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Monday, November 24, 2014

Great Regular Season Knick Wins of the Past Decade

Okay, so training camp isn’t opening for awhile, and all the news in the papers is either about Jeffries (who I think we have covered) and the sexual harrassment thing (which I doubt any of us have much to say on), so let’s try something different. Let’s all share some memories of classic Knick wins of the past ten years! We all know the playoff wins by heart, so let’s try just regular season games that people may have forgotten – so no playoff games, folks!

Here’s a few of my picks:

Starks’ buzzer-beater over Phoenix (1997). Wow, was it awesome, or what? That was the point where I thought the 1996-97 team was really special. Starks scored about 11 points in the fourth quarter, including the game winning three, which he got off JUST before the buzzer. The papers the next day had a great headline – something like O:OO BABY!

Allan Houston’s 53 against the Lakers (2003). Houston was just really special that season. What a remarkable year from a perimeter player on a bad team.

The Milwaukee comeback (2004). Granted, it was only a drive to be the #8 seed and be swept in the first round, but at the time, it sure was exciting seeing the Knicks make their run to the playoffs, and this game was a great one, with a ferocious fourth quarter comeback.

Houston and Sprewell go for 30 apiece (1999). Man, remember when this seemed like it would happen a lot more often? But after this Orlando game in 1999, how many times did they even do it after that one?

Now you folks share some classic Knick wins from the regular season since the 1996/97 season, and point out some good ones that I didn’t mention!

40 comments on “Great Regular Season Knick Wins of the Past Decade

  1. Dan Panorama

    It’s hard to top that game where not only did the Knicks miraculously beat the Spurs, but Marcus Camby went apeshit and nearly punched Van Gundy into the next century by accident (he was aiming for Danny Ferry). Van Gundy had quite the storied history of getting in the middle of Knicks brawls and this was probably his best regular season performance.

  2. Brian Cronin

    My favorite Bull win of recent memory was a little bit more than ten years ago, and I know I made up the rules, but “ten years” just sounded so good.

    Otherwise, Van Gundy’s second game as coach would definitely be up there.

    Besides that, if there is a cool Bulls win you want to suggest, please do so! I can only recall offhand the painful losses – like the double-nickel!

  3. Brian Cronin

    I was AT that game, and while it was awesome, the Knicks didn’t play ANY defense whatsoever in that game, which is why I held off on calling it a “Great” win.

    But you’ve won me over! I know I was definitely thrileld leaving the Garden that night!!

  4. Knicks Rule Face

    Starks? buzzer-beater over Phoenix (1997). Wow, was it awesome, or what? That was the point where I thought the 1996-97 team was really special. Starks scored about 11 points in the fourth quarter, including the game winning three, which he got off JUST before the buzzer. The papers the next day had a great headline – something like O:OO BABY!

    This was my first game ever, and i had floor seats! needless to say it is one of the top live sporting events ive ever seen and I’ll never forget it.
    I’ll never forget the photo in the paper of the ball just barely out his hands, and the game clock at 0.01. just perfect.

  5. dave crockett

    you know, this is a much tougher assignment than it sounds. i’ve been trying to think of top regular season moments without using any aids for a few days now and can’t really. yet on the other hand, if this were a baseball or football blog the question would be comparatively easy to answer. am i the only one having this issue?

    if this is anything more than my own quirky memory i suspect there are two big reasons for this: 1. the nba regular season is barely better than meaningless. the seeding structure makes some of the league’s most meaningful regular season games matchups between mediocre (or worse) teams battling for the 8th seed. 2. the nba writes its history, so to speak, around individuals more than teams. ultimately, memorable performances become divorced from the context of particular games.

  6. Greebo

    There was a Denver game a few years back in which Rodney White threw up on the court in the middle of the game. I remember it as being a really great game against a fun team as well… but just that moment alone was worth the price of admission.

    Well, almost worth the price of admission, at least. Those seats are expensive.

  7. Brian Cronin

    “What about during the Bulls? 72-10 season when the Knicks beat them by 32 at MSG???”

    That was what I mentioned before, rick, about Van Gundy’s second game as coach.

    It was a great game, but it was more than ten years ago.

  8. Brian Cronin

    “you know, this is a much tougher assignment than it sounds. i?ve been trying to think of top regular season moments without using any aids for a few days now and can?t really. yet on the other hand, if this were a baseball or football blog the question would be comparatively easy to answer. am i the only one having this issue?”

    Nope, it really IS a lot tougher than it sounds.

    Look at my picks! Four games for ten years!!!

    And what’s really funny is that, at the time these games occured, we all were obviously REALLY pumped over them. Now we can’t even remember them.

