The “How Many Wins Will The Knicks Win In 2019-20?” Prediction Thread

Okay folks, it’s that time of year again! How many wins do you think that the Knicks will win this season?

I’m going to stick with my go-to answer of “Whatever the worst amount of wins would be,” so I’m going with 36. Not enough to make the playoffs, but too much to trade any of the veterans for picks and too much to not pick up the options for all their free agents and then just punt this thing one year further down the line while adding the #8 pick in the draft.

How about you folks?

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192 thoughts to “The “How Many Wins Will The Knicks Win In 2019-20?” Prediction Thread”

  1. My official prediction will be 30 wins. I think the team is going to over perform during some stretches and it’s going to be a lot more watchable than last season, but in the end there’s just not enough talent on the roster to win much more than this. If they stay injury free I can see something like 34 or more being possible, but I’m sticking with 30.

  2. My prediction is 26. The talent is there to win a few more, but incompetent coaching will do the trick.

  3. 28 wins, including an 8 in 10 once they replace Fiz and everyone has a high because suddenly there’s structure and things make more sense.

  4. I’ll say 25 wins because the guard play is going to be shitty and the forwards are not good enough to make up for the shitty guard play.

    This whole “veterans on 1+1 deals” plan is pretty stupid, and we’re seeing early on just how stupid it really is. At least some of that cap space should have been used to eat a bad contract or two in exchange for future draft picks. Those deals were available, but this FO just haaaaad to have Duke Ellington and Bobby Portis and the rest of the 1+1 Marginal Win Generating All Stars.

    This is a half-assed rebuild, and will get half-assed results. Mediocrity out on the horizon, as far as the eye can see. Meet the new boss, same as the old AHHHH FUCK IT

  5. 26.

    So much of this prediction depends on Knox’s playing time.

    If Randle gives us what he did in the preseason it’s more like 20.

  6. I don’t know, when is Fizdale going to be fired?

    I will go with 23 wins. Unless RJ does magic distributing the ball I see a team sorely lacking in ball movement, given the players we have and compounded by the line-ups and “playbook” of Fizdale.

  7. 27 wins. I am taking the over baby!!!

    This is one of the few teams I can remember that might actually be better when a few guys get hurt just because of team chemistry.

  8. I will do a full prediction for all NBA teams, so I can check how wrong I was after the season.

    EAST

    Milwaukee Bucks 60 – 22
    Philadelphia 76ers 56-26
    Brooklyn Nets 50-32
    Toronto Raptors 48-34
    Miami Heat 47-35
    Indiana Pacers 43-39
    Orlando Magic 41-41
    Detroit Pistons 40-42
    Boston Celtics 37-45
    Chicago Bulls 35-47
    Charlotte Hornets 34-48
    Atlanta Hawks 30-52
    New York Knicks 23-59
    Cleveland Cavaliers 19-63
    Washington Wizards 14-68

    Bucks will remain the same. 76ers will keep growing, Horford and Josh Richardson will be welcome additions. Nets will have a good year as long as the keep vaseline out of Kyrie’s hands. Toronto loses Kawhi, but I count on growth from Siakam and Anunoby while Gasol and Lowry have a good year. Paces are a bit of a mystery, since they changed so much the team and depend on when and how Oladipo returns. Boston will plummet after losing Irving, Horford, Baynes and Rozier. Chicago will improve, I count on WCJr having a good year and Satoransky being a good game director. Wizards will suck mightly and I see them trading or shutting Beal after the the All-Star game.

  9. WEST

    Denver Nuggets 58-24
    Golden State Warriors 57-25
    LA Clippers 54-28
    LA Lakers 54-28
    Houston Rockets 53-29
    Portland Trailblazers 47-35
    San Antonio Spurs 46-36
    Phoenix Suns 45-37
    Utah Jazz 44-38
    Dallas Mavericks 40-42
    Sacramento Kings 40-42
    Oklahoma City Thunder 39-43
    New Orleans Pelicans 30-52
    Minnesota Timberwolves 25-57
    Memphis Grizzlies 21-61

    I have Denver winning the west by sheer amount of quality players in all positions. I see GSW having a quite nice post-Durant season if Curry and Green stay healthy. Both the Clippers and the Lakers will be really good, but their stars will miss games here and there with injuries, and lack quality bench players to claim the top spot. Westbrook will struggle adapting to Houston’s game, and that will take a toll on their wins early in the season. Portland will take a step back because they are a bit thin on the wings, and Whiteside is not the best team-player around. I have learned not to leave the Spurs out of the playoffs, even though I have a hard time figuring how they stay there. I have Phoenix as my surprise team, I count on Dayton having a great year, Rubio covering for Booker defensively, and Saric and Baynes being great additions. I have Utah out of the playoffs, i think Mitchell-Conley will struggle defensively because of their size, and they lack a proper PF. Dallas will be nice, but aside from Luka and KP, they lack talent. The Pelicans and Grizzlies will be fun because of their rookies, but I dont think are ready for winning.

  10. 23 because at some point the tank will be real. Also I’m assuming some injuries.

  11. You think Charlotte will win 34 games and 3 less them Boston only? Damn, that’s some prediction.

  12. i will be the brave soul and goto 35 wins…. This is sort of where I was after free agency…

    we are a lot better than last year because we have a lot less roster chaff and will be replacing them with nba caliber minutes…. morris.. randle… taj… ellington and payton are not world beaters but they are also not mario hezonja… trey burke… and luke kornet….

    randle is gonna be good although there’s some risk that his shooting efficiency tanks under a heavier workload like we’ve seen in the preseason… there’s also a chance for a true breakout….

    i’m sticking with 35 wins largely on the backs of RJ and i’m hopeful that one of the dsj/payton duo will put in a solid season…. RJ in particular has been better than I expected and I’m expecting solid starter minutes at a heavy load… dsj/payton haven’t looked great but there’s still good reason to believe that one of these two will put in good starter minutes….

    if frank and knox get 2000 minutes or more combined we will get less than 30 wins … but i’m hopeful they get less than 1000 and if they do we have a good chance at over 30….

  13. Celtics won 49 games and lost Kyrie, Horford and Morris who contributed 9.1, 7.5 and 5.3 win shares, respectively. VORP is also unkind to these decisions, with 14 wins against replacement gone.

    I think Kemba and Carsen Edwards are going to be an excellent PG duo for 48 minutes a game, but it’s damn hard to replace 14 wins year over year. I see them as a low-40s team at best. Tatum and Brown are fool’s gold.

  14. You think Charlotte will win 34 games and 3 less them Boston only? Damn, that’s some prediction.

    Is this Boston team better than last year Hornets?

    On the other hand, the prediction for this year Hornets might be too high, given that they lost Kemba. But I think they are commited to “win-now”, they have lots of players in their prime, most of the players remain from last season and know each other, that I think they will win above 30.

  15. I need Charlotte to suck so that their second round pick is a great one.

    Toronto locking Siakim down with a max extension was a bold move!

    Oh, by the way, iserp, Washington cannot trade Beal this year due to the extension that he just signed.

  16. I don’t think the Celtics are good and I agree with Jowles that they’re a low 40s team, but 37 seems far too low considering the east is still pretty bad. For example, are the Celtics that much worse than the Miami Heat, or the Detroit Pistons? They might be, but I don’t think it’s by that much. I have them at around 42 wins.

    Now Charlotte has replaced Kemba with Rozier, who by all accounts is pretty terrible and will play heavy minutes, and 34 is pretty much 10 wins over most of the predicted over unders I’ve seen for them. Their starting lineup is probably going to be Rozier, Batum, Bridges, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller, with the best bench players being Malik Monk, Dwayne Bacon, Hernangomez and PJ Washington. That’s a Knicks level team for me.

  17. The Raptors have such an interesting roster situation that it makes me wonder if they think they can build around that Siakam contract long-term.

    Gasol, Ibaka and VanVleet all expire at the end of this year and are Proven Playoff Veterans™. Lowry is owed $30M next year, and there’s a possibility that we could see Norman Powell decline his player option in the summer of 2021 if the market is right. Stanley Johnson, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, McCaw and Cam Payne are irrelevant to their future.

    I could see Masai blowing it all up (including flipping Lowry for an expiring max) and either committing to a Siakam rebuild or getting a supreme haul for him. The Sixers gave up a ton to get Tobias Harris and he’s half the player that Siakam is.

  18. If Sabonis is available I would certainly be interested. He improves every year by a lot and is a winning player. Very efficient, rebounds well and passes very well, He is a ball mover and an efficient scorer. Other than MR and possibly (I hope) RJ he’s far better than anything they have and i’m not afraid to give him a big contract at the end of this year as a RFA

  19. Going from Horford/Baynes to Kanter is the kind of move that would give me nightmares for a decade. Ainge is not a dummy. He knows he has a defensive problem at C. Other than that, Boston is still quite good.

    Ainge tends to be reluctant to pull the trigger on a “big deal” unless he’s stealing, but I don’t think he’s the kind of guy that’s going to sit on the sidelines watching Kanter get killed every night defensively when he has a good young playoff team if can find someone to defend the paint. Their under/over is tough to estimate because I think it depends when Ainge makes a move at C and what that move is.

  20. If you have Siakim, you give him the max and build around him unless you have reason to think last year’s development was a fluke. Even if he’s ultimately not a franchise #1 player, he’s a max player and can be a critical piece to a championship down the line. If Masai moves Siakim he either knows something the rest of the league does not or he has developed some kind of degenerative brain disorder since last season.

  21. I’m going with 28 wins.

    Year 2 in the Fiz era,
    we’re still playing without an embryo of a system on both side of the ball and the rotation management looks random. Fire him ASAP.

