NY Post: Knicks use furious fourth-quarter rally to topple Wizards

From Marc Berman:

The Knicks post-trade-deadline hangover lasted just three quarters before they awoke and ferociously rallied in the fourth quarter for a 106-102 victory over the Wizards at the Garden on Thursday.

After a horrendous first half, RJ Barrett carried the comeback with 24 points on a night Julius Randle wasn’t himself.

And Alec Burks (27 points, 15 in the fourth), rookie Immanuel Quickley (16 points) and Taj Gibson provided grit and scoring off the bench after the Knicks trailed 60-45 at halftime and by 11 after three quarters.

The Knicks outscored Washington 39-24 in the final period. Barrett’s biggest play came on a fast break when he was tied up by Bradley Beal but still finished for a three-point play after which he flexed his biceps. Barrett was just 7 of 22 on the night but scorched the Wizards for nine fourth-quarter points.

Randle, who injured his thigh in the third quarter, responded in the final two minutes to hit two baseline jumpers to cap the comeback. Randle shot just 5 of 16 for 13 points

Sorry again for the lost thread, I was doing a CBR chat from 4-6 and then I had a four hour fantasy draft and the thread fell by the way aside.

Anyhow, I got to turn on the game just in time for the amazing comeback. What a great win! The Knicks needed these two games and they got them, which is awesome.

Now just don’t get Drummond!

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291 thoughts to “NY Post: Knicks use furious fourth-quarter rally to topple Wizards”

  1. When Bullock and Rose are both healthy again, does Frank just get bumped from the rotation, or is there a chance Thibs would be willing to give Payton the Rivers treatment and just go with Quickley and/or Burks for the second unit?

  2. excuse me if this was brought up earlier, I haven’t caught up on today’s threads, but it appears the prominent knick who loves Andre Drummond is none other than our own Brock Allerblogger. Seems we all forget Brock was part of the cleveland FO that traded for him last year.

    There’s an article in the ringer that states, rather ominously:

    Once Drummond gets his buyout from the Cavs, the defending-champion Lakers and the cross-river rival Brooklyn Nets have been considered the favorites to sign Drummond on the cheap. Among title favorites, both are well ahead of the Knicks this season. But New York — and the Rose-Aller duo — can offer Drummond something that neither Los Angeles nor the Nets can.

    Because of the Knicks’ cap situation, they can offer Drummond a four-year, $64 million deal,

    For fuck’s sake, I finally thought I could sleep easy when Oladipo went to Miami.

    https://theathletic.com/2477862/2021/03/25/the-knicks-playbook-to-acquire-andre-drummond-didnt-include-a-trade/?source=user_shared_article

  3. I think Frank is a lock to get benched and I’d hope Payton too but I doubt it. I assume Thibs will go back to the rotation when Rose first arrived. Payton-Bullock starting with Rose-IQ-Burks providing some pretty good firepower off the bench.

  4. Alan:
    When Bullock and Rose are both healthy again, does Frank just get bumped from the rotation, or is there a chance Thibs would be willing to give Payton the Rivers treatment and just go with Quickley and/or Burks for the second unit?

    Clearly Thibs sees things in Payton that he likes. He probably likes the way that Payton defends, rebounds and gets into the paint. It’s hard to imagine that he will not be in the rotation. I think Frank gets benched until the next injury. He had his chance and didn’t show much.

  5. Feeling relieved because the trade deadline has passed without crippling mistakes, the first three quarters were a shock (Lucky Brian!). But this fairy tale of redemption ended well, thanks to gritty play, a balanced lineup and some Wizards chokiness.

    Payton’s defence is a fairy tale (and false one).
    Tonight he was instrumental in every Wizards’ rally. He was in when they took a big lead, his return in the second stopped our first mini comeback, then he was there in the third when we sank deep before the comeback. He had 4 turnovers and ZERO assists in 21 minutes. We would never win the game with him on the floor.

    I don’t care his occasional layup or fabled defence, even a broken watch get the time right two times a day, if Thibs sees something in him he’s under LSD.
    His presence kills the spacing, allows teams to play aggressive because he’s a terrible shooter, plus (severe minus for a starting PG) he’s not a good distributor.
    As soon as Rose’s back we need to nail him to the bench Austin Rivers’ style and let him there.

    Alas Thibs will never do that, our only hope is that they don’t re-sign him for next year.

  6. When Bullock is back, I’m sure Frank will go to the bench and may not play at all if Rose is available. He got two actual starts lately and both times the Knicks scored something like twenty points for the entire first quarter.

  7. from the post:

    Before the game, Thibodeau was asked about Eastern playoff contenders, Miami, Chicago, Boston and Miami making big trade-deadline upgrades while his team did nothing to speak of.

    “I love our team,’’ Thibodeau said. “You’re watching what others are doing. That’s your job. We did what was best for us. That’s what we concern ourselves with.’’

  8. I was doing a CBR chat from 4-6 and then I had a four hour fantasy draft

    who got drafted higher – Thor or the Hulk?

    i always thought Thor was an underrated super hero, i mean he’s got the hammer and lightening thing going on sure, but he’s also incredibly strong, and he can fly…i don’t know, maybe because he’s a little party friendly – his super hero thing gets discounted a bit…

    hard though to argue against Hulk’s single minded focus, truly the strongest there is…also, the Maestro pretty much proves the point of who’s most likely to keep carrying on…

  9. Because of the Knicks’ cap situation, they can offer Drummond a four-year, $64 million deal,

    maybe that’s the contract they’re trying to sell mitch on???

  10. The MVP of this game is the DJ

    i caught the pre-show then fast forwarded to the start of the second half, about halfway through the 4th quarter…the DJ is good…

    I like how thibs has the aggression level on julius and RJ turned up to about 10.5 at the moment…sometimes that’s just how it is, when you have someone constantly on your ass – you wanna take it out on others…

    rookie years: frank looked scared, kevin looked lost, mitch looked wild (and a lot fun), RJ looked ready, quik looks like he’s in a hurry to get there, obi looks desperate…

    desperate isn’t that bad, better than scared or lost…okay, he looks a little scared and lost too at times…

    forgot whom mentioned it earlier, but yeah taj does set some solid screens, real wide base…

  11. I am totally agnostic about the Knicks in 2021. Nothing emotional rooted in them at all.
    All I have to say is that July 1st and March 25th have been very important days in the Rose regime. I thought he’d be more-of-the-same, but the last 9 months have been anything but Knicksy.
    For the first time ever, I may actually agree with Ephus c. 2013: “this is a good time to be a Knicks fan”.
    Not that I care. I am agnostic. But for those of you that do care, you seem to be in good hands. (What?!)

    been a rough couple of decades with a lot of questionable characters thrown in, it’s sad to say but, more than a few times i thought we were on our way back…

    we seem to have a good group of guys on the team, a well regarded coaching staff and a front office that doesn’t chase down every marshmallow running around…

    hopefully you get a chance to catch some of mitch’s and RJ’s highlights, two real bright spots for our team…

    i hope all this drummond talk is just to get mitch to sign…

  12. Honestly, I don’t even care if Frank gets benched for Rose. He had his chance. He’s in Year 4 and is still 1,000 miles away from being a rotation player.

    It’s just not going to happen for him. It’s over.

  13. TheOakmanCometh:
    Honestly, I don’t even care if Frank gets benched for Rose. He had his chance. He’s in Year 4 and is still 1,000 miles away from being a rotation player.

    It’s just not going to happen for him. It’s over.

    Yeah, at this point there’s really nothing more to consider, he’s had 4000 minutes in his career and he’s shown nothing. I’d rather give those extra minutes here and there to Harper and Ferguson so we can see if they have anything to offer.

    It’s impossible for a relatively fragile offensive team like the Knicks to play too many minutes with a guy who quite literally makes it 4v5 on every possession he’s in. He didn’t even play particularly good defense today, as Beal is clearly too fast and slippery for him and lost him on screens quite often, so what’s the point?

  14. I didn’t think I could despise Phil Jackson any more than I already do, but, well… you know.

  15. That article from The Athletic is bizarre. Read this passage:

    Drummond, knowing only the Cavs sought to trade for him last season, and no one moved to deal for him this season, and recognizing the league is moving away from bruising centers and towards stretch-5s, might at least consider the idea that the Knicks could pay him more now than he might get as a free agent this summer.

    This is the exact kind of move Aller was famous for in Cleveland. Aller was never the boss, he worked for David Griffin and then Altman, but it was his job with the Cavs to look for corners to cut, and moves to make that rivals didn’t see coming. Paying a player early, above market value, while no one else can pay him much at all, before Drummond heads to free agency where he could wind up disappointed, is the kind of thing Aller suggested over and over while he was in Cleveland.

    What the hell? It feels like my brain just entered a dense fog. Utter confusion.

  16. hard though to argue against Hulk’s single minded focus, truly the strongest there is…also, the Maestro pretty much proves the point of who’s most likely to keep carrying on…

    Thing is definitely the better superhero. Hulk literally smashes shit all of the time!

  17. I didn’t think I could despise Phil Jackson any more than I already do, but, well… you know.

    It’s like he wants to shred every last bit of goodwill he’s accumulated over the years.

  18. What the hell is any of this?

    This is the sort of thing the clever GMs do, the issue is that they do them with good players and not, you know, Andre Drummond on a team that already has two good centers.

  19. But why overpay for a guy who you think is going to be disappointed by his offers in FA? The writer points out how players w/ Drummond’s skillset aren’t en vogue and probably won’t get offered much while also telling us Aller would be smart to offer him a 4 year, $64mil deal in order to lock him up. Can’t square that circle. It’s too insane of an overpay.

  20. But why overpay for a guy who you think is going to be disappointed by his offers in FA? The writer points out how players w/ Drummond’s skillset aren’t en vogue and probably won’t get offered much while also telling us Aller would be smart to offer him a 4 year, $64mil deal in order to lock him up. Can’t square that circle. It’s too insane of an overpay.

    Oh, I agree that a theoretical 4 year/$64 million deal for Drummond would be insane, but I think the thing they’re talking about is more like, say, signing a guy like JaMychal Green to a three year or something like that, give him more than the minimum and lock a promising guy up long term by paying him when no one else can. That’s the theory, and that’s likely the sort of thing Aller is thinking about. I have no idea why the Ringer writer then thought, “Give him 4/$64 million!” is similar to that concept, as it is not. It would be beyond stupid.

  21. I’m shocked that craziness like the potential Drummond’s deal could even be discussed in 2021 by anyone that work in a league FO.

    A loser, empty calories stats accumulator, with bad attitude, unplayable in crunch time (46% career FT%), with a bad defensive reputation, that clogs the lane for RJ and Randle…

    Use cap space to sign him would be crazy, a fireable offence, I hope The Lakers and Nets will save us from ourselves.

  22. I agree, Dink, the logic wasn’t there. But I’m still not sleeping easy til Drummond is on another team.

    There’s a strange disconnect with this front office. Other than drafting Obi Toppin, they consistently don’t do the stupid things the media keeps reporting they will do. I should feel confident in them but I’m still fearful.

    Maybe I’m just susceptible to trolling by the media. But the the Drummond shit and the Post report about Leon wanting to make his splash this summer still have me squirming. I hope we’re just happy with our 22 year old center who provides incredible surplus value on a $2mm contract. I hope we’re excited to use *three* draft picks on good players who can provide surplus value for years to come.

    A splash is the last thing this team needs.

  23. According to Ian Begley of SNY, “a majority” of those within the Knicks organization do not believe Drummond would be a good fit. Begley also pointed out that head coach Tom Thibodeau is a fan of Mitchell Robinson in the frontcourt, which is another contributing factor to why New York may not trade for Drummond.

    Maybe we canonized Brock Aller too soon, as it seems he is the one with the Drummond fetish, while it’s Thibs being the voice of reason.

  24. Honestly, I don’t even care if Frank gets benched for Rose. He had his chance. He’s in Year 4 and is still 1,000 miles away from being a rotation player.

    I honestly don’t care about Frank anymore. I just want Payton the hell out of the rotation, by any means necessary.

  25. I honestly don’t care about Frank anymore. I just want Payton the hell out of the rotation, by any means necessary.

    Thibs called out Payton in the post game, complimenting his effort, etc. I think he plays. To be fair, I was impressed that Thibs name-checked a lot of guys (Obi included) spreading the praise around.

    It’s funny, I think Thibs enjoys that the roster is like a college team. Young guys. No egos. He gets to be the name above the title. Someone like Drummond would F that up with no real upside on the court.

    I also imagine (right or wrong) that after every game there’s some stat-head like Jonah Hill in MONEY BALL explaining to Thibs which players actually played well. I hope that’s true.

  26. Looking forward to something like 35M of cap space the next three years being taken up by Andre Drummond and Derrick Rose.

  27. E, all merc’d out:
    Looking forward to something like 35M of cap space the next three years being taken up by Andre Drummond and Derrick Rose.

    Haha. Don’t even say that out loud.

  28. Btw it’s ten games since some of us made predictions for the rest of the way. Does anyone still think this team is going to drop like a stone and finish the season 10+ games under .500?

    The schedule isn’t that hard, and we’re pretty damn consistent. I’m still very confident this is a .500 team, give or take a win.

  29. I’ve been one of the Board Members governing Ntilikina Island, but I think I’m finally out. He shows flashes but he is so limited in terms of what lineups he can play with. He literally can’t be on the court unless there are 4 true offensive threats around him – a true 3/D player a la Aminu or Luc Mbah a Moute. Those guys carved nice careers but are ultimately very replaceable. Sure I would re-sign him this offseason, but IMO it’d have to be at taxpayer MLE or less.

    Thibs’s Payton obsession is just bizarre. One can only hope that when Rose is back that Payton ultimately just goes away. Burks has definitely shown he can play pseudo-PG well enough to get by against 2nd units, especially if Quickley is on the floor as a ball handler too.

    And re: Brock Aller — I dunno about him. Clearly he (or someone) did a nice job shuffling around picks around draft time, signing guys like Burks and Noel to really good (if just 1 year) deals. But he’s got that truly awful Kevin Love contract on his record. Larry Nance also signed a big contract under Aller’s watch, and that hasn’t aged particularly well (he’s a fine player but 4/48 for a guy who is probably a 3rd big on a good team?). The Drummond thing was fine I guess – if you’re Cleveland and you have a tough time getting talent to come via FA, it’s fine to take a flyer that basically cost them, what, a 2nd round pick for 1.5 seasons of a potentially good player.

    Signing Drummond now feels very much like an asset play – expecting that he will be worth more later than you are paying him. But that is a very dicey proposition. Random centers are available all the time on the buyout market or for 2nd round picks at the deadline (Aldridge, McGee) or for the minimum (Dwight, etc). My guess is that smart teams will avoid centers with big contracts unless they are Jokic/Embiid. It’s a cautionary tale for the eventual Mitch contract discussion too.

  30. Meanwhile I really thought I had jinxed RJ last night with my post saying it’d been a month since he last had a game with fewer points than shot attempts. Man he came on strong in the second half. To be honest, I think I probably trust RJ more with the ball in his hands in crunch time than Randle, even though Randle hit that super-tough fade-away to pretty much cement the game last night. And RJ had some serious high-level passes last night – that pass to Taj for the and-1 was so awesome because you saw him probe and probe until RoLo had to commit, then hit the perfect bounce pass to Taj. Quickley had some great passes last night too.

    And a little love for Obi today. Still totally lost on offense but his defensive effort was pretty great last night. Still think Knox should take his minutes.

    by the way – Taj. That guy is great. It is crazy to me that teams searching around for bigs right now (ie. Charlotte, Lakers, Clippers, etc) did not take a look at him. That dude can play on my team any day.

