03/22/07: Portland Trailblazers


This is my first year really paying full attention to the Knicks' season. I've seen about 80% of their games, and let me tell you, there hasn't been a team that has made me so excited, yet so frustrated at the same time.

Last night was a great example.

I attended last nights game, it was my third time visiting the garden this season. I went November 19th, loss to the Celtics, and the loss they had to the Suns a couple of weeks ago. I figured that they'd win tonight, I didn't want to feel like I was bad luck.

So my friends, brother, and I stationed ourselves center court..... in the rafters and got ready for the game ahead of us.

The Garden wasn't packed, I'm pretty sure it was more filled for the Suns game, but there was a good amount of people, and buzz at the game.

During the intros there is an obvious PR boost going on for Renaldo Balkman. He deserves it as well. I mentioned it on the old blog, he is the African American version of David Lee, except Renaldo plays better defense. It was a shame that they he didn't receive more minutes while Lee had all of his ankle problems, and while Q is out with his back problems.

The first thing I notice is that David Lee was on the court.... but not in a suit. That might've been another reason why the arena was buzzing as well.

I didn't take game notes, but I'll go off of everything that's on the top of my head.

  • David Lee checks in and gets a huge applause, as does Renaldo Balkman when he checks in, you'd think that the team would go buck with the amount of energy on the court, but the play is pretty stagnant.
  • What I noticed is that a big reason why the offense is stagnant is Eddy Curry. He's not moving... at all. In the beginning of the season he'd grab the ball and fight the person guarding him. The past couple of games he just would sit there, wait for the double team and then dish it out. The Eddy Curry of old would grab the ball and go straight to the hoop, this was not the case last night. Only one one or two of his possessions did he really show fight, the rest of the time he just didn't move.. terrible.
  • Because of Curry's lackluster(ohsnap) effort, the offense looked lost. Steph wasn't driving to the hoop, and when he did, he'd miss (of course he'd drive when Balkman or Lee are off the court). Stevie was taking terrible shots, and whenever they'd get it to Eddy, he'd dish it back out to the perimeter with less than 5 on the shot clock, resulting in the many threes taken, and many threes missed.
  • Speaking of Stevie, ever since he came back I've felt that the offense took a step back. I knew Jamal was known for his sometimes bad shot selection, but ever since he came back it just seems that he should take the final shot, no matter what. He went 1-6 from three point land and  4-16 overall.
  • NO FREE THROWS. At all. There was no driving into the paint, and when both of your guards are having terrible nights, and you have two great finishers (Balkman and Lee) on the court, drive to the fucking paint and try to put something in, if you don't miss get out of the fucking way because one of those two finishers is going to come and rape the rim. This didn't happen at all, the Knicks just resorted to terrible three point attempts that came and bit them in the ass.
  • They didn't feed the hot hand. Nate had 31 points. 31 wasn't enough. He wasn't missing shots, and it seems like he has honed his shot selection down quite a bit. Every single shot him made last night ignited the crowd, and Nate himself would ignite the crowd when he would jump five feet into the air to drag down a rebound. Clyde constantly beckons the Knicks to reward players, and feed the hot hand, yet it never seems like they do.
  • Oh yeah, defense.. well it looks a whole helluva a lot worse in person than it does on T.V.
  • Nate would set the Garden on fire, and then the defense and bad shot selection would just bring it right back down. It was a roller coast of a ride, and at the end I really just felt like throwing up. Thank god the season is almost over, I don't know how many more of these rides I can take.
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