Knicks 105, Spurs 101: REMEMBER THE ALAMO (BECAUSE WE WON!)

Most Americans believe we lost the Battle of the Alamo, because educators hate America. They are wrong.

The following is a collection of accounts revealing what really happened that fateful day in 1836, and the men that made it happen.

New York Knicks 105 Final
Recap | Box Score
101 San Antonio Spurs
Antonio Borgnini, PF

22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +19

b. 1807, Italy. Not a soul knew of the Roman’s story, short of his name and birthplace. His gait was awkward, as were his abilities in hopscotch, in which he would partake apropos of nothing at all.

Mysteriously, Colonel Woodson chose to place Borgnini in the vanguard on the Western Wall, where he was last seen aiming his rifle backwards, before abandoning it and running, arms flailing, into the charging army, who out of sheer confusion did not slay him. He was found the next morning, three leagues from said post, hair tussled and a strange smile about his face, clothes in tatters. He would later return to this native country to become King of Rome, a position which he manned for two weeks, before the city was sacked, its defenses having abandoned their posts after not being paid an honest wage.

Carlton Anthony, SF

39 MIN | 10-20 FG | 5-5 FT | 12 REB | 4 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 3 TO | 27 PTS | +10

b. 1806, New York. Expert rifleman, first served his country during the Second War with Britain, aged six years, as was the custom. Conducted himself honorably, and found his conscription retained in perpetuity. Came to Texas on furlough to make money in the dirt farming trade. However he would enter into contests of sport on week-ends, and was known to bag dozens of quails in a Saturday session.

Having successfully recovered from a severe sickness, sustained after eating raw barking squirrel, Anthony’s valiant heroics were second only to Emmanuel Shumpert’s, and consisted of entire regiments done in by rifle fire and a most deft manning of the cannonade from various perches about the highest façade. His shot was quick, his aim true, his temperment even. A hero’s hero if ever there was one, although it was recommended that his beard be trimmed, so as not to appear as patches of sticker burs.

Thaddeus Chandler, C

22 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | +5

b. South Carolina, 1805. A close aid of Colonel Jim Bowie, who imparted upon Chandler skills of both battle and charm. Sadly, a bout of tricks with the Bowie knife the night before the engagement had ended with Chandler’s leg being stabbed rather deeply with the knife, which he left there for lack of adequate medical supplies.

This injury severely hampered his services, although many would acknowledge his rousing pre-battle speech, in which Chandler marked a line in the sand and asked all who would heed their Patriot’s duty to cross it. All but one did. Jebediah Smith was eventually dragged across, having consumed too much agave root.

Benodictus Udrih, PG

32 MIN | 4-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 10 PTS | +7

b. 1804, Ilyrian Provinces. Born to a rocksmith, arrived in Boston upon a dolphining vessel. Would make a considerable fortune fashioning sturdy boots that left the wearer virtually immobile, though sound of footing. This put him into favor with the Army, who admired the Cossack’s ingenuity, and brought him West.

Had to be awoken from a deep slumber during the first hours of engagement, but came to and quickly served a most notable purpose. Eventually felled five Mexicans, all of whom he filleted with a bayonet taken from one of the dead, a feat which earned him the nickname “Appache of the Slavs.” He also tended to many wounded, using the mysterious salve with which his Caesarian hair was made so pointed.

Emmanuel Shumpert, SG

31 MIN | 10-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 27 PTS | +10

b. 1813, Western Territory. Poet by education and soldier by inclination. Came to Texas during the Great Beef Migration of 1830. Was known as a sporadically brilliant marksman, though uneven of temper, which had put him into ill repute with commanding officers. Prior to battle, Colonel Woodson, his chief rival, attempted to give him leave, but Shumpert refused.

