NY Post: Streaking Knicks clip Hawks to move into fourth in East

From Marc Berman:

It was a Knicks-Hawks battle for the fourth seed and home-court advantage, and it became a night of bloody carnage and overtime at the frenzied Garden.

Julius Randle scored 40 points and the Knicks (33-27) won their eighth straight game, posting a 137-127 victory Wednesday night before a wild crowd of 2,000 that was hyped right from the national anthem. The Knicks tied their longest winning streak since 2014, when they also won eight straight.

With their 3-point shooting frenzy, the Knicks survived the physical battle, which forced Hawks superstar Trae Young to miss the fourth quarter and OT.

More importantly, the Knicks moved into sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference, which means if the season ended today, they would host a first-round playoff series. And it could be against these hot Hawks, which the Knicks swept 3-0 in the season series. There are a dozen games left before the Knicks’ first postseason since 2013.

You know that the Knicks are back when Marc Berman takes the time to do all of their write-ups. We haven’t seen Peter Botte in quite some time!

Anyhow, another outstanding victory. What was particularly great was to see Immanuel Quickley play such a major role in the win.

Eight in a row. Amazing. Let’s get to cloud nine on Saturday! Kyle Lowry as the future Knick writes itself, right?

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89 thoughts to “NY Post: Streaking Knicks clip Hawks to move into fourth in East”

  1. MSG needed to be full for when Julius Randle proclaimed “New York, we back”.

    Also, I know he likely wouldn’t win it, but IQ needs to be on the ballot for ROY. I could also be way to hyped and biased about him after today.

  2. tnfh sorry we didn’t connect but it was good to know that a fellow KBer was on that crazy ride! Given the circumstances, the crowd was LIT!

    Maybe we should plan a KB get-together for a road playoff game at Clyde’s Wine and Dine…

    On a personal note, it might have been the best sporting event I’ve ever taken my son to, and believe me, he needed it!

  3. Observations:

    Obi gave the team some important minutes out there. He’s got a lot to work on, but there was a semblance of a productive NBA player in what he showed on both ends.

    Reggie and Nerlens…no matter what happens, thank you for being quintessential loveable Knicks.

    It seemed like we were always down 9, Trae was toying with us, Pelle was giving Capela VIP access to the rim, and Huerter was Rick Barry 2.0, we were down to our 4th string C, Randle looked exhausted, RJ was not having a great night…we were definitely going down. Then Trae hit the deck and there was hope. Trae isn’t likeable but that dude is going to be a fucking problem. In any case, both teams left it all on the floor…credit the Hawks for not giving up.

  4. Well, our defense finally gelled after Trae got injured.

    Whatever though, that was an amazing win.

    Game ball for IQ and his plus 29, don’t think the numbers lie there.

    Bullock’s decision to only shoot threes going forward looks solid at the moment.

    Toppin was decent. Had some clutch boards. Looking more and more like he might hang on to an NBA gig long term.

    Randle was a bull in a china shop but he’s our bull in the china shop these days and a bull with amazing three point touch.

    RJ’s performance was a bit of a dud but he at least did work on defense and in the rest of the box score.

    Pretty fun team we have, somehow….

  5. Shams:

    The New York Knicks are signing center Norvel Pelle to a multiyear deal, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. His second 10-day deal ended today. Pelle finds home after stops in Brooklyn and Sacramento this season.

    Pelle sure had his problems with Capela last night, but that’s a tough guard for almost anyone. I doubt Pelle is signed for much money, but we at least have another big body under contract for next season.

  6. Dudes – this is all so fun. I think I first came to Knickerblogger during the Isiah years (is that possible?!) and we collectively have had some really really dark times since then. But to all of you that have been here through all that – we deserve this. The ride will probably end with a first round loss, but even so – it feels like the sun has come up after a very VERY long night.

    Random thoughts from last night –

    1. Believe it or not, we are objectively a top 10 team in this league, almost no matter how you look at it. We are one of the top 4 seeds in the 2 conferences – objectively a top 8 team. We are 9th in net rating for the season. From preseason #30 to #8 or 9 with 12 games to go. Just unbelievable.

    2. Man does this team look different when Quickley is playing with confidence. The offense goes from pedestrian and predictable to literally nuclear. He draws so much attention that passing lanes open up, defense is scrambling etc. The on/off numbers with Quickley are literally ridiculous –

    Quickley + Randle on, Elfrid off -> 1036 possessions, net rating of +16.4, ORtg 120.3, DRtg 103.8

    Just for kicks:

    Elfrid + Randle on, Quickley off –> 2439 possessions, net rating of -1.7, ORtg 109.8, DRtg 111.5

    Quick was a +29 in 29 minutes last night which seems… good?

    Come playoff time I understand that Quick is going to get hunted on defense whereas Elf is bigger/stronger and less susceptible to that. But honestly then, I think the answer is to start Rose.

    3. Randle was just amazing in the 4th and OT. Last 2 assists of the game — drive from the left elbow, draw double team, kick to Reggie for 3. The last one which really put the game away was his drive into the middle, draw Capela’s help, dish to a cutting Noel for the dunk. He doesn’t make either of those plays last year — he really IS making the right play pretty much all the time. All-NBA for sure, Most Improved is a lock.

