Knicks >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Heatles
DISCLAIMER: There seems to be a glitch in the recap generator’s HTML code, something I stayed up until 3am trying to fix, so sincere apologies for this looking and reading like total garbage. The lesson here: Being computer stupid and playing with code is worse than a monkey playing with fire. Anyway, the issue should be fixed in time for Sunday’s soire with the Sixers. Then and only then will true recap justice be served. In the mean time, if you’re having trouble reading the newfangled bold font, call Robert Silverman and he’ll read each section to you with the cooing cadence and care that only a man of the stage can summon.
The Heat outscored Melo 17-16 in the first quarter, so obviously he’s a complete failure…. Hey! Did you guys hear? Melo’s not LeBron! No, really! He’s, like, not nearly as good! Like five writers in the last two days broke the news – they used numbers and eyeballs and everything. Sarcasm aside, I think I speak for most everyone in Knick Knation in saying WE GET IT, DUDE! Comparing Melo — really anyone, for that matter — to LeBron is like comparing your toothbrush to your car: totally different spheres of ability, totally different worlds.
But holy hell can that Melo Anthony put his hand in the cookie jar. Two early misses were followed up by 11 consecutive makes or something, and it looked for a time like #7 was rarin’ to drop a fiddy spot on the defending champs. A slight detour to Chucksville soon followed, but Melo was able to balance out the poor shooting with engaged defense and tremendous rebounding. The game squarely in hand — much as it was through most of Olympic play — the mid-range jumpers fell with a little more consistency late in the game. To what extent Melo ends up playing at the four-spot remains to be seen. But if his Class of ’03 standard-bearer is any litmus test, last season’s home stretch, coupled with tonight’s performance, should bode well going forward.
Perhaps it’s a sign of a truly indispensable ingredient when split-second cuts and desperation helps go almost totally unnoticed. And that would make sense, considering Ty-Chan put up such a silent near double-double — minus the pair of Felton-borne oops, that is. As is so often the case with a player of Tyson’s unique caliber, how well he played only makes sense when you consider what would’ve happened had he not been in there — a lot of LeBron hanging on the rim and sitting on Kurt Thomas’ face.
I’m not exactly sure what it says when your first bucket in a Knick uniform comes off a defensive tip into your own basket, but whatever. It might not’ve been the stat line we’d have seen a dozen or so years ago, but the balance and the smarts were both there in spades; no drive was conducted without purpose, no pass flung with out the proper, accurate zip. Teams will no doubt seek to exploit Kidd’s atrophying D, but his ability to hawk passing lanes should make it measures easier for the other wings to commit to face-up stands. Bonus points for being the all time NBA leader in three pointers with a Hickory High set shot.
Yes, I called him a cab.
There’s something about the Garden’s fat-free lights that just seem to spark Felton, and tonight was no exception – a rocketing early transition flick over a LeBron limb and a couple timely threes tempered at least for a second our still waning Linxiety. He got a little overzealous with the dribble at times, pounding the rock hesitantly in the paint half afraid of the gatekeepers around him, but for the most part stayed in his lane, and even dished a handful of pretty remarkable pinpoint passes off penetration. Jeremy Lin might’ve gotten within a couple assists of a triple double SOMETHING I’M IN NO WAY BITTER ABOUT AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH If Felton can keep on this kind of clip – on defense especially – he won’t have much trouble re-endearing himself to the faithful.
As evidenced by his leaving a lung at half court on a fast break that ended with a missed layup, Brewer’s conditioning still has a ways go to. But the in-your-face defensive presence is there, as were a few lucky-ass buckets from outside the requisite 5-feet-and-in comfort zone. Speaking as someone whose wife had basically the same surgery as Brewer, there’s a big difference between “feeling fine” and “performing”…
She does yoga, guys! Sickos.
I’m just gonna work straight off the Word notes here: *serviceable but slowqz2
*Just smacked Bosh in the face with an open hand and nothing was called
*”Uhh… which one of us are you talking to, Kurt?”
I seriously went completely berserk when this happened, as did most of the Garden crowd, by the sound of it. Ten years ago, the jury was still out on whether Rasheed Wallace could stay in the league and not get arrested ever two years. Now, dude holds the ring Barkley and Ewing and Malone so many others don’t, having scored his anchoring a team near perfect in grit-forged success. He is, miraculously, at 38 years old, an assumed plus on any team that signs him. I like to think we’ll hold up enough to where “Garbage Time Sheed” becomes something of a celebratory fixture, but I think it’s safe to say last night’s spot duty is just the first step towards a more regular role. Which is simultaneously beautiful and utterly terrifying.
