The Knicks Take Podcast

Should New York Knicks fans be fearful? | Episode 78

Jah So Focused: [00:00:00] I can’t. Yo,

French: wait hold on hold on y’all?

Jah So Focused: mmhmm

what’s good y’all I’m Jah So Focused.

French: I’m French, the bro host and we would like to welcome you to the Knicks Take Podcast. This is episode 78

Jah So Focused: and this is a weekly podcast where we bring you the biggest Knicks news of the week.

French: Make sure to follow us on our socials. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter slash X by searching for The Knicks take.

Also, be sure

Jah So Focused: to check us out at our website, Knicks with all kinds of blogs. [00:01:00] We got a shop, we got merch, which, uh, French kind of previewed earlier in the setup, and much, much more is gonna be coming. Just make sure you keep your eyes on that.

French: And lastly,

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Hit the thumbs up button and notification bell if you’re watching on YouTube, but most importantly, please share with any Knicks fans who might enjoy the show.

Jah So Focused: And now the show.[00:02:00]

The Rundown

Jah So Focused: All right, as we do normally, we’re going to go through a brief outline of what we’ll be talking about. French usually says it’s going to be a pretty quick podcast today. It’s not going to be a quick one. It’s probably not going to be quick, but we will try. We’ll try. We’ll try to keep it under 60. Um, We’re gonna go over the games.

Knicks played against the Boston Celtics, the Detroit Pistons, and the New Orleans Pelicans, and finished off against the Golden State Warriors. Then we’re gonna have a discussion about whether the, whether us Knicks fans should be worried. And then we’re gonna finish off as we normally do with the preview of the upcoming games.

And now let’s start at the top.

Knicks vs Boston Celtics Review

Jah So Focused: with the Knicks facing off against the

French: Boston Celtics. So go ahead. So

Jah So Focused: Knicks faced off against the Boston Celtics Saturday, February 24th. As we said last week, the Knicks are not healthy. Knicks are missing some big guns. I predicted that the Knicks. Would [00:03:00] lose and, uh, someone else who shall not be named, uh, said that the Knicks had a shot to win this game.

And the Knicks put up a pretty good fight up against the, uh, Boston Celtics for the first half. And then the third quarter happened and then the lead ballooned for the Boston Celtics to double digits. And then it ballooned some more in the fourth quarter and, you know, the Knicks fought a little bit. And they lost 116 102, which is kind of how I expected it to go.

French, now that we have lost again to the Boston Celtics, do you have any fear now of them when it comes to the playoff time?

French: No. They have not faced off against a fully healthy New York Knicks team. And the Knicks have shown that they’ve been able to keep up with them even when they’re playing at their best.

Um, I believe in the first half, the Celtics were shooting, what, like [00:04:00] 60% 70 percent from the field? And the Knicks were only down 3 4 points. Down three starters, I feel like, um, when it’s time for the playoffs to start, and we have OG Anunoby who’s going to be able to give either Jalen Brown or Jason Tatum more of a challenge than Donte DiVincenzo was able to, or Um, who was the primary, I don’t even remember, Josh Hart.

He’s definitely going to be, it’s going to be harder for Boston to shoot 60, 70 percent when we’re a fully healthy team. When Mitchell Robinson’s back, Julius Randle is going to be probably guarding one of them. So I don’t feel like there’s a reason to have fear based off the games that we’ve played because the Boston Celtics has not seen the Knicks that is going to be in the playoffs.

Jah So Focused: My pushback for you is that the Boston Celtics. are fully capable of playing a five out offense, which means all five players [00:05:00] can be around the three point line and be a threat. And the Knicks do not have a five out defense where All five of the guys can be, uh, trusted to defend out there. They have lineups where they can.

They do. A fully healthy Knicks team will not be using those lineups. Um, now if, now if, now if we go into the playoffs and one of Mitchell Robinson or Isaiah Hartenstein is not able to give it a go, then we, we will play those lineups. We will play those lineups because we have Precious Achiuwa. But I don’t anticipate a fully healthy Knicks team is going to be giving Precious Achiuwa valuable playoff time, um, against a Boston Celtics team, unless one of those two guys, because they’ll, you know, the Knicks have six starters.

Mitch Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein, you can switch [00:06:00] those two guys out, but they’re both starting centers. They’ve both proven to be starting centers, and if they’re both healthy, they are a six starter team. You’re not putting Precious Achiuwa in and taking minutes away from those guys, um, despite how well he has played as a Knick.

French: I disagree. But we, we, we will, we’ll have this argument every episode because we just got to wait and see because I’ve seen Tom Thibodeau take Mitchell Robinson out when he’s not playing well, or coaches are known to make adjustments in the playoffs. Maybe we haven’t seen it from Thibs, but we’ve never seen Thibs with a rotation this deep.

Jah So Focused: If he pulls Mitch, if he pulls Mitch, that means Hartenstein is going to play more minutes. If he pulls Hartenstein, that means Mitch is going to play more minutes. That’s how it’s generally gone. They both play about 24, 25 minutes in the game. Um, we’ll see. And that just leaves no minutes for anybody else at that, at that spot.

But anyway, let’s move on.

Knicks vs Detroit Pistons Review

French: Next game, the Pistons showed up for this game to MSG to face off against the Knicks. Um, I believe it’s the third [00:07:00] time we’ve played them this year. Uh, the, the Pistons have only won eight games all season, if I’m not mistaken. And they’re tired of losing. So, and it looked like that, that this game, they Showed up, they were determined to not only keep it close, but they wanted to win.

Um, this is the second game that they had Quentin Grimes to, to play from coming back from that knee injury. Cade Cunningham was balling out, but this game was pretty much nip and tuck all the way up until the fourth quarter where Quentin Grimes scored his first basket and then ended up with 14 points somehow.

