"Oh well" was by far the most common phrase in the game thread, and I'm pretty sure that was the first thing out of my mouth after tonight's loss, perhaps in between a couple vile epithets for Carlos Boozer. I missed the first half of tonight's game because of the We'll Always Have Linsanity reading (which was a lot of fun. Thanks to those of you who came out.), but caught most of the second half and overtime at a bar surrounded by fellow yowling Knicksfolk. I take it the Knicks started quite hot-- Carmelo Anthony included-- then fell off considerably, Melo included. The second half was just a blur of lagging ball movement, blown finishes, bricked threes, and half-assed pick-and-roll coverage. Melo and J.R. Smith pulled down every damn rebound, but both got a little ball-stoppy. It was a chilling throwback to life before the streak, all those misses encouraging guys to go solo and derail the ball movement, thus producing more misses. The Knicks finally gathered themselves and bought a final possession with a chance to win, but Melo's pull-up jumper missed wide. Overtime was a mess, starting with Raymond Felton wrenching his knee the wrong way (it's a sprain or something and he wants to keep playing through it, which...ugh) and continuing with some miserable interior defense sans any semblance of a big man.
I promised myself I wouldn't care about this one, and ultimately, I don't. If anything, the Knicks did themselves a favor by pushing those nettlesome Bulls further into the five seed, which if it stuck would ultimately preclude a playoff rematch until a hypothetical and very weird Eastern Conference Final.
That said, yuck. That wasn't fun at all. I totally cared by the end. Nate Robinson stomping and howling and hijacking Steve Novak's three-point belt and Carlos Boozer doing all the hideous things Carlos Boozer does made it hurt. Oh well.