Hey fellas, it’s Eddie Mush up here in the Bronx. I thought maybe we would have a good start, me and Knickerblogger. Sonny told me to stay away, that me writing here would lead to no good, but I had a good feeling this time, ya know, I really did.
They call me Eddie Mush because everything I touch turns to mush. They say at the track, the teller would give me my tickets already ripped up. But it’s not a fair shake, fellas. It wasn’t my fault this time. The boys just didn’t show up.
I’ve had wins. A few years ago I was going hard on the Nuggets, ya know, the last time they were worth a damn. Well their coach, George Karl, he had this rule where the ball had to get into the paint every trip down. Only after the ball got in the paint could someone shoot. It made his guys aggressive, and I wasn’t Eddie Mush that season, trust me, ya know, I was all over that Denver team. The fellas, they don’t see the wins, only the losses.
Well anyway, the Knicks offense tonight was the opposite of that Denver team. They passed the ball around the outside, into the high post and into the corner. No pick and rolls, no drives to the rack, just that bullshit triangle and midrange jumper after midrange jumper. And these guys couldn’t buy a bucket. Not the rookie, not Arron, not Carmelo. I mean, c’mon, get deep in the post. Melo, Arron, these guys had good matchups to get to the rack! I mean you have this kid, Porzingis, he can shoot, he can do it all, but they don’t get him in the pick and roll. This system, this coach… ya know, I just dunno about ’em.
So anyway, the Jazz get cooking from 3 early, then Burks and Hayward and Burke are flying to the hoop and dropping dimes to Favors and they’re getting easy buckets. Utah ran simple stuff, high pick and rolls, ya know, nothing crazy, but the big guys didn’t show and the smaller guys didn’t try to get through the screens and it was just a disaster. I mean, Utah had ZERO turnovers in the first half. After Hayward canned his 4th 3 of the 1st quarter, I’m no lipreader, but I think I saw him say to Melo, “now you’s can’t leave.” And the beatdown was on.
The Knicks got it below 20 for about 8 seconds in the third quarter, but the whole second half was just garbage time and not worth talking about. This kid O’Quinn, who I thought was off the team, got some minutes, fought for some offensive boards, gave some hard fouls… I liked that. He’s a city kid and plays like it. Gotta get him in the game more instead of that soft French guy. This other guy Sasha, I don’t know about him, with the girly name and the long hair, but he played ok. He’s over the hill and I know he won’t be here for a long time, but the guy plays hard and has a clue, which is more than that kid Grant can say. He just looks lost half the time. So there’s a few minutes left and this kid Sasha, the pretty boy, he gets trucked by this guy Hood on Utah. It’s a cheap shot on a fast break, ya know, a drive-by Molotov cocktail, and Hood gets kicked out of the game. The pretty boy just brushes it off but if it was me, one word to Johnny Whispers and Hood wouldn’t be makin it on the bus after the game, you can believe that.
So Sonny threw me in the bathroom after the first quarter, it’s not fair, ya know, but he’s the boss, nothing i can do. So it’s like hell for two hours, my squad is getting torn apart, and I gotta watch the game on LeaguePass with the Utah announcers. This guy Matt Harpring, I mean, he must’ve had to change pants five times the way he was carrying on. Show some professionalism, guy.
Anyway, the kid Porzingis, tough game tonight, 13 minutes, 2-8 for 4 points. He needs to eat some meatballs, get stronger so he can get some easier buckets in the paint on nights like tonight, but he’s gonna be great. So real quick, Sonny was telling me this story, he met the kid, the conversation kinda went like this:
Sonny: What’s your name, kid?
KP: Kristaps Porzingis.
Sonny That’s a long name. Don’t you have a nickname?
Sonny: What do your friends call you?
KP: Kristaps Porzingis.
Sonny: That makes sense.
I hope Carmelo turns it around too but man I wish he’d take it to the hoop more and give some better effort on D. But I was talking to Sonny, he said he was talking to Melo’s parents about the guy playing some better D, said they told him “the other night Melo came home and tried to throw away his defensive playbook because he said defense would never pay our rent.” So I guess maybe a zebra can’t change his stripes or whatever people say.
Honestly, I’m mostly worried about the coach. A game like this, ya know, that’s on the coach. You gotta get the boys to show up. I’m sitting downstairs in this bathroom in the second half, ya know, thinking, and I’m worrying about the kid learning bad habits as the team doesn’t use him the right way. And I love this team, I really do. And the most important thing to the team is the kid learning how to play, how to do the right things, and I just don’t got any confidence in this coach to teach him, to put him in the right spots. It worries me, ya know, the potential for wasted talent. Because Sonny, he told me once: the saddest thing in life is wasted talent.
P.S. If you’ve never seen A Bronx Tale… see it.