|Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 14-31 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 35 PTS | +8Half empty: 35? PFFT. WHATEVS. ON 31 SHOTS, MANG. BIG WHOOP. MY WRINKLY-ASS GRAMMA COULD SCORE THIRTY-FREAKING FIVE POINTS AGAINST THIS LAKERS TEAM. ANYONE TAKE A GANDER AT WHO WAS GUARDING HIM, THIS GUY? HAHAHAHAHAH
AT LEAST HE GOT SOME FREAKING DIMES. LOOKIT THIS. 6.5 ASSIST OPPORTUNITIES PER GAME. BLAME IT ON THE REST OF HIS TEAMMATES SUDDENLY FORGETTING HOW TO KEEP THEIR HANDS IN THE COOKIE JAR (EXCEPT YOU, RAYMOND. FATTIE. HEHE), BUT THAT’S A JOKE. LEBRON’S LAUGHING. KOBE’S LAUGHING. HELL, BERNARD KING’S LAUGHING. M’DA’S LAUGHING AND GETTING TESTY AND SNIPY ABOUT HIS PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS “SYSTEM.”
…AND SAY WHAT YOU WANT ABOUT COACH PRINGLES, IN THIS INSTANCE HE’S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THEY GIVE A MAX DEAL AND THIS PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL FRANCHISE IS SCREWED FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. AT WHICH POINT THEY’LL THROW BUCKETS OF SWEET, SWEET CABLE MONEY AT THE NEXT OVERRATED ‘STAR’ AND WE’LL START THIS BLIGHTED MERRY-GO ROUND ALL OVER AGAIN. GREAT. KILL ME NOW.
Half full: 97 points over the last two! That’s (checks abacus) 48.5 ppg! And that jumper is still so wet…it…it…stopped being a solid, and is now a liquid! And hey, five assists! When Melo gets that many the ‘Bockers’ record is like a jillion and zero. Sure, he did force a couple of shots, and gummed up the offense at times, but seriously, he’s the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing. He should be as universally beloved and admired and worshipped as Patrick was when he…okay, scratch that. #MELO4EVR
|Tyson Chandler, C 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 3-3 FT | 14 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +11Half empty: STATS ARE FOR NERDS AND KNICK APOLOGISTS. DID YOU SEE GASOL SCHOOL HIM. WOULD’VE BEEN NICE TO SEE HIM DETER A SINGLE LAYUP AFTER THE PERIMETER D WENT TO COMPLETE SHIT (“WENT.” HAH!) AND HOW ABOUT CONVERTING AROUND THE RIM, HUH BIG FELLA? WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE GUY WHO SHOT .679?????
Half full: 13 points and 14 boards! That’s like, what he used to do before his neck resembled a slinky and his tibia was shattered like dry kindling and he started hanging around with those germy, human-petri-dish kids of his. Tip outs! Monster alley oop smashing via Felton. Sucking defenders into the paint! The T-1000’s back, baby!
|Raymond Felton, PG 36 MIN | 8-10 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 20 PTS | +11Half empty: SO WHAT, HE HIT A COUPLE OF FLOATERS TONIGHT. HERE’S TWO THINGS THAT ARE AS MUCH OF A UNIVERSAL TRUTH AS DEATH AND TAXES: THE PENGUIN’S GONNA FALL DOWN AT SOME POINT AND INJURE HIMSELF AND HE’LL GRIPE TO THE REFS LIKE THE FAT KID IN NURSERY SCHOOL THAT GOT CAUGHT EATING PASTE.
Half full: See how much more effective the offense is when Felt’s taking the ball to the hole! That’s what I’m talking about. Flightless waterfowl CAN fly! Yeah, his defense was still pretty bad, and he doesn’t fight through screens or move all that well laterally, but that’s just because he’s hurt. You gotta love a guy that’s willing to play through injuries and bulldog mentality and the eye of the jaguar or an ocelot or lynx or tigers…animals!
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 22 MIN | 0-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -3Half empty: LIKE TYSON, THIS GUY GOT OLD IN A HURRY. GOT LOST ON SCREENS, COULDN’T HIT A SHOT. ACTUALLY, “OLD IN A HURRY” IS PRETTY RIDICULOUS. HE STARTED OLD, HE STAYED OLD, AND HE’S ONLY GONNA GET OLDER. WHADDAYA EXPECT WHEN YOU RESIGN A 36 YEAR OLD ROOKIE TO A THREE-YEAR DEAL.