  7. RJ was mostly a dud but he did have those back to back buckets in a spot where we desperately needed them… i think…

  8. by the way – under the radar the Wizards have been on fire also – they’ve won 6 in a row and although Westbrook is still shooting pretty poorly, he’s averaging 21/14/12 in 37 min/game in April. Pretty crazy. One hot shooting stretch for him and they could make life semi-uncomfortable in a first round matchup with a rusty Nets team or an offensively challenged Sixers team. They are the 10th seed now…

  9. Ok..I officially don’t care what happens the rest of the season- as long as no one on the team suffers a catastrophic injury, some sort of loss, or covid. I am thoroughly satisfied with the season at this point. Everything else is gravy. Who knew- after last season- that this team had this much dawg in them? Which also begs the question- what in the entire fuck was Fizdale doin??

  10. I think we might be in the best spot* of the winning curve, as we’re good but not good enough to take the wins for granted, and by that we cherish every win like it’s game7 of a playoff series. What a great time to be a Knicks fan. :)

    * – well, except the end point of the winning curve (champions, or at least an NBA Finals appearance), of course.

  11. Z-man mentioned it above but we can’t discount the minutes that Obi played last night — and in fact I would say they were some of the most impactful minutes he’s played all year all while basically in a playoff atmosphere against a really good offensive team. – 2 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and a +10 in 12 minutes. Should have had another assist on the fast break pass to RJ who weirdly bricked a bunch of layups last night. But back to Obi – he was responsible for all the rest that Randle got last night. Defense was fine and obviously 6 rebounds in 12 minutes will do. Pre-ASB he was basically a net negative on the court, but post-ASB the Knicks are actually a +15 in his 214 minutes.

  12. Alan:
    Shams:

    Pelle sure had his problems with Capela last night, but that’s a tough guard for almost anyone. I doubt Pelle is signed for much money, but we at least have another big body under contract for next season.

    I think they had to sign him to a regular contract because they can only have two ten day contracts total with him. If they got good terms, they might as well tie him up at least next year too.

  13. I was checking out Suns-Sixers between breaks in our game last night when it occurred to me that Reggie Bullock is kinda like a poor man’s Mikal Bridges.

    It also occurred to me that if we sign Chris Paul or Kyle Lowry this summer we will be really damn good. But then I’d flip back and see Derrick Rose playing like he’s 24 again.

    DRose is remarkable, man. Kudos to everyone who commended that trade at the time (definitely not me!). It’s the trade of the year.

  14. Bobby Marks:
    Julius Randle has now played in 58 games.

    If the Knicks earn a spot in the top 6 or make the playoffs as a result of the play-in tournament, Randle will earn a $945K bonus.

    Randle has already earned a $945K bonus for his selection to the All-Star game.

    I like Randle’s contract, because if he plays well he can make 1.89M more. Well deserved.

  15. What a season, what a team…

    If i had known that I had to throw a tantrum to start a winning streak I would have gone mad earlier… :-)

    Randle is clearly in the running for MIP and playing like this he has a chance for third team All-NBA,
    Thibs will be in the final three for COY, IQ is a lock for the All-Rookie Team,
    RJ took a meaningful leap, Mitch progressed, Bullock, Noel, Burks, Gibson and Rose all exceeded expectations, .

    When the worst thing that happens are a disappointing (but slowly improving) lottery pick and the suffering of watching The Plague play twenty minutes a game, you’re are in a really good spot…

    Not the season we expected right?

    Next stop the Raptors, one game at the time, stay focused, stay gritty.
    New York Basketball!

  16. Frank:
    by the way – under the radar the Wizards have been on fire also – they’ve won 6 in a row and although Westbrook is still shooting pretty poorly, he’s averaging 21/14/12 in 37 min/game in April.Pretty crazy.One hot shooting stretch for him and they could make life semi-uncomfortable in a first round matchup with a rusty Nets team or an offensively challenged Sixers team.They are the 10th seed now…

    They seem primed to win the play in tournament.

    Sad to see what happened to Avdija, though. He was becoming a useful contributor after a tough start.

  17. Alan:
    Shams:

    Pelle sure had his problems with Capela last night, but that’s a tough guard for almost anyone. I doubt Pelle is signed for much money, but we at least have another big body under contract for next season.

    I’m very happy for my old acquaintance Norvel, it’s nice that he played for my favorite teams in two continents…

    As a fourth option at C you can do worse…

  18. Randle is clearly in the running for MIP and playing like this he has a chance for third team All-NBA,

    Am I crazy in suggesting he has a chance for second team? Obviously, LeBron, Giannis, and Kawhi are all ahead of him, even with Randle’s games/minutes played advantage. But who would you clearly put in that other forward spot on the second team ahead of him, assuming he’s at least B+ Julius the rest of the way?

  19. Alan: Am I crazy in suggesting he has a chance for second team? Obviously, LeBron, Giannis, and Kawhi are all ahead of him, even with Randle’s games/minutes played advantage. But who would you clearly put in that other forward spot on the second team ahead of him, assuming he’s at least B+ Julius the rest of the way?

