The Knicks Take Podcast

Who do the Knicks need back most? | Episode 79

Jah So Focused: [00:00:00] Yo, Knicks fans, what’s good? I’m Jah So Focused.

French: I’m French, the bro host, and we would like to welcome you to

Jah So Focused: the Knicks Take Podcast.

French: This is episode 79.

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

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Jah So Focused: Also, make sure you check out the website, KnicksTake. com.

French: And lastly, if you love what you hear, please subscribe to us or whatever platform you’re watching or listening to us on. Listening to us on. I say [00:01:00] that all the time. Listen to us on. I don’t know how to speak, but it’s all good. Hit the thumbs up button.

Hit the notification bell if you’re watching on YouTube, but most importantly, share this with any Knicks fans who might enjoy the show. And now, the show.

Jah So Focused: Knicks Take Podcast.

The Rundown

Jah So Focused: All right, uh, French, how are you doing this week?

French: Yo, the Knicks finally win. So I’m good. Every time I ask

Jah So Focused: you how you’re doing, you talk about the

French: [00:02:00] Knicks. Cause that’s how it correlates. If the Knicks is losing, my Knicks is, I mean, my, my week is pretty bad. If the Knicks won, I’m good. It’s a pretty good week if they winning like crazy.

This is a great week

Jah So Focused: Outside of the Knicks, you know, it was an okay week for me. My back’s kind of you know out of whack, but okay You know, yes It was a good week for Knicks fans. Why your back out of whack? Why is my back out of whack bars? I don’t know. I don’t know why it’s just been getting sore, you know Had my girl rub my back for me.

So, you know, thank you. Thank you, baby, for when, you know, I know you’re going to watch this at some point. Uh, thank you for rubbing my back and trying to help me feel better. But, um, you know, maybe, maybe, maybe all of the pressure, uh, that the Knicks were feeling, maybe I was feeling that in my back because they were coming into this, into this stretch, uh, They were really looking at possibly being [00:03:00] down to the 7th, 8th seed coming into this week, uh, when they were Getting ready to face off against Cleveland getting ready to face off against Atlanta getting ready to face off against the Orlando Magic all those games that we’re gonna cover on this week’s episode of the Knicks Take Podcast aka trying to Figure out whether the Alec Burks Bojan Bogdanovich trade was actually a great trade podcast.

Um, Yeah, this is uh, this was a decent week, um,

French: I’m still stuck on the pressure on your back During this stretch, I was trying to make a joke out of it, but my poor guy

Jah So Focused: keep going. I knew you were trying to make a joke out of it, which is why I was, uh, talking so much. But, yeah, we’re going to talk about those games.

We’re going to talk about how, how important these games were for the New York Knicks, uh, was this week. We’re going to talk about, um, some, some, some injury news and, and potentially getting some people back [00:04:00] and the importance of that. Who’s more important or most important? Not that, not that those things, uh, sincerely matter in the grand scheme of things, but we’ll, you know, topics, topics to talk about.

And then we’re going to do, as we always do, we’re going to preview the upcoming games of the week.

Knicks vs Cleveland Review

Jah So Focused: Um, but let’s, let’s go back to the first game where the Knicks played against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which I

French: determined was the game of the week, in my opinion. Um, The game started off, it was a scary situation in the opening minutes of this game.

Jalen Brunson went up for a jump shot, came down, took a scary fall. Um, he was holding his knee, couldn’t really walk on his own legs. Coming, uh, coming down from that injury, had to be carried off the floor, kind of. Cause he couldn’t, he was tripping over his ankle, he couldn’t really feel his feet. Um, And once he went down, the air was pretty much knocked out of Knicks Twitter’s [00:05:00] chest.

Cause, they was panicking, like.

Jah So Focused: Don’t say they, you were panicking

French: too. I was panicking, but I wasn’t posting nothing crazy. I was also panicking. I wasn’t like, everybody was talking about, Oh my God, Bronson tore his ACL. He’s done for the season. The Knicks, this is always happening.

Jah So Focused: I didn’t think that though.

I was hoping,

French: I was hoping it wasn’t that, but. You know what I was thinking? What? As soon as I place a bet on the Knicks, when, when going to the Eastern Conference Finals, this is what happens. All I got to do is place a bet on the Knicks and then the season just goes awry. But sorry, mom. Yeah, my fault.

Your son bets. You don’t, you don’t like to hear about gambling, but this is the first bet I did in like all year. But back to the game, Miles McBride comes into the game, checks right in and He never checked out of the game. He pretty much just had his footprint all over this game. The Cleveland Cavaliers seemed like they still couldn’t be, they couldn’t match up well with the Knicks.

They got embarrassed by [00:06:00] the Knicks. Miles McBride did an in and out crossover on Evan Mobley that had him touching Earth. While Miles McBride going to hit the layup and he goes to look at the bench like, damn, he’s the first team of defense, second team of defense. So they just was looking bad. Josh Hart hit a step back three.

In the corner, right in front of the Cavs bench in the fourth quarter to seal the game. Right before he popped Donovan Mitchell’s chain. And the Cavs bench just looking at him. They ain’t have nothing to say. The Knicks won this game 107 to 98. And this just is another example of regular season. Uh, standings really don’t matter because they’re the number two seed, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Right. And we beat on them without our four starters. Mhm. Jalen Brunson, O. G. Anunoby, Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle. And this still wasn’t a close game. I feel like the Knicks had this game wire to [00:07:00] wire, if I’m not mistaken. I don’t remember the Cleveland Cavaliers ever, um, catching a, a, a lead in this game, but I don’t know.

