Game Recap: Raptors 122, Knicks 95

With six seconds left in the first quarter of tonight’s home tilt with Toronto, the Knicks let the Raptors roll the ball all the way to half court, at which point Cory Joseph calmly picked it up, dribbled halfway around the court, and finished at the rim to bring Toronto to within two.

Then, with 15 seconds left in the second quarter and the Knicks holding for the last shot, the laziest pass you’ll ever see was thrown by Jose Calderon and picked off by DeMar DeRozan en route to a breakaway dunk, capping a 24-6 Toronto run and giving the visiting Canadians a 14-point halftime lead, one from which they would never look back.

With the exception of a few Kristaps highlights – finishes through contact and bank shots galore – and the finishing touches on another truly excellent game from Robin Lopez (21 & 13, 10-14 FG), there’s not much reason to even get into the second half.

This game was what the East’s best backcourt against its worst looks like. Kyle Lowry and DeRozan penetrated at will, each scoring 22 points, with Lowry adding 11 boards and 11 assists. (For those pining for Nic Batum this summer, would you rather have Batum or DeRozan? I think he’s staying in Toronto, but I’ll take DeRozan all day.) Meanwhile, Arron Afflalo, with a miserable seven points on 11 contested pull-up jumpers, actually outscored his teammates Calderon, Langston Galloway and Sasha Vujacic – in a combined 50 minutes – by seven points.

Really, though, tonight’s game merely signified another stop on the trek down the wrong side of the mountain, this season’s peak appearing just that much farther away in the rearview mirror.

The “brain trust” isn’t giving us much reason to stay involved down the stretch, either, with nary a sign of self-awareness or acceptance that the future is the priority.

Give us 15+ minutes of the Grant/Galloway backcourt every game. Give us a consistent 15+ minutes of Kyle O’Quinn, who is signed for three more years and has shown at the very least that he has the capacity to excel on the offensive glass. Give actual NBA playing time to Jimmer, and if he’s still not NBA-caliber, give Travis Trice or another young Westchester product a shot. Show us you have a damn clue and don’t play Carmelo 37 minutes in a 27-point loss when he’s signed to the team for three more years.

Show us some spread pick and roll with Grant at the 1 and Porzingis at the 5 surrounded by Carmelo, Galloway and Thomas around the arc. Give us a reason to think that you’re willing to be open-minded about the team’s style of play.

Because major changes can’t arrive until the summer, tonight was just more of the same, and we need some motivation here.

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11 thoughts to “Game Recap: Raptors 122, Knicks 95”

  1. When Calderon and Galloway both put up Zero points, the Knicks chances of victory slip from slim to none.

  2. Like I said in the last thread, the idea of signing Jimmer and then Rambis specifically saying that he likely won’t play at all because:

    “I’m not going to displace somebody that’s been here all year and has been working hard in practice, and we kind of know what the individuals on our team bring, their strengths and weaknesses. So if there’s something that he could bring that’s a little bit better then he’ll get an opportunity. If not, it’s really hard to just throw somebody in like that, but we’ll see.”

    That idea is dumb.

    You’re not going to displace shitty players with no future with this team to at least see if Jimmer has anything to offer? Then you’re just not a smart coach, Rambis.

    Jimmer is probably not going to add much, but at least give him a shot. If he sucks, then cut him. But don’t have him sit on the bench for no reason. You’re ten games under .500! There are now more teams between the Knicks and the #9 spot in the Conference (three) than there are teams between the Knicks and the last-place team in the conference (just the Nets separate the Knicks from the Sixers). So why not at least see if Jimmer can help you going for next season?

    This season is a disaster. Thank goodness for Porzingis. At least he gives them some theoretical hope for the future. Not the near future, of course, but the future!

  3. Ha! He really is just as bad as Fisher. Hopefully this at least gets Jackson to move on from the Triangle, as if this is the type of coach you have when you stick with the Triangle, you gotta ditch the Triangle. Rambis is awful. Fisher was awful, too, so it’s not like there’s much of a downgrade, but holy shit.

    I think I dislike Rambis more, now that I think about it, because Fisher was new at this, so he had more of an excuse. Rambis is a veteran coach and he also has this sort of smugness about him, which is bizarre, seeing as how he has a hilariously shitty record as a coach.

  4. This season is a disaster. Thank goodness for Porzingis. At least he gives them some theoretical hope for the future. Not the near future, of course, but the future!

    Even that’s bittersweet since PHAT KAT > PHAT LAT. We almost had Kerr and we almost had KAT. Still it’s possible we don’t have Grant if we lose that Atlanta game so maybe KP/Grant will be greater than KAT alone in the future. But then Phil and this coaching staff are clueless on how to best use their personnel which is the most depressing part of the current situation and the future.

  5. Still it’s possible we don’t have Grant if we lose that Atlanta

    Hardaway actually played 25 mins last night and was a part of their 38 point 3rd quarter that wiped away a 24 point deficit against the Warriors. (He even managed 2 rebounds, as assist, and a steal!).

    For all the talk of Phil stealing Grant on draft day, Hardaway has actually played better than Grant, which is too bad, considering they are the same age, and Hardaway is bad.

  6. July 10, 2013: Knicks make Andrea Bargnani trade official. “Seven-foot versatile players with a good midrange offensive game and an ability to stretch the other team’s defense are hard to come by in this league,” Grunwald said in a statement. “Andrea has proven to be a quality scorer who adds another dimension to our team. We are excited to add him to our frontline.””

    December 13, 2013: “Report: James Dolan blocked Knicks’ trade for Kyle Lowry. According to multiple sources, Dolan vetoed the deal more out of fear of public perception than concerns over if the deal was right or not. ”

    This, my friends, is our franchise in a nutshell.

  7. I think I dislike Rambis more, now that I think about it, because Fisher was new at this, so he had more of an excuse. Rambis is a veteran coach and he also has this sort of smugness about him, which is bizarre, seeing as how he has a hilariously shitty record as a coach.

    This is exactly what I’ve been thinking. At least I could talk myself into the idea that Fisher was improving. I just don’t understand what the point is of firing him part of the way through a lost season just to bring in a coach who we already know is bad, and who doesn’t seem to have any plans whatsoever to change the team. Only difference is instead of Fisher’s well-tailored sideline style, we now have Rambis’ exceedingly punchable face. Can’t say I’m impressed by Phil’s call on this one so far.

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