Ray Smuckles got it right. The Sixers looked for a while like they were too tall and too active for the Knicks, but Toney Douglas thought otherwise. The rookie point guard had another solid game as the Knicks overcame a severe rebounding deficit to defeat the Sixers...much to the delight of Philadelphia fans, as the Sixers moved ahead of the
Knicks Jazz on the lottery board. Everybody's happy.
Notes after the jump...
- For a while, it looked like the prevailing theme in this one would be the Knicks' lack of size. There were times when 9'4'' Samuel Dalembert looked like Billy Madison gunning down second-graders in dodgeball. Standing a full head taller than any Knick, he collected 9 offensive rebounds (18 total) to give the Philly offense plenty of opportunities. For whatever reason, he and Elton Brand didn't look for their own offense all that much, each attempting only 8 shots despite perpetual mismatches. The Sixers may or may not be tanking, so I won't bother scratching my head.
- It's very hard to believe that Eddie Jordan was ever "Fast Eddie", but I'll take Clyde's word for it. (I simply can't find a photo of a svelte EJ, so Clyde's word is all I've got.)
- Tracy McGrady started the game nicely, hitting each of his first three three-pointers. After that, he didn't really dribble, defend, or rebound much, and sat most of the second half.
- I swear Danilo Gallinari starts most of his touches looking to pass, but for whatever reason, nobody cuts when he has the ball. Everybody should save their movement from when Al Harrington's holding the rock and use it for feeds from Gallo. The kid can pass. I've seen him do it.
- He can also score. And defend. Danilo put up 21 on 8-15 shooting (and a reasonable 3-6 from downtown, which tells you he was putting the ball on the floor), but also helped limit Andre Iguodala (5-22) to mostly jumpers in the halfcourt set. Quiet but very solid game on both ends for Gallinari.
- The Knicks went with the match-up zone (with Gallo in the middle) for a hot second, but it didn't really stick. Philly shot a bunch of threes anyway, but went only 6-25.
- Speaking of which, interesting, if unsurprising stat: The Knicks are now 17-5 when shooting at or above 40% (they shot 44% tonight) as a team from the three-point line. They're 7-38 otherwise. Mike D'Antoni, asked to comment, said something to the effect of "we're not very good shooters".
- Either there is a New York Lottery commercial featuring some sort of musical about giant crabs, or there was too much PCP in the soup I had for dinner.
- At one point, someone on the floor was kind enough to bleed all over the court, requiring a full five minutes for clean-up. Clyde guessed that it was "Dalembert leaving the Knicks in his wake".
- Forgive me for my limited knowledge of local high school basketball but "Bishop Loughlin vs. Christ the King" sounds like a one-on-one match-up to me, and a very entertaining one at that.
- I asked Jordan from Liberty Ballers if Willie Green was the Sixers' equivalent of Al Harrington, a "talented player, but takes far too many bad shots, doesn't share, and generally retards the progress of the youngsters." which he said "Desribes Bill Green to a tee. Minus the talent." There you go. Nevertheless, "Bill" managed to murder the Knicks off the dribble in the middle two quarters. The ease with which strong guards drive to the basket against New York leads me to believe that the Knicks should never trade Wilson Chandler. He'd drop 40 against his old teammates.
- Wilson, by the way, had a modest but productive game posting 12 (6-9), 11, and 4, and making good use of mismatches. When faced with Green or Jrue Holiday, Wil backed down. When he drew Sam Dalembert, Wil put the ball on the floor. For the most part, anyway.
- Bill Walker didn't do much, but did shank a two-handed tomahawk that would've made gray matter shoot out my ears. So...thanks, I guess.
- Interesting fact: Clyde wore the number 52 in high school and college, and switched to 10 as a pro only because that was the jersey that Danny Whalen tossed to him on the first day of practice. Simpler times.
- Clyde, following one of Samuel Dalembert's 3 blocked shots: "He's a very generous man off the court, but a very inhospitable man on the court".
- Rodney Carney looks suspicious. Something tells me Rodney has important information that he's withholding. They ought to let me interrogate him so I can get to the bottom of this. Also, he kind of looks like he's wearing eye shadow on the court.
- Oh, and he's your Renardo Borkman Memorial Walt Frazier Mispronounced Name of the Night: "Rodney Corny".
- Jrue Holiday, who I love, is the youngest player in the NBA. Trevor Ariza, we learned in the Nissan Trivia Contest, is the youngest Knick ever. The second youngest? Perhaps my favorite Knick of all time: Jackie Butler. Hats off to you, Jackie, wherever you may be. Odds are you're in the woods somewhere wrestling boars. That's cool with us, Jackie Butler. Keep doing you.
- Gallinari sank the three that pretty much iced the game, then engaged in a flying ass-bump with Chris Duhon. Given Gallo's injury history, I do not and will never support this practice. Might I suggest the Chappelle/Spike "two times!", or just the good, old-fashioned rooster salute?
- And, at long last, the main event: Toney Douglas started slowly, but ended up with a very nice two-way performance in the victory. Toney's passing game was primarily beating his man off the dribble and kicking out to open shooters (It comes as no surprise that the Knicks have shot well in Toney's two starts). He had some trouble finding David Lee off of screens, but this is partly because the Sixers defended the pick-and-roll nicely and had Lee pretty well bottled-up. Douglas also looked to score some, favoring the outside shot (2-6) a little too much, but also pulling up from midrange and slicing to the rim. Above all else, though, Douglas' defense continued to impress. Holiday had himself a game, but several of his buckets came in the second quarter against Sergio Rodriguez or Eddie House. Toney did a very nice job on his fellow rookie, rarely granting him a step and either picking pockets or jumping passing lanes for a few open-court steals. Toney Douglas continues to do what Toney Douglas do, and what Toney Douglas do continues to make the world a better, happier place, especially for the children. Because it's really about the children, isn't it? Check out the picture I used for the post-game thread below. That's called getting after it, friends. Tomorrow, let's do what Toney Douglas do and get after it as well. It's for the children.
That is all, sweet ducklings. Check out Liberty Ballers, where they're openly celebrating the loss. Silly Sixers fans with their lottery picks and their chance at drafting John Wall. Guh. Next game's Wednesday (St. Patrick's Day) against the Celtics. Who wears green in that match-up!?