Nets 96, Knicks 89 (OT)
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 51 MIN | 11-25 FG | 10-16 FT | 13 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -6
There’s a great deal to be said about the difference in the type of shots Melo got playing primarily at small forward (no matter how sopping wet his jumper from midrange might have been) and the shot he took with the game tied and time winding down. (Spoiler alert: it was a terrible play call by Woodson. We’ll have words about this later.) But first, I need to get this off my chest…EFF YOU MELO. YOU CANNOT MISS YOUR FOURTH QUARTER FREE THROWS IN A CLOSE GAME. They’re not heavily leveraged, 20% down payment throws. They’re not only available in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue throws. They’re not Mitt Romney Car Elevator Throws. They’re FREE THROWS, as in free points. If you don’t make them in the fourth, you deserve to lose. Period. And you probably deserve shoddier marks, too.
|Ronnie Brewer, SG 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 3 PTS | +3
OBrewer dislocated his finger on an attempted swipe of Lopez’s pick and roll dive that ended up tying the game. Injury duly added to insult. Well played, cold, cruel hand of fate.
|Tyson Chandler, C 45 MIN | 12-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 28 PTS | -6
In the opening few moments, Chandler once seemed to be playing as if one of the Mon-Stars had absorbed his powers. From then on, he was at his Robo-Tysoning, screamy, vocal chord-shredding best. He literally kept the ‘Bockers in the game in the final stanza when the offense was more stagnant than a flea-infested, backwater, brackish, Arkansas bayou. A career-high 28 points and oh-so much superhuman smashing. There’s a great deal to be drink-one’s self-into-a-catatonic-stupor enraged about, but seeing a vintage 2010-11 Tyson Chandler come roaring back to life should keep the most weak-willed among us firmly seated on the wagon.
|Kurt Thomas, PF 8 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +5
The highlight of Kurt’s evening was a “jump” hook wherein Ol’ Crazy Eyes would have had trouble clearing a sheet of microfiche.
|Raymond Felton, PG 41 MIN | 3-1999999 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 18 PTS | -8
We’ll discuss hipsters in greater detail later, but I’d bet the family farm that somewhere out there, there’s a gaggle of Portlandians who can’t stop giggling in Schadenfreudian glee at tonight’s outing from Ray-Ray. They’d witnessed a marathon session of fucking the canine from Felton all last year, and were as stunned as anyone that he’d been so consistently good. Outings like this are what made them grab artisanal, hand-crafted pitchforks and practically run his bouncy behind out of town on a rail. Oh boy do I get that now. I’d suggest that Felton walk back from the Barclay’s Center, but he’s liable to pass Pies n’ Thighs, Trayfe, Char No. 4 and the entire Williamsburg soul/southern/BBQ restaurant district, so that’s out. I think those of us who’ve followed Raymond’s career beyond the 54-game stint in the gentle, PG-loving bosom of Mike D’Antoni expected a regression to the mean, but even the most bitter, cynical Knickerbacker didn’t expect his bumbling, stumbling hit-every-branch-on-the-way-down, make John Starks look like a responsible gunner in comparison, 3-19 tumble to statistical norms to occur all within one game. At some point, when the Nets’ defense seemed to be entirely geared towards giving him a wide open shot, a less bulldog-y individual might begin to get a Giant Man-sized clue that there’s a reason why. Oh, and he was brutalized by Deron Williams on the other end, too. If ever a performance deserved a grade lower than F, this was it.
|Rasheed Wallace, PF 23 MIN | 2-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 6 PTS | -8
Rasheed is kindly and lovable and even recent, trendy, douchebaggy BK Nets converts seem to adore his exploits, but his shot selection and propensity to brick tonight was Felton-esque.
|Steve Novak, SF 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -4
If the Knicks’ Offense (as it were) is going to consist entirely of ISO-Melo and Chandler put-backs off aborted Felton Pick and Roll floaters, there isn’t much chance for those long-lost concepts like “ball movement” to get Stevak an open look or two. Tonight, that “plan” resulted in exactly that, two looks, both of which produced bone-chilling clangs off the iron. Not in any way shape or form is that fun. Not for Steve, not for us. Nobody.
|Marcus Camby, C 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +
Remember when we were all assembled in a top-secret, governmental think tank, downing vats of coffee and smoking our Marlboros to the nub, going on two-hour sleeping shifts, trying to solve the universe’s most persistent, maddening questions, like: “Why the hell isn’t Woodson giving Marcus Camby any burn?” Welp, the answer appears to be, “Reggie Evans is a swell ‘bounder and whatnot, but if the Camby Man’s getting abused on the offensive glass and is providing as much of a defensive presence as Steve Novak, there’s really no point in playing him.” Occam’s Razor, y’all.