He came into the garden and he was trying to win this game for Detroit. He made it a point to show the Knicks that they made a mistake, um, by trading him. He gave the Pistons a lead with a, with a contested. Layup slash dunk kinda, um, with like 37 seconds remaining in the game [00:08:00] and From that point chaos just ensued because now the Knicks got the game in their hands what is tied up I believe, wait no no, they were down one, Brunson gets the ball, shoots a three, misses, misses Quentin Grime gets the rebound Saves it from going out of bounds, kicks it to Asar Thompson As Sora Thompson goes, tries to run down court, gets tackled by Donte DiVincenzo, loses the ball.

Who picks it up? Jalen Brunson. Drives to the paint, kicks it to Josh Hart, who gets an and one layup. Gives the Knicks the lead, with one second left. Makes, I mean, misses the free throw. Knicks get their rebound, kick it to Josh Hart again, he gets fouled again. Makes one, misses the second one, Knicks win this game by two points.

I’m watching Quentin Grimes this whole fourth quarter, right? Mm hmm. I’m like, damn, he’s looking kind [00:09:00] of good out there.

Jah So Focused: Mm, he was looking more than kind of good out there, actually.

French: And the guys that we traded for With Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic. They were like, they weren’t having great games. So, so I know watching this game, you dislike.

Jah So Focused: The first thing I was like, huh? Uh, I’ve been told by various. Media outlets. Uh huh. And I think I was even told in this very podcast that this was a great trade and French How can this be a great trade when the New York Knicks faced off against the worst team in the league who they traded? And the guys that they traded for didn’t play down the stretch of this game.

And the guy they traded away played the entire fourth quarter. How, how can this be a great trade when you play against the team that you traded with and one of your acquisitions plays so poorly that he had to be taken out of the, [00:10:00] out of the game within the first couple of minutes. And the other guy has to be pulled because the guy that you traded him for, you traded for him, shoots a three, fouls him, and now he has to be pulled out of the game because you’ve just given the other, the other opposition three, three free points because you’re for your poor defense.

The (Bojan & Burks) “Great Trade” Debate

Jah So Focused: How can this be a great trade? Not a fine trade, which is what I said was fine. A great trade.

French: Because the objective of this trade was to get strength in numbers. You got that and it’s not gonna show with the regular season games Maybe the Pistons have the worst record in the NBA right now But the team that they had that night is not the same team that they’ve had all season They had additions with Quentin Grimes.

Even Evan Fournier was playing good for them. He hit a three and Quentin Grimes was helping leading them, helped lead them with, uh, Cade Cunningham in the whole fourth quarter. They didn’t have that all season. They had Alec Burks and, [00:11:00] and Bojan Bogdanovich who were efficient scorers, but Cade had 32 this night.

He had help from Jalen Durant who’s been injured all year. Like, I understand that they’re a bad team, but they’re not as bad as their record shows. And just because it’s a close game and Quentin Grimes has a good game and Bojan and Alec Burks both have a bad game, It doesn’t mean that this is a bad or not a great trade because this trade was meant for the playoff push.

When we get to the playoffs and we have a fully healthy roster, they’re not going to play. They are going to play. They’re going to be on the bench and they’re going to be helping win playoff games. And then I’m going to revisit this question again, and we’re going to see if this is a great trade. Cause Quentin Grimes is going to be at home or in some type of island somewhere while the Knicks are in the second and third round.

Jah So Focused: I haven’t heard an answer to the question. I’ve heard a lot of excuses. I

French: gave you an answer. This train was meant for the playoffs, not for a regular season game against Detroit Pistons, for you to judge

Jah So Focused: it. So let me, no, actually, [00:12:00] we’ll talk about it later, because we have this, we have this segment later about, uh, whether the Knicks should be worried.

And part of my, uh, response and questions have to do with Bojan and, and, and Burks. Um, but I, I understand the point that you’re trying to make. And I also know that That may not be how it ends up. And if that’s not how it ends up, then this is not, you can’t even say it’s a fine trade. Right? What you’re, what you, you, the things that you just said explain to me why this is a fine trade.

You said the reason for that is this. Okay, we have a, there’s more than one reason that we traded for them. Mm hmm. The one, one of the reasons is for when we go to the playoffs, the other reason is for right now. And can you say that for right now, this, the stretch after we’ve traded them, that the, that the Knicks got the better of the trade in terms of on court play?

French: Can’t judge a trade in the few [00:13:00] weeks after. Can you give them time to get ingratiated into the offense,

Jah So Focused: into the that there is two reasons. One of the reasons is for the playoffs, which is still under review. The other reason for the trade was to make it to the point where Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, and Mitchell Robinson come back.

And so that you can tide things over until then, the Knicks can maintain their spot in the, in, in, in the standings. While those guys are gone. Yes, you can judge this trade based on that Especially when you especially for this game the Detroit Pistons game which the Knicks if they are fully healthy It’s not a game And if you bring in guys to kind of help you win the game and you damn near lose the game Maybe should have lost the game if things are called differently You, you have to objectively [00:14:00] say that on the first part of this trade so far, it is a failure, which means that it’s not a great trade.

So far, the, the height of what it can be is Fine.

French: I’m not saying it’s a failure. I

Jah So Focused: didn’t say It’s still to be determined. It’s not. I just said that. It’s not a failure. I’m saying the first part of it

French: is. It’s not. The first part of it is still to be determined.

Jah So Focused: We’ll discuss more later. Okay.

Knicks vs New Orleans Pelicans Game Review

Jah So Focused: Next up, the New York Knicks faced off against the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday, February 27th.

And as a result of the Pistons game, Jalen Brunson got a little dinged up. He woke up that morning. It was the second half of a back to back. And he woke up with neck spasms. He couldn’t get rid of him. He tried all day to get ready for this game, and it just was a no go. Also noted Isaiah Hartenstein was listed as out with a sore Achilles.

And had we, [00:15:00] had we known that that was going to be the way that it was going to be in the second half of a back to back, both me and French would have probably said the Knicks were going to lose this game. Not probably. Definitely? Definitely? I’m only saying probably because I don’t know if you would have said the Knicks was going to win.

French: Well, I’m letting you know, once I saw on my phone Jalen Brunson is out, Isaiah Hartenstein was out, you know what I did?

Jah So Focused: You went and made plans for, to

French: go to sleep. That’s exactly what happened. I started watching, I tried to watch it on the MSG app. It wasn’t happening. They wasn’t letting me go through.

