do a sign-and-trade, if they found a team that wanted Schroeder and was willing to send back win-now assets. The funniest choice would be if OKC sent Horford for Schroeder.

    I think the most realistic option they have is Kyle Lowry, he fits well as a secondary ball handler, he can shoot and had success with Kawhi as the dominant wing player, but that’s a lot to ask of a 35 year old who’s still good but already declining. I think they’ll just re-sign THJ in the end.

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