SI.com: What’s Next for the Knicks Now and Beyond?

Our old friend, Chris Herring, is at SI.com now, and he has a nice piece up about the Knicks that, well, I dunno, man, I just needed something for a new thread since the Knicks don’t play again until Sunday.

What’s the next step for the formidable Knicks, both now and beyond this year?

For now just about everything starts with forward Julius Randle. He was a tornadic turnover machine last season, coughing up more miscues in one-on-one situations than any other volume scorer in the league. Yet after a tireless offseason, Randle’s been a completely different, All-NBA type player this year, averaging 32.2 points, 8.5 boards and 5.2 assists on 50.7% from three the past two and a half weeks.

The challenge here is that opposing teams likely won’t let him wreak havoc that way in a playoff series.

Yes, at times Randle calls his own number in the middle floor, where it’s tougher to double-team him. But clubs like the Celtics and Heat will send aggressive traps at him when he’s serving as a pick-and-roll ballhandler. Similarly, when Randle’s acting as the roll man, defenses will sell out on him and simply dare guard Elfrid Payton to shoot floaters, which he connects on just 38% of the time, according to Synergy.

Derrick Rose, who’s knocked down his wildly flat midrange jumpers at a career-best rate this year and created a bevy of “Kobe Assists,” presents one obvious way to get around the Payton problem.

More than anything, though, Randle—equal parts freight train and maestro—will have to let the game come to him if and when teams seek to force the ball out of his hands. That means trusting his teammates in the corner, where the Knicks have launched a greater share of triples than any other NBA team thus far.

“Knocking those down is crucial, because it makes the defense change what it’s doing. It’s a huge help to [Randle] and our team,” says second-year wing RJ Barrett, who’s enjoying a breakout season of his own.

New York was dead-last in the NBA, at 32.8% from three, when left wide open in January. The club ranked fourth in February at 42.9% on those shots. Then ranked eighth in March at 41.9%. No one’s been better than the Knicks in April, a month when they’ve hit 48.4% of their wide-open treys.

Lots more good stuff at the link. Go read it. Herring is great. And I adore that he used the term “Kobe assists.”

My one criticism is that he does one of those sort of, “I’m not saying, I’m just saying” bits at the end where he doesn’t really actually answer his own headline question as to what he thinks is next for the Knicks. It’s obviously one of the questions that has been dominating our mindspace for some time now, even as much as we’ve been enjoying the winning streak, “What comes next?” is an important question and it’s fascinating just how open-ended everything is. In a good way, I’d say, but I think there are some obvious pitfalls out there, and that’s what I would have liked to have seen Herring address a bit more. Still, it’s a good piece and it’s always nice to see the Knicks get praised in places like SI.com.

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130 thoughts to “SI.com: What’s Next for the Knicks Now and Beyond?”

  1. We got the coach and the knowledgeable supporting cast.
    We fixed the D and started playing serious Teamball.
    We got the Frenchman, the Argentinian, the passing bigman.
    Now we need the 2Way dominant wing and we’re set to go the Spurs sustainable Champ way!

  2. Alan:
    What does this have to do with great sitcoms of the 1960s, Brian?

    yeah…and adding one more…Mork and Mindy…

  3. Love the Simpsons and need to rewatch BBC’s “sick” one called “The League of Gentlemen”.

  4. What does this have to do with great sitcoms of the 1960s, Brian?

    i saw your twitter thing the other day about almost famous and you heading in to work – you’re kind of making me think that the twitter stuff could be fun, it sure seems like you’re having fun with it…up til now here and some video game forum is the only like online social stuff i’ve engaged in…

  5. what’s next for the knicks? as thibs so accurately put it: the houston rockets

    i would like a chance to see this new pg guy on the court before the end of the season…

    i’m intrigued, he has nothing to do with caa or kentucky…so much talent now throughout the world, things didn’t work out so well with frank, but i really enjoyed prigs while he was here…

  6. Alan:
    What does this have to do with great sitcoms of the 1960s, Brian?

    Much like the dramatic irony of 60s sitcoms, the audience of the Knicks often knows things the management didn’t for the past 20 years. This era of Knicks management and the dramatic irony that ruled TV starting in the 60s both seem to be at their end.

    TV & the Knicks must move onto something new, a world where management & TV show characters know more than their audiences.

  7. “I didn’t start the fire”

    Well, I actually kinda did, throwing Alan a bone for his great piece on TV and his sitcom rankings in RS.

    Speaking of “we didn’t start the fire” if we ever have a thread for worst songs ever written, that would be right at the top of the list, along with Uptown Girl. I generally like Billy Joel, but man, did he put out some awful dreck.

  8. I am running late for the sitcom conversation train, but glad I caught it! Because I generally dislike television shows and rarely get hooked into one, but it’s happened recently and I’ve been wanting to brag about it here and find out where it ranks on Alan’s lists. But in googling it just now, it doesn’t appear to be on any of Alan’s lists, so, once again, I seem to be alone on an island with my obscure tastes. But, for the sake of adding to the conversation, I’ll go ahead and name it: The Mindy Project. I’ve been laughing though every episode for the past few weeks with my wife. That Episode where the weird southern OB gets chlamydia and tries not to disclose it to his girlfriend is one of the funniest episodes of television I’ve ever seen, I wanted to rewind it and watch it again the second it ended.

  9. From the last thread, because this can’t go unnoticed:

    Z-man: My 16yo feathered hairdo was 100% Vinnie Barbarino…

    A photo or it didn’t happen! :P

  10. Donnie Walsh: I wanted to rewind it and watch it again the second it ended.

    Rewind… you made me remember the VHS tapes… and the times when i returned the tape having forgot to rewind it back to the beginning and the guys at the videoclub would give us a speech on how we were making them waste time rewind it themselves, bla, bla… good times!

  11. pepper:
    another forgotten gem…Laverne and Shirley…i mean lenny and squiggy…c’mon…

    Did you know that the guy who played Lenny is the same actor who played Mike on Breaking Bad as well as on Better Call Saul?

  12. “DudesTown
    April 30, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    Did you know that the guy who played Lenny is the same actor who played Mike on Breaking Bad as well as on Better Call Saul?”

    *

    “The guy” is David St. Hubbins.

  13. cybersoze:
    From the last thread, because this can’t go unnoticed:

    A photo or it didn’t happen! :P

    Like the Colossus of Rhodes, Hanging Gardens, Atlanti, it’s probably better in the imagination…alas, nothing left but skant ruins…

  14. DudesTown: Did you know that the guy who played Lenny is the same actor who played Mike on Breaking Bad as well as on Better Call Saul?

    you sure about that? it was michael mckean…he wasn’t mike but maybe some other dude on there

  15. pepper: you sure about that?it was michael mckean…he wasn’t mike but maybe some other dude on there

    Oh wait. Lenny played Chuck McGill, Saul’s very eccentric brother so, never mind.