They said I had to pay the 10. I’m like, I’m not doing that. I’m going to just get the blanket right here and then I’m going to just get ready for work tomorrow.

Jah So Focused: Right. So as we probably expected, once we saw those two names were out. The Knicks did indeed get blown out 115 92. Um, this is exactly what we’d have expected unless you believed that Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovich were going to step up and help the Knicks keep this close, which [00:16:00] I never really believed that.

So. Yeah. Maybe if it was a great trade. Anyway, any thoughts on this?

French: Who could we have traded for that was going to help us get this win?

Jah So Focused: Is there anything about this game that you want to talk about?

French: Nah. I don’t need, I didn’t even, I didn’t see a single highlight from this game, to be honest with you.

Knicks vs Golden State Warriors Review

French: So we could just go straight on to the next heartbreak, which is the Golden State Warriors coming into town.

Uh, February 29th, the Knicks. They didn’t look like they was ready to start this game. Cause this is on the back end of a, uh, two game back. It was a back to back, right? I’m not, I’m not making that up. You’re making that up. All right. So the Pelicans game was a back to back. Yes. Um, so Thursday, the Knicks started off this game against the Warriors.

Very, very, very poorly. Yes. Not being able to score a single basket within the first five minutes of the game. They went down by like 15 points early. Spent the entire first half playing catch up. Um, after halftime, the Knicks cut it to [00:17:00] like four points. And after that, uh, Golden State basically just put their foot on their throat and took control of the game.

It was a wire to wire, um, victory for the Golden State Warriors. The Knicks lose 1 10 to 99. Brunson finished with 27 5, assists and five rebounds. And that was pretty much all you can really say about this game.

Jah So Focused: That’s all you gotta say about that? That’s pretty much it. To be fair to the Knicks, the Knicks did actually make it a four point game in the fourth quarter.

Like, um, they did fight, but that opening stretch was pretty, pretty poor. Brutal. They sort of repeated that in the beginning of the third quarter. And, um, nobody could really hit shots outside of Deuce McBride and Jericho Sims.

French: And a representation of that can be shown in Josh Hart’s rebounds, where he had 18 rebounds as just starting a small forward.

For this team.

Jah So Focused: He’s [00:18:00] been rebounding the hell out of the ball, like, like if you look at his, his, his rebound numbers over the past, I don’t even know how many games, but he’s been double digit rebounding, which is amazing for, uh, you know, a big, let alone somebody who’s six foot four. Um, um, Shout out to Josh Hart.

You know, I’ve been, I’ve been very, I’ve been very tough on Josh Hart this year, but I feel like he deserved the toughness because he was, I felt like he was getting a pass just because he plays hard, which is great. I love that he plays hard. I’d never wanted Josh Hart on any other team, but I just didn’t think he was playing.

He was, he played. Good for large stretches of, of the season and I felt like he was getting credit for being on the court while Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson or Isaiah Hartenstein was out there, uh, killing it and he was on the court too, um, but now that those guys are gone and he’s [00:19:00] been, he’s needed to step up, he had a few games where it’s just kind of like it was obvious Josh Hart is not doing Josh Hart things, but since then, he’s He’s been great.

And, um, shout out to Josh Hart, man. Yeah,

French: shout out to Josh Hart. He almost had a triple double. He had seven assists this game, too. Two steals. Yeah. He played all out. He almost played 50 minutes this game, too. Right. Yeah, shout out to Josh Hart. Um, alright. Bojan had a horrible game. 0 for 7, 0 for 4.

Knicks Topic of the Week: Are You Worried?

Jah So Focused: Well, speaking of Bojan,

We are at the point of the episode where we do the Knicks topic of the week. Okay. The Knicks take of the week. Okay. And it is Are you worried yet? You can answer that question first before I go on to the smaller parts of it. Are you worried? Is there a smidge of worry in you?

French: I look worried?

Jah So Focused: Uh, you look like you’re putting on a brave face.


French: I am not concerned at all. I know that Alec Burks can be a lot better than what he’s shown for us. He’s been [00:20:00] pretty average, if not below average since being in New York Knick again. But I believe once he starts to settle in, there’s still a little bit of Detroit smell to this trade when you’re watching Bojan and Burks on the Knicks sometimes, because anytime you see Bojan dribble at least three times, you know it’s going to be a miss.

You want him to be in the catch and shoot kind of role. Quick one dribble pull up. Like, real quick, decisive kind of moves when, um, Bojan comes into the game and gets the ball in his hands. And I think Burks is starting to over dribble a lot, too. And, um, they chucking up a lot of shots that I don’t like, but I’m pretty certain that that’s just like Out of just like the habits that they’ve developed from this whole Detroit season they’ve been a part of and once they start to get ingratiated into this offense, start to spend more time and get some chemistry with their new teammates, [00:21:00] even though um, Burks has been here before, he’s never played with any of these guys.

Like he’s played with Randle, Noel, like he played with all the old guys that’s been traded off. Like even OB quickly, all of them are gone. RJ is gone. So he’s developing chemistry with all these guys. He never played with Brunson. Long story short, I think once everyone’s chemistry gets going, I think this is going to be a real.

Tough team to start, so I’m not really worried.

Jah So Focused: How many games is enough games for you to be like, all right, we’ve seen what we need to see? 10 games? 25. 15? 20? 25 ish. 25 games, okay. 30 ish. So, we are almost at, we are more than a quarter way through the 25 games. After the Knicks play the Hawks on Tuesday, the Knicks will have officially played 10 games with Burks and Bojan.

In The Rotation. So it’s two more games. [00:22:00] Mm hmm. So far, you could maybe say there’s been one game where it’s actually like, Okay, that was a good game from them. Maybe. At the same time? No, just in general. Just one game where I could say one of them played well. Nah.

French: There’s been multiple good Bojan games.


Jah So Focused: Good? Maybe your bar for good is better than mine.

French: Houston, Bojan came off the bench and was scoring pretty efficiently for us. You forgot about that game when Brunson got that foul at the end. Bojan finished with 15 points, 7 for 13, It was like Okay. A decent game for a bench scorer. He was the highest bench scorer that game.