I, I’m not worried about Cleveland even more so after this game. What were your thoughts on this, on this matchup? I

Jah So Focused: recall, I recall seeing, saying, um, last week that I thought that the Knicks were gonna lose this game. But I was, I also said that after, uh, being negative on Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovich’s performances, I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if one or both of them popped for this game.

And watching this game, I was just like, oh, Bojan definitely popped for this game. Um, you know, he, was he the most important player in this game? No, he wasn’t. He was definitely needed for this victory. He was, his, his, his offensive production was definitely necessary, especially when Jalen Brunson went down and he comes out there and [00:08:00] he’s hitting threes and he’s playing, he’s playing good on offense and, um, they’re not completely exploiting him defensively.

You know, I can’t, I, I could expect more from Bojan, you know, considering how many people loved the trade and thought it was a great trade. Like I could have expected more. Um, but you know, after having, with having no expectation, I know I shouldn’t say no, having lowered expectations for both Bojan and Burks, um, this was the kind of, this was the kind of game where I was like, okay, great.

This is, this is what we need. If we have this, then it makes this a completely fine trade. Um, regardless of what

French: Alec Burks does. You remember saying Bojan can’t guard nobody. You see him locking up Dean Wade? Come on now, that’s Cleveland Cavalier legend who helped them beat the Boston Celtics later on this week.

Dean Wade, who, how much he had? 20 points against the Celtics? He had zero against Bojan. Come on, lock [00:09:00] up. Let’s talk about it. Talk to me.

Jah So Focused: Is that, is that really, is that? Yo, he locked up Dean Wade.

French: Is that really? Yo, that’s

Jah So Focused: D Wade. Is that really? Yeah, D Wade. Not, not Dwayne Wade. Dean Wade. Dean Wade. Come on, stop hating, stop hating.

Yeah, nobody, nobody respects you for locking up Dean Wade. Sorry to say. There’s

French: nobody, nobody. Come on. D Wade played 20 minutes ahead, dunking donuts. Feel me? Yeah. Lock up. He could play defense off the bench. Come on, give him his credit. Let’s talk about it. No, no more Bojan disrespect. And he had 20 points, second leading score of the team.

Jah So Focused: Let’s not and say we did. Um,

French: Don’t make me look up Quentin Grimes. Quentin Grimes

Jah So Focused: actually, the thing that’s saving this trade right now is that Quentin Grimes hasn’t been healthy and is still having issues with his knee. Um, and you know, that might be a thing that that goes on for the rest [00:10:00] of the season and that’s what’s gonna Um At the very least, keep this a trade, uh, as a positive for the Knicks, especially if Bojan, um, continues to, uh, produce offensively.

And he doesn’t have injury issues. He’s not really the picture of health either. Um, with that being said though, um, Bojan’s not the part of the trade that I was upset about. Um, it was the Burks part. It was not even the Burks part. I figured you could get one and keep Quentin Grimes, because I didn’t think both for Quentin Grimes was a good trade.

That was the part that irked me. So, and, you know, judging this trade right now, you can look at it and be like, yeah, maybe we didn’t need to trade for both. Maybe we could have just got Bojan, found a way to keep Alec Burks. You gave away your, your, your last young piece that you could give away in a trade for value.

And you give away two second [00:11:00] round picks and other players.

French: Um, Mitch,

Jah So Focused: uh, whatever we’ll, we’ll, he was

French: only drafted in 2019 18, I

Jah So Focused: think, 2019. Yeah, that was, that was five years ago. Yeah. That’s not, it’s not, uh, RJ, it’s not Quentin Grimes. But anyway, the point being that, you know, Quentin Grimes had as a, as a piece that you could give away, you’d probably don’t want to give away Mitch.

You want to have Mitch as your foundational piece. Quentin Grimes is a piece that you want to give away for a Star Trade, and you gave him away, um, for Bojan and Burks, and one of those players ain’t playing well. But who

French: can also be used in

Jah So Focused: a Star Trade though? Let’s get back, let’s get back to the Cavs game.

Um, last, last thing on the Cavs game, that, that is, The fact that Josh Hart, he said he, he basically said, yeah, I was gonna try trash talk the Cavs bench, but then I seen Donovan Mitchell’s chain and I, I wanted to look at, look, left it up and say, oh, that’s nice, . [00:12:00]

French: That’s nice.

Jah So Focused: Yo, that is you, you, you gotta, you, you gotta square up after that.

French: especially since I wanna, because the Cavs, they make it a point to like post pictures in the Cleveland chain after the games. Right. and posted on social media. So to get your chain snatched like that, after getting caught on your own floor with no jail in Brunson, that’s kind of disrespectful. It’s not kind of disrespectful.

After hitting a step back three in they face. I,

Jah So Focused: exactly. I understand that Donovan Mitchell and Josh Hart are friends, but come on, bro. Well, after the, after the shot that is like, Oh yeah, after this shot, y’all not coming back. Yeah. And we didn’t even talk about the shot that was after that, that really sealed the game from Douche McBride on the other side of the court.

Yeah, Donte set him up. Yeah, that was um, Deuce and Deuce, Deuce showed out for this game and proved that yeah, maybe we didn’t need the Alec Burks part of the trade. But, anyway.

French: We also didn’t talk about the fact that Josh Hart had a triple double with [00:13:00] 19 rebounds. This is also true. 10 assists, 13 points.

