Mar 31, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler (6) dunks during the third quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. Knicks won 91-75. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Good day, April Fools. Here are just a few remaining notes and things I have from last night's sloppy but much-needed win over the Cavaliers.
- Now that Jeremy Lin is gone forever, the point guard spot is the biggest area of concern/dysphoria. Interestingly enough, Mike Woodson followed last night's news by changing up his rotation. Baron Davis played a pretty normal (for him) 29 minutes as the starter, but instead of Mike Bibby being the first "point guard" off the bench, that job went to Toney Douglas. Toney didn't really do much-- his defense was okay, his passing and overall decision-making were familiarly shaky-- but it was good just to see him get a shot. Bibby never played and Douglas played just ten minutes, so Iman Shumpert was the de facto "point guard" for quite some time. Handling the ball a lot threw him off a bit, and he didn't exactly create much, but the Knicks didn't look too hurt when he was handling the ball. Given their limited passing abilities, it's probably best for Shump and Toney to just attack when Davis is off the floor. Toney penetrated a little bit, but wasn't really looking for his own shot. It's a tough situation but, as somebody pointed out, it's pretty much what New York's backcourt rotation would have been if "Linsanity" never happened.
- Anyway, I hope Toney gets more time and rebuilds some confidence. He picked the wrong spots last night, but didn't play badly. There was that nice and-one and he made at least one or two decent entry passes.
- I'm realizing as I look at my notes that I just don't feel like rehashing the actual on-court events of such a poorly played game, so the things that follow will probably be of the silly variety. Just a warning.
- Davis, I should add, played a lot better last night. He was just more in control, sharper on his jumpers off the catch, and more determined to penetrate and create open shots for his friends. If it's possible, Baron actually looked like he was quicker and perhaps in less pain last night than he was the previous night. Perhaps that has something to do with facing Donald Sloan and Lester Hudson instead of Jeff Teague.
- It was nice to see Tyson Chandler (who has a sore groin) look more like himself as well. He got scored over by Semih Erden and Samardo Samuels (do people call him "Sam-Sam"? They must.), but stopped many more attempts. He also had a huge presence on the offensive glass (tip-outs galore) and finished everything that Baron tossed his way with either a dunk or a drawn foul.
- I think that was the first time this season that we've seen Steve Novak genuinely off for an entire game. We must never speak of this again.
- Walt Frazier busted out "curling and furling" when recalling Willie Green's fourth quarter on Friday. I don't think that's a first, but it's definitely a rare rhyme. Clydewatchers everywhere must have been thrilled.
- To my eye, the defense kept getting confused on switches in the first quarter, but improved as the game progressed. There were moments early on in which Landry Fields and Iman Shumpert/Carmelo Anthony appeared to be guarding each other.
- I really enjoyed the Melo/Antawn Jamison battle. Jamison rattled him a couple times with pushy defense on the block, but Melo got him on the other hand by stripping the ball a few times when Jamison tried to turn and face the basket. Oh, and Melo shot 7-14 while Jamison shot 5-15. WHAT NOW, ANTAWN?
- Josh Harrellson shot 6-8 from the line! That's a lot of free throws! He also made one terrific defensive play in which he stripped Tristan Thompson twice in a single possession and ended up with the steal. Clyde suggested that the Jortstache was responsible for Josh's defensive prowess. Well, he didn't say "Jortstache", but you know.
- Josh a.k.a. Jorts a.k.a. Big Pamper also committed one foul in which he jumped to contest an entry pass and landed directly on top of Jamison, crushing him into the floor. I mention this because Novak bit on a Sam-Sam fake and committed a very similar foul later on and I think Josh and Steve would make a wonderful wrestling tag team called PAMPERS 'N' NOVAKAINE.
- Jill Martin mentioned that Steve Schirripa had made a joke about wearing the same leopard print suit that Clyde was wearing, which prompted Spero Dedes to be all like "Can you imagine Bobby Bacala in a leopard print suit!?". Clyde, not knowing who Steve Schirippa is or what The Sopranos is or what a television is, fell totally silent, leaving Spero to mutter "Pretty star-studded crowd tonight" to himself. It was awesome.
- On that note, Clyde did, indeed, wear a leopard print suit and shoes made out of cobras. He estimated that his closet is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The cobra shoes are one thing, but I'm still uncertain and uneasy about the actual material that went into that suit. It couldn't actually...could it?
- Melo and Chandler both got in foul trouble, and there was a funny moment in which both guys, each with three fouls, swiped at a Jamison layup attempt. The whistle blew, and each guy insisted that he hadn't commited the foul. It ended up being called on Melo, but he didn't have to get benched. (Chandler picked up his fourth a few minutes later and did get benched).
- The Knicks had eight turnovers in the third quarter alone. They managed to lose that quarter by just two points. <3 u, Cavaliers.
- Save for Baron Davis's dagger to put the Knicks up ten, J.R. Smith hit pretty much every big shot in the fourth quarter last night. He drilled a few jumpers and made two coast-to-coast finishes in transition (one was a lovely behind-the-legs dribble to a lefty finish after stripping Lester Hudson. The other was a near-miss of a dunk in which he probably should have passed off to Melo, but no harm done).
- If somebody dribbled the ball of his own chin and it caromed out of bounds, would Clyde say something about the "old chin trick"? What about an ear? A bellybutton? A tonsil?
Yeap. What else are y'all thinking about after last night? Let's talk about it. Carrots? Sure, we can talk about carrots.