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  1. #496
    12th man
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    Both Thibs and JVG will need to have 4 healthy veteran players in their starter lineup to have a successful season.
    All those draft picks the Knicks have means nothing when 80% of the Knicks roster are young-core players, and bust draft pick vets, plus the Knicks head-coach has less than 4 yr experience. There's no success having that kind of recipe in the organization.

  2. #497
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    Nice feel good article about Taj and t he young guys.

    It really doesn’t seem all that long ago.
    C.J. Watson raced up the court on a two-on-one fast break and saw just one man between him and the basket. That man, though, happened to be Dwyane Wade, who by this point, had developed quite the reputation as the Miami Heat’s primary rim protector.
    So it was a spry youngster by the name of Taj Gibson who Watson nominated to finish the break. Gibson received the pass at the free-throw line with a full head of steam. Like any prideful competitor, Wade dared Gibson to go through him — and Gibson obliged. It was then, in Game 1 of the 2011 Eastern Conference finals, that the world learned Gibson’s name. He dunked on Wade so badly that even Zaire Wade — Dwyane’s oldest son — would tease his dad about it.
    Nearly 10 years later, although his legs aren’t as springy as they used to be, Gibson’s reputation of being a fierce competitor, meticulous student and true professional have followed him throughout his career — from Chicago to Oklahoma City to Minneapolis and now, to New York.
    And yes, even as the Knicks sputter toward what will certainly be another trip to the NBA lottery, Gibson’s reputation has remained fully intact. He’s a solution, not a problem. Gibson, 34, has done all that he can to provide value and be a foundational piece for the Knicks — who are preparing to make roster changes this offseason — from taking Frank Ntilikina out to dinner to coaching up Mitchell Robinson in practice.
    “I see potential,” Gibson said when asked about his teammates. “I see so much positive and good things in these guys, and sometimes, it doesn’t turn into wins, but every day I’m just trying to get guys in tune with how to be professional.”
    Among all of his teammates, it is perhaps Ntilikina and Robinson — two of the club’s more promising prospects — who have benefitted most from Gibson’s presence.
    “We talk a lot, either on the court or off the court when we travel,” Ntilikina said. “He’s played in this league for years and he knows what it is to go through an NBA season. There’s a lot of stuff going on, and he’s here to always help us be prepared for everything.”
    Although Ntilikina is still trying to find consistency in his game, he cites Gibson as one of the primary forces that has helped him try to tune out the background noise and stay focused on honing his craft. During trade deadline season, it was the veteran who was in the Frenchman’s ear with a simple directive.
    “It was just about controlling what we can control,” Ntilikina said. “Taj helps us stay even and focused on the journey.”
    Robinson shares those sentiments.
    “Taj, he’s keeping us focused, even though the kind of season we’re having, he’s keeping us staying positive,” Robinson said. “He motivates me.”
    Robinson’s potential evident, it became imperative that the Knicks front office surround the 21-year-old with coaches and teammates from whom he could learn. To that end, Gibson — who has aspirations of coaching once his playing career is over — has been a valuable voice.
    “You got a lot of young guys, and I’m always out there really just conversing and getting into it with every guy from top to bottom,” Gibson said. “I try to encourage them to get better and how to be professional. It’s challenging, but I love it.”
    Despite Robinson’s promise, his inability to stay out of foul trouble has somewhat stunted his growth. To this point, perhaps Gibson’s greatest challenge has been helping Robinson decrease his foul rate.
