The 2014 NBA All-Star Game is history, and that can only mean one thing: batten down the hatches, New York, because the Knicks are coming back!
...as if we haven't suffered enough.
Like the animals of the Chinese zodiac, an enjoyable Knicks season comes along once every 12 years or so. And this, my friends, ain't it.
The 2013-14 Knicks are the most depressing team of the James Dolan era, which is...I dunno...impressive? But it doesn't leave us fans with much to enjoy on game days. Everybody needs a break from the drudgery of the slop their peddling down in MSG these days. That is why I have recently taken up jigsaw puzzles.
What makes a jigsaw puzzle more entertaining the watching the Knicks? Absolutely everything.
For one, it is nice to have a degree of control available to you in your leisure time. I don't claim to be some kind of puzzle guru, but if you give me a 750-piece puzzle with all 750 pieces, I'll put it together eventually. Anyone with a sense of basic shapes and colors can do it.
Now, no fan has control over any team they watch, but the New York Knicks take that feeling of helplessness to disturbing extremes. We are forced over and over to watch the team make moves that are seemingly designed to fail. Andrea Bargnani not working out for you, Toronto? Here, we'll take him off your hands...and throw in some picks to boot. Now go enjoy your division title.
The Knicks are what I imagined purgatory to be when I was a boy in Catholic school: brief flashes of paradise before your eyes, fading with each passing second, unattainable, tormenting you. The only difference is that purgatory ends, eventually.
Another benefit of jigsaw puzzles is that, unlike with the Knicks, the pieces fit. Are the end and corner pieces more important? Maybe...it sure is easier starting with them. But, when all is said and done, a missing piece of some nondescript meadow is just as crucial as a missing corner. A jigsaw puzzle is a fine metaphor for the kind of harmony needed to create a successful team.
The Mike Woodson Knicks, on the other hand, are a metaphor for chaos and bullshit. Last Wednesday's loss was perhaps the supreme example. The Knicks had the ball with six seconds left in a tie game, against a callow Sacramento Kings team that hadn't shown the slightest ability to defend even a basic set. So what does Woodson do? He morphs into a character from one of those J.B. Smoove Nike commercials: Of course he'll make it...he's Melo! For once in your life, Mike, please act like a professional basketball coach!
Through careful experimentation, I have proven that the Woodson method is just as useless in the puzzle game as it is in the NBA.
Here's a nice, big dark blue piece:
I know: let's try to fit it into the meadow. The meadow is big, man:
What is this madness? I should be able to use a big, conspicuous piece however I damn well please!
Maybe it'll work if I smash it in there repeatedly with my fist:
Perhaps that is the best thing that can be said about doing a jigsaw puzzle: Mike Woodson isn't involved. Neither is James Dolan. Now, if only I could get Clyde to do the play-by-play for my puzzling, I'd never watch another Knicks game again.