    I personally think it has to do with the fact that the Knicks have played an inordinate amount of classic playoff games, and those playoff games just take precedence in our minds. The Knicks have had WAY too many classic playoff games in the last ten years for a team that only has one Finals trip and two Conference trips in that ten years.

  9. Dan Panorama

    That Bulls win was hands down the best regular season experience of my life. I remember I had been mugged earlier that day and was pretty pissed off about it and then my Dad and brother dragged me in front of the TV to watch the game. Couldn’t ask for a better pick-me-up.

  10. Brian Cronin

    That’s great, Dan.

    It was a Sunday, right?

    I remember watching it during dinner and just being so excited. Here the Knicks were, after getting their asses handed to them in Philly, kicking the Bulls’ behind!!

  11. KnickerBlogger

    dave crockett – well put. I’d like to add one more to your theory:

    The Knicks have been good awful in the last 5 years, so while there might have been some good moments they’ve been meaningless in the context of a season.

    Case in point Nate Robinson’s trey to win (http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2005112618) and Jamal Crawford’s heave-ho (http://www.knickerblogger.net/?p=129). None of these were to beat an opponent in the hopes of making a statement on who is the top dog in the league. They were nice last second shots, but the Knicks wouldn’t face up with these teams again in the playoffs nor fight with them for a playoff spot.

    The reason we remember things like Reggie Miller’s 8 seconds is because the Knicks and Pacers were competetive rivals for a time. Hence everytime the teams played in the regular season or playoffs, that clip of Anthony Mason feeding Reggie in his three point contest was shown over and over again. Since the Knicks-Sixers rivalry is a non-entity, there is no reason to show Nate hitting that trey repeatedly because it didn’t have a bigger meaning than a single shot between two mediocre teams.

  12. Brian Cronin

    Totally, but isn’t it weird that we also don’t remember more of the games from the GOOD years?

  13. tomverve

    Starks’ buzzer-beater over Phoenix is definitely the topper; you couldn’t have written it any better. For those who aren’t familiar, the Knicks were down 2 with something like 6 seconds left on the clock, coming out of a timeout. Houston got the ball on the inbound and fired up a 3 from the wing… which barely grazed front iron. The rebound was batted out to the top of the key and Starks gave chase with precious few seconds remaining. As he went after the ball, Starks had the presence of mind to check the shot clock on the other end of the court to gauge how much time he had left, which would prove crucial. He caught up to the ball at the top of the 3 point line, straightaway from the basket, but with Danny Manning flying out at him to contest the shot. Having checked the clock, Starks knew he had enough time to head fake, sending Manning sailing harmlessly past. After all that, he had just enough time to roll the leather off his fingers a tenth of a second or two before the buzzer sounded, accompanying the ball on its slow arc through the air and through the net. Awesome stuff.

    I’ll have to bend the rules a bit to tell another favorite Starks tale from the 94-95 season. It was the season following Starks’s infamous 2-18 in Game 7 of the Finals, and you could tell it was sticking with him: he was slumping badly through the first couple months of the season, not only putting up poor numbers but looking as if he had lost his edge, like he’d been broken as a player and might never snap out of it. Deep in the throngs of this slump, the Knicks played at Cleveland one barren January night. There was a heavy snowstorm in Cleveland that night, and it was bad enough that the Gund arena was completely desolate, only carrying something like 1/4 full capacity (if that).

    Through the first half of the game Starks continued his season long slump, having one of his typical famines: something completely awful like 2 points on 0-6 shooting. Then out of nowhere he just exploded in the second half, raining down five threes and finishing with 20+ points in the second half, turning an ugly deadlock of a game into a comfortable cruise by the closing minutes.

    It was one of the most incredibly bipolar shooting nights I’ve ever seen, the perfect exemplar of Starks’s streaky game. But the best part was that it was such a cathartic performance, both for Starks personally and for me as a fan; after months of frustration and ineffective play rather clearly stemming from his failure in the Finals, Starks was finally turning a corner and he let everyone know it.

    The first and second three were probably unremarkable, but by the third and fourth you could sense Starks had flipped the switch back into “ON” position– on one of them I clearly remember him coming off a screen off the ball, getting the pass at the wing and needing only a split second to flow right into his shooting motion– you could feel he was feeling it– and of course it sailed through effortlessly. Knowing he was on fire and probably experiencing something of a psychological rebirth, Starks let out a series of primordial bellows in the midst of his offensive explosion, for instance nailing another three and then just yelling at the top of his lungs as he backpedaled to the other end of the court. And this happened at least three or four times, and it was utterly primal and satisfying. To top it all off, the arena was so empty, and the fans that were there so quieted by his performance (not unlike the eery quiet following a snowstorm), that he might as well have been yelling in an empty gym, right into the MSG mics, it came through so loud and clear. Definitely one of the more standout regular season games I’ve seen.