    During the 2018-19 campaign, the young big man ranked sixth in the NBA with 5.7 fouls per 36 minutes. This season, through 51 games, Robinson ranks eighth in the league with a slightly reduced 5.3 fouls per 36 minutes. Although the reduction seems modest, consider that since Dec. 1 Robinson’s minutes have been trending upward and he has maintained his average of about 3.2 fouls per game. As a result, his per-36-minute foul rate has decreased to 4.8 — a marked improvement from where he was a year ago. It still leaves a lot to be desired, but at a minimum, there is progress on that front. Mitchell proactively credits Gibson for that progress, even as Gibson draws jabs from his younger teammates for some of his “old” tricks, one of which is the almighty pump fake.
    “He’s like the pump fake king,” Robinson said of Gibson. “When I first met Taj, that’s all he used to do, but as the time and the season started going along, I started to sit down on it. He helped me with that, and now, I translate that to the game. Now, you rarely see me jump on a pump fake. He helped me a lot with that.”
    For Gibson, helping — as it turns out — was part of the allure of signing with the Knicks in the first place. Sure, the (partially guaranteed) two-year, $20 million contract he received from the club couldn’t have hurt, but Gibson’s decision to sign with the Knicks last summer was about more than just the money. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he spent much of his childhood in Fort Greene’s Ingersoll housing projects. Coming of age in the 1990s, he actually remembers when the Knicks were cool. That’s a part of the reason why he ended up with the Knicks, despite reportedly drawing interest from as many as eight teams ahead of the commencement of last year’s free agency period.
    But as the club looks ahead to installing a new president, it is again transitioning. It’s easy to wonder whether the faces that are around this season will be here next, and Gibson hopes his return to New York is not one-and-done.
    “That’s what I’m trying to do. I just try to help everybody the best way I can,” Gibson said. “I’ve seen a lot of stuff — a lot of ups and downs — and I want guys to take advantage of their opportunity. I don’t want them to go out there and have any regrets at the end of the night or even at the end of the year, because in the NBA, things come and go fast.”
    Gibson has somewhat surprisingly emerged as the team’s starting center and is averaging career-low numbers across the board. But it’s his ability to still be effective and provide value that gives him credibility.
    “As a young player, you wanna stay in this league. You wanna stay in this league for years and establish yourself, and that’s what he did,” Ntilikina said. “I mean, he’s something.”
    A student of Tom Thibodeau, Gibson’s competitive fire still burns, and it’s contagious, even after 789 career games.
    “Having Taj around, he’s been here for 11 years … He’s very experienced, he’s been through a lot since he’s been in the league,” Robinson said. “He’s also growing and learning still, ’cause the game is changing, but he knows pretty much everything there is to know, so just having him around for that knowledge is great.”
    It’s been great for Taj, too.
    “It’s a lot of joy being a Knick,” Gibson said before citing the glee he’s gotten from rubbing shoulders with his childhood heroes. “I understand how hard it is to win in this league and win big. The ultimate goal is to leave my mark and help (the team) continue to grow.”
    In the NBA, winning is no accident. Chemistry, wisdom and those who lead by example can help take a team further than the value of each of its individual pieces may suggest. Every team needs leadership. Every team needs a Taj Gibson.
    As the Knicks begin the final stretch of a disappointing 2019-20 season, all things considered, they’re at least fortunate to have that.

