Hey whaddya know, even with a good night's sleep, the Knicks played dull and disinterested and let the Grizzlies stomp them off the floor (at what was an 11:00 tip Memphis time). The big starting lineup sucked. After a somewhat promising start, the Knicks' attention to pick-and-roll coverages and rebounds flagged to the point of nonexistence (56-29 difference on the glass. Cool big lineup!). Long misses turned into long rebounds which turned into easy transition buckets (I'm calling these Herring Misses now), even when Tyson Chandler was out there, but especially when he wasn't. Carmelo Anthony played a pretty solid game in isolation and off the catch, Tim Hardaway Jr. kept gunnin' with aplomb, and J.R. Smith actually got some of that step-back nonsense to drop, but nobody else arrived to provide offense. Iman Shumpert and Andrea Bargnani stayed looking shook as ever and Tyson Chandler couldn't get himself usefully involved in the pick-and-roll.
Unless you fell for that fourth-quarter rally (you poor, poor soul), the game had precisely one exciting stretch, which was when the Knicks went small, then small AND young, through the late first and early second quarters and got some stop -> cool bucket sequences of their own. This from Toure' Murry and Hardaway was one of the highlights of the whole damn season:
I wish I could say it was all downhill from there, but it was just jagged enough a slope to keep guys on the floor. Melo clocked in another 40+ minute game, Tyson Chandler played 33 minutes, and J.R. Smith hit 38 as a starter.
That was the Knicks. That was their routine. I'm looking at my notes and all I see is blown open shots, lapses in transition, and a whole lot of FARTDOGing in halfcourt sets. Mike Conley Jr. shot just 4-18, but got eight assists off the dribble. Tony Allen benefited the most directly from FARTDOG, dropping a season-high 19 points on 8-13 shooting. All he did was, like, try and the Knicks let him get buckets. Mike Miller hit a layup, too, as pictured above. That's that FARTDOG magic.
Clyde was given a snowglobe featuring his 3D likeness and regarded it with curiosity: "It's quite a...resemblance! It's clever! Very clever, folks!"
That made me happy. The Murry-Hardaway fun made me happy, and so did Hardaway's overall performance give or take a few silly three attempts and a couple rough defensive plays. Nothing else made about the game made me happy. I did eat some good cookies, though. Those made me happy. My enjoyment of the Knicks games these days depends on how much Tim Hardaway Jr. plays and what I'm eating while I watch. By that standard, today was a success!
Stupid stupid Knicks. They are simply rotten, like our friend Norman said. Throw 'em in the garbage.