  16. i was actually just talking to someone the other day about the better call saul finale from season 3…wow, what an absolutely brilliant performance (and great writing, set, etc.) from michael mckean…no question, one of the most powerful season finales i can remember…

  17. alas, nothing left but skant ruins…

    i barely got any grass left on the green myself, and yet still i get this weird alfalfa thing going on if i don’t put gel on it…

  18. If you wanna murder me without getting caught just lock me in a room and force me to piano rock, elton john or Billy Joel.High pitched Opera also paralyses me

  19. The Giants traded down again?

    actually, another nice trade – dropped 8 spots for a 3rd round pick next year…

    hopefully when ownership finally shitcans this stubborn old man – we’ll at least have some extra picks to re-re-rebuild

  20. geo: actually, another nice trade – dropped 8 spots for a 3rd round pick next year…

    hopefully when ownership finally shitcans this stubborn old man – we’ll at least have some extra picks to re-re-rebuild

    They’re having a great draft….for next year.

  21. Re: sitcoms I second everything swiftandabundant posted, lots of great shows.

    Some greats I didn’t see posted are VEEP and of course it’s UK origin The Thick of It. On the UK front Peep Show also great. Also really loved Bojack Horseman and Silicon Valley. Maybe these aren’t technically sitcoms but the Australian show Please Like Me is definitely in my top 10 all time sitcoms.

  22. Hawks and Celtics getting their asses kicked

    As Brian always points out , we do pretty damn well on nights we don’t play!

  23. geo: actually, another nice trade – dropped 8 spots for a 3rd round pick next year…

    hopefully when ownership finally shitcans this stubborn old man – we’ll at least have some extra picks to re-re-rebuild

    Azeez sounds like a great pick. “The best pass rusher in the draft.”

  24. honestly, those are two good picks so far…

    it’s been a while since i’ve checked, but, it feels like at least since 2010 we haven’t had but a small handful of players stick with the club and produce over time…

  25. Anyone watch Lodge 49 on AMC? I’m late to it and am totally loving it but it sucks that AMC didn’t renew it for a 3rd season. And it has a great psychedelic soundtrack, Knew Your Knicks.

  26. By the way, though I rarely get drawn in to hour long TV dramas, there are a handful of half-hour comedies that I have fallen in love with over the years. But it’s a fine line. For example, I never liked Seinfeld, but I adore Curb. Greatest thing ever made for television as far as I’m concerned. I really, really liked Arrested Development (pre-redux), but don’t understand the allure of Schitts Creek from what I’ve seen (not much). I don’t care for the aim-for-the-middle one camera shows like Modern Family and Good Place, but I loved 30 Rock when it was on. And the nicest surprise of any show was when I begrudgingly watched an episode of Parks and Recreation in support of my friend who had a recurring role on it, and afterwards I started watching from the beginning of the series and fell completely in love with everyone on it and wanted to move to Pawnee. I kind of am feeling that way about the Mindy Kaling show, in that even the throw-away characters turn completely lovable in short time. But aside from the obligatory Simpsons and Muppet Show, which I assume are beloved by everyone, that’s about the entirety of my TV fandom.

    And, just so people reading to the end of my TV Comedy manifesto get something for their effort, there is one other show I love, and I’m guessing no one here, including Alan, have seen. It’s called Klown and it’s basically the “Danish Curb Your Enthusiasm”, which my step-father-in-law turned me onto. I don’t think it’s available in the States, but if you can get hold of the DVDs and a regionally coded DVD player, you are in for a fucking treat. It is beyond hilarious, and so awesome to watch a foreign culture take a crack at the Larry David game.

  27. #Anyone watch Lodge 49 on AMC? I’m late to it and am totally loving it but it sucks that AMC didn’t renew it for a 3rd season. And it has a great psychedelic soundtrack, Knew Your Knicks.#

    Just checked the trailer and found a 62 tracks playlist from the show. This shit is Psych LOADED!
    Thanks man! Idk about the video but the audio’s rocking!

  28. JK47:
    The Mets are unwatchable. 0-9 with RISP in this game, again against a scrub pitcher

    What a brutal first month for Lindor, who’s hitting like .189. And McNeil. And Conforto. And Dom Smith, and…

    Did you see the drama in the 8th inning, though? Benches cleared twice, but no punches thrown. But, lots ‘o bad blood between the Phils and Mets that will likely explode at some point.

  29. ess-dog:
    Anyone watch Lodge 49 on AMC? I’m late to it and am totally loving it but it sucks that AMC didn’t renew it for a 3rd season. And it has a great psychedelic soundtrack, Knew Your Knicks.

    Found Lodge 49 via one of Alan’s lists (thanks!!) and I absolutely loved it. Really disappointed it got canceled so quick. One of my favorite shows in recent memory, probably only behind Fleabag and Brockmire.

  30. OT: We just had our first family outing to the movies in 14 months (Howard Hughes theater for those of yall familiar with Culver City). It’s a movie we could’ve streamed, but my stepson’s girl-errr-best friend insisted on seeing it in the theater. I said to my wife “we really bout to pay $60+ in tickets to for a movie we could see for free”? LOL… what kids don’t realize their parents do for them.

    The great cinematic art piece in question? MORTAAAAALLLL KOMBAAAATTT!!!

    (…OK you all can stop snickering now).

    Historically, it’s tough to find a really good film based off a video game. I think I’d put this at the same level (or slightly below) the Resident Evil films. A solid “B” as video game movies go. And the concessions stand came down on their prices a bit: $6.95 for large popcorn, $4.95 for a large Angus hot dog – in LA, that’s not bad at all.

    My bonus daughter played MK theme song on the way home and my wife was amped; she loves going to the movies. I’m not one who necessarily likes to spend $ for “the experience”, but in the times we’re in, I feel better about the money spent.

  31. I love how this board has a Danish step-father in law, a step-sons girl-best-friend, and a bonus daughter.

  32. Not to turn this thread into another sitcom thread but I left one very important show off of my list.

    Catastrophe.

    It’s on Amazon, four seasons? It’s absolutely one of the funniest shows ever. An American in London gets an Irish woman pregnant after a one week stand and they start a family both in their mid 40s. It’s so funny. Highly recommend.

  33. Sidetracking to basketball for a moment, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has a story up about Lillard possibly wanting out of Portland, and that the Knicks are ready to “pounce”

    What a perfect fit he would be – a starting lineup of Lillard, Bullock, RJ, Randle and Mitch? Hell yeah.

    Of course, we’d have to give up a shit ton of assets to get Portland to bite, but Lillard is only 30 years old, so it wouldn’t be a CP3 or Lowry situation where you’re picking up a player sure to decline in the near future.

  34. another forgotten gem…Laverne and Shirley…i mean lenny and squiggy…c’mon…

    I still walk into a room sometimes saying “Hello Laverne!” Can’t remember if that was Lenny or Squiggie, but it was memorable…

  35. As for hoop, I have to say that a lot of people here derided Strat for his view that if we became a mediocre team we’d have more opportunity to sign free agents and have big time players want to come in trades. I always thought he was right – assuming the wins came as much or more from young core players than mercs. And though it is still speculation with Lillard, it seems obvious that players and agents see what is happening here and see that ANYONE other than L-frid would mean 5+ wins.

