With a surprising win over the Heat yesterday, the Atlanta Hawks mercifully euthanized the Knicks’ playoff lives, rendering this game meaningless. Seeing as how this Knicks season was as surreal as the best of Buñuel, the Knicks would win this pointless match by double digits. Being the main director of this absurd season, Woodson felt like the future of the Knicks would be best served by playing Shumpert, Amare, Chandler and Felton each over 30 minutes in this game that has no bearing on anything at all, rather than play those young bench players and seeing if they deserve a larger role in the future.
No doubt, Carmelo would also have played more than his 29 minutes if he didn’t get his 4th foul early om the 3rd quarter, despite his constant clutching and flexing of his right shoulder. If a guy hurts his shoulder in a game, and more than a week later is still grimacing every time he he needs to use it, then there is probably something seriously wrong with that shoulder. Ignoring the problem isn’t going to help, and now that the Knicks’ playoff hopes are officially dashed, maybe that shoulder should be checked out. Who am I, to tell such a prestigious organization how to handle their business, though? I’m just the guy giving out grades tonight.
|Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 34 MIN | 5-8 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +7
In his halftime interview Amar’e said he was back to his dominant self. Also, before the game, he said that “on paper” the Knicks had the most talented team in the league. While it is very possible that Amar’e got a contact high from using the same towel as J.R., it doesn’t change the fact that he’s been playing very well on the offensive side for the past couple months. He was solid, if underutilized, again today, but it is really frustrating to see him ignore everyone on the court whenever he gets the ball in the post. Amare may in fact be the anti-Noah. No defense, no passing, mediocre rebounding, but versatile and effective offense.
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 28 MIN | 7-13 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 17 PTS | +5
To reiterate: Get this man an MRI! It seemed like every time the camera turned Melo-ward, he was grabbing at his shoulder. While’s it’s completely pointless to keep running him out there, it’s impressive that he is still so effective.
|Tyson Chandler, C 30 MIN | 0-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 1 PTS | +10
The Bulls were packing the paint, but it’s still a tad disconcerting that they didn’t at least try to get Tyson involved in the offense. To remind his fellow ‘Bockers that he was, in fact, still on the court, Tyson resorted to murdering Mike Dunleavy Jr. when he tried to set a pick. That’s what Mike Duleavy Jr. gets for having a face that Tyson doesn’t like. Then again, in Tyson’s defense, very people like Mike Dunleavy Jr.’s stupid Dunleavy-ish face.
|Raymond Felton, PG 36 MIN | 5-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +3
It’s possible that Ray is begging for this opportunity to show that he is a capable NBA player and that by fighting through what looked like a nasty turned ankle, he thinks he’s earning a few brownie points (Get it? Because Ray likes food? Let’s move on…) with the new administration. That’s one reason to explain his 36 minutes tonight, but really, at this point in his career, Ray is a known quantity. He is a mediocre point guard at best that struggles with his conditioning. Why not give a good chunk of these minutes to Toure’ Murry? Oh right. Because Woodson.
|J.R. Smith, SG 22 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | +9
J.R. was bombing away from 3 again today, and helped build the biggest lead of the game. It’s possible that J.R. doesn’t realize that the Knicks are out of the playoffs. It’s also possible that J.R. has never bothered to understand the concept of “playoffs” and just travels around with the team and plays without any knowledge of the consequences of the games. J.R, may in fact be the most enlightened Knick on the roster, living life completely in the present, holding on tightly and letting go lightly, Ram Dass-style. After a truly depressing year, it’s better to hope for the possibility of a spiritual awakening in our conscience-free gunner(s), as opposed to say, zero fucks given.
|Jeremy Tyler, PF 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2
They cut Chris Smith for this guy??? That is the biggest outrage of the season (aside from all the others)!
|Cole Aldrich, C 18 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 3 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +1
It’s pretty obvious that Cole is a very good rebounder, a capable rim protector, and hilariously clumsy, yet efficient, on offense. This is a guy that should have been getting 15-20 minutes a night all season. All of us have been saying this all the way back to when Tyson broke his leg, if not earlier. We have been vindicated. We are all so very smart. We all get A’s!
|Pablo Prigioni, PG 12 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 3 PTS | +6
Not much of a showing from Prigs. This is another guy who you don’t really need to see more of to know what you have, so I’m not complaining about the 12 minutes. Prigs should definitely have a role with this team going forward, if he wants it.
|Iman Shumpert, SG 32 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +8
When Shumpert is playing hard, he is probably the most fun to watch player on the team, as evidenced by his tomahawk throwdown late in the 2nd quarter that started a nice run by the Knicks. Lets all hope that Shump’s lack of development the past couple years had more to do with his role on the team and/or the coaching staff, the front office, etc., than him hitting his ceiling.
|Toure’ Murry, SG 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +2
Yeah, I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Unless equalling the 37-win mark predicted by that blasted SCHOENE doohickey is really a pressing motivation, Toure’ should be playing major minutes. The other option is that Woodson’s just trolling all of us, which…yep. That’s it. #TrollWoodson.
|Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 27 MIN | 5-12 FG | 8-8 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 20 PTS | +2
Hardaway has had a solid rookie year. He is a textbook definition of a one dimensional player at this point of his career, but at least that dimension has been above average. The 3 steals were nice to see, though.
It seems like Woodson hasn’t faced the inevitable and still believes he can save his job by winning games. Maybe he actually believes the crazy ish that comes out of his mouth, like how the Bargnani injury really hurt the team. I mean, he can’t really think that’s true, right? RIGHT, YOU GUYS? WHERE ARE YOU GOING?