  31. And RJ had some serious high-level passes last night – that pass to Taj for the and-1 was so awesome because you saw him probe and probe until RoLo had to commit, then hit the perfect bounce pass to Taj. Quickley had some great passes last night too.

    Exactly this. RJ seems to get smarter every single game. I hope Quickley follows suit.

  32. Also caught some feature/interview spot after the game with RJ talking about his dad inspiring him and his granddad making him watch old VHS tapes of Ewing and Starks. Haha. Love this guy.

  33. Regarding the Aller report, there are several possibilities:

    1)The Athletic writer is just speculating, based on Aller’s role in bringing Drummond to Cleveland, the Aller/Altman relationship and the state of the Knicks’ cap sheet.

    2)Aller is gifted in certain areas of the job, but not others. He clearly understands the importance of asset accumulation and the win curve, and he’s clever enough at the former to do something like turn 27 and 38 in a draft into 25 and 33, or to generate 3 second-rounders for the cost of having Ed Davis on the roster for a minute. But maybe the talent evaluation part isn’t really a strength, which is why he’s been a second banana for so long rather than getting poached to run a team by himself.

    If it’s number 2, then that’s where Leon’s whole Team of Rival’s approach is valuable. He has guys with different strengths and weaknesses. Thibs can get blood from a stone, talent-wise, but has blind spots about veteran players and sometimes has to be protected from himself. Worldwide Wes knows certain players like Quickley really well, but to the point where he may be less willing to consider guys with whom he has no relationship. Perry’s good at contracts and interacting with other GMs but is sketchy at evaluating talent. Etc. (And we also have Perrin for the draft, and the player personnel guy we nabbed from OKC for trades and free agent signings.) Assuming Rose has a fair read on whether someone on his team is speaking from an area of strength or weakness, he can make the right call in the end. And if that’s the case, then Drummond won’t be coming here.

  34. I have no idea why the Ringer writer then thought, “Give him 4/$64 million!” is similar to that concept, as it is not. It would be beyond stupid.

    My apologies, I introduced the idea as from the ringer but it was actually from the athletic. I only mention that now because the athletic is credible and presumably did their homework, whereas if it had been from the ringer we could easily dismiss it as guesswork.

  35. Not sure how you can look at drummond’s time with the Cavs and think you should give him more money

  36. Frank: Signing Drummond now feels very much like an asset play – expecting that he will be worth more later than you are paying him. But that is a very dicey proposition. Random centers are available all the time on the buyout market or for 2nd round picks at the deadline (Aldridge, McGee) or for the minimum (Dwight, etc). My guess is that smart teams will avoid centers with big contracts unless they are Jokic/Embiid.

    Agreed. Let’s assume we stay out of the Drummond race. What’s the best case scenario for him? I don’t even think contending teams would offer him the full MLE.

    What’s he really going to do on the Lakers or Nets? I feel like he would just be the de facto starting center who plays the first 7 minutes of each half before the team goes small and plays much better without him.

  37. Can we just take a moment to give some praise to RJ’s game last night?

    He put that team on his back and willed them to victory. The stats aren’t “efficient” because of his poor play in the first half, but damn was he inspiring last night. People dismiss stuff like temperment and attitude but the thing I’ve always loved about RJ and why I think he could still become a superstar is his demeanor on the court. And last night he showed that he has that alpha, I will win this game for us no matter what, attitude. I freaking loved it. I may have to buy a jersey.

  38. Max: Payton’s defence is a fairy tale (and false one).
    Tonight he was instrumental in every Wizards’ rally. He was in when they took a big lead, his return in the second stopped our first mini comeback, then he was there in the third when we sank deep before the comeback. He had 4 turnovers and ZERO assists in 21 minutes. We would never win the game with him on the floor.

    I don’t care his occasional layup or fabled defence, even a broken watch get the time right two times a day, if Thibs sees something in him he’s under LSD.
    His presence kills the spacing, allows teams to play aggressive because he’s a terrible shooter, plus (severe minus for a starting PG) he’s not a good distributor.
    As soon as Rose’s back we need to nail him to the bench Austin Rivers’ style and let him there.

    Alas Thibs will never do that, our only hope is that they don’t re-sign him for next year.

    I don’t like Payton’s game either, but this is a crock. Be fair at least. The main reason we went down 17 points is that RJ and Randle shot a combined 6-28. RJ had shot after shot swatted away on misguided forays to the hoop and Randle looked like Obi Toppin. Sure, they engineered a comeback against the worst team in the league, thanks in large part to Westbrick hoisting miss after miss and Bradley Beal going 8-23.

  39. Gotta say, I am pretty disappointed in the non trade deadline moves. I think you have to consider it a failure. Initially, there was talk of bringing in superstar free agents. When that failed, the strategy wisely shifted to bringing in tradable assets and weaponizing cap space. Fail and double fail. I get that they didn’t do anything stupid, but that is an extremely low bar to clear. It would have been nice to accumulate a pick or two so that we can move up in this draft and get another key piece along with a RFA this summer. I had my sights set on Kumunga but now it seems super unlikely (i know it was already unlikely) we will be able to move a top 5 or 6 pick to get him.

  40. Can we just take a moment to give some praise to RJ’s game last night?

    He was awesome.

    Also, I know he wasn’t efficient last night but this team would be really, really good if we combined Beal and Barrett on the wing.

  41. Is no one going to bring up that Phil Jackson podcast spot? Some great quotes in there, and a part 2 is coming.

    In short, he blamed his failure on — wait for it — the media. Strat was right!!

  42. swiftandabundant:
    Can we just take a moment to give some praise to RJ’s game last night?

    He put that team on his back and willed them to victory. The stats aren’t “efficient” because of his poor play in the first half, but damn was he inspiring last night. People dismiss stuff like temperment and attitude but the thing I’ve always loved about RJ and why I think he could still become a superstar is his demeanor on the court. And last night he showed that he has that alpha, I will win this game for us no matter what, attitude. I freaking loved it. I may have to buy a jersey.

    RJ deserves praise for his 4th quarter play, but deserves much of the blame for them being behind for most of the first 3 quarters. I remember how angry the Melo-haters would get when Melo did the same thing…

    Again, it’s a nice win, and RJ and Randle came through at the end, but they were the main reason we came close to losing to a shitty team with their two best players mailing it in. Alec Burks deserves by far the most credit for keeping us from being down 30 while those two were going 6-28, and Taj gave us a slew of positive intangibles out there in addition to 7 offensive rebounds. Quickley also played well overall despite another shaky shooting performance.

  43. I am catching up with this Phil Jackson interview and HOLY FUCK what a jackass. I mean:

    “I kind of understand what Trump had to live with probably for his first 3 ½ years in office with the media,” Jackson said.

    Props for being accidentally correct I guess, because there were certainly similarities between your tenure as an NBA executive and the Donald Trump presidency, but this ain’t it.

    What’s funny is he definitely does not say he was overruled by Steve Mills all the time, in case that’s of interest to anyone here.

  44. KnickFaninChicago: Gotta say, I am pretty disappointed in the non trade deadline moves. I think you have to consider it a failure. Initially, there was talk of bringing in superstar free agents. When that failed, the strategy wisely shifted to bringing in tradable assets and weaponizing cap space. Fail and double fail. I get that they didn’t do anything stupid, but that is an extremely low bar to clear. It would have been nice to accumulate a pick or two so that we can move up in this draft and get another key piece along with a RFA this summer. I had my sights set on Kumunga but now it seems super unlikely (i know it was already unlikely) we will be able to move a top 5 or 6 pick to get him.

    I think you might be grading them against moves that weren’t available to make.

    I would have loved to have picked up a first to Eric Bledsoe, but he didn’t get moved. And frankly that trade will probably still be available this summer if New Orleans really wants to do it.

  45. There’s a strange disconnect with this front office. Other than drafting Obi Toppin, they consistently don’t do the stupid things the media keeps reporting they will do. I should feel confident in them but I’m still fearful.

    Could it be that the media is full of crap and just makes things up to generate buzz and news?

    That’s not a serious question because we know the answer is yes.

    I said yesterday morning I expected them to do nothing except move Rivers. That’s exactly what they did. That was the only thing that made sense other than a trade for Ball, but there were some good arguments for waiting on Ball too.

    Drummond makes so little sense on every possible level only an idiot would do it. I don’t think we have “all idiots” in the front office now. Even if there’s one, the others will override him. The only way it would make sense would be if they had some great deal lined up for a PG or wing using Mitch that they couldn’t pass up on and then brought in Drummond to replace Mitch.

  46. Serby or Berman, can’t remember which, rereferred to Randle’s “barking thigh.” If this isn’t a thing based on a known point of contact, it sounds a bit like a quintessential overuse thing.

  47. I don’t think it would be likely we’d move into the top 5 or 6 even if we added another first round pick. The guys that could have theoretically been moved for more picks are Burks, Noel and Bullock, right? Are any of those guys netting more than a late first rounder?

    It made sense last year to move Morris cause we were hot garbage. But we’re actually good (or respectable) this season. The playoffs are a real possibility. If we manage to snag the 4th or 5th seed, we will avoid Philly, Nets, Bucks in the first round and could potentially win a series. That would be HUGE for us!

    We got 2 first round picks and an early 2nd rounder already. We got cap space too. Adding picks just to add picks…how many rookies realistically do you think we can add to this team in the off season that would be in the rotation? That’s not even a Thibs thing. Just in general its rare for a decent team to add 4 rookies to their team.

    Plus, Bullock, Burkes and Noel could all come back next year if the price is right. Noel is youngish and Burks and Bullocks are older but they aren’t OLD OLD. Potentially all 3 could be on this team for the next few seasons while we continue to hunt for players in free agency and the draft.

  48. Re Phil: No one was saying Phil was overruled by Mills; they were saying Phil was forced to keep Mills around and so therefore couldn’t hire someone actually competent as his GM. You aren’t remotely a properly-empowered POBO if you have to keep the dolt owner’s dolt spy-pal around as your GM.

  49. In theory, a 1 yr flyer on Drummond can’t hurt anything except Dolans pockets.

    Even a 2yr deal is okay, if there’s no one you want in FA. But we’re being generous at this point.

    A 4yr deal is downright stupid.

  50. E, all merc’d out:
    Serby or Berman, can’t remember which, rereferred to Randle’s “barking thigh.”If this isn’t a thing based on a known point of contact, it sounds a bit like a quintessential overuse thing.

    Of course it does, how could it be anything else? It is probably true that Thibs is responsible for that ship getting stuck in the Suez canal. You just need to connect the dots.

  51. Could it be that the media is full of crap and just makes things up to generate buzz and news?

    There is “the media” and there are reporters.

    Oladipo might just have been a case of the media connecting the dots. But often the reporters know what they’re talking about. The reported fixation with Obi, for instance, was 100% real.

  52. Z-man: Of course it does, how could it be anything else?

    It could be something else; that’s why I suggested the something else it could be. This is the first I’ve heard of some kind of thigh issue with Randle. It’s possible I missed something.

    It could also be overuse.

  53. i thnk with most knick rumors you can chalk it up to media outlets trolling.. it’s too easy and reliable to not do at every opportunity if you need the rage clicks…

    Btw it’s ten games since some of us made predictions for the rest of the way. Does anyone still think this team is going to drop like a stone and finish the season 10 games under .500?

    I kind of thought we would be dropping but given our offensive performance while mitch was out i think suddenly we’re a stronger team and we have RJ …. and some derrick rose… to thank for that…. if we’re suddenly in the neighborhood at league average offensively while retaining elite team defense we would be a lot better than we were earlier in the year…

    of course that offensive performance came within only a month’s worth of games so could be noisy… but this new found RJ i think is here to stay and that is probably enough to change the calculus on things…

    i think RJ has been appreciated enough but what his impact has been on the offense and how good it’s impacted our team has largely gone unnoticed… we’ve transformed into a pretty ok team now… basically what we thought indiana was earlier in the season…

  54. E, all merc’d out: Re Phil: No one was saying Phil was overruled by Mills;

    You obviously haven’t read strat’s posts for the last 3 years…..He’s said as much a billion times.

  55. Again, it’s a nice win, and RJ and Randle came through at the end, but they were the main reason we came close to losing to a shitty team with their two best players mailing it in. Alec Burks deserves by far the most credit for keeping us from being down 30 while those two were going 6-28, and Taj gave us a slew of positive intangibles out there in addition to 7 offensive rebounds. Quickley also played well overall despite another shaky shooting performance.

    Agreed. RJ bricked a bunch through three quarters and was blocked like a hundred times. What I like though: He did not hang his head. And his fourth quarter was terrific. Big progress (to me).

  56. I suspect that a lot of what we are reading and seeing on TV when it comes to Drummond is coming from people that hold him in higher regard than the consensus here. It’s not like he’s a bad player. IMO, it’s just that he’s not efficient when he tries to do anything other than play at the rim, he’s a bit of a stat stuffer on the boards, and he’s not what I’d call a clear plus defender. So basically if we told Mitch to shoot some 5-10 footers (he’d certainly make some) and told Randle to be less aggressive on the boards Mitch would be Andre Drummond except he’d be younger, have more upside, and be a better athlete and defender. lol

  57. KB Apprentice: What I like though: He did not hang his head. And his fourth quarter was terrific. Big progress (to me).

    There’s a lot to like about RJ, this season is very promising for an all-star level career if he continues to improve. He is playing like a cool-headed veteran at age 20 and has lots of grit and talent on both ends. He’s inconsistent from Q to Q and game to game, as you would expect from a young kid. He does some really dumb shit out there, and also does some brilliant stuff out there. His resilience is awesome.

    But there’s a big difference between saying that he had a promising game for a 20yo and had a great game in general. Last night he almost lost the game for us singlehandedly in the first 3 quarters, bricking shots and making bone-headed plays. He pulled it together and had a great 4th. But he had a mediocre game overall. There’s nothing wrong with saying that.

  58. Z-man: I don’t like Payton’s game either, but this is a crock. Be fair at least. The main reason we went down 17 points is that RJ and Randle shot a combined 6-28. RJ had shot after shot swatted away on misguided forays to the hoop and Randle looked like Obi Toppin. Sure, they engineered a comeback against the worst team in the league, thanks in large part to Westbrick hoisting miss after miss and Bradley Beal going 8-23.

    My point is exactly that he made teammates around him worse with his play, offense is less fluid with a lot more of isolation and forced shots (and his passes to shooters are often “not in the hands”, making them lose timing).

    There were reasons why he was traded by Orlando, not re-signed by the Suns, not re-signed by the Pels and we collect him from the sidewalk (with a discount) this year when nobody wants him.

    BTW, everyone has an opinion, agreement isn’t required (and if we always share the same opinions life will be boring).

  59. Randle has been shooting pretty poorly lately. I don’t know if it’s just a slump or it has to do with our lack of PGs, but he’s shooting worse from inside than outside the arc in March.

  60. But there’s a big difference between saying that he had a promising game for a 20yo and had a great game in general. Last night he almost lost the game for us singlehandedly in the first 3 quarters, bricking shots and making bone-headed plays. He pulled it together and had a great 4th. But he had a mediocre game overall. There’s nothing wrong with saying that.

    I agree with you up to a point. Last night RJ was not perfect, and (arguably) mediocre. But, I’d rather watch RJ’s performance in that win — where he really was a big factor at the end — rather than watch a game in which he has great stats over four quarters but he/we lose.

    I know that’s eye test stuff, but I like that RJ is learning how to recover from his own failures and find a way to win. I think that’s an important part of being a great player.