He’s been balling, he had three three pointers this game. It seems like he’s a lot more confident in his three point shot. So, this, this period that we not having our starters is proven to help the other guys get a little rhythm and get some chemistry with each other. So I think that’s gonna really prove to be a really good thing for this team moving forward, especially when the playoffs get here and we got our guys like Randle coming back, who’s gonna be out of rhythm.

Mm hmm. We probably gonna rely on our bench players and the supporting cast a lot more than ever before While these guys get in rhythm, so

Jah So Focused: This entire time I was trying to figure out Whether you were accurate in saying that the Knicks had the lead the entire time. No, there were five lead changes in this game.

Okay But

French: didn’t feel like it.

Jah So Focused: No the Knicks the dick the Knicks definitely Made sure that their presence was felt in this game. Uh, let’s move on to the next game. Shout out to

French: Precious Achiuwa for this game too. Like [00:14:00] you six for eight, one for one from three. Yeah. We ain’t even mention you. You deserve some credit

Jah So Focused: for this.

Everybody deserves credit for this win. This is big win. This is a very big win and one of the best wins of the season, if we’re gonna be honest. Sure. It’s gonna, it’s probably gonna go down as a top two when in the season, considering the players who played in it, considering the player who got injured in it.

The moment considering the, uh, importance. As far as the standings, potentially, if the Knicks go on a big run to complete the season, and the Cavs kind of stutter. And as far as where the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently seeded at the time of the game, um, which was the second seed. So, Um, very important game for the New York Knicks.

Knicks vs Atlanta Hawks Game Review

Jah So Focused: And they followed it up with a game against the Atlanta Hawks. With No Trae Young. No Trae Young and No Brunson. No, well, yes, no, no, no Jalen Brunson as a result of the injury in the previous game. Atlanta Hawks who, um, Knocked the Knicks out of the first round of the playoffs a few years, [00:15:00] a few seasons ago.

Completely different Knicks team. One that was led by Julius Randle and Elfrid Payton. New Orleans Noel. New Orleans Noel. Yeah, everybody who was based, the main players in that, in that playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, I’m pretty sure none of them played in this game except for Alec Burks. So again, Jalen Brunson was out and immediately you see that Yeah.

Um, the offense was not offensive. , uh, shades of the Golden State Warriors game from last, from the, from the previous week. Uh, Knicks went about four minutes without scoring a single point. The Atlanta Hawks got off to a, a great start, started off really good offensively. The Knicks could not match them, were missing everything.

They were getting good shots. They were getting good shots. They were getting good threes up.

French: Yeah, it wasn’t bad offense, the

Jah So Focused: shots just [00:16:00] wasn’t falling. And the shots were not falling. And

French: Without your number one option, it’s hard to get a win like that.

Jah So Focused: Yeah, they went up by 22 points in the first half.

Halftime game.

French: Donte, like he was supposed to be the number one scoring option this game. And his shot really wasn’t falling. He was getting good shot after good shot. He took 17 threes this game, 21 points, but it just wasn’t falling. Like McBride was 3 for 10 from 3, 4 for 11 from 3, was Bogdanovich.

Everyone was just struggling, but they, they competed. It was, it wasn’t like we were getting routed by the Hawks. It just was a real

Jah So Focused: ugly game to watch. I mean, we were getting routed for a half and then the second half, the Knicks came out and they. Cut, cut the lead, cut into the lead, fought, got it down from 22 to a tie game.


French: when I say routed, I’m saying like Atlanta wasn’t coming down, hitting three after three. And then like, it wasn’t just [00:17:00] like we were being outclassed. It was just like the Knicks couldn’t score. Atlanta would probably score in a possession, go through possessions without scoring and then scoring another possession.

Like it was just an ugly game to watch,

Jah So Focused: to be honest. Yeah. I wasn’t trying to say it like. A lot of Hawks was just so much better than the Knicks. It’s just the Knicks didn’t have their players. They didn’t have their offensive players. They didn’t have their best players. The only starter who played in the game Was, excuse, excuse me, uh, Isaiah Hartenstein also played in this game, but the only guy who started the season as a starter was, that’s not true either.

French: He didn’t start, Donte

Jah So Focused: DiVincenzo. Donte DiVincenzo, right, is the only like, okay, yeah, he’s definitely gonna be the starter when it comes to the playoffs, depending on how you feel on, about Hartenstein, you know, but Yeah, this was a game. Could they have won this game? The Knicks? Yeah, because they, they eventually tied the game.

They eventually, you know, they got it close enough, but they, they ended up losing this game 116 to 100. Yeah. And yeah, I, I really don’t have much for this [00:18:00] game. You come into this game, you know, Jalen Brunson ain’t going to play. I’m kind of happy that he didn’t play. I think that the more rest you could get him, especially when they had two days of rest, uh, going into the next game, let him heal up as much as he needs.

Cause he’s the most important player on this team. And,

French: and I think, um, these last two games showed that, uh, just because we traded for Alec Birx and Bojan doesn’t mean that they’re definitely good. Yeah, you seen that? No, I didn’t see that, but as a result of this trade, it doesn’t guarantee that, um, everyone’s going to get minutes because you see Alec Birx only played 12, 12 minutes this game.

The last game he only played 11 and He shot 5 for 14 from this game. It was just an ugly game all around. So like, Tibbs is just seeing who he can rely on during this stretch that the guys are out. AKA not Alec Burks. Yeah, he can’t rely on Alec Burks right now. Even though like, [00:19:00] I still see, I still have faith in Alec Burks.