  3. #498
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    Leon Rose will start March 1st.

  4. #499
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    Hereís an oddity... RJ shoots left-handed despite fact heís a righty...

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbs...ft-handed/amp/

  5. #500
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    I think if Knicks target Freddy VF and Joe Harris in free agency... theyíll surround RJ and Randle with some shooting, thus providing space for both forwards.

    VanFleet
    Harris
    RJ
    Randle
    MRob

    Knits, Knox, Taj, lottery pick off the bench. Josh Jackson is another lottery flier we might roll the dice on. Plus late first and early second rounder, Wooten, Dotson (possibly).

    Could even bring back MM and have RJ or Randle coming off bench.

  6. #501
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    I had mentioned how Craig Robinson hyped his development system and BS'ed about it claiming there was some secret sauce that differentiated it from others. I said Robinson was full of crap and the Knicks should look to get rid of him in a reorg. Here's an article from The Athletic discussing the Knicks development system and it's lackluster results so far and 3 coaches opinions of player development.

    CHARLOTTE — When David Fizdale came in as the Knicks head coach in 2018, he did not put a single player development coach on his staff. Instead, he said, everyone would be involved in the all-important task. It was a remove from a growing trend across the league, where the NBA’s best organizations devote copious resources and man-power to building up young players.
    The Knicks had made powerful promises about that, too. Craig Robinson, the franchise’s vice president of player development, has been in place since the summer of 2017. During his first year on the job, he said he was installing a program that would innovate player development. He compared it to Nike and Google.
    “If you look at how things are done around the league, no one is actually trying to do this the way we’re trying to do it,” Robinson said two months before Fizdale was hired. “So it’s also got that aspect of being able to do something that is completely new and could be transformative in the industry.”
    The results for the Knicks so far have been underwhelming. There is no single resounding development victory to point to. Frank Ntilikina, the 2017 lottery pick, remains raw, though he has made progress. Kevin Knox, the 2018 lottery pick, has struggled as a sophomore. Mitchell Robinson was a dynamo as a rookie, but it is hard to say definitively that he has gotten better in his second season. Allonzo Trier had a solid debut as an undrafted free agent, earning a two-year contract, but has been marooned on the bench this season.
    The Knicks’ development system has not drawn compliments in talking to some around the NBA. Before this season, the G League team had been a pipeline to the Knicks, with all five of Westchester’s starting lineup getting promoted in 2017-18, but none have stuck with the team. Five players have turned G League deals into NBA deals, though only Kenny Wooten remains in the organization. The players have been seen as bright spots — Trey Burke, Luke Kornet, Noah Vonleh — have been traded or not re-signed. The Knicks did not make Craig Robinson available to talk for this story.
    One constant question has been whether the Knicks devote enough playing time to their young players. That issue has been raised again this season. The Knicks have prioritized veterans over their youth. Ntilikina was swept back into a clogged point guard rotation after getting a chance to start earlier in the year, when Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton were away from the team or injured. Knox is playing 10 fewer minutes per game this season than as a rookie, and is averaging just 14.3 over his last 15 games. Smith has regressed altogether from last year, and his playing time has been inconsistent while missing time due to injury and a death in his family. The Knicks have not sent Knox, Smith or Ntilikina to the G League for more minutes.
    “We’re looking at development in a lot of different ways and not saying it’s just about, you just need 25 minutes a game to develop,” interim coach Mike Miller said last week. “I think there’s more to it, there’s more ways that we can help these guys grow than doing that. They’re getting experience and they’re getting opportunities and they’re learning. We’re seeing growth.”
    If the trade deadline was supposed to bring more opportunity, that has yet to arise. Knox has played at least 20 minutes once in the last 16 games. Ntilikina, while dealing with injury, has oscillated between polarities — playing 11 minutes one night and then 32 minutes the next. Robinson continues to come off the bench.
    With 25 games remaining and a 17-40 record, amid the tumult of a February shake-up in the front office, it remains to be seen how the Knicks will approach the rest of the season. Miller does not see any number of minutes as a necessary threshold to reach to say that the Knicks’ youth is getting enough experience on a nightly basis. Instead, he takes a different viewpoint.
    “It’s more about the quality when you get to a certain point,” he said. “You go through a period, you’ve got to get out there and play, and then I think a lot to really take the next step is the quality of the minutes and how productive you are and what role you’re playing. Those minutes mean something.”
    To see how the Knicks’ philosophy to player development compares to their peers around the NBA, The Athletic sought out three head coaches in organizations known as among the league’s best to see what they believed was key to rearing young players:
    Raptors coach Nick Nurse

    How do you measure what works in player development and what doesn’t on a day-to-day basis?
    We try not to evaluate daily. We say, you know, go to work daily, but evaluate periodically, right? And we try to have a little bit of a vision of taking it slow. You don’t want to throw them into too much too soon. But you also want to find out once in a while if you give them a chance to play against the first unit team on the road, start a game or, I don’t know, do something different. The one we always use is let Pascal (Siakam) bring the ball before that was — it’s not so much a rarity anymore. Everybody’s bringing the ball up the floor, but that a few years ago, and we were like, “We’re gonna play this way. With this kid, yeah, you can do it,” and things like that, but too get back to your question, I think that you gotta try to link in what you’re doing with these guys to your system you’re running. I think it takes a lot of people, not only the coaches but off-the-court people. There’s a lot to mentally, physically adjusting-wise. And I think we try to cover the whole person and the whole player if we can.
    When it comes to developing players, do young players need to play minutes either at the NBA level or G League or can some of that be done behind the scenes?
    Yes. I’m a firm believer that they need to be playing. They gotta play. How do you get any better if you’re not playing? I am big, big, big believer that if they’re not getting minutes with the big club that they gotta go down and play as many minutes as they can get down there.
    Nuggets coach Mike Malone

