New York Knicks (2) vs Indiana Pacers (6) - 2024 EC Second Round

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Sunny von Bulow
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Feels like in hoops, more than any other sport, there are certain games once in a while where it’s just beyond the ability of a coach to affect it and one team is just going to get slaughtered.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Lawler’s law says the team first to 100 will win about 92 percent of the time.

So the Pacers are in good shape here.
 

BosoxFaninCincy

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The Knicks are like the dog/best friend who was tired and hurt and just willed himself to drag on past anything reasonable because he gave it all he had and because he wanted to let us know he loved being a good dog. The Knicks have given us about 80% of the clutch minutes of the entire playoffs. Without them, there would be minimal entertainment. But they don't have anything left, and if they make the ECF, what is left of them will taint what they have given us so far. I kind of hope for their sake they just pass into the offseason because their tank is empty and enjoy the Cancun breezes.
 

Justthetippett

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The Knicks are like the dog/best friend who was tired and hurt and just willed himself to drag on past anything reasonable because he gave it all he had and because he wanted to let us know he loved being a good dog. The Knicks have given us about 80% of the clutch minutes of the entire playoffs. Without them, there would be minimal entertainment. But they don't have anything left, and if they make the ECF, what is left of them will taint what they have given us so far. I kind of hope for their sake they just pass into the offseason because their tank is empty and enjoy the Cancun breezes.
I still think they can get to a Game 7 in MSG and then who knows. They have done plenty this playoffs to make this summer and next year very interesting, on that I would agree.
 

jezza1918

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I still think they can get to a Game 7 in MSG and then who knows. They have done plenty this playoffs to make this summer and next year very interesting, on that I would agree.
This wont happen because Thibs is gonna Thibs but based on their rotation/injuries if Im a knicks fan Id hope they go all out to win game 5 at home, and basically throw game 6 and hope some rest and home court gets them through game 7.
 

bakahump

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Lawler’s law says the team first to 100 will win about 92 percent of the time.

So the Pacers are in good shape here.
Didnt know this was a thing. I always had "Bakas Bylaw" of First team to 115 almost always wins. Sure its later in the game then "Lawlers Law" but it also holds up well in those 111-108 games with 2 or 3 mins to play. You get to 115 and my BP goes down.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The Knicks are like the dog/best friend who was tired and hurt and just willed himself to drag on past anything reasonable because he gave it all he had and because he wanted to let us know he loved being a good dog. The Knicks have given us about 80% of the clutch minutes of the entire playoffs. Without them, there would be minimal entertainment. But they don't have anything left, and if they make the ECF, what is left of them will taint what they have given us so far. I kind of hope for their sake they just pass into the offseason because their tank is empty and enjoy the Cancun breezes.
Fun analogy but to me the issue isn't what NYK has left in the tank - it's just that this version of NYK just isn't very good. NYK wasn't very good on defense to begin with (4th worse DRtg in 1st round of playoffs) and that's with OG covering a lot of holes.

The lineups they play now are either too small and can't defend or put too much pressure on a hobbled Brunson to score.

Next year will be interesting. I hope Brunson makes it through these playoffs without harming his career.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Fun analogy but to me the issue isn't what NYK has left in the tank - it's just that this version of NYK just isn't very good. NYK wasn't very good on defense to begin with (4th worse DRtg in 1st round of playoffs) and that's with OG covering a lot of holes.

The lineups they play now are either too small and can't defend or put too much pressure on a hobbled Brunson to score.

Next year will be interesting. I hope Brunson makes it through these playoffs without harming his career.
Agree. All the Thibs talk imo is silly….he’s getting maximum production out of that roster right now as as we’ve seen in all the 4Q that Brunson had been healthy….they aren’t worn down at the end of games but the better conditioned team. Now with a hobbled Brunson that zaps the energy out of everyone espeically on the road. I expect the Knicks to do well tomorrow.
 

ManicCompression

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Agree. All the Thibs talk imo is silly….he’s getting maximum production out of that roster right now as as we’ve seen in all the 4Q that Brunson had been healthy….they aren’t worn down at the end of games but the better conditioned team. Now with a hobbled Brunson that zaps the energy out of everyone espeically on the road. I expect the Knicks to do well tomorrow.
Thibs’ usage of his top guys may make them better conditioned… but isn’t there some correlation with Thibs’ rotation and how injured they are? It feels like he’s getting credit for what they’re doing as a undermanned squad, but a big reason they’re undermanned is he runs his players into the ground.
 

