Torpid Reaction: Knicks 91, Cavaliers 75
|Carmelo Anthony, SF 33 MIN | 7-14 FG | 4-8 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | +10
As opposed to the past two games when ‘Melo was the be all and the end all of the Knicks’ offense, tonight he more or less picked his spots. Whether said subdued effort was do to the groin he re-re-tweaked last night in the ATL, we may never know. Still, the slap-happy deflections and bully-boy moves to the tin that have been the hallmark of his resurgence were all there tonight, if only in fits and spurts. Since we’ve all jumped down his throat this season for forcing shots, it’s only appropriate that we reward him for a more than solid Paul Pierce imitation.
|Landry Fields, G 22 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +6
There must be some obscure clause in the new CBA that requires one Knick bear the brunt of Knick fans’ dissatisfaction. So far this season, the crown of thorns has been passed from Toney to Melo and now rests firmly on Landry’s kinda pointy (literally. His head/hair gets a little Alice the Goon-y. This isn’t a Smart Kid/Stanford jibe) Son of Wood said definitively he’s not taking Landry out of the starting lineup, so we’ll all have plenty of time to rain 2 minutes’ hate from the rafters.
|Tyson Chandler, C 29 MIN | 3-4 FG | 8-11 FT | 12 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +7
Much better showing from Tyson tonight. Even though his numbers are more or less interchangeable with any other boffo Chandler outing during the season, like the rest of his cohorts, he looked a tad enervated. And Foster Friess actually pulled all of the funds from the SuperPAC (“Strong Defense, Strong America!”) backing Tyson’s Defensive Player of the Year campaign, stating: “DPOY’s don’t get schooled in the low post by the likes of Samardo Samuels. Tyson’s gotta get the aspirin out from between his knees if he wants my moolah. God bless!” One other thing, those back tips on offensive rebounds are so much fun, and if Tyson wasn’t a Knick, I’d be bald from pulling clumps of my hair out by the roots in frustration.
|Baron Davis, PG 29 MIN | 2-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 6 PTS | +6
I realize a back injury (let alone a barking hammy) is one helluva hindrance, but for the love of Pete Myers, I cannot for the life of me understand how a discombobulated spinal chord could travel all the way up to the cerebral cortex and throw such a kink into his cerebellum that he’ll commit gobs of mind-numbingly boneheaded mistakes. He’s the man now, and one can only hope that the turnovers will go down as he plays more with the starting five.
|Iman Shumpert, G 39 MIN | 3-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | +18
Even with Alan Houston’s Gandalf-esque mentorship, Iman’s shot went bye-bye tonight. Five swell steals, though, and with the foibles of Landry and Baron, As the great Jon Abbey stated, it’d be swell if he could play the point, shooting guard and small forward at the same time.
|Steve Novak, SF 23 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 5 PTS | -1
Ick. Who kidnapped our sweet, doe-eyed-yet-deadly three point shooter and replaced him with this slope-shouldered waste of DNA? That’s the first stinker from Novakaine in a while. He was rushing his looks in the first half and that seemed to throw him off his game for the rest of the…uh…game. It’d be nice to draw up a different play or two to free him up, because even an utterly inept a team like the Cavs have caught on to the “Curl off the back screen” thingy.
|J.R. Smith, SG 35 MIN | 8-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 2 AST | 20 PTS | +19
How stats don’t tell the full story part deux: To the casual observer thumbing through the morning paper. Wait…does anyone get box scores from the tabloids aside from me? Just me, really? K. I mean, I buy my copy to read whilst I take my morning constitutional and discuss affairs of the sporting world with my haberdasher or at the millinery shoppe, What, good sir? You do not possess a good, sturdy Cavanaugh hat? Balderdash! A hat is a flag, a shield, a bit of armor, and the badge of masculinity. A hat calls attention to an escaping curl, a tawny braid, a sprinkling of freckles over a pert nose, directing the eye to what is most unique about a face. Its curves emphasize a shining pair of eyes, a lofty forehead; its deep brim accentuates the pale tint of a cheek, creates an aura of handsomeness, suggests a mystery that awakens curiosity in the onlooker. A piece of magic is a hat!