    Hard to argue with this. He’s played the most minutes in the league, carries a ginormous load with no real other playmakers on the floor for most of his minutes, and now that it’s winning time late in the season, he’s put up 27.3/9.3/7.3 in 12 games in April. Those are Lebron numbers. And while Lebron is obviously a better passer, who would you rather take a 3 or FT between Randle and Lebron? Pretty clearly Randle…

  20. Randle has zero chance to be MVP, but if the criteria was “how many less games would the team win without him?” then he and Steph would be the clear front runners. Denver without Jokic could still be a .500 team, Milwaukee without Giannis also.

    The Knicks without Randle? I shudder to think how bad we’d be

  21. Randle is currently 10th in total points in the NBA behind only one other forward (Zion).

    Randle is tied for 7th in total rebounds in the NBA. The 7 above him are all centers.

    Randle is 11th in total assists in the NBA with only one forward ahead of him (Draymond).

    I know a lot of this comes down to durability and Thibs’ rotations but so what? That’s a huge part of being “Valuable.” Randle definitely deserves 2nd team all-NBA (and obviously MIP).

  22. Alan: Am I crazy in suggesting he has a chance for second team? Obviously, LeBron, Giannis, and Kawhi are all ahead of him, even with Randle’s games/minutes played advantage. But who would you clearly put in that other forward spot on the second team ahead of him, assuming he’s at least B Julius the rest of the way?

    No, you’re not crazy at all,
    on merit alone he’s probably a worthy second team candidate,
    but consider this list:
    Jokic, Giannis, Kawhi, Lillard, LeBron, Davis, Mitchell, Embiid, Brown, Tatum, Harden, Irving, Young, Zion, Doncic (Durant missed too many games… or not?).

    At the end I think it will depend on how three things unfolded:

    1. The rules. Are All-NBA still tied to positions (2 guards 2 forwards, 1 center)? I don’t remember and could make a lot of difference.

    2. At which number voters cut off missed games? For instance, Is Anthony Davis still eligible despite missing more than two months of the season? With a 72 games season how many games you need to play to be in the running?

    3. Reputation. How many voters really watch Randle play as often as we do? How many of them will vote on name recognition?

  23. It’s getting obvious this team is one high usage high efficiency starter away from being REALLY good.

    The offense looks much better when either Rose, Quickley, or Burks is on the court having a big night to pick of the slack because we often have one too many lower usage players on the court. With Burks out, I knew someone was going to have to step up or be more consistent. The pressure was really on Quickley to get back in the grove. He rose to the occasion and Rose is still bringing it. Rose was such a critical addition.

  24. All-NBA is still 2 guards, 2 forwards, 1 center.

    I don’t think there are rules about games missed etc. Voters can vote for whoever they want.

  25. If we just add Lowry to this group and Mitch comes back healthy, we really could do some damage.

    Starting lineup: Lowry, RJ, Bullock, Randle, Mitch
    – assuming RJ’s shooting is for real, that is 4 ~40% 3 point shooters and 3 guys who can credibly handle the ball and playmake. And everyone plays defense.

    Off bench: Quickley, Rose, Burks, Obi, Noel, Taj prob all get minutes. That is a high quality bench.

    That’s not even counting the players we draft.

    I am thinking Lowry is the way to go. He prob won’t demand more than 2 years. CP3 would be better but he is older and likely would want like 3/90 to come.

    And the best thing about bringing back Rose (and having Quickley) is that you are somewhat protected against Lowry’s play falling off in year 2.

  26. DRose is remarkable, man. Kudos to everyone who commended that trade at the time (definitely not me!). It’s the trade of the year.

    I don’t think it was so much that anyone was expecting him to play this well, but we needed 2 things desperately. We needed another PG and we needed someone else that could create a shot and score. He does both those things. The long term cost was minimal to fill two needs now. If you are trying to win games, change the perception of the franchise, maybe get into the playoffs, and attract other players to NY, it was a very small price to pay to get Rose.

  27. Lowry is probably the better option but watching CP3 play with Mitch would be sublime.

  28. Here’s the case for Julius Randle’s All-NBA 2nd team chances;

    If we finish ahead of the Celtics and Heat, you can’t put Butler, Brown, and Tatum ahead of him.
    Paul George has been awesome but he’s also the 2nd banana to Kawhi Leonard.
    Zion’s Pelicans are going to miss the playoffs and we swept them behind strong Julius Randle performances.

    That 4th seed could win Thibs an MVP, win Julius Randle an MIP, and land Julius Randle on the All-NBA 2nd team. What a time to be a Knicks fan.

  29. Randle’s got a WS/48 of .148 and a BPM of 4. Those are good numbers, but on a rate basis he’s not an all NBA caliber player. I guess what you think of him depends on how much you value his minute load and the fact that he’s carrying kind of a shitty offense. He’s having (In a different way) a pretty Melo-esque season on offense. Lots of usage at average efficiency for a team without anyone else who can create much offense.

