Knicks 99, Suns 97
|Kurt Thomas, PF 16 MIN | 2-4 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | 0
Some nifty Kurt minutes tonight.Of course, KurtMinutes are starting to morph into so many Schrutebucks. Both are kinda fun and funny but not really useful in the grand scheme of things in a healthy, well-functioning paper company/basketball team.
|Ronnie Brewer, SF 13 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +1
Brew’s starting to get that Mark Sanchez look about him. No, I don’t mean wearing some blindingly white, practically sheer, disturbingly form-fitting-enough-to-make-the-most-rabidly-heterosexual-male-question-the-basic-nature-of-his-sexual-preferences, white, homoerotic slacks while plastered on the pages of GQ, I mean his confidence seems rent into smithereens. He’s shot 21% from the field and 6% from downtown this month. That’s not a regression to the mean, that’s a statistical anomaly that’d make Nate Silver quiver. I was half-surprised he didn’t dribble up another Knicks backside and fumble the ball. And yes, I’m a Jet fan too, so I feel wholly justified in regurgitating some of this NFL season’s comic absurdities. I’m assuming that those shots will fall eventually, but once a player’s spooked like Branchez, it’s hard to know.
|Tyson Chandler, C 37 MIN | 6-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | -4
With the top two shot-takers riding the pine, we got to see the most aggressive, offensively-inclined Tyson since…well…actually his entire Knick career. There were a couple of Amar’e-esque dribble/drives from the top of the key and two attempted non-dunk-type jumpers. He even made one, so drink, everyone! I assume it’s egg nogg. That’s what you goyishe drink this time of year, right? Aside from that anomaly, this was a standard-brand, solid, not great but definitely swell Tyson-y example of rim-protecting and rebound-gobbling.
|Jason Kidd, PG 31 MIN | 8-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 6 REB | 8 AST | 23 PTS | +13
I have no words. I mean, there’s probably a halfway-decent “Hot Tub Time Machine” joke or “That was some serious Yoda shit” line I could sling, but I don’t want my incessant desire for cheap yuks/verbal gymnastics to take anything away from/do a disservice to an absolutely masterful performance. To paraphrase Samuel Beckett, every word would be an unnecessary stain on silence.
|James White, SG 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | 0
If not for some grade A J.R. Smithery, the foul he committed with 34 seconds to go that sent Jared “Really? We’re going to let a mediocre nonentity like Jared Dudley ring up 34 points” Dudley to the line, would have planted a set of gigantic goat horns firmly upon James’ dome tonight. You owe J.R. some snacks. Or maybe a nice bedtime story featuring a nice lady’s butt in a thong that fights an evil dragon.
|Chris Copeland, SF 30 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 14 PTS | 0
I’ve said it before (and if not, I probably should have) and I’ll say it again: Cope really reminds me of Lee Nailon. For those who’ve Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-ed away the end of the Layden Administration, Nailon was a bucket-getting SF/PF ‘tweener who wasn’t really into the whole defense/rebounding thing. Like Cope, though, if given his druthers, he could put the biscuit in the basket from inside and out. Though I doubt Lee ever referred to Sheed, Kurt and Marcus as “The Three Wise Men”, like Chris did when interviewed by NBA TV after the game. Which was nice.
|Steve Novak, SF 28 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | +7
Once again, Stevak just couldn’t find the open space necessary to do his thang. Perhaps one of the more x’s n’ o’s inclined among all you Knickerbloggeristas could ‘splain to your umble correspondent whether this is a question of unimaginative playcalling or the brunt of the burden should fall upon Stevak’s sloped shoulders. In either case, his scoring is going to become increasingly necessary if bodies keep dropping with greater speed and blood-soaked, grand guignol ferocity than the Battle of Verdun.
|Marcus Camby, C 13 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-2 FT | 9 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +6
Hey, look who’s rounding into some semblance of the player we expected to see! The Phoenix TV guys actually compared Marcus’s shot (for lack of a better term) to Satchel Paige. No, I still don’t understand what they meant either unless they just think he’s old and it’s too late to go scouring YouTube for highlights of Satch hurling the horsehide, creakily moving towards the plate, limbs and elbows flying in every direction but the one the ball will eventually go. In my mind, it’s like watching a cobra unfurl. But anyhoo, Marcus did a decent job subbing for Tyson, blocking shots and tipping rebounds, like a strange glimpse into a distant (around 2020 or so) future when Chandler’s been robbed of his otherworldly athletic gifts, yet remains an effective deterrent at the tin.
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 17 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | -11
Remember when people (well, me at least) were clamoring for more floor time for the Pest and scratching our heads and making trips to the oracle at Delphi for answers as to why, no matter the quality of his outing, Priggy’s PT seemed to be firmly limited to 12 minutes, no more, no less? ‘Member that? Well, here’s one reason: turnovers. For all the guttural, fatally injured forest creature-type howls of, “STOP SHOOTING,” that Felt induces; at least he doesn’t cough the ball up with impunity. He’s going to be playing more in the near future. But we’ll get to that painful development soon enough.