    Is the front office smart and good enough to take advantage of opportunity? I hope so…

  36. d-mar: Sidetracking to basketball for a moment, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has a story up about Lillard possibly wanting out of Portland, and that the Knicks are ready to “pounce”
    What a perfect fit he would be – a starting lineup of Lillard, Bullock, RJ, Randle and Mitch? Hell yeah.

    Dame is my favorite PG in the whole league, so i’d be ecstatic if that was to really happen (which i completely doubt). But that can only be if we don’t mortgage our future for him, or else it wouldn’t be all that far from Melo 2.0.

  37. rama’s cautious optimism was warranted: As for hoop, I have to say that a lot of people here derided Strat for his view that if we became a mediocre team we’d have more opportunity to sign free agents and have big time players want to come in trades. I always thought he was right – assuming the wins came as much or more from young core players than mercs.

    Not to start an argument, but this is not accurate at all. We (team tank) wanted to tank and get good players (for real, not stat stuffers) and then get mediocre (by developing those players and adding help), and for the final step make some trade that would put us over the hump.
    Strat wanted to get better right away, without tanking, getting players like Greg Monroe, Drummond, DeRozan, Avery Bradley, Danny Green, and so on.
    I think what’s happening is much more close to the team tank plan than to Strat’s.
    We (team tank) were still in tank mode at the beginning of the season, because Julius was bad and RJ didn’t show great signs to trust he’d be more than a role player (so we still needed to tank to get a superstar). For me, the FO rolled the dice too early, but it has gone great so now they look like they are the best at their jobs. Just that, but thank God they did it, as it was the right call (i just don’t know how they could have known). All in all, it’d take only one more year for team tank to switch to mediocre. What’s one year? Otoh, if you roll the dice too early, you might have to semi-tank for a lot of years (eg, Knicks in the past 20 seasons).
    Either way, now everyone agrees here on the forum because we’re mediocre with a plan (all our core is young, even Julius), which is what team tank has preached all this time.

  38. cybersoze: Not to start an argument, but this is not accurate at all. We (team tank) wanted to tank and get good players (for real, not stat stuffers) and then get mediocre (by developing those players and adding help), and for the final step make some trade that would put us over the hump.
    Strat wanted to get better right away, without tanking, getting players like Greg Monroe, Drummond, DeRozan, Avery Bradley, Danny Green, and so on.
    I think what’s happening is much more close to the team tank plan than to Strat’s.
    We (team tank) were still in tank mode at the beginning of the season, because Julius was bad and RJ didn’t show great signs to trust he’d be more than a role player (so we still needed to tank to get a superstar). For me, the FO rolled the dice too early, but it has gone great so now they look like they are the best at their jobs. Just that, but thank God they did it, as it was the right call (i just don’t know how they could have known). All in all, it’d take only one more year for team tank to switch to mediocre. What’s one year? Otoh, if you roll the dice too early, you might have to semi-tank for a lot of years (eg, Knicks in the past 20 seasons).
    Either way, now everyone agrees here on the forum because we’re mediocre with a plan (all our core is young, even Julius), which is what team tank has preached all this time.

    I vehemently disagree with this. Once the decision was made to hire Thibs, there was zero chance of a Team Tank type strategy. Saying that what is happening is closer to TT than Strat is total BS. In fact prominent members of TT firmly stated that all the one-year contracts, while good value, were detrimental.

    What is lost in this spin is that the “fast track to middling” approach has worked 1000X better than anyone imagined. That It’s being done with the kids playing a major role is much more in line with Strat’s…

  39. Z-man: I vehemently disagree with this.
    (…)
    That It’s being done with the kids playing a major role is much more in line with Strat’s…

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. And frankly, i find it hilarious that playing kids is more Strat’s than Team-Tank. But as i said, my intent wasn’t to start an argument, i just didn’t agree, that’s all.
    Now all is good, the Knicks are back, and that’s what matters.

  40. Any news on the Vildoza signing? The last thing i read about it was 2 days ago saying that the Knicks agreed with Baskonia a buyout of 2M.
    Are they waiting for Harper’s 10-day deal to expire? Which is tomorrow, so Vildoza will sign on monday.
    Oh, and by the way, NBA teams are limited in money they can spend in buyouts, right? If i recall it correctly those 2M come from the money we usually have to buy 2nd RPs and the famous “cash considerations” in trades.

  41. Thibs effect was much stronger than expected even from the most optimist fans.
    Team Tank is still trying to figure out what the fuk is going on!
    “Regression to the mean” is the joke of the season!

  42. Z-man: I vehemently disagree with this. Once the decision was made to hire Thibs, there was zero chance of a Team Tank type strategy. Saying that what is happening is closer to TT than Strat is total BS. In fact prominent members of TT firmly stated that all the one-year contracts, while good value, were detrimental.

    What is lost in this spin is that the “fast track to middling” approach has worked 1000X better than anyone imagined. That It’s being done with the kids playing a major role is much more in line with Strat’s…

    But this part was never the big issue people like me had with strat, my issue was that he kept saying “make good trades”, make “solid signings”, but whem confronted he never ever had a plan on what guys were available, how to do it, etc. Tnfh specially kept pushing and he never gave a decent answer, it was all generic platitudes like “oh find a guy like Jimmy Butler” and nothing else.

    People were on team tank because this team had zero damn talent on it. It took incredible, unprecedented leaps from Randle, Barrett, great production from unexciting role players etc for this team to work. It’s very disingenuous to argue that this is what the optimists felt could happen. I’m happy wirh this team precisely because we’re competing and playing well WHILE STILL having extra picks and a lot of cap space and upside on the roster. If we were having the same season with 0 cap space and having traded all future picks, I’d be thinking this is a shit outcome.

  43. My whole thing has always been “don’t bring in veterans who are not likely to outperform their contracts.” No Arron Afflalo, Derrick Williams, Bobby Portis, Wayne Ellington contracts. Don’t sign fake “star” players entering their decline phase like MegaMax Melo.

    When we whiffed on KD and Kyrie, my backup plan was to sign Randle, Brogdon and D’Angelo Russell, because those were all guys who could potentially outperform their contracts, and who were young enough to still be productive players if and when any of the young rookie contract guys panned out. Win curve for the win! Obviously this worked out with Randle, and would have worked out with Brogdon as well. D’Angelo Russell not so much, his breakout season with the Nets looks like an outlier right now.

    The guys really driving this team are a free agent we signed who was young and had upside (Randle) and a guy we selected with the #3 pick (RJ). We’ve also gotten a key piece by cashing in a decent veteran for a late 1RP (IQ) and by hitting a home run with a 2RP (Mitch).