  30. One thing nobody really talks about with the Lowry free agency is that he and DeRozan are best friends and would probably love to team up somewhere. Would you guys be opposed to adding both DeRozan and Lowry on 2-3 year deals?

  31. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    One thing nobody really talks about with the Lowry free agency is that he and DeRozan are best friends and would probably love to team up somewhere. Would you guys be opposed to adding both DeRozan and Lowry on 2-3 year deals?

    What does Derozan really add for us though? Our spacing has improved of late but throwing in Derozan seems like it would knock us back a few steps there.

  32. The Glass Half Rebuilt:
    One thing nobody really talks about with the Lowry free agency is that he and DeRozan are best friends and would probably love to team up somewhere. Would you guys be opposed to adding both DeRozan and Lowry on 2-3 year deals?

    I would not want Derozan.
    Lots of guys are buddies. Literally zero teams out there that want to blow all their cap space on those two as a package unless they’re taking big discounts.

  33. Frank:
    All-NBA is still 2 guards, 2 forwards, 1 center.

    I don’t think there are rules about games missed etc.Voters can vote for whoever they want.

    You’re right but starting from last year they “relaxed” the rules allowing players to be eligible at multiple position (Kawhi as a guard or as a forward and so on) that count “as a whole” in the points total.

    https://medium.com/sportsraid/how-much-does-positional-flexibility-change-nba-awards-basketball-history-centers-2020-davis-lebron-kawhi-b2d4008729ba

    I could be positive on Randle been a top-ten player this year, I just don’t trust the voters…

    :-)

  34. Mike Honcho: What does Derozan really add for us though? Our spacing has improved of late but throwing in Derozan seems like it would knock us back a few steps there.

    I watch DeRozan play and see so much RJ Barrett that I don’t think it’s necessary, I’m just wondering if DeRozan would be a deal breaker. For me, I’d much rather give up some draft picks and go get Jalen Brunson from Dallas than give $30M+ a year to Lowry in the first place so I wouldn’t go get the 2016 Raptors backcourt.

  35. Lowry has been trending down for a while now, I mean it might make sense to take a shot on a one year deal with him and hope he can have a year more like two years ago than this season but no, I would not want to give Kyle Lowry a 2-3 year contract (I’m assuming we’re talking for big money)

  36. Frank: I would not want Derozan.
    Lots of guys are buddies. Literally zero teams out there that want to blow all their cap space on those two as a package unless they’re taking big discounts.

    Just playing devil’s advocate, but you don’t think Pat Riley would love to add DeRozan and Lowry to Butler and Adebayo?

  37. cybersoze: we cherish every win like it’s game7 of a playoff series

    One of the funniest arcs of the season is how we all started with “like it’s game 7 of a playoff series” as an angry rejoinder at Thib’s insane minutes distribution and lineups. Then it became a statement of irritation but grudging respect. And now it’s a thing we cherish…

  38. The Glass Half Rebuilt: I watch DeRozan play and see so much RJ Barrett that I don’t think it’s necessary, I’m just wondering if DeRozan would be a deal breaker. For me, I’d much rather give up some draft picks and go get Jalen Brunson from Dallas than give $30M+ a year to Lowry in the first place so I wouldn’t go get the 2016 Raptors backcourt.

    Gotcha. I would also agree that getting Brunson would be better long term than Lowry.

  39. Hubert: DRose is remarkable, man. Kudos to everyone who commended that trade at the time (definitely not me!). It’s the trade of the year.

    I agree with you on the DRose trade.

    In fact, I am ok with the Plague/DRose as the pg tandem going into next year unless we can find someone significantly better. we should not overpay for someone who is marginally better.

    I was thinking about the Knick’s pg tandem in the past 30+ years – Jackson/Strictland, Childs/Ward. I think Plague/DRose compares favorably with Childs/Ward, although Jackson/Strictland was superior. What do you guys think?

  40. Why get Derozan when we’re clearly going to sign Kawhi after we get to the ECF and the Clips lose in the second round?

    Speaking of Derozan, it was a pretty common thing here to say that RJ’s ceiling was Derozan and this was kind of a backhanded compliment because Derozan isn’t a good 3 point shooter. I think Derozan is one of those guys that is criminally underrated but its funny because RJ is now a better 3 point shooter than Derozan in only his second year. He’s literally fixed or is well on his way to fixing the 2 biggest things that were going to hold him back from being a real superstar in only his second year (3 point shooting and free throws). If he can add a pull up 3 to his game this off season and continue to improve the 3 point shooting and passing, the kid’s ceiling could legit be perrenial all-star.

    And man, its just so exciting right now to be a Knicks fan. I would much rather have this feeling than a mercs team thrown together that instantly becomes a title favorite but only has a few years as a window and no home grown stars. And I know Randle isn’t technically home grown but GD we signed him when he wasn’t a star and now he is, that’s pretty homegrown to me!

    Maybe its years of ineptitude. Maybe its a year plus being in quarantine, the crazy politics of the last 5 years and especially last year. Maybe its the personal tragedy I’ve endured this last year…but right now I am literally almost crying tears of joy over how good the Knicks are. It feels so damn good to be a fan of this team again.