  61. A question regarding the Knicks’ cap space.

    Once the regular season ends, are there ways teams can use their remaining cap space prior to the commencement of the next year?

  62. Re: Drummond, my impression is that a lot of NBA news gets generated off of reporters calling various people around the league and asking them “what are you hearing about Drummond?” rather than specifically calling someone in each team and asking them “are you guys looking at Drummond?”. So that when you have a lot of stories about the Knicks and Drummond it doesn’t necessarily mean that a reporter has talked to somebody with the Knicks who says they’re interested, but just that a lot of people around the league are reading the tea leaves and expecting the Knicks to be interested. And that process typically pretty much works, because if you talk to enough smart, informed people around the league the correlation between what people are hearing/talking about and what teams are actually looking at will be pretty high.

    But right now I get the feeling that what people around the league are expecting of the Knicks and what the Knicks are actually doing just aren’t really that aligned. And I don’t blame those league insiders for that because all of us follow the Knicks closely and we’ve been pretty consistently surprised by the approach of this front office. I think people are still adjusting to that and so we’re getting linked with a lot of Knicksy moves by people who aren’t really in the know when there isn’t really a lot of evidence that this front office is actually looking at those moves.

  63. Z-man: You obviously haven’t read strat’s posts for the last 3 years…..He’s said as much a billion times.

      

    Fake News!

    What I consistently said was that Phil needed a good GM because he personally did NOT have good GM skills. Mills was the GM at the time. He was terrible at everything related to basketball and was more interested in Steve Mills than anything else. That hurt the overall management during that period and carried forward into the Mills/Perry era with Hardaway and Baker signings, the KP robbery trying to get Durant, and other idiotic moves

    Phil is a basketball guy. His appropriate role was to give the team a direction as to how they were going to play and then slowly find players that fit together coherently so they could execute the plan. The goal being that the team should be better than the sum of the parts because the players skills’ compliment each other and the style of play was likely to lead to success. Phil was trying to build a modernized triangle team where ball and player movement were the centerpiece of the offense and a traditional PG was unnecessary.

    The GM’s job is determining fair salaries, managing cap space, getting fair value on trades etc.. so the team has the flexibility to build the vision. That’s where Phil was lacking.

    They are two distinct roles that have some flexibility from team to team.

    It’s fair to say that I have repeatedly said Mills was a major problem for the organization across multiple regimes including Phil’s.

    It’s fair to say I still think a team that defends at a high level and that focuses on ball and player movement using multiple playmakers and that is not totally dependent on a traditional PG is the best way to win championships.

  64. DRed: Randle has been shooting pretty poorly lately. I don’t know if it’s just a slump or it has to do with our lack of PGs, but he’s shooting worse from inside than outside the arc in March.

    I’ve been saying this for awhile. Randle is starting to fall back into some of his old bad habits. He’s trying to do too much. Maybe all the “all star”, “leader”, “most improved” hype is kind of messing with his game a bit. He needs to settle down, move the ball, and stop forcing some shots.

  65. Max: My point is exactly that he made teammates around him worse with his play, offense is less fluid with a lot more of isolation and forced shots (and his passes to shooters are often “not in the hands”, making them lose timing).

    There were reasons why he was traded by Orlando, not re-signed by the Suns, not re-signed by the Pels and we collect him from the sidewalk (with a discount) this year when nobody wants him.

    BTW, everyone has an opinion, agreement isn’t required (and if we always share the same opinions life will be boring).

    Nothing personal, Max. It just seems like the Payton-haters are suggesting (or downright saying in E’s case) that Thibs is a fool for playing him, and the team would be winning more if he didn’t play. You are suggesting that RJ and Randle were shooting badly because of Payton. Really? Bricking the same wide-open 3’s and fall-aways and layups they were making in other games is Payton’s fault? That doesn’t sound like an objective take.

    Maybe I sound like I have a case of Thibsophelia, but as I said previously, I think the W-L record speaks for itself. He is widely considered an exceptional defensive coach, and if he believes that Payton is a plus for the team on that end, I’m going to take his word for it, especially when it results in a record that is a billion times better than what Vegas and most serious pundits predicted. I certainly give him more credit for RJ’s and Randle’s improvement than many others here, so maybe my takes sound agenda-driven, but in my opinion, I don’t see them playing as well under most garden variety NBA coaches. He’s a hard-driving, demanding coach, and they are willing to be driven hard and have much demanded from them. Coaches deserve credit for building chemistry and synergy and grinding out wins with the roster they have. I’m more about that, and less about who plays how many minutes.

  66. Nothing personal, Max. It just seems like the Payton-haters are suggesting (or downright saying in E’s case) that Thibs is a fool for playing him, and the team would be winning more if he didn’t play.

    Thibs is a fool for playing him, and the team would be winning more if he didn’t play. Teams win less when they play bad players more — that’s Sports 101 stuff.

    The fact that the team is winning more than Vegas thought it would win doesn’t have anything to do with anything on this subject. If the team is winning X more than Vegas thought, it would be winning X plus something more than Vegas thought if it didn’t play Payton. He’s a terrible player and he takes minutes from a far better player. Teams win less than they otherwise would if they play terrible players way more than alternative-possibility better players. Sports 101 stuff.

  67. KB Apprentice: I agree with you up to a point. Last night RJ was not perfect, and (arguably) mediocre. But, I’d rather watch RJ’s performance in that win — where he really was a big factor at the end — rather than watch a game in which he has great stats over four quarters but he/we lose.

    I know that’s eye test stuff, but I like that RJ is learning how to recover from his own failures and find a way to win. I think that’s an important part of being a great player.

    That’s fine, but not really my point. First, I’d always rather see a win than a loss, and I’d always rather see a player play better for 4 quarters than play shitty and redeem himself with a burst of heroic play. But taste differences aside, it doesn’t really matter. Most good-great players have nights like RJ had last night throughout their careers…but they also have night where they suck for all 4 quarters, where they are great for all 4 quarters and everything in between.

    My point is, call a spade a spade. When he deserves credit, credit him. When he deserves criticism, criticize him. Keep things in perspective. Nearly everyone is on the same page in being optimistic about RJ and his trajectory. We may quibble about his ceiling, but we agree that his floor is a very good front-of-rotation player. But last night, against any decent team, his (and Randle’s and Payton’s, etc.) performance in the first 3 quarters would have resulted in a 4th quarter of garbage time. So yeah, it’s a positive that he (and others) pulled it together, we are in full agreement on that.

  68. So that when you have a lot of stories about the Knicks and Drummond it doesn’t necessarily mean that a reporter has talked to somebody with the Knicks who says they’re interested, but just that a lot of people around the league are reading the tea leaves and expecting the Knicks to be interested.

    Sure there is definitely some of this.

    But surely you don’t think Woj and Shams are playing connect the dots, do you?

    There is guesswork and there are reports. Oladipo seemed like the kind of guesswork you’re talking about but our well known obsession with Obi Toppin was a report.

    This Drummond stuff felt like a report. There is no way anyone would look at the knicks roster with Mitch, Noel, and Taj and say “hey, let’s make up a Drummond thing, that seems credible.”

  69. E, all merc’d out: The fact that the team is winning more than Vegas thought it would win doesn’t have anything to do with anything on this subject. If the team is winning X more than Vegas thought, it would be winning X plus something more than Vegas thought if it didn’t play Payton. He’s a terrible player and he takes minutes from a far better player. Teams win less than they otherwise would if they play terrible players way more than alternative-possibility better players. Sports 101 stuff.

    You’ve been dead wrong on just about every prediction/projection/insinuation you have made since preseason. Congratulations! Your streak is intact!

  70. Z-man: He’s a hard-driving, demanding coach, and they are willing to be driven hard and have much demanded from them.

    Reason number 428 for letting Drummond go elsewhere

  71. E, all merc’d out: It could also be overuse.

    Randle got the proverbial charlie horse when he and (RJ?) jumped into each other trying to guard someone. I’m all in on hating Thib’s over-use of Randle (and others), but this is NOT an example.

    I’m conflicted on RJ. Delighted by the 4th quarter, but holy cow did he suck before that, and not just bricking shots and driving into traffic like my grandmother — he was passing to the other team and completely ignoring open teammates.

    Eye test alert, but lately it’s seemed that every first quarter has RJ playing like this, and then he ‘reverts’ to form as a decent (or quite good) NBA player. Last night it lasted for three quarters. I wish I had energy and time to do a first quarter breakdown for the last 10 games or so, but I find myself cursing at him early in the game and then relaxing. I’ll chalk it up to his being 20, I guess. I’d just like to see him come out of the gate making good decisions, since he clearly can do it.

  72. About last night, i didn’t enjoy the game any bit. Sure, it’s great to have a real comeback, but i only improved from “totally mad” to “slightly mad” about it. Let’s forget this game and hope this isn’t a performance they repeat anytime soon.

    The one thing making me happy yesterday was to get to wacth Westbrick, a huge bullet we dodged there. This isn’t a decline, he’s not an NBA player anymore. Probably not even the most pessimists of this blog would’ve predicted this level of play from him.

    Now about the FO, and unless we go for Drummond, i think they have been acting perfectly fine. Ok, Morey would’ve done a lot more in this time, but they are steady and with the exception of Obi, everything has been approved by this board. We wanted more, but the main goal was to not do anything stupid, and for this base level i think we can trust them.

  73. If Thibs didn’t play Randle and RJ so much what would our record be right now? What place would we be in? Most of us wouldn’t even be posting in this blog right now due to a lack of interest.

  74. Drummond reminds me a lot of Eddy Curry…you watch his highlights and he seems totally dominant and unstoppable. I was hoping we were past the “I can fix this guy” phase in management.

    That said, if he comes here for an extended tryout on a minimum deal after being released, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world…better than trading for him or signing him in the off-season after he rides the coattails of the best players on a contender for the rest of this year…

  75. cybersoze: Ok, Morey would’ve done a lot more in this time, but they are steady and with the exception of Obi, everything has been approved by this board.

    Well, some have reluctantly come aboard on things like the IQ pick, and some are still griping about all the 1-year guys, not going all-in on Beal, and Thibs being hired in the first place. I don’t sense the consensus beyond acknowledgement that there hasn’t been a colossal blunder that sets the team back 5 years.

  76. So recapping yesterday’s deal:

    Knicks acquire Terrance Ferguson, Vincent Poirier, the Sixers’ 2021 second-round pick, the Heat’s 2024 second-round pick (top-55 protected; from Sixers), and the draft rights to Emir Preldzic.

    We’ll have a look at Terrance Ferguson, but probably there’s nothing there. Poirier will be waived, so no teammates to practice french for Frank. Philly’s 2021 2nd RP is #59 as of now, and there’s no chance it gets better than #55. Miami’s 2023 2nd RP is top 55 protected, so it’ll be #56 or worst, and most likely will not convey to us at all.
    Doing this or just waiving Rivers and letting him choose the team he wanted to play for, is almost the same. But hey, let the Terrance Ferguson time with the Knicks begin. Over/under on the months he’ll be here at 4.5?

  77. Z-man: Nothing personal, Max. It just seems like the Payton-haters are suggesting (or downright saying in E’s case) that Thibs is a fool for playing him, and the team would be winning more if he didn’t play. You are suggesting that RJ and Randle were shooting badly because of Payton. Really? Bricking the same wide-open 3’s and fall-aways and layups they were making in other games is Payton’s fault? That doesn’t sound like an objective take.

    Maybe I sound like I have a case of Thibsophelia, but as I said previously, I think the W-L record speaks for itself. He is widely considered an exceptional defensive coach, and if he believes that Payton is a plus for the team on that end, I’m going to take his word for it, especially when it results in a record that is a billion times better than what Vegas and most serious pundits predicted. I certainly give him more credit for RJ’s and Randle’s improvement than many others here, so maybe my takes sound agenda-driven, but in my opinion, I don’t see them playing as well under most garden variety NBA coaches. He’s a hard-driving, demanding coach, and they are willing to be driven hard and have much demanded from them. Coaches deserve credit for building chemistry and synergy and grinding out wins with the roster they have. I’m more about that, and less about who plays how many minutes.

    We agree for the most part on Thibs, pointing to a couple of what I perceive as his weakness doesn’t make me a hater, I think he’s doing a good job, the defense and chemistry are for real and games like yesterday, where he resisted the temptation to put in the “starters” because IQ, Burks and Taj were playing so well with RJ and Julius, are encouraging.

    Payton didn’t have a role in Randle missing open shots yesterday, when he played well I wrote it, but in general I don’t like how the offense plays with him.

  78. Z-man: Well, some have reluctantly come aboard on things like the IQ pick, and some are still griping about all the 1-year guys, not going all-in on Beal, and Thibs being hired in the first place. I don’t sense the consensus beyond acknowledgement that there hasn’t been a colossal blunder that sets the team back 5 years.

    When i said “approved by this board” what i meant was that the majority of us was OK with the plan.
    For instance, i would have tanked this year, because there’s a huge opportunity cost in this coming draft. But hey there’s the flattened odds and all that, and their plan is going great from where we were, so i’m OK with it.

  79. Hubert: Sure there is definitely some of this.

    But surely you don’t think Woj and Shams are playing connect the dots, do you?

    There is guesswork and there are reports. Oladipo seemed like the kind of guesswork you’re talking about but our well known obsession with Obi Toppin was a report.

    This Drummond stuff felt like a report. There is no way anyone would look at the knicks roster with Mitch, Noel, and Taj and say “hey, let’s make up a Drummond thing, that seems credible.”

    I guess my point is I don’t think anyone is “making things up” per se. I think there are a lot of people around the league who still are basically expecting the Knicks to chase every big name. When you add in the Aller-Drummond link, I do think on the surface there are plenty of people making the connection and that filters through the news in a way that makes it seem like there’s smoke whether there is or not.

    I also think we give more focus to the Knicks stuff for obvious reasons but there’s as much scuttlebutt about Drummond linking him with the Lakers and the Nets as the Knicks and the Celtics is starting up as well after they dumped Theis. Maybe I will quickly be proven wrong but I’m surprisingly confident that Drummond is not going to be a Knick.

  80. How’s Giannis doing? Will he play saturday?
    I’d rather rest Randle then play him at all cost versus the Bucks…

  81. I think the Poirier waiving isn’t official yet, but it’ll probably happen. What i hope is that it’s to get a look at G-League guys on 10-day contracts (have i already mentioned we need a backup PF? LOL), and not Drummond.

  82. It could have been that Randle and Barrett were just bad at the beginning of the game, but it could also be that with Frank in the line up instead of Bullock, there was less scoring in the starting lineup and Randle and Barrett either tried to do too much to make up for the lack of other scoring in the lineup, or Washington focused on them more because of the lack of other scoring in the lineup. That would mean it’s not really Peyton’s fault, it’s just the fault of him and Ntilikina combined not being enough of a scoring threat.

  83. The Athletic’s piece on Drummond was written by Joe Vardon,
    the same guy that wrote an infamous “Don’t rejoice Bucks fans, Giannis is still going away soon” article just hours after his extension.
    I’m scared but I’d be terrified if the rumors come from Shams, Amick, Hollinger or Aldridge…

  84. Max: I’d rather rest Randle then play him at all cost versus the Bucks…

    100% agreed. And the fact that he’s missing some shots lately might (just might) have something to do with the absent load management Thibs applies.

  85. Begley says there’s still no consensus among the front office about Drummond, and that several key voices don’t see him as a fit. As for post-deadline movies, he writes:

    Drummond isn’t the only big man on the Knicks’ radar. As reported earlier this week, John Henson and Norvel Pelle are also among the players they’re keeping an eye on for their open roster spot. If Gorgui Dieng is bought out, he has a Knick connection: Dieng played for Thibodeau with Minnesota.