Justthetippett

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This wont happen because Thibs is gonna Thibs but based on their rotation/injuries if Im a knicks fan Id hope they go all out to win game 5 at home, and basically throw game 6 and hope some rest and home court gets them through game 7.
If coaches thought like that, they would not last very long. They'll go all out all the time, but I could see a scenario that they rest some guys in the 2H of G6 if they are again down by 30 or something. Indy is also fully capable of shitting itself the next two games and having this end in 6.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Thibs’ usage of his top guys may make them better conditioned… but isn’t there some correlation with Thibs’ rotation and how injured they are? It feels like he’s getting credit for what they’re doing as a undermanned squad, but a big reason they’re undermanned is he runs his players into the ground.
It’s been noted that the injuries sustained weren’t overuse injuries but random injuries that typically occur on a basketball court. The counter, which I find ridiculous, is that they have a greater chance of being injured if they are playing. Well yeah sure….don’t play anyone ever and nobody would ever be injured playing. Guy collides going for a loose ball in the 2Q and dislocated his shoulder…..see, Thibs is playing them too much. It’s insanity and I was one of Thibs biggest critics early in his career but him and Kidd to me have done two of the best coaching jobs in the league for the rosters that they have.
 

jezza1918

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If coaches thought like that, they would not last very long. They'll go all out all the time, but I could see a scenario that they rest some guys in the 2H of G6 if they are again down by 30 or something. Indy is also fully capable of shitting itself the next two games and having this end in 6.
Yeah totally. I admit to being a bit extreme and flippant with my language. More rationally (maybe) by "go all out" I mean sticking to your 6/7 guy rotation with heavy minutes...and by "basically throw" I mean tapping into the bench just a bit more so Hart/Brunson/DiVi arent all playing 43 minutes +.
 

ManicCompression

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It’s been noted that the injuries sustained weren’t overuse injuries but random injuries that typically occur on a basketball court. The counter, which I find ridiculous, is that they have a greater chance of being injured if they are playing. Well yeah sure….don’t play anyone ever and nobody would ever be injured playing. Guy collides going for a loose ball in the 2Q and dislocated his shoulder…..see, Thibs is playing them too much. It’s insanity and I was one of Thibs biggest critics early in his career but him and Kidd to me have done two of the best coaching jobs in the league for the rosters that they have.
Can you point me to where you're seeing OG's hamstring injury as being a "random injury"? I don't put that in the same ballpark as a shoulder injury or a sprained ankle - that seems like something that would flare up after not really playing all of February or March and then quickly ramping up into 40+ minutes a night of playoff basketball.

As to the bolded, it's a total exaggeration of the argument. I'm not saying there's some magical formula and if a guy goes over 35 minutes to 38 minutes he's automatically going to get injured. But there is a middle ground between shrink-wrapping these guys and doing what Thibs does. Maybe OG would get injured anyway, IDK, but I don't think it's a coincidence that he averaged 46 minutes per game in the four games leading up to his injury, a minute total that he didn't eclipse at any point during the regular season.
 

Murderer's Crow

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I'm back after a few days traveling. Superstitiously, I think that means the Knicks start winning again! (the the rangers, I hope)

The OG injury probably has a lot less to do with the minutes and a lot more to do with the Pacers style of play forcing him to step much more quickly. Dude does not have a lot of minutes this year. If he's the type of player, like a Blake Snell, that can only go for a shorter set of minutes every game, so be it, but not all players are like that. We have to think about Thibs' system a little more than the surface level. Some players will indeed be totally fine and conditioned enough to play 40+ every night for most of the season. Some players....will not. His system will find those players.

I also mentioned this a few months ago and can't find it on the internet anywhere but Thibs had mentioned that one of those changes he's made to his coaching style is reducing the workload during practice, which was much more intense earlier in his career. Who knows? Could be
 
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wade boggs chicken dinner

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Can you point me to where you're seeing OG's hamstring injury as being a "random injury"? I don't put that in the same ballpark as a shoulder injury or a sprained ankle - that seems like something that would flare up after not really playing all of February or March and then quickly ramping up into 40+ minutes a night of playoff basketball.