|J.R. Smith, SG 37 MIN | 11-27 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 5 AST | 27 PTS | -2
MY. NAME. IS. EAAAAAAAAAAAARL. Wow. I think we all were assuming that J.R. would launch somewhere between 25 and 2,343,563,799.3251 shots tonight. And to be honest, many of them were of the “No, no, no, no, no…YES!” off-balance variety at the end of the shot clock to bail out a botched offensive set. Efficiency deficiencies notwithstanding, 27 points, 6 bounds, 5 dimes and 5 steals is my-t-fine. Plus, J.R. was tweeting last night at 5am (2am EST, but still) and thus, the correlation between his nocturnal activities and the appearance of Bad J.R. (save for a silly flagrant where he submarined Goran Dragic) has been rendered moot. Amazingly,he’s the 4th player in last 10 seasons with 2 buzzer-beaters in a month. The last was Kobe Bryant in Dec. 2009 [H/T ESPN Stats & Info]. (And if you doubt that J.R. thinks he’s just as good as Kobe, you don’t know
Good job by Son of Wood getting an undermanned team ready on the second night of a back-to-back. Friend-of-the-blog also notes that he straight up pilfered the center handoff the LA beat them with last night. Considering the degree to which he’s incorporated (or copied, depending on how generous one is) SSOL, this shouldn’t be very surprising. Well done, Mr. Sticky Fingers.
Five Things We Saw
- That was fun. When the word was given to the people that neither Melo nor Ray-Ray would be playing, I certainly thought a win would be tough to come by. They’d need a stellar effort from Earl (Good Earl) and at least one other non-scorer to fill the hoop in a manner unlike any we’d seen this year. There was an equal possibility of a Chicago-like meltdown and a Cleveland-like, somehow cobble together enough scoring to eek out a close win versus a substandard opponent. Thanks to J.R.’s heroics, that was pretty much tonight’s script and all was joyous in Knickville until…
- …Oh Crap. Jut heard that Raymond Felton’s got a broken finger that might require surgery (we’ll know more Friday/over the weekend/never) and if he does need to go under the knife, he’ll miss 4-6 weeks. There’ll be time for a greater examination of how the Knicks will deal with his absence/the cobbling together of fake trades but for now, pardon me while I go off on an extended rant about both the Knicks medical staff and how this team deigns to parse information out to we mere serfs.
- One the one hand, it’s possible that the team is completely incapable of making a correct diagnosis. Roger Hinds and his team of wacky, meatball surgeons haven’t inspired much confidence in their skillz lo these many years. That’s problematic enough. But, honestly, I don’t think that’s the case. For some reason, the entire Knicks hierarchy is so insanely paranoid that they insist on hoarding information as if the results of an x-ray were a tightly guarded, heavily redacted state secret. It’s insulting. There’s no need to treat the fans and/or the media like the enemy. And it’s so easy to see through the bullshit. There’s NO WAY that they didn’t perform an MRI on Carmelo. Of course they know the severity of his “hyperextended knee”. They’d be contractually liable/subject to a serious lawsuit if they didn’t perform some form of test beyond a Dr. Feelgood-type prod and poke. So when Woodson casually mentions pregame that he’s “worried” about the knee, naturally I assume the worst. I half expect that we’ll wake up tomorrow and find out that Melo’s actually deceased (Though if he did die, the Knicks would still list him as “day to day with an acute myocardial infarction resulting in death”). Just like they Knew Felt had a fractured finger all day yet insisted on spewing this crapola about a sprain for 24 hours. Why? I have no idea. But whatever the reason, it sucks massively inflamed donkey testes to realize that you’ve been had, you’ve been took and you’ve been bamboozled (again). I don’t know about you, but there are very few things in life that make me grind my teeth down to the nubbin in a dyspeptic, stomach-churning rage more than being bald-facedly lied to, where the prevaricator either assumes I am/you are a credulous imbecile who can barely read above 8th grade level and lists, “likes to color” as a hobby or honestly doesn’t give eight shits whether I/you believe it or not. Fuck that noise. And fuck you, James Dolan, for generally treating one of the most loyal fan bases in any sport like a bunch of mentally challenged, shiny-from-all-the-excess-drool-dribbling-down-the-front-of-his/her-chin numbskulls or some unknown gelatinous particle that you needed a shrimp fork with particularly sharp tines to dislodge from the grooves in the heel of his boot.
- Thank you. I feel slightly better. In case you’re still royally pissed. Here are some awesome GIF’s courtesy of TheKnicksWall.com of the final moments of this evening’s contest. Let’s just watch these on an endless loop because, as previously stated, they’re awesome and not totally depressing like every other thought I have about my continuing devotion to a professional team that wavers between laughingstock and an execrable example of everything that’s wrong with 21st Century capitalism.
THE TIMEOUT (YEAH, EARL KNOWS WHO’S GETTING THE ROCK)
- Luckily, the schedule-makers are giving this team a bit of a break as they attempt to deal with the latest injury-based conundrum. It’s the sad sacks from Sacto followed by a few days off. By that time the ‘Bockers might have STAT back or maybe they’ll ink Delonte West or Derek Fisher (Veterans! Mentoring!) or maybe they’ll pull a Norman Dale and send four players out onto the floor. You know the old (possibly apocryphal) Chinese Parable/Curse. “May you live in interesting times.” Yeah, that. This team.
THE GAME-TYING SHOT
DE-FENSE (CLAP, CLAP)
THE CELEBRATION (NOVAK REALLY LIKES TO HUMP LEGS WHEN STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPENS)
Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.