I just think he’s taking too many bad shots. But if he’s playing within the offense, if he has Randle in the lineup, if he has Brunson in the lineup, and all he has to do is catch and shoot, you can rely on Alec Burks for that. But now you gotta rely on him to dribble, dribble, dribble, create a shot, run the point guard off the bench.

It’s asking a lot from him. It’s bringing back memories from when he was being a point guard over Quickley um . Three seasons ago, I think, but I still have further faith in Alec Burks. He’s a 40 percent three point shooter, but forward coming to the Knicks, if he gets back into a catch and shoot role, he should be able to get back to that.

So, what do you want to ask?

Jah So Focused: How much it cost you, that bail that you shootin Alec Burks right now? It’s pretty cheap. How much, how much that cost you? It didn’t cost you that much? No? It ain’t take no zeros out your pockets? Okay. Nah, it’s pretty cheap. That’s a lot of bail you shootin him right now. I’m just

French: He’s, he’s, he’s proven himself already.

I understand he’s getting older, but he’s proven that he can be relied [00:20:00] on to be a lot better than what he showed us.

Jah So Focused: It’s a lot of butts that you’re putting into your defense also, but

French: I’m not putting any butts anywhere for the record.

Jah So Focused: Okay, if you say so.

Knicks vs Orlando Magic Review

Jah So Focused: Anyway, um, yeah, next game.

French: Orlando comes to New York City.

Let me make sure I’m not giving any false information because I feel like they’ve been here for several games, if I’m not mistaken. No, the Magic. But they came to Madison Square Garden. I was about to lie to y’all. Good thing I didn’t. Um, Knicks get Jalen Brunson back for this game. Good news. Um, some more good news came before this game that we’re going to touch on later, but pertaining to the Orlando Magic, the Magic were down Jalen Suggs, who’s proven to give Jalen Brunson, some fits in the past, so I was happy to see that.

Um, and Brunson came back and immediately just put his foot on Orlando’s neck. It seemed like [00:21:00] the Knicks really wanted to win this game. They wanted to make sure that they got the fourth seed back. Because before this game, Orlando had the fourth seed in their possession. Uh, the Knicks had the fifth seed.

And it was only one game difference. And we haven’t beaten Orlando all year. So this is going to be an important game for the Knicks to take. And they took it as seriously as they could. Um, they pretty much played an incredible defense in the first half against the Magic. Um, Paolo and one other player were the only scorers in the first quarter, if I’m not mistaken.

And after the first half, the Knicks pretty much just had complete control over this game. I’m not even sure if Orlando ever took a lead. Uh, the Knicks won this game, 98 to 74.

Jah So Focused: It wasn’t after the first half. The entire first half. The Knicks had control too. Yeah. This was a, this was a game where the Knicks came out and were like, yeah, y’all not gonna win this one.

It don’t matter who we’re [00:22:00] missing. Yeah. And, and, and the main call, the main reasoning for that was Jalen Brunson to begin with. Like, he wasn’t the main reason we won this game. I think it was a collective effort. But the way that he came, the way that you could see, as soon as the game started, first possession of the game, Isaiah Hartenstein blocking.

Next possession of the game, they trying to get to the paint, trying to score, trying to hit threes. Come back, blocked again. The Knicks came in, saying we are not going to get swept in the regular season series against the Orlando Magic. It does not matter who’s here. We got two days off. Dalen Brunson has missed a few games.

He only played, uh, 30 something seconds against the Cleveland Cavaliers and hasn’t played since. So, he’s well rested and he came out looking. Like the all star version, you know, the guy who got voted into the all star game, the guy who some people are saying should be considered for maybe the fourth or fifth slot for the MVP ballot.

Some, uh, who, [00:23:00] a guy who’s probably going to finish in one of the all NBA teams and Jalen Brunson, he looks like that guy in this game. And he hasn’t looked like that guy in a while. He’s looked tired. He’s looked like sluggish. And, um, we’ll go into, into that part a little bit later, as far as the importance of certain players and why.

Jalen Brunson has looked tired. Getting back to this game, Brunson looked great. He looked like he was that guy. He could have dropped 30 in this game if we needed him to. He didn’t even drop, he didn’t even play for 30 minutes in this game. And, you know, everybody just fit into their role. Nobody was tired.

Nobody was exhausted. Nobody was, was feeling hampered by the amount of game, amount of minutes that they’ve played. And when this Knicks team is healthy like that, and they’re focused like that. Yeah. They’ll, they’ll, they will beat this Orlando Magic team, especially when they’re missing, uh, one of their best shooters in the starting lineup in Jalen Suggs for a team who’s not even offensively like that.

Um, so, [00:24:00] yeah, this is not a, this is not a shock, considering, okay, Jalen Brunson’s back, he’s missed a couple of days, he got a little extra rest, all the guys got two days of rest. Nobody’s super tired. Um, yeah, I could, I, yeah, the Knicks shouldn’t, shouldn’t, Jalen Suggs ain’t playing. That was the important thing.

Jalen Suggs played in the games before this game. And if you’re telling me Jalen Suggs ain’t playing and Jalen Brunson is playing, Knicks, Knicks should win that one. Not that we, not that either one of us predicted that last week, but we didn’t predict Jalen Brunson to miss a whole game

French: and a half before.

I was trying to figure out Um, why Batazdeh wasn’t the starter, because I remember he was starting for Orlando the first two games that they came and played us, and he was a big factor in why they was beating us too, I felt like, and he only played seven minutes, I thought he was hurt. I don’t know, I guess Jalen Suggs is the X Factor for the, for the Orlando Magic.