As to the bolded, it's a total exaggeration of the argument. I'm not saying there's some magical formula and if a guy goes over 35 minutes to 38 minutes he's automatically going to get injured. But there is a middle ground between shrink-wrapping these guys and doing what Thibs does. Maybe OG would get injured anyway, IDK, but I don't think it's a coincidence that he averaged 46 minutes per game in the four games leading up to his injury, a minute total that he didn't eclipse at any point during the regular season.
Brunson's foot injury might be an overuse injury. I don't think we have enough info about his actual injury to know for sure but it's certainly possible. Particularly after he was 10th in minutes played this year (2726; Hart was 11th at 2701; by contrast, JT was 16th at 2645 and JT plays all of the time.)

I'm sure Thibs would rather play Brunson and Hart less rather than more (though playing Brunson and Hart more than 40 minutes and DiVincenzo over 50 minutes on the last day of the season against CHI seemed really weird to me) but particularly in terms of Hart and Brunson, he really doesn't have a chance.

Hopefully HRB is correct and these extended minutes won't have any adverse long-term impacts on any of the NYK. But it seems to me that there's a reason why most coaches go out of their way to give as much rest as possible to guys.
 

SteveF

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What follows is not meant to be definitive evidence of anything. It's just food for thought. There are lots of ways to poke holes in what follows. I've thought of most of them. You can likely think of most of them too. Again, this is not meant to be definitive evidence of anything.

So we know from studies that what suffers when teams play on the second night of a back to back isn't as much offensive rating as defensive rating. The impact of player fatigue on performance seems to show up mainly on the defensive end. There are lots of intuitive explanations for why that might be, but that's not really important. What's important is simply the brute fact: tired teams seem to play worse on defense.

Here are some splits for the NYK defensive rating:

Start of the season to Jan 31st: 3.15/100 better than league average on defense.
From Feb 1st to end of season: 0.23/100 better than league average in defense.
Playoffs: 8.16/100 worse than the playoff team average.

Obviously there are issues here (even beyond correlation/causation). League average and playoff team average aren't the same thing. The lineups aren't the same. There's less variety in opponent. But the Knicks defense has been really, really bad in the playoffs.
 

Cellar-Door

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One thing to note in the injury discussion is that while nothing is conclusive, a number of studies have found some correlation in all types of injuries to heavy workloads and limited rest. So those researchers would argue that fatigue plays a role in a number of injuries beyond just things like repetitive stress injuries. Now that may not mean all freak occurrence injuries, but that some acute injuries are more likely when a player is tired.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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What follows is not meant to be definitive evidence of anything. It's just food for thought. There are lots of ways to poke holes in what follows. I've thought of most of them. You can likely think of most of them too. Again, this is not meant to be definitive evidence of anything.

So we know from studies that what suffers when teams play on the second night of a back to back isn't as much offensive rating as defensive rating. The impact of player fatigue on performance seems to show up mainly on the defensive end. There are lots of intuitive explanations for why that might be, but that's not really important. What's important is simply the brute fact: tired teams seem to play worse on defense.

Here are some splits for the NYK defensive rating:

Start of the season to Jan 31st: 3.15/100 better than league average on defense.
From Feb 1st to end of season: 0.23/100 better than league average in defense.
Playoffs: 8.16/100 worse than the playoff team average.

Obviously there are issues here (even beyond correlation/causation). League average and playoff team average aren't the same thing. The lineups aren't the same. There's less variety in opponent. But the Knicks defense has been really, really bad in the playoffs.
NYK has 2nd worst DRtg in playoffs (119.8) and worse in this round (124.0). The 124.0 Rtg would be worse for any round of the playoffs and the only team close to that is PHO at 123.2.

fake edit: while looking for something else, I found this very interesting study that concludes that the jump height (lower impact), shoulder and wrist height, and elbow angle are all impacted by fatigue, which likely impacts shooting accuracy. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/fulltext/2009/05000/impact_of_fatigue_on_the_position_of_the_release.44.aspx
 

lovegtm

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You'll all never guess who tonight's crew chief is








Jk yes you will it's Scott Foster of course
Because he's a very competent official who gets a lot of playoff assignments?

I'm old enough to remember when the Knicks were definitely going to lose because they were 3-6 in Zarba games, and then he proceeded to job their opponent brutally.

I chalk all this up to Knicks' fans having very, very little experience with postseason basketball, so it's cute that all the stale conspiracy theories are fresh and exciting to them.
 