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 11 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 PTS | +1
Prigs got his usual second quarter burn, with a few scattered minutes of PT to start the fourth. His lone notable contribution was to the coffers of the NBA offices, which are sure to levy another fine for this bit of interpretive, terpsichorian styling from Reggie Evans.
|James White, SG 2 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1
Hi James. We may be writing a great deal more than. “Hi James.” In the near future if the Kidd/Brewer injuries are a long-term type deal. None of this bodes well.
|J.R. Smith, SG 41 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | -8
When Earl was taking the ball to the hole with aplomb, I scribbled in my notes, “Oh good. Tonight’s a Good J.R. Night,” as his propensity to drive the lane seems to have a one to correlation with his shot selection and defense (I think he’s still trying to find Jerry Stackhouse at the three point line). Tonight may prove to be an outlier, but any professional basketball player who thinks this is a good shot to take in transition isn’t going to shed his crazy/stupid/selfish/I’ve been spending Sunday Night painting the town crimson and I’m so effing hung over right now that I couldn’t possibly fit the bags under my eyes in the overhead storage of the double-wide, tricked out Greyhound bus that we took to Downtown Brooklyn label.
|Jason Kidd, PG DNP – BACK SPASMS
Anyone got a spare ticket to Lourdes?
Five Things We Saw
- Let me sum it up as succinctly and crassly as possible – The Knicks played like a shit taco. All of the gorgeous ball-movement and unselfishness on the offensive end completely disintegrated into a cluttered muddle of shoddy spacing that was entirely dependent on Melo hitting the midrange shots that he had for the most part eschewed this season or Tyson Chandler cleaning up someone else’s mess. Want to encapsulate what went wrong in a single play? Kay. well, you don’t have to look very far — it’s the final one of regulation. In case you were lucky enough not to have witnessed this atrocity, here’s the deal. Felton milked about half of the remaining 22 seconds on the game clock and then dished the ball to Melo. Now, if Melo had been coming off a screen or a rub or in motion or anything other than HeroBall, it might have been a swell idea. Alas, that’s not the case. Melo was more or less stationery, posting Gerald Wallace about 18-20 feet from the hoop on the wing (yes, on the same side of the court as Felt.) Melo jab-stepped and pounded the rock for a bit before tossing up a jumper with Wallace still more or less glued to his hip with plenty of time still remaining. Naturally, the Nets got the rebound, and if not for a minor brain-spasm by Deron, who advanced the ball, they would’ve had plenty of time to get a decent look. I’m no head coach or basketball savant or nuttin’ but it seems to me that there was some bit of strategery buried within the playbook that might have led to a better attempt.
- And the defense. Look, the Nets are definitely a playoff team and losing to them on the road is no reason for a Scarlett S of shame to be plastered to the Knickerbockers’ collective chests for all the good, Christian townsfolk to see. That said, I’m busting out this avatar tout suite. It’s a holdover from Son of Wood’s Atlanta squads that I’ve loathed since last year. Yes, the Brooklynites had post up opportunities, but there’s no reason to double the likes of Andray Blatche (or even Joe Johnson, when he’s gorting shots left and right) if it means leaving wide open shooters all over the court or backdoor cutters galore. This game shouldn’t have been as close as it was. The final stats may say otherwise, but the rotations down low and speed with which they closed on the perimeter were beyond execrable and if Deron et al. had been even vaguely proficient at converting the looks New York gave them, they would have run our guys out of the building. The Knicks didn’t deserve to win this game, but they should have, if that makes any sense. And that’s the teeth-gnashingly, soul-enervating, frustrating thing that’ll probably keep me tossing and turning in semi-sleep, where my dreams will be haunted by a burly, churlish, jagged-toothed ogre sporting a beard-headband combo that makes him look like the word’s toughest, most badass Imam and said man-thing is constantly ripping the beverages or the bookbag or the viola case or the Ventolin inhaler out of a 12-year old me’s clutches and laughing maniacally while my eyes slowly redden and shrink-wrap with tears.
- But, on the bright side (Ha!) both the O and the D would have been greatly helped by the presence of Jason Kidd, who it seems is the lynchpin to this madman’s collection of beyond-seasoned talent functioning as a cohesive whole. If nothing else, he would have prevented a big starting lineup meant to counter the Nets size. Of course, the Knicks still were ravaged on the glass for the majority of the evening, only to recover, ironically enough, when they returned Melo to his rightly place at the 4. I also can’t help but think that he’d have done something, if only because of the overwhelming intelligence his mere aura provides, about the atrocious shot selection that seemed to spring up each and every time they seemed on the verge of building a significant lead. Get well fast, Jay. You’re our only hope. (And I remain totally gobsmacked that the previous sentence makes logical sense and isn’t some sick, twisted form of satire in the year of our Lord, 2012.)