Our X Factor was Precious Achiuwa. Right. Cause he came in, Led [00:25:00] the team in plus minus. He was a plus 25, 15 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 5 blocks, which was a career high for him. He was by far the best player, um, outside of Brunson to me in this game. He has some slashing potential that I didn’t see coming into this When, when, when, when we traded for him, I didn’t think that he was a slasher the way that he’s been showing in the last few games, and he has a soft touch, he has a little bit of a handle, and he still, like, makes good reads and good passes, and he’s a good defender, like, Press isn’t too impressed with me in this stretch that we haven’t had the stars, I’m not gonna lie.

Jah So Focused: He was a throw-in in the OG Anunoby trade.

French: Allegedly, allegedly. Like, I feel like that was, that, that was just a great trade. That’s going to pay dividends for years to come. If you’re going to,

Jah So Focused: if you’re going to say something is a great trade and you would, you can legitimately say the OG Anunoby [00:26:00] one is a great trade.

French: Under the radar trade that nobody was even thinking about beforehand too.

That doesn’t really happen often. Like we have one of the smartest front offices in the NBA and we might take it for granted. Like, cause the moves that they make are so well thought out and the guys that they bring in, we also brought in Shaq Milton this week. Um, off of, uh, waivers, he got waived from Detroit, if I’m not mistaken.

And the Knicks signed him. He’s gonna be another X Factor moving forward. Even though he hasn’t played this week, outside of just, like, a few minutes in this Orlando Magic game. But, man, like, Bogdanovic was another solid pickup. I think he’s gonna, he’s gonna show up a lot. More later on in the season, even though we only have 19 games left now.

Jah So Focused: Yeah. I mean, he, he didn’t really factor into this game too much. I think he only played like five minutes in the second half, you know, [00:27:00] which

we don’t need to, we don’t need to debate that anymore, really, but. The fact that the minutes are trending downward for both he and for Alec Burks and the Knicks ain’t even healthy. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. But anyway, since you’ve already kind of spoiled one of the future topics that we were gonna talk about, um, with the Shake, still more to talk about with the Shake Mill, and we still got plenty to talk about with the Knicks topic of the week.

Did you finish, uh, finish off with her magic? I’m sorry I didn’t. Yeah, I was all done with that. Yeah, Knicks won 98 Packed them up. 98 74.

French: They only scored 74 points, which is the lowest points that a Knicks opponent has allowed since 2012. That’s all we got to talk about. That was a great win. Yep.

Knicks Topic of the Week: Who do the Knicks need back the most?

Jah So Focused: Um, next topic of the week.

And this, this topic was born out of a discussion that we had a couple of weeks ago. Where it sounded to me like you were undervaluing Julius Randle. [00:28:00] And, uh, yeah, I mean, you were like, oh yeah, the Knicks can, the Knicks, the Knicks. Can band together and make up for what they’re missing with Randle.

French: Yeah, that doesn’t mean we undervalue him.

No, not we. That means that I appreciate the other players that we have on the team.

Jah So Focused: And the words you were choosing to use was like, Oh yeah, we don’t need Randle. We can, we can, we can, we can win without him. And I was just kind of like, no, no, we, we need him back. Especially in the playoffs. We would like him back for sure.

See, it goes, there it goes again. So the question that I have, which we’ll get into later, who do the Knicks need back the most? more between Julius Randle and OG Anunoby. And before we get into that in full, let’s do the injury updates for both Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, as well as for Mitchell Robinson.

French: Mitchell Robinson, [00:29:00] OG Anunoby, and Julius Randle have all been traveling with the team. As of late, OG Anunoby is practicing in full with the team, and he’s just been cleared for games by the doctors.

Jah So Focused: You need to read better. You’re definitely not Ron Burgundy. He needs to be cleared. He needs to be cleared.

French: Let me lie in peace. Yo, he’s day to day. He’s been practicing and he’s still going to get, he, he, he needs to be cleared by the doctors. You’re right.

Jah So Focused: He does need to be cleared. Cause if he was cleared, then he’d be in the games. And we ain’t reporting that.

French: He’d be, he’ll, I think he’ll be in the next game against Philly, but that’s just me.

Um, Mitchell Robinson is running. He’s jumping again and he should be able to participate in practice soon. Randle’s taking light contact. He’s been in the gym. Um, everyone who’s seen him working out, they say he’s always leaving in like a pool of sweat, working extra hard, trying to get into rhythm before he comes back.


Jah So Focused: I don’t need to know about his sweat, but okay, go on.

French: Well, the [00:30:00] question that she was going to ask me was what?

Jah So Focused: So who do the Knicks need most on the court right now? If we have to choose between OG Anunobys and Julius Randle coming and playing games first, who would you choose to come back?

French: We’ll play a little word semantics.

Very good. Because, because somebody’s they’re both coming back. I think Randle needs to come back first. because he needs to play himself back into rhythm. Okay. OG Anunoby, once he comes back, we know what to expect from him. And we know he should have an easier time reacclimating into the offense and into the defense because he doesn’t need to dribble, dribble, dribble to get his shot.

He catches the shoot in the corner. He can drive. Get a pass and then dunk it. Julius Randle needs to dribble, shoot, get a, uh, get his shots in the midrange and fend off double teams, read the [00:31:00] plays, like he has to play himself into rhythm and if he doesn’t, it’s, it’s only been negative in the past for us.

