Editor’s Note: Two things to keep in mind when reading this recap:
2) All of this is fictional. As in these are not real quotes. As in relax.
|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.”
“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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.