(Editor's Note: Our very own Mase attended last night's win over the Pacers and was kind enough to recap what he witnessed. Enjoy.)
Morning, space cadets. I got to catch our streaking Knicks live at Indy last night for another win over a team that totally got bitch-slapped by SSOL.
Before I start, I noticed that last night's game thread had a picture of Jonathan Bender on it. He was drafted out of high school by the Pacers in 2000, after they traded Antonio Davis (fuck him) to Toronto for the 5th overall pick. His career was halted because of chronic knee problems. In 2004, I was told by one of the Pacers' beat writers that Bender used to jump off roofs for fun with the neighborhood kids in his youth. A) Jumping off roofs, seriously? B) how pissed is/would be Donnie Walsh about that? C) NOBODY tell Nate...you know he'd try that shit.
Game-time attire: Yankees hat, Larry Johnson road jersey that I got for my 14th birthday, $7 Starburys that are absolutely hideous.
Side note: I have some pictures but I was having some trouble uploading them. I'll try to do that soon.
On to the game...
- During warm-ups, Al Harrington was greeting a lot of his former teammates. He was laughing with Danny Granger when Jeff Foster came over. Al clenched his fist for a pound and Foster went for a hand-slap. He readjusted and kind of grabbed Al's fist and shook it. You think being around mostly non-pasty white NBA players during his 12-year career that Foster would learn the proper hand-shaking techniques. Awkward.
- Despite being an Indiana native, winning Indiana's prestigious Mr. Basketball award in high school, playing college ball at Indiana University where he was an All-American and led the Hoosiers to the 2002 Final Four, and starting an Indiana-based charity called "Jared Cares" for children with irregular eyebrow growth and mouth deformities, Jared Jeffries didn't get much love from the Pacers' crowd.
For only pennies a day, you can prevent this (above) from happening
- 32 oz. Bud Light, Pretzel, Nachos: $11.00 - this is why I live in Indiana and not NYC/Connecticut.
- The Pacers are doing this team-unity thing of all growing out mustaches (did you know they have like six white guys on their roster?) Troy Murphy and Travis Diener have both given up, but unfortunately Mike Dunleavy is still going strong.
- Both teams had to have been thrilled to be playing each other. The Knicks and Pacers are both in the top five in the NBA in scoring offense (good) and scoring defense (bad). The Pacers are especially pathetic, giving up 120 points EIGHT times this season (make it nine now).
- Nate gets a steal and goes on a breakaway. I get up and yell "Do something cool!" He proceeded to lay the ball in ala Mike Dunleavy. Talk about a buzz-kill.
- Cock sighting: Gallo enters to start the quarter.
- Q hits three three-pointers in the span of about five possessions. After each one I yelled "QQQQqqqq......!" which is loud in the beginning and then fades out at the end. I tried to be annoying as possible, but seriously: 5-8 3-pt FG? "QQQQqqqqq.....!"
- Cock sighting II: Gallo nails a three in transistion to put the Knicks up 53-37 and force a Pacers' timeout. I almost yelled "COCK!" but there were lots of kids around. I chose to stand and applaud approvingly instead.
- I walked around the main concourse of the Fieldhouse to meet a friend at halftime and I got all of zero comments about my LJ jersey. I think it shows how apathetic Pacers' fans are about the team at this point. I love this town, but it's a big adjustment living in a city that is so fairweather about their sports. Less than four years ago, the Colts still weren't selling out the 55,000 seat RCA Dome, now everyone has Peyton's face tatooed on their asses.
- High school cheerleaders was the halftime show. I think that I'm old enough now (25) to officially be creepy for watching it.
- Danny Granger takes an ice pack off of his right knee at the scorer's table before coming in. Supposedly he's had a nagging tendon injury, but the dude looks like he's in really bad shape. Knicks picked a good night to play Indy, in the 2nd night of a back-to-back. This is probably a different game if Granger is healthy.
- Cock sighting III: A guy in a throw-back Reggie Miller jersey instructs Roy Hibbert to punch David Lee. Not cool.
- Third-quarter sequence: Stephen Graham drives on Richardson (?) and gets a lay-up, Stephen Graham hits a step-back three, Stephen Graham hits a 15-footer. They say these types of abnormal things come in threes, so I got really worried that the lights were going to explode and Conseco Fieldhouse would burst into flames while Stephen Graham ascended to the rafters laughing.
- I keep waiting for the Pacers to climb closer than 8-12 points but they just can't. Granger is on one leg, Dunleavy is off, and one of their primary scoring options is Stephen Fucking Graham.
- Pacers got it down to 10 (for like the 15th time) and Nate lobs the ball to Wil for a nice reverse layup. Wil (16 pts) was relaitvely quiet, but that was a big play.
- Pacers cut it to 8 with about two minutes left and during a timeout they do this big elaborate thing where the mascots are doing the slow-clap and fire truck sirens are screeching and the scoreboard says "GET LOUD!" Everyone is on their feet, and Al steps back and calmy nails a three. Onions!
- Knicks are only two wins off of last season's win total and it's still two weeks before All-Star Weekend.
- 31 points for Al. I'll be honest, I was kinda upset with losing Crawford but I would go back and do that trade again 1,000 times out of 1,000. Not only is Al more versatile than Craw, he can also flourish under D'Antoni's system. Now, if only they had gotten anything (fish tacos?) in return for Zach Randolph...
- One of my Pacers' fan friends texted me "Lee is going down" before tip-off. I texted texted back "25 and 15...bank on it." 23 and 17 for Lee. Did I mention there's a margin of error of +/- 2?
- Tim Thomas: 1-3 FG, 2 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast, 0 turnovers. That doesn't seem like much, but I like my Tim Thomas quiet and irrelevant.
- Knicks only make one trip to Indy this year, which is total bullshit. They seemingly play 90% of the non-division Eastern Conference teams four times.
- Here's where we see what this team is made of: Lakers, Cavs, C's all at home this week. I'm still hoping for 1 of 3. If you include the following road trip: Blazers, Warriors, Clips - I'm thinking 3-3 would be perfectly fine, 4-2 would be awesome, 5-1 would be .500 going into the All-Star Break which may induce a pleasure-overload coma (at least for me).
Just for kicks: Steelers 24, Cardinals 10 - but I'm a Giants fan and could really care less.
Enjoy the Super Bowl kids. Go Knicks.