    Then Miller could lead us to 34 wins :-)

  22. Yeah Horford is a significant loss for Boston. They have some of the nuts and bolts of a good team but none of the chrome and leather. Their fans think that Kemba is a massive upgrade over Kyrie but they’re wrong. It’s going to be confusing for a lot of their fans when they’re mediocre. They think Kemba is about to lead them to some ringzz because ruff rydah or something.

  23. Siakam was a real get at his salary, but now he’s gotta play like a star every night to earn those dollars and he still needs another star next to him — the Raptors don’t sniff the Finals without Kawhi, and Kawhi is a top-3 player in the league.

    If Siakam stays where he was at last year, he’s still a very good player and one that I’d want to be a Knick, but do you really want to pay veteran salaries to the above expirings to maintain an aging core a la the 2013 Celtics? Or do you want to roll the dice on a whole new host of draftees while Siakam is earning big bucks during his athletic prime?

    It’s an enviable position for sure, but one fraught with risk. This is not the Wizards’ or Wolves’ situation, where it’s like, “How do we mitigate the catastrophic damage we’ve done to ourselves by offering one too many enormous max contracts?” but it’s still a bit of a pickle for Masai.

  24. FWIW, 538’s new metric RAPTOR really hates Julius Randle. It lists him as a scrub despite having a decent last year.

  25. I’m stuck between 23 and 27, so put me down for 25…

    17 wins last year was no accident, we chased RJ and we were probably more like a solid 20 win team :)

    things gotta get better right…

    bold predictions: bobby portis plays well for us and frank cracks the starting lineup…

    aleady looking forward to the mike miller era next year…I don’t know – maybe we should let a coach finish out a contract every decade or so – just to demonstrate that we’re not completely dysfunctional…

  26. @28

    I would probably trade away the veteran Raptors, but there’s no way I’m letting Siakim go at 24. I’m giving him the max and going from there.

    @27

    The Boston fans think Kyrie did not fit well there and is generally overrated. I haven’t heard anyone say they think Kemba is a huge upgrade. Most people think it’s a downgrade. I’m kind of with the Boston fans. It’s not so much that I love Kemba, but I think he’s a little better than people think and Kyrie is not quite as good as people think. So imo that particular swap is not going to be a big deal. It’s the C position that’s a nightmare unless Ainge has some secret weapon I don’t know about or makes a deal.

  27. With a good defensive minded coach that was playing the right players and right lineups, I think this Knicks team could win 35 or maybe even a couple more games. With Mills/Perry running things and Fizdale coaching, I think it’s probably correct to assume they will talk about defense being important, but still give preference to the scorers that don’t defend well at the expense of the defense. So most likely we’ll win in the mid to upper 20s.

  28. and yeah, I’m okay with knox and mitch off the bench…

    I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but, I think decreased roles to start the season is the way to go…when it’s february and we got like 14 wins – put them in the starting rotation then…

    personally I would start:
    frank
    RJ
    morris
    randle
    portis

    off the bench:
    payton
    trier
    knox
    taj
    mitch

    I don’t know why the heck we got ellington and bullock on the squad…

    not sure how, but, DSJ needs to go…seems like a nice kid, but you signed payton and he’s at least a decent backup…

    the choice is between frank and DSJ…i’d pick frank to stay and start…

  29. I think Masai never shied away from giving big contracts to players, because he’s confident in his ability to survey the market and make good decisions. I’ll trust him again on this one. He knows the best chance Toronto has of contending again is by trading for star players, and he understands that having a piece like Siakam locked for a long time is going to be a plus in that sense.

    The NBA can be extremely different in the next 2 years, depending on the decisions guys like Davis, George, Leonard, Towns, Giannis make. If you have a player like Siakam locked up, plus cap flexibility and the reputation for winning that they built last season, you can afford to wait and see how the chips fall while being competitive, and then throw yourself into the stakes for one of those guys if they come up.

  30. Put me down for 27 wins.

    Fizdale has been set up to take the fall when this roster disappoints.

    Golden State lacks depth and Russell is not really a good fit. Something like Morris, Ellington, and a Dallas pick for Russell would help both teams.

  31. I want to say I said 26 or 28 wins as my prediction earlier in the summer, but I think I’ll revise it a bit to 29. I could see us cracking 30 depending on how the coaching and chemistry plays out, but I think upper twenties is the most likely outcome.

  32. 538 really needs to stop naming their metrics after other basketball things. It’s real fuckin’ dumb. Why not go the tech-startup route and just slightly alter a common word so it’s searchable?

  33. Anyone expecting Fizdale to be fired in the middle of the season should get used to disappointment. Mills and Perry are all in on this guy, and the only way he goes before the rebuild is further along is if this season is such a disaster that he has to be the scapegoat to protect their own jobs. And even then, it would come after the season.

  34. You hit the nail on the head alsep. Fiz will have to go to protect Mills and Perry for another year or two.

  35. I’ll go with 30 wins, though it’s the most difficult team to get a feel for in a while. I could see more if a guard emerges, and I could see fewer…in many scenarios. So many that as I type this I’m starting to think I should just go lower to start, but with Fiz coaching for his job it’s a little hard to see an all-out tank situation developing so there’s that. I’ll stick with 30.

  36. As much as I’d like to see Fiz fired I must agree with Alsep, M&P will give Fiz at least another full year.

    I see Morris, Ellington and even Gibson as depth pieces that contenders could like.

    How much value do you think they can bring?

    One expiring and two overpaid (but with only 1M guaranteed next year),
    maybe a handful of second rounders and a young lottery ticket or two? More than that?

  37. Let’s see…
    -they play the west 30 times and should go something like 9-21
    -they should go something like 3-13 vs. Milwaukee, Boston, Philly, Toronto,
    -they should go something like 6-10 vs. Indiana, Miami, Detroit, Nets
    -they should go something like 10-10 vs. the rest of the East

    28 wins.

  38. I feel lucky today!
    I’ll go with 3 bold predictions:
    33 Wins.
    RJ wins ROTY award.
    Bobby Portis punches Fizdale in the face and kicks Jud Buechlers butt.

  39. Yeah Horford is a significant loss for Boston. They have some of the nuts and bolts of a good team but none of the chrome and leather.

    It’s going to really irritate me if they are good again

    I think I would go all in on Siakim. You aren’t winning a title with him but it sure beats maxing Wiggins. Realistically, Masai can go be the GM of almost any team in the league he wants. I hope and pray he wants the Knicks.

  40. I’m going to go with 31 wins.

    Reason is that the tank is not going to happen. With all these vets (ie. no one really terrible to put on the floor) and the FO stung by last year’s tank being the proposed reason for why no marquee FA’s came, plus Fizdale needing to show progress in year 2, they are just not going to tank.

    Other reasons:
    1 – Knox is not going to be the worst player in the league. Not only will he be passable, but he’ll also play fewer minutes. So many of these models assume he’ll be super awful and also play a lot of minutes.

    2- one of the PGs will be passable.

    3 – RJ will be at least an average NBA player. After having watched most of his preseason, I’m really pleasantly surprised. Yes, his athleticism isn’t great, but the thing I’ve been most impressed with is his off-ball play. He’s really been great at cutting and finishing around the rim. Those will equal easy buckets for him making it more likely that he’ll have somewhere near an average TS (like 53) while probably having a usage around 22, whereas I assumed before seeing him playing so well off-ball that he’d have a TS around 48 and pounding the ball into the ground. He’s also been much better defensively than I thought he would be.

    So between RJ being average, Knox being just below average as opposed to super awful, Mitch making some improvements, no tanking, and a roster full of competent NBA players, I just find it hard to believe they’ll be terrible. The PG play is going to be bad, but I wonder going forward whether it’ll really be RJ taking most of the ballhandling duties. That could be bad, but it’ll also give Fiz cover to play better defenders (ie. Frank) at the 1 which will be a positive thing overall.

    That said – I am not a Fizdale believer. I still want the Knicks to bring back JVG. I’ll believe that’s the right hire for the rest of my days.

  41. I’ve been going back and forth with this one, but I think this is a 36 win team. We have good enough players from 2-5, and if one of Payton/Smith Jr gets their shit together (and I think both guys are better than their preseasons), we could surprise and make the playoffs.

    3 point shooting and the point guards will sink us, though. So 36 wins.

  42. 29 wins.

    preseason has affected my guess; i.e. me stupid. i think the floor is a bit higher bc RJ’s chances of having knoxian year for 2500 minutes are lower (tho i’ll still take the under on farfa’s 20/5/5 ts 53). i think the ceiling is a bit lower bc my very private and personal hope that mitch came back this fall with tim duncan’s brain is…dimmer.

  43. Too many new players to easily guess improvement over last year. Talent level seems to be safely in the bottom quarter of the league. So I expect only a few wins (4-5?) against teams they “shouldn’t” beat in the upper three quarters. In a fair fight they might be very slight favorites in most games against other teams in the bottom quarter (11 wins out of 20?). Many of those won’t be exactly fair because they’ll probably commit more fully to tanking as the season wears on. But other bad teams will as well. That will probably give the Knicks a few more unwatchable wins (3-4?) at the hands of more adept and determined tankers. Joy. So I’ll guess that they end up winning a couple less than a quarter of their games. 18 or 19. Something like that.

  44. This is a really hard team to predict. I don’t think they will play beautiful team basketball but they have depth and they are unlikely to give up. So they could have some in game come backs. Assuming we don’t go into tanking mode until late in the season, that should give us, I don’t know, maybe five more wins than last season? There was dissension on the Grizzlies when Fizdale coached there and they still probably played close to the potential of their personnel, so I’m not giving a big demerit for coaching. The personnel is somewhat better than last season and the defense was better this preseason than last year too. So I’m going with a ten to twelve win improvement over last season. My official prediction is the middle of that, or 28 wins.

  45. This Yankee game has the potential to be the longest ever with all these slow ass bullpen pitchers.

    They’ve played an hour and 15 minutes and it’s still the top of the 3rd inning.

