|Earl Barron, PF 37 MIN | 5-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 18 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 11 PTS | +2
I’m not sure what’s funnier: The fact that Earl Barron, like, quadrupled the production of Solomon Jones in his first game since November, or that Earl Barron was our second option behind Solomon Jones. Flashes of his vintage 2010 performance against the Celtics peppered the tilt – a few nice mid-range strokes, active hands around the rim, a couple sweet dishes, and rebounds abound. His lungs very nearly melted, but Baron toughed it out and proved that, at the very least, he could be a spot-minute, stop-gap option going forward. First, Earl will have to recover from the freak injury sustained immediately after the final buzzer: a Pawnee arrow to the thigh. The plan, according to the Knick medical staff, is to “let the arrow dissolve.”
|Iman Shumpert, SF 38 MIN | 7-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 7 REB | 8 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | +16
Making the most of his second straight dose of heavy burn, Shump’s mix of pinpoint jumpers, poised takes, and oft-prescient passing proved nothing if not an encouraging bellwether…. Until a fourth quarter ‘oop to a streaking James White ended with Shump turning up court and being consumed by a cloud of wasps. The swelling is expected to subside by tomorrow.
|Chris Copeland, SF 40 MIN | 14-29 FG | 4-8 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 33 PTS | +12
Amazing fact (courtesy of Mr. McElroy): With tonight’s stellar performance, Copeland became the first Knick rookie since Bill Cartwright in 1949 to chart consecutive 30-point games. Better still, the entire repertoire was on display: controlled drives, pull-ups, and quick-trigger spot-up jumpers. The rebounding and defense were half-assed at times, but considering the energy expended in making the game even remotely palatable, we’ll let it go. Hopefully the dislocated shoulder is no big deal. But I suppose that’s what you get for asking Roger Hinds to “work on the hip a little bit” without specifying “leg hip.” He’s expected to undergo leech-bleeding tomorrow afternoon.
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 11 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | +7
Prigs got off to a smokin’ start, chalking six points, 5 ‘bounds, and 2 dimes in the first four minutes. Early in the second quarter, he tripped on the baseline and accidentally had his foot run over by 12-ton wheat thresher. He’s listed as day to day.
|James White, SG 44 MIN | 8-15 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 20 PTS | +5
Efficient, poised, comfortable, career high – not the grouping of words you’d expect to be associated with a James White outing. The jumper finally looked somewhat interested in fighting gravity, while the fourth quarter throw-down served as the lone crowd-pleaser in an otherwise cripplingly uneventful show. In fact, Flight was so excited, he ran the wrong way down the tunnel and burst excitedly into what he thought was the locker room. It was actually an electrical closet with live, spark-spewing wires flying everywhere. Flu-like symptoms, day to day.
|Steve Novak, SF 41 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | -3
Steve Novak is invincible, apparently.
|Quentin Richardson, SF 29 MIN | 1-11 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | -9
Q spent most of the game missing shots by four miles and jogging through his own rusty crop dust, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some bright spots: 10 rebounds in 29 minutes is nothing to scoff at, and the defense was at least engaged. Too bad he contracted Dengue Fever in the shower.
|Kenyon Martin, PF DNP SPRAINED LEFT ANKLE MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Eyeballs missing. Day to Day.
|Marcus Camby, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Head caught in a revolving door. Day to day.
|Raymond Felton, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Infected warmup chaffing blisters. Day to day.
|Jason Kidd, PG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Swallowed a hacksaw. Day to day.
|J.R. Smith, SG DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | STL | BLK | TO | PTS |
Has no idea where he is right now. Day to day.
Five Things We Saw
- The Knicks didn’t want this game less than the Hawks didn’t care about it. Or the Hawks didn’t not want it more than the Knicks’ wanted to not want it? Something like that. Game 82!
- Tonight’s MSG halftime interview was Ricky Gervais, who is very funny and very British and who was apparently attending his first basketball game ever. He could hardly contain his excitement. “The action – there’s no gaps!” He might’ve said “naps.” Either way, he’s right: it’s not football.
- The Knicks rolled in with eight uniformed players, and spent a majority of the game rotating six players. SIX! Raymond Felton was apparently standing at ready, but I’m not entirely convinced he was even wearing a uniform under his warm-ups. Hell, he might’ve been nekid.
- Fifty-four wins! Well done, boys.
- The league announced earlier tonight that Game 1 of Knicks-Celts would commence at 3pm on Saturday. It stands to reason that there will be lexicons levied between now and then – about old rivals and new hatred, glory and hunger and trajectories and breakfast cereals. And chances are that this week’s tragedy will yield its own reservoirs of ink. And rightly so. It sounds cynical to say, but earlier today I found myself thinking on the possible outcomes; whether city pride or country wounds might propel our rivals, those old champions, past our best-laid plans. The conclusion I came to was this: If that happens – if the Celtics win – it won’t take me long to find the good in it. That doesn’t mean I hope it happens. Far from it. Just that, in times like these, even defeat can be salved by the overwhelming power of human resiliency. Whatever happens, let’s try and keep shit in perspective. I know — this coming from a dude who bought a second bookshelf just to hide the bat-sized hole in the living room wall. Anyway, we’ll win. See you Saturday.