2012 Mayan Apocalypse Game Thread: Cavaliers v. WE’RE DOOOOOOOOMED

So today we learned a couple of things.

One, when they renovated MSG, they unearthed an Indian burial ground. Dolan was notified and his response was clearly, “Eh. Eff those bozos. They’re dead. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Two, even though the Jets acquired Tim Tebow, God still hates New York City.

In this time of massive sorrow, let’s turn to that noted ‘Bocker backer, Leo Tolstoy:

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”

Loves me some injury-wracked, preternaturally doomed Knicks and all y’all. Your elegies for tonight’s game and the 2012 season, go here.

Knicks Morning News (Saturday, Mar 31 2012)

  • [New York Times] Hawks 100, Knicks 90: Knicks Fade Fast in Loss to Hawks After Carmelo Anthony Is Hurt (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 05:17:18 GMT)

    As Jeremy Lin continued to rest his sore left knee, Carmelo Anthony hurt his groin in the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ loss to Atlanta on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Celtics Top Timberwolves as Garnett Outplays Kevin Love (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 05:20:08 GMT)

    In a return to Minnesota, 35-year-old Kevin Garnett outmuscled the rising star Kevin Love, who has assumed the place he once held there as the face of the franchise.

  • [New York Times] Wade Leads Heat With Heavy Heart After Chicago Shooting (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 06:19:01 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat to a 113-101 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday but admitted he played with a “heavy heart” after learning his adult nephew had been among those injured in a Chicago shooting spree.

  • [New York Times] Clippers Beat Blazers 98-97 for 4th Straight Win (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 05:33:48 GMT)

    Chris Paul made a driving layup with 5 seconds to go, lifting the Los Angeles Clippers over the Portland Trail Blazers 98-97 on Friday night as they tied their season high with their fourth straight victory.

  • [New York Times] Nets Rally From 19 Down to Beat Warriors (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 05:27:49 GMT)

    Gerald Green tied the score with a thundering one-handed dunk from the baseline and added a go-ahead basket moments later, and the New Jersey Nets rallied from 19 points down in the second half to beat the Golden State Warriors 102-100 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Cousins’ 27 Lift Kings Over Jazz 104-103 (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 04:30:51 GMT)

    DeMarcus Cousins scored 27 points, including the winning free throw with 3.8 seconds left, and the Sacramento Kings ended a four-game losing streak with a 104-103 victory Friday night over the Utah Jazz.

  • [New York Times] Wade Leads Heat With Heavy Heart After Chicago Shooting (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:28:07 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat to a 113-101 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday but admitted played with a “heavy heart” after learning his adult nephew had been among those injured in Chicago shooting spree.

  • [New York Times] Nowitzki Jumper Leads Mavericks Past Magic, 100-98 (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:12:56 GMT)

    Dirk Nowitzki banked in a 15-foot jumper with 5.9 seconds left and scored a game-high 28 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 100-98 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Dragic’s 25 Leads Rockets Over Grizzlies 98-89 (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:12:54 GMT)

    Goran Dragic scored a season-high 25 points and Courtney Lee added 17 as the Houston Rockets beat the Memphis Grizzlies 98-89 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Deng, Noah Lead Bulls Past Pistons 83-71 (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 04:12:53 GMT)

    Luol Deng scored 20 points, Joakim Noah added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 83-71 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Garnett Improves to 6-0 Over Timberwolves (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 02:33:54 GMT)

    The Old Wolf showed the Young Pup who still runs things in Minnesota.

  • [New York Times] Johnson, Green Lead Hawks Past New York 100-90 (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 02:36:52 GMT)

    Joe Johnson scored 28 points and Willie Green carried the Hawks in the fourth quarter, leading Atlanta to a 100-90 victory over the Mike Woodson and the New York Knicks on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Jennings Leads Bucks Past Cavaliers, 121-84 (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 02:12:53 GMT)

    Brandon Jennings scored 28 points and the Milwaukee Bucks routed Cleveland 121-84 Friday night, beating the Cavaliers for the sixth straight time.