    Gotta love baseball !

  46. “(Hyper)Optimistic Possibilities”
    After the 10 first games:
    Record 6-4
    L at SA,BKN,BOS,DAL
    W vs Bos,Chi,Sac,Cle on MSG and vs Det,Orl on the road

  47. 26 wins.

    I believe that’s what I picked before the season began and I’ve seen nothing in the preseason to change my opinion. We’ve moderately improved the talent level over last year’s team but not by that much and I have no idea how Fizdale could possibly balance the minutes to keep everyone happy.

  48. Right now I am at a star-studded private party with a bunch of A-list actors and musicians in attendance. I’m not here because I’m cool, I’m basically part of the hired help for the evening and it’s an interminable amount of sitting on a couch killing time until my services are needed.

    Holy fucking shit is this boring. This is like introvert hell.

  49. Hubert, you weren’t wrong about Encarnacion….

    JK47 – This sounds like a high grade problem…

  50. It’s not awesome

    I feel like I should be walking around asking people if they want some chicken satay

  51. JK47…come on! A name or two of the actors?

    I read about some alleged Knicks players already grumbling about Fiz’s playing time allotments. Assuming it is true, any guesses as to whom?

    Trier?
    One of the PGs?
    Mitch?

  52. Pit me down for 30 wins.

    JK – but A-list actors doe? No opps for politickin?

    Sidebar: I got kicked in the nuts 2x tonight. My junior college just got blown out, and Chapman coughs up a season-ending bomb after the Yankees pull even in the top of the 9th.

    FML

  53. I don’t know what’s more depressing, dealing with tonight’s Yankees loss or the fact that I go from watching and rooting for them everyday to now having to watch a shitty, hopeless basketball team for the next few months. Spring Training can’t get here soon enough.

  54. I am going with 26 wins. That would be a 9 win improvement over last which honestly seems too generous.

  55. I read about some alleged Knicks players already grumbling about Fiz’s playing time allotments. Assuming it is true, any guesses as to whom?

    Trier?
    One of the PGs?
    Mitch?

    Trier is a lock and Payton is a good bet, too.

  56. let me be of assistance mister jk sir…

    step 1: silently repeat this mantra twice to yourself – “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”

    the third time say it strongly and clearly aloud…you want to make sure to really drive home the point to others…

    step 2: I would never promote drug use to others, particularly in a professional circumstance, and, it’s a challenge for many…but, the answer though is drugs…

  57. I missed that they cut Wooten! Hopefully they somehow bring him back on the two-day deal.

  58. 27 wins for this team, and that is generous. Most of their wins will be ugly, and probably because the other team is cold and misses a good percentage of their many open looks from three. On the optimistic side, after trading some 1+1’s the net result is assets and a reasonably defined rotation where the group gels and starts winning semi-regularly. Or in the same scenario, trade 1+1’s and enter tank mode again.

    I think the team we see today is not the group that finishes in 2020.

  59. Suddenly I don’t care so much about wins. At least as much as I care about the focus on developing DSJ, Ntilikina, Barrett, Mitch, Trier, and Iggy. Hinton too, though he and Iggy should play as much as they can in the G League to get reps. I am scared that DSJ is seriously injured. Isn’t it odd how the team has performed better with Ntilikina at the point this preseason?

    But for prediction’s sake, I think Randle and Mook will do enough to let the kids grow and we win 28. If RJ plays better than expected, that probably jumps up to 30-32. I think we have an exciting team, but Fiz has got to coach this season. His vision looks a little muddy right now- I hope it’s because he doesn’t wanna show too much and he needs more time to cycle through such a deep roster.

  60. Isn’t it odd how the team has performed better with Ntilikina at the point this preseason?

    Why is it odd when you compare him to the competition? For all his warts Frank is an actually ++ player at 50% of the game…. its just the half that is more difficult to quantify and isn’t as flashy or AAU-tastic….. It just wins in every sport.

  61. Also, I’d put a hard ceiling at around 36 wins…that would require big steps forward from at least 1 pg and further development from Knox, Trier, Mitch and RJ. While Brian says that this would be the most annoying possible outcome, I would disagree in that it would mean that our young core made significant development, which would be the BEST possible outcome. Think Atlanta and Sacramento from last year.

  62. Put another way, winning 28 or less would suggest that there was very little development from the young core. Not a good thing.

  63. While Brian says that this would be the most annoying possible outcome, I would disagree in that it would mean that our young core made significant development, which would be the BEST possible outcome.

    I don’t know that a high win total automatically means that the kids developed. We’ve had seasons where short-term vets like Michael Beasley or Jarrett Jack singlehandedly won games for us while the prospects stagnated. Randle isn’t exactly that, in that there are several scenarios where he’s a long-term piece. But I can easily see Fiz running out a veteran-heavy rotation to get us over the 30-win hump, and Morris’s Carmelo impression fulfilling that goal.

  64. 33 wins. The abbreviated preseason hinted at a few patterns, but mostly was an exercise in floor exposure for the new Knicks. RJ has the athleticism, but controls it to a point where it stays buttoned up. DSJ loosened RJ up a little bit. The Knicks are better with Frank in the rotation as a defensive unit – the perimeter disaster against the Pelicans being the obvious example. Randle’s isolationist tendencies are familiar and worrisome. Portis will join Mike Singletary in the eyeball hall of fame. Feels like old Knicks times, but RJ is an actual player and will turn a few losses into wins.

  65. We’ve had seasons where short-term vets like Michael Beasley or Jarrett Jack singlehandedly won games for us while the prospects stagnated. Randle isn’t exactly that, in that there are several scenarios where he’s a long-term piece. But I can easily see Fiz running out a veteran-heavy rotation to get us over the 30-win hump, and Morris’s Carmelo impression fulfilling that goal.

    Yeah, but there’s a big difference between a 28 and a 36 win team. to get to 36 wins, you are essentially .500 team against all but the best teams in the league, and I don’t think occasional good performances by Morris and Randle making us that kind of team without some of the young guys stepping up in a big way.

    Mitch and RJ look like locks to be positive contributors, but Trier is the one guy who seems ready to be a difference maker in getting points down the stretch of games. He missed tow great looks from 3 in the Pels game which might have put us over the top, and he would have had a huge part in that being a win.

  66. Portis will join Mike Singletary in the eyeball hall of fame.

    They both have crazy eyes, but neither of them have Manson Lamps……Upon further review the Knicks should probably run T3, T$ and TSH tests on Portis.

  67. . But I can easily see Fiz running out a veteran-heavy rotation to get us over the 30-win hump, and Morris’s Carmelo impression fulfilling that goal.

    There isn’t a vet heavy group in that locker room that can win 30 games….. the only way they win 30 games is with a heavy does of young players that actually improve.

    I would say the improvement in RJ over four months is pretty remarkable since his first summer league games.

  68. @71 Frank is definitely an “old school” PG. If he becomes like Derek Harper when he was a Knick, I’ll take that. I hope for more with his measurables and the fact he’s still probably got an inch in height left in him and he hasn’t grown into his body yet. But I’ll take Harper if he can get there.

    @73, I’m thinking 28 if we have to rely on Mook and Randle doing all the heavy lifting while the kids grow. Randle is fine as a top option right now, but can Mook consistently produce as a #2? DSJ’s back scares me, and I’m not quite ready to trust Portis as a consistent threat yet or Fiz’ plan for Trier. If Trier plays the minutes we think he should play, then I think we win more. But it really doesn’t bother me to think between 28-33 wins because I’m so excited to see the kids’ progression. I just wish I knew what Fiz is planning

  69. I think Triers garbage defense and pigheaded refusal to pass are going to keep him from ever being particularly useful, but if he can get his shot selection straightened out maybe we can trade him

  70. The challenge as described in recent posts is to find the proper balance between developing our long term assets ( Mitch, RJ), finding out if any of our young assets are keepers ( Randle, Knox, Iggy, Frank, DSJ), while creating the appearance that the franchise is trending in the right direction by winning in order to attract free agents. Nothing that has happened in the last few years with our current management team inspires confidence in that happening.

  71. Second everything in post 8 above from JK.

    This team will suck, and it’s for all the obvious reasons from Team Pessism/Reality.

    Hard cap at 30 wins. I think 25 is more likely because the wheels will come off this beast quickly.

  72. The 2020 draft class looks kinda thin to me, anybody have their eyes on anybody in that class? Anthony Edwards seems like a chucker guard type, James Wiseman is a pure center and we already seem to have one of those, LaMelo Ball gives me PTSD, Cole Anthony is a pure PG but has little flipper arms and can’t shoot, Theo Maledon is a French point guard so uh maybe no…

    Isaiah Stewart maybe? Stretch four? I dunno.

  73. After seeing that Frank Ntilikina lead our point guards in TS% this preseason at .358 I am very tempted to revise my prediction.

  74. Unless there’s a consensus pick, this might be yet another year for the Knicks to trade a high lottery pick down and grab multiple players like Edwards or Clarke instead of chasing blue-chip Kentucky and Duke underachievers. But I say this every year and every year, they keep shooting their own foot despite it already being a bloody stump.

  75. After seeing that Frank Ntilikina lead our point guards in TS% this preseason at .358 I am very tempted to revise my prediction.

    Totally undersand that feeling but the stat is meaningless. None of them played even 70 minutes.

  76. Well, also their career numbers are bad enough that unless one of them massively improves, there’s a chance preseason is merely a confirmation for what we already know in this case.

    I don’t trust any of Payton, DSJ or Frank to be good, but I do think Payton was a good gamble and he can provide good minutes for the team. I would love to see the other two show real progress, but I’m not holding my breath.