His heroics will be taught alongside Heracles, though the facts of the matter have not hitherto been fully noted: After consuming a strange cactus brew, Shumpert, by now wild-eyed and foaming at the mouth, proceeded to fell ninescore soldiers in less than an hour, feasting on the corpses, bone and all, when a wench from a nearby tavern retrieved him, and brough him under shelter for calming and proper congratulations. He would proceed to run successfully four years later for THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES.

Amir the Jew, PF

24 MIN | 4-6 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 2 BLK | 2 TO | 11 PTS | -15

b. Palestine, 1805. A giant among the Hebrews, would parlay a successful career as a rabbi to an American passage. Arrived in the port of New York in 1832, where he learned of a great Canaanite desert far to the west. He then went to Ohio, and noted that the landscape was worse than that of Juda, its people considerably cruder and worse-smelling, and continued West. His arrival in Texas was met with much wonderment, for many of the soldiers and the citizens had never encountered such a Jew.

His lack of understanding of the basic rudiments of defense rendered Amir relatively superfluous, but his stature, stationed as it was without much movement, gave the enemies pause. He miraculously avoided even the slightest wound, a feat that Kenneth Martin took as divine providence, and the two would enjoy much smoked herring afterwards.

Torrence Murry, SG

15 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | 0

b. Kentucky, 1813. Here was a vagabond who had never found his station, until a regiment passing his home caught his eye. He joined post haste, and found the opportunity to fight for his country most exciting indeed. With no formal training, he was subjected to the more menial tasks – the washing of the spittoons, the shoveling over of the latrines, the cleaning of the syphilis wounds – until a bout of sickness on the eastern cannonade made his presence necessary.

Served admirably, though his nerves weren’t quite still. Upon winning the battle, he chose to forgo the penultimate letter in his surname, so as to not to share but a single vowel with that Torquemadian butcher, Santa Anna.

Timothy Hardaway II, SG

12 MIN | 0-1 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -7

b. Spanish Florida, 1814. The son of a wealthy donkey manure salesmen, he followed in his father’s footsteps before a higher calling took heed, though few existed in those lands. Arrived by way of circular travel around the Floridian peninsula and up through New Orleans, where he cultivated a reputation for firing his rifle at the most inappropriate times — in Church, while bedded, at the post office — accurate though he often was.

His hatred of Santa Anna, whose exploits had enraged Hardaway so, compelled the later to San Antonio, where his services where heroic, though minimal. Pushed many scaling ladders off the walls, bludgeoning the enemies with the butts of abandoned rifles.

Jebediah Richard Smith, SG

29 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -5

b. 1809, New Jersey. Was cited regularly for misconduct in the city of New York, and spent many days in incarceration thereby. Became notorious for his escapades upon the Mississippi River, where he practiced games of prestidigitation. Was known to cavort with Colonel Crockett over whiskey of considerable potency, and ended the night before battle clutching a copper spittoon, into which he evacuated his excesses.

He appeared only sporadically during the battle itself, once stumbling over an oaken barrel and onto an enemy’s bayonet. He would survive, however, having been thoroughly attended to by a most accommodating Spanish nurse who, among other friendly gestures took to lighting his pipe.

Colonel Matthias Woodson

b. Mars, 1881. Woodson’s inclusion in this account is merely anecdotal, for we had seldom come across someone of such strange behaviors and decision-making from a commanding officer. When pressed, none of the surviving heroes could quite ascertain what Woodson was actually tasked with doing. Some claimed to see him turning the canons backwards, and then sitting astride them, humming strange fugues. Others recall him with a blindfold over his head, chewing on dried-over corn husks. Still others attested that Woodson was commanding entire regiments to switch their stations, although no officer heraldry could be seen.

One account in particular, however, astounded us to no end: That of Woodson removing the uniform of a fallen enemy and placing it upon his own body. When recognized and asked by a nearby officer why he had done so, Woodson’s reply was at once mysterious and frightening: “The Mexicans are big, man.”

