If I may...
Last (time of day), the Knicks blew another one. Though they played reasonably competent basketball for most of the game, a terrible (ordinal number from one to four, probably one or four. Maybe both.) quarter doomed their chances of beating (group of less talented individuals). New York's guards struggled to contain (human being) off the dribble, while the bigs were helpless against the pick-and-roll. This led to the usual switching, mis-switching, and open shots inside and out. New York made a comeback, in part because of better ball movement and defense by the bench unit, and the deficit to as little as (single-digit number) before team play completely evaporated in the closing minutes. The Knicks stopped moving the ball, resorted to contested jumpers, and couldn't get stops on the other end. Seth tearfully shoveled (snacks) into his face, then took a scalding hot shower once the game ended.
Flossy's comment was on the money! Take the jump for some notes.
- I know Chauncey Billups is capable of great things, because I saw him do great things which my eyes (which, like my hips, are not prone to deception) before he got injured. That thigh bruise, though, isn't done healing, and it may have metastasized to his brain. Not being able to stay in front of Brandon Jennings (or really any bipedal organism) is one thing, but heaving contested three-pointers is something else entirely.
- Chauncey got some help in the form of Toney Douglas, who replaced Landry Fields to support Billups early in the first quarter, then started in Landry's place in the second half. Toney did a better job staying in front of Jennings, but he was just as easy to lose off screens.
- A vociferous "fuck yeah" for Anthony Carter, who wiggled off the bench for the first time in a few games, and really set the tone defensively in the second quarter. A few reckless passes are completely forgivable since Anthony got his hands up against John Salmons, chased down shooters and long rebounds, and even notched himself 7 points on 3 shots. Fuck yeah, Anthony Carter.
- Though he didn't play an especially great game, another "fuck yeah" for Shawne Williams, who chased down Keyon Dooling in transition and put a good, hard foul on him to prevent the layup. Fuck yeah, Shawne Williams. (Shawne was benched for his efforts.)
- Walt Frazier and Mike Breen, perhaps after some pre-game discussion, went in on the Knicks last night. They reamed 'em out good. Breen criticized the culture of this club: the lack of leadership, the apparent absence of urgency and disgust, the repetition of the same ills. Clyde took to his own "hate-by-play" commentary, in which he shouted for the players to move the ball and help one another as plays transpired. Names usually weren't named, but it was, as far as I can recall, as ruthless as the Breen/Clyde tandem has ever been. That is in no way a complaint. The Knicks deserved a good reaming. D'Antoni deserved it for not motivating his team properly, Melo, Billups, and Amar'e deserve it for not acting like leaders. Most everybody else deserves it for failing to execute when called upon. (Not to go all conspiracy theory, but I can't help but wonder if they were given some sort of green light to voice their criticisms, particularly against the coach, at full bore. I don't believe that to be true, but it did cross my mind after the game.)
- Clyde calls Brandon Jennings "JENNEENGS!" like this guy does to Greg Jennings! That was the massive silver lining to Brandon putting the team on his back.
- Carmelo Anthony played perfectly fine in isolation, particularly during the first quarter. He's demonstrated an uncanny ability to shine when the rest of the team is floundering on both ends.
- I can't shake the feeling that the sleeve on Andrew Bogut's right arm is, in fact, holding that arm together. That injury video will haunt my perception of him for the rest of his career. If I ever meet him in person, I'll probably look at his arm and faint.
- Ronny Turiaf, for all his defensive talents, was just as bad at defending the pick-and-roll as Amar'e Stoudemire was. Soft doubles for days.
- Melo's worst play of the game: Bricking pull-up three from the top of the arc, then not getting back in transition when Carlos Delfino leaked out in the other direction for an easy lay-in.
- Shelden Willams got to spin, and he deserves some credit for trying very hard, but it's just difficult to run and jump with NBA athletes when you're trying to hold in a fart the whole time.
- Disappointed to see there isn't a .gif yet of She-Will getting triple-teamed, stumbling around for like five seconds, then finally coughing up the ball.
That's really it! It's pretty tough to watch these games right now, but I'll continue to do so because I am nothing if not a masochist. Bobcats tonight.