  41. Randle’s got a WS/48 of .148 and a BPM of 4. Those are good numbers, but on a rate basis he’s not an all NBA caliber player. I guess what you think of him depends on how much you value his minute load and the fact that he’s carrying kind of a shitty offense.

    I think for something like this, you absolutely have to count the minutes load, and the games played. A lot of these guys are more talented than Randle and more obvious building blocks. But one of the best abilities is availability, and he is there night after goddamn night, barely taking breathers. For the purposes of recognizing the best players over a season of basketball, I think that matters, even if his per-minute stats aren’t as good as some of his competitors.

  42. Deeefense: It’s getting obvious this team is one high usage high efficiency starter away from being REALLY good.

    Strat’s my only friend at the Bradley Beal party.

    Right now we’re sipping scotch and reminiscing about the time we spent together at Camp Ntilikina.

  43. Z-Man, no worries. With how intense the game was there wasn’t a good time for us to take out our phones and coordinate a meet up. As more and more of us are vaccinated I definitely think some kind of viewing party for the playoffs is in order.

    Re: Rose, most of the complaints about the trade weren’t that he wouldn’t help to some degree (to be clear, all of the trade’s critics, myself very much included, underrated the degree), but rather that from a process standpoint it was unwise to give up future assets for someone whose utility to the team was limited to this season.

    I think we can all agree the calculus regarding the wisdom of making additions for the benefit of this season alone has shifted in a pretty major way since the trade. The positive attention this team is generating could easily bestow tangible benefits that make that Hornets’ pick well-worth trading. Props to anyone who thought that was a possibility at the time of the trade, at best I viewed it as a very remote one.

  44. DRed:
    Randle’s got a WS/48 of .148 and a BPM of 4.Those are good numbers, but on a rate basis he’s not an all NBA caliber player.I guess what you think of him depends on how much you value his minute load and the fact that he’s carrying kind of a shitty offense.He’s having (In a different way) a pretty Melo-esque season on offense.Lots of usage at average efficiency for a team without anyone else who can create much offense.

    11th in VORP, though. But yes, behind all the top forwards, Lebron, Kawhi, Butler, Giannis. He’s more solidly a top-20 guy than a top-ten guy… But he’s all ours!

  45. LeBron tweeted “And the league is simply better off when the Knicks are winning.”

    We will see in the offseason how tangible the effects are of our improved reputation, but we have clearly stopped being a clown show.

  46. Strat’s my only friend at the Bradley Beal party.

    I’m not fully sold on Beal, especially at the probable price. But there were a few things I wasn’t 100% sold on that Thibs made work better than I expected. I think Beal would wind up being a little more efficient in NY if he didn’t have to carry such a huge load, but I wonder about the defense. I don’t watch them play much. I know I’ve seen him play good defense on occasion, but can he do it day to day? It’s really the price I worry about most. But yeah, we need a guy that can light it up like Beal.

  47. Zach Harper in his last piece on The Athletic has Randle 4th in the MVP standings (after Jokic, Embiid and Steph) here’s a snippet:

    “ The New York Knicks forward has been so good, and he’s pretty much a lock for making an All-NBA team. In fact, sneaking in with the Third Team doesn’t seem all that feasible. He should be higher, as he’s played well enough to be at least a Second Team guy. His leadership has melded perfectly with Tom Thibodeau’s coaching. ”

    He has Thibs third in the COY (after Snyder and Williams)

  48. It’s interesting to think about what the roster might look like next year. With three good picks in a draft I don’t think there will have major trade up opportunities (there’s a very siloed top-5, with 6-20 or so being in flux) I’m inclined to think we’ll add at least 2 rookies, maybe 3.

    The only completely painless cut from the current roster is *looks around* Frank. His enormous cap hold will be renounced and that will be that. The only reason I’m not including Knox in that category is because he’s signed for next year, so cutting him wouldn’t be “painless” per se as we’d have to find a trade. Elfrid Payton sucks, but it would be hard to characterize losingour starting point guard as “painless.” We still need to see the details on the multiyear deal Pelle apparently signed last night–my guess is the years beyond this one are non-guaranteed (it’s nice to have a front office that lets you to assume they did something competent).

    There are the two-way slots, but it would be stupid to use those on either of our first-round picks, and probably our first second-round pick, given how little team control they convey.

    With Randle, Barrett, Toppin, Quickley, Knox, and Mitch (probably, I think) under contract, plus two rookies (hopefully three), we’d have 6-7 roster spots to allot between Noel, Burks, Bullock, Rose, Taj, Payton, Pelle, plus any new additions.

    Payton and Pelle have contributed by far the least to our success out of that group, so they seem like easy candidates to not be back. The more interesting question is how do we split up the remaining roster spots between the other 5 and new additions? Prioritizing the first three makes the most sense to me even though both Taj and Rose have been huge for us. That would give us 3-4 roster spots to play with, but we’d be scarily thin at point guard so you might want to add Rose to that list.

    In: 2-3 rookies, 2-3 free agents.

    Out: Frank, Payton, Pelle, and Taj.

