“The Miserable Have No Other Medicine But Only Hope” — William Shakespeare: Spurs 118, Knicks 115
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 38 MIN | 12-24 FG | 0-1 FT | 2 REB | 3 AST | 27 PTS | -11
You know the old Mark Twain axiom: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”? (It was actually Benjamin Disraeli’s line, but he’s like my third favorite British Prime Minister. William Pitt the Elder, mofos!) Well, now there are four kinds – Lies, damned Lies, Statistics and Carmelo Anthony’s boxscore from tonight’s game. If an alien came to our fair planet and perused the local paper to see how the ‘Bockers were doing, it might appear to said alien that Melo played well. He did not. The abominable ISO-ball that was the Knicks’ modus opperandi and we so loathed pre-Lin returned with a soul-crushing, enervating vengeance. I screamed at one point: THOSE CUTTERS THAT ARE WIDE OPEN. YOU CAN THROW THEM THE BALL. YOU’LL GET IT BACK LATER, I SUPER-PROMISE.
I was really pulling for Melo to have a good game tonight, but alas, he’s so close to following the pariah path that A-Rod has so bravely blazed, it ain’t even funny. Ugh
|Amare Stoudemire, PF 38 MIN | 6-12 FG | 6-7 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 18 PTS | -21
Not to sound like a broken record, but if you’d rather not read something very similar to the above, stop now. Some strong moves and a solid enough line, but the defense…I think he’s getting worse, if that’s even possible.
|Josh Harrellson, F 22 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +8
I really hope Josh unleashed one of his patented combination boar jerky/Ale-8 silent but deadly burners, because he didn’t do much else to affect the evening’s outcome . I suppose there were one or two moments of vaguely competent post defense and boarding, but sniffing it out would be like trying to pinpoint the specific odor of his flatulence in a sea of rotting pickled eggs and decomposing Sasquatch dung.
|Jeremy Lin, PG 30 MIN | 7-15 FG | 4-5 FT | 3 REB | 4 AST | 20 PTS | -12
Christ, I’m getting as repetitive as a Meisner exercise…
ME: Lin’s stat line is better than he played
YOU; Lin’s stat line is better than he played?
ME: Yes, the stat line is better than he played.
YOU: Okay. Yes, the stat line is better than he played.
ME: That’s what I said, the stat line is better than he played!
YOU: Why are you getting mad?
ME: Why am I getting mad!
Some poubelle-time threes improved his final line, but Jeremy Lin (or at least the player that began this evidently short-lived fad called Linsanity) was nowhere to be found as the game started to get away from the Knicks, which by any rational assessment was two minutes before tip-off when that cos-play/Furry-con reject of a mascot the Spurs employ started gallivanting around the court. He’s picking up his dribble and having trouble finding a balance between creating his own shot and getting others involved. Mr. Harvard looks like he’s thinking out there, and while that’s a solid game plan for acing an Organic Chemistry test, on the court it’s like mixing potassium permanganate with glycerol in an exothermic reaction. Bad. Explosively bad.
|Iman Shumpert, G 29 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 2 PTS | -7
TONY: J’ai entendu qu’il y est un grand défenseur. Son nom est Shump
ROBERT: Oui. C’est vraie
TONY: Ah ouais? Je vais baiser sa mère dans le cul!
Loosely translated, it means Tony Parker sorely disabused young Mr. Shumpert (and all of us) of the notion that he’s already an ELITE ™ on-ball defender. In time, sure, but tonight? Ow.
|Baron Davis, PG 22 MIN | 0-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 8 AST | 0 PTS | +3
I have a theory. When they renovated MSG, they discovered a Native American Burial Ground. Like a seriously sacred, Poltergeist-level burial ground where they disposed of all the victims in Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee. Dolan was brought in but the Knicks Grand Poobah said, “Eff ‘em. Put a Shake Shack on top of that shiznitt!” I have this theory because bad things keep happening to every sentient being that dares to play PG for the Knicks this season: Bibby, Toney, Shump, and even Lin. Something evil is killing them. And it’s hungry for more…
|Steve Novak, SF 17 MIN | 1-3 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -10
Not much from dear, cuddly, deadly Mr. White tonight. Save for those delicious moments when he was guarding Matt Bonner and vice versa. For a few, fleeting moments, a grin curled around my lips as a series of race-based puns crawled out of the turgid, awful basketball-benumbed nether-regions of my cerebellum…
1. BLINDED BY THE WHITE.
2. WHITE LINES…VISION DREAMS OF PASSION…BLOWING THROUGH MY MIND…AND ALL THE WHILE I DREAM OF YOU
3. WHITE ON WHITE CRIME
4. AND THIS PAINTING
|J.R. Smith, SG 22 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 18 PTS | -9
J.R. Smith’s long range game appears to be back. So that’s something. Right? Anyone here? Hello? I’d like to leave now. I’m scared and alone. Mommy? Hello?
|Landry Fields, G 21 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -6
His tuchus newly peppered with bench-born splinters, Landry moved well without the ball and actually hit a couple of outside shots for the first time since the Millard Fillmore administration. So there’s that.
|Tyson Chandler, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS |
No, I didn’t fall off the wagon. I realize Tyson was out, but I think Tyson Chandler (and Jared Jeffries) both earned a few MVP votes tonight. Someone send them to Germany for that undifferentiated tissue or whatever that Kobe and Dirk slather on their rusty joints, ASAP. He’s their most irreplaceable player. Period.