  86. Z-man: I don’t sense the consensus beyond acknowledgement that there hasn’t been a colossal blunder that sets the team back 5 years.

    EVERY GM regime for the past 20 years under Dolan has made a colossal blunder (some more than 1), starting with the Ewing for Rice trade. And some regimes started out fine like this one. So while I am happy, I can certainly sympathise with the sceptics who await the lurking disaster.

  87. cybersoze:
    So recapping yesterday’s deal:

    We’ll have a look at Terrance Ferguson, but probably there’s nothing there. Poirier will be waived, so no teammates to practice french for Frank. Philly’s 2021 2nd RP is #59 as of now, and there’s no chance it gets better than #55. Miami’s 2023 2nd RP is top 55 protected, so it’ll be #56 or worst, and most likely will not convey to us at all.
    Doing this or just waiving Rivers and letting him choose the team he wanted to play for, is almost the same. But hey, let the Terrance Ferguson time with the Knicks begin. Over/under on the months he’ll be here at 4.5?

    To me this seems more like a front office helping out another deal for a small benefit (maybe very small) and thus being a good league citizen. My guess is the best benefit of this deal is that other front offices will probably be more willing to help us when we need some small help with a deal of our own.

  88. My point is, call a spade a spade. When he deserves credit, credit him. When he deserves criticism, criticize him. Keep things in perspective.

    Totally agree. About last night I was trying to make the point (poorly perhaps) that I appreciated RJ’s fourth quarter specifically BECAUSE he sucked so bad in the first three. I liked his determination to finish strong where other young players might have checked out.

    Now, if, as Raven suggests above, RJ makes it a habit to have such piss poor starts, then I agree it’s a problem.

  89. Re the media:

    1. Agents always, always, always use the Knicks’ “interest” in a guy as a way to drive up his market price, be it either his trade market price or his free agent price. This leads to bullshit being out there.

    2. Beyond the real plugged-in NBA writers, of which there are maybe like five (*), there’s a massive Knicks for Clicks economy going on. This is an avid and large fanbase and there’s also an avid and large LOLKnicks contingent out there. This leads to bullshit being out there.

    (*) Start with Woj and Shams and go from there. It doesn’t go much beyond there. Berman isn’t remotely plugged in.

  90. Really good players and superstars from time to time have a shitty first three quarters and then turn it on in the fourth. Not remotely infrequent in the grind of an NBA season.

  91. Yeah, I think last night was super encouraging even if RJ played poorly the first three quarters.

    The Wizards suck, sure, but they do have Beal and Westbrook and the fact is, any NBA team can beat any other team on any given night. And even a bad team like The Wizards are going to come out super motivated in the 2nd game vs. a team that killed them the first night. I wasn’t surprised at all that we got behind like that in that situation. What is encouraging, both individually for RJ and for the team as a whole, is that they didn’t pack it in after the 3 quarters. They could have easily done that. Its wins like these, games where the team plays bad for the most part but still finds a way to win, that help a team go from bad to good to great. A W is a W.

    Hope we can win one against either The bucks or miami.

  92. Yeah, at this point there’s really nothing more to consider, he’s had 4000 minutes in his career and he’s shown nothing.

    That’s not really it. As poster Frank says, player Frank has shown flashes – occasionally whole games! – where’s he great. Composed on offense, a demon on defense. The frustrating thing is that you could see how he could be a plus player. But I finally bailed last week because of the inconsistency: his blah games are more frequent than his good games, and he’s injured a lot of the time. You just can’t count on the guy, not even for consistently great D – getting lost on a screen, not recovering from a switch fast enough.

    So I’m finally out on him, but not because I agree with Bruno or humper that he doesn’t have potential or hasn’t shown anything – it’s because those flashes are too few and far between to give any confidence that he’ll ever do it consistently. And if he doesn’t do it consistently, he’s not a professional.

    Which is why on the flip side I’m IN on RJ. He was so terrible last night – so many drives into traffic only to get blocked – but through force of will he pushed through that and played really, really well in the fourth quarter. He showed up even though he was being shown up. THAT is a professional. His fourth quarter was hugely impressive not because he was great the rest of the game, but because he was so terrible and did not give up. No quit. That’s easy to love.

  93. I don’t sense the consensus beyond acknowledgement that there hasn’t been a colossal blunder that sets the team back 5 years.

    One of the very first acts of this regime’s tenure was a colossal blunder that set the team back 5 years.

  94. Knick fan not in NJ: To me this seems more like a front office helping out another deal for a small benefit (maybe very small) and thus being a good league citizen. My guess is the best benefit of this deal is that other front offices will probably be more willing to help us when we need some small help with a deal of our own.

    Yeah, from that pov i would’ve done it too, so no harm done and some good will added. ;)

  95. This quote from Brooks about the game last night warms the cockles of my cold, cold heart:

    “They’re a physical team before you even get the ball, which, I don’t know. Point of emphasis says you’re not supposed to do that. But they are physical, that’s how they play, that’s their style.”

  96. Think of the capital it’s going to cost to fix the gaping hole at PG that Tyrese Halliburton would have filled on a rookie contract. All the cap space or draft picks we will spend trying to fill that gaping void it is capital that could have been used elsewhere without that colossal blunder.

    This team is permanently handicapped from reaching the heights it could have reached had Rose not been fixated on Obi Toppin, a player so plainly ordinary that literally every KB poster who watched two minutes of video could tell he was a pass.

    Right now Tom Thibodeau is taking mostly the players Scott Perry and Steve Mills assembled and making them really good. Credit to him, and credit to Rose for hiring him. But please don’t act like this front office isn’t already blunderful.

  97. definitely agree, saturday would be a great opportunity to sit julius and let him heal up a bit…

    he’ll probably play 40 minutes in a loss…

  98. Hubert: Think of the capital it’s going to cost to fix the gaping hole at PG that Tyrese Halliburton would have filled on a rookie contract.

    Very much agree, up to a point (I’m here tomorrow night too, folks). He’s now firmly in the starting line-up, had another strong game last night. But he had only one assist in almost 34 minutes in a game his team scored 141 points. Like Quickley, he’s not really a point guard. He’s a really smart, good, heady basketball player, and in their new three-guard line-up is probably perfect. He was a huge whiff for us, just horrible, but I’m not convinced he was the answer to our point guard hole.

  99. Hubert: Obi Toppin, a player so plainly ordinary that literally every KB poster who watched two minutes of video could tell was a pass.

    Huh? My recollection was that there was collective disappointment that we didn’t grab a PG, but not that he would not be any good. Why make this up?

  100. Hubert: I think you might be grading them against moves that weren’t available to make.

    I would have loved to have picked up a first to Eric Bledsoe, but he didn’t get moved. And frankly that trade will probably still be available this summer if New Orleans really wants to do it.

    It would’ve been nice to pick up a first, but if you like Lonzo, then freeing the Pels of Bledsoe just makes it more likely they match any offer sheet. Wondering if that is why they passed.

    Thinking about Beal, and why in the world he would want to stay on that team. Westbrook is there until the end of his contract – Washington could attach all their picks for the next 3 years and it’d still be hard to convince a team to take on his bricklaying and his contract. Hachimura is meh. Davis Bertans is nice but a tertiary player. Deni seems fine, but clearly not a difference maker. I find DC to be an awesome city, but if I’m Beal, I try and get out of there.

  101. If Halli wasn’t the answer, he could have been traded for the answer. Either way, Obi was a colossal blunder that set the team back 5 years. We’re just overlooking it sometimes bc we’re excited about how this team is performing,

  102. BernieEarnie: Huh?My recollection was that there was collective disappointment that we didn’t grab a PG, but not that he would not be any good. Why make this up?

    Your recollection is wrong.

  103. BernieEarnie: Huh? My recollection was that there was collective disappointment that we didn’t grab a PG, but not that he would not be any good. Why make this up?

    There were plenty of us who didn’t like the pick. I was livid that we took him and more livid that we took and passed on Haliburton.

  104. Hubert: Right now Tom Thibodeau is taking mostly the players Scott Perry and Steve Mills assembled and making them really good. Credit to him, and credit to Rose for hiring him. But please don’t act like this front office isn’t already blunderful.

    Sure, because Noel, Burks and IQ (not to mention that Rose and Taj and even Payton, who were brought in on the cheap, unlike when he was brought in by the Mills/Phil/Perry regimes last time around) have had nothing to do with the team’s success this year. It’s so tedious to listen to you discredit/minimize the FO’s impact with these dumb superficialities. Like it was a bad idea to keep the good stuff that was in place and fill in around it with more good stuff? While maintaining flexibility going forward? And last I checked, it was the FO who hired Thibs and surrounded him with a firewall of assistants and scouting/analytics/cap management gurus.

    Since Rose was hired, front offices all around the league have made countless dumb moves. Look at what Chicago did yesterday, and people here were drooling over their guy. And here at KB, every dumb “done deal” like trading for Westbrook or Oladipo or Beal, has not happened. We are still in the same great position going forward as we were when he took over. And you call that “blunderful?” LOLOLOLOL

  105. Thinking about Beal, and why in the world he would want to stay on that team.

    I think he played the good soldier this season but come the summer he’s going to get himself traded to the team of his choice. He’s got a lot of power because he can opt out of his contract at the end of next season.

  106. Most people at draft time wanted either Hali, Hayes or Vassell, and Kira and Deni were liked by some. Obi was not even on the radar until very late, and no one was eager to draft him.

    Even so, some thought that Obi would at least look like an NBA rotation player in short order since he did have reasonably good stats in college.

  107. What makes the Obi pick look so bad is that Randle has been so good.
    One can easily imagine a completely different season if Randle had been bad / had been traded, etc.

    The Knicks, rather than being 23-22, are actually 16-29 and up for a top 4-5 pick.
    Randle is grumbling and playing fewer minutes, possibly traded at the deadline.
    Obi is playing more, and the coaching staff is actually constructing sets etc. to play to his strengths.

    Instead – we ended up drafting a backup PF who gets nothing run for him, playing 8 minutes/game behind our only All-Star, while shitting the bed in those 8 minutes and causing us to lose close games. In a tanking year we’d be happy – in a playoff year, it obviously sucks.

    I’m not saying it was a good pick at all (I personally would have wanted Vassell or Halliburton or Saddiq Bey*), but Randle’s emergence clearly has changed lots and lots of things for this team.

    * I wonder when/if someone will ask Fran Fraschilla to be a VP of player personnel or some such thing. He really has a great eye for talent. was one of the first (in media at least) to speak very highly of Porzingis, called Frank exactly (I believe he said his ceiling is a rotation player, definitely not a star), and called a lot of other guys who have turned out to over perform their draft slot (Monte Morris comes to mind). He loved Bey from the start.

  108. @Z-Man: Ok, you’re right and i’m wrong, there’s no consensus on the actions of the front-office.

  109. If a FO isn’t 100 percent perfect and make only move that I approve of, then I refuse to give them any credit for the success the team is having.

    Rose hired Thibs – good.
    Rose picked IQ – good
    Rose didn’t try to trade Randle – good
    Rose picked Obi – not good.
    Rose picked up Noel and Burkes and Rose – good (or at least not bad)

    I don’t see what is so hard about giving credit where credit is due. I swear people get so entrenched in their worldview and POV about what they think the right moves are that they can’t ever say “you know what. I was wrong. Rose has done a decent job so far.” Doesn’t mean he’s been perfect. No front office is.

  110. 538 has us at 10-17 the rest of the season. We can probably get closer to .500 but it will be tough – the west coast trip in May in particular will be brutal. 13-14 on the rest of the season – for 36-36 total which should give us a shot at the 6th seed. (Also I don’t know if 538 has factored in trades/injuries yet into their predictions – they still have the Raptors with a high chance of making the playoffs for example and I’d be more bearish on the Hornets with out LaMelo and the Pacers definitely without Warren)

  111. If a FO isn’t 100 percent perfect and make only move that I approve of, then I refuse to give them any credit for the success the team is having.

    Swift, you’re a very smart guy. You can tell the difference between “Obi Toppin was a colossal blunder that set the team back 5 years” and “I refuse to give the front office any credit for the success the team is having.”

    Anyway, I don’t have a Rose POV yet. I’m still waiting for more evidence. Right now I’m leaning towards thinking he could be good for us. But I’m still scared shitless of what he may do this offseason. We shall see.

  112. Something like this:

    Ws:
    MIA, @MIN, @DET, MEM, TOR, LA, NOLA, CHA, TOR, CHI, @HOU, @MEM, CHA, BOS

    Ls:
    @MIL, DAL, @BRK, @BOS, @DAL, @NOLA, ATL, PHO, @DEN, @PHO, @LAC, @LAL, SAS

  113. Igno-Bot 3000:
    538 has us at 10-17 the rest of the season. We can probably get closer to .500 but it will be tough – the west coast trip in May in particular will be brutal. 13-14 on the rest of the season – for 36-36 total which should give us a shot at the 6th seed. (Also I don’t know if 538 has factored in trades/injuries yet into their predictions – they still have the Raptors with a high chance of making the playoffs for example and I’d be more bearish on the Hornets with out LaMelo and the Pacers definitely without Warren)

    IIRC, 538’s win projection model is a dumb model insofar as it only looks at team level data and not injuries or trades.

    This may have changed at some point since they created RAPTOR, but I don’t know that they want to put that much effort into tracking injuries & projecting playing time. Usually journalists help project playing time in 538’s beginning of the year predictions.

  114. cybersoze: The one thing making me happy yesterday was to get to wacth Westbrick, a huge bullet we dodged there. This isn’t a decline, he’s not an NBA player anymore. Probably not even the most pessimists of this blog would’ve predicted this level of play from him.

    I was the biggest pessimist and I’m not sure this is entirely out of line with what I thought possible, you’d have to check my comments. I certainly thought he might have a but of a bounce back, but this was always a possibility.

    What I didn’t predict was so much of his poor performance would come from FTs & TOs. That’s weird to me

  115. Early Bird: IIRC, 538’s win projection model is a dumb model insofar as it only looks at team level data and not injuries or trades.

    This may have changed at some point since they created RAPTOR, but I don’t know that they want to put that much effort into tracking injuries & projecting playing time. Usually journalists help project playing time in 538’s beginning of the year predictions.

    Yeah it’s probably a few games too pessimistic. It does have player-level data and updates for injuries but I’m not sure how often / the minutes distributions are definitely inaccurate

  116. Hubert: Your recollection is wrong.

    Hubert, read what you said. When you use the words literally everyone it means just that. I know some posters thought he would not be good but that was a minority.

  117. Igno-Bot 3000: Yeah it’s probably a few games too pessimistic. It does have player-level data and updates for injuries but I’m not sure how often / the minutes distributions are definitely inaccurate

    Yeah, you’re right. I was thinking of the pure Elo forecast.

    They have Randle projected to play “only” 36 min a game. So clearly they’re underestimating the Knicks.

  118. E, all merc’d out:
    Re Phil:No one was saying Phil was overruled by Mills; they were saying Phil was forced to keep Mills around and so therefore couldn’t hire someone actually competent as his GM.You aren’t remotely a properly-empowered POBO if you have to keep the dolt owner’s dolt spy-pal around as your GM.

    Do we have to do this again?

    PHIL: I like Joakim Noah
    MILLS: Okay how much money do you want to offer him
    PHIL: Listen, I don’t know what numbers are
    MILLS: How about 4 years 32 million
    PHIL: Those are numbers, I don’t know how to use those
    MILLS: Well if we give that much money to Noah we won’t have much left to—
    PHIL: I SAID NO NUMBERS
    MILLS: Okay I’ll sign him
    PHIL: Triangle

  119. I wanted Hali just like the whole board. That said, there are things about Obi Toppin that are way beyond “ordinary.” The FO should have taken Hali and that was a big mistake and like with everyone here, that’s a first guess, not a hindsight second guess. But they also didn’t give anywhere near enough thought to Thibs’s preferences and style and development history when they drafted Obi.