  49. Zach Harper in his last piece on The Athletic has Randle 4th in the MVP standings (after Jokic, Embiid and Steph) here’s a snippet:

    “ The New York Knicks forward has been so good, and he’s pretty much a lock for making an All-NBA team. In fact, sneaking in with the Third Team doesn’t seem all that feasible. He should be higher, as he’s played well enough to be at least a Second Team guy. His leadership has melded perfectly with Tom Thibodeau’s coaching. ”

    He has Thibs third in the COY (after Snyder and Williams)

    Plus he has Randle as MIP and Quickley honorable mention (and First Team) in the ROY.

  50. Using some of the assets we acquired to land Brunson and Ball >> emptying the coffers to land Bradley Beal. Give me two way guys who will move the ball, shoot threes, and give RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley room to grow as scorers.

  51. Adding no free agents but drafting kids aiming to replace (aging) DRose and Elf. We win the championship in two years.

  52. Also, um Toppin has been good in his limited minutes.

    I noticed this in the Dallas game too. He didn’t score any point but in that 4th quarter stretch when Randle sat and RJ took over, he grabbed like 4 rebounds in a 3 minute stretch. He’s contributing and if he can continue to do that so that Randle has a bit more rest, its huge for us. Don’t count Obi out!

  53. thenoblefacehumper: With Randle, Barrett, Toppin, Quickley, Knox, and Mitch (probably, I think) under contract, plus two rookies (hopefully three), we’d have 6-7 roster spots to allot between Noel, Burks, Bullock, Rose, Taj, Payton, Pelle, plus any new additions.

    Easy to cut: Taj or Pelle.

    With Noel & Mitch healthy we only need 1 guy, zero if we draft a big with any of our 4 picks. I could see Pelle sticking if Noel gets big $$$ elsewhere.

    That pretty much clears the log jam by itself.

  54. Max:
    Zach Harper in his last piece on The Athletic has Randle 4th in the MVP standings (after Jokic, Embiid and Steph) here’s a snippet:

    “The New York Knicks forward has been so good, and he’s pretty much a lock for making an All-NBA team. In fact, sneaking in with the Third Team doesn’t seem all that feasible. He should be higher, as he’s played well enough to be at least a Second Team guy. His leadership has melded perfectly with Tom Thibodeau’s coaching.”

    He has Thibs third in the COY (after Snyder and Williams)

    Clearly, Alan called him and said “Randle? All NBA 3rd Team? Are you crazy?? He’s All NBA 2nd Team at least, if not 1st Team” :D

  55. conboy: In fact, I am ok with the Plague/DRose as the pg tandem going into next year

    Hard no. I really, really wanted to like Elf this year. But for every 1. great drive to the hoop he has, he also has 2. a blown layup, 3. a clanked jumper, 4. a lazy-ass turnover, and 5. a missed pass ahead to an open player under the hoop. So that means (does math) 80% of the time I’m pissed at him. It’s exhausting.

  56. Raven: Hard no. I really, really wanted to like Elf this year. But for every 1. great drive to the hoop he has, he also has 2. a blown layup, 3. a clanked jumper, 4. a lazy-ass turnover, and 5. a missed pass ahead to an open player under the hoop. So that means (does math) 80% of the time I’m pissed at him. It’s exhausting.

    With Randle getting more comfortable running the offense, I think we should seriously consider Burks or IQ taking over PG next year alongside a rookie & Rose. God damn Rose is making me look bad by playing well and I love it!!!

  57. I really hope we can trade up for Davion Mitchell. He seems like a perfect fit at the point with his shooting, passing, and defense. Plus he’s got the “DAWG” mentality. Unfortunately, it sounds like he has risen on a lot of boards.

  58. Such fun times!!!

    It’s good they’re banking these wins now ahead of their long West Coast trip next month – they’ll be on the road while I’ll be in back in NY for about a week :-(

    I’ll state the obvious: making the playoffs makes this season an overwhelming success, and holding onto the 4 (or 5 seed) gives the Knicks a legit shot to win a 1st round series… who the hell would’ve dared to type those words back in December?

    As many have said, we need a point guard and at least one more good shooting/playmaking wing. With that said, what really excites me is that a significant chunk of improvement for next season will come internally: RJ, IQ, and I’m throwing Obi in there too because he’s been giving some decent minutes lately and (as I’ve said ad nauseum lol) he absolutely could use a full NBA offseason. And after reading that Julius Randle-penned article, along with the work ethic of RJ, I can’t imagine these guys NOT being gym rats over the summer.

    Very fans of sports teams overall understand our pain. As long as this team keeps getting better and continues to be run well, the world will not be ready for the awakening of the Knick fan out of our slumber.

  59. I really hope we can trade up for Davion Mitchell. He seems like a perfect fit at the point with his shooting, passing, and defense. Plus he’s got the “DAWG” mentality. Unfortunately, it sounds like he has risen on a lot of boards.

