Quick Reaction: Knicks 113, Pistons 86
Tonight we decided to open up the phone lines, as it were, and post some of our favorite player-related tweets. It was fun. We hope you enjoy them. If you don’t, well, I reckon you can go to Hell’s Kitchen.
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 33 MIN | 9-14 FG | 5-5 FT | 1 REB | 6 AST | 25 PTS | +27
When I first turned on League Pass – having grown up outside Detroit, I actually welcomed the Detroit feed, featuring George Blaha (sexy name, sexier voice) and Greg Kelser – the initial starting lineup graphic had Billy Walker starting in an injured Melo’s stead. By game time, however, it was clear that Melo would, in fact, be at center court for the tip. One ridiculously effective, efficient, and effervescent game log later (I’ll chalk the lack of ‘bounds up to lack of hops, for the moment) one hopes maybe the three games he took off really were as good for the soul as they were for the shot selection.
@DarnleyRoad: Carmelo Anthony HAS to be related to me.
|Amare Stoudemire, PF 30 MIN | 5-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 15 PTS | +12
Stat was once again effective, albeit in unspectacular spurts. Which is maybe what we should come to expect from Amar’e, whose nonchalance vis-a-vis his own numbers, relayed in numerous interviews of late, at least appears genuine. He gave us a bit of a scare before the start of the second half, when it was reported he’d tweaked his ankle jogging out of the tunnel (that’s just some classic Jim Cavan shit right there). Stat managed to play through it, though he looked significantly less effective. Still, there were some nice highlights; chief among them a beautiful, totally in-rhythm dribble-drive, 12-foot pull-up bank from the right wing — a display I’m told Amar’e will follow up by reading selected passages from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass tomorrow night at The Art House.
@charliezegers: Source: Stoudemire was injured while attempting to touch his toes.
|Tyson Chandler, C 32 MIN | 5-6 FG | 7-10 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +27
Sources have told me that, before the game, Tyson Chandler informed his teammates – brought into a huddle using his 14-foot pterodactyl wings – that if they didn’t feed him the ball to his liking, he would make a giant flesh necklace out of them. Seventeen points later – on roughly five more shots than he’s been accustomed to taking – the only bodies left bloodied were the ones unlucky enough to be donning the visiting blues.
@charlestosborn: Man, Tyson Chanlder is the coolest.
|Landry Fields, G 31 MIN | 7-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +25
For someone who’s appeared most ill-at-ease ever since last year’s Melo coup, Fields sure looked re-energized having #7 back on the court. Barring his zero-point crap-athon in Houston, Fields has tallied double figures in each of his last seven outings – something he achieved in the first eleven seconds of this game, by my count (I don’t know how to count). For all the hand-wringing over the seemingly submarined prospects of everyone’s favorite Cardinal, Fields – true to his alma matter’s ivy stock – really does seem to be figuring it out.
@ross_bernhardt: Landry Fields is on pace for 44 points and 16 steals after the first quarter. #Analysis
|Iman Shumpert, G 35 MIN | 3-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 6 AST | 6 PTS | +11
As with a toddler taking his first steps, we have to learn to be happy whenever Shumpert doesn’t fall down a flight of stairs or walk into a table corner every time he plays. That’s essentially what we got out of 21 Shump Street tonight. Amusingly, he appeared to take extra pleasure in crawling into lottery pick Brandon Knight’s jersey at every opportunity, despite said zealousness resulting in as many fouls as it did possession-kills. All that aside, a team-high 35 minutes, intelligent shot selection, and six dimes are nothing to scoff at.
@FuxWitLim: Iman Shumpert had 6 lousy fricking points???? Dude…I put money on him avg 10!!!! Smh
|Jared Jeffries, PF 21 MIN | 1-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +7
As much as I’d love to greenlight Jared Jeffries: Floor General for a couple hundred seasons, the budget — to say nothing of the stroke-inducing stress — is just way too rich for KnickerBlogger Studios’ blood. Jared Jeffries: Defensive Nuisance? I’d be willing to put in a lead actor courtesy call to Scott Bakula.
@netw3rk: The sound the Garden crowd makes when Jared Jeffries looks at the basket while holding the ball is amazing.
|Steve Novak, SF 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | +3
After his woeful off-the-bench performance in Houston, I was afraid Novak might show up to tonight’s game looking and acting like C. Montgomery Burns right after he built the Spruce Moose. YouTube it.
