NY Post: Derrick Rose carries Knicks to sensational win over Clippers with playoffs in sight

From Marc Berman:

The Knicks usually struggle when Julius Randle struggles. But not when Derrick Rose plays like an MVP — and not when they get 3-point marksmanship from Reggie Bullock.

In the final regular-season home game for the Clippers, the Knicks spoiled the Sunday-matinee party with a resounding and sensational 106-100 victory before 2,578 relatively passive fans at Staples Center.

The victory means the magic number to solidify a Top 6 finish and clinch their first playoff berth since 2013 is two. With four games to play, the Knicks (38-30) moved three games ahead of seventh-place Boston.

With the Celtics playing before them Tuesday night, the Knicks could take the court against the Lakers knowing a win would end the seven-year playoff drought and end any notion of being in the play-in event.

Coming off the bench for a struggling Elfrid Payton, Rose carried the Knicks (38-30) on his shoulders with a spectacular first half. Rose finished with 25 points and eight assists in 31 minutes.

I’m sorry for missing the game, folks. Mother’s Day stuff. Thank you to Owen for putting up the game thread! Looks like I missed an amazing game. The magic number of clinching at least a #6 seed is just two, but why accept the #6 seed when they can easily get the #4 seed? Just beat the fucking Lakers on Tuesday!

NY Post: Knicks ripped by Suns in front of boisterous Phoenix crowd

From Marc Berman:

This was the first time all pandemic season the Knicks played in front of a real, live, half-packed, hostile crowd.

They didn’t handle it well. They blew a seven-point lead late in the third quarter. Taj Gibson and Julius Randle later lost their composure. And the powerhouse Suns routed the Knicks, 128-105, before a boisterous crowd of 8,063 — the NBA season’s largest — at Talking Stick Arena on Friday night.

Despite the loss, the Knicks (37-30) are still half-game ahead of the Hawks in the battle for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

All the frustration of the Knicks’ collapse boiled over midway through the fourth quarter when Gibson went after Chris Paul while the Suns guard was bringing the ball up-court. Gibson body-checked Paul to the floor like it was hockey, with seven minutes left.

Gibson was called for a flagrant foul, and Paul jawed with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau over the infraction.

“It was a physical play,’’ Gibson said. “I talked to Chris. When you’ve played so many years, you know everybody on the job by first name. It was nothing personal it’s completion. It was a stupid foul on my end. I got to be better.’’

The more important thing is that the Celtics lost to the Bulls (can you imagine how frustrating it must be to trade for a star player to pair with your own star player and then see your star player go on the COVID list for 11 games? The Bulls are like night and day now that LaVine is back), so the Knicks’ chances of avoiding the play-in game went up despite this loss. This lowers their chances at maintaining the #4 seed, but A. Who the heck knows, right? The Hawks still have to win their games and as we’ve seen, the Knick opponents seem to lose games to some weird ass opponents while the Knicks tend to only lose to legitimately superior teams to them and B. The Knicks might still win the next two games, in which case, they’ll be in great shape.

But yeah, tough loss, no doubt about it. Hopefully they rebound on Sunday.

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Suns – Time To Ensure a Road Trip Split!

The Knicks head to Phoenix, where the Hawks kicked the Suns’ ass, so the Knicks really need to do the same. A win here guarantees at least a 3-3 road trip, which would pretty much assure them of avoiding the play-in game (they already have really good odds of avoiding the play-in game).

Come on, Derrick Rose, pretend that it’s Memphis!

Let’s go, assure at least a 3-3 road trip, Knicks!

NY Post: Knicks no match for Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

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.

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Nuggets – Difficult Road Trip? What Difficult Road Trip?

The Knicks made a major statement in the second game of this nominally difficult west coast road trip by stomping the Memphis Grizzlies, and so they now come into Denver on fire, especially Derick Rose, who is on a hot streak we haven’t seen from him in, like, nine years!

Julius Randle was dominant, as well, of course, as per usual.

So while Denver is also playing very well despite losing their ostensible second star player, Jamal Murray, so don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to undersell how tough this game will be, but dang, man, Memphis was supposed to at least be sort of a challenge and they stomped them, so forgive me for being overly excited about the Knicks’ chances tonight.

Come on, Knicks, make them regret ever fleecing you on the Melo trade, get this win!

For some good vibes, check out this classic Knick victory in Denver…

Let’s go, decade-late revenge-for-Melo game!

NY Post: Red-hot Knicks roll with blowout win over Grizzlies

From Marc Berman:

It was a hot and humid May afternoon in Memphis.

But at night, nothing is hotter than the Knicks.

The Knicks didn’t have their starting center Nerlens Noel, and Alec Burks was making a return from a long COVID-19 absence, but the Knicks’ freight train rolled a season-high 44-point second quarter en route to a 118-104 blowout of the Grizzlies on Monday at FedExForum.

The hero was backup point guard Derrick Rose, who didn’t just display his MVP form of 10 years ago but looked like he was back at the University of Memphis leading the Tigers to the national championship game.

With some fans wearing his old “23’’ blue college jersey, Rose’s jump shot never looked truer and he hit three driving baskets down the stretch to finish off Memphis and finish with a season-high 25 points.

“Memphis always has a special place in my heart,’’ Rose said.

In a stretch of excellent wins, this was possibly their best win. Well…hmm…this one or the Mavericks one. Anyways, the key thing is that this was an excellent win. Stupid Hawks had to beat the Trailblazers, though, which was a pain in the ass, but still, this win was huge.

2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Grizzlies: The Road Trip Continues!

The Knicks’ recent stunning string of success really started with their amazing comeback against the Memphis Grizzlies, where the Grizzlies choked like crazy in the fourth quarter and the Knicks capitalized with some amazing clutch shots. That set them on an amazing hot streak that pretty much continues to this day.

Since then, the Grizzlies have sputtered a bit, coming into tonight’s game just a game over .500. Repeating their success against them would be a big boon for the Knick in locking up the #4 seed.

Let’s go, get that #4 seed, Knicks!