- Ugh. I’m depressed. If you are as well, here’s some funny. After Lopez botched an easy layup, K-Hump’s ex twat this
?@KimKardashian?: Neither can Kris RT ?@Viva_La_Knicks?: Lopez can’t finish.
Tee hee! Kris Humphries former wife just implied that he, Mr. Humphries, was unsatisfactory in his performance of the physical act of love! Funny stuff, funny stuff…
- You know, I was all set to write a whole screed about the utter corporate fakery of this so-called rivalry. Just because the Knicks have been able to see the Nets from their house for decades now doth not a titanic battle for local supremacy make. The only time these two teams were evenly matched or displayed any real animosity was when Tim Thomas introduced the term “Fugazi” into our sporting vocabulary. Jimmy C. and I were even joking about the supposed animosity before the game and the preposterous nature of resenting the newfound Nets army by demeaning all that is Brooklyn
Me: GO TO BROOKLYN
Jim: YOU GO TO BROOKLYN OH WAIT, YOU’RE ALREADY THERE. GODDAM BENEDICT ARNOLD!
Me: THERE ARE SO MANY HOT CHIX WITH LOW SELF ESTEEM HERE IN THE BK, THO. A.K,A., BOB’S TIME TO SHINE
Jim: GOOD YOU AND KRIS HUMPHRIES CAN HAVE THE RUN OF THEM. TAKE THEM TO SUSHI DATES AND FUCKING SCRAPBOOKING CIRCLES
Me: AFTER THE GAME, ME AND K-HUMP ARE GOING TO UNION POOL, BUYING PBR’S FOR EVERYONE AND SAYING, “WE USED TO LIKE THE MAGNETIC FIELDS, THEIR EARLY STUFF BEFORE THEY GOT ALL CORPORATIZED AND SOLD OUT AND STUFF.”
Jim: SPEND YOUR TIME COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT AND STUDYING UP ON ARTISINAL CHEESE-MAKING
Me: ARTISANAL. GAWD JIM, SPELLING COUNTS, EVEN IN SNARKY GCHATS
Jim: OR COLLECTING CHEESE AND ARTISANAL UNEMPLOYMENT OR WHATEVER. AND CORRECTING PEOPLE’S GRAMMAR. EFFING WALT WHITMAN OVER HERE
Me: JUST SPELLING (SO FAR)
Jim: (this should go in the recap)
Me: (Oh, it totally is). PLUS A WHOLE THING ON JKIDD’S INJURY/THE KNICKS SECRECY/THE STUPIDITY OF GOING BIG LEADING TO A LOSS. I CAN PRACTICALLY WRITE HALF OF IT NOW
Jim: SHOULDN’T YOU BE GETTING GOING ON STARTING THE RECAP ON YOUR USB TYPEWRITER?…
Me: I HAVE A SMITH CORONA I BOUGHT ON EBAY. THE GUY SAID IT’S HUNTER THOMPSON’S. YOU CAN TELL BECAUSE IT SMELLS VAGUELY OF METHAMPHETAMINES AND WILD TURKEY SO I’M SURE IT’S LEGIT.
Jim: …OR DID SOMEONE SEVER YOUR HORNED RIM GLASSES IN HALF WHIPPING YOUR FACE WITH WET SCARF?
Me: JUST BECAUSE I LOOK LIKE A HIPSTER AND TALK LIKE ONE AND ACT LIKE ONE AND LIVE LIKE ONE DOESN’T MEAN I AM ONE
Jim: WHO YOU GOT PLAYING THE HALF TIME SHOW? CRYSTAL CASTLES? ANTLERS? IS THE CHICK FROM ALABAMA SHAKES SINGING THE SOVIET NATIONAL ANTHEM?
Me: I HAVE NO RETORT BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.
Jim: So, how are you feeling about the game?
Me: Loss. Close game, but a loss. Get killed on the boards and iso-heavy w/o Kidd
(Editor’s Note: Yes, I really wrote that at approximately 6:45pm. No. I’m not Nostradamus, I’ve just seen this bit of theater before and I know how the play ends. Badly.)
In any case, pre-game, I wasn’t particularly amped by this media-hyped rivalry because it feels wholly inorganic and exists only to fatten the wallets and increase the glory of Cable TV hucksters and wild-eyed Russkie Oligarchs. But now…I hate them. I hate Brook Lopez’s goofy mug. I hate Deron Williams’ hobo-ish neck-beard (Dear Deron: A BEARD IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A JAWLINE. I KNOW – I TRY TO PULL OFF THE EXACT SAME MOVE. YOU [AND I] AREN’T FOOLING ANYONE.) I hate Reggie Evans’ inexcusable floppery (though I’d adore him were he a Knickerbocker). I hate Kris Humphries more than his ex-wife. I hate them all.
Real rivalry officially commenced. Next time these punks come into our turf, I wanna see hipster blood on the tracks.
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.