Knicks 108, Raptors 100

New York Knicks 108 Final
Recap | Box Score
100 Toronto Raptors
Amar’e Stoudemire, PF 40 MIN | 10-14 FG | 4-6 FT | 11 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 24 PTS | +14

Hi there Amar’e Stoudemire! Just a nifty pu pu platter of 2010-ish STAT goodness. Pick and roll dunks. Low post backdowns with a soupcon of nifty spin moves and jukes. Dives off of swell ball movement. Yummy. Douse this entire game in plum sauce and gobble it up. In a related story, I’m hungry. Hell, he even passed out of a double team on more than one occasion. Like, a really good crosscourt skip pass and everything! I worry that 40 minutes of PT could mean that he’ll have in a full body cast by Sunday (See Oklahoma City Game, last season. A bunch of rebounds and a bloody battle down low v. Ibaka), but it was—as Amar’e would say—a phenomenal performance.

Another day, another meh outing. Tyson struggled to defend Valanciunis one on one—and it would’ve been a lot worse if the Hosers hadn’t inexplicably stopped feeding the ball down in the 2nd half.

Carmelo Anthony, SF 39 MIN | 8-17 FG | 13-14 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 3 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 30 PTS | +8

You know the Knicks’ opening set? Of course you do. They’ve run the exact same freaking play every game this season and probably last as well. (Yes, this is as damning a snipped of Son of Wood’s stubborn rigidity as anything. Scratch that. There’s something worse. We’ll get there in a bit). Felton brings the ball up the court. Melo starts on the weakside, running through a double screen set by the center and one of the wings. Melo catches the ball in the high post and either shoots immediately off the catch or jab-steps. You know the drill. You’ve probably walked through that set in your dreams; I certainly have (I need better dreams).

But tonight, Melo actually passed up a wide-open look, kicking the ball to J.R. for a heat check (Yes, J.R. needed to see if he was still as scalding-hot as he was five days ago, because J.R. Smith). After bricking his first three with an arc straight out of the novel Flatland, one wise wag was moved to tweet this:

What a moran that guy is, amirite? Melo proceeded to hit 8 of his next 14, putting forth an outing that was more or less indistinguishable from any other of his yeoman efforts this season. Even if he looked like one of the bikers from a Road Warrior when he was out of the game.

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Seriously though, with very little left to play for (I know, I know. Not mathematically eliminated. Hope springs eternal. The fates/Gods could make the earth open up underneath the entire Atlanta metropolitan area, swallowing whole every Hawk save for Pero Antic, etc.), he slammed into Salmons’s and Ross’s drawing a becy of fouls, drawing fouls and forcing turnovers. In fact, he probably accumulated more cringing winces than shots. That’s the kind of ish that Oakley/Ewing used to do around these parts on the regular. It’s all the more impressive considering how meaningless this tilt was. Just a guy doin’ work for work’s sake. Brah-freaking-vo.

Tyson Chandler, C 30 MIN | 1-2 FG | 4-4 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 6 PTS | +9

Another day, another meh outing. Tyson struggled to defend Valanciunis one on one—and it would’ve been a lot worse if the Hosers hadn’t inexplicably stopped feeding the ball down in the 2nd half.

Raymond Felton, PG 31 MIN | 4-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 12 PTS | +5

I don’t know about you, but I was rubbing my temples and clenching my jaw until that tricky vein in my forehead began to throb uncontrollably, hoping against hope that I’d finally develop the telepathic mutant powers that I so wanted, just so I could somehow take control of our soon-to-be-ex-coach’s so-called mind and force him to keep from subbing Felt in for Prigs down the stretch. Spoiler alert: I am not Professor X.

J.R. Smith, SG 36 MIN | 4-10 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 15 PTS | +9

Up until the waning moments, when Earl calmly swished four freebies, over the past five games, he’d taken 69 threes and zero free throws. Even if he’s been shooting really, really well from distance, he needs to take it to the rim a tad more, if only to keep the defense honest.

Pablo Prigioni, PG 17 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 6 PTS | +9

I’m sure I’ve said this before ‘round these parts, but it’d be grand if an NBA team could’ve lured Pablo from his comfortable Spanish enclave say, 10 years ago. The guy just knows how run an offense. Add in the ability actually beat someone off the dribble, and perhaps a young man’s brash irreverence, such that he might actually consider calling his own number from time to time, and you’d have a heckuva floor general. I hate the Euro-Euro de facto comps, but you have to think he’d look a lot like Jose Calderon. And even at age 58, Prigioni can play in the triangle, dontcha think?