Okay. Um, the second game I’m thinking about with Bojan.

Jah So Focused: I’ll give you two good Bojan Bogdanovich games, which gets canceled out by the zero good Alec Burks games. You could say maybe he had a decent one that was, he had a good on paper game maybe when he first got here. But outside of that, it was against the Philadelphia 76ers.[00:23:00]

But outside of that. We could have probably won that Philadelphia 76ers game without Burks and Bojan, to be honest.

French: Um, Bojan was six for six from three. How are we going to win

Jah So Focused: without him? We blew him out, did we not?

French: With the help of Bojan, it wasn’t like it was a blowout.

Jah So Focused: Of course, of course. From the second quarter.

Did I say that we were going to blow them out without Burks and Bojan, or did I say we probably would win that game without them? We probably could have won that game without both of them. Okay. It would have been a difficult game, but we could have won it. And the point, the reason that I’m making this point is, That they are not producing anything that is going to where you could say, all right, without them, we can’t win this game.

French: One more thing. It’s another game that I’m thinking of, not thinking of, but I’m seeing Bojan had 20 against New Orleans too. He was. Second leader score

Jah So Focused: that game feel. You feel like he played very well against the New Orleans Pelicans?

French: Well, he was the only bench player to play at least 20 minutes. So he [00:24:00] must’ve been playing.

Did you feel like good enough? That was a good game for Bojan? I didn’t watch this game. Remember ? I’m telling you that like it was not a, it was, Bojan has shown that he’s can be a 20 point scorer. Maybe not every night, but he can do it when you, when you, when you can need him to

Jah So Focused: French. We know that just because you scored does not mean that you played well.

That’s a fact. Okay, so I, I’ll be here to tell you that. That was not a good Bojan Bogdanovich game. Okay. Um,

they have not been good since the trade deadline. Okay. Whether you want to dispute my claim that they haven’t had two good games. All right. That’s fine. You can’t dispute that they haven’t been good. When we discussed Bojan Bogdanovich, I pointed out, Hey, he ain’t coming in. With the defensive acumen of Quentin Grimes.

And you tried to sell me that he’s an okay defender. [00:25:00] And boy, were you wrong. Jesus Christ! That man cannot defend a lick. And You know, Burks can hold his own defensively, but he’s also not been good on defense. Supposed to help the Knicks and make it until they’re healthy, and we have two wins. Out of the eight that they’ve played and one of them probably shouldn’t have been a win and it was against the team that they formerly played for who seems better without them.

French: How you say that shouldn’t have been a win?

Jah So Focused: You can probably, I said you can probably say it shouldn’t have been a win because we are, DiVincenzo definitely fouled on that ensuing possession. It’s not the same as the Houston Rockets blown call, right? The Knicks definitely earned [00:26:00] that win. But. If they make that call, it’s a hell of a lot more difficult because at that point in the game, they were not hitting shots.

They were shooting, they were missing. And If the pistons get a full possession in that last stretch of the game it is in, it is they either, if they score, it’s a, they’re not gonna hit a

French: three. They wouldn’t have had a full possession ’cause they was up one, they would’ve got filed immediately, regardless if the pistons

Jah So Focused: got okay, the pistons would’ve gotten foul.

Okay. If they hit both of those free throws. The Knicks get a full possession where they have to either score quickly and do the same thing and hope that the Pistons miss, or they have to hit a three, which they weren’t doing at that point in time. It’s a, I’m not saying that it would have been impossible for the Knicks to win if it was correctly officiated.

I’m just saying that they were down at that point in the game and they missed. The shot and the pistons got the rebound uhhuh. And they would’ve had a possession where they could have increased the lead. Yeah. Which would’ve made it, but the [00:27:00] game wasn’t over

French: when that happened. I didn’t say that. The game, they had two chances to get the, the ball.

They didn’t get the rebound off the first miss or the second miss of the free throw.

Jah So Focused: So the problem is there is no if the problem, the problem, no. There is an if, the if is the N. The Pistons had the momentum at that point in the game and the Knicks did, didn’t have any momentum. Now credit to the Knicks.

Credit to the Knicks for grabbing rebounds, for grabbing, for, for, for executing, even though the shot wasn’t going down. When Brunson missed that shot and the Pistons got the, got the rebound, the game was over to me. The game was over. And the fact that Donte DiVincenzo didn’t get called for that foul is the main reason why they won.

It was. It was the main reason why they won. If, if, if, if, if Ausar Thompson gets the ball and they call the foul, or they, or he, or, um, D’Vincenzo doesn’t truck him [00:28:00] to get the ball, the Pistons are all but guaranteed to win that game. Now, obviously they have, they have to execute too, but the Pistons at that point in time deserved to win the game, at that point in time.

The Knicks had, the Knicks did what they had to do in order to pull the win out. Congrats to the Knicks, but if somebody wanted to say the Pistons should have won that game, I’m, you cannot argue that. What’s your point?

French: Ausar Thompson is shooting 29 percent from free throws in the last 10 games. Right.

Six, uh, 58 for the season. Mm hmm. Just because they didn’t call that foul doesn’t guarantee anything. He could have missed both free throws, we get the ball, and then still win the

Jah So Focused: game, like I’m not saying that it guarantees anything. I’m just saying to you that the Knicks got an advantage because they should have called the foul, they didn’t.

It’s a different, it’s a different being. Um, when you get the ball in a position where the opposition is out of place in defense, and [00:29:00] when you have from, when you have to take it from the other end of the court and the, the Detroit Pistons defense is already set. Mm-Hmm. , I just told you that the Knicks were missing shots.

Mm-Hmm. at that point in time in the game, they were not able to score offensively. They got those points from Josh Hart because the Pistons defense was not set. It’s a harder ask for the Knicks to do what they did. If that game, if, if that foul is called, and as I just said, me and you agree, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not saying that it would have been impossible for the Knicks to win.

I’m not saying that it guaranteed that the Pistons were gonna win. I’m just saying that it was hell of a lot less likely. And the Pistons probably should have won, given the way that things played out.

