2021-22 Standings Predictions

In Episode 546 we made some predictions. I’m posting them here so you can laugh at us later.

Eastern Conference – Jay’s Picks
1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Brooklyn Nets
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. New York Knicks
5. Miami Heat
6. Philadelphia 76ers
7. Boston Celtics
8. Indiana Pacers
9. Chicago Bulls
10. Washington Wizards
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Toronto Raptors
13. Orlando Magic
14. Cleveland Cavaliers
15. Detroit Pistons

Eastern Conference – Marc’s Picks
1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Brooklyn Nets
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. New York Knicks
5. Philadelphia 76ers
6. Miami Heat
7. Boston Celtics
8. Charlotte Hornets
9. Chicago Bulls
10. Toronto Raptors
11. Indiana Pacers
12. Washington Wizards
13. Cleveland Cavaliers
14. Orlando Magic
15. Detroit Pistons

 Western Conference – Jay’s Picks
1. Utah Jazz
2. Phoenix Suns
3. Los Angeles Lakers
4. Denver Nuggets
5. Golden State Warriors
6. Los Angeles Clippers
7. Dallas Mavericks
8. Portland Trailblazers
9. Memphis Grizzlies
10. Sacramento Kings
11. New Orleans Pelicans
12. San Antonio Spurs
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
14. Houston Rockets
15. Oklahoma City Thunder

Western Conference – Marc’s Picks
1. Phoenix Suns
2. Utah Jazz
3. Denver Nuggets
4. Portland Trailblazers
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Los Angeles Lakers
7. Los Angeles Clippers
8. Golden State Warriors
9. Memphis Grizzlies
10. New Orleans Pelicans
11. San Antonio Spurs
12. Sacramento Kings
13. Minnesota Timberwolves
14. Houston Rockets
15. Oklahoma City Thunder

2021/22 New York Knicks Player Power Rankings – Week 1

Let’s take a look at what the Knicks roster looks like going into the first game of the season. This one was hard for the opposite of past years; the Knicks actually have a lot of good players. I usually have trouble after number 3 because the rest of the roster stinks, but now I have trouble because I think so many players are going to contribute.
Rank Player Comments Last Weeks Rank
1 Randle, Julius Randle was the best player on this team last season and I don’t see that changing this season. After his poor playoff performance I see him getting motivated and playing even better.
2 Barrett, RJ Nice year two jump for Barrett, I’m expecting a year three jump as well, the question is how big will it be.
3 Walker, Kemba The ceiling of this season rests on Kemba’s questionable knees. Let’s hope he has a couple more season left in them.
4 Fournier, Evan Going to lose a bit on defense, but Fournier can spread the floor and even handle the ball a bit.
5 Rose, Derrick Really nice having someone like Rose as insurance if Kemba goes down. Also great to have someone this talented to run the second unit. Also an injury concern but looked pretty sturdy last season.
6  Immanuel, Quickley If IQ takes a leap in year two the Knicks are all of a sudden pretty deep in the backcourt.
7 Burks, Alec This is a guy who can drop 20 on any given night and I have him ranked 7th. Wow things have changed.
8 Robinson, Mitchell What a pleasant surprise having Robinson ready to go for the season opener. Everyone in NY is hoping for a healthy season from the big man.
9 Toppin, Obi Obi looked pretty good in the preseason, and rumor is he’s been putting in a lot of work in the offseason. Hopefully his flashes in pre-season carries into the regular season.
10  Gibson, Taj Taj showed in preseason that there’s still gas left in the tank. Great to have a 3rd option at center that can hold his own when needed.
11  Noel, Nerlens Noel has been injured all preseason and will miss game 1, I’m not too worried but if he’s not playing by next week that’ll change.
12  Grimes, Quentin At first I thought McBride would get playing time over Grimes but Grimes played in crunch time in the last preseason game against the Wizards and looked pretty good.
13 McBride, Miles Probably won’t see much of McBride unless there are a few injuries, might be a good idea to give him some G-League run.
14 Knox, Kevin Knox looks like he puts in effort, unfortunately for him he’s at best the 3rd option in every position he can play.
15 Selden Jr. Wayne Looks like Wayne got the last roster spot. He’ll probably get even less run than Knox.