    What is the key to development now in the NBA?
    The easy answer is allowing young players to play and, more importantly, play through their mistakes. That’s what we’ve done. We don’t have a G League team, so we have guys that have all been given a chance to play and grow up and get game minutes. Right now the biggest challenge we have this year is Michael Porter, who falls into that young guy (category), he really hasn’t played in two years. He needs game minutes, and we’re trying to get him those as much as possible while understanding on the other side of that coin that the expectations are for us to be a team that competes for the Western Conference finals. So very, very hard to do both, but I think allowing our young guys to play has been the key to them developing and maturing.
    Can a player develop if they don’t play?
    No. I don’t think so. Experience is the best teacher. You can watch film. You can do a million and one workouts on the practice court, but if you don’t get game minutes in a game atmosphere, I don’t see how you’re going to get better.
    Nets coach Kenny Atkinson

    What’s the key to player development and are minutes necessary in the course of that?
    Yes. I think that was our huge advantage. That we had these ample minutes and we had a runway for these guys to improve. I think without that, without the opportunity — you can argue that’s the first part of development that you need the minutes. It’s hard to develop in the shadows, so to speak, and we went through a lot of struggles with that development process. Obviously if you take it from the beginning to get Joe (Harris) and Spencer (Dinwiddie) and Jarrett Allen and those guys, where they were three years ago, where they are now, so I think their minutes were huge. And patience. I think personally I kinda used a three-year marker, like, that’s where it starts. You really want it to start kicking in the development where guys are really starting to blossom. Sure, there are exceptions where guys right off the bat, they’re really good, but three (years) is kind of the magic number for me. But I know every every situation is different, every team’s different.

  7. #502
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiger0330 View Post
    , only thing like Mafra said he rode Yao hard to get the results and young guys now might not like that style of coaching.
    And thus shortening his career massively, just as he did with DRose. And he ran him for too many minutes in Minnesota as well.
    "Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand."
    Kurt Vonnegut

  8. #503
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat View Post
    And thus shortening his career massively, just as he did with DRose. And he ran him for too many minutes in Minnesota as well.
    I think itís all subjective. Neither Yao nor Rose ever averaged more than 37 minutes per game in a season. LeBron was averaging 40+ minutes per game over the course of a season for most of his early career. I think you only know in hindsight. You have to play your guys to win. No one is going to herald a head coach who loses games because he is minute restricting his best players all season long.

    To the point, who on our roster are you even worried about Thibs overplaying? We donít have future Hall of Famers that we have to worry about their careers getting cut short after only a handful of all-star appearances.

  9. #504
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    The 5 big decisions awaiting the Knicks this year and why they matter so much





