This Knick victory, 151-146 over the Detroit Pistons, is the kind of game that the Knicks have been striving for – a win against a good team where the Knicks never felt like they were outclassed. It never felt like it was a shock that they were in the game. It felt natural. This is what we all want to see – not necessarily a win (although wins are great), but just the feeling of “It is not a surprise if the Knicks beat these guys.”
It’s a good feeling. I hope it continues.
As for the game, WOW, what a game! It’s amazing how the suspensions really have alerted Zeke to the idea that, hey, what do you know? The Knicks three best players all happen to be forwards and/or centers…maybe they should be on the court more often!! As KB has pointed out before (or was it Dave? Oh well, one of those two fellas…hehe), one of the best things about the suspensions is that Thomas literally CANNOT go to a three-guard lineup anymore, because he doesn’t have the manpower for it, and as a result, the Knicks end up having a BETTER lineup because of it!
Jared Jeffries steps back into the starting lineup, although Thomas’ explanation for it was kinda creepy, “I don’t want a guy penalized and lose his starting spot for protecting a teammate in a fight,” Thomas said, “You can’t punish them for that.” It’s not like the guy missed four games because he took a bullet for Mardy Collins. Weird. Anyhow, it is a bit of a shame, as David Lee once again looked awesome when he was on the court (although he was getting burned on the glass just as much as Frye, Curry and Jeffries – the Knicks are a good rebounding team with this lineup, but they were just flatout SMOKED on the glass by Detroit. It was embarrassing, really).
Marbury was amazing, especially making all three free throws. I really loved his game. John Hollinger recently wrote about “presents” for each of the league’s bad teams, and his “present” for the Knicks was to play Marbury less. I really disagree with him on that point. His position seemed to be that, since Marbury had a lower PER than the other Knick guards, the other guards should play over him. That sounds reasonable enough, but that’s like saying that, since Channing Frye had a lower PER than Malik Rose in the beginning of the season, Rose should play over Frye. Marbury should not be playing as poorly as his PER has been for this season, and I think these past few games have shown him coming into form again. Although, with Francis getting healthier, I can’t be the only one who is scared about what his return means to the team.
Jamal Crawford – wow, isn’t he so much cooler when he is taking 16-18 foot jumpers? And with the Knicks down four, who else was astonished that he drove for the hoop and the harm? I know I sure was – but it was pretty unbelievably awesome. Almost as awesome as him passing to Frye for the game-tying bucket.
Speaking of Frye, it sure is good to have the good Frye back again. But man, is it REALLY that much harder to hit a 22-foot jumper instead of a 20-foot jumper? If he could add the three to his repertoire…wow, look out!
Curry looked pretty good, as well. And how awesome was it to see him make the free throw to put them up one in the third OT?
I remember being really pissed off that the Pistons kept getting the ball into Rip (who was freaking unbelievable tonight) and Billups’ hands for free throws, but I felt pretty silly when Billups then missed one…hehe.
Anyhow, great win, and while the Knicks still need to play some better defense, this current lineup has been a real revelation, and it is almost getting to the point where I would not be surprised if you told me “Knicks over Suns” early Saturday morning.
Okay, I guess we’re not really THERE yet…but it looks like they’re on the way.
P.S. How sad is it that I’m scoreboard watching in late December? And is it sadder when the team I’m scoreboard watching is all of 13-16?