  • [New York Times] Afflalo Scores 19 as Nuggets Down Bobcats 99-88 (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 01:49:45 GMT)

    Arron Afflalo scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the second half and added 11 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets held off the Charlotte Bobcats 99-88 on Friday night.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: With Lin Out, Davis Re-Enters the Spotlight (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:47:45 GMT)

    Because of his injuries, point guard Baron Davis may no longer be a go-to guy, but the Knicks don’t need him to be.

  • [New York Times] Wade and Bosh Each Score 30 as Heat Beat Raptors (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:21:53 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade was determined to put in a strong performance for a stricken family member.

  • [New York Times] Wizards Snap 5-Game Skid With 97-76 Win Over 76ers (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 02:45:53 GMT)

    Cartier Martin tied a career high with 20 points in his second game under a 10-day contract, and the Washington Wizards built a big lead and held on to it for a change, breaking a five-game losing streak Friday night with a 97-76 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

  • [New York Times] Women’s Olympic Basketball Team Loaded With Talent and Experience (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 00:19:03 GMT)

    The heavily favored U.S. women’s basketball team will have no shortage of talent and experience when they seek a fifth consecutive gold medal at the London Olympic later this year.

  • [New York Post] Knicks fall to Hawks despite Carmelo’s 36 points (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 04:31:28 -0500)

    ATLANTA — Mike Woodson’s defensive juggernaut got cooled off in Hotlanta and the Knicks’ playoff position no longer looks as comfy.
    Woodson suffered a bunch of regular-season losses in this building as the Hawks coach, but Friday night was as painful as any as Atlanta whipped the battered Knicks…

  • [New York Post] Lin hoping to return next week from knee injury (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:58:17 -0500)

    ATLANTA â?? The mystery behind the severity of Jeremy Lin’s left knee increased dramatically yesterday as Knicks interim head coach Mike Woodson said he’s unsure when â?? and “if” â?? the point guard will return.
    Lin missed his third straight game last night in a 100-90 loss to the Hawks and…

  • [New York Post] Knicks’ Harrellson: NBA may not suit Calipari (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:53:42 -0500)

    ATLANTA — Knicks rookie center Josh Harrellson, a member of Kentucky’s Final Four team last season, said he believes John Calipari has a great chance to win his first NCAA championship Monday, but is less certain on whether Calipari’s sideline theatrics will play well if he decides to…

  • [New York Daily News] Jeremy out Lindefinitely with sore left knee (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 07:23:40 GMT)

    The mystery surrounding Jeremy Lin’s sore left knee took an unexpected turn on Friday when head coach Mike Woodson said he didn’t know “whenâ? or “ifâ? both Lin and Amar’e Stoudemire would play again this season.

  • [New York Daily News] Hawks spoil Woodson’s homecoming, as Knicks fall 100-90 (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 06:22:28 GMT)

    It wasn’t the homecoming Mike Woodson anticipated and it certainly wasn’t the ending anyone, especially Carmelo Anthony, expected. With a couple of All Stars, Anthony and Joe Johnson, on the floor, the player that dominated the fourth quarter was Willie Green, a journeyman guard who has a knack for playing well against the Knicks.

  • [New York Daily News] For Knicks coach Woodson, Friday’s not the result he Drew up (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 05:26:42 GMT)

    Mike Woodson saw too much of Willie Green in the fourth quarter and not enough of the kind of tenacious defense that the Knicks had been playing since he took over for Mike D’Antoni.

  • [New York Newsday] Melo, Shumpert shine but Knicks run out of gas (Sat, 31 Mar 2012 00:17:00 EDT)

    The Atlanta Hawks held off the Knicks, 100-90, on Friday at Philips Arena. It was just their second loss in 10 games since Woodson became interim coach.