Iman Shumpert, SG 28 MIN | 4-9 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 11 PTS | 0

On the Knick Joy-O-Meter, there’s very little that rates higher than watching Shump terrorize an opposing ballhandler. He positively shut down DeMar DeRozan in the 3rd/4th, prowled the passing lanes like a speed-addled predator (or Predator), actually drove to the rim without spontaneously combusting and even seemed o recapture the Texas Trip/preseason confidence/swag in his 15 foot jumper. It’s crazy I know, but the Knicks are a better defensive team when they play better defensive players. Speaking of which….

Cole Aldrich, C 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | -6

…COLE WORLD! A few minutes of beastly rebounding. One swell block from the Hibbert-ian, “I’m really big/long so I’m just going to jump over this here phone book and be slightly bigger/longer. As long as I don’t bring one of my side of beef arms down on the guy shooting the layup, it’s going to be difficult to convert.” School. If he can manage to improve his ability to score down low (or just borrow Michael Pineda’s ‘pine tar’ to up the tackiness of his meat-mitts, he can be an effective backup big. For a cat plucked off the scrap heap, that’s a good thing. Nice job… Mills? I want to say Mills. On the other side of the spectrum…

Tim Hardaway Jr., SG 12 MIN | 2-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -8

…Timmy CANNOT be on the court at the same time as STAT. Le sigh.

Mike Woodson

I can’t let this here ‘cap end without mentioning what might be the most mendacious or witheringly dumb pregame blather from Woodson. Here it is. Please cover any and all hard surface in your home in bubble wrap and make sure that you’ve already dialed 9-1 in preparation for tha deranged furor that it may unleash:

Gah. That says it all. Your 2013-14 Knicks!

Five Things We Saw

  1. I’m sure some think-tank somewhere is assembling a crack squad of psychiatrists, sociologists, economists and possibly a sentient AI or two to divine what makes this team tick. Till then, you’ll just have the friendly neighborhood denizens of Knickerblogger throwing our collective hands in the air. They’ve clubbed a bunch of bad teams during their recent streak, but aside from a solid drubbing of the Nets and a grind-it-out win in Oakland, there really isn’t an impressive win that one can point to that’d merit screeching KNICKSTAPE at the top of one’s lungs. PSA: please do not scream contrived ‘Bocker nicknames alone in your bathroom. If you do it three times, Metta World Peace appears in Ace Frehley makeup and starts giving a half-assed lecture on Critical Theory that’s constantly interrupted because he repeatedly wanders into the kitchen and asks, “Is someone cooking cinnamon rolls? I smell cinnamon rolls.”
  2. Till tonight, that is. Yeah, Toronto may only be jockeying for seeding, but he Knicks scored efficiently in isolation and made a slew of big plays (I see you, Shump <3) to fend off any and all Great White Northern runs. The defense was still horrible, but in the end, allowing the Dinos a bajillion wide-open threes was sort of an oddly effective trap. They went 15-33and honestly it felt like they could’ve hit many, many more. Speaking of repeatedly shouting the same thing, I lost track of the number of times I bellowed, “DON’T HELP ONE PASS AWAY,” or, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO DOUBLE PATRICK PATTERSON IN THE POST. HE’S PATRICK PATTERSON FOR PETE’S SAKE,” but once the Prehistoric Creatures did start bricking from the outside, they were unable to resist the temptation to shoot yet another high-percentage trey, even if they probably could’ve gotten an equally good look at the rim.
  3. Of course, in true Knicksian fashion, a win like tonight will only send you rushing to your fave website to start counting up the execrable, laughably frittered away wins and wondering what might have been had they played with this much moxie versus Cleveland, or Milwaukee, or Philadelphia, or Sacramento, or Washington, or Orlando, or Boston, or Detroit, or…/dies.
  4. And here’s your regularly scheduled broadcasting verbal flights of fancy. Amar’e took a zetz to the privates, which prompted your pearl-clutching, fainting prone Great Aunt Mike Breen to utter, “A shot… right in the… uh… bread basket, as they say.”

    Which led to this tweet:

    Tee hee!

    Oh yeah, the T dot crowd was getting mighty testy over a perceived lack of equality in the whistles, which led to Clyde, hall monitor-like, accusing them of whining. In swoopes Breen with the PERFECT Segue: “Speaking of which, check out Clyde’s Wine and Dine!” You two! Like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers you are… :)

  5. In conclusions, seriously…FUCK PAUL PIERCE. The smug, ferret bearded bastard clanked those free throws on purpose. And even if he didn’t, I stand by my original position. FUCK PAUL PIERCE. Tragic number’s down to one. Go Knicks!
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Robert Silverman

Hey, did you know that in addition to banging the keys here and occasionally for the NY Times and at ESPN, Robert is a playwright, an actor and a wand'ring mendicant/gadfly? He also once wrestled a bear...and lost.

One thought to “Knicks 108, Raptors 100”

  1. Very nice. Your statement on Timmy made me LOL. It is so true those two cannot be on the court together. If only we could take the best of Timmy and infuse it with the best of Shump.

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