Jah So Focused: Alright, I’m gonna rephrase the question and I’m gonna make the case. For both before I give my answer, um, my case for OG, the case for OG Anunoby. The Knicks defense has been really good, awful, Statistically, since OG went down.

French: You can’t say that when we just held Orlando to 74 points.

Jah So Focused: How many games have we played since OG Anunoby went down?

Does one game mean that the defense has been good?

French: It’s been several games. We’ve held several teams under a hundred points since OG’s gone down. I won’t say that defense has been horrible, but it just hasn’t been as good as it could be. Continue.

Jah So Focused: I’m trying to tell you that statistically the Knicks have been rated as one of the worst teams in the league defensively since OG Anunobyby left the rotation.

That’s a fact? That is a fact. I’m telling [00:32:00] you that. This is not a debate. Yes, have the Knicks had some good defensive games? 100%. A lot of it has to do with Isaiah Hartenstein also being hurt, right? That plays a factor and a role into it as well, gotta be fair. Um, and the Knicks offense has actually rated pretty well.

Um, You know, without O. G. and Julius Randle. So if you’re going to say that the Knicks needed anything or are missing anything with both of those guys, statistically, you could say they need OG Anunoby’s ‘s defense more than they need Julius Randle’s offense, statistically. Now, with that being said. I know what the numbers say, but we’ve already seen two games in the past week where the Knicks could not do anything offensively, right?

Especially the one game where, where, where Brunson was out against the Atlanta Hawks. Two games where it’s like, yo, how many, how many minutes are y’all going to go without scoring? How are you? [00:33:00] And it’s not even like you can point to somebody and say, yo, you’re not stepping up. We got guys who we know.

Offensively, that’s not, that’s not your game. Can’t rely on Josh Hart to do the stuff that he was doing. He’s been doing, you know, every other game for the past week. Like, that’s not his game.

French: And nobody on Atlanta can stop Randle from scoring. He can drop 45 easy on them.

Jah So Focused: So, so, even though, even though they’re rated offensively pretty well, You can still see the flaws in the offense and the Orlando magic game, which is the point that you were trying to make, you know, not, you didn’t make it very well, but the Orlando magic game showed that the Knicks can survive defensively and are probably overexerting themselves.

On both ends of the court, which is, you know, why the defense has rated so poorly. If you bring Julius Randle back, now these guys who are defensive guys can focus on that. And both the offense and the defense will go up. So, there’s a case for both. I still [00:34:00] feel like the case is for OG Anunoby. Like, we need him back first.

And the, and the way that I was trying to phrase the question was, who does the Knicks team need to just survive this last remaining stretch, right? If we, if we want to fight, we, the Knicks have a choice right now. They’re back in the four seed after that, that win against the Magic. If you want to make a run for that three seed, I don’t think that it’s, Off the table.

The two seed’s not off the table. The two seed is also not off the table. So if you, if you think that the Knicks can move up, which one of these two guys do you need to be back on the court to win the most games? For the rest of the season, and until the next guy comes back. Who, which team, which guy, which player, do the Knicks need on the court first?

O. G. Anunoby or Julius Randle? I say it’s O. G.

French: My answer still doesn’t change. Okay.

Jah So Focused: Cause [00:35:00] There’s no wrong answer.

French: Even with no OG Anunoby, we’ve seen that the Knicks can still defend at a high level. Um, if Randle’s playing, we can just outscore a bunch of teams. I feel like, even if we’re not playing the most outstanding defense, we can still play good enough defense and then have Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle just carry the load with Donte DiVincenzo playing like how he’s been playing with What are they carrying?

Jah So Focused: Huh? What are they carrying?

French: The load. They’re carrying the load to bring the win home, you feel me? So, I think they, I feel like Julius Randle, he’s capable of going off of 50 points when he’s hot. I can’t say the same about, um, O. G. Anunoby. So, as much as I do value O. G. Anunoby, he’s becoming one of my favorite players on the team, if not the second favorite behind, um, Jalen Brunson.

There’s not much to worry about when it comes to O. G., I feel like, outside of health. [00:36:00] When you, when you’re worried about, um, Randle. And you want him to be at the best of his ability, or at least close to it. You need him to play himself into a rhythm, and you need him to be one of the top options on offense, in order for him to be effective.

If he’s not, he’s pretty awful to watch.

Jah So Focused: I’m gonna give you, uh, my quick retort, and then we can get into the previews. My quick retort to you is that Julius Randle’s shoulder was dislocated, separated, And he is definitely going to need the most healing time out of him and OG Anunoby. So, for me personally, I’m not worried about whether Julius Julius Randle needs to be as healthy as he can be, not for the first round, but for the second round and for the conference finals.

So, for me, if he, if he needs to sit out [00:37:00] until April, You know, if he needs to work his shoulder back into a good shape, if he needs until April to do that, I 100 percent fine with that. OG Anunoby can come in and fill his shoes as far as the physicality, and as far as the defensive effort that Randle doesn’t bring, and he can bring the Knicks enough wins, you know, or the same amount of wins that if he wasn’t there and Randle was there.

So, OG just had bone chips in his, in it, you know, floating around. He had some Doritos in his, in his elbow, right? So he, they, they cleaned that up. And as soon as he can shoot effectively, you know, pain free or whatever, I would love to see him back on the court. And I think that will help out Jalen Brunson because he’s going to have Donte DiVincenzo on one corner, OG Anunoby on another corner, and it’s going to be him, him running the offense.