  14. Kiya

    Lets see if we can keep this one memoral momment of a Knick Team and Roster comming together early in the season as a WINNING Club that should not be forgotten.
    Keith Van Horn most favorable moments as a Knick:
    2003-4 Season
    1) Dec.20, Houston & Van Horn 20 pts, Mcdyess 10 rbd, F.Williams 9 ast. Knicks beat Atlanta 103-92. (record 10-18)
    2) Dec.26, Van Horn 28 pts, 13 rbd, Ward 7 ast. Knicks beat Memphis 98-94 (record 11-19)
    3) Dec.27, Van Horn 28 pts, K-Thomas 10 rbds, 5 ast, Knicks beat Miami 100-80 (record 12-19)
    4) Dec.29, Van Horn 19 pts, 10 rbd, Houston & Eisley 6 ast each. Knicks beat Orlando 114-86 (record 13-19)
    5) Dec.30, Van Horn 22 pts, 9 rbd, F.Williams 7 ast. Knicks beat Miami 102-73 (record 14-19)

    That was the last time the Knicks WON Back to Back games continuesly, and Blew out Oponents consecutively with out a problem. Three of the above five games were away games.

    What Happen to that Knick Team? well during that time on the Road WINNING Isiah Thomas was Hired and made his first Knick Trade at the ending of December. PG-Norris & Marbury took over the Knick PG position on January 4th vs Nets.
    However that did not stop “Keith Van Horn” from being the Knick leader in scoring & rebounding untill Isiah Thomas traded him during the deadline.
    “Great Knick Momments”

  15. big_fella

    I feel like there are a couple of regular season classics against Miami, no? During the 96-97 season, the Knicks had a great come from behind win, LJ and Zo almost got into a fight, and I realized that there were just too many side stories for this not to turn into a great rivaly.
    Also, during the 98-99 season, I think the Knicks came back from down 20 in the 4th quarter against the Heat towards the end of the season.

  16. Brian Cronin

    During the 98-99 season, some time in April, the Knicks and Heat had a classic game at the Garden where Houston clearly tipped in the game winning basket as time expired, but the refs said it was after the buzzer – it clearly wasn’t.

    That definitely got the Knicks fired up for the match-up in the playoffs!

    Remember the last game of that season? The Knicks and Heat were matched up, and the Knicks could rise as high as 6th in the East, but most likely it was 7th or 8th. 7th meant the Pacers, 8th meant the Heat. The Heat wanted no part of the Knicks and the Knicks didn’t want to play the Pacers, so both teams WANTED to lose.

    The Heat’s starting center? Duane Causwell.

    The Knicks’? Herb Williams.

    Hilarity ensued, until the Sixers beat the Pistons, clinching the 8th seed for the Knicks.

  17. Kiya

    Every Knick-Fan have to LUV that 98-99 Midseason (was’nt that the Lock-Out season), angry & Happy Knick Fans filled the Garden. Angry because No Starks and Oakley, plus the Firing of G.M Ernie Grunfield. Happy because the new aqusition of Sprewell, Camby, and Kurt Thomas did a GREAT job in leading the charge to make the 8th seed playoffs in the last 16 games of the regular season (Those were the BEST consecutive 16 Regular Season Knick Games the Knicks played in their History in the NBA.).

    That was the season that Alonzo Mourning prove without a doubt to be the BEST Center in the NBA. Plus the Miami Heat looked and played like they were going to WIN it all in the 98-99 season (Mourning, P.J.Brown, Majarie, Mashburn, and Tim Hardaway).
    There was only one team in the league that could stop Miami and that was the Ewing, Camby, K.Thomas, Sprewell, and Allan Houston Knicks (which they did 3-2 in the first round).
    Too bad Ewing did not play (after Miami series) or in the Knicks FINALS to get his Championship Ring.
    The Knicks had one awesome TOP-3 team in the 98-99 season (Thanks to G.M. Ernie Grunfield!)…

  18. dave crockett

    I attended one memorable Knicks regular season game in Phoenix during the short-lived Nellie era. The starters, if memory serves, were 1. Starks, 2. Willie Anderson, 3. ???, 4. Reid, 5. Brad Lohaus. (Y’know, I really liked Brad Lohaus.)I don’t recall Anthony Mason playing in that game for some reason.

    What made it memorable was that Reid threw a vicious and intentional elbow that broke the jaw of A.C. Green, the league’s 40-year old virgin. It happened on the opposite end of the court from where I sat. I saw the incident but didn’t have a feel for its magnitude until I saw it at home later on TV. Boy, Reid really clocked him.