Sorry, where was I? Anyhoo…if you looked at his line, you might be smitten with Mister Earl. Granted, his flurry in the fourth certainly helped put down this broken down horse of a game faster than the HBO execs did with “Luck.” That’s all well and good, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player with so many athletic gifts and so little idea how to properly deploy said gifts.
|Toney Douglas, PG 10 MIN | 2-5 FG | 1-1 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +5
I say this: Anyone who wasn’t rooting like a fiend for poor Toney tonight is a soulless, heartless bastid! Aside from the whole, “Please be a decent backup PG so we don’t have to hook the electrodes up to bring Mike Bibby back from the great beyond every night — the electric bill alone is bankrupting Cablevision,” thing, it’s nigh-impossible not to feel for Douglas, who went from starting point guard to end of the bench afterthought in a New York minute. In a season with more whiplash-inducing 180 degree narrative turns than a direct-to-video M. Night Shyamalan cinematic opus, it looks like he could carve out a decent role in the last 13 games. Tonight was a mixed bag — we saw a few of the aimless dribbling forays to parts unknown, one nifty finish at the rim and a tight 15-foot jumper (Drink! Well, not me, but y’all can go right ahead). He sat for most of the second half, which doesn’t bode too well, but hopefully Coach won’t take anyone’s play tonight as indicative of their overall skillz.
|Jerome Jordan, C 1 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +1
|Josh Harrellson, F 19 MIN | 1-4 FG | 6-8 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 8 PTS | +9
Pushing around the likes of Semi Erden (let alone Full Erden. Get it? I’ll show myself out…) isn’t a display of brute force that makes the ladies swoon, but regardless, this was Jorts’ finest outing since he returned from the (packed tighter than the Tokyo subway during rush hour) Knicks injury list.
Five Things We Saw
- So yeah. No more Lin-based punz for us. Saddest face ever. Alas, like Elizabeth Kubler-Ross explained, there are Five Stages to the Acceptance of Grief.
1. Denial — “He tore what? This is a premature April Fool’s joke. This can’t be happening, not to Jeremy. It’ll cause the entire t-shirt industry to go into a massive recession.
2. Anger — “It’s not fair! We lost STAT and Jared and Melo’s stil hurt and Baron is gimpy and…and…this is D’Antoni’s fault! He said he’d ride Lin like Secretariat but that Eye-Tye rode him like Barbaro and now he’s off to the glue factory! Get Seal Team Six to storm every cafe between Firenze and Milano till we drag the swine back to the states by his wispy pathetic ‘stache to be tarred, feathered and hung naked by his toes at center court like Mussolini so old ladies wearing Dave DeBusschere throwbacks can spit at him!”
3. Bargaining — “Give Jeremy Lin my knee. I only use it on weekends.”
4. Depression — “What’s the point? (no pun intended). This team is screwed. We weren’t getting out of the first round anyway. This just avoids delaying the inevitable/getting my hopes up.”
5. Acceptance — “It’s going to be okay. I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it. Maybe Baron’ll pick up his game and Toney’s got some of that ’10-’11 magic left and Jared Jeffries will be back soon. Heck if they make the 2nd round, he might play anyway. I’ve got an idea! Marbury! What about Ste….”
OK. THAT’S TOO MUCH. STOP. MEME. STOP MEME. BAD MEME. NO ONE WOULD DARE SUGGEST SUCH A REDONKULOUS THING. And since it took me eons to write tonight’s recap, on cue, Marbs’ BFF, Herr Berman contacted him using the sooper-secret vaseline-smeared Starbury phone ($13.99 retail at Steve and Barry’s) to see if he’d be willing to come back.
Sweet fancy Moses, there are metronomes less predictable than that Thing-esque hack. He (almost) deserves whatever mean girl bile Isola twitter-flings at him.