    Macri’s podcast yesterday had some draft analyst on to talk specifically about the point guard and combo guard prospects, and the guy was not at all a fan of Davion. Felt his ceiling was rotation backup at best due to limited athleticism, among other reasons. He said that despite our historic need at the position, this doesn’t seem like a year for us to take a point guard in the first round given where our two picks will likely be, and that the value in that range will be with wings, where we also need help. (He also really likes Jaden Springer, calling his shooting “nuclear,” and seems agnostic on both Sharife Cooper and Josh Giddey, given their shooting issues.) I don’t know this guy from Adam, but we have IQ, who can at least play some point guard. We are likely to bring back Rose, and will almost certainly sign and/or trade for a veteran to start at the position. Given that, I don’t hate the idea of focusing on shooting and/or shot creation with those picks, or maybe spend one of them on a big man if we’re not planning to keep both Mitch and Noel.

    Unrelated: I told my son at lunch today that the Knicks now have players named Nerlens Noel and Norvel Pelle, and he laughed and asked why. Then he asked if both were important, and when I said Pelle was not, he said we should just get rid of him now, because it’s silly to have both those names on the team.

  60. I feel like we have a bumper crop of interestingly named players this year. Even “Julius Randle” is a fairly distinctive name, let alone your Elfrid Paytons, Norvelle Pelles and Nerlens Noels of the world. RJ would probably count as well if we actually called him Rowan.

  61. ess-dog:
    I really hope we can trade up for Davion Mitchell. He seems like a perfect fit at the point with his shooting, passing, and defense. Plus he’s got the “DAWG” mentality. Unfortunately, it sounds like he has risen on a lot of boards.

    Jared Butler is the Baylor guard you want, not Davion Mitchell.

  62. Alan: seems agnostic on both Sharife Cooper and Josh Giddey, given their shooting issues

    Maybe from a draft prospect perspective they aren’t worthwhile, but I’d argue drafting a PG almost always makes sense given how expensive modern PGs are once their rookie deal is over.

    A quick look at their numbers & Sharife Cooper has pretty good ft%, which makes me think he’ll end up being a good enough NBA shooter. Tankathon projects him at .352 from 3.

    Alan: Unrelated: I told my son at lunch today that the Knicks now have players named Nerlens Noel and Norvel Pelle, and he laughed and asked why. Then he asked if both were important, and when I said Pelle was not, he said we should just get rid of him now, because it’s silly to have both those names on the team.

    I’m going to need to disagree with your kid and say that’s exactly why we need to keep Norvel & Noel. Kids have all sorts of stuff backwards. (obviously joking, but it’s funny how these things change)

  63. An underrated point about surpassing expectations and making the playoffs is that it really removes a lot of pressure from the front office after a quiet offseason and trade deadline. Imagine the tabloids if the Knicks had collapsed in the second half after being positioned to make a playoff run. I think they would be under pressure to do something not very smart in this offseason, whereas now they really have the option to continue building slowly if there are no good deals to be had.

  64. Obi is still a little too peripheral on offense for my liking, where he just floats on the perimeter or more often hides out in the corner. And when he does post up, his teammates rarely look for him.. But his recent improvement is palpable – good passing, aggressive rebounding, and he is really moving his feet on defense. I finally think the odds of him minimally becoming a consistently useful player for us are quite good

  65. I don’t think it was so much that anyone was expecting him to play this well, but we needed 2 things desperately. We needed another PG and we needed someone else that could create a shot and score. He does both those things. The long term cost was minimal to fill two needs now. If you are trying to win games, change the perception of the franchise, maybe get into the playoffs, and attract other players to NY, it was a very small price to pay to get Rose.

    This seems like a little revisionist history to me. Maybe you were vocal about this from the start, but a significant majority on this site were negative on the trade (rose is a ball hog, this will kill quickley’s playing time and development, “thibs gonna thibs”, and on and on). I for one can honestly say I wasn’t expecting Rose to be anywhere near this good for us. He is arguably my biggest positive surprise this year outside of Randle (although Noel and Quick are up there too)

  66. Things I didn’t think I’d hear at the beginning of the season:

    1) Julius Randle should be in the MVP running.
    2) Man, can RJ Barrett shoot threes!
    3) Where would we be without our man Derrick Rose?
    4) We need to pay Bullock and Burks.
    5) Who should we take with our #21 draft pick?
    6) Ho hum. Another day, another win.
    7) Mitch who?

  67. Forget the trades for vets and the free agents, please.

    Find us a point guard (or two!) in the draft, you geniuses.

    And, as for our many exquisite names —

    We must acknowledge Obadiah (don’t call me Obi) Toppin!

  68. I know Randle isn’t technically home grown but GD we signed him when he wasn’t a star and now he is, that’s pretty homegrown to me!

    i think you got something there swift…julius definitely feels like one of our own guys now, lakers and pels gave up on him, and now we got him in a knicks uni…

  69. Re: PG situation for next year. The way this season has turned out has really changed our timeline IMHO. We have a ton of cap space next year because we have Randle, Noel, Burks, and Bullock on below-market-value contracts and a bunch of dudes playing well on rookie deals. Noel, Burks, and Bullock will be due for raises, Randle will get a huge raise the following year, and then it’s extension time for RJ soon after. It’s pretty unlikely that a rookie PG will be a useful player next season, especially where we are drafting. We have enough picks that we can take a PG with one of them, but to think that that player will be playing a lot of minutes for Thibs on a playoff team is asking too much. We need to use our cap space this offseason on a lead ball handler. Thankfully there are a few that are really good and will presumably be on the market (CP3, Lowry, Conley). I strongly believe one of those 3 has to be the starting PG of the New York Knicks next season.