    As to the final verdict on both the FO and Thibs — too early to tell. Room for worry on both, some good things from both. We don’t have to have a hawt take every single day. Thibs typically borrows from tomorrow to serve today and he’s doing that here, too. That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be able to cobble together a good tomorrow, too. He hasn’t in the past.

  120. Whatever good or refraining from bad the FO has done will be swept away entirely if the end product is three or four year deals to Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond for 35 mil-ish a year. Maneuvering and keeping your powder dry so you can win a buyout bidding war for Andre Drummond isn’t crafty, it’s dumb af.

  121. Thibs doesn’t have to cobble together a good tomorrow; he’s not the GM. He’s just the coach. His job is to cobble together wins for today. That’s what he’s doing.

    As for the Obi pick, I think there would have been more unhappiness, but we were all too surprised. There was tremendous resistance to trading up for him, but very few people said ‘Terrible pick’ at the moment he was picked, because he wasn’t supposed to fall that far and not many of us had done full research on him. We had all done research on Hali, who was rumored to be falling because of his weird shot, and most of us wanted him. I personally expected him to be gone as well, so I was debating among the other players we had in our poll – Vassell, Lewis, Okoro, etc.

    So Hubert is wrong, except it’s not because we loved the pick but because he fell so unexpectedly. (Maybe not a surprise in retrospect…)

  122. Hubert: Anyway, I don’t have a Rose POV yet. I’m still waiting for more evidence. Right now I’m leaning towards thinking he could be good for us. But I’m still scared shitless of what he may do this offseason. We shall see.

    Hate to tell you, dude, but this is a POV. And so is the rest of the mostly nonsense that you post. You just like to have it both ways. You spout extreme views, then hedge with more bullshit so that you can claim that you were misrepresented when things don’t go the way you blathered on and on about.

  123. E, all merc’d out:
    Whatever good or refraining from bad the FO has done will be swept away entirely if the end product is three or four year deals to Derrick Rose and Andre Drummond for 35 mil-ish a year.Maneuvering and keeping your powder dry so you can win a buyout bidding war for Andre Drummond isn’t crafty, it’s dumb af.

    No shit, Sherlock.

  124. E, all merc’d out: As to the final verdict on both the FO and Thibs — too early to tell. Room for worry on both, some good things from both. We don’t have to have a hawt take every single day.

    Dude, you are MR. Hawt Take himself.

  125. JK47: Do we have to do this again?

    PHIL: I like Joakim Noah
    MILLS: Okay how much money do you want to offer him
    PHIL: Listen, I don’t know what numbers are
    MILLS: How about 4 years 32 million
    PHIL: Those are numbers, I don’t know how to use those
    MILLS: Well if we give that much money to Noah we won’t have much left to—
    PHIL: I SAID NO NUMBERS
    MILLS: Okay I’ll sign him
    PHIL: Triangle

    This is too funny (except it’s not).

  126. 538 has us at 10-17 the rest of the season. We can probably get closer to .500 but it will be tough – the west coast trip in May in particular will be brutal.

    538 wins projection system is pretty good and usually is pretty accurate for team level projections however in-season it has a tough time if anyone is making an improvement or if minutes distributions get out of wack considerably… i don’t think the latter will happen.. they basically have it roughly right and a few minutes here or there isn’t going to impact much….

    but i do think RJ’s mid-season improvement is hiding the real potential of this team and that’s sort of what’s missing from RAPTOR…. with Mitch out we probably should have been ~.500 team but with rose replacing rivers’ minutes and RJ balling out … we were considerabily better than that….. and i happen to think RJ has dusted December RJ in his trails and when you account for his stinkers as only happening 10-15% of the time instead of half the time… he starts making a considerable impact on the offense…

    if RJ starts reverting or if randle starts collapsing due to his depressed 2p% then we’re probably closer to the 538 projection and that’s certainly possible but if we’re anything even sniffing a league average offense then we’re probably a slightly better than .500 team which would probably net us a close to .500 record with the remaining games….

  127. As for the Obi pick, I think there would have been more unhappiness, but we were all too surprised. There was tremendous resistance to trading up for him, but very few people said ‘Terrible pick’ at the moment he was picked, because he wasn’t supposed to fall that far and not many of us had done full research on him.

    When Cleveland took Okoro I recall saying “oh fuck, we’re going to get stuck with Obi Toppin, aren’t we?”

    My opinion of Obi was entirely derivative of the assessments of people here.

    I vividly recall prior to the draft ptmilo expertly pegging Obi Toppin as Rodney Rodgers. Granted, ptmilo is a genius, but even non Mensa posters like TNFH… wait he’s pretty smart, too…

    djphan also did his homework and spotted this guy a mile away.

  128. @ShamsCharania:
    Andre Drummond has agreed to a contract buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers and will become a free agent, sources tell TheAthletic
    Mar 26, 2021 · 1:51 PM ET

    Be afraid, be very afraid :P

  129. I’ve seen Drummond dribble the ball better than Frank does. Future point guard?

  130. There are few things more amusing to me than Phil Jackson apologists (including Phil himself) rationalizing Phil’s colossal failures and looking for scapegoats to pin the failures on.

    Please never stop doing your thing, Phil truthers. You complete me.

  131. JK47:
    There are few things more amusing to me than Phil Jackson apologists (including Phil himself) rationalizing Phil’s colossal failures and looking for scapegoats to pin the failures on.

    Please never stop doing your thing, Phil truthers. You complete me.

    To be clear, I’m (still) laughing at your post because it’s so true. It just hurts b/c it actually happened

  132. Yeah I did not want Toppin and it was a clear miss by the FO. Even if Randle got traded and didn’t stay here and become an all-star and core piece, it still would have been a bad choice bc we could have muddled through with someone like Portis or Taj Gibson starting and still picked Hali or whoever.

    But I guess I’ve started to take a c’est la vie about messing up draft picks. Obviously you want to hit on them more often than you miss, but a lot of picks outside of the top two or three picks end up being bad picks. And we’ve done ok with IQ and Mitch and obviously RJ and we have extra picks coming up anyways. We don’t need to hit a home run with every pick as long as we come away from each draft with at least one decent player. I think we can continue to do that. Saying things like this missed pick set us back 5 years is hyperbole. Missing out on prospects by making the wrong pick sucks but its not a debilitating move for a franchise if they do the other things right and if they have extra picks to make up for striking out sometimes.

  133. One thing we didn’t discuss yet – the new Bulls. What do you guys think are their chances for a real playoff spot (top6) with Vuc? They were on pace to be the odd team out of the play in, but i think they’re not in that position anymore, maybe it’ll be Toronto now.

  134. swiftandabundant: Saying things like this missed pick set us back 5 years is hyperbole.

    What’s really funny is that the same guys that don’t want to tank, because there’s no guarantee that you select a good player (it’s a crapshoot, they say), then get mad when we have a top pick and don’t select a good player (thus proving the crapshoot theory). Makes no sense.

  135. I think you have the right attitude, swift. But just because you want to say “c’est la vie” and be happy doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The opportunity cost of striking out with a pick like that is devastating.

  136. One thing is for sure…if Obi turns it around and becomes a star, Hubert will never admit that he was wrong about him. You don’t need 538 for that one.

  137. swiftandabundant: Missing out on prospects by making the wrong pick sucks but its not a debilitating move for a franchise if they do the other things right and if they have extra picks to make up for striking out sometimes.

    You’re absolutely right about this, though.

    Keep in mind that “being set back 5 years” doesn’t mean “we’re shit for 5 years.”

    It could just as easily mean we’re really good but we can’t get to the next level bc we’re short a player or a trade chip that we could have had.

  138. Daily Knicks (Fanside) tweeted this:

    Supposedly there’s talks about Andre Drummond to the Knicks and being extended for 4-years/$64 million. Thoughts?

    (Forgetting for a second that finding someone that likes this on this board would be like the Knicks looking for a point guard this past few decades…)
    How does Drummond fit this roster? Does he move into the Toppin PF role next to Nerlens?

  139. Toppin looks lost. We gave Frank four years. Next year for him. I would rather see Taj as the backup power forward.

  140. djphan: 538 wins projection system is pretty good and usually is pretty accurate for team level projections however in-season it has a tough time if anyone is making an improvement or if minutes distributions get out of wack considerably… i don’t think the latter will happen.. they basically have it roughly right and a few minutes here or there isn’t going to impact much….

    but i do think RJ’s mid-season improvement is hiding the real potential of this team and that’s sort of what’s missing from RAPTOR…. with Mitch out we probably should have been ~.500 team but with rose replacing rivers’ minutes and RJ balling out … we were considerabily better than that…..and i happen to think RJ has dusted December RJ in his trails and when you account for his stinkers as only happening 10-15% of the time instead of half the time… he starts making a considerable impact on the offense…

    if RJ starts reverting or if randle starts collapsing due to his depressed 2p% then we’re probably closer to the 538 projection and that’s certainly possible but if we’re anything even sniffing a league average offense then we’re probably a slightly better than .500 team which would probably net us a close to .500 record with the remaining games….

    RJ’s improvements are real, and probably not accounted for in their model, but the only win we’ve had against a not terrible team in the past month was Indiana. I’m not holding that against them, nor am I any less proud about pulling out a gutsy win like they did last night even though the competition was bad, AND they did play up to Brooklyn and Philly, but their schedule is going to be harder going forward as far as setting expectations, I pasted it above. Miami and Dallas at home next week will be interesting tests.

  141. my moment of clarity regarding phil came during that lisa leslie interview where he felt it necessary to defend his posse comment – i had no idea anyone could be that disconnected and arrogant, it was like he never left his own head…

    forget putting together a team, i wouldn’t have trust the guy to rearrange books on a shelf…

  142. I can see us finishing somewhere between 32-40 and 35-37. I think we play roughly .500 ball except for getting beat up on our last west coast trip…DEN/PHX/LAC/LAL…so finishing at .500 or above seems highly unlikely. I also expect teams like New Orleans, Toronto, Boston and Miami to get it together now that the trade deadline is behind them and the playoffs approach.

  143. swiftandabundant: a lot of picks outside of the top two or three picks end up being bad picks.

    Do you think that’s a function of the draft being a crapshoot? Or because the NBA decision makers who live in the high lottery each year are totally and hopelessly incompetent?

    Look at some of the franchises that have been basically bailed out by one rookie-contract player. SGA is a star right now, and has a ton of upside. Doncic is an MVP candidate. LaMelo was leading a playoff team in BPM before his injury. Trae Young is the ball-dominant scorer on a team that’s finally at .500 for the first time since 2017. Zion Fucking Williamson. Ja Morant.

    The problem here, swift, is that when the Knicks pass up on a “safe” bet like Haliburton, that means that he goes elsewhere. And although he’s on just one of 29 teams that the Knicks will play against, those draft fuck-ups compound over time. SGA could have been a Knick instead of Knox. The useless win against PHI on the final day of 2017 essentially swapped us with SAC, who got Fox while we got Ntilikina in a largely unremarkable draft. And they did it yet again in 2018, dropping behind BRK in the standings.

    It’s not about missing out on one player. It’s about the repeated loss of opportunity while other teams get richer for simply not fucking up at their draft slot. Toppin wasn’t ever going to be a franchise cornerstone, so it’s not like we drafted Jah Okafor and watched him inexplicably go from a world-beating offensive powerhouse in the NCAA to a guy who’s in his athletic prime yet can’t find the floor on a 12-31 team, even when he’s healthy (they are 1-11 in the games he’s played spot minutes in).

    It’s repeatedly seeing good EV plays on the draft board and doing something completely useless, like drafting a total fucking scrub like Ntilikina or Knox or Toppin… over… and over… and over.

  144. The thing I see with Obi right now – his confidence is completely shot. He’s afraid to shoot it and when he does there’s hesitation, almost no chance of going in. His drives that take him under the basket because again, he does not want to fail, and risk missing the shot, and then he fails terribly worse, and it compounds his downward confidence spiral. He’s unplayable.

    The guy needs to sit games, practice and regain his mojo. He still may not be an NBA player, but right now he’s scared to be an NBA player. That’s what I observe.

    PS: His body shape and college dominance are so similar to Kenny Sky Walker its eerie.

  145. In his piece on possible buyouts and their destinations, Hollinger wrote that, being the only team with cap space and could offer to everybody a (multiyear) contract above the minimum, we could do something with players like Otto Porter and Dieng if they’re relesed,

    He even put together a (admittedly) long shot for Dinwiddle if the Nets want to save money on luxury tax.

    He sadly mentioned Drummond in the same sentence as Porter, causing me a panic attack… now I desperately need a real zen master…

  146. Max:
    In his piece on possible buyouts and their destinations, Hollinger wrote that, being the only team with cap space and could offer to everybody a (multiyear) contract above the minimum, we could do something with players like Otto Porter and Dieng if they’re relesed,

    He even put together a (admittedly) long shot for Dinwiddle if the Nets want to save money on luxury tax.

    He sadly mentioned Drummond in the same sentence as Porter, causing me a panic attack… now I desperately need a real zen master…

    In another piece he wrote that “The Knicks undoubtedly are tryng to use their leftover cap space to steal one of the buyout bigs who otherwise will be heading to contenders on minimum deals”.

    Fingers crossed…

  147. I don’t understand – whose minutes would Drummond be talking? I know we all think it’s a terrible idea but I really, truly don’t understand the logic

  148. Yes, we whiffed on three recent lottery picks. In two of those instances there were clear cut no-brainer options that were available. We passed on Tyrese Haliburton and Mikal Bridges so we could draft Obi Toppin and Kevin Knox. That’s pretty rough. If we had just one of those two instead of the bustalicious guys we drafted, we’d be in way, way better shape.

    BUT, we also found lottery-caliber players in Quickley and Mitch with a late 1RP and early 2RP respectively, which takes a lot of the sting out of that. If we had nailed the lotto picks AND the later picks that would have been swell. But at least we didn’t completely whiff on all of it.

  149. Jowles, I agree with you that we’ve messed up with our recent top picks – Frank, Knox, Obi. I mean, damn, if we’d just made the unsexy boring picks that we knew could be decent but maybe not great players, our arsenal would be STACKED right now and we’d be sitting pretty.

    But for every Obi or Knox pick, there’s a Quickley or Mitch pick later in the draft. Maybe it’s not one for one like that buy you get my point. I think the way to play it is instead of trying to hold out on wins as long as you can to get the top picks…you should trade when you can for extra picks all over the draft but especially in the first round. This way you give yourself more chances to hit on a player and also more leeway if you screw one up. We’re not the only ones who screw up top picks and outside the top 2 or 3, that 5 to 12 range is super dangerous. I think you’re right though that range is so dangerous because teams have fooled themselves into thinking that because they have a “lottery” pick that they’re supposed to draft a star. So they pass over the safer pick because they get fooled by 3 on 3 workouts, youth and athletic potential.

  150. As everyone else has already pointed out, there would be absolutely no excuse for offering Drummond a multi-year deal worth 6.4m, let alone 64m. I almost can’t believe this could even possibly be a thing.