- For anyone (like me) who actually sat through tonight’s game, I apologize wholeheartedly. Between the Knicks going through stages 4-5 on the court and the Cavs without the ephebic Kyrie Irving/entering full-blown tank mode. It was like watching two of my relatives staring at the final crab puff on the hors d’oeuvre table…
MYRTLE: You take it. I couldn’t eat another bite.
TRUDY: Oh please, I must’ve had five already. I look like such a pig.
MYRTLE: What are you talking about? Look at you, you’re like a stick you’re so thin
TRUDY: Och. This dress makes me look bloated. I hate this dress why did I wear this dress. You, you’re the skinny one.
MYRTLE: Oh stop it…
(Ed. note: I have no relatives actually named Myrtle and/or Trudy. They’re just funny, Jew-y names. And I always eat the last Crab puff.) As Teddy KGB said, the Cavs just kept “Chthanging around, chthanging around.” and even though the Knicks weren’t much better than they were v. Atlanta, they gobbled enough rebounds and played enough D (or were lucky enough to be covering the likes of Donald Sloan) to slog through to victory. But talk about winning ugly. If I had attended, I’d demand a refund. Or at least call the cops and demand that both teams be arrested for impersonating professional basketball players.
- In the midst of this bleak, desolate, post-nuclear dystopia, Clyde dug deep into the endangered species bin of what I can only assume is a walk-in closet whose square footage dwarfs that of some lesser-known Eastern European former Soviet Satellite/Third World nations and donned this…
With these COBRA-skinned booties…
That’s stylin’ and profilin’ all right. He also mentioned tonight that Anthony Parker’s late-career developing ability to create his own shot reminds him of Ray Allen. Sure, in the sense that they’re both carbon-based life forms. And now that his hash house is having its grand opening tomorrow, Clyde referred to himself as, “A Restauranteur, AN Entrepreneur, A Connoisseur — a Renaissance Man!” I can’t believe he left out An Amateur, A Farceur, A Chauffeur, A Monsieur, A Raconteur, A Provocateur or even A Green Douglas Fir, A Coffee Liqueur, and A Buffalo Bur. I loves me some Clyde.
- You know, brutal rash of injuries notwithstanding, the quality of play this season has honestly been better than expected. What’s been far, FAR worse is the three blind mice with whistles, the refs. I realize i have been known to unleash a torrent of curses that’d make a sailor blush when faced with the blatant bias that our ‘Bockers seem to face on a nightly bases from the arbiters, but tonight wasn’t a question of getting screwed — both teams ended up dumbly staring at some astoundingly bad calls. I don’t know it’s the condensed schedule or what, but it’s a league-wide problem. They may have to start harvesting cells to clone a legion of new Dick Bavettas.
- As Owen stated in the game thread, when Casspi, Walton, Hudson, Sloan and Erdeh were on the floor for the Cavs, it looked like a casting call for extras in the Will Farrell vehicle, Semi-Pro. “Hey, these guys are tall. So what if they can’t play. They really just need to squeeze into a pair of nut-huggers and don a goofy afro/’stache combo anyway. Sign ‘em up! Now, where are we going to put Tim Meadows? I dunno, he’s got photos of Ferrell in a skimpy policewoman outfit wielding an eggbeater. I don’t even want to know what Tom Brokaw was doing. He was grinning like a Cheshire cat and holding like, a giant zucchini. (shudder) So yeah, Meadows needs a part.” To paraphrase Getrude Stein, a win is a win is a win, but I don’t think anyone’s doing cartwheels. Tough stretch coming up now. The only bright side to all this is that expectations have been reduced to zero. I was chatting with Jim Cavan when D’Antoni was fired. We both mused about how it couldn’t get any worse and I babbled something like, “Well, here’s how it could get worse. Lin could blow out his knee.” I don’t know whether the KB readership is in the Freudian school — to name your fear is to take away it’s power — or the Christian Scientist — to name your fear is to actualize it — but if it’s the latter, blame me. And yet, like Beckett’s tramps, we go on. A la prochain, mes gars.
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.