    The key thing though is that we have AVOIDED MISTAKES. There’s no Melo or Stat or Westbrook or whoever else eating up a ton of salary cap because they used to score lots of pointzz five years ago. We signed good role players like Bullock and Burks and Noel to ultra-cheap deals. We have two 1RPs coming our way that we acquired for Porzingis, who is looking like a massive overpay for the Mavs.

    The end result is that we have talent on the roster, some good players on rookie contracts, cap flexibility, surplus draft picks, and no albatross contracts. For once this front office didn’t eat the goddamn marshmallow.

  44. Bruno Almeida: I’m happy wirh this team precisely because we’re competing and playing well WHILE STILL having extra picks and a lot of cap space and upside on the roster. If we were having the same season with 0 cap space and having traded all future picks, I’d be thinking this is a shit outcome.

    That’s exactly my feeling.

    But to be fair i think the current plan is 50/50, in part we have the young guys drafted with a high pick (RJ) or picks acquired in trades (Quick), which is plan Team-Tank clearly. Otoh, we have the vets, seasoned coach, change of culture, work hard, try to win, etc, that was applied too early for Team-Tank taste and was what Team-Rebuild-on-the-Fly always wanted. So i think there’s parts of both, but what i read from rama and z-man is that this current plan has 0% of Team-Tank strategy, even though RJ is the (probable) future franchise player.

  45. For me the true Opt vs Tank Q is:
    Do you prefer what’s happening this season Or Would you prefer to be a bottom team right now?

  46. I wish we had done some more cap-space renting for assets when we were terrible. I mean it’d be nice to have an extra pick or two instead of my Bobby Portis Memories™. We’d be better off if we had done more of that. But I realize that’s not always as easy as it seems.

  47. JK47: Bobby Portis Memories™

    I think on this we have 100% agreement… i’m almost sure nobody wanted to have met Portis’ anti-Zoolander look*! :P

    * – trying to not deviate this too much from movies/series. lol

  48. My point is that there are plenty of legitimate reasons to bash strat without twisting what’s happening into something it isn’t. When strat says generally that winning more so that FAs find the Knicks more appealing, and do so by winning trades, etc., as opposed to seeing the high lottery as the best route to building a contender, he doesn’t need to provide specifics, any more than Team Tank needs to provide specifics re: who to draft. As an overall strategy, what Leon Rose has done is 100% more in line with strat”s thinking. We are winning as many games as possible, hardly playing our lottery pick, plying Eldridge over Frank, trading a 2nd for DRose…Those are all anti-tank, win-now, be relevant now moves. The fact that they executed it PRUDENTLY doesn’t make it in any way consistent with any strategy that called for Hiring a developmental coach, playing the kids beyond what Is conducive to winning, dumping 1-year guys for whatever picks you can get for them at the deadline, then waiving them and having tryouts for g-leaguers and waiver wire guys, and maximizing draft positioning, especially in a loaded draft like this one.

    There are still legit qualms one can have with what they are doing….this year’s “success” will mean nothing if they squander the cap space, draft capital, and rookie deal guys. But thus far the POBO’S METHODOLOGY is way, way closer to strat’s preferences than to those of the anti-strats, as the November-December threads would show.

  49. For years Strat has scolded us for wanting to build exclusively through the draft. I am glad the Knicks took his advice and ignored ours and built this fun team.

    Thank goodness no one listened to us say that we shouldn’t buy low on young free agents, trade veterans for picks, or dump overrated players.

  50. As far as my opinion goes, I am less concerned about strategy and more concerned with execution. If Leon decided to punt this season and go full bore for a top 5 pick, I’d be fine with that, so long as he executed the pick well. But once Thibs was hired, it was clear that we weren’t doing that, quite the opposite. But Leon has thus far executed his chosen strategy brilliantly, even if not perfectly. He has usurped the back pages of the tabloids and has fans dancing in the streets WITHOUT SQUANDERING ANY ASSETS OR CAP SPACE!!!!! That is a PR victory for the ages. Is there some opportunity cost? Sure. But for now, the perception of this franchise has done a complete 180. The value of that can’t be overstated.

  51. We’re only in this position in the first place because we bought low on a promising young player and got another cornerstone player with the #3 pick.

    So in short, things “Team Tank” advocated for. We’re not here because we gave out Greg Monroe type contracts and “won trades.” The trade we notably “won” was a trade in which we flipped a win-now vet for a supposedly useless late 1RP. You know, the whole “collect assets” thing that we all talked so much about.

  52. LaMelo completed one of the most audacious full court passes I’ve ever seen a few minute ago, y’all have to check it out

  53. DRed:
    LaMelo completed one of the most audacious full court passes I’ve ever seen a few minute ago, y’all have to check it out

    A 70-foot underhand scoop dime… amazing! It’d be awesome if we can get Giddey in this next draft, i think he can have the same impact as LaMelo!

  54. Nearly everyone on team tank couldn’t wait for Randle to be swapped out for flotsam and jetsam. And I’m sorry, to credit that move in retrospect and to not give the Thibs hire its due is a joke. Thibs is the consummate win-now coach. He’s the main reason we are fucking 7 games over .500. On paper, this team sucks. Julius and RJ are resurgent but their advanced stats are so-so. The individuals in the rotation on this team are largely journeymen scrubs. We have a league leading defense with only the 5 spot having top-notch pedigrees on that end. Randle actually sucked on D prior to Thibs. There is a weird aversion here to giving him the credit he is due, or to credit Rose for hiring and empowering him with carte Blanche to win now.

  55. Oh, Thibs certainly deserves lots of credit, that’s not what I’m saying at all. He took some players with talent and got a lot out of them. I’m a big believer in Thibs, he’s a difference maker.

  56. I’m sorry Z-Man, but I personally loved the Randle move and I’ve defended it right away, it’s thr exact type of move I feel bad teams should do. He was only 25, he had shown a lot of promise and would cost next to nothing if it didn’t work out. Of course everyone was angry when Randle became a spinning turnover machine and had career lows in everything, because at the end were also obviously reacting to what’s happening on the court.

    I don’t see any of this aversion to giving Thibs credit you say, we’ve been giving him tons of credit for turning things around, hell, I still hate Derrick Rose but I’ve admitted long ago that the trade was absolutely a success. This is all looking at hindsight and then it’s easy to see how things are better now, but did you really think all those moves would work out the way they did? Did you think Randle would become an all nba type of player, or that Barrett would make such a leap in his second year?

    It is disingenuous and frankly a bit stupid to ignore the fact that a lot of things that had a VERY low chance of happening happened for this team to be this good, and also that most of these things are still up for debate in terms of long term. It’s disheartening honestly to see the negative reaction to people just enjoying a pleasant surprise, like this team has been, as if it is a “I told you so” because nobody, and that includes strat and even the most optimistic people here, predicted it would happen like it did.

  57. Realistically, this season has been such a bizarre pleasant surprise both team tank and Strat can point to wins.

    I mean, there’s zero chance GM Strat leaves $15M+ unspent in the name of flexibility, and we probably don’t have Immanuel Quickley under GM Strat because he wanted to extend Marcus Morris, but Burks and Noel are legitimate examples of free agents signed to fair contracts that don’t impede flexibility (I’m leaving off Bullock because his status as a holdover from the previous regime and his weird contract renegotiation situation make him kind of hard to categorize in this context).