Five Things We Saw
- A sight-deprived, slightly mentally disabled child with rampant ADD who spent the entire game banging two pots together could properly assess what went wrong tonight. The Knicks SUCKED on D. They defended in a manner resembling a skinny jean-wearing, clinically disaffected, painfully detailed scruffy hair and wan beard, louche hipster, an American Spirit dangling from their churlish lips, can of PBR in their hand, shrugging with self-obsessed ennui and muttering, “Whatever” as every single Spur (but especially Tony Parker) trotted to the rim with impunity. And close out on a shooter or dive for a loose ball? “Hustle ain’t cool, dude. Pfft. I’m going to Union Pool.””Please, that place is soooo 2004.” “Totally played out.” Wait. Where was I? I got lost in a cloud of oh-so-trendy anhedonia there for a sec. It’s very addictive! Oh yeah. BOO. BAD. AWFUL EFFORT.
- T.J. Ford’s fall looked nasty. Early word is he’s okay, thank [insert deity]. Funny story, when I was in Clown Grad School in Paris. Take a moment to mock me. I did in fact have a graduate degree in clowning. M.A. Clown. It’s true. IT’S A LOT COOLER THAN IT SOUNDS. So I was in an acrobatics class and we were working on a standing back handspring and two of my fellow students (both female) were spotting me. Anyhoo, I was about to jump backwards when something amusing happened in the other corner of the studio and, like a bad Three’s Company bit, both my spotters dropped their hands to look at it. I was already in mid-jump, alas, and so I cam crashing down on the back of my neck. For a second there, I had no idea where I was or what happened but the teacher came over and said, “Robert! No, no, no. You are far too fat for these small delicate women.” (For all their Liberte, Egalite shizznit, the French attitude towards the sexes is remarkably un-progressive). So there I was, stunned, in some serious pain, and a Frenchman is calling me fat. Funny! That’s what I thought of when Ford tumbled to the floor. I’m glad he’s okay. And I’m even more pleased that Tony Parker didn’t run over and call him fatty, fat-fat.
- One other moment of jejune absurdity came when F. Murray Abraham…um, I mean Popovich lost his bits with the Spurs up 24 at the beginning of the 4th. For those who missed out on the MSG broadcast, Clyde Frazier, that notable wordsmith/sporting historian proclaimed, “When I was playing, when a guy got ejected like that it was because he had a hot date. He’s a married man. Where’s he going?” Heh. Good times. While we’re here, I’d really like to sit Clyde down and explain that a “Vacillating pace,” doesn’t mean what he thinks it does. Vacillating would indicate extreme changes in tempo. Clyde thinks it means, “Going back and forth very quickly.” He’s literally thinking of an old oscilloscope or something. Just bugs me. But to finish up with Coach Moon Crater Face, I can GUARANTEE that you’ll be reading many, many articles or tweets from the wags about “That’s how a REAL coach reacts. Not like that female reproductive organ, D’ANPHONY. AMIRITE?” Don’t be that guy, Team KB. You’re better than that. This past week has sucked enough hirsute male reproductive organs already. Don’t make it worse by getting drawn into that false, pointless meme.
- d mention the fact that once again, every questionable call seemed to go against the Knicks, but that’d be like talking about the Hindenburg crash and complaining that the in-flight snacks were awful.
- I have another theory. You wanna hear it? Kay. I mean anything is preferable to reading more about tonight’s execrable effort. Hope is the last refuse of the powerless. Yeah, Shakespeare said it first (See above title. His version’s better) but who remembers Measure for Measure anyway? What I do remember is the good ol’ days. Last month. Last year. Last lifetime. When the Knicks were fun to watch and dreams of playoff relevancy danced in our heads like so much St. Elmo’s Fire. Well, that dream’s pulled a serious Keyser Soze and vanished. This team gave us hope. And the fact that said hope feels like it never was there to begin with makes these recent games feel even more like an undeserved sucker punch to the gut. It hurts. I hurt. I’d say, “It’ll get better. They need time to gel. Rome wasn’t built in a day.” or some other pablum, but maybe hope is the last thing we need.
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.