Good morning! Last night was fun for me. I hope it was fun for you. I'd love to do that again sometime, but no pressure. We've already done a general recap of the game's events, but let's look back once more at some more detailed individual performances and memorable moments.
- We discussed the wonderful play of Carmelo Anthony (41 on 17-28 shooting) and J.R. Smith (30 on 11-22), but a few more things about that; 1. They each also had huge rebounding games of 14 (five offensive) and 10 (1) respectively. 2. Neither got to the line. They shot a combined 7-8. 3. The third quarter was absurd. I mentioned this last night, but, with a couple exceptions, the dudes weren't even pretending to make basketball moves. They just caught, dribbled once or twice for posterity, and splashed away. My favorite by far was J.R.'s pull-up three with about three minutes to go. He threw the most half-assed, ineffectual pump fake ever, took a contested shot early in the shot clock, and still got the softest roll possible for such a deep attempt.
- Tyson Chandler had some really rough moments-- bobbled passes, blown layups, lagging pick-and-roll defense-- but said his neck felt better and did play some strong stretches as well. This looked pretty healthy...
...and Chandler got his o-bound game (Clyde: "He's playing badminton!") and defense-- both as a back-line rim protector and a roaming menace closing out on switches-- going in the second half after a spotty first. He threw down a couple splendid dunks in the pick-and-roll early in the fourth quarter, one of them off a preposterous eye-of-the-needle Jason Kidd feed in a left-to-right triple pick set. Cool pass, too:
- Kidd otherwise played a pretty quiet game-- he was one of several to pass up good shots and brick bad ones in the first half-- but this (included in the first clip, but worth isolating for repetitive watching purposes) was the least quiet thing ever:
I'm dog-sitting right now, and this little dude was sleeping peacefully by my side while Domingo snoozed in his cage during the third quarter. I managed to keep my excitement quiet until that Kidd shot, at which point I screamed and slammed both fists on the couch, startling the dog onto his feet and knocking Domingo off his perch in terror. Apologies, animal friends.
- Iman Shumpert played a very good, very bad game. He drove at the right moments and took good, open outside shots, but didn't get anything at all to drop. Shump can miss layups (although I really wish he'd figure that out. He needs to work on his left hand a lot this summer.) and he can miss threes, but it's no fun when he misses both. His trailing help block in the second quarter was pretty cool, at least.
- Pablo Prigioni contributed to some weird possessions with his reluctance to shoot threes, but he threw some great entry, kick-out and outlet passes and did a wonderful job sticking in front of Brandon Jennings and shading him to his right. Jennings lit him up in the third quarter anyway, but these things happen.
MSG plays "International Love" after Pablo Prigioni reverse layup.— Jared Dubin (@JADubin5) April 5, 2013
- Raymond Felton did pretty much all his work in the third quarter. Honestly, amid all the J.R. and Melo craziness, Felton's sudden ability to drain long jumpers off hand-offs and kick-outs was probably the best indicator that the Knicks were in a surreal groove. If I remember correctly, his ball denial on Jennings also facilitated the premature Mike Dunleavy brick that led to Kidd's buzzer-beater to end the third.
- Great minute, James White!
- The MSG cameras often catch Melo loudly staking his claim in rebounds. Last night, we all heard him scream "GET OUTTA HERE!" to Iman Shumpert when Shump battled him for an easy defensive board.
- In closing, here's the halftime ceremony for the 1973 championship team. These are your role models, Knicks. Shit, they're my role models. They're so goddamn cool, these guys.
Them's the notes. More later. Thunder tomorrow.