  77. i’m not too high on the 2020 class… but i’ve felt this way before … last year’s group got a big shot in the arm from sophomores who took a big leap… there’s not too many intriguing sophs in this class besides bassey from western kentucky….

    that first year in college does a good job of filtering out the pretenders so i would wait… edwards and anthony are ones to keep an eye on…

  78. Totally undersand that feeling but the stat is meaningless. None of them played even 70 minutes.

    Yeah I just meant that it forced me to take a harder look at the quality of our guards in general. Also figured I should post the stat because even though it’s meaningless, it’s hilarious.

  79. Jowles, RJ is a Duke underachiever? Has his preseason play done anything to up your excitement for him? I’m not trying to start a fight but it feels like your sticking to your guns despite RJ really showing something special so far.

  80. Last year NBA teams played supposedly below-replacement level players enough to produce -59.9 in total VORP. We led the league here both absolutely at -6.6 total sub-replacement VORP and in negative VORP as a percentage of expected losses at 10.7% (this is a rough measure of how much your win total is being relatively depressed by playing really bad players as opposed to just not having any good players). The teams with the lowest negative VORP contributions were the Heat, Celtics and Spurs. Really the Spurs had no sub-replacement minutes if you excludes garbage time. Other teams on our end of the spectrum, again using -VORP as % of Pythagorean wins, were not all tankers like you might expect (though it is tanker-heavy). The 2nd and 3rd teams were the Thunder at 9.7% of expected losses and the Rockets at 9.3%.

    It’s hard to be a really shitty team unless you give a ton of minutes to these so called sub-replacement guys. Last year only 4 teams had expected wins under 27 and they all generated at least -4.1 VORP from this group. It’s going to be a huge wildcard for us this year. On the one hand we may have made the biggest upgrade in the entire league when it comes to potentially replacing sub-basement guys. On the other hand we still have plenty of possibilities on the roster if some young guys disappoint and we either tank or accidentally play the wrong guys. Makes for a lot of volatility on the O/U. The Bulls are the other team set up to dramatically reduce their -VORPers.

  81. Maybe this is some sort of cognitive bias on my part but RJ looks like kind of a different player as a Knick than he did as a Blue Devil. Major eye test caveat here, but it seemed like every time I saw him play at Duke he did a lot of driving into the teeth of defenses and forcing up bad shots without a lot of finesse, and he has not played like that in the preseason. He has picked his spots pretty well, kept his usage to something reasonable and showed some pretty nice craftiness around the hoop.

    He’s been a pleasant surprise for me, and if he keeps playing under control like this I have to say I like his game.

  82. The very fact that the Knicks are even considering starting Portis at C over Robinson is screaming that my concerns about Randle and Robinson not being an ideal fit were justified. Randle does his best work inside. The idea is to give him as much room as possible to work inside. That’s why he has even played some C. I always liked Randle, but I pictured him as an ideal fit with KP. He does not really fit with Robinson. It’s not ideal for either of them, but at least Randle seems to be stretching his game out. So it shouldn’t be as bad for Robinson even if it’s not as ideal as having a true stretch PF out there. To me, Portis is more of a stretch PF. He’s certainly not a starting C.

  83. The very fact that the Knicks are even considering starting Portis at C over Robinson is screaming that my concerns about Randle and Robinson not being an ideal fit were justified.

    The presumption is that the front office and coaching staff actually know what the fuck they’re doing, which is problematic at best.

  84. The fact that Portis is on the roster is problematic, period. I get that you want stretch bigs, but he’s not a good overall player. You could have just brought back Kornet for that role for a lot cheaper. Portis was the worst move of the offseason.

  85. RJ Barrett hasn’t changed a thing about his game if we’re being honest. Fizdale is running a lot of the same curl actions Coach K ran for RJ, it’s just now he isn’t being relied upon to create (his handle is the least developed part of his game) so he can pick his spots and ramp up his effort on defense. If he develops that handle and that shooting, you have a guy who could be the best pure wing in the NBA in 5 years.

    Guys in this draft I’m looking at are Anthony Edwards at Georgia, Cole Anthony at UNC (who would probably love to be a Knick), and Precious Achiuwa over at Memphis. It’s probably going to be a weaker class overall, but I’m sure I’ll be pounding the table for somebody in January.

  86. @95 100000% agreed. That guy is Kevin Seraphin with a jumper and I hate that he’s going to be a consistent presence in the rotation. I’d much rather the 4/5 rotation consist of Randle, Robinson, Gibson, Morris, and Knox.

  87. Now that I won’t spend a second watching any more baseball, I’m ready for this thread.

    I haven’t read the thread so my predictions can be untainted by the rest of your (probably quite accurate) reasoning and observations.

    There’s not one “really good” player on the Knicks. The Knicks needed to sign one big free agent to be average. There are a couple of good role players on the roster but not one player that really excites me. (No matter what my Yahoo league draft looks like). That includes Robinson. He excites me for the future. Robinson and Barrett are the only two players I would strongly dislike trading but I doubt that either will achieve all-star status this season but I think it’s possible by next year.

    The team is poorly constructed. Most of these players are fringe starters or rotational players. There’s few players, maybe Randal, who would be a top-3 player on a good team. In other words, it’s a collection of meh players. There are major problems with the roster. First, I don’t like Portis or Taj as backup centers. When Mitch gets in foul trouble, there’s no rim protector. I reallllly had hoped to see me some Wooten because he has the knack for blocks and I wanted to see what a Robinson-Wooten front court looked like. Alas, I’m confident that he’s Westchester bound. The other problem is 3-point shooting and assists. Too many hero-ball/air-ball type players.

    This team is not going to be good. I’m worried that they’ll be at each other’s throats by the trade deadline. I expect 1/2 of the free agents we signed to be traded before the trade deadline.

    The bottom line is that this team is better than last year’s team. 25-30 wins. Put me down for 27.

  88. randle is a big that can fit with a lot of different kind of bigs.. but fits best with someone that can make up for his defensive deficiencies… and the reason for that is that he can pass… over 5 assists per 36 in the preseason… that also came with 4 turnovers but he can create offense….

    the reason the spacing was not so great is because a)randle draws a LOT of attention when he drives because he tends to overpower whoever he is guarding… ppl will automatically help off of that… and b)we don’t have shooters anywhere and c)randle hasn’t been quick enough on his looks

    it’s a mix of all those things but the difference between portis and mitch is very very small as far as spacing goes… nobody is afraid of leaving portis open.. and there’s no evidence to suggest that randle can’t share the court with mitch either… in fact i think they work very well together….

  89. the problems with mitch/randle mitch/portis and portis/randle are primarily on D. taj is actually a good defensive pairing with mitch because he actually knows how to play positional interior defense without nodding off and mitch needs an adult yin to his tasmanian devil yang. on offense obviously it’s not ideal.

    randle’s best complement on defense is just a really good interior defender because he ain’t. he has good hands but he also falls asleep a lot and alternates between very hard work and getting lazy (hi dsj), which is worse than the middle ground. myles tuner maybe (though they seem to hate sabonis/turner).

    mitch’s ideal complement on both sides (draymond doesn’t count he’s too much of a unicorn) is someone like horford or even millsap. portis isn’t even worth taking about. he’s just a bad defender and it’s not really about fit, he plays d like a gigantic hubert davis.

  90. The presumption is that the front office and coaching staff actually know what the fuck they’re doing, which is problematic at best.

    The articles are saying Fizdale is considering the move because there is better spacing with Portis on the court.

    the problems with mitch/randle mitch/portis and portis/randle are primarily on D.

    That’s why I think Portis is not a C. IMO, in general you want a good defensive player and rim protector at C. Portis is not that. Putting him next to Randle solves the spacing issue, but makes the interior and overall defense worse because Randle is not a defender either.

  91. Portis playing stretch PF next to Robinson is probably the best theoretical combination depending on what type of player Portis will have to cover (some matchups may not make sense), but it makes no sense when you are paying big money to Randle to be the centerpiece of your offense and he’s the better offensive player.

    This is the problem with the management and coach.

    Basketball is not just about looking at a basic stat sheet and/or watching players play (something our coach and management is not very good at to begin with). It’s about knowing each player’s individual skillsets in detail (strengths and weaknesses), valuing those attributes correctly, and then fitting them together properly to maximize the output at the team level. There’s no magic formula I’m aware of, but there are some basic principles.

    You can tell by the players they get, the combinations they get, and the lineups they put on the court they have no idea what they are doing. Even when they stumbled onto some defense heavy lineups last year that were working well, they broke them up trying to get more offense. They got more offense, but they also got worse results and had no idea. smh

  92. There’s zero zip nada zilch rim protection with a Randle/Portis frontcourt, and that’s a good way to get your ass kicked in the NBA.

  93. If they seriously start Portis over Robinson then…well…that would be, you know, really shitty.

  94. @106 october 31 for rookie contract options

    edit: the extension deadline is tomorrow but that’s not frank or dsj, it’s for the prior draft

  95. I’m talking myself in to a second team of Mitchell-Taj-Dotson(?)-Trier-Frank. 4 average+ defenders and one chucker, it’ll be like the Mutombo/Iverson sixers.

    I guess they’d probably put Knox in there somewhere and ruin things.

  96. Things to Watch This Season:

    1. Mitch
    2. RJ
    3. Cat videos

    999. Pelicans games, but just a continual closeup of Zion’s right knee
    1000. Bobby Portis

  97. This team is probably going to have rotations like the Larry Brown Knicks, which is to say a bunch of random shit thrown together at random times for no reason.

  98. Bobby Portis doesn’t protect the rim but last I checked he was putting up some decent offensive stats. Small sample size, of course. I hated the signing, but to be fair, since he was signed for potential rather than prior performance. If he keeps rebounding well, puts up a near-.600 TS% and plays passably in PnR defense on the perimeter, that’s an overpaid but decent backup.

