Making the Jaws of Defeat Go Hungry

Wow, rarely do you see a more bizarre comeback than that, not because of any sort of “wacky” play or anything like that, but more because of the way that most comebacks involve the team making the comeback actually playing WELL down the stretch, and that really wasn’t what we saw during the end of this game, really – right up until Steve Francis nailed the game-winning three (and that shot was freakin’ TOUGH – that was no open shot right there), it was more a matter of both teams just playing poorly enough to keep the other one in it.

Still, what a shot by Francis (I am of mixed minds regarding the celebration afterwards – I loved the Grandma hug, but jumping on the scorer’s table to basically tell the crowd FU? After you just missed a huge free throw not five minutes earlier? A bit odd, but I’ll accept it!). That really was a page out of Gilbert Arenas’ playbook.

As for the rest of the team, sloppy game, but as Dave pointed out so well in the earlier comments:

1. Marbury & Francis kept Arenas in relative check.

2. Eddy Curry was a presence on the boards. Especially late, he made himself useful even though he was having a difficult shooting night.

3. Jaed Jeffries had a nice game on both ends of the court.

Tied for eighth! And the Knicks have the theoretical tiebreaker (obviously a bit early to be talking tiebreakers, but it sure is better to have them then NOT have them!) with Orlando.

Let’s just hope the Knicks win some more games.

Great ending.

Liked it? Take a second to support Brian Cronin on Patreon!

24 thoughts to “Making the Jaws of Defeat Go Hungry”

  1. Add to Francis’ weird game:

    7 turnovers–his constant overdribbling borders on obsessive-compulsive.

    …but then, he also pulled down 7 boards.

    What I liked about the win is that it was a gut-check type of win. No one had a phenomenal game but everybody chipped in with something.

  2. A win is a win is a win.

    funny moment in the game.

    Clyde comments” Balkman seems to have a nose for the ball” – the camera shows a close up his face and he does have some nose.

    Glad Isiah is sticking with Collins.

    The next two weeks are brutal. Hope the Knicks survive!


    Portland Cleveland are b2b games

    Defense has improved since Crawford’s injury..down about 2 pts a game.
    The Knicks have been consistently holding teams under 100.

  3. Defense looks visibly better – even Curry had some decent plays at the end (although that basket by Haywood where he drove around a statue-still Curry was just disgusting).

    By the way, I know everyone’s already talked about the Francis/knees conspiracy but if anything should put it to rest – have you seen how high he’s jumping recently???? He looked like Nate grabbing a rebound last night and he had that huge dunk a few games ago. If he keeps playing this well we may be able to trade Crawford next season (since we’re stuck with Francis no matter what anyway).

  4. I can’t wait to get Lee back. Francis had some up’s and downs but maybe this game wil help him break out.

  5. The question is, would you rather have Crawford or Francis out there?

    To me, poor FG% (Crawford) isn’t as bad as lots of turnovers (Francis).

    Granted, there’s lots of other things to consider, but they seem to be pretty equal in terms of passing, dribbling, and creating shots. Francis might hold a very slight defensive edge, I don’t know.

  6. ^Francis because he also rebounds and plays better D. And it’s not as if Crawford doesn’t turn the ball over.

    Can’t wait to get Lee back and see how we play.

  7. Dan and DMull-

    I’m not sure…Francis has looked good, and certainly gets the boards, but Crawford is a much better passer, and is maybe the only guy on the team who can consistently find Eddy in position.

    You could make an argument for both, though.

  8. The interesting question is whether turnovers or poor shooting hurts a team worse. Both give possession to the opponents without scoring for your team. Turnovers are more likely to lead to transition baskets for the opponent than is a missed shot. But missed shots happen more frequently than turnovers. Not sure which is worse.

  9. Huge Win! Can’t put my hopes on Francis or Crawford. One is an obsesive compulsive dribbler and the other too little respect for the rock. Try M. Shakur (arizona) or D. James (marquette), together with Marbury, Lewis (seatle) and Collins and now we’re talkin. Sorry Nate, Qrich. Go Knicks, oh by the way- F. Icehola and M. Furman how’s the crow tastin these days, what happened, you running out of negative knick stories so you decided to write some positive’s?

  10. I’m happy that the Knicks are in the playoff rush if anything but the fact that our lottery pick belongs to Chicago anyway, but it’s so odd to see them in eighth place with a losing record…

    …that is, until you see that the last two spots in the Western Conference also have losing records.

    What’s going on here?