Four Things We Saw

  1. Everyone knew what San Antonio’s strategy would be: Use Tony Parker to put the Knicks into as man pick and rolls as possible, and otherwise exploit mismatches at any given opportunity. The approach worked in spurts, with the Spurs getting hot from deep early (they connected on seven of their first nine threes) before cooling off during the middle two periods. But Parker was mostly quiet for the rest of the game. I’d like to think Shumps D had something to do with it.
  2. The Spurs entered the game boasting the league’s best bench – 43 points per game, which is pretty nuts. The Knicks would hold Bonner, Mills, and the rest to 34. Which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if one more of San Antonio’s reserves had gotten even a little warm, we might’ve been looking at an entirely different ballgame.
  3. Marco Belinelli scored a career-high 32 points on 12-16 shooting (including 6-9 from deep). If there was one player I’d pick to go off, knowing that we’d win in the end, it would definitely be Belinelli. I don’t know why. It just makes sense.
  4. But this wasn’t about the Spurs. It was about the Knicks. It was about a team that had no business getting off the bus, let alone winning this game. But they did, and the way they did it made all of us – a dreadful end to 2013 behind us and with a team rancid in makeup and reeling in spirit – finally find some sliver of light at the end of this otherwise cold, cavernous tunnel. The ball moved when it needed to; Melo took over when he had to; and Iman Shumpert – perhaps the most dispirited of our destitute team – looked like the All-Star we all thought might be en route at the end of last season. This was about a team that kept its cool, a team that executed with a frequency seldom seen, a team that withstood every absurd punch that a tremendous team could land. It was about a group of guys looking like they cared, like they were actually having fun. It was about us screaming at the television for all the right reasons. It was about beating a better team and being the better team, and not beating ourselves. It was tremendous and it was terrifying. I loved every second of it.
  5. I also loved every second of this, which I think I watched somewhere between 500 and 1000 times as a kid. Pretty morbid, I know.

Mike Woodson: To fire, or not to fire?

Happy short-week-Monday, pardners.

Apologies for it being a bit quiet over here of late. As many of you know, we co-hosted a Knicks meetup this past Saturday along with Posting & Toasting. The turnout was great, even if the game, uhh, wasn’t. Here’s photo evidence of said get-together. Mike, sadly, was off to the side, because his stunningly chiseled features would’ve melted the camera. That’s Robert Silverman, Jonathan Topaz, Jeremy Conlin, Kevin McElroy, and myself. All smoking cigarettes, although not in that order. We’ll let you guess who’s who — that’s more fun.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 2.11.33 PM

Anyway, seeing as how six of our seven recap writers were there, we decided to give ourselves the best Holiday gift of all by NOT COVERING THE KNICKS. So sorry about the lack of a cap.

I did, however, pen something over at Bleacher Report about the Mike Woodson conundrum. As in, should we fire him, or not? It’s a complicated question with nothing but messy answers, even if you — like me — spend billions of daytime brain cells actively hoping that it comes to pass.

Anyway, you can read it here if you want. And then get back to talking about Vanilla gift cards and New Year’s death brunches or whatever.

Peace.

Grizzlies 95, Knicks 87: Derailing the Holiday Inn Express

Editor’s Note: Two things to keep in mind when reading this recap:

1) The Knicks were forced to stay in a hotel last night.

2) All of this is fictional. As in these are not real quotes. As in relax.

Memphis Grizzlies 95 Final
Recap | Box Score
87 New York Knicks
Andrea Bargnani, PF

22 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +4

“It seems like that shot in Milwaukee – the one where you Steve Grogan’d the ball up two late in a close game despite a full shot clock – really got into your head. You were kind of floating in and out on offense and struggled mightily on defense. How do you get back to where you were earlier in the season?”

“I think for me, I need waffles in the morning. Hot waffles. And this hotel, their waffle machines – they didn’t work. Well, one of them worked, but Ray tried to lick the batter and it burned some of his tongue off and they had to get rid of the machine for health reasons. The other one Coach tried making coffee in so it was all messed up. So I didn’t have waffles.”

