Knicks Notes: Rose, Ntilikina, Toppin, Quickley

Derrick Rose has shown Knicks fans that he can still ignite an offense, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. With Elfrid Payton injured, Rose stepped into the starting lineup Thursday and scored 18 points as New York put up 140 in a win over Sacramento.

“My confidence has always been there even though I’m not the same player, reckless or explosive player,” said Rose, who is averaging 11.8 PPG in eight games since being acquired from the Pistons. “I feel like I’m skilled. I felt like I’ve been working on my game prior to having — I mean, after all my injuries it’s about just showing it and adapting.”

Popper notes that one of the initial fears among fans was that Rose’s addition might take away minutes from rookie guard Immanuel Quickley. Instead, Rose has adopted a mentor’s role and they have often played together in the backcourt. Tom Thibodeau, who also coached Rose in Chicago and Minnesota, has watched his game progress over the years.

“I think his quickness is the same,” Thibodeau said. “And obviously I think as players get older, what they do is they get experience and they add things to their games. So he’s a lot different than he was when he was 22. And obviously, that athleticism is different now. But he also has the knowledge of all the experiences he’s been through.”

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Frank Ntilikina put up decent numbers Thursday after not playing in two months, but it won’t guarantee him more playing time, Popper adds in a separate story. Ntilikina posted seven points, three steals, two assists and a plus-17 rating in 23 minutes. However, Thibodeau is reluctant to expand his 10-man rotation, and Ntilikina is likely headed back to the bench when Payton returns.
  • An early injury and Julius Randle‘s breakout season have prevented Obi Toppin from making an impact as a rookie, but he may get to display his skills in the Slam Dunk Contest, Popper notes in another piece. Toppin was a prolific dunker in college and has been a fan of the event for years. “It’s been a lot of guys in the dunk contest that I’ve been watching through my life that have really good dunks,” he said. “If the time comes for me to be in it and they say I’m in the dunk contest I’ll have to do a lot of studying and hopefully come up with something nobody’s seen.”
  • The Knicks would benefit from inserting Quickley in their starting lineup, argues Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer. Thibodeau’s preferred starting unit has a negative net rating, but the number is much better when Quickley, rather than Payton, is on the floor with the four other starters.
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29 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Rose, Ntilikina, Toppin, Quickley

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Ridiculous stat from the Dinger, DIIiiiiinnnng
    Knicks are .500 stats don’t create that. Players do. There are no stats to make you a winner. It’s why you have coaching. It’s real time management and of course talent helps. Knicks need a lot more talent yet. Freakin half a season and now all the geniuses are coming back out to tell us how to run this team. Nobody wanted Quickly or even knew who he was in the draft. This yr is about building a core. We still have a long way to go. Don’t like the fact Rose played (37.41) today. Nice Win, not pretty but a win against Pacers. Thibs please keep Rose under 30 mins. It’s desperate act by Thibs when he’s pushing Rose. Not a good sign to me. I know we all rather win than not. But it’s more important to play Frank and Toppin and Knox and Quickly at this point. We need to find out if they stay or not. Bullock and Burkes are not killing it that you can’t give these 4 more mins. Even go game by game. Bullock 27 mins, Noel 41 mins, hope it’s cause you are trading them. Nice to be .500 when 90% of basketball world thought we would not see that for at least another two yrs. NYK get Dinwiddie now.

    • lovesexland

      I dont get why Thibs isn’t giving Toppin and opportunity. When I see him play he is all hustle and has the talent. Noel is good, but not the future of the Knicks

      • Thibs will run Noel to a career high in minutes because thibs loves players who even play passable defense, he has never shown interest in developing rookies, I’m surprised he even play Taj in 2011, most second round rooks for thibs never even dress, Knox and Frank N will never see the court in NY with thibs coaching except for injury purposes

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Quickly is a rookie. He doesn’t need to start. He’s not even a true PG. He needs to learn to run the Point. Great he’s a learner and gym rat. His time will come. This yr is about getting our core and moving players out. Knox, Nttilikina, Toppin need to play more. Let’s go Thibs no one is going to trade for them. If they don’t see them play. No reason why with Payton out. Frank can’t play 24-26 mins.