  99. I think they should go back to 8 preseason games or at least 6… Fiz has an incomplete picture of the lineups he has to work with at this point.

    RJ and Mitch should be the priorities. I think Randle works fine with Mitch, and I guess Morris/Knox is a fine stand-in/work-in-progress, take your pick.

    Who works best next to RJ? It’s hard to tell, but clearly not Elfrid. I’d go with Frank because defense, but I’m sure they’ll go with DSJ. On offense, it’s all about who can run the break, take wide open threes, and stay out of RJ and Randle’s way.

    Oh and starting Portis opening day is way overthinking things and will just piss me right off. I’ll be rooting for Fiz to get canned if that happens.

  100. @pt – that makes sense… for some reason i thought that was coming up this season…

    re: portis –

    i’m not a portis fan but out of every knick he did actually have the best preseason….

    portis per36
    2p fg – 66.7%
    pts – 17.6
    reb – 9.4
    ast – 2.1
    stls – 0
    blks 0.43
    to – 2.6
    ftr – 0.536

    in terms of a bench big … that’s not bad! of course if he’s starting and giving you zero on the defensive end… then that’s a lot worse but i don’t actually think fiz is gonna be crazy and torpedo mitch to play bobby….

    he shoots way too much and with randle i think that’s gonna wind up being a poor fit as they’re both defensive liabilities also but portis + taj or portis + mitch lineups might actually synergize…. that means he should be subbing in for randle at pf exclusively….

    i was not a big fan of the signing… but he has a chance to be something… that something is probably an overconfident kelly olynyk .. that has some value in this league and i think he has a decent shot to get there…

  101. and if there’s anybody still left on the kevin knox bandwagon…

    knox per36

    2p fg – 35.3% <-more of the same
    pts – 17.2
    rebs – 5.9
    ast – 1.6
    stl – 0.54
    blk – 0
    to – 0.54
    ftr – 21%

    doesn't look like preseason signaled any change for him…

  102. Is there anything concrete that points to Portis as the starter or are we just assuming since Portis started one game (and Mitch started the other 3) that he has the inside track on the starting line up?

    This feels like a tinfoil conspiracy.

  103. This team is probably going to have rotations like the Larry Brown Knicks, which is to say a bunch of random shit thrown together at random times for no reason.

    This is a bit harsh. I’m not sure a single good coach wouldn’t have major issues figuring out a starting lineup and rotation with this motley collection. I expect some juggling, but doubt that it will be “random.” Dumb maybe, but not Brown-level bizarre.

  104. Who do you think gets the start at PG?

    I’m gonna guess DSJ, with Frank on the 2nd unit. Payton out of the rotation for now due to his brutal shooting. They’ve got decisions to make on DSJ and Frank, don’t they?

    If they really are trying to get a couple of second rounders for Frank (hello, Detroit?), they need to sort of “showcase” him, I’d guess, and hope he can continue his small momentum from the summer.

    It’s a long season; Payton will get his chance.

  105. There is zero chance that Payton is out of the rotation. Nor should he be. Both Ntilikina and Smith Jr. have been abysmal. Payton has a track record as a playable PG and they didn’t bring him in to sit him. If there is one, my guess is that the odd man out will be Frank, at least at first. Then it all depends on DSjr’s back and his play. But they absolutely will not bench Payton.

  106. Yeah I mean Payton has played PG in this league at a semi-competent level and the other guys haven’t, so if you’re gonna bench him because he had a couple of bad preseason games that seems rather dumb.

  107. payton should be starting… everybody has been bad… but he’s the vet and he’s at least established nba level minutes…. he should be the starter by default unless someone proves otherwise… and no.. frank absolutely did not do that…

    he should however not be getting the lion’s share of the minutes but he has the best chance to keep up with opposing first team pg’s… him and dsj should be splitting time with frank sprinkled in to come in vs trae young…

  108. Who do you think gets the start at PG?

    I would take that a step further, What’s the starting 5, who are the 5 subs in a 10-man rotation? Who rides the pines?
    My guesses:

    Starting 5: Smith Jr, Barrett, Morris, Randle, Robinson
    Bench: Payton, Ntilikina, Elington, Knox, Portis
    DNP CD: Trier, Dotson, Brazdekis, Bullock, Gibson

    Just my hunch

  109. My guess is that Fiz starts with a 11-man rotation:
    Starters: Payton, RJ, Morris, Randle, Mitch.
    Bench: DSjr, Trier, Portis, Knox, Ellington, Gibson
    Out of rotation: Frank, Dotson, Iggy, Bullock

    Frank and Dot get spotted in situationally. If the rotation guys start losing/playing poorly, Frank and Dot get minutes at the expense of RJ/Trier/Ellington/DSjr/Knox

  110. I’m going with:

    Starting 5: Smith Jr, Barrett, Morris, Randle, Robinson
    Bench: Payton, Trier, Ellington, Knox, Portis, Gibson
    DNP CD: Dotson, Brazdekis, Bullock, Ntilikina

    I think they’ll start the season at 11-deep maybe even 12 as Frank should get some spot minutes. I also think Trier will fall out, Dotson will move up, and Frank will be traded. Payton will probably take over as the starter at some point because DSJ won’t improve. I also think Knox could start over Morris eventually.

  111. I don’t get why so many here don’t like Trier when he is our best scoring guard on this team in a league that values scoring guards above all else. Tell you what: try to find another rookie guard that played over 1200 minutes and shot at a TS% of over .560 with a FTr of over .400 and a usage of over 20%. He’s not good at much else, but is a big-time scorer. Considering that he is our only guard that can both shoot well at high volume and get to the line, I don’t get how anyone thinks he will (or should) fall out of the rotation.

  112. Trier does one thing really well: score in isolation. But he doesn’t dish so play stagnates around him. He struggles on defense. In other words, he’s the perfect Knick.

  113. I see no reason that Peyton should get the job of starting point guard. Sure he’s been ok in the past, but Knick’s management has made it very clear that jobs need to be won with performance. I am sure that is what they will do. Peyton has shot worse than Ntilikina, at least in pre-season games and has not impressed overall. Maybe he started out a favorite, but he’s not anymore. His performance in practice might be different, but given the minutes he got in preseason games I doubt it.

  114. I feel 33 wins is in the real of possibility with us in the hunt for LaMelo with a mid-late lottery pick. Kid looks pretty good so far in his 4 games for Illawarra. His 3pt numbers are a bit of a concern, but he looks like he has a lot of tools and his IQ looks to be pretty high.

  115. Yea so…remember how I said Barrett and Knox should lead the 2nd unit with Barrett as the defacto PG so they can have the room to grow?

    SIKE! I lied lmao

    It appears that RJ is a lock to start, and with DSJ not all the way back yet, this is the perfect time for Ntilikina to assert himself as the starting PG. So..I’m lookin at a MitchRob/ Randle/Mook/RJ/Ntilikina starting 5 followed by Portis/Taj/Knox/Ellington/DSJ. You can even swap Taj and Mitch if you want, but I’d prefer Mitch so we can have strong defense at the 1 and 5. Not that Taj isn’t a strong defender, it’s just that Mitch is the better rim protector of the 2. You know what? Screw it. Start Taj. He’s not gonna play 30 minutes a night anyway

    I would be ok with starting Portis at the 5, but if our starting guards don’t stay in front of their man, it would be a layup line at the rim

  116. I don’t get why so many here don’t like Trier when he is our best scoring guard on this team in a league that values scoring guards above all else.

    Trier does literally nothing else except for turn the ball over at a high rate. He’s Melo, but instead of adding rebounding he just turns the ball over.

    Slightly above average TS% + Negative TO rate = Not actually a good scorer.

    His age and contract limit his upside. If we can get him to sign a favorable extension, I’m not against featuring him more.

  117. I keep reading and hearing that Mook is the most likely vet to get traded. Why not Portis instead? I think we need guys like Mook and Taj on the team. I like Portis, but he’s not exactly a great fit playing the 5 for us. And with Mook on the roster, that’s a bit of overlap if Portis plays the 4. So it makes sense that he’s the odd man out, right?

  118. I keep reading and hearing that Mook is the most likely vet to get traded. Why not Portis instead?

    My guess, no one wants to give up assets to pay Portis $15 million to lose games.

  119. Trier does literally nothing else except for turn the ball over at a high rate. He’s Melo, but instead of adding rebounding he just turns the ball over.

    Slightly above average TS% + Negative TO rate = Not actually a good scorer.

    His age and contract limit his upside. If we can get him to sign a favorable extension, I’m not against featuring him more.

    Trier is 1400 minutes into his NBA career and by any credible measure had what would be called an outstanding rookie season for anyone drafted outside the lottery, much less an undrafted FA. I truly don’t get why he is being judged as a finished product at age 23 based on 1400 minutes. He averaged 5 rebounds and 3 assists per 36 last year, neither of which is terrible for a shooting guard, much less an undrafted rookie. He also shot 3’s at a 38-40% clip for the entire season. Sure, the assists were offset by 3 turnovers per 36, but isn’t that kind of expected from a rookie? And comparing him to a declining Melo, you know, the guy on a max contract, is a joke. Trier is a second-year shooting guard on a team with deeply flawed alternatives and is making a whopping $3.5 million. It would be absolutely moronic to bench him any time soon.

  120. We’re heading into the season with no discernible offensive system or any semblance of a rotation. This is a disaster waiting to happen. I think every time we play a game against a well-drilled NBA team it’s going to be readily apparent how unprofessional Fizdale’s approach to the game is.

  121. @135
    I actually think Portis is a good player. It’s just at this point, he is not a fit with Mook, Taj, and Randle already there- unless he somehow becomes a plus defender. That newfound accuracy on Taj’s J out to 3 makes Portis super expendable. I wonder if Toronto, Charlotte, or NO would take him. Maybe we can pry Ball away from NO with Alexander- Walker’s play so far

  122. @136,

    Trier turns 24 in January. He’s effectively entered his prime and passed the improvement phase of basketball.