    As for team tank, this season has in fact been a vindication of the “take on salary dumps, play your kids, and let the dominoes fall where they may” approach. We took on the salary dumps that were available to us this offseason. Barrett, Mitch, and Quickley have all played a ton, and we’ve been much better than expected largely because they’ve been varying degrees of productive.

    As for Randle, team tank largely supported the signing initially. After his disastrous first season, I think the attitude was “trade him for neutral value if possible but definitely don’t salary dump him” among, well, everyone. I don’t think anyone was betting on him emerging as an all-NBA candidate, so I don’t think anyone gets to claim victory there.

  58. Kevin Love actively shooting for the Most Polarizing Player award. First he slaps the ball to the other team from under his basket. Next game he goes 0-0 in 22 minutes — not one shot taken. Today he was an excellent-looking 9-14 with 7 threes, but was minus 30 +/-.

  59. “JK47
    May 1, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    The key thing though is that we have AVOIDED MISTAKES. There’s no Melo or Stat or Westbrook or whoever else eating up a ton of salary cap because they used to score lots of pointzz five years ago.”

    *

    Are we sure that if the Knicks had traded Randle for Westbrook prior to the season that he wouldn’t be leading the Knicks into the playoffs and having all the talking heads pronouncing “the Knicks are back!!!”. Because that’s kind of what he’s been doing in Washington. (He’s not having a very bad game tonight either, it appears).

  60. “cybersoze
    May 1, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    Dame is my favorite PG in the whole league, so i’d be ecstatic if that was to really happen (which i completely doubt). But that can only be if we don’t mortgage our future for him, or else it wouldn’t be all that far from Melo 2.0.”

    *

    The difference between Melo in ’11 and Lillard in ’21 is that Lillard is a true superstar: an efficient team leader who does everything and plays the most important position in the NBA. Anthony was merely a volume scorer for a team that already had that (trading Gallinari for Anthony was kind of a lateral move for the Knicks, both in the short term and long term). There is nobody on the current knicks that you could include in a hypothetical lillard trade that would make it a lateral move. And while Lillard ’21 is a few years older than Anthony ’11 was, he has also proven himself to be an ironman who keeps himself in impeccable shape, a consummate professional, and a great ambassador for the league. If Portland played in the Eastern conference, they’d be a top seed and that’s 100% due to Lillard, as Nurcic and McCollum have missed a combined 50 games there, leaving him with only Knicks cast-offs Kanter and Anthony ’21 to help him most nights.

    If the Knicks can get their hands on Lillard, they should do whatever it takes. And I’ve said that about very few players over the years.

  61. On more MVP related news, at least for the future, Doncic just had a 32/12/20 line with 1 turnover. Like yeah the Wizards can’t defend, but 20 assists with just 1 turnover is mindblowing.

    Edit: Zion also had a 37 point game on 14/17 shooting, and on 2 of his misses he scored on the putback. This is some unprecedented shit

  62. Strat’s/Optimist’s basic principle is:
    Play the right way and try to Win every game
    Tank Team’s is:
    Embrace Losing and Go for the higher lottery pick

    Being Opportunistic and not stupid is secondary in both “philosophies”

    Team Tank trying owning this season is grotesque at best

  63. #It’s disheartening honestly to see the negative reaction to people just enjoying a pleasant surprise, like this team has been, as if it is a “I told you so” because nobody, and that includes strat and even the most optimistic people here, predicted it would happen like it did.#

    Some people here believed that Thibs and D would work out fine and would lead the team to the next level.
    They also predicted in asset creation from within the team by playing the right way instead of tanking.
    Taking that away it’s disheartening also…

  64. Last but Not least:
    Randle’s, Barrett’s and Bullock’s offensive improvement would mean shit without team’s Defensive Excellence that leads to winning.

  65. My recollection is that team tank was convinced that was the only way to become good

  66. Z: The difference between Melo in ’11 and Lillard in ’21 is that Lillard is a true superstar: an efficient team leader who does everything and plays the most important position in the NBA. Anthony was merely a volume scorer for a team that already had that (trading Gallinari for Anthony was kind of a lateral move for the Knicks, both in the short term and long term). There is nobody on the current knicks that you could include in a hypothetical lillard trade that would make it a lateral move. And while Lillard ’21 is a few years older than Anthony ’11 was, he has also proven himself to be an ironman who keeps himself in impeccable shape, a consummate professional, and a great ambassador for the league. If Portland played in the Eastern conference, they’d be a top seed and that’s 100% due to Lillard, as Nurcic and McCollum have missed a combined 50 games there, leaving him with only Knicks cast-offs Kanter and Anthony ’21 to help him most nights.
    If the Knicks can get their hands on Lillard, they should do whatever it takes. And I’ve said that about very few players over the years.

    I’m with you, as i said he’s my favorite PG and mostly because of the things you pointed, and rightfully so. And above it, i like the person that he is, would be another player inspiring others, which is a plus you don’t need to have, but if you can it’s much more rewarding. :)

    Just to give it context, when i said “don’t mortgage our future for him, or else it wouldn’t be all that far from Melo 2.0” , the “all that far” already tries to state that Dame is 2x worthy of the move than Melo, but it was also because of the rumored deal wanted by POR – “like the Harden deal”, meaning 4 firsts, 4 swaps and an impact player, at which point they said it’d probably be RJ (comparing him with Levert!? WTF!) that they wanted! No, thank you!

  67. So OKC has 24 FGA and 1 more FTA than Indy and loses by 57 points. Will they have a game like this next year? Not likely, as they don’t own their pick for 2022.

    Tanking takes proper execution!

  68. So OKC has 24 FGA and 1 more FTA than Indy and loses by 57 points. Will they have a game like this next year? Not likely, as they don’t own their pick for 2022.

    Tanking takes proper execution!

    nah that pick is lottery protected or converts to 2nds so if anything it’s extra motivation to suck

  69. After all the L’s I’ve taken over the years with season predictions as one of the leaders of team optimist, I think I should be allowed my victory lap!

    I predicted the Knicks could make the playoffs. Yes they’ve exceeded even my expectations but I did put it out there as a possibility. I also defended the thibs hiring, said Randle could have a bounce back season and said RJ was going to be a good player after his rookie year. I even said IQ was going to be a good pick for us! So let me have this! I wrongly predicted so many seasons I deserve this!

  70. Congrats Swifty. And since you are on a roll can you please predict Dolan will sell the team?

  71. Raise your hand if you knew Randle was going to turn into a monster 3PT shooter point forward in the span of a shortened offseason. No one? Oh, okay. There’s no one here taking the W on this season’s approach.

    Also check out Luka “Tries to Do Too Much” Doncic’s line from last night. Ever the tryhard.