    • Knox and Frank N need to be cut, not given more playing time. Tone to cut the cord and move forward from them. They’re useless.

      And remember, we got Quickley because we were able to trade one of those “no one is going to trade for them” players.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        You can’t be a Knick fan. At least we got Rose a mentor and solid backup at PG. For Smith

        • Let’s pump the brakes on Rose being a mentor. He’s had his issues along the way. RJ, Robinson, Toppin, and Quickley. Build from there.

    • lovesexland

      It kills me, all this “Quickley has to start!!!”. These journalists need to calm down

  3. formerlyz

    The idea of Quickley playing more with Randle and Barrett makes sense, as a catch and shoot combo guard, but I usually like to have better defensive options in that starting unit, and he probably fits better with Rose in that 2nd unit than Payton would

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Rose is here to help Quickly become more of a PG. He was a combo in college, really more a scorer. But he will learn it. You can see he has it. But why the rush, it’s been 30 gms. He’ll get there. Even if we get Dinwiddie. Quickly and Rose will still get plenty of PT. We don’t need to throw him in the fire. We have the luxury to be patient with him. 1-3 yrs is no big deal for a 20 yr old. He will still play major mins. We can move Payton, Rivers, Nttilikina, even Burkes. We still have 3 of top 32 picks in draft next yr. Also with Mitch down I’d like to see Toppin get mins. I’m sure he can play 20-24 mins here and there . I don’t get that unless they are moving Noel. Move Noel and get Drummond. I’m good with that

    • myaccount

      In your other comment you say play Frank, here you say move him. Lol. Make up your mind. Btw, nobody is trading anything meaningful for him or any of the other three.

    • formerlyz

      I’d much rather have Noel than Drummond. I dont know that I’d move Ntilikina right now, as the roster stands. Also, nowadays, being a combo guard is probably more of a good thing than it was like 7-10 years ago. Quickley doesnt have to be a primary playmaker. He can be a secondary or third playmaker, be a great catch and shoot guy, and be very useful

    • I’ve seen statues move faster than Drummond. Knicks certainly don’t need him. Not sure if anyone does.

  5. NyKnicksfan

    Obi, Knox, Frank and Quickley need to play significant minutes. Unfortunately, Thibs isn’t interested in developing young talent. He’d rather win 5 more games running vets out there that don’t help the future while stunting the development of the youth/future. He didn’t play Dennis Smith Jr at all and now that he gets to play, he is getting his confidence back. This is the same old playbook that hasn’t worked nor gotten us a championship for years. I’d rather win 5 less games while seeing Obi, Knox, Quickley, Frank and Mitch play and develop and get the side benefit of a better draft pick than to win a few more games to sneak into the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference and get destroyed in the playoffs while not knowing about the young players and getting a bad pick to boot. This is the same coach that traded away Zach LaVine and a 1st Rd (Lou Markkanen) for Butler in Minnesota because he has no patience, nor interested in developing young talent. He doesn’t see potential. He’d rather a quick high than building something great with young talent for the future.

    • formerlyz

      To be fair, that was a steal for Minnesota. They were a 2 seed that year at one point before Butler got hurt

      I agree with the premise of what you’re saying though, as I said it last year when they fired Fizdale for no reason. Now, just as expected, they hired someone similar to him to do literally the exact same thing he was doing, but at least they got rid of a couple pieces that never made sense in the first place. Things can be said for developing young guys in winning environments, but I personally would like to see Ntilikina and Knox play for them to do that. As for Toppin, I dont question what they’ve done with him. He shouldn’t have been the pick in the first place, but he is coming along and has been better than expected.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Also agree with your premise but DSJ underperformed long before Thibs