@ItsHiptoClip: Who would you rather have lunch with… Eric Piatkowski or Steve Novak?
|Renaldo Balkman, PF 6 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +3
Renaldo Balkman averaged 72 points, 12 rebounds and 12 steals per 48 minutes in this game. That’s either Strawberry Ice or AK-47. Book it.
|Toney Douglas, PG 20 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 4 PTS | +12
Like Shumpert, Douglas managed more than he performed in this one. And that’s totally acceptable – welcome, even. Like Fields – though not nearly to the same degree – Douglas finally appears to be showing signs of life. Which is really just another way of saying Bibby will probably be gnawing on his shoulder at practice tomorrow.
@Kingjaffejo_NYK: Jeremy Lin > Toney Douglas
|Jeremy Lin, PG 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS | +3
I received an inordinate number of tweets tonight regarding whether or not — check that: when — Jeremy Lin will get more burn. To which the answer is as simple as its caveat: Of course he does; and, knowing Mike D’Antoni, of course he won’t. One thing I will say: He and Balkman appear to have a weird kind of chemistry out on the floor. Remember kids: Who you sit next to in the rotation is important.
@BobSaietta: Breen said, “Jeremy Lin fills up the stat sheet.” Yeah, but an hour later, you’re hungry to fill it up again. #vaguelyracist #recap
Robert Silverman everyone!
|Jerome Jordan, C 6 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +5
A sick, twisted part of me wants Jerome Jordan to develop into an All-World Center who puts the entire Knicks organization on his back and carries us to seven championships in a row and we all buy Jordan jerseys and the whole thing just blows our minds because some of us have recurring nightmares where Michael Jordan suffocates us with a basketball.
@AntonioGil_SOSE: Jerome Jordan en pista… 5 minutos de morralla en el Garden.
|Bill Walker, SG 15 MIN | 4-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | 0
Bill Walker might be one of the few players in the universe capable of making an ostensibly efficient, disaster-free burn off the bench look – in real time – like Jackass bonus footage. Dude had five fouls in 15 minutes. That’s 16 fouls per 48. I just… THIS IS ME THROWING UP MY HANDS!!!!!!!
@ChlaMelo: Bill Walker just hit 2 of his 4 turnover moves back to back.
Five Things We Saw
- By now everyone’s been made privy to the fact that the Knicks – for all their offensive turd-wranglin’ – are a pretty decent defensive team. Aided by 20 Piston turnovers – 12 on steels, including five at the Venus Fly Trap hands of Landry Fields – the Knicks managed to turn their re-energized D into quick transition buckets. Perhaps the Orange and Blue can learn to tap at will into their inner Memphis Grizzlies, and make the savvy swipes and passing lane thievery we’ve seen of late a more pronounced hallmark going forward.
- Sometimes, when I’m by myself and bored, I like to print out color pictures of Greg Monroe and scrawl in crayon a Knicks jersey over the Pistons one. Such is the level of my juvenile, borderline-creepy jealousy vis-a-vis my hometown team’s rough-mined diamond. Many thought this would be the year the Detroit big and Georgetown gent would make the leap into the upper echelon of NBA centers. Thus far, that belief has largely been brought to bear — tonight’s relatively pedestrian stat line be damned. And I’m in no way saying that because I drafted him in the fourth round of my fantasy league and have taken to trying to write left handed just so I can be a little more like him…. In no way.
- I’ve never met them, but I imagine the psychological makeup of the Knicks Three Point Gods to lie somewhere on the spectrum between bi-polar and Gary Busey. The Knicks had it going from distance tonight, connecting on 9-18 and utilizing solid spacing and crisp passes to leave the relatively distance-inept Pistons in the dust.
- Before the clock struck garbage time, Mike D’Antoni had played eight players. Eight. Two days of rest aside, it seemed to this reporter that Lin, Jordan, Balkman, and Novak could’ve been summoned court-ward far earlier than they were. The Pistons are a bad, bad basketball team — there was no way they were coming back from a 24-point deficit, even given an entire quarter of Knick bricks and turnovers. Particularly in a condensed season, D’Antoni has to be smarter about how he manages his starter’s minutes. Take the guys out with the game in hand. If Detroit somehow cuts it to 12 or 10? Maybe then you throw your starters back in. Maybe. YOU’RE WELCOME, MIKE!
- By now, the effort / results deficit reflected in the ‘Bockers’ performance against teams that suck versus teams that don’t suck is glaringly obvious. It’s great to be able to put away bad teams early. But sooner or later the Knicks are going to have to prove they can defend, work the ball, and hit open shots as effectively against brass as they do birdshit.
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.