    By Mike Vorkunov Feb 24, 2020 17



    Leon Rose has not yet officially been named as the new Knicks president of basketball operations, but that will come in time. When he takes over, he’ll have many important decisions to make. He got the job because the Knicks need work.
    A lot of the decisions will come quickly, in the next five or so months. What Rose does will direct the organization in one way or another. Here’s what he has ahead of him, why the decisions he’ll need to make really matter and what consequences could be.
    1. Who will the general manager be? This might be the most consequential decision Rose makes after he takes over as the Knicks president, a point that comes up in conversations with NBA scouts and executives. Rose will be the man atop the organizational chart, obviously, but he will need help and who he chooses as his GM will indicate how he intends to run the Knicks. Even if the Knicks want to become an attraction for stars and woo big names and all that, the quotidian work of running a team must still be done. The best way to become a star destination might just be by having a diligent and smart front office with a plan. Stars want to play for good teams and good front offices can build those. Simply being the New York Knicks hasn’t proven enough to lure high-level players. If Rose chooses a GM with a reputation as among the brighter minds around the league and can come in to remake the Knicks in the image of, say, the Thunder, Nets or Raptors — organizations that value the bottom of the roster, too — then the Knicks will be in good shape. Rose will also need to decide who to keep from the current front office — just because there’s management turnover doesn’t mean that everyone needs to go. He’ll also need help as he steps into a front office for the first time, and the people he surrounds himself with will make that adjustment easier or harder for him.
    2. Who will the coach be? The attention so far with the Rose hire is speculation if he can leverage his connections around the league and with players he has worked with to eventually get a star to New York. The question I’m pondering is if he can use his connections and knowledge of everyone around the NBA to pick the right coach for the Knicks. Because Rose has worked with every team in some way, he has an acute insight into who the smart people are. Just as with the front office, that information should suit him well in the coaching search. Names like Tom Thibodeau have been thrown out as potential coaching candidates because of his longstanding ties to Rose, but Rose, I’d guess, has connections to many coaches around the league even if we don’t know about them. Sometimes hiring the obvious name isn’t the answer and sometimes the obvious name isn’t the hire. What Rose does with the intel he has on league coaches and execs is just as interesting in how he fills out the organization. That would be one of the real advantages of hiring someone from outside a team structure to run the franchise. The coaching hire will also be a clue about how the Knicks will play and what their style is on the court. All of those things matter.
    3. What will be done with the lottery pick? This is self-explanatory, but the Knicks really need to nail a lottery pick. It just happens that this year’s draft is viewed as weaker in talent than in previous years. That doesn’t mean that a dud is guaranteed. Projections can and are often wrong. Weak drafts still produce good players. The Knicks need strong young players going forward. Rose has likely already been scouting and recruiting some of the players in this draft class while at CAA, so it’s not like he’s coming in blind. The Knicks scouts have been doing their jobs, too. No one knows at this point whether there will be turnover in that regard before the draft or what it would look like. Who the Knicks pick will also give some indication of what Rose values in players and how intends to build out the roster. We don’t know anything yet in that regard. There is no track record to go on. There’s also the trickle-down effect of whatever the choice would be. If the Knicks pick a point guard, what does that mean for Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr.? If the Knicks go with James Wiseman, then what does the future hold for Mitchell Robinson? Or what if the Knicks decide to deal the pick altogether to acquire a veteran instead of adding more neophytes onto an already young roster? This could be the right year to do that and forego the inherent risk involved with a draft pick for someone a little more certain. This is conjecture at this point, but Rose’s pick will have more meaning than just the player himself.
    4. What is the plan for free agency? The Knicks won’t have the cap space they had last summer but could have plenty, enough to sign a max free agent if they want to. What should they do with it though? In 2019, they chose to sign a class of veterans in hopes of a short-term boost coming off a 17-win season and an unappealing roster. They’ll get that. The Knicks are at 17 wins now. FiveThirtyEight projects them to finish with 24 wins. That’s improvement, but not enough to please owner James Dolan. The Knicks made certain choices last summer to get here. They didn’t want to be a warehouse for other teams’ problematic contracts and receive assets in return, instead using their cap space in free agency. Will that change this summer if the opportunity presents itself? Will Rose continue with what is a pretty clean cap sheet — a credit to the current Knicks front office, who has also accumulated seven first-round picks over the four years — and wait to make a big move until 2021? Will the Knicks be willing to use the 2020-21 season as a bridge season, yet again? That would be the third time in the last six years that the organization chose to do that — the 17-win season under Phil Jackson and last season — which would kind of give a Groundhog’s Day vibe at MSG. But constant churn in the president’s chair will do that. Or will Rose see if there’s any opportunity to strike on the trade market with all those assets? He has to realize by now that long-term plans don’t really exist in New York because the president who tries to pull them off hasn’t gotten the time to do so. That kind of reality invites expediency, which invites rash decisions, which invites mistakes, which lead to more firings and then hirings. That cycle is familiar to the organization and its fans.
    5. How much will the Knicks invest in player development? The Knicks made a show of their current player development system. Craig Robinson, the man in charge of it, compared it to Nike and Google. David Fizdale filled out his coaching staff and said every coach would be responsible for development instead of having specific coaches under the development umbrella. The returns have been unfulfilling so far. What is the Knicks’ biggest development victory under the current regime? The Knicks have also not followed the trend league-wide of investing significant resources into development. The Sixers have 11 staff members devoted only to development and not in-game coaching, according to ESPN. The Raptors have eight people with development specifically in their job description. The player development staff and infrastructure is where the Knicks can splash the pot if they want to, since it’s outside of the salary cap. They haven’t yet. Rose’s plan and implementation for player development will be one of the most crucial decisions he makes.