  • Hawks 100, Knicks 90

    New York Knicks 90 Final
    Recap | Box Score
    100 Atlanta Hawks
    Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 11-24 FG | 13-14 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 36 PTS | -7

    We’ve all indulged in our fair share of hand-wringing over Melo’s propensity for “going it alone.” Well, when most of your teammates look like they went to the arena straight from the Gold Club, sometimes that kind of bootstrap-grabbing gumption becomes necessary. If it weren’t for our junk-hobbled Captain, we might’ve been looking to the inevitable post-game Waffle House brawl for some kind of legitimate competition. And cheesy hash browns. Delicious cheesy hash browns.

    Tasked with manning up — out of position, it might be added — a clearly vengeance-addled Josh Smith, Melo was somehow able to conserve enough energy to rattle off a second consecutive blitzkrieg of a game — shot-sprayin’, board-crashin’, dime-dishin’, the whole nine. He keeps this up, we might soon be asking the same stupid question posed during the Linsanity’s apex: Namely how the other would respond once brought back fold-ward.

    Landry Fields, G 27 MIN | 3-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | +2

    Back in February, it looked as if Fields had recaptured 2010’s bygone form. Tonight — with the exception of a few purposeful drives, or at least ones not being sent into the rafters for lack of proper flushing — Fields seemed more than anything like he was taking up space; not doing anything wrong, per se, but not challenging the defense either. If it were legal to wheel out a spring-loaded basketball pitching machine to the wing when the Knicks were on offense, just to make the “extra pass,” we’d have basically filled Landry’s role tonight.

    Tyson Chandler, C 39 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-3 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | -10

    Chandler’s myriad bumbles and boners made this one of his worst outings of the fast-dwindling year. With resident nuisance Zaza Pachulia nagging his every move (and scratching him in the eyes, probably), Tyson seemed unprepared for passes which — while undoubtedly zippy — still probably should’ve been reeled in. On the night, Tyson’s -10 was second to only Baron Davis and J.R. Smith. Baron Davis and J.R. Smith, who right now can be found in the Phillips Arena parking lot hitting each other in the head with tire irons, and laughing.

    Baron Davis, PG 24 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS | -11

    I think we all knew where this night was going when the first two possessions saw Baron cough up two mind-bendingly stupid turnovers. He’d go on to spend most of the night grasping at Jeff Teague’s shoelaces, pulling up for awful jump shots, and riding a stationary bike with his hamstring packed in ice. Really, it’s remarkable that we’ve managed to weather Lin’s absence this well.

    Iman Shumpert, G 41 MIN | 9-14 FG | 4-8 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 25 PTS | -8

    First off, kudos to Shumpert for not doing what I tend to do when revisiting my college stomping grounds, namely being very lazy and doing very dumb things. For the second consecutive game, ‘Pert Plus kickstarted a slow start into a tremendous overall performance, banking 25 (likewise for the second straight game), mannin’ up something beastly on Josh Smith and Joe Johnson both, and picking his offensive spots in what has become a fast-expanding range.

    On a night when Melo was the only other semi-reliable option, Shumpert played a pretty good Sundance Kid. Which I guess makes the Hawks a bunch of ill-secured banks, and the Atlanta fans the Bolivian Army… ABORT ANALOGY ABORT ANALOGY

    Mike Bibby, PG 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | -3

    WOODSON: Alright, Bibbs. We’ve been through a lot of battles together in this building. I know you’re as read as I am to get back at these $%^&*!#^, right?

    BIBBY: GUUUUUUUUUUGGHH!
    (eyes roll back into head)

    WOODSON: Alright, that’s my boy!
    (love punches Bibby’s arm, which falls off)

    BIBBY
    : GAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

    WOODSON: Awwww man. Toney, sew that back on.