    He played 3 years of college ball. Generally players who stayed in college longer are assumed to be closer to a finished product upon entering the league. He’s already picked up many of the skills that Frank, Knox, and RJ will over the next 3-4 years.

    Trier is a FA after this season. Even if Trier does improve this year (he probably will) he will get paid equally or over his market value. So, despite being a steal as an undrafted FA, his surplus value is minimal.

    Look at his advanced stats, they’re terrible. He has a -4.2 BPM, -0.8 VORP, and .030 WS/48. He’s not a stellar player and can’t be expected to improve much (see above).

    He’s a ball-dominant player, but it’s not clear to me he’ll be good enough in that role to make a difference on a competitive team.

    You can look at Melo before his mega-max too. He was an average NBA player despite scoring at mediocre efficiency and rebounding fairly well. Trier doesn’t rebound very well AND turns the ball over frequently. He’s a negative value.

  123. We’re heading into the season with no discernible offensive system or any semblance of a rotation. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

    So much this…..

  124. Two NY Times writers picked RJ for Rookie of the Year, and one picked the Knicks to make the playoffs.

    So we’ve got that going for us…..

  125. Looks like a promising podcast (haven’t listened to whole thing yet): Hollinger Podcast

    Ended up jumping around a bit to listen to this. He didn’t say anything about the Knicks we don’t know.

    Rookies Hollinger likes to outplay expectations:
    (Zion a given)
    Alexander-walker
    Jah

    Unsure about Culver
    Down on Cam Johnson

    At the end he talks about making cuts. I was half listening but he recommended only bringing 15 players to camp that you intend to keep. The hassle/ player emotions/ owner wondering why you wasted $3 mill isn’t worth it. Also, you’re not going to learn enough from 4 games.

    This last one is notable because it conflicts with the general view here that we should be filling out the 20 with actual players.

  126. Fiz was definitely the most discouraging part of the preseason to me and a big part I’m on the low end of the range here (I’ll say 23 wins official prediction). I think he has crushed any suggestion that last year’s team was, shall we say, undercoached (putting it politely) for tanking purposes, or because they knew most of those guys would be gone or whatever other excuse you want to dream up. I think we have a real Occam’s razor situation here: We were badly coached last year because we have a bad coach, and we’re going to be badly coached this year for exactly the same reason.

    And this team is truly in need of a deft touch from the coach – it’s not an easy job for all the reasons we’ve discussed ad nauseum. There are some teams where the 9 man rotation basically picks itself, and you can largely run an offense that gives the ball to the best player and tells him to do something good every posession. This team could not be further from that on either of those axes. There’s a real potential for this to break down into a complete every man for himself situation with everyone from the front office down to the court looking to protect their own ass from the firing line.

    The one biggest thing we have going for us is that the conference is really soft. As ugly as I expect this team to be, even our sorry outfit should be able to steal some games, all the way down to the lower echelon playoff teams.

    Biggest swing factor in my opinion is RJ. My expectations were that he was going to be very, very bad this season, but he looked really good in preseason, but it is preseason. The one thing that seems certain based on what we’ve seen is that he’s going to play a ton, so the difference between him being decent vs. totally lighting those minutes on fire could be like 5+ wins and I could easily see it going either direction at this point.

  127. Trier is a 6th man type player.

    He’s the kind of player you bring in off the bench hoping he can get hot and get the team on a quick run, but he’s deficient in too many other ways to be a starter or dependable player down the stretch of an important game. Every team could use a player like him. But if he’s going to start complaining about time and role, I think you can move on from him. He’s not a starter.

  128. Trier turns 24 in January. He’s effectively entered his prime and passed the improvement phase of basketball. He played 3 years of college ball. Generally players who stayed in college longer are assumed to be closer to a finished product upon entering the league….Look at his advanced stats, they’re terrible. He has a -4.2 BPM, -0.8 VORP, and .030 WS/48. He’s not a stellar player and can’t be expected to improve much (see above). He’s a ball-dominant player, but it’s not clear to me he’ll be good enough in that role to make a difference on a competitive team.

    Maybe it’s not fair cause Trier does seem to shoot with some higher efficiency, but I remember when the Knicks had Lee Nailon on the team and he was an iso-hungry elderly youngster type who scored a lot while doing nothing to actually win basketball games. I remember being kind of tantalized by him during a few games, but then reality set in that this was pretty much the ceiling for him, and that ceiling wasn’t high enough to invest in. I haven’t watched much Trier, but from the descriptions here, I get images of Lee Nailon at the guard position.

  129. The one biggest thing we have going for us is that the conference is really soft. As ugly as I expect this team to be, even our sorry outfit should be able to steal some games, all the way down to the lower echelon playoff teams.

    This plus the fact that we have decent defensive personnel is why I went with 29 wins, which I already think was way too high, but I’ll stick with it. I think the offense will be “someone please be a hero tonight and bail out the fact that I can’t install a system”, but the defense has potential.

    There’s a real potential for this to break down into a complete every man for himself situation with everyone from the front office down to the court looking to protect their own ass from the firing line.

    Not that it’s all about Frank, but this is why some of us think he could reach his potential elsewhere. This is absolutely positively the worst situation for someone like him. My only hope for him is that he and Barrett get some PT together and form a formidable defensive backcourt that makes him hard to bench for the type of me-first players that would thrive in such chaos.

  130. Trier was a decently efficient scorer last year but because he turns the ball over a lot and doesn’t pass and sucks on defense he needs to be more than decent to have any value. The Knicks aren’t going anywhere this year so I’m fine giving him a shot to see if he can get his TS up and/or his turnovers down, but we should absolutely be looking to trade him if he does.

  131. I’m closer to Z-Man than EB on Trier. It’s no secret that he wasn’t a winning player as a rookie, but I’m not sure where people are getting the idea that we’re in a position to hemorrhage young players who have shown…anything. He’s a shot distribution alteration away from being a .580-.590 TS% guy on pretty high usage, and that’s without much of any improvement in other areas. His box score aggregators will likely never be too pretty, partially because he’s not likely to ever be that good, but also because I think they tend to give off-ball guards the short shrift a bit. The traditional conception of the position largely determines that the other 4 guys on the team rack up the non-scoring numbers, even if the SG could if put in the right position (e.g. Beal racking up assists with Wall out).

    Will he make the necessary changes to be an efficient player? Even if he’s willing, is Fizdale the guy to get him to do it? I have no idea, but you can probably tell I ain’t betting on it. But we quite literally have nothing better to do than give him 2000+ minutes and see what he can do. If he parlays those minutes into a contract that would be stupid for us to sign, we don’t have to sign it! If he doesn’t, that’s valuable information too. I mean these are minutes that would come at the expense of Wayne Ellington. Is anyone really against that?

  132. If Trier plays like he does last year than I’d rather put Ellington out there. I don’t want the younger Knicks-especially RJ and Knox- standing around watching Trier chuck shots at the basket. RJ needs to be a playmaker and Knox needs to figure out a role as a play finisher and neither one of those things is going to happen when they’re wasting time on the perimeter waiting for iso-zo to do his thing.

  133. i actually think folks are being a bit too pessimistic…. and i think the folks in the 20 win range on this board and out in the media are anchoring hard on last year’s roster…. none of those guys save for mitch and dsj is going to be seeing heavy minutes so this is a completely different team…

    the atlanta hawks last year won 29 games… and the only guy who played well for them from start to finish was john collins.. and he missed 21 games…. huerter and bembry played their 2nd and 3rd heavy minutes and they are absolutely worse than whatever morris is gonna give…

    we’re not all that different than last year’s wizards team… and those guys won 32 games…. and yea this is the pupu platter of shitty teams but there’s a difference between being wizard shitty and the knicks starting luke kornet and mario hezonja shitty…. and we’re not that team anymore thankfully….

    what we do have is some solid vets who have established a baseline of competence across many many teams…. it’s very reasonable to expect morris… ellington and taj to give us what they gave last year.. and it’s pretty good! that’s a huge swing in production on that basis alone…

    there’s some volatility surround randle… but a young guy who has shown improvement in each of the last 3 years who obviously has worked very hard on their game…. who has still not hit their prime… there isn’t a better type of guy to bet on succeeding…

    then you have guys like rj and dsj… and yea if they’re bad we’re probably high 20s but they’re not knox or frank level of bad…. and there’s plenty of indication that they’ll actually be good… and if they both are we’ll be contending for a playoff spot….

    plenty of reason to be optimistic…. of course there’s also plenty of reasons to be bearish which i recognize… but i think given the age and promise of the guys that matter i would be more bullish …. young teams tend to surprise and we’re exactly that kind of team..

  134. I used to be a Knicks optimist, but 10+ years on this board and 20 years of Dolan have beaten it out of me. My official prediction: 24 wins.

    Because of simple competence from many of the new players and the likelihood of fewer minutes from our leaders in losing last year, I’m tempted to predict a much higher win total …. but then I tune into a few preseason games, put aside my fandom cap, and see a bunch of random shit on offense and no real standout players who can lift the team above the basketball equivalent of the Mendoza line. I’m with thenamestsam:

    Fiz was definitely the most discouraging part of the preseason to me and a big part I’m on the low end of the range here

    The Portis and Ellington signings aside, I can see a bunch of potentially complementary players, particularly if RJ handles a portion of the distribution duties, who could offset each others’ weaknesses to become a decent team. A very good coach could get 30+ wins, at least. But there’s no reason to think Fiz is a very good coach, and combine that with a LOT of players who will get cranky about playing time, you have a team ripe for underperformance – and underperformance of an already low expected number of wins.

