As this game was a meeting of two former Mike D’Antoni-orchestrated “Seven Seconds or Less” squads, and the Knicks are regular committers of all manner of defensive sins, it seemed fitting to call in the services of Detectives William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt) of Se7en fame. Oh, and, during a timeout early in the evening, a Suns fan calmly banked in (no pun intended) a half-court jumper for ownership of a cool $77,777 cheque.
|Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 30 MIN | 8-16 FG | 3-5 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 19 PTS | -27“It’s impressive to see a man feeding off his emotions.” – Somerset
1. When one watches Phoenix’s pogo-stick pivot, Miles Plumee, soaring to the rim in transition for a reverse alley-oop jam, it evokes all kinds of Stoudemire-related sads.
2. It’s heart-warming to see him starting game after game once again, and Amar’e continues to have efficient offensive outings, yet, it means next to nothing.
3. The Knicks are disadvantaged by roughly ten points per 100 possessions when Amar’e is grouped with Anthony and Hardaway Jr. This three-man lineup was plugged into the game in the midst of Mike Woodson’s rescue efforts.
4. After knocking in an eighteen-footer and being clipped on the elbow by Channing Frye, STAT gestured the “count the basket,” symbol. This, as the team was down 29 early in the third quarter.
5. Stoudemire is not especially on board with the idea of passing the ball on offense, of late.
6. Amar’e had been 1-2 as a starter against the Phoenix Suns.
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 40 MIN | 8-20 FG | 3-5 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 21 PTS | -23“Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” I agree with the second part.” – Somerset
7. Carmelo played the first fifteen minutes of this game, without a break.
8. Fatigue has loomed over Anthony’s season.
9. Despite the Knicks failing to be within single digits for the entirety of the second half, Melo played 40 minutes.
10. An anomalous 40% from the field and 60% at the line isn’t going to propel this supporting cast within reach of anything significant.
11. Melo only managed to get to the line five times, two below his season average.
12. Mike Woodson elected to continue to flog the proverbial dead horse, only yanking Anthony from the game in the latter half of the final period.
13. Melo had averaged 40 minutes of playing time over the last two, and this was the Knicks’ third game in five nights.
14. Mike Woodson has ridden Carmelo Anthony into the ground – but will not throw him under the bus.
|Tyson Chandler, C 29 MIN | 0-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 1 PTS | -21“Wanting people to listen, you can’t just tap them on the shoulder anymore. You have to hit them with a sledgehammer, and then you’ll notice you’ve got their strict attention.” – John Doe
15. Eric Bledsoe blocked Chandler in the second quarter.
16. Markieff Morris also blocked him, in the third quarter.
17. He went 0-4 with a -24 and more fouls than points through the first three quarters. Is that good?
18. Slowly but surely, “2011 Tyson Chandler” is drifting further and further away from our collective consciousness.
19. He decided to get involved in a scuffle with Markieff Morris, because why not?
20. The lead was a flattering 19pts at that stage.
21. And, of course, Chandler picked up the obligatory technical for his troubles.
22. I’m not going to sit here and say that Tyson Chandler played well.
23. If Chandler’s visible displeasure, murmurings and passing remarks about being “out-schemed,” weren’t enough of an indicator of his Woodson-related frustrations, watch this game.
24. Even with hints and spurts of a possible revival, ultimately, his play has vacillated from DPOY to an apathetic, rebel-without-a-cause defensive figure. Sigh.
25. Miles Plumlee had five more rebounds than Tyson Chandler, albeit in six fewer minutes on court.
|Raymond Felton, PG 23 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 6 PTS | -26“This isn’t going to have a happy ending.” – Somerset
26. Raymond Felton is the starting point guard for the Knicks.
27. In basketball, the point guard is responsible for establishing the offense, controlling the flow of the game, and involving teammates. So, yeah.
28. For a short while, it looked as if Bledsoe and Dragic were going to score ALL OF THE POINTS.
29. Goran Dragic toyed with the portly point guard, including 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting (three from downtown) in the first quarter.
30. In very Knicksian fashion, a fast break opportunity (in the third quarter) ended with Felton being called for a travel after taking it to the basket for a one-on-three.
31. Felton sunk an and-one floater early in the third. Fuel to the floater-friendly fire.
32. Felton demonstratively displayed his dismay at a hand-checking foul call with 9mins left in the third. By his count, he has never been correctly adjudged to have fouled an opponent. All 1449 career fouls were mistakes.