“Why didn’t you eat something else? To at least absorb some calories?”

“The pastries – they are made of wood.”

Carmelo Anthony, SF

42 MIN | 11-22 FG | 6-7 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 30 PTS | -2

“Another tough loss despite a strong overall performance from you. How frustrating is it to rattle off so many solid games, only to have you guys fall short?”

“It can’t be me all the time, you know? Like last night, we’re tryin’ to figure out a way to get out from the fourth floor window, cuz Coach Todd had gone around and barricaded all the doors with two-by-fours. So we had six of us locked in the room, and I’m the one stitchin’ all the sheets together to make the rope. Everyone else sittin’ there watchin’ Sinful Schoolgirls XIV or some shit.”

Tyson Chandler, C

33 MIN | 2-7 FG | 4-8 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 8 PTS | -11

“Kind of a mixed bag after coming back from a broken leg: Your energy seemed to pick up as the game wore on, but you struggled to keep Randolph at bay and couldn’t seem to find the right spacing on offense. How hard has it been to try and re-figure out your teammates and what they need from you?”

“It’s been real hard, man – just sore as hell. Last night I decided to just take it easy and sit in the hot tub. Kind of loosen up the muscles, you know? But I get down there and Pablo’s dumping vegetables and meat and shit in there. Said he was makin’ soup, kind of a family meal thing for the team. And I love Pablo. Everyone loves Pablo. But I ain’t about to be in no soup.”

Beno Udrih, PG

31 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 6 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 4 PTS | -16

“It seemed like you were struggling a bit to stay in front of the Memphis guards. At the other end, the team never found any semblance of an offensive rhythm. Can you talk a little bit about that?”

“Certainly this was not my bestest day. I did not get much sleep because Jim Todd was eating so much candy from the hotel. The packaging – it was quite loud. He just kept eating and eating. At least ten Baby Ruth. All I could see in the dark was his eyes. Just eating Baby Ruth in the dark.”

Iman Shumpert, SG

18 MIN | 1-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -12

“With the exception of that one jump shot early in the third quarter, it looks like your shooting woes haven’t gone away. How are you looking to fix that in the coming days and months?”

“Lemme tell you somethin’: You’re ass’d be pretty tired too if you had to go fishin’ out Cole Aldrich cuz he decided to turn the vending machine into a pool raft. Dude never learned how to swim – said the closest thing growin’ up was crawlin’ around in the grass whenever it flooded. I had to fish him out myself. Shot my arms to shit.”

Amar’e Stoudemire, PF

17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 2-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | -4

“Coach limited your minutes tonight, which seemed like it made it hard for you to find any kind of groove. We saw he was yelling at you for some defensive miscues. Can you talk a bit about that?”

“I felt fine. Felt ready to go. Blessed. Phenomenal. We didn’t pull it out, but I thought we played phenomenal. Coach and I have been talking more. He invited me over to his room last night, after everyone else was asleep. Him and Todd were sitting on their own beds watching QVC. They were selling some knife set Todd was really excited about. But they both had their shirts off. They were wearin’ pants and everything, but… just sitting there drinking Coors with their shirts off. Watching QVC. So I took my shirt off and watched it with them. And I felt like we bonded, the coaches and me. I even bought the knives for Coach Todd. He was so happy. Pheonomenal knives.”

Toure’ Murry, SG

9 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1

“With all the injuries going on, do you feel like you deserve an increased role on this team? You impacted the game in the first half – sparked a couple of beautiful transition dunks, including one gorgeous behind-the-back pass to a trailing Tim Hardaway – but weren’t in long enough in the second to really make a difference. How do you think you fit in on this team going forward?”

“Yeah, they made me drink all the free hotel soap, so I can’t see or hear anything or feel my face.”