    But maybe, maybe would there be value in offering him a rest-of-season deal for 10m? We need to pay Mitch in the off-season and it’s still not 100% sure what his ceiling is. Would giving Drummond Noel’s minutes for 25 games to see how a more offensively capable (but defensively worse) C changes the balance of the team? It literally costs us nothing to take a look – if we don’t spend the 10m it gets spread out across our other players at seasons end anyway…

  151. Don’t look now, but in 300 minutes Dennis Smith has averaged 13pts/5reb/7ast/2stl/1.5 blocks per 36and shot 36% from 3 on 5.3 attempts per 36. He’s still not a hugely productive player (.076 WS/48 and 1.2 BPM–pretty good!) and his TS% is still ghastly but, idk, I feel like we should’ve given him more of a shot before writing him off and trading him for D-Rose. Though maybe he would’ve never done this without the change of scenery.

  152. My latest thoughts
    Our FO seems patient, smart, restraint and well informed about market hypes and values.
    No Great Julius, No problem.
    Turd Ferguson is funny as hell.
    Drummond seems …Not Great!…but if Thibs wants him I’ll be fine with ThibsDrummond version experiment.
    Giving a chance on Frank, Obi, Knox may up their value before trading them. They definitely have their bright moments but decent level consistency ain’t very often. Still hoping for them but my eyes are bleeding…

  153. I’m honestly more relieved about Rose and the FO than I am happy, and that extends to the draft picks too. Of course I wanted all those players over Knox and Obi, but Mitch and Quickley were good picks, so it compensates a bit. Of course I’d rather be just happy, but I’ll take the sense of relief over the absolute dread that was Phil Jackson or the other clowns we had to endure. Of course I’d rather have good trades instead of sitting still, but still an improvement over getting Oladipo or something like that.

  154. What if Leon is smart and connected enough that he’s allowing Drummond’s agent to cook up these stories to drive up his value but truly has no intention of signing him? The only problem with that theory is drive up his value to what end? There are only a couple teams that can pay him. Maybe just reputation so it seems like there is demand for next year??

  155. When was the last time there was a “name” on the market that wasn’t connected to the Knicks. Literally every player with any name value is always connected to the Knicks. What I’m saying above is maybe now Leon is using it as a quid pro quo with his agent buddies.

  156. @kslsports
    BREAKING: Sources tell @TrevorASports Johnnie Bryant is no longer a candidate to coach @UtahMBB, the program’s focus has shifted to current @USUBasketball coach Craig Smith.

    One less thing to worry about.

  157. Tyrese and Bridges would definitely change the outlook dramatically. Tyrese got hot again last night, 6-7 from three.

    The rare glimmers I see from Obi are when he is in motion without the ball and can catch the ball with a head of steam. He’s not a guy you can just have spotting up at the three point line.

    The idea of signing Drunmond for 64 million is astonishingly stupid. I don’t believe it.

    I guess there is a possibility Drummond could go back to being a reasonably valuable big. Strange things have happened, like him becoming terrible in the first place. But just seems a crazy use of our resources when we already have two better centers.

  158. “Obviously, I can’t comment on any of the stuff that potentially could happen until it’s official. But (president) Leon (Rose) and his staff did an unbelievable job, had a plan that was very well thought out,” Thibodeau said ahead of Thursday’s game against the Washington Wizards (15-27), a 7:30 p.m. tip-off at Madison Square Garden. “It was a number of possible opportunities and I thought they were very disciplined and we love the team we have. So it worked out well for us.”

    Same Page
    Check!

  159. But for every Obi or Knox pick, there’s a Quickley or Mitch pick later in the draft.

    Yeah. Their names were Haliburton and Gilgeous-Alexander, respectively. And the Knicks missed both of them, for literally no reason whatsoever.

  160. No team nails every draft, but if we had just made the right pick one time we could have Shae Gilgeous, Mikal Bridges or Tyrese Halliburton.

    Any one of those players would be perfect fits for this team. Sigh……

  161. english_knick:
    As everyone else has already pointed out, there would be absolutely no excuse for offering Drummond a multi-year deal worth 6.4m, let alone 64m. I almost can’t believe this could even possibly be a thing.

    But maybe, maybe would there be value in offering him a rest-of-season deal for 10m? We need to pay Mitch in the off-season and it’s still not 100% sure what his ceiling is. Would giving Drummond Noel’s minutes for 25 games to see how a more offensively capable (but defensively worse) C changes the balance of the team? It literally costs us nothing to take a look – if we don’t spend the 10m it gets spread out across our other players at seasons end anyway…

    I’m not sure offering a lot for a single season works given that he’s being bought out. He’s going to get most of his salary for this year from Cleveland anyway. I suspect if we pay him more than Cleveland just pays him less and he ends up with the same amount of money (minus NYC taxes of course).

    This may be why writers are suggesting we offer a multi year contract. That would give him something he doesn’t get already.

  162. What if Leon is smart and connected enough that he’s allowing Drummond’s agent to cook up these stories to drive up his value but truly has no intention of signing him?

    What I’m saying above is maybe now Leon is using it as a quid pro quo with his agent buddies.

    that’s what i was thinking too, maybe simply hopeful thought…i don’t know, i’ll feel better once we ink mitch to a new deal…

  163. Ok so hear me out here.

    If you believe the stories out there, most of the Knicks brass does not want Drummond but some do. Thibs is said to love Mitch, they brought Noel in, of course Thibs loves Taj. So I think we can definitely rule out that it’s Thibs that wants Drummond. I think same for Wes – he’s a Kentucky guy, and the guy most likely to get even fewer minutes if Drummond comes is Noel, a Kentucky guy.

    No – the most likely person to want Drummond is the same guy who wanted Drummond in Cleveland – Brock Aller. Aller is all about assets. If you get Drummond to sign with your team, you also get his S&T rights. The signing team in a S&T has to be the team that you played on at the end of the prior season.

    The Knicks have a ton of cap space next year and so can sign him to whatever they want. Most importantly, they can trade him to a team that doesn’t have cap space, but would send back players and/or picks for the right to trade for Drummond.

    Drummond is basically a free asset floating in the wind right now. Aller is thinking that if we get him under our roof and capture his S&T rights, we’ve created an asset out of thin air. If there isn’t a team out there that wants him in S&T (or a S&T that is good for the Knicks), then we just let him go, no harm no foul – the only thing that is lost is that NYK players this year don’t get paid extra to get us out the salary floor.

    From Drummond’s perspective – going to the Knicks now – a team that can pay him more this season, but also can basically offer him anything this summer – that greatly increases his potential market and earning potential this summer. If he goes to the Lakers or whoever for the minimum, then next season he can basically only sign with teams with cap space or slot into an MLE of some sort – the Lakers would only have non-Bird rights which are useless on top of a minimum contract.

    Anyway, that’s what i think is happening.

  164. The dissonance here is that Drummond absolutely WOULD mess with the team chemistry this year. And so that’s why there is this reported disagreement in the FO.

  165. My point, jowles, is that every team misses in picks, even the good ones. It happens all of the time. Instead of focusing on the past mistakes we should just let it go. We’re still in a great spot and if we hit on like two out of our next 5 first round picks we’ll be fine.

  166. letting it go is fine, swift. you can say “we committed a blunder, but we’re still in good shape” while admitting it will be hard (not impossible) to recoup the value we lost.

    A rare example of a team that overcame such a blunder is golden state. They whiffed on Epke Udoh at 6 but got draymond in the 2nd round and steph curry turned into an all time great. Who cares about Udoh?

    That could happen to us. But most teams end up like Sacramento. Even with Halliburton, they are never ever ever ever recouping the value they lost by taking Bagley over Doncic. Ever. They might still become a playoff team, but there’s no denying that mistake fucked up the course of a whole decade for them.

    It remains to be seen who we become. But you can’t with a straight face say Rose hasn’t made any huge mistakes so far.

  167. The 4/$64M number is so insane it can’t be real. I mean, if you’re getting bought out you are per se not worth that contract. You don’t even need anymore details than that, such as details indicating Andre Drummond has been straight up bad this season. You don’t need those.

    Just signing him for the remainder of the season would be…kind of annoying but fine I guess? Typically you do not seek to add depth at the position at which you have the most depth, but it’s not completely insane to think his S&T rights could be worth something as per Frank’s theory. The problem is we just saw what the trade market for Andre Drummond yielded, and it was, well, nothing, but maybe at $10M AAV or so we could nab assets for him.

    The overwhelming likelihood is we’re overthinking this and the front office wants to sign Andre Drummond because they think he’s good for dumb reasons.

  168. thenoblefacehumper: The 4/$64M number is so insane it can’t be real.

    I can’t believe it either, but if they do it, they’ll get to Phil’s level with just one move. That’s hard to do. :D

  169. Brodie Van Wagenen gave up assets and spent money to acquire Robinson Cano, even though the Mets had a perfectly good second baseman named Jeff McNeil at the league minimum.

    Andre Drummond is the Robinson Cano in this situation, and Mitch Robinson is the Jeff McNeil. You already have surplus production at the center position. Fix a problem that needs fixing instead.

  170. I don’t understand how Drummond lands anywhere. Is there another example in the history of the league where a 2 time AllStar, in his prime, is dumped for a lousy second round pick, and a few months later his new team admits to losing the trade, can’t recoup the lousy 2nd round pick, and has to pay him multiple millions of dollars just to go away, and the player STILL has a place in the league?

    If something like this has ever happened, it must have been due to career ending injury, or some legal trouble. But 12 months of what he’s done would punch anybody else’s ticket to Europe, or Turkey, or China to play ball.

    The whole Drummond affair is so confusing to me. Nothing about it makes sense.

  171. I can’t believe it either, but if they do it, they’ll get to Phil’s level with just one move. That’s hard to do. :D

    they only wish they could reach Phil’s level with a single move. What you don’t understand is that it is not Leon Rose’s job to decide what to pay Andre Drummond. We have the vice president of contracts for that. And it is not Leon’s job to choose whether Andre Drummond ought to be a player to whom we will pay a random amount. We pay the director of unvalued players for that. And if we so happen to throw in a no trade clause, kindly direct your complaints to the recently hired deputy general manager of irrelevant minutiae.

    Leon is not an assembly worker! He is not a contracts person or a trade person or a draft person or a coach hiring person; he is a basketball person. We pay Leon millions of dollars to point the team in the right direction. Yes, the referees typically do this as well, but only Leon knows the value of occasionally pointing at the wrong basket to teach player x at cost y some essential lesson about humility and vertigo.

  172. JK47:
    Brodie Van Wagenen gave up assets and spent money to acquire Robinson Cano, even though the Mets had a perfectly good second baseman named Jeff McNeil at the league minimum.

    Andre Drummond is the Robinson Cano in this situation, and Mitch Robinson is the Jeff McNeil. You already have surplus production at the center position. Fix a problem that needs fixing instead.

    damn that’s too good an analogy.

    please don’t be right.

  173. Is there another example in the history of the league where a 2 time AllStar, in his prime, is dumped for a lousy second round pick, and a few months later his new team admits to losing the trade, can’t recoup the lousy 2nd round pick, and has to pay him multiple millions of dollars just to go away, and the player STILL has a place in the league?

    well dwight was miles better than drummond at peak and he was only 31 when the hawks dumped him to charlotte who had no interest in keeping him, and yet he has stuck around as a low cost player for years since.

  174. ***We have the vice president of contracts for that. And it is not Leon’s job to choose whether Andre Drummond ought to be a player to whom we will pay a random amount. We pay the director of unvalued players for that. And if we so happen to throw in a no trade clause, kindly direct your complaints to the recently hired deputy general manager of irrelevant minutiae.***

    This is if Terry Gilliam gets to direct the movie we’ve been casting.

  175. None of SGA, Mikal or Hali were sure things, they were better risks than the guys we picked. Still, it’s kind of karma that all 3 of them turned out to be good.

  176. I don’t remember there being an overwhelming consensus that SGA was a no brainer pick the year he was drafted.

    Haliburton and Bridges WERE no brainer picks though. Those were the default hive mind picks for sure. The hive mind routinely outperforms the Knicks’ FO.

  177. Yeah, the two names most associated with the Knicks at #8 that year were Mikal Bridges and Michael Porter jr, if I recall. One was the safe bet with the low ceiling, the other was the unknown because of his injury. Then Kevin Knox played some 3-on-3 in front of Steve Mills and the world was forever changed…

  178. Doesnt look like the Hornets are missing LaMelo much while the Heat are on their way to coming to MSG on Monday with a 6 game losing streak.

  179. I like that the Bucks are playing tonight. That hopefully evens things out a bit for tomorrow night.

  180. The problem really is not only how we didn’t get the absolute best cases, like SGA or Haliburton, is that we somehow managed to draft pretty much THE worst player for the projected position we were in. Drafting Monk or Kennard over Adebayo would have been bad, but they’re both better than Frank; SGA is better than Bridges or MPJ, but both are much better than Knox, etc.

    Not hitting on the ideal player is painful, but it’s another thing to just draft a guy who 3 or 4 years into their career has not shown yet he’s a NBA player at the very least.

  181. Safe to say at this point the Knicks are almost guaranteed to finish in the Top 10, now it’s a matter of finishing in the Top 8 to give themselves a better chance of making the actual playoffs.

  182. ptmilo: zion is ridiculous. he’s 12 for 13.

    But does he play the game The Right Way? And if he did, would Ingram shoot 5-17 for 13 points?

    (Jokic is awesome and is probably going to win the MVP, which he deserves)

    Houston is just hideous, man. Edwards, Towns and Rubio shot 13-50 and the Rockets still got outscored by 21 in the 4th to lose another game. The Raptors should be relegated to the G-League just for breaking their streak.

  183. Another night, another James Harden being James Harden performance. The Nets are staying in the #1 seed race without KD and Kyrie, and yet people will trash on this guy still.

  184. It’s easy to get caught up in what ifs, but if we drafted better maybe Steve Mills is still around. Obi hurts, but that’s strike 1 for Rose. If he doesn’t learn from that, maybe strike 2 and 3 will move him along.

    In other words, we shouldn’t forget how much of a laughing stock we were or that Dolan is our owner. Rooting for exceptionalism is a lost cause. Mere competence is a welcome change. More than anything else, that’s why I’m willing to give management a pass on Obi. They went against conventional thinking here at KB and landed a rotation player at #25 that zero people here had faith in at the time. Thus far, IQ is clearly better than every player drafted after him. That pretty much makes this draft a wash for me.

  185. Whiffing on Obi at 8 and crushing the IQ pick with a late first rounder shows you that it really helps to have extra darts to throw at the board when you’re rebuilding. Imagine if we had been doing that all along. That’s what the “collect assets” gang here has been advocating for.

    The Knicks did kind of a half-assed job of it but still came away with some good young players. It works!

  186. We can’t reasonably expect the Knicks to draft the best guy available at every slot. But it is reasonable to expect them not to draft complete stiffs every year. We’ve had 4 consecutive top 10 picks and came away from them with 3 guys who might be playing in Serbia soon.

    One halfway decent guy (RJ) — and nothing else — out of four Top 10 picks is a horrible track record. No other team has drafted as poorly the last 4 years.

  187. I find it amusing that when we evaluate the what-ifs, every time you guys put the players that already panned out on the picks we missed, and still maintain that we would’ve drafted Mitch and IQ. Is there a team that nails ALL PICKS, be it 1st or 2nd rounders, for 4 consecutive years?
    So 3 very good players is an ok result of this last 3 years (i’ll not comment how Dolan let Phil make the pick in 2017, to then fire him in the following days, so i don’t include that year), and one of them is starting to look like an all-star (RJ). Add to that the finding of an all-star on the cheap in the free-agent market, and we’re not that bad. Of course we could’ve been better, but man we could’ve been worst, and if we performed like the old Knicks we would most definitely be in a worst position.
    But let’s not think what could have been and just discuss what the plan for the future should be! :)

  188. TheOakmanCometh:
    We can’t reasonably expect the Knicks to draft the best guy available at every slot. But it is reasonable to expect them not to draft complete stiffs every year. We’ve had 4 consecutive top 10 picks and came away from them with 3 guys who might be playing in Serbia soon.