  70. mike conley is old as dirt, but, having a nice bounce back season for the jazz, if not lowry, maybe conley could get us through the next couple of years…

  71. i was going to post my big board for april but we kept winning so never got a chance to…

    but a few names to keep an eye on that haven’t been mentioned much.. especially since it looks like our picks are going to be a little later than initially thought:

    Tre Mann – he’s another ‘is this guy really a pg’ kind of guy in this draft.. and usually that means they aren’t… but he’s absolutely a great scorer with a great dribble drive game… the thing that pushes him towards the latter part of the first rd is whether or not his soph year was for real considering his mediocre freshman year… at back half of the first rd it’s worth gambling it’s not ….

    Kessler Edwards – to me he does a lot of what bullock does … great size.. good catch and shoot… solid defender…. and has some potential to be a little more than a narrow 3 and D guy.. he’s getting some good buzz lately .. i think he’s probably deserving of a mid first grade so potentially a solid pick…

    the more we win though the more i feel pretty uneasy about keeping our picks … i do think there’s a unique opportunity given how much of the first round is in flux to land a couple of good players and even nab a rotation guy with our 2nds.. so i hope we do keep them…

  72. I mean yeah 4th place is great

    But there’s a more cogent reason I’m happy we won this one

    Imagine we ended our win streak juuuust after I came back from my work-related hiatus

    But no the Cronin jinx legend lives on and the Farfa curse didn’t catch

  73. obi does seem to be more useful out on the court of late…great focus on rebounding, and that long outlet from rose and the breakaway dunk by obi was sweet…we don’t get a lot of easy points…

  74. So, the odds that Frank breaks the Charlie Ward curse are getting slimmer by the day, right?

  75. Imagine we ended our win streak juuuust after I came back from my work-related hiatus

    I didn’t want to say it yesterday bc it was nice to have you back but I was definitely thinking it.

  76. In today’s games related to us, it’d be nice if the Suns beat the Celtics and the Bulls beat the Hornets.

  77. Lonzo Ball. He is a good PG and he’s young. The one knock on him is he doesn’t penetrate that great (ha) but you know what…we got RJ and Randle for that. He’s a great passer, good 3 point shooter, strong defender, would help us score more transition points. And he’s YOUNG. Lonzo fits perfectly with RJ’s timeline. PG’s do take time to develop and we could literally hit on Lonzo like we did with Randle. You get him, make the 2 first round picks, resign the vets and roll with largely the same team as this year but with a potentially big upgrade at the starting PG spot.

    It seems like a no brainer to me.

  78. I really like Lonzo but having someone who can really run the offense as the primary would be better I think… Randle has done amazingly well but having him on the ball all the time negates how great he is as a finisher and how great he would be on the short roll if he could play off a great shooter/initiator.

    Speaking of that, we need more PNRs with him and Quickley.

    Let’s say the choice is 2 years $50M for Lowry (Macri floated that #) vs 4 for 80 for Lonzo. I think you’d have to choose Lowry, right?

    Actually – let’s say these are the choices:

    A) CP3 at 3 for 90
    B) Lowry at 2 for 50
    C) Lonzo at 4 for 80
    D) none of the above

    what would people choose?

  79. Lonzo also likely costs us a draft pick in a sign-and-trade, unless we just assume NOLA won’t match a big enough offer sheet. That has to be factored in.

  80. Mike Honcho: I feel like we have a bumper crop of interestingly named players this year. Even “Julius Randle” is a fairly distinctive name, let alone your Elfrid Paytons, Norvelle Pelles and Nerlens Noels of the world. RJ would probably count as well if we actually called him Rowan.

    Having Immanuel and Obadiah on the team is like taking a walk through a Revolutionary War-era cemetery in Massachusetts.

  81. D) none of the above

    derrick rose + ayo dosunmo

    then back up the truck for zach lavine in 2022

  82. djphan: derrick rose + ayo dosunmo

    then back up the truck for zach lavine in 2022

    One of the comps I saw for Ayo is Elfrid Payton so maybe it’s destiny.

  83. the lakers to pels to knicks path worked well with julius…maybe it bodes well for lonzo as well…

  84. Macri’s draft expert is a college kid. I’ve listened to their podcast (Prep2Pro) a couple times, and they seem to know a lot about the college kids but they don’t have a ton of experience. They hated Haliburton last year, for example.

  85. djphan: derrick rose + ayo dosunmo

    then back up the truck for zach lavine in 2022

    Early returns say Vucevic isn’t gonna keep Lavine in Chi. I’m not sure that continues, but I’m in favor of this plan. Lavine has been excellent.

    And generally, 2022 has much better FAs than 2021.

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