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG

30 MIN | 7-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +1

“This was perhaps your strongest effort to date, at least on offense – your shot was falling, you were being aggressive but also under control. You seemed to fight through that second quarter ankle tweak. Would it be safe to say that you’re getting comfortable with asserting yourself more amongst this group of veterans?”

“I mean, you have to, you know? You have to show that you belong. That’s somethin’ my dad always taught me. That’s why I gave the guys my credit card last night — told them they could put the room service on there. I ain’t never heard of Crab Louie, but apparently I bought 30 of them. And a knife set or something from QVC. Not sure what that was. Then Kenyon got mad because he kept tryin’ to use my credit card to get back in his room, so he ate it. So I need a new credit card. But I think I belong now.”

J.R. Smith, SG

38 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 4 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 16 PTS | +1

“A lot of people speculated that the biggest reason Coach had you board up at the hotel was because of your propensity for staying out late. Yet you managed to hit half your shots, get four steals, and finish with the second highest plus-minus on the team. Do you think the extra rest did you good?”

“I went to eleven different clubs in seven hours and paid a housekeeper to sleep under my covers during bed check.”

Mike Woodson

“How do you still have a job, exactly?”

“IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT DECISIONS YOU MAKE ON THE COURT. IT’S ABOUT SHOWING EVERYONE YOU’RE ALL ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY BECAUSE YOU MADE 15 GROWN ADULTS STAY IN A HOTEL AND GO TO BED BY 10PM IN A CITY THAT THEY LIVE AND WORK IN. THAT’S ME. ACCOUNTABILITY. NOW WHERE’S MY ACID?

Five Things We Saw

  1. The official time of the Winter Solstace was 12:11pm, or about five minutes before the Knicks tipped off. Appropriate that today’s disaster would fall on the shortest day of the year: 48 minutes of crippling, ceaseless dark that felt like it lasted a fucking eternity.
  2. Mike Woodson started big, promptly fell behind 15-8, went small, went on a 10-4 run, and spent the remainder of the game engaged in some kind of schizo three-way with the angel and the devil astride his shoulders. With Tyson still recovering and K-Mart on the lam, it’s inevitable that Bargnani and Stat will have to play some heavy minutes at the five-spot, often with the other on the floor. We just hope it soon won’t have to be so routine.
  3. Tangential to that point: The Grizzlies (56) very near doubled up the Knicks (29) in rebounding. Now, it’s easy to assume that, had the Knicks started or stayed smaller, that margin would’ve been far wider. But think about it: Dating back to last season, the Knicks have been at their best with three-ish guards and Melo at the four. Right? Right. Why are they good? Because they tend to generate a more effective, nicely spaced offense with more open looks and – presumably – more makes… i.e. fewer rebounds for the other time. Contrastingly, The Clusterfuck (that’s what we’re calling this lineup now) only begets less spacing, which begets fewer open looks and makes; which begets more rebounds for the other team. Obviously that’s only one-half of the rebounding problem – but it’s a big one.
  4. Zach Randolph bludgeoned the Knicks with a deft mix of soft perimeter touch and balls-out bully ball, exploiting Chandler’s rust and salvaging possessions from the oil-logged dumpster fire that is the Memphis offense. When your defense is this bad, it’s entirely conceivable that one player – and pretty much one player only – can single-handedly fell you. That’s pretty much what happened.
  5. Jokes abound about how this year’s brand of Bockers has scoured the depths of performance art ennui to compose the most jaw-dropping flights of defeat — real and near alike — many of us have ever seen. Today was different: Where the spectacular disasters of games past have pivoted on particular plays or moments, the Grizzlies instead compelled the Bockers to 48 minutes of arms-length futility. Save for the all-too-common mirage that was the final five-minute comeback. With the loss like we saw with the Wizards, the pain felt more acute, but also more localized; as if we were paying penance for a curse long since cast. Today was just throbbing numb.