    So I’d like to say that Morris, Mitch, Randle, and Taj will bring enough skill and talent to push us over 24 wins, but with Fiz at the helm, no.

    Two positives:

    1) Fiz will be fired in February, with the Knicks already out of the playoffs, and Miller promoted. Miller will lay the foundation of an actual system and begin leading the team toward success.

    2) I wanted to trade down for Clarks and Alexander-Walker, and that still looks like it would have been a better play, but at least RJ looks like an NBA player who should be solid for year to come, with the likelihood of becoming good and the possibility of becoming great.

    EDIT: I guess Miller could lead us to 28 wins with a hot streak after Fiz is fired, but because the FO may wait till the end of the year, I’ll stick with 24 and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

  135. @150

    I don’t understand this view at all. It comes down to basic asset management to me. I mean the chance that 31 year-old, regularly waived Wayne Ellington is a contributor to the next good Knicks team is 0%. It’s a non-possibility. We have one shot at getting anything at all out of that contract—trading him for something small at the deadline. Seeing as how he was waived last year while making less money, color me skeptical about that happening.

    And no, I don’t view the chance that Trier is a contributor to the next good Knicks team as very high. But if he starts shooting 6+ threes a game, cuts out some mid-range junk, and takes defense more seriously, it isn’t 0%. Is it likely he does all of those things? Not at all. Is it (much) more likely than us getting anything out of the Wayne Ellington contract? Yeah, that seems easy to determine to me.

    As for the “rub-off” effect or whatever, I’m gonna need to see some evidence that this phenomenon even exists before I take it seriously.

  136. This plus the fact that we have decent defensive personnel is why I went with 29 wins, which I already think was way too high, but I’ll stick with it. I think the offense will be “someone please be a hero tonight and bail out the fact that I can’t install a system”, but the defense has potential.

    I do agree that the defense has real potential (I’ve posted it previously but I definitely believe if this team has an upward surprise it will be because of that end of the floor) but the potentially brewing Portis over Mitch thing has me very worried. Mitch is a big part of that potential and I’m getting more and more worried that the big minutes uptick we all expected is not going to materialize. If Randle and Portis is the starting frontcourt and those guys are both getting 30+ minutes the D is going to suffer even if there are some other bright spots.

  137. I’m just not optimistic about this season at all. I’m not bullish on Fiz at all (I’m not buying the snake oil), and I think he’s been dealt a pretty crappy roster by management.

    The team should be tanking. Young players should still get priority, but you don’t sign Morris, Payton and Portis and not give them big minutes, I guess. And now there’s rumors that Payton was promised the starting gig when he signed.

    Really, this season should be about finding a good complementary set of players for RJB to play with. I’d think that includes Mitch as much as possible. Developing those two guys should be job one for Fiz.

  138. As for the “rub-off” effect or whatever, I’m gonna need to see some evidence that this phenomenon even exists before I take it seriously.

    I submit the shot charts for Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis as Exhibit A.

  139. If Randle and Portis is the starting frontcourt and those guys are both getting 30+ minutes the D is going to suffer even if there are some other bright spots.

    I think Fiz has too much self-preservation game to run that pairing out there at Mitch’s expensive.

  140. I have a famous affinity for Buddy Hield, but that deal he just signed (4 years, $94mm) seems really expensive.

  141. I’m not sure what our win total will be but I think people are overreacting a bit to the preseason. Its a bunch of new players and it will take some time to figure out the roles/minutes. I think we could win 25 to 40 games depending. I think if we win less than 25 Fiz is out for sure.

    But it does feel like the fan base on this blog and on P and T is really pessimistic a lot earlier this year than normal. So here is team optimist with some reminders.

    RJ and Mitch are definitely core pieces and both are super young.

    Randle is going to be fine for us.

    Knox looks better.

    We have 6 first round picks over the next 4 years. When you think of where we will probably be this year and where Dallas could be next year, at least 2 of those could be lottery picks.

    All of the vets we signed except for Randle don’t have to be optioned for next year. We are not tied to these guys long term. I understand the criticisms of this strategy but let me just throw this out there. We can basically bring back who we want to and not bring back or trade those we don’t want. So, for example, if TAJ turns out to have stuff left in the tank and is a good mentor/veteran influence on the young players, he can come back. If Elfrid Payton complains when he is pulled from the starting line up for some games to give DSJ or Frank a chance, we can let him go. This means space can open up next summer for new players or in 2 summers for a major get.

    And again, RJ BARRET! He’s freaking awesome. RJ and MITCH ARE THE FUTURE.

    Things are not so bleak. Keep your head up!

  142. I have no problem with Trier getting minutes this year, if we can find something in him and extend him then go for it. Playing Trier/RJ in the backcourt is a lineup I’d like to see at some point (since we don’t have an actual lineup anyways). I really liked his game, but once I looked at his actual numbers (other than his efficient scoring) the shine kinda fell off.

    He’ll be fun to watch, I really did like him and I probably will feel that way again as he carries us to a few wins. However, I think Trier is a player that gets you wins on a bad team but doesn’t really have a place on a good team. It’s the same thing with Frank and his +/-. It’s not that Frank is good, it’s that the other options are so atrocious he ends up looking good by comparison.

    Then again, Trier is a FA after this year so I’m not sure he’s anymore a part of this team’s future than Ellington. He’s a player that will take the money, he hasn’t had enough a payday yet and someone will be willing to shell out money for him. It may be us, but that’ll end up being an overpay.

  143. Buddy Hield just signed an extension in Sacramento. For now, takes another potential player off the trade market.

  144. I think Fiz has too much self-preservation game to run that pairing out there at Mitch’s expensive.

    You have more faith that he knows his ass from his elbows than I do. Time will tell. It has been obvious since free agency that “who plays?” was probably going to be the defining question of this Knicks year and I still don’t feel like we’re particularly close to knowing the final answers. Wednesday can’t get here soon enough.

    I have a famous affinity for Buddy Hield, but that deal he just signed (4 years, $94mm) seems really expensive.

    It’s always really hard to know with guys coming off their first and only good year, but he just had arguably the greatest shooting season ever for someone who is not Steph. That’s not even hyperbole – 43% 3p% on 9 attempts/36 is as good as any Klay season, and I’m not sure anyone else has a case. He may never put up a season like that again, but if he does, shooting is arguably the one skill that every single team can always use more of – you’re never going to find a thin market for him. I think it’s a good deal.

  145. A lineup of Hield/RJ/Randle/Mitch is something I’d start getting excited about. If Bullock ever comes back, he may imitate a poor man’s Hield.

    For all the changes this team made, I’m not sure the needle moves much.

    (1) Fizzle will play Knox for a stretch of games to the tune of 38 minutes a night of .450 TS%
    (2) Our lineup has a low change of ever being optimized
    (3) There’s still lots of questions about Randle’s value (see 538’s Raptor, even his WS/48 is only mediocre)
    (4) Mitch is fantastic and can do no wrong but his positional defense still needs a lot of work before he’s a truly elite anchor

  146. You mean the Buddy Hield that wasn’t as good of an old rookie as Trier?

    There are 3 things Trier does very well that are perfect for today’s NBA: Shoots 3’s, gets to the line and hits FTs. His usage was 21%, hardly chucker territory. He turned the ball over too much, like most rookies do, so what? Are we ditching Mitch because he fouled too much?

    Run a search for last 3 years and tell me what other players who played at least 1200 minutes, shot 39% from 3, had a FTr of over .430 and made 80% of his FTs, and had a at least a 21% usage.

  147. I’m disappointed in Trier. Those who pay attention to scoring as the #1 metric to evaluate a player love him, but he’s not a good player. Thing is, he could be a very good player if he took to coaching, but seemingly (I’m not in the locker room) refuses to pass and can’t keep up with players he’s defending.

    Allonzo Trier not well-liked by Knicks’ veteran players, per report – April 2019

    I will underscore my statement. He COULD be good. He refuses to do what it takes – play team ball.

  148. picking up both frank and dsj

    Yup, and Knox’s third-year option, not that that was ever in doubt.

    Good. Both are deeply flawed players, but we’re not winning anything this year, and we’re not signing an impact free agent this summer. Might as well take as much time as you can to see if either or both can ever live up to their potential.

  149. Yeah, really not surprised, esp. if they are hoping to get something in a trade for either.

  150. @164

    The problem with Trier is obviously not what he does fairly well (which is score). It’s that he doesn’t defend well, stops the ball, takes shots even when a teammate has a better look, and often turns the ball over trying to do too much in order to score.

    Ultimately he’ll probably be better than someone like Hardaway because he’s more efficient as a scorer. But like him, his flaws are not conducive to playing winning basketball if you give him a big role. You need scorers to become a serious team, but you need scorers that play well within a team concept and that also defend. Otherwise, you should come in off the bench once in awhile to try to ignite an offense that’s struggling on a particular night.

    If that’s the role we give him and he’s willing to accept it, no problemo. If he thinks he’s a key piece or he somehow becomes a key piece without correcting his deficiencies we are not going to be very good.

  151. The Hield contract is full of incentives and can go anywhere between 86 and 106 million, with the most likely incentives he could reach taking it to 94. It’s a lot of money but he’s a legitimately great 3 point shooter for a team that needs to lock up all the talent they can, seeing as no free agents are ever going there. I don’t hate it at all.

    I’m glad we picked up Frank and DSJ’s options, there’s really no reason not to anyway.

  152. picking up both frank and dsj

    IMO, the correct move in both cases.

