Gotta love a laugher. The Knicks jumped on the Nets from the tip and beat them into the ground like a good team should. The Nets were totally inept on all fronts, but this was the most well-balanced the Knicks have looked all season. All the parts were working well together. The stars starred. The role players rolled. The fans seemed unusually quiet, but that’s gonna happen sometimes.
I’m not sure you learn much from a game like that, except that these are two franchises headed in very different directions. The Knicks looked like a good, but flawed team during the difficult November schedule and they’re looking like the sort of team that beats up on the lower tier of the NBA en route to higher expectations. All is well in Knickdom tonight.
Melo had a very nice line, with 28 points on 9-18 shooting (5-8 from three), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 31 minutes of play. As good as that is, I didn’t think he looked like the razor sharp Melo that we see when he’s really going well. Porzingis continues to defy all reasonable expectations for a 20-year old kid. He was quietly terrorizing the Nets from all angles, on both ends of the floor. Afflalo got cooking early and couldn’t really miss all game. Alan Hahn and Wally Szczerbiak have started to call that trio a “little three” in the way the Heat assembled a “Big Three” and you can see how Melfflalogis can be very tough on a lot of teams.
I want to give some love to Jose Calderon, who absolutely picked apart Brooklyn. He only took two shots, and missed them both, but he played very solid defense on the Nets motley crew of guards, and dropped 10 dimes in the process. Joe Johnson took a terrible cheap shot against Calderon and got ejected. I was watching the Mike Breen/Hubie Brown telecast on ESPN, and Breen seemed on board with the foul intent behind the elbow, but Hubie thought it was totally accidental. Not sure how a person sees that shot to the face as anything other than jackassery, but Joe Johnson got what he deserved. I enjoyed Lionel Hollins arguing with the officials in the wake of the ejection. That was nice.
The fourth quarter continues to be a little helter skelter for the team, which needs to be sorted out, but in this case you can chalk it up to blowout fatigue. There’s only so long you can kick your opponent before it gets boring and a little mean.
More in the official recap for you in the morn. Enjoy the smell of victory, Knickerbuddies.