    One halfway decent guy (RJ) — and nothing else — out of four Top 10 picks is a horrible track record. No other team has drafted as poorly the last 4 years.

    This is fair, and frustration is merited. Even RJ was a consensus pick so it was hard to screw that one up. However, I am treating this regime as a clean slate, even though the owner and Perry are left over. Knox belongs to Mills and Frank belongs to Phil. And in the last 3 years we drafted Mitch, RJ and IQ, so looked at that way, getting 3 starting caliber players in 3 years is a rose-colored way of looking at it. If we land another player or two this year, or if either Knox or Obi miraculously pan out, it’s possible that half of our rotation will have been built through the draft.

    But yeah, all three whiffs were unforced errors. No getting around that.

  189. Tonight is a big game. I’m expecting a loss, but hopefully everyone will be healthy and we will play a solid game.

  190. BigBlueAL: Safe to say at this point the Knicks are almost guaranteed to finish in the Top 10

    Are you sure? What team are you counting out? Toronto? Before the trade deadline i was much more sure we’d be Top10, because i had Chicago falling out, but now i don’t know.

  191. I don’t think anything is safe. If we lose Julius for 3 weeks and go an an 8 game bender, we’re probably out of the top 10. But I would certainly say that we should make the top-10, with a puncher’s chance for the top-7.

  192. Z-man:
    I don’t think anything is safe. If we lose Julius for 3 weeks and go an an 8 game bender, we’re probably out of the top 10. But I would certainly say that we should make the top-10, with a puncher’s chance for the top-7.

    No chances to be Top6, on a perfect world? It’d be amazing to avoid the play-in.

  193. Kristaps Porzingis dropped 31 points with 18 rebounds, three assists and three triples in 38 minutes vs. Indiana on Friday.

    Where’s Strat? :D
    PS: Of course, don’t look at the efficiency, as it takes away some of that slashline shinning.

  194. Julius Randle (bruised right thigh) is probable for Saturday’s game vs. the Bucks. It sounds like Randle took a hit during Thursday’s game vs. the Wizards.

    Please sit the man. It’ll probably be a L anyway, and there’s a decent chance we’ll regret playing him today, better not risk it.

  195. A five-game lead with 27 games left? That’s pretty big. Toronto isn’t this bad, but I think they’ve dug themselves too big of a hole, especially as now they don’t have Powell to help them get back (although I loved them getting Trent Jr. back. He’s kind of perfect for them, really, as he allows them to play Spicy P. as a bit of a small ball center (with OG Anunoby as the small ball four while Trent Jr. is the small ball three instead of Powell).

    Really, overall, I like Toronto’s basic setup. They have VanVleet, Siakam, Boucher and Anunoby all signed for the next two-three seasons. That’s not a bad core. And they’ll have money to surround those guys with help (heck, they could even bring Lowry back). And now they will likely have Trent Jr. for the next few seasons, as well (he’s an RFA unlike Powell being a UFA). Their problem was that they lost literally 3/5 of their NBA Finals starting lineup in back-to-back offseasons! Heck, of the 8 guys who played for them in their clinching Finals game less than two years ago, just three guys are still on the team and one of those guys is a 35-year-old free agent!

  196. Brian Cronin:
    A five-game lead with 27 games left? That’s pretty big. Toronto isn’t this bad, but I think they’ve dug themselves too big of a hole, especially as now they don’t have Powell to help them get back (although I loved them getting Trent Jr. back. He’s kind of perfect for them, really, as he allows them to play Spicy P. as a bit of a small ball center (with OG Anunoby as the small ball four while Trent Jr. isthe small ball three instead of Powell).

    Really, overall, I like Toronto’s basic setup. They have VanVleet, Siakam, Boucher and Anunoby all signed for the next two-three seasons. That’s not a bad core. And they’ll have money to surround those guys with help (heck, they could even bring Lowry back). And now they will likely have Trent Jr. for the next few seasons, as well (he’s an RFA unlike Powell being a UFA). Their problem was that they lost literally 3/5 of their NBA Finals starting lineup in back-to-back offseasons! Heck, of the 8 guys who played for them in their clinching Finals game less than two years ago, just three guys are still on the team and one of those guys is a 35-year-old free agent!

    Yeah, Masai is still the man. But they look like a top-10 team and we don’t really look like a top-6 team, so a likely scenario is that we will both be in the play-in mix.

  197. Yeah, Masai is still the man. But they look like a top-10 team and we don’t really look like a top-6 team, so a likely scenario is that we will both be in the play-in mix.

    Oh, absolutely agreed that when you look at the Knicks and the Raptors, it doesn’t feel like the Knicks should be five games ahead of the Raptors (and it’s not even like Nick Nurse is a bad coach or anything), but five games in 27 games is a ton to make up. They’re only two games back of the #10 seed, though, so yeah, I could easily see them and the Knicks both in the play-in games, I just don’t see a realistic scenario where they catch up to the Knicks, which would mean that the Knicks would at least make the play-in games.

    I do agree, too, that it seems hard to believe that the Knicks will finish ahead of the Celtics and Heat when all is said and done. 23-22 for the Knicks, 23-22 for the Hawks, 22-23 for the Celtics and 22-24 for the Heat (losers of six straight!). It’s not like the Knicks have much room for error.

  198. Yeah I’m definitely not denying that we whiffed on picks but Knox and Frank are old regime picks. And think about it this way. Philly tanked straight up for what, 5 seasons and only got Simmons and embiid out of it. Yeah those dudes are good but it just shows how much draft picks are not a sure thing ever. Getting more picks is really just the way to go. And it does feel like we actually do better later in the draft.

  199. Strength of remaining schedule for the 8 teams in the East that’ll be in the 4th-11th range (with opponents combined winning percentage):
    1. Chicago Bulls – .513
    2. Toronto Raptors – .510
    3. Best team in the world – .508
    4. Charlotte Hornets – .496
    5. Atlanta Hawks – .494
    6. Miami Heat – .492
    7. Boston Celtics – .490
    8. Indiana Pacers – .475

    It won’t be easy, but hey the Raptors have a (slightly) more difficult schedule than the Knicks, so yeah at least we should be ahead of them when all it’s said and done.

  200. . Philly tanked straight up for what, 5 seasons and only got Simmons and embiid out of it.

    What’s the opposite of “Besides that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”

  201. A win tonight sure would be huge, especially after the Celtics kicked the Bucks’ ass last night. The last time the Knicks beat a team with a winning record was almost a month and a half ago (it was the Hawks, and the Hawks obviously didn’t have a winning record at the time. That was before they won eight in a row. You would have to go back to the first week of February for the last time the Knicks beat a team who had a winning record when the Knicks played them, the 12-10 Blazers, who were playing without three of their starters).

    It really is a testament to Thibs’ devotion to winning every game at all costs that the Knicks just don’t lose to bad teams. They don’t often beat good teams, but they don’t lose to bad ones and that’s a very valuable thing in the NBA.

  202. And we still have to see if Vuc helps the Bulls or not, as he wasn’t helping the Magic all that much. He’s a bad defender and that takes away a lot of what he brings on the offense.
    I’ll predict the Knicks won’t go lower than 9th, and that the 10th place will be a battle between TOR and CHI only.

  203. swiftandabundant: Philly tanked straight up for what, 5 seasons and only got Simmons and embiid out of it.

    Popovich has been the head coach of the Spurs for 25 years and only won 5 championships.

    The Lakers had Kobe & Shaq for 8 years and only won 3 championships.

    The 96 Bulls played 82 games and only won 72.

  204. Brian Cronin:

    It really is a testament to Thibs’ devotion to winning every game at all costs that the Knicks just don’t lose to bad teams. They don’t often beat good teams, but they don’t lose to bad ones and that’s a very valuable thing in the NBA.

    That is the thing that has stood out to me so far…at $5 million per…there was an expectation that Thibs should make a difference…and the one thing that the team will not do…is not show up on the defensive end of the floor…and in the NBA…if you d up on the bad teams every night…it gives you a chance to win more often than not…some nights even if the effort is there offsensively…the shots won’t fall and he can’t control that but there is very little slippage on the defensive intensity…

  205. The 96 Bulls played 82 games and only won 72.

    Lebron has only made it to 9 of the last 10 NBA Finals.

  206. Philly tanked straight up for what, 5 seasons and only got Simmons and embiid out of it.

    knicks do the ersatz tank for 7 years and knick optimists are doing fucking cartwheels that we finally hit .500 with julius and rj. sixers true-tank for 4 years and they only got simmons and embiid.

  207. Philly tanked straight up for what, 5 seasons and only got Simmons and embiid out of it.

    This is true if you arbitrarily decide the the surplus picks and flyers they were able to acquire as a result of not chasing wins don’t count. Otherwise you have to count Saric, Covington, Harris, and a lot of other guys currently on their roster if you trace back various asset histories.

    The former two were parlayed into Jimmy freakin’ Butler, so that seems like a pretty serious omission. Harris is also a pretty damn essential part of their team.

  208. Philly was one Jojo away from Ridicule.
    If they hadn’t picked him luckilly due to his injury at no3 or if his injury was a career ending one we wouldn’t talk about a very successful strategy right now.

    Besides of winning the 500M Jackpot how many lemonades did you sell Mrs Philly?

    Now the DocRivers D-oriented team is another story similar to Thibs’ Knicks one

  209. Just imagine Philly picking Wiggins or Jabari instead of Jojo and visualize their future.

  210. That’s literally the whole point of a multi-year asset collection strategy, so that you can have years where you pick Okafor over Porzingis and it will be balanced out by years you get Embiid instead of Parker. It was all about getting as many cracks at the prize as possible and it worked beautifully, even with Colangelo trying to fuck it up as much as possible towards the end.

  211. Just imagine Philly picking Wiggins or Jabari instead of Jojo and visualize their future.

    i just imagined this and you’ll be relieved to know that in this universe they nabbed KAT and tatum instead of okafor and fultz, so it turned out okay for them. also jabari parker left to play in china and accidentally ran over patient zero with his scooter on a day trip to wuhan and the worst thing about corona was still the taste.

  212. When we picked 6th, we got Danilo Gallinari

    When we picked 4th, we got Kristaps Porzingis

    When we picked 3rd, we got RJ Barrett

    Those are our 3 highest draft picks since 1986. Kinda seems like it works out when you draft high.

  213. That’s really the most amazing thing about the RJ pick. It was the first year they intentionally tanked and they got RJ Barrett and their automatic response was, “Okay, well, enough of that! Who needs results like that, am I right?”

    And so they get Obi Toppin instead of LaMelo Ball.

  214. It’s great to get top talents for free but let’s not forget that the goal is to build a team and go for the chip. Not just babysitting Superstars before a competent team steal them.

  215. Brian Cronin:
    That’s literally the whole point of a multi-year asset collection strategy, so that you can have years where you pick Okafor over Porzingis and it will be balanced out by years you get Embiid instead of Parker. It was all about getting as many cracks at the prize as possible and it worked beautifully, even with Colangelo trying to fuck it up as much as possible towards the end.

    This.
    I think the reason why missing on Frank and Knox stings is because they were at the front end of the team’s turn to this strategy. To me, the one true DOA pick was Knox: Frank was picked where many draft mocks had him, and I don’t think I saw Knox mocked to us anywhere.

    Some of you may consider Obi a DOA pick, but I’ll contend to three crosspoints to that:
    1. He “fell” to us.
    2. I really believe the idea was to groom him to be Randle’s replacement, but Julius’ improved play changed all of that.
    3. Even though he was billed as someone who was gonna produce on Day One, he had no real post-draft offseason, and preseason was short.

    I think it’s fine if some don’t see a future here for Toppin, although someone previously brought up a good point that you don’t want to sell low on him. If the right deal presents itself this summer and you need to trade him as part of it, then by all means. Otherwise, give him one true off-season & pre-season… but just one.

  216. Knew Your Nicks:
    Drafting high is good.
    Drafting right is better.

    Cool. Can you define “drafting right” beyond just pointing to teams getting lucky on non-lottery picks, or explain how drafting right and drafting high are mutually exclusive? If you can draft right, surely you are better off drafting higher where you get the maximum amount of options.

  217. “Draft smart, not high” feels like the basketball equivalent of people saying they didn’t want a stimulus check because they’d rather rise and grind for it. Shooting yourself in the foot by deliberately ignoring an available advantage is not a virtue, folks.

  218. Mike Honcho:
    “Draft smart, not high” feels like the basketball equivalent of people saying they didn’t want a stimulus check because they’d rather rise and grind for it. Shooting yourself in the foot by deliberately ignoring an available advantage is not a virtue, folks.

    To be fair, that’s not exactly what he said. He says drafting high is good; drafting right is better – which really, he’s right. High draft pick busts Darko, Kwame Brown, and Anthony Bennett are some examples where teams blew it drafting at or near the top. Drafting high typically gets you into the range of true impact talent, but you still have to not select the wrong guy.

  219. Drafting Right means Top Scouting and then Top Developmental Department. Toronto.
    Drafting High ain’t forever.
    Once you find a good/great player you start rising and lottery picks become mid to late ones.
    You need bball knowledge more than Luck in this League.

  220. Obviously there is some luck involved, I mean the same people drafted Obi Toppin at 8 and then Immanuel Quickley at 25 or whatever. It’s not like those guys took stupid pills before they selected Obi but the stupid pills wore off when they took IQ.

    You can absolutely find good players later in the draft, in fact this is something that the Knicks seem to do well for whatever strange reason. Our problem has been that we haven’t stockpiled enough darts. We did okayish with the darts we had, but more darts would have been better.

  221. The Infamous Cdiggy: To be fair, that’s not exactly what he said. He says drafting high is good; drafting right is better – which really, he’s right. High draft pick busts Darko, Kwame Brown, and Anthony Bennett are some examples where teams blew it drafting at or near the top. Drafting high typically gets you into the range of true impact talent, but you still have to not select the wrong guy.

    Read my first response to him. Saying “you should draft smart” is a platitude, it’s not really a strategy nor even exclusive with drafting high. If you can draft well with the 20th pick, you can draft well with the 1st pick and get a more impactful player, and if you can acquire multiple picks that’s even better.

  222. Also – if the Knicks (and Mavs) make the playoffs, they’ll likely have two non-lottery mid-round selections this summer. So in that case, drafting right comes more into focus.

  223. The Raptors are 18-27, the Cavs are 17-28. One of those teams will have to pass the Knicks in the standings for the Knicks to miss the playoffs. You can be as skeptical as you want about the Knicks but at this point in the season the odds of that happening are at the very best slim.

    The hope for me is the Knicks hold on to finish either 7th or 8th so they have 2 chances at making the playoffs in the play in tournament. I doubt they finish ahead of the Heat and Celtics but the 6th seed could still be in play vs the Hornets and Hawks who the Knicks have the tiebreaker against. Same vs the Pacers who I think will make a strong run but the Knicks have the tiebreaker vs the Pacers too. Realistically I think for the Knicks it will probably come down to finishing 8th or 9th which is a big difference. That west coast trip at the end of the season will ultimately be the decider.

  224. If you can draft well with the 20th pick you usually don’t draft high in the lottery.
    No need to.

  225. Have you guys even looked at the current standings? I’d recommend doing that instead of parroting this bullshit Sixers narrative for the millionth time. Just stop. No matter how much you personally hate it, it simply worked.

