|Kenyon Martin, PF 36 MIN | 9-10 FG | 1-2 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 19 PTS | -6
After K-Mart flailed helplessly at his first touch like a swarm of wasps, I thought he’d just take the night off. But Martin turned things around quickly – obliterating a running hook from Valunchooniss (I’m not looking that up), sticking a baseline J, and following up a Felton miss with a vicious, bolt-snapping put-back late in the first semi.
Martin got things going in the second with another mid-range hit, a second put-back slam, and an engaged – if not always correct – performance at the other end. The final stat line may speak volumes, but K-mart’s contributions go well beyond that: Name the intangible, he’s thrown it down in spades. Credit China for tempering him, but not so much that the temper’s rendered useless.
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 43 MIN | 14-31 FG | 7-11 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 7 TO | 37 PTS | 0
The Melo-Landry Quasi Blood But Not Really They Just Kind Of Never Got Along But Probably Shared a Cab Together and Maybe a Woman at Some Point Vandetta Thing looked legit in the early going, with Melo forcing many an ill-advised jumper and drives and generally jeopardizing the Bockers’ otherwise snappy ball movement. The trend got worse for a brief stretch to start the second half, helping spur a brief Toronto run before the Knicks got their shit together.
Thirty-two shots is silly – no doubt about that. But the give to the take lies in run-staving bursts, which Melo sparked on couple of occasions when the going got thick. The seven turnovers and lack of board brawn are a little disconcerting; a small sign perhaps that the recently drained knee might do well to only garner the 32 minutes Woodson has been promising.
|Iman Shumpert, SF 17 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +2
Shump’s last two Air Canada Center outings have been a far cry from the night last year when he ate Jose Calderon’s soul and Linsanity arguably hit its apex. Another night of early, marginally productive minutes followed by plastic pine for our befroed one – he buried a corner three (good sign), got up in Gay’s grill (good sign), and generally looked at ease on the supposedly hobbled knee. We saw scant traces of him in the second half – a precautionary move, no doubt – save for a few of the game’s final possessions.
|Raymond Felton, PG 42 MIN | 2-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 7 PTS | -3
A superfluous, forgettable performance from Felton on the whole, although that three-point bank had me howling. Really, Felton’s most noteworthy contribution was on the defensive end, where he was key in keeping Toronto’s pair of firebrand points – Lowry and John Lucas’s grandson – from getting into any kind of rhythm. But really, forty-two minutes?
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 10 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -3
Some of us were joking about it a few days ago, and god damn if it didn’t come to pass: Prigs has become the token ten minute starter. Pretty strange, considering he’s often responsible for the best sequence of three basketball events in a given game. tonight’s installment: clowning Landry Fields with a ridiculous up-and-under 15-foot flip bank shot from the left elbow, stealing the subsequent in-bounds pass (which, how the hell does this still happen?), and finding Melo for an open three.
Ten minutes. He played ten minutes. Eight of those were spent slap-fighting with Kyle Lowry.
|Chris Copeland, SF 5 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | +5
At this point, you wouldn’t be totally off base in defining Woodson’s relationship with Copeland as psychological warfare. More than any other player, Copeland’s leash – which is choke-collar length to begin with – is attached to a chain that is then attached to a cannon ball faced squarely in the opposite direction of wherever he’s facing. Tonight was a helter skelter example in miniature: an out-of-control charge, followed by a confident corner three, followed by spasms of defensive flailing, followed by 90 minutes of Kurt Thomas “Texas stories.”
|Steve Novak, SF 6 MIN | 2-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 5 PTS | +13
Steve Novak averaged 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists per 36 minutes tonight.
|Marcus Camby, C 12 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +8
Celebrating your 39th birthday by promptly sending someone’s shit into the first row and glaring bloodlustily at Bennett Salvatore after a shoddy foul call late in the first? That gets a man stamp. Five rebounds and a block in 15 minutes amounts to found fortune, at this point – a solid outing that hopefully didn’t end with him fashioning his own wheelchair out of Pizza Pizza boxes and socialist tape.
|Jason Kidd, PG 31 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 7 PTS | +1
Speaking of Birthdays, Jason Kidd got two free hot dogs and a pension from the Esso on the way to Wayne Gretzky International Airport.
He turns 40 tomorrow. Forty! Not a bad celebratory outing, either: a pair of timely threes in the third, beautiful hockey assisting, a bevy of break-ups and deflections – basically being the glue that stirs the drink. The gluestraw.
|J.R. Smith, SG 38 MIN | 5-10 FG | 3-7 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +8
J.R.! J.R.! OK, J.R., STOP! OK STOP! STOP! WAIT A SECOND! J.R.! STOP! J.R., LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME, J.R.! J.R.!……. DO THIS ALL THE TIME!
J.R. Smith has honestly become one of our most consistently engaged defenders. That’s not to say he’s great – he’s not, and sometimes he’s flat out victimized. But the effort and the intensity are there. I know those things don’t mean shit, statistically speaking. Alan Anderson just lit his face up – I get that. Here’s the thing tho: He may take “life moments” off, but he seldom takes a PLAY off. If that makes any sense. It doesn’t.
Five Things We Saw
- Who felt comfortable with a 25-15 lead, raise your hand? Right. That didn’t last long. And it never does, because the Knicks are terrible at the end of quarters. Tonight, the Knicks spotted seven points in the final buck and change, turning a would-be blowout into a juju-sapping slog.
- Georgetown. Every $%#&*! year.
- We’ve all chirped and kvetched tragic on the state of our defense, and what chance we have – if any – of righting that bauer in time for when it matters most. The second quarter was the snapshot of what the Knicks are capable of: Focus, communication, movement. And then? Gone like piss in a fast moving river.
- I know Alan Anderson pretty well. I’m a huge Michigan State fan, you see, so I got to catch a good number of Alan’s games back in the day. He never did any of this. Any of it. Never. He was good – don’t get me wrong. But not great. Not even NBA-caliber, really, if you asked us back then. But the fact that he’s here, now, doing this to us ALL THE TIME, well, that’s impressive. We treat “Rise and Grind” like stolen slang – we don’t really know what that’s like, to slog away in an ancient world hoping for one shot at the top. Good for him. Sparty could use him this weekend.
- Good win! I predicted earlier today that we’d split this home-and-home. That was assuming a 30-point loss tonight followed by a one-point eeker tomorrow where Melo plays 89 minutes, of course. So this is pretty much found money. It might well be that Martin, Melo, and Earl will have to keep us afloat as the wounds mend. The schedule fast gets tougher after this, so whatever psychic anchor we got, we got.