It’s going to be easier for him. It’s not going to be as easy. For him offensively, as [00:38:00] if Randle was also on the court. But it’ll be a little bit easier for him than just having Donte, you know, in the corner. So

French: I was gonna, um, argue your point a little bit by saying that he needs more Because you said hold him out till April.

Mm hmm. Um, if, if the Knicks were to hold him out till April, that only gives him eight games to get into rhythm. Right. And I’m thinking about the beginning of the season when he had to get himself into rhythm. How many games did it take?

Jah So Focused: And how many games did it take?

French: Eight games. I’m like, hold on, I can’t even argue because all his worst games is like five, six games into the seasons.

Jah So Focused: And I, and I, and I, and I’m guaranteeing that that’s kind of why I said what I said. Give him that full April stretch to get back into rhythm. And if he’s still not right by the, by the end, you could still afford, depending on who the Knicks play against in the first round, you can still afford for him to not have a 100 percent healthy game in round one, just like last, last year.

Like, he had maybe one decent game as far as, [00:39:00] like, he’s doing what we need to, need him to do. It may not be scoring efficiently or whatever, but he did what he needed to do in the, against the Cleveland Cavaliers. And he was kind of, you know, iffy on some of the other games, but if he does the same thing this round, that’s fine.

We don’t need him to be 100 percent in the first round. We need him to be in 100 percent for the second round and for the conference finals. So even if that, by the eight games, he’s still not back to Julius Randle. Let’s give him another round, another four games, at least, you know, depending on if the Knicks can sweep or not.

French: And it also makes it tricky that it’s a shoulder injury, and he’s a And he’s a guy who puts his shoulder into, yeah, so It’s not like a foot injury where he’s gonna have to get himself back into shape and all that type of stuff, cause I’m pretty sure he’s on a, uh, a treadmill every day making sure he’s, he’s got the cardio, right?

He just got to get back into playing shape and be able to knock down his jumpers and then take the contact of playing against some of these, these, uh, these big men in the NBA. And this is [00:40:00] gonna

Jah So Focused: be very key for some of the Randle haters who, who wanted to see what this Knicks team looks like, a fully healthy version of this Knicks team, you know, sans Mitchell Robinson, obviously, and wants to see what this team looks like without Julius Randle.

Um, Obviously, me, I have always said the Knicks need Randle, the Knicks need Randle. Brunson needs Randle. Brunson’s three point percentage, you know, excused his last game where he was hitting his threes, but he gets, he, he gets easier shots and Randles on the court. And that’s not something OG Anunoby can do.

They’re not going to double team OG Anunoby. They will double team Julius Randle. So. Alright, let’s get into the previews.

Knicks vs Philadelphia 76ers Preview (Two Games)

French: First game coming up, March 10th, 7pm on ESPN. The Knicks are gonna be playing against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly, oh no no no, in New York again. Two game homestand. And it’s gonna be two games, well, I don’t know, let me just stick to the first game.[00:41:00]

No one beats though, he’s gonna be out for the season for the most part. Um, he may come back before the end of the regular season. He’s out with a meniscus injury, right? Embiid?

Jah So Focused: Yeah, he said the last thing that I read on Embiid is that they think that he’ll be back for April.

French: Yeah. And Maxie’s also most likely going to be out with a concussion.

Jah So Focused: I don’t know if it’s most likely there. I read that they are hoping he’ll be in for the Sunday game against the Knicks, but he missed the last game. With the concussion and it’s going to be, we’ll find out. We’ll find out the

French: day of. That’s a tough game to come back. Coming from a concussion. You don’t want to face off against the Knicks your first game back.

And he might get another one. So I got the Knicks winning this game. What’s your thoughts?

Jah So Focused: I also have the Knicks winning this game and that’s going to be key for the Knicks because, you know, Philadelphia is one of those teams that are in that four to eight spot. So. We already beat the Magic to [00:42:00] regain fourth place.

Uh, we can push Philadelphia. Philadelphia could find themselves in the eighth seed by the time their week is done. Um, depending on if Indiana decides to, you know, win some games. I don’t know what’s going on with Indiana, but yeah, the Philly, Philadelphia 76ers have not had, you know, have not had a good stretch since Embiid went down.

And then it’s even worse now that they’ve missed a few games without Maxie. So this is def these two games are definitely a must win game for Philly. I definitely, uh, I, I just don’t see, I just don’t see Philly winning, um. Especially in New York. Yeah, they need M. B. to beat us, like. Their best players in B, our best player is Brunson.

Brunson is going to be playing. Brunson looked amazing in this last game against the Magic. I don’t imagine that he’s going to look any worse against the Sixers. Maybe, you know, we can talk about both games because the Knicks played the Sixers again on Tuesday [00:43:00] at the Garden again. And this is going to be, um, you know,

French: three straight games at home for the Knicks.

So they got to take care of business.

Jah So Focused: Yeah, take care of business, you know, push Philly back, back down. You don’t want magic, the magic to catch you. You don’t want the heat to catch you. You lose these two games and both of those teams could catapult over you. Well, maybe not the heat, the heat because the Knicks have the tiebreaker over the heat.

But now you’re, now you’re potentially in a tie with the heat if you lose both of those games. And you don’t want that. Take care, take care of business, beat them both times. Especially if, if Maxie ain’t there for neither one of them, but the concussion. But even if he’s there for both, it’s not the same team without

French: Embiid.

