Editor's Note: Mase was in attendance, and took over recap duties for the Knicks' second win of the season. Here he is...
Morning, dogs and poodles! I got to catch one of the few Knicks' wins this season live and in person, in what was a pretty weird and sloppy game to say the least.
Game-time attire: Larry Johnson road jersey I got when I was a teenager, $8 Starburys, orange t-shirt. You know how people say a shirt is a smedium (between a small and medium)? This jersey is like a infxmall (between infant and extra-small).
- I actually having a working season media credential for the Pacers but they'd likely frown upon me wearing an LJ jersey and rooting openly for the Knicks. So instead I bought $15 balcony seats (Section 223, Row 21, Seat 4 - look that shit up, it's like three rows from the top) for six bucks a pop for myself and a few Pacers' fan friends. I might has well have been watching the game from one of the rings of Saturn.
- Conseco Fieldhouse is universally regarded as the best venue in the NBA, and those rankings are legit. There isn't a bad vantage point in the place, including my shit seats. If you're in Indy whenever the Pacers are relevant again, or the Big Ten Tournament ever becomes visually appealing, do yourself a favor and check it out.
- Both DWTDD and Gallo were in the starting lineup again. I was encouraged, thinking that they would actually play more than 20 minutes tonight. I was wrong.
- Eddy Curry entered the game somewhere around the 8:00 mark. It took him eleven seconds to pick up his first foul.
- There was a sick chair-pull on Wilson Chandler by
Malik Rose Dahntay Jones. Inexplicably, no travel was called.
- This was the highly-anticipated homecoming of Jared Jeffries, a former Indiana Mr. Basketball (that's Indiana high school basketball player of the year to you) at Bloomington North and one of the leaders of IU's 2001-02 squad that went all the way to the National Championship game. Think Kobe's first trip back to Philadelphia sans any
standing ovations audible cheering.
- Danny Granger showing signs of going off early. Knicks keep within one.
- The Pacers went nuts, specifically Granger. He cruised to 29 points at halftime, and the Pacers were on pace for 128, which wouldn't be a surprise with this Knicks' D. They scored 43 in the 2nd, and just 60 in the other three quarters combined.
- Chris Duhon missed a wide-open layup after two Pacers went towards David Lee on a pick and roll and left him free. That's just the kind of respect that Du gets nowadays. He needs to quit basketball.
- Does Roy Hibbert remind anyone else of a young Zydrunas llgauskas (but black)? I guess the real question is: was Z ever "young"?
- Got all of zero comments about my LJ jersey. To say Pacers' fans are apathetic about their team would be the understatement of the century.
- Two teams of Indianapolis 2nd graders scrimmaged at halftime. The blue team's offense looked more fluid than the Knicks did in the first half.
- Tyler Hansbrough took over for a short stretch with a soft J, a layup, and a putback plus one. I'm surprised that he's been this effective so far. I'm not sure about his Rookie of the Year candidacy, but he'd certainly get my vote for Douchebag of the Year (boom, roasted).
- In all seriousness though, it's pretty disturbing that Hansbrough is already more productive than Jordan Hill. Hill is about two years away from being an average NBA player. Hansbrough is already an average NBA player. Just saying.
- What the hell happened to Nate Robinson? There's a short dude wearing #4, but it doesn't look like the Nate I know.
- After falling behind 19, the Knicks end the quarter on an 11-0 run. I keep thinking that if they could just string together a few stops, they'd be back in this one. Instead, I prepared for the Pacers to blow it back open.
- Eddy Curry went to the free throw line four times in the first five minutes with the Knicks trailing by eleven. One time he cut the lead to ten.
- Apparently Dahntay Jones is a scorer now? He's a career 6 ppg guy, but was the Pacers only real scoring threat late.
- With the game on the line, the Knicks have a lineup of Al, Jeffries, Du, Hughes, and Lee. I puked in my mouth a bit.
- Curry was being aggressive but he still sucks. It's really reassuring to know that the two picks that Isiah traded for him turned into double-double machine Joakim Noah, and LaMarcus Aldridge, one of the best young players in the league (slams head into wall).
- A second Harrington three gets the Knicks within one. It was enough to make me stand up and be a dick about it to the remaining fans.
- A couple of Pacers' turnovers late seal it. I walk out of Conseco Fieldhouse wondering what just happened.
- Sloppy game. 36 combined turnovers. 23 combined miss free throws. Did I mention the Pacers shot 24 percent in the 2nd half? Yikes.
- This game was a microcosm of the last two years of the Pacers. Saturday night they beat-up on Boston, four days later they're blowing a 19-point lead to the hapless Knicks. They're a frustrating team to watch. It's weird because as much as I hated them throughout the 90's, I do somewhat pull for them to do well now. Side note: I never got the whole "second team thing" - like "oh, the Knicks are my #1 team but I also root for the Pacers". What? Sure there are teams that I like (i.e. Kansas City Royals) more than others (i.e. Boston Red Sox) but I root for the Knicks, Giants, and Yankees. That's it. Screw everyone else.
- I wish Al would play as hard and tough against everybody as he does against his former team. 26 points for him off the bench while keying the game-clinching 20-3 run. Safe to say he's a Pacer-killer.
- I mentioned who the Knicks had on the floor late. I'll never complain about a win, but what are the Knicks gaining by playing Larry Hughes 35 minutes and Jared Jeffries 27 minutes? 31 minutes combined for DWTDD, Gallo, and Hill - that's not enough. I'd rather the Knicks go 2-80 getting those guys meaningful NBA experience instead of going 20-62 by showcasing Larry fucking Hughes and a suddenly-not-obese Eddy Curry.
- Brandon Jennings only scored 19 points tonight, lowering his season average to a measly 24.8 ppg. See? I knew Hill was the right choice at #8. Eat shit draft pundits!
- Good thing I didn't bring my Free Darko! sign. He inexplicably sat (again).
- On the way out, someone commented on my infxmall LJ jersey. I could've turned around and said "scoreboard!" like a 14-year old, but I decided to act like a grown-up in a jersey that I got when I was 14 years old.
- A win is a win is a win. There's actually a pretty big difference between 2-9 and 1-10. The Knicks are now on pace for a 15-67 record instead of 8-74 (pops champagne).
Winless Nets on Saturday. Woo.