“I get so upset when Novak misses because it’s the only thing he does.” – My beautiful wife.
Being completely shut down by the Heat during last year’s Playoffs had to give most Knick fans at least a cursory moment of pause when Novak signed his mid-level deal a few months later. And that’s exactly what makes tonight’s performance so encouraging: Novakaine’s mechanics are so good, so impossibly quick and effortless, they can only help to reveal a mind adept at forgetting bad shots and bad nights. He still can’t defend a compost pile, but the spacing and the instant-comeback potential and the completely undefined forearms he provides make it all a net positive.
I heard you smiled on your way out the Garden tunnel. I like that. Not sure I’ve ever known anyone who’s enjoyed the smell of elephant shit, but maybe that’s a thing in Belgium. Either way, welcome to The Show, Cope.
Nothing says “Hello, New York” like a behind-the-back pass two minutes into your first game. Prigs’ preseason rally certainly carried over in terms of exuberance, energy, a complete disinterest in shooting a basketball, and [mostly] mistake-free ball, but so to did the inability to prevent certain wing players (Rory Sparrow and Kevin Edwards mostly) from getting to the tin.
“Coach, I think they’re chanting for me.”
“They’re definitely chanting ‘RASHEED WALLACE.’”
“No man, they’re chanting “WE WANT JAMES WHITE IN THE GAME NOW.”
“Can I go in anyway?”
“…. How ’bout now?”
“Fine, just give the ball to Sheed.”
Putting aside pre-game reports that Earl was suiting up totally healthy, it looked like the old-new normal was gonna be 22-foot jumpers with enough time on the shot clock to flash-fry an egg . NBA timing can atrophy quickly, and J.R. — who missed pretty much all of preseason with leg boo-boos — needs to rediscover his. Still, he seemed at least half-way committed to moving the ball quickly and decisively, made a couple of nice stands guarding LeBron, and eschewed fall-away 22-footers for fall-away 21-footers. Progress.
Five Things We Saw
- Early on the Knick offense couldn’t help but invite flashbacks of the flesh-bearing teams of yore – the days of Clyde and Cap and Dollar Bill and spacing and movement and spacing and movement and the ball never touched the ground. Forces of habit – i.e. Melo hoisting up regular nonsense – would carry the day for much of the middle part of the game, but the quick switches and consistent stops on D afforded the offense with some semblance of freelancing. All in all it looked as if hopes that a full training camp would help get everyone in sync were more than well-warranted.
- It’d be interesting to see the metrics for the Knicks’ offensive efficiency on possessions where that goddam organ is playing.
- Even for game one — and granting the adrenaline boost wrought by the still somber circumstances omnipresent throughout the five boroughs — the defensive communication and rotations seemed logarithmically improved. The way I see it, our only chance of making it out of the East rests upon three, equally crucial pillars: Health; beast mode Melo; and forcing Miami to settle for jump-shots late in the shot clock. Concerning the latter, holding the Heat to 17 paint attempts is a good start. I in no way expect that to be sustained, but at least there are the rudiments of a defensive template there for the sifting through.
- Look, I complain about foul calls all the time — Knicks games, Old Man League games, whatever. But I do so believing that a line like tonight’s (15-13FTs — and 41-41 on rebounds, for good measure) goes to show what can happen when the refs aren’t trying to blatantly screw your team. The zeebs let ‘em play, and considering the taut emotional circumstances, that was probably a good move.
- Not sure how many folks expected “Melo Anthony” — christened thus live for the first time I can remember — to take the mic and hit that crucial cultural note. But he did. He talked about Superstorm Sandy and its many victims and reminded New Yorkers that basketball could be counted upon to bring people together. That said, there are still far too many for whom tragic circumstances have meant untold burdens, and our thoughts and our prayers and our good vibes should find them and aid them still.
Beyond his work for KnickerBlogger, Jim is a contributor to the New York Times Off the Dribble NBA blog, ESPN.com, and The Classical. He is currently working on a biography of Robert Silverman, titled "Clownin' and Astoundin.'" Follow him on Twitter @JPCavan.