From Marc Berman:
With all due respect, the Knicks saw what a true-blue MVP candidate looked like.
The Knicks didn’t do much in Denver on Wednesday other than to put the unofficial crown on Nuggets’ center Nikola Jokic as the NBA’s next MVP in getting routed 113-97 at Ball Arena.
The Knicks (37-29) haven’t won in the Mile High City since 2006, and they always deny altitude is the issue. But something’s in the air.
In the first quarter alone, Jokic crushed the Knicks inside, outscoring them 24-12 on the way to 32 points in 29 minutes.
It was embarrassing performance, but maybe the Knicks were due for a lethargic stinker after coming in on a 12-1 spree.
As great as Jokic has been the last three seasons, he had never previously scored 24 in the opening frame, and the Knicks trailed 34-12. It was their lowest-scoring first quarter of the season.
Not that the Knicks losing out is going to happen, but their final six games are beyond rough — with the Suns, Clippers and Lakers on the road before closing out at home against the Spurs, Hornets and Celtics.
Adding insult to injury, Austin Rivers, in the Nuggets rotation after his falling out with Tom Thibodeau and messy exit, exacted revenge as he drilled six 3-pointers on nine attempts. He finished with a season-high 25 points in 28 minutes. Rivers also had words with Randle late in the game.
Okay, I guess I shouldn’t have been so confident, but damn, man, they had just smoked the Grizzlies! I was not expecting them to just get embarrassed like this. However, you know the Knicks are playing well when even Marc freakin’ Berman is basically giving them a mea culpa, but I think it’s deserved. If you win 12 out of 13, you are allowed to have one fall on your face game.
Rivers getting his “revenge” against the Knicks is so stupid. They could have kept him parked on the bench if they felt like it. They let him go out and sign with a good team. So what the heck is he mad at them about? And why would he be mad at Randle? So weird.
Anyhow, that sucked, but they’ve been playing so well that I’m still (perhaps unreasonably) optimistic about Friday’s game. The Hawks just stomped the Suns, so it can be done!
By the way, earlier, I wasn’t keeping track of the Celtics game but I checked Twitter and “Mo Bamba” was trending and I was pumped, but then I saw it was because he had a great game…in a Celtics blowout. Booo, Twitter, boooooooo!
But again, bad loss, but nothing to be too concerned about.