Half full: There was one nifty pocket pass to Aldrich and…I…I…got nothin’. Still <3 u, Prigs!
|Iman Shumpert, SG 27 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | +10Half empty: YOU CALL THIS GUY AN ‘ELITE’ DEFENSIVE PLAYER? HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO SEE HIM OVERPURSUE AND THEN SCRAMBLE BACK TO HIS MAN? YOU WANNA TALK ABOUT WHY THIS TEAM’S HELP D HAS BEEN SO TERRIBLE THIS YEAR, TAKE A GANDER AT THE GUY WHO USED TO HAVE A FLAT TOP. AND MAYBE, JUST MAYBE HE COULD DRIVE TO THE RIM WHEN THE DEFENDER CLOSES OUT WITHOUT TRAVELING OR GETTING TRAPPED ALONG THE BASELINE. SHOULDA DEALT HIM FOR LOWRY WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE. WHAT’S HIS TRADE VALUE NOW, HUH? HUH!
Half full: Okay, not a great Shump game, but hey, he hit a big three and he seems to be smiling more. When he’s happy, he plays better. Today was just the exception that proves the rule!
|Jeremy Tyler, PF 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -2Half empty: DID YOU SEE HIM ON DEFENSE? THAT’S WHY HE WAS IN THE D-LEAGUE. Y’ALL WAITING FOR THE NEXT [insert unknown player x]-SANITY ARE DELUSIONAL.
Half full: Some nice work on the glass and he’s bouncy! This is certainly as much as one could expect from a second-year guy that just got called up from Erie.
|Cole Aldrich, C 12 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -5Half empty: ARE THEY REMAKING HOOSIERS? IF NOT, STEVE MILLS MUST HAVE BEEN HANGING AROUND ROADHOUSES IN FLYOVER STATES THIS SUMMER. YOU HAPPY NOW, MIKE (AND EVERYONE ELSE BEGGING THAT HE GET MAJOR MINUTES)? THEY WERE PLAYING 4-5 WHEN HE WAS IN THE GAME IN THE 2ND. AND HE LOOKS LIKE A FREAKING INFLATABLE WACKY WAVING TUBE MASCOT FOR LIKE AN AUTO PARTS STORE RIGHT NEXT TO THE AFOREMENTIONED ROADHOUSE WHEN HE ATTEMPTS A SO-CALLED SHOT. [h/t netw3rk] ClolE AlolDRICH, AMIRITE? SHOULDA KEPT IKE DIOGU SMDH.
Half full: Well hey! Three blocked shots and some serviceable defense/rebounding! Never shoulda kept him in bubble wrap when Tyson was out. Toldya you don’t give up on lottery picks!
|Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 26 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-1 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | -1Half empty: I DON’T CARE HOW MANY BIG BUCKETS HE CANNED, IF A GUY LETS MANNY HARRIS (WHO I SERIOUSLY THOUGHT WAS DARIOUS MORRIS FOR ABOUT TWO THIRDS OF THE GAME) TORCH YOU FOR NINE STRAIGHT ANGELENO POINTS IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER. IF YOU LOVE MICHIGAN SO MUCH, TIMMY, WHY DON’T YOU MARRY IT? JUST WHAT THIS TEAM NEEDS: ANOTHER SHOT-HAPPY NO DEFENSE WING PLAYER. GREAT. NOT ENOUGH OF THOSE CATS LITTERING THE ROSTER.REGGIE BULLOCK’S STILL GONNA BE BETTER, WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE
Half empty: I’m thiiiiiis close to forgiving his Dad. Heck, if he keeps playing like this, I might be willing to slather my body in moisturizers and make bigoted homophobic comments! (EDITOR’S NOTE: No. I won’t.) For a 4:40 stretch from the end of the 3rd to the beginning of the 4th, he absolutely carried this team, scoring 14 points off deadly corner treys (I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to have a Novak-ian sense of shock and/or awe when his long-range bombs don’t splash the net.), grace and speed and the ability to finish when attacking off the dribble, and to top it all off, thunderous NBA JAM-style…er…jams in transition. What a steal at the end of the draft! How’s Reggie Bullock doing these days, huh haterz!