BosoxFaninCincy

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Ultimate chick and egg question: Does Thibs play his starters a million minutes because his bench sucks, or does his bench suck because he never plays them? I think the primary function of his job description is to win basketball games, and, ultimately, an NBA title. It doesn't look like he can do anything even approaching the former with the likes of his bench playing meaningful minutes. I wonder if his approach would change if he had TJ McConnell and Obi (oh wait), and a healthy Isaiah Jackson hanging out next to him on the sidelines.

Also, I assume that the anonymous survey that reports that he is the coach players least likely want to play for goes out to the entire union. I would imagine the players not liking to play for him are numbers 6-12 (or 15) and not 1-5.

That being said, I think NYK are toast in this series. In true response to MSG fashion, I hope that Game 6 shows numerous shots of George McGinnis, Billy Knight, Billy Keller, and other ABA luminaries who may still be around.
 

Murderer's Crow

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One thing to note in the injury discussion is that while nothing is conclusive, a number of studies have found some correlation in all types of injuries to heavy workloads and limited rest. So those researchers would argue that fatigue plays a role in a number of injuries beyond just things like repetitive stress injuries. Now that may not mean all freak occurrence injuries, but that some acute injuries are more likely when a player is tired.
I like Hart's answer in his interview and it mentions a lot regarding the practices.

"You expect ignorance when people have no idea what goes on in this building,” Hart said after the Knicks’ morning shootaround in Tarrytown. “People love to have a narrative or a label and run with it. None of those guys are here watching us practice. None of those guys are watching what we do.

At the end of the day, seventh year of my career, I’ve probably had more off days than I’ve had in other days. We don’t go contact in practice. Everyone thinks we do three-hour practices of scrimmaging. It’s idiotic to put it on him. He’s not going to say anything about it. He’s going to take it on the chin and keep on moving.”
 

Jimbodandy

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One thing to note in the injury discussion is that while nothing is conclusive, a number of studies have found some correlation in all types of injuries to heavy workloads and limited rest. So those researchers would argue that fatigue plays a role in a number of injuries beyond just things like repetitive stress injuries. Now that may not mean all freak occurrence injuries, but that some acute injuries are more likely when a player is tired.
It's crazy to suggest otherwise, if one has any knowledge of A&P whatsoever.

Of course freak injuries happen (ask Gordon Heywould).

Instead of pretending that this correlation is false, the Thibs stans should emphasize the positives of getting dudes used to playing 40 minutes a game. It has been convincingly argued that the BFB Pats had extra gas in the tank at the end of tough playoff games because he ran them through a lot of old-school conditioning shit that other NFL coaches wouldn't dream of doing in the modern era. Everyone, kickers, punters, GOATs, guards, tackles--they all ran the hills in 90 degrees in August. Thibs running his guys harder than other coaches absolutely conditions them better for the 40min that playoff games sometimes require. But sweet mother of God, we need to stop pretending that dudes aren't more likely to tear muscles and get tendonitis from overuse.
 

InstaFace

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Calling a dude who helped rig a conference finals series competent is crazy
"helped"?

His Wikipedia page has no mention of any involvement with Donaghy, other than phone calls between them during 2006-2007, after which Donaghy would bet on games. If you have some special knowledge in this regard, some which all the basketball editors on Wikipedia have missed, you should do the world a favor and edit it into the page.
 

Jimbodandy

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Not the conspiracy czar or anything, but it seems that Scott Foster paranoia would be much more understandable if the Pacers were down 0-2. His rep is about elongating a series. Doesn't make must sense to use him in that capacity in a 2-2 situation.

He's also a very good ref. I'd trade Marc Davis for a Scott Foster game any day.
 

Euclis20

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Not the conspiracy czar or anything, but it seems that Scott Foster paranoia would be much more understandable if the Pacers were down 0-2. His rep is about elongating a series. Doesn't make must sense to use him in that capacity in a 2-2 situation.

He's also a very good ref. I'd trade Marc Davis for a Scott Foster game any day.
Yeah his nickname is The Extender. It's a 2-2 series, what exactly are people alleging will happen?
 

Murderer's Crow

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It's crazy to suggest otherwise, if one has any knowledge of A&P whatsoever.

Of course freak injuries happen (ask Gordon Heywould).

Instead of pretending that this correlation is false, the Thibs stans should emphasize the positives of getting dudes used to playing 40 minutes a game. It has been convincingly argued that the BFB Pats had extra gas in the tank at the end of tough playoff games because he ran them through a lot of old-school conditioning shit that other NFL coaches wouldn't dream of doing in the modern era. Everyone, kickers, punters, GOATs, guards, tackles--they all ran the hills in 90 degrees in August. Thibs running his guys harder than other coaches absolutely conditions them better for the 40min that playoff games sometimes require. But sweet mother of God, we need to stop pretending that dudes aren't more likely to tear muscles and get tendonitis from overuse.
I think this is fair and basically impossible not to agree with.