  19. Brian Cronin

    Oh yeah, I totally remember that! And Green didn’t even “miss” a game! Because of his consecutive game streak, they made sure he “played” in his next game, even though it was all a sham.

    I always hate when players do that – seems so cheap.

    Lou Gehrig did it more than once, apparently (once, they had him bat second and “play” shortstop for a game on the road, so he took his turn at bat, then left the game for the REAL shortstop – CHEESY!!!).

    By the by, Reid and Lohaus are why the Knicks were able to clear enough salary cap to sign both Chris Childs AND Allan Houston. Love the NBA cap back then – it was SO easy to cheat. :)

  20. LostmyKnickers

    Brian Cronin mentioned a game the knicks lost so im going to mention the dallas game in marbury’s first season when the knicks made a remarkable comeback against a very formidable dallas club in the fourth quarter down by 20. Marbury stole the show in the fourth and stole the ball with less than ten seconds left and down by three. He gave it off to Houston for a three on the left elbow and mike breen delievered his emphatic “Bang”! although now its tough to distinguish whether breen was referring to the shot or to the sound of Houstons impending injury

    also the laker game when the lakers came back in the final minute down by double digits after the crowd already ascended into a triumphant crescendo but the knicks pulled it out in overtime. i was on the phone with a friend at the end of the game and predicted the devastating choke job that was yet to come but my friend a laker fan, while encouraged by my confidence refused to believe. Nobody understands our pain.

  21. MartinJ

    The first truly memorable Knicks-Bulls game I recall was during the end of the Championship era. For some reason, the Van Lier-Sloan-Walker-Love Bulls usually beat the Knicks. One theory circulated around the Windy City (which is where I grew up) was that the Bulls got physical with the Knicks and the Knicks didn’t hit back. Well, they did one night in early 1974. I recall Sloan and DeBusschere nearly having to be separated more than once. I think Red sent Gianelli in with the instructions to behead Walker. The score after the first quarter was something like 14-12. Tempers settled down in the second half but throughout the game both teams played defense so tenaciously you’d have thought a trip to the Finals rode on the result. Instead it was just two very good teams nearing the end of their runs. The Knicks won 89-80.

    -MJ

  22. Brian Cronin

    That was a great story, Martin. Thanks for sharing.

    And LostMyKnickers, I, too, was talking to a friend during the Lakers/Knicks OT game, and I, too, figured the Knicks would blow it! Ha!

  23. David Crockett

    KB,

    thanks for posting those links.

    I’d completely forgotten that Derek Harper was on that team. I loved Harp because he always played so well against Penny Hardaway, back when Penny was great. He’d just take the ball from Penny on D and drove past him with impunity offensively.

    Anyway, what was weird about the game was that someone from Phoenix had taken a hard foul on a Knick earlier in the game, closer to the end of the floor on which I sat. One of the Knick players hit the floor as I recall. The ref missed it. I don’t recall if it was Green who committed the foul.

    Um. Reid overreacted just a skosh. Like the article says, virtually no one recognized what had happened until well after the fact.

  24. Brian Cronin

    I remember being irked at the time because I pretty much had to concede that a Knick player was a total jerk, which annoyed me to no end when talking to my friends (a good deal of which were bandwagon Bulls fans at the time).

    And oh man, I am now remembering how I tried to convince myself that Brad Lohaus could be an important part of the team…hahaha.

  25. Plexxxx

    I can think of a couple of games from that great ’97 season. The one where the Knicks went into L.A. and knocked off the Lakers in Double OT. Elden Campbell (Elden Campbell???) went off for 40 in Shaq’s absence. They tried to give a double digit lead away but Ewing had a huge 2nd OT and also had 25 boards. Also, the huge Sunday night win over the Bulls at MSG where Ewing hit the game clincher with a few secs left and then taunted the Bulls bench.

    Here’s the link to the Lakers game

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/scores97/97054/97054329.htm

    Here’s the Bulls game

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/scores97/97068/97068357.htm

  26. Brian Cronin

    Ha! Thanks, Plexxx.

    Man, it is nice to look back when Ewing HIT game-winning shots.

    Remember the 99 season? What did he miss, something crazy like five possible game-winning shots, right?

  27. rady

    With Houston’s 53 against the Lakers i can’t forget his following performance against the Bucks on March 16..
    Houston scored 50 and the Knicks won 120-111

  28. Seth

    my favorite game of all time was acutally lenny wilkens’ first game. at the time, it seemed like a new, wonderful era of knicks basketball was beginning. they destroyed the sonics by like 20 and marbury and kvh had fantastic games.

  29. Brian Cronin

    It probably worked out for the best, as they got Tim Thomas AND Nazr Mohammed for him, but man, it was really nice watching Marbury and Van Horn working together for that short period of time.

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