      I think there’s a mix you can have, old and young, that works for both. Right now TT is not surprisingly leaning a little too hard on the vets, IMO. I’d like to see both Quick and esp Toppin get more minutes

      As far as Frank and Knox, I mean I’m all for developing youth but that have to show *something*. Overall both those guys have lagged for a while now

      • NyKnicksfan

        It’s impossible to ‘show something’ when you don’t play. For example, Thibs’ excuse for having a 10 man rotation is that guys need to have play enough minutes to find a rhythm. How can anyone find rhythm from the bench or playing less than 15 minutes a game? Dennis Smith Jr didn’t play at all and now that he’s been given the chance, he’s showing that he deserved a lot more than zero minutes.

  6. buttholesurfer69

    I don’t think Quick into the starting 5 is the worst idea. Give it a shot for a game or two, and if it’s no good ditch it for a few.

    But here’s my beef:

    Last night Randle 41m, Noel 41m, Rose 37m

    Quick 13m, Frank 10m, Obi 6

    Yes we got the win. Nice. But this has been a trend for a few weeks now it seems. Vets minutes are increasing, young guys (minus Barrett) decreasing.

    I’m in on trying to make the playoffs, but we can’t be going *all in* for a 6 seed in the East at the expense of getting our young guys run.

    Finally, it’s enough with Frank, ok? Quickley should have had 23m and Frank 0. They can’t keep cannibalizing these guys minutes. Maybe they’re showcasing him for the deadline but I’d really like to know what they’re getting for Frank that’s worth taking time from the better player

    • mlbnyyfan

      The Knicks need to trade Payton, Bullock and Burks so they can see if Ntilikina and Knox are part of their long term plans.

  7. Lionel Muggeridge

    Why would Payton come back to the starting lineup? The Knicks look way better with Noel and Rose as starters and Gibson and Quickley getting a lot of time off the bench

  8. I think Thibs is doing a great job coaching this roster, including his role in developing the young players. Sorry, but young player development is not facilitated by handing them unearned minutes, without clear expectations and accountability. Knick fans, of all people, should know this.

    In any event, the facts in Knick world right now are these, and Thibs can’t change them: 1) Randle is our best offensive player, and we’re a better team (W/L-wise) when we run the offense through him. 2) That offense is not a positive for the development of our best young players (Barrett, Robinson and Toppin), although Quickley does benefit. It’s a choice, and, at some point soon (off season at the latest), it will have to be made. That has to start with the FO, and the roster, not Thibs.

    • buttholesurfer69

      My apologies, but you’ve made this exact same argument regarding Randle multiple times, on nearly every Knicks article for the past week or so, and it’s actually becoming embarrassing.

      Now, I sympathize with your tenuous relationship with the word “facts”, but there’s actually less than an iota of evidence that running the offense through a 6’8″ player who scores, rebounds, distributes, and shoots over 40% from 3 is detrimental to anyone. It’s actually the ideal person you would want to run an offense through in 2021.

      The positional overlap with Toppin is noted but leaving that aside you more or less have no point at all.

      • What’s embarrassing? That you don’t understand the game beyond NBA 2k? No reason to be, it’s becoming all too common place, and, based on your posts, it’s likely all you’re capable of. Others, however, including many who post here, do understand the game a bit beyond that (mysterious things like how on court chemistry, how skill sets mesh and can be leveraged, etc.). I guess my post was intended for them, not you.

        BTW, in your post above, what’s the evidence that your preferred minutes breakdown for each Knick player you mention would accomplish anything? Do you have a link to it?

        • buttholesurfer69

          See – unlike you – I’m capable of providing widely available public statistics to support my argument.

          So let’s see: my above post, arguing that a young player like Quickley should be receiving more minutes, is supported by the following statistics: Quickley is posting an 18.4 PER, 57% TS%, with a BPM of 2.1 for the year.

