Brian Cronin wrote Saturday in the recap for the Cavs game that he didn’t get the Kevin Seraphin signing. Neither did I. Seraphin was part of a mess of bigs Phil Jackson added this summer: Robin Lopez, Derrick Williams, Kyle O’Quinn and Kristaps Porzingis were the others. It was hard to see how Seraphin could fit in, especially after suffering through an injury to start the season.
Well, Seraphin had himself a game Sunday against the Pelicans. Before the game, he shaved “Paris” into the back of head. It’s a small gesture; everything about a basketball game is going to seem small in the wake of such an awful and absurd spasm of violence. But they keep playing the game and we keep watching and we don’t worry about the alternative and that’s a good thing.
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) November 15, 2015
Seraphin was +9 in 14 minutes, scoring 12 points on 8 shots, with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. He was key in the decisive fourth quarter. He came in midway through the third for Robin Lopez, who has been up and down this year. Seraphin looked energetic right away, logging a dunk and a board within a minute. He closed the quarter on a 20-footer on a broken play that had Alvin Gentry throwing up his hands.
He got downright feisty in the fourth. For about six minutes in the heart of the period, he did everything for the Knicks. He forced Ryan Anderson into a turnover on a drive, leading to a nifty fast Grant-Galloway fast break. On the next trip down, he played the two-man game to perfection with Lance Thomas, screening for him, posting up, then dishing to a cutting Thomas for a dunk. Phil Jackson is going to put it in his Triangle instruction video.
After hitting a hook shot, he gave another lesson, this time hitting a cutting Galloway, set free by a meaty Melo backscreen. On the next trip, Seraphin missed a hook shot, but elbowed Anthony Davis in the face in the process (Vive la France!) leaving him free to put back the rebound. Seraphin put the Knicks up 10 with another hook shot, and that pretty much sealed the game.
I should mention Melo here. He had another solid game. That makes five in a row by my reckoning. He scored 29 points on this one, and I hardly noticed, aside from a blow-by dunk on Anthony Davis, one of the few human moments Brow had in this game. (The other was Seraphin clocking him in the face. Vive la France!) He mostly scored in the system. I did notice Melo’s mighty and prolific board work, helping the Knicks secure a 41-36 rebound advantage, crucial in a game in which they were outshot.
The Knicks host Charlotte Tuesday. Maybe they’ll be a .500 team by the end of the week?
Davis has a physical advantage over Porzingis and he used it. Our guy competed, though.
I don’t get why Amundson gets minutes, especially with Seraphin rolling. He came in for Lopez in the first, immediately fouled, then screwed up a pick and roll coverage to give Ryan Anderson an open jumper, then let Davis cut behind him for an alley oop. Derek Fisher subbed Anderson in again during crunch time, and he AGAIN gave up an alley oop to Davis, allowing the Pelicans to cut it to four with less than 30 seconds to go.
Jerian Grant continues to look so poised. One play I loved in the fourth. He was setting up a screen and roll with Porzingis. He saw Eric Gordon lean way left toward the screen, and immediately drove right, earning free throws. Good players make quick decisions, and Grant’s a quick decider.