  226. And it worked despite two different GMs trying to blow up the rebuild as soon as they got their hands on it.

  227. So with all these draft pick discussions, I totally randomly picked two teams to look at in terms of how they did versus how we did in the first round.
    Would you rather be these guys?

    Orlando Magic
    2017
    6 Jonathan Isaac
    25 Anzeis Pasecnics
    2018
    6 Mo Bamba
    2019
    16 Chuma Okeke
    2020
    15 Cole Anthony

    Then you have the Lakers, who did better, but interestingly not a single pick is still with them:
    2017
    2 Lonzo Ball
    28 Tony Bradley
    2018
    25 Mo Wagner
    2019
    4 D’Andre Hunter
    2020
    28 Jaden McDaniels

    I honestly don’t know what this really conveys, as it’s random and only 1/15 of the NBA. I guess it intimates that whiffing on first round picks might be a thing, and perhaps not entirely and only Knicksy (although overall we had higher slots to screw up, so there’s that).

  228. Sixers shit worked. No doubt about it.
    Trying to figure out why it worked don’t seem as hate to me. Just bball talk

  229. Knew Your Nicks:
    Sixers shit worked. No doubt about it.
    Trying to figure out why it worked don’t seem as hate to me. Just bball talk

    Didn’t mean to give the impression that I was actually angry or anything; if I came across that way that’s my bad. It’s also a moot point for our Knickerbockers anyways since at this point our hope is that they draft well with the picks we already have. Tanking is pretty clearly out of the picture for us at this point.

  230. Raven:
    So with all these draft pick discussions, I totally randomly picked two teams to look at in terms of how they did versus how we did in the first round.
    Would you rather be these guys?

    Orlando Magic
    2017
    6 Jonathan Isaac
    25 Anzeis Pasecnics
    2018
    6 Mo Bamba
    2019
    16 Chuma Okeke
    2020
    15 Cole Anthony

    Then you have the Lakers, who did better, but interestingly not a single pick is still with them:
    2017
    2 Lonzo Ball
    28 Tony Bradley
    2018
    25 Mo Wagner
    2019
    4 D’Andre Hunter
    2020
    28 Jaden McDaniels

    I honestly don’t know what this really conveys, as it’s random and only 1/15 of the NBA. I guess it intimates that whiffing on first round picks might be a thing, and perhaps not entirely and only Knicksy (although overall we had higher slots to screw up, so there’s that).

    I’d lean towards Jowles’ oft-stated take that poorly-managed teams are lottery frequent flyers in part because they are poorly-managed and thus draft poorly. I think most of our recent drafting falls into that category, with the exception of the last couple years where we’ve done better despite whiffing on Obi. RJ, Mitch and IQ is a decent lottery haul, but it sure would have been nice to add any one of Bridges, Haliburton or SGA to that mix instead of our other scrubs.

  231. In a world where the Kings willingly decided to draft Bagley over Doncic, I can’t believe people are still screaming that the draft is absolutely random and that position in the lottery doesn’t matter.

    There’s a degree of randomness, there is a certain level of luck and things outside of a front office control, but it absolutely isn’t a crap shoot. Whenever someone tries to make that argument it’s always like this, drafting Embiid? Oh that was an obvious pick, no skill involved, just because this is the narrative that fits the overarching narrative better, even though we still have no real insight into how different front offices work and the information they had.

    It’s a pointless discussion where the only real evidence point we have is that better managed teams tend to navigate the draft better, maximizing on their picks and understanding how to shelter themselves from the uncertainty.

  232. It’s even more annoying because the same people who scream the draft is a crap shoot and all about luck won’t ever acknowledge the fact that the Sixers were one miracle shot away from having a chance to beat the depleted Warriors in the finals. When it comes to that discussion, they’ll just say the Sixers failed straight up, luck only gets considered as a variable when it fits their own personal narrative.

    If that ball doesn’t hit the rim the perfect way 4 times what would you be saying? “The Sixers only got one ring from 5 years of tanking not worth it”?

  233. The draft isn’t really a crapshoot; it just looks like one because most NBA GMs can’t draft. Leon Rose took Obi Toppin because he thought his inside intel was showing him a gem when in fact he was just too close to be level headed. In Obi’s defense, he made himself a household name in the A10 as a rim running five and now we want him to be a floor spacing four in the NBA. When you look at it that way, there was always going to be a learning curve and I don’t think it’s fair to throw him in the trash. He was obviously the wrong pick for this team, but I still think there’s an NBA role for him.

    I adhere to this belief; there is always an impact player available no matter where you draft. If you did the 2017 draft over today, Donovan Mitchell goes top 3. If you do the 2018 draft over, SGA goes 2nd overall. If you did the 2019 draft over, Tyler Herro goes top 5. If you did the 2020 draft over, Tyrese Halliburton goes top 5. You’ll always have teams that do shit like draft Jalen Green over Moses Moody, and a good front office’s job is to filter out the noise and land the right players.

  234. “Draft smart” is kind of like “win trades.” I mean yeah, no shit, it’s better to draft good players. Good players are nice to have.

    Let’s bump up the level of discussion above obvious tautologies.

  235. Luck is part of the game. It’s part of life.
    Getting the 1st pick needs luck.
    Embiid and Luka at no1 aint luck but…
    Getting Embiid at 3 needs luck.
    Getting Luka at 5 via trade needs luck.
    Getting Obi at 8 needs luck! Bad Luck!

  236. One thing I will say is the Knicks’ strategy after they draft a guy is absolutely horrendous. They did not have a coherent plan to actually develop any of Obi Toppin (let’s take this rim running five who can stretch the floor and make him a 3&D power forward), RJ Barrett (let’s give him the worst spacing in the league), Kevin Knox (we know he’s a project but let’s run our offense through him), and Frank Ntilikina (he played shooting guard in the French league so let’s make him an NBA point guard). It’s literally the most frustrating thing for me about these Knicks and I hope we just draft better because players’ development on this team never seems to be aided by the infrastructure. If Julius Randle didn’t up his 3 point shooting by 15 points, something nobody saw coming at all, does RJ Barrett have the season he’s having now? The Knicks really struggle with the whole idea of putting five guys on the court whose games complement each other.

  237. JK47:
    “Draft smart” is kind of like “win trades.” I mean yeah, no shit, it’s better to draft good players. Good players are nice to have.

    Let’s bump up the level of discussion above obvious tautologies.

    I think the short, poetic verses are just his style. *shrugs*

    For the record, I’m happy that Philly did what they did and they’re good again – they were likely looking at the Charlotte/Orlando treadmill otherwise. Forgive me for being Capt Obvious, but I’m sure most of us wished the Knicks followed suit – probably after the 2013-14 season (and/or you can argue at any point within the past 20 years, lol).

  238. the real conversation here is too nuanced for people who just want to fuck around on a blog. at some level of precision it’s too nuanced for anyone to tease out. it’s almost comically facile to just proclaim the draft a crapshoot, or, alternatively, to say it’s not a crapshoot you just need to draft well. it’s unavoidably a difficult to parse mix of luck and skill.

    masai made what may be the single worst pick in the history of the the second round when he took deandre daniels 37th and 3 of the next 4 picks were dinwiddie, jerami grant and jokic. that same draft he took caboclo 20th. the very year the jazz absolutely stole gobert at 27, they also gave up an extra first to move up from 14 to nab knickerblogger hofer trey burke. giannis went 15th.

    and yes, with only 30 teams and a far cry from a idealized efficient market setup, there likewise is ample opportunity to be predictably stupid or above average. people like to say shit like “the draft is a crapshoot” or “just draft well” because nuance is boring and in some arenas unpersuasive. but the boring fact is that drafting higher increases your probability of success by relatively modest and noisy amounts, and an important part of team building is comparing this potential uplift and its expected average effect on wins with the marginal cost of losses when you are bad.

    in reality the luck factor is large enough and the sample is small enough that you may never get to feast in the bounty of your own smart bets. there are many worlds in which buford didn’t get duncan and manu and steve mills landed on kawhi and butler. it’s hard to wander in the wake of the dunkard’s walk for a living, even if you have a better map. there’s a reason morey went to philly and not some team with a stable of promising probabilities.

    but as a fan who can’t get fired it still make sense to root for the better odds. especially when the marginal cost is tiny, like 29 wins vs 22 wins.

  239. Some of the bad picks we have made recently were high ceiling gambles, when there were clear high floor guys available. High floor isn’t sexy, but we’d be in a lot better shape if we went for floor over ceiling with some of these.

  240. I love this part the best, “The Celtics also offered a first-round pick and a young player to Orlando for Gordon, sources said, and they were prepared to add to that haul, but the Magic accepted Denver’s offer, which included Gary Harris Jr., R.J. Hampton, and a first-round pick, before Boston had a chance.”

    I imagine Ainge, “But that’s not faaaaaaair. You didn’t come back to us to see if we would raise our ‘final’ offer!”

  241. Brian Cronin: I imagine Ainge, “But that’s not faaaaaaair. You didn’t come back to us to see if we would raise our ‘final’ offer!”

    Well, now he needs a C and so he will nab Drummond preventing the Knicks from doing a stupid move.

  242. Love the blithe assumption that the Sixers would have just won the overtime and then beat the Bucks, like for sure.

  243. fucking around was my intention after waking up before drinking coffee and going to work but turned out a usual googlemarathon

  244. Danny Ainge is going to retire as a guy who was almost the greatest executive of all time. I can’t wait until he almost lands Andre Drummond.

  245. To illustrate how badly the Knicks have whiffed on their recent high draft picks, compare them to other perennial lottery teams. Including the Knicks, five teams have taken at least 4 players in the lottery over the last 4 seasons. This is who they picked. (I’m using the team that actually kept the player; e.g. Phoenix gets credit for Mikal Bridges even though he was technically drafted by Philly).

    Knicks: Frank, Knox, RJ, Obi
    Suns: Josh Jackson, Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Jalen Smith
    Bulls: Markkanen, Wendell Carter, Coby White, Patrick Williams
    Hornets: Monk, Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, LaMelo
    Hawks: Trae, Hunter, Reddish, Okongwu

    The Suns got three rotation players, one bust, and a TBD who’s not looking good so far (Smith). The Bulls got four rotation players. The Hornets got one potential star and three rotation players. The Hawks got one star, one possible rotation player, and two TBDs who don’t look good so far.

    The Knicks got one rotation player with small star potential, two busts, and one TBD who looks like a sure future bust. That is by far the worst outcome of the five teams.

    I know we’ve made two good late picks in Mitch and Quickley. But you can’t keep blowing Top 10 picks like we have and expect to build a sustainable foundation.

  246. fucking around was my intention after waking up before drinking coffee and going to work but turned out a usual googlemarathon

    proceed cautiously my friend, they are eyes lurking behind the screen, ready to pounce at a moments notice…

    what kind of coffee?

    i like coffee hot, no stuff in it, like the way it smells, tastes okay, good for a bit of a buzz, almost never drink it though…

  247. Popper:

    As Knicks coaches remain in place, so do the centers. Hearing Knicks not very active in Andre Drummond pursuit. They like their three defensive-minded centers and want to see what Mitchell Robinson does with the starting role again.

    Once again, Brian, I must express disappointment that you have yet to grant me photo embedding power for occasions such as this.

  248. Tonight’s Injury Update:

    Giannis – Left Knee; Sprain (Doubtful)
    Donte – Left Foot; Plantar fasciitis (Doubtful)
    Jrue – Left Knee; Contusion (Doubtful)
    Rodi – Abdominal; Strain (Out)
    Khris – Left Hip; Contusion (Out)
    Bobby – Health and Safety (Out)
    PJ – Left Calf; Strain (Out)

    Must-win?

  249. Deeefense:
    Drummond to NY was so blatantly idiotic it had to be fake news for clicks.lmao

    Or Rose and Aller doing a favor for the agent.

  250. in reality the luck factor is large enough and the sample is small enough that you may never get to feast in the bounty of your own smart bets.

    The other nuance is that each choice changes the flow; every action has consequence. If we had chosen SGA instead of Knox, for instance, he would have had a significantly better impact on wins, which would have worsened our likely lottery position when we chose RJ. So you can’t really say “we could have had SGA, RJ, and Hali.” It is extremely unlikely we would have had the third pick if we had chosen SGA, and more unlikely that we would have had the 8th pick had we chosen SGA and RJ.

    In other words, the smarter the bets, the smaller the draft bounty.

  251. Tonight’s Injury Update:

    Giannis – Left Knee; Sprain (Doubtful)
    Donte – Left Foot; Plantar fasciitis (Doubtful)
    Jrue – Left Knee; Contusion (Doubtful)
    Rodi – Abdominal; Strain (Out)
    Khris – Left Hip; Contusion (Out)
    Bobby – Health and Safety (Out)
    PJ – Left Calf; Strain (Out)

    I’m kind of hoping we have

    Randle – Thigh; Contusion (Doubtful)

    But I doubt it

  252. Also nice would be

    Payton – Hamstrings; The Team When He Plays (Out)

  253. #proceed cautiously my friend, they are eyes lurking behind the screen, ready to pounce at a moments notice…#

    :-D
    see the ball see your man!

    #what kind of coffee?#

    I like Espresso, Filter or as we call it here French Coffee and Cappuccino but I’ve become addicted to Frappe the last couple of years. No sugar or just a bit for the glucose Staying Awake effect.

  254. TheOakmanCometh: Hawks: Trae, Hunter, Reddish, Okongwu

    So the Hawks have Trae + Reddish when they should have Luka but it’s the Knicks that failed hard at the draft. Ok.

  255. Lamarcus Aldridge will sign with the Nets!
    This is getting Extremely Ridiculous

  256. Must-win?

    Holy shit, yes! Who is even the fuck on their team tonight? How can the Knicks possibly lose this one? What a fucking break! Basically, the Bucks just decided to give the Knicks a win to rest some players on the second night of a back-to-back. Sweet!

  257. OK so all of a sudden tonight is a huge opportunity for an unexpected win.

    The Bucks essentially decided to pull a Nets the other game against the Jazz and just take a schedule loss. What a fucking break!

  258. It’s hilarious how the Bucks, like the Nets, just decided to give the NBA the middle finger.

  259. My guess is that their starters are:

    Bryn Forbes
    Sam Merrill
    Pat Connaughton
    Thanasis
    Brook Lopez

  260. I love the utter fucking delusion that a 54-year-old LMA might be somehow toppling competitive balance in this league. The man is as old as Blake Griffin’s knees

  261. Yeah, the reactions are absurd. “Do something about this, Adam Silver! How can you let this happen?” What is LaMarcus Aldridge supposed to be doing on the Nets that is so worrisome to people who don’t like the Nets?

  262. Brian Cronin:
    My guess is that their starters are:
    Bryn Forbes
    Sam Merrill
    Pat Connaughton
    Thanasis
    Brook Lopez

    Another chance for your funny thread title of “(a player we all know) and Four Guys Off of the Street”, Brian. ;)
    I guess tonight the player we know is Brook Lopez.

  263. I know he kind of sucks now, but I’d still swap Jeff Teague for Elfrid and not look back…

  264. I’m sorry for them but keeping Payne and Bryant is a huge win,
    this coaching staff is doing a great job and it’s really nice to keep’em together.

  265. Wouldn’t mind having Lamarcus and Blake on my bench…instead of “Harpers and Pinsons”

  266. Knew Your Nicks:
    Wouldn’t mind having Lamarcus and Blake on my bench…instead of “Harpers and Pinsons”

    Idk haha at least Harper and Pinson can run around without risking blowing out their knees. . .

  267. Taj Gibson is starting at power forward tonight and I know Mike Woodson is 100% the culprit.

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