  72. Hey swift, you should definitely take the W for this season prediction, and now i’m hoping you can tell me the numbers of the Euromillions (it’s a lottery across several european countries). ;)
    I’ll be so happy and probably i’ll be out of my mind and to show you how grateful i am, i’ll… pay you a dinner! LOL

  73. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Raise your hand if you knew Randle was going to turn into a monster 3PT shooter point forward in the span of a shortened offseason. No one? Oh, okay. There’s no one here taking the W on this season’s approach.

    Also check out Luka “Tries to Do Too Much” Doncic’s line from last night. Ever the tryhard.

    It was actually predictable that this season’s team would be better than last seasons team and many Knickerbloggers did predict that with some predicting over thirty wins. The players were at an age where you would expect improvement and they clearly had better coaching and a more stable organization. I predicted 29 wins for just those reasons. Of course you can’t predict exactly who will improve by how much so no one could say Randle would be most improved. What Strat should get credit for is insisting that by being smart you can improve without tanking. This years team has shown that.

  74. Everyone always knew a team could get better without tanking, anyone who has seen the NBA once knows that and it has been discussed ad nauseum here.

    The point of the people you guys classify as “team tank” was: with an incompetent front office and a garbage starting point, meaning no real talent on the roster and no chance to get star free agents, all of which were true about the Knicks until this very season, the most optimal solution was to gather assets, tank for a bit, take fliers on potential players and steady the course. Our second best player on this team was the 3rd overall pick in a year when the Knicks absolutely, 100% tanked, even if accidentally. Our best player was a guy they took a flier on for relatively cheap because of his potential.

    If it was up to the “being smart” crowd this team would be still employing Phil Jackson and playing Randle out of the pinch post after trading all our picks for Kemba Walker or some shit. It’s really easy to just say “a front office should make smart moves” without ever suggesting what those smart moves should be and how they could be accomplished, and then take credit when a front office comes and makes smart moves that you, and no one really, expected to be so successful

  75. But this part was never the big issue people like me had with strat, my issue was that he kept saying “make good trades”, make “solid signings”, but whem confronted he never ever had a plan on what guys were available, how to do it, etc. Tnfh specially kept pushing and he never gave a decent answer, it was all generic platitudes like “oh find a guy like Jimmy Butler” and nothing else.

    So i think there’s parts of both, but what i read from rama and z-man is that this current plan has 0% of Team-Tank strategy, even though RJ is the (probable) future franchise player.

    We’re not here because we gave out Greg Monroe type contracts and “won trades.” The trade we notably “won” was a trade in which we flipped a win-now vet for a supposedly useless late 1RP. You know, the whole “collect assets” thing that we all talked so much about.

    To most generous description I can give of these kinds of comments is “willfullly obtuse.” No one said a freaking thing about “Team Tank;’ my only point was that Strat was right that a respectable team would have more options in free agency. THAT IS ALL I SAID. I even added the caveat that it would be bad if we gained that respectability on the backs of mercs.

    But no, no credit can be given, because people are so entrenched in their tiny minds that they can’t acknowledge when someone else had a good point. You want the world to be a better place, look in the fcking mirror. Nuance is the path forward, not polarization. It’s infuriating…particularly because I was Team Tank! JFC…

  76. Z-man: Nearly everyone on team tank couldn’t wait for Randle to be swapped out for flotsam and jetsam.

    To be fair, team anti-tank were including Randle in every trade possible for CP3, Beal, ….

    Actually, Randle was one of the few movable assets of the Knicks last offseason, so it is no wonder that it was mentioned in every trade scenario possible, but the FO just stood pat (and proved to be the right choice)

  77. My recollection is that team tank was convinced that was the only way to become good

    Your recollection is very, very wrong

  78. To most generous description I can give of these kinds of comments is “willfullly obtuse.” No one said a freaking thing about “Team Tank;’ my only point was that Strat was right that a respectable team would have more options in free agency.

    This was never denied by anybody. The dispute was over the best way to get to a “respectable team.”

    Team tank said getting there primarily through the draft came with the advantage of the players being under rookie deals, and thus actually having space to sign with free agents who might be intrigued. Under this logic it still made sense to sign young players to value-added deals in free agency, because they come with the same advantage. That’s why a lot of us were fine with the Randle signing, advocated signing Christian Wood, etc. even if we thought the draft should be the primary means of getting us to decency.

    Strat’s retort, phrased in the most charitable way possible, was that the best way to get to being a respectable team was through free agency, because draft picks are often young and thus won’t be productive for many years. For this reason he constantly advocated (and still does) for trading draft picks for players who have established themselves as productive.

    Again, I’m not sure how you can look at this team’s success and argue the latter approach clearly won out over the former.

  79. Team Tank would be extremely happy with this team if it had Mikal Bridges and Tyrese Halliburton on it. Or if e we had gotten Zion.

    Arguing over who was right or wrong is not worth it. The important thing is that for the moment we can all be (very) cautiously optimistic the FO knows what it is doing. You have to tip your hat to them getting Noel, Burks and Gibson in here to complement Bullock as veteran roster filler. That’s the best performing group of veterans we have had since Kidd, Chandler, Prigs etc.

    I think the biggest asset we have in terms of attracting front agents is the appearance of a competent front office.

    Will it last? I’d be lying if I didn’t expect the wheels to fall off but for once I will just sit back and be hopeful.

  80. What the hell is going on here?

    I take a few days off to study the KY Derby and the board turns into a sitcom and Strat discussion?

    I thought my views were always clear.

    1. IMO tanking is a good idea when the team is old, the window is closed, and you can pick up some assets for some of the older players you have. However, once you do that and make your high draft pick you should immediately start trying to get better via a combination of free agents (including vets if the price/duration is right and they aren’t ancient), trades, renting cap space, and drafting. Nothing is out of the question. You go where the value is. Once you have some assets and are a better team, the door will start to open up to top players and bigger deals.

    2. I object to building primarily through the draft/tanking because it takes too long, too much of it is random in terms of ping pong balls and draft selections, and when you are bad it closes you off to many trades and free agents for a long time. I don’t care if works sometimes. IMO, it’s not the best approach.

    3. Obviously, if you are going to use approach #1, you have to do it competently. You have to sign productive players (even if they are only role players to start) to fair contracts and they have to fit together coherently. That requires good basketball people and good cap/value people.

    To me, this management team has done virtually everything right (Perry excluded because he may not have made any huge mistakes but he wasted some years not doing anything productive with the FA signings he did make). We have a combination of young talent, good role playing vets, a competent coaching staff that’s getting improvement out of the younger players, players that fit together well basketball wise, and the ability to add more youth via draft or trade/sign for upper echelon players now that we are finally good.

    We are doing exactly what I have been asking for all along and we are doing it competently SO FAR.

  81. That awkward moment when strat himself is a lot more reasonable than the people trying to polarize things and “defend” him lol, just a typical knickerblogger twist

  82. “Team Collect Assets” isn’t as snappy as “Team Tank” but it’s more accurate.