          Elfrid Payton, by constrast, is posting a 12.1 PER, 48% TS%, and has a -3.1 BPM.

          Even defensively, Payton is at -1.1 DBPM, while Quickley is at -0.3.

          So, let’s reach a logical conclusion here. Above you say young players shouldn’t be thrown minutes they don’t deserve, yet if we look at the actual statistics we easily see that Quickley has been the FAR superior performer this year, in addition to being the younger player.

          So, yes, sacrificing minutes of a young player – who, at point guard, mind you – is vastly outperforming not only his expectations as a rookie, but also the older player above him on the depth chart is probably detrimental to the team. In any case, the idea that he hasn’t “earned” the minutes doesn’t hold water.

          In the above post I also supported my argument, again, with statistics that an offense centered around Randle isn’t somehow – as you suggest – a priori detrimental to the team.

          Here are some more. Randle has a PER of 20.9, TS 58%, BPM 4.4. Specifically his OBPM (Offenseive Box Plus Minus) is 3.4 – Jaysum Tatum, for comparison, is at 3.7, with a 54% TS.

          Are we to believe then that the Celtics should move Jaysum Tatum because running the offense through him is “detrimental to the young guys”?

          Are the Celtics also at this “fork road”?

          Or is it possible that you’re conflating the Julius Randle of the last 4 seasons with the vastly improved Randle of this year?

          Bottom line: you’ve yet to provide ANY statistical evidence for claims you make in quite bold language on this board.

          It’s easy to hide behind phrases like “meshing” and “leveraging” “skill sets”, and I congratulate you on graduating 8th Grade.

          Unfortunately, your arguments seem to have little to no statistical evidence to back them up. Your ad hominem attacks won’t change that.

          • LOL. Do you cite stats on Quickley to prove my point? It’s a HC’s job to assign roles/minutes designed to maximize each player’s impact. A knowledgeable NBA fan, looking at those stats, would say the HC is doing a great job at getting production from a vet backup and a lightly regarded rookie. A 2k player says, increase the rookie’s minutes. The HC has to consider what’s sustainable for the rookie, the vet and the effect on the entire team’s production; not just plug in this guy for that guy and expect better totals, or let’s see what happens.

            Tatum is a different player, at a different position, and Boston a different team. A better comparison for Randle is Isiah Thomas (Boston) a few years ago. His excellence (which was for a greater period than 35 games) was mandating a style of play which would have been detrimental to the development of young players had it continued. An inflection point was coming when he became a UFA.

            As with the Boston-Thomas situation, an inflection point is coming here, and there’s not an easy answer. Perhaps more difficult here (backups Smart and Rozier had more position flexibility than Toppin). Can you point out where I said that the obvious answer is to trade Randle? Or, for that matter, that the obvious answer is to trade some or all of the younger players who might be impacted? But personnel decisions on this front need to be made; and beyond the summer, not making a decision is making one to a degree. That’s a point of discussion among Knick fans right now. No statistical evidence is possible or needed, just a basic knowledge of the league and common sense. Perhaps it doesn’t register with you, and that’s OK. I’m sure you and your ilk have other things to discuss.

            • buttholesurfer69

              Perhaps you should worry less about what registers with me and attempt to gain some sort of, I don’t know, rudimentary knowledge of basic statistics?

              It’s sad, because I just wish I had more time to teach you how numbers actually correspond to physical points, how aggregated data can assist in moving beyond making baseless assertions with our heads lodged firmly up our own a**es.

              Unfortunately, I think you’re not only a hopeless case, but just a generally insufferable moron.

              I wish you luck in continuing to opine about basketball, as long as you remain faithful to your maxim “no statistical evidence is possible or needed” you’ll never lose an argument.

              • LOL. Good. Part of me knew taking the time to explain something to you was a mistake, but I thought I’d take a chance that you were just a little myopic, not complete feeble minded. My mistake, won’t happen again.

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