|Carmelo Anthony, SF
38 MIN | 7-16 FG | 5-6 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 19 PTS | +4
First half: Found something of an early rhythm, due in part to not forcing the issue. Rotated well; hit the glass in style; and seemed more than happy to send Spaulding ’round the horn. And he dunked with two hands twice, which, let’s try and save those.
Second half: A roller coaster seat studded with rusty nails where Mama June Shannon has to hold on to you because the handle bar is missing. It wasn’t so much that he was taking bad shots; the ship just couldn’t find its bearings, and Melo couldn’t right it. He did come up with the game’s two deciding buckets, however.
|Tyson Chandler, C
32 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 3 STL | 5 BLK | 5 TO | 10 PTS | +18
First half: Looked spry and springy right from the get-go, hit an elbow jumper late in the first, and caused a minor earthquake after poor Nate Wolters decided it was a good idea to try and duplicate what he used to pull off against centers who averaged out at 6’4” at South Dakota State Methodist Polytech Agriculture and Mining State. That ball is now roughly half way through the earth’s mantle. Go fetch it, Mining Boy.
Second half: The only credibly consistent presence during the 24-minute snuff film that was the second half of this basketball game. It’s difficult to describe the violence with which Chandler impaled the ball – both through the rim and away from it – during the game’s waning moments. Without a doubt the game’s MVP.
|Raymond Felton, PG
34 MIN | 7-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 18 PTS | +11
First half: BOY, WHAT A BULLDOG! The defense looked tenacious, the jumper hitch-less, and the transition moxie controlled and confident. He poked and prodded the lane with aplomb – helpless whelp Nate Wolters at his hitch – and sweated delicious, chalky dirt. BULLDOG.
Second half: Pulled up lame after a smooth, traffic-defying reverse lay-in. The universe promptly melted. Ray would return, however, looking minimally hobbled and bringing an air of calm to a tumultuous stretch. Knicks: I don’t care if he freezes and drowns — ICE BATH. BULLDOG.
|Pablo Prigioni, PG
37 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 4 TO | 7 PTS | +19
First Half: Pablo Prigioni’s hands might be snorting amyls. It was Prigs’ hounding heroics that set the tone defensively, while capitalizing on whatever the Bucks gave him at the other end. He ate Nate Wolters’ stubble-less face; and generally looked content with picking up right where he left off down last season’s stretch.
Second Half: A smoothie of rotted raw chicken and paint thinner. It was turnovers a’plenty until crunch time, when the goofball hands started flying and ol’ Pesky came up with a couple of crucial nabs – one of them a violent dive that resulted in a gritty Melo lay-in to put the Bockers up three.
|Iman Shumpert, SG
33 MIN | 5-13 FG | 5-5 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +4
First half: A dash choppy to start, with Shump hesitating way too much off the catch. But once the groove was got, the coast was clear – confident dribble-drives, a gorgeous PUJIT three, a tough and-1, and a missed oop-and-foul that saw him land awkwardly on his left knee and caused at least six different fluids to spray out of my skull. Three of them I’ve never seen before. He deflected more passes than I could count, and was sweating hard enough to buoy a cruise liner.
Second half: A Debra Winger movie marathon for 72 consecutive sleepless hours. (Bad, but OK because you like watching Debra Winger. Debra Winger is Shump in this scenario. Never mind.) That 17-footer from the top of the key as the shit hit the fan was huge. Ditto the late-fourth D. All in all, there was plenty to love, even if it all feels like borrowed time.
|Andrea Bargnani, PF
17 MIN | 3-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 6 PTS | -11
First half: A sucker fish that’s just had its eyes torn out by a school of convict cichlids, swimming around in aimless circles, praying for its owner to throw it down a broken toilet.
Second half: A sucker fish that’s just had its eyes torn out by a school of convict cichlids, swimming around in aimless circles, praying for its owner to throw it down a broken toilet.
Caveat: I understand it’s a process. Fact is, Bargnani’s baggage entails so many variables – draft status, signs of early atrophy, a city that welcomes warmly but turns in an instant – that any semblance of productive efficiency should be seen as found money, at this point. As in wrinkled and sweat-stained one-dollar bills with “TUESDAY RAIN” written in black lipstick.
|Kenyon Martin, PF
5 MIN | 1-1 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +6
First half: For a guy who’d spent most of the preseason alternating between frustrated quotes and ice baths, K-Mart looked pretty damn jumpy in the early going – fleet of foot, quick off the ground, and keen of timing.
Second half: Deafening crickets.
|Metta World Peace, SF
18 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -4
First half: It was encouraging to see Metta take a break from aimless perimeter chucking to post up weaker foes on the block. He’s still quick enough on the spin to create space and convert, so hopefully this wasn’t just a fleeting glimpse. Still looks a little lost on offense.
Second half: Like being hungover in a nine-hour line at the DMV where all of the clerks are Ted Cruz. Was apparently trying to catch the most routine of passes with toilet scrubbers. He did make a pretty big running jumper during Milwaukee’s slogging comeback.
|Beno Udrih, PG
11 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 2 PTS | -12
First half: After a sterling preseason, Beno cut quite the jittery picture throughout, getting a bit cavalier with the ball and finishing with a team low +/- of minus 12.
Second half: Your boss walking in on you watching 80s dwarf porn on a Hello Kitty sticker-covered VHS you just stole from Goodwill.
|Tim Hardaway Jr., SG
15 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | 0
First half: He can shoot.
Second half: He can shoot.
Five Things We Saw
- Two point guards! Fun for exactly 24 minutes! That Prigioni was a team-high +19 wouldn’t surprise anyone who watched even ten minutes of tonight’s game. I’m glad – as we all are – that Woodson acknowledged what worked last year.
- These two professional basketball teams combined for 45 turnovers in a professional basketball game in a professional basketball league. Forty-five. No, it wasn’t six overtimes. The Knicks were able to capitalize to a more consistent degree than were the Bucks, but both teams have to know what’s going up first on the drawing board.
- For once, the Knicks’ defensive rotations looked crisp, clean, and devoid of letting that shady dude in the corner bogart the rest of the bag. The wings in particular looked like they were communicating – if not verbally, than by some sign language Bargs learned in his Toronto safehouse.
- Paul Rudd says the new Anchroman is “amazing.” I have mixed feelings about Paul Rudd.
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