Thanks, schedule-makers! Fresh off a 50-point loss to the Mavericks, the Knicks got exactly what they needed tonight, facing a Timberwolves team with little to no interest in playing basketball, at least competitively. New York raced out to a 15-0 lead and never looked back. They kicked things off with active team defense and splendid ball movement, then hit the necessary shots throughout the night to make sure the Wolves didn't sneak back into the game. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. Minnesota stuck this game in an envelope and popped it in the mailbox, never to be seen again. They didn't even bother to attach the required postage. I don't think I've ever seen less effort from a professional basketball team, and I watch the Knicks.
Notes, after the jump.
- Chris Duhon still couldn't hit the broad side of a barn (0-3 on all three-pointers), but credit him with turning his head off of screens and drives and hitting cutters in stride instead of just kicking everything out. Du finished with 13 assists and zero turnovers, which is a reflection of more confident point guard play as well as utterly inept defense on the part of the T-Wolves. The announcers talk constantly about Chris "doing other things" when his shots aren't falling. Tonight that was actually the case.
- That was the Wilson Chandler we know and love. Sore groin be damned, Wil was determined to attack the rim, particularly in transition. Games like this remind me how thrilling it is to watch Chandler when he's airborne. The guy jumps first and asks questions later. He's got such hops and is so creative once he's off the ground, that he can take off from just about anywhere inside the free throw line and find the net. If that shot should miss, Chandler's back off the ground in the blink of an eye to tip it in. Positively brilliant. Silent Wil finished with 20 points in 25 minutes, including 14 in the first quarter.
- Al Harrington (8-18) and Nate Robinson (4-7) could probably reconsider their respective shot selections, but it was just that kind of night.
- Tonight's first half was brought to you by the extra pass. Sweet, sweet ball movement in the early going.
- Jordan Hill caught a minute or two at the end of the first and beginning of the second, but missed garbage time because he wasn't "feeling well". These things happen.
- My birthday is pretty soon. Just saying.
- Clyde's suit choice: Olive green jacket with mustard-yellow vest and purple/mustard diagonally striped tie.
- Jared Jeffries hit a 20-foot jumper and MSGHD suddenly froze and reverted to regular definition. Not kidding.
- Nate Robinson hit a ridiculous side-arm layup despite a hard, hard foul from Sasha Pavlovic. I'll post video of this when I find it.
- The Knicks' three-point shooting was certainly above average (17-40), but I'd still like to mention that this could have been a 40-point win if Corey Brewer (4-5) and Ryan Gomes (2-3) didn't shoot stupidly well from downtown.
- Even with Jordan Hill off somewhere sweating through a dump, garbage time was a barrel of fun. Toney Douglas and Jonathan Bender managed to heave a combined 11 three-pointers in the fourth quarter, with Toney canning 3-4 and Legs draining 4-7. Shit was magical.
- Has a team ever followed a 50-point loss with a 27-point win? Seriously, has there ever been a more dramatic turn-around in point differential between two games than 77? Elias?
- Final note: I've said this for a while, but I'd like to reiterate that Ryan Hollins is the most exciting player in the NBA. Seriously. He might be the most wild, unpredictable loose cannon of a basketball player I've ever seen. He's reminds me of what would happen if an antelope and a telephone pole mated, and then that offspring played video games and pounded Mountain Dew for it's entire childhood. The guy mean-mugs after garbage time dunks, throws random hip checks, and pretty much tries to block every shot attempted by both teams. I have only one player alert on my League Pass Broadband. If Ryan Hollins is playing basketball, I want to watch. Somebody might just get maimed.
- Oh yeah, I forgot David Lee. 28 points (12-17) , 10 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block in 34 minutes.
The Knicks' next basketball contest is Thursday night against the Raptors. Stay classy.