|J.R. Smith, SG 38 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +6Half empty: OKAY, IF YOU DON’T THINK J.R. WAS UP TO HIS EYEBALLS IN DISCARDED BOTTLE-SERVICE LIBATIONS AND COMELY LASSES OF VIRTUE TRUE AT 1OAK APPROXIMATELY 12 HOURS AGO, I’VE GOT A FAIRLY LONG STRUCTURE CARRYING A ROAD ACROSS A RIVER IN KINGS COUNTY THAT’S PRICED TO MOVE. AND I’M GONNA HAVE A SERIOUS CONVERSATION WITH HIS MATERFAMILIAS ABOUT HIS RECENT EFFORTS AT THE CHARITY STRIPE.
Half full: Earl’s totally rounding into form, you guys! The last five games, he’s averaging 16.6 ppg on .433 shooting and a robust 47% from three-point range! Okay, he’s still addicted to those silly fadeaway shots, but (and this doesn’t even include the face-melting alley oop to Tyler the other night) he’s really making an effort to distribute the ball, both when sending the rock pinging around the perimeter or after breaking down the defense with dribble penetration. A functional J.R. makes a huge difference for this team. Getting there!
Four Things We Saw
- So, I think you’ve managed to glean what the theme/motif is for today’s ‘cap. What inspired it is the weird backlash to Melo’s record-setting night. It was a great evening by a great player. Yes, also a flawed player, but the immediate desire to pounce–to separate one’s self from the herd by being the first find a juicy nit to pick at–seems petty at best. And the torrent of articles speculating as to his future employment? After THAT performance? Why? What does it serve. I’m not validating the pie-in-the-sky, wide-eyed/deluded optimistic worldview either. Both of them, to me, seem to bsay far more about the person slinging the hyperbole the reality of what’s occurring on the court (and I say this as someone who, if anything, will err on the side of doom and gloom.) It was a great night at MSG. Isn’t that enough?.
- Anyway, back to today’s tilt. ANY win at this point is like manna from heaven, but how you view this game can certainly be torqued depending on your cognitive biases. There are a slew of things that one might be pleased about. The return to smallball has re-invigorated the offense (As all of us have been screaming until our vocal chords were as bloody and raw as undercooked roast beef). The marksmanship from deep is starting to return to levels that are still below, but at least somewhat commensurate with what we all expected, and Melo looks like he’s about to embark on one of his annual, “I really can’t be stopped so don’t even try” stretches. Hell, we finally saw the return of the dribble weave hand off from last season.That said, all of this occurred against a Body of Water team that’s amazingly even worse at defending than the Knicks are (and whose shot selection often leaves much to be desired. [See P, Swaggy])
- The fact that Woodson purloined a huge chunk of his offensive playbook from his former boss means we got stretches where both sides would run identical sets (such as a high pick and roll/see if the defense collapses/swing to the weakside three point shooter) against each other, and, even though they’d just run that exact play, they’d both somehow be utterly befuddled as to what one might do to stop it. They still can’t keep anyone from beating them off the dribble, think a screen is some alien life form that needs to be gawked at treated with the utmost caution, and they are atrocious at closing out when the ball swings from side to side. They should have put a team like this, one at the tail end of a long, Grammy-enforced road trip away early and maybe kept Anthony from legging yet another in a series of 40+ minute outings. I mean, Darius Morris looked like Monta Ellis and Kendall Marshall was blowing by people. That’s the power of #FARTDOG. And the transition defense? I mean…
Half full: As of this writing, the Knicks are only a game out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference!
Half empty:As of this writing, the Knicks are still a game out of the playoffs. In the Eastern Conference.
Two still counts as a streak, though. And in this dirge of a season, we should probably all enjoy it. I’m going to be Meryl Streep and 50 Cent and Kobe-level happy about this one.
Celebrity is it’s own separate species that exists beyond cultural and ethnic boundaries. Also, they’re probably all happy the Knicks won! (Yes, even Kobe). The dastardly Celtics are up next. Go Knicks!