    Eighteen of the league’s thirty teams are sub-.500. Since that means there are only 12 teams with winning records, and there are 16 playoff spots, by rule, we will have to have FOUR teams with losing records in the playoffs.

    And then it hit me. Half of 30 is 15, so it should never be out of the usual, for at least one of the playoff teams to have a losing record.

    The moral of this story: I don’t feel bad at all anymore that the Knicks are in the race with a sub-.500 record. Go, Knicks, go!

  11. Didnt see the game. Obviously a great victory. Here’s my look at the box score using Win Score, the Wages of Wins metric. For those of you who think its a silly exercise, my apologies in advance.

    Knicks win scores
    J. Jeffries 13/33= .393
    M. Rose 1/16 = .024
    E. Curry 2.5/43 = .058
    S. Francis 4.5/38= .118
    S. Marbury 0/43 = .000
    C. Frye 3/30 = .100
    M. Collins -.5/12=-.041
    N. Robinson-2.5/3=-.791
    R. Balkman 5.5/20= .275
    26.5 total win score
    Wizards Win Scores
    C. Butler 3/39 = .076
    A. Jamison 6.5/37= .175
    B. Haywood 7.5/31= .241
    D. Stevenson 0/28= .000
    G. Arenas 9/45 = .200
    D. Songaila2.5/10= .250
    E. Thomas .5/16 = .031
    A. Daniels 0/18 = .000
    J. Hayes -2/7 =-.287
    A. Blatche 2/4 = .500
    25 total win score

    Looks like both teams played pretty badly. Jeffries collected 8 (!) offensive boards. Francis’ turnovers hurt his win score, but he was still productive. Balkman was once again very productive. That guy does have a serious knack for the ball. I think we can all agree he needs to be getting more time. He is the second leading rebounder on the team per minute. Eddy Curry, who is the fifth best rebounder on the team per minute, once again was well below average.

    I think the Wages of Wins guy was absolutely correct when he said Francis would be an improvement over Crawford. Time will tell. Losing Lee on the other hand hasn’t seemed to hurt us as much as it should have, especially given the level of productivity ascribed to him by the WOW.

    If we get Lee back and running full steam, I think the playoffs are very realistic. But the upcoming schedule does look difficult.

  12. Not that it puts the Knicks in what Walt might call “the upper echelon” but in the past month and a half the Knicks haven’t lost two games in a row. Only two other teams in the NBA have avoided losing streaks in that span: the Cavs and the Mavs. Quite an improvement on last year and even from the beginning of the season.

  13. “Eighteen of the league?s thirty teams are sub-.500. Since that means there are only 12 teams with winning records, and there are 16 playoff spots, by rule, we will have to have FOUR teams with losing records in the playoffs.”

    yeah, the top four teams in the West are sucking an incredible amount of wins out of the rest of the league. no one talks about Utah, and clearly it’s hard to take them anywhere near as seriously as the other three, but somehow they’re still only one loss behind the Spurs.

  14. Out of the four teams struggling for the final two spots in the east, the 3 that aren’t the Knicks have been really struggling.

    I really don’t mean to jump the gun, but I would say New Jersey has the best chance of finishing ahead of the Knicks. Interestingly, we’re scheduled to play them twice in the last week of the season. Those are looking to be some very, very intense games.

  15. Aside from rebounding and a little bit of D,Francis gets to the line a LOT. Always has. Crawford could, but sits out there chucking up 3s. No reason to push him out the door, but aside from the rookie contracts JC is the only guy on the team with any trade value at all, so obviously he is a good bargaining chip if we’re in the hunt for someone like Rashard Lewis, or trying to move up in the draft.

  16. “Interesting Newsday piece on Lee, making the case he is the injured player in the Eastern Conference most missed by his team. Apparently they have botched his rehab by being too optimistic at the start.”

    I said in a previous thread that in football the words “high ankle sprain” are invariably followed by the words “six to eight weeks.” I don’t see why it would be any different in basketball.

  17. Fine for Isiah to finish out his contract at which point a full evaluation can be made but an extension? Like some other team would snap him up if his contract runs out. This ownership is completely depressing.

  18. I said in a previous thread that in football the words ?high ankle sprain? are invariably followed by the words ?six to eight weeks.? I don?t see why it would be any different in basketball.

    I was actually going to post a “good job” to whoever made that previous comment, because it turned out to be SOO on point. I didn’t know it was you, Dave!

    Good job!

Comments are closed.