  83. the whole tanking bit is about understanding where you are in the wincurve.. we’ve tried a version of what we did countless times and it didn’t work out… only we didn’t sign someone like noah…. and our th2 signing was actually randle instead… that it worked out so well this time should actualy tell you how immensely hard it is to succeed like this….

    tanking doesn’t work if you constantly miss out on your picks… if rj didn’t work out we would’ve had incinerated half a decades worth of picks… when you’re that inept at talent evaluation nothing works… so don’t mistake bad decision making with bad strategy… the strategy is good… the execution is what sucked… and if we lost a handful more games in the right year.. maybe we have doncic.. maybe we have kat…

    it works the other way too… but when you have to count on 90% of your acquisitions playing the best ball of their careers to make that strategy work… it’s probably not a good strategy… especially now that it worked you have to invest even more into it if you want to run it back… it’s like we hit our inside straight on the river… are we just going to do that again because it worked before?

  84. reaching a new low…”Tank shaming” people…gotta be better things to do with one’s Sunday …

  85. the whole tanking bit is about understanding where you are in the wincurve.. we’ve tried a version of what we did countless times and it didn’t work out…

    It’s mostly about competence and not limiting yourself to one approach.

    If you have executives that don’t judge talent properly, don’t pay fair prices, and don’t fit pieces together properly etc.. you are probably going to fail no matter what approach you take.

    There are teams out there that seem like they’ve been tanking forever and are on their next iteration now.

    There are teams out there that tried to build via trade and free agency but never get past the middle tier before having to blow it up and start over.

    There are teams that have been successful both ways.

    You can do it anyway you want if you are competent, but imo some ways are faster than others.

  86. Deeefense: It’s mostly about competence and not limiting yourself to one approach.

    If you have executives that don’t judge talent properly, don’t pay fair prices, and don’t fit pieces together properly etc.. you are probably going to fail no matter what approach you take.

    There are teams out there that seem like they’ve been tanking forever and are on their next iteration now.

    There are teams out there that tried to build via trade and free agency but never get past the middle tier before having to blow it up and start over.

    There are teams that have been successful both ways.

    You can do it anyway you want if you are competent, but imo some ways are faster than others.

    This is where we definitely agree, and have always agreed in some way or another. Most of the discussion has always been on the competence of the people involved, Phil, Mills, Perry etc, and how fast / effective strategies can be given the circumstances in place.

    We also have to remember that most of the discussion has always been on how to create a contender, which is definitely still not the step the Knicks are currently on. Most of the pro tanking arguments have always stemmed from the idea that you can build a relatively successful 5th-7th seed with veterans, free agents and some lucky breaks here and there, but that this outcome was not desirable by itself, because the lack of cap space and the loss of assets was more detrimental than the potential gains in reputation and culture. This is where the two “sides” have always disagreed and will probably disagree forever.

    What makes me excited about this particular team is exactly that it hasn’t gone all in, it has been achieving results while keeping all the flexibility that was built through the Porzingis trade and the “merc” approach.

  87. My only objection was regarding the suggestion that what Leon has done so far is closer to whatever team tank/acquire assets/whatever advocated for than what strat advocated for. It just isn’t, and spinning it that way is disingenuous. Once Thibs was hired, nothing resembling tanking or abject asset-acquisition mode however it is defined by anti-strat posters was possible. Clearly, Rose felt that it was more important to rebrand the “perennial loser laughingstock” Knicks into the “reasonably competitive upstart” Knicks in one season…if he didn’t then there was no reason to hire Thibs. Strat has said over and over again that he preferred this approach. Team Tank clearly wanted to suck for at least this season, trade Randle for assets, sell all the mercs at the deadline, certainly not trade a pick of any kind for the likes of Derrick Rose, etc. They were cynical about the Thibs hire and felt he was overrated and antiquated and that his failure in Minny was damning.

    I’m not making any kind of qualitative judgment about which path is best. But this season is a clear win for strat, even if Leon is not doing whatever it is that some are saying that strat wanted to do, like trade draft picks for a star. He advocated in general for a prudent version of a win-now approach, and that’s what’s happening.

  88. Leon’s approach is about fielding.a reasonably competitive team under a marquee coach while maximizing cap flexibility, correctly valuing assets, and being opportunistic as the situation evolves. He is executing that strategy brilliantly and probably deserves consideration for Executive of the Year.

    Where Strat goes awry is in defending Phil’s execution of whatever his strategy was…Phil was an idiot as a GM and strat just can’t seem to own that. And because of that, he is not taken seriously, and I guess rightfully so. Had he just given in on that, maybe he’d get more credit right now.

  89. The Honorable Cock Jowles: The Honorable Cock Jowles
    May 2, 2021 at 10:33 am
    Raise your hand if you knew Randle was going to turn into a monster 3PT shooter point forward in the span of a shortened offseason. No one? Oh, okay. There’s no one here taking the W on this season’s approach.

    As pointed out previously, despite Randle’s stellar 3-pt shooting, his TS% is substantially lower than it was in his two seasons prior to joining the Knicks. His WS48 is barely higher than it was in those two seasons. His OBPM is 1.0 higher than it was in NO at age 24, and his DBPM is 1.2 higher. If all-in-one advanced stats that we use here all the time mean anything, he is a marginally better player than he was when we signed him, certainly within reasonable expectations if you believed that last year was a blip.

    The main difference with Randle is that he’s the key player on a well-coached winning team. His numbers don’t justify the MVP hype. If we were on the outside of the play-in tournament, the narrative about him would be very different. Thibs has a lot to do with that.

  90. iserp: To be fair, team anti-tank were including Randle in every trade possible for CP3, Beal, ….

    Actually, Randle was one of the few movable assets of the Knicks last offseason, so it is no wonder that it was mentioned in every trade scenario possible, but the FO just stood pat (and proved to be the right choice)

    But that’s sugar-coating things. It wasn’t just because he was a movable asset. It was because he did not play well last year and folks here were disappointed in his game and mindset and didn’t like watching his style of play.

  91. I’ve been watching a little film of a few of the guys who we might be able to draft and Giddey has impressed me. Quetta looked surpringly good and is multidimensional. I’m sure that BJ Boston will be our 2nd round pick because it’s our destiny lol.

  92. Z-man: Team Tank clearly wanted to suck for at least this season, trade Randle for assets, sell all the mercs at the deadline, certainly not trade a pick of any kind for the likes of Derrick Rose, etc. They were cynical about the Thibs hire and felt he was overrated and antiquated and that his failure in Minny was damning.

    I was never really on Team Tank, but I’d argue that at the time these were all perfectly appropriate positions to take. Randle seemed like a high-volume loser who might always be thus; the disaster that was the previous year’s mercs made selling them all at the deadline not a bad plan at all; Derrick Rose showed himself to be a “I’m Derrick Rose and you’re not” player during his last stretch with the team (plus, you know, consent); and it seemed to be a loaded draft. And in fact we were all trashing Thibs even halfway through this season due to his highly irritating lineups and substitution patterns.

