Raptors 83, Knicks Fake Basketball Comes to a Close

The Knicks preseason came to a conclusion and the winner of their final game against the Raptors was… the crowd at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Those crazy Francophilic Canadians brought it like it was Game Seven of a playoff series. Zut alors!

As for the preseason tilt, Toronto won 83-80, riding an absolute blowout of a third quarter where they outscored New York 25-11. For a while there, it seemed unlikely that the ‘Bockers would crack double digits. They netted a grand total of two through the first none minutes, shooting 1-12 and coughing up the ball four times. When the bloody mess of a stanza finally came to an end, they’d shot a grotesque 3-19 out of…something that didn’t resemble any sort of triangular shape at all, but rather a muddled, hurried mess, filled with sloppy passes and a low-bore simmer of dissatisfaction. We even got to see JR try to get Melo to skedaddle out of the post at one point. I may have strained a cornea throwing so much side-eye. I’m day-to-day, but I think I’ll be ready for opening night. Just keep me the heck away from Roger “Dr. Nick” Hinds.

To their credit, the Knicks scrapped and clawed their way back in the fourth,  behind the shrieks and yells of Quincy Acy plus a few nifty moves from the Sophomore backcourt of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Shane Larkin.

Speaking of Acy… the hard fouls are kind of fun, and yes, hustling is a skill. Without a doubt, the overall experience of watching him play is a treat. That said, I just don’t know how he is. Of course, a dude that plays his ass off is certainly a welcome sight. Especially, you know, if you’ve watched the Knicks over the past 15 or so. Kinda understandable that this rare species might be a tad overrated.

Timmy Jr. had a strong couple of minutes – he had an impressive drive to the rim, a solid pass (IT HAPPENED IT’S ON THE TAPE) and even made a defensive play forcing DeMar DeRozan into an airball (CHECK THE TAPE AGAIN I’M NOT LYING).

With Larkin, how effective he is pretty darn dependent on his comfort level and decisiveness. He brings qualities the Knicks don’t get from any of their other points, just because of his speed and quickness. I mean, a footrace between him and either of Prigs/Jose might look like a contest between The Flash and in Inanimate Carbon Rod. The second-year pro can use the bounce to break down a defense plus get out on the break, but as both Clyde and Wally have mentioned on the TV machine, he doesn’t always know whether to hit the nitrous or pump the brakes. Also, at times, he seems to make a pass a second too late or hesitate the split second that takes him out of an open shot.

Some swell first half things: Carmelo Anthony’s jumper was sopping wet and he didn’t miss. One of my concerns about the new offense New York is installing was that it might cause a decline in his three point attempts from the previous two seasons. Well look-y here! Melo took eight tonight and 22 total the last three games in total. I am no longer worried. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m still slightly worried. The total attempts were a little beefed up tonight during a stretch in which he just said, “Eff this ish, I’m shooting,” and launched pull-up threes as soon as he got the rock.]

Iman Shumpert positvely pwned DeMar DeRozan in the final couple minutes of the second quarter. He stole his lunch money, shorts, pride and also the basketball. Like, again and again. That was my favorite part. On offense, he was really chucking, especially after his first couple of heaves caught iron. 0-6 is bad, no matter what Common Core/fancy math you use.

That leads quite nicely to another SG, J.R. Smith. Yeah, he is still a fucking mess. Some of it is not being able to figure out the offense and, not to suggest that the Knicks’ FO isn’t completely transparent when it comes to injuries (faints while clutching pearls), the reports of back spasms that keep cropping up at the end of articles can’t be helping. He just doesn’t look fluid out there, which yes, is partially due to his lack of cerebral comfort, but he’s got zero pop in his step when he does decide to break an offensive set. .

Still, I like that on the final possession with the Knicks trailing by three Fisher drew up a play for Smith. It was a savvy move in a meaningless game, tossing a confidence bone to a player that he’s gonna need if they want to have a shot at making the playoffs. I didn’t like that Fisher drew up a play that put the ball in Cole Aldrich’s hands with six seconds left with his back to the basket, practically taping a giant “foul me” sign on his back. This too, is a question of learning the league, but Fish is going to figure out which teams foul in those situations, which teams don’t, and plan accordingly.

I was ordered by boss man Robert Silverman to use these pictures in the story. I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking at. Bob is more culturally diverse than me. He’ll do that editing thing here and add in some snarky funny stuff.

[Bobsplainer. The basketblogging dude Corbin Smith and I were chatting about JR and this here RINGZZ-approved offensive system. I twat that this is actually the Triangle JR sees. 

He replied with this:

Followed hard upon by something even awesome-r, this:

Then things got a tad dark…

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 11.39.00 PM

If you’ve never read Corbin’s stuff, check it out now. Well, right after you finish this recap.]

Thanks for…er…that, Bob. Hey NBA Perd Hapley, what did you think of the game? “Amar’e Stoudemire played center way too much for a person that is Amar’e Stoudemire who cannot play center.” Thanks, Perd! Seriously, though, It’s a complete dumpster fire out there with STAT at the five, because he’s no longer even close to being good enough a bucket-maker to make up for his refuse-covered defense. In a related story, I have a story coming out tomorrow AM explaining how Fish can transform Stoudemire from dumpster fire into a nice, cozy campfire. It does not in any way involve wine.

Cole Aldrich’s old-timey artisanal hook shots weren’t falling at all, but we still saw the value he brings to the court. In the fourth, when he drew a foul on Jonas Valanciunas battling on the defensive glass and creating a steal. This man has to play despite his flaws. Also, we at Knickerblogger have been shoveling COLE into the engine of this steampunk TRAIN since last October. Any and all bandwagon-jumpers or hoboes sleeping in unoccupied cars should at least buy a nice t-shirt.

Those are my streaming thoughts. The reliever was brought in for the final preseason games. I’m sure the starting rotation will be back when the regular season kicks off on Wednesday. The World Series was tonight and I haven’t watched any of it so I had to get a baseball reference in. I’m off the Vegas for the weekend everyone. If you don’t hear from me in 48 hours, please send money and/or money. Enjoy the last couple down days before the craziness begins. Go Knicks!

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Representing all Knicks fans of Arizona. This is unfortunate for all of them. Unabashed lover of J.R. Smith.