Well, uh....yeah. That wasn't ideal. Once upon a time in Minneapolis, the Knicks crumpled in monumental fashion against the Timberwolves, thus crystallizing our fears that they are, indeed, very bad again. New York got off to a hot start, with some unlikely characters (Jared Jeffries!? Chris Duhon!?) nailing threes, but a lead built from Jeffries and Duhon jumpers is bound to dissipate, and dissipate it did.
Take the jump for some notes....
- I have very few substantial comments on tonight's real basketball action. The Knicks started moving the ball well and defending capably, then stopped doing that towards the end of the first quarter. They never really rediscovered that competence.
- I'll just pack all the negativity into one bullet point. Chris Duhon and Nate Robinson provided the usual, although Nate's -33 on the night stands out just a bit (1-10 from the field, by the way). David Lee couldn't find his shot and has reached the point at which his ref-directed bitching is no longer cute, and actually gets him in trouble. I'll reiterate that Lee told me in an interview that he's not one to talk to officials much. I'm pretty dubious about that. Danilo Gallinari's shot selection was, and has been, pretty questionable. Jordan Hill couldn't hit a layup. Jonathan Bender did nothing.
- Now to the good stuff! Jared Jeffries really had an impact in this one. He hit the aforementioned threes (3-6!?), moved well without the ball, and finished with 14, 6, and 5 when it was all said and done. Jared also drew four or five charges, which is cool...if you're into that kind of thing.
- Wilson Chandler was perhaps the lone Knick to leave a positive mark on offense. He took a shade too many threes (1-4), but finished at a respectable 11-21 for a game-high 27 points, mostly garnered on back-cut catches or leaping finishes at the rim in transition or off the bounce. Throw in 5 assists and 4 boards, and that's a very solid game from Silent Wil. Those of you that picked him to be the leading scorer (still haven't checked to see how many of you that was) should check the emails that are listed in your user profiles tonight and tomorrow morning. I'll do the ticket drawing as soon as I finish this.
- Speaking of which, the "Silent" one missed a tomahawk dunk on what could have been an easy lay-in, which marked the first and last time Walt Frazier ever used the words "flamboyant" and "ostentatious" to describe Wilson Chandler.
- Wilson also made highlights by taking a drive into the lane and dunking on...Jared Jeffries. Gian got the video up quickly for y'all. Credit Kevin Love with a little push there, but the fact of the matter is that Jeffries got posterized by his own teammate. It was that kind of game.
- If David Lee isn't going to contest shots, he should learn to pull chairs. Summon Malik Rose from the studio desk and hand that man a clipboard.
- The Target Center PA situation encourages fans to howl like wolves while opponents are shooting free throws. When they're a good team, that could be really cool. Seriously.
- In an ongoing event that I'm surprised hasn't happened before, Kenny Albert and (mostly) Walt Frazier got all kinds of silly with Kevin Love's surname. This includes the following:
Kenny: "Flynn, looking for Love..."
Clyde: "We're all looking for love!!
Clyde (after KL threw a full-court inbounds pass which was, by the way, thrown with one foot over the baseline): You can see the power of love!
- By the way, given the bizarre way Clyde pronounces the name "Bosh", you'd think he'd call Love "Kevin Larva" or something. He doesn't, thankfully.
- From the incomparable Tina Cervasio:
Benny the Bull, yes, from Chicago, is here for the T-Wolf's B-Day (Sorry, true). Anyway, Benny keeps giving Duhon, former Bull, a hard time.
On that note, I'll leave you to tend to your crops or do whatever it is that you do. The Knicks are bad at the moment. They might be bad for the rest of the season, or they might very well make another playoff push. If you've been around, this should be nothing new. Next game's on Wednesday, and some of you will be going.