    It’s only in hindsight that all of these takes were wrong, and I’d argue not a one was predictable. Randle’s become great; the mercs all seem like highly productive team building blocks, not mercs; Rose is suddenly everyone’s favorite Uncle Derrick and playing exactly like you’d want a veteran backup point guard to play. And it sure is hard to bitch about what Thibs has been doing (plus his substitution patterns seem to be somewhat less rigid these days).

  93. I’m not making any kind of qualitative judgment about which path is best. But this season is a clear win for strat, even if Leon is not doing whatever it is that some are saying that strat wanted to do, like trade draft picks for a star. He advocated in general for a prudent version of a win-now approach, and that’s what’s happening.

    1. Rose hasn’t traded picks for a star yet because no one that’s been available fit into what we are doing and was at the right price. But I am quite confident if the right player becomes available he’ll be fine trading a couple of picks and maybe even Mitch to get it done. He knows we don’t need 2 non lottery 18-19 year olds. We need a star player. It may not be easy to get it done, but it would have been impossible if we still sucked because we didn’t have Taj, Rose, Burks, Bullock, Noel, traded Randle, etc…

    2, I’m sure he’d be fine with trading up for a specific player in the draft also, but it would have to be pretty special talent. I’m going to guess drafting two non lottery teenagers is one of his lower options.

  94. As pointed out previously, despite Randle’s stellar 3-pt shooting, his TS% is substantially lower than it was in his two seasons prior to joining the Knicks. His WS48 is barely higher than it was in those two seasons. His OBPM is 1.0 higher than it was in NO at age 24, and his DBPM is 1.2 higher. If all-in-one advanced stats that we use here all the time mean anything, he is a marginally better player than he was when we signed him, certainly within reasonable expectations if you believed that last year was a blip.

    You’re definitely underselling his improvement- his previous career best bpm was 1.5 so he’s more than doubled (and almost tripled) that. Prior to this year his career vorp was 4.1 while this year alone he’s put up a 3.5 so he’ll almost match his previous career output in this single season. I don’t think you can consider that kind of improvement at this stage of a player’s career marginal and certainly not expected.

  95. It’s only in hindsight that all of these takes were wrong, and I’d argue not a one was predictable. Randle’s become great;

    I argued all last year that Randle was being used poorly on a poorly constructed team and was being asked to do too much. So I can say I honestly say I thought he was a lot better than most other people thought. I didn’t think he was necessarily in a good position to show that on this team. I can’t imagine anyone saw him hitting 40% of his 3s. The team construction is still not ideal for him, but that changed things for him and the team. I know it has been rare for the Knicks, but part of being a good team is the occasional positive surprise in development. That’s more likely with a good coaching staff.

  96. Raven: I was never really on Team Tank, but I’d argue that at the time these were all perfectly appropriate positions to take.

    I agree, which is why I said this:

    I’m not making any kind of qualitative judgment about which path is best.

  97. Australian point guard Josh Giddey just had consecutive triple doubles and has probably played himself out of our reach. He may be 6’9″ and still growing.

  98. Where Strat goes awry is in defending Phil’s execution of whatever his strategy was…Phil was an idiot as a GM and strat just can’t seem to own that.

    Indeed. If people didn’t need to be 100% right or100% wrong, the board (and the world) would be a better place. I guess I expect more from the board than the world.

    I was basically Team Tank, and the part of that strategy that remains compelling is that getting a franchise player is easier with a top 4 draft pick. Without that, we either need to get lucky in the draft with a lower pick (not likely for a franchise player, though it happens), or RJ or Randle somehow have to become that player (not likely, though it could happen), or we need to acquire one via trade. The reason I brought this up at all is because it appears WE COULD NOW DO THAT. Lillard is starting the dance, and the Knicks are the apparent partner.

    Should we trade for him? It depends, of course, on what it would take. The bigger point is simply that we are in the conversation, and that would not be the case pre-Rose/Thibs. It is in fact a viable strategy, because it turns out that Kawhi forcing a trade is not a once a decade opportunity.

  99. nicos: You’re definitely underselling his improvement- his previous career best bpm was 1.5 so he’s more than doubled (and almost tripled) that.

    If he went from 0.1 to 0.3 BPM, that’s also tripling. There’s really not that much actual difference between 1.5 and 3.9…it’s essentially the difference between “solid starter” and “borderline all-star.” Jokic is at 11.6 BPM, which is triple Randle’s. This year, Randle is tied for #28 in OBPM and tied for #30 in DBPM. Two years ago he was tied for #40 in OBPM but tied for #123 in DBPM. In any case, the biggest improvement for Randle is on the defensive end. He has become a legit 2-way player…in terms of advanced stats, that’s the unforeseen part.

  100. Randle was considered gone before the start of the season. Rumours had him on the trade block back then without success tho.
    Knox, Frank and DSJ were also close to the exit.
    Thibs was given the chance to try to fix them if possible so we should not had to sell them low.
    Remember Thibs saying back in December that he needed a star without considering Randle being one…

    Not only noone expected Randle to be great this season but almost everyone thought he would be gone early.
    Personally i expected Obi to be mind-blowing and Randle out of the team
    Despite the faulty roster predictions, optimists still believed in Thibs and D and “next man up” system and expexted a good season if all things went right.
    And they went!
    Righter than right!

  101. Respectability and Being a Legit Star/Superstar destination is the best thing this team’s trying to achieve this season.

  102. cybersoze: Now we’re talking! ;)

    He looks very talented. I know that we have a backlog at the center position but he might be too talented to pass on, especially with the Dallas pick.

  103. rama’s cautious optimism was warranted: The bigger point is simply that we are in the conversation, and that would not be the case pre-Rose/Thibs.

    Precisely. This is not the same as “success.” Thibs has warts and Rose could trip into the Big Blunder. But we are clearly on a viable path to success. Thus far, Rose and Thibs are essentially doing what Phil and Mills tried to do but are succeeding in ways that Phil abjectly failed. They are winning now without sacrificing future flexibility. They are acquiring league-average players without overpaying them or tying up long-term cap space, and building a team identity that is consistent with NYK historic culture. They are making prudent win-now moves around the margins (DRose trade) and sprinkling in prudent asset acquisition moves (Ed Davis moves, draft day moves). They avoided the temptation to make rash “splashy” moves in preseason free agency and again at the trade deadline, not easy for a newbie POBO. And they’ve kept their big mouths shut and let the product on the floor do the talking.

    It really is a stunning transformation. Rose and Thibs are knocking the PR baseball out of the park right now.

  104. Big Blue Al, you ready to copy and paste “This would be the worst loss of the season by far” later tonight? (-:

  105. The reality is that almost any poster could have done better than Phil/Mills/Perry. Noah. DRose part 1. Knox. Winning just enough not to draft in the top 3. Signing 4 forwards – 4! In the same off-season! Including Portis for $15 mil! It was an astonishing reign of incompetence.

    But now? I think it’s much much harder to make the next jump. I’m not sure any of us could really do it, at least not without league intel we don’t have.

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