Lately I found myself more and more invested in reading every nook and cranny of the spoilerrific site Tv Tropes. If I have ten minutes to spare and nothing else to read, I’ll fire up the aforementioned site and see what it has to say about one of my favorite movies (or series, or cartoons, or videogames). I have discovered through the years that Tv Tropes is the vastest hoard of hidden meanings, mindblowing theories and genuine fun facts you’ll ever come around in the ‘Net. If there’s an Easter egg in a semi-unknown Korean movie you just happened to watch while browsing your phone, sometimes enthralled by the plot but driven to peruse at least five different tabs on your once potent (now only fatigued) iPhone 7 in a classic case of “too many things on the web” 21st century telematic boredom, well rest assured: Tv Tropes knows it, and you’ll feel better after having read it.
Why am I telling you all this? Because nowadays there’s nothing to say about the Knicks. Even in games where they improbably find themselves up eleven in the second quarter, they’ll find a way to disappoint fans and bystanders alike in the most bland and unentertaining guise available. Just a few numbers for the Canadian blowout we just witnessed: 37.5% (field goal percentage as a team), 29.3% (three point percentage as a team, it also doubles as RJ’s FG%), 51.2% (three point percentage as a team by the Raptors), -26 (Marcus Morris’ game-low plus/minus in just 20 minutes), 21 (three point makes by the Raps, the Knicks made only 12), +29 (OG Anunoby’s game-high plus minus – not coincidentally playing the same position as Morris), 0 (good ideas by Fizdale).
So I thought: let’s rip a page off of TV Tropes and let’s assign a trope to a few selected Knicks players, why not? If anything, it should be more fun than whatever ill-fated attempt at describing this Masked Singer-like contrived ugliness of a game. Let’s start!
Word of God: “Once they get in there maybe for whatever reason we don’t play as fast as we’d like,” Fizdale said. “How they measure pace as well is not necessarily conducive to how fast you’re playing. Because sometimes if you don’t get a shot on goal it takes away from what your actual pace is. So the actual speed we’re playing at, I think, is fine.” The result of this game makes this statement appear like the (weak) meme that popped up in a few Facebook feeds last month. “Hey, I ingested this pill that makes your brain go a lot faster!” “Oh, so are you now way smarter?” “No, I’m the same stupid me but at a much higher speed!”.
Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Averted. While Frank Ntilikina has ultralong limbs, he wasn’t able to get a single rebound, steal or block in 21 minutes of action. The much sturdier VanVleet was running circles around him tonight.
Marionette Motion: Mostly played straight with Mitchell Robinson. He still moves in strange ways and acts weird as if he were controlled by a trigger happy toddler on a PS4 controller. In the third quarter he committed a goaltending so blatant that looked a giant F-Bomb to Fizdale. The same can be said about the totally useless, pretty classless foul committed with a few second to play in the fourth and the Knicks down 28.
Everybody Hates Mathematics: shout out to Team Optimist, y’all. Lampshaded with RJ Barrett, who threatens to be the fourth NBA player ever to hit at least a third of his three point attempts while hitting less than 52% of his free throws (minimum 3 3PA per game), after Ken Norman in 94/95, Dion Waiters in 18/19 and the Trope Namer Nick Anderson in 96/97.
Contrasting Sequel Main Character: (Over)Played with Marcus Morris and Carmelo Anthony.
Elite Mooks: Averted with Marcus Morris. Mook, yes. Elite? Nah. He totally sucked last night (7 points, 3 boards, 1 assist). Also played with Marcus Morris: he’s still shooting a blistering 51.9% from three for the season.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Haha. Did you ever think that Randle vs. Siakam would have ended well? Julius posted solid numbers (19 points, 8 boards) but Siakam was a beast (31 points, 8 boards, 5 for 8 from three and looked unstoppable).
Hollow Knight: Even if this Trope means an entirely different thing, I liked how its name applied to Randle. Every year, every bad team has at least a guy who posts “big” numbers that ring hollow and untrue. Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. are poster childs of this misunderstood (by me) Trope, but Randle is very well growing in their footsteps.
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Played straight with Bobby Portis (15 million dollars for this guy is simply preposterous). Averted with Mitch Robinson, who’s too awesome to be paid this little.
Karl Marx Hates Your Guts: from the Trope description: “[…] in such a way that it is impossible to make money by buying something and then re-selling it elsewhere“. Lampshaded by this board. Overplayed with the FO’s acquisition of one-year vets. Who would want them after they play like this?
Dungeon Maintenance: Probably played in the future with Kevin Knox or Dennis Smith Jr, especially as soon as Elfrid Payton comes back. In nights like this, those two are borderline unwatchable. In the second quarter DSJ committed two consecutive turnovers, with the second being the most egregious one: a full court pass attempt that went high above Bobby Portis’ head by at least ten feet.
A Wizard Did It: Subverted with David Fizdale. Whatever it is, Fizdale magic is working no wonders on the offseason acquisitions: every single one of them is posting a worse WS/48 than last year (with the exception of Elfrid Payton, who has only played 4 games though).
Blatant Lies: Played straight with Steve Mills and Scott Perry, who somehow tried to convince James Dolan that this roster was playoff-contention worthy.
Chew Bubblegum: Clyde is here to chew bubblegum and snark about failing Knicks players and sets. And he’s all out of bubblegum. Early in the third the Knicks wound up turning the ball over right after a timeout by Fizdale. Let’s just say Clyde wasn’t pleased with the subsequent play.
Leitmotif: Fire Fizdale.
Happy Thanksgiving guys! See you after the Sixers game. Let’s hope it’s better than this. Or not, if it helps getting ridden of a few guys.
Note: this was supposed to be published yesterday at 10:00 AM, before the site went off for several hours.