    Steve Novak, SF 20 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -2

    No use in getting upset about Novakaine’ dearth of touches. I mean, it’s not as if J.R. Smith took, like, shot five times as much as he did, right? That would be ridiculous. Novak did hit a timely fourth quarter three, but didn’t do much beyond trying in vain to man Josh Smith, Willie Green, and — my personally favorite — Williams, MARVIN.

    J.R. Smith, SG 33 MIN | 2-10 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -11

    When I was two years old, my folks took me up to this beautiful lake house in Northern Michigan. For a solid week, every morning at 4am I’d walk into my parents’ bedroom and start yelling “THROW ROCKS IN LAKE! THROW ROCKS IN LAKE! THROW ROCKS IN LAKE!” like a savant. Invariably, my Dad — being the good sport that he was and still remains — would get up and lead me outside to the lakefront, where I’d spend the next two hours hurling stone after stone into the vast liquid abyss. I couldn’t give two shits where the thing landed. I didn’t care whether it landed two feet in front of me or five feet behind me. I just wanted to throw a bunch of %$@#^@& rocks in the lake. That’s basically J.R. Smith.

    Josh Harrellson, F 9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | 0

    You’d figure being back in his SEC stomping rounds might serve to steal a rise out of our mustachioed muscleman. As it was, Jorts made a couple of nice contributions, allbethem largely offset by a handful of defensive miscues and silly fouls…. No, not fowls, Jorts, FOULS! FOULS with a U! OK Josh put the rifle down… JOSH PUT THE RIFLE DOWN!

    Five Things We Saw

    1. Particularly given the Knicks’ out-of-body snipery against the Magic, it was only appropriate that their next foe would come out cooking. It’s not that the ‘Bocker D was bad; they did force 17 turnovers, were quick on rotations, and effective in many a help and double-down. The Hawks simply hit a lot of tough, tough shots, including no less than four, improbable continuations which — combined with their relative competence from the stripe — helped stave off a number of Knick mini-runs….
    2. Speaking of which, the Knicks went 22-33 from said stripe tonight. According to my trusted cheese grater, that means the Knicks basically lost the game on free throws. Down the stretch, if there’s one thing the Knicks both need to correct and have some semblance of control over correcting, it’s this.
    3. Willie Green scored 20 points on 8-9 shooting off the bench. The narrative here is far too tired to parse out again, but suffice it to say your chances of winning plummet fast and very hard when guys like this really get going. Guys like Willie Green.
    4. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a poor sport. Like, the worst. So when things don’t go my way, I like to take it out on people or objects that have nothing to do with the actual outcome. I’ll throw pens, lamps, pens, cell phone chargers, hats — doesn’t matter. Every now and again, I like to take my anger out on the other team’s broadcast duo. For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of listening to Bob Rathbun and Dominique Wilkins call a basketball game, here were some of the highlights:

      “You think that if that had been punted 20 rows up at MSG we would’ve gotten the ball back!?!?!?”
      – Bob Rathbun, referring to a ball inadvertently kicked by Tyson Chandler 20 rows into the Phillips Arena crowd, above which no one was sitting

      “Hawks looking to build on this two point lead….”
      – Bob Rathbun, budding soccer telecaster

      “OH COME ON, GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF HIM!” – Bob Rathbun, objective sports journalist

      “HOW DOES HE DO IT!?!?” – Bob Rathbun, amazed by the $100 million Joe Johnson making an 18-foot fall-away jumper

    5. Milwaukee beat Cleveland by 37 points tonight. Thirty-seven points. On the road, too. Might want to check those rear view mirrors, folks, cuz those plucky Bucks aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

    NYT: New Intensity, and Better Numbers, for Carmelo Anthony

    Over at The Times, I talked about the marked improvement of both Melo and the Knicks writ large since Mike Woodson grabbed hold the reins:

    Carmelo Anthony’s recent admission that the new coach Mike Woodson had succeeded in coaxing an admittedly dormant “energy” out of him – particularly on the defensive end – raised eyebrows and ire in equal measure. Those certain that Mike D’Antoni’s sudden resignation pointed to a mutiny by Anthony finally, it seemed, had proof.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to an 8-1 start under Woodson: Everyone, it seems, has picked up the intensity.