33. Dragic copped a nasty cut to the eye and was clobbered on more than one occasion on the evening.
34. Dragic finished with 32pts on 5-9 3FG shooting.
35. Dragic, unfortunately, does not play for the Knicks.
36. Raymond Felton is a big part of what we do here.
37. Four assists on the night for Raymond Felton. Also: four turnovers, and four personal fouls.
38. The Knicks’ backcourt defense conceded a total of 48 points and seven 3PM to the Suns’ starting guards.
|J.R. Smith, SG 31 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 15 PTS | -37“It’s more comfortable for you to label me as insane.” – John Doe
39. J.R. Smith finished a -37 in 31 minutes of court time.
40. Earl scored 10pts in the first stanza, including two threes. After this, it was all downhill.
41. J.R. Smith finished a -37 in 31 minutes of court time.
42. Three turnovers and zero assists for the Knicks’ enigma.
43. J.R. Smith finished a -37 in 31 minutes of court time.
44. This is now Smith’s worst +/- on the season, “besting” a -32 from the Christmas Day loss to OKC.
45. He could not follow up his franchise record-tying 9 3PM from the win in Sacramento with another franchise record.
46. J.R. Smith finished a -37 in 31 minutes of court time.
|Jeremy Tyler, PF 3 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | 047. Jeremy Tyler has unequivocally been demoted to the role of “participant” in the garbage time barbershop quartet of Aldrich, Murry, Tyler, and Brown.
48. Shavlik Randolph had two points and three rebounds in 3 minutes, trumping Tyler’s three minutes.
|Cole Aldrich, C 6 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +549. Travel to “Cole World” was strictly limited to the final six minutes.
50. Cole Aldrich miraculously assembled a tidy +5 – only that it was restricted to five minutes of floor time.
51. The Knicks have the league-leader for defensive rebound percentage (Aldrich, 31.4%) but couldn’t find ten minutes to squeeze him into the rotation.
52. Cole Aldrich(’s playing time) has been kicked to the curb.
|Shannon Brown, PG 5 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +353. “Defensive stopper” by default, Shannon Brown, didn’t enter the game until garbage time.
54. Any chance of a Shannon Brown revenge game narrative was thus erased.
55. Shannon Brown attempted five field goals.
56. Shannon Brown is an active member of the Knicks’ roster.
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 20 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 3 PTS | -1“I just don’t think I can continue to live in a place that embraces and nurtures apathy as if it was virtue.” – Somerset
57. Pablo is nearly 37 years old. Eric Bledsoe is not.
58. Prior to tonight, New York was 8-19 in games where Prigioni dished out three or fewer assists.
59. Pablo hoisted (and made) a three in transition. This may or may have been the highlight of the night for the Knicks.
60. For entertainment, a tricky touch pass to Amar’e (that led to free throws) closely followed that three. In the fourth quarter. When the Knicks were down 19.
61. The lightning-bolt-in-a-bottle duo of Dragic & Bledsoe is very near the worst possible defensive assignment for Prigioni.
|Iman Shumpert, SG 26 MIN | 3-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -1“What’s in the box?” – Mills
62. There were no extra clues dispensed in the ongoing mystery of what happened to Iman Shumpert’s soul.
63. A solitary corner three summarized Shumpert’s offensive contributions.
64. Even with J.R. Smith’s misfiring, erratic arsenal, and a blowout scenario for the bulk of the game, Shumpert could not get more than 26 minutes of burn.
65. It’s okay, though, because Shumpert is a “big,” guard, and TRIANGLE. Holding out hope that games like tonight are not the kerosene onto the flaming, nail-ridden coffin that is Shumpert’s confidence.
66. Shump has now scored 11 points (total) over the past three games.
67. A decently nifty defensive outing on Shumpert’s behalf was buried deeply beneath the muck of the rest of the team’s performance.
|Toure’ Murry, SG 5 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 5 PTS | +368. Confirmation that Toure’ Murry does indeed still exist. Unfortunately, confirmation didn’t arrive until the result was well and truly decided.
69. Toure’ Murry has not played more than six minutes in any game since February 28.
70. Toure’ Murry’s headband was unable to provide any additional luck.
71. It’s okay to (quietly) admit if you forgot Murry was once a part of the rotation.
|Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 21 MIN | 2-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +5“Did the kid see it?” – Somerset
72. Hardaway Jr.’s shots were not falling.
73. Hardaway Jr. does not appear to play defense.
74. The combination of being trigger-happy and off-target doesn’t tend to bode well against one of the league’s best transition teams.
75. This game was the eleventh time in the rook’s campaign that he has launched at least five three-pointers while shooting 20% or below from that range.
76. 2-11 is not a productive night of shooting the basketball.
77. THJ entered this game in the desert having converted just 31.9% of his three-point attempts over his last ten.