    We have a bunch of 1 year mercenary veterans on the team. Most (if not all) will be gone next year. We’ll have a ton of cap space again, but there are few lucrative free agents. We are probably going to use much of that space with the same kind of “roll over” strategy we just used it for. So why not keep a couple of very young guys that show some talent on one side or the other and try to improve and round out their games instead. Of course, we could let Frank go and then when Wayne Ellington moves on, we could always bring Courtney Lee back for a year instead. :-)

  153. @165 So based on the amazing veteran leadership of last year’s 17-win Knicks team, we are labeling Trier uncoachable and a locker room cancer? Specifically Trey Burke (who had a terrible attitude as a rookie, if I recall) and THjr., who was so team-oriented as a rookie that he averaged per 36 a whopping 1.3 assists? (Not to mention a massive 2.3 TRB per 36!) and had to be banished to the G-League before he took defense seriously?

    Those who pay attention to scoring as the #1 metric to evaluate a player love him, but he’s not a good player.

    Really? This is kind of a lame rebuttal. Last I checked, efficient volume scoring is a pretty important part of the game, and one that our team as a whole will be pretty bad at (and last year was even worse!) Just because I value Trier’s current strengths in that area, it doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize his deficiencies in others. But more importantly, his weaknesses are not as pronounced as you and others are making them out to be. For example, he is a below average but not terrible passer for a shooting guard, and he is a pretty good rebounder for a shooting guard. He averaged more assists and rebounds per 36 as a rookie than Klay Thompson’s career averages. People bring up his -2.0 DBPM, but Klay’s was -2.8 his rookie year (never once was it positive since) and he’s considered to be one of the best defensive 2’s in the league.

    Just because I believe that he should play significant minutes on this team given his and the team’s situation doesn’t mean that I “love” him, only that it’s the smart thing to do for now.

  154. I don’t understand this view at all. It comes down to basic asset management to me. I mean the chance that 31 year-old, regularly waived Wayne Ellington is a contributor to the next good Knicks team is 0%. It’s a non-possibility.

    I agree with this. What I’m saying is don’t just throw Trier out there for 30 minutes a night if he plays roughly like he does last year in the hopes he gets better as the season goes along, because there are other young players on the team. Play DSJ and Ntilikina and RJ at the guard spots.

  155. @165 So based on the amazing veteran leadership of last year’s 17-win Knicks team, we are labeling Trier uncoachable and a locker room cancer? Specifically Trey Burke (who had a terrible attitude as a rookie, if I recall) and THjr., who was so team-oriented as a rookie that he averaged per 36 a whopping 1.3 assists? (Not to mention a massive 2.3 TRB per 36!) and had to be banished to the G-League before he took defense seriously?

    I was literally laughing out loud at the examples in that article. I mean if THJ had Trier’s AST% from last year, his career AST% would improve. Trey Burke, I mean, that just kind of speaks for itself.

    Allonzo Trier had the second highest TS% among all of our full-time players last year. I would get furious when he would look off Mitch (though my vague, eye-testy recollection is he got better at finding him towards the end of the year). Everyone else…we might’ve been objectively better off with the Trier-ISO, honestly.

    I will repeat, I don’t have a ton of faith in the guy. But a smart organization would recognize there are legitimate skills there and find out just how much they can be honed. So yeah, we’ll probably develop Wayne Ellington instead.

  156. I agree with this. What I’m saying is don’t just throw Trier out there for 30 minutes a night if he plays roughly like he does last year in the hopes he gets better as the season goes along, because there are other young players on the team. Play DSJ and Ntilikina and RJ at the guard spots.

    Yeah, there’s no denying that if Trier is going to amount to anything it’ll require a significant amount of “coaching up.” I’m not opposed to selective benchings if/when he does dumb stuff, as long as the idea is to correct the mistakes and get him back on the court. I will say that I think he should be a higher development priority than Ntilikina, who I do not believe has baseline NBA talent (I agree with picking up the option though because whatever).

  157. To clarify my position, I’m not anti-Trier, but I think the staff is starting to go there, and it seems like a rift is slowly growing. I think he’s a perfectly fine player to have in the rotation, but I predict a falling out of sorts.

    And while I agree that his good qualities (3pt%, drawing fouls) are ideal qualities, a lot of his bad qualities don’t look particularly solvable (tunnel vision, bad defense). At the right price and in the right milieu of players, he could become a great 6th man, but it feels like he’s not fitting with the timeline. We shall see, I suppose.

  158. this thread is like living in an actual shed and complaining that your bedroll doesn’t match your cinder-block furniture

  159. Trier is good at everything Fizdale and the front office love, and he’s terrible at all the things the same people are willing to overlook. I think he’ll be fine unless the current veterans truly come to despise him (not impossible).

    He’s also the only decent floor spacer on the team.

  160. On a seperate predictions topic, with the season seemingly quite wide open I’m curious who people here are picking to win the title. I guess I’m leaning ever so slightly towards the Clippers (which it seems is the slight consensus) in part because I still think they have one trade left in them if they need it, but I say that with almost no conviction. I think there’s really five teams who I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they wont the title (Cips, Lakers, Rockets, Bucks, Sixers in no particular order) and then at least three more where I’d be only mildly surprised (Warriors, Jazz, Nuggets).

    With so many teams in that group and with the west playoff battle looking like a total bloodbath (I think you could easily see one of my title contending west teams miss the playoffs with bad injury luck) it should be an absolutely fascinating year.

  161. The Clippers are the best team but they are still the fucking Clippers. I wouldn’t be shocked if their season got derailed by injury.

    The Bucks were cruising to a title last year until Kawhi decided he was going to own Giannis. If I had to place a bet today, I’d take them.

  162. I hate the team, but I think Philly is a dark horse this year. They were close last year and their young players have a lot to offer. If Simmons can improve again, they could have the star power and the depth to get it done.

  163. I loved the Bucks last year until Kawhi decided he was going to own Giannis. If I had to place a bet today, I’d take them.

    They definitely seem like the likeliest team to be there at the end. They’re arguably the only contender that hasn’t undergone a major facelift relative to last year (depending I guess on whether you consider the Paul/Westbrook flip to be a major change for the Rockets, and whether you consider the Nuggets a true title contender). Multiply that by the Eastern Conference factor and they’ve probably got like at least 75%+ odds to be in the conference finals. That’s an awfully nice baseline.

    My hesitancy with them is two-fold. One, as someone who almost never puts much weight on “Player X can’t get it done when it counts” narratives, I legitimately worry about Bledsoe. He has really melted down both of the last two years, and I don’t think they have quite enough talent without him playing at his normal levels, even moreso without Brogdon. Second, I think the Sixers are potentially a uniquely awful matchup for them, and against the Eastern Conference factor means they’re extremely likely to have to beat them in the playoffs. They just have so much size to wall off Giannis.

  164. Woj:

    Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown has agreed to a four-year, $115M million contract extension, agent Jason Glushon tells ESPN.

    That’s a lot of money.

  165. Ainge just gave Jaylen Brown a 4 year, $115 million extension. Seems like a considerable overpay, but he’s still young I guess? Looked like he regressed last season.

    Also, the Siakam max extension is now official.

  166. @182

    I agree, I think the Sixers match up well enough against the Bucks to maybe have an advantage, and it took a crazy buzzer beater by Kawhi in a game 7 to eliminate them. One different bounce happens and they might have been in the finals last season.

    I think the Bucks will have the best record in the regular season, but if I had to bet on the eastern conference champions, I would bet on the Sixers.

    In the west I genuinely have no idea, and I will bet that the western finalist gets decided by whichever team is healthier by the playoffs, between the Clippers, Lakers and Rockets. I still think the Warriors are going to be very dangerous and I wouldn’t be super surprised if the Nuggets or Jazz figure it out and get there with some improvement from their young players. I think the Clippers are the better team, not taking injuries into consideration, but there’s no way to ignore possible injuries when their core is Kawhi + Paul George.

  167. Well, I think I would rather have Buddy Hield at his contract than Jaylen Brown making 115 million.

  168. @172 – Look, I’m not anti-Trier, but when a player basks in his nick-name “ISO-Zo” and refuses to change or be coached, that’s on him. You’ve all read the quotes in the article I posted. We’re not there and this is all we have to go on, but it’s damning.

    If I were the coach, I would read him the riot act and take him out of a game immediately if he passed up sharing the ball. There are some players that need tough love. I hope he gets with the plan because he can be terrific if he worked on that aspect of the game. And all he needs to do is look at Melo’s situation now and what got him there. This might explain it

  169. wow… jaylen brown is okish.. but wow… that’s not gonna work out for them…

    in terms of who’s going to win.. i’m not even gonna try…. this is one of the most fascinating title races since i can’t even remember…

    i do really like denver… and they are a legit title contender in my eyes… although they probably don’t have the best playoff team… i think they’re likely to end up with the best regular season…. they are young.. deep and they are very good at every position…. the rest of the west is about who is the most healthy and i’m pretty sure there’s gonna be more trades to impact the hierarchy…

    i like the sixers if they didn’t sign horford and just got anyone else.. it’s a very interesting team regardless and i’m rooting for them to pummel everyone inside… i also like the bucks although it’s very giannis centric but he’s surrounded by capable role players… that generally hasn’t been enough… but might be this year…

    this is a good year to watch the nba….

  170. I did statistics for the thread. I counted 39 predictions. The predictions were symmetrically distributed with an mean prediction of 27.9 wins and a median prediction of 28 wins. The predictions ranged for 18 or 19 (by Unreason, which I counted as 18.5) and 36 (by the glass half rebuilt)

    This is not a small range, but it is still smaller than the predictions of the New York Times, where two sportswriters thought we would make the playoffs and one thought we would have the worst record in the league.

  171. My prediction has a caveat. If Robinson plays 2000+ minutes and DSJ plays less than 1000 I am predicting 37 wins. I would have said 34 or 35 but I wanted something no one else guessed so here it is.

    If Robinson plays less than 2000 minutes and DSJ plays more than 1000 then lots of things are wrong with the team and Fiz has screwed it up bad so I’m guessing 26 wins if that is the case.

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