  10. #505
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    Didn't realize the Knicks under spend on development staff compared to big spenders like the Raps and Sixers. Sixers also spend on an analytics staff getting Wiz kid math majors to analyze players and game tendencies.

  11. #506
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    This canít possibly be true. Rumor spreading today that Knicks will look to bring back Carmelo Anthony this offseason.

  12. #507
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    Quote Originally Posted by htr10 View Post
    This canít possibly be true. Rumor spreading today that Knicks will look to bring back Carmelo Anthony this offseason.
    With CAA running the show... anything is possible. Would be clear sign new regime same clowns as previous ones.

  13. #508
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    LOL y'all know I'm an Iso-Melo fan he's the last big FA that actually wanted to be here but I know KO.COM is gonna have a meltdown

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimkcchief88 View Post
    LOL y'all know I'm an Iso-Melo fan he's the last big FA that actually wanted to be here but I know KO.COM is gonna have a meltdown
    Melo will have turned 36 by the start of the next season. Signing a veteran minimum deal to retire here as a Knick makes sense for him and makes sense for PR guys, but Iím not sure I get how it makes sense for the direction of this team.

    Honestly, itís too bad big mouth Lebron never really wanted to bring Melo aboard to try to win a ring with him coming off the bench.

    If I was Leon Rose, something like this is exactly what I wouldnít do if I wanted to be taken seriously.

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    ďAll roses don't bloom at the same time," Knox Sr. said. "(Kentucky head coach) John Calipari tried to tell you all. This is a rose. It will bloom. He's going to be a butterfly. We're just cocooning right now. When he gets out of the cocoon, he's going to fly and be a very beautiful butterfly. It's a process.

    "You'll be talking to me a year from now saying, 'Wow, that rose looks real pretty and red.'"

    Through 58 games, Knox averages 6.5 points on 36.2-percent shooting while grabbing 3.7 rebounds and dishing 1.0 assists in 18.1 minutes.

    While his numbers might seem tame, he has made an impact especially on the defensive side of the floor, emerging as a challenger of shots with improved post defense and correct rotational decisions.

    The Knicks' perceived improvements -- and the 20-year-old Knox's long-term potential -- made the organization ultimately pass on inquiries from other teams regarding the 2018 draft's No. 9 overall pick.

    SNY's Ian Begley reported Friday that the Knicks were "reluctant" to deal Knox in advance of the NBA trade deadline Feb. 6, with recent comments from interim head coach Mike Miller reinforcing the belief in the Kentucky product.

    "I can really speak for this year, just from the beginning to where he's at, where his focus was," Miller said last Wednesday. "Coached him in Summer League two years ago, his rookie year, so have obviously been around him and know him well. Seeing just more plays where he's impacting the game, whereas, young guys see the offenses how they're impacting -- he's doing it a lot of different ways. We're challenging him, 'Rebound more. Be more active defensively. Get more deflections.'

    "Just consistently being in the right spot. You wouldn't even know because what our coverages are. And then taking advantage of stuff out of the offensive system to help him get good, quality shots and then what he can do on his own. So there's a lot of things in there and we're seeing things growing there. We just, now -- it's let's get those game to games where it's like, 'OK, those are two really good ones. Let's make it three, four, five."

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