    Since D’Antoni’s departure three weeks ago, the Knicks have vaulted from 10th in the league in defensive efficiency to fifth, allowing just over 97 points per 100 possessions. That is just a a little behind Miami, and also not that far behind Boston, Chicago and the league-leading 76ers.

    You can eat the whole sandwich here!

    Knicks Morning News (Friday, Mar 30 2012)

  • [New York Times] Knicks’ Woodson Is a Reflection of His Mentors (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 06:30:08 GMT)

    Mike Woodson has summoned lessons from former coaches such as Bob Knight, Red Holzman, Cotton Fitzsimmons and Larry Brown while embracing the challenge of steadying the Knicks franchise.

  • [New York Times] Jeremy Lin Trading Card Sale Reflects Knicks’ Season (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 06:20:06 GMT)

    A fan who bought a Jeremy Lin rookie card from last season just as Linsanity began to crest got mixed results in two resales on eBay.

  • [New York Times] Sports Briefing | Pro Basketball : Heat Sweep Mavericks in Finals Rematch (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 06:22:44 GMT)

    LeBron James and Chris Bosh each finished with 19 points and 9 rebounds and the Miami Heat extended their home winning streak to 15 with a 106-85 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Roundup: Nets Beat Indiana Pacers as Deron Williams Scores 30 (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 06:39:06 GMT)

    Point guard Deron Williams scored 30 points in the victory over the Indiana Pacers, but Shelden Williams and Jordan Williams both left the game injured.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Beat Lakers 102-93 for 5th Straight Win (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 06:36:34 GMT)

    Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant started slowly. Once the NBA’s highest scoring duo got going, they ran right through the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • [New York Times] Aldridge Leads Blazers to 99-93 Win Over Hornets (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 04:47:46 GMT)

    LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers pulled away from short-handed New Orleans and beat the Hornets 99-93 on Thursday night.

  • [New York Times] Heat Win Finals Rematch, Top Dallas 106-85 (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 04:20:50 GMT)

    No fourth-quarter collapse this time against Dallas. These days, everything seems to be going right at home for the Miami Heat.

  • [New York Times] Granger, Hibbert Lead Pacers Past Wizards, 93-89 (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 03:32:58 GMT)

    After a bad loss at New Jersey the previous night, the Indiana Pacers were determined to bounce back at home.

  • [New York Daily News] Hello, Melo! Knicks superstar returns to form (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 02:04:27 GMT)

    Whether Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire can successfully co-exist will remain an unanswered question for now. And it no longer matters whether Mike D’Antoni’s offense is right for Anthony.

  • [New York Post] Woodson’s defense, discipline have Knicks swarming foes (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 04:33:29 -0500)

    ATLANTA â?? Mike Woodson returns to Atlanta Friday night as the NBA’s hottest coach, hotter than Hotlanta in July â?? with a defense stifling and a club sizzling.
    Perhaps Hawks fans won’t exactly recall this Woodson, who couldn’t get the Hawks out of the second round of the playoffs…

  • [New York Post] Amar’e gets injection (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 04:19:13 -0500)

    Amar’e Stoudemire received his epidural steroid injection yesterday for his bulging disk and did not travel with the Knicks to Atlanta.
    Stoudemire’s reaction to the injection ultimately will determine whether he is healthy for the first round of the playoffs, which begin April 28.
    The Knicks have listed…

  • [New York Post] Knicks great King ‘disappointed’ not to get Hall call (Fri, 30 Mar 2012 04:19:13 -0500)

    ATLANTA â?? Bernard King, former Knicks legend, said he is “quite disappointed” he has been passed over again for induction into the Hall of Fame.
    The Post reported on its website Thursday King, 55, was not voted in as an inductee to the Springfield, Mass., shrine, citing a league source. The…