Episode 545: Fantasy Draft

Martin and Jay host as Jay does an auction style draft. Get our thoughts on almost 200 players.

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Episode 544: Preseason Roster Power Rankings

Marc and Jay give their preliminary roster power rankings and debate what these rankings will look like in a few weeks

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Episode 543: Preseason Preview

Marc and Jay ask each other 5 questions about the upcoming season including who will make the jump, rotation questions, expectations, and more

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Episode 542: Over/Under

Marc and Jay talk about Frank going to the Mavs, John Wall getting traded, and guess the over/under for every team

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Episode 541 – Summer League Wrap Up

Marc and Jay talk about the summer league games, who we were impressed by, some lineup questions, we love Evan Fournier

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Episode 540: Free Agency Reaction

In the most positive episode since the show started Marc and Jay talk about the free agency moves, retaining the core, adding Kemba and Fournier, and Randle doing the Knicks a huge favor

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Episode 539: Draft Reaction

Marc, Jay, and Joey Knicknuts react to the Knicks draft, discuss the deals they made, the players they got, and some other around the league moves

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The Damian Lillard Debate

Knicks fans are very split about whether to trade for Damian Lillard. Let’s preface this with the fact that as of today he’s not even available and Portland would never trade him unless he demanded a trade. So all discussion about a hypothetical Lillard trade is based on the assumption that he will do this (again, no evidence that he will).

Let’s start with what it would take for this trade to even happen. Portland would definitely want RJ Barrett plus some combination of Robinson, Toppin, or Quickley. Plus both of this years firsts, a 2023 first, and probably one or two pick swaps. That’s based on the Jrue Holiday trade and Lillard has more value than Holiday.

It should also be noted that Lillard is on his way to the Tokyo Olympics. Will a trade for Damian cost even more if Lillard dominates on his way to Olympic gold? Side note, team USA is favored to win gold. Odds are listed at -305. If you want to take advantage of the odds and you’re located in NY, you can go to a physical retailer to make a bet. You just can’t do it online. Though, the State could see a launch for online platforms later this year or early 2022. At the moment, the total revenue of bets placed via retailers in New York is $28 million. Once online platforms launch, that number will soar.

The debate for doing this trade is that Lillard is an elite player and you don’t win championships without one. Agreed on that point, but you also don’t win championships with a super thin roster. If the Knicks traded Barrett and Robinson they’d have Lillard, Randle, Toppin, Quickley, Knox, Vildoza, and Pelle. Oh and they’re STILL PAYING JOAKIM NOAH 6.4 million next year. Lillard makes over $43 Milliion next season. That would mean the Knicks would have about $30 million to fill out the rest of the roster. That’s probably not even enough money to retain Rose, Burks, Bullock, and Noel. They could decide not to bring any of them back and sign another big free agent, but unless the Knicks are getting Paul or Leonard the free agency pool is pretty thin. Maybe the Knicks sign Oubre and use a few bird rights to go over the cap and sign a few vet minimum contracts. Lillard, Quickley, Oubre, Randle, Noah…..Does that make them a contender? Does that make them even a top 5 team in the east? They’d be locked into that roster with no draft picks and very few young assets.

On the other hand what’s the path to a championship without making a big trade? Probably trying to package both is this years firsts to move up and maybe draft James Bouknight. Barrett, Robinson, and Quickley should all improve next year, and Randle is already in the gym working on his game. They have a lot of cap space and can make a few mid level free agency signings. Just like in the above scenario the Knicks would probably still be 5th in the east, but they’d have a lot more flexibility and young prospects to improve in the future.

So what would you bet the Knicks do? Which path would you like them to take? Once online platforms launch, that number will soar. I’m hoping the Knicks stay the course and not try to put their entire hopes on one player.