|Carmelo Anthony, SF 31 MIN | 2-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -18
MELO: “Yo, Matrix, what you doin’ after the game? We got a few hours before we gots to catch the bus on down to….”
After his painfully blasé reaction to Sunday’s spleen-stabbing loss to the Celtics – basically: “That was a fun game, oh well” – Melo’s in-and-out play wasn’t the most encouraging of signs. In fact, it was by far one of his worst outings in the orange and blue, with string-pulled jumpers, failed finishes at the rim, and general lack of sweat sounding the most screaming of alarms. But to see him flashing yet another toothy grin during post-game pleasantries, was to feel as close as I ever have to the kind of guy who would use his shotgun to shoo kids off his lawn in a bourbon haze.
|Amare Stoudemire, PF 32 MIN | 10-18 FG | 6-8 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 26 PTS | -1
A horrendous two point, zero rebound first quarter found me about two seconds from throwing my $75 Stoudemire jersey into the pile of rags we use to clean up our pets’ puke and piss. But a vintage comeback eruption assured it would remain a makeshift curtain for at least another day. Here’s the thing doe: His third quarter heat check lasted about three days too long. Meanwhile, the second half found Nowtizki taking him so deep into the Dirk Dungeon that I half-expected Stat to hand his captor a basket full of lotion during the post-game handshakes.
|Tyson Chandler, C 26 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | -9
I’ll be honest, a huge part of me was concerned that Mark Cuban was going to cover Chandler’s Chip ring with some kind of wrist-melting agent. Because, you know, who expects the billionaire in a tee shirt? As it was, Chandler looked noticeably hobbled for much of the game, a fact that many of the Knicks — who seemed perfectly content with rifling 90 mile an hour passes at his one functioning hand — apparently missed.
|Landry Fields, G 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS | 0
We all know Fields hates playing against the Celtcs – something about their old man musk makes our streaky Soph bust out in failure hives — so we half-expected something resembling professional basketball caliber play tonight. His shot’s still broke as Lehman, but at least there was spring in his step. Now let’s just hope Popavich doesn’t kidnap him and put him on his mantle of misfit toys.
|Jeremy Lin, PG 33 MIN | 4-13 FG | 5-8 FT | 3 REB | 7 AST | 14 PTS | -11
This was a mixed bag’s mixed bag, with Lin looking at times measured and confident, at others tentative and intimidated. After hitting on a couple of early tries from distance, Lin’s shot failed him for most of the final three quarters. His turnovers were down, however — a stat rendered slightly less remarkable by the fact that he was guarded for most of the game by a guy whose defensive quickness can be best described as “granite-like.” As for getting his face bludgeoned by Jason “We Never Get Any Respect From the Refs” Kidd, and not getting the flagrant call? Pay your dues, rook? Something?
|Baron Davis, PG 15 MIN | 3-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | +1
Having shown steady progress in his first few games back from a herniated schlong…. My bad, herniated disk…. It was inevitable that rumblings over who should be the Knicks’ starter would start quaking their way to the surface, as they have in the past week. After tonight — a performance marred by three-point attempts so devoid of arc Mike Bibby was alarmed — Davis should just be proud that he built himself a nice brick mailbox to live in.
|Jared Jeffries, PF 7 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6
Reading this stat line is a little like my friends back in college telling me I drank pond water on mushrooms: I don’t remember it happening, but why would they lie about something like that?
|Steve Novak, SF 27 MIN | 4-10 FG | 1-1 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 13 PTS | -4
You kept waiting for that awkward moment when Novak – who sported a Mavs uni for about 10 minutes last season – would join Chandler, looking for his own Championship bling prior to tip-off. Instead, we got a glimpse of the sharpshooting forward circa EVERY YEAR BEFORE 2012 – at least early on. (Even his one first half make managed to hit every conceivable part of the rim before reluctantly dropping through.) But nothing could top his off-the-dribble fadeaway in the first quarter — and by that I mean he deserves to spend a night in jail for it. Still, #discounttriplecheck once again came roaring back in the second half, hitting on three straight to keep the Knicks in it.
|J.R. Smith, SG 13 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -12
Having laid down a complete turd pile on Sunday, the law of averages dictated Smith would come out and break Wilt Chamberlains single game scoring record. As it turns out, the law of averages is a lying @#$!%. Either there’s some Tyreke Evans School of Fadeaway 20-Footers that I’m not aware of, or Smith is inching closer and closer to becoming the first player in NBA history to hit a three-pointer while lying flat on his back.
|Iman Shumpert, G 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 5 PTS | -3
Given what happened Sunday, simply avoiding getting T’d up for farting in Dirk Nowitzki’s general direction seems victory enough for Shump. Two key things: 1) He didn’t force anything; and 2) His defense is poetically savage. He may not have tallied the points to prove it, but his second half defense was the catalyst for the Knicks’ late charge.
|Josh Harrellson, F 13 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS | +13
BREAKING: Shattering your shooting wrist will affect your shot. It certainly doesn’t help that Jorts has had to watch Steve Novak come in and lift his leg all up on the corner threes. But Harrellson provides something Novak does not: Consistent rebounding. All in all, not bad for his first game back. Somebody get this boy a squirrel sandwich!
Five Things We Saw
- We’ve been waiting for it to happen, and it finally did: The Mavs basically won this one at the stripe, hitting on a sexy 26-30. Contrastingly, the Knicks once again struggled to convert on LITERALLY THE EASIEST THING TO DO IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS!
- A common criticism of Knick performances over the past two seasons has been their maddening inconsistency. Typically, such beefs have been levied towards the offense. But really, our defense has been equally spotty; sometimes we react to pump fakes like year-old dogs leaping for an out-of-reach treat; while other times the rotations — and yes, even the switches — are quick, our hands active. As Bob Silverman so poetically put it: “I can’t understand how a team could look so good and so shitty in the same season.”
- Roddy Beaubois is all kinds of sparkpluggy. Sooner or later, Jason Kidd’s going to realize that collecting Social Security and hitting up Happy Hour at the local Cracker Barrel is a much more relaxing existence than trying to prevent the most broadly dominate crop of point guards in NBA history from ruining your legacy. When that time comes, this kid may very well be the heir apparent. And not just because that shit I just said is French.
- Whether we like it or not — whether we deserve it or not — we’re going to get the opponent’s best shot night in, night out. Such is the foul flipside of a roster built both on the tenants and in the shadows of fame. We’re two games under .500. After tomorrow, when we take on a Spurs squad harder to beat at home than Julius Caesar, that deficit will most likely move to three. With one of the league’s toughest rows to hoe from here on out, it certainly won’t get any easier. I just have one, small request: No smiling after losses. This isn’t Pictionary.
- I don’t know about you, but I reckon this gel’s getting mighty stale.