The problem is that 99% of people get about 45 seconds of knowledge and analysis that says "player avg more than x minutes" + "bunch of players hurt" = injuries and they stop there. Then they hear some dweebs on TV like Chuck or Shaq saying "Thibs is running them to the ground" and that's it. Minds made up everywhere and the media and fans run with it.

I'm not stanning for Thibs, although I frikkin love the guy. I just think the whole damn league is injured all the time and you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. This playoff season has seen major superstars and role players all dropping like flies across most teams, including the celtics. We will never be able to assign a reason to why players get hurt in a game where it's physical as all hell and 250-300lb dudes are landing on each other and jumping around.
 

Jimbodandy

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I think this is fair and basically impossible not to agree with.

The problem is that 99% of people get about 45 seconds of knowledge and analysis that says "player avg more than x minutes" + "bunch of players hurt" = injuries and they stop there. Then they hear some dweebs on TV like Chuck or Shaq saying "Thibs is running them to the ground" and that's it. Minds made up everywhere and the media and fans run with it.

I'm not stanning for Thibs, although I frikkin love the guy. I just think the whole damn league is injured all the time and you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. This playoff season has seen major superstars and role players all dropping like flies across most teams, including the celtics. We will never be able to assign a reason to why players get hurt in a game where it's physical as all hell and 250-300lb dudes are landing on each other and jumping around.
Agreed. Lot of lazy commentary out there. KP is out and was handled like a Fabrege egg all season. Not everything has a reason.
 

Cellar-Door

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I like Hart's answer in his interview and it mentions a lot regarding the practices.

"You expect ignorance when people have no idea what goes on in this building,” Hart said after the Knicks’ morning shootaround in Tarrytown. “People love to have a narrative or a label and run with it. None of those guys are here watching us practice. None of those guys are watching what we do.

At the end of the day, seventh year of my career, I’ve probably had more off days than I’ve had in other days. We don’t go contact in practice. Everyone thinks we do three-hour practices of scrimmaging. It’s idiotic to put it on him. He’s not going to say anything about it. He’s going to take it on the chin and keep on moving.”
I like Hart going to bat for his guy but... nobody practices hard much anymore in the NBA, beyond that.... it's two very different issues at play, it's not just accumulation of activity, it's also the amount of really intense activity in a row that people worry about, it's like the question of rest days versus rest in games, those are both in some ways about injury management but they serve two different purposes.
 

jon abbey

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I like Hart going to bat for his guy but... nobody practices hard much anymore in the NBA, beyond that.... it's two very different issues at play, it's not just accumulation of activity, it's also the amount of really intense activity in a row that people worry about, it's like the question of rest days versus rest in games, those are both in some ways about injury management but they serve two different purposes.
I think there is legit criticism to be made of Thibs for not resting guys more earlier in the season (and I was making it then), but once Randle and Anunoby went out at the end of January, there wasn't too much he could do.
 

Murderer's Crow

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Prediction for tonight, no blowouts and a close game within 5 or 6 points. Knicks will adjust on defense with a little more of the bench having a game under their belt, Brunson will be better, and Hart will play harder. Pacers won't shoot the ball as well. No reason to believe one team edges the other out based on that but bias in me still says the Knicks do better in the 4th as a team so that's what I got.
 

BigSoxFan

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Prediction for tonight, no blowouts and a close game within 5 or 6 points. Knicks will adjust on defense with a little more of the bench having a game under their belt, Brunson will be better, and Hart will play harder. Pacers won't shoot the ball as well. No reason to believe one team edges the other out based on that but bias in me still says the Knicks do better in the 4th as a team so that's what I got.
I’m expecting a Brunson masterpiece and Knicks win tonight. Pacers hold serve in Game 6. And a fun Game 7 this weekend where Knicks once again win a tight one.
 

chilidawg

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I'm old enough to remember when the Knicks were definitely going to lose because they were 3-6 in Zarba games, and then he proceeded to job their opponent brutally.

I chalk all this up to Knicks' fans having very, very little experience with postseason basketball, so it's cute that all the stale conspiracy theories are fresh and exciting to them.
Got a good chuckle out of that.