Atlantic Notes: Thibodeau, Robinson, Noel, Lowry, Davis

Tom Thibodeau‘s impact on the Knicks was apparent in their preseason opener at Detroit on Friday, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. They were energetic on defense, forcing 22 turnovers and contesting shooters on the 3-point line. They also controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Pistons 54-41. The Knicks were relatively quiet in free agency, so their biggest upgrade is seemingly at head coach, Berman adds.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Free agent addition Nerlens Noel started ahead of Mitchell Robinson at center for the Knicks and the early returns were promising, Berman writes in a separate story. The two big men combined for 15 rebounds and four blocks, and Robinson also made four steals. “When you have two bigs that are like that, it’s a big bonus,” Thibodeau said. “And they’re very similar. I’m not sure who I’m going to start, but I like both of those guys, and I’m going to need them to play well to play well as a team.’’ Noel joined the Knicks on a one-year, $5MM contract.
  • Raptors guard Kyle Lowry will remain in the team’s temporary home in Tampa this weekend and miss games in Charlotte on Saturday and Monday, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star relays. The team didn’t give a reason for Lowry’s absence, so it’s unclear whether it’s related to the COVID-19 protocols. Lowry, who will make $30.5MM in the upcoming season, will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • Terence Davis‘ lawyer is seeking a dismissal of the criminal case against him, Rick Westhead of The Sports Network tweets. The Raptors guard was arrested in New York City in late October and faces seven charges. Davis allegedly hit his girlfriend in the face, then grabbed the victim’s phone and broke it during the incident. The woman’s son also allegedly got knocked down during the altercation. Davis made a court appearance remotely on Friday and was told he must “stay away” from his alleged victim but that he can have contact with his son.
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25 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Thibodeau, Robinson, Noel, Lowry, Davis

  1. mnsportsfan

    Is Noel going to start over Robinson permanently? If so, I feel like that’s a big mistake. Rob seems like the future at center for them.

    • Lookatcurryman

      well maybe they will both get the same amount of playing time who knows? cuz both of them are great rim protectors and are extremely athletic. well i think noel could be a mentor to robinson.

      • Noel can barely stay on a team in the NBA. If Robinson is going to grow, he needs to get the time on the floor. Starting is a good boost for his confidence as well.

        • Curtisrowe

          Noel hasn’t had any issues “staying on a team” in the NBA. He’s always either been a starter or in the rotation..

    • Nbabrothers

      I agree. But Noel is a better player than I thought he was. What I’m worried about is that there is some unhappiness with Mitchell Robinson and I hope we don’t trade him.
      He should start in Sunday’s game to keep him happy.
      I would like a starting lineup of:
      C-Mitchell with Noel and Mitch playing 30 minutes per game. In other words there will be times that they will be on the court together at the same time.
      PF-Obi Toppin
      Sf-Kevin Knox
      Sg-RJ
      Pg-Elfrid (he is a much better point guard than people say he is. He averaged seven assists last season with a terrible team).

      • mnsportsfan

        I’d love to see you guys trade randle to the wolves. He would be a good running mate for kat.

      • Dxit90a

        I feel RJ is better suited as a sf . Robinson needs to cut his fouls . Noel is a good player still young maybe the competition will help Robinson. Frank needs to play more to see if he is worth keeping

      • Mitchell has as yet been unable to demonstrate that he can play 30 minutes nightly without getting into foul trouble. Most of which are dumb fouls. I think this is what Thibs is referring to when he talks about Mitch’s professionalism

  2. I’m not sure results against the Pistons should count for anything this year as analysis or expectations go.

  3. Lookatcurryman

    y’all think the raptors should cut davis from their roster?? i thot they were gonna do the same with stanley johnson cuz he wasnt even in the raptors’ rotation much even got assigned to the g league. as a raptors fan, i feel like they should just waive both stretch their salaries and used that to sign one of the best remaining wings on da market like prob shabazz napier or dion waiters or cheick diallo. maybe that will fill up the holes left by the departures of gasol and ibaka.

  4. Jason Lancaster

    Classic Thibodeau: Start the journeyman over the promising young player, and damage the young player’s confidence in the process.

    All that’s left now is to bring in an old point guard to play heavy minutes. Maybe Kirk Hinrich can come out of retirement to anchor the starting unit? LOL

    • x%sure

      MR will likely always have a fouling problem. He has a great body but it does not coordinate that well.

      Noel is not perfect, but if the Knicks had him first and just got MR, they would be looked at differently. Noel was a mistake guy early on but is still only 26 and probably should start. This would prevent MR from getting in foul trouble early that affects his game.

      • Jason Lancaster

        I’m sure Noel gives them a better chance to win as a starter.

        But a win right now isn’t as valuable long term as MR getting reps. But Thibodeau has never really been focused on the future.

  5. Last night shows why Thibs is an elite coach. Great job, after a week or so, getting 11 guys involved, with defensive cohesiveness throughout and without a mindless Fizdale like musical chair rotation. The idea was to play MR and Toppin together, and Randle with Noel. It’s important that MR and Toppin have a short path to starter minutes. Not that they be handed a starting spot them. Thibs is trying to build a team, not win at NBA 2k.

    • harden (mvp),wall, and wood

      Beating the Pistons by 6 points in a meaningless preseason game, great job Thibs. Maybe they can win 25 games this season, possibly 26?

      • What’s your point? That a HC on a bad team can’t do his job well? Someone more familiar with the sport (or any sport really) than yourself would know that HCs don’t win or lose games, they prepare their players to give them the best chance to do so. Some even have an idea of how to assess a HC in that regard.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Nice gm for Knicks. The rebounding is a key stat. They also played team D. You can see the difference in direction. Thibs is a vet and he’s got their attention. They know their stay is on the line for some of them. Best thing was Frank looked good and Obi1 looked gd. Mitch is the future why even talk about him. He’s still not ready to start. He will be at some point this yr. Noel is a solid backup who can start. But he’s a real big who can play the middle. Something we didn’t have last yr. He will be good to for Mitch. Mitch eventually has to step up and take the C position. It’s that simple. Toppin looked like the future he is for us. Randle has to go. For a first gm it was good. You saw cohesiveness and control. More than before anyway. RJ at SF is something to keep an eye on. Is it a mixing thing. Or are they looking at a shooter for SG. This is a rebuild. So we need to get the value of our young players UP. Thibs is here to build value for a trade. Payton, Smith, Nttilikina, Knox, Randle, all could be moved. Even our expiring contracts. This is still a rebuild. The team is about Mitch, Toppin, RJ. Who else will step up and be part of Knicks future. That’s what Thibs is here to do this yr. We got 5 picks in next yrs draft. And 40-50 million in cap space. For best FA class maybe ever. Rebuilding is not a sprint it’s a marathon. Relax and enjoy Knick fans. We are on the right path.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      I want the Knicks to be good as much as anybody but that’s a lot of text for 1 Preseason game…against the Pistons……

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