And both of these games are going to be nationally televised. Uh, the second Philly, I mean, the second game is going to be on TNT, the first one’s going to be on ESPN. Okay. So, I think the Knicks love them nationally televised games. I think so too. So they’re definitely going to take care of business. If we get OGN, they’ll be back for the first game.[00:44:00]

It’s definitely gonna be a, uh, uh, a real blowout, um, at least for one of these games. If he’s not back for the first one, he might be back for the second one, so you know how I feel about that. So I got the Knicks winning both of these.

Jah So Focused: Philly’s currently on a three game loser streak. They’ve lost seven out of their last ten games, and Yeah, it does.

The things don’t look up. They’re currently the 7th seed with a half game advantage over the Indiana Pacers. They lose one of those games and Indiana wins one game. Philadelphia will officially be in the 8th seed.

French: One thing I want to say is the fact that I feel like Philly’s going to be playing really hard because of the fact that they’re on a losing streak.

And after these two games, they’re going to face off against Milwaukee. So they not going to be

Jah So Focused: Or maybe they could just be like, yo, we’re just going to wait till Embiid come back.

French: I don’t see it. They don’t got the type of guys on their team. They got like Kelly Oubre, PJ Tucker. No, no, PJ Tucker’s on Clippers, my boy, y’all.

But they got a couple [00:45:00] guys that, they just play hard. I like the roster that they have. They have, uh The Anthony Melton. I

Jah So Focused: like the roster that they have. Kyle

French: Lowry. Yo, stop listening. Yo, this phone? But look, Kelly Oubre, Campaign, Paul Reed, I like all three of those guys. The Anthony Melton’s going to play hard.

He’s back, right? Kyle Lowry’s back. Like, come on, they’re going to have Buddy Hield. I don’t like campaign. I lied. I like Paul Reed, though. That was like, what’d you just say? I like Paul Reed. I wanted us to draft him a few years ago, if you remember. And for the day one listeners, y’all remember I did like a scouting report on Paul Reed, but they got a couple guys.

They’re gonna, it’s gonna be competitive, but if OG’s back, it’s not gonna be. So. Oh yeah,

Jah So Focused: that’s that. That’s a, that’s a thing that we didn’t even, we don’t know if we, we don’t have any. Exclusive news. We’re still waiting for him to be cleared by the doctors to play in the game, but Tim said he’s day to day.

So that means he could be back any day now, depending on the doctors. So, um, yeah, Knicks gonna win both of these games, though, I think.

Knicks vs Portland Trailblazers Preview

French: Yeah, we could go on to the next game. Uh, [00:46:00] Knicks are gonna be going to Portland to face off against the Bumass Trips, I mean, uh, the Portland Trailblazers. Um, the Trailblazers are the second worst team in the NBA, they have a 17 45 record, currently on the three game losing streak.

Jah So Focused: I don’t think that they’re the second worst team in the NBA. They’re the second worst team in the West, though.

French: Second worst team in the Western Conference, I think the Knicks are gonna go to Portland, take care of business. Show Malcolm Brogdon that he’s not good enough to be on his team. And then they’re going to be heading back home.

So what does this table ever

Jah So Focused: do to you? This is like the second time you’ve spanked the table. I like this

French: table, like. Oh,

Jah So Focused: five. OK, we we’ve got an official count of five today only. Five what? It’s OK. I don’t know what you. Five slaps? Yes. Five, five spanks of the table. Yeah. Blazers stink. The Knicks should not.

The Knicks should not lose this game.

French: They shouldn’t. They on a three game losing streak currently.

Jah So Focused: If the Knicks are, are one iota healthier for that game than they are today, the Blazers should get blown [00:47:00] out.

French: I mean, they got blown out by the Rockets last game they played. So yeah, we should definitely take care of business.


Jah So Focused: All right. This was, um, A very violent episode of the Knicks Take Podcast, especially if you’re at a table.

French: We get excited. Come on, now the Knicks is finally winning again, and the team’s finally about to be healthy. Come on, it’s the time to get amped up.

Jah So Focused: It is the time to get amped up because God damn it.

Six. This is the time to get amped up because this was the roughest stretch that the Knicks have had. All season, missing all of their players. They went through February, they won three games, four games. And they started off, I think they started off as a three seed, and they only dropped one place in the standings.

Missing Julius Randle, missing OG Anunoby, missing Jalen Brunson for games. And playing tough teams. Missing Bojan Bogdanovich for a game. Alec Burks, not playing well. Trading away Quentin Grimes, you know, this is not, you know, the [00:48:00] Philadelphia 76ers have lost more games and dropped in the standings worse than the New York Knicks have just for missing and beat.

And when we missed at times, we missed four out of our out of our five best players or five out of our six best players, depending on how you rank the Knicks. So. This was an amazing stretch for this past week for us to win as many games as we did. Yeah, it was. To end this whole stretch without Randle, without OG, and still be in the top half of the playoff standings, I wouldn’t have minded, I won’t mind if we drop after this and get to six, but I would prefer that we can maybe leapfrog the Bucks or the Cavs.


French: still not too late for us to get that 50 win.

Jah So Focused: It’s going to be difficult. 19 games left. Knicks need to win 13 more games out of the 19 in order to get to 50. Let’s get it. It’s going to be difficult, but if we get healthier, then we can do it. But with that said, [00:49:00] French, you got anything you want to part to the listeners before we go?

French: Go watch My Wife and Kids. That show is fire on Netflix. That’s about it. But we like the bids you would do. Thank you for listening to the Next Tape podcast.

Jah So Focused: Peace out.

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