French: Depends on how you look at it, because even outside of that call right there, the last two many reports showed that Detroit benefited off of no calls more than the Knicks did.

100%? That’s why I just chalk it up as this win was going to be a Knicks win regardless. They worked for it. [00:30:00] They had the opportunity to get the win and they didn’t get

Jah So Focused: it. My point is, not that, not that, my point is this. This was a game where, if you’re gonna validate the Burks and Bojan trade, you can’t do it with this game.

Mm mm. Can’t. Quentin Grimes willed the Pistons to a near victory. And the fact that they were pissed off about it, they should have been, should have

French: been, right? That’s why I’m saying you can’t judge a trade this soon. It’s too early. Let them get some chemistry first.

Jah So Focused: Chemistry? How much chemistry did Quentin Grimes have in that game?

What chemistry did he need? He was shooing all those shots. Exactly. Exactly. What do you mean

French: exactly? They’re not going to shoo all the shots for the Knicks because they’re not the main scoring options. They’re not even the second, the third, or fourth scoring options. They’re going to have to be Off the bench, one of the main scoring options.

But how many of their bench guys are going to be closing out

Jah So Focused: the game? How many, how many Knicks players are supposed to be better offensive players than Burks and Bojan? Supposed to [00:31:00] be? Yes. On this roster right now, that is not fully healthy.

French: Donte DiVincenzo, Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart.

Jah So Focused: What? Do you believe that?

Do you believe Josh Hart is supposed to be a better offensive option than Bojan, Bogdanovich, and Alec Burks? Not offensive. OK, so let me, you got two. Who else?

French: That’s pretty much it. Exactly my point. Thibs is not a coach who is focused

Jah So Focused: only on offense. I understand that, but my point is they were brought here for offense.

Right? You say, okay, Quarren Grimes is taking all the shots. Okay. They also have Jaden Ivey. They also have Cade Cunningham. So there’s no advantage there between the Knicks and the Pistons. There’s none. The fact that Quentin Grimes went out there and proved that he is an offensive threat and, and outplayed both Burks and Bojan is a problem.

When you gave up a second round pick, when you gave up these, uh, these other players who are also contributing, you, if you’re going to say that this is a great trade, if you’re going to say that this makes the Knicks a championship contender because of how they [00:32:00] played, I understand that there’s a element of getting familiar with the team or whatever.

But when you playing against what was and still is record wise the worst team in the league, it shouldn’t be this close. It’s not the same team. It shouldn’t,

French: it doesn’t matter. Even Malachi Flynn made

Jah So Focused: an impact on this game. But you’re making my point for me. If you won this trade, if this is a great trade, right?

This should not be the way that this game goes and I understand the Pistons are not the same team I understand that they’re a better team But maybe they’re a better team because they got rid of some of these old guys Who were getting shots and putting up shots and not playing defense Maybe they got better because they got rid of Burks and Bojan Maybe this is not the great trade that we think it is Maybe this doesn’t make the Knicks championship contenders because these guys are gonna be the ninth and tenth guys in the rotation Maybe, I’m not saying one way or another, but I’m just putting it out there that, hey, maybe we should slow down, right?

Obviously I’ve always been kind of, [00:33:00] eh, so so on the trade because of the fact that Quentin Grimes went out for both of these guys. And this, this Pistons game kind of showed it. These guys have not been great. They have not had a great game. I think we could say they haven’t had a great game and they probably will never have a great game because they’re only, uh, their only contribution to the roster is on offense.

They’re never going to be great defenders. Um, Bojan is supposed to be a better salary matcher than Fournier and the only reason that he is is because he actually is getting time on the court. But when, what happens when all these guys come back? I have, I have a post coming out or actually. I have a couple of posts coming out in regards to Bojan and Burks.

I already have a post that’s going to be out by the time that you watch this episode about the roster crunch that’s coming up once everybody gets healthy. Once everybody’s healthy, our sixth man is Mitchell Robinson or Isaiah Hartenstein. Our seventh man is Josh [00:34:00] Hart. At most, we’re going to have two more spots.

Burks isn’t outplaying and Burks is playing worse than Deuce McBride. Bojan is playing worse than Precious. Are these dudes even gonna play when it comes down to it? Like, are they even gonna play? These are supposed to be the guys who are your 7th, 8th guys. They’re not, they might not even be that. They might not even be in a rotation if they keep playing this well.

Once we get healthy, you saying, Oh, we gotta wait till they get healthy. If we, once we get healthy, are they even gonna play? And if they’re not gonna play, then what was the point of the trade?

French: They are gonna play. But how? Who?

Jah So Focused: Ahead of who? Who are they gonna play ahead of?

French: We gonna see they’re gonna play because we need shooting.

I’m asking you. We’re gonna see if shooting in the lineup there. There’s gonna be guys like boy in the lineup. I don’t want to hear. There’s gonna be guys like Burks in the lineup. I don’t want to hear who we’re gonna see. I just wrote, I just ger Jericho Sims is not gonna be, Clinton didn’t,

Jah So Focused: I didn’t name Jericho Sims.

I didn’t name Jericho Sims. I told you who’s gonna be the sixth and seventh guys and I told you if we’re gonna go to a nine man rotation, which we may not in [00:35:00] the playoffs, but it’s, let’s say we do. Are they guaranteed the 8 and 9 spot ahead of Precious Achiuwa and Deuce McBride? Probably not. Okay, so is this a great trade?

French: I’m not saying that it’s going to be a 9 man rotation, though. I’ve always said it’s going to be 10. What are you going to see, 10?

Jah So Focused: They have to earn 10. You don’t play 10 guys in the playoffs, first of all. You do it in certain rounds in situations like that. You’re not going to do it for the whole playoffs, which means that there are going to be rounds where these guys ain’t going to play, which

French: Deuce is probably gonna get spot minutes in the playoffs.

Okay, who’s

Jah So Focused: gonna, who’s gonna play the other spot, Burks?

Probably Burks.

French: Probably. But I think, my brother, I love you so

Jah So Focused: much because you are, you are so positive. Um, and we need that as Knicks fans. We need the positivity and the belief that things are gonna turn out well. But at this point in time, Burks is playing so poorly. [00:36:00] Precious is gonna take his minutes.

If he is playing in the playoffs, I don’t know if I’m gonna be upset because he shouldn’t be, or if I’m gonna be happy because he turned his season around so well. He has, this is the worst part of his season, to be fair of Alec Burks. But boy, if he don’t get it cracking by the time these guys come back, he doesn’t, he shouldn’t play, he shouldn’t have the opportunity to to make it to the playoffs because Deuce has outplayed him.


you could argue that the Pistons got the best piece in the trade. Grimes,

French: you keep saying Grimes vastly outplayed. He only scored 14 points. He was a negative six from this game.

Jah So Focused: He scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and, and forced Bojan Bogdanovich out of the game. He played better. He had a good

French: stretch.

Jah So Focused: And Bojan hasn’t had a stretch. He hasn’t had a stretch. of a full quarter the same way that Quentin Grimes had in that game.

French: Okay, he had a, he had a good stretch compared to the other two guys, but Boyle had 13 points. He hit the same amount of threes as [00:37:00] Quentin Grimes. Yes. He didn’t play throughout the fourth quarter because there’s better guys or options to defend.

Jah So Focused: Because he can’t defend. Exactly my point. Exactly my point. He, because he cannot defend, he cannot stay on the court. Whereas that’s something that you can’t say about Quentin Grimes, which means that you can argue that he is the best piece in the trade because he’s the only guy in the trade who can both.

Play defense and be a threat on offense, which you cannot say about both of the guys that we got. They’re both great scorers. They are both better threats as a scorer, but if you can get played off of the court by Quentin Grimes because you can’t defend, that minimizes your scoring uh threat.

French: Let’s move on from this because we won’t keep going back and forth.


Jah So Focused: no, I think I just won the debate. The record, the record for the Knicks since OG and Randle went down, six wins, eight losses, only two of those wins with, um, with both Burks and Bojan on the court. And we have. [00:38:00] Another, an upcoming schedule where we face the Cavs and Atlanta. Atlanta, who is not gonna have Trey Young for the rest of the season, probably.

Uh, we play Philly twice, which, you know, I don’t, I haven’t heard anything about Embiid being back. So if he’s not back, maybe that’s gonna be two wins. We play Golden State again, hopefully. Um, we’ll be fully healthy by the time this happens because that’s going to be during a West Coast stretch where we’re going to face the Sacramento Kings and Denver.

And then we have one more game against Boston. Right now, when you look at the, at the standings, the Knicks are, are very lucky to still be holding on to the fourth seed, but they have the same amount of losses as the Philadelphia 76ers. They are one game ahead of the Orlando Magic. They are one and a half games ahead of the Miami Heat.

So, [00:39:00] next, by next week, Knicks could be the seventh seed.

French: I don’t mean to backtrack a little bit. I’m just I ain’t like that last debate, so I had to look it up. You know what Quentin Grimes had the very next game against the lowly Chicago Bulls?

Jah So Focused: He was ass the next game. I already know about that. I already know.

French: So you can’t give him the credit of being the offensive guy and the defensive guy if he’s gonna come out the next game and have zero points. And then the very next game after that, he has two points against the Cleveland Cavaliers. But, back to what we were just saying, my fault. You said, um

Jah So Focused: The Knicks could be the seventh seed by the time we’re recording next week.

French: They could be, but they could also stay put in a position right now.

Jah So Focused: So, I’m going to pose the question one more time and then we’re going to move into the previews. Are you worried?

French: No, because honestly, even in the worst case scenario, we dropped to seventh. What does [00:40:00] that mean?

Jah So Focused: I agree with you. I agree with you here.

And I knew we were going to get here. That’s why I had to fight you so hard, but go ahead.

French: If we drop to seventh, we’re going to be facing off against the three seed, right? Or are we going to be in a play in first? The two seed. The two seed. And the two seed right now

Jah So Focused: Well, if we drop to seven, we will have to go, we will have to do the play in.

We’ll have to face whoever’s the eighth seed. Whoever wins that will be the seventh seed, and so on and so forth. But, say we drop to the seventh by the end of the season, we stay at seven, we go, we’re in a play in, we face the eighth seed. Whoever’s going to be the eighth seed, I’m not worried about in a one game series.

I feel like if we are fully healthy, the Knicks will win, and the Knicks will be the seventh seed. Right. Which would mean that we would face Whoever’s number two, which I’m pretty sure is going to be the Cleveland Cavaliers. Are we afraid of the Cleveland Cavaliers with a fully healthy rotation? No. If we beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, we’re going to play whoever, whoever wins between the three and the seventh seed.

That would be. I’m sorry, excuse me, the three and the, uh, six, six seed. [00:41:00] That would be Milwaukee versus Orlando. Could be Orlando. Could be Miami. Could be Indiana. Okay. We were talking about, you asked me this question and I’ll tell you, we’ll talk about it on, on air. Uh, Are you afraid of either one of those teams?

Orlando, Indiana, Miami? Are you afraid of any of those teams in a seven game series?

French: There’s not a single team in the Eastern Conference that I’m afraid of.

Jah So Focused: A lot of people are, are, are afraid of the Miami Heat. And if the Knicks end up staying in the 4 5 and they play Miami in the first round, I’m, if we’re fully healthy, I’m still not scared of the Miami Heat.

Last season, when we played the Miami, we underrated and we underestimated the Miami Heat. 100%. But, that comes with the caveat that we took them to six games. We took them to six games with Julius Randle not being able to put forth 100 percent effort on both ends of the court because of his ankle. We were lost in six games because Immanuel Quickley, the only guy who ran the offense outside of Jalen Brunson, a guy who had been playing healthy all year, was, was [00:42:00] injured.

in game five and was out for game six. And the minutes that he would have played in game six were the minutes that we lost against the Miami Heat. All things considered Knicks last year could have and should have won, or excuse me, uh, pushed Miami to seven games and could have won in seven games against the Miami Heat.

This New York Knicks team is a better New York Knicks team than that, my, that New York Knicks team and this Miami Heat team. Is arguably, probably not better than that Miami Heat team. Am I scared of the Miami Heat? No. Can Miami Heat push the New York Knicks in a first round series? 100%. Do I think that the Knicks will lose?

Only way the Knicks would lose to Miami Heat would be if the Miami Heat injures several guys, which you can expect, but that would be the only way. And then if that’s the case, would the Knicks lose because the Miami Heat injured them in a first round series? Maybe media will be, uh, you know, saying, oh, the Knicks [00:43:00] can’t beat the Heat.

We already know what it is. The Heat can’t beat, a fully healthy Miami Heat team can’t beat a fully healthy New York Knicks team. Indiana, I’m not worried about. Orlando, I’m not worried about because both of those are one side of the ball teams and not two side of the ball teams like the New York Knicks.

And then you got Boston probably in the conference finals, which if we make it to the conference finals, that’s a win in and of itself. So I’m not, I’m not worried about where the Knicks, uh, end up. I would have loved to see the Knicks make it to greater than 50 wins. I would have loved to see the Knicks have home court advantage throughout a good portion of the playoffs.

It is what it is, man. You, you, you, you, you get the, uh, you get what you get. Now, you know, we’ll see what happens. All right, let’s get through these next few games, uh, next five minutes.

Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers Preview

Jah So Focused: Uh, Let’s talk about the upcoming games, French. You’re up.

French: I was counting how many games we got left in the season. It’s not that many games left.

[00:44:00] Not that many at all. That’s crazy, but Next game coming up this week, we’re going to have, uh, the Knicks go down to Cleveland to face off against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Donovan Mitchell is going to be out for this game with rest. So I’m thinking that the Knicks are going to win this game because Donovan Mitchell is probably the only consistent offensive threat that I not fear, but respect on Cleveland.

Like I respect Garland, but I don’t think he could take Brunson by himself. If they’re going to be going back and forth, you know what I’m saying? So I think Brunson’s going to kill, um, whoever’s guarding him in Cleveland. They don’t, they still don’t have a matchup for him. And Isaiah Hartenstein could do exactly what Mitch was doing to, uh, Jarrett Allen in the playoffs last year.

So I’m not really concerned about. Cleveland, I think we could win this game even though they’re the two seed right now. Um, what are your thoughts on this game? What do you think? [00:45:00]

Jah So Focused: I didn’t even know that Donovan Mitchell was ruled out. Caris LaVert is also out for this game. Um, honestly, until we see a healthy Isaiah Hartenstein because he is not playing healthy right now.

Um, I don’t, I’m not confident in this Knicks team’s ability to pull out victories while they’re so shorthanded. If I had more faith in Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic who, I’m gonna be very fair here, it would not surprise me if one or both showed up tomorrow. Um, And having had the game of their career or of the season as a Knick wouldn’t surprise me, but until I see it, there’s too many things that I need to see before I could say, Oh, the Knicks are definitely going to beat the two seed in the Eastern Conference.

Are they [00:46:00] going to make it a game? Yes, are they gonna win? I cannot say that unless it’s unless a few things happen Jalen Brunson is obviously playing Tired he’s over exerting himself Isaiah Hartenstein is over exerting himself and they need help from guys who are not giving them help. So I think that the Knicks are gonna lose Okay, you already did you predict your Yeah, they’re gonna win.

They’re gonna win, okay.

Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks Preview

Jah So Focused: Next up, Knicks vs. the Atlanta Hawks at MSG at home. Last game of a three game, uh, three game New York road trip for Atlanta. Um, did they play Brooklyn twice?

French: They’re gonna be playing Brooklyn twice in Brooklyn and then they’re gonna come to the Garden.

Jah So Focused: Okay, um, yeah, I see the Knicks winning.

The schedule shows me that the Knicks are gonna win. Atlanta, um, It’s currently playing without Trae Young, which may or may not be a good thing for the Knicks. May, I don’t know, I can’t recall it yet. I haven’t seen [00:47:00] enough, um, of games without Trae Young, but I think the Knicks, the Knicks are going to win.

I don’t think Atlanta is that good. I’ve never thought Atlanta was that good, and I think that they are bad enough that this version of the Knicks can eke out a victory. I think it’s still going to be a tough game, but the Knicks are going to win.

French: Yeah, the Knicks, they, they’re not happy with the way that they’re playing right now.

So they’re definitely going to come out with intensity this week. I feel like, um, they, they match up pretty well with Atlanta. And if Trae Young’s not playing, that’s a guy who averages 25 and at least 11 assists, if I’m not mistaken. And I don’t think DeJounte Murray can. He can, he can put up 20 and 10, but I don’t think he can replicate the amount of offense that Trey Young normally would be able to, especially his amount of times that he goes to the free throw line to get his points.

Um, DeJounte is more of a mid range kind of scorer. He could spot up from three sometimes, but he’s not really a shooting threat. [00:48:00] And I think we could use that to our advantage. Um, because we have all our shooters available. That, that would be the biggest difference. I feel like the Knicks could probably shoot their way out of this game.

Um, as well as rely on Jalen Brunson. So yeah, I think the Knicks are going to win this game as well. Um, so they would be, that would be too straight for you, for me. Yeah, you’ve got to lose in life.

Jah So Focused: You’ve been, you’ve been, you’ve been overly positive on the Knicks. The Knicks have been not winning as much as you felt that they got

French: to win.

It’s the same team. It’s the same team. You can’t let a little stretch of losing Taint how you view the team because the same team that is winning is the same team that is losing these games. It’s not the same team. It is the same team. It’s the only difference is that guys are injured. It’s the same team.

Jah So Focused: You can’t say it’s the same team and then say guys ain’t playing. That’s why they’re losing now because it’s not the same team. It’s not the same team. It’s not the team that was winning had [00:49:00] Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. This team don’t.

French: They have the most, most of the same roster is what I’m saying. It’s only a few guys down and they take, they play well as a team.

Every one of these games that we’ve lost, it’s not been blowout losses. They’ve been, there’s been a couple, they could have won some of these games. And some of them were more than 10 points because the team was just too talented to, to compete against them, right? This isn’t the same type of scenario.

Atlanta Hawks is not going to beat you with talent. Cleveland Cavaliers. We’ve matched up with them well in the past, even without Julius Randle. Jalen Brunson dropped 50 on them to end the year last year. They can be beat just because they’re the two seeded and they match up well against other teams around the NBA.

I’m not saying that they, it’s not going to be the same as matching up against Boston and Um, Golden State Warriors and the Pelicans.

Jah So Focused: You said Boston could be beat too. That was your same, that was your same reasoning for why you picked the Knicks.

French: Is there not a difference between Boston and

Jah So Focused: Cleveland? There 100 [00:50:00] percent is a difference between Boston and Cleveland.

It’s also a difference between the Pistons in Cleveland. And we almost lost to the Pistons. But we didn’t lose, a win is a win. So you have to acknowledge when your argument, you can’t just use your argument to prove your point correct. And then also, uh, you know, disprove it when it doesn’t go for you. The Knicks got blown out by the Celtics.

The Knicks nearly lost to the Pistons. The Knicks got blown out by the New Orleans Pelicans. And then we’re just talking about this week

French: And that’s without Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein that you’re talking about. I’m talking about with Jalen Brunson and Isaiah Hartenstein. With the guys that are going to be playing this week, they’re not getting blown out.

Celtics is the only team that blew them out. That’s it. And was Isaiah Hartenstein even playing for that game? I don’t even think he closed out that game. I’m saying with the guys that we have now, Isaiah Hartenstein, Jalen Brunson, these guys are enough. That’s mostly the same team. We don’t have OG Anunoby.

We don’t have [00:51:00] Julius Randle. We don’t have Mitch. That’s fine. I don’t think that doesn’t mean we can’t win a game. I don’t think that means we can’t beat The Atlanta Hawks. It’s different, but it’s not that big of a difference where it’s like, we have no chance. I feel like we’re still an elite team even without these guys.

Jah So Focused: I’m just trying to point out to you that it’s not the same team. And that’s it. It’s not the same team. They play the same. This team, this team that we have, that we have, have lost more games than they’ve won. That’s it. We’re not, you talking about blowouts and almost wins and all that stuff. Just look at the record.

The team that had OG Anunoby and Julius Randle was winning at a great clip.

French: You think we need them to beat Atlanta?

Jah So Focused: And I think that If you say that Atlanta’s gonna win, I wouldn’t be upset with you. Isaiah Hartenstein is still not 100%. Jalen Brunson is out here not playing the way he was before because he’s tired.[00:52:00]

Josh Hart just played 47 minutes in a game. These things add up. These things add up. So, can the Knicks beat the Atlanta Hawks? Yeah. Did I say that the Knicks were gonna beat the Atlanta Hawks? Yeah. Does that mean that I feel great about it? That the Knicks are gonna come in and take over? Nah. I don’t feel great about it, but I have, I can’t say that the Knicks are going to lose all three games this week.

And the one that I think that they’re going to win is the Atlanta Hawks because up next, who do they, who do they play?

Knicks vs Orlando Magic Preview

French: Orlando Magic in New York. Knicks have not beaten Orlando all year.

Jah So Focused: And you don’t think they’re going to win now?

French: Well, I don’t know. I, I feel like because we haven’t beaten them all year, that’s why you have to choose that the Knicks are going to probably lose this game, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they win, but I’m not going to bet on it.

Jah So Focused: There’s not that much difference in the record between the Magic and the Hawks. Right. So you can’t, you can’t be like Like,

French: record don’t tell you everything. [00:53:00] Record doesn’t tell’s about matchups. Record doesn’t tell you everything. It is about nobody on Atlanta. Ha is like Paolo. There’s nobody on Atlanta like that.

Jah So Focused: You gobbling on Paolo now?

French: I’m gobbling Paolo’s. Nice. What’s wrong with I liking Paolo? I’m ashamed

Jah So Focused: at you. You don’t like Paolo. I’m ashamed at you. Listen, Paolo’s great. It

French: is good. Um, I’d rather Paolo than a lot of players in the NBA Paolo’s. Nice.

Jah So Focused: Listen, the Orlando Magic is a good team because of their defense.

It’s better than the Atlanta Hawks, which is why I think that the Knicks are gonna lose. Um, the Knicks, when they play against good defenses, with this version of the team, they lose. And, that’s what I think is going to happen.

French: Yeah, Orlando got big bodies, they play defense, they got a star. I don’t view Atlanta the same way.

Right. Like, I don’t respect their big men, and I don’t respect their [00:54:00] defense.

Jah So Focused: Yeah, I respect Magic, the Magic more than I respect the Hawks, so. Yeah, alright.


Jah So Focused: We, uh, went a little bit over than we thought we were gonna go, but We didn’t do our hour. Very spirited conversation. Yup. Um, and there was, I was wondering if we could sneak another conversation in here, but we’re going to have to leave that for another time.

It’s one of those conversations that we could have at any time. So, uh, be on the lookout for that. Be on the lookout for the posts that we have coming on the website on knickstake. com. Go check out our merchandise. You can see French started off the podcast, uh, showing, showing off the mug. Uh, for those of you who are watching the video, um, those of you who are listening probably are vastly annoyed with the slurping sounds that my brother is, is, is, is, is doing right now.

But anyway, make sure you check out, check us out. Um, we’re going to have a lot coming to you in the upcoming weeks. Um, French? What’s poppin Yeah, anything you want to say to the people before we go?

French: Yeah, I miss, I miss having [00:55:00] shows to come and tell y’all about. I’m not gonna lie. Cause I’ve been watching a lot of new shows, but we’re going to have to just save that for like another podcast, probably.

Jah So Focused: Yeah. Or we could put it on some social media if you want.

French: Yeah, we could do that. But with no further ado, we’d like to bid you adieu and thank you for listening to the Knicks Take Podcast